Henry Goodear, a merchant living in London, was very much inclined to scoff at the Bible and its teaching.
One day his niece, Mary Goodear, persuaded him to go to church, “just to please her.” Greatly to her grief the lesson was from the fifth chapter of Genesis. As the verses were read she could only shrink back in her place. Why had God permitted such an uninteresting list to be read this day of all others?
Mr. Goodear made no comment as he and his niece walked homewards. A little quieter, a little more thoughtful than usual, that was all. And yet, with every passing footstep, every tread of his own feet, every throb of his heart, came the refrain, “And he died.”
Up in his own room that night went Henry Goodear, and each hour, as it struck from Big Ben, seemed to echo the words, “And he died.”
The next morning, busy at his ledger, as usual, his pen seemed to trace the words, “And he died.” “This will never do,” thought Mr. Goodear, as he failed in a simple addition. “I must read that chapter.” So, as soon as he reached home the half-forgotten family Bible was opened, and he read the words again, “All the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.” “All the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died.” “All the days of Enos were. nine hundred and five years: and he died.”
Right to the end of the chapter read Mr. Goodear. Wicked or good, the same simple story was told of each, “He lived —and he died.”
The Spirit of God can use the most unlikely of instruments. By this uninteresting list of facts Mr. Goodear’s life was entirely changed. He was living—and he would have to die, and what then?
That very night this London merchant gave himself to the Lord, who has said, he that “believeth in Me shall never die.”
I think, don’t you, that we may learn something from the left-out portion, even if it seems an uninteresting list?—L. O. C., in The Gospel Banner.
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