An Unwelcome Guest

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"They were pricked in their heart." -ACTS II, 37.


COLLEGE towns ought to have a degree of felicity not found elsewhere. The buildings are imposing, or dignified, or even beautiful; the Faculties, composed of learned men, with their families, add their luster, not only to the society of the place, but also to the citizenship in general; advantages are offered to the young people of the vicinity in the direction of a higher education that less favored regions are not able to duplicate; and last, though only to emphasize the importance of the item, the students themselves, coming from different parts of the country, bring their money with them to be spent in the locality, and, better, they bring their young, intelligent life with all that that means. The college advertises the town many dollars' worth without cost. Who ever heard of certain little cities except as the seat of an institution of learning? The college is the means of lifting the place out of the oblivion into which it must hopelessly have fallen. Most unfortunately, all these advantages are not always appreciated by some of the citizens of the region round about a college. There is sometimes much distress and unhappiness engendered by jealousy, which comes in where there ought to be friendship and good feeling as well as mutual understanding and helpfulness; and estrangement and bitterness naturally follow. This is one reason for the formality and stateliness of certain of the smaller college towns.
     Unfortunately this formality finds its way even into the Churches, and especially into the college Church, if the institution happens to be denominational-in the ecclesiastical sense. Sometimes the town members feel that the Faculty and students are trying "to run" affairs; sometimes the college folk think they have reason for the suspicion that the other side is holding itself aloof, and so, between the two, the Church suffers sadly. The minister, unless he has had time, to study the situation and has learned to diagnose the case correctly, is in great danger of reaching false conclusions. At first he exerts himself to the utmost, only to find that he has been unable to arouse much enthusiasm on either side, and finally, since he is human, he gives up the struggle.
     There was something of this difficulty at Darnforth. The town authorities had a grudge against the boys, and did not hesitate to take steps that must make them uncomfortable. No doubt they had often been annoyed in the past; but their measures only created a desire to retaliate, and affairs were not benefited in the least. There was not a department of the city that did not have its own particular grievance. The fire-laddies had their troubles. Several times a huge bonfire on the campus had been the means of calling forth the department, until at last, in their chagrin, they had threatened to let the college burn to the ground if a fire ever did break out there. On one occasion the flame of feeling was fanned to such intensity that there was a pitched battle between the department and the students. But we must not anticipate. Of course the college Church felt the difficulty. Both parties believed it their duty to attend morning worship; but that seemed to end their sense of responsibility. As a result, the Sunday evening and the social services suffered, until the minister seriously contemplated suggesting the discontinuance of the latter meetings. Altogether the Church was in a sad predicament, and no one was able to discover a remedy; hence nothing was done, and it was evident that some sort of a climax was at hand.


     THE little company of men who had been praying in Number Eleven North College did not depart till it was time for evening worship; then they marched together in a body to the church, and up the aisle near the front, where they filled a couple of pews that would have been innocent of corporeal occupants if these students had not been there. Now, it must be remembered that this was a small band, and that it was by no means an uncommon thing to see a large number of students together on the street; but their coming together here was unexpected, and their sitting in a compact body right up under the pulpit was unusual; hence a sensation was created among the faithful few in God's house.
     There was an ancient rule in regard to church attendance still in force at Darnforth, that had long since been thrust into quiescence elsewhere. Every student was required to attend two church services on Sunday, unless sickness or necessary absence from town prevented. The church attendance roll was called for each class on Monday morning at the first lecture. The Faculty further required that the morning preaching service must be one of the two, while the other might be any other strictly religious meeting. Chapel attendance did not count a "service." On the other hand, the students, many of them, supplied their own individual intepretation, and when the roll was called it was often sadly amusing to note the frantic struggles made by some fellows so to arrange matters with their consciences that they might, without absolute falsehood, report two "services" without spoiling their plans by actually going to church. For instance, if there was a student's class-meeting in the old chapel early in the morning, a large percentage of this kind would be present. If there was a song-service on the campus late in the afternoon, here they could be seen, diligently sitting or standing around, "making up a service." It was well known that the Faculty did not "count" these informal musicals, but that made little difference to some easy consciences. These sacred concerts were seasons of worship to many who attended them., and much good was accomplished through their instrumentality, and it is by no means certain that the Faculty was right in discounting them. They were so pleasant and attractive and informal that few of the fellows were willing to miss them on any account, and thus they were kept out of danger during the long Sunday afternoon, when Satan was always offering to idle hands certain kinds of employment that were not considered entirely innocent by Sunday-school teachers and preachers. The only instruments, besides the fresh, pure, human voice, were a little organ, carried out on the great stone porch of old North College, and a cornet or two. This sacred concert was one of the attractions of the town, though the college students had so little self-consciousness that they never fully realized it. The citizens would gather in and around the campus in crowds, and visitors at the homes of the region must always remain over Sunday to hear the students sing, and many were the carriages around the "square" that had driven over from neighboring towns and villages for the sole purpose of listening to the grand chorus. They always sang "Sunday pieces" too, but it did not count as a service.
     In spite of the interpretations of unscrupulous men, the rule in regard to church attendance worked wonders for the morning worship in the college church. The students were there, but the same could not be said at night; for students and town folk alike were conspicuous by the empty sittings. The pastor had reason to feel sad as he looked over the plush-covered pews that so brazenly emphasized the smallness of his congregation. There were usually a few present at night whose consciences demanded their presence. There were some who came from love for the faithful minister, and undoubtedly some because they deemed it a privilege and a pleasure to be in God's house. In addition, there were always a few students who found this to be their last opportunity "to make up a service." Indeed, it was not an unheard of thing to make two points in the same hour. A student would attend one church and sit on the back seat; then, before the sermon, he would quietly slip away to another church, where he would complete his work.
     As the small body of students marched into church and took their places together, a smile was noticed by some, who were watching, playing about the mouth of the good man in the pulpit; and many thought that the sermon he preached was his best evening effort, while others went so far as to say that he improved appreciably from this memorable night. Christian congregations do not seem to appreciate how much they have to do with preaching; they do not realize that they are often responsible for the success or failure of the hour. However it may have been in this case, it is certain that, before many months, the evening service became the more popular of the two, and crowds began to take possession of the hitherto empty pews. It was demonstrated that a crowd will often draw a crowd, and the Doctor remarked to a friend one night, who had been congratulating him on his immense audiences: "Ah, a minister needs more help than that which comes from his study, as important as that is; more help than that which comes from above, I say it reverently; he needs help from those who sit in front of him; he needs their sympathy, their love, and their prayers. A friend of mine was preaching at a camp-meeting. He was having a glorious time, and all were moved. After it was over, one of his own congregation came to him enthusiastically and thanked him for the sermon, but added, 'Why don't you preach like that at home?' 'Because you won't let me,' was the reply. 'I preached that same sermon a few weeks ago, almost word for word, and you were present; but you did not help me, and no one thanked me afterward.' "
     This minister knew what he was talking about. On this night he was prayed for more than usual. The body of consecrated young men, fresh from the presence of God, and with the Holy Spirit resting upon them, began to lift up the preacher to the very Throne.
     At the close of the sermon the pastor said: "Something impresses me that I ought to hold an 'after-meeting' to-night, and you are all invited to tarry a few minutes." There are some who seem to feel that every minute spent in church is waste time, and who always get out as fast as they can. A few of this class retired, but most of the congregation remained; some out of curiosity, and two or three students to make up their second service in this "after-meeting."
     When all was quiet the minister continued: "Now we are approaching the season that ought to be one of awakening. The Church should bestir herself to better living and to more diligent service. Even now we should see sinners turning to us, and hear them cry, 'Men and brethren, what must we do to be saved?' My heart has been saddened, for the Church has been backward in this great work, and the members have seemed cold and indifferent; and until now I have seen no encouraging sign. But to-night hope and confidence have revived in my breast, and I have invited you to remain that, by our united prayer, by our faith, and by our mutual encouragement in testimony, we might bring closer the day of the special coming of our Lord to this Church and community."
     Having thus spoken, he called for volunteer prayers. One brother, after the lapse of seconds, prayed in a drowsy tone of voice, an indefinite kind of a supplication, for several long minutes, and then there was a pause. The minister sighed audibly. Surely he had been mistaken; there was no sign. The congregation was listless, sleepy, dead. The purpose was about formed in his mind to offer a short prayer and dismiss. But just at this juncture one of the little company of students impulsively began the prayer that had been welling up within his soul till it was almost impossible to contain it longer. Instantly the sleepy atmosphere was surcharged with spiritual electricity, and there was an awakening, and every person present seemed intent on listening. This man was talking to a Friend, a near Friend-not a stranger, as seems to be the case with some when they talk with God. He was talking from a heart full of love, and not from duty or rote. He was speaking from a genuine sense of need, not using meaningless words put together more for the congregation than for God. The prayer was short, but it was honored at once. After a second's pause, during which no one seemed ready to respond another one of these students began pleading with God for the Spirit of conviction. He asked that Christians and Church members might first feel it, and then that it might come upon the unsaved. "Thou hast promised, O Lord, that thy Spirit should come to convict the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment to come; now fulfill that promise here. Convince of sin and its guilt; of righteousness, its remedy through Christ; of judgment, its awful result. May the Spirit come to every heart! May there not be one who shall not know that 'Christ is knocking at my sad heart,' and who shall not feel the drawings away from the world and sin!" As he prayed, there was manifest such a tenderness, such a yearning, that tears came unbidden to many eyes. Before the congregation lifted their heads they sang the hymn of consecration and expectation:

"My body, soul, and spirit,
    My Lord, I give to thee,
A consecrated offering,
     Thine evermore to be."

Then the chorus very softly:

"My all is on the altar,
     I am waiting for the fire;
Waiting, waiting, waiting,
     I am waiting for the fire."

Then they were quietly dismissed. But the majority of those who had been present, it is safe to say, went home in a different frame of mind from that in which they had come. The last prayer was already being answered. Several of the Church members were stricken suddenly with severe twinges of conscience, and went home endeavoring to make some good resolutions. The unregenerate students, who had been making their second service at this after-meeting, found themselves decidedly uncomfortable and unable to throw off their unpleasant feeling.
     This Sunday was not quite finished yet as far as action was concerned. Professor Moran, one of the younger members of the Faculty, but one of the strongest, was hunted up; the president of the College Young Men's Christian Association was also brought in, and the re was a conference, with the result that it was resolved to hold meetings every night that week in the old chapel, under the auspices of the Young Men's Christian Association. A schedule of leaders was prepared and posted that night on the college bulletin-board, and special announcement was made next morning in chapel.


     IT happened that, on the same Sunday afternoon, there was a meeting of some of the "Co-eds" at the residence of Miss Holmes. Miss Bruce was also present. The meeting was not distinctly religious, and it was not appointed. It was one of the many gatherings of these girls, most of whom were far away from home. They came together, naturally, to help and comfort one another-not that they ever brought long faces with them nor tales of woe. Whatever there was of discomfort or unpleasantness they kept down in their own hearts where it belonged. Yet each one knew that the others had "troubles of their own;" hence their meetings were "blithe and gay." And often the sad-hearted went away brave and strong. As they were seated in the Holmes's comfortable and elegant living-room, their conversation gradually but naturally drifted towards religious topics. All the girls were religious, though not in the same way nor degree. They also represented several denominations, and had different views of certain non-essentials; but they were united in their desire to see the best things religiously come to the college and town.
     "I should like to see an old-fashioned revival come to the college and town," was the emphatically uttered conclusion of little Miss Gould.
     "I suppose I should like to see the same thing in its result," responded Miss Brighton, "though I am horribly afraid of revivals as I have seen them and heard of them. There is so much excitement, and it must be that many are drawn in by purely physical influences, and not by the Spirit of God, nor as a result of mature deliberation and genuine resolution. However, there is need of something, and I should not be sorry to see the revival or anything else that would wake us up and make us more earnest, both in the college and out."
     "Yes, we all want the same thing in the end, and I think we may as well leave the way with Providence," was Miss Holmes's characteristic statement. "We all see things from a single stand-point, and thus we form our conclusions, which must necessarily be one-sided. God alone sees all around, inside and out, and his ways are the best, even though at times they do not meet with our approval."
     "Why can't we have a little prayer-meeting of our own, right here and now, and ask God to bless us and give us all more life and light, and to bring a change in the college and the Churches? Let us ask for a revival, whether it be old-fashioned or new-fashioned; a revival, a living again. O, let us all pray for it now! I have felt so much like doing something ever since the good bishop preached for us on the Day of Prayer. God was near, and it did seem as if something ought to be done, and that right speedily."
     Miss VanDerveer spoke so rapidly and was so much in earnest that the words fell from her mouth as if each one was pushed out by its impatient successor, and her face was so earnest and her whole attitude so eager that it was hard to keep from smiling, even though all were in sympathy with her.
     "I think so too, 'Van,' " said Miss Bruce; "but you know we were not all brought up alike. I know I could not pray aloud before all you girls to save my life. Let's all pray silently."
     "That's the idea." "All right." "Right away." With these and similar expressions was the motion carried, and it was immediately put into effect. It was a beautiful sight, Mr. Holmes said, to see all those noble, devoted, unassuming girls on their knees pleading with God for some dear desire. That good gentleman had entered the front door just in time to see, from the hall, the impressive picture.
     After two or three minutes, Miss Gould said, without any assumption of superiority in her tone or manner: "We are not afraid of our voices when we are together, in any other thing but prayer. It is a matter of training simply. Why not begin to train in the other direction? It will do us no harm, and it may be the means of doing much good. Let us each say one sentence in turn." And then, putting her suggestion at once into effect, she said most simply and sweetly: "O Lord, thou seest us and knowest the desires of our hearts; wilt thou grant them unto us for Jesus sake? Amen."
     After a moment's pause, Miss Holmes continued the voice of prayer: "Dear Father, make us right, and help our influence to be only good, and may thy kingdom come here speedily! For Christ's sake we ask it."
     Then, to the astonishment of all, Miss Bruce said without halting, though with a sweet little tremor in her voice: "May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer!"
     "Dear Jesus, we want to be thy true children and we need thy help; and we desire, above everything else, to see a revival, especially in the college, and then in the town. Thou knowest all about it, and how great our need is. We thank thee for the sermon. May its wonderful influence and power not be lost. We ask it all, in thy own dear name. Amen." This was Miss VanDerveer's petition.
     Miss Brighton said: "O God, we are not very good ourselves, but we want to be better, and we want to see an improvement in the college. Amen."
And so each one, in her own style and without much thought or fear of the others, made her little petition to Almighty God.
     They were up from their knees when Mr. and Mrs. Holmes entered, and soon the conversation was far away from revivals; but the influence of the little prayer-meeting was to be permanent in the heart of every one.
     The conversation drifted around to the college boys, an ever-fruitful topic among them, and one which brought forth many differences of opinion. They never gossiped about them. The boys were a source of wonder to them. They studied them carefully; they tried to understand them. Over and over again they were surprised at some new development or sudden revelation. They would no sooner have a young man all labeled and pigeon-holed when they would be compelled to take him out and scratch off the label or add something to it; and more than once they found it necessary completely to change their classification. They never did this in the cold-blooded way that might be inferred from this statement; they were always unconscious of the true inwardness of their operations.
     To-day there was quite a debate on poor Pierson. Some held that he was conceited and rather weak, while others maintained that he was a sturdy, manly fellow, with a great deal of assurance. Andrews was taken from his little box also, and at last put back again. They never could agree on him. He was labeled, "Undecided: personal magnetism or the Holy Spirit." There was a sign, however, that the final adjudication of his case would result in this label: "Endowed by nature with great stores of personal magnetism, and by choice, from God, with the power of the Holy Spirit. These two make him great for good. He does need a better equipment, more concentration in his college work, that he may have a better foundation for his life's campaign. The duty of the 'Co-eds' is to help him."
     At length some one mentioned Scott. "Poor Mr. Scott!" said two or three in a breath. Miss VanDerveer: "I was so surprised to see him on our 'tramp' that day. How in the world did he get there? Of course no one knows. He did not seem a bit like himself, however. I think he was disgusted at first because he saw that he was entirely out of his element; we did all forget him most shamefully. I do not know what would have become of him if it had not been for your thoughtfulness, Anna dear"-looking at Miss Holmes with a smile. "But it was like you. I am sorry for the poor fellow. He is light and frivolous, and, I fear, empty-headed. He does not seem to want to think. I wonder why he is at college at all. It is quite remarkable to me that he keeps up as well as he does. He and that little Flossie down town are two of a kind. It's a notable instance of 'birds of a feather flock together.' "
     "There is no one I feel more sorry for," said Miss Gould. "If he would only look at something a little seriously once in a while! There is nothing too sacred for him to jest about. O, it is too bad to see a good man throwing himself away!"
     "For my part," continued Miss Bruce, "I do not see that he has any depth. I think he is to be pitied because nature has endowed him with so little. I am more convinced than ever that there is nothing in him, and I do hope for his sake and all our sakes, but especially Anna's, that we will not see him again."
     "I am so sorry to hear you say that, dear," Miss Holmes broke in, "for I did want to have him go with us sometimes. He quite touched my heart on the walk, and I am sure I saw what none of you have had the chance to see. There is a solid foundation somewhere in him, and not so far down as some of you might think. What he needs is conversion, and then a little sympathetic help, and he will make a man that will surprise the world. To be frank, girls, I have completely changed my opinion of him, and believe there is pure gold not very far down."
     "He shall go with us if you wish it, Anna; but I am surprised to hear you talk thus, for, privately, I have always thought that you were a little too hard on him. I explained it to myself on the ground that you and he were so absolutely different from each other. There was nothing in common between you. In spite of everything that has been said, I myself have always claimed 'he was a man for a' that.' " Of course it was little Miss Gould that thus stood for her friend. Miss Brighton whispered in stage fashion, "I wonder what lie said to her that brought her around!"


     O YE ministers of little faith! Because ye do not see immediate results, ye think your efforts are in vain. God giveth the increase; some seed germinates slowly and some with speed, but none will fall in vain. "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." When Bishop Fortner consented to preach on the Day of Prayer for Colleges, we do not know what thoughts passed through his mind, but he might well have said, from his human heart: "What is the use? I will go there and preach a sermon, and that will be the end of it. They may criticise it favorably or otherwise; but what will it amount to?" Whether these thoughts came to him or not, May never be known; but if he had yielded to that kind of temptation and refused to come, God could not have used him as he did. All the wonderful work that followed that memorable day could be directly traced back to the bishop's sermon. O ye ministers of little faith, fear not to go forth in the name of the Master!
     It would not be in the province of this history to describe minutely these college meetings that were held nightly. At first the attendance was small, but it steadily increased till the old chapel-hall was well filled. The fellows went, and did not know why they were attracted. They went, and, in many instances, determined that they would not go again; but the next night would find them in their place.
     There was a new spirit in the college. The students noted it, and some of them tried to joke about it. The Faculty perceived it; for it appeared in the class-room. Even the people of the city saw that "something was wrong up at college," as they put it; "the boys are so gloomy, and there is a dearth of mischief."
     One might describe the spirit, in general, as one of gloom. Men tried in vain to fight against it. Scott, for instance, was much under its influence, and did his utmost to free himself from it. But so completely had he come under its control that he lost for the time some of his most pronounced characteristics. He could not help laughing, though it was a poor apology for his ordinary ringing laugh, as he met himself in the glass one morning while finishing his toilet before going to breakfast; he looked so gloomy and hopeless. The "cap and bells" had fallen from him too completely, he thought, or, rather, too suddenly. One night, by main force of will, he tore himself from the meeting at chapel-hall, and started down the street to see the fair, fluffy-haired Flossie, the daughter of the ice-cream man; but he was so full of perversity, and so unlike himself, that the young lady became highly insulted, and hence felt it her bounden duty to quarrel with him, which she straightway proceeded to do, in such a fin de siècle manner that it proved her to be past-mistress in the art. Scott did not lose his temper, nor did he retaliate, which was remarkable, and, in itself, quite mollified the young spitfire; but in a gloomy, dreamy way he went back to college, and mechanically into the meeting.
     Even the Sunrise Club had been affected this spirit of gloom, though they fought it with great determination. Their regular plan was to have a meet on the night of the 22d of February, and to celebrate Washington's Birthday in their own peculiar manner. But they suddenly determined to hold it on the Thursday night of this week of the special meetings, and thus defy, and at the same time dismiss, the depression that was so general. Members of the club had gone to the meetings night after night, though their associates had tried to discourage it. Roxy Randall attended a few of the meetings; but he had hardened himself years before, and had done it so successfully that the present condition affected him but little, except that he was angry-angry at the meetings, angry with the fellows of the club, who were proving themselves soft-hearted and weak. "Yes, there must be a meet that week, or the club would be ruined for fun; this gloomy spirit must be exorcised."
     McQuirk was a young freshman of bright, pleasing appearance. His surroundings at home had been far different from those in which he now found himself. He was, after all, only a child, and had never fought a moral battle without the help of his parents. Somehow the Sunrise Club had gotten hold of him, and had been training him so successfully that already, in the few months of his absence from home, he could be selected as a young man of bad morals. He was an illustration of a great fact. God gives the baby-face, but there is one thing he can not, at the start, and will not ever put in, and that is character. Character must be made by years of toil, with God's help undoubtedly, and nothing can keep it from looking out of the face. Sometimes the baby-face is carried far into young manhood or womanhood. It is like a clean white page, waiting for the writing that shall be placed thereon. Home and home influences help to keep away the evil; but too often, alas! they shut out the positive personal good also. Then strong, adverse influences suddenly come, and the change that is wrought is often startling. Poor McQuirk illustrated this side of this great truth. His bright, open face soon partook of a look of hardness and coarseness. But there were many instances on the other side to offset this. Greaves came to college with one of the baby, sweet faces, lacking character touch. In a few months, when he returned to his home for a vacation, his face had taken on already a look of manliness, of determination, of character, that transformed it almost beyond the recognition of some; it had put on the "new man" visibly. A miracle of transformation bad been wrought. In the one case the very protecting arms of the family had somehow unfitted the victim for battle; in the other case, sweet influences from home seemed to abide with the boy, and there was an invisible wall about him and a high tower, unseen by the naked eye. There ought to be some way by means of which the home might protect the boys, and yet at the same time teach them to be men, so that they will not fall from the first cold breath of the world. McQuirk had suddenly come to a halt; he was under the "spell." His associates of the club noticed the condition, and determined that "this foolishness must be taken out of him."
     Preston was another member of the ill-favored organization. He was the son of a minister, and had thus far, by his life, made a strong argument for the truthfulness of the old adage so often quoted in regard to ministers' children. Preston, in spite of his early training, deliberately chose the evil because he preferred it. He wore a sinister expression on his face all the time, and he had the faculty of making a great many enemies, and the additional one of making them afraid of him and almost powerless to do him injury. He did his own things, and kept his own counsels, and there were few who understood him. It was a matter of surprise to find him at the meetings every night. He always went away alone. Could it be that the "Unwelcome Guest" was finding a way to Preston's heart? If he were thus captured, there seemed little hope for others. "On Preston's account the Thursday night meet of the club must be held," was the verdict that went forth.
     Walter Retlaw had gone to the first meeting out of curiosity; there were such peculiar influences, in the atmosphere seemingly, though little was said or done to produce them; such forebodings, such a heaviness, such a spiritual sultriness, almost suggestive of that felt in summer previous to an electrical storm, that, true to his constitutional weakness, he never returned to another meeting; it was too uncomfortable.


     By a peculiar coincidence the second german of the season was to be given at the armory that same Thursday night. The local chapter of the Phi Nu Theta Fraternity was very exclusive, and its members, with few exceptions, were all society men. Social standing, indeed, seemed to be the sole condition of eligibility to membership. Most of these men were, therefore, interested in the affair at the armory. Wilding, of course, was one of the leaders; but he proved to be no exception to the general rule, for he was far from being himself. Some of the members of his fraternity sneered at the meetings at college, and professed to be very much concerned about their friend. "It is a good thing," they said, "that the german is coming off this week. It may break the spell, and help to bring him back to his senses."
     There was a marked change in many of the students. It was now discovered that certain of them were Church members, and that they had been active Christian workers at home. At college, they had simply remained quiet; in fact, had taken pains to conceal their spiritual identity. They had been succeeding, and had been leading a kind of a nondescript life. Some of these had been overshadowed by that awful presence that was troubling the community, and they were rendered miserable thereby. There was Jackson, one of the best of fellows; but he never went to church when he could conveniently get out of it, and he was as fond of "cutting" chapel as any one could be. His influence, while not vicious in any way, had all been away from holy things. Apparently be was a sleepy kind of a man, and gave those who did not know him very intimately the impression that he was dull or even stupid. But there was that twinkle in his eye that his best friends perfectly understood; and often when he was giving the most certain impression of his stupidity to one of the uninitiated, he was laughing inwardly, a silent, invisible, but none the less gleesome laugh. The professors knew him well enough, and never took him at his face value. He was probably the best story-teller in the institution. He could tell his story with a straight face and without the twitching of a muscle, while his auditors would be convulsed with laughter. Every one at college knew that Jackson was not profane nor evil-tongued, and that he did not belong to the lower element; but few, if any, ever suspected him of being a Christian in the experimental sense, else why should he not discover it to his fellows? But so it was; he had even been a Sunday-school superintendent at home. He was over thirty years of age and a member of the senior class, and thus had his whole college life been wasted! Now, no one felt the burden of conviction more than did he. It weighed upon him so heavily that he could scarcely sleep at night. The Spirit gained the victory in the end; but it was not without a terrible conflict, which resulted in a change in all his life's plans. He felt the call to preach, and at last yielded. His life became one of great usefulness.
     Many other instances of the power of the Spirit upon the students might be given, but these few will suffice to exhibit the prevalent misery and gloom. There may have been some who did not feel, in their heart of hearts, that something dreadful was impending; there may have been some who were entirely untouched by any uneasiness; but they were few. It could be recognized on the faces and in the tones of voice and in the actions and general bearing of the students; some unwelcome visitor had come, and his presence was thus evinced.


     THERE was no loud talking on the campus. That was unusual.
     The voice is an indicator, often, of the subjective states, and yet it may be cultivated, whether we are conscious of it or not. It is a musical instrument that may be in tune as far as the note is concerned, but at the same time the quality of the note may not be the best. A harsh, nasal voice, for instance, may sing in tune, but we do not want it to hush us to slumbers. Unfortunately teachers take hold of the voice and train it when the owner is not conscious of it or able to object. It may be a nurse, or a household servant, or a nervous relative, with an unpleasant voice; the little innocent is an apt pupil, and it grows up with an unpleasant voice, simply because it is a mimic. We say: "What a shame! A beautiful child, but its voice is a deformity. What freaks nature plays!" Freaks, indeed! Sometimes the family is blessed with a grandmother.      The dear old soul is a little hard of hearing, and the habit is formed in the family of raising the voice for her sake, and thus the voice of the little one is spoiled. Unfortunately, the college campus is not the best place in the world for a sensitive ear. There are heated argument, and loud calls, and guttural laughs, and usually a great deal of confusion.
     But in the face of all these circumstances it is possible, even at college and on the campus, to train the voice aright.
     Scott and Grandison were seated on a bench that encircled one of the great trees of the campus, where they were having a conversation on just this subject. Said the latter: "Do you notice how quiet it is? The fellows are all here, and many of them are talking, but their voices are low. You might almost think that some one was sick or dead. I have noticed it ever since last Sunday. These meetings, for some reason, are having a tremendous effect on the fellows."
     "Yes," replied Scott, "I have noticed it. If the meetings do nothing more than quiet the fellows down while on the campus, they will have been a unique success. I sometimes wonder how the citizens living near the college stand the racket. I understand they miss us dreadfully at vacation, and are nearly driven crazy when we return."
     "Did you ever think on the subject of voice cultivation? I do not mean the singing voice, but the ordinary every-day speaking one. When one once discovers a defect, it is the easiest thing in the world to get rid of it. The main thing is to put one's will on one's voice. Of course there are other things that get into it and help it. Suffering has much to do with modulating it; so has sympathy and love; but, above everything else, true refinement will soon or late put its impress on the voice. I said true refinement; not the modern polish or veneer that they put on the outside to cover up defects; the unrefined self will show itself by means of the voice through all the artificial polish they can put on, just as a knot on a rough pine board will show through the varnish on top."
     "Why, Grandison, you ought to lecture on the voice throughout the country. I believe you could do an immense amount of good, to say nothing of the money you might put in your pocket. But just what do you mean by putting one's will on one's voice?"
     "I wish some one with authority would lecture the American people on this great topic, and teach them that it is not the climate that is at fault, but bad training. They are nervous and busy, and the tones of their voice are influenced by these facts, and the poor little innocent children start to form their voice with that kind of an example ringing in their ears. Ugh! Is it any wonder that we have harsh voices? As to the will, I mean that the first thing a man has to do is to want to do better, and to make up his mind that he will. The voice may be changed by the will alone, if practicing is under the category of the will; and you will readily agree that it requires much volition to train for anything that is worth while."
     "Yes, you have made that very plain; but how about the suffering and the sympathy and the love getting into the voice?"
     "Nothing easier to answer. If a man will permit, his loves and his sympathies may become potent masters in the training of his voice. You have heard the celebrated Dr. Young speak, have you not? You know that remarkable voice of his, famed not only for sweetness and winsomeness, but for power and richness and strength. A friend of mine recently questioned him in regard to his voice, asking him if he were not particularly grateful to God for his magnificent endowment. 'Well,' he replied, 'I suppose I ought to be, for he gave me my children, and he endowed me with a tender heart.' 'What in the world have your children to do with it?' 'Everything, up to a certain point. When I was a young man my voice was so harsh and disagreeable that I was constantly ashamed of it; people would turn around on the street when I passed to see who could be making such horrible noises. When my children came, I noticed that they would shrink when I spoke; a fact so distressing to me that, whenever I came in their presence, I softened and modulated my voice the very best I could. It was a constant effort. My present power is the result of years of that kind of practice. Whatever there is in my voice to-day of beauty or of power, I owe it directly to the love I bore my children, and, secondly, to an indomitable will.' "
     "That reminds me of a story Kenneth told the other day. His father entered a grocery where be was accustomed to deal, and was approached by a new clerk, apparently fresh from the country: tall, coarse, rawboned, awkward in every motion, and with a voice like a steam sawmill. Just at that moment the telephone-bell rang, and the young man was wanted at the 'phone. His first words were 'Hello, hello, hello!' several times repeated in his great harsh voice; but instantly his tones changed, and he began to speak in a soft, gentle, almost sweet voice. The change was so marked that Mr. Kenneth could not refrain from an exclamation of astonishment, which was heard by an old clerk, who laughingly remarked: 'O, Sam's terribly in love, and that's the way he always speaks to his sweetheart; he's talking to her now over the wire.' "
     "Good! God bless the sweetheart and the power of love, say I! There is hope for that fellow and his voice with such a teacher. That story illustrates exactly what I meant."
     "Yes, that is plain enough now; but there is one thing that I don't quite see, and that is, how suffering makes any difference. You see, I am pumping you dry on your specialty. Do you mean that a man must suffer in order that his voice may be perfected?"
     "No, not exactly, Scott; but I do mean that when a man has suffered, and been patient and true and faithful, that a certain quality will get into his voice, of richness and tenderness, that can not come from any other source. I know several speakers who owe their power of tender pleading, I am sure, to the school of sorrow through which they have passed. Suffering is a terrible thing, but if, a man will be a good pupil in God's school of sorrow, what a man be may become when he graduates!"
     "Grandison, you ought to be a preacher, instead of throwing away your knowledge and gifts on medicine. I am not sure that I ever heard you try to sing, but I will say that I do not know a more winsome voice in college than yours-in ordinary conversation, I mean. It is soft but rich; low but strong; and it constantly follows in flexibility and modulation the dictates of the thought it so beautifully expresses. But there goes the bell." And with that Scott ran off, much to the regret of Grandison, who had started the conversation with but one purpose, that it might lead up to the meetings and their results, and at last to the personal question in regard to Scott's own condition spiritually.
     Grandison was sad. He felt that he had let an opportunity slip away from him. But he was mistaken, as men often are when they endeavor to do good, and think that they have failed. Scott was a man easily influenced. An impression was made upon him that day, far-reaching in its results. It was of more value to him than a course in elocution or voice-culture. He was so impressionable that, almost unconsciously, he bent his will to his voice. In after years, when he would hear remarks concerning his persuasive power, he would mentally bless Grandison.
     And yet, through all the conversation just reported, Scott had consciously been playing a part. He perfectly understood the end towards which his friend was aiming, and it was his secret delight to keep putting off the solemn question that he knew was not far away. That he was successful, however, did not seem to add to his joy.


     SCOTT escaped the question that Grandison had in his heart, but he could not escape his spirit. Eyes and ears and purposes were open in those days, and many a fellow had a word whispered in his ear at an unexpected time and place, and more than one word thus dropped was blessed by God.
     As the class came out from the last lecture for the morning, Scott started for his boarding-house with his head down, and with little thought of any one beyond himself. He was lost in meditation. Miss Holmes was back of him on her way to her father's residence. They had often thus gone in the same direction, without apparently noticing each other. But since the day of the famous railroad "walk" they had been more familiar, and once or twice had made their journey side by side. Miss Holmes was especially interested in helping the young man get entirely and forever out from under his "cap and bells." To-day there was another purpose for conversation. Increasing her speed, she came up with him.
     "I never thought it would have such an effect upon you."
     "Why, Miss Holmes, you startled me a little. I was far away. How do you do? and what do you mean?"
     "I never thought that throwing off your passion for merriment would have such a remarkable effect upon you. You are as solemn and sober as the proverbial judge, and thus you have appeared for several days. Perhaps you have made a mistake in throwing away your 'bells.' May I help you find them?"
     "I am not sure that I have thrown them away, Miss Holmes. I wish I were certain. But, to tell you the truth, I do not know what is the matter with me. I am not like myself. I am not myself. But I am not the only one thus affected. Have you noticed how all the fellows are under a cloud? Can't you see it on the campus and in the class-room and everywhere? What is the matter? Some say it is the meetings, but they are the tamest I ever did see; there is absolutely no excitement. They lack all the interest that I have been accustomed to in such meetings at home. In fact, they have seemed almost cold sometimes. And yet this spirit is connected with the meetings in some way, I will admit; for I can not keep away from them, as hard as I may try."
     "I think you are correct, Mr. Scott. This solemnity does come from the meetings, and I believe that it is the power of the Holy Spirit, and not the excitement created by man, that we have all seen. And that is just the reason I took the liberty to break in upon your meditations. As we were walking in the same direction, I presumed that you would not be angry with me if I, one of your companions and classmates, asked you a simple question, Will you let the Holy Spirit have his way with you, if he comes to you?"
     "Now, Miss Holmes, you are taking an unfair advantage of me. I worked for fifteen minutes at least this morning to ward off some such question as that from Grandison. I could see it in his eye. But he got started on the training of the voice, and I kept him going till the bell rang, and then I ran away. And, by the way, I did learn a lot from him, things I never dreamed of before, but that are true as the gospel. But, after all my struggle this morning, you come up back of me and take me at a disadvantage. I was not ready for you." There was a pitiful attempt at fun; but it was dropped immediately, as he continued: "No, of course, I am not angry. I rather take it as a compliment that you should be interested at all. But, to tell you the truth, my 'feelings' are not what they often have been in similar meetings at home. I have often felt that I must begin the Christian life at once or be lost, and yet I have let the opportunity pass. I have been all of a tremble and excited beyond measure, but there is nothing like that now. I am simply gloomy and blue. I wish the old feeling would come back; I would believe that there was some hope for me. Yes, I will promise you that if that feeling returns I will let the Holy Spirit have his way with me. But I fear I have disgusted him, and that he has gone from me forever. It is a result of my mistaken life!"
     "You must not talk that way. You may have made mistakes; we all have; but you have a future of great usefulness, I am sure. But I thank you for what you have just said, and I shall pray for you. Good-bye."
     "Good-bye, Miss Holmes, and let me thank you for your interest."
As the young woman walked up the steps of her home the young man hurried away, using his handkerchief upon his nose most vigorously. Scott was so emotional by nature that it was often difficult for him to control his tears. If he kept them back from his eyes they were sure to find another channel for escape.
     "What a noble man he would make, with the love of God and the power of the Holy Spirit in his heart!" mused the lady.
     "What a noble, unselfish girl she is! A fellow can talk with her sensibly; he can admire her, but without any foolish thoughts coming into his mind. I wish there were more girls like her. I believe she is interested in every man in college, but there is not one of them good enough for her. It will be some great and good man who will one day come and claim her for his own, if there is one great enough and good enough," mused the man.
     Not many words had passed between them, but the result was cumulative. Miss Holmes was almost an ideal creature to him, hardly flesh and blood. Any word she might say to him would have its weight; but, as was so often the case with her, she had uttered just the right word at the proper time, and she knew when she had said enough.
     Scott could not help thinking how perfect was the voice of this unselfish woman. "I might not have thought so much about it if it had not been for that conversation with Grandison. I wonder if she sings. I never heard her,"-a free translation of his thoughts as he wended his way back to the campus.


     AT the meeting on Wednesday night it was announced that Professor Moran would speak the following night on "The Sin against the Holy Ghost." This announcement almost took the breath away from some.
     These nightly meetings had been in the hands of the college Young Men's Christian Association, and some pretty cold material had been in the lead; not one of the men of prayer who had been responsible for their inception had been placed in the front. But the little band kept on praying for conviction, and God continued answering their prayers and sending more conviction among the students, and he made use of the material that he had.
     On Thursday night the old chapel-hall was full. Some had been attracted from the town, but not many. Professor Moran was in his place, and was evidently tremendously moved; but that meant with him unwonted calmness. His voice was low but rich; he spoke slowly, so that every one heard; and he spoke impressively, as if he believed every word he uttered; and every one who heard him was brought under his power. Many of the fellows hated him, or professed that they did, because he was so strict in his classes in mathematics; but when he was speaking on religious themes in public, no one could fail to come under the influence of his spirit and voice and manner. His prayers were beautiful reveries. When it was his turn to lead chapel exercises, friends would often gather from the town just to hear him pray.
     It was more the way he said it this night than what he said. But a brief outline of his remarks can be given.


     "I. There is an unpardonable sin. Christ distinctly referred to it. The apostles in their Epistles more than merely suggested it. David spoke of the great transgression.
     "II. It is not perfectly nor fully defined. It is left somewhat under a cloud. Yet a just distinction is made: 'All kinds of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven you, but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.'
     "III. Men have undoubtedly committed this sin in the past; men perhaps are committing it now.
     "IV. It seems to be a sin of presumption. In the nineteenth Psalm we read: 'Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me; then shall I be uptight; and I shall be innocent from the great transgression!' The Epistle to the Hebrews speaks as if there were no hope for he man who crucifies unto himself the Son of God afresh; that it, commits the sin of willful apostasy. From these and similar passages it seems to follow that the sin is one of presuming upon the Holy Spirit. I know his office, his agency, his power; I know his presence, his pleading, his purity; I know his will, his law, his hatred of sin; yet in the face of all this enlightenment, I do what I know to be evil willfully, presuming that, when I am tired of it or about to die, I can come to him, and all will be well. That is the presumptuous sin. It may be committed by one in the Church or out. It is very dangerous to drive the Spirit away when we are conscious of his pleading. He is here! Grieve him not!
     "Apostasy is different from simple backsliding; the latter is through weakness or error in judgment, or from carelessness. The Bible is full of healing for the backslider. The former is a settled determination, planned beforehand, to go back into the world for a season, and thus to despite the Holy Spirit. A woman who had an enemy to avenge herself of, once said to her religion, 'Stay thou there till I avenge myself of my adversary!' But when she returned she could not find it again. A man in a certain city, a member of a Christian Church, noted for his piety, was urged to enter local politics. From that moment he began slipping away from holy things, until at last he was away from the Church entirely. When he was asked the reason, he replied: 'My family demand at least three thousand dollars a year for the kind of support that they desire, and there is no way for me to obtain it except in the line of local politics, and, of course, here that means corruption.' He had deliberately, with malice prepense, turned from Christ to mammon. That man stood in an awful place.
     "V. Perhaps no one knows when he has committed this sin. Men have affirmed that they had committed it, and evidently believed it. Men have feared that they had committed it, and were in agony. But this is a good sign; the Spirit is not far off. When he does desert, it is probably a saddened going, and the heart is left cold and dead and unconscious of its loss.
     "VI. We are all in danger of committing it. We run terrible risks. Let us not risk longer May the Holy Spirit come now! May he make us uncomfortable; may he make us unhappy; may he make us miserable; may we be unable to sleep to-night, till we accept him! May we yield to him!"
     You should have seen the professor as he stood there in quiet dignity; you should have heard the deep pathos of his voice; you should have noted, the yearning of his attitude! He was like an Old Testament prophet, clothed upon with the tenderness of the Son of God as he stood yearning over the wicked city: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered thy children together as a hen doth gather her brood beneath her wings, but ye would not." As he invoked misery and unhappiness upon the impenitent sinner-the spirit of conviction-there were audible groans from all over the room.
     It was a scene of awful conviction. Men fell upon their faces and cried out; they wept; they forgot themselves, their friends, and the-so-called proprieties of society.
"Just one word and you are dismissed. Let those who want the prayers of true Christians, arise! That will do. You are dismissed." Some fifteen or twenty had arisen.
     That scene in the old chapel-hall will never be forgotten by those who were privileged to be present. It is indelibly burnt into their memory. It was a feeble earthly suggestion of the day of judgment. It was undoubtedly the day of judgment on earth to some.


     THE little praying band had been augmented from day to day until by this, Thursday night, they had become quite a force. As the crowd in the chapel began to separate, little knots of these men went with those who had risen for prayers, either to their own rooms, or to the rooms of sympathetic Christians near by, in order that they might pray with them and also help them.
     The Sunrise Club waited for McQuirk and Preston and one or two others in vain. These delinquent members had entirely forgotten for the time that there was such an organization, and especially that there was an engagement for the night. Those who did meet according to plan were either too angry or too much under conviction themselves to tarry till the rising of the sun, and most of them went home fairly sober long before dawn.
     Miss Biddle's escort did not appear. She did not go to the german that night, and she cried herself to sleep; for, though she was haughty in bearing and manner, she had a tender heart; and though she would not have published it for the world, that heart had gone out already in a very tender way to Wilding. To-night, therefore, her tears were bitter; for he had promised to take her, and he had failed to come. There could be but one interpretation; for there was no excuse, there could be none, except paralysis, or unconsciousness, or death. In any other event he could have sent a message. To forget her would be the worst blow of all. Better deliberately to cut her than weakly to explain afterward that he had forgotten! There could be no excuse! Hence her heart was sad, and it was not the only sad one in that set that night. Some danced, but without joy or exhilaration. Nothing went right, and all seemed glad when it became late enough to give excuse for a home-going much earlier than was customary. The spirit of gloom was in the town, and had reached the smart set; and there were some heart-searchings there.
     A glimpse into Moon's room will be worth while. At home Moon had been a member of the Church and an active Christian. But he was one of the men who had gradually yielded to college temptations till, before he was fully aware of it, he was far out into the world. He had continued his Christian duties, as is often the case, but in a cold and formal manner. He now feared that he had committed the great transgression. As he knelt on the floor in his own room by a chair, he fell into an agony of supplication. His fist was clenched and his arm uplifted while he cried aloud for mercy; so loud, indeed, that his anguished voice could be heard far out on the campus. Those who witnessed the scene will not be likely to forget it.
     Scott had been conducted to a room convenient to the old chapel, and there, true to his own nature, when in deep emotion, he wept bitterly, the tears streaming down his cheeks, while he pleaded for mercy.
     Yes, surely an unwelcome visitor had come to these classic halls!
     But with what joy the angels must have been looking down; for more than one sinner was repenting! Aye, and with what sorrow; for some, just as deeply convicted as these, hardened their hearts and went out-alone!


     THE world is full of coincidences; they happen every day. Some can be explained on natural grounds; some look higher for their solution. Two coincidences, worthy of note, took place at this time.
     Though Scott's parents were ignorant of the ways of the world and of book knowledge, they were devout people, and were versed in the things of the Spirit. Their ambition had been centered in Manly E., their youngest son. They wanted him to do well in a worldly sense; they wanted him to get along; they desired him to amount, to something, to take a prominent place among men; but that was not the height of their ambition. They wished him to be good and noble and true, and, above everything else, to be a follower of the Lord Jesus they loved and followed so simply. Hence he was the constant theme of their prayers. But they did not feel quite satisfied. There was nothing they could actually put their finger on, and yet, when the boy came home, they did not feel as happy as they thought they would. There was always a sense of disappointment. He was ever kind and thoughtful and even loving in his attentions; but they missed something, and they missed it more and more; for he had been away from home nearly three years now, having spent two years in the preparatory school. The truth was, they were perplexed. College was having a bad effect upon him, and what to do they did not know. But as goodness was to be desired more than simple worldly wisdom, they had determined to take him away from the college influences that were making him so flippant in holy things.
     This decision had been reached on the Day of Prayer for Colleges. All the week they had become more and more oppressed and burdened. Just one week later they met together in their bedchamber to take their boy to a Throne of Grace. Both of them were strangely moved, and prayed till their only thoughts were of God and their dear boy and his great need. Thus they continued till far into the night.
     At length the old father rose to his feet almost exhausted, but with face illuminated with radiant joy, exclaiming, "Mother, I've got it, I've got it!"
     "Got what, father? Nothing serious, I can see by your looks. Got what?"
     "Got the answer, got the assurance. It's all right; Manly is saved; he's saved, mother. I tell you he is saved! Glory to God in the highest!"
     And with that he rushed towards her, and threw his arms about her neck. She caught the feeling with the contact, and there they stood alone in the presence of God, weeping for joy. Joy on account of what? Had a message arrived? a letter? a telegram? Conveying the news that made them rejoice? Aye, a telegraphic dispatch had come, a wireless message, by way of the Throne of God; a message of joy and peace.


     MOON'S father was a minister of the gospel in another State. On the night that was fraught with great interest to many at Darnforth, he was holding his weekly prayer-meeting, which in that part of the State was a Thursday-night institution, after an ancient custom. About half way through the service, which had been rather dull and sleepy-as prayer-meetings sometimes are when there is nothing special to arouse the people, weary from their day of hard work-he arose with a look of intensity and earnestness on his face that made every one in the house sit up, as much as to say, "It is now time to wake up!" Several rubbed their eyes, and said to themselves, "Something's a-coming now."
     "Brethren, I feel strangely moved. I am concerned about my boy. You know him. You know that he was a Christian. But college and its influences have gradually drawn him away until at last he has acknowledged to me in a letter that he has lost that which once he possessed, and now is adrift. He does not know exactly how it happened. It was not in my mind when I came here, but it has thrust itself terribly upon me since coming. For the last few moments the words have been ringing in my ear: 'Frank must be saved! Frank must be saved!' For the sake of the love you bear me, and for the sake of that precious soul, will you not join me in prayer for this dear boy?"
     Then he called upon one after another of the praying men, and one or two of the old mothers of the congregation, and at last he lifted up his own soul in an exalted prayer for the boy of his love; not forgetting other boys and the girls who were away from the protecting influences of home, and especially for all those who were open to the terrible temptations of college life.
     After his prayer he stood tip, and requested the company to join him in singing, "Praise God, from whom all blessings flow." While they were singing the beautiful doxology, there came over the good minister a sense of calmness and peace. He dismissed the congregation, and they departed under great emotion.
     Little passed between Mr. Moon and his wife on their way home, but both were thinking. At last he said: "Do you know I believe it is all right with our Frank? It seemed to me while I was praying at the church to-night that for the first time I could take hold of that passage, Mark xi, 24: 'Whatsoever things ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.' It seemed to me that I could feel myself believing and taking hold, and it has been growing stronger ever since. I expect to hear that our boy is saved, and that he was saved this night!"
     The mother was a little incredulous at first, and she endeavored to present arguments that would weaken the father; but soon she yielded, and acknowledged that there had come over her likewise a feeling of joy that she could account for in no other way.
     "And more, I believe the boy will be called to preach, and that he will be a choice vessel for the Master's use."
     "May God grant it!" fervently echoed the mother.
     There was not much sleep for their eyelids that night. Their joy was too full to permit it.
     Call it telepathy or what you will, there is a way from heart to heart, by way of the Throne of God. He who sits upon the throne of the universe loves his children well, and hears their cry; and often, knowing what their prayer is going to be in the future, he sets his providences in motion that bring the answer to the prayer at the time it is offered. Prayer is the long arm that takes hold on God. Thus had God been preparing during the whole week, at Danforth college, to answer these and other prayers.
The next weeks at college are important ones.

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