The Lost Fellow

THE incident I am about to relate, took

place about twenty-seven years ago in the 

vicinity of the great Tonawanda Swamp, in the

western part of the State of New York. The

swamp was interspersed with numerous islands,

but few of which were inhabited, but

those which were peopled were connected to

the main land by causeways made of logs.

On one of these islands, my father's family

lived at the time of which I speak. One Sunday

afternoon, in early autumn, a little boy of

eight or nine years of age came to our house,

and inquired the way to the main road lying

south of our home. I tried to tell him; but

he seemed so confused, I could not make him

understand. I then directed him to my

mother. She questioned him so closely that

he finally, though with some reluctance, 

admitted that he was lost. My mother gave

him something to eat. He ate heartily; but

was so wearied that he fell asleep in his chair

before he had finished his meal. He refused

to lie down, saying he must be on his way

soon. My mother told him this must not be,

that he was lost, and that she should keep him

until she learned whose boy he was.

Shortly after, two strangers called at the

door, and asked for a drink of water. They

appeared very tired, and my mother invited

them in to rest a while. They declined, stating

that they were in a hurry; that they were

in search of a lost boy. My mother said,

pointing to the boy, "There is a child, who

may be the one you are seeking for." She

then stated the circumstances of his coming,

and her conclusion that he was lost.

They were strangers to the boy, but said

they had no doubt but he was the one they

were in search of. They then stated how he

happened to get lost. Our interest was much

excited from what we heard. The little boy

was now awakened, and he admitted what the

strangers had said. They told him his father

was a little way off, and that they had come

to take him home.

Though weary with traveling, he was anxious

to go, and said he would walk with them

to meet his father. The strong men said,

"No, we will carry you; you are too tired to

walk." So one of them took him upon his

shoulders, and I was sent to direct them to the

woods beyond.

When we reached the woods, some of the

other men in the search carne up. Their first

inquiry was, "Have you found him?" They

replied, "We have found a boy." Some

men now came up who knew that he was the

one they were in search of.

The cry was raised, "We have found him."

Long and loud did those strong men send

forth that joyful sound. Others heard it and

took it up, and soon came the loud, long blast

of the distant horn, sending joy to every

heart. I doubt whether those silent woods

and dense thickets ever echoed a more

welcome sound. The poor boy whose courage

had until now sustained him, began to

weep, and strong men wept too. The father

coming up, took his boy in his arms and wept

over him, and who is able to describe the relief

his anxious heart felt as he gazed upon

the lost, but now found, child. My dear

young friends. I have told you a true story,

but not more so than each one of us is 

experiencing from day to day. We are all

either in the right way to our Father's home,

or have wandered from that way and are in

danger of being lost if we do not become

sensible of our situation.

Are we making inquiries for the right road?

Good men and holy angels are searching for

all such. Are we anxious to be found and 

restored to our Heavenly Father's arms? or

are we in our own way trying to find happiness

and a home here, promising to repent by and

by, hoping to reach Heaven at last?

We may find ourselves deceived, when it is

too late to repent. If we are found by those

in the search, there will not only be joy in

the hearts of God's people, but there will be

a greater joy in Heaven.