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By Dr. C. B. Strang

One Sunday afternoon I was asked to visit an old gentleman in Lynn hospital. A nephew of the sick man accompanied me. When we arrived we found him unconscious and apparently dying.

"May we speak to him?" I inquired of the nurse.

"You can try," she replied, "but he is so far gone that I doubt if we can arouse him."

After calling him loudly several times and shaking him vigorously he slowly returned to consciousness.

"Uncle," cried Archie, "I’ve brought the preacher to see you!"

There was no response. Turning to me Archie pleaded, "Please do something for him. He has been an awful sinner. Don’t let him die without God."

Here, indeed, was a situation! Here was a man fast nearing death. His life was fast ebbing away; he was barely conscious; he needed salvation. Could I snatch him as a brand from the burning? What could I do to help him?

Almost shouting, I told him the story of the cross. Desperately I urged him to look to Christ. Earnestly I pleaded with him to confess his sins. To my questions, he nodded that he was a sinner, but believed Jesus could save him. Again his nod signified that he wanted prayer. Seldom have I prayed more earnestly than I did for that dying man. When I concluded I asked him if he believed Jesus had saved him. A slight smile and a nod was the answer. I shouted another word of encouragement in his ear, and then we were ready to go.

As we left the room I looked back. Already his eyes were closed; his mouth was open and he was again unconscious. An hour later it was reported to me he died.

"Brother Strang," whispered Archie, as with tears streaming from his eyes we went down the corridor, "do you think he made it?"

"Archie," I replied, "we deal with an all-merciful heavenly Father. In the last moments of a misspent life He extends pardon if we ask it. Yes, I believe we prayed him into the kingdom, but he has nothing to show for having lived. His life, so far as the kingdom is concerned, will be a blank unless we tell this story of his getting in at the fifty-ninth minute of the eleventh hour. Perhaps by our doing so it may help someone else to get in."

I have related the incident here, and I trust it may help someone into heaven, but oh, friends, I am convinced that seeking God on a deathbed, if we are fortunate enough to have one, is the wrong time and place. God wants our lives as well as our souls.

However, I shall always be happy that God enabled us to be of service that day and it gives me great satisfaction to know that we assisted God to snatch one feeble brand from the burning.

No situation is too hard for God to meet!