R1240-6 Heart Religion

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A German woman, a Romanist, residing in New York, on leaving her native land had received from her priest a charm, which was to preserve her amid the perils of the voyage, and to protect her in a land of strangers. Such a charm is generally procured by German Catholic immigrants before coming to America. Sometimes it consists of a small crucifix; sometimes of a mere picture of the Saviour on the cross, enveloped in a leather case; sometimes of an image of the Virgin. In this case it was an image of porcelain. Its possessor

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having reached New York in safety, and thus proved the virtue of her crucifix, kept it suspended upon the wall of her chamber as an aid to devotion, if not itself an object of grateful adoration. But one day, as she was adjusting the furniture of the room, a sudden jar brought down the crucifix to the floor, and broke it into fragments. Alas! What could she do now? For a time she gave herself up to weeping and self-reproach. But in her grief, she sought counsel of a neighbor in an adjoining apartment. “What shall I do?” she cried, “for my dear Christ is broken to pieces.”

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It happened that this neighbor was one who had experienced the grace of Christ in her own soul. She said to her distressed friend, “Do not grieve, and I will tell you how you may make up your loss. I keep the Saviour always in my heart.”

She then explained to her the Scriptures and invited her to go to preaching on the next Sabbath. The invitation was accepted; the eyes of the poor disconsolate woman were opened, and she too found a Christ whom she can keep always in her heart, and of whom no casualty can ever deprive her.

Faith in the historic evidences of Christianity may be shaken at times by doubts and fears, creeds assailed or undermined, ecclesiastical systems exploded into fragments, but nothing shall ever deprive us of Christ, if he be in us “the hope of glory.”—Selected.


— September, 1890 —