What did the Angels Blot It Out with?
A gentleman in New Orleans, to his brother on account of his conversion, ascribed it, under God, to the influence of his little son. Though a moral man, he had been a lover of the world, an infidel, ever trying to stifle his conscience.
His son’s questions often puzzled him and forced on his mind his inconsistency, both with what he himself professed to believe and still more with the simple truths his son had learned from his nurse.
“So I lived,” he wrote, “and so I should have died, had not God remembered His promise; now and then bitter thoughts, and desires, and sometimes doubts, and fears of a judgment to come, which, however, were soon stifled.”
“As the boy Theodore grew up our natural love for him made us anxious about his welfare. A greater disgust of myself and a greater sense of my inability to assure my boy of the truth of the faith contained in the simple little prayer I learned from our mother, with you and our elder brothers and sisters, gradually began to grow on me, and make me think oftener. What was I to teach him, Christ and Him crucified, or –? Blessed be God, He in His sovereign will chose for me.”
“One evening Theodore was lying on the bed, partly undressed while my wife and I were seated by the fire. She had been telling me that Theodore had not been a good boy that day and what he had been doing, and I reproved him for it. All was quiet when suddenly he broke out into loud crying and sobbing. I went to him and asked him what was the matter. ‘I don’t want it there, Father, Father – I don’t want it there!’
“ ‘What, my child – what is it?’
“ ‘Why, Father, I don’t want the angels to write down in God’s Book all the bad I’ve done today. I don’t want it there; I wish He would blot it out;’ and his distress was greatly increased.
“What could I do? I did not believe, yet I had to console him, so I said: ‘Well, you need not cry, you can have it all blotted out in a minute if you want.’
“ ‘How, Father, how?’
“ ‘Why, get down on your knees and ask God for Jesus’ sake, to blot it out, and He will do it.’
“I did not have to speak twice; he jumped out of his bed, saying, ‘Father, won’t you come and help me?’
“Now came the trial; the boy’s distress was so great, and he pleaded so earnestly, that the big man, who had never bowed down to God in spirit and truth, got down on his knees alongside that dear boy, and asked God to wipe out his sins and perhaps, although my lips did not speak it, my own sins, too. We then got up and he laid himself down on the bed again. In a few moments he said, ‘Father, are you sure it is all wiped out?’
“Oh! how the acknowledgement grated through my unbelieving heart as the words came from my lips: ‘Why, yes, my dear son, the Bible says so; if you asked God from your heart, for Jesus’ sake, to do it, and if you are really sorry for what you have done.’
“A smile of pleasure passed over his face, as he quietly asked: ‘What did the angels blot it out with?’
“Again my soul stirred within me, as I answered: ‘With the precious Blood of Christ!’
“The fountain had at last burst forth – it could not be checked – and my cold heart was melted within me, and I felt like a poor, guilty, ignorant sinner: and turning away said to my wife: ‘Dear, we must find God if we want to show Him to our children; we cannot show them the way unless we know it ourselves.’
“After a little time the boy, with Heaven shining out of his eyes, came from the bed, and leaning on my knees, turned up his face to me and said: ‘Father, are you and Mother sinners?’
“ ‘Yes, my son, we are.’
“ ‘Why,’ said he, ‘have you not a Saviour; don’t you love God; why are you sinners?’ I answered as best I could; and in the silent hour of the night I bent in prayer over the dear boy, and prayed, ‘Lord, I believe; help Thou mine unbelief.’
“My wife and I, blessed again be God, prayed pointedly for ourselves and our child; and God heard our prayer and received us, as He always does those who seek Him with their whole heart, for He has said unto such, they surely shall find Me.”