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Ma, I Can’t Die Until You Promise Me

little girl
At the close of a series of meetings in Springfield, Mass., a mother handed me a little girl’s picture wrapped in two one-dollar bills, at the same time relating the following touching incident: Her only child, at the age of six years, gave her heart to the Savior, giving, as the pastor with whom I was laboring said, the clearest evidence of conversion.

At once she went to her mother and said, “Ma, I have given my heart to Jesus and He has received me; now, won’t you give your heart to Him?” (The parents were both unconverted at the time.) The mother replied, “I hope I shall some time, dear Mary.” The little girl said, “Do it now, ma,” and urged the mother, with all her childlike earnestness, to give herself to the Savior. Then finding she could not prevail in that way, she sought to secure a promise from her mother, feeling sure she would do what she promised; for her parents had made it a point never to make her a promise without carefully fulfilling it. So time after time she would say, “Promise me, ma”; and the mother would reply, “I do not like to promise you, Mary, for fear I shall not fulfill.”

This request was urged at times for nearly six years, and finally the little petitioner had to die to secure the promise. Several times during her sickness the parents came to her bedside to see her die, saying to her, “You are dying now, dear Mary.” But she would say, “No, ma, I can’t die till you promise me.” Still her mother was unwilling to make the promise, lest it should not be kept. She intended to give her heart to Jesus sometime, but was unwilling to do it “now.” Mary grew worse, and finally had uttered her last word on earth: her mother was never again to hear that earnest entreaty, “Promise me, ma.” But the little one’s spirit lingered, as if it were detained by the angel sent to lead the mother to Jesus, that the long-sought promise might be heard before it took its flight. The weeping mother stood watching the countenance of the dying child, who seemed to say, by her look, “Ma, promise me, and let me go to Jesus.” There was a great struggle in her heart as she said to herself, “Why do I not promise this child? I mean to give my heart to Jesus; why not now? If I do not promise her now I never can.” The Spirit inclined her heart to yield. She roused her child and said, “Mary, I will give my heart to Jesus.” This was the last bolt to be drawn; her heart was now open, and Jesus entered at once, and she felt the joy and peace of sins forgiven. This, change was so marked, she felt constrained to tell the good news to her child, that she might bear it with her where she went to live with Jesus; so, calling her attention once more, she said, “Mary, I have give my heart to Jesus, and He is my Savior now.”

For six years Mary had been praying to God and pleading with her mother for these words; and now, and they fell upon her ear, a peaceful smile lighted up her face, and, no longer able to speak, she raised her little, pale hand, and pointing upward, seemed to say, “Ma, we shall meet up there.” Her life’s work was done, and her spirit returned to Him who gave it. The mother’s heart was full of peace, though her loved one had gone. She now felt very anxious that her husband should have this blessing which she found in Christ. The parents went into the room where the remains were resting, to look upon the face of her who slept so sweetly in death, when the mother said, ‘Husband, I promised our little Mary that I would give my heart to Jesus, and He has received me. Now, won’t you promise?” The Holy Spirit was there. The strong man resisted for a while, then yielded his will, and taking the little cold hand in his, kneeled and said, “Jesus, I will try to seek Thee.” The child’s remains were laid in the grave. The parents were found in the house of prayer the mother happy in Jesus, and the father soon having some evidence of love to Christ.

Reader, is there not some loved one now pointing down from heaven and saying to you, “Give your heart to Jesus”? Are you loving some earthly object more than Jesus? Will you not come to Jesus?

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