How the Train Was Saved

Farmer Lowe was crossing the railway line of the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada on his way to a neighbouring farm, when he noticed, accidentally as we should say, a drop in the tracks.

His business over, he went to supper, and there the thought took possession of him that he had better stop the next train due about six o’clock in the evening. He had no time to notify the railway agents at the nearest stations, so he determined to flag the train himself.

Swinging a lantern with one hand, and a white handkerchief with the other, he stood on the side of the line for a few minutes, and with the near approach of the oncoming train he stepped between the tracks and brought the train to a standstill.

The scene was an appalling one. But two hundred yards further on was a huge gap. A cloud-burst had occurred during that afternoon, causing a washout, forty feet in depth and sixty-five feet across. The tracks and ties remained intact, suspended across the huge yawning chasm.

Lowe’s prompt action had saved the lives of many of the passengers. Little did they dream as the train sped its way over the smooth rails, that they were going straight on to destruction unless the train were stopped.

But it is of a far more serious matter that we write. Unsaved reader, unless stopped, you are heading for an infinitely worse disaster—you are heading for a lost eternity, for “it is appointed unto men once to die, but AFTER THIS the judgment” (Heb. 9:27).

For one at least on the train, sudden death would have meant sudden glory. A veteran preacher of the gospel, known to the writer, was one of the passengers, and he was at the moment travelling on an evangelistic tour. Death for him carried no eternal terrors. But for the unsaved it meant the shortening of their lives and the settling finally the point as to where they would spend eternity, for as such enter eternity so will they spend it. ‘As the tree falls so shall it lie.” If they enter unsaved, they will spend eternity unsaved. And what is the meaning of “unsaved”?

It is all wrapped up in the word “lost.” Who can measure the woe of that condition?

When engineer Meeking, the driver of the train, saw Lowe’s signals, like a sensible man he put on the brakes and brought the train to a standstill. He were a madman, if he had done otherwise.

But what shall we say of the unsaved, who disregard the warnings of Scripture? By this printed page we hash the signals across your path. Will you pay heed to them? God grant that you may, for if you refuse to put on the brakes, you will assuredly ensure your eternal destruction. Be wise!

A collection was made by the passengers, who had been saved from death or injuries for life, and it amounted to $25. Reckoning 200 passengers in the train this contribution averaged 12½ cents (= trifle over sixpence) per head. One is tempted to wish that the passengers had had no collection rather than express their gratitude in such an ungenerous fashion. We should think whoever handed this paltry sum over must have blushed to think how ungrateful the passengers were, and how apropos the retort would have been that they evidently placed a very small value on their lives.

But what shall be said of the price paid for the sinner’s ransom? Words fail to describe it in adequate terms. Mathematics have no figures wherewith to express this sum. It was an infinite price, even the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Christian can sing:—

“I am redeemed, but not with silver,

I am bought, but not with gold,

Bought with a price—the blood of Jesus—

Precious price of love untold.”

And on our part what response have we given? Lowe’s promptitude and resource in flagging the train involved only a little trouble on his part. But the Saviour’s action caused His journey from

“ . . . Godhead’s brightest glory,

Down to Calvary’s depth or woe.”

Remember that “Christ Jesus . . . gave Himself a ransom FOR ALL” (1 Tim. 2:6), therefore for YOU. His death can save you from eternal disaster. What is your response to this?

The passengers’ $25 was a pitiable sum. What is your response? Surely Dr. Watts has furnished in his immortal hymn the only adequate answer:

“Love so amazing so divine,

Demands my heart, my life, my all.”

Reader, have you given this response? Trust the blessed Saviour just as you read these lines. Surrender to His mighty love.

The Lord give you this grace. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

The Gospel Messenger 1921, p. 90