The Converted Mute

During a revival of religion in one of the New England villages, a son

of the clergyman returned home for a brief visit. The lad was a deaf

mute, and had spent his first term in the Deaf and Dumb Institution,

just then commencing its history. His parents having no knowledge of the

language of signs, and the boy being an imperfect writer, it was almost

impossible to interchange with him any but the most familiar ideas. He,

therefore, heard nothing of the revival. But before he had been at home

many days, he began to manifest signs of anxiety, and at length wrote

with much labour upon his slate, "Father, what must I do to be saved?"

His father wrote in reply, "My son, you must repent of sin, and believe

in the Lord Jesus Christ." "How must I do this?" asked the boy again

upon his slate. His father explained to him as well as he could, but the

poor untaught boy could not understand. He became more than ever

distressed; would leave the house in the morning for some retired place,

and would be seen no more until his father went in search of him. One

evening, at sunset, he was found upon the top of the hay, under the roof

of the barn, on his knees, his hands uplifted and praying to God in the

signs of the mutes. The distress of the parents was so intense, that

they sent for one of the teachers of the Asylum, and then for another;

but it seemed that the boy could not be guided to the Saviour of

sinners. One afternoon the father was on his way to fulfil an engagement

in a neighbouring town, and as he drove leisurely over the hills, the

poor inquiring and helpless son was continually in his thoughts. In the

midst of his supplications his heart became calm, and his long

distracted spirit was serene in the one thought that God was able to do

his own work. The speechless boy at length began to tell how he loved

his Saviour, and that he first found peace on the very afternoon when

the spirit of his father on the mountains was calmed and supported by

the thought that what God had promised he was able to perform.

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