The Little Deaf And Dumb Preacher
In a small town in Germany lived a locksmith and his wife, to whom God
had given one child, a girl, who rejoiced the hearts of her parents as
she grew up strong and happy. But the father longed for a son, and God
heard his prayer, and a boy was born to him. Now indeed there was joy in
the home; but their happiness was soon saddened, for the child was found
to be deaf and dumb. He was otherwise a beautiful boy, with large blue
eyes. What could they do for him but pray?
"Ah, if only the Lord Jesus was here now," spoke the father once, "how
would I seek Him, and bring our child to Him; how would I pray Him to
lay His hand on our dear child, too, and give him hearing."
"And I know He certainly would," the mother answered.
"But the Lord Jesus is with us, though we see Him not; let us entreat
Him for our child."
At length the boy was three years old. His eyes were full of
intelligence, and he seemed to understand everything around him. The
God-fearing habits of his parents had a great influence over him. At
family prayer the mother held the little one on her lap, his hands
clasped together, and when the father asked a blessing on their frugal
meal, the little child would also stand behind his stool, and would
never taste a morsel before it was asked.
It was advised that the boy be placed under the care of a famous
physician in a neighbouring town. The father would leave untried nothing
possible for the welfare of his boy, and so very soon set out on his
journey. The sun was already set when they reached their destination.
Then the father took the boy's hand, and they went together to a
relative's who lived in the town. But what a different home from that
which the boy had left: the relative did not believe in the Word of God,
but only thought of pleasure and doing according to his own wisdom. So
long as the father was with him the child was content. He would not move
from his side, and at night slept locked in his arms. But the father
could not stay long; pressing business compelled his return home. His
departure was very sorrowful for the child, and the father felt it no
At length the dinner time came. All was prepared, and the family
gathered round the table, and with a good appetite began the meal. But
the dumb child sat not; he stood behind his chair and waited. The others
told him to sit and eat, but he understood not. His lips were
speechless, but he made signs that they should pray. The people
understood him, but would not show they did. Then the child ran to each,
and, with a supplicating look, tried to clasp their hands together. A
feeling of shame came over them. They wished to quiet him, but dared
not try. Should they pray? They had never done it, but the child waited.
At length the wife stood up, then the husband, and then all the others,
for they did not know what else to do, and the wife prayed, with
trembling voice, "Lord Jesus, come to our meal and bless it, and grant
us Thy mercy."
Thus did the dumb child become a holy messenger, and, though he was
speechless, witness for God where He was entirely forgotten.
But how was it with the child? Was his coming so far any use? Was he
cured? No; the doctor could do nothing for him, and he remains
speechless still. But later he attended a deaf and dumb institution,
where he learnt reading, writing, and arithmetic, and many other useful
things. Above all, he has learnt to know for himself the Lord Jesus, and
to be resigned to the affliction God has laid upon him. He still lives,
and is a God-fearing young man, and the joy of his old parents. He has
learnt the trade of bookbinding, and can well support himself. Speaking
with his sister of the old times, he said in the deaf and dumb language,
smiling, "Ah, God has made me deaf and dumb that I should preach of the