Another Instance of Superhuman Control of the Locomotive, in Answer to Prayer
The foregoing is given in the experience of a correspondent of The Christian, which occurred in the latter part of November, 1864, while traveling with her aged father and two small girls:
"We started from New Hampshire on Thursday morning, expecting to have ample time to get through to Indiana before Saturday night; but, after we crossed the St. Lawrence River, the next day, I think, there was a smash-up on a freight train, which hindered our train about two hours. I began to feel anxious, as I knew our limited means would not permit us to stop long on the way. After the cars had started again, I inquired of the conductor what time we should get to Toledo, fearing we should not reach there in time for the down train. He said it would be impossible to gain the time. Soon they changed conductors, and I made a similar inquiry, getting about the same answer. Still I hoped, till we reached the Detroit River. Here I found that, though they had put on all the steam they dared to, they were almost an hour behind time, so I should have to stay over till Sunday night.
"After getting seated in the cars on the other side, I ventured to ask the conductor if we should get to Toledo in time for the down train. He readily said, 'No, madam, impossible! If we put on all the steam, we dare to, we shall be more than half an hour behind time. If we were on some trains we might hope they would wait; but on this, never! He is the most exact conductor you ever saw. He was never known to wait a second, say nothing about a minute, beyond the time.' I then inquired if we could not stay at the depot. He said, No; we should all freeze to death, for the fire is out till Sunday evening.
A gentleman sitting in front of us said he would show us a good hotel near by, as he was acquainted there. I thanked him, but sunk back on my seat. Covering my eyes with my hand, and raising my heart to God, I said, 'O, God, if thou art my Father, and I am thy child, put it into the heart of that conductor to wait till we get there.’
Soon I became calm, and fell asleep, not realizing that God would answer my poor prayer; but, when we reached Toledo, to the astonishment of us all, there stood the conductor, wanting to know the reason why he had to wait, when our conductor told him there was a lady with her crippled father and two little daughters, who were going down on that train.
Soon as all were out of the car, both conductors came with their lanterns and gave their aid in helping my father to the other train, where they had reserved seats by keeping the door locked. All was hurry and confusion to me, as I had my eye on father, fearing he might fall, it being very slippery, when the baggage-master said, 'Your checks, madam!' I handed them to him, and rushed into the car; but, before I got seated, the car started, and I had no checks for my baggage. Again my heart cried out, ‘O, Thou that hearest prayer, take care of my baggage!' believing He could do that as well as make the conductor wait. In a few moments the conductor came to me with a face radiant with smiles, saying, 'Madam, I waited a whole half hour for you,--a thing I never did before since I was a conductor, so much as to wait one minute after my time.' He said, ‘I know it was your father that I was waiting for, because there was nothing else on the train for which I could have waited.' I exclaimed, in a half suppressed tone, 'Praise the Lord!' I could not help it; it gushed out. Then he said, 'At the very moment all were on board, and I was ready to start, such a feeling came over me as I never had in my life before. I could not start. Something kept saying to me, you must wait, for there is something pending on that train you must wait for. I waited, and here you are, all safe.' Again my heart said, Praise the Lord! and he started to leave me, when I said, 'But there is one thing.' 'What is it?’ was his quick reply. 'I gave the baggage-master my checks, and have none in return.' 'What were the numbers?' I told him. 'I have them,' he said, handing them to me, 'but your baggage will not be there till Monday morning. We had no time to put it on, we had waited so long.'”
The Wonders of Prayer / A Record of Well Authenticated and Wonderful Answers to Prayer
“Revised By D.W. Whittle / 1885”