Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

picking at me and my Erie crowd for a long time back. A lot of the newspapers, anyhow, were now beginning to snarl and snap at us: -“Erie Rascalities,” “National Infamy,” “Railroad Burglary,” “Drew at the Head of a Piratical Horde of Plunderers” – what not! One of them, a Bill Bryant, editor of the New York Post, got what he deserved. Tweed's Judge, Barnard, right from the judge's bench, called him, "the most notorious liar in the United States." And now this other fellow, Bowles, was also to be taken down a peg or two. For Bowles had come out with a pitchfork article against us, and against Jimmy in particular. This time he went too far, and we hit back. Jimmy was the last one of us, anyhow, whom they ought to have hit. Because he stood in with Tweed and his crowd even more than Gould or I.

So one day soon after, this man Bowles was down in New York City, attending a meeting of the New England Society at the Fifth Avenue Hotel. He was standing in the hotel office. There he was approached by Jack McGowan, the deputy sheriff, and another. One of them passed on beyond Bowles, then turned, seized him by the arms, and began to shove him towards the street door, whilst the other held a paper in his face, a warrant for his arrest. Once in the street, they pushed him into a carriage which was in waiting, and drove rapidly to the Ludlow Street Jail. This was eight o'clock

a

at night. Bail was fixed at fifty thousand dollars.

. Bowles had so many friends that he could probably have raised it. But all the details had been arranged so thoroughly that now the sheriff's office was closed for the night; and so bail couldn't be received. Bowles asked a friend to carry the news of his arrest to his wife, who was in poor health at the Albemarle Hotel, and asked for writing materials to make out the note; but this was held back for a time. Because the idea was to punish him once for all, by some hours in solitary confinement. By ten o'clock the news of his arrest had got out and there was a lot of his friends gathered at the jail, such as Mr. Dana, Mr. Bond and General Arthur. But the jailer said he couldn't let any one see the prisoner. They looked up the sheriff and found him at a party which was being given at the house of Mr. Brown, on Fifth Avenue, to celebrate a Tammany victory. The sheriff excused himself for a minute, and getting out of sight, didn't come back. Bowles's friends went over to the sheriff's house, but they couldn't get anybody out of bed. So the prisoner had to spend the night behind the bars. Of course, in the morning his friends who had been up all night, such as Mr. Dunn, Cyrus W. Field, and the others, got the bail bond, and by eleven o'clock he was free. But he had gone through an experience which must have taught a lesson to the pen-and-ink fellows far and wide.

Fisk was a fellow who carried out his plans when he once made up his mind to a thing – didn't mind the expense. He used to drive in the park with his lady-loves, behind six horses — three white ones on one side and three black ones on the other. He liked to make a splurge. He had a boat, the Plymouth Rock, that used to run down to Sandy Hook. Jimmy put canary birds all through the passenger cabins. One day Vanderbilt was going down on the boat and took Jimmy to task for it.

“Fisk,” said he, “that is all very nice, those birds that are warbling so beautifully. But they have to be fed, every last bird in those cages.'

But Jimmy was a fellow who didn't count the cost of bird-seed, or of anything else for that matter. When the Plymouth Rock was finally turned into an excursion boat, he would parade the decks dressed in an Admiral's uniform. He liked to swell around in his fine clothes and get the women to gaze at him.

The way he carried on with Josie Mansfield and those other bad women was a caution. I think it hurt our Wall Street business. Because it drove away from us some people who might have gone in with us on our deals. But it didn't do any good to scold Jimmy, he was that set in his way. .

I tried it. I had a talk with him once or twice about his soul. Because in our class meeting over in my Fourth Avenue Church, soul-saving used to be a subject we brought up a good deal. Wednesday

was class-meeting night in our church. I didn't feel right when I missed a meeting. I never was a regular leader. I didn't feel I could give the time to looking after the spiritual welfare of each and every member of the class, as a leader should. But I was often called upon to lead the meeting, when the regular leader was away. And at these times I used to direct the thought of the meeting into lines of practical religious work, such as soulsaving and the like. Of course, in our prayer and class meetings we didn't limit our testimonies and prayers to this one line; because religion has to do with personal growth in grace as well as to the practical work of carrying the gospel to others. More than once, when I've had to lead the classmeeting, the subject has turned to the subject of the Pentecostal blessing. I have in mind one night in particular. A good soul in the meeting who had once experienced holiness — she had come out as a Perfectionist — was now beneath a cloud because she had lost her sense of sanctification. As leader of the meeting, I asked her if she had also lost her sense of justification. She said, no; it was the second step

which she had fallen back from. Then as leader I tried to get her to trust justifying grace and the smitten rock, as a fountain now of entire sanctification. Because, if we have the witness of our adoption and a faith that shows our sins forgiven, then the all-quickening word assures us of the further step

she was

into sanctity and into perfect liberty from the power of bondage. Before the meeting came to an end that night, the victory had been won — once more firmly on the rock. But the practical side of the gospel messages is not to be overlooked; and I thereupon took occasion, when she had got back onto the mountain summit, to turn her thoughts to the blessedness of working for the Master and of going forth into the vineyard and gathering precious sheaves.

This started me also. I thought of those around me in business life, who were as yet unreached

who had never yet experienced regeneration and the cleansing gift. Then and there I made a vow, with the cloud of witnesses looking down upon me from the battlements of bliss, that if

grace

should be given me for the task, I would try to save at least one soul in the year that was then before me.

One day, accordingly, when I thought the opportunity was favourable, because Fisk and I were alone in the office, I turned the talk to more serious things. Without seeming to make it refer to him, I told of cases I had known, where unbelieving men had been mightily wrought upon — born again as it were in the twinkling of an eye, and given power over the World, the Flesh and the Devil. Because, “Whilst the lamp holds out to burn, the vilest sinner may return.

Jimmy listened. Fisk could be serious now and

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »