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´╗┐Title: He's Coming To-Morrow
Author: Stowe, Harriet Beecher, 1811-1896
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Internet Archive)



HE'S COMING TO-MORROW



IDEAL MESSAGES

A series of booklets for friend to send to friend, having in mind the
conveying of a special word for a specific occasion. The elegant manner
of production and the genuine worth of the messages fully justify the
title of the series, for the complete books are assuredly "ideal."


Old English paper boards, embossed, each, net, 25 cents.

  1. =Beyond the Marshes.= By Ralph Connor. A Word of
     Encouragement.

  2. =Across the Continent of the Years.= By Newell Dwight
     Hillis.

  3. =For Eyes that Weep.= By Samuel G. Smith. A Word of Comfort
     to Those Bereaved of Little Children.

  4. =He's Coming To-morrow.= By Harriet Beecher Stowe. A Word on
     the Coming of Christ.

  5. =For Hearts that Hope.= By James G. K. McClure, D. D. A Word
     about Heaven.

  6. =Unto Him.= By Bishop John H. Vincent. A Simple Word about
     Coming to Jesus Christ.



HE'S COMING TO-MORROW

By HARRIET BEECHER STOWE

[Illustration]


    FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY
    CHICAGO      NEW YORK      TORONTO
    MCMI



"HE'S COMING TO-MORROW"

    "_The night is far spent; the day is at hand._"


MY soul vibrated for a moment like a harp. Was it true? The night, the
long night of the world's groping agony and blind desire? _Is_ it almost
over? _Is_ the day at hand?

Again: "THEY SHALL SEE THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD, WITH POWER AND
GREAT GLORY. _And when these things come to pass, look up and rejoice,
for your redemption is nigh._"

Coming!--The Son of man really coming into _this_ world again with power
and great glory?

Will this really ever happen? Will this solid, commonplace earth see it?
Will these skies brighten and flash? and will upturned faces in this
city be watching to see Him coming?

So our minister preached in a solemn sermon; and for moments, at times,
I felt a thrill of reality in hearing. But as the well-dressed crowd
passed down the aisle, my neighbor, Mr. Stockton, whispered to me not to
forget the meeting of the bank directors on Monday evening, and Mrs.
Goldthwaite poured into my wife's ear a charge not to forget her party
on Thursday; and my wife, as she came out, asked me if I had observed
the extravagant toilet of Mrs. Rennyman.

"_So_ absurd," she said, "when her income, I know, cannot be half what
ours is! and I _never_ think of sending to Paris for my things; I should
look on it as morally wrong."

I spoke of the sermon. "Yes," said my wife, "what a sermon!--so solemn.
I wonder that all are not drawn to hear our rector. What could be more
powerful than such discourses? My dear, by the by, _don't_ forget to
change Mary's opal ring for a diamond one. Dear me! the Christmas
presents were all so on my mind that I was thinking of them every now
and then in church; and that was _so_ wrong of me!"

"My dear," said I, "sometimes it seems to me as if all our life were
unreal. We go to church, and the things that we hear are either true or
false. If they are true, what things they are! For instance, these
Advent sermons. If we are looking for _that_ coming, we ought to feel
and live differently from what we do! Do we really believe what we hear
in church? or is it a dream?"

"I _do_ believe," said my wife earnestly--she is a good woman, my
wife--"yes, I _do_ believe, but it is just as you say. Oh, dear! I feel
as if I am very worldly--I have so many things to think of!" and she
sighed.

So do I; for I knew that I, too, was very worldly. After a pause I said:
"Suppose Christ should really come this Christmas and it should be
authoritatively announced that He would be here to-morrow?"

"I think," said my wife, "there would be some embarrassment on the part
of our great men, legislators, and chief councilors, in anticipation of
a personal interview. Fancy a meeting of the city council to arrange a
reception for the Lord Jesus Christ!"

"Perhaps," said I, "He would refuse all offers of the rich and great.
Perhaps our fashionable churches would plead for His presence in vain.
He would not be in palaces."

"Oh!" said my wife earnestly, "if I thought our money separated us from
Him, I would give it _all_--yes, _all_--might I only see Him."

She spoke from the bottom of her heart, and for a moment her face was
glorified.

"You _will_ see Him some day," said I, "and the money we are willing to
give up at a word from Him will not keep Him from us."

That evening the thoughts of the waking hours mirrored themselves in a
dream.

I seemed to be out walking in the streets, and to be conscious of a
strange, vague sense of _something_ just declared, of which all were
speaking with a suppressed air of mysterious voices.

There was a whispering stillness around. Groups of men stood at the
corners of the street, and discussed an impending something with
suppressed voices.

I heard one say to another: "_Really_ coming! What? to-morrow?" And the
others said: "Yes, to-morrow; on Christmas Day He will be here."

It was night. The stars were glittering with a keen and frosty light;
the shops glistened in their Christmas array; but the same sense of
hushed expectancy pervaded every thing. There seemed to be nothing
doing; and each person looked wistfully upon his neighbor as if to say,
Have you heard?

Suddenly, as I walked, an angel-form was with me, gliding softly by my
side. The face was solemn, serene, and calm. Above the forehead was a
pale, tremulous, phosphorous, radiance of light, purer than any on
earth--a light of a quality so different from that of the street-lamps,
that my celestial attendant seemed to move in a sphere alone.

Yet, though I felt awe, I felt a sort of confiding love as I said: "Tell
me, is it really true? _Is_ Christ coming?"

"HE IS," said the angel. "To-morrow He will be here!"

"What joy!" I cried.

"Is it joy?" said the angel. "Alas, to many in this city it is only
terror! Come with me."

In a moment I seemed to be standing with him in a parlor of one of the
chief palaces of the city. A stout, florid, bald-headed man was seated
at a table covered with papers, which he was sorting over with nervous
anxiety, muttering to himself as he did so. On a sofa lay a sad-looking,
delicate woman, her emaciated hands clasped over a little book. The room
was, in all its appointments, a witness of boundless wealth. Gold and
silver, and gems, and foreign furniture, and costly pictures, and
articles of _virtu_--everything that money could buy--were heaped
together; and yet the man himself seemed to me to have been neither
elevated nor refined by the confluence of all these treasures. He seemed
nervous and uneasy. He wiped the sweat from his brow, and spoke:

"I don't know, wife, how _you_ feel; but _I_ don't like this news. I
don't understand it. It puts a stop to everything _I_ know anything
about."

"Oh, John!" said the woman, turning towards him a face pale and fervent,
and clasping her hands, "how can you say so?"

And as she spoke, I could see breaking out above her head a tremulous
light, like that above the brow of an angel.

"Well, Mary, it's the truth. I don't care if I say it. I don't want to
meet--well I wish He would put it off! What does He want of me? I'd be
willing to make over--well, three millions to found an hospital, if He'd
be satisfied and let me go on. Yes, I'd give three millions--to buy off
from to-morrow."

"Is He not our best friend?"

"Best friend!" said the man, with a look half fright, half anger. "Mary,
you don't know what you are talking about! You know I always hated those
things. There's no use in it; I can't see into them. In fact, I _hate_
them."

She cast on him a look full of pity. "_Cannot_ I make you see?" she
said.

"No, indeed, you can't. Why, look here," he added, pointing to the
papers. "Here is what stands for millions! To-night it's mine; and
to-morrow it will be all so much waste paper; and then what have I left?
Do you think I can rejoice? I'd give half; I'd give--yes, _the whole_,
not to have Him come these hundred years." She stretched out her thin
hand towards him; but he pushed it back.

"Do you see?" said the angel to me solemnly. "Between him and her there
is a "GREAT GULF _fixed_." They have lived in one house with that gulf
between them for years! She cannot go to him; he cannot go to her.
To-morrow she will rise to Christ as a dewdrop to the sun; and he will
call to the mountains and rocks to fall on him--not because Christ
hates _him_, but because _he_ hates Christ."

Again the scene was changed. We stood together in a little low attic,
lighted by one small lamp--how poor it was!--a broken chair, a rickety
table, a bed in the corner where the little ones were cuddling close to
one another for warmth. Poor things! the air was so frosty that their
breath congealed upon the bedclothes, as they talked in soft, baby
voices. "When mother comes, she will bring us some supper," said they.
"But I'm so cold!" said the little outsider. "Get in the middle, then,"
said the other two, "and we'll warm you. Mother promised she would make
a fire when she came in, if that man would pay her." "What a bad man he
is!" said the oldest boy; "he never pays mother if he can help it."

Just then the door opened, and a pale, thin woman came in, laden with
packages.

She laid all down, and came to her children's bed, clasping her hands in
rapture.

"Joy, joy, children! Oh, joy, joy! Christ is coming! He will be here
to-morrow."

Every little bird in the nest was up, and the little arms around the
mother's neck; the children believed at once. They had heard of the good
Jesus. He had been their mother's only friend through many a cold and
hungry day, and they doubted not He was coming.

"Oh, mother! will He take us? He will, won't He?"

"Yes, my little ones," she said softly, smiling to herself; "He shall
gather the lambs with His arms, and carry them in His bosom."

Suddenly again, as by the slide of a magic lantern, another scene was
present.

We stood in a lonely room, where a woman was sitting with her head bowed
forward upon her hands. Alone, forsaken, slandered, she was in
bitterness of spirit. Hard, cruel tongues had spoken her name with vile
assertions, and a thoughtless world had believed. There had been a
babble of accusations, a crowd to rejoice in iniquity, and few to pity.
She thought herself alone, and she spoke: "Judge me, O Lord! for I have
walked in my integrity. I am as a monster unto many; but thou art my
strong refuge."

In a moment the angel touched her. "My sister," he said, "be of good
cheer. Christ will be here _to-morrow_."

She started up, with her hands clasped, her eyes bright, her whole form
dilated, as she seemed to look into the heavens, and said with rapture:

"Come, Lord, and judge me; for Thou knowest me altogether. Come, Son of
man; in Thee have I trusted; let me never be confounded. Oh, for the
judgment-seat of Christ!"

Again I stood in a brilliant room, full of luxuries. Three or four fair
women were standing pensively talking with each other. Their apartment
was bestrewn with jewelry, laces, silks, velvets, and every fanciful
elegance of fashion; but they looked troubled.

"This seems to me really awful," said one, with a suppressed sigh. "What
troubles me is, I know so little about it."

"Yes," said another, "and it puts a stop to everything! Of what use will
all these be to-morrow?"

There was a poor seamstress in the corner of the room, who now spoke.
"We shall be ever with the Lord," she said.

"I'm sure I don't know what that can mean," said the first speaker, with
a kind of shudder; "it seems rather fearful."

"Well," said the other, "it seems so sudden--when one never dreamed of
any such thing--to change all at once from this to that other life."

"It is enough to _be with Him_," said the poor woman. "Oh, I have so
longed for it!"

"_The great gulf_," again said the angel.

Then again we stood on the steps of a church. A band of clergymen were
together. Episcopalian, Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Old School and
New School, all stood hand in hand.

"It's no matter now about these old issues," they said. "_He_ is coming;
He will settle all. Ordinations and ordinances, sacraments, creeds, are
but the scaffolding of the edifice. They are the shadow; the substance
is CHRIST!" And hand in hand they turned their faces when the Christmas
morning light began faintly glowing; and I heard them saying together,
with one heart and voice:

"Come, LORD JESUS! come quickly!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Note:

Page 8, "wordly" changed to "worldly" (am very worldly)





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