Wherein he has abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
I had long wished to be the bearer of life to some condemned cell. My wish was granted me. It was on a Tuesday that a poor sentenced criminal was to be hanged. He was within one day of the fatal drop. But on the Monday, all unexpectedly, I was summoned to take him his life! I had obtained a reprieve for that man — a paper signed by our gracious sovereign giving him back his forfeited life My first thought was, "Where is the train that can bear me swift enough to the cell?" Delay appeared cruel; until, at the very threshold of the prison, I bethought me thus — "How can I tell him? The man will die, so great will be the revulsion. He has died, so to speak. He is dead in law. And he is already in the bitterness of death." So, with life in my hand, I stand before the victim in his cell. His face is wan, his knees feeble, his vacant eyes have no tears. "My poor man, can you read?" "Yes," was the reply. Fearing to break the royal pardon to him too suddenly I added, "Would you like your life?" "Sir," he responds, "do not trifle with me." "But life is sweet — is it not?" "Sir, I would rather you would not speak to me." "But would you not like me to procure your life?" "It is of no use, sir; I'm justly condemned. I'm a dead man." "But the Queen could give you your life." He looks inquiringly at me, but is silent. "Can you read this?" And now those hot eyes are directed down upon the paper. As he intently reads, putting my arm around his shoulders, I say, "There, my poor fellow, there is your life!" No sooner had I uttered the words than, as I expected, he dropped down at my feet. There he lay, as it were, dead! It was more than he could bear.
(J. D. Smith.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;