I remember, some years ago, making a visit to Wilkesbarre in this State. A day or two before I arrived there, a dreadful explosion had taken place in one of the coal mines. Several men had been killed, and others had been burnt so badly that they were not expected to live. I was sent for to go and see one of those poor men. When I entered the room where he was, what a sight I beheld! There sat the poor man in a large arm-chair. He was wrapped all round in blankets, and these were wet through with linseed oil and lime-water. The flame of the explosion had burnt off his clothes, and scorched his body from head to foot. His hands and his head were swollen to nearly twice their natural size. The skin of his face and hands was burnt crisp, and looked just like the skin of a roast pig. A person stood by him bathing his face and hands with a mixture of linseed oil and lime-water, which was put on by a feather. He was suffering dreadfully. It was difficult for him to speak, because the skin of his face was so hard and stiff.
I stood awhile and looked at the poor man with great pity. My heart felt very sad and sorrowful for him. I thought to myself, “what shall I say to this poor fellow to comfort him, if he is not a Christian.” I hardly knew what to do. At last I said, “My friend, there is nobody like Jesus to give us help and comfort when we are suffering from pain and sorrow. I hope you know Jesus.”
I hardly expected any other answer than a groan, to tell of his misery, and that he had no comfort. But presently he managed slowly and indistinctly to say, “Oh, yes! thank God, I do know Jesus. He is my only comfort now.”
You can hardly tell what a relief this was to me. Then I sat down by his side and talked to him about Jesus. He seemed to feel the truth of all that I said. He had the hardness of a true diamond. Jesus gave him power to bear his trials patiently. Under all his terrible sufferings he found peace and comfort in him. And not long after, he died, in great bodily pain, but feeling happy in the love of Jesus and in the thought of going to be with him forever.