A letter by Rev. Daniel Baker, pastoring in Tuscalossa, Alabama at the time, to his dear friend, Rev. John S. Galloway, pastor in Springfield, Ohio; writing about a convert who died shortly after his conversion. The letter was written February 25, 1839:
Dear Brother Galloway:
I told you of the revival with which we were favoured last fall. Well, one of the converts died a few days since, furnishing a new proof of the great importance of at once securing the salvation of the soul. This young convert, a very interesting and talented young man, was accidently shot while hunting, and died in about six hours. On hearing the sad intelligence that he had received a mortal wound, I stepped into a carriage and went to the place, about two miles from the city, where I found him lying upon the ground, weltering in his gore. He was in great agony of body; he groaned and cried aloud, so that his voice re-echoed through the grove. ‘My dear brother,’ said I, ‘Is Christ precious?’ “He is,’ replied he. ‘Are you willing to die?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Are you happy?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Well, I trust you will soon be in heaven; and there is no pain there.’ As soon as I mentioned this, he seemed to be wonderfully calmed, and, as well as I can recollect, he cried aloud no more. Observing his apparent composure, I thought his pain was really gone; but on putting the question, he said, ‘Great pain.’ He was brought in a furniture carriage to town. I though he would have died on the road; but he was carried to the house of a friend, and, in about two hours after, he peacefully fell asleep in Jesus. O, what a blessed thing it is to be a Christian! As our Master says, ‘Blessed is that servant whom our Lord, when he cometh, shall find watching.’ Had he not bee prepared, when shot, how could he have been when he died? O, how do poor sinners place in peril the salvation of their souls! My dear brother, your business and mine is to do what we can to awaken them. May the Lord make us more earnest and more faithful in our great work.
With Christian salutations, your brother in Christ,
Making Many Glad: The Life and Labours of Daniel Baker, by William M. Baker, first published in 1858, reprinted by the Banner of Truth, 2000, p. 217-18.