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The Little Girl Who Died to Save Her Father’s Life

From The Way of Faith

My dear little friend:

I want to tell you about a little girl in Switzerland who died to save her father’s life. I hope it will lead you to think of Him who died a dreadful death on the cross, that we might be saved from sin and sorrow here, and at last dwell with Him in bright mansions in the skies.

This little girl lived near a deep ravine at the foot of one of the mountains in Switzerland. A huge rock had fallen down the mountain side, and lodged in the ravine, and thus made a natural bridge, so that those who wished to pass from one side of the mountain to the other, could cross the bridge.

The mother of the child was an earnest Christian, and often told her daughter about the blessed Savior, who died in the place of sinners—who deserved to be punished—that they might be forgiven and saved in heaven. And she told her also, that unless she came to Jesus, and trusted in Him, she would be lost forever. At first the little girl did not care very much about what her mother said, but at last the mother’s prayer was answered. Her little one felt herself to be a lost sinner, and that Christ alone could save her. God’s spirit taught her that Jesus had paid the debt, and that He stood with open arms ready to receive her, and wash her sins away. Then she felt sure that heaven would be her home forever. But her father was not a Christian. He never gathered his loved ones around the family altar.

One day when about to cross the deep ravine upon the rock bridge, the mother saw that it was just ready to fall. The frost had loosened it. She told her little child that if she ever crossed it again it would fall, and she would be dashed in pieces.

The next day the father told his child that he was going over to the other side across the bridge. She told him it was not safe, but he only laughed at her. He said he had been across it before she was born, and that he was not afraid. When the dear little thing saw that he was determined to go she asked if she could go with him.

While they were walking along together, she looked up into her father’s face, and said: “Father, if I should die, will you promise to love Jesus and meet me in heaven?”

“Pshaw!” he said, “what put such a wild thought into your head? You are not going to die, I hope. You are only a wee thing and will live many years.”

“Yes, but if I should die, will you promise to love Jesus just as I do, and meet me in heaven?”

“But you are not going to die. Don’t speak of it,” he said.

“But if I should die, do promise, Father, you will be a good Christian and come up and live with Jesus and me in heaven.”

“Yes, yes!” he said at last.

When they came near the crossing-place, she said, “Father, please stand here a minute.” She loved him dearly and was willing to run the risk of dying for him. Strange as it may seem she walked quickly and jumped upon the loose rock, and down it went with the girl. She was crushed to death. The trembling parent crept to the edge, and eyes dimmed with tears, gazed wildly upon the wreck. Then he thought of all his little child had told him, about how Jesus had died to save us. He thought he had never loved her so much. But he began to see that he had far more reason to love Jesus who had suffered much more to save him from the “bottomless pit.” And then he thought of the promise he so carefully made to his daughter. What could he do but kneel down and cry to God to have mercy upon him?

If they meet in heaven, do you think that daughter will be sorry that she sacrificed her life for her father’s sake? Can you not imagine that tears often filled the eyes of that father when he spoke of his sainted little one?

You would say that he would have been a very wicked man if he had not loved the memory of his child. But is it not a thousand times more wicked for you not to love Him who has loved you so much more than that little one loved her father?

How can you help loving such a precious Savior? Will you not ask Him to forgive you and help you to live for Him the rest of your life?