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Beginning of the story


When about eleven or twelve, he was a constant seeker at the Baptist mourning bench, to "get religion." He had often heard a neighbor, named Ellis, tell his experience, as follows: " I went out one night and set my eyes on a certain star, and said, 'Now, Lord, if I am a converted man just let that star pass to the left.' Then the star took a shoot to the left, and I was sure I was converted." This "experience" seemed to be somewhat of a model for "Mac" and he said: "If Daddy Ellis had such a sight, I want it too."

Even into his thirteenth year he kept praying for "some evidence." Some time before this, his father, who at this time had crossed the dark and sullen river, had given "Mac" a Testament in which these words were written, "Hugh McNary Waller. His book and heart shall never part." This he made an established rule of his life.

During this time of "seeking for a sign," he said, the morning after his father had been laid away to rest: "Mother, Father is dead; who will pray for us now?" With her heart full already to overflowing, she replies: "I don't know, my son." "I will, Mother," said the boy. He read and prayed and continued to do so till the mother took part of the burden (?) by conducting the worship each alternate morning.

Still the boy is seeking for religion at the Baptist mourning bench. At last, on a set day, the boy is called upon to give his experience, relative to becoming a member of the church. This is his experience, which he stated o'er and o'er: "I love God, I love the brethren, I want to be baptized and be with you in the church."

The association refused to vote him in. They asked him, "Have you not seen something uncommon, or heard some strange sound?"

His only answer was, "No."

"Are you not keeping something back - some boyish trick?"

The mother replies, "No, he is keeping nothing back; you all know him too well to think so of him. Many times I see him with the Testament his father gave him pressed to his heart, walking the yard long after we are all retired, pleading with God to send a sign of conversion. You must do something for my boy."


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