The Lost Children of the Alleghenies (KJV)
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 6
- Version: KJV
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Near the little town of Pavia, Pennsylvania, a few miles up in the valley, there is a monument with inscriptions on its four sides which read:
The lost children of the Alleghenies
were found here May 8, 1856, by
Jacob Dibert and Harrison Wysong.
Joseph S. Cox, aged 5 years, 6 mos., 9 days.
George S. Cox, aged 7 years, 1 mo., 10 days.
Children of Samuel and Susanna Cox.
Wandered from home April 24, 1856.
Dedicated May 8, 1906
What a sad time came to that little family living in a lovely valley of the Allegheny Mountains many years ago. On that April day when the boys wandered off, the whole family was at breakfast when the dog was heard barking in the woods near the cabin. Father, thinking that the dog had scared up some game that would be good for the table, started out with his rifle. He had been gone for some while when George and Joseph decided that they would go and look for him. So off they went into the timbered valley.
The mother, with two other children at home, did not feel concerned for the boys as she thought they were with their father. Later in the day, Mr. Cox came home and inquired for the boys, but the mother said she did not know what had become of them, if they were not with him. He went up into the forest to find them, and called and called to the boys, but there was no answer, and after long searching and calling, attempts to find them that day were given up. So little George and Joseph were left exposed to the cold of the early spring night.
Neighbors were informed of the missing boys, and the next day a wide search was started up through the valley and hillsides. Searchers felt sure that they had not crossed the stream (Bob’s Creek) which flowed down through the valley, because it was too wide to cross at that time of the year.
For days and days the search continued, and the hundreds of searchers began to increase to thousands, and organized into companies of fifty each, a systematic search was carried out, but no trace of the boys could be found. Where could they be?
A Mr. Dibert, living some miles east of the mountain, was sick and therefore unable to join the searchers. He was not acquainted with that part of the country where the boys were lost. In the early part of May he dreamed for three nights that he saw two boys lying on a rock beside a brook. One day his brother-in-law, Mr. Wysong, who had been one of the searchers, came to see him, and spoke of the unsuccessful hunt for the children. Mr. Dibert described his dreams, and told of a small beech tree fallen across a stream and then of two boys lying on a rock near a brook.
They decided that they would go along Bob’s Creek and look for a tree lying across the stream. Arriving at a certain place they noticed a beech tree fallen across the creek. As they crossed over they found a piece of cloth from a boy’s garment on a snag. Working their way over carefully, because the tree was not a large one, and the swollen stream was quite wide, they continued their search on the East side. Going on a little ways further they climbed over a small ridge, and then went down into a ravine where a small brook of water ran.
There, by an old birch and a hemlock, a most pitiful scene met their gaze. Close by the creek, and near to where a young deer had died during the winter, were the two little boys lying on a rock. The younger one lay with his head pillowed on a stone, and the older one lay nearby with his hand in the water. It was truly a most touching sight, enough to make men weep. The little bodies were picked up and wrapped in blankets, placed on a sled, and brought home to the sad and heart-broken parents who had already mourned for them two weeks.
The children had evidently wandered several days, suffering exposure through cold and frosty nights, till wearied and worn out they had crossed the stream into the next ravine, and laid down on the rock beside the brook from where the angels of the Lord took their spirits home to Heaven.
It is comforting to know that these two children, had they not reached the age of accountability, are safe in the arms of the Lord Jesus, that good Shepherd, who had said, “The Son of Man is come to save that which was lost,” and “Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heave, that one of these little ones should perish” (Matthew 18:11,14).
Some people might be tempted to find fault with God and say, “Why did God let these two little boys get lost?” “Why did He not guide them back home, or let someone find them quickly?” Or, “Why did God let them suffer from cold and hunger, and die so pitifully?” Or, “Why would a loving God take away from their father and mother these two innocent boys, and make the parents feel so badly?” To these questions we can only answer that God does the very best, and makes no mistakes. “As for God, His way is perfect” (Psalm 18:30). God had a purpose in this. These little boys are in a far happier home with the Lord, where there are no sins and troubles as we have in this world.
It is to be hoped that through the sad trial the parents had to pass, they were comforted of God, and led to seek the Lord for their own salvation.
No one, either young or old, could ever come into the presence of God unless Christ had suffered and died on the cross to settle the sin question with God. “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18).
Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). He also said, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). Repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for conversion is what alone prepares one for heaven.
Dear reader, if YOU were overtaken by death today, where would your never-dying soul go?
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).