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JOHN TODD--Heaven is very real. Here is one of the loveliest stories I have ever read:

In October of 1800 a boy named John Todd was born in Rutland, Vermont. Shortly afterward, the family moved to the little village of Killingsworth. And there, when John was only six years old, both his parents died.

The children in the home had to be parceled out among the relatives, and a kind-hearted aunt who lived in North Killingsworth agreed to take John and give him a home. With her he lived until some fifteen years later when he went away to study for the ministry.

When he was in middle life, his aunt fell desperately ill and realized that death could not be far off. In great distress, she wrote her nephew a pitiful letter--What would death by like? Would it mean the end of everything, or would there be, beyond death, a chance to continue living, growing, loving? Here is the letter John Todd sent in reply:

"It is now thirty-five years since I, a little boy of six, was left quite alone in the world. You sent me word you would give me a home and be a kind mother to me. I have never forgotten the day when I made the long journey of ten miles to your house in North Killingsworth.

"I can still recall my disappointment when, instead of coming for me yourself, you sent your colored man, Caesar, to fetch me. I well remember my tears and my anxiety as, perched high on your horse and clinging tight to Caesar, I rode off to my new home. Night fell before we finished the journey and, as it grew dark, I became lonely and afraid.

"’Do you think she’ll go to bed before I get there?’ I asked Caesar, anxiously. ’O no,’ he said, reassuringly. ’She’ll sure stay up for you. When we get out of these here woods, you’ll see her candle shining in the window.’

"Presently we did ride out in the clearing and there, sure enough, was your candle. I remember you were waiting at the door, that you put your arms close about me, and that you lifted me--a tired and bewildered little boy--down from the horse. You had the big fire burning on the hearth, a hot supper waiting for me on the stove. After supper you took me to my new room, you heard me say my prayers, and then you sat beside me until I fell asleep.

"You probably realize why I am recalling all this...

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