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A Morning with Gamblers

by. Rev. John McClintock, D. D.

In the earlier years of my ministry, I formed a special fellowship with a very intelligent and pious family. The father and mother were of the vigorous Scotch-Irish stock; clear-headed and sound hearted people. The children inheriting strong health of mind and body, and were all quick-witted and lively. I loved them all dearly, and came at last to make their family destinies their joys and sorrows, my own.

One of the sons, Edward, was a fine, young fellow of eighteen, exuberant in both life and strength, but full of sweetness and good humor. Young as he was, he showed great talent for business, and was already a trusted clerk in a large mercantile house, with a liberal salary for those times.

I was called out of bed, one morning, at about four o’clock, to see this young man. He was in great distress, and could hardly tell his story; but it came out at last, and was bad enough when it came.

“I have been spending the night at different faro tables, and have lost about three hundred and fifty dollars.”

“Whose money was it?”

“It belonged to my employer. I must go to the office this morning and account for it. What
SHALL I do?”

I found on questioning him, that he had been gambling for two or three months. He had begun by learning to play cards of a fellow clerk; played at first, merely for the pleasure of it, but soon found that a ‘small stake was necessary to give interest to the game.’ In short, he had gone the road which thousands have trod before him. From innocent card playing, to betting at… Read More