A man was appointed to take care of a railroad drawbridge. By and by a friend came with his boat and said to the man, "Run off the bridge and I will get my boat through before the cars come." "I can not do it," said he; "my orders are strict." Soon another man, an intimate friend came and he over-persuaded him and he ran the bridge off; and just as it was balanced on the pier the whistle of the lightning train came screaming around the curve. The bridge tender saw the inevitable fate. What could he do but stand and gaze at the fearful and the fatal mistake of his life. Just as the lightning train came crashing over he bridge making the fatal plunge, that man was heard to cry out "If I only had!"-- and then his reason was dethroned.
He was taken to an asylum; and long, long years, it is said, before his death he paced the halls and rooms of that asylum wringing his hands and crying "If I only had! If I only had! If I only had! If I only had!" -- evidently meaning, "If I only had done as I knew I ought to do--kept the bridge closed-- all would have been well." I thought many a man will spend eternity crying, "If I only had! If I only had!" I wonder if I speak to one young man or old man or lady in this congregation who tonight by this Bible sees your soul, of immense worth, and will forever in despair crying, "If I only had! Oh! that memorable night when I heard Mr. Graves speak on the worth of the soul and I believed it, --If I only had given my heart to Jesus!" I wonder if I speak to one in this house tonight who will forever be crying out with the screams of the dammed, "If I only had! If I only had!"
If only we had spread the gospel more, that soul who died last night, may have died with Jesus in his heart. He wouldn't be in Hell right now.