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During the Finnish–Russian war seven

During the Finnish–Russian war seven captured Russian soldiers were sentenced to death by the Finnish army. The evening before they were to be shot, one of the soldiers began singing “Safe in the Arms of Jesus.” Asked why he was singing such a song, he answered tearfully that he had heard it sung by a group of Salvation Army “soldiers” just three weeks earlier. As a boy he had heard his mother talk and sing of Jesus many times, but would not accept her Savior. The previous night, as he lay contemplating his execution, he had a vision of his mother’s face, which reminded him of the hymn he had recently heard. The words of the song and verses from the Bible that he had heard long ago came to his mind. He testified before his fellow prisoners and his captors that he had prayed for Christ to forgive his sins and cleanse his soul and make him ready to stand before God. All the men, prisoners and guards alike, were deeply moved, and most spent the night praying, weeping, talking about spiritual things, and singing hymns. In the morning, just before the seven were shot, they asked to be able to sing once more “Safe in the Arms of Jesus,” which they were allowed to do.

At least one other of the Russian soldiers had confessed Christ during the night. In addition, the Finnish officer in charge said, “`What happened in the hearts of the others I don’t know, but … I was a new man from that hour. I had met Christ in one of His loveliest and youngest disciples, and I had seen enough to realize that I too could be His.”

John McArthur

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