The Prodigal Son.
The boy got his money, and away he went. He feels very independent; he can take care of himself; he can work his own way. I don't know where he went to. Perhaps he went away down to Memphis, and perhaps he went to Egypt—got as far away from home as he could. When he went away he soon commenced to go down to ruin. When he gets down to that part of the country he suddenly becomes very popular with a certain class of men. Perhaps he was very popular with the men who hung around the opera house, or the theatre, or the billiard halls. A great many courted his company. Perhaps he was a good talker, perhaps he was a good singer and could sing a comic song; perhaps he was a literary man, and entertained them with his wit, and all were delighted with him. But as we would say, he got to the end of his rope, and when his money went his friends disappeared. The poor fellow was in a blaze of glory while his money lasted, but when it had gone he woke up to find himself without friends. A man in New England said while his money lasted he had friends, but when he was ruined and in prison he found out who his real friends were. Not one of his old friends came near him, but the Christian people came and spoke to him words of kindness and comfort, and it was then he made the discovery who his true friends were. So this young prodigal didn't get his eyes open till his money was all gone. No one in that foreign country loved him then, no one in that land cared for him; but away off over those green hills there was one who loved him still. It was his father, and that father received him back.
The Cross and Crown.
At last He cried, with a loud voice: "It is finished!" Perhaps not many on earth heard it, or cared about it when they did hear it; but I can imagine there were not many in heaven who did not hear it, and if they have bells in heaven how they must have rung out that day; "It is-finished! It is finished" I The Son of God had died that poor sinful man might have life eternal. I can imagine the angels walking through the streets of heaven crying: "It is finished!" and the mansions of that world ringing with the glad tidings: "It is finished!" It was the shout of victory. All you have got to do is to look and be saved. You have seen the waves of the sea come dashing up against a rocky shore. They come up and beat against the rock, and, breaking into pieces, go back to gather fresh strength, and again they come up and beat against the rock only to be again broken into pieces. And so it would seem as if the dark waves of hell had gathered all their strength together and had come beating up against the bosom of the Son of God; but he drives them all back again with that shout of a conqueror: "It is finished." And with that shout He snapped the fetters of sin, and broke the power of Satan.
While I was at a convention in Illinois an old man past 70 years, got up, and said he remembered but one thing about his father, and that one thing followed him all through life. He could not remember his death, he had no recollection of his funeral, but he recollected his father one winter night, taking a little chip, and with his pocket knife whittling out a little cross, and with the tears in his eyes he held up that cross telling how God in His infinite love sent His Son down here to redeem us, , how He had died on the cross for us. The story of the cross followed him through life.