Addresses and Best Thoughts.
1. How To Read The Bible.—If the Holy Ghost is our Teacher, we will understand the Word of God. The best thing to interpret the Bible is the Bible itself. There are three books every Christian ought to have; the Bible, Cruden's Concordance, and the '"Bible Text-Book." Study the Bible topically. Take up one subject at a time. Take up "Love" and spend a month upon it. Take a concordance and go through the Bible with it upon this subject, and then you will be full of love, and there will be no room for malice and hatred in your heart. After that take up "Faith"; it is better to go to the Word of God and get faith than to pray for it. Then take up "Blood"; it shows the way to heaven. Now take up "Heaven," and spend months upon it. Then "Prayer." We do not know how to pray as we ought to. The only way for us to study the Bible is to take up one subject and try to master that subject. A man said to me, "Can you recommend the best Life of Christ?" I said I could recommend four—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. A man had better spend a year over those four Gospels than to run over the whole Bible. I£ a man studies Genesis he has a key to the whole Bible. It is the beginning of every thing, and then the other parts of the Bible will unfold themselves to us. Let us take the Bible up with some object in view—to get at some truth. In California the best gold is found at the greatest depth; and so with the Word of God; the best part is deepest. Here is some law document; it is uninteresting. Now, suppose it is the will of some man giving you a great inheritance; you will become interested. This Book tells me of this inheritance. What can the geologist tell you about the Rock of Ages? He can tell you about the rocks of this world. What docs the astronomer know about the bright and morning star? He can tell you about other stars. God did not tell Joshua how to use the sword, and fight in the promised land, but He told him to-meditate upon the law day and night, and no one could stand before him. These words apply to every one here. This sword cuts right and left, and with it a man can cut his enemies right up to the throne of God.
2. God's Bible And Spirit.—A man filled with the Spirit dwells much with the Scripture. Peter quoted Scripture at the Day of Pentecost, when he was full of the Holy Ghost. What is a man good for if he has no weapon? We don't'know how to use this sword; we should get into the habit of using it. David says, "Thy Word have I hid in my heart." A good thing in a good place for a good purpose. If you lose your health you lie \vpon your bed and feed upon the Word of God. When you meet together to dine it is> better to bring out the Bible than to bring on -wine. I was glad in England at seeing that done in a great many houses of the upper classes.
3. Key To The Bible.—An Englishman said to me, "Moody, did you ever study the life of Job 1" I said, "No, I never did." He said, "If you get a key to Job you get a key to the whole Bible." "What hns Job to do with the Bible?" He said, "I will tell you. I will divide the subject into seven heads. First. Job, before he was tried, was a perfect man untried. He was like Adam in Eden until Satan came in. Second, he was tried by adversity. Third, the wisdom of the world is represented by Job's friends trying to restore him. See what language they used. They were wonderful wise men, but they could not help Job out of his difficulties. Men are miserable comforters when they do not understand the grace of God. Job could stand his scolding wife and his boils better than these men's arguments; they made him worse instead of better. Fifth, God speaks, and Job humbles himself in the dust. God, before He saves a man, brings him down into the dust. He does not talk about how he has fed the hungry and clothed the naked; but he says, I am vile. Seventh, God restores him, and the last end of Job was better than the first. So the. last state of man is better than the first. It is better than the state of Adam, because Adam might have lived ten thousand years and then fallen; therefore it is better for us to be outside of Eden with Christ than that we should be in Eden without Him. God gave Job double as much wealth as he had before, but He only gave him ten children. He had ten before his calamity came upon him. That is worthy of notice. God would not admit that Job had lost any children. He gave him ten here and ten in heaven."
4. The Crowning Watch-night or The Century.— The most wonderful watch-night ever held was by Moody and Sankey, closing at the dawn of the second century of our independence, in the same city where that wonderful document the Declaration of Independence was signed.
The building was crowded with at least eleven thousand persons, and as many more were outside trying to get in. The meeting commenced at nine o'clock, continuing till ten. Then the doors were opened and many retired, thus allowing as many others to come in and take their places. Sa again at eleven. The first hour of this service was occupied by Mr. Moody in an address on "How long halt ye between two opinions." A delightful feature of the second hour was a talk with the Rev. Dr. Plumer, of South Carolina, on conviction and conversion. The eleven o'clock service was opened by
singing "The Lord of Earth and Sky." Mr. Sankey sang "One more day's work for Jesus." Mr. Moody preached from the test, "What then shall I do with Jesus which is called Christ." He followed out the same line of thought that he took in the. nine o'clock service. Ho showed the want of decision in Pilate's character. More souls are lost, for the want of decision, than for any one thing. God holds the world responsible for what they have done with his Son. A large number rose for prayers. The congregation, led by Dr. Newton, repeated the Lord's prayer. The benediction was pronounced by Dr. Plumer, who then joined Mr. Moody in wishing the assembly a happy new year.
CHKIST SEEKING SINNERS.
5. "the Son Of Man is Come To Seek And To Save That Which Was Lost."—To me this is one of the sweetest verses in the whole Bible. In this one little short sentence we are told what Christ came into this world for. He came for a purpose; He came to do a work, and in this little verse the whole story is told. He came not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him, might be saved.
A few years ago, the Prince of Wales went to America, and there was great excitement about your Grown Prince. The papers took it up, and began to discuss it, and a great many were wondering what he came for. Was it to look into the republican government? Was it for his health? Was it to see our institutions? he never told us what he came for. But when the Prince of Heaven came down into this world, He told us what he came for. God sent Him, and He came to do the will of His Father. "To seek and to save that which was lost."
6. Never Failed.—And you cannot find any place in Scripture where a man was ever sent by God to do a work in which he failed. God sent Moses to Egypt to bring three millions of bondmen up out of the house of bondage into the promised land. Did he fail? It looked, at first, as if he were going to. If we had been in the Court when Pharaoh said to Moses, "Who is God, that I should obey Him?" and ordered him out of his presence, we might have thought it meant failure. But did it? God sent Elijah to stand before Ahab, and it was a bold thing when he told him there should be neither dew nor rain; but didn't he lock up the heavens for three years and six months? Now here is God sending his own beloved Son from his bosom, from the throne, down into this world. Do you think He is going to fail? Thanks be to God, He can save to the uttermost, and there is not a man in this city who may not find it so, if he is willing to be saved.
7. Bartimeus.—I find a great blessing to myself in taking up a passage like this, and looking all round it, to see what brought it out. If you look back to the close of the eighteenth chapter, you will find Christ coming nenr the city of Jericho. And, sitting by the wayside, was a poor bliud beggar. Perhaps he has been there for years, led out, it may be, by one of his children, or perhaps, as we sometimes see, he had got a dog to lead him out. There he. had sat for years, and his cry had been, "Please give a poor blind man a farthing." One day, as he was sitting there, a man came down from Jerusalem, and seeing the poor blind man, took his seat by his side, and said, "Bartimeus, I have good news for you." "What is it?" said the blind beggar. "There is a man in Israel who is able to give you sight." "Oh no," said the blind beggar, "there is no chance of my ever receiving sight. I was born blind, and nobody born blind ever got sight. I shall never see in this world; I may in the world to come, but I must go through this world blind." "But," said the man, "let me tell you, I was at Jerusalem the other day, and the great Galilean prophet was there, and I saw a man who was born, blind that had received his sight; and I never saw a man -with better sight." Then for the first time hope rises in the poor man's heart, and he asks "How was it done?" "Why, Jesus spat on the ground and made some clay, and anointed his eyos" (why, that is enough to put a man's sight out, even if he can see!) "and sent him to wash in tho pool of Siloam, and while he was doing so, he got two good eyes. Yes, it.is so. I talked with
him, and I didn't see a man in all Jerusalem who had better sight." "What did He charge?" says Biirtimeus. "Nothing. There was no fee or doctor's bill; he got his sight for nothing. You just tell Him what you want; you don't need to have an .influential committee to call on Him, or any important deputation. The poor have as much influence with Him as the rich; all are alike." "What is his name?" asks Bartimeus. "Jesus of Nazareth. And if He ever comes this way, don't you let Him by, without getting your case laid before Him." And the blind man says " That you may be sure of; He shall never pass this way without my seeking Him."
A day or two after, he is led out, and takes his seat at the usual place, still crying out for money. All at once, he hears the footsteps of a coming multitude, and begins to cry, "Who is it?" "Tell me, who is it?" Some one said it was Jesus of Nazareth that was passing by. The moment he hears that, he says to himself, "Why, that is the man who gives sight to the blind," and he lifted up his cry, "Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy upon me!" I don't know who it was—perhaps it was Peter—who said to the man, "Hush! keep still." He thought the Lord was going up to Jerusalem to be crowned King, and He would not like to be disturbed by a poor blind beggar. Oh they did not know the Son of God when He was here! He would hush every harp in heaven to hear a sinner pray ; no music delights Him so ranch. But Bartimeus lifted up his voice louder, "Tiion Son of David, have mercy on me." His prayer reached the ear of the Son of God, as prayer always will, and His footsteps were arrested. He told them to bring the man. "Bartimeus," the}' said, "be of good cheer, arise, He calleth thee ;" and He never called any cue, but He had something good in store for him. Oh, sinner! remember that to-night. They led the blind man to Jesus. The Lord says. "What shall I do for you?" "Lord, that I may receive my sight." "You shall have it," the Lord said; and straightway his eyes were opened.
I should have liked to have been there, to see that wonderful scene. The first object that met hia gaze was the Son of God Himself, and now amon-f the shouting multitude, no one shouts louder than the poor blind man that has got his sight. He glorifies God, and I fancy I can hear him shouting "Hosanna to the Son of David," more sweetly than Mr. Sankey can sing.
8. Zaccheus.—Pardon me, if I now draw a little on my imagination. Bartimeus gets into Jericho, and he says, "I will go and see my wife, and tell her about it." A young convert always wants to talk to his friends about salvation. Away he goes down the street, and he meets a man who passes him, goes on a few yards, and then turns round and says, "Bartimeus, ia that you?" "Yes." Well, I thought it was, but I could not believe my eyes. How have you got your sight?" "Oh, I just met Jesus of Nazareth outside the city, and asked Him to have mercy on me." "Jesus of Nazareth! What, is He in this part of the country?" "Yes. He is right here in Jericho. He is now going down to the western gate." "I should like to see Him," says the man, and away he runs down the street; but he cannot catch a glimpse of Him, even though he stands on tiptoe, being little of stature, and on account of the great throng around Him. "Well," he says, "I am not going to be disappointed;" so he runs on, and climbs up into a sycamore tree. "If I can get on to that branch, hanging right over the highway, He cannot pass without my getting a good look at Him." That must have been a very strange sight to see the rich man climbing up a tree like a boy, and hiding among the leaves, where he thought nobody would see him, to get a glimpse of the passing stranger! There is the crowd bursting out, and he lool;s for Jesus. He looks at Peter; '' That's not Him." He looks' at John; "That's not Him." At last his eye rested on One fairer than the sons of men; "That's Him!" And Zaccheus, just peeping out from among the branches, looks down upon the wonderful God-man in amazement. At last the crowd comes to the tree; it looks as if Christ were going by; but He stops right nndei the tree, looks up, and says, "Zaccheus, make haste and come down." I can imagine the first thought in his ruind was, ""VYh^told Him mv,:iam.e?^ I was never introduced to ET'ra." Ah! He know him. Sinner, Christ knows all about you. He knows your name and your house. You need not try to hide from Him. He knows where you are, and all about you.
9. Sudden Conversions. — Some people do not believe in sudden conversion. I should like them to answer me when was Zaccheus converted? He was' certainly in his sins when he went up into that tree; he certainly was converted when he came down. He must have been converted somewhere between the branch and the ground. It didn't take a long while to convert that publican! "Make haste and come down. I shall never pass this way again ; this is my last visit." Zaccheus made haste, and came down and received Him joyfully. Did you ever hear of any one receiving Christ in any other way? He received Him joyfully. Christ brings joy with Him. Sin, gloom, and darkness flee away; light, peace, and joy burst into the soul. May there be many that shall come down from their high places, and receive Christ to-night!
10. Evidence or Zaccheus's Conversion. — Some one may ask, "How do you know that he was converted?" I think he gave very good evidence. I would like to see as fruitful evidence of conversion here to-night. Let some of you rich men be converted, an.01 g/iv,e half your, goods to feed the poor, and pe'ople.will believe prettycuickly that it is genuine wort! But there is better evidence even than that. "If I have taken any thing from any man falsely, I restore him fourfold." Very good evidence that. You say if people are converted suddenly, they won't hold out. Zaccheus held out long enough to restore fourfold. We should like to have a work that reaches men's pockets. I can imagine one of •his servants going to a neighbor next morning, with a check for £100, and handing it over. "What is this for?" "Oh, my master defrauded you of £25 a few years ago, and this is restitution money." That would give confidence in Zaccheus's conversion I I wish a few cases like that would happen here, and then people would stop talking against sudden conversions.
11. Pharisees' Complaint.—The Lord goes to be the publican's guest, and while He is there the Pharisees began to murmur and complain. It would have been a good thing if Pharisees had died off with that generation; but, unfortunately, they have left a good many grandchildren, living down here in the afternoon of this nineteenth century, who are ever complaining, "This man receiveth sinners." But while the Pharisees were complaining, the Lord uttered the text I have to-night, "I did not come to Zacchens to make him wretched, to condemn him, to torment him ; I came to bless and save him. The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."
12. Good News.—If there is a man or woman in this audience to-night who believes that he or she is lost, I have good news to tell you—Christ is come after you. I was at the Fulton Street prayer-meeting, a good many years ago, one Saturday night, and when the meeting was over, a man came to me, and said,."I would like to have you go down to the city prison to-morrow, and preach to the prisoners. I said I would be very glad to go. There was no chapel in connection with that prison, and I was to preach to them in their cells. I had to stand at a little iron railing and talk down a great, long narrow passage way, to some three or four hundred of them, I suppose, all out of sight. It was pretty difficult work; I never preached to the bare walls before. When it was over I thought I would like to see to whom I had been preaching, and how they had received the Gospel. I went to the first door, where the inmates could have heard me best, and looked in at a little window, and there were some men playing cards. I suppose they had been playing all the while. "How is it with you here?" I said. "Well, stranger, we don't want you to get a bad idea of us. False witnesses swore a lie, and that is how we are here." "Oh," I said, "Christ cannot save any body here; there is nobody lost." I went to the next cell. "Well, friend, how is it with you?" "Oh," said the prisoner, "the man that did the deed looked very much like me, so they caught me and I am here." He was innocent too! I passed along to the next cell. "How is it with you?" "Well, we got into bad company, and the man that did it got clear, and we got taken up, but we never did any thing." I went along to the next cell. "How is it with you?" "Our trial comes on next week, but they have nothing against us, and we'll get free." I went round nearly every cell, but the answer was always the same—they had never done any thing. Wny, I never saw so many innocent men together in my life! There was nobody to blame but the magistrates, according to their way of it. These men were wrapping .their filthy rags of self-righteousness about them. And that has been the story for six thousand years. I got discouraged as I went through the prison, on, and on, and on, cell after cell, and every man had an excuse. If he hadn't one, the devil helped him to make one. I had got almost through the prison, when I came to a cell and found a man with his elbows on his knees, and his head in his hands. Two little streams of tears were running down his cheeks; they did not come by drops that time.
"What's the trouble?" I said. He looked up the picture of remorse and despair. "Oh, my sins are more than I can bear." "Thank God for that," I replied. "What," said he, "you are the man that has been preaching to us, ain't you?" "Yes." "I think you said you were a friend?" "I am." "And yet you are glad that my sins are more than I can bear!" "I will explain," I said; "if your sins are more than you can bear, won't you cast them on One who will bear them for you?" "Who's that?" "The Lord Jesus." "He won't bear my sins." "Why not?" "I have sinned against Him all my life." "I don't care if you have; the blood of Jesns Christ, God's Son, cleanses from all sin." Then I told him how Christ had come to seek and save that which was lost; to open the prison doors and set the captives free. It was like a cup of re- • freshment to find a man who believed he was lost, so I stood there, and held up a crucified Saviour to him. "Christ was delivered for our offences, died for our sins, rose again for our justification." For a long time the man could not believe that such a miserable wretch could be saved. He went on to enumerate his sins, and I told him that the blood of Christ could cover them all. After I had talked with him I said, "Now let us pray." He got down on his knees inside the cell, and I got down outside, and I said, " You pray." "Why," he said, " it would be blasphemy for me to call on God." "You call on God," I said. He knelt down, and, like the poor publican, he lifted up his voice and said, "God be merciful to me, a vile wretch!" I put my hand through the window, and as I shook hands with him a tear fell on my hand that burned down into my soul. It was a tear of repentance. He believed
he was lost. Then I tried to get him to believe that Christ had come to save him. I left him still in darkness. "I will be at the hotel," I said, "between nine and ten o'clock, and I will pray for you."
13. Happy Convert.—Next morning, I felt so much interested in him, that I thought I must see him before I went back to Chicago. No sooner had my eye lighted on his face, than I saw that remorse and despair had fled away, and his countenance was beaming with celestial light; the tears of joy had come into his eyes, and the tears of despair were gone. The Sun of Eighteousness had broken out across his path; bis soul*vvas leaping within him for joy; he had received Chnist, as Zaccheus did, joyfully. "Tell me about it," I said. "Well, I do not know what time it was; I think it was about midnight. I had been in distress a long time, when all at once my great burden fell off, and now, I believe I am the happiest man in New York." I thiuk he was the happiest man I saw from the time I left Chicago till I got back again. His face was lighted up with the light that comes from the celestial hills. I bade him good-by, aud I expect to meet him in another world.
Can you tell me why the Son of God came down to that prison that night, and, passing cell after cell, went to that one, and set the captive free? It was because the man believed he was lost.
14. Sinneu Believe You Are Lost.—But you say, "/ do not feel that." Wt 11, never mind your feelings; believe it. Just ask yourself, "Am I saved, or am I lost'?" It must be one or the other. There is no neutrality about the matter. A man cannot be saved and lost at the same time; it is impossible. Every man and woman in this audience must either be saved or lost, if the Bible be true; and if I thought it was not true, I should not be here preaching, and I would not advise you people to come; but if the Bible is true, every man and every woman in this room must either be in the ark or out of it, either samd or lost.
I do not believe there would be a dry eye in this city to-night, if we would but wake up to the thought of what it is to bo lost. The world has been rocked to sleep by Satan, who is going up and down and telling people that it doesn't mean any thing. I believe in the old-fashioned heaven and hell. Christ came down to save us from a terrible hell, and any man who is cast down to hell from England must go iu the full blaze of the Gospel, and over the mangled body of the Son of God.
15. A Lost Soul.—We hear of a man who has lost his health, and we sympathize with him, and we say it is very sad. Our hearts are drawn out in sympathy. Here is another man who haa lost his wealth, and we say, "That is very sad." Here is another man who has lost his reputation, his standing among men. "That is sadder still," yon say. We know what it is to lose health, and wealth, and reputation, but what is the loss of all these things compared with the loss of the soul?
16. Lost Eyesight.—I was in an eye infirmary in Chicago some time ago, before the great fire. A mother brought a beautiful little babe to the doctor —a babe only a few months old—and wanted the doctor to look at the child's eyes. He did so, and pronounced it blind—blind for life—it will never see again. The moment he said that, ths mother seized it, pressed it to her bosom, and gave a terrible scream. It pierced my heart, and I could not but weep. What a fearful thought to that mother! "Oh, my darling," she cried, "are you never to see the mother that gave you birth? Oh, doctor, I cannot stand it. My child, my child!" It was a sight to move any heart. But what is the loss of eyesight to the loss of a soul? I had a thousand times rather have these eyes taken out of my head and go to the grave blind, than lose my soul. I have a son, and no one but God knows how I love him; but I would see those eyes dug out of his head to-night rather than see him grow up to manhood and go down to the grave without Christ and without hope. The loss of a soul! Christ knew what it meant. That is what brought Him from the bosom of the Father; that is what brought Him from the throne; that is what brought Him to Calvary. The Son of God was i'i earnest. When He died on Calvary it was to save a lost world; it was to save your soul arid mine. 0 the loss of the soul—how terrible it is! If you are lost to-night, I beseech you do not rest until you have found pence in Christ. Fathers and mothers, if you have children, out of the Art, do not rest until they are brought into it. Do not discourage your children from coming to Christ. I am glad to see those little boys and girls here. Dear children, remember the sermon is for yon. The Son of Man came for you as much as for that old gray-haired man, yonder. He came for all, rich and poor, young and old. Young man, if you are lost may God show it to you, and may you press into the kingdom. The Son of Man is come to seek and to save you.
17. Story Of Rowland Hill.—There is a story told of Rowland Hill. He was once preaching in the open air to a vast audience. Lady Anne Erskine was riding by, and she asked who it was that was addressing the vast assembly. She was told it was the celebrated Rowland Hill. Says she, "I have heard of him; drive me near the platform, that I may listen to him." The eye of Rowland Hill rested on her; he saw that she belonged to royalty, and turning to some one, he inquired who she was. He went tm preaching, and all at or.ce he stopped. "My friends," be said, "I have got something here for sale." Every body was startled to think that a minister was going to sell something in his sermon. "I am going to sell it by auction, and it is worth more than the crown of all Europe: it is the soul of Lady Aime Ersldne. Will any one bid for her soul? Hark! methinks I hear a bid. Who bids? Satan bids. What will you give? I will give riches, honor, and pleasure; yea, I will give the whole world for her soul. Hark! I hear another bid for this soul. Who bids? The Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus, what will you give for this soul? I will give peace, aud joy, and comfort that the world knows not of; yea, I will give eternal life for her soul." Turning to Lady Anne Erskine, he said, "You have heard the two bidders for your soul—wtich shall have it?" She ordered the footman to open the door, and pushing her way through, the crowd, she says, "The Lord Jesus shall have my soul, if He will accept it."
18. Two Bidders For The Soul.—There are two bidders for your soul to-night. It is for you to decide which shall have it. Satan offers you what he cannot give; he is a liar, and has been from the foundation of the world. I pity the man who ia living on the devil's promises. He lied to Adam, and deceived him, stripped him of all he had, and then left him in his lost, ruined condition. And all the me:i since Adam living on the devil's lies, the* devil's promises, have been disappointed, and will be, down to the end of the chapter. But the Lord Jesus Christ is able to give all He offers, and He
offers eternal life to every lost soul here. "The gift of God is eternal life." Who will have it? Will any one flash it over the wires, and let it go up to the throne of God, that you want to be saved? As Mr. Sankey sang of that shout around the throne, my heart went up to God, that there might be a great shout for lost ones brought home to-night.
19. Christ Has Souam? You.—Last night a man yonder told me he was anxious to be saved, but Christ had never sought for him. I said, "What are you waiting for?" "Why," he said, "I am waiting for Christ to call me; as soon as He calls me, I am coming." There may be others here who have got the same notion. Now, I do not believe there is a man iu this city that the Spirit of God has not striven with at some period of his life. I do not believe there is a person in this audience but Christ has sought after him. Bear in mind, He takes the place of the seeker. Every man who has ever been saved through these six thousand years was first sought after by God. No sooner did Adam fall than God sought him. He had gone away frightened, and hid himself away among the bushes in the garden, but God took the place of the Seeker; and from that day to this God has always had the place of the Seeker. No man or woman in this audience has been saved but that He sought them first.
20. The Shepherd. —What do we read in the fifteenth chapter of St. Luke? There is a shepherd
bringing home his sheep into- the fold. As they pass in, he stands and numbers them. I can see him counting one, two, three, up to ninety-nine. "But," says he, "I ought to have a hundred: I must have made a mistake;" and he counts them over again. "There are only ninety-nine here; I must have lost one." He does not say, "I will let him find his own way back." No! He takes the place of the Seeker; he goes out into the mountain, and hunts until he finds the lost one, and then he lays it on his shoulder and brings it home. Is it the sheep that finds the shepherd? No, it is the shepherd that.finds and brings back the sheep. He rejoiced to find it. Undoubtedly the sheep was very glad to get back to the fold, but it was the shepherd who rejoiced, and who called his friends and said, "Rejoice with me."
21. The Woman's Money.—Then there is that woman who lost the piece of money. Some one perhaps had paid her a bill that day, giving her ten pieces of silver. As she retires at night, she takes the money out of her pocket and counts it. "Why," she says, "I have only got nine pieces; I ought to have ten." She counts it over again. "Only nine pieces! Where have I been,"-she says, "since I got that money? I am sure I have not been out of the house." She turns her pocket wrong side out, and there she finds a hole in it. Does she wait until the money gets back into her pocket? No. She takes a broom, and lights a candle, and sweeps diligently. She moves the sofa and the table and the chairs, and all the rest of the furniture, and sweeps in every corner until she finds it. And when she has found it, who rejoices? The piece of money? No; the woman who finds it. In these parables Christ brings out the great truth that God takes the place of Seeker. People talk of finding Christ, but it is Christ who first finds them.
22. Trouble Develops Love.—It was Adam's fall, his loss, that brought out God's love. God never told Adam when He put him into Eden, that He loved him. It was his fall, his sin, that brought it out. A friend of mine from Manchester was in Chicago a few years ago, and he was very much interested in the city—a great city, with its 300,000 or 400,000 inhabitants, with its great railway centres, its lumber market, its pork market, and its grain market. He said he went back to Manchester and told his friends about Chicago. But he could not get any body very much interested in it. It was a great many hundreds of miles away; and the people did not seem to care for hearing about it. But one day there came flashing along the wire the sad tidings that it was on fire; and, my friend said, the Manchester people became suddenly interested in Chicago! Every despatch that came they read; they bought up the papers, and devoured every particle of news. And at last, when the despatch came that Chicago was burning up, that 100,000 people were turned out of house and home, then every one became so interested that they began to weep for us. They came forward and laid down their money—some gave hundreds of pounds—for the relief of the poor sufferers. It was the calamity of Chicago that brought out the love of Manchester, and of London, and of Liverpool. I was in that terrible fire, and I saw men that were wealthy stripped of all they had. That Sunday night, when they retired, they were the richest men in Chicago. Next norning they were paupers. But I did not see a man weep. But when the news came flashing along the wire, "Liverpool is giving a thousand pounds; Manchester is giving a thousand pounds; London is giving money to aid the city ;" and as the news kept flashing that help was coming, that city was broken-hearted. I saw men weep then. The love that was showed us, that love broke our hearts. So the love of God ought to break every heart in this city. It was love that brought Christ down here to die for us. It was love that made Him leave His place by the Father's throne and come down here to seek and to save that which was lost.
23. Gke.vt Sinner Greater Saviour. — Another young man told me last night that he was too great a signer to be saved. Why, they are the verv men Christ came after. "This Man receiveth sinners and eateth with them." The only charge they could bring against Christ down here was, that He was receiving bad men. They are the very kind of men He is willing to receive. All you have got to do is, to prove that you are a sinner, and I will prove that you have got a Saviour. And the greater the sinner, the greater need you have of a Saviour. You say your heart is hard; well, then, of course, you want Christ to soften it. You cannot do it yourself. The harder your heart, the more need you have of Christ: the blacker you are, the more need you have of a Saviour. If your sins rise up before you like a dark mountain, bear in mind that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin. There is no siu so big, or so black, or so corrupt and vile, but the blood of Christ can cover it. So I preach the old Gospel again, "The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."
24 How Christ Sought Them.—But now for the sake of these men who believe Christ never sought them, perhaps it would be well to say how He seeks. There are a great many ways in which He does so. Last night I found a man in the inquiry-room, and the Lord had been speaking to him by the prayers of a godly sister who died a little while ago. Her prayers were answered. He came into the inquiryroom trembling from head to foot. I talked to him about the plan of salvation, and the tears trickled down his cheeks, and at last he took Christ as his Saviour. The Son of Man sought out that young man through the prayers of his sister, and then through her death.
Some of you have godly, praying mothers, who have prayed whole nights for your soul, and who have now gone to heaven. Did not you take their hand and promise that you would meet them there? That was the Son of God seeking you by -vour mother's prayers and yonr mother's death. Some of you have got faithful, godly ministers who weep for you in the pulpit, and plead with you to come to Christ. You have heard heart-searching sermons, and the truth has gone down deep into your heart, and tears have come down your cheeks. That was the Son of God seeking you. Some of you have had godly, praying Sabbath-school teachers and superintendents, urging you to come to Christ. Some of you, perhaps, have got young men converted round you, and they have talked with you and pleaded with you to come to Christ. That was the Son of God seeking after your soul. Some of you have had a tract put in your hand with a startling title, "Eternity; Where will You Spend It?" and the arrow has gone home. That was the Son of God seeking after yon. Many of you have been laid on a bed of sickness, when you had time to think and meditate. And in the silent watches of the night, when every body was asleep, the Spirit of God haa come into your chamber, has come to your bedside, and the thought came stealing through your mind that you ought to be a child of God and an heir of heaven. That was the Son of God seeking after your lost soul. Some of you have had little children, and you have laid them yonder in the cemetery. When that little child was dyiug you promised to love and serve God (ah, Have you kept your promise?) That was the Son of God seeking you. Hft took that little child yonder to draw your affections heavenwards.
25. Many Ways.—It would take me all night to tell the different ways in which the Lord seeks. Can you rise in this hall to-night and say that the Son of God never sought for you? I do not believe there is a man or woman in this audience or in the whole city who could do it. My friend, He has been calling for you from your earliest childhood, and He has put it into the hearts of God's own people just to call you together in this hall. Prayer is going up all over the Christian world for you. Perhaps there never has been a time in the history of your life when so many were praying for you as at the present time. That is the Son of God seeking for your soul through the prayers of the Church, through the prayers of ministers, through the prayers of the saints not only in London but throughout the world. I have received news to-day in a despatch sent across from America, that all the churches nearly, in America, are praying for London. What does it mean? God has laid it upon the heart of the Church throughout the world to pray for London. It must
be that God has something good in store for London; the Son of Man is coming to London to seek and to save that which was lost; and I pray that the Good Shepherd may enter this hall to-night and may come to many a heart, and that you may hear the still small voice: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him, and he with Me." O friends, open the door to-night, and let the heavenly Visitor in. Do not turn Him away any longer. Do not say with Felix, "Go thy way this time, and when I have a convenient season I will call for thee." Make this a convenient season j make this the night of your salvation. Eeceive the gift of God to-night, and open the door of your heart, and say, "Welcome, thrice welcome into this heart of mine."
SINNERS SEEKING CHRIST.
26. "Seek The Lord While He May Be Found; Call Ye Upon Him While He is Near."—I have been speaking about the Son of Man seeking the lost; to-night I want to take up the other side of the case—man's side. I have learned this, that when any one becomes in earnest about his soul's salvation he begins to seek God, and it does not take a great while for them to meet; it does not take long for an anxious sinner to meet an anxious Saviour. What do we read in the 29th chapter of Jeremiah, 13th verse? "Ye shall seek Me and find Me when ye shall search for Me with all your heart." These are the men who find Christ—those who seek for Him with all their heart.
27. Half-heartedness.—I am tired and sick of half-heartedness. You don't like a half-hearted man; you don't care for any one to love you with a half heart, and the Lord won't have it If we are going to seek for Him and find Him, we must do it with all our heart. I believe the reason why Go few people find Christ is because they do not search for Him with all their heart; they are not terribly in earnest about their soul's salvation. God is in earnest; every thing God has done proves that He is in earnest about the salvation of men's souls. He has proved it by giving his only Son to die for us. The Son of God was in earnest when He died. What is Calvary but a proof of that? And the Lord wants us to be in earnest when it comes to this great question of the soul's salvation. I never saw men seeking Him with all their hearts but they soon found Him.
28. Not Worth Saving.—It was quite refreshing, last night, to find in the inquiry-room a young man who thought he was not worth saving, he was so vile and wicked. There was hope for him because he was so desperately in earnest about his soul. He thought he was worthless. He had got a sight of himself in God's looking-glass, and when a man does that he has a very poor opinion of himself. You can always tell when a man is a great way from God —he is always talking about himself, and how good he is. But the moment he sees God by the eye of faith he is down on his knees, and, like Job, he cries. "Behold, I am vile." All his goodness flees away. What men want is to be in earnest about their salvation, and they will soon find Christ. You do not need to go up to the heights to bring Him down',, or down to the depths to bring Him up, or to go off to some distant city to find Him. This day He is near to every one of us.
29. Bad Advice.—I heard some one in the inquiry-room telling a young person to go home and seek Christ in his closet. I would not dare to tell any one to do that. You might be dead before you got home. If I read my Bible correctly, the man who preaches the Gospel is not the man who tells me to seek Christ to-morrow or an hour hence, but now. He is near to every one of us this minute to save. If the world would just come to God for salvation, and be in earnest about it, they would find the Son. of God right at the door of their heart.
30. Worldly Wisdom.—Suppose I. should say I .oat a very valuable diamond here last night—I have not, but suppose it—worth £20,000. I had it in my pocket when I came into the hall, and when I had done preaching I found it was not in my pocket, but was in the hall somewhere. And suppose I was to say that any one who found it could have it. How earnest you would all become! You would not get very much of my sermon; you would all be thinking of the diamond. I do not believe the police could get you out of this hall. The idea of finding a diamond worth £20,000! If you could only find it, it would lift you out of poverty at once, and you would be Independent for the rest of your d_ays. Oh, how soon every body would become terribly in earnest then! I would to God I could get men to seek for Christ in the same way. I have got something worth more than a diamond to offer you. Is not salvation—eternal life—worth more than all the diamonds in the world? Suppose Gabriel should wing his way from the throne of God and come down here, and say he had been commissioned by Jehovah to come and offer to this assembly any one gift you might choose. You could have just what you chose, but only one thing. What would it be? The wealth of England or of the world? Would that be your choice? Ten thousand times, no! Your one cry would be, "Life! eternal life!"
31. Value Of Life.—There is nothing men value as they do life. Let a man be out on a wreck that is fast going down. He is worth a million sterling, and his only chance is to give up that million sterling, just to save the life of the body. He would give it up in a moment. "Skin for skin; all that a man hath will he give for his life." I understand some people have been afraid to come to this hall because there might be a cry of " Fire! fire !" and a panic, and they might lose their lives. Yet there are twenty doors to the building; I do not know that I ever saw a building that you could get easier out of. Yet people seem to sleep, and to forget that there is no door out of hell. If they enter there they must remain, age after age. Millions on millions of years will roll on, but there will be no door, no escape out of hell. May God wake up this slumbering congregation and make you anxious about your souls. People talk about our being earnest and fanatical—about our being on fire. Would to God the Church was on fire; this world would soon shake to its foundation.
32. "Cold Or Hot."—What we want to see is men really wishing to become Christians, men who are in dead earnest about it. The idea of hearing a man say in answer to the question, "Do you want to become a Christian?" "Well, I would not mind." My friend, I do not think you will ever get into the kingdom of God until you change your language. We want men crying from the depths of their heart, "I want to be saved." On the day of Pentecost the cry was, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" These men were in earnest, and they found Christ right there; three thousand found Him, when they sought with all their hearts. When men seek Christ as they do wealth, they will soon find Him. To be sure the world will raise a cry that they are excited. Let cotton go up ten or fifteen per cent, before tomorrow morning, and you will see how quickly the merchants will get excited! And the papers don't cry it down either. They say it is healthy excitement; commerce is getting on. Bnt when you begin to get excited about your soul's salvation, and nre in earnest, then they raise the cry, "Oh, they are getting excited; most unhealthy state of things." Yet they don't talk about men hastening down to death by thousands. There is the poor drunkard, look at him! Hear the piercing cry going up to heaven! Yet the Church of God slumbers and sleeps. Here and there there is an inquirer, and yet they go into the inquiry-room as if they were half asleep. When will men seek for Christ as they seek for wealth, or as they seek for honor?
33. Wake Up.—May God wake up a slumbering Church! What we want men to do is not to shout "Amen," and clasp their hands. The deepest and quietest waters very often run swiftest. We waut men to go right to work: there will be a chance for you to shout by and by. Go and speak to your neighbor, and tell him of Christ and heaven. You need not go a few yards down these streets before you find some one who is passing down to the darkness of eternal death. Let us haste to the rescue!
34. Facing Danger.—I am told that when the war broke out on the Gold Coast, though it was kuown that the climate was a very unhealthy one, and a great many who went there would never return, yet hundreds and thousands of men wanted to go. Why? They wanted to get wealth, and from wealth honor. And if there is a chance of going to India, no end of men are willing to go. To get a little honor they will sacrifice comfort, pleasure, health, and every thing. What we want, is to have men seeking the kingdom of God as they seek for honor and wealth.
35. Life In Danger.—As I said, if life is in danger, how terribly in earnest men become. That is right; there is no doubt about that. But why should not men be as much in earnest about their soul's salvation? Why should not every man and woman here wake up and seek the Lord with all their heart? Then, the Lord says, you shall find Him.
36. Power Op Earnestness.—There is a story told of a vessel that was wrecked, and was going down at sea. There were not enough life-boats to take all on board. When the vessel went down, some of the life-boats were near the vessel. A man swam from the wreok just as it was going down, to one of the boats; but they had no room to take him, and they refused. When they refused, he seized hold of the boat with his right hand, but they took a sworcUand cut off his fingers. When he had lost the fingers of his right hand, the man was so earnest to save his life th'it he seized the boat with his left hand; they cut off the fingers of that hand too. Then the man swam up and seized the boat with his teeth, and they had compassion on him and relented. They could not cut off his head, so they took him in, and the man saved his life. Why? Because he was in earnest. Why not seek your soul's salvation as that man sought to save his life?
37. FOKTY-THREE THOUSAND SoTJLS A Dat. — Will
there ever be a better time? Will there ever be a better time for that old man whose locks are growing gray, whose eyes are growing dim, and who is hastening to the grave? Is not this the very best time for him? "Seek the Lord while He may be found." There is a man in the middle of life. Is this not the best time for him to seek the kingdom of God! Will you ever have a better opportunity? Will Christ ever be more willing to save than now? He says, "Come, for all things are now ready." Not, going to be, but are now ready. There is a young man. My friend, is it not the best time for you to seek the kingdom of God? Seek the Lord, you can find Him here to-night. Can you say that you will find Him here to-morrow? Will any one rise up in this hall and say that? Young man, you know not what to-morrow may bring forth. Do you know that since we met here last night 43,000 souls have passed from time to eternity? Do you know that every time the clock ticks a soul passes away? Is not this the best time for you to seek the kingdom of God?
38. Great Revival.—My boy, the Lord wants you. Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and seek Him while He may be found. About eighteen years ago, a great revival swept over America. A great many men stood and shook their heads; they could not believe it was a healthy state of things. The Church was not in its normal state! The Church from Maine to Minnesota, and on to California, was astir. And as you passed over the great republic, over its western prairies and mountains, and through its valleys, as you went on by train, and as you passed through its cities and villages, you could see the churches lit up; and men were nocking into the kingdom of God by hundreds. And in a year and a half or two years there were more than half a million souls brought in. Men said it was false excitement, wildfire, and it would pass away. But, my friends, it was grace preceding judgment. Little did we know that our nation was soon to be baptized in blood, and that we would soon hear the tramp of a million men, that hundreds and thousands of our young men, the flower of our nation, would soon be lying in a soldier's grave. But oh, my friends, it was God calling his people in. He was preparing our nation for a terrible struggle.
39. What is Doing Now.—And now, it seems to me that there is another wave of blessing passing over this earth. Tidings are coming from all parts of the world, telling us of the great work God is doing. The last tidings from India, told us of a blessed work going on there. The last tidings from Japan and from other places—we have the same good news of God pouring out bis Spirit. It was only the other day that two men came up here from a town of 50,000 inhabitants, and wanted us to go there; but we could not, and we told them to go home and get to work themselves. To-day one of them told us that they had sixteen last night in the inquiry-room. God is pouring out bis Spirit everywhere. Everywhere men are putting in the sickle and bringing their sheaves and laying them at the feet of the Master. I believe we are living in the days that our fathers prayed for. The heavens are opened, and the Spirit of God is descending upon the sous of men.
40. A Good Time To Seek Him.—Now, this time of revival is a good time to seek the Lord. Will you ever have a better time? The tidings from every city is this—the people are praying. It is a question in my mind if there was ever so much prayer going up to God as at the present. Not only here, but all round the world, we have God's people making their hearts burdened for the salvation of souls. And is it not God working? "Will there ever be a better time for you to seek the kingdom of God than the present, when there is such a great awakening, when there.is such a spirit of expectation; when the Church of God is coming up as one man, and the spirit of unity prevails? Think of the praying ones here. Do you believe there were ever so many men and women praying for your soul as there are here to-night? Look over this audience—what are these Christians doing now! They are silently praying to God. I can see they are praying. There is a young man with his mother sitting by his side. That mother is pleading, "God save my boy to-night!" May it go down deep into his soul! "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found; call ye upon Him while He is near."
41. Is The Lord Here.—Now, let me ask you a question. Do you believe that the Lord can be found here to-night? I appeal to these ministers present at my side; do you believe He can? They answer "YES." My friends, do you believe it? Another Yes comes from the audience. Well, if Ho can, is it not the height of madness for any man or woman to go out of this hall without seeking Him? If He can be found, why not seek Him? Young lady, why not seek Him with all your heart? Young man, why not seek Christ to-night with all your heart? Why not say, "I must be saved"? There is nothing so important as this great question of salvation.
42. They Always Find Him.—Supposing you could win the world, what would you do with it? Would it be worth as much as Christ? Let every thing else be laid aside, and make up your minds that you will not rest until you have sought and found the Lord Jesus. I never knew any one make up his mind to seek Him but he soon found Hiiu. At Dublin a young man found Christ. He went home and lived so godly and so Christ-like, that two of his brothers could not understand what had wrought the change in him. They left Dublin and followed us to Sheffield, and found Christ there. They were in earnest. But, thanks be to God, you have not got to go out of this hall. Ciirist can be found here to-night. I firmly believe every one here can find Christ tonight if you will seek for Him with all your heart. He says, "Call upon Me." Did you ever hear of any one calling on Christ with the whole heart, that Christ didn't answer? Look at that thief on the cross! It may have been that he had a praying mother, and that his mother taught him the fiftythird chapter of Isaiah. He had heard Christ pray that wonderful prayer, "Father, forgive them." And as he was hanging on the cross that text of Scripture came to his mind, "Seek the Lord while He may be found; call ye upon Him while He is near." The truth came flashing into his soul, and he says, "He is near me now; I will call on Him. Lord, remember me when Thou comest into thy kingdom." No sooner had he called than the Lord said, "This day shalt thou be with Me in paradise." That was his seeking opportunity, his day. My friends, this is your day now. I believe that every man has his day. You have it just now; why not call upon Him just now? Say, as the poor thief did, "Lord, remember me." That was his golden opportunity, and the Lord heard and answered and saved him. Did not Bartimeus call on Him while He was near? Christ was passing by Jericho for the last time, and he cried out, "Thou Son of David, have mercy on me." And did not the Lord hear his prayer, and give him his sight? It was a good thing Zaccheus called—or rather the Lord called him, but when the Lord called he came. May the Lord call maty here, and may you respond, "Lord, here am I; you have called and I come." Do you believe the Lord will call a poor sinner, and then cast him out? No! His word stands forever, " Him that corneth to Me I will in no wise cast out."
43. Without A Character.—I was glad when that man I told you of, said he felt as if he was too bad. Men are pretty near the kingdom of God when they do not see any thing good in themselves. At the Fulton Street Prayer-meeting a man came in, and this was his story. He said he had a mother who prayed for him; be was a wild, reckless prodigal. Some time after his mother's death he began to be troubled. He thought he ought to get into new company, and leave his old companions. So he said he would go and join a secret society; he thought he would join the Odd Fellows. They weut and made inquiry about him, and they found he was a drunken sailor, so they blackballed him. They would not have him. He went to the Freemasons; he had nobody to recommend him, so they inquired and found there was no good in his character, and they too blackballed him. They didn't want him. One day, some one handed him a little notice in the street about the prayer-meeting, and he went in. He heard that Christ had come to save sinners. He believed Him; he took Him at at His word; and, in reporting the matter, he said he "came to Christ without a character, and Christ hadn't blackballed him."
My frieuds, that is Christ's way. Is there a man here without a character, with nobody to say a good word for him? I bring you good news. Call on the Son of God, and He will hear you. Call on him to-night.
44. A Solitary Woman.—I was at a meeting for ministers the other day. Up in the gallery there was one solitary woman; she sat there alone. When the meeting was over and I was passing out, she came and said, "Mr. Moody, do you remember me?" "Oh yes," I said, "I remember you." Where had I met her? Mr. Sankey and myself were leaving Dundee for the north of Scotland. There was a lady who had come from London and brought her two boys all the way to get blessed; they must have been about eighteen or nineteen—twins. That mother's heart was burdened for their salvation. The last night we had a meeting there, one of the sons yielded himself up to Christ, and the mother went back next morning with her two boys, rejoicing that they had asked and found peace in believing. Some people may say that she was a great fanatic for going all the way from London to Dundee with her boys to get a blessing. But last Friday she says, "My boy, who found the Lord in Dundee, died three weeks ago." And as she pressed my hand as I left the meeting, I said to myself, "Was it not a good thing that mother took her boy to Dundee?" My friends, let us be in earnest about the salvation of our children, and of our friends. Warn that young lady. Yes, mother, speak to that daughter of yours. Father, speak to that child of yours. Wife, speak to your unconverted husband; husband, speak to your unconverted wife. Do not let a man go out of this house saying, "Nobody cared for my soul." I never saw a mother burdened for her children but they soon became anxious. Oh may there be many a sinner seeking the kingdom of God with all their heart!
45. What Are You Going To Do ?—Before I close, I want to ask you once more, "What are you going to do? If the Lord is near, won't you call upon Him? Don't let that scoffing man next you keep you out of the kingdom of God. There is a scornful look upon that man's face; perhaps he is making light of what I am saying. Don't mind him; don't look to him; but just look right up to God, and ask Him to save you. Now, every true friend —and you all have friends—every true friend, if you could get his advice to-night, would tell you to be saved now. Ask that minister sitting next you, "Had I better seek the kingdom of God to-night?" What does he tell you? "By all means, don't put it off another minute." Ask that godly praying mother by your side, "Is it best to seek the kingdom of God to-night?" Does she say, Put it off one week, or put it off one month? Do you think that mother would say that? There is not a Christian mother in this hall who would say it. I doubt if there is an unconverted mother even here whose advice would be to put off becoming a Christian. Ask that praying sister of yours, ask that praying brother, ask any friend you have here—if you are sitting near one—whether it is not the very best thing you can do. And then cry up to heaven and ask Him who is sitting at the right hand of God, and who loves you more than your father or your mother, or any one on earth—who loves you so much that He gave Himself for you; ask Him what He will have you do, and hear His voice from the throne, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God." And then shout down to the infernal regions, and ask those down there, and what will they say ?" Send some one to my father's house, for I have five brethren, that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place." Heaven, earth, and hell unite in this one thing, "Seek first the kingdom of God." Don't put it off. Call upon Him while He is near. And if you call upon Him in real earnest He will hear that call.
46. Last Call !! —You may call too late. I have no doubt that those who would not pray when the ark was building prayed when the flood came, but their prayer was not answered. I have no doubt that when Lot went out of Sodom, Sodom cried to God, but it was too late, and God's judgment swept them from the earth. My friends, it is not too late now, but it may be at twelve o'clock to-night. I cannot find any place in this Bible where I can say you may call to-morrow. I am not justified in saying that. "Behold, now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation." Those men of Jerusalem, what a golden opportunity they had, with Christ in their midst. We see the Son of God weeping over Jerusalem, His heart bursting with grief for the city, as He cried, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem! thou that stonest the prophets, how often would I have gathered thee as a hen gathereth her brood, but ye would not." He could look down forty years, and see Titus coming with his army, and besieging that city. They called upon God then, but it was too late, and eleven hundred thousand people perished. To-night is a time of mercy. It may be I am talking to some one to-night whose days of grace may be few, to some one who may be snatched away very soon. There may be some one here to-night who may never hear another Gospel sermon; some one who may be hearing the last call. My friend, be wise tonight. Make up your mind that you will seek the kingdom of God now. "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." Christ is inviting you to come—"Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Oh, may we all find rest in Christ to-night! Do not let any thing divert your minds, but this night, this hour, make up your mind that you will not leave this hall until the great question of eternity has been settled.
47. Self-righteousness.—An artist wanted a man that would represent the prodigal. One day, he met a poor beggar, and he thought—"That man would represent the prodigal." He found the beggar ready to sit for his painting if he would pay him. The man appeared on the day appointed, but the artist did not recognize him. He said, "You made an appointment with me." "No," says the artist, "I never saw you before." "You are mistaken; you did see me, and made an appointment with me." "No, it must be some other artist. I have an appointment to meet a beggar here at this hour." "Well," says the beggar, "I am the man." "You the man?" "Yes." "What have you been doing?" "Well, I thought I would get a new suit of clothes before I got painted." "Well," says the artist, "I don't want you;" he would not have him then. And so if you are coming to God, come just as you are. Do not go and put on some garments of yours, and think the Lord will accept you because you have some good thoughts and desires.
48. Cokversion Of Children.—I was urging the early conversion of children in a meeting, and an old man got up at the close and said, "I want to endorse every word. Sixteen years ago I was in a heathen country, a missionary, and my wife died and left three little children. On the Sabbath after her death my eldest girl came to me and said, 'Papa, shall I take the children into the bedroom and pray with them as mother used to?'" The mother was dead, and little Nellie, ten years old, wanted to follow in her footsteps. The father said yes, and she led them off to the chamber to pray. When they came out he noticed that they had been weeping, and asked what about. "Well, father," said the little girl, "I prayed just as mother taught me, and then"—naming her little brother—"he prayed the prayer that mother taught him; but little Susie, she was too young, mother had not taught her a prayer, so she made a prayer of her own, and I could not help but weep to hear her pray." "Why," said the father, "what did she say?" "Why she put up her little hands, and closed her eyes, and said, 'O God, you have come and taken nway my dear mamma, and I have no mamma to pray for me now— won't you please make me good just as my dear mamma was, for Jesus' sake, Amen;'" and God heard that prayer. That little child before she was four years old gave evidence of being a child of God, aud for sixteen years she was in that heathen country leading little children to the Lamb of God that taketh away the siu of the world.
49. The Dying Soldier's Eoll-call.—A soldier lay on his dying couch during our last war, and they heard him say "Here!" They asked him what he wanted, aud he put up his hand and said, "Hush! they are calling the roll of heaven, and I am answering to my name," and presently he whispered, "Here!" and he was gone.
50. Faith Then Works.—You cannot do any thing to please God until you believe. Suppose I should say to my little girl, "Emma, go and get me a glass of water," and she was to say, "I don't want to do it, papa." She goes into another room and some one gives her a cluster of grapes, which she decides to give to her papa. Do you think these grapes would be acceptable if she did not want to get the water? I should say, "I do not want the grapes until you have brought the water." She goes out of
the room again, and some one gives her an orange. If she brought the orange to me, do you think I should want it? no, and that child cannot do any thing to please me until I get the water. You cannot please God until you believe on His Son.
51. A Mother's Love.—In the time of the Californian gold fever a man went to the diggings, and left his wife to follow him some time afterwards. While on her voyage with her little boy the vessel caught fire, and as there was a powder magazine on board the captain knew when the flames reached it the ship would be blown up. The fire could not be got under, so they took to the life-boats, but there was not room for all. As the last boat pushed off the mother and boy stood on the deck. One of the sailors said there was room for another. What did the mother do ?—she gave up her boy. She kissed him, and told him if he lived to see his father to tell him she died to save her boy. Do you think when that boy grew up he could fail to love that mother who died to save him? My friends, this is a faint type of what Christ has done for you and me.
52. "Jesus Pays It All."—When Kev. Mr. Arnot was pastor of a church in Glasgow he heard of a woman in trouble. She could not pay her debts and she could not pay her rent; so he went round to her house thinking he would help her. He knocked at the door twice but no one came. He knocked the third time very loud but all was still. After waiting he made a great noise and at last left the house. Some days after he met the woman in the street, and said, "I was at your house the other day. I heard you were in trouble and went to help you." "Was that you? I was in the house but I thought it was the landlord come for the rent and as I had not got the money I kept the door locked." That woman represents the sinner. A sinner thinks God is coming to demand something. God comes to give and bless. Jesus comes to pay the debt.
53. Unity Through Christ.—The blood of Christ makes us one. During the days of slavery in America, when there was much political strife and strong prejudice against the black men, especially by Irishmen, I heard a preacher say when he came to the cross for salvation he found a poor negro on the right hand, and an Irishman on the left hand, and the blood came trickling down upon them and made them one. There may be strife in the world, but every one Christ has redeemed He has made one. We are blood relatives.
54. The Pkecious Blood.—During the American war a doctor heard a man saying, "Blood, blood, blood!" The doctor thought this was because he had seen so much blood, and sought to divert his mind. The man smiled, and said, "I wasn't thinking of the blood upon the battle-field, but I was thinking how precious the blood of Christ is to mo as I am dying." As he died, his lips quivered, "Blood, blood, blood!" and he was gone. It will be precious when we come to our dying bed—it will be worth more than all the world then.
55. Julian Conquered.—It is said of Julian, the apostate in Rome, that when he was trying to stamp out Christianity, he was pierced in the side by au arrow. He pulled the arrow out, and taking a handful of blood as it flowed from the wound, threw it into the air, shouting, "Thou Galilean, Thou hast conquered!"
56. Cookman's Triumph.—You may have read of that good man in America, Alfred Cookman. While his friends were gathered round his dying couch big face lit up, and with a shout of triumph, he said, "I am sweeping through the gates, washed in the blood of the Lamb!" And this echoes and re-echoes through America to-day, "I am sweeping through the gates, washed in the blood of the Lamb!"
57. Christ And Hypocrites.—Some people say, "I have no doubt about the Word of God, but there are some men in the church that ought not to be there; therefore, I do not purpose to go into the church." I am not asking you to come into the church—not but what I believe in churches; but I am asking you to the marriage supper of the Lamb. But you say, here are some hypocrites. "Here is a man up here in one of the churches that cheated me but of £5 a few years ago, and you are not going to catch ine in the company of hypocrites." Well, my friend, if you want to get out of the company of hypocrites, you had better get out of the world as quick as you can. One of the twelve apostles turned out to be a hypocrite, and there is no doubt there will be hypocrites in the church to the end of time. But "what is that to thee?" says Christ to Peter; "follow thou Me." We do not ask you to follow hypocrites, we ask you to follow Christ; we do not ask you to believe in hypocrites, we ask you to believe in Christ. Another thing, if you want to get out of the company of hypocrites you had better make haste and come to Christ. There will be no hypocrites at the marriage supper of the Lamb; they will all be in hell, and you will be there with them if you do not make haste and come to Christ.
58. I Don't Feel Right.—There is a class who say, "I would like to come to Christ, but I do not feel." That is the very worst and the most common excuse we have. I wish sometimes the word could be abolished—feel, feel. Supposing my friend Mr. Stone should invite me to his house to dinner, and I say, ''I would like to go very much, but I don't know as I feel right." "Well," he says, "what do you mean? Don't you want to go to my house?" "Oh, yes, I want to go." Men say—" Oh, yes, we want to be saved." "What do you mean, Mr. Moody? Do you mean that you do not know as you will be well to-morrow? Do you think you will be sick?" "Oh, no. I expect to be well to-morrow if I live." "Well, what do you mean by feeling?" "Well, I do not know just how I'll feel. I would like to go to your house to dinner to-morrow, but I don't know as I will feel just right." "I don't understand you, Mr. Moody; I am not talking about feeling; I invite you to come to my house to dinner." "Well, I would like to come very much, but the fact is I do not know how I will feel to-morrow." I can imagine my friend Mr. Stone saying, "What has come over Moody? I asked him to my house to dinner, and he says he would like to come, but he does not know as he will feel right, and he talked about feeling all the time." That is the way people talk now. You talk to them about coming to the kingdom of God, and they say, "I do not know as I feel just right."
69. Heaven A Reality.—I believe heaven is a city quite as real as London is. What we want is to make heaven real, and hell real, and God real, and Christ real, and then live as if we believed these things to be real
60. What God Wasts.—I heard of an Englishman that when the Lord converted him, had a great desire to see every man converted. So he went into one town, and gave notice that he would preach. It got noised round that the man was rich, so he had a great audience the first night, but, the next night hardly any one was there. Then he got out placards, and stated that if any mau in that town owed any debt, if they would come round to his office between nine and twelve o'clock on a certain day, he would pay the debt. That went through the town like wild-fire. One said to the other, "John, do you believe that?" "No, I am not going to believe that any stranger is going to pay our debts." The day came, and at nine o'clock the man was there. At ten o'clock none had come. At eleven o'clock a man was seen walking up and down, and finally he stuck his head in the door and said, "Is it true that you will pay any man's debt?" "Yes; do you owe any debt?" "Yes." "Have you brought the necessary papers?" "Yes." So the man drew a check and paid the other's debt, and he kept him and talked with him till twelve o'clock; and before twelve o'clock two other men came and got their debts paid. At twelve o'clock that man let them out, and the people outside said to them, "He paid your debts, did not he?" "Yes, he did," they answered. The people laughed and made fun of~ them, and would not believe it till they pulled out the check, and said, "There it is. He has paid all the debt." Then the people said, "What fools we were, we did not go in and get our debts paid!" But they could not; it was too late; the door was closed. Then the man preached the Gospel, and great crowds went to hear him; and he said, "Now, my friends, that is what God wants to do, but you will not let Him do it. Christ came to pay our debts, and that is the Gospel."
61. God's Omnipresence.—God is here, the same as we say the sun has been shining to-day, but it is 95,000,000 of miles away, and so God may be here, but at the same time God is a Person. God has a dwelling-place, God has a home, God has a throne.
62. Seeing Jesus.—One Christian asked another what he expected to do when he got to heaven, and he said he expected to take one good long look of about 500 years at Christ, and then he would want to see Paul and Peter and John and the rest of the disciples. Well, it seems to me one glimpse of Christ will pay us for all that we are called upon to endure here—to see the King in His beauty, to be in the presence of the King.
63. The Beauty or Heaven.—I read of a little child whose mother was sick, and the child was not old enough to understand about the sickness of the mother. It was taken away, and when the mother died, they thought they would rather have the child remember its mother as she was when she was well, and so they did not take her back till after the mother was buried. They brought the child home and she ran into the drawing-room to meet her mother, and her mother was not there. The little thing was disappointed, and ran into all the rooms, but could not find her mother. She began to cry, and asked them to send her back; she did not want to stay; home had lost its attraction because mother -was not there. What is going to make heaven so delightful? It won't be the pearly gates; it won't be the jasper walls; but it will be that we shall see the King in His beauty, and shall behold Him, and not only Him, but those that have gone before us.
64. Talking About Heaven.—I was going to a meeting some time ago, and a friend said to me on my way, "What is your subject?" I told him I should talk about heaven. I noticed a scowl on his forehead, and said, " What makes you look in that way?" He said he was in hopes I was going to give them something practical, that there would be time enough to talk about heaven when we got there. But there is a passage in Timothy which says that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine," and if God did not want us to talk about and think about heaven He would not have so much written about it. And I think if people talked more about heaven they would have more of a desire to go there.
65. Our Name In Heaven.—Two years ago a friend of mine that was in London was going back to America. She went to Liverpool with a party of American friends, and they were talking about what hotel they would stop at, and decided to go to the NorthWestern. The hotel was full, and as they were starting to find another, they said to my friend, "Are not you going with us?" My friend said, "No, I am going to stay here." "Oh, no," they said, "you cannot stay here." But my friend said, "I am going to stay." "How is it?" "I have got a room." "Where did you get it?" "Why, I sent my name on ahead." She had telegraphed a few days before and secured a room. And that is just what the children of God are doing now; they are sending their names on ahead and getting them down in the Book of Life. They are not waiting for the dying minute.
66. Reconciliation.—There was an Englishman who had an only son who was very headstrong. Father and son quarrelled. The father said he wished the son would leave home and never come back. The boy said he would go and not come to the father's house again till he sent for him. The father said he never would send for him. Away went the boy. But when a father gives up a boy a mother does not. The mother of the boy wrote and plead with him to write to his father first and his father would forgive him; but the boy said, "I will never go home till father asks me." She plead to the father but the father said, "No, I will never ask him." At last the mother, broken-hearted, was sick and given up by the physicians to die. Her husband, anxious to gratify her last wish, wanted to know if he could do any thing for her. She said, "Yes, you can seud for my boy." "Well," said the father. "I will send word to him that you want to see him." "No," she says, "If ever I see him you must send for him." So the father wrote and the boy came home to his dying mother. When he opened the door he found his mother dying and his father by the bedside. The father looked up and saw his son but refused to speak with him. The mother kissed her boy and said, "Now, my son, just speak to your father." But the boy said, "No, mother, I will not speak to him until he speaks to me." She took her husband's hand and her boy's and spent her dying moments striving to reconcile them. As she was expiring she could not speak, so she put the hand of the wayward boy into the hand of the father and passed away. The boy looked at the mother, and the father at the wife, and at last the father's heart broke, and he took that boy to his bosom, and by that body they were reconciled. Sinner, that is only a faint type, a poor illustration, because God is not angry with you. God gives you Christ, and I bring you to-night to the dead body of Christ. I ask you to look at the wounds in His hands and feet, and the wound in His side. And I ask you, "Will you not be reconciled?"
67. The Bible And Sceptics.—Supposing I should send my little boy to school to-morrow morning, and when he came home I should say, "Can you read, write, spell? Do you understand all about arithmetic, geometry, algebra?" The little fellow would look at me, and say, "Why, what do you talk in that way for? I have been trying all day to learn the A B C." Supposing I replied, "If you have not finished your education you need not go to the school any more." Well, there is about as much sense in that as in the way that infidels talk about the Bible. They take it up, read a chapter, and say, "Oh, it is so dark and mysterious we cannot understand it."
68. The Blood Covers Sin.—In Ireland, some time ago, a teacher asked a little boy if there was any thing that God could not do; and the little fellow said, "Yes; He cannot see my sins through the blood of Christ." That is just what He cannot do. The blood covers them.
69. "OuT or Purgatory."—I am told that at Home, if you go up a few steps on your hands and knees, that is nine years out of purgatory. If you take one step now you are out of purgatory for time and eternity.
70. Safety By The Cross.—In our western country in the autumn, when there has not been for months any rain, sometimes the prairie catches fire, and the flames just roll along twenty feet high over that western desert, at the rate of thirty or forty miles an hour, consuming man and beast. When the frontiersmen see it coming, what do they do? They know they cannot run as fast as the fire can run. Not the fleetest horse can escape from that fire. They take a match and light the grass around them and let the flames sweep, and then they get into the burnt district and stand safe. They hear the flames roar, they see death coming towards them; but they do not fear, they do not tremble, because the fire has passed over the place where they are, and there is no danger. There ia one mountain peak that the wrath of God has swept over; that is Mount Calvary, and that fire spent its fury upon the bosom of the Son of God. Take your stand by the cross, and you will be safe for time and eternity.
71. Faith Not Ebason.—I heard of some commercial travellers who went to hear a man preach. They came back to the hotel, and were sitting in the smoking-room, and they said the minister did not appeal to their reason, and they would not believe any thing they could not reason out. An old man sitting there listening, said to them, "You say you won't believe any thing you can't reason out?" "No, we won't." The old man said, "As I was coming on the train, I noticed some sheep and cattle and swine and geese, eating grass. Now, can you tell me by what process that same grass was turned into feathers, hair, bristles, and wool?" "Well, no, we can't just tell you that." "Do you believe it is a fact?" "Oh, yes, it is a fact." '" I thought you said you would not believe any thing you could not reason out?" "Well, we can't help believing that; we see it with our eyes." "Well," said the old man, "I can't help but believe in regeneration, and a man being converted, although I cannot explain how God converted him."
72. The Blood Cleanseth.—There is no condemnation to him that is in Christ Jesus. You may just pile up your sins till they rise up like a dark mountain, and then multiply them by ten thousand for those you cannot think of; and after you have tried to enumerate all the sins you have ever committed, just let me bring one verse in, and then that mountain will melt away: "The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin."
73. A Gift Refused.—Suppose I was going over London Bridge and saw a poor, miserable beggar with no rags hardly to cover his nakedness, and right behind him was the Prince of Wales with a bag of gold, and the poor beggar was running away from him, and the Prince was hallooing, " Oh, beggar here is a bag of gold!" Sinner that is jour condition. The Prince of Heaven wants to give you eternal life and you are running away from Him.
74. Morality Will Not Save.—Nicodemus stood very bigh; he wfts one of the church dignitaries; he stood as high as any man in Jerusalem, except the high-priest himself. He belonged to the seventy rulers of the Jews; he was a doctor of divinity, and taught the law. There is not one word of Scripture against him; he was a man that stood out before the whole nation as of pure and spotless character. What does Christ say to him? "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
75. Satan In Church.—Many say, "Oh, yes, I am a Christian, I go to church every Sabbath." There is no one who goes to church so regularly as Satan. He is always there before the minister and the last one out of church. There is not a church, or a chapel, but he is a regular attendant of it. The idea that he is only in slums, and lanes, and public houses, is a false one.
76. Death Without Chkist.—A stage-driver away on the Pacific coast—as I was told when I was there about three years ago—while lying on his dying bed, kept moving one of his feet up and down, saying, "I am on tbe down grade, and cannot reach the brake." As they told me of it I thought how many were on the down grade and could not reach the brake, and were dying without God and without hope.
77. Christians Asleep.—A father took his little child out into the field one Sabbath, and lay down under a beautiful shady tree. The little child ran about gathering wild flowers and little blades of grass, and coming to its father and saying, "Pretty! pretty!" At last the father fell asleep, and while he was sleeping, the little child wandered away. When he awoke, his first thought was, "Where is my child?" He looked all around, but he could not see him. Running to a little hill, he looked around and shouted, but all he heard was the echo of his own voice. Then going to a precipice at some distance, he looked down, and there upon the rocks and briers, he saw the mangled form of his loved child. He rushed to the spot, took up the lifeless corpse and hugged it to his bosom, and accused himself of being the murderer of his own child. While he was sleeping his child had wandered over the precipice. I thought as I heard that, what a picture of the Church of God! How many fathers and mothers, how many Christian men, are sleeping now while their children wander over the terrible precipice, right into the bottomless pit of hell.
78. "!'m Glad She's rsr Heaven."—I was attending a Sabbath-school convention in a little town, where a stranger took me into his house. I said, "Have you no children?" He said no; he had one, but she was in heaven, and he said he was glad of it. I said, "Glad that your only child is dead?" "Yes," he said. "How is that? Was she deformed, or was any thing wrong with her?" "No, she was as perfect as could be ;" and he brought me a portrait of a beautiful girl, with golden curls falling clown her neck, more like an angel than a child. I asked how old she was. "Seven." "What do you mean by saying you are glad she is in heaven?" "Well," said he, "I worshipped that child, I was making money for my child, and every Sunday I spent hours with her; she was the idol of my heart, but I did not know it. One day I found my child sick. In a few days she died, and I accused God of being unjust, and refused to be reconciled. I would have torn God from His throne if I could. For three days and nights I neither ate, nor drank, nor slept. I was almost mad. On the third day I buried her, and when I came home, as I walked up and down the room, I thought I heard the voice of my little one; but then I thought, 'No, that voice is hushed forever.' Then I thought T heard her little feet coming towards me, but then I said, 'No, I shall never hear those little feet again.' At last I threw myself on my bed, and began to weep. Nature gave way, and I fell asleep. I had a dream. I thought I was crossing a waste, barren field, and I came to a river that looked so cold and dark and dreary that I drew back from it; but, looking across, I saw the most beautiful land my eyes had ever rested upon. Then I saw a company on the other side, and among them my darling child. She came to the bank of the river, and waving her little angel hand, said, 'Father, come right this way; it is so beautiful here.' I then went to the water's edge, and thought I would plunge in, but it was too deep for me—I could not swim. I thought I would give any thing to cross. I tried to find a boat, but there was no ferryman. I looked for a bridge, but there was none; and while I was wandering up and down the little angel voice came across the stream, 'Come right this way, father; it is beautiful here!' All at once I heard a voice as if it came from heaven, saying, 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.' The voice awoke me from sleep. I thought it was God calling me, and that if I would ever see my child again I must come to God through Jesus Christ. That uight I knelt beside my bed and gave myself to God. Now I no longer look upon my child as sleeping in her grave, but I see her with the eye of faith in that beautiful land, and every night when I lie down I hear her sweet voice saying, ' Come right this way, father,' and every morning I hear her repeating the same words. Now my wife is converted. I am superintendent of the Sabbath-school, and eight children have been converted, and I am trying to get as many converted as I can to go with me to that beautiful land."
79. Chkist First.—Before I left the farm, I was talking one day to a man who was working there, and who was weeping. I said to him, "What is the trouble?" And he told me a very strange story. When he started in life, he left his native village, and went to another town to find something to do, and was unsuccessful. The first Sabbath he went to a little church, and the minister preached from this text: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God ; " and he thought the text and the sermon were for himself. He wanted to get rich, and when he was settled in life he would seek the kingdom of God. He went on, and the next Sabbath he was in another village. It was not long before he heard another minister preach from the same text, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God." He thought surely some one must have been speaking to the minister about him. For the minister just pictured him out. But he said when he got settled in life, and had control of his time, and was his own master, he would then seek the kingdom of God. Some time after he was at another village, and he went to church again, and he had not been going a great while when he heard the third minister preach from the same text: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all things else shall be added." He said it went right down into his soul ; but he calmly and deliberately made up his mind that he would not become a Christian until he had got settled in life, and owned, his farm. This man said, "Now I am what the world calls rich. I go to church every Sunday, but I have never heard a sermon from that day to this which has ever made any impression upon my heart. My heart is as hard as a stone." As he said that tears trickled down his cheek. I was a young man and did not know what it meant. AVhen I was converted I thought when I should go back home I would see this man, and preach Christ to him. When I went back home I said to my widowed mother, naming this man, "Is he still living in the same place?" My mother said, "He is gone mad and has been taken away to the insane asylum, and every one that goes to see him he points his finger at and says, 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God.'" I thought I should like to see him but he was so far gone it would do no good. The next time I went home he was at his home idiotic. I went to see him. When I went in I said, "Do you know me?" He pointed his finger at me and said, "Young man, seek ye first the kingdom of God." God had driven the text into his mind but his reason was gone. Three years ago, when I visited my father's grave I noticed a new stone had been put up. I stopped and found it was my friend's. The autumn wind seemed whispering the text, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God."
80. The Fatal Ism.—When every child that belongs to the Lord is willing to speak for Him, is willing to work for Him, and, if need be, willing to die for Him, then Christianity will advance, and we shall see the work of the Lord prosper. I fear more than any thing else, the dead, cold formalism of the Church of God.
Talk about the false wms/ There is none so dangerous as this dead, cold formalism which has come right into the heart of the Church. So many of us just sleep while souls all around are perishing.
81. The Mountains Of Unbelief.—A few years ago there was a little story going through the American religious press that touched my heart as a father. It was about the death of a little boy. The mother thought her little boy was safe in the arms of Jesus; but one day she came into his room, and he said, as he was looking out of the window, "Mother, what are those mountains that I see yonder?" The mother said, "Eddie, there is no mountain in sight of the house." "Don't you see them, mother?" said he; "they're so high and so dark. Eddie has got to cross those mountains. Won't you take him in your arms aud carry him over?" The mother said, "Eddie, I would if I could, but I cannot." Now, there is a time coming when your friends cannot help you. When you come to the mountain, if you have not Christ, you must take that journey alone, for there will be no one to help you then. The mother prayed with that little boy. Then she said, "Eddie, you must take your eyes off your mother. You must have your eyes upon Jesus. He will help you." The mother again prayed with him, and tried to get his little mind off from the dark mountain. All at once he said, "Mother, hark! don't you hear them call?" "Hear who, Eddie?" "Don't you see the angels just ou the other side of the mountain? They are calling for me. Take me, mother, and carry me over the mountain." The mother said again, "Why, my boy, I cannot go with you; but Christ will be with you. He will take you safe over the mountains if you trust Him." Again the mother prayed for her little boy. At length he closed his eyes and he prayed, "Lord Jesus, be with me, and take me over the mountains." Then he opened his little eyes, and said, "Good-by, mamma; Jesus is coming to carry me over the mountains ;" and the little sufferer was gone. Sinner, Christ will carry you over the mountains of unbelief, if you will only let Him.