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.
82. Thanksgiving.-—One reason why we don't have more answers to our prayers is because we are not thankful enough. The Divine injunction is, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God." Some one has well said there are three things in this verse: careful for nothing—prayerful for every thing—-thankful for any thing.
83. Judas' Kiss.—Judas got near enough to Christ to kiss Him, and yet went down to damnation.
84. Three Steps To Hell.—There are three steps to the lost world. The first is Neglect. All a man has to do is to neglect salvation and that will take him to the lost world. I am on a swift river, and lying in the bottom of my little boat; all I have to do is to fold my arms and the current will carry me out to sea. All a man has to do in the current of life is to fold his arms and he will drift on and bo lost. The second step is Refusal. The last step is to Despise the love of Christ.
85. Pray! Don't Argue!—Spend no time in arguments. I believe that is a work of the devil to cause delay. If a man comes to argue we should go on our knees, pray with him, and then let him go. Job never fell until he got into an argument with his friends; he could stand his boils, and all his other afflictions, better than an argument.
86. Guard Against Self-confidence.—Many of the Bible characters fell just in the things in which they were thought to be strongest. Moses failed iu his humility, Abraham in his faith, Elijah iu his courage—for one woman scared him away to that juniper tree; and Peter, whose strong point was boldness, was so frightened by a maid as to'deny his Lord.
87. Continuous Effort.—There are some who say, "We don't have any sympathy with these special efforts"; and I sympathize with that objection. I believe it is the privilege of the child of God to make continuous efforts for the salvation of others, every day throughout the year.
88. "Let Your Light Shine."—A friend of mine was walking along the streets one dark night, when he saw a man coming along with a lantern. As he came up close to him, he noticed by the bright light that the man had no eyes. He went past him; but the thought struck him, "Surely that man is blind!" He turned round and said, "My friend, are you not blind?" "Yes," was the answer. "Then what have you got the lantern for?" "I carry the lantern," said the blind man, "that people may not stumble over me." Let us hold up our light, burning with the clear radiance of heaven, that men may not stumble over us.
89. Under The Juniper Tree.—-There is a large class of people who are always looking upon the dark side. Some time ago I myself got under the juniper tree. In those days I used to fish all night, and catch nothing. One of the workers in our Mission came in to see me one Monday morning,'full of joy, saying what a good Sunday he had. "Well," said I, "I am glad you have had a good day; but I have had a very bad one." He knew I had been in trouble of mind and so he said, "Did you ever study Noah?" "No," said I; "I have read about him, but I don't know that I have ever studied him." "Well." said he, "study him. It will do you good." So I began to study Noah, and I found out that he preached for a hundred and twenty years without making a single convert "That is a good deal worse than my case," thought I; and that made me feel better at once. That day I went down to the noon prayer-meeting, and one poor sinner rose and asked us to pray for him. "What would old Noah have given for that?" thought I. I tell you, what we want is perseverance.
90. Send Any Body But Me.—There are but few now that say, "Here am I, Lord; send me": the cry now is, "Send some one else. Send the minister, send the church officers, the church-wardens, the elders; but not me. I have not got the ability, the gifts, or the talents." Ah! honestly say you have not got the heart; for if the heart is loyal, God can use you. It is really all a matter of heart. It does not take God a great while to qualify a man for his work, if he only has the heart for it.
91. Distance Disenchanting.—When men going up in a balloon have ascended a little height, things down here begin to look very small indeed. What had seemed very grand and imposing, now seem as mere nothings; and the higher they rise the smaller every thing on earth appears—it gets fainter and fainter as they rise, till the railway train, dashLibrary of the
UNION THEOLOGICAL SEMINAR'
ing along at fifty miles an hour, seems like a thread, and scarcely appears to be moving at all, and the grand piles of buildings seem now like mere dots. So it is when we get near heaven: earth's treasures, earth's cares, look very small.
92. To-morrow.—Look at poor old Pharaoh down there in Egypt, when the plague of frogs was on him. What an awful time he must have had! Frogs in the fields, and frogs in the houses; frogs in the bedrooms, and frogs in the kneading-troughs. When the king went to bed, a frog would jump on to his face; when he cut into a loaf of bread, there was a frog in the middle of it. Nothing but frogs everywhere! Frogs, frogs, frogs! He stood it as long as he could; and then he sent for Moses, and begged him to take them away. "When would yon like to have me do it?" says Moses. Now just listen to what he says. You would think he would say, Now! this minute! I have had them long enough! But he says, " To-morrow." Kept the frogs another day, when he might have got rid of them at once! That is just like you, sinner. You say yon want to be saved; but you are willing to keep your hateful, hideous sins till to-morrow, instead of being rid of them now.
93. A Book or Wonders.—A man once wanted to Bell me a "Book of Wonders." I took it and looked it over, and could not find any thing in it about Calvary. "What a mistake! A book of wonders—and the greatest wonder of all left out!
94 Repentance.—What is repentance? Some one says it is a "godly sorrow for sin." But I tell you a man can't have a godly sorrow, or a godly any thing else, till after he repents. Repentance means right-about-face!' Some one says, "Man is born with his back towards God, and repentance is turning square round."
95. A Lie Six Thousand Years Old.—One of the greatest lies that has come out of the pit of hell is that Christ is a hard Master. It is a lie, and has been so from the foundation of the world. Oh, young man, I beg of you, do not believe the devil when he says that God is a hard Master. It is false, my friends; and to-night let me brand that excuse as one of the devil's own lies, that he has been retailing up and down the earth for six thousand years.
96. Tied To The World.—I once heard of two men, who, under the influence of liquor, came down one night to where their boat was tied; they wanted to return home, so they got in and began to row. They pulled away hard all night, wondering why they never got to the other side of the bay. When the gray dawn of morning broke, behold, they had never loosed the mooring line or raised the anchor! And that's just the way with many who are striving to enter the kingdom of heaven. They cannot believe, because they are tied to this world.
97. Laziness Not Leanness.—A good many people are complaining all the time about themselves, and crying out — " My leanness! my leanness!" when they- ought rather to say, "My laziness! my laziness!"
98. "CoME To Christ Chain And All."—In the North there was a minister talking to a man in the inquiry room. He said, "My heart is so hard, it seems as if it was chained; and I cannot coine." "Ah!" said the minister, "come to Christ, chain and all"; and he just came to Christ, and Christ snapped the fetters, and set him free right there.
99. The Teetotaler.—There was a soldier down in Tennessee when I was there—a great, strong, hearty fellow, who was a teetotaler. One day, when the army was going on a long march, a man offered him a drink of whiskey.
"I am a teetotaler," was his reply.
"Never mind that. You're in the army now; besides, you need some stimulant to help you on this long march."
Taking out a pocket Bible, he held it up before the face of his tempter, and said—
"That is all the stimulant I want."
100. Crownless Saints.—I have an idea there arc thousands of crownless saints in heaven. They just barely get in at the doors. They have, indeed, been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; but there is no reward for them. They have sought their own ease in this world; they have not sought to work for Christ here below; therefore, though admitted to heaven, they enjoy no distinguished reward. "They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever." But none of those that have lost heart, and have given up working for the Master here, will shine as the stars, or receive the great reward hereafter. For those careless ones there is no bright glory, no place near the throne; they have just got in at the gates—that's all!
101. Christ The Ark.—When I was in Manchester, I went into the gallery one Sunday night, to have a talk with a few inquirers; and while I was talking, a business man came in, and took his seat on the outskirts of the audience. I think, at first, he had come merely to criticise, and that he was a little sceptical. At last I saw he was in tears. I turned to him, and said, "My friend, what is your difficulty?" "Well," he said, "Mr. Moody, the fact is, I cannot tell." I said, "Do you believe you are a sinner?" He said, "Yes; I know that." I said, "Christ is able to save you"; and I used one illustration after another, but he did not see it. At last I thought of the ark, and I said: "Was it Noah's feelings that saved him? Was it Noah's righteousness that saved him, or was it the ark?" "I see it, now," said he; "I see it." He got up and shook hands with me, and said: "Good-night: I must go. I was determined to be saved before I went. I see it now."
A few days after, he came and touched me on the shoulder, and said, "Do you know me?" I said, "I know your face, but do not remember where I have seen you." He said, "Do you not remember the illustration of the ark?" I said, "Yes." "It has been all light ever since," said he. "I understand it now. Christ is the Ark; He saves me."
102. Conversion Instantaneous.—I can imagine some of you saying; "I do not see how a man is really gt>ing to be converted all at once." Let me give you an illustration. There are two soldiers. Now, if you bring those soldiers up to this platform, and ask them how they became soldiers, they will tell you this—that one moment they were citizens, and the next minute soldiers. What was it that made them soldiers? It was when they took the Queen's shilling. The moment they received that shilling they ceased to be citizens, and they became soldiers. Before they received that shilling they could go where they pleased; the next minute they came under the government and under the regulations of the army, and they must go where Queen Victoria sends them. They did not have to wait for the uniform. The minute they received the shilling they became soldiers. What made them soldiers? Receiving the shilling. What makes a man a Christian? Receiving Christ. "He came unto His own, and His own received Him not: but as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God."
103. Christ Our Substitute.—There is a story told of Napoleon, that, when he sent out a draft for recruits, a man was drafted who didn't want to go into the army; but he had a friend who thought a good deal of him, and this friend offered to go in his place. He was taken. A battle was fought, and the man way killed and buried on the field. Some time afterwards another draft was made, and by a mistake this man, whose substitute the other nad been, was drafted the second time. When they went to take him, he said:
"You cannot take me."
"I am dead."
"You are not."
"Yes, I am. I died at such a battle, and you will find me buried on such a battle-field."
The man declared that he was dead, and they declared that he was alive.
"See if I was not drafted at such and such a time." They looked, and found that he had been drafted; and found another name against his: and then they said that he had got a substitute.
"I know that," said he; "and he died for me, and you cannot take me."
They said they would take him, and they did. Upon this he appealed to the emperor, who decided they could not take him, for another man had died in his place.
There were hundreds of such cases during our war, where men bought substitutes; and others served through love—the father for the son, and the son for the father, and brothers for brothers. One wealthy man hired another to go to the war for him, and he was killed. The wealthy man went down South, and built a monument over his substitute's grave; and on it he put this inscription: "HE Died For Me." Ah! my friends, go to the tomb of Jesus, and say over it, "He died for me." Yea, you can go further, and say, "He rose for me, and He is at the right hand of God for me; and I have life in Him, and the hope of eternal glory. Death cannot touch my spiritual nature; I am safe for time and eternity."
104. The Last Night.—A little while ago, in one of the mining districts of England a young man attended one of our meetings, and refused to go from the place till he had found the Saviour. The next day he went down into the pit and the coal fell in upon him; and when they took him out he was bruised and mangled and had but a few moments to live. His last words were. "It was a good thing I settled it last night."
105. An Egyptian Legend.—There is a legend told in reference to that night on which the Lord slew the first-born of the Egyptians; and it runs thus: There was a little child, the first-born in the house of an Israelite; and you know God said that, iu every house where the blood was not upon the door-post, the first-born should be smitten by death. This little girl was sick, but she was afraid that the blood was not upon the door-post; so she asked her father if he was sure he had put the blood upon the door-post; and the father said, "Yes, he was quite sure: he had ordered it to be done." But the little girl said the second time, "Father, are you quite sure that the blood is there?" "Yes, my child," answered the father; "be quiet, and sleep." But the child could not sleep. She was very sick and very restless; and as night came on, and it grew darker and darker, and nearer and nearer to the time when the angel should pass over Goshen, she got still more nervous and restless and uneasy; and at last she said, "Father, take me in your arms and let me see the blood upon the door-post"; and the father, to satisfy the child, took her to the door to show her the blood; and lo and behold! it was not there: the man to whom he had given instructions had forgotten to do it. And then the father, in the sight of the child, had the blood put upon the doorpost, and the child lay down and went to sleep.
106. The Deep Pit.—Did any of you ever go down into a coal-pit, fifteen hundred or two thousand feet, right down into the bowels of the earth? If you have, don't you know that it would be sheer madness to try to climb up the steep sides of that shaft and so get out of the pit? Of course, you couldn't leap out of it; in fact, you couldn't get out of it at all by yourself. But I'll tell you this—you could get out of a coal-pit fifteen hundred feet deep a good deal quicker than you can get out of the pit thai Adam took you into. When Adam went down into it, he took the whole human family with him. But the Lord can take us out.
107. A Vast Fortune.—A vast fortune was left in the hands of a minister for one of his poor parishioners. Fearing that it might be squandered if suddenly bestowed upon him, the wise minister sent him a little at a time, with a note, saying: "This is thine; use it wisely; there is more to follow!" Breth
1 ren, that's just the way God deals with us.
108. "Immediately." — Not lon'g ago, in Edinburgh, an earnest Christian lady found a woman whose feet had taken hold of hell, and who was pressing onwards to a harlot's grave. The lady begged her to go home, but she said, "no, her parents would not receive her." This Christian woman knew what a mother's heart was. So she wrote a letter to the mother, telling her how she had met her daughter, who was sorry and wanted to return. The next post brought an answer back, and on the envelope was written, "Immediately—immediately!" They opened the letter: yes, she was forgiven. They wanted her back, and they sent money for her to come immediately. That is what the great and loving God is saying to every wandering sinner— immediately.
109. Backsliders.—The devil has told you that God won't have any thing to do with you. because you have wandered away. If that is true, there would be very few men in heaven. David backslid; Abraham and Jacob turned away from God; I do not believe there is a saint in heaven but at some time of his life, with his heart has backslidden from God. Perhaps not in his life, but in his heart. The prodigal's heart got into the far country before his body got there.
110. O O.—When I was in England in 1867, there was a merchant who came over from Dublin, and was talking with a business man in London; and as I happened to look in, ho introduced me to the man from Dublin. Alluding to me, the latter said to the former, "Is this young man all O O?" Said the London man, "What do you mean by O O?" Replied the Dublin man, "la he Out and Out for Christ,?" I tell you it burned down into my soul. It means a good deal to be O O for Christ.
111. A Lost Life.—A young man lay dying, and his mother thought he was a Christian. One day, passing his room door, she heard him say, "Lost! lost! lost!" The mother ran into the room and cried, "My boy, is it possible you have lost your hope in Christ, now you are dying?" "No, mother, it is not that; I have a hope beyond the grave, but I have lost my life. I have lived twenty-four years, and done nothing for the Son of God, and now I am dying. My life has been spent for myself; I have lived for this world, and now, while I am dying, I have given myself to Christ; but my life is lost."
112. Professing Christians.—There are a great many in the Church who make one profession, and that is about all you hear of them; and when they come to die you have to go and hunt up some musty old church records, to know whether they were Christians or not. God won't do that.
113. What The Prodigal Lost!—Did you ever notice what the prodigal lost? He lost his food. That is what every poor backslider loses. They get no manna from heaven. They see no beauty in the Word of God.
Then the prodigal lost his work. They made him take care of swine; that was all loss for a Jew. So every backslider loses his work. He cannot do'anj thing for God; he cannot work for eternity.
The prodigal also lost his testimony. Who believed him? There he stands among the swine, and some one says to another, "Look at that poor wretch." "What," he says, "do you call me a poor wretch? My father is a wealthy man; he has got more clothes in his wardrobe than you ever saw in your life. My father is a man of great wealth and position." Do you suppose these men would believe him ?" That poor wretch the son of a wealthy man!" "If he had got such a wealthy father he would go to him." So with the backsliders: the world does not believe that they are the sons of a King.
Then, the prodigal lost his home. As long as his money lasted, he was quite popular in the publichouse and among his acquaintances; he had professed friends, but as soon as his money was gone, where were his friends? That is the condition of every poor backslider.
114. An Only Daughter Lost.—Not long ago the only daughter of a wealthy friend of mine sickened and died. The father and mother stood by her dying bed. He had spent all his time in accumulat-^ ing wealth for her; she had been introduced into gay and fashionable society; but she had been taught nothing of Christ. As she came to the brink of the river of death, she said, "Won't you
help me; it is very dark, and the stream is bitter cold." They wrung their hands in grief, but could do nothing for her; and the poor girl died in darkness and despair. What was their wealth to them then?
115. Afraid or Backsliding Again.—Some say, "There would be little use of me attempting to come back. In a few days I should just be where I was again. I should like very much to go to my Father's home again, but I'm afraid I wouldn't stay there." Well, just picture this scene. The poor prodigal has got home, and the father has killed the fatted calf; and they are sitting at the table eating. His father sits opposite; he is full of joy, and his heart is leaping within him. All at once he sees his boy weeping. "My son, what are you weeping for? Are you not glad to have got home?" "Oh, yes, father; I never was so glad as I am to-day: but I am so afraid I will go back into that foreign country!" Why, you cannot imagine such a thing! When you have got one meal in your Father's house, you will never be inclined to wander away again.
116. Every Man's Biography!—Some men like to have their lives written before they die; if any of you would like to read your biography turn to the third chapter of Eomans and you will find it already written.
117. The One-point Offender.—If I have an orchard, and two apple-trees in it, which both bear some bitter apples, perfectly worthless, does it make any difference to me that the one tree has got perhaps five hundred apples, all bad, and the other only two, both bad ?" Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty uf all." Suppose you were to hang up a man to the roof with a chain of ten links; if one were to break, does it matter that the other nine are all sound and whole? Not the least. One link breaks, and down comes the man. But is it not rather hard tbat he should fall when the other nine are perfect, when only one is broken? Why, of course not; if one is broken, it is just the same to the man as if all had been broken: he falls. So the man who breaks one commandment is guilty of all. He is a criminal in God's sight.
118. The Law Our Looking-glass.—I said to my family, one morning, a few weeks before the Chicago fire, "I am coming home this afternoon to give you a ride." My little boy clapped his hands. "Oh, papa, will you take me to see the bears in Lincoln Park?" "Yes." I had not been gone long when my little boy said, "Mamma, I wish you would get me ready." At last he was ready to have the ride, face washed, and clothes all nice and clean. "Now, you must take good care and not get yourself dirty again," said mamma. It was a long time yet until the afternoon, and after a little he began to play. When I got home, I found him outside, with his face all covered with dirt. "I can't take you to the Park that way, Willie." "Why, papa? you said you would take me." "Ah, but I can't; you're all over mud. I couldn't be seen with such a dirty little boy." "Why, I'se clean, papa; mamma washed me. "Well, you've got dirty since." But he began to cry, and I could not convince him that he was dirty. "I'se clean; mamma washed me!" he cried. Do you think I argued with him? No. I just took him up in my arms, and carried him into the house, and showed him his face in the lookingglass. He could not take my word for it; but one look at the glass was enough. He didn't say he wasn't dirty after that! The looking-glass showed him that his face was dirty—but I did not take the looking-glass to wash it; of course not. Yet that is just what thousands of people do. The law is the looking-glass to see ourselves in, to show us how vile and worthless we are in the sight of God; but they take the law, and try to wash themselves with it! Man has been trying that for six thousand years, and has miserably failed. "By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight." Only one Man ever lived on the earth who could say He had kept the law, and that was the Lord Jesus Christ. But men have tried to do what He did, and have failed. Instead of sheltering under his righteousness, they have offered God their own.
119. What Are We Doing.—-There are more men worshipping the golden calf than the God of heaven. They bring before it health and happiness and peace. "Give me thirty pieces of silver, and I will sell you Christ," is the world's cry to-day. "Give me fashion, and I will sell you Christ!" "I will sacrifice my wife, my children, my life, my all, for a little drink. I will sell my soul for drink!" It is easy to blame these men for worshipping the golden calf. But what are we doing ourselves?
120. Never.—The law has never saved a single man since the world began.
121. Sinners On A Level Then.—It was my sad lot to be in the Chicago fire. As the flames rolled down our streets, destroying every thing in their onward march, I saw the great and the honorable, the learned and the wise, fleeing before the fire with the beggar, and the thief, and the harlot. All were alike. As the flames swept through the city it was like the judgment day. The mayor, nor the mighty men, nor wise men could stop these flames. They were all on a level then, and many who were worth hundreds of thousands were left paupers that night. When the day of judgment comes, there will be no difference; all sinners will suffer.
122. What The Gospel Has Undone.—No man can ever tell what the Gospel has done for him, but I think I can tell what it has undone. It has taken out of my path four of the bitterest enemies I ever had. Death, the Grave, Sin and the Judgment, have all lost their terror for me.
123. Christ's Enemies His Witnesses.—First, call the Pharisees. We know how they hated Him. Come, Pharisees, tell us what you have against the Son of God. "This man receiueth sinners." What an argument to bring against Him! Why, it is the very thing that makes us love Him. He receives sinners. If He had not, what would have become of us? Have you nothing more to bring against Him than this? "He saved others, Himself He cannot save." And so He did save others, but He could not save Himself and save us too. So He laid down his own life for yours and mine. Yes, Pharisees, you have told the truth for once in your lives !—" He saved others, Himself He cannot save."
Now, let us call upon Caiaphas. Let him stand up here in his flowing robes. "Caiaphas, you were chief priest when Christ was tried; you were president of the Sanhedrim; you were in the council-chamber when they found Him guilty; you yourself condemned Him. Tell us; what did the witnesses say? On what grounds did you judge Him?"
"He hath spoken blasphemy," says Caiaphas. "He said, 'Hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.' When I heard that, I found Him guilty of blasphemy; I rent my mantle, aud condemned Him to death." Yes, all that they had against Him was that He was the Son of God; and they slew Him for the promise of His coming for His bride.
Now, let us summon Pilate. Let him enter the witness-box. Pilate, this man was brought before you; you examined Him; you talked with Him face to face, what think ye of Christ? Says Pilate. "He said He was the King of the Jews, but I find no fault in Him." Such is the testimony of the man who examined Him! And, as he stands there, the centre of a Jewish mob, there comes along a man, elbowing his way, in haste. He rushes up to Pilate and gives him a message. He tears it open; his face turns pale as he reads—"Have thou nothing to do with this just man, for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of Him." It is from Pilate's wife—her testimony to Christ.
And now, look—in comes Judas. He ought to make a good witness. "Come, tell us, Judas, what think ye of Christ. You knew the Master well; you sold Him for thirty pieces of silver; you betrayed Him with a kiss; you saw Him perform those miracles; you were with Him in Jerusalem. What think ye of Him?" I can see him as he comes into the presence of the cbief priests; I can hear the money ring as he dashes it upon the table—" I have betrayed innocent blood!"
Let us take the centurion, who was present at the execution. "Centurion, you had charge of the executioners; you saw that the order for his death was carried out; you saw Him die; you heard Him speak upon the cross. Tell us, what think ye of Christ?" Hark! Look at him; he is smiting his breast as he cries, " Truly, this ivaa the Son of God!" I might go to the thief upon the cross, and ask what he thought of Him. At first he railed upon Him and reviled Him. But then he thought better of it. "This man hath done nothing nmiss," he says. I might go further. I might summon the very devils themselves and ask them for their testimony. Have they any thing to say of Him? Why, the very devils called Him the Son of God! In Mark we have the unclean spirit crying, "Jesus, Thou Son of the mosb High God."
124. Devils Believe.—Men say, "Oh, I believe Christ to be the Son of God, and because I believe it intellectually, I shall be saved." I tell you the devils did that. And they did more than that, they trembled.
125. Ir ?—Did you ever stop to think what would take place if God should take, at his word, every one who makes excuse?—if He were to say, "Yes, if you want to be excused from this feast, I will excuse you," and with the next stroke should sweep them all from the face of the earth? Supposing every one should be taken at their word, and laid in the arms of death, how many of your shops would be closed to-morrow; how many homes would be filled with mourning and tears? Not a publican would be left to carry on his traffic; every rum-seller wants to be excused. He knows that if he accepts of this invitation, he would have to give up his hellish trade. He could not go on making all those fatherless children, and taking the bread out of the mouth of the orphan and the widow, and be on his way to the marriage supper of the Lamb at the same time. If God did excuse them and take them away with a stroke, you would have no drunkards reeling through your streets. There would be no harlots then, for every harlot wants to be excused; she knows she has to give up her sins if she wants to be present at the supper of the Lamb. And your princely merchants, man}7 of them, would be gone. They do not want to accept the invitation, because they think if they do they cannot make money so fast. But oh, my friends, it would be a solemn time if God should take men at their word. The grass would soon be growing in the streets, and the living would be occupied in burying the dead.
126. The Origin Of Excuses.—Do you know the origin of excuses? You will find it away back in Eden. When Adam had sinned, he tried to excuse himself. "The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat." He tried to lay the blame on God, Eve tried to lay it on the serpent; and down to the present time, men and women, with one consent, begin to make excuse.
127. The Chief.—To-day Christ may be a root out of a dry ground, without form or comeliness; but He will become to you the chiefest among ten thousand, the altogether lovely, the bright, and the morning star, if you take Him as your Saviour.
128. Unitakianism Settled.—John takes up his pen, and, with one stroke, forever settles the question of Unitarianism. He goes right back before the time of Adam. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
129. The Gospel For Each.—I can imagine Peter saying, "Lord, do you really mean that we shall preach the Gospel to every creature?" "Yes, Peter." "Shall we go back to Jerusalem and preach the Gospel to those Jerusalem sinners who murdered you?" "Yes, Peter, and tarry there until you are endued with power from on high. Go search out that man who spat in my face; tell him I forgive him; there is nothing in my heart bnt love for him. Go, search out the man who put thnt cruel crown of thorns on my brow; tell him I will have a crown ready for him in my kingdom, if he will accept salvation; there shall not be a thorn in it, and he shall wear it forever and ever in the kingdom of his Redeemer. Find out that man who took the reed from my hand, and smote my head, driving the thorns deeper into my brow. If he will accept salvation as a gift, I will give him a sceptre, and he shall sway it over the nations of the earth. Yes, 1 will give him to sit with Me upon my throne. Go, seek that man who struck Me with the palm of his hand; tell him that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin, and my blood was shed for him freely." "Go, seek out that poor soldier who drove the spear into my side; tell him that there is a nearer way to my heart than that. Tell him that I forgive him freely; and tell him I will make him a soldier of the cross, and my banner over him shall be love."
130. "No Greater Lie."—There is another class who say, "I love the world very much and if I become a Christian I shall have to give up all pleasure and go through the world with a long face." I want to say here, that no greater lie was ever forged than that. The devil started it away back in Eden; but there is not one word of truth in it; it is a libel upon Christianity. It does not make a man gloomy to become a child of God. See! there is a man going to execution. In a few moments he will be launched into eternity. But, flashing over the wires, comes a message, a reprieve. I run in haste to the man. I shout, " Good news! good news! You are not to die!" Does that make him gloomy? No! no! no! It is the want of Christ that makes men gloomy? Tnke a man who is really thirsty, dying for want of water, and you go and give him water. Is that going to make him gloomy? That is what Christ is—water to the thirsty soul. If a man is dying for want of bread, and you give him bread, is that to make him gloomy? That is what Christ is to the soul—the bread of life. You will never have true pleasure or peace or joy or comfort until you have found Christ.
131. The Three Excuses.—Let us take up these three raen who, "with one consent, began to make excuse."
What did the first one say? "I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it." Some one has said, Why did he not look at the ground before he bought it? If he had been a good business man, he would have seen his ground first, he couldn't make the bargain any better by going to look at it now. And now that he has got it, he can go and look at it at any time; the land could not run away! It was not that he had made a partial bargain and might withdraw, or that some one might step in ahead of him and get the ground from him. He did not even have that excuse. Ke had bought the land, there was no fear that he should lose his title to it. Yet he must needs go and see it. Strange time to go and see ground just at supper-time! On the face of it, it was a downright lie. He did not want to go to the feast, and so he manufactured this excuse to ease his conscience. That is what people make excuses for. The devil gets men into that cradle and rocks them to sleep in it.
What did the second man say? "I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them. I pray thee have me excused." Why not prove them before he bought them? It was no time to prove oxen after they were bought. And now that the bargain was closed he could prove them any time. Why not let them stand in the stall till he had accepted this invitation? Don't you see that was another lie?
The third man's excuse was the most ridiculous of them all. "I have married a wife and therefore I cannot come." Why did he not take his wife along with him? Who likes to go to a feast better than a young bride? He might have asked her to go too; and if she were not willing, then let her stay at home. The fact was, he did not want to go.
132. A Jubilee Meeting.—Some people, when the Gospel is preached, put on a long face, as if they had to attend a f aneral or witness an execution, or hear some dry, stupid lecture or sermon. It was my privilege to go into Richmond with General Grant's army. I had not been long there before it was announced that the negroes were going to have a jubilee meeting. These colored people were just awakening to the fact that they were free. And I went down to the African Church, one of the largest in the South, and found it crowded. One of the colored chaplains of a northern regiment had offered to speak. I have heard many eloquent men in Europe and in America, but I do not think I ever heard eloquence such as I heard that day. He said, "Mothers! you rejoice to-day; you are forever free! That little child has been torn from your embrace, and sold off to some distant state for the last time. Your hearts are never to be broken again in that way; you are free." The women chapped their hands and shouted at the top of their voices, "Glory, glory to God!" It was good news to them, and they believed it. It filled them full of joy. Then he turned to the young men, and said, "Young men? you rejoice to-day; you have heard the crack of the slave driver's whip for the last time; your posterity shall be fren; young men rejoice to-day, you are f.>rever free!" And they clapped their hands, and shouted, "Glory to God!" They believed the good tidings. "Young maidens!" he said, "you rejoice to-day. You have been put on the auction-block and sold for the last time; you are free—forever free!" They believed it, and lifting up their voices, shouted, "Glory be to God!" I never was in such a meeting. They believed that it was good news to them.
133. One Sin Excludes.—When we got our charter for the city of Chicago, there was one clause in the constitution that allowed the mayor to appoint all the police. It worked well when it was a small city; but when it had three or four hundred thousand inhabitants, it put too much power in the hands of one man. So our citizens got a new bill passed that put the power into the hands of commissioners appointed by government. There was one clause in the new law that no man should be a policeman who was not a certain height—five feet six inches, let us say. When the commissioners got into power, they advertised for men as candidates, and stated that no man need apply who could not bring good credentials to recommend him. I remember going past the office one day, and there was a crowd of them waiting to get in. They were comparing notes as to their chances of success. One says, "I have got a good letter of recommendation from the mayor, and one from the supreme judge." Another says, "And I have got a good letter from Senator So-and-so. I'm sure to get in." The two men come on together, and lay their letters down on the commissioners' desk. "Well," say the officials, "you have certainly a good many letters, but we won't read them till we measure you." Ah! they forgot all about that. So the first man is measured, and he is only five feot. "No chance for you, sir; the law says the men must be five feet six inches, and you don't come up to the standard." The other says, "My chance is better than his, I am a good bit taller." That is what people are always doing, measuring themselves by others. Measure yourself by the law of God, or by the Sou of God Himself; and if you do that, you will find you have come short. He goes up to the officers, and they measure him; he is five feet, five inches, and nine tenths of an inch. "No good," they tell him, "you're not up to the standard." "But I'm only one tenth of an inch short," he remonstrates. "It's no matter," they say, "there is no difference." He goes with the man who was five feet. One comes short six inches, and the other only one tenth of an inch; but the law cannot be changed. And the law of God is, that no man shall go into the kingdom of heaven with one sin on him.
134. A Prejudice Answered.—You say, "I would like to become a Christian, but / have a prejudice against these special meetings. If it was a regular ministry, and it was our regular minister, I would accept the invitation." If that is your difficulty, I can help you out of it. You can just get right up, and go out of the hall, and walk straight over to your minister, and have a talk with him. And if you say- you do not want to be converted in a special meeting, there are regular meetings in all the churches throughout the town, and your minister would be heartily glad to talk with you about your soul.
135. Election.—Supposing a man, wishing to go to London, should say, "I don't know if God has decreed it. If I am to be there, I will be there. What is the use of paying- fare and taking trouble about it? If I am elected to get there, I will get there somehow." Who would use such language as that? Or suppose a farmer were to say, "I am not going to plant; if God has decreed that I am to have a crop, I shall have it. I am not going to trouble myself tilling the ground or working hard; if God has decreed that I will have a good harvest, why, I shall have it without any tilling." Or suppose you are sick, and do not send for the doctor. Suppose you say, "If God has decreed it, I shall get well," so you refuse to take the medicines. You say, "There is no use in it; if God has decreed that I am to get well, I will get well without it." Whoever talks in that way? Yet a good many people carry out that very doctrine with regard to spiritual things.
136. Good Enough To Travel In.—I was going to New Orleans from Chicago a few years ago, and there were two ladies in the carriage with me. They got well acquainted with one another by the time they reached Cairo, where one lived; the other was goiug on to New Orleans. The one who had to get out at Cairo said to the other, "I wish you would stay here with me for a few days, I like your company so much." "I should like to stay." replied the other, "but my things are all packed and have gone on before; I have no clothes but those I am wearing. They are good enough to travel in, but I would not like to be seen in company with them." Now that is the way with the Christian. He is away from home here, his treasure has gone on before, and any thing is good enough to travel in. If things don't go on smoothly down here we need not be too particular, they're good enough to travel in. If our treasures are in heaven our hearts will be there, and we shall be living as pilgrims and strangers on the earth.
137. No Time!—So thousands and thousands say they have no time to be religious. What have you done with all the time that God has given you? What have you been doing all these months and years that have rolled away since He gave you birth? Is it true you have no time? What did you do with the 365 days of last year? Had you no time during all these twelve months to seek the kingdom of God? You spend twenty years getting an education to enable you to earn a living for this poor frail body, so soon to be eaten up of worms. You spend seven or eight years in learning a trade, that you may earn your daily bread; and yet you have not five minutes to accept of this invitation of Christ's! My friend, bear in mind you have yet to find time to die; to stand in the presence of the Judge. And when he calls you to stand before that bar, will you dare to tell Him that you had no time to prepare for the marriage supper of His Son? You have no time? Take time? Let everything else be laid aside until you have accepted of this invitation. Do you not know that it is a lie? If you have not time, take it. "Seek first the kingdom of God." Let the children sit up a little late to-night. Let your business be suspended to-morrow. Suppose you do not get so much money tomorrow. What matter it if you get Christ? Better for a man to be sure of salvation than to "gain the whole world and lose his own soul."
138. The Lord's Work Needs Money.—When men go up in balloons they take with them bags of sand for ballast, and when they want to rise higher they throw out some of the sand. Now there are some Christians who, before they rise higher will have to throw out some ballast. It may be money, or any other worldly consideration, but if they wish to rise, they must get rid of it. If you have got overloaded, just throw out a little money, and you will mount up as on eagle's wings. Any minister will tell you what to do with it. I never saw any department of the Lord's work that did not waut some money.
139. Better Higher Up.—Not long ago there lived an old bed-ridden saint, and a Christian lady who visited her found her always very cheerful. This visitor had a lady friend of wealth who constantly looked on the dark side of things, and was always cast down although she was a professed Christian. She thought it would do this lady good to see the bed-ridden saint, so she took her down to the house. She lived up in the garret, five stories up, arid when they had got to the first story the lady drew up her dress and said, "How dark and filthy it is?" "It's better higher up!" said her friend. They got to the next story, and it was no better; the lady complained again, but her friend replied, "It's better higher up." At the third floor it seemed still worse, and the lady kept complaining, but her friend kept saying, "It's better higher up." At last they got to the fifth story, and when they went into the sick room, there was a nice carpet on the floor, there were flowering plants in the window, and little birds singing. And there they found this bed-ridden saint—one of those saints whom God is polishing for his own temple—just beaming with joy. The lady said to her "it must be very hard for you to lie here." She smiled, and said, "Ifit better higher up." Yes! And if things go against us, my friends, let us remember that "it's better higher up."
140. Thank God For Adversity.—John Bunyan thanked God more for Bedford jail than for any thing that ever happened to him.
141. Missing The Makk.—In olden times in England, they used to have a game of firing arrows through a ring on the top of a pole. The man that failed to get all his arrows through the ring was called a "sinner." Now I should like to take up that illustration. Suppose our pole to be up in the gallery, and on the top of it the ring. I have ten arrows, and Mr. Sankey has ten. I take up the first arrow, and take aim. Alas! I miss the mark. Therefore I am a "sinner." "But," I say, "I will do the best I can with the other nine; I have only missed with one." Like some men who try to keep all the commandments but one! I fire again, and miss the mark a second time. "Ah, but," I say, "I have got eight arrows still," and away goes another arrow—miss! I fire all the ten arrows and do not get one through the ring. Well, I was a " sinner" after the first miss, and I can ouly be a sinner after the tenth. Well, Mr. Saukey takes his ten arrows. He fires and gets his first arrow through. "Do you see that?" he says. "Well," I reply, "go on; don't boast until you get them all through." He takes the second arrow and gets that through. "Ha! do you see that?" "Don't boast," I repeat, "until all ten are through;" if a man has not broken the law at all then he has got something to boast pf! Away goes the third, and it goes through. Then another and another all right, and another until- nine ,are through. "Now," he says, "one more arrow, and I am not a sinner." He takes up the last arrow, and his hand trembles a little; he juxt misses the mark. And he is a "sinner" as much as I am. My friend, have you never missed the mark. Have you not come short? I should like to see the man who never missed the mark. He never lived.
142. Out Of The Poor-house.—A few years ago, I was going away to preach one Sunday morning, when a young man drove up in front of us. He had an aged woman with him. "Who is that young man? " I asked. "Do you see that beautiful meadow?" said my friend, "and that land there with the house upon it?" "Yes." "His father drank that all up," he said. His father was a great drunkard, squandered his property, died, and left his wife in the poor-house. And that young man has toiled hard and earned money, and bought back the land; he has taken his mother out of the pooi1house, and now he is taking her to church." The first Adam sold us in Eden, sold us for nought, but, the Messiah, the second Adam, came and bought us back again. The first Adam brought us to the poorhouse; the second Adam makes us kings and priesta unto God.
143. In Eternity A Pauper.—A friend of mine called on a wealthy Illinois farmer, to get him interested in a soldiers' mission. He took him up on the cupola of his house, and said, "Look yonder, over that beautiful rolling prairie, that is all mine, as far as the eye can reach. He took him to another view, and pointing over the rich farms of the Mississippi Valley, showed him pasture land for thirty miles round, with large herds of cattle, and horses, and sheep feeding. "They are all mine," he said; "I have made it all myself." Then he pointed proudly towards the town, and showed him streets, and piles of buildings, and a great hall named after himself, and said once more, "They are all mine; I came here a poor man, but my own industry has done it all."
My friend said, when he had seen all. raising his finger, and pointing solemnly to the sky, "What, have you got up there?" The rich man's countenance fell. "Where?" he asked. "In heaven." "I have got nothing there." Alas! he had lived his threescore years and ten, and must soon enter eternity, yet he had no treasure there. "Is it not strange," said my friend, "a man of your judgment and forethought, making such a wreck of life, living for the moment, on borrowed time, to die a beggar, and enter eternity a pauper?" But a few months after that he died as he had lived, and his property went to others.
144. Christ's Suffering Not Realized. — I remember when our war was going on I took up the morning paper and read of a terrible battle—ten thousand men killed, and I laid the paper down and forgot it. At last I went into the battle-field and helped to bear away the sick and wounded; after I had been over one or two battle-fields I began to realize what it meant. I could hear the dying groans of the men and their cry for water, and when I heard of a battle the whole thing was stamped upon my mind. I can tell you how a little child suffered and it will bring tears to your eyes, but I tell you how the Son of God suffered and some of you will go out laughing.
145. Heavenly Treasures.—When I was on the Pacific Coast I spent my first Sunday in San Fraiicisco. I went to the Sunday-school, but it was a very stormy day, and so few made their appearance, the superintendent was in doubt whether he should not send them home again. However, it was decided to go on with the lesson, and I was asked to undertake the task. The subject, "Our Treasures in Heaven." The blackboard was ready, and being a poor writer myself, I handed the chalk to one of the teachers, and said to the children, "Now, I want you to tell me some earthly treasures; what do you suppose men think most of?" Some one cried, "Money." "Put that down," I said. "Anything else?" "Lands." "Put that down." Many strange things were said; one little boy said "Rum," and perhaps he was nearer the truth than any of them, for many a man will sell soul and body, and business and family, and home and every thing else for drink; and when the catalogue was finished, I asked them next to give me a list of heavenly treasures. The first answer was "Jesus"; and as we went on from one to another, we found that the treasures of heaven were far more numerous and very much more precious than all the treasures which the earth could give. The young man who was writing down the answers was an unconverted teacher. As he scanned the lists and compared the earthly with the heavenly, he stood transfixed with shame. "What a fool have I been!" he says to himself; "I have come to this Pacific Coast, and spent my substance for such things of earth!" And there at that blackboard he vowed to God that for the rest of his life his heart should be set alone upon the things which are above.
146. No Boom.—The world has no room for the Master, and should the servant be above his Lord? The cry of the world to-day is, as it was eighteen hundred years ago, no room. He might have been born in a psilacp, but He went to the manger in order that He might get His arm under the lowest and bear him up towards heaven. He became poor for our sakes. He occupied a borrowed cradle and a borrowed grave. He had no home. The temple was made for Him, and yet it was closed against Him.
147. Have You The Token?—" Yes," you say, "I go to church every Sunday." That is not the token. "I read my Bible." That is not the token. "I say my ~prayers every night. I have been baptized." Not one of these is the token. What have they to do with the blood? Death will smite you when he comes if you are not sheltered behind the blood. You must die or find a substitute to die in your place. Some say prayer is the key to heaven, but is there any promise to that effect? It is the blood —if you trample that under your feet there is no hope for you in the world to come.
148. Luther And The Devil.—Martin Luther had a conflict with the devil, but when he said the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin, Satan left him.
149. Hope For The Drunkard.—I have been talking with a prominent Christian man, who said he did not think there was any hope for a woman who had become addicted to strong drink, and another said he did not think there was any hope for a confirmed drunkard. When I look upon a drunkard and think of all the pledges he has made, I might say they were right; but when I come to this chapter and read, "All power is given to Me," I rejoice to say there is hope for every drunkard on earth. Our God has power to save. I would say to these persons I would not give a farthing for all your good resolutions, you must be born again. It is not a reformation but a new creation. You will then hate strong drink as much as you love it now. All works of the flesh come to naught. Thanks be to God, the Lord Jesus is stronger than your appetite for strong drink. He is mighty to save. We want to come boldly to God and ask Him to save the poor drunkard.
150. A Challenge.—I challenge you to find any reason for not loving Christ. If you go to the lost world and ask the damned spirits in hell there is not one of them can give you a reason. There is no reason can be given on earth, and if you go to the world above they don't want to give a reason, they all love Him.
151. The Legacy or Christ.—All that Christ left here of His person was His blood. His blood flowed out on Calvary. The soldier hurled his spear, which was the crowning act of earth and hell, and blood came out of the Saviour's, side and covered the spear, teaching us that the blood of Jesus Christ covers sin, and the blood touching the earth redeemed it. It touched the Eoiuan spear and it took the Eoman government. It was not long before Rome bowed-to the sceptre of Christ. Oh, that the blood may touch you to-night and you may be saved.
152. Pardon.—I was in Ohio a few years ago, and invited to preach in the State prison. Eleven hundred convicts were in the chapel, in front of me. After I had got through the preaching, the chaplain said to me: "Moody, a few years ago, our commissioners went to the governor of the State, and got him to promise that he would pardon five men for good behavior. The governor consented, with this understanding—that the record was to be kept in secret, and that at the end of six months the five men highest on the roll should receive a pardon, regardless of who or what they were. At the end of six mouths the prisoners were all brought into the chapel and the commissioners came up, and the president of the commissioners stood upon the platform, and put his hand in his pocket, and brought out some papers, and said, 'I hold in my hand pardons for five men.'" Every man was as still as death; many were deadly pale, and the suspense was something awful. The commissioner went on to tell them how they had got the pardon; but the chaplain said to the commissioner, "Before you make your speech, read out the names. This suspense is awful." So he read out the first name, "Reuben Johnson will come and get his pardon;" and he held it out, but no one came forward. He said to the governor, "Are all the prisoners here?" The governor told him they were all there. Then he said again, "Reuben Johnson will come and get his pardon. It is signed and sealed by the governor. He is a free man." The chaplain told me he looked right down where Reuben was, and ho was looking all round to see the fortunate man who had got his pardon. Finally the chaplain caught bis eye, and he said, "Reuben, you are the man." Reuben turned round and looked behind him to see where Reuben was. The chaplain said the second time, "Reuben, you are the man," and the second time he looked round thinking; it must be some other Reuben. Now, men do not believe the Gospel is for them. They think it is too good, and pass it over their shoulders to the next man. Well, the chaplain could see where Reuben was, and he had to say three times, "Reuben, come and get your pardon." At last the old man got up and came along down the hall, trembling from head to foot, and when he got the pardon he looked at it and went back to his seat and buried his face in his hands, and the prisoners heard him weep to think he was a free man. When the prisoners got into the ranks to go back to the cells Reuben got into the ranks too, and the chaplain had to call to him, "Reuben, get out of the ranks; you are a free man, you are no longer a prisoner." And Reuben stepped out of the ranks. That is the way men make out pardons. They make out pardons for good character or good behavior. But God makes out pardons for men that have not got any character, and who have been very, very bad.
153. The Boy And The Gamblers.—A good many years ago, Chicago was a grain market. There were no railways running there then, and the grain used to be shipped on the lake. There was a man living out in the Western prairies, a farmer and a minister, and he sent his only son into Chicago with a load of grain. He waited and waited for his boy to return, but he did not come home. At last the father saddled his horse and went into Chicago. He went where he had sent his boy to sell grain, and found that he had sold it. Then he feared that some one had murdered him, and he got detectives on his track. They tracked him into a gambling den, where he had gambled away the whole of his money. After he had done that the men said, "Sell your horses and machine and then you can get all the money back again and go home to your father, and no one will know any thing at all about it." That is the way the devil leads men on. He sold his horses and machine, and gambled that money away too. What could he do? He was ashamed to go home to meet his father, and he fled. That is just exactly like the sinner. He thinks because he has sinned God will have nothing to do with him. What did that father do? Did he say, "Let the boy go?" No; he went after him. And I want to say to you that from the time when Adam fell to the present time God has been seeking after His children. That man went from town to town. When he got into the pulpit to preach when he had finished his sermon he told the story of how he had lost his boy, and described him, and he asked any of the audience who might ever meet with him to write and let him know. At last he found that he had gone to California. Did that father say, "Let him. go "? No. He went to San Francisco, and he advertised in the paper that he would preach at such a church on such a day. When he Lad preached he told his story, in hopes that the boy might have seen the advertisement and come to the church. When he had done, away under the gallery there was a young man who waited until the audience had gone out; then he came towards the pulpit. The father looked, and saw it was that boy, and he ran to him. and pressed him to his bosom. The boy wanted to confess what he had done, but not a word would the father hear. He forgave him freely, and took him to his home. My friends, you have been enticed away by the devil; now, God is inviting you to come home to-night.
154. Universalism Answered. — Suppose Queen Victoria did not like any man to be deprived of his liberty, and threw all her prisons open, and was so merciful that she could not bear any one to suffer for guilt, how long would she hold the sceptre? How long would she rule? Not twenty-four hours. Those very men who cry out about God being merciful would say, "We don't want such a queen." Well, God is merciful, but He is not going to take an unpardoned sinner into heaven.
155. That is Not The Question.—The question is on the other side. God has something against you. Suppose a man stole $1,000 from me and then said, f'I have nothing against you." That is not what I -want. I want him to make restitution. All sin is sin against God, and there will be no peace for the sinner until God is reconciled. If a man will seek forgiveness in Christ his sins shall be covered and
^hen there will be peace. |
156. Sinners Bankrupt.—Christ suffered in our stead, for our sins were laid upon Him, and because He was punished so we go free. Instead of God coming down and punishing us, He justifies us. It is the same as if I had been running up an account in one of your stores and another man paid it. When I go to pay the account I am told: "It is all settled; you are justified, Mr. Moody; there is nothing against you in my ledger."
157. Our Worst Enemy.—The worst enemy man has to-day is unbelief: we do not believe that Christ came to bless. We are under the power of the devil. Many of us believe the lies of the devil instead of believing the words of the Lord Jesus Christ.
158. Christ's Love More Than All.—My wife went out one day, and my little boy, two years old, got hold of a pair of scissors. My little girl knew he ought not to have them, and she went to him and tried to get them away; but the little fellow held on to the scissors, and would not give them up. She was afraid of sticking them into his eyes, so she ran and got an orange, and held it up, and said, "Willie, do not you want the orange?" and the little fellow dropped the scissors, and went for the orange. If you will allow me the illustration, God comes here, and says' "Here is my Son, take Him." He saves the sinner; and the moment we get Him, these things we love so much are gone; they float away into the dim past. Christ is worth more than all the world; and God comes and says, "Here is my Son, take Him, and believe on Him."
159. God's Blank Check.—And when Moses said, "If they ask me who sent me, what shall I tell them?" God said, "Say I Am sent me;" and as some one has said, that was a blank check, and God told him to fill it out; and when they were in the desert and wanted water He filled out the check and drew water from the rock. When he wanted bread He filled out the check and God gave him bread from heaven.
160. The Contrast.—Two fathers come before me. One was a man of great wealth. Yet he would have freely given it all could he have brought back his eldest boy from his early grave. One day that boy had been borne home unconscious. "He must die," said the doctor. "But, doctor," said the agonized father, "can you do nothing to bring him to consciousness, even for a moment?" "That may be, but he can never live." Time passed, and after a terrible suspense the father's wish was gratified. "My son," he whispered, "the doctor tells rue you are dying." "Well," said the boy, "you never prayed for me, father; won't you pray for my lost soul now?" The father wept. It was true he had never prayed. And in a little while that soul, unprayed for, passed into its dark eternity. Oh, father! if your boy was dying, and called on you to pray, could you lift your burdened heart to heaven? What a contrast is the other father! He, too, had a lovely boy, and one day he came home to find him at the gates of death. "A great change has come over our boy," said the weeping mother; "he has only been a little ill before, but it seems now as if he were dyiug fast." The father went into the room, and placed his hand on the forehead of the little boy. He could see the boy was dying. He could feel the cold damp of death. "My son, do you know you are dying?" "No; am I?" "Yes; you are dying." "And shall I die to-day?" "Yes, my boy, you cannot live till night." "Well, then, I shall be with Jesus to-night, won't I, father?" "Yes, my son, you will spend to-night with the Saviour." As he turned away, the little fellow saw the tears trickling over his father's cheeks. "Don't weep for me, father," he said; "when I get to heaven I will go right straight to Jesus, and tell Him that ever since I can remember you have tried to iead me to Him."
161. Home-sickness Cured.—I heard of a Christian who did not succeed in his work as well as he used to, and he got Home-sick and wished himself dead. One night he dreamed that he had died, and was carried by the angels to the eternal city. As he went along the crystal pavement, he met a man he used to know, and they went down the golden streets together. All at once he noticed every one looking in the same direction, and saw One coming up who was fairer than the sons of men. It was his blessed Redeemer. As the chariot came opposite, He came forth, and beckoning the one friend, placed him in His own chariot-seat, but himself He led aside, and pointing over the battlements of heaven, "Look over yonder," He said, "what do yon see?" "It seems as if I see the dark earth I have come from." "What else?" "I see men as if they were blindfolded, going over a terrible precipice into a bottomless pit." "Well," said He, "will you remain up here, and enjoy those mansions that I have prepared, or go back to yon dark earth, and warn these men, and tell them about Me and my kingdom, and the rest that remaineth for the people of God?" That man never wished himself dead again. He yearned to live as long as ever he could, to tell men of heaven and of Christ.
162. A Pool In His Day.—There is not a man in the word of God whose name shines out upon the page of divine history who was eminent in God's service, but who was considered the greatest fool in his day.
163. Redemption.—A friend in Ireland once met a little Irish boy who had caught a sparrow. The poor little bird was trembling in his hand, and seemed very anxious to escape. The gentleman begged the boy to let it go, as the bird could not do him any good; but the boy said he would not, for he had chased it three hours before he could catch it. At last he offered to buy the bird; the boy agreed to the price, and it was paid. Then the gentleman took the poor little thing and held it out on his hand. The boy had been holding it very fast, for the boy was stronger than the bird, just as Satan is stronger than we, and there it sat for a time scarcely able to realize the fact that it had got liberty; but, in a little, it flew away chirping, as if to say to the gentleman, "Thank you! thank you! you have redeemed me." That is what redemption is—buying back and setting free. So Christ came to break the fetters of sin, to open the prison doors and set the sinner free. This is the good news, the Gospel of Christ—"Ye are not redeemed by corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ."
164. Christ's Crucifixion The Foundation.—When I was in one of your cities, a gentleman came to me and said, "If you are right, I am wrong; and if I am right, you are -wrong." I saw he was a minister, and I said, ': Well, I never heard you preach; if you have heard me you can tell what the difference is
Where do we differ?" "Well, you preach that it is the death of Christ; I preach His life. I tell people His death has nothing to do with it; you tell them His life has nothing to do with their salvation, aud that His death only will save them. I do not believe a word of it." "Well," I said, "what do you do with this passage, 'Who His own self bare Dur sins in His own body on the tree?'" "Well, I never preached on that text." "What do you do with this, then, 'Ye are not redeemed with corruptible things as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ?'" "I never preached on that text either," was the reply. "Well, what do you do with this, 'Without shedding of blood there is no remission?'" "I never spoke on that," he said. "What do you do with this, 'He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, and the chastisement of our peace was upon Him?'" "I never preached en that either." "What do you preach, then?" I asked. He hesitated for a little, and then said, "I preach moral essays." "You leave out the atonement?" "Yes." "Well," I said, "it would all be a sham to me if I did that; I could not understand it. I would be away home to-morrow. I would not know what to preach. Moral essays on Christ without his death!" The young man said, "Well, it does seem- a sham sometimes." He was honest enough to confess that. Why, the whole thing is a myth without the atonement. The crucifixion of Christ is the foundation of the whole matter. If a man is unsound on the blood, he is unsound in every thing. "Without shedding of blood is no remission."
165. Grace Before Judgment.—It was of mercy and grace that Adam was turned out of Eden, so that he-could not eat of the tree of life. He put into the hand of man a lamp of promise to light him through the world.
166. Living In Doubting Castle.—Why, it is salvation by doubts nowadays instead of by faith; there are so few that dare to say, "I know that my Redeemer liveth, I know in whom I have believed."
Make sure of this one thing if you are not sure of any thing else. It is better that you fail in health or in business, it is better that you go to some asylum, it is better for you to go to heaven from some poor-house or from some mad-house than to go to hell in a gilded chariot. Make sure that your name is written in heaven; then you have something worth rejoicing over.
167. The Betrayal.-—Let us imagine we are living when the Son of God was upon earth—that we were citizens of Jerusalem; that we were at that memorable feast; that late one Thursday afternoon we are walking down the street, and we see thirteen men coming down the street. We make inquiries who they are, and we are told: It is Jesus and His discipies. They are going to the guest chamber. They come to a common-looking house; they go np stuirs to that guest chamber and sit around the table. Ho began to be exceedingly sorrowful; he knew that one of His disciples was that night to swear he never knew Him; that the Shepherd was to be Bmitten, and the sheep wore to leave Him. He was sorrowful unto death. John was wondering what was making Him so sad. At last he told them that one of them that night should betray him. They all looked startled. At last one says: Lord, is it I? And another says: is it I? They all began to mistrust themselves, and at last Judas, that awful traitor who was already plotting with the chief priests to deliver Him up, said: Lord, is it I? Jesus gave Lim to understand that it was, and presently He turned and said: "What thou doest do quickly," and he got up and left. I don't believe you could find a sadder party than they were. Judas had seen Him perform His mighty miracles; he had been with Him when He fed the multitude in the wilderness; when He had wept over Jerusalem; been associated with Him for three long years, and now he gets up and goes out. It was night, and I hear him as he goes down those stairs. He goes off to the Sanhedrim, to the rulers of the Jews. He says: What will you give me? He sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. How cheap he sold his birthright. You condemn him, but how many of you are selling Him for less. A lady, last night, wanted to become a Christian, but she could not give up the ball that was soon to come off; she would sell her soul for a night in the ball-room. How many would sell Him for a night in some drinking saloon.
168. The Devil's Work.—If you will read your Bible in the light of Calvary, you will find, there is no other way of coming to heaven but by the blood. The devil don't fear 10,000 preachers who preach a bloodless religion. A man who preaches a bloodless religion is doing the devil's work, and I don't care who he is.
169. Death Loses Its Sting Then.—I was brought up in a little village in New England. It was the custom there when a person was buried to toll out the age of the man at his funeral. Death never entered the village and tore away one of the inhabitants, but I always used to count the tolling of the bell. Sometimes it would be away up to seventy, or between seventy and eighty—beyond the life allotted to man. Sometimes it would be clear down in the teens, and childhood, and death would take away one of my own age. It used to make a solemn impression on me. When it comes to death some men say, "I do not fear it." I feared it, and felt terribly afraid, when I thought of the cold hand of death feeling for the cords of life; and being launched out to eternity, to go to an unknown world. I used to have terrible thoughts of God; but they are all gone now. Death has lost its sting. And as I go on through the world I can shout now, when the bell is tolling, "Oh, death, where is thy sting?" And I hear a voice come rolling down from Calvary, "Buried in the bosom of the Son of God."
170. Sudden Conversions.—There are some people in this nineteenth century who do not believe in sudden conversions. I should like them to tell me where Zaccheus was converted. He certainly was not converted when he went up into the sycamore tree; he certainly was converted when he came down. He must have been converted somewhere between the branches and the ground. I wish we had a few men converted like Zaccheus in London; it would make no small stir. When a man begins to make restitution it is a pretty good sign of conversion. Zaccheus gave half his goods ail at once; and he says, "If I have taken any thing from any.man I restore him fourfold." I imagine the next morning one of the servants of Zaccheus going with a check for £100, and saying, "My master, a few years ago, took from you wrongfully about £25, and this is restitution money. That would give confidence in Zaccheus's conversion.
171. The Penitent Thief.—The first we know of the thief on the cross he was a reviler of Christ. The next we hear of him he appears to be under conviction. One of the malefactors which were hanged railed on Him; saying, "If Thou be the Christ save Thyself and us." But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Dost thou not fear God seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss." What do you suppose changed this man's feelings in these few hours? I think it was the Saviour's prayer—-"Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
I seem to hear this thief talking to himself in this way. ""What a strange man this must be! He says he is the Son of God. Why does not God send his angels and destroy all this crowd of people who are torturing His Son? If he has power now, as He used to have when he worked those miracles they talk about, why does he not sweep all these wretches to destruction? I would do it in a minute if I had the power. But this man prays God to forgive them. Strange! Strange! I am sorry I said a word against him when they hung him up here. What a difference there is between him and me.
"Here we are on two crosses, side by side; but all the rest of our lives we have been far enough apart. I have been robbing and murdering, and He has been visiting the hungry, healing the sick, and raising the dead. I will not rail at Him any more. Indeed, I begin to believe He must be the Son of God; for surely no son of man could forgive his enemies this way."
This poor man had been scourged, beaten, nailed to the cross, and hung up there for the world to gaze upon; and he was not sorry for his sins one single bit—but when he heard the Saviour praying for His murderers, that broke his heart.
Aud what did Jeaus say in answer to his prayer. He looks kindly upon him and says, "To-day ohalt thou be with Me in Paradise." He got more than he asked for. He only asked to be remembered, but Christ says to him, "I will take you right up into my kingdom to-day." No doubt Satan said to himself, "I will have the soul of that thief, pretty soon, down here in the caverns of the lost. He belongs to me." But Christ snapped the fetters of his soul and set him at liberty. Satan lost his prey. What a contrast! In the morning led out a condemned criminal; in the evening saved from his sins. In the morning cursing; in the evening singing hallelujahs with a choir of angels. In the morning condemned by men as not fit to live on eartb; in the evening reckoned good enough for heaven. Jesus had died before his very eyi s, and hastened before him to get a place ready for this first soul brought from the world after He had died.
You have heard of the child who did not like to dii and go to heaven, because he did not know any body there. But the thief had one acquaintance: even the Master of the place Himself. He calls to Gabriel, and says, "Prepare a chariot; there is a friend of mine upon that cross. They are breaking his legs. He soon will be ready to come. Make haste and bring him to me." And the angel in the chariot sweeps down the sky, takes up the soul of the poor penitent thief, and hastens back again to glory; while the gates of the city swing wide open, and the angels shout their welcome to this poor sinner '-washed in the blood of the Lamb."
172. Hushed Harps.—They never knew the Son of God when He was here. He would hush every harp in heaven to hear a sinner pray; no music would delight Him so much.
173. The Father's Will.—I remember a story of a bad boy who ran away from home. He had refused all the invitations which his father had sent him to come home and be forgiven, and help to comfort his old heart. He had even gone so far as to scoff at his father and mother. But one da}' a letter came telling him his father was dead, and they wanted him to come home and attend the funeral. At first he would not go, but then he thought it would be a shame not to pay some little respect to the memory of so good a man after he was dead; and so, just as a matter of form, he took the train, and went to the old home, sat through all the funeral services, saw his father buried, and came back with the rest of the frieuds to the house, with his heart as cold and stony as ever. But -when the old man's will was brought out, the ungrateful son found that his father had remembered him in the will, and had left him an inheritance with the others, who had not gone astray. This broke his heart. That is just the way our Father in Heaven does with sinners. He loves them in spite of their sins, and it is the love which, more than any thing else, brings hard-hearted sinners to their knees.
174. Confession Before Conversion.—I never knew any man to be converted till he confessed. Cain felt bad enough over his sins, but he did not confess. Saul was greatly tormented in his mind, but he went to the witch of Endor rather than to the 'Lord. Judas felt so bad over the betrayal of his Master, that he went out and hanged himself; but he did not confess—that is, he did not confess to God. He came back and confessed to the priests, saying, "I hnve sinned in that I have betrayed th^ innocent blood." It was of no use to confess to them. They could not forgive him. What he should have done was to confess to God; but instead of tliat, he went right away and hanged himself.
• 175. The Story or Mephibosheth.—There is a story of a man by the name of Mephibosheth which will help you to understand the Gospel. You remember what a hard time David had when Saul was hunting him to kill him. One day David and his friend Jonathan were taking a walk in the fields. Saul was angry, and beut on killing David; but his son Jonathan was looking out for a chance to save him.
After they had agreed upon a sign by which David was to know whether it was safe for him to stay around the court of the king, or whether he must leave, Jonathan says to him—
'•David, you are to be king after my father. I want you to promise me one thing: when you come to the throne, if any of the house of Saul are alive, I want you to be good to them, for my sake."
"I'll do that, of course." said David. About four years after David set up his kingdom at Hebron.
It must have been near fourteen years after that before David remembered his promise to his old friend Jonathan. But one day the king was walking in his palace at Jerusalem, where he had removed his capital; and all at once he happened to think of.tbat promise.
"That's too bad!" said David. "I forgot all about that promise. I have been so busy fighting these Philistines, and fixing things up, that I have not had time to think of any thing else." So he called his servants in great haste, and said, "Do any of you know whether there is any of Saul's family living?" One of them said th; re was an old servant of Saul by the name of Ziba and maybe he could tell. "Go and tell him I want him, right away."
Ziba came; and David said, "Do you know whether there is any body of the house of Saul in jay kingdom?" Ziba said there was one he knew of—a son of Jonathan, by the name of Mephibosheth. "Go, futch him!" says David; "go quick. Tell him I want to show him the kindness of God."
Where do you suppose Mephibosheth was all the time? Down at Lo-debar. That is where all the human race are until they come to Christ; away down at Lo-debar—which means, a place of no pasture. When they reached the little out of the way place I fancy there was a great commotion.
"Where's Mephibosheth? The king wants him." Poor fellow! when he heard that he hung his head. He was afraid the king wanted to kill him because he was of the house of his old enemy. I never knew a sinner to take the Gospel right. They always think, at first, that it is too good to be true.
"Don't be afraid," said the servants. "The king says he wants to show you the kindness of God. So get ready. Don't you see the king has sent his own chariot to fetch you?"
But poor Mephibosheth had another difficulty. He was lame in both feet. He was a little fellow when David came to the throne; and an old servant, who was a'raid that all the house of Saul were going to be killed, took him up and ran away to hide him. Somehow he managed to drop the lad, and lamed him in both.feet.
And now I can see poor Mephibosheth looking down at his feet. And he says to himself, "I am not fit to go to the kiug. I am a poor cripple."
That's just the way with a convicted sinner. He is all the time thinking of his own uuworthiness, and saying to himself that he isn't fit to be saved.
"Never mind your lame feet, Mephibosheth; so long as the king sends for you, it's all right." So they take him up, and put him into the chariot, and start for Jerusalem.
When the king sees him, he takes him in his arms, and cries out—
"Oh Mephibosheth, the son of my dear old friend Jonathan! you shall have all that belonged to the house of Saul; and you shall live with me here in my palace!"
What a happy man he must have been to hoar that! Sinner, that is just what God says to the soul that-comes to him in Jtsus Christ. He takes us in His arms; He gives us a great fortune of love and grace; and He promises that we shall live with Him in His heavenly palace forever.
Some people think that Mephibosheth, like certain low-spirited Christians, after he went to live with the king, must have been all the time worrying over his lame feet. But I don't think so. He couldn't help it; and if David didn't mind it, it was all right. So I think that when he dined with him in state, with the great lords and ladies all around him, he just stuck his club-feet under the table, and looked the king right in the face.
176. At The Head!—We have heard a great deal about the faith of Abraham, and the faith of Moses; but the thief on the cross seems to me to have had more faith than any pf them. He stands at the head of the class. God was twenty-five years toning up the faith of Abraham; Moses was forty years getting ready for his work; but this thief, right here in the midst of men who rejected Him—nailed to the cross, and racked with pain in every nerve, overwhelmed with horror, and his soul in a perfect tempest—still manages to lay hold upon Christ, and trust in Him for a swift salvation.
177. Free.—In the British Colonies, before the time of Wilberforce, there used to be a great many slaves; but that good man began to agitate the question of setting them free; and all the slaves in the colonies were anxious to know how he was getting along. But in those days there were no telegraphs and no steamships. The mails went by the slow sailing vessels. They would be from six to eight months in making a voyage to some of the colonies. The slaves used to watch for the British ships, hoping to hear good news, but fearing they might hear bad ones. There was a ship which had sailed immediately after the Emancipation Act had been passed and signed by the king; and when she came within hailing distance of the boats which bad put off from the shore at the port where she was bound, the captain could not wait to deliver the message officially, and have it duly promulgated by the government; but, seeing the poor anxious men standing up in their boats, eager for the news, he placed his trumpet to his mouth, and shouted with all his might, "Free! free!" Just so the angels shout when a poor bondman is tal;en in hand by the Saviour Himself; delivered from the bondage of darkness, into the liberty of His dear Son; free— free from sin—free from the curse of the law.
178. The First Not The Eleventh Hour.—Somebody has said "the thief on the cross was saved at the eleventh hour." I don't know about that. Perhaps it was the first hour. It might have been the first hour with him, I think. Perhaps he never knew Christ until he was led out to die beside Him. This may have been the very first time he had ever learned the way of faith in the Son of God.
179. The Story Of Bakabbas.—What a night Barabbas spent just before the day Christ was crucified! As the sun goes down he says to himself: "Tomorrow !—only to-morrow! They will hang me and in that awful torture I must die!"
Maybe they let his mother, or his wife and children, come and see him for the last time. He couldn't sleep that night. He heard them hammering in the prison yard and knew they were making the cross. At last the light of morning breaks through the prison bars. "To-day — this very day—they will open that door and lead me away to ba crucified!"
Pretty soon the door swings open ; there are the soldiers. Good-by to life and hope! Death, horrible death now!—and after death, what then? The officer of the guard speaks to him: "Barabbas you are free."
He hears the strange words but they make little impression on him. He is so near dead with fear and horror, that the good news doesn't reach him. He stands gazing a moment at the soldiers, and then he comes to himself.
"Don't laugh at me! don't make sport of me! Take me away and crucify me; but don't tear my soul to pieces!"
Again the officer speaks: "You are free! Here— the door is open: go out; go home."
It is so wonderful to get out of the clutches of the Roman law, that he is afraid to believe the good news. And so he begins to ask how it can be.
They tell him that Pilate has promised the Jews the release of one prisoner that day; and that the Jews have chosen him instead of one Jesus of Nazareth, who was condemned to be crucified.
Now the poor man begins to weep. This breaks his heart. He knows this Jesus. He has seen Ilitn do some of His miracles. He was in the crowd picking pockets when Jesus fed the five thousand hungry people.
"What! that just man to die—and I, a thief, a highwayman, a murderer, to go free!" And in the midst of his joy at his own release, his heart breaks at the thought that his life is saved at such a cost.
Sinner, that is the Gospel. Come out of your prisou; throw off the chains of sin. You were justly condemned, but Jesus died for you. Let your heart break in penitence; weep tears of love and joy..
180. Elijah And The Pkiests or Baal.—Let us go to Carmel.
King Ahab had forsaken the God of Israel, and all the court had followed his example.
But there was an old prophet out in the mountains, to whom God said: "Go to Ahab, and tell him the heavens shall be shut up and there shall be no rain."
Away he goes to tbe wicked king. He bursts in upon him like a clap of thunder, gives his message, and hurries away. I suppose Ahab laughed at the old prophet. "What! no more rain? The fellow must be crazy!"
Pretty soon the weather gets very dry. The earth is parched, the trees die, the grass perishes, and the cattle die. Famine; starvation; death!
One day the king was talking with the prophet Obadiah. You see he did have one good man with him along with all the prophets of the false God.
"See here, Obadiah," says Ahab; "yon go one way and I'll go another and see if we cannot find water."
Obadiah met Elijah. "O, Elijah! is that you? Ahab has been hunting for you every where."
"Yes, I'm here," says Elijah. "You go and tell Ahab I want to see him."
So Obadiah hurries off and tells Ahab he has seen the prophet.
"Why didn't you bring him along?"
"He wouldn't come. He says he wants you to come to him."
Ahab wasn't used to having people talk to him in that way, but he was anxious to see the prophet, so he went. And when he sees him he is very angry, and cries, "Art thoU he that troubleth Israel?"
"Not at all," says Elijah. "You are the man that is troubling Israel—going off after Baal, and leading ever so many of the people with you. Now, we have had enough of this sort of thing. Some people are praying to God, and some are praying to Baal, and we must have this question settled. You just bring all your prophets and all the priests of Baal up to Mount Carmel, and I also will come. We will make us each an altar, and offer sacrifice on it; and the God that answereth by fire, let Him be God."
"Agreed," says Ahab.
All the places of business were closed, and everybody was going up to Mount Carmel.
There were eight hundred and fifty of the prophets and priests of Baal. I fancy I can see them going up in a grand procession, with the king in his chariot at their head.
But Elijah marched, all alone: a rough man, clad in the skins of beasts, with a staff in Iris band. No banners, Do procession, no great men in his train! But the man who could hold the keys of heaven for three years and six months was not afraid to be alone.
Now says Elijah to the people, "How long halt ye between two opinions? Let the priests of Baal build them an altar and offer sacrifice, but put no fire under; and I will do the same: and the God that answei-eth by fire, let Him be God."
So the priests of Baal build their altar.
I am sure if God hadn't held him back, Satan would have brought up a little spark out of hell to set that sacrifice on fire. But God wouldn't let him.
Then they bsgin to pray: "Oh Baal, hear us! Oh Baal, hear us!"
"You must pray louder than that, if you expect Baal to hear you," says the old prophet. "Maybe he is asleep: pray louder, so as to wake him up."
Poor fellows! they haven't any voice left; so they begin to pray in blood. They cut them selves with knives, and lift their streaming hands and arms to Baal. But no fire comes down.
It is getting towards sundown.
The prophet of the Lord builds an altar. Mind; he doesn't have any thing to do with the altar of Baal, but builds an entirely different one, on the ruins of the altar of the Lord which had been broken down.
"We won't have any body saying there is any trick about this thing," says the prophet. So they bring twelve barrels of water and pour over the altar. I don't know how they managed to get so much water; but they did it.
Then Elijah prays: "Oh God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, let it be known this day that Thou art God in Israel."
God heard him at once, and—down came the fire!! It burnt up the sacrifice, the wood, the water, and the very stones of the altar. Jehovah is God: nobody can halt any longer.
Ah! but some of you say, "I too would have decided for God if I had been on Mount Carmel that day." My friends, Calvary is a great deal more wonderful than Carmel. The sacrifice of Christ on the cross is more wonderful than the sacrifice which was burned on that altar.
181. The Widow's Son.—Think of that poor widow at Nain! She is old, now; and her only son. who is the, staff of her life, is sick. How she watches him; sits up all night to see that he has his medicine at the right time; by his bedside all day, fanning him and moistening his parched lips with water. The best doctor in Nain is sent for. He comes and feels the young man's pulse, aud shakes his head, and the widow knows there is no hope for her boy. In a little while the fever comes to its crisis and the poor boy dies with his head upon his mother's bosom. The people come and try to comfort the poor woman, but it is no use. Her heart is broken.
Well: they make him ready for the burial; they celebrate his funeral service, and put him on the bier to carry him to his grave. What a sad procession! as they come out of the city gates they see thirteen dusty-looking travellers, coming up the road. There is One among them, tall and far fairer than the sons of men. Who can He be? He is moved with compassion when He sees this little funeral procession; and it does not take Him long to find out that that woman who walks next the bier is a poor widow, whose only son she is following to his grave. He tells the bearers to put down the bier; and while the mother wonders what is to be done, He bends tenderly over the dead man, and speaks to him in a low, sweet voice, "Arise!" And the dead man hears Him. His body begins to move: the man who was dead is struggling with his graveclothes; they unbind them, and now he sits up. He leaps off the bier, catches a sight of his mother, remembers that he was dead and is now alive again; takes her in his arms, kisses her again and again, and then turns to look at the Stranger who has wrought this miracle upon him. He is ready to do any thing for that Man—ready to follow Him to the death. But Jesus does not ask that of him. He knows his mother needs bim; and so He does not take him away to be one of His disciples, but gives him back to his old mother.
I would have liked to see that .young man re-entering the city of Nain, arm-in-arm with his mother. What do you suppose he said to the people, who looked at him with wonder? Would he not confess that Jesus of Nazareth had raised him from the dead? Would he not go everywhere, declaring what the Lord had done for his dead body? Oh how I love to preach Christ, who can stand over all the graves, and say to all the dead bodies, "Arise!"
182. The Story Of Naaman.—I have been reading to you about a man whom the king delighted to honor. He was captain of the hosts of Syria; but he wax a leper; and that threw a blight over his whole life. There was no physician to help him in all Syria. None of the eminent doctors in Damascus could do him any good. Neither could any in Jerusalem. But I will tell you what they had in Syria: they had one of God's children there—and she was a little girl. Naaman knew nothing about her, though she was one of his household. At last some one told the king of Syria that the little Israelitish maid had said that there was a prophet in her country who could cure the leprosy. Now Naaman stood high in the king's favor, for he had just won a great victory. So the king said, "you had better go down to Samaria, and see if there is any thing in it, and I •will give you letters of introduction to the king. Away goes Naaman down to Samaria with his letter of introduction, and be takes with him a bag of gold and silver. And he took about £100,000 sterling, to pay this doctor's bill. There are a good many men who would willingly pay that Bum, if with it they could buy the favor of God, and get rid of the curse of sin. Naaman had a letter of introduction from the king himself, and of course he would be received with high honors. But instead of the king rushing out to meet him, when he heard of Naaman's arrival and bis object, he rent his mantle in a rage, and said: "Am I a God, that I can kill and make alive?" But at last the king bethinks himself of Elisha the prophet; and he says, "There is a man in my kingdom who may be able to help you and cure you." So Naaman drives up in grand style to the prophet's house and sends in his message, " Tell the prophet Major General Naaman, of Syria, has arrived and wishes to see him." Elisba takes it coolly. He does not come out to see him; but as soon as he learns his errand, sends his servant to say !" Dip seven times in Jordan, and you shall be clean." What a blow to his pride!
I can imagine him saying to his servant, "What! Dip seven times in Jordan! We call the Jordan a ditch in our country!"
I can fancy his indignation as he asks—"Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? May I not wash in them and be clean?" So he turned and went away in a rage. Jordan never had any reputation as a river. Its banks were not half so beautiful as those of the rivers of Damascus. Yes, it was a dreadful blow to his pride! Damascus was one of the most beautiful cities in the world; and it is said that when Mahomet first savv it. he turned his head away, for fear it should lead his thoughts away from heaven.
Naaman went off in a rage. But I don't think much of that; for when a man turns away in anger fie generally cools down and comes back again.
Whilst Naaman was thinking what was best to be done, one of his servants came and said—" My lord, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldst thou not have done it? how much rather, then, when he saith to thee, Wash and be clean!" Why, if Elisha had said to him, "Go back to Syria on your hands and knees," he would most likely have done it. If he had said, "Go back all the way on one foot," he would have tried to do it. Or if he had said, "Give me a hundred thousand pounds for the medicine I prescribe, and thou shalt be cleansed," no doubt he would have done it. But to tell him merely to dip in the river Jordan seven times. "Well," e.iys the servant, "you have come a hundred and fifty miles; and now don't you think you had better do what he tells you?"
His anger is cooling down; and he says, "Well, I think.I might as well try it." That's the startingpoint of his faith.
Naaman's will was conquered at last. So he goes down to the river and takes the first dip; and as he comes up, I can imagine liiin looking at himself, and saying to his servant, "There! I am no better than I was when I went in." Down he goes a second time, and he comes up as much a leper as ever; and so he goes down again and again, the third and fourth and fifth time, with the same result—as much a leper as ever. When he comes up the sixth time, he looks at himself, and says, "Ah! no better. What a fool I have made of myself! I wouldn't have the generals and aristocracy of Damascus know that I have been dipping in this way in Jordan for all the world. However, as I have gone so far, I'll make the seventh pluuge." He has not altogether lost faith; and down he goes the seventh time, and up he comes again. He looks at himself, and shouts aloud for joy. "Lo, I am well! My leprosy is all gone—all gone! My flesh has come again as that of a little child. I never knew such a thing. Thank God! praise God! I am the happiest man alive." So he comes up out of Jordan and puts on bis clothes, and goes back to the prophet, and wants to pay him.
That's just the old story: Naaman wants to give money for his cure. How many people want to do the same nowadays! Why, it would have spoiled the story of grace, if the prophet had taken any thing! You may give a thank-offering to-God's cause, not because you can be saved, but because you are saved. But the prophet refused to tako air/ thing; and I can imagine no one felt more rejoiced than Elisha did. So Naaman starts back to Damascus, a very different man than he was when he left it. He lost the leprosy in Jordan when he did what the man of God told him; and if you obey the voice of God, the burden of your sins will fall from off you, and you shall be cleansed. It is all done by the power of faith.
183. The Message Not The Messenger.—A good many people say, "Oh, I don't like such and such a minister; I should like to know where he comes from, and what he has done, and whether any bishop has ever laid his hands on his head." My dear friends, never mind the minister; it's the message you want. Why, if some one were to send me a message, and the news were important, I shouldn't stop to ask about the messenger who brought it; I should want to read the news; I should look at the letter and its contents, and not at the boy who brought it. And so it is with God's message. The good news is every thing, the minister nothing. Why, if I got lost in London, I should be willing to ask any body which way to go—even if it were only a poor shoeblack. It is the way I want, not the person who directs me.
184. They Shall Shine As The Stars.—We all want to shine; the mother wishes it for her boy,
when she sends him to school; the father for his lad, when he goes off to college. God tells us who are to shine—uot statesmen, nor warriors, nor such like, that shine but for a season—but such as will shine forever and ever; those, namely, who win souls to Christ; the little boy even who persuades one to come to Christ.
185. Christians Watched.—The unbelieving world, and sceptics holding out their false lights, are watching you and me. When Jacob put away his idols, he could go up to Bethel and get strength and the blessing—so will it be with the Church of God. A viper fixes upon the hand of the shipwrecked Paul; immediately he is judged by the barbarians some criminal unfit to live; but he shakes it off into the fire, and suffers no harm, and now they are ready to worship him, and ready too to hear and receive his message: the Church of God must shake off the vipers that have fastened on hand and heart too, ere men will hear. Where one ungodly man reads the Bible, a hundred read you and me: and if they find nothing in us, they set the whole thing aside as a myth.
186. Unconcern Under Responsibility.—I remember, one afternoon I was preaching, observing a young lady from the house I was staying at, in the audience. I had heard she taught in the Sabbathschool, which I knew was at the same hour; and so I asked her, after service, how she came to be there? "Oh," said she, '' my class is but five little boys, and I thought it did not matter for them." And yet among these there might have been, who knows, a Luther or a Knos, the beginning of a stream of blessing, that would have gone on widening and ever widening; and besides, one soul is worth all the kingdoms of the earth..
187. The Atoning Blood.—If you cut the crimson thread that binds the Bible, it falls to pieces.
188. Humility In Christian Effort. — A young lady was sent to a boarding-school, and was thi re led to Christ; not only so, but taught that she ought to work for Him. By and by she goes home, and now she se.'ks, in one way and another, to work for Him, but without finding how. She asks for a class in her church Sunday-school, but the superintendent has already more than enough of teachers. One day, going along the street, she sees a little boy struck by his companion, and crying bitterly. She asks him what the trouble is? The buy thinks she is mocking him, and replies sullenly. She speaks Li; idly, tries to persuade him to school. He does not want to learn. She coaxes him to come and hear her and the rest singing there; and so next Sunday he comes with her. She gets a corner iii the school of well-dressed scholars for herself and her charge. He sits and listens, full of wonder. On going home, he tells his mother he has been among the angels. At first, at a loss, she becomes angry, when a question or two brings out that he has been to a Protestant Sunday-school; and the father, on coming home, forbids his going back, on pain of flogging. Next Sunday, however, he goes, and is flogged, and so again, and yet again, till, one Sunday, he begs to be flogged before going, that he may not be kept thinking of it all the time. The father relents a little and promises him a holiday every Saturday afternoon, if he will not go to Sunday-school. The lad agrees, sees his teacher, who offers to teach him then. How many wealthy young folks would give up their Saturdays to train one poor ragged urchin in the way of salvation? Some time nfter, at bis work, the lad is on one of the railway cars. The train starts suddenly; he slips through, and the wheels puss over his legs; he asks the doctor if he will live to get home; it is impossible. "Then," says he, "tell father and mother that I am going to heaven and want to meet them there." Will the work she did seem little, now, to the young lady? Or is it nothing that even one thus grateful waits her yonder?
189. Cheerfulness An Attraction or Piety.—A London minister, lately pointed out a family of seven, all of whom he was just recsiving into the Church. Their story was this; going to church, he had to pass by a window, looking up at which one day, he saw a baby looking out; he smiled—the baby smiled. Next time he passes he looks up again, smiles, and the baby smiles back. A third tioce going by, ha looks up, and seeing the baby, throws it a kiss—wbich the baby returns to him. Time after time he has to pass the window, and now cannot rc'frain from looking up each time: and each time there are more faces to receive his smiling greeting; till by and by he sees the whole family granped at the window—father, mother, and all. The father conjectures tlie happy, smiling stranger must be a minister, and so, next Sunday morning, after they have received at the window the usual greeting, two of the children, ready dressed, are sent out to follow him; they enter his church, hear him preach, and carry back to their parents the report that they never heard such preaching. Soon the rest come to the church, too, and are brought in—all by a smile. Let us not go about hanging our heads like a bulrush; if Christ gives us joy, let us live it!
190. Enthusiasm.—We need more enthusiasm. The more we have the better. I have a great admiration for Garibaldi, though I cannot, of course, approve of all his acts. When put in prison he said, "It were better that fifty Garibaldis should perish, than that Eome should not be free." This was the cause getting above the man: that is what we want. We want to forget ourselves. There are one hundred thousand men -waiting now to be brought to Christ, to be invited to come to Him, and shall we hang back?
191. Looking Unto Jesus.—When I was a boy, I used to try to describe a straight path through, the snow in the fields by looking down at my feet. The way to make a straight path would be to look at an object beyond; so in this passage we are directed to have our eyes on the mark at the right hand of the Master.
192. Obedience.—I remember reading in some history of the ninth, century of a young general who with only five hundred men came up against a king with twenty thousand. And the king sent to him to say that it was the height of folly to resist with his handful of men. The general call< d in one of his men, and said, "Take that sword and drive it to your heart." And the man took the weapon, and drove it to his heart, and fell dead. He said to another, "Leap into yonder chasm," and the man instantly obeyed. Then, turning to the messenger, he said. "Go back and tell your king that we have five hundred such men. We will die but we will never surrender." Tiie messeuger returned, and his tale struck terror into the hearts of the king's soldiers, so that they fled like chaff before the wind. God says, "One shall chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight."
193. Rooted In Christ.—In the country there are sometimes seen great trees blown over and torn up by the roots, and the occasion of it was the shallow soil. So it is with many professors— they for a while believe, but in time of temptation they fall away, because they had not been rooted in Christ. This points to the inward and outward growth of the Christian. The only way to keep from falling is to grow.
194. Perseverance Will Surely Conquer.—There was a terribly wicked man who kept a liquor saloon, whose children I was very anxious to draw to my Sabbath-school. So one day I called on this man and said, "Mr. Bell, I want you to let your children come to the Sabbath-school." He was terribly angry, said he did not believe in the Bible, school, or any thing else, and ordered me to leave the house.
Soon after I went down again, and asked him to go to church, and again he was very angry. He said that he had not been at church for nineteen years, and would never go again, and he would rather see his boy a drunkard and his daughter a harlot than that they should attend the Sabbathschool. A second time I was forced to leave the house.
Two or three days after I called again, and he said, "Well, I guess you are a pretty good-natured sort of man and different from the rest of Christians, or you would not come back." I asked him what he had to say against Christ and if he had read His life; and he asked me what I had to say against Payne's "Age of Reason," and if I had read it. I said I had not read it; whereupon he said he would read the New Testament if I would read the Age of Reason. I agreed, though he had the best of the bargain. I asked Mr. Bell to come to church but he said they were all hypocrites that went to church. This he would do, however; I might come to his house, if I liked, and preach. "Here in this saloon?" "Yes! but look here, you are not to do all the talking; he said that he and his friends would have their say as well as I. I agreed that they might have the first forty-five minutes, and I the last fifteen of the hour, which he thought fair, and that was settled. The day came and I went to keep my appointment, but I never met such a crowd as were in that saloon, such a collection of infidels, deists, and reprobates of all kinds I never saw before. Their oaths and language were horrible. Some of them seemed as if they had come on leave of absence from the pit. I never was so near hell before. They began to talk in the most blasphemous way; some thought one thing, some another; some believed there was a God—others not; some didn't believe any thing. They couldn't agree, contradicted each other, and very nearly came to fighting with one another before their time had expired.
I had brought down a little boy, an orphan with me, and when I saw and heard such blasphemy I thought I had done wrong to bring him there. When their time was up, I said that we Christians always began service with prayer to God. "Hold," said they; "two must be agreed first." "Well, here are two of us." And so I prayed, and then the little boy did so, and I never heard a prayer like that in all my life. It seemed as if God was speaking through that little boy. With tears running down his cheeks he besought God, for Christ's sake, to take pity on all these poor men; and that went to their very hearts. I heard sobs throughout the hull, and one infidel went out at this door and another at that; and Mr. Bell came to me and said, "you can have my children, Mr. Moody." And the best friend that I have in Chicago to-day is that same Joshua Bell, and his son has come out for Christ and as a worker for Him.
195. Salvation is Every Thing.—The first one thing is to know that you are saved yourself. If a man lack salvation he lacketh every thing. A wife said to me, "My husband is every thing to me except one thing: he gets drunk." It seemed that this alone would make a hell on enrth. A waterpipe might be perfectly laid, the reservoir in good condition, and the water in sufficient quantity, but if one joint of the pipe were lacking, the whole was useless.
196. Heart-Yearnings Providentially Answered. -^-During our war, there was a Southern man who came over to a Wisconsin regiment, saving he could not fight to uphold slavery. Some time after, the mail from the north came in, and all the men got letters from their relations, and universal joy prevailed. This Southern man said he wished he were dead; he was most unhappy, for there were no letters for him. His mother was dead, and his father and brothers would have shot him if they could, for going against them. This man's tent-mate was very sorry for his friend, and when he wrote to his mother in Wisconsin, he just told her all about it. His mother sat down and wrote to her sou's friend. She called him her son, and spoke to him like a mother. She told him, when the war was over that he must come to her, and that her home would be his. When the letter reached the regiment, the chaplain took it down to where this man was standing, and told him it was for him; but he said it was a mistake, that nobody would write to him; he had no friends, it must be for some one else. He was persuaded to open it, and when he read it, he felt snch joy. He went down the lines, saying, "I've got a mother!" When afterwards the regiment was disbanded, and the men were returning to their homes, there was none who showed S9 much anxiety as this man to get to his mother in Wisconsin, There are hundreds of young men who want mothers, and any kindness done to them will not lose its reward.
197. Oor Life In Christ.—When God converted us He gave us a new nature—lifrf in Christ—and the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other.
198. The World Not The Christian's Home.—You must learn to be like a rock in the stream, past which the current flows rapidly, but it is unmoved. You are still in the world, but you are not of the world. You are citizens of another world, and only strangers and pilgrims here.
199. Cling To The Rock.—There is a tunnel over the Rocky Mountains, and the bore is so contracted that there is no room for a man to escape if two trains were coming alongside of each other; but they have cut niches in the solid rock, into which a person may go and be safe. Two little children were caught thus one clay—a sister and her little brother; and after she got her brother into one of these niches she went to the one opposite, and just as the trains were about to whisk past them she cried to her little brother, "Cling clone to the rock." The trains passed and they were safe in the clefts of the rock. This is all you want, dear young Christiana, cling close to the rock of your salvation.
200. Whom Satan Leaves Alone.—There is a story told of a gentleman in our country who had a servant—a negro—we call such Sarnbo—and he was a converted man, and bis master used to bauter him about his religion, and to say, "Sambo, you arc always talking cf the conflict; I don't have any of your groaning and the conflict you talk of." One day they were out hunting. His master blazed aw.vy at some ducks, and did not mind the dead ones, but sent Sambo after the wounded ones. "Maasa,'' said he, when he next spoke to him of his warfare, "as you did not care for the dead ducks—you knew you had them;"so Satan leaves you all quiet. You are dead, and he lets you alone; but he is after me, because I am wounded, but alive."
201. The Banner or The Cross.—The Spanish authorities in Cuba had arrested a man who, though born in England, was a naturalized United States citizen. He was charged with conspiracy against the government, and ordered to be shot. Bat the consuls of both England and America believed the man to be innocent, and used all the persuasion and entreaty in their power for his release, but the proud Spaniards haughtily disregarded their petition.
The hour of execution had now arrived, and a company of soldiers were drawn up in line. The condemned English-American marched out before them, calmly awaiting his fate. He stood at the foot of the grave, already dug, his coat off, and his hands pinioned behind him. The oiScer ordered his men to load, and at the word "present," they brought their rifles to their shoulders, awaiting the word of comnja'.id to fire.
In the awful suspense, suddenly there sprang forward from the bystanders the two consuls; the one drawing from his breast the Stars and Stripes, wrapped it right round the prisoner, whilst the other threw over him the Union Jack. The consuls now stood on either side, defying the Spaniards, who dared not tire on the flags of two of the mightiest nations under heaven, and the man was released, and proved his innocence to the satisfaction of the authorities. Oh! to be wrapped in the bloodstained banner of the Cross.
202. Prayer Answered.—I think it would do ns good to take the word "Prayer," and run through the Bible tracing it out. Read about nothing e!se. I think you would be perfectly amazed if you took up the word "prayer," and counted the cases in the Bible where people are recorded as praying, and God answering their prayers.
203. Acknowledging G Od's Mercies.—A young pastor, newly placed over a church, finding his prayermeetings ill-attended and lifeless, surprised his people one Sabbath, by announcing that there would be no prayer-meeting that week, but a meeting for praise. Curiosity brought out a large gathering of his church; he told them that as they were so reluctant to pray, he wished every one now to look back on his past life, and see if he did not remember something to thank God for, and just to rise tip and thank God for it. The result was, that one after another rose up, thanking God for this and that mercy, till the hour was over before they were aware, and they went away declaring it to be the best meeting they had ever had; and not only so, but this proved to be the beginning of a revival among them.
204. Evil Thoughts.—Some young converts are much distressed about evil thoughta Now the sin lies not in their coming into your mind, but in your harboring them. As one has said, " We cannot help the birds from flying over our heads, but we can prevent their building their nests in our hair."
205. Our Bubden-bearer.—A little boy wished to help his father to carry books to the. library. The little fellow took hold of a big book, and the father seeing him on the stairs exhausted, and unable to go farther, took the boy and the book in his arms. So Christ will carry us and our burdens too.
206. Abundant Grace In Store.—Christians are all the time praying God to take the thorn out of the flesh instead of praying for more grace to bear it. God can give you grace enough to bear any affliction. God is anxious to give, but we do nofc ask Him for all we want. He not only saves us but He keeps us. There is always more grace to follow. This Mr. Moody illustrated by an anecdote told by Rowland Hill, of a rich man giving his pastor a large sum of money to give to the most deserving poor man in his parish. The pastor thought it best to give it in small sums, so he gave him $25 at a time, and wrote on the envelope: "There is more to follow." Which did the man most good, the $25 or the more to follow? That is grace. We have a great feast of many things, but there is more to follow. It is humiliation now, but by and by we will see the King in His beauty. It is peace for the past, grace for the present, and glory for the future.
207. Unioh In Prayer.—One night in the inquiry room there were four persons together, and I found that three of them were Christians; they had come to seek a blessing upon the fourth, a fine-looking business man. After talkiug a little with him, I said, "Now, my friend, what is the difficulty? what is it that keeps you from Christ?" His young wife, who was one of the party said, "Mr. Moody, I can tell you what is the trouble; it is his business; he is in the liquor business." I said, "Well, can't you give it up?" The man thought he would not give it up just at onca; in three or four years he would make his way out of the business. But I said, " You can't afford to wait that time, you may be dead in less than three or four years." And then I turned to his wife and said, "Have you faith to pray that your husband may give up his business now and find the Saviour?" She said she had. I asked his two other friends, "Have you faith for him?" They said, "Yes," and we knelt down around the man— surrounded him with prayer. The talk we had had with him seemed to have little effect, but when we talked to God about it, he broke down; there and then he resolved to give up the liquor business, and found peace and salvation.
208. A Prisoner Converted.—I made a visit, one Sunday, to the Tombs prison in New York, by invitation of the chaplain. After preaching to the prisoners, I conversed personally with them in their cells and listened to their stories. They were all "innocent" men, except one who, with streaming eyes, said to me, "My sins are more than I can bear." "Thank God for that, for you are invited to cnst them upon Jesus who has borne them for you." We prayed togeth -r, a'ld the following morning I visited him, and the prisoner, whose face was lit up with a heavenly sniile, told how at midnight, while he was praying, the Lord Jesus came into his soul and made him free.
209. Confessing Christ.—The blessing of heaven will fall upon yon, and you shall have peace and joy if you confess Christ before a scoffing, mocldng world. I remember the first time I confessed Christ my knees smote together. I had a little speech all made up, but when I got on my feet it all went from me. I just stood up for Christ. Satan afterwards said, "What a fool you made of yourself!" I have been making a "fool" of myself for twenty years.
210. A Child's Faith.—A little girl, who, going among strangers, went down on her knees and prayed to God thus: ''Lord, please make theso people as kind to me as my father and mother were," and then, with a short pause, the little child burst out with this joyous, confident conclusion: "Of course, good, dear Lord, of course you'll do it."
211. No Ball Or Theatre For Paul.—Paul never would have been invited to a charity ball, and ho was so peculiar that he never would have attended a theatra except to preach the Gospel.
212. Fearless Advocacy.—I have a good deal of respect for the old woman who, in the time of war, started out with a poker when the enemy was approaching. She was asked what she could do with that, and replied: "I can show them which side I am on."
213. Time Axd Zeal.—Look how men search for wealth. Men say they cannot come to these meetings and wait half an hour; they cannot leave their families; but let them think they can accumulate a little wealth and they can leave their families six months, and six years if need be. Men safrilico honor and home in pursuit of wealth, and yet men never accuse them of being mad. Look how the politicians have been in earnest for the past two weeks. Men have got hold of me on the street and tried to drag me to the polls to vote their ticket —democratic and republican both. They did not know me, but it made no difference. They were in earnest; but let them try to save souls and we are fanatics.
214. Sure Entrance To Heaven.—A man told me that he had a dream that he was taken by the angels to the gates of heaven and they would not let him in. He represented himself as having been a Sabbath-school superintendent; they did not know him. Another man came and said he had been an elder of the church; they did not know him. Another told of the good he had done; they did not know him. At last one came crying, "Blood, blood, blood," and the gates flew wide open, The man awoke and thought if he entered those gates he must be washed in the blood. The blood must be a token.
215. Lost By Neglect.—If any one is lost in this audience it won't be on account of Adam's sin. and yet—it will be. If I inherited consumption from my parents I would not be to blame for it; but if I should have overwhelming proof that a sure remedy had been found for the disease, and I refuse to avail myself of it, then I must expect the consequences of my neglect. \Ve are all sinners, but, thanks be to God, he has provided a sure cure, and it is offered to the whole world for nothing.
216. Persevering Prayer.—A lady in England whose husband was an infidel determined to pray for him every day for a year. She did so. but there was no change. Then she made up her mind to pray for six months longer for his conversion; still no change. At the end of that time she said, "I'll pray for him to the end of my life; I'll never give him up." That was just the condition of mind which God wanted to bring her to. That very day her husband came home, went to his chamber, fell on his knees and cried, "O Lord, save me!"
217. Prayer During The Civil, War.—During the American war, when husbands, fathers, and brothers were away on the battle-fields, their wives, daughters, and mothers learnt to pray, and many an hour was spent by them in their closets alone with God. The results were marvellous, and that, too, in the case of the wickedest and most depraved men in the army.
One day at Nashville a great, strong, wicked-looking soldier came to me trembling. He said he had got thia letter from his sister, six hundred miles away, and she said that she prayed to God, night after night, that be should be saved, and he said he could not stand to hear that, and he had come to give himself to Christ; and there and then we knelt down together in prater to God, he crushed and broken in heart.
218. Hell Oh The Grave.—What is the use of keeping poor people's bodies a little longer out of the grave, and not trying to keep their souls out of hell?
219. A Love-feast Story.—One Thanksgiving in our mission-school I had appointed a kind of lovefeast, at which every one was to tell what he was most thankful for.
One little fellow, who had no other relative in the world but a decrepit old grandfather, with whom he lived in the greatest poverty, had become a Christian some time before, and, like others of the children, was trying to do a little home-missionary work on his own account. When his turn came to tell what he wns most thankful for, he said—
"There wan that big fellow, 'Butcher Kilroy,' who acted so bad that nobody would have him, and he had to be turned out of one class after another, till I was afraid he would be turned out of the school. It took me a long time to get him to come, and I begged for him to stay. I used to pray to Jesus every day to give him a new heart, and I felt pretty sure He would if we didn't turn him out. By and by Butcher Kilroy began to want to be a Christian, and now he is converted; and that is what makes this Thanksgiving the happiest one in all my life."
220. Peter.—Peter is fonnd in bad company. I never saw a backslider but commenced in that way. First tlm devil gets him asleep, and then he can go to the theatre and it does not trouble him. He will not go to a church where the minister is too strict; he will go to a church where the minister goes to the theatre himself once in a while. Peter is in bad company, and one young woman says to him: "You are His disciple." Peter said: "I am not," changing his speech Sd that he would not talk like a man who had been with Christ. Another said: "Thou art one of His disciples." "I am not," said Peter, and the cock crew, but his conscience was not aroused. If there was any time that Christ needed Peter it was in that hour when Peter was sitting in the seat of the scornful. Another one says: "You are His disciple, for your speech betrayeth you." No one can be with Christ but his speech shows it. Now Peter gets angry, and begins to curse and swear: "I never knew Him." Oh, how Christ won him back! Christ might have said: "Have you forgotten that you said a few hours ago that you would go to death for me?" But He just turned and gave Peter one look, a look of compassion and pity. Peter caught that eye, it was enough, lie awoke from that sleep and began to realize what he had done. He went
out and wept bitterly. No one on this earth knows what Peter suffered that night. How his heart ^rnust have sunk next day when he heard Christ had expired. I c.an imagine all those long hours Christ was in the .grave, Peter neither slept nor ate. How tenderly the Saviour dealt with him. The first thing after He had risen He sent a message to Peter. He had an interview with Peter and I can imagine Peter cried to Him to forgive him. How Christ forgave him and made him the champion of the cross; made him the great Apostle to preach on the day of Pentecost. His self-confidence is now all gone. Oh, may God take from us this self-confidence, that wo may not be lifted up, but be humble and walk humbly with God. If there is a poor backslider here who will come back to Jesus, God will make him more useful in the future. If there is a poor wanderer here Jesua wants you. He will forgive you and restore His love in your heart.
221. God's Mercy Free.—Do you think that God offers the cup of salvation to all men, and then, just as you are going to drink, He snatches it away, and says, "Oh, but you are not one cf the elect." God doesn't do any thing of the kind.
222. The City or Refuge.—The law was, if a man Idlled another accidentally, the next relative should revenge his kinsman, and the only hope for the man was to get into that city. They were on each side of Jordan, so there could be no obstacles in the way. Suppose I am chopping in the woods, and the axe slipped out of my hands and killed the man I am working with. I know his brother will be on my track, and I run as fast as I can for the city of refuge. I soon hear his footsteps after me. I leap over bridges. I don't stop to loiter by the way. No time for discussing which is the best denomination. I want to save my life. The avenger is on me. He has a double-edged sword bearing down upon me. I say, "If I can only get through that gate, I will save my life." Away I go. A watchman standing on the walls of the city sees me coming, and the news spreads through the city that there is a poor fugitive coming. The inhabitants stand on the walls, and they see the avenger bearing down upon me. They cry: "Run! flee for thy life! run!" At last I go leaping through the gates of the city. One moment outside; the next in. The avenger cannot touch me. Did you ever stop to think that death is on your track? Did yon ever stop to think how near he may be to you? A young man from one of the hotels heard my lecture on the Prophet Daniel. On the next Wednesday night he was talking about the lecture. On Thursday night he was found dead in his bed. I hope he was in the city of refuge. If he was, he is safe for time and eternity. Death is ou our track; if we are in the city of refuge we are safe, God has provided a city of refuge for every one, that is, Christ.
223. Satan Asleep.—The devil can do most any thing with a man when he gets asleep. A man dreamt he was travelling, and came to a little church, and on the cupola of that church there was a devil fast asleep. He went along further, and came to a log cabin, and it was surrounded by devils all wide awake. He asked one of them what it meant; said the devil: "I will tell you. The fact is, that whole church is asleep and one devil can take care of all the people, but here are a man and woman who pray, and they have more power than the whole church." When God tells us to watch we must watch.
224. Moody And The Infidel.—One day I was holding a meeting in the north of England, when one of the managers of the affair came to me complaining of a man down in the lower part of the hall. "That man," said he, "ought to be put right out of here. He's a rank infidel. He is president of the infidel club in this town."
I said, "No! we will not put the man out. I will go down and speak to him," and forthwith went to the infidel and sat down alongside of him. "My friend," I said, "can I do any thing to interest you in your soul's welfare?"
"Well, I dou't know as you can," replied the infidfcl, in sarcastic tones. "I don't know as I have got a soul in the first place, and I am not going to be interested until I do. Now, if you can prove to me tbat I have got a soul then it will be time enough to talk about being interested, and not before."
I said, "Well, my friend, we won't spend any time now arguing that question, but will you do this for me? Will you kneel down alongside of me and pray?" "No!" said the man bluntly, "I'll do nothing of the sort. I don't see tbe use of it. I don't know who I am going to pray to. If you tell me that you are going to pray ta God, I tell you that I don't believe there is a God, and, therefore, I doii't see any sort of use in praying to something that don't exist. But," added the iufidel, ''if you think there is any use in it, go ahead and pray. I don't care, go ahead and try it on me. It won't do any harm, anyhow."
I knelt down beside the infidel and prayed, while he, with sneers depicted in his face, held his head up high to show that such a proceeding could have no effect on him. I heard no more from the man until some weeks later, when, while prenching at Wick, in Scotland, the infidel met me at the close of the servioe, and said, "Well, now, Mr. Moody, do you see how that prayer of yours worked? It didn't do a bit of good. I am just the same man as I was before, and maybe a little worse. It has had no effect whatever." Some months after I returned to Liverpool one morning I received a letter from a lawyer living in the same town as the infidel, which stated that the infidel had actually been converted, and the last accounts I had from that quarter show that our friend has not only held fast to the new faith, but he has now over seventeen other infidels who were members of the same atheistical club.
225. A Western Judge.—When I was quite a young man a lady came to me and requested me to talk to her husband. I felt it was no use, for he was a prominent western judge of sceptical sentiments, and more than a match for me in argument. But yielding to her persistent entreaties I proceeded to the judge's office. The old man laughed at me. I succeeded in obtaining from him a promise that when he was converted he would write and let me know. Special prayer was offered for him at the Fulton street prayer-meeting and other places. Some time afterward, when I returned to town, I met the judge, who told me of his conversion. One night his wife went to prayer-meeting and during her absence he began to think, "Suppose my wife is right; that there is a hell and a heaven, and that my children are going to heaven and I am not." Conviction seized him and he commenced to pray. He retired before his wife returned and pretended to be asleep while she prayed for him. Rising early in the morning he told her Be did not feel very well, and without waiting for breakfast, proceeded to his office. He told his clerks they might have a holiday, and shutting himself up in the office prayed that God for Christ's sake would take away the great load of guilt, and soon the burden rolled off. He told his wife that he was a new man, and they both kneeled in prayer, thanking God for his great goodness. Upon returning to America I inquired if the judge stood firm. I was informed that he had passed gloriously from earth and was now standing at the right hand of God.
22G. Frayer A Substitute For Fault-finding.—" If things do not always please you, don't complain— just pray!"
227. Everlasting Rf.morse The Sinner's Portion.— Do you think that Jndas, after nearly 1,900 years, has forgotten that he betrayed his Saviour for thirty pieces of silver? Do you think that Cain, after 5,000 years, has forgotten the pleading look of his brother Abel when he slew him?
228. Total Abstinence. — I would rather have my right hand cut off than touch the stuff before my children. The friends that have been lost are Bo many as should rouse us to be as one man in sweeping the drink from our tables. If you want me to sign the pledge, I will take any pledge you may bring; I never touch drink, and never intend to do so. Now for the other side! Some temper
210 ADDRESSES AND BEST TnOCGHTS.
anco men make a grand mistake, and that is—they big in the question every time they gat the chance. Every thing in its own place! If I gu to a pra}rertneeting I do not want to hear temperance or the higher Christian life. There is a man who comes to our noon-day meetings; no matter what the subject is, he gets up and talks every day on the higher life. A friend, in going out of the meeting one day, said to me, "I like a fiddle with a thousand strings, not with this one of higher life played on every day." And so it is with temperance.
Abstinence. Total. 228.
Backsliding, 109, 113, 115.
Barabbas, The Story of, 179.
Betrayal, The, 167.
Bible. 1, 3, 67.
Blood, 54, 55, 68, 72, 105,147.
Calvary, 93, 103, 144, 151,164.
Christ, 5.19, 20, 23. 24, 25, 79.
101, 127, 142, 146, 172, 158,
191, 197, 209.
Christian, 88, 110. 185, 112,
119, 107, 136, 208.
Confession, 174, 198.
Conversion, 9, 10, 12, 13, 48,
!)8, 102, 170. 203.
Cross, 70, 201.
Death. 37, 49, 56, 76, 111, 169.
Earnestness, 35, 36, 42, 44, 45.
Eleventh Hour, 173.
Elijah, and the Priests of Baal,
Enemies, 123, 157.
Excuses, 125, 126, 131.
Faith, 50, 71. 176, 210.
Fall, The, 106.
Feeling, 58, 14.
Good News, 12, 132, 183.
Gospel, 60, 122, 129.
Grace, 165, 206.
Heaven, 59. 62, 63, 64, 63, 78,
100, 139, 145, 214.
Hell, 14, 83, 84, 218.
Indifference, 32, 77.
Last Call, 46, 104.
Laziness, 97. •*•*•
Law, 117, 118, 120, 133.*''
Lies, 95, 130. . . .. ,
Life, 31, 197. *.: •.: l
Looking unto Jesus, J2U* • *•*
Lost, 15, 16, 114.
Love, 22, 51. 158, 173.
Mephibosheth, The Story of,
Mercies, God's, 203, 221.
Nixaman, The Story of, 182.
Nearness to Christ, 91.
Parental Instruction, 160.
Prayer, 85, 202, 207, 217, 225,
Procrastination, 92, 137.
Redemption, 163, 177.
Refuge, City of, 222.
Salvation, -16ft 195.
•Sjatan> % 144;1(J8, 153, 200,
. 223.'- • '-
Seeding Christ, 34, 69, 21.
Sinners, 26, 52, 73, 103, 141
156, 173, 227.
Soul, 17, 18.
Temperance, 99, 149.
Thief. The, 171.
Thoughts, Evil, 204.
Union, 53, 207.
Widow's Son, The, 181.
Work, 33, 138.
World, 96, 19a
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