"For frith the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the month conff»ilon b nude onto »alntlon." Boxah* 10: 10.
Last night I spoke to you about believing. I want to follow that subject to-night with another subject as important, and that is Confession of Christ; not confessing sin, that is not what I want to talk about to-night, but confessing Christ. In the 10th chapter of Romans, 10th verse—a very little verse—you will find these words: "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." I believe there are a great many people who have got into trouble and difficulty rightj in the middle of that verse, because they do not understand why it is that they do not have the joy they have heard other Christian people talk about. They say they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ; they say they trust him, and him alone, for salvation; they say that Christ is their only hope; but there they stop. Now, I say to you that confession is as important as faith. "With the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Then the next verse says: "For the Scripture sayeth, Whosover believeth on him shall not be ashamed." Now, if a man really believes in his heart, the next thing he ought to do is to confess Christ; is it not? And you won't get the blessing until you do. "With the mouth confession is made unto salvation." The fact of the matter is, that we are all moral cowards; we are ashamed to come out and confess Christ, and take our stand on the Lord's side, and on the side of his religion. It is the only religion in the world that is worth having; it is the only religion in the world that gives life to man; but, strange to say, I believe we are the only people on earth who are ashamed of their religion. You cannot find a man who holds any false doctrine of religion who is not proud of it. If a. man has got hold of an error, he is not ashamed to confess it and acknowledge it to all men. A man who is in the service of Satan is not ashamed of it. You hear such men swearing on the street, proclaiming who is their master every day; they seem to be proud of the devil, and to like to have every one know that they are servant* of his.
But how do men confess their allegiance to Christ? As disciples
of Jesus, what cowards we are! It sometimes happens that those
who have gone away from our meetings under the influence of a
changed heart, come to me afterward and say that they are still in
226 darkness. I say to them, there is a reason for this; did you confess Christ when you went home? "No; I thought I would wait and see how it would hold out, before I told any one." But that is not the right way to do. You see it is with the heart man believeth, Mid the next step is to confess him with the mouth; that is what the mouth is for—to confess Christ; to tell all that he has done for you. If a man is ashamed to do this, to take his stand on the Lord's side, he will not pet the benefit of his conviction. In fact, it is confession unto salvation; salvation comes when we take our stand for Jesus Christ, before all the world. If I belonged to the Republican party, and got tired and sick of it and wanted to join the Democratic party, I should not be ashamed to come out and acknowledge it. You never saw a man leave one party to join another who did not like to come out and let every one know it. They want to use all the influence they can to get their friends to join them. If a man is on
* < /• iT • t* - . e> \* * i .t
few there are who are ready to come out boldly and acknowledge to
every one that they want to be on the Lord's side?
One thing that made our one o'clock meeting so interesting to-day was, a young man got up and said: "My sister and my mother are very anxious to have me become a Christian, and I myself want to." I said: "Thank God for that; that man has more courage. He is willing to let the world know that he wants to be on the Lord's side." I never yet have seen a man who came out boldly in that way but that he surely turns out all right at last. Look at the 9th chapter of Luke, the 23d verse: "And he said unto them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." But the cross is what men do not like; they want to get to heaven without taking up the cross—any way but that If men cou'd buy salvation, they would be willing to pay a good price fcr it They would go round the world to get to heaven without the burden of the cross. The way to heaven is straight as an arrow; it is perfectly straight. A man need not be in darkness about the way, if he really wants to know. But on the way to heaven there is a cross; and if you try to go around it, or to step over it, or to do anything else than take it up and bear it onward, you get lost. When men are ready to follow Christ, to deny themselves; and humble themselves, and take up the cross, then salvation is ready for them. Satan puts a straw across our path and magnifies it, and makes us believe it is a mountain; but all the devil's mountains are mountains of smoke; when you come up to them they are not there, but mere mountains of smoke. Now, there is nothing to hinder this whole audience from coming out on the Lord's side to-night, and confessing Jesus Christ to be their Savior; There is nothing but your will to prevent it. Satan has not the power to keep you from it, if you will. Christ says, "Except a man become converted, and like a little child, he is not fit for the kingdom of God." Pride, I think, is the worst enemy we have. It keeps thousands of p< ople out of the kingdom of God". The idea that we have to humble ourselves and become like a little child is too much for our pride; but" whoever shall save his life shall lose it, and whoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it;" but "whoever shall be ashamed of me and of my word, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory and in his power, and amid all the angels." Ashamed of him! A young convert got up in one of our meetings and tried to preach; he could not preach very well either, but he did the best he could. But some one stood up and said: "Young man, you can not preach; you ought to be ashamed of yourself." Said the young man: "So I am; but I am not ashamed of my Lord." That is right. Do not be ashamed of Christ—of the Man that bought us with his own blood. Ought we to be ashamed to speak for his cause, to take our stand on his side? He might well be ashamed of us, for ten thousand reasons which I could show. But the idea of a poor, miserable, vile, blind, hell-deserving sinner being ashamed to own Christl It is the strangest thing in the world. Look in the 12th chapter of Luke, the 8th and 9th verses: "Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God. But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God."
During our war, when a general had accomplished some great victory, or had any great success, he thought it was a great honor to have a man stand up in congress and mention his name. But think of having your name mentioned in the courts of heaven; and not only that, but by the Prince of heaven, by the King of kings and Lord of lords! Think of Jesus speaking our names there! He says to us, If you will not be ashamed of me here before men, in this old creation, I will not be ashamed of you in heaven before the angels, in the new creation. You confess me here, I will confess you there. You deny me here, I will deny you there.
Will the Christian people in this room, in this assembly, to-night, take their stand and let every one know in the circle of their family and among their acquaintances that they are on the Lord's side? Why, if you do, it would be the best meeting, a meeting of more satisfaction than any we have had. The results of such a course, taken by every one here to-night, would bring more to Jesus, and be productive of greater righteousness, than any brought out by any previous assembly. Let you, young converte, tell your experience, take your stand and confess Christ. That is the way to snow how strong your conversion is. Be sure you are on the Lord's side. "If the Lord be God, then follow him; but if Baal be God, then follow him." It is one of the surest signs of your genuine repentance to come out before men and confess the Lord Jesus Christ. Take your stand, and be a witness to the Lord. "He that confesseth me before men, the same will I also confess before the angels of heaven. But he that denieth me before men, the same will I also deny before my father which is in heaven." I was in a Boston prayer-meeting, a number of years ago—but I ought to say that I have lived for a number of years out West, a number of years in Chicago, and you know that that part of the country is made up principally of young men; at any rate the prayer-meetings were for the most part made up of young men—hardly saw a gray-headed man in them at all. So, while I was in Boston, it was quite a treat to see old, gray-headed men in the assemblies. Well, in that meeting, a little tow-headed Norwegian boy stood up. He could hardly speak a word of English, plain; but he got up and came to the front. He trembled all over, and the tears were all trickling down his cheeks; but he spoke out as well as he could, and said: "If I tell the world about Jesus, then will he tell the Father about me." He then took his seat; and that was all he said; but I tell you in those few words he said more than all of them, old and young together. Those few words went straight down into the heart of every one present. "If I tell the world"— yes, that's what it means, to confess Christ.
And now are there not hundreds here to-night that are really ashamed of Christ—feel backward about confessing that they are Christians? I heard a story about two young men who came to this city from the country on a visit. They went to the same boardinghouse to stay, and took a room together. Well, when they came to go to bed, each felt ashamed to go down on his knees before his companion first. So there they sat watching each other. In fact, to express the situation in one won', they were both cowards—yes, cowards! But at last one of them mustered up a little courage; but with burning blushes, as if he was about to do something wrong and wicked, he sank down on his knees to say his prayers. As soon as the second saw that, he also knelt. And then, after they had said •Heir prayers, each waited for the other to get up. When they did manage to get up, one said to the other: "I really am glad to see that you knelt; I was afraid of you." "Well," said the other, "and I was afraid of you." So it turned out that both were Christians, and yet they were afraid of each other. You smile at that, but how many times have you done the same thing—perhaps not in this way, bat the same thing in effect Henceforth, then, be not ashamed, but let every one know you are his. And I wish to say to the young converts here, to-nignt, that if you want peace and joy flowing into your hearts like a river, commence at once and confess him. It is not a work of merit; you are not making God a debtor to you; it is the very least you can do. And those who do so, come out boldly and confess him, preach better and stronger than any minister of ins. Each confession is worth more than a sermon; it is like to one raised from the dead.
The most powerful meeting we have ever had was that of last night, the converts came boldly forth and told how they had been saved. I heard many say that it was the beat meeting they had attended. Oh, what meetings of sweetness and communion with God we would have if every one would just come out and do his duty, at God wants him to dol If we boldly took up our cross, and bore it manfully, the world would soon see the influence of these meetings. When I was in Ireland, I heard of a man who got great blessing from God. He was a business man—a landed proprietor. He had a large family, and a great many men to work for him, taking care of his home. He came up to Dublin, and there he found Christ. And he came boldly out, and thought he would go home and confess him. He thought that if Christ had redeemed him with his precious blood, the least he could do would be to confess him, and tell about it sometimes. So he called his family together, and his servants, and with tears running down his cheeks, he poured out his soul to them, and told them what Christ had done for him. He took the Bible down from its resting-place and read a few verses of gospel. Then he went down: on his knees to pray, and Bo greatly was the little gathering blessed, that four or five out of that family were convicted of sin; they forsook the ways of the world, and acpepted Christ and eternal life. It was like unto the household of Cornelius, which experienced the like working of the Holy Spirit. And that man and his family were not afraid to follow out their professions.
They were not like a great many men I have seen who accept Christ while there is no cross to bear, and where everything is plain and easy for them. Some men, when they profess to accept Christ, immediately think they must go and join some church right away. So they go down and see the minister, and say: "Mr. So-and-so, I have become a Christian,t and I want to take a pew in your church. I would like to be a member of your congregation, but I don't want to take any active part in the church. Now, don't ask me, some evening, to get up and tell my experience; I never did anythinglike that, and would not like to be pointed at so oonspioui usly." Well, he does join the church; and that is the last you ever hear of him. Last week, in this building, a man was converted, and he went right off and joined some church. Well, I hope after he did join, he didn't stop going to church. If a man is converted, I want him to come here and give his experience—let the thousands hear that he is » child of God; let his testimony be given to others, and the result may be that God will use his witnessing to the conversion of many. Mr. Sankey sang to-night, "Where are the Nine?" So may Christ ask the question, "Where are the Nine?" You have read of the story of the cleansing of the ten lepers; you know how the God of glory had compassion upon them. His command was, "Go show yourselves to the priests; and so they went—behold, the leprosy was all gone! It must have been a wonderful sight. They are going along the road; all at once one discovers the great change that has been wrought in him, and he stops suddenly. "Brothers, my leprosy is gone," he cries; "lam perfectly well, look!" And another then sees his altered condition, and he cries out, "And I am well, too." Arid another, "Why, seel my fingers were nearly rotted off; and now the disease is all gone." So they all look at themselves; and the great truth bursts upon them that they have been made well. Nine of them continue on their journey; but one poor man turns hack, and falls at the feet of Jesus, and glorifies God. Perhaps he did not find his Lord right away; perhaps he had to search for him; but find him he did, and gave him the glory. Christ, alter seeing him alone at his feet, out of all he had conferred the great boon upon, asked, in astonishment: "Were there not ten cleansed; but where are the nine?" Well, I don't know what became of them. Perhaps they went and joined some church; at any rate, that is the last we hear of them. So the people think that if they join some church that is all that is required of them. Ha! my friends, "Where are the nine?" If the Lord has cleansed you, why don't you lift up your voice in his praise, and give thanks? Why do you bury your talents? Why don't you confess Christ? It is sweet to Christ to have men confess him. One day he said, "Whom do men say that I am?" He wanted them to confess him. But one •aid, "They say thou art Elias," and another, "That thou art Jeremiah;" and another—"Thou art John the Baptist." But he asked, "Whom do you say that I am?"—turning to his disciples. And Peter answers, "Thou art the Son of the living God." Then our Lord exclaimed, "Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona." Yes; he blessed him right there, because he confessed him to be the Son of God. He was hungry to get some one to confess him. Then let every one t*l« his stand on the side of the Lord; confess him here on earth, and he will confess you when you get to heaven. Ho will look around upon you with pride, because you stood up for him here. If Jon want the blessing of heaven and the peace that passeth nil understanding, you must be ready and willing to confess him. L)o vou know how Peter fell? He fell like ten thousand people fall, because they don't confess the Son of God; that is the way Peter fell. He saw the people standing all around, and he was ashamed to own his Lord and Master. Am I speaking to any one here to-night who is uhamed to own Christ in his business; ashamed to own him among his circle of acquaintances? Have you been out to some dinner party, the last week, and heard these meetings ridiculed, and heard them scoff and jeer at Christ? If you did, and did not confess him and own him then, how can you expect to be acknowledged before the throne, at the judgment day? If you axe not willing to take your stand on the side of the Lord, you need not expect that he will bless you. I can imagine some one saying: "I don't believe in talking muoh about myself; and I don't." Well, I don't want you to confess yourselves; I want you to confess Christ. We have had enough of that first kind of work. Confess him; that's what I want you to do.
Look into that 5th chapter of Mark. It is that man I spoke of the other night, how Christ cast out the legions of devils out of him; and how he prayed him he might be with him. "No," he said; "you go home, and tell your friends how the Lord had compassion on you." The young converts say: "Well, I will go around to the synagogue every Sunday; but I can't tell any one; I won't say anything about it." But this man began to publish it; and it says that all men did marvel. They wouldn't have it that the Son of God did it. The man had never been to college; I don't know as he could write his name; I don't know as he had ever been to school. There was one thing he did know—he knew the Son of God had healed him, and had put a new song into his mouth. Christ says: "Go home, and tell your friends what great things the Lord has done." Thus he had the highest eloquence; he had the eloquence of heaven. The Spirit of the Lord God was upon him. Yes, but some of these women say; "If I was only a man, I would confess." Look into the 4th chapter of John. There was a woman that stirred up the whole town. She took one draught of the living water, and when she went to publish it she says: "Come, and see the man that told me everything I ever did; is not this Christ?" And then it says that many believed her testimony, and then they got Christ into town, and he stayed there two or three days; and many more believed on account of his own works. I wish we had a few more women like the woman of Samaria, willing to confess what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for our souls.
Now, there is one man in the 9th chapter of John I want to call your attention to. I do not know his name. I wish I did; because he is one of the men I want to see when I get to heaven. I would like to read the whole chapter, but it is so long. I will just read a few verses—in the 9th verse, or 8th verse. It is that blind man that Christ gave sight to. Here is a whole chapter in John, of forty-one verses, just to tell how the Lord blessed that blind beggar. It was put in this book, I think, just to bring out the confession of that man. "The neighbors, therefore, and they which before had seen him which was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? Some said, This is he; others said, He is like him; but he said, I am he." If it had been our case I think we would have kept still. We would have said: "There is a storm brewing among the Pharisees; and they have said, If any man acknowledges Christ, we will put him out of
the synagogue. Now, I don't want to be put out of the synagogue." I am afraid we would have said that; that is the way with a good many of the young converts. What did the young convert here? He said, "I am he. And, bear in mind, he only tola what he knew; he knew the man had given him his eyes. "Some said, He is like him, but he said, I am he." So, young converts, open your lips, and tell what Christ has done for you. If you can't do more than that, open your lips and do that. "Therefore said they unto him. How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam and wash; and I went and washed, and I received sight." He said, "He anointed my eyes with clay and I went to the pool and washed; and whereas I had no eyes, I have now got two good eyes." Some skeptic might ask, "What is the philosophy of it?" but he couldn't tell that. "Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not. They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. And it was the Sabbath day when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. Then again tho Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed and do see." He wasn't afraid to tell his experience twice; he had just told it once. "Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the Sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them." Now I am afraid if it had been us we would have kept still and said, "There is a storm brewing." "They say unto the blind man again, \V hat sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet."
Now, you see, he has got to talking of the Master, and that is a grand good thing. I pity a man or woman that has got an idea that the world can't got along without him. This man, he began to talk of his Master. "He is a prophet;" that is what I think about him. He knew what he was coming to; because the Pharisees had just laid if any man confessed him, he was going to be cast out of the synagogue. It wasn't like our churches nowadays; for if one church casts a man out, another will take him in if he shows any signs of repentance; but if he was cast out of the synagogue, there were none others there to take him in. "But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. And they asked them, saying: "Is this your son, who ye say was born blifid? How, then, doth he now see?" His parents answered them and said: "We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind. But by what means he now seeth we know not; or who hath opened his eyes we know not. He is of age; ask him; he will speak for himself.'1 I do not like those parents. They did know. They just dodged the question; they were ashamed to confess. What a blessing they would have got if they had only confessed! "He is of age; ask him'." They had rather sit in the synagogue than have Christ "Then again called they the man that was blind and said unto him, "Give God the praise; we know that this man is a sinner." He answered and said, "Whether he be a sinner or no I know not. One thing I know, that whereas I was blind now I see." They couldn't beat that out of him; this young convert got assurance right away. "I know that, whereas I was blind, now I see." I had a good deal rather know that one thing than have all the wisdom of the world, and not have that. "Then said they unto him again, what did he do unto thee? How opened he thine eyes? He answered them, I have told you already and ye did not hear; wherefore would ye hear it again? Will ye also be his disciples?" He didn't even know Christ; but he is ready to preach for him. Poor beggar! Unlearned man! If you are willing to be his disciple, I will tell it to you again. Will you do it? I like the faith that young convert had. You do not know what you can do by kindness and forbearance. I remember a family in Chicago who used to hoot at me and ray scholars as we passed their house sometimes. One day one of the boys came into the Sunday-school and made light of it. As he went away, I told him I was glad to see him there, and hoped he would come again. He came and still made a noise, but I urged him to come the next time; and finally one day he said, "I wish you would pray for me, boys." That boy came to Christ. He went home and confessed his faith, and it wasn't long before that whole family had found the way into the kingdom of God. Oh, let iu confess him to-night, and not be ashamed of our religion!
COMPASSION OF CHRIST.
"And Jeens went forth and raw a great multitude, and waa moved with compassion ta wards them, and he healed their tick." Iuttriw 14 : 14.
I want to call your attention this evening to just one word—Compassion. Some time ago I took up the Concordance, and ran through the life of Christ to see what it was that moved him to compassion; for we read often in his life, while he was down here, that he was moved with compassion. I was deeply pleased, in my own soul, as I ran through his life, and found those passages of Scripture that tell us what moved him with compassion. In the 14th chapter of Matthew and 14th verse, we find these words: "And Jesus went forth and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion towards them, and he healed their sick." He saw the great multitude, and he was moved with compassion, and he healed their sick. And in another place it says that he healed all that had need of it. Tin xe didn't any one need to tell him what was in the hearts of the people. When I stand before an audience like this I cannot read your history; but he knew the history of each one. It says in one place in Scripture, "Each heart knows its own bitterness;" and when Christ stood before a multitude like this, he knew the particular bitterness in each heart. He could read every man's biography; He knew the whole story. And as he stood before that vast multitude, the heart of the Son of God was moved with compassion; just as in the preceding verses we find him, when John's disciples had come to nim with their sad story, and with broken hearts. Their beloved Master had just been beheaded by the wicked king; they had just buried the headless body, and came to Jesus to tell all their sorrow to him. It was the best thing they could do. No one could sympathize with them as Jesus could; no one had the same compassion with them that Jesus had. In all our troubles, the best thing we can do is to follow in the footsteps of John's disciples, and tell it all to him. He is a high-priest that can be touched with our infirmities. We find after this, in a little while, that he, too, had to follow in the footsteps of the disciples. He had to lay down his life for that nation; but he forgot all about that as he looked upon the multitude, and his heart was moved with compassion. He sought to do them good; He aought to heal their sick.
In Mark, 1st chapter and 41st verse, there is a story that brings
out the compassion of Christ. There came to him a leper, and when he saw him his heart was moved with compassion. The poor leper was full of leprosy from head to foot; he was rotten with leprosy. I can just imagine how the leper told his whole story to Christ; and it was the very best thing he could do. He had no friends to be interested for him; he might have had a wife and family, or a loved mother, but they could not be there to plead for him. The law forbid any one speaking to him or touching him; but undoubtedly some one had some day come out and lifted up his voice, and told him that a great prophet had arisen in Israel who could cure him of the leprosy; that he was quite sure that he could do it, because he had performed miracles equal to that, and that he could give him life if he would only ask him. This leper told his sad story. Let us bring that scene down to our own day. Suppose that any one in this assembly here to-night should find that he was a leper, and the law required him to leave home. What a scene it must have been when that poor leper left his home, left the wife of his bosom, left his own offspring, with the thought that he never was to see them again! It was worse than death; he had to go into a living sepulchre—to vanish from home, wife, from mother, father, children, friends, and live Outside the walls of the city. And while he was out there, if any man should come near him, be had to cry, "Unclean, unclean, unclean!" He had to wear a certain kind of garment, so that all men should know him. You can see him outside the walls of the city. It might happen in the course of years, that some one came out and shouted at the top of his voice, and told him that his little child was dying; but he could not go to see his dying child, or comfort his wife in her affliction. There in exile he had to remain, banished from home, while his body was rotting with that terrible disease, with no loved friends to care for him, nothing to do to occupy his time. That was the condition of the poor leper; and when he heard that Jesus could cure him, he went to him and said: "Lord, if thou wilt thou canst cure me; Lord, hear my pitiful story; Lord, have mercy upon me; Lord, save me." And Jesus was moved with compassion; and he reached out his hand and touched him. The law forbade him doing it, forbade any one touching him; but that great heart was moved, and he touched the man. And the moment he touched him the leprosy was gone; he was healed that very moment. He went home, and told his wife and family what a great blessing had come to him.
Did you ever stop to think that the leprosy of sin is a thousand times worse than that Eastern leprosy? All that it could do was to destroy the body. It might eat out the eye; it might eat off the hand; it might eat off the foot—but think of the leprosy of sin! It brought angels from heaven, from the highest heights of glory down, not only into this world, but into the very pit of hell. Satan once lifted on high hallelujahs of heaven; but sin brought him out of heaven down into darkness. Look into the home of the drunkard; look into the home of the libertine; look into the home of the harlot; look into the homes of those who are living in sin! The leprosy of sin is a thousand times worse than the Eastern leprosy 6f the body. But if the poor sinner, all polluted with sin, will come to Christ, and say as this leper did, that we have just read about, "Lord, thou canst have compassion on me: thou canst take away this desire for sin; if thou wilt, thou canst save me," he will save you to-night. O sinner, you had better come to him; he is the very best friend that you have. It is Jesus that we preach here to-night, the Son of God. He has come to help you; he stands in this assembly, now. We cannot see him with the bodily eye; but we can with the eye of faith; and he will save every sinner who will come to him to-night! My dear friends, will you not come to him and ask him to have mercy and compassion upon you? If I were an artist, I would like to paint that scene, and bring out vividly that poor, filthy leper coming to the Son of God; and the Son of God reaching out his hand and touching and cleansing him.
And if I were an artist, I would like to draw another picture, and hang it up on yonder wall, that you might see it; and that is of the father that came to Christ with his beloved boy. He had been up on the mountain with Peter, James and John, and there he met Elijah the prophet, and Moses the law-giver. Heaven and earth had come together, and there he had met his Father, and he had spoken to him that memorable night on the mountain. In the morning when he came down, a crowd of people gathered round him, and some were laughing and talking; they had been trying to cast the evil spirit out of this boy, and told his pitiful story. No one knows but a father how much that man loved that boy; his heart was wrapped up in that child; but the boy was not only deaf and dumb, but he was possessed with a devil, and sometimes this devil would throw him into the fire, and sometimes into the water. And when the father came to Jesus, he said to him, "Bring him unto me." And when he was coming, the devil cast him down to the ground. So every man on his way to Christ must first be cast down. There he lay foaming, wallowing, and Jesus only said, "How long has this been?" "From his birth," was the answer; "Oh, you do not know how much I have suffered with this boy! When a child he was grievously tormented; he has broken my heart." Some of you here perhaps have children who are suffering from some terrible disease, and who are breaking your hearts. You can sympathize with that father. How that father wept when he brought that poor boy! And when Jesus saw that pitiful scene, his heart was moved with compassion, and with a word he cast out the devil. I can see the boy coming home with his father, leaping, and singing, and praying. Let us learn a lesson. Mother, father, have you got a son that the deril has taken possession of? Bring him to Jet"'" He delights to
nave; He delights to bless. All we have to do is to take him in the arms of our faith, 'and bring him to Jesus. I want to call your attention to a difference between the father we read of in the 9th chapter of Mark, and the poor leper in the 1st chapter. The leper says: "If thou wilt, thou canst make me whole." There was the "if in the right place. The other said: "If thou canst, have compassion." He put the "if" in the wrong place. The Lord said: "If thou canst believe, all things are possible." Let us believe that the Son of God can save our sons and our daughters. Oh, have you got a poor drunken son? Have you a poor brother who is a slave to strong drink? Come; bring him to the meeting here to-morrow night, and let your cry be: "Lord, have compassion on my darling boy, and save him."
About Jesus there was a great number of disciples as he was going near the little city of Nain; and what met his eye? Why, there was a dead man carried out, and I cannot help but think of that passage. When I was preaching to the men last Sunday night, a poor man fell dead; and while we were preaching he was carried out. And here there was a dead man being carried out of the city of Nain, and there was a great company of the friends accompanying that widow, to lay away her only child, her only son. He was an only son, it says; and his mother was a widow. The father, the head of the house, had died perhaps long before, and long before that mother had watched over that husband, and at last sne closed his eyes in death. It was a terrible blow, and now death had come again. You who are mothers can see how through all that sickness that mother was not willing to let the neighbors come in and watch over that boy. For weeks, you can see a light burning in that little cottage in Nain. There is that mother; she is watching over that boy, her only son. How she loved him! You that are mothers can sympathize with her. You that are mothers can enter into full sympathy with her. You can see how hard it was to lose that only son. She will never look into that beautiful face again. She will never look into those beautiful eyes again. They have been closed; she hat closed them with her own loving hands. She has imprinted the last kiss upon that lovely cheek. Now they lay him upon the coffin, or upon the bier, and perhaps four men take him up just as they did the man with the palsy, and they bear him away to his resting-place; and there is a great multitude coming out of Nain. All Nain is moved. The widow was loved very much, and there was a great multitude attending her. And now we see them as they are coming out of the gate of the city. The disciples look, and they see a great crowd coming out of Nain, and the two crowds, the two great multitudes, come together; and the Son of God looks upon that scene. We read often where he looked toward heaven and sighed. He had followers on his right hand, followers on his left hand, followers behind him, and followers before him. He saw the woe and suffering in this wretched world; he looked upon that weeping mother. Death had got its captive. And shall not the Son of God look upon that widow? He saw those tears trickling down her cheeks, and the great heart of the Son of God was moved. He would not suffer that son to pass. He commanded the young men to rest the bier. "Young man, I say unto thee, arise!" and the dead heard the Toice of the Son of God, and he arose. I can imagine him saying, "Blessed be God, I am alive."
You know Christ never preached any funeral sermons. Here death had met its conquerer; and when he spoke the word, away went death. The Son of God was moved with compassion for that poor widow; and there isn't a poor widow in all New York but that Christ sympathizes with her. You that are widows mourning over loved ones, let me say to you Jesus is full of compassion. Let me say he is the same to-night that he was 1800 years ago, when he bound up that poor widow's heart in Nain. He will comfort you; and to-night, if you will just come to him and ask him to bind up your wounded heart, ask him to help you to bear this great affliction, the Son of God will do it. You will find that his arm is underneath you to help you carry the burden. There isn't a poor, suffering, crushed, bruised heart in all New York but that the Son of God is in sympathy with it; and he will have compassion on you, if you only come home to him, and he will bind up that heart of yours. Yes; Jesus was moved with compassion when he saw that poor widow. They did not need to tell him the story. He saw how the heart of the mother was broken; and so he just spoke the word. He didn't take him with him. He might have taken him along with him to glorify himself; but he gave him back to the mother. He took him right oat of the arms of death, and handed him back to the mother. Yes, there was a happy home in Nain that night. How surprised the mother must have been; she could hardly believe her eyes. Oh, my friends, Jesua has got the same power to-night; and he will bind up your aching hearts, if you will only just come to him.
Did you ever hear of one coming to Christ that he did not accept? He don't care what position in life you hold. No matter how low down you are; no matter what your disposition has been. You may be low in your thoughts, words and actions; you may be selfish; your heart may be overflowing with corruption and wickedness; yet Jesus will have compassion upon you. He will speak comforting words to you, not treat you coldly or spurn you, as perhaps those of earth would, but will speak tender words, and words of love and affection and kindness. Just come at once. He is a faithful friend —a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. He is a brother born for adversity. Treat him like a brother, and like a friend; and you will have a heavenly balm poured upon your wretched, broken heart. He is real; he is tangible. We don't worship a myth; we don't praise an unreal being. He is an everlasting, living person; a Man sitting at the right hand of God, full of the power and majesty of heaven. He comes here to-night in the Spirit. He is present with you. Oh, accept him! and he will deliver you, and save you, and bless you. My friends, just treat him as if you saw him here in person, as if he stood here in person, the same as I do now. Come to him, then, with all your troubles, and he will bless you. If he were here, and you saw him beckoning unto you, you would come, wouldn't you? Well, you would be saved then by sight; but he wants us to take him by faith. There are those here to-night that believe he is here now. Mr. Dodge, you came here for Christ's name, didn't you? [Mr. Dodge.—"Yes."] Isn't it Christ's name that has brought you here, Dr. Hep worth? [Dr. Hepworth.—"Yes."] And you, Dr. Booth, didn't you come here in Christ's name? [Dr. Booth.—"Yes."] Yes, you have come hew for Christ, and are willing to confess nis name. You are witnessei to his name Yes; here are two or three gather together in the name of Christ; and he is here because he has promised. Take him at hi* •word, then, my friends. The Son of God is here to-night. Do you doubt it? Is there a man or woman in this assembly to-night that doubts it? I tell you he is here. He is just here as much as if you saw him. Press up to him. He is infinite in compassion, and will take pity upon you.
Oh, my friends, that was earthly compassion; but what conception can you form of the compassion of Jesus? If you come and tell him your sad stories his heart will be moved. Oh, come and tell him your sins and misery. He knows what human nature is; he knows what poor, weak, frail mortals we are, and how prone we are to sin. He will have compassion upon you; he will reach out his tender hand and touch you, as he did the poor leper. You will know the touch of his loving hand. There is virtue and sympathy in it. That story of the soldier reminds me of another. A mother received a dispatch that her boy had been wounded. She resolved to go down to the front to see him; she knew that the nursing of the hospital would not be as tender as hers would be. After much solicitation she saw the doctor, and after repeated warnings from him not to touch the boy or wake him up—he had only a few days to live, at any rate, and waking him up would only hasten his death—she went to hia bedside. When she saw the poor boy lying there so still and lifeless, and with the marks of his suffering so fresh upon him, she could not resist the temptation to lay her hand on his brow. Instinct told him it was his mother's loving hand, and without opening his eyes, he said, "Oh, mother, have you come?" Let Jesus touch you to-night. His is a loving, tender hand, full of sympathy and compassion. Oh, my brother (looking at a young man in one of th» front rows), will you have him to-night? You will? Thank God, th»nk God! he says he will accept him. We have been praying two or three days for this young man; and now he says he will take Christ Oh, bless the Lord! Let us pray; and as we pray, let ua make room for Jesus in our hearts as this man has done, upon whom be hag had compassion and whom he has saved.
NO ROOM FOR JESUS.
* And laid him In a manner, because there waa no room for them In the Inn.'* Luke 2:7.
Ton will find my text this evening in the 2d chapter of the Gosgel of Luke, a part of the 7th verse: "And laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." For four thousand Tears the world had been looking for Christ. Prophets, had been prophesying, and the mothers of Israel had been praying and hoping that they might be the mother of that child; and now he has arrived, *» find that he is laid in a borrowed cradle. "There was no room Ar them in the inn." He might have come with all the grandeur •nd glory of the upper -world. He might have been ushered into this world with ten thousand angels; yea, legions upon legions of angels might have come to herald his advent. He might have been born in • palace or a castle. He might have been born upon a throne, if he iad chosen to; but he just became poor, for your sake and mine. He passed by mansions and thrones and dominions, and went down into a manger. His cii^.1" was not only borrowed, but almost everytiiing that he had was borrowea. It was a borrowed beast he rode iato Jerusalem on; it was a borrowed grave they laid him in. When the Prince of Wales came to this country, what a welcome he received. There wasn't anything too good for him. When the Prince o/ Russia came to this country, I saw him as he was escorted up Broadway; and cheer upon cheer went up all the way. New York felt honored that they had such a guest. The Prince of Wales during the past few months has been in India, and what a reception be has been receiving there! Even those heathen are glad to do him honor. When the Prince of heaven came down, what kind of a reception did he meet with? There were no hallelujahs from the people. He found that there was no room in Bethlehem for him; there was no room in Jerusalem for him. When he arrived at Jerulajem not only the King, but all Jerusalem was troubled. When the wise men told Herod: "Ho is King of the Jews, for we have seen his star in the East," not only the King upon the throne, but all Jerusalem was in trouble; and every man that had been looking for him seemed to be troubled, and the whole city is excited. The King sends out and commands all infants under a certain age to be slain. No sooner the news comes that he is born than the sword is unsheathed, and follows him, you may say, to Calvary.
And has the world grown better? Is not this world about like that little town in Bethlehem? There is no room for him? What nation wants him to-day? Does this nation want him? Suppose you should put it to a popular vote, I don't believe there is a town in the whole republic that would vote for him. Does England want him? England and the United States are perhaps the most Christianized countries on the globe; but I don't believe there is a town in England or in this country that would vote for him. In fact, I may say, does the Church of God want him? We have got the forms; we are satisfied with them: but we deny the power. I am ashamed to say that there are many of our churches that really would not want him. There would be a different state of things in the Church of God, to-day, if Christ should come. A great many church members do not want him; they say: "My life is not right." There are very few families in the whole city of New York that would make room for him. They would make room for the greatest drunkard in New York, rather than make room for him. Don't think the world is better if it don't make room for him. If he should go to Washington, do you think they would make room for him there? If a man should
fet up in congress and say, "Thus saith the Lord," they would hoot im out. If Christ should go there, they would say: "He is too good; he is too honest; we don't want him; we don't want honest men." When it comes to a real, personal God, the world don't want him; the nations of the earth don't want him. Does France want him? Does Italy want him? Oh, my friends, there is no room for Christ; yet it would be a glorious day if there was room for him. I believe the millennium would soon be here. When he went to Decapolis, he found a man there filled with devils, and he cast out those devils; and the men of Decapolis came out and besought him to go out of their coasts. Take what you call the fashionable society of New York; is he wanted there? They will talk about this church and that church; they will talk about Dr. So-and-so, and the Rev. Soand-so, and talk about the Bible in schools; but when it comes to a real, personal Christ, and you ask them, "Do you want Christ in your heart?" they say, "O sir, that is out of taste." I pity the man or woman that talks in that way. Is he wanted in commerce? Is he wanted on 'Change? If he was, men would have to keep their books different. Commercial men don't want him.
You may ask the question: "Well, where is he wanted; who wants him? Where is there room for the Son of God? Who will make room for him?" I wonder if there is any one here that ever had that feeling for five minutes. I think I have had that feeling for a day. There ire some who wonder how people can commit suicide. It's no wonder to me. When men feel that there is no room for them, that no one wants them; when they feel that they are a burden to their friends, and a burden to themselves, why it drives them mad. I remember, one day, when I felt as if no one wanted me. I felt as if there was no room for me. For about twenty-four hours, I had that awful feeling that no one wanted me. It seems to me as if that must have been the feeling of Christ. His neighbors didn't want him; those Nazarenes didn't want him; they would have taken him to the brow of the hill and dashed him to the bottom; they would have torn him limb from limb, if they could. He went down into Capernaum; they didn't want him there. Jerusalem didn't want him; there was no room. To me, there is one of the most touching verses in the Bible, in the closing part of the 7th chapter of John. I believe it i»the only place where Christ was left alone: "Every man went to his own house, and Jesus went to the Mount of Olives." I have often thought I would like to have met him upon that mount. He was on the mount alone. There was no home for him in Jerusalem. He was looked upon as a blasphemer; some thought he was possessed of devils; and so he was left alone. You could have seen him under an olive tree, alone, and I imagine that night you could have heard him crying to God for his own. And perhaps it was on that memorable occasion, or a similar occasion, when he said, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." Thanks be to God, there was a place. I have often thought of that little home at Bethany. It says tiat Martha received him into her home. It was the best thing that Martha ever did; and do you think she ever regretted it? Little did she know that her loved brother was soon going to die, when she made room for Jesus. Ah, it was the best thing that Martha and Mary ever did when they received the village carpenter, the despised Xazarene, into their home. He used to have a walk down from the city two miles to Bethany; but there he always found room.
But look again, look in that home where Lazarus comes home
sick. Some think his occupation was that of a scribe, that he was a
writer, and one day he came home weary; perhaps he had headache,
and feyer seized him. One of the leading physicians of Jerusalem
is sent for, and the third or fourth day he tells the sisters: "There
is no hope for your brother, he is dying, he cannot live." And when
all earthly' hope had failed, and they had given up, then the sisters
sent for Jesus. Those two sisters sent a messenger, perhaps one of
the neighbors, off from Bethany; perhaps he would have to go
twenty or thirty miles away, on the other side of Jordan, for they heard Jesus was there. They did not have papers in those days to tell them where he was, and if there had been papers they wouldn't have reported his meetings. There wouldn't have been a paper that would have taken the pains to report his meeting. They instructed the messenger to say, "Him who thou lovest is sick." That was enough. What a title to have to a man's name!—what a eulogy to have to a name! And when the messenger came and told the message, he told him that him whom he loved was very sick; and the Lord Jesus turned to him and said, "I will go. Take back word to those two sisters. The sickness is not unto death, but I will come." And I can see those two sisters. How eager they are to find out what his success had been." "What did he say?" and the messenger answers, "Why, he said the sickness was not unto death; and he would come and see Lazarus." I can imagine Mary turns to the messenger and says, "I don't understand that. If he were a prophet, he would certainly have known that Lazarus is dead; for he was dying when you went away, and he was already dead when he said the sickness is not unto death. Are you sure he said that?" "Yes, that was what he said." It might have been the second day after his death and he didn't come; and they watch and wait, and the third day they look for him. "Why, it is so strange that he treats us in this wajy." The fourth day comes, and it is noon; yet he has not come. I can imagine that on the fourth day in the afternoon they receive word that Jesus is just outside of the walls of Bethany •with his disciples; and when lie comes Martha says to him: "If thou hadst been here, my brother had not died," and hear what gracious •words fall from the lips of Jesus, "Thy brother shall live again." "Martha said unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection, at the last day." Hear the blissful words that fall from the lips of the Son of God: "I am the resurrection and the life; he that belie vet h in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." Little did Martha think that he whom she was entertaining was the Resurrection and the Life, and what a privilege it was to have such a guest! And Christ says, "Where is Mary? go, call her." So Martha goes and calls Mary, and says, "Mary, the Master is come, and calleth for thee." Isn't there some Mary to-day whom he is calling for? Isn't there some unsaved Mary within these walls whom he is calling for? If there is, he wants to bind up your heart—he wants to take away your sin. And when Mary comes, she meets him with the very same words that fell from the lips of Martha: "If thou hadst been here, my brother had not died;" and Christ says, "Where have ye laid him?" And now look at him. Those two sisters are standing near him, and perhaps are telling him of the last moments of Lazarus, and how their hearts had been bleeding all these four days. And when he saw th weeping, and the Jews also weeping who came with them, the h
ol the Son of God was moved with compassion, and "Jesus wept." For it says, "He wept with them that wept," and the tears were streaming down his cheeks. "Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him." And when Jesus came to the grave he said, "Take ye away the stone." But Martha says: "lie has been dead four days, and by this time it is not proper to go near him." But he commanded them to take away the stone. "Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew thou nearest me always; but because of the people which stand by I said it, that- they may believe that thou hast sent me." And when he had thus spoken, he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth." Some one has said, it was a good thing he called him by name, for if he hadn't, all the dead men in that yard would have leaped up. "And he that was dead came forth, bound hand aud foot with grave-clothes, and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, 'Loose him and let him go.'" In the little town of Bethany now, the sun is just sinking behind one of those Palestine hills; and it is now about dusk. You can see the Son of God perhaps, with Lazarus hold of his arm; and they walk through the street. Ah, that was the happiest home on earth that night. I believe there •was no happier home than that in Bethany that night. Isn't it the very best thing that you can do to make room for him?
Mothers, if you will make room lor him, you will entertain the best guest, the best stranger, you ever entertained. Ah, Martha didn't know how near death was to that home when she received Christ, and, dear friends, you don't know how near death may be to you; and when death comes, what a comfort it is to have Christ to help os, to have his arms underneath us and bear us up. You need him, and had better make room for him; and if you make room for him here in your hearts, he will make room for you up there. He says in that chapter which I read: "Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare » place for you." Instead of his disciples comforting Christ, there is Christ trying to comfort them. And now, while he is up yonder preparing a place for us, shall we not make room for him down here? If the nations won't make room for him; if the church won't make room for him; if the families won't make room for him, thanks be to God, we can make room for him in our hearts. He says, Ye are the temples of the Holy Ghost. "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost?" Will you make room for him this afternoon? Young lady, is there room for self? Is there room for the world? Ib there room for pride? Is there room for jealousy? Is there room for every one and everything else but the Son of God? Will jou turn him away, or will you to-day make room for him? Isn't it the very best thing you can do to make room for Christ? When he made this world, he made room for us, plenty of it. He made room for himself in our hearts, but a usurper has come. My friends, won't you let the Son of God into your hearts; and won t you let him dwell with you? The only room the world found for him was just on the cross. Now, suppose he were to come here, shall he coine into this hall, and shall he go through this assembly, and shall- he not find room in your hearts and mine? Will your heart be full like that full inn, in Bethlehem; or will you this afternoon, just while I am speaking, say, "Lord Jeaus, I make room for you in my heart!" Mother, ought not gratitude for him who has made a place for your loved ones in heaven, lead you to make room for him? Won't you say, "Here is plenty of love; won't you come and dwell in my heart?" Just the very minute you receive him, he will come. Am I speaking this afternoon to some poor fallen woman? Let me say to you, he received just such; and to-day he will come into your heart, if you will just make room for him. How many are there in this audience to-day that never have thanked the Lord Jesus for the blessings he has showered upon theml And, my friends, don't let this beautiful Sabbath pass without saying, "Jesus there shall be room in my heart for thee hereafter;" and then, by-and-by, he will receive you up yonder. If you will make room for him here in your heart, you may be sure he will make room you in one of his Father's mansions. Oh, this day and this hour, my friends, make room for Christ! Dear friends, don't you want him? To-day won't you make room for him? Won't you just bow your heads; and when pray, pray that every soul that wants Christ may come to him?