Salvation for Sinners


"I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Luke 5: 33.

I want to call your attention to-night to a text which you will find in the 5th chapter of Luke and the 32d verse. The text is also recorded in Matthew and Mark; and whenever you find a passage recorded by all three of the evangelists, you may know that it is one of those important truths which he wants to impress upon people. "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." It was when hefirstcame downtoCapernaum that heuttered these words. He had been cast out of Nazareth; they didn't want him; they wouldn't have salvation. He came down to Cap rnauin, and there he found Levi sitting at the receipt of customs, and he called him to become one of his disciples. Levi was so full of joy when he found Christ—as all young converts are—that he got up a great feast; and he invited all the publicans and sinners to it. I suppose he wanted to get them all converted; that was the reason he prepared a sumptuous feast; and they came, not to hear Jesus, but just to partake of the feast that Levi had prepared for them. And Jesus was there too, among these publicans and sinners. The Pharisees were there too; and they began to murmur against his disciples, saying: "Why do these men eat with publicans and sinners?" And it was on this occasion that Christ uttered this wonderful text: "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." That is what he came into this world for; he came into the world just for the very purpose of saving sinners. Now a good many men come to Chicago to do a certain work. Some come to practice law, that's their profession; others come to practice medicine, because that's their business; some are business men and some are mechanics: and when Christ oame into this world he came for a purpose; He had a profession, if you will allow me the expression—-he came to call sinners to repentance. You know when he was going down to the Samaritan town, his disciples went down to see whether they would let him come there. We find him on his way from Galilee to Jerusalem. You know there •was such a hatred between the Jews and the Samaritans that they would have no dealings with each other; and he sent his disciples on to see if he would be allowed to enter. The Samaritans would not allow him there, and his'disciples were Bo incensed that James and John asked Jesus to "command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elias did." "Why," said the Son of man, "I didn't come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." That's what he came for. He came to bless men; he came to do men good; and there is not a sinner here to-night who cannot be saved—and will be saved to-night, if they wish.

You may call this world a great hospital, and all the people are born sick. A great many people imagine their souls are never diseased, and think they don't need a physician; but when people wake up to the fact that their souls are diseased, then they find the need of a physician. But there is no need for the physician unless you feel you are sick. You know you could not send a physician to a man wh« was well. Suppose I go on the W*est Side and ask a celebrated physician to come over and see Mr. White. Suppose he comes round and finds Mr. White sitting in his drawing-room, perfectly well. "Why, how is this? Mr. Moody told me you were sick, and bade me make a professional call." Not only is the physician disgusted, but the patient is too. The world don't send for a physician till sickness comes. When it feels sick, then it sends for a doctor, and the doctor comes. And whenever a man feels his need of Christ and calls, that moment he comes and is healed. There is a physician here to-night for every sinner. I don't care what your sins may be, or how long you have been living in sin; I don't care if your life hu been as black as hell, the Great Physician is here. What for? Just to heal every man and woman that wants to be healed.

Now, the great trouble is to make people believe they are sick; but the moment you believe that you are, then it is that you are willing to take the remedy. I remember, some years ago, a patent medicine came out, and the whole of Chicago was placarded about it. I could not turn my head but I saw "Paine's Pain Killer." On the walls, on the curb-stones, everywhere was " pain-killer," "painkiller." I felt disgusted at the sight of these bills, constantly telling me about this patent medicine. But one day I had a terrible headache, so bad that I could hardly see, and was walking down the streets and saw the bills again; and I went and bought some. When I was well, I didn't care for it; but when I got sick, I found it was the very thing I wanted. If there is one here who feels the need of a Savior, remember, the greater the sin the greater the need of a Savior. I remember, when I was coming back from Europe, on the steamer there was a young officer; I felt greatly drawn out toward him, because I could see he was dying. It didn't seem to him as if he was dying; but, you know, death is very deceitful. He seemed to be joyous and light-hearted. He would talk about his plans, and take out his guns, and tell how he intended to go hunting when he arrived; but it seemed to me that he would not Eve to see this country. By and by, he was taken down on his bed; and then the truth came to him that death was upon him. He got a friend to write out a telegram, which this friend was to send to his mother when they arrived. It read: "Mother, I am real sick. Charlie." As soon as the boat touched the shore, he was to send it. "But," said some one, "why not tell her in the telegram to come?" "Ah," he replied, "she will come." He knew, whenever she read it and saw that he wanted help, she would come. It was the knowledge of his need that would bring her. So Christ is waiting to hear our need, and man's need brings out the help of God. As I said before, the real trouble is that men don't think they need him. You know that in one place—in the 15th chapter of Luke—they brought this charge against him: "This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them." This charge was brought against him, again and again. I am told by Hebrew scholars that instead of "receiveth " it should be rendered, "He is looking out for them." And that's what he was doing: he was looking for them. He didn't care how black in sin they might be, he was ready to take them.

Now, a great many say, "I am too great a sinner to be saved." That is like a hungry man saying he is too hungry to eat, or a sick man saying he is too sick to send for a doctor, or a beggar saying, "I am too poor to beg; I'll wait till I get some money first." If a man is hungry and perishing, you must relieve him. Now there is not a sinner in Chicago but has his representative in the Bible. Take, for instance, the publicans. You know the Jews thought this class about the lowest in the world. They put them lower than any other kind of sinner; they placed them along with the sinners —"publicans and sinners." The publicans ware the tax collectors, and they defrauded the people at every turn. For instance, a man in South Chicago will pay over, perhaps, a hundred thousand dollars for the privilege of just collecting the taxes; and then he goes to work and screws the people out of a hundred and fifty thousand dollars. He don't care a straw for justice, or appearances. He comes into the cottage of the widow a^d taxes half she has. At every house, the tax collector puts the bjocks to his victims; and famine often comes in when he goes out. The people detest him; they hate him with a perfect hatred. They always find him a drag on them; and feel he hasn't a bit of sympathy for them. Their money, they find, is taken without warrant; their homes are broken up, and trouble and starvation come on them. And so the publican was hated wherever he turned. He was the agent of the Roman tyrant, and the people were brought up to shun him. He deserved it all, and even more, by his heartless exactions; and yet Christ forgave even him. And just so rum-sellers can be saved. And another class that Christ had mercy on was the thieves. When on the cross he saved a thief. There may be some thief here to-night. I tell you, my friend, you may be saved if you only will. There may be some one here who is persecuting a good wife, and making her home a perfect hell on earth. But you, too, may be saved. There may be some here persecuting the church, but there's salvation for you. When Saul was persecuting the Christians from city to city, he was stopped short by the voice of God; he was converted. And those high-headed Pharisees, so well versed in the law of Moses, even they were converted. Joseph, of Arimathea, was a Pharisee, and Bo waa Nicodemus.

But to-night I want to talk about another class that Jesus dealt with, and led to a higher life. I want to talk about fallen women. There are some people who believe that these have fallen so low that Christ will pass them by. But, my friends, that thought comes from the Evil One. In all this blessed book, there is not one, not a solitary one of this class mentioned that ever came to him but that be received them. Yes, he even went out of his way and sought her out. Now I want to take three representative cases, where these women had to do with Christ. One is the case of an awakened one. The Spirit of God has dealt with her anxious, wakened soul. The Lord was one day at Jerusalem, and a banquet was given him by Simeon. There was a banquet table in the house, arranged according to the fashion of that day. Instead of chairs for the guests, as was customary, the guests sat reclining on lounges. Well, it was just one of these repasts that our Lord sat down to, along with the wealthy Simeon and his many guests. But no sooner had he entered than this woman followed him into the house, and fell down at bis feet, and began to wash them with her tears. It was the custom in those days to wash one's feet ou entering a house. Sandals were worn, and the practice was necessary. Well, this woman had got into the house by some means, and once inside had quietly stolen up to the feet of Jesus. And in her hands she brought a box. But her heart, too, was just as full of ointment as the box she carried; and there was the sweetest perfume as she stole to his feet. And her tears started to fall down on those sacred feet, hot, scalding tears that gushed out like water. She said nothing while the tears fell; and then she took down her long black hair, and wiped his feet with the hair of her head. And after that she poured out the ointment on his feet. Then straitway the Pharisees began talking together. How, all through the New Testament, these Pharisees keep whispering and talking together. They said, shaking their heads, "This man receiveth sinners;" and then, "This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that

toucheth him, for she is a sinner." No prophet, they insisted, would allow that kind of a woman near him, but would push her away. And then the Savior read these thoughts and quickly rebuked them. He said, "Simeon, I have something to say to thee." And he said, "Master, say on." /nd he said: "Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water to wash my feet; but she has washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss; but this woman since I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint; but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment." Simeon was like a great many Pharisees nowadays, who say: "Oh, well, we will entertain that minister, if we must. We don't want to; he's a dreadful nuisance; but we will have to put up with him; it's our duty to be patronizing." Well, the Master said more to his entertainer. "There was a certain creditor," he said, "which had two debtors; the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty, and when he had nothing to pay"—Mark that, sinner; the debtor had nothing to pay. There is no sinner in the world that can pay anything to cancel his debt to God. The great trouble is, that sinners think they can pay—some of them 75 cents on the dollar; some even feel able to pay 99 cents on the dollar, and the one cent that they are abort, they think they can make that up some way. That is not the way; it is all wrong; you must throw all the debt on God. Some few, perhaps, will only claim to pay 25 cents on the dollar; but they are not humble enough either, they can't begin to carry out their bargain. Why, sinner, you couldn't pay one-tenth part of a single mill of the debt you are under to Almighty God. Now, it says in this parable, that they could not pay him anything; they had nothing to give, and the creditor frankly forgave them both, "Now, Simeon," the Master asked, "Which should love that man the most?" "I suppose," was the reply, "he that was forgiven the most." "Thou hast rightly judged; this woman loves much because she has been forgiven much." And went on to tell Simeon all about her; I suppose he wanted to make it plainer to Simeon. Then he turned to the poor woman, and said: "Thy sins are forgiven"—all forgiven; not part of them; not half of them, but every sin from the cradle up, every impure desire or thought, is blotted out, for time and eternity. And he said, "Go in peace." Yes, truly; she went out in peace, for she went out in the light of heaven. With what brightness the light must have come down to her from those eternal hills; -with what beauty it must have flashed on her soul. Yes, she came to the feet of the Master for a blessing, and she got it; and if there is a poor woman here to-night who wants a blessing, she will get it.

I want to call your attention to a thought right here. You have not got the name of one of those poor women. The three women who had fallen, who had been guilty of adultery, and had been blessed by him, not one of them has been named. It sepms to me as if it had been intended that when they got to heaven we should not know them; they will just mingle with the rest Their names had not been handed down for eighteen hundred years. They have called Mary Magdalen a fallen woman; but bear in mind there is nothing in Scripture to make us understand that she was a poor, fallen woman, and I believe if she had been, her name would not have been handed down.

Now, the next woman was altogether different from the woman in Luke. She didn't come with an alabaster box, seeking a blessing. She was perfectly indifferent; she was a careless sinner. Perhaps, there are some poor, fallen women who have come to-night in a careless spirit, only out of curiosity; they don't want a Savior; they don't want their sins blotted out; they don't want any forgiveness. Perhaps one had heard that at Moody and Sankey's they were going to preach repentance, and that a great many fallen women were likely to be there, and thought she would just come down to see how they took it. Now you have a representative here. After Christ had that interview with Nicodemus, we are told he went up to Galilee by Samaria. He could have gone up to Galilee without going to Samaria; but he knew there was a fallen women there. He got to the well, and sent off his disciples to get bread. Why did he not keep one with him? Because he knew the woman was coming that way, and she would not probably like to see so many. While he is sitting on the curb-stone of the well, a poor fallen woman of Samaria comes along for water. You know the people in those days used to come out in the morning and evening to get their water, not in the blaze of the noon-day sun. No doubt she was ashamed to come out there to meet the pure and virtuous at the well, and that was the reason why she stole out at that hour. She brought her waterpot to get water; and when she came up the Master stopped her and asked her for a drink, just to draw her out. She saw he was a Jew. We can always tell a Jew; God has put a mark upon them. "How is this? You a Jew, and ask a Samaritan for a drink? The Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans." "Ah, you don't know me,'1 he replied; "if you would have asked me for a drink I •would have given you living water." "How could you give me living water; why you have no vessel to draw water with?" "Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever shall drinkof the water that I shall give him will have a well springing up in his heart into everlasting life." "Well," probably she thought, "that in a good thing. One draught of water will give me a well— one draught of water for the rest of my days." She asked him for this living water, and he told her, "Go, bring thy husband." He was just drawing her out, just to get her up to the point of confes

sion. uI have no husband," she said. "For thou hast had five nusbands, and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband; in that saidst thou truly." I can see that woman's astonishment. She looks all around to see who had told him all about her. Like a man who came up from Michigan lately, who came into the Tabernacle and listened to the sermon which, as he told me, seemed all to be preached at him. He wondered who had told me all about him. He got Christ, and is going back to Michigan to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. The word of God reached her, and she saw she was detected, "Sir, I perceive thou art a prophet." Then she went on the old religious discussion; but the Lord turned her from that, and told her that the hour had come when the people must worship the Father in spirit and in truth, not in this or that particular mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem. And she said: "When the Messiah cometh, he will tell us all things;" and when she had said this, she was ready for the truth. Then Jesus said, "I am the Messiah." Just then she saw his disciples coming, and probably she thought these men might know who she was; and she got up her pot, and away she went to the city. The moment she got within the gates she shouted: "Come see this man I have met at the well. Is not this the Messiah? Why, he has told me all that ever I did." And you can see all the men, women, and children running out of that city, up to the well. As he stands in the midst of his disciples, and he sees the multitudes coming running toward them, he says, "Look yonder; look at the fields, for they are already white with the harvest; look what that poor fallen woman has done." And he went into that town as an invited guest; and many believed on account of the woman's testimony, and many more believed on account of his own.

Now, my friends, He did not condemn the poor adulteress. The Son of God was not ashamed to talk with her, and tell her of that living water, those who drank of which, he said, would never die. He did not condemn her. He came to save her, came to tell her how to be blessed here and blessed hereafter.

The next case is still much worse. You may say it is like black, blacker, blackest, compared with the other two. I want to speak about this one, that in the 8th chapter of John. One woman I have spoken of was in the house of a Pharisee, at a dinner party; the other by the well of Sychar; and now we come to the Temple porch. They had taken a woman in adultery, had caught her in the very act. They had not got the man; they had held only the poor woman. While he is speaking, the Pharisees are driving this poor fallen woman right into the Temple. What a commotion there would be here to-night, if such a scene would take place in the Tabernacle! She had broken the law of Moses, by which a woman caught in the act of adultery was to be put to death. The woman is brought toward him; and now they are about to put the question of her life or death before him. He had said that he hadn't come to condemn the world, but to save the world; and they are just going to try and condemn him by his own words. They say to him: "The law of Moses says stone her; what sayest thou?" But not a word did he speak. Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground, as though he hadn't hoard them. We don't know what he wrote. Perhaps, "Grace and truth come by Jesus Christ;" perhaps he wrote that. But while He thus busied himself, they cried out the louder, demanding an answer to their question. So at length he lifted himself up and said: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." Never did an answer so completely serve its purpose. You who never were guilty of an offense, just you cast the first stone. And amid the strangest silence, he again stooped and wrote with his finger on the ground. This time, perhaps, he wrote: "I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." And soon he rose again, but ere he did so he heard the patter of retreating feet on the pavement; and when now he glanced up, he saw none but the woman. One by one they had been convicted by their own conscience, and slunk away; not one of them there could throw the stone. And the Savior looked at the woman. I can imagine the tears coming trickling down her cheeks as Jesus Christ, in kindest tones, asked her: "Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?" And for an instant she could not answer. Who knows how that poor soul had reached her sad plight! One of those very Pharisees who had left her, perhaps, had led her astray. The very man who had clamored loudest to condemn her was likely the guilty one. And there she stood alone. The betrayer was left untouched, as too often he is to-day; a miserable, unjust, untrue sentiment, by which the man, who is equally guilty, is received in society, and the woman is condemned. But at last she gained her voice and said: "No man, Lord." And then, perhaps, she told how her parents had died when she was very young; a stepmother, perhaps, had taken her and treated her harshly, and then had turned her adrift on the world. Or, perhaps, a drunken father had turned home into darkness, and she had been driven from it, almost broken-hearted; and so, in her helplessness, her innocent affections were gained, and then she had been led astray. The Master knew it all; and when he heard her reply, he said: "Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more." She had been dragged into the Temple to be stoned; but now Christ had delivered her. She came to be put to death, but she received life everlasting.

My friends, the Son of God will not now condemn any poor fallen woman that leaves off her sins and just casts herself down at his feet He will take you up, just as you are. When in Philadelphia, a fallen woman came into the inquiry room and threw herself down on the floor. The Christian helpers talked and talked to her, but couldn't get a word out of her; they couldn't do a thing with her. Then George H. Stewart came to me, and said "We wish you would come, we don't know what to make of her." She was weeping bitterly; and as far off as I was, I could hear her sobs all over the room. So I went and said: "What is the trouble?" At last she spoke, and the bitterness of her despairing voice went to my heart. "I have fallen from everything pure, and God cannot save me; there is no hope." I told her tenderly that God could still lift her up and save her. I said: "Are you only just willing to be forgiven? A merciful Father is waiting and longing to pardon." She said, at last, she could not abandon her course, as no one would give her a home. But that difficulty was got round by my assuring her kind friends would provide for her; and then she yielded, and that same day was given a pleasant place in the home of a Presbyterian minister. But, for forty-eight hours after entering her new home, that poor reclaimed woman cried, day and night; and we went for her mother, and on hearing our story the mother clasped her hands and cried: "Has my daughter really repented? Thank God for his mercy; my heart has just been breaking. I've prayed so long for her without result; take me to her." And that reformed daughter of sin has lived consistently ever since; and when I was last in Philadelphia, she was one of the most esteemed members in that Presbyterian church. And s0 every one of you can begin anew; and God will help, and man will help you. Oh turn, and do not die. Seven short years is the allotted life of a fallen woman. Oh, escape your early doom, escape your infamy, and hear God's voice calling you to repent. Your resolution to amend will be borne up by hosts of friends; never fear for that. Just take the decisive step, and you will be helped by every good man and woman in the community. Oh, 1 beseech you to act right now and settle this great question, for time and eternity.

1 heard of a mother, whose daughter was led astray; and the poor daughter tried to hide herself, thinking her mother would not forgive her. The mother went to the town where she supposed her child had gone; but she hunted and hunted unsuccessfully. The trouble is, with the most of those girls who go astray, they go under assumed names; and this daughter had done the same thing, and that mother couldn't find.her. At last, she found a place whore fallen women resorted to; and the mother went to the keeper of that place and begged her to let her hang up her picture in the room, and consent was granted. Hundreds of fallen women came into that room, and carelessly glanced at the picture, and went out. Weeks and months rolled on, until at length, one night, a poor fallen girl came into the room. She was going out as careless as she had entered, when her eye caught the picture; and, gazing at it for a moment, she burst into a flood of tears. "Where did you get it?" she sobbed. They told her how her mother came there, heart-broken, and asked to have her picture hung up in that room, in the hope of finding her daughter. The girl's memory went back to her days of peace and purity, recalling the acts of kindness of that loved mother; and she then and there resolved to return. See how that mother sought for her, and forgave her. Oh, poor fallen ones, the Son of God is seeking for you to-night. If you haven't got a mother to nray for you, the Son of God wants to be everything to you. He wants to receive you himself. Let me hold him up to you as your best friend. He wants to take you to his loving bosom; and this very night and very hour you can be raised, if you will. There was a woman who was trying to get a poor girl to go back to her home. She said: "Neither my mother, my father, nor my brothers will forgive me. They won't permit me to go back." "Will you give me your address?" the lady asked. The address was obtained, and the very next post brought a letter marked " Immediately;" and it seemed as if the whole hearts of her father and mother and brothers were poured out in that letter. It was filled with kindness, and urged her to come home and all would be forgotten. There is many a poor fallen girl in Chicago whose mother is praying for her, and whose heart is aching because she won't go back. Your mother will forgive you, and all your friends, if you will only show true signs of repentance. They will take you home.

O my friends, let this be the last night you will live in sin—in shame. Let this bo your last night in which you will live in sin. Take those sins you have to him, and he will forgive you. He has said: "Let the wicked forsake his ways," and pardon is ready. That is what our Lord will do. He will pardon you and make you pure. Will you let him pardon you to-night?

Just before coming down this evening, I received a letter from a fallen woman. I've received a number during the past few days. Thank God, the spirit is at work among that class! And let me say, riirht here, if there is any person here who keeps a brothel, if you will allow Christian ladies admittance, they will go gladly and hold meetings. This idea that Christian ladies do not care for your class is false—as false as the blackest lie that ever came out of hell. Why, some of the first ladies of the city have lately been visiting these houses personally, and have been trying to save their erring sisters. A few days ago, several came to me and asked if I couldn't get a list of all the brothels of the city. I went to police head-quarters and got the names of the keepers and addresses, and gave it to these Christian women; and since then, many houses have been visited. These charges that Christian women will not have them in their homes are equally false. The other night, a lady of culture was on her knees with a poor one, who told the lady that she was a fallen girl, and did not know where to go if she didn't go back to her brothel. "Come and stay at my house," said the lady, "I will take care of you;" and when the girl got up from her knees, the lady saw she was a poor colored girl. That fgood Christian kept her till she got her a good situation. Another one not long ago received the truth, and one of our ministers wrote to her parents, got a pass, and sent her home to her forgiving parents. Let me ask you not to believe that we are cruel; that we are hard-hearted; that we do not care for the fallen women, but orfly for the abandoned men. We have a place to shelter you; and if that is not large enough, the business men will put up another. They will do everything for you, if you are only repentant; they will not try to keep you down and cast you off. If you are sincere, there are hundreds and thousands of people in this city whose hearts will go out to you. But I want to read this letter:

Chicago, Deo. 14. M Mr. Moody,—Many fallen women in this city would, in these days, gladly change their mode of life, and seek Christ and restoration to the homes and hearts of parents and friends whom they, weakly, left many, many bitter years and months ago, if only they could see some way to an honorable living, and friendly recognition and help when they should seek these."

Now, let me say here that any young woman who wants reclamation ought not to look into the future, say to yourselves, "I will be saved to-night, come what will."

"You say, 'Seek first the kingdom of Christ;' but, my dear brother (for such you seem even to me), why do this if only returning shame awaits us?"

I wish every fallen woman would think as this one does; why, I would be a brother to you all. Thank God, I've got a brother's heart for all of you. I wish every one of you would feel that I want to do you good—that I only want to lift you up.

"Suppose a hundred fallen women of this city were at the Tabernacle to-night—no doubt more than this number will be there; and that these should seek Christ and find forgiveness, for you assure us there is full forgiveness for even us, so that these scarlet stains should be 'whiter than snow'—where, I ask, will we live? What shall we do?"

"We must return ere the echo of the last prayer in that Tabernacle has died away, to the apartments which have only known our bitter shame, and again meet the devil in his chosen home."

Let me say, again, that no woman in this audience need do that. There will be homes open for you. God will provide for you, if you will trust him. I hope there will be hundreds here to-night who will say: "I will never return to that place. I will never go back to that house of shame; I will never meet the devil in those houses more; I will rather die in the poor-house than do it; I turn my back for ever upon death and hell."

"No home of parent or friend, or praying Chrisuan who joined in your prayer at the Tabernacle for us, would offer our weary bodies shelter there, or our willing hands labor, wherewith honest bread might be earned. No Christian's purse affords to-morrow's bread."

Dear friends, let the morrow take care of itself. Don't be looking at the future. Just walk by faith; that's what every Christian must do. . •

"The very ones who came here to pray for us go away scorning us; and while, with the virtuous wife and mother and the pure maiden, we would plead a common Savior, they would thrust us from them. What can we do? Who will help us?

"There remains only a life of shame and an unwept death, physical and eternal, for us. Hopelessly,

"One Of Them."