A Searching Question

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
If a friend to whom you are greatly indebted should ask you to speak a word to your acquaintances in favor of some cause in which he was interested you would do it readily enough.
Your Savior, who has done so much for you, asks you to make known His gospel wherever you can. Do you comply as readily with His wish as with that of an earthly friend? It requires little effort to speak if your heart is warm with love for Him, and no one can estimate the good you may do to souls that are perishing for want of a friendly word of warning, as the following incidents will show.
Two young men stopped at a wayside brook to water their horses. They were strangers traveling in different directions in more senses than one. As they paused a moment, one addressed a kindly word to the other about the interests of his soul. Then they both passed on, never to meet again.
But the young men addressed could not shake off the impression of those words, but turned them over and over during his solitary ride. This circumstance led to his conversion, and, though a young man of great wealth and brilliant prospects, he renounced all in order to preach the gospel in a foreign land. Not till someone sent him The Life of James Brainerd Taylor, with a portrait, did he learn who it was to whom he was so much indebted.
Just try the experiment of speaking a word for the Savior to the acquaintances whom you meet so often who have no hope in Christ. They expect it of you.
A young lady at a boarding school seemed so utterly indifferent, so studiously cold, that though it was a time of awakening among the girls, no one felt willing to address her. At length one who had long mourned over her case determined to make at least one direct appeal. That appeal brought a gush of tears from the seemingly haughty girl.
“I thought no one cared for my soul," she said, with deep feeling. She was soon rejoicing in the knowledge of forgiveness, and her case taught me a lesson I can never forget.
On one occasion Charles S. was summoned to the dying bed of a brother. Entering the room, the relative extended his hand and, with deep emotion, said,
“I am dying, and you never warned me of the state I was in, and of the danger to which I was exposed through neglecting the salvation of my soul!”
“Nay, my brother," replied Mr. S., "I took every reasonable opportunity of bringing the subject before your mind, and frequently alluded to it in my letters.”
“Yes," exclaimed the dying man, "you did; but that was not enough. You never came to me, closed the door, and took me by the collar of my coat and told me that I was unconverted, and that if I died in that state I should be lost. And now I am dying, and but for God's mercy I might have been forever undone!”
No wonder that this affecting scene made a lasting impression on Mr. S.'s mind. A young lady at school was urged to attend to her soul's salvation.
“I was much interested in this subject a few months ago," she replied. "Miss L- was to spend a night with me, and I was very glad. I had often heard her voice in the girls' prayer-meeting, praying for the conversion of the scholars, and I felt sure she would talk with me about my soul. But she said not a word about it. All her conversation was about some new dresses we had, and about the merry evening she had spent. I tried to introduce the subject once by saying that I had been laughed at for being so sober, and that someone had said they believed I should get converted if I stayed in Miss S.'s school, and that I had answered I hoped I might. Miss L. only remarked,
`I hope you will too, Julia,' and then she returned to the dresses again. To tell you the truth, I have not troubled myself much about the matter since that evening.”
And I fear the poor girl has given no further thought to it. When last I saw her, she seemed as insensible as a rock. Even a sister's dying in all the agonies of remorse for a godless life was not sufficient to arouse her.
Are we ready to make known the good news to those around? May these incidents stir up our hearts to be faithful to those we meet daily, and in the sense of our weakness ask the Lord to take our lips that they may speak forth His worth that others may be attracted to Him.