Are You Ready?

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 8
A remarkable incident was related to the writer the other day, which suggests the question at the head of this paper. It may be, in the hands of a gracious Lord, used in evoking a reply from those of my readers who have never honestly asked themselves the question in the light of God, or had a satisfactory reply.
I write from memory the circumstance as narrated to me. Two men,——and——-, were employed in some part of England, in sinking the shaft of a deep well. They had found, in their progress, a large rock which required blasting to permit a further sinking of the shaft. The hole was bored in the rock, and all in readiness-the blasting powder tamped in-the fuse attached-and all was now in readiness to blow up the rock. All that remained was to cut the fuse off to the proper length, and send up by—the remainder of the coil, with the powder case, tools, &c., in the bucket. This was usually done by the man who ascended, getting into the bucket, and being drawn up to the surface of the ground by a windlass. It was necessary to remove everything out of the shaft before the blast took place; otherwise they would be buried in the rubbish, or ignited, or otherwise destroyed. Everything had now been collected, and transferred to the bucket before—got in.—was always obliged to remain to ignite the fuse after the bucket had been lowered for him the second time, as it could not contain the two Men, nor could the rope bear the strain of more than one. J—. took hold of the hatchet to cut the fuse, and hand it to T-. He laid the fuse on the rock and struck the blow, and severed the fuse from the coil. 'When, horror of horrors, the stroke of the steel face of the hatchet upon the rock produced a spark, which ignited the few inches of fuse! A few moments more seemed to be all that remained before the two men were blown to atoms in the bottom of the deep shaft, and their souls launched into an eternity of misery or joy.! The thought now occurred to the men for both of them to get into the bucket, and give the signal to be hoisted up. They did so, and gave the signal to draw up, and all began slowly to ascend. When, another horror, they found the rope giving way under the over strain of the weight of the two men. The men above were laboring to hoist them up but the strain was too great.
" T-,," said J—, "I'll get out, and let, you go up; you are not ready to meet God, but I am ready." J-firmly insisted on his comrade going up, and himself getting out; persisting that he was fully ready, while he knew the other was not. J- then got out and remained below, and the other was hoisted up to the mouth of the shaft, and got out safely. In a few seconds the blast went off and the smoke ascended to the surface. There was not even a groan heard below. As soon as the smoke cleared away T-went down to pick up, as he thought, the mangled remains of his friend. When it was discovered that the God whom J—trusted, and was ready to meet, had come in at the last moment, and what seldom could have happened in the annals of mining, the rock, instead of exploding asunder by the blast, in the ordinary way, split asunder, discharging the force of the blast against the opposite side to that where stood, and upheaved a large portion of the rock in an almost perpendicular position; thus forming a shield which sheltered J—-from the explosion, leaving him perfectly unscathed!
Now, my reader, think of your precious soul being placed in such a position-the living God, and an interminable future to face-and ask yourself, "How would it be with me?" Would it be like the noble-hearted Christian, J—-7 calm in the consciousness of his Savior's love, and in the truth of his God-stepping into eternity without a cloud? The calm, peaceful, wondrous beauty of his peace with God, and his self-forgetfulness fills the heart, and his love for the unsaved soul of his comrade, T-. If you were, in a moment of pressure, like this, how would it be with you?
When J- came up he was asked, why it was he could be insane enough to do this? He told them that he knew the blessed Son of God had come down from heaven, and died for him in love, washing away his sins in His own blood -and he knew that when lie was blown to pieces (as he thought he should have been) he would go to heaven to be with Him forever! He knew, too, that poor T-, who was with him, if he was blown to pieces, would be lost forever in hell, and he could lay down his life happily for his comrade's sake, and in the consciousness of what his God was to him as a Savior.
Dear reader, let me ask you, ARE YOU READY? A moment like that tests the foundation on which a man is resting; whether he is resting on his works, or efforts, his religion and its ordinances, or on Christ! All else is rubbish in a moment like that. The grace of God in Christ is all. The precious blood of Christ, the only foundation. God's perfect love to your soul flows out in unhindered blessedness, because that precious blood was shed.