I Don't Want to Be a Christian

“I DON'T want to be a Christian, I said, “to be obliged to give up everything that makes life pleasant, and go about with a long face, all the rest of my days! No, thank you! I am very happy as I am.”
So saying, I turned away from the earnest pleading face of my sister, and banished the disagreeable thought from my mind.
Alas! how little I then knew, how little I realized what an awful sin I was guilty of in deliberately refusing to listen to God's message of salvation.
No! I was perfectly content to go on with the life I had hitherto led. Why should I give up the world at nineteen? I had all that any girl could desire—a happy home, plenty of friends, and balls and parties without number.
If I became a Christian, I should have to relinquish the latter, so of course it was absurd to think of it!
Just about this time some gospel meetings were being held at the Assembly Rooms, and were crowded to excess each day. I heard of one or two "conversions" among the young girls whom I was in the habit of meeting in society; but when told of the wonderful change that had come over these gay worldlings, I laughed at the idea, prophesying that “It would soon wear off!”
“Won't you come and hear for yourself?” entreated my sister. “It can do you no harm to go for once.”
But I steadily refused, and plunged deeper than ever into a whirl of gaiety.
One day, however, my mother begged me to leave a note at the house of a lady who lived close by.
“I think you may have to wait for an answer,” she said, as she sealed and handed it to me.
At first I rebelled. I knew the lady to whom the letter was addressed was one of those whom I dreaded to encounter; but at length I consented to go, determining in my own mind, to let her see that I had no intention of being spoken to about my soul, should she attempt; to broach the subject.
So feeling no doubt very grand and superior, I set off.
“Mrs. C—was at home. Would I please walk upstairs?" was the answer to my inquiry.
I followed the servant, inwardly resolving to “hold my own," whatever happened.
To my horror, when we reached the drawing-room, I found myself in the midst of one of the dreaded "meetings" I had heard so much about.
There was a look of surprise on the faces of all the occupants of that room, as I entered, which brought the hot blood with a rush to my cheeks. Mrs. C—rose to meet me, and in her gentle way, motioned me to a seat near the door; and the reading continued as before. I shall never forget my feelings as I sat there!
Fear and indignation strove for the mastery. I saw it all! I had fallen unsuspectingly into the trap that had been laid for me by my mother and Mrs. C—. Now there was no escape. Gradually the words that were being spoken forced themselves on my hearing.
Curiously, and critically I listened, wondering what there could be in that dry and uninteresting book, to light up the faces of one and all; then, somewhat wearied with listening to what was so much Greek to me, I set to planning how best I could slip out of the door and run downstairs without being noticed.
During the prayers that followed the reading, a lady who had been sitting close beside me pleaded with God for " the one outside the fold," entreating that the Lord would not let me leave the room, without a blessing, and oh how wonderfully He answered that prayer I Deeper and deeper those words sank into my wretched, sinful heart. I felt as I knelt there that a holy God was searching me through and through, and all my sins like a great wave came sweeping over me, carrying all else before it!
What had I been doing? How had I dared to turn away from the God who was at this moment reading my very soul?
Terrified, I arose from my knees, and stood as though in a dream, whilst all the others, with the exception of the one who had prayed for me, left the room.
She came across to me, and asked me that question I had always dreaded—
“Are you saved?”
“No," I answered abruptly.
“Do you want to be?”
For a moment I hesitated.
“I am too wicked," I said falteringly. “Oh! you don't know what I am, and all the dreadful things I have done," I continued, battling with the great choking sobs that would come, in spite of my efforts to keep them back.
“Never mind what you have been, or what you have done, child," was the quiet rejoinder.
“If you know yourself to be a sinner, just listen to what God says to you." And opening her Bible she read—" When we were yet without strength, in, due time, Christ died for the ungodly (Rom. 5:66For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6)); and. “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
“But," I said doubtfully," how do I know that was meant for me? How can I know God wants me?”
My companion did not answer, but turned again to her Bible, and from the last chapter of Revelations read this verse, “Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.”
“Now," she said," do you suppose God has left you out in that whosoever?”
“No," I answered slowly, while the wonderful truth began to dawn across my mind.
“Then if you believe it was for you as well as for the rest of the world that Christ died, you are saved.
Verily, verily I say unto you, he that heareth my word and. believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.'”
I needed no more! I saw it all as clearly as possible, and a joy I had never experienced before, even when I had imagined my happiness complete, flooded my whole being. Oh! the wonderful grace of God. to a wretched sinner! I had entered that room, proud, rebellious, stiff-necked; I left it humbled and broken down by the sight I had had of the love of Christ which led Him to lay down His life for me.
From that moment I believe the current of my life was changed.
“Old things passed away, and all things became new." With a sort of horror, I turned from that which I once imagined was "happiness." Nothing but the grace of God could have made me do this; good resolutions, and “turning over new leaves “are worse than futile. Oh! how often we make good resolutions! I wonder who has not. But when temptations come, are we able to resist them?
Never, in our own strength. We can alone be conquerors through Him that loved us.
Ah! dear young ones (to whom I am especially writing), have you never felt, in the midst of the giddy whirl, a sensation of dissatisfaction and discontent, as if everything was not quite as it should be?
Oh! the heart-aches, jealousies and bitter feelings that exist in this great weary world.!
Christ alone can satisfy and. fill the aching voids. Will you not come to Him? There is no question of "giving up" this thing or the other. When Christ enters the heart all else sinks into utter insignificance, so that one gladly and willingly turns from what fails to satisfy, to rest in that great love, the length, breadth, depth and height, of which no mortal can fathom.
Z.