No Difference

HERE had been some good work in a little Hertfordshire village, where, through God's goodness, the gospel of His grace had been preached Sunday after Sunday, in V—’s two roomed cottage.
Notwithstanding his poverty and want of education, V—possessed the greatest gift of God (John 3:1616For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)) to lost and ruined man. The Bible, too, was his constant companion, and his countenance told to all around of a large measure of peace and joy within.
There was a time when he (although, undoubtedly as moral, and, humanly speaking, as upright a man as would anywhere be met) was indifferent to the pleadings of the Saviour's love add. pity, but the grace of God that bringeth salvation and appeareth to all men, appeared to him, and the Word, which we are told, is the Sword of the Spirit, reached his conscience, and taught him that there was " no difference " between him and the vilest individual on the face of the earth as regards being “guilty before God." Accordingly, owning this fact, he look the place of a lost, sinner, remembering the words of Christ, that " the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost;" and not only so, but he claimed the lost and guilty sinner's Saviour as the only One in whom he could event now " have redemption, even the forgiveness of sins.”
Having thus, to his great joy, obtained the assurance on the authority of the word of the living God, that he was "bought with a price,” even "by the precious blood of Christ," he sought to live as one ought to live who had learned the truth that he was not his own, but Christ's, who loved him and gave Himself for him (Gal. 2:2020I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)); and so, considering himself " a debtor both to Jew and Gentile” (Rom. 1:1414I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. (Romans 1:14)) he threw open one of his rooms (as already stated) for the preaching of the glad tidings of salvation to those who might be prevailed upon to attend and hear it. By this means many a careless one was, at least, aroused, and testimony from some, was received of a "turning to God from idols, to serve the living and true God.”
As an instance of the manner in which he would deal with opposers to, or inquirers for the truth, the following incident, may with profit, be recorded.
The preaching one Sunday evening, had been upon the subject. “There is no difference for ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God," and it had been pointed out that in regard to guilt there is "no difference” between one individual and another in God's sight. V—was present as usual, although exceedingly ill. During the ensuing week, a woman (one of the audience) called upon him in order to protest against “the assertions of the preacher, that there is no difference.' “Was it to be supposed, said she, that there was “no difference “between her and So-and-so, and So-and-so. She went regularly to church, sent her children to Sunday School, read her Bible, and tried to earn an honest living, and was she to be put on a par with those who never went to a so-called place of worship, never read their Bibles, and never appeared to be concerned in regard to the spiritual welfare of their little ones. V—took his Bible, and informed her that the words at which she had taken so much offense were not those of the preacher, but of God, and turning to Rom. 3:2222Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: (Romans 3:22) and 23, he effectually silenced the repeated arguments as to her fancied goodness, by as constantly handing over the Scriptures, and requesting the woman to read the words for herself, merely observing each time, that " God says it.”
Thus the Lord honored his poor but devoted and confiding servant, who was so soon to be called home, his work on earth being nearly done. The Sunday night already referred to, was his last as one of our little company, his illness having taken so serious a turn, as to compel him to keep to his bed.
We visited him during his prostration, and sang, talked, and read to him of JESUS, the chiefest among ten thousand; and altogether lovely, whose name, says the inspired apostle, "is above every name," and at which "every knee shall bow.”
Dear ! his last moments were very blessed, for Christ was indeed everything to him. The earthen vessel appeared to be so full of joy that it almost seemed as if the soul must break the bonds which bound it still to earth; and most refreshing was it to observe the intense delight it gave the departing saint, to converse on the prospect now so near, of being " absent from the body, present with the Lord," there to await with Him the glorious resurrection morning when
"All the ransom'd Church shall rise,
And wing their way to yonder skies
Called up with Christ to reign.”
V—had not long to wait, however, until the looked-for summons came, for before, a month had elapsed, from the day he took to his bed, he heard his heavenly Master's voice, bidding him to come up higher.
Oh! what glories await the redeemed! Surely "the half hath not been told," for is it not written? “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard... the things which God hath prepared for them that love him," and "our light affliction which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”
“There we shall see His face,
And never, never sin,
And from the rivers of His grace
Drink endless pleasures in.”
Reader! what are your eternal prospects?
Have you ever, like poor V—, taken your place on the "no difference" platform, acknowledging that, having sinned, you are actually “guilty before God" and "condemned already;” and have you, too, in the energy of divine faith, laid hold of that once crucified, but now risen Christ of God?
If not, oh, do so at once. Yes, now," while it is called to-day." Before to-morrow, your soul may be in eternity—lost, forever lost—only awaiting “the resurrection of damnation," when, in your raised and sinful body you will have to stand before "the Great White Throne," to be “judged... according to your works," and to hear from "the Judge of all the earth" your terrible doom—"
DEPART FROM ME, YE CURSED, INTO EVERLASTING FIRE, PREPARED FOR THE DEVIL AND HIS ANGELS.”
Oh! make haste and come to Jesus! Trust in Him now, and in Him alone, for, “BY HIM ALL THAT BELIEVE ARE JUSTIFIED FROM ALL THINGS. N. L. N.
FAITH is the soul's outward, not its inward look.