Salvation Is of the Lord

I was on my way from the railway station to the little meeting place where I was to preach, when I was asked by my Christian companion if I would go with him to see a poor young fellow who was dying. I at once consented, having nearly an hour to spare before the time announced for the meeting. My friend led the way, and soon we were in the sick man's room. There, upon his bed, lay what had once been a fine young man, twenty-nine years of age. That deadly disease, consumption, had brought him thus low; and its awful sweat lay heavy upon him. I saw that he was fast sinking, and that if he were to be saved at all, it must be now.
His history as a sinner is soon told. He had lived hard and fast, and had been a prodigal to all intents and purposes. He had wasted his health and substance in riotous living; but he had spent all that he had without obtaining happiness or satisfaction; and now, in all the weakness and helplessness of disease, he desired to return to the parental roof that he had so long deserted, and die under the care and nursing of those simple, Christian parents.
He was brought home on a Monday, on the evening of which day the friend who took me to his house first saw him. On Tuesday, the day following his being brought home, I saw him, and have already told you how I found him as to his body. Now I will tell you how I found him as to his soul. I found that God had been working in him by His Spirit. He had shown him that he was a lost sinner, and that it was an awful thing to go into eternity unsaved.
His agony about his soul seemed almost to make him forget his poor suffering body, but he never expressed a desire to recover. Salvation was what he longed for, but he questioned if there could be salvation for such a wretch as he had been and was.
I opened my Bible, and read to him from 1 Timothy 1:1515This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. (1 Timothy 1:15): "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners."
I then asked, "Are you a sinner?"
"Indeed I am," he replied.
"Then Christ came into the world to save you," I rejoined. I then turned to Romans 5:88But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8): "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
I again asked, "Are you a sinner?"
He replied, "Yes, that I am."
"Then Christ died for you," I said.
I then turned to a third scripture, Luke 15:22And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. (Luke 15:2): "This Man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them." Once more I asked, "Are you a sinner?"
"Yes," was his earnest, emphatic reply. Turning on his elbow, he looked across the room to the friend who had brought me, and said, "I think I see it plainer, Donald."
"But, man, you must believe it," replied the friend.
I then went over the same three Scriptures again, and asked him, "Whom did Christ come into the world to save?"
"Sinners," he replied.
"And what are you?"
"A sinner."
"Then Christ came into the world to save you; believe it."
Again I asked, "For whom did Christ die?"
"For sinners," he said.
"And what are you?"
"A sinner."
"Then Christ died for you; believe it."
And again, "Whom does Christ receive?"
"Sinners."
"And what are you?"
"A sinner."
"Then Christ receives you; believe it, and you are saved."
He drew a long breath, and exclaimed, "I wish I could say I am saved!"
"If you believe that you are a sinner, and that Christ came into the world to save you, and that He has received you, then you are saved," I rejoined.
The blessed Spirit of God applied the word. Light broke in upon him, and he was saved.
I now read a fourth Scripture, Galatians 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): "I 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."
"Who does 'who' mean?" I asked.
"Jesus."
"And who is 'me?' "
"Myself."
"And what is between you both?"
"Love."
He turned on his back and said, "I wish I could make a little prayer to Him."
"Thomas," I said, "He just wants you to thank Him!"
Immediately he cried, "Lord Jesus, I thank You for having loved me and received me."
My friend and I fell on our knees, and praised God for having shown this poor prodigal that Jesus had loved him, had died for him, received him, and saved him.
This sick lad was brought home to his parents on Monday, he was saved on Tuesday, and on the following Thursday evening he "fell asleep," without a doubt or a murmur. Thanks be unto God for this trophy of His grace; surely "where sin abounded, grace did much more abound."