The Amended Will

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
I was asked to dine with an elderly gentleman, over whose head seventy summers had passed. He had been known as a Christian for many years but as we often find, had allowed his ideas of humility to hinder the joy of "full assurance" of salvation. At the same time, his self-denying labors of love, and close following in the footsteps of the Divine Master, would shame many advanced believers.
As he sat in his arm-chair in the course of the evening, he said,
"I am going to the Continent tomorrow, and as we never know what a day may bring forth, especially at my time of life, I have written out a few directions as to the disposal of my property, and wish you to append your name as having witnessed my signature."
He then read the will over to me, and I was particularly struck with the concise way in which he had given expression to his wishes. There was nothing superfluous or vague, and nothing omitted. With the following words he concluded:
"I wish to testify that I die trusting in the merits of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and hope I am accepted for His sake."
"You have stated everything so clearly, may I ask why you add, 'I hope I am accepted'? The Word of God tells us that He hath made us accepted in the Beloved; and again,
`We know (not hope) that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved we have a building of God, an house... eternal in the heavens.' " 2 Cor. 5:11For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (2 Corinthians 5:1).
"Well," said he, 'it is one thing for St. Paul to speak thus, and another for me. I have no sympathy for those who are presumptuous enough to speak so confidently about their salvation. They must be sadly wanting in humility."
"Friend," I replied 'If it be presumption, has not God endorsed it? Did not Christ say,
`He that heareth My Word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, path everlasting life. and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.' John 5:2424Verily, 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. (John 5:24), You say you trust in the merit and work of Christ, and Him alone."
"I do," he added, "firmly believing when He said, 'It is finished,' the work was fully done, and nothing can be added to it."
"Or taken away?" I inquired.
"I see," he replied, 'you do not believe in the final perseverance of the saints."
"I believe S rather," said I, "in the final perseverance of God to guard and keep His saints unto the end. If it depended upon the holiest saint of God to keep himself, it would be a sorry affair. He could not stand for half an hour. It is the perseverance of the Father in drawing all to Jesus,—the perseverance of the Son and the Holy Ghost in keeping them. Is not this a firm basis, on which to rest?"
"It is indeed a sure foundation," he exclaimed. "I see, I see my mistake. It is far more presumptuous to doubt God, than to take Him at His Word;" and he struck out the word "hope," and inserted "know."
"He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son. And this the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son, hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things I have written unto you that believe on the Name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life." 1 John 5:10-1310He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 11And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:10‑13).