Their Own Way

IT was the day of the Horse and Dog Show at H—, and the streets were thronged with busy holiday makers. In a quiet spot, just off the main thoroughfare, a crowd had gathered round a young man who was preaching the Gospel. Very earnestly He was telling out that "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 3:1616For 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).)
There was a wistful, anxious expression on the faces of many of those standing round. Some looked as though they longed for the peace the preacher presented to them.
But though the Scripture so clearly set forth that the sinner is saved from first to last by Christ alone—that in virtue of His atoning death on Calvary's cross God is offering full forgiveness of sins to everyone who turns to Him, yet how few will give up the Christ-dishonoring thought that they must gain heaven by their own efforts—doing their best, strict attention to religious duties, etc. By thus slighting and ignoring what Christ has already done for them at such infinite cost to Himself, they cut off all hope, and seal their own doom, for "how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?" (Heb. 2:3.)
I offered Gospel books to three of these earnest listeners, with the question, "Have you the forgiveness of your sins?" The first one answered by saying she thought her anxiety about it showed she had it. The second replied by telling me that she went to church and had been confirmed. The third said she had been confirmed, and you know one can't do more than one can do!
These persons were evidently hoping to go to heaven, and were thinking they were on the right way for it, yet in giving the ground of their hope not one had made the slightest mention of Christ's atoning death and blood-shedding in the matter, though God gives no ray of hope to any apart from it. What a terrible awakening awaits those who thus neglect God's salvation! F. A.