What a Pity You Are Not a Christian”

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 5
The story of a friend's conversion to God is an exceedingly interesting one. He had occasion to call on Mr. Arthur Kinnaird. Mr. Kinnaird suggested that he might see Mr. Hitchcock. He visited the warehouse and had an interview with him regarding a business matter. On leaving, Mr. Hitchcock said to him:
"Mr. Forlong, what a pity you are not a Christian!”
Unwilling to be drawn into a discussion on religion, he parried Mr. Hitchcock by saying:
"We are well up in the Bible.”
"What a pity you are not a Christian!" was repeated by Mr. Hitchcock.
The man hummed and hawed for a moment, and then said that he did not understand Mr. Hitchcock.
"If you think you are a Christian," said the earnest soul-winner, "sit down on that chair and talk to me about Christ.”
"I cannot do that," replied Mr. Forlong.
"No; I knew you could not," said the Christian merchant. "Now, Mr. Forlong, I would be very pleased if you would be kind enough to read a small book that I have." Mr. Forlong remarked that he read a good deal, and would gladly look over the book that he purposed giving him.
The book he received was an able vindication of the Christian faith. He took it home and read it carefully. On perusing it he said to himself: "This book is wrong, but I cannot tell where.”
He became greatly interested in the position taken by the writer, and began re-reading it. As he studied it carefully, he was arrested by the words of Lev. 17:11:
"For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”
While reading these words, the light of the glorious Gospel of God's wondrous grace burst into his soul's vision, and he said to himself: "That explains how the whole Bible streams with blood.”
He perceived how the blood made atonement; because the life is in the blood, and to pour out the blood signifies death.
"He poured out His soul unto death." Isa. 53:12.
And by believing that Christ died and made a full and perfect atonement for all his sins, he found rest to his sin-sick soul. He saw he was safe, not because of what he did for Christ, but because of what Christ did for him.
He hastened to tell Mr. Hitchcock that through reading the book he gave him he was saved.
"Thank God for that," was the Christian merchant's response.
"I cannot go on 'with that business matter now," said the young convert.
"And what are you going to do?" inquired Mr. Hitchcock.
"I must preach the gospel," was the characteristic reply.
He felt he had a call from God to make known the unsearchable riches of Christ, and he commenced to preach Christ and Him crucified with remarkable fervency and power. Multitudes of sinners were saved, and many Christians were helped through his faithful ministry. For more than half a century he was privileged to be an ambassador of the cross.
The writer can never forget the words spoken by Mr. Forlong. I don't remember if he had any text, but I know he repeated again and again the following words:
"It's the blood that saves! It's the blood that saves! It's the blood that saves!”
He explained that Christ's blood-shedding bad made a perfect atonement to the injured honor of the divine character and government, and all who believed on Him had eternal life. Dealing with the widespread difficulty of waiting for feelings, instead of taking God at His word, he repeated again and again the words: "Believing is the root; feeling is the fruit! Believing is the root; feeling is the fruit!”
I thank God that His servant was led to speak as he did. I had been waiting to feel saved. I ceased looking within, and looked to Christ dying for my crimson sins, and found life in a look at the crucified One.
Where is the looking—to Christ or self? to faith or feelings? Christ's atonement is enough to meet your deepest need. Is God not fully satisfied with what Christ did and suffered for you?
"It is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”
The blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, has made an atonement for all sin. Don't try to atone for the offenses of the past. It is too late in the day to attempt that. Christ has done everything that was necessary. The blood in its "solitary dignity" has eternally satisfied the demands of law and justice. Don't wait to feel that what God says. is true. Believe the "glad tidings" regarding Christ and His finished work, and the feelings will follow. May you be enabled truthfully to lay hold of the meaning of the familiar lines:
"Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come.”