Whither Bound?

Table of Contents

1. Can You Tell Me the Way to Heaven?
2. Lost by Three Seconds
3. Asleep in the Boat
4. Haunted for Fourteen Years
5. For or Against: a Scene in Manchester Police Court
6. Not Another Hour
7. The Wounded Soldier's Return
8. Brevities
9. God's Grace
10. Where Is Happiness to Be Found?
11. ?Not for Me?
12. A Message Through a Broken Window
13. Pardon
14. Doors That Close
15. The Miser of Marseilles
16. The Two Pictures; or, Infidelity and Indifference
17. ?Two Died for Me?
18. Common Objections Briefly Considered
19. The Colonel's Word Will Stand
20. No, Thank You
21. ?Example or Substitute?
22. Grace for the Guilty
23. The Scarred Hand
24. Brevities
25. Your Saviour or Your Judge?
26. The Name Above Every Name
27. Guilty, but Pardoned
28. The Raiatean's Reply to the Officers of the Seringapatam
29. Common Objections Briefly Considered
30. If I Gained the World
31. The End of the Voyage
32. "Whither Bound?"
33. Brevities
34. ?Danger! Keep Out!?
35. The Mother's Rock
36. Ignored Warnings
37. Senor Hyppolyto's Conversion
38. Delivered From the Pit
39. Is Christ Really Coming?
40. The Blood-Marked Door
41. Thousands Striving
42. ?Stand Where the Fire Has Been?
43. A Contrast
44. ?Saved!?
45. Saved by a Look
46. The Cottage Floor: and Why It Was Never Scrubbed
47. The Man at the Look-Out
48. "Aprons" or "Coats of Skins?"
49. Reason Gone Mad!
50. “As It Was in the Days of Noah”
51. The Facts of the Case
52. This World Is As a Sinking Ship
53. Mud Banks
54. What Is Meant by Believing?
55. How to Obtain Pardon
56. The Five Go Together
57. Common Objections Briefly Considered
58. A Preacher of the Old School
59. Choose Your Colors
60. A Last Warning; or "Just in Time"
61. Infidelity
62. Good Night or Good-Bye?
63. The Forgotten Monarch
64. Whither Bound?
65. A Maori Mother's Love
66. God Speaketh
67. Take Warning!
68. He's No Deid.
69. Now Is the Day of Salvation.
70. A Friendly Warning
71. Too Late!
72. Confess Him
73. Are You Sure?
74. Was It a Dream?
75. Consider This!
76. Eternity
77. Too Sure
78. A Theater Audience Sings the Glory Song
79. An All-Prevailing Custom
80. Insured Forever
81. Why Did She Stop Them?
82. One Hundred Years Ago
83. The Last Act in the Drama
84. Whose Fault?
85. The Way of Salvation

Can You Tell Me the Way to Heaven?

Away out in the old Somme region, one morning, we were holding the trench and came in for the usual shelling. Presently there was a black cloud as a shell burst and pieces of shrapnel came whizzing past us, and poor Bert fell like a log. Jim and another chap jumped down and picked him up, but they saw at a glance that it was a hopeless case. There was not a dressing station nearby, so some fellows got some empty sandbags and an old coat, and laid Bert on them in the bottom of the trench to die.
Before long Jim was startled by a voice behind him, “Can you tell me the way to heaven?”
Jim jumped down again beside Bert and said, “The way to heaven? Sorry, chum, I don’t know. I’ll ask the other fellows.”
He returned to the firing step and walked along to the next man and asked him, but he did not know. So the question was passed along the Traverse Trench from man to man. “Bert is dying. He wants to know the way to heaven. Can you tell him?” The question had got right along the trench to No. 16, but out of those sixteen not one knew the way to heaven! Just think of it! Sixteen young fellows brought up in a so-called Christian land, but they could not help a dying comrade! When you see an old friend dying and you cannot help him, it goes hard. What you think and guess just won’t do. Oh, no! He wants the real thing. How many there are like those sixteen! How about it? Could you turn me to the Old Book and give me chapter and verse for God’s Way to heaven?
So No. 16 jumped off the firing step and went rushing on to the next post, where, all alone, stood another on the alert. He felt a thump on his back and heard a voice shouting, “There’s a chap in our company who has been hit; he is dying and he wants to know the way to heaven. Can you tell him?”
Turning around, and with a smile lighting up his face, he replied, “Yes.” He thrust his hand into his shirt pocket and pulled out a New Testament. Quickly turning over its pages he said, “Look here, that verse marked with pencil. I’ll fold the pages back. Put your thumb on that verse. Tell him that is the way.”
Quickly No. 16 rushed back, passed the message and Testament on from man to man and soon Jim had it in his hand. He dropped down beside Bert, who lay there so still. He touched his shoulder; slowly Bert opened his eyes. “I’ve got it, Bert, old chum. Here it is; the way to heaven: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Peace came over Bert’s face, as he kept gasping out “whosoever.” After a bit, he lay quiet and still again. All at once with one great effort raising himself, his hands stretched upwards; his face lit up, with one last gasp, “Whosoever,” he fell back dead. What a change — from the battlefield to be with Christ!
Dear friends, as an old soldier, who now himself has also found the way, let me assure you that this is the real thing. Jesus is the real Saviour. Jesus who said, “I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved.” (John 10:9). Jesus who died, the Just One, for us, the unjust, that He might bring us to God; Himself, now seated at God’s right hand crowned with glory and honor. He is the only Saviour and the only Way to heaven.
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Lost by Three Seconds

THE tragic loss of the submarine AI is fresh in the minds of the public. We reproduce Lord Selborne, First Lord of the Admiralty's account of how it happened. After unveiling the Nelson Memorial Tablet at Bath shortly after the loss of the submarine, he said:—
“I think we are able to say we know exactly how the accident to our submarine boat occurred. It is just one of those accidents which never can be eliminated from the chances of a naval career. The gallant young officer in charge of the boat had a perfect machine at his disposal, and machinery which enabled him very rapidly to scan the whole horizon; but you will see, if you think of it, that when a boat is submerged, however perfect the machinery for scanning the horizon may be, only a portion of the horizon can be seen at a given moment.
ONE OVERSIGHT.
“Now, of course, it is obvious that what an officer in a case like that ought to do is at frequently recurring intervals to scan the whole horizon, and no one knew that better than the young officer in charge of the boat. But he had his orders to look out for a cruiser called Juno, and torpedo her if he could, and I think that, in his extreme anxiety to get a sight of this cruiser on the section of the horizon from which he knew she must come, he forgot too long to scan the rest of the horizon.
“Then what followed? That, I think, we can tell you also exactly, because we have recovered from the wreck the remains of the optical tube and a part of the conning tower, and the marks on it are such that I think we can exactly reconstitute the accident.
“This young officer, with his glass fixed on that section of the horizon to which I have alluded, suddenly saw looming in the field of vision the bows of a great ship. He rapidly turned his tube in the direction, and saw that the ship was right on top of him.
“Then, instantly, without a moment's hesitation, he did the only thing open to him—he made his submarine dive, and to show you the tragedy of the thing, how long do you think we calculate that there was between the crew and safety? We believe that three seconds more would have cleared the submarine—three seconds more would have taken her under the ship, and she would have been saved.
“That three seconds was just missing and so the submarine was run down and perished.”
What would the drowned men not have given for those three seconds had they had time to think matters over, but it was all so sudden? What would widows and orphans not have given for those seconds? But death is so irreparable.
The officer in charge did not look all round the horizon sufficiently. Hence the disaster.
Reader, have you scanned your horizon sufficiently? You may be young and strong. Life is sweet to you. You have no pinch or trial, and at present there is not a cloud in your sky. But let me press my question, Have you scanned your horizon sufficiently? The fact is, you have not looked all round. Things may be likely to go on smoothly with you for the next six months, or six years, for the matter of that; but what is more than likely to happen within the next sixty years is— YOUR DEATH. Death is looming on the horizon. But why must you die? Because you are a sinner. "It is appointed unto men once to die, BUT AFTER THIS THE JUDGMENT." (Heb. 9:27.) Judgment, too, is looming, then, on your horizon.
What would the officer in charge of the AI not have given if someone could have tapped him on the arm and pointed out three seconds before he saw it himself the liner crashing upon the top of his frail vessel. How instantly he would have heeded the warning, acted upon it before he had even thanked the giver of it. We warn you, reader. You have an immortal soul. Sin must be punished. Judgment is looming ahead on your horizon. Death may swoop down upon you without any warning, and your next six months may see you in the grave. Within your next sixty years it is almost, if not quite, a dead certainty that death will run down your frail vessel.
There is one thing, and only one thing, that you can do to avert the danger. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." (Acts 16:31.) "A Man shall be as an hiding place" (Isa. 32:2), and that blessed person is Jesus. He is the Savior, the Substitute, the Redeemer.
Neglect the offer of Christ as your Savior, and the question comes home to your door "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?”
There was no escape for the AI. The danger was seen too late. Three seconds too late. If you die unbelieving there will be no escape for you. The drowned men ENDED their lives here, and I have seen the place where their bodies lie in the Haslar Hospital Cemetery, Gosport. But if you die neglecting the warnings of grace and refusing "so great salvation," then you will BEGIN your eternity in hell. How awful! The tragedy of the AI is as nothing beside that awful tragedy.
Friend, we warn you to "flee from the wrath to come." Your only wisdom is to turn to the Lord at once. May God give you to do so is our earnest prayer.
A. J. P.

Asleep in the Boat

Years ago at Niagara Falls, a young man, was employed as a guide. Having nothing to do one day, he moored his boat well above the falls and lay down in it to rest. Rocked on the ever-moving waters, he fell asleep. He thought he had tied the boat securely, but with its constant swaying it was finally loosened, and with its unconscious occupant, began to drift with the current. Spectators on the shore, seeing his grave danger, shouted loudly to awaken him, that he might save himself while as yet the current was not rapid, but with no effect. At one point in the boat’s progress, it was grounded upon a rock that protruded in mid-stream. Seeing the pause, the bystanders redoubled their efforts to arouse the sleeping man, crying loudly to him, “Get on the rock! Get on the rock!” But he slumbered on, oblivious to his extreme peril. With the movement of the waters, the boat was soon cleared from the rock and again heading for the Falls. The poor man was aroused from his sleep only amidst the thundering roar of the great waterfall, over which he plunged to his death. How appalling! Asleep in the boat! Calmly and unconsciously drifting into the very jaws of death!
One trembles to think of it. Yet how aptly this illustrates the indifference of souls today! — many unconcerned as to their fatal course, fast asleep in their sins, perhaps lulled on the tide by earthly pleasures; soothed into false confidence by their dependence on a blameless life or religious profession. ALL ASLEEP IN THE BOAT!
“The god of this world (Satan) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
“Awake thou that sleepest.” (Ephesians 5:14). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Haunted for Fourteen Years

“I WOULD like to have a few words with you in private.”
It was at the close of a gospel service in Chicago that a middle-aged woman approached the preacher with this request.
An appointment was made for two o'clock the next day. The preacher, in company with a Christian friend, sat in his room, waiting for the visitor.
Presently she appeared. After a few moments' conversation, the preacher asked:
“Now, what is your trouble?”
“Oh!" gasped the woman, "I am a murderess. Fourteen years ago, away in the old country, in the darkness of a forest, I drove a dagger into a man's throat. I escaped without anybody seeing me. The man was found with the dagger by his side, and everybody thought that he had committed suicide. For two years I remained in that district. No one ever suspected me, but I was wretched.
“At last I came to America, to see if I could find peace here. First I went to New York and then came to Chicago, and I have been here for twelve years, but have not found peace.
“I often go to the lake and stand on the pier and look into the dark waters beneath. I would have jumped in if I had not been afraid of what lies beyond death.”
Can you conceive, reader, a more terrible state of mind for anyone to be in than to be haunted and hunted for fourteen years, as this woman was, by an accusing conscience? It must have been a veritable hell upon earth.
What was it that had brought her to such a condition? Her sin. And "are there not with you, even with you, sins against the Lord your God?" Answer me: Are there no sins of which your conscience accuses you?
"Of course, I am a sinner," perhaps you reply "we are all sinners. But I have never committed such an awful sin as murder,”
But, reader, who told you that one sin is more awful in God's sight than another? Men may speak of "little sins," but God does not. No sin is trivial or excusable in His regard. The smallest bit of wrong-doing is sufficient to exclude a man from His presence forever. In His sight there is no difference between the religiously brought-up sinner, who has never done anything grossly and outrageously wrong, and the poor woman who drove the dagger into the throat of a fellow-creature.
Do you doubt the truth of this? Then open your Bible, and see for yourself. Turn to Rom. 3:22, 23: "There is no difference, for all have sinned." All stand on a common platform before God.
If you, reader, were as much awake as you should be, to the seriousness of sin, your conscience would be as burdened as was that of the murderess. You would be haunted by the fearful knowledge of your guilt. You would be filled with unrest and anxiety.
That you do not feel like this is only a proof that your conscience is seared and your eyes blinded. It is a fact that Satan, as the god of this world, has power to blind men's eyes. (See 2 Cor. 4:4.) To think that he should have blinded yours!
Now God—who made you, and cares for you, and seeks your eternal blessing—desires to open your eyes. (See Acts 26:18.) He has various ways of doing this. Sometimes He does it by means of a heavy blow—a bereavement, an illness, a pecuniary loss, a disappointment.
At Dresden, in Germany, not long ago, a blind man was crossing the street, when he was struck on the head by a passing cart. As a result of the shock, the man recovered his long-lost eyesight.
Have you ever suffered any grievous blow? Any sore trial? Any heavy affliction? Any serious loss? It was from the loving hand of God that it came that your eyes might be opened!
But there is also power in His own Word, when applied to the heart by the Holy Spirit, to open blind eyes. In His Word God expresses His abhorrence of sin. He shows that it cannot be passed over, but that it must be punished.
If only you saw this, how concerned you would be about your own sinful condition!
But there is another sight for the opened eye to gaze upon besides sin in all its ugliness and blackness. There is JESUS, who willingly became the Sin-bearer upon the cross, and endured the bitter punishment that was our due in order that we might be forgiven.
Only by believing in Jesus, and knowing something of the results of His atoning work, can the accusing conscience be set at rest. Only in this way can salvation and peace be known. Only by this means can the burden of guilt be removed. Only thus can the sins of a lifetime be washed away.
Stephen Holcombe was a most vicious man and one of the worst gamblers on the Mississippi. One night, at the gaming table, a man accused him of cheating. Quick as thought, Holcombe whipped his revolver from his pocket and fired. The bullet went straight to the mark, the blood poured from the gaping wound, and in a few minutes the man was dead.
The murderer was arrested and tried, but was acquitted on the ground that he had shot the man in self-defense. But though acquitted by a human court he felt condemned before the bar of God, and before the bar of his own conscience.
He tried in every way to find peace. Two years after that awful night he was in his room alone, miserable, his face buried in his hands, and the memory of his crime haunting him. Kneeling down, he cried, "O God, can anything blot out the awful memory of what I have done?" And immediately the strains of the old familiar hymn, learned long ago in the days of his boyhood, came ringing through his heart:—
“What can wash away my stain?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”
Then and there Stephen Holcombe staked his confidence upon that precious blood. He understood that Christ had died on the cross for his sin. He believed that all his sins, the murder and all, were laid on Christ, and that He was punished in his stead.
Believing this, he found peace, and from that day he has been a faithful servant of the One who saved him.
Reader, go thou and do likewise! H. P. B.

For or Against: a Scene in Manchester Police Court

“I tell you I didn’t steal it. I bought it,” he kept on repeating, till at last the magistrates were obliged to silence him.
It appeared that Kelly was arrested on the charge of stealing a watch. There was no doubt that the watch had been stolen and found in his possession, which was sufficient in the opinion of both policemen and magistrates to convict him.
Just as the magistrates had apparently arrived at their decision what to do with Kelly, I stepped into the witness box to be sworn in.
“What do you want?” asked the magistrate.
“I want to give evidence in this case, sir.”
The moment Kelly heard that, he turned on me in a rage. “Don’t listen to him. He knows nothing about it. He has only gone into the box to tell a lot of lies. He wants to make it hot for me.”
It was almost useless my telling Kelly to keep quiet and listen. He seemed to think, because I was in police-sergeant’s uniform, that I was bound to be against him. At last the magistrates got him to keep quiet and told me to proceed. I said: “Some weeks ago I was on duty escorting two prisoners by train to Strangeways Gaol. I sat on one side of the compartment, while the two prisoners sat on the other, recounting their experiences as they usually do. I heard one say to the other, “I did old Kelly the other day!” “How was that?” asked his companion. “I sold him a watch for thirty shillings that wasn’t worth a crown!”
What a change on the faces of all in court! As for Kelly, he looked as if he could have kissed me. Of course, he got off, for he was proved innocent in spite of all the circumstantial evidence against him. The little bit of evidence I gave for him more than counter-balanced all that was against him. However, if he had had his way, he would never have known what was in my heart towards him.
That is just the way some men treat God. They will not listen to Him, because they think He is against them, whereas He is for them.
“For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:17).
Kelly was innocent, but God’s heart can be righteously gracious towards a guilty man, and let the guilty man go free. That is more than any Court of Justice can do without sacrificing its name and character. God, however, can be “a just God and a Saviour” (Isaiah 45:21) at one and the same time. He can be “just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:26). He can justify the ungodly.
God, Who might seem to be against man, loves man, and now the great question is this: How can God righteously let the man go free when He Himself has proved him guilty?
The only answer is, by SUBSTITUTION.
In the cross we see God’s love to the sinner displayed in the gift of His Son. He was the only One who was capable of being the substitute for the sinner, because He alone was without sin.
He bore the sinner’s sins (1 Peter 2:24); “suffered for sins” (1 Peter 3:18); “Died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6)

Not Another Hour

NOW, come! treat this great matter in a serious and business-like way. When do you expect to be able to speak definitely and with assurance as to your soul's salvation?
You will admit, I expect, that things between you and God are not as they should be. You have sinned, and you know it; and God, inasmuch as He is the "judge of all"— the Supreme Arbiter of right and wrong—must punish sin. Further, you know that salvation is to be had. Christ has died and risen again to procure it; in the Gospel it is announced, and any poor sinner, however dark and many his sins, may possess it, if only he repents and turns to God with faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, I want to know, when are you going to make that salvation your own, and boldly stand up to confess Jesus as your Savior and Lord?
Will you delay another year? The year of grace, 1905, is just starting. Will you definitely vanish all thought of God and Christ, of heaven and hell from your mind until 1906 shall come? Nay, you dare not. Ere the first quarter of the year is gone you may find yourself in the grip of some deadly disease. Look back over 1904. You can think of many, and so can I, who started the year in full health and strength, but they are gone, and their bodies molder beneath the sod. If you value your soul delay not another year!
Will you delay another month? The longest of our months contains but thirty-one days. Yet you are not safe for thirty-one days. Much less than a month ago I was speaking to a young fellow in health and strength, and now as I write it is five days ago since I heard he was dead. Gone! and in much under a month. What about his soul! Ah! it is well with his soul. But that is not the point. What about your soul? If you value it delay not another month.
Will you delay another day? and a day contains but twenty-four hours. Yet when a friend and I were preaching in Bloemfontein a few months back a young Irish lad, a fireman on the Central South African Railway, came to our meetings and came, thank God, to listen. One Sunday evening he came as before. My friend saw him on the Monday about midday and gave him a copy of a book to read entitled, "The Journey and its End.”
Before midnight his journey came to an end—an abrupt, a fearful end. Suddenly, in the dark, from an unexplained cause, he slipped from his engine and was literally cut to pieces. Only one day. Yet a day often makes all the difference between bliss and everlasting woe. If you are wise, delay not another day.
Will you delay another hour? An hour of sixty flying minutes. Take care! Not much more than a year ago, with another friend, I preached the gospel in Kendal, and at one of our meetings we noticed an elderly woman. She listened eagerly, and at the close of the meeting stayed for conversation, desiring to possess full assurance that she was saved. At 8.45 P.M. I shook her hand, and bade her good-bye. She walked home, and, in the act of hanging up her cloak behind the door, at exactly 9 P.M., she dropped, a corpse. Little as we imagined it, she had not another hour to live.
To you who read these pages—yet unblest, yet undecided for Christ—to you I appeal. Your years, months, days, and hours are fast being spent—soon you will cross the fatal line. Oh! if you ever mean to be saved and I believe you do—see to it that you delay not another hour.
You understand—
NOT ANOTHER HOUR,
for thus saith the Lord:—
TODAY if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts."
(Heb. 3:7 and 8.)
"Behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation.”
(2 Cor. 6:2.)
F. B. H.

The Wounded Soldier's Return

One morning in 1863 a steamer came up to the wharf at Norfolk, Virginia, with a very peculiar load of passengers. An exchange of sick and wounded prisoners had taken place between the Union and Confederate armies, and this steamer had brought several hundred Union soldiers, who had been held by the Confederates in prison hospitals.
Many of them were in a destitute and deplorable condition. Among them was a young man, under twenty, whose sufferings from wounds and sickness had greatly weakened him. He had been delicately reared in a refined Philadelphia home, and the life in prison barracks and long deprivation of clothing, while his body was covered with sores and vermin, had been intolerable to him.
He had been told that his brother, a wealthy Philadelphia merchant, would meet him at Norfolk. He told his comrades how elegant and immaculately clean everything was in his brother’s home, and asserted strongly they would not have him in their house. “I am so changed,” he said, “that William will not know me; and, if he did, he would not take me. I shall go and die in the hospital.” Then the poor boy would weep, as he looked at his filthy, ragged clothing, and thin and wasted form.
As the steamer touched the wharf a well-dressed, strong man sprang upon the deck. It was his brother William. He had been waiting hours for the steamer to arrive. He had a carriage furnished with pillows and blankets to carry his brother to the train. He had secured a furlough from Washington for his brother to go to his home, and, with a face full of eagerness, he passed around the deck, hunting for him.
Soon he was by his side. Sure enough, he did not know him. It was repulsive to him to look upon the wretched object before him. Sores upon the mouth and nose, face sunken, hair unkempt and fastened to running blotches upon his forehead, feet naked and cracked open with scurvy, clothing a mass of rags,- all these made him turn quickly away with a deep shudder.
The heart of the poor sick boy sank within him. “It is just as I expected,” he thought. “William doesn’t know me, and he was disgusted with me. How clean and nice he looks! He can never have me with him as I am now.” So he had not the courage to speak.
His brother passed along the second time, and failed to recognize him, and still he dared not speak. Once more the brother went carefully from soldier to soldier. He had almost come to the conclusion that his brother was not there, and feared that he had died on the passage. Making one more effort, however, he stood for the third time beside the one he was seeking. He looked at him attentively, but with no sign of recognition. “Poor fellow,” he said pityingly, and was turning away, when a faint cry arrested him.
“William, don’t you know me?” was uttered in faltering tones from the trembling lips of the poor sick fellow.
“My dear brother! Why didn’t you speak before?” was the reply of the grateful man, as he lifted the emaciated form in his arms, and carried him, rags, filth, sores and all, to the waiting carriage. His strength, his money, his house, all were at the disposal of his poor brother; and the possession of all these never had a higher value in his eyes than now that he could use them on his brother’s behalf.
Reader, perhaps the sense of your sinfulness, degradation, and moral sores of all kinds makes you feel towards the Lord Jesus as this poor soldier felt towards his brother. Being in God’s presence may reveal the contrast between you and Him, making you shrink in despair “From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores” (Isaiah 1:6).
Yet the Philadelphia merchant, glad as he was to take his brother in his arms and tenderly care for him, was not half so delighted at finding him, as the Saviour is delighted in finding one poor sinner who owns his need. All the fitness He requires is that you acknowledge your need of Him.
Christ receiveth sinful men,
Laden down with many a sin;
Purges from all guilt and stain,
Fit for Heaven to enter in.
“Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37).
Like the Father who welcomed his long lost profligate son in Luke 15, so God rejoices with all heavenly hospitality over the return of the vilest sinner. He provides perfect cleansing, and new attire, with rich feasting and unending heavenly joy.
The Saviour has done the suffering to put away sin, bearing its full penalty. Now that all things are ready, He bids you welcome to His arms, His heart and His eternal home.
Oh what a home! But such His love
That He must bring us there,
To fill that home, to be with Him,
And all His glory share.

Brevities

Death is busy. With unrelenting hand he is bearing away the inhabitants of the earth. About 96,480 persons pass into Eternity every twenty-four hours.
Every step men take is in the direction of the tomb. If you could look into the coming week it may be that you would see a grave gaping athwart your pathway.
- - -
Your Soul going Where? The tombstone is but the narrow gate opening upon the vast continent of Eternity. Though there is but a short walk to the grave, there are ten thousand miles beyond.
Did you ever raise the question—Where shall I be a hundred years from to-day?
Your Body may be in the tomb; your Goods may be possessed by your friends; but what will become of your Soul?
- - -
“The coming of the Lord draweth nigh." "When once the Master of the house is risen up, and bath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and He shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are.”
(Luke 13:25)
- - -
“Now is the day of Salvation." God is waiting to be gracious. " Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.'' (Isa. 1:18.)
C. H.

God's Grace

A poor woman was in great financial difficulties. A kind-hearted gentleman called on her, intending to help. After knocking at her door for some time and receiving no answer, he concluded that she was not at home, and went away. Meeting her soon afterward, he told her that he had called to see her, telling her his errand. “Oh!” she replied, “was it you, sir? I am sorry. I thought it was the landlord who had come for the rent, and I was afraid to answer the door as I had not got it.”
As this poor woman treated her would-be benefactor, so thousands are treating God today. They think that when He knocks at the door of their hearts He has come to demand something from them, but what a mistake. He comes to give, not to claim the debt they owe. He comes to deliver from distress, and to give eternal life. “The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock”—
Behold the Saviour at the door!
He gently knocks — Has knocked before;
Has waited long — Is waiting still;
You use no other friend so ill.

Where Is Happiness to Be Found?

Not in Infidelity.
VOLTAIRE was an infidel of the most pronounced type. He wrote:—
"I wish I had never been born.”
Why was this? Well, poor man, he evidently discovered at the end of his days a very simple fact. We shall do well to remember it though still in the midst of our days. It is this. Infidelity is destructive and not constructive. It will take away from you everything; it will give you nothing. It matters little what form it may assume. Atheism—with its blank denial of God. Agnosticism—with its deadly hostility to faith. Higher Criticism—with its destructive efforts against the inspired Word of God. The tendency of each is the same. They will destroy, if you will let them, all the foundations of your soul. You shall have no God, whose love can brighten all the years of your life. No Christ, whose blood can cleanse from all sin. No Holy Spirit, to open the heart to eternal things. No Word of God, on which you may with certainty rest. And instead of all this you shall have—what? A string of theories and deductions, a life of proud self-sufficiency, a Christless deathbed, a frightful leap in the dark, the judgment of God, and Voltaire's wish, very fervent and forever, "I wish I had never been born.”
Not in Pleasure.
Byron lived a life of pleasure if anyone did. He wrote
"The worm, the canker, and the grief
Are mine alone.”
Sad words! Picture to yourself that brilliant man sitting upon some sunlit prominence and gazing over the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Nature is lively, and youth is still upon his side. For a moment he retreats from the whirl of pleasure and unbosoms to us his inmost feelings. What are they? Worm, canker, and grief! Is it possible? Indeed it is, and in your heart, reader, you know it full well. The pleasures of sin do not satisfy, even while they last; so soon they will be gone forever. Oh! the grief of a life fooled away in the empty pursuit of pleasure. May it never be yours.
Not IN MONEY.
Gould, the American millionaire, had plenty of that. When dying he is reported to have said:—
"I suppose I am, the most miserable devil on earth.”
Mark! he said that when dying. You have to die, and when you draw near to death's portals your money will charm you no longer. It can give you no happiness now. It is necessary, no doubt. It can provide you with practically everything this world has to give except happiness, and that the world can neither give nor take away. There is, however, one redeeming feature about this remark. He did say "on earth." See to it, then, that you do not make money the be-all and end-all of life, lest when all is over you have to say, "I am the most miserable companion of the demons in hell.”
Not IN POSITION AND FAME.
Beaconsfield enjoyed more than his share of both. He wrote:—
Youth is a mistake, manhood a struggle, old age a regret.”
Think of the pathos of this statement, and be wise in time. Doubtless you have ambitions for "success" in this world. In your imagination, then, draw a picture of what you would like your future to be, and paint the picture as rosy as you dare. Now let me affectionately warn you that these dreams and resolutions of youth are a mistake. You will only realize them—if at all—by dint of a terrific struggle, which will consume the years of your manhood, and leave you, in old age, full of regret that you have spent all your energies in the pursuit of a bubble, and that, having grasped it, it has burst. If your life, when it is over, can be summed up in these words, "a mistake, a struggle, a regret," it will be sad indeed for you.
- - -
Thus they all agree: Voltaire, the literary infidel; Byron, the pleasure-loving poet; Gould, the multi-millionaire; Beaconsfield, the famous politician. One and all they confirm Solomon's verdict, though long centuries have rolled by since that eastern potentate penned the words:—
All is vanity and vexation of spirit.”
(Eccl. 2:17)
Happiness is to be found in none of these things. Where, then, is it to be found?
Jesus said, "I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you." (Jon. 16:22.) The answer is simple—
IN CHRIST ALONE.
With you, there is the burden of sin. Until that burden is lifted you will never be thoroughly happy.
One sin pressing upon the conscience is enough to spoil the happiness of a lifetime, to say nothing of the happiness of eternity. You have sinned, and, therefore, you need to be forgiven. Thank God! there is forgiveness for you. God is the God of all grace, and the death and resurrection of Christ have enabled Him to righteously send the proclamation of forgiveness to everybody, and hence to you. His heart is love, and, though your sins are many, they need not hinder your blessing. God is more concerned about you than ever you have been about yourself; and there is cleansing and justification for you in virtue of the precious blood of Christ.
Before you there lies the impenetrable gloom of eternity. So long as your future is dark you will never be thoroughly happy. Small wonder if you shrink back at the near approach of death. Many a man, strong both in body and mind, has quailed when the darkness of the day of wrath has cast its shadows across his path. And what can banish this dread from your heart, and light up the future for you? One thing alone, and that the knowledge of Christ as your own personal Savior. If you put your case in His hands you, may be certain of this: He will see you through. He will not only remove your sins, blotting them out, but He will give you a title to glory without a flaw.
Heaven shall be your destiny, and you shall rejoice in hope of the glory of God. If you are Christ's, your eternity is bright, and you may well rejoice.
But there are the sorrows and troubles of life, and while these weigh you down and crush your spirit you will never be thoroughly happy. There is only one thing that will give you joy and victory day by day, and that, wonderful to say, is the very same thing that can remove the burden of your sins and light up your future with glory—the knowledge of Christ as your Savior and the might of His delivering power. He not only saves, but keeps. When you can truly say—
My PAST is forgiven,
My FUTURE is bright,
My PRESENT is victory, then, and not till then, will you be HAPPY. But remember these three things are to be found in Christ alone.
Taste for yourself, and you will say,
“None other Name for me;
There's love, and light, and lasting joy,
Lord Jesus, found in Thee.”
F. B. H.

?Not for Me?

“Without money, and without price!” Such are the terms on which God offers to all the gift of eternal life. But how few will take it on these terms.
A friend of the poor often ordered a quarter of a ton of coal to be taken to persons whom he knew to be in want. The winter was severe, the snow lying thick, and the kind donor rejoiced to think of what warmth and comfort his gifts would bring to many hearts and homes.
The coal cart drew up to a poor desolate-looking cottage, and the coalman knocked at the door, and told the old man within that he had brought him some coals. “Who from?” “Don’t know,” said the man, “but I was told to bring ’em here, and here they are.”
“It’s a mistake; they’re not for me,” answered the old man. “No such luck for me. I’ve no friend to send me coals for nothing. Take ’em away; they’re not for me, and I won’t have anything to do with ’em.” And he shut the door. The cart rolled away, taking in it the gift that was intended for the old man.
The next day the same cart and the same man drew up to another door. “I’ve brought you some coals,” he said cheerfully. “Where shall I put ’em?”
“They’re not for me,” answered the man who opened the door. “It’s a mistake.”
“It’s no mistake,” said the coalman. “See, here’s the order — No. 24, quarter of a ton of coals. Now, that’s clear ain’t it?”
“That’s my number, certainly,” replied the other, “but these coals ain’t mine, and I can’t take ’em in. They must be for someone else!”
“Well,” said the man with the coals, scratching his head with a puzzled look, “these coals beat me; they’re more trouble than enough. One would think I was bringing yer poison. Here comes a nice present of coals, and yer clean refuse to take ’em. But leave ’em I shall; for yesterday, I took ’em away from a house and got into trouble for it. So, if yer don’t open yer cellar door, I shall chuck ’em down here by yer doorstep.”
Thus pressed, the man at last opened his cellar door, saying, “You’ll soon be back to fetch ’em, I guess, so I won’t set too much store by ’em. But if they’re for me, I’m much obliged.”
One more house the coalman visited with his load, and, knocking at the door, told the woman he had brought her some coals.
“For me?” she asked. “Oh, it can’t be true. They must be for someone else.”
“No, mum, here’s your number, plain enough — No. 8, quarter of a ton of coals.”
“So it is! Well, then, I suppose God has sent ’em to me, for no one else knows that the last bit of coal is on the fire now. Bring them in. I must thank Him.”
“Perhaps you’d better,” was the man’s short answer; but to himself he added, “She’s the only sensible one; the rest are fools.”
Yes. How many such fools there are in the world, even though God gave His Son “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
As The coals were paid for by the donor: so our salvation has been bought with a price, even the precious blood of the Son of God, “Who gave Himself a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:6).
Yet, how many act like these cottagers as to the coals. Some, like the old man, refuse altogether. “It’s not for me.”
Dear Reader: “If thou knewest the gift of God” (John 4:10), and accepted Jesus as your Saviour, you could then say, “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15).

A Message Through a Broken Window

TWO Christian boys in New York City were on their way home from the Central Park, where they had been skating. It was early in the afternoon, and they were sauntering along, stopping here and there to play as they went.
As they were passing a small house, the door opened and a man looked out.
“Boys," he said, "please do not make a noise, for there is a poor woman dying in this house.”
The boys were quiet at once, and were going away, when one said to the other: "I wonder if she is ready to die. Let's go back and see.”
Back they went, but when they were about to ring the bell their courage failed, and they started to go away. The thought struck one of them, however, that they might find easier access by the back door. So they walked round to the rear of the house, and there, through a broken window, they saw the dying woman on her cot.
One of the boys put his mouth to the window and shouted: "Sick woman! Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.'"
Then they ran away.
Now it happened that the dying woman was sorely perplexed with doubts and fears. She was not unfamiliar with the terms of the Gospel, she knew that the Lord alone could save her, yet she could not say for certain that she was herself really saved.
The words that came ringing in through the window came to her as a message from God. They reached her just when she needed them. All her doubts were scattered, and death was robbed of its terrors. She saw that salvation was indeed hers through believing on the Lord Jesus Christ.
I take it for granted that the reader is not a skeptic, nor a professed unbeliever. But, let me ask, what kind of belief is yours? Is it a mere assent of the mind to certain truths? Or is it confidence of the soul in a living Person?
It is possible to believe about the Lord Jesus Christ and yet be lost forever. But it is not possible for a repentant sinner to believe on Him without that sinner being eternally saved.
Do you, in your heart of hearts, trust in or believe on the Lord Jesus Christ? Is He the only hope of your soul? Is His precious blood your only plea? Is His atoning work the only ground of your confidence?
Then let the words spoken by that Christian boy to the dying woman give you peace and assurance. They are words from God's own Book. They are meant for such as you.
It was this simple text, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved," that enabled Mr. A— to speak with assurance as to his salvation.
Mr. A— was upon his dying bed, and by his side stood two visitors. One was a believer, the other was not.
“Mr. A—," said the Christian visitor, you have often expressed yourself to me confidently with regard to the future. But do you not sometimes have doubts in reference to it?”
Quietly and meekly the dying man replied, "No, I do not. I don't see why I should have. I believe the Bible is the Word of God and that it cannot fail. It says, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.' I do believe on Him; I trust Him as my Savior. Can there be any doubt about it, then?”
Soon after the visitors took their leave.
“What do you think of Mr. A—?” inquired the Christian.
“I never saw anything like it," replied the other. "He is just as clear in spiritual matters as he always was in business.”
That is exactly how you may be, reader, as to your soul's salvation, if you are a believer on Jesus. Could dreams, or feelings, or happy experiences give you the same assurance as this promise from God Himself? Read it over again, thoughtfully and prayerfully. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and THOU SHALT be saved." (Acts 16:31.)
H. P. B.

Pardon

The Prince of Wales once sought a prisoner worthy of pardoning, He passed up all those who stoutly justified themselves, but chose an aged man who broke down and frankly confessed his guilt and shame and that he was deserving his imprisonment. The pardoning Saviour said, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Luke 5:32).

Doors That Close

“The Door was Shut.”
(Matt. 25:10)
There are many doors that close upon men beside the one spoken of in the parable. Let me enumerate a few.
The Door of Youth.
When we begin life it seems as though this door will never close.
But how quickly the years fly! Soon we begin to say with Moses: "'We spend our years as a tale that is told.”
In youth we do not want things that are dull and uninteresting. Now the Gospel is aglow with light and sparkling with gladness. If a man would go through life with joyous heart and uplighted soul he needs to come to Christ while young. Then as he treads the pathway of divine wisdom he will find "her ways are ways of pleasantness and all her paths are peace!”
The Door of Health.
Vigorous manhood will not continue. Sooner or later weakness and disease will invade the frame. The tent is to be taken down, and so the pegs will be drawn and the cords loosened. While the muscle is strong and the spirits are buoyant men often think they can do without Christ.
Yes, but wait till the sick-chamber is reached, and the physician whispers that the door of health is finally closed.
A London bank clerk, when forced to quit his employment because of failing eyesight, was so depressed at the closing of the door of health that he laid violent hands upon himself, and rushed into a suicide's eternity.
No man can afford to hear that the door of health is closed unless he knows Jesus, the Great Physician, who makes for His people their bed in their sickness and strengthens the soul.
The Door of Earthly Prosperity.
Sometimes it is closed by a crash in the commercial world.
Savings of many years vanish suddenly. Riches take wings and fly away. Eventually all earthly possessions will be taken from our grasp.
We are but stewards. Naked we came into the world and naked we shall quit it.
Hence the Savior says—"Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.”
The Door of Life.
Upon each of us the door of life is closing GRADUALLY. Directly we begin to live we begin to die.
The candle burns slowly down to its socket and the flame expires. Sometimes the door of life closes SUDDENLY. How many sudden deaths there are. A merchant having been told of the death of another, said, "Well, as for me, I am so busy I have no time to die." Then he went into the kitchen and, stooping down to put on his boots, fell a corpse to the ground.
But whether the door of life close gradually or suddenly, it closes CERTAINLY. There will be no opportunity to return and rectify any mistake.
If the door of your life were to close to-day, would it close HAPPILY? Can you say, with the believer, "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"?
The Door of the Grave.
It is commonly stated, "We must all die," but men do not add, "We must all be buried.”
Men shrink from the tomb, but cannot escape it.
A little boy said he had been measuring tombstones, and had found one shorter than himself. Who has not, when walking through the cemetery, noticed that someone younger than himself has been interred?
But are you acquainted with Him who said, "I am the Resurrection and the Life"?
Can you say—
"O death, where is thy sting?
O grave, where is thy victory?”
The Door of Hades.
When the disembodied spirit enters eternity the door of hordes closes upon it. The soul is immediately ushered into Paradise, or thrust into the prison-house of the impenitent. The resurrection is awaited either in the company of Christ or in the gloom of unutterable despair.
The apostle Paul thought of the disembodied state with joyous anticipation, and said: "To depart and to be with Christ... is far better.”
The Door of Heaven.
This is the one spoken of in the text at the head of this paper, and it may close at any moment upon the neglecter of salvation. "The corning of the Lord draweth nigh." "When once the Master of the house is risen up and hath shut to the door" entreaties will be unavailing.
But, thank God, the DOOR OF SALVATION is now wide open. Jesus says: I am the Door; by Me, if any man enter in, He shall be saved." (John 10:9.)
"The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John 1:7.)
C. H.

The Miser of Marseilles

The area around the city of Marseilles in the south of France has become noted for its beautiful gardens, but it was not always so. At one time it was an arid region. There is no local water supply, but the requirements of the city flow through a canal from the Durance River, a distance of ninety-seven miles, constructed during the years 1837-1848.
Long before that time there lived in the city a man named Guizon. He was always busy, and seemed to be bent on saving money, both by industry and frugality. His clothing bore evidence of long continued wear. His food was the simplest and cheapest. He lived alone, denying himself the luxuries and even the comforts of ordinary life. He was known in Marseilles as a miser, and although he was honest in all his dealings, and faithful in performing his duties, he was despised by everyone. At the sight of his poorly clad figure on the street the boys would shout after him, “There goes old Skinflint!” He always continued on his way, paying no attention to the abuse directed toward him, and whenever he was addressed he replied in a gentle and patient manner.
Day after day, year after year, as the poor friendless man passed by, to and from his work, he was greeted in the same way. As time went on, with its marks of advancing age, tottering footsteps supported by a cane, his back bent almost double from incessant toil, his hair white as snow, more than eighty years old, Guizon died.
Then it was found that he had amassed, in gold and silver, a huge. fortune. Among other papers was his will, containing this paragraph, “I was once poor, and I observed that the people of Marseilles suffered extremely for the want of pure water. Having no family, I have devoted my life to the saving of a sum of money sufficient to build an aqueduct to supply the poor of the city of Marseilles with pure water, so that the poorest may have a full supply.” Friendless, despised, alone, he lived and died, in order to accomplish this noble object for the benefit of those who so misunderstood and mistreated him.
There was another Man in an eastern land who was once misunderstood, “despised and rejected of men.” (Isaiah 53:3). His life, too, was one of voluntary poverty, so abject that He had not even a place to lay His head. “Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). Yet such was the ill-will against this meek and lowly Man that the people actually clamored for His death, “Crucify Him, crucify Him.” (Luke 23:21) Restraining His power, He yielded Himself to their will and was taken by wicked hands, crucified, and slain. As He hung on the cross all that saw Him laughed Him to scorn, shooting out the lip and shaking the head; they gaped upon Him with their mouths; they looked and stared upon Him — (Psalm 22:7,13,17). “He was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:25).
Guizon’s will provided for fresh water for all the poor of Marseilles; but the Lord Jesus Christ by His death and resurrection, has provided for every man, woman and child of Adam’s race who will come to Him and drink, a satisfying supply of the water of life which shall never fail through time or eternity.
The river of His grace,
Through righteousness supplied,
Is flowing o’er the barren place
Where Jesus died.
The water of life is flowing today and we may drink freely, “without money and without price” (Isaiah 55:1). “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters” (Isaiah 55:1). “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink” (John 7:37). “He that believeth on Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17).

The Two Pictures; or, Infidelity and Indifference

SIDE by side upon a page in the writer's album lie two pictures. One is a photograph taken in a German cemetery, the other a copy of a painting that attracted much attention at the Royal Academy Exhibition in 1904.
The first is a view of the tomb of a certain Countess of Hanover, who lived and died a pronounced infidel, a vehement hater of God, and a determined opponent of His people.
Before she died she designed the structure that was to surmount her grave. Human skill was to do its utmost to ensure the permanence and indestructibility of her resting-place. Huge solid blocks of granite were to be placed above the tomb, and one of them was to bear the inscription:
“THIS TOMB SHALL REMAIN
UNDISTURBED
THROUGHOUT ETERNITY.”
These impious words were evidently intended as a challenge to the God of resurrection. And the solemn part of the story is that God accepted the challenge, and used the occasion to prove His wisdom and might, and to confound the daring folly of the unbeliever.
It was years after the Countess had been buried that it came to pass.
God said to the frost, “Prove the folly of this infidel." And the frost heaved until in the massive masonry of the tomb there came a crack.
Then God said to the wind, "Prove her folly." And the wind blew until the crack was filled up with loose earth.
Then God said to the birds, "Prove her folly." And a bird carried a seed and dropped it into the crevice.
Then God said to the sun and the rain, "Prove her folly." The one poured down warm rays of sunshine, the other descended in refreshing showers, and under their combined influence the seed germinated and grew into a young plant. In course of time the plant became a tree. The tree gathered strength, and, lifting its trunk above the proud tomb, it pushed the great solid mass of granite aside. There, to this day, it may be seen, holding up the rock with the boastful inscription.
Oh, the madness of puny humanity pitting itself against the might of the Creator! He who formed our bodies can form them again after death has dissolved them. He whose word called the world into being can, and will, call our bodies from their graves, that we may give account of ourselves to Him.
Perhaps my reader is disposed to agree with every word that I have written. You, Sir, or you, Madam, would shrink from approving or imitating the foolish impiety of the Countess. But let me ask you to consider the other picture, lying on my album page alongside the first.
The original was painted by Sigismund Goetze, and bears the title—
“DESPISED AND REJECTED OF MEN.”
In the center of the picture stands a Figure which it would be better never to attempt to portray. No pen or brush can rightly depict the face "so marred more than any man," and the endeavor to do so does not strike us as becoming.
Still, there it stands, bowed with sorrow and suffering, the Figure of Him who came to be the world's Savior.
On the right hand and on the left a motley group is seen. There is, first of all, a racing man, with jockey, whip, and sporting paper. Then a scientist, holding before him a glass tube, absorbed in watching the result of some experiment. Then one of the butterflies of society, fresh from the ball-room, with her attendant cavalier, who bends over her as if whispering something in her ear. A little flower-girl is pressing a bunch of sweet violets upon the lady's notice. Behind the girl sits a desolate, forlorn-looking object, nestling her new-born babe to her breast.
On the right of the picture we see a socialist orator addressing a mob of men, who wave their hands and hats in frantic applause. A soldier is there in uniform and Brodrick cap; a vestment-clad ecclesiastic, with closed eyes and sanctimonious expression; a parson of a different school, with open book, endeavoring to argue with the priest; a hospital nurse; a student; a bare-armed workman with a pickaxe across his shoulder; a newsboy, upon whose placard we can trace out sensational announcements of a robbery, a divorce, and the winners of a race.
Of all the throng only the hospital nurse is turning to look upon the Savior, and she with a countenance more expressive of repugnance and dread than of anything else. The others, differing so widely in their character, their position, their occupation, their tastes, are alike in this respect, that they manifest the most absolute indifference to the One in the center of the picture. As far as they are concerned, He is truly the "Despised and Rejected.”
Yet they are samples of the men and women who surround us on every hand, denizens of this big world in which we live.
Possibly, if you were an acquaintance of the painter, he would have depicted you among the crowd. And if he had represented you as showing the same supreme indifference towards Christ as the others, would it not have been the truth?
You may not share the gross infidelity of the presumptuous Countess of Hanover, but are you one of the multitude to whom the Savior is "the Despised and Rejected"?
Have you ever turned to Him with gratitude in your heart for all that He has done for you? Have you ever looked to Him in faith? Have you cried to Him for salvation?
Or are you still amongst the indifferent and unconcerned? If so, there is a sermon for you in Goetze's painting. He who is now “Despised and Rejected "by the many is soon to appear in glory and power." Every eye shall see Him." (Rev. 1:7.) None will be indifferent then. Panic will seize those who are now so unconcerned.
Reader, your whole future destiny hangs upon your attitude towards Christ. If He is your accepted Savior and confessed Lord all will be well with you throughout countless years to come. If, on the other hand, you are still one of the thoughtless crowd to whom He is the "Despised and Rejected," no tongue or pen can describe the horror of the future that awaits you.
One more thing remains to be told. In the background of the picture stands an angel wrapped in gloom, as if unable to solve the mystery of earth's indifference to heaven's Lord.
A sight indeed it is for angels to muse over, that their Creator should offer Himself as a Savior for sinful men, and that men should not care to accept Him May I give you, once again, the invitation in my Master's name?
“Come! for angel hosts are musing
O'er this sight, so strangely sad;
God beseeching, man refusing,
To be made forever glad.”
Whether it is infidelity or indifference that keeps you from Christ matters little. Both are deadly. Either will rob you of your soul. Be persuaded: turn to the Lord at once and be blessed. "Incline your ear, and come unto Me: hear, and your soul shall live.” (Isa. 55:3.)
H. P. B.

?Two Died for Me?

Our hearts had ached, as above the noise of the raging storm had come to us sounds of distress over the foaming waters, and we had known too surely that some vessel or vessels were battling with the waves, and that many might be finding a watery grave.
When morning came I stood on the seashore. The storm had ceased, and now the sun shone brightly, the sea sparkled and the birds sang sweetly. The storm might have seemed only a hideous nightmare, but for the scene on the shore. There, truly, were traces enough of wreck and ruin.
As I stood wondering if many had been saved, a sailor came up to me. I turned and asked him about the events of the night. He told me of the brave attempts at rescue and their partial success. As I sorrowfully spoke of the lost, he said to me very earnestly, “Beg pardon, ma’am, you’ll forgive a plain question. Are you saved or lost yourself? I mean,” he added, “do you know Jesus?”
Very sweet the question was, for I could assure the questioner that his Saviour was my Saviour too. As we spoke a little of the One dear to both our hearts, and shook hands heartily, I asked him how long he had known this blessed Saviour, and what had brought him to Him.
“It’s nigh on to five years since He saved my body from a watery grave, and my soul from the lake of fire,” he said. “Never will I forget it, for two died for me.”
“Two?” I questioned in astonishment.
“Ah, ma’am, two,” he answered. “My Saviour died for me 1800 years ago on Calvary’s cross, and my mate died for me just five years since, and that brought me to my Saviour.”
Seeing I was interested, he continued. “It was just such a night as last night that our vessel was driven on to a rock just off the coast. We hoisted signals of distress, and fired guns; and by-and-by brave men on shore manned the life-boat and put out. We hardly thought it could live in such a sea, but they tried it, and God helped them to succeed. With difficulty we got our women and children in, and she put back to shore. Once more, manned with another crew, she put out, and this time the passengers were got on board. Then we knew some of us must die, for if the life-boat could put out again, she would not hold all that were left, and the vessel must sink ere a fourth journey could be accomplished. So we drew lots who should stay. My lot was to stay in the sinking ship. What a horror of darkness came over me! ‘Doomed to die and be damned,’ I muttered to myself, and all the sins of my life came before me. Still I made no outward sign, but oh, ma’am, between my soul and God it was awful!
“I had a mate who loved the Lord. Often he had spoken to me of my soul’s welfare, and I had laughed, and told him I meant to enjoy life. Now, though he stood by my side, I could not even ask him to pray for me, though even then there was a moment’s wonder that he did not speak to me of the Saviour. I understood it afterward. His face, when I once caught a glimpse of it, was calm and peaceful, and lighted up with a strange light. I thought bitterly, ‘It is well for him to smile; his lot is to go in the life-boat, to be saved.’ Dear old Jim, how could I ever have so mistaken you? Well, ma’am, the life-boat neared us again; one by one the men, whose lot was to go, got in. It was Jim’s turn, but instead of going he pushed me forward. ‘Go you in the life-boat in my place, Tom,’ he said ‘and meet me in heaven, man. You mustn’t die and be damned. It is all right for me.’ I would not have let him do it, but I was carried forward. The next one, eager to come, pressed me on. Jim knew it would be like that, so he had never told me what he was going to do. A few seconds, and I was in the life-boat. We had barely cleared the ship when she went down, and Jim, dear old Jim with her! I know he went to Jesus; but ma’am, he died for me! — he died for me! Did I not tell you true, two died for me!”
For a moment he paused, his eyes filled with tears. He did not attempt to disguise them. They were a tribute to the love that had gone into death for him. Presently, when I could speak, I just said, “Well?”
“Well, ma’am,” he said, “as I saw that ship go down, I said to God in my heart, ‘If I get safe to land Jim shall not have died in vain. Please God, I will meet him in heaven. Jim’s God must be worth knowing, when Jim died for me so that I might get another chance of knowing Him.’ ”
“Was it long,” I asked, “before you found the Saviour?”
“Not long, though it seemed so to me then. I did not know where to begin. The thing always before me was Jim going down in that sinking ship, with the quiet smile of peace I had seen on his face; waking or sleeping it was before me. At first I thought more of Jim than of the Lord. Then I thought I would get a Bible, because I had seen Jim reading it, and he loved it so, and before I began to read it, I just said a bit of a prayer. I was very ignorant, and I told the Lord so, and that I did not know the way to get to heaven, and meet Jim, and I asked Him to show me.”
“And He did?”
“Ay, ay, ma’am, that He did. I did not know where to begin to read in the Bible, so I thought I would just begin the New Testament and read straight on, till I found out how I was to be saved. But oh! I had an awful time of it at first. When I came to the fifth, and sixth, and seventh chapters, every line seemed to condemn me, and I said to myself — ‘It’s no use, Tom; there is no chance for you. You have been too bad,’ and I shut up the book. Then Jim’s last words came over me again, ‘Meet me in heaven, man.’ So I thought Jim must have thought there was a chance for me, and he knew about God and His Bible, and about my life too. So I opened it again and read on, and on, and on. I was always at it whenever I could get a few minutes.
“At last I came to that part about the two thieves, and the Lord saving the one, and I thought, ‘Here is a man almost as bad as I am.’ So I dropped my Bible and fell down on my knees and said, ‘Lord, I am as bad as that thief. Will you save me just like you did him?’ My Bible had dropped down open, and as I opened my eyes, after praying this, they fell on these words: ‘Verily, I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise.’ I took them as my answer. I did not think I was going to die: I almost wished I was; but I thought Jesus had sent these words to tell me He had forgiven me. So I went down on my knees again and thanked Him. Of course I was very ignorant, but bit by bit, I saw the way of salvation — how Jesus had died instead of me, and taken away all my sins by His precious blood, for ‘the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin;’ and next to seeing the Lord Himself, I do long to see Jim shine up there.”
And now let me ask you, my reader, the same question my sailor friend asked me — “Are you saved or lost yourself? I mean, do you know Jesus?”

Common Objections Briefly Considered

I am doing the best I can, I shall not be far wrong in the end.
MY friend, you deceive yourself. You are not doing the best you can—that your friends and neighbors know right well. Allowing that to pass, however, you must face this, that God has a standard by which He measures, and that standard is absolute perfection—"the glory of God." You talk of "doing your best." God says, "There is none that doeth good, no not one," (Rom. 3:12.) You talk of "not being far wrong in the end." God says, "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23.) You have come short of the divine standard, and whether far wrong in the end or not, you will certainly be wrong in the end. That is the point; for in the matter of obtaining salvation a miss is as good as a mile.
And Satan—oh, the pity of it!—is using these ideas to blind you to the greatness of God's salvation, which through the precious blood of Christ has been provided for sinners, whose very best falls far short of His holy and unalterable demands. Be wise in time and accept salvation on God's terms.
An eternity of suffering cannot be a just punishment for a short lifetime of sin.
The Lord Jesus spoke very plainly as to the future of the lost. He said "these shall go away into everlasting punishment." (Matt. 25:46.) You pronounce this unjust, and therefore deny it. Are you, then, a better judge of what is just and right than He?
Do not forget that one sin of Adam's closed the gate of an earthly paradise against him and his posterity forever. God did that, for sin is to Him perfectly abhorrent. Was it just? Yes or no. Dare you say, No? Then man, repent of your wickedness, for "who art thou that repliest against God?" Will you say, Yes? Then you think that eternal banishment from God cannot be a just result to flow from a lifetime of sin and neglected opportunities of salvation.
Leave others out of the question, and think of yourself alone. You have had, and are having, countless opportunities of salvation. You let them slip. You die a sinner in your sins, and leave the world of change for the world where everything is fixed. You must go into the eternal dark of banishment from God. The door closes behind you forever, and your blood is upon your own head.
I am waiting for God's time, and can do nothing until it comes.
There is a mistake somewhere. You cannot be waiting for God's time, for the simple reason that God's time is now. "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord." (Isa. 1:18.) "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Cor. 6:2.)
But, though not waiting for God's time, you are waiting, and thus neglecting the great salvation. You belong to one of two classes. Perhaps you are a fatalist, looking upon yourself as a piece of mere machinery, controlled by a blind fate, and forgetting that you are a responsible creature. You forget, too, that, as far as God is concerned, He desires "all men to be saved" (See 1 Tim. 2:4), and that the hitch is not with Him, but with you. "Ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life" (John 5:40.) True, you cannot do anything, but you certainly can submit, you can yield. Submit, then, at once. Perhaps, however, you are a trifler, and this is a mere quibble to cover your follies or your sins. O trifler! "How can ye escape the damnation of hell?”
God is too good to consign any to perdition.
You say that God is good. From whence did you get that information? Not from nature, nor from the world, for death, destruction, and misery mark both. That idea comes from the Bible. To the Bible, then, let us turn. Mark these words:
“The Lord God ... abundant in goodness and truth ... and that will by no means clear the guilty."(Ex. 34:6-7.) Again:" Despisest thou the riches of His goodness, and forbearance, and long-suffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God." (Rom. 2:4-5.)
You travel on, O sinner, to the day of righteous judgment and of wrath! But God is good—He is, but His goodness expresses itself not in a silly and weak-kneed sentimentality, that passes over everything and makes no distinction between right and wrong, but in seeking to lead you to repentance. To reject God's goodness is to invite His judgment. "Except ye repent, ye SHALL all likewise perish." (Luke 13:3.)
F. B. H.

The Colonel's Word Will Stand

I had in my regiment a little bugler. I had often noticed him as being too delicate for the life he had to lead; but he was born in the regiment, and we were bound to make the best of him. His father had been killed in action, and his mother drooped and died six months later.
As several acts of insubordination had been brought to my notice I determined to make an example of the very next offense by having the culprit whipped.
One morning it was reported that, during the night, the targets had been thrown down and otherwise mutilated. On investigation the rascally act was traced to a man or men in the very tent where Willie Holt was billeted. The whole lot were instantly put under arrest, to be tried by court martial. In vain were they asked to produce the men; and at last I spoke: “If any one of you who slept in No. 4 tent last night will come forward and take his punishment like a man, the rest will get off free; but if not, there remains no alternative but to punish you all — each man in turn to receive ten strokes of the cat.
For the space of a couple of minutes dead silence followed; then from the midst of the prisoners, where his slight form had been completely hidden, Willie Holt came forward.
He advanced to within a couple of yards from where I sat; his face was very pale; a fixed intensity of purpose stamped on every line of it.
“Colonel,” said he, “you have passed your word that if any one of those who slept in No. 4 last night comes forward to take his punishment the rest shall get off scot-free. I am ready, sir; and please may I take it now?”
For a moment I was speechless, so utterly was I taken by surprise: then in a fury of anger and disgust I turned upon the prisoners.
“Is there no man among you worthy of the name? Are you all cowards enough, to let this lad suffer for your sins? That he is guiltless, you know as well as I.” But sullen and silent they stood, with never a word.
Never in all my life have I found myself so painfully situated. I knew my word must stand, and the lad knew it too. Sick at heart I gave the order, and he was led away for punishment.
Bravely he stood, with back bared, as one-two-three strokes descended. At the fourth a faint moan escaped his white lips, and before the fifth fell, a cry burst from the group of prisoners who had been forced to witness the scene; and, with one bound, Jim Sykes, the black sheep of the regiment, seized the cat, as, with choking, gasping utterances he shouted, “Stop it, Colonel, stop it, and tie me up instead. He didn’t do it, I did,” and with convulsed and anguished face he flung his arms around the boy.
Fainting and almost speechless, Willie lifted his eyes to the man’s face and smiled — such a smile! “No, Jim,” he whispered, “you are safe now; the Colonel’s word will stand.” His head fell forward — he had fainted.
The next day as I was making for the hospital tent where the boy lay I met the doctor. “How is the lad?” I asked.
“Sinking, Colonel,” he said quietly.
“What!” I exclaimed, horrified beyond words.
“Yes, the shock of yesterday was too much for his feeble strength.”
The dying lad lay propped up on the pillows, and half-kneeling, half-crouching at his side was Jim Sykes. The change in the boy’s face startled me; it was deathly white, but his great eyes were shining with a wonderful light, strangely sweet. He was talking earnestly, but neither of them saw me.
At that moment the kneeling man lifted his head, and I saw drops of sweat standing on his brow as he muttered brokenly, “Why did ye do it, lad? Why did ye do it?”
“Because I wanted to take it for you, Jim,” Willie’s weak voice answered tenderly. “I thought if I did, it might help you to understand a little bit why Christ died for you.”
“Christ has naught to do with such as me, lad. I’m one of the bad ’uns.”
“But He died to save bad ones — just them. He says, ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners,’ and ‘Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.’” “Dear Jim,” the earnest voice pleaded patiently, “shall the Lord have died in vain? He has poured out His precious life-blood for you. He is knocking at the door of your heart; won’t you let Him in?”
The lad’s voice was failing him, but he laid his hand gently on the man’s bowed head, as he sang:
“Just as I am without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me.
And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God — I come.”
thrilling the heart of every man who heard it. Then gradually the weak arms dropped, the light faded from the shining eyes, and the brave spirit of the dear boy had fled to God.”
COLONEL HARDRESS
“He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities  ...  with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:5-6).
He “suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18).
“The Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

No, Thank You

IT was night, and too dark to discern the features of the passers-by. It struck me that it would be a good opportunity to offer a few gospel books to those who might be too proud to receive them in daylight.
The first recipient, upon his own confession, was a tramp, and most gratefully he received it, and I passed on gladdened, lifting up my heart that God would use the book as an instrument in His hand for the man's blessing.
Next came along a lady and gentleman, whose voices were easily recognizable. On offering them a book the gentleman most politely said, "No, thank you!" I passed on saddened, feeling how inexpressibly solemn it would be if they treated God as politely in refusing His offers of salvation, as they treated me in declining the little book containing those offers.
Friend, bear with me. Whether you are a tramp limping along life's highway, or refined and educated, you need salvation. You have sinned against your Creator again and again. Your sins have separated you from Him, and there must come a settlement sooner or later.
But we have glad good news. God Himself has taken up your case, and in the Person and by the work of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, all His claims against sin have been met, so that He can meet you as a Savior-God.
Do not say politely to God, "No, thank You!" It would be terrible if He took you at your word, and you could not blame Him if He did.
On the contrary, bow the knee, receive the offer of salvation, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall receive the Father's kiss of forgiveness, the best robe, the ring, the sandals, the right royal welcome to His heart and heaven.
F. G. W.

?Example or Substitute?

After a service in Germantown, Pa., a stranger accosted the late Dr. D. M. Stearns. “I don’t like your preaching. I do not care for the cross. I think that instead of preaching the death of Christ, it would be far better to preach Jesus, the teacher and example.”
“Would you then be willing to follow Him if I preach Christ, the Example?” replied Dr. Stearns.
“I would. I will follow in His steps.”
“Then,” said Dr. Stearns, “let us take the first step. ‘Who did no sin.’ Can you take this step?”
The stranger looked confused. “No,” he said. “I do sin, and I acknowledge it.”
“Well, then,” said Dr. Stearns, “your first need of Christ is not as an Example, but as a Saviour.” And this is every man’s need. (See Romans 3:23-26).

Grace for the Guilty

WE were sitting in a railway carriage in South Wales whilst a friend was standing on the platform waiting to see us off.
For the benefit of our fellow-passengers he said in the hearing of all, There is grace for THE GUILTY because there was judgment for THE INNOCENT.
For the sake of a larger audience we pen these pithy words, and trust that many may be blessed by them. They are well worth pondering over. They contain the truth of the gospel, the great truth of substitution.
All of Adam's race are guilty. Only one perfect Man has been in this world, God's Son, the Lord Jesus, and this blessed One has died for sinners. In the words of Scripture, “Christ... once suffered for sins, the JUST for the UNJUST, that He might bring us to God." (1 Peter 3:13.)
There it is—the just for the unjust. Does it not touch your heart to think that the Lord Jesus came all the way from glory to the cross of shame to die for you? You are the unjust, the guilty; He the just, the innocent, and in love He took your place that God might be able righteously to forgive.
Weigh well that statement—There is grace for THE GUILTY because there was judgment for THE INNOCENT. Write the sentence out, substituting "me" for "the guilty," and "Christ" for the innocent," and receive this wondrous grace. It is for you. In faith accept it.
A. J. P.

The Scarred Hand

William Dixon was an infidel. Even if there were a God, which he doubted, he would not forgive Him for taking away his young wife about two years after they were married, and his little boy. Dixon felt very desolate and bitter.
Ten years after Mary Dixon’s death a stirring event occurred in the little village of Brackenthwaite. Old Peggy Winslow’s cottage caught fire, and was burnt to the ground. The poor old woman was pulled out alive, though nearly suffocated by smoke, when the bystanders were horrified to hear a child’s pitiful voice. It was that of little Dickey Winslow — Peggy’s orphan grandchild. He was shrieking from the attic window.
Onlookers were much distressed to see the child’s plight, but felt it was too late to save him, as the stair had already fallen in. Suddenly, William Dixon rushed to the burning cottage, climbed up the iron piping, and took the trembling boy in his arms. Down he came again, holding the child in his right arm, and, supporting himself by his left, the two reached the ground in safety, amid the cheers, just as the smoking wall fell.
Dickey was not hurt, but the hand with which Dixon held on to the hot piping was terribly burnt. The burn healed, but left a deep scar that he would carry to his grave.
Poor old Peggy could not rally from the shock, and died soon after. Then the question was: What is to become of Dickey? James Lovatt, a most respectable person, begged that Dickey be given to him to adopt, as he and his wife longed for a little lad, having lost one of their own. To every one’s surprise, William Dixon made a similar request. It was difficult to decide between the two. So a meeting was called, composed of the minister, miller, and others.
Mr. Haywood, the miller, said: “It is very kind of both Lovatt and Dixon to offer to adopt the orphan boy, but I am in a great perplexity as to which of them ought to have him. Dixon, having saved his life, has the first claim; but, on the other hand, Lovatt has a wife, and the care of a woman is necessary to a child.”
Mr. Lipton, the, minister, said: “A man of Dixon’s atheistic notions cannot be a suitable guardian for a child; whilst Lovatt and his wife are both Christian people, and would train up the child in the way he should go. Dixon saved the child’s body, but it would be a sorry thing for the boy’s future welfare if the one who took him from the burning cottage would be the means of leading him to his eternal ruin.”
“We will hear what the applicants themselves have to say,” said Mr. Haywood, “then put the question to the vote. Mr. Lovatt.”
Mr. Lovatt replied, “Well, gentlemen, my wife and I lost a little lad of our own not long ago, and we feel this child would fill the vacant place. We would do our best to bring up the lad in the fear of the Lord. Besides, a child so young needs a woman to look after him.”
“Good, Mr. Lovatt; and now, Mr. Dixon.”
“I have only one argument, sir, and it is this,” answered Dixon quietly as he took the bandage off his left hand, and held up the sadly scarred and injured member.
For a few moments there was quiet in the room and the eyes of some were dimmed. There was something in the sight of that scarred hand which appealed to their sense of justice. He had a claim on the boy by reason of what he had suffered for him. So, when the question was put to the vote, the meeting decided by a majority in favor of William Dixon.
So a new era began for Dixon. Dickey never missed a mother’s care, for William was both father and mother to the orphan boy, and lavished all the pent-up tenderness of his strong nature upon the child he had saved.
Dickey was a clever boy, and quickly responded to his adopted father’s training. He adored him with all the fervor of his loving little heart. He remembered how “daddy” had saved him from the fire, and had claimed him because of the hand so dreadfully burnt for his sake. It moved Dickey to tears, with kisses on the hand that had been scarred for him.
One summer there was a great exhibition of pictures in the town and Dixon took Dickey to see them. The boy was greatly interested in the pictures and the stories daddy told about some of them. The picture that impressed him most was one of the Lord reproving Thomas. Underneath were the words: “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands” (John 20:27).
Dickey read the words and said, “Please, daddy, tell me the story of that picture.”
“No, not that one!”
“Why not that one?”
“Because it’s a story I do not believe.”
“Oh, but that’s nothing”, urged Dickey. “You don’t believe the story of Jack the Giantkiller, yet it’s one of my favorites. Do tell me the story of the picture — please, daddy.” So Dixon told the story, and it interested him greatly.
“It’s like you and me, daddy,” said the boy. “When the Lovatts wanted to get me, you showed them your hand. Perhaps when Thomas saw the scars on the Good Man’s hands he felt that he belonged to Him.”
“I suppose so,” answered Dixon.
“The Good Man looked so sad,’ said Dickey. “I ’spect He was sorry that Thomas did not believe at first. It was horrid of him not to, wasn’t it, after the Good Man had died for him?”
Dixon did not answer, and Dickey went on, “It would have been horrid of me if I’d contradicted like that when they told me about you and the fire, and said I didn’t believe you had done it; wouldn’t it, daddy?”
“I don’t want to think about Him, my boy.”
“But perhaps he loved the Good Man after that, though — like I love you. When I see your poor hand, daddy, I love you more than millions and millions.”
Tired little Dickey fell asleep before he had measured the amount of his grateful affection; but Dixon’s rest was sorely disturbed that night. He could not get out of his thoughts the picture of that tender, sorrowful face which had looked down on him from the walls of the exhibition. He dreamed of Lovatt and himself contending for the possession of Dickey; but when he showed his scarred hand the boy turned away from him. A bitter sense of injustice surged up in his heart.
He did not yield to this influence at once, but his love for Dickey had softened his heart, and the seed that was dropped in it that day did not fall upon stony ground. Dixon was an honest man, and he could not fail to see that the argument he had employed to make Dickey his own, rose up in judgment against him whilst he denied the claim of those scarred Hands which had been pierced for him. When he saw the child’s warm-hearted gratitude for the deliverance which his adopted father had wrought for him, Dixon felt that he cut a sorry figure beside his boy.
So, after a time, Dixon’s heart became as that of a little child. He found out by reading the Bible that, just as Dickey belonged to him, so he belonged to the Saviour who had been wounded for his transgressions. He gave himself up, body, soul and spirit into the keeping of those blessed hands which had once been pierced for him.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flowed mingled down;
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
“He was despised, and we esteemed Him not  ...  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:3, 5).
“Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24).
O Christ, what burdens bowed Thy head!
Our load was laid on Thee;
Thou stoodest in the sinner’s stead,
To bear all ill for me.
A Victim led, Thy blood was shed,
Now, there’s no load for me.

Brevities

BARABBAS or JESUS?
That is THE question, and it awaits your answer. One or other it must be. Both it cannot be. In some form this question comes to everybody.
It came to Gallio, and he said:—
“I will be no judge of such matters.” (Acts 18:15.) He refused to consider the question. He did not wish his worldly ease disturbed. The language of his Zip might be—Indifference; the language of his heart was—"Barabbas.”
It came to Felix, and he said:—
“When I have a convenient season, I will call for thee." (Acts 24:25.) Instead of committing himself to a definite decision he put it off. But "he who hesitates is lost." The language of his lips might be— Procrastination; the language of his heart was—,"Barabbas.”
It came to Festus, and he said:—
“I doubted of such manner of questions,” (Acts 25:20.) He did not know, and thought that nobody could know. Evidently he did not care to know. Though the language of his ills was Skepticism, the language of his heart was—"Barabbas.”
It came to Agrippa, and he said,
“Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian."(Acts 26:28.) Conscience-smitten through Paul's mighty appeal, he threw off the impression with a jest. Alas! though the language of his lips was" Almost persuaded," the language of his heart was—"Barabbas.”
Now, reader, it is your turn. What do you say? Out with it like a man. Let your language be plain. Yes or No? BARABBAS or JESUS? Join in saying:—
“—my immortal choice is made
CHRIST FOR ME." F. B. H.

Your Saviour or Your Judge?

Man must one day stand before a Holy God to answer for his sins, but the gospel proclaims what God has done before the day of judgment, that man might not be condemned for his sins.
If my creditor comes to claim a debt, and I have nothing to pay, it is all over with me, but if he comes and pays it, I am clear.
God cannot overlook iniquity; but it is very different to insist upon the payment of a debt and to come and pay it. The gospel tells us of what Christ has done as Saviour, before He comes as judge.
The enmity of the human heart does not always show itself, but at the cross it was fully shown. Man trampled upon the Lord Jesus. Thank God, He was there in grace, but man’s heart was shown for what it was.
Now God says to the world, “What have you done with My Son? What has He done for you? Nothing but good.” Then why spit in His face and crucify Him? If anyone had done so yesterday to my mother, could I go and be “hail fellow, well met” with him today? Man has done this, but when the light of God’s Word enters a soul he can see and confess his sins.
The world is under judgment. The law tells a man what he ought to be, for example; “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart” and “Thou shalt not covet.” I have not loved God, and I have coveted. Having offended in one point I am no longer guiltless, though I may not have committed all the sins of which man is capable.
People talk about mercy, which means they hope God will think as little about their sins as they do. A man has committed, say ten sins; he hopes to go to heaven. If he has committed eleven, he thinks that is not too much. If he has committed a hundred, he still hopes that God will overlook them, having no thought of holiness. One sin shuts out man from God, but the door is not shut to any who now confess their sins to Him.
What is sin? Do you like doing your own will? This is what sin is.
The law claimed the debt. Christ paid it, and that is grace! “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them” (2 Corinthians 5:19).
I look at the cross of Christ. What was He doing there? Judging the repentant thief? No, but rather bearing “our sins in His own body,” putting them away to be remembered no more (1 Peter 2:24; Hebrews 10:17).
I see that blessed One whom I have been despising all my days, and I see He has taken my sins and borne my burdens. “It is finished” — perfectly finished, nothing can be added to it: and because the work was done, He sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
He has gone back into glory because He has finished the work. He died for our sins, and “was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:25). His resurrection is the proof that God has accepted the work and that we too, have been “accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6).
Thus instead of putting me away, God has put my sin away. He has met me in the day of grace, instead of my meeting Him in the day of judgment.

The Name Above Every Name

IN the town of Woolwich some years ago a Christian visited an old man on his death-bed. He was anxious to find out if he was prepared to die.
"Where will your soul go after death?" he questioned.
"To heaven, I hope," was the answer, sadly and doubtfully given.
Whom do you know in heaven?" was the next question.
He hoped that by way of answer he would mention the Name above every name, the Name that fills heaven with endless praise.
"My mother," was his reply.
The Christian asked him still further, "Whom else do you know in heaven?”
The dying man, upon being pressed, enlarged the circle of his acquaintances in heaven till he had enumerated father, mother, grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, and ministers.
But THE NAME was never mentioned, and the visitor could only come to the sad conclusion that the old man did not know the Lord. He put the gospel before him, and then left.
It was a Sunday afternoon, and the Christian visitor was returning home down the High Street, when he was startled by the sound of hoofs and the rumble of wheels. Turning round he saw a runaway horse dragging a cab after it, in full flight down the narrow street.
To his horror he saw a little girl right in front of the danger. He dashed forward and snatched her from before the horse's feet, just in time to save her from being run over. "Whatever would have happened to you, my child, if you had been killed?" he exclaimed. Clear as a bell, not sadly and doubtfully, the answer came, "I should have gone to heaven, Sir.”
“Whom do you know there?" he asked. "JESUS, Sir," was her answer.
What need to ask her more?
And you, reader? Do you know Jesus? Not a school child in this favored land but knows about Him. But do you know HIM?
“This is life eternal, that they might KNOW Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou halt sent."(John 17:3.)" Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace: thereby good shall come unto thee.” (Job 22:21.)
A. J. P.

Guilty, but Pardoned

There is in all persons a certain knowledge of good and evil: But we are apt to fix a standard that we think we can meet.
For instance, the drunkard thinks there is no great harm in drinking, but would consider it a great sin to steal. The covetous man, who may be daily practicing some deception “in the way of trade,” satisfies himself by thinking “it is necessary and customary to do so in business, but I do not get drunk as some do.” The upright moral man satisfies himself with doing what he calls his duty, and looks around and pities the open sinners. However, he never considers how many evil thoughts or sinful desires he has cherished, unknown to others. Thus each congratulates himself by comparing himself with someone else who may have done worse.
But there is a true standard of righteousness; and that is the righteousness of God.
God judges the heart, though man looks only at the outward conduct.
When a person’s conscience begins to be awakened to think of sin as God sees it, then he finds himself guilty and ruined; he does not attempt to justify himself by trying to find out some one worse than himself, but frankly owns his guilt, condemns himself, and is anxious to know if God can forgive him.
Yes, it comforts and quiets the depraved heart of man, to find a person worse than himself! He thinks the greater sin of another excuses himself. And, this is not all; for he cannot bear to see God exhibiting grace. Grace — which means the unmerited forgiveness of every sin, without God requiring anything from the one so forgiven — is a principle so opposed to all man’s thoughts, so far above man, that he dislikes it; his own heart often secretly calls it injustice. It is very humbling to be obliged to own that we are dependent upon grace entirely and that nothing we have done, or can do, will make us fit for God; but that our misery, sin and ruin are all we have to commend us to God’s grace.
Adam in the Garden of Eden hid himself from God when he knew that he was guilty. He turned away from his only Friend just when he most needed Him. So it is still. Man is afraid of the only One who “will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7).
If you, dear reader, desire to have God’s full and free pardon, you must first as a guilty sinner be alone with Jesus, consciously self-condemned, not making resolutions or trying to get better first. You are brought by your very sins to stand before the Person who “died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6).

The Raiatean's Reply to the Officers of the Seringapatam

TIDINGS of the wonderful work of God in the island of Raiatea had traveled far and wide, and had reached the ears of the Commander of H.M.S. "Seringapatam" while on a cruise in the South Seas.
Through the labors of the devoted John Williams, the Gospel had made great headway amongst the islanders. Hundreds had turned to the Lord, amongst whom was Tamatoa, the king, and many of the chiefs.
No doubt amongst the multitudes that assembled from time to time to hear the truths of Christianity propounded, many were influenced by motives that were not of the highest order. But beyond question, numbers were truly converted to God, and by their faithful testimony and changed lives gave evidence of the reality of their profession, King Tamatoa himself was wont to press upon his subjects the need of reality.
“Let not our profession," he said, "be like the bamboo, which, when lighted, blazes most furiously, but leaves no firebrand or charcoal behind for future use.”
But the commander and officers of the "Seringapatam," were inclined to be somewhat skeptical as to the piety and sincerity of the native converts. When, therefore, their ship touched at Raiatea, they went ashore to make inquiries and to judge for themselves of the character of the work.
John Williams, who happened to be on the island at the time of their visit, suggested that the officers should themselves examine the converts. This they proceeded to do. To one house after another they went, putting questions and obtaining answers that convinced them that the erstwhile heathen were sincere and intelligent in their profession of Christianity.
At one house, they asked a man who had formerly been a priest of the idol-worship, “Do you believe the Bible to be the Word of God, and Christianity to be of Divine origin?" The man immediately began to move his fingers and wrists. He then opened and closed his mouth; after which, lifting his leg, he swung it in different directions.
“I have hinges all over me," he replied; “if I wish to handle anything, the hinges in my hands enable me to do it. If I want to utter anything, the hinges to my jaws enable me to say it. If I wish to go anywhere, here are hinges to my legs to enable me to walk.
When I look into the Bible I see there proofs of wisdom which correspond exactly with those which appear in my frame. I conclude therefore that the Maker of my body is the Author of that Book.”
Perhaps, reader, you have never considered how wonderfully your body is made. Any surgeon could tell you of mechanisms and devices in various parts of the human frame that bear irrefutable testimony to the infinite wisdom and consummate skill of the Maker. Those who are familiar with the Bible can in like manner bear witness to its marvelous perfections which speak eloquently and convincingly of its Divine authorship.
Does it not strike you that a being so wonderfully constructed as you are must have been formed to move in a wider orbit than your present one? "You" are more than a mere body. Your body, wonderful piece of workmanship though it be, is but the case that contains the still more valuable contents. "Spirit and soul and body" (1 Thess. 5:23) make up the "YOU" that must live as long as God lives.
Would not true wisdom lead a being like yourself to give more than a passing thought to the question of your future destiny?
And does not a book like the Bible deserve something better at your hands than to be placed upon the shelf in company with other volumes? It is a book that has by its teaching brought sunshine into the lives of untold millions; it has done more than any other book to change the course of history; it has outlived the opposition of centuries; it claims and carries with it an authority that makes rivalry an impossibility; since its advent into the world, it has been the close and constant companion of the best men and women that have lived, and loved, and labored. WHAT IS THAT BOOK TO YOU?
It teaches the way of salvation: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." (Acts 16:31.)
It brings promises, like checks a from the bank of heaven, to the weary and the sinful: "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." (John 6:37.)
It declares that a day of reckoning is coming: “Every one of us shall give account of himself to God." (Rom. 14:12.)
It witnesses to the efficacy of Christ's atonement: "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." (1 John 1:7.)
A thousand other truths are found in the sacred volume; and to sum the whole matter up, it is like a finger-post pointing every reader to Him who is the subject and substance of its teaching, and who alone is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
May you understand, reader, as the Christian islander of Raiatea did, that the Maker of your being and the Author of the Book are ONE; that the Book is intended to enlighten and command the being; and that the being is only wise when he believes and obeys the Book.
H. P. B.

Common Objections Briefly Considered

“I am quite young yet; may I not wait until I am older?”
NOT if you value your soul. Of course, it is obvious that you may choose to wait.
Only remember that every hour sees your prospects darkening, and there is a proverb which says, "He who hesitates is Lost." And why this strange anxiety for delay? Is it not because you have a totally perverted idea of the Gospel? To you it is as a noxious drug, a kind of nauseous black draft— to be taken eventually, of course, since your life depends upon it; meanwhile to be placed on the shelf as long as safety permits. The very word "Gospel," however, means "good news," and my Bible says, "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." (Prov. 25:25.) Dip the glass in the crystal spring, and offer it to the thirsty traveler. Does he say, "May I not wait?" Ah! if you but knew the depth of your guilt and need, how eagerly you would seize God's proffered mercy and deliverance from sin's penalty and power. If you miss it in your youth you are not likely to find it in your old age.
“I believe in making the best of both worlds.”
A tempting creed, truly, but one that is not so easy when it is a question of putting it into practice. An old fable tells us of a certain dog which, crossing a stream on a plank, bearing a bone in his mouth, saw the bone reflected in the water, and, considering that two bones were better than one, he eagerly snapped at the shadow. With what result? Only this—that he lost his bone and the shadow vanished. That dog's creed was evidently, "I believe in making the best of both bones." Put into practice, however, it meant that both were lost.
Friend, have you never yet discovered that this world is but a passing shadow? "The world passeth away, and the lust thereof." (1 John 2:17.) Make the best of it if you will, but see how quickly it slips through, your fingers. You die, and in eternity you will discover with awful dismay that in making the best of the shadow you have missed the substance.
If you really possess the substance you will not trouble about the shadow; and remember it is written, "Whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." (James 4:4.)
“Time enough to repent when I am on my death-bed.”
The fact of the matter is just this. You are being grievously duped by the devil.
You may never have a death-bed. Yours may be a sudden death. A few faltering steps, a fall, a sigh, and then in a moment death. Time for absolutely nothing!
And if you were to die thus suddenly you would discover that it is emphatically not the time or place for the settlement of eternal questions. But—the dying thief! at the eleventh hour! True; yet remember, as a case it stands alone, a solitary exception; and, further, with nothing to show he had ever enjoyed an opportunity before. It was his last chance; it probably was his first. How many neglected opportunities will rise against you in the Day of Judgment?
But are not death-bed repentances common? No, very rare. I will tell you, however, what is sadly common,—death-bed fright. Beware lest you join the multitude whose history runs thus: A wordly God-forgetting life, a death-bed of scare and anxious forebodings of judgment, prayer, perhaps sacrament-taking, a few penitent expressions, death, and a drop into a lost eternity. One word more. “God... NOW commandeth all men everywhere to repent." (Acts 17:30.)
“But what about the heathen?”
There are some folk who find in the heathen excellent raw material for the manufacture of shields of unbelief wherewith to turn aside the keen edge of the sword of the Spirit and their own consciences. Are you one of them? To reject God's salvation because you don't understand the destiny of the heathen is about as sensible—or otherwise—as the procedure of some drowning man, who flings from him the friendly lifebelt because he cannot fully comprehend the principles which govern its floating properties.
But after all, what about the heathen? Why! simply this: God will deal with them in perfect righteousness. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen. 18:25.)
Nothing will happen to them except what is perfectly right and just, and you too have to (stand before God of perfect justice. What will become of you? Transfer a little of this concern froth the heathen to your own case; for what with your sins, sins against light and knowledge, hell must be your portion, and no mistake. Weep not for the heathen, weep for yourself.
F. B. H.

If I Gained the World

If I gained the world but had not Jesus
Who endured the cross and died for me,
Could then all the world afford a refuge,
Whither, in my anguish, I might flee?
Had I wealth and love in fullest measure,
And a name revered both far and near,
Yet no hope beyond, no harbor waiting,
Where my storm-tossed vessel I could steer.
Oh, what emptiness without the Saviour,
’Mid the sins and sorrows here below!
And eternity, how dark without Him!
Only night and tears and endless woe.
What though I might live without the Saviour,
When I come to die, how would it be?
Oh, to face the valley’s gloom without Him,
And without Him, all eternity!

The End of the Voyage

EVERYBODY was astir and all seemed more or less excited, for the port was at length in sight. The long voyage with its tossings and sickness, monotony and frivolities was at an end, and few seemed sorry that it was so. There were two people on board, however, whose feelings must have been vastly different as the good ship neared the jetty. One was on the tiptoe of expectation, eagerly straining her eyes to catch a glimpse of the one who was to make her his bride on the coming day. The other, a poor criminal, in charge of an officer of the law, going to meet the judge for a very serious offense.
As I watched the faces of the two I fell to musing. I thought of the voyage across the waters of Time to the shore of Eternity, a voyage which all are taking. I thought of the end of the voyage when the trifles of Time, its sins and pleasures, will be left behind. Ah what kind of a reception will the voyagers receive when they reach the end of the journey, and what will their feelings be as they approach the vast forever?
The Word of God can tell us: we learn from its sacred pages that every man, woman and child belongs to one of two companies. One company, like the bride on our ship, will meet the Bridegroom. He shall meet them amid the triumphant shouts of heaven, for they are dear to Him. He loved them and gave Himself for them, and ransomed, blood-washed, and saved forever they shall share His home and His throne as His bride.
Alas! for the other company, they shall meet the Judge. Nor is there any doubt as to how the case will go with them; they are "condemned already," and at the judgment bar of the great white throne will receive in perfect justice their eternal sentence. But what makes the difference between these two companies?
Are not all sinners alike? Yes, truly, "all have sinned," but some have believed God's wondrous gospel; they have heard and believed that "God is Love"; they, by faith, have seen the way in which He has proved His love in giving Jesus to die for them, and knowing themselves to be sinners, indeed, they have fully accepted God's wondrous salvation, which is in the Lord Jesus Christ. The other company—the judgment bound sinners—are not worse than those who are on their way to heaven, but they reject or neglect God's offered mercy they will not have His salvation. They have turned from Jesus, and beside Him there is no Savior. The only just and possible consequence of their folly is judgment after death and the lake of fire forever. Have you thought of the end of the voyage, my reader? and, if so, how will you meet it? Are you looking for the Bridegroom or dreading the meeting with the Judge?
J. T. M.

"Whither Bound?"

“Broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat  ...  Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
People love to believe there is a heaven, but resent being told there is a hell.
Without any authority, many try to prove the nonexistence of hell, or they deny its endlessness. The only true authority, the Son of God who knew all about it, has spoken thus: “These shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matthew 25:46). “Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear Him, which after He hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear Him” (Luke 12:4-5). “Into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: where their worm dieth not” (Mark 9:43-44). “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 24:51). “If ye believe not that I am He, ye shall die in your sins.” “Whither I go, ye cannot come” (John 8:24, 21).
“It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). “The wicked shall be turned into hell” (Psalm 9:17).
The Son of God came down to earth and went to the cross to be made sin (2 Corinthians 5:21) and to bear our sins (1 Peter 2:24). The purpose was to save sinners from being “punished with everlasting destruction” (2 Thessalonians 1:9).
In the cross of Christ we see that “God is love,” but also that He is holy.

Brevities

CONVERSION.
The conversion of Saul of Tarsus was a sample one. Every genuine conversion, though not accompanied by the same outward manifestations, runs on the same lines. Notice what he saw: "A light from heaven" which surpassed the best and brightest he had ever known. The truly converted man has seen something far beyond anything to be found on earth. He has seen Jesus in all His love and grace and saving power.
What he did: "Fell to the earth." He was utterly humbled and abased by what he saw. He discovered that his whole life had been one huge mistake. There and then he abandoned his opposition to the name of Christ.
What he heard: "A voice saying unto him." That voice revealed to him the uselessness of the course he had been pursuing. He had only been kicking against the pricks. His strength had been spent in vain.
What he said: "Lord!" He acknowledged himself now to be the subject of the One who had overcome him. Henceforth He was to be his all in all-the Savior of his soul, the Lord of his life.
What he became: "A chosen vessel." Having been saved, he became serviceable. He would IR the faithful and earnest servant of Him to whom he owed so much; not from fear, or a mere sense of duty, but from love and gratitude.
Reader, have you had a conversion like this? Read the whole story in Acts 9
H. P. B.

?Danger! Keep Out!?

One bright summer afternoon in 1892 two young men, Charles and Walter, were cautiously hiking down a steep mountain trail near Pike’s Peak. They were only casual acquaintances, having only recently met at a Manitou Colorado health resort. As they rounded a curve, they came upon the entrance to a cave. It was boarded up, and over it was a large sign: “DANGER! KEEP OUT!” Charles stopped to peer between the boards into the darkness, exclaiming, “I should like to explore this cave! Will you go with me?”
“Most assuredly not,” replied Walter, and begged him not to attempt it. But Charles was determined!
How typical of those of this world! “Men loved darkness rather than light” (John 3:19). God has plainly posted his danger signs: “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23); “after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27). “I have set before you life and death  ...  therefore choose life.” (Deuteronomy 30:19). “Oh that they were wise  ...  that they would consider their latter end!” (Deuteronomy 32:29).
At the foot of the trail Charles obtained a lantern, said, “Good-bye” to his friend, and returned to the cave. Lighting his lantern and pushing aside the barriers, he boldly entered the deep dark cavern. At first his feeble light seemed barely to penetrate the dense darkness, but as his eyes became more accustomed, he could discern jagged rocks and walls, and a path, down which he cautiously moved. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12). All seemed to go well for a time, until suddenly he stepped off into space, and fell down a precipice, where he lay unconscious.
How many there are who grope by the flickering light of reason, and at death take a “leap into the dark!”
“He that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth” (John 12:35). When Charles came to, he found himself bruised and sore, engulfed in thick darkness, and with his lantern in pieces at his side. In his pocket he found a few matches, which he struck, one by one, only to have them flicker and go out. Their light had shown him the precipice over which he had fallen, but which was impossible to climb. Trembling with cold and terror, he scarcely dared move, for fear of falling again, so he crept carefully along on hands and knees until his trousers were worn through and his knees bleeding. Dreading being buried alive, he felt sure he must die!
In his despair and anguish, the sins of his past life came before him, and he cried to God for mercy, not for the salvation of his body, for that seemed impossible, but to save his never-dying soul! Scriptures which he had often heard, but never heeded, came flooding into his soul with living power. “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life” (John 3:36). These precious truths, like warm sunshine, illuminated his dark cold heart, and he accepted the Saviour as having died for his sins.
Still his bodily plight was unchanged, and he decided to keep moving as long as his strength lasted. He had no idea of the passage of time, as he painfully and hopelessly dragged himself over rocks and stones. He thought of his mother, and finding a piece of paper and a pencil in his pocket, he scribbled a note to her as best he could telling her not to mourn for him but to rejoice, because this dreadful experience had been the means of bringing him to his blessed Saviour, who loved him and had given Himself for him, and he was happy in the thought of soon being with Him. He gave her address, asking that his body be sent to her.
Still creeping wearily about, he felt a rope, which he followed with wondering hope until something — was it fresh air? — touched his cheek! On he went; then a pale glimmer of light appeared, which gradually increased until he could dimly discern in the distance an opening! At last he reached it and emerged into the light! The sun was shining brightly. He had entered the cave at four p.m. and it was now noon of the next day.
When picked up by a search party, he was a sight — ragged, bleeding, dirty and weak! He soon recovered from that ordeal, but his spiritual change could never be erased from his soul, for he was turned “from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God” (Acts 26:18).
Listen! “Woe unto them  ...  to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.” (Jude 11,13)
“As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked  ...  turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?” (Ezekiel 33:11)

The Mother's Rock

DEEP in a forest of tropical South America, not far from the ruins of an Indian village, Alexander Humboldt was shown a rock outstanding, called The Mother's Rock.'
“In the days of the Spanish Conquest, the invaders had raided that village and carried away prisoners—among them a young Indian woman who left three little ones behind. They went by river, and traveled at night, that the captives might see no landmarks to help them to find their way back again. But the mother, lying fast bound at the bottom of the boat, watched the stars, and judged of the course by them. The way was long—three days' journey, I think, but I write from memory—and when the Spanish camp was reached, the young mother was still kept tightly bound. But the cry of her babes was in her ears—the call that is the same in every language. She bit through the cords—sped unseen, noiseless, with her bare feet and dusky form, out of the lamp in the darkness, and plunged into the forest where the eyes of the wild beasts glared. She heeded not; and the fierce creatures never touched her—as if they knew She swam rivers and waded morasses—fought her way through thorn and thicket, guided by the stars at night and the sun by day, with the wild fruits for food—till she reached her children, and dropped down, spent and bleeding, but in a rapture of joy, her dark babies in her arms, clinging to her.
“The Spaniards followed, and found her—tore her from her children, scourged her without mercy, and brought her back. Again she escaped and made her way across flood and forest, home to her babes: again they followed and brought her back, after such punishment as left her helpless. But no sooner had a little strength returned than once more she fled—dragged her spent limbs over the terrible distance, and sank at last, utterly exhausted, but by her children's side—the soft arms round her, the little lips and cheeks pressed to hers.
“The Spaniards were upon her quickly this time, for she had been long on the way. Hardly had she drawn one draft of utter bliss when they were there-seized her, and bound her to a rock. There they scourged and scourged her, and her blood streamed red over the rock, until she sank and died and up to near a hundred years ago it was still called after her, The Mother's Rock.'”
A story like this has lived for many, many years, and it well deserves to live. But there is a story that has lived for nigh two thousand years. It is called the Old, Old Story. It will live for eternity.
Reader, your heart has been touched as you read the story of the poor black mother's devotion to her offspring. Your heart is not human were it not so. But oh! has your heart ever been moved by the Story of Calvary?
The mother died for her offspring, the Savior died for His foes. We have reprinted the story of "The Mother's Rock" to lead you to think of The Savior’s Cross. Get your Bible and read the story of it—the most touching and transfiguring story of all time; a tale not to be compared with the most touching on earth. The most moving earthly story that man could pen only affords a contrast to the wonderful story of the ages.
Shall that story have no charm for your ears? If the Savior died for you, and you do not avail yourself of His love, then the most solemn of all questions will seek an answer one day from your despairing heart, "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?" There is none, positively none, and that is why we are anxious to get your ear as to the story of all stories.
“I have found out the reason they loved it so well
That old, old story is true.”
Yes, true, as myriads of poor, repentant sinners have found out. True, that God is a Savior-God. True, that the believer on the Lord Jesus Christ is saved eternally.
Will you trust the Lord? You, have everything to gain by doing so, and everything to lose by refusing.
A. J. P.

Ignored Warnings

In 1912, the finest and safest vessel that had ever been built, the “unsinkable Titanic,” struck an iceberg and sank. “The staggering fact,” an editor commented, “is not that the ship went down, but that she went down after fifteen hours of radio warnings, her engines at full speed, her band playing, her passengers dancing and, apparently, nobody caring  ...  .that there was ice ahead.”

Senor Hyppolyto's Conversion

OR twenty years Senor Hyppolyto was one of the most popular and brilliant priests of the Roman church in Brazil. A complete master of more than one language, and a man of great oratorical ability, he was looked upon as a prospective bishop.
In the year 1898 he was selected by the Roman authorities to give a course of lectures against Protestantism, and in order that he might have the necessary local status for this was appointed vicar of one of the most influential city churches.
To fit himself for the work before him, he procured a copy of the New Testament, and applied himself diligently to the study of it.
Then, the better to know what the "heretics" taught he went night after night, under cover of darkness, to listen to the preaching of the Protestant missionary, Dr. Tarboux. Standing outside the building, secure from observation, he heard every word.
As this studying and learning went on, Senor Hyppolyto began to feel that the people to whom he was so violently opposed had a rest and joy in God to which he was an utter stranger. Well he knew that even amongst the most zealous and sincere of his co-religionists there was not to be found this peace, this rejoicing of soul that the hated. Protestants possessed.
At last, under deep conviction of sin, he sought an interview with the missionary. With tears in his eyes he said: "I want you to tell one how to be saved, for I am not saved.”
The way of salvation was explained to him. He was shown that the gulf which sin has created between God and man is too deep, and too vast to be bridged by penance, or prayers, or good works, or anything that the sinner can do. The only bridge across the gulf is that which was built at Calvary. The work of Christ, the merits of His atoning blood, alone suffice to save the believing sinner. In Christ alone is salvation to be obtained.
It was not long before the enquirer found the Savior whom he sought. He was filled with "joy and peace in believing." An experience hitherto unknown filled his soul.
His conversion created a profound sensation in Brazil, especially amongst the Roman ecclesiastics. All sorts of means were resorted to to bring him back, and all kinds of offers and concessions made, but Senor Hyppolyto now stood on the Rock of Ages, and nothing could move him.
He who might have been a bishop is to-day a humble itinerant preacher of the Gospel.
His life is sometimes in danger. He knows that he may at any time fall beneath the blow of the assassin's knife, but the love of Christ constrains him to devote his life to the spread of the glad tidings amongst his fellow-countrymen.
Reader, which would you rather be: the brilliant, popular favorite without Christ, or the humble, despised preacher with Christ for your portion?
"Men of the world," we are told,” have their portion in this life." (Psa. 17:14.) Men of God may suffer the loss of all things here, and may end their days at the martyr's stake, but they have "an inheritance ... that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven" for them.
Make the wise choice. Let your watchword be, "Christ, only Christ, for my Savior, and His precious blood my only plea."
H. P. B.

Delivered From the Pit

The “sick sailor” was a fine, powerfully-built young man of twenty-two, laid helpless through an accident.
“Come in, ma’am, and welcome,” he said as he saw me. “Harry — , that’s a mate of mine, told me you would tell me something that would be a comfort to me. The doctors say I’ll never move about again; and oh, to spend one’s life chained to one spot, it’s enough to turn one’s reason. When mother comes home from work, of nights, I mustn’t give way; it’s hard enough on her to have to work all day to keep me. Just as I thought she would be comfortable for the rest of her life, and never have to work hard again — .” He stopped, a sob that was more like a groan, choking his voice; but, mastering his emotion presently, he went on to tell me how he had been a ship’s carpenter. The sea was his delight, and he had made many a prosperous voyage, come through many a storm. When returning from his last voyage, and almost within hail of the harbor, he was up in the rigging repairing some slight damage. The day was very fine, but a breeze from the land suddenly caught the vessel, and she lurched to seaward. He was taken unawares just as he was about to come down, lost his hold on the rigging, and was thrown violently backward from a great height.
“When they could do nothing more for me in the hospital, I was brought home, and here I am, more helpless than a babe, and naught but a trouble and a care. It drives me well nigh crazy to see mother come in so pale and tired, and I to lie here; though she never grumbles, but always says that God had done it, and His ways are best. I’m glad she can think so, if it helps her; but it seems to me, as if, instead of being the God of the widow and the fatherless, as she says, He has forgotten her, and kept me from helping her too. Father was drowned at sea, when I was no more than three or four. God Almighty has been hard on us, ma’am, very, very hard.”
I felt powerless to attempt a word of comfort, and could only look to God to reveal Himself in His own true character as a Saviour-God to this poor, broken-hearted one, who had such dark thoughts of Him.
“Yours is a great trouble, Andrew, and human words are of little use, I know, though ever so full of sympathy, but there is One who can help, can comfort you, and I know Him. But you have let in bitter thoughts about Him. Have you nothing to say on the other side? No mercy to remember?”
“From what height did you fall?”
“Nigh on to sixty feet.”
“And was that high enough for the fall to have killed you?”
“Why, the miracle to everyone is, that I was picked up alive. Two mates of mine, when we were out in South America, fell not over thirty feet, and they never spoke again.”
“And if you had never spoken again on earth, where would your voice have been next heard — where would you have been at this very moment — in heaven, or in hell?”
“I should have been in hell, for the devil had a fast grip on me then.”
“Yes, and he was seeking to hurry you straight down to the pit. But the Lord’s eye was on you — the eye of Him whom you charge with forgetting the widow and dealing hardly with the fatherless; His mighty word of mercy went forth, ‘Deliver him from going down to the pit  ...  I have found a ransom.’ You say it was a miracle; it was the Lord’s love and mercy going out after your soul. Though you are crippled, yet you are still outside hell. The door of heaven stands open; still Jesus is waiting to be gracious, offering you salvation through His precious blood, saying, ‘Come unto Me  ...  and I will give you rest.’ He offers you eternal life. Did He forget the widow and her fatherless boy in rescuing you?”
I shall long remember the expression of his face, or rather the changing expressions of it, though he never stirred. Words burst forth at last, “I’m the biggest fool outside hell’s gate. I’ve done nothing but blacken Him.”
“Yes, yes, Andrew; but ‘The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from ALL sin’,” I repeated.
“But mine can’t be meant.”
“When God said ALL sin, didn’t He know what He was saying, and didn’t He mean it? He did, and oh, He knows too, He only knows, the full value of the blood of His Son.”
After a long pause, he suddenly looked up and said, “It seems too great that He could forgive me outright.”
I repeated from memory the well-known parable of the father and the prodigal son to ears that listened eagerly; he sobbed aloud as I finished. “That was love, sure; but, oh, even that man was never so bad as I.”
“But Andrew, it is not a question of how bad you are, but whether the blood of God’s Son is enough to cleanse you. Will you say that there are some returning prodigals the Father has not love enough to receive? I am going away now, and I want to leave you two short verses to think over: ‘God is love;’ and ‘The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from ALL sin.’ ” He repeated them two or three times after me. Then, promising to return if possible on the morrow, I left.
It was not possible to return next day, much as I longed to. When next I entered his room, he almost shouted out, “I’ve got it! I’ve got it!” His face was beaming.
“Got what, Andrew?”
“Why, everything ’most, ma’am, except the glory, and that’s the port I’m bound for, and I’ve got my Pilot aboard, and given up the helm to Him, and He knows the way in.”
“Tell me all about it, Andrew.”
“Well, ma’am, after you went away, I was just miserable again. I could only see my sins and my black ingratitude. Yesterday when you didn’t come, I thought God had given me right up. In the middle of last night, when I was ’most in despair, I began to recall all that about the father going out to meet that poor man in his misery, and forgiving him out and out like. When my sins came back again, something seemed to say to me, ‘Andrew, man, if you’re a bigger sinner than that man, that only makes Him a bigger Saviour to be able to save you;’ and I just said out loud, ‘That’s it, Lord; I’ve got it now. Thou art a big enough Saviour to save even such a wretch as me!’ ”
“Does your mother know your joy?” I asked.
“Aye, aye, that she does. I couldn’t keep it in. You see it’s His great love that knocks one over.”
He asked, “Tell me that again about being delivered from the pit.” I read him Job 33, and then at his request read it a second time.
Once I asked him if the days were ever long. “Why, no ma’am, you see, I’m never alone now, for Jesus is here. And as to mother, I just tell Him He loves her better even than I do, and I know I can trust Him to look after her. After all His love, how could I ever doubt Him?”

Is Christ Really Coming?

I WAS pacing up and down the platform, waiting for my train to return home, after having preached the Gospel in the town of—, when the clear voice of the porter awakened me from my reverie—"Purely, Croydon, Norwood, London Bridge train!”
In a few moments the long line of carriages had drawn up, and the passengers had pressed in, and seated themselves for their journey. I took my place in a third-class compartment in which there was only one other passenger, and he, a gentlemanly-looking man, was half hidden behind his Sunday paper.
Almost as soon as we had started I leaned forward and said to him, "Can you tell me, sir, if Christ is really coming back again?”
He dropped his paper, and, staring at me in evident astonishment, said, "I don't understand you at all. What do you mean?”
I replied, "I have heard that CHRIST JESUS, who was once here on earth, is alive and is SITTING UPON THE THRONE OF HEAVEN, and that HE IS COMING BACK to take up His great power and reign in the world. Can you tell me if it is true?”
My companion looked at me for a minute or two like a man scared, and then very slowly he answered: “Well, yes, I believe Christ is coming back again, but it is difficult to realize.”
“Yes," said I, "it is difficult to realize, but if it is true, how will it affect our lives; for it seems to me that things cannot go on as they are if He comes?”
“But," said my fellow-passenger, "I don't think Christ will come yet, for I fancy I have heard that there are to be wars and rumors of wars and great happenings in the world, and the faith of men will disappear.”
“Ah, no!" said I, "I hear that He is to come mysteriously first, and those who know and love Him will be taken away, whereas those who have neglected Him will know nothing about it until it is too late." Tell me, "said I," are you ready to meet Him?”
Alas! his answer was very indefinite, and having reached his station he bade me good night and passed out.
I remained alone to think over the subject which impressed me so much. “THIS SAME JESUS... SHALL SO COME IN LIKE MANNER AS YE HAVE SEEN HIM GO." (Acts 1:11)
" THE LORD HIMSELF SHALL DESCEND FROM HEAVEN WITH A SHOUT." (1 Thess. 4:16.)
Reader, ARE YOU READY TO MEET HIM? If not, I beseech you go down upon your knees now as this paper is in your hand, and own Him as your Lord, and trust Him as your Savior.
He will receive you, and He will bless you, and you will then join the writer in an earnest cry to Him—"Come, Lord Jesus."
R. B.

The Blood-Marked Door

During a cruel and bloody war, a commander took an oath in the presence of his troops that he would slaughter the entire population of a certain town. In due course the bloodhounds of war were let loose on the defenseless people.
Now it so happened that a fugitive, spied a number of soldiers as they broke into a house, the inmates of which they put to the sword. On leaving it, one of them, dipped a cloth into a pool of blood and splashed it on the door, as a sign to any who might follow of what had taken place inside.
Quick as his feet could carry him, the poor fugitive sped away to a large house in the center of the town, where a number of his friends were concealed, and breathlessly told them what he had seen. At once it flashed upon them what to do. A goat was in the yard. Immediately it was killed, and its blood splashed on the door. Scarcely had they closed the door when a band of soldiers rushed into their street. But when they came to the blood-marked door they made no attempt to enter! The sword — so they thought — had already entered therein and performed its work. Thus, whilst the many around were slain, all within the blood-marked door were saved.
This reminds us of those soul-saving words of God,
“When I see the blood, I will pass over you” (Exodus 12:13).
Yes, “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians 5:7). His shed blood has stayed the sword of divine judgment for everyone who, by faith, takes shelter under that blood.

Thousands Striving

1 THOUGHT one day I would search for I the people, who were striving to enter in at the strait gate, the narrow door, and in my dream I wended my way to the Halls of Science. I saw the astronomer turn his telescope to pierce the mysteries of yonder starry heaven; I watched the geologist with his hammer make the very stones disclose their secrets; I marked the wise physician intent on finding some new alleviation of suffering, some fresh remedy for the ills which afflict mankind. But when I asked: "Gentlemen, are you striving to enter in at the strait gate?" the astronomer turned upon me the pitying look one bestows on a child or on a person deficient in natural wit, and answered, "Such a question is out of place here.”
Another scene rose before me. The hum of many voices was in my ear, the sounds of some eager conflict. I was in the Exchange of a busy city. Surely here are signs of some earnest striving, was my unuttered comment. A benevolent-looking man approached, to whom I timidly put my question: “Sir, are these men striving to enter in at the strait gate?" His gaze saddened as he said, "I am afraid most of them have not even heard of it.”
Again, it seemed in my vision, I passed into another world—the world of refinement, of art, of literature—and there, too, men suffered, and strove, and toiled, but their striving was not to enter in at the strait gate; it was for fame they toiled, for the laurel wreath of popular applause, for the fading crown of earthly honor and reputation. Disappointed I said, I need not ask here; I will seek my answer in the religious world.
Presently I espied one whose garb betokened his sacred calling, and at once I questioned, "Do you strive to enter in at the strait gate?”
“Sir," said he, "are you aware that your question is altogether out of date? Doubtless the exhortation was very necessary for the illiterate fishermen on the Sea of Galilee, but in this cultured age we have removed the boundaries and enlarged the entrance. There is no longer any strait gate,'" and he passed on.
Effort belongs to youth, I soliloquized. I will seek the young; perchance they may know that which seems to be hidden from the eyes of men. I knew well where they were. I found them in the tennis court, on the golf course, in the concert room, the opera house, all earnestly seeking—but what? Pleasure! I laid my hand gently on the arm of a fair girl, and asked: "Are you striving to enter in at the strait gate?" "No," she briefly answered.
But are not these the words of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself?" "Yes, "she said, more thoughtfully.
“And did He mean them?" Very slowly and reluctantly her answer came:" I suppose so.”
“Do you not think, then, that you should strive to enter in at ' the strait gate?”
A sound roused me. My dream was over; but it was painfully like reality. Reader, what answer have you to this momentous question? Do you not think you should strive to enter in at "the strait gate," for many will seek to enter in and shall not be able?
A little boy was crying at the end of a Gospel meeting in Yorkshire because he didn't want to be shut out. Have you ever pondered the possibility of your being shut out? You, for whom the precious Gospel has no charm.
You have heard it so often, and have not obeyed it. The day may soon come when you shall seek to enter in and shall not be able—
SHALL NOT BE ABLE.
Once more, with all the loving entreaty my soul is capable of, let me ring these words in your ears: " Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able." (Luke 13:24.)
L. R.

?Stand Where the Fire Has Been?

The most horrifying thing on the Western plains is the dreaded prairie fire. Until the rains set in, the dry scorching summer months are spent in fear and suspense. Every suggestion of haze or smoke is intensely watched. When once a fire starts and is swept by a breeze, its speed strikes terror in man and beast, mercilessly consuming all in its way! Many, powerless to escape, have perished and their farms have been reduced to ashes.
Others, with presence of mind, seeing their danger, have found one way of escape and have been saved by it. They have stooped and set afire the long dry grass, at their feet, and, then, as soon as the blaze had burned off a space, taken refuge by standing where the fire has been. Thus, just in time they have been saved from the oncoming devouring flame. It was a case of life or certain death!
Yet more solemn and terrifying will be the coming wrath and judgment of God upon this world that has crucified, and ignored the grace of, His beloved Son. It is “reserved unto fire against the day of judgment” (2 Peter 3:7). “I will punish the world for their evil” (Isaiah 13:11). “Ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).
“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Corinthians 5:11). “To flee from the wrath to come” (Matthew 3:7). “For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29).
But thanks be unto our gracious God who has provided a place of safety where the fire has already been. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust” (1 Peter 3:18). On Calvary’s cross He was, as it were, enveloped in the “fire” of God’s righteous judgment to save the trembling sinner who will flee to Him for refuge (Hebrews 6:18).
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish” (John 3:16). “Now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3).

A Contrast

HOW often we have seen outside a place of business, displayed in prominent letters, the notice, "A SPECIAL DAY"? On such days articles are to be bought a trifle cheaper, or something is to be given in with purchases; and see what a rush there is for the advantage.
Reader, I would earnestly remind you, you are living in "A SPECIAL DAY"—a very special day, even "the day of salvation." And oh! see the few that avail themselves of it. Have you availed yourself of it?
You have not! Then you have not yet realized your position before God.
I am all seriousness. Listen to what God says: "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."(Rom. 3:23.) Does not that include you? Most assuredly; and God must judge you for your sins. He cannot pass them over. But oh! the wondrous grace of God. He says," I have found a ransom."
(Job 33:24.)" Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29.)
God has provided a Substitute, even the Lord Jesus Christ, who bore the judgment due to sin, so that by believing on that Substitute you may not only be free and forgiven, but spend eternity with that blessed Redeemer. What grace! What love! Won't you trust Him? "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Cor. 6:2.)
But there is a solemn warning. God says: "My Spirit shall not always strive with man." (Gen. 6:3.) This may be your last warning. Oh! then, dear reader, believe on Him before it is too late. S. H.

?Saved!?

As yet there were but few people astir on the beach, in the fresh, cool morning hours. Had there been any watchers, they might have seen a strong swimmer strike out boldly to sea. Every stroke told, and put the shore at a greater distance.
Being in the very prime of manhood, he never thought of danger; as on he swam, till at last, a little wearied, he rested a moment, and thought of returning. Then he found he had been carried out far beyond his intentions. He struck out for land, but now found the current against him, and his utmost efforts made little headway. Still he struggled on till, utterly exhausted, he turned on his back and gave himself up for lost.
He had been religiously brought up; yes, more, he had been the preacher of a large congregation. He had lived a careful life and till this moment had been on good terms with himself. Now with death before him, his soul awoke to find he had no hope of eternity; he was not ready to die! One thing was lacking. He had no link with Christ!
Horror seized him. The waves seemed to be roaring into his ears again and again, “When I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:27).
He felt he had preached a Christ he had never known, had told others of a salvation he had not himself! His life with its outward ceremonies he now loathed as mockery. Now he saw them at their true value — “dead works” (Hebrews 9:14); he realized that the work required to save his soul must be done for him, and done by another.
It was not concerning his body, but his soul, that he cried there on the mighty deep — there alone with God, on the waves — a great cry, “Lord save me, or I perish!” — a vile sinner. As he cried, the answer came — “The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” “Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
He then murmured, “Lord, I believe that precious blood was shed for me.” Life and peace came to his soul — then unconsciousness.
“Father! Father! Look ahead! What is that on the water? Surely, it’s a man,” cried the son of the skipper of a fishing boat. The father looked and sprang to the oar, calling out, “Row for very life!” The men rowed, putting forth all their energies. The skipper saw the body sink once, rise again nearer to the boat and sink a second time. It just might rise close to them if they made a desperate effort. “Bend to your oars, for one last pull.” And it did rise within reach. Strong arms then brought the apparently lifeless body into the boat. Quickly they took every means in their power to restore animation. Willing hands carried him ashore, a living, breathing man and not a corpse — living in two ways: possessing now not merely natural life, but eternal life. (John 6:47, 1 John 5:13).
A week later, in that same fishing boat, he reviewed what the Lord had done for his soul, when death and judgment had threatened him. He spoke to his rescuers of Jesus the Saviour; of the impossibility of our doing anything to save ourselves — that that work must all be done by Him, or we must be forever lost. He read to them from God’s Word: “But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  ...  not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:4-5,9)
“When you saw me in the water that morning, could I help myself? I did not help you to save me; you did all the work, and I got all the good.
“HE DID ALL THE WORK, AND WE GET ALL THE GOOD. Now, my friends, do you not see how it is with the Lord? He, the sinless One, suffered in our stead. He took our place, and offers us His place.
“Do you think, however long I live, I shall ever cease to carry about with me the feelings of gratitude and love for the men who did so much for me? And this is how it is with us to the Lord. When I know He has saved me at such a cost, I cannot go on just as I did, as though it were all nothing. I want my life to show out my gratitude and love and praise!”
More than one of those fishermen turned to the Lord.
Reader, what must you do to be saved, beyond believing on the Lord Jesus Christ?
Nothing, either great or small—
Nothing, sinner, no:
Jesus did it — did it all,
Long, long ago,”
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6)

Saved by a Look

YES, you may be saved by a look; and what can be more simple? But it must be a heart-look—not the mere casual glance of the passer-by, but the deep, earnest look of one who realizes who it is that bids him look, and why he has to look.
The bitten Israelite, dying from the serpent's bite, looked, believing that there was life in the look, and so there was. He looked only at the brazen serpent; he did not look at others; he did not look at himself. He felt death in himself, and he wanted life; and he looked to get life. And so must you.
Listen again to the words of Jesus: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:14, 15.)
“Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." (Isa. 14:22.)
H. W.

The Cottage Floor: and Why It Was Never Scrubbed

During a visit in 1904 to a remote part of South Africa, I was lodging at a small house on the veldt (prairie).
On retiring to rest at night, I could not help noticing the extremely dirty state of the bedroom floor. It looked as if it had not been cleaned for months. I determined that the following day I would call the landlady’s attention to it, and ask her to have it scrubbed.
The next morning, however, I saw what had escaped my notice the evening before. The floor was of such a nature that no scrubbing could make it any cleaner. It was made of big clods of dirt, dried and hardened in the sun, and trodden down till a solid surface was formed, as level and smooth as any ordinary floor.
Of course I gave up my idea of asking the landlady to scrub it. The more such a floor was scrubbed the worse it would become. No amount of soap and water would do it any good.
Will you be surprised, reader, if I tell you that that bedroom floor aptly sets forth your condition in the sight of God?
I wonder if you are prepared to acknowledge that in God’s sight you are so bad, so unclean, so corrupt, that you can no more improve yourself, or do anything to amend your condition, than the bedroom floor could be made clean by scrubbing it?
This is a truth that many are very slow to learn. They labor under the delusion that if only they try hard enough, and persevere long enough, they can make themselves more fit for God’s presence. They might as well imagine that if only they could get a good scrubbing-brush, and plenty of soap and water, they would at last succeed in improving the condition of the bedroom floor. “For though thou wash thee with niter, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord God” (Jeremiah 2:22).
Multitudes of men and women are engaged in a hopeless task of this sort, and many are the various kinds of scrubbing-brushes that they use.
There is, for instance, the scrubbing-brush of Self-Restraint. Have you not sometimes used this brush? You have tried to control your temper, and put a curb upon your unruly tongue. You have kept a strict watch over your actions and have endeavored to restrain your passions. In this way you have been scrubbing away at the dirty floor. But you have utterly failed to effect any real improvement. You are as far from God as ever. Your heart is just as bad as when you began.
Perhaps it is the scrubbing-brush of Moral Living that you are trying. You do not swear or cheat, or get drunk. No impure speech ever soils your lips. You never do anything that men would call wicked. But all this makes no difference in your condition before God. Your moral living has not changed the evil character of your heart. “Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?” (Proverbs 20:9).
Many fancy that where other scrubbing-brushes fail, the brush of Religion will succeed. So they read their Bibles and say their prayers. They are regular attendants at church, and take the sacrament. Perhaps they sing in the choir. They may become Sunday-school teachers. But all this leaves their carnal nature unchanged. Their religious garb serves but to cover up the uncleanness within.
If the scrubbing-brush of Religion could make any one clean, it should have made Saul of Tarsus so. Zealous beyond all his contemporaries, rigid in his observance of ceremonies and ordinances, devoted in his obedience to the priests, he might well have claimed to be the most religious man of his day.
But all the while there raged in his heart a bitter hatred against Christ. When at last his eyes were opened, and he found how terribly mistaken he had been, he confessed that he was the chief of sinners. In spite of all his religiousness he had to acknowledge, “In me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing” (Romans 7:18).
Do not, then, make a scrubbing-brush of Religion as it can never make the sinner clean. It can never wash away his sin.
If neither self-restraint, moral living, religion, nor any other scrubbing-brush of a similar kind can make you clean, there is One who can. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Saviour. There is power in His precious blood to wash all your foul stains away.
“Ye must be born again” (John 3:7), are the words that confront every Christless soul. They were addressed to a most religious man and they are as true today as ever. What you need, reader, is to be born again. Nothing short of that will do.
Confess your exceeding sinfulness. Pass sentence upon yourself unsparingly. Then look away from yourself altogether to Christ. “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Revelation 1:5). “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). Happy the heart that can say:
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.

The Man at the Look-Out

TWO days out from the St. Lawrence, our gallant ship was plowing her way through the stormy seas that wash the bleak, barren coasts of Labrador.
Suddenly a cry broke upon our ears: "Ice ahead!”
It was the voice of the man at the look-out. From his point of vantage he had caught a glimpse of something that was still invisible to us as we strode up and down the lower deck.
Far on the 'eastern horizon he had seen a huge, floating mountain of ice. Should the ship by any means come into collision with that white, glistening mass, it would mean almost certain destruction. But the timely warning from the man at the look-out enabled the helmsman to change the course of the vessel before it got too close, and thus to pass in safety.
Christian workers, preachers of the gospel, tract writers and distributors, and all who seek to win souls for Christ are as men at the lookout. Our duty is to warn you that danger and destruction lie ahead.
Do not imagine that we claim to be wonderful people, or that we consider ourselves better than others. No, indeed. We are simply people that have made a discovery. We found out that we were in terrible peril. Our sins had well-nigh driven us upon the rocks of eternal perdition. But we learned where refuge and shelter were to be found. We fled to Jesus, and have obtained salvation through Him.
This is why we warn YOU. We look ahead, and though you may not see them, we see gathering upon the horizon of your life, the thick clouds of judgment and doom. We see you traveling on, heedless of your peril, and with the friendliest of feelings we flash the danger-signal across your path.
To one of His look-out men of old, the Lord said: "Give them warning from Me." (Ezek. 17.) This is what we seek to do. Will you let us warn you?
But there is another who wishes you to heed his voice. He does his best to persuade you that there is no danger, and that those who so earnestly warn you are fools and fanatics. When the Apostle Paul faithfully warned the centurion, Julius, as to the danger of the course he was bent upon pursuing, the "master and owner of the ship" contradicted him, and succeeded in making the centurion believe that all was well, and that there was no cause for alarm.
This is what Satan tries to make men believe. He whispers in the ears of one that there is “plenty of time yet." He persuades another that though some have a black prospect before them, yet all is well for those who try to lead a moral life and pay their way in the world honestly. He induces a third to launch out upon a course of religious observances in the hope of escaping the danger by that means. But these are delusions and snares.
God, who made you and loves you, tells you plainly that doom awaits the impenitent. But He also points out the true, the only, way of escape.
The atoning work which Jesus accomplished, when He shed His blood upon the cross, is the sinner's only hope. By means of it his sins may be washed away. In virtue of that precious blood, he may be made safe and happy.
How is this priceless boon to be obtained? In one way only, the way of believing on Jesus. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." (Acts 16:31.)
This "believing" puzzles some people, but in reality it is very simple. It does not mean a mere conviction of the truth of the Bible, or of the Deity of Christ, or of the efficacy of the Atonement. It includes all this; but it goes further. Saving faith is the heart's confidence in Jesus as the Savior. In staking all your hopes upon Him, in trusting Him to do for you what He has promised to do for all who come to Him, you will find salvation.
Reader; do you, in this true sense of the word, believe on Jesus?
H. P. B.

"Aprons" or "Coats of Skins?"

The first thing that man ever made was an apron.
After Adam and Eve had sinned and become conscious of their guilt, and their nakedness, “they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (Genesis 3:7), intending thus to make themselves presentable to God — hoping He would approve of their sincere efforts.
Now that is just what most people are endeavoring to do. “Doing the best I can,” “trying to keep the ten commandments,” “going by the golden rule,” “trying to follow Jesus.” Human efforts! Religious efforts! Man is always willing to do anything to avoid admitting his guilt to God. All such aprons are “highly esteemed among men” but “abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15). They are as “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).
God did not approve of their fig leaf aprons, but let us see what He did do. “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21). That was grace.
To faith, those coats of skins are lovely — for they speak of God’s free and gracious provision for sinners in the death of Christ, “the Lamb of God” (John 1:29).
Adam and Eve had overlooked the one vital thing, which was, to humbly acknowledge their guilty condition before God, and to admit that death and judgment were their due.
“Christ died for our sins” (1 Corinthians 15:3). Consider Him there on the cross, dear unsaved reader; cease your religious efforts; “stand still, and see  ...  that great work which the Lord did” (Exodus 14:13, 31). “It is finished” (John 19:30). It is perfect and gloriously complete. “Nothing can be put to it” (Ecclesiastes 3:14).
How much better is God’s salvation than man’s aprons! “Vain is the salvation of man” (Psalm 60:11, margin). “Neither shall they cover themselves with their works” (Isaiah 59:6). “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). God cannot accept your work but He wants you to accept the work of His Son, “that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear” (Revelation 3:18). “Blessed is he  ...  whose sin is covered” (Psalm 32:1).
Had God approved of Adam and Eve making their own aprons, or asked them to try to make better ones, that would just suit the thought of most people. For nothing is more popular in the religious world than this erroneous notion that man must do some sort of religious works to merit salvation. It is deeply ingrained in human nature. It matters not how often it is refuted, it asserts itself again and again in one form or another.
This restless religious tendency to do something, instead of accepting God’s gracious gift, is all because man does not love to plead guilty — does not like to admit that he is hopelessly ruined and unable to do one single thing to redeem himself. But man would rather try anyway!
“Being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness” (Romans 10:3), they are denying God’s declaration that “there is none righteous, no, not one  ...  there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Romans 3:10, 12). In other words, being insensible to their need of God’s “coats of skins” they go about to sew themselves aprons of fig leaves.
God’s historic chosen people, Israel, was bent on doing something. “All the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do” (Exodus 19:8). They did not know themselves, so God gave them the ten commandments to expose their sinfulness. As the mirror shows the face to be dirty, so “by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20). The law can do nothing but condemn, for all are guilty sinners; and to keep on struggling to justify oneself only adds to one’s guilt. Therefore it is written: “To him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt” (Romans 4:4).
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” (Titus 3:5). “By grace are ye saved through faith  ...  not of works” (Ephesians 2:8-9). “Not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace” (2 Timothy 1:9). It is plain that man’s aprons will not do.
Some sincerely believe that they should enlist God’s help to perfect their own salvation. They quote Philippians 2:12-13 “Work out your own salvation  ...  For it is God which worketh in you.” Now, if it said “work for your own salvation” or “work on your own salvation,” then that would express their idea. But “work out” is addressed to those who already have salvation, as well as the Holy Spirit of God within them, to put their salvation into outward practice in their daily conflicts.
The often quoted verse, “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26), rebukes those that say they have faith but show no evidence.
Human effort and heavenly grace can never blend any better than oil and water. “If by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace” (Romans 11:6). Christ has done it all, that He might have all the praise.
“Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:9). If salvation were by works, then in heaven they would sing: “Unto ourselves who have done the best we could; to us be glory forever and ever”! Revelation 1:5-6 gives all praise “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood  ...  to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
Law and Grace Contrasted
“The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).
“Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Romans 10:4).
“By Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:39).
The two principles are distinct and in sharp contrast to each other, and cannot possibly be mixed, nor one added to the other.
The law makes all depend upon what I am for God. Grace makes all depend upon what God is for me.
The law demands; grace gives.
The law condemns; grace justifies.
The law curses; grace blesses.
The law keeps one in bondage; grace sets the believer free.
“We are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:15).
The law says: “Thou shalt do.” Grace says: “It is done.”
The law requires righteousness from man. Grace places God’s righteousness upon man.
As God had made coats of skin to clothe Adam and Eve, so the atoning death of the Lamb of God covers the believer. It is “the best robe” (Luke 15:22), “the righteousness of God  ...  upon all them that believe” (Romans 3:22).
Our sinless substitute was made “sin for us  ...  that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). “Accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6). “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). “In Christ  ...  a new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Adding Law to Grace!
If, after God had made Adam and his wife those lovely and enduring coats of skins, they had returned to sewing fig-leaf aprons; or if they had added something to the coats of skins, what would you think? What would God have thought? Yet that is exactly what many who call themselves Christians are doing. They did it in the early days of the church. “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you?  ...  Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?  ...  Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us  ...  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage  ...  Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” (Galatians 3:1,3,13; 5:1,4).
False brethren — legalizing teachers, had troubled them by perverting the gospel of the grace of Christ. They taught law-keeping (Acts 15; Galatians 1).
Adam and Eve were wiser. They did not merit nor work for the “coats of skins” nor add anything to God’s gift. They had labored in vain to cover their guilt. Now all they could do was to thank God for His grace to them.
But after God had clothed them, they could display what God had wrought.
Works are never the means of salvation. But after one is saved by faith in the work of Christ, the new life will show itself in good works as evidence. “I will shew thee my faith by my works” (James 2:18). Truly, they which have believed God should “be careful to maintain good works” (Titus 3:8). “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Ephesians 2:10).
I will not work my soul to save,
For Christ that work has done;
But I will work like any slave
In love to God’s dear Son.

Reason Gone Mad!

IN France, on September 30th, 1863, infidelity had a golden chance to show how superior it was to Christianity. Under the banner of reason men had acted as if reason had gone mad. Traditional beliefs had been given up, men had become more like wild beasts than reasonable creatures, and the upheaval has been most justly described as "The Reign of Terror." What an opportunity when infidelity had got all into its power to show how much better it was than Christianity! How completely it failed for, indeed, there can be no more damning accusation against infidelity than to soberly read the historian's account of what was done at that time.
Let us take a peep inside the historic cathedral of Notre Dame on the day in question. Alsace, goddess of reason, sits enthroned on the altar. They dress her in white robes, cover her shoulders with a blue mantle, place the red cap on her head and a pike in her hand. Oh, the pity of the show! for hollow, vulgar show it was at the best. Look at her handsome but brazen face as the woman carries out the awful program of the hour by mocking at Christ. Hear the shouts as she is hailed as the new deity, who is to redeem France. Poor France!
Look at the people's self-chosen savior, who mocked in the hour of her fleeting triumph the true Savior, whose love, expressed on the cross, has won the homage of countless multitudes. Seventy years after this hideous show in Notre Dame see France's new deity. She is old now, very old, indeed dying. Poor, miserable, blind, idiotic, toothless, the goddess of reason passed into the presence of her outraged Creator.
Was there ever a more clear exposure of the madness of mere reason in the things of God? When reason got the upper hand of a nation she wrote heavily on the page of history in letters of blood her own utter condemnation.
Let September 30th, 1863, teach us a good, wholesome lesson.
Let us look at another scene. A girl lay dying. Her father was an infidel, her mother a Christian. He had often ridiculed his wife's faith to the children. Now a great sorrow is plowing through the man's heart—his child is dying.
Presently a weak voice, soon to be hushed in death, is heard: "Father, shall I believe you or mother now I am dying?”
“You had better believe your mother," came the answer softly and distinctly. Aye, and infidel, you had better embrace the faith of your meek, Christian wife.
We plead with you, reader. Give the verdict to Christianity Believe the gospel. Receive Christ.
“Behold, NOW is the accepted time behold, NOW is the day of salvation.”
(2 Cor. 6:2.) A. J. P.

“As It Was in the Days of Noah”

The state of the world today shows that it is like it was in the days of Noah, when men had corrupted their ways so that “the earth was filled with violence” and God had to pronounce judgment upon it.
God warned them, “My Spirit shall not always strive with man” (Genesis 6:3). He told Noah “I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy” (Genesis 6:7). Men, however, would not hearken any more than now.
Referring to this, the Lord Jesus said, “As in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:38-39). “Take heed to yourselves lest  ...   that day come upon you unawares” (Luke 21:34).
I dare say men thought the days of Noah were days of wonderful progress. Many of the men of that age might have said, “Oh no, Noah; you are quite mistaken; it is only your opinion: you had better give up working at that great ship, and give up preaching such peculiar views. Come and enjoy yourself, man, and don’t be such a narrow-minded bigot. Do you think everybody is wrong but you?”
“But God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth” (Genesis 6:5), just as today He sees all these vile and fierce atrocities. The flood came and destroyed them all, except those who had taken refuge with Noah inside the ark. Every soul that was not shut in with Noah was shut out. There was then no hope; it was too late!
It will be as literally true as it was then, far more than men expect. The world will be taken with as great a surprise as it was then. Only those who will have taken shelter in the blessed Saviour will escape.
God is speaking loudly to men. “The end of all things is at hand” (1 Peter 4:7). “The coming of the Lord draweth nigh” (James 5:8).
As terrible as world wars are, they are but the preliminaries to that which is ahead, (not a great flood as in Noah’s day, but that which will be far worse), “great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).
Earth, what a sorrow lies before thee!
None like it in the shadowy past,
The sharpest throes that ever tore thee:
E’en tho’ the briefest and the last.
The man of Calvary, now the gracious Saviour in the Glory, will come again in all the power and majesty of His eternal Godhead, in judgment upon those who have rejected Him! (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
Thinking men realize that these are indeed ominous times. Statesmen are baffled. “Distress of nations, with perplexity  ...  men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming” (Luke 21:25-26).
The most privileged nations have in these latter years become materialistic, pleasure loving, and acting in all respects as if God’s existence had no bearing upon their course of conduct. God gave man a mind; and he in turn is using it to reason against God, and today more than ever, is inventing diabolical weapons with which to kill his fellowman!
For sixty centuries men have tried in vain to patch up the poor world with education, reformation, legislation, and every kind of political government. However, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9), so no amount of effort on the part of men can permanently remedy the world. God has not forgotten that this world murdered His Son, and He will shortly make requisition for His blood. “I will punish the world for their evil” (Isaiah 13:11). “His blood is required” (Genesis 42:22). Still, in grace He is presenting Jesus the crucified as the only way of escape.

The Facts of the Case

THERE are certain people, who sometimes alone, but more frequently in small bands, stand forth in the street and preach. Probably you have often seen them at it, especially on a Sunday evening; and possibly you have even stopped for a while and listened, until something that was said had an uncomfortable ring about it, when you passed on, dismissing their words from your mind with the reflection that after all they were only "ranters," good people doubtless, and well-meaning too, but much mistaken in their efforts. People who benefit nobody by their earnest shoutings, and only succeed in making tremendous fools of themselves.
Being myself an occasional preacher in the open air, I want to remind you of this: that making full admission of the many mistakes which the best of us make, and the inexcusable absurdities of some, admitting poverty of speech, lamentable ignorance of English grammar, grotesqueness of attitude, and all the rest of it; yet behind and beneath these things there lies the bed-rock of FACTS, and that when presently you render an. account of yourself to God, it is with these facts you will have to make your reckoning, and not with the way in which they were preached.
For after all, a fact couched in very inadequate language is—a fact. A fact expressed ungrammatically is—a fact. A fact emphasized with gestures so inappropriate as to be ludicrous is—a fact.
Preachers, or no preachers, you must face the facts of the case. Afresh we earnestly urge them upon you. Briefly they are these:
(1) YOU ARE IN THE GRIP OF SIN.
Like a mighty octopus, sin has within its grasp all the unconverted members of the human family. None are accepted. "They are all under sin; as it is written. There is none righteous, no, not one." (Rom. 3:9, 10.)
Do you require further proof of this? Then I call upon you to face, fairly and squarely, the actual record of your life. You will tell me that your recollections are very imperfect, and God alone can know it. Precisely! Then honestly face your history as you remember it, and commence with the history of to-day, then try last week, then the months and the years. Begin! and spare not! Do not forget those thoughts defiled and defiling which often flit across your brain—that storm of passion which swept across your soul when you were so recently thwarted—those words too, no sooner uttered than you could have bitten off your tongue, but said for all that—that half—truth skillfully uttered to hide the whole truth, a lie to call it by its right name—that deed, and no eye saw it but God's. Ah! sinner, these things you know, and it is to these and not to sins of immorality and the like, that I appeal as proof that you have sinned, and that sin like a monster has you within its grasp.
And if, while admitting your sins, you still think that to say you are under sin's power is going too far, I will propose to you one last test; it has only to be applied with absolute honesty to bring conviction. It is this. Attempt to liberate yourself from sin's grasp, and stand forth a free man or woman, just for one month. Will you try?
The fact of the matter is that the action of sin with some of us is very mild, but none the less sure. Moreover, people quite unconsciously slip into its grip; just as with the "drug habit" of which we have heard lately in certain newspapers. If they are to be believed, there is many a fashionable lady and gentleman in London to-day who has become an absolute slave to the taking of drugs. The victims themselves seem unconscious of their captivity, and only awaken to its reality when they attempt to break off the habit. Then the hideous fact is discovered. They are as much a slave to their dram as the drunkard to his pot, only in a respectable way.
Unconverted reader, I repeat it. You are in the grip of sin. Now for our second fact.
(2) YOU ARE ON THE ROAD TO JUDGMENT.
“And thinkest thou this, O man,... that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?” (Rom. 2:3.) How can you possibly think this? In every well-governed state upon earth the commission of crime is followed by the judgment of the criminal, except where through man's fallibility he remains undetected, or justice miscarries. God is infallible, and do you dream for one instant that God will govern His universe less righteously than man governs his state? Impossible!
Oh! do you wonder that we are in earnest about your soul? Think of the end of life's journey. Think of the last farewell to the lovely scenes of earth, and all that your heart holds dear; and then think of that moment when beyond the grave, called to life by the almighty voice of the Son of God you stand before Him. No evasions then. No excuses then. Cornered you will be at last, and forced to face facts as you have never faced them before.
You will stand before God, and stand there ALONE. You must not talk about forgiveness justice steps forward with unsheathed sword, whilst Mercy stands with averted face. And then the rehearsal of life's sad story with all its sin and guilt, when conviction like the, lightning's flash will strike home to your soul; then collapse, total irremediable collapse followed by the dread sentence, "Depart from Me," and then you will go from the presence of God and of Jesus, of light and of love, into the blackness of darkness for ever— forever— FOR EVER. By the terror of the Lord be persuaded to flee to Christ, that its awful reality may never be known by you. But we have a blessed fact now to draw your attention to.
(3) GOD IS, AT THIS MOMENT, BOTH WILLING AND ABLE TO SAVE YOU.
God ever was willing to save, but now His willingness is clearly proved by the death of Jesus. Actions speak louder than words, and if “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son," then it is clear that He is willing.
But more, He is able. Again we turn you to the Cross of Christ. The self-same death that proved that He was willing has become the means whereby He is righteously able to save. It has met the claims of God's righteousness against us, both in respect of our sins, and our wretched and hateful condition as sinners.
God is willing and able to save you, but remember! JUST NOW. Yesterday is past, beyond recall. To-morrow, for you, may never be. To-day is the message. “To-day if ye will hear His voice.”
And the way of salvation is simply this: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God bath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Rom. 10:9.) F. B. H.

This World Is As a Sinking Ship

Let us suppose a vessel is foundering out at sea — exceedingly rotten and leaky, filling fast. From shore a life-boat is launched, and it pulls alongside the doomed vessel. The captain of the lifeboat calls to every person on board to leave the old ship immediately, but the people on board resolutely refuse. One says, “Our vessel is not so bad; she only requires a little mending and painting.” Another says, “Away with you and your lifeboat! We have a carpenter of our own, whose business is to mend the ships.”
Some go on with their amusements while others occupy themselves with emergency tools and paint. A few see their peril and take advantage of the only way of escape. The vessel is left to itself, fills and sinks. Now tell me, if every despiser on board ship goes down, who is to blame? The lifeboat was sent to them, and they refused!
Christ is the lifeboat. He came to save as many as will have Him.
Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him. “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3).
There’s a shadow on the world, and it deepens;
The hearts of men begin to fail for fear:
Beneath apparent confidence and boasting,
Perplexity is growing year by year.
There’s a shadow on the world; and it tells us
The longsuffering of God is well nigh o’er,
The blest atoning work of Christ the Saviour
Shall be held out to sinful men no more.

Mud Banks

CAPTAIN H was in command of the sailing ship M—.
One day, after having been on shore, he was returning in an open boat with his wife and daughter and a man, named O’B—, at about ten o'clock at night.
As they were nearing the ship the boat was struck by a heavy squall, and driven on to a mud bank, rendering it impossible to get it back into the channel.
A couple of inches of water lay upon the bank. The squall drove this as spray over the party, who could only huddle close together for warmth and wait for the morning.
At daylight the captain's daughter got out on the mud and managed with the greatest difficulty to reach the shore. After a couple of hours a tug was dispatched, the boat was pulled off the mud and brought into harbor.
The captain's wife by this time was dead and frozen stiff, and the two men were in a precarious condition.
Reader, there are many "mud banks" in this world, upon which many precious souls are swept, and whereon they perish. There is the mud bank of
INFIDELITY.
How many thousands perish upon this, content to have the spray of their own infidel reasoning dashed into their faces until they are washed on the shores of a never-ending eternity— without Christ. We warn such against their folly. Unlike the friends of our story, who had to wait for help till the morning, Jesus is ready NOW to befriend you. Only turn to Him and He will bless you.
But we would warn you of another mud bank. Many are deceived by it. There looks enough water to float their boat into the haven but oh! how deceptive. That mud bank is A CHRISTLESS RELIGION.
How many are content with an empty, hollow, Christless profession! Such imagine that "the filthy rags" of their own righteousness will suffice to cover them and keep them from perishing. What folly! The day of exposure is coming. "All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." (Isa. 64:6.) "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23.) “Without shedding of blood is no remission." (Heb. 9:22.)
It is a good thing for his own health and the happiness of those around him when the drunkard reforms; but reformation never has, never can, and never will fit a soul for the presence of God.
Many have the mistaken notion that there is a spark of goodness within them, which only needs fanning into a flame; but what they need is not reformation, but
CONVERSION.
Have you been converted, reader?
“Christ is the Savior; He never will fail.
All hope to save yourself will nothing avail.
Man is a total wreck, can never reach the shore,
All who trust in Jesus Christ are saved evermore.”
May God give you to trust the precious blood of Jesus, which alone avails to put away sin.
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?" (Heb. 2:3.)
F. T.

What Is Meant by Believing?

There are multitudes of people, who believe about Christ and the Gospel, but who have never believed trustingly in the Lord Jesus. Suppose you and I are walking by the seashore one beautiful summer day. We see the lifeboat lying on the sands. We admire its strength, its elegance, its adaptability for saving life. In short, we believe all about it, but we are in no need of the lifeboat. We are in no danger of drowning.
But in six months, suppose we are on the deck of a sinking steamer, and our only hope of rescue from a watery grave lies in the lifeboat. With what different feelings we watch the brave men in it approaching. With what relief we drop into it, and are saved. We believe not only about it, but now put our trust in it.
In 1859 the world famous Frenchman, Blondin, walked across Niagara Falls on a cable and then offered to carry anyone over on his shoulders. Many believed he could do it but only one man let him do it.

How to Obtain Pardon

DO you know how your sins can be pardoned? Do you know how a just and holy God can forgive your many transgressions, and yet be just and holy still?
Will you turn to preachers, and put your trust in them? They cannot give you pardon: they can only tell you where it is to be found. They can set before you the bread of life; but you yourself must eat it. They can show you the path of peace; but you yourself must walk in it. They can point you to Christ; but you yourself must trust Him.
Will you turn to sacraments and ordinances, and trust in them? They cannot supply you with forgiveness, however diligently you may use them. They cannot justify the sinner; they cannot put away transgression. You may go to a place of worship every Sunday in your life, and yet after all die in your sins. You may attend a daily service regularly; but if you think to establish a righteousness of your own by it, in the slightest degree, you are only getting further away from God every day.
Will you trust in your own works and endeavors, your virtues and your good deeds, your prayers and your alms? They will never buy for you an entrance into heaven: they will never pay your debt to God: they are all imperfect in themselves, and only increase your guilt: there is no merit or worthiness in them at the very best. "All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." (Isa. 64:6.)
Will you trust in your own repentance and amendments? "You are very sorry for the past: you hope to be better for time to come: you hope God will be merciful." Alas, if you lean on this, you have nothing beneath you but a broken reed! The judge does not pardon the thief because he is sorry for what he did. To-day's sorrow will not wipe off the score of yesterday's sins. It is not an ocean of tears that would ever cleanse an uneasy conscience and give it peace.
Where, then, must a man go for pardon? Where is forgiveness to be found?
The only way is simply to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior. It is to cast your soul, with all its sins, unreservedly on Christ,—to cease completely from any dependence on your own works and doings, either in whole or in part,—and to rest on no other work but Christ's work, no other merit but Christ's merit, as your ground of hope. Take this course, and you are a pardoned soul. "To Him," said Peter, “give all the prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins."(Acts 10:43.)" Through this man," said Paul at Antioch," is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by Him all that believe are justified from all things."(Acts 13:38, 39.)" In whom, "wrote Paul to the Colossians," we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins."(Col. 1:14.)
The Lord Jesus Christ, in great love and compassion, has made a full and complete satisfaction for sin, by His own death upon the cross. There He offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, and allowed the wrath of God, which we deserved, to fall on His own head. For our sins He gave Himself: suffered and died,—the just for the unjust,—that He might deliver us from the curse, and provide a complete pardon for all, who are willing to receive it.
And now the Lord Jesus is exalted by God the Father to be a Prince and a Savior, to give remission of sins to all, who will have it.
Reader, "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Come to Him this day, with all your sins and wickedness, with all your doubts and fears, with all your feeling of unfitness and unworthiness, and He will not cast you out nor refuse you. He has said it. He will stand to it. He never breaks His word. "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." (John 6:37.)

The Five Go Together

“Verily, 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).
In this verse we have five precious things. Please take particular notice of them.
The Lord puts HEARING first;
then BELIEVING;
then HATH;
then SHALL NOT;
then IS.
Let Us Look at the Verse Closely.
“Have you ‘heard’ the Word?”
“Yes, I have.”
“And believed on Him that sent Him?”
“Yes, I do believe.”
“What do you believe?”
“I believe that God sent Jesus to take my place, and He died for me, and I accept Him as my own personal Saviour.”
“What is the third thing?”
“HATH everlasting life.”
“Then, do you have everlasting life?”
“Ah! Well, but you see that’s just what I cannot say. If I could only feel sure about that point I should be all right.”
“Look here, supposing you owed the rent of a house and couldn’t pay it, and I go and pay every cent of it, and bring you the receipt. What would make you sure as to the rent being paid?”
“Well, the receipt, of course.”
“Quite so, and you would FEEL happy because you KNEW your rent was paid, and should the landlord again demand the rent, you would not speak to him of your feelings, but produce the receipt. God is holding out His receipt to you, and you are shutting your eyes to it, and wanting to FEEL it, instead of reading and believing it.”
“Oh! It is simply believing. I surely do.”
“Then God says, you HAVE, not you HOPE to get. ‘HATH everlasting life’ is His word, and that is not all; you ‘SHALL NOT come into condemnation’ or judgment. That has all fallen on Jesus, and the believer is in Him, and ‘there is therefore NOW NO CONDEMNATION to them which are IN Christ Jesus.’ ” — “You will never stand before The Great White Throne to be judged for your sins; all your judgment was borne by Jesus on the Cross, and He has so settled that question, that God has raised Him from the dead. This is the good news to the sinner.
“The Lord Jesus in the glory is the proof that the debt is paid, and thus you can never come into judgment, for your sins are all gone.
“But that is not all, for we get another thing: ‘IS passed from death unto life.’ You were in a state of death, ‘dead in trespasses and sins’ (Ephesians 2:1). Now you ARE passed from death unto life; it is not WILL pass but, ‘IS passed.’ How glorious! Quickened together, raised up together, made to ‘sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus’ (Ephesians 2:5-6). What a bundle of blessings!”
“These 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” (1 John 5:13).
“I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish” (John 10:28).

Common Objections Briefly Considered

It does not matter what one believes, if only one is sincere.
SINCERITY is good, and could you find it coupled with infallibility, nothing more could be desired. Would you sail on an ocean liner, however well constructed and up-to-date, if her captain's motto was, "It does not matter how one navigates, if only one is sincere"? "No," you would say. "The man may be a first-rate seaman, but he is not infallible, and if he sails under SINCERELY M I STAMEN impressions we go to the bottom.”
Sincerity, then, is good, but it is no Savior; and after all it does matter—very much matter—what one believes, and I will tell you why. Because, what you believe concerning Christ, will adjust your attitude towards Christ—you will receive or reject Him—and upon your attitude towards Christ, the weal or woe of your eternity will depend. “What think ye of Christ? “is still the great question. If you think well of Him you will receive Him, and if you receive Him, God will bless you. (See John 1:12.)
“What THINK ye of Christ is the test
To by both your state and your scheme:
You cannot be right in the rest
Unless you think rightly of Him.”
But what about the heathen?
Do not needlessly alarm yourself. Nothing will ever happen to the heathen that is not absolutely just and right. Abraham asked: "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Gen. 18:25.) Certainly He will!
But why this great concern about the heathen? Is it genuine? In the vast majority of cases, No! but a feeble effort to cover one's own neglect of the gospel and to smother the voice of conscience. If in a land where trouble reigns, such as Russia at the present moment, a proclamation were issued, with a message of forgiveness to both rebel and deserter, do you think that an imprisoned workman in St. Petersburg would be likely to refuse, or ignore the offer, because he could not exactly understand how some deserters in Manchuria were going to be treated?
Friend! allow me to tell you that the destiny of the heathen is no concern of yours.
The destiny of your own soul is; God will judge you in righteousness, as well as the heathen. Beware, lest in that day you miserably perish in your sins.
Why should I be punished for Adam's sin?
To speak thus is to entirely misrepresent the case. You will never be punished for Adam's sin, nor for anybody else's sin, but for your own. Nothing is more plainly stated than this in Scripture: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Ezek. 18:20.) “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." (Rom. 14:12.)
It is perfectly true that Adam's sin-since it was the first sin, the entrance of sin into this world—has entailed certain results upon all his posterity, therefore on you amongst the rest. It is equally true that Christ's death—the culminating point of His obedience—entails great results of blessing. They are for everybody, and the certain portion of those who believe. Rom. 5:12-21, contrasts Christ's work with Adam's sin, and shows the results of the former to be as wide in their scope as those of the latter, and in depth greater. "Where sin abounded grace did much more abound." So in respect of this you really have nothing to complain of.
Why could not God save in some other way than by the death of Christ?
Let us take one thing at a time. First of all, God could not save apart from death, because to save He must settle the question of sin, and "the wages of sin is death." (Rom. 6:23.) Now, death, as a sentence, stands quite alone. In this country we often hear of men being sentenced to so many months imprisonment, or so many pounds fine; never do we hear them sentenced to death, or —anything. Why? Because for death there is no equivalent. Nothing but death can meet death—the wages of our sin. Now the other question: Who shall die? If we are to be saved the victim must be personally spotless, and, further, he must be able to exhaust the judgment and live again. Only One could meet these conditions, and He, the Son of God. For salvation we are shut up, therefore, to the death of Christ. But after all, sinner, this question concerns God, and not you. He can do what He likes without consulting you. Your wisdom is to submit to His way of salvation.
F. B. H.

A Preacher of the Old School

Many preachers are giving up the old ideas about the fall and total depravity of man. People are not often plainly told that they are guilty sinners before a holy God. The sermons of our forefathers — who used to press this so constantly upon their hearers — are looked upon as relics of the dark ages. There is, however, one preacher left of the old school, and he speaks today as boldly as ever. He is not popular, though the world is his parish, and he travels over every part of the globe, and speaks in every language under the sun. He visits the poor, calls upon the rich, and preaches to people of every religion and of no religion, but the subject of his sermon is always the same.
He is an eloquent preacher — often stirs feelings which no other preacher could reach, and brings tears into eyes that seldom weep. He addresses himself to the conscience, and the heart. His arguments none are able to refute; nor is there any heart that has remained wholly unmoved by the force of his weighty appeals. Most people hate him, for many quail in his presence, but in one way or another he makes everybody hear him.
He is neither refined nor polite. Indeed, he often interrupts public arrangements, and breaks in rudely upon the private enjoyments of life. He frequents the shop, the office, and the mill; he appears in the midst of legislators, and intrudes upon fashionable and religious gatherings at most inopportune times. His name is DEATH.
You cannot take up a newspaper without finding that he has a corner in it. Every tombstone serves him for a pulpit. You often see his congregations passing to and from the graveyard. The sudden departure of that neighbor — the solemn parting with that dear parent — the loss of that valued friend — the awful gap that was left in your heart when that fondly loved wife, that idolized child, was taken — have all been loud and solemn appeals from this old preacher. Soon he may take you for his text, and in your bereaved family circle, and by your graveside he may be preaching to others. Let your heart thank God this moment that you are still in the land of the living — that you have not, ere now, died in your sins!
You may get rid of the Bible; you may ridicule its teaching; you may despise its warnings; you may reject the Saviour of whom it speaks. You can get away from the preachers of the gospel. You are not compelled to go to either church or mission room; and you can cross over to the other side of the street if there be an open-air meeting. It is in your power to burn this booklet, and every other tract that comes into your possession.
But what will you do with the old preacher of whom I have spoken?
Dying men and women, consider the prospect that is before you! Your little day will soon be passed — your pleasures ended. After all, “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Pause and consider this matter. Is there not a cause for death? Is it by mere accident that a creature with such powers and capacities should come to so ignominious an end? There is but one answer to these questions, and as long as the old preacher goes on his rounds he will continue to proclaim it. Listen. “By one man SIN entered into the world, and death by sin” (Romans 5:12).
The Fall of Man is no mere theological dogma, but a fearful reality evidenced by the world’s history and our own experiences. Sin is not simply an ugly word in the Bible or on the preacher’s lips; it is a dark universal power which blights the world by its presence. “Death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12). My reader is implicated in this matter. You have sinned; upon you the sentence of death has passed.
One second after your death, it will be of no consequence to you whether you died in a palace or in a cellar, but it will be of eternal consequence the state of soul in which you died. If you “die in your sins,” having spurned the cleansing blood of the Son of God, your doom is sealed. All unbelievers “shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).
Which of the two following epitaphs will be yours?
“DIED WITHOUT MERCY” (Hebrews 10:28), or
“DIED IN FAITH” (Hebrews 11:13).
“O that they were wise  ...  that they would consider their latter end!” (Deuteronomy 32:29).
“The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
“God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). The old preacher never spoke so loudly, or in such solemn tones, as when Jesus went to Calvary. Divine holiness could not make light of sin. The full penalty of guilt — the wages of sin in all its dark and dread reality — passed upon the sinless Substitute. He took our place in death and judgment, that we might have His place of acceptance and favor before God.
You may die unsaved; but you will not die unloved.
What will you do without Him?
When death has sealed your fate,
And the word of doom tolls thru your soul,
That terrible “Too late!”
What will you do without Him?
When the great White Throne you face,
And speechless you stand before Him,
A rejecter of His grace?
You CANNOT do without Him,
There is no other name,
By which you ever can be saved—
No way, no hope, no claim!
Without Him — everlasting loss
Of love, and life, and light!
Without Him — everlasting woe
And everlasting night! (F.R.H.)

Choose Your Colors

AFTER a stubborn and heroic resistance, the city of Limerick was compelled to open its gates to the besieging forces of King William. The articles of surrender were drawn up, and the brave Irish regiments obtained the privilege of marching out with all the honors of war. Then they were to choose whether they would serve in the armies of their conqueror, or follow their allies to France.
It was a gray, October morning, more than four hundred years ago. Beyond the suburbs of the city, on a large, open space, the flags of the two rival nations were planted, at some distance from each other. On the one side the royal standard of England was set up; on the other, that of France.
The plan agreed upon was that the Irishmen, as they marched out of the city, should proceed to this spot, and should then wheel to the right or to the left, and range themselves beneath the flag under which they elected to serve.
At the head of the Irish marched the foot-guards, the finest of their regiments, fourteen hundred strong. On they came, amid breathless silence and acute suspense, for well was it understood that the decision of the first regiment would powerfully influence all the rest.
At length the critical spot was reached, and the guards, in a body, wheeled round to the colors of France, barely seven men turning to the standard of King William.
The next regiment to follow was Lord Iveagh's, and, contrary to all expectation, it marched unanimously to the English side.
Regiment followed regiment. Some turned to the right, and some to the left. According to the choice that each soldier made, his future destiny was fixed.
Has it ever struck you, reader, that YOU have to make a similar choice? You have to make a decision that will affect your future destiny for all eternity. Vast interests are at stake. The everlasting weal or woe of your soul depends upon the course that you decide to take.
To put the matter in a nutshell: You are called upon to decide whether in true repentance and faith you will turn to the Lord, seek salvation at His hands, and be on His side; or whether you will continue unrepentant, unsaved, loving your sins, and serving under the black flag of Satan.
If you are still unconverted, if you have never been born again, if you have never knelt at the Savior’s feet and sought cleansing through His precious blood, then I must tell you the plain truth about yourself: You ARE STILL IN THE RANKS OF SATAN.
In order that you may be on the Lord's side, you need forgiveness. You also need deliverance from the power of besetting sin.
When David asked the young man whose life he had saved, to be on his side in his warfare with the enemy, the young man asked for assurance as to these two things before he gave his promise. "Swear," said he,” that thou wilt neither kill me, nor deliver me into the hands of my master." (1 Sam. 30:15.)
He deserved to be killed, for he had helped to burn and destroy David's city. But he sought forgiveness for this and obtained it. He was also set free from the claim of his cruel master. Then he could take his place definitely and wholeheartedly on David's side.
This is what the Lord Jesus wants YOU to do. He promises you forgiveness for all the sins of your life, if you will but apply to Him for it. In Him, too, you may find deliverance from the iron hand of the besetting sins that have ruled you for so long. Then you can serve under His flag and be on His side.
It is for you to choose. "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve." The Lord's side is the safe side; it is the winning side. Be persuaded to turn to Him, and accept Hire as your Savior. If you do not, even though you may not be what men would call "a great sinner," yet your neglect to obey the call of Jesus is, in reality, a decision for sin, for Satan and for judgment.
H. P. B.

A Last Warning; or "Just in Time"

I was spending the afternoon of the Lord’s Day distributing tracts among a number of miners. The men were enjoying the pure air and sunlight after working all the week in the dark, unwholesome atmosphere of the mine.
I was crossing the last field that separated me from my own garden gate, when I met two young miners coming slowly towards me. I stopped as we were about to pass each other, and selecting two little books from the few that remained in my hand, I held out one to each. Each took the book and thanked me; and one, a fine, strong, healthy, and handsome young man of about twenty-five, stood still and read out the title of his, ‘Just in Time.’
A deep feeling of solemnity crept over my soul, and looking up into his frank, open countenance, I said: “Yes, my friend, and God grant you may be just in time for heaven.”
Going home I prayed, “Lord, save him.”
Tuesday night, I had retired to my room, when a loud knocking at the door made me throw open my window.
“Who is there?” I asked.
“Sir, are you the gentleman who gave a young man a booklet on Sunday afternoon called ‘Just in Time?’”
“Yes, I am.”
“Please come at once,” he said.
Hastily I dressed and went out into the summer’s night, guided by my companion. On our way he told me that his mate had gone down the shaft that afternoon as usual, and had jumped out of the bucket before it reached the bottom and was caught and crushed. His breast bones were broken in, and he was lying there, his friend said, in terrible agony, unable to speak, and just gasping for breath, while his life seemed ebbing fast away.
By the time the young man had finished his story we reached the cottage. There lay the fine strong man, whom I had seen only two days before in the full vigor of health and youth, now absolutely helpless.
He looked fixedly at me as I entered, and tried to speak; it was useless.
“Shall I read with you and pray for you?” He made a low hissing sound, the only approach to “Yes” he could make.
I read to him “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” I spoke to him of the love of God in desiring his salvation and of the efficacy of the blood of Christ to save him. I told him he was lost and ruined by nature, but that Jesus came to seek and to save the lost; that Jesus had been seeking him, wanted him; that having done the work by which sin could be put away out of God’s sight, He could now give the knowledge of the forgiveness of all his sins through His precious blood.
I read to him the story of the father and the prodigal (Luke 15) and also the prayers of the Pharisee and the publican in Luke 18. I repeated this verse, “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).
His face changed; hope lit it up; despair had fled. He signed for a drink, and his wife held the glass of water to his lips. He drank a little, and then to the amazement of all, he who had been unable to utter a sound beyond the low hissing, said in a clear voice, and with eyes lifted up as though he saw the one to whom he was speaking, “Just in time! God be merciful to me a sinner, for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen!”
He had scarcely uttered the last word when his head fell back on the pillow, a little shivering sigh escaped him, and we were in the presence of the dead.
Never shall I forget the scene. To many a one present it was a warning word from the brink of eternity, and God used it for blessing.
“There is but a step between me and death” (1 Samuel 20:3).
“The Lord  ...  is  ...  not willing that any should perish” (2 Peter 3:9).
“Behold, now is the accepted time” (2 Corinthians 6:2). “Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts” (Hebrews 3:15).
“Boast not thyself of tomorrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1).

Infidelity

VOLTAIRE prophesied that at the end of a certain time the Bible would be an exploded book, that it would go out of print, and only specimens be found, relics of a superstitious age.
So much for Voltaire's prophecy. What of fads? His own printing press at Geneva was, after his death, busily employed in printing Bibles, and to-day, long after the expiry of the time of Voltaire's prophecy, there are more Bibles in the world than ever, and it is translated into many more languages than it was in his day.
Thomas Paine wrote the well-known infidel work, "The Age of Reason." The house in which he died in such agony of mind and body was afterward used as a young ladies' school, and the room in which the infidel studied and wrote was for long utilized for a prayer meeting by the young ladies of the school.
The other day. I stood by the statue of Charles Bradlaugh, in Northampton. I am told that Sunday after Sunday a band of Christians preach the gospel close to the spot where it stands, and that many souls have been converted to God under its shadow.
It made me both glad and sad to think of it. Glad to think that infidelity cannot hinder the blessed work of God, glad to think of the gospel being sounded out in clearness and power on such a spot. Sad to think of the dead infidel as beyond the reach of recall. I can imagine eyes glistening with emotion when the story of stories is being told out at the foot of the statue, but no gleam shines in the eyes of the statue. How many ears have rejoiced as the old, old story has been sounded out by men, who have been converted by it themselves, yet the ears of the statue hear not.
But what of Charles Bradlaugh himself? Is he a believer or not now? I assert without a shadow of doubt that he is a believer. If the prayers of his evangelist brother are answered, and at the last he turned in reality to the Lord, then, of course, in the best of senses he is a believer. But oh I the deep remorse that must have seized him as to his propagation of infidelity, if such were the case. But if, on the other hand, he died as he lived, he is now a believer. "The devils also believe, and tremble." (James 2:19.) ALL in heaven believe. ALL in hell believe. On this sad earth alone is found the unbeliever, the indifferent, the careless.
But here lies the whole secret. There is all the difference between believing about a Person and believing on a Person. Christians believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. They believe on, Him "to the saving of the soul." They know Him as a personal Savior. They are cleansed by His blood. They confess Him as Lord. They are sealed by His Spirit. They are happy in His love.
But the one who believes about Christ merely is one whose mind bows to the fact that such a Person existed, assents that He was divine, admits that He died to save sinners on a cross of shame. But they have no personal link with Him, and, with all their knowledge, are only on a par with the demons and those who have believed too late, with this difference, that the great gulf is not fixed for them yet. There is no more terrible description of hell than that it is "the truth believed too late.”
Infidelity is a poor business. It tends to make a man unlovely in life and despairing in death. It helps to make a man hard and cynical until the truths he will not own are burned into his soul when too late.
A. J. P.

Good Night or Good-Bye?

Dr. Langdale of New York tells us of a devoted Christian business-man who was struck by an automobile and was rushed to a hospital. He was informed he had only about two hours to live. His faith was implicit in the goodness of God hereafter. He called his family to him and thus addressed them: “Good night, dear wife. Through sunshine and shadow we have walked together. You have been my inspiration in everything I have undertaken. Many times I have seen the Spirit of God shining in your face. I love you far more than the day you became my bride. Good night, dear, I’ll see you in the morning; good night.”
“Good night, Mary. You are our first-born. What a joy you have been to your father. What a Christian you are, Mary; you will never forget how your father loved you. Good night, Mary, good night.”
“Good night, Will. Your coming into our home has been an unmixed blessing. You love the God of your father. You will continue to grow in every Christian grace and virtue. You have your father’s love and blessing. Good night, Will, good night.”
Charlie was the next. Charlie had fallen under evil influences and grievously disappointed his father and mother. The dying man skipped him and spoke to the youngest child, a beautiful young girl.
“Good night, Gracie. Gracie, you have long been a song of gladness, a ray of light. When not long ago you surrendered your life to Christ your father’s cup of happiness was full to overflowing. Good night, little girl, good night.”
“Good-bye, Charlie.” He then called Charlie to his side. “Charlie, what a fine, promising boy you were. Your father and mother believed you would develop into a noble man. We gave you all the opportunities we gave to the other children. If there has been any difference you yourself must admit that the difference was all in your favor. You have disappointed us. You have followed the broad and downward road. You have not heeded the warnings of God’s holy word. You have not hearkened to the call of the Saviour. But I have always loved you and love you still, Charlie. God only knows how much I love you. Good-bye, Charlie, good-bye, good-bye.”
Charlie seized his father’s hand and between sobs he cried out, “Father, why have you said good night to the others and good-bye to me?”
“For the simple reason that I shall meet the other members of the family ‘in the morning,’ but by all the promises that assure us of a reunion, by those same statements of God’s word I can have no hope of seeing you ‘over there.’ Good-bye, Charlie, good-bye.”
Charlie fell on his knees by his dying father’s bed and cried out in agony of his soul, praying God to forgive his sins.
“Do you mean it, Charlie; are you in earnest?”
“God knows I am,” said the heart-broken young man.
“Then God will hear you and save you, Charlie, and it is good night and not good-bye. Good night, Charlie, good night, my boy.” And he was gone.
Charlie is now a preacher of the Gospel.
The foregoing account of the bright home-going of this dear man was sent to me by a friend, and in passing the incident on, it is with earnest prayer that it might reach the hands of many “Charlies” who are making their way down the broad road to destruction.
“Behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2)
“I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him” (Revelation 3:20).
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3).
Oh do not let the word depart,
And close thine eyes against the light!
Poor sinner harden not thine heart;
Thou wouldst be saved, why not tonight?
Now, if you as a helpless sinner before God, have believed with all your heart, have accepted the Lord Jesus as having suffered on the cross for all your sins and been raised again for your justification, then Christ in Heaven is the One in whom you now stand (Ephesians 1:20, 2:6; Romans 5:2). You have eternal life now (1 John 5:13). You are carried on the Good Shepherd’s shoulders, and He will never let you down until He has you safely home (Luke 15:6).
You have become a fellow member of His body, the true church, joined to the Lord by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13). And now on our way Home, He delights to have all His own gathered unto Himself, “without the camp” (Hebrews 13:13) — in His name alone — (Matthew 18:20) — until He comes to take us all Home to be with Him and like Him, ever in the glory to His eternal praise!
He and I in that bright glory
One deep joy shall share;
Mine, to be forever with Him
His, that I am there.

The Forgotten Monarch

SOME travelers, passing through a desert, discovered a boulder, which had been buried, perhaps for ages, in that sandy wilderness, and had now been partially uncovered by a furious storm of wind. The stone, upon close examination, appeared to be a fragment of some great sculpture or monument.
On searching further they found other pieces of stone, with distinct traces of human workmanship upon them, though some of them were worn smooth by long exposure to the elements and the ceaseless friction of the desert sands.
At last they uncovered what seemed to be the base or pedestal of a mighty statue. Upon it was an inscription, which they carefully copied. The copy was submitted to some eminent scholars, who all declared that the language in which it was written was quite an unknown one.
But after much labor these learned men succeeded in finding the key to this strange tongue, and deciphered the inscription. The words on the huge stone were these:
My name is Ozymandias, king of kings!
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair !
Commenting upon this discovery, a well-known American journal asks:
“Who was Ozymandias? Over what vast realm and multitudinous peoples did this great monarch rule? Where was his capital? Where his court? What were his palaces, his temples, his cities, and the records of his illustrious achievements? Where the works which were to be the despair of coming generations? Alas! The desert, with its sea of sand dunes, and its dreary solitudes, keeps its secret well. Tithe and the elements have blotted him out as completely as though he had never been. His dream of imperishable fame was a vain one.”
As I write these words a contrast forms itself in my mind; a contrast between the forgotten Ozymandias, and Another, mightier than he, who will never be forgotten. For this Other to style himself "King of Kings" is no vain boast. He is that, in very deed.
And what of His works? You may see them on every hand. Creation's wonders are all the work of JESUS. But I speak now of a work more beneficent, more stupendous, more absolutely beyond the power of human strength and wisdom to accomplish than even the work of Creation.
I refer to: The Redemption Work of the Cross.
To call the world into being needed a Creator; to save our guilty souls a Redeemer.
To bathe the universe with light He had but to speak; to bring the joys of heaven to hearts like ours He had to suffer and to die. To hang the stars in space, to spread the sky like a curtain of blue above our heads was an exhibition of marvelous power; to leave His home in the realms of light, and to bear shame and woe for our sakes, was a display of infinite love.
No selfish, vain-glorious work was His, like the works of Ozymandias. He wrought in order that salvation might be made possible for sinners. His work was atoning, vicarious, substitutionary, redemptive. He died instead of us.
That glorious redemptive work accomplished upon Calvary is the only ground upon which we can build a sure and certain hope of eternal glory. If that work is nothing to you, reader, you have no foundation beneath your feet, no anchorage for your soul, no refuge from your sins.
The mighty host of the ransomed, who shall tread the golden streets of glory will, every one of them, be there because of that work.
Happy is the man who, distrusting himself and his own works, turns to the Lord and puts all his confidence in the efficacy of His work.
“Wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others. Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue forever,... they call their lands after their own names. Nevertheless man being in honor abideth not.... When he dieth, he shall carry nothing away; his glory shall not descend after him." (Psa. 49:10-17.)
In contrast to the forgotten works of forgotten men, those who owe everything to the work of Christ, delight to say " I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember Thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all Thy work, and talk of Thy doings.... Thou hast with Thine arm redeemed Thy people. (Psa. 77:11-15.)
The "mighty" of the earth were invited by the inscription on the stone to regard the works of Ozymandias in order that they might despair of ever being able to rival them.
Not the mighty, not the noble, not the righteous are invited to regard the work of the Savior the feeble, the poor, the sinful, the hopeless may plead that work as the means of their everlasting salvation. Not despair, but comfort, peace, assurance, will be the result.
Change the words of the vain-glorious Ozymandias. Make the inscription refer to Calvary. Read the message thus:
My Name is JESUS, King of kings!
Look on My works, ye sinners, and rejoice!
Reader, is the Lord Jesus anything to you? Are your hopes for eternity founded on His work?
H. P. B.

Whither Bound?

(Where Are You Going?)
Passing onward, quickly passing,
Yes, but whither, whither bound?
Is it to the many mansions
Where eternal rest is found?
Passing onward—
Yes, but whither, whither bound?
Passing onward, quickly passing,
Nought the wheels of time can stay;
Sweet the thought that some are going
To the realms of perfect day;
Passing onward—
Christ their leader, Christ their way.
Passing onward, quickly passing,
Many on the downward road;
Careless of their souls immortal,
Heeding not the call of God,
Passing onward — Trampling on the Saviour’s blood.
Passing onward, quickly passing,
Time its course will quickly run;
Still we hear the fond entreaty
Of the ever-gracious One — “Come and welcome,
’Tis by Me that life is won.”
Where are you going?

A Maori Mother's Love

“JUNE 10th, 1886, is a well-remembered day in Rotorua, N.Z.," writes a well-known author. "In the early hours of the morning there was a terrific volcanic eruption. The top of Mount Tarawera was blown away, causing the destruction of the world-famed white and pink terraces, and the death of one hundred and forty persons. The whole of a Maori pah, or village, with its inhabitants was buried forty feet deep in volcanic mud and ashes. In Wairoa eleven persons— Maoris and whites—perished. During a recent visit to the village our guide showed us the ruins of several houses, where some of the inmates were killed.
“At the outbreak of the explosion a Maori woman took shelter in her whare ' (native hut). The volcanic mud fell steadily on the roof, until the strain became so great that it began to give way. The mother's heart was filled with sorrow and anguish at the prospect of losing her darlings. Doubtless she did her utmost to save them. Taking her children in her arms, she knelt down upon her hands and knees, while lower and lower sank the roof, until it rested on her back, and thus next day the relief party found them, the children living, but the mother, whose back had borne for so many hours the awful strain, dead.”
A mother's love is proverbial. Nothing in this world is so strong, so pure and so constant.
There is every reason why it should be so. The child is part of herself. She has reared it from infancy, nursed it, fondled it on her knee, cared for it night and day—no wonder a mother's love is as nothing else in this world, But even this love, wonderful as it is, is as the lighted taper compared with the sun in its meridian splendor, when we think of God's love to sinners.
“GOD COMMENDETH HIS LOVE toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8.)
In the chapter from which this verse is taken we have a four-fold description of those to whom God thus commends His love:
(1) “Without strength,”
(2) “Ungodly,”
(3) “Sinners,”
(4) “Enemies.
Does this description suit you? If so, Christ died for you.
(1) "WITHOUT STRENGTH." It is a fact that we have no strength, though it is not all who will acknowledge the extent of the ruinous depths into which sin has plunged us. Let us apply a test. What can you do towards your own salvation? Nothing. Your religious observances, your efforts to live rightly, your discharge of your family and social duties-all will not avail to remove one single sin or bring you one hair's-breadth nearer God. You are "without strength." Own it, for until you do you will never be ready to accept God's salvation.
(2) “UNGODLY." Many have a mistaken notion as to the meaning of this word. They imagine a man must be outwardly depraved and vile to be ungodly, and that decent religious people cannot be so described. "Ungodly" describes the condition of every unconverted man or woman, however blameless his or her outward life may be. Saul of Tarsus, the chief of Pharisees, was the chief of sinners. With all his zeal for God's service he was godless. When Adam and Eve fell they became ungodly—they lost God. An impassable barrier, so far as they were concerned, was raised between them and a holy God by their sin. That is why God went in search of His fallen creatures, crying, "Adam, where art thou?" "Ungodly," then, is the character of every unsaved man and woman, boy and girl in the land.
(3) “SINNERS." Here we are on ground that none will dispute. There are great sinners and little sinners, as men talk, but all are sinners. If only we knew that one sin in God's holy sight is infinitely worse than ten thousand in ours, we would not draw such distinctions. God says, "There is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:22, 23.) One apple upon a tree proves it to be an apple tree, just as much as if it were laden to the ground with fruit. “The soul that sinneth it shall die "is awfully solemn reading, especially when we know that" after this [death] the judgment.”
(4) "ENEMIES." This likewise is true of every unconverted soul. The Lord drew the line when He said, "He that is not with Me is against Me" (Matt. 12:30); whilst James 4:4, corroborates this in the memorable words, "The friendship of the world is enmity with God." The unconverted man loves the world's friendship and is therefore God's enemy.
What commendation of love is this that when we were in such a helpless, hopeless condition Christ should die for us. God's well-beloved Son to die for God's enemies! To die, to atone for our ungodliness, our sins, our enmity, and thus to turn all such into an occasion of displaying His love to us is indeed sufficient to win our hearts. God's love was displayed at Calvary, at the same time bringing out to the full His righteousness, His holiness and all that He is in Himself.
To appropriate this love you must accept Christ as your Savior, you must come as a strengthless, ungodly, sinful enemy, give up all thoughts of saving yourself, and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ in full simple trust. Thus, and thus only can you receive the blessing God has for you, for it is "THROUGH THIS MAN is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and BY HIM all that believe are justified from all things." (Acts 13:38, 39.) Christ alone is the One, through whom the blessing of the gospel can be received. With Him, you have all; without Him, you have nothing.
A. J. P.

God Speaketh

THE busy iron-working district of B— was rudely awakened, and shocked to hear of an alarming explosion which took place at the B— Iron-works in 1904.
Five men lost their lives, one or two of them being terribly mutilated and killed instantly.
As soon as it became known the whole place was astir. All was done that could be done to alleviate the suffering of those injured; and to comfort those who had so suddenly been bereaved. Before very long thousands of visitors from many parts around flocked to the place, many, alas, only out of idle curiosity, to view the havoc the explosion had wrought.
Why I pen these lines is to warn you, reader, of the danger of neglecting the "Eternal Salvation" of your precious soul.
Time is earnest, passing by;
Death is earnest, drawing nigh:
Sinner, wilt thou trifling be,
Time and Death appeal to thee?
With your sins, death, eternity staring you in the face, let me ask you, Are you ready?
Oh! reader, let me tell you of God's wondrous love; hearken to these words from God's own book: "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly;" and again, "God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:6-8.)
What matchless love, which led Him to die in our stead, that we might be forever blest.
Can't you trust Him, reader? "Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.” (Psa. 2:12.)
F. T.

Take Warning!

A WORD TO THE CARELESS.
WHEN a man is in danger it is an act of kindness to give him warning and put him on his guard: we all know this.
Now I want you to consider whether your sins are forgiven. You have sins, there can be no doubt: your own conscience tells you so.
These sins must be forgiven before you die, or you cannot be saved; and if your sins are not forgiven, your soul is in an awfully perilous condition. In a word, I come this day as a friend to entreat you to take warning.
Your soul is in awful danger. You may die this year; and if you die as you are, you are lost forever. If you die without pardon, without pardon you will rise again at the last day. There is a sword over your head that hangs by a single hair: there is but a step between you and death. Oh, I wonder that you can sleep quietly in your bed!
You are not yet forgiven! Then what have you got by your religion? You go to church; you have a Bible, you have a prayer-book, and perhaps a hymn-book: you hear sermons; you join in services; it may be you take the sacrament: but what have you really got after all? Any hope? Any peace? Any joy? Any comfort? Nothing: literally nothing! unless it is what is worse than nothing, a false peace, a miserable delusion.
You are not yet forgiven! But you trust God will be merciful. And why should He be merciful, if you will not seek Him in His own appointed way? Merciful He doubtless is,— wonderfully merciful, to all who come to Him in the name of Jesus; but if you choose to despise His directions, and make a road to heaven of your own, you will find to your cost there is no mercy for you.
You are not yet forgiven! But you hope you shall be some day. I cannot away with that expression: it is like thrusting off the hand of conscience, and seizing it by the throat to stop its voice. Why are you more likely to seek forgiveness at a future time? Why should you not seek it now? “Behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation." (2 Cor. 6:2) There is great danger in delay. The present only is yours.
You believe there is forgiveness of sins: you believe that Christ died for sinners, and that He offers a pardon for the most ungodly. But what profit is there to you in forgiveness, except you get the benefit of it? What does it profit the shipwrecked sailor that the lifeboat is alongside, if he sticks by the wreck, and does not jump in and escape? What does it avail the sick man that the doctor offers him a medicine, if he only looks at it, and does not swallow it down? Except you lay hold for your own soul, you will be as surely lost as if there was no forgiveness at all!
Reader, if ever your sins are forgiven it must be in this life; it must be now in this world, if they are to be found blotted out when the Lord Jesus comes again. There must be actual business between you and Christ. Your sins must be laid on Him; His righteousness must be imputed to you; His blood must be applied to your conscience, or else your sins will meet you in the Day of Judgment, and sink you into hell, Oh, reader, how can you trifle when such things are at stake! How can you be content to leave it uncertain whether you are forgiven! Surely that a man can make his will, insure his life, give directions about his funeral, and yet leave his soul's affairs in uncertainty, is a wonderful thing indeed.
Well, reader, you may not feel your danger now! You may not see the necessity of seeking forgiveness at once. A time may come when you will alter your mind. The Lord in mercy grant it may not then be too late! Once more I say, Take warning.
J. C. R.

He's No Deid.

I WAS conducting a series of meetings in Aberdeen, Scotland. After dismissing the large audience one evening I noticed that I was being closely followed by a little girl, who kept at my heels like a dog. Finally I turned to her and asked, a little sharply—"Lassie, what do you want? Why are you not away home with the rest of the folk?”
Then, for the first time, I scanned her a little more carefully. First I was attracted by her face: there were evidences that tears had been running down her cheeks. Her eyes were large and hungry-looking, and still filled with tears. She was bare-footed, and bare-legged half-way up to her knees, and her clothes were of the poorest.
When I asked her what she wanted I had fully expected that she would ask for money. "Lassie, what do you want?" I said.
Then the little lassie reached up on her tiptoes and whispered in my ear, "I want to be saved.”
Surprised and startled at the intensity of her words, I drew back.
“You want to get saved?”
“Ay, sir, I do"—oh E so pathetically, and still in a whisper.
“And why do you want to get saved?" Again on her tiptoes she reached up, and whispered in my ear—"Because I am a sinner.”
This was so satisfactory a reason, and by this time the child had so interested me, that I drew her to a seat by my side.
“How do you know you are a sinner? Who told you so?”
“Because God says so in the Book, and I feel it right here"—laying her hand on her breast, as the publican did.
“Well," I said, "do you think I can save you?”
Hitherto she had spoken in whispers, but now, drawing away from me, her words rang out short and clear: “Na, na, man, you canna save me; no man can save a sinner. Only Jesus can save me.”
“Yes, my dear, you are quite right. Only Jesus can save you. What has He done to save you?”
Again her lips to my ear—"Oh! sir, He died for me.”
I do not know why I made answer as I did. "Then He is dead, is He? How can He save you if He is dead?”
The little thing sprang up from her seat. No whisper now, no timid putting of lips to my ear, but her voice ringing out as before: “Man, Jesus is no deid. He died for me but He is no a deid man; He is God's Son Man, did ye no tell us this vera nicht that Go raised Him from the deid? He was deid, but He's no deid noo. Oh! man, I want to get saved." Her voice dropped into the old pathetic tones. “Dinna fash me, but tell me a' about it, and how I can get saved.”
I had preached that night from the text, “Who was delivered for our offenses and was raised again for our justification." Here was a little theologian who had grasped the Gospel with a clearness that I have only seen among, children all of whom, however poor, have been 'taught the Scriptures from their youth. She knew that she was a sinner—she knew that only Jesus could save her. He had died, but God had raised Him from the dead, and now He was able to save.
I need not say that the little one soon went away saved and happy.
“He's no deid. He died for me; but He's no deid." How often these words have come back to me, presenting as they do a living, loving Savior for every sinner on the face of the earth!

Now Is the Day of Salvation.

IN an Oxfordshire village lived an old Christian woman she was greatly troubled about the dark spiritual condition of the place, and prayed persistently for fourteen years for its blessing.
One day two young men preached on the village green. One statement that they kept repeating puzzled two of their hearers. They betook themselves to old Ann, as likely to give an explanation.
“Ann," they cried, "there be two young men preaching on the green, and they do say that 'new is the accepted time; now is the day of salvation.' What be they meaning, Ann?”
Here Was Ann's opportunity. Her answer was not only true but wonderfully graphic. Her desire for the spiritual blessing of her questioners quickened her, faculties, and the answer shows the true heart-longing of the winner of souls. Ann replied: "If you believe on Jesus NOW, and died to-night, you would be in heaven to-morrow; but if you did not believe in Jesus, and died to-night, you would be in hell to-morrow.”
There was no Mistaking the plain English of the answer. One of the women weighed it over, and trusted the Lord Jesus without delay the other woman, who asked old Ann the question, put off deciding. Two weeks later she was returning from her work in the fields, intending to light her fire, boil the kettle, and have an early cup of tea. Alas! the fire was never lit. The cottage threshold was scarcely reached when a neighbor saw her stagger up the little garden path, and fall prostrate to the ground. She ran to her help, but before further assistance could be obtained and the poor woman placed upon her little sofa in the small kitchen, she had died. So far as our knowledge goes she made no profession of having trusted the Savior, and thus she passed into eternity.
Beyond the inexpressibly sad warning contained in this incident, and the bare possibility of my unconverted reader dying to-night and being in hell to-morrow, ay, and sooner than that, our desire in bringing this incident before you is to press upon your acceptance the truth of God's own words:
“Behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation." (2 Cor. 6:2.)
God offers to save you on the spot. Sometimes people will tell you they are waiting for God's time. They cannot do that. It is an impossibility. If God promised to save you five minutes hence you could wait God's time, but when He says, "NOW is the accepted time," you cannot wait for NOW. Oh! that the loving importunity of a Savior-God would lead to a wise and instant decision.
And I will tell you why "Now is the day of salvation." Because the Savior has died. Because the work of salvation has been gloriously and perfectly accomplished—the work whereby God can in righteous grace save the vilest sinner who puts his trust in Jesus.
Just as in the parable the servants were instructed by the King to say, "My oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage," so we, as servants of God, can say, Jesus has died, atonement has been made, all things are now ready, come and trust the Savior. You will find that if you accept God's time and offer He will accept you, for did not Jesus say, "Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out"? If you make NOW your day of salvation, and "died to-night," in old Ann's graphic words, "you would be in heaven to-morrow," ay, sooner than that, for did not the Savior say to the dying thief, "To-day shalt thou be with Me in paradise"?
And if you really trusted the Savior to-day, and there is no reason why you. should not, and every reason why you should, and you lived for many years to come, then you would have the "joy and peace" that believing gives, peace as to your guilty past, peace as to your certain future, joy in the knowledge of the Savior, joy in the prospect of being with Him and like Him forever.
Oh! close in with God's proffered mercy, is the writer's earnest advice, and do it NOW.
A. J. P.

A Friendly Warning

AMERICAN railway companies, though business-like and very progressive, have in one respect earned a bad reputation. The loss of life upon their systems yearly reaches alarming proportions. One of the greatest factors contributing to this state of things is the large number of level crossings throughout the country, and the free-and-easy manner in which the American public has accustomed itself to stroll about the line.
At a crossing in a certain town accidents were of such terrible frequency that the railway company, desirous of reducing them to a minimum, offered a valuable prize in competition to the person who sent them in the best notice for cautioning the passer-by—the notice to be brief, terse, and arresting.
The winner sent in the following:
STOP!—LOOK BOTH WAYS !!—LISTEN!!!
There is another kind of disaster which occurs with awful frequency, not only in America but in England, too. I refer to the death of a sinner in his sins.
Your death will be a solemn event to the small circle of your acquaintance, and to YOU intensely solemn, however it happens. But if you die in your sins, what tongue can tell the terrors of that hour!
One tongue has told it. That of Jesus, the Son of God. With a heart full of pity and compassion, He unveiled the truth: “The rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments." (Luke 16:22, 23.)
But are people really traveling on to this? Am I? Yes, really. See them marching unconcernedly on to the "level crossing" of death, there to be cut down by the swift expresses of God's judgment.
What shall we do? Let us, in God's name, uplift the notice:
STOP
You cannot stop the swift flight of a lifetime, or the ticking of the great clock of time, but you can pause and consider. Think! my reader. I beseech you, THINK! The devil does not want you to think. He carries you on in a perfect whirlwind of business, care, and pleasure. But is it well with your soul? Are you right with God? Be assured of this:
THERE IS A GOD ABOVE YOU, AND YOU MUST MEET HIM.
THERE IS A RECORD LEFT BEHIND YOU, AND YOU MUST FACE IT.
THERE IS AN ETERNITY BEFORE YOU, AND YOU MUST SPEND IT.
LOOK BOTH WAYS!!
Behind, at your sins; ahead, at the long ages of eternity. Look beneath you, into the pit of hell, with its terrors for the impenitent soul; above you into heaven, the abode of God and of Christ, and of all that is good and bright, and holy, and happy. Look not only at the allurements and pleasures of the world; look at them by all means, for if you look long enough you will see through them, and discover their vanity and emptiness; look also at the life of the Christian, not a life of ease, doubtless, but a life of peace, and rest, and holiness, and joy. The Christian sings:
“Oh! the peace My Savior gives;
Peace I never knew before,
All my life has brighter grown,
Since I learned to trust Him more."
Having looked both ways,
LISTEN!!!
to the gracious gospel message, without any addition of mine, straight from the fountain of Holy Scripture.
“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.)
"God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8.)
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." (Acts 16:31.)
F. B. H.

Too Late!

Too late! too late! I have lived for this world; you have to live for heaven.”
SUCH were the words of William B—, as he lay upon his dying bed.
He had lived a religious life, attended his church, and was known as a well-respected citizen of his town; but now he was about to pass out of time into eternity.
News came one morning to his sister that he was ill and wished to see her. Let us hear the story from her own lips: “I went and saw him, and found him sitting in an armchair, talking freely to one of his brothers of the things of this world. I spoke to him about his soul, but he would not listen; he turned the conversation into another direction. I felt very sad at heart, and after a few hours left. A few days later I received a letter, saying he was very ill. Again I went, and saw him for the last time. He was now in bed. His daughter and friends sat round his bed. I could see he was going.
“I again spoke to him about his soul, and to my horror those awful words rang from his lips, 'Too late! too late! I have lived for this world; you have to live for heaven.'
Oh, father,' said his daughter, do not say that. You have been a good man. You have always gone to church. You are all right.' Ah!' said he, I know I am not all right. You have to live for heaven.'
“I spoke to him of the dying thief; how at the eleventh hour he got the forgiveness of his sins. I told him of the love of Jesus; how He bled and died for guilty sinners. But without effect. My time was gone, and I had to leave him; never to see him alive again.
“In a few days I received a wire to say he was gone, unconscious at the time of his death.
“Oh! how solemn. When I think of his mother's prayers, it makes my heart ache.”
Let us draw the curtain over this awful picture, and concern ourselves about your soul, while still for you this is salvation's day.
Let me bring before you three indisputable facts, and with them ask you three plain questions:
(1) YOU HAVE TO DIE—but when?
(2) YOU HAVE TO MEET GOD—but how?
(3) YOU HAVE TO SPEND ETERNITY—but where?
You admit that you don't know the day of your death, but at the same time, you do not think you will die just yet. Beware, lest God should say to thee, "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee." (Luke 12:20.)
Supposing He should, what about our next question? You have to meet God—but how?
Ah! those sins of yours, those secret ones will all have to come out there. You may have been like poor William—attended your church, done good, given your money to the cause, taught in the Sunday-school, possibly preached to others, and yet never faced things with God. I mean in plain English, you have never repented, and God says, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3.)
But what about our next question? You have to spend eternity—but where? for you have either to spend an eternity in heaven or in hell.
I came across a man the other day who said there was no hell. That did not prove that there was none! A bad life is the strongest reason for wishing to deny its existence. Listen to the solemn words of Scripture: “In hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments." (Luke 16:23.)
Oh! that God would give you to see, reader, what a wonderful Savior Jesus is, that you may never be heard to cry those awful words, "Too late! TOO LATE!”
“Turn and believe, this very hour,
Trust in the Savior’s grace and tower;
Then shall your joyous answer be:
Saved through a long eternity!”
E. W.

Confess Him

COOKING the very picture of melancholy, a young woman remained upon her seat at the close of a gospel meeting, evidently wishing to be spoken to.
A Christian friend was soon at her side, and in reply to his inquiries she told him what her trouble was. She was not an unconverted sinner, anxious to be saved. Nor was she exactly a backslider, seeking restoration. Her unhappiness arose from the fact that she was making the terrible mistake of trying to be a secret Christian. Months before she had put her trust in the Lord, but had never confessed Him.
“Oh, sir," she exclaimed, "you are the first person whom I have told.”
No wonder she was unhappy. To be a secret believer is to be a miserable one.
Reader, are you a believer in Jesus? Have you come to Him for cleansing in His precious blood? Then make no secret of it. Ask God for courage to confess Him boldly as your Savior and your Lord.
H. P. B.

Are You Sure?

IN a Surrey village I had a conversation with I an elderly woman as she stood in the doorway of her cottage home. It sprang from my having given her a tract entitled, "The Way to Heaven," and it all hinged upon the salvation of her soul.
She evidently followed a very common form of religion. "I have always tried to do my best, and follow what is right, and I hope to be saved in the end.”
I urged that in a matter of such magnitude it would never do to rest content with an "if," a "maybe," or a "hope.”
Her only answer was an uncertain shake of the head, with the words, "The older I grow the more doubtful I get.”
We were not discussing the trend of events in the political world, or the developments of scientific thought, or even the possibilities of to-morrow's weather. Had we been I should have applauded the old lady's remark to the echo. We young folk get inflated ideas as to our knowledge and capacity, and become cocksure about many things. We live a few years and are not so sure. We lose a little bounce and gain a little wisdom. Quite right, too Man is such an uncertain creature, and this world so full of changes, that he who feels SURE about most things possesses more credulity than cleverness.
No! As I have said, the conversation hinged upon God, upon Christ, upon the way to heaven, and the salvation of the soul. All was mist and uncertainty with her. How is it with you Possibly you, too, are prepared to speak with great assurance on a thousand and one points of every-day life, but I ask about your soul, and eternity, and you have nothing to say, save that you don't know, and that you strongly suspect that nobody can know!
With me, things are just reversed. I learned many things as facts when at school. Some have since turned out not to be facts, and I have had to unlearn them. The worst of it is I don't know how much more I may not yet have to unlearn. I am not sure.
I have taken up a newspaper now and again, and seen chronicled in its pages something about which I have personal knowledge. It has often been inaccurate, sometimes very much so. I read, but I am not sure.
But if you ask me about my soul and my destiny, then I am one of many, who are prepared to look you in the face, and say, "I KNOW.”
The fact of the matter is that my schoolbooks were written by a man; the newspapers are edited by 'men; but the gospel about Christ is A MESSAGE FROM GOD, and if God speaks then we may know, and no mistake!
Has God spoken? Indeed He has. Listen! "God ... hath ... spoken unto us by His Son." (Heb. 1:1, 2)
In the name of Jesus the apostles went out and preached. About their words, as recorded for us in the inspired pages of Holy Scripture, there is a ring of certainty. Let us take three examples.
People ask distractedly to-day, "Where is salvation to be found? To whom shall we go? Is it to priest, or pope, or preacher? Or does some place possess a monopoly of life and blessing?”
Let us hear God speak by His servant Peter: "Be it known unto you all.... that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by Him cloth this Man stand here before you whole.... Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:10-12.)
Where, then, is salvation to be found? In Jesus Christ alone.
Another inquiry is often made: "How is salvation to be obtained? Am I to work for it or pray for it, or am I simply to do my best, and trust all will come out right in the end? or what?”
Let us hear God speak by His servant Paul:
"Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by Him all that believe are justified from all things." (Acts 13:38, 39.)
How, then, is salvation to be obtained? By faith. "All that believe" receive the blessing. Yet again it is asked, "For whom is salvation? Is it for a special class, who have reached a certain standard, or is it for anyone and everyone? Is it for ME?”
Let us hear God speak again by His servant Paul: "Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it." (Acts 28:28.)
For whom is salvation? For Gentiles, for outcasts; for those who really need it. If you need it, for YOU.
Let these three rays of light from God's Word shine into that dark heart of yours, befogged though it may be with doubt and fear. God speaks that you may, not feel, or hope, or think, or conclude, but KNOW.

Was It a Dream?

SOME seven or eight years ago there lived at Klerksdorp, Transvaal, two young men, boon companions, godless, indifferent characters, imbued with infidel teachings, scoffers at Christianity.
Suddenly, without warning, one of them was gripped by the icy hand of Death, and hurried into eternity, there to face the reality of things at which he scoffed on earth.
I will repeat the story as it was given to me.
“The survivor was greatly moved by the sudden termination of their friendship in such a manner. One night, very shortly after his friend's sudden death, before undressing, he lay down on his bed, and gave himself up to thoughts of his mode of life and of his late companion, when, to his horror, close alongside his bed, he saw an open coffin containing the body of his dead friend. As he gazed in terror upon the vision he saw the corpse open its lips, and one word fell distinctly upon his ears—burning into his soul like a red-hot branding-iron—one word only—' HELL'—and the vision faded.
“Terror-stricken and conscience-pricked, the poor fellow realized that Hell ' was no myth, and that he as a sinner, a helpless, hopeless sinner, stood trembling on the edge of that terrible abyss; and such was the effect of that awful visitation that for a while afterward many thought him deranged.
“Not long afterward a wondrous light burst upon his soul; he heard the good news that a Mighty Arm was stretched out to save him; that Jesus, the sinner's Savior, had borne the consequences of his sins, and was ready now, aye, and eager, to snatch him from the awful peril in which he stood. With joy this soul, prepared so remarkably, turned to Him, and was safely sheltered from judgment beneath that strong Arm. With heart filled with joy and peace, he thanked God for the terrible experience that had opened his eyes.”
My reader may give a contemptuous shrug of the shoulders and say, "It was only a dream." Perhaps it was, perhaps not; one thing is certain-it was a warning from God.
The warning was heeded, and this precious soul was snatched as a brand from the eternal burning. To-day he lives as a testimony to the saving power of his Savior.
Reader, the One who saved that man wants to save you. “The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10.)
You may despise and forget God's warning now, but when “the dead, small and great, stand before God," memory will be a silent but terrible witness.
"'Remember,' like a peal of thunder falls
Full on the ear. The stubborn knee bows down,
And like the corn before the reaper lies,
Prone at His footstool all, while prayers arise.
Alas! too late, for Justice with a frown
Turns from their cry, and loud on vengeance calls.”
Be wise. Heed God's warnings, and you, too, may rejoice in His salvation.
C. J. B.

Consider This!

WITHOUT controversy, Shakespeare is the most widely-known and popular poet of all time. A keen student of human nature, his observations are well worth close attention.
It is most evident from his writings that he had a knowledge of the gospel, and was familiar with the letter of Scripture. For instance, the following clearly shows that he did not share the far too common and fatal delusion that doing the best we can, turning over a new leaf, striving to reform, being religious is sufficient for the salvation of the soul. He wrote:
“CONSIDER THIS—
That in the course of justice none of us should see salvation.”
I would that all, who think that doing the best they can is sufficient, would, in the words of the poet, CONSIDER THIS !!!
Besides which, to be honest, no one "does their best." The majority are driven halfheartedly to do certain things, such as a weekly attendance at a so-called place of worship, if it is not too hot, or cold, or wet. Such go as a duty. And the little thus done is far short of doing one's best. Is it to do one's best to put a three-penny piece into the collection-plate because it is the smallest silver coin? Away with such a delusion as doing your best.
Besides which, suppose you did do your best; suppose you gave a five-shilling piece, because it is the largest silver coin, instead of a three-penny piece because it is the smallest, would that earn you heaven? Why, five shillings would not procure the best seat at an opera for a single night, and you hope to win a blissful eternity by such things. Moreover, your best would be stained with sin; besides which "God requireth that which is past." (Ecc. 3:15.)
"Doing your best" no more meets the strict requirements of justice than the promise to steal no more would prevail upon the judge not to sentence the thief; or the promise of committing no more murders would prevail upon the king to pardon the murderer. Such a line of argument is neither lucid nor workable in this world, and you may rest assured that it won't answer in the next.
No, said Shakespeare, if it is a question, of justice, "none of us should see salvation.”
Do you want salvation? Then you must look for mercy. Christ was sent into this world "to give knowledge of salvation unto His people, by the remission of their sins, through THE TENDER MERCY of our God." (Luke 1:77, 78.)
Yes; not strict justice, but tender mercy is what you need. Strict justice is what your sins deserve; tender mercy is what your soul needs; and without it Shakespeare tells us truly that “none of us shall see salvation," not even the best of us.
One last remark, but it is most important that you should grasp the significance of it if you would enjoy peace with God. Why should "the tender mercy of our God" be expressed through the Lord Jesus? He Himself precludes all other channels when He says, "I am THE Bread of Life" (John 6:35); "I am THE Door" (John 10:9); I am THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life "(John 14:6). Why, then, should there be only one channel of blessing, one Person through whom it must come.
“Consider this I "Mark well the answer. Because GOD'S tender mercy must be founded on strict justice, and thus only through Christ's bearing all the full weight of God's wrath upon sin, only through His satisfying all the claims of holiness could tender mercy come to us." Grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."(Rom. 5:21.)" There is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12.)
A. J. P.

Eternity

ETERNITY—how vast the thought! No human mind can scale its height, nor tell its length and breadth and depth. It never ends. It is THE GREAT FOR-EVER.
What is this life of ours when compared to Eternity. It is but the rain-drop in the ocean, it is gone in a moment. Gone, forgotten—and Eternity remains.
Yet, solemn thought, O soul of man, throughout Eternity—so boundless—thou wilt exist, but where?
In thought we take our stand upon some eminence. Beneath we view the unserried ranks of all the sons of men passing onward with steady tread. No step backward is taken, no retreat-ever onward. To what bourne are they pressing? ETERNITY.
But as we gaze upon that solemn scene—upon those multitudes pressing onward to the great For-ever—we see them part, that mighty army is divided, and in two columns now it goes—ever onward. To what bourne do they travel? ETERNITY. But in Eternity will there be division? Shall not men of every clime and faith commingle in one scene of bliss? Shall not the drunkard and the debauchee, the Christ-rejector and the godless, join hand with martyrs and with saints? Nay! not so, for look again at yonder marching crowd.
The steps of one vast company are upward. Upon the way they tread there shines the steady light of heaven; joyously they march, for the end of the way is assured to them.
Look well upon the other company. Their road, alas! is downward. Upon their pathway, between the fitful gleams of pleasure's sunshine, dark shadows fall—the shadows of a lost Eternity. And as we gaze upon these companies we learn the destination of the one is HEAVEN; of the other—HELL.
Reader! on which road do you travel, and where will you spend ETERNITY?
“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matt. 7:13, 14.)
J. T. M.

Too Sure

STANDING side by side in the workings of a certain coal-mine were two workmen. One was a young man; the other a. few years his senior.
It was a half-holiday, and as the time to cease work drew near the young man said to his mate, "I am going to the races to-day, and I'll take good care that nothing stops me.”
“Don't be too sure," replied his companion, who was a Christian.
Making a light, flippant rejoinder, he turned to resume his work. About five minutes afterward that young man was a corpse. He had scarcely got back to his work when a fall of coal and rock killed him on the spot.
How awfully solemn to be hurled into eternity in a moment, unprepared, without Christ. He boasted but a few minutes previously, "take good care that nothing stops me." What an answer to his empty boast!
Reader, how is it with you.? Have you taken heed to that short, solemn message:
“PREPARE TO MEET THY GOD"?
If not, listen. There is only the brittle thread of life between you and a lost eternity.
May God wake you up to realize the uncertainty of life, and the positive certainty of judgment, if you die in your sins.
Thank God, it is still the day of His grace.
Salvation is still offered you, then why not—
“Come to the Savior now!
He ready stands to bless,
He bids thee nothing bring,
Only thy guilt confess!

“No anger fills His heart,
No frown is on His brow,
His mien is perfect grace,
He bids thee trust Him now!
Come! Come! Come!”
F. T.

A Theater Audience Sings the Glory Song

ON a recent Saturday night a London minister was announced to take part in a play, described as "that extravagant but ever popular farce, The Swiss Express," in the Crown Theater, Peckham.
He openly said that his purpose was not to advertise himself, but his church. He has succeeded in doing the former at any rate, for his extraordinary appearance as an actor in a farce on a Saturday night as a means for getting an audience on a Sunday night has made him notorious.
Appearing on the stage at 10:50 P.M., he addressed his audience, making a few humorous remarks, when a fustioned laborer in the gallery roared out, "Give us the Glory Song, sir.”
The reporter says: “Immediately the strong voice of the black-garbed man behind the footlights responded. 'When all my trials and labors are o'er,' he commenced. The baton swung to the chorus,
Glory, glory, that will be glory for me.' The pit and gallery started it; the dress circle was dumb for a few minutes, then began to look ashamed of its abstention, and presently plunged wholeheartedly into the song. The orchestra stalls succumbed next, and the boxes could not help themselves, and presently the whole theater was engulfed in the chorus. Altogether it was the most remarkable performance ever seen in a London theater.”
It is no lack of charity to say that probably with few exceptions all in that audience were unconverted. If anyone cares to dispute this statement, let him take his stand outside any theater, and ask as many as he can the all-important question, "Are you converted to God?" and he will be convinced of the truth of our assertion. And any stray Christian in the audience would not be an earnest, bright, right-minded Christian, you may be assured.
Can you not imagine, then, the awful mockery of men and women, some under the influence of drink, some whose lives would bring the blush to the cheek, many, mere pleasure-hunters, unconverted men and women, singing—
“And when by His grace I shall look on His face,
That will be glory, be glory for me!”
A couple of lads were singing this chorus in the streets not long ago. A Christian turned round and asked them the question, "Will it?”
“Will what?" they asked.
“Will seeing His face be glory for you?" was the response.
They walked on, laughing scornfully and rudely at the question. They were utterly careless.
That you will see His face goes without question. God says you will. If you care to prove this, turn up Rev. 1:7 in your neglected Bible. When the unconverted man sees His face it will not be "glory" but "wailing" for him.
Would that " the whole theater... engulfed in the chorus [of the Glory Song] could be brought to think seriously of the lie that was upon so many singers' lips that night.
If they had sung the truth, they would have sung the lines something like this:
When by His might I shall stand in His sight,
That will be WAILING, be WAILING FOR ME.”
How else will a sinner in his sins meet the Savior, whose grace he has spurned?
We are not going too far when we say that there will be a very rude awakening in such cases.
None will find it "glory" to look upon the Savior’s face but those who have been converted. Will you? And I would as soon go to a haystack to find a needle as go to a theater to find a true Christian.
A famous converted actor's striking testimony is, that in his unconverted actor days, when any of the profession were dying he noticed they took care to send for a minister, who did not patronize them. Does this not, speak volumes?
The other day I knew of an utterly unconverted man singing a solo in a church on a Sunday evening: "I know that my Redeemer liveth.”
Oh! the mockery of unconverted lips singing such words in a church, or singing the “Glory Song" in a theater—it matters little which.
Men and women may sing thus, but the testing time will come, and how will the Savior speak?
The following lines may be seen on a tombstone in Germany. How applicable they will be to many! Alas! that they should be. We warn you that they may not suit your case.
“THUS SPEAKETH CHRIST, our Lord, to us,
Ye call Me Master, and obey Me not;
Ye call Me Light, and see Me Not;
Ye call Me Way, and walk Me not;
Ye call Me Life, and desire Me not;
Ye call Me Wise, and follow Me not;
Ye call Me Fair, and love Me not;
Ye call Me Rich, and ask Me not;
Ye call Me Eternal, and seek Me not;
Ye call Me Gracious, and trust Me not;
Ye call Me Noble, and serve Me not;
Ye call Me Mighty, and honor Me not;
Ye call Me Just, and fear Me not;
IF I CONDEMN YOU, BLAME ME NOT.”
We beg of you, unconverted reader, to turn to God in real repentance of soul, and trust the Lord Jesus as your Savior. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." (Acts 16:31.)
Then you can join with us in heartily and thankfully singing the chorus:
"When by His grace I shall look on His face,
That will be glory, be glory for me.”
It will be "glory" for the believer to look on the face of the Savior, but "wailing" for the unbeliever. Which will it be for you?
A. J. P.

An All-Prevailing Custom

O you see anything lacking in this imperial show? "asked one citizen of another in the midst of the splendors of a Roman festival.
“Yes," replied the other," it lacks permanence.”
The same must be said of every form of happiness that the world can offer. The brightest joys of earth are darkened by the shadow of this fact: they will have an end.
This must be so, for the simple reason that the persons to whom the enjoyment pertains have notice to quit. They belong to a race of dying men. The most long-lived is but a brief sojourner in a land that will soon know him no more.
No skeptic or agnostic can call in question the fact that death is here. No kingly power can hold it in check. Fool and philosopher, monarch and menial, old and young, fall in turn before its onslaught.
Long years ago a young nobleman determined to "turn religious," and, after the fashion of those days, sought admission to the famous monastery of Bernard of Clairvaux. His father, enraged at his action, threatened to fire the building at each corner and burn it to the ground, if his son did not return. At length, after much pleading in vain, the young man said he would consent to return on one condition.
“Tell me what your desire is, and you shall have it," said his father.
His son replied: "In your domains there prevails a very ancient custom: if it were not in vogue I would settle there willingly.”
The old man, ready to do anything to regain his son, swore by all that he held dear to abolish the custom, ancient though it was, if he would consent to come back with him.
“Well, my father," said the young man, "the custom to which I object is that the young die as well as the old. Till this custom ceases, I will not return to your domains.”
Well might the young nobleman wish to fly from the country where such a custom held sway! But how vain the desire! No monastery walls could shelter him from death! He might, with as much reason, have tried to fly from his own shadow!
Reader, this same custom prevails in the town or village where you live. Nor can you discover a corner on earth where the custom of dying does not exist. You may choose for your abode the town with the lowest death-rate in the land; you may regulate your diet and habits in accordance with the latest teachings of science; but you cannot shut your eyes to the fact that death will one day knock at your door, and that you will have no means of preventing its entrance.
“An unpleasant thought!" you exclaim. Most men find it so. When Louis XIV asked what a certain building was which he saw from his palace windows, one of his courtiers replied: “Sire, that is the Church of St. Denis, where your royal ancestors lie buried.”
The king immediately gave orders for another palace to be planned with an entirely different outlook. He could not endure to live in sight of an object that reminded him of his frailty.
Does it not strike you, reader, that what is most urgently needed by our death-stricken race is a refuge, which death can never touch, and where joy does not lack permanence?
Thank God, there is such a spot. It may be described and summed up in a word— CHRIST. The Son of God is no stranger to death. He has tasted to the full its bitterness. But because of Who and What He is, He triumphed over its power. The life which He lives to-day is altogether beyond the range of death. The wonder of it all is that it has been made possible for others to live in that life of His! His death has opened the way for His risen life to be shared by countless thousands. And it is a fact that at this moment there are multitudes on earth upon whom death has no power. Their sojourn here may be at any moment cut short. Their bodies may be laid temporarily in the grave "until He come." But already they have commenced to live a life which is eternal, which does not belong to this world at all, and upon which death can never intrude.
Happy people! Their joy does not lack permanence. They no longer belong to the country where the custom of dying prevails! They can gaze upon mausoleums and graveyards without a qualm of fear striking their hearts.
This blissful way of life is open to you. In Christ, if you will come to Him, you will meet a Deliverer from the reign of death, and One who will introduce you into God's world of life and glory, and unceasing joy.
Would you know more of this? Then take your Bible. Read Heb. 2:14, 15; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15;
John 5:24, 25.

Insured Forever

I WAS traveling lately with a friend from London to the North of England. The train was about to start when a gentleman got into the carriage. A friend, who had just bidden him farewell, came back and said, "By-the-bye, have you got an insurance ticket?" "Oh, yes," said the gentleman, "I am insured.”
My friend turned to him and said very quietly, "Are you insured forever?" The gentleman looked up surprised, but answered (not at all understanding what was really meant), "No, I only insure for a year at a time." "But I," said my friend, "am insured forever." Still misunderstanding, the gentleman replied, "Oh, yes, I know you can do it by one payment, but it costs a great deal." My friend answered, "Yes, mine was done by one payment, and cost a great deal indeed. It cost me nothing, but it cost God His Son.”
I thought as I listened, How simple and how beautiful is the gospel of the grace of God "It cost me nothing, but it cost God His Son." Can he resist such a message of love as that? Yes, alas the heart of man rebels against, the free love of God, though that love could only find its full expression in giving up to death and judgment His own beloved. Son, that the poor, unlovely and unloving sinner might be saved.
Now that there could be no misunderstanding what my friend meant the gentleman at once turned away angry, and did not want to hear more.
A short time afterward I said a few words to him, but he replied that it was out of place to speak of those things in a railway carriage. Out of place to speak of Christ anywhere! I asked him, if an earthly friend had done him some service of immeasurable value to prove his great love for him would he think it out of place to speak of him anywhere? and yet he thought it out of place to speak of the One who had left the glory of God to become a Man, and bear death and judgment for poor lost sinners. Could any earthly love bear comparison with that? But he only turned angrily away, and said he did not like my conversation. Such is ever the heart of man. They "saw no beauty in Him" when He was in the world, and they see no beauty in Him now.
And now, reader, let me turn my friend's simple searching question upon yourself. "Are you insured forever?" Are you obliged to say No, when the "one payment" has been made, sealed in the Savior’s blood, and that Savior the Son of God, who became a Man for you? If you were going to-morrow on a railway journey, you would not hesitate to insure your life, and by the payment of a few pence insure a thousand pounds for your nearest relations if you were killed. But how little do you think of those solemn words, "After death the judgment." The world will promise you a thousand pounds for your relations, if you die, upon payment of a certain sum; God offers you eternal life without any payment at all from you. "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Yes, it is all through Him, and at what a cost! In my friend's words, "It cost God His Son." Oh, what love,! what immeasurable love, mercy, and grace! And all may be yours by believing on Him, whom man has rejected, and whom God has glorified. That is what God owns and honors now, and that alone; faith in Him whom this world cast out. That indeed is to be "insured forever," and none need wait for death to get the benefit of it. Eternal life is yours the moment you in truth believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life." (John 6:47.) A. P. G.

Why Did She Stop Them?

THE mourning coaches were returning from the cemetery when a lady suddenly stepped out from the group of bystanders, and motioning to the driver to stop, approached one of the coaches and began to talk to the occupants.
Her action, not one of every-day occurrence, had a reason for it. That lady had the true welfare of the mourners at heart, and seized the opportunity of speaking a few faithful words to them as to their readiness for eternity. Reminding them that the one, whose body they had just left in the grave, had during her lifetime trusted in the Savior and been washed from her sins by His precious blood, she pressed home the question: Had they done the same? Were they ready to be called away?
Were they? We cannot tell; we did not hear their reply. But the question that concerns us now is, Ave you? Are you washed from your sins of crimson dye? Are you saved from the danger to which those sins have exposed you? Are you right with God?
Not only has death to be reckoned with, but another fact stares you in the face, namely, that the Lord Jesus Christ is coining again, according to the Scriptures. Never was His coming so near as at this moment.
If He came to-night, there would be no salvation for you to-morrow. It is offered you now in Christ's name. How will you treat His message? Will you accept it or refuse it? Accept it now and you are saved Refuse it: you may be lost! "To-day if ye will hear His voice harden not your heart," through unbelief and indifference, for God wants you to be saved, hence he points you to the Lord Jesus Christ and to His finished work, and says, "Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed."
R. B.

One Hundred Years Ago

ONE hundred years ago today Lord Nelson died. Just in the moment of his supremest triumph he was mortally wounded in the breast by a sharpshooter in the rigging of a French ship. Covering his face and decorations with his handkerchief that the crew might not be disheartened, he was borne into the cockpit. Life was fast ebbing. Strength was going. He was past medical aid.
One hundred years ago to-day his last words to the chaplain were:
I have not been a great sinner. Thank God, I have done my duty.”
Let us take these two sentences, and see what they mean. "I have not been a great sinner." There is little comfort in saying this on a deathbed. For, reflect! It is not a question of being a great sinner or a little sinner, but—A SINNER. The Scriptures do not say, "The soul that sinneth greatly it shall die"; but "The soul that sinneth it shall die." The law does not say, "The man that committeth many murders shall be hanged"; but "The man that commits murder shall be hanged." One leak may as effectually sink a ship as many. One sin led to the expulsion of our first parents from the Garden of Eden.
Do you think then that little sinners go to heaven and great sinners go to hell? Who is to draw the line? Who is to adjust the sliding scale that separates between what is too good to go to hell and too bad to go to heaven?
Nelson said feebly with his dying breath, "I have not been a great sinner." A few more beats of the heart, and all was over so far as this world was concerned. His ears heard not the thanks of the nation. His was no triumphal home-coming. But his was the solemn entrance into eternity, the meeting God to whom the triumphs of war are as nothing. How did he stand with GOD? Was he right with HIM? Alas! we have no satisfactory answer to give; but of this we are sure that just as Nelson entered into eternity a hundred years ago to-day, so he is—to-day—and FOR ETERNITY.
Reader, where will you be one hundred years to-day? I write these lines to warn you. Face the matter—the most important and far-reaching question you can ever settle. Whether you be a great sinner or a little. Sinner, you need Christ. The vessel sinking with one leak needs the lifeboat just as much as the one who has several holes knocked in her bottom. You cannot do without the death of Christ. The precious blood alone can cleanse you from all sin. If you are ever to sing the glories of the Lamb in heaven you must enter not as a great sinner or a little sinner, but as a sinner saved, a sinner cleansed, a sinner redeemed.
One look to Christ will assuredly secure all this and more for you. He died for all-therefore you. He calls upon your trust. He invites your faith. He says, " Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matt. 11:28.)
A Christian employer of labor, who took a deep interest in the souls of his workmen, knew that one of them was anxious to be saved.
He wrote a note to him, saying, “Dear James,— Please come to the office at 6 o'clock —I want to see you. Yours truly,
At the specified hour James knocked at the door of his master's office. "Come in," said his employer, and in he stepped. Taking no notice of him for some time, he at last said, “Why have you come?”
The man, in astonishment, said, “Why, this letter, sir, told me to come.”
The master bent over his desk, and, writing on a piece of paper, handed it to the anxious man, saying, "Attend to that letter, James.”
The workman read the beautiful, familiar words: "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
A few moments of silence passed; then, with a sob and a catch in his voice, he said to his master, “Do you mean to say, sir, that I have to attend to this message just as attended to yours?”
“Exactly," was the answer.
“Then, I’ll come," was the response; and on the office floor, there and then, the anxious man trusted the Lord Jesus Christ, and experienced the rest that He promised to those who should come. Coining simply means believing or trusting.
Lord Nelson's last words to the chaplain were, "Thank God! I have done my duty." Doubtless he was thinking of the glorious victory he had just won, and that king and countrymen would say that he had done his duty. "England expects every man to do his duty" was the well-known signal, and he felt he had done his. But what of his duty to GOD? That is the important point. Miss that, and you miss all.
“Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole DUTY of man." This was the text inscribed on the coffin of an aged Unitarian years ago—a man who had stoutly derided the atoning value of the precious blood. Alas he thought that he had feared God and kept His commandments. Now none have fully done that; hence the necessity of the work of Christ.
Why the most outwardly blameless man that ever lived, Saul of Tarsus, had to write of the law that it had convicted him inwardly. The law possesses more than Röntgen rays of research. Outward blamelessness is not sufficient: inward purity is what the law demands. The very struggles men make to stifle their passions, and walk correctly, affords abundant proof of their sinner ship. The Apostle Paul wrote: "I had not known sin, but by the law for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”
Ah! just because I have not done my duty I have cast myself upon God's mercy and trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ. Be warned, dear reader, of the uncertainty of life. Nelson died in the moment of his victory; Sir Henry Irving died half-an-hour after one of his triumphs on the stage. You may die before this day closes.
"Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Cor. 6:2.)
“Through His name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission of sins. (Acts 10:43.)
If I died to-night my last words might well be, "I have been a great sinner; alas! I have not done my duty; but, thank God, Jesus died for me, and God forgives and saves me on the ground of what He has done.”
As a rich south country squire wrote:
“I am a poor sinner, and nothing at all,
But Jesus Christ is my all in all.”
Thank God, that is sufficient. Can you say it?
A. J. P.

The Last Act in the Drama

IT was a shock to many people to receive last Saturday morning the news that Sir Henry Irving, England's greatest actor, was dead. He had passed away at 11:30 the previous evening, a few minutes after reaching his hotel and within half-an-hour of his leaving the stage. Before the curtain fell he had said with much feeling, "I do commend my cause to God.... Into Thy hands, O Lord; into Thy hands." These, the last words of Becket, were the last to be spoken on the stage by the great actor. A few minutes later and the curtain of death had fallen, and so ended the earthly life of a remarkable man.
Thousands mourn his loss. The stage has lost its most prominent ornament and the theater-going public an old favorite. How full of real tragedy such an event is! And how it brings home to each one of us the fact that we are one and all mere players of a part in the great drama of life. We pass in and out amid rapidly changing scenes, and very soon the drop scene of death will fall and hide all from view.
The players are made up of two classes only, saved and unsaved. Many eyes are intently watching the acting from three worlds: Heaven, Earth, Hell. The various parts are being daily and nightly performed under the gaze of these anxious onlookers. The results of the acting will be known very quickly; to those who are saved by grace, when they appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10); to those who die impenitent and unforgiven, at the great White Throne. (Rev. 20:12.)
These two gatherings may be called the examination days of life's doings for the whole of humanity. What a wonderful change would take place in the lives of the actors if only these two days were kept in view! It is a tremendous fact that we are all shaping our characters for eternity. It is impossible to think, say, or act without impressions being made upon the life, which must tell in after days. If a believer leads a selfish life and does not move here at the impulse of the Holy Spirit, he will certainly suffer loss at the judgment seat of Christ.
The mass of unbelievers will be terribly awakened at the Great White Throne, for there each life, as lived on earth, will pass rapidly before the soul's vision like a living, moving panorama. Notice the words which describe the scene: "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God: and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." (Rev. 20:12) Be it ever remembered that God is an accurate book-keeper and will not make a single mistake.
Why was man brought into being? Surely that he might know and love God, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom He has sent. (John 17:3.) The salvation of man is bound up in the Lord Jesus Christ, inasmuch as there is "None other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12.) It is awfully solemn to think that those who die unprepared to meet God have missed the great end of life. To live and die without Christ will cause millions to wish that they had never been born. There will be no pleasures in a lost eternity.
Most certainly Sir Henry Irving will never charm and attract an audience again as he was wont to do on earth. In perdition no such pastimes will be known, and, assuredly, they will not be wanted in glory. The things that have distinguished men here are unknown there. I have often thought how the fanciful dreams of multitudes will be disappointed. These dreams present a soul-deceptive picture of a good time coming, when friends, relatives, and associates of earth will again mingle in everlasting union and pleasure. Alas! alas!! how delusive is the picture! The truth is that heaven and all its blessedness is the very opposite of hell and its torments. In the former is light, joy, gladness, singing, pleasures for evermore; in the latter, darkness, misery, despair, woe, weeping, and gnashing of teeth.
It is a fact that no living artiste has been more successful than Madame Patti. If she dies a Christless death, which may God forbid, she will never sing again. Thousands in all parts of the world have listened to her charming voice with breathless attention. But in the lost world there is no singing, and in hell all melody will be hushed forever.
Reader, are you ready to meet God? If not, halt! pause! consider! The old saying is true: "Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people." There cannot possibly be any happiness or heaven for anyone who is not fitted for them here. Unless you have Christ as your soul's portion now you cannot know Him, much less be with Him, after your life is taken from the earth.
“There are no pardons in the tomb,
And brief is mercy's day.”
Permit me a last word. Are you saved? If not, flee at once to the open arms of love. Jesus waits to save and bless you. Tarry not. This is salvation's glorious day. Come to Him. He will in no wise (by no manner of means) cast you out. His own word says it.
E. M.

Whose Fault?

THE time fixed for the departure of the train was at hand, and the passengers on the up-platform at Heaton Chapel Station were waiting to be conveyed to Manchester.
Almost at the last moment a gentleman appeared on the platform at the opposite side of the station. Perceiving his mistake, he leaped down upon the rails and ran across the lines to join the group of waiting passengers on the up-platform.
Immediately afterward an express dashed past. It was a close shave. The gentleman had escaped being cut to pieces only by a second or two.
A friend of mine, who was standing on the platform, stepped up to him and said: “Suppose that express had knocked you down and killed you, what responsibility would belong to the railway company”
“None, I suppose," replied the gentleman; "it would have been my own fault.”
“Quite so," said my friend,” for they have provided a means of crossing (pointing to the steps), which you did not avail yourself of. There would have been no one to blame but yourself had you been cut to pieces.”
The speaker then pointed out that God's great judgment express is on its way. Sin must meet with the doom that it deserves.
But those who are overwhelmed by that terrible day will have no one to blame but themselves. God has provided a way of escape. He gave His Son to be the Sin-Bearer, and to make atonement for hell-deserving sinners. Faith in Him is the way of safety. Those who deliberately neglect this great salvation will be overtaken by irretrievable disaster, and it will be entirely their own fault.
All that God could do He has done. All that He could give He has given.
He has not only provided a way of salvation, but He has warned men of the danger of attempting to cross the rails in any other way.
The responsibility rests with you, reader, to avail yourself of God's merciful provision.
“He that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death." (Prov. 11:19.)
"Whoso despiseth the Word shall be destroyed." (Prov. 13:13.)
Reader, be wise. Get the great question of your soul's salvation settled at once by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
H. P. B.

The Way of Salvation

IN one of the Yorkshire towns the other day I a great show was being held. On the walls all over the town pointers were posted bearing these words, “This way to the show." Now no one could possibly make a mistake after reading one of these. And if anyone had asked me on that day the way to the show, I should simply have told them to follow the directions on the walls. So God's pointers are so plain and simple that you need make no mistake about them, and to these I wish to direct you.
In answer to the inquiry of Thomas as to the way, Jesus replied, "I AM THE WAY." (John 14:6.) Don't make any mistake here. Jesus did not say—a way, but the way.
“Oh! but," says one, " we are all aiming at the same place, and it matters little which way we take." Possibly you are aiming at the same place; but it is salvation you need, and apart from that the place you are aiming at will have no room for you.
For salvation you are shut up to Christ Jesus. "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12.) This is decisive. This is God's truth in contrast to your opinion, and if you are wise you will cease to seek salvation in other ways, and flee to Christ at once.
God has linked the salvation of sinners with the glory of His worthy Son, and never will one sinner be saved apart from Him.
J. T. M.