Page images

regained an intelligent utterance; but when at length his lips found language, he reached back to Sinai for authority, solemnly repeating these awful denunciations : i The soul that sinneth it shall die.” “ Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them.” He then proved, from her own confession, that she had sinned, not only once, but innumerable times. He told her of the conclusion at which the Searcher of Hearts had arrived, viz. :that the thoughts of our hearts are “evil, only evil, and that continually.” He warned her that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked," and assured her, upon the authority of the Word of God, that “ The evil one goeth about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour:” asserting that he had evidently gained her ear, into which he now breathed the lie, so pregnant with eternal woe - Thou shalt not surely die!” My mother, as she felt the shifting of the sands beneath her feet, shed a torrent of bitter tears; while my father, who evidently longed to comfort her, still persevered in endeavouring to deepen the impression produced. He proved to her the enormity of sin by the price which had been paid to expiate it—the blood of the Fellow of the Almighty, without whom was there not anything made that is made; and before whom we accounted as the small dust of the balance; who was the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person: even is blood-of the value of which no estimate could possibly be taken-was shed as the propitiation of the sin of the world, in other words, of this rebellious dust. Thus my father very justly argued, and then bastened to attract her attention to the hope set before her in the Gospel. He told her that though she was assuredly a great sinner, she had yet a greater





Saviour, who was able and willing to save all who come unto him; and urged her to pray unceasingly for pardon through his merits. «Seek the saviour,” said he," and secure eternal life. Remember how much and how long you have neglected your soul; and how short the time that remains to do so great a work in---the work of eternity! Oh! pray to God, pray earnestly, pray unceasingly, and He will accept of you; for he delighteth in mercy, and is able and willing to save.”

My father ceased; the time of his departure had arrived, and, in inexpressible grief, they parted.

The result of this conversation was, that dear mother was thoroughly awakened. She no longer believed in the safety of her present state. She now knew that she was a sinner, and in danger of losing her soul; that she needed a Saviour, and that such a Saviour as she needed was provided. Thus far had my dear father, with the blessing of God, succeeded. But, alas! he failed to make known to her the good news which alone could at once fill her distressed mind with peace and joythe truth that she had an interest in that Saviour's blood--that, indeed, he had died for her. There was no necessity for her to remain in this anxious state a single hour. It was the will of God that she should come to the knowledge of the truth and be saved. (See 1 Tim. ii. 4.) “ To-day!” “Now," the Saviour desired it, and the sinner too, and yet it was not accomplished.

We will try to discover very plainly the reason of this. We see that there was much in


beloved father's teaching that was really excellent; for it was partly from the unerring and blessed word of God. Whenever that word had been used, it had effected that for which it was sent, according to the promise. Thus we find that the loud thụnders of Sinai had awakened her, and showed to her the danger she was in. From this had arisen the desire to flee from the wrath to come. Every false refuge and hiding-place she had been driven out of; their sandy foundations being carefully detected and exposed to her view. Hence arose the desire for a sure refuge. This was also pointed out to her to be in Christ. But how was she to realise that refuge ? At this period comes in a darkening of counsel, which obscured the finished work of the Lord Jesus, as finished for her. Alas, it was not yet told her—JESUS DIED FOR THEE! All the amount of knowledge she had gained respecting the Saviour was, that He was willing and able to save; and that they who gained the ear of God in prayer, obtained the pardon of their sins for the sake of His merits. Thus she formed the decision of persevering in

until she so procured an interest in the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, so obtained the love of God. This great work she determined upon making the chief aim of her life, and thus held out to herself the forlorn hope of yet obtaining, by that means, the favour of God. Oh, that she had been told at once that “ God is love;" and that, as he is an infinite God, so is his love infinite love; and if infinite, or boundless, therefore reaching her. That Jesus died not to procure the love of God for us; but, on the contrary, was sent by the God of love, on purpose to gratify the infinite desire of his own heart of love, to save sinners ! 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.” That Jesus tasted death for every man, and therefore for her; and that he commanded this Gospel, or good news, to be proclaimed to "every creature," and therefore to her; and that nothing remained on her part, but to know this good news, and believe it to be-that



which it really is-TRUE! That he died for her, and, in dying, did enough for her salvation. For the unerring wisdom of God would not, and did not, provide an insufficient ransom. That he pronounced himself “ well pleased” with his own provided ransom-our great sub tute-his Son, the Lamb of God, who bore the sin of the world. Moreover, that God now declares, in his own word, respecting us, that he “will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth,” (1 Tim. ii. 4). That truth which alone saves the soul—the TRUTH ABOUT JESUS!

But my dear father, following a well-beaten byepath instead of the king's highway, wherein the wayfaring man, though a fool, need not err- —the “way”—Christ Jesus !-urged my mother to begin, on her part, the work which, as he might have told her, Jesus declared with his dying breath to be finished,now more than 1800 years ago! And had she, catching at a common error, argued, “ But that was his work—mine remains to do;” he could have replied, Jesus had no work to do—but thine, poor sinner, and that he finished on Calvary. Oh, rejoice, therefore, and be exceeding glad; for a propitiated God now beseeches thee to be reconciled to him, even he who bruised Jesus as a rebel, that he might welcome thee as an adopted child; for “it pleased the Lord to bruise him," in order that “with his stripes we might be healed," see Isaiah liii. 5-10. Take up the language of Luther, and exclaim, “ Jesus Christ, I am thy sin, thou art my righteousness;" or, in the aptness and beauty of Scripture, say to him, “ Thou art the chief among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely!”. "My Lord and my God!”

Again, my father besought my mother to pray for pardon, instead of publishing to her the proclamation of forgiveness of sin through Christ. So did not Paul at Antioch, when he thus preached Christ: “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, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.”—Acts xiii. 38, 39. Or before Agrippa, when, quoting the words of the cominission that he had received from the Lord Jesus, he said, “That they may receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance amongst them which are sanctified by faith that is in me." -Acts xxvi. 18. Or at Corinth, when he declared, “ Christ died for our sins.”—1 Cor. xv. 3. So did not Peter before the hig hpriest and council, when he said, “Him hath God exalted with his right hand, to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance unto Israel and forgiveness of sins.”—Acts v. 31.

My father incited my mother to seek the Lord; but overlooked the far more cheering and gladden-: ing announcement, that he was seeking her. the Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”—Luke xix. 10. “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God ?" 2 Cor. V.

Oh! what wondrous condescension-- God beseeches us !

My father begged my mother to secure eternal life, instead of making known to her the recordthat “God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.”—1 John v. 10, 11. He directed her to find it, at one time in prayer, and at another time in her Saviour. There was confusion in the directions, instead of the straightforward, simple truth about Jesus. In fine, had he but excluded

« For

19, 20.

« PreviousContinue »