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Christ the Good Shepherd.
OU that were here last night may remember that I was talking about what Christ was to us. I did not finish that subject, and want to take it up again. I want to speak of Christ now as our keeper. Many people in the inquiry rooms complained that they could not hold out; they commenced all right, but could not hold out. Of course they could not if they tried to do so themselves. But, thank God, they had a keeper. A man, when asked what persuasion he was, replied that he was the same as St. Paul was, and he said: "I believe that he is able to keep that which is committed to him." That is a good denomination, and I recommend it to your attention. What is this keeping; what does it consist of? If one of you had $100,000 in your pocket, and knew that fifteen or twenty thieves had their eyes on you, and wanted to rob you, what would you do? You would find a safe bank, and put it in there and feel safe. Now, every one of you has a precious soul, which the devil is striving to rob you of, and you cannot be safe until you have given it into Christ's keeping. The lion of the tribe of Judah is the only one that can safely keep us. What does the Word say? "I am the light of the world; if any man follow me he shall have the light of life." Why are so many of us in darkness? Because we will not follow the light-will not follow Christ. It does not matter who it is; a man of talent and intellect is no better than any one else if he does not walk in the light. I remember during the second year of the war, when things looked very bad for the country, they had a meeting, and every one spoke gloomily and hung their heads like so many bulrushes. One old man, though gray-bearded and with a face that literally shone-he was a man who looked like Moses-and he commenced to upbraid them that they did not look toward to the light; that they should remember that if it was dark around them it was light higher up, where their elder brother was, and it only rested with them to climb higher. There is no darkness where Jesus is. Let us ask ourselves, let each one ask, "Am I a light in my family, among my companions?" The Word said: "Ye are the light of the world.” Are you, brethren? Just consider over it. Let us keep our loins girded and our lamps burning, or people will stumble
Oh, my friends, if the light in us be darkness, how great is that darkness. If we would light the world up we must borrow the light; we must take no glory to ourselves, but merely reflect the light of Jesus Christ. The Bible does not say, 66 Make your light shine before men," but "Let your light shine." Let it shine, What a concession to them, such sinners as they were. God supplies us with it for the asking. Oh, my friends, will you not ask for it? And when you once have it, hundreds of thousands of others will see it and want it as well. Keep your lower lights burning, as Mr. Sankey has sung to you. Now I also like to think of Christ as a shepherd. The duty of a shepherd is to take care of his sheep. When a bear attacked David's flock, he seized his spear and slew the intruder, and your shepherd will take as much care of you. Oh, what joy in the news to those who can say, "the Lord is my shepherd." Think of the shepherd carefully counting his sheep at the close of the day; one is missing; what does he do? Is he content with his ninety and nine, to leave the missing? No, he safely houses the others, and then goes in search of the one which is missing. Can you not see him hunting for the lost one; going over mountains and rocks and crossing brooks, and what joy there is when the wanderer is found. Oh, what a shepherd is that. He wants to be a shepherd to all you here to-night. Will you not accept Him? The man who saw a shepherd calling his sheep by name, wondered if he could tell one from another, they all looked so much alike. When he enquired on the matter he was pointed to several little defects on the sheep; one had a black spot, another a torn ear, another a bad toe; one was cross-eyed, and so on. You see the shepherd knew his sheep by their defects, and I think it is so with our heavenly Father. He knows us all by our defects; and yet with all our faults He loves us. You may ask, if He loves me, why does He afflict me? Well, now, I once saw a drove of sheep looking very tired and weary, being hurried on by a shepherd and his dogs, and when they wanted to stop and drink at a brook by the wayside they were not allowed to, but driven on. I felt that it was very unkind of that shepherd; but by and by they stopped before a pair of handsome gates, aad the flocks were turned into beautiful green pastures, with a clear stream running through them. Then I knew that I had been hasty; that the shepherd had not been unkind, but kind, in not allowing his sheep to drink from that muddy stream in the road, for he had been saving them and taking them on to something better. So with our heavenly Father, our Shepherd; He is compelled to afflict us sometimes while leading us into green pastures. Oh, brethren, let us give thanks that we have such a good shepherd to guide and protect
us, and though these afflictions may come upon us and seem hard at the time, let us remember His great mercy and loving kindness, and bow and kiss the rod. Let us look to God for His blessing.
"Ile heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth."-Mark x., 47.
WHAT means this eager, anxious throng,
Who is this Jesus? Why should He
Jesus! 'tis He who once below
'Jesus of Nazareth passeth by."
Again He comes! From place to place
Ho! all ye heavy-laden come!
But if you still this call refuse,
What shall I do to be Saved?
R. MOODY said his sermon should grow out of the question of the jailer to Paul and Silas : What shall I do to be saved?" A man out of position always wanted to know what to do to get his bread. How to get one's heavenly bread was more important. What shall a man do to be saved? Why, just believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. A man is not saved by doing. The sinner is not under the law but under grace-the full, forgiving grace of Jesus. Salvation is a gift. It can't be earned. A man will not be saved at all except by taking this priceless boon as a gift. The Christian would then work for God, because God had saved him. Faith without work was dead, but works were the fruit and not the seed of God's Gift of salvation. A guilty sinner should have the glad news dinned into his ears over and over again. Just let him accept Christ, and He saves him. If any poor sinner would just believe this he could be saved before the benediction was pronounced. The Philippian jailer was saved, with all his house, that first night on meeting the apostle. Oh, would not some dying soul catch hold of the offered salvation! A man just going over the rapids of Niagara would see death just an instant off, and would cry out, "Help! help!" with all his force. Would, then, the apathetic soul within him be silent? God forbid ! Might God show the poor blind eyes the yawning gulf ahead! Seize the hand of Christ! Lay hold, that is all. He will do the rest. He comes right down to you in your chair there, and entreats. Let Him save you! His pleading voice sounds in your ears! O, turn not away! Christ's ability to do all things was unquestioned. He could save as easily as He said, let there be light. And He was as willing as able. Every obstacle, then, was out of the way, and all that was needed was just self-surrender. Eternal life was the awful prize. Oh, look and live ; lay hold and be saved. An aged woman, fallen into a pit, had exhausted every means to get out, but slipped back farther and farther after every effort. A star caught her gaze as she lay resigned to death at the bottom. Fainting away she still saw the star in her sleep. She awoke, and the star meant to her the salvation of Christ, and right then and there she caught hold of Jesus' love, and lo! her limbs carried her right out of the pit.
She had taken the Lord's hand, and, as he always will, He lifted her up, even from the death of this world. Could not the saving hand be taken by every one present? They should not be content with mere trying to be Christians. Trying won't do. A decisive act of the will was needed, and then prompt obedience to the new resolution. Only let them resolve to take the water of life, and then put the cup at once to their lips. The drowning man seized the slab of wood as soon as he saw it. He didn't say, "I'll try," but he just seized hold. God's free gift was to drowning sinners. To-night would they not take God at His word, and become Christians? Some might answer they were too sinful, but it was just the sins that needed forgiveness. The drunkard, the open blasphemer, the worst sinners, were precisely the ones that needed Jesus most. The well didn't need Him. A certain man who had cursed more of his neighbors than any hundred men together in the country, was saved by a single lecture from the speaker. It didn't matter, the poor blasphemer was told, if he had even cursed his wife and children at every meal, and cursed the mother who bore him, if he would just get down on his knees and cry for pardon; that just like the thief on the cross, the worst sinner was God's beloved Son, and could be saved if only he would be. And that man took Christ at His word, and he is now a pillar of the church. Like a little child, let them cry out in bitter repentance, and just like a child believe the absorbing words, "Thy sins are forgiven thee." Jesus was the way of life. Oh, would not thousands press into the way of heaven that very night? The gate was yet open. Hasten ere it close.
"To-day if ye will hear His voice."—Psa. xcv., 7.
Ye wand'rers come;
To-day the Saviour calls:
The Spirit calls to-day: