Puslapio vaizdai
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up and down those streets homeless. But four years ago he had a beautiful and happy home with his wife and children around him. They are gone, probably he will never see them again. Perhaps he has come in here to-night. If he has, I ask him: Is not the way of the transgressor hard? Is it not hard to fight against Him? Do not go against your Maker. Don't believe the devil's lies; don't think God is a hard master. If you persist in wrong-doing, you will find out the truth of what was said to Saul, “It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.” Look again at that rum-seller. When we talk to him he laughs at us. He tells us there is no hell, no future-there is no retribution. I've got one man in my mind now who ruined nearly all the sons in his neighborhood. Mother and father went to him and begged him not to sell their children liquor. He told them it was his business to sell liquor, and he was going to sell liquor to every one who came. The place was a blot upon the place as dark as hell. But that man had a father's heart. He had a son. He didn't worship God, but he worshipped that boy. He didn't remember that whatsoever a man soweth so shall he reap. My friends, they generally reap what they sow. It may not come soon, but the retribution will come. If you ruin other men's sons, some other man will ruin yours. Bear in mind God is a God of equity; God is a God of justice. He is not going to allow you to ruin men and then escape yourself. If we go against His laws we suffer. Time rolled on and that young man became a slave to drink, and his life became such a burden to him that he put a revolver to his head and blew his brains out. The father lived a few years, but his life was as bitter as gall, and then went down to his grave in sorrow. Ah, my friends, it is hard to kick against the pricks. You may go out of the Tabernacle laughing at everything I say, but it is true as the God in heaven that the day of retribution will come. It is only a question of time. See that false-hearted libertine! The day is coming when he will reap what he is sowing. He may not be called to reap it in this world, but he will be brought up before that bar of heaven, and there the harvest will be seen. These men who have got smooth, oily tongues go into society and play their part, and still walk around. If a poor woman falls, she is ruled out, but these false-hearted libertines still go up and down the world. The eyes of justice may not find them out. They think themselves secure, but they are deceiving themselves. By and by the God of heaven will summon them to give an account. They say then that God will not punish them, but the decree of heaven has gone forth, "Whatsoever a man soweth so shall he reap."

One week ago I preached on the text, "Christ came to heal the broken-hearted." I told you just before I came down that I had received a letter from a broken-hearted wife. Her husband one night came in, to her surprise, and said he was a defaulter and must fly, and he went, she knew not where. He forsook her and two children. It was a pitiful letter, and the wail of that poor woman seems to ring in my ears yet. That night, up in that gallery, was a man whose heart began to beat when I told the story, thinking it was him I meant, till I came to the two children. When I got through I found that he had taken money which did not belong to him, intending to replace it, but he failed to do so, and fled. He said: "I have a beautiful wife and three children, but I had to leave her and come to Chicago, where I have been hiding. The Governor of the State has offered a reward for me." My friends, a week ago this poor fellow found out the truth of this text. He was in great agony. He felt as if he could not carry the burden, and he said, Mr. Moody, I want you to pray with me. Ask God for mercy for

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me." And down we went on our knees. I don't know if ever I felt so deeply for a man in my life. He asked me if I thought he should go back. I told him to ask the Lord, and we prayed over it. That was Sunday evening, and I asked him to meet me on the Monday evening. He told me how hard it was to go back to that town and give himself up and disgrace his wife and children. They would give him ten years. Monday came and he met me and said, "Mr. Moody, I have prayed over this matter, and I think that Christ has forgiven me, but I don't belong to myself. I must go back and give myself up. I expect to be sent to the Penitentiary: but I must go." He asked me to pray for his wife and children, and he went off. He will be there now in the hands of justice. My friends, don't say the way of the transgressor is not hard. It is hard to fight against sin, but it is a thousand times harder to die without hope. Will you not just accept Christ? Take Christ as your hope, your life, your truth. Let us prav

JESUS! full of all compassion,

Hear thy humble supplicant's cry;
Let me know thy great salvation:
See! I languish, faint, and die.

Guilty! but with heart relenting,

Overwhelmed with helpless grief
Prostrate at thy feet repenting,

Send, O send me quick relief!

Naaman.

We

E have for our subject this evening "Naaman.” are told in this chapter that we have just read that he was a great man, but he was a leper, and that spoiled him. He was a successful man, yet he was a leper; he was a very valiant man, but he was a leper; he was a very noble man, yet he was a leper. What a blight that must have cast on his path. It must have haunted him day and night. He was a leper, and there was no physician in Syria that could help him. It was an incurable disease, and I suppose he thought he would have to go down to the grave with that loathsome disease. We read that several companies had gone down to the land of Israel and brought down to Syria some poor captives, and among them was a little girl, who was sent to wait on Naaman's wife. I can imagine that little maid had a praying mother who had taught her to love the Lord, and when she got down there she was not ashamed to own her religion-she was not ashamed to acknowledge her Lord. One day, while waiting on her mistress, I can think of her saying, “Would to God your husband was in Samaria. There is a prophet there who would cure him." I can imagine her looking at the girl when she said this: "What! a man in Israel can cure my husband; you must be dreaming. Did you ever hear of a man being cured of the leprosy ?" "No," the girl might have said; "but that is nothing. Why, the prophet in Samaria has cured many persons worse than your husband." And perhaps she told her about the poor woman who had such an increase of oil, and how her two boys were saved from slavery by the prophet; and how he had raised the child of that poor woman from the dead, and "if the prophet can raise anybody from the dead he can cure your husband." This girl must have had something about her to make those people listen to her; she must have shown her religion in her life; her life must have been consistent with her religion to make them believe her. We read that Naaman has faith in her word, and he goes to the king and tells him what he intends to do. And the king says; "I will tell you what I will do. I will give you letters to the king of Israel, and, of course, if any cure is to be effected, the king will know how to obtain it." Like a great many men now-a-days, they think if there is

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anything to be got it is to be got from the king and not from his subjects. And so you see this man starting out to the king of Israel with all his letters and a very long purse. I cannot find just now how much it was, but it must have been something like $500,000. The sum was a very large one likely. He was going to be liberal. He was not going to be small. Well, he got all his money and letters together and started. There was no small stir as Naaman swept through the gates of Syria that day with his escort. He reaches Samaria, and sends a messenger to the king announcing his arrival. The messenger delivers the letter to the king, and the first thing he does is to open the letter and begin to read it. I can see his brow knit as he goes on. "What is this?" he exclaims. "What does this mean? This man means war. This Assyrian king means to have a war with me. Who ever heard of such a thing as a man cured of leprosy ?" and he rent his mantle.

He

Everyone knew something was wrong when the king rent his mantle, and the news spread through the streets that they were on the eve of a war. The air was filled with war; everybody was talking about it. No doubt the news had gone abroad that the great general of Assyria was in the city, and he was the cause of the rumors, and by and by it reached the prophet Elisha that he (the king) had rent his mantle, and he wanted to know the cause. When he had heard what it was he just told the king to send Naaman to him. Now you see the majorgeneral riding up in grand style to the prophet's house. probably lived in a small and obscure dwelling. Perhaps Naaman thought he was doing Elisha a great favour by calling on him. He had an idea that he was honouring this man, who had no influence or position. So he rides up. A messenger is sent in to announce Major-General Naaman, of Damascus. But the prophet doesn't even see him. He simply tells the servant to say to him: "Go and wash in Jordan seven times." When the messenger comes to Naaman and he tells him this, he is as mad as anything. He considers it a reflection upon him-as if he hadn't kept his person clean. "Does the man mean to insinuate that I haven't kept my body clean-can't I wash myself in the waters of Damascus ? We've much better water than they have here. Why, if we had the Jordan in Syria we'd look upon it as a ditch. The idea-wash in that contemptible river." He's full of rage as he can be: and he said; "Behold, I thought." That's the way with sinners; they always say they thought. In this expression we can see he had thought of some plan, had marked out a way for the Lord to heal him. That is the way with nearly every man and woman in Chicago. They've got a plan drawn out, and because God does not come and save

them according to their plan, they don't take Him. Keep this in mind, "My ways are not your ways, nor my thoughts your thoughts." If you look for Him to come in that direction, He will come the other way. "My ways are not your ways." He thought. My friends, no man gets into the kingdom of God till he gives up his thoughts. God never saved a man till he gave up his own thoughts and took up God's. Yes, Naaman thought that the moment the prophet knew he was outside he would come out and bow and scrape, and say he was glad to see such a great and honourable man from Syria. Instead of that he merely sent out a messenger to tell him to go and wash in Jordan seven times.

When we were in Glasgow we had an employer converted, and he wanted to get a man in his employ to come to our meetings, but he wouldn't come. If he was going to be converted he wouldn't be converted by those meetings. You know when a Scotchman gets an idea into his head, he is the most stubborn man you can find. He was determined not to be converted by Moody and Sankey. Like a good many here, they say, "If I'm going to be converted, I ain't going to be converted down in that old tabernacle." The employer talked to this man, but couldn't get him to come. Well, we left Glasgow, and got away up to the north of Scotland-in Inverness-and he sent this man up there on business, thinking he might be induced to go into the meetings. One night we were singing "On the banks of that beautiful river," and he happened to be passing, and wondered where the sweet sounds were coming from. He came up finally, and I happened to be preaching that night on the very text, I thought.' He listened, and soon did not know exactly where he was. He was convicted: he was converted and became a Christian. "I thought," how many people have said, "I'd never be converted by these meetings;" "I'll never be converted in the Baptist Church;" "I will never be converted in the Presbyterian Church." A man makes up his mind not to go there, and he goes. A man must yield his own way to that of God. Now, you can see all along that Naaman's thoughts were altogether different from those of God. He was going to get the grace of God by showing favours; and a good many men now think they can buy their way into the kingdom of God. My friends, we cannot buy the favour of heaven with money. If you get a seat in the kingdom of heaven, you have to accept salvation as a gift.

Then another thing he thought. He thought he could get what he wanted by taking letters to the king, not the prophet. The little maid told him of the prophet, yet he was going to pass the prophet by. How many people would go into the kingdom

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