Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“
[ocr errors]

commemorating the death of our Saviour. I am saying nothing against the blessed ordinance when I say it has nothing to do with salvation. It is distinct. This man's conversion was instantaneous. He had never been a Christian; he had never accepted a single Christian ordinance; he had never worked for Him, and yet when he called upon Him he was saved. The man had been a thief-a highway robber. His feet were nailed to that cross, and he could not have worked for Him if he'd wanted, but they could not nail his heart, and with his heart that man believed and the blessed Lord gave him salvation. If you but believe on Him to-night with your heart you will be saved. Christ did not look at his works. My friends, let us keep salvation in its place. It is distinct from works, and any man or woman can be saved before leaving this Tabernacle tonight; can be saved without lifting their hands, without moving an eyelash. If this thief had lived fifty years he could not have done Him better service than by testifying his faith on that cross. His prayer has come down these 1,800 years, and its answer is a testimony of His love and forgiveness to the sinner. In the morning he was led out from that prison a blasphemer reviling Christ, and in the evening he was walking the crystal pavements of heaven. He only asked to be remembered, and the answer came "To-day thou shalt be with Me in Paradise." Thanks be to God, He was not ashamed of the poor thief. The moment the cry came from his lips a welcome was given him.

Now, my friends, why not make the prayer of this thief tonight. If we make it from the heart we can be saved to-night. Thank God, we have communication from the Tabernacle to the throne, and an earnest prayer can go from this building and will be answered. Suppose you make it now, "Lord remember me." Who cannot say that? Who cannot say from their heart: "Lord, remember me." Make it a personal prayer. It is a very short one. Every prayer in the Bible that brought salvation is very short. Peter's prayer was only "Lord, save me." Some one has said, if he had made a long preamble he would have been forty feet under water. It was simply "Lord, save me." Just say "Lord, remember me," and He will remember you. Simply do as the thief did, and you will be saved. That is what I call instantaneous conversion.

Now this thief, as I said before, when led out from the prison that morning had no thought of being saved. His heart was not touched by the trial, he did not feel sorry for what he had done. He was hung up on one side of Christ, and reviled Him, and the moment he asked Him to be remembered he got His

N

forgiveness. He might have replied: "You miserable thief, you have scoffed at religion all your life; you were reviling me just now, and why should I forgive you?" but instead of that came the answer: "To-day thou shalt be with me in Paradise.” It is said of Whitfield that he once exclaimed: "Why, the Lord is so anxious to save sinners that He is willing to take the devil's castaways." Lady Huntly heard him and took exceptions to his utterance. "The idea," she said, "of the Lord being willing to take the devil's castaways." She wouldn't believe him; but shortly after a poor fallen woman came to him and said: "You told us the other night that the Lord was willing to take the devil's castaways." She admitted her sin and accepted Him. My friends, the Son will save the vilest in Chicago to-night if they will only admit their guilt. I was greatly cheered this afternoon when two men went into the inquiry-room, and I got down to pray with them. After I had prayed with them they did not spring up on their feet as inquirers very often do. One of them cried, "God be merciful to me a sinner; that's all I can say." "That's enough," I said; "that was all the publican could say, and he went down to his house saved, because it came from his heart." The other man could only say. "Lord save me," and that is enough. He will save you if you only cry from your heart. Thank God, you can be saved if you will.

I can imagine when they came to take down the body of Christ, and when they came to break the bones of those two thieves. I can imagine Him saying to the officer: "Hurry up, for I will soon be with my Master." Christ went up before him to give him a warm welcome, and that thief rejoices that he will soon be in the kingdom. Whenever he put his trust in Him he was changed in the twinkling of an eye, because he had got salvation. But let me say here that Christ drew the dividing line while upon that cross. On one side of Him was unbelief, and the unbeliever died reviling Him. On the other side was belief, and the believer went up to Paradise. He believed in a moment and yet there are men who cannot understand sudden conversion. There are two classes in Chicago-as they were represented by those two thieves-those for and those against Him. They must either accept Him or reject Him. One of them would not receive salvation, and went down to death; the other accepted salvation as a gift and went up to His kingdom. I can imagine him now singing the sweet songs of Moses and the Lamb. No one sings those sweet songs any louder than does that thief. Ask that poor thief who when down here, was a reveller, who was a blasphemer, and lived at enmity with God, how he came into that world of light? Ask him how he got that sceptre in his hand, that crown on his brow; how he was

permitted to sing the high hallelujahs of the redeemed, and his voice will come back telling you "I took salvation as the gift of God." Ah, my friends, there is salvation for all who will have it, and damnation for those who won't accept the gift. He commanded His disciples to preach the gospel as a gift before He left the earth. "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature; he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned." One of those thieves believed and was saved, the other rejected Him and was damned. What will you do? Will you believe and be saved? Will you accept this gift of eternal life or trample the gift under your feet? Will you take His offer to-night or reject it? May God open your eyes too, and bring you to Himself on this the last Sunday in November, one of the sweetest months of my life. May this be the Sabbath night of your salvation, and it will be an evening full of

sweetness.

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."Matthew xi. 29, 30.

COME, weary souls with sin distressed,
Come, and accept the promised rest;
The Saviour's gracious call obey,
And cast your gloomy fears away.

Oppressed with guilt, a painful load,
Oh, come and spread your woes abroad!
Divine compassion, mighty love,
Will all the painful load remove.

Here mercy's boundless ocean flows,
To cleanse your guilt, and heal your woes
Pardon and life, and endless peace;
How rich the gift, how free the grace.

Lord, we accept with thankful heart,
The hope thy gracious words impart;
We come with trembling, yet rejoice,
And bless the kind inviting voice.

Dear Saviour, let thy powerful love
Confirm our faith, our fears remove,
And sweetly influence every breast,
And guide us to eternal rest.

Address to Parents.

""

WANT to call your attention to Deut. v. 29. "Oh that there were such a heart in them that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always with them, that it might be well with them and with their children forever." And also the sixth chapter and seventh verse, "And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.' I used to think when I was superintendent on the North Side, when I was laboring among the children and trying to get the parents interested to save their children, that if I ever did become a preacher I would have but one text and one sermon, and that should be addressed to parents, because when we get them interested their interest will be apparent in the children. We used to say, if we get the lambs in, the old sheep will follow, but I didn't find that to be the case. When we got the children interested in one Sunday, the parents would be sometimes pulling the other way all the week, and before Sunday came again the impression that had been made would be gone, and I came to the conclusion that, unless we could get the parents interested, or could get some kind Christian to look after those children, it would almost be a sin to bring them to Christ. If there is no one to nurse them, to care for them, and just to water the seed, why they are liable to be drawn away, and when they grow up, to be far more difficult to reach. I wish to say to-night that I am as strong as ever upon sudden conversion, and there are a great many ministers, a great many parents, who scoff and laugh when they hear of children who have been brought unto Christ at these meetings. Now, in many of the churches the sermons go over their heads; they don't do the young any good; they don't understand the preaching, and if they are impressed here we ought not to discourage them. My friends, the best thing we can do is to bring them early to Christ. These earliest impressions never, never leave them, and I do not know why they should not grow up in the service of Christ. I contend that those who are converted early are the best Christians. Take the man who is converted at fifty. He has continually to fight against his old habits; but take a young man or a young

girl and they get a character to form and a whole long life to give to Christ. An old man unconverted got up in an inquiry meeting recently, and said he thought we were very hard-hearted down in the Tabernacle; we went right by when we saw some young person. He thought, as he was old, he might be snatched away before these young people; but with us it seemed as if Christ was of more importance to the young than the old. I confess truly that I have that feeling. If a young man is converted he perhaps has a long life of fifty years to devote to Christ, but an old man is not worth much. Of course, his soul is worth much, but he is not worth much for labor.

While down at a convention in Illinois an old man got up, past seventy years; he said he remembered but one thing about his father, and that one thing followed him all through life. He could not remember his death, he had no recollection of his funeral, but he recollected his father one winter night, taking a little chip, and with his pocket knife whittling out a cross, and with tears in his eyes he held up that cross and told how God in His infinite love sent His Son down here to redeem us, how He had died on the cross for us. The story of the cross followed him through life; and I tell you if you teach these children truths they will follow them through life. We have got so much unbelief among us, like those disciples when they rebuked the people for bringing the children to Christ, but He said, "Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." I heard of a Sunday-school concert at which a little child of eight was going to recite. Her mother had taught her, and when the night came the little thing was trembling so she could hardly speak. She commenced, "Jesus said," and completely broke down. Again she tried it, "Jesus said, suffer,” but she stopped once more. A third attempt was made by her, "Suffer little children—and don't anybody stop them, for He wants them all to come," and that is the truth. There is not a child who has parents in the Tabernacle but He wants, and if you bring them in the arms of your faith and ask the Son of God to bless them and train them in the knowledge of God, and teach them as you walk your way, as you lie down at night, as you rise up in the morning, they will be blessed. But I can imagine some sceptic in yonder gallery saying, "That's well enough, but it's all talk." Why I have known children of ministers and Christian people who have turned out worse than others." I've heard that all my life, but I tell you that is one of the devil's lies. I will admit I've heard of many Christian people having bad children, but they are not the worst children. That was tested once. A whole territory was taken

« AnkstesnisTęsti »