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and for two years they heard nothing of him. At last they heard he was in Chicago, and his father found him and gave him thirty thousand dollars to start in business. They thought it would change him, but it didn't. They asked me when I went back to Chicago to try and use my influence with him. I got a friend to invite him to his house one night, where I intended to meet him, but he heard I was to be there and did not come near. Like a good many other young men, who seem to be afraid of me, I tried many times to reach him, but could not. While I was travelling one day on the New Haven Railroad, I bought a New York paper, and in it I saw a dispatch saying he had been drowned in Lake Michigan. His father came on to find his body, and after considerable searching, he discovered it. All the clothes, and his body were covered with sand. The body was taken home to that broken-hearted mother. She said, "If I thought he was in Heaven I would have peace." Her disobedience of God's law came back upon her. So, my friends, if you have a boy impressed with the gospel, help him to come to Christ. Bring him in the arms of your faith, and he will unite you closer to Him. Let us have faith in Him, and let us pray day and night that our children may be born of the Spirit. Let us pray.
Address to Young Men.
WANT to call your attention to-night to a text which you will find in the eighteenth chapter of First Kings, twentyfirst verse: "And Elijah came unto all the people and said: "How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God follow Him, but if Baal then follow him. And the people answered him not a word." We find in this portion of the Word of God that Elijah was calling the people of Israel back, or he was calling them to a decision as to whether they were for God or Baal, and a great many were wavering, just halting between two opinions, like the people of Chicago at the present time. During the last eight weeks a great deal has been said upon the subject of religion. Men have talked about it all over the city. A great many are talking, a great many are taking their stand for, and a great many against Him. Now, what will you do to-night? I will just divide this audience into two portions-one against and one for Him. It seems to me a practical question to ask an audience like this: "How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God follow Him, but if Baal, then follow him." A man who is undecided about any question of any magnitude never has any comfort; never has any peace. Not only that, but we don't like a man who cannot decide upon a question. I like men of decision, and firmly believe that more are lost by indecision than by anything else. It is a question whether I am not talking to many men to-night who intend some day to settle this question. Probably every one here intends to make heaven his home; but Satan is trying to get you to put off the settlement of the question till it will be too late. If he can only get men to put off till the to-morrow, which never comes, he has accomplished all he wants. How many in this audience have promised some friend years ago that they would settle this question. May be you said you would do it when you came of age. That time has gone with some of you, and it has not been settled yet. Some have reached thirty, some forty, and others have reached fifty years; their eyes are growing dim, and they are hastening toward eternity, and this is not settled with them yet. Some of you have promised dying brothers that you would meet them in
that world; some have promised dying wives that you would see them in that land of light; and again, others have given their word to dying children that you would meet them in heaven. Years have rolled away, and still you have not decided. You have kept putting it off week by week and year by year. My friends, why not decide to-night? "How long halt ye between two opinions ?" If the Lord be God serve Him; if not, turn your back upon Him. It seems to me a question every man can settle if he will. You like those grand old characters in the Bible who made a decisive stand. Look at Moses! The turning point in his life was when he decided to give up the gilded court of Pharaoh and cast his lot with God's people. You will find that every man who has left a record in the Bible have been men of decision. What made Daniel so great? It was because he was a man of decision. What saved the prodigal? It was not that he got into his father's arms, it was not his coming home. The turning point was when he decided the question: "I will arise and go to my father." It was the decision of the young that saved him. Many a man has been lost because of indecision. Look at Felix, look at Agrippa. Felix said, "Go thy way for this time; when I have a more convenient season I will call for thee." See what Agrippa said; "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." Look at Pilate -all lost because of his indecision. His mind was thoroughly convinced that Jesus was the true Christ; he said, "I find no fault in Him," but he hadn't the courage to take his stand for Him. Thousands have gone down to the caverns of death for want of courage. My friends, let us look this question in the face. If there is anything at all in the religion of Christ give everything for it. If there is nothing in it—if it is a myth, if our mothers who have prayed over us have been deceived, if the praying people of the last 1,800 years have been deluded, let us find it out. The quicker the better. If there is nothing in the religion of Christ let us throw it over, and eat, drink, and be merry, for time will soon be gone. If there is no devil to deceive us, no hell to receive us; if Christianity is a sham, let us. come out like men and say so. I hope to live to see the time when there will only be two classes. in the world-Christians and infidels-those who take their stand bravely for Him, and those who take their stand against Him. This idea of men standing still and saying, “Well, I don't know, but I think there must be something in it,” is absurd. If there is anything in it there is everything in it. If the Bible of our mothers is not true, let us burn it. Is there one in this audience willing to say and do this? If it is a myth, why spend so much money in publishing it? Why send out millions of Bibles to the nations of the
earth? Let us destroy it if it is false, and all those institutions giving the gospel to the world. What is the use of all this waste of money? Are we mad, are we lunatics who have been deluded? Let us burn the book and send up a shout over its ashes: "There is no God; There is no hell; there is no heaven; there is no hereafter. When men die, they die like dogs in the street !" But my friends, if it is true-if heaven, if a hereafter in the Bible is true, let us come out boldly, like men, for Christ. Let us take our stand, and not be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Why, it seems to me a question that ought to be settled in this nineteenth century easy enough, whether you are for or against Him or not. Why, if Baal be God, follow him; but if the Lord be God follow Him. If there is no truth in the religion of Jesus Christ, you may as well tear down all your churches, destroy your hospitals, your blind asylums. It's a waste of money to build them. Baalites don't build blind asylums, don't build hospitals, orphan asylums. If there hadn't been any Christians in the world, there would have been no charitable institutions. If it hadn't been for Christianity you would have had no praying mothers. Is it true that their prayers have exercised a pernicious influence? Is it true that a boy who had a praying father and mother, or a good teacher, is no better off than a boy who has been brought up amid blasphemy and infamy? Is it true? It must be either one way or the other. Did bad men write that Bible? Certainly not, or they wouldn't have consigned themselves to eternal perdition. The very fact that the Bible has lived and grown during these 1,800 years is a strong proof that it came from God. Men have tried to put it out of the world; they have tried to burn it out of the world, but they have failed. It has come down to us-down these 1,800 years amid persecution, and now we are in a land where it is open to all, and no man need be without one. What put it into the minds of those men to give money liberally to print and circulate this book? Bad men wouldn't do this. This is a question that, it seems to me, couldn't be decided tonight. If it is not good, then take your stand. If the Lord be God, follow Him, but if God be Baal, then follow Him. Some one asked Alexander how he conquered the world, and he replied that he conquered it by not delaying. If you want to conquer the devil you must not delay-accept eternal life as a gift to-night.
Let us take the surroundings of this text. We are told that Elijah stood before Ahab and told him, because of the evil deeds of Israel and the king, there would no rain come upon the land for three years and a half. After that Elijah went to the brook Cherith, where he was fed by the ravens, after which he went to
Zarephath, and there dwelt with a poor widow for months and months. Three years and a half rolled away, and not one drop of rain or dew had come from heaven. Probably when Elijah told the King there would be no rain he laughed at him. The idea that he should have the key of heaven! He scouted the very idea at first. But after a little it became a very serious matter. The brooks began to dry up, the cattle could not get water, the crops failed the first year, the next year they were worse, the third year they were even a worse failure, and the people began to flee out of his kingdom to get food, and yet they did not call upon Elijah's God. They had 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the groves, and yet all their prayers did not bring rain. Why did they ask God for rain? Baal was not an answerer of prayer. The devil never answers prayer. If prayer has ever been answered, it has been answered by the God of our fathers, by the God of our mothers. After Elijah had been gone three and a half years he returns and meets Obadiah the governor of the king's house, and Ahab says: "You go down that way, and I'll go down this way, and see if we can't discover water." They hadn't been separated long when Obadiah meets Elijah and asks him to come to the king. The prophet tells him to go and say to Ahab, "Elijah is here. But Obadiah don't want to leave him. If I lose sight of you this time, when the king knows you have stepped through my lands it may cost me my life. Don't you know I've been a servant of the true God all the time, and I've had a hundred of the prophets of the Lord in a cave. If you don't come I will lose my life." Elijah tells him to go and bring Ahab, and instead of Elijah going to Ahab, Ahab comes to him. Whenever the king comes he says: " Art thou he that troubleth Israel ?" That is the way with men. They bring down the wrath of God upon themselves, and then blame God's people. A great many people are blaming God for these hard times. Look on the millions and millions of money spent for whiskey. Why, it is about time for famine to strike the land. If men had millions of money, it wouldn't be long before all the manhood would be struck out of them. Now, the people of Israel had gone over to Baal, they had forgotten the God that brought them out of Egypt-the God of Jacob and Abraham and of their fathers. "Now," says Elijah, "let's have this settled. Let some of your people make an offering to their God on Mount Carmel, and I will make an offering to my God, and the God that answers by fire will be the God." The king agrees, and the day arrives. You can see a great stir among the people that day. They are moving up to Mount Carmel. By and by Ahab comes up in his royal carriage, and those four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and four hundred prophets of