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looking to what they will leave if they serve Him. It is not necessary to leave the things of this life when you follow Him. It is not necessary to give up your business, if it's a legitimate one, in order to accept Christ. But you musn't set your heart on the old nets by a good deal. Now, my friend, if you want to be a religious Christian, follow Him fully. No man follows Christ and ever regrets it, and the nearer we get to Him the more useful we become. Then we will save men. It seems to me after I am dead and gone I would rather have a man to come to my grave and drop a tear and say, "Here lies the man who converted me; who brought me to the cross of Christ”—it seems to me I would rather have this than a column of pure gold reaching to the skies built in my honour. If a man wants to be useful follow Him. You will succeed if you follow Him. Whenever you find a man who follows Christ that man you will find a successful one. He don't need to be a preacher, he don't need to be an evangelist to be useful. They may be useful in business. See what power an employer has if he likes. How he could labour with his employers and in his business relations. Often a man can be far more useful in a business sphere than he could in another. If we want to spend a life of usefulness, accept Him, and He will make you fishers of men." Young man, don't you want to win souls to Christ? Well, then, just follow Him. "You follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."
The next "I will," a very precious one, is: "I will not leave you comfortless" down here in this dark world. Now some people think they have a very hard battle before them when they accept Him. A lady came to me lately and said, "I am the only one of my family, who is a Christian: and I feel lonely. "Why," said I, "Christ is with you; if you have got an elder sitting at the right hand of God what more do you want?" Oh, this precious "I will;" this comfort and joy, "I will be with you to the end of the world;" "I will never forsake you." You may take comfort to-night. He will be with you always. You may not see Him with the eye of flesh, but you will see Him by the eye of faith.
The next "I will" is found in the fourth chapter of John: "I will raise him up at the last day." These bodies of ours are going down to the grave, but they are not going to lie there long the Son of God will wake it up. When He was here He raised up three bodies, and let me say to you, young children, that the first one He raised was a little child. Ah, there will be many little children there, "for of such is the kingdom of heaven." He gave us three instances. The first was the little girl. When the people heard He had raised up some one from
the dead they thought it was a mistake. She wasn't dead; only asleep; it wasn't a real miracle. The next one was a young man. "Oh no," they thought, "That's no miracle; if they had left him alone he'd have awoke; he was only asleep." But the next case that came along was that of Lazarus, and Matthew tells us he had been dead four days—had been laid away in the sepulchre, and the Son of God merely said: "Lazarus, come forth." Now, I like a religion that gives me such comfort, that when I lay away any loved one in the grave, I know they will by and by hear the voice of the Son of God calling them forth. I used to wonder how Christians had so much comfort in affliction, and used to question whether I could have as much; but I have learned that God gives us comfort when we need it. A few weeks ago I stood at the grave of a man I loved more than any one on earth, except my wife and family. As he was laid down in the narrow bed and the earth dropped upon the coffin-lid, it seemed as if a voice came to me, saying: "He will rise again." I like a religion by which we can go to the grave of our loved ones and feel that they will rise again I like a religion that tells us although we sow them in corruption they will rise incorruptible, that although we sow them in weakness they will rise in power and glory and ascend to the kingdom of light. This is the comfort for Christians. Thank God for this: "I will not leave you comfortless."
"I will that they may be with Me" is the sweetest of all. The thought that I will see Him in His beauty; the thought that I will Meet Him there, that I will spend eternity with Him, is the sweetest of them all. This last week we had Thanksgiving day. How many families gathered together, perhaps the first time in many years, and the thought would come stealing over some of them, who will be the first to break the circle? Perhaps many of these circles of friends will never meet again. Thank God yonder the circles shall never be broken-when the fathers and mothers and children gather around Him in those mansions into which death never enters, where sickness and sorrow never enter through yon pearly gates. Oh, thank God for this blessed religion-thank God for the blessed Christ; thank God for those blessed eight "I wills"-"Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest ;" "Him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out;" "Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven;" "If you will follow Me I will make you fishers of men;" "I will, be thou clean ;" "I will not leave you comfortless;" "I will that Thou may be with Me." May God bless every soul in this building to-night, and bring you to the cross.
Mission of Christ.
AM going to ask our friends if they will please turn in their Bibles to the fourth chapter of John, and the seventeenth verse: "And there was delivered unto Him the book of the
prophet Isaiah, and when He had opened the book He found the place where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bound; to preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And He closed the book and He gave it again to the minister and sat down. And the eyes of all of them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him. And He began to say unto them, This day is the Scripture fulfilled in your ears.' I suppose our friends have noticed in reading the life of the Lord Jesus Christ that never when he was down on earth do we read about Him taking a copy of the Scriptures in His hands except in this synagogue. I have no doubt that the Lord Jesus Christ knew the Scriptures from beginning to end, so that He did not require to take them up to find a passage. Here for the first and for the last time do we read about Him taking them in His hands. It was a prophecy he took up, and that prophecy was the book of Isaiah. We are told in Luke that the Lord Jesus Christ found a certain place. I suppose that means that He searched for a certain passage of Scripture which declared His mission to the children of men. He might have preached from any single text in that wonderful book; if He had liked He could have told His message without any reference to that wonderful book; but he He turned to the place and read: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel; He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised." You know that eighteen hundred years ago books were not printed as they are to-day. These books were written on parchment and put on rollers, and the Lord Jesus Christ had to unroll these parchments before He came to the passage, saying: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me." I have often tried to imagine what thoughts passed through His mind as His blessed eye
rested upon passage after passage of that book. He might have pointed to that passage: "I have nourished and brought up children and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib, but Israel doth not know," but the Lord passed that by. He might have turned to a passage in the same chapter: "From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; they have been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment," but he passed that by. He might have turned to that wonderful passage in the ninth chapter: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called wonderful Councellor, the mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace;" but Jesus passed that by. He did not want to read about the divinity; He came into that synagogue to read about the mission to sinners: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me." He might have read that sweet passage, "though Thou wert angry with me Thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortest me.' Jesus didn't need that-the cross had not yet had its victim. He might have turned to that sweet thirty-second chapter: "And a man shall be as a hidingplace from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land," but He just passed that by. He ought to have opened the book at that thirty-fifth chapter, where it speaks about water breaking out in the wilderness and the desert blooming, but the millenium had not come yet. Without Calvary there could be no millenium. So He turned to the passage which says: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me." I wonder how those men would have felt had he read: "He was despised and rejected of men -a man of sorrows." He did not tell them how they treated Him; He merely turned to the passage which spoke of His mission.
And in that synagogue, on that Sabbath day, beloved friends, there was not a human heart any different from yours. They loved to hear good news or glad tidings, and I am sure there is not one here to-night, rich or poor, high or low, but likes to hear glad tidings. In Ireland, a man used to live opposite to where I was living, and when a man would come from the market with something that had been ordered he would ring the bell, and stand waiting for five or six minutes before any servant would come to the door. Sometimes ladies and gentlemen would come up and stand waiting for the door to be opened; but I always noticed one thing. Whenever the postman would come and give his double knock, that moment three or four of them would come to the door, Sometimes the master and mistress of the
house themselves would run to the door to get what they thought good news. You know you never keep the postman at the door. Everybody is fond of good news-of glad tidings. Previous to my coming across to this great country of yours, I was holding meetings in London. I took my ticket from there to Manchester to bid some friends good-bye. When I got to the railway carriage I saw little groups of boys around two little fellows. Their coats were threadbare, with patches here and there carefully covering up the holes. Some good mother, it was evident, too poor to send them away in fine style, was trying to make them as neat as she could. The boys belonged to a Sunday school in London, and the group around them was their schoolmates, who had come down to bid them good-bye. They shook hands, and then their Sunday school teacher did the same, and wished them God-speed. After that their minister came and took them by the hand and breathed a prayer that they would be blessed. When they all had bade the boys good-bye, a poor widow came up and put her arms around the companion of her son. Perhaps he had no mother, and she kissed him for his mother and wished him good-bye. Then she put her arms around the neck of the other boy, and put his arms around her, and she began to weep. "Don't cry, mother," said the boy: "don't cry; I'll soon be in America, and I'll save the money, and soon send for you to come out to me; I'll have you out with me. Don't cry." He stepped into the carriage, the steam was turned on, and the train was in motion when he put his head out of the window and cried: "Farewell, dear mother;" and the mother's prayer went out: "God bless my boy; God bless my boy." Don't you think that when they came to America and sent the first letter to England that mother would run quickly to the door when the postman came with that letter and break the seal. She wants to hear good news. There is not one here to-night who has not a message of good news, or glad tidings—better news than was ever received by a mother in England from a son in America, or from a mother in England by a son in America. It is glad tidings from a loving Saviour-glad tidings of great joy. He says: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me to preach good news. That is what brought the Saviour down from glory-to preach glad tidings.
But, mark you, it is to the poor-not the poor in pocket. God never looks into a bank-book; He never looks into your purse to see whether you are rich or poor: He looks into the sinner's heart, and if that sinner has nothing--no deeds, no prayers, no tears, then the Son of God comes from heaven to that poor soul: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor." On Friday night, in a