« AnkstesnisTęsti »
"Where am I going to spend eternity ?" it would not be long before they would come to Christ. You may be moralists, you may be proprietors of a successful business, you may be what the world calls successful business men, yet, "Where are you going to spend eternity ?" Can you tell me where you will be next year? Can you tell me where you are going to be ten years hence? Can you tell me? I want to read a little notice on a card which is headed: "I have missed it at last."
A few months ago, in New York, a physician called upon a young man who was ill. He sat for a little by the bedside, examining his patient, and then he honestly told him the sad intelligence that he had but a short time to live. The young man was astonished; he did not expect it would come to that so soon. He forgot that death comes "in such an hour as ye think not." At length he looked up in the face of the doctor, and with a most despairing countenance, repeated the expression, "I have missed it at last." "What have you missed?" inquired the tender-hearted, sympathizing physician. "I have missed it—at last," again the young man replied. The doctor, not in the least comprehending what the poor young man meant, said: "My dear young man, will you be so good as to tell me what you-?” He instantly interrupted, saying "Oh! doctor, it is a sad story -a sad story that I have to tell. But I have missed it!" “Missed what ?" "Doctor, I have missed the salvation of my soul." "Oh! say not so. It is not so. Do you remember the thief on the cross ?" "Yes, I remember the thief on the cross. And I remember that he never said to the Holy Spirit-Go thy way. But I did. And now he is saying to me, Go your way." He lay gasping awhile, and looking up with a vacant, staring eye, he said: "I was awakened and was anxious about my soul a little time ago. But I did not want religion then. Something seemed to say to me: "Don't postpone it. I knew I ought not to do it. I knew I was a great sinner and needed a Saviour. I resolved, however, to dismiss the subject for the present. Yet I could not get my own consent to do it, until I had promised that I would take it up again, at a time not remote and more favorable. I bargained away, insulted, and grieved away the Holy Spirit. I never thought of coming to this. I meant to have religion, and make my salvation sure. And now I have missed it-at last." "You remember," said the doctor, "that there were some who came at the eleventh hour!" "My eleventh hour," he rejoined, “was when I had that call of the Spirit. I have had none since I shall not have. I am given over to be lost. "Not lost," said the doctor, "you may yet be saved." "No-not saved -never. He tells me I may go my own way now. I know itI feel it, feel it here," laying his hand upon his heart. Then he
burst out in despairing agony: "Oh, I have missed it! I have sold my soul for nothing-a feather-a straw-undone forever!" This was said with such unutterable, indescribable despondency, that no words were said in reply. After lying a few moments, he raised his head, and looking all around the room as if for some desired object-turning his eyes in every directionthen burying his face in the pillow, he again exclaimed, in agony and horror: "Oh, I have missed it at last!" and he died.
Dear friends, you may not hear my voice again. I may be speaking to you for the last time. You may never come into this Tabernacle again, and I beg of you as a friend, and as a brother, do not go out of this Tabernacle without salvation. Let this night be the night that you will accept everlasting life. Let this be the night on which you will cry from the depth of your heart, "Let me have Christ, let me have salvation." Though it cost me my right hand or my right eye, I will have Christ tonight." May that be the cry of every one here to-night, and salvation be accepted for time and eternity by every soul in this building. May God wake up every soul here to-night, and when that summons comes may you go to triumph over the grave and so enter into a glorious immortality. Let us unite in prayer.
"Here we have no continuing city."-Heb. xiii. 14.
GIVE me the wings of faith to rise,
The saints above, how great their joys,
Many are the friends who are waiting to-day,
Many are the voices calling us away,
To join their glorious band.
Once they were mourners here below,
With sin, and doubts, and fears.
I ask them whence their victory came:
Ascribe their conquest to the Lamb,
The Life and Character of Jacob.
HE key to all Jacob's difficulties will be found in the twentieth chapter of Matthew, from which Mr. Moody read an illustration. It is the story of the laborers in the vineyard. The thought is in the second verse. The first men hired agreed to the bargain. The men would not go until the owner of the vineyard had made a bargain with them. He told them that he would pay them what was right. They got a penny. He gave them the lawful wages. Is that all you're going to give me ? they probably said. Jacob was all the time making bargains. The Christians who are making bargains with the Lord do not get as much as those who trust Him. It does not pay to make bargains with the Lord. Jacob is a twin brother of most of us. Where you will find one Joseph or one Daniel you will find a hundred Jacobs. We are not willing, all of us, to take God at His word and trust Him. There is a strong contrast between the character of Joseph and Jacob. The one trusted God implicitly, but Jacob wanted to trust him no farther than he could see God. There would have been a great deal of murmuring if Jacob had been thrown into jail in Egypt. Jacob no doubt got a great deal of his weakness from his mother. There was a division in that home. Isaac favored Esau, and Rebekah favored Jacob. Such dissensions are just the thing to stir up the old Adam in the man. A mother and a father have no right to take this course. Rebekah plans continually to keep Jacob at home. The very thing that Rebekah tries to achieve, in that. she fails. By nature Esau was the better of the two. If such a mean, contemptible nature as Jacob's can be saved, then there: is hope for all of us. The Lord promised to Jacob from the top of the ladder what he should have. Jacob gets up and says if God will be with me and keep and clothe me, then shall the Lord be my God. What a low, contemptible idea he had. God had promised him all from Dan to Beersheba. That's the difficulty with the people at the present time. If God will bless us in our basket and store we shall have him for our God. We: find Jacob after this in Haran driving bargains all the time, and the worst of it is he gets beat every time. He had to work seven years for his wife and then gets another woman in her place.. He gets paid back in his own coin. We must not think that
God will allow us to deceive without punishing us for it. He forgot all the vows he had made at Bethel, but God did not forget His. Some of God's promises are unconditional. The promise he made at Bethel was unconditional. God chose Jacob rather than Esau. Some people say that God hated Esau before he was born. This is not the teaching of Scripture, even though one of the minor prophets long years after mentioned it. God says to Jacob after he had been in Haran for so many years, "I am the God of Bethel; arise and dwell there." He ought to have been proud, and instead of leaving Haran like a prince, he steals away like a thief. He starts off, and his uncle and father-in-law pursue. God took care of him; God was going to keep His vows, and there is no doubt that had not God interferred Jacob would have been slain. We find that Jacob stays behind like a miserable coward, after he had sent his effects away. A man out of communication with God is a coward always. There was a man wrestled with Jacob. It was Christ. When did he prevail? When his thigh was out of joint all he could do was to hold on and get the blessing. The man who is the lowest down is the man that God lifts up the highest. The man that has the greatest humility will be the most exalted. A great many say that Jacob was a different man. Would to God his thigh had been left out of joint so that there was no more of the flesh in him. The next thing, we find Jacob and Esau embracing, and we would suppose that he would be filled with gratitude. But no; he goes down to Shechem and builds an altar and calls it by a high-sounding name. Jacob in Shecham with this altar with a high-sounding name was no better than he was in Haran without an altar. It would be a good day if we people of Chicago would bury our idols, rum bottles, tobacco, and cigars, beneath an oak in Shechem. The trouble is that we have slipped down to Shechem. There his sons fell. It is when men go down to Haran and Shechem, instead of staying in Bethel, that they fall into sin. Let the church of God come out and stand before the world free from idols, there would be no need for idols. The only thing that keeps back the blessing of God are the Church members. He built an altar finally at Bethel. He said that he would go to Bethel and build an altar to his God, as if the Shechem altar was no altar. He called it El-Bethel. Just the moment he came to Bethel the Lord God met him, and just as soon as the Church leaves Shechem and comes to Bethel, then the Lord God will meet it. The next thing we hear is the saddest episode in Jacob's life-the death of Rachel, his favorite wife. His sons go back to Shechem and hunt up the old idols. His sons bring him back news that his beloved son was dead. Do you see how he begins to reap the
sins of his own earlier days? For twenty long years he mourned that beloved boy. He deceived his own father and his own sons deceived him. What a bitter life. What was Jacob's dying testimony to Pharoah? It would take ten thousand Jacob's to get one convert like Pharoah. "Few and evil," Jacob said, "had his days been." He started with a lie in his mouth. He died in exile. He died in Egypt, not in the land God promised him. He would not let God choose for him. He was saved by fire, or as Job said, by the skin of his teeth. We must walk less by sight and more by faith. It is safer for God to choose and to do the planning. It is for us to be satisfied with God's writ. Let us be satisfied and wait upon him, saying: "Thy will be done, and not ours."
64 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word."Acts vi. 4.
LONG my spirit pined in sorrow,
Free from worldly care and pain.
Ye who mourn your load of sin,
In the end you're sure to win.
Lay your troubles at his feet,
When a kneeling mortal prays;
"Keep on praying" all your days.
Reach the pearly gates of day,
When our wayward thoughts are straying,