Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

in this state of mind he dreamed that he was dead and that he had ascended to heaven, and as he was walking down the crystal pavement of paradise he saw all at once three friends in a chariot, and when the chariot came opposite to where he was one of them stepped out and came to him. He noticed that His face was illuminated with a heavenly radiance, and He came to this man and took him to the battlements of heaven. "Look down," said He: "what do you see?" "I see the dark world," replied the dreamer. “Look down again, and tell me what you see." "I see men walking blindfolded over bridges, and below them are bottomless pits," was the dreamer's reply. "Will you prepare to stay here, or go back to earth and tell those men of their danger-tell them of the bottomless pits over which they walk." At this the man awoke from his sleep and said he didn't want to die any more. He just wanted to remain down here and warn his fellow-men from the dangers which surrounded them. When we turn a soul to Christ we do not know what will turn up-what will be the result of it. It may be the means of saving a million souls. The one man may convert another man, and those two may convert a hundred, and that hundred may convert a thousand, and the current keeps widening and widening and deepening and deepening, and as time rolls on the fruit will be ripening which you have gathered for God. It is a great privilege, my friends, to work for God.

I want to call your attention to the eleventh chapter of Hebrews. After Paul mentions Jacob and Isaac and Enoch, he says: "They all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Are the Christians of Chicago living like pilgrims and strangers, and by their faith do they show "that they seek another country;" do they show by their fruits and their deeds that they are pilgrims and strangers here? When I get into a man's mind the beauties of that country beyond the grave, it looks as if his only thought was for it. We are to be pilgrims and strangers passing through this world on our way to a better land. The moment Abraham by faith got sight of that land he declared himself a pilgrim and a stranger. This earth had no charm for him then. Lot might go down to that city of Sodom or Gomorrah, and that city might be burned up. We might fix our affections on this city. Chicago has been burned twice, and it will be burned again-this whole world shall pass away with all its boasted riches and glory, and where shall we be then? If we build our hopes here we shall be disappointed: if we build our hopes upon that foundation whose builder and maker is God, we shall not be disappointed. We are told in

Matthew to set our affections on things above, and that "there shall be joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth." There are rumors of war in Europe, and if war were declared probably it would excite the whole civilized world. Trade would be affected, and relations of all kinds. I don't know whether it would excite heaven at all. If the President of the United States issued a proclamation, I don't know whether it would be noticed in heaven or not, but the papers would speak of it, the people would be excited, and great changes might take place over it. If Queen Victoria died telegrams would go all over the world, newspapers would speak of it, the whole world would be excited-I don't know if it would be noticed in heaven at all. But if that girl there should repent there would be joy in heaven. Just think of it—think of a little girl, of a little girl being the cause of joy in heaven. I don't think the papers would record it-they would never notice it. There would be no head in the morning telling the people that there had been joy in heaven over the repentance of a little girl in the Tabernacle. "There is joy over one sinner that repenteth." I have been wondering who it is that rejoiced in heaven when He brought back that lost sheep. We are told that there is joy in the presence of the angels; but who else is it that rejoices? It may be that I am going a little too far, but I think that I have a right to believe that the redeemed saints who have gone up from earth may be led to rejoice when they hear in heaven of the conversion of some living ones here. Perhaps while I am speaking some loving mother may be looking over the battlements of heaven on her boy in the gallery yonder, and it may be that while she was on earth she prayed earnestly and constantly, and when she got there, she pleaded at the throne for mercy to her son. It may be that as she is watching some angel will carry the news to her of that boy's conversion, and take his name there to be recorded in the Book of Life. Perhaps that mother and the Lord Jesus Christ will rejoice over that son, or it may be some daughter. Perhaps it is some child who is looking from that country down to her mother in this hall, and when the news of her acceptance of salvation reaches that little child she will strike her golden harp and shout: "Mother, mother is coming!" While I was touching on this topic in Manchester I remember a man getting up and shouting: "Oh, mother, I am coming!" The mother had been fruitless in her endeavours to convert that man while on earth, but her intercession there and the influence of her prayers here touched his heart and he decided.

I remember in the Exposition building in Dublin, while I was speaking about Heaven, I said something to the effect that perhaps at this moment a mother is looking down from

E

Heaven upon her daughter here to-night," and I pointed down to a young lady in the audience. Next morning I received this letter:

"On Wednesday when you were speaking of heaven you said, 'It may be this moment there is a mother looking down from heaven expecting the salvation of her child who is here.' You were apparently looking at the very spot where my child, was sitting. My heart said, 'that is my child. That is her mother.' Tears sprang to my eyes. I bowed my head and prayed, 'Lord, direct that word to my darling child's heart; Lord, save my child.' I was then anxious till the close of the meeting, when I went to her. She was bathed in tears. She rose, put her arms round me, and kissed me. When walking down to you she told me it was that same remark (about the mother looking down from heaven) that found the way home to her, and asked me, 'Papa, what can I do for Jesus ?'”

May the Spirit of God bring hundreds to the cross of Christ to-night.

"There is a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother."-Prov. xviii. 24

WHAT a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear;
What a privilege to carry

Everything to God in prayer.
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,

Oh, what needless pain we bear-
All because we do not carry

Every thing to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged,

Take it to the Lord in Prayer.
Can we find a Friend so faithful,

Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness,

Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,

Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Saviour, still our refuge,-

Take it to the Lord in prayer;
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He'll take and shield thee.

Thou wilt find a solace there.

H. BONAR, D.D.

The Precious Blood, I.

HE subject to-night will be "The Precious Blood.” I want to call your attention first to the second chapter and sixteenth verse of Genesis, " And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree in the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." There cannot be a law without a penalty. There is not a law in our land but has a penalty attached to it. If our legislative representatives or members in Congress were to make a law and have no penalty appended to it, it would be worthless. We might make a law forbidding men to steal, but if we had no penalty to that law I don't think we could go home without having our watches stolen from us. We could not live without law, and God put Adam into the garden under a law, attached to which was a penalty. Well, we know how he disobeyed, and how he fell, and so the penalty of death came upon him. Many people stumble over this. I used to wonder how it was that the penalty of death fell upon him when he lived, I think, some nine hundred and ninety-nine years after he broke the law; but when I understood my Bible better, I learned that it was death to the soul-not physical death, but spiritual death. When God came to seek him in the garden, we are told that he hid himself; he was ashamed of his iniquityjust like hundreds of his sons in Chicago; and then we find him dealing with Adam by showing him grace. This was the very first thing he did. A great many people think God was very severe in His treatment of Adam; but He, whenever, the offence was committed, whenever the law was broken, showed mercy, showed grace; and by this grace a way of escape was presented to them. Ah, that little hymn expresses it : "Grace, friend, contrived a way," by which Adam could regain the life he had forfeited. And so we read that the Lord made "coats of skin" to clothe them before He drove them out of Paradise. They received grace before, as we see in the twentyfourth verse: "He drove out the man, and He placed at the east end of the Garden of Eden cherubims and a flaming sword, which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life." There's grace and government: and from that day till the present God has been dealing with us in that way. He rides, we

may say, in a chariot with two wheels-one grace and the other government. We can see in this world how it would be if we had no government. There would be no living in it. Adam broke the divine law, and so he had to suffer the penalty; but He gave him grace to be redeemed by. He showed Adam and Eve grace by killing the animals and then covering their nakedness with coats made from the skins. I can imagine Adam's turning to Eve and saying, "Well, in spite of what we've done, God loves us after all. He has clothed us; He has given us grace for our sin.” And here we find the first glimpse of the doctrine of substitution-the substitution of the just for the unjust; the great doctrine of atonement and substitution foreshadowed in Genesis.

Then, as we go on, we find the story of Cain and Abel, and we are told that "in process of time it came to pass that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstling of his flock, and of the fat thereof; and the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering; but unto Cain and his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth and his countenance fell." Now we find that Cain brought a bloodless sacrifice-" he brought of the fruit of the ground"-and Abel brought a bleeding lamb. Right on the morning of grace we see here that God had marked a way for men to come to Him, and that way was the way that Abel took, and Cain came to God with a sacrifice of his own, in his own way. So we find men and women in the churches of today coming to God with a sacrifice, not in God's way, but in their own-coming with their own good deeds, or their works, or their righteousness, and ignoring the lamb all together, ignoring the blood completely. They don't want to come that way; they want to come in their own fashion. Cain, perhaps, reasoned that he didn't see why the products of the earth, why the fruit, shouldn't be as acceptable to God as a bleeding lamb. He didn't like a bleeding lamb, and so he brought his fruit. Now we don't know how there was any difference between those two boys. Both must have been brought up in the same way; both came from the same parents, yet we find in the offering there was a difference between them. One came with the blood, and the other without the blood, and the one with the blood had the acceptable sacrifice to God.

We pass over to the second dispensation-to the eighth chapter of Genesis-where we find Noah coming out of the ark and putting blood between him and his sins. "And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord, and took of every clean beast and of every clean fowl and offered burnt offerings on the altar." God had Noah bring those animals clear through the flood that he could

« AnkstesnisTęsti »