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deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified—the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of God.” In short, that man is, in himself, a lost sinner; God is angry with him, and he has a wicked heart.
Said she, “That seems-strange-to me; I wish–I had known it before."
“ The second thing is—that just such sinners may be saved, because Jesus Christ came to seek and to save the lost. I read from the Bible, God so loved the world that he
his own Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was
The Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all.' You see, therefore, that sinners can be saved. Christ died for them."
" Will he-save me ?” said she.
“I hope he will—but listen to me.- -The third thing is, that lost sinners will be saved by Christ, if they repent of sin and believe in him.” I continued to select texts and read them to her. “God now commandeth all men everywhere to repent. Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in his name. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
As I read such passages, turning over the leaves of the book as I stood by her bed-side, her eyes followed the turning leaves and she gazed upon the book in astonishment. At times, when repeating a peculiar text, my eyes rested on her face instead of the book, and then she would ask, “Is that in God's word ?" I found it best, therefore, just to look on the book and read slowly and deliberately,
“ The fourth thing is, that we need the aid of the
Holy Spirit to renew our hearts, and bring us to faith and repentance. 'Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. No man can come unto me, except the Father which sent me draw hin. In me is thy help. Let him take hold on my strength, that he may make peace with me, and he shall make peace with me.' Man is helpless without the Holy Spirit.
“The last thing is, that all this salvation is freely offered to us, now, to-day, and it is our duty and interest to accept it on the spot, and just as we are, undone sinners. 'Hear and your soul shall live. Seek
the Lord while he may be found. Call ye upon him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him. Behold now is the accepted time; behold now the day of salvation. Come unto
ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. The Spirit and the bride say, come; and let him that is athirst come; and let him that heareth say, come; and whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.”
Now, my dear child, this is all: only these five things. I will now leave you for an hour to rest, and then I will be back to see you."
In an hour I returned, determined to go over the same things, and explain them, if needful, more fully. As I entered the room she looked at me with a gladsome smile, and yet with an intense earnestness, which for an instant I feared was insanity. Said she, “I am so glad you
-I have been—thinking—of what you read-to me. These things—must be true; but-I don't know-as I should—believe them they were not-in the word of God. I understand some of
them I know I am-a sinner-I feel it. I never knew it-so before.--I have not-loved God. I have beenwicked and foolish. I am—undone. And now —when I know it, my heart—is so bad, that instead of -loving God-it shrinks from him, and I am afraid -it is too-late-for me !" “Yes,” said I, “ your heart is worse than you
think. You can make it no better. Give it to God. Trust Christ to pardon all. He died for just such lost sinners."
“Yes, sir,—I remember—that; but—what is it—to believe? I do not understand that—thing.—You said I must repent of sin, and must believe-in Jesus Christ.
I think that I understand one—of these things. To repent is to be sorry for my sin,—and to leave it. Butwhat is it to believe I-I cannot-understand that.What is believing—in Jesus Christ ?”
“It is trusting him to save you. It is receiving him as your own offered Saviour, and giving yourself to him as a helpless sinner to be saved by his mercy. He died to atone for sinners." “I believe that,—for God's word
-says so.—Is this -all the faith-that I must have ?"
“No, not at all. You must have more. You must trust him. You must receive him as your own Saviour and give yourself to him. You may remember the passage I read to you. Here it is in God's word : “ As many as received him, to them gave he
to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.' You see that here, believing' and receiving'express the same thing. You are to take Christ as God offers him to you, and you are to rely on him to save you. That is faith.”
“Sir,-I am afraid—I can never—understand it," said she, the tears coursing over her pale cheek. “Yes, you can;
it is very simple. There are only two things about it. Take Christ for your own, and give yourself to him to be his. Sometimes these two things are put together in the Bible, as when a happy believer says, “My beloved is mine, and I am his. It is union with Christ, as if he were your husband and yoų were his bride.”
“Oh, sir,—it is all dark to me !—faith-I cannotunderstand it !"
“See here, my dear child. If you were here on this island, and it was going to sink, you would be in a sad condition if you could not get off; there would be no hope for you if you had no help; you would sink with the island, you could not save yourself; you might get down by the shore and know and feel the necessity of being over on the other side quickly, before the island should go down. But you could not get there alone. There is a wide river betwixt you and the place of safety where you wish to go. It is so deep that you could not wade it. It is so wide and rapid that you could not swim it. Your case would be hopeless if there was no help for you. You would be lost !—but there is a boat there; you see it going back and forth, carrying people over where they want to go. People tell you it is safe, and you have only to go on it. It seems safe to you as you behold it in motion. You believe it is safe. Now, what do you do in such a case ? You just step on board the boat. You do not merely believe it would save you
if you were on it, but you go on it. You commit yourself to it. When you get on you do not work, or walk, or run, or ride. You do nothing but one thing. You take care not to fall off. That is all. You just trust to the boat to hold you up from sinking, and to carry you over where you want to go. Just so, trust yourself to Jesus Christ to save you; he will carry you to heaven venture on him now—he waits to take you."
“ But-will he save - such a wicked — undone creature-as I am ?”
“ Yes, he will. He says he will. He came from heaven to do it; "to seek and to save that which was lost.' He invites you to come to him; I read it to you in his word, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.' ”
“May I go?" says she (her countenance indicating the most intense thought, and her eyes, suffused with tears of gladness and doubt, fixing upon me as if she would read her doom from my lips).
“Yes, you may go to Christ; come in welcome, come now, come just such a sinner as you are : Christ loves to save such sinners."
She raised herself upon her couch, and leaning upon her elbow, with her dark locks falling over the snowy whiteness of her neck, her brow knit, her lips compressed, her fine
upon me, and her bosom heaving with emotion, she paused for a moment,—said she:
"I do want-to come to Christ."
“I am wicked — and do not deserve it," said she.
“He knows that, and died to save you," said I.
“Oh, I think—I would come, if God-if the Holy Spirit-would help—me. But-my heart—is afraid. I thought-just now if I only knew--the way-I would do it; but now,
I cannot believe it; I cannot—trust Christ. I never-knew before what- -a distant heart I have !"
“ The Holy Spirit does help you; at this moment in your heart he urges you to come, to trust Christ. The Bible tells you to come. The Spirit and the bride say, come.' God lengthens the hours of your life that you may come, while he says to you, 'Behold, now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation.'
I paused for a little time, and as I watched her countenance she appeared to be absorbed in the most intense thought; her brow was slightly knit, her lips quivered, her fine eyes roamed from side to side, and often upwards, and then closed for a moment, and seeming utterly forgetful of my presence, she slowly pronounced the words, with a pause almost at every syllable,— "lost sinner-anger-God-Christ-blood-love-pardon