C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.
A Christian is a believer in Jesus. He believes that if he only throws his own lost and sinful soul on the Redeemer, there is in His sacrifice sufficient merit to cancel all his guilt, and in His heart sufficient love to undertake the keeping of his soul for all eternity. He believes that Jesus is a Saviour. He believes that His heart is set on His peoples holiness, and that it is only by making them new creatures, pure-minded, kind-hearted, unselfish, devout, that He can fit them for a home and a life like His own, that He can fit them for the occupations and enjoyments of heaven. And believing all this he prays and labors after holiness.
After all there is a weariness that cannot he prevented. It will come on. The work brings it on. The cross brings it on. Sometimes the very walk with God brings it on, for the flesh is weak; and at such moments we hear softer and sweeter than it ever floated in the wondrous air of Mendelssohn, O rest in the Lord, for it has the sound of an immortal requiem: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, for they rest from their labors.
All life is surrounded by a great circumference of death; but to the believer in Jesus, beyond this surrounding death is a boundless sphere of life. He has only to die once to be done with death forever.
And now, with busy, but noiseless process, the Comforter is giving the last finish to the sanctifying work, and making the heir of glory meet for home, till, at a given signal, the portal opens, and even the numb body feels the burst of blessedness as the rigid features smile and say, I see Jesus, then leave the vision pictured on the pale but placid brow.
As in the Masters spirit you take into your arms the little ones, His own everlasting arms will encircle them and you. He will pity both their and your simplicity; and as in unseen presence He comes again, His blessing will breathe upon you.
Bear your burden manfully. Boys at school, young men who have exchanged boyish liberty for serious businessall who have got a task to do, a work to finishbear the burden till God gives the signal for reposetill the work is done, and the holiday is fairly earned.
Beloved, you that have faith in the fountain, frequent it. Beware of two errors which are very natural and very disastrous; beware of thinking any sin too great for it; beware of thinking any sin too small.
Brethren, is not this the Saviour that you need? one who can save you from the utmost depths of depravity, in the utmost corner of the earth, on the utmost inch of time? One who can save you amidst the utmost urgency of fierce temptations, and who in the uttermost extreme of exhausted nature, when heart and flesh do faint and fail, completes the work, and seals the salvation for evermore?
Bring your little children to the Saviour. Place them in His arms. Devote them to His service. Born in His camp, let them wear from the first His colors. Taking advantage of timely opportunities, and with all tenderness of spirit, seek to endear them to the Friend of Sinners, the Good Shepherd of the lambs, the loving Guardian of the little children. And not only teach them, but govern them. And in order to govern them, govern yourselves.
Christ is the great burden bearerthe Lamb of God who beareth the sin of the world; but in order to enjoy the benefit of His interposition, I must distinctly and for myself take advantage of it. Conscious of my lost estate, I must seek a personal share in the common salvation.
Come and see how a Christian can die, said the dying sage to his pupil; how would it do to say, Come and see how an infidel can die?How would it have done for Voltaire to say this, who, in his panic at the prospect of eternity, offered his physician half his fortune for six weeks more of life?
Every man must bear his own burden, and it is a fine thing to see any one trying to do it manfully; carrying his cross bravely, silently, patiently, and in a way which makes you hope that he has taken for his pattern the greatest of all sufferers.
God cannot lie; and if, fleeing for refuge, you have run to the hope set before you in the gospelif, nestling in some invitation or promise of Gods changeless word, you are resolved that Death and the Judgment shall find you there, you are safe. The way to honor God is to trust His truth, and hidden in His word you are also hidden in His love. Rest there.
Having made an expiation for sins, He is set down on Gods right hand forever. There is no more that even Immanuel can do. This is Loves extremest effort, Gods last and greatest gift, Gods own sacrifice. Can there be any escape for those who neglect so great salvation?
If you are really anxious to learn the way to God, He has not left Himself without a witness, nor you without a teacher. Go to the recorded Christ, and look at that history; listen to those words which survive in the gospels. And go to the living Christ, to Him who has said, I am the light of the world, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. And dim as may be your outsetmore of night than morning in your twilight, as you follow on you shall know the Lord, and with the light that radiates from Himself, your path will shine brighter and brighter unto the perfect day.
It is to Jesus Christ we owe the truth, the tenderness, the purity, the warm affection, the holy aspiration, which go together in that endearing wordhome; for it is He who has made obedience so beautiful, and affection so holy; it is He who has brought the Fathers home so near, and has taught us that love is of God.
It was not until Jesus had cried, It is finished, and from His riven side the soldiers spear had fetched the blood and water; it was not till then that the fountain sealed of Incarnate Love became the fountain opened of Redeeming merit, and that the Siloah began to flow, which ever since has flowed adown the oracles of God.
Just as in the Fathers house there are many mansions, so to suit the various moods and divers cases of anxious souls, there are many chambers and compartments in the gospel citadel; but the very lowest and simplest, if you can only reach it, is salvation. The nearest to the level, but still cleft in the Rock, is called The Faithful Saying; and above its doorway you read, Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.
Keep the home near heaven. Let it face toward the Fathers house. Not only let the day begin and end with God, with mercies acknowledged and forgiveness sought, but let it be seen and felt that God is your chiefest joy, His will in all you do the absolute and sufficient reason.
Nothing draws along with it such a glory as the Sabbath. Never has it unfolded without some witness and welcome, some song and salutation. It has been the coronation day of martyrsthe first day of saints. It has been from the first day till now the sublime day of the church of God; still the outgoings of its morning and evening rejoice. Let us then remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
Seek such union to the Son of God as, leaving no present death within, shall make the second death impossible, and shall leave in all your future only that shadow of death which men call dissolution, and which the gospel calls sleeping in Jesus.
Step by step, He had raised their conceptions of Him nearer the unspeakable grandeur of His true nature and work. At first the Teacher, He had, after a time, by gradual disclosures, revealed Himself as the Son of God veiled in the form of man; and, now, since His crucifixion and resurrection, He had taught them to see in Him the Messiah, exalted to immortal and Divine majesty, as the conqueror of death and the Lord of all.
The Bible is a treasure. It contains enough to make us rich for time and eternity. It contains the secret of happy living. It contains the key of heaven. It contains the title-deeds of an inheritance incorruptible, and that fadeth not away. It contains the pearl of great price. Nay, in so far as it reveals them as the portion of us sinful worms, it contains the Saviour and the living God Himself.
The home came from heaven. Modeled on the Fathers house and the many mansions, and meant the one to be a training place for the other, the home is one of the gifts of the Lord Jesusa special creation of Christianity.
The Saviour who flitted before the patriarchs through the fog of the old dispensation, and who spake in time past to the fathers by the prophets, articulate but unseen, is the same Saviour who, on the open heights of the Gospel, and in the abundant daylight of this New Testament, speaks to us. Still all along it is the same Jesus, and that Bible is from beginning to end, all of it, the word of Christ.
There under the cross is the sinners sanctuarythere, my friend, is the place for you and me. The first smiling look we shall get from God will be when looking unto Jesus; and the first time that we shall experience the alacrity of a lightened conscience, the relief and elasticity of the great life-burden lifted off, will be when we have laid our sins on the Lamb of God.
To get rid of your doubts, part with your sin. Put away your intemperance, your dishonesty, your unlawful ways of making money, your sensuality, your falsehood, acted or spoken, and see if a holy life be not the best disperser of unwelcome doubts, and new obedience the most certain guide to fresh assurance.
We shall be in the midst of some great work, when the tools shall drop from our relaxing fingers, and we shall work no more; we shall be planning some mighty projecthouse, business, society, bookwhen in one shattering moment all our thoughts shall perish. Life shall seem strong in us when we shall find that it is done. Oh, how happy they to whom all that remains is immortality; happy you who have that confidence in the Saviour, that, although nature start at the sudden midnight cry, The Bridegroom cometh! faith shall answer, the moment that we remember who He is, Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
What will you do in a world where the Holy Spirit never strives; where every soul is fully left to its own depravity; and where there is no leisure for repentance, if there were even the desire, but where there is too much present pain to admit repentance; where they gnaw their tongues with pain, and blaspheme the God of heaven?
When at last the angels come to convey your departing spirit to Abrahams bosom, depend upon it, however dazzling in their newness they may be to you, you will find that your history is no novelty, and you yourself no stranger to them.
You have only to cast your life-long guilt, your ungodliness, your evil thoughts and wicked words, your sinful soul itself, into this crime-canceling, sin-annihilating, soul-cleansing Fountain, in order to obliterate from Gods creation your foul transgressions, and yet leave the Divine perfection fair as ever. The sin which a Saviours blood dissolves is the only sin which, after being once committed, is totally extinguished.
You will find that for a smoking flax there is no specific like heavens oxygen; for a faint and flickering piety there is no cure comparable to the one without which all our own exertions are but an effort to light a lamp in a vacuumthe breath of the Holy Spirit.