Gospel Jottings

“The blood of Christ, which satisfies the JUSTICE of God, may well satisfy the CONSCIENCE of an awakened sinner.”

Should there be a soul trusting Christ, and yet not sure of his acceptance with God, reading these lines, we feel sure that they may well bring peace and comfort to his mind.

The lesser is included in the greater. The greater is that God’s justice should be satisfied. Without that there is no salvation for any. With it there is forgiveness and pardon for all. That God’s justice has been gloriously satisfied is claimed by the words of the dying Saviour, “It is finished”; and that claim has been most blessedly allowed by God in that He has raised Jesus from the dead, and crowned Him with glory and honour. The same hand of justice that smote the divine Substitute on the tree has crowned the mighty Victor on the everlasting throne.

The lesser is the satisfying of the guilty conscience of the awakened sinner. Once the anxious soul learns that God is satisfied, then it follows that it is proud presumption for the believing sinner not to be satisfied. Faith sets to its seal that God is true. A foundation such as this nothing can shake. “God is just and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26). Have you believed in Him? That settles everything.

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“Half-way to Christ is a dreadful place. Take you heed—to be NEAR the lifeboat is different to being IN it—take you heed.”

In one sense no one can be half-way to Christ. There is no half-way house. You are either in your sins or in Christ. There is no middle ground. On the other hand King Agrippa could say to the Apostle Paul, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” Bethsaida was exalted to heaven and yet thrust down to hell.

So you may be the child of a praying mother, know the Gospel as well as the preacher does, and yet perish in your sins. You may often have felt impressed at a Gospel service, and yet die a hardened sinner.

The reflection of such privileges, as we have outlined being theirs, and yet slighted and refused, will but add to the torments of many of the lost. Far better to have died a dark, ignorant heathen, to whom the name of Jesus is unknown, than to pass away into God’s presence unrepentant and unsaved from all the light and warmth of Christianity.

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“‘It’s a very simple way to Heaven,’ said a poor, unlettered man, ‘if people would only take it. There are only three steps. Out of self—into Christ—into glory.’”

Alas! it is the very simplicity of the Gospel that stumbles so many. If only we were more simple we should get along better. We are too complex, and judge God by the standard of a man. We say the Gospel is too cheap, or too easy, or too good to be true, and in that way God is insulted and His word refused. The Gospel cheap! Nothing has ever or will ever cost so much. Creation cost a word. Salvation cost God His Son; it cost the Lord Jesus all the shame of Calvary. The Gospel too easy! If it were not without money and without merit, it could not be universal, for some have no money, and according to Holy Writ, none have merit, for “they are together become unprofitable.” The Gospel too good to be true! Why, thousands have proved it to be good, superlatively good, but—true!! emphatically true. Oh! reader, take these steps to blessing: Out of self—into Christ. Into glory will come in God’s own good time.

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“After the death of Mr. Sandeman, a devoted missionary in China, there were found written in large letters in his notebook, ‘ETERNITY, ETERNITY.”

Would that every man and woman in the land lived in the light of eternity! What a difference it would make in their whole outlook. Business would not be everything. Pleasure would not engross. Indeed, our chief business and pleasure would be in connection with eternal things. A gentleman offered a tract to a lady in a train, and received the withering reply, “Please attend to your own business.” “That’s exactly what I am doing, madam,” he replied; “my business is with souls.”

And do not think it is gloomy when one’s chief business and pleasure is with eternity. Ask any bright Christian acquaintance of yours, and they will tell you the pleasures of this life are but as “the crackling of thorns under the pot,” that in Christ they have “a deep, sweet well of love,” to use Samuel Rutherford’s quaint but expressive phrase. Only try it, and you will see, and above all let eternity have far more weight in your thoughts than time, for time is like a drop in the ocean; eternity, the ocean, boundless, fathomless, shoreless. ETERNITY! ETERNITY!!

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“During the last year it is computed that between 30,000,000 and 40,000,000 of the world’s population have died and been buried.”

Place them in a long array, and they will give a moving column of more than 1,300 to every mile of the earth’s circumference.

Their march began with the cradle and has ended with the grave so far as this earth is concerned. Your march was begun, perhaps twenty, thirty, forty years ago. Each step you take brings you nearer to the fateful end. Longfellow sings sadly enough, but how truly, that

“. . . our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.”

And after the grave, what then? Resurrection—eternity, either with Christ in glory or with the lost in despair.

Reader, had you died during last year, where would your soul have been? Do face the question. We are your true friends in urging this upon you.

God is merciful. Christ has died. Salvation is offered. “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). Now is the time to face these things, and may the issue be a happy one for you.

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The Inconsistency of Atheism.

The infidel, desiring to deny the existence of God, must of necessity deny the existence of a Creator. In loud, swelling, empty words he will tell you that the earth, with its beauties, was the result of “a fortuitous concourse of atoms,” which simply means that a lot of atoms coming together without guiding hand, by pure chance, produced this world. The belief infidelity requires is far beyond that which revelation asks. The latter is simple, understandable, and majestic. The former is staggering beyond all belief. For if there is “a concourse of atoms,” how came they to be atoms? and if they came together, who gave the law of motion? In short, how did something come out of nothing? Of course, the idea of an uncreated, eternally-existent God is beyond the creatures’ powers of explanation, but yet the soul demands such an idea; and if we could explain the idea it would cease to satisfy our souls, for God is to be worshipped and adored. How can the creature understand the Being of his Creator?

A well-known writer ridicules the inconsistency of atheism. He says: “You can put away the mystery of God, and you get in return the greater mystery of godlessness. The infidel’s account of creation is neither more nor less than a fool’s account. A chair could not have made itself, but the infidel says that the sun is self-created. Your coat had a maker, but the infidel says that your soul had none. The wax flower of your table was made, but the roses in your garden, the infidel says, grew by chance. The figure-head on the ship was carved by some hand, but the face of the carver, so the infidel says, became a face by chance, without design or without law.” Shall we believe such arrant nonsense? The devil will try to deceive you, weaken the Creator’s hold over the conscience, but I beg you to refuse his lies, and remember not only that God is the Creator of all things, but that you are His creature, and to Him you must give your account. “Every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12).

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The Need of Redemption.

It is very evident that a man who disbelieves in the Creator is not likely to believe in the Redeemer, and yet it is just because God, the Creator, is holy and must punish sin, and we His creatures are sinful and lost, that we need a Redeemer. We cannot put away our own sins—no amount of reformation or religiousness can atone for our guilt. The king upon his throne, the beggar upon the dunghill, the professor of morality in his chair, and the lewd sinner in the unspeakable slums—all alike need a Redeemer, a Saviour. It has been most solemnly said, “At every swing of the pendulum a soul goes into eternity. Between the rising and setting of every sun 43,000 souls are summoned before their Creator. Death is very busy, night and day, at all seasons, and in all climes.”

What a dreadful life this would be had we no Redeemer! To be sinners—aye, dying sinners, the heavens as brass above our heads, and hell yawning to engulf us, and each step taking us nearer to an awful eternity, would be sad indeed. How different! God in heaven ready to forgive each sinner pleading the blood of Jesus; nay, a God who beseeches us to be reconciled; a triumphant Saviour sitting on God’s throne, who can say, “Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out”; there is no excuse for any missing the blessing.

Will you miss it? Thousands are doing so. Your neighbours on every hand are doing so. Will you do so?

Oh! be in earnest. God is willing to save you; the redemption price has been paid by Jesus in blood on the cross of shame. There is no barrier on God’s side. Indifference or pride may hinder you—indifference as to your state before God as a sinner; or pride, preventing you from taking the low place before Him and receiving without any return on your part the free gift of salvation.

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When is the Time to be Saved?

God says, “Behold, NOW is the accepted time; behold, NOW is the day of salvation.” It is folly to put off such a question to old age, when the faculties are enfeebled, and procrastination has become a second habit, or to a deathbed, when the body is racked with pain, and weakened by disease.

“Millions of money for a moment of time,” exclaimed Queen Elizabeth as her end approached; but money was without value. Death was not to be bribed.

“It is too late, I am lost,” was the dying cry of a young man. A gracious revival had visited his district, but be had passed through it unmoved. Sudden sickness laid him low, death stared him in the face, and he was filled with anguish and despair. And so he died.

“I won’t die, I can’t die,” shrieked a young lady, as she covered her head with the bedclothes. And thus she died. No power of will could avert the blow of death; willing or unwilling, the end had to be faced.

We could multiply cases, but forbear. You have ample witness of the awful power of death. We cannot do more than bear solemn testimony to its power, and draw your attention to the fact that it is the wages of sin. (See Rom. 6:23.)

And above all we would draw your attention to the death of Jesus, for He died “the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Pet. 3:18). It is just here that the good news comes in, and death becomes no longer feared by the believer in Jesus. Death for the sinner is like the young lion that roared against Samson; death for the believer is like its carcase filled with honey, it can no longer terrify, but ministers food and sweetness. Out of the eater has come forth meat; and out of the strong has come forth sweetness. The believer can exultantly say, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15:5). “To depart, and to be with Christ . . . is far better” (Phil. 1:23).

Oh! NOW is wisdom’s hour and God’s hour for salvation. God grant that, if unsaved, you may not allow any further delay in this most important matter, but trust the Lord at once.

Gospel Tidings Annual 1906, p. 77, etc.