The Plain Man's Pathway To Peace

   (No. 1560)




   "And when Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying
   and saying, You son of Da vid, have mercy on us! And when He was come
   into the house, the blind men came to Him: and Jesus said unto them, Do
   you believe that I am able to do this? They said unto Him, Yes, Lord.
   Then He touched their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto
   you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them,
   saying, See that no one knows it." Matthew 9:27-30.

   I AM not about to expound this incident, nor to draw illustrations from
   it, but only to direct your attention to one single point in it and
   that is, its extreme simplicity. There are other cases of blind men and
   we have various incidents connected with them, such as, in one
   instance, the making of clay and the sending of the patient to wash at
   the pool of Siloam and so forth. But here the cure is extremely
   simple--the men are blind, they cry to Jesus, they come near, they
   confess their faith and they receive their sight straightway! In many
   other cases of miracles that were worked by Christ there were
   circumstances of difficulty. In one case a man is let down through the
   roof, being borne of four; in a second case a woman comes behind Him in
   the press and touches the hem of His garment with great effort.

   We read of another who had been dead four days and there seemed to be a
   clear impossibility in the way of his ever coming forth from the tomb.
   But everything is plain sailing here. Here are blind men, conscious of
   their blindness, confident that Christ can give them sight. They cry to
   Him, they come to Him, they believe that He is able to open their eyes
   and they receive their sight at once! You see there was, in their case,
   these simple elements--a sense of blindness, a desire for sight--then
   prayer, then coming to Christ, then an open avowal of faith and then
   the cure. The whole matter lies in a nutshell. There are no details, no
   points of care and nicety which might suggest anxiety--the whole
   business is simplicity, itself, and upon that one point I want to dwell
   at this time.

   There are cases of conversion which are just as simple as this case of
   the opening of the eyes of the blind and we are not to doubt the
   reality of the work of Grace in them because of the remarkable absence
   of amazing incidents and striking details. We are not to suppose that a
   conversion is a less genuine work of the Holy Spirit because it is
   extremely simple. May the Holy Spirit bless our meditation.

   I. To make our discourse useful to many I will begin by remarking, in
   the first place, that it is an undoubted fact that MANY PERSONS ARE
   MUCH TROUBLED IN COMING TO CHRIST. It is a fact which must be
   admitted--that all do not come quite so readily as these blind men
   came. There are instances on record in biographies--there are many
   known to us and, perhaps, our own cases are among them--in which coming
   to Christ was a matter of struggle, of effort, of disappointment, of
   long waiting and, at last, of a kind of desperation by which we were
   forced to come.

   You must have read Mr. John Bunyan's description of how the pilgrims
   came to the wicket gate. They were pointed, you remember, by Evangelist
   to a light and to a gate and they went that way according to his
   bidding. I have told you, sometimes, the story of a young man in
   Edinburgh who was very anxious to speak to others about their souls, so
   he addressed himself one morning to an old Musselburgh fishwife and he
   began by saying to her, "Here you are with your burden." "Yes," she
   said. He asked her, "Did you ever feel a spiritual burden?" "Yes," she
   said, resting a bit, "I felt the spiritual burden years ago, before you
   were born, and I got rid of it, too. But I did not go the same way to
   work that Bunyan's pilgrim did."

   Our young friend was greatly surprised to hear her say that and thought
   she must be under grievous error and therefore begged her to explain.
   "No," she said, "when I was under concern of soul, I heard a true
   Gospel minister who bade

   me look to the Cross of Christ and there I lost my load of sin. I did
   not hear one of those milk-and-water preachers like Bunyan's
   Evangelist." "How," said our young friend, "do you make that out?"
   "Why, that Evangelist, when he met the man with the burden on his back,
   said to him, 'Do you see that wicket gate?' 'No,' he said, 'I don't.'
   'Do you see that light?' 'I think I do.' Why, man," she said, "he
   should not have spoken about wicket gates or lights, but he should have
   said, 'Do you see Jesus Christ hanging on the Cross? Look to Him and
   your burden will fall off your shoulders.'

   "He sent that man round the wrong way when he sent him to the wicket
   gate and much good he got by it, for he was likely to have been choked
   in the Slough of Despond before long! I tell you, I looked at once to
   the Cross and away went my burden." "What?" said this young man, "Did
   you never go through the Slough of Despond?" "Ah," said she, "many a
   time, more than I care to tell. But at the first I heard the preacher
   say, 'Look to Christ,' and I looked to Him. I have been through the
   Slough of Despond since that--but let me tell you, Sir, it is much
   easier to go through that slough with your burden off than it is with
   your burden on!"

   And so it is! Blessed are they whose eyes are only and altogether on
   the Crucified! The older I grow the more sure I am of this, that we
   must have done with self in all forms and see Jesus, only, if we would
   be at peace. Was John Bunyan wrong? Certainly not! He was describing
   things as they generally are. Was the old woman wrong? No! She was
   perfectly right--she was describing things as they ought to be and as I
   wish they always were. Still, experience is not always as it ought to
   be and much of the experience of Christians is not Christian
   experience! It is a fact which I lament, but, nevertheless, must admit,
   that a large number of persons, before they come to the Cross and lose
   their burden, go round about no end of a way, trying this plan and that
   plan with but very slender success, after all, instead of coming
   straightway to Christ just as they are, looking to Him and finding
   light and life at once.

   How is it, then, that some are so long in getting to Christ? I answer,
   first, in some cases it is ignorance. Perhaps there is no subject upon
   which men are so ignorant as the Gospel. Is it not preached in hundreds
   of places? Yes, thank God, it is, and illustrated in no end of books.
   But still men come not at it so--neither hearing nor reading can, of
   themselves, discover the Gospel. It needs the teaching of the Holy
   Spirit, or else men still remain in ignorance as to this simplicity--
   this simplicity of salvation by faith! Men are in the dark and do not
   know the way and so they run here and there and oftentimes go round
   about to find a Savior who is ready, then and there, to bless them!

   They cry, "Oh that I knew where I might find Him!" when, if they did
   but understand the Truth of God, His salvation is near them, "in their
   mouth and in their heart." If with their heart they will believe on the
   Lord Jesus and with their mouth make confession of Him, they shall be
   saved then and there! In many cases, too, men are hindered by
   prejudice. People are brought up with the belief that salvation must be
   through ceremonies and if they get driven out of that, they still
   conclude that it must certainly be in some measure by their works.
   Numbers of people have learned a sort of half-and-half Gospel, part Law
   and part Grace, and they are in a thick fog about salvation.

   They know that redemption has something to do with Christ, but it is
   much of a mixture with them--they do not quite see that it is all
   Christ or no Christ! They have a notion that we are saved by Grace, but
   they do not yet see that salvation must be of Grace from top to bottom.
   They fail to see that in order that salvation may be of Grace it must
   be received by faith and not through the works of the Law, nor by
   priestcraft, nor by any rites and ceremonies whatever. Being brought up
   to believe that surely there is something for them to do, it is long
   before they can get into the clear, blessed sunlight of the Word of God
   where the child of God sees Christ and finds liberty.

   "Believe and live" is a foreign language to a soul which is persuaded
   that its own works are, in a measure, to win eternal life. With many,
   indeed, the hindrance lies in downright bad teaching. The teaching that
   is so common, nowadays, is very dangerous. The service makes no
   distinction between saint and sinner. Certain prayers are used every
   day which are meant for saints and sinners, too--ready-made
   clothes--made to fit everybody and fitting nobody at all. These prayers
   suit neither saint nor sinner, thoroughly beautiful as they are and
   grand as they are--they bring people up under the notion and delusion
   that they are somewhere in a condition between being saved and being
   lost--not actually lost, certainly, but yet not quite saints--they are
   betweenites, mongrels!

   They are a sort of Samaritan that fears the Lord and serves other gods
   and who hopes to be saved by a mixture of Grace and works. It is hard
   to bring men to Grace, alone, and faith, alone--they will stand with
   one foot on the sea and the other foot on the land. Much of teaching
   goes to buoy them up in the notion that there is something in man and
   something to be done by him and, therefore, they do not learn in their
   own souls that they must be saved by Christ and

   not by themselves. Besides that, there is the natural pride of the
   human heart. We do not like to be saved by charity. We must have a
   finger in it! We get pushed into a corner--we are driven farther and
   farther away from self-confidence, but we hang on by our teeth if we
   cannot find a hold by any other means!

   With awful desperation we trust in ourselves. We will cling by our
   eyelashes to the semblance of self-confidence! We will not give up
   carnal confidence if it is possible to hold it. Then comes in, with our
   pride, opposition to God, for the human heart does not love God and it
   frequently shows its opposition by opposing Him about the plan of
   salvation. The enmity of the unrenewed heart is not displayed by actual
   open sin in all cases, for many, by their very growing up, have been
   made to be moral--but they hate God's plan of Grace and Grace,
   alone--and here their gall and bitterness begin to work. How they will
   writhe in their seats if the minister preaches Divine Sovereignty! They
   hate the text, "He will have mercy on whom He will have mercy and He
   will have compassion on whom He will have compassion."

   They talk of the rights of fallen men and of all being treated
   equally--and when it comes to Sovereignty and God's manifesting His
   Grace according to His own absolute will--they cannot endure it! If
   they tolerate God at all, it shall not be on the Throne. If they
   acknowledge His existence, yet not as King of kings and Lord of lords
   who does as He wills and has a right to pardon whom He reserves and to
   leave the guilty, if it so pleases Him, to perish in their guiltiness,
   rejecting the Savior. Ah, the heart loves not God as God, as revealed
   in Scripture, but makes a god unto itself and cries, "These are your
   gods, O Israel."

   In some instances the struggle of the heart in getting to Christ, I
   have no doubt, arises from a singularity of mental conformation and
   such cases ought to be looked upon as exceptions and by no means
   regarded as rules. Now take, for instance, the case of John Bunyan, to
   which we have referred. If you read, "Grace Abounding," you will find
   that, for five years or more, he was the subject of the most fearful
   despair--tempted by Satan, tempted by his own self--always raising
   difficulties against himself. And it was long, long, long before he
   could come to the Cross and find peace. But then, dear Friends, it is
   to the last degree improbable that either you or I will ever turn out
   to be John Bunyans. We may become tinkers, but we shall never write a
   Pilgrim's Progress! We might imitate him in his poverty, but we are not
   likely to emulate him in his genius.

   A man with such an imagination, full of wondrous dreams, is not born
   every day and when he does come along, his inheritance of brain is not
   all a gain in the direction of a restful life. When Bunyan's
   imagination had been purified and sanctified, its masterly productions
   were seen in his marvelous allegories! But while, as yet, he had not
   been renewed and reconciled to God--with such a mind so strangely
   formed, so devoid of all education and brought up, as he had been, in
   the roughest society--he was dowered with a fearful heritage. That
   marvelous fancy would have worked him wondrous woe if it had not been
   controlled by the Divine Spirit! Do you wonder that, in coming to the
   day, those eyes which had been veiled in such dense darkness could
   scarcely bear the light and that the man should think the darkness all
   the darker when the light began to shine upon him? Bunyan was one by
   himself--not the rule, but the exception.

   Now, you, dear Friend, may be an odd person. Very likely you are and I
   can sympathize with you, for I am odd enough, myself. But do not lay
   down a law that everybody else must be odd, too. If you and I did
   happen to go round by the back ways, do not let us think that everybody
   ought to follow our bad example. Let us be very thankful that some
   people's minds are less twisted and gnarled than ours and do not let us
   set up our experience as a standard for other people. No doubt
   difficulties may arise from an extraordinary quality of mind with which
   God may have gifted some, or a depression of spirit natural to
   others--and these may make them peculiar as long as they live.

   Besides, there are some who are kept from coming to Christ through
   remarkable assaults of Satan. You remember the story of the child whom
   his father would bring to Jesus, but, "as he was a coming, the devil
   threw him down and tore him"? The evil spirit knew that his time was
   short and he must soon be expelled from his victim and, therefore, he
   cast him on the ground and made him wallow in epilepsy and left him
   half dead. So does Satan with many men. He sets upon them with all the
   brutality of his fiendish nature and expends his malice upon them
   because he fears that they are about to escape from his service and he
   will no longer be able to tyrannize over them. As Watts says--

   "He worries whom He can't devour, With a malicious joy."

   Now, if some come to Christ and the devil is not permitted to assail
   them; if some come to Christ and there is nothing strange about their
   experience; if some come to Christ and pride and opposition have been
   conquered in their nature; if some come to Christ and they are not
   ignorant but well instructed and readily see the light, let us rejoice
   that it is so! It is of such that I am now about to speak somewhat more
   at length.

   II. It is admitted as an undoubted fact that many are much troubled in
   coming to Christ but now, secondly, THIS IS

   I mention this because I

   have known Christian men distressed in heart because they fear that
   they came to Christ too easily. They have half imagined, as they looked
   back, that they could not have been converted at all because their
   conversion was not attended with such agony and torment of mind as
   others speak of.

   I would first remark that it is very difficult to see how despairing
   feelings can be essential to salvation! Look for a minute. Can it be
   possible that unbelief can help a soul to faith? Is it not certain that
   the anguish which many experience before they come to Christ arises
   from the fact of their unbelief? They do not trust--they say they
   cannot trust--and so they are like the troubled sea which cannot rest.
   Their mind is tossed to and fro and vexed sorely through unbelief. Is
   this a foundation for holy trust? It would seem to me the oddest thing
   in all the world that unbelief should be a preparation for faith! How
   can it be that to sow the ground with thistle seed should make it more
   ready for the good corn? Are fire and sword helpers to national
   prosperity? Is deadly poison an assistance to health?

   I do not understand it. It seems to me to be far better for the soul to
   believe the Word of God at once and far more likely to be a genuine
   work when the soul, convicted of sin, accepts the Savior. Here is God's
   way of salvation and He demands that I trust His dear Son who died for
   sinners. I perceive that Christ is worthy to be trusted, for He is the
   Son of God--so that His sacrifice must be able to put away my sin. I
   perceive, also, that He laid down His life in the place of His people
   and, therefore, I heartily trust Him. God bids me trust Him and I trust
   Him without any further question. If Jesus Christ satisfies God, He
   certainly satisfies me! And, asking no further question, I come and
   trust myself with Him.

   Does not this kind of action appear to have about it all that can be
   necessary? Can it possibly be that a raging, raving despair can ever be
   helpful towards saving faith? I do not see it. I cannot think it! Some
   have been beaten about with most awful thoughts. They have supposed
   that God could not possibly forgive them--they have imagined that, even
   if He could pardon them He would not since they were not His elect, nor
   His redeemed! Though they have seen the Gospel invitation written in
   letters of love--"Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden,
   and I will give you rest," they dare to question whether they should
   find rest if they came and they invent suspicions and surmises, some of
   them amounting, even, to blasphemy against the Character of God and the
   Person of His Christ!

   That such people have been forgiven according to the riches of Divine
   Grace I do verily believe, but that their sinful thoughts ever helped
   them to obtain pardon I cannot imagine! That my own dark thoughts of
   God, which left many a scar upon my spirit, were washed away with all
   my other sins, I know. And that there was never any good in those
   things, or that I can look back upon them without shame and regret is
   also a thing I know! I cannot see of what particular service they could
   have been to anybody! Shall one bath of ink take out the stain of
   another? Can our sin be removed by our sinning more? It is impossible
   that sin could aid Grace and that the greatest of all sins, the sin of
   unbelief, should help towards faith!

   Yet, once again, dear Friends, much of all this struggling and tumult
   within which some have experienced is the work of the devil, as I have
   already said. Can it be essential to salvation for a man to be under
   the influence of Satan? Is it necessary that the devil should come in
   to help Christ? Is it absolutely essential for the black fingers of the
   devil to be seen at work with the lily hands of the Redeemer?
   Impossible! That is not my judgment of the work of Satan nor will it, I
   think, be yours if you will look at it. If you never were driven either
   to blasphemy or despair by Satan, thank God you never were! You would
   have gained nothing by it--you would have been a serious loser. Let no
   man imagine that if he had been the prey of tormenting suggestions his
   conversion would have more marks of the Truth of God about it--no
   mistake can be more groundless!

   It cannot be that the devil can be of any service to anyone among you.
   He will do you damage and nothing but damage. Every blow he strikes,
   hurts but does not heal. Mr. Bunyan, himself says, when he speaks of
   Christian fighting with Apollyon, that, though he won the victory, he
   was no gainer by it. A man had better go many miles round about, over
   hedge and ditch, sooner than once come into conflict with Apollyon! All
   that is essential to conversion is found in the

   simpler way of coming at once to Jesus and, as to anything else, we
   must face it, if it comes, but certainly not look for it! It is easy to
   see how Satanic temptation hampers and how it keeps men in bondage when
   otherwise they might be at liberty, but what good it can do, in itself,
   it would be difficult to tell.

   Once again, many instances prove that all this law work and doubting
   and fearing and despairing and being tormented by Satan are not
   essential because there are scores and hundreds of Christians who came
   at once to Christ, as these two blind men did and, to this very day,
   know very little about those things. I could, if it were proper, call
   upon Brothers and Sisters who are around me at this moment who would
   tell you that when I have been preaching the experience of those who
   come to Christ with difficulty, they have been glad that it should be
   preached, but they have felt, "We know nothing of all this in our own

   Taught from their very youth the way of God; trained by godly parents;
   they came under the influences of the Holy Spirit very early in life.
   They heard that Jesus Christ could save them. They knew that they
   needed saving and they just went to Him. I was about to say, almost as
   naturally as they went to their mother or their father when they were
   in need--they trusted the Savior and they found peace at once! Several
   of the honored leaders of this Church came to the Lord in this simple
   manner. Only yesterday I was greatly pleased with several that I saw
   who confessed faith in Jesus in a way which charmed me and yet, about
   their Christian experience there was little trace of terrible burns and
   scars. They heard the Gospel--they saw the suitability of it to their
   case--and they accepted it then and there and entered immediately into
   peace and joy.

   Now, we do not tell you that there are a few such plain cases, but we
   assert boldly that we know hosts of like instances and that there are
   thousands of God's most honored servants who are walking before Him in
   holiness and are eminently useful whose experience is as simple as A B
   C. Their whole story might be summed up in the verse--

   "I came to Jesus as I was,

   Weary and worn and sad;

   I found in Him a resting place,

   And He has made me glad."

   I will go yet further and assure you that many of those who give the
   best evidence that they are renewed by Grace cannot tell you the day in
   which they were saved and cannot attribute their conversion to any one
   sermon or to any one text of Scripture, or to any one event in life! We
   dare not doubt their conversion for their lives prove its truth. You
   may have many trees in your garden of which you must admit that you
   don't know when they were planted--but if you get plenty of fruit from
   them--you are not very particular about the date of their striking

   I am acquainted with several persons who do not know their own age. I
   was talking to one the other day who thought herself 10 years older
   than I found her out to be. I did not tell her that she was not alive
   because she did not know her birthday. If I had told her so, she would
   have laughed at me and yet there are some who fancy that they cannot be
   converted because they do not know the date of their conversion! Oh, if
   you are trusting the Savior--if He is all your salvation and all your
   desire and if your life is affected by your faith so that you bring
   forth the fruits of the Spirit, you need not worry about times and

   Thousands in the fold of Jesus can declare that they are in it, but the
   day that they passed through the gate is totally unknown to them.
   Thousands there are who came to Christ, not in the darkness of the
   night, but in the brightness of the day and these cannot talk of weary
   waiting and watching, though they can sing of Free Grace and dying
   love! They came joyously home to their Father's house! The sadness of
   repentance was sweetened with the delight of faith which came
   simultaneously with repentance to their hearts. I know it is so! We
   tell you but the simple Truth of God. Many young people are brought to
   the Savior to the sound of sweet music. Many, also, of another class,
   namely, the simple-minded, come in like manner. We might all wish to
   belong to that class.

   Some professors would be ashamed to be thought simple-minded, but I
   would glory in it. Too many of the doubting, critical order are great
   puzzle-makers and great fools for their pains. The childlike ones drink
   the milk while these folks are analyzing it! They seem, every night, to
   take themselves to pieces before they go to bed and it is very hard for
   them, in the morning, to put themselves together again. To some minds
   the hardest thing in the world is to believe a self-evident truth. They
   must always, if they can, make a dust and a mist and puzzle,
   themselves, or else they are not happy. In fact, they are never sure
   till they are uncertain and never at ease till they are disturbed.
   Blessed are those who believe that God cannot lie and are quite sure it
   must be so if God has said it--these cast themselves upon Christ
   whether they sink or

   swim because if Christ's salvation is God's way of saving man--it must
   be the right way and they accept it! Many, I say, have thus come to

   Now, proceeding a step farther, there are all the essentials of
   salvation in the simple, pleasant, happy way of coming to Jesus just as
   you are, for what are the essentials? The first is repentance and these
   dear souls, though they feel no remorse, yet hate the sin they once
   loved. Though they know no dread of Hell, yet they feel a dread of sin,
   which is a great deal better. Though they have never stood shivering
   under the gallows, yet the crime is more dreadful to them than the
   doom. They have been taught by God's Spirit to love righteousness and
   seek after holiness and this is the very essence of repentance! Those
   who thus come to Christ have certainly obtained true faith. They have
   no experience which they could trust in, but they are all the more
   fully driven to rest in what Christ has felt and done.

   They rest not in their own tears, but in Christ's blood--not in their
   own emotions, but in Christ's pangs--not in their consciousness of
   ruin, but in the certainty that Christ has come to save all those that
   trust Him. They have faith of the purest kind! And see, too, how
   certainly they have love. "Faith works by love" and they show it. They
   often seem to have more love at the first than those who come so
   dreadfully burdened and tempest-tossed, for, in the calm quiet of their
   minds they get a fairer view of the beauties of the Savior and they
   burn with love to Him and they commence to serve Him while others, as
   yet, are having their wounds healed and are trying to make their broken
   bones rejoice.

   I am not wishing to depreciate a painful experience, but I am only
   trying to show as to this second class, that their simple coming to
   Christ, as the blind men came--their simply believing that He could
   give them sight--is not one whit inferior to the other and has in it
   all the essentials of salvation. For, next, notice that the Gospel
   command implies in itself nothing of the kind which some have
   experienced. What are we bid to preach to men--"Be dragged about by the
   devil and you shall be saved"? No, but, "Believe in the Lord Jesus
   Christ and you shall be saved." What is my commission at this time? To
   say to you, "Despair and you shall be saved"? No, verily, but, "Believe
   and you shall be saved."

   Are we to come here and say, "Torture yourself! Mangle your heart,
   scourge your spirit, grind your very soul to powder in desperation"?
   No, but, "Believe in the infinite goodness and mercy of God in the
   Person of His dear Son and come and trust Him." That is the Gospel
   command! It is put in various forms. This is one--"Look unto Me and be
   you saved, all the ends of the earth." Now, if I were to come and say,
   "Tear your eyes out," that would not be the Gospel, would it? No, but
   "Look!" The Gospel does not say, "Cry your eyes out," but, "Look!" And
   it does not say, "Blind your eyes with a hot iron." No, but, "Look,
   look, look!" It is just the very opposite of anything like remorse,
   despair and blasphemous thought. It is just, "Look."

   Then it is put in another shape. We are told to take of the Water of
   Life freely. We are bid to drink of the eternal spring of love and
   life. What are we told to do? To make this Water of Life scalding hot?
   No. We are to drink it as it freely flows out of the Fountain. Are we
   to make it drip after the manner of the Inquisition, a drop at a time
   and to lie under it and feel the perpetual drip of a scanty trickling?
   Nothing of the sort! We are just to step down to the Fountain and drink
   and be content, for it will quench our thirst! What is the Gospel,
   again? Is it not to eat the Bread of Heaven? "Eat you that which is
   good." There is the Gospel banquet and we are to compel men to come
   in--and what are they to do when they come in? Silently to look on
   while others eat? Stand and wait till they feel more hungry? Try 40
   days' fasting, like Dr. Tanner? Nothing of the sort!

   You might think this to be the Gospel by the way some people preach and
   act, but it is not so. You are to feast on Christ at once! You need not
   fast till you turn yourself into a living skeleton and then come to
   Christ. I am sent with no such message as that, but this is my word of
   good cheer--"Listen diligently to me and eat that which is good and let
   your soul delight itself in fatness. He--everyone--that thirsts, come
   to the waters and he that has no money, let him come, buy wine and
   milk, without money and without price." Freely take what God freely
   gives and simply trust the Savior! Is not that the Gospel? Well, then,
   why should any of you say, "I cannot trust Christ because I don't feel
   this and don't feel that"?

   Do I not solemnly assure you that I have known of many who have come to
   Christ just as they were--who have never undergone those horrible
   feelings which are so much spoken of and yet have been most truly
   saved? Come as you are! Do not try to make a righteousness out of your
   unrighteousness, or a confidence out of your unbelief, or a Christ out
   of your blasphemies as some seem to do! Nor dote so foolishly as to
   imagine that despair may be a ground of hope. It cannot be! You are to
   get out of self and into Christ and there you will be safe. As the
   blind men said, when Christ asked them, "Do

   you believe that I am able to do this?" so are you to say to Him, "Yes,
   Lord." Trust yourself with your Savior and He is your Savior!

   III. I conclude with one more observation--THOSE PERSONS WHO ARE

   something, certainly, but there

   is not much in it. They lose somewhat of the picturesque and they have
   less to tell. When a man has had a long series of trials to drive him
   out of himself and, at last, comes to Christ like a wrecked vessel
   tugged into port, he has a story to talk of and write about and,
   perhaps, he thinks it interesting to be able to tell. And, if he can
   tell it to God's Glory, it is quite proper that he should. Many of
   these stories are found in biographies because they are the incidents
   which excite interest and make a life worth writing about--but you must
   not conclude that all godly lives are of the same sort.

   Happy are those whose lives could not be written because they were so
   happy as to be uneventful. Some of the most favored lives do not get
   written because there is nothing very picturesque about them. But I ask
   you this--when those blind men came to Christ just as they were and
   said that they believed that He could open their eyes and He did open
   their eyes--is there not as much of Christ in their story as there well
   could be? The men, themselves, are nowhere--the healing Master is in
   the foreground! More detail might almost take away the peculiar
   prominence that He has in it all. There He stands, the blessed,
   glorious Opener of the eyes of the two blind men! There He stands and
   His name is glorious!

   There was a woman who had spent all her substance upon physicians and
   was nothing better, but rather grew worse. She had a long tale to tell
   of the various doctors she had been to, but I do not know that the
   narrative of her many disappointments would glorify the Lord Jesus one
   bit more than when these two blind men could say, "We heard of Him and
   we went to Him and He opened our eyes! We never spent a halfpenny upon
   doctors. We went straightaway to Jesus, just as we were, and all He
   said to us was, 'Do you think that I can do it?' and we said, 'Yes, we
   believe You can,' and He opened our eyes at once and it was all done."
   Oh, if my experience should ever stand in my Master's light, perish my
   best experience! Let Christ be first, last, midst--don't you agree, my
   Brothers and Sisters?

   If you, poor Sinner, come to Christ at once with nothing about you
   whatever that you ever can talk of--if you are just a nobody coming to
   the ever-blessed Everybody--if you are a mere nothing coming to Him who
   is the All-in-All! If you are a lump of sin and misery, a great vacuum,
   nothing but an emptiness that never is thought of any more--if you will
   come and lose yourselves in His infinitely glorious Grace--this will be
   all that is needed! It seems to me that you will lose nothing by the
   fact that there is not so much of the picturesque and the sensational
   in your experience. There will be, at least, this grand sensation--lost
   in self but saved in Jesus--glory be to His name! Perhaps you may
   suppose that persons who come thus gently lose something by way of
   evidence afterwards. "Ah," said one to me, "I could almost wish,
   sometimes, that I had been an open offender so that I might see the
   change in my character. But, having been always moral from my youth up,
   I am not always able to see any distinct sign of a change."

   Ah, let me tell you, Friends, that this form of evidence is of small
   use in times of darkness, for if the devil cannot say to a man, "You
   have not changed your life"--for there are some that he would not have
   the impudence to say that to, since the change is too manifest for him
   to deny it--he says, "You changed your actions, but your heart is still
   the same. You turned from a bold, honest sinner to be a hypocritical,
   canting professor! That is all you have done! You have given up open
   sin because your strong passions declined, or you thought you would
   like another way of sinning--and now you are only making a false
   profession and living far from what you should do." Very little
   consolation is to be had even out of the change that conversion works
   when once the arch-enemy becomes our accuser.

   In fact, it comes to this--however you come to Christ you can never
   place any confidence in how you came. Your confidence must always rest
   in Him to whom you came--that is, in Christ--whether you come to Him
   flying, or running, or walking. If you get to Jesus you are all right!
   It is not how you come--it is whether you come to Him! Have you come to
   Jesus? Do you come to Jesus? If you have come and you doubt whether you
   have come, come again! Never quarrel with Satan about whether you are a
   Christian. If he says you are a sinner, reply to him, "So I am, but
   Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners and I will begin
   again." He is an old lawyer, you know, and very cunning. He knows how
   to baffle us, for we do not understand things as well as he does.

   He has been, these thousands of years, at the trade of trying to make
   Christians doubt their interest in Christ and he understands it well.
   Never answer him! Refer him to your Solicitor--tell him you have an
   Advocate on high who will answer him. Tell him you will fly away to
   Christ, again. If you never went to Jesus before, you will go now and,
   if you

   have been before, you will go again! That is the way to end the
   quarrel. As to evidences, they are fine things in fine weather, but
   when the tempest is out, wise men let evidences go. The best evidence a
   man can have that he is saved is that he is still clinging to Christ!

   Lastly, some may suppose that those who come gently to Christ may lose
   a good deal of adaptation for later usefulness because they will not be
   able to sympathize with those who are in deep perplexity and in awful
   straits when they are coming to Christ. Ah, well, there are enough of
   us who can sympathize with such and I do not know that everybody is
   bound to sympathize with everybody in every respect. I remember
   mentioning, one day, to a man who had considerable property, that his
   poor minister had a large family and could scarcely keep a coat on his
   back. I said I wondered how some Christian men who profited under the
   ministry of such a man did not supply his needs.

   He answered that he thought it was a good thing for ministers to be
   poor because they could sympathize with the poor. I said, "Yes, yes,
   but then, don't you see, there ought to be one or two that are not poor
   to sympathize with those who are rich." I would go one better,
   certainly, and let the poor pastor, now and then, have the power to
   sympathize with both classes! He did not seem to understand my
   argument, but I think there is a good deal in it. It is a great mercy
   to have some Brethren around us who, by their painful experience, can
   sympathize with those who have been through that pain. But don't you
   think it is a great mercy to have others who, through not having
   undergone that experience, can sympathize with others who have not
   undergone it?

   Is it not useful to have some who can say, "Well, dear Heart, don't be
   troubled because the great dog of Hell did not howl at you. If you have
   entered the gate calmly and quietly and Christ has received you, do not
   be troubled because you are not barked at by the devil, for I, too,
   came to Jesus just as gently and safely and sweetly as you have done"?
   Such a testimony will comfort the poor soul and so, if you lose the
   power to sympathize one way, you will gain the power to sympathize in
   another--and there will be no great loss, after all. To sum it all
   up--I would that every man and woman and child here would come and
   trust the Lord Jesus Christ! It seems to me to be such a matchless plan
   of salvation--for Christ to take human sin and to suffer in the
   sinner's stead and for us to have nothing to do but just to accept what
   Christ has done and to trust ourselves wholly with Him!

   He that would not be saved by such a plan as this deserves to
   perish--and so he will! Was there ever so sweet, so sure and so plain a
   Gospel? It is a joy to preach it! Will you have it? Dear Souls, will
   you not yield to be nothing and have Jesus to be All in All? God grant
   that none of us may reject this way of Grace, this open way, this safe
   way. Come, linger no longer. The Spirit and the bride say "Come." Lord,
   draw them by the love of Jesus! Amen.