A few years ago it
pleased the Holy Spirit to work a saving change in
the heart of a poor sailor, while out at sea.
Jack knew nothing of real religion, nor had
he one on board with him to whom he could open his
mind. Convinced of sin, afraid of hell--he was
terrified and alarmed, and knew not what to do. He
prayed, obtained a Bible, read it, and sunk still
deeper into distress of soul. At length all hope
that he could be saved was taken away, and
self-despair seized him. He considered his case
to be singular, and was now tempted to drown his
convictions in the intoxicating cup, and then
to end his miserable life by suicide.
At length, when he had done
business in these deep waters of despair for
a time, the Holy Spirit revealed Jesus to his soul
as an able and willing Savior; and, committing
himself entirely to Jesus, to be saved wholly by
him--he found peace with God, and was filled with
In this state of mind he reached
the port, and soon inquired where he could hear the
Gospel. He was directed to a place of worship, where
a friend of mine was preaching. When Jack entered,
he was all eyes and ears. The first hymn was full of
Christ, and poor Jack felt his heart swell. In the
prayer, the minister appeared to speak the very
feelings of Jack's soul. As sweet as the first hymn
was--the second appeared to be sweeter, and the
tears flowed down poor Jack's cheeks!
At length the minister arose to
announce his text, which was Colossians 3:11, and
fixing his eyes on the poor sailor--he emphatically
pronounced the words, "Christ is all!" When
the minister once more said, "Christ is all!"
Jack could contain himself no longer, and
at the top of his voice, Jack shouted--"And
poor Jack's nothing at all!"
This was just the poor sailor's
religion--"Jesus Christ is all in all--and poor
Jack is nothing at all!" And this is the
religion of every one who is taught of God!
The work of the Holy Spirit has a
twofold tendency--to humble the sinner, and
exalt the Savior! And just in proportion as
we are taught by the Spirit of God, shall we have
low views of ourselves--and high thoughts of Christ.
As the sinner sinks--the Savior rises
in his estimation.
Christ is all that the sinner
needs--and all that the saint desires. He
is a perfect Savior--and an infinite
portion. Christ has all, and gives
all that we can need: his blood procures our
pardon, his righteousness secures our
justification, his Spirit sanctifies our
nature, and his fullness supplies all our
needs! He is just suited to the sinner--and the
sinner is just suited to him. He loves to save,
to save freely, to save perfectly, and
to save forever; and the sinner who is taught
of God, feels that he needs just such a Savior. And
this makes the Gospel so sweet and precious to every
truly convinced sinner, because it proclaims as from
the mouth of God, that the Lord Jesus is a
perfect Savior--a present Savior--a
willing Savior--who never did, and never will,
cast out one that comes to him.
Reader, are you truly saved? If
so--your religion is the same as poor Jack's,
and you can say:
"I am a poor sinner and nothing at all,
And Jesus Christ is all in all!"
You must be brought to
this--before you can be saved, for salvation is
entirely of grace, and grace only saves the
unworthy. Grace will save you--if you feel
that you are lost, and unable to do anything toward
your own salvation, and are willing to be saved
gratuitously through simple faith in Christ. Anyone
may be saved in this way--but there is no
possibility of being saved in any other way; for
there is no other name under heaven given among men
whereby we can be saved. "Believe on the Lord Jesus
Christ--and you shall be saved!" For, "Whoever
believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever
rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath
remains on him!"