Tom’s Two Physicians
Our train had just pulled up at a countryside railway station in Australia when a young man entered, and seating himself by my side began quietly to hum the tune of a hymn as the train moved off.
I thought to myself, “If he hums that tune through as many times as there are verses in the hymn, I shall conclude that he is following the words in his mind. I listened, and four times over he went through his tune, that being the length of the hymn. Just then, a fellow-passenger began to hand round to the occupants of the carriage some Gospel tracts, and this young man, noting the title of the one given to him, said, “May I pass this on when I have done with it?” “Certainly,” was the reply.
Observing the title, I said to him, “Do you know the meaning of that—the real meaning in your heart and experience?”
“Yes, thank God, I do.”
“How did that come about?”
“Do you see that farm building away through the gum trees? That is where I come from. I have been there for some time now. My first boss was a Christian man, who was greatly concerned about us fellows. He had Gospel meetings every week for us, but I could not be bothered with the thing. I liked my beer, my pipe and cards, but I just hated what the boss was so keen about. Thus things went on until I found that a strange complaint was affecting me so that I could not get through my work as I used to do.
“At last the boss saw that something was amiss, and he said, ‘Tom, you put the horse in the buggy, and drive down, and see the doctor. You are not right. Let him thoroughly overhaul you.’
“Now, I thought, it is all up with me. The doctor will examine me, and he will probably say, ‘Young man, you have not long to live.’ The boss will turn me off, and then I shall be done. I put the horse in and drove off. The doctor lived ten miles away, and I did not hurry the old horse a bit the first five miles, I can tell you. I got talking to myself in this way. ‘Look here, Tom, you are in a bad way. Probably you will get bad news from the doctor, and if you’ve got to die you’ll just wish you were a Christian. But then, Tom, if the doctor says you are all right you won’t want to be a Christian, will you?’
“As I got working it backwards and forwards in my mind, I saw there was only one thing for it, and that was to give myself right up to the Lord Jesus Christ before I got to the doctor, and knew what my future might be. So I pulled up by the road-side, and jumped out, and got down behind the buggy on the grass, and said—‘Lord Jesus, its no use my going on any longer like this. I am all wrong. I am a big sinner. I am lost, and I know it; but I want Thee, Lord Jesus, to take me just here and now. Oh! take me as I am,’ and the Lord did so. I trusted Him just then and there as my own personal Saviour.
“I jumped into the buggy, and didn’t I go joyfully forward on the road the other five miles! I did not care what might happen now.
“Going along, the Lord seemed to talk to me, as if He were sitting by my side. He seemed to say, ‘Tom, you are Mine now. I want to use you as my messenger to others, but I want you to give up taking any kind of strong drink, for I don’t like My servants to touch it. It is a bad example to others.’ ‘Lord, I said, ‘I will never touch it again.’ ‘And the pipe, Tom; I just want you to give it up for My sake.” Away went my pipe, pouch, and tobacco into the road, for I really felt that the Lord was claiming me altogether.
“I got to the doctor, and he made a close examination of me, and said, ‘Young man, I can put you right if you will attend to my instructions. You must give up all alcoholic drink, for it is bad for your complaint.’
“‘I have given it up already.’
“‘And then you must try and do without tobacco smoking.’
“‘Well, doctor, that’s given’ up, too.’
“‘You will be all right then, if you are careful, young man.’
“‘Thank you, doctor, but oh! I seem to feel all right now. I got put right on the road before I came here.’
“‘Then why did you come to see me?’
“‘The fact is, doctor, I met another Physician while on the way to you.’
“‘Another Doctor! What do you mean? There is no other doctor within forty miles of me. What is his name?’
“Reverently, and with tears coursing down my cheeks, for I could not keep them back, I said, ‘His name is Jesus—the Lord Jesus Christ, doctor,’ and then I told him all that happened. He took my hand and said, ‘Young man, I wish I could say the same as you can, but I cannot. Still, I feel that you have helped me, and I thank you for it. You will be all right ere long in every way.’
“That is how it all came about, and I have been praising God ever since, and I am now glad to help on the Lord’s work on the farm in any way I can.”
Such is Tom’s simple story; and we are glad to reproduce it for the encouragement of others, yourself included, dear reader.
There is nothing more urgent and necessary than to be quite honest with yourself and the Lord Jesus. He has pledged His word that He will receive any one and every one who comes to Him in repentance and faith, as Tom, this young Australian farmer evidently did. Hear His own sweet words, “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).
Will you come? Delays are dangerous. Come now, and then you can gladly and truthfully sing our happy song:—
“Christ receiveth sinful men,
Even me, with all my sin,
Purged from every spot and stain,
Heaven with Him, I’ll enter in.”
The Gospel Messenger 1926, p. 97