Praying and Pushing
Address by Mr. Charles Inglis in Exeter Hall.
In various parts of this country where it is my privilege to hold Evangelistic meetings, I generally try, if possible, to have a meeting among the Police. I generally find that they rally up to those meetings, and in the places where I have been, it has been my joy to shake hands with many who are on the Lord's side, and who are pressing onward to the kingdom.
I presume that in this meeting to-night there are two classes; there are those who know their sins to be forgiven, and there are those here who have never yet, perhaps, trusted the Lord Jesus Christ. The few words which I may have to say, I desire to speak to those two classes. It seems to me, Christian friends, that we must never be satisfied with simply being saved ourselves, but that we must seek to put forth every effort to reach those of our friends who are still without Christ. I remember that some time ago, when I was down at Brighton holding meetings, I heard of two little girls and a servant, who were playing at what they called "Hide and Seek;" and one of the little girls, who was about four years of age, and the servant hid themselves in a press; they closed the door, and could not open it. The little girl who was seeking after them could not succeed in opening the door either; so she went out into the street to bring in one of the neighbours, and when she had gone outside, the front door closed. The servant who was in the press said to the little girl four years of age, "Now, what must we do?" "Well," said the little girl, "Mamma always told me that when I got into any trouble, I was to be sure and pray to God, and He would help me out." "Well," said the servant, "I think you had better start praying." The little thing asked the Lord to help them out of this press; and when she had finished her little prayer inside that press, the servant said, "Now what must we do next?" to which she answered, "Well, we have prayed, and I think the next best thing is to push." And, it seems to me, we must not only be praying, but God help us to be pushing too.
Now there are some in this audience who, perhaps, have never yet realized their sins forgiven. I am sure you have heard in the meetings that have been held, and in the addresses that have been given, that those who have begun to feel any anxiety about their souls have reached a very solemn point in their lives. And it may be that there are some of you here to-night who are saying to yourselves, "Well, how am I to do it?"
I remember preaching some time ago in a distant part, and there was a gentleman with whom I was staying that had a clerk in his employ who was very anxious about his soul's salvation. A good many of God's servants who had stayed with that gentleman had spoken to this clerk about his salvation, but he had always met them with this reply; "Well, but HOW AM I TO DO IT?"
One day this gentleman sent down a note by the post boy, telling that clerk to come up and see him when the day's work was done; and when the day's work was over, the clerk was up at the house. He pulled the bell; the maid answered the door; she went in, and told her master that John was outside, and wished to see him. And, he said, "I went out, and I saw John sitting on one of the hall chairs. I looked at him, and he looked at me. At last I said to him, "Well, John, what has brought you here to-night?" He said, "I was under the impression that you had sent for me." I said, "What should I want with you? You have finished your day's work." "Yes." "The books are all posted up?" "Yes, sir." "And what should I want with you?" He said, "I have been under the impression all the afternoon, sir, that you wanted me." I said, "What proof have you that I wanted you?" and putting his hand into his pocket he pulled out the note which I had sent down to him in the afternoon. "Oh! John," I said, "I see; when you got that note telling you that I wanted you, I suppose you spread it out on the desk, and you said, "I see my master wants me, but how am I to know that he wants me? Why, you said, "I have got his word, and that is enough for me;" and you acted upon it. Now you walk out of that door, and believe Jesus Christ just in the same way." He did so. The gentleman sat down to dinner. His wife looked through the window, and said, "What is the matter with John?" He looked through the window and saw John literally dancing all the way down that carriage drive. Opening the window he said, "John, what is the matter with you?" "Oh! sir," he said, "I have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and believing Him makes me so happy."
It may be that there are some in this audience who are saying, "Well, WHEN am I to believe?" Dear friends, God's time is NOW. "Now is the accepted time, and now is the day of salvation." A good few years ago, when I was preaching in this city, I remember that we had an experience meeting on one occasion, and a Detective got up in that meeting, and he said, "I am not much of a speaker, but I will tell you in a few simple words what I want to say. Three months ago the Lord Jesus Christ detected me and my sins, and He sentenced me to eternal life upon the very spot." May God help each one here to-night to know what it is to have life through believing in Him, and to go away rejoicing.
From: "On and Off Duty" July 1886