Two Sleepless Nights
by G.J. Stewart
“Oh, sir!” said a young man as he made his way into the room where a minister of the gospel sat—“oh, sir! I passed a sleepless night last night.”
His face and appearance bore testimony to the fact that it was not joy that had disturbed his rest; but he to whom he addressed himself, looking up, said, “Indeed, and what was the cause of your sleepless night?”
“Oh, sir!” said he, “I was trembling over the brink of hell all night, and couldn’t sleep.”
“Now,” said the one to whom he spoke, “I think that’s a very good reason why a man shouldn’t sleep all night, if he finds himself trembling over the brink of hell all night.” And turning to the Word of God, he showed that a sinner has no right to rest, having broken through all his responsibilities and openly defied God. That Christ had come to take upon Himself all the penalties attaching to those broken responsibilities, and had satisfied the claims of God’s throne against the sinner; as He had also satisfied the desires of His heart, and thus rendered Him free to act according to His nature, and to bestow His blessing upon the sinner who recognises his condition, and accepts the work of Christ as the alone basis of hope.
He showed, too, that Christ, who was the brightness of the glory of God, and the express image of His Person, when He had by Himself purged our sins, had taken His seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high; full proof of the glory of His Person, and the accomplishment and efficacy of His work. He has made purgation for sins. Faith in Him and His work leads the soul to say, “For my sins.” And turning to the young man, he appealed to him as to his faith in this glorious Person and work.
The young man listened, and went away without much alteration in his condition, although comforted in measure by what he heard.
On the morning of the next day he made his way again into the room, exclaiming as he entered, “Oh, sir! I have passed a sleepless night again last night.”
“And what was the cause of your sleepless night last night?”
But the appearance of the young man so betokened the cause that an answer was scarcely necessary; it came, however, with a burst of joy that spoke of its reality.
“Oh sir, how could I sleep when, instead of finding myself in hell as I deserved, I found myself embraced in the arms of a God of love?”
“Ah,” said the other, “I think that’s another very good reason for a man’s not sleeping all night; if instead of finding himself in hell as he deserves, he finds himself embraced in the arms of a God of love!”
And now, my reader, have you ever passed two sleepless nights? The experiences described by them are an absolute certainty in a greater or less degree in every soul that passes from death unto life; and the more vivid and real they are, the better the stamp of Christ is fixed upon the souls, and the more real the man is as a Christian.
But if these two sleepless nights are not known here, the reality of the experience of the first one must be known, and an eternity of sleepless nights, or rather, one ETERNAL night (for there is no day out of God’s presence) of sleeplessness, in restless, ceaseless woe will be the sure portion of the soul.
Let my reader beware; let him heed the warnings of the book of eternal truth! Let him be wise now; be instructed now! Oh, kiss the Son, be at peace with Him, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way when His wrath is kindled but a little!
Satan’s lie is abroad, with a denial of every truth of revelation, and the human heart is only too ready to believe what it wishes to believe is true. We are bound then to raise our voices and warn our fellows.
In order that you, my reader, may not pass an eternal night of sleeplessness, you will understand our wishing that you, as we ourselves have done, may know two sleepless nights. And if the agony of the first be healthfully remembered by all who have passed through it, all the days of their pilgrimage, who could forget the bliss of that second sleepless night passed in the arms of Him who endured all the reality of the horrors of the first?
May God give you, my readers, each one of you, TWO sleepless nights.
The Gospel Messenger 1900, p. 296