A Word In Season. How Good It Is. (? “Gospel Messenger” Series) (8pp)
“HOW were you first brought to know the Lord?" I asked one day of a young woman, who was in great bodily suffering, and with no prospect of recovery.
"It was a godly man's prayer for me that first touched my heart, and made me think," was the answer she made, and then went on to say—"I was living as a servant in a clergyman's house, and though I went to prayers morning and evening, and thought it quite right and proper, I never thought about my soul or its eternal welfare, never prayed for myself. After a time, another clergyman came to stay with my master and mistress, and the first morning he was there, and each morning while he stayed, he took morning prayers, and before closing, he prayed for my master and mistress, and then for me.
Many clergymen had stayed there before, and I was used to hearing my master and mistress prayed for, but to my knowledge, I had never been prayed for in my life before, and he prayed for me as though he really wanted me to be blessed and saved.
"I went about my work as usual, but I could not forget it. It seemed so strange that any one should do for me what I had never done for myself—ask for my salvation. Next morning, it was the same; again that man of God prayed for me. How I listened to every word! He seemed to think the Lord was interested even in me, and I wondered if he could be right. It evidently struck my master, for at evening prayers, he too prayed for me; he had never done so before, nor did he after that visit of the clergyman's. Three days passed so, and now I was terribly anxious to know how I could be saved. Now I was crying to God to let me see how I might be saved. I did not like to speak to my master or mistress, still less to their stranger-guest, and I longed for Sunday and church-time.
"The strange clergyman occupied my master's pulpit. I listened eagerly for every word of the sermon. The text was, 'God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.' He showed our lost condition by nature, God's great love, the work of Christ by which we can be saved, and the simplicity of what our part is—we have nothing to do but to believe it all and trust the blood of Jesus. He spoke of salvation as God's gift, which we must have as a gift, or not at all. I saw then how I might be saved, but I was not sure if I trusted enough in Jesus, if I believed aright, and I came home still miserable.
"I was putting the tea on the table, when the clergyman who had preached came into the dining-room. Perhaps he noticed that I had been crying; I do not know; but he asked me, very kindly, if I understood the sermon. I said, 'Yes.' Then he asked me, 'Have you this gift of everlasting life?' and I said, ' I am afraid I have not.' 'Do you want to have it?' he asked; and now I could not keep bock the tears any more. 'I want it more than anything!' I said, 'I would give everything to know I had it. 'Come into the study with me,' he said. I said something about my work, but he said, 'I will speak to your mistress;' and I followed him into the study. He prayed first very earnestly, asking the Lord to open my eyes, to show me how simple a thing it is to trust Jesus. And then he read me two or three scriptures, such as 'Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out;' and showed me it is the One we come to who saves, the One we believe in who gives everlasting life, and not the greatness of our faith, the strength of our belief, that gains it for us—that God delights to give it to every soul who wants it.
"I left the study, knowing that God had given it to me, and ever since then, I have never had a doubt. It is five years since, and I have had sickness and sorrow, but the Lord has been with me in it all; and oh! I shall bless Him for ever and ever, that He put into His servant's heart to pray for me, only the servant of the house, whom he had never seen before. But for that, I might now be dying without Christ."
"Sow ye beside all waters." X.
“The Gospel Messenger” 1889