"Directly I Gave Up, The Burden Went."
I HAD walked a distance to a Gospel meeting, calling on the way at a neat cottage, where resided a retired farmer, his wife, and grown-up son. The evening had darkened suddenly, and preferring company, I had persuaded Richard Galton to accompany me to the chapel. Our conversation at first was of a general kind, but soon it took a serious turn, and for nearly a mile we were engaged in an earnest talk on the matters of the soul and eternity.
For some months previous, I had frequently spoken with him on the same subjects and had known the anxiety he felt on his unsaved condition; but to-night he appeared more anxious than ever, yet something seemed to hinder his decision. "I know I am guilty and lost, and I am as miserable as a man can be at times," he said; "but ‘tis so hard to give up—'tis so hard to believe."
"What do you mean?" said I; "so hard to give up what? so hard to believe whom?"
"Oh, 'tis so hard to give up one's self and to believe,'' he replied.
"Hard to give up one's self and to believe? To whom is it hard to give up? Whom is it hard to believe?" I asked.
"Well," he replied," I scarcely know what to say, for after all, I don't know why it should be hard to believe God, but yet I feel it so."
The clouds had broken up, and the stars were shining brightly between them as we walked on. "Richard," I said, "look up; who made those stars?"
"God, of course," said he.
"And do you mean to say," I asked, "as those stars are looking down upon you, telling of the mighty power and glory of their Maker, that you cannot or will not trust His promise? Are you not afraid of making Him a liar? Think of it, and answer the question to your own satisfaction and to God's.''
We had reached the chapel by this time, and I left him. The service was not long; some stayed for conversation and prayer, Richard among them. I spent some time in private with him, and he was happily led into peace and rest; his joy was very deep and full. On my way homeward, I overtook him, and his first words were, "Oh, sir, I shouldn't have believed it if I hadn't known it; but directly I gave up, the burden went! Twas like this. You showed me in Rom. iii. 19, that I was guilty before God, and that I was without hope; but that Jesus Christ, God's Son, had taken the place of the guilty. I think you read Isaiah liii., and then also in Acts xiii. 38; God said He was preaching forgiveness of sins by Jesus Christ to every one who believed. Now I knew all this before; but somehow I never seemed to give up to it till to-night. And when I said to God on my knees, 'O Lord, I will believe Thy message to me, I must believe it, for Thou canst not lie,' directly I gave up, the burden went.'' I have seen Richard many times since then, and he always has the same story to tell me. "The burden is gone, for I just gave up to God and trusted Him!"
This is not a solitary case. Perhaps the one who is reading this feels the same difficulty as Richard Galton felt. The same solution is open for you as for him. God has declared all to be guilty and condemned (see Rom. iii. 19, also ver. 23), and, as all have come short, all are alike hopeless and helpless in themselves. But although God has "concluded all under sin," His purpose is that in putting all on one common platform, He may deal with all, in one way—the way of sovereign grace; His way is clear and plain. Submit to His charge of condemnation on you—own yourself a sinner in His sight, and His Word assures you that as a sinner, and only as a sinner, is your hope for salvation. For "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Tim. i. 15). Accept His verdict concerning yourself, and "give up" to His way of clearing the difficulty, and the matter is for ever settled.
Do you own you are lost and ruined? He says, "God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died FOR us" (Rom. v. 8), and in verse 6, "for the ungodly." Therefore, because of a sufficient substitute, God can and does now present a pardon to all. "Through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins, and by Him all who believe are justified from all things" (Acts xiii. 38, 39).
Give up the sins to Him; give up the will to His Word, and trust the promise here given from the Book of God, and with you, as with Richard Galton, the burden will go. Trust Him now, simply, heartily, fully, and you will be able to sing with the writer and many others—
"I left it all with Jesus long ago;
All my sin I brought Him, and my woe;
When by faith I saw Him on the tree,
Heard His still, small whisper, 'Tis for thee,'
From My heart the burden rolled away,
“The Herald of Mercy” 1884