‘Before I leave this room?’
‘Yes, this very instant,’ he said.
‘But how can I do it? I don’t know how to cross,’ I said.
’You are no dead, lifeless weight on the rope, like a boat or a handkerchief; you have a will of your own, and it remains with you to decide which way you want to be drawn, God-ward, Christ-ward, heaven-ward, or to the fearful depths of which I spoke. God is drawing you very strongly now, but He never forces a man against his will. He puts in your hands the power to decide on which side of the line you will be. Which is it to be, Jack?’
‘Well,’ I said, ‘I will think it over.’
’So many have said, and their desire to cross the line has cooled down, and they have been lost.’
’I’ll come and have a talk with you another day, later on in the week, if we can make it convenient.’
’So Felix said, “When I have a more convenient season I will send for thee,” but Felix never did send; he never crossed the line, but he was drawn over to the fearful depths.’
’Well, suppose we say to-morrow. It’s late now, and you’re tired, I know, and—’
’God says to-day he said. ’"To-day, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts. Behold, now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation."’
‘Tell me how I can come,’ I said.
‘"Come over the line to Me.” There you have it,’ he answered. ’The Lord calls you, and you have not far to go. It is only a step. He stands in this room close to you. He holds out His arms to you. He does not compel you. He does not force you forward. He calls, and He waits to receive you. Jack, will you come?’
‘Yes, I will,’ I said earnestly; ‘I will come.’
We knelt down together, and I cannot remember the words he said, but I know that whenever I read in the Gospels those words in the first chapter of St. John, ‘He brought him to Jesus,’ I think of that night. I do not think that Peter and Andrew felt the Lord Jesus more near them in the booth by the side of the Jordan than we felt Him in that little room in Runswick Bay.
I know He was there, and I know something more—I know that I came to Him. And I know that that night, before we rose from our knees, I crossed the line, and I was able henceforth to take my place amongst the glad, thankful people who can say, humbly and yet confidently, ’We know that we have passed from death unto life.’
A NIGHT OF STORM
It was late when I got back to my lodging, and I walked like one in a dream. Polly opened the door, and she seemed troubled about the child. Little John was evidently in pain, for I heard him moaning as I went upstairs.
‘I should get a doctor, Polly,’ I said.
’So Duncan says, sir; we shall have to send for him in the morning if he’s no better.’