‘It would be a sad thing,’ said old Mr. Davis, ’to be on the sand when the great storm comes.’
’Ay, sir, it would, said my grandfather; ’I often lie in bed at nights and think of it, when the winds and the waves are raging. I call to mind that verse where it says about the sea and the waves roaring, and men’s hearts failing them for fear. Deary me, I should be terrible frightened, that I should, if that day was to come, and I saw the Lord coming in glory.’
‘But you need not be afraid if you are on the Rock,’ said our old friend. ’All who have come to Christ, and are resting on Him, will feel as safe in that day as you do when there is a storm raging and you are inside this house.’
‘Yes,’ said my grandfather, ’I see that, sir; but somehow I don’t know what you mean by getting on the Rock; I don’t quite see it, sir.’
‘Well,’ said Mr. Davis, ’what would you do if this house was built on the sand down there by the shore, and you knew that the very first storm that came would sweep it away?
‘Do, sir!’ said my grandfather, ’why, I should pull it down, every stone of it, and build it up on the rock instead.’
‘Exactly!’ said Mr. Davis. ’You have been building your hopes of heaven on the sand—on your good deeds, on your good intentions, on all sorts of sand-heaps. You know you have.
‘Yes,’ said grandfather, ‘I know I have.’
‘Well, my friend,’ said Mr. Davis, ’pull them all down. Say to yourself, “I’m a lost man if I remain as I am; my hopes are all resting on the sand.” And then, build your hopes on something better, something which will stand the storm; build them on Christ. He is the only way to heaven. He has died that you, a poor sinner, might go there. Build your hopes on Him, my friend. Trust to what He has done for you as your only hope of heaven—that is building on the Rock!’
‘I see, sir; I understand you now.’
‘Do that,’ said Mr. Davis, ’and then your hope will be a sure and steadfast hope, a good hope which can never be moved. And when the last great storm comes, it will not touch you; you will be as certainly and as entirely safe in that day as you are in this lighthouse when the storm is raging outside, because you will be built upon the immovable Rock.’
I cannot recollect all the conversation which Mr. Davis and my grandfather had that morning, but I do remember that before he went away he knelt down with us, and prayed that we might every one of us be found on the Rock in that last great storm.
And I remember also that that night, when my grandfather said good-night to me, he said, ’Alick, my lad, I don’t mean to go to sleep to-night till I can say, like poor Jem Millar,
’On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand.’
And I believe that my grandfather kept his word.