Glory be to God, there is a ransom that can now deliver you, braver than Grace Darling putting out in a life-boat from Eddystone Light-house for the rescue of the crew of the Forfarshire steamer—Christ the Lord launched from heaven, amid the shouting of the angels. Thirty-three years afterward, Christ the Lord launched from earth to heaven, amid human and infernal execration; yet staying here long enough to save all who will believe in Him. Do you hear that? To save all who will believe in Him. Oh, that pierced side! Oh, that bleeding brow! Oh, that crushed foot! Oh, that broken heart! That is your hope, sinner. That is your ransom from sin, and death, and hell.
Why have I told you all these things to-night, plainly and frankly? It is because I know there is redemption for you, and I would have you now come and get it. Oh, men and women long prayed for, and striven with, and coaxed of the mercy of God—have you concentrated all your physical, mental, and spiritual energies in one awful determination to be lost? Is there nothing in the value of your soul, in the graciousness of Christ, in the thunders of the last day, in the blazing glories of heaven, and the surging wrath of an undone eternity to start you out of your indifference, and make you pray? Oh, must God come upon you in some other way? Must He take another darling child from your household? Must He take another installment from your worldly estate? Must life come upon you with sorrow after sorrow, and smite you down with sickness before you will be moved, and before you will feel?
Oh, weep now, while Jesus will count the tears! Sigh, now in repentance, while Jesus will hear the grief. Now clutch the cross of the Son of God before it be swept away. Beware, lest the Holy Spirit leave thy heart. Beware, lest this night thy soul be required of thee. “Beware, lest he take thee away with His stroke: then a great ransom can not deliver thee.” Oh, Lord God of Israel, see these impenitent souls on the verge of death ready to topple over! See them! Is there no help? Is this plea all in vain? I can not believe it, blessed God. Oh, thou mighty One, whose garments are red with the wine-press of Thine own sufferings, in the greatness of Thy strength ride through this audience, and may all this people fall into line, the willing captives of Thy grace. Men and women immortal! I lay hold of you to-night with both hands of entreaty and of prayer, and I beg of you, prepare for death, judgment, and eternity.
“And they sat down in
ranks by hundreds and by fifties.”—Mark