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Napoleon and the Private.
It is said of Napoleon that while he was reviewing his army one day, his horse became frightened at something, and the Emperor lost his rein, and the horse went away at full speed, and the Emperor's life was in danger. He could not get hold of the rein, and a private in the ranks saw it, and sprang out of the ranks towards the horse, and was successful in getting hold of the horse's head at the peril of his own life. The Emperor was very much pleased. Touching his hat, he said to him, "I make you Captain of my Guard." The soldier didn't take his gun, and walk up there. He threw it away, stepped out of the ranks of the soldiers, and went up to where the body-guard stood. The captain of the body-guard ordered him back into the ranks, but he said "No! I won't go!" "Why not?" "Because I am Captain of the Guard." "You Captain of the Guard?" "Yes;" replied the soldier. "Who said it?" and the man, pointing to the Emperor; said, "He said it." That was enough. Nothing more could be said. He took the Emperor at his word. My friends, if God says anything, let us take Him at His word. "He that believeth on the Lord Jesus Christ shall not perish, but have everlasting life." Don't you believe it? Don't you believe you have got everlasting life? It can be the privilege of every child of God to believe and then know that you have got it.
"Five Million Dollars."
One thing I know--I cannot speak for others, but can speak for myself; I cannot read other minds and other hearts; I cannot read the Bible and lay hold for others; but I can read for myself, and take God at his word. The great trouble is that people take everything in general, and do not take it to themselves. Suppose a man should say to me, "Moody, there was a man in Europe who died last week, and left five million dollars to a certain individual." "Well," I say, "I don't doubt that; it's rather a common thing to happen," and I don't think anything more about it. But suppose he says, "But he left the money to you." Then I pay attention; I say, "To me?" "Yes, he left it to you." I become suddenly interested. I want to know all about it. So we are apt to think Christ died for sinners; He died for everybody, and for nobody in particular. But when the truth comes to me that eternal life is mine, and all the glories of Heaven are mine, I begin to be interested. I say, "Where is the chapter and verse where it says I can be saved?" If I put myself among sinners, I take the place of the sinner, then it is that salvation is mine and I am sure of it for time and eternity.
Engaging Rooms Ahead.
Mr. Sankey and myself--going about and preaching the gospel, is nothing new. You will find them away back eighteen hundred years ago, going off two by two, like Brothers Bliss and Whittle, and Brothers Needham and Stebbins, to different towns and villages. They had gone out, and there had been great revivals in all the cities, towns, and villages they had entered. Everywhere they had met with the greatest success. Even the very devils were subject to them. Disease had fled before them. When they met a lame man they said to him, "You don't want to be lame any longer," and he walked. When they met a blind man they but told him to open his eyes, and behold, he could see. And they came to Christ and rejoiced over their great success, and He just said to them, "I will give you something to rejoice over. Rejoice that your names are written in heaven."
Now there are a great many people who do not believe in such an assurance as this, "Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven." How are you going to rejoice if your names are not written there? While speaking about this some time ago, a man told me we were preaching a very ridiculous doctrine when we preached this doctrine of assurance. I ask you in all candor what are you going to do with this assurance if we don't preach it? It is stated that our names are written there; blotted out of the Book of Death and transferred to the Book of Life.
I remember while in Europe I was traveling with a friend--she is in this hall to-night. On one occasion we were journeying from London to Liverpool, and the question was put as to where we would stop. We said we would go to the "Northwestern," at Lime street, as that was the Hotel where Americans generally stopped at. When we got there the house was full and they could not let us in. Every room was engaged. But this friend said, "I am going to stay here. I engaged a room ahead. I sent a telegram on." My friends, that is just what the Christians are doing--sending their names in ahead. They are sending a message up saying: "Lord Jesus, I want one of those mansions You are preparing; I want to be there." That's what they are doing.
Every man and woman who wants one, if you have not already got one, had better make up your mind. Send your names up now. I would rather a thousand times have my name written in the Lamb's Book than have all the wealth of the world rolling at my feet.
"He Will Not Rest."
Suppose a man is going to Cincinnati, and he gets on the cars, but he feels uneasy lest, the train will take him to St. Louis instead of his destination. He will not rest till he knows he is on the right road, and the idea that we are on the road to eternity as fast as time can take us, and do not know our destination, is contrary to Scripture. If we want peace we must know it, and we can know it; it is the Word of God. Look What Peter says: "We know we have an incorruptible dwelling." Then in Paul's epistle to the Colossians, i., 12, "Giving thanks unto the Father which hath made us meet"--hath made us, not going to--"to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. Who hath delivered us"--not going to deliver us, but He hath delivered us: this is an assurance--"from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son."
A person came to me some time ago and said: "Mr. Moody, I wish you would give me a book that preaches assurance, and that tells the children of God it is their privilege to know they are accepted." I said, "Here is a book; it is very orthodox. It was written by John, the most intimate friend of Jesus while He was on earth. The man who laid his head upon His bosom." Turn to John and see what he says in the 5th chapter, "For in them ye think ye have eternal life."
"I Don't Know."
There is no doubt about assurance in the Word of God. A person said to me some time ago: "I think it is great presumption for a person to say she is saved." I asked her if she was saved. "I belong to a church," she sobbed. "But are you saved?" "I believe it would be presumption in me to say that I was saved." "Well I think it is a greater presumption for anyone to say: 'I don't know if I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ because it is written, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.'" It is clearly stated that we have assurance.
"If I Knew."
Many think that assurance is not to be had while traveling through this world--they must wait till they get before the terrible judgment seat to know whether they are accepted or not. And I find some ministers preach this precious doctrine from their pulpits. I heard of a minister who, while on his way to the burial of a man, began to talk upon the subject of assurance. "Why," said he, "if I knew for a certainty that I was saved the carriage couldn't hold me. I would have to jump out with joy." A man should be convinced that he has the gospel, before he preaches it to anyone else. Why, a man need not try to pull a man out of the river if he is in it himself. A man need not try to lift a man out of a pit if he is there too. No man can preach salvation till he knows he is saved.
The man of God who has fixed his feet on the rock of salvation can say with certainty, "I know." If you have not got assurance and want it, just believe God's Word. If you go down South and ask those three million colored people how they think they are free, they won't talk about their feelings; they just believe that Abraham Lincoln made them free. They believe the proclamation, and so we must believe the proclamation God has made in the Bible. "One thing thou teachest," that is salvation.
The Journey To Emmaus; Gustave Dore. Luke xxiv, 13-32
Jesus Questioning The Doctors; Gustave Dore. Luke ii, 41-51
A great many people say, "Mr. Moody, I would like to know whether I am a Christian or not. I would like to know if I am saved." The longer I live the more I am convinced that it is one of the greatest privileges of a child of God to know--to be able to say, "I am saved." The idea of walking through life without knowing this until we get to the great white throne is exploded. If the Bible don't teach assurance it don't teach justification by faith; if it don't teach assurance it don't teach redemption. The doctrine of assurance is as clear as any doctrine in the Bible.
How many people in the Tabernacle when I ask them if they are Christians, say, "Well, I hope so,"--in a sort of a hesitating way. Another class say, "I am trying to be." This is a queer kind of testimony, my friends. I notice no man is willing to go into the inquiry room till he has got a step beyond that. That class of Christians don't amount to much. The real Christian puts it, "I believe; I believe that my Redeemer liveth; I believe that if this building of flesh were destroyed, I have a building not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." No hoping and trusting with them. It is, "I know." Hope is assured to the Christian. It is a sure hope; it isn't a doubting hope. Suppose a man asked me if my name was Moody, and I said, "Well, I hope so," wouldn't it sound rather strange? "I hope it is;" or, "I'm trying to be Moody." Now, if a man asks you if you are a Christian, you ought to be able to give a reason.
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