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A Mother Dies that her Boy may Live.
When the California gold fever broke out, a man went there, leaving his wife in New England with his boy. As soon as he got on and was successful he was to send for them. It was a long time before he succeeded, but at last he got money enough to send for them. The wife's heart leaped for joy. She took her boy to New York, got on board a Pacific steamer, and sailed away to San Francisco. They had not been long at sea before the cry of "Fire! fire!" rang through the ship, and rapidly it gained on them. There was a powder magazine on board, and the captain knew the moment the fire reached the powder, every man, woman, and child must perish. They got out the life-boats, but they were too small! In a minute they were overcrowded. The last one was just pushing away, when the mother pled with them to take her and her boy. "No," they said, "we have got as many as we can hold." She entreated them so earnestly, that at last they said they would take one more. Do you think she leaped into that boat and left her boy to die? No! She seized her boy, gave him one last hug, kissed him, and dropped him over into the boat. "My boy," she said, "if you live to see your father, tell him that I died in your place." That is a faint type of what Christ has done for us. He laid down his life for us. He died that we might live. Now will you not love Him? What would you say of that young man if he should speak contemptuously of such a mother! She went down to a watery grave to save her son. Well, shall we speak contemptuously of such a Saviour? May God make us loyal to Christ! My friends, you will need Him one day. You will need Him when you come to cross the swellings of Jordan. You will need Him when you stand at the bar of God. May God forbid that when death draws nigh it should find you making light of the precious blood of Christ!
A Man Drinks up a Farm.
A few years ago, I was going away to preach one Sunday morning, when a young man drove up in front of us. He had an aged woman with him. "Who is that young man?" I asked. "Do you see that beautiful meadow?" said my friend, "and that land there with the house upon it?" "Yes" "His father drank that all up," said he. Then he went on to tell me all about him. His father was a great drunkard, squandered his property, died, and left his wife in the poor-house. "And that young man," he said, "is one of the finest young men I ever knew. He has toiled hard and earned money, and bought back the land; he has taken his mother out of the poor-house, and now he is taking her to church." I thought, that is an illustration for me. The first Adam in Eden sold us for naught, but the Messiah, the second Adam, came and bought us back again. The first Adam brought us to the poor-house, as it were; the second Adam makes us kings and priests unto God. That is redemption. We get in Christ all that Adam lost, and more. Men look on the blood of Christ with scorn and contempt, but the time is coming when the blood of Christ will be worth more than all the kingdoms of the world.
All Right or all Wrong.
I remember when in the old country a young man came to me--a minister--and said he wanted to talk with me. He said to me: "Mr. Moody, you are either all right and I am all wrong, or else I am right, and you are all wrong." "Well, sir," said I, "You have the advantage of me. You have heard me preach, and you know what doctrines I hold, whereas I have not heard you, and don't know what you preach." "Well," said he, "the difference between your preaching and mine is that you make out that salvation is got by Christ's death, and I make out that it is attained by His life." "Now, what do you do with the passages bearing upon the death?" and I quoted the passages, "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission," and "He Himself bore our own sins by His own body on the tree," and asked him what he did with them, for instance. "Never preach them at all." I quoted a number of passages more, and he gave me the same answer. "Well, what do you preach?" I finally asked. "Moral essays," he replied. Said I, "Did you ever know anybody to be saved by that kind of thing, did you ever convert anybody by them?" "I never aimed at that kind of conversion; I meant to get men to heaven by culture--by refinement." "Well," said I, "If I didn't preach those texts, and only preached culture, the whole thing would be a sham." "And it is a sham to me," was his reply. I tell you the moment a man breaks away from this doctrine of blood, religion becomes a sham, because the whole teaching of this book is of one story, and this is, that Christ came into the world and died for our sins.
The Fettered Bird Freed.
A friend in Ireland once met a little Irish boy who had caught a sparrow. The poor little bird was trembling in his hand, and seemed very anxious to escape. The gentleman begged the boy to let it go, as the bird could not do him any good; but the boy said he would not; for he had chased it three hours before he could catch it. He tried to reason it out with the boy, but in vain. At last he offered to buy the bird; the boy agreed to the price, and it was paid. Then the gentleman took the poor little thing and held it out on his hand. The boy had been holding it very fast, for the boy was stronger than the bird, just as Satan is stronger than we, and there it sat for a time, scarcely able to realize the fact that it had got liberty; but in a little while it flew away, chirping, as if to say to the gentleman, "Thank you! thank you! you have redeemed me." That is what redemption is--buying back and setting free. So Christ came back to break the fetters of sin, to open the prison doors and set the sinner free. This is the good news, the gospel of Christ--"Ye are not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ."
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