The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 84
But the awakened and "heavy laden" souls may "labour" on for life and then at last perish, as many unhappily do, because he has still no life in him, although God has bestowed so much mercy upon him, and he is brought so far on the right way to salvation. But that the "labouring" soul shall not perish in his great struggle, Christ is there with his gracious call, and says': "Come unto me,.... I will give you rest." Weary soul, thou that art quite ruined and lost in thine own experience, and have many a time judged thyself to be hopeless, undone, and lost for ever, hearken now diligently, here is a sweet and heavenly message for thee—just for thee—come unto Christ and thou, even thou, dear soul, shall test the sweet "rest" and eternal life which is in Christ. Say not, dear soul, "I am too bad, I have tried so often, and my heart is so full of disease, bad lusts, unbelief, hardness, coldness, blasphemy, and all kinds of evil, that I cannot think Christ can mean me when he says: "Come unto me." Thank God, dear soul, that you feel yourself so bad, you see then your need of Christ is very great. I assure you in the name of God, if you were ten thousand times worse, it would not hinder you, Christ would still receive you. He is still able and willing to save you, in fact, dear soul, He has saved you, when He died for your many sins on the cross, and made atonement for one and all. Believe now in the finished work of Christ on Calvary, and you shall most surely have "rest." You ask : "How shall I come unto Christ, as no one can come unto Him, except the Father draw him" (John vi, 44). The Holy Spirit does not draw souls unto Christ by a silent tongue, but he begins to explain and apply the Holy Scripture, and thereby create light in the dark soul, as he did in the creation of the world. The Holy Spirit enlightens the mind and the heart of the praying penitent sinner, who then begins gradually to see the atonement. Passages of the Holy Scripture, which he may have read and heard before a thousand times without light and experience, are now opened up as great treasures to him, just as when Joseph opened up all his corn-houses in the time of famine (Gen. xli, 56). The blessed Gospel, like the sun, sends thousands and ten thousands of warm light-beams into his (or her) cold heart, which is warmed and enlightened by the sun of righteousness (Mal. iv, 2). To know Christ, not merely as a student or a theologian, but as a poor and lost sinner, and to get light in the plan of the atonement is the highest gift, next to Christ Himself, that God can bestow upon any human being. When God creates that heavenly light in the "labouring" soul, it is filled with page 16 unspeakable joy after that long, dark, and stormy night. There is a great similitude between the morning light in nature and the enlightening daylight in a soul, as in both instances it comes gradually and increases into high daylight. One of the first things God created in the world was light, "And God saw the light that it was good" (Gen. i, 4). The new creation in a soul begins with light (2 Cor. iv, 6). Now the enlightened soul receives Christ freely and gladly. He eats and drinks joyfully at God's rich Gospel-table, and satisfies his "hunger and thirst" (Matt, v, 6). The Gospel of Christ is now a quite new Gospel, not in itself, hut in his (or her) esteem and experience. The enlightened soul never tasted the sweetness of the Gospel as he does now. He feels that it is just a suitable remedy for him. He now looks upon the Gospel, not as a sailor looking upon the lifeboat on shore, but as one being in the greatest danger out on the deep ocean. A stranger may well ask : "For what purpose is this long line folded up and lying here in this bedroom?" When he hears it is kept there up in the height in case of tire breaking out, he says: "Aye, I understand, I understand now." Just so it is with all unconverted people, when they are told God's purpose with the Gospel, they are ready to say carelessly: "Yes, yes, we understand, we understand," etc., but they do not feel any great need of it for themselves, as they see no danger, at least none near them, It is quite another thing when a person is awakened with great alarm at midnight, when the house is in flames. He will then require something more than simply to "understand." He will not stay waiting and asking many questions about the line—if it is long and strong enough, etc.; no, he will at once jump up from sleep, take firm hold of the line and at once apply it to himself. So the outworn and enlightened soul feels, I say once more, that the Gospel is just for his cure and health A beggar may go up to the hospital asking to see the doctor. He may perhaps be allowed to see him through a narrow window. But if that same beggar is taken up in a bruised and bleeding condition in the street and brought up to the hospital, the doors will at once be opened, he will at once be taken in, and the whole hospital, with doctors and medicines, are all devoted to his speedy relief.