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He's Just Broke My Heart To Pieces With His Love.
blessed Spirit of God, now save; now sow in the hearts of
those to whom I write the seed whose fruit shall be found
in the word,—
"I love them that love me." ,
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Want to tell you about an old man I met accidentally one day at T , where I had gone to
stay for a short time whilst Mr. Moody was holding a mission there.
I found this old man sitting in the hall of the lodgings where I was staying; he had just brought home some clothes which had been " mangled," I shall therefore call him "the old mangle man."
I stopped, as I was going out, to ask him if he had been at any of the meetings which were being held every day in a hall close by. He replied, "Yes, ma'am, I have."'
"Well," I said, " have they done you any good? Have you got a blessing, for that is the great thing after all?"
"Oh, yes," he said; "thank the Lord, I have, indeed!"
As he seemed anxious to talk, I said, "Will you tell me about it—how it has come about; were you not a Christian before?"
"Well, you see, ma'am, it was just this: I have been all my life a regular church-goer, but somehow I never saw things as I do now. I never had any real light, nor did I feel anything about the love of Jesus as I do now, for now it seems to have gone right down deep into my heart, and I feel just full of the love of Jesus."
And here the old man wept with joy, and his whole face showed the sincerity of his confession. I said, "You are really happy now?"
"Oh, yes," he said; "to think God should have so loved me, and I have never thought of Him; to think the blessed Saviour should have died for me, and I have been so careless. He's just broke my heart to pieces with His love."
He then went on to tell me that, although he had not been an outwardly wicked man, yet he had been content with the form of religion merely, and in his heart he had never thought about or served God.
On my asking him about his family, he told me he had only drunken sons, and that his wife would not go to any of the meetings, so that he was truly alone, and had no one to whom he could speak of his newly-found happiness. He continued, "I am now praying all day long that the love of God may just break to pieces the heart of my wife; she won't give up her work to go to the meetings. I tell her work won't save her; we are both old—she is seventy-eight, and I am seventy-nine—and, as I tell her, we can't take our work with us to another world, it's time to think of our souls now."
On my asking him if he had been at the meeting the evening before, he said, " No, I was not, and I will tell you how it was; I stayed at home last night to help her, for, as I told you, she works very hard, and I thought I would turn the mangle for her, and then, perhaps, if I was kind to her, she would go to-day." . '..
Here, I thought, was very soon seen the fruits of the new life, in his anxiety for his wife's salvation, and his trying to be kind to her.
I found, on inquiring at his house that afternoon, that both he and his wife were gone to the meeting; let us hope that she was led, in answer to the heartfelt prayers of her husband, to open her heart to receive the love of Jesus.
One could not help being struck with the real happiness
this poor old man had entered into, his faith was so simple,
his sorrow for his past forgetfulness of God so great, and his
heart seemed just full of thankfulness to Jesus for His love
to him—he had indeed, through the Holy Spirit's power,
received Jesus as his own Saviour, believed on His name, and became a child of God; and he seemed brimming over, as it were, with love to Him for what He had done, so true it was, as he said, "It had gone right in."
And now let me ask you who read these lines, whether you know anything of the joy and happiness which this old mangle man experienced, whether the love of Jesus is as real to you as it was to him; if so, you will have experienced the same regret that you should have so long slighted such love, and you will also know what a real happiness is to be found in the love of Jesus when " it has gone right into your heart." If you know nothing of all this, will you not pray that the Holy Spirit may show you your need, and make the love of Jesus to be a very real thing to you?
Breathe not the word ungentle "He is dead,"
O friends, who go without him day by day,
|he Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly."1 Great and glorious are the promises made by God to the "upright in heart," and to those who "walk uprightly." But how many believers are there who fear to take to themselves the full comfort and blessedness of these promises; feeling, sadly, that the description does not apply to them. Other promises they can appropriate, but these seem beyond their reach.
Nor is this surprising. Moral integrity and strict rectitude of outward conduct there may be; but who that knows his own heart, with its divided motives and its depth of guilt; who, looking narrowly and -carefully into every impulse, and analysing each affection, can say or feel that he is "upright in heart," as judged by the holy standard of the Word of God? Surely none.
But may not this very careful watching, this ceaseless struggling and striving, have a strong tendency to defeat its own purpose? It is not by painful introspection that " uprightness " of heart is promoted, but rather by keeping eyes and heart fixed upon an object outside of our sinful selves.
Nor is it by very constantly watching our " feet," that we shall be enabled to " walk uprightly."
Indeed, it is a spiritual as well as a physical impossibility to walk in an erect posture, or to walk in a straight path, if we will have our eyes fixed upon our feet. Try it, and you will see! It is so very depressing, too! But he who walks with eyes uplifted will almost unconsciously, perhaps, but not the less surely, walk uprightly.
Far be the thought that a careless or inconsistent walk is, for one moment, to be tolerated by those who name the name of Christ! Far be the thought that we would, in the smallest degree, weaken or overlook our Lord's command— "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation." To such as fain would find an excuse for a worldly, God-dishonouring life, we have nothing, just now, to say. It is to such as are earnestly desiring to live the holy life, to follow closely in the steps of Jesus, and even to " run in the way of His commandments," that we would seek to speak a helpful word: believing that many a sad, weary, anxious heart would lose a burden too heavy for it, by very simply but definitely committing the keeping of the "feet"—so prone to wander—to Him who has promised that they "shall not stumble," and who is so able and so willing to do as He has said.
1 Psa. lxxxiv. II.
If we will insist on having our walk, even to any extent, in our own keeping, we shall often find ourselves in darkness and depression; but, in proportion as we yield ourselves—body, soul, and spirit—to His unerring guidance, He will assuredly teach us His paths, and we shall find that the walk of faith is ever a walking in the light, in happy fellowship with the Son of God, and that the precious Blood does, indeed, and continuously, cleanse us "from all sin."l
On such as thus walk with Jesus shall fall the full sunlight from the everlasting hills, and they shall reflect the glory of Him on whom they gaze. "We all, with unveiled face, reflecting as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit." 2
Will this have a tendency to make our walk a careless one? Never! As we have, with "hearts at leisure " from themselves, more and more of the perfections of Him who is " altogether lovely," and realize that He is ours, so shall we increasingly desire to please Him well in all things; and looking up constantly to catch His smile of approval, our thoughts will assuredly be, in a larger degree, raised above the distracting influences of time and sense; so that, in fact,
1 I John i. 7. s Cor. iii. 18, rev. ver.