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to me?" Nothing to you! Lives which are like bright visions in this dark world-nothing to you? The men who are the glory of our race. This you cannot say.
Do you ask what is the gospel that moulded such characters as these? It is this: all men are sinners in the sight of the God of holiness. All have broken His laws, and are subject to condemnation. But He sent His own Son to die for us to suffer in our stead. He commanded that all men should be called upon to repent, and believe the message about His Son. Christ promised the assistance of the Holy Spirit to all who sought His help. And His promise to all His disciples is--"Lo! I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world!"
Are you a disciple of Christ? Do you wish to become one? Let me entreat you to come to the cross of Christ and confess your sin. Then may you be a brave soldier in His service willing even to die in His cause. Jesus says to you: "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."
Don't stop short of the Cross.
HE cross of Christ must be the whole and only ground of a sinner's salvation; and whoever steps aside from it, or stops short in his way to it, sets his soul out of safety, and makes his case, so far, hopeless for eternity.
Dear reader, if you will hope for acceptance with God, to be forgiven your sins, to be comforted through life, to be strong in temptation, and to look for heaven when you come to die, then don't stop short of the cross.
If you are in trouble now, soul-trouble about your sins, if conscience is testifying against your transgressions, if the holiness and righteousness of the Divine law make you afraid, if Satan is tempting you to despair, the cross of Christ is your sure refuge.
Listen to the gospel declaration. "He was manifested to
take away our sins;" "In whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins;"2 "The blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanseth us from all sin."3 To be delivered from the guilt and penalty of your sins, that you may "not perish, but have everlasting life," don't stop short of the cross.
Begin with the cross. "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith ;"4 "I am," Christ says, "the door; by me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved."5 If salvation is your object, if to be saved is your errand, then, dear friend, begin where the work of redemption was wrought, and don't stop short of the cross.
Go direct to it; that is to say, in your own real, true, and proper character as a poor sinner, straight to Jesus-just as you are, direct to the cross.
"Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him:
This He gives you;
'Tis the Spirit's rising beam."
And so, go directly to the cross. "Now is the accepted time," and you need salvation now; to-morrow may never come; "a more convenient season" you cannot expect.
Behold, now is the day of salvation."6 Use it with no delay; hasten to the door of mercy while you may, and don't stop short of the cross.
You may not delay or procrastinate. Do not for a moment linger on your way. As the city of refuge was the hope of the manslayer, to which he ran with all possible speed, in order to be safe from the avenger of blood that pursued him; or like Lot, who hastened from the devoted cities of the plain unto the place of safety shown him by the mercy of God, so, dear friend, the cross of Christ
1 I John iii. 5. 4 Heb. xii. 2.
7 Joshua xx.
must be your timely hope and refuge, and you must not, for your soul's sake and safety, stay away from or stop once on your way to it. Like the dove of Noah when the waters covered the earth, she could find no place for the sole of her foot, but with outspread wings flew unto the ark, so flee you unto the cross, for there is the salvation you need and the Saviour of sinners to be found, whose gracious promise is, "Him that cometh to me I will in nowise cast out."2 Believe in Him, and don't stop short of the cross.
Christ did not stop short of the cross to be the Saviour of the world. The cross was His destination from the moment when He left heaven and became incarnate in the flesh. He was "in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."3 "For the joy that was set before Him He endured the cross, despising the shame."4 "He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of my people was He stricken."
"This was compassion like a God,
That when the Saviour knew
The cross exhibits the only Saviour for sinners.
Mark how decisive is the gospel. "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." " "Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."7 "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved."
1 Gen. viii. 9.
2 John vi. 37.
5 Isa. liii. S.
7 Acts v. 31.
Phil. ii. 6-8. 6 Rom. x. 4.
8 Acts iv. 12.
Thus, dear reader, the grace of God has provided all that is adequate for your everlasting salvation in the atonement of Christ for sin. Make His merits your entire trust by
faith in His blood, and don't stop short of the cross.
And take the cross as your portion, like him who in the face of a tempting world and a suffering death said, "I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified."1
And oh ! keep so close to it by faith and prayer that you may feel the power and charm of its presence; as like unto the same holy apostle in loving delight you may be constrained to say, "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world." 2
Come, then, and abide by the cross. It will be your light in darknesss, your joy in affliction, your shield in temptation, your solace in trials, and your support and song in the valley of the shadow of death."3
May the Holy Spirit more and more endear Christ to your soul; and to the end of life-till the race is finished and the goal is reached—don't stop short of the cross.
"Sweet the moments, rich in blessing,
Mercy's streams in streams of blood,
Precious drops my soul bedewing,
Plead and claim my peace with God."
Amy Merton; or, Good out of Evil.
NLY two days more and we shall leave all these
1 2 Cor. ii. 2.
ing. "Only two days more; I am so glad, for then I shall see Aunt Alice, and I do love her dearly."
Emily looked up from her book. "Please, Amy, don't talk so; I have to learn my French translation yet."
"Oh, Emily!" cried Amy, "how can you learn that stupid French? I am sure I could not. How slowly the days pass!" And she counted for the twentieth time the hours that had to elapse before the expected day.
"They always do to the impatient," said Emily; "it would be better if you would learn your French lesson for Miss Wood."
"Oh! Miss Wood is not coming again until after we return home,” replied Amy; "I heard mamma telling her that we were going away, and that she need not come; so do, dear Emily, put away that book and come out for a walk."
Emily, who was a very good-natured girl, complied with her sister's request, and left the schoolroom to prepare for the walk. Emily was nearly thirteen, and Amy two years younger. They lived with their mamma, who was a widow, in a pretty cottage in the town of Ellan, and at the time of which I speak were going on a visit to their aunt, Mrs. Merton's sister, who resided about seventeen miles from Ellan, at a place called Woodville. Every one loved "Aunt Alice;" "and then it would be such fun," Amy said, “to have nice games with our cousins." Another day passed by, and Amy thought such long days never came before. But at last the long wished-for morning arrived; they were to start for Woodville immediately after breakfast. Amy rose very early; she tried to employ herself, but could not sit still for five minutes. After wandering about the rooms for some time, seeing that everything was packed, so that there would be no delay, she heard the postman's knock, and ran to get the letters from the servant. There were three for her mamma, and one of them she knew by the writing was from her aunt. about," thought Amy, as she
"I wonder what this letter is went to look for her mother,