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out.” You are worse than the stones, for you stand on the top of them and will not let them speak! Oh, speak out His name if you know it. Go away down this week and be the evangelist of this roving commission, and say, "Come.” Again, I say, don't orate or imitate.
Make no man your master, but right out of your own tongue and heart, say, “ Come.” There was a lad—I think it was in London, or I may be mistaken-perhaps it was in the West of England -and one Sunday evening he was going strolling along the street, maybe, as you were doing before you came in here, and a lady met him, and that lady who met him simply said to him, “ Come”-it was not even “Come to Christ”. it was, “ Come and hear the minister”—the servant; and he did. He just yielded, and he came to the servant, and while the servant was speaking, he heard the Master's voice, and he gave his heart to Christ; and the upshot of it was, that that apprentice lad who was asked simply to come, and who came, turned out to be that missionary whose martyrblood became the seed of the Church in far-off Erromanga.
I tell you that heaven works behind the man who in sincerity and truth says, “Come to Jesus." " And let him that is athirst come. Not done yet. It is a wonderful text this. " Let him that is athirst come.” What does that mean? Well, I think that it means this: you are not needing to be asked to come if you are athirst. What thirst does when it comes into your throat, spiritual anxiety should do when it comes into your heart. Now, what does thirst in the throat do? Is not thirst in the throat, when it manifests itself, just an unspoken invitation to come and drink? And you obey that invitation. So let him that is spiritually athirst. It is a word addressed to those who are anxious—I trust the great bulk of the meeting. You are anxious, you say, to be
a Christian: you would like to come. Well, there is the text, “Let him that is athirst come.” What is hindering you ? The Lord has brought you a long way forward, my friend, if
you are really anxious—if you are really wanting to be saved. John Bunyan tells us that he was in such a state about sin that he envied the crows upon the ploughed land, because they were not sinners against the Holy God, and
God may not let loose such terrors upon your soul, for you are not John Bunyan: you are only John Brown, a far smaller man; and if God let loose upon you the pains and pangs of the world to come, He would drive you to despair. Thank God that He does not demand from all of us that amount of anxiety that He produces in others. But are you anxious ? Have you an honest desire to be a Christian ? Well, that is the same in your soul that thirst would be in your throat. It is an invitation to come. The Lord expects that He will not have much more trouble with you. Come along. “ Let him that is athirst come.” You remember when you were walking along the country road last summer, and you got faint and fagged and looked weary, and sitting near a bend of the road you saw the sheen of running water, and your ear heard the living, gurgling sound as it ran. How it told upon you. How it quickened and reanimated your jaded frame, and you pressed forth, and very soon, without anybody asking you, the gurgling water. there, and the thirst here, led the one to the other. You stooped down and drank and revived.
The Spirit says to all anxious souls, “What is keeping you back? You are anxious to be saved. Be saved.” You are anxious to trust Christ. Trust Him to the hilt. Trust Him to che full. Take Him as much as you like. He will never put you to confusion. Let him that is athirst thank God that he is that length, and let him come all the remaining distance. Finish the matter. " Let him that is athirst come.”
And what is last ? • Whosoever will; that is last. Ah! you see this, my friend—and if you are a preacher of the Gospel you would soon find it out; state the Gospel as plainly, as fully, as freely, as absolutely, unconditionally as you please, there is aye a condition. It is not in Him ; it is in you;
it is there. " Whosoever will.” It is narrowed down to that. Are you willing ? Here you must begin. Are you willing, without anxiety, without tearing your hair or your garment, without moving a muscle, without any throbbings of anxiety, in calm, cool, quiet blood ? Can you make a decision ? In the affairs of this world we are sometimes greatly excited, and we make our decision under spells of great excitement: but in others of our great decisions, it is not so. There are people who make great decisions without any tumultuous working in their breasts. It is a simple yes or no that alters and changes the destiny of two lives. And the Lord Jesus Christ-blessed be His name for it for ever - does not come to you and say, “Now, I am willing to take you if you really get anxious, if you really are thirsting for Me as the hart pants after the waterbrooks, or like a famished man hungry for bread.” There are some of
there are some and women here, and I do not say old, hoaryheaded sinners, for they may be young men and young women, with very fair and winsome faces, who may be very thankful that the Lord does not demand as a condition of salvation that you should be filled with desire for Him. While I was preaching about those who were thirsty, you could almost have stood up and said, “ Well, preacher, if you only knew how stone dead my heart is to Christ, to sin as a painful conviction, and to salvation—if you only knew how utterly destitute I am of spiritual desire, spiritual thirst, your heart would fail you to preach to a face like mine." Do not make any mistake, my friend. I do know just how dead, and dark, and damned you are. I know because I know myself. That is why the Gospel is narrowed down to this. While you are sitting there in your coldness, your accursed coldness, sitting there in your indifference, let God Himself move on you to this extent
that you just put your hand in Christ's and say, “Yes." “Whosoever will." Without excitement, without anxiety, can you make a decision ? That will do, blessed be His name; and some of us will not forget it to all eternity to His praise and glory. If He had waited until we were strung up to high excitement, He would have waited for ever. You might as well wait for green corn to grow on the sands of Sahara, as wait for throbs of spiritual desire to appear in the hearts of some who are before me to-night. Now, God has brought it down to this, " Whosoever will." The bare act of decision, apart from all emotion, and apart from all excitement—that will do. He will begin down there. Ah! I would begin with no woman who was to be my wife down there, and you would begin with no man down there. If they did not really love you,
you felt that you did not love them, you would pass on until you found the one that did. It is a grand thing for you and me that the Lord does not impose these conditions. Well, you stand to-night as I have described, cold and indifferent, and it is the mere spinning of a coin, so to speak, whether you go to heaven or to hell. But the Lord Jesus Christ is so anxious that you should go to heaven, and so anxious that
you should not go to hell, that He says, “ Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Come now to the Lord Jesus Christ and accept Him. He places Himself at your disposal. It is just like the marriage ceremony. I incline to magnify my office and say, that I am the officiating clergyman. There stands the Son of God, that heavenly wooer of the souls of men, and there you stand, and I say
to Him, “ Art Thou willing to take this soul to be Thine ?"
Willing! Let the Cross, and the agony, and the shame, and the spitting testify that I am willing."
I turn to you. “ Now man, woman, are you willing to give yourself to this Christ?” " Whosoever will.” “ Yes ?” Then it is done. If you are bowing your heart and saying in the deep places of your soul “ Yes," then it is done, and there is joy in the
presence of the angels of God because another sinner has come home to Christ.
What more can I say? The thing is to be done. Will you do it? Put it this way. Suppose that this glass of were the
ater of life, some wonderful elixir vitae, the taking of which would make you young and beautiful, and cause you to live for ever. And suppose I gave it to you as a free gift. But I will suppose that I am afraid that you somehow or other have got wrong notions about me; and, instead of thinking of what this would do for you, you have suspicions about me behind it, and you think that if you came forward to me there might be something dangerous in my other hand, while I am holding out this
That often keeps back folk; they have strange, suspicious notions; and
and so just because I am so desperately anxious that you should come, and for once put your lips to this—just taste it even for once-I put it down there, and I say,
" There is the water of life, and whosoever will, let him come.” And in order that I may be no stumbling-block, I disappear altogether, just to show you that, above all things, I want you to taste this for yourself. Now, salvation is like that. The Lord does everything to allay your fears, and to show you His good faith. He says, " Whosoever will, let him take the water of life to his heart's content.”
Now I cannot preach any more. All I know is that He is a real Christ whom I am preaching. Come to Him now in simple, hearty confidence.
" I heard the voice of Jesus say,
Behold, I freely give
Stoop down, and drink, and live.'
Of that life-giving stream ;
And now I live in Him.'
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