Dr. C. J. Davis.
"I am bound to let you pass."
This letter, written at first to some children in London, is now addressed to young ones everywhere.
Assured that the Lord will use it for blessing to some, I crave the fellowship in prayer of every Christian parent and teacher, and of all who desire the salvation of precious souls.
You will have something to go to God about, and who can go to Him and not be himself blessed? and when prayer is answered, which we should expect, then again we return to give thanks.
The Lord will soon — "quickly" — be here for us, who are His. Are any of our children and brothers and sisters to be left in this poor condemned world after the saints are gone? May faith's answer be, "No." God cannot refuse the prayer of faith. Let us then be before Him about them. But let not our walk and ways stumble them.
My Dear Young Friends,
Soon after the above sentence was uttered in my ears, it occurred to me to write to you and explain it, as I knew it would interest you. I trust the blessed Lord will use what I shall say to your souls, for His own name's sake.
The above words were spoken to me by a youth who kept the entrance to the pier at Dunoon.
Dunoon is a nicely-situated watering place on the Clyde. Steamers frequently go to it from Glasgow, stopping for just a minute or two, to land passengers and take in fresh ones. Each passenger must pay a penny as he goes through the gate of the pier at which the steamers stop.
One morning I stood at the gate, and soon began to speak with the lad that kept it. My desire was to let him understand the simple way in which God can now be just, while He pardons the sinner, and calls him a child of God for believing in Jesus.
"If I do not pay you a penny," I asked the lad, "should you let me pass?"
"No, sir," he answered. "It is the rule that every passenger must pay a penny."
"Then, if I can't pay it, I must lose my boat, must I?"
"Well, sir," he said, "I can't help that, but I could not pass you."
"But," I continued, "suppose some person gave you a sovereign, and requested you to take a penny out of it for every poor man that could not pay, what then?"
"Oh, then," he replied, "if you like to be treated as a poor man, you could tell me, and I would draw out a penny for you."
"Well, and if I do come as a poor man, what then?"
"I am bound to let you pass," he replied very strongly, putting force on "bound" and on "you."
"But suppose that although you had the pound for supplying each that could not pay for himself, I did not believe that I could make use of it for myself, that it was for me?"
"Then you could not pass, and the steamer would leave you," he promptly replied.
I told him his remarks were quite true, and I showed him how that was just a beautiful picture of God's merciful and gracious and righteous plan for saving him.
I am very happy to say that the Lord blessed the Scriptures to him, which I reminded him of, and he confessed that Jesus was his Saviour, before I left Dunoon. I trust he will never lose the joy of such salvation. Now I wish to ask you, dear children, if you would "pass," to be for ever with the Lord, if He were now to come to take away His saints?
Just as the steamer at Dunoon took away such as the lad passed on the pier, which was the only way to the steamer, even so, when the Lord descends in the air, He will take away only those that have passed by Him who is the way to God. Aye, there is no other way.
I want each of you to answer me for himself and herself. Would you like to be left behind when the Lord Jesus takes away His people? If you would not, are you ready? Do you know all is paid for you?
I know that you would not like to be among those who shall cry to the mountains to cover them, and rocks to fall on them, because the great day of the wrath of the Lamb was come. But if you read Revelation 6:16, 17, you will find that such will be the cry of people who are not saved, when the Lord Jesus comes to make them know His power; and this will be immediately after the men, women, boys, and girls that love Him are caught away — as you know they will be according to 1 Thess. 4.
Again, you know how persons now fear death, if they are not saved. They would run away from it if they could. But at that dreadful time when the Lord comes to punish people that would not obey the Gospel (read 2 Thess. 1:7, 8), then men will be so tormented as to beg for death, but they shall not die, death will depart from them. (See this in Revelation 9:6.) Will not that, my dear children, be awful? Tell me will it not? Do ponder over it, and then tell me. Would each of you like to be left behind after the believers in Jesus are taken away? Pause, and answer me.
I think I hear some of you say, "Oh, no, I should not, indeed. Papa loves Jesus, Mamma does, too; and my brothers and sisters do, also; and they will be caught up. I would like to be also; I would not like to be left."
Then I ask you my second question: Are you ready? Are your sins forgiven?
"But what is it to be ready?" you ask me. Very well, I shall try to answer you; and may the Lord very graciously help you to know, and each to say to himself and herself
"I AM READY."
Do you know that you are sinners? by nature children of wrath, even as others? (Eph. 2:3.) If you do not know that, God tells you that you are. And if you do not believe it, then there can never be any Christ for you, for He never saves good people. "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." (1 Tim. 1:15.) "Christ died for the ungodly." (Rom. 5:6.) "This man receiveth sinners." (Luke 15:2.)
The collector at the pier had the pound to pay for the poor only — Christ shed his blood for sinners only.
Now, tell me, my dear ones, Do you believe God that you were so bad that nothing could save you but Christ Himself, and for that He must die?
"I believe, with all my heart, that I am a sinner: I feel it, I know it; and I want to know how I could be made ready to meet Jesus, if He were now to come."
Let me then remind you of two things said by my young friend at Dunoon.
1. That if a pound was given him out of which to pay for any poor person, that if I applied as a poor person he was bound to let me pass. And why? Because he could not expect payment twice.
Now you know very well that when the blessed Lord Jesus was dying on the cross, He said, "It is finished." Now, tell me, What was finished? Have you never thought over that question? Does it not concern you to hear such words from the mouth of Him who made all things, and yet humbled Himself to die on the cross? Now that was just the act of His for finishing such a perfect work — for paying all that God's justice could demand. God had demanded blood as the payment, so to say, for sin — your sin and mine. God was righteous and holy in doing so, else Satan would say that God could trifle with sin. But the Lord Jesus came here to show that God could not make a light thing of sin. This He did by dying; and hence we see what all of us deserved. But He being innocent, could die in the room of the guilty; and this is enough for God. So He can now receive us, and save every one who comes in the name of Jesus; because the Lord Jesus has already glorified God in dying unto sin once. Surely nothing but the purest love for the sinner could have led Him to do this. Do think of the precious love, my dear young friends, and pause for a few minutes, and let each ask, Shall I let Him die in vain? If you go to hell, you will let Him have died in vain as far as you are concerned, although His death is sufficient (if you believe it) for your salvation. Tell me, will you? I do long for your happiness; I do desire His glory; I am eager for Satan's disappointment in you.
I ask you again, Will you let Him die in vain?
Now, nothing would more gratify a kind gentleman who keeps the collector always supplied with money for poor persons' pennies, than to see the poor using them, just as when your teachers give a "tea" or a "treat" for the children, they like to see the children come and enjoy the treat. Nothing more delights God than to see children accepting, with all their hearts, Christ as their Saviour, now and for ever — and this because of the work done by the blessed Lord. With reference to this work it was that He said,
"It is finished,"
Finished every jot!
Children, this is all you need,
Tell me, is it not?
God will never require more from you than Christ; less than this God cannot have; and He binds Himself to pardon all who come in this name. He accepts us in the beloved One. (Eph. 1:6.) For
Payment God will not twice demand —
Once at your dying Surety's hand,
And once again at yours.
2. The other point in the collector's remarks which I want you to notice is this. He said that "Although the penny was paid for me, if I did not believe it, I would not pass, and the steamer would go and leave me." Now let me ask you, my dear children, if you should be lost for ever. (O, how terrible is the thought involved in the phrase, "Lost for ever!" You would not like to be — I know you would not. But should you be?) Why would it be? Would it be because the work of Christ is not sufficient? But I have already showed you that His was a perfect work, and is sufficient. Would it be because God is not willing? How can it be, when He says, "As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked." (Ezek. 34:11.)
In my case at Dunoon, the steamer was there, and could take me in — the pier was there, and stood between me at one end and the steamer at the other. I could have walked on it and stepped off it into the steamer, yet the collector truly said "The steamer may leave me." And why? SIMPLY BECAUSE I WOULD NOT BELIEVE THAT I COULD PUT IN MY CLAIM AS A POOR MAN.
Now, I ask you again, if the Lord Jesus now came and took away your parents that love Him, and your friends who rest on His word for salvation, why should you be left behind? Perhaps some of you say, "Because I am a sinner," and another, "Because I am a bad boy." Neither of you are right. God will surely punish sins. Everything done in the body will be judged at the great white throne, where the rejectors of Jesus will have to appear. But the Lord says (John 3:18), "He that believeth not is condemned already." Now mark this — "Because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God." Do you believe that Jesus died for you? I ask each of you. Will you say, "I believe that I am a sinner; I am sure I am." Then I declare unto you, "THAT THROUGH JESUS IS PREACHED UNTO YOU THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS: AND BY HIM ALL THAT BELIEVE ARE JUSTIFIED FROM ALL THINGS." (Acts 13:38, 39.)
And now, my dear young friends, before closing this appeal to you (and which may be the last I shall ever make on earth, and the last you may ever hear), let me with tears in my eyes beseech you not to refuse this word, which I believe God has told me to send you. Do listen to Him. It is a fearful thing to trifle with God; the Lord may soon be here. He says, Quickly. Death may overtake you soon, and are you to venture into the land of deepest shade without Jesus? Solemn thought! I do long for you, and I am praying to my God to let you heed this message. Some of you do love Jesus, I know you do. But how much? Is He the chief among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely? Do you love Him above all others? Then cultivate acquaintance with Him more. There is much more to see, admire, and adore in Him, than any astronomer could ever find in the starry heavens; and as you occupy your thoughts with Him, so you in spirit and ways will be more like Him. (2 Cor. 3:18.) And if you live as followers of Christ should, you may soon win to Him your friends who do not love such a loving Saviour. Do not forget to be found frequently reading your Bible in private and let the heart own in it the voice of God, which you must heed. Let the truth in it be for your guidance, and not what you see other people do. Private prayer should be frequently indulged in, then our souls get into God's presence. Let us all be found as those who expect our Lord to-day, that, should He come at any moment, we, being ready, and found watching and waiting, may at the sounding of the trumpet at once say, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
Your very affectionate friend, C. J. Davis.
God is just, and the justifier of all that believe in Jesus. (Rom. 3:26.)