Come to the Fountain

Wherever the English language is spoken Bonar's beautiful hymn:

"I heard the voice of Jesus say,
  'Come to me and rest.'"
is known. It tells of rest, of life, and of light, not only proclaimed to all by the lips of infinite compassion and love, but known, also, as great realities in the lives of those who have heard the Saviour's voice. We are not criticizing the wording of the second stanza of this rightly beloved hymn when we call attention to the exact words of Scripture. They are:

"And he said to me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely" (Rev. 21:6).

Notice carefully that it is not the stream of the water of life that is offered to the thirsty, but the fountain, and we believe that there is a reason for this. The Lord knew that the stream would be polluted; that Higher Criticism, New, or German Theology, Eastern Philosophy and all manner of "doctrines of devils" would be poured into it by those who hate the truth. So that, as the stream flowed onward there would be in it a terrible admixture of error and truth, the error gradually predominating until the whole stream became polluted. And this, alas, is taking place, so much so that Dryden's terse lines —

"Some truth there is, but dash'd and brew'd with lies;
  To please the fools, and puzzle all the wise."

might well be applied to much that passes for gospel preaching. It was said sorrowfully to us recently in a northern town, by one who knew the truth and wanted it, "I have been to every orthodox place of worship in this town but I have not heard the gospel in any of them." We fear that this town does not stand alone, for the time has come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and turn away their ears from the truth, turning to fables" (2 Tim. 4:3-4). But how terrible is the responsibility of those who while professing to be channels for the living water are pouring forth falsehood instead of truth, and how hopeless we should be if we had nothing but the stream to turn to. But it is not the stream that is offered to us, but THE FOUNTAIN! There is no pollution there, from it the living water springs up pure and fresh and free.

"O Christ, He is the fountain,
  The deep, sweet well of love."

And if we thirst of Him we must drink. We need neither preacher or priest to stand between Him and us, and He invites us to come to Him. The work of the Holy Spirit is to call attention to Him, and the whole purpose of the Bible is to tell us things concerning Himself. In Him is all blessing, "neither is there salvation in any other." In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead, and every treasure of wisdom and knowledge. He is the fountain of the water of life, and it is Himself that He gives. He places Himself and all the blessedness that there is in Him at the disposal of the thirsty. The pure river of water of life will flow in the holy city in the millennial age when nothing will enter to defile (Rev. 21:27; 22:1), but now, whether for salvation or satisfaction, sinner and saint alike must turn to the Fountain, to Christ Himself. All our springs are in Him. All else will fail, and every earth-born stream will run dry, but His sufficiency is inexhaustible and eternal, for He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.