John and the Nail Hole

"John," said a father to his son, "bring me a hammer, a nail and a pine board."

"Yes, father, here they are," said John.

"Now, my boy, drive that nail into the board."

John did so, saying, "That's easy enough."

"Pull it out again."

"Oh! that is very easy, father," said John, as he pulled it out.

"Now, John," and the father's voice lowered, "pull out the nail hole."

Ah! that was harder, in fact, John could not do it, and had to confess his inability.

John's father was a Christian, and by the simple illustration sought to teach him a lesson which I desire to bring before my young readers.

It is easy to commit sins — very easy — easier, in fact, than it was for John to drive the nail into the board; but when once committed, a dark stain is left that you can no more get out than could John pull out the nail hole.

Every boy and girl who reads this book has committed sins. God says, "All have sinned," and that little word A — L — L does not leave one out; and having sinned, there are dark stains on your soul, and I ask you what are you going to do?

A great many people try to forget all about their sins, but this will not help them at all, for they are all recorded in God's book, and He does not forget them.

It is a wonderful thing to know that heaven — that blessed home where Jesus dwells — will be filled with people who once were on this earth; but every one in that home will be spotless; not a single stain of sin will be seen on any of them, all their garments will be whiter than snow. Were it not so they could not be in heaven, for God's word says, "There shall in nowise enter in ought that DEFILETH," and sins are defiling, so that there will not be a single person in heaven whose sins have not been put away.

Now, how can sins be put away? Soap and water cannot do it. Your mother may wash the dirt from your face and clothes, but she could never wash the sins from your soul. You may be very sorry for your sins — and it is right that you should be sorry — but your tears will never put them away. Trying to be good will not do it, for you know that the more you try to be good the worse you are.

I remember speaking to some dear children about the Saviour and His love, and at the close of my address, I said, "Now, I want one of you dear boys to choose a hymn, and we will all sing it." One little fellow put up his hand and said, "Please, sir, may we sing:

'What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.'"

We did sing it, and this is the answer to this all-important question, What can put away sin?

"Nothing but the blood of Jesus."

Yes; it is only through the blood of Jesus. If today we could gather in one company every saved person in heaven and on earth, and ask them how their sins were put away, they would all reply, "Through the blood of Jesus." The little boy who chose the hymn knew it. An old man, who had known Jesus as his Saviour for over sixty years, said to me: "It is all through the blood." He knew it too. Yes; it cleanses old and young, and rich and poor, and all who are saved will be saved because Jesus shed His precious blood.

Now, I am sure that my young friends want to be saved some day; you would not like to be shut out of heaven, but you will be, if your sins are not put away, for Jesus said, "If ye die in your sins, where I am ye cannot come," and as you cannot say when you will die, today is the time — you must be saved NOW.

A boy of nine came to a gospel meeting that I held some time ago in Scotland, and at that meeting he found out that he was a sinner; he went home very miserable, and during the night his sobs awoke his father; his father came to his bedside to know the cause of his grief. "Oh! father," he said, "I am so bad, that I am sure God will not save me." His father was a Christian, and knew that God could save the very worst of sinners, so he sat beside his little son and told him that Jesus came to die for sinners, and that His precious blood could cleanse even him from all his many sins. The dear boy trusted Jesus that night, and though he was a great sinner, yet he found that Jesus was a great Saviour, and that all his sins which had made him so miserable, and fitted him for hell fire, could be washed away by Jesus' precious blood. He came to tell me about it the next day, and bright indeed did he look as he confessed the precious name of Jesus. At our next meeting he joyfully sang:

"Though my sins were red like crimson,
  Deep in scarlet glow,
Jesus' precious blood has made them
  White as snow."

I trust my young reader will get the blessing that this dear boy got. Do not say that you are not as bad as others, because God says, "There is no difference." You need this loving Saviour, and He wants to save you, trust Him now. There cannot be any doubt at all about the love of Jesus, He has proved it by coming to die for sinners. He came to bear sin upon the cross, and to endure God's judgment that sinners might be saved. Now He is alive from the dead and crowned with glory in heaven. He is not only a loving Saviour, but a victorious and glorious Saviour too. God wants you to bow your knee to Him, and open your lips to confess Him. Jesus calls to you too. He says, "Come to me," and if you come, He will not only save you from hell and put all your sins away, but He will make you happy now and give you pleasure for evermore.

A great many people think that if they turn to Jesus they will be very unhappy and never have any more pleasure, but they are deceived. All who are going in for this world's pleasures are deceived. When in the West Indies, I remember seeing a horse feeding greedily upon some grass which had been dried up by the hot sun; on going nearer, I found that he had some very fine green net bound round his eyes. Then I knew that the horse was DECEIVED, through the green net the dried grass looked fresh and green, and that was why he went on feeding upon it. Ah! I thought, that is what the devil does, he blinds the eyes of men and women and boys and girls to the truth about the world, and the things that are in it, so that they go on feeding and feeding and feeding upon its poor dried-up and parched pleasure when they might have the true joy that Jesus gives. Oh! boys and girls, don't you be deceived by Satan; turn to Jesus, trust Him now, then you will be washed from your sins, made happy now, and have heaven to look forward to as your bright and eternal home.