What Are We at?
A STORY; I think it came from the North Country: A minister called upon a poor
woman, intending to give her help; for he knew that she was very poor. With his
money in his hand, he knocked at the door; but she did not answer. He concluded
she was not at home, and went his way. A little after he met her at the church,
and told her that he had remembered her need: "I called at your house, and
knocked several times, and I suppose you were not at home, for I had no
answer." "At what hour did you call, sir?" "It was about
noon." "Oh, dear," she said, "I heard you, sir, and I am so
sorry I did not answer; but I thought it was the man calling for the rent."
Many a poor woman knows what this meant. Now, it is my desire to be heard, and
therefore I want to say that I am not calling for the rent; indeed, it is not
the object of this book to ask anything of you, but to tell you that salvation
is all of grace, which means, free,
gratis, for nothing.
Oftentimes, when we are anxious to win attention, our hearer
thinks, "Ah! now I am going to be told my duty. It is the man calling for
that which is due to God, and I am sure I have nothing wherewith to pay. I will
not be at home." No, this book does not come to make a demand upon you, but
to bring you something. We are not going to talk about law, and duty, and
punishment, but about love, and goodness, and forgiveness, and mercy, and
eternal life. Do not, therefore, act as if you were not at home: do not turn a
deaf ear, or a careless heart. I am asking nothing of you in the name of God or
man. It is not my intent to make any requirement at your hands; but I come in
God's name, to bring you a free gift, which it shall be to your present and
eternal joy to receive. Open the door, and let my pleadings enter. "Come
now, and let us reason together." The Lord himself invites you to a
conference concerning your immediate and endless happiness, and He would not
have done this if He did not mean well toward you. Do not refuse the Lord Jesus
who knocks at your door; for He knocks with a hand which was nailed to the tree
for such as you are. Since His only and sole object is your good, incline your
ear and come to Him. Hearken diligently, and let the good word sink into your
soul. It may be that the hour is come in which you shall enter upon that new
life which is the beginning of heaven. Faith cometh by hearing, and reading is a
sort of hearing: faith may come to you while you are reading this book. Why not?
O blessed Spirit of all grace, make it so!