Exodus 14, Exodus 15:1-2.
Night Scenes of Scripture
Seventeen Bible Night Scenes, illustrating and elucidating various truths of the Gospel.
by W. T. P. Wolston, M.D., 1896.
A Night in the Sea — Salvation.
It is very interesting to observe that we find nothing about salvation in Scripture till we reach the chapter which I have read to you. I quite admit that you find the word in the Book of Genesis, where Jacob, speaking prophetically, says, "I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord" (Gen. 49:18). But clearly it had not come then. Now Exodus 14 reveals to us the salvation of the Lord. I grant you it is but a type, a figure, but it is a beautiful figure of that which God has done for us in our day.
We have seen in Exodus 12 the wonderful truth of the death of the lamb, the substitutionary lamb that died instead of the firstborn; but, in order to be really clear before God, in order to really know what God's salvation is, I must have resurrection as well as death. Resurrection is the backbone of the gospel. Leave out the resurrection, and you have but half the gospel. Quite true, it was the work which the Lord Jesus Christ did on the cross that put our sins away, it was the atoning efficacy of the blood of the Lamb that met all the claims of God in righteousness, but still resurrection, the resurrection of Christ, is the evidence, and the proof, of the completeness, and value of the work which He has done for His people.
I have no doubt whatever that the Red Sea — the passage of the children of Israel through the Red Sea — is a figure of the death and resurrection of Christ for His people, for us, i.e., that He died for our sins, and was raised again for our justification. The result is, that the moment Israel got through the Red Sea they began to sing. While they were in Egypt there was no song. What were they doing? Sighing, crying, weeping, groaning — they were miserable slaves. Even when they were at Pi-hahiroth (Ex. 14:2, 9), what were they doing? Fearing and trembling; they were in dread, and distress of soul. But the moment they had gone through the Red Sea, by the path which God had opened for them — the moment typically they had accepted death, and got into resurrection — what do I find? They begin to sing; they sing a triumphant song to the Lord. And what is the burden of the song? "The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation" (Ex. 15:2). It is what the Lord is, and what the Lord has done. Well might they sing, because, from the sunny heights of resurrection, they look down and see all their foes dead on the seashore, not one of them left. They are brought now to have to do with God, and to know God as their Saviour, and they can sing with happiness and truth, "The Lord is become my salvation." They are saved, and they know they are saved.
I meet a great many people nowadays who are hoping, trying, and longing to be saved, but I do not meet many who are bold enough to say, "Thank God, I am saved, for He has saved me." Can you say that yet? Come, honestly, my friend, can you say, "I have obtained God's salvation, I am a saved soul by divine grace"? Is it presumption to say so? No, it is not presumption to boast in what God does. It would be great presumption if it were something in which you and I had any hand. But you will observe here that the people of Israel stand still, and the Lord does everything, and, when He has done everything, what do they do? They turn and exalt, and praise Him, and give Him glory. We read, "Thus the Lord saved Israel" (Ex. 14:30). Why do you not let Him save you, and then you could likewise sing to Him, as the Author and Source of your salvation? There are many souls today who are desiring salvation, and would like to have it, but they have not got it, because they have never learnt what this precious scripture unfolds, in figure, viz., that Christ not only died for our sins, but that He rose again for our justification, and that consequently the one who believes in Him who has died and been raised again, is linked with Him in the place where He now is — in resurrection. And as a result, there is peace and joy and gladness in the soul.
Now, I will tell you where hosts of people are spiritually. Being a doctor, I go into the houses of all classes, and in numbers of them I find a picture, to which people are uncommonly attached. It depicts a stone cross, a fearful storm raging, and a poor, wretched, unhappy-looking woman clinging to this cross, with despair printed on her face. And people think this is Christianity. Christianity! It is an utter travesty of Christianity. Oh, you say, do you make light of the cross? God forbid. With the apostle Paul, I say, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." But does that picture teach me Christianity? Not at all. And why? Because the truth of Christianity is that the storm has gone by, the Saviour has passed through it, and risen out of it, and faith leads the soul, not to the foot of an empty cross, but to the feet of the ascended Saviour, where there is "neither enemy nor evil occurrent." The storm is over, the forces of evil are dealt with, and the soul, instead of being in fear, and anxiety, and distress, is in the possession of solid, divinely given peace — in the assurance that it is saved, because connected with the risen Saviour, who has passed through death and judgment, and is now at God's right hand.
Many a poor soul nowadays carries about a cross with or without a figure of Christ upon it. The idea is to remember the death of Christ. But Christ is not on the cross now, nor is He in the grave. Where is He? He is risen. Hear the glad tidings. I declare to you a risen Saviour, a Saviour triumphant over death and the grave. He went into death, and met the judgment of God in the moment of His death; He bore the whole weight of the wrath and vengeance of God against man's sin and guilt. He atoned for that guilt when He died; when He tasted death He annulled it; in His passage through death, He met him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and destroyed him. But, now, what has happened? He is alive from the dead, He has risen, and ascended. It is a risen, triumphant, and glorified Saviour at God's right hand that I preach to you, and the believer is entitled to know that Christ is his Saviour, that Christ is his peace, that his sins are forgiven, and that he belongs now to that Saviour. He is absolutely saved, and he is entitled to give thanks. His doubts and fears are for ever gone; he knows that his sins have been swept away by the blood of Jesus, and that the power of the enemy has been broken by His death. The day of doubt, and fear, distress, and anxiety is gone by for ever; and if you have the picture I have described in your house, I advise you, before you go to bed tonight, to put it in the fire. Why? Because if any one comes into my house, I should not like to give him a false impression of what Christianity is, and I conclude you will feel similarly. Christianity tells me of a victorious, triumphant Man, at the right hand of God, who has dashed in pieces the power of the enemy; who has been exalted, a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance, and remission of sins, to all who believe in His name. It is resurrection you must know.
I do not wonder that the devil made a great noise in Acts 4, when the apostles preached and taught the people the truth. What did they preach? They "preached through Jesus the resurrection from among the dead" (ver. 2). If they had only preached Jesus as having lived on the earth, the devil would have said, You may go on and preach that as much as you like, because He died. But, said the apostles, God has raised Him from the dead. One has gone into death, on whom death had no claim; and He has annulled it, and now He is alive from the dead in righteousness at God's right hand. He is the life, and the righteousness, and the sanctification, and redemption of every soul that simply believes in Him. I do not wonder that the devil sought that day to put the apostles in prison, because the resurrection, which they preached, was the absolute proof of his utter defeat by Christ, and of the abolition of the power of death. Death, which was the wages of man's sin, being annulled, Christ's resurrection proved that sin had been put away. It is freely granted that our sins took Him into death, but what took Him out of it? God, in righteousness, took Him out of death, and set Him at His own right hand in glory, and the consequence is that the one who believes in Christ is associated with Him where He is.
The blessed truth of the gospel is this (and unless you know it, you have not really tasted God's salvation — you have not got peace and solid rest in your soul), that He, who was ever the Father's delight, came down into this scene, that He became a man, and as a man was so sinless, spotless, and perfect, that death had no claim upon Him, and that then the Man on whom death had no claim has gone in grace into death for me — for the man upon whom death had a claim. Further, He who knew no sin, was made sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. He has taken our place in death, and God, having raised Him from the dead, through grace now gives us His place when we believe on Him. It is a wonderful thing to be able to say, Christ took my place in shame, and sorrow, and suffering, death and judgment, and I, who believe in Him, get His place in life, and acceptance, and righteousness before God.
But you say, What has all that to do with Exodus 14? It is just exactly what the chapter teaches in figure. When the enemy is coming after Israel to overtake, and to destroy them, God says, "Go forward." And where do they go? They go upon dry land through that, which would, without the intervention of God, have been overwhelming destruction for them. They go right through the Red Sea, God Himself having opened a pathway for them through the waters, which form a wall on their right hand, and on their left, as this passage tells us twice over. And now we find them on the other side, brought to God, the power of the enemy broken. They are saved, they know it, and they rejoice in the Lord accordingly.
Have you ever travelled that road? If not, I pray God you may learn what it is to travel it. The Lord give you to hear His own word, "Go forward." If you think it is right to be in a condition of doubt, and fear, and uncertainty, this scripture ought to undeceive you. Nay, nay, the Christian is now entitled to be in a place of nearness to God, in blessing, and favour, identified with Him who died and rose again.
In our last chapter we saw that the blood put on the lintel preserved the first-born, in the household that was obedient to God's command, from God's judgment. But the blood does much more than that. Not only does the blood of the Lamb screen us from the righteous judgment of God, not only does the blood of Jesus shelter us from God's righteous judgment upon us as sinners, but it sets us apart to God. "The wages of sin is death," but that is met by the blood of the Lamb, for, "As it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment; so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time, without sin, to salvation" (Heb. 9:27-28). I beg you to observe the "as" and the "so." As it was appointed to you and me to die, and then to be judged, so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many. He took the sinner's place in blessed grace, as Anne Steele's lines charmingly put it:
"He took the guilty culprit's place,
He suffered in our stead:
For man, O miracle of grace,
For man the Saviour bled."
Faith can say, "For me the Saviour bled." That is Ex. 12, but in Ex. 13 I find that the same blood of the Lamb, which shelters me from judgment, sets me apart at the same moment to God. As soon as the people are sheltered, the Lord says, They are mine. "Sanctify to me all the first-born, whatsoever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast; it is mine" (ver. 2). He claims the soul that is sheltered by the blood of the lamb as belonging to Him. If any one can say truthfully, "I do rest on Jesus, and I am trusting in His work," even though you have doubts and fears, let me tell you this, If you believe in Jesus, and are resting on His precious blood alone for salvation, you belong to God, and He will never give you up. And more than that, He would give you to know personally, how full, and rich, and perfect, is the salvation He makes yours through the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the end of Ex. 13 the Lord comes down, and gives the people the sign of His presence, in the pillar of cloud, and of fire. He makes it manifest that they belong to Him. "And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light; to go by day and night" (ver. 21). Who would not be a Christian? I have the Lord not only for my life, and my shelter, but also for my guide. If God's people wanted light by night, His presence was their light, in the pillar of fire; if they wanted shade by day, He spread His cloud over them.
What is the next thing? Pharaoh having learned that the people are on their way out of his dominions, of course makes a final effort to keep them back, and God now comes in to deliver them from his power. The knowledge that I am sheltered by the blood of the Lamb from God's judgment does not give the knowledge of deliverance in my soul. Therefore in Ex. 14 God brings the people to Pi-hahiroth, which means, "The mouth of caverns." The Lord brings His people to a spot where He shows them what real liberty is. They must get clean out of Egypt, and so must you, beloved fellow-believer, get delivered out of the world. You say to me, Can you bring a man out of the world? I cannot, but the gospel can. When the gospel really gets into a man's heart, he gets the knowledge of the heavenly sphere, and of heavenly blessing and joy, and his heart is turned from the world. He gets out of Egypt. In what way? Through the knowledge of the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, whereby his sins have been all blotted out, and he himself brought to God, through the work the Saviour has accomplished.
Satan of course will not let any soul go easily, he will try to hold it back if he can. So in our chapter Pharaoh comes out with all his forces after Israel, and the people are terrified. It is after people are converted, after they have made the first start, and turned round to serve the Lord, desiring to be for Him, that they learn the evil of their own hearts, and it is then that Satan brings pressure to bear upon them, to keep them from being for the Lord absolutely, and entirely. Pharaoh gathers together all his hosts to pursue them, and the people find themselves in a terrible fix. They look behind them and there are Pharaoh and his hosts; they look before them and there is death — the Red Sea — and on either hand mountains rise to the skies. Hence, Pharaoh thinks he will certainly overtake them and enslave them again.
Similarly Satan comes after the believer, with the thought that he is going to get him under his power again. But do not you be frightened: he never will. Once under the shelter of the blood, you are brought to God in all the value of the Saviour's finished work and that place you can never lose. You are like the sheep in Luke 15. The shepherd went after it, and when he found it, he put it on his shoulders. I once heard some one say, May not the sheep drop off on the road? Well, I do not read that it did. I read that he brought it home. No doubt if it depended on the sheep, it would slip off, but all depends on the shepherd. I have sometimes seen a man carrying a sheep on his shoulder in an awkward way, and the sheep almost falling off, but I read that the shepherd put the sheep on his shoulders, and there he holds the sheep. My safety depends on my Saviour, not on me.
I quite admit that there is faith on my part, and that salvation is through faith. But the point is this, it is the Saviour who sought me, and found me, and carries me. And here it is God who comes and says, I want you out of Egypt, and I mean to have you for Myself. With great difficulty Pharaoh is made to let them go, but afterwards he tries to get hold of them again. And this is where unestablished souls are so often frightened. Perhaps after all, they say, I may go back, I may fall away. What about that scripture in Peter which says, "The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire"? (2 Peter 2:22.) Well, why does the dog return to his vomit? Because he is a dog. And why does the sow return to wallowing in the mire? Because she is a sow, and nothing else. You may wash a sow as much as you like, you cannot make a sheep of her. The point of the figure is that the sow has got an unclean nature, and delights in the mire. You never saw a sheep wallowing in the mire. You may have seen a poor sheep fall into a ditch and bleat to be taken out. And that is the case of a backslider. But a child of God is never called a dog or a sow. Those of whom Peter speaks never had been born again, never had received a new life or nature; they had been merely outwardly reformed. Before the sow was washed she was a dirty sow; after she was washed she was a clean sow, but a sow still, no matter what she was washed in. The devil has got all sorts of things in which to wash people. Moral reformation and ecclesiastical observances — quite apart from new birth, and the personal knowledge of Christ — are favourite receipts for salvation. I suppose when the sow was washed they tied her up to keep her clean. But you will find that putting a restraint upon nature merely, will not do. Some day the sow will gnaw the rope and reach the mire again. Why? Simply because she is a sow, and loves the mire, just as an unconverted man loves sin.
But when the grace of God gets into a man's heart, that man is new born, he has a new life and nature, with new tastes, and a new object, with heavenly hopes and aspirations. He is set up in this world a new man in the power of the Holy Ghost. He may fail, he may stumble and fall, but "the gifts and calling of God are without repentance" (Rom. 11:29). The Lord Jesus Christ says, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." It is really no one — angel, man, or devil — can pluck them out of His hand. And why? My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all and no one is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand" (John 10:27-29). The Lord Jesus looks upon the sheep as the precious gift of the Father to Him. You do not know how precious you are to Christ. Dear young believer, and old one too, would that you knew better the love of the Saviour's heart, and what a price He sets upon you. And is He going to let us go after He has bought us, and washed us in His blood? Nay, nay.
It is God that justifies. Who is he that condemns? "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us" (Rom. 8:33-34). Will He condemn those for whom He died? Never!
To return to the figure in Exodus 14, what is the first word Israel gets, as the enemy is seen approaching? "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will show to you this day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace" (vers. 13, 14). What is God's salvation? That Christ has gone down beneath the waves and billows of divine judgment, for His people, bearing their sins, enduring the judgment due to them, and He has risen again in the power of an accomplished work — an atonement by which God has been glorified — and what is the result? The power of the enemy is destroyed, and we are called to gaze on a risen Saviour, and an empty tomb.
You remember that on the resurrection morning an angel came down, and rolled away the stone from the Lord's sepulchre. What for? I have sometimes heard it said, To let Jesus out. God forbid such a thought. An angel roll away the stone to let my Saviour out? Never. He was out long before. He rose in the majesty of His own being, as a divine person. He could say, "I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it again." But, more than that, He was raised from the dead, by the glory of the Father, as the expression of the delight and satisfaction God found in His accomplished work. Why, then, was the stone rolled away? Not to let the Saviour out, but to let you and me look in, and see an empty tomb. I see the tomb empty, and the grave clothes all folded in order. I am prepared to shout — Hallelujah! My Saviour, who went into death for me, and for my sins, has come out of it, and now I can sing.
Why were the angels silent when they saw the empty tomb? They praised God when the Saviour was born in Bethlehem, but why were they silent in the day when He rose from the dead? The truth is this: they had no note that suited the occasion. It was not for angels that Jesus died, but for sinners like you and me, for the ungodly, the guilty, the lost, for those who were enemies. The angels had no song suited to the moment, but, if I may be allowed to say so, I can imagine that when they rolled back the stone, and said to the woman, "He is not here, for he is risen … come, see the place where the Lord lay," I can imagine the angels saying, Surely these saved ones will begin to sing now. But, alas, they sang not: they knew not the truth of the resurrection, and what it involved. And, indeed, that which was true on the resurrection morning is true today, in the history of many. How many a soul, that really trusts the Lord, does one find in doubt, and uncertainty, instead of rejoicing in a risen Saviour, and in the knowledge of an accomplished redemption? The truth is, they are not clear as to their salvation. They need to hear the word that fell on Israel's ear — "Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord."
Now, see what takes place? The Lord commands Moses to lift up his rod, and, as he stretches his rod over the sea, the waters divide, and what seemed certain death, becomes the means of salvation. "Speak to the children of Israel that they go forward," says the Lord; and as the hosts of Israel, in obedience, step forward into what looked like death, the sea divides, crystal walls of salvation rise up on either hand, and they march upon dry ground. Dry ground is four times mentioned in this chapter, as if God would in this figure emphasise the fact that the death and resurrection of Christ provide the solid ground on which faith puts its feet. Nature and flesh cannot tread this path. If they attempt it, as typified here by Pharaoh's action, there is nothing to be expected but judgment. But faith finds a firm footing there: "By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned" (Heb. 11:29). Israel was safe, because their going into the sea was an act of real faith in, and obedience to the Word of God. The result is that as they pass in they find the way is clear, there is nothing to hinder them, and God Himself goes before them, as their light and guide. It was in the darkness of night this took place. The pall of night was over the scene, but God's redeemed see their way clearly.
But what guidance have these escaped slaves got? They have light from God: divine light goes before them to show them the path which divine power had opened, and divine protection is flung over them. Pharaoh follows, and is getting a little near to Israel, but then what does the Lord do? He turns and goes from before them to get behind them, between them and Pharaoh. "The angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them; and it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night" (vers. 19, 20). Pharaoh had said, "I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them" (15:9); but what does the Lord answer? You will have to settle accounts with me, Pharaoh, before you touch one of My people; you will have to pass through the pillar of cloud and fire before you can reach them.
How beautiful for us to note this! Oh, young convert, dear fellow-Christian, be assured of this, that God's salvation is real, and the purpose and calling of God are without repentance. If you are under the shelter of the blood, you belong to God, He is your Saviour, and He Himself stands between His people, and the pursuing enemy. The enemy goes on, but presently God gives him his first check; the wheels of his chariots come off (ver. 25). Perhaps there is a man in this hall tonight as daring and stubborn as Pharaoh. Let him mark this scene. God gave Pharaoh his warning before he met his doom. When their chariot wheels came off, that was a warning from God to those who were pursuing His people that night. The Egyptians perished with Pharaoh, because they heeded not the warning which God gave them. Similarly, sinners who do not think it worth while to give heed to the word of the Lord, will have Satan's judgment, they will share the doom of him who is god of this world. Unsaved friend, God is giving you your warning tonight, that death is ahead of you, and judgment, and the lake of fire after it, if you die in your sins. Be warned in time; turn to the Lord, and receive His salvation, and learn what His goodness is now.
"And the Lord said to Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and upon their horsemen." Moses did so, the waters returned, and the whole host of the Egyptians was engulfed. "There remained not so much as one of them." Blessed tidings for the believer, for the soul that has really turned to Jesus. He can look back, and see the power of the enemy broken, his sins gone, the judgment past. The judgment fell on Jesus, and He is risen, having exhausted the judgment, and destroyed the power of the enemy.
When the apostle John saw the Lord in the vision of Revelation 1, and fell at His feet as dead, He said to him, "Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that lives and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hades and of death." He says as it were to John, and to you and me, I have been down there where you were as sinners, under the sentence of death — I was there without sin, and death had no claim upon Me, but in grace I went right down into the very scene of death's dominion, the very stronghold of Satan's power, and I have overcome him in his stronghold, which was death. This blessed truth is wonderfully unfolded in Hebrews 2: "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage" (vers. 14, 15). He can now say: I am He that lives, and was dead; I have been down to the very region of death, where your sin would have taken you; I have gone down into it in grace, and I have met the one who had the power of death; I have gone through the dark tunnel of the grave, and in my path through that tunnel, I have met him who had the power of death — symbolised by the keys — I have plucked the keys from his girdle, I have wrenched the sceptre from his hand. He is a defeated foe, and I am alive for evermore: fear not. Bless the Lord! I say from the bottom of my heart. I know a Saviour in glory who has overcome Satan, and put away my sins; He has burst the bonds of death, broken the bars of the tomb, and now in all His beauty and glory, He is the risen, ascended, glorified Saviour, at God's right hand. I trust Him, and He saves me, just as Israel that day was saved with God's salvation.
What does it mean, when it says in ver. 30, "Thus the Lord saved Israel"? It means that every foe was silenced, not an enemy was left. Is that the case with your soul? It is the case with every one who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, for He was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification. As it is put in Colossians, "Ye are complete in him who is the head of all principality and power." I look up into the glory of God, and, far, far above the angels that never sinned I see a Man set down there, — a Man who is my Saviour, who went into death for my sins, who died my death, who is now risen from the dead: I am risen with Him, and accepted in Him. Where are my sins? Gone in the cross of Christ. Where are the enemies? Gone too. And where is the Saviour? Risen. And where are His people? Risen too, with Christ (Col. 3:1).
Salvation is a very large word. It comprehends forgiveness, and deliverance, and peace, and the knowledge that I am justified. It is not only the knowledge that the Lord died for me, that He put away my sins, but that when He died I died, and when He rose I rose. What a blessed thing to have Jesus as your Saviour, to belong to Him, to have God's salvation, and to know it! It was after the Lord had saved Israel that they sang: and were they not entitled to sing? And what is the burden of their song? "I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider has he thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation;" etc. (Ex. 15:1-2). It is all coupled with a person, the person of the Saviour. He who possesses Christ has God's salvation.
Every believer in Christ is entitled to know what is presented here in type, and figure, and he can then sing sweetly, simply, and happily, "He is become my salvation." And further, "He is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation" (ver. 2). The moment you get redemption unfolded, in Scripture, you get also the thought of God dwelling with His people; that of course now is by the Holy Ghost. God dwells with us now: by-and-by we shall dwell with Him for ever, and this is what is taught further on: "Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength to thy holy habitation "(ver. 13), the end of the journey being anticipated. Ah, beloved friends, the Saviour brings out, and He brings in. If He has brought you out, He will not let you drop on the road. Our portion as believers is that we are saved, and we know it. Our salvation is of the Lord, and He Himself is the joy, and strength, and confidence of our hearts.
I remember going a while ago to see an old widow, in a little house in Edinburgh. She had tumbled down, and thought she had broken her thigh. I said to her, "How do you get on here all alone? Have you no one with you?" "No one all day," she said. "My granddaughter lives with me, but she goes out in the morning to her work, and does not come back till the evening." "And are you happy all through the day?" "Yes, I am quite happy, and no mistake. I have Christ for my Saviour, and I have got the Book which tells me all about Him, and I have a hymnbook too, and can sing His praises when I am all alone. I would not change places with her Majesty, Queen Victoria, on the throne, God bless her!" There was a poor lonely widow, who did not know where her next meal was to come from, who had not one near her, even to make her a cup of tea, and yet she would not change places with her Majesty the Queen. Why? Because she had got Christ, Christ for her salvation, Christ for her strength, Christ for her peace, Christ for her joy. Happy woman! She is now with her Lord.
It is a grand thing to be a Christian. If you are not one, if you will not have God's salvation, forget not that you must have God's damnation. Whoever you are, let me plead with you. Come now to the Lord! Do not risk your precious soul by procrastinating another day. If you have never bowed to an ascended Saviour, and trusted Him, do so now. He says: "Him that comes to me, I will in no wise cast out, for I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which sees the Son, and believes on him, may have everlasting life" (John 6:37-40). This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, and if there be an unsaved soul yet left in this hall, I say to you, my friend, Come to Jesus, and let Him save you just now. Then you will know the meaning of what He said in the house of Zacchaeus: "This day is salvation come to this house." God's salvation is present, perfect, and personal. How did salvation come to the house of Zacchaeus? Why, by Zacchaeus simply receiving Jesus. You had better do the same. God grant you may.