But cries one, "We are not there yet." No: but faith fills us with delight in the blessed prospect, and meanwhile it sustains us on the road. Reader, I long that you may be a firm believer in the Lord alone. I want you to get wholly upon the rock, and not keep a foot on the sand. In this mortal life trust God for all things; and trust him alone. This is the way to live. I know it by experience. God's bare arm is quite enough to lean upon. I will give you a bit of the experience of an old labouring man I once knew. He feared God above many, and was very deeply taught of the Spirit. My picture will show you what kind of a man he wasâ€”great at hedging and ditching; but greater at simple trust. Here is how he described faith:â€”"It was a bitter winter, and I had no work, and no bread in the house. The children were crying. The snow was deep, and my way was dark. My old master told me I might have a bit of wood when I wanted it; so I thought a bit of fire would warm the poor children, and I went out with my chopper to get some fuel. I was standing near a deep ditch full of snow, which had drifted into it many feet deepâ€”in fact, I did not know how deep. While aiming a blow at a bit of wood my bill-hook slipped out of my hand, and went right down into the snow, where I could not hope to find it. Standing there with no food, no fire, and the chopper gone, something seemed to say to me, 'Will Richardson, can you trust God now?' and my very soul said, 'That I can.'" This is true faithâ€”the faith which trusts the Lord when the bill-hook is gone: the faith which believes God when all outward appearances give him the lie; the faith which is happy with God alone when all friends turn their backs upon you. Dear reader, may you and I have this precious faith, this real faith, this God-honouring faith! The Lord's truth deserves it; his love claims it, his faithfulness constrains it. Happy is he who has it! He is the man whom the Lord loves, and the world shall be made to know it before all is finished.
If ever a man does feel his need of a Saviour after treating Scripture with a proud, critical spirit, he is very apt to find his conscience standing in the way, and hindering him from comfort by reminding him of ill-treatment of the sacred Word. It comes hard to him to draw consolation out of passages of the Bible which he has treated cavalierly, or even set aside altogether, as unworthy of consideration. In his distress the sacred texts seem to laugh at his calamity. When the time of need comes, the wells which he stopped with stones yield no water for his thirst. Beware, when you despise a Scripture, lest you cast away the only friend that can help you in the hour of agony.
To those who have Believed.
It is most glorifying to our Lord Jesus Christ that we should hope for every good thing from him alone. This is to treat him as he deserves to be treated; for as he is God, and beside him there is none else, we are bound to look unto him and be saved.
To help the seeker to a true faith in Jesus, I would remind him of the work of the Lord Jesus in the room and place and stead of sinners. "When we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly" (Rom. v. 6). "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree" (1 Pet. ii. 24). "The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Is. liii. 6). "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God" (1 Pet. iii. 18).