OUT TO JESUS.
March 20, 1840
MY DEAR FRIEND, — I do not even know your name, but I think I know
something of the state of your soul. Your friend has been with me, and told me
a little of your mind; and I write a few lines just to bid you to look to Jesus
and live. Look at Numbers 21:9, and you will see your disease and your remedy.
You have been bitten by the great serpent. The poison of sin is through and
through your whole heart, but Christ has been
lifted up on the cross that you may look and live. Now, do not look so long and
so harassingly at your own heart and feelings. What will you find there but the
bite of the serpent? You were shapen in iniquity, and the whole of your natural
life has been spent in sin.
The more God opens your eyes, the more you will
feel that you are lost in yourself. This is your disease. Now for the remedy.
Look to Christ; for the glorious Son of God so
loved lost souls, that He took on Him a body and died for us—bore our
curse, and obeyed the law in our place. Look to Him and live. You need no
preparation, you need no endeavors, you need no duties, you need no strivings,
you only need to look and live. Look at John
17:3. The way to be saved is to know God’s heart and the heart of Jesus.
To be awakened, you need to know your own heart. Look in at your own heart, if
you wish to know your lost condition. See the pollution that is
there—forgetfulness of God, deadness, insensibility to His love. If you
are judged as you are in yourself, you will be lost. To be saved, you need to
know the heart of God and of Christ. The four
Gospels are a narrative of the heart of God and of Christ.
They show His compassion to sinners, and His glorious work in their stead. If
you only knew that heart as it is, you would lay your weary head with John
on His bosom. Do not take up your time so much with studying your own heart as
with studying Christ’s heart. “For
one look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ!”
Look at Romans 15:13.
That is my prayer for you. You are looking for peace in striving, or peace in
duties, or peace in reforming your mind; but ah! look at His word. “The
God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing.” All your peace
is to be found in believing God’s word about His Son. If for a moment you
forget your own case altogether, and meditate on the glorious way of salvation
by Christ for us, does your bosom never glow
with a ray of peace? Keep that peace; it is joy in believing. Look as straight
to Christ as you sometimes do at the rising or
setting sun. Look direct to Christ.
You fear that your
convictions of sin have not been deep enough. This is no reason for keeping
away from Christ. You will never get a truly
broken heart ‘till you are really in Christ
(see Ezek. 36:25-31). Observe the order; First, God sprinkles clean water on
the soul. This represents our being washed in the blood of Christ.
Then He gives “a new heart also.” Thirdly, He gives a piercing
remembrance of past sins. Now, may the Lord give you all these! May you be
brought as you are to the blood of the Lamb! Washed and justified, may He
change your heart—give you a tender heart, and His Holy Spirit within
your heart; and thus may He give you a broken heart for your past sins.
Look at Romans 5:19. By
the sin of Adam, many were made
sinners. We had no hand in Adam’s
sin, and yet the guilt of it comes upon us. We did not put out our hand to the
apple, and yet the sin and misery have been laid at our door. In the same way,
“by the obedience of Christ, many are made
righteous.” Christ is the glorious One who
stood for many. His perfect garment is sufficient to cover you. You had no hand
in His obedience. You were not alive when He came into the world and lived and
died; and yet, in the perfect obedience, you may stand before God righteous.
This is all my covering in the sight of a holy God. I feel infinitely ungodly
in myself: in God’s eye, like a serpent or a toad; and yet, when I stand
in Christ alone, I feel that God sees no sin in me, and loves me freely. The
same righteousness is free to you. It will be as white and clean on your soul
as on mine. Oh, do not sleep another night without it! Only consent to stand in
Christ, not in your poor self.
I must not weary you.
One word more. Look at Revelation 22:17. Sweet, sweet words! “Whosoever
will, let him take of the water of life freely.” The last invitation in
the Bible, and the freest,—Christ’s
parting word to a world of sinners! Any one that pleases may take this glorious
way of salvation. Can you refuse it? I am sure you cannot. Dear friend, be
persuaded by a fellow worm not to put off another moment. “Behold the
Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
You are sitting, like Hagar,
within reach of the well. May the Lord open your eyes and show you all that is
in Christ! I pray for you, that you may
spiritually see Jesus and be
glad—that you may go to Him and find rest. Farewell.
—Yours in the Lord,
Memoir and Remains of
By Andrew Bonar.
BANNER OF TRUTH TRUST, 1987.