16. Security of the Faithful.

Two persons may be in a lifeboat, and both being in the boat are therefore equally safe; yet one may be full of fear, because he understands neither the qualities of the boat nor the principles upon which it is constructed; he sees the waves rolling, and he fears he shall be drowned; while the other man, well acquainted with the principles of construction, and knowing also those laws by which it is governed, has peace because he is confident. So it is with regard to the character of the Lord Jesus. If you have been taught by the Spirit of God to know what Christ is—to know the preciousness of his blood—to know its saving power—to know its superiority even to Satan, then you may sit under His shadow with great delight, and perfect confidence and comfort. But, at the same time, if you are really trusting in Christ, although your faith be feeble, you are not less secure. The timid man is as safe in the boat as the courageous man, because they depend, not upon their frames and feelings, but their safety consists in the fact of their being in the boat. So all who are really trusting in the Lord Jesus are equally secure, although there may be great differences in the power of faith.—J. W. Reeve, M.A.

69. Recovering the Lost.

A great picture by Rubens was discovered in an old picture shop in the Gresham Road in London. An expert with a keen eye went to the sale, and amid a heterogeneous lot of rubbish he detected under the grime and soot and dust of years, a masterpiece of Rubens Crushing down the quiver that came into his voice, he asked in as calm a tone as he could, of the picture dealer, what he would take for this old bit of canvas. The picture dealer looked at it and said, "I will give it to you for thirty-five shillings." The thirty-five shillings were in the seller's hand in a minute, and the purchaser took it home, got it cleansed and put right, and out from the grime and the dust there shines today a two thousand pounds' worth of a picture by Rubens.

God can detect, under the failing and fainting, the grime and the dust of His weakest child's faith, the masterpiece of His Son.

His likeness shines through your experience and the Lord can read the facings of His own uniform. He never makes a mistake and only in this uniform will He save you.—C. Lee Cook.

88. Importance of Church Membership.

An old sea-captain was riding in the cars toward Philadelphia, and a young man sat down beside him. He said, "Young man, where are you going?" "I am going to Philadelphia to live," replied the young man. "Have you letters of introduction?" asked the old captain.

"Yes," said the young man, and he pulled some of them out. "Well," said the old sea-captain, "haven't you a church certificate?" "Oh, yes," replied the young man, "I didn't suppose you would want to look at that." "Yes," said the sea-captain, "I want to see that. As soon as you get to Philadelphia, present that to some Christian Church. I am an old sailor, and I have been up and down in the world, and it's my rule, as soon as I get into port, to fasten my ship fore and aft to the wharf, although it may cost a little wharfage, rather than have my ship out in the stream, floating hither and thither with the tide."—T. De Witt Talmage, D.D.

193. The Eagle.

The eagle is built for a solitary life. There is no bird so alone; other birds go in flocks—the eagle never, two at most together, and they are mates. Its majesty consists partly in its solitariness. It lives apart because other birds can not live where and as it lives, and follow where it leads. The true child of God must consent to a lonely life apart with God, and often the condition of holiness is separation.—A. T. Pierson.

411. While Gathering Pearls.

The pearl-diver lives at the bottom of the ocean by means of the pure air conveyed to him from above. His life is entirely dependent on the life-giving Spirit. We are down here, like the diver, to gather pearls for our Master's crown. The source of our life comes from above.—Henry Drummond.

416. Fire Purifies.

I remember, some years ago, when I was at Shields, I went into a glass house; and, standing very attentive, I saw several masses of burning glass of various forms. The workman took a piece of glass and put it into one furnace, then he put it into a second, and then into a third. I said to him: "Why do you put it through so many fires?" He answered: "Oh, sir, the first was not hot enough, nor was the second; therefore we put it into a third, and that will make it transparent."—George Whitefield.

566. Miser's Soul.

A great living physician told me how once he was attending the deathbed of a rich man who seemed as if he could not die; for, with aimless and nervous restlessness, his hands kept moving and opening and shutting over the counterpane. "What is the matter?" asked the physician. "I know," answered the son for his speechless father. "Every night, before he went to sleep, my father liked to feel and handle some of his bank-notes." The son slipped a ten-pound note into the old man's hand, and feeling, handling, and clutching it, he died. Ah me! that ten-pound note grasped in his trembling hand—how much would it avail him before the awful bar of God? Yet how many men die, and have nothing better to show to God than that!—F. W. Farrar, D.D.

697. An Unanswerable Question.

Many years ago a Welsh minister, a man of God, beginning his sermon, leaned over the pulpit and said with a solemn air: "Friends, I have a question to ask. I cannot answer it. You cannot answer it. If an angel from heaven were here, he could not answer it. If a devil from hell were here, he could not answer it." Death-like silence reigned. Every eye was fixed on the speaker. He proceeded: "The question is this, How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?"—C. H. Spurgeon.

—One Thousand Evangelistic Illustrations