Fourth Day – Royal Bounty – by Francis R. Havergal

The Candour of Christ

‘Come, see a man which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ ?’—John iv. 29.
YES! it is not merely a vague general belief in Christ as the Teacher who ‘ will tell us all things ” which suffices for heart conviction of ‘the reality of Jesus Christ,’ but the individual knowledge of Him as the Searcher who ‘ told me all things that ever I did.’a This was what led the woman of Samaria to exclaim, ‘Is not this the Christ?’ this was to her the irresistible proof of His Messiahship.
What about ourselves? If we know anything of true intercourse with the Lord Jesus our experience will not be unlike hers.3 When He who ‘searches Jerusalem with candles” turns the keen flame of His eyes upon the dark corners of our hearts, and flashes their far-reaching, all-revealing beam upon even the far-off and long-forgotten windings of our lives; when in His light we see the darkness, and in His purity we see the sin that has been, or that

* John iv. 25. 2 John iv. 29.

3 Zeph. i. 12. * Rev. ii. i8, 23.

is; when He ‘declareth unto man what is his thought,” and then convinces that ‘as he thinketh in his heart, so is he,” then we know for ourselves that He ‘with whom we have to do” is ‘indeed the Christ.’ *
He does not merely show us; it is something more than that. It is not merely an invisible hand drawing away a veil from hidden scenes, and a light brought to bear upon them, so that we can see them if we will j it is more personal, more terrible, and yet more tender than that. He tells us what we have done; and, if we listen, the telling will be very clear, very thorough, very unmistakable.
At first we are tempted not to listen at all; we shrink from the still small voice which tells us such startlingly unwelcome things.
Many feel what one expressed: ‘Whenever I do think about it, I feel so horribly bad that I don’t like to think any more.’ Ah, ‘if thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day,’5 that it was not mere ‘ thinking about it,’ but the voice of the Saviour beginning to tell thee what would have cleared the way for ‘the things which belong unto thy peace,’6 what blessing might not the patient and willing listening have brought! Oh, do not stifle the voice, do not fancy it is only uncomfortable thoughts which you will not encourage lest they should make you low-spirited! Instead of that, ask Him to let His voice sound louder and clearer, and believe ‘that the goodness of God leadeth thee to

* John iv. 25. 2 John iv. 29.

3 Zeph. i. 12. * Rev. ii. i8, 23.

repentance.’1 Only listen, and He will tell you not only all things that ever you did, but all things which He has done for you. He never leaves off in the middle of all He has to tell, unless we wilfully interrupt Him.
Perhaps we have gone through all this, and known the humbling blessedness of being searched and ‘told,’2 and then pardoned and cleansed ;3 and now again there is something not right. We hardly know what,* only there is a misgiving, a dim, vague uneasiness;5 we ‘really don’t know of anything in particular,’6 and yet there is something unsatisfied and unsatisfactory. There is nothing for it but to come to our Messiah afresh, and ask Him to tell us what we have done, or are doing, which is not in accordance with His will.7 It will be useless coming if we are not sincerely purposed to let Him tell us what He will, and not merely what we expect ;a or if we hush up the first word of an unwelcome whisper, and say, ‘Oh, that can’t have anything to do with it!’ or, ‘I am all right there, at any rate!’ We must simply say, ‘Master, say on; and perhaps He will then show us, as He did Simon,10 that we have not done Him the true and loving service which some poor despised one has rendered.
Oh, never shrink from the probings of our beloved Physician.” Dearer and dearer will the hand become as we yield to it.12 Sweeter and sweeter will

* John iv. 25. 2 John iv. 29.

3 Zeph. i. 12. * Rev. ii. i8, 23.

be the proofs that He is our own faithful Friend, who only wounds that He may perfectly heal.1

Only this I know, I tell Him all my doubts, and griefs, and fears;
Oh, how patiently He listens, and my drooping soul He cheers!
Do you think He ne’er reproves me? What a false friend He would be,
If He never, never told me of the sins which He must see!
Do you think that I could love Him half so well, or as I ought,
If He did not tell me plainly of each sinful deed and thought?
No! He is very faithful, and that makes me trust Him more;
For I know that He does love me, though He wounds me very sore.

Ellen Lakshmi Goreh.

1 Prov. xxvii. 6.

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