‘ Come now.’—Isa. i. 18.
ALL things are now ready, therefore come now!
Experience does not run on rails laid regularly down, and readers do not always go hand in hand and heart to heart with the writer. I only wish they did. Then we might try to lead on more quickly, instead of reiterating the one call, in the hope that it may, first or last, be heard and obeyed.1 Please do not imagine, because there are twenty-seven more chapters on the same subject, that there is any sort of slow necessary progress, any set of ideas and feelings to be gone or got through, gradually working up to the climax of ‘coming.’ This is all cut short by the simple word, ‘Come now!’ Nothing can be plainer. Therefore, if you postpone coming, you are calmly disobeying God. When we bid a child to ‘come,’ we do not count it obedience unless it comes at once, then and there. It is not obedience if it stops to consider, and coolly tells you it is ‘really thinking about coming,’ and waits to see how long you will choose to go on calling it.1
What right have we to treat our holy Lord as we would not think of letting a naughty child treat us?3 He says, ‘Come now.’ And ‘ now’ does not mean to-morrow.3 ‘To-day, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.’*
Put it to yourself, what if this night God should require your soul of you,5 and you had not ‘come?’ What if the summons finds you still far off, when the Precious Blood was ready, by which you might have been made nigh?6 You do not know what a day may bring forth.7 There are plenty of things besides immediate death which may just as effectually prevent your ever coming at all if you do not come now. This might be your last free hour for coming. To-morrow the call may seem rather less urgent, and the ‘other things entering in’8 may deaden it, and the grieved Spirit may withdraw* and cease to give you even your present inclination to listen to it, and so you may drift on and on, farther and farther from the haven of safety10 (into which you may enter now if you will), till it is out of sight on the horizon. And then it may be too late to turn the helm, and the current may be too strong; and when the storm of mortal illness at last comes, you may find that you are too weak mentally or physically to rouse yourself even to hear, much less to come. What can one do when fever or exhaustion are triumphing over mind and body? Do not risk it. Come Now! And ‘ though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’
1 Rom. X. 21. 2 Jer. vii. 13; Isa. Ixv. 2.
3 Jas. iv. 14. ?* Heb. iv. 7. 5 Luke xii. 20.
6 Eph. ii. 13. ‘^ Prov. xxvii. i ^ Mark iv. 19.
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