Christopher Newman Hall, Congregational
divine, was born at Maidstone,
Kent, in 1816. He was widely known as
a writer, lecturer, and preacher of great
eloquence. During the Civil War he was
enthusiastic in advocating the cause of the
North, and subsequently two extended
tours in the United States brought him
international fame. His tract, "Come to
Jesus," published in 1846, has been translated
into over twenty languages. He
died in 1902.
Lewis O. Brastow, D. D.
To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden
manna, and will give him a white stone, and in
the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth
saving he that receiveth it.—Rev. ii., 17.
The Christian life is often compared in
Scripture to a warfare. Followers of
Jesus are "soldiers." They are exhorted
to put on "the whole armor of God."
They "fight the good fight of faith." Some of
you have been engaged in the conflict: others
have more recently entered upon it. But,
whether young or old in the Christian career,
all find it necessary to be constantly stirred
up to watchfulness against the never-ceasing
assaults of the foe. It is not enough to put
on the armor and to commence the battle. He
that overcometh, and he alone, will receive the
salutation, "Well done, good and faithful
servant,"—he alone shall "lay hold upon
But we are not left to fight without encouragement.
As generals before a battle go in
front of their troops to stimulate them to
valor, so Christ, the Captain of our Salvation,
leads on the consecrated hosts of His elect;
and having himself set us a glorious example
of valor and victory, animates us to follow in
His footsteps by the "exceeding great and
precious promises" of His word. Christian
warrior! let your eye be lifted up to Him.
Behold Him beckoning you onward. Listen to
Him, as from His throne of glory He exhorts
you to persevering valor against the foe; and
pray earnestly that His promise may be fulfilled
in your case: "To him that overcometh
will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and
will give him a white stone, and in the stone
a new name written, which no man knoweth
saving he that receiveth it."
Let us consider first, the promise; then, the
condition attached to it.
I. The promise. This is twofold,—the hidden
manna and the white stone.
1. The hidden manna.—God fed the Israelites
in the wilderness with manna. A portion
of this was laid by in the ark, and thus was
hidden from public view. It is here referred
to as a figurative representation of the spiritual
blessings bestowed upon the victor in the
heavenly fight. Christ, speaking of the manna
as a type of Himself, said, "I am the bread
which came down from heaven." The manna
in the wilderness sustained the life of the
But there is another life more important
than that of the body. By sin the soul is
dead, dead toward God. By the Holy Spirit,
the "dead in trespasses and sins" are "quickened,"
or made alive. As the life of the
new-born infant cannot be preserved without
food, so the new spiritual life which God
imparts needs continual support. Both the
life, and the nourishing of it, come from
Christ, and Christ alone. By His sacrifice
that life becomes possible; and by His spirit
working within our hearts that life becomes
actual. He sustains as well as imparts spiritual
vitality. He is the food of our faith:
"believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou
shalt be saved." He is the food of our love:
"we love him because he first loved us." He
is the food of our obedience: "the love of
Christ constraineth us." He is the food of
our peace: for when "justified by faith, we
have peace with God through Jesus Christ our
Lord." He is the food of our joy: for if "we
joy in God" it is "through Jesus Christ our
The manna which sustained the Israelites
was evidently the gift of God. And so this
"hidden manna" is from heaven. It is no
contrivance of man—no philosophy of human
invention. It is a divine plan for the salvation
of our ruined race. "God so loved the
world that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not
perish but should have everlasting life."
That manna in the wilderness was sweet to the
taste; yet they who fed on it grew weary of it.
But the more we eat of the bread of life, the
more we relish it—the greater is our appetite
for it. That manna in the wilderness was
needed daily. And so with this heavenly
bread. Yesterday's supply will not suffice
for to-day. The prayer is as needful for the
soul as for the body: "Give us this day our
daily bread." But if that manna was needed
daily, so it was supplied; none went in vain
at the appointed season—and no soul that
"hungers and thirsts after righteousness" is
sent empty away. The manna was supplied
to the Israelites till they came to the promised
land—so God has promised that His grace
shall not fail His people through their
It is spoken of as the "hidden manna."
Such is the Christian's life. "Our life is hid
with Christ in God." The outward effects of
it may be seen, but the inner life is invisible.
So is the nourishing of the life. You may see
the Christian on his knees, you may hear the
words which he utters, but you cannot see the
streams of divine influence which are poured
into his spirit; nor hear the sweet whispers of
divine love which fill him with joy; nor comprehend
the peace passing all understanding
which he is permitted to experience. Unbelievers
are often amazed at what they see in
the Christian. He is troubled on every side,
yet not in despair. Waves of sorrow beat
upon his frail vessel, yet it does not sink. Men
now threaten, now allure, but he holds on his
way. What to others is an irresistible charm,
is no attraction to him. What is a terror to
others, deters not him. Why does he not faint
beneath the burden? why does he not sink in
the storm? Because he eats of the "hidden
manna." "The secret of the Lord is with
them that fear him." "He hath taken him
into his banqueting-room, and the banner over
him is love."
Were this promise merely the reward of
final victory, that victory itself would never
be gained. We need to eat this manna during
our pilgrimage. We cannot live without it.
Every act of overcoming will be followed by a
verification of the promise, "I will give him
to eat of the hidden manna." Yet we must
look beyond the present life for its full
accomplishment. "To him that overcometh"
at the last "shall be given the hidden
manna," in a sense of which at present we
have but a very faint conception.
As the manna was hidden in the ark, and
that ark was hidden behind the curtain of the
Holy of Holies, so the Christian's hope, "as
an anchor of the soul, sure and stedfast,
enters into that which is within the veil."
Those joys we cannot yet conjecture; their
splendor is too intense; we should be blinded
by excessive light; we should be overpowered
by the excellent glory.
One look of heaven would unfit us for
earth. It is wisely appointed that at present
this manna should in one sense be hidden,
even from ourselves. We are as yet but
babes—such strong meat would not suit us
now; we must be content with simpler fare.
But oh! if the manna, tho at present so
partially and imperfectly appreciated, can
produce such peace and joy, what must be
the bliss of entering into the holiest of all,
and there, in the presence of God Himself,
feasting on it eternally! Unceasing, unlimited
reception of divine influences into the
Uninterrupted fellowship with Him who is
the only fountain of life, and purity, and
happiness! Perfect love! But at present such
full fruition is "hidden." "Now we see
through a glass darkly"; "now we know but
in part"; "it doth not yet appear what we
shall be." But how unspeakably blest are
they to whom, partially in this world and perfectly
in the next, the promise shall be verified:
"To him that overcometh will I give to
eat of the hidden manna"!
2. The white stone.—Reference is made to
the tessera hospitalis, the tally or token of
hospitality employed by the ancients. At a
time when houses of public entertainment
were less common, private hospitality was the
more necessary. When one person was received
kindly by another, or a contract of
friendship was entered into, the tessera was
given. It was so named from its shape, being
four-sided; it was sometimes of wood; sometimes
of stone; it was divided into two by the
contracting parties; each wrote his own name
on half of the tessera; then they exchanged
pieces, and therefore the name or device on the
piece of tessera which each received, was the
name the other person had written upon it,
and which no one else knew but him who
received it. It was carefully prized, and
entitled the bearer to protection and hospitality.
Plautus, in one of his playes, refers to this
custom. Hanno inquires of a stranger where
he may find Agorastocles, and discovers to his
surprize that he is addressing the object of his
"If so," he says, "compare, if you please,
this hospitable tessera; here it is; I have it
Agorastocles replies, "It is the exact
counterpart; I have the other part at home."
Hanno responds, "O my friend! I rejoice
to meet thee; thy father was my friend, my
guest; I divided with him this hospitable
tessera." "Therefore," said Agorastocles,
"thou shalt have a home with me, for I reverence
Beautiful illustration of gospel truth! The
Savior visits the sinner's heart, and being received
as a guest, bestows the white stone, the
token of His unchanging love. It is not we
who in the first instance desire this compact.
Far from it.
But Jesus, anxious to bless us, kindly forces
Himself on our regard. By His spirit, he
persuades us to give Him admission to our
hearts. "Behold, I stand at the door and
knock; if any man hear my voice and open
the door, I will come in to him, and will sup
with him, and he with me." We often disregarded
His appeal. Yet, with what condescending
kindness did he persevere! And
when at length we opened the door, we saw
Him laden with blessings which He had been
long waiting to bestow. The feast which was
then spread was all of His providing. He
who went to be "the guest of one that was a
sinner," inverts the usual course. He invites
Himself and brings the feast. What have we
fit to set before so august and holy a visitant?
But He who chooses the sinner's heart as His
banqueting-chamber, spreads there His choicest
gifts, His exceeding great and precious
promises, His finished sacrifice, His human
sympathy, His perfect example, His pure precepts,
His all-prevailing intercession, the various
developments of His infinite love.
He "sups with us," and makes us "sup
with Him." He enrolls our name among His
friends. "He makes an everlasting covenant
with us, ordered in all things and sure." He
promises never to leave nor forsake us. He
tells us we "shall never perish." He gives
us the tessera, the white stone!
Is not this "the witness of the Spirit,"
the "earnest of the promised possession"?
Does not "the Spirit witness with our spirit
that we are born of God"? Does not our
experience of the friendship of Jesus correspond
with what we are taught of it in the
Scriptures? "I know in whom I have believed,
and am persuaded that he is able to
keep that which I have committed unto him,
against that day." The "love of God is shed
abroad" in the heart of the believer. He says,
with humble confidence, "My Lord, and my
On this white stone is inscribed a "new
name." The part of the tessera which each
of the contracting parties received contained
the name of the other. And, therefore, "the
new name" on the "white stone," which he
that overcometh receives, is that of Him who
gives. By the unbeliever, God is known as
Power, as Majesty, as Justice. He is dreaded.
"The carnal mind is enmity against God."
The Christian alone knows Him as "Love!"
Jehovah has now "a new name." He was
once a ruler—now He is Friend; He was
once judge—now He is Father.
Do you know God by His "new name"?
Do you so know Him as to wish no longer
to hide from Him, but to hide in Him, as the
only home the universe can furnish in which
you can be safe and happy? Have you learned
to say, "Our Father which art in heaven"?
If we have, indeed, received this "white
stone," let us continually be reading the "new
name" engraven on it. Here I am assured
that the Holy Ghost is my teacher, my guide,
my comforter; that the eternal Word, the
only begotten Son, is my Savior, my Friend,
my Brother; that the infinite Jehovah is my
Father, and that "like as a father pitieth his
children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear
We are told that no man knoweth this new
name, "saving he that receiveth it." He
knows it for himself, but no one else can
read it for him. Thus it resembles the "hidden
manna." The frivolous may deride, fools
may mock, the unbeliever may deny, the
sceptic may bring forth his objections in all
the pride of a false philosophy, but the
Christian, even if unable to reply to the
caviller, or to make intelligible to any other
mind his own strong assurance, has an evidence
within him which nothing can shake,
for God has written on his heart "His new
best name of Love."
Fellow pilgrims to the heavenly Canaan,
how precious is this token! We are travelers
through the desert; for tho the enjoyments
of earth are many, yet this life, compared with
what is to come, is a wilderness. We are
away from home; we are exposed to privations,
tempests, foes; we constantly need a
refuge. But we are never far from the house
of a friend. Everywhere, in every city and in
every village, on the desert and on the ocean,
in the solitude of secrecy, and in the solitude
of a crowd, in the bustle of business, and in the
sick chamber, a Friend is at hand, who will
always recognize the white stone He gave us,
a token of His love. We have only to present
it to claim the fulfilment of His promise.
How wide will the door be thrown open for
our reception! What divine entertainment we
shall receive! what safety from peril! what
succor in difficulty! what comfort in trouble!
what white raiment! what heavenly food! O
that we valued the tessera more, that we
sought more frequent interviews with our
heavenly Friend, that we more habitually resorted
as invited guests to Jesus, and dwelt
in Him as the home of our souls! We shall
never find the door closed against us; we shall
never be received reluctantly; He will never
allow us to think that we are intruders. Jesus
is never ashamed of His poor relations, nor
treats them coldly because they need His help.
The greater our distress, the more shall we
prove His liberality and tender sympathy.
And as regards this stone, as well as the
hidden manna, we can look beyond the present
life. A day is coming when we shall be compelled
to leave the homes of earth, however
endeared. We must embrace for the last time
the friends united to us as our own souls.
Tho we have traveled along the road many
a year together, we must now separate, and
go alone. They may accompany us to the
river side, but we must cross it by ourselves.
What cheering voice will greet us then? What
kind roof will receive us then? What loving
friend will welcome us then?
But we shall not have left our best treasure
behind us! No! we shall carry the white stone
with us; and with this we shall look for no
inferior abode, but with unhesitating step shall
advance at once right up to the palace of the
Great King. We present the tessera; the
"new name" is legible upon it; the angelic
guards recognize the symbol; the everlasting
gates lift up their heads; and the voice of
Jesus Himself invites us to enter, saying,
"Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the
Such is the welcome that every soul shall
experience to whom the promise is fulfilled:
"I will give him a white stone, and in the
stone a new name written, which no man
knoweth, saving he that receiveth it."
II. The condition annexed to the promise,
"To him that overcometh!"
A great war is going on between the Church
and the powers of darkness. It is not an
affair of strategy between two vast armies,
wherein skilful maneuvers determine the issue,
many on either side never coming into actual
combat; but every Christian has to fight hand
to hand with the enemy. We cannot be lost
in the crowd. We may not stand in the
middle of the hollow square, without sharing
the perils of the outer rank. Every Christian
must not only occupy his post in the grand
army, but must personally grapple with the
Before conversion there was no fighting.
The devil's suggestions and the heart's inclination
were allied. Then we did the enemy's
bidding, or were lulled to sleep by his intoxicating
cup. But when light shone into the
soul, and we strove to escape, the struggle
began. God, as our Creator and Redeemer,
justly demands our obedience and love. Whatever
interferes with these claims, is an enemy
summoning us to battle. The world of
frivolity is our foe. How numerous and insinuating
are its temptations—the more perilous
because of the difficulty of defining them!
Moreover, lawful pleasures and necessary
cares become dangerous when they cease to be
subordinate to the love of God. The enjoyments
He bestows and the labors He appoints
are calculated to minister to godliness,—and
yet they may be perverted to idolatry by our
forgetting Him on whom our highest thoughts
should be fixt. What danger is there that
things in themselves holy and beautiful may
thus become pernicious and destructive!
The flesh, too, furnished its contingent to
the army of our foes. Not that any of our
natural appetites, being divinely bestowed,
can have in them the nature of sin. No! the
flesh, as God made it, is pure and holy. But
those instincts, which, regulated by the revealed
will of their Author, are "holiness to
the Lord," may, by unhallowed gratification,
become those "fleshly lusts which war against
the soul." As we carry about with us these
animal propensities, there is necessity for
constant vigilence lest our own nature, being
abused, should become our destroyer.
Inbred depravity lurks in the heart of even
the true believer. Tho dethroned, it is not
completely expelled. With what selfishness,
covetousness, vanity, hastiness of temper, uncharitableness,
have we not to contend! Who
has not some sin which most easily besets him?
How varied are the forms of unbelief! Spiritual
pride, too, corrupts our very graces, piety
itself furnishing an occasion of evil, so that
when we have conquered some temptation or
performed some duty, our victory is often
tarnished, our holy things corrupted, by our
falling into the snare of self-complacency.
Above all, there is that great adversary who
"goeth about as a roaring lion, seeking whom
he may devour." He avails himself of the
world, and the flesh, and the infirmities of the
spirit, to tempt the soul of sin. This is no
fable, altho one of Satan's most skilful stratagems
is to make men disbelieve in his existence.
Overlooked or despised, a foe is
already half victorious. But the Captain of
our Salvation, in His word, often warns us
both of the craft and of the violence of our
adversary. We sometimes read of "the wiles
of the devil"; and sometimes of "the fiery
darts of the wicked one." They who fail to
watch and pray, are sure to be vanquished by
such a foe.
These are our enemies! And if we would
possess the promise we must "overcome." A
mere profession of religion is of no avail. It
is not enough for our name to appear on the
muster-roll of the camp. Many wear the
soldier's dress who know nothing of the
soldier's heart. Many are glad to glitter on
the grand parade who fall off from the hard-fought,
blood-stained battle-field. It is not
enough to buckle on our armor; many do this,
and lay it aside again. We must devote ourselves
to this great daily battle of life.
There is no exemption of persons. Women
must fight, as well as men; the tender and
timid must be as Amazons in the conflict.
Children must carry the shield, and wield the
sword. The aged and infirm must keep the
ranks. The sick and wounded must not be
carried to the rear. No substitute can be
provided, and there is no discharge in this
There is no exemption on account of circumstances.
The rich and poor, the learned and
the unlearned, the cheerful and the sad, all
must fight. No accumulation of trouble, no
unexpected death of friends, can be an excuse
for laying down our arms. We must go to the
marriage feast, and we must attend the
funeral procession, as warriors, wearing our
armor and grasping our weapons. We must
be like those spoken of by Nehemiah, "every
man with one hand wrought in the work, and
with the other hand held a weapon."
There is no exemption of place. Foes lie in
wait for the Christian wherever he goes—in
the mart of commerce, in the busy workshop,
when he returns to his home, when he rests on
his bed, in the bustle of the day, in the silence
of the night, in the circle of his friends, in the
bosom of his family, in society, alone, in the
city, in the fields, in his walks of benevolence,
in his private meditations, in the church, in
his secret retirement, when he worships with
the great congregation, and when he enters his
closet and shuts the door. He can never elude
the enemy; he carries the foe in his own
breast; the conflict ceases not!
There is no exemption of time, no season of
rest. No truce is sounded. Satan never beats
a retreat, except to lead us into an ambuscade.
No white flag comes out that can be trusted.
If we parley it is at our peril; if we pause, we
are wounded or taken captive. Wars on earth
may often terminate by mutual agreement.
It is a war of extermination; no quarter is
given; either we must trample Satan under
foot, or Satan will drag us down to hell!
It is a warfare until death. While we are
in the body it will be always true—"We
wrestle." The oldest Christian cannot lay
aside his weapons. "Having done all, stand."
A great word that! "Having done all!"
"What!" you may say, "after a long life
of conflict, surely I may put aside my armor,
and sheathe my sword, and recline on some
sunny bank, and enjoy myself after my victory!"
No; you must not expect it; "having done
all" it is enough if you stand at bay on the
battle-ground; all you can hope for in this
world is to maintain your post, still defying
the foe, who will be still meditating fresh
attacks. You will never be able to say with
St. Paul, "I have finished my course."
It is not the appearance of fighting. It is
not a few faint, irresolute strokes. "So fight
I," said the Apostle, "not as one that beateth
the air." We must be resolute, determined,
in earnest, giving our enemy no advantage.
We must "not give place to the devil." We
must watch against the smallest beginnings of
sin. By "keeping the heart with all diligence,"
by putting on "the whole armor of
God," by having faith as our shield, righteousness
as our breastplate, the hope of salvation
as our helmet, by keeping "the sword of
the Spirit" bright with exercise, "praying
with all prayer," standing near our Captain,
looking to Him, relying upon Him, knowing
that "without Him we can do nothing,"—so
must we fight! All this is necessary, if we
It is not so easy to fight this fight as some
suppose. It is not a true faith merely, an
evangelical creed, a scriptural church, a comfortable
sermon once or twice a week, a little
Sabbath-keeping, an agreeable pause in your
pleasures, giving to them a new relish—it is
not this which constitutes Christianity. You
that think religion so very easy a thing,
have a care at least, lest when too late, you
find that you know not what true religion
Easy? A depraved being to trample upon
his lusts—a proud being to lie prostrate with
humility and self-reproach—they that are
"slow of heart to believe," to receive the
gospel as little children?
Easy? To "crucify the flesh," "to deny
ungodliness," "to cut off a right hand, and
to pluck out a right eye"?
Easy? To be in the world, and yet not of
the world—to come out from it, not by the
seclusion of the cloister, but by holiness of
life—to be diligent in its duties, yet not
absorbed by them; appreciating its innocent
delights, and yet not ensnared by them; beholding
its attractions and yet rising superior
Easy? To live surrounded by objects which
appeal to the sight, and yet to endure as seeing
what is invisible?
Easy? To pray and see no answer to prayer,
and still pray on—to fight this battle, and find
fresh foes ever rising up, yet still to fight
on—to be harassed with doubts and fears,
and yet walk on in darkness, tho we see no
light, staying ourselves upon God?
Easy? To be preparing for a world we have
never visited, in opposition to so much that is
captivating in a world where we have always
dwelt, whose beauties we have seen, whose
music we have heard, whose pleasures we have
Easy? To resist that subtle foe who has cast
down so many of the wise and the mighty?
Easy? When Jesus says it is a "strait
gate," and that if we would enter we must
"strive," bidding us "take up our cross
daily, deny ourselves and follow him"? Ah!
it is no soft flowery meadow, along which
we may languidly stroll, but a rough, craggy
cliff that we must climb. "To him that overcometh!"
It is no smooth, placid stream, along
which we may dreamily float, but a tempestuous
ocean we must stem. "To him that
overcometh!" It is no easy lolling in a
cushioned chariot, that bears us on without
fatigue and peril. The trumpet has sounded
to arms; it is not peace, but war, war for
liberty, war for life, on the issue of which
our everlasting destiny depends! If we are to
be saved, we must "overcome."
But tho the conflict is arduous, the encouragements
are great. We have armor of proof.
We have a mighty Champion. Victory is
ensured to the brave. Others who stood on
the same battle-field and fought with the
same enemies, are now enjoying an eternal
triumph. Not one faithful warrior ever
perished. Their foes were not fewer than
ours, their strength was not greater. They
overcame by the same "blood of the Lamb"
on which we rely.
"Once they were mourning here below,
And wet their couch with tears;
They wrestled hard, as we do now,
With sins, and doubts, and fears."
But they are wearing their crowns, they are
enjoying their rest; and the feeblest and most
unworthy of our own day, trusting in the
same Savior, shall inherit the same promise.
Then let us overcome. Sheathe not the sword,
and it shall never be wrested from you; lay
not down the shield, and no fiery dart shall
ever penetrate it; face the foe, and he shall
never trample you down, never drive you
Listen to your Captain; how He animates
you onward! Look to the crown he is ready
to bestow upon you; eat of the hidden manna
which He gives; read the name in the "white
stone,"—the name of God,—His name of love,
recorded for your encouragement; and thus
be animated to walk worthy of this holy
alliance, and not to allow the foe to wrench
from you such an assurance of divine favor,
such a passport to heavenly bliss.
A little more conflict, and that "white
stone" shall introduce you to the inheritance
above, where, in the everlasting repose of the
inner sanctuary, you shall without intermission
eat of the hidden manna.
"Then let my soul march boldly on,
Press forward to the heavenly gate;
There peace and joy eternal reign,
And glittering robes for conquerors wait."
Some of you may consider this subject
visionary and unreal. You say, "I know
nothing of this warfare. I know what the
conflict of business is, the race of fashion, the
bustle of toil or pleasure; but to anxiety about
spiritual things I am a stranger."
You are enjoying peace—but—what peace?
There is a captive in a dungeon—his limbs
are fast chained to the walls—yet he is singing
songs. How is it? Satan has given him to
drink of his drugged cup, and he does not
know where he is. Look at that other. He
says, "it is peace." There is truly no fighting,
but he is groveling in the dust, and the
heel of his foe is upon his neck. Such is the
peace of every one going on in his wickedness,
unpardoned and unsaved. "Taken captive by
the devil at his will."
Chained in Satan's boat, you are swiftly
gliding down the stream to ruin, and because
it is smooth, you dream that it is safe! What
is the difference between the saint and the
sinner? Not that in the saint there is no sin.
Not that in the sinner there is never a thought
about God. The difference is this—that the
saint is overcoming his sin; but the sin is
overcoming the sinner. Oh, what a terrible
thing if sin have the upper hand! No "hidden
manna" is yours. The symbols of religion
you may look at, but real religion must be a
stranger to you. You know not its enjoyment.
You do not taste it. It is a hidden thing.
Heaven too will be hidden. You hear of its
gates of pearl—but they will never open to
you. You may catch the distant accents of its
songs—but in those songs you will never join.
And that "white stone" cannot be yours.
You have no joyful anticipation of heaven—but
a fearful looking-for of fiery indignation—or
else the insensate resolve not to think at
all. And the "new name"—no! you cannot
read it! You know God by no such name as
makes you seek His company. The thought
of Him renders you unhappy, and therefore
you banish it from your mind. You are not
now alarmed, but soon the spell may be
broken, and you may find the chains riveted
upon your soul forever.
I fancy I hear you say, "I wish that before
it is too late, I could escape! But mine is a
hopeless case. My heart is hardened against
the gospel, and evil habit has so got the
mastery over me, that I have no power to
begin this conflict!"
No, you have no power; but One has visited
this world, and taken our nature, who can
help you. The mighty Son of God became
the suffering Son of Man that He might be the
liberator of our enslaved race. He burst open
the prison doors, that captive souls might
escape. He stands near you, ready to break
off your fetters and strengthen you to fight
the enemy who has so long opprest you.
Tell Him your simple but sad tale; how helpless,
how miserable, how ruined you are! Tell
Him you want to be saved, but know not how
to begin the work, and ask Him both to begin
and complete it for you! Let your prayer be
this: "Be merciful to me, a sinner"; and He
who "came to destroy the works of the devil,"
He "whose nature and property is ever to
have mercy and to forgive," will receive your
"humble petitions; and tho you be tied and
bound with the chain of your sins, He, in the
pitifulness of His great mercy, will loose
He will pardon your past shameful concessions
to the foe, and, arraying you in "the
whole armor of God," and animating you with
His Holy Spirit, He will enable you so to
fight against the world, the flesh, and the
devil, that you also shall share in the prize
of them that overcome; you also shall eat of
the "hidden manna," and receive the "white