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Good Words 1860
The Christian's God Paid the Debt

A missionary who had occasion to pass through a village on the coast of Africa, preached to the people. Among his hearers was a poor African, who had never before heard of a Saviour, and did not even know that he needed one. This poor man listened attentively, and by hearing that sermon he became convinced of his own sinfulness in the sight of God, but he did not understand the way of salvation.

After the missionary had gone away, the man became very anxious about his soul. He felt his sins to be a heavy burden, and he did not know those beautiful words of Jesus, ''Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heaven laden, and I will give you rest." Having learned a little English from the sailors who traded on that coast, he inquired of them, "What must he do to be saved ?" But they only laughed at his anxiety, and one of them scoffingly told him to go to England, and there he would learn about "the Christian's God who had paid the debt."

These words sunk deep into his soul, ''The Christian's God who had paid the debt." This, he thought, is what I want, for I am in debt, and I have nothing to pay. I will go to England and try to find "the Christian's God who has paid the debt." He had no money, but he asked a sea-captain to allow him to work his passage on board his ship during the home voyage. The captain agreed to this proposal, and the poor African left country and friends, in order to seek "the Christian's God who had paid the debt."

Immediately on his arrival in London, he asked every one whom he met, to tell him about ''the Christian's God who had paid the debt." But the persons whom he asked thought the poor man mad, and no one pointed him to "the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world." On Sabbath, seeing crowds of people going to a place of worship, he followed them and listened eagerly to the service. The preacher did not proclaim Christ crucified—and the poor man went away very sad because he could not find "the Christian's God who had paid the debt."

A few days after this, he met a godly minister and told him why he had come to England. The good clergyman felt deeply interested in the poor African, and told him to come to his church the following Sabbath, and there he would hear of "the Christian's God who had paid the debt." On Sabbath morning the minister opened the Bible, and read for his text these words, ''The blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanseth us from all sin." He then spoke of the great debt which every one of us owes to God, our own utter inability to pay this debt, and explained the way in which Jesus Christ has paid this great debt by His own precious blood. The poor African heard, wondered, believed, and went away rejoicing. He had found the pearl of great price, and he felt that it was worth far more than all the pains which he had taken to obtain it. There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

The kingdom of heaven is sometimes represented in Scripture as a treasure, which we must give up all that we have in order to obtain, and in other passages we are told that it is a free gift which we are commanded to receive without money and without price.

This story illustrates both of these truths. The poor African left country and friends in order to find ''the Christian's God who had paid the debt." Had he not been willing to do so, he might never have been led to Jesus; but it was not the sacrifice which he made which saved him. The long journey which he had taken could not save him. His deep anxiety could not save him. It was receiving Jesus Christ into his heart as a free gift that saved his soul.

"None but Jesus, none but Jesus,
Can do helpless sinners good."

The poor man felt assured that Jesus Christ, the Christian's God, had paid the debt for him, and he committed his soul entirely to Jesus, and in Him he found peace and joy.

All who would be saved, do as he did. They must give up whatever would keep their hearts away from Christ, though it should be dearer to them than a right hand or a right eye; and intrust their souls entirely to Jesus, the Christian's God, who with His own precious blood has paid the debt.

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