A soap manufacturer, who was an unbeliever, walked along the road one day with a preacher of the gospel. Said the soap manufacturer: 'The gospel you preach has not done much good, for there is still a lot of wickedness in the world and a lot of wicked people too.'
The preacher made no reply until they passed a dirty little child, making mud pies in the gutter. Seizing his opportunity, the preacher said: 'Soap has not done much good in the world, I see; for there is still much dirt and many dirty people about.'
`Oh, well,' said the manufacturer, 'soap is only useful when it is applied.' `Exactly!' said the preacher, 'so it is with the Gospel that we proclaim.'
(2 Kings 5. 14; Ps. 51. 7; 1 John 1. 7)
"Some men they follow after" (I Tim. 5:24).
To a Scotsman, the name of Robert, the Bruce, always brings a quickening of the heartstrings as he contemplates the recorded exploits of that heroic personality. I remember well how my young heart was stirred as I read the story of that Scottish chief and liberator. We ate told, that,
on one occasion, Bruce was hiding in a mountain glen from King Edward's soldiers. Suddenly he heard the baying of hounds upon the scent, and he recognized them as his own pack which the English had loosed and set upon their Master's trail. Though worn with sleepless nights and foodless days, Bruce struggled to his feet and ran as fast as his weary limbs could carry him, with the hounds hot on his track. Nearer and nearer came the sound of baying, and the royal fugitive was almost in despair when he suddenly heard the trickling of a mountain rill. He hastened on and leaped into the stream and down through the waters he sped. Soon he heard the hounds at the brook-side. They were barking excitedly as they ran hither and thither, unable to find the scent. Bruce successfully eluded his enemies because the running water made it impossible for the hounds to follow any further.
Surely this is a picture of the gospel. There is but one way by which any man can escape the judgment of God. That is to plunge into the stream that flows from Calvary's hill, where our blessed Lord made peace by the blood of His Cross. Divine wrath will never reach you there. All sin-stains are washed away and "there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." It was Bruce's own hounds that were tracking him down. Our own sins follow after us, calling for judgment, but the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, "cleanseth us from all sin."