Plead Thou my cause, Thou Advocate divine!
I have no words—no argument, save Thine.
Speechless, I stand before the bar of God; Guilty!—
Lost! unless redeemed by blood.
Base my behavior—
I need a Savior—
'Mercy!' my only plea;
Take Thou my case, Lord,
I trust Thy grace, Lord,
I will leave my whole defense with Thee!
Plead Thou my cause, Thou Advocate divine;
I need no words—no argument, save Thine;
Show but the wound prints in Thy hands and side,
And I stand before Thee—Justified!—F. Gilbert
(Rom. 3. 24, 25; 1 John 2. 1)
It was the Saturday before August Bank Holiday when the Polish S.S. Dabrowski berthed by London Bridge, and English stevedores moving the cargo found the Polish stowaway, Antoni Klimowicz. Fainting with hunger and thirst, he just managed to cry, `Tell the English police!' when the Captain and the political Commissar seized him, and locked him in a cabin.
Saturday, Sunday, Bank Holiday Monday, the London newspapers bore sensational headlines, 'Can Klimowicz be saved?' It appeared there were diplomatic difficulties. The Polish Captain refused to surrender him. Thousands of Polish refugees swelled a fund to engage the best lawyers.
But on the Monday, the captive stowaway felt the ship casting off, and soon, to his dismay, he saw the Thames growing wider and wider as the ship went down towards the sea. Soon the friendly shores of Britain would disappear, and then it would be the open sea—and what beyond? Imprisonment, perhaps worse!
And yet, salvation was near. The greatest legal mind in the land—that of Lord Goddard, the Lord Chief Justice, had been searching for a way to be 'just and the justifier' of the man who had appealed for mercy. It was discovered that on a previous visit Antoni Klimowicz, as a sailor, had attempted to smuggle something, and the police had refrained from prosecuting. So he could be lawfully brought to a British court of law to answer for his misdeed.
Four hundred policemen raced down the Thames, and opposite Tilbury a few of them boarded the Polish ship. The cabin door was broken down. Did the poor stowaway protest that he was innocent of the charge of smuggling? Did he `go about to establish his own righteousness'? No, he gladly submitted to justice.
'Guilty! Fined one farthing'! Ten thousand refugees in Britain would willingly have paid his fine ten thousand times. Antoni Klimowicz walked out of the court—back to bondage? No! For what his own fulfilling of the law could never do, mercy had done—giving him liberty and a new life in Britain. He was free.
Shortly afterwards he invited to tea the two London stevedores who carried his desperate plea to the authorities. How much we owe to the One Who heard our cry as sinners and Who never turns away anyone who seeks refuge with Him! Perhaps Antoni Klimowicz learnt of that Saviour's love from the Polish New Testament, which he gratefully received from the writer.—Stuart K. Hine
(Rom. 3. 26; 8. 3; 10. 3)