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VALUE OF A SOUL.

VALUE OF A SOUL.

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Published by glennpease

BY REV. WILLIAM S. RAINSFORD, B.A.


A tendency exists in us all to accept the privileges that now
from our union with Christ, and shirk the responsibilities con-
sequent on that union. I need scarcely remind you that true con-
version to God alters the motives and cause of Christian working
from a legal motive to a loving motive, so that work before under-
taken as a duty, becomes a labor of love.

BY REV. WILLIAM S. RAINSFORD, B.A.


A tendency exists in us all to accept the privileges that now
from our union with Christ, and shirk the responsibilities con-
sequent on that union. I need scarcely remind you that true con-
version to God alters the motives and cause of Christian working
from a legal motive to a loving motive, so that work before under-
taken as a duty, becomes a labor of love.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 10, 2014
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VALUE OF A SOUL. BY REV. WILLIAM S. RAISFORD, B.A.A tendency exists in us all to accept the privileges that now from our union with Christ, and shirk the responsibilities con- sequent on that union. I need scarcely remind you that true con- version to God alters the motives and cause of Christian working from a legal motive to a loving motive, so that work before under- taken as a duty, becomes a labor of love. But true conversion must be followed not only by a change in our reasons for work, but a change in our desire for work. We can no longer stand all the day idle. Jesus has hired us and over our redeemed shoulders cast the sweet, light yoke of His love, so that our experience daily reveals to ourselves and the world the fact that grace creates effort and does not supercede it. I believe that God applies one test to all Christian work, and only one, — that is, its success in winning souls. ow here, I do not wish to be misunderstood. I hear some poor child of God say, " Ah well, then indeed my place in the glory will be a low one, and my reward small. I cannot say I have won many souls, may be not one. How I wish I was like some great preacher, to whom thousands trace their conversion." Yes, I know men talk thus, but they make a mistake, and a great one. I confess I feel very strongly, when I hear some one say " Ah, Mr. So-and-So, he has won hundreds of souls, far more than Mr. So-and-So." I say again, who can tell? What man can step in and award what the great Judge of the universe claims as His sole prerogative—" the day " shall declare it — and till that searching day come, " when every man's work shall be tried, what sort it is," " and the hidden counsels of man's heart shall be manifested," let us leave awards THE VALUE OF A SOUL. 127 alone, remembering that it shall witness the complete reversal of
 
all human judgment, " for the last shall be first, and the first last." But for this matter of winning souls, let me make my meaning plain by means of an illustration. Some weeks back, near Lake Erie, a farmer took me into his field to see a new reaping machine at work, and explained to me, with pride, that it would cut fifteen acres a day. ow, suppose that when the sheaves of those acres lay cut and ready to be carried away, the hired laborer who cut them with the machine, had brought his wagon and carted them all to his own home, and claimed the harvest because he had cut it ! What, do you think, would my friend, the farmer, have had to say to him? ay; it was his land, his seed, his machine, his harvest; and as to the laborer, true, he had cut it down, but what of that ? How many others had a hand in the production of the golden grain ? Long months back, in the cold and wet, a man had ploughed the land; then came another, who sowed the good seed ; then, as Spring came on, (if it's the same as in my country,) there came a. little boy, and day after day did his work of scaring the crows away. Then it had to be weeded, and many other workers employed before the sheaves made glad the farm- er's heart. And do you tliink the reaper, coming in a day, going in a day, cutting down fifteen whole acres in a day, shall have all the credit ? I say, when the King distributes the awards of Eter- nity among His army, He won't forget one who had but a little part in raising that harvest that is to satisfy Him for the travail of His soul ; no, not even the little boy that scared the crows shall be forgotten. I was sitting once at breakfast with a company of earnest work- ing Christians, and this subject of the seemingly comparative suc- cess of some and failure of others in winning souls, came up. I said, that it seemed to me not so much a question of how many souls one man saved, but how many men were employed in win- ning one soul; and I found out, long after, that God had used that simple word to comfort much, one weary working servant there. I firmly believe some of the most successful soul-winners are unknown to the church on earth; yet the beds of sickness, or the limited and unnoticed spheres where they are called on to labor,
 
are the battle-fields where great and lasting triumphs — armies of saved souls — are w T on for God. Winning souls is laborious work. I find it compared not only to the varied toil of the husbandman, but to the life of the fisher- man, full of privation. His work necessitates constant activity, early and late ; when others are enjoying repose he must rise ; when others seek shelter from the storm, he must face it — not always in the calm you catch fish. I have seen our herring fisher- 128 UDER CAVAS. men, on the east coast of England, holding on to their nets in the wildest storm, while battered ships and diminished numbers in the morning, would bear sad testimony to the terrible dangers of the work. Oh, brothers and sisters in Christ, we are ail fisher- men, floating for a short day on a changeful sea, surrounded by dying men; every hour, if our eyes are open, wrecks float past us, from which we may save some. But, it's not child's play, this saving — this winning souls; we must be laborers. ot looking at the work as many do — in the light of a pastime — which we can undertake as an amateur painter does the profession of paint- ing — to wile away time — but as the work, the aim, the purpose of our lives ; the one thing in which if we fail, we shall feel the failure throughout all eternity. Go, labor on ; spend, and be spent, Thy joy to do thy Father's will, It is the way the Master went, Should not the servant tread it still? Toil on, and in thy toil rejoice ; For toil, comes rest, — for exile, Home ; Soon shalt thou hear the Bridegroom's voice,

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