"YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN"
~100 WELL - KNOWN
MEN IN ALL
RANKS OF LIFE
The Secretary to the G.P.O.
SIR ARTHUR BLACKWOOD, Secretary to the G.P.O.,
London, when a young man, was accompanying Miss
Marsh home, when he said to her: "How is it that you
religious people are always trying to rob us of our plea-
sures? I enjoy life thoroughly, and I do not see that you
should take away the little pleasures I have." Miss
Marsh was known to be a real Christian, and fearing she
might speak to him about his soul, he did not feel quite
at home in her presence, but finding she did not introduce
the subject of religion he could not refrain from intro-
ducing it himself. Her reply surprised him. "You are
greatly mistaken. I do not want you to give up anything.
I want you to receive." This was something seemingly
so very new to him that he said: "Excuse me; I do not
understand you. What do you mean?"
"I would rather not say any more at present," she re-
plied; "just think of the word receive."
At that time Mr. Blackwood was, and had been for
several years, a leader of fashion in the higher circles of
London Society. But Society pleasures, however elegant
and refined the Society may be, cannot satisfy the deepest
longings of an immortal soul, and as he wended his way
homeward, after having parted with his lady friend, the
last words she had spoken kept ringing in his ears: "I do
not want you to give up: I want you to receive." Their
dismissal he could not accomplish. "I do not want you
to give up; I want you to receive." They seemed to have
come to stay, and under their importunity he became so
wretched and unhappy that he said to himself: "I should
not be surprised if these Christians have the best of it
after all. Perhaps they have something I do not possess.
What are the things I could not give up? The pleasures
of the world are very unsatisfying. What could she mean
by saying Not give up; receive?"
Being quite in the dark about the lady's meaning, and
being greatly stirred in his soul by her statement, he
resolved to see her and tell her of his unhappy condition
of mind, and of his eagerness to know the meaning of her
strange words. Meeting one day, he quickly asked
her to explain what she meant by telling him he was not
to give up, but just to receive. "Your whole life," she
replied, "has been one long attempt to satisfy your soul
with things that cannot satisfy it. I want you to receive
something that will accomplish this object, and when you
have that, you will be glad to give up the husks upon
which you have been feeding your soul."
Further, she explained to him that it was only in
receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as a personal Saviour
that the soul could really be satisfied. "But as many as
received [H]im, to them gave [H]e power to become the sons of
God, even to them that believe on [H]is [N]ame" (John 1. 12).
The soul can be satisfied only with the finished work
of Christ on the Cross when He "died for our sins"
(1 Cor. 15. 3). Then she told him the so-called pleasures
of this world would soon cease to be desired.
This conversation was used of God to the enlightenment
and conversion of Sir Arthur Blackwood, and the young
gentleman who had been a leader of fashion became an
earnest disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ and a leader in
many a good work. He who had hitherto been "Beauty
Blackwood," a fashion leader, now became Humble
Blackwood, a servant of all.
He wrote two books, "The Shadow and the Substance"
and "Forgiveness, Life and Glory," which have been
blessed to many seeking souls.
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