|A Religion of Four Letters|
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|There is a wide difference between your religion and mine," said a Christian lady to one in whose spiritual condition she had long been interested.
"Indeed," said he, "how is that?"
"Your religion", she replied, "has only TWO letters in it, and mine has FOUR."
(It seems that this gentleman was of that religious class who are seeking to
get to Heaven by their “doings”-- by paying attention to ordinances and ceremonies-- by what the Apostle, in the ninth chapter of Hebrews terms, "dead works". But this man did not understand about the "two letters" and
the "four". His lady friend had often spoken to him about his spiritual condition. And on the occasion, to which our anecdote refers, she had called to tell him that she was about to go far away from home for sometime. )
"What do you mean," said he, "by two letters and four?"
She replied, "Why, your religion is 'DO' -- whereas mine is 'DONE.'"
This was all that passed. The lady took her leave but her words remained
and did their work in the soul of her friend -- a revolutionary work, verily. The entire current of his thoughts was changed.
DO is one thing but DONE is quite another.
The former is legalism; the latter is Christianity.
It was a novel and very original mode of putting forth the Gospel; but it was just the mode for a legalist, and the Spirit of God used it in the conversion of this gentleman. The next time he met his friend, he said to her, "Well, I can now say, with you, that my religion is DONE." He had learned to fling aside his deadly DOings, and rest in the Finished Work of Christ. He was led to see that it was no longer a question of what he could DO for God, but of what God had DONE for him.
This settled everything. The FOUR golden letters shone under the gaze of his emancipated soul, "D-O-N-E." Precious letters! Precious word! Who can tell the relief to a burdened heart when it discovers that all is DONE? What joy to know that what I have been toiling for, it may be many a long year, was all DONE almost two thousand years ago, on the cross! Christ Jesus has DONE all! Has put away sin -- magnified the law and made it honorable-- satisfied the claims of Divine justice-- vanquished satan--taking the sting from death and the victory from the grave-- glorified God in the very scene in which He had been dishonored-- brought in everlasting righteousness.
All this is wrapped up in these four golden letters: "DONE!"
Oh, who would not give up the two for the four? Who would not exchange "DO" for "DONE"?
Reader, what say you to this? What of your religion?
Does it consist of two letters or four? Is it still "DO" with you? Or have you found your happy portion and rest in "D-O-N-E?" Do think of it, dear friend-- think deeply -- think seriously, and may God's Spirit lead you, this moment,
to cease from your own "DO" and to rest in Christ's eternal "DONE"!
"What must I DO to be saved? "
Nothing- either great or small,
Nothing, sinner, no;
JESUS DID IT, did it ALL,
Long, long ago.
" When He, from His lofty throne,
Stooped to do and die,
Everything was fully done,
Hearken to His cry-
"It is FINISHED!" Yes, indeed,
Finished every jot.
Sinner, this is all you need;
Tell me, is it not?
"Oh! thou trembling, anxious one,
Wherefore toil you so?
All was finished, all was DONE,
Long, long ago.
Till to Jesus' work you cling
By simple faith,
Doing is a deadly thing--
Doing ends in death.
Cast thy deadly doings down,
Down at Jesus' feet;
Stand in Him-- in Him alone,
Originally published in 1863 by C.H. Mackintosh but modified by Cobblestone Road Ministries.
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