S.D. Gordon.

Quiet Talks with World Winners online

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the sharp tug of need, and can't resist the appeal that calls for his
life-blood, rises up through that red pathway into a blessed fellowship
with the lives that owe their life to his.'

He goes on: 'he that clingeth with strong self-love to his life will find
it slipping, slipping insistently out of his fingers, leaving a dry husk
of a shell in his tenacious clutch. But he who in the stress of the
world's emergency of need, and in the thick of the subtlest temptations to
put the self-life first, treats that life as a hated enemy, to be opposed
and fought, as he gives himself freely out to heal the world's hurt, he
will find all the sweets and fragrance of life coming to him. Their
unspeakable refreshment will ever increase, and never leave.'

Then follow the words that go so deep: 'if any man would serve Me, let
him come along, putting his feet into my prints. Let him come through a
long Nazareth life of common toil in home and shop, then along the crowded
path of glad service for others, responding to every call of need. Let him
come down into the shadowed olive-grove beyond Kidron's waters, up the bit
of a hill outside a city wall, and deep down into the earth-soil of men's

'And where I am there I will surely have that faithful follower of Mine up
close by my side. He shall find himself rising up out of the common
earth-life into a new life of strangely strong drawing power. And, while
he will be all wrapped up in love's service, My Father will give special
touches of His own hand upon his person, and upon his service.'

In one of his exquisitely quiet talks, Henry Drummond used to tell the
story of a famous statue in the Fine Arts Gallery of Paris. It was the
work of a great genius, who, like many a genius, was very poor, and lived
in a garret which served as both studio and sleeping-room.

One midnight, when the statue was just finished, a sudden frost fell upon
Paris. The sculptor lay awake in his fireless garret, and thought of the
still moist clay, thought how the moisture in the pores would freeze, and
the dream of his life would be destroyed in a night. So the old man rose
from his cot, and wrapped his bed-clothes reverently about the statue, and
lay down to his sleep.

In the morning the neighbors found[B] him lying dead. His life had gone
out into his work. It was saved. He was gone. But he still lived in it,
and still lives in it. He saved not his life, and he found a new life in
the world of his art. He that saveth his life shall surely lose it. He
that gladly giveth his life up for the Master's sake, and for men's sake,
will find a wholly new life coming to him.

A Rare Harvest.

There is a strange winsomeness about sacrifice, peculiar to itself, and
peculiarly strong in its drawing power. Everywhere men acknowledge the
peculiar fascination for them of the man who is not only wholly unselfish,
but who utterly forgets himself in doing for others. The feeling is very
common that the man in public life is chiefly concerned with what he can
get out of it for himself. And when, now and then, the conviction seizes
the crowd that some public man is not of that sort at all, but is devoting
himself unselfishly and unsparingly to their interest, their admiration
and love for him amounts to a worship and enthusiasm that knows no stint.

There's a something in unselfish sacrifice in their behalf that draws the
crowd peculiarly and tremendously. Jesus said that if He were lifted up He
would draw men. And He has. He was lifted up as none other, and He has
been drawing men ever since as none other ever has or can. Quite apart
from other truths involved, that sacrifice of His had in itself the
tremendous drawing power of all unselfish action.

And sacrifice brews a subtle fragrance of its own that clings to the
person as the soft sweet odor of wild roses. No one is ever conscious that
there is any such fragrance going out to others. He knows the inner sweets
that none know but they who give sacrifice brewing room within themselves.
Such folks don't stop to think about themselves, except to be thinking of
helping and not hindering.

The very winsomeness of the sacrifice spirit has led men to the seeking of
sacrifice. It seems strange to us that earnest men in other generations
have sought by self-inflicted suffering to attain to the power that goes
with sacrifice. And even yet some morbid people may be found following in
their steps.

Don't they know that out in common daily life the knife of sacrifice is
held across the path constantly, sharp edge out, barring the way? And no
one can go faithfully his common round, with flag at masthead, and needs
crowding in at front and rear and sides, without meeting its cutting edge.
That edge cutting in as you push on frees out the fine fragrance. Whenever
you meet a man or woman with that fine winsomeness of spirit that can't be
analyzed, but only felt, you may know that there's been some of this sort
of sharp cutting within.

Blood is a rare fertilizer. They tell me that the bit of ground over in
Belgium called Waterloo bears each spring a crop of rare blue
forget-me-nots. That bit of ground had very unusual gardening. Ploughed
up by cannon-and gun-shot, sown deep with men's lives, "worked" never so
thoroughly by toiling, struggling feet, moistened with the gentle rain of
dying tears, and soaked with red life, it now yields its yearly harvest of
beauty. All life's a Waterloo and can be made to yield a rich growth of
fragrant flowers.

The Fellowship of Scars.

And there's yet more of this winsomeness. There's a spirit power that goes
out of sacrifice. It reaches far beyond the limited personal circle, out
to the ends of the earth. It can't be analyzed, nor defined, nor
described, but it can be felt. We don't know much about the law of spirit
currents. But we know the spirit currents themselves, for every one is
affected by them and every one is sending them out of himself.

You pick up a book, and suddenly find there's a something in it that takes
hold of you irresistibly. A flame seems to burn in it, and then in you.
Invisible fingers seem to reach out of the page and play freely up and
down the key-board of your heart. Why is it? I don't know much about it.
It's an elusive thing. But I can tell you my conviction, that grows
stronger daily.

There's a life back of that book; there is sacrifice in that life of the
keen, cutting sort; and Jesus is in that life, too, giving it His personal
flavor. The life back of the book has come into the book. It's that life
you are feeling as you read. Spirit power knows nothing about distance.
The man who yields to sacrifice has a world-field, and is touching his
field in a sense far greater than he ever knows.

And there is still more. The Master knows our sacrifices. He keenly notes
the spirit that would give all, even as He did. He can breathe most of His
own spirit into such a life. For it is most open to Him. He can do most
through that spirit, for it comes nearest to His own. His own winsomeness
breathes out of that life constantly.

There's a simple little tale that comes dressed in very homely garb. The
story has in it a bit of that that makes the heart burn. It has all the
marks of real life. It runs thus:

"In one poor room, that was all their home,
A mother lay on her bed,
Her seven children around her;
And, calling the eldest, she said:

'I'm going to leave you, Mary;
You're nearly fourteen, you know;
And now you must be a good girl, dear,
And make me easy to go.

'You can't depend much on father;
But just be patient, my child,
And keep the children out of his way
Whenever he comes home wild.

'And keep the house as well as you can;
And, little daughter, think
He didn't use to be so;
Remember, it's all the drink.'

The weeping daughter promised
Always to do her best;
And, closing her eyes over weary life,
The mother entered her rest.

And Mary kept her promise
As faithfully as she might.
She cooked, and washed, and mended,
And kept things tidy and bright.

And when the father came home drunk,
The children were sent to bed,
And Mary waited alone, and took
The beatings in their stead.

And the little chubby fingers lost
Their childish softness and grace,
And toughened and chapped and calloused,
And the rosy, childish face.

Grew thin and haggard and anxious,
Careworn, tired, and old,
As on those slender shoulders
The burdens of life were rolled.

So, when the heated season
Burned pitiless overhead,
And up from the filth of the noisome street
The fatal fever spread,

And work and want and drunken blows
Had weakened the tender frame,
Into the squalid room once more
The restful shadow came.

And Mary sent for the playmate
Who lived just over the way,
And said, 'The charity Doctor,
Has been here, Katie, to-day.

'He says I'll never be better -
The fever has been so bad;
And if it wasn't for one thing,
I'm sure I'd just be glad.

'It isn't about the children;
I've kept my promise good,
And mother will know I stayed with them
As long as ever I could.

'But you know how it has been, Katie;
I've had so much to do,
I couldn't mind the children
And go to the preaching, too.

'And I've been so tired-like at night,
I couldn't think to pray,
And now, when I see the Lord Jesus,
What ever am I to say?'

And Katie, the little comforter,
Her help to the problem brought;
And into her heart, made wise by love,
The Spirit sent this thought:

'I wouldn't say a word, dear,
For sure He understands;
I wouldn't say ever a word at all;
But, Mary, just show Him your hands!'"

Jesus knows every scar of sacrifice you bear, and loves it. For it tells
Him your love. He knows the meaning of scars, because of His own. The
marks of sacrifice cement our fellowship with Him. The nearer we come to
fellowship with Him in the daily touch and spirit the more freely can He
reach out His own great winsomeness through us, out to His dear world.

"Won't You Save Me?"

To outsiders, who don't know about the thing, that word "sacrifice" has an
ugly sound. It drives them away. But to the insiders, who have come in by
the Jesus-door, there is a joyousness of the bubbling-out, singing sort,
that makes the word "sacrifice," and the thing itself, clean forgot even
while remembered. It is remembered as a distinct real thing, but it is
pushed away from the centre of your consciousness by this song that
insists on singing its music into the ears of your heart.

I said a while ago in these talks that it would be an easy thing for the
whole Church, or even half of the Church, to take Jesus fully out to all
the world. But may I tell you now plainly that it won't be an easy thing?
Somebody will have to sacrifice if the thing's to be done. And that
somebody will be you, if you go along where the Master calls. If you
count on the Church doing it, or on anybody else doing it, you may be
sure of one thing: some part of what needs doing won't be done.

But if you and I will reckon that this thing belongs to us, as if there
were nobody else to do it, and push on; - well, there'll be sacrifice of
the real sort and, too, there'll be all of sacrifice's peculiar
winsomeness going out to draw men. And there will be men changed where you
live, and out where you will never go personally.

And there will be a great joy in your heart, but with the greater joy
breaking out in the Morning, when the King comes to His own.

"I hear the sob of the parted,
The wail of the broken-hearted,
The sigh for the loved departed,
In the surging roar of the town.

And it's, oh, for the joy of the Morning!
The light and song of the Morning!
There'll be joy in the Christmas Morning
When the King comes to His own!

"Now let our hearts be true, brothers,
To suffer and to do, brothers;
There'll be a song for you, brothers,
When the battle's fought and won.
It won't seem long in the Morning,
In the light and song of the Morning
There'll be joy in the Christmas Morning
When the King comes to His own!

"Arise, and be of good cheer, brothers;
The day will soon be here, brothers;
The victory is near, brothers;
And the sound of the glad 'Well done!'
There'll be no sad heart in the Morning
No tear will start in the Morning;
There'll be joy in the Christmas Morning
When the King comes to His own!

"We're in for the winning side, brothers,
Bound to the Lord who died, brothers,
We shall see Him glorified, brothers,
And the Lamb shall wear the crown.
What of the cold world's scorning?
There'll be joy enough in the Morning
There'll be joy in the Christmas Morning,
When the King comes to His own!"

Years ago a steamer out on Lake Erie caught fire, and headed at once for
the nearest land. All was wild confusion, as men and women struggled for
means of escape. In the crowd was a returning California gold-miner. He
fastened the belt containing his gold securely about his waist and was
preparing to try to swim ashore. Just then a little sweet-faced girl in
the crowd touched his hand, and looked up beseechingly into his face, and
said, "Won't you please save me? I have no papa here to save me. Won't
you, please?"

What would he do? He gave the belt of gold, that meant such a hard
struggle, one swift glance. But that soft child-touch on his hand, and
that face and voice strangely affected him. He couldn't save both; - which?
The quick-as-flash thoughts came all in a heap. Then he dropped the gold,
and took the child, made the plunge, and by and by reached land, utterly
exhausted, and lay unconscious. As his eyes opened the child he had saved
was standing over him with the tears of gratitude flooding her eyes. And a
human life never seemed quite so precious. He had lost his gold, and his
years of toil, but he had saved a life, and in saving it had found a new
life springing up within himself.

As we close our talk together will you listen very softly. Listen: out of
the distance comes a murmur of voices, like a low, long heart-cry. It
comes from near-by, where you live. It comes most from far-away lands. Its
words are pathetically distinct: "Will you save me? I have no one to
save me. Won't you?" And we can do it. But the gold and the life must
go. Shall we do it, hand in hand with Jesus, the only Saviour? Shall we
not do it?


[1] Acts 13:18, American Revision.

[2] John 3:17.

[3] Matthew 13:38.

[4] John 12:20-33.

[5] Matthew 24:14.

[6] Revelation 20:7-8.

[7] Matthew 24:14.

[8] Acts 15:13-18.

[9] Matthew 13:38.

[10] Christina Rossetti, in The Outlook, slightly altered.

[11] Matthew 25 40, 45.

[12] Revelation 2:5

[13] Matthew 24 14.

[14] Revelation 1:5, 6.

[15] Revelation 4:8.

[16] Revelation 4:9-11.

[17] Revelation 5:11-12.

[18] Revelation 7:9-12.

[19] Revelation 14:1-5

[20] Revelation 15:2-4

[21] Revelation 19:1-8.

[22] Thessalonians 1:8. II Corinthians 1:1 l.c.

[23] Romans 1:8.

[24] John, chapters 14-16.

[25] John 20:19-23.

[26] Susan Coolidge.

[27] John 7:38.

[28] Revelation 8:3-5.

[29] Frances Ridley Havergal.

[30] Matthew 6:19-21

[31] Luke 12:33,34

[32] Matthew 19:16-29. Mark 10:17-31. Luke 18:18-30

[33] Luke 12:13-21.

[34] Romans 1:14

[35] Romans 13:8

[36] James 5:2, 3

[37] Arthur Peirce Vaughn

[38] John 12:24-26.

Transcriber's Notes

[A] The original chapter contents listing erroneously transposed "A Crisis
of Neglect and Success" and "A Westernized Heathenism".

[B] Original text read "fond" for "found".

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Online LibraryS.D. GordonQuiet Talks with World Winners → online text (page 14 of 14)