by Octavius Winslow
"I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live." John 5:25
There is the special, direct, and effectual call of the Spirit, in the elect of God, without which all other calling is in vain. The Spirit effectually works in the soul with an inward, supernatural, secret power. There is an energy put forth with the call, which . . . awakens the conscience, breaks the heart, convinces the judgment, opens the eye of the soul, and pours a new and an alarming sound upon the hitherto deaf ear.
Mark the blessed effects . . . the scales fell from the eyes, the veil is torn from the mind, the deep fountains of evil in the heart are broken up.
The sinner sees himself as . . . lost and undone without pardon, without a righteousness, without acceptance, without a God, without a Savior, without a hope!
"What shall I do to be saved?" is his cry! "I am a wretch undone! I look within me, all is dark and vile; I look around me, everything seems but the image of my woe; I look above me, I see only an angry God. Whichever way I look, is hell! And were God now to send me there, just and right would He be."
But, blessed be God, no poor soul that ever uttered such language, prompted by such feelings, ever died in despair! That faithful Spirit who begins the good work, effectually carries it on, and completes it.
Presently He leads him to the cross of Jesus and unveils to his glimmering eye of faith a . . . suffering, wounded, bleeding, dying Savior; and yet a Savior with outstretched arms!
That Savior speaks; oh, did ever music sound so melodious? "All this I do for you . . . this cross for you, these sufferings for you, this blood for you, these stretched out arms for you. Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Look unto Me, and be saved! Are you lost? I can save you! Are you guilty? I can cleanse you! Are you poor? I can enrich you! Are you sunk low? I can raise you! Are you naked? I can clothe you! Have you nothing to bring with you? No price? No money? No goodness? No merit? I can and will take you to Me, just as you are . . . poor, naked, penniless, worthless; for such I came to seek, for such I came to die."
"Lord, I believe," exclaims the poor convinced soul! You are just the Savior that I need. I needed one that could and would save me . . . with all my vileness, with all my rags, with all my poverty. I needed one that would . . . save me fully, save me freely, save me as an act of mere unmerited, undeserved grace! I have found Him whom my soul loves! and will be His through time, and His through eternity!"
Thus effectually does the blessed Spirit call a sinner, by His especial, invincible, and supernatural power, out of darkness into marvelous light!
"I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live."
From The Works of Octavius Winslow, Evening Thoughts