A RICH LIFE
When one of our kings came back from captivity, as old chroniclers tell, there were fountains in Cheapside which flowed with wine. So bounteous was the king, and so glad the people, that instead of water, they made wine flow freely to everybody. There is a way of making our life so rich, so full, so blessed to our fellow men, that the metaphor may be applicable to us, and men may say that our life flows with wine when other men’s lives flow with water. You have known some such men. John Howard’s life was not like our poor, common lives: he was so benevolent, his sympathy with the race so self-denying, that the streams of his life were like generous wine. You have known personally, it may be, some eminent saint, one who lived very near to Jesus; when he talked, there was an unction and a savor about his words, a solidity and a strength about his utterances, which you could appreciate, though you could not attain unto it. You have sometimes said, “I wish my words were as full, as sweet, as mellow, and as unctuous as the words of such a one. Oh, I wish my actions were just as rich, had as deep a color, and as pure a taste, as the acts of some other. All I can do seems but little and empty when compared with his high attainments. Oh, that I could do more! Oh, that I could send streams of pure gold into every house instead of my poor dross!” Well, Christian, this should stimulate you to keep your heart full of rich things. Never, never neglect the Word of God; that will make your heart rich with precept, your head rich with understanding, and your bowels rich with compassion; then, your conversation, when it flows through your mouth, will be from your soul, and, like all that is within you, rich, unctuous, and savory. Only let your heart be full of sweet, generous love, and the stream that flows from your lips will be sweet and generous. Above all, get Jesus to live in your heart, and then out of you shall flow rivers of living water, more exhilarating, purer, and more satiating than the water of the well of Sychar of which Jacob drank. Go forth, with Christian, to the great mine of unsearchable riches, and cry unto the Holy Spirit to make your heart rich unto salvation. So shall your life and conversation be a boon to your fellows; and when they see you, your visage shall shine, and your face shall be as the angel of God.