The Gospel crucible!
(John MacDuff, "Ripples in the Twilight" 1885)
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God!" 1 Corinthians 1:18
It will never cease to be one of the marvels of Christianity, that her antidotes are the same in every climate, every age, and every bosom. Just as the chemist can infallibly pronounce on the action of the various elements he throws into his crucible — so in the Gospel crucible, cast the human heart in its every form and type, that of . . .
the degraded African,
the superstitious Hindu,
the ferocious Arab,
the reprobate European —
the Gospel of Christ, by a heavenly alchemy, melts that heart! It dissolves . . .
the pride of reason,
the power of superstition,
the curse and misery of vice!
It is the only universal balm!
It was tried . . .
on ignorant fishermen of Galilee,
on poor wayside beggars of Judea,
on hardened Roman soldiers and
on crouching slaves of sin and Satan.
It was tried on the great persecutor of the church — and by him on the disciples of Plato on Mars Hill. It was tried amid the tears of Bethany — and amid the courtly splendor and uncongenial influences of Caesar's household. And in not one of all these varied cases, has it failed!
The king clothed in ermine,
the pauper clothed in rags,
the statesman in his senate-house,
the merchant at his desk,
the artisan in his workshop,
the cottager at her wheel —
all feel the power of the same Gospel, all own the beauteous simplicity of the same healing words, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ — and you shall be saved!"