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■ J' 


'■ ••, 

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©wn Book: 

A Series o[ Sern^oi^sss — ^ 

Qi^&er t^e Autl^or's oVi^ SuperVieici^. 


(3n ^iitotio^papyeal ^l^etel^. 



Phillips and Hunt, New York. 




• ••« • 

• * ■» 

• • • - 

• • • 



Publishers' Preface, 

MR. JONES has. given this book a title which 
carries the evidence of his direct authorship. 

It is not likely that the speculators upon Mr. Jones' 
popularity will presume to ask an intelligent public 
ff^ to purchase their crude and unauthorized versions 

^ of the discourses of the great evangelist in prefer- 

ence to his ^^ Own Booky^ but experience with this 
class of publishers has shown the need of the most 
careful precautions on the part of both the author 
and his chosen agents. It is with our consent that 
Mr. Wm. Briggs, of Toronto, Ont., publishes Mr. 
Jones' sermons in Canada; but we still hold the 
exclusive right under contract entered into early 
in the year 1886, to handle all Mr. Jones' works 
published after that date in the United States. 
We have aimed to produce these sermons in becom- 
ing style and at as low price as is consistent with 
superior workmanship. The present volume excels 
any other in that it contains through close con- 
densation fourteen more sermons than former books, 
does not repeat the sermons hitherto presented by 

4 Publishers' Preface. 

usy is more largely illustrated^ and to crown all^ has 

Mr. Jones' aatobiograpliy. Mr. Sara SmalPs great 

sermon^ " Deliverance from Bondage" has been also 

included at the special request of the admirers of 

this already distinguished convert and helper of 

Mr. Jones. 

Altogether -we believe that " Sam Jones' Own 

Book " will be the favorite volume of the thousands 

who love the man and admire his genius. 





8ERM0K I. 
Pbbsonal Conbbcbation, 65 

The Blbssbdnbss of Bbligiom, 67 

Thb Righteous and thb Wicked, 79 

Think on These Things, 91 

Rest in Christ, • 101 

God's Gbacb SuifFiciBNT, Ill 

What Wait I Fob? 120 

How TO bb Saved, 131 

Religion a Reasonable Sebvicb, 142 . 


WoBKS OF Faith and Love, 149 


6 Contents. 

Why will ye Dib ? 156 

The Ways op Pleasantnkss, 167 

Tendencies of Righteousness and Sin, 175 

The Chbistian's Commission, 187 

God's Doctrine and How to Know It, 200 

Sbckbt of a Religious Life, 215 

Prisoners of Hope, 228 

Sowing and Reaping, 240 

Partakers of the Divine Nature. 257 

The Grace of God, 270 

Sober and Righteous Living, 277 

Purity of Heart, • • 293 

Contents. 7 

Prisoners without Hops, 306 

I Thought on My Ways, 318 

Confession and Pardon, 332 

A Nxw Creature in Christ (First Discourse), . . . 347 

A New Creature in Christ (Second Discourse), . . 362 

Working Together for Good, 375 

Profession and Practice, 392 

Delighting in the Lord, 408 

Born of God, 426 

Cleanness of Heart, 437 

I Know Thy Works, 446 

One Heart and One Way, 4C7 

8 Illustrations. 

The Best Things Last, 481 

Being in Ghbist Jesus, 488 

(Confession and Fobgiveness, 501 

A Discourse by Samuel W. Sniall. 
Delivbbance fbom Bondage, 515 



Samuel P. Jones (steel engraving), .... Frontispiece. 

Home op the Evangelist, at Cabtebsville, Ga., ... 48 

M. J. Maxwell, Ghoristeb fob Rev. Sam P. Jones, . • 120 

Music Hall, Cincinnati, Extebiob View, 200 

Music Hall, Cincinnati, Intbbiob View, 257 

Fabwell Hall, Chicago, 297 

Tabeunacle at Cabtbbsville, Ga., 820 

Rink in Tobonto, 356 

Mbtbopolitan Chubch in Tobonto, Extebiob View, . 377 
Metbopolitan Chubch in Tobonto, Intebiob View, . . 392 

St. Paul Chubch, Cincinnati, 408 

E. 0. ExcsLL, Singing Companion of Mb. Jones, . . 481 

Samuel W. Small, 515 

Autobiographical Sketch. 

AS Mr. Charles G. Finney, one of America's 
greatest revivalists, said : " It has pleased 
God, in some measure, to connect my name 
and labors with an extensive movement of the 
Church of Christ." The world naturally looks 
upon these movements. Some men are aroused 
to bitter criticism, others are brought to Christ 
by the sweeping tides, while others seem to be 
indifferent. I suppose the latter class are the 
ones most to be pitied, for indifference is the 
most insurmountable obstacle when you would 
reconcile man to God. 

I shall speak of myself in connection with 
these movements, recognizing the hand of God 
as the power, and the faithful ministers who 
have co-operated with me, and the ten thou- 
sand prayers of consecrated Christian men and 
women as the great factors under God that 
have helped me in doing my work. If I speak 
honestly of these revivals and my relation to 


10 Autobiographical Sketch. 

them, I do so simply with the facts as they 
occur to my mind, without any purpose to use 
the first personal pronoun, except as it repre- 
sents the smallest factor in the movement. 

I shall give a brief account of my birth, 
family, etc., as these few pages are autobio- 
graphical. I was born in Chambers County, 
Alabama, on the 16th of October, 1847. My 
father was Captain John J. Jones, the son of 
a Methodist preacher ; my paternal grandmother 
was one of the most godly, consecrated women 
of her day, she being the daughter of Rev. 
Robert L. Edwards, one of the pioneer preach- 
ers of Georgia, and a giant in his day. Four 
of my father's brothers are now ministers of 
the Gospel of Christ. We have been Method- 
ists on both sides of the family for several 
generations. As I have frequently said : I am a 
Methodist just as I am a Jones, and if it is a 
sin to be either, it is a sin that is visited upon 
the children from the parents. Methodists 
and Joneses are getting to be very common, in 
that they are very general everywhere. 

My mother was a painstaking, sweet-spirited, 
Christian woman. I remember to have seen 
her and kissed her the last time, in my father's 
parlor, as I stooped over her burial case, when 

Autobiographical Sketch. 11 

I was nine years of age. She sleeps in the 
old cemetery of Oak Bowery, Alabama. With 
one brother older than myself, a sister and 
brother younger than myself, with a heart- 
broken father, we left the cemetery for our 
home, to answer the oft-repeated question: 
"What is home without a mother?" Eternity 
can hardly compensate a man for the loss he 
suffers when he buries his mother. Four years 
after my mother's death (in the meanwhile my 
brothers, sister, and myself remained at our 
grandfather Jones's home) my father married 
Miss Jennie Skinner, of Cartersville, Georgia, 
and removed us there in the year 1859, where 
we lived, controlled and guided not only by a 
father's advice, but our new mother did all she 
could in instilling the principles of virtue and 
right in our young hearts and lives, until our 
father joined the Army of Virginia in 1861, 
and by reason of his absence and the disor- 
dered state of society and the country, due to 
the presence of cruel war, I began to drift 
away from the teachings of my sainted mother 
and the rules of my home ; and when my father 
returned from the army, before peace was re- 
stored, I had so advanced in the company of 
those who were worldly and wicked in the 

12 Autobiographical Sketch. 

habits of profanity and gentlemanly dram-drink- 
ing and other immoralities, that I found' it 
much more easy to proceed in a life so at vari- 
ance with the right that I drifted on from 
.month to month, until at the age of twenty- 
one years I was physically wrecked and morally 
ruined. I am sure many of the excesses of 
my early life would have never been indulged 
had it not been for the absence of my father, 
which gave me liberty to associate with those 


whose habits and character would certainly 
ruin those who mingled with them. 

From the beginning of my school age up to 
the time of my mother's death, I had been a 
little scholar in the excellent school of Pro- 
fessor Slay ton, now superintendent of the pub- 
lic schools of Atlanta. I remember at one of- 
his commencements he had written for me a 
parody on the oft-repeated juvenile oration : 

"You 'd scarce expect one of my age 
To speak in public on the stage. ** 

It was at night, and when the time came 
for the delivery of my speech, I was asleep in 
my mother's lap. Professor Slay ton came to 
my mother, awoke me, and carried me in hia 
arms to a table on the stage and stood me 

Autobiographical Sketch. 13 

there. I delivered the speech, the last two 
lines of which I remember were these: 

*' In thunderiog peals and Thornton tones, 
The world shall hear of Sam. P. Jones.'' 

I remember that for months after the de- 
livery of this speech I kept my little associates 
and myself in candy, for whenever and where- 
ever I would repeat it for them, I could name 
my price in candy. 

The faithful tutorship of Professor Slayton 
was worth much to me, because the ground 
work of an education had been faithfully laid 
before I was seven years of age. My studies 
were grossly neglected when my father was 
away from home in the army. After he re- 
turned and the war was over, I began to pros- 
ecute my studies anew in the school of ex- 
Congressmen Felton and his intelligent wife; 
farther along under Professor Ronald Johnson, 
in the High-school of Euharlee, Georgia. There 
my health completely broke down, and I suf- 
fered from the worst form of nervous dyspep- 
sia, and this robbed me of the collegiate course 
which my father intended for me. With health 
wrecked, sleepless nights, and restless days, I 
began to seek relief in the intoxicating cup, 

14 Autobiographical Sketch. 

with no object in view but to get through the 
weary day and to seek some plan by which I 
could sleep an hour at night. Oh, the horrors 
of nervous dyspepsia ! It was in this state of 
mind and body that I began to read law, and 
in twelve months I was admitted to the bar, 
growing more dissipated all the time. 

In November, 1869, I was married to Miss 
Laura McElwain, of Henry County, Kentucky, 
only one month after my admission to the 
bar. I started out in the practice of law with 
rich promise of success, but drink had become 
a passion with me, and all the ambitions and 
vital forces of my life were being undermined 
by this fearful appetite. My wife, with a cour- 
age born of despau*, and with a faith in God 
that would laugh at impossibilities, and cry, 
" It shall be done," in the weakest and darkest 
hours of our married life, endeavored always 
to be the crutches under my arms, and to 
hold me up ; and never did she cease her efforts 
or take her faith from off the promises until 
she realized at last that God is not slack con- 
cerning his promises. While I was frequently 
moved by her tears and affected by her pray- 
ers, yet I persistently maintained a dissi- 
pated life until the month of August, 1872, 

Autobiographical Sketch. 15 

when I was brought to face the fact that my 
father, my best and truest friend, was bidding 
earth good-bye forever; and as he said "good- 
bye," he looked as if he meant forever, but he 
lingered on this side long enough to extort the 
promise from me that I would meet him in 
heaven. Wretched and ruined as I was, I 
made the promise, and upon my fidelity to 
that promise I hang my highest hope of heaven. 
No man could feel as I felt or see what I saw 
in that death chamber, as father almost liter- 
ally shouted his way out of this world, with- 
out crying out from the depths of his heart, 

"I yield, I yield 1 

I can hold out no more ; 
• I sink, by dying love compelled, 
_And own thee Conqueror." 

When peace and pardon were given, after 
days of seeking, I was impressed that I should 
preach the Gospel. I did not know from 
whence those impressions came; I thought, as 
did Gideon Ouseley, "I can not preach, I am 
not fit to preach, I do not know any thing to 
preach." I sought the advice and counsel of 
several faithful preachers, and I believe each 
of them said the same thing: "You are called 
to preach. You can go willingly into it, or you 

16 Autobiographical Sketch. 

will be whipped into it, or you will lose your 
religion if you refuse." The last point was al- 
ways the most powerful in the argument. As 
I stated before, I was born and raised a Meth- 
odist. I conferred not with flesh and blood 
further, but began immediately to preach the 
Gospel as only a man could preach it who 
knew but two facts — God is good, and I am 
happy in his love. Like Ouseley again, I knew 
the disease and I knew the remedy, and this gives 
the physician complete control over the patient. 
The first sermon I ever preached, I believe, 
was the week after my conversion, at old New 
Hope church, two miles from Cartersville — my 
home. I had gone out with my grandfather 
Jones to that place. He was then pastor in 
charge of Barton Circuit, and this was one of 
his churches. After we had arrived on the 
ground, about the preaching hour at night, he 
learned that the Rev. Mr. Sanford, who was 
to preach on that occasion, would not be there. 
My grandfather was very hoarse ; he could not 
preach, and he said to me : " My grandson, you 
must preach for us to-night." I replied, "I 
thought the call was first to get ready, and 
secondly to preach the Gospel." He said : "If 
God is calling you to preach, you can preach; 

Autobiographical Sketch. 17 

come on in the pulpit/' I did so, with much 
fear and trembling. The whole congregation 
knew me — ^a wild, reckless boy. After the 
singing and prayer, I read the text : ^^ I am not 
ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the 
power of God unto salvation to every one that 
believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the 
Greek." My exegesis and the critical analysis 
of the text I have forgotten, but, really, I do 
not think that either the exegesis or analysis 
came in on that occasion. I think before I had 
proceeded far into the text I adopted the plan 
of a good, old Methodist preacher "in the 
brush " who shut up his Bible and said : 
" Brethren, I can 't preach the text, but I can 
tell my experience in spite of the devil." And 
out of a heart gushing full of love to God and 
to men, I told them of GQd's gracious dealings 
with me. Hundreds were melted to tears, and 
when the invitation was given for penitents to 
come forward, they thronged the altar, and I 
believe many were converted. After the serv- 
ice, my grandfather slapped me on the shoulder 
and said, " Go ahead, my boy ! God has called 
you to the work." Much of my time in those 
days was given to prayer and reading the 

2— B 


It waa still three months until the meeting 
of the Annual Conference in Atlanta. I began 
preparations by reading the course of study 
prescribed by the bishops of our Church for 
applicants for admission into the annual con- 
ference. Rev. George R. Kramer was my pas- 
tor and my spiritual instructor ; he did much 
for me; a saintly, good man, now pastor in 
Brooklyn, New York. 

I preached around through the community 
as opportunity offered until the meeting of the 
North Georgia Annual Conference. I went to 
that conference and offered myself, with all my 
ransomed powers. They accepted me ; they 
gave me a place in the rank of Methodist itin- 
erants, and gave me as my appointment the 
Van Wert Circuit. No gladder man ever ac- 
cepted an appointment. My heart leaped for 
joy, and I said, " Thank God ! I now have a 
place to work for Christ." On my way home 
from the annual conference, a good preacher 

"Jones, do you know what your circuit 
paid its pastor last year ?" 

I replied : " No, I have not thought of that." 

"Well," said he, "it paid the preacher for 
his year's service sixty-five dollars." 

Autobiographical Sketch, 19 

I laughed^ and told him I did not care what 
they paid or did not pay ; that I had a field 
to work in, and I was going to it gladly. 

This circuit was in Polk County, only twenty 
miles from my home — Cartersville, Georgia. I 
went down, prospecting around, before I moved 
my family. The brethren were kind, and yet 
I could see that Burns was right when he said : 

**A man may take a neighbor's part, 
Yet have no cash to spare him." 

Of course, I could not see this in compari- 
son with any thing else. I had nothing to 
discourage me, because the picture drawn in 
my mind of itinerant life was one of hardships 
and privations. The brethren told me of a 
house that I could procure for my family, but 
did not propose to rent it for me, or even help 
me in procuring it. I gave my notes, twelve 
of them, of ten dollars each, payable monthly, 
for the rent of the house. This sum alone was 
fifty-five dollars more than the preacher re- 
ceived for his last year's services. In two 
weeks more I moved my family, consisting of 
wife and one child, into this house, in the 
town of old Van Wert. I had sold every thing 
that would bring money and paid on my debts 

20 Autobiographical Sketch. 

so far as the money would go» and still I was 
hundreds of dollars in debt. I entered upon 
my work with faith in God and in the people, 
knowing that if I would do my duty I should 
not want any good thing. I was reappointed 
to this work until I had spent three happy, 
successful years on this, my first, circuit; and, 
if I remember correctly, the salary and per- 
quisites of these three years amounted to over 
two thousand one hundred dollars, or over 
seven hundred dollars a year. When I entered 
upon my work in this circuit, I had three 
books — the Bible, the fifth volume of Spur- 
geon's Sermons, and some old volume of skel- 
etons of sermons. Of course, my Bible was 
the book of all books to me, but I read and 
reread that volume of Spurgeon's sermons, un- 
til my soul and nature was stirred with the 
spirit of the man. I remember how I have 
frequently read the text of one of his sermons 
and then read his sermon; then I would read 
my text and, say: "If Spurgeon treated his 
text that way, how shall I treat mine ?" And 
much of the directness of my style I owe to 
Spurgeon, the grandest preacher of this nine- 
teenth century, if what a man does is -a test 
of what a man is. 


My preachiDg the first few months, and 
even the first years, was what my brethren 
called "earnest exhortation/* but whether I 
exhorted or whether I preached, I have always 
been in earnest. Poor sermons and poor ex- 
hortation with the spirit of earnestness behind 
them will yield richer fruits than the most 
powerful logic and ornate rhetoric without the 
spirit of earnestness. Earnestness can not be 
feigned. It is like the natural and healthful 
glow on a maiden's cheek compared to the arti- 
ficial coloring produced by rouge. So earnest- 
ness can always be distinguished from emo- 
tional gush or bellowing hurrahism. Earnestness 
is a thing of the eye and the face more than 
of the voice or of the words. " Let us go and 
hear that fellow, he seems to be in earnest," 
is a great compliment to any preacher. Earn- 
estness in the pulpit is born of the experience 
which conscious pardon and complete deliver- 
ance from sin gives to the speaker. In a Gospel 
which has done so much for him, he sees 
that which will do as much for others, and- he 
presses the Gospel, with its warning voice and 
its pleading tones, square upon the consciences 
of those who hear. There are many who are 
faithfully preaching the truth, but with earn- 

22 Autobiographical Sketch. 

estness only can they preach the truth effi- 
ciently. I have always had an inborn, consti- 
tutional hatred for shams, and especially for 
religious shams. Heaven and hell, one topless 
and the other bottomless, are real to me. 
Truth is real. Life is real; and no man can 
be a sham or a hypocrite without getting out 
of line with God and truth, and hell itself will 
make real devils out of religious shams before 
it will receive them. I have always contended 
there is no hoof and horn, fang nor poison at> 
tached to theoretical infidelity, but practical 
infidelity has all these things. I had rather 
be an IngersoU and disbelieve the Book, than 
to be a Methodist believing every thing and 
living just like IngersoU. 

I saw upon the first round on my first cir- 
cuit that there were either two distinct kinds 
of Christianity, or else a majority of my people 
had Christianity and I did not have it, or vice 
versa. They had indifference and carelessness 
and prayerlessness, and I found no room for 
any of these in my religious life. 0, how 
many hours I spent as a youthful pastor try- 
ing to solve the problem and to know my duty 
towards my people. It was more than three 
years before my courage was screwed up to 


the sticking point, where I could preach the 
truth in such a pointed way as to leave no 
one to doubt that I meant him. In other 
words, in the fourth year of my ministry I be- 
gan to preach to my people just as I thought 
about my people. I may preach the truth as 
it is in Christ, but a dissertation on truth is 
one thing, and the application of truth to the 
lives of men is another. A dissertation on 
mustard, where it grows, how it grows, and 
how it is prepared for the market, is one thing, 
and that one thing does not help the colic, but 
it is the spreading of the mustard upon a thin 
cloth and applying it to the stomach that re- 
lieves the aches and pains of the agonizing pa- 
tient. Abstract truth may influence the mind 
to some extent and bring out the brain sweat, 
but consecrated truth, vigorously applied to the 
conscience, arouses the mind, produces convic- 
tion — and all upward movement is from convic- 
tion, from first to last. The bootmaker who 
makes the best fit gets the most customers. 
The preacher who fits the most consciences 
will get the most hearers. I have known for 
a long time that men knew better than they 
did. It is not in the pointing out of new 
paths, but it is the power to make them walk 


in the old paths; therefore, my preaching has 
been at the conscience. The intellects of men, 
when taken in the whole, vary in altitude like 
mountains and valleys ; but the consciences of 
men form a vast plain, without an undulation 
from shore to shore, and he who stands on a 
level like this will move not only the peasant 
and laborer, but the intellectual giants of earth 
alike, for the conscience of a Webster is on 
the same plane and level with the conscience 
of a brakesman or any other common laborer. 

In preaching at conscience there are. three 
essential requisites: first, clearness; secondly, 
concentration; thirdly, directness. He who 
conceives truth clearly will express it clearly. 
Show a man all sides of the truth and then 
open it out and bathe it in a sea of light ; then 
take a whole lead mine and run it into one 
bullet, and then aim where you want to hit, 
and your work is done. When you arouse the 
conscience, amid its ferocious lashings, the only 
alternative left is a better life or complete 
abandonment. Very few men will choose the 
latter. I remember this incident, which illus- 
trates the point. In City, one of the 

leading merchants sent for the pastor, at whose 
church the union services were held. I was 

Autobiographical Sketch. 25 

preaching directly at conscience. When the 
pastor went to his counting-room, the merchant 
excitedly said : 

" I do n't like this preacher you have." 

"Why?" said the pastor. 

"Why, he makes men's wives jealous of 

Said the pastor, "My wife has been in reg- 
ular attendance, and she has not grown jealous 
of me." 

" Well, mine has with me," said he. " Last 
night, as I rolled upon my pillow, wife saw I 
could not sleep, and she asked me what was 
the matter. I told her, nothing. She replied, 
*I believe something that preacher said has 
taken hold upon you.' Of course, I said, ^No, 
no, nothing he said affected me;' but," said 
the man, "I am miserable because my wife is 
jealous of me, and d such a preacher." 

"Well," said the pastor, "may be she has 
reason to be jealous." 

"Ah," said the man, "that's the trouble. 
My mistress is boarding at a first-class hotel, 
and I have sent for you, sir, to know what I 
must do." 

"Well," said the faithful pastor, "abandon 
your adulterous life, and confess it to your wife." 

.^— B 

26 Autobiographical Sketch. 

The man replied, as the great drops of sweat 
gathered on his face : " Such a confession would 
be death to the happiness of jfiy home, and I 
am in mortal agony." 

Not twenty-four hours after this conversa- 
tion, this man was an humble, earnest penitent 
at the altar, as his wife knelt at his side; and 
I trust he was among the number of converts 
of that meeting. I touched his conscience that 
night with the one allusion that when Christ 
came down from the mountain side, the multi- 
tude thronged him, and a leper walked up, and 
the multitude fell back and gave the leper 
plenty of room; and I said, "If some of your 
wives knew you as God knows you, they would 
give you the whole house to yourself." Per- 
haps this man was only one of the many whose 
consciences were stirred by that remark. 

Whenever I take off at a tangent like that, 
T generally find fish up that stream. When a 
minister earnestly preaches and applies the 
truth, he may rest assured that he has the con- 
sciences of men on his side. While they rebel 
with their wills and curse him with their 
tongues, yet their consciences are on the side 
of the preacher and the truth. Applying the 
truth to every phase of life is the general work 



of the preacher. Let him get this truth either 
from the oldest Testament or the Old^ the new- 
est or the New. All truth is God's truth ; all 
that is false is frustrated and driven in confu- 
sion before the truth. When Nathan told 
David the truth, David replied : " The man that 
hath done this thing shall surely die." But 
when Nathan dropped his finger on David 
and said, " Thou art the man," the next we 
heard of David, he was on his knees uttering 
the words of the fifty-first Psalm in the most 
abject penitence and thorough conviction. It is 
the " thou art the man," that brings humanity 
to its knees. 

Thus, for thirteen years, I have not only 
tried to preach the truth, but so to apply the 
truth to the consciences of men, that there 
could be no mistake as to whom I meant, and 
amid all the harsh and seemingly unamiable 
expressions by which I have reached the con- 
sciences, my heart has always looked in sym- 
pathy and love upon the man whose life I laid 
bare by truth. I do believe where love ex- 
presses itself in sympathy, the subject will 
submit to any treatment at your hands ; where 
love exposes guilt, the man falls out with him- 
self, grows angry with himself, and loves the 

28 Autobiographical Sketch. 


one that discovered it to his own eyes; and 
you have done a bad man a good service when 
you make him despise himself. The object of 
all true Gospel preaching is to make sin odious 
and holiness attractive ; to make goodness as 
beautiful and as fragrant as a rose, and sin and 
hell inexpressibly horrible. 0, the hideous 
deformities of sin, and the symmetry and beauty 
of righteousness! 

The first three years of my ministry, as 
before stated, were spent on the Van Wert Cir- 
cuit. They were three joyous years, and by 
God's help and grace they were successful 
years, a gracious revival of religion at each 
Church (there were five Churches forming the 
circuit). I believe the aggregate increase of 
membership in the circuit was not less than 
two hundred a year, while all my Churches 
were quickened into new life and spiritual 
growth. From there I was moved, and placed 
in charge of De Soto Circuit, in Floyd County, 
Georgia, with seven Churches forming the cir- 
cuit. I had two happy, successful years on 
this circuit. Hundreds were converted to God 
and all the Churches quickened. These were 
the years that I was fortunately placed under 
Rev. Simon Peter Richardson as my presiding 


elder. At that time he was the most power- 
ful^ and at ail times the most entertaining, 
guest I ever saw. The great nuggets of truth 
thrown out by him in pulpit and parlor, were 
food to me. He saw some great truths more 
clearly than any man I ever heard talk; he 
was a father and brother and teacher to me. 
I learned more from him than all other preach- 
ers I have ever come in contact with. I first 
learned from him that the pulpit was not a 
prison, but a throne ; that instead of bars and 
walls and boundary lines, I might have wings 
and space as my heritage. I can recollect as 
well when my involuntary confinement ended 
and liberty began, as any fact in my history, 
and for years I have enjoyed this liberty and 
never consulted the theological landmarks or 
visited the orthodox prison. To think the 
thoughts of God is a freeman's right, with as 
little reverence for the Nicene Creed as for the 
resolutions of the General Conference or the 
Baptist Convention on the prohibition ques- 
tion, assured of the human origin of both alike. 
To stand on some mount of freedom and see 
that God is love and see that Christ is the 
manifestation of that love, — how transforming 
the vision ! How unlike the picture we have 

30 Autobiographical Sketch. 

looked on so often — God angry with a world, 
and with the weapons of his anger drawn, he 
poured his wrath and anger upon the victim on 
the cross! To see in Christ a Savior loving 
a sinner and saving a sinner, rather than a 
victim scarred by divine vengeance and aban- 
doned by divine sovereignty; to see that the 
pierced side was an open doorway; to see in 
his hands, prints made by the cruel nails, the 
marks of his sympathy ; and in his cross, my 
death to sin ; and in his resurrection, my hope 
of eternal life; and realize that in all his 
works and sufferings and death, there is to me 
power given to begin, and grace given to con- 
tinue, and help and weapons with which to 
conquer, and crowns and harps for my reward ! 
From the last named circuit I was moved 
to Newberne Circuit, in Newton County, Geor- 
gia. There I had two more pleasant, delight- 
ful years, with greater success, perhaps, than 
any two years previous, in building up my 
Churches and adding to the Church hundreds 
of souls. At the end of my second year in 
the Newberne Circuit, I was moved to Monti- 
cello Circuit, Jasper County, and there I had 
a remarkable year among the noblest people 
in my State. Thus, eight years of my ministry 


were given to four different circuits in my con- 
ference. In the eight years, I suppose not less 
than two thousand members were taken into 
my Churches in these circuits, and I did a 
great deal of revival work in other circuits and 
stations. In some of those revivals there were 
near five hundred conversions. In scarcely 
any of them did the conversions aggregate less 
than one hundred. I suppose that I might 
safely put the figures of the first eight years 
of my life as a pastor, of those who professed 
conversion under my ministry, at not less than 
five thousand altogether. I say these things, 
not because I am proud of them especially, for 
I believe with the appliances which God af- 
fords to us as his ministers, that five thousand 
souls in eight years is a very poor work. It 
seems to me, as I look back over those years, 
that I did my best, and yet I am sorry that 
more was not accomplished. I think last 
year alone I saw more souls than that brought 
to Christ in our various meetings. I am trust- 
ing and believing I shall live to see the day 
that I shall see a thousand souls born to God 
at one service, and I pray that God may make 
me the instrumentality of bringing fifty thou- 
sand souls to him in one year. If St. Peter, 


32 Autobiographical Sketch. 

with the meager appliances, especially on the 
human side, could win three thousand souls in 
an hour with all Jerusalem against him, why 
might not a consecrated minister, Avith a hungry 
world and almost a despairing world of sinners 
about him, take them by the hand and lead 
ten thousand a day to Christ? I verily believe 
that I have seen five hundred souls converted 
at a service ; there were three thousand pray- 
ing Christian people present; there were a 
hundred consecrated preachers present; there 
were in the aggregate ten thousand people pres- 
ent; God was present; a thousand penitents 
were present; then doubt the statement, if you 
will, that five hundred of those who stood up 
ftlTcepted Christ and were converted. 

When I began to preach, I was brought 
face to face with this fact, that to succeed as 
a preacher, one must be a great thinker or a 
great worker. Affinities made me choose the 
latter. I had serious doubts as to whether I 
could think above the plane where the masses 
stood. I knew I could work under God, and 
be a constant, persistent, and indefatigable la- 
borer. I started out, determined that I would 
do my best. 

I suppose, during the eight years of my 

Autobiographical Sketch. 33 

life as a pastor, I preached not less than four 
hundred sermons a year; and I have preached 
four times a day for weeks and weeks; and 
when my good friends would tell me I was 
working myself to death, I would laugh them 
off by telling them what Whitefield said when 
a physician told him he must stop working so 
much, that he must not preach but four hours 
every day and six hours on Sunday, and he 
rebelliously asked, "Doctor, do you want me 
to rust to death?" No doubt, I would have 
preached better sermons if I had preached 
fewer sermons, but a square or an oblong bul- 
let will do as much execution as a polished, 
round one. 

I have never made theology a study. The 
great doctrines of depravity and repentance 
and justification and regeneration and of the 
judgment and final award, I have preached 
with all the clearness of my mind and all the 
unction of my heart. I have never tried to 
show a congregation the difference between 
evangelical and legal repentance. I have never 
discussed whether depravity was total or par- 
tial, or simply developed. I have never tried 
to prove there was a God, or that Christ was 
divine, or that there was a heaven or a hell. 

34 Autobiographical Sketch. 

I have made these things, not an objective 
point, but a starting point. They have fur- 
nished the basis for all I have said, and they 
are either the inspirations of my hopes, or the 
ground- works of my fears. I have left the 
proof of the inspiration of the Bible, the dem- 
onstration of the fact that there is a God, the 
settlement of the question as to heaven and 
hell, to those who make a specter of such things 
and then speculate upon them, to the ^^ muddy 
physicians." My idea has always been that 
Christ meant what he said when he said, 
"Preach the Gospel," not defend it; "Preach 
the Word," not try to prove the Word is true. 
A very laughable, and yet forcible, incident 
occurred during the revival at Memphis, Ten- 
nessee, in Court Street Cumberland Presby- 
terian Church one morning. The services had 
been going on for nearly three weeks with 
great power; hundreds had been converted and 
Churches awakened. The meeting was a union 
meeting; thirteen pastors and congregations, 
representing five different denominations, were 
united in the fight, and on this occasion we 
had what we called a talking-meeting. The 
pastor of the First Methodist Church made a 
short, pointed talk, in which he told how the 

Autobiographical Sketch. 35 

meetings' had been a blessing to him. Other 
pastors followed, and when the pastor of the 
First Baptist Church told how he and all his 
Church had been blessed, he continued his 
talk by saying that he had learned something 
also about how to preach. He said that in the 
three weeks' preaching of Mr. Jones in that 
city, he had not heard a single attempt on the 
part of the preacher to prove that there was a 
God, or that Christ was divine; there had 
been no hair-splitting on theology, or an effort 
to prove that heaven was real or hell existing, 
and so on. After he sat down, old Uncle Ben, 
the faithful, old colored sexton of the First 
Methodist Church, stood up in the rear of the 
Church and said : " Brethren, you all know me. 
I have been trying to serve God from my 
childhood, and I have been greatly exercised 
in the last few years for the salvation of the 
perishing souls of Memphis. On my knees 
I have begged God to send just such a preacher 
as this to Memphis, though I did n't know who 
he was or where he was. Now he has come, 
thank God for him. He preaches the Gospel 
so that every one can understand it; he feeds 
me, he feeds the old and the young, the learned 
and the unlearned. Our pastors have been 

36 Autobiographical Sketch. 

putting the fodder too high. I remember when 
Brother Mahon was our pastor last j^ear, I 
looked into his study one morning, and he had 
five books lying open around him on the table, 
and I said, ^Brother Mahon, if you get one 
sermon out of five different books, you are 
going to put your fodder up Sunday morning 
where I can 't reach it, for,' I said, ' I 've gone 
to Church hungry on Sunday morning and come 
away hungry; fodder too high for me/ But 
this man of God scatters the fodder on the 
ground, and we can all reach it, and we also 
relish it." And so Uncle Ben went on in his 
rambling talk until he made as fine an argu- 
ment on homiletics as many of the preachers 
said they had ever listened to. 

The finest compliment I have ever had was 
in the second year of my ministry, when a lit- 
tle son of one of my members said: 

" Father, will Mr. Jones be returned to this 
circuit next year ?" 

The father replied he hoped so, and asked 
his son, "Why?" 

" Well," said the boy, " I want him to come 
back, because he is the only preacher I ever 
listened to that I can understand every thing 
he says." 


Autobiographical Sketch. 37 

I believe it is possible to preach our best 
thoughts aud highest conceptions of God and 
truth so that children may understand us. 
The fact that they do not understand us is 
better proof that we are "muddy" than that 
we are high, for truth is like the water of the 
River of Life— clear as crystal. 

Of course, in all these years of my life as 
a pastor, I was the object of a great deal of 
criticism. If no truth furnished others material 
with which they could assault, there was no 
lie that earth or hell could concoct that they 
would not take and circulate against me — some 
very ridiculous lies, some venomous lies, some 
very lying lies. 0, how I have looked at my 
wife sometimes and seen resentment written 
upon every feature of her face; for instance, 
when she read the well-credited story of how 
I had abandoned my "first wife," and of how 
I was unkind to my "second wife." They 
have reported me drunk on a hundred different 
occasions; they have reported me as a wife- 
beater; and rumors that I afterwards thought 
the devil himself must have felt ashamed of, 
they have circulated time and again on me. 
I found out, after all, this world does not give 
a man the right of way, and the devil has 

38 Autobiographical Sketch. 

rights, he thinks, that even preachers must re- 
qjMct; and frequently, after you have procured 
the Hgbt of way, the change of a switch, a 
wash-out, a cro6&>tie on the track, and some- 
times an innocent cow^ plays sad havoc. The 
faster you run, the more dnai you raise, the 
more noise you will make, and the more stock 
you will kill; and yet it is wonderfully true, 
the more passengers you will haul. All other 
railroad men, who can not make the same 
schedule time, will talk of danger and disaster 
that must overtake those who patronize the 
lightning express, and thus help advertise to 
the world that there is a lightning express — 
and thus keep its cars packed. Slill, the slow 
schedule trains get a great many passengers. 
Some people like to ride all day for a dollar 
and still pay the just fare of three cents a 
mile; just as a' gentleman remarked of the 
Rome railroad in Georgia, sixteen miles long. 
He said it was the cheapest road he ever saw, 
the fare being one dollar from Kingston to 
Rome, and he could ride all day for that 
amount, as it took a day to make the trip. 
But these are, after all, the days of the tele- 
graph and the locomotive engine and rushing 
commerce. Every thing has quickened its 

Autobiographical Sketch, 39 

pace, except the Church. The world and the 
devil can run a mile before the Church can tie 
its shoes. 

I believe in progressive theology, in aggres- 
sive effort, in agitation, in conflict, in conquest, 
and in crowns. It was Ood who said, '^ Fight, and 
I will help you ; conquer, and I will crown you." 
David saw four thousand years ago that he 
ought to make haste. Jesus said, ^^ What thou 
doest, do quickly." St. Paul said, " I run and 
press towards the mark." What if some men 
live only two-score years and die in the prime 
of life, after accomplishing much, how much 
better is it than to run the Christian race of 
sixty years, and die before they reach the first 
mile-post towards the kingdom of God? 

There can be no movement without friction, 
no battle without an issue, no issue without 
the drawing of lines. When the line is drawn 
then comes the tug of war. 

The world and the Church walk together, 
because in many things they are agreed ; but 
when, like Joshua of old, we draw the line, 
and say, "Those who are on God's side come 
over here," then it is that they are separated; 
and as surely as Mason and Dixon's line was 
drawn and the South separated from the North 

40 Autobiographical Sketch. 

by the acts of secession and war begun, just 
so surely when a faithful preacher draws the 
line, the issue is made and the good fight of 
faith begun. The devil has rights in this 
world, but they are the rights of conquest; 
and only by that right does he hold it, and 
never will he surrender an inch of his domin- 
ion until it is covered with blood. I have 
never seen the lines drawn any where, that 
those who were loyal to God did not take a 
stand for truth and right; and God fought with 
them, and through him they did valiantly, for 
he said himself, ^^one can chase a thousand, 
and two can put ten thousand to flight." 

The greatest triumphs of the cross I have 
ever witnessed have been when the roar of 
the cannon and rattle of the musketry and 
smoke of the guns almost drowned the voice 
of God and hid his face ; and yet when the din 
and smoke of the battle blew away, we saw 
God was with us, and the angels had pitched 
their tents about us. The Bible has much to 
say of warfare, and we sing much of "soldiers 
of the cross." This is truly a warfare, and 
while victory means crowns, and palms, and 
harps, it also means scars, and hardships, and 
fears, and tremblings, and at times defeats; 


but the command is, ^^ Fight the good fight of 
faith, and lay hold on eternal life." 

I believe it is possible to preach the Gospel 
and live in peace with the devil, with an arm- 
istice unbroken, but ^^ woe be to the preacher 
when all men speak well of him." 

Rowland Hill was a target for men and 
devils ; they scoffed, they called him a mounte- 
bank, they derided him as 'a flippant wag, and 
declared he brought the pulpit into disrepute. 
I have laughed as men of to-day would eulogize 
Rowland Hill and then call me the same 
things that Rowland Hill's generation applied 
to him. 

Charles G. Finney, the most omnipotent 
preacher of this nineteenth century in Amer- 
ica, seemed to be the worst slandered and 
worst traduced man in America. Read his 
autobiography, and see what the dignitaries of 
the Church and hypocrites said of him. He 
was tried, he was condemned, he was excluded 
from the pulpits of his own Church. 

"Nothing succeeds like success," and it 
succeeds in projecting its favorites on a stormy 
sea of abuse and criticism. Where is there a 
successful man in any calling of life who has 
not been either swallowed by a whale or 

4— B 

42 . Autobiographical Sketch. 

nibbled almost to death by minnows? I some- 
times envied Jonah. Criticisms, when wisely 
administered, are helpful; but I never could 
endure these little spelling-book critics, who 
were utterly incapable of appreciating a thought 
or catching an idea, yet they could see and 
recognize a grammatical error or a rhetorical 
blunder in the distance. It has been the source 
of much pleasure to me to see with what avid- 
ity they would pounce upon a disjointed sen- 
tence, and how their eyes glistened and gleamed 
as they caught it, and silently said, " We have 
got something to talk about now." 

I have been interested in the reading of 
natural history, and (especially as it treats of 
the habits of some animals and what they feed 
upon. My knowledge of natural history has 
frequently helped me in the right understand- 
ing of human nature. I have been called vul- 
gar by barkeepers, obscene by women who 
loved the German in the ball-room, and a relig- 
ious jester by those whose only stock in trade 
was a solemn countenance and a diseased liver. 
When a child suiTers you can generally locate 
the pain, because the child puts its hand where 
it hurts. I have seen the hands fly to a thou- 
sand different places on the moral body, and I 

Autobiographical Sketch. 43 

knew where each man was hurt by where he 
put his hand. 

There is a great deal in taking aim, and 
yet, as Brother Richardson used to say, " there 
is nothing like holding the gun all over the 
tree." As with the old palsied father who went 
out with his son squirrel hunting, the old 
man's part was to shake the bush, and he had 
but to take hold of the bush and it would 
shake, without any effort. On one occasion 
when he was to shake the bush and turn the 
squirrel, after he had turned the squirrel for 
four or five different shots for his son, all of 
which failed of their mark, the old man said: 
"Give me the gun and you shake the bush." 
The boy gave up the gun and shook the bush 
and turned the squirrel. The old man held 
up the gun in his palsied hands, and as it 
"wobbled" all over the tree, "bang," went the 
gun and down came the game. At which the 
old man remarked, joyfully, " I told you I 'd 
git him." The boy replied, "Any body could 
kill a squirrel up a tree who would hold a gun 
all over it, as you did." 

Of course in all these years, as I have tried 
faithfully and persistently to preach the truth 
to others, I have never forgotten a single day 

44 Autobiographical Sketch. 

that I had a soul in my own body, to be saved 
or lost, and I have prayed earnestly for God's 
help so to live the truth I preach, that I 
shall never be among that number who shall 
say, " Lord ! Lord ! have I not prophesied in 
thy name, and done many wonderful works in 
thy name?" and then have him say to me, 
"Depart, ye accursed, I never knew you." 

I have been sorely tempted and fearfully 
tried; I have fought the battles of temptation 
and the devil, that left me covered with blood. 
God has put me in the fire at times until the 
sparks flew all around me, and I thought he 
would burn me up soul and body, but I found, 
as he took me back into his arms, that the 
flying sparks, which the fire caused to fly off 
me in its intense heat^ was but the burning off 
of a fungus growth. 

Frequently as the great congregations have 
waited on my ministry, I have been warned to 
keep humble — ^not to take the "big head," and 
so on. Thank God, I have never forgotten 
" the pit from which I was dug," and my only 
reply has been, " If you knew how many things 
I have to give me the Mittle head," you never 
would be uneasy about my taking the ' big 
head.' " They have talked about my heights, 

ArrroBiooBAPHiCAL Sketch. 45 

and of my falling from those heights. To the 
top of Calvary is not very high, and lying 
down at the foot of the cross is not a very 
dizzy altitude. The overwhelming responsibil- 
ity, that there are ten thousand immortal souls 
now listening to your words, to be faithful to 
those souls and to God precludes all possibility 
of being puffed up. • The checks and balances 
work in aU phases of life, and the responsibility 
is commensurate with the altitude; really 
" Love vaunteth not itself, and is not puffed 
up." Wherever love predominates, the man is 
safe — ^love to God and love to man. 

I am frequently asked the question, " How 
long have you been an evangelist?" I am not 
an evangelist, except in the sense that every 
Methodist preacher is an evangelist. There is 
no order of evangelists in the Methodist Church. 
I have been doing revival work, however, since 
the second or third year of my ministry — I 
mean outside of my own charge, as pastor. 

I was always in my younger ministerial 
life diffident and very much embarrassed when 
I tried to preach outside of my own pulpits, 
and not until the fifth or sixth year of my 
ministry could I preach in another's pulpit 
with any ease or liberty. 

46 Autobiographical Sketch. 

The first revival work I did that gave me 
any notoriety in my own State, was in 1879 
and 1880; then the calls to work in revival 
meetings multiplied upon me, and I soon found 
that I was giving half of my time to outside 
work. In the Fall of 1881, I was appointed 
Agent of Decatur Orphans' Home, the property 
of the North Georgia Coi\ference. I accepted 
this appointment, mainly because it gave me 
more tether line, and from then until now I 
have been almost constantly in revival work. 
Atlanta, Griffin, Macon, Columbus, and Savan- 
nah, Georgia, including many of the towns, 
which I will not mention, furnished a field for 
my work in 1881 and 1882. 

In the First Methodist Church, Atlanta, I 
have repeatedly worked in gracious meetings. 
That Church has many of the most consecrated 
men and women I have ever known. My first 
revival work there was when General Evans 
was pastor, and again, when Howell H. Parks 
was the pastor. 

Trinity Church, Atlanta, has been a field 
where I have also worked repeatedly during 
the pastorate of Dr. T. R. Kendall, a faithful 
man of God, who loves Christ with all his 
heart, and loves humanity with all his soul. 

Autobiographical Sketch. 47 

I have seen many conversions in these two old 
Methodist Churches in Atlanta. 

At St. Luke's, in Columbus, Georgia, when 
Rev. J. 0. Cook was pastor, we had a glorious 
meeting. For three weeks great crowds gath- 
ered at this church, and many were brought to 
Christ. At old St. John's Church, Augusta, 
Georgia, during the pastorate of W. H. La 
Prade and Warren A.' Candler, the Lord was 
gracious to us. In Trinity and Monumental 
Methodist Churches of Savannah, Georgia, God 
blessed me in my work. In Mulberry Church, 
Macon, Georgia, Dr. Key, pastor, we had a 
gracious revival; and so in a score or more 
of leading Methodist Churches in Georgia I 
have worlyd, under the blessings of God, and 
many of the dear brethren of those Churches 
have borne me on their faith to the throne of 
God, and in answer to their prayers for me in 
my work God has greatly blessed me since. 

The first revival I ever held which gave me 
newspaper notoriety, was in Memphis, Ten- 
nessee, in January, 1883; since then I have 
worked in more than twenty diiferent States 
with marked success, including the cities of 
Brooklyn, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Chicago, Balti- 
more, Washington, D. C, Indianapolis, St. 

^ I 

48 Atjtobioqraphical Sketci^, 

Joseph, Mo.; Waco, Texas ; Mobile ; Nashville, 
and Knoxville, Tenn., and in other cities, and 
in no place where I have ever preached has 
the building or tent been sufficient to hold the 
multitude who attempted to get in. I have 
repeatedly preached to ten thousand people at 
one time who sat under the sound of my voice. 
At Plattsburg, Mo., there were at least twenty 
thousand who were trying to hear. 

Parties who were capable of estimating the 
numbers, said that in Cincinnati there were 
not less than three hundred thousand people 
who sat or stood under the sound* of my voice 
in the five weeks of our meeting there. In 
Chicago there were, j)erhaps, an equal number. 

I regard the meeting at Nashville, Tenn., 
as one of the most remarkable in my life as a 
preacher. Some of the papers, and many of 
the people of that city, had persecuted and 
denounced me with a persistency such as I 
had never seen, and wherever I have been 
most persecuted and denounced, I have been 
most successful in winning souls to Christ. 
In looking over the past twenty-four months 
of my ministry, I dare believe that in these 
months not less than twenty thousand souls 
have been brought to Christ. The converts 



Autobiographical Sketch. 49 

were not only among those who heard the 
Gospel from my lips. Even the newspapers, 
that denounced me editorially, printed my ser- 
mons in full in their columns. 

Take the work in Chicago, for instance. 
In the Inter-Ocean and Tribune, the Cincinnati 
Commercial-Gazette and Enquirer^ and the St. 
Louis Globe-Democrat, all of them with an ag- 
gregated circulation of three hundred thousand, 
and with the reasonable circulation of five 
readers to a copy circulated, I enjoyed the 
privilege of preaching to a million and a half 
of persons a day — a wonderful congregation 
for one preacher, and a privilege, I dare say, 
that no other man in the history of the Church 
has ever enjoyed. Think of it, nine thousand 
words each night, as they flashed out on 
eighteen different telegraph wires to the cities 
of St. Louis and Cincinnati, while they were 
being set in type by the papers of Chicago ! 
Thus at the breakfast table ,the next morning, 
in these three cities, I was greeted by three 
hundred thousand readers, and before the sun 
went down that day a million and a half more 
had read the words. From the statement of 
newspaper men, I suppose that is a reasonable 
estimate. The secular papers are so much 

5 — B 

50 Autobiographical Sketch. 

more alive and aggressive than the religious 
papers, that when they fall into line with a 
good work they are a power we scarcely know 
how to estimate. 

To the newspapers I owe much. They 
have been kind to me in their reportorial 
columns, and I can cheerfully overlook any 
criticisms in the editorial columns. After all, 
criticisms of a man and his work only go with 
him up to the edge of the tomb. Every man 
will have his hands full '^ toting his own skillet" 
beyond that point ; but, I suppose, the strong- 
est temptation of a man's life, a temptation 
like that which a boy feels when he stands 
with rock in hand and sees the dog as he jumps 
the fence — I repeat it, the strongest temptation 
of my life, and to it I have frequently yielded, 
is to hit back and criticise some of the "critics, 
and especially as some of them "set so fair," 
that to keep from " hitting back " requires an 
immense effort, yet I am sure it is best not to 
do so. If it is the truth they tell, we should 
amend. If it is a lie, we should let the lie 
run on and run out of breath and die. After 
all there has been more good said of me than 
evil, and as long as that is true the balance 
sheet shows something in my favor. 

Autobiographical Sketch. 51 

My correspondence for the past several 
years has furnished me data, out of which I 
have gotten a great deal — ^letters from those 
who have been brought to Christ through my 
ministry, telling of their happy experiences, 
and their consecrated purposes. These letters 
have been a source of great thanksgiving and 
joy to my heart. A wife thus writes : " Our 
home has been an Eden since you were here." 
Children would write, "What a change there 
has been in papa!" Letters like these have 
a thousand times gathered me up and carried 
me back, in memory, to the home of my dis- 
sipated days, cheerless, starless, rayless — the 
sad face of wife, disappointed ambition, and a 
hopeless future — and then how Christ trans- 
formed my life, thereby transforming my home ; 
and, ! what a change was there ; and as 
memory looks upon the picture, how dark, and 
then how bright. What a privilege to 

*^ Tell to sinners around, 
What a dear Savior I have found." 

What a field of this description is open for 
the work of an earnest preacher; how many 
thousands of ruined homes, made desolate by 
the presence of sin and the absence of Christ, 

62 Autobiographical Sketch. 

and how blessed to know that when the strong 
man is come, he binds the wicked one and casts 
him out forever. How many broken hearts 
and disappointed lives and wretched homes, 
and worse than widowed wives and orphaned 
children are calling to-day for Him, of whom 
Moses, in the law and the prophets, did write. 
Not only is he in himself the ^^ chiefest among 
ten thousand and the one altogether lovely," 
but he is the comfort of ruined hearts, and 
can make a home like himself, ^^ altogether 

Blessed fact, he is seeking open doors. 0, 
that the world might open the door to him 
and bid the heavenly guest come in; and how 
sweet the reflection, Jesus himself said to all 
true disciples, " Behold, I am with you alway, 
even unto the end of the world." By virtue 
of that fact, in going upon errands of mercy, 
Christ goes upon those errands with you, and 
he goes to cheer, to comfort, to bless, so full 
of sympathy and love and tenderness is he. 
He it was who told us when he found the 
lost and hungry sheep, tired and ready to die, 
how there was no room for clubs and kicks, 
but he gathered the tired and hungry sheep 
upon his own shoulders and brought him back 

Autobiographical Sketch. 53 

to the fold. The gladness of his presence 
cheers myriads of hearts and millions of 

'^ Jesus, the name that charms our fears, 
That bids our sorrows cease, 
'Tis music to the sinner's ears, 
'Tis life, and health, and* peace. 

Dear name, the rock on which I build 

My shield and hiding-place. 
My never-failing treasure, filled 

With boundless stores of grace." 

There is music in his name, a charm in his 
presence, and life in his touch. And amid the 
throes and agonies of a world steeped in guilt, 
but for the cross of Christ the great heart of 
the world would break. My most lonely hours 
are when he is absent, and my happiest days 
are spent in company with him. 

"Happy, if with my latest breath, 
I may but gasp His name ; 
Preach him to all, and cry in death, 
Behold, behold the Lambf 

The object of all my preaching, of its 
harshness and denunciation of sin, and its ex- 
posure of sham, has been simply to make men 
fully realize the truth that ^*all the fitness 
Christ requireth is" that we feel our need of 
him ; or, in other words, it has been the object of 

64 Autobiographical Sketch. 

my life, as a preacher, to make sin hideous and 
righteousness attractive, and I have but shown 
sin up in all its deformity, that I might better 
show righteousness up in all its beauty, and 
drive men from the former, and attract them 
unto the heights and beauties of the latter. 


Sermlon I. 



" Rejoice evermore ; pray without ceasing ; in every thing 
give thanks. For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus con- 
cerning you." — 1 Thess. v. 16-18. 

A MAN who understands practically what those 
three verses teach is not only a Christian, but 
a philosopher. There 's a great deal of philosophy 
in Christianity, and the best philosophers make the 
best Christians. This term " rejoice " is a very dif- 
ferent word from " happy," or " happiness." Our 
word " happy " conies from the same word that 
" happening " comes from, and my happiness de- 
pends largely on my happenings ; but joy is very 
different in its meaning, and different in it>s effects 
on the human heart. Joy, when we analyze it, is 
a sort of trinity in unity : 1. I am satisfied with 
the past. 2. I am contented with the present. 3. 
I am hopeful for the future. If you will combine 
these three elements in a human life, I will show 
you a man who rejoices evermore. 

" I am satisfied, first, with the past." How many 


56 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

persons can look back over the past and say ; " I 
have done my best since tlie day I.started in on a 
religious life?'' Let me say right here, brethren, 
that heaven is just the other side of where a man 
has done his best ; and sanctification, when you 
bring it down to where you can get hold of it, is 
nothing more nor less than doing the best you can 
under the circumstances.* That 's practical sanctifi- 
cation, and, really, I do n't care much about any 
other sort. I want a practical religion. 

"I am satisfied with the past." That's the 
grandest thing a man ever said — '^ I have done my 
best." I was talking some time ago with a grand 
old man in our State — one of the noblest men I 
ever knew — and he said, "Jones, I don't know 
what people talk so much about a second blessing 
for. I got all that was necessary in the first place." 
" Well," said I, " what do you mean ?" The old 
man replied, " Jones, when I got religion I told the 
truth, and I have stuck to it ever since. When I 
told God I was going to quit my meanness, I quit 
it ; I meant what I said." I asked him, " Do you 
mean to say you never repeated a sin you repented 
of?" and he said to me, " Certainly not, sir; never." 
Right here, brethren, I bring in this {K)int: I have 
said that if we would only quit our lying we would 
get nine-tenths of our difficulties out of the road. 
Mr. Finney relates an incident that occurred at one 
of his revival services. One of the elders in the 
Presbyterian Church received an overwhelming 

* Mr. Jones would insist that divine grace is a dream* 
stance not to be left out 

*'QuiT Your Meanness/' 57 

baptism of the Holy Spirit, and that day there 
came in from an adjoining town an elder from 
another Church. At the dinner-table this elder 
discovered the traces and movements of divine 
power in the very face of his host. Finney says he 
himself was sitting at the table. This visiting elder 
looked at his host and said : '^ Tell me how you 
have received such heavenly baptism? How did 
you get it ?'' The host looked at him and answered : 
** I fell down on my knees and said to God, ^ I have 
told my last lie. I will never tell thee another while 
I live;'' and the Holy Ghost descended on me, and 
I have been so gloriously filled ^ince that time I 
scarcely know whether I am in the body or out." 
This elder to whom the host was speaking then 
jumped up from the table, and ran into a sitting- 
room near by, and fell down on his knees and 
prayed : " My God, I have told my last lie. I will 
never tell another on my knees or off my knees in 
my life," and when they arose and walked from the 
dinner-table the holy blessing fairly beamed. He had 
received the baptism, and went on his way rejoicing. 
Brethren, that 's our trouble. We have been 
promising God all our life that we would quit our 
meanness and get to doing right, but we never have 
done it. If I were to stop at this point and ask 
every Christian in the house who never told God a lie 
to stand up, how many do you suppose could stand 
up and say: " I told God the truth at the beginning, 
and have stuck to it to this hour. I said I would 
quit my meanness, and I did it. I said I would 
do right, and I have done it." 

oS Sam Jones' Own Book. 

I want to tell you that every mau's condemnation 
is bottomed on this one word^ neglect. Take the 
best citizen in this town^and let him be everything 
else you want him to be, and yet let him neglect to 
pay his debts^ and there isn't a tramp on your 
streets who would have any respect for him. Isn't 
that a fact? My duty is my debt to God, and if I 
neglect to pay my debts to God, there is n't an 
angel in heaven who would respect me, even if I 
had sneaked in there unnoticed. 

Duty ! " I am satisfied with the past, with my- 
self as a father. I have set a good example, and 
have led a Christian life before my children." " I 
am satisfied with mvself as a mother: I have 
done my duty to my children." " I am satisfied 
with myself as a member of the Church. I have 
kept my vows to it." Brethren, here 's a source 
of joy — "I have done my best from the time 
I started until this hour." Can you say that? 
Brethren, did you ever, when your innocent chil- 
dren played about in your lap, say : " I am the 
purest father God ever blessed with children?^' 
Did you ever say that ? Mother, have you looked 
at your innocent children, as they threw their soft, 
white arms around your neck, and said : " I am the 
purest mother God ever blessed with children ?" 
What is your home life ? "lam satisfied. I have 
done my duty." Sister, you may be satisfied with 
some things in your home to-night, but you'll be 
be very much dissatisfied later along. You card- 
playing fathers and mothers ! Playing cards with 
your children ! You may think that 's very nice 

"Quit Your Meanness." 59 

now, but when you turn out on tlie streets of this 
city three more gamblers from your so-called Chris- 
tian home, you are going to get very much dissatisfied 
with the way you have made things at your house. 

I think statistics will bear me out when I as- 
sert that nine out of every ten gamblers in this 
country were raised in Christian — so-called Chris- 
tian — homes. They are refined, educated, and well 
raised men — many of them — and they come from 
the homes where mother and father have dedicated 
them to God, and, it may be, had them baptized in 
the name of the Trinity. 

I want to say another thing. People say, " Jones, 
you hit a little thing as hard as you hit a big 
thing." Yes, I do, brethren. The Church is par- 
alyzed in this country. It has n't the power, and 
we may just as well acknowledge it. Hear me ! 
It is not lying that is hurting the Church, nor 
stealing, nor drink. It is not this kind of meanness 
that is hurting the Church. Every body knows 
that Church members who do these things are vag- 
abonds, and pays no attention to them. Hear me. 
If you want to know what is demoralizing the Church, 
and paralyzing the Church, I Ml tell you. It is this 
tide of worldliness that is sweeping over the Chris- 
tian homes of this country. That 's it ! O, my 
sister, the day you entered society you laid down 
your piety, and you know it as well as I do, and 
you have learned that when a woman gives up her 
consecrated life to enter society, she begins a life 
of misery that hardly a damned spirit can exceed 
in bitterness. 

60 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

Now, when you can say, " I am satisfied with the 
past, with the way I have lived before my family, 
my Church, my community, satisfied with my ex- 
ample in all respects,'' you are laying the foundation 
for Scriptural joy. 

Then the next point is, '^I am contented with 
the present." When a man looks back with 
the consciousness that he has done his best, and 
is contented with the present, he is rich, and 
rich enough. St. Paul said : ^' I have learned, 
in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content." 
He said another tiling on that line : " Godliness 
with contentment is a great gain." Brother, con- 
tentment is one of the elements of real Scriptural 
joy in this life. When a man builds on God's pat- 
tern, and is contented with his lot, and is hopeful 
for the future, that man is happy anywhere and 

Hear me, brethren. Hope, as it shines out 

of a consecrated past and t contented present, is 

like the mile-posts on the way to God, telling us^ 

how far we have come, and how much further we 

have to go. Thank God for hope in the Christian 

life, and we sing: 

" O, what a blessed hope is ours 
While here on earth we stay I" 

Satisfied with the past, contented with the pres- 
ent, hopeful for the future — a joyous Christian — 
you will find the secret right along in there. 

Now, brethren, what are you going to do? 
Thank God, you can do something ; thank God, 
there is only one thing necessary to be done. 

"Quit Youb Meanness." 61 

Quit your meanness. Go to God in honest peni- 
tence and tell him : " My Lord, this night I burn 
up the cards ; this night I turn out the wines and 
entertainments ; this night I draw the line, and I 
come over to God's side. Good Lord, forgive me 
for the way I have lived as a professor of religion." 
Then comes in the pardon. 

O, mothers, fathers, let 's call a halt ; let us bring 
these matters to an understanding at our homes, 
and say, " We are done." Let us call a halt, and, 
on our knees before God, repent of these things. 

I want to live before God and my family, so that 
when I come to die I can say to my children, " Go 
and live just as your father has lived, and do just 
as he has done, and as certain as Christ died for 
sinners, some of these days we will all meet in 

Satisfied with the past, content with the present, 
and hopeful for the future ! This gives me the at- 
titude and the altitudi where I can rejoice ever- 

Then we take the next verse, " Pray without 
ceasing." You say, " I can see how a fellow can 
act when he can rejoice evermore, but to talk about 
praying without ceasing — ^that is all foolishness. A 
man has got to work ; he has got to do other things. 
A man can 't pray all the time. That won't do at 
all." I heard of a fellow once who had so miich 
work to do on a certain day that he had to lay all 
down and stop and pray three hours in order to get 
through with it. Well, you say, " That is the big- 
gest foolishness I ever heard of in my life." Do 

62 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

you see that engine stopping yonder? The sched- 
ule of that passenger train is forty-five miles an 
hour^ and that train has stopped still. I look at it 
and I say : ^* What does this all mean ? The en- 
gineer has stopped, and he is on schedule time. 
Why does n't he go on ? What has he stopped for? 
He has stopped one minute, two minutes, three min- 
utes, five minutes. O, why does n't he go on ?" I 
look a little closer, and I see he is taking on coal 
and letting water into the tender. He has spent 
six minutes at the station, and has secured a supply 
of coal and water, and now he says to himself: " I 
have lost six minutes, but I have got steam power 
enough to carry me along sixty miles an hour if I 
want to go that fast ; but if I had run by that coal 
station I would have got stalled on the first grade. 
But now I have power enough to carry me through/' 
I will tell you, brethren, when you run up to God 
Almighty's coal and water station, you must take 
on enough for your needs. That is it. That is the 
way to get steam to make the trip. That is the 
meaning of prayer. 

I will say a thing now, and T would say it loud 
enough for all the earth to hear me. We have got 
men that won't pray in public and won't pray in their 
families. Do you want to know why that is? It 
is because they do n't pray anywhere. Hear me. 
I want to be understood now, if you do n't under- 
stand any thing else to-night. The man who really 
prays anywhere, will pray everywhere. The man 
who maintains secret prayer will pray everywhere 
in God's world that yon call on him. You say the 

"Quit Your Meanness." 63 

reason you do nH pray in your family is just because 
you are timid. That is a lie. It is because you 
are mean^ and you Icnow it. Talk about a great 
big fellow, with whiskers six inches long, who will 
go down town on 'Change and talk bigger than any 
man in the pit, and he won't go home and pray 
with his children. " You know I would do it/' he 
says, " if I were not so timid." Look here. If a 
man doesn't pray in his family there is but one 
reason for it, and that is because he does n't live 
right before his family. I know what I am talking 
about. I recollect once since I was converted I got 
up one morning out of humor, and I said some 
things I had no business to say. I had the dys- 
pepsia they said. It was * meanness. Every time 
a fellow gets his meanness off, it is dyspepsia. Do 
you hear that, wife ? As I said, I was talking right 
smart around that morning, and directly, just before 
the breakfast bell rang, wife got down the Bible. I 
looked at it, and I would have given fifty dollars 
that morning if I had had some preaclier there to 
have prayer in the family for me. O, how I hated 
to get down after talking that way. Brother, when 
you get to living right before your family, it is just 
as easy to pray before them as it is to sit down and 
eat before them. If I did n't have sense enough to 
pray in my family, I '11 tell you what I would do. 
I would go and hire- me an old colored man that 
wife and children had confidence in, and I would 
pay him by the month to come and hold family 
prayer for me. I would. 

Talk about a man being religious who does not 

64 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

pray in his family ! Ridiculous! I found out long 
ago that religion is a good thing to have, and a 
father who becomes religious wants his wife and 
children to have all the good things in the world ; 
and the next thing you hear from him he will be 
leading in prayer and demonstrating his religion in 
his family, and they will fall into line with him. 
Brother, if you don't pray in your family, go home 
and begin to-night. Do you hear that? Begin to- 

" Pray without ceasing.'' How many people in 
this house hold family prayer and go to the theater? 
How many people in this house that pray in their 
families, play cards in their families? How many 
people in this house who give wine suppers pray at 
night and morning.with the children? Ah, brother, 
those things won't mix, and you need n't tell me 
they will. They won't. Pray in your families. I 
like family prayer, and I can't get along without it 
at my house. 

I want to get God's old family prayer elevator 
down into my house every night, and let wife and 
children get into it and all go to heaven for a few 
minutes, and then come back and go to bed. And 
then in the morning before the breakfast bell rings, 
down comes God's old family prayer elevator, and 
we will all get into it for a few minutes and go to 
heaven, and come back and get our breakfast and 
go to work. If I can just get wife and children to 
heaven that way a few years, they will be such 
children that when they come to die, they will go 
to heaven as naturally as they breathe. The Lord 

, ''Quit Youb Meanness." 65 

save my home. If there is one thought that my 
mind dwells upon in restful, peaceful moments^ it is 
when I am looking ahead to that happy time when 
I shall dwell with my wife and loved ones in 
heaven. Mother, children, all of us at home in 
heaven forever! Then will I have received pay for 
every lick I have ever struck for God and right 
on this side of the grave. God bless and save you^ 


I USED to think when a man mistreated me, 
Why does n't the Lord let me jump on him and beat 
him ? The reason is the Lord does n't want to pro- 
tect that rascal; he wants to protect me. 

You will hear people say : " Let us Christianize 
America, and then let us go across the waters. I do n't 
believe in sending the Gospel to China while we 
have so many heathen at home." . But the Chris- 
tianity of Jesus Christ makes the heathen Chinese 
my next door neighbor. A Christianity that sweeps 
around the world — that is the sort of Christianity 
we want; a Christianity that locks its arms around 
the world. 

Infidelity. — The infidelity that is hurting the 
Church in this nineteenth century is not theoretical 
infidelity ; the infidelity that is demoralizing the 
Church and the world is practical infidelity : the 
fellow that believes the Bible and won't do one 
thing. Now you have got a fool and a rascal 

66 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

mixed in one compound. It is the most awful com- 
pound that Christ ever tackled. He believes in 
prayer-meetings, but he has not been to one this 
year; he believes in the missionary cause, but he 
gets out with the least he can give. He be- 
lieves in family prayer, but you can't prove it by 
his wife and children. He goes on the principle 
that he that believeth not shall be damned, and he 
believes in every thing. 

The German and the Ball. — If there is a 
thing in this world that I have a contempt for and 
can 't express it, it is the german. I suppose some 
of you people through the country do n't have ger- 
mans. It is about all this city can do to rig out 
enough spiderlegs for a german. To see any aver- 
age little town try to put on airs! If I were you, 
sister, I would call it a ball; and a ball-room is so 
indecent that I would not let my cook go into one 
of them. This is enough to hurt your feelings, 
isn't it? Your feelings! The less sense a girl has 
the more feeling she has. The checks and balances 
must operate. What you lack in sense you make 
up in feeling. I wish some of you ball-room girls 
could hear the boys talk after the thing is over. 
Did you ever hear of a ball in the day-time? Did 
you ever hear of a lot of men getting together and 
having a man's german? There isn't a boy in this 
town who would cross the street to hug another 
boy. As sure as you are born, these things are 
based upon the consciousness of sex. 

Sermon II. 


** Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of 
the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth 
in the seat of the scornful ; but his delight is in the law of 
the Lord, and in his law doth he meditate day and night." — 
PsA. 1 : 1, 2. 

THE Psalnis are an interesting study for any 
man. I like to read Dickens and Thackeray 
and Bulwer and Shakspeare, because they evince 
such a deep insight into human nature. A man 
may study the pages of such books as these to 
advantage^ but there is more for me in these 
one hundred and fifty psalms than in the writings 
of all these masters. The authors I have named 
give me human nature as we might see it if we 
were standing on the streets or in your stores. 
But David gives us human nature as it is acted 
upon or influeuced by the Divine Spirit. I never have 
much to say against human nature. I have very 
little abuse for a man in his normal state. 

It is perverted human nature 1 fight. It is the 
perversion of hand and foot and tongue and mind 
that I am ready always and forever to denounce. 
David gives me human nature as it is acted upon 
and influenced in the best way. I love to read 
David, because, in the first place, David knew what 
he was talking about. I love to hear a man talk 
who seems to know what he is talking about. I Vc 


68 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

heard men trying to explain a great nrany things 
they did n't understand. I love to read David, be- 
cause he experienced what he was talking about. 
No man before him knew more of God and more of 
humanity than David, and the best preacher that 
ever planted his foot in this city is the preacher 
who knows the most about God and the most about 
humanity. He stands between the two, and hence 
he ought to know God, and lay his hands on the 
shoulder of his living Father in heaven, and then 
put the other arm around the race, and try to lift 
humanity up to God. This David could do. 

Now this man who had studied life in all its 
phases, a man who seemed to understand God as no 
man before him and very few after him, a man who 
seemed to understand himself and understand human 
nature — gives us the conclusion he had reached in 
these words, " Blessed is the man thatwalketh not in 
the counsel of the ungodly," as much as if to say, " If 
you want to be a happy man " — and all men want to 
be happy — " if you really are in search of happiness, 
listen to this prescription: 'Blessed and happy you 
will be, if you walk not in the counsel of the un- 
godly.'" An ungodly man may be a very moral 
man; an ungodly man need not swear, nor drink, nor 
violate the Sabbath, nor commit any of the flagrant 
sins which men are so often guilty of. An ungodly 
man means simply an nngodlike man. Ungodliness 
and ungodlikeness are synonymous — they mean the 
same thing. What does ungodly mean ? It signifies 
not acquainted with God, and God's ways. Every 
man who knows God loves God, and every man 

The Blessedness of Religion. 69 

who does not know God, doesn't love him. It is 
just as natural for a soul that knows God to love 
God, as it is for a mother to love her babe, or as it 
is for a father to love his son. An ungodly man is 
a man who cares nothing about God. I '11 tell you 
the distinguishing characteristic of that sort of men. 
They love to talk. They scoff at the idea that any 
body ever died for them, but they are all right, 
and they can give more advice, and practice less 
of it. than any tribe in creation. 

The way to tell an ungodly man is that he is 
always talking about what harm is there in this, 
that, or the other thing, and the way to tell a 
godly man is, he is always hunting around for some- 
thing with good in it, and not going about trying 
to find something that people can see no harm in, 
as they say. If there is no harm in cards, why 1 
have n't the time to play cards, and I 'm sorry for the 
man and woman that have time to dance. I tell you, 
brethren, when I look around me and see a sink- 
ing world and humanity drifting off from God, and 
so many sick-beds to visit, and see so many that 
are poor and need sympathy and help, I have no 
time to spare for these things ; and you would n't 
have either if you were of any account. You can 
put that down ! 

"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the 
counsel of the ungodly." In other words, if you 
want to be happy in this life do n't take counsel or 
advice from ungodly men. Do n't do that ! When 
you are lost as to any moral problem go to the best 
man or the best woman you know in the world for 

70 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

good advice, for they 're the only ones capable of 
advising you. I want a man first to practice what 
he preaches, and show me it is good to do it, and 
then tell me how he did it, and then I want to do 
just like him. An ungodly man ! As I said be- 
fore, you can hardly pick a flaw in him ; he never 
goes far enough to be dubbed immoral. What's 
the difference between an immoral sinner and a 
moral sinner? Why, it's just the difference be- 
tween the typhoid fever and the small-pox. That's 
the only difference at all. One 's internal and the 
other is external, but both will kill nine times in 
ten. An ungodly man *' can't see any harm in 
any thing." He is like an old Irishman down in 
our town, who was a devout member of his Church, 
He was tery profane, and a man said to him one 
day, " Jack, how can you be called a devout mem- 
ber of your Church and swear and curse as. you 
do?" And Jack replied, "Faith, sir, and there's 
no harm in cursing unless you make harm out of 
it." Do you get the idea, brethren ? I am not 
hunting those things that have no harm in them, 
but I 'm hunting the things that have good in 
them, and so are all good men under all circum- 
stances. They ain't inquiring whether there is much 
or little harm in this, that, and the other thing. If 
you want to be happy, brethren, do n't take the ad- 
vice or counsel of the ungodly, or of those men 
who run on that line of things. They '11 get you 
into trouble sooner or later, sure. 

Take the question of theater-going, and nine- 
tenths of these ungodly people in the Church and 

The Blessedness of Religion. 71 

out you^l find go to the theaters. Let^s raise 
that question a little while here. A preacher in 
St. Louis told me that during his pastorate in Chi- 
cago there was a young lady, teacher in one of the 
schools, who came to him during a revival. Her 
conscience was stirred, and she walked up to him 
and said, " I want to be a Christian. I want to 
join your Church, but you object to theater-going, 
and I can't see any harm in that at all.'' The 
pastor said to her, "Sister, give your heart to 
God, join the Church, and go to the theater as 
much as you please." She joined the Church, and 
after that went to the theater. Next Summer the 
revival started again, and the young lady came 
into the church, and took a class in the Sunday- 
school, and tried to live right. One day during the 
revival one of the young lady's pupils, who had 
become penitent, came to her and said, " Miss So- 
and-so, do you go to the thenter?" And she an- 
swered, " Yes ; I go occasionally." The pupil then 
asked, " Do you think it is right as a Christian to 
go to the theater?" "Well," said the teacher, "I 
do n't know." And the pupil asked again, " Miss 
So-and-So, if you can go as a Christian, can I go as 
a penitent ?" And the young lady told her pastor, 
'*I looked that sweet girl in the face, and said, 
'Darling, I'll never put my foot inside another 
theater, God helping me, as long as I live.' My lib- 
erty as a Christian was costing that girl her soul, 
and I said to myself, ' My liberty shall never do 
that,' and I gave up the thing that was leading a 
soul oflF from God." 

72 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

That's the way a Christian will settle that ques- 
tion every time. My liberty and license in these 
things shall never cost a human being his soul. 
Lord cure us of this abominable way of asking, 
"What harm is there in this?" But nobody has 
ever asked me, " Is there any harm in family prayer?" 
They never asked me if I thought there was any 
harm in reading the Bible ! Do you want to know 
why? Because they knew there was no harm in 
it ! Why did they ask me the other question ? Be- 
cause they knew there was harm in it, and that 
settles the whole question. 

"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the 
counsel of the ungodly." When a man gets to 
listening to bad advice the next thing he's going 
to du is to stand in the way of sinners. That 
means, keeping the company of sinners; and a man 
is n't going to listen to bad advice long before he '11 
be with sinners. I do n't care whose boy, or wife, 
or child you are, you can not stand the pressure of 
bad company. 

We need to inform ourselves in this question of 
company. There is n't an angel in heaven that can 
keep the company some of you do and be pure. 
Above every thing in the universe, a man ought 
to be choice about his company and about his books. 
If you will show me the company you keep, I will 
write your biography ten years ahead of your death, 
and I will not miss the mark one time ' in ten. 
" Birds of a feather flock together." 

I will tBll you another thing. There is but one 
safe rule in this line. Do n't you ever go with any 

The Blessedness of Religion. 73 

body that will say things you won't^ that will do 
things you won't do. You won't run with them 
long until you will be doing those things and say- 
ing those things yourself. Always hunt better 
company than you are, for when some of us get up 
to ourselves we are with the biggest rascal in town 
right then. And that gets things in a bad shape, 
doesn't it? 1 am sorry for a fellow when, every 
time he goes off by himself, he is in the worst 
company he was ever in in his life. I will illus- 
trate that for you. There was a very stingy man I 
once heard of down in our country. His wife was 
a Methodist, and he would go with his wife to 
Church, but he never would pay a dime toward the 
support of the Church. One summer he professed 
religion and joined the Church himself. Well, 
shortly after he joined the Church the stewards 
went over to his house and spoke to him kindly 
and told him: "Our preacher is now in need of 
provisions, and I came over to see if I could get 
some meat from you for him." He had a smoke- 
house full, and he thought a minute: "Why," 
said he, " certainly, I will give the preacher some 
meat." He went out to his smoke-house while the 
steward sat at the window. He walked up to the 
smoke-house, unlocked the door, took down a big, 
fine ham, brought it about half-way to the house, 
stopped and laid it down. He looked at it a while, 
and turned around and walked back to the smoke- 
house, got another and came and laid it down also. 
Then he stood and looked at it a minute, turned 
back to the smoke-house and brought another. The 

74 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

steward was watching him^ and he looked down at 
the three hams. He heard him say : " If you do n't 
shut your mouthy you old stingy devil, I will go 
and give him all the meat there is in the smoke- 
house." The devil was in him, and told Tiim every 
time: "Are you going to give away that ham?" 
And the devil kept af^er him, and he tried to hush 
his mouth by putting down one ham at a time, but 
finally he silenced him when he said : " If you do n't 
hush your mouth I will give him every ham in the 
smoke-house." And then the devil hushed. So a 
man can be in bad company when he is by himself. 
"Bad company will ruin you." 

Above all things we ought to be careful about 
the associations of our children. If that neighbor 
of yours is worth fifty, or seventy-five, or a hun- 
dred thousand dollars, he may have the worst 
children in the town, and yet you will let those 
children of his come over there and ruin yours be- 
cause he has got a little money. Did you ever 
notice that streak of human nature? If that neigh- 
bor's son of yours drives a ^ne horse and buggy in 
the streets of this city and belongs to one of the 
fashionable clubs, that is all I want to know about 
him or any other man. It is only a question of 
time when he will be drowned in debauchery and 
ruin if he is a member of a city club. I don't 
care if you are as pious as Job, if you will join one 
of those clubs and begin to run with them I would 
swap your chances of heaven for those of Judas 

I am determined to be understood, you see, and 

The Blessedness op Religion. . 75 

you all can disagree with me if you want to; but 
you shan 't run away from here and say : " I 
declare, I did n't understand that fellow." You 
shan't say that. I want to make you see what I 
am talking about. 

"Nor standeth in the way of sinners." O, 
mothers^ look to the company of your children. 
Fathers, look to the company of your sons. And 
I say to you to-night, whenever it becomes a 
known fact that my daughters keep company with 
dissipated young men and my sons have gone out 
into bad company, I shall lose all hope for the 
future of my children. O, stand by your children 
and protect them. 

Boys, listen to me. You never can get higher 
than the company you keep. If you would be 
noble and true, seek the best atmosphere of earth, 
and live in it forever. Stand not in the way of 

In this verse, David adds, " Nor 'sitteth in the 
seat of the scornful." Now, brethren, we notice 
first he is walking along, in the counsel of the un- 
godly. Well, when a man is walking in this way 
he can turn to the right or turn to the left by the 
movements of one set of muscles ; but you let him 
stand right still and he has got to move every muscle 
in his body to get off; and then let him sit down, 
and nine times in ten he is there to stay. While 
walking along in your youthful days, God's minister 
used to Qome and impress you and move you and 
turn you, but by and by you got to standing, and 
then the thunders of worlds could not shake you or 

76 Sam Jones' Own Book. 


turn you. Some of you have reached the last stage, 
the ante-room to hell^ and that is sitting in the seat 
of the scornful. God pity a poor wretch that has 
gone through bad counsel into bad company until 
finally he is sitting down in the seat of the scornful, 
where he can laugh at the preacher and make fun of 
Grod and scorn the Bible. 

^^Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.'^ A 
man never gets over t lie fact that he has taken such 
an attitude toward God. '^ But his delight is in the 
law of the Lord.'' I tell you, brother, when you 
get to where you will like this Book, and read this 
Book, you are laying a foundation then. Young 
boys, take this Book ; let your delight be in the 
counsel, in the law of the Lord. I never think of 
what this Bible is to a man but I think of a little 
boy. He was the good boy in the town, and all the 
boys recognized him as a good, upright boy. And 
they laid their traps to get him drunk. They sent 
one of the shrewdest of the bad boys to him, and 
be met him on the street, and he said, '^ Johnny, 
come into the grocery and let us have a mint julep." 
Johnny says, "O, no, I can 't go in there." " Well, 
why ?" " Well, my Book says, * Look not upon the 
wine when it is red,' much less drink it." *' O," 
he says, " I know the Book says that, but come in 
and take one drink." *'Well," he says, "I can't 
do it." " Well, why ?" " Because my Book says, 
^ At the last it biteth like a serpent and stingeth like 
an adder.' " " O," he says, " I know the Bible says 
that, but come in and take one drink." '* No," he 
says, '^ my Bible says, ^ When sinners entice thee^ 

The Blessedness of Eeligion. 77 

coDseut thou not/ ^' And the bad boy turned oflF 
and left him^ and went over to his companions^ and 
they said, " Did you see him V^ " Yes/' " Did you 
get him to drink?" "No, I could nH get him in 
the grocery." " Well, why ?" He said, " That boy 
was just as chuck full of Bible as he could be, and 
I could n't do a thing with him." Ah, brother, 
" his delight is in the law of the Lord." 

No^7, let me give you the germ of happiness that 
may spring up and be a tree under which you can 
sit in its shade and eat its fruits. Listen : these 
texts, these two verses, furnish the secret of a happy 
life. I beg you, do n't walk in the counsel of the 
ungodly ! Do n't stand in the way of sinners ! 
Do n't sit in the seat of the scornful, but take the 
Book of God, make it your counsel, give yourself 
to the right^ and live and die for God. 


The roar of commerce, the click of the telegraph, 
and the whistle of the engine have well-nigh drowned 
out the voice of God. 

We little preachers think that we are doing first- 
rate if we take a text and announce about three 
propositions, and discuss them for an hour. But do 
you know that Christ, in his sermon on the mount, 
announced and discussed one hundred and twenty 
different propositions in the compass of half an 

78. Sam Jones^ Own Book. 

A MAN who believes only in what he can see, 
doesn't believe he has got a backbone. I am not 
running on understanding. I could not get to my 
front gate on understanding, but I could get from 
earth to heaven on believing. 

Going to Church is like going shopping : you 
generally get what you go for — no more and no less. 
A woman will go into a store with a hundred thou- 
sand dollars' worth of goods all around her, buy a 
paper of pins, and walk out ; that is all she came 
for. I have seen the store-house of God^s grace 
packed from cellar to ceiling, and I have seen men 
go in and gather up an expression of the preacher 
and go home. 

If any man does n't love God, it is because he 
doesn't know him. To know him is to love him, 
and to love him is to serve him. And if any man 
on the face of the earth does not love God, it is be- 
cause he has not seen him in all his characteristics. 
If any man does not love God at all, it is because 
he has not seen him at all. " Blessed are the pure 
in heart, for they shall see God." I have evidence 
of God's presence all around me ; but when I want 
to see God I will go and talk with him, and put my 
arm in his, and walk step by step at his side. Just 
take the path of Christian duty, and all along the 
line you will find God at every step. 

Sermon III. 


" The righteous shall flourish like the palm-tree ; he shall 
g^J-ow like a cedar in Lebanon." — Pba. xcii, 12. 

** I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading 
himself like a green bay-tree." — Pba. xxxvii, 36. 

WE narrow these two expressions which I have 
just read down to this: ''The righteous are 
like the palm-tree, the wicked like a bay-tree." 
First let us stop and ask, " What is a palm-tree ? 
What is that thing which I am or ought to be 
like?' The Eastern people boast of the fact that 
the palm-tree is good for three hundred and sev- 
enty-six different things. They say, " We live upon 
its fruits ; of its sap we make wine for medicinal 
purposes ; its wood we use for various manufactur- 
ing purposes; its bark and its roots we use for this 
and that ;" and they have summed up all the differ- 
ent things that the palm-tree is good for. They 
say that from its topmost sprig to the last fiber of 
its roots it is of use. There is not a particle of the 
j>alm-tree that is not useful, and all over, through 
and through, first to last, it is good for three hun- 
dred and seventy-six different things. "The right- 
eous are,'' or ought to be, "like the palm-tree," 
good for many different things, good from top to 
bottom, through and through, with not a particle 
of soul, body, or spirit that is not good in the serv- 
ice of God. 


^ I 

80 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

My Bible here^ brethren^ looks upon me as a sort 
of trinity in unity — a body, a mind, and a spirit. 
Now, a man who takes good care of liis body, and 
eats when he ought to eat, and does so with special 
reference to the great purpose of his existence, is 
physically religious. Then contemplate the mind. 
A man who reads the right books, and only the 
right books, and who improves bis mind and grasps 
at those thoughts which are ennobling and elevate 
him, is intellectually religious. A man who looks 
after the spirit — a man who lives in a spiritual at- 
mosphere, and who abides in eternal life, and has 
eternal life abiding in him here and now — that man 
is spiritually religious ; and, brethren, I like a re- 
ligion that permeates a man from the top of his 
head to the sole of his foot. I like a religion, a 
Bible, a Gospel, a system tliat looks after me as I 
am now— mind, body, spirit. 

A man who eats too much, drinks too much, 
sleeps too much, or sleeps too little, is a physical 
sinner, and he will suffer for it, too. I do n't know 
how much he '11 suffer for it in the next world, but 
he '11 catch it in this — no avoiding that I A man 
who punishes his mind sins against it. It has its 
life just as the body has, and needs nourishment, 
too. There 's many a starved mind in this country, 
brethren. If I were simply to feed my body upon 
husks that had no nutriment, how could I perpet- 
uate physical life ? If I do not sit down and eat 
those things that tend to produce strength and per- 
petuate life, in so far am I sinning against my body. 
I wonder what those people are doing that spend 

The Righteous and the Wicked. 81 

their intellectual hours playing cards? How much 
mental food is there in that ? One evening, where 
I was preaching, I denounced social card-playing 
and progressive euchre. Let me tell you, too, if 
you play progressive euchre — ^and I do n't care 
whose son, whose wife, whose husband you are — ^you 
are a gambler as much as any blackleg in this city. 
You can^t play progressive euchre without the 
" Booby prize," and you can *t play for a Booby 
prize without putting up the stakes ; and if you win 
or lose, you are a gambler in the sight of God just 
as much as is the worst blackleg that ever cursed 
this city. Well, one of the society women who 
heard me, a member of the Church, said : " Why, 
I ^m disgusted with that preacher. I have a con- 
tempt for him. How in the world could I interest 
my husband at night if I did n't play cards with 
him? It's the only way I have of amusing my 
husband." If I were you, sister, I 'd send my hus- 
band to a lunatic asylum, where they have cards 
for the inmates in all the rooms. The Lord pity the 
woman who has married such an intellectual starve- 
ling that she has to sit down and debauch her mind 
to interest her husband. 

Intellectually religious I Thank God for a sys- 
tem of religion that from foot to scalp makes one 
a holy man all over. I like that sort! The re- 
ligion of Jesus Christ makes me eat just as the 
engineer fires his engine — to get strength to go on! 
Nothing more, nothing less! My intellectual nature 
calls for things that bring out the brain sweat, and 
fill the brain with thoughts like those which God 

82 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

thinks^ and the brightest man in this world is the 

man who thinks the thoughts of God. 

I can see how the righteous are like the palm 
tree, for they are good all over, good for many dif- 
ferent things. Brother, how many are you good 
for ? Sister, get out your pencil and a little piece 
of paper, and let's run the rule of addition over 
your life. Now, how many things are you good for? 
I mean how many things are you good for relig- 
iously ? You can run a world of things outside of 
your religious duty, but I am talking about the 
thing, religiously. Now how many of these things 
are you good for? That sister yonder says, "Wait 
a minute, and I'll tell you. I'm good for — I'm 
good — I 'm — I 'm — I' — I — um ;" and, brethren, that's 
just where she '11 get to. That brother yonder has 
been in the Church for ten years, and he is idle to- 
day, and God speaks every day in his hearing, "Gro 
work in my vineyard," and he stands there with 
his hands in his pockets, and says, " I would go to 
work in a minute if I only knew any thing in the 
world to go to work at." Whenever you hear a 
man talk that way he 's a fool or a rascal, one, in- 
evitably ; and sometimes he 's a compound of both, 
and then you get him in bad shape indeed ! Stand- 
ing here idle with his hands in his pockets, and 
there are thirteen hundred and fiftv millions of sin- 
ners in this universe! He's standing around idle, 
with a world sinking, sinking down to hell, and he 
says, " I can 't find a thing to do!" Brother, wheu 
you talk that way, you show mentally you are a 
blank. If you are intellectual at all, then you are 

The Righteous and the Wicked. 83 

intellectually false, and you misrepresent yourself 
when you say, ^' I can 't find a thing to do in the 

There ^8 work for you. Every sinner in this 
town is a good subject for you to work on. If I had 
my home here I would n't say, " I can 't find a 
thing in the world to do ;" and you M better not go 
to the judgment and talk that sort of foolishness, 
for God will say, " Did n't you live in such and 
such a city ?" Good anywhere — ^good everywhere ! 
O, brethren, the Lord gave us the sort of religion 
that doesn't stand on the banks of the river and 
shudder and shake with dread, and shrink ; but the 
Lord gave us the sort of religion that runs and 
leaps into the current that is lined from source 
to mouth with human wretches. God help us to 
bring them over. The Lord give us the sort of 
Christianity that doesn't sit around with folded 
hands waiting for something to turn up, but give 
us the sort of Christianity that will pitch in and 
pound the iron until it gets red-hot, and then we 
can shape it as God wants it shaped. It will get 
warm under the blows of an honest, earnest heart! 
God everywhere, and God all over! I want the 
Christianity that makes every deed of my life and 
every word of my life a maxim for universal appli- 
cation, and as I apply the maxim the world 
grows better. 

Good for three hundred and seventy-six diflferent 
things 1 1 have heard some brethren in the Church say, 
" You 're all loading me too heavy. I must help my- 
self some. I 'm going to quit being deacon. You 're 

84 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

all putting every thing on me/' Look here, brother, 
get down on your knees and count out the three 
hundred and seventy-six different things you are 
good for and busy at, and then when you come out 
get the measure of the palm tree, and then you '11 
let them put any thing on you. There's some- 
thing wrong with the man that lies down on the 
ground with his cross on top of him. 

I am disgusted with the Christianity that thus 
breaks down. I look back about eighteen hundred 
years ago, and I see what the disciples of Jesus 
Christ went through in order to make their way to 
God, and to make themselves the ministers of God's 
grace, and I am ashamed of every officer of religion 
we have upon the face of the earth. Why, brethren, 
then they took them out of their homes and stripped 
them and misrepresented them, and persecuted 
them, inflicting stripes and imprisonment, and cruci- 
fied them. And yet people are no better now than 
they used to be. I wonder if the difference is in 
the preachers, and not with the people? I have 
been hunting for a martyr for thirteen years. I 
want to find a martyr ; a fellow that died for the 
truth. If I could get him, I would have a text 
that I eould make things hum with. But I have 
been hunting one for thirteen years, and I have 
never found a martyr yet. O, for a Christian that 
goes out to battle red-hot, and makes it so warm 
for those who sin that this world would surrender, 
or put that man out of the way. You can get it in 
that shape if you want it. God forbid that I should 
bring a railing and a scoffing against any preacher. 

The Righteous and the Wicked. 85 

I would not strike a blow at you that I would not 
be willing myself to receive. 

But what IS the matter with us? We want a 
Christianity that walks right out. A liquor paper in 
Georgia denounces Sam Jones as a firebrand. God 
grant that if ever I have my name changed from 
Sam Jones to " Firebrand," I may go forth a fire- 
brand in the name of Jesus Christ Jesus said: ^'I 
am come to send fire on this earth." We need an 
issue, brethren — a clearly defined issue, and we must 
have it, brethren, if we ever get this city for Christ. 
The devil now possesses it, and the only road we 
have to take in order to get it from him is the road 
of Christ. 

The Lord help every preacher in this city next 
Sunday morning to turn his guns on sin, and if you 
will bombard sinners in the right way, they will 
run up their white flag within thirty days from to- 
day. ZiCt the pulpit be sure that it is right, and 
then go to hitting hard, and "carry the war into 
Africa." Rush it right on. How your enemies will 
howl, and kick, and rear, and pitch, and talk 
about vulgarity and vulgar witticisms, and slang, 
and all that sort of thing. But I tell you, 
brethren, one thing, that you will get at the 
meanness of them if you will get at them in 
the right way. Meanness is always cowardly. One 
good Christian can chase away a thousand, and two 
good ones put ten thousand to flight if you will get 
God with you. I hope that every newspaper in this 
city, and every pulpit in this city will get square up 
on the Ten Commandments. They are good for any- 

86 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

thing and every thing; good everywhere, and good 
at all circumstances. They are good at prayer- 
meetings. They are good at family prayer. They 
are good at visiting the sick. They are good at 
serving the needy. They are good at helping the 
weak. They are good anywhere and everywhere. 

O, my, how I do like to see a Christian that 
knows his rights, let you talk to him and abuse 
him as you^will. How many in this house can 
say, " I am the Lord's with reserved rights in the 
world ?" Christianity is like the man when he 
found the pearl of great price. He sold out every 
thing and put it all into the pearl of great price. 
Brother and sister, have you a reserved right in 
Christian life ? Turn it all over to God. Then 
he will use you for his glory and your eternal good. 
A reserved right ! Some people promise to enter a 
Church if the preacher will not ask them to pray or 
to speak in public. He takes them in as a sort 
of honorary members. And do n't you honor ^the 
Church with a vengeance, you honorary mem- 
ber ! A fellow told me one night, " I am going 
out to the Church to-night, but I want you to 
promise me that you will not call on me to pray.'* 
" I won't make any promise," I said. " Then I 
won't go," he replied. I said, " I would fight you 
from now to daylight before I would promise not 
to call on you to do your duty. How are you to 
give us an example if you do n't pray ?" The freest 
man is the one who is ready at all times for any 
thing that God or the Church calls upon him to 
do. Brother, I would rather be a whole Christian 

The Righteous and the Wicked, 87 

and do my whole Christian duty fifty times over 
than shirk a duty, as you do, once a week. God 
knows it is easier. He who does otherwise is al- 
ways dodging. He never gets clear from fear. He 's 
afraid somebody will shadow him when he walks 
out, and proclaim all he sees. You want to be 
good in three hundred and seventy-six things, like 
the palm-tree. Add up your good things until you 
build up a palm-tree in heaven. A good Christian 
will grow anywhere, like the palm-tree, which will 
grow anywhere in its latitude — in the bottoms, in 
the marsh, among the rocks, on the hillside. 

Some people say, " I can not be good and keep 
house." But there is more religion in the kitchen 
than in the parlor. " I can not be good and be a 
merchant." " I can not be good and be a lawyer." 
A palm tree grows everywhere ; and some of the 
best people that I ever knew were hotel-keepers, were 
lawyers, were merchants. And every good hotel- 
keeper and every good merchant, every good lawyer 
is a demonstration of the fact that all of them 
could be good if they wanted to be. All can be good 
anywhere, no matter what their business may be. 

Another thing about the palm-tree. If you plant 
it in the Desert of Sahara, you will notice that it 
takes root and shoots out and other palms grow 
up around it, and these draw moisture, and by and 
by a palm-tree grove is spread around the spring 
that is formed in this oasis in the desert, where the 
weary traveler can stop and slake his thirst. A 
good Christian is like a palm-tree in this respect. 
When you find one, another one will grow up around 

88 Sam Jonbb' Own Book. 

him. His roots are like those of the palm-tree. They 
just spring up all around him^ and their moisture 
is the river of life^ and these form the oasis in the 
desert of life, where the weary traveler can slake 
his thirst in the shadow of the tree of life. 

Then there is another thing about the palm-tree. 
You can* take it and bend it over and press it 
right down to the earthy but it shoots itself up 
again toward heaven. Poor Job said when he was 
smashed down in the ash bank, and his wife put 
additional pressure on his fall by telling him his 
breath was a stench and his body corrupt, and told 
him to curse God and die, "Shall we receive good 
at the hand of God, and shall we not receive 
evil?" "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in 
him.'* Glory be to God that we can be like a 
palm-tree. Let us be like the palm-tree — good ev- 
erywhere and through every day in the week from 
head to foot ; good anywhere you hitch. I like 
that soft of Christianity. 

But the wicked are like a bay-tree. Do you 
know what a bay-tree is? Now you will find your 
latitude, some of you. If you have studied your- 
self for hours you will know. A bay-tree is good 
for nothing in the universe, that we know of. God 
may see good in it, but we can not. In the first 
place, a bay-tree will come out and blossom as 
prettily as any tree in the land, but it never has 
any fruit. Then another thing about the bay- 
tree. If I were going out for a load of wood I 
would drive five miles further rather than try to 
split up a bay-tree, it is so hard. And another 

The Righteous and the Wicked. 89 

thing about a bay-tree. It not only has no fruit 
upon it, and not only is it not fit for wood, because 
it is so hard to cut, but it will only grow down in a 
marsh bottom, and is fit for nothing but shade, and 
it casts its shade just right where the sun ought to 

The wicked are like the bay-tree. O, brethren, 
what is a wicked mother worth to her children? 
O, sister, what are you worth? You will bear 
and blossom out beautifully in your worldly life, but 
you have no fruits of righteousness. You flower 
best in the marshy bottoms of sin ; and you are fit 
for nothing but to shade, and you shade the light 
of heaven from your precious children. God for- 
give us. Brother, is it true that you are a bay- 
tree? In any heavenly sense, are you good for any 
thing ? Good for yourself, or any good for the next 
world ? O, brother, you flourish best in the 
swamp of sin, and do nothing but shade, and you 
shade the light of heaven from the precious ones in 
your home. 

Mother and sister, let us go to our homes this 
evening and ask ourselves, ^'Am I like the palm-tree^ 
or am I like the bay-tree ?'* 

I might talk an hour about this subject, but we 
have got enough to think about. I want to get you 
down to bottom rock. I want to get you down to 
the roots. We want to shufiBe off the incrustations 
of evil until we can plant our feet on the " Rock of 
ages,'' and then we will stand secure when the last 
storm has swept over us. I know I am not up, but 
I am down, and the way up is down. If you want 

90 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

to go up start down. He that humbletb himself 
shall be exalted. If you go down deep enough 
you will never break off the stem. Go down and 
down. David said he was brought low^ and the 
Lord helped him. Good Lord, help me to go 

And, brethren, God will help us to see eye to 
eye. Some of you do n^t understand me, and, per- 
haps, I do n't understand you. But God will help 
to bring us to where we can see each other face to 
face; mark what I tell you. There are as good 
people in this house as any that live on this earth. 
I have never said otherwise. I will tell you another 
thing. You tialk about living out of the Church. 
It is all I can do to live in the Church. It is the 
only house that Christians have got ; and if they 
turned me out of one I would join the next I came 
to, and be ready for the next opening of the door ; 
and if they turned me out I would go again. A 
colored man was noticed joining a Church every 
time he could get a chance. He was asked, " What 
makes you do that way ?" He answered, " O, it 
did me so much good the first time that I joined 
that I want to keep on joining every time you 
open the door." Thank God for his grand Church. 

God bless you and help you to see that the 
Church of Jesus Christ is the only hope of this 
world. If that is the truth, then let us make the 
Church what God wants it to be. 

Sermon IV. 


"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are trae, whatso- 
ever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatso- 
ever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatso- 
ever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if 
there be any praise, think on these things." — Phil, iv, 8. 

WE have been misled, perhaps, some of us, as 
to what Christianity is. We have heard much 
on the subject of the terms of discipleship; we have 
heard a great deal about repentence for sins com- 
mitted ; we have read and heard a good deal about 
pardon; we have heard a thousand sermons, more 
or less, on the subject of faith, and many on the 
subject of regeneration and sanctification^ but here 
is a clear, sensible, philosophical statement as to 
what Christianity is. 

St. Paul begins this verse with this word 
"finally," — ^^^ finally I brethren;" as much as if to 
say, " I have written many things previous to this, 
I have said many things in your hearing, but, breth- 
ren, you may forget all I have said and take your 
eye from off all I have written ; yet if you will just 
fix your mind and memory on what I am going to 
say now (for I will now give. you the whole thing 
in a nut-shell), you can get hold of this, it is 
brought to you clearly and plainly." 

As a man thinks, so he is. What I think to-day 
will determine what I may be doing to-morrow. 
The actions of this day are the embodied thoughts 


92 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

of yesterday. Let me know what you are thinking 
about to-day, and I will tell you what you will be 
doing to-morrow. A man partakes of the nature of 
the thing he is looking at with his mind and eye. 
In the presence of the dead, I turn my thoughts to 
the object before me, and become saturated from 
head to foot with solemnity. You may bring in a 
beautiful bouquet of flowers, and I put my mind 
and eye intently upon that bouquet, and the first 
thing I know my whole nature is filled with the 
aroma and beauty of the flowers. I partake of the 
nature of the thing I look at, hence God tells us 
he will keep him in perfect peace whose mind and 
heart is in him. 

And, brethren, we have something to do with 
creation around us. We partake largely, morally I 
mean, of the world in which we live. He who 
thinks and sees only goodness, mercy, glory, and 
blessings with his own eye, shall live and die in a 
perfect atmosphere of heaven. Brethren, let's have 
some more of it down here now. Let's not talk so 
much about hereafter. I need it here. This old 
world needs heaven, your city needs heaven, needs 
it implanted right down in every street, in every 
home, and in every heart in the community. And 
I say unto you, if you will, under God, make your 
city what God intended it to be, it will be a suburb 
of the city of the New Jerusalem. 

Think on these things. And, after all, what is 
a thought? I am no metaphysician, and I'm no 
kin to one, but we '11 say for the sake of the argu- 
ment, as the lawyers say, that thought is the result 

Think on these Things. 93 

of an impression upon one of the five senses. Now 
we won't go into the discussion of intuitional 
thought, that's a matter too deep for me, but we'll 
take things as we see them. We say all thought, 
below the strata of the intuitional, is the result of 
an impression upon one of the five senses. I know 
God has come into my soul, but when I touch in- 
tuitional thought God gets in without entering 
through one of the five senses, for I do not hear 
him come in, I do not see the door open as he 
comes in, nor do I see it close as he goes out, and 
yet I know God has been in there and talking to me. 

I see something that puts me to thinking; I 
touch something, and it brings up a thought; I taste 
something, and it sets me to thinking, and so all the 
way through. The sense of perception then looks 
upon the scene, and the sense of conoeption then 
carries me back into my room and shows to me 
again, even with my eyes closed, the picture I have 
just perceived. Then judgment will measure and 
weigh the picture for me, and by and by I turn it 
to the faculty of imagination, and I see her poise 
on her wings, and then go up, up, and up, until she 
goes above the moon and the stars, and I find my- 
self looking down on towering spires, jasper walls, 
and pearly gates of the city of God. 

Thought ! . Well, if what I see opens my mind 
to thought, I had better be careful what I look at.' 
If what I touch opens my mind to thought, I ought 
to be careful what comes in contact with my hands. 
If what I taste brings forth thought, then I ought 
to be careful what I taste. Brother, be careful of 

94 Sam Jones* Own Book. 

what you hear, toacb, taste, feel ; be careful of your 
five senses. Think on these things. Well, we say, 
thought is an emotion arising from something we 
see, something we hear, something around us. A 
developed thought is ready for the hand, is ready 
for the tongue, is ready for the foot; that's the idea 
of developed thought — ^thonght gotten into shape for 
the tongue, for the hand, and for the foot. A thought 
will develop into purpose. You had better look out 
there, there's danger all along that line. A man 
can't help evil thoughts coming in, but he can pre- 
vent them from developing into a purpose. Wesley 
said : " I can't help evil thoughts from coming into 
my mind any more than I can help birds flying over 
my head; but I can help the birds from building 
their nests on my head and there hatching their 
young." Always keep the back door of your mind 
open whenever you open the front door, and make 
these evil thoughts pass along, and say to them : 
"You can't stay until you are developed into an 
idea." I can't help a tramp knocking at my front 
door, but I can prevent myself from asking him into 
my parlor and telling him to make himself at home. 
Ten thousand evil thoughts may come in unawares, 
but I say. You can 't stay here and make yourself at 
home and develop into an idea. Bad ideas are like 
the devil ; he tries to make your acquaintance and 
be with you ; but he is too much of a gentleman to 
stay where he is not wanted. I'll tell you another 
thing, if the devil comes and stays with you it is be- 
cause you make him at home and treat him well 
and are kind to him. 

Think on these Things. 95 

"Think on these things/' Now, brother, St. 
Paul said, if you would be what the honest aspira- 
tions of an honest soul would make you, put your 
mind and thought entirely upon the truth. Now^ 
just as with the pictures of the bouquet and the 
corpse I stirred my nature up, then just so, by 
thinking of God, I can put myself in an attitude, 
and keep there, until my whole nature is stirred 
with religion and truth, and when I speak I speak 
the truth just as naturally as I breathe. Truth is 
always uppermost in the normal state of man, and 
no man who is a man of integrity will tell a lie 
until he rams back the truth first. Men tell the 
truth naturally, but it is unnatural to tell a lie; 
and now, if I come up those steps and a man 
shakes my hand and bids me God-speed, it is per- 
fectly natural for me to say that he shook my hand 
and bade me God-speed ; but it is perfectly unnat- 
ural for me to say that the man cursed me and 
kicked me down the stairs. It 's natural to tell the 
truth; it's unnatural to tell a lie. Whenever a 
man is a cordial liar he has perverted his nature 
from head to foot. A liar is a consolidated, con- 
centrated lump of falsehood, and when he talks he 
tells lies just as easily as he lives in that atmos- 
phere. I despise a liar. I have seen some men 
who thought on evil so much that they could n't 
tell the truth at all. The man who thinks on the 
truth, who reads the truth, and fills his heart with 
the truth, will speak the truth : for out of the abun- 
dance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 

A man can tell lies and never open his lipe; he 

96 Sam Jones* Own Book. 

can tell lies with his hands, and he can tell lies 
with his feet; he can tell lies with his eye, with 
an expression of his face. O, brother, be £o loyal 
to truth that it will be impossible for you to tell a 
lie or act a lie. And, brother, you can never be 
right unless you are saturated with truth and on 
the true side of every thing. 

God give us truth if we have any thing else or 
not. We need it all over this country. We want 
men we can bank on. If every body in this city 
and State will not tell another lie for ten years it 
will starve the lawyers to death and put them to 
plowing; no doubt about that. Now, I don't say 
that men of this profession live upon the falsehood 
of the world. They may have to defend truth. It 
is not always a' lawyer's duty in his practice to 
assail the opposite client, but it is the noble duty 
of a great lawyer to defend a good man against the 
onslaughts of unjust men. God give us lawyess 
who scorn the wicked side and stand up for justice 
and truth. Truth — I think in truth ; I saturate 
mind and heart with truth, and then I can speak 
nothing but the truth. It ought to be the normal 
state of every man. "Whatsoever things are 
true!" Brother, let's avoid evils of every kind; 
let 's look out for the things that would lead a man 
into telling a lie. Let our utterances be truthful, 
and let us die before we tell a lie. 

"Whatsoever things are honest I" When I say 
" honest " I do n't mean simply a man who pays 
all his just debts, as we call it. I have heard of a 
man walking all across the town to pay a nickel he 

Think on these Things. 97 

owed ; but I would n't trust that man in my room 
when I was asleep if I had a quarter in my pocket. 
Bless your soul, he is often paying that nickel to 
get some hold for an imposition upon the com- 
munity. When you let me define that word, " hon- 
esty/' it is a man who lives up to his Convictions, 
and will die by his convictions. That's what I 
mean by being an honest man. Many a man who 
has paid every dollar he owed in this world may 
be put in hell at last for being a thief. You say 
that is a mighty strong expression; but thefc is the 
unlawful taking of the property of another without 
his knowledge and consent. You can steal from a 
man when he is looking at you as well as you can 
when he is asleep if you just cover up some fact in 
the trade, and thereby carry your point; but may be 
you would have seen the covered point if you 
yourself had not been working your tricks to 
gouge him. 

Dishonesty ! Down in my State I had my mind 
directed, two or three times, to a man of whom 
every one said: "There goes an honest man." I 
thought, a time or two, I 'd walk out and take his 
hand and ask him if he did n't feel lonesome in this 
country. He was a cotton buyer, and he would pay 
to the most ignorant negro as much for his cotton as 
to the shrewdest white farmer. An honest man 
going around by himself in broad daylight I 

I was in a store, in a circuit I was on once, when 
a farmer came in to get some plow-points. He had 
just moved into the settlement, and it was the first 
or second time he had been to town. He came into 


98 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

the store and he asked the proprietor : ''Are these 
plow-points tempered hard enough?*' "No/' said 
he; "I think not. I tried some of them^ and they 
are soft." When the farmer had gone out I said to 
the proprietor, "Why did n't you tell that man that 
the plow-points were well tempered and hard, and 
would do the work he required of them? Why, 
you told him the naked truth, and missed a sale; 
you 're a strange man." But I tell you one thing: 
just as long as I staid in that community that man 
had a customer who would spend his last dollar 
with him. 

Tell the naked truth — the naked truth that 
makes a man honest. Do you know where we get 
that expression, " the naked truth ?" The old story 
is that Truth and Error, a long time ago, went in 
bathing together. It isn't told what Truth was 
doing, but, while bathing. Error ran out of the 
water and pnt on Truth's clothes, and ran off with 
them on ; and when Truth saw that Error had taken 
all of her clothes, she said : " I have nothing left to 
put on but the clothes Error has left; but before I 
will put those on I will go naked the balance of my 
life." Since that time we have had the plain naked 
truth, and I never want any clothes on it. 

"Whatsoever things are just" — I like a just 
man. Brother, you hear people say, " You had 
better be just before you are generous." It's a 
great deal harder to be just than it is to be gener- 
ous. I could pull out ten dollars and give it to a 
poor woman, and I do n't miss it, and it does n't 
bother me. But to be just to all mankind, that 's 

Think on these Things. 99 

another tiling. I tell you what it is: it is a great 
deal easier to give fifty dollars to an orphans' home 
than it is to be just. I hurt my little boy's feelings, 
and take little Bobbie in my lap, precious little fel- 
low, and say, " Son, forgive your father for hurting 
your feelings." It 's a great deal easier to be gen- 
erous than it is to beg your little boy's pardon for 
your harshness and meanness. 

Justice ! It is very easy for a man to be gener- 
ous, but, brother, have you the justice in you to 
implore the forgiveness of a wife for an unkind 
word uttered? If I infringe on the rights or 
feelings of others, then I will go to them and do 
right by them. 

" Whatsoever things are pure " — ^pure in word, 
pure in your life, pure in all manner of conversa- 
tion, in every thing. Observe it — ^purity I purity I 
purity ! 

We want purity ! purity ! I tell you, ray brother, 
if a man lives pure and acts pure and is pure, he is 
good in the best sense — in the most refined sense. 
Purity is like the little ermine, with its hair and 
skin as white as the driven snow; and when its 
capture is sought, its path to its home is made dirty 
and muddy, and when the little animal reaches the 
mud and dirt it lies down and subjects itself to cap- 
ture and death before it will besmirch one of its 
beautiful white hairs. I want to say to the Chris- 
tian world, rather let us lie down and subject our- 
selves to capture or to death than besmirch our 
character as Christians by any contact with the sins 
of the world. God make us pure on earth. God 

100 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

bless you and take you under his care^ and God 
help you to live so that if you put your head under 
the block and it is severed from your body, God 
will be there to pick it up and put a crown of ever^ 
lasting life on it. 


The fellow who believes only what he can un- 
derstand does n't believe there is a muley-headed 
cow in the universe. I revere him, but I will not 
imitate him. 

If I had a ^^ creed/' I would sell it to a museum. 
Creed shows itself in the wars of the last few hun- 
dred years. It was over creed that men fought, and 
not over Christ. Orthodoxies are what have ruined 
this world. 

I ONCE made this proposition : If there is a man 
in this house who feels in his heart that nobody 
prays for him, I want him to give me his hand, and 
leave here with the assurance that one prays for 
him. It is something to know that some one prays 
for me. The most lonely feeling that overtakes an 
immortal spirit on its pilgrimage to eternity is the 
feeling that nobody prays for him. 

Sermon V. 


''Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and 
I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of 
me ; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest 
unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is 
light"— Matt, xi, 28-30. 

THE first clause of this portion of Scripture which 
we read is an invitation. ^* Come unto me.^' 

Christ was not oqly a divine Savior, but he was as 
truly a divine philosopher. Christ was not only a 
physician in the sense that he had remedies for the 
race, but he was a philosopher in the sense that he 
understood the condition of the race. He not only 
knows the remedies for man's ills, but he knows 
what your ills are in every sense of the word. 
There is a great deal, brethren, in a physician hav- 
ing the case thoroughly in hand. In sickness in my 
own home I have sent for our old family physician. 
I have great confidence in his medical skill and 
ability. And when I see that my child is very sick, 
I watch the doctor as closely as I do th^ child. I 
never feel satisfied about my little one until I can 
see an expression of confidence on the doctor's face. 
And I will tell you when that expression of confi- 
dence comes. It is the very instant when the doc- 
tor sees he has the case thoroughly in hand, that he 
understands the nature of the disease afflicting the 



102 Sam Jones^ Own Book. 

All physicians will tell you that the greatest 
trouble in their practice is with little children. If 
you ask them why — ^as it is a fact that the system 
of a child will respond to treatment much more 
readily than tho'se of grown people and old people — 
they will say : " The great trouble in the manage- 
ment of a child is in the diagnosis — to find out 
what is the matter with the little fellow. If I know 
just exactly what his trouble is, I know what to do 
with him." And there is where the skill comes in. 
Bight at that point a good doctor will beat a sorry 
one in finding out what is the matter. The sorriest 
doctor knows exactly what to do if he knows what 
is the matter. What is the trouble? Locate it, 
and when the trouble is located and named, then 
any physician knows exactly what the remedy is. 

Now, brethren, I thank God there is a great 
Physician that diseased humanity can apply to, and 
apply to with the most unbounded confidence. He 
not only knows the remedies, what the " balm in 
Gilead " is, but he knows jus£ exactly what is the 
matter with every one of us. He can put his finger 
on the spot that hurts you to-night, and he knows 
what it is as well as you know your name. There, 
you poor, broken-down wagon of humanity. He 
knows what part is broken. He knows whether it is 
axle or tongue; he Knows whether it is spoke or 
hub. The Lord Jesus Christ knows just exactly 
where you have broken down ; and that is not all. 
He has in the great store-house of his remedies the 
very thing at hand to supply you and make you 
every whit whole. 

Best in Christ. 103 

And now, brother, you can go and apply, or 
answer to the call of this great Physician. We 
generally call our doctor when we are ill, but in 
this case, blessed be Christ, he calls us, "Come 
unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and 
I will give you resf He does not say, "Go to 
that Church,'' or " this priest," or " that rector," 
or " this pastor," but " Come to me." These are 
the words of the Lord Jesus. " Come unto me." I 
am so glad it is a call from a person to a person. 
There is not much theory about this. And after 
all, brethren, when you come to weigh this question 
aright it is not creeds and dogmas that saves men. 
It is the name of Christ, and he is the only name 
and the only power in the universe that can save 
a man. 

** The great Physician now is near, 
The sympathizing Jesus," 

and he bids you come to him. He knows yon. 
He knows what your trouble is and where your 
pain is, and he has the remedy at hand. " Come 
unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden." 

Well, that invitation takes us all in. There are 
but two classes in the world. The first class are the 
decent, respectable, law-abiding, clever folks that 
want to do right, and do their best to get to heaven. 
Well, now Christ says to them, " Come." And then 
there is another class that are very heavy laden. 
Their cry is, " I have sinned and done wrong, I am 
guilty before God and man. I lay no claims to 
righteousness. I break down under the law." Now, 
Jesus looks at them and says, "Come to me." 

104 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

And after all, brethren^ we need a sovereign remedy, 
every one of us. 

Now " come to me, and I will give you rest/' It 
18 peace to come. It is yours to come, and it is his 
to give the rest. " Come unto me, ye that labor and 
are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." What 
does this world want anyhow? Years and years I 
struggled and toiled and suffered, and I didn't 
know what I wanted. If you had asked me I 
could n't have told you to save my life. But I will 
say this, when the Lord Jesus Christ took me in his 
arms and gave me rest, then I said, " Glory to God, 
this is the thing I wanted. I didn't know what I 
wanted, but if this is rest, then it is rest I wanted ex- 
actly." Poor, tired, ruined wretch ! Rest I wanted ! 
Best I And I will tell you, brethren, about all the 
rest from the cares and the troubles in this life is 
when you pillow your head og, the blessed Christ. 

That is where rest is. I recollect when I went to 
Corinth, Mississippi, I was broken down in strength 
and I had only a week to stay. I told the brethren 
I would have to preach four times a day in order 
to get through with my work. It was midsum- 
mer. I had been working incessantly and preach- 
ing four times a day, and preaching right along, 
and about the first day I said to my wife, jogging 
on to the Church, " I believe I will ask them to let 
me sit down and preach to-night. I can 't stand 
up; I haven't strength." She said she would ask 
them ; they would n't care. I went on to Church 
and got up and read my hymn, and we sung and 
prayed, and I got up and took my text and preached 

Rest in Cheist. 105 

longer than sixty minutes^ and the Lord bathed my 
soul and body in a perfect sea of heavenly rest. 
And I preached an hour, and ran about all over 
that immense building that night until about eleven 
o'clock, and then went to the house where we were 
stopping, and pillowed my head, and in five minutes I 
was sound asleep. The next morning, ailer sleep- 
ing eight hours on a stretch, I woke up and turned 
to my wife and said I did n't feel as if I had struck 
a lick in six months, and I believe it was weeks 
and weeks after that before I had a conscious sense 
of tiredness upon me. And I tell you, my breth- 
ren, this blessed rest will come to a man. In the 
tiredest moments of my life I have gone home to 
my room sometimes and lain down, and I said, "I 
am so tired I can 't sleep to-night. O, how truly 
tired I am." And I would lie there a few moments, 
and directly the restful praises of heaven woruld 
begin to play all over my soul. I would lie still so 
far as I might as they passed over me backward 
and forward, and I said to myself, " I wish this 
night was a thousand hours long and I couldn't 
sleep a wink. God give me this kind of rest." 
Bathed in that bliss I woke up the next morning, 
and it was the same delightful sensation playing all 
over my soul. Brethren, I tell you the Lord 
Jesus Christ has the keys to the great storehouse 
of rest, and can rest the soul in the sweetest and 
divinest rest. 

" I will give you rest." Well, that is what we 
all want. That is what you want, friends. That is 
just what you need. You have known all the time 

106 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

you needed something, but you did n't know what 
it was. But if you ever get rest you will realize 
that this is the thing you wanted. Rest I " I will 
give you rest." And what more does he say? 
" Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for 
I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find 
rest." There is a given rest and there is n found rest. 

There is a difference between rest and resting. 
First the Lord gives us resting. You see a man 
who comes in from his field after plowing all day, 
and sits down quiet in his cabin home with his 
arms folded. I ask, " What are you doing?" He 
says, " I am resting." " Then, what are you going 
to do ?" " I am going to get up and eat my supper^ 
and do something." Just as soon as a man is rested 
he begins then his activity again. 

A man that is resting must be quiet. The 
Lord Jesus gives us rest from guilt and soul-quiet. 
When we are rested, then the natural instinct is 
to get up and go at something. Take the yoke 
and find rest. The grandest rest in this universe 
is the found rest; the rest in activity, the 
rest in movement, the rest in doing something; 
that 's it. I have sat in my own State, as well as 
other States, on a grand engine, with twelve or 
fourteen passenger coaches attached, and heard its 
exhaust noise, and felt its powerful influence as it 
moved the ti*ain along. It looks as if it do n't need 
any rest at all. It has been pulling us two hun- 
dred miles, and it rolls on as grandly as it did 
when it first started. ^^Ah, Mr. Jones," says the en- 
gineer, "she takes her rest better when she's flying 

Rest in Christ. 107 

on the track trying to make her destination on 
time/' I tell you, 'my brother, the soul goes on its 
way to God, and takes its greatest rest when it is 
bringing other souls to God with it. 

Praise the Lord I What are you good for? A 
great many people think, "Well, I will just look 
after myself, and I will take care of myself," and 
the Lord knows that that is the biggest job a fel- 
low can undertake — ^to look after himself. I would 
rather try to run this city than try to run myself — 
to sit up with myself. What is a man worth that 
won't do any thing but look after himself? Sup- 
pose the president of the grand trunk railroad 
had an engine that could run by itself siitty miles 
an hour, and would run as smooth as a die, but 
wouldn't pull any thing else; how long do you 
reckon he would keep that engine? How much 
would he value it at? He wouldn't value it any 
more than a scorpion. He would just tell the mas- 
ter machinist: "You just take that engine to pieces 
and throw it into the scrap-pile." Just show me a 
man that can not run any thing but himself, and 
I '11 show you humanity not fit for any thing but 
the devil's scrap-pile. 

Brothers, go out and do something for God and 
humanity, and find the grandest rest that ever 
stirred a mortal soul. Go out and go to work if 
you want to find rest. You see that little brooklet 
as it flows along, winding its way through fields 
and villages, and turning around mountains, until 
finally the little streamlet says : " I am so tired ; I 
have been rolling and running, and leaping and 

108 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

jamping ever since I was born into this world, and 
I am so tired.'' A kind friend throws an obstruc- 
tion across its bosom, and makes a dam across it. 
And it stops still to pile its placid waters up, and I 
see it resting as quietly as a forest on a summer's 
afternoon. Then I see the water piling higher and 
higher, and the little streamlet is sleeping so nicely, 
and it sleeps on and on, and by and by it breeds 
miasma, mosquitoes, and frogs, and a great many 
things; and it says: ^'I have slept too long; turn 
me loose and let me go again." And they open the 
dam and the brook rushes on and turns the factory 
wheels, and runs on and on, doing its work and 
making music as it goes. 

Brother, a few years ago I was so tired, I had 
run so long, and had been a sinner so long, when 
the Lord Jesus Christ laid his hand lovingly upon 
me and said : *^ Have rest I" And soon my soul 
was bathed in the sea of heavenly rest, under the 
powerful influence of his love. He removed all 
obstructions, and turned me loose to preach the 
Gospel to every creature, "that he that believeth 
on the Lord Jesus Christ may be saved." Thank 
God, he bids us go on our way rejoicing every day. 

" Take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy." 
The yoke is an emblem of subordination, of servi- 
tude. See that wild ox roaming out in the forest. 
He comes when he pleases, and he goes when he 
pleases and where he pleases. He eats and drinks 
when he wants to. But go out there and bring that 
ox in, and let man control him; then, when his 
master says go he has to go, and when he suys stop 

Rest in Christ. 109 

he has to stop; and he permits him to eat and drink 
when he thinks it proper to do so. When his mas- 
ter bids him to lie down he lies down. Look here! 
that ox has changed his whole nature. He is now 
submissive under the yoke. Look at that man. He 
won't work; he will do as he pleases; but now he 
takes the yoke of Christ upon him^ and says: 
" Speak, Lord, thy servant heareth." 

There is the difference between the Christian 
and a sinner. ** Take my yoke upon you and learn 
q{ me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye 
shall find rest for your soul ; for my yoke is easy 
and my burden is light." Thank Grod that there 
are so many to testify to that I 

Religion ! If I were young, or if I were old ; 
if I were rich, or if I were poor ; if I were living, 
or if I were dying; if I were in heaven, or if I 
were on earth, I would want religion. Religion is 
the best thing on earth, and there is nothing in 
heaven that will surpass religion. Let's have it 
now, and let's have it every day, and work our 
way to the better world. Religion is like a beauti- 
ful casket. A man takes one home to his wife, and 
she puts it on the center-table in the parlor, and 
friends come in, and she shows it to every one, and 
they say, '^O, how beautiful it is!" But one day 
the woman picks it up and touches a secret spring, 
and when the lid flies open for the first time she 
sees that it is not the inlaid casket on the outside, 
but the gem inside, that makes it lovely. Religion, 
with love, joy, peace, long-suffering, is like so many 
diamonds inclosed in this old, wretched nature of 

110 Sam Jones' Own BdoK. 

ours. It is beautiful to the world in its outer ap- 
pearance; but^ when Christ touches the hidden- 
springs then heaven itself opens up in all of its 
glory to the eyes of the faithful. Glory to God for 
it! May God give it to you, and may he bless 
every one in this house. 


He has either a mighty long head or a mighty 
short creed who believes only what he under- 

Many a fellow is praying for rain with his tub 
the wrong side up. God can not fill a tub when it 
is wrong side up without inverting the law of grav- 
ity. God is holding up his clouds for you while 
you are holding your tubs the wrong side up. Turn 
them up and push them under the eaves if you want 
them to be filled, for the shower is coming. 

Life, with its three-score years and ten, is said 
to be like a tale that is told ; like grass that grow- 
eth up, in the morning, and is cut down and wither- 
eth. Life is but one step from the cradle to man- 
hood, but one step from manhood to old age, and 
but one step from old age to the grave. The few 
moments spent here to-night are but a few moments 
we spend on our way to the bar of God. 

Sermon VI. 


" And lest I should be exalted above measure through 
the abundaDoe of the revelations, there was given to me a 
thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest 
I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I be- 
sought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And 
he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee : for my 
strength is made perfect in weakness." — 2 Cor. xii, 7-9. 

WE ask your attentioDy especially to these words : 
" My grace is sufficient for thee." The devil 
is a cunning and an artful adversary. His first 
effort on humanity is to make us believe that we 
are strong enough and that we are good enough 
without any religion^ thai we are all right, and we 
needn't give ourselves any trouble; we're as good 
as any body ; a first-class fellow ; but by and by we 
become possessed with an idea that we are not so 
strong, and not so good, and not so pure. The fact 
of the business is that when we reach the conclusion 
of a sensible and wise man^ we say^ ^' I am not good 
at all —I am not strong at all," and then the devil 
takes that fact and works on it and says : " You 're 
too mean and too weak to travel and to talk about 
being good." 

How many thousand men who walk the streets 
of this city have been possessed of one of these ideas 
to their ruin and to others' ruin ! The first thing a 
man so possessed says, is: "I'm all right — I don't 

need any help— I don't want any Christ to die for 


112 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

me. I do n't ask odds of any body. And the next 
thing you see, the poor fellow has jirtnj)ed clear over 
on the proposition, and says, ^' Now, there is n't any 
use of my trying; I'm the meanest man in the 
world, the wickedest and of the least account. If 
I just thought there was any chance for me I 
would n't mind starting. The fact is, I'm so low 
down, and so weak, there's no chance for me at all." 

Now, I want to say to yon, brother, that of the 
two cases I prefer the latter. There is no hope at 
all for a fellow who believes he is all right, when 
he is n't. That man is hopelessly lost while in that 
condition, but I have great hopes for a fellow that 
has touched bottom on the other side, and who feels, 
'^I am not right, I'm not pure, nor good, and I 
have n't strength to be so, though I want to be right." 

I sat this morning a half-hour talking to an 
honest man. I believe he was an honest and a true 
man. He said, '^ Mr. Jones, I have indulged in sin 
and been -so depraved that I have lost my will 
power. I want to be good. I want to be a Chris- 
tian and to abandon my sins. I want to live right 
and get to heaven. But, Mr. Jones, my will power 
is gone." I wish every Christian in this house and 
all these preachers could say, " I have lost my will 
power." Their case is mighty hopeful then. They 
can then say, "All my will is swallowed up in Thy 
will. Now I will consult the will of God and bid 
good-bye to my will and accept the will of God and 
the truth of God." I wish the whole universe 
would lose its will and have its will swallowed up 
in the will of God. 

Gob's Grace Sufficient. 113 

Now, here, we have a case before us to-day. 
Paul was largely like some of us, in that he once 
felt, '^ I am all right now; I am blameless; I never 
did contrary to right ; I live on the straight edge ;'* 
but the time came, when in hopeless despair he fell; 
and when he arose he said : ^^ Though I am a Phar- 
isee of the Pharisees, of the tribe of Benjamin, I 
count all these as nothing compared to the excel- 
lency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord/' 

Paul seemed to have been in need of this sub- 
dued condition of his will. He had been exalted to 
the third heaven, and had heard the unspeakable 
words which it is not lawful for a man .to utter; his 
ears had been touched with the music of heaven; 
but at last he came down from these towering 
heights. Like Paul, the deeper down you go the 
more Artesian power will be added to the current 
of your life. There are many little shallow wells 
in this country, with a great many wiggle-tails in 
them. You all do n't know exactly what that means. 
We do in iSouth Georgia. In some places down 
there they keep a long-handled gourd — ^they do n't 
need any bucket or rope for a man can dip his 
water out of the well — but in one place in South 
Georgia there is a long-handled gourd and a pine 
knot at the well. The pine knot is very much 
worn. The first thing they do when they want to get 
water out of the well, is to knock against the 
wooden sides with the pine knot to make the wig- 
gle-tails sink, so that they can dip the water up, 
free from them. And there are many preachers in 

this country that have to use the pine knot. 
10— B 

114 Sam Jones* Own Book. 

O, brother^ we will go into the deepest depths 
and go up into the highest heights, but there are 
depths and heights in piety I know nothing about. 
There are heights in divine life I never have 
reached. There are beauties in Christian experi- 
ence that you and I know nothing about. O, 
brother, let^s go down in humility, in contrition, in 
honest confession before God. 

Now, when you find a fellow away down, re- 
member David said, ^' I was brought low and the 
Lord helped me.'' The Lord fishes on the bottom, 
and if you want to get to his bait and hook, you 've 
got to get right on the bottom, brother. '^I was 
brought low and the Lord helped me." Now, St. 
Paul had been high and he had been low. We find 
him here on a very low plain. "There was given 
to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan 
to buffet me.'' 

What was that thorn, do you know? I am 
glad I do not know. I am glad no human being 
knows just what that thorn was. Some of the wise 
men say the thorn in St. Paul's flesh was the fact 
that his eyesight was defective. For you know 
when he fell under the convicting power of God, he 
was blind three days and nights, and they tell us 
his eyesight was never entirely restored, and that 
that was the thorn in his flesh. Perhaps as he 
walked the streets the people said, " There goes old 
half-blind Paul, trying to teach people the way to 
heaven. Just look at him !" This was trying to a 
sensitive nature such as his. Others have said that 
the thorn in St. Paul's flesh was a defect in one of 

God's Grace Sufficient. llf; 

his legs^ by reason of which he had to limp as he 
went through the world^ carrying the Gospel^ and 
then perhaps they would say as they saw him, 
"Watch old Paul now, hobbling along^ trying to 
show the people how to get to glory. He is a nice 
fellow trying to teach people." The fact that he 
was lame was indeed a sore trial to him, and then 
to be scoffed at on account of his infirmity was in- 
deed sad. Another wise man tells us that he thinks 
the thorn in St. Paul's flesh was the continued sup- 
pression of the ambition of his nature. Paul was 
eminently a great man. God never made a greater 
man, intellectually, morally, or spiritually than St. 
Paul. I measure his head and his heart, and I 
do n't know which is the bigger. If you will find me 
a man who has a great deal of brains and no heart, 
I will find you a stolid, sound, solid, decent, dog- 
matic doctor of divinity that has not won a soul to 
Christ in twenty years; but there is one thing he 
will do, — he will "contend for the faith once de- 
livered.'' And he is giving a falsehood to his own 
proposition, " contending for the faith once de- 
livered." It ought to be for the faith delivered ten 
thousand times. 

Brother, I reckon we need these men in the 
world. I have never been wise enough to know 
why these men go all to head. There is a woman, 
they say, in the show who is nearly all gone to feet, 
but it 's a sad sight to see a fellow gone altogether to 
head. He would wear a number thirty hat, I sup- 
pose, and his head would weigh fifty pounds and 
bis body forty. That 's out of proportion. Brother, 

116 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

it 'a the head and the heart together that we are to 
look at, and this grand man had both. 

And now to curb the ambition of his nature, St. 
Paul — ^the Saul of Tarsus, with a world stretched 
out before him, with powers to succeed in any direc-r 
tion, with qualifications equal to the grandest accom- 
plishments in life — ^is chained in the eyes of the world 
to the humble and despised Nazarene and his truths. 

I do not think it was the defect in his eye- 
sight; I do not think it was his lameness. I do 
not think it was suppressed ambition or sub- 
dued ambition. You ask me what it was — this 
thorn in his flesh. I say I do not know. Look 
here. If suppressed ambition were all my trouble^ 
I could get along finely. If it were only lameness, 
I could hobble along. If it were defect in my eye- 
sight, I could put up with that. But I tell you, 
brother, every man in this world has some supreme 
thorn in his flesh, and he can cherish the blessed 
thought, " May be this was the very thing that 
crushed St. Paul's spirit, and brought him so low to 
the mercy-seat." 

Now, what your thorn is I do not know, but 
there is not a person here to-day without a thorn. 
You know there is something you never talk about, 
never mention to any human being on the face of 
the earth. Did you ever notice that ? You may 
talk a great deal, yet there is something you keep 
to yourself. There are some moments when God 
alone can take our arm and walk with us, or we 
would not go right. 

Paul did not tell what his thorn was. He might 

God's Grace Sufficient. 117 

have saidy '^ I am suffering more than angels can 
bear/^ "What is your case ? "I can not tell you 
about it; I want your sympathy and prayers." 
Where is the man who has not carried a thorn in 
his flesh of which he has never spoken ? I know 
that I have gotten a great deal of consolation in my 
distressed moments in the thought that ** Welli after 
all, may be this thing that pressed so sorely on the 
life and character of this great man — may be I am 
to bear that." 

Now, brother, St. Paul carried this thorn in his 
flesh, the messenger of Satan, to buffet him. He 
carried it until he felt in his heart, " I can carry it 
no longer." Have n't you been right there ? Have 
you not felt that you must be relieved, or you would 
die? St. Paul reached that point. What did he 
do? St. Paul looked at this whole trouble, and 
then, when the world and his friends had turned 
their backs upon him, he fell on his knees and 
prayed, " O, Lord, I beseech thee, let this depart 
from me ; I am overloaded." He got up off his 
knees and said : " I get no relief in prayer. If 
angels don't help, humanity won't. My friends 
turn their backs on me. What must I do ?" And 
he dropped on his knees the second time, and said, 
" O, Lord, do have mercy upon me." And he 
prayed earnestly, and got off his knees the second 
time, and there was the thorn still in his flesh, with 
all of its unspeakable pain. He looked at the world ; 
his friends turned back from him ; and at the angels, 
and there was a moment, perhaps, when he said, 
"O, what can I do?" And St. Paul dropped the 

118 Sam Jonk' Own Book. 

third time on his knees. And there is -a charm in 
this third prayer^ brother; and imagine the third 
prayer of St. Paul, and the blessed Christ, as he stood 
at the Father^s side and said : '^ Father, something 
must be done. I recollect the third time I prayed 
in the garden of Gethsemane. I remember when I 
had prayed once and got up, I found my disciples 
all asleep, and I awoke them, and when I went into 
the garden a second time, and came back, I found 
them asleep again, and I went all alone and almost 
hopeless into the garden, and kneeled down the 
third time, and the bloody sweat burst from my 
body, and how I prayed that the cup might pass 
from me, and that I might be fanned with the wings 
of thy love. O, Father, I recollect that. Some- 
thing must now be done." And I imagine the 
great God stood up in the presence of the angels, 
and looked over the parapets of heaven, reached 
down and put his thumb on the thorn in St. Paul's 
flesh, and drove it up, and said, ^' My grace is suffi- 
cient for thee.'' And St. Paul stood up, and has 
never said a word about that thorn from that day to 
this. Thank God I 

"My grace is sufficient for thee." That's it, 
brother ; that 's it. 

I tell you, my brother, to-day, whatever your 
supreme trouble is, whatever may be the thorn you 
are carrying, go to God with it. If God does not 
pluck it out, he may drive it to the very head, but 
he will say, " My grace is sufficient for thee." When 
we go to God, and he puts his hand on that thorn, 
and drives it up, and says, " My grace is sufficient 

God's Gbace Sufficient. 119 

for thee/' trust him and he will give yoa strength. 
When you are weak you are going to be strength- 
ened under him. 

Thank God, I say, that there are weak moments 
in our lives. Then God shows his power and love. 
May God help you to trust in him, and help you to 
see that whatever your thorn is he will take care of 
it for you. 


Repentance is the first conscious movement of 
the soul from sin toward God. 

Christ always lives where there is room for him. 
If there is room in your heart for Christ, he lives 
there ; if there is room in a law-office for Christ, he 
lives there ; if there is room in your store for 
Christ, he lives there ; if there is room on a loco- 
motive engine, he will be there ; if there is room in 
your baggage-car, he will be there. Everywhere 
there is room for him ; he will come into our homes, 
and into our stores, and into our shops, and on our 
engines, and in our oars — ^that is, if we will provide 
room for him. 

Sermon VII. 


"And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in 
thee."— PsA. xxxix, 7. 

"T T THAT wait I for ?** Here is a very practical 
VY question, and a very wise conclusion; and 
we notice, first, that it is a personal ^question. It 
is not, What is this city waiting for? not. What is my 
neighbor waiting for? not. What is my wife waiting 
for, or my children waiting for, but " What wait I 
for?'' It is a personal matter at last; nobody can 
believe for you ; nobody can repent for you ; no- 
body can join the Church for you ; nobody can be 
baptized for you; nobody can shoulder the cross 
for you ; nobody can die for you ; nobody can stand 
before the judgment throne for you ; nobody can be 
bound hand and foot and cast out for you ; nobody 
but you can wear the starry crown that may be 
yours. O, if we could just get men to think per- 
sonally about this question : 

''As soon as I from earth shall go 
What will become of me ? 
Eternal happiness or woe 
Must then my portion be." 

O, how can a man be religious without making 
it a personal fhatter? How can a man write a re- 
ligious epistle, as St. Paul did, without putting a 
great deal of the first person singular in it ? If a 



What Wait I Fob? 121 

man talks out of his heart he appears egotistical. 
If a man sits down and writes out of his heart he 
appears egotistical. Somehow or other^ though^ if 
you take that " I^' out of your head you'll be ego- 
tistical ; but when the " I," and the " my," and the 
" me " come out of the heart there is really no ego- 
tism in it. 

" What wait I for ?" " Well/' that man sitting 
back there says : " I '11 tell you what I 'm waiting 
for: I'm waiting for time to consider this great 
question. It is a momentous question. I do n't 
believe a man ought to hurry into a thing of this 
sort ; and I believe if there is any thing that ought 
to demand the most painstaking care and coolest 
thought and meditation it is this great step. This 
is an important point to me, and I tell you I 'm 
waiting for time to consider this question." Con- 
sider what? Look here! Do you want any time 
to consider whether it is better to live right than to 
live wrong? Do you want any time on a proposi- 
tion like that? Do you want any time to consider 
this proposition : ^^ Is it better to live and be a good 
man than it is to be a bad man ?" How much time 
do you want to consider that question in ? Why, 
there is not a sensible man forty years old that 
did n't settle the question twenty-five years ago that 
right is right, and he ought to do it ; that wrong is 
wrong, and he ought not to do it; that it is better 
to be good than it is to be bad ; that it is better to 
go to heaven than it is to go to hell ; and yet some 
one says: "I want time." Look here, brother: is 
that wise? is that sensible? When I look at the 

il— B 

122 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

infinite goodness of God and his numberless calls to 
men to lead a better life^ and I look at what an 
infinite cheat the devil is, and always has been, 
that is the most ridiculous proposition that a mortal 
man ever made in his life. Want time to consider 
this great question! 

"What wait I for^ "Well," says another, 
"I 'm waiting for better terms. You preachers and 
the Bible are too hard on us poor fellows. I 'm 
waiting until the day comes when I can drink 
whisky, and tell lies, and dance, and play cards, and 
do as I please, and be a Christian man at the same 
time. Whenever that time comes around you can 
put my name on the roll." Now, brother, if you 
want an easy religion, some of the Churches in this 
town will accommodate you. That is, they will 
accommodate you as far as they run their train. 
There 's a great deal in that. There 's many a 
little short branch road in this country, and they Ve 
trying to advertise them as grand trunk lines to 
Glory. But, brother, there ^s only one grand trunk 
line to Glory, and the only terminus of that grand 
trunk line is Conviction and Repentance. The 
next station along the route, as you move up the 
line, is Conversion. That^s a beautiful city. I 
stopped there, and found grand accommodations. 
The next station on that line is Obedience. You 
never spent a day in a happier, brighter town than 
that. A little further along the line is Brotherly 
Love, and this line just runs through the garden 
spot of the universe. When you step aboard that 
train once you step aboard with a through ticket, 

What Wait I Fob? 123 

and your baggage checked^ and do n't get off any- 
where. I believe the Methodist train on this route 
stops occasionally and lets off passengers that do n't 
want to go through. But I pray God, if the Meth- 
odists of the city ever get going again fifty miles 
an hour they will never stop any more, and if a 
fellow is fool enough to jump off you let him go ! 

O, how I wish every man here to-night could 
see that the terms of Christianity, the terms of 
apostleship, are just about these: Quit every thing 
that ever degraded a mortal man, or ever led a soul 
astray, and then do the thing that will help human- 
ity and bless the world. The terms of discipleship 
are about these : " Cease to do evil ; learn to do 
well," and I, for one, am glad that the Lord won't 
take a man until he agrees to do the clean thing. 
I am so glad God told me, ''You have got to quit 
drinking.^' If the Lord had said, '' I will take you in, 
but you can drink on,'' I should to-night, it may be, 
have been in a drunkard's grave and in a drunkard's 
hell. I am so glad the Lord imposes conditions 
that must be agreed to if a man wants to be religious. 

Another says : " I '11 tell you what I am waiting 
for: I'm waiting for the Church of God to get 
right." Yes, and you'll be in hell a thousand 
years before that thing ever happens. You can 
put that down. It never has been right. When 
Jesus called his twelve apostles aside aud conse- 
crated them to the work of their discipleship, one 
of them had a devil ; and I think we 're getting on 
first-rate if we have twelve hundred members and 
have but a hundred devils in the whole number. 

124 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

If there 's any thing in the world that disgusts 
me, it is to see an old sinner walk into the Church 
and take out the lamest, shortest, erookedest, tri- 
flingest old member we have got, and measure with 
him. Why does n't he pull out a first-class member, 
and measure with him? He wouldn't go within 
a mile of him. If he were to lie down by his side, 
he 'd look like a little rat terrier lying by an ele- 
phant. I say, in the name of sense, brother, what 
do you want to bother with the hypocrites in the 
Church for ? Listen to me. Those mean members 
in the Church are cast into hell, to live with the 
wicked forever. Come into the Church and live 
with the hypocrites, anyhow, for twenty or thirty 
years here, and go on to heaven and be rid of them 
forever. That 's my doctrine. Hypocrites ain't in 
my way. I have put them all behind me. Noth- 
ing can be in my way unless it's ahead of me. 
I '11 tell you, whenever you hear a man talking 
about hypocrites being in his way, it 's because he 's 
in the rear of the hypocrites, and that's mighty low 
ground, isn't it? 

"I want the Church to get right." Brother^ 
let 's you and I tote our own skillets, and let every 
body else alone. What do you say? When it 
comes to working, and striving, and toiling with 
other men, I want to do what I can to help every 
man to be good, but you can 't talk the meanness 
out of some men, because they take their meanness 
as a reason why they 're mean. Talking about 
hypocrites as being in your road, you 're mighty far 
back if that 's the case. '^ Waiting for the Church 

What Wait I Foe? 125 


to get right.'' Stop all such talk as that. There 
are enough good people in the Church to form fel- 
lowship with you, and help you to God if you want 
to go^ thank God. 

Another man says : " Well, I 'm not waiting for 
the Church ; I 've got through that. The Churches 
ain't bothering me. I used to talk a heap about 
them, but since I have got a good look at myself I 
have never been bothered much about other folks' 
meanness." And there is a good deal in that, too. 
An old member of the Church said to me one day, 
" Jones, my trouble is this — I can 't love my neigh- 
bor as I do myself." Said I, "You can't?" He 
answered, " No, I can 't." " Well," said I, " I have 
never had any trouble on that score." " How did 
you work it ?" he asked. " Well," said I, " I got 
a good look at myself thirteen years ago, and I . 
have n't met a man since that I did n't think more 
of than I did of Sam Jones." Why, I am getting 
along finely on that line. O, me, if you ever get a 
good look at yourself, then you are going to think 
more of every body you meet than you do of your- 
self. You let all other people alone. Every tub 
must stand on its own bottom. I am responsible to 
God at last for myself, and for no other being in 
the universe. 

" But," says another, " I am waiting for feeling. 
If I ever get feeling, then I am going to start." 
Look here! The dog is running on feeling. When 
he feels like running rabbits he will run them, and 
when he does n't he won't. If I were you, and had 
made up my mind to run on feeling, I would run 

126 Sam Jones^ Own Book. 

rabbits the balance of my life. I think I would 
make that my business. 

A man waiting for feeling is like a fellow sitting 
down by the big oak tree in the morning. It is a 
frosty^ cold, crisp morning. He is sitting there by 
the tree, with an ax leaned up against his knee. 
I ask him, " Friend, what are you going to do ?" 
** I am going to cut down this tree and maul it into 
rails." « You are ?" '' Yes." « Well, why do n't 
you get up and go at it?" " I am waiting to sweat." 
" Well, if you will get up and go to cutting, you 
will sweat." " I — I ain't going to cut a lick until 
I sweat," and he just sits there until he freezes to 
death. Now, what are you going to do with a fel- 
low like that? 

Feeling is the result of religious exercise, just as 
perspiration is the result of physical exercise. But 
I can prescribe feeling for you now, if you are 
honest about it. 

You stir around and begin to right the wrongs 
you have done in this city. ' Go and try to bring 
-character back to the one that you have robbed of 
her character. Go and take that money that you 
have defrauded another man out of, and count it 
out, and say : " Sir, I got this wrongfully. I am 
sorry for it. Here is your money." You will have 

Look here, what do you mean by feeling, any- 
how ? Listen; if you mean serious thought^ then I 
say you are right. Have n't you got serious thought, 
and have n^t you had it for several days, on the 
subject of religion ? Then, brother, that is all 

What Wait I For? 127 

the feeling that a sensible man wants — serious 

Another says, " Well, I am not waiting for feel- 
ing; I am waiting until I know I can get through." 
Now, we get to the serious part of this question. 
Brethren, I always had an infinite horror of starting 
to be a Christian and then stopping. I preferred 
waiting until I got religion enough to take me clear 
through before I started. Now let me illustrate 
that for you. Once I was going out of Atlanta. 
Just before the engine backed down to couple on 
the passenger train, I was walking out around the en- 
gine. I wanted to look at the magnificent locomo- 
tive that would pull us out toward my home. The 
engineer was oiling it up. Directly he looked up 
in the cab and said to the fireman, '^ Have you got 
steam enough to start?" The fireman answered, 
"Yes." I walked back and peeped around at the 
steam gauge and I saw he had about seventy or 
eighty pounds of steam, and about three minutes 
later he rolled his engine back and coupled on to 
the passenger train and rung his bell and moved 
out. When I got on that train, I thought, " Well, 
it is strange; it is one hundred and thirty-eight 
miles to Chattanooga, and a great deal of it up 
grade, and that engine carries one hundred and sixty 
pounds of steam, and he left here with eighty pounds. 
1 wonder what in the world is the matter with 
those men ? What do they mean ?" Well, then I 
got to thinking. The engineer never asked if he 
had enough steam to run to Marietta, twenty miles, 
nor enough to run to Cartersville, fifty miles^ nor 

128 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

enough to run to Chattanooga, one hundred and 
thirty-eight miles, but he asked, " Have you got 
enough to start with?^' Then the fireman said yes, 
and off he started. And Chattahoochee River was 
sixty-seven miles from Atlanta, and just before we 
got to the river the engine turned around the curve, 
and why, she was blowing off; she had more steam 
than she wanted ; she had more than one hundred 
and sixty pounds. Then I got to thinking this 
way : Suppose that engineer had stopped and waited 
in Atlanta until he Jiad steam enough to run to 
Chattanooga. That would have blowii the engine 
into ten thousand pieces ; she could n't have held it 
to save the world, do n't you see. And there is a 
little fellow out there who is waiting for enough re- 
ligion to take him to glory, but before he could 
turn a wheel, if he could get that much into his 
little soul, it would blow it into ten thousand 

Do n't wait to get enough religion to take you 
to heaven. Do n't wait to get enough to take you 
half-way to heaven, or ten years on the way to 
heaven ; but, brother, have you got enough to start 
with? That's it. Well, how much is enough? 
Wrong is wrong; I will quit. Kight is right; I 
will go at it. That is steam enough to start with. 
If you will pull your throttle wide open, and move 
out, you will be blowing off before you get half- 
way to heaven. 

But now let us step back on the right side of 
this question. " What I wait for ? My hope is in 
(Jod." Well, brother, here is the great soul-stirring 

What Wait I For? 120 

thought of the whole thing. When I first started 
out they could have said to me, " Jones^ you are as 
weak as a bruised reed ;" but I would have told them, 
"O, I know that, but my hope is in God." If they 
had said to me, ^' Joaes, you will have ten thousand 
temptations," I would have said, " O, I know that, 
but my hope is in God." They could have said to 
me, " O, Jones, I tell you, you have undertaken 
a task that is a great one indeed ;" but I would have 
told them, ''I know that, but my hope is in God." 
"Jones, you will fail a thousand times." " Well, I 
may, but I want you to know that my hope is in God, 
in God." If my hope had been in money, I could 
not have bought a hope. I had nothing to buy it 
with. If my hope had been in my wife — and she 
has been all the world to me; she has been like a 
crutch under each one of my arms, carrying me 
along for seventeen years — I might have had to bury 
her, and then my hope would have been buried for- 
ever. Suppose my hope had been in my children, 
the time might have come when I would bury the 
last one of them, and then my hope would have 
perished with them. Suppose my hope had been in 
the preachers, the time might have come when they 
would all turn their back on me, and then my 
hope would be departed. Suppose my hope had 
been in the Church, the time might have come when 
the Church would drive me away from her presence, 
and then I would be driven away from my hope. 
fiut hear me, brother, my hope is not in wife, dear 
as she is; nor in children, precious as they are; nor 
in the Church, as blessed in her influence as she is 

130 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

• to me ; nor in the preachers, whom I love more than 
all other men in the world; but thanks be unto 
God, my hope is in him, and I want to announce 
the truth that ought to inspire every heart here to- 
night. Brethren, I am as strong as the thing I 
commit myself to and no stronger. If I start 
across the Atlantic Ocean in a paper box, just as 
soon as ray paper box gets wet, it goes down, and I go 
down with it. I am no stronger than the box I have 
committed myself to. If I step on board of that grand 
ocean steamer and start out over the ocean, then all 
the strength in her hull and all the power in her 
boiler and all the comfort of her cabin are mine, and 
I will never go down until she goes down. If I 
commit myself to the arm of flesh, I am no stronger 
than the arm I commit myself to, and when the 
arm of flesh fails, I fail with it. But blessed be 
God, if I commit myself to God, I will never go 
down until God goes down. He is my hope and 
my strength and my portion forever. Blessed be 
his holy name. I give him my hand and my heart. 
Let your hope be in God, and there is no power in 
earth or hell that can wreck you or ruin you. Start 
out, friends, with that hope to-night. If you will 
just start, then God will carry you through. 

Sermon •VIII. 


" What must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on 
the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved and thy 
house." — Acts xvi, 30, 31. 

THIS 18 the language of the Philippian jailer to 
St. Paul, and Paul's answer. As a minister 
of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I have no right to 
advise a man to do any thing that he may not die 
doing and die saved. I might advise a man to join 
the Church — I know that is helpful and good ad- 
vice, and I wish every man was a member of the 
Church of Jesus Christ, and was living up to the 
precepts of his blessed religion; and yet I see how 
a man may join the Church, and live in the Church 
and die in the Church, and yet be lost at last. And 
that's the saddest reflection of a human soul — gone 
from the heights of profession down to the depths 
of damnation. I might advise a man to read good 
books, and I wish there were no bad books in the 
universe. I am sorry that a bad book was ever 
published. I am sorry that any bad book ever had 
an entrance into your home, brother. I am sorry 
that one of your children, or one of you, ever sat 
down and worse than threw away your time read- 
ing bad books. I wish there were only good books, 
and that men would read them, and when I advise 
a man to read good books I am giving him good 

advice ; but I see how men may go from the best 


132 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

libraries of earth down to hell at last. I might ad- 
vise a man to be baptized in the name of the 
Trinity, and, brethren, this is a rite commanded of 
God; yet a man who has been baptized may go 
down to hell, unsaved at last. 

I might advise a man to take the sacrament of 
the Lord's-supper. This is one of the sacraments 
of the Church of God, and I am sorry for any man 
who lies down to die with the consciousness, *^ These 
hands have never handled the cup of my Lord, and 
have never tasted of the bread which is emblematic 
of the broken body of the Son of God.'' Yet I see 
how a man may take communion regularly, may 
partake of the sacrament once a mouth, and die and 
be lost at last. 

I might advise a man to keep good company, 
and I wish all men were good, so that there would 
be no bad company, for nothing can be more in- 
jurious than bad company, and nothing more help- 
ful than good company ; and yet I see how it is 
possible for a man to keep good company all his 
life and die unsaved. These things are all good. I 
would not, I say, underestimate a single one of 
these efficient means to take us to God ; but there 
is only one sufficiency, and that is faith in the Lord 
Jesus Christ. And he who has this faith with 
works of love, and purifies his heart and overcomes 
the world shall be among that blood-washed num- 
ber that shall shout and shine forever in heaven. 

"What must I do to be saved?" The question 
is given, the question is answered, and I have often 
thought how good God is to us. He asks us ques- 

How TO BE Saved. 133 

tions and there on the pages of that book six thou- 
sand years old^ some of them four thousand^ some 
two thousand years, are the answers. But now 
here's a trembling, ruined man who cries out, 
" What must I do to be saved ?" , And the answer 
in the twinkling of an eye comes ringing down 
through his soul: '^ Believe on the Lord Jesus 
Christ and thou shalt be saved/' Thank God for 
an answer as quick as heaven can give it to all who 
ask in sincerity and truth what they must do to be 

We might stop profitably to-night on the ques- 
tion itself, "What must I do to be saved?'' Now, 
this term, " saved," " salvation," is not a song ; it is 
not a sentiment; it is not a tear; it is not a shout; 
it is not feeling happy ; but in its broadest, high- 
est sense it means simply this— deliverance from sin ; 
deliverance from all that God despises. 

Brethren, we may leave this city for the city of 
refuge. Every step that takes me away from it is 
carrying me towards the city of refuge. Every step 
from sin is bringing me a step closer to the right. 
And conversion means being turned from the wrong 
and turned to the right. Tt is being brought into 
such relations to God, and into such harmony with 
God that T naturally love the right, and abhor the 
wrong. Behold all old things have passed away, and 
all things have become new. Now I find that 
what I once hated I love, and what I once loved I 
hate. Whenever I realize in my soul that I abhor 
sin and love the right, I have passed from death 
into life, because passing from death- into life is 

134 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

always presupposed by the fact that I loved the 
wrong and did the wrong, and eschewed the right 
and would not do the right. But now, when one steps 
out into the realm where he hates the wrong and loves 
the right, if there hasn't been a mortal cliange in 
the nature of that man, what in the universe could 
have produced such a state of things with him? 

"What must I do to be saved?'' Now we have 
had a great deal to say about getting religion. 
There is no such a phrase as "getting religion" in 
the Bible. Brother, let your religion get such a 
grip on you that you love the right and eschew the 
wrong the rest of your days. 

S.eligion is not the love of the beautiful and aes- 
thetic, but it is the grand principle underlying every 
stratum of life, guiding me and directing me in the 
path of truth 'and of righteousness. A good many 
men are looking for some mysterious transforma- 
tion, some sudden, unexpected, serious, radical trans- 
formation. The best men I have ever met in my 
life did n't know the day nor the hour when they 
were born to God. The best man in my State told 
me from his own lips : " Brother Jones, I have 
loved Jesus ever since I commenced loving my 
mother, and my mother and Christ have always 
been associated together in ray mind." Brother, I 
never ask a man what sort of experience he had 
to begin with, but, " Brother, are you loyal to God 
now ? Do you love the right, do you hate the 
wrong?" That is the question. 

Well, a great many say, " If I ever get religion 
as you say, why, I will know it by certain signs." 

How TO BE Saved. 135 

Do you know that has been the curse of the world, 
crying for signs? Do you know that religion 
does not come by signs, but it comes by faith ? It 
comes by faith. Listen to me. . If a man believes 
any thing after he gets religion that he didn't be- 
lieve before he got it, I have never had any re- 
ligion. I never saw the day in my intelligent life 
since I have been old enough to read my Bible that 
I did n't believe every thing that I believe to-night. 
If there is a drop of blood of the infidelity of my 
people for four generations back, I have been un- 
able to trace it up. My grandfather and his father, 
and my own father and myself, have never doubted 
the truth of the word of God. I was as well satis- 
fied up to twenty-four years of age that Jesus 
Christ died to save sinners, and that I was a sinner, 
and that he was able to save unto the uttermost, as 
I am to-night. I believed in Jesus Christ twenty- 
four years, and lived just as if I didn't believe a 
word of it. But for thirteen years I have believed 
it, and I have lived the best I could, God being my 


The mistakes of my life have been many. I am 
not what I want to be. T am not as far along as I 
hoped to be, but if I ever get through the pearly 
gates at all, it won't be for any good thing I have 
done. I am so glad that at the last day my 
salvation will not depend upon my works of 

If I ever get to heaven and my precious mother 
throws her arms around my neck and begins to con- 
gratulate me about getting through safely, I will . - . 

136 Sam Jones* Own Book. 

say, " Hush mother. You go and show me the 
Lord Jesus, and I will show you the grand Being 
that put me on his shoulder and brought me all the 
way. I never could have dome unless he had 
brought me safe." I do n^t believe good works ever 
took any body to heaven, but, brother, I can 't see 
how I can get there without them. 

What must I do to be saved ? — ^saved from the 
wrong and saved to the right ? Brother, I used to 
want religion to keep me out of hell. I used to 
say, " I must be religious, I don't want to go to 
hell." Then at times I would say, " I want re- 
ligion because I want to go to heaven." But as I 
view this whole question to-night, heaven and hell 
are both secondary in my mind* I want the re- 
ligion of Jesus Christ to make a man out of me. I 
donH believe any thing in the universe of God can 
make a true man except the religion of Jesus Christ 
shed abroad in his heart. 

Now, what must I do to be saved ? — ^saved from 
all that will harm me, and all that will offend God; 
saved to a good life, to a noble life and to a pure 
life? The answer comes from God. Let us take 
God at his word. "Believe on the Lord Jesus 
Christ and thou shalt be saved ;" and thank God for 
those other three words, " and thy house." Now 
faith is the principle upon which omnipotence slum- 
bers. You touch that principle, and you wake God 
up and wake angels up, and they rush to your 
help and your succor. Now we frequently hear, 
" Well, as soon as God gives me faith, then I am 
going to believe and be saved." Well, brother^ 

How TO BE Saved. 137 

faith 18 the gift of God; that is true. Eye- 
sight is the gift of God. Hearing is the gift 
of God. God gives me the power to see, but 
he never sees for me. God gives me the power 
to hear, but he does not go to Church and hear 
for me. I say the power to believe is the gift 
of God, but believing is the act of man. Suppose 
God had said to you, " You are born blind. You 
are blind and I know it, and sight is the gift of 
God, and I never gave you sight ; and now your 
salvation depends upon your seeing." You could 
have gone to judgment with your sightless eyes and 
turned them toward the great white throne and 
heard your condemnation : ^* Bind him hand and foot 
and cast him into outer darkness, because he did not 
see.'' You could go down to perdition and ride the 
crested waves of damnation and cry, "Unjust! un- 
just!'^ so loud that your cries would penetrate 
heaven itself. 

You say, " I can 't believe." A man goes into 
a store and says, "I want credit for a thousand 
dollars." The owner says: "I can't trust you." 
What does he mean ? Simply, " I won't do it." 
He could trust him for every dollar in that house 
if he wanted to. But when he says, " I can H trust 
you," he means in plain English, " I won't trust 
you." When you hear a man say, " I can 't 
trust God," he means in plain English, " I won't 
trust him." I know what is the matter; men 
won't believe. That is the way this world presents 
itself. Suppose I say, "There is a light over 
there, and if you see that light, you will be saved." 

12— B 

138 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

You say, " I do n't believe there is any light there." 
" Well, come on and I will show you." " I ain 't 
going." I catch the fellow and pull him up on the 
top of the hill where he can see the light ; then he 
puts his hands over his eyes. I jerk them down 
and he turns his head off from it. I push 
his head back around and he shuts his eyes. ^^ I 
just do n't intend to see it ; that is all." Many a 
man in this world doesn't intend to believe, and 
therefore he can 't believe. But the man who in- 
tends to believe is like the man who intends to see. 
He will see if the way is open. 

I say I can 't believe. I put my hand over my 
eyes and say, "I can't see that light." Why? 
Because I do n't comply with the conditions of 
sight. Take my hand down, and I can 't help see- 
ing. Why ? Because I comply with the conditions 
of sight. So, when I comply with the conditions 
of faith, I can 't help believing. When I do n't 
comply I can 't believe. Now, let us see what it 
means. What are the conditions of faith? Re- 
pentance. Now, what is repentance? Repentance 
is the gathering up of all the sins in your life 
in one common pile and throwing them down, 
and then walking off from them. When you 
walk off far enough from your sins, and walk up 
close enough to God for the warming rays of his 
life to begin to cause the doors of your heart to fly 
open, God comes in. Faith is the condition of re- 
ceptivity. It gets up under God and says, " Lord, 
let love drop and I will catch it, and it shall be 
mine forever." 

How TO BE Saved. 139 

Ood is all around you in every direction^ and 
you are walking right up to God; and when you 
walk far enough from siu, and close enough to God, 
tlie doors of your heart fly wide open, and you say, 
" My Lord and my God." 

Isn't it strange that God will come to a poor 
fellow when he gets down to where there is no 
chance at all ? Every other hope is gone. In your 
lost estate God begins to whisper to the soul, '^The 
word of faith is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and 
in thy heart.'' There is the life, there is the hope, 
there is the bleasedness, and there is the heaven in 
following the Lord Jesus Christ. That is it. Be- 
lieve on the Lord Jesus Christ. When Matthew 
was sitting at the seat of customs, Christ came along 
and looked at him with his tax-books, and said, 
" Follow me." Matthew closed up his tax-books, 
and went right after Christ. When he got up and 
commenced to put one foot aft^r another right down 
in Christ's tracks, if that is not religion, what do 
you call it? Listen: It is not the sentiment of 
faith, but it is the actual stepping out; it is the 
actual committal of your soul to the care of Christ. 
Believe. Now, a great many men say, I believe. 
Well, the mere believing that Christ died to save 
sinners does n't amount to much. You must believe 
with the hean., and believe unto the Lord Jesus 
Christ. Let your heart take hold upon him, and 
then follow him, ^' and thou shalt be saved and thy 
house." That is the sweetest thought. Not only 
thyself, but wife and children, and the servants of 
thy home, shall be saved. I do n't believe we care 

140 Sam Jones^ Own Book. 

enough^ brethren, for our women-folks. How many 
of us hold a love-feast, as the Methodists say, with 
our wives ? " Wife, how are you getting along 
now?" "Husband, how are you getting along 
now ?" I want my wife not to come and follow 
along behind me, but* I want my wife to take hold 
of my arm and keep right along with me. I recol- 
lect once I had been oflF for three or four weeks, 
and I came home and found my wife in bed sick. 
I sat there the next day with her, and she turned to 
me, with tears running out of her eyes, and said : 
"Husband, haven't you got more religion than you 
ever had in your life?" I said, "I don't know." 
She said, " You have either got more or I have got 
less, one or the other. If you have got more than 
I have, I want you to pray God Almighty to bring 
me up right side by side with you." I tell you, 
brethren, we don't care enough for wife, and we 
don't care enough for the children. The people of 
the world are more interested in the fashion of the 
world than we are interested in the good of our 

" Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou 
shalt be saved, and thy house." Thank God. The 
brightest sight I ever looked upon was a wife tak- 
ing her husband's arm, and then the oldest child 
coming right along, and then the next, and the 
next, on down to the youngest, the whole family, 
marching right into the kingdom of God. The sad- 
dest sight mortals ever looked upon is to see a hus- 
band taking his wife's hand, and the wife the oldest 
child's hand, and the oldest child the next, on down 

How TO BE Saved. -141 

to the smallest one^ and to see that husband leading 
them right along down to the very brink of the 
river of deuth^ and then making the final leap, and 
bringing them into that awful gulf with himself, 
wife, and the children. O, what a sight it must be 
to see an earnest and good wife loving and serving 
God, and trying to train her children right, while 
her husband, in his influence and life, is carrying 
the children off in another direction ! If there is a 
deeper, more fearful place in hell for one than for 
the rest of humanity, it must be for the man with 
a good wife, trying to train her children right, who 
is leading them to death and hell. O, stop a moment 
to-night, and think what is the character of your 
lives at home ! 


God implanted in every woman's nature an in- 
veterate hatred of the devil ; and your success for 
both worlds depends on how you live out that prin- 
ciple. Die fighting him. 

It is customary in Georgia to build storm-pits to 
protect the people from the fury of storms. I would 
not give one honest prayer for all the storm-pits in 
Georgia. I heard of a lady who, when she thought 
a storm was coming, started down to the storm-pit, 
and fell and broke her neck, and they never had 
any storm. 

Sermon IX. 


" I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of 
God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, 
acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service/' — 
Boh. XII, 1. 

THERE is nothing more reasonable than religion 
and the conditions upon which we may become 
Christians. It is reasonable^ rights and wise to be- 
come a Christian, and we are* besought to do so by 
the mercies of God. The great question in this 
nineteenth century is not whether a man ought to 
be religious, but how can he be? We have in our 
text a lesson : " Present your bodies a living sac- 
rifice, holy, acceptable unto God.^' That 's it. 

What do you mean by that? I mean simply 
this: There is but one road in the moral universe 
of God ; heaven 's at one end of it and hell 's at the 
other, and this text simply says: "Keep your back 
on hell and your face on heaven." In this road^ 
and there 's only one, if you turn your back on 
heaven, hell would be before you. A man does n't 
have to take a week's journey through the wilder- 
ness, across the mountains of God, to be in the road 
to heaven; all he has got to do is just to turn 
around, and he is just as much on the road to heaven 
as any body. There 's only one road. Which direc- 
tion are you taking? Up or down? Hellward or 


Religion a Reasonable Service. 143 

heavenward? This text turns a man around, and 
turns his face toward heaven, and turns his back 
upon all that's bad. If I turn nay back on the 
good, then I 'm bound to go to the bad. If the 
train I am on is going forty miles an hour south- 
ward to Chattanooga, I can't come to Cincinnati. 
Its momentum, its speed, its power, all carry me 
in the other direction. 

"Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, 
acceptable unto God." No man ever was or ever 
will be religious until he settles the question some- 
where along the line of life that he will have re- 
ligion. The Spirit of God, the Gospel of Christ, the 
Sabbath-school, with its training, a mother with her 
prayers, never made any man religious. When a 
man once decides the question of his destination all 
the resources of God help him along. How are 
you going to make a farmer out of your boy when 
he doesn't want to farm? How are you going to 
make a lawyer out of your boy when he does n't 
want to study law? If you want to help him how 
are you going to help him? How can God Al- 
mighty help a man to be religious when a man 
hasn't made up his mind to be religious? That's 
the question. This text involves the idea of choice. 
Do you know what choice means ? It means I '11 
take this in preference to that. It means I '11 give 
up that and take this. 

There is a great difference between a desire to be 
religious and a choice to be religious. A man may 
die desiring to be a Christian and yet he may go 
to hell, for he dies without religion ; but no man 

144 Sam Jones^ Own Book. 

ever did make a choice to be a Christian and die 
without religion. Choice means, I '11 give this up 
and take that. Choice raeans^ I will sell out all I 
have and invest in this. I will be religious. A 
man must come to an agreement with his Maker. 
O, happy man that has reached this point in his 
experience, where he can look into the face of his 
Maker and say, " Father, God, from this moment I 
will be loyal to thee; I will do right, I will quit 
wrong !" 

" Fear God and keep his commandments." Let 
a man come to the point in his understanding with 
his Maker, and say, "In thy name and with thy 
blessing I will quit all that's wrong and do all 
that 's right," he is a happy man. There 's no 
doubt about that ; there 's something sensible in that. 
It's astonishing how we know right from wrong 
and wrong from right. It 's astonishing how many 
people know all about these two things! There's 
something practical about this. Quit what's wrong 
and get to doing what's right. That's it I Just as 
certainly as any railroad leads into or out of this city, 
just so certainly a man who will quit wrong and take 
to doing right will find his way to God. 

There are a great many little side issues I might 
bring, to be specially orthodox ; but the question is 
not whether you are orthodox, but is your life con- 
secrated to Christ, and are you doing your duty? 
That's my religion. I like the good old practical 
religion that will make a fellow tell the truth when- 
ever he opens his mouth ; that will make him pay 
his debts, and love his neighbor, and be good to his 

Religion a REASONAfiLE Sebvige. 146 

wife and pleasant to his children. I do n't care 
what your professions are^ if you have that kind — 
if you're not a hypocrite — ^you are on the right 
road. A man who is snappish^ and cross and mean 
to his wife and his children, and won't pay his 
debts, no matter what he profe^sses, is a hy^iocrite. 

If a man has assumed a right attitude towards 
God, then the next question comes, " What are you 
going to do about this world?" This world is a 
multitudinous^ affair, and the apostolic injunction is, 
" Be not conformed to this world, but be ye trans- 
formed by the renewing of your mind." 

Do yon know what 's the matter in this city ? Is 
it the drunkenness, lying, thieving, licentiousness 
and outbreaking wickedness of the Church members? 
No, sir ! But, if you want to know what's paralyz- 
ing the Church and destroying its heart power, I '11 
tell you: It's the tide of worldliness that's sweep- 
ing over your homes and dragging families down to 
hell. It's dancing with this world, and going to 
theaters with this world, and drinking with this 
world, until we have only about one more thing to 
do, and that 's to go to hell with the world ! 

A great many of us are doing that very same 
thing, too. I like to see a Christian put himself in 
a right attitude towards the world. This world has 
no -right to furnish a fashion for us to be governed 
by. Fashion ! Custom ! I declare it has reached 
that point now where some of our Churches increase 
their membership by dragging the Church to see 
new families moving in the neighborhood, and say- 
ing to them: "If you want to get into society you'll 

IS— B 

146 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

have to join our Church/' I am glad of every social 
feature in this universe, but you know what I mean 
by '^society." These dinners, where you 're consid- 
ered stingy, may be impolite, if you don't have wine 
on your table, and cards in your home, and germans 
in your house ; that 's the society I mean. It is a 
heartless cannibal, feeding upon soul and body. 
" But every one has cards, or social dances and ger- 
mans !" Every body ! It's a lie ! They do n't, and 
I 'm glad of it. 

My house is consecrated to God, just like this 
church, and nobody comes there to dance or engage 
in a wine supper, or a ball, or a game of cards. 
They all know that house is God's house. I will 
protect my home. I never shall let this tide of 
worldliness sweep over my children. I see what it 
has done for others. I see how others are cursed 
and blighted. A Catholic priest in New York said 
that nineteen women out of twenty who had lost 
their character, and came to the confessional, told 
him they got their downfall in a ball-room. 

I know a man who opposes the world will be 
called a fanatic, and worse things than that. You 
Christians need to be looked after. If these sinners 
want to dance and drink and carouse about you I 
can safely plead with them ; but, when a man pro- 
fessing to be a Christian goes into these things, I 
will denounce him as Jesus Christ denounced whited 
sepulchers eighteen hundred years ago. What's the 
use talking to sinners when the deacons and leaders 
of the churches, and stewards, rent their houses to 
women of ill-fame, and their property for bar-rooms 

Religion a Reasonable Service. 147 

and whisky-shops, and gambling hells^ and worse? 
You will have to sweep before your own doors be- 
fore you can reach Jesus' heart. 

Lord Jesus, give us men who say, " I have set- 
tled some questions with God. I am going to settle 
it now that I won't drink, nor play cards, nor run 
with this world, nor do any thing for or have any 
thing to do with it any further, if Jesus Christ will 
be with me. 

One of the governors of Georgia removed to the 
capital of our State. His wife, a good .woman, ac- 
companied him. After they had moved into the 
city of Milledgeville she sent her children to school, 
and one afternoon they came home and said to their 
mother, " Mamma, if you do nH take these red flan- 
nels off of us we '11 quit school." *' What 's the 
matter?" said the mother. "Well," said her chil- 
dren, "all the other children laugh about wearing 
red flannels, as they 're out of fashion." The old 
governor's wife said, "Now, look here, children, 
you mustn't come here and complain about the 
fashions, because I set the fashions here, myself, for the 
other folks." Let 's look this old world in the face, 
and set the fashion of what is right and keep it. 

" Be not conformed to this world." Do right 
under all circumstances, and everywhere. Suppose 
you starve to death, do right anyhow. Come to a 
good understanding with the world, but do not fol- 
low or love it. I do not know that I have been 
any more lucky than other people, but I tell you 
this, brethren, when I gave my heart to God, and 
my life to the service of Grod, this old world, some- 

148 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

how or another, thought I was in earnest. From 
that day to this no man has ever asked me to take 
a drink of whisky ; no man has ever invited me to 
a ball ; no one has ever invited me to a german, or 
to play a game of cards. I heard a trifling old 
Methodist in my town say once, '^ Our candidates 
are grand boys; they've asked me seven times to 
drink this morning.'' A candidate knows whom to 
offer drinks to. God help me so to keep my life 
ever before people that they may never dare ask me 
to do an unholy thing. It is an insult to a good man 
to be asked to do any thing a Christian should not do. 
The truth ! the truth ! Be not conformed to this 
world. I love to see a man or woman in the right 
attitude toward this world. Brother, you '11 never 
feel religious until you settle some questions with 
this world, and say, " I will not drink, or dance, 
or frolic, or go to theaters, or do any thing that's 
wrong — I won't do it." Now, let us see how good 
we can be. 


What is salvation ? Every theological book I 
look into tells me that salvation is deliverance — 
first, from the guilt. of sin; second, from the love 
of sin ; and, third, from the dominion of sin. That 
is what the books say salvation means ; but if I 
were to answer out of the Word of God, and out 
of Christian experience, I would say that it is the 
loving of every thing that God loves, and the hatr 
ing of every thing that God hates. 

Sermon X. 


'* Remembering without ceasing your work of faith and 
labor of love and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, 
in the sight of God and our Father."—! Thess. i, 3. 

THESE are the three elements of a Christian 
Church in its active life : works of faith, la- 
bors of love, and patience of hope in our Lord 
Jesus Christ. The Thessalonian Church, my breth- 
ren, did have favor with God and great influence 
among men. I believe in primitive Chrii^tianity. I 
will take apostolic Christianity with all its Puritanism 
and with all its transcendentalism before I will take 
nineteenth-century Christianity, with all its adultera- 
tions and all its finery. 

Apostolic Christianity; first-century Christianity I 
Well, that involves a great many things, brethren, 
A man gave up all then, and received all. A man 
is filled with the fullness of God just in proportion 
as he empties himself of the fullness of the earth. 
No two substances can occupy the same space at 
the same time. The more of this world we have 
in us, the less of God we have in us. In the very 
nature of the case this must be so. And if any 
man loves the world the love of God is not in 
him. We have made a great many improvements 
in other things, but when have we made any im- 
provement on apostolic Christianity? Paul said to 

this Church of the Thessalonians, '' Remembering 


160 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

your works of faith/' What is a work of faith? 

What is faith? Faith is taking something that 
is offered us from God^ and giving something to 
God that he asks for. That is all. There is a 
sense in which I receive from God by faith. There 
is a grander sense in which I give to God by faith. 
It is more blessed to be where you can give than 
where you have to receive. Now, there is a faith 
that receives, and I like that sort of faith. " Every 
good gift and every perfect gift comes from God." 
O, brother I God did not say, '^ Stand still and receive 
salvation,'' but, " Work out your salvation with 
fear and trembling." Works of faith! Now, I 
say that faith — simple faith — either takes something 
or gives something every time you offer it an op- 
portunity for so doing. It is doing the one thing 
or the other all the time. 

Whenever God offers you something — and he is 
always offering you every thing when you have got 
hungry — take it of God and be thankful for it. 
But there is a giving faith also, and that is shown 
in works. I know what is the work of sight. There 
is a farmer there plowing all along between the 
rows of his corn in his field. The corn waves on 
both sides of him, like a sea of green, and he plows 
along between the rows of his corn, and the man 
almost hears the joints of the corn crack in its 
covering, it is growing so fast. That is a work of 
sight. What is a work of knowledge? I will give 
you an illustration. I see a colored man walking 
along the street. I talk to him and he tells me, 
" I likes to work for So-and-so." " Why ?" " Be- 

Works of Faith and Love. 151 

cause I knows that jes' as soon as the work 's done 
there ^s the money/' You see there is the work 
of knowledge. But what is a work of faith ? An 
old colored man hit it the best. He said, ^' If 
God would tell me to jump through a rock wall 
ten feet thick I would jump at it. Going through 
it belongs to God, but jumping at it belongs to 
me." That is pure, clean-out, naked faith — God's 
faith. In other words, a work of faith speaks out, 
as Joshua did at Jericho, and says, " The Lord 
hath delivered this city into our hands,'' when 
there is not a crack in the wall. 

I will tell you another thing about faith. There 
is a past faith and there is a present faith, and 
there is a future faith. Faith ought to be like the 
Hebrew verbs. They are all of one tense, and that 
a present tense. You see sometimes our faith com- 
ing ahead of us, and we say that we are going to have 
a good meeting, and then it runs on for a while, 
and they say, " We should have had a good meet- 
ing, a splendid meeting, if we had done so and 
so." Now, it is the tense gone back and dropped 
behind. Whatsoever faith we have let us have it 
now. That is what we want. It is a faith that 
appropriates now the blessings God proposes to 
give us. 

Present faith ! A work of faith ! It is getting 
right straight along and doing what the Lord tells 
you to do, and asking no questions about it. A 
work of faith is manifested by obedience to the will 
and the word of God. The best reason that I have 
for knowing that my children have faith in me and 

152 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

faith in my love and devotion to them^ is that they 
never question me a moment when I tell them to 
do any thing. I would hate to have them to stop 
and question me about every thing that I tell them 
to do. If I told my little boy to bring me a drink 
of water^ and had to explaiii to him for ten min- 
utes why I wanted a drink of water, I would sooner 
get it myself and have done with it. If the Lord 
had to spend all his time in explaining why he 
wanted us to do this thing and that for him, why, 
he would not do it, for he can and would come 
down to do it himself. When you understand what 
the Lord wants, go on and do what he tells you. 

Well, then, the next thing we take up is the 
labor of love. What is the difference between a 
work of faith, and a work of love? There is no dif- 
ference in kind, but there is a difference in degree. 
Let us illustrate again. The day I joined the 
Church I sat up at night and talked with my wife. 
She was a happy woman, too, you can believe. A 
new day and a new life had dawned upon our 
home. And before she retired that night she took 
down the Bible, and said " Let us begin right,'' and 
gave the Bible to me. I took the Bible in my 
hand, and I commenced reading, but the words 
seemed to run all together, but I managed to get 
through some chapter, but I never remembered 
what chapter it was, or a word in it, and I have 
never remembered a single utterance. But this 
much I do remember, and that is that I read this 
Bible, and that I prayed, and that big drops of 
sweat covered my face when I had got all through. 

WoKKs OF Faith and Love. 153 

O, how hard it was. It was a work of faith. But 
I have kept at family prayer every night and morn- 
ing ever since^ and the most blessed moments — the 
sweetest moments I have at home are passed when I 
am reading the Bible. It was a work of faith then, 
but it turned into a labor of love, and now it is one 
of the sweetest duties in my home. 

Labor of love! Get so as to love to do right. I recol- 
lect the first sermon that I ever preached. O ! the 
agony I felt while I stood up before the people and 
tried to preach. O! brethren, I went right along, 
straight ahead, preaching the Gospel of the Son of 
God; and this evening, I would rather be a preacher 
than be a king. I would not swap places with the 
President of the United States. I would much 
rather be an humble minister of Christ Jesus than 
be the king of England or the czar of Russia. I 
will make it look as if I meant what I say if I 
show what I am talking about. I never told a 
bigger truth than that, and if God helps me to do 
my part well, and in the kingdom of God, I shall 
outshine every man who has been President of the 
United States, every thing else being equal. 

And labor of love ! I am sorry for the Chris- 
tians that have been Jong in the heavenly race and 
have not yet got so that they love to run. We have 
been cursed with people who have only talked 
about duty and done no running. What we want 
is love of labor. We want to be God's willing 
agent. We want to consider it a privilege to do 
what God wants us to do. I tell you I use family 
prayer, and trusting prayer, and seeking the needy, 

154 Sam Joni-^j' Own Book. 

and giving to the poor. I use all of these things 
as a bird does its wings, to carry me to where I am 
going to; and when I get to the kingdom of God I 
will cut off my wings and throw them away. I 
shall have no further use for them. But while I am 
going there I want wings just as a car wants wheels 
to roll on. I want visiting the sick, I want prayer, 
I want prayer-meetings, I want reading the Bible, 
because I use these things as the engine uses its 
wheels — to roll on. Take the wheels away from 
under an engine and what is it without them ? It is 
nothing but an old stationary affair and good for 
nothing but to run a saw-mill in the back-woods to 
saw fuel for the devil. And there is many a fellow 
in the Church who is good for nothing but to serve 
as a stationary engine back in pine woods cutting 
out lumber for the work of the devil. 

Labor of love! I like a Gospel that gives a 
man a delightful feeling every step he takes on the 
way to the better world. Labor of love ! I recol- 
lect when I was visiting Brother Prade in Rome. 
I was then a preacher at De Soto. Brother Prade 
was at the First Church. I was standing on my 
side of the river in a cabinet shop, and a lady 
stepped up on the front step and said, "Gentlemen, 
we have a gracious meeting in our church. Won^t 
you come and enjoy it with us?" And they said, 
" Yes, ma'am ;" and I walked to the door to see 
who the lady was, and recognized her as the wife 

of Colonel , who was confined to her room six 

months in the year with sickness, and yet I saw 
that woman halting and tottering along the side- 

Works of Faith and Love. 155 

walk, pale and trembling, doing a labor of love. 
And if I ever saw an angel of mercy on her mission 
of love and kindness to the human race, she was 
one. That is the sort of Christians we want. That 
is the labor of love we want. Those are the people 
who want to work for God, and you can not help 
them out of it. 

Let us take hold of these things we have been 
talking about, and get some good out of them. 
There is a rich, delightful territory higher up the 
stream to talk about. Brethren, there is nothing 
like leaning upon God's promises, and waiting upon 
God for his own good time. 


If you will tell me what you love, I will tell 
you what you are. A man's likes and dislikes de- 
termine his character. The difference between the 
Lord Jesus Christ and the enemy of souls is in their 
likes and dislikes. A man's aflSnities determine who 
he is and what he is. 

I AM no metaphysician, but I can see a hole 
through a ladder if there is any light on the other 
side. I will tell you there was very little meta- 
physics when the jailer stood up there trembling 
and asked, " What must I do to be saved ?" And 
there is not much metaphysics in the answer: "Be- 
lieve on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be 
saved.'* There is not much metaphysics about that. 

Sermon XI. 

" Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have 
no pleasure in the death of the wicked ; but that the wicked 
turn from his way and live ; turn ye, turn ye from your evil 
ways; for why will ye die, O bouse of Israel ?"—Ezkk. 

XXXIII, 11. 

GOD has said frequently to his children, " Come, 
let us reason together." He is a reasonable 
God, and you are reasonable men in many things, 
and he challenges you into his presence, and says, 
"Let us reason together about this. I have no 
pleasure in the death of the wicked." In other 
words, " I have nothing to do with the death of the 
wicked." I say there is nothing in the grace of 
God, and nothing in the blood of Jesua Christ, to 
save an impenitent man. 

These are clear, honest statements of Scriptural 
truths. There is nothing in the Pacific Railroad's 
movement of its trains to make you ship your goods 
over that road if you do n't want to ship them that 
way. There is nothing in the management of the 
Pacific road that can compel a man to travel over 
its lines if the man does n't want to go over them ; 
and we say honestly and emphatically that there is 
nothing in the atonement of Jesus Christ to save 
any but the lost ; and no man is saved, in a Gospel 
sense, until he first sees and feels he is lost. Wlu-n 

a man feels that he is lost in this sense, thank God 

Why will ye Die? 157 

he is getting to be found I Your salvation depends 
on. your patient continuance in well-doing. 

What is the judgment at last*? " Well done, 
thou good and faithful servant." It is n't, Well 
commenced. I have known people to begin a great 
many things well. It is n% Well carried on. I Ve 
known a great many people to carry on an enter- 
prise for years, and then break down. It is n't, Well 
begun or well carried on, but it is " Well done, well 
finished, well rounded up, thou good and faithful 
servant." And now, brother, listen : If you are an 
earnest, humble Christian, your salvation does not 
depend so much on what happened in the past, 
may be, as on what are you going to do from now 
on ? ^' If a righteous man forsake his righteousness 
and commit iniquity, the righteousness he hath done 
shall be forgotten, and he shall die in his sin." 
God says to the wicked, " If you forsake your wick- 
edness and do right, you shall live. I have no 
pleasure in the death of the wicked." 

I know the question is asked, '^ If Ood is omnip- 
otent and is love, then why should any man per- 
ish?" Brother, we have what we call human will 
in this world, and that will determines for you where 
you will go. If you go to hell, it is a matter of choice 
with you ; if you go to heaven, it is likewise a mat- 
ter of choice. Say, why did God endow man with 
will, then ? Look here, there are some things that 
are inherent in the nature of the thing. How 
oometh that engine on the track yonder? Its 
gauge indicates one hundred and fifty pounds pres- 
sure of st«am. What do they want with the steam ? 

158 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

Why, to pull the train behind the engine. But it 
may burst the boiler into ten thousand pieces I 
Yes, but that 's the inherent nature of the steam. 
When you sit in the train you always feel the pow- 
erful pulsations of the majestic engine in front, and 
that engine has power enough, in its nature to blow 
the boiler into ten thousand pieces. 

The powers that God has given you to direct 
you and move you, these same powers may destroy 
you for time and eternity. Kighteousness is the right 
use of God's given thing, and sin is the wrong use 
of God's given thing. If you use a thing wrongly, 
God is not responsible if you are blown up by it ; 
and the power to do right or wrong is inherent in 
the nature of man. I suppose they could have made 
an engine so that its boiler would n't bui*st ; but if 
they did, they 'd have to make some other sort of 
an engine than a steam engine. I've seen caloric 
engines, but they never get anywhere. 

Hear me. God has no pleasure in the death of 
him that dies ! My mother loved me because she 
had some of the nature of God in her own heart ; 
my wife loves me because some of the nature of 
God has been poured into her heart. God is love, 
and the great store-house of God's love is his heart, 
and we all draw from that store-house ; and all the 
love my wife and my mother and my children have 
for me has been drawn from the great store-house 
of the love of God. Did my wife's love save me ? 
Did my mother's love save me from a wicked life ? 
No, sir! No, sir ! In that sense God's love can 't 
save any man, and it never did save any man. 

Way will ye Die? 159 

If God's mercy, and God's love, and God's good- 
ness could save a man, then God was guilty of cru- 
elty to send his only begotten Son to suffer on the 
cross that he might wash away with his blood our 
sin. There is no means by which we can be saved 
except in the name of the only begotten Son of 
God. The Father sent his Son into the world not 
to condemn the world, but that through him the 
world might be saved. He bridges the chasm be- 
tween a sinking world and the God that made it ; 
and he was sent not to break down and crush and 
ruin humanity, but that we might cross over in 
safety on his atonement into the kingdom of God. 

I declare it to be as true as that I read my Bible 
that there is not a man here to-night but who may 
be in heaven within a hundred years from to-day. 
There isn't a man here to-night but who, if he 
makes the choice, can be in hell a hundred years 
years from to-day. Those ten decades will soon be 
gone, brethren. O, how the time flies ! Let's you 
and I settle it to-night. " By the grace of God, if 
that be true, I '11 be in heaven a hundred years 
from now." We may be there in ten years ; it may 
be in ten months ; it may be in ten days ; it may 
be in ten hours ; — we will be in the one place or the 

To the righteous I say, '* Keep on ; plow your 
furrow out; go on through;" but to the wicked I 
say, " Stop ! there 's danger and death ahead of 
you." There's a message for you" both to-night! 
Christian people, hear me, and go on in your way ; 
but, sinners, just stop long enough in your mad, 

160 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

onward rush to hear these truths. " Turn ye, turn 
ye, why will you die." The turning spoken of here 
means an actual, business-like turning away from 
sin, not a mock turning. There 's no farce about 
jthis thing; it's an actual turning away from sin. 

Here 's a merchant that 's been merchandising 
ten years, and he 's been losing money right along, 
and now he 's almost near to bankruptcy, and he re- 
solves he '11 close out his stock on hand^ and quit 
the business and go to farming. There 's a business 
turn about that thing. He does n't want to go on 
losing money ; he sees he's sinking every year, and 
he resolves to quit merchandising and go to form- 
ing. Turning away from sin is just as actual as is 
that man turning from merchandising. 

It seems to me sometimes that we 've got relig- 
ion diluted down to a sentiment or to a song; but 
it 's an outrage on the glittering, glorious Gospel of 
the Son of God. It is not a sentiment — it's a sanc- 
tified business. It 's a business contract binding on 
you. You do what God tells you to do, and then 
if God does n't do what he said he would do, you 
have an issue that will bankrupt heaven in a 

A great many people in this world want their 
pay before they do the job. There are two bad 
paymasters— one who pays before the job is done, 
and the one who never pays at all ; and the one that 
never pays at all is the best one, because if he pays 
humanity before they do the job, they will tell a 
thousand lies to get out of it, and never do it at all. 
Listen ! Some of you people want the pay before 

Why will ye Die? 161 

you do the work ! That 's your trouble. You say, 
''If God will bless me, I will do so and so/' I 
guess you will. Who are you that want to dictate 
the terms to him, and receive all the benefit your- 
self? God says, '' You do so and so and I will do 
so and so." Do your duty ; that 's the way. If 
you will do your duty, you will be religious, and you 
will be religious if you do your duty. Some people 
are always troubled to know what the Lord will do 
for them. Turn and you will be saved, said the 
Lord. The turning is your duty, and the saving is 
God's. If you turn and God does n't save you, then 
you will have an issue that will overturn the pillars 
of justice. The turn must be business-like, how* 
ever. You do n't want other people to pay you be- 
fore you do your duty, and why do you want the 
Lord to do it? A man doesn't want to pay for a 
bill of goods until he orders and receives them. 
You don't want to pay the blacksmith until he 
shoes your horse. Let's be decent and sensible in 
our turning to God. 

What 's the use in forswearing ball-rooms, and 
then wanting to go back to them ? What's the use 
in giving up cards, and still you 're nearly dead to 
play cards again ? I believe in Christian liberty, 
in a fellow getting religion and doing right. But 
whenever you get to rubbing up against ball-rooms 
and card-rooms and theaters, and such, you make a 
mistake — ^you have n't given up any thing. I loved 
to dance and do a hundred things that are wrong, 
but I have had as much desire to go to hell as to a 
ball-room since I got religion. I believe in a re- 

14— B 

► 162 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

ligion that sets us at liberty^ and makes us do the 
things we love to do, and makes us love the things 
we ought to do. You can 't turn away heartily to 
heaven, and yet long for the fleshpots of Egypt. 
I 've got into Canaan now, where the grapes and 
the pomegranates and the figs cluster thick above 
my head, and I can eat and rejoice. I have had 
enough of the leeks and onions. It is all choice. 
I take God's love to my hearty and put it on, and 
follow his directions. 

Now, from every thing that is wrong I take my 
heart, and put it on these things which are right 
Axid a man is never converted until he is converted 
from the wrong and converted to the right. 

God pity you, my brother! Let us go out on 
one side or the other. Let us take a stand. If it 
is right to do wrong, let us go on boldly ; and if it 
is right to do right, and stick to God and live for 
heaven, let us go over on that side. 

I heard of a gambler in Louisville who gave 
himself to God, and joined the Church; and then 
he went on the streets next day, and when he 
met his former companions, he said to them, " Good- 
bye, boys ; I will never do those things again ; and 
unless you come into the Church and take a stand 
with me, I will cut your acquaintance to-day, and 
cut it forever." That is what I call taking a stand ! 
And if you want to be religious, take a stand. May 
the good Lord give these poor sinners grip. That is 
what we want ; the nerve to come up and assert our 
manhood, and take sides in this great moral issue. 

Turn — an actual, hearty turning away from sin. 

Why will ye Die? 163 

And not only that, but let it be an immediate turn- 
ing. ' Be not among these everlasting dilly-dally 
men, putting off, and putting off. 

You can 't be in too big a hurry in this great 
question of preparing for eternity. And, thank God, 
i¥hen a man prepares to die, then he is prepared to 
live ; he is prepared for every good work and word. 
It IS an immediate turning away from sin that is 
necessary. O, brother, that heart that beats in your 
bosom is but a muffled drum beating your funeral 
dirge to the tomb, and you know not when that heart 
will stop beating. Brother, you have no time to 
lose — you have no more time to throw away. What-, 
ever else may happen, if you will put in your best 
licks from this hour until you die, you will find 
out you just barely made your way safely to the 
good world. 

An immediate turning away from sin ! And not 
only must it be an immediate turning away, but a 
thorough turning. Brother, there is no use in talk- 
ing about giving up part One sin in your life is 
like one leak in a ship; it will sink your soul be- 
fore it reaches the other shore ; and it is a question 
not of how many sins have you given up, whether 
twenty or fifty or a thousand, the one question for 
eternity is, have you given them all up ; and have 
•you emptied them down to-night so that you can 
say, " There is the last sin of my life, it is given 
up forever ?'' Will you do that? O, brother, you 
can not swim the ocean of time with any sin rest- 
ing 4]pon you ; you can not do it. And you can 
just as well give your sins up now and give them 

164 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

all up. I know what human nature is. I recollect 
how I tried to scatter my sins along and give up 
those I felt I could get along best without. But, 
brother,! never made any headway until I emptied 
• them all down, and said, ^Lord, I will never do 
another thing that displeases thee." And I said, 
^' If I am damned at last it will be for those sins 
already committed. I will never commit another." 

And it must not only be a thorough giving 
up, but, brother, hear me once more — it must be an 
eternal giving up of sin. When General Lee, un- 
der the apple tree at Appomattox, handed his sword 
to General Grant, he said with his whole heart, and 
said it for his whole army, "We will never take 
up arms against the old flag again." 

I tell you, my fellow-citizens, when a poor sin- 
ner goes to the cross and surrenders, let him sur- 
render with the understanding that he Jays down 
his old weapons of rebellion. Let him say: "I do 
not lay them down for a week, or a month, or a 
year, but so help me God I will never, never 
fire that old gun again. I will never handle 
it any more.. God helping me, I will be true to 
the flag of the cross from this day until the minute 
I die." 

Now you say, " What is the necessity of my 
turning?" Do you know, brother, that this nine- 
teenth century is wicked, and more wicked perhaps 
than the century that preceded it, and that the more 
wicked and depraved men get the more they fight 
this idea of hell ? And did you ever see a man 
that did n't believe in an eternal hell, but that when 

Why will ye Die? 165 

he came to die he would go there ? There is many 
a fellow in this country who says, "There is no 
hell/' and mark the expression, he won't be in hell 
more than ten minutes before he jumps up and cries 
out, " O, what a mistake I made in my doctrine. 
I did n't have any hell in it, and now I am in hell 

Hear me, my brother. Let us open the pages 
of this Book, and we will see that for the wicked- 
ness of man God drowned this old world. We turn 
over a little further, and see the burning hail falling 
on Sodom and Gomorrah. And we turn over a 
little further, and there are Pharoah and his hosts, 
horses, chariots, all drowned in the Red Sea. We 
turn over page after page, and we find a little further 
along Ananias and Sapphira as they dropped dead 
in their tracks for lying. We turn over and over 
until the end, and find that God has been punishing 
sin for four thousand years. 

As I look an all merciful God and loving Father 
in the face to-night, then I look at myself and say, 
O, God, if thou hast destroyed armies and drowned 
the world, and sent' the burning hail upon cities 
and destroyed them, and caused the earth to burst 
open and swallow the wicked ; I look at all this 
and then I ask myself the question, if God will 
drown worlds and burn cities and destroy armies 
as he has done in the past, then will God let 
me go unpunished in the future? And the man 
who says that God will not punish sin must fly in 
the face of the record and of the history of this 

166 Sam Jones^ Own Book. 

And; now, the means of turning. What are the 
means? " Liord, here I am to-night, a poor sinner. 
I give up and surrender to the cross. I take the 
line of dqty thou hast marked out for me. I give 
myself to thee from this time on.^^ Brother, sister^ 
won't you turn to-night? 

" Sinners, turn ! why will you die ? 
God, your Savior, asks you why?" 

Won't you turn to-night and be saved forever? 
Turn! turn! 


If there is any thing in this world I admire it 
is a man with a big soul — a soul big enough for 
God to come in and live with him, and for the an- 
gels to come in and sit down and be at home for- 
ever. God give us a soul on fire, and growing and 
developing in divine light ! - Brother, is your soul 
growing every day? 

Let your light so shine that every one will see 
your good works. A great many people, with what 
little religion they have, will run out in the corner 
and sit down and say, " God save me and my wife, 
and my son John and his wife, us four and no 
more V That is the sort of religion that is cursing 
the world. The true principle of a good man is, 
the more he gets the more he wants ; and the more 
he gets the more he wants others to have. 

Sermon XII. 


" Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are 
peace."— Pfiov. in, 17. 

THE Christian life is often spoken of in the 
Scriptures as a " way/' and our walking in that 
way makes what we call a Christian pilgrimage. 
This is a world of traveling. Here we are on our 
journey ; tkere we will be at our journey's end. 
There is no such thing as stopping. The vast surg- 
ing masses behind us push us along in life's path- 
way^ and as earth is filling up daily with its thou- 
sands, it is gradually, yet persistently and continually 
pushing others into the grave. We are all on one 
grand solemn march from the cradle to the grave. 
We are all marching day after day, hour after hour, 
in the great journey' of life. We are all in the 
same broad illimitable thoroughfare, some going in 
one direction, some in the other. Now, there is a 
way, and its ways are pleasantness and all its paths 
are peace. It is to this that I want to direct your 
attention briefly to-night. 

There are many things to make a journey pleas- 
ant. We will mention a few of them. The first 
thing that contributes to the pleasantness of a Chris- 
tian's journey is that he goes upon a good errand. 
When a man starts out on a good errand, he starts 

out with a good heart and a light step, and it makes 


168 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

but little difference to him whether ragged rocks 
line his pathway, or whether the flowers blossom 
all along. I imagine that when God summoned an 
angel to his side and said to him, ^' Strike dead 
to-night the first-born of Egypt," or, " I want you 
to go down and with the blast of your wing drive 
Cendebeus's army from the earth," the angel lin- 
gered about the throne and waited, with a hope 
that the order might be countermanded. He looked 
at the Father's face and at the destination be- 
fore him, and lingered about the throne, loath to go 
on such an errand, and when at last he leaped over 
the parapet and poised his wings for flight, he came 
slowly to earth, wishing that a countermand would 
come, but on he comes, slowly, to his mission of 
death and destruction ; but I imagine that when 
God summoned that angel into his presence and 
said, " I want you to go to earth and cry out in 
the ears of the people that now it is peace on earth 
and good will to men," that angel stayed scarcely 
long enough in the presence to hear the message, 
before he was winging his way, swift as the morn- 
ing light, and in the twinkling of an eye he had 
reached earth and shouted it out to earth's fur- 
thermost limits, *^ Peace on earth and good will to 

Another thing that helps to make a jour- 
ney pleasant is to know that you '11 have the 
strength and ability to make the whole journey. 
Down in my section, frequently from these North- 
ern States come in the wintry months of December 
and January the invalid and the consumptive, seek- 

The Ways op Pleasantness. 169 

ing the bulmv climate of Florida, and on the jour- 
ney some stop at Atlanta, and can go no further^ 
and die ; some die on the train ; some get as far as 
Macon ; but, brethren, thank God to-night I know 
not whether I will have strength and ability to get 
to my home, four hundred miles to the south, but 
thank God for the assurance that I will have 
strength and ability to go all the length of the 
celestial road, and make my way to God. ''As thy 
days, so shall thy strength be ;" and in thy weak- 
ness shall thy strength be developed in all its beauty 
and grace. I care not how feeble you are, or how 
lame you may be, or whether you are unfit for the 
journey physically; thank God, if you start you have 
the assurance from the God that made you of strength 
and ability to travel all the length of the celestial 

Again, it helps to make the journey pleasant 
to know that we shall have all needful accommo- 
dations on the way. Sometimes we dread a jour- 
ney because the accommodations — the hotel fare, 
and one ttiing and another — ^are so bad. Trains 
miss connection, we miss meals for a whole day ; 
and O, what dreadful times we sometimes have en 
roiUe; but God Almighty has promised to see that 
we have all needful accommodations on this heav- 
enly road. The heavenly road is one on which you 
never miss connections, and never pass an eating- 
house without having full time for dinner ; and the 
fare on this road is love to God and love to one 
another. It 's a feast of love, day after day. You 
shall have love for supper, love for dinner, love for 


170 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

breakfast; and jou shall have a big bed of love to 
lie down and sleep in all the way to the good world. 
Thank God, on this journey you shall want for noth- 
ing good but it will be supplied to you. Do n't 
forget that. 

Then it helps to make the journey pleasant to 
have a good guide along with you. It makes the 
way through the wilderness less devious. The 
finger-boards, the sign-boards, all along this route, 
read, " To the world of bliss ;'' and every man can 
read and rejoice that he is in the path that leads 
to heaven, where, Jesus said, ^^ I will be with you 

Another thing that will help to make it glo- 
rious and blessed, is to have some one along with 
us to guard and protect us. God says the angels 
will pitch their tents about us, and watch over 
us, and that the sun shall not smite us by day, 
nor the moon by night, and he promises us pro- 
tection in every hour of danger. I used to 
think what a grand thing it would be to have 
Samson for a friend. If I had lived in Samson's 
time, and had Samson for my friend, to go round 
with me, I used to think I would n't be afraid of man 
or devil. But, brother, I have n't got Samson for 
a friend, but I have Samson's God for my friend, 
walking with me side by side, ready to protect me 
in every time of danger. Blessed be God for the 
guide that goes along with me to show me the way, 
and for the guard that protects me if any danger 
should overtake me. Live right up to the truth, 
love the truth, and God Almighty will take 

The Ways op Pleasantness. 171 

you through safely in this world of cares and 

And then it helps to make a journey pleasant, 
brethren, to know that the way lies through green 
pastures and beside the still waters. Tliaiik God 
for every green pasture along our pathway, and the 
still waters of grace that gladden our hearts. 

Then it helps to make a journey pleasant to 
know that there are the footprints of good men and 
women that have gone oni before. O, how blessed 
it is marching through the paths of life to see the 
footprints of my precious father, and I know he 
went right. This is his footprint. And to see the 
footprint of my precious mother, marching to a bet- 
ter world. What a blesssd thing it is to know these 
are the footsteps of Jesus himself, and that I am 
putting my tracks in his tracks as I am marching 
along to glory and to God. It is worth a great 
deal to a man to know that his pathway is marked 
by the footprints of all the good that have gone 
on before, and those that follow shall see their foot- 
prints and take courage and press their way along. 
Then it helps to make a journey pleasant to have 
good company all the way. O, me, what a pleas- 
ant thing good company is. I have sat in the train 
sometimes until one or two o'clock in the day, and 
I was just utterly worn out ; and directly some good 
man would come in and sit down by me, and we 
would sit and talk three or four hours, and sud- 
denly the engine would whistle and the train would 
come to a stop, and I would turn to the brakeman 
and say, "Where are we?'' and he would say, "So 

172 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

many miles from So-and-so/' " Why/' I woald 
say, " the last time I took notice we were one hun- 
dred miles from there, now we are going right into 
the city/' Brother, it helps to make a journey 
pleasant to fall into good company ; and then, 
glory be to God, it helps to make a journey pleas- 
ant to stng on the way. Thank God for the old 
songs of Zion. I love to hear a grand congrega- 
tion rise up and sing, 

" Praise God, from whom all blessings flow." 

I like that good old song — 

" Happy day, happy day, 
When Jesus washed my sins away." 

It brings up pleasant memories. And I like 
that grand old song, that will never die in earth or 
in heaven, 

'' Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, 
That saved a wretch like me ; 
I once was lost, hut now I 'm found, 
Was hlind, hat now I see." 

And then, brother, the grand old harmonies of 
the Gospel in melodies and music, breaking out 
upon the ears of the people — O, how they cheer our 
hearts. I like good singing, and thank God for 
the consecrated singers. Brother, the angels of God 
listened to that organ to-night. It has got religion. 
That old organ sounded as if it were one of the con- 
verts of the meetings. It has heard enough sermons, 
and I believe there has been enough power in these 
meetings to convert even an organ. O, brother^ I 

The Ways op Pleasantness. 173 

want that old organ to have the chance to sing 
it out — 

" Praise God, from whom all blessings flow, 
Praise him all creatures here below." 

God bless every instrument in the world that 
makes music and melody in the ears of the people. 
And I have been mad for fifteen years because the 
'^ fiddle/^ that grandest instrument that man ever 
made, and which gives the sweetest music I have 
ever listened to in my life^ has been stolen by the 
devil and taken away from me. Let us get it back 
and have it reconverted; let us have it and keep it. 

Then^ it also helps to make a journey pleasant 
to know that we have been instrumental in bring- 
ing others along the way towards the good world. 
I have led some men and boys off into mischief; but 
I thank God I do n^t know of one that associated 
with me in my wicked days that I have not, through 
God and other means used upon him, brought to 
Christ, and they are members of the Church to-day. 
I do n't believe there is a soul on earth or in hell 
that can say I was instrumental in damning it. 
Thank God for that. And I hope some day to be 
able in heaven to rejoice in the fact that I have 
been instrumental in the salvation of some poor soul. 

Lastly, brethren, it helps to make a journey 
pleasant to know that it is going to end well. I 
just sit down sometimes, hours at a time, when I am 
too tired to do any thing else, and think about the 
journey's ending. O, grand time ahead! I have 
thought of the glorious world up yonder. And do 
you want to know what I am going to do for the first 

174 Sam Jones' Own Book 

thousand years — if there is any such thing as years 
in heaven? I am going to spend them at the pearly 
gates^ if that is possible, just watching the flow of 
souls sweeping in one at a time, sainted forever. O, 
what a grand time that will be ! Do n't you reckon 
I will be glad when wife comes in with the speed 
of the archangel, and alights at my side and says, 
*^ Glory to God, safe here with you forever.'* And 
we will stand at the gates and see all our precious 
loved ones coming in. Glory be to God for the 
world where our journey is at an end, and we can 
just look back at the others coming in, saved for- 
ever. What a grand sight that will be! 

I love to think of the journey all over now, 
when soul and body shall be reunited. I have often 
thought about the resurrection. What a sight that 
will be ! What a sight — the earth giving up its 
dead ! But the grandest sight of all will be to go 
up a little higher and see the arm of Jesus Christ 
that is lifting the world up and passing it into 
heaven forever. 

May God start you upon this journey and guide 
you up safely into the kingdom of God. 


Some people say they do n't believe in 'woman's 
work. There is an old preacher down in Georgia 
who preaches against woman's work, and that 
preacher has not had a conversion since the war. 

Sermon xili. 



''As righteousness tendeth to life, so he that pursueth evil 
pursueth it to his own death." — Prov. xi, 19. 

WHEN a good man dies, as we say, he goes to 
heaven, drawn thither by the natural forces 
of spiritual gravity, by the approval, not only of 
God and angels, but by the common consent of 
every intelligent being in the universe. When a 
bad man dies he goes to hell not only by the ap- 
proval of God and the angels, but of every other 
man in the world. 

Did you ever attend the funeral of a good man ? 
Have you, when the minister had pointed down to 
his body and said, " The spirit of this good man 
has gone home to God,^' walked away from the 
Church and heard the comments of both saints and 
sinners? Each one said alike, "Yes, that good 
man has gone home to God. He is in heaven now. 
That preacher told the truth." Then, again, have n't 
you attended the funeral of a bad man — a doubtful 
character, even though he was a member of the 
Church, and haven^t you heard the minister say, 
"This is the body of our brother, but his spirit has 
gone home to heaven V^ And have n't you, in walk- 
ing away from the Church heard such comments as 
these ? — " That preacher outraged every principle 

of truth. I never will hear that man preach again. 


176 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

That dead man's spirit is not in heaven. That 
preacher knows it^ we know it^ God. knows it^ and 
eveiy body knows it.'' O, brother, the common 
conviction of humanity — I mean the common im- 
pression made on the common-sense of the world — 
is this, that when a good man dies he goes to heaven, 
and when a bad man dies he goes to hell. 

^^As righteousness tendeth to life, so he that pur- 
sueth evil pursueth it to his own death." A good 
man goes to heaven because he is a good man, and 
because heaven is the center of gravitation for all that 
is good ; and a bad man goes to hell, not because 
God binds him hand and foot and sends a convoy 
of angels to carry him to the lost world, but because 
he is bad ; and that's the end of logic on this ques- 
tion of heaven and hell. May the Lord God show 
us by his word and truth that righteousness tendeth 
to life, and only righteousness, and he that pursueth 
evil pursueth it to his own death. Just as natu- 
rally and logically as one goeth to life, so the other 
goeth to death. 

Now we have witnesses to the truth of this Scrip- 
ture: "The path of the just is as a shining light, 
shining more and more unto the perfect day ;" and 
of this: "Godliness is profitable unto all things, 
having the promise of the life that now is, and of 
the life which is to come." 

Just as truly as virtue and sobriety and temper- 
ance and goodness and love and mercy and justice 
are better for you here, and you live in those things, 
just so certainly will vice and intemperance and 
wickedness of all description prove the death of your 

Righteousness and Sin. 177 

soal. Just as naturally as the good go on more and 
more in the path unto the perfect day, just so he that 
commences life in sin tends to more and more wicked- 
ness, and every day but brings him one day closer 
to death and hell. Every good man in this house 
is one day nearer to heaven than yesterday, and 
every bad man in the house is twenty-four hours 
further along on the journey to death and hell. 
There's no such thing as standing still, as jerking 
up and stopping in this great current that is sweep- 
ing us along. I am to-day nearer my grave, nearer 
the judgment, nearer the final sentence than I was 
this time last night. Theologians differ as to what 
evil is, or rather as to the origin of evil, and as to 
the nature of evil; and we might stop and spend 
an hour on that point ; but, brethren, there 's no 
good in that discussion to us. I have said it again 
and again on this question of depravity ; you may 
say it 's partial, it 's total, it 's developed, but what- 
ever you may say of it, this fact faces us in our 
consciousness to-night, that every man of us has 
enough corruption in us to damn us. 

" He that pursueth evil, pursueth it to his own 
death.'' Brethren, this race is diseased. As soon 
as I draw my infant breath, the seeds of sin spring 
up for evil. 

" The law demands a perfect heart, 
But I 'm defiled in every part." 

The tendency of human nature is downward and 
hellward, and you may trace its source, its origin 
where you may. Sin is in me, evil is in me. Some 
months ago I picked up a secular paper, and saw an 

178 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

account of one of our Senators from Georgia, Ben 
Hilly who had some trouble on the side of his 
tongue. His friends made light of it, and said it 
was caused by a fractured tooth. The next I read 
of Ben Hill, he was under the knife of a surgeon at 
Philadelphia, and they took out about one-third of his 
tongue, and then they said he would be well in a few 
days. But the next I read of his case he was back un- 
der the knife of the surgeon at Philadelphia, and they 
had taken out all the glands in one side of his face 
and neck, and when the operation was finished, 
young Ben Hill said to the doctors, " Now, doctors, 
is there any chance for my father's life ?" And the 
doctors said, "Yes, sir. If we have extracted all 
the virus of cancer from his system he will cer- 
tainly get well, but if the least particle has strayed 
out into some other gland of his system, he will 
certainly die." The next I saw he was at the 
famous mineral springs in the West. A few days 
later I walked down to the depot at my home, and 
the passenger train came rolling down and trembled 
under its air-brakes and stopped, and I thought I 
saw in one of the coaches the outlines of Senator 
Hill's face. When I walked out toward the car 
window, the window was up. He pushed his bony 
hand out of the window and took mine, and I 
looked in his face and thought, "O, my soul, is 
this all that is left of Senator Hill, the man that 
Georgia is most proud of?" Then a few days after- 
ward I picked up the Atlanta Constitution, and read 
where it said, " The grandest procession that ever 
marched through Georgia marched to the cemetery 


yesterday and buried the remains of Senator Hill 
out of sight forever/' Brethren, just as certainly 
as the virus of cancer killed Senator Hill's body, 
just so certainly will the virus of sin kill your soul 
at last. It is only a question of time. 

Brother, we are diseased unto death, and I praise 
God to-night that eighteen hundred years ago, be- 
fore my mother sung the luUabys of the cradle to me, 
that there was a fountain opened in the house of 
David for sin and uncleanness. I thank God that 
eighteen hundred years ago, before I saw the light of 
this glorious country, Jesus Christ the Son of God, 
found a balm in Gilead, and he has successfully treated 
millions of patients, and they have passed into the 
blood-washed throng that surrounds the throne of 
God to-night. 

The question is not, " Have you quit drinking?" 
"Have you quit swearing?" "Have you quit gam- 
bling?" or "Have you joined the Church; have 
you been baptized ?" But the question of all ques- 
tions in time and eternity is, "Have you been down 
under the blood, and have you had this sin in your 
nature washed away, and do you rejoice to-night that 
there is cleansing power in the fountain, and that 
the drop of blood can purify yoii and make you 
clean, and rid your nature of all disease that could 
destroy you in time or eternity ?" That's the ques- 
tion! Will you face it to-night? O, my soul, it is 
not a question of morals, or outward right-living. 
God knows I put as much stress on that as any man 
in the world, but I hang my hope, not on the fact 
that I keep the commandments, not on the fact that 

180 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

I live by the Sermon on the Mount, but my precious 
experience dates from the day, from the moment that 
I went down on my knees under the blood, and 
realized that the blood of Jesus is the only thing 
that cleanseth. That is the key-note of the Gospel 
of the Son of God. 

''He that pursueth evil" — the evil tendencies, 
the innate tendencies of his nature — pursueth it 
unto death. To be practical now, let us say, first, 
" He that pursueth evil pursueth it to the death of 
his conscience." Sin does its work gradually and 
almost imperceptibly on man. I read, some months 
ago, how an insidious, subtle, venomous serpent in 
the East fastened its poisonous fangs in the toe of 
a native, and how he sent for the doctor, and the 
doctor walked up and said to him, "There is no 
remedy for the bite of that serpent." And I read, 
further along, how the poor victim said: "Doctor, 
my foot is now dead up to my ankle." A few 
minutes later the poor fellow said again : " Doctor, 
my leg is now dead up to my knee." And soon he 
said again : " Doctor, my leg is dead all the way up 
to my body." Thea again he said : " Doctor, I 
feel this deadening sensation creeping all over my 
body ; my right arm has now lost its power — it is 
dead." Then he said : " I can not move my left 
foot. My left arm is growing powerless." Later 
he again said : " Doctor, it is gathering near my 
heart, and now," he said, " I feel the deadness in 
my heart;" and in a few moments he was in a sit- 
ting posture, perfectly dead. The subtle poison 
had crawled over his body inch after inch. 

Righteousness akd Sin. 181 

Now, brother, sin does its work the same way. 
Its first work is with the conscience. Every delib- 
erate sin of your life is a stab, and a stab of death, 
at your conscience. I might stop here and say the 
great trouble in America to-day is that conscience 
is dead. Church members live in sin because their 
conscience is dead. Worldlings sin all day and 
gloat and rejoice in sin, because conscience is dead. 
The world is running rampant into wickedness to- 
day because conscience is dead. Brother, listen : 
To-day, this nineteenth century, is wicked, far more 
wicked, and far more outrageous in its flagrant sins, 
than the century behind us, but we feel it less, be- 
cause conscience has been stubbed and murdered; 
and to-day a man can walk your streets with head 
erect that is guilty of sin that would have made 
him skulk and hide a century ago. What's the 
matter with humanity? O, brother, we are wicked 
beyond description, but we hold our heads up and 
march erect because conscience is dead. O, con- 
science ! Conscience outraged I Conscience stabbed 1 
Conscience dead ! Conscience buried ! Conscience 
with its tombstone erected! O, sir, what is the 
condition of your conscience to-night? 

He that pursueth evil pursueth it to the death of 
his own powers of resistance. Every sin in a man's 
life is a sin against his powers of resistance. The 
greatest power of this nineteenth century is the throt- 
tle of the locomotive engine. It represents the power 
to start, the power to move, the rate of speed of the 
engine! Next to that grand invention, the throttle, 
comes the air-brake — the power to stop. I was 

182 Sam Jones* Own Book. 

sitting, some months ago, with a locomotive engi- 
neer in his cab. The engine was sweeping along 
at the rate of fifty miles an hour around curves^ 
and pushing its way on rapidly to its destination. 
I threw my eyes ahead, and said to the engineer: 
'^ See those cattle V' In an instant his hand flew to 
the air-brakes, and he turned them on, and pulled 
open the whistle valve, and with the noise of the 
whistle the cattle scampered from the track, and I 
said to myself: '' If we had no brakes we might 
have run into those cattle, and perhaps been ditched 
and killed on the spot.'' Thank God for air-brakes 
on the trains running across this country at such 

And then, he that pursueth evil pursueth it to 
the death of his reason. Now, man sins against 
God, and sins against himself, and sins against his 
reason, till — I dare assert it — a man can sin against 
his reason so that his mind, at last, will reach a 
point where he can not grasp a Scriptural truth to 
save the world. In my own State there is a prom- 
inent lawyer; whenever I get to his town I see him 
in the congregation, and then I meet him some time 
the next day on the street. He says : " I go to 
hear you preach ; I believe you are honest in what 
you assert. But, Jones, the Gospel itself is all non- 
sense and foolishness to me; there is nothing in it." 
And I have looked at the poor fellow many a time 
and said : '' That poor man has sinned until he has 
been given over to a delusion that he may believe a 
lie and be damned." O, sir, what a fearful thought: 
to tamper with a man's mind and abuse it to where 

Righteousness and Sin. 183 

the truth is a lie and a lie the truth ! O^ God save 
us from this mental prostitution ! Save "us from this 
mental degradation that paralyzes the mind and 
ruins the soul ! The Lord help us to stop at this 
point to-night! 

Next we say, he that pursueth evil pursiieth it 
to the death of his sensibilities. I believe it is the 
natural tendency of sin to dry up the fountains of 
a man's nature to where he has no sensibility at 
all; he can not feel. Why, I have had men to 
boast to me, "I have no religious feeling!'' and, 
whenever I hear a man say, " I can not feel," I 
look at him and think, ^^I would as soon shake 
hands with a dead man as to shake hands with 
you." You are dead to all that is noble and true; 
dead to all that is loving and gentle, and all good 
report. You are as virtually dead as you will 
ever be. 

Thank God for the preservation of sensibility ! 
I have seen the time when I would n't go to church. 
in twelve months; I would stay out of church and 
let my good wife go by herself. God forgive me 
for the way I treated my wife. I have begged her 
pardon a thousand times, and I will never be satis- 
fied until I have begged her pardon in the presence 
of the angels of God. I want to tell every man in 
this house, every wicked man, you owe your wife 
a debt you will never pay her, until you pay it at 
the cross of Jesus Christ. You mark that expres- 
sion. I say, sometimes I would not go to church 
in twelve months; but I can tell this and say the 
truth, I never went to church in my life and heard 

184 Sam Jones^ Own Book. 

an honest sermon that it did not stir me from 
head to foot. I wouldn't have let my wife know 
how much I felt. God knows I have gone off by 
myself and buried my head in my hands and said : 
" O, how I suffer ! how I suffer V^ Brother, have 
you reached the point where truth makes no im- 
pression upon you? And then, lastly, he that pur- 
sueth evil pursueth it until the death of his soul. 

Now, I see conscience is dead, and I see powers 
of resistance are gone, and I see that reason has 
been dethroned ; I see now that sensibilities have 
been destroyed. There is but one thing left for 
sin to do. O, sir, what is that ? The death of the 
soul! Somebody has said eternal death is death 
prolonged forever. I know what natural physical 
death is. I have seen that. But couple that on to 
this, the word eternal, death eternal. These are the 
most fearful words in human language. Death 
eternal ! Eternal death ! Each word rendered ten 
thousand times more awful by its association with 
the other! I have walked up to the bedside of 
my friend, and I have looked at him as death was 
doing its work, and I have said : " O, death, how 
hard thou art upon my friend." I have stood 
and looked at the glare of his eye, at the heave 
of his bosom and the jerk of his muscles, and the 
twitch of his nerve, and then I have walked off 
and said: " O, death, how terrible thou art!" And 
then I have walked buck and put my eyes on the 
scene, and there was the same heave of the bosom, 
the same glare of the eye, the same jerk of the mus- 
cles, the same twitch of the nerves, and I have 

Righteousness and Sin. 185 

walked off and said: "O, death, what is eternal 
death? If that is death, then what is eternal 
death?'' And then I said: **0, God, is eternal 
death the everlasting glare of the eye? Is it the 
everlasting heave of the bosom? Is it the everlast- 
ing jerk of the muscles? Is it the everlasting 
twitch of the nerves? Is this to die forever?'' 
And yet I can never die. O, sir, may God im- 
press upon every man to-night this tremendous 

thought : 

" Nothing is worth a thought beneath 
But how I may escape the death 

That never, never dies ; 
How make my own election sure, 
And when I fail on earth secure 
A mansion in the skies." 

Thank God, whosoever liveth and believeth on 
the Son of God shall never die ! Thank God for 
the Gospel ! 

Here is death to my friend ; here I am a sinner 
dying; here I am bound in physical infirmity and 
death ; I can not move hand or foot, and there the 
venomous reptile of eternal death is approaching. 
It comes nearer and nearer. I shrink from its 
presence, but I can not move. It comes up closer, 
and coils around ray limbs and my body, and in the 
cold embraces of this reptile I am fastened; and 
then it draws back its head and opens its mouth 
and exposes the fangs and poison of eternal death. 
I look in this mouth a moment with terror, and 
then it makes the fatal plunge of the fangs and in- 
jects the poison of eternal death in my veins^ and I 
die forever and forever. 

16— B 

186 Sam Jokes' Own Book. 

O^ to the Christian what is death? I see that 
reptile approaching! Here I am a Christian^ and 
can not get out of its way, but just before it reaches 
me a kind friend steps down and takes the reptile 
back of its head, pries its mouth open, extracts the 
fang, takes out the poison, turns him loose right 
before my eyes. He coils around my body and 
around my limbs. It makes me shudder to be in 
the embraces of this cold serpent — and then when 
the snake brings back its head for the final bite and 
opens its mouth, I look it in the face and say, " O, 
Death! where is thy sting? O, grave! where is thy 
victory?" and leap out of the coils of the serpent 
into the arms of God to live forever. God give us 
the Christianas hope of life, and the Christian's 
grace of death, and in God to live on forever. O, 
brother, friend, to-night let me beg you, shun that 
death that never, never dies. 


The woman that never helped the Lord never 
got much help from the Lord. The best way to 
help yourself is to help somebody else. 

A WOMAN is naturally a very sharp trader, and 
very few women have any conscience when it comes 
to a trade. They will sell an old pair of trousers 
for more than their husband gave for them when 
new, and then brag about it. 

Sermon XIV. 


" Delivering thee from the people and from the Gentiles, 
unto whom I now send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn 
them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan 
unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and in- 
heritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is 
in me." — Acts xxvi, 17, 18. 

THIS is what we might call St. Paul's creden- 
tials; this is his parchment; this is his instruc- 
tion from head-quarters; this is what God said to 
him when he wanted him to go forth as a preacher. 

You remember in this chapter, St. Paul is stand- 
ing in the presence of Agrippa, and perhaps the 
finest piece of oratory extant in the whole universe 
to-day is his defense before that monarch ; and now 
he gives us these words as those which he heard 
when he had fallen down before the light, and the 
conversation had been carried on between him and 
his Christ. "And I said, Who art thou, Lord? 
And he said, I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest. 
But arise, and stand upon thy feet, for I have ap- 
peared unto thee for this purpose to make thee a 
minister and a witness, both of these things thou 
hast seen, and of those things in the which I will 
appear unto thee.'' 

"Arise — stand upon your feet," or in plain Eng- 
lish, take a stand. There's a good deal in that. 
Take a stand ! What 's the matter all over this 

country? No man is fit to be a Christian, no man 


188 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

will ever succeed as a Christian; no man is fit to be 
a preacher, no man will ever succeed as a preacher, 
until he takes a stand. 

I tell you, my brethren, to-day, the Church of 
God is at fault right there. The ministry of Christ, 
with some glorious exceptions, always, is at fault 
right there. They have n't taken a stand. Well, 
there is a reason why we have n't done all we ought 
to have done, but is there any reason why we 
haven't taken a stand? 

I know one pastor in Chattanooga, Tenn., who 
took a stand, and he took it on high ground, and 
he commenced shelling the words over the people, 
and the newspapers commenced shelling back, and 
his cowardly, pusillanimous members began to take 
to the woods, and it wasn't three weeks until per- 
haps one-half of- that man's Church had taken to 
the woods and the other half put him on the shelf 
and told him he had better go slow. Well, the 
preacher, poor fellow, said: "Brethren, have I 
been preaching a lie?" They said "No." "Have 
I been preaching any thing but the truth ?" " No," 
they said. " Well," said he, " you want me to go 
slow on the truth?" "Yes, you'll have to do it. If 
you don't things will be ruined." 

Ruined! Ah, my brother, if I had but one 
prayer to offer up that prayer would be, God help 
every preacher, God help every professed Christian 
to take a stand, take a stand-^one way or the other, 
either for or against. 

There was a newspaper man after me to-day on 
the subject of amusements. Said he : " Mr. Jones, 

The Christian's Commission. 189 

please give us the amusements that Christian people 
can go into* You've named a great many that 
they can not." " I won't do it," I said. " I can 
point out to a man the amusements that are not sin- 
ful, but just as soon as I point them out every 
body will run them into a common meeting ground 
for the world, the flesh, and the devil, and it 
would n't be six months before they would be the 
dirtifist things in the country, and I do n't want to 
do that." 

Rise, stand on your feet, take a stand, that's it. 
O, how I wish we could be brought to our feet, and 
brought to take a stand on every moral question. 
Brother, if I can get you to take a stand for God 
and right, for piety and spirituality, you will never 
go into the Stock Exchange and Produce Exchange 
any more. You have taken a stand, and that means, 
" I have done with it." You know that. You can 
find out why you do n't take a stand if you look 
around you. Well, brother, let's take a stand and 
hold our ground if we starve to death for it; if we 
do, it will only be a nigh cut to heaven. I told 
them down in my State, when they threatened to 
send me up between the flashes of dynamite into the 
other world; "Well," said T, "the roaring of the 
thing won't die out before I'll be in heaven. You 
ain't doing me any harm; you'll just start me by a 
nigh cut to glory." If you are a man take a stand 
and let the world do its worst on you. If they 
starve you to death you'll just get to heaven a few 
minutes ahead of time. 

Take a stand. Rise, stand on your feet. If you 

190 Sam Jones* Own Book. 

are a Christian, be a Christian; if you are a Meth- 
odist, be a Methodist ; if you are a man, be a man — 
all over, from head to foot. Don^t be a little 
dwindling fool. Nowhere and under no circum- 
stances be any thing else but what you are. I had 
rather be a first-class sinner than a tenth-rate Meth- 
odist, and when you get a Methodist down to about 
a tenth-rate Methodist you are getting him down 
pretty low, for a first-class one is n't up very high. 
Rise — stand upon your feet. O, brother, if we 
would just come out on the Ijord's side. I know 
Paul did. He arose, he stood on his feet and 
fought for the right, and when the battle had ended 
he said, "I have fought a good fight, I have 
finished my course, I have kept the faith." 

Ah me ; if we could get people to take sides. 
Sinners! Men of the world! God says to you, 
" Choose ye whom ye will serve." If you want to 
be on God's side come over here. You have got 
just as much right as any body, just as much right 
as I have ; the only diffcrenq,e is that you love sin 
and fight for it, and I love holiness and fight for 
that. We are men alike, with the same character- 
istics. Brother, come over on the Lord's side, lay 
down that old musket and take up the flag of the 
cross and fight with the weapons God gives you. 
That's it. Take a stand. Ah me; if I could get* 
every man who professes to be converted to take 
a stand — but they are doubtful about it, hesitating, 
uncertain. I say to one : " Brother, are you going 
to pray in your family ?" " I do n't know. I 
have n't decided yet. I '11 see about it." Gte to an- 

The Chbistian's Commission. 191 

other and ask hira : "Brother, are you going to 
the theater?" "I don't know. I dunno whether 
I will or not; sometimes I think I will and then 
again I think I won't." "Are you going to keep 
on playing cards?" "I dunno; I came mighty near 
burning up my cards the other day, but I did n't do 
it, though." "Going to have any wine suppers?" 
"Sometimes I think I will and then again some- 
times I think I won't." 

And now, what can God do with that sort 
of a tribe? And that's the truth about it. You 
know, brethren of the ministry, as well as you 
know your names, you can 't bank on a man like 
that. You do n't know whether he will be play- 
ing cards or at prayer-meeting next Wednesday 
night, except you know pretty well that he'll 
be playing cards. " Rise, stand upon thy feet." 
Take a stand one way or the other. If it's right 
to play cards, stand up to it, and tell your preacher 
it's right to do it, and defy earth and hell. If it's 
right to go to the theater, just stand by it like a 
man, and tell your preacher, "If you don't like 
theater-going Christians, turn me out." Be a man. 
Then take a stand on one side or the other. I like 
a man that will do that. 

" Rise, stand on your feet." When a man says, 
"I'll take my stand," ask him, "Are you going to 
pray in your family?" "I'm going to pray in my 
family every night and morning." " How are you 
on prayer-meetings?" "I am going to prayer- 
meetings every chance I get, and if I stay away 
I'll send the preacher a doctor's certificate that I 

192 Sam Jones* Own Book. 

am sick in bed and can H go." " Well, how are 
you about visiting the sick?" "I refer you to the 
five blocks around my house. There is n't a family 
with sickness in it that I do n't look after if I hear 
there is any sickness there." " How are you about 
giving for missions?" " I refer you to the trustee. 
I can show you his receipt for foreign missions 
every year." Ah, me, brother, that fellow means 
business; there is no doubt about that. Then take 
a stand. 

How much are you going to be a man this year? 
"I do— do^n't know. I don't know what I'll 
do." Brethren, what can we do with your sort any- 
how? You are like a fellow's piece of timber that 
I heard of, that was so tough and crooked that 
when he wanted to plane it and smooth it, he tried 
it both ways, but could not plane it from either end. 
He would dig in both ways. 

"Arise. Take a stand!" Brethren, if we be 
Christians, let us be so out and out. If we be sin- 
ners, let us be sinners out and out. O, in the name 
of all that is true and good, and all that is worthy, 
if we are not going to take a stand for the right, 
let us go out of the Church ; but if we are willing 
to take a stand, let us go into the Church and do 
its work and stay there till we die. Now, if these 
old sinners want to play cards, and go to the theater, 
and run after the devil, I am perfectly willing that 
they should do so, if that is their line. . I never 
said a word about an old goat going into the devil's 
pastures, for that is just where they belong. But 
if I am a Christian, let me stand up and fight the 

The Christian's Commission. 193 

devil every time he sticks up his bead. That is 
business. O, I wish that we had that sort of re- 
ligiouy every one of us. I wish we would all fight 
it out on that line. 

Well, I will tell you another thing. When you 
take a start so that you have got to fight, you can 
not back. You have got to fight. I will tell you, 
you will reach that point when you see that blessed 
moment when men shall revile you for His name. 
Christ tells you of it when he says : '' Blessed are 
ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, 
and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely 
for my sake." You will find out what that means. 
They will call you vulgar, and they will call you a 
blackguard and a mountebank. I am much obliged 
to them for it. Pile those names on me and I will 
bear them to the judgment and throw them down 
at the feet of Jesus, and tell God what they did to 
me when I tried to get them to live right. Just 
look ! Take a stand. O, I wish I could get every 
body here to take a stand on one side or the other. 
If we think it is right to be a Christian let us be 
one soul and body, and every day in the week and 
every minute in the day, and every breath we take 
let each of us be one sure enough. 

There is many a fellow in this country riding 
his little religion around, as he calls it. This re- 
ligion reminds me of the time when I used to get 
on a stick, astride of it, you know, and I would lope 
it and pace it and trot it. In fact, it could go all 
the paces ; I called it a horse, and I used to ride it 
up to the bucket and water it, and take it to the 

17— B 

194 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

trough and feed it^ thoagh it was only a little stick 
horse. And if any body had told me that it was n't a 
horse, I would have been mad enough to fight. And 
I rode and drove and watered and fed him, and all 
that. And it was only .a stick. But when I got on 
a sure-enough horse, and felt his great muscles un* 
der me, I looked back upon my little stick-horse 
with the greatest disgust. And, I tell you, there is 
many a Christian in the country to-day riding a 
stick. I say, brother, they don^t like to be told 
that they have stick religion. It makes them mad 
as can be to tell them that. They do n't like it. 
They say it is a genuine horse. O, take it to Christ 
every Sunday morning, and water it and have it 
baptized, and make it take communion. Do n't you 
see this is religion. O, but brother, if you ever 
get to be mounted on the grand principles of the 
Gospel .of Christ, as St. Paul was, and feel every 
fiber of your being stirred as it is driven by the 
impulse of this divine life, you will look back on 
such a life as you are living now with the greatest 
disgust in the world. 

Now, brethren, here is where Paul's life started. 
The first was he took the stand; and then Jesus 
said : " Now, Paul, go forth and preach to the peo- 
ple, and open their eyes. I want you to say to 
every people in this world, * Open your eyes.' " A 
man, or a woman, or a Church, or a city, or a coun- 
try will never be what each ought to be until you 
show them what they are. Hence, open their eyes 
that they see themselves and see what they are. 

Do you know what that quarrel was which (xod 

The Christian's Commission. 195 

had with his ancient Church. They would not con- 
sider. Consider? Do you know what the etymolog- 
ical definition of the term "consider" is? I am not 
much on syntax^ they say. I have been doing a 
good deal with sin-tax, and have been taxing sin 
since I have been in the city. But I am some on 
etymology. Consider — look at a thing until you 
see it. Now, brethren, if you will make people 
look at themselves in this way, you have taken the 
first step toward their reformation. A man can 
never reform his life until he sees what his life 
really is. He can never reform until he can say to 
himself, " I see wherein I am slack ; where I have 
done this, and where I have neglected doing that." 
Brother, will you open your eyes to know yourself 
as you are; to know how you look in the sight of 

PauPs first duty was to open the eye* of the 
people, and, when he had opened their eyes, to lead 
them from darkness to light. This term darkness 
means simply sin. Darkness and sin mean about 
the same thing. Light and righteousness mean 
about the same thing. Lead them from sin into 
righteousness, Paul was told. Now, brother, show 
me where I stand. Look at the Prodigal son! 
He came to himself. He was without food. He 
was hungry and naked and far away from home, 
and disreputable among men and disgraced before 
God; and he then got to thinking and thinking 
about himself, and what he was, and he saw. He 
came to himself. And when he saw himself he 
thought about home. And then he said : " What 

196 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

am I here for?*' And then he said, "I will arise 
and go to my father." 

Open their eyes and show them what they are, 
and then let them come out from that city of sin. 
Let them come from sin unto righteousness. 
Brothers, it is the duty of every preacher to go 
after you and tell you what you are; to show you 
what you are ; but that is dangerous business. 
Many a preacher has got a cursing for doing just 
such work as that. That is a fact. And I suspect 
many a preacher has got a whipping for it; and I 
know that the one I am talking about now got his 
head cut off just for nothing in the world but show* 
ing people what they were, and for telling them 
how they lived. There ain't any preachers' heads 
cut off in these days, though ; and the saddest com- 
mentary on the world to-day is that none of them 
have got their heads cut off. I do n't want mine 
cut off; but — but I wish I could see a martyr! 

Show them what they are, and, when you have 
done that, take them by the hand and lead them 
out into a better state of life. Open their eyes; 
show them their sins and their sinful life ; and lead 
them from that vile and wicked life. What does 
that mean ? If you open your eyes you see your 
life, and you know what is right and what is wrong 
in it. Then comes the next thing, the next ques- 
tion : Is there any thing better ? If there is, show 
me it, and tell me how to get it. Lead me into a 
better state of things. Lead me from the power of 
Satan into the power of God. That is the plain 
thing about it. Now, brother, where you are now 

The Chbistian^s Commission. 197 

you are in the power of Satan, in the power of sin; 
in the dominion of the devil. You have made a 
thousand efforts to reform. You make good reso- 
lutions. You have said a thousand times that you 
would be a better man ; but a man can never be a 
good man while he is under the dominion of the 
devil. First come out of that dominion, and then 
say to yourself: " By the grace of God I am out 
from under his feet, and I will put myself under 
the power of the good Spirit of God." You know 
what the Bible says : Come '^ to the help of the 
Lord against the mighty." Does it mean that Gk>d 
wants you to help him in the reformation of human 
sin? No; it means, Come up where I am, and I 
will protect you. There was no power to protect 
the Union man from the bullets of the rebels if he 
stayed in the ranks of the rebels. I will tell you 
that, if a young man was just standing with both 
armies in front of him, his own friends will be just 
as likely to kill him as his enemies. If God wants 
to protect you, and turns the guns loose upon your 
enemies, and you are among them, you may be the 
first one that will fall. And now he wants you to 
take a stand on his side, so that the evil can not 
touch you, and he will not mistake you for one of 
his enemies. He says: "I will protect you then, 
and look after you, and save you; but there is no 
power to save you while you are in the ranks of 
sin. Come over to this side." Come from under 
the power of Satan, and be under the power of God, 
that you may have remiasion of your sins. 

Now, here is the point : When I quit sin I quit 

198 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

all that is bad^ all that is wrong. I come over to 
the Lord's side^ and it is his business to save you. 
God will condone your sins if you will come over 
to his side. By doing so you get remission of your 
sins. Lay down any thing that is bad and take a 
stand for the right^ and if the Lord does n't save yon 
it IS not your fault. And I will tell you, if a man 
will quit all his meanness, and take the side with 
the Lord's people, and that man is unregenerated 
and not pardoned — I will say this to you, and that 
is, the Lord will have to make another world for 
him. He can not take him into heaven if he is not 
regenerated, and he will have to make another world 
and stop the machinery of the universe in order to 
do so, for he can not take any body into heaven who 
has not been born again. But you will never find 
such a case as this. 

Lead them from the power of Satan to the power 
of God, that they may have a remission of sins and 
an inheritance. If I go from Satan to the side of 
God I am saved, and have an inheritance here and 
hereafter among the people of God. I am glad that 
the Church is mine, and that I am the Church's. I 
am glad for the home for Christian people in this 

And I want to say another thing: You may live 
right and go to heaven outside of the Church, but it 
is all I can expect to do to get up there from inside 
the Church. I thank God for this inheritance 
among the people of God. And I trust that this 
night every one of you will say : " I am done with 
my sins. My eyes are opened. I am done with my 


The Christianas Commission. 199 

sius. I come out from the deviPs side to the right 
side^ to the Lord's side. And now, what I want is 
a remission of sins and an inheritance among the 
people who love the Lord^ and then an inheritance 
in heaven." That is what we want. 

And, brethren, if we will come from the other 
side and take a stand, and get our friends to see 
these things, then we can lead them from the power 
of the devil into' the power of God, and then to a 
remission of their sins, and then take them to their 
inheritance, and then to everlasting life in the world 
to come. Can, not we do that? Can you make 
any thing plainer than that? Is not that your duty? 
Down with your meanness first, and take a stand 
for the right, and then pray God for a remission of 
your sins^ and for an inheritance in heaven. 


When a poor sinner falls on his knees and says, 
''God, be merciful to me, a sinner,^' there is always 
some angel near by to gather up the prayer and 
carry the news, " Behold, he prayeth !'' 

A MAN is never free until love abounds in his 
heart toward God and man. The freest man is the 
man who loves God most and loves his neighbor as 
himself. There is no law in heaven or earth that 
fetters or proscribes a character like that. 

Sermon xv. 



" If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doc- 
trine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of mysell" — 
John yii, 17. 

AT the time Jesus uttered these words^ he was 
surrounded by the sharp^ euuuing Pharisees; 
by the shrewdy calculating Sadducees, and the law- 
yers of the day. They were probing, and dissect- 
ing, and looking, and wondering, and questioning, 
and Jesus looked at them, and threw the gauntlet 
down on the ground at their feet, right in their 

It is wonderful, but strangely true, that all the 
scholars in this world's history have met with op- 
pose rs. They have met with scoffers, and perhaps 
a large majority of them with contempt and scorn. 
You know that when Galileo discovered that this 
world rotated on its axis, the stupid monks ar- 
raigned him immediately, and they tried him as a 
heretic and a humbug. And they convicted him, 
and made him retract. But the wise old man, as 
he walked out, whispered to himself, "And still the 
world moves.*' When Harvey discovered that the 
blood circulated from the heart to the extremities 
and back again, the medical world arraigned him 
as propounding a false theory, and argued against it. 
When Watt discovered that steam, a bland vapor, had 


B 3 
IS d 
B J 

How TO Know the Doctrine. 201 

power almost omnipotent^ the scientists of his day ar- 
raigned him^ and demanded the proofs. When Morse 
discovered that you might chain electricity to a wire^ 
and that one man could sit a thousand miles from 
another, and hold a conversation with him, the world 
arraigned him^ and doubted his discovery. No 
wonder^ then^ that when Jesus Christ discovered '^a 
balm in Gilead/^ a remedy for sin^ this world ar- 
raigned as an impostor, and tried and convicted 
him. I do n't see how the discovery that the world 
rotates on its axis breaks into a fellow's program 
much. I do n't see how the fact that steam, a bland 
vapor, is omnipotent, could interfere with a man's 
system of living. The fact that the circulation of 
the blood is a great discovery does not make a fel- 
low quit lying, or stealing, or any thing of that 
sort. And when it is a demonstrated fact that a 
man can sit down to-night, anywhere in America, 
and hold a friendly conversation with a man in 
Liverpool, that does not make him pray or quit 
his meanness. 

It is no wonder that men oppose the science of 
Christ crucified. All other sciences have had their 
opposers. No man to-day, 'excepting the famous 
preacher of Richmond, doubts the fact that the 
world turns on its axis. I believe he still sticks to 
it, that " the sun do move." No one to-day doubts 
• that steam is an almost omnipotent power. I have 
only to look on those iron horses as they move over 
the country, with their giant power, in order to tell 
the world that steam is power. The moment that 
a physician walks into my room, and tells by the 

202 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

accelerated movement of my pulse my condition^ I 
can not doubt as to the circulation of the blood. 
No one can doubt the fact that we may sit in this 
city and talk with a friend in Loudon to-night. 
Brother, these grand discoverers met with opposers, 
and yet the world does honor the first four to-day, 
but still the majority of the world to-day despise 
the last one — the blessed Christ — the greatest dis- 
coverer of the ages. Do you know why that is? 
The greatest discovery ever declared to man is the 
fact that God can be just, and the justifier of the 
ungodly. The greatest fact in the universe made 
known to men is, that a poor man may have his 
sins forgiven, and may make his peace with God, 
and die in faith, and go home to heaven. And 
yet while the opix)sition, which these other great 
discoverers met, has died out, still to-day, after the 
blood-washed throngs of earth have been marching 
home to God for eighteen hundred years ; after our 
precious mothers and our pious fathers have marched 
into heaven under this gracious banner, and after 
all that his blessed scheme of redemption has done 
for our race, there are thousands and millions of 
men who despise Jesus Christ and reject him as a 
grand discoverer, with all the power of their 

O, strange beings that we are! Wonderfully 
strange! And when you go breaking into a fel- 
low's program, he gets his heart full of doubts 
immediately. Did you ever notice that? There 
can be but one objection to the Lord Jesus Christ 
among men, and that is, when they bring their life 

How TO Know the Doctrine. 203 

up and place it beside his life, there is an over- 
whelming sense of *guilt and shame. 

Brethren^ it is a good deal owing to circum- 
stances as to what you are. When I hear you sit 
in judgment on the spotless character of Christ, I 
do n't want to hear a word from your lips. I want 
to hear what your life is, and then I will know 
what your comment on the character of Jesus 
Christ will be. If your life is confirmed to Jesus 
Christ, then is the Christ the Son of the living God 
to you. But if your life is disreputable and dis- 
honest, you see in him nothing but the son of a 
harlot and an impostor. Is not that strange ? 

A man's moral condition determines for him 
what the Gospel and Christ and the truth are to 
him. O, blessed Christ! When I look over this 
world toward thee, all is mystery, all is confusion, 
all is desolation! O, brethren, there is but one 
place in this universe, from which I can look, and 
see as God sees, and that is when I reach right 
up to the point where Christ is, and look out upon 
this world as Christ looks upon it; and look at 
truth as Christ looks at it; and look at God as 
Christ does. Look from a Christ-like point, and 
you will see a thousand things you never saw 

" If any man will do his will, he shall know of 
the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether it 
be of myself." I want to say, in the first place, 
that if any man has a peculiarity in his case, I 
want to know what it is. Now, you make out as 
if you had something peculiar to yourself; you say 

204 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

that there is something special about you; that you 
see very well how others should do such things, 
but not yourself. Brother, I look at it simply as 
the devil's work to persuade a man to follow him 
by saying, " Now, if your case were just like that 
of any body ^Ise, it would be all right to do that; 
but yours is a peculiar case." That is what you 
say to yourself. Poor fellow ! I wonder if you 
think the Lord never made any one else like 
you. I do n't know, but I think that if he did n't 
the world hasn't lost much. But at the same time, 
brother, that is just what is the matter with the 
world. There are so many like you. There are 
plenty of peculiar cases. I have seen mental, and 
social, and phenomenal peculiarities. Brother, God 
does n't care any thing about your peculiarities, he 
want« you ! 

A genuine, thoroughly trained musician can play 
on any thing in the universe, from a jew's-harp up 
to the grandest instrument. Well, brother, the 
Lord Jesus Christ can take a man up and down 
every grade of his spiritual nature in the twinkling 
of an eye, and make music that would charm an 
angel's ear. Your trouble is, that you are trying to 
fix up, and tune up your own instrument. But you 
have no tuning fork ; you do n't know the lick it is 
done with. That is the trouble with you. I don't 
care how old you are, or how young you are ; I 
do n't care how learned you are, or how ignorant 
you are ; I do n't care what your difficulties are, or 
what your peculiarities are; if any man will do the 
will of God, he shall know of the doctrine. Thcj'e 

How TO Kkow the Doctbine. 205. 

18 no bobby, now, in that. It is simply, ^' Have 
you faith ?" 

Now, I want to say that Christianity is some- 
thing that may be tested like any thing else. Now, 
here is a man who comes up to me and says, 
*' Brother Jones, the science of mathematics is a 
grand science, and it is true." " Well," I say, " dem- 
onstrate the truth of mathematics." He says, 
** Well, twice two are four." " But I do n't want 
any silly talk like that; demonstrate it to me." 
" Well," says he, " five times six are thirty." " Go 
along with your school-boy talk ; demonstrate to 
me that the great science of mathematics is true." 
He says to me, ''We will demonstrate the thiug; I 
will demonstrate every problem ; I will work it out 
by that rule that two and two make four. The 
two governments of France and Switzerland pro- 
posed to tunnel the Alps, and desired to begin the 
tunnel on both sides of that immense mountain 
range at the same time. So the engineers took 
their instruments to the mountains, and located the 
rQute, and the miners and sappers toiled for days 
and weeks, and thousands and hundred of thousands 
of dollars were spent in the work. And the two 
gangs labored and wrought towards each other, 
while all the world stood gazing on. Finally, one 
day while France's side were sitting down to dinner, 
Switzerland's side got up and went to work, and 
the thuds of the pick were heard through the thin 
partition, and then France's side jumped up and 
gathered their tools and commenced digging away. 
In five minutes' time the middle wall of parti- 

206 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

tion fell out, and their linea met each other to the 
hundreth part of an inch. There is an everlasting 
demonstration of the truth of mathematics.'^ 

Now, I say Christianity may be tested just as 
the science of mathematics is tested. " Well," you 
say, " give me a demonstration." Thirteen years 
ago I looked to God and prayed, and he saved me, 
and I have been happy ever since. "Ah, me," you 
say, " do n't talk that sickly sentimentalism to me. 
I have heard that all my life. There isn't any 
proof in that." Well, my mother told me that at 
the age of thirteen, Jesus saved her, and she lived 
happy in his love, and died happy and went home 
to heaven. " O, well, I do n't want any old woman's 
story about the thing. If you can demonstrate the 
truth of the religion of Christ crucified, I wish you 
would do it." 

Well, look here. Take the case of the man that 
was born blind. As he walked up, groping in 
darkness, he said, " Lord Jesus, that I may receive 
my sight," and Jesus stepped down and spat on the 
ground, and made clay of the spittle and 
on his eyes and said, " Go wash in yonder pool." I 
suppose if some of you scientific gentlemen had 
been there you would have told that poor blind 
fellow, " Look here, science has demonstrated that 
there are curative powers in dry dirt, but He has 
gone and spit on the dirt and wet it, and taken all 
the curative powers out of it, and in addition to 
that he tells you to go and wash in that pool, 
where you have bathed a hundred times. Just look, 
now, he is playing his pranks on you. But the 

How TO Know the Doctrine. 207 

poor blind fellow had more sense than that. He 
said, " Whether the clay has curative powers in it 
before or after it is wet I do n't know ; and about 
that pool, I have washed in it many a time ; but 
this man says if I will go now and wash this dirt 
off my eyes in that pool, I will have my eye-sight. 
That is what I am after, and I am going to do his 
will ; I am going to put him to the test.'' And I 
see the poor blind fellow groping off in darkness, 
nntil he reaches the edge of the pool, and he steps 
down and lifts the water to his eyes, and washes 
off the clay and spittle, and then he looks up and 
sees rocks and rivers and mountains that his eyes 
had never looked on before. That crowd got around 
him and said, " Well, now look here, give God the 
glory. This man has a devil." " Well," said he, 
" whether he has a devil or not, I know not, but 
one thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now 
I see." There is demonstration. 

Well, let us take another instance — ^the ten cases 
of leprosy. Here is the most fearful disease man 
ever had. The lepers came up and said, " Master, 
look. We are diseased from head to foot with this 
fearful disease, leprosy, for which there is no cure " — 
and no cure to this day has ever been discovered. 
" Now, Master, that we may be made whole." Jesus 
just looked at the lepers and said, " Go show your- 
selves to the priest." Now the scientific gentleman 
I suppose, if he had been present, would have said, 
"Listen to that. Doesn't he know the priests 
won't let those fellows come about them, as they 
have banished them from the congregation of the 

208 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

people ? And they have to spend their lives in old 
waste places^ and every time any body approaches 
them they must raise up their hands and cry, ' Un- 
clean I' O, how wicked in him to tell those men to 
go to the priests when the priests won't let them 
approach.'' But those poor lepers said, ''Master^ 
we will do thy will ; we will do what thou sayest." 
And I see just ten men start off^ and they walk but 
a short distance until one looks at another and says, 
'^ The scales are all gone and I am sound from head 
to foot;" and one runs back and praises God for 
the wonderful cure of the whole. Brother, do you 
believe that? 

I have often wondered what a life Christ must 
have had among men. I picture to myself, breth- 
ren, as the news went abroad, how he gave sight to 
the blind, and how he healed the sick, and how he 
raised the dead, that they pressed him on all sides; 
and when all along his pathway he scattered bless- 
ings in the hearts of men, I wonder that any man 
to-day by his life and character, should fight such 
a being as the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Demonstrate this truth. Now, sir, I feel just 
this way about it. I was preaching down in one of 
the towns in our State. An old colonel — a clever 
old man — sat in the congregation. He was wicked 
and godless. He was an old citizen of my town. 
I was a boy there, grew up there. This eld citizen 
had been away for several years. I went down to 
his town in Georgia, and stood up and preached to 
the people, "Repent and come to God." Well, 
hen I walked out of church that day this old 

How TO Know the Doctrine. 209 

gray-headed man was standing at the gate of the 
yard in front of the churchy and he took my faand^ 
and the big tears ran down his eyes. Said he, 
'^ Are you the same wicked, daring, godless, drunken 
boy that used to curse Cartersville so?" Said I, 
" I am the very one." " Well," said he, " no mat- 
ter what my doubts have been about the power of 
God to save a sinner, I yield them now, and pray 
God Almighty to save me just as he saved you." 
Demonstration ? I do n't reckon there is a man or 
woman or child in Cartersville that doubts there is 
power in Ohristianity to save a sinner, not one. 

Now, brother, " if any man will do the will of 
God, he shall know of the doctrine " — know for 
himself. And what does God want us all to do ? 
" Cease to do evil, learn to do well." " Let the 
wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man 
his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord." It 
is the will of God that we repent. It is the will of 
God that we accept salvation on his terms. Doc- 
trine is a good thing and fear is a good thing ; but 
one fact stops a man; he can't get over it, nor 
under it, nor around it, nor through it. There it 
is, and he must do something with it. Now, I will 
tell you — one man became the grandest Christian in 
our State, and his plan just opens the way for every 
man. God is no respecter of persons. Now, listen 
to this. If you really want to be religious, I will 
tell you how. This man lived in middle Georgia. 
I was afterward the pastor of his wife, and pastor 
of the Church in which he lived and died. For 
forty odd years he labored in the Church of God. 

18— B 

210 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

I will tell you how he started. Shortly after he 
was married, perhaps a year or two— I do n't know 
exactly — the Church that he and his wife attended 
was in the country; they lived in the country. He 
was a farmer. On a certain Sunday his wife did n't 
go to Church with him. The preacher came around 
once a month, and it was the regular preaching serv- 
ice there on that Sabbath. In hi^ sermon the 
preacher made this remark : " If a man will do be- 
fore he gets religion just as he thinks he would do 
after he gets it, he will get it." Now, do you get 
that point? Well, this fellow was a sensible man, 
and he took it in in all of its bearings. So that 
day, when the preacher was through preaching, he 
opened the door of the church. This man walked 
right up and gave his hand to the preacher, and 
joined the Church. He got home, and his wife 
said, "What sort of meeting did you have?" 
" Well," said he, " we had a good meeting, I thknk. 
Mr. So-and-so preached a good sermon, and I joined 
the Church." " You joined the Church ?" 'f Yes." 
" Have you got religion ?" " No." " Well, what 
in the world did you join the Church for without 
religion ?" " Well, the preacher said if I would do 
before I got religion as I thought I would do after 
I got it, I would get it; and I know I would join 
if I had it, and I am going to do before I get it 
just what I think I would do after I get it." " Well, 
well, well," she said, " that beats any thing I ever 
heard." That night, just before time to retire, he 
said, " Wife, get the Bible, please, and a candle." 
" What are you going to do ?" " I am going to 

How TO Know the Doctrine, 211 

read a chapter in the Word of God, and hold fam- 
ily prayers." " Hold family prayers and got no re- 
ligion ?'' " Yes." " Why, what are you going to 
do that for ?" " Well, the preacher said if I would 
do before I got religion as I thought I would do 
afterward, I would get it ; and I know I would pray 
in my family if I had religion." He read his chap- 
ter and got down and led in family prayer. The 
next morning, when the breakfast bell rang, he 
said, '' Hold on to that breakfast, wife! I am going 
to read another chapter and pray here." '* Are you 
going to pray on here every day, and haven't got 
religion ?" "Yes," he said. " Well, and what are 
you going to do that for?" " Well," he said, " the 
preacher said if I would do before I got it as I 
would do after I got it, I would get it ; and I know 
I would pray every night and morning the Lord 
sent, if I had it." And Wednesday night they went 
out to the week's prayer-meeting, and the leader of 
the meeting called on him to pray, and he got down 
and prayed the very best he could, and his wife, as 
soon as they came out of the church, caught his 
arm, and she said, " What in the world do you pray 
in public, and have no religion, for?" "Well," he 
said, " wife, the preacher said if I would do before 
I got it just as I thought I would do afterward, I 
would get it; and I know I would pray in public if 
I had religion." And he just plowed his furrow 
along that way for about two weeks, and got the 
biggest case of religion that any man ever heard of. 
Now, that is the whole thing in a nut-shell. The 
means of grace will take a man to God. 

212 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

"If any man will do the will of God, he shall 
know of the doctrine/' Do as God wants you to 
do, and he will bless you as certain as you are a 
man. Yes, but you say, " Mr. Jones, that won't do, 
because I joined the Church once, and I finally told 
them to take my name off. I would n't be a hypo- 
crite, and there is n't any thing in joining the 
Church." No, there isn't; but there is a heap in 
what sort of fellow joins, I tell you that. 

Yes, but you say : "Now, I like what you say, 
but, Mr. Jones, I ain't fif I declare I never 
want to go into the family that ain't fit to join the 
Church; ain't fit to do any thing. They are the 
hardest cases that I ever struck — these " ain't-fit " 
fellows. I will tell you, you may take the most 
Ignorant man in this city, colored or white, to-mor- 
row, and you may meet him on the street — say he 
is a colored man — and say to him: "Tom, are you 
a member of the Church ?" " No, sir." " Why?" 
" Because I ain't fitten." That is just what he will 
say. Then you meet the most intelligent lawyer on 
the next block, and say, " Colonel, are you a mem- 
ber of the Church?" "No, sir." "Why?" "Well, 
to tell you the truth, I ain't fit." And he talks 
Just like that poor ignorant fellow that doesn't 
know a letter in the book. The fact of the business 
is, that is the only thing that is the matter with 
them. I will tell you just where all. such as that 
stand to-day. Here is a fellow out here that hasn't 
had a bite to eat in a week ; he is starved nearly to 
death, and he says: "I never was so hungry in my 
life." "Well, here is a table loaded with food. 

How TO Know the Doctrine. 213 

Come up and eat." He says, " Ugh, ugh 1" I 
say, " Why r He says, " My hands ainH fitten." 
" Well," I reply, " there is soap and water and a 
towel. Wash your hands." "Ugh, ugh! I ain't 
fitten to wash." So he just stands there and starves 
to death. Now, is n't that so? What are you going 
to do with him? There you are, friend. Give 
yourself to God and his Church. "Ugh, ugh!" 
" Why?" " I ain't fitten." Well, come up here and 
seek to be saved and seek to be made fit. ** Ugh, 
ugh ! I ain't fitten to get fitten." And there he 
sits and there he dies. Now, what are you going 
to do with a ease like that? He says he isn't 
fitten, and when you want him to get fitten he says 
he is n't fitten to get fitten. And what to do with 
a case like that is the profoundest mystery of the 
world to me. 

Brethren, let us learn some real good hard sense 
on this thing, and say this : The only fact that ever 
pommended me to God was the fact that I was n't 
fit. Jesus came to seek and save the lost, and all 
the fitness he requireth is to feel my need of him. 
I feel my need ; you feel your need. If you were 
fit, then I have no word to say to you. Jesus came 
to call not the righteous, but sinners, to repentance, 
and these poor fellows that ain't fit — you are the 
very ones. If your hands are dirty you are the 
man that ought to wash your hands; and if your 
soul is dirty by sin you ought to seek the fountain 
that washes away all sin and uncleanness from your 
soul. Won't you do that to-night? 

'^ If a man will do the will of God he shall know 

214 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

of the doctrine/' And I want to tell you to-night, 
if I were you, standing where you are, I would 
walk up and say, " My brother, put me down on 
God's side from this day until I die." God says, 
" Choose ye this day whom you will serve." Now, 
will you listen to-night, and will you not, as an 
honest man who knows he ought to be good and 
give himself to the right — will you not in love and 
kindness say, " God being my helper, I start a bet- 
ter life to-night? I start on God's plan, eschewing 
the evil, taking up the right, and the balance of 
my days I give to the service of God." And when 
the battle is over God will say, "Now you are 
crowned," and then the palm, and then everlast- 
ing life. 


The first and lowest expression of love is the 
love of trust. This we see manifested in the con- 
duct of the child toward its mother. There is a sort 
of love that we call the love of admiration, which 
admires the true, the noble, and the good, and makes 
us aspire to it. That is a higher order of love. Of 
all love that is the most sublime which you see illus- 
trated when the bride and bridegroom walk up to 
the altar. He gives himself to her, and she gives 
herself to him. There they are, and if they are mar- 
ried according to God's ordinances, he does n't con- 
sult his own wishes — he just wants to know what his 
wife wants j and she does n't consult her own wishes — 
she just wants to know what will please her husband. 

Sermon XVI. 


"I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of 
God, that ye present yoar bodies a living sacrifice, holy, ac- 
ceptable, unto God, which is your reasonable service." — 
Romans xii, 1. 

WE have down South what we call the intensive 
systenn of farming. That means, enrich your 
soil, cultivate it more thoroughly, and you can make 
more cotton and corn on ten acres with less work 
than you now make on forty acres; and, after all, 
the question is not how many acres you cultivate, 
but how many wagon loads of corn you gather, and 
how many bales of cotton you have for the market. 
That's the test at last of farming. 

The intensive system of farming is to get the 
most possible out of the parcel in hand. I would 
like to see the same system universally tried in re- 
ligion — to get the most possible out of the facilities 
afforded. I have always heard it said, there is 
more in the roan than there is in the land, and I 
have found out in this country, as I have opened 
my eyes and looked around me, there is more in 
the character of the man who joins the Church 
than there is in the Church which he joins. 

You will excuse me, I hope, if I say there are 
some pieces of hickory the Lord himself can't make 
an ax-handle out of. That's not exactly orthodox, 
but it's a fact. He can polish it up, and make it of 


216 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

the same shape and same size and the same polish 
as any other ax-handle^ but it will break off the 
first time you throw the ax into a log. YouVe 
seen this sort? Hickory that has been subjected to 
certain influences and despoiled by certain atmos- 
phereS; brother^ is n't the sort that is good for the 
purpose you want to use it. I want to tell you that 
there are men and women all over this country that 
have subjected themselves to so many injurious in- 
fluences and despoiled their character and under- 
mined their foundation with so much that is wrong, 
that there must be, in the very nature of the case, 
a new creation to make them of any account. That's 
true of a great many men. Now, I want you all 
to-day to get down to the bed-rock facts, and let us 
talk about them. I like the rock idea. A rock is 
the foundation stone; a rock supplies the great 
shadow in a weary land. Now we strike this bed- 
rock on this text: "I beseech you, therefore, 
brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present 
your bodies," first, a living; second, a holy; and 
third, an acceptable sacrifice. Now these three 
words are not put there to round up the rhetoric in 
this sentence. They are put before that term *' sacri- 
fice," but each word is a pillar holding up the great 
truth expreased in it. 

*^A living sacrifice." The Lord wants fifty 
million Christians. I believe there are that many 
professed Christians — fifty million people — in this 
world, who love God with all their heart, and 
love their neighbors a§ themselves. He wants fifty 
million soldiers of the cross that ain't afraid of any 

The Secret op a Religious Life. 217 

thing but 8in^ that love the right^ and that dare to 
do the right. 

We are willing to give our proportion of hos- 
pital rats and ambulance drivers, and so on^ but I 
tell you when we get three-fourths of that kind into 
the front we ain't in much fix to fight. We know^ 
though, there are plenty in the rear to take care of 
our wounded if any fellow happens to get wounded. 
We can do that. The finest hospital facilities in 
the universe are found in the Church of God. Isn't 
that true ? Brother, Christianity in earnest, the in- 
tensive system of living right, means simply this: 
"Lord God, here I am, just as I am, with every 
passion of my soul, every faculty of my mind, and 
every power of my body. Here I am ; if you want 
to use my hand, use it ; if you want to use my foot^ 
use it; if you want to use my tongue, use it; if you 
want to use my brain, use it; if you want to 
use my eyes, use them. Lord God, here I am, 
all over, through and through, from head to foot, 
I give myself to thee." A living sacrifice in fact — 
that's what we want in this country. I will tell 
you how we can have heart religion, brother, unin- 
tentionally. We have heard some old friend get up 
and talk, " I have religion in here. I know I have 
it in here." Well, if you have got it at all it is in' 
there. "O, I believe in heart religion" you hear 
folks say. •' That's my sort of religion." Well, I 
believe in heart religion, too, but I believe in finger 
religion as strongly as I believe in heart religion. 
I '11 tell you another thing. If I could n't have it 
in but one place I want it in this hand here^ and 

19 n 

218 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

make it go out and do something for somebody. 
Your heart religion is n't worth a thing in the world 
by itself, because your heart never comes out; and 
if it did and any thing would come in contact with 
it you M be gone. If any thing touches it, even the 
point of a cambric needle, you 're dead. You 've 
got religion as you \e got your heart — if you ex- 
pose it, if any thing touches the receptacle of your 
religion you 're gone. I 'm sorry for you if you have 
only heart religion. I want head religion, hand re- 
ligion, foot religion as well as heart religion. I 
want every square inch in me, and about me, all 
over, head to foot religious. Get a man religious 
all over, and if the Lord wants him to work his 
head and feet he will visit the sick ; if his head and 
tongue, he Ml talk to him; if he wants to put intel- 
ligent thought into his heart his ear is open to hear. 
What we want in this country is the sacrifice 
that is willing to do right and live right and whole 
in every* respect — a whole sacrifice. Now, some of 
you here are thinking men, and some of you are- 
thinking about going up a little higher, getting dis- 
satisfied with your latitude, and with your altitude, to 
say the least of it. Let 's see what we can do. A 
man said to me about six months ago, and he was 
an intelligent Christian, " Mr. Jones, we have got 
men in our Church worth one hundred thousand 
dollars, and some worth two hundred thousand dol- 
lars. They have been in the Church twenty-five 
years, some of them, and some of them pay our pas- 
tor two hundred dollars a year; they pay about 
twenty dollars for missions, and for all purposes 

The Secret op a Religious Life, 219 

they pay about three hundred dollars. Mr. Jones, 
I 've been in the Church only six years. I 'm not 
worth more than twenty thousand dollars, but I tell 
you I had to settle that money question some time 
ago. The Lord just brought me up to where that 
question had to be settled, ' What are you going to 
do about money ?' and the least amount I can get 
off with to save my life is one thousand five hun- 
dred dollars, and sometimes I have to overhaul the 
thing or I feel bad about it, and still I do n't think 
I 'm doing right toward God." A whole sacrifice — 
a man that will tote fair with God in his money! 
There is n't one in a thousand that will do it. Did 
you ever notice how still a crowd becomes when you 
get to talking about money ? O, my friends, hear 
me to-day; if you intend to give yourselves a liv- 
ing, whole, sacrifice, you Ve got to settle this money 
question. Your money has to do with your relig- 
ion just as every thing else. A man's money will 
help him to heaven just as it will help him to New 
York. " O," you say, -" you 're preaching a mon- 
eyed gospel now." Well, now, let's talk a little 
sense along with it as we go and see how the thing 
works. I can get to New York without a cent if 
I foot it all the way and beg my bread. Can 't I? 
It is n't necessary to have a cent to go to New York 
just as surely as it is n't necessary that you must 
have a nickel to go to heaven ; and that old sister 
that sang *' I 'm glad salvation is free," said, " I 've 
been in the Church forty years, and it never cost 
me but twenty-five cents." The old soul spent her 
quarter at last, but I don't believe she ever got 

^ I 

220 Sam Jokes' Own Book. 

up there to enjoy it. Here a man's money will help 
him to heaven, or it will help him to hell, which- 
ever route he wants to go. A man can take his 
money and go up with it or down with it, or run 
on a dead level with it— either way. 

" Let 's hear you explain that." Well, I '11 il- 
lustrate it for you. Here 's a mechanic that has 
worked a couple of days for a man, and has earned 
two dollars a day, we will say; the man hasn't 
the money, but he says, " I '11 pay you in four 
bushels of corn, if that will suit you." " Yes, that 
will do." Now, I 've got four bushels of corn. I 
want to run on a dead level with it. How am I to 
do it? I'll take that corn out here in this field 
and plant it, and next fall I have five hundred 
bushels; but I haven't any thing but corn. 

I started with corn, and I ended with corn. You 
see that 's a dead-level, dog-trot line. There 's 
many a fellow in this country, if you were to analyze 
him and show him how much genuine dog he had 
in him, he would be ashamed of himself the balance 
of his life. A fellow has got one hundred thousand 
dollars, and he says, *^ I 'm going to make this one hun- 
dred thousand dollars earn me another one hundred 
thousand dollars." He has money. He started with 
money, and he ended with money. You put it in two 
piles, and when death turns his lantern «tn one pile 
and then on the other you would n't turn around for it. 

I want to go down with my corn now. How 
am I going to do it? Why, I '11 take it up to the 
still-house and have eight gallons of whisky made 
out of it, and then every thing I touch is going down- 

The Se(!eet op a Religious Life. 221 

ward and hellward. Do n^t you see ? I want to 
go up with it. How am I going to do it? I Ml 
take my four bushels of corn to the mill and have 
it ground; and put it on a dray-wagon, and get up 
on the sacks myself, and drive down this street and 
turn up this alley, and stop in front of the house 
of a poor widow, and I '11 take those four bushels 
of meal out of that wagon and carry it into the 
house and lay it on the floor, and tell that poor 
widow and her children, " In the name of Jesus, 
my precious Savior, I will give you these four 
bushels of meal;'' and at the last day, when the 
man walks up to the pearly gates, Jesus will say, 
"Open wide the everlasting gates and let him in," 
and the angels say, " Why, Master, on what grounds 
do you admit him ?" and Jesus will say, " I was 
hungry and he fed me. I was naked and he clothed 
me. I was sick and he visited me." Jesus points at 
the little cabin in the alley, and says, " Even as ye 
did it unto the least of these, my brethren, you did 
it unto mo. Enter thou into the joys of thy Lord." 

Now hear me. What about my money ? Have 
I consecrated myself to God? I will say one 
thing, and I mean it with all my heart. If I had 
as much money as some of you have got who look 
me in the face, and if I did n't do more for God and 
humanity than you do with your money, the devil 
would get me as certain as my name is Sam Jones, 
and he '11 get you, too, unless you make out a clear 
case of idiocy. 

If you do that you may slip through. If you 
go up there as a sensible man, and show no better 

222 Sam Joxes' Own Book. 

dividends in righteousness than you now show, my 
candid judgment is tlie sentence will be, " Depart, 
ye accursed. I trusted you and you robbed me.'' 
Your money — you 've got to straighten that out 
somehow. Many a man is appreciative. A fellow 
in Cincinnati said, ** I would n't have missed that 
sermon for two hundred dollars," but when they 
passed around the hat he slipped in a copper cent. 
He was just one hundred and ninety-nine dollars 
and ninety-nine cents meaner in his pocket than he 
was in his mouth. That fellow's mouth was all 
right, but his pocket was all wrong. I said once, 
"Brethren, pitch in and give every thing you have 
to God," and a brother tackled me after dinner and 
said, " Look here, Jones, you told these people to 
give every thing they had to' God. Do you meau 
it?" "No," I said, "I just put it strong that 
way and told them to give their all, and by the 
time it works down to their pocket-books it will be 
just about ten cents." We have got to start mighty 
strong to get there at all. Money ! Religion is the 
cheapest thing in the world. There is n't an enter- 
tainment on earth as cheap as a religious entertain- 
ment, if you won't put it on any other basis in the 
world. I recollect going down the street of my 
town one day and I passed a squad of men, who were 
standing on the sidwalk, and heard one man say, 
" Every time I go to Church its money, money, 
money." I have heard that, have n't you? I'll 
tell you another thing. Have you not noticed that 
whenever a pocket-book flies shut a man's mouth 
flies open, and he '11 talk ; but whenever his pocket- 

The Secret op a Religious Life. 223 

book flies open his mouth flies shut? The fellows 
that never give a cent are the fellows that are run- 
ning around talking money, money, money all the 
time. You watch. the next tonguey chap that's 
going about talking money and he 's the very fellow 
that has n't invested a quarter since these meetings 
started. Did you ever notice that. "Barking dogs 
never bite." I have heard that all my life ; and 
the man that growls about money is the man that 
never pays any thing. 

Listen. I was walking along the street when one 
of these men said to the others: "It's just money, 
money, money the year round." I stopped, and 
there it was the steward of the Methodist Church 
talking that way. I looked at him and said, " What 
did you say?" and he said: " Sara, I didn't see 
you, or I do n't reckon I 'd have said that." Said 
I, " What did you say ?" He said : " I declared it 
a shame how people are going about talking about 
money. Every time you go to Church they take a 
collection, and they stick the contribution-box un- 
der your nose now every time you go to Church." I 
said, "Look here; talking about money, I'll tell 
you what I '11 do. You pick out six of the leading 
Methodists or Baptists in the Church,, the most 
liberal ones, and I '11 agree to pay every dollar of 
what these six pay in a year, every cent, to 
the preacher and to Church missions, with less 
money than it takes to run one old red-nosed 
drunkard. Now, what do you say ? Why, one old 
red-nosed drunkard pays more for his whisky and 
his devilment every year than the six leading Chris- 

224 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

tians of the town pay for the privilege of serving 
God and doing right and going to heaven. Brother, 
I M just shut my little mouth and never open it 
again on that subject if I were you. It 's better to 
be poor than to be drunk ; it's better to be a good 
man than a bad man ; you better shut your mouth 
and go along and say nothing about money." 

If I were on any thing else than money, you'd 
all cheer like forty, but I do n't expect much cheer- 
ing on the line I 'm on. It is as the old colored 
preacher says, " Talk about money and you throw 
a dampness over the meetin'." I'm not preaching 
for my pocket, brethren, I 'm preaching for souls. 
Do you hear that ? 

Brother, tote fair with God; do right towards 
God your Maker, and wherever there is a demand 
on your head or heart or hand or feet or pocket- 
book, in the name of sense meet it as an honest 
man ought to meet a thing. That's religion — a 
holy sacrifice. Well, we take it for granted you 
have given God your heart and pocket-book, 
and your hands and feet, but now how about your 
time? Have you ever settled any thing about your 
time, whether any of it belongs to God, and if so, 
how much of it belongs to God ? Did you ever sit 
down and make an honest division with God of your 
time — I will give God so much every week? John 
Wesley, a grander man than whom never lived, sat 
down and divided the twenty-four hours of the day 
into three equal parts, and said, " Eight hours a 
day I give to sleep and recreation ; eight hours I 
give to my business, and eight hours I give to 

Thk Secrkt of a Religious Life. 225 

God/' When I look at Wesley's life, and see how 
inaDy sermons he preached, I 'm astonished that he 
had any time to travel; and when I look at the 
number of miles he traveled on horseback, I'm 
astonished that he had time to preach ; and when I 
look at the number of books he left behind him I 
say, " Well, well, how did Wesley have time for 
writing and preaching?" and the whole life of that 
great man, the most laborious life almost of any 
century, was made successful and extensive because 
he divided up rightly with God. 

How many weeks in the year do you give to 
God ? How many hours a day do you give to God ? 
That 's the way to talk it. How many days in the 
week, how many hours in the day do you give to 
God? Many a fellow goes crying around a big 
meeting and asks people to pray for him, but, 
brother, you do n't want to go where God is. He 
is all around here. I tell you you can find God all 
over this city, and there 's many a place I 'd rather 
go to find God than to this hall. " What do you 
mean?" I mean this: I heard of a backslidden 
Methodist once who was making money pretty fast — 
and that's a pretty good way to find a blackslider. 
It 's a fellow in the Church making money rapidly, v 
"He's preaching against riches," you say. Well, 
if were I would preach against Abraham, and I 
never will preach against Abraham. That grand 
old saint could have come to this city and bouojht 
out the whole town before breakfast, and it would n't 
have interfered with his other transactions of the 
day. You show me a man that says I am preach- 

226 Sam Jonrs' Own Book. 

ing against Abraham^ and I '11 show you a man 
that's not growing in grace. 

This man went to a Methodist preacher, and 
said he, " I wish you would tell me where and what 
heaven is;" and the preacher said, "I can tell you 
where it is." "Where is it?" Said he, "Last 
year you made forty thougand dollars on one lot of 
cotton ; now you are rich, and there 's one of your 
sisters in Christ who is a member of the Church, 
and she 's lying up on the hill yonder and she 's 
down with the typhoid fever and her children have 
the chills, and that poor woman has n't a cook or a 
nurse or any one to look after her wants. Now, if 
you will just go down town and buy fifty dollars' 
worth of nice provisions and take them up there — 
and she has seen better days — and get a cook and 
nurse to take care of her so that she'll never want 
for any thing, and then get down the Bible and read 
the twenty-third Psalm, " The Lord is my Shep- 
herd, I shall not want," and pray God's blessing on 
the poor widow and her children ; if you do n't see 
heaven before I see you again I'll foot the bill." 
The next day as he was walking down the street along 
came this man, and with the tears running down his 
face he said, "I did as you told me. I bought fifty 
dollars' worth of provisions and put them in a wagon 
and drove up to her house, and I got her a cook 
and a nurse, and I told her she should not want 
again, as I was her brother ; and I read the twenty- 
third Psalm, and got down to pray, and God and 
angels came down and filled that room, and I was 
the happiest man I have ever been in my life." 

The Secret of Religious Life. 227 

The charity that will simply pitch a ten-dollar 
piece into a poor widow's lap, is not charity. The 
charity that hunts up and sympathizes with and 
puts its arm around and helps a brother — that 's the 
charity that takes us close to heaven. 


Thank God, this old world has never seen the 
time when it did not take its hat off and make a 
decent bow to a good woman ! 

This world is the fruit-bearing world. Up 
yonder we will eat and rejoice forever over the fruit 
we have matured here below. Between the bud 
and the blossom and the ripe fruit of love there are 
manv difficulties. There are the cold winds of 
neglect, and the biting frosts of temptation ; there 
are a thousand intervening difficulties between the 
blossom and the ripe fruit. 

As soon as a man quits doing wrong toward God 
he begins to see how good God is. I had a friend 
in Cartersville who was mad with another member 
of the Church ; and I said : " If you will go and 
pay that man all that you owe him, I venture to say 
that it will be all right." I got the man to pay 
his debts, and there are no better friends in the 
town than those two men. If you will pay your 
debts to God, none will be better friends. 

Sermon XVII. 


" Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope ; even 
today do I declare that I will render double unto tliee." — 
Zech. IX, 12. 

GOD is in earnest about the salvation of men. 
As I read this book I close it ever and anon, 
and say to myself, the all-absorbing theme with God 
and angels and good men is the salvation of the 
living — not the salvation of men who lived a hun- 
dred or a thousand years ago. They have had 
their privilege?ii, enjoyed their opportunities, and 
destiny is fixed with them. Their cases have ceased 
to engage the mind and heart of God in the sense 
in which our cases engage his mind and heart. 

It is not in the salvation of men that shall live 
a hundred years hence; they have yet to be born, 
and yet to enjoy their privileges and opportunities. 
But it is the salvation of men and women who live 
and walk and talk upon the face of the earth now. 
Is it not strange that this question should so engage 
the mind of Deity, and so interest the great heart 
of the Church and angels, and that you, for whom 
all this sympathy is poured out, and all these man- 
ifestations are given, should be the only being in 
the universe disinterested in this great question ? 

Now, locate yourself somewhere in one of these 
classes to-night. I do not purpose to draw upon 


Prisoners op Hope. 229 

my imaginatioD^ but we will stick to the record. 
If yovt believe the Bible^ give me your attention. 
If you do u't believe in the Bibie, the discussion 
to-night will have very little to do with your case. 
When a man has found something better than the 
Bible, something more promising than the Gospel, 
something more inviting than heaven, he is not the 
man to whom I preach the Gospel, or would plead 
with to lead a better life. But, if you have found 
nothing better than the Gospel, nothing truer than 
the Bible, and nothing sweeter than heaven, give 
me your attention ; we will stick to the record. I 
shall talk about things we all know about. 

The first class of prisoners with hope we men- 
tion are the good men and women, the best charac- 
ters in all the Churches of earth. I have never yet 
been pastor of a Church that did n't have conse- 
crated men and women, who loved God with all 
their hearts and their neighbors as themselves. I 
am ready to say that every good man I have ever 
met was a member of some Christian C/hurch. I 
have never yet found a man out of the Church that 
talked like a Christian in the deeper and better 
things of a spiritual life. Now, I have heard peo- 
ple say, " My father was a good man, and he did n't 
belong to the Church ;'' and " My mother was a 
good woman, and she did n't belong to the Church." 
Well, in the name of common sense, do n't take me 
to the graveyards to find good folks. Every body 
out there is good, if you will read their epitaphs and 
what is written on their tombstones. Every body is 
good after they die, but I want you all to rack me 

230 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

out a living; kicking fellow in this world that does n't 
belong to the Church. He's the one I'm hunting 
for. Where is he ? 

I say all the good people I have ever known 
were members of some Christian Church. If you 
have a man in this city that 's a good Christian and 
doesn't belong to any Church I want to see him. I 
want to get his photograph to take around with me, 
and say, " Here's one Christian that has had an op- 
portunity to join the Church, but would n't join." 
When a man geta religion, brethren, he breaks right 
away for the Church of God, just as a young duck 
does for the pond, precisely. I do n't care how he 
was hatched out, it 's his nature to go to the pond. 
I used myself to talk that way — "I can live as well 
out of the Church as in. There's no use in joining 
the Church at all." But, as soon as I gave my 
heart to God, if the door of the Church had not been 
opened to me I would have broken it down and got 
in anyhow. I must get in. 

I '11 tell you another thing : When a man stands 
up and preaches the Gospel to me I ^vaut to know 
that he 's a member of the Church, and I do n't want 
him to be ashamed to tell what Church he belongs 
to, either. If you ever expect to be a Christian, 
the fact that you gave your heart to God involves 
the fact that you gave your hand to the Church. 
Some people, when they get religion, sit up and say, 
" To save my life I can 't determine what Church to 
join. I don't think any of them suits me." Per- 
haps yours is a peculiar case, and I reckon the Lord 
will have to send his angels down just to organize 

Prisoners op Hopk. 231 

a Church to suit you. Lord, have mercy on some 
people in this world. They are like a class of fight- 
ing men we had during the war : There were Union 
men and Southern men who would n't join any reg- 
iment, and they were what we called a " bush- 
whacker ;" and a bushwhacker would kill a Union 
man as quick as he would a rebel, because he was 
after what the fellow had in his pocket. God de- 
liver me from these religious bushwhackers that 
do n't belong to any command, but are just after 
the spoils. 

You give your heart to God, and don't let a 
Sabbath pass without going to some of these Chris- 
tian Churches, and say : " Brethren, take me in, and 
lift me." And don't come in to be a little baby to 
be nursed; but say, "Brother, I will lift you; I 
will measure arms with any body. I never come in 
to be fed on soothing syrup and the bottle; but I 'm 
going to be some one, God being my helper." 
Brother, we don't want anv more babies. It's a 
heap of trouble to run a church full of babies. Now, 
the prisoners with hope are the first class we men- 
tion — faithful men and women who belong to the 
great Church of God in some of its branches, and are 
working out their salvation with fear and trem- 
bling. They have denied themselves and taken up 
their cross to follow after Christ. Every good man 
in this town who is striving to please God and do 
good is a prisoner with hope ; but he 's a prisoner 
still, hemmed in with the environments of earth, 
and with the temptations of earth thrown all 
around him, with nothing certain except heaven to 

232 8am Jones' Own Book. 

him^ if he is faithful unto the end. Now he's a 
prisoner with hope. 

** O, what a blessed hope is ours, 
While here on earth we stay ; 
We more than taste the heavenly powers, 
And antedate that day/' 

Hope to the Christian is the anchor of his soul 
which entereth into that within the veil. When 
hope, the anchor, is pitched out into the great deep 
of life, the winds may beat and the storms may 
blow, but, blessed be God, it will hold me fast. 

A prisoner, but a prisoner with hope ! My pre- 
cious mother was a prisoner with hope once, but 
twenty-eight years ago her spirit went home to 
God, and she has ever since been roaming Elysian 
fields, one of God's freemen in heaven. Thank God, 
they are freemen up yonder, with no environments, 
no imprisonments, but everlasting freedom in the 
presence of God. My father was a prisoner of hope 
thirteen years ago, but death cut the last ligament, 
and his liberated spirit went home to God, and he 
has been walking the golden streets for thirteen 
years — a freeman in God's great world. Every 
good man and every good woman is a prisoner with 
hope here, but there they are God's freemen. 

I have sat down often and buried my face in my 
hands, and wondered if I will ever get to heaven. 
It will be a glad moment to my spirit when I have 
fought my last battle, when I have overcome my 
last temptation, when I have kneeled down and said 
my prayers for the last time, when I have kissed 
my wife and children good night, and started home 

Prisonebs of Hope. 233 

to heaven like a little school-boy going home from 
school, and when my feet shall strike the pavements 
of the golden streets of God, and I shall at last, 
blessed be God, be at home, and free forever. 

There is another class of prisoners with hope, and 
they are the men and women who are not members 
of the Church, nor professors of religion, but they 
are seeking it; they are penitent sinners. After 
all, there are but two classes of sinners in this world 
of people — the penitent and the impenitent. All pen- 
itent sinners are saved, and all impenitent sinners 
are lost. Every . penitent, heart-broken, and con- 
trite mortal in this house is a prisoner of hope. If 
a man is honestly seeking grace in the pardon and 
salvation of his soul, that man is as much on the 
road to heaven, as far as he has gone, as any man 
here. Thank God, he never lets a penitent die 
until his penitence has issued into pardon and peace. 
If you are an honest penitent, and will keep your 
traces tight going in that direction, you can never 
die until you are pardoned. An honest and per- 
sistent penitent never yet was damned. Are you 
an honest penitent? Do you mean business? Are 
you honestly sorry about the way you have been 
doing? Have you honestly made up your mind to 
give your heart to God and be religious? If you 
have, my brethren, you are prisoners with hope. 
There is a chance for you to get to heaven, and I 
say to you this, that is all I want to know to-night 
or any time in my future life in this world : Is there 
a chance for me to get to the good world ? If there 

is, count me in. 
20— B 

234 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

I '11 tell you another thing. I 'm going to take 
every chance for the good world. I was at a meet- 
ing once^ and the preacher said : '^ All of you that 
are not doing your whole duty come up here.'* And 
I felt that I ought to be the first one to go. " All 
of you that want more religion," said the preacher, 
" come up." And I said to myself, " That means 
me." " All of you that feel in your heart," con- 
tinued the preacher, " that you are unworthy, come 
up." And I thought, " I am the most unworthy 
man in the world. That means me." And then 
the preacher said, " All of you that want to conse- 
crate life and soul and body to God, come up here 
and kneel down.' And I ought to be the first fel- 
low tliere, I thought. " And all of you who love 
God and trust in him, come up," said the preacher 
again, and then I thought, " Well, I ought to go 
right along with the first, for I do love him and 
trust him every day." I 'm going to take every 
chance for the good world, and if there 's any good 
in the Methodist mourners' bench, I 'm going to get 
it ; and if there 's any thing in the Presbyterian in- 
quiiy chair, I 'm going to take that chair ; and if 
there 's any good in those rooms, I 'm going in 
there. I 'm going to take every chance I can get 
for a better life. I shall never dodge a duty or 
shirk a responsibility. Now, here, if we are prisoners 
of hope, then let us take the chances that we have 
to-night, and let us fight it out, fight the world, the 
flesh, and the devil, until we are no longer prison- 
ers of hope, but enjoy the freedom of God's chil- 
dren in heaven. 

Pbisonebs op Hope. 235 

There is aDother class of prisoners with hope. 
There is that man out there, who doesn't know 
what to do, hardly. He has very nearly made up 
his mind to-night : " It is right to do right, and it 
is wrong to do wrong, and I believe I will fall in 
with this movement." Thousands came for curios- 
ity, or for the fun there is in it, and he among the 
number. He said to himself, " I will have more 
fun to-night than I ever had in my life. I am 
going to have lots of fun." But watch him, and the 
first thing you know the man sits uneasily in his 
chair. The spirit of God has convicted him, and 
before the service is over he will look just as if the 
devil had a mortgage upon him. He is a prisoner, 
with hope. Every man here, anxious and earnest 
for the salvation of his soul, no matter whether he 
has taken the step or not, is a prisoner with hope. 
Thank God, I would that every man in this house to- 
night might take his chance for heaven and work it 
out until it should end in a grand result. Look at 
Garfield, shot down by the assassin's bullet. We 
see the doctor probing the wound, and Garfield 
turns to him and says : " Doctor, what are the 
chances? Do not hesitate to tell me the worst, be- 
cause you knew I am not afraid to die." The doc- 
tor looks at him and replies, ^^ There is only one 
chance in a hundred for your life." " Then," says 
Garfield, " I will take that chance." He did grap- 
ple with death for ninety days as scarcely any man 
ever did. Now, brother, there is a chance for you 
to be saved. Will you just say, " By the grace of 
God I will take that chance, and grapple with sin 

236 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

and the devil until God shall say^ ^ It is enough ; 
come up higher ?' " That is what we want. 

Now, turn, you prisoners of hope ; I dare assert 
that every man here is a prisoner of hope. There 
is a chance for you to be saved, and come to God 
and have your sins pardoned. There is a chance 
for each and a chance for all. Now, let us to-night 
say : " Whatever others may do or not do, by the 
grace of God I will take that chance, and will work 
out this great problem by the direction of the good 
Spirit, and make my way to heaven." 

" Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of 
hope.'' Then what is the promise ? " Even to- 
day" — to-day, says the Lord, not to-morrow nor 
next week, but to-day — " I will render double unto 
thee." I never read that promise that I do n't 
think of an incident that one of our old preachers 
told me. He said, in one of his revivals, there was 
a young man who was very much interested in the 
meeting. He came up and was earnest and prayed 
and yet he was not converted. He walked out of 
the door with the young man one day, and turned 
to him and said, " My young friend, you seem to 
be in earnest, and seem to be honest. What is the 
matter with you? You are not converted yet." 
" Well," said the young man, " I am in earnest. 
No man was ever more in earnest than I am, but 
I tell you, whenever I go up to the altar and begin 
to pray, I think of the business I am in. I am 
employed as a clerk in a grocery store where they sell 
provisions in one room and liquor in another by 
the quart, and I frequently have to go into the 

Prisoners op Hope. 237 

liquor part and draw whisky and sell to customers. 
Every time I kneel down at the altar and pray 
God to save my soul^ that part of my work comes 
up, and I can 't pray to save my life." 

Do you hear that ? A man can 't get religion 
and clerk where whisky is sold, much less can he 
keep it and rent a house for others to sell it in, or 
sell it himself after he is converted. No, sir; no, 
sir. A man that will rent his house to a bar-keeper 
and call himself a Christian, is a hypocrite of the 
deepest dye, and he does not find quarters in my 
Church where I am pastor. 

That boy could n't get religion and sell whisky, 
and the preacher said to him : " My young friend, 
it is not a question at all. If it is in your way, 
give it up. Give up your employment and give 
your heart to God." " Well," said the boy, " you 
know my widowed mother and my three orphaned 
sisters are depending upon me for every bite they 
eat ; and," said he, " if I give up my employment, 
my mother and sisters will starve ; and if I do n't 
give it up, my soul is lost. I am in a strait." 
The preacher said, "Now, listen to me. God never 
asked a man to do any thing that would damage 
him in either world. Now, if it is your duty to 
give up that job, you do it." The young man went 
right down to the store and saw the head employer, 
and told him, " I have been seeking religion three 
days and nights, and I can 't get it. Every time I 
go to the altar and try to pray, that whisky part 
of your business comes up before me, and •! can 't 
get religion and sell whisky." " Well," said the 

238 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

senior partner of. the firm, " I am sorry to have you 
leave. You have been a dutiful, faithful boy, and I 
am sorry to give you up. We are paying you good 
wages, fifty dollars a month, and you are poor ; but 
if you say quit, we can't say a word.'' The young 
man replied, " I am obliged to quit for conscience' 
sake." His employer settled up with him that 
afternoon, and the boy went back to the Church at 
night and was converted to* God. The next 
morning after breakfast he received a note, and 
opened it, and it was a note from his old em- 
ployer, saying, " Come down to our store this 
afternoon." After dinner the boy walked down to 
the store and into the office room, and his employer 
met him and shook hands with him, and said, ^' I 
am glad to see you back, sir. Now, walk into this 
room." He took him into the liquor-room, and 
every barrel had been rolled out. He said, "Now, 
you see we have quit that business, and I will give 
you a hundred dollars a month if you will come 
back and clerk again." 

" Even to-day !" In twenty -four hours after the 
time that boy gave up his business for Christ's sake 
and for conscience' sake, God doubled his salary 
and put the whisky out, and put him back. Thank 
God, no man loses any thing by doing right for 
God and conscience' sake. " Even to-day do I de- 
clare that I will render double unto thee." 

" Well," you say, " I do n't believe that story is 
true." Well, sir, I know it is true. And what I am go- 
ing to say now is true, and it is a story a hundred times 
bigger than the one I have just told, too. You say^ 

Prisoners of Hope. 239 

"What is that?'' Well, sir, when I was a poor 
sinner, they used to tell me that " if any man will 
forsake houses, and lands, and wife and children, 
and home, and friends, and be my disciple, I will 
give him a hundred fold more in this life, and life 
everlasting in the world to come." Thirteen years 
ago, brethren — listen to me — I left one little cottage 
home in Cartersville to follow Christ, and, glory to his 
name, he has given me a thousand homes as good as 
any^man ever had. Thirteen years ngo I bid farewell 
to a few friends in my to.wn to follow Christ, and 
he has given me a thousand friends for every one I 
left on that day. Thirteen years ago I left one 
mother — a step-mother, but kind and good to me — 
to follow Christ; and I want to say to you that 
everywhere I have gone, God has ever given me a 
hundred mothers just as good and kind to me as my 
own mother could be. And I want to say to you 
brethren, that God has given me a hundredfold more 
in this life. I left two brothers at home to follow 
Christ, and God has given me a hundred thousand 
brethren who are just as good to me as my own 
brothers could be. I stand here to-night to testify 
to the fact that God gives a hundredfold more in 
this life, and his precious promise of everlasting life 
in the world to come. Half of the promise is true, 
and I just know that God is going to fulfill the 
whole promise. 

Brother, turn to the stronghold to-night. Your 
Savior, Christ, is the stronghold, and God himself 
has promised, " Even to-day do I declare that I will 
render double unto thee." 

Sermon XVIII. 


" Be not deceived ; God is not mocked ; for whatsoever a 
man soweth, that shall he also reap. He that soweth to his 
flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption ; but he that soweth 
to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.'' — Gal. 
VI, 7, 8. 

WE say there are three absolute impossibilities 
in this life. There may be many^ but we 
know of three. First^ it is an absolute impossibility 
for a man continuously and successfully to practice 
a fraud upon his own immortality. If you are a 
good man you know it. I care not how much you 
may bring to bear — your self-pride and the flattery 
of your friends — if you are not what you ought to 
be there are periods in your history when God 
wakes you up and shows you what you are, and 
who you are, and whither you are tending. I am 
so glad God won't let a man lie down and sleep his 
way to hell. In spite of dissipation, in spite of 
gayeties, in spite of temporal pleasures, there are 
moments when God arrests you and shows you 
what you are, and who you are, and where you are 
going. I imagine that every thing in the universe 
has its purpose. There is not an agency but what 
is working to an end. I think that bar-rooms, and 
ball-rooms, and card-tables, and a thousand things 
I might mention, are but so many influences to keep 
a man's mind off of himself. A man infatuated 


Sowing and Reapinq. 241 

with the game of progressive euchre never thinks 
wlio he is, or what he is, or where he is going. A 
man looking at the gay jim-jams, you might say, on 
the stage at the theater, is attracted by the sight, 
and never sees himself. A man steeped in and 
stupefied by whisky loses sight of himself; and these 
are agencies employed by the devil, and by devilish 
men, to make you shut your eyes to youi*self ; but 
sooner or later, ever and anon, God makes you stop, 
wakes you up and shows you what you are. And 
now, brother, if you are a good man, you know you 
are a good man ; if you are not a good man, you 
know you are not a good man, and that's the end of 
logic on this question. 

We say, in the second place, it is absolutely im- 
possible for a man continuously and successfully to 
practice a fraud upon his neighbor. Now, your 
neighbor knows you, and a great many things he 
has never told you. Somehow or other if there's 
any good about you, your neighbors will find it out, 
and if there's any thing bad about you they'll find 
it out, too. 

If you were to dress up in disguise to-morrow 
night and go to your neighbor's house and get him 
to talk about you, and spend an hour with him on 
this subject, you 'd leave that house with your face 
buried in your hands, and you 'd say : " Well, well, 
well, I had no idea in the world that that man 
knows me as well as he does." You 'd be aston- 
ished along on that line. O, how much we know 
about each other, and how false we are toward 
each other. There 's many a person in this world 

21— B 

242 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

that will fawD around you and flatter you to get 
your money, or influence, or something; but they 
can look clear through you, and they know you ; 
and when the day comes they'll tell it, too. You 
mark what I say. 

Do you know that the worst enemies you have 
in the world are those who were once your best 
friends? They ran with you until they found you 
out, and, my, my, what a contempt they have for 
you now! You can't practice a fraud on your 
neighbor. This estimate of a man is pretty fair at 
last; and I want to say to you if your neighbors 
all concur in the fact that you won't do, I'll take 
their word ; if they concur in the fact that you are 
upright, and generous and noble, I'll take their 
word. Mark you, you are known in this commu- 
nity as you are. That's a sad revelation to some 
of you. You 'd be astonished to know how many 
people have seen you going into certain places at 
doubtful hours, too ; doubtful places where a decent 
man can't go. You'd be astonished to know how 
many could write your life and history. You are 
practicing a fraud up>on nobody. 

Then we say, in the next place, it is absolutely 
impossible for a man to practice a fraud upon God 
Almighty. He knows you through and through. 
He knows where you live, what your name is, how 
old you are, and the very hairs of your head are 
numbered. He not only hears every word you say, 
but he knows the motives of your life. This is the 
meaning of the expression here: "Be not deceived; 
God is not mocked." You know yourself; your 


. Sowing and Reaping. 243 

neighbor knows you ; God knows you. This is one 
text that the world assents to whether you be Jew 
or Gentile, whether you be atheist or deist, Chris- 
tian or infidel. Do you know that all humanity 
gathers on it as a common platform, and all agree 
to the truth of this proposition that, '^ whatsoever 
a man soweth, that shall he also reap?'' 

This text is not true simply because I find it in 
the Bible; but it would be as true if Hume, the 
historian, or if Bacon were its author as it is true 
when God is its author. Really, brethren, leaving 
out the question of God, we know this text is true. 

^' Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also 
reap.'' This world around us, brethren, is but the 
photograph, a counterpart of the immortal world. 
Now we know this text is true in physical things, 
for whatsoever I sow as a farmer I reap. Like be- 
gets like. If I go out in my garden and sow a row 
of lettuce, I do n't expect any thing but lettuce from 
the time the seed drops from my hand until it is 
gathered for the table. I go into my garden and 
plant a row of potatoes, and I do n't expect any 
thing but potatoes. If I go into my field and plant 
corn, from the time the seed is covered up in the 
furrow until the ear is gathered for the barn, I 
do n't expect any thing but corn, If I go out into 
my field and sow wheat, I don't expect any thing 
but wheat. Whatsoever I sow, that I reap. I want 
to call your attention to another fact along here. 
Like not only begets like, but multiplied produc- 
tions follow. I plant one grain of corn and I 
gather eight hundred grains. Some years ago one 

244 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

of our leading pastors in our State told me himself 
that there sprouted in his garden a seed of oats. He 
let it grow on and spread^ and mature ; and he said^ 
" I pulled up that bunch of oats all growing from 
one seed^ and carried it to my back veranda^ and 
sat down and counted the grains, and there were 
eight thousand seven hundred of them. They all 
came from that one single grain.'' I believe it is 
a true, plain, literal fact which he stated. 

You take that eight thonsand seven hundred 
grains of oats and sow it; next summer you have 
forty bushels. Take that forty bushels and sow it, 
and you have one thousand six hundred. Take 
the one thousand six hundred, and then begin to 
multiply in this way, if such a thing were possible, 
and you would have this world a hundred feet deep 
in oats in two or three decades. 

Now, brother, listen. Like not only begets like, 
but look at the multiplying, increasing nature of 
every thing you sow. Back yonder in the Garden 
of Eden, six thousand years ago, Adam dropped 
one little seed of sin in the garden, and now to-day 
this world is foul with sin and full of woe. 

Now, there is a sense in which we are immortally 
sowing. Every man is going through this world 
with a basket of immortal spiritual seed on his 
arm, and every step he takes in life his hand goes 
down into the basket, and he scatters the seed to 
the right and to the left, not out on your prairie 
lands, or down on the red hills of Georgia, but in 
human hearts, and they grow up and mature, and 
there is a harvest from the sowing that has been 

Sowing and Reaping. 245 

done in the preceding months and years. O, brother^ 
as I look at this city to-day, and see it reeking with 
iniquity, I say, " O, my God, what a sowing! O, 
what a harvest there is in this citv to sadden the 
heart of God and make angels weep !" 

Every word of my mouth is a seed; every act 
of my life is a seed^ and it falls in ground that will 
produce and reproduce, and we are sowing and reap- 
ing, and sowing and reaping until by and by comes 
the harvest ; and then the time of weeping, or the 
time of rejoicing, when we shall bring in our sheaves. 

When a Catholic woman went to her devout 
priest in confessional, and said to him, ^^ I have 
talked between my neighbors, and I have got the 
community in a perfect uproar; neighbor is mad 
with neighbor, and it is caused by what I said," 
the priest listened through, and said, " Now I have 
heard your confession. I give as a penance now 
that you go and gather a basket of thistle-seed and 
go between each house and Tiouses in the commun- 
ity, and scatter the thistle-seed to the Aght and to 
the left along your pathway." Next morning she 
came back and said, ^' I have done as you told me. 
I pray for absolution." " No," the'priest said. "Be- 
fore I absolve you I want you first to go and gather 
up all this seed you have scattered by the way- 
side, and put it in a basket and bring it back to 
me." "O," said the despairing woman, "I can 
never do that." "Neither," said the priest, "can 
you ever undo the mischief you have done in your 
community by scattering your bad talk and com- 
munications among those neighbors." 

246 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

O, brother, it 's mighty easy to scatter, but O, 
how hard it is to pluck up and bring back again. 

Can you take back that oath you swore yes- 
terday? It dropped in the ears of a little boy, and 
that boy will scatter oaths for fifty years to come. 
You might afford to be wicked and sow evil seed 
if you were shut up in some lonely island all by 
yourself but in this community, where every man 
touches another man, where little children play 
around you as you walk along the streets, where 
your examples are seen and felt by all men, I warn 
you, brother, you sin with a vengeance when you 
do wrong in this city of many thousands of people. 

" Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also 
reap." There is a very general sense in which this 
is true. Now, I want you to answer one question 
for me. If I sow bar-rooms and whisky, what will 
I reap? Will you answer it in the halting, stag- 
gering gait of every drunkard that curses this city 
to-night? If I sow whisky I shall reap drunkards. 
Do you doubt it? Is there a man here to-night 
that says, " That logic won't do ?" Is there one ? 
I do n't care whether you sow whisky at your wine 
suppers, or whether you sow beer for your health ; 
I care not what your excuse may be; every glass 
drunk by yourself, and passed to others, is sowing 
a seed that shall produce a harvest of drunkards that 
will curse this country when you are dead and gone. 
Do you know that every bar-room means ten 
steady drinkers? I am told that there are in this 
city thirty-three hundred bar-rooms. If you can 
put out two or three hundred bar-rooms, or five or six 

Sowing and Reaping. 247 

hundred^ or a thousand bar-rooms with high license, 
I want to tell you how you can .put them all out^ and 
put them out forever — and that is with prohibition. 

Now, I ask every intelligent man, if you have 
ten steady drinkers for each of these bar-rooms, 
ten men who have crossed the line and will die 
drunk as certain as those bar-rooms stay in your 
city, will you not have thirty-five thousand human 
beiugs that to-night are marching into druukards' 
graves? I verily believe, and I utter it with the 
conviction of my soul, that in less than fifby years 
from to-day our children will look back on us for 
licensing whisky as the most blatant barbarians that 
ever cursed the world. 

Talk about civilization, prate about liberty, 
boast about intelligence! God Almighty let our 
children live and die idiots, if you call the present 
outgmwth of things the product of intelligence, and 
liberty, and freedom! 

Sow whisky, reap drunkards. They have reaped 
your husband, may be, sister. They have reaped 
your boy, may be, mother. They have reaped your 
neighbor, may be, friend. Call me a fanatic ; say, 
"There is a religious enthusiast;" then go and 
shoulder your drunkards and bear them to the 
judgment-bar of God. 

Sow whisky, reap drunkards. Do you deny it? 
Can you, my brother, be a party to the sowing of 
the seed that will produce drunkards when God 
himself has said, " No drunkard shall enter the king- 
dom of heaven?'^ Will you tie your own brother, 
hand and foot, and cast him out of the reach of the 

248 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

arm of Gk)d ? Can you do that ? Every license to 
every bar-room in this city is furnishing the tether 
by which your brother is bound hand and foot and 
cast where God's arm can never reach him. I '11 
tell you another thing. We have lain low and said 
nothing, until to-night the strongest power in 
Anierica is the whisky power. The Congress of 
the United States just stands and trembles in its 
presence. The legislatures of three-fourths of these 
States stand and tremble in its presence, and the 
pulpits of this country say, " I do n't want to preach 
politics." What's the matter with them? The 
liquor question is no more a political question than 
is '^ Thou shalt not steal " a political question. 

Sow whisky, reap drunkards. My most earnest 
prayer, my greatest longing, is to live to see the 
day in this grand country of ours when there is 
nothing to break a mother's heart or to make a wife 
weep her life away; when there is nothing in 
America that will make a man stagger, and make 
an honest m^n steal and a sensible man a fool. 
Every lewd house in this city is bottomed on your 
bar-rooms; every gambling hell in this town is bot- 
tomed on your bar-rooms; and when you put 
whisky out of America you will put out of it the 
gambling hells and lewd houses, and those arc the 
three biggest guns of hell turned loose upon our 
country. They fire often enough to kill more of 
our race than all other guns put together. Men and 
boys go from the bar-rooms to the gambling hell, 
and from the gambling hell to the shameless houses, 
just as naturally as a living man breathes. 

Sowing and Reaping. 249 

But we go on. Sow cards and reap what? In- 
dustriouS; hard-working boys ? Sow cards and reap 
farmers? Sow cards and reap first-class mechanics? 
Sow cards and reap lawyers ? No ! no ! a thousand 
times no ! But sow cards and reap gamblers. Corn 
never grew from corn and wheat never grew from 
wheat more legitimately than the sowing of cards in 
your household will produce a harvest of gamblers. 
'' I can 't see any harm in the world in a social 
game of cards," you say. I repeat what I have said 
frequently, that nine gamblers out of eveiy ten that 
I have ever met were from the homes of so-called 
Christian people. That is a fact. What does that 
teach us ? It teaches us this : that in the boyhood 
of your sons you teach them a passion for games 
and gambling that in their afler-Iife they can 
never overcome. God pity a man that can ^t run 
his home without a deck of cards ! Some of you 
say, " I must have amusement for my children ; I 
shall bring cards to my house ; and I am going to put 
a billiard-table in there, too." A billiard table in a 
private house ! As God is my judge, in all my re- 
lations of life I never have seen a first-class billiard 
player that was worth the powder and lead that it 
would take to kill him. Now, what do you say ? 
" O, 1 believe in having a billiard table, and cards, 
and wine, and all that sort of things." You say, 
" Why, give these to the children, and let them 
have them now, and they won't care any thing about 
them after a while." Just give your hogs some good 
slop every morning for a week, and on the same 
principle they will just get so they won't care any 

250 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

thing about slop at all! Why, they won't look 
at it! 

Sow cardsy reap gamblers. O, what a life you 
project upon this world when you train a boy up 
who has no respect for God, and his greatest passion 
is to sit down with a deck of cards before him ! 
And Paul hit on this point, brethren, when he said, 
'^ I would have you wise unto that which is good 
and simple concerning evil." What did he mean ? 
Blessed are they that do n't know how to do any 
sort of meanness. Their parents have never taught 
them how, and they have never learned. 

Then, again, we say, sow profanity and reap 
blackguards. I can put up with any other sort of a 
case better than I can with one of those cursing, 
swearing men. He is to me the most contempt- 
ible animal that walks this earth — a cursing 
man, a man that can 't talk business, can 't talk any 
thing without injecting his oaths, the most venom- 
ous, into his conversation. I have thought many a 
time that every swearing man ought to command 
some lonely island to himself — get off like Robin- 
son Crusoe, and curse it out among the goats. 

Sow whisky, reap drunkards; sow cards, reap 
gamblers; sow profanity, and reap a debauched 
race. Then, again, we say — ^and we are following 
this logic out, and it is as resistless as the tide, and 
as clear as the mind of God — sow parties and reap 
balls ; sow balls and reap germans ; sow germans 
and reap spider-legged dudes; and sow a spider- 
legged dude and reap a thimbleful of calves'-foot 
jelly. I tell you, my congregation, to-night, that 

Sowing and Reaping. 251 

certain roads lead to certain places^ and I ask 70a 
to mark the assertion. 

Whatsoever a man soweth^ that shall he also 


reap. Listen to me, brethren. Of all the creation 
of God, the greatest moral, mental, physical mon- 
strosity in the universe is the natural product of 
fashionable society, the dude and the dudine; and 
you never catch a dude and a dudine marrying one 
another. They will spoil two houses in spite of 
creation. I have never known them to take to one 
another, have you ? 

Sow whisky, reap drunkards. Sow social evils 
and social amusements, and the natural product is a 
lot of young people in the community that are shift- 
less and helpless and powerless, and that will be a 
dishonor to their parents all the days of their lives. 

Now, follow this line out. If I sow to the flesh, 
I shall of the flesh reap corruption. This is inev- 
itable. If I sow to the Spirit, I shall of the Spirit 
reap life everlasting. Now, we can not undo what 
we have done by any power in the world ex- 
cept to change the sowing. That is it. The only 
process that will overcome the evil that you have 
done is to change the sowing. Mother, if you have 
been teaching your daughter worldliness, teach 
Christ, and peace, and heaven to her from this time 
on. Father, if you have been playing cards with 
your boys, change the sowing, and go to reading 
the Bible and praying with your boys. Mother, if 
you have been taking your girl off into amusement, 
change the sowing, and take your girl to prayer- 
meeting and to the Church and to God. 

252 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

In my town^ when I was growing up, I was a sort 
of leader among the boys. I reckon I led many 
a boy off fr9m right. But I will say this much : 
As soon as I was converted I commenced changing 
the sowing ; I commenced sowing good. I have 
preached in my town in the churches; I have 
preached on the streets; I have preached under 
bush-arbors and under tents; and last year, at our 
bush-arbor meeting, God gave me the last friend of 
my boyhood days to join the Church and go to 
heaven with me. Thank God, there is n't a being 
in this world that I ever led. astray but whom I 
have, under God, been instrumental in turning 
around and bringing back to Christ. I am prouder 
of that than of any fact in my life to-night, except 
Christ's pardon of my own sins. 

Sow to the Spirit and you shall of the Spirit 
reap life everlasting. Now, if you will pardon me, 
I will make a little personal allusion here. I want 
you to think about it when you go home to-night, 
and I want every mother and every father to take 
this incident home with them. It is a little family 
history that I want to give you all. 

A few years ago, iSve or six years ago now, just 
a little earlier than this in the year, wife and I re- 
ceived a letter from old Grandfather Jones. He is 
now living and praying for me, and no doubt does so 
every day in my town, Cartersville. That old man 
summoned us all down to his double log cabin in 
our county, for he is a poor man now and has al- 
ways been a poor hard-working man, to celebrate 
his golden wedding. At first I did n't think much 

Sowing and Reaping. 253 

about ity but the day before the weddiag I said : 
" Wife, let us get in the buggy and go down to 
old grandfather^s golden wedding," We went down 
there, a family gathering of children, grandchildren 
and great grandchildren, and we all gathered after 
dinner in the big room, as it was called. The 
large room was twenty-four feet square, I believe, 
or near that. And after dinner the old grandfather 
and grandmother sat in the center of the room, and 
all the children and grandchildren and great- 
grandchildren gathered around them in a double 
circle, and the old man said : ^^ Now, children, I 
donH know how much longer I will be with you, 
but I want to give you a little history and some 
statistics. We have been married, your mother 
and grandmother and myself, fifty years to-day, and 
we have lived all this time in holy, happy wedlock. 
When I was a twelve-year old boy my mother and 
father both died, and I was bound out until I was 
twenty-one years old. When I was sixteen years 
old the Methodists started a protracted meeting in 
the settlement, and I went out, and God converted 
my soul, and I joined the Church. In a year or 
two they made a class-leader out of me, and in 
another year they made me an exhorter, and before 
I was twenty-one years old they made a Meth- 
odist preacher out of me, and I have been a local 
Methodist preacher now for nearly fifty years. 
When I was twenty-one I married this, my wife, 
and we have lived happily together for fifty years. 
The night we moved into our humble home, the 
first night after our marriage, I got down the old 

254 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

Bible and read a chapter and started family prayers, 
and I have prayed night and morning in my home 
for fifty years. Nothing ever kept me from this 
duty. I have preached the Gospel in my poor way 
for nearly fifty years. I have been tempted many 
a time to give it up and quit. I have been tempted 
that I was doing no good ; but I have prayed on 
and praised on, and now,'* he said, " here are these 
statistics : There are fifty -two of us in all, children, 
grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Twenty- 
two of that number have crossed over to the other 
side, and sixteen of the twenty-two were children, 
infants, and have gone safe. Six were adults, and 
they all died happy and went home to heaven." 
And one of that number he was talking about, I 
had the honor to call my father. O, I saw him 
literally shout his way out of this world. " Now," 
said the old man, ^^ twenty-two of them are safe in 
heaven. There are thirty left, and every one of the 
thirty left who are old enough to know right from 
wrong, have been converted and have joined Church 
except one." O, how I have prayed, and wrestled, 
and prayed, and had my heart bleed about that poor 
fellow, until at last (rod has saved him, and he is a 
preacher of the Gospel now himself. The old man 
said, " Now, I do n*t care much whether I go on up 
and live with them or stay here with you all. I 
am ready whenever God shall call." 

Precious old grandmother, she has joined the 
hosts up yonder. I went off from there and said to 
my wife : " Wife, grandfather said every one that 
died had gone to heaven, and those that were here 

Sowing and REAPiNa. 255 

were all on the way but one. I have been wanting 
to go to heaven all my life^ and^ God helping me 
now, I can not afford to miss heaven/' 

Now, that poor old man is in Cartersville to- 
night, a hopeless crippl^the balance of his life from 
a fall a few weeks ago. He was very low when I 
was preaching at Nashville, and when I got back to 
Cartersville and walked over to his humble home, 
he took my hand and said, '^ God bless you, my 
grandson ; I did n't believe God would let me die 
until I saw you again." They write me now from 
my home, " Grandfather says he is praying for you 
every day." Thank God Almighty for such an an- 
cestor as he is. Four of that old man's boys, my 
uncles, are preaching the Gospel to-day. I have 
two brothers; they are both preachers, and I want 
to teach my children, if God shall call them to 
preach, to go on. And if all of us together can 
gather a million sheaves, we will put them all in 
that old grandfather's crown and tell him, "Grand- 
father, you are the blessed one that taught us the way 
to God, and passed religion down to four generations." 

Thank God for such a home as my old grand- 
father's was and is. Thank God that I belong 
to a religious family. Brethren, if I had lived in 
some families, nothing on earth could have saved 
me. But my grandmother prayed for me, my mother 
did, my father did, and my grandfather did, and 
when I was breaking away from every band that 
could hold me to God and rushing headlong to hell, 
God threw my precious father in my pathway and 
let me bid him good-bye, and then I turned around 

256 8am Jones' Own Book. 

and said, ^* God being my helper, I am going to 
heaven with all who are going in that direction of 
the family to which I belong." 

God help you mothers and fathers to begin a re- 
ligious home. God help yt>u to settle it now and 
forever. I intend to live a Christian life and set a 
good example to my children, because Grod has said 
if I sow to the Spirit, I shall of the Spirit reap 
everlasting life. 


Let me say to you : If you can 't help but one 
family in town, let that be the family which needs the 
help. I have got a profound contempt for folks 
who are always helping those that do n't need any 

' I BELIEVE the greatest moral monstrosity in the 
universe is an impious woman. I can understand 
how men can be wicked; I can understand how 
men can be wicked and turn their backs on God, 
and live in sin ; but the greatest moral monstrosity 
is a woman with the tender arms of her children 
around her, their eyes looking up into her eyes with 
innocence and love, and that mother despising God 
in her heart. 



Sermon xix. 


"According as his divine power hath given unto us all 
things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the 
knowledge of him that hath called us to glory apd virtue ; 
whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious 
promises ; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine 
nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world 
through lust"-— 2 Petbb i, 3, 4. 

THE first thing we notice in these verses is that 
according unto the divine power God hath given 
unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness. 
God is the source of all life, physical, intellectual, 
and spiritual. He is not only the source, but the 
preserver of all life. I am not only redeemed by 
grace, but I live by grace. I was born by grace, 
and I have lived up to this hour by grace, and I 
shall ultimately be saved in heaven by grace. Unto 
God be all praise, and all glory, because he is the 
source of all life, and he is the benefactor who pre- 
serves all life. 

But I might say at this point that there are con- 
ditions upon which I may live physically, and if I 
meet them I live. There are conditions upon which 
I perpetuate intellectual life, and if I meet those 
conditions I live intellectually. There are condi- 
tions upon which I live spiritually, and if I meet 
those conditions I live spiritually. Peter says we 
become "partakers of the divine nature.*' What 
are we to understand by this expression? I may 
22— B 267 

258 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

discuss more intelligently^ and perhaps more satis- 
factorily^ the results of a converted or renewed life ; 
I may consider more widely the manifestations of a 
renewed heart than I can discuss the nature of 
these renewals — the how, the why, and the where- 
fore. O, how deep this water becomes when you 
get out in it! Whenever I reach the point of this 
text I say, "Father, take my hand; lead me; I do 
not know the way, but thou knowest the way. 
Lead me unto the way of everlasting life.'' 

Brethren, there are some things we know, and 
some things we do not know, and some things we 
never will know here. But I thank God I won 't 
have much to do in the other world but to learn, 
and have facilities that Harvard and Yale never 
give any man. I am going to practice what I do 
understand in this world, and study what I do n't 
understand in the next. I am satisfied that's the 
best way we can dispose of these things we can 't 
understand. Let's practice the Ten Command- 
ments, and live upon a level with the Sermon on 
the Mount here, and then hereafter we will study 
the mysteries with the Teacher who understands 
and who can explain them. We may have the ca- 
pacity for learning, but there 's no one here who can 
teach these things. Science proposes to tell us some 
things; science has to deal with tlie past and pres- 
ent; but when I get to talking with scientists about 
the future, they do n't know any more about it than 
I do. Science, after she burrows five thousand feet 
down deep into the earth, does not know what is 
beyond that point, because she has not been there^ 

Paktakers op the Divine Nature. 259 

and after science has gone up in the air two and a 
half miles she does not know what is up beyond 
there^ because she has never been up there ; and 
when it comes to the great questions of eternity, 
heaven, and hell, science knows as little about them 
as any six-weeks-old babe in this city. 

It is well enough for us, brethren, to take in 
hand and practice what we understand ; and, after 
all, it is not the mysteries of the Book that disturb 
me ; but I will tell you, the part of the Book that 
troubles me is the Ten Commandments and the Ser- 
mon on the Mount. O, how hard it is for me to 
live upon a level with them ; and I never will be 
satisfied with myself in time or eternity until I can 
live upon a dead level with the Ten Command- 
ments and the Sermon on the Mount. 

When a man comes to me and tries to draw me 
out on the mysteries of the Bible, I say to him, 
" Sir, how are you on the Ten Commandments ?'* 
My friends, let us get straight with them, and let 's 
go on up. Let 's not try to get in the senior class 
at college until, at least, we have studied awhile in 
the freshman. That 's a good idea ! Let 's not try to 
explain the mysteries until we understand and prac- 
tice the plain things of the Book. 

Do you enforce the command, ^^ Thou shalt not 
steal ?" If you do n't, you ought to do as the 
preacher did in Maine, where the business of the 
community was to get out and market logs, and 
where the great sin of the community was stealing 
logs. This preacher preached about it, but without 
success, until at last he found he must fit his text to 

260 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

the settlement in which he lived^ and so he said: 
" Brethren, my text to-day reads, ^ Thou shalt not 
steal — logs/ '' Good Lord, help us to make the prac- 
tical things of Christianity clear and plain, then the 
Lord help us all to live up to those things, for if I 
would be a scholar, I must be a practical worker of 
righteousness in time. 

"Partdkers of the divine nature/' Brethren, 
let 's talk sensibly. I grant you this much, breth- 
ren, that when you get on to this question of regen- 
eration and of renewed nature, being born again, 
you are in the very whirlpool of the mysterious in 
Christianity. I do not think Jesus, when he 
preached his own Gospel among men for three 
years, ever mentioned the doctrine of regeneration 
more than once; and he did it then at midnight to 
one man, and that man the most intelligent of his 
day ; and when Jesus mentioned it to him he stag- 
gered back and said, " How can these things be ?" 
Jesus told him, *^ The wind bloweth where it list- 
eth. Thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not 
tell whence it cometh nor whither it goeth." My 
brethren, if this thing could be explained to men, 
Jesus would never have let Nicodemus walk off 
without a full explanation of the whole question ; 
but, instead of explaining it, Christ seemed to push 
him off with the simple illustration. Now, why 
should I get on to the divine side of the question, 
and try to explain it to you ? Christ himself did 
not do it, and why should you as a preacher, or I 
as a preacher, attempt to do the thing that Christ 
himself did not attempt to do ? 

Partakebs op the Divine Nature. 2G1 

" Partakers." When Christ announced the doc- 
trine of the new birth to Nicodemus^ he did it for 
all the world and for all ages. But be careful how 
you broach that subject^ brethren^ and do nH con- 
fuse men with it. That 's the point I 'm driving 
at. I like the way Peter touches on that question 
here, when he says^ *^ Partakers of the divine na- 
ture.'' Being bom again means simply born from 
heaven, or lifted up. I say that a man, until he is 
bom from above, can no more live a life in the 
spirit of Christ Jesus than a rock can live the life 
of a plant, or a plant can live the life of an ox, or 
an ox can live the life of a man. That which is 
born of flesh is flesh. If you ever get to the spirit 
you will have to be lifted up. That 's the idea. A 
man can't catch hold of his boot-straps and lift; 
himself up, that's a settled proposition; and the 
only hope of the race is the extended hands of God 
that lift us up, and I 'm not troubled about the 
Lord being able to lift me up, or being willing to 
lift me up, but ray great concern is, will I ever push 
my hands up to God, that he may take me and lift 
me up? That's the question. 

" Partakers of the divine nature." Let us sup- 
pose a case, and let us suppose a sensible man, forty 
years old, if you please. * He is a sensible merchant, 
a sensible cit;izen, a sensible father — in fact, a sensi- 
ble man altogether. Now, it matters not what was 
the primal cause of his spiritual concern, whether it 
was the death of a good wife or the burial of one 
of his children, or the pungent words of an earnest 
preacher, or one of the sweet songs of Zion^ or 

262 Sam Jones* Own Book. 

the kind words of a little girl. But all at once 
that man says in his soul, '^ I am wrong. I 
am out of harmony with myself. I am out 
of harmony with God. My life has not been 
right. I am sorry for it. I wish I were right. I 
would give the world if I were what I ought to be." 
He is pondering now. He is thinking. Somehow 
or another^ just as soon as he gets alone^ this ques- 
tion recurs again. It goes to bed with him and 
gets up with him ; it goes to the breakfast-table with 
him^ and goes to his business with him, and he 
thinks and thinks, and the more he thinks the more 
utterly he is displeased with himself, until by and by 
he begins to conceal himself somewhere, and reads 
the Bible. Suppose he is a lawyer ; a Bible has 
been lying on the table in his office for ten years, 
and he never endeavored to conceal it from the 
gaze of those who came to his office, but he conceals 
the book now. He hears a knock at the office door, 
and he hastily conceals the Bible under the pile of 
books on the table before the client enters, and 
covers it up with his Greenleaf and Blackstone and 
other law-books. As long as he was a mean sinner 
he did n't care who saw the Bible in his office, but 
now when any one comes in he wants that Bible hid. 
What *s the matter with him? T '11 tell you. Ev- 
ery time any man comes into the room the Bible turns 
with its index finger to him and says, " Look at 
this rascal here! What a scoundrel he is!" And 
he wants it out of the way ; he does n't want to be 
seen reading it; he doesn't want it to be seen in 
his office, and if he prays at all, he will go off into 



Pabtakers op the Divine Natuke. 263 

Rome secret place. IF he goes out into the solitude 
of the woods to pray, the least cracking of a stick 
or a twig in the woods will make him jump up; 
he would n't be seen praying for any thing in the 
world. Poor fellow ! But he prays, and angels 
could not see a gladder thing in heaven than to 
look down on a fellow and say, " Behold, he pray- 
eth." He has got so far along that he prays now. 
He goes on in this way for a day or two, growing 
more and more dissatisfied with himself, until finally 
he addresses a note to the preacher. May be it's 
the very preacher of whom he said, " I Ml never 
listen to that man again." The preacher comes 
around to see him, and he says : '* Sir, there 's 
something wrong with me. I do n't know what it 
is. I'm out of harmony with myself, and I'm 
growing more and more heartily dissatisfied with 
myself every day. I do n't know what 's the mat- 
ter with me at all." The preacher talks with him 
and encourages him. He goes to Church, and now 
he is at the altar, perhaps, to be prayed for ; and, 
may be, six weeks pass, but all at once he turns 
loose all earthly hope and all earthly plans, and 
falls into the arms of Omnipotent love^ and realizes 
" I am a saved man." 

Now you ask, "When was he saved? When 
did he become partaker of the divine nature?" 
Was it when he looked up and said, " Glory to 
God?" Was it when he wrote that note to the 
preacher? Was it when he was hiding the Bible 
that day? Was it when he was down on his 
knees praying? Was it when he went to bed and 

264 Sam Jokes' Owk Book. 

could n't go to sleep that night ? No. That man 
was made a partaker of the Divine nature when he 
said that first day, " I am wrong, I wish I were 
right. I would give all the world if I could get 
right with God.'' The Divine nature touched his 
heart and the dead man lived again, and it could 
never die again until it struggled into life and joy 
and peace in the Holy Ghost. 

Brother, do you see that? Is there a man here 
that never had a touch of the Divine nature in his 
dead soul? Have n't you felt dissatisfied with your- 
self? Listen, brother ! The sin against the Holy Ghost 
is said by some to be, when touched and moved by 
the Divine nature, willfully to drive from your heart 
the only thing that can perpetuate your life and 
carry you to joy ; and he who stabs the only in- 
fluence that can save him, is a man who commits 
suicide upon his own mortality. Brethren, if you 
have it, cherish it for all time ; give heed to it and 
foster it. Take care of every divine touch on your 
soul, and let it live on until it is like a rose, blos- 
soming out into beauty and perfection. 

Now, let us escape " the corruption that is in 
the world through lust." God has given us his 
great blessing; and, brother, don't you trouble 
yourself about the Lord's readiness, and willingness, 
and ability, for all you need to do in the universe 
is to trouble yourself about whether you will co- 
operate with God in this great matter. Here, I see 
a man as he ascends the narrow, rocky, difficult 
pathway up the Alps; on and on he goes, until at 
last I see he reaches a point in the pathway that is 

Paktakehs op the Divine Nature. 265 

impassable ; he is on this narrow cliff and he can no 
more pass that point than he can fly. And that 
man^s personal means, in so far as the reaching of 
the top of the mountain is concerned, are exhausted. 
He can't get any further. But he has a guide 
along, and his guide says to him, " Now you can 
pass that rock," and the guide lies down on the rocky 
path and pushes out his brawny arm and hand, and 
says, " Step on this hand here and I will pass you 
up and around that rock, and you can step safely 
on the other side," and the guide pushes his sleeves 
back, and the man steps on the brawny arm and 
hand of the guide, and passes safely round, and 
presses on his journey to the mountain top. There 
is a point, brother, in every man's experience that 
he reaches before he goes to heaven, where human 
power gives way; but blessed be God, the divine 
Savior lies down and tells you, "Step on this 
hand, and I will pass you safely round, and you can 
pursue your way to glory." 

Did you ever step in the Savior's hand, breth- 
ren ? If you have n't, you have to do it before you 
can get to glory. Put that down ! I will tell you ; 
Christ passed me around that rocky place, but I 
had to go to it before Christ could help me to get 
around it; and before that I had to press the 
balance of my way alone, stepping on the pave- 
ment as I walked. Christ helps a man only where 
he can not help himself I never pray for any thing 
but that I do my best to answer ray own prayer, 
and right where I get out of breath, that's where 

God comes and finishes up the job for me. It's all 

23— B 

266 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

foolishness to pray God to do something for a man 
that he can do for himself. 

I wish I could see five hundred stalwart men 
and women here to-day rise up and say, " God 
has touched my heart, and it shall blossom into 
eternal life. I have the resolution, the purpose, 
the desire to be good, and, God helping me, I start 
out on that line to-day.'' Well, some of us say, 
" How is it that some men get along easier than 
others ? See here ! Here 's a man, and it 's no 
trouble for him to live right. He can get along 
without trouble in the world, but I have the hardest 
time of it of any poor fellow on earth." Brother, 
I '11 tell you. Largely your trouble is owing to the 
fact that you never started in, and you never meant 
any thing when you did start. Look! See that 
engineer on his engine. At the movement of one 
muscle of his arm on the throttle, that engine rolls 
along sixty miles an hour. He shuts off the throttle, 
turns the air-brakes' lever, and the engine slacks 
up and trembles and stops. '^ What an easy thing 
it is to run an engine," you say ; " why it 's the 
easiest thing I ever saw in my life." But you '11 
have to go behind the throttle, brethren, before 
you '11 get the secret of that rapidly nmning and 
easily controlled engine. If you will get up here 
I '11 show you. A few years ago you could see 
hordes of hard-working men digging and tunneling 
those mighty hills yonder, and filling up the valleys, 
and cutting mighty trees down and hewing cross- 
ties from them ; you could see miners far below the 
ground digging the iron ore; you could see brawny 

Partakers of the Divine Nature. 267 

meD at the furnaces dumpiDg and smelting that ore ; 
you could see the poor fellows working at the pud- 
dling furnaces^ almost burning up with the intolerable 
heat; and again down in the bowels of the earth 
you could see myriads of colliers busily digging the 
coal that is to- fill that engine tender, and, brethren, 
if you will only go behind that engine, you'll not 
think it's so easy to run one. You say Christian 
people get along easy ; but you go behind their lives, 
go underground, I might say, and see how they pray 
and strive ; and how much they give, and how much 
they have suflfered. If you will go behind and see 
their conscience, you won't think it's such an easy 
task to live right after all." You must get behind 
the throttle to get at the secret of how easy it is to 
run an engine, and you must get at the inside of a 
Christian life to see how it moves to the good 
world ! 

I'll tell you, if you'll start out to-day and do 
as the best man in this Church does for the next 
six months, you 'II be as good as he is when the six 
months are passed. No man can be religious with- 
out living religion, and no man can live religion 
without being religious. The rule works both ways. 
If the means of grace won't take a man to God, 
then what's the use of the means of grace? If 
family prayer, secret prayer, that Bible, joining the 
Church, baptism, takings the sacrament — if all those 
things won't take a man to God, what are they for? 
That 's the way to talk it! If that street out yonder 
does not lead on down town to the bridge across the 
river, if it is n't a highway to reach a destination^ 

268 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

then what's it fit for? What do you want with a 
street if you ain't going where that street leads? 
What do you want with means of grace if it isn't 
to take you where you want to go ? 

When Matthew made the trip to the good world, 
where did he start from? He was what we would 
terra down South after the war, a " scalawag." You 
know what a scalawag is, do n't you ? Well, scala- 
wag was the term we applied * to a Southern man 
who held office under the Federal Government. 
Matthew was a Jew holding office under the Ro- 
man Government. I reckon Matthew was consid- 
ered then a scalawag. Christ came along when 
Matthew was sitting at the seat of customs — he 
was a sort of tax-gatherer — and Christ said to 
Matthew, " Follow me." Now, brother, if, when 
Matthew shut up his tax-book and took after Christ, 
he did n't have religion what did he have ? He 
had it as sure as you live ; and when a man quits 
his meanness and gets to doing right, what 's the 
matter with him if it is n't religion ? Did you ever 
know an old sinner to do that ? Some say, " Well, 
I know he 's religious because he shouted." Yes, 
and I 've known men to shout a mile high in Au- 
gust and be drunk before the first day in October. 
Here are two fellows who join the Church to-day ; 
one of them shouts, " Glory to God," and the other 
is as mum as can be. Next Sunday, when the 
preacher takes up a missionary collection, the mum 
fellow gives him five hundred dollars, and the 
shouting fellow a nickel. Which has the best re- 
ligion ? 


Partakers of the Divine Nature. 269 

'' Partakers of the divine nature^ having escaped 
the corruption that is in the world through lust. 
And besides this giving all diligence." Be busy in 
your religious life ; be faithful to your vows. Start 
to-day and say, " In heaven I shall rejoice because 
I started in earnest, I carried it on in earnest; 
and, therefore, God will say, ^ Well done, thou good 
and faithful servant ; enter thou into the joys of 
thy Lord/ " Grod bless you all, brethren, and help 
you to get started in the way of everlasting life. God 
never saw a minute since you were born when he 
was more willing to save you than now. You will 
never see a minute in your future when he is 
more ready than now and more willing than now. 
Come, for all things are now ready. The Lord help 
you to come to-day and give yourself to him, and 
say, '^ The question is settled now for time and 


ReIjIGION is like measles ; if it goes in on you, 
it will kill you. The trouble with a great many 
Christians in this city is, religion has gone in on 
them. Keep it broke out on hands, feet, and tongue. 

We may give ourselves to the Church — that is 
helpful ; we may give ourselves to good associa- 
tions — that is helpful; but there is no self-dedica- 
tion that is worth much in this world, except that 
self-dedication that gives the life to God. 

Sermon XX. 


** For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath ap- 
peared to all men."-— Titus ii, 11. 

I LIKE this term " grace." There is a fullness 
of meaning about it that ties me to it. The 
grace of God! Thank God for that word. Grace, in the 
plainest, commonest sense among men, gives us about 
this idea — kindness unmerited, undeserved favor, and 
goodness. We are not only redeemed by grace, but 
something more; we are born by grace, we are pre- 
served by grace, we shall be raised from the dead by 
grace, and we shall be introduced into the kingdom 
everlasting by grace. It is grace that laid the founda- 
tion of our salvation, and grace is the cap-stone. It is 
grace that started me upward, and grace has brought 
me safe thus far, and grace will take me home to God. 
I appreciate very much the old hero who said, when 
his wife walked into his room and saw him gather- 
ing up the covers from his bed into a bundle and tak- 
ing it into his hand, '^ O, precious husband, what 
are you doiaig? Are you distrait?" "No, wife, I 
am gathering up all my good works in one bundle 
and casting them from me, and lashing myself only 
to the plank of free grace, and I will swim to glory 
on it." That is the only good rgute after all — ^free 

The Gbac£ of God. 271 

Now, this free gmce is from a gracious Father. 
It is not only what I receive for nothing, but what 
I can take for the asking. How gracious is Christ 
when we can but just see the hand that dispenses, 
and the gracious heart that ix)urs forth, like the gush 
of a river. My Father, your Father, that Father 
who has called me and you ; who went out to look 
after me, and who, when he found me, brought me 
back, has promised to be with me to the end. 

While I was in my house, some time ago, this 
little incident stirred my heart very much. The 
nurse came in to breakfast. She was only sixteen 
years old. She was not just the kind of nurse that 
my wife wanted, but she was a good-natured creature. 
After breakfast I was there in the room, reading, 
and my wife said to her, "You can go home and 
tell your mother that I do n't want you any longer, 
and tell her to come over and I will pay her the 
balance of your wages." I did not hear her re- 
treating footsteps until I looked up and saw the 
tears running down the face of the girl as she 
turned toward my wife and said, " Mrs. Jones, 
please ma'am, do n't turn me away. I know I am 
the poorest servant that you ever had, but please let 
me stay. I will do the best I can.'' 

I said, " Wife, look at those tears. Do help the 
poor thing if you can." And then I fell to think- 
ing in this way : " Look at me ! I have been the 
poorest .servant that Jesus Christ ever had ; and if 
Christ should say to me, * You'can go ; I do n't want 
you any longer, I discharge you from my service,' I 
would fall down at his feet and say to him, 'Blessed 

272 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

Master, I am the worst servant that you ever had ; 
but O, Lord, do n't turn me off. Do n't drive me 
away I ' " 

O, blessed Lord, blessed be the name of Christ, he 
never does discharge a loving, servant who offers to 
do the best he can. Let us die in his service. O, 
the glory of living and the grandeur of doing in his 
service ! This Christ is our Father. The Father- 
hood of God and the common paternity of men ex- 
plain a great many things to us in this world. O, 
what a blessed Father. It is a glorious thing for 
the entire family of men to look up into a Father's 
face and listen to a Father's loving words. God, 
my Father ! Can there be any thing sweeter than 
this thought? Can there be any thing more inspir- 
ing? Yet there is something sweeter still. There 
is something more inspiring still. The Bible rep- 
resents God as our Brother. O, elder Brother, with 
all thy goodness and perfection, with all thy warn- 
ing voice and with all thy advisory commands, 
blessed Son of man, I adore thee. But God, ray 
Mother! Let me hurry to put my arms around 
thee and fold my heart to thy great loving heart. 
God, my Mother, the Mother of us all ! And all 
these came from the grace of God. Your Father, 
your Brother, your Mother, your best Friend — this 
grace of God that bringeth salvation ! Blessed be 
God for that grace that bringeth salvation. 

Now, let us take the text. There is no meta- 
physics in it. Let us talk on its practical, plain, 
common-sense teachings, and its words will be worth 
remembering — this " grace of God that bringeth sal- 

The Grace of God. 273 

vation/' this grace coming from a loving Lord, this 
grace coming through the Son of God, to fallen 
men. Grace ! I can not estimate what tliis grace 
is worth to the human race. I can estimate any 
thing in tliis city. I can estimate how much its 
real estate is worth. I can estimate how much its 
bonds are worth. I can estimate how much its 
railroad stock is worth. I can estimate their worth 
by their market- value. But I can not estimate the 
worth of this grace of God by what it costs, but 
only by what it brings. Brothers, we are not re- 
deemed by corruptible things, by silver and gold ; 
but by the precious blood of the Son of God ; that 
blood which has never failed us from the time the 
bloody sweat burst from Christ^s brow in Gethse- 
mane, and it will never fail us until the recording 
angel dips his pen for the final record. He has 
said to us, ^^ Peace on earth and good will to men." 
That blood was shed, brother, that grace might 
abound to us all in all its fullness ; for God loved 
us so much that he gave Christ to us to redeem us. 
He nothing extorts from us, but bestows kindness 
upon us. God loved me with all the depths of his 
heart, and because God loved me, Christ died for 
me. And that is the idea. That is the record. This 
grace comes through the all-blessed Son of God. It 
comes to me,' and it comes to you ; and it comes not 
to bring any one short of salvation. 

Now, the jgrace of God makes me first feel my- 
self a sinnexr. That is great grace. That is won- 
derful grace. It is the grace of God that gives me 
a right to stand among the people of God. But 

274 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

listen. The grace of God briDgeth salvation in all 
its incomprehensible sense to you and to all men. 
Thank God for that glorious expression; now we 
have what we seek. It is for all mankind. How 
gracious this sympathy. It knows no political di- 
vision. The African sun may turn the Ethiopian 
black; the Mexican sun may turn the Indian yellow, 
but before God they stand disenthralled through the 
universal efficacy of the atonement of Jesus Christ. 
That grace brings salvation to all men, in all ages, 
who believe in Him. Thank God I can be recorded 
on the book of everlasting life, if I say that I believe 
that Jesus died for me. I thank God I can believe 
that he died to save not only me, but my wife and 
my children. He died for you and your wife and 
children, and for all of us. 

Blessed be God for a Gospel that comes to save 
the race and all the race. And I fully believe, my 
brothers, that if in the vast universe of God to-day 
there was one man who could not be saved other- 
wise, Christ would come back here again and go 
up to Calvary and shed his blood once more to re- 
deem that man's soul. But I can not believe that 
Jesus Christ came to this world and shed his pre- 
cious blood to redeem some of us and refused to die for 
some others. No, that is not compatible with the 
loving heart of God, much less with the word and 
the justice of God. I believe in the elect and the 
non-elect, but I believe that the elect here are those 
who seek God, and that the non-elect are those who 
won't seek God. And it is for you to look out for 
election, and not God's business. 

The Grace of God. 275 

" The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath 
appeared unto all men.'^ I believe that if we are 
lost, at least we shall walk through the halo of the 
rainbow of God's mercy gilding our vision, and the 
waters of salvation purling in our ears. I believe, 
too, that there will, at the last, be a crown in heaven, 
a palm of victory, that will no head cover, around no 
brows be wreathed. I believe that there will be, for 
each lost soul, a golden harp from heaven whose 
strings no fingers shall ever touch. If I am lost at 
last I can charge it to no other source in the uni- 
verse except that I would not be saved. 

" The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath 
appeared unto all men." Now God created man on 
a' common platform, and when he redeemed me he 
redeemed all upon a common platform. And if one 
man falls within it all fall within it, and when God 
lifts up one man — blessed be his holy name — all 
men are lifted up. I used to hear the old hard- 
shell preaching about the covenant of God with 
Christ, to save some and to doom the rest. If there 
is an^ covenant of that kind between the Father and 
Son, I have read my Bible through in vain. It is 
" grace of God that bringeth salvation to all men." 
And you will never bring on any millennium that is 
not based on that. You can not bring it on any 
other plane than a Gospel that will save the whole 
race of man. It will save one just as certainly as 
another. I sometimes think that Christ seems to 
glory in getting hold of one of those hard cases we 
see sometimes, and showing how God can make him 
into one of the nicest, cleverest, and most delightful 

276 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

fellows in the whole country. I like that kind of 
grace, and that sort of Gospel. Now, do you want 
that kind of a Gospel in this city? Do you want 
such a Gospel here as that which the grace of God 
brings to men ? Do you want a Gospel that will 
start you right? Do you want a Gospel that will 
make you lead a sober life? Do you want a 
Gospel that will make men pay their debts and tell 
the truth ? The Gospel of Jesus Christ does that, 
and all that; yes, and a thousand times more than 
that. Do you want such a Gospel ? If you do, 
then brace up, take hold of it, and pitch into the 
work of getting it with all your might. You have 
a chance to get it now. Whosoever wills can do it. 
Every one will have to tote around his own load. 
Every one will have to fight his own battle. Do n't 
try to do as other people do. Will you act regard- 
less of what your set does? Will you help to save 
sinners? You can never save a man until you can 
show him his need of being saved, until you can 
show him that he is a sinner. And the only way 
is to just show him that he is a sinner, and show 
him how to go to God, and then men will go to 
God. May God gird your loins for the fight^ for 
to God will belong the victory. 




" Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, 
we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present 
world."— Titus ii, 12. 

BETWEEN the first lesson in grace and eternal 
glorification hereafter there are a good many les- 
sons to be learned^ and a great many duties to be 
performed. Grace does not come gathering us all 
up into a huddle^ and then^ by some omnipotent 
force, catching us around and carrying us into 
glory, just as we are. Jesus Christ said : "I go to 
prepare a place for you." Blessed Christ! I will 
leave that all to thine own taste and thine own 
wisdom. This much I feel sure of: If I get there 
at all it will be a grand place prepared for us. My 
only concern now is whether I am ready for such a 
home as Christ is going to prepare for me. That's 
the point. And, after all, heaven is a prepared 
place for the prepared, and the only question with 
us is, Can I ever be suited for such a place? 

Brother, will you give earnest attention, prayer- 
ful attention, to this question of preparation? 
"Teaching us!" Ah, what a teacher Christ was! 
He taught us things that Socrates never dreamed 
of and Plato never thought about. O, what a 
teacher he is! Go sit at his feet and learn things 

that shall make you wise unto eternal life. This 


278 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

Christ came teaching us tliis. What is the matter 
with the world? It won't listen; it won't be 
taught. The great trouble in this nineteenth cen- 
tury is not the inculcation of truth so much as it is 
the extraction of error. The great trouble is not 
that the truth is not preached, but there is no room 
for the truth. Why, the head of every man, woman, 
and child in this country is already chock full of 
errors — brimming full, as we say sometimes — and 
it is a philosophical statement that no two sub- 
stances can occupy the same space at the same time; 
and in a man with his head full of error there is 
no room for truth. Every man in these latter days 
is full of his own notions. 

That brother out there says: *'It is my opinion 
that there is no harm in a social game of cards : it 
is a scientific game." Another says : " It is my 
opinion there is no harm in a social dram, and 
there isn't any harm in club life." Now, one of 
the wiseLst men and most prudent men in this city 
told me of your leading club : " That institution is 
manufacturing drunkards every day;" and no harm 
in club life! Well, if you defend that proposition, 
brother — and I call you brother, and you are as 
much my brother as any Methodist in this town, 
and I like you, too^I have got nothing against 
you ; I am just after that devilment you are carry- 
ing on, and that is all. If I can strip you of that I 
would as soon run with you as any other man in 
this town; but I am not going to run with you 
until you do shut off some things. If I did I 
would be no better than you are. Why, my brother, 

Sober and Righteous Living. 279 

you must have mighty little sense left if "you think 
there is no hiirm in an institution that has a bar- 
room in it. Now, what do you say? You will 
have to go out of the English language and the 
realms of rhetoric, and the finest-spun theories of 
earth, and beyond all the climaxes of rhetoric, 
ever to defend any thing that has that hellish insti- 
tution in it — a bar-room. How are you going to 
defend a thing that has a bar-room in it? How 
can I defend myself in the moral government of 
my home? Now, for instance, my neighbor has a 
bar-room in his house, and I say to him, "This is 
demoralizing to your children." He says, " O, but I 
have the prettiest pictures in my home you ever 
saw, and we have the nicest suppers there, and we 
have the nicest social times." " Well, your pictures 
and your suppers are all right, l)ut how about your 
bar-room?" "O, well, I tell you the truth: no- 
body goes in there except those that want to." And 
then the dear things — the clubs have entertainments 
for ladies! They lock up all those places — the 
nicest, you know — and carry the ladies all through 
it, and the ladies are charmed with it. "Why, 
this is one of the nicest places I ever saw." O, 
the gullibility of a woman! Well, I would as 
soon be gulled a little as to be as miserable as some 
of you would be if you knew the fact. Sister, just 
be gulled on. It is more pleasant. 

Then some say, " It is my opinion that I can be 
as good out of the Church as I can in the Church, 
and it is my opinion that there is no harm in a 
dram. There is no harm in a social dance, and I 

280 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

can stay at home and read my Bible and be as good 
as if I go to Churcli ; and my opinion is this, that, 
and the other;" and so it goes on until every one 
of us in this country is full of his own opinions. 
You haven't got a thinking man in this city; but 
every man in town is full of opinions. One or two 
great minds do the thinking for Europe ; one or two 
great minds do the thinking for this continent; and 
yet all humanity is chock full of opinions, and we 
become encased in these opinions, and we can 't be 
reached. To show you how it is, see that old farmer 
sitting yonder in his cabin, smoking his pipe quietly 
and honestly; and you see that electric cloud pass- 
ing over his house, and it deposits the bolt down 
with crushing power upon the cabin, and it strikes 
the lightning-rod, and runs up the chimney and 
runs down and throws itself off into the earth. 
And the old farmer sit^ and smokes his pipe just as 
if nothing had happened. You see the Gospel of 
Jesus Christ flashing in its beauty and power above 
the heads of the multitude, and it descends in soul- 
saving power and strikes this outside encasement of 
your opinion, and runs down and throws itself off 
into the earth, and you stick your thumbs in your 
vest-holes, and you go out and say, " That preacher 
has his opinion, and I have mine." You are not 
touched any more than a stump or a log. That is 
the truth about it. 

" My opinion ! My opinion !" Where did you 
get your opinions? You got them from some old 
colonel or some old judge, that just loves to sit 
around corners and give his opinions about so and 

Sober and Righteous Living. 281 

so. " That is my opinion/' and the old colonel 
has just got that fresh from hell. Then that young 
buck goes out on the street, and he says, " My 
opinion.'' He has just got that from the old col- 
onel, you know. When he says that he tells a lie. 
They are not his opinions. Where did you get 
your opinions? Folks like you were coming to 
this country fifty years ago saying, " It is my opin- 
ion there is no harm in a dance; in my opinion there 
is no harm in a social game of cards, and in my 
opinion there is no harm in a dram." There is 
less originality about your sort than any class of 
people on the face of the earth. You are not only 
wicked and mean, but you have got no originality 
about you. I have often wondered why sinners in 
this country did n't get up something new. They 
always quarrel with us preachers about originality. 
We have got nothing new, they say. I wish you 
would rack out a few new views on your side.. 
Have you got any? I will tell you what, if you 
will just turn your opinions around on the back 
track, and put the dogs after them, the dogs will tree 
them in hell. That is right where they come from. 
I will tell you another thing. They are going back 
there some of these days, and they are going to take 
you with them if you do n't learn. That is their 
business up here — to go for your sort and take 
you back to perdition with them. Where did you 
get your opinion about no harm in a dram? I 
know you never got it out of the Bible, for it says, 
" Look not on it," much less drink it. Where did 
you get your opinion that there is no harm in a 

24— B 


282 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

social game of cards ? Did you get that from the 
wrecked and ruined lives of thousands of men who 
to-night have wasted their lives and are ready for 
the last step to perdition ? Where did you get 
your ideas about a social dance ? O, I beg you to 
look upon the virfue of thousands of women that 
has been danced away in the history of America, and 
then tell me there is no harm in the social dance? 
Will yoii look at these questions ? Will you ? " No 
harm in this," and "no harm in that!" 

Now, I am going to drop back on a proposition 
that I will stand on in time and in eternity : No 
man and no woman has a right to an opinion on a 
moral question. Now, I do n't say he has no right 
to an opinion on a geological question, or an astro- 
nomical question, or a doctrinal question, but I say 
on a moral question. Look here ! The only way 
to tell whether a thing is crooked or straight is to 
put the straight edge to it, and not be guessing at 
it. And God's blessed Book speaks in unniistakable 
terms, and tells me what is right and what is wrong, 
and I am making worse than an idiot of myself sit- 
ting down and giving my opinion upon any moral 
question. Brother, you take the straight edge and 
that will determine the straightness or crookedness 
of any proposition in the universe! What is your 
opinion worth after all? Let us see what opinions 
are worth, anyhow. It is my opinion that this glass, 
which I now lift in my hand, is a gold tumbler. 
Does my opinion of this tumbler change it the least 
particle in the world ? The tumbler speaks for itself. 
It is glass, "and that fellow standing behind it is a 

Sober and Righteous Living. 283 

fool if he thinks it is gold," do n't you say so ? My 
opinion of a thing does n't change it one way or the 
other. A thing is true or false in itself^ and my 
opinion does n't change it. Now, if a thing is 
right it is right ; if it is wrong it is wrong, whatever 
may be my opinion. 

'*Ah," but says another, " I am honest in my 
opinion." Well, let 's try it again. " Honest in 
my opinion !" I am honest in my opinion that that 
is a gold tumbler. The tumbler says, " I speak for 
myself. I am glass, and there is an honest fool 
behind me talking about it." You see, do n't you, 
I am very honest about it. Well, I will show you 
how far a man's honesty will take him. In Macon, 
Ga., one of the prominent physicians of that town 
had a patient very low, and at twelve o'clock at 
night he visited the patient and left a prescription to 
send immediately to the druggist. When the pre- 
scription was filled, the attendant was to give it ac- 
cording to direction. The next morning the doc- 
tor returned early and saw the patient was worse. 
"Did you send for that prescription?" he says. 
"Yes." "Did you give it to her?" "No." 
" Why ?" They walked to the mantel and took a 
note accompanying the prescription, in which the 
druggist said, "I fill this prescription and send 
it to you, but it would be certain and sudden death 
for any one to take it." The doctor read it, and he 
says, "This is an insult. Bring me some water, 
and I will show you whether it would kill or not." 
He drank the prescription down, and I think it was 
only thirty minutes until he was dead and past all 

284 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

recovery. He was just as honest about it as a man evei 
wjas about any thing in the world, but that poison in 
there did n't care whether he was an honest fool or a 
dishonest one, you see. It did its work all the same. 

And now all this talk about " honesty in this, or in 
that opinion '' is n't worth a cent in the world. The 
question, brother, is, have you gone to the straight 
edge and had this determined ? That is it. Now, 
this grace comes, " teaching us that denying un- 
godliness and worldly lusts " — the first lesson grace 
ever teaches the poor sinner is this, that you are 
wrong, and you ought to get right. I can recollect 
it just as well, thirteen years ago, that this grace 
came like a mighty influence to my heart. I saw in 
all the depths of my nature that I was not right. I 
saw that my life was all wrong, that my character 
was wrong, and that all the tendency of my being 
was wrong. That is the main point in a man's life, to 
see that he is wrong — and then, blessed be God, there 
is but one more thing, and that is to see how to 
get right, and then, with the will of a consecrated man 
behind it, heaven will be at the end of your journey. 

" Denying ungodliness and worldly lusts." Real 
Christianity has two forces — rather it is negative and 
positive, Christianity in the best sense of the word is 
negative goodness and positive righteousness. If neg- 
ative goodness is religion, then let 's get some blocks 
of wood for our members, and defy earth to bring a 
charge against them. But negative goodness and 
positive righteousness are like the two poles in an 
electric battery ; you must get the positive and the 
negative together before there is power. 

Sober and Righteous Living. 285 

Honest principle and honest practice are what 
we want in this country. Righteousness ! What 's 
a man's Presbyterianism or Methodism worth hare 
now on the market? How much can a Presby- 
terian hypothecate his religion for in this town, and 
how much can he draw on it here? That's the 
way to talk it! Hear me ! You go down town to- 
morrow and go to a banker and say, " Mr, So-and- 
so, I want to borrow five thousand dollars." " Yes. 
Can you give any nickel-plate security for it?*' 
" No. I have none at all, but I 'm a Presbyterian.*' 
" You are, eh ?" " Yes, I 'm a Presbyterian." 
" Well, sir, you can 't borrow any money on that 
around here." That's the way it will be! Well, 
here 's another man that want^ to borrow money, 
and he goes down town to the banker and says, 
" I 'm a Methodist, sir, and I want to borrow so 
much." " Well, sir," the banker will say, " you can 't 
borrow on that sort of a commodity around here, sir." 
Brother, try to get a merchant to credit you on 
your religion. " You *re a member of the Church, 
are you ?" he *11 say. " Yes, sir." " Well, I can *t 
let you have any money on your Methodism; it's 
not worth a cent in this town." 

Talk about Bob Ingersoll. He hasn't been in 
ray way of getting men to Christ any more than 
a broom straw ! Bob does n't get in the way, but 
these thousands of members of the Church do. There 's 
hardly a sinner out of the Church that some mem- 
ber of the Church hasn't acted the dog with, and 
every time you preach Christ to that old sinner, he 
racks out a carcass of some member of the Church 

286 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

and says, "You make him settle his honest debts 
with me, and I '11 be religious." That 's where the 
rub comes in, brethren. It's not Bob lugersoll, 
its dishonesty between man and man in the Church 
and out of the Church. That's it! 

You want to get a religion in this country that is 
running on a " straight edge." Do what we say we'll 
do ! If there 's any thing I like it 's for a fellow 
to strike a gait to heaven, keeping it up all the way, 
never slacking up, but, if any thing, rather quicken- 
ing it a little. If you start out in a trot, God bless 
you, do n't drop back into a walk. If you start in a 
walk, hold that pace, or else go in a double-quick. 

There's many a fellow who'll go to New York 
city and do things he would n't do here at home 
for any amount of money. A man who will act in 
that way is like a fellow I heard of down in Pauld- 
ing County, Georgia. One day the preacher asked 
him to come up and give his soul to God, and the 
fellow said, "I guess you're mistaken in the man. 
I don't live in this county. I live in another 
county." There's a great deal of that sort of char- 
acters in this world, brethren. A man that is just 
as good in one place as he is in another under all 
circumstances, everywhere, is a sober-minded man ! 
He lives soberly. We don't mean a man who does 
not drink whisky. Any fool in this town knows 
he can't be religious and drink whisky. 

Red liquor and Christianity, as I have said 
many a time, won't stay in the same hide at the 
same time. As one goes down the other's com- 
ing out, sure! I know that! "But," you say, "I 

Sober and Righteous Living. 287 

drink it for my health/' Yes^ and the devil would 
as soon have you ruin yourself in that way as in any 
other^ all he wants is to get you! Talk about a 
Christian drinking whisky ! If I were a sinner I M 
never drink whisky, much less drink it being a mem- 
ber of the Church. Whenever I see a member of the 
Church going into bar-rooms and frequenting beer- 
gardens and beer-saloons, I expect soon to see him 
have the sign of it on his nose. I 'm so glad 
liquor paints its own sign. A Christian drinking 
whisky ! " Soberly" has no reference in the world 
to liquor — it does not get down that low, but it 
refers to a man going on his way rejoicing; the 
same man, every day in the week, and everywhere, 
and as religious abroad as he is at home — that is 
what we call a sober-minded man, a man who 
takes the broad view of life, and regulates his life 
every day by the precepts of the Lord. Job was 
a sober-minded man. Look at him there as he 
goes into this, that and the other difficulty. He 
goes along through them all a straight cut all the 
wav. Sober-mindedness to a Christian is what 
governors are to a stationary engine. See that sixty- 
inch saw out there in the woods ; it 's going to run 
through a big log ; and as it moves along, the little 
governor lifts up and feeds more steam to the piston- 
head, and the saw wades througli that log and runs out 
at the other end, and the little governor lets down, 
and the saw runs the same revolution to the minute 
whether it 's in the log or out. That 's what we 
call sober-mindedness, and Job, when he had lost 
all of his worldly property and lost all of his chil- 

288 Sam Joxes' Own Book. 

dren, lost his health — all was gone; I see him run 
out of every difficulty, saying, " Though He slay 
me, yet will I trust him,'' and he 's running the 
same number of revolutions to the minute as he 
was in wealth, and health, and prosperity, and bless- 
edness in the Lord. 

That 's what we want in this country — sobriety. 
I will bear a bit, and hope a bit, and endure a bit 
unto the end. We want a Christianity that can go 
to the dungeon, and take the stripes and the im- 
prisonments, and take crucifixion even, like Peter. 
Look at him, how they brought him to the cross; 
and when they were nailing him to it, he said, 
" Do n't crucify me with my head upward, but 
crucify me with my head hanging downward, for I 
am not worthy to die like unto my Lord;" and it is 
said he hung with his head downward and preached 
the Gospel for two days and nights. There's so- 
briety in the grandest sense of the word I I wish 
we could all get saved and die sober in this sense. 

The next thing is righteousness ! — Soberly as to 
myself, righteously toward my neighbor. Brother, 
I believe in a religion that straightens me out all 
right and makes me straight with the world I 
Righteousness means — what? It means straighted- 
ness, right-mindedness ! I 've seen a mechanic 
turn a great long sixteen-foot plank on edge and 
run his joiner and smoother over it a time or two 
and shave off a strip as fine as tissue paper from 
one end to the other. That 's straight now ! When 
you get your life in such shape that God can run 
his smooth ing-plane over it and cut a shaving as 

Sober and Righteous Living. 289 

thin as tissue paper from one end to the other of it 
you ^re getting right then. 

I want to see the Church of God Almighty get 
honest! IM like to see a good many of these 
deacons and elders get to disgorging some of this 
ill'gotten money they 've got piled up in this town ! 

This city strikes tlie key-note for the price of 
every thing, nearly — meat, and all that the poor 
African in the South and the poor white man in 
the North must perpetuate the lives of himself and 
his family with. If you 're a member of the 
Church I want to peel some of the bark off you 
to-night. I mean the Christian men who are gam- 
bling on the bread and the meat of the poor negroes 
and white people. God bless you, your Stock Ex- 
change is going to throw out enough wood to feed 
the communistic fires of damnation in this country. 
Mark what I tell you ! You keep on speculating 
on the meat and bread of the poor people, and 
you Ml catch it some of these days ! I know the 
sentiment I'm talking now will be called communis- 
tic. But it is not so. I never uttered a com- 
munistic sentence in my life ! I 'm down on it, and 
I'm doing my level best to keep you from piling 
up the file* that will burn you, every thing you 
have, some of these days. What right have you to 
speculate on the commodities on which we live in 
this country ? I do n't want any of that sort of 
money piled up for my children. You may pile it 
np for your children, but it'll ruin th^m, sure, after 
you're dead and gone. I don't want to live in a 

house and raise my children on money procured by any 

290 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

such influences — influences which to say the least, 
are questionable from a Christian standpoint. 

I tell you, my congregation, let's have some 
righteousness running through this country. The 
Church has gravitated down until we \e got so low 
now you can 't ditch the Church off to save your 
life. We 're backing water on it. It 's a fact ! 
Gretting down too low ! Honesty ! Honesty ! I '11 
tell you what I want. I want every man who pro- 
fesses to be a Christian to get his money honestly, 
and I 'd rather have an honest dollar bill than to 
have a questionable — to say the least — million-dol- 
lar bond. 

'' Teaching us that denying ungodliness and 
worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, 
and godly in this present world." That presents to 
us two plain propositions— quit wrong and do right. 
Then let's say, after these two questions are set- 
tled, we will start out to-night to live soberly, 
righteously, and godly in this present world. So- 
berly! I like a sober-minded Christian, one that 
goes on his way smoothly, persistently. 

I '11 tell you what you want in this city, and in 
every other place in America, too : we want a re- 
vival of honesty — not a revival of shouting or sing- 
ing, but of honesty ! I 'm down on homestead laws, 
down on bankrupt laws, and on all that thing. " O," 
you say, " that won't do. It '11 leave men without 
a dollar in the world." God bleas you, I've been 
there many a time myself. Many a time I did n't 
have a dollar in the world, and had a wife and four 
or five little children to feed. What's the matter 

Sober and Righteous Living, 291 

with you? Would you rather have a miUion dis- 
honest dollars in your pocket than have an honest 
dollar? I would n't. If I handle money at all, let 
it be honest money I 

I '11 tell you another thing ! Whenever a man 
who owes money can live in a fine house, and board 
with his wife, and be agent for his wife, he ought 
to have his name changed, and take his wife's name. 
Agent for his wife! I'd want to find my shroud 
and get in it before I could be agent for my wife. 
I 'm never going to be agent for my wife or board 
with my wife ; I 'm going to have her board 
with me! 

This question of honesty, brethren, must be 
brought down to plain, simple propositions. You 
speculators, if you run the price of bread and meat 
up, are taking the dollars and cents out of the pock- 
ets, and the food out of the stomachs, of the poor of 
this land, and if you run it down — then for you 
what? La, me, I can't pray, to save my soul, when 
one of you speculators gets gobbled up I I can 't 
help looking on and saying, "Gone, thank God." 
I try my best to feel sorry for one of those fellows, 
but I never could get up any sympathy for 'em. 

Right is right ! Wrong is wrong I That 's the 
truth about it ! Honesty is the bed-rock on which 
we build, if we build at all ! I know what I 'm 
talking about, too. Righteousness I I don't be- 
lieve in your homestead or bankrupt laws. I've 
been to where I paid the last dollar I could 
pay at all ; I still was a hundred dollars in debt, 
but I never took advantage of the homestead law or 

292 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

the bankrupt law. I '11 tell you another thing : 
when I started out on a poor circuit, preaching in 
Georgia, men who could have held me up said, ** I 
could have more confidence in that fellow if he 
would pay his debts." Right then my precious 
wife, though raised far above that plane, was doing 
her own cooking,and ironing, and all her own house- 
work, and I was cutting wood and doing every thing 
I could to help her, out of the poor, meager salary 
I was getting ; and I saw at last my wife reach the 
point where she did n't have a good dress to wear, 
and I did n't have any thing to my name but an 
old coat, but I 'd pay two dollars and a half out on 
a note I owed, and, thank Grod, I paid the last dol- 
lar. You can pay, too, if you try ; but, and under- 
derstand me, if you can pay, and do n't do it, Ood 
will put you in hell for it, and you needn't go 
mouthing around here on any other proposition 
either ! If you can 't pay your debts, do your level 
best, and if you can 't pay a thousand dollars, pay 
a copper cent ; do your best, pay every nickel you 
can, and God will bless you and take you to heaven 
yet, but he won't take these people to heaven in a 
day who can pay their debts and do n't do it. If 
you will just do your duty and live right, and pay 
your debts, God will look after your sort. God help 
you to make a' start for glory to-night I 

Sermon XXI I. 


" Bat the wisdom that is Irom above is first pure."— James 
III, 17. 

CHRISTIANITY proposes to do nothing less for 
us than to give us pure hearts. There is no 
such thing as a pure life emanating from any other 
source than a pure heart. About the hardest thing 
a man ever tried to do is to be a good man with a 
bad heart — to be a Christian without religion. Put 
old patches into new garments and. they rend every 
time; put new wine in old bottles and they break 
every time. To be a good man without a good 
heart is the most np-hill work a man ever under- 
took in this world. I see a great many lives that 
are wrong, and I can see that the only hope of 
those lives is in the purity of heart given by the 
Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

" Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see 
God/' No corrupt tree can bring forth good 
fruit. No good tree can bring forth corrupt 
fruit. A salty fountain can not bring forth sweet 
water. O Lord, give me 

"A heart in every thought renewed, 

And full of love divine ; 
Perfect, and right, and pure, and good, 
A copy. Lord, of thine. 


294 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

"O, for a lowly, contrite heart, 
Believing, true and clean, 
Which neither life nor death can part 
From him that dwells within." 

Now, brother, has your heart been in the cleans- 
ing fountain ? 

"The wisdom that cometh from above is first 
pure.'^ O, Lord, wash my heart, and I shall be 
whiter than the snow. Do you know what that 
means? A great many Churches do not put any 
stress upon what we call a pure heart, a clean heart; 
but I thank God that the grand old doctrine of 
Christian purity still lives in the world ; that there 
is enough water in the river of love to wash the 
last speck of dirt out of the human soul. I thank 
God for that grand old Bible doctrine that still 
lives among men. Find me a Church that does n't 
accept it, and I '11 show you a first-class literary 
club — the Lord's crocheting society, or something 
of that sort. I 've seen Churches put on airs and 
strut around, and call themselves the Church of 
God, and they 've come up at last to be nothing but 
the Lord's crocheting society; and if they go to 
heaven with any material to work on they wouldn't 
be there three months until they'd have all the 
angels hung full of lace. Crocheting society ! O, 
they '11 get up the nicest little suppers for the 
Church, and little grab-bags, and they'll have the 
nicest little entertainments in the world, and run 
the nicest little socials, and all that sort. But, 
when it comes to rolling up their sleeves and pitch- 
ing in to rescue the perishing and save the fallen, 
" O, no," they say ; " we never do that sort of work 

Purity of Heart. 295 

at all. But we had a nice little supper at the 
church last evening." The idea of a Church having 
a supper or an entertainment to raise money! It's 
a di.sgrace to God's cause on the earth. I do n't 
blame you, good sisters — it 's that or nothing with 
you — but I blame your stingy husbands. 

A Church of purity! Purity! The wisdom^ 
the religion that comes from above is first pure— « 
pure religion, a religion that is pure in thought, 
and pure in life, and pure in all manner of conver- 
sation. I recollect in one town where I was preach- 
ing, to illustrate the point, I met a young man on 
the street one day, and he said to me : '^ Mr. Jones, 
Mr. So-and-so is never going to hear you preach 
any more." I asked him, "Why?" "Because he 
says you are the vulgarcst man he ever heard talk 
in his life in the pulpit." "And who is this man 
that says so?" I asked. And the young man said 
that " It is Mr. So-and-so, a bar-keeper down 
town."^ A bar-keeper! And do you notice, "To 
the pure all things are pure." I was preaching a 
very close sermon on the sins of society, and an old 
husband got up and walked out of the church with 
an angel clinging on his arm, and he said to her: 
" Wife, I would not have had you hear that batch 
of vulgarity for a thousand dollars." And she an- 
swered : " Why, I thought it was the sweetest ser- 
mon I ever heard in my life." To the pure all 
things are pute. 

I wish some of the low-bred people that have 
called me vulgar in this city would get to be decent 
themselves, and then they would not hear the vul- 

296 Sam Jones' Owk Book. 

garity in what I say. It is not what I say that is 
vulgar, but it is how they have been bred. *^ To 
the pure all things are pure." O, for pure society, 
and pure hornet, and pure Churches, where all things 
are pure, and then it would never be necessary for 
such thiugs to be discussed. 

The religion that comes from above is, first, 
pure; for you get that sort in the Bible. Have you, 
brethren, got the religion that makes you pure in 
your heart, and pure in your life, and pure in all 
manner of conversation ? That is the first thing to 
see to, and that is the grandest thing of all — a pure 
heart, and that heart the sovereign of all your life 
and actions. Have that, and it indeed shall make 
your life pure. 

Religion is " first pure, then peaceable." That 
is the second point. I wish that we could see that 
we nre often too quiet in this country. Jesus Christ 
said himself, '^ I came to send fire upon the earth. 
I came to put parent? against children, and children 
against parents, and neighbor against neighbor." 
There can be nothing accomplished in this life with- 
out warfare — without fighting for it. Now, do n't 
understand me as wishing to make an incendiary 
speech, and ordering you to bring out pistols and 
guns. I have the utmost contempt for all that sort 
of thing. The fighting, the warfare, that I talk 
about is the fight of the forces of good against the 
forces of evil. And the strongest force is going to 
triumph every time. 

Let me offer an illustration of what I mean by a 
pure and peaceable mind. Suppose that the devil 

Purity op Heart. 297 

were elected mayor of this city by an overwhelming 
majority; and suppose that the common council 
had been imported from pandemonium as aldermen 
and councilmen. Do you know of any other spot 
in town where they could put another bar-room? 
Have they not got them already just as thick as if 
the devil were actually running the town ? Could 
you'support any more if you had them ? That is 
the way to look at it. I do n't think that the devil 
would try to open another even if he had his alder- 
men running it. They have got now all that thd)r 
can look after. Do you reckon if the devil and his 
councilmen from pandemonium had a saloon-keeper 
brought before a judge of this city they would let 
him be fined for the offense charged against him 
less than five dollars? Come down to facts. Do 
you believe they would, brethren ? Do you believe 
that lewdness in this city would be allowed to escape 
with less than a dollar fine? Do you believe, my 
hearers, that if the devil himself were having the 
thing done up for him in this city in person he 
could do it better than it is being done by his 
agents? We want warfare in this town. We want 
soldiers ; not those that fight with the sword, but 
those who carry on a fight in which evil is overcome 
with good deeds. God make. good men, efficient 
workers, and soldiers of the cross as thick in this 
city as bar-rooms are! and then we will take the 
initiative for Christ, and overcome evil with good. 
I tell you, my congregation, when we look out on 
this city, I do n't say my first prayer is, " God save 
uud keep the city in holiness," but "God save her 

298 8am Jones' Own Book. 

from herself!" She is cutting her own throat and 
committing suicide. You can not put the stabs of 
four thousand saloons in a city without doing any 
thing else but kill it. You can not sprinkle lewd- 
ness through the streets in this city, as God has 
sprinkled the heaven with stars, and do any thing 
else but commit suicide for your city. 

"First pure, then })eaceable." Now, I want 
peace, and I thank God for all the peace we have 
in the world. But, brothers and sisters, as long as 
yDU are peaceable, and things are as they are, you 
have no^the religion that comes from above. For 
it says, first, pure, and then all other things follow 
it. When you are this, then you can proclaim a 
peace with God that shall smile upon you, and per- 
petuate itself forever. But we don't want any 
peace now. That would be just what the saloon- 
keeper would like you to do^to keep your peace ; 
to keep your mouth shut, and create no stir about 
it. They cry, " Peace ! peace 1 Do n't raise any 
issue here." 

Now, have you, my brethren, a clearly defined 
moral issue in this town, or have you only a moral 
question ? Suppose all your ministers were to turn 
themselves loose in the discussion of the issue next 
Sunday morning, and were to throw into the en- 
emy's camp the hot shell and canister of the Bible. 
Suppose the preachers were to turn upon any evil 
in this city. If they would, the walls of the fort 
would fall, and the white flag would be run up. O, 
me, how much are we to blame in this city for this 
state of things ! In my town is a harness-maker^a 

Purity op Heart. 299 

good, plodding member of the Church. One day 
the Baptist pastor^ Brother Hayden^ called upon 
him, and he 'said to Brother Hayden: "The bar- 
rooms of Cartersville are prospering, and you preach- 
ers are to blame for it." " What do you mean ?" 
indignantly asked Brother Hayden. ^^ I mean what 
I say." " Explain yourself, sir." " Brother Hay- 
den, you have got four hundred members in your 
Church ; the Methodist preacher has four hundred, 
and the Presbyterian two hundred, and any man in 
Cartersville ought to have known that with those 
thousand members with you for the work of God, 
you could have raised an issue and got the evil out 
of Cartersville if you wanted to." Brother Hayden 
slipped away full of that brother's words, and he 
went to the Methodist parsonage, and he told his 
Methodist brother what the harness-maker had said 
to him, and they talked it over, and then he went 
to the Presbyterian brother and told him, and talked 
it over with him; and the very next Sunday the 
few pulpits of Cartersville turned loose on whisky 
shops, and when the next election came and went, 
the whisky was gone forever. Thank God, the 
pulpit has not lost its power ! It has just lost its 
voice — ^that's all. Now, my brethren, let us for 
twelve months, for twelve weeks, in this city, take 
up the big question, and let us pour in the hot 
grape and cannister on these things. 

"First pure and then peaceable." Peaceable! 
Brethren, we do n't want any peace in any sense un- 
til we have rid ourselves of those things that are 
cursing our city and our neighbors. Let us have 

300 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

war, and carry our warfare on our knees through this 
city. Then let us carry the city to the mercy-seat 
of God, and then to heaven. Let us carry on the 
war until we get pure, and then peace shall reign. 

Pure, peaceable, and gentle ! I like.gentle Chris- 
tians and gentle horses. I wonder if that word 
doesn't mean the same thing in both places, for 
there is not a more valuable thing than a gentle 
horse. He is not worth so much for his looks or 
his gait, but he is perfectly reliable. Could we only 
be as faithful in our place as a gentle horse is in its 
place ! A gentle horse you^ can hitch to any thing 
in the world, and it is perfectly safe hitched up any- 
where. But I will tell you an animal that I despise 
more than any other animal is a malicious horse. 
He won't work at any thing, excepting with one of 
those fancy-striped buggies, and then he will go. 
But hitch him to a wagon, and he won't pull even 
the traces tight. Many a man is like that horse. 
He never saw a prayer-meeting. If you hitched 
him to a prayer-meeting, he would run away with 
it. If you hitehed him to a family prayer, it would 
take three wagons to take in the pieces ailer he got 
through with it. He never had a Christian's collar 
on, and yet he has professed to be on the Lord's side 
for years. 

"First pure, then peaceable, gentle." Now, 
brothers, I want, to ask you in all love, are you 
what God calls a gentle Christian. Are you a 
gentle Christian in the sense that you do the Lord's 
works, whatever he wants you to do, and whenever 
and wherever he wants you to do it? That is what 

Purity of Heart. 301 

we call a gentle Christian in the best sense of that 
word. When I say a gentle Christian I don't 
mean any of those quiet fellows who never open 
their mouths. That is not the sort of gentleness 
the apostle means when he speaks about '^ gentle.'' 
Some of you are mighty gentle ; so gentle that the 
devil has nothing to fear from you. You never 
said a word against him in all your life. You are 
silent when you ought to be talking, and talking 
when you ought to be silent. 

The religion from above is first pure, then peace- 
able, gentle, and '^easy to be entreated." I like 
that sort of religion that you do n't have to sit long 
with, and beg with, and plead with in order to get 
a few dollars or a few good works done. I like 
the Christianity that says to my call upon it : " Put 
my name down for any amount you need. Call 
upon me for what you want." That is " easy to be 
entreated;" that is easy to be induced to take the 
proper steps in any movement; that is willing to 
do any thing and any work that is for the. good of 
others. If a preacher says : " I will tell you what 
I want you to do. I want you to take charge of 
such and such a thing," you want to say, " I will 
do any thing for the Lord and for the salvation of 
souls to God." 

I was once riding along behind a man in the 
pine woods. His wagon was stuck in the mud 
and remained stock still. It was mired down, and 
when the driver got off and pried one wheel up, he 
had no one to drive the horses, and he was in a 
bad fix because his team bad balked. But about 

302 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

the same time I got up with him^ a gentleman came 
riding hj on a mule^ and he told the fellow to go 
again and pry up the wheel, saying, " I will drive 
your team for you.'' The gentleman then took a 
switch and went to the balky mule and whipped it 
until it stood firm against the traces, and then he 
licked the other mule until it leaned against the 
traces; and as each would drop back, he would 
make it stand against the collar, and as soon as he 
pulled at the heads of the mules they carried the 
wagon out of the deep mire as if it had been a 
thing of life. My brothers I want to see every man 
of you lean against the collar which is around your 
city, and if we do that we will carry the whole 
thing out of the mud, and carry this city to God. 
Why not? Now, some of you have probably got 
your dignity outraged by my talking about collars 
and horses in connection with yourselves. Let us 
talk about souls, and how to get them out of the 
mire of sin. 


Now, in this lesson we draw about this picture 
as &> what I must be like. First, I must be pure 
in my heart and life. I must be peaceable in my 
nature. I must in all my ways be gentle. I must 
be easily entreated, and must be all these things 
without partiality and without hypocrisy. I will 
tell you what some of us say we would like to have 
in our meetings. " I would like to have Colonel 
So-and-so, and Judge So-and-so, and Major So-and- 
so in this meeting." Now I do n't go much on these 
colonels and judges and majors, so far as I am con- 
cerned. What do you want with them? Brother, 

PuKiTY OP Heart. 303 

Hister, this is where I stand, " without partiality and 
without hypocrisy." There is not a poor tramp 
begging his way through this town that I am not as 
glad to see coming to get his soul saved as I am to 
see the richest man in this city. His soul is worth 
just as much. The others are valuable. '^They 
make us preachers work ourselves to death/^ said a 
preacher to me. " In a town I was in there was a 
rich old colonel , and he was not a member of the 
Church, and I said to myself, I will angle for him. 
And I angled for him for about three weeks, but I 
never got him. But I got about sixty other first- 
class sinners. And the next year I said again I 
would angle for him, and I did angle for him about 
four weeks, but I did n't get him, but I got forty 
converts; and the next year I was determined to 
get him, and I angled for him for four weeks, but 
couldn't get him, but I got in seventy-five other 
sinners. And, Brother Jones, those two hundred souls 
would not have been brought to Christ if it had not 
been for Colonel So-and-so." Old colonels are good 
nest-eggs. They make preachers work themselves 
to death trying to get them. There has been many 
a poor fellow got into the fold of Christ in this way. 
I open the door of grace to every body ; but if there 
is any body that I want to see come to God it is the 
poor fellow who never had any thing in the world, 
who never will have any thing, and who will die 
as poor as he has lived. The poor are the ones 
I want to get in. I want to tell you that it is the 
tramp and the poor men and the humble classes 
that need religion and they feel its influence the 

304 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

most when they get it. A young lady who be- 
longs to one of the wealthy families of this city 
said, when she was invited to come to this meeting: 
" What do you want me to come to the meeting for? 
It is poor folks who get religion." She did not 
think it was for rich folks to have it. O, what a 
transition it must be from a four-story^ marble- 
front mansion, down to the depths of damnation at 
one leap! O, what a fearful thing that is! And 
thousands such as she are making that leap every 
day. God help us to do what we can for them, as 
well as for the poor of this great city. Christ said 
himself, " The poor ye have always with you." Let 
us go among them and bring them to Christ ! 

Now, just one word and I am done. When I 
was in Louisville at one of the meetings, fifteen 
men were taken to the front pew and knelt there as 
penitents. There never had been fifteen such char- 
acters in that house of God in all its history. They 
were ragged and dirty. O, how degraded they 
were. One of them was a man named Harney, a 
son of the editor of the Louisville Democrat, He 
told me that he had been drunk thirty years. While I 
preached, the pastor talked with the poor fellows 
and prayed with them, and when he was about to 
dismiss the congregation, he said : " Brethren, you 
see these poor ragged and dirty men. They are 
seeking religion. It is just as necessary to put 
clothes on them and make them cleanly as it is to 
pray with them. Now I want these official men to 
take them to the bath-rooms and barber shops, and 
dress them up neatly." This was done, and the 

PuKiTY OP Heart. 305 

next day and night when they were at the meeting 
you would not have known them again. And these 
fifteen men were converted to God. Now^ what 
was the result ? I was there twelve months after that, 
and thirteen out of those fifteen men were as bright, 
useftil Christians as any I met in that city. One 
of them had backslidden, another had died happy and 
gone home to heaven, and the pastor of the Church 
told me : '^ I have had ' no more active man than 
Mr. Harney has been." For five years he had been 
one of the principal clerks in the Louisville and 
New Albany depot, and now he was sound and 
well clothed and in his right mind. 

That is the kind of religion we want in this 
town. This is the kind of religion we are going to 
give you Christians. We are going to tell you to 
go down if you want to go up. The way up is 
down. God help us to throw our arms around the 
perishing of this city. And let us work for the poor 
fellows; and when a poor fellow comes up here, 
let us take \^\m to Christ. I have seen a whole 
community moved by one of those old colonels 
getting saved. I saw every body in the meeting 
crying, because the old colonel came to God. Let 
us cry over these poor fellows* Let us do our duty 
by them. 

May God bless you in your home life, and may 
he orown you with everlasting life. 
26— B 

Sermon xxill. 


« Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope ; even 
to-day do I declare that I will render double unto thee." — 
Zech. IX, 12. 

BRETHREN, there are many words in this text 
we might dwell at length upon. They arc rich 
in their meaning to us. But the special words we 
want to direct your attention to are these : " Ye 
prisoners of hope/' And we stand squarely upon 
the word of God and upon the pages of that Book 
we have just laid down. If you say, " That is not 
the word of God/' then, sir, I shake hands with 
you with an affectionate adieu at this point of the 
service. I have no Gospel to preach to you to- 
night if you deny that the word of God is the truth 
of God. I get this text from that book, " Pris- 
oners of hope.'' This expression presupposes that 
there are prisoners without hope, and when I turn 
over the pages of the Book I have just laid down, I 
find there are three classes of prisoners without hope. 
The first class we mention are the angels who 
sinned against God and kept not their first estate, 
but were cast down in chains of everlasting dark- 
ness to await the final judgment day; and while 
atonement was made for man, and offers of mercy 
and pardon were given to men, those angels cast 
down in their dark and doleful estate, this moment 

are still without a ray of hope or a spark of 

Prisonebs Without Hope. 307 

heavenly day. While the sweet songs of the Gospel 
make melody in our hearts^ and while the Gospel of 
love and promise is offered to fallen man, we are 
assured by that Book that no glimmering light or 
ray of promise has ever pierced the dark dungeons 
of despair that hold in their chains these lost and 
damned spirits. But we know not how to sympa- 
thize with angels. Angels are unlike men; they 
know not and they have not gray hairs, and wrinkles, 
and old age, and graves, and death as we have. We 
never see an angel, we know not how to talk with 
an angel ; but, brother, while they are in chains of 
everlasting darkness, let us look upon the picture 
and shudder and dread, lest it may be true that 
men from- America will take up their eternal abode 
with those lost and damned spirits in hell forever. 

There is another class of prisoners without hope, 
and that is men — men who lived here and died in this 
city amid its Gospel privileges, and have lived and 
died without hope and without God in the world. 
If that Book teaches any truth plainly and pointedly 
it is this : There is no knowledge, or device, or re- 
pentance in the grave whither we are all tending. 
This is a world of sowing — that of reaping. This 
is a world of character-building — that at the judg- 
ment a place of award and assignment. The good 
go to heaven, the bad go to hell. I believe all 
Bible-reading men believe in punishment, and the 
only point at which men who revere and read the 
Bible differ at all, is in the duration of the punish- 
ment. Some men say it is not eternal, and when 
you prove to my mind that punishment is not 

308 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

eternal; then with the same logic you prove that 
heaven is not eternal. The same adjectives that 
apply to hell apply to heaven. " These shall go 
away into everlasting punishment^ these into eternal 
bliss.'' But; afler all, brethren, I am not so much 
interested as to the duration of hell. I will answer 
your question as to the duration of hell, if you will 
answer me a question : " How long will sin last ?'' 
If you will tell me how long sin will last, then I 
will tell you how long hell will endure. When in 
the history of America, or in the history of eternity, 
will the lie you told yesterday be any thing else 
than a lie? When God can make things that 
ought not to have been, as they ought to have 
been, then I can tell you when sin shall be wiped 
out of the universe. And it isn't a question of 
eternal fire, but it is a question of eternal sin, of 
eternal remorse, and eternal regret ! 

If we are taught any thing plainly in the Scrip- 
tures, it is that what we do for eternity we must 
do for this life. Mother, look me in the face. Have 
you ever prayed for your wayward boy since he 
breamed his last? Have you ever knelt at his 
grave and said, " O, God, save my boy from hell 
and save him in heaven?" Wife, have you ever 
knelt at the foot of your husband's grave and prayed, 
" Gracious Father, forgive his sins to-day and take 
him to heaven?" Listen to me a moment. I care 
not what the record of your prayers may have been 
previous to his last breath, none of us have prayed 
for loved ones since they breathed their last. 
Mother does not pray for son, wife does not pray 

Prisoners Without Hope. 309 

for husband, father does not pray for loved ones who 
are dead. No, the common sense of hnmanity 
teaches us that as the tree falleth it shall lie for- 
ever. There is nothing in eternity that can undo 
the evil deeds of time, and if you live and die im- 
penitent you have settled the question, and settled 
an eternal issue that involves the loss of your soul. 
" Prisoners without hope." The old couplet 
may be true, that 

** While the lamp holds out to bum, 
The vilest sinner may return." 

But when fate snufis the candle and it goes out, it 
is out forever. None of us looks to the fact that 
there is a chance beyond the grave. Brother, will 
you meet me in your thoughts at this point; all the 
time that I have to prepare for eternity is between 
this and my grave ; between this and my shroud ; 
between this and my last breath. The great issues 
of eternity that involve eternal happiness or eternal 
damnation are wrapped up in the few hours between 
me and my dying couch. Will you face that fact 
a few moments, and look in the face of that propo- 
sition, and will you settle your mind squarely on it 
while we discuss these fearful questions to-night? 

Your heart in your bosom is but a drum beating 
your funeral march to the grave, and every heart- 
stroke is numbered, and, when numbered, is proof 
of the fact that your heart shall beat one time less 
in all this world before you. Brother, suppose you 
knew that clock that sits upon your mantel at home, 
ticking away each fleeting second, would stop before 
you got home to-night, and you were to know that 

310 8am Jones' Own Book, 

if that clock stops while you are away that you 
will never see your home again, and you will be 
carried in a corpse. Brother, if that little pendulum in 
your bosom stops beating before I am through preach- 
ing, if you have come here impenitent, then you 
shall be a prisoner without hop« forever. Is it true 
that the gasp or two of the last dying moments 
are the only things between me and that doleful 
state of everlasting despair — "a prisoner without 
hope ?" 

I have preached the Gospel in twenty different 
States, perhaps, in America, and I may preach it 
in every State in America. Thank God for open 
doors! I may preach the Gospel in China. If 
God were to call me there, I would go as willingly 
as I came to this city; but there is one place, 
brethren, I have never preached, and there is a 
spot on which I never intend to preach, and that 
is at the cemetery. I will never stand among the 
tombstones of earth and beg dead men to come to 
God and love. But God has spared you from 
among the dead and brought you to this hall to- 
night to hear the Gospel. Will you wisely consider, 
and well, the proposition ; that gray-headed man sit- 
ting here, this gray-haired woman, this young man — 
will you consider to-night that just a few more 
passing days and the question of eternity with you 
will be settled forever? I notice in reading the 
papers that more than one man I have preached 
to earnestly has gone to eternity, and, young as I 
am in the ministry, I have preached the Gospel 
to thousands of men who have rejected it, and to* 


Prisoners Witho.ut Hope. 311 

night they are prisoners without hope forever. O, 
sad thought ! In Knoxville^ Tenn.^ I pointed my 
finger one night at a man^ without special aim^ of 
course, and said, " It is now or never with *you,^' 
and two weeks after I left the city I got a letter 
from a friend saying, " The man you dropped your 
finger on that night died last night, and he said, 
* It was then or never with me, I saw, and I sur- 
rendered my heart to God,' and he died happy in 
the faith, and has gone home to heaven/' 

O, sir, trifle not with the extraordinary means 
of grace; trifle not with the truths that will bring 
thousands of souls to Jesus Christ; trifle not with 
the meeting where the sermons are repreached to 
almost a million of souls through those secular pa- 
pers. God has brought to bear on you extraor- 
dinary means to save you from hell, and may you 
give yourselves to God before these extraordinary 
means leave you forever. God has thrown these 
services between you and your grave; God has put 
this gracious revival between you and your coffin, 
and will you overleap all these things and die a 
sinner and pass into eternity unsaved, a prisoner 
without hope, forever? 

Brother, let's you and I say, " If there is but one 
man who goes to heaven out of this meeting, God 
helping me, I am going to try to be that man. 
If there are only a half dozen saved, I will, with 
God's mercy, be one of them." O, sir, rush into 
the open gate, and find mercy and peace while it is 
called to-day. You may trifle with me and the 
meeting, and the calls of mercy; you may trifle 

312 Sam Jones^ Own Book. 

with the prayers of God's people ; but while you 
trifle with us you are trifling with God, and, above 
all things, you are trifling with your immortality, 
and you can not afford that. Friends, may be this 
sermon and this service to-night are put between 
you and this eternal issue that shall settle the ques- 
tion forever. Will you take the time and meet the 
issue squarely to-night, and say : " Whatever other 
men do, I do not intend to die impenitent ?'' As 
the rabbis used to say, every man ought- to get re- 
ligion one day before he dies ; and, for fear you die 
to-morrow, had n't you better seek religion to-day ? 
But there is another class of prisoners without 
hope. They are, thirdly, men and women who live, 
and walk, and talk to-day in this city that are just 
as certain to be damned as they walk and talk to- 
day. Do you know there are whole families in this 
town that not one — father, mother, son, or daugh- 
ter — has ever been religious? This is the saddest 
thing you can say about any family God's sun ever 
shone upon. Neither father nor mother, son nor 
daughter — not one of them — ever made any preten- 
sions to being religious! And I can tell you another 
thing: I could be irreligious four years as a hus- 
band, twenty years as a son, and twenty-four years, 
I say, as a brother or a sister ; but I could not be 
irreligious twelve months with a precious child 
looking up in my face. When you talk to a man 
of sense about his children, if you do not arouse his 
conscience and probe his soul it is because he is 
dead already to every thing that is ennobling and 

Pbi8on£bs Without Hope, 313 

There are noble citizens all around this town ; 
they are men of prominence^ men of means, men of 
influence, and there they ar^^prominent to-day on 
the side of the devil. I was asking to-day what 
Church Mr. So-and-so belonged to. " He does not 
belong to any, but he attends a certain one." 
"Well, what Church does his wife belong to?" 
" None at all." I can see how a man can be Christ- 
less and godless, but the profoundest enigma in the 
universe to me is a godless mother — a mother with 
innocent children hanging about her neck I O, 
mother, are you here to-night? If you are I pro- 
nounce you the most fearful monstrosity in all the 
moral universe of Grod. 

Prisoners without hoi)e! Whole families irre- 
ligious! And do you not know right here a father, 
and son, and' grandson, not one of whom for three 
generations has ever been religious ? Look at that 
picture. I will tell you another thing : If you will 
take a boy or a man whose grandfather and father 
never were religious, and who is himself irreligious, 
I would almost as soon preach the Gospel to a horse 
or to an ox as to preach to that grandson. 

"The iniquities of the father shall be visited 
upon the children to the third and fourth genera- 
tions." What a sad thought that is! Shut out 
heaven to your children and to your granr^children 1 
There are families in this town who, if this meeting 
were to be protracted in every church in this city, 
and in every theater, every rink, every hall, would 
never put their feet in those places. They have de- 
liberately, not with their tongues, but in all the 

27— B 

314 8am Jones' Own Book. 

thoughts and acts of their mental and moral consti- 
tution, said, ^' For time and eternity I never intend 
to try to be religious!" Prisoners without hope! 
Why, sir, when I walk these streets and take the 
hand of a man, and feel in my heart, ^' There is a 
man that never intends to repent, who intends to 
die as he is, I would as soon shake hands with a 
dead man as to shake hands with him. He is al- 
ready dead to all that is true, and noble, and good. 
He- is dead to heaven, and dead to God, and dead to 
the blood of Chrjst, and dead to every thing except 
the excruciating pains of eternal damnation. O, 
what a thought, what a thought ! A prisoner with- 
out hope! He may be walking on the street; may 
be sitting in the hall to-night. Will any man in 
this audience to-night say that every man here will 
be saved? If there is only one to* be eternally 
damned, which one? I wonder which man it is 
sitting and looking at me to-night that is just as 
certain to be damned as he hears my voice this mo- 
ment. O, sir, is it you? is it you? A prisoner 
without hope ! 

I praise God for preserving me through a wicked 
life up to twenty-four years of age. I praise him 
in time, I shall praise him in eternity, that he kept 
me alive until I found peace with him and felt 
that he was my Father and my Friend. I can look 
back over my past life at the flash of a pistol in 
my face, the dirk in some enemy's hand, the crash 
in some railroad accident ; I can see where I 
just missed death by a hair's breadth. O, my 
GJod, if I had gone unprepared as I was then! 

Pkisoners Without Hope. 315 

O, blessed Savior, I praise thee to-night that I 
found the 

" Foantain filled with blood 

Drawn from Inimanuers veins ; 
And sinners plunged beneath that flood 
LcN9e all their guilty stains." 

Thank God, I live to see the day when I can 
testify to the world that Jesus Christ hath power 
on earth to forgive sins. I will praise him forever. 

A prisoner without hope ! Will you go through 
to the benediction of this revival service and stand 
out as a monument of what indifference and reck- 
lessness and prayerlessness can do for a man? Will 
you do that? Can you afford to do that? Can 
you? If we live right and die right, even while 
our friends mourn around our dying bodies they 
rejoice. When Bishop Marvin, the grandest man 
the Church of the South ever had, returned from 
his tour around the world and came back home and 
died in his own quiet, peaceful home, and his wife 
gave up to God the best husband and father and 
preacher the South ever knew, she looked upon 
his pale corpse and clapped her hands together and 
said, ''God is so good to me to let my husband go 
to heaven from his own quiet home.'* The very 
fact that he passed out into heaven was the source 
of infinite gratitude to his wife. 

I heard Dr. Haygood say, " I stood by the death- 
bed of Bishop Pierce, our grand old Georgia 
bishop, but he did not die ; I know he did not die. 
He talked to me up to the very edge of the grave, 
and I almost literally saw him sweeping out of this 

316 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

world into the arms of God." Die! No, sir; no, 
sir. If I had had any doubts of the immortality 
of the soul, they would have been removed in the 
first town I was a pastor at. Dr. Ingraham, a quiet, 
peaceful, good man, a kind neighbor, who loved 
God and loved all mankind, was stricken with that 
fearful disease, consumption. And finally he was 
taken down to his bed, and for three long months 
he was a hopeless invalid, and death came hour 
after hour and stripped his bones of their flesh and 
muscles. There he was, under the potsherd of 
death, until death had robbed him almost literally 
of every ounce of flesh. I believe he was the thin- 
nest man I ever looked into the face of when death 
had done its worst upon him. The morning, when 
death walked into his room and drove the dagger 
to his heart, he pushed his bony arms behind him 
and raised himself up, and just as death struck him 
the last blow he said, ^' Life, eternal life !" and swept 
out of his body to go home to God. O, brother, 
the man that can meet the dagger of death and cry 
^^ eternal life" is proof to all mankind that we shall 
live beyond the dying moment. Ah, me, to live 
beyond that time, and not to die beyond that time! 
A prisoner without hope! The lost soul! Lost! 
lost! lost! Brother, can you meet your dying min- 
utes without making your peace with God? If you 
can, you are a braver man than ever. I want to be 
in time or eternity. And to the poor wandering 
one to-night let me say just one word more. Turn 
to the stronghold. The gates of mercy are open. 
You need not die, you need not be lost. But turn 

Peisoners Without Hope. 317 

to the stronghold. And what does God say? "Even 
to-day I will render double unto thee/' And may 
God draw reluctant hearts to himself to-night and 
bring us all to heaven I 


Everybody ought to keep good company. There 
is not an angel in heaven that w5uld not be cor- 
rupted by the company that some of you keep. 

I LIVE here a prisoner of hope, but at last I 
shall overleap the circle of friends above my dying 
couch, and my spirit shall be free and mix with the 
freemen of heaven forever! As long as the star 
of hope shines over my pathway I am ready for 
every good work. 

Every man in the world ought to be in the 
Church of God. When I see men out of the Church 
I want to save them. To you men who drink, 
swear, and break the Sabbath, let me say : I have 
a right to-day to get as drunk as any man in this 
city. I have just as much right to steal something 
to-day as anybody. Who gave you the right to get 
drunk and swear? Who gave you the right to tell 
lies? Who gave you the right to profane God's 
name? I have just as much right as you to do it. 
I won't do it; you ought not to do it, and you 
know it. 

Sermon XXIV- 


" I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy tes- 
timonies. I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy com- 
mandments." — PsA. cxix, 59, 60. 

THE commercial travelers of America^ or per- 
haps the more refined name is ^^ the angels of 
commerce/' are unlike the angels of old. Their 
visits were "few and far between/' but your visits 
are every day and everywhere. Your name is le- 
gion. I suppose you number three hundred thou- 
sand in the United States. What an army that 
is ! What a power for good or evil in the morals 
of America ! What a power for good or evil in the 
commercial interests of America I 

If the Lord Jesus Christ had an army of three 
hundred thousand active agents — as active in preach- 
ing love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, good- 
ness, and faith, as you are in pushing the sale of 
your goods, it would not take Christ long to bring 
America to his feet, and my greatest desire and 
earnest prayer to God is that the day may come 
when you will carry your "grip-sack" in one hand 
and your Bible in the other and do business for 
both worlds on every trip and everywhere. 

I have been thrown a great deal with commercial 

I Thought on My Ways. 319 

men. I am a sort of drummer myself. I lead a 
sort of drummer's life. I spend very little time at 
home. It 's a great sacrifice. My children see very 
little of me. My wife sees very little of me. God 
forbid that in my absence from my wife and chil- 
dren there should ever be any wandering away from 
them. I never want to see the day come in my 
life's history when my wife shall detect any differ- 
ence, any impatience, any restlessness when I am 
at home. 

The curse of a traveling man's life is this: Yqu 
are from home so much that you can hardly be at 
home when you get home. How many of you have 
brought tears of blood, almost, to your wife's cheeks 
by your treatment of her, by your selfishness and 
indifference to your home? Home I Home! The 
sweetest place on earth ! 

" Be it ever so humble, there 's no place like home." 

My wife has a claim upon me, my children have 
a claim upon me. And as a commercial man in 
one sense I can talk to you commercial men, and 
say this to you : Not only would I spurn and scorn 
an act that is unfatherly and unhusbandly when 
I am at home — but, brother, when you go home 
show your wife that home is the sweetest spot on 
earth, and peace and joy will reign in that home. 

Well, there 's another thing. The question 
comes up, " If you have never been a commercial 
man you do n't know how hard it is for a com- 
mercial man to be a Christian." 

I have received one letter that I want to read 

320 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

to you, before I go into the text. The writer says: 
" I am a New York * drummer.' I believe in Jesus 
Christ, my Savior. For some years I thought 
I could not sell goods without drinking with 
my trade, but finding it a dishonor to my Lord, 
I wrote down in my order-book, * No more drinks, 
of any kind, so help, me God,' and God blessed me. 
And I did the same with smoking, and ever since 
I wrote that down I have never used tobacco in 
any form. Hallelujah ! I want to offer you, my 
brother, my sympathy and help, for I know what a 
terrible struggle it is to quit tobacco; but God is 
not unrighteous, and he will give you more joy than 
tobacco ever gave. Just tell the drummers that 
God saved me and kept me from sin and tobacco, 
and his grace is sufficient for me." 

You see how he puts it — ^^*sin and tobacco." I 
rather like that. Now, he says after having given up 
sin and tobacco, *' I sell as many goods, to the t^est 
trade, as any man on the road." 

That 's a great declaration, brother, and if it is 
necessary in order to be a successful drummer that 
a man must be a blackguard, and a dram-drinking, 
and a dirty story-telling one — if that 's essential to 
be a first-class drummer, I would rather be a third- 
rate dog than a first-class drummer. 

Now, brethren, I wanted to read this letter in 
the first place because, if I can establish the fact that 
there is just one pure, good man, there is a living, 
walking demonstration of the fact that we can all 
be religious— every one of us. When you find only 
one man in a calling who is good it is a demon- 

I Thought on My Ways. 321 

stration that every man in that same calling can do 
that same thing and be good. 

Now, we come to the text, " I thought on my 
ways." Brethren, inconsiderateness is the curse of 
the world. Men wonH think about the right things. 
They will think about stocks, and bonds, and money, 
and trade, and about what they will do, and what 
they will wear, and what hotel they will put up at, 
and by which route they will go. They will think 
about every thing in all the enterprises of life, ex- 
cepting about their ways, their manner of living, 
their acting, and where they are going to for time 
and eternity. And now if we can spend a few 
minutes in wise, candid, considerate, and conscien- 
tious thought on this matter we shall be benefited 
by this service. 

" I thought on my ways." Are my ways the 
ways of a wise man? Would a sensible, wise, 
thoughtful man live as I am living? Would he 
go where I am going? Would he do as I am do- 
ing? Would he talk as I am talking? Would a 
wise, prudent, careful, sensible man run on the line 
that I am running? You know your lives, breth- 
ren. You know how you have been running during 
the past two months, during the past four months, 
during the past year, during the past ten years. 
You know how you have talked and acted on the 
road. Will you run your mind back and ask your- 
self the question : " Are ray ways wise ? Have I 
done the best I could? Have I lived the best life 
that I could ? Have I been prudent in the selec- 
tion of my comrades? Have I been wise in my 

322 8am Jones' Own Book. 

conduct in the midst of their company ? Am I wise 
at day-time and at night-time^ and in all my ways? 
Does wisdom control me in my life, in my words? 
Does it control my character ? Am I seeking al- 
ways the best means for the best end ?" That is 
wisdom. Knowledge is one thing, wisdom is 
another. Wisdom is the skillful application of 
knowledge; the employment of the best means to 
secure the best ends. Now, knowing that I can go 
to New York is one thing ; and then wisdom steps 
up into the province of knowledge and selects the 
nearest route, the best route, the fisistest train, the 
most expeditious way to reach it. 

Now, here I am a moral being. I have been 
selling goods for thirty years, but I must quit that 
some time. I have to die; and when I quit selling 
goods, I want to be able to look back and say in 
the midst of my family, " I have never done any 
thing that dishonored God or degraded my own be- 
ing." And no drummer, no commercial traveler, 
can expect any thing valuable in his latter life where 
he has previously resorted to bad means to reach 
his ends, I do n't care what sort of an end that may 
be. I have received letters that have brought ques- 
tionable transactions and questionable ways to my 
notice on the part of commercial men. Some of 
you use the bottle, some of you play cards and 
gamble — that is, you say, you put up just enough to 
make it interesting. And some of you use means 
that I could talk very plainly to you about, if it 
were not for those innocent, pure faces with bonnets 
over them here to-day. 

I Thought on My Ways. 323 

" I thought on my ways." Brethren, I have 
Been the day when I could be devilish, and mean, 
and do a heap of bad things, but I can say honestly 
this thing, that a man could never hire me to do 
mean things by the month. I never got that low 
down from God. I never was on the market for 
sale. I never propose to let myself out to do any 
one's dirty work. I always had as much of my 
own as I could stand. And I will tell you another 
thing — the man who would ask you to do those 
things that are wrong in themselves in order to 
push his ti*ade, is the man that sooner or later will 
become your worst enemy, and he will never give a 
dollar to your wife and children after he has ruined 
and debauched and damned you. The man that 
does evil that good may come, is only going [to do 
evil to you in the end, and bid you a final farewell 
when you cease to be useful to him ; do n't you for- 
get that. " Well," you say, " what are we to do." 
Well, I will tell you what I say to that. When 
there is no reputable, decent, honorable, upright 
employment in this country for me to get, I am 
going to emigrate to the poor-house and die there. 
I would rather be an honest, pure, and upright man 
dying in the poor-house, than be a man who has 
to make himself disreputable and be dishonest in 
his own eyes in order to make a living. I feel 
that, and no man can be reputable when he uses 
bad means to a good end. It's no matter how 
good the end is as long as the devil himself runs 
that way to earth. He wants you to push trade in 
that way. There is only one line of business that 

324 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

you can run that way properly, and that Is the 
liquor traffic. If I were running for that sort of 
business I would run it pretty lively. Every town 
I came to I would get them all drunk. I would 
get my business well started in that way in every 
community I went into. I will tell you another 
thing. There is not enough money in this world to 
hire me to sell whisky and beer. And Gk)d Al- 
mighty will hold you responsible as a paid minion 
of those fellows who are trying to damn this coun- 
try if you let yourself out for any such business. 
I tell you, that for all the drunkenness and the evil 
and the fearful misery and the wrecking of homes 
brought on by whisky in this country, the manu- 
facturer of whisky, the wholesale dealer, the drum- 
mer who is hired by him, and the saloon-keeper 
who deals it out, are responsible. I am angry with 
whisky, but I am not angry with any man that ever 
drank it or ever sold it. I do n't get mad with men. 
I get mad with demijohns, bottles, and that sort of 
thing, and I get mad with every thing that will 
hold whisky. 

" I thought on my ways.'' My life ; what is it? 
Am I a wise man ? Am I wise in the selection of 
my occupation ? Am I wise in the carrying on of 
my occupation? Am I wise in the best sense of the 
word? And then we stop and ask ourselves this 
question: Am I an honest man of business? ^^ An 
honest man is the noblest work of God." O, brother, 
an honest man is worth his weight in gold any- 
where. And when you are so honest your employers 
will find you and they will double your wages. And 

I Thought on My Ways. 325 

how many of yoa have been turned off on that line ? 
I will tell you there are just hundreds of firms 
waiting for some of you of that kiud to be turned 
off. " 1 have thought on my ways." Am I honest 
and candid ? If tliere is any miserable thing to do 
I would not be hire^ to do it. It won't pay. You 
will never get rich in misrepresenting things. You 
may go on for a while, but you will be like the 
fiirmers getting rich. Every pound they grow costs 
ten cents. They can not get eight for it. The only 
way they explain this style of doing things is to say 
they make so much off of it. If it were not for that 
they would be ruined. 

Determine first, to work for none but an honest 
house. You drummers have the power in your 
hands to reform all the houses that do business 
through your agency. All that you have to do is to 
say to dishonest houses, '* We won't get business for 
you, and when you employ a man that is willing to 
do your dirty work we will boycott you and adver- 
tise you as scoundrels everywhere we go." If you 
drummers took a stand like that what a grand thing 
it would be. You would say, " Such an agent shall 
not travel on the road. That house shall not be 
represented on the road. We won't have our fra- 
ternity degraded with any such concern. That is a 
good thing. My way is honest. I deal honestly. 
I do honestly." 

Then again I stop and ask myself. Are my ways 
pure or impure? Purity is one of the greatest 
blessings that ever crowned a life. O, brother, 
about the dirtiest thing in this universe is a really 

326 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

dirty drummer — dirty in conversation^ dirty in his 
thoughts, dirty in his life. O, brethren, let me say 
to you to-day, live as pure fnen. Never say a 
word anywhere that you could not say in the pres- 
ence of a parlor full of ladies. And never go to a 
place that you do n't want yoiy sister or wife to go 
to. And whatever you do let your love and vows 
to your wife be kept as sacred as the word of God 
is sacred. And I beg you, brethren, to preserve 
the integrity and purity of your characters and be 
pure men everywhere you go. 

" I thought on my ways " to see whether they 
were pure or impure. I thought upon my ways as 
a father. There is many a commercial traveler in 
this country that is the father of a precious group 
of little ones at home. Father, what is your in- 
fluence over these precious ones? What is your ex- 
ample to them ? What is your light before your 
children ? I have thought many a time of that 
father who, traveling through the snow, when he 
had got one hundred yards from his house heard 
his little son cry out, " May I go with you ?" and 
he said, " Yes." The father walked on, but directly 
he turned and looked back and said to his child, 
"How are you getting along?" "Finely, papa; I 
am putting my feet in your tracks." And the little 
fellow was jumping from one track to another 
where his father's feet had been. The father was a 
wicked man. As he walked along in the snow 
with the voice of the little boy in his ears, repeat- 
ing, "I am putting my feet in your tracks," he said 
to himself, "God helping me, I will straighten out 

I Thought on My Ways. 327 

my tracks. I will turn right about, and lead my boy 
in a purer^ nobler^ and better track all the rest of 
my days.'' 

Now, father, let me tell you that your boys are 
putting their feet in your tracks. They will go 
to the same house that you go to. They will drink 
at the same place that you drink at. They will 
gamble with the same cards that you gamble with, 
and if you live long enough they will follow your 
track when they become men unless you so alter 
your life that you will be indeed a father to your 
children. When a man gets so that he does n't love 
his children, when he gets so that the pride of his 
heart is not with his children, then he is indeed be- 
yond the reach of any thing that I can say to him. 

Then, in addition to that, " I thought on my ways" 
as a husband. I have received a letter from a lady 
in this city. It was a long letter, a sad letter, a 
heart-ache letter, a letter that meant a great deal. 
God forbid that my wife should write of me and of 
my sins in that way. This lady says : " We lived 
happily together for more than ten years. In the 
last few years the growing indifference of my hus- 
band — he has been on the road so much — almost 
breaks my heart. I could not bear it if it were not 
for the love of God in my heart ; and I pray every 
day that God will help me to bear it, and make 
me as good a wife as it is possible for me to be." 
A growing indifference! Now, I was head-over- 
heels in love with my wife when I married her, but 
I love her a hundred times better now. They cir- 
culated the story about me, in some town I was at 

328 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

that I had quitted my first wife. Well, I never 
had but one wife, and, God helping, I will never 
have but one. I am like the Irishman who said, 
" I hope I will never live to see my wife married 
again.'' Many a fellow in this State has lived to 
see that, and some of them have lived to marry 
them again themselves after being divorced from 
them. Somebody told me the other day that a 
judge granted a fellow a divorce six minutes after 
he walked into the court-room. That is a disgrace 
in any civilized country where such a thing is pos- 
sible. I tell you that when you let up on your 
matrimonial relations, right then you let up on the 
very foundations of your life. There is not a doubt 
about that. Well, I happened myself to get a good 
wife, I do n't know how. But if I had got a bad 
one I would have stuck to her through thick and 
thin. I would not want to have her divorced from 
me and get her off upon some other fellow. Now, 
'^ I thought upon my ways '' as a husband. I thought 
of the vows that I had taken that I would love and 
cherish and keep, and that I would always, even 
unto death, be true to her that I had plighted my 
vows to. I thought upon my ways as a husband. 

And then " I thought upon my ways " as a citizen. 
Now, every man in this country is a good citizen or 
a bad citizen. You know what a bad citizen is? 
Now, suppose every body were like him, what sort 
of a country would we have here? Suppose every 
body drank whisky like him, what sort of a country 
would we have here? Suppose every body, you can 
say to yourself, told as many lies as I do, or was as 

I Thought on My Ways. 329 

unfaithful to his wife as I am, what sort of a coun- 
try would we have? Brother, did you ever look 
at your duty as a citizen ? Did you ever consider 
that you are either a blessing or a curse to your 
country ? Did you ever consider you are a part of 
the body politic, and that it takes just one hundred 
thousand good citizens to make a city of one hun- 
dred thousand people a good city, and that it 
does n't take any more or any less ? 

Then " I thought on my ways " as a Christian. 
I thought of the vows I had taken to God. I 
thought of the promises I made to God. I thought 
over this whole question. Now, brother, let us 
come close to these thoughts. No matter how much 
you think or how little you think, God help you to 
think enough to do as David did when he said : 
" I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy com- 
mandments. I thought on my ways, and turned 
my feet unto thy testimonies." Brother, I want to 
say to you this : I am like the old lady, who, when 
a man asked her which is the way to heaven, 
answered: '^Just turn to the right, and keep 
straight forward, and you will get there." Now, 
what we want you to do is to turn to the right, 
and make haste and delay not to keep the com- 
mandments of God ; and, if you have seen that your 
ways are not right, turn. Do it at once. Just think 
of Alexander Stephens, of Georgia, who died a gov- 
ernor. " I made it the one great rule of my life," 
he said, " when I found I was in the wrong road, 
to turn right and keep there." If we are wrong, 

turn around and go right. If we are right, keep 
28— B 

330 8am Jones^ Own Book. 

to the right, and keep straightforward, and keep so 
during the balance of our life, and take no more 
time to consider when you find you are wrong. 

Make haste and delay not. But you say : ^^ I 
want time to consider. I want to do this thing, 
and I want to do the other thing first." You do n^t 
want to do any thing, except to quit your mean- 
ness and turn to God. There was one of the in- 
quiry women-workers (I do n't know what you call 
them) who sat down before a penitent; and she 
said : " You need not be in a hurry. I was a year 
and one-half in getting religion, and you will be in 
good luck if you get it in a year and one-half 
Now, the devil sent her in there. There are a good 
many doing that. How long a time does a man 
need to turn ? It is done in a second. If you have 
not lived right there is but one course for you to 
take. Make haste and turn around. You have no 
time to waste. 

" When I first sent letters of condolence," said 
the noble secretary of your institution,, "to the 
wives and children of deceased drummers, it was 
merely mechanical. It was nothing but sounding 
brass and tinkling cymbals; but, thank Gk>d, Mr. 
Jones, I am on the side of Christ now, and right 
where I can pour out Christian sympathy and love 
into bereaved and sorrowing hearts." O, brother, 
that is a point. Some of you say : " I have been 
thinking of being a Christian, but I think I had 
better put it off. I do n't want to take any stand 
until about twelve months from now. They say I 
must not hurry about the thing." I reply, brother, 

I Thought on My Ways. 331 

run up the flag right where you are, and let the 
world see that you intend to do right. Turn 
around ! Now, who wants to do right — to turn 
around, to go the other way? Can you? Ought 
you? Will you? Is it best to turn? You must 
haste to do it while you can. In a few more days 
some of you will be very near that point where no 
man ever did turn. A few more days in those 
depths, a few more days of that debauchery, a few 
more days of drunkenness, and cursing, and licen- 
tiousness, will put you where you can not turn, and 
that is the saddest thing ever said about any man — 
he can not turn ! O, thank God, you can turn to- 
day ! The grandest period in a man's life is when 
he walks up and gives himself to God. 

Brother, I read yesterday in a commercial paper 
these words : " Feed your farm, and your farm will 
feed you." Now, what we want is to give ourselves 
to-day to God and his righteousness, and God will 
give himself to us ; and then we will realize that it 
is more blessed to give than to receive. 

Give all you are and all you get and you shall 
receive it back from God. Give yourselves to a 
better life ; and may God's blessings rest upon the 
commercial travelers of this city and of America, 
and on your wives and widows and children, forever 
and ever. 

Sermon XXV. 


" Blessed is he whose transgression is foi^ven, whose sin 
is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord im- 
puteth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile."— 

PSA. HXXUf 1, 2. 

DAVID surveyed the whole field of human con- 
duct, and swept the horizon of thought as 
much as any man before him^ or any man after him. 
He took in the whole situation, and he said, '^ If 
you want to be happy, if you want to be contented, 
if you want joy, if you want peace, secure the for- 
giveness of your transgressions. If you are a par- 
doned man you are a happy man. If you are un- 
pardoned you are unhappy." 

Really, brethren, as we get further into life, we 
find there is nothing really here to make a man 
happy. Lord Byron, with a capacity of earthly 
enjoyment that perhaps you and I know nothing of, 
was sitting quietly and meditatively on one occa- 
sion shortly before his death, and a friend said to 
him : " My lord, what are yon thinking about so 
solemnly?" "I was just trying to recollect and 
count up the happy days of my life." " How many 
days did you count?" Said he, " I can count only 
eleven days of actual happiness; and I was just 
wondering if I would live long enough to make out 
one more happy day, and say that I have had twelve 

Confession and Pardon. 333 

such days in my ]ife.'' This was a man who had 
lived in wealth. There was not a cup of pleasure 
he had not drunk of. With a genius that gave life 
to every enjoyment, with an influence that swept 
along the social circle and moved all the intellectual 
features of the lives around him, and with an appetite 
for earthly things, he said, " I have had but eleven 
happy days.'' I reckon he must have seen these 
Tiappy days before he was eleven years old ; but he 
did n't tell when he had experienced them. 

This old Epicurean theory, which is but modern 
science turned inside out, is to '' eat, drink, and be 
merry, for to-morrow you die." There never was 
any thing in the universe, brother, more fatal and 
false, than to seek happiness from this old Epicurean 
theory, the most selfish in the world. Look at it — 
** eat, drink, and be merry." I am glad that in the 
kingdom of God we do not have to eat or drink. 
The Epicurean theory is the father of all gouts and 
drunkenness in the universe. Now, David teaches 
us a different philosophy. Here is happiness in- 
deed, but it does not consist in what we eat or 
drink. A man may be happy whether he has little 
or much. St. Paul was happy in prison, and did 
not care what sort of bed he had to sleep on, or 
what he had for supper or breakfast, but he said, 
whatever was set before him, " To-day I will take 
dinner with God and the angels." 

" Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven ;" 
not, Blessed is that man who lives in a four-story 
house ; not. Blessed is that man who has a hundred 
thousand dollars to his credit in bank ; not. Blessed 

334 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

is the man that owns the most railroad stock and 
government bonds. No, sir. If you are seeking 
happiness in that direction, it is like trying to 
satiate your thirst by drinking salt water — the more 
you drink the more you want, and when you get 
filled up, you will want water ten times more than 
you did before. If you want to be happy, you 
must obtain the favor of God. And the way to ob- 
tain it, is to seek God's pardon. 

This strong ground and high ground David 
takes — happy is the man who is pardoned for all 
his past transgressions. 

Then, " Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord 
iraputeth not iniquity." Brother, my relations to 
God are determined by my loyalty to him — that 's the 
truth at last. If I know my boy is through and 
through loyal to his father, I do not walk around 
watching him all the time; if he is playing marbles 
or whistling, I ain't bothered about him. Now in 
the same way, the Lord doesn't look so much at 
what a fellow does as at what makes him do it. 
He doesn't look so much at how many times he 
has fallen, but how hard he has tried to get up. 
God does n't deal with us as to the exact words and 
deeds, but as to the motives, altogether. Do you 
believe that ? If that is n't so, how could Jesus 
have said, "Whosoever hateth his brother is a 
murderer?" A great many people commit sin, and 
they say, "The Lord knows my motive was good, 
though." Yes, but the trouble is, you have n't got 
any motive. 

" Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord im* 

Confession and Pardon. 335 

puteth r.ot iniquity/' and that's the man that God can 
trust. He does n't have to watch him. The Lord 
tells the servants of men not to be eye-servants, 
that require constant watching. Brethren, I just 
want to live so that the Lord does n't have to watch 
me every day a» if he were doubtful of my integrity, 
so that he can say, " I know that you have been all 
right." Some of you look as though you would 
like very much for him not to look afler you for a 
month at a time. 

Brother, when there is a man in your em- 
ploy and you never look over his accounts, you 
know that man is correct, and whatever the error 
may be you know you can not attribute it or 
trace it to that servant. God works on that plan, 
and let us live on it. God himself has confidence 
in you, and you know your motives are pure and 
your loyality is unchallenged. 

Now, listen further. " In whose spirit there is 
no guile." Here you have the whole matter of 
uprightness pointed out to you. I like a guile- 
less man. Just think of the guile of this world.- 
I passed by a dentist's shop the other day, and he 
had an artificial set of teeth with plugs in all of them. 
I asked him, " What do you put those plugs into arti- 
ficial teeth for ?" He answered, " To make them look 
more natural." Think of that! Do you see the guile ? 
And there is guile in every thing now. Now, let 
me tell you, if there is any thing in this world that 
I detest it is guile. Guile ! A person that is one 
thing to-day and another thing to-morrow ; who is 
one thing in one place and another thing in another 

336 Sam Jones' Owk Book. 

plsoe, I despifie. If there is any thing that I ad- 
mire about a thiDg it is that it is real on both sides, 
that it is real on the oatside and ou the inside. I 
want to know of a man that he would not make 
a diflerent loolcing man in the sight of God than 
he does in the sight of his friend. I want to have 
a man pure at the top, pure in the center, pure at 
the bottom, and pure all over. 

Brother, in the sight of Gud you are a trans- 
parent man. He can see through you. I have a 
contempt for a man who has any thing in him to 
hide. I believe in having no wrong side and no 
right side to a character. It should be all right. 
I like that. But poor old human nature is so 
made up that no man knows every thing. Some 
will say in their hearts, " If our pastor knew these 
things about me, what would he say ? If our pas- 
tor found this out, what would he say? If our 
Church heard of this thing, what would they say 7" 
O, listen; God hath already found it out. Be what- 
you are through and through. Let the first half- 
inch of earth about you be just like every other 
half-inch clear down to the bottom. Some pieces 
of humanity are put up like some bales of cotton 
down South. They put the nice, white cotton out- 
side, and in the center they put the dog-tail cot- 
ton — the worst cotton there is. And some human- 
ity is put up on the same principle exactly. There 
is many a Methodist and many a Baptist in this 
with the nicest part of his character on the 
e, but he will bring the price in the market 
n proportion to the depth you can reach into 

Confession and Pardon. 337 

his character. Dealers have got a method of find-' 
ing out what a bale of cotton is right through. 
Aud^ brother^ some of these days God will show 
you what you are through and through. 

Now, I will tell you auother thing. A guile- 
less, transparent man will make a heap of enemies, 
because a heap of folks will misunderstand him. 
They think that if he is just like that on the out- 
side he must be worse on the inside, and so they 
will think he is a bad fellow, because he does not 
look right to them on the outside, and they decide 
he must be terrible on the inside. Do n't judge 
people that way. A guileful man will say to you 
that every body has his price, that you can buy 
every body. Now, he is just telling his own ex- 
perience, and putting himself in the market. He 
says to you, " Just give me a tolerably good price 
and I will sell myself." And that sort of a man 
can be bought. If you are in need of him you can 
buy him. 

David tells us that he sinned against God, and 
kept silence, and would not confess; and that by 
reason of his refusal to confess his sins, " day and 
night the hand of God was heavy upon him, and 
his moisture was turned into the drought of Sum- 
mer." O, what striking figures he uses here ! And 
right along here we find in this territory the whole 
question on this point opened up to us. A man 
walks up in front and takes his seat in the peni- 
tents' chair; he walks into the inquiry room and 
says, "I confess to God and man that I am not 
right." He gives us his hand, and opens his heart 

29— B 

336 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

place, I despise. If there is any thing that I ad- 
mire about a thing it is that it is real on both sides, 
that it is real on the outside and on the inside. I 

want to know of a man that he would not make 


a different looking man in the sight of God than 
he does in the sight of his friend. I want to have 
a man pure at the top, pure in the center, pure at 
the bottom, and pure all over. 

Brother, in the sight of God you are a trans- 
parent man. He can see through you. I have a 
contempt for a man who has any thing in him to 
hide. I believe in having no wrong side and no 
right side to a character. It should be all right. 
I like that. But poor old human nature is so 
made up that no man knows every thing. Some 
will say in their hearts, " If our pastor knew these 
things about me, what would he say ? If our pas- 
tor found this out, what would he say ? If our 
Church heard of this thing, what would they say ?" 
O, listen; God hath already found it out. Be what- 
you are through and through. Let the first half- 
inch of earth about you be just like every other 
half-inch clear down to the bottom. Some pieces 
of humanity are put up like some bales of cotton 
down South. They put the nice, white cotton out- 
side, and in the center they put the dog-tail cot- 
ton — the worst cotton there is. And some human- 
ity is put up on the same principle exactly. Th^re 
is many a Methodist and many a Baptist in this 
town with the nicest part of his character on the 
outside, but he will bring the price in the market 
just in proportion to the depth you can reach into 

Confession and Pardon. 3J7 

his character. Dealers have got a method of find- 
ing out what a bale of cotton is right through. 
And^ brother^ some of these days God will show 
you what you are through and through. 

Now, I will tell you another thing. A guile- 
less, transparent man will make a heap of enemies, 
because a heap of folks will misunderstand him. 
They think that if he is just like that on the out- 
side he must be worse on the inside, and so they 
will think he is a bad fellow, because he does not 
look right to them on the outside, and they decide 
he must be terrible on the inside. Do n't judge 
people that way. A guileful man will say to you 
that every body has his price, that you can buy 
every body. Now, he is just telling his own ex- 
perience, and putting himself in the market. He 
says to you, " Just give me a tolerably good price 
and I will sell myself." And that sort of a man 
can be bought. If you are in need of him you can 
buy him. 

David tells us that he sinned against Grod, and 
kept silence, and would not confess; and that by 
reason of his refusal to confess his sins, " day and 
night the hand of God was heavy upon him, and 
his moisture was turned into the drought of Sum- 
mer." O, what striking figures he uses here ! And 
right along here we find in this territory the whole 
question on this point opened up to us. A man 
walks up in front nnd takes his seat in the peni- 
tents' chair; he w(\lks into the inquiry room and 
says, '^ I confess to God and man that I am not 
right." He gives us his hand, and opens his heart 

29— B 

338 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

to the love of God. He is confessing his sins in pub- 
lic. Brother, if you have siuned against God, go 
to God and confess it. " I kept silence," says David, 
''and my bones waxed old through my roaring all 
the day long; for day and uiglit thy hand was 
heavy upon me." Listen to me now, you who 
have not had peace of mind for these ten days, for 
months. Days seem years when your mind is on 
yourself, because you are miserable. David told 
what his trouble was, what your trouble is ; and he 
said because of it, " My moisture was turned into 
the drought of Summer." I have learned how a 
person feels by seeing how the fields are in a 
droughty season. Our garden is dried up, and 
every green thing droops, and the best land produces 
only about ten per cent of a crop. We have only ten 
per cent of a crop of grain. As I look out upon 
the orchard leaves and the corn I understand how 
drought has laid hold of this crop. The poor 
farmer suffers for it. Brother, a drought of this 
kind may only last for weeks, but a drought in the 
human heart may be one that will last forever* 
'' My moisture is turned into the drought of Sum- 
mer." O to see the drought of Summer upon the 
hearts and lives of professing Christians, and upon 
those out of the Church, and to see their spiritual 
nature droop, and wilt, and wither, and die imder 
a drought that is brought upon them by their own 
voluntary conduct and action ! Where is there a 
man that won't confess? We come to him to-night 
asking him to seek the Lord, and he says, '' I 
do n't want to come up." What he means is, " I 

Confession and Pardon. 339 

do n't want to confess ;'' that is the trouble. When 
a fellow gets willing to confess he will go and do 
it before any thing else. 

The Lord says, " He that confesseth shall find 
mercy .'^ " If we confess our sins, he is faithful 
and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from 
all unrighteousness." Sin is a debt : " Forgive us 
our debts as we forgive our debtors." Now, we 
will start out with that proposition. If I owe a 
man a dollar, I have to meet that debt with a hun- 
dred cents, or with bankruptcy. I must do one or 
the other. Now, down South our farmers are fur- 
nished by merchants or warehousemen with money 
and provisions to last until they make their crops. 
The farmer comes to the merchant and mortgages 
his farm, his buildings, and horses, and stock, and 
crop, and draws money and provisions to use during 
the year. At the end of the year he goes into town 
and pays about sixty-six cents on the dollar, and 
when he has paid this amount he says to the mer- 
chant, " You must carry the other thirty-three cents 
over to the next year." The merchant holds the 
mortgage on his farm and stock, and carries him 
over to the next year. The next year the same 
thing is repeated, and he carries over another thirty- 
three per cent, making sixty-six per cent for the 
two years. And then he does the same thing the 
third year; there is another thirty-three per cent 
added to his indebtedness. The next year I see 
the sheriff with a paper in his hand, crying, 
"This plantation for sale." What does it mean! 
It means that the mortgage is due, and the offi- 

340 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

cers of the court are selling the owner out to pay 
his debts. 

Now, brother, I will say this much : to get into 
debt financially is about the worst thing that a man 
can do. A man had better die than get into debt, 
and I speak that with all the honesty of my nature. 
Death is better than debt. Spurgeon has declared 
as the three greatest evils, "Dirt, the devil, and 
debt." By the grace of God, I hope to conquer all 
the three, and make my way to heaven. Dirt, the 
devil, and debt! I don't know which is the worst. 
Soap will do away with the first, and by prayer and 
faith you can get rid of the second ; but the third 
one, debt, is a mighty hard thing to manage. Now, 
when you owe a dollar, you have got to pay out 
that dollar, or meet bankruptcy — one thing or the 
other. The best thing is never to get into debt. 
Do n't owe any body any thing. And I will tell 
you another thing. A man that will buy a luxury 
on a credit is a fool. And when a man will buy a 
luxury, when he at the same time owes an honest 
debt, he is a rascal. I know what I am talking about. 
I tell you that during the first years of my religious 
life, I grappled with debt until it almost took the 
last drop of blood out of my body. When I was 
preaching on a $600 a year salary, as soon as I got 
my quarterly dues, I paid every nickel that I could, 
though I knew that my wife did not have a single 
good dress. I paid money out, though I had hardly 
a coat on my back. And I will tell you another 
thing. I would have had no rest for that money I 
owed if I had bought myself a coat and my wife a 

Confession and Pardon. 341 

dress, because people would have said, "You see 
Jones has money, but he won't pay it back to his 
creditors." The same God that said, " Thou shalt 
not steal," tells us "Owe no man any thing but to 
love one another." And yet a great many people 
think that they are all right when they do not pay 
their debts, and tbey simply say that they owe them. 
They think that it is not stealing, even though they 
are able to pay them. I believe that I would 
rather have a man steal from me when I am sleep- 
ing than have him steal from me when I am look- 
ing at him. 

Now, brother, as sin is a debt, the best thing to 
do in the world is— do n't sin at all. That is best, 
and thank God it is possible. " Yes," but you say, 
"I can't help sinning." You can help it just as 
well as you can keep from getting into debt— <lo 
you know that? Am I obliged to get into debt to- 
day or to-morrow? * Which sin am I obliged to 
commit to-day or to-morrow? "You are not like 
me," you hear people say; " I can not live without 
sin." Whenever you hear a person say that, you 
may know he is falling into sin more deeply, and 
that he has made provision for it. Well, I say, the 
best thing in the world is, do n't do wrong. But 
if you do happen to slip and do wrong the best 
thing is to fall down and repent. Do n't let it get 
cold before you have repented of it. I believe it is 
a good idea if you sin on the sidewalk, to drop 
down on the sidewalk and repent then and there. 
A man ought to be able to repent and to pray any- 
where that he can afford to sin. The best thing for 


342 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

you to do when you do wrong is to exclaim : " Now, 
Lord, I am sorry, but I repent right now." 

That was one good thing about David. He got 
out of the right path and did wrong frequently; 
but as soon as Nathan would drop his finger upon 
him he would sink down and go to repenting with 
all his might and soul on the spot. That is the 
next best thing — to repent on the spot for the sin 
there committed. If you do n't do that then you 
will probably say, "God helping me, I won't go to 
sleep any night until the day's unworthy transac- 
tions are repented of." That is the way that fellow 
on the plantation got bankrupt — putting off paying 
his debts and letting them run one year after an- 
other. Now, brother, here is a member of the 
Church, and he is letting his sins go on without re- 
penting of them week after week and month after 
month, and year after year, until they are piled up 
mountain high; and he walks up to the preacher 
and tells him to take his name off the Church book, 
and the poor fellow goes into temporal and spiritual 
and eternal bankruptcy and gives it up forever. And 
do you know there are hundreds of just such cases 
as that? 

" But," you say, " Mr. Jones, what are you going 
to do with the doctrine of final perseverance?" I 
tell you the doctrine of final perseverance won't hold 
good here. But that is the only exception, thank 
God, in the universe. The doctrine of final perse- 
verance will hold true in every other instance. You 
know how a poor fellow in debt for money will 
get despondent and discouraged. And it is the same 

Confession and Pardon. 343 

witii a poor fellow whose sius are allowed to accumu- 
late, aud he makes no effort to get rid of them. Sin 
is a debt you have to meet at the mercy-seat of God 
with an honest, open confession, or you will have to 
meet it in the judgment with eternal bankruptcy of 
your soul. Now, which will you do? If you have 
sinned, brother, the best time for you to repent is 
just now. You can not afford to put it off any 

Brother, I do not want to do wrong at all, but 
if I do I want to repent at once — repent right now. 
Aud you would better not go to sleep to-night with a 
consciousness that you have unpardoned sins hang- 
ing over you. Whether you've been in sin forty 
years or thirty years, brother, if you will not see 
yourself in the light of truth to-night, despair will 
take possession of your soul. If all of the sins you 
have committed were scattered out among the 
people in this city, there would be enough to 
damn them. 

Now, brother, let's you and I begin to look 
over ourselves. God helping me, I will have a re- 
ceipt, written in the blood of Jesus Christ, that all 
my sins are forgiven. You would better trifle with 
anything of a temporal nature than with these debts ; 
but confess them at once, and obtain pardon. 

I'll tell you another thing, brother: When you 
go to confession, go to the bottom. I '11 give you 
an instance, and what I shall say some of you, per- 
haps, will not like. In one of the Southern cities 
there was, perhaps, as respectable a woman as ever 
moved in the high circle to which she belonged. 

344 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

She became iDterested in a revival going on/ and 
gave lier heart to God, and on the Saturday after- 
noon before she was to be received in the Church 
she sought one of the best women in that town and 
said to her: 

*' I Ve come to talk with you. To-morrow morn- 
ing I 'm going to join the Church — the Church you 
belong to ; and I say to you I have given my heart 
to God, and have repented of my sins, but I shall 
be disgraced to-morrow when my name is read out 
to the people/' 

" Why," said the lady, " what do you mean ?" 

*' I mean this : I have lived a false life ; I am 
living a falsehood. You know my little son Willie, 
ten years old ?" 

"Yes," said the lady. 

" Well, you know I am called Mrs. So-and-so. 
My name is not Mrs. So-and-so, but it is Miss So- 
and-so ; and so it shall go on the register of God's 
Church. I will go to the bottom." 

God pity us if there is any thing wrong, what- 
ever it is; let us go down to the bottom, and out 
with it. That woman had to do it or be damned. 
Yon can not live a false life and be a Christian. 
Go down to bottom facts. Say, " I will go to the 
bottom if it disgraces me among men ; but I Ml put 
myself right before God and his holy angels." 
That's what that woman did. And, whenever you 
see a man or woman who would rather please God 
than to have all the cheers and honors this world 
can bestow upon him or her, you can thank God 
that there is one honest man, that there is one 

Confession and Pardon. 345 

honest woman^ who has come down to bottom 

O, brother, if we could just spend one honest 
hour before God ! and every man of us ought to 
])ray God on our knees in confessing these sins that 
are piled up upon us, and which will inevitably 
doom OS in the end if we do not repent. That 
is what we want — confession. God will listen 
and save. 

David said, " I acknowledged ray sin unto thee, 
and mine iniquity have I not hid.*' There is the 
whole process of salvation in a single line : I have 
acknowledged ray sins, I have confessed my trans- 
gressions unto God. I know only one chance for us 
poor mortal beings, and that is, an honest confession 
before God. Two brothers went to battle. One 
was shot down. The other exclaimed, " Thank 
God, my brother was ready, and had given himself 
to the Lord !" Brothers, sisters, let us so live and 
die, having our peace made with God, that it may be 
said of us, " Thank God, he was ready 1" Let us, 
you and I, get ready, live ready, and die ready. 


There ar& problems and questions in your home 
life that no one but God cj\n settle wisely and cor- 
rectly. If you will know God personally, and will 
adjust yourself fully toward God, then all the love 
and grace of his heart will be poured into your heart 
and life day by day. 

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Sermon XX VI. 


"Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new crea- 
ture."— 2 Cor. V, 17. 

I TRUST that the good Spirit to-day may give 
us his presence and his help in the discussion 
of this wonderful text. For, after all, brethren, if 
Christ Jesus be any other than the Son of God and 
the personal Savior of man, then our preaching is 
vain and our faith is vain, and we are still in 
our sins. 

Whatever else may be said of us, I am glad that 
more men are asking, " Who is Christ ?'' '' What is 
Christ ?^^ to-day than in any day in this world's his- 
tory. There have been more lives of Christ written 
since I was born than were ever written before. 
In the last three decades there have been more 
men trying to answer these two question^and not 
only more men, but the most gifted men this world 
ever knew, are asking, "Who is Christ?" "What 
is Christ?'' and I believe the most philosophical 
statement in answer to these questions is about 
this: Christ is the living personal embodiment of 
wisdom, of justice, of love, of mercy, of truth, of 
purity, and all the attributes and characteristics 
which make the character of God lovely. 

Christ is not a sentiment, brother! He is not 


348 8am Jones' Own Book. 

simply an historical person, but Christ is a living 
presence. The creed of a Church is but a garment 
we put about Christ, and there is no more life in a 
creed than there is life in this coat I have on. I 
am glad that my salvation and your salvation does 
not depend upon our belief in this creed or in that 
creed. And I sometimes think we make an idol 
of our creed and our Church. Our creed ! I have 
known ministers to spend more time in the defense 
of their creed than they did preaching Christ to 
dying men. I am sorry for any preacher that has 
a creed which needs a defense. I would much 
rather have a creed that all men who want to be 
religious can assent to. 

It 's not faith in a creed that saves. The Meth* 
odist creed can not be swallowed by a great many 
intelligent men. The Presbyterian creed has never 
gone down some very good, wise men. The Cath- 
olic creed does not suit others^ nor will the other 
creeds suit others; and when we come to boil this 
question down to a sensible proposition, brethren, 
we find at last that God does not say, " Whosoever 
believes in the five points of Calvinism shall be 
saved." He never put salvation on that proposi- 
tion. He did not say that " Whosoever believeth in 
falling from grace shall be saved," nor " Whoso- 
ever believeth in immersion shall be saved," nor 
" Whosoever believeth in sprinkling shall be saved," 
nor yet " Whosoever believeth in final perseverance 
shall be saved," nor " Whosoever believeth in the 
infallibility of the pope shall be saved," nor " Who- 
soever believeth in apostolic succession shall be 

A New Creature m Christ. 349 

saved:" but ''Whosoever believeth on the Lord 
Jesus Christ shall be saved/' And it's faith in a 
person, and not in a creed^ that saves the soul. 

It is very ridiculous to me to hear a Methodist 
preacher speaking on infant baptism and all the lit- 
tle babes in town asleep^ and half of the grown 
people in town going to hell. I could never see 
where the wisdom of such a movement as that came 
in. I have sometimes been disgusted with seeing a 
Baptist preaching " much water," and a majority of 
his crowd going where they can not get a drop to 
cool their parched tongues; or seeing an Episcopa- 
lian minister ringing the changes on apostolic suc- 
cession, while a great many of his flock ought to be 
looking out where they are going to, rather than 
where they came from. 

That 's a very serious question to me. I am not 
so much interested about whence I came as to 
whither I am going. That 's it. The doctrine of a 
man preaching that "mine is the only Church, 
mine is the first Church," contains no saving power. 
A great many very nice people assemble together, 
and call themselves " our Church," and " the 
Church," and really they are nothing more or less 
than a religious crocheting society. They can do 
almost any little thing — get up nice suppers, or run 
a Church entertainment oi* fair, or any such thing. 
They are first-class on that line ; but if we get after 
them about visiting the sick, rescuing the perishing, 
and saving the fallen, they say, ''O, we never do 
any thing like that in our Church." I have thought 
sometimes that if the Lord were to take that crowd 

350 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

to heaven as they are, it would not be six months 
before they would have all the angels rigged out in 
lace. The Lord be merciful towards us, and help 
us to be truly good ! 

After all, brethren, what is my Methodism, and 
your Presbyterianism, and Episcopalianism, and 
Baptism? It is nothing more than a duster we put 
on over our cloth coat, to keep off ^me of the dust 
and dirt of earth, and when we get to the pearly 
gates, we will pull off our dusters and walk in with 
our dress coats — we will never carry our dusters in 
with us, you may put that down ; and is it not ab- 
surd that we should quarrel over the color and 
quality of our dusters down here ? O, for a Church 
universal, that loves God with all its heart, and 
soul, and power, and in which we can get along 
with one another in spite of the little difference of 
the color of the dusters ! Would n't it be a good 
idea to have such a Church universal? 

Here, my brother; when you come to this one 
single question of all questions, it is not faith in 
a creed, nor membership in a Church, but it is your 
relation to the Lord Jesus Christ that brings salva- 
tion. That's it. Now, you will say, "Why, Mr. 
Jones, you make light of the Church." No, no, I 
do not any more than I make fun of my coat ; but 
I put my coat in its right place. The crowned in- 
strumentalities in religion are all sent from God, 
for our good, and are eflScient means to bring us to 
God. But there is only one sufficiency, and that is 
faith in Jesus Christ. Let us meet that fact. 

When a Church reaches the point where its ser- 

A New Creature in Christ. 351 

vices are all formal^ where there is nothing but 
formality^ then religion with it is nothing more than 
what you see represented in a watermelon patch — 
a scare-crow put up on a forked stick. But where 
Christ rules and reigns in the hearty there is love 
and life and movement. 

Who is Christ? The living personal embodi- 
ment of truth. He is all wisdom^ all mercy, and 
all forgiveness. Well now, brother, St. Paul said: 
"I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless, I live, 
yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." The same de- 
sire, purpose, and resolution that moved Christ him- 
self should move me. The wisdom, justice, mercy, 
purity, and love of Christ have been imparted to me 
as a Christian, and now with, wisdom, mercy, love, 
and truth, I manifest to the world what it is to be 
a Christian. That man is the best Christian who 
is the most like Christ. Perhaps you remember 
having heard of that heathen who came to America, 
and finally when he bade farewell and stepped on 
the ship at San Francisco that was returning him 
to his native country, he looked out, and said, " In 
all Christendom I have found no man like Christ." 
What a commentary on this Christian continent! 
"I have found no man like Christ.* 

Now, brother, if a Christian is any thing, he is 
wise. There is a great deal of difierence between 
knowledge and wisdom. I have seen very knowing 
men who were very foolish men. Wisdom is the 
skillful application of knowledge — it is the right 
use of what you know, of what you have in hand. 
Wisdom is doing the best thing in the best way. 

352 Sam Jones' Own Bootc. 

Now a Christian is wise in this ; he will adapt the 
best means to the best ends always. The water of 
the river of life is as clear as crystal, and thank 
God, any body who drinks of it and has eyes to see, 
may see the spring from which it flows. 

Wisdom! Do you live on a wise plane and 
plan? Do you in your heart mean to live as you 
profess, to deny yourself and take hold upon Christ? 
Are you wise in your religious profession and prac- 
tices every day? Do you counsel your family in 
godly matters? Do you pray in your family, read 
your Bible, visit the sick, help the destitute and 
needy, comfort the afflicted ? 

Now look here, brother; are you really honest 
in proposing to get to heaven? Will you adopt 
every plauk in your platform as a Christian that 
has helped others to be Christians indeed? If you 
are honest in your purpose to get to heaven you 
will adopt every such plank, and help to lead others 
to Christ and to hold Christianity up. 

I said once, while preaching in a Southern city, 
that a man who would not pray in his family had 
no more religion than a horse. Some rose up in 
arms against me and were about to put me out. 
The next day^I walked down to the store of a 
leading Methodist there. He accosted me, and said: 

*' Mr. Jones, did you say last night that a man 
who would n't pray in his family did n't have any 
more religion than a horse?" • 

I said, " Yes, I did." 

"You're mistaken, sir," said he. "I've got as 
much religion as you have, and I do n't pray in my 

A New Creatuke in Christ. 353 

family/' And he was about to jump on me; aud 
if he had had much religion he would not have 
wanted to do that^ would he? 

I said, "Look here, do you know what re- 
ligion is?" 

"Well," he ireplied, "you say what it is/* 

Said I, " It is loyalty to God." 

He said, " That 's so." 

" Now," said I, " let us take a sensible view of it. 
Is not my loyalty to my duty a test of my loyalty 
to God ?" 

" Yes, that 's good logic." 

" If I am disloyal to my duty, can I be loval 
to God?" 


"Can a disloyal man be religious?" 

" I never looked at the thing in that way," said 
he ; and when he went home that night, he said to 
his wife: "Wife, get down the family Bible, and 
let us have prayers, and, God helping me, we will 
always have them and try to do our whole duty." 

There 's many a fellow in this country who thinks 
he has religion, when it is just something he has 
eaten. But religion is loyalty to God. 

A preacher came to me once, and said: "Jones, 
you say that any man who has got religion will 
pray in public?" 

" Yes," said I. 

" Well, the best man I We got in my Church 
won 't pray in public." 

"Well," said I, "that man is either a hypocrite, 

or he has no pastor to instruct him." 

354 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

That preacher went off as mad as a hornet 
with me. 

Now, hear me, brethren, whenever the best means 
are brought to bear upon your conscience, you have 
got to adopt them or backslide, one or the other. 
You have to do what God demands, or violate his 
will. And wisdom, says, I must adopt that plank 
in my platform. These people would do their duty 
much better if you put thumb-screws on them. We 
know that if a man is dii^loyal to a plain, distinct 
duty, he can not be loyal to God. Do n't you have 
these old sinners point their fingers at you at the 
judgment bar of God and say you were lacking in 
your duty. Take care, brethren, and do n't let it 
be said that your lack of duty damned any man. 
Talk to your people, tell them their duty, even if 
they choke you for it. This is the very essence of 
Christianity — loyalty to God. 

I was pastor seven or eight years of my life, and 
my mind and memory run back to-day over tlie 
different men and women of the Churches I was 
pastor of, and I can almost put my finger on every 
one I expect to meet in heaven, if I get there. It 
is those men and women who were loyal to God. 
I tell you that is a serious question to think of. 

Some folks do n't like the Methodist Church be- 
cause it changes its preachers every three years. 
But when you stay ten or fifteen years at the same 
place, you ought to get scared and say : " I wonder 
if some other preacher could not do more than I 

Well, Christianity means justice. A Christian 

A New Creature in Christ. 355 

ought to be. a just man. He ought to be just to 
his wife, just to his children, just to his neighbor, 
just to every body. O, how innocent we seem. 
We hear people say: "You would better be just 
before you are generous." It is ten thousand times 
easier to be generous than it is to be just. I can 
give a poor, old woman a ten dollar bill much 
easier than I can beg my friend's pardon for an in- 
jury I have done him. I can give a check for a 
hundred dollars for a charitable purpose, and it 
doesn't hurt me; but when my little Bob runs into 
my study while I am busy writing or reading, and 
I say to him, "Go out of here, Bob; I told you not 
to come in here and bother me;" the little fellow 
goes out, and my conscience says, " You have been 
unjust to that boy," and I sit there feeling as mean 
as a dog. I go out and find him, and see him sit- 
ting on the porch-steps, crying.- I take him up on 
my lap and kiss him and beg his pardon. It is 
hard to do, but I say : " Bob, papa was cross and 
rough to you just now, but you will forgive him, 
won't you?" And the dear little fellow clings to 
my neck and says, " Papa, you must forgive me, for 
mamma told me njt to go in there." You see, 
wife had found out that there was an old bear in 
there, and was trying to keep h^r children out. 

Justice! You all know how that is, don't you, 
brethren? Justice! I will be just to my wife, 
and beg her pardon if I have been uncouth. I will 
be just to all. If I trample upon the feelings of a 
dog, I will pet and feed him, and show him I am 
sorry for it. Justice makes a fellow do the clean 

356 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

thing. A Christian must be a just man; not sim- 
ply pay his debts and pay what he owes^ but, brother, 
there are some debts men won't pay. Let liie tell 
you that in simple love and justice you ought to 
meet every claim of humanity upon you. 

A Christian ought to be just, and he ought to 
be a pure man. A great many people are very fas- 
tidious and have a great deal of mock-modesty 
among them, but are very impure people. I have 
found that out. I could stop right here and say 
some things that would bum like fire. I have no 
doubt in my mind there are people in this city who 
have criticized Sam Jones as being vulgar. Sam 
Jones may be plain and outspoken, coarse if you 
will, in his sermons, but, thank God, he is pure in 
his life. And if I am going to be vulgar any- 
where, it's going to be when I am handling that 
sort who say, "Unto the pure all things are pure." 
I preached at a famous watering-place once, and I 
got on the subject of dancing. I simply told the 
plain, naked truth; I said that if many a girl in 
Georgia could have gone to the rooms of the young 
men and listened to what they said about them after 
the dance they would never put their feet into a 
ball-room or dance again. What I said at that 
famous watering-place aroused a tumult. They 
called me vulgar, obscene, vicious, ill-bred, and all 
that, but they came back to the meeting, however. 
And the girl who had the lecherous arm around 
her waist, thought that all I had said was vulgar 
and ill-bred ; but the girl who was pure indeed, 
paid, " Mr. Jones, that sermon was a good one, and 

A Nfiw Creature in Christ. 357 

in perfect harmony with my ideas." "Unto the 
pure all things are pure." It is not so much who 
is the preacher^ and what he is sayings as who is 

Purity! I know what it is to call a precious 
woman "mother!" I know what it is to call a 
precious woman "my wife!" I know what it is for 
my sweety innocent daughters to put their arms 
around my neck and imprint the kisses of purity 
upon my cheek ; and as God is my judge, in so far 
as mind and muscle goes, no man in America will 
stand to the death any more readily to defend the 
purity of the women of this country than the man 
now speaking to you. I would build, if necessary, 
a wall a mile high around the virtue of every girl 
this country has in it to-day. To those very per- 
sons who say, " he is vulgar and ill-bred," the day 
may come in their history when they will be sorry 
that such was ever said by them. 

I will tell you another thing. If I had a company 
of ten thousand angels to preach to to-day, every 
word I uttered, in all of its applications and its ety- 
mological sense, should be as pure as heaven ; but 
why preach thus to men? Our Savior himself 
preached to men, and I have thought a thousand 
times his sermon would not have had so much in 
it about adultery and a great many wicked things 
if he had been preaching to angels. God, keep me 
pure, and then keep me dead honest in dealing with 
souls, and help me to strike right straight out from 
the shoulder. I want to take a plumb-straight rest 
for my gun, and if I hit a fellow anywhere else but 

358 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

in heart or head^ I will step up to him and apolo- 
gize^ and tell him I meant it to be a dead shot. 
And if you think I hit you by accident, you were 
never more mistaken in your life. The shot was 
sent with design to hit. 

And the Christian must be a forgiving roan. 
Thank God for the disposition of the heart I have 
to-day, through grace, that makes me utterly incap- 
able of malice aforethought. I feel sorry for those 
Christians who are unforgiving in their nature. 
There are mothers and Hfathers who won't forgive 
their children, and sisters and brothers who won't 
forgive each other. God pity them. A lady once 
came to me, and said: "My mother won't speak to 
me. . I wish you would say something about mothers 
whose unforgiving disposition will not let them even 
speak to their daughters." I said in my next ser- 
mon, " You mothers, who are unforgiving to your 
children, come with me to the zoological garden, 
and watch the lioness how she fondles her whelp; 
and you could see, if opportunity should arise, how 
she will give her very life for it. Watch the tigress 
as she stands over her cubs with guarding and lov- 
ing eye. I will show you the house cat, how she 
tenderly carries her kittens about in her mouth ; 
and when you have spent an hour in the zoological 
garden, then just look at yourself, and see what an 
old bear — or, rather, what an unnatural creature — 
your children have for a mother." 

Ah me, what is it in heaven or earth that could 
prevent my speaking to one of my children? As 
Christians we are brothers and sisters— some, por- 

A New Creature in Christ. 359 

Iiaps^ step-brothers and sisters — ^but brothers and 
sisters, nevertheless. 

Thank God for the power to forgive in the name 
of Christ. Jesus said that we must not bear malice 
towards our enemies, but " love your enemies, bless 
them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, 
and pray for them which despitefully use you and 
persecute you." 

The first year I began preaching I had two or 
three fights. I did not have any better religious 
sense than to want to figh^ when a man did not 
treat me right. But I used to wonder if the Lord 
Jesus would want me to pray for and do good to 
and encourage a man in his meanness. If I could 
whip him, I thought, I would do him a great deal 
of good. But I found out at last that Jesus was 
not trying to protect the rascal, but was protecting 
me. Love your enemies. 

The beat way in the world to kill an enemy is 
to love him to death, and you do n't have to bury 
him and make a widow out of his wife. 

O, what a stupendous fact this is, — what a pat- 
tern ! If this world had had any response in it, 
Christ would have loved it to death long ago. He 
taught us how to love. When he was buffeted, he 
buffeted not again ; when he was reviled, he reviled 
not again. Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, and 
Napoleon each gathered around himself great armies 
and marched them against their enemies, and at- 
tempted to conquer the world by force and blood, 
and each died a wretched death. When Jesus Christ 
wanted to conquer this world he went up on Cal- 

360 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

vary and suflfered and died for it. Napoleon founded 
his kingdom and empire by force on that which 
perisheth, but Jesus founded his on love, and mill- 
ions would die for it. 

" Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, 
do good to them that hate you, and pray for them 
which despitefuUy use you and persecute you/' 
That is the Christian spirit — doing good for evil, 
overcoming evil with good. The only principle in 
this world that will overcome evil is good. Evil 
with evil is a Kilkenny cat sort of business, and 
each will hurt the other equally. Overcome evil 
with good. 

Thank God for a weapon that not only knocks 
my enemy down, but restores him to me as a friend. 
The best way in the world to get the advantage of 
a man is to love him. He that loves the most is 
the man who has the most immortal capital. God 
measures you off a lot in size and dimensions on 
the streets of the New Jerusalem by the amount of 
love which you have to pay for it. God gives us 
all enough love for a million-acre field in heaven, 
and we will have elbow room then. Love much, 
and God will give you plenty of room in heaven. 
Thank God, I have nothing to forgive any man. 
I am determined upon this much, never to get mad 
with any man until he treats me worse than I have 
treated my Lord. 

Let us bear in mind that our hopes for time and 

eternity rest upon our acting upon those sweet 

words, — 

" Simply to thy cross I cling," 

A New Cbeatube in Christ. 3G1 

Or, better still, — 

"Safe in the arms of Jesus." 

God bless you all, and preserve you ever in his 

Briek Sayinqs. 

In a Georgia town a number of girls married 
men to reform them, and now the town is full of 
little whippoorwill widows. 

The greatest rascals are those who are scrupu- 
lously honest. If I see a man walk across town to 
pay a nickel, I watch him. 

A HORSE that will pull on a cold collar will do 
to depend on — and the best Christians are those 
who never need " warming up.'' 

Whisky is a good thing in its place, and that 
place is in hell. If I get there I will drink all I 
can get, but I won't do it here. 

The capacity of a woman for making every body 
about her uncomfortable can not be calculated by 
any known process of arithmetic. 

The Churches of Nashville furnish whisky to 
the surrounding country. Some of our wholesale 
liquor dealers belong to the Church. 

The matter of Church doctrine is an accident. 
If my mother and Brother Witherspoon's mother 
had swapped babies he might have been a Meth- 
odist preacher. 

31— B 

Sermon XXVI I. 


"Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new crea- 
ture."— 2 Cor. V, 17. 

CHRIST JESUS was a man, and in referring to 
his relation to our race, he spoke of himself 
as " the Son of man." " These works that I do 
demonstrate that I am divine. Now I would not 
have you forget that I am also the Son of man." 

We have Christ in two manifestations, and I 
wish we had more of him in a third. We have 
Christ in his works, and we have him in his words. 
We have books written on the latter. Rudolph 
Stier, on the Words of the Lord Jesus, is, perhaps, 
one of the most valuable books in a preacher's 
library. I have been panting and hungry a long 
time for a book on the Thoughts of the Lord Jesus. 
Really when I look at his works, I wonder and " 
say, " Behold !" Then, when I read his words, I 
say, ''A man that could talk like that, of course 
could work like that;" and when I get into the 
great thoughts of Christ, then I say, " The words 
and works of Christ are the mere bubbles on the 
great ocean of his life. He who thought like Christ 
could surely work like Christ and talk like Christ." 

Christ Jesus is a great deal more to us, brother, 

than we have ever realized. Really the wealth of 

A New Creature in Christ. 363 

the universe is hidden in Christ. Now I would 
not stand here and study Christ; I would not stand 
here with all the infirmities and difficulties that en- 
compass me^ with the seen things, and study the 
Lord JesuSy but I would go where Jesus is, and 
study the universe; and a man who stands where 
Jesus is understands things very differently from a 
man who stands here and studies them. 

Jesus Christ is the great telescope to the Chris- 
tian's eye. He not only brings the unseen things^ 
which are afar off, down to where I may reach them, 
but he is also the great microscope to the Christian's 
eye, so that the things that are close to me I can 
see a thousand times better when I look through 

Christ in his works and in his words, Christ in 
his thoughts, in the unfailing purity of his social 
life, his grandeur of intellectual life in the whole 
sum of his life, is an examplar for all men. O 
Jesus, thou art all in all, and from thee and through 
thee I may see all things in the light God sees 

"If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.'* 
I believe that Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin 
Mary. I believe that he was God. I believe that 
he was man. I believe we needed this God-Man. 
Jesus Christ is a mediator — one who works between 
two parties. I think it was Bishop Morris who put 
this in the strongest way. Hie said, " Jesus was 
the mediator, the one between the two, and Jesus 
was divine, and Jesus was human, and he laid the 
left hand of his humanity on the shoulder of man^ 

364 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

and then^ reaching up^ caught the shoulder of God 
with the right haud of his diviuity, and lie brought 
God and man together.'* We needed Christ. 

And I believe another tilings brother. I believe 
the Lord Jesus Christ not only came and lived 
among men^ but he fared largely as other men did 
and do. Jesus Christ suffered and died for what 
he was and for what he said and for what he did. 
That 's true. And Jesus Christ died as naturally as 
St. Paul died, and St. Paul died a natural death. 
Do you want to know what I mean by this? I 
mean that in that day, in the fullness of the time, 
when Jesus came, it was death to any man to preach 
righteousness and live it before the people. And 
Jesus came and suffered the penalty of his righteous 
life and his righteous words. Now, on this question, 
I want to say, brethren, that Jesus Christ, the Son 
of God, the Savior of men, suffered the penalty of 
his words and his works. It was death to the Grod- 
man. It was death to those who loved this God- 
man, to talk and preach as he did. Then I see 
Jesus on that cross as he suffers and dies; and, lis- 
ten, brother, on that cross I see the divinest, grand- 
est manifestation of God's love to man. If you 
want to draw out from the deepest depth all that's 
true in me, listen. You see Christ on that cross. 
I have heard men say that Jesus hung on the cross 
to satisfy the claims of divine justice. I have heard 
them say Jesus was hung on that cross to ap()ease 
God's wrath against man ; hut I will tell you my 
conception of it, and this little bundle of paper, the 
Bible, which I hold in my hand, is with me. Jesus 

A New Ceeature in ChIiist. 365 

Christ was not tliere to satisfy claims of divine jus- 
tice. He was not there as a target of divine wrath. 
No. Would you make me believe that God was 
angry with humanity six thousand years ago, and 
that the only way to keep him from killing out the 
whole concern was to put his only Son on the cross 
and sacrifice him? I do not believe God suffered 
bis Son to be crucified because he was mad with men, 
but that Jesus came and died because of God's love 
for man. " God so loved the world that he gave his 
only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him 
might not perish, but have everlasting life." 

God doesn't love me because Christ died for me, 
but Christ died for me because of God's unspeakable 
love for me. Now you are getting your theology 
right on this question, and you can knock all the 
infidelity out of this country by this great New Tes- 
tament doctrine. Love! " Herein is love, not that 
we loved Him, but that he loved us, and sent his 
Son to be the propitiation for our sins." And this 
old idea we have, that God does not love any body 
but good people, won't do. Some people get this 
idea in their heads, and the first thing you know 
they think they have a corner on the grace of God, 
and are trying to run a monopoly on the love of 


Hear, my brethren , God loves every man in this 
universe. I will take this view. The sun in mid- 
heaven shines on every thing alike. It shines on 
the verdant valleys, on the bold mountain peaks. 
It pours its vivifying rays on growing grain, fruits, 
and flowers, as well as on the stricken oak, or blasted 

366 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

Iree^ and sterile ground. It, shines on all alike. 
Why? Because it is its nature to shine on every 
thing. God's name as well as nature is love^ and 
God loves every thing that comes under the burn- 
ing rays of his love. God loves all men. He loved 
me just as much before I was converted as he loves 
me now. If he had not, I never would have been 
converted. It is God's nature to love, and you can 
not make it out that God is mad with men. O 
thou infinite God of love and mercy, of long suffer- 
ing and goodness, show us all that thou hast never 
dealt with us in anger, but always in love. 

God loves us, brethren, and Jesus Christ was 
not hung on the cross as a target of divine justice, 
or to placate divine anger, but as the manifestation 
of God's love to dying men. That's it. I hope I 
am orthodox, brethren ! I hope I am. If I am 
not, I will tell you this much, I can love God more 
with this view of the divine atonement than I can 
with any other; and you must let me have my way, 
because I can get along better on that than on any 
other ground. We won't quarrel about it. You 
may take the other view of it if you like, or mix 
the two together if you please, but I love Him be- 
cause he first loved me. He is a loving Savior; a 
loving Savior, living; loving, dying; loving, going 
to the grave; loving, rising; always filled with love 
for me. 

"Now, if any man be in Christ, he is a new 
creature." Jesus was emphatically a new creature 
in the world. There was none like him before, nor 
any like him since. Jesus prayed, "Father, as wc 

A New Creature in Christ. 367 

are one, grant that these people may be ali one with 
us." All are merged into one in Christ— one in 
purpose, one in desire, one in intention, one in love, 
one in purity, one in faith, one in forgiveness, one 
in pardon. It is a oneness in sentiment, purpose, 
virtue, desire, love, and purity. 

You see two men walking along. You say 
these two men have the same purposes, the same 
interests, the same desires, every thing the same. 
When you hit one, you hit both. The bar-keepers 
in this city are all one. If you raise your voice 
against one of them, they will all rise up against 
you. You hit one of them in denouncing their 
traffic, and you hit them all. Their interests are 
identical. I wish I could say that when you hit 
one Christian in this town, you hit all; but, instead 
of that, when you hit one, the rest all say, " I am 
glad it was not me." Thank God, though we can 
not know like him, and can not have power like 
him, one thing we can do, and that is, love like God. 
And that is the grandest of his attributes — love. 

Now, brother, being in Christ Jesus, presupposes 
a longing for Christ. I said before, Jesus Christ is 
not a sentiment. He is a divine person, and in the 
divinity of his person he embraces all wisdom, jus- 
tice, mercy, love, and purity. Of all of these attri- 
butes Christ is the living embodiment, and he who 
is in Christ the most necessarily partakes most of 
these divine characteristics. 

The Scriptural term for this longing is "hunger- 
ing and thirsting afler righteousness." That is a 
healthful and religious state. David said : "As the 

368 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my 
soul after thee, O God/' Hunger of the soul is a 
hunger for Christ. The sense of hunger and of 
thirst of the body, how intense it is. Did you ever 
locate the sense of physical hunger? A little boy 
once said to his father, " Papa, I feel so hungry." 
" Son," said the father, " how do you feel when 
you are hungry ?" " I feel like chewing something," 
said the boy. So the organs of the appetite are 
where to look for physical hunger. Now where do 
I locate the sense of spiritual hunger ? It is in the 
heart. My heart, my soul panteth after the living 
God. This longing, this intense burning desire, O 
Christ, nothing can satisfy but thyself. 

See that baby boy ; how ho cries and kicks and 
screams! His nurse endeavors to pacify him by 
offering him his little toys and playthings, but he 
says : " I do n't want my toys." She offers him 
marbles, but he cries, "I don't want any marbles." 
After she has exhausted all her resources to quiet 
him, and he still cries and refuses to be comforted, 
the little fellow's mother comes in. The instant 
his eyes light upon her his crying ceases; he rushes 
up and is caught in her loving arms. He "just 
wanted mamma." He did not want any thing else ; 
and with her his soul was satisfied. And, brother, 
whenever a soul gets to the point in its childlike 
simplicity, that the devil, the world, and the flesh, 
with its cards, and dancing, and theaters, and all 
its other allurements can not satisfy it, qnd it says, 
" I do n't want that, I want my Savior," he is sure 
to come and abide with that soul. 

A New Creature in Christ. 369 

The way to get the fullness of Christ is to empty 
your heart of every thing that rejects Christ and 
his affinities. Always lean to those things that are 
Christ's. Let your prayer be, " Lord, help me to 
turn each idol out that dares to rival thee.'' How 
many can say now, " I would rather have Christ for 
my portion than all else besides?" 

Being in Christ not only presupposes a longing 
for Christ, but a fleeing to Christ. O, blessed 
Christ, I will run upon the swiftest feet of faith 
to meet thee. O, dear Lord, I tried until I could 
try no more to remain away ; my soul became im- 
patient, and I could stay no longer ; show me thy 
way. I will rush into thine arms of waiting love. 
Thank God for that purpose of my soul that makes 
me go out in search of my Lord. I will search 
for him. I am so glad that I never let the grass 
grow up in my pathway between my Lord and me. 
The devil shall never come between my Savior and 

I saw some time ago an illustration of how the 
devil works among his crowd, by an old colored 
preacher down South. He laid three objects on his 
Bible, and he said: " Now, brethren, I'm a-going 
to show how de debbil works de Christuon. Here's 
de Savior, here's de Christuon, and here's de deb- 
bil. Now when de Christuon move up to Christ, 
den de debbil he move off; de Christuon move 
nearer Christ, and de debbil he move furder .off; 
den de Christuon sort o' back-slides, den de debbil 
move up ; de Christuon gets furder and furder away 
from Christ, and de debbil moves up closer and 


370 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

closer to him, and de first thing you know, de 
debbil jump over him and get right between him 
and Christ; and when he gets over dar between you 
and Christ he's got you, and den he'll say, * Now 
I's got you, sure.'" This is a living illustration. 
Never let the devil get between you and your Lord. 
Say to him, *^ Get thee behind me, Satan ; you shall 
never come between me and my Lord." 

Then running to Christ! Thank God for the 
privilege of going to Christ. Is there trouble any 
where? Take it to the Lord in prayer. What a Friend 
we have in Jesus ! Thank God, brother I I have been 
at times in such tight places that I could not do a 
thing in the world but pray; and thank God that 
was all I needed to do. Just leave it all with the 
Lord. That's what we call rushing to the Lord in 

O, my brother, if I wanted to divide the armies 

of Satan and put all perdition to flight, I would not 

order down a legion -of angels and all the artillery 

of heaven; but I will tell you what I would do: I 

would fall on my knees in prayer to God. 

** And Satan trembles when he sees 
The weakest saint upon his knees/' 

A man can fall into no harm while he is on his 
knees praying. Did you ever hear of a man get- 
ting drunk on his knees? Did you ever hear of a 
man stealing while on his knees in prayer? I will 
tell you, your trouble is, you have not been on your 
knees enough. 

Ah, me! how Satan has tempted me, how the 
passion for drink has come on and almost over- 

A New Creature in Christ. 371 

whelmed me; but^ thank God, I have found his 
grace sufficient to sustain me. Those people who 
say, I can not help drinking; or^ I can not help 
doing this or that when tempted, — I know what 
the matter with them is: you don't do enough of 
this knee-work I am talking about. I hear people 
say, "I'm afraid to join the Church, I'm afraid I 
can't hold out, I'm afraid I'll swear or drink or 
do something wrong;" and I have said to them, "I 
never have been afraid of but one thing eince I 
joined the Church, and that is, I am afraid I won't 
pray enough." I am omnipotent when leaning on 
the arm of God in prayer. If you want to whip 
the devil, just fall on your knees in prayer. 

Being in Christ pre-supposes, again, submission 
to Christ. O, how we want our own way ! How 
jealous we are of what we call our privileges! How 
we kick and rear if we can not have our own way, 
and how we rave, and pitch, and tear if we don't 
get it! Why, we fall out with our preacher and 
abuse him like a pick-pocket if he attempts to 
abridge "our privileges." Ah, we are jealous of 
these " privileges." You touch them, and you get 
your foot into it. I sail into you on your dram- 
drinking, theater-going, card-playing, and dancing, 
and the town rises up in arms against me; but it is 
the hit dog that hollers, you may put that down. 
If you go and break a drunkard's jug, he'll get 
mad, every time; but his wife won't. If we sail 
into these people who do these things I have the 
utmost pity and sympathy for them, and I do be- 
lieve, my brethren, the poor people are so deluded 

372 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

and persuaded by the world, that they donH see 
any harm in the things they are doing. Let us get 
them to reading books that have sense in them — I 
mean religious sense. If I have got but a little 
sense, good Lord, let it be religious sense. 

I heard a man say once, " Myself and my wife 
never had a squabble in our lives — ^never had a 
quarrel — only when she wanted to have her own 
way.'' Well, who isn't lovable that way? The 
devil himself is agreeable enough when he has ev- 
ery thing his own way. Listen : I am sorry for 
Christian people who have reserved rights. Relig- 
ion is like that pearl of great price, which, when 
found, the buyer sold all that he had and purchased. 
And, brother, thank God, from the day I gave up 
sin to this hour, I never had a reserved right. 
I say, " Lord, I will do any thing — every thing." 
I have invested my all in it. All that I have is in 
this Book, and if it does n't break I am a million- 
aire through all eternity. That 's the way to talk it. 

Submission to Christ! Do as he tells you to do. 
You are a most humble member of your Church un- 
til your preacher says something that touches you, 
and off you fly, and say : " If I can 't live in peace 
here, I '11 go and join another Church." Or per- 
haps some good sister says, " My husband and I 
were talking about this the other night, and we 
ain't going to stand this sort of thing." Sister! 
God bless you ; go over there, and have the best 
time you can while you are here. 

A gentleman said to me that at a meeting of an 
official board of his Church, at which his wife and 

A New Creature in Christ. 373 

himself were present, rum was passed around, and 
every one present, members of the board, including 
the pastor of the Church, except the gentleman who 
told me and his wife, drank of it. A preacher who 
will indulge in such things, not only with his mem- 
bers, but privately, belongs to the devil from his 
hat to his heels. I know when I did that way I 
belonged to the devil, and I do n't care whether the 
man is a preacher or not, the test of his allegiance 
to Christ is how he lives. 

Christ says, " Not every one that saith unto me, 
Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of 
heaven.^' Now you say, " Mr. Jones, you ought not 
to be so rough on the ministers." Well, I called 
no Aames, and I would not tell my preaciier that 
'^ Jones is hitting at him." It's an insult to tell 
him that he is being hit. 

Then we say again, that being in Christ Jesus 
presupposes union with Christ. "I am the vine, 
and ye are the branches," says Christ. Did you 
ever go into a vineyard and examine the vines and 
branches? Did you ever see how closely in vital 
forces they were united? how the very vitality of 
the branch was determined by the vine? If united 
to Christ, he and myself are one, one in all things, 
in earnestness, in energy, in goodness, in mercy, in 
purity, in truth. 

Being in Christ Jesus presupposes also all the 
affinities which control one's life — his likes, his 
looks, his thoughts, his tastes, his all. It is a re- 
ligion, assimilation with the character of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, doing like him, thinking and being 

374 Sam Jones' Own Book. 


like him. Blessed Christy give us a religion that 
makes us like thyself^ and then we shall be Chris- 
tians in the grandest sense. Our blessed Lord 
loved the sinners and died for them. Let us^ breth- 
ren, imitate our divine Lord, and do the best we 
can for the sinning and erring ones around us. 


A Christian who will do things in New York 
that he would not do at home is a very poor 

It takes less sense to criticise than to do any 
thing else. There are a great many critics in the 

I don't think much of dignity. My observa- 
tion is that the more dignity a man has, the nearer 
dead he is. 

When the doctor says you can't live but an 
hour you'll want just such a preacher as myself 
talking to you. 

When you find a man that is first-class for 
some one thing, you will find him pretty good for 
every thing else. 

There is more religion in laughing than in 
crying. If religion consists in crying I have the 
best boy in the world. 

If any of you do n't like the way these services 
are going, there are three doors — ^you are cordially 
asked to leave. 



"And we know that all things work together for good to 
them that love God, to them who are the called according to 
his purpose." — Rom. viii, 28. 

WHY am I in this world ? I had no choice as 
to the time or the circumstances of my coming 
into it The question of environment is a question 
that was decided for me — that temptations should 
beset me ; that difficulties, sometimes insurmount- 
able^ should present themselves ; that obstacles, over 
which I might not go, should be in my way. After 
all, this question has aroused the imagination and 
escaped the lips of many a man — "Why am I in 
this world of so much sin and so much suffering? 
What am I doing here?" And the most patient 
man the world ever saw cursed the day he was 

Brethren, if a man looks on the things that are 
seen, and not on the things that are unseen, it is 
not much trouble to get up a state of mind to curse 
the day when he was born ; but a man who looks 
at the unseen and determines what the seen things 
are by the unseen things, then, thank God, he blesses 
the day he was borli into a world of such provi- 
dences and privileges. Ten thousand men, may be, 
had walked along the highway and had seen that 

block of marble. It had been gazed upon by thou- 


376 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

Bands of eyes, but they saw simply a block of stone; 
but Michael Angelo came along and saw what they 
did not see. He saw an unseen something in it, 
and he sat down at that block with chisel and mal- 
let in hand, and the first thing they knew, he had 
hewn out an angel, which, if God had breathed the 
breath of life into it, might have sat near the throne 
of God and adorned heaven with its beauties. He 
saw an angel there that others did not. 

I tell you, brethren, when I simply look at 
rough-hewn nature, as I see it, I am astonished 
that I am here; but when I see God with the mal- 
let and chisel of his goodness, as he begins to hunt 
for the angel that is in me, and I realize that if I 
lie still under the strokes of God's hammer, some 
of these days God will hew that angel out of me, 
then I realize that in this world it is possible to 
make an angel out of every such a being as I am. 

After all, brethren, it is to the unseen that we 
must look. I walk into a great work-shop, and I 
see in there pieces of timber, boards, carpenter^s 
tools, saws, planes, and machinery at work, I say, 
"What is all this? It's confusion and disorder to 
me. What do they mean?" The architect looks 
at me, and says, " Wait about three months, and I 
will show you what it all means." And I wait 
three months, and there is a palatial residence that 
grew out of the disorder in that work-shop. I did 
not know what it all meant, but the architect did. 
In this world of temptations and trials and griefs 
and tears, sick-beds and good-byes, we do not un- 
derstand these things, but the great Architect, who 


Working Toqetheb for Good. 377 

18 working out the problem of eternity, understands 
them all^ and if we only stand still, he will show 
us the mansions '^ not made with hands, eternal in 
the heavens/' 

I wish we had faith to look on and see God at 

And, brother, really, I believe I am willing to 
turn the matter over to the good Lord. I tried to 
run the thing according to my own notion twenty- 
four years, and I declare to you, I wound up in 
disgust. I said, I am willing to turn this thing over 
to any body. But I found nobody but God to 
take it off my hands in the condition I was in^ and 
it is astonishing how he is working things into or- 
der out of chaos. The process in this world is to 
take from, and not to add to. Michael Angelo 
never added any thing to the marble block ; he just 
cut it away and chipped it off, until finally there 
was an angel, sure enough. Now, brother, you lie 
still under fire, and let God chisel off the rough 
and rugged points and angles of your nature, and 
let grace work you down to where you ought to be, 
and you will be beautiful enough to charm heaven 
after a while. * 

Human nature wants something added, but God 

wants to take away all those things that damage 

you in time and in eternity, and if you let God hew 

off and take away all that ought to be taken off, he 

will see to it that eternal life, in all its purity and 

glory, is imparted to you. Let no one say the Lord 

doesn't do any thing for him but hew off things 

from him, that God doesn't put any thing on to 
32— B 

378 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

him; for God imparts to man some things, and 
those things are all necessary for a pure and holy 
life, for time and for eternity. 

I suppose our text is one, of all texts, the hard- 
est to be understood. "All things work together 
for good to them that love God, to them who are 
the called according to his purpose.*' You see it is 
in the present tense ; the work is going on now, and 
for all who love God. In order that we may the 
better understand it, let us notice some of the 
terms. "All things work together for good to 
them who love God." Good ! What do you mean 
by good ? There is no wonder you do not under- 
stand the text, you have interpreted it wrongly. 
If you have interpreted it wrongly, there is no 
sense in it. With a wrong interpretation, there is 
not a word of truth in it; but if you interpret it 
wisely, it is the divinest^ grandest truth of all. 

Suppose you interpret it this way: "All things 
work together for good to them who have riches." 
That would not be true, because many of the poor- 
est people in the world are God's people, and they 
never have any thing; they live from hand to 
mouth day by day. 'And if that were true then re- 
ligion would be something we could buy — "the 
rich would live, and the poor would die" — ^but it 
is not. I am so glad that it doesn't take money 
to get religion, for I was bankrupted with all 
worlds, and I never would have gotten it if it re- 
quired money to have it. It doesn't take any 
thing to purchase religion, but it takes a good deal 
to keep up repairs after you have got it. Well, 

Working Together for Good. 379 

you can 't get to New York quickly or easily, with- 
out a cent. You might foot it every step of the 
way and beg your bread, but that ^8 a hard route; 
but you can 't go on a Pullman sleeper, with all the 
conveniences and comforts at hand, without money. 
And that ^s the difference in the routes or manner 
of traveling. One is easy and restful, and the 
other is exhausting and uninviting. 

Hear! There is not a man in the world who 
values the stated meetings of the Church and the 
work of the pastors more than I do. I was eight 
years a pastor myself. Thank God for every pastor 
and all Church organization in this country. Sup- 
pose there was nothing in this country but evangel- 
ists ; you would be in a bad fix. 

What is an evangelist? He is just an extra 
hand at the harvest, to throw the cradle. If you 
had not prepared the ground, sowed your seed, and 
protected the growing crop, you would have had no 
use for evangelists. Remember our Father saith, 
" One man soweth and another reapeth, and let him 
that soweth and him that reapeth rejoice together;" 
and " He hath given to some prophets, and to some 
evangelists, and to some pastors." It takes more 
patience, and courage, and fortitude to make an 
efficient pastor than it does to make a hundred 
evangelists. It's a nice thing to go around throw- 
ing your harvest cradle into somebody else's wheat. 

No man values the work of a pastor more than 
I do; but, brother, I think our membership is very 
much like locomotive engines. An engineer told 
me once that after every trip the engine went into 

380 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

the shops; her machinery was overhauled, the bolis 
tightened; but, he said, about every four years she 
must go into the round-house and be taken all to 
pieces, overhauled, and made new again. So with 
our membership; every time they come to the 
house of God we overhaul their religious machinery 
and tighten the bolts of their purposes, but ever 
and anon these revival occasions are but the grand 
round-houses, where our membership are taken all 
to pieces and overhauled from head to foot. I said 
to the engineer, "How do you know when an engine 
needs this thorough overhauling V^ He said, " When 
she gets so she can 't make schedule time and carry 
the loads." So frequently our membership is run 
down in its love and faith and hope, to where it 
doesn't make schedule time towards the good world, 
then it's time for a revival. This community now 
has many a Christian in it that can't make schedule 
time, and surely they need overhauling. The devil 
can run a mile while many of you are pulling on 
ymir boots, and revival meetings are almost useless 
unless you have perennial revivals, and they are 
things of beauty and joy forever. 

An old brother once said, " God showed what 
he thought of money by the people he gave it to." 
That was death on those who strive after riches 
alone. "All things work together for the riches of 
God's people." That won't do, brother, for some 
of God's people are the poorest people. 

Suppose we say then, that " all things work to- 
gether for the health of God's people." That won't 
do either. The best peoi)le I have ever seen are 

Working Together for Good. 381 

those who have suffered the most. It is the bruised 
violet that sends forth the sweetest odor. The 
sweetest Christians are those most deeply aflBicted. 

It is a right good thing to be sick occasionally. 
It helps almost any man to shake him over a cofSn 
for awhile and then turn him loose; and when he 
is turned loose he will hit the ground, running a 
mile a minute. But take a great, healthy, two 
hundred pound fellow, fat and saucy, and it's mighty 
hard to keep him straight — that's a fact. David 
said, " It is good for me that I have been afflicted." 
The best people I have ever met were the most 
afflicted people. And God never said that all 
things shall work together for the health of his 

Well, there is another thing. Suppose we inter- 
pret this way : "All things shall work together for 
the happiness of God's people." He does n't say 
that. I have seen God's people under the most se- 
vere gloom and despondency, with the deepest and 
darkest clouds hanging over them. I have seen 
the purest and most loyal Christians I ever met 
with clouds of sorrow upon them that would have 
crushed my own heart, and, thank God, I can be 
just as good when I am miserable and despondent 
and gloomy, as when I am happy and joyous. It 
is not how you feel, but how you do that makes 
you a Christian. 

Some people think they are backsliders when 
they get a little gloomy or a little unhappy about 
things. Brother, it's no sin to be tempted. You 
may feel divers temptations, but stand firm like a 

382 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

man^ and fight them off. Some of the best fights I 
have ever made^ when it looked as if God had 
withdrawn his presence from me, have been fights 
that I have won. Happiness is the normal state of 
a Christian, but when sorrow and gloom overtake 
him let him recollect Job, and say, "Though he 
slay me, yet will I trust in him." 

Sup}K)se we interpret the text to read, "All 
things shall vork together for the honor of God's 
people." A great many of God's people in this 
world never received any honor; and there are 
women, pure, Christly women, who have never been 
seen in their works of charity and deeds of kind- 
ness; but, sister, when you get to heaven, God will 
announce to all worlds that, " here is one, who, in 
feeding the hungry, in relieving the thirsty, in cloth- 
ing the naked, in visiting the prisoner, and -in wait- 
ing on the sick, because she did it unto the least of 
my brethren, did it unto me." 

There are many poor humble Christians in this 
world who never had any body to clasp their hands 
for them in welcome, but the angels in heaven will 
clap their hands as they watch their good works. 
Even while no man cries hosannas for you, you are 
working under the sympathy of God and the smiles 
of angels. Go on and do your duty, whether you 
meet the applause of men or not. 

And after all, brethren, the difference between a 
great man here and great success, and a street car 
mule, is very little. They are very much alike in 
some things. You know a street car mule always 
walks and the crowd rides. You know whenever 

WoRKiNO Together for Good. 383 

you see a man of much reputation^ he is doing the 
pulling and the crowd is doing the riding. Aud 
there is anotlier thing about them that is alike. 
Just as soon as the street car mule dies^ the com- 
pany gets another in his place that will do just as 
well. So it is with a man ef much reputation; 
you work him to death and then pat another right 
in his place. 

At the close of our series of services in Cincin- 
nati; a gentleman came into my room and said^ 
'' Mr. Jones^ I come from men of business and men 
of means to say, that if you will stay here thirty 
days longer we will give you twenty thousand dol- 
lars." Said I, "Yes, that's just about enough to 
buy a solid silver casket to bury me in, and have 
my name engraved on it, and ship my body home 
to my wife. And you will meet and pass a set of 
resolutions a yard long, lauding my name and char- 
acter, and publish it as a historical fact, that, 'Sam 
Jones preached his last sermon in our town.* Now 
wouldn't that be a joke on me?" "O, we'll do 
wonders for you if you '11 stay." 

Well, brother, listen ; they will work a man to 
death, pass resolutions about him, ship his body 
home to his wife, and then publish it that, " he 
preached his last sermon to us." Brother, go on in 
your humble way in the service of God. I know 
it is a great thing to be like George Whitefield, to 
throw your blade into any and all of the harvest 
fields of the Lord ; but, brother, go out into the 
harvest field with your little jack-knife, and say, 
" Good Lord, I am doing my best." And harvest 

384 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

time means a busy time. Every body is busy, the 
old gentleman^ the old lady, and all doing some- 
thing — all busy. And, brother, during a season of 
a revival of religion every Christian ought to be 
very busy, little and big, old and young. The har- 
vest does n't last long, but work must be done. If 
you do n't cut the wheat, it will fall down. There 
is many an old sinner tottering on the verge of 
ruin, and if we don't cut him down, he will fall 
into perdition forever. You 've got to be in a hurry 
about this, brother. 

"And we know that all things shall work to- 
gether for the honor of God's people " — that is n't 
it. We know God's people are not people of a 
great deal of honor, or fame, as the world looks 
upon it. I am glad of it, too. Why, a man never 
gets to a position of honor in this country until he 
is covered with mud from head to foot. You may 
take the case of any President in the White House. 
His term of service is four years, and it takes him 
the four years he is there to wash off the mud he 
got on him while on his way to that exalted station. 
I ain't running much on that sort of honor. And 
if I ever told the truth in my life, I would rather be 
a humble, earnest, efficient preacher of the Gospel 
of Jesus Christ than to be the President of the 
United States in the White House with all his 
money, this minute. I would not swap places with 
him. "But," you say, "that won't do; every body 
would like to be President." I do n't want to be. 
I may have done a heap of devilment in my life, 
and I don't want it uncovered any more; but just 

Working Togetheb fob Good. ?^85 

as soon as I got to be President they would uncover 
it immediately — ^the game wouldn't pay for the 
powder and shot. And my wife is as foolish as I 
am. I saw in a newspaper where a reporter had 
been talking to her, and she said, '^ I had rather be 
the wife of Sam Jones than the wife of the Presi- 
dent of the United States.'' Some of you sisters 
who are turning up your noses at Sam Jones, do n't 
you forget that. 

''All things work together for the honor of God's 
people" — it doesn't say that, brethren. But what 
does it say? There is but one word in this universe, 
and, thank God, it's the grandest word that heaven 
ever gave to man. It covers all for all worlds — 
Listen : 

''AH things work together for the salvaiion of 
them who love God." This is what our text means. 
Thank God for this grand truth. Now I can un- 
derstand ; now I can see through it. 

Brother, what is salvation ? It is the good of 
heaven. It is the aummum bonum. It is the all 
good, and of all worlds. There is nothing good on 
earth and in heaven that is not covered with that 
word, "salvation." "All things work together for 
the 8alv<Uion of them who love God." Whatever 
there is in honor, happiness, riches, or health, thank 
God, if you lean on him in your ways and words, 
he promises salvation in it; and that is what we 
are all going for, brethren. 

"All things work together for salvation to them 
who love God." I wish I had time to go into that 
thought thoroughly — ^the love of God to us — ^we 

3»— B 

386 Sam Jonbb' Own Book. 

could talk a month on it. Whenever I think of 
the love of God I am lost in wonder at his great 
compassion^ until I cry out, "O my Father, how 
unbounded, how inconceivable is thy love to us/' 

"All things work together for good to them who 
love God/' God makes all his forces work to and 
converge at that point, where they must bring sal- 
vation to you if you love him. God is an active 
God. I will tell you, my brother, as I look about 
me in this vast world and around me, I see how 
God has put his power and energy upon and into 
every thing. I see it in the cyclone and in the 
storm. He made the sun to shine by day and the 
moon to be a light by night, and the rivers to flow, 
and the flowers to bloom, and he made all nature to 
manifest his power and activity ; and amid the rush 
of the world and the stillness of the stars, God 
looks down and says, "Why stand ye here idle? 
Look at all nature, how she rushes and stirs. What 
are you standing there for?'' That's it. God is 
all activity, and he says, "All things work together 
for good to them who love him." 

Many a time we wonder wlmt good can there be 
in this or in that thing that happens, and say, " There 
certainly can not be any good in this;" but, brother, 
when you step up into the light of God's love, and 
look back, you will say, " Glory be to God, every 
thing worked together for my salvation." You 
can not understand it from the end you have been 
looking from, but when you get to heaven you will 
say, " I see it all now ; I could not see it from the 
other end, but I see it now from this end." 


"All things work together for good to them who 
love God/' We will put it in this way : Let us go 
to our homes; doubtless each of us has a clock on 
his mantle. Well, I '11 take my clock at home all 
to pieces, and when I endeavor to put it together 
again I find I have enough wheels left out for three 
clocks of the kind. ' I do n't understand it. That 
clock was made by a clock-maker, and it must be 
put together by a clock-maker, and he must put all 
the wheels in the right place, and there must be 
just a certain number of cogs in each wheel. There 
is one wheel in that clock that has sixty cogs, and 
if you put sixty-one or fifty-nine cogs in it you will 
never get it to keep time. God knows how many 
cogs to put in the wheels of our lives, doesn't he? 
I take off the face of a clock and look in at it. I 
see one great wheel turning slowly, and another 
wheel turning faster, and one wheel turning back- 
ward and another forward, and I say, You can't tell 
me that this thing is keeping time, for, look ! some 
of the wheels are turning backwards — ^this thing 
can 't keep time ; but I put the face on again, and 
I put my ear to it, and listen, and I hear it going, 
" tick, tick, tick," and I hear it strike the hours, 
then I say, " It does keep time, sure enough." 

Now, look here, brother, God says, "All things 
work together for good to them who love God." 
You have lost the best wife a man ever had — that 
was one of those big wheels turning slowly. O the 
sadness of your heart and home. Adversity came, 
and swept away your fortune; that was the small 
wheel turning backwards, and you said, "O how 

388 Sam Jones^ Own Book. 

can this work for roy good?^' God never said every 
one thing works, but ^^all things altogether work 
together for good to them who love God/' God 
blesses you with prosperity — that's one of the little 
wheels going faster. One of your children died, 
and that's one of the little wheels going backward; 
but when God puts them all together with his own 
roaster hand, he sits in heaven rapt in the contem- 
plation of his wonderful work well done. Now, 
brother, let the problems of life be worked out by 
our Father in heaven, and his blessings shall be 
upon you. 

I am so glad God understands me and knows 
me and leads me, and I am so glad when God says, 
"All things are working together for your good." 
There is but one thing in the universe that is an 
exception to this rule, and that one thing is sin. 
God never made sin work for the good of any one. 
God himself can not make sin work for any body's 
good. Until God can make what ought not to 
have been, so that it ought to have been, he can 
not make sin work for good to any man. 

I used to think, as a boy, when my father 
whipped me that I would ask him why he did it, 
but I found out before I was twenty-one years old 
that my father was trying to whip the devilment 
out of me. 

Do n't resist God ; take whatever he puts on you. 
Do n't run away or fight ; just fold up your hands 
and lean towards God, and rush up to God, and 
may be he won't strike a lick. 

Precious Father! thou art always right; thou 

Working Togetheb foe Good. 389 

can'st Dot make a mistake ; thou art all love ; thoa 
can'st work no hardship to me, and if I trust thee 
all will be well. Brother, let us get that sort of 
faith in God. 

Now, then, on the score of gratitude and thanks- 
giving, let us start out on that line. The way to 
get more good is to thank God for that which 
you have. That was a grand old man, an old 
Presbyterian pastor, of whom I have read. He was 
the idol of his people and a blessing to his city. 
After years of faithful service, all at once he com- 
menced bleeding from his lungs, and hemorrhage 
after hemorrhage followed. Every time he tried to 
preach it grew more violent, until finally his phy- 
sician said to him, ^^ It will cost you your life to 
attempt any further service. You must quit the 
pulpit now, and, perhaps, forever.^^ That was sad 
news to him, and a few days after the leading elder 
of his Church came to him, and said : ^' The new 
pastor is coming in and you must vacate the par- 
sonage; but the best place in my house is at your 
disposal, and you and yours shall be cherished in 
my wife's heart and in my own, and shall have a 
home as long as you all shall live.'' That was 
worthy of the elder, and in a few days he moved 
the old pastor and his family to his home. In a 
short time the old pastor's only child was taken 
suddenly ill, grew worse, and then died. "What a 
stroke was that! A few days again, and the old 
pastor's wife was stricken with some eye trouble, 
and she became totally, hopelessly, blind. One day 
after this new affliction the pastor walked out in the 

390 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

pleasant evening, and when he returned to his room 
his wife heard his footsteps and hurried up to him^ 
put her hands on his shoulders, and turned her 
sightless eyes up to his face, and with teara well- 
ing up, that would not have stained an angel's 
cheek, said, " Husband, I have gained a great vic- 
tory since you l^ft, and have made up my mind to 
submit to God." He said, " O precious wife, what 
great victory? Did you gain it understandingly ?'* 

" Yes, yes," said the wife. 

" Well, let us see ; we have the best home here 
any body ever had." 

" Yes," said the good woman. 

"Wife, will you submit to that?" 

"Yes, husband." 

" Well, we have the best friends God ever gave 
any body." 

" Yes, that is true." 

"Will you submit to that?" 

" Yes," she said. 

"Well, we have a darling daughter in heaven^ 
sitting now under the shade of the tree of life to 
be with God forever. Will you submit to that?" 

"Yes, yes," she said. 

"Then, wife, we have all the precious promises 
of God to be ours every day. Will you submit to 

" Yes, O yes." 

" Well, God is going to come afler a while to 
take us both to heaven to live and reign with 
Christ. Will you submit to that?" 

"O, my husband, hush, hush; I'll never say 

Working Together for Good. 391 

any thing more about submission as long as I live. 
I'll praise God the balance of my life.^' . 

And, brother, all we have to do is to submit to 
the will of God. Even with home* and all gone, 
submit yourself to God without a word of murmur 
or a thought of reproach. ^' I will just praise God 
always.'' And in the direst extremities of life we 
can thank God for ten thousand blessings we re- 
ceive from him. 

I will tell you when we reflect upon the good- 
ness of God to us we ought to be ashamed of our- 
selves to be talking about our ^'crosses and our 
losses." Let us have that kind of religion, even 
though we lose all that we have and love here; we 
can love God and submit with patience and grati- 
tude to his will. God bless you, my brethren, and 
keep you according to his perfect will. 


I HAVE known women too poor to own a pair 
of shoes — but I never knew one to be too poor to 
own a looking glass. 

I HAVE seen preachers who looked as sad and 
solemn as if their Father in heaven was dead and 
had n't left 'em a cent. 

Heaven is the spiritual center of gravity for 
all things good; hell is the spiritual center of 
gravity for all things evil. 

You don't believe what you don't understand? 
Do you understand why some cows have horns and 
some are muley? 

Sermon XXIX. 


" Many will Bay to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we 
not prophesied in thy name ? and in thy name have cast 
out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: 
depart from me, ye that work iniquity."— Matt, vii, 22, 23. 

IT is not advantages^ but disadvantages^ that make 
a man. Many a time you hear a man say^ ^' I 'm 
going to lay by something for my children; they 
shall never undergo the hardships that I under- 
went/' But he does n't know^ you see, that those 
very hardships that he underwent made him what 
he is, and that if he lays by and endows his chil- 
dren, the probability is, they won't have money 
enough to pay for their funerals, when the time 
comjBs to bury them. God save this country from 
an endowed Church, and the Church from an en- 
dowed member. The one will soon be a failure, 
the other will soon be in the cemetery, or vice versa. 
I have never known a prosperous endowed Church, 
and very few endowed sons. I say it is disadvant- 
ages that develop the man. It is hindrances, not 
help, that make success. Almost any body can 
come to a meeting on a fair Sunday, but earnest 
people only come out on stormy days. 

I have been sitting here, brethren, revolving in 

my mind what is the best evil to run on this morn- 

Profession and Practice. 393 

ing. What is the best thing to do? Now, I like 
expressions like this : '^ Bless the Lord, O my soul, 
and all that is within me, bless his holy name." 
"What shall I render unto the Lord for all his 
benefits towards me ? I will take the cup of salva- 
tion and call upon the name of the Lord." "I 
will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall be 
continually in my mouth." ''My soul shall make 
her boast in the Lord." People are afraid to say 
much about their religion. They're afraid some- 
body will consider them Pharisees. 

Well, now, brother, I think you would do just 
as well to give over any such notion as this of 
being considered a Scriptural Pharisee. I don't 
know any body here that is likely to be one. Do 
you know any body that fasts twice a week and 
gives one tenth of every thing he possesses to the 
Lord? So now, it is possible that you might be 
considered a Pharisee, but I do n't suppose you 
ever were within a thousand miles of being one. 
You have n't got that near yet. Do you know any 
who fast twice a week, and give abundantly to 
God ? If there are any such persons, they 're com- 
ing along to where they might be considered 
Scriptural Pharisees. A great many things are 
worse than being a Pharisee. I believe that being 
afraid you will be called one, when you ain't worthy 
of being called one, is worse than actually being 
one. To say the least of it, there was a strong dis- 
position in the minds of the Pharisees to tote fair 
with God; and I say to you, that's our difficulty — 
toting fair withjGrod; giving God such a portion 


394 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

of my time as he ought to have, such a portion of 
my money as he ought to have^ and such a portion 
of my influence as he ought to have. Very few 
people will do that — very few. 

Our Christianity, somehow or other, has been 
converted largely into a sort of begging arrange- 
ment — everlastingly receiving and holding on to 
what we get. I went to a good old woman's house 
once, and she put me up stairs in a room, and there 
was an old chest in the room — a large chest, the 
top of which was sprung up. I had a curiosity to 
know what the old soul had in there, and I just 
raised the lid and looked. It was about four dozen « 
of the nicest counterpanes you ever saw in your life. 
But she did n't have a single one on any bed in the 
house that I saw at all ; and I wondered in my soul 
why this old woman did n't put some of these on 
the beds. But I heard, after that, that another 
gentleman went in there — it was n't myself — ^and he 
dropped a coal of fire off a match, or a cigar, or a 
pipe, and set fire to the old lady's counterpanes 
and burned the whole business, and was like to 
have burned the house up. That was a natural 
consequence of keeping counterpanes packed up 
that way. I do n't say that in some great case- 
ment in your heart you have got a thousand good 
sermons, and good resolutions, and good purposes 
packed away, and the lid of the thing is springing 
up, it is so full ; but you have n't got a single one 
on your tongues that you might speak words of 
cheer and kindness; on your feet, that you might 
walk in the paths of righteou^ess. Just say, 

Profession and Pbaotice. 395 

** Every sermon, instead of being packed away in 
the casement of my heart, I believe I will spread 
out on my tongue, and hands, and feet, and make 
it indeed not only an adornment to my life, but a 
blessing to my neighbor/^ Now we have been pack- 
ing away sermons, and we are everlastingly intent 
on receiving. 

Well, now, a man gets out of religion just in pro- 
portion as he puts into it. A man gets off his farm 
just in proportion as he puts into it. A man that 's 
everlastingly drawing off his farm and never putting 
any thing in, is headed to agricultural bankruptcy. 
'A man that's everlastingly drawing on his religion, 
and never putting any thing in it, is headed to 
spiritual bankruptcy. I believe that. Now, I 
infer that most of us here are professed Christians, 
and we are here to receive something. There 
appears to be a type of Christian in the world who 
has every pocket empty every time he comes to 
hear about God. He has every hand empty, and 
his mouth wide open, to get something. He is one 
of those receiving Christians, like an old pond with 
water draining in ; the pond takes in every thing, 
but has no outlet in the world. You know a pond 
or a lake that has no outlet, only tends to breed 
miasma, mosquitoes, and tadpoles, and such like, 
and in religious life, when it catches every thing, 
and has no outlet, it breeds division in the Church 
and selfishness. I hear a great deal said about 
'^self — the worst and most miserable picture of 
hell. Hell is nothing but selfishness on fire.. 
Brethren, it is not what we receive; it is what we 

396 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

give out, that keeps us spiritually alive. There 
was a good old woman who got up at the camp- 
meeting and said she was going to fly to heaven, 
and she jumped up, and gave a flop, and down she 
came. Every body laughed, and she jumped up, 
and brushed the straw olf her dress, and said, 
*' Well, ye need not be laughing ; my trouble was I 
did not get the right flop.'' There is a good 
deal in the right ^^flop." Religion in a big meet- 
ing is not the best religion in the world. You can 
not fly to heaven from a revival. Revivals I reviv- 
als ! A great many people think they are the best 
things in the world. Brother, in a sense, they may 
be very good, but they are not the best things in 
the world. A revival like this may be likened, in 
a sense, to a conversation I heard between a sewing 
machine agent and a merchant. A gentleman was 
talking sewing machines to the merchant, and he 
talked with a vengeance. I listened, and I said, 
*' O, if I could only preach Christ as that fellow 
talks sewing machines." By and by, the merchant 
said, " I would take all the machines you have, if 
I could talk 'machines' as you can." The agent 
said, " When I sell a lady a machine, I say very 
little about it. All I do is to put the machine up, 
and show her how to thread the needle, and let her 
learn the rest from the book of instructions." At 
the revival we show you how to thread the needle, 
and here is the Book of Instructions to guide you 
in every thing to success in life. Revivals can 
only start you, but God says, " Continue patiently 
in well doing," and says, " Well done, thou good 


and faithfal servant/' Well finished! There is a 
heap in a good start. There is a great deal more 
in carrying a thing on well^ but wlien it comes to 
" Well done^ it is finished/' you are right. 

Now, brother, there is more real joy in giving 
a cup of cold water in the name of Christ than 
there is in receiving any thing at the hands of 
another. Sometimes we value a present, not so 
much by its intrinsic value as by the person who 
gives it to us. I have known a souvenir of some 
sort, a present not worth fifty cents if its associa- 
tions are taken away ; but a person would not take 
thousands for it. This was a gift of a precious 
mother, on her dying bed. This was the gift of 
the best friend you ever had. Brethren, God's 
gift» to his children are invaluable. This Bible 
was given me by God. You can not price such 
presents as that, and yet God is giving, and giving, 
and giving; and what have we shown in return? 
Lord, thou hast fed me this day upon thy 
bounty; and to show thee I am grateful for it, I 
am going to feed some other one. 

The best way to get God to help you is for you 
to pitch in and. help every person else thsit needs 
help. The Lord helps men that help somebody 
else. The Lord works on a contrary line to self- 
ishness every time., You hear a fellow say, "I 
have about as much as I can do to get to heaven 
myself. I have no time to fool with other people." 
Take him now, and follow him up. It is the truth. 
He has all he can do to get himself to heaven. 
He has the biggest job of any man I know of. 

398 8am Jokes' Own Book. 

Really I would rather run forty locomotives, direct 
twenty cyclones, and look after forty earthquakes, 
than look after two hundred pounds of the genu- 
ine selfishness that wears breeches, and looks like a 
man. It is about the toughest job a man could 
undertake, to rule a genuine, solid lump of pure 
concentrated selfishness. Do n't get shocked at any 
of these things. I am talking about natural his- 
tory now. These animals live all about in these 
days. "You may not be familiar with them," as 
the old darkey says, " but they lie 'round as sure 's 
you live." Really, some of us are too decent to be 
religious, anyhow. That is the fact about it. 
There are plenty of people here in churches too 
decent to be religious. 

I read a clause this morning in one of the 
papers, about what a preacher said in St. Paul. 
He is preaching to a fashionable church. They 
drove up in their carriages. At the meeting he 
said, " Brethren, if Jesus Christ were on earth, and 
followed the trade of a carpenter, as he did in his 
youth among men, there is not one of my members 
who would speak to him, and he could not come 
into the respectable society of this town until he 
got into a carriage to attend the divine service, 
and joined some town club." Do you believe that? 

Now, Jesus Christ is represented in the person 
of every poor man in this town. Do you know 
that when Old Hickory Jackson, President of the 
United States, sent over to France to know by his 
representative, what France was going to do about 
the American claims, they treated his messenger 

Profession and Practice. 399 

with indignity, and when Old Hickory received 
the message, that they said they would not pay the 
claim, he shook his fist towards France, and said, 
"By the eternal, if they don't pay it, I will make 
them do it." Do you get the idea? Whenever 
France, or any other country, so heaped an indig- 
nity upon the ministers of the United States, they 
heaped that indignity upon the government of the 
United States. When you meet some Christian 
people in this town; whom you do n't run with, 
and associate with, because they do n't happen to 
have as much as you have, you heap indignity upon 
Jesus Christy and he will resent it with all the force 
of heaven, earthy and hell. 

Why, we move in strata. Some of you good 
women know there is a certain stratum you run 
with. There may be thirty or forty ladies in the 
Metropolitan Church, about a dozen of whom you 
call upon, and about half a dozen you are really 
intimate with. Take the Metropolitan Church, 
with all her history, and if we were all called up 
to heaven to-morrow, it would take the angels two 
or three weeks to get you all introduced to each 
other. It would just keep the angels busy awhile. 
Now, what sort of religion do you call that? When 
two or three bon ton members get off to themselves, 
you might overhear something like this: "I can 
tell you why I never met her. She was cook with 
Mrs. So-and-so, and we never associate with this 
sort." Sister, what are you going to do in heaven? 
Won't you hate to run with your cook in glory? 
Is it not true that there are some too decent to be 


400 Sam Jones* Own Book. 

religious ? The hopeful, brotherly, cheerful Christ- 
ian ity is unselfish. This is what we want in this 

I was in Milledgeville, Georgia, preaching once, 
when I struck the idea of brotherly kindness. I 
used this illustration just as it happened to come 
upon my mind, and I said, ''Here is Mrs. A. She 
lives in a beautiful, palatial home. She has the 
best servants in the town, the best husband, and 
every thing she could wish for. She gets sick, and 
I sit on a portico opposite the home. I say, 
' What does it mean by all these ladies going in 
and out of that home ? ' A nd as I sit there for a few 
minutes, there comes an elegant waiter, covered 
with its liniMi towel, and I ask, 'What is' the mat- 
ter over there?* 'Well, Mrs. So-and-so is sick, 
and the neighbors are calling on her with their 
waiters, and nice things fixed for her.' I say, 'I 
declare, there are the cleverest people here I ever 
saw in my life. I have seen nothing comparable to 
that.' And the first thing I know the door bell 
is mu£3ed. The doctor says she must not have 
company, and I call in for a few minutes to know 
how she is getting on. When the elegant waiters 
are going into her sick-room, I. understand she 
said: 'Take them to the kitchen,* and I hear 
that when they went out to the kitchen, the serv- 
ants had a good time over the waiters. They are 
sending in things, and that woman has a better 
cook in her place, and better things than any one 
else, and she does not need a thing in the world. 
But," said I, "there's old Sister Snipe, living 

Profession and PRAcrriCE, 401 

down there on the hill side^ in a little log cabin. 
She got sick three weeks ago, and I never saw any 
body going there to call on her, aDd she was a 
member of the same Church. And/' said I, " I 
never heard the doctor tell her she M better not re- 
ceive company for so many weeks, and I never saw 
the waiter going up to her house." Well,*youMl 
hardly believe it, but at the end of that service, an 
old lady came up to me, and said, " God bless you, 
Mr. Jones ; you just gave them the truth. I have 
laiu sick three weeks many a time, and no one of 
them ever came near me." " Why, what's your name, 
sister?" I asked. "Snipe," she said; "I thought 
you knew me. I live up in the little log cabin on 
the hill side." Well, I never was more surprised 
in my life. Old Sister Snipe was there " boda- 
ciously," as they say, and I just happened on the 

O brothers and sisters^ do good to them that 
need it most. Thank God for the unselfish Chris- 
tianity that makes me see in every man's face the 
beaming eyes of a brother, and that makes me see 
in every woman's face the countenance of a sister. 
Suppose we were brothers and sisters, indeed; 
would any man, could any creature upon this 
world do aught to spoil the life or the character 
of a sister or brother ? There 's where the world 
. has missed it. We won't be brothers and sisters. 
God wants us to be. And, brethren, the more un- 
fortunate your brother is, the more kind, and the 
more faithful you should be to him. I want to see 

a religion that gives us something to do, and is n't 
34— B 

402 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

everlastingly catching at something. Why, if your 
religion were like grapes, and would not keep but 
two or three months, why, bless your soul, what 
would become of you? 'T would all go off on 
your hands like the grapes. Just get up and get 
at work, and not let your religion decay on your 
hands. O brethren, religion not used is religion 
misused. I wish you could see that. ''What 
shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits 
toward me?'' Some of you say, "I got a deal 
yesterday. I wonder how much more I shall get 
to-day." " What shall I render unto the Lord for 
all his benefits toward me?" Let's look around to- 
day, and say, each one of us, "As God is my judge, 
I am going to do something for God; I am going 
to do good to somebody to-day." I have gone 
home from a revival many a time very hungry, 
because passive religion is not the best religion in 
the world. When I got home, I would say to my 
wife, "How is poor old Aunt Ann up the hill?" 
She was a poor, old negro woman, ^y^^^g from the 
cancer, and my wife had been feeding her from her 
table for months. My wife says, "She's a great 
deal worse." I often used to visit the old woman. 
She IS in heaven to-day. "Well," said I, "then 
you get on your bonnet, and let 's go up and see 
her." And we would go up the hill and see Aunt 
Ann, and we would sit by her bedside and sing 
hymns, and read the Scriptures, and pray to God ; 
and when we went away, we did so feeling, sure 
enough, as if we had been to heaven. The last 
time I visited her, I left a dollar or two in her 

Profession and Peactice. 403 

poor, withered hand^ and she said^ as she turned 
her shrunken eye on me, "Young master'' (she 
always used to call me so), " when I get to heaven 
it won 't be long before I '11 tell the angels how 
good you have been to me," and the consciousness 
that I have done good to one poor, old negro 
woman is as much, and more, to me, as the biggest 
revival meeting I ever saw running under my 

I tell you, brethren, good religion is n't in great 
big crowds, where they 're preaching. It 's over 
yonder, by the bedside of that sick woman, or by 
the side of a destitute friend, trying to soften his 
troubles with kindness. That's good religion. I 
meet a poor, old negro on the road, and stop him, 
and say, " Uncle, here 's a half dollar piece for 
you." And as I go on, the old negro says, " Good 
Lord, bless dat man.* He's jus' like an angel 
dropped down from heaven, to come right here, 
and gib me dis half dollar," and that night, when 
I go to bed, the eagle on the half dollar piece 
turns into a nightingale, and sings me to sleep. 
Have you ever been along there, brethren? I 
paid five dollars for a hat one day. It wasn't a 
good one, and I never got any satisfaction out of 
that hat — never had any enjoyment from it. I 
gave half a dollar to an old negro, and got more 
enjoyment from that act than from all the hats in 
town. I wish we could see that religion would 
help us along. Blessing others ! That 's religion. 
I am just going to leave these thoughts with you 
for you to think over. I tell you, brethren, there 

404 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

is something in this line of things for every one of 
us to go home and think about. Ask yourself, 
"Who would think about me, if I were to die?" Let 
me give you an illustration I 've given frequently. 
I was called to the bedside of a sick man one day. 
" Mr. Jones," he said, " I want to be honest with 
God." " You mean," I said, " you want me to 
pray for you to get well?" " Yes," he said. " But," 
I said, " I can 't pray for you to get well. Sup- 
pose God should ask me why I wanted you to get 
well, what should I say? You know you ain't 
fit for a thing in this round world, that I - ve ever 
found out. You won't pray, you won't pay, and I 
know nothing to bank on, if I ask God to keep 
you alive." Well, brethren, it just scared him up. 
He said, " Brother Jones, do you need any corn ?" 
I said, " I do n't need any particularly, but I guess 
I could do with a little." ^^Well," he said, "I'll 
send you 'round a load or two in the morning." 

I tell you, brethren, there 's nothing like tap- 
ping a fellow when he's down. You can work on 
him then. Some of you, if you thought you were 
dying, would want your pastor to pray for you to 
get well, and if the pastor were to do as you wanted 
him to do, and the Lord were to ask him why he 
wanted you to get well, I wonder what answer he 
would be able to make the Lord. Some of you 
ain't fit for a thing in this round earth, but just to 
come up and get your rations. Think of a soldier 
that does nothing but come up and draw his rations! 
The poorest kind of a soldier is the fellow that never 
fired a gxin, or went to the front, but is still draw- 

Profession and Practice. 405 

ing his rations. The Lord deliver us from that 
sort of soldiers! Let^s take these things home, 
and fit them to our lives. I am not banking on 
the fact that I am a revivalist, or that I preach to 
men, and move them, but on the fact that God can 
use me for little things, and that my name is 
written there. That is the secret of a true Chris- 
tian joy. The glorious fact is that the cheerful part 
of my religion is not seen by men, and that my 
name is written in the Lamb's book of life. 
What avails me if thousands are converted? It is 
said that Judas Iscariot was the most earnest 
preacher of the twelve. God help us to get the 
sort of religion that will bless other people. And 
the Lord wants us to have that sort. I can 't do 
any thing for God, who is independent in himself. 
I can 't aid him in any way, personally, to him. 
But, brother, I will tell you how you can do it. 
*' Come, ye blessed.'* Master, why dost thou say to 
me, "Come, ye blessed?" Because — listen — "I 
was an hungered, and ye fed me; I was naked, and 
ye clothed me. I was sick, and ye visited me." 
"Lord, when did we ever see thee sick, and visited 
thee, or hungry, and fed thee, or naked, and 
clothed thee ?" "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto 
one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it 
unto me." Brethren, if you want to help Christ, go 
and look for some poor folks that love Christ, or 
ought to love him. Jesus says ; "A cup of cold 
water, given in my name, shall not lose its reward." 
That's it. There are a great many impostors. A 
great many people hang around revivals just for 

406 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

the loaves and fishes. So they did in the days of 
Christ. Bat I would rather help ninety-nine ini- 
postorsy and one genuine case^ than let one genuine 
case go unblest. The truth of the business is^ 
organized charity is the only real charity in the 
world — that charity that thinks of, and thinks 
into the cases, and thinks out the difficulties of 
those who need help, and puts them where they 
can assist themselves. But, brother, let us bless the 
people of this town this week. Let us go into it 
with our sleeves rolled up, and our hearts on fire 
with love to God and man. That 's what you want. 
We have had hardly enough conflict in this mill- 
ing. Wc have n't had as much as usual of the ^' I 
do n't like this," and '* I won't put up with that." 
They are firing on us from the towns surrounding. 
But have you ever noticed how a cannon sounds in 
a grave-yard? There 's a peculiar ring to it. When 
a fellow shoots a gun from the cemetery, it has a 
sort of guttural tone, and seems to have crept from 
the tomb. But I say, brother, I never was afraid 
of ghosts, or cannons, or any thing else inside of a 
cemetery. But now, when you come out with the 
living, there may be a battery, but do n't you be 
disturbed by the cannonading of a cemetery. It is 
just a sound, that's all. I suppose some of you 
may see the point, and some may not; but I mean 
it. To see an old fellow poke up his head till he 
raises his tomb - stone, and say, "Be quiet there," 
and then pull his head back in, and let his tomb- 
stone down! Be quiet there, do, boys; you will 
make infidels. May the grave-yards be kept en- 

Profession and Practice. 407 

closed, and the inhabitants not let out on iis. Think 
on these things as you go. Work and pray, and 
when the cemeteries shall give up their dead, let it 
not be said of us that we were dead before the 
breath left us, but that we lived while we did live, 
and died in peace, and at last went home and found 
the Lord. 


The speed, and momentum, and destination of 
a cannon ball are to be determined always by how 
much powder is behind it; and your speed and 
course to the good world will depend a great deal 
upon how you start. 

Talk about reason and common sense; if you 
will just let your common sense and your reason 
run over the past to-night, and look upon you in the 
present, you Ml say, " Well, surely God has poured 
his blessings upon me, and I ought to give him 
the homage of my heart, and the fidelity of my 

Let 's quit singing the " Sweet By and By," 
and sing the sweet now and now. In joy make 
home pleasant. Make home pleasant I A thing 
of joy is a thing of beauty forever, as well as a 
thing of beauty is a thing of joy forever. Try to 
be joyous and pleasant for a whole week. Keep 
your faces straight, and if they get out of shape, 
let it be with a great big smile as broad as the 
double doors on your parlor. I like a smile a mile 
long sometimes. 

Sermon XXX. 


" Delight thyself also in the Lord ; and he shall give thee 
the desires of thy heart"— Psa. xxxvii, 4. 

THERE are moral forces in the world, brethren, 
just as there are physical forces. About two 
years ago, I was walking on the railroad track just 
above my town, with the pastor of our Church. He 
was a younger man than myself. '^ Jones,^' he said, 
''we will have a cyclone this afternoon about two 
o'clock." I said, "Have you gotten out your al- 
manac yet?" " No," he replied. " Well," I said, 
"if you have got so that you can predict storms and 
cyclones, you ought to get out one." "I am not 
joking," he said; "do n't you see how the wind has 
changed? Just now it was in our faces; now it's 
at our backs ; in another minute or two it will be 
on our right, and then on our left. You look out 
about two o'clock." Well, we went out and took 
dinner with my brother, and then he drove us into 
town in his buggy. We got home just about two 
o'clock. My brother was around at the back, and 
we heard him suddenly shout, "Look! look!" We 
ran out to the back door, and there was one of those 
fearful cyclones, carrying houses, and trees, and 
almost every thing, in its sweep. I stood watching 

it in its deathly course, and it passed just a mile 


Delighting in the Lord. 409 

below us. It was just about four hundred yards 
wide, and looked like a thousand coal-burning en- 
gines chained together. "There's your cyclone," 
said I to the pastor. " I will tell you why it had 
to come," he said, " because conditions met. When- 
ever the proper conditions meet we shall have a 

Now, brethren, I just want to say that wherever 
conditions meet you will have a moral cyclone that 
will uproot the evil of the whole community, and 
lay bare the giants of sin in the land. We do n't 
want a small whirlwind, or a little blow, but a grand 
spiritual cyclone. Let you and me go to work and 
get up conditions, and whenever they meet you will 
have a cyclone. I have seen a few of them. It is 
a grand sight to see a physical cyclone doing ite 
work, but it Is a grander sight to see a spiritual 
cyclone in operation. It is a grand sight to see the 
gray-headed old man, steeped in vice for seventy 
years, come to the stool of repentance, and throw 
himself on the mercy of God ; and it is a grand 
sight to see a whole family gathered up and brought 
into the arms of the Church and Heaven. What a 
grand thing to see conditions meet so that God can 
bless people in a spiritual cyclone. 

Now, brethren, I never tried to be heterodox in 

my life. I always tried to be orthodox, but never 

cared much about it. I have found out that every 

body that agrees with me is orthodox, and every 

body who does not agree with me is heterodox. 

How are we to get the standard of orthodoxy? 

Who is to tell us who is right and who is wrong? 
35— B 

410 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

But experience is worth a great deal. Sometimes 
theology gets very muddy. If my boy were called 
to preachy I would not send him to a school of 
theology, but to a school of manology. Our preach- 
ers know a good deal about God, but very little 
about men. Did you ever notice that? I will say 
again, and I want to be understood, there are two 
sides to the Gospel, just as there are two sides to 
farming. God's side of farming is raining and 
shining ; and man's side to farming is plowing and 
hoeing, and planting. There 's many an old farmer, 
now, that would like to swap sides with God. He 
thinks it so much easier to rain and shine than to 
plow and hoe. And it 's much that way in religion. 
" O, Lord," says an old sinner, " if you will come 
down and quit uncleanncss in me, I will do the 
blessing." I am so glad he won't do it — ^so glad 
he has fixed it so that you have to do the cleaning 
thing before he will bless you. 

There are a great many things we would like to 
have changed in this world. That old fellow out 
there says: " Now, if God had fixed it so that there 
should have been no death, what a blessing it would 
have been !" Now, if some prophet here were to 
get up and announce to you all as the latest news 
from Heaven that nobody was to die in this city for 
a hundred years, I would just close up this meeting 
right off; what would be the use in carrying it on 
if none of you had to think any thing about dying? 
But just about ninety-five years from now if I were 
to come back this way I 'd be able to get up a great 
meeting, for you 'd be saying to yourselves, " I 've 

Delighting in the Lord. 411 

got to think about death now ; I may die in five years' 
time; it is better to get ready/' If death were 
abolished here for a hundred years the grass would 
grow up in front of every church in this town, and 
there 's not a preacher here who would get fifty 
dollars salary next year. These environments 
around us were put here by God. Let us light on 
them as the honey-bee does on the flower, and with 
velvet tread let us walk as it does. Do n't mar the 
beauty, but extract the fragrance. You live in 
these environments, and use them well. God's love 
is abroad in the land, and he that believeth and 
liveth shall never die. The best way to get away 
from God is to run up toward God; and the best 
way to live is to die ; and the best way to be happy 
is to get very miserable about your meanness. Con- 
ditions meet. Delight thyself in the Lord. 

Now to-day we are trying to get up conditions. 
I like a cheerful, happy, bright-faced religion. I 
have seen very good people with sad countenances 
and solemn looks. I can remember when I was a 
little boy an old Methodist preacher used to come 
to our house and look solemn and dignified, and 
when he cocked his eye round and looked me in the 
face, I thought as how the devil would get me, sure, 
in about two minutes. I was afraid of him. Look 
here. If to be sad and unhappy, and solemn and 
droopy is religion, I never want to die without it, 
but I do n't want it until just the minute before I 
die. I would not be loaded with it from now until 
I die for any thing in the world. An unhappy, sad 
Christianity ! I do n't blame young people for not 

412 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

catching on to religion of that sort. As the boys 
say : Yon will never get up a " mash '' with the 
young folks on that line. Never! God is my Father. 
I am his child. He loves me; I love him. Breth- 
ren, I love my children. They call me "father/* 
and I call them sons and daughters. Do you know^ 
when they come around me with glad faces, I am 
happier than at any other time in the world ? And 
whenever one of them comes up looking sad and 
droopy, I know he has done something mean or is 
sick, and I either brush him or give him a dose of 
medicine on the spot. It is perfectly unnatural for 
one of my children to go around droopy when he 
is all right. 

Now, brethren, some of you do n't believe in en- 
joying yourselves and looking happy. Well, if I 
have paid my debts and done right all the week, on 
Sunday when I go to church, I want to wear a 
smile as broad as heaven. But if you have been 
making money by gouging a widow or in any other 
mean way, and telling lies and drinking whisky, 
you ought to be as solemn as a paid mourner. But if I 
have done my duty and gone along and done well, O, 
my Father in heaven, no angel shall outsmile me, 
or no angel outjoy me. Religion never was designed 
to make one pleasure less. I love a happy, cheerful 
Christianity. I am happy here; I will be there. 
I am happy on my journey. I thank God there is 
not only water enough in the river of life to wash 
the last speck of dirt out of a soul, but joy enough 
and over to keep every one happy on the way there. 
If God could not have made every one happy here 

Delighting in the Lord. 443 

He would have knocked the devil in the head and 
boxed him up long ago. 

Some people are never happy unless they are 
very miserable. They just know there is something 
wrong when they feel well. An old fellow said to 
me once : " I like to sing sometimes, to make my- 
self feel humble.'^ I said, " You old dunce ! yon 
do n't know the difference between feeling humble 
and feeling mean.'' It takes a metaphysician to tell 
the difference between the two. " Delight thyself 
in the Lord^ and he will give thee the desires of 
thy heart." Delight yourself! Sister, suppose 
you had a servant, and every time you bade her go 
and do something she went off moping and growl- 
ing ; you would keep her about a week, and then 
say to your husband, " I am going to settle up with 
that girl ; I do n't want her; I would rather do the 
work myself; she mopes and growls to do the least 
thing." I think sometimes, when the Lord tells us 
to do things and we go off to do them moping and 
growling, that he says to an angel : " Erase his 
name from among my servants. I would rather go 
down and do the work myself than have such a 
servant as that." Sister, once you had a happy, 
bright-faced servant, and when you would bid her 
do a thing she always did it with a smile. When 
you handed her a new dress one day your husband 
asked you if you were going to give her every thing. 
You say, " Well, she is so cheerful and happy I 
can 't refuse her any thing," I suppose sometimes 
one of the angels asks the Lord if he is going to 
give some people every thing, and he replies that 

414 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

they do his work so cheerfully and pleasantly that 
he can 't refuse them any thing. Down in Colum- 
bus, Georgia, one of the pastors, a happy, bright 
brother, walked into the post-office one morning 
and asked for his mail. The postmaster asked him 
inside. " Do you see these boots," he said, pointing 
to a handsome pair of new boots on his feet ; " what 
do you think of them?" "They are very good." 
" Well," said the postmaster, " you go to such and 
such a place and let them take your measure. I 
want you to have a pair made just like them." 
The pastor said, " I do n't need any boots specially. 
What does it mean ? " " Well, it 's not because I Ve 
heard you preach so often, but because you've put 
your head in at my window about 300 days during 
the year and given me a pleasant smile." 

" Delight thyself in the Lord, and he will give 
thee the desires of thy . heart." In Monticello, 
down where I Was pastor, a carriage manufacturer 
called up his hands for a final settlement, and when 
he had paid them all off he called to a yellow- 
colored boy of about twenty, and said, "Harry, 
come here; here is a $20 gold piece for you." 
" What 's that for ? you paid me," said Harry. " It 's 
because," said the master, " I called you up at all 
times of the day and night, and sent you off on all 
sorts of errands, and never saw you except with a 
smile on your face. This is for the way you did 
your work; not for what you did." 

Motive has a good deal to do with all this thing. 
If I speak with the tongue of men and of angels, 
and do a thousand other things, and have not 

Delighting in the Lord. 415 

charity — a loving, gentle, submissive spirit — what 
does it amount to? If you will do gladly and 
cheerfully what the Lord gives you to do, he will 
not only pay full price for what you have done, but 
will pay you over again for the way you have done 
it. A cheerful man is to the world what oil is to 
the engines of a workshop. He keeps away friction 
and makes things run smooth. I believe if yctu 
do n't benefit a man's soul by preaching to him, you 
have done some good if you have improved his 
body. -It is mighty hard for a man with a physical 
infirmity to be religious. Beecher said irreverently — 
and Beecher says many a good thing — that when 
his liver got out of fix the kingdom of heaven got 
out of fix for him. That is irreverent, but, as we 
say down South, " There 's gum in it." Before I 
commenced living and enjoying myself as I do now, 
I was thin and sallow, and look at me now. 
" Laugh and grow fat " on your way to glory. 
"Delight thyself in the Lord, and he will give 
thee the desires of thy heart." I believe in a happy, 
cheerful Christian. I believe that the happiest 
people in the world ought to be Christians, and that 
Christians ought to be the happiest people in the 
world, and enjoy themselves more than any people 
on earth. 

Mope 'round here just as if your Father in 
heaven had died and left you nothing in his will 
and you are an eternal orphan! If some of my 
children looked as some of you people do some- 
times, I would n't want to hear them call me 
"father" in company where any body could hear 

416 Sam Jones^ Own Book. 

thcni. Let 's get the idea out of our head that a sad 
face means a clean hearty that a solemn look means 
purity of life, that dignity and usefulness are synony- 
mous terms. When a man is full of sin he needs a 
good deal of dignity to hold him up. The more 
dignity a man needs and employs, the less he has of 
other things much better than dignity. I am going 
to be as dignified some day as any man in this 
crowd. It will be when I am laid out in ray coffin. 
I will be as straight and composed then as any 
body. I never expect to be dignified *until then. 
The more dignified a fellow is the nigher he is d^ad. 
Did you ever notice that? I said it — I mean it. 
What is dignity ? It is the spread of a shroud. I 
fancy I hear some sister say about me, " He is so 
dreadfully out of propriety in every thing.'^ Do 
you know what propriety means? See now. Did 
you ever see a fellow go right up to a thing 
straighter than I do ? I have more propriety than 
any fellow you ever saw. Only you do n't know 
what propriety means. Your ignorance gets you 
into a heap of trouble. It does that. Your idea 
of propriety is this : You go down and look into a 
shop window, and see a hat bent and twisted and 
crooked until it will fit your foot as well as your 
head. That is your propriety. O, for a little 
more real dignity in the pulpit, and more propriety 
among our members ! What is true dignity ? To 
maintain with earnestness and fidelity the claims of 
God upon hunmnity ; and true propriety is to go 
right up to a thing and strike at it without any 

Delighting in the Lord. 417 

Do you ever go to prayer-meeting on Wednes- 
day nights? Some places in the United States you 
go in and you see the brothers and sisters drop in 
one by one until there are about seventeen of them 
sitting in seventeen different seats of the church. 
And one looks as if he came from China, and 
another as if he came from Africa, and a third as 
if he belonged to Greenland, and so on. By and 
by the preacher comes in, looking sad and solemn. 
" Brethren,'* he says in the solemnest of tones, 
" we are in the house of God, and it behooves us to 
be solemn.*' Then he solemnly announces a hymn, 
and solemnly kneels down in prayer. Then he will 
get up off his knees and read a chapter about the 
mountains trembling at His presence, and so on. 
You've been along there. Then he'll throw the 
meeting open for a talking meeting. One brother 
over there will get up and say, " It looks to me as 
if I 've had more temptations in the past week than 
ever before ; it seems as if I must be getting along 
poorer in my religious life." Then another brother 
will look at another as much as to say, " It 's your 
turn now ; I talked last week, and if you can 't do 
any better 'n I did you had better keep your seat." 
Then they all sit round and look solemn at one 
nnother; then they have another song and prayer,- 
and then they call on old Brother A, and he gets on 
the bended knees of perishing humanity, and, if one 
may speak for all, they 've had a bad time of it. 
Then the brother dismisses the meeting, and tells 
them all to be sure and come back next Wednesday 
night. They all go away, and thank God they have 

418 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

been growing in grace. I 'd as lief try to make a 
shade tree out of the leg of that bench as to try to 
grow in grace on that line. Brethren, I want to go 
to the prayer service with joy in my heart. I want 
to be able to say, " I was glad when they said unto 
me, Let us go into the house of the Lord." I want 
to see the people of God go into the house of God 
with a rush, and conduct their meetings with a rush. 
Our Christianity is too slow. Half of us never get 
up with an old sinner until he is dying, or dead 
drunk, or too sick to move. Then we catch up 
with him. Nine out of ten of these nineteenth 
century sinners can run a mile while we are fasten- 
ing ourselves. I have known a preacher who did n't 
expect to do any thing but worry the living and 
bury the dead. And that 's about all he did do. 
As soon as an old sinner got down to die, he M go 
and cry over him and talk about the Christian life, 
and at last perhaps heM get him to give to God the 
last remnants of a miserable life. 

Brethren, have an aggressive, earnest, cheerful 
Christianity, full of life. Christianity is life or it 's 
nothing. Life! Life! And your words and works 
and actions and conduct are but the fruits which 
hang' upon that tree which is your life. Be a cheer- 
ful, happy Christian. Go home and make home 
happy. Go home and make the wife happy. Go 
home and make the children happy. O, brethren, 
if there 's a place on earth that ought to be an 
Eden it is home. I hate to see a man who '11 stand 
behind the counter all day, and smile on every lady 
that comes in, and wait on her politely, and then 

Delighting in the Lord. 419 

will go home and look cross as a bear at his wife, 
and never say a word to her until bedtime, and 
then go off to bed having no more to say to her 
than if she had n't any existence at all. I never 
did like that kind of a fellow that was kind, and 
graceful, and polite to every woman but his own 
wife. Yes, and some of you Ul sit there now and 
look as innocent as if you never heard of such a 
thing. Sister, that's a fact, isn't it? And to see 
a lady — I've seen a few in America, polite and 
graceful to every gentleman she meets and yet she 
is n't cheerful and pleasant with her husband. Good 
Lord help me always to say it — if there 's one wo- 
man in this world that I'll be polite and pleasant 
with, by the grace of God, it shall be my wife, and 
the mother of my children. If I do n't treat any 
but one family of children right, by the grace of 
God it shall be my own family of children. I tell 
you, brethren and sisters, the more religion you 
have, the better husband you are going to be, the 
better father you are going to be, the better mother 
you are going to be, the better children you are 
going to be. That is what we want to make 
our homes happy — Christianity in all its force 
and life and power. Delight yourself in the Lord. 
Let religion be your joy, and teach your children 
by your life and example that religion is not only 
designed to make yoi^ blessed, but it is the most 
blessed thing in the world. 

Now, how can I get every thing I want? By 
delighting myself in the Lord— going along cheer- 
fully and doing whatever the Lord tells me to do. 

420 8am Jones* Own Book. 

I dare say it^ and I say it with a thankful heart 
and with all humility, I do n't believe there 's a 
brother here that has done as much work in quan- 
tity — a heap of you beat me in quality, but I yield 
the palm to any brother in this town on that — ^but 
I believe I have done more ministerial pulpit work 
than any living man within the past ten years. I 
have preached four times a day, an hour at a service, 
right along for weeks and months together. And 
if you ask me. How have you stood so much work? 
I can tell you that the only reason I know is that 
I have gone steadily and cheerfully and done the 
work God wanted me to do. An old brother will 
get up in the pulpit and say. Woe is me if I preach 
not the Gospel. God never called him to preach. 
It 's a lie ! It 's a lie ! Well, you say, St. Paul said : 
"Woe is me if I preach not the Gospel." St. Paul 
said: "Woe is me if I preach any thing else but 
the Gospel," but he never said : If God will let up 
on me, I Ml quit. He did n^t. He said : " I count 
not my life dear unto myself. I count all things 
but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of 
Christ Jesus my Lord, and for the privilege of 
doing the work God gives me to do." But you get 
up in the pulpit and make out you Ml quit preaching 
if only the Lord will let you get to heaven without. 
You ain't fit to preach. A man that would rather do 
any thing else than preach is n't fit to preach. Breth- 
ren, the first time I preached there was trepidation 
and fear in my heart and quivering in my frame. 
For many months I was troubled because I feared 
I could not preach as God wanted me to preach, 

Delighting in the Lord. 421 

and the only fear or trouble I have ever had is, 
not that I have got to preach, but. Am I right in 
every thing I have got to say? I want to tell you 
that if in America there were a law passed to pro- 
hibit preaching, I would take the first steamship for 
some other country, where I could preach the Gos- 
pel of Jesus Christ. I would n't live anywhere I 
could n't preach, I like it that well. And when 
you get a fellow liking any thing it 's astonishing 
how much of it he can stand up to. It is that. 
To preach Christ twice a day is n't much of a job. 
But I have known a preacher used up preaching 
religion twice a week. After his two sermons on 
Sunday he would n't be fit for any thing next day 
with " the Mondays." I have, as true as you live. 
But I believe he could preach Christ twice a day 
and it would n't hurt him. A great big strapping 
preacher with the Mondays! He sits round the 
house a perfect nuisance all day Monday, and his 
wife says, "The Lord knows I hate to see Sunday 
coming around for I know Monday is coming too." 
The Lord deliver us from the Mondays ! I never 
had a touch of them in my life. 1 thank God for 
the grace that delivered me from the Mondays all 
my religious life. 

Brethren, if you want all that heart can desire, 
get along to be a happy, cheerful Christian, and 
God will give it to you. You need n't doubt that. 
Listen. "He will give thee the desire of thy heart." 
Give you every thing you want. Who is the hap- 
piest, richest man in the world? The man who has 
every thing he wants. Brethren, I believe I can 

422 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

say a trnth^ and I say it to the honor and glory wf 
God. Listen: I have gone along cheerfully for 
weeks and weeks doing the will of Grod cheerfully, 
happily, in my work and I believe^ if any time in 
any week you had asked me, What do you want? I 
could not have told you, to have saved my life. It 
did n't seem that I had a want in this universe. 

Thou, O Christ, art all I want:— 
More than all in thee I find. 

O, brothers, there is the secret, the great secret 
of a happy life in Christ Jesus — ^I have found my all. 
And I may say another thing to you : You might 
make me the highest in the land, give me riches 
and honor, make me wholly blest in this world, give 
me a happy dying hour, and I might be taken to 
heaven, and as I walk down the golden streets arm 
in arm with my Father, and he walks into a mag- 
nificent mansion and shows me all its beauties 
adorned by angel's hands, and shows me into every 
apartment of that beautiful mansion in the skies, 
and when he has shown me all its apartments he 
turns to me and says: — Farewell forever, I will 
never see you more and you will never see me more, 
I would be im eternal orphan in heaven; heaven 
itself would be but the home of an orphan if God 
is gone forever. But if I have God on earth I have 
heaven here. There is nothing on earth that I 
desire but God, and heaven itself has nothing better 
than God. Brethren, have God in your heart here, 
have God for your heritage here, and then you have 
all. If a man has God in his heart, he is to him 

Delighting ts the Lord. 423 

righteousness and peace and wealth and strength 
and life and hope and heaven. He is all of it. 

I want to say to you that during the first years 
of my religious life, I did n't understand things. 
I was a very ignorant creature. I am ignorant yet; 
very ignorant — ^but it does n't become many of you 
to say so, because you do n't know as much as I do. 
I make an honest confession. I did n't understand 
a great many things. And I was sometimes un- 
happy because I didn't understand these things. 
I'll tell you my life when I first started. For the 
first months and years of my religious life, when 
wife would get sick and suffer, I would say : " Well, 
surely God doesn't love me. Just look how wife 
suffers." When one of my little children, would get 
sick and swing like the pendulum of a clock between 
life and death, I would say: "God does n't love me, 
or my precious child wouldn't suffer that way." 
Again, when a little prosperity would come I would 
say : " God loves me now ; we 're all well, and have 
plenty to eat and wear." Then again, when adver- 
sity would come and as a poor preacher I would n't 
have a dollar in the world, I would say: "God 
can 't love me or I would n't be going round with- 
out a dollar." And so I was happy or miserable 
in proportion to the things I saw round me. Hap- 
piness is a distinct thing from joy. " Happiness " 
comes from the same word as " happen," so that 
"happiness" only " happens "—depends upon for- 
tuitous circumstances and fortuitous circumstances 
alone may bring happiness. If things happen 
right, I am happy. But joy has its source from a 

424 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

different quarter. I have quit looking at the things 
seen and have taken to looking at the things un- 
seen. When a man can get his eye on the things 
unseen he is a millionaire. 

Let me give you an illustration. Here is an 
ocean steamer leaving New York for Liverpool. 
I get aboard. She weighs anchor and moves out. 
To-day is clear, the next day is cloudy ; one day is 
calm, the next stormy ; one day I am well, the next 
day I am sick ; one day I can eat, the next day I 
can't; one day I am cheerful conversing with my 
friends, the next day I am moping about. These 
are the things known and seen. But wait. What 
are the things unseen? Away down underneath 
that grand old ship is her mighty propeller pushing 
her right on to Liverpool, no matter whether I am 
sick or well, no matter whether it is clear or cloudy, 
no matter whether it is calm or stormy, no matter 
whether I am talking to friends or moping about, 
no matter whether I am happy or miserable, that 
grand old propeller is pushing the ship right on to 
Liverpool, and probably I have never seen the pro- 
peller from the time I left New York to the time 
I reach Liverpool. No matter if wife is well or 
sick, no matter if children live or die, no matter if 
they are sick or well, no matter if I am poor or 
rich, no matter if I am happy or miserable, I say — 
O, God, let me feel the everlasting arm underneath 
me, lifting me closer to thee every day and hour. 
And now my song is: — 

Nearer, my God, to thee, 
Nearer, to thee; 

Delighting in the Lord. 425 

E'en tho' it be a cross 

That raiseth me, 
Still all my song shall be 
I^earer, my God, to thee. 
Nearer, my God, to thee. 

Nearer to thee I 

Thank Ood for the unseen arm that lifts a world 
to heaven. Brethren, get that arm underneath you, 
and be lifted up the balance of your life. 

Briek Sayings. 

Riches are as much in the way of religion as 

You must have eyes to see the sun, and you 
must keep your eyes open. 

If you will show me a praying pew, I will 
show you a powerful pulpit. 

It takes a first-class preacher and a first-class 
hearer to get up a first-class sermon. 

It ^8 as much your duty to get ready to hear, 
as it is my duty to get ready to preach. 

You can H lay down your religion to-day and 
take it up again to-morrow and go on with it. 

Brother, God knows just each chord of your 
nature, and knows what one to play upon when he 
wants the sweetest music. 

O, brothers, let you and me realize that if we 
ever get to heaven there must be a process of mak- 
ing symmetrical and beautiful a character otherwise 

very unlovely indeed. 
36— B 

Sermon xxxi. 


" Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin." — 
1 John hi, 9. 

THIS iS; perhaps, one of the most difficult texts 
in the Word. of God. I know it gave me 
more trouble for years of my religious life than all 
the other verses of the ^ible. The cold chills ran 
over me many a time when I read it. This verse 
for years of my religious life was a two-edged 
sword cutting to the dividing asunder of joints and 
marrow. But, thank God, these latter years this 
verse, which was once a sword, is now bread. A 
man's moral condition determines for him what the 
Gospel is to him. If there are swords in the Word 
of God you have made them so. God intends every 
word that proceedeth out of his mouth to be bread. 
I 'm not going to preach a sermon on sanctification. 
I believe in the doctrine of sanctification, but I am 
just going to talk good, old-fashioned religion to- 
night, without dividing it into the fii*st and second 
blessing. There is one class of men — the first bless- 
ing did nothing for them — and that class need the 
second blessing bad. But to-night we are talking 
of good, old-fashioned religion. 

" Whosoever is born of God doth not commit 
sin.*' If I were to say to you an honest^ man can 

Born of God. 427 


not steal^ a truthful man can not tell a lie, a sober 
man can not get drunk, every body would believe 
me. Well, I say, if an honest man as an honest 
man can 't steal, and a sober man as a sober man 
can 't get drunk, and a truthful man as a truthful 
man can 't tell a lie, then logic forces us to the con- 
clusion that a Christian as a Christian can not 
commit siu. ^ 

Now, if this text is a climax, we can only get 
to this climax by going up a ladder to it. We 
must climb up with the context ; and the first rung 
in the ladder is this : " Behold what manner of love 
the Father hath bestowed upon us." " Beloved, now 
are we the sons of God." I can explain the fact 
that you and I are here to-night on no other hy- 
]M)thesis except that God is our Fdther and we are 
his children. If I am the son of the Lord God 
Almighty, and he is my Father, then I belong to 
the noblest family of the world. It is worth some- 
thing to a man to belong to a good family. I am 
not talking about what we call Bourbon blood in 
our country. I never saw a boy that was very 
proud of his father that the father was not ashamed 
of him. I am not talking about that kind of blood, 
understand. But still it is often a good thing for 
a young man that he belongs to a good family. 
Many a boy has drifted to the very verge of de- 
struction in dissipation and wickedness, and in some 
thoughtful moment a kind friend walks up and 
takes him by the hand, and says, "Young man, I 
knew your father. He was a princely man. I 
knew your mother. She was a noble, true woman. 

428 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

With such a father and such a mother, why do y.ou 
behave as you do?^* "It is true/' replies the 
youth, " my father was a princely man ; my mother 
was a noble, good woman; and by the grace of 
God I reform my life at this hour. I will never 
again, God helping me, do any thing to bring dis- 
grace on the names of my noble father and mother." 
God pity a boy thgik will take the name of his 
precious, pure mother, and of his noble father, and 
smirch and disfigure it by a godless, dissipated 
life. Now, brethren, I am the son of God Almighty •. 
I am not heir-apparent to a kingdom, but I am 
joint heir with Jesus Christ, and herr of all things. 
There is royal blood, glory be to God! And I will 
say another thing. When a man speaks out before 
the world and professes to be a son of the Lord 
God Almighty, this old world doffs its hat and says, 
" You have made a great profession. You say you 
are the son of God Almighty; now act like the sou 
of a noble King. Act, and talk, and give, and go, 
and come, and be like one." Now see ! This old 
world will not let us profess to be religious and 
then live just as they live without having a con- 
tempt for us. That is — old sinners are not satisfied 
with us unless we live better than they do. J)id 
you ever notice that? 

Now you hear a man say, " I can 't live without 
sin." Yes, and if you '11 watch him you Ml cat<;h 
him at it; he's made provision for it. Now, let's 
be sensible along here and look at it in a common- 
sense way. Suppose you go home to-night and 
make a list of the sins you can 't help committing, 

Born op God. 429 

and when you pray say : " O, Lord, save me from 
all other sins but "these I have on my list. I know 
you can 'fc save me from these. I ^11 go right on 
committing them; but, please, Lord, do save me 
from every other sin." You would n't do that. 
Let us look at this thing in a common-sense way. 
I ni suppose a case, and of course it 's only a sup- 
posed case. Here is a good woman ; her sin is 
tattling. On Monday morning she gets her house 
in order, then she says: "Here, children, you 
keep house for a while. Your mother is a poor 
sinner, and her sin is tattling, and she has to run 
over to the next neighbor's and tattle a little." 
How would you like that sort of logic ? Comiug 
down to plain facts, here 's a brother whose sin is 
overreaching in trade. Suppose he were to say in 
the morning, "Well, wife, I'm off to business. I 
do n't know when I shall be home. I have to 
cheat somebody to-day, and I can 't help it, to save 
my life." His wife and children would have an in- 
quest on him to see if he ought n't to be sent to the 
lunatic asylum. 

The idea of necessary sin* is an absurdity to 
start with. A member of my Church said to me 
once : " Brother Jones, I have one trouble ; I will 
curse when I get mad; I can 't help it." I said, 
"Can't you help it sho' nuff?" "No, I can't." 
"Well," said I, "go right on. The Lord won't 
bother you about it, and I won't. You lam in 
whenever you get ready, and you cuss away, if you 
can 't help it." " Well, but," he says, " I might 
help it." "Well," I said, " if you can help it th. 

430 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

Lord will put you in hell for it, and I ^1 turn you 
out of my Church for it/' And that 's the point I 
want to make on you. If you can 't help it, go on^ 
go on! But if you can help it, you had better 
look out. 

I overhauled my life about four years ago, and 
found I'd quit every sin I wanted to quit, and 
those I did n't want to quit I was still running. A 
preacher in my State once said in the pulpit that a 
man could n't live without sin. If I 'd been there 
I 'd have felt inclined to jump up at that point and 
ask him to '' name the sin a man could die com- 
mitting and get to heaven, or take that back. I 'm 
not going to give you any such chance as that to 
inveigle my soul into hell." Do you believe me 
when I say every man of us has as much religion 
as we want? Do you believe that? Religion, what 
is it? It is a matter of choice, choice, choice! 
What does choice mean ? It means to take this and 
reject that. It does n't mean desire. Now what is 
holiness? What is the purity talked about in this 
text? I '11 tell you. It is a hundred cents on the 
dollar, doing right every time you get half a chance 
and refusing to do wrong under any circumstances. 
It is n't doing right ninety-nine times out of a hun- 
dred. You can 't bank on a man like that, because 
you can 't tell to save your life when he is going to 
do wrong. I want a fellow to refuse to do wrong. 
I feel like an old woman who found fault with her 
husband about getting drunk, and he promised he 
would n't get drunk that day, but he came home 
drunk as a coot that night. She said: ''Just look 

BoBN OP God. 431 

at you now, and after your promise too/' " Well/' 
he said, " I did n't go to get drunk." " But did 
you go not to get drunk." That is just the word. 
That is religion — to want to avoid the thing that 's 
wrong and to do the thing that 's right. 

O, these little silly excuses you make for staying 
away from prayer-meeting, for not praying in your 
families, for not paying your debts. Brother! I 
want to be understood about that debt business. If 
you can 't pay your debts and want to pay them 
you have the sympathy of God and the angels. But 
if you can pay your debts and won't, God will put 
you in hell for it. You can take that for what it 's 
worth. The same God that says, " Thou shalt not 
steal," says "Owe no man any thing, but to love 
one another." I believe I 'd rather a fellow would 
steal any thing I 've got when I 'ra asleep than buy 
of me on credit and not pay me. Because, if he 
steals it when I 'm asleep I say it 's clear gone, and 
I do n't know who took it, and I ain't meeting him 
every little while. But if it 's the other way, he 's 
sticking himself in my way and breaking up my 
religious enjoyment everywhere I go. I despise a 
fellow like that. I have known men get into debt 
that way, and the next thing you hear from them 
i8, that they are agents for their wives. Think of 
a great big ship of a man towed round by his wife 
as her "agent!" I'll tell you. Brother I As God 
is my judge I'll never sign my name as agent for 
my wife. Understand that. I believe my wife 
loves me well enough and loves my character well 
enough that if she were worth ^100,000 and I owed 

432 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

$99,000, she would say : " Husband, take it and pay 
your debts; I would not have your honor stained 
for all the money in the world." And you fellows 
that are agents for your wives try to get your wives 

to settle up for you. 

We can afford any thing else as a Church rather 
than to carry these men who are not clean in their 
business and practical life before the people. These 
old sinners — you preachers say these are in your 
way. You are lower down than ever I was if you 
let that sort get in your way. Do you hear that? 
A fellow can 't be in your way unless he 's ahead 
of you. And when a man gets low enough down 
for that sort to be ahead of him, I never would 
tell it again while I lived. If I were you, I 'd shut 
my mouth and say no more about it. I would. 
Brethren, there's but one attitude toward sin for 
the Christian, and that's the attitude of abhor- 
rence. Lord, Lord, teach us to know that every 
sin in this universe has the blood of Jesus Christ 
upon it, then evei^ Christian when it is brought 
into his presence will cry : " Take it out of my 
presence. It has the blood of my precious Savior 
upon it. I loathe it. I hate it. I will not touch 
it." Brethren, I say that repentance precedes be- 
lief, and I believe repentance means I 'm done, I Ve 
quit ; and a man that has n't quit those things has 
not only never been converted, but he has never 
repented. He is still in the bonds of iniquity. Grod, 
pity a man that has not got religion enough to keep 
him enjoying life without running into the sins of 
the world, the flesh, and the devil. 

Born op God. 433 

Every Christian should be as jealous of his 
purity as the little ermine is of his fur. The er- 
mine is the most fastidious little animal in the 
world. He is as white, almost, as the driven snow. 
The only way they can capture it is, when it comes 
from its den, to sprinkle mud and dirt on its 
path, and when the little ermine comes back and 
sees the mud and dirt, it will lie down and subject 
itself to capture and death before it will surrender 
one of its little white hairs. O, brethren, we want 
Christians who will die before they will surrender 
their Christian character. 

That is the line we want to get on. Because, 
brethren, sin is worse than death. There is nothing 
in death to harm a good man ; sin damns soul and 
body for ever. Do you recollect that time when 
the devil had come from going to and fro in the 
earth and walking up and down upon it? God 
said, "Have you beheld my servant Job? I can 
bank on him ; I can trust him." The devil looked 
up in the face of his Maker, and said, "Job is 
wealthy, and he is serving you for what he has got. 
Take away his property, and he'll curse you to 
your face." And God said, " Take every thing he 
has away from him, but do n't lay your hand on 
him." And one messenger runs up to Job, and tells 
how his cattle have been destroyed, another how 
his sheep, and another how his camels were de- 
stroyed, and finally runs in a messenger and tells 
how every one of his children was destroyed. And 
when the last earthly prop had been swept away he 

stood there before God and said : "The Lord hatli 
37— B 

434 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

given, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be 
the name of the Lord.'' And the devil stood aghast^ 
and said, " Why, Adam fell the first lick I made at 
him ; that innocent being that God had made, the 
first lick I made at him down he came. And here 
is Job, whose last earthly prop has been taken 
away, and he is as loyal to God as he was in all his 
wealth and glory." Then he said to the Lord : " If 
you '11 let me take his health away, he '11 curse you 
to your face." The Lord says : " I can bank on 
Job ; I 'm sure of him. Take his health away, but 
leave the breath of life in him ; do n't take away 
his life." And the devil set in on him. The next 
we hear of Job he is down on an ash-bank scrap- 
ing himself with a* potsherd. And his wife came 
to him and said, '^Your breath is a stench in my 
nostrils; curse God and die." And Job answered: 
" Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." 
And the devil stood aghast, and said : " Well, well, 
just look at that. I have done all I can do, and 
Job's as loyal as in the days of his prosperity." 

Then the devil went and got Job's friends, 
with Job's wife thrown in — and the devil makes a 
big jump on a fellow when he gets his wife — and 
he pitched in on him with his wife and his friends. 
They said to him, " It 's your character we 're after. 
You 've got nothing left but your character, and 
we 're going to take that from you. It 's your 
meanness; it's your sins that have done this." Old 
Job heard them strike him, and he said, ^' I have 
maintained mine integrity. I have done the clean 
thing." And God came up and walked with Job, 

BoBN OP God. 435 

and he blessed him more in his latter days than in 
his former days. 

O^ brethren^ be good so that God can bank on 
you, and you will be pure, and God's richest bless- 
ings will rest upon you. The Lord bless you 
preachers, and put you on a platform where God 
can bank on you everywhere and every day. My 
brethren, to-day I can say that if I am not loyal to 
God I do n't know it. Since I was converted I 
have not seen a minute that he could not command 
every drop of my blood, every minute of my time, 
every passion of my soul, every dollar of my money. 
O, come up higher ; get where God can make some- 
thing out of you. Then you will enjoy peace and 
prosperity, and you shall be a blessing to your 
native land. O, brethren, a Christian ought to be 
like the larks of Scotland. The sweetest-throated 
birds that ever warbled a song are said to be the 
larks of Scothmd. They roost upon the grass of 
the fields, and early in the morning the Scottish 
farmer walks through the fields, and he flushes the 
larks, and they begin to rise, and circle as they rise, 
and sing as they circle, and it is said the highest 
note of the lark is its sweetest note, and, listening 
to its last sweet tone, it seems as though the heaven 
bent down and mingled its melody with the melody 
of the throat of the lark. 

Brethren, let us get up, and circle as we rise, 
and sing as we circle. Let us sing a victory over 
sin and death and hell. Let us be loyal to God. 
Now every Church member of a Church in this 
house that will pray, " Lord, get me up to where 

436 Sam Jones* Own Book. 

you are;" every man in the Church or out that 
wants to have religion^ and will have it if he gets 
it, I want you to stand up and join us in a short 
pt9|rer. The Lord help you and bless you. 

Briek Sayinos. 

The wife either makes or unmakes her husband. 

It is the little things in this life that keep up 
the worry. 

There are few men in this world better than 
their wives. 

A Christian girl runs a great risk when she 
marries a worldling. 

Let 's make it fashionable to love God and keep 
his commandments. 

God pity the woman that has no more sense 
than to marry a man that drinks. 

When you have spent all, it seems, so far as you 
are concerned, that nobody else has any thing. 

God pity a mother that has to send her children 
to a dancing school to learn grace and manners. 

God pity the mother that has raised up a lot of 
kicking animals — animals that bite and kick too. 

A MAN wants a soul big enough for God and ' 
the angels and all men to come in and live with him. 

The girl that will marry a boy whose breath 
smells with whisky, is the biggest fool angels ever 
looked at. 



" Create in me a clean heart, O God ; and renew a right 
spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence ; 
and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the 
joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy free spirit. 
Then will I teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners shall 
be converted unto thee." — ^Psalm li, 10-13. 

"/Create in me a clean heart, O God, and re- 
\^ new a right spirit within me" Then, and 
not till then, will I teach transgressors thy ways, 
and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Now 
if David, with all his authority as king of Israel, 
with all the advantages and facilities he could com- 
mand, needed this in order that sinners might be 
converted, I reckon we are free to admit that we 
can do nothing until we get the thing he talked 
about. We have got no prestige, and very few 
facilities, and really we 're not much any way. 

Now, let 's drop back a little and see what he 
wanted, in order that sinners might be converted 
unto God. He said, " Hide thy face from my sins 
and blot out mine iniquities." I think it very fool- 
ish for me to get down on my knees and ask the 
Lord to do something for another fellow he 's never 
done for me. I do really, brethren ; it *s not only 
foolish but wicked for me to pray to God to save 


438 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

the sinners, when may be I am myself one of the 
biggest in town. And usually, people are con- 
verted on a dead level with the Christian people 
standing round them at the time of their conver- 
sion. You say some people have been powerfully 
converted. Well, if that be true, every body stand- 
ing round at that time had been already powerfully 
converted. Let me illustrate what I mean, because 
I w&nt to be understood. Suppose that down in 
the mountains of North-east Georgia, where people 
are very ignorant, a Methodist preacher in that ter- 
ritory will run a revival for two weeks and have 
fifty converts. I want to tell you a conversion in 
North-east Georgia does nH amount to nearly as 
much as it does in the enlightened settlements. It 
means that that minister has got fifty people to 
profess religion, and to come into the Church — who 
will pay twenty-five cents a year to the preacher 
and five cents a year for missions. Do n't you call 
that a tolerably low conversion, now, to say the 
least of it? One man will get religion, and shout 
a mile high; but another will say nothing about it, 
and come next day and give a thousand dollars for 
foreign missions. You can bank on that fellow. 
It does n't cost any thing to shout ; it 's the cheapest 
exercise in religion of all — except singing. You 
can shout all night for a nickel. That '11 about pay 
for kerosene oil to keep the light up. I say, my 
brother, let you and me get up as high as God 
wants us to be, and then every soul that -we. bring 
to Christ will be on a level with us. Now, sister, 
if your girl were to come down this morning and 

Cleanness op Heart. 439 

get religion as you Ve got it, would it do much 
for her? 

Just bring facts where they belong. If your 
boy were to get religion and get it as you have it, 
would n't he be a sight ? You know whom I ^m talk- 
ing to. You canH hurt a good man by talking that 
way. I 'm not talking to good men or women. I 
do n't call any names, but every one knows his own 
number, and just as soon as you strike it he knows 
it. Your converts in this meeting are going to be 
grand, and lofty, and glorious just in proportion as 
you who profess religion are yourselves upon a high 
plane. If you were a penitent, and a man came to 
you in whom you had no confidence he could do you 
no good at the altar. Many a penitent has been 
knocked cold and stiff at the altar, because some- 
body has approached him he had no confidence in, 
somebody he knew to be a hypocrite. There 's a 
sort of spiritual intercommunion, and a man that 
does n't live right has no power over a sinner. I 
can 't explain it, just as I can 't explain how a horse 
knows when his driver is afraid of him. But the 
horse knows it every time. I just know it; that's 
all I can say about it. 

Suppose you were to buy a house and lot and an 
elegant residence, pay the money and get the deeds, 
and the day you were to go in the gentleman said, 
"Here's the key to eight rooms; I have reserved 
two rooms." " Did n't I buy the house ? " " Yes." 
" Well; what do you mean ? " "I want to keep 
four tigers in one room and the other I want to fill 
with reptiles. I want them to stay here." You 

440 8am Jones' Own Book. 

say, "Well, ray friend, if you mean what you say 
I would not have your house as a gracious gift. 
You want me to move my family into a house where 
one room is full of tigers and the other full of 
snakes/' Many a time we turn over our whole 
heart to God, and when he comes in we have re- 
served some rooms for the wild beasts of pride and 
the hissing serpents of iniquity. Let me tell you, 
brethren, I won't ask God to come and live in a 
house that I won't let my family live in. Empty 
every room in the house, and then the heart is the 
center of gravity to Jesus Christ, and he will come 
in and live with you. How many people have am- 
bition and pride in a sense in which God himself 
excuses it? I like to see a well-dressed woman, for 
instance — not a gaudy-dressed woman. I wish silk 
were cheaper than cotton, for I think it is much 
better, I wish every servant girl could wear silk 
all the time, because she looks better in it. I say 
I commend pride of character and pride of dress. 
I think I ought to dress so that nol>ody will notice 
what my clothing is at all. There are women in 
this town, you look at them from first to last, and 
all you see is their rig. If my daughter had only 
one dress, that should be a whole one. If it lacked 
any thing at all, I should cut it off at the bottom 
and never at the top. 

Religion will make the floor clean and the pillow- 
case shine as bright as snow in its purity and white- 
ness. Cleanliness is next to godliness, and filth is 
next to perdition. Spurgeon said, " There are three 
enemies that I have fought all my life — dirt, debt. 

Cleanness of Heart. 441 

and the devil/' A clean heart likes clean hands 
and clean words and a clean life. Let us look at 
our hearts this morning. Is there lurking in the 
cells any thing contrary to the Spirit of our divine 
Lord? Some of you holiness people have got a 
clean hearty but you have not got a right spirit. 
You 're clannish^ and you do n't like a fellow if he 
does n't agree with you. Some of you will get up 
and go out of a church if the pastor does n't preach 
to suit you. Now, the more religion a man has, 
the more he loves the pastor and the Church of 
Gk)d, and the more he will do for them. If you get 
too much religion to love your pastor and do your 
duty to your Church, you may have a good deal of 
religion, but very little sense. Now, the Lord sees 
how a fool can find his way to heaven. The Lord 
has a side door that he lets some people in at. 
When I was on the train, I noticed some fellows 
that the conductor never asked for a ticket — little 
fellows, like that — and if some of us fellows will get 
right in, the Lord won't notice us because we are 
so little. 

A clean heart is one thing; a right spirit is 
another thing. It is a kind spirit, a forgiving spirit, 
a gentle spirit. That's it. Get a wrong spirit in 
you, and let it dominate your life, and you are a 
ruined man as certain as God reigns in heaven. I 
recollect once two of my brothers in my Church fell 
out. They were both stewards, I think. I could n't 
get them to settle their diflSculty, all I could do. 
Then I tried to get them to fight it out, but they 
would n't fight. I did n't know what to do with 

442 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

them. Finally, when a revival broke out in the 
Church one morning I looked over, and they had 
each other in their arms hugging each other. I had 
a talk with one of them as soon as I could. I said, 
" You \e got sense; now I want to ask one question. 
How did you pray while you were feeling mad with 
that brother ?" " Well," he said ; " I Ve acted the 
rascal, but I have n't acted the fool. I have n't 
been on my knees since I got mad." I '11 put up 
with a fellow acting the rascal, but when he gets to 
mixing things and acting the fool too, he 's getting 
in mighty bad shape then. I made this proposition 
at a woman's meeting once I Every body that 's 
mad with any body stand up, and before they 
thought, about twelve jumped right up. But they sat 
down again mighty quick. It was the impulse of 
their nature. I suppose if I were to put the same 
question here, about fifty of you would jump up. 
You would if you answered the impulses of your 
heart. Well, you say, you have been mad too. 
Mad about what ? Well, I 've had a fight or two 
since I became a preacher. I thought it as much 
my duty to defend myself from assault since I be- 
came a preacher as before. I 've been mad enough 
to strike a man or two. The last fight I had I got 
in the fire, and the sparks flew right off me, and I 
thought, God will turn me into hell forever. I 
made a vow. I said, O Lord, I '11 never get mad 
again with any body, unless he treats me worse than 
I have treated vou. See how God treats us. And 
the idea of a man that God has forgiven ten thou- 
sand talents jumping on another fellow about a 

Cleanness of Heart. 443 

nickel and beating him half to death is preposterous. 
That 's a poor business^ is n't it ? 

And I'll tell you another thing.. This getting 
mad is the poorest business in the world. Do n't 
you know Jesus settled this question when he said, 
*^If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirsty 
give him drink." I said when I started in religion, 
if a man slandered me or injured me, Why does 
the Lord tell me to pray for him ? I wish the Lord 
would let me go for him and whip him. He'd stop 
then. But instead of letting me knock him down 
and stamp on him, I 'm to pray for him. I had n't 
gone very far when I found the Lord did n't want 
to protect the rascal that had injured me, but to pro- 
tect me. Alexander tried to conquer the world, and 
died a conquered wretch himself; Naj^leon tried to 
conquer the world, and died in exile. Wheu Jesus 
wanted to conquer the world, he walked up on Cal- 
vary and died for his enemies, and thank God, Jesus 
will conquer this world yet, to a man. It is not 
simply the words you use, but the spirit of the man 
that uses the words that gives you influence with 
sinners. I 've had men say to me — I simply speak 
of this — " If I were to talk like you, Brother Jones, 
they 'd ride me out of town on a rail." I say to 
them. If I talked like myself with your spirit, 
they 'd ride me out. Somehow a fellow knows 
whether you like him or not. If a fellow thinks 
you like him, he'll let you skin him from head to 
foot and take his hide to the tan-yard, and he '11 
walk along with you all the way begging for his 
hide. If you know any man on the face of God's 

444 8am Jones' Own Book. 

earth that I do n't love^ bring him to me^ and I will 
hug him till he hollers. If you know any woman 
I don't love, I will send for my wife and let her 
hug her till she hollers. I felt for a long time just 
as the fellow said he felt when his sweetheart ac- 
cepted him : '^ I felt just as if I had nothing against 
any body in the world." If I had an enemy in 
this town I would n't let the sun go down until I 
had hunted him up and settled the question. 

Brotherly love and kindness ! Where you find 
divisions and bickerings, you will find there that 
the Church of God will never thrive. A man once 
bought a farm, and the neighbors said, " You can't 
live with your next door neighbor. He is a terror 
to the settlement. That 's what the other man sold 
out for. He will torment you to death." The new 
man said, "If he fools with me, I will kill him." 
Well, they told the bad neighbor this, and it made him 
worse than ever. He would cripple his stock, and 
throw rocks at his children. There was not a mean 
thing in the world he would n't do. The new neighbor 
would send him quarters of sheep, and care for his 
stock, and give his children apples and books, and 
kind words. One day the bad neighbor was coming 
home with a load and he got stalled on a big hill. 
The new neighbor came and helped him out and 
ofiered to do any thing he could for him. The man 
dropped to his knees and said, " You said you were 
going to kill me, and you have knocked me cold 
and dead ; and I 'm going to make you the best 
neighbor you ever had in your life." You see, if you 
kill a fellow with love, you do n't have to bury him. 

Cleanness of Heart. 445 

Get the right spirit toward Christians, and you 
will soon get the right spirit toward sinners. Talk 
about the Salvation Arm^ beating drums and kick- 
ing up a noise. Show me the Church in this town 
that has reformed seventy-five poor drunkards in 
the last twelve months. See an old D. D. sitting 
on the banks of the river with a silver-tipped fish- 
ing-pole, and a silk line, and silver sinkers and a 
steel hook. You walk up to him and you say, 
"Brother, how many fish have you caught?^' "O, 
I Ve not caught any, but I ^ve got some mighty 
fine bites." Well, brother, bites won't make, a 
breakfast. Well, that D. D., after a while, will take 
in his line and go a little way down the creek, and 
there 's a little fellow with a red shirt on, and " Sal- 
vation Army '^ on his cap. He 's fishing with a 
crooked stick, and a cotton line, and a rock sinker, 
and a pin hook. " Just look at that pole and that 
line ! I would nH fish with that ! " The little fel- 
low puts his hand in the water and pulls out a fine 
string of fish an arm long, and says to the D. D., 
" Where 's your fish ? " " O, I hain't got any fish, 
but I Ve got a heap more pole than you.'' Brother, 
it does not matter what you 're fishing with, but how 
many fish you have got; that's it. Some people 
think God loves Christians better than sinners, but 
the fact is God loves sinners no less than he does 
Christians. The Lord loves sinners and hates sin. 

Sermon XXXIII. 


''Unto the Angel of the Church of Ephesus, write: 
These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his 
ri^ht hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden 
candlesticks: I know thy works and thy labor and thy 
patience and how thou canst not bear them which are Qvil ; 
and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles and 
are* not, and hast found them liars ; and hast borne, and hast 
patience, and for my name's sake hast labored and hast not 
fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because 
thou hast left thy first love. Remember, therefore, from 
whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works ; 
or else I will come unto thee quickly and will remove thy 
candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. — Revbla- 
TION II, 1-5." 

" T KNOW thy works." I believe all orthodox 
X Christianity starts out with the proposition 
that there is a God, and that he is omniscient and 
omnipresent and omnipotent ; and when I stand up 
here and read the words of this text, " I know thy 
works,'' that is enough to bring every man of us to 
his feet with a tremor in every fiber of his being. 
I believe it would be wise for every man to write 
upon the lintel and door-posts of his house, and 
upon every shelf of his store and business place, 
"Thou God seest me." He not only sees me, but 
he knows me. He knows who I am. He knows 
my name. He has numbered the very hair of my 


I Know Thy Works. 447 

head, and tells me that not a sparrow that chirps in 
the thicket falls to the groand until he has signed 
its death warrant. There is this awful thought, that 
if I am unfaithful either in motive or life God 
knows it; and this blessed thought, every step I 
take to visit the sick or relieve the needy, God 
counts them all and says, '^ Be not weary in well 
doing, for in due season you shall reap if you faint 
not." Brother, I 'm so glad I 'm not to be Judged 
by men or angels. This world can see my faults 
and my shortcomings. This world can see the frail- 
ties of my nature. But none but God, only God's eye, 
has seen how earnestly I pray and how I long to be like 
Christ. Thank God, he knows me from head to foot. 

We very frequently misjudge each other, mis- 
understand each other, but, brother, God never made 
a mistake. He not only hears every word and'^sees 
every act, but he analyzes every motive of my life. 
I know you ! I know you 1 O, brother I Let *s 
realize that all things are open and naked before 
the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. If you 
will only accept three facts: In the first place, God 
made me ; therefore, in the second place, he knows 
me; and in the third place he loves me, then you 
will realize this further fact: I 'm brought in sym- 
pathy with the gracious Father who knows me, and 
knows which wheel of my make-up will break down. 

The strength of a ship is in the weakest plank 
in its build ; the strength of a chain is in its weak- 
est link, and the strength of a character in its weak- 
est point. Mr. Davis, the President of the Southern 
Confederacy, was imprisoned for months after the 

448 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

cruel war in the territory of what he considered his 
enemies. Relating his experience^ he said it was 
hard to be away from wife and home; hard to be 
in prison ; but that which was most unbearable in 
his prison life was that every conscious or uncon- 
scious moment, ho matter what he was doing, no 
matter whether waking or sleeping, the burning 
eyes of a sentinel were fixed upon him. So if I do 
wrong or live wrong, the most terrible thing in my 
life is to feel that the burning eyes of God are upon 
me. If I go about to preach ; if I kneel down to 
pray ; if I sit down in my room ; if I walk the 
streets, every moment the burning eyes of the Great 
I Am rest upon me; and when I am filled with this 
thought, I fall down and say, '^ God be merciful to 
me ; my life won't bear such a scrutiny, my motives 
won't bear such a scrutiny, as that." 

"I know thy works.'* I know what Church 
you belong to. I not only know what Church you 
belong to, but I know when you joined. I know 
what vows you took. I know whether you have 
been faithful to those vows or not. I know your 
relations to your pastor. I know your relations to 
the Church work. You shall be rewarded accord- 
ing to what you have done, whether it be good or 
evil. There 's this thought in connection with the 
judgment. Every time Christ prefigured the judg- 
ment, the man was condemned by something that 
he neglected to do. You know the man that did 
not have on the wedding garment, and they cast 
him out. What for? There was but one charge; 
he neglected to have on the white garment. You 

I Know Thy Works. 449 

remember the poor fellow against whom his lord 
pronounced this doom : ^^ Bind him^ and cast him 
out/' He had one talent given him. Did he steal 
the talent? No^ he brought it back. What was 
he condemned for? Just because he did not get 
usury for it. Those five foolish virgins, why were they 
condemned ? Was it because they had no lamps, be- 
cause they were 'nt kind, good, hearty people? No ; it 
was just because they neglected to have oil in their 
lamps. Brethren and sisters, let God tell us this 
morning, " I know thy works ; " but do nH let him 
tell us, " I know your idleness, your indifierence, 
your carelessness, your prayerlessness." 

"Brethren, what are we doing now? We pay 
our preacher. That 's right. We give to missions. 
That 's right. We give to the poor. That 's right. 
But, brethren, the grand work of the Church of 
Jesus Christ in the world is to pitch in, roll up its 
sleeves, and bring the world to God. That's it. 
God could convict every sinner in this city in the 
twinkling of an eye. Why doesn't he do it? It 
is his mercy that keeps him from doing it. Sup- 
pose God struck every man in this town blind in an 
instant. We would grope through the streets, one 
saying, " Show me the way home," and another, 
" Why, I do n't know my own way home ; I am in 
as bad a fix as you are." And if at twelve o'clock 
to-day every sinner, in this town were convicted, 
there would n't be enough Christians here to show 
them the way to. Christ ; they would wander back 
into sin, and their last state would be worse than 
the first. God never goes outside of the Church to 

38— B 

450 Sam Jones^ Own Book. 

do any thing. Do you understand that? I am as 
much dependent on the Church to help me to win 
souls to Christ as I am dependent on God for the 
help of the Holy Ghost. How many converts did 
God have in China or Japan before the missionaries 
went there. I can not tell you why Christ has ad- 
justed the means and method of grace as he has. 
But I know no man in America ever was brought 
to Christ, except directly or indirectly through 
the Church. 

We had a great revival once in the lumber 
regions of Maine. There was a man there that had 
never been to church in his life, and would n't as- 
sociate with Christian people. And the good Spirit 
permeated the community so it took hold upon this 
man, and he surrendered his heart to God, became 
religious, got up in the meeting, and told how God 
had saved him. He was called on to pray. He 
had never heard a public prayer in his life. He 
got down and said, '^ Good Lord, you have had such 
good luck on me, please try your hand on some of 
those other sinners." Was n't that a grand prayer? 
It was the first prayer he ever prayed, but it was a 
good one, was it not? "O, Lord, you have had 
such good luck on me, try your hand on some of 
these other poor sinners." Brother, there was an 
earnest and sensible putting of his feelings — a thou- 
sand times grander than those elegant prayers you 
frequently hear in public. 

" I know thy works ! " Listen, " She hath done 
what she could." He hath done what he could. 
There 's a commendation I Let me say right here — 

I Know Thy Works. 451 

I ^11 boil it down into one sentence — Heaven ! 
Heaven is just the other side of where a fellow 
does his best. There 's where heaven is if you 
want to know. I believe Christianity is nothing 
more or less than doing the best you can under the 
circumstances. I believe that will stand the test. 
I wish I could get people to see that heaven is the 
home of every man who has done his best on earth. 
Strait is the road and narrow the way that 
leadeth into life, and few there be that find it. 
Brother, resolve now, by the grace of God, if there 
be but two men saved on this earth that you will 
be one of them, and that you will get to heaven. 

"I know thy works;" I .know what you are 
doing. We have run Christianity on sentiment 
until it is about played out in some portions of the 
world. Sentiment! We have got lots of Sunday- 
go-to-meeting religion. I -don't know how many 
other things you have got in this city, but you have 
Sunday piety in this town. Now I never said you 
did h't have every-day piety, but I am satisfied you 
have a good deal of Sunday piety. I believe that. 
I Ml tell you another thing. I believe your piety 
may be something like your residences — with all the 
beautiful brick, and windows in the front of the 
house, and when you get around to the rear they 
don't look so well. Did you ever notice that you 
are like a system of underground railways? Did 
you ever hear any thing like that in this city? 
Thank God, the Lord has the surface railroad in 
this town, but the devil has a big long charter on 
the underground line, and a fellow can go almost 

452 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

anywhere he pleases here by the underground line. 
Do you know that? You can't take a surface rail- 
way in this city and ride to a lewd house, but you 
do n't have to go far on the underground to get to 
one. Lord God ! awaken us and show us that this 
world ought to belong to God from the farthest star 
down to the very gates of hell ! Show us that there 
is no room nor place for underground railways to 
be suffered by Christian people. 

" I know thy works." I know how you go at 
it. It is perfectly natural for people to put their 
best foot foremost. Is n't it ? Well, brother, if I 
can have religion only one day in the week, I am 
going to have it about Wednesday or Tuesday. 
You see, the whole lot of you can fall back and 
have Wednesday religion, and I won't miss you 
much on Sunday, because so many of you have 
religion on that day, Wednesday Christianity isn't 
any worse than any other sort. That's the truth. 
If we do n't get any Sunday Christianity out of 
these meetings we won't be heard of, but if we get 
a few Saturday or Wednesday Christians, we will 
do some good in the meetings. I know you ! You 're 
just as good in one place as you are in another ; 
just as good or as bad on Friday as on Sunday 1 
All right! I think of all times in the world we 
get less credit for being pious on a Sunday, because 
we can 't do much else then. And, sisters, is n't it 
a fact that Sunday furnishes us a splendid day to 
show what the milliner's shop has done, and the 
hat-rack ? Does n't it furnish us a splendid day to see 
and to be seen? And if it is new bonnets and 

I Know Thy Works. 453 

drezss on the part of my neighbors, the big thing is 
to see them, but if I have it on the big thing is to 
be seen. 

I am not going out of my path this morning to 
talk about you, good sisters, but I Ul tell you where 
I got this joke on you. In Louisville there was a 
woman whose husband was a very pious man. God 
took him to heaven. He left his wife means to live 
comfortably. She rebelled against God, and did 
much that was contrary to his will. I was preach- 
ing in Louisville, and she was listening to me one 
night. She was convicted of her sins. She went 
home, and to her room, and knelt down by her bed- 
side. I saw her next morning at nine o'clock. She 
came to the parsonage where I was staying. "Sir,^' 
she said, "I went home last night with all the hor- 
rors of the damned pressing on my soul. I knelt 
down and prayed until I heard the clock strike one, 
and then two, three, and four, and just as it was 
about to strike five, God came with the precious 
baptism of salvation on my soul. I have been so 
happy since that I do n't know whether I am in the 
body or out of it." Afterwards she said to me, " I 
have gone into Church many a time dressed from 
head to foot in all the latest fashions of our city, 
and while God's people were praying, I was looking 
around and wondering what the people thought of 
my dress, or cloak, or hat." You see woman-nature 
is everywhere mightily alike, and if you have n't 
done that yourself, why it 's because you got relig- 
ion before you started in dressing well. There may 
be something in that. I '11 tell you the kind of 

454 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

woman I like— a woman who will walk down here, 
to one of your dry-goods stores and ask the price 
of some elegant piece of goods. " Four dollars a 
yard," says the shopman. " Four times twenty are 
eighty. That's a beautiful piece of goods. My 
husband gave me $100 this morning to invest in a 
new dress. This dress I have on has a few splotches 
on it, but- 1 am going around to the Orphans' Home 
and shall give it that $100, and wear this dress all 
through the season. I don't care if every body 
who sees me laughs at me." 

I could give you another incident. I was preach- 
ing in Atlanta, Georgia, in the interest of my 
Orphans' Home. I called for contributions and 
scattered cards through the audience. A gentleman 
at the back of the church filled one up for a good 
round sum. His wife cast her eyes over and saw 
what he was writing. He told me about it next 
day. He said^: "Just a few days before you 
preached my wife asked me for a sealskin cloak. I 
told her I wished she 'd make the one she had do 
for the present, as I was pretty close run, but next 
Fall I 'd get her a fine one. She saw what I wrote 
on that card, and when we got out of the Church 
she said, ' Husband.' Then I knew something was 
a-coming." You can always tell whether your wife 
means business by what she calls you. Sometimes 
she says "husband," sometimes "honey," and some- 
times plain "John." "She said, 'Do you recollect 
last week I asked you to get me a cloak ? ' * Yes 'm.' 
' And what did you tell me?' 'I told you I was a 
little hard run, and I wished you 'd wait till next 

I Know Thy Works. 456 

Fall, and IM get you a fine one/ 'Well/ she said, 
*I M rather see you give that money to the Orphans' 
Home than have the finest cloak that was ever 
imported. ' " 

I wish we had more of that sort of women who 
do not live for themselves, but live for humanity. 
The proudest attitude I ever saw my wife in was 
when a poor creature was leaning upon her, and 
that poor creature would have fallen down if wife 
had n't supported her. How many people in this 
world are doing no more than toting their own 
skillet? People will say they do n^t like such slang. 
The trouble is they do n't know what is slang, and 
I ain 't responsible for your ignorance. I want you 
to notice that. There isn't a purer word in the 
language than "tote." It's a Saxon word and 
means a great deal, and a skillet is one of the most 
useful things I ever knew in the South. I knew a 
woman who fried her meat in the skillet and baked 
her bread in the skillet, and washed her dishes, and 
I understand that once she washed the baby in it; 
but I do n't know that — I've heard it. So you see 
I 'm keeping within the range not only of the pure 
but of the useful. The Lord deliver us from sel- 
fishness ; it '11 ruin us sooner or later. 

I hurry on ; " And how thou hast tried them 
which say they are apostles and are not, and thou 
hast found them liars." Brethren, it is as much 
our duty to condemn the evil as it is to love the 
right. Now, we have a kind of an easy-going 
Christianity in this country that speaks well of 
every thing. Well, when you speak well of every 

456 Sam Jones* Own Book. 

thing you speak well of nothing. If you speak 
well of every body you speak well of nobody. If 
every body 's good, then nobody 's good. A man 
that gets drunk and whips his wife^ and steals the 
money she *s been sewing for to buy bread for the 
children — if he 's good, then nobody 's good. 

I am criticised for the hard manner in which I 
speak of Church members. I rfepeat what I have 
said many a time. The best men in the world 
are professed Christians, and the meanest men in 
the world are professed Cliristians. When I talk 
about mean men, if it does n't happen to stick you, 
I don't mean •you. I ain't talking about good 
members when I'm talking about bad ones. You 
'say I do n't give you credit for what you do. Well, 
the Lord's giving you credit, and he is the one 
that's going to settle with you; but if 1 can tap 
you up along the line anywhere, won't that be 
good ? If you 've got a lazy mule in your team any- 
where, that 's the one to tap up. I visited a Church 
once, and just before I got there the pastor had 
arraigned his dancing and card-playing members, 
and turned out about twenty-five of his leading 
members. And they came down on him with a 
vengeance. Just about three weeks after the trial 
and expulsion of those godless members I came 
along by appointment with him. I preached about 
being ^* first pure, then peaceable." I just struck 
a bee line right along in there, and the first 
thing I knew those godless members of the Church 
commenced seeking for grace, and they would rush 
up in the Church and throw their arms round the 

I Know Thy Works. 457 

pastor's neck and shout, and shout; and the pastor 
would holler and cry, and say, "Glory to God; if 
a man tries to please God, he will make even his 
enemies to be at i)eace with him/' I wish I could 
see the Church thoroughly cleansed. There is not an 
old sinner in this city that some Church member 
has not acted the dog with him, and made him say, 
" If this is religion, I do n't want religion/' Some 
member of the Church has cheated him or told 
him lies or done something. Now, let's see to it 
that you and I are not the fellows that have done 
that. That 's the point. 

Now, I am the last man to take up with these 
old sinners and try to excuse them in any way, and 
you know it, too; and you know that when I talk 
to irreligious people I talk to them as candidly as I 
talk to you. Let 's take up the dancer. I do n't 
know the rules of Methodism in Canada; but in 
the Methodist Church in the United States, when a 
member joins he has to promise that he will obey 
the rules of the Church, and we have a rule against 
worldly amusements; and when my Church mem- 
bers dance, and they come to me .and say, " Mr. 
Jones, will you turn me out of your Church for 
dancing?" I say, "No! I will turn you out for 
lying, because you promised not to dance, and you 
have been dancing ; and I 'II make out a case of 
lying against you." And in the States every member 
of the Methodist Church promises to support its in- 
stitutions. I say to the stewards, "If you find a 
i&an or woman in the Church that does not support 

its institutions turn him out, not because he doesn't 
39— B 

458 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

support them^ but because he has lied. He prom- 
ised to pay^ and if he does n't do it^ he's a great big 
walking liar wherever he goes." I believe in call- 
ing things by their right names. Lord ! Lord ! 
those little, trifling, no-account, shilly-shally, dilly- 
dally members of the Church that do that sort of 
thing, the sooner you take them out of the Church 
the better you are. What are you worth, anyhow ? 
My I My I one good, solid, earnest Christian man or 
woman is worth a million of you ! Or, in other 
words, the more of your sort we have, the worse 
off we are. Such a Church reminds me of old Dr. 
Reland. When somebody asked hira, " Do n't you 
own five hundred acres of land ?" " No, no," he 
said ; " I 'm not so poor as that ; I own only two 
hundred." Some people in our country own so 
much land that it keeps them poor to pay taxes on 
it, and a good many Christians are loaded down in 
the same way. 

Here is a mother with ten children— one thirty, 
one twenty-eight, one twenty-six, one twenty-four, 
and so on down to the youngest, who is sixteen. 
Little fancy fellows they are, who have never grown 
an inch since they were a day old. There are three 
or four of them in a trundle bed, two or three more 
in her lap, one here and another there, and the rest 
of them in the big cradle. They 've never grown 
one bit. Would n't you be sorry for that poor old 
mother? All she can do is to trot from the cradle 
to the trundle-bed, to and fro, to and fro, with a 
spoon and a bottle of soothing syrup in her hands, 
and there 's many a preacher in this country that 's 

I Know Thy Works. 459 

just dealing out loads of soothing syrup to his 
people. O, Lord, rid our Churches of trundle-bed 
trash. We have too much of it. Little, little fel- 
lows ! You know babies can 't talk. Well, you 
can 't talk to the Lord — and babies can 't walk ; you 
can 't walk half a mile without Christ. Babies can 't 
work. You have folded your hands ever since you 
joined the Church. How like a baby you are. 
One of the best characteristics of the baby is that he 
always sucks a bottle. I suspect you have very little 
dram drinking in the Church here. But I have 
smelt liquor around this platform since I have been 
here, and the smell came from persons, too, who 
looked like Church members. I don't want any 
dram-drinking up at this meeting. If you will have 
your drams, don't come round here pretending you 
are going to save souls; you've never been saved 
yourself. How can I tell? When I was converted 
it cut me loose from dram-drinking, and a Christian 
can't drink whisky— or beer either— in my judg- 
ment. Members of the Church can ; members of 
the Church do. 

Brethren, hear me to-day ; I say the best prepa- 
ration for a revival is not prayer, but clean out 
God's Church, so that he can come down and walk 
and talk in your midst. There are elements in this 
town you '11 never harmonize. Both are selfish 
elements, and selfishness antagonizes itself. But if 
every man who employs others were to say, " Those 
in my employ are my brothers, and I'm going to 
treat them as such ;" and if every one who works 
for another were to say, "My employer is my 

460 8am Jones' Own Book. 

brother, and I 'm going to work for him as any 
brother/' would n't we have a better and happier 
state of affairs ? O, Lord, show us we are brothers. 
A great many of you act toward one another as if 
you were step-brothers, and that 's about all. If 
you have a member in the Church who has nothing 
but money, he is the worst curse your Church has 
got. If an old colonel worth fifly or a hundred 
thousand dollars comes up to the altar, you ought 
to see that preacher dance. I was preaching in 
Louisville, Kentucky, when Brother J. C. Morris 
was there — a most Christly man. When I called up 
the penitents, I noticed that he went direct to the 
ragged dingy sinners, and talked and prayed with 
them. I said, " Brother Morris, how is it you 
do n't seem to take any notice of a decent sinner ; 
but if there 's a raggedest, triflingest looking man 
you can find, you go to him ?" Said he, " Brother 
Jones, there is always plenty of people to look after 
the rich sinners ; but I am so glad my precious 
Savior died for these poor, lost, ruined sinners." • In 
the meetings in my own town I said, '^ I know some 
of you are poor, and you work every day for what 
you eat next day. I've got five hundred dollars in 
the bank, and it is just for your sort, and you can 
have bread and meat as long as this meeting lasts." 
When the meeting was closed I did n't have a dollar 
in the bank ; but God fed my family, and I got old 
Sam Jones out of that hole, I did that. Do you 
reckon I would take five hundred dollars for him? 
There are people that would be here this morning 
if they had clothes. You say they are of no ao- 

I Know Thy Works. 461 

count. Well, if your father should die to-morrow, 
you would be one of that cla8S as soon as you have 
worn out the clothes you have got. 

God help us to see there are some unfortunate 
in the world. I never invested a dollar for Christ 
in my life that I did n't get a rich reward for it. 
The only speculating I do is in poor whites and 
poor colored folks, and I 've made many a dollar off 
of them. I recollect one widow said to me, with 
tears in her eyes, that she had not a lump of coal 
for the Winter. I sent her up a third of a carload 
of coal. A day or two after that the president of 
a coal company wrote to my wife and said : " I ship 
you a carload of coal, and may it warm your house 
as your husband's sermons warmed my heart." I 
made two-thirds of a carload of coal clear ofl^ that 
old woman. Do you ever speculate on that plan? 
I have taken a poor fellow sometimes and bought 
him a suit of clothes, or a part of a suit, and but a 
day or two afterwards a tailor says to me, " Mr. 
Jones, step into my shop,'' and I go inside and he 
measures me for a suit of clothes worth three times 
as much as the suit I had given away, and I make 
thirty dollars off that one man. And you can do 
this all along. I just mention these things to en- 
courage you. Recently, when I was in Baltimore, 
I went just outside the city to preach for a poor 
pastor whose Church paid him only four hundred 
dollars a year. Four hundred dollars a year! And 
they were paying a base ball pitcher five thousand 
dollars a year. I got mad. There was too much 
difference between the salary they paid this pastor 

462 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

aod the salary they paid their base ball pitcher. I 
said to the audience to which I preached, " Let *8 
give this man something." " Now," said I ; " I am 
going to speculate on him. Down goes my ten 
dollars. I will make money on him poor as he is.'' 
And just as the service ended, a gentleman handed 
me a note from a lady who was sick and never ex- 
pected to get up from her bed again, and she wanted 
to see me. And I went with the gentleman to call 
on the lady, and I had n't gone a quarter of a mile 
before the gentleman said to me : ^^ Mr. Jones, I put 
one hundred dollars in my pocket this morning to 
give away. I have given away only fifty dollars; 
will you take the other fifty dollars ?" " Well," I 
said; ^Mf it will accommodate you I don't mind 
doing so," and 1 did so. And there I In less than 
an hour I had made a clear forty dollars on that poor 
pastor. Have you ever tried it ? The Lord help us 
to see there is something in doing our duty. 

Now, let us spend a few minutes over the last 
clause of the text, " Nevertheless, I have somewhat 
against thee, because thou hast left thy first love." 
Brother, what is the first love distinctive? Listen. 
Here is a lost ship wrecked among the icebergs of 
the Northern Ocean. A rescuing party comes near. 
They lower their boats and climb upon the wreck. 
They go from deck to deck, and as they go to each 
man they find him frozen stiff and cold. Finally, 
they find one man who shows signs of life, and they 
take him to the ship and try every means in their 
power to resuscitate him. They work away for two 
hours, and at last they see his lungs expand, and he 

I Know Thy Works. 463 

draws in one breath of air. What do you suppose 
he says? ^' I am so glad you found me before I 
died?" No; no. What then? "I am so much 
obliged to you for rescuing me from such a death?" 
No ; nothing of the kind. As he draws in that 
breath of air, he says, ^^ There 's another man on 
board that may be saved I" And just as that man 
thinks of his friend with first returning life, so the 
mind of him who has truly entered into the King- 
dom of Christ reverts at once to the others in the 
ship that he has left, that may yet be saved. 

I was literally born again. I began preaching 
at once, and have been at it ever since. I hear men 
say that I have n't religious feeling, religious fervor, 
but, brethren, it is the consuming fire of my nature 
to go and save men from the devil and hell. I was 
converted in August, and I worked until November, 
when conference met. I did nH believe they 'd take 
me, but they did, and when I heard my name read 
out appointed to Van Wert Circuit, I was the hap- 
piest man this side of heaven. A friend said to 
me, " Do you know how much that circuit paid its 
preacher last year? They paid just sixty-five dol- 
lars." Well, I worked in that circuit that paid 
sixty-five dollars the year before, as hard as a poor 
fellow ever did for Christ. Nobody said then, Sam 
Jones is preaching for money. They did n't ! They 
didn't! They didn't! Nobody said it then. I 
believe if every man knew the facts to-day they 'd 
say it no quicker now than they did then. When a 
lecture bureau in New York would send word to 
me, '^ We will go into indefinite time with you at 

464 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

five huudred dollars a night." Now, will a man re- 
fuse a lecture engagement as long as he likes at five 
hundred dollars a night and come here to preach 
the Gospel if he ^s after money? I do n't know how 
much you are going to pay, and I do n't care. I 
can say this much, that every dollar that God gives 
me shall be used to his glory, if I know what his 
glory is. If I were after money, I would take the 
lecture platfbrm. 

You say, " Jones, that ^s a mighty big tale you 're 
telling.'^ O, well, a short time ago a gentleman 
telegraphed me, "What are your terms for a lec- 
ture?" I said five hundred dollars — I thought 
that would shut him off. He answered back, "Your 
terms are satisfactory." If a fellow were after 
money, would n't he run that line? But, brethren, 
I would rather spread the Gospel to poor, lost sin- 
ners for fifteen cents a day than take the lecture 
bureau at a thousand dollars a night. Glory to 
God, I am in line with my heart when I am talk- 
ing to sinners. Some of you say, "Mr. Jones, I 
can 't believe that. Some people won't believe this 
is any thing but a lie." I can say this with a clear 
conscience. In all my correspondence everywhere, 
I have never demanded a dollar nor made a con- 
tract. I always carry enough money with me to 
pay my way back home. I tell Brother Small, 
" Do n't you ever start anywhere without a round- 
trip ticket, for you may have to walk back." I 
marched off* there; but a great many people are 
idle and curious about some things, and I haven't 
a thing to hide from any man. I want the back 

I Know Thy Works. 465 

of my house as elegantly finished as the front. I 
want my back yard as clean as my front yard. I 
want every room in my house as clean as my parlor. 
Plenty of women, if you came through the back 
yard into their house, would get mad. They would 
say, "Just look at that fool." Madame, if your 
back yard were as clean as your front yard what 
would you care? It's just a question of dirt, don't 
you see? "Thou hast left thy first love; I have 
somewhat against thee." Let's get back to that 
hour we first believed. Let us bless others with 
kind words and sympathetic conduct. I wish every 
man to-day would select some soul and say, I am 
going to hunt up this soul and try to win it to 
Christ. I wish you would say, " I know a person 
that I think I can influence, and I am going to 
try." There 's nothing like getting something to 
stand on. Now, I '11 illustrate that. A good old 
presiding elder came home one day, and his wife 
said to him: "Husband, the cow is sick. It's a 
good cow, and if it dies we can 't afford to buy an- 
other. I 've done every thing I can for her, but I 
think she's going to die." Said the elder: "Have 
you prayed for her?" " No," she said ; " do you think 
that would be any good?" "Well," said the old 
elder, "have you got any thing to stand on ? Have 
you given away any of the cow's milk and butter?" 
"Yes," she said, "I've given a quart of milk to 
old Brother Scott every day, and butter when I 
could spare it." "Well," said her husband, "I 
guess you can stand on the butter and milk, and 
pray to the Lord and he'll hear you." Next morn- 

466 8am Jones^ Own Book. 

ing the cow was better. Her mistress had stood on 
the batter and milk^ and prayed to the Lord. If 
you have any thing to stand on, the Lord will hear 
your prayer. Get something to stand on. The Lord 
help you to understand these things and to be use- 
ful in the world ! 

Brief Sayinos. 

The poorest kind of a soldier is the fellow that 
never fired a gun or went to the front, but is still 
drawing his rations. The Lord deliver us from 
that sort of soldiers ! 

There are a great many impostors. A great 
many people hang around revivals just for the loaves 
and fishes. So they did in the days of Christ. But 
I would rather help ninety-nine impostors and one 
genuine case than let one genuine case go unblest. 

I AM not banking on the fact that I am a re- 
vivalist or that I preach to men and move them, 
but on the fact that God can use me for little 
things, and that my name is written there. That is 
the secret of a true Christian joy. The glorious 
fact is, that the cheerful part of my religion is not 
seen by men, and that my name is written in the 
Lamb's Book of Life. What avails me if thousands 
are converted ? It is said that Judas Iscariot was 
the most earnest preacher of the twelve. God help 
us to get the sort of religion that will bless other 

Sermon XXXIV. 


" And I will give them one heart, and one way, that 
they may fear me forever, for the good of them, and of their 
children after them.'' — Jeremiah xxzii, 39. 

I WANT to say, brethren, in the first place, that 
whatever trouble or difiBculty or defeat I may 
have suffered in the past, arose either from ray ig- 
norance of God's law and God's way of doing 
things, or else I have known the way and would n't 
be guided by it. You may rest assured of this 
fact: that if God made man, and God loves man, 
and God proposes to advise man, then the only 
hope I have to escape all that may harm me here 
or hereafter is in the implicit following of the things 
the Lord says for me to follow. When the builders 
of a road lay the track for an engine, that engine's 
safety and its all depends on its staying on the 
track ; and many a man has found out to his loss 
of life, and his loss of limb, that a locomotive en- 
gine when it quits the track is not only a very 
helpless thing as to its direction, but a fearful thing 
in danger. The Lord knows me and he knows what 
I ought to do, and when to do it, and how to do it. 
And I tell you, my brethren, if you will run 
over your past life, you will see that all your trouble 

has arisen from one of these causes-wither you did 


468 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

not know God's law, you I knew it and did not obey 
it. I know we have people that think they can 
run themselves^ but I have overtaken a few of this 
sort, and I know just how they wind up. But there 
are people in this world that have sense enough to 
know they have n't got sense enough to run them- 
selves successfully. This booK ought to be our 
guide ; and now let us hear these four or five lines 
to the good of our souls : 

"I will give them one heart." The first thing 
that I want to say about the heart that the Lord 
proposes to give his people is that it is a pure heart. 
You can not be a good woman. or a good man with 
a bad heart. The best thing you can say about any 
body in the world is to say that is a good-hearted 
person ; and the meanest thing you ever said about 
any person is to say that he is bad-hearted. It is 
the heart which determines what your life is and 
what your conduct will be. " I will give them one 
heart ;" and the heart that God gives his people is 
a heart pure, in every thought renewed. 

Then it is a heart full of love. I have often 
wondered where God's great storehouse of music is, 
from which he supplies every vocal chord and from 
which the spheres may draw their charming melodies. 
But I need not wonder where God's great store- 
house of love is. Glory to his name, it is the heart 
of God! There is the great reservoir of his love. 
I know not how to estimate God's love to me. 
Only I look around me and I see that mother. She 
has twined her heart-strings about the worst boy 
she has; she follows that boy with tears and prayers 

One Heakt and One Way. 469 

until he dies^ guilty before God and man ; and then 
she follows him to the grave^ and she will go to 
that grave week after week. I say I can only know 
what this love of God is as I can see the love of a 
mother^ the love of a wife, the love of a brother, 
the love of a sister ; and when I see such undying 
devotion as manifested by wife and sister, I just say 
if that woman will stick to that man that way with 
just a little nature of God in her heart, how much 
must God's great heart love us I Wonderful fact ! 
" I will give them one heart," but it shall be a pure 
heart, a heart full of love to one another and devo- 
tion, a heart full of sympathy for those who need 

I wish I had time, on occasions like this, just to 
give an hour to one feature of the text, and talk 
about that word " sympathy." Above all creatures 
in the world, women should sympathize with each 
other. I will tell you there is a work in this town 
to be done that none but women can do. None but 
women ought to do it, and if women don't do it, it 
will never be done. If it is not done there will be 
a loss of hundreds of souls. And that is the work 
of saving the poor lost women of this town. I say 
to you that Jesus Christ, as he stood in the presence 
of that multitude who accused the guilty woman, 
and looked at the multitude accusing, said, '^ You 
that are without sin cast the first stone." The mul- 
titude stood and looked, and he said, '^ All who have 
not done worse in the sight of God than this woman 
has done in the sight of God, you throw the stones 
at her." The whole crowd looked around, and Jesus 

470 Sam Jones* Own Book. 

looked at the woman with a heart full of sympathy, 
and said, " No man deems you a greater sinner than 
himself, and now I say unto you, go and sin no 
more." Let me tell you — and I will say this — the 
best way to get along with a sinner is not to meas- 
ure that sinner by yourself. That is not a good 
plan, to measure a sinner by yourself. You say, 
" We can put up with that fellow, as he sins just 
like us;" and when he has done something you 
do n't do, you jump on him in a minute. I tell 
you, you want to get down to the humble point, 
where you can work things. You see a sin com- 
mitted, and you say, " O, what a horrible sin I" Bat 
take yourself off to one side, and put a few ques- 
tions like this to yourself: "Now, I haven't done 
like that fellow, but have n't I done something else 
Just as bad in the sight of God as that person has 
done?" It is just as bad to tell a lie as it is to be 
guilty of uncleanness. And who has not told a lie? 
We must realize this point, that all sins are great 
sins, and if you have committed a sin of any sort 
you are a sinner in the sight of God, and that is 
about all you can say of any body — sinners in the 
sight of God. I would like to see growing out of 
this work of Christ one hundred Christian women 
who will consecrate themselves to this work of re- 
deeming every poor lost woman in this town. I 
would like to see that. I will tell you that work 
will never be done until you consecrate yourself to 
it. I knew in some of the larger towns and cities 
of the United States the best women I have ever 
met in my life were women who were consecrated 

One Heart and One Way. 471 

to that work. Any man might be prond of calling 
such a woman his wife, and any community might 
well be glad to have such a woman. 

I will give them not only one heart, but I will 
give them a pure heart — a heart full of sympathy. 
Sympathy is a grand thing. I went home one day 
and my wife was looking very sad, and I said, 
" Wife, what would you want V^ She says, " I feel 
like I want sympathy.^' I said, " I will go down 
town, and if I can help you I will buy f 100 worth 
of sympathy. You shall have what you want as 
long as I have a cent.'' That is a sad calamity, but 
you can 't buy sympathy with money. You can buy 
horses and carriages if you have the money, but 
you can 't buy sympathy. Sympathy comes through 
the cross, gushing into the hearts of Christian 
people. I will give you this little incident: When 
we were at Loveland camp- meeting, close to Cin- 
cinnati, I always regarded or looked towards Sam 
Small as my brother, an<J I have loved him as if 
he was my own born brother ; but when I saw him 
at that camp-meeting with his arms around a poor 
drunken fellow, and walking along with him under 
the eyes of a thousand people, trying to hold him 
up, I felt prouder of Sam Small that moment 
than if he were preaching the grandest sermon I ever 
heard him preach in my life. It takes brains, may 
be, to preach a grand sermon, but it takes heart to 
make you put your arms around a poor drunken 
fellow with a thousand people looking at you while 
you are doing it. It does that. Lots of us might 
get around behind a house and help a poor drunken 

472 8am Jones' Own Book. 

fellow ; but who wants to be seen walking with him 
with a thousand people looking on? He is our 
brother. Look after him, brother. 

I will tell you, my sisters, this Christly spirit 
will make you rescue the perishing and save the 
fallen. It will help us Christian people, and give 
us something to do. A man told me — I was riding 
with him in a carriage yesterday — '* I do n't go to 
prayer-meetings, and am seldom at church Sunday/' 
I said, " What are you doing ?" He replied, " I 
am working for Christ all over the town on- Sun- 
day." My, my I how many people here in this city 
never have any thing to do with religion but to put 
on a bonnet and race right over to church. Sym- 
pathy! All before the looking-glass, and that is 
the only idea they have of the world of religion. 
I reckon, sister, if a religious idea struck you at 
midnight, you would get up and go to church. I 
never have a religious idea until I start to meeting. 
Lord be merciful to us with such a religion as that — 
always receiving and never giving out any thing. 

" I will give them one heart.'' I want to say a 
word about that word " one." Do you know that 
whenever God comes down and we let him have his 
way, we have one heart in common? Suppose every 
body in this church had one heart about prayer-meet- 
ing, do n't you see how things would go? Suppose 
every body had one heart about family prayer and 
duty. How the prayers would go up from every 
Methodist family in the town! One heart ; one heart! 

And then God comes right along with the other 
proposition, I will give one heart, but it shall be a 

One Heabt and One Way. 473 

pure heart, a consecrated heart, a sympathetic heart; 
and not only will I give them one heart, with love 
for all that is good and hatred for all that is bad, 
but he says I will give them " one way." What 's 
the matter here in this city? I don't know but 
one thing, and that is the members of the Church 
have about twenty different ways of trying to get to 
heaven. There 's old Sister Fashion. She 's trying 
to get to heaven by the millinery-shop, and she 
thinks she 's on the road to glory with her whole 
family rigged out in lace. Then there 's old Sister 
Worldliness. She's running through ball-rooms 
and dancing and cards. There's a brother who 
says, '^I am going through trashy literature," and 
another, " I am going the way of avarice. I want 
to make money till I am the richest man in town." 
Down in my own town, a few days ago, I said, 
" Friends and neighbors, you all know me. I was 
raised among you. There 's a whole lot of us in 
town trying to get to heaven — about nine-tenths of 
us. But I am going to fall out of the whole busi- 
ness, because you have got so many routes. God 
says he will give us one way, and you have got 
about twenty in this town. Let us come together. 
All you dancing Methodists and Presbyterians and 
Baptists, I want you to meet us next Wednesday 
night, and I want you all to be ready to testify. If 
you say dancing is conducive to piety, and you enjoy 
religion more the night after a dance than before, 
testify to that and we '11 all adopt dancing, and we '11 
have movable benches in the church, and instead 

of prayer-meeting we '11 have a dance every Wednes- 
40— B 

474 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

day night. If it 's a good thing let 's adopt it and 
have one way. If progressive euchre conduces to 
piety and makes us love God and our neighbors 
more, get up and testify so and we 'II all adopt it. 
There 's another crowd over there that say, ' I do n't 
see any harm in having wines on my table.' Do 
you feel more pious when you 're drunk ? If you 
do^ testify to it and we '11 all adopt wine-drinking 
and put a bar-room in the house of every Church 
memberMn town. If it's a good thing, the more 
of it the better. Will you testify ?" 

How many dancing members in this town would 
go up inside of the judgment bar of God and say 
dancing is conducive to piety ? Who would say 
that in progressive euchre, with the prize up and 
the game going on, you could give thoughts to 
heaven and find out your union with God ? Let 's 
come to an understanding. Which is the best way 
to run the thing? Let's all agree on one way. 
Some of you are going to miss ; some of you are 
going to get left right along on the way you're 
going. And I '11 tell you how I feel. When- 
ever a man gets up to talk, he gets my ear every 
time. That old man is talking about his experi- 
ence. He says, " Family prayer has been the stay 
of my soul since I entered into wedlock." I think 
to myself, I need a stay, and I will adopt family 
prayer as one of the planks in my platform. An- 
other old churchman says, " Three times a day I 
pray in secret and call upon God, and it has been a 
help and strength to me." Then I say, " I need 
strength and help, and not less than three times a 

One Heart and One Way. 475 

day will I get on my knees before God and pray 
for strength and grace to help me in my life/' An- 
other Christian says, " I read the Bible , it is the 
man of my counsel, and its precepts guide me, and 
I never make a mistake when I trust it." I say, 
" I want to be saved from mistakes ; I want to be a 
Bible Christian ; the Bible shall be the man of my 
counsel." Another says, " The weekly prayer-meet- 
ings have been a stay to my soul." I say, *' I want 
a stay too; I will adopt that, and I will never be 
away from weekly prayer-meeting without sending 
my pastor a certificate from the physician that I 
was not able to be out." I wish we had religion on 
that line. If some of you were to drop off the pier 
and wake up in heaven, you would say, " What, I in 
heaven — I 'm astonished, for I had no idea I would 
ever get here." No, you won't get astonished. Nobody 
ever went to heaven by accident. Nobody ever went 
to sleep indifferent in religion and waked up in heaven. 
" I will give them one heart and one way." I 
will show that not only can they love God and love 
each other, but I will show that Christian people 
fall into line with each other, all marching hand in 
hand, without quarreling and going wild. Some 
people may say that there is no harm in dancing. 
Some think there is. Some think there is no harm 
in playing cards. Some think there is. Some think 
there is no harm in a little brandy. Some think 
there is. Some think they can go to church, and 
can be religious, and do this, that, and the other. I 
will tell you, my brethren, if any thing in this world 
were needed here it is this coming together. Let 

476 Sam Jones^ Own Book. 

us get together on these grand Gospel propositions 
and say, if we can not agree let us divide up, each 
squad agreeing. Would that not be a good idea? 
Suppose the progressive euchre party should with- 
draw and build a church to be called the progress- 
ive euchre Church. I would like to be at one 
of their revivals. I reckon they would have a 
sockdologing time at their revivals. I wish they 
would get me to run it for them. About the first 
three days you would see more hides on a pole than 
ever you ^aw at one meeting-house in three days. 
Then the dancing crowd will have to go over and 
set up for themselves and hire their preacher. And 
when revival time comes the dancing crowd is going 
to have a revival of religion. Would it not be a 
grand sight to go over and look at them? La, me! 
there is only one way to get things. Every man 
should help, and go his one way to righteousness 
and holiness. 

" I will give them one heart and one way." We 
will have one way of doing things. Men have di- 
visions in the Churches, and sometimes nearly split 
the Church open with these divisions. I tell you 
the closer we get to one view on every question 
pertaining to God and righteousness the better. 
That is what we want. "I will give them one 
heart, one way, that they may fear me forever." 
There is but one way we can fear God and keep 
his commandments. Then those who get in that 
way walk in that way. Then, good sisters, you are 
fearing him forever, for your good and for your 
children's good. 

One Heabt and One Way, 477 

Now, I am going to say a word or two in con- 
clusion on this last proposition — for your good, for 
your children's good. I believe, brethren, as par- 
ents, before doing any thing we should stop right 
still and say: " Is this best for me?'' and the next 
question we should ask is: ''What effect will this 
have upon my children ? " Good father, do n't you 
know soon you are going to lie down and die? 
Do n't you know in a few more days you have to 
shake hands with your children and bid them good- 
bye forever? Think before each act and each word 
comes up. Stop and say : " Is this the best for my 
precious children? Will it be best for them when 
I am dead and gone?" That is the way to talk it. 
There are some parents who are listening to my 
voice right now. It is time for you to halt and 
begin to think something about your children. You 
have run your selfishness and your own ideas of 
things, and perhaps that child of yours is ruined by 
it. And now it is time for us to bring up, halt, 
and see exactly how the thing lies. For your good, 
for your children's good, listen. It will be for 
your good, as for all of us, to have one heart and 
one way, and let us all face into line. That is the 
best thing for you, and then whatever is best for you is 
best for your children. It will be for your good, and 
for your children's good. Our children step on our 
corns, it is said, when they are young, but they get 
up in our hearts when they get older; and I tell 
you, as I look upon my children at home, the all- 
absorbing thought with me is : " My God, what will 
become of my children when I am dead and gone?'^ 

478 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

I can not put my hands on little Bob's head and 
say, "This little boy will be safe in heaven." I 
can not put my hands on Paul's head and say, 
"This boy will never die drunk." I can not, to 
save my life. I would give all things in this world 
if I could throw my arms around my children to- 
day, and say for a certainty that these children are 
all* as sure to be safe in heaven as that they live and 
breathe at home. I believe I would shout the 
balance of my hours in this world if I could just 
settle that fact. 

"What is going to become of my childrea?" 
I tell you you won't be here much longer with 
them, and they are going to quote you and talk 
about you after you are dead and gone. I have 
seen children, and filled their hearts and heads with 
Gospel, and brought them down to, " What will you 
decide ?" and they have stated boldly, " Mr. Jones, 
my father was as good a man as ever lived, and he 
did not object to dancing, and this, that, and the 
other thing." Not only have you thus set a bad 
example to them here, but you have locked and 
barred the gates of heaven in their faces forever. 
Now, sir, my children may quote me in a thousand 
things, but they shall not, never one of them, go 
astray in worldliness and say, "My father thought 
there was no harm in it." I am going to denounce 
now and forever every thing that can lead a soul 
away from good, or debauch a human being. Just 
for the sake of a giddy, foolish hour you 're sub- 
jecting your children to the perils of eternal damna- 
tion. Here, look at that. What is there in a game 

One Heart and One Way. 479 

of cards? What is there in having a dance? What 
is there in going to a theater? What is there 
in it; sister? You will find out that you have 
sold out yourself and your family too cheap. Here 
is a man sitting on the pinnacle or cone of a 
five-story building. He sits there whittling with a 
little penknife which cost only fifty cents^ but it is 
a beautiful little knife^ and all at once the knife 
slips out of his hands and slides down to the edge 
of the building and stops. He sits and looks at 
that knife and says : '^ I am sorry I let that knife 
slip out of my hand ; I believe I '11 go down and 
get if "But you might slip and fall off; it's 
very near the edge." "I know that, but people 
have gone that near the edge and not fallen. It is 
true the knife is worth only fifty cents, and it is 
risking a good deal ; but I think I can get it and 
not fall off." "But if you fall, it is death." 
"Well, I know, but I am going to be careful." 
And he crawls down to the edge and grasps the 
knife, and just as he grasps his knife, his hold loos- 
ens and he falls and is crushed to jelly on the 
rocks. But he got the knife. 

I say to a woman, " Do n't go to that dance, 
sister ; it might be the cause of the first downward 
step of your daughters." " But," she says, " other 
people have had dances, and their children have 
•come out all right." "Yes, but it might be the 
downfall of your daughters, and their damnation." 
" Well, that is true, but I am not afraid of my 
daughters." So she has the dance, and every one 
of her children wakes up in hell at last; But they 

480 Sam Jones* Own Book. 

had a dance at the house last night. God keep us 
from going to hell without a particle of reason for 
it. For one champagne supper a drunkard has 
been started to hell. It was just one little drink 
of champagne; and while the warning voice said, 
" Do n^t drink it^ do n^t drink it/' he did drink it, and 
Avoke up in hell at last. But he got the drink of 
champagne. Isn't that consolation for a fellow? 
Suppose you send your daughter to a dancing- 
school, and she gets to be the nicest dancer in 
town. Then suppose she wants to find a place as 
music-teacher. Why do you want to add some- 
thing to her education that will bar her out of every 
honest job that she would apply for ? I advertise 
for a teacher in my family ; and if I had a young 
lady recommended by every governor of every 
State in the Union, and by the President of the 
United States, and by all the preachers in the coun- 
try testifying to her culture and goodness; and if 
they just added this postscript, ^' She 's a first-class 
dancer," the whole concern might go. I would n't 
bring such a one into my house to train and ed- 
ucate my children. 

I hope you will think over this matter. It is 
time you are beginning to think. I will do it for 
my good and for my children's good. Let's " right 
about " in these things, and say, " I want that one 
heart and one way, for my good and for my chil- 
dren's good." 


Sermon XXXV. 


" But thou hast kept the good wine until now."— John 
II, 10. 

THERE are two questions which come up nat- 
urally^ legitimately, and inevitably between the 
employer and the employe. There can be no such 
thing as an intelligent contract for labor to be per- 
formed without the asking and answering of these 
questions. If you seek to employ a man to-morrow 
the first thing he will ask is, ''What sort of work 
do you want me to do?" And when he has got a 
satisfactory answer to this question he says, '' And 
what will you pay me ?" These two questions are 
at the basis of all contract labor. 

There are a great many people here to-night, 
perhaps, who boast that they were never in the em- 
ployment of any body, but there is a very important 
sense in which every one of us here is a servant. 
We shall all get wages, and pay-day is coming. I 
say it is a fact that all men must recognize that we 
are servants, that we are all serving masters. And 
I suppose the first thing each of us ought to do is 
to settle the question — Whose servant am I? Lis- 
ten : '' No man can serve two masters ; ye can not 
serve God and mammon.'^ And again, ''He that 

41— B 481 

482 Sam Jones^ Own Book. 

is Dot with me is against me.'^ And even that was 
not strong enough, and He said again, ''He that 
gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.'^ I am on 
one side or the other. I am either the servant of 
the Lord God or the servant of the devil. There 's 
no neutral ground. You would be astonished at 
the number of men in this city who say they are 
neither on one side nor the other ; who claim that 
they are not serving either God or the devil. I 
tell you one thing. If you say that, it argues that 
you are scarcely responsible for your actions; you 
may get into heaven after all on the plea of non est 
factum, as the old lawyer said. What a moral mon- 
strosity is such a man as that! 

How can I determine whether I am serving the 
Lord or not? "Have you given your heart to 
God ?*' " No.'' " Have you kept God's command- 
ments?" "No." Then you are not serving Gt)d. 
And as soon as you settle the question that you are 
not the servant of the Lord, you determine that you 
are the servant of the devil. And now I want to 
ask you. What sort of work does he want you to 
do? He's got a way of making you work for 
him, without telling you what he wants you to do 
for him. I '11 tell what work he has for you — ^to 
proiane the name of God, to lead a licentious life, 
to break the Sabbath day, to do those things that 
are wrong and degrading to soul and body, to make 
your wife weep tears of blood, to give a bad exam- 
ple to your children, to make your neighbor think 
less of you, to dishonor God, and finally to doom 
your soul. Isn't that the work? Ask every stag- 

The Best Things Last. 483 

geriDg drunkard, every miserable liar, every poor, 
licentious wretch that walks the streets of this town, 
and they '11 tell you it is. And I need n't go out 
and hunt up the rakes and ofiscourings of the town. 
I can take you, and you'll say: "Yes, sir; that's 
the sort of work the devil wants me to do." And 
not only that, but he pays you for it. 

Now, if I must do such disreputable, dishonor- 
ing work as that I must have good wages. Now, 
what wages does the devil pay ? Listen I An aching 
conscience, a wretched life, and damnation in the 
end. Those are the wages the devil pays. Just 
before I was coming away from my room this even- 
ing a gentleman — ^and he was a gentleman born and 
bred — came to me with tears running down his face, 
and told me how anxious he was to see me. " Mr. 
Jones," he said, "is there any way in the universe 
out of my difficulties ? I came near going into my 
room, just before starting out to see you, and I 
thought of blowing my brains out. I have stood it 
as long as I can." He told me that he would be 
here this evening, and he may be within the sound 
of my veicc now. Now, what 's the matter with 
that man? The devil has his foot on him, and is 
stamping on him. "The wages of sin is death." 
O, how many men I 've had to rush around to my 
room, sometimes at midnight, and at one hour or 
other, and with trembling and despair say to me, 
" O, sir, I know you have seen hundreds and thou- 
sands saved, but was there ever a man delivered 
standing where I am ?" Glory to God ! I believe 
Jesus Christ takes the greatest pleasure of all in 

484 Sam Joneb' Own Book. 

saving the most lost man in the world^ and so gain- 
ing the greatest victory of all over the devil. I 
used to doubt God's ability to save sometimes, but 
after the Lord came down, fourteen years ago, and 
saved me, I have been believing in the omnipotent 
grace of €rod from that day to this. If I get to 
heaven — and I 'm making my calculations to get 
there — ^you need n't come up with any excuses that 
you were too bad to be saved. " The wages of sin 
is death." Pay-day is coming. If you serve the 
devil you shall have your wages in the eternal de- 
spair of devils. 

But let 's turn the picture a little. Thank God, 
there 's a heaven as well as a hell ; there 's a Savior 
as well as a tempter. Am I the servant of the 
Lord God Almighty ? What does he want me to 
do for him ? To love mercy and to do justly ; to 
walk humbly before him ; to cultivate the fruits of 
the Spirit — love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentle- 
ness, goodness, faith ; to do those things that will 
make my neighbor and my wife and my children 
think more of me than ever; to honor Christ's name 
and bless the world. *' Why, Master," you say, " if 
I do such works as that I do n't want any pay.'' 
But the Master says, " If you do those things, you 
shall not only have cash enough to last you as long 
as you live, but when you die I '11 take you into 
my own home and you shall live there with me for- 
ever and ever." 

Now, can any body controvert any single propo- 
sition that I have made here ? I have stated nothing 
but the simple truth, and if it is the truth, how is 

The Best Things Last. 485 

it that the devil has a servant ia this universe? 
Look here ; would you work for the devil and board 
yourself — at least, I was going to say board your- 
selves — but some of you let your wives and mothers 
board you. Do you tell me a man in his right 
mind will jump with booted feet upon his wife's 
breast, and crush the heart's blood out of her? 
Will a man in his right senses debauch his body 
with liquor, when already the fumes of damnation 
have been ignited in it? If a poor wretch cuts his 
throat or blows his brains out, you say, ''He's 
crazy ;" but if he takes a weapon of the devil and 
stabs himself to the soul day after day, you think 
nothing of it. You crazy dunce I Can 't you see 
the devil isn't paying you properly? Quit him, 
quit him, quit him, and come over with me! These 
goody-goody fellows that do n't serve God and 
do n't serve the devil, as they claim, but try to stick 
on the fence all the time, with their hands in their 
pockets, are too mean for any thing. They 're be- 
neath the contempt of the devil, and he just does n't 
care to give them any thing to do. If I were going 
to hunt out the smallest character in God's universe 
I 'd catch such a one as this, if I could get a hook 
small enough for him to swallow. 

You 're a mighty small animal in God's universe 
if you 're not for the devil and won't serve God. 
You 've met the sort of man I 'm talking of. This 
IS it: "Here 's Mr. So-and-so, who belongs to the 
Church and won't pay his debts; and here's Mr, 
So-and-so, who does n't belong to any Church, and he 
pays his debts. I think I 'd rather be Mr. So-and- 

486 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

so, and not belong to any Church." Have n't you 
heard somebody say that? Haven't you thought 
that way yourself? If I know myself, I '11 be on 
one side or the other. How mad St. Paul must 
have been when he was going down to Damascus 
to persecute the Christians. He fought with all his 
might against tiie Church, and then turned right 
over to the other side, and fought on the side of the 
Church until the day of his death, and was able to 
say at the close of his life, " I have fought a good 
fight." O, I hate a man on the fence ! You get 
up the question of prohibition in this town, and 
he'll say, "I won't vote at all; I don't know 
which would be the best thing. I haven't made 
up my mind." I have ten times as much respect 
for the loud-mouthed anti-prohibitionist as for the 
man who says he won't take either side. Listen ! 
Rally around your aldermen that stand for good 
order and the right, and until you get a vote on 
prohibition — it may be a year or two before you get 
that — ^you hit the snake a lick on the tail until you 
can hit it on the head. Let's have some fun out 
of it while it 's going on. Be on one side or the 
other. Have an opinion of your own, even if you 
get your head broken in consequence. Be a man 
with a cracked head. What if you should get your 
head cracked ! It 's not the first that 's been broke, 
by many a head. Be on one side or the other. If 
it's a good thing go in for it heart and soul, and 
help it on, and if it 's a bad thing fight it with all 
your might. I respect you when you go that way. 
But these little fellows in the moral universe who 

The Best Things Last. 487 

have DO courage and no nothing, I have no patience 
with. God help you to wake yourselves up and 
convict you on the eternal question as to which 
master you are serving. 

The text is a simple illustration of the thought 
I want to impress on you. It is an illustration of 
the Lord's economy. The Lord gives the worst 
things first and the best things last, and he gives 
you better and better all through the days of eter- 
nity ; and the devil gives you the best things first, 
and then gives you worse and worse until there 's 
nothing left but damnation. Put yourselves now and 
forever on God's side. Though saturated with sin, 
attracted with its seductive charms, and led astray 
by it, let the Spirit of Grod teach you to loathe it, 
and your loathing will be followed. by the calm of 
justification and the certain hope of salvation ! 

Briek Sayinos. 

The trouble with humanity is, men dislike so 
much to give themselves to God just as they are; 
and the point of all salvation is, turn yourself over 
to God just as you are, and let him make out of 
you what you ought to be. That is the secret of 
giving yourself to God. 

The lines of my orthodoxy are the steel rails 
that I have got out of the Bible and laid down ; and 
I have either got to keep the tracks or go over the 
rails. I might as soon run ofi^ the tracks of a rail^ 
road as to run out of God's order of things. 



" There is therefore now no condemnation to them which 
are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, bat after 
the Spirit."— RoM. viii, 1. 

THE words to which we direct your special at- 
tention this afternoon are the words^ ^' In 
Christ Jesus." I might refer you for a moment to 
the context. "For we know that the law is spir- 
itual; but I am carnal^ sold under sin. For that 
which I do I allow not ; for what I would^ that do 
I not ; but what I hate^ that do I. If then I do that 
which I would not^ I consent unto the law that it 
is good. Now, then^ it is no more I that do it, but 
sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me 
(that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing; for 
to will is present with me, but how to perform that 
which is good I find not. For the good that I 
would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, 
that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no 
more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I 
find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is 
present with me. For I delight in the law of God 
after the inward man. But I see another law in 
my members warring against the law of my mind, 
and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin 
which is in my members. O, wretched man that I 


Beinq in Christ Jesus. 489 

am! who shall deliver me from the body of this 
death ? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
So then with the mind I myself serve the law of 6od^ 
but with the flesh the law of sin.'' Now follows the 
first verse of the eighth chapter^ and I say, breth- 
ren, 1 believe very much in the sentiment of the 
old preacher who said if we do not get out of the 
seventh chapter of Romans into the eighth the devil 
will get us. 

There is a good deal of force in the comment 
of that old brother. I believe we have lots and 
lots of people all over in this nineteenth century 
who have put up and camped out in this seventh 
chapter of Romans. I do n't believe it is a good 
locality to live in. I know that a much more fertile 
and glorious locality may be found in the eighth 
chapter of Romans. Now, St. Paul in these verses 
I read gives us a very exact logical analysis of the 
law of God and its bearing upon conscience and 
conduct. One of the strongest expressions here is^ 
"For the good that I would I do not; but the evil 
which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that 
which I would not, it is no more I that do it, but 
sin that dwelleth in me." I believe St. Paul here 
was giving expression to the feelings of an unsaved 
man. I know this was my experience exactly before 
I found the cross. I am satisfied in my own mind 
that a great many other brothers who have found 
the cross thought themselves right in this latitude. 

Now, brother, there is no such thing in this 
universe as necessitated sin. If you are obliged to 
do a thing there is no sin in it. There is no sin in 

490 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

a thing you can not keep from doing. In all laws 
and courts that I know any thing about^ I have 
learned that the will must go with the deed, and to 
kill a man is not murder unless it can be proved 
that it was done with "malice aforethought" — un- 
less the intention to kill can be proved. There is 
a great deal of difference between saying " I have 
not sinned in five years/' and saying, as the psalm- 
ist did, "I have not willingly, or willfully, departed 
from thy law." Now, when I come face to face 
with the law of God, I find that law is nothing but 
a mirror into which I can look and read the reflec- 
tion of my image just as T am. I can hold a mirror 
up before me, and I can see the specks and spots 
on my face ; but if I want to wash them off, I have 
to hunt something else besides a mirror. There is 
nothing in a mirror to take them off. The law of 
God shows me how imperfect I am, and it shows 
me the splotches and blotches on my character, but 
if I want to remove these splotches and blotohes I 
must hunt up something else besides the law to do 
it. It is powerless, but God sent his Son, through 
whom we may be saved. 

And now, St. Paul wound up these fearful verses 
with these words : " O, wretched man that I am ; 
who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 
I have heard preachers say the literal translation of 
that means simply "a dead body chained to you. 
O, what a load to carry about, and how offensive 
that load must be ! Thank God for that cross where 
I first saw the light, and the burden of my heart 
was rolled away by faith. Thank God for those 



Bkiko in Chbist Jbbus. 491 

precious words, and they are true to every one that 
trusts in the Word of Grod. Now, it is Christ, not 
the law. I believe in keeping the law there is great 
reward. I believe in preaching the Ten Command- 
ments, and it is a mighty poor Christian that does n^t 
live up to a dead level with the Ten Command- 
ments. I believe in keeping the law of God, and I 
believe it is possible for us to walk by God's law. 
^^ There is now no condemnation to them that 
are in Christ Jesus.'* Who is Christ? What is 
Christ? Where is Christ? In answer to the first 
question, we might say intelligently that Jesus Christ 
is the living personal embodiment of wisdom, and 
justice, and love, and truth, and mercy, and forgive- 
ness, and all the attributes that make the character 
of God lovely. A great many of us regard Christ 
as a sentiment. You know what a sentiment is. 
We have 'What we call religious sentiment. When 
you say a man has religion, what do yon mean ? If 
you mean when you say " I have got religion," that 
"I have opened the door of my heart, and let the 
Savior come in," you mean a great deal; but if you 
mean you have opened your heart to a religious 
sentiment, got happy at meeting one day, I do n't 
know whether you mean much or not. I have seen 
fellows shout the whole day and night when they 
joined the Church, but somehow or other I think 
they shouted it all out on the spot. The steam in 
the boiler of a locomotive engine either means noise 
or it means power.* If you lift the safety valve and 
let the steam blow out that way it is a nuisance; if 
you let it work out through the cylinders and steam- 

492 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

chesty you have got power to move a train of cars a 
mile. Well, now, if I have got a religion of aenti- 
ment, and let it out through my mouth, there is not 
much in that; but if I make it go through my feet 
and fingers, there is something in it. 

There is one kind of an engine that's always 
a nuisance to me, and that 's these little switching 
engines down here by the station. They run up 
and down side-tracks, shoving cars, and that 's all 
they do from week to week and from month to 
month. They 're always getting in the way of 
wagons and scaring horses. But when I see a grand 
locomotive start to the sea-coast cities, there is music 
in her whistle. There is something that says she is 
determined to land her passengers at their destina- 
tion on time. There 's a great deal in that. There 
are a great many of us Christians that are just 
switching backwards and forwards on side-tracks. 
There 's many a one that you preachers will never 
see again until the next big meeting— everlastingly 
switching along big meetings and going nowhere. 
There 's many an old lady here, who is mighty 
feeble, but she 's been going to these meetings ever 
since I came here. 

I say religion is not a sentiment. It's not a 
gush. It's not being baptized, or joining the 
Church. But religion, Bible religion, is opening 
the heart, taking in Christ. " But as many as re- 
ceived him, to them he gave power to become the 
sons of God." That 's what religion does for us — 
introduces us into the sonship and family of God. 
Now, when I say I have Christ I mean by this, if 

Being in Caeist Jbbus. 493 

Christ is the living personal embodiment of wisdom 
and justice^ love, mercy, truth, and forgiveness, 
and all those blessed attributes, then, when I get 
Christ, glory to his name, I get all these things — 
wisdom, justice, love, truth, mercy, forgiveness. 
In the first place, then, a Christian ought to be a 
wise person. Do you know what wisdom is in its 
true sense? It is the skillful use of the knowledge 
at hand. It is doing the right thing at the right 
time. It is doing the best thing under the best 
circumstances that life affords. In other words, 
religion will make me take those things in any 
religious life that will help me to God, and elim- 
inate those things that will hinder and retard my 
religious growth. There is a fellow trying to get to 
heaven without family prayer. He thinks he goes 
through this world just like a fellow trying to steal 
a march on Providence, and get into heaven and 
make God out a liar. ''At last I am in heaven, and 
I never did so and so.'' I would hate to sneak into 
heaven in that way. I won't say a fellow can not 
get to heaven without praying in his family, but I 
will say you will never get there without saying 
you wished you had done it. Here is a fellow there 
who thinks the big road is not good enough, and he 
goes through the woods to get a better road. He 
strikes out through the woods, and before he gets 
to where he is going he comes back on the big road, 
with his clothes all torn and wet where he has 
jumped over holes and swum rivers, and he comes 
back on the road with his clothes and hide all torn, 
and says, '' How I wish I would have come all the 


494 Sam Jones* Own Book. 

way by the big road, I would have saved myself 
so many hardships with which I have met/' Breth- 
reOy you can not take a nigh cut on a straight road 
to save your life. You can put this down. 

I use family prayer, secret prayer, and every sort 
of prayer, just as a bird does its wings. I use it 
just like the engine with its wheels — ^to roll on. 
That is it. They are wheels for me to roll on. 
The difference betwee.n a stationary engine and a 
locomotive engine is just a question of the one hav- 
ing wheels and the other not. There is many a 
little old stationary Christian in this country. Did 
you ever see a saw-mill run by a stationary engine ? 
It runs a saw. It can not go anywhere. It can 
not do a thing but run a wheel for somebody else* 
The truth is, many of you Christians are running a 
saw-mill somewhere instead of being a grand locomo- 
tive on the highway to heaven. You are a little 
stationary engine, set down on the roadside some- 
where for infidels and scoffers to laugh at. Up and 
get your wheels of duty under you, and roll on them 
forever. Wisdom and knowledge, then, are two 
very different things. I have seen a great many 
people who knew a great deal, but they have as 
little wisdom as all the fools I ever saw in my life. 
An educated fool is a most ridiculous fool. Many 
a fellow who is a graduate of the highest college 
in this country has not got sense enough to pre- 
serve him. He is in an awfully bad fix, isn't he? 
He is really a first-class doctor. He is intimate 
with anatomy and medicine, but he has no more 
sense a'bout him or wisdom about him than to pour 

Being in Christ Jesus. 495 

into his throat a fluid that will burn the vital parts 
of his beings as when he pours whisky down his 
throat. I say I have seen a poor old negro down 
South that could not read or write, but he would 
pray and sing night and morning with his wife and 
children, and when I go to his house the first thing 
he would think about after supper would be to say 
to me, '' I wish you would read a few chapters in 
the Bible. We can pray and sing, btit we can not 
read the Bible/' I have looked at that ]X)or old 
colored man and thought. If you can not read, you 
have more genuine wisdom about you than nine- 
tenths of the members of the Church who can read. 
And that is the truth. Yes, it is. 

Then we should all possess the spirit of forgive- 
ness. Above all creatures in the world, I feel sor- 
riest for the people who bear malice in their hearts. 
Listen : when Christ was reviled, he reviled not 
again. If you do not forgive in person it hurts you 
more than any body else. Christians must possess 
the spirit of love and the spirit of forgiveness, the 
spirit of peace and the spirit of joy. If I have 
Christ in my heart, there is not an element in his 
character that I may i\ot bring in with him. 
Christ Jesus is the living, personal embodiment of 
wisdom and justice. Where is Christ? Glory to 
his name, he lives in the hearts of his people ; he 
lives in the hearts of his people. I tell you I am 
sick of this idea of worshiping a Christ of eighteen 
hundred years ago, or worshiping one that is going 
to come a little later. I believe they call this com- 
ing the Second Advent. I tell you, my brother. 

496 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

Christ is not only the Christ that did come^ but the 
Christ that is coming ; and he is the personal^ in- 
dwelling Christ in my soul, and I do n't have to 
wait for the Second Advent. Thank Gk)d^ it has 
already come ; that Christ came once^ and he came 
to stay, and will stay with you always^ until the end 
of the world. And have you Christ dwelling in 
your heart of faith ? I do n't like that old doctrine, 
" If you seek it you can *t iSnd it ; if you find it 
you have n't got it ; if you 've got it you can 't lose 
it ; and if you lose it you never had it" I like the 
Methodist doctrine that says^ " If you seek it you 
will find it ; if you find it you 've got it; if you 've 
got it you '11 know it ; if you know it you need n't 
lose it, and if you lose it you had it." Lord help 
us this afternoon to take Christ as he is and as he 
has promised himself to be. 

Being in Christ Jesus presupposes a longing for 
Christ. In Scripture it is called hungering and 
thirsting aft;er righteousness, with the promise, 
"They shall be filled." My heart panteth for the 
living God, as the hart panteth for the water- 
brooks. Brother, there is no more healthy religious 
feeling than that wliich hungers after God, holiness, 
and right. Longing for Christ — I love to see a 
soul hungering for Christ. I love to see a soul 
looking up to heaven and saying, " O Christ, I long 
for thee. Come into my soul." And when other 
suitors press us, when pleasures call us, wave them 
off, Jesus never comes to the soul until the soul 
says, " I do not want any thing but thee ; nothing 
but thee will satisfy my heart." And I love to see 

Being in Christ Jesus. 497 

a soul looking up to Christy and when wine suppers 
and cards and dances are offered^ spying; ^^ I do n^t 
want them; I want Christ. My soul perishes 
without him/' 

Being in Jesus presupposes another thing. It 
presupposes running to Christ. Christ meets you 
half-way. The cross is just half-way between heaven 
and hell. I like that song^ " We Ml all go out to 
meet him when he comes.'' I want to know, 
whenever danger comes, that Christ is my refuge, 
and I can run to him. In olden times, when a 
man had violated the law, the first thing he thought 
about was a city of refuge. He thought, ^' If I can 
just reach that, there is no power on earth that can 
hurt me." Many a time when danger assails and 
temptations unite against me, the first thing I think 
of is Christ, my refuge, and I run there with all 
my might. Brother, do you know how to reach 
Christ ? The way of prayer is the way to Christ. 
I will tell you another thing. Whenever you start 
to Christ in time, he will meet you half-way. 
Sometimes Jesus doesn't, may be, look upon us 
when things are going along smoothly; but when 
you get into trouble Christ will see your trouble or 
danger, and he will help you out. Always run to 
Christ for refiige. 

Being in Christ presupposes submission to Christ. 
Being in Christ also presupposes union with Christ. 
I wish every body would take Christ into copartner- 
ship with him. Suppose every business man were 
to say, ^'The Lord is the senior partner in this 

business, and if I do any thing wrong the Lord will 
42— B 

498 Sam Jones* Own Book. 

dissolve the partnership and ruin me/' I wish they 
would. I wish all of us preachers would take the 
Lord into partnership and say^ " Lord^ if I do any 
thing little or selfish^ turn me out.'' My, my ! there 
would be a heap of us bankrupted^ brethren. O, 
for an unselfish man that wants the Lord to have 
his way! It takes a great deal of religion to see 
one Church getting forty new members out of a 
meeting, and you getting only one and being able 
to enjoy it. Enjoy it, I mean. Of course we have 
got religion enough to suffer it, but I 'm talking 
about enjoyment. My, my ! how much religion it 
takes right along there. I know it, because a 
preacher told me so once. But, brethren, Method- 
ism in this city, for instance, is a unity, and if forty 
members join our brother's Church, Methodism is 
forty members stronger than it was before. Let us 
work for one another's interest. I can not help 
God and humanity without helping myself. 

There are a great many preachers in this town 
that are waiting for the second advent. I saw yes- 
terday that Mr. Talmage prophesied that it will 
come in sixty years. But there won't be one of the 
old sinners of to-day living in sixty years. There 
never was, and there never will be, a grander day 
or a grander time in this world's history to save 
sinners than the day we are occupying now. I 
heard a fellow say he wished he had lived a hun- 
dred years ago. I do n't, because I would be get- 
ting old now, and would have to die in a few days. 
I am glad I was born just in the year that I was. 
I am in my prime in the very noontide place in 

Beino in Christ Jesus. 499 

this world's history. I like that. I want to stay 
here just as loug as I can. I do n't believe there 
is an angel in heaven who would not rather be 
down here now winning souls to Christ; if he had 
the opportunity. Union with Christ — ^that is it. 
"I am the vine, ye are the branches.'' There is 
union between the stem of the vine and the 
branches. Union with Christ, my brethren, is just 
the same as the relation between the vine and the 
branches. Are we united to Christ in the great 
love of humanity and the great eflfort to save hu- 
manity ? Brother, to-day God calls upon humanity 
to help him to help suffering humanity. 

And, lastly, we might talk a little about having 
affinity for Christ Jesus. Christ said, '^ Blessed are 
the pure in heart." I believe I may be so intimate 
with Christ, blessed be his name, that I can talk over 
the characteristias of his divine character and his 
divine person. Did you ever visit the Central Park, 
New York? When they were surveying that Park 
the engineers got to an immense heap of rock in the 
Park. They stood and thought. They did not 
know what to do with these rocks. It would cost 
thousands of dollars to move them. They were 
standing one day discussing the matter when a lady 
walked up; and hearing the conversation, she said: 
" I will tell you what to do with these rocks. 
' Plant honeysuckles and other vines about them, and 
they will climb up and shade them." The engin- 
eers thought this was the very thing, and they 
planted honeysuckles and other vines around these 
rocks and now the most lovely and fragrant place 

500 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

in Central Park is where these rocks stood. Take 
the characteristics of Christy that blessed Christ, 
we have been talking about, and plant them around 
this ugly and jagged nature of yours and blend^ 
them into your heart, and your character will grow 
like the grand character of the Lord Jesus Christ. 


Love is not only the divinest and sublimest, but 
the most omnipotent power in the world. 

Self-dedicatory love is the very bed-rock and 
foundation upon which you can build a happy mar- 
ried life. 

I WANT to see a religion that gives us some- 
thing to do, and isn't everlastingly catching at 

If your husband loves whisky better than he 
loves you, you had better get away from him — the 
sooner the better. 

If you want to help Christ, go and look for some 
poor folks that love Christ, or ought to love him. 
Jesus says: ^^A cup of cold water given in my 
name shall not lose its reward." 

Organized charity is the only real charity in 
the world — that charity that thinks of and thinks 
into the cases, and thinks out the difficulties of 
those who need help, and puts them where they 
can assist themselves. 



'' If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive 
us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." — 
1 John i, 9. 

THIS text IS the whole of the human side of the 
Gospel. I have nothing to do with the other 
side. God explains himself. Gk)d is his own in- 
terpreter, and whatever of the Gospel is on the 
human side of this question it is mine to talk about 
and yours to heed and obey. 

" If we confess." Let us interpret this word, 
without any injury to the text, " If we repent of 
our sins," etc. Bepentance to a man in this world 
on his way to a better world is just what the alpha- 
bet is to a man of learning. When a little boy I 
sat on mother's knee, and she taught me A, B, C, 
and so on down to Z. Finally she said, " Now, 
you know your letters perfectly, you may go to 
spelling," and I turned the alphabet pages over and 
said, " Good-bye, old A, B, C ; I 'm done with you 
now." But when I turned over on the next page 
I saw a-b, ab, i-b, ib, and so on, and found that I 
could not spell even the smallest of words without 
the alphabet. And so I went on until I got to my 
grammar and arithmetic, and still found that I could 
not do any thing without the alphabet. Then in 

502 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

the Latin language every progressive step was made 
through the alphabet ; and so with Greek ; and the 
man who goes through college finds that his very 
last step is through the alphabet; and when they 
give him his diploma they can 't give it to him 
without using the alphabet from first to last. Then 
the man takes the profession of law^ and he finds 
the pages of Blackstone and Greenleaf and Story 
covered with the letters of the alphabet^ and the 
further he goes on the more he uses the alphabet. 

And so I repeat, What the alphabet is to a man 
of learning, repentance is to a man going to heaven. 
The first good thing I ever did was to go down on 
my knees and repent ; and I have been repenting 
ever since. The last thing I want to do in this 
world is to go into a hearty repentance before God, 
and then go right on to heaven on the grace given 
me in repentance. David was a man after God's 
.own heart. David was a great sinner, but he was 
a first-class repenter. He could sin with a venge- 
ance, and then repent with a vengeance. The 
question is not how many times you fell down, but 
how hard you tried to get up after you had fallen; 
and I believe, after all, there is not much harm ia 
a fall if you do it like an India-rubber ball, bounce 
higher than you were before. Simon Peter fell 
once, but, bless your life, he bounced higher than 
ever before. 

Now, brother, we will drop back on the word 
of the text; we want to be so plain that any little 
girl or boy in the house can understand it. I want 
to say that when you talk sense in a practical way. 

Confession and Forgiveness. 503 

you catch the uDderstanding of every body from the 
premier to the child^ from the shrewdest lawyer to 
the A, B, C scholar at school. That is, if you tulk 
plain facts and truth. I do n't believe my business 
is to prove any thing is true that is true, but to set 
forth truth in a practical, sensible aspect. And I 
believe that is about the biggest job on a preacher's 
hands to-day. God does n't want any body to prove 
any thing that is true. An old brother said to me 
one day, " I can 't get 'em to come and hear me 
preach. They won't come." " Well," I said ; " if 
you had a drove of hogs and you call 'em up a few 
times and pour a bucket or two of water over them 
and send them off, why, when you call 'em again 
they 'II just say, ' Boo I I won't come.' But if you 
give them a bucket of slop every time you call them, 
they '11 soon get so they'll just stay there and wait 
for you." Well, sir, that old fellow's mad with me 
to this day. He said I compared human beings 
with hogs. But sometimes a fellow is n't mad about 
what he 's mad about. Did you ever notice that? 
Let 's get truth so that we can hold to it. 

Now, taking a practical and common sense view 
of this whole business, we may say that if a man 
does confess his sins, that is proof he is quit of 
them, for a man will not confess before he is quit. 
I '11 show you. You get that red-nosed gentleman 
at the back there and ask him, does he drink whisky ? 
He '11 tell you " No," because he does n't know one 
thing from another. I want to see one man who 
drinks whisky and never told his wife a lie about it. 
I '11 give you a ten-dollar bill for him, but you '11 

504 Sam Jones^ Own Book. 

have to get somebody to prove your veracity. I 
made a proposition once at a meeting that any man 
who drank whisky and never told his wife a lie 
about it should stand up, and one man jumped up. 
I said, " Old fellow, you 're a baclielor, I '11 lay my 
life.'' And so he was. Well, you take that man 
who has been drinking whisky to excess, and make 
him quit it and give his heart to God^ and then, 
every time he gets up in public service, he says, 
"Brethren, I was the worst drunkard you ever saw. 
I drank and debauched myself till I was a disgrace 
to my family and to the community." He has quit 
now. How do you know? Because he confesses. 
Whenever a man goes to confessing, that 's the best 
proof he has quit. Take that old man there. He 's 
a gambler and a blackleg. Ask him, " Do you 
gamble ?" He says, " I do n't know one card from 
another." Let him get religion and then he '11 say, 
" Brother, I was the worst gambler in this city. I 
used to play cards and gamble on Sunday evenings." 
You see, when he has quit, he'll confess it; when 
he has not quit, he '11 die before he '11 confess it. A 
man's reformation never goes deeper than his con- 



Confession — that is, repentance — means " I 've 
quit; I have done." A good many people think 
repenting means to mourn, to cry, and to weep. 
There 's no particle of mourning or sorrow or weep- 
ing in repentance. Will some brother quote me a 
passage of Scripture that denies the proposition? 
One fellow wants to quote, " a godly sorrow that 
worketh repentance." Well, when a thing works a 

Confession and Forgiveness. 505 

thing that is n't the thing, is it ? Sorrow is no more 
a part of repentance than my coat is part of Sam 
Jones. I 'm glad I got one, but it is n't me. I 'm glad 
I have one^ but I M be as much Sam Jones without it 
as with it. Here 's a boy twenty-one years old. His 
father has $100,000 in different sorts of bonds that 
he wants to give him. Now, that boy is getting 
drunk and carousing, and living a blackguard's 
wicked life, and every night he goes home and 
blubbers and blubbers, and says, " Father, I 'm sorry 
I got drunk again to-night." Finally his father 
says to him, " Look here, you 've got either to quit 
drinking or to quit blubbering. I can 't stand both." 
Next evening the boy comes home, cool, sober. He 
says, " Father, I 've drunk my last drop. I '11 do 
as you want me to do in the future." " Give me 
your hand, son," the father says. *' You have re- 
formed, and now you need n't blubber at all. All 
the blubbering in the world did n't do you any good 
so long as you kept on getting drunk." It isn't 
blubbering; it's quitting. 

One of your book-dealers has a book, he tells 
me, of mine on " Quit Your Meanness." I do n't 
know what the book is worth, but I know that the 
title is worth a fortune to a man who will do as it 
tells him to do. In one of the States where we 
were preaching, they said : " Brother Jones and 
Brother Small are not preaching any thing but ref- 
ormation." Well, do you know any thing this 
country needs as badly as that? It is my business 
to preach reformation ; God's business to preach 

regeneration. You see a little man racking around 
43— B 

506 Sam Jokes' Owk Book. 

this country preaching ^^ You must be bom again I" 
That 's about half he preaches. Poor little fellow ! 
He 's running on the profoundest question of God's 
side. I am trying to do as my Savior did. He 
knew what was best. He touched on it but once^ 
and then it was at midnight^ and when there was 
but one man to hear him^ and that man one of the 
most learned and intelligent of his day ; and when 
Jesus mentioned it to him^ Nicodemus said : " How 
can this thing be?'' And Jesus waved him off with 
a simple illustration^ seemingly sorry he had men- 
tioned it at all. I preach repentance^ and God 
preaches regeneration. 

O^ how tired I get sometimes listening to a 
^ little fellow trying to explain the unexplainable ! 
When I see a man dive out into that water^ if he 
hasn't got gourds under each arm, I say, "Good- 
bye, you are gone ; you are gone." I say, brothers, 
little boats should keep near the shore; the large 
ones can venture further. I do know what repent- 
ance means; I do n't know what regeneration means, 
so that I can tell you about it. But God knows, 
and God is his own interpreter, and he will make 
it plain. Now, you '11 go away from here, some of 
you, and say, " Jones does n't believe in regenera- 
tion." If you do say that, you '11 tell a great big 
lie, sure 's you 're born. I do believe in it, when 
God made me a new creature in Christ just fourteen 
years ago. I do believe in regeneration, but I let 
God preach that side of the Gospel. I shall stay on 
our side. There 's fish there, and I like to fish 
where there is fish. Brethren, the Lord, I say. 

Confession and Forgiveness. 507 

touched this question but once^ and then at mid- 
nighty when but one man was present^ though he 
had opportunities to preach it to great masses ; and 
we have no evidences at all that he ever touched it 
again. But when he touched it^ it was as the key- 
note of eternal life. Let's you and I, then, get 
them to repent, and God will do the rest. That 's 
the division. 

If we repent of our sins — that is, " confess " our 
sins — " he is faithful and just to forgive us." What 
is my part? To repent. Listen I The heart that 
is empty of sin is as the center of gravity to Jesus 
Christ. He always comes to it ; and repentance is 
the means by which you can empty the heart of 
every sin of your life. Some folks think — and that 
is one of the objections I have to a Gospel only half 
told — some folks think the Lord will do every thing, 
and that the Lord will quit all your sins for you. 
If you Ve been telling lies, you Ve got to quit tell- 
ing lies. The Lord won't quit your telling lies for 
you; and he won't quit your drinking whisky for 
you. If you 've been swindling your neighbor, you 
must straighten it out with him, and quit; you must 
not expect God to straighten out your meanness 
with your neighbor. It is your part to quit your 
meanness, and God's part to cleanse you and forgive 
you. Just so here. Is there any thing in the grace 
or promises of God that can keep a man sober with 
a half gallon of whisky in him all the time ? That 
brings the thing home. Is there any thing in God's 
grace or mercy to make a man truthful, when the 
man won't give over lying? Talk about this little 

508 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

imputed righteousness business. Brethren^ it is a 
sort of gum-elastic cloak that you are trying to 
stretch over bar-rooms and ball-rooms, and every 
thing else in the universe. I believe this idea of 
imputed righteousness is a scheme of the devil to 
win you away from your own purity, and expect 
God to be good for you, when you know you are 
not good. If this is what you mean by imputed 
righteousness, I do n't believe a word of it. Eter- 
nal righteousness comes through Jesus Christ. If 
yon sit down and wait for God to quit drinking 
whisky for you, and to quit telling lies for you, 
when all the time your neighbor can 't rely on a 
word you say, you are making a mistake so long as 

There ^are a great many people in this world 
who think that sin is off in a wilderness, and that 
it is a very difficult matter to get to heaven from 
there. Brethren, there is but one road in God's 
moral universe, and every man in the world is in 
that road. Heaven is at one end of it and hell at 
the other. The question is n't. Which road are you 
on? but, Which way are you going? Heaven and 
hell are the antipodes of each other in this road. 
Every sinner who has his back turned on heaven is 
going to hell, and every Christian has his back 
turned on hell and is going to heaven, walking for 
the celestial city. And, brethren, all that any sin- 
ner in this house has to do is to turn around in the 
road he 's in. What does convert mean ? " Con," 
altogether, and " verto," I turn. Conversion is my 
part of the work, regeneration God's part. You 

Confession and Foegiveness. 509 

convert yourself, and when you convert yourself 
God regenerates you. " Converto/' I turn alto- 
gether. I turn my back on sin and the devil, and 
make for God. That's it. I wish you could 
see that. 

Brother George Smith down in our State— a 
fine preacher, but a metaphysician-was preaching 
one day on repentance, and was splitting hairs a 
mile long between evangelical repentance and some 
other sort of repentance, and an old pastor in the 
audience — a fine preacher himself, and uncle of 
George Smith-^ould not stand it at last; so he said, 
" George, you sit down, and let me tell these people 
what repentance means." " Of course I will, Uncle 
John,'' replied George; "I '11 sit down any time to 
hear you." Uncle John was lame, and he got down 
from his seat to go up to the pulpit. As he was 
going up the aisle he said, '^ I '11 tell them just what 
it means;" and he kept on saying on his way up 
the aisle, '^ I 'm going to hell ; I 'm going to hell ; 
I 'm going to hell," until he got to the top of the 
aisle. Then he turned right round and retraced 
his steps down the aisle, saying, as he did so, ^^ I 'm 
going to heaven; I'm going to heaven; I'm going 
to heaven; I'm going to heaven." Then he got 
into his seat again and said, "Now, George, I have 
told them what repentance means, and you can go 
on with your sermon." 

O, how tired I get when a metaphysician gets 
hold of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I want to do 
just as Uncle John did. I want to tell you. I was 
seeking religion a whole week, and never made any 

510 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

progress at all. I had just scattered the sins I could 
get along best without, and at the end of the week 
I seemed further from God that at the first. All at 
once I saw the futility of doing as I was^ and I 
gathered up all my sins and threw them from me 
and turned my back on them and walked off; and 
I walked over the river of resolution^ and I set 
fire to the bridge, and as the last expiring sin 
dropped into the water, I said, '^Heaven or noth- 
ing," and as soon as I had passed over the river, I 
was in the arms of God and a saved man. 

^^If we repent of our sins he is faithful and just 
to forgive us." Brothers, do you want any thing 
stronger and better than that to bank on? It is 
like the platforms over the pools on the stock-farms 
out West. Here is a blessed promise of the river 
of life. Many of those sinners who try to clinjb 
up some other way than the right say there is no 
river of life there, but, glory to God I the pressure 
of my weight of sin on the platform forces the 
water right out into my lips, and, glory to God I I 
need never be thirsty again. Here 's the promise, 
"If we confess our sins," etc. There's many a 
man pardoned and does n't know it because he 
does n't feel it. I tell you there 's mighty little 
about feeling in the Book. It is not a question of 
feeling. I '11 tell you how to get feeling. You just 
get up out of your wicked life, and. go and do the 
things God tells you to do, and you '11 get feeling. 
What is feeling? Moral perspiration. What's 
physical feeling? Physical perspiration. If you 
get up and throw down your sins, the moral per- 

Confession and Forgiveness. 511 

spiration will break out on you from head to foot. 
That 's what we call feeling. 

I '11 tell you another thing. Sin not only makes 
a man a rascal^ but it makes him a fool. I take a 
man by the hand, and ask him to give himself to 
God. " Mr. Jones/' he says, " I M do it if I had 
feeling." " You fool !" I say, " what 's the matter 
with you ? It 's not feeling you want. Your idea 
of feeling is something to blubber over. It 's re- 
pentance you want." When you say " feeling," 
what do you mean? There's only one sensible 
answer, " Serious thought about my soul." If you 
have that, then you have all the feeling necessary to 
make you a Christian man and to take you to 

" If we confess our sins." Now, brethren, what is 
faith? Faith is just taking God at his word. One 
of the grandest old men I ever heard tell his expe- 
rience said, ^^ Brethren, I started in this new life to 
be just what the Lord in his grace should make 
me. I said I am going to pray over my whole na- 
ture in sections. Lord, I want to be sincere from 
head to foot. And the Lord, came to me with the 
grace of sincerity and since that time I have been 
sincere to God and to man. The next thing I did 
was to pray, Lord, help me to believe thy word. I 
can't believe it as I would. And all at once it 
seemed as if the Lord came right down on me and 
said, ^ I heard you asking me to help you believe 
my word. What do you mean ? I am the Lord, 
and can not lie. Get up and take me at my word, 
and I will bless you every day of your life.' " Well, 

512 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

now, ain't you a pretty fellow, asking the Lord to 
help you believe his word ? I '11 tell you what you 
remind me of. " Bob," I say to my little fellow, 
"you go and get me a drink of water, and I'll 
give you a dime." But Bob comes up around me, 
feeling to see if I 've got the dime, and he never 
thinks of the drink of water. Many a time I 've 
seen the promise hanging over your head, if you 
will do so-and-so while you are standing around 
wondering if the Lord meant what he said. The 
Lord pity us and help us to go out and do what he 
means us to do ! Brother, you can bank on this 

Down in Tennessee, in one of the principal cities 
there, I saw a leading judge at my meeting every 
night, and I said to him, " You are are a sensible 
man ; what are you trying to do here every night — 
trying to get religion ?" " Yes," he says. " Have 
you confessed your sins?" I asked him. "Yes," 
he says. "Then you are a pardoned man," I told 
him. "How do you know?" he asked me. "Be- 
cause," said I, " God says, ^ If we confess our sins, 
he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.' Have 
you confessed ?" " Yes." " Well then, you are 
pardoned." Afterwards, at the close of the meeting, 
I said, " Every pardoned sinner come up here," 
and the judge, with a face all radiant with joy, came 
up and said, "I take God at his word. I just 
would not believe what God had said." 

But if you just pardon an old sinner and leave 
him there, it's like washing a hog and leaving him 
to wallow in the mud again. The old sinner if left 

Confession and Forgiveness. 513 

to himself would be as bad again inside a month. 
Brethren, let me give you this fact : It is your busi- 
ness to repent and God's business to pardon you. 
" If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to 
forgive us.'' There is something better than that. 
After I was converted and pardoned I used to be 
troubled nearly to death how I could ever hold up 
my head in heaven. The Lord has seen all my 
meanness, and how can I ever walk the golden streets 
with my head up ? But I read on and found that 
he will not only pardon our sins, but will separate 
them from us as far as the east is from the west. 
What a glorious thing it is to get so far from sin I 
And on another day I read, ^^ He will blot out our 
sins from the book, and remember them no more for- 
ever." Isn't that precious? But I never under- 
stood what he meant until I was preaching at 
Louisville, one day,,at the church of Brother Morris. 
He had been converted seventeen years before that, 
and up to that time had been a wicked, dissipated, 
carousing, wretched youth. But at the time I met 
him he was the most saintly man I ever saw in my 
life. One night he told the people how he used to 
gamble and drink and fight, and when the service 
was over old Sister Morris, his mother, came up to 
him and said, " What made you say that, Jimmy ? 
You never did any thing of that sort in your life." 
And I learned that the precious mother had forgot- 
ten all about his past life. He had been seventeen 
years good, and the precious mother had blotted his 
wrong-doings out of her memory. I have cursed 
and swore and drunk and done a thousand mean 

514 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

things ; but^ brother, I will walk the golden streets 
as if I never done a mean thing in my life, and if 
any body says such a thing to me, I shall just refer 
them to the Lord. 

Briek Sayings. 

A WORKING girl is just as good as the girl who 
does n't do any thing in the world but let her mother 
wait on her. 

If there is a thing in this world I have the pro- 
foundest contempt for, it's the infernal dancing- 
master going through the land despoiling the young 
people of our country. 

Election. — " Whosoever will, let him take of 
the water of life freely." I like that grand " who- 
soever '' there. I have read a great deal about elec- 
tion, but I think I have found out from God's Word 
what is meant by election. The "elect" are the 
" whosoever- wills," and the "non-elect" are the 
" whosoever-won'ts." 

The Judgment. — When God says "Depart," 
the sentence is written, and shall sparkle forever 
upon the tablets of eternity. And the issues 
being eternal, and there being no after jurisdiction 
or revisionary control, no higher court to which we 
can appeal, we say God will not hurry matters on 
that occasion. God will give every soul ample time 
and opportunity to bring out all the "pros" and 
" cons " on that* occasion. 



A Temperance Sermon 


Si^NIUKI^ W. 8MAI^£» 

I HOPE you will give me your prayerful atten- 
tion to-night. What I shall say shall be based 
on the sixteenth verse of the third chapter of Acts : 

" And his name, through faith in his name, hath 
made this man strong, whom ye see and know; yea, 
the faith which is by him hath given him this per- 
fect soundness in the presence of you all." 

On one occasion there came into the market- 
place of a far Eastern city an jaged, decrepit, and 
travel-stained man, who was a stranger to them all. 
He wandered through the vast bazaar without seem- 
ing to regard or take notice of the vast stores of 
merchandise, wealth, and accumulated wondrous 
handicraft of the people. Aimlessly he threaded 
his way about in that multitude until he attracted 
the attention of the people. Suddenly he stopped 
before one of the booths, where hung gilded cages, 
in which had been imprisoned birds of precious 
plumage and sweetest song. They were fluttering 
their little wings against the bars of their prison, 
and he listened intently that he might haply catch 
some note of their song ; but they, thus imprisoned, 
refused to give forth any of the melody of their 


516 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

throats, but struggled and struggled impatiently 
and ineffectually against their imprisonment. 

Suddenly the old man put his hands in the folds 
of his garment, and drew therefrom coin of a 
strange realm. He asked the price of a cage. He 
bought it, and, opening the door, he turned the 
feathered songster loose, and it fluttered its wings, 
so long untried, and for a little while balanced its 
slight body in mid-air, until nature restored its 
powers of equilibrium, and then it mounted up, and 
up, and up, 'and with a glad song of joy circled 
above the heads of the multitude, until it caught 
sight of the distant cloud-capped mountain, where 
its home had been, and then, with its precious mel- 
ody flowing from its soul, it winged its way into the 
far and ethereal distance, and was lost to sight. 
Thus one by one he bought these little birds, and 
thus one by one he loosed them, and they repeated 
the glad notes of surprise, and took the same course 
back to their native mountain fastnesses. He seemed 
to take a greater pleasure and a sweeter joy as each 
little prisoner regained its liberty, and the tears 
streamed down his travel-stained and dust-covered 

Those who stood by said to him, " Why dost 
thou do these strange things?" He said to them 
in reply, with a look of charity and joy indescrib- 
able on his face, " I ^vas once a prisoner myself, 
and I know something of the sweets of liberty." 

I, brethren, was once a prisoner myself, and now 
I have tasted something of the sweets of liberty in 
Christ, and with the precious coinage of his mercies 

Deliverance from Bondage. 517 

and his promises I would stand before this multi- 
tude to-night and purchase from the willing hearts 
of men the liberty of their souls from a bondage 
more despicable and deadly, and more repressive 
of the natural melody of men's souls, than were 
these gilded cages to the birds of this far Eastern 

I have been under the bondage of sin, a bond- 
age that was galling every moment almost ; a bond- 
age from which there was eliminated every element 
of joy, and from which there seemed to be at times 
no avenue of escape. 

If you will pardon me, I will refer to myself. 
I will tell you something of my experience, because 
I would have my young compatriots know it, and 
know it to the good of their souls. I would have 
my fellow-men who are in middle life, with fami- 
lies, hear it. I would have these veteran fathers of 
this community hear it. 

I was well bom. I was given by kindly par- 
ents all the true and the religious culture that a 
boy could have in a loving home. I was instructed in 
right speaking; I was encouraged in right doing; I 
was inspirited at times to consider myself a child of 
God, and to recognize in my youth my responsibil- 
ity to him. 

And when I had left my mother's side, and had 
left my father's counsel, and left the old hearth tree 
and the family altar, and gone out into the avenues 
of the world, seeking, first, an education, and after- 
ward position and piosperity, I fell into evil ways. 
With the strong and lusty passions of youth, with 

518 S.v^r Jones' Own Book. 

those whom I mingled I found there were courses 
and ways, there were allurements and temptations^ 
that were strange to me ; and I stood reliant only 
upon myself, forgetting the prayers and teachings 
of mother and father, and I was eager for a place, 
eager for the pleasures of this world, eager for the 
happiness and the enjoyments that I saw about me. 
And thus I easily fell in allurements, thus easily 
fell from virtuous thoughts and virtuous acts, and 
from the virtuous course of my life. 

The great bane, as I look back over my life, and 
conjure up the recollections of my past — the great 
bane of all my sinfulness, the great moving cause 
of all the moral iniquities I committed — was nothing 
more nor less than this great gorgon-headed evil 
that is devouring so many of the people of this land, 
and sowing broadcast sin and sorrow in this chosen 
nation of ours — the sin of intemperance. 

I thought that it would be manly to do as nearly 
every man I saw about me did. I thought there 
would be some addition to my pleasure and expe- 
rience by going with them into their drinking places 
and indulging with them. I felt all the time that 
I had strength of will enough, that I had force of 
character enough, to protect me from the excesses 
that I could see other men had fallen into. I believed 
that when I reached a dangerous point, if I ever 
did, I could put on the brakes of my nature and stop. 

I went away to college, and there again fell into 
evil courses. I struggled at times with the innate 
manhood that was in me, and attempted to throw 
off the growing appetite for these things. When I 

Deliverakce from Bondage. 519 

came away^ after I had graduated^ and began to 
enter among men and their pursuits^ and endeav- 
ored to acquire a profession^ I thought still that I 
must mingle with my fellow-men ; have some par- 
ticipations in their customs and in their habits ; that 
I must bring myself into some sort of agreement 
and harmony with their ideas of social enjoyments^ 
and I yielded again and again to the temptations 
thus presented; and again and again I fell from my 
rectitude, and away from ideas that lingered with 
me of what was right and proper. And thus, day 
after day, these passions grew stronger and stronger 
within me. 

I could feel and see that I was falling, falling 
falling all the time. I saw that there would not be 
left in me strength enough to save me, and I was 
unconscious at times of the fearful length to which 
I had fallen ; but I would not look at the picture I 
knew I was presenting to others. I went on and on. 
I went until I brought tears from the eyes of my 
precious mother, until I brought fearful lines to her 
face, until I brought gray streaks into her beautiftd 
hair, until I had brought the lines of care about her 
loving eyes ; and until I knew I was dragging, drop 
by drop the life-blood from her devoted heart. I 
knew that my strong and manly father was suffering 
on my account tortures that he would not, in his 
courage, let the world know were gnawing at his 
heart and at his soul. 

I knew how it went out to me ; how it followed 
me abroad in other lands, and I knew that the fail- 
ing of his step, and the silvering of his hair, and 

520 Sam Joxrs' Own Book. 

the deepening of the Hneg of grief about his mouth; 
that had so oflen spoken golden words of counsel, 
were due to the course and ways into which I had 
fallen, and to the apparent hopelessness of my ever 
coming out of them, and being reformed and being 
renewed in mind and in body. 

O, I shall never feel satisfied short of the ability 
in heaven to make obeisance at their feet and crave 
their pardon, -which I know has long since been 
granted me, and which I shall ever see beam on 
their angelic faces until I am in my grave. 

I married a lovable woman. I married one who 
was proud of disposition; one who had high and 
noble traits of character; one who had quick and 
responsive sensibilities; one to whom the very taint 
of any thing that was disreputable was like a knife- 
stab to her heart; but I disregarded the love and 
devotion of that precious wife. I went on and on, 
unheeding her counsel, disregarding her prayers, 
and from day to day getting grosser and grosser in 
my appetites, and getting more brutal in my insen- 
sibility to her pleadings and her prayers. And 
when children came to bless my home, even the 
sight of them in their little cradles, unconscious in 
the first moments of their life, and with the smiles 
of God drawing responsive smiles from them, I 
found it impossible for me to know that I was doing 
that which would sooner or later bring shame and 
sorrow and degradation upon those innocent babes; 
and as they grew from year to year their voices 
came, and they prattled about me ; it was only at 
distant intervals that I began to regard the future 

Deliverance from Bondage. 521 

that was stretching far off iu the distance before 
them^ and which I must make either one of peace 
and pleasure^ or one of despair and wretchedness. 

And year after year I went on and on in this 
course of sin and wickedness, and the light of my 
home went out. The love of my wife* gave way, 
but the process of murder of affection could not last 
forever; and I saw at last, it seemed to me, that she 
had returned it to the sepulcher in which she had 
laid it away in its tear-bedewed cerements forever. 
I could see that the love and affection of my chil- 
dren were turning from me daily, seemingly by in- 
tuition. They saw I was not he who was appointed 
to be their father in the manifestations of father- 
hood that I made to them. I could know, and 
know with a treble emphasis, that drove unutter- 
able horrors into my soul, but it seemed only to 
drive me further and further into despair, that they 
would, at my coming, flee from my presence far 
away into the darkest and remotest parts of the 
house, for fear of the consequences of meeting their 

I had friends, friends in position, friends high in 
authority, friends who were true and steadfast to 
me ; but they, too, were unable to paint to me any 
picture that would allure me from the one I was 
painting with my own hand in the horrible colors 
of hell itself They would point me to a goal that 
my bleared and confused vision would not see. 
They would endeavor to lift me up on plains of 
hope and sensibilities of ambition that I had ceased 
to be sensible of, as being worthy of achievement. 

44— B 

522 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

They would endeavor to control my appetite^ and 
find it as useless as to bind with a cotton-woven 
string the raging Uon of the arid and tempest-swept 

I had at times my lucid intervals^ when there 
would come memories of mother's prayer, of father's 
counsel, of wife's tears, and of children's mute and 
helpless look ; and I would say to myself, " I will 
summon to my aid all the powers of my soul and 
manhood, and I will put under foot this monster 
of hideous mien that is dragging me down into 
degradation, into social ruin, and taking a fast hold 
upon my soul, and which sooner or later will drag 
it a trophy into hell. I would summon all my 
powers, only to find that I was weaker than a 
babe in the arms of so strong a passion as I had 

I would go to physicians, and ask them in the 
name of my family and future to do something 
for me, if indeed there had been found medicines 
on earth to minister to a mind diseased and an appe- 
tite debauched, and they would exhaust their knowl- 
edge and their skill, and hundreds and thousands 
of dollars did I spend in the endeavor to reinforce 
will, manhood, and my own powers of represrion, 
but all in vain. 

There were antidotes that were published abroad 
in the world, and with the use of which cures are 
guaranteed, but all, all in vain. I spent hundreds 
and thousands of dollars, and hours and days of 
time, and I purchased advertised efficient and war- 
ranted cures for drunkenness, and I was as fiiithful 

Delivekance fbom Bondage. 523 

in the application of them as ever human being 
was ; but it was all in vain ! in vain ! ! in vain ! ! ! 

There was no medicament in them to cure my 
aroused passion and appetite. 

I went so far that my wife, under the laws then 
existing in Georgia, had written by the judge of the 
couii; in which I was the official short-hand re- 
porter, a legal notice, couched in the language of 
the law, and had this notice served upon every 
dealer in liquors in the city of Atlanta, warning 
them, under penalty of the law, not to let me have 
their damning fluid over their counters; and yet, 
outlaws as they were, disregarding my interest, 
disregarding my wife's pleadings and the tears of * 
my children, and disregarding the very law of the 
land, they still continued to supply me with the 
horrible draught for which my inmost nature seemed 
craving with insatiety. 

I even employed attendants and detectives, who 
followed me as I went about on my business in the 
streets of my city, and they followed me with the 
purpose, and were employed for the purpose, of 
keeping these men who would not keep the law 
themselves from furnishing me with whisky; and 
yet I, in conjunction with them, was able to hood- 
wink and defy detectives and law. 

Further and further, deeper and deeper, I was 
sinking; I was getting hopeless for business; hope- 
less for all social standing; hopeless for all the 
temporal interests of this world ; hopeless for eter- 
nity ; and, in the very madness of my disordered 
brain, and in my very soul, there seemed at times 

524 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

no avenue of escape at all from this self-imposed 
bondage, except through insanity on the one hand^ 
and through suicide on the other. 

I saw' that my wife and children had given up 
all hope ; they did not know, from day to day, how 
I would come home to them. They had seen me 
brought there, day after day, time after time, in- 
sensible and unable to recognize them, from the in- 
fluence of this deadly and poisonous drug. They 
had seen me when I was brought in and laid on 
my bed covered with blood, and it seemed as 
though my days were indeed numbered, and that I 
would soon fall in the midst of my iniquity. They 
had seen me when I was brought home with the 
wounds of the knife and pistol on my body, and 
they had heard the rumors from the streets and 
dives of the dangers with which I had been con- 
stantly surrounded of late. To them it seemed as 
though there was no avenue, no loophole, of escape for 
me from a terrible death. There was not the sign 
of hope or spirit beaming out from their beautiftil 
faces. They knew not, from day to day, whether I 
would live to greet them another day. They knew 
not whether, if my life was prolonged, they would 
be able to procure the very necessities of life from 
day to day. 

They knew not at what hour the very shelter 
that shielded them from the storm and from the 
heat would be removed from over their head, and 
they removed from under its shelter. There were 
visions of uncertainty, of the sheriflF to dispossess, 
of the heartless landlord to distrain for rent, of the 

Deliverance from Bondage. 525 

debtor to come and take all. There was no future 
ahead of them^ except a future of impenetrable 
gloom, through which seemed to come nothing but 
warnings of deeper woe and agonies yet to come. 
O, Lord, how good thou wast to me! thou hast 
given me relief from that bondage at my seeking. 

At last there came a time when I seemed to 
have reached the limit. Something strange im- 
pelled me to take my little children, as a loving act, 
an act, it seemed to me, of reparation for neglects 
of weeks preceding, and go upon the train to Car- 
tersville, where Brother Jones was preaching to 
immense audiences, and from which the report had 
come that there were many and many hundreds, 
and even thousands, who were coming back into 
harmony with God. And as I sat upon the plat- 
form, endeavoring to take in stenography the words 
as they fell irom his lips, it seemed to me that God 
had inspired him to preach upon one certain line. 
He preached it with that faith which is his alone; 
he preached it with that fidelity which is his dis- 
tinguishing characteristic; he preached with the 
earnestness and with the conviction that broke 
down the casements of my heart and went home to 
it. When he had finished those words of Conscience ! 
Conscience ! Conscience ! and of Record ! Record ! 
Record ! of God, the infinite, the all-seeing and 
the ever-judging God, came home to me. 

I went away from there troubled in mind and 
soul. I went home, and back into the devious 
ways, back into the bar-room, back into the open 
highways, back to the maddening pool, in order to 

526 Sabi Jones' Own Book. 

get away from the torments I was suffering from 
an awakened conscience. But they would not 
leave me. I could find no solace where I had often 
found insensibility. I could find no relief in pota- 
tions where I had often found indifference and 
capability to take on a cool exterior. There was 
nothing there to give me surcease from the sorrow 
in my bosom ; and I went on and Dn until the sec- 
ond day, on Tuesday, at noon, I went into my 
library-room, fell upon my knees, buried my face 
in my hands, and I pleaded with Christ that he 
would let me cling to his cross, lay down all my 
burdens and sins there, and be rescued and saved 
by his compassion ; that I might be washed in his 
blood, and that my sins, though they were scarlet, 
might be white as snow. 

I wrestled for four long hours, in as much agony 
as I ever suffered. At the end of that time, when 
I had reached a conclusion, when I had come to 
understand that there was nothing of earth that 
could avail me, least of all with Christ, then I gave 
myself entirely to him, made an unconditional sur- 
render, and that moment he seized my soul. He 
dipped it in the stream which was white and pure, 
and the light of heaven shone in upon me. 

In my new-found joy, I rushed into the presence 
ot wife and children. I proclaimed the glad tidings 
to their astonished ears, and they could hardly be- 
lieve it, though they saw that some great revolution 
had taken place. They knew not whether it was 
a surrender to Christ, or whether it had been a 
surrender to madness. 

Deliverance fkom Bondage. 627 

But when I went out that evening, I had three 
thousand circulars printed and distributed all over 
Atlanta, telling the people I had found my Savior ; 
I had made peace with God, and that I would live a 
life of righteousness ever after, and desired to make 
a proclamation for once and irrevocable. They 
gathered at seven o'clock upon the public streets 
that night, and there before them I proclaimed the 
fact, and, blessed be God, I have been proclaiming 
it ever since with increased joy, and with the cer- 
tainty that my salvation is complete. 

Returning home, I could see that Jesus had 
knocked at the tomb of my wife's life, as it did at 
that of Lazarus, and had called it forth in all its 
pristine strength and beauty, and its bloom and 
blossom has been my pathway ever since. I could 
see that my children had found tongue to sing the 
joy and praise, and their hearts had been set attuned, 
as they never had been before, to the melody of 
childhood, singing to the ears of fatherhood. I 
could see that there was gladness, wherever I went, 
upon the faces of friends and acquaintances ; and, 
when the news had gone abroad in the land, they 
who had known me abroad sent me their glad con- 
gratulations and their encouragement. 

Blessed be God that, from the day he reached 
down and lifted me up from the horrible pit and the 
miry clay, and established my feet upon the rock 
of Christ that is higher than we, I have been going 
on from joy to joy, a bird of liberty, singing the 
praises of my Redeemer. 

And so, having been thus saved and thus healed, 

528 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

I would call you who are in that terrible bondage 
to seek relief of the same great Physician^ and 
to draw your medicine from the same infidlible 

What are we doing with ourselves? O, how, 
when we look abroad in this land, we can see how 
intemperance is becoming the great national vice, 
and how it is becoming the fell destroyer of so many 
thousands and thousands of our loved ones. What 
are we doing with these bodies of ours? "What, 
know ye not that your body is the temple of the 
Holy Ghost which b in you, which ye have 
of God, and ye are not your own?'' Fellow- 
men, fellow-men, let me bring you to the contem- 
plation of the fact that these bodies of ours are the 
temples of the Holy Ghost, and that they were 
fashioned after the architecture of his great brains, 
by the great Being who is the architect of the 

These bodies he made of the dust of the earth, 
and these bones of his rock ; he made us with veins 
and with arteries, and filled them with the blood 
from the seas of his providence ; he gave us breath, 
which, like the wind, cometh and goeth and scat- 
tereth; which cometh we know not whence, goeth 
we know not where ; he gave us sight for all the 
beauties and grandeurs of the world, and inflamed 
it with fire from the center of his storehouse of fire ; 
he gave us thoughts, like the clouds, for, like them, 
they move, and as they play in the sunlight of right- 
eousness, are transformed into beauty, whether it be 
the beauty of the dawn, presaging what is to come. 

Deliverance from Bondage. 529 

or the beauty of the sunset^ presaging the glorious 
death toward which we tend. 

And we can make these minds of ours reflect 
the light of heaven, or they can have the light of 
heaven withdrawn, and be dark and dismal and 
foreboding as the storm-clouds, from which the 
mutterings of heaven come and roll the thunders of 
agony that spread destruction and death upon us. 
And in these temples he has placed the Holy Ghost 
in spirit for us, and we are its custodians, the priests 
of these temples; and when we degrade and defile 
them, we are degrading and defiling the architec- 
ture of God and his chosen resting-place in us. 

O, what a touching instance it was when the 
favorite son of TertuUian died ! His companions 
were bearing his corpse to the cemetery upon their 
shoulders, and as they went along, occupied with 
their thoughts of sorrow and grief, they stumbled 
by the way, when the grief-stricken father, noticing 
it, called out to them : ^^ Young men, beware how 
you walk ; you bear upon your shoulders the temple 
of the Holy Ghost." 

So with us. We go about bearing with us the 
temple of the Holy Ghost, and we are recreant to 
our own creation, recreant to our own destiny, re- 
creant to the great God who fashioned us, recreant 
to the great God who made us his temples, when 
we defile these bodies of ours, and ruin them with 
the licenses of our baser natures and our depraved 

One time Diogenes saw a young man going to 
a place of revelry, where drinking was the custom, 

45- B 

530 Sam Jones' Own Book.- 

and from which men who went in sober and rational 
beings emerged besotted, and not knowing their 
way. He seized upon the young man, carried him 
to his friends, and informed them that he had res- 
cued their precious boy from a great and awful 
danger. So it would be well if we had friends who 
would thus rescue us. But there are times when 
friends, as I told you, can have no influence, and no 
Diogenes, however wise, however honest, however 
mindful of his neighbor, could restrain us from 
going into these places. 

But how many Diogeneses it would take to seize 
upon those that night after night and day after day 
are going into these places of danger and ultimate 
death in the city of Cincinnati ! O, let us seek to 
save ourselves through the only influence, the only 
medicament, and the only Physician that this uni- 
verse afibrds us! 

What is intemperance doing? It is not neces- 
sary to marshal here before you the figures ; you can 
see it all about you. 

Young man, you know that you started in your 
intemperate habits just as I did. You know what 
influences have led you ; you know what ambitions 
you thought you could cultivate by listening to 
them; you know how you have run out and gone 
into these places with like ideas of strength and 
ability to control yourselves just as I had. And 
now you are buoyant in the consciousness that you 
think that at any time you can slap on the brakes 
of your nature, and save yourselves from degrada- 
tion that you see upon the planes just below as. 

Deliverance fbom Bondage. 631 

Beware, beware of that fatal cup. There are 
fathers, middle-aged ; they know what intemperance 
will do. They are listening to me to-night, and 
they started on that road just as I started ; but if 
they have not reached the same length to which I 
went, they are on the high road to it. They can 
already know that they are not received where once 
they were welcome guests ; they know that they are 
passed every day on the streets of Cincinnati by 
men who formerly regarded them with esteem and 
claimed them as friends. They know that avenues 
were once open to them of usefulness, and which 
are now closed upon them forever on account of 
their habits, their companionship, and their places 
of resort. They know that the happiness of their 
fiimilies, once complete, is now gone, apparently 
forever. They know that the blanched cheek of 
that wife, that the constant redness of eye when 
they enter home, that the fleeing children, are all evi- 
dences of the steady growth of the evil ; and they 
have grown just in proportion as they have gone 
deeper and deeper into this besotted condition. 

There are old men here to-night who have led a 
long life, it seemed, of moderation, and who thought 
that they were exemplifying the ability of a man to 
drink and drink and drink, and yet preserve his 
manhood and his honest position ; but they can see 
that their excesses are notonly sapping the foundations 
of their health ; they can feel that they are untimely 
gray ; they can feel that they have diseases in them* 
that they would not have had but for their intem- 
perance; and they can see before them no life that 

532 8am Jones' Own Book. 

is leading them on and brightening their way as 
they go. But they are seeing^ upon the other hand — 
and if they are honest with themselves^ they will 
confess it to their souls^— that they are losing the 
powers, and that sooner or later they, too, must 
sink into the lowest depths of degradation, and be 
untimely cut off, and go to hell to everlasting death. 

Families and individuals — cities — prostrated. 
There is nothing that is so glaring about them as 
intemperance, which sweeps over them like the 
storm over a forest, day after day and night after 
night. Thank God that my city of Atlanta has 
redeemed herself under the white banner of temper- 
ance, with the cross of Christ on it ! Thank God, 
she will shine as a city set upon a hill, giving a 
light to this nation ! Ohio to-day is giving full 
liberty to the whisky dealers to debauch and damn 
the most precious sons of your loins and your house- 

God can not bless a people/ who are thus recre- 
ant to themselves and thus recreant to their duties, 
both to humanity and to God. Thank God that 
old Georgia is rapidly redeeming herself, and that 
after a while she will still be lying in the very 
apron of this nation, a redeemed State from the tyr- 
any of alcohol, and that she will raise her banner 
and commend it in its purity to every State in this 
nation, as it blazons with the legend of Wisdom, 
Justice, and Moderation, under the broad and glit- 
tering arch of the Constitution. 

Nearly twenty-five years ago misguided men in 
the South fired the first shot upon Fort Sumter that 

Deliverance fbom Bondage. 633 

awakened this entire nation, and led to refonn, and 
led to liberties, and led to the release of slaves from 
bondage, led to what no man had contemplated as 
being capable of realization. It marshaled the most 
impregnable arms of this continent, and that shot 
reverberated all through civilization. I tell yoii 
that whatever were the disasters of war, it struck 
the shackles from six million slaves ; but to-day, in 
a holier and grander cause, by the approving smile 
of God, old Georgia has fired a gun upon the Sum- 
ters of sin and intemperance in this country that 
will arouse this whole nation ; and we will batter 
down these forts of intemperance, whether they are 
in Cincinnati, Chicago, or New York. 

The army of God in this nation is on the march. 
And you may listen here; and if you have not the 
courage and the Christian zeal, we will come and 
break down the barriere ; we will pound down the 
forts of the demon of alcohol, and we will release 
you from this terrible bondage. 

In the midst of influences like this, with these 
facts staring them in the face, statesmen of this 
country are too cowardly to seize upon this great 
question, and make it a question of public policy for 
the Christian people. Politicians go wandering 
about among the lower classes, and talk and rant 
about personal liberty and sumptuary laws, as though 
they had a right to give laws to these people, when 
these smiling scoundrels are only seeking popularity 
and applause from the foolish and depraved. 

Scientists are disputing and debating, when all 
history and all true science have demonstrated that 

534 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

no curse is greater upon a people than to have the 
saloons and the dissemination of these deadly com- 
pounds in the community. These whisky dealers 
are outlaws; they are against the law; they are 
anomalous creatures, and the anarchists of the nine- 
teenth century. If they would disobey and disre- 
gard the laws in my case, they will do it in yours, 
and they will do it in the case of every precious 
son you have got, of every living father you have 
got, of every devoted husband you have got in this 

Churches meet in conventions, meet in confer- 
ences, meet in assemblies, meet in synods, and pass 
resolutions on the subject of temperance, and yet the 
very ministers, it seems, in places, are unwilling to 
enforce the declarations and laws of their own 
Churches against their own members, notwithstand- 
ing that right here in Cincinnati ministers of the 
Gospel have been disrobed through its , influences, 
and Churches have been debauched. 

And thus our very rulers, law-makers, public 
men, and public teachers are thus indifferent or 
cowardly in the face of an evil like that, while the 
red-winged and fiery-eyed Zamael of these distillers 
and brewers of the country is sweeping over this 
land and laying low in horrible death the first-born 
of American homes, as the angel did at the command 
of God in the land of Pharaoh centuries ago. And 
every man and every v^oman, especially in America, 
has a direct personal interest in seeing the banner 
of Christ triumph over the sign of the beer barrel 
and the whisky worm. • 

i ! 

I I 


Delivebance fbom Bondage. 635 

Is there an7 thing needed to arouse the humanity 
and the patriotism of you people to the iniquities 
that are being thus committed in your midst^ and 
the sad havoc that is being made in your homes ? 
If I to-night were' to call around me a staff of 
bailiffs and furnish them with subpoenas^ I could 
send them into the streets^ and into the back-yards^ 
and into the slums and alleys and tenement districts 
of Cincinnati^ and I could send to Walnut Hills, 
and to Mount Auburn, and Avondale, and Mount 
Adams, and other of your respectable and high- 
toned suburbs of Cincinnati, and from the palaces 
of your richest down to the humblest huts and dens 
of your poorest, and examine the widows and the 
orphans that whisky has made, and array them here 
in grand mass by the thousands, with their weeping 
eyes, with their dismal recollection, with their 
mourning, with their hearts crushed and bleeding, 
and they would say to you, " If you are men, in 
the name of God and humanity, rise in your might 
and drive this monster out before he destroys and 
ruins your homes too.^' 

If we but heed these witnesses, and are true to 
ourselves, to our children, to humanity, and to God, 
we can destroy this flaming monster, and soon be 
able to sing out to men and angels that our people 
are redeemed, regenerated, and disenthralled from 
the fatal powers of the dragon. Then we will be 
blessed by our Father in heaven with a posterity 
given to paths of righteousness and lives of Chris- 
tian endeavor and achievement. 

Our sons shall grow up in strength and honor, 

536 Sam Jones* Own Book. 

and wear the Christian armor. Their feet will be 
shod with the preparation of the Gospel^ their loins 
be girded about with truth, their bodies guarded by 
the breast-plate of faith, their shield be righteous- 
ness, their manly, sun-lit brows be crowned with 
the helmet of salvation, and their good right arms 
will wield the trenchant, victorious sword of the 
Spirit, which is the Word of God. 

Our daughters will grow up in beauty and come- 
liness of Christian graces. Their feet will be san- 
daled with truth and faith ; their limbs be clothed 
with robes of purity, on which, in silver and gold 
and prismatic hues, will be embroidered the record 
of their good deeds ; their waists will be encircled with 
the golden girdle of strengthening prayer; their 
bosoms shielded by the bodice of innocence cover- 
ing the virtuous heart, on which burn vestal fires 
of love ; from their shoulders will drop the mantle 
of humility, and their hands will dispense the 
golden showers of charity upon the one side and of 
mercy upon the other ; their throats will be wrapped 
with the pearls of precious words ; their lips will 
give forth sweet songs of praise to God ; their eyes 
will ever turn in trust to the great white throne, 
whose radiance will glint in the folds of their 
tresses, and presage the crown of immortal life that 
shall press their brows in Paradise. 

And these two shall dwell in the splendors and 
happiness of the palace of purity, that rears its 
walls and dome around and over every true and 
consecrated Christian heart. They will go up to it 
over the broad white flag-stones of perfect desires; 

Deliverance fbom Bondage. 537 

they will olimb up its grieat steps of geometrically 
and systematically fashioned purposes and ambi- 
tions; they will pass between the grand columns 
of strength and wisdom that stand before the Gate 
Beautiful^ with its golden welcome, "All that is 
pure may enter in;" and in the hall of consecration 
they will put on the insignia of their heaven-given 
prerogatives, and pass on into the rotunda of a 
righteous life, and up into the throne-seats of honor 
in the East From that exalted place, they may 
oontemplate with rapture the idealized tableaux of 
the virtues of their lives. Here the picture of 
Truth — ^a fair maiden drawing from her exhaustless 
well the waters of sincerity that are poured out for 
the ennobling and refreshing of all people, and over 
her the glittering legend: ^^ Magna est Veritas et 
pretxdebit,*^ There is the tableau of Faith, clinging 
to the rock-rooted cross that towers heavenward, 
and around which the wild waves of worldliness, 
woe, and passion surge unavailing, their highest 
spray not touching even the hem of her garments. 
Yonder is seen the fair form of Virtue, her 
beautiful feet standing amid the treasures of the 
upturned cornucopia of fortune, her bands folded 
in peacefulness across her lovely bosom, and her 
golden hair blown into a halo about her head by 
the breezes that are bom in the hills of happiness. 
Here again is figured the faultless goddess of 
Justice, standing upon the uppermost pole of the 
earth, holding the scales of God's earthly impartial- 
ity, and weighing out the dues of men in harmony 
with eternal truth. Over her the constellations 

538 Sam Jones' Own Book. 

gather and glitter in the edict of Jehovah : ^^FkU 
justitiay mat codumP^ There again is the sweet 
face of Charity, swift-paced to carry succor and life 
to the hovel of the poor, the cots of the sick and 
cells of the wretched. And next comes the picture 
of gentle and tender-hearted Mercy, soothing the 
cares, relieving the burdens, reconciling the hearts, 
and ministering to the redemption of all the souls 
of God's children. And here is the grand portrait 
of the strong, manly apostle of Temperance, the 
embodiment of health, vigor, energy, and philan- 
thropy ; a giant in all good works, and approved 
servant of heaven. 

Over in the West is the grand horologe of Time, 
counting out the moments of life in a monotone 
psean of patience and labor, while its great pendu- 
lum swings through an arc that reaches from the 
cradle to the tomb. 

In the center is the Christian's altar, on which 
praises and prayers turn to worshiping incense and 
pervade the place with heavenly odors. 

Up in the high center of the vast dome blazes 
the Sun of righteousness, that lightens forever the 
splendid scene. Looking into it, the eye of faith, 
strengthened like the young eaglet's, can discern 
the transfigured cross of Calvary, pointing the soul 
to its home and rest around the throne of God in 

Who are these that thus reign and rejoice? 
They are the Prince Christian and Princess Chris- 
tiana of the kingdom of Gk)d on earth. They are 
the heirs apparent to everlasting life and the im- 

Deliverance fbom Bondage. 539 

perishable possessions of the King of kings ! God 
direct us with his wisdom to so live and use our 
lives as to endow our children with these titles and 
these palaces of purity on earth — these inheritances 
of the meek^ and pure, and temperate, and dutiful, 
in ^^ the city whose builder and maker is God/^