"Which things the angels desire to look into" (I Peter 1:12)
Oh God, make us likewise dead in earnest! No man can be dead in earnest for the salvation of others who has not been dead earnest in contemplating and evaluating the glory of his own salvation. How pathetic that many professed Christians never ponder or meditate deeply into the wonders of sovereign grace.
Duncan Mathieson, that fiery Scottish evangelist who labored in the Highlands, was a man filled with the wonder of redeeming grace and thus was in earnest for the salvation of the lost. Often he cried out in the midst of his message, "Eternity is stamped on my eyeballs. I have seen a sight which has dimmed the glory of all else!"
While stricken at Aberdeen of a painful internal malady, he spoke in a solemn manner to a gathering in a house he visited. Upon reaching his own home he became very ill and in his fevered condition his mind began to wander. He imagined he was addressing a group of theological students at Edinburgh. Rising from bed, he cried, "Up young men, souls are perishing! Up, and aim at sinners!"
James Turner, another fellow Scot, a fisherman by profession and a mighty revivalist, was also dead in earnest. Those who saw him tell us that his intenseness was awe-inspiring. He knew that he was dying of consumption and that his days were numbered, and so he travelled all over the towns of the Scottish east coast, sounding the alarm for sinners to escape from the wrath of God. At the close of his life, spent and ill in health, he cried on his sick bed, "Oh to live at Jesus' feet and to gather in souls in armfuls for our blessed Master!"
He plucked me as a brand from hell; My Jesus hath done all things well!