Reader, either you are mad — or you once were!
(George Mylne, "Lessons for the Christian's Daily Walk" 1859)
"The hearts of men are full of evil, and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead!" Ecclesiastes 9:3
In life a madman — a madman still in death! Such, such is man.
Man thinks he is wise. He looks with pity on the poor maniac. How little he suspects that he himself is tenfold mad — not only mad for time; mad also for eternity!
He brings madness into the world;
he imbibes madness with his mother's milk;
he learns madness at school;
he confirms and strengthens madness in manhood;
he feeds madness by all he does;
he reads madness in books;
he finds madness in every company;
he bears madness along in every walk of life;
sleeping or waking — silent or speaking — learned or ignorant — rich or poor
— he is a maniac still!
A madman was his father; and so was his father's father! Go backwards until you come to Adam — they were all maniacs!
All his children are mad; and so will be his children's children, even to the final child — they will all be maniacs!
What do you think of a man, who walks blindfolded on a yawning precipice? Is he not mad?
And what are all men? What do they do?
They sport with life.
They play with death.
They slumber above the flames of Hell.
They defy their Maker and their Judge.
They think nothing of judgment and eternity
— and thus they die!
Is it a libel, then, to say, "They are all mad!"
And what comes after death? Does wisdom then come? Will madness cease then? They will hear of wisdom, but they will not have it. Man will then discover how mad he has been. He will see his madness then — but only to know its endless misery!
Happy the man who, "coming to himself," resolves once more to seek his Father's house! (Luke 15:17, 18.) Yes, "coming to himself." Thus speaks the parable. I ask you to mark the words; they are full of meaning. As though the man had been asleep; or drunk; or mad; or had swooned away — unconscious of himself, and all around him. And then, as touched by a sudden hand, and sense as suddenly infused, he awakes — comes to himself again, and immediately he lives, as another man. Such is fallen nature — and such is grace in its effects.
Happy is the man, who thus recovers the gift of reason! Happy is the man, who sits at Jesus' feet, "in his right mind," and clothed with grace — cured of his madness! Jesus has said the healing word — the "legion" is cast out and gone. The man is a maniac no more. (Luke 8:35.)
Reader, either you are mad — or you once were! Say, have you looked to Jesus — or are you a madman still?