The divine magnet that draws with irresistible force, hearts of steel!
(Archibald Brown, "My Banner!" December 5th, 1869)
"But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself!" John 12:32
Whenever and wherever Christ is lifted up, then His power to attract is made plain. The elect of God, drawn by a power they have no ability or will to resist, take their places beneath the cross. The uplifting of Christ crucified, is God's chosen means to draw to Himself His elect, yet hidden people. The cross is the divine magnet that draws with irresistible force, hearts of steel. So mighty is its magnetic power, that it attracts those on whom all other means have failed.
We had often been compelled to take our stand before Mount Sinai. But though its lightnings flashed into our very eyes, and its thunders crashed right over head, our heart remained as hard as rock — yes, pride seemed more rampant in that dread storm than ever — we felt we might be broken — but we resolved we would never bend.
There have been moments when Hell argued with us, and all its sentences were written in glowing flame! There were moments when eternal damnation forced itself upon our thoughts, and made us dread the death that never dies. But though our knees shook with fright, our flinty hearts remained unmelted.
Sinai and Hell both failed. So also did Heaven, for though we read of its glories, and heard tell of its joys, and sometimes had a languid desire at last to find our way there — we still remained unattracted, and reveled in the vain world.
But when a bleeding Savior hanging on a tree met our sight, then not only were our eyes riveted — but an unseen hand touched every heart-string. We looked — and looked — and looked again — and felt that as we looked, we were being drawn with silken cords nearer, yet nearer still, until we found ourselves as penitents at His blessed feet!
Beautifully has John Newton described this sweet experience as his own:
"In evil long I took delight,
Unawed by shame or fear;
Until a new object struck my sight,
And stopped my wild career!
I saw One hanging on a tree,
In agonies and blood.
He fixed His languid eyes on me,
As near His cross I stood.
Sure never til my dying breath,
Can I forget that look!
It seemed to charge me with His death,
Though not a word He spoke.
A second look He gave, which said,
I freely all forgive;
This blood is for your ransom paid,
I die, that you may live!"