As Happy as a Prince!
by James Smith, 1860
A young man in Kent had been living . . .
according to the course of the world,
ignorant of God,
careless about eternity, and
indifferent as to the state of his soul.
His conscience slept securely,
his sins increased, and
his life glided away.
At length the Lord laid his hand upon him. Health fled. Sickness brought him down within sight of death's door. His friends were alarmed for him. A minister of Christ was sent for, who found him very dark and ignorant. He dealt faithfully with him, pointing out . . .
his real state before God,
the danger of his soul, and
the necessity there was for a radical change.
He set Christ before him as the only and all-sufficient Savior, and insisted on faith in his blood in order to obtain pardon and peace.
Days rolled away. The Holy Spirit applied the testimony. Slowly the mind opened to receive the truth. At length . . .
faith fastened on the Savior,
a sense of pardon was enjoyed, and
the assurance of salvation was felt.
During his few remaining days, his soul was taken up with Christ. He . . .
rested on the finished work of Jesus,
drank in the sweet words of Jesus, and
lived in the exercises of faith, prayer, and praise to Jesus.
He was in peace. He was happy. There he lay — a wonder to himself, and a wonder to all about him. He was saved by grace — by grace alone — and to grace he gave all the glory.
At length the day arrived on which he was to die. Once more he wished to see the face of the servant of God, who had been used to pluck him as a brand from the burning. His parents sent for him, and when he arrived, the lad turned his poor dying head, and his bright eyes sparkled with joy. Taking him by the hand, the minister of Christ said, "Are you happy, Thomas?" Mark his reply, with evident pleasure, he said, "Happy as a prince!" And as though that was not enough to represent the joy he felt, he added, "A thousand times happier than a prince!"
He then spoke freely of the Lord's dealings with him, and especially of the goodness of God to him that night. He then preached Christ to his father and mother, and obtained a promise from them, that they would attend the ministry of the man who had been made such a blessing to him. He then, as a last request, begged the minister to preach a sermon from the text which had been such a comfort to his mind, which was John 14:27: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
He then fell asleep in Jesus, to the praise of the glory of his grace!
Reader, are you saved? Have you received the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of your sins? Have you peace with God? Did you ever experience that deep and overpowering joy which made this poor, dying young man, weak and full of pain as he was, say, "I am as happy as a prince, and a thousand, times happier!" Real religion always makes its possessors happy, and the degree of their happiness is in proportion to its depth and power.
Jesus, who saved Thomas — can save you. Not only can he save you — but he is willing to save you; and as willing to save you as he was to save Thomas. If therefore you feel your need of a Savior, and if you are willing to be saved by the Lord Jesus, and to be saved now — then go to Jesus, call on his name, plead his own word, trust in the merit of his blood — and you are saved.
Yes, the moment you . . .
turn from all other refuges,
betake yourself to Christ alone,
and place confidence in him —
you are saved!
His blood is your full discharge from all guilt, condemnation, and punishment.
His righteousness justifies you before God, and entitles you to-eternal life.
His Word is your everlasting security, for he has said, "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me — has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life!" John 5:24. Can words be plainer? Can any assurance be stronger? Every believer has everlasting life. Every one who hears the words of Jesus, and believes on his Heavenly Father — has everlasting life, and shall never come into condemnation.
Ought not this assurance to make the believer happy?
Happy in the midst of trials!
Happy in sickness and poverty!
Happy in the hour of death!
Are you thus happy, my friend? If you are not — then why not?
Are you not a sinner?
As a sinner, do you not believe in Jesus?
If you believe in Jesus — does he not assure you that everlasting life is yours?
Is not his Word true?
Will he not be faithful?
Can he deny himself?
Why then are you not happy? The cause must be either ignorance, or unbelief. Either you do not understand the gospel, which assures you that every believer is saved the moment he believes, let his life and conduct have been what they may. Or you do not believe the testimony which God has given, the record which God bears.
Perhaps you are looking at your sinful life, or at your more sinful heart — and concluding that because your life has been so bad, and your heart so much worse — therefore you cannot claim eternal life. But do you not see that the blessing is not promised to people whose character is good, or whose hearts are not very foul, or very bad, or very cold — but to every one who simply and sincerely believes, let his character have been what it will, or let his heart be as it may.
Believe in Christ, and whatever you may have been; believe in Christ, and whatever state your heart may be in — and you are saved — eternal life is yours.
To believe in Christ is nothing more than renouncing all other ground of hope, and trusting in Christ alone. Yes, faith is simply trusting in Jesus. Trusting in Jesus . . .
to save me,
to save me wholly,
to save me entirely,
to save me for evermore!
And the moment you renounce all beside Christ, and place your simple and entire confidence in Christ — that moment you are entitled to believe that he . . .
shed his blood to make your peace,
died for your sins,
rose again for your justification, and
ever lives to make intercession for you!
Nor only so — but as soon as ever you cease to place any confidence in your own works, or your own feelings, and rely on Christ alone — the Holy Spirit will apply to you the blood of Christ, and you will have peace; and he will unfold to you the Word of Christ, and you will be filled with joy. It was so with the poor youth who died in Kent; and it has been so with all in every age, and in every place — who have ventured on Christ alone, and trusted the salvation of the soul entirely to him.
Trust, therefore, in Christ, and in Christ alone.
Renounce your good works and your bad works alike;
look away from your comfortable feelings, and from your uncomfortable ones alike;
and look directly to Jesus!
And as sure as the serpent-bitten Israelite was healed by looking to the brazen serpent on the pole in the midst of the camp — so surely shall you be saved too. And as the Israelite felt in himself that he was healed — so will you; for God fills us with all joy and peace in believing, and enables us to abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Sinner, shall the Savior who saved Thomas — save you? Will you go to him? Will you cry to him? Will you be in earnest in seeking the salvation of your soul at his hands? If you are not saved, it will not be because Jesus could not save you, or because he refused to save you — but because you would not come unto him that you might have life! Today he calls you to him. By these lines he invites you to come unto him. Once more he assures you that if you will come — he will not refuse you; for his words are still true, "All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away!"
Come then, O come to Jesus!
He will receive you graciously,
he will pardon you fully,
he will save you freely, and
he will bless you eternally!
Once more, therefore, with all the earnestness of love, we cry to you: Come To Jesus! Come To Jesus! Come To Jesus!