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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Jack the Huckster

I was first introduced to this story three or four years ago by Elder Jimmy Hamrick of Lindale. This version copied and presented below is from Charles H. Spurgeon, who told it a number of times in his sermons.

This Huckster Jack was a poor, wicked fellow, who had gone about from village to village, swearing, drinking, huckstering and perhaps pilfering. Some thought him half-witted, but the story would show his mind to be sound enough. He heard a poor woman sing somewhere— "I'm a poor sinner, and nothing at all; But Jesus Christ is my all in all."

He remembered the words, and what was better, he felt their sense; and he kept on humming them to himself till God's good Spirit engraved them on his heart. There they were recorded, and Jack was a new man and a saved man. So he assayed to join himself unto the church, but the brethren looked suspiciously at him and enquired, "What is your experience?" He said he had no experience but this— "I'm a poor sinner, and nothing at all; But Jesus Christ is my all in all."

The good elders very properly asked, "Are you converted? Have you been born again?" and Jack replied, "I do not know much about these things; but this I do know and am sure of— "I'm a poor sinner, and nothing at all; But Jesus Christ is my all in all."

They put him back for awhile, to try if he would grow in his knowledge, but he never went an inch beyond the first standard. He knew what he did know, and to that he held fast— "I'm a poor sinner, and nothing at all; But Jesus Christ is my all in all."

Well, they must take him into the church; they could not well refuse a man with such a confession of faith; and when he was in the church, walking with the brethren, he was happier than the rest of them, at which they greatly marvelled, and one said to him, "Brother Jack, don't you sometimes feel doubts and fears?" "Doubts," he said, "what do you mean? I never doubt that 'I'm a poor sinner, and nothing at all;' for I have daily proofs of it, and why should I doubt that 'Jesus Christ is my all in all'? for he says he is, and I must believe him."

"Ah, well," said one, "sometimes I enjoy good frames and feelings, and feel very happy, and then I lose them, and sink in spirit." Jack answered, "I never get lower than I am, for I am down at the bottom— 'A poor sinner, and nothing at all.' I cannot get lower than that, can I? But I am also at the top, 'for Jesus Christ is my all in all,' and I cannot get higher than that, can I?"

They tried him many ways with their blessed experience, of which you and I have got cart-loads, perhaps wagon-loads; but he could not be drawn out of his one firm position. They tried him with their various attainments, depressions, anxieties, quibbles, and questions; but still the huckster would not budge. He had bought the truth and would not sell it, and so he stuck to— "I'm a poor sinner, and nothing at all; But Jesus Christ is my all in all."

2 comments:

amity said...

What a precious story.

So many people that doctrinal correctness is necessary for salvation.

clinch64 said...

Doctrine and religion can actually distance someone from the Lord if not careful.

Neil