Past Redemption Point
The English Channel waters flowed broad and deep, never crossed in their entire breadth by any human arm. Fired with ambition to do what none had done before, and conscious of muscular power, the celebrated swimmer Matthew Webb swam those twenty-five miles, and set foot on the coast of France.
Oft in the water, and always unscathed, he seemed to think he bore a charmed life; and looking at the boiling current of Niagara, determined to risk his life for fame—fame that never yet satisfied any yearning, human heart—saying, “It’s all luck, and the end, I don’t think about that; I’m going to take my chance.”
For the last time, though he knew it not, on the 24th of July 1883 he dressed in his familiar swimming garments, and took the fatal leap into the angry, whirling torrent, rising from his dive, as usual, to float and strike out, but the eddying waters had him as a straw in their giant grasp, and hurled him unseen and powerless into the vortex he had so badly braved; lost in sight of thousands standing in safety round him, safe themselves, but with no power to help him.
On the shore of that great river is a rock called “past Redemption Point.” A little cape jutting into the water, unnoticed by travelers, but beyond it no human being has ever been known to be saved. On one side is life, hope, and salvation; on the other, death, despair, damnation; and only such a little way apart.
In the overflowing stream of life we are daily drawing nearer the point whence no traveler returns; and you know not how soon you may drift, half dreaming, “past redemption point.” That whisper in the heart today of a text learned by a mother’s knee; that wonderful preservation in a moment of intense danger; that day you stood by an open grave and looked into its unfathomed mysteries; that illness that drew you so near the Kingdom of God, yet not inside—Oh! who shall say when the Voice shall plead with you for the last time.
Can you tell which of these circumstances shall be the “Past Redemption Point” of your life? God says, “My Spirit shall not always strive with man (Gen 6:3)” and “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes (Lk 19:42).”
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