The Good Black Doctor
55Some years ago Dr. C.J. Davis a native of West Indies, familiarly called the "Good Black Doctor," was traveling by train in England. As the train moved along, the black doctor became conscious that an elderly lady sitting opposite was regarding him with marked attention.
55“What an interesting looking person that is,” she at length remarked to her companion. “What a fine race of people he must belong to! I wonder who he is?”
55“I think he is an Indian.” said the young lady sitting beside her. “I wish we could speak to him,” continued the elderly lady, “I long to tell him the way to Heaven. How sad it is that such a fine intelligent looking people would bow down to images and stones! What a pity we can't speak to him, for he doesn't seem to understand a word we say,"
55“Perhaps he may be able to read English, if he cannot speak it,” suggested the young lady.
55"You might offer him a tract," said one of the gentlemen.
55The elder lady opened her bag and from a number selected one, which she presented to him with a smile and a motion to read it. He received the tract, bowed his thanks, and read it in silence.
55Having finished reading, he thanked the lady for her interest in his welfare, telling her it was an all important subject to him, adding;
55 “I heard you say, Madam, you long to tell me the way to Heaven; will you kindly tell me how I may be sure of going there? This tract does not tell me how I may be sure I shall be saved. It tells me to repent of my sins, and to pray, and to confess; but how can I know when I have prayed and repented and confessed enough? Can you tell me plainly bow I may be sure of getting to Heaven?"
55"If you read the Bible and pray," replied the lady. "you will be sure to go to Heaven.”
55"Have you a Bible Madam? And can you tell me where it says that if I read the Bible and pray I shall go to Heaven? I am very anxious to be sure of so important a matter."
55She had no Bible in her bag. The other passengers were appealed to for one, but no one carried a Bible with them. At length the black doctor drew the precious Volume from his pocket and holding it out, said. "Is this the Book you mean, Madam? Will you not show me where it tells me just how I may be saved and sure of going to Heaven?"
55The lady took the Bible and turning over the leaves confusedly, said. "I do not know exactly where to find what I want to show you, but it says if you repent of your sins and pray earnestly you will be saved."
55"How can I know when I have prayed enough to satisfy God? Can you not find where it tells me that?"
55Turning to her companion, she said, "Can you find it?”
55"No," she answered.
55The poor lady asked the others in turn and the Bible was offered to each, with the entreaty that they would point our some portion that told plainly how a sinner was to get to Heaven; but all confessed their inability to recollect where such passages were.
55The lady returned the Bible and said, "Well, I cannot find the place, but if you will call upon Mr.______ when you reach Folkestone, he will tell you. He is a very good man, and he will be happy to direct you.”
55"But, Madam, we may never reach Folkestone. The train may run off the line, and we may all be killed. I may not live to see Folkestone. Can none of you ‘Christians’ tell a poor foreigner how he may be saved? You are moved with pity for his darkness and ignorance; can you not help him to the light?"
55I told you, you must pray," said the lady. "The Bible says so."
55He took the Bible, and opening it, read John 3: 16. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever beIieveth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." And John 5:24: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life; and shaIl not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.” Also Acts 13:38,39: "Through this MAN is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins; and by him all that believe are justified from all things."
55"Are these the portions you mean, Madam?" he asked.
55"Yes, that is what I could remember."
55"But you told me that I must pray and repent. This precious Book tells me to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and I shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Praise His name! The poor foreigner can trust that blessed Word and know he is safe for Heaven through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, finished on the cross. He is happy in knowing he is justified from all things by the blood of Christ shed for sinners, and not by his own good works, prayers, repentance or confession.
55 Our black friend then proceeded to set forth to his astonished fellow-travelers the love of God in giving His Son to die for sinners, and the love that led the Son to do the will of His Father. He told them how He who knew no sin was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.
55 "Stop, sir," said one of the gentlemen angrily. “This is no place for such holding forth. It is neither the time nor the place, sir."
55 "When is the time and where is the place in this ‘Christian’ land, for a Christian to speak of Christ?" calmly but earnestly asked the doctor.
55"Sunday is the time sir, and the church is the place, but not a railway carriage. This is a very improper place."
55"Allow me just one word more," earnestly pleaded the doctor. "We are nearing our journey's end and may never meet again on earth. Let me tell you, on authority of this Book, there is only one way to Heaven.
55“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4: 12
55"It is a good thing to read your Bible, but if you do not receive the Lord Jesus Christ and trust Him and Him only for salvation, all the praying, repenting, and confessing this side of Heaven will not save you. God has provided a salvation in His beloved Son and He offers it to you as a free gift, not to be prayed for, not to be worked for, not for anything that you can do, but just to be received." “But as many as received him to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” God has offered you a gift, even His own beloved Son. The only right thing you can do is to accept the gift and thank Him for it. The moment you offer the smallest thing, a prayer, a tear, a good resolution, an act of charity, you are refusing the gift and seeking to buy your way into Heaven with things God says are filthy rags.
55In parting, let me give just one more portion from this blessed Book: “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” Eph. 2:8, 9
55The Good Black Doctor went on his way rejoicing, leaving his would-be teachers to consider the sad consequences of neglecting to learn what GOD HAS SPOKEN.
55Reader, have you learned? Do you know you are saved?