Wm. F. P. Burton
A Matter of Confidence
The great South African financier called his friends together. "Gentlemen," he commenced, "My geologist and prospector M. tells me that, if I put down a shaft at the point marked with a circle on this map, I will certainly find rich, gold-bearing reef. I am putting a million pounds into the venture, but I thought that, as a gesture of friendship, I would offer you the opportunity to subscribe half the shares. All the preliminaries are worked out, the necessary permits obtained and we are ready to start operations."
They jumped at the opportunity, sold out other investments, took out bonds on their homes and in one way and another the money was soon forthcoming.
Expensive equipment was bought and installed. The shaft went down a thousand feet, two thousand feet, three thousand feet, but not one speck of gold was forthcoming. One or two of the investors began to feel uneasy. Perhaps they were fools to invest their hard-earned savings for a mere hole in the ground. At four thousand feet the useless rock continued to come to the surface. After all they felt they had been fooled. Who was M. the geologist anyhow? He was so often seen slouching around with his hands in the pockets of his old tattered coat, or chipping bits of rock with a small geologist's hammer - sometimes poring for hours over geological survey sheets.
The mining magnate answered their objections. "Admittedly, gentlemen, M. is unorthodox. He has ways of his own, but I have employed him for years. He comes and goes as he will. I always accept his advice and HE NEVER LETS ME DOWN."
"However, if you are not satisfied, I will pay you back your shares in full and continue this adventure entirely on my own."
"Yes! Yes!" they clamoured. "The hole is five thousand feet down and not a sign of gold. Give us our money back," and they went off feeling fortunate to have got out of the scrape so easily."
Six thousand feet down, and folk sneered behind the financier's back for being such a fool as to listen to that chap M. He himself did not show the slightest uneasiness or concern
Then one day the newspapers rang with the news. "The new mine has struck a massive reef of goldbearing rock. Assay samples show 35-dwt of gold to the ton" - extraordinarily rich ore.
Those men whose money had been returned rushed to the financier pleading, "Take our money after all. Let us renew our investments."
He firmly refused. "Gentlemen, you doubted my judgment. You cast aspersions on my prospector. Now your chance is gone."
For years that mine has paid handsome dividends but the men who could have shared in them, bite their lips in chagrin and remorse as they think of what might have been but for their unbelief.
Oh, the riches of God's grace and glory, redemption far more lasting than gold or silver: forgiveness and victory over sin. How do we know? Why, the Old Book tells us about it and that Old Book has never let us down. Our forefathers believed it and to a hundred generations it has proved our trusty counsellor. Its hundreds of prophecies fulfilled to the minutest detail, its precious promises honoured, its statements vindicated - it has supported us in life and comforted us in death.
How the enemies of the Gospel have tried to discredit the Book, but they have only brought ridicule and contempt upon themselves.
"Hammer away ye hostile bands,
Thousands are in hell today. They were offered life, blessing, peace, but they heeded the devil's lies and flung away their opportunity... Eternally damned.
Thousands sing the Song of the Redeemed, in everlasting bliss around the Throne of God. Where will you be?
"Who hath believed our report?" Isaiah 53 v 1.
"Faith comes by a report, and the report by the Word of God." Romans 10 v 17.
Receive that report with your whole heart. Trust in the crucified and risen Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, and receive His gift of eternal life while the offer still holds good.
The Church at Gun Hill is an Elim Pentecostal Church