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Adapted From
A. B. Earle
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TOPIC: Lost In Darkness, When The Light Was Extinguished.


A striking incident was given me while laboring on the Pacific coast.

A deep cave had been discovered that, so far as was known, had never been explored. But one man, determined to have the exclusive honor of exploring the interior of the cave, procured a small hand lamp and a large ball of twine, and went to the cave alone.

Then fastening one end of the twine securely to some firm substance outside, he took his lamp and ball of twine and entered the cave, climbing over rugged rocks and through deep, damp passages, unwinding his ball as he went.

He felt sure if his lamp went out he could find his way back by the twine. In this way he had gone a long way into the cave, having several times passed through small openings, until he reached a large, beautiful room in the cave. This room was adorned with rare and beautiful curiosities.

As far as could be ascertained, the man meant to bring out some of these curiosities. So setting down his lamp and putting his ball of twine by the side of it, he had gone some distance to break off a specimen, to bring out to his friends.

While he was doing this his lamp tipped over and went out.

He, no doubt, at once left whatever he was endeavoring to obtain, to find his lamp and twine.

He knew his life depended on his finding his lamp and twine. His tracks could be seen where he had crept in total darkness back and forth in search of his lamp, but it was all in vain. His lamp once out, his death was certain.

If any one ever started for a given window, in a very dark night, perhaps reaching just the opposite window, you can imagine how difficult was the situation of this poor man in the dark cave.

Long weary hours and weary days and nights, he no doubt searched as best he could for his lamp and twine, but still in vain. Oh, what thoughts of home and dear ones! What self reproach over his folly in not having some one with him, but it was too late then. He must die alone, unwept. At last the struggle was over. Exhausted and worn he laid down and died. And as no one knew he was there, it was a long time before his body was found and returned to the dear ones.

So it is with unconverted men, they have a little light, in having some desire to become a Christian. The Holy Spirit, though often grieved and insulted by their rejection of his gracious calls, still shines, although it may be faintly, upon their darkness and would lead them out to hope and heaven.

As in the cave when the light went out, the thread was lost, so when the Spirit leaves, the silken thread of desire is lost and they are in a dark cave without a guide to lead them out. Then their bitter cry will be, "The harvest is passed, the summer is ended, and we are not saved". Too late! too late! will be the cry, Jesus of Nazareth has passed by! --- Adapted from A. B. Earle, Incidents Usedů In His Meetings, published in 1888.

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