A Voice from a Prison

Every now and again we come across something that makes us thoroughly ashamed of our lukewarmness and lack of zeal for the Lord.

One such instance is the following.

A servant of the Lord, who labours for Him in Lisbon, especially in prison work, tells a touching tale. One of the prisoners, Guilherrne Vila Nova, has been converted and is letting his light shine in the prison. The result has been that seven fellow-prisoners have been converted through his efforts.

We then get a touching spectacle. These seven believers with Vila Nova gathered round a table in a corner of the jail one Lord’s Day morning. With prayer and the reading of Scripture the prisoners partook of the loaf and cup, and remembered the Lord in His death according to His own desire expressed at the night of His betrayal.

Is this not a voice to some young Christian, who has the opportunity of remembering the Lord week by week, and who hitherto has not responded to the Lord’s desire?

Think of these eight men, not one of whom had ever been at a gospel meeting in that land of Portugal, where gospel meetings, at any rate, are few and far between. Yet in simplicity they remembered the Lord in the prison, whose walls reminded them of the crimes for which they were imprisoned.

Some say. “I cannot take the Lord’s supper, for I feel so unworthy.” Did not our Lord say, when He handed the cup to His disciples, “This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matt. 26:28)? And we are reminded of that verse, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7) Surely, as these poor prisoners pressed the cup to their lips they must have had a deep sense of the value of the precious blood, of which that cup spoke, which had cleansed away all sin. Ah! our place there is a question of His worthiness and His work and not our worthiness.

Shall not this voice from a prison be heard in some young heart and beget in it a response to the Lord’s own request, “This do in remembrance of Me” (1 Cor. 11:24). Surely He is worthy. Shall you, shall I, be indifferent? The Lord comes quickly and then our opportunity for responding to His wish will be over for ever.


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