A New Well, or Will the Old Well Do?

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 11
A CIRCUMSTANCE, which aptly illustrates the great truth of Christianity, happened not long since in a small village on the west coast of Scotland. The sewerage of the place needed improvement and cleansing; and in the progress of the work, one of the principal wells in the town, from which pure water had been supplied to families in the vicinity, became polluted by contact with the sewer. As soon as the cause of the disaster was discovered, remedial measures were set a-going, in the hope of restoring the now foul spring to its original purity. Every effort which skill and ingenuity could suggest was taken into consideration, but to no purpose. It was thought possible to clean and wash out the old well as far as it could be seen, but this was abandoned as useless. It was next suggested that if the old building of the well, stones, sand, &c., were removed, and a new well built instead thereof, the desired object would be attained. Many conflicting opinions prevailed as to the possibility of success, should this plan be put into execution-some for, others against; at last, it was resolved to call in a man whose occupation had been that of a constructor of wells, and whose experience justified the expectation that his counsel would lead to a proper decision. Nor did he disappoint this hope; for when called and questioned, his reply was unequivocally, " It is not possible to procure pure and sweet water from a spring polluted as this by sewerage, either by cleansing it out, as far as you can see, or by removing the old building and constructing a new one. You must build a new well, with new stones, new sand, and in an entirely new place." I happened to walk into the shop were these facts were being told, and when I heard them, it struck me, what a picture of Christianity that is! and it also struck me how little known or understood Christianity is! And now, do you not see, dear reader, how true all this is, that man, in his natural state, is the polluted well-defiled in his spring, his nature corrupt? What is to be done? God's heart is overflowing in its love for guilty man, while man's heart is overflowing with hatred to, or indifference toward the blessed God. What is to be done God must set that filthy well-man-aside, there is naught else for it. The spring is polluted at its source, man is irreparable. So God sends His own blessed Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, into this world, the scene of the dishonor done to Himself, as well as the witness of man's ruin and degradation, and here where man had utterly failed to glorify God, He, that blessed One, that beautiful and perfect Man, perfectly glorified God, "I have glorified Thee on the earth," and thus exhibited what a dependent and subject man ought to be: and not only this, but as He walked this world, He manifested God His Father, " he that hath seen me hath seen the Father." What a wonderful thought, " the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him," is the One who comes into this poor world which was at a distance from God, to tell out the secrets of that bosom towards poor man on it; and, inasmuch as judgment is resting on man by reason of sin, and that he is, moreover, walking the world in a forfeited life, God's Son bears the judgment, gives up His own life for man's that was forfeited, and at the same time presents His own personal excellency to God. Man's history is now closed, the old well is declared, as to its standing and state, to be irremediable; but this is not all, for He who in grace thus gave Himself, "is raised from the dead by the glory of the Father," and becomes now in Himself, thus risen, the new standing for the new well. Therefore is it written, " If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away, behold all things are become new, and all things are of God."
Dear reader, what wonderful words these last five are, "all things are of God:" the position is of God, the building on it of God, the builder, God. Even as in the case of the well, the old position, mortar, stones, and sand were all set aside as good for nothing, so in the cross of our Lord Jesus
Christ, the believer once a sinner, as a child of Adam, was entirely judged and put away out of God's sight, not only his sins but that which did them, his nature; and in the Lord Jesus Christ risen from the dead, the new era or second volume of our history is opened, and on the title page of this volume is inscribed-
“All things are of God."
May the Lord the Spirit open hearts to see the great salvation of God, how He has settled the question of the old well with its corrupt spring, and what a magnificent well He has opened in His Son risen from the dead, the second Man, the last Adam, the ender of the old creation, and Head of the new.
W. T. T.