The Tale of Two Pictures

20130524-105240There is a story in Russian history which clearly illustrates the emergency of the human lot: The Czar had died suddenly, and in the dead of night one of the counselors of the empire came to the Princess Elizabeth and said to her, “You must come at once and take possession of the crown.”

She hesitated, for there were difficulties in the way, and she did not desire the position. But he said,” Now, sit down, Princess, for a minute.” Then he drew her two pictures. One was the picture of herself and the Count thrown into prison, racked with tortures, and presently both brought out to die beneath the axe. “That,” he said, “you can have if you like.”

The other picture was of herself with the imperial crown of all the Russias on her brow, and all the princes bowing before her, and all the nation doing her homage. “That,” said he, “is the other side of the question. But, to-night, your Majesty must choose which it shall be.” With the two pictures vividly depicted before her mind’s eye she did not hesitate long, but cast in her choice for the crown.

Now, I would want paint to you such pictures, only I lack the skill. You will either sink forever down in deeper and yet deeper woe, filled with remorse because you brought it all upon yourself, or else, if you decide for Christ, and trust in him, you shall enter into the bliss of those who forever and forever, without a mixture of grief, to enjoy love before the throne of God.

To my mind, there ought to be no halting as to the choice. It should be made. I pray God’s Holy Spirit to help you to make it to-night. On this winged hour eternity is hung. The choice of this night may be the cooling of the wax which now is soft. Once cooled, it will bear the impress throughout eternity. God grant it may be a resolve for Christ, for his cause, for his cross, for his crown.

Written by Charles Spurgeon