I remember hearing a few years ago a story about a young man away off in Russia. He was a wild, reckless dissipated youth. His father, thinking that if he could get him away from his associates, a reform would be worked, procured a commission in the army for him. And this is a mistake a great many Christian people fall into in dealing with their sons. It is not a change of place they require, it is a change of heart, A change of place will not take them away from the tempter. Well, off to the army this young man went, and, instead of reforming, he gambled and borrowed, and took to drinking as vigorously as ever. At length he had borrowed all the money he could, and, as we say he |had come to the end of his rope.| A certain sum of money had to be paid the next day, and he did not see how it could be done without selling his commission, and if he did that he would be compelled to leave the army and go home to his father disgraced. The laws were very rigid in Russia upon the matter of debt, and if he couldn't pay he knew he would have to go to prison.
That night as he sat in his barracks, heart-broken at the prospect before him, he thought he would take up a paper and figure up his debts, and see how he stood. And here, let me say, it would be well if the sinner would pause occasionally, and try and figure up his sins, and see where he stood with God. Well, this young man put down one debt after another, until they made a long column. The total completely disheartened him; and he just put at the bottom of his figures, |Who is to pay this|? He laid his head upon his desk wearied, and fell asleep. That night the Czar, according to his custom, was walking through the barracks while the soldiers slept, and happened to come to that spot where the young soldier slept. He saw upon the desk the column of debts, and when he came to the bottom saw the question: |Who's to pay them?| and wrote underneath the name |Nicholas.| When the young man awoke he took up the paper and found written at the bottom the signature of the Czar of all the Russias. What did it mean? Had an angel dropped down and canceled the debt? It was too good to be true. He couldn't believe it. But by and by the money came from the Emperor himself. This story may be true or not. I don't care whether it is or not; but there is one thing I do know is true, and that is that the great Emperor of heaven is here, and if you put down all your sins and multiply them by ten thousand, He will pay it and shelter you underneath the blood of Jesus Christ, which cleanseth us from all sin.