The Actress (KJV)
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Paper: Gloss Text
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 4
- Version: KJV
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The full text of this tract is shown below in the KJV version. (Do you want to print this tract in a different version than the one listed? Contact us and let us know what you're looking for—we may be able to create the alternate version for you at no charge.)
An actress was passing through the streets of her hometown when her attention was attracted by the sound of voices coming from a house. The door was open, and as she looked inside, she saw a few poor people sitting together singing the following hymn:—
“Depth of mercy! can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?”
The tune was sweet and simple, but it was the words which riveted her attention. Invited to enter, she went inside and heard a prayer being offered up by a member of the group. Though the words were plain, they carried with them a conviction and sincerity which touched her heart. She soon left the home, but she could not erase from her mind the words of the hymn which had spoken so powerfully to her soul. Finding a copy of the hymn, she read the words over and over. As her thoughts turned more and more to God, she started to listen to the preaching of the Gospel, “that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). She even began to read the Bible she had once neglected and despised. Before long she bowed herself in humility and repentance before God, and cast herself upon His mercy.
A change had taken place in her heart, and the transformation would soon be seen in her life as well. Because of the lifestyle that accompanied her career, she felt that she could no longer be an actress and turned down several roles. Soon, another offer came through her manager for the lead character in a play which was opening at the theater. She had frequently performed this character to critical acclaim, but she now told him of her resolution to never appear as an actress again, and explained the reasons behind her decision.
At first he was shocked, and thought she must be kidding. Then he laughed at her, but she was unwavering. Finally, he pleaded with her, saying this would be the last request he would ever make. Not wanting to be unkind, she promised to appear, and on the opening night she went to the theater. At the beginning of the first scene she was to sing a song, but when the curtain was raised and the orchestra began to play, she did not sing. She stood as if lost in thought, forgetting everything around her. Thinking that she was overcome by nervousness, the band began to play again, but she did not open her lips. A third time the music was played, and then, with clasped hands and eyes filling with tears, she sang—not the words from the play—but,
“Depth of mercy! can there be
Mercy still reserved for me!”
The performance was abruptly ended, and many criticized her public stand for Christ. However, on that memorable night some were caused to consider their ways, and to reflect on the power of God which turned the heart of one whose life had been racing down the road which leads to destruction.
Perhaps, dear Reader, you are a great sinner, and you fear there is no forgiveness left for you. Let the testimony of this actress remove your fears. You may be as wicked as the vilest creature out of Hell, and yet God’s grace can make you as pure as the angels in Heaven. “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).
God would be righteous in condemning every one of us to hell for our sins. However, because of His great love for us, His grace has provided the way by which our sins can be righteously forgiven. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died on Calvary’s cross for our sins and then rose from the dead (Romans 4:25). God “now commandeth all men every where to repent” and place their faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour.
The actress was in danger of Hell not because she was an actress, but because she was a sinner. When she became a genuine Christian, it was through an act of God’s grace. Leaving her life of sin was a natural outgrowth of the work God had done in her heart. In a real sense, we must all stop acting, too. We must stop pretending that we are good enough to meet God’s righteous standard, and become believers in Jesus Christ, genuinely and sincerely. —C. H. S., adapted
Depth of mercy! Can there be
Mercy still reserved for me?
Can my God His wrath forbear
Me, the chief of sinners, spare?
I have long withstood His grace,
Long provoked Him to His face,
There for me my Savior stands,
Holding forth His wounded hands.
Scripture verses quoted from the King James Version (KJV).