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A London Doctor Saved after Fifty Years of Prayer.
When I was in London there was a leading doctor in that city, upwards of seventy years of age, wrote me a note to come and see him privately about his soul. He was living at a country seat a little way out of London, and he came into town only two or three times a week. He was wealthy and was nearly retired. I received the note right in the midst of the London work, and told him I could not see him. I received a note a day or two after from a member of his family, urging me to come. The letter said his wife had been praying for him for fifty years, and all the children had become Christians by her prayers. She had prayed for him all those years, but no impression had been made upon him. Upon his desk they had found the letter from me, and they came up to London to see what it meant, and I said I would see him. When we met I asked him if he wanted to become a Christian, and he seemed every way willing, but when it came to confession to his family, he halted. "I tell you," said he, "I cannot do that; my life has been such that I would not like to confess before my family." "Now there is the point; if you are not willing to confess Christ, He will not confess you; you cannot be His disciple." We talked for some time, and he accepted. I found while I had been in one room his daughter and some friends, anxious for the salvation of that aged father, were in the other room praying to God, and when he started out willing to go home and confess Christ, I opened the door of the other room, not knowing the daughter was there, and the first words she said were: "Is my father saved?" "Yes, I think he is," I answered, and ran down to the front door and called him back. "Your daughter is here," I said; "this is the time to commence your confession." The father, with tears trickling down his cheeks, embraced his child, "My dear daughter, I have accepted Christ," and a great flood of light broke upon him at that confession.
Angry at First, Saved at Last.
In Dublin I was speaking to a lady in the inquiry-room, when I noticed a gentleman walking up and down before the door. I went forward, and said: "Are you a Christian?" He was very angry, and turned on his heel and left me. The following Sunday night I was preaching about "receiving" and I put the question: "Who'll receive Him now?" That young man was present, and the question sank into his heart. The next day he called upon me--he was a merchant in that city--and said: "Do you remember me?" "No, I don't." "Do you remember the young man who answered you so roughly the other night?" "Yes, I do." "Well, I've come to tell you that I am saved." "How did it happen?" "Why, I was listening to your sermon last night, and when you asked, 'Who'll receive Him now?' God put it into my heart to say: 'I will;' and He has opened my eyes to see His Son now."
Removing the Difficulties.
I was speaking to a young lady in the inquiry-room some time ago, and she was in great distress of mind. She seemed really anxious to be saved, and I could not find out what was the trouble between God and her. I saw there was something that was keeping her back. I quoted promise after promise, but she didn't seem to take hold on any of them. Then we got down on our knees, but still there was no light. Finally I said: "Is there anyone against whom you have bitter feelings?" "Yes; there's a young lady on the other side of the room, talking to your wife, whom I can't forgive." "Ah I've got it now; that's why the blessing won't come to you." "Do you mean to tell me," said the young lady, looking up in my face, "that I can't be saved until I forgive her?" "No you can't! and, if there are any others whom you hate, you must forgive them also." She paused a moment, and then she said: "I will go." It seems that my wife and the other young lady had been going over the same ground, and just at that time the other young lady had resolved to come to ask this one's forgiveness. So they met in the middle of the room, both saying at once: "Will you forgive me?" Oh, what a meeting it was! They knelt together, and joy beamed on their souls, and their difficulties vanished. In a little while they went out of the room with their arms around each other, and their faces lit up with a heavenly glow.
I remember while in a town East at the time of the loss of the Atlantic on the banks of Newfoundland, there was a business man in the town who was reported lost. His store was closed, and all his friends mourned him as among those who went down on that vessel. But a telegram was received from him by his partner with the word "saved," and that partner was filled with joy. The store was opened and the telegram was framed, and if you go into that store to-day you will see that little bit of paper hanging on the wall, with the word "saved" upon it. Let the news go over the wires to heaven to-night from you. Let the word "Saved" go from everyone of you, and there will be joy in heaven. You can be saved--the Son of man wants to save you.
Terribly in Earnest.
I read a number of years ago of a vessel that was wrecked. The life-boats were not enough to take all the passengers. A man who was swimming in the water swam up to one of the life-boats that was full and seized it with his hand. They tried to prevent him, but the man was terribly in earnest about saving his life, and one of the men in the boat just drew a sword and cut off his hand. But the man didn't give up: he reached out the other hand. He was terribly in earnest. He wanted to save his life. But the man in the boat took the sword and cut off his other hand. But the man did not give up. He swam up to the boat and seized it with his teeth. Some of them said, "Let us not cut his head off," and they drew him in. That man was terribly in earnest, and, my friends, if you want to get into the kingdom of God, be in earnest.
"The Moody and Sankey Humbug."
There was a man, while we were in London, who got out a little paper called "The Moody and Sankey Humbug." He used to have it to sell to the people coming into the meeting. After he had sold a great many thousand copies of that number, he wanted to get out another number; so he came to the meeting to get something to put into the paper; but the power of the Lord was present. It says here in this chapter (Luke 5) that the Pharisees, scribes, and doctors, were watching the words of Christ in that house in Capernaum, and that the power of the Lord was present to heal. It don't say they were healed. They did not come to be healed. If they had, they would have been healed. But sometimes there is a prayer of faith going up to God from some one, that brings down blessings. And so this man came into that meeting. The power of the Lord was present, and the arrow of conviction went down deep into his heart. He went out, not to write a paper, but to destroy his paper that he had written, and so to tell what the Holy Ghost had done for him.
The Reporter's Story.
One of the most conspicuous persons at the Brooklyn Rink was a man of over fifty years, a reporter, apparently of a sensational sort. One of my friends entered into conversation with him the second evening, and found him partially intoxicated, ribald, sneering, and an infidel. Inquiring further concerning him, we found that he had been several times in the city jail for drunken brawls, although originally a man of culture and polish. Time passed, and on our last day at Brooklyn the same man, conspicuous by his commanding figure, sat in a back seat in the Simpson Church. My friend accosted him once more, and this was the answer: "I am waiting to thank Mr. Moody, who, under God, has been the greatest blessing of my life to me. I have given up my engagement, the temptations of which are such as no Christian can face. And I am a Christian--a new creature; not reformed; you cannot reform a drunkard; I have tried that a hundred times; but I am regenerated, born again by the grace and power of God. I have reported sermons many a time, simply to ridicule them, but never had the least idea what true religion meant till I heard Mr. Moody's address on 'Love and Sympathy,' ten days ago, and I would not have believed there could be so much sweetness in a lifetime as has been condensed into those ten days. My children knew the change; my wife knew it; I have set up the family altar, and the appetite for liquor has been utterly taken away, that I only loathe what I used to love." "Let him that standeth take heed lest he fall," suggested my friend. "No, not while I stand so close to the cross as I do to-day;" and he opened a small hymn-book, on the fly-leaf of which was written: "I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed."
The Skeptical Lady.
When Mr. Sankey and I were in the north of England, I was preaching one evening, and before me sat a lady who was a skeptic. When I had finished, I asked all who were anxious, to remain. Nearly all remained, herself among the number. I asked her if she was a Christian, and she said she was not, nor did she care to be. I prayed for her there. On inquiry, I learned that she was a lady of good social position, but very worldly. She continued to attend the meetings, and in a week after I saw her in tears. After the sermon, I went to her and asked if she was of the same mind as before. She replied that Christ had come to her and she was happy. Last Autumn I had a note from her husband saying she was dead, that her love for the Master had continually increased. When I read that note, I felt paid for crossing the Atlantic. She worked sweetly after her conversion, and was the means of winning many of her fashionable friends to Christ. O, may you seek the Lord while He may be found, and may you call upon Him while He is near.
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