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Cast Out But Rescued.
I met a man in New York who was an earnest worker, and I asked him to tell me his experience. He said he had been a drunkard for over twenty years. His parents had forsaken him, and his wife had cast him off and married some one else. He went into a lawyer's office in Poughkeepsie, mad with drink. This lawyer proved a good Samaritan, and reasoned with him, and told him he could be saved. The man scouted the idea. He said: "I must be pretty low when my father and mother, my wife and kindred, have cast me off, and there is no hope for me here or hereafter." But this good Samaritan showed him how it was possible to secure salvation, got him on his feet, got him on his beast, like the good Samaritan of old, and guided his face toward Zion. And this man said to me: "I have not drank a glass of liquor since." He is now leader of a young men's meeting in New York. I asked him to come last Saturday night to Northfield, my native town, where there are a good many drunkards, thinking he might encourage them to seek salvation. He came and brought a young man with him. They held a meeting, and it seemed as if the power of God rested upon that meeting when these two men went on telling what God had done for them--how He had destroyed the works of the devil in their hearts, and brought peace and unalloyed happiness to their souls. These grog shops here are the works of the devil--they are ruining men's souls every hour. Let us fight against them, and let our prayers go up in our battles. It may seem a very difficult thing for us, but it is a very easy thing for God to convert rumsellers.
The Way of the Transgressor is Hard.
There was a man whom I knew who was an inveterate drinker. He had a wife and children. He thought he could stop whenever he felt inclined, but he went the ways of most moderate drinkers. I had not been gone more than three years, and when I returned I found that that mother had gone down to her grave with a broken heart, and that man was the murderer of the wife of his bosom. Those children have all been taken away from him, and he is now walking up and down those streets homeless. But four years ago he had a beautiful and a happy home with his wife and children around him. They are gone; probably he will never see them again. Perhaps he has come in here to-night. If he has, I ask him: Is not the way of the transgressor hard?
A Rum-Seller's Son Blows his Brains Out.
Look at that rum-seller. When we talk to him he laughs at us. He tells you there is no hell, no future--there is no retribution. I've got one man in my mind now who ruined nearly all the sons in his neighborhood. Mothers and fathers went to him and begged him not to sell their children liquor. He told them it was his business to sell liquor, and he was going to sell liquor to everyone who came. The saloon was a blot upon the place as dark as hell. But the man had a father's heart. He had a son. He didn't worship God, but he worshiped that boy. He didn't remember that whatsoever a man soweth so shall he reap. My friends, they generally reap what they sow. It may not come soon, but the retribution will come. If you ruin other men's sons some other man will ruin yours. Bear in mind God is a God of equity; God is a God of justice. He is not going to allow you to ruin men and then escape yourself. If we go against his laws we suffer. Time rolled on and that young man became a slave to drink, and his life became such a burden to him that he put a revolver to his head and blew his brains out. The father lived a few years, but his life was as bitter as gall, and then went down to his grave in sorrow. Ah, my friends, it is hard to kick against the pricks.
A Distiller Interrogates Moody.
In Europe in a place where there was a good deal of whisky distilled, one of the men in the business was a church member, and got a little anxious in his conscience about his business. He came and asked me if I thought that a man could not be an honest distiller. I said, You should do whatever you do for the glory of God. If you can get down and pray about a barrel of whisky, and say, for instance, when you sell it, "O Lord God, let this whisky be blessed to the world," it is probably honest.
The Most Hopeless Man in New York now a Sunday-School Superintendent.
A young man in one of our meetings in New York got up and thrilled the audience with his experience. "I want to tell you," he said, "that nine months ago a Christian came to my house and said he wanted me to become a Christian. He talked to me kindly and encouragingly, pointing out the error of my ways, and I become converted. I had been a hard drinker, but since that time I have not touched a drop of liquor. If anyone had asked who the most hopeless man in town was they would have pointed to me." To-day this man is the superintendent of a Sabbath-school. Eleven years ago, when I went to Boston, I had a cousin who wanted a little of my experience. I gave him all the help I could, and he became a Christian. He did not know how near death was to him: He wrote to his brother and said: "I am very anxious to get your soul to Jesus." The letter somehow went to another city, and lay from the 28th of February till the 28th of March--just one month. He saw it was in his brother's handwriting, and tore it open and read the above words. It struck a chord in his heart, and was the means of converting him. And this was the Christian who led this drunken man to Christ. This young man had a neighbor who had drank for forty years, and he went to that neighbor and told him what God had done for him, and the result was another conversion. I tell you these things to encourage you to believe that the drunkard can be saved.
A Remarkable Case.
I may relate a little experience. In Philadelphia, at one of our meetings, a drunken man rose up. Till that time I had no faith that a drunken man could be converted. When any one approached he was generally taken out. This man got up and shouted, "I want to be prayed for." The friends who were with him tried to draw him away, but he shouted only louder, and for three times he repeated the request. His call was attended to and he was converted. God has power to convert a man even if he is drunk.
I remember going into a young converts' meeting in Philadelphia, where I heard a story that thrilled my soul. A young man said he had been a great drunkard. He had lost one situation after another; till finally he came to the very dregs. He left Philadelphia, and went first to Washington, and then to Baltimore. One night he came back to Philadelphia. He had lost his key and could not get into his home. He was afraid to go into the house while the people were stirring, so he staid outside watching till all had retired. He knew that after that there would be at least one who would hear him and come to the door. He went to the door; he knocked; when he heard the footsteps of his mother. "O Edward," said she, "I am so glad to see you." She did not reprove him; did not rebuke him. He went up stairs and did not come down for two days. When he came to, the servants were walking about the house very softly--everything was quiet. They told him that his mother was at the point of death. His brother was a physician, and he went to him and asked him if it was so. "Yes, Ned," said he, "mother can't live." He immediately went up stairs, and asked his mother's forgiveness, and prayed to his mother's God to have mercy upon him. "And God," said he, "my mother's God, heard my prayers," and the tears trickled down his face and he said: "God has kept me straight these four years in the face of all trials." O sinner, ask for His grace and might; do not turn Him away.
Moody Asks a Few Questions.
Let me ask you a question. Do you think that those gamblers, thieves, harlots, and drunkards who are trampling the ten commandments under their feet, they who have never given any respect to God's Word or to His instructions--do you think they will be swept into the kingdom of heaven, against their will? Do you think those antedeluvians who were so sinful that God could not let them live on the earth would be swept into Paradise and Noah left to wade through the deluge? Do you think that these people, too corrupt for earth, would go there? As I have said before, an unregenerated man in heaven would make a hell of it. An unregenerated man couldn't stay there. Why, some of you cannot wait an hour here to listen to the Word of God. Before the hour expires you want to go out. Some of you just wish it was over so that you could go and get a drink in some of those saloons. I tell you, from the very depths of my heart, I believe heaven would be a hell to an unregenerated man. "I don't want to be here," he would say. My friends, heaven is a prepared place for prepared people, and no one will ever see the kingdom of God without being born of God.
The Drunken Father and his Praying Child.
I remember when out in Kansas, while holding a meeting, I saw a little boy who came up to the window crying. I went to him and said: "My little boy, what is your trouble?" "Why, Mr. Moody, my mother's dead, and my father drinks, and they don't love me, and the Lord won't have anything to do with me because I am a poor drunkard's boy." "You have got a wrong idea, my boy, Jesus will love you and save you and your father too," and I told him a story of a little boy in an Eastern city. The boy said his father would never allow the canting hypocrites of Christians to come into his house, and would never allow his child to go to Sunday-school. A kind-hearted man got his little boy and brought him to Christ. When Christ gets into a man's heart he cannot help but pray. This father had been drinking one day and coming home he heard that boy praying. He went to him and said: "I don't want you to pray any more. You've been along with some of those Christians. If I catch you praying again I'll flog you." But the boy was filled with God and he couldn't help praying. The door of communication was opened between him and Christ, and his father caught him praying again. He went to him. "Didn't I tell you never to pray again? If I catch you at it once more you leave my house." He thought he would stop him. One day the old tempter came upon the boy, and he did something wrong and got flogged. When he got over his mad fit he forgot the threats of his father and went to pray. His father had been drinking more than usual, and coming in found the boy offering a prayer. He caught the boy with a push and said, "Didn't I tell you never to pray again? Leave this house. Get your things packed up and go." The little fellow hadn't many things to get together--a drunkard's boy never has, and went up to his mothers room. "Good-by, mother." "Where are you going?" "I don't know where I'll go, but father says I cannot stay here any longer; I've been praying again," he said. The mother knew it wouldn't do to try to keep the boy when her husband had ordered him away, so she drew him to her bosom and kissed him, and bid him good-by. He went to his brothers and sisters and kissed them good-by. When he came to the door his father was there and the little fellow reached out his hand--"Good-by, father; as long as I live I will pray for you," and left the house. He hadn't been gone many minutes when the father rushed after him. "My boy, if that is religion, if it can drive you away from father and mother and home; I want it." Yes, may be some little boy here to-night has got a drinking father and mother. Lift your voice to heaven, and the news will be carried up to heaven, "He prays."
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