Thursday, October 18, 2007

A soul saved from death

Suppose that by some conversation of yours you are made the means of delivering a soul from death. My friends, you are apt to imagine that all conversion is under God done by the minister. You make a great mistake. There are many conversions effected by a very simple observation from the most humble individual. A single word spoken may be more the means of conversion than a whole sermon. There you sit before me. I thrust at you, but you are too far off. Some brother, however, addresses an observation to you - it is a very stab with a short poignard in your heart. God often blesses a short pithy expression from a friend more than a long discourse from a minister.

There was once in a village, where there had been a revival in religion, a man who was a confirmed infidel. Notwithstanding all the efforts of the minister and many Christian people, he had resisted all attempts, and appeared to be more and more confirmed in his sin. At length the people held a prayer meeting specially to intercede for his soul. Afterwards God put it into the heart of one of the elders of the church to spend a night in prayer in behalf of the poor infidel. In the morning the elder rose from his knees, saddled his horse, and rode down to the man’s smithy. He meant to say a great deal to him, but he simply went up to him, took him by the hand, and all he could say was, “O sir! I am deeply concerned for your salvation. I am deeply concerned for your salvation. I have been wrestling with God all this night for your salvation.” He could say no more, his heart was too full. He then mounted on his horse and rode away again. Down went the blacksmith’s hammer, and he went immediately to see his wife. She said, “What is the matter with you?” “Matter enough,” said the man, “I have been attacked with a new argument this time. There is elder B — — - has been here this morning; and he said,” I am concerned about your salvation.’ Why, now, if he is concerned about my salvation, it is a strange thing that I am not concerned about it.”

The man’s heart was clean captured by that kind word from the elder; he took his own horse and rode to the elder’s house. When he arrived there the elder was in his parlor, still in prayer, and they knelt down together. God gave him a contrite spirit and a broken heart, and brought that poor sinner to the feet of the Savior. There was “a soul saved from death, and a multitude of sins covered.”

From a sermon entitled "Conversion," delivered October 7, 1855.

Photo by Per Ola Wiberg; some rights reserved.

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