A number of years ago as I was coming out of a daily prayer meeting in our church, a lady came up to me and said: “I want to have you see my husband and ask him to come to Christ.” She says, “I want to have you go and see him.” She told me his name, and it was a man I had heard of before. “Why,” said I, “I can’t go and see your husband. He is a booked infidel. I can’t argue with him. He is a good deal older than I am, and it would be out of place. Then I am not much for infidel argument.” “Well, Mr. Moody,” she says, “that ain’t what he wants.
He’s got enough of that. Just ask him to come to the Saviour.” She urged me so hard and so strong, that I consented to go. I went to the office where the judge was doing business, and told him what I had come for. He laughed at me. “You are very foolish,” he said, and began to argue with me. I said, “I don’t think it will be profitable for me to hold an argument with you. I have just one favor I want to ask of you, and that is, that when you are converted you will let me know.” “Yes,” said he, “I will do that. When I am converted I will let you know”–with a good deal of sarcasm.
I went off, and requests for prayer were sent here and to Fulton street, New York, and I thought the prayers there and of that wife would be answered if mine were not. A year and a half after, I was in that city, and a servant came to the door and said: “There is a man in the front parlor who wishes to see you.” I found the Judge there; he said: “I promised I would let you know when I was converted.” “Well,” said I, “tell me all about it.” I had heard it from other lips, but I wanted to hear it from his own. He said his wife had gone out to a meeting one night and he was home alone, and while he was sitting there by the fire he thought: “Supposing my wife is right, and my children are right; suppose there is a heaven and a hell, and I shall be separated from them.” His first thought was, “I don’t believe a word of it.” The second thought came, “You believe in the God that created you, and that the God that created you is able to teach you.
You believe that God can give you life.” “Yes, the God that created me can give me life. I was too proud to get down on my knees by the fire, and said, ‘O God, teach me.’ And as I prayed, I don’t understand it, but it began to get very dark, and my heart got very heavy. I was afraid to tell my wife, and I pretended to be asleep. She kneeled down beside that bed, and I knew she was praying for me. I kept crying, ‘O God, teach me.’ I had to change my prayer, ‘O God save me; O God, take away this burden.’ But it grew darker and darker, and the load grew heavier and heavier. All the way to my office I kept crying, ‘O God, take away this load of guilt; I gave my clerks a holiday, and just closed my office and locked the door. I fell down on my face; I cried in agony to my Lord, ‘O Lord, for Christ’s sake take away this guilt.’ I don’t know how it was, but it began to grow very light.
I said, I wonder if this isn’t what they call conversion. I think I will go and ask the minister if I am not converted. I met my wife at the door and said, ‘My dear, I’ve been converted.’ She looked in amazement. ‘Oh it’s a fact; I’ve been converted! We went into that drawing-room and knelt down by the sofa and prayed to God to bless us.” The old Judge said to me, the tears trickling down his cheeks, “Mr, I’ve enjoyed life more in the last three months than in all the years of my life put together.” If there is an infidel here–if there is a skeptical one here, ask God to give you wisdom to come now. Let us reason together, and if you become acquainted with God the day will not go before you receive light from Him.
The Tower of Bable. GUSTAVE DORE. Genesis, xi.
The Destruction of Sodom. GUSTAVE DORE. Genesis, xix.