The Young French Nobleman and the Doctor.
In London, when I was there in 1867, I was told a story which made a very deep impression upon me. A young French nobleman came there to see a doctor, bringing letters from the French Emperor. The Emperor Napoleon III. had a great regard for this young man, and the doctor wanted to save him. He examined the young man, and saw there was something on his mind. "Have you lost any property? What is troubling you? You have something weighing upon your mind," said the doctor. "Oh, there is nothing particular." "I know better; have you lost any relations?" asked the doctor. "No, none within the last three years." "Have you lost any reputation in your country?" "No." The doctor studied for a few minutes, and then said, "I must know what is on your mind; I must know what is troubling you." And the young man said, "My father was an infidel; my grandfather was an infidel, and I was brought up an infidel, and for the last three years these words have haunted me, 'Eternity, and where shall it find me?'" "Ah," said the doctor, "you have come to the wrong physician." "Is there' no hope for me?" cried the young man. "I walk about in the day time; I lie down at night, and it comes upon me continually: 'Eternity, and where shall I spend it?' Tell me, is there any hope for me?" The doctor said: "Now just sit down and be quiet. A few years ago I was an infidel. I did not believe in God, and was in the same condition in which you are in." The doctor took down his Bible and turned to the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah and read: "He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed" And he read on through this chapter.
When he had finished, the young man said: "Do you believe this, that He voluntarily left heaven, came down to this earth, and suffered and died that we might be saved?" "Yes, I believe it. That brought me out of infidelity, out of darkness into light." And he preached Christ and His salvation and told him of heaven and then suggested that they get down on their knees and pray. And when I went there in 1867 a letter had been received from that young nobleman, who wrote to Dr. Whinston in London, telling him that the question of "eternity, and where he should spend it" was settled, and troubled him no more. My friends, the question of eternity, and where we are going to spend it, forces itself upon every one of us. We are staying here for a little day. Our life is but a fibre and it will soon be snapped. I may be preaching my last sermon. To-night may find me in eternity. By the grace of God say that you will spend it in heaven.
Sambo and the Infidel Judge.
Once there was a Judge who had a colored man. The colored man was very godly, and the Judge used to have him to drive him around in his circuit. The Judge used often to talk with him, and the colored man would tell the Judge about his religious experience, and about his battles and conflicts. One day the Judge said to him, "Sambo, how is it that you Christians are always talking about the conflicts you have with Satan. I am better off than you are. I don't have any conflicts or trouble, and yet I am an infidel and you are a Christian—always in a muss—how's that, Sambo?" This floored the colored man for a while. He didn't know how to meet the old infidel's argument. So he shook his head sorrowfully and said: "I dunno, Massa, I dunno." The Judge always carried a gun along with him for hunting. Pretty soon they came to a lot of ducks. The Judge took his gun and blazed away at them, and wounded one and killed another. The Judge said quickly, "You jump in, Sambo, and get that wounded duck before he gets off," and did not pay any attention to the dead one. In went Sambo for the wounded duck and came out reflecting. The colored man then thought he had an illustration. He said to the Judge: "I hab 'im now, Massa, I'se able to show you how de Christian hab greater conflict den de infidel. Don't you know de moment you wounded dat ar duck, how anxious you was to get 'im out, and you didn't care for de dead duck, but just lef 'im alone!" "Yes," said the Judge. "Well," said Sambo, "ye see as how dat ar dead duck's a sure thing. I'se wounded, and I tries to get away from de debbil. It takes trouble to cotch me. But, massa, you are a dead duck—dar is no squabble for you. The debbil have you "sure!" So the devil has no conflict with the infideL
An Infidel who would not Talk Infidelity before his Daughter.
Not long ago I went into a man's house, and when I commenced to talk about religion he turned to his daughter and said: "You had better go out of the room; I want to say a few words to Mr. Moody." When she had gone he opened a perfect torrent of infidelity upon me. "Why," said I, "did you send your daughter out of the room before you said this?" "Well," he replied, "I did not think it would do her any good to hear what I said." My friends, his "rock is not as our rock." Why did he send his daughter out of the room if he believed what he said? When these infidels are in trouble why do not they get some of their infidel friends to administer consolation? When they make a will why do they call in some follower of the Lord Jesus Christ to carry it out? Why, it is because they cannot trust their infidel friends.
A Dying Infidel's Confession.
I want to read to you a letter which I received some time ago. I read this to you because I am getting letters from infidels who say that not an infidel has repented during our meetings. Only about ten days ago I got a letter from an infidel, who accused me of being a liar. He said there had not been an infidel converted during our meetings. My friends, go up to the young converts' meeting any Monday night, and you will see there ten or twelve every night who have accepted Christ. Why, nearly every night we meet with a poor infidel who accepts Christ. But let me read this letter. We get many letters every day for prayer, and, my friends, you don't know the stories that lie behind those letters. The letter I am about to read was not received here, but while we were in Philadelphia. When I received it I put it away, intending to use it at a future day:
Dear Sir: Allow me the privilege of addressing you with a few words. The cause of writing is indeed a serious one. I am the son of an aristocratic family of Germany—was expensively educated, and at college at Leipsic was ruined by drinking, etc.; was expelled for gambling and dishonesty. My parents were greatly grieved at my conduct, and I did not dare return home, but sailed for America. I went to St. Louis and remained there for want of money to get away. I finally obtained a situation as bookkeeper in a dry goods house; heard from home and the death of my parents. This made me more sinful than ever before. I heard one of your sermons, which made a deep impression on me. I was taken sick, and the words of your text came to me and troubled me. I have tried to find peace of God, but have not succeeded. My friends, by reasoning with me that there was no God, endeavored to comfort me. The thought of my sinfulness and approaching the grave, my blasphemy, my bad example, caused me to mourn and weep. I think God is too just to forgive me my sins. My life is drawing to a close. I have not yet received God's favor. Will you not remember me in your prayers, and beseech God to save my soul from eternal destruction? Excuse me for writing this, but it will be the last I shall write this side of the grave.
If you stop to ask yourself why you don't believe in Christ, is there really any reason? People read infidel books and wonder why they are unbelievers, I ask why they read such books. They think they must read both sides. I say that book is a lie, how how can it be one side when it is a lie? It is not one side at all. Suppose a man tells right down lies about my family, and I read them so as to hear both sides; it would not be long before some suspicion would creep into my mind. I said to a man once, "Have you got a wife?" "Yes, and a good one." I asked: "Now what if I should come to you and cast out insinuations against her?" And he said, "Well your life would not be safe long if you did." I told him just to treat the devil as he would treat a man who went around with such stories. We are not to blame for having doubts flitting through our minds, but for harboring them. Let us go out trusting the Lord with heart and soul to-day.
How a Little Study Upset the Plans of a few Prominent Infidels.
It is said of West, an eminent man, that he was going to take up the doctrine of the resurrection, and just show the world what a fraud it was, while Lord Lyttleton was going to take up the conversion of Saul, and just show the folly of it. These men were going to annihilate that doctrine and that incident of the gospel. A Frenchman said it took twelve fishermen to build up Christ's religion, but one Frenchman pulled it down. From Calvary this doctrine rolled along the stream of time, through the eighteen hundred years, down to us, and West got at it and began to look at the evidence; but instead of his being able to cope with it he found it perfectly overwhelming—the proof that Christ had risen, that He had come out of the sepulcher and ascended to heaven and led captivity captive. The light dawned upon him, and he became an expounder of the word of God and a champion of Christianity. And Lord Lyttleton, that infidel and skeptic, hadn't been long at the conversion of Saul before the God of Saul broke upon his sight, and he too, began to preach.
—What reason have I for doubting God's own word? —I just as much believe that God sent Christ into the wprld to be the Saviour of the world, as I believe that I exist.