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Anecdotes and Illustrations
By R. A. TORREY, D.D.
The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit.
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Anecdotes and Illustrations. Illustrated,
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R. A. TORREY
Anecdotes and Illustrations
R. A. TORREY
Author of " How to^' Bring Men to Christ^*
and ** How to Pray,^ etc.
New York Chicago Toronto
Fleming H. Revell Company
Copyright, 1907, by
FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY
THE NEW YORK
ASTOR, LENOX AND
B. 1936 L
New York: 158 Fifth Avenue
Chicago: 125 No, Wabash Ave.
Toronto: 25 Richmond Street, W.
London: 21 Paternoster Square
Edinburgh: 100 Princes Street
The value of an apt illustration can hardly be
over-estimated. It is oftentimes the entering wedge
or the clinching conclusion for the more serious
argument. At times it is both. Mr. D. L. Moody
used to say that a sermon without illustrations was
like a house without windows. To one of his ablest
associates, one second to none as a Bible expositor,
he would frequently say, " You don't put enough
windows in your sermons. No one can do it better,
but you get so interested in your subject you go on
and on with argument and proof texts until the au-
dience is weary. You want to wake them up : let
them see out and in through a window — use pointed
One does not need to say the preacher referred to
was not Dr. Torrey, for his use of apt stories largely
drawn from his own wide and varied experience,
add largely to the effective ministry of his power-
^ ful addresses.
^ The collection of stories and illustrations here
^gathered has had Dr. Torrey's careful revision, but
><for the form of publication and especially for the
I© addition of illustrations and portraits, the publisher
COstlone is responsible.
Anecdotes and Illustrations
A Deacon Who Went Fishing on Sunday
One night when I arose to preach in the Chicago
Avenue Church I saw sitting just to my left in the
front seat underneath the gallery one of my dea-
cons and side by side with him a flashily-dressed
and hard-looking man. I at once concluded that
he was a sporting man and I said to myself, " Dea-
con Young has been fishing to-day." It is a good
thing to have deacons that go fishing on Sunday —
fishing for souls. Every little while as I was
preaching, I would turn around and look at that
man. His eyes were riveted upon me. He was
paying the closest attention. Evidently the whole
scene was strange to him and some power, mysteri-
ous to him, had taken hold of him. When we went
to the inquiry room below. Deacon Young brought
him along. I was late talking to inquirers that
night, and about eleven o'clock Deacon Young
came over to me as I finished with one inquirer
and said, " Come over here and talk to a man that
I have." I went over. It was this big sporting
man. He was shaking and groaning with emotion.
" Oh," he groaned, " I don't know what is the mat-
8 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
ter with me. I never felt like this before in all my
life. I never was in a place like this before," he
continued. " My mother keeps a gambling house
in Omaha, and we are Koman Catholics, but this
afternoon as I was going down the street over
here, I saw some of your men holding an open air
meeting. As I passed, one of them rose to speak.
I had known him before when he was leading a
wild life, and out of curiosity I stopped to listen.
I listened until he was done speaking and then con-
tinued on my way, intending to go down on Cot-
tage Grove Avenue to meet some men to pass the
afternoon gambling. But I had not gone two
blocks before some strange power took hold of me
and brought me back to the meeting. When the
meeting broke up, this man (pointing to Deacon
Young) brought me to your church to the Yoke
Fellow's Supper, and then to the meeting after-
wards, then took me up-stairs to hear you preach.
Then he brought me down here. Oh," he groaned
again, " I don't know what is the matter with me.
I feel awful. I never felt this way before in all
my life." " I will tell you what is the matter with
you," I said. " You are under conviction of sin.
The Spirit of God is dealing with you. Will you
take Christ as your Saviour ? " The huge man fell
on his knees on the floor and commenced to cry to
God for mercy. Jesus Christ met him there. His
sobs ceased, a look of peace came into his face and
he left the building rejoicing in Christ.
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 9
An Infidel Converted Beside a Coffin
A YOUNG lady in the Bible Institute, Chicago,
started to call upon every family on a certain street
in the poorer quarter of the city. One day she
pushed open a door and found a man lying ill in
bed, dying with consumption. When she began to
speak to him, he told her crossly that he was an
infidel and did not believe in the Bible. She spoke
a few words and left. The next day she took him
a glass of jelly, and the next day took him some
other delicacy and a few days after that something
else. She kept up her kindly ministrations for
about a month. One Sunday afternoon she came
to me as I was leaving my Bible class and said,
" There is an infidel dying down on Milton Avenue.
I know you are very busy, but could you not take
a few moments to go and see him ? " " Yes," I re-
plied, " I will go now." She took me to the home
and introduced me to the man and left. I sat down
by his bed and asked if I could read from the Bible
to him. He replied that I could. I read him a
part of the fifth chapter of Komans, dwelling upon
the places that told of God's love for the sinner. I
read him the place where it told how Jesus Christ
bore all our sins in His own body on the cross.
Then I asked if I could pray. I knelt by his bed.
I felt his time was short. I asked God to open his
eyes to see that he was a lost sinner, and also to
open his eyes to see that Jesus had borne all his
sins in His own body on the cross, and to show him
that h© could find pardon and salvation then and
10 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
there by simply trusting in Jesus. When I finished
the prayer I began to sing in a low tone,
" Just as I am without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bid'st me come to Thee —
O Lamb of God, I come, I come."
I sang on verse after verse. When I reached the
last verse he broke in in a feeble voice (he had evi-
dently heard the song somewhere in his boyhood
days) and he sang with me,
"Just as I am — Thou wilt receive.
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve,
Because Thy promise I believe —
O Lamb of God, I come, I come ! '*
When we had finished, I looked up and said, " Did
you really come ? " He said, " I did." I talked
with him a little while and found that he really
was trusting in the Saviour. That night he passed
away to be with Him.
His wife, who was a Koman Catholic, came to
me the next day and asked if I would conduct the
funeral. I said I would. Around the cofiin were
gathered a considerable number of his old infidel
friends. I told them the story of his death ; how
his infidelity had failed him in that trying hour and
how he had been led to see his need of the Saviour
and that Jesus Christ was just the Saviour he
needed, and how he had been led to accept Christ.
Then I said, " Are there any of you here to-day who
have been infidels who will accept Jesus Christ as
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 11
your Saviour ? " A stalwart man standing on the
other side of the coffin reached his hand across to
me and said, " I have been an infidel with him. I
have sympathized with him in all his views, but I
now give them up and take Jesus Christ as my
The Holy Spirit's Power to Convict of Sin
The officers of Chicago Avenue Church were
greatly troubled at one time that there was not
more conviction of sin in the meetings, and had a
number of prayer meetings that God might send
His Holy Spirit in mighty convicting power.
Not long after that, one Sunday night as I was
preaching, I noticed a man in the front seat in the
gallery to my left, leaning forward listening most
intently. A great diamond flashed upon his shirt
front and he had every appearance of a sporting
man. He proved to be a travelling man but was
also leading a sporting life. In the midst of my
sermon, without any intention of drawing the net
at the time, but simply to drive a point home and
make it definite, I said, " Who will accept Jesus
Christ to-night ? " Scarcely had the words left my
lips when this man sprang to his feet and cried so
that it rang through the church like a pistol shot, " I
will," and sank back into his seat overcome with
emotion. His action produced a sensation in the
audience like a shock of electricity. I saw it was
no time to finish the sermon. I was not there to
save sermons but to save souls, and I immediately
12 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTKATIONS
gave the invitation. I said, "Who else in this
building will accept Jesus Christ here and now as his
personal Saviour ? " Ail over the church men and
women, young and old, began to rise to their feet
and a large company that night accepted Jesus
Christ. Among the number was an old v^hite-
haired colonel belonging to a very wealthy family
in the east, but who was entirely overcome with
strong drink. His family had sent him out to
Chicago and boarded him at a hotel there while he
drank himself to death, but that night the Spirit of
God touched his heart.
Saved at Ninety-two
When we were in Warrnambool, Australia, for
two or three successive nights, I noticed an old man
sitting up in the front seats drinking in every word
I said. I afterwards learned that he was ninety-
two years of age. One night after having come
two or three times, when I gave out the invitation,
this old man rose to his feet and professed to accept
Christ. It was a very clear case of conversion. He
said, " I have never been to a religious meeting since
I was ten years of age until these meetings began,
but I have been led to see myself a sinner and to
accept Jesus Christ as my Saviour." He was a
very happy convert. Every day he would come
and whenever he could he would bring others and
he was always ready to testify to the saving grace
of God. It filled our hearts with joy to think how
this old man was plucked from the fire at the last
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 13
moment but how much more it meant for the king-
dom when some of the children of Warrnambool at
the age of eight or nine accepted Jesus Christ as
their Saviour. This old man was a soul saved,
"saved so as by fire," but with little work accom-
plished for the Master. The boy of eight who was
converted was a soul saved, plus fifty, or sixty or
seventy or eighty years of service.
Do You Believe Thai, Sir ?
One night when I was speaking in a hall on the
ground floor in Washington Avenue, there stag-
gered into the room a man very much under the in-
fluence of liquor. He had once been prominent in
his home town, postmaster of the town, but he had
gone down through drink. He had drifted to
Minneapolis. For a while he served beer in one of
the lowest dens in the city, but afterwards became
too low even for that and was kicked out on to the
street. This night everything he had in the world
but one small coin was gone. As he entered the
hall, which by mistake he had taken for a saloon,
his hat was on his head, a cigar in his mouth and he
began to stagger down the aisle. A lady by the
door stepped up to him and kindly asked him to
take off his hat and let her have his cigar. Then
she conducted him down the aisle to a seat near the
front. Just as he took his seat, a man who had
formerly been in the deepest depths of degradation
was giving his testimony to the saving power of
Christ. The drunken man leered up at me as the
14 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATION8
other man gave his testimony and said with a hic-
cough, " Do you believe that, sir ? '* " Yes, sir," I
replied, " I know that story is true. I know this
man, and what is more the same Jesus that saved
him can save you." Then as the other man finished
his testimony I turned to him and said: "Joe,
take this man out into my office and talk with
him." He took him out into my office and talked
with him and kept him there until the meeting was
over. Then I went out and found him partly
sobered and was able to point him to Christ. He
went away that night with the knowledge of sins
forgiven. He was taken to a cheap lodging house
where he spent the night. The next day he found
work, very humble work but enough to pay for his
lodging and food. In a little while he found a bet-
ter position and soon a still better one. He entered
the employ ^^of one of the large railways entering
Minneapolis. He soon won the confidence of his
employers. He was beginning to think about going
to Chicago to prepare for Christian work when his
health broke down. The company that employed
him were very kind to him and sent him to the
southwest in the hope that he would recover his
health but he gradually failed and in a few months
died of rapid consumption. At his death his mother,
who had rejoined him sent me a letter telling of his
last days, days of triumph, and also sending me the
last picture he had had taken. For years that pic-
ture stood on my mantel with his story written on
the back of it. To have looked into the face one
would never have thought that it was the face of a
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 15
man who had been down into the deepest depths of
degradation. It was a frank, open, genial, true
Christian face. But the same Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ who transformed this man's life can
A Deep Spiritual Concern for Your Soul
In a small country town there was an infidel
blacksmith. He was a hard-headed, well-read man,
strong in argument. An old deacon in the town
became deeply interested in this infidel blacksmith
and determined to lead him to Christ. He studied
up as best he could all the infidel arguments and the
answers to them. When he thought he had all the in-
fidel arguments and answers at his fingers' ends, he
called on the blacksmith and engaged him in con-
versation, but the blacksmith was far more than a
match for him in argument and in a few moments
had fought the old deacon to a standstill. The old
deacon knew that he was right, but he could not
prove it to the blacksmith. He burst into tears and
said, " Well, I cannot argue with you, but I simply
want to say, I have a deep spiritual concern for your
soul," and then left the shop.
The deacon made his way home and went in to
his wife and said, "I am only a botch on God's
work. God knows I am sincere and that I really
do desire the salvation of the blacksmith but I could
not meet him in argument. He laid me out cold in
five minutes." Then the deacon went into his own
room by himself and knelt down. " Oh, God," he
16 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS
cried, ''I am only a botch on Thy work. Thou
knowest that I sincerely desired to lead the black-
smith to Thee, but I could not talk with him. Oh,
God, I am only a botch on Thy work."
But soon after the deacon had left the blacksmith
shop, the blacksmith went into the house and said
to his wife, " Deacon brought up an argu-
ment to-day that I never heard before. He said he
had a deep spiritual concern for my soul. What
did he mean ? " His wife was a canny woman and
said, " You had better go and ask him." The
blacksmith hung up his apron and went cross lots
to the deacon's home. Just as he stepped on the
front porch, through the open window he heard the
deacon's prayer, " Oh, God, I am only a botch on
Thy work. Thou knowest that I sincerely desired
to lead the blacksmith to Thee but I could not talk
with him. Oh, God, I am only a botch on Thy
work." He pushed the door open and went into
the room where the deacon was kneeling and said,
" Deacon, you are no botch on God's work. I
thought I knew all the arguments for Christianity
and could answer them but you brought up an
argument I never heard before. You said you had
a deep spiritual concern for my soul. Won't you
pray for me ? " and the blacksmith broke down and
accepted Christ. Eeal earnestness and love succeed
where all argument fails.
Ai^ECDOTES AND ILLUSTBATIONS 17
How the Devil Got Us an Audience
One night all of my workers that were to help
me in an open air meeting failed to come except
one man. This man could not sing much better
than I could, and I turned to him and said, " George,
shall we go out and try to hold an open air meet-
ing ? " And he said, " Yes, let us go anyhow."
We went to the corner where we usually held the
meeting and stood in the road facing the sidewalk
and began to sing to an audience of one. Our
singing did not seem to attract any one that night,
but soon a drunken man came along, and thought
he would have some fun. He began to shout and
dance and go through all sorts of antics in the
street right beside us, and the crowds began to
gather together to watch him. When the crowd
was large enough, I held him by the hand and said
to my companion, " Now, George, give your testi-
mony." He commenced to tell what the Lord had
done for him and also to preach a short sermon,
using the drunken man as a text. When he had
finished, he held the drunken man by the hand to
keep him quiet and I spoke, using the drunken man
as a text. Hardened characters in the audience
began to say, "I would not like to be in that
drunken man's place." But God blessed the Word
and we had one of the best meetings we ever had.
We had been unable to draw a crowd but the drunken
man had drawn the crowd for us and then God had
given us the message.
18 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
The Meanest Thief in Minneapolis
I WAS preaching one hot summer night in Min-
neapolis. The room was packed, mostly with men.
The windows had been taken out of the cases to
get a little additional fresh air. "When I gave out
the invitation a man arose by one of these windows
near a door. As soon as I pronounced the benedic-
tion, he shot through the door, not waiting for the
after-meeting. I forgot all about the after-meeting
and saw only that man. I do not know to this day
what became of the after-meeting. I reached him
just as he was about to go down the stairway. I
laid my hand on his shoulder and said, " My friend,
you stood up to-night to say you wished to become
a Christian." " Yes." " Why did you not stay to
the after-meeting ? " " It is no use." " God loves
you," I said. " You don't know who you are talk-
ing to," he replied, "I am the meanest thief in
Minneapolis." " Well," I said, " if you are the
meanest thief in Minneapolis, I can prove God loves
you," and I opened my Bible to Eomans 5 : 8,
"God commendeth His love towards us, in that
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
" Now," I said," " if you are the meanest thief in
Minneapolis, you are certainly a sinner, and this
verse says that God loves sinners." It touched the
man's heart and he went quietly with me to my
office. " I was released from prison," he said,
" to-day, and started out to-night with three com-
panions to commit one of the most daring burglar-
ies that was ever committed in Minneapolis. By
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 19
to-morrow morning I would either have had a pile
of money, or a bullet in my body. I passed by the
corner and heard your open air meeting. A Scotch-
man was speaking. I am a Scotchman and my
mother was Scotch. When I heard that Scotch
tongue, it made me think of my mother. The
other night in prison I dreamed of my mother. I
dreamed that she came to me and besought me to
give up the evil life I was leading. When I heard
that Scotchman speak it brought it all back. I
stopped and listened and my companions tried to
pull me along but I would not go. They cursed
me but still I stayed. When you gave out your
invitation for your meeting in the hall, I followed
you and listened to your sermon."
I explained to him the way of life and he ac-
cepted the Saviour. We knelt side by side in
prayer. He offered the most wonderful prayer
but one I ever heard in my life, and went out of
my office rejoicing in the knowledge of sins for-
A short time before the meanest thief in Minne-
apolis but now a happy child of God.
Forgiven by Both Fathers
Some years ago an English farmer, William
Dorset, was preaching in London. In the course of
his sermon he said, *' There is not a man in all
London whom Jesus Christ cannot save."
At the close of the meeting a lady missionary in
London came to him and said, " Mr. Dorset, did
20 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
you say that there wasn't a man in all London that
Jesus Christ cannot save ? " " Yes, madam, that is
what I said." " Well, there is a man here in Lon-
don I wish you would see. He says that he is be-
yond salvation." " I will go and see him to-
morrow morning," replied Mr. Dorset, " if you will
take me to him." They started out early the next
morning for East London, stopped before a high,
wretched tenement building. ^' You will find him,"
she said, " in the top story in the back room. You
had better go up alone as he will talk more freely
with you than if some one else is with you." Mr.
Dorset began to climb the stairs. Each flight of
stairs seemed more wretched and filthy than the
one that preceded it. At last he reached the top
story and found the door hanging by one hinge
which he pushed open as best he could. There was
not a window in the room but when his eye became
accustomed to the darkness, over in the corner he saw
a young man lying on a pile of filthy straw. He
walked softly across the floor and leaned over the
young man and said, "My friend." The young
man looked up with a start and said, " You are
mistaken, sir, I am not your friend ; you are not
my friend. I haven't a friend in the world."
" Yes, you have," said Mr. Dorset, *' I am your
friend and what is better Jesus Christ is your
Friend too." " No," he replied, " Jesus Christ is no
Friend of mine. I have disobeyed His laws. I
have trampled Him under foot all my life, and He
is no Friend of mine." " Yes, He is," insisted Mr.
Dorset, and sat down by his side and from the
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 21
Bible proved that Jesus Christ was the Friend of
sinners and his Friend, The young man listened
to the story of redeeming love and at last put his
trust in Jesus Christ and found pardon. Then he
turned to Mr. Dorset and said, "My Heavenly
Father has forgiven me. I could die happy if I
only knew my earthly father had forgiven me
also." " I will go and see him," said Mr. Dorset.
" Ko, I don't wish you to do that. You would only
be insulted. My father does not allow my name to
be mentioned in his presence. He has taken it oif
the family register. He has not allowed my name
to be mentioned to him for two years." " I will go
and see him anyway," said Mr. Dorset. He se-
cured his address, and hurried to the West End of
London where the father lived. It was in a beauti-
ful mansion. He was met at the door by a liveried
servant and taken into the reception-room. The
father, a fine-looking English gentleman, soon
came into the room, and extended his hand in a
cordial way towards Mr. Dorset. " I have come to
speak to you about your son Joseph," said Mr.
Dorset. The father dropped his hand as if he had
been shot. " I have no son Joseph," he said. " I
do not allow that young man's name to be men-
tioned in my presence. I have had it taken off the
family register. I simply want to tell you if you
have had anything to do with that young man, you
are being deceived. Good day." He turned upon
his heel and started to leave the room. As he was
about to cross the threshold Mr. Dorset said in a
gentle voice, ** Well, he is your son anyway, but he
22 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
won't be very long." The father turned around
quickly and said, " Is Joseph dying ? " " Yes, he is
dying. I haven't come to ask you to do anything
for him. I do not ask you even to pay his funeral
expenses. I will gladly do that ; but his Heavenly
Father has forgiven him and he says he could die
happy if only his earthly father would forgive him
too." "Forgive him," said the father, "I would
have forgiven him long ago if he had only asked it.
Take me to him." The gentleman ordered his car-
riage and they hurried down to the wretched tene-
ment in the East End of London, hurried up the
stairs and to the dark room where the son lay
dying. As the father entered the door the son
looked up and said, " Father, my Heavenly Father
has forgiven me. I could die happy if you would
forgive me too." " Forgive you," cried the father
as he hurried across the floor, " I would have for-
given you long ago if you had only asked it." The
boy was too ill to be moved and the gentleman
sank on the floor by his side and took his son's head
upon his shoulder and he died happy, knowing that
his Heavenly Father had forgiven him and his
earthly father had forgiven him too. God stands
ready now to forgive any sinner, even the vilest
and most hopeless who will trust Him.
No Greater Joy
One of the greatest joys on earth is the joy of
bringing others to a saving knowledge of Christ.
I have heard people tell that when they were con-
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS 23
verted the whole world seemed different ; that the
sun seemed to shine with a new light ; there was
new music in the song of the birds; all nature
seemed clothed with new beauty and glory. I had
no such experience when I was converted. In fact,
I was converted in the middle of the night, and the
sun was not shining at all. But I did have such an
experience the first time I led another to the
definite acceptance of Jesus Christ as a personal
Looking across one of Mr. Moody's inquiry meet-
ings in the city of New Haven, I saw a young lady
that I had known when I was living a worldly life.
I went over to her and spoke to her and invited her
to accept the Saviour that I had found, but she was
stubborn and unwilling to give up the world. I
dealt with her for two solid hours and seemed to be
making but little headway. Then at the very close
she yielded and accepted Christ. When I left the
building where this decision was made, it was nearly
sunset in the spring-time ; the whole world seemed
to have a beauty in it that I had never seen in it
before. It literally seemed as if I had never seen
such a light in the sun, nor such beauty in the
flowers and trees and grass. It seemed as if I were
walking on air. My heart was filled with a joy I
had never known before. There is no joy like the
joy of saving men and it is possible for every child
of God, no matter how humble nor how ungifted,
to have this joy.
^4 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
A Converted Jewess
When after an absence of two years from Amer-
ica, I returned to spend a month with my church in
Chicago, I found that a young Jewish woman, a
very brilliant woman in the work she had to do,
had been converted during my absence. Her con-
version was very genuine. She was full of love to
Christ as Jews generally are when they are con-
verted. She went to the place where she worked,
a well known house in Chicago, and commenced
talking of Christ to the other employees. Some of
them did not like it, and they went to the head of
the firm and said, " Miss — is constantly talking
to us about Christ. We don't like it." The man-
ager of the firm called her in and said, " We have
no objection to Christianity, no objection to your
being a Christian. We think it is a good thing, but
you must not talk it about this establishment."
" Yery well," she said, " I will not work in a place
where I cannot take Christ with me and talk for my
Master." She had a family to support, an aged
mother and other members of the family, and did
not know where she was going — just converted
from Judaism to Christianity. But she would not
give up her loyalty to her new Master. " Yery
well," they said, " you will have to lose your posi-
tion." "Yery well," she said, "I will give up my
position before I will be disloyal to Jesus Christ."
They said, " Yery well, go back to your work."
She went back to her work expecting every day to
receive her dismissal. At the end of the week she
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIOKS 25
received a letter from the manager. " Here is my
discharge," she said as she tore it open. The head
of tiie establishment said, " We have a place of
greater responsibility than the one you now occupy
and with a larger salary than you are getting. We
think you are just the person for the place, and we
offer it to you." They saw she could be trusted.
Business men are looking for men and women
whom they can trust.
The Greatest Sin a, Man Can Possibly Commit
One night I was preaching in Chicago for an-
other pastor. At the close of the service, the
minister came to me and said, "I have a young
man in my congregation who wishes to be a
minister. I would like to have you talk with him."
I replied, " Bring him to me after the after-meet-
ing," and he brought the young man to me. He
had one of the cleanest, finest, most open faces I
ever saw in my life. I looked into the face of this
young man and said, " Your pastor says you wish to
enter the ministry." "Yes, I do." "Well," I
said, " let me ask you a question. Are you a
Christian ? " " Of course, I am a Christian," he
answered, " I was brought up a Christian, and I am
not going back on the training of my parents." I
said, " Have you been born again ? " He said,
" What ? " I said, " Have you ever been born
again ? God says, * Except a man be born again,
he cannot see the kingdom of God.' Have you
ever been born again ? " He said, " I don't know
26 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
what you are talking about. I have never heard of
that before in all my life." I said, " My friend, see
here ; do you know that you have committed the
greatest sin that a man can commit ? " " No," he
said, " I never did in my life. You don't understand
me. I have been very carefully reared. My life has
been a most exemplary life. I never committed
the greatest sin that a man can commit — never! " I
asked, "What do you think is the greatest sin a
man can commit ? " " Why," he replied, " murder,
of course." " You are greatly mistaken. Will you
please read what Jesus says about it?" and I
opened my Bible to Matt. 22 : 37, 38, and asked
him to read. He read, "Jesus said unto him,
*Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy
heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and greatest commandment.'"
"Which commandment is that?" I asked. He
replied, " The first and great commandment." " If
this is the first and great commandment what
is the first and great sin ? " " Not to keep this
commandment." " Have you kept it ? Have you
loved God with all your heart, and all your soul,
and all your mind? Have you put God first in
everything — God first in business, God first in poli-
tics, God first in pleasure, God first in study, God
first in everything ? " " No, sir," he said, " I have
not." "What have you done then?" "I have
broken this commandment." " Which command-
ment is it ? " " The first and the great command-
ment." " What have you done then ? " He replied,
"I have broken the first and greatest. of God's
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS 27
commandments. I have committed the greatest
sin a man can commit, but I never saw it before
in all my life." And so have you, though, perhaps,
you never saw it before in all your life.
An Angry Father Converted
When I lived in Minneapolis a child of a man
deep down in sin had been converted. This greatly
angered the father. One day I was holding an
open air meeting at the foot of Washington Ave-
nue. The father thought he saw his opportunity
to have revenge. He got a basket of rotten eggs,
and went up on the top of an adjoining building to
throw the eggs at us as we held the meeting. But
as he stood on the top of the building and was
about to throw the eggs, the Spirit of God touched
his heart and brought him under the deepest con-
viction of sin.
At the close of our meeting that night in our
hall, a tall muscular man with a hardened face that
bore the marks of long-continued sin, came to me
overwhelmed with grief and asked me to pray for
him. He said, "This afternoon when you were
speaking down at the foot of Washington Avenue,
I went up on the top of the building with a basket
of rotten eggs to rotten-egg you, but I became
overwhelmed with a sense of sin and I have come
up here to-night for you to tell me what to do to be
saved." It was easy work to lead him to a knowl-
edge of Jesus Christ as the One who had borne all
his sins in His own body on the cross, and the man
28 ANECDOTES AKD ILLUSTEATIONS
left the hall that night rejoicing in the knowledge
of sins forgiven.
The Other Half of the Gospel
A MAN came to me one day in Chicago and said,
" I want to talk with you." Mr. Moody was away,
so I took him into Mr. Moody's room, and asked,
" What do you want to talk with me about ? "
He said, " I am a Scotchman. When I was seven
years old over in Scotland, I started to read my
Bible through. Before I had read long, I came to
a place where it said that if a man should keep the
law of God a hundred years, and then break it,
he was under the curse of a broken law. Is that
right ? " " Well," I said, " the Bible does not put
it in just those words, but it amounts to that. It
says, * Cursed is every man that continueth not in all
the things that are written in the Book of the Law
to do them.'" "Well," he said, "that is what I
found, and I knew I had already broken the law of
God, though I was only seven years old, and I was
under the curse of a broken law. I was plunged
into the deepest distress. Though I was only a
child of seven, I wept over my sins often by day
and often by night. I was in distress of soul for
a whole year, but I kept on reading my Bible, and
at last I got over to the New Testament, and read
John 3 : 16, * God so loved the world that He gave
His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in
Him should not perish but have everlasting life.'
I saw that Jesus died for my sins, and my burden
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 29
all rolled away, and I was perfectly happy. Was I
converted ? " " Well," I said, " that sounds like an
"Wait a moment," he said, "and listen to the
rest of my story. I grew up to manhood ; I moved
to America ; I came over here to Chicago ; I went
to work in the stockyards, and live down there.
You know it is a hard place. I have got to drink-
ing, and every little while I go off on a drunk.
Now, what I want to know is this, is there any way
I can get victory over drink and over all sin ? "
" You have come just to the right place to get an an-
swer to your question," I replied, " I can tell you
the way. You have only believed half the Gospel,
and therefore youVe got only half a salvation.
Listen to the whole Gospel." I opened my Bible
to 1 Cor. 15 ; 1-4 and I read, " ' This is the Gospel
that I have preached unto you . . . that Christ
died for our sins, according to the Scriptures.'
That is the first half of the Gospel but it is only
half. Listen as I read on and you will see the
other half, ' And that He was buried, and that He
rose again the third day according to the Scrip-
tures.' Do you believe that half of the Gospel
also ? You have already believed in Christ cruci-
fied and found pardon and peace, but the rest of
the Gospel is that Christ rose again. Do you be-
lieve that ? " " Oh, yes," he said, " I believe every-
thing in the Bible." I said, " Do you believe that
Jesus Christ rose again ? " He said, " I do." " Do
you believe He has all power in heaven and on
earth as He said He had ? " He said, " I do."
30 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS
" Well, if He has all power in heaven and on earth,
He has power to set you free from the power of sin.
Do you believe that ? " " Yes, I do." " Will you
trust Him to do it now ? You have believed half
the Gospel, you have got half a salvation. You
have believed in a crucified Christ and got pardon ;
now will you believe in a risen Christ and get vic-
tory ? Will you trust Him now as the risen Sa-
viour to set you free from the drink and other sin ? "
He said, " I will." " Let us kneel down and tell
God so." We knelt down. I prayed and he
prayed. After he had prayed he looked up and
said, " Lord Jesus, I have believed half the Gospel
that Thou didst die in my place and I have found
pardon and peace through believing it. I now be-
lieve the other half of the Gospel that you rose
again and have all power in heaven and on earth and
have power to set me free from drink and sin and I
trust you to do it. Set me free now." When he
had finished, I said, " Do you really trust Him to
do it ? " He said, " I do." We got up. I gave
him a few words of advice and we separated. In
a few weeks I received a letter from him, a very
short letter, but very much to the point. He said,
" I am so glad I came to see you. It works."
Thank God it does work. A crucified Christ brings
pardon ; a risen Christ brings deliverance from the
power of sin the moment you believe.
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 31
God Uses a Weak Instmment
Befoee Mr. Alexander joined me in the work, he
was engaged with another evangelist, much of their
time being given to meetings in large tents. At
one of their meetings in Iowa, a young fellow who
was very illiterate was converted. Soon after his
conversion, he came to Mr. Alexander and said,
"Charlie, I want to go with you in the work."
Mr. Alexander said, " Fred, you could not go with
us in the work. You can scarcely read. What
could you do ? " " Oh," he replied, " I could take
care of the tent, black your boots, do anything, but
I must go with you." Mr. Alexander thought it
was only a whim and put him oJff, but the man was
so insistent day after day that he decided to try
him. He proved himself invaluable in many ways
but to the surprise of all, he not only attended to
the janitor work of the tent but proved a most effi-
cient soul winner. So great was his earnestness
and his spiritual power that people entirely over-
looked his ungrammatical speech, and he succeeded
with many cases where every one else failed. He
not only led the most desperate cases among the
lower classes to Christ, but also was used among
the cultured and refined. He kept an accurate
record of all those whom he led to Christ. In five
years he was used of God in personal work to the
salvation of 1,200 persons.
Why did God so use him ? Because, though he
had but little, all that he had and all that he was he
gave up unreservedly to God. It was a case of ab-
32 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
solute surrender, and God kept His promise and
gave the Holy Spirit to the man who obeyed Him.
(Acts 6 : 32.)
How the Sun Burst Through the Clouds
On the day of fasting and prayer in Dundee, the
rain poured down in torrents during the morning
hour of meeting. We were planning for a meeting
at two o'clock in the afternoon in the open air. One
of the brethren as he led in prayer, offered a very
earnest and confident prayer that it v^ould clear off
for the open air meeting, and as he closed his
prayer expressed the utmost confidence that the
prayer would be heard, that we should have clear
weather at that hour. A good many that listened
to the prayer were uneasy at the man's confidence
and feared that God would be dishonoured by the
prayer not being answered. One of the ministers
said to Mr. Alexander, "That man ought not to
have prayed that way. The barometer is going
down all the time and there is no chance whatever
of its clearing up."
I went to my room and began to pray alone to
God about the various interests of the work. Be-
fore I finished the prayer, it was nearly two o'clock.
I was led to pray that it would clear up and the
sun shine during the afternoon meeting. As I
opened my eyes, the sun burst through the clouds
and streamed into my room.
There was a great gathering for the open air
meeting and God's Spirit was present in power, but
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 33
no sooner had the open air meeting closed and the
workers and others gotten back to Kinnaird Hall,
than the rain began again and poured incessantly.
Samed and Healed
I SAT one day at my desk in my office in Min-
neapolis, and a hard faced woman came in and asked
me brusquely, " Have you any missionaries that you
send to talk to dying people ? " " Yes," I replied.
" Well," she said, " there is a woman dying around at
'■ ' Street. I wish you would send a missionary
around there." Soon after she had gone, two lady
missionaries came in. I said to them, " A woman
was just in here to have some one go around and
talk to a dying woman. I judge from the woman's
face and the locality where she lives, that the
woman who is dying is an outcast. You and Selma
hurry around and speak to her." The two mission-
aries were gone a long time and came back with
radiant faces. They told me how the woman who
was dying from an awful and incurable disease,
whom the doctor had given up entirely, was rejoic-
ing in her new-found Saviour. The two mission-
aries called again and were led to pray for the
woman, who was now clearly converted, that she
should also be raised up from the bed of sickness
and healed. When they told me that they had
offered this prayer, I was not at all clear that they
had done wisely, for there was no human possibility
of a cure, but God did hear the prayer and raised
the woman up. She became an earnest active mem-
34 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
ber of my church. The last I knew, which was
several years after her restoration, she was still
leading an earnest Christian life.
*' Alt Things Working Together for Good^^
One Sunday afternoon we drove with our Gospel
wagon down to a street in the city that was given
up to vice in the lowest forms. We stopped in front
of one of these dens of iniquity and began to sing
Gospel hymns. The women flocked to the win-
dows and out on to the street. Some of them were
very drunk. One of the most drunken, urged on
by her companions, made a sudden rush and sprang
up the steps of the Gospel wagon and in among our
workers. There was a great laugh, but instantly I
said to the driver, " Drive on." And we went up
the street carrying the drunken woman away to the
dismay of her friends. We took her to our rooms
and she soon became very much sobered. Wise
Christian workers pointed her the way of life and
she was soon in tears and before long on her knees
looking to God through Christ to forgive her sins.
The devil had overreached himself.
God is Love
When Mr. Moody built his tabernacle in Chicago,
he was so anxious that every one that came there
should learn one truth, namely, that " God is love,"
and so fearful that some day some preacher might
stand in the pulpit and forget to tell the people that
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 35
God is love, that he had these three words put into
gas jets over the pulpit. So every night when the
gas was lighted, there it blazed away over the
preacher's head, " God is love." Whether the
preacher told it to the people or not, they could see
it for themselves in letters of fire.
One night the tabernacle was lighted but the
people had not yet gathered for the evening service.
A poor drunkard coming up the street saw the door
a little ajar and saw the light, and then stumbled
up the steps hoping to find warmth and cheer
within. As he pushed the door a little wider, his
attention was directed to the sentence in the letters
of fire above the pulpit, " God is love." He turned
away, pulled the door to, went down the steps and
went up the street muttering, " It is not so. That
is not true. God is not love. If God was love. He
would love me, and God does not love a miserable
wretch like me. It is not true." But all the time,
the words were burning down into his soul, " God
is love. God is love."
After awhile he turned about and retraced his
steps, entered the church again, and took a seat
back of the stove over in the corner. The people
gathered and Mr. Moody ascended the platform and
began to preach. All the time that Mr. Moody
preached, the man was weeping in the corner. Mr.
Moody's quick eye caught sight of him, and at the
close of the service he hurried to him and sat down
beside him. "What are you crying about, my
friend?" he said gently. "What was it in the sermon
that touched you ? " The man replied, " There was
36 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTKATIONS
nothing in the sermon that touched me. I did not
hear a word of your sermon." " Well, what was it
then that touched you ?" asked Mr. Moody. " That
sentence," pointing to the words in fire, " that sen-
tence, * God is love,' that broke my heart." Mr.
Moody opened his Bible and showed the man from
the Bible how God loved him, and how Jesus was
an all-sufficient Saviour for all who take Him. The
man listened and accepted Christ, and went away
that night a saved man.
May these same words burn down deep into the
heart of every hearer, and may you all be won by
the love of God to you to love the God who loves
First Sober Christmas in Ten Years
One afternoon a wild looking Scandinavian
rushed into the office in Minneapolis. My assistant,
Mr. George Sanborn, was in the office. Mr. San-
born is not a large man, and the Scandinavian was
a big, burly fellow. He rushed towards Mr. San-
born as if he were going to do him personal vio-
lence. Though small, Mr. Sanborn was fearless.
He sprang to his feet and said, *'What do you
want?" "I want sympathy," the man cried.
*' N'o," said Mr. Sanborn, " you want Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone can help you."
In a moment the man was subdued and sank upon
his knees, and Mr. Sanborn explained to him the
way of life and he accepted the Saviour.
On the following Christmas Day at our testi-
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 37
mony service, this man arose and said, " I am so
happy to-day. This is the first sober Christmas
that I have spent in ten years. Jesus Christ has
Three Silver Dollars
OiSTE night I reached home from my work very
late. There was no one in the house. My family
were all out at Lake Minnetonka and I was to gO
out to them the next morning by a very early train.
I knew that they would be in need of money to
buy ice and provisions and other things. When I
took out my pocketbook to see how much money I
had, I found to my dismay that while I had quite a
little money, none of it belonged to me. It was all
money that I had set apart for the Lord. The fare
out to Lake Minnetonka was less than fifty cents
but I did not have even enough to pay that, much
less any to give the family when I reached there.
What should I do ? There was no possibility of
my seeing any one before the train left ; for most
people would be in bed and the streets deserted as
I walked to the station. I had taken the ground
anyway that I would never borrow money from
anybody for any purpose, for the scripture says,
" Owe no man anything." Of course, the thought
came to me to take the money I had set apart
for the Lord and repay it some other time when
I had more money, but I saw clearly that that
would not do, that I had no more right to take
the Lord's money for my own uses than I had to
38 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS
take any other person's. I knelt down and said,
" Heavenly Father, I cannot honestly take the
money that belongs to Thee. Thou hast never
failed me in the past v^hen I have taken my stand
absolutely on what is right, and I do not believe
that Thou wilt fail me now. I will not touch the
money that belongs to Thee. I cannot see where
money will come from, but I must have it. Send
me the money I need before five o'clock to-morrow
I arose from my knees confident that the money
■would come, but I could not see any possible way
in which it would come. ISTo one would call at my
house, there would be no letters, I would not see
any one that I knew on my way over to the station.
In a few minutes, I went up-stairs to my ofiice.
I pulled open a drawer of the table to look for an
account book. I had not opened that drawer for
some time, but no sooner was the drawer opened
than I saw lying before me three silver dollars. It
seemed to me as if three silver dollars never looked
so large as those did. I do not know how the three
dollars came in the drawer. Of course, I do not
think that any miracle was performed. I presume
that I myself had put those three silver dollars
there weeks or months before when I had more
silver dollars in my pocket than I cared to carry,
but it was as plain an answer to prayer as if the
three silver dollars bad come tumbling down
through the chimney. The three dollars would not
only take me out to Lake Minnetonka, but meet at
least part of the immediate necessities of the family.
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 39
After reaching our home on the lake I rowed over
to Excelsior to call on a friend who had asked me
to come over to get vegetables out of his garden.
In the course of our conversation I was led to tell
him of the answer to prayer that had come to me
the night before. God blessed the story to his own
heart. He walked down to the boat with me, and
when I stepped down into my rowboat, we shook
hands as we separated. He left in my hand a five
dollar bill, which met all the needs of the family.
Prayer Answered on the Other Side of the Globe
In the early days of Mr. Moody's work in
Chicago, a reckless, worthless Scotchman used to
hang around the tabernacle. He was a desperate
fellow, feared by his own companions. He would
carry a dagger in his stocking, and many were
afraid that he would draw that dagger upon them.
He seemed to have an especial spite against the
meetings that were going on. One night he stood
outside the tabernacle with a pitcher of beer in his
hands offering a drink to every man that came out
of the building. At other times he would go into
the inquiry meetings and try to interfere with the
One night Major Whittle was talking to two
young men, who were more or less interested, and
this jeering Scotchman was interfering. Finally
Major Whittle turned to the two young men and said,
" Young men, if you set any value on your souls, I
advise you to have nothing to do with that man."
40 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIOKS
This seemed only to amuse the Scotchmari. But
God was working. Over in Scotland was an earnest
Christian mother who was praying for her wayward
son. One night he went to bed as godless as ever,
but in the middle of the night, he was aroused from
his sleep. He awakened under conviction of sin,
and as he lay there in bed, the Holy Spirit brought
to his mind a passage that he had forgotten was in
the Bible. He did not even know it was there at all,
though doubtless he had heard it some time in his
boyhood. It was Romans 4:5, " But to him that
worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth
the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."
The Holy Spirit made clear the meaning of the
verse to him. Then and there, without getting out
of bed, he believed on Him that justifieth the un-
godly and found peace.
He at once became as active in the cause of
Christ as he had been active in the cause of the
devil. For nearly thirty years he has been a mem-
ber of Chicago Avenue Church and is to-day a
deacon in the church.
Some time after his conversion, he went back to
Scotland to visit his old mother. They had glad
times of Bible reading and prayer together, but
there was another wayward son, a sailor, sailing the
sea somewhere, they knew not where. One night
the old mother and the converted son knelt down
and began to cry to God for the wandering son and
brother. That very night he was in the China
Seas, though they did not know it, and while they
prayed in Scotland, the Spirit of God fell in the
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS 41
China Seas and that son and brother was converted
there oa the deck of the ship.
He returned to Scotland and told his mother the
good news. He entered the Free Church college
and commenced to study to be a foreign missionary.
He was sent out by the missionary society of the
Free Church of Scotland, and after years of faithful
service, laid down his life as a missionary in India.
A Prayer Fifteen Years Long
Almost immediately after my conversion, an-
other man was laid on my heart, and I began to
pray every day for his conversion. After I had
been praying for some time for his conversion, the
thought came into my mind that I would spend the
night in prayer for him. I did not succeed in
praying the whole night. The spirit was willing
but the flesh was weak. I was on my knees almost
the entire night, but part of the time I was asleep,
but the best I could I spent the whole night in
prayer for him.
When the morning came, I thought, " Now you
have prayed for him all night, write him a letter
beseeching him to accept Christ." In a very short
time I received a reply making fun of me and
ridiculing me for my attempts to bring him to
Christ. The devil came to me and mocked me and
said, " That is all your prayers amount to. What
is the good of praying ? Here you spent the whole
night praying for him and have written him a
letter and this is all you get for your pains." But
42 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
the devil did not succeed in deceiving me this time.
I continued praying for him every day. I kept it
up for about fifteen years, never letting a day pass
without praying definitely for his conversion.
In the meantime he had moved to Chicago and
so had I. I visited him in Chicago, but could get
no opportunity to speak to him about his soul.
Indeed, he seemed to put himself out to be par-
ticularly blasphemous when I was around in order
to hurt my feelings, but still I kept on praying.
One morning, after having prayed about fifteen
years, as I was on my knees before God, it seemed
as if God said to me, " You need not ask for that
any more. I have heard your prayer. He will be
converted." I never prayed again for his conver-
sion but every morning I would look up and say,
" Heavenly Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast
heard my prayer, and now I am waiting to see it."
About two weeks from that morning he came to
my house to dinner. After dinner I said to him,
" Don't you think you had better stay here all
night ? " He replied, " I don't know but I had. I
am just up from inflammatory rheumatism and it is
damp outside and I am really afraid to go home
lest the rheumatism come back." When he awoke
the next morning the inflammatory rheumatism
had come back to that extent that his feet were so
swollen he could not put on his shoes. For two
weeks he was laid up in my house. My opportu-
nity had come. I had him. Every morning we
held family prayers in his room. My friends com-
ing in and out of the house seeing him there took
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 43
it for granted that he was a Christian and seemed
to talk more about religion than usual. My chil-
dren running in and out of his room seemed to talk
more about Christ than they usually did, though
they always loved to talk about their Saviour.
After breakfast when the two weeks were up, we
started down La Salle Avenue together. We had
not gone half a block when he turned to me and
said, " Archie, I am thinking of going into temper-
ance work. How do you begin?" If there was
ever any one on earth that needed to go into tem-
perance work, it was he. I replied, " The only way
I know to begin temperance work right is by first
of all becoming a Christian yourself." He said,
" I always thought I was a Christian." " You
have the strangest way of showing it of any man
I ever knew." " How do you become a Christian ? "
he next asked bluntly. " Come over to my oflBce
and I will tell you." I took him over to my oflS^ce
and as Mr. Moody was away I took him to Mr.
Moody's office and though he was seven years older
than I, I explained to him the Way of Life as I
would have explained it to a little child. He lis-
tened eagerly and when I had finished, he knelt
down and accepted Christ as his Saviour just like
a little child. Those who had known him in the
olden time could hardly believe that he was con-
verted. Some in the east would not believe it until
they came out and saw him for themselves. Within
a year he was preaching the Gospel. He preached
it up to the end.
I had been down east visiting old friends of his
44 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS
and mine, and returned to Chicago. Hearing that
he was ill at the place where he was preaching,
forty miles out of Chicago, I went out to see him,
and spent the day with him. I started to tell
him about the old friends I met down in the east
but he said, " ISTever mind that. Let's have a time
of prayer." We passed the whole day in prayer
and conversation and a happy day it was.
At evening I returned to Chicago, as I was to
go south the next day, I spent the night in the
Institute. About six o'clock in the morning there
was a rap on my door. When I went to the
door and opened it, one of the students stood there
with a telegram in his hand. I opened it and
read, " Your brother passed away this morning at
two o'clock." I jumped on a train and hurried
out to the place. When I entered the room where
his body lay, and turned back that white sheet
and looked into the face of my eldest brother as
he lay there at peace at last, I thanked God that
for fifteen years I had believed in a God that
Have you those that you love who are wandering
far from God? There is a way to reach them.
That way is by the Throne of God.
An Opportunity Lost Forever
I ONCE had a friend who was a very bright
scholar. He entered college at an earlier age than
most men are able to enter. He was a young
fellow of good habits but without settled princi-
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 45
pies. After he had been in college awhile it be-
gan to be rumoured about that he was thinking
of becoming a Christian. Some one came to me
and said, " Frank is thinking of becoming a Chris-
tian," but I was not a Christian myself and was
not greatly interested in the information. If I
had been a Christian, I believe I could have spoken
the word that would have brought him over the
line, but not being a Christian and not being in-
terested in the matter, I said nothing to him about
it. After a few days of indecision, he decided the
wrong way. He became infatuated with a beauti-
ful actress and followed her about the country.
He never married her but he got to going to the
bad. He graduated from the college a moral
wreck. Not long after graduation he married the
daughter of one of the best families in one of our
eastern states. Of course, the marriage was un-
One day, he and his young wife were preparing
to go out riding together. The carriage stood at
the door and he stood by it waiting for his wife.
She did not appear. He hurried up to her dressing-
room and went in. The servants heard sharp
words, then they heard the crack of a revolver, and
as they rushed into the room, that beautiful young
wife lay dead upon the floor with a bullet through
her brain. Whether she shot herself or whether he
shot her, it was difficult to say. The coroner's
verdict was that she died by her own hand. At all
events, he became a haunted man. Not long after,
he came to the house of a friend and said, " John,
46 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
can I spend the night with you ? " " Certainly,"
he replied. " Can I have the room next to yours ? "
" Why, Frank, you can have anything in the
house." They sat up late into the night, talking
and then retired. The host had fallen asleep when
suddenly he was awakened by a constant rapping
at his door. "What is it, Frank?" he cried.
" Are you there, John ? " the wretched man called.
" Yes, can I do anything for you ? " " No, I only
wanted to know that you were there." The host
fell asleep again but was soon awakened by another
rap at his door. " What is it, Frank ? " he called.
" Are you there, John ? " " Yes. Are you sick,
can I do anything for you, Frank ? " " Ko, I only
wanted to know that you were there." ^ Again he
fell asleep, and again he was awakened by the same
woeful call. All the night through the man haunted
by evil memories would come and wake him by a
rap on the door to find if he was there. He could
not bear to be alone a moment.
The next day he left. He went west to San
Francisco, took a steamer on the Pacific Ocean,
and when several days out jumped overboard. To-
night his body rests beneath the waters of the
Pacific Ocean. If I had been a Christian in the
early days, I might have led that friend to Christ
and saved all this frightful, awful tragedy. I have
had the joy of leading many another young man to
Christ, but that young man has passed beyond my
reach forever. If you do not accept Christ to-day
you may a year from to-day, and when you do
there will be opportunities to work for Christ in
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 47
bringing others to Him, but opportunities are pass-
ing by you to-day and to-morrow and next day
that will never come back again.
A Child's Prayer Answered
A Christian worker going through the tene-
ments in the east end of London looking for un-
fortunates to help, came one day into a wretched
room in the upper story of one of the large tene-
ment houses. There seemed to be no one in the
room and the worker was about to leave when he
noticed a ladder leading up to a hole in the ceiling.
Something impelled him to climb the ladder. When
he had put his head through the hole in the ceiling,
the garret at first was so dark he could not see, but
as he became accustomed to the darkness, he saw a
child lying on a pile of stuff in the corner.
" What are you doing here, child ? " the worker
said. " Hush," the child said, " don't tell father."
"But what are you doing here?" The child
showed the worker his back bearing the marks of
the awful beating that the drunken father had
given him. The worker said, " You cannot stay
here. You will die here. I will go and get you
help." As the worker was about to withdraw, the
little fellow said, " Would you like to hear a hymn
that I learned at the Sunday-school ? " The worker
stopped a moment to listen and the child repeated
the familiar verse,
"Gentle Jesns, meek and mild,
Look upon a little child.
48 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS
Pity my simplicity,
Suffer me to come to Thee.
Fain would I to Thee be brought,
Gracious Lord, forbid it not ;
In the kingdom of Thy grace,
Make a little child a place."
Telling the child to keep quiet and he would soon
return, the worker stole away for help. He found
a place to take the child and soon returned to get
him. Again he climbed the ladder and put his
head through the hole in the ceiling, but every-
thing was quiet. He spoke to the child but there
was no answer. The child was dead. His prayer
had been heard.
" In the kingdom of His grace,
The Lord had given the little child a place."
The President of a Racing Association
One night in an Australian city after I had given
out the invitation and a large number of people had
risen and were standing, a minister sitting near me
became very much excited and said, " Look there !
Look there ! " " Look where ? " I said. " Look over
there at that tall gentleman and his wife standing."
" Yes," I said, " I see them, what of it ? " " Why,"
he said, " that man is the former mayor of the city
and is now president of our race track association.
What does he mean ? " " Why," I said, " I suppose
he means to accept Christ. That was the proposi-
tion." The minister was nonplussed. He did not
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 49
know what to make of it. As soon as the meeting
was over, I went down to where this gentleman
and his wife were standing, and stepped up to them
and said to him, " Did you really accept Jesus Christ
this evening ? " Quietly but firmly he replied,
" Yes, I did. Would you like to know how I came
to accept Him?" "Yes, I would." "Well," he
said, " my little boy was at your children's meeting
this afternoon and was converted. He came home
full of enthusiasm and insisted that we should come
to-night to hear you preach and we came and have
decided to accept Christ."
Who can tell how much is involved in the con-
version of a little boy ?
A Little Child Shall Lead Them
Two little girls came to our children's meeting in
Bristol, England, accepted Christ, 'and went home
full of joy and enthusiasm to tell their mother the
story of their conversion. When the mother heard
the story from her children and saw the " God's
Sure Promise " cards they held in their hands, her
heart was full. She kept the cards with her all
evening, took them to bed with her, put them under
her pillow and kept her hand on them. She was
afraid to go to sleep lest she should^get her hand off
the cards. The next day was Sunday and the
meeting in the afternoon was for women only.
This mother came with the cards still in her hand
and when the invitation was given out stood up to
accept Christ as her Saviour. Led to Christ by her
50 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
own little daughters. " A little child shall lead
Saved Five Minutes
One evening in our church in Chicago one of the
officers in going around the gallery after I was
through preaching, and as the audience was going
out of the church, stepped up to a gentleman and
said, " Are you saved ? " " Yes, sir," he replied.
He was very positive about it. " How long have
you been saved ? " " About five minutes," he an-
swered. "When were you saved ? " asked the gen-
tleman. The man replied, " About five minutes ago
while that man was preaching." He did not wait
until I got through the sermon. He did not wait
for some one to deal with him. He came to Jesus
right there and then and Jesus saved him right
there. It only takes an instant to be saved. The
moment you receive Jesus you are saved. "As
many as received Him, to them gave He power to
become the sons of God, even to them that believe
on His name." (John 1 : 12.) Will you receive
Him now ?
Never be Discouraged
One night in Hobart, Tasmania, as my wife and
I were walking home together from the meeting,
she said, " Archie, I have just wasted my time to-
night. I have spent the whole evening talking with
the most frivolous girl I have dealt with for a long
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 51
time. I made no impression whatever. I just
wasted my time. I don't believe it pays to talk to
that kind of a girl." But she went home and cried
to God for that girl. The next night that girl came
to her completely transformed and brought her
mother with her and asked Mrs. Torrey to talk to
her. They were both brightly converted. Often-
times where we seem to have accomplished the least,
we have in reality accomplished the most.
Converted by President Wotsey^s Singing
When Mr. Moody visited Kew Haven in 1878 I
was a student in the University there. The ripest
scholar in the University at the time, if not the
ripest in America, was President Wolsey, Ex-Presi-
dent of Yale University. One night a young man
went up to hear Mr. Moody preach and President
Wolsey sat on the platform, and when they sang
the old Gospel hymns. President Wolsey, himself a
gray-haired scholar, joined in singing the hymns
with all his heart. That young man said, " Well,
if one of the greatest scholars in America can sing
those hymns in that way, there certainly must be
something in it," and he was converted, not through
Mr. Moody's preaching, but through President
Hoiv to Love Jesus
A LITTLE girl in London once came to Mark Guy
Pearse and said, " Mr. Pearse, I don't love Jesus.
52 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
I wish you would tell me how to love Hhn." He
said, " Little girl, as you go away from here to-day,
keep saying to yourself, ' Jesus loves me,' ' Jesus
loves me,' aud I believe you will come back next
Sunday saying, ' I love Jesus.' "
The next Sunday the little girl came back to
Mark Guy Pearse radiant, and she said, " Oh, Mr.
Pearse, I do love Jesus. As I went away from here
last Sunday, I kept saying to myself as you told me
to, ' Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me,'
and then I soon saw Him hanging on the cross and
dying in awful agony for me, and my heart began
to grow warm and very soon it was full of love to
" We love Him because He first loved us."
'' If Any Man be in Christ Jesus, He is a. New
I KNEW a man who used to go to dances at least
four nights a week, and in summer time spend his
days on the race-course. He would spend a large
share of his afternoons at the card table and the re-
maining nights on a big drunk, or something of that
kind. I have known that man so touched by the
finger of God that you could not get him to a ball
unless you dragged him by an ox-team, unless he
went to preach the Gospel. I have known him to
do that. In the olden days he loved the theatre,
but to-day he would be perfectly unhappy in a
theatre unless he went there to preach the Gospel.
I have known him to do that. In the olden days,
ANECDOTES AKD ILLUSTEATIONS 53
be played cards six days out of seven but to-day
you could not hire him to touch the cards. In the
olden daj^s, the prayer meeting would have been
crucifixion to him, but there is scarcely anything he
enjoys to-day as he enjoys the prayer meeting. In
the olden days, the Bible was the stupidest book to
him, though he read it every day. He loved every-
thing in the way of literature better than the Bible
and religious books. To-day he loves the Bible and
sometimes he thinks he won't read anything else.
I know that man well. I know him better than I
know any other man, and knowing the transforma-
tion that has taken place in his life, I know that
the new birth is a reality, if I don't know anything
^'Give Me Back M^p Tears "
One of the mightiest soul winners I ever knew
was Colonel Clarke of Chicago. He would work at
his business six days every week that he might keep
his mission open seven nights every week. And
every night in the week the year around five or six
hundred men would gather together in that mission
hall. It was a motley crowd ; drunkards, thieves,
pickpockets, gamblers and everything that was
hopeless. I used to go and hear Colonel Clarke
talk, and he seemed to me one of the dullest talkers
I ever heard in my life. He would ramble along
and yet these five or six hundred men would lean
over and listen spellbound while Colonel Clarke
talked in his prosy way. Some of the greatest
54 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS
preachers in Chicago used to go down to help
Colonel Clarke but the men would not listen to
them as they did to Colonel Clarke. When he was
speaking they would lean over and listen and be
converted by the score. I could not understand it.
I studied it and wondered what the secret of it was.
Why did these men listen with such interest, and
why were they so greatly moved by such prosy
talking ? I found the secret. It was because they
knew that Colonel Clarke loved them, and nothing
conquers like love. The tears were very near the
surface with Colonel Clarke. Once in the early
days of the mission, when he had been weeping a
great deal over these men, he got ashamed of his
tears. He steeled his heart and tried to stop his
crying, and succeeded, but he lost his power. He
saw that his power was gone and he went to God
and prayed, " Oh, God, give me back my tears," and
God gave him back his tears, and gave him won-
derful power, marvellous power over these men.
If we would see the seed that we sow bring an
abundant harvest, we must water it with our tears.
" He that goeth forth bearing precious seed, shall
doubtless come again with rejoicing bringing his
sheaves with him."
Conquered By Compassion
One night I was preaching in one of the suburbs
of Chicago, and when I gave out the invitation an
enormous man rose to his feet. He weighed 290
pounds. I thought to myself, " You have caught a
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 55
big fish to-night." After the meeting was over, I
went down and sat beside him and talked to him.
He said, " Let me tell you how I came to accept
Christ to-night. I have been a church-goer all my
life, but I only went to criticise, and when men got
up in the prayer meeting to talk I took out a little
note-book which I kept, and wrote down what they
said, and then kept tab on them during the week to
see how their life agreed with their profession, so I
came to say to myself, ' All Christians are hypo-
crites.' My heart became as hard as a stone. I
was perfectly indifferent. Some months ago, I was
taken very ill, and the doctors said I must die, but
I was not at all afraid to die. I had become so
hardened by the criticism of professors of religion
that even death had no terrors for me. But one
day a retired minister came and asked if he might
pray for me. I said, ' Yes, you can pray for me if
you want to. I have no objection, if it will do you
any good, it won't hurt me any. Yes, pray if you
want to, if you will enjoy it. It won't disturb me.'
He knelt down beside my bed and began to pray,
and I watched him out of the corner of my eyes.
I was keeping tab on him to see if he was real. I
thought I was dying but I was not a bit frightened.
I was perfectly callous and hardened, but as I lay
there watching him out of the corner of my eyes, I
saw a tear rolling down his cheeks. I said to my-
self, ' Here is this man, a perfect stranger to me,
with no possible interest in me, and yet he is weep-
ing over my sins and my lost condition.' That
broke my heart. That is why I am here to-night.
56 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
That is why I got up and asked for prayers ; that is
why I have taken the Lord Jesus."
I tell you, you will win more men and women
by your tears than you will ever win by your
The Curse Coming Home
I RECALL a man who was a daily drinker all his
life. I don't think that man was ever drunk in his
life. He despised a drinker but he also laughed at
total abstinence. I have heard him ridicule it time
and time again. He had three boys, carefully
reared in most respects but reared to his ideas about
drinking, reared to think that moderate drinking
was the proper course, reared to despise a drunkard,
but also to ridicule total abstinence. Every one of
these three boys grew up to be a drunkard.
The rumseller is bound to reap in his own family,
if he has one. A friend of mine of very wide ex-
perience, I think the widest experience of any friend
I ever had, once said to me that he had never known
a rumseller, who did not sooner or later feel the
curse in his own home. One time I was holding
meetings in an American city. Kiding through the
streets one day a friend pointed out a man.
" There," said ho, " is a man who has run a saloon
the most persistently of any man in our community.
The saloon is prohibited among us, but he has done
everything in his power to overthrow or circumvent
the law. His own brother committed suicide
through the effects of drink, and every member of
his family is ruined by drink."
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 57
One afternoon I got out of a street car to go to
a home where my wife and I were to take tea with
some friends. After paying my fare I had but
seven cents left — all the money I had in the world.
I did not even know Avhere the money was coming
from to buy breakfast for my family next morning,
and yet I had no care as God had supplied our
needs so often, I knew that He would now. A
young woman got on the car and went to the front
end of the car and dropped her five cents in the
box. The driver opened the door and shook his
head and said, " That Q.\q cents is bad." She said,
" That is all the five cents I have.*' " Then," he
said, " you must get off the car." The young
woman was in great perplexity. I thought of my
seven cents in my pocket, all the money I had, but
I went to the front end of the car and dropped five
cents in the box and relieved the young woman's
embarrassment. I felt no poorer. I had no doubt
that before I needed money, money would come.
After going to the house of the friend, I went over
town. As I was passing along the street a gentle-
man whom I knew got out of a carriage and went
to his horse's head. He saw me passing and held
out his hand and said, " How do you do ? How are
you getting on in your work ? " I told him I was
getting on nicely. " Well," he said, '' I want to
give something for your work," and he took out his
pocketbook and gave me $200. The five cents had
brought quick interest.
58 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
I Have Seen One of Those Before
A YOUNG fellow came to the Bible Institute
from a Kansas farm to be a student. He was one
of the greenest looking men that ever applied to the
Institute to enter as a student. At my first casual
meeting with him I thought to myself, " I wonder
what that man will ever do." He was so inde-
scribably fresh and green. But he was full of zeal
for Christ and not as green as he looked or acted.
Not long afterwards one evening he was on
Chicago Avenue distributing tracts to men as they
passed by. It was a hard neighbourhood. There
had been many a murder in the vicinity. He ap-
proached one man to hand him a tract and the
young desperado drew a revolver and held it at his
breast. The young farmer boy was not phased in
the least. " Oh," he said smiling, " I have seen one
of those before. Have a tract." The young fellow
was more completely disarmed than if the farmer
had knocked him down, and immediately took the
tract and walked away.
One night at a late meeting in the Florence
Crittenton mission in New York a drunken Scotch
girl ran to the front screaming, '^ Pray for me !
Pray for me ! " After the meeting was over, the
workers gathered around her. She told how she
had wandered from home. How her mother lived
in New York City, a poor but honest woman. They
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 59
tried to get the girl to go to her home but she said
no, her mother would not welcome her. They tried
to get her to stay with them, but she would not,
but promised that if they would see her mother the
next day that she would come around the next
night, and if her mother would receive her, she
would go to her home.
One of the workers went the next day to the ad-
dress given and found the mother. She said to her,
" We have found your daughter." The mother re-
plied, " I have no daughter." But when they ex-
plained to her about the night before, she said, " I
had a daughter once but she left me years ago. I
thought she was dead. I will take her back, but
do not disappoint me now that you have raised my
hopes again. Be sure and bring her." They ap-
pointed an hour in which they would bring her that
night. But the night came and the girl did not
come. Hour after hour the meeting went on but
the girl did not come. About midnight the meet-
ing closed but the girl had not appeared. They
held a consultation as to what they should do and
some of them decided to make a visit- to the low
dens of iniquity in the neighbourhood. At last in
a sub-cellar in a little narrow room, blue with
smoke, they found a crowd of men and women and
the Scotch girl in the midst, wild with drink. Her
good resolutions had fled and she refused to go to
her mother. A policeman heard the noise and
came down to see what it was and said to the girl,
" Now you have a chance to lead a better life, you
accept it. If you don't, if I ever find you on my
60 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIOKS
beat again, I will club you." The girl was getting
somewhat sobered but still protested that she could
not go to her home because she had no shoes fit to
wear. A warm-hearted Irishman in the crowd
agreed to find her a pair of shoes. Where he found
them at that hour of the night, I do not know, but
he soon found her a good, strong pair of shoes
and they started for the mother's rooms. When
they reached the rooms, they found the door locked.
The mother had given up in despair and had gone
to bed, but in answer to repeated rappings she
came to the door. She said she would unlock the
door and they could pass into the other room and
as soon as she could dress she would come in. As
they sat in the room waiting for the mother to
come in, the daughter looked around the room, and
as the old familiar objects met her eyes, her heart
began to melt. The mother soon came into the
room carrying a candle. As she looked at the girl
seated on the sofa, she started back almost dropping
the candle and exclaimed, " That is not my daugh-
ter." " Mother," said the girl, " do you not know
me?" In a moment the mother recognized the
voice and rushed to her child's side and they were
locked in one another's arms. The visitors felt that
the scene was too sacred to gaze upon and turned
away. Both mother and girl were later shown the
way of life, and turned their faces heavenward.
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 61
''I Will Feel for a Man''
One night in the lecture-room of Chicago Avenue
Church Charles Herald was urging the people to go
out and bring in the unsaved. The response to his
appeals were somewhat slow, when suddenly a
blind man sprang to his feet and said, " Why can-
not you do as the evangelist asks you ? Now I can-
not see, but I will feel for a man and bring him to
the meeting to-morrow night." The next night
came and the blind man was picking his way
through a dark alley back of the church. He had
nearly reached the gate when suddenly it occurred
to him, " I have not got the man that I promised to
bring." He backed up against the wall of the
church and listened. Soon he heard the feet of a
man coming down the asphalt pavement of the
alley way. When the man was in front of him, he
suddenly sprang out and grabbed the man and said,
" Come with me to meeting." The man was
startled, and thought at first he was being held up
by a footpad. He was ready to do almost anything,
and submissively went to the meeting. He was
converted that night.
The next night the blind man brought three, all
of whom, I think, were converted. If a blind man
can go out and bring in people that way, certainly
we that have our eyes ought to be able to bring
some one with us to every meeting.
62 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
** I Have Committed a Sin for Which There is
No Forgiveness "
At the close of a service in our Chicago church I
found a man standing by one of the chairs. He
seemed to be deeply interested. The moment I
began to speak to him he broke down and said,
" I would like to be saved, but I have committed
a sin for which there is no forgiveness. I re-
member my mother reading me in the Bible Avhen
I was a boy that those who committed this sin
could not be saved." I asked him what the sin
was that he had committed. He told me, and for
a moment I could not think where there was
any passage in the Bible that could by any possi-
bility be construed into meaning that there could
be no forgiveness for this sin, but suddenly 1 Cor.
6 : 9-11 occurred to me. I said, " I think I know
the passage to which you refer," and opened
my Bible and began to read, "Know ye not that
the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of
God ? Be not deceived : neither fornicators, nor
idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers
of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covet-
ous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners,
shall inherit the kingdom of God." " Yes," he said,
" that is it. Does it not say there is no salvation
for those who do this sin ? Does it not say ' they
shall not inherit the kingdom of God ' ? " I said,
" Listen, while I read the next verse," and I read
on, " And such were some of you : but ye are
washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified
ANECDOTES AKD ILLUSTEATIONS 63
in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of
our God." " Does it say that ? Does it say that ? "
the man cried. I said, " Read it for yourself."
He took my Bible and read it and cried,
"Thank God." He knelt down with the tears
streaming down his face and accepted the Saviour,
and arose full of joy in the knowledge that his sins
were all forgiven.
Some weeks after when I entered the church one
Sunday morning, I saw him standing at the back of
the seats with a lady between thirty and forty and
a young lady perhaps seventeen or eighteen. As I
stepped up to speak to him he said, " Let me intro-
duce you to my wife and daughter." I spoke to
them about Christ and they both took Christ. To"
day that man is a hard-working member and office-
bearer in Chicago Avenue Church. His sin wai
great, but even such as he could be " washed " and
" sanctified " and " justified."
Isaiah Fifty-three Six
I WAS preaching one evening in a college town in
Minnesota. I noticed a fine looking man with
white hair and beard sitting near the front.
Though he listened with the closest attention, the
way he acted while I preached, and when I gave
the invitation, made me confident that he was not
a Christian. Immediately upon the close of the
meeting, I made my way to him and said to him,
" Are you a Christian ? " " No, sir." " Would you
become one if I showed you how ? " He said, " I
64 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS
would." I said, " Let's sit down and talk it over."
I opened my Bible to Isaiah 53 : 6 and read, " All
we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned
every one to his own way." I said, " Is that true
of you ? " He said, " It is, sir." I said, " What are
you then?" He said, "I am lost." "Now," I
said, " listen to the rest of the verse." " And the
Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all."
" Do you believe that ? " I said. " Yes," he said,
" I believe everything in the Bible." I said, " Do you
believe that the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity
of us all ? Do you believe that the Lord hath laid
on Jesus your sin?" He said, "I do." "What
then is all that is necessary for you to do in order
to be saved?" "Simply to believe on the Lord
Jesus Christ," he said. I said, "Will you do it
now ? " He said, " I will." " Let us tell God so,"
and side by side we knelt in prayer. When I had
prayed, he followed me in prayer. When he had
finished his prayer, I said, " What are you ? " He
said, " I am saved. My sins are forgiven." Then
I asked him, " What are you going to do about it ? "
He said, " I am going back to my home and set up
the family altar and unite with the church." Some
months after I met the pastor of the church that he
attended in a town down on the Mississippi Eiver
and asked him what this man had done. He said,
" He came back to his home, came to me and made
application for membership in the church, and
brought his oldest son, a grown man, with him,
and together they have become members of the
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 65
''I Lied To You, Sir''
At the close of a service in a tent in a section
of Chicago called " Little Hell," I went to the door
of the tent to speak to the people as they walked
out. A large share of the audience were Eoman
Catholics. I shook hands with one after another
when a young Koman Catholic Irishman walked
out. I held out my hand to him and said, " Why
don't you take Jesus Christ as your Saviour?"
"Oh," he said, "I am all right." I said, "You
haven't peace." He said, "Yes, I have." I said,
" No, you haven't." He said, " Perhaps you know
better than I do." I said, " No, but God knows
better than either of us and God says, ' There is no
peace to the wicked.' (Isa. 57 : 21.) Now," I said,
" either God lies or you do, but I know God does
not lie and God says you haven't peace. * There is
no peace to the wicked, saith my God.' " The man
got angry and said, " If you don't want me to come
here any more, I won't." I said, " Yes, I do want
you to come but I want you to understand that you
don't deceive me. I can read your heart just as
well as if I could see into it, and I know there is
no peace in your heart." He said, " There is, too,"
and broke away and passed out of the tent.
The next night at the close of the service as I
looked over to the side of the tent to my left I saw
this man on his knees with a worker beside him.
In a few moments he and the worker arose and the
worker came to me and said, "That young man
wishes to apologize to you." I said, " He has noth-
66 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
ing to apologize to me for. He has never wronged
me." " Well," she said, " he says he did and wants
to apologize." I said, " Yery well, bring him over."
He said, " I want to apologize to you. I lied to you
last night. I said I had peace when I had not." I
said, " I knew you hadn't, for God says, ' There is
no peace to the wicked.' " But now the man had
peace, real peace through the acceptance of
A Letter from Stillwater Prison
I EECEiVED one day a letter from a man in
States' prison at Stillwater. It read as follows:
"Nearly two years ago I heard you preach on
Washington Avenue, Minneapolis. At the close of
the service you came to me and urged me to accept
Christ. I was under deep conviction and almost
yielded, but finally I said, * No, I will not accept
Christ to-night, but I will come back to-morrow night
and accept Christ.' You urged me to accept Christ
at once saying that no one could tell what would
happen before another night, but I was stubborn and
would not yield. I went out of the meeting, into a
saloon and got drunk. The next morning I found
myself under arrest for stealing an overcoat. I had
not the slightest recollection of stealing the overcoat,
but suppose I did steal it while I was intoxicated.
I was sentenced to this place for two years. My
time is almost up, but now I have accepted Christ
here in prison, but if I had only accepted Him that
night you urged me to down on Washington Ave-
"I WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND THAT YOU DON'T
THE NEW TOftK
AStOR, LE-l^QX AN©
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 67
nue, I would not have had the disgrace of these two
How to Reach a Son in a Distant Land
At the close of a meeting one day in Manchester,
England, a prominent business man of that city
came to me and asked me to pray for his son. He
said his son was a gifted young man, nearly forty
years of age, a graduate of Cambridge University
and a lawyer but that he was a wanderer, and had
left his wife and child and was then wandering, he
knew not where. I promised to pray for him.
The next summer at Keswick, this father came to
me again and said, " I have got track of my son.
He is in Vancouver. Do you know any minister in
Vancouver ? I want to cable him at once." I
gave him the name of a friend in Vancouver and
he cabled him. But the next day, he came and
said, " I am too late. The bird has flown. Will
you still pray for my son?" I promised him I
The following November, we began our second
mission in the great Tournament Hall in Liver-
pool. The first Sunday afternoon I preached on
"God is Love." At the close of the service, a
fine looking man thirty-eight years of age came up
to me and told me that he had decided to accept
Christ. When we inquired into the matter, we
found that this man was the son that the Man-
chester man had asked me to pray for. He had
returned to England, had wandered into our first
68 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
meeting on Sunday afternoon and accepted Christ
He at once gave himself to the work of winning
others with great success and afterwards studied
for Holy Orders under the Bishop of Liverpool.
A Music Halt Singer Converted
One night in Liverpool a music hall singer as he
was about to go on the platform was handed a tele-
gram asking him to hurry home at once, that his
mother was dying. He left the music hall and
started for home. In passing by the Philharmonic
Hall where we were holding meetings, he heard the
music and thought he would go in for a moment.
Mr. Alexander was singing, " Tell Mother I'll be
There." He thought of his dying mother, a Chris-
tian woman, and thought of the life that he was
leading and how they could not tell his mother that
he would be there, and then and there he accepted
The following ITew Year's eve, he was out in a
company of friends and was asked for a song. He
arose and took out one of our hymn-books and be-
gan to sing, " Tell Mother I'll be There," and the
power of God came upon the gathering, and the
social gathering was turned into a meeting that
lasted until midnight.
During our second mission in Liverpool, this man
was one of our chief ushers, and one of our most
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 69
A Would-be Suicide Saved b^ Prayer
A YOUis'G man in England was left a very com-
fortable sura of money by his father, but he ran
through it very rapidly in drink and gambling. He
squandered part of it in England and part of it in
India. As his money ran low, he came back to
England in a state of despair. He had a stroke of
good luck at the gaming table and won nearly
$1,000, but he began to squander it all in a terrible
Just at this time, his broken-hearted Christian
sister sent a request to our meeting in Birmingham
that we would pray for him. The night we prayed
for him, her brother was in desperation. He was
not in Birmingham but about forty miles away.
He sat by a table with a loaded revolver about to
end his life, but God heard the prayer that went up
in Birmingham, and as he sat there, memories of
his mother came to him and instead of doing the
rash act that he contemplated, he knelt down and
surrendered his life to God. He became at once an
out and out Christian and an active worker for
Christ. He obtained a position as a nurse for an
invalid but constantly did Christian work as he had
opportunity. "When we were holding our mission
in Brighton, he came and spent his whole month's
vacation working in the after-meeting. God called
him into a larger work and now he is holding meet-
ings in different parts of the world with great
70 Ai^ECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
Last Opportunity Throivn Away
At one of the meetings in Bradford, a man and
wife were deeply moved but they hung back and
neither of them rose to accept Christ. As they
went home together that night the wife said to the
husband, " Would it not have been nice if we had
both risen together and accepted Christ to-night ? "
He replied, " Yes, it would." In the middle of the
night she awakened her husband and complained of
feeling ill and in a few moments had passed into
eternity. It was her last opportunity to make a
public confession of Christ and she had thrown it
After the man had laid his wife's body away in
the cemetery he came to the meeting and told the
story and publicly accepted Christ.
God Save My Papa
One night a man stood at the door of the city
mission in Minneapolis inviting passers-by to come
in. An Englishman, a stone cutter by trade, passed
by. " Come in to a Gospel meeting," the worker
cheerily said to him. " What do I want with a Gos-
pel meeting ? I have no use for a Gospel meet-
ing," the Englishman replied gruffly, and went
grumbling up the street. He was a splendid work-
man, making over four dollars a day at his trade
when he worked, but squandering his time and his
money and his life in strong drink and gambling. At
times he was so desperate that he would stand upon
A2O:CD0TES AND ILLUSTKATIONS 71
the Tenth Avenue Bridge and look over into the
Mississippi Eiver as it flowed below and contem-
plate throwing himself into the river.
One Sunday afternoon, not many days after, a
little girl of ten went up Washington Avenue. The
Sunday-school session of the City Mission was in
progress. " Would you not like to come to Sunday-
school ? '^ a bright-faced .Christian woman said to
the little girl as she passed the door. In curiosity
the little girl turned in to the Sunday-school, was
greatly delighted with all she saw and heard.
When she heard of Jesus as her own Saviour, she
very readily accepted Him and gave her whole
heart and life to Him. She became greatly inter-
ested in the conversion of her father. Her mother
and grandfather and grandmother and uncle and
aunt were saved but her father held out. She
begged the workers to come down to their home and
hold a cottage meeting there, for she felt it was the
only way to get hold of her father as he would not
come to the meetings. The workers consented to
go. It was a drunkard's home, down on the east
side flats in Minneapolis. On the appointed evening
her father rose from the supper table and took down
his overcoat and was about to start for the saloon,
and Annie said, " Papa, we are going to have a
cottage meeting here to-night, won't you stay?"
" What do I want with a cottage meeting ? " " But
papa," urged the little child, ^' won't you stay for
Annie's sake?" Drunkard though he was, he
loved his child. He hung up the old overcoat again
and sat down on the rickety old sofa and waited for
72 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
them to come. One by one workers and neighbours
crowded into the house. The man felt very uneasy
and wished he were at the saloon. A song was
sung and the leader read a passage and they all
knelt in prayer. One after another the workers
prayed. The man on the sofa grew more and more
uneasy and looked around for some way of escape
from the meeting, but all possibility of escape was
cut off. " If I ever get out of this, you will never
get me into a place like this again," the man thought
to himself. One after another the Christian men
and women prayed, and then all was still. Sud-
denly a child^s voice broke the silence, " Oh, God,
will you not save my papa ? " That prayer went to
the heart of God and like an arrow it went to the
heart of the wicked father. He dropped off the
sofa on to his knees and cried to God for mercy and
was saved that night.
He became one of the most indefatigable Chris-
tian workers I ever knew and when I left Minne-
apolis, he was a deacon in my church.
Saved in a Theatre
Some of the business men of Minneapolis de-
termined on an assault upon Satan in one of his
strongholds in that city. " The Theatre Comique,"
the lowest den in Minneapolis at the time, was en-
gaged for a series of Sunday afternoon meetings.
Some good people thought it was unwise to take
the Gospel down into such a den of iniquity. One
of the leading business men of the city stood on the
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 73
street corner giving out invitations to the Theatre
Comique meetings. A young fellow came along
and took an invitation. He read it and then said
to the business man, " Do you know what sort of a
place the Theatre Comique is ? " Mr. G. replied,
" Do you suppose I have been in Minneapolis twenty
years not to know ? " "Well," said the 3^oung fel-
low, " what are you having the Gospel preached in
such a place as that for ? " " When you go fishing,"
replied Mr. G., " where do you go ? " " Oh," the
young fellow replied, " I see it. I go where the
fish are." The fish were there in abundance and
many of them were caught.
The first meeting was held on NTew Year's Day.
A few days after the first meeting I received a
letter from Ottumwa, Iowa. The letter was anony-
mous but the writer said, " I was at your meeting
in the Theatre Comique on N"ew Year's Day.
Years ago in England I was a Christian and a local
preacher, but the first thing that I did when I
walked off the gangplank of the steamer in E'ew
York was to go to a saloon, and I have been going
down ever since. I had squandered $300 in the
Theatre Comique the week preceding your meeting,
but as I sat there on the first day of the new year
and listened to you preach the Gospel, the Spirit of
God touched my heart and I accepted Christ as my
Saviour and have started a new life."
A year passed by. On the following New Year's
Day we were having a reception all day long in
our mission hall on Washington Avenue. Several
months before a man had come into our fellowship
74 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
and had proven himself a very earnest active Chris-
tian and had so won the confidence of the people
that he had been elected a deacon in the church and
was filling the office with great acceptance. As
we were sitting in the reception-room of the mis-
sion, he turned to me suddenly and said, " Did you
receive a letter from Ottumwa, Iowa, from a man
that was converted in the Theatre Comique on New
Year's Day last year?" I said, "Yes, I did.''
" Well," he said, " I am the man." And now this
man, who had squandered $300 in one of the vilest
dens in Minneapolis a year before was an active and
honoured office bearer in a Christian church.
Despondency Changed into Abounding Joy
There came to me one night at the close of a
meeting a man with as sad a face as I had ever
seen. He asked me to pray for him. I tried to
show him the way of life. He would listen intently
but did not seem to be able to grasp it. Night
after night he would come to me with the same
look of hopeless gloom in his face. 1 was afraid
the man would go insane. In fact, I afterwards
learned that he had at one time been in an insane
asylum. He would profess to accept Christ, but
when I showed him the Word of God that "He
that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life," and
tried to impress him with the fact that he had
God's own assurance for it that he had everlasting
life, he seemed utterly unable to grasp it and would
go away with a despairing look, asking me if I
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 75
would still pray for him. This went on for weeks
and I almost dreaded to see the man approaching
But one night as I was about to strike a match to
light the gas Peter N. came in through the front
door as I struck the match and lighted the gas. I
saw there was a still brighter light in his face.
The gloom was all gone. He was radiant. The
Spirit of God had shone into his heart. He had
full assurance of sins forgiven. His gladness was
not for a day, nor for a week, nor a month but
continuous. He gave himself to God's work with
an earnestness that I have seldom seen equalled.
He was a skillful workman, receiving large pay, but
he gave almost his entire income to the Lord's
work, keeping scarcely anything for himself to live
on. Indeed I sometimes felt he did not keep
enough to live on. Out of working hours, he was
always witnessing for Christ in public or in private.
Hopeless gloom had been transformed by the
power of the Spirit of God into triumphant joy.
Shoiv Me Myself
A GODLY minister was once travelling in Scot-
land and put up at a certain tavern. At evening-
time the landlord asked if he would conduct family
prayer. He consented on the condition that the
landlord would call all the servants of the house-
hold. The servants came in and when all seemed
to be assembled, the minister asked, " Are all
here?" "Yes," said the landlord. "Not one
76 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
missing ? " he asked. " Oh, well," said the land-
lord, '' there is a poor girl we never bring in.
She does the dirty work about the kitchen and is
not fit to come in with the others." " Well then,"
said the minister, "I will not go on until she
comes." He insisted and the landlord yielded.
Seeing her neglected appearance, the minister took
a peculiar interest in her. When he was leaving
the next day, he called for the girl and said to her,
" I wish to teach you a prayer, and I want you to
pray it until I come back again. It is this, * Lord,
show me myself.' "
He left the hotel, but returned in a few days.
He asked the landlord, " How is that poor girl ? "
" Oh," replied the landlord, " she is spoiled. She
is of no use whatever now. She can do no work.
She is weeping all the time. She mopes and is
melancholy. I don't know what is the matter with
her." The minister knew, and asked to see her.
The landlord brought her in and the minister said,
" Now I wish to teach you another prayer. You
have been praying, * Show me myself ' ? " " Yes,"
she said, in deep distress, "and I am so wicked I
can do nothing but weep over my sins." " Now let
me teach you another prayer, * Lord, show me Thy-
Years passed. The minister was preaching in
Glasgow when a neat-looking woman came up to
him at the close of the sermon and said, " Do you
remember me ? " " No," he said, " I do not." " Do
you remember teaching a poor girl in a hotel to
pray, * Show me myself ' ? " " Yes," he replied, " I
ANECDOTES A]SrD'ILLUSTEATIO:t^S 77
remember that well." " I am that girl. I prayed
that prayer and got such a view of myself that I
was overwhelmed with grief and despair. Then
you taught me the other prayer, ' Lord, show me
Thyself,' and He showed me Himself and my grief
and despair went and I trusted Him and found sal-
vation and He has made me what I am to-day."
It is a good prayer for us all to pray, "Lord,
show me myself," and after He has shown us our-
selves, let us go on and ask Him to show us Him-
One of the most notoriously bad characters that
ever lived in New York was Orville Gardner. He
was the trainer of prize-fighters and companion of
all sorts of hard characters. His reputation was so
thoroughly bad that he was called " Awful Gardner."
He had a little boy, whom he dearly loved, and this
boy died. A short time after his boy's death, he
was standing at the bar in a New York saloon, sur-
rounded by a number of his boon companions. The
night was sweltering, and he stepped outside the
saloon to get a little fresh air. As he stood out
there and looked up between the high buildings at
the sky above his head, a bright star was shining
down upon him, and as he stood looking at the star,
he said to himself, " I wonder where my little boy
is to-night ? " Then the thought came to him quick
as a flash, " Wherever he is, you will never see him
again unless you change your life." Touched by
78 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
the Spirit of God, he hurried from the saloon to the
room where he knew his godly mother was. He
went in and asked his mother to pray for him.
They spent the whole night in prayer and towards
morning " Awful Gardner " had found peace and
gained the victory. He was the victim of an over-
whelming appetite for drink, and had in his house a
jug of whiskey at the time. He did not dare to
keep it and did not know what to do with it.
Finally he took it down to the river, got into a boat
and rowed over to an island. He set the liquor on
a rock and knelt down, and as he afterwards said,
" Fought that jug of whiskey for a long time," and
God gave him perfect deliverance. But what should
he do with the jug ? He did not dare break it, lest
the fumes set him wild. He did not dare leave it,
lest some one else get it. Finally he dug a hole in
the ground with his heel and buried it. He left the
island a free man.
He became a mighty preacher of the gospel. It
was through listening to him preach that Jerry
McAuley was set to thinking, and that thinking
afterwards led to his conversion.
Infidelity and Licentiousness
One night when Colonel IngersoU was delivering
one of his brilliant lectures in one of our great cities a
large number of medical students went to hear him.
They listened with admiration and applause to the
colonePs brilliant periods, and when the lecture was
over, they marched out arm in arm, a long company
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS 79
of them down the streets of the city, and into the
vilest dens of infamy.
Some at least of those who watched them could
not but note the intimate connection between in-
fidelity and licentiousness.
A Theological Professor Doing the DeviVs
D. L. Moody was generally considered a broad
man, and so he was. No matter how far astray a
man might go in doctrine, D. L. Moody would do
his best to reclaim him to the truth. But Mr.
Moody was a plain-spoken man as well as a broad
man. One man whose views of the Bible were ex-
tremely lax used to make a good deal of Mr. Moody's
friendship for him, and that Mr. Moody was friendly
towards him there can be no doubt, but Mr. Moody
told me that he told this man to his face that he was
doing the devil's work. It was plain talking, but it
was unquestionable truth.
In the early days of his work in Chicago, Mr.
Moody was always on the watch for children for
his Sunday-school. Wherever he saw a child, he
would approach them and invite them to the
Sunday-school. One day he saw a little girl stand-
ing on the corner with a pail in her hand in which
she was going to fetch beer. He accosted the little
child pleasantly and invited her to his Sunday-
80 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
school, and she promised to come. The next
Sunday Mr. Moody was on the lookout for her, but
she did not put in an appearance. Then he began
to hunt for her everywhere, but days passed with-
out seeing her. One day he noticed her on the
street and started towards her. But no sooner did
she see him coming than she broke into a run. He
began to run down the street after her. She went
flying as fast as her feet would carry her. Mr.
Moody was after her in hot pursuit. She turned
the corner ; he after her. She went down an alley,
up another street, Mr. Moody still in hot pursuit.
She dashed into a saloon. He dashed after her.
Through the saloon she went ; Mr. Moody following.
Up the stairway at the rear. Mr. Moody still in
pursuit. She dashed into a bedroom, and Mr.
Moody never stopped. She plunged under a bed,
and Mr. Moody drew her out by the leg. She
proved to be the child of a widow with a large
family that were living over the saloon. The cir-
cumstances of the family were anything but ele-
vating, but Mr. Moody won that whole family for
Christ. In later years, the child grown to woman-
hood, was one of the most honoured workers in the
church and the wife of a highly esteemed office-
Won by a Smite
As a Sunday-school worker hurried down the
streets of Chicago one day on his way to Sunday-
school, he noticed a little baby being held at the
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS 81
window by some one in the family. He turned
towards the baby and smiled. The baby smiled
back. The next Sunday the baby was there again
and again he smiled at the baby and waved his
hand. The next Sunday there were several at the.
window with the baby watching for him to pass
and again he recognized the baby and smiled and
waved his hand. Some one in the house followed
him. They saw him turn into the Sunday-school
and went back home and told where he had gone.
The next Sunday some of the children appeared at
the Sunday-school and finally the whole family was
won for Christ. Won by a smile. JSTo one can
ever tell where some little act of kindness will end.
Could Not Get Over Her Father's Life
I ONCE received an anonymous note asking me to
call on the lady principal of a school. She was a
woman of very brilliant gifts but professed to be
an utter unbeliever. I called one day at the school
and received a very cordial reception, but the
woman said, " I do not believe anything. I do not
even read the Bible because it seems wrong for one
to read it and disbelieve everything in it as I do."
As I talked with her, she insisted that she was con-
firmed in her unbelief, and that there was no pos-
sibility of her being led out of it. But suddenly
she began to weep and I said to her, " Why are
you crying ? " " Oh," she said, " there is one thing
I cannot get over, and that is my father's life. My
father was a minister of the gospel, and whenever I
82 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
think of the holy life he lived, I feel that there
must be something in Christianity. I cannot get
over his life." She had tried hard to do so, but she
had failed utterly.
Starting out from this point, I was able to tell
her how she could find out for herself that beyond
a peradventure the Bible was the Word of God,
and Jesus Christ the Son of God. She promised to
follow the plan suggested, and I afterwards had
the privilege of receiving her into membership in
But my reasonings would have been of no avail
if she had not been prepared to listen to them by
the insurmountable argument of her own father's
holy life. The best argument for Christianity is a
Converted at Nine Years of Age
A CHILD can be a true Christian. Some people
do not believe that. Some people think a boy or
girl must grow up until they are twenty or twenty-
one, or at least until they are fifteen or sixteen be-
fore they can understand what it means to be a
Christian. This is a great mistake. Boys and
girls that can understand anything can understand
that Jesus died for them and that He rose again
and is able to help and keep them day by day, and
they can take Jesus and trust Him as their own
Long, long years ago over in Western Asia, there
was an old man ninety -five years of age with long
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 83
beard hanging down upon his bosom, and long
white hair hanging down upon his neck. His
name was Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna. A new
Koman governor came to Smyrna who bitterly
hated Christianity and determined to stamp it out
of his province. His councillors said to him, " If
you are going to stamp out Christianity, you would
better deal with Polycarp, for he is the best and
most influential Christian in Smyrna." Polycarp
was away from Smyrna in the country at the time
but the governor sent for him and had him dragged
to Smyrna. When Polycarp was brought before
the governor, he said to him, " Are you a Chris-
tian?" "Yes, I am a follower of Jesus." "But,"
said the governor, " you must renounce Jesus and
sacrifice to the idols or I will throw you to the
lions and they will tear you limb from limb." But
Polycarp refused. The governor grew more angry
and said, " Unless you renounce Jesus, I will have
them burn you at the stake." Polycarp replied,
"These eighty and six years have I served my
Lord and He never did me any harm, and I cannot
deny my Lord and Master now."
They took old Polycarp out and tied him to the
stake. They piled the fagots around him and they
came with a torch and touched the light to the
wood. Hotter and hotter grew the flames and
Polycarp's flesh began to burn, but the aged saint
stood there triumphant, rejoicing to suffer for the
name of Jesus.
He w^as ninety-five years old when he died. He
had been a Christian, according to his own testi-
84 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
mony, eighty -six years. Poly carp must have been
converted when he was nine years of age.
It is plain that a boy can be a Christian and a
good one too. It is also plain that the good chil-
dren do not all die young. JSTinety-five years of age
is not very young to die.
Are You a Murderer}
I WAS sitting one day with a very brilliant
lawyer in the city of Minneapolis, who was be-
ginning to go down through drink. He was partly
intoxicated this day. I said to him, "John, you
ought to be a Christian." "Oh," he said, with a
laugh, "I don't believe as you do. I am one of
these new theologians. I believe in the larger
hope. Now, honour bright," he continued, "do
you believe in hell, Torrey ? " " Yes," I replied,
" I do." " Honestly, do you believe in hell ? " "I
do." " See here, suppose I should drop down dead
right here, what do you think would become of
me?" I said, "John, if you should drop down
dead right here, you would go to hell and you
would deserve to." He bristled up full of anger
and said, " What have I done ? " I said, " I will
tell you what you have done. You have got your
wife's heart right under your heel, and you are grind-
ing the life right out of it." He could not deny it.
He knew it was true. I said, " You are doing
something worse. You are trampling under foot
the Son of God who died on the cross of Calvary
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS 85
How many a young man is killing his mother by
his wild, reckless, dissolute life. I was once stop-
ping in a beautiful home, fine house, spacious
grounds, many servants, horses and carriages, lawns
and parks, everything that money could buy. Now
to have gone into that home and not have known
what lay beneath the surface, one would have said,
" The lady at the head of this house must be per-
fectly happy." But I found out while I was there
that the mother of the household, so far from be-
ing perfectly happy, was perfectly miserable.
When all the rest of the household were asleep,
she would arise in the silent hours of the night and
walk up and down the broad halls of that mansion
with a breaking heart. She could not sleep. She
had a wayward boy in New York City and did not
even know where he was. Some months after-
wards I stood by the grave into which that woman
had been lowered, and that wayward son stood by
my side. The doctor's verdict was that that
woman died from a stroke of apoplexy, but I said
in my heart, " This woman died of murder, and
this man beside me, her son, is her murderer."
I told this story once in Melbourne, Australia, in
the Town Hall at the business men's meeting.
Scarcely had I finished the story when a man thirty
or thirty-five years of age in the back part of the
room sprang to his feet and came rushing down the
aisle crying aloud, '^ I am a murderer. I am a
murderer. I have killed my mother." He was a
notorious infidel and drunkard. He had often
blasphemed Christ from the public platform in that
86 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIOKS
city, but this day the arrow went home, his sin was
laid bare. He went into a side room and fell upon
his knees and cried to God for mercy. After the
meeting was over, I went and knelt by his side,
where an aged Episcopal clergyman was talking to
him. " Oh," he said, " is there pardon for me ?
For one who has spoken so blasphemously as I have
from the infidel platform in this city ? " I showed
him that there was pardon for the chief of sinners,
that there was pardon for one who had killed his
mother by his reckless life and even for one who
had blasphemed the name of the Saviour who had
died on the cross of Calvary for him, and done all
he could to get others to blaspheme Him too, and
that day he went away trusting in the Saviour,
whom he had once blasphemed.
What joy there must have been in that mother's
heart that day in the Glory if word of her son's
conversion was taken to her.
One night one of my workers called me and
said, " Come and talk to this man. He is an in-
fidel." I went over and talked to him. I said,
" Are you an infidel ? " He said, " Yes, I am an
infidel." I said, " Will you tell me why you are an
infidel ? " He said, " Yes, sir, because the Bible is
full of contradictions." I said, " Will you please
show me one?" He said, "It is full of them."
" Well," I said, " if it is full of them you ought at
least to be able to show me one. Will you show me
ANECDOTES AKD ILLUSTEATIONS 87
one ? " He said, " I don't pretend to know as much
about the Bible as you do." " What are you talk-
ing about it for then ? " I asked. " Now," I con-
tinued, "the Bible is God's Word. God is its
author, and in throwing contempt on the Bible, you
are throwing contempt upon God who is the author
of it, and Jesus tells us that men shall give ac-
count of every idle word in the Day of Judgment,
and you will have to give account of this idle word
you have spoken against the Bible and against God
who is its Author." He turned pale, as well he
might, and said, " I did not mean to do that."
" Well, that is what you have done," and that is
what many a man is doing, speaking lightly and
thoughtlessly about the Bible, not realizing that in
condemning the Bible, he is insulting the God who
is the Author of it, and he will have to give ac-
count of his folly in the Day of Judgment.
Waiting for an Opportunity
One year when I was conducting missions in dif-
ferent parts of England, my family resided at
Southport, a pleasant seaside town. I would go
there to spend my holidays. The first time I was
there I met a man whom God laid upon ray heart,
and whom I determined to win for Christ. He had
once been a prosperous farmer and had gone down
and down through drink and his wife was now sup-
porting the family by taking lodgers, and he was
doing little things as he was able. He was a most
unlikely case and my heart went out towards him,
88 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
and I determined to win him for Christ. I began
to cultivate his acquaintance, watching for an op-
portunity to win him for Christ. Every time I
met him on the street, I would speak with him.
When he became disposed to show me little acts of
kindness I accepted them in order to win him.
Time after time I met him but an opportunity to
speak about the great question did not come.
When we were in Manchester, I referred to him in
an address and about my waiting for an oppor-
tunity, and a man in the audience was heard to
whisper to another, " Well, he will die before he
speaks to him," but he was mistaken. I was watch-
ing and praying and God was listening, and the de-
sired opportunity came.
Eeturning to Southport for a few days after a
mission, I heard the man had caught cold and was
quite ill. I met his daughter and asked if I could
see him. " Yes," she said, " father heard you were
coming to Southport, and wondered if you would
not come to see him." I went to the room where
he was lying in bed and found him very ill indeed
and very approachable. In fact, his wife was try-
ing to read the Bible to him, though she did not
know where to read. I took the Bible and read
passages that pointed out our need of a Saviour
and told of God's love to sinners, and that made
clear God's way of salvation, and then explained
the way of salvation as simply as I could and
prayed with him.
The next evening I met his daughter again and
asked if I could see her father again. " Yes," she
ANECDOTES AND ILLTJSTEATIONS 89
said, " he was hoping you would come again and
wondered if you would not." I heard that during
the night in his delirium he had been talking about
me and my son, whose acquaintance he had also
made. This encouraged me to think that I was
winning my way with him. I went to see him and
found him perfectly clear in mind, but I felt he could
not pull through the night. I was more definite than
the night before, explained the Way of Life more
fully and he professed to accept Christ, and I knelt
by his bed and prayed, and afterwards asked him
to follow me in prayer word by word. He followed
me in a confession of his sin, in an expression of
his belief in the testimony of God's Word about
Jesus Christ, that Jesus had borne his sin in His
own body on the cross (Isa. 53 : 6) and he asked God
to forgive his sins because Jesus had borne them in
His own body. Then he told his Heavenly Father
that he trusted He had forgiven his sins because of
the atoning death of Christ. Finally he told God
that if it was His will, he wished to be raised from
that bed of sickness, that he might serve Christ
before men but if it was not His will to raise him
up, he was willing to be taken from this world and
to depart and be with Christ. When I arose he
seemed to be resting clearly in the Lord Jesus
A few hours later, there was a rap on my door.
A lady came in and told me he had passed away, a
little while after I left, trusting in Christ.
90 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
Lost Through Delay
When I was at home in Chicago, if I had a
night off, I would often run out to some other city
to help the ministers there. One night I ran across
the line to the city of Hammond, Indiana. After
speaking I gave out the invitation. Among those
who were moved by the Spirit of God was a young
woman. She rose to her feet and started for the
front, but the young man who sat by her side
caught her by her arm and said, " Don't go to-night.
If you wait a few days I may go with you." For
fear of offending this young man to whom she was
engaged to be married, she sat down and threw
away her opportunity.
The next week I went to speak in the opera
house. At the close of the meeting two young
women came to me and said, " Oh, Mr. Torrey,
just as soon as you can get away from the opera
house, come with us. There is a young lady who
started for the front the other night but the young
man to whom she was engaged asked her to wait
for him and she sat down. Now she has erysipelas.
It has gone to her brain. We think she is dying.
Probably she will not live until morning. Come to
see her just as soon as you can get away from the
opera house." As soon as I could get away from the
after meeting, I hurried along from the opera house
to her home. I was taken up the stairs into the
room where the poor girl lay a dying. You could
not recognize her. Her face was painted black
with iodine. But she was perfectly conscious. I
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 91
urged her then and there to take Christ. " Oh," she
said, """I cannot." " But," I said, " you started to
take Him the other night when I was here at Ham-
mond." " Yes," she said, " but I did not take Him
then. I am dying now and I cannot take Christ
now. It is too late." I plead with her. I besought
her. I knew it was her last hour. I tried to per-
suade her that the Lord Jesus would receive her
even then, that He said : " Him that cometh to Me
I will in no wise cast out," but she would not listen
and would not yield.
When I passed out of that room of awful dark-
ness, a young man in the hallway caught me by the
hand, took me into a cold, dark room, and though I
could not see him in the darkness, I could feel that
he was shaking like a leaf. " Oh," he said, " Mr.
Torrey, I am engaged to marry that girl. When
you spoke here last week we were both at the meet-
ing. When you gave out the invitation, she started
for the front but I detained her. I said, * No, don't
go. H you wait for a few days I may go with you.'
She did not go forward and now she is dying with-
out Christ. She is lost, and I am to blame. I am
If you to-night are anywhere near a decision for
Christ, don't put it off. Don't let the fear of man
frighten you out of taking your stand for Him.
Jolly, But Wretched
One of the brightest memories of my boyhood is
of the jolliest man I ever met. He was the centre
92 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS
of attraction in every circle of society he ever
visited. Let him go into a room full of strangers
and soon everybody was at home with him and he
was the centre of the entire circle always. I loved
him. I delighted in his company. There was no
man or boy that I so loved to have around. When-
ever he was present I knew there was to be merri-
ment. He was the first man that ever took me to
the theatre. He took my brother next older than I
and myself and his own son, but he was more fun
than the whole show. It was merriment all the
way to the theatre ; it was merriment all the way
back from the theatre.
Though more than forty years have passed I can
remember the details of that evening yet. I think
he was the brightest, cheeriest man I ever saw.
But I grew older and he grew older. When
I had attained to manhood and was a preacher of
the Gospel, one night he dropped into the house
where I was staying. It was the dinner hour.
After dinner I was to preach in New York, and I
invited him to go along with me. He had become
somewhat religious but not an out and out Chris-
tian. I felt confident he was not a saved man and
hoped that if he went to the meeting that night I
might succeed in leading him to Christ ; for I was
sure he loved me as I did him ; so I invited him
to go. He went with me.
After the meeting was over and we were on our
way home, I approached him directly and personally
on the point of accepting Christ. He opened his
heart to me and let me see what was there, and I
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 93
found that the merriest of all men I had ever known,
underneath all this gaiety was one of the saddest of
men. He had not found the true secret of joy, the
joy that goes down to the deepest depths of the
heart and that never fails, the joy of the Holy
Ghost, which Jesus alone can give.
A Bartender' s Jest
An honest German couple in Chicago kept a
saloon on the west side. It did not seem to have
ever entered their heads that there was anything
wrong in keeping a saloon. One day the woman
was a little ill and complaining about the saloon.
A company of colored people across the road were
holding meetings and claiming that God answered
their prayers. The bartender said jestingly to the
saloon keeper's wife, " Why don't you go over and
let the niggers pray for you ? " She replied, " I be-
lieve I will." She went over and they did pray for
her and she was not only healed but led to accept
Christ and saved.
She came back to the saloon and told what the
Lord had done for her. After that every day she
would go into the saloon, sit down with the men at
the tables and urge them to accept Christ. The bar-
tender was now frightened and said to the saloon-
keeper, " You had better stop your wife's talking,
or she will spoil your business." He said, " I don't
care if she does." Soon he was converted himself
and they both gave up the business and became
active out and out Christians, and for years have
94 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
been faithful members of the Chicago Avenue
'' / W^nt to Wait a. Little Longer "
It is amazing how the devil blinds men and
women into thinking that there is plenty of time
to repent and accept Christ. One night there came
into our after meeting in Chicago a man far above
the average in intelligence. In fact, he occupied a
high judicial position in an adjoining state. When
I began to speak to him, he said, " I have lost my
wife this past summer, and I have been very lonely
and I have been thinking that I ought to accept
Christ. I am getting to be an old man. I am sev'
enty-six years old. Your sermon touched me deeply
to-night and I decided that I would rise and that I
would speak to you afterwards." " I am very glad
you did," I said. " Will you accept Christ now ? "
The old judge hesitated a little while, then he said,
" No, I don't think I am quite ready to do it yet.
I would like to wait a while longer." It took an
amazing amount of persuasion to convince that
man that seventy-six years was long enough to wait.
He seemed to think that though he was seventy-six
years old, there was still plenty of time to accept
Sold Her Soul for One Dance
A YOUNG lady was once under deep conviction of
sin. She saw and felt her need of a Saviour. Her
ANECDOTES A^D ILLTJSTRATIOIs^S 95
minister went to her and urged upon her an im-
mediate acceptance of Christ. " No," she said, " I
cannot accept Christ to-night. I am going to a
dance next week, and if I accepted Christ I could not
go to that dance, but I will promise you, Mr. S
that I will accept Christ immediately after that
dance." Her minister tried to show her the peril
of the decision she was making, but she was de-
termined to go to one more dance and then she
would accept Christ. Until that dance was past no
amount of persuasion moved her. The night of
the dance came and she went. She caught cold at
the dance and it settled down into lung fever. She
began to sink rapidly, and her minister fearing that
her time had come called upon her again. He re-
called his former conversation and how she had
promised to accept Christ after the dance, but the
dying girl was hard and hopeless. " No," she said,
" Mr. S , I cannot accept Christ now. I refused
to accept Him when I was well and strong and now
I am dying and I cannot accept Christ." He tried
to show her how ready Christ was to pardon even
at the last moment but she could not grasp it. All
his persuasions were of no avail and the poor girl
died in hopeless despair. She had sold her soul for
one more dance.
I Am an Infidel
"When we were in New Zealand, by the delay of
the steamer, we were enabled to hold one evening
meeting in Invercargill. The meeting was held in
96 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
the Drill Hall. The night was close. There was
no way of adequately ventilating the building.
Men and women fainted on every hand and were
carried from the building, but still the people
lingered and listened to the preaching of the
Word of God. When I dismissed the first meet-
ing, many of the people had to pass right in front
of the platform. A tall man with stooped
shoulders about sixty years of age came by the
platform and looked up at me and scowled and
said, " I am an infidel." " You don't need to tell
me that," 1 replied. " Your face shows it. You
have one of the most wretched faces I ever saw."
The man passed on in silence. The next day I re-
ceived a letter from him. He said, " I am
wretched. How can I be anything but wretched ? "
Ah, there is nothing in infidelity to meet the
deepest needs of the human heart. Nothing in in-
fidelity to transform the sorrows of life into joys.
Intelligent faith in Christ fills the life with sun-
shine. Unbelief fills the heart with clouds and
The Champion Heavy Weight Pugilist
When we were in Launceston in Tasmania, I
received a letter from a man asking me to visit his
wife. He said his wife had been an invalid for
many years and they had tried all the physicians
in Launceston. He noticed in the papers that I
was a doctor and he thought an American doctor
might succeed where their home doctors had failed.
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 97
It was evident that the man had mistaken me for a
physician. A few nights after this man followed
up his letter by coming around to the meeting to
interview me personally. He was the champion
heavy-weight pugilist of Tasmania. He had not
come to hear a sermon but to implore me to visit
his sick wife. But he got there in time to hear the
sermon. The subject was " Heroes and Cowards,"
and he was greatly interested. In it I told the
story of a S'orth Carolina farmer's son whose
father at great sacrifice had sent him to college,
and then when the father went to visit the son, the
son was ashamed of him before his gay college com-
panions. As I pictured this farmer with glad heart
driving towards the college town to visit his son
and then his son's denial of his father, the pugilist
grew very angry. He wanted to thrash that un-
grateful son, but then the thought came to him,
" You are meaner and more ungrateful than he.
You owe more to God than that son owed his
father and yet how are you treating Him ? " Filled
with shame at his ungrateful treatment of God,
when I gave out the invitation, the pugilist rose to
his feet and then came forward and turned around
and faced the audience, most all of whom knew
him by reputation, and publicly confessed his sin
and his acceptance of Jesus Christ.
He immediately went to work for Christ, and
about the last sight we saw as the steamer pulled
out of Launceston and sailed down the river was
Jim Burke, towering above the crowd waving good-
bye to us with his red hymn-book.
98 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIOKS
The spirit lUumined the Face of Jesus
One night a lot of our students came home from
Pacific Garden Mission full of rejoicing over the
number of conversions there had been that night.
" We had a great time at the mission to-night," they
said, " a large number of drunkards came to the front
and accepted Christ as their Saviour."
The next day I met Harry Monroe, superintend-
ent of the mission on the street. " Harry," I said,
" the boys tell me you had a great time at the mission
last night." " Would you like to know how it came
about ?" he answered. " It pleased the Holy Spirit
to illumine the face of Jesus, and sinners just saw
Him and believed." It was a rather unique way of
putting it but it well stated the truth. It is only
when the Holy Spirit bears His testimony to Jesus
that men see and believe.
There was handed to me one evening in Christ
Church, New Zealand, a note from a lady. It read,
" Is there any place where I can find satisfaction for
my soul ? I have been looking for it everywhere.
I have sought it in wealth, but have not found it ; I
have sought it in society, but have not found it ; I
have sought it in the pleasures of this world, but
have not found it ; I have sought it in study, but
have not found it ; I have sought it in art, but have
not found it ; I have been seeking it in travel, I have
just returned from a tour around the world seeking
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 99
for satisfaction for my heart, but have not found it.
Can you tell me where I can find it ? ' "
The note was unsigned. I read it before the
meeting that night and replied, " Yes, I can tell this
lady where she can find satisfaction to-night. She
can find it in Jesus. * Whosoever shall drink of the
water that 1 shall give him shall never thirst, but
the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well
of water springing up into everlasting life.' "
At the close of the meeting a lady came to me and
said, " It was I who wrote that note." With my
open Bible, I showed the Way of Life and she ac-
cepted Jesus. The next night she came back and
came forward and said, " Last night I wrote a note
to Dr. Torrey asking him if there was any place
where I could find satisfaction for my soul. I had
sought it everywhere. I had sought it in wealth,
in fashion, in society, in pleasure, in study, in art
and in travel but could not find it. Last night I
took Jesus Christ and I have found the satisfaction
for my soul which I have been seeking all these
/ Don't Knoiv Him
A BEAUTIFUL young mother in New York City
returning to the building in which her little infant
lay asleep was appalled to see the building in flames.
The firemen could not restrain her and she dashed
through the flames and rescued her child, but in
doing so, she was so severely burned that her face
was horribly disfigured for life. When she looked
100 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
at her face in the glass after it was healed, she was
shocked at her disfigurement, but was comforted by
the thought that when her little daughter grew up
she would appreciate the sacrifice that her mother
had made to rescue her. The little child did grow
up to be a young woman of uncommon beauty.
She was much admired and petted.
One day there was an excursion up the river and
both mother and daughter went. The beautiful
daughter was on the front deck surrounded by a
host of admirers, laughing and talking. The dis-
figured mother was on the rear deck looking after
the wraps and other things. The mother had occa-
sion to go to the front deck to speak to her daughter.
As she drew near, a gay young man asked the
beautiful young girl, " Who is that hideous looking
woman coming ? " In a low tone, the beautiful
daughter said, "I don't know." But the words
were not so low but what the mother caught them
and that loving heart was broken by the gross in-
gratitude of the daughter for whom she had sacri-
ficed so much.
How we shudder at the thought of such awful in-
gratitude, but are we not guilty of a grosser ingrat-
itude towards our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ ?
His visage was more marred than any man's and
His form more than the sons of men, and yet how
many to-day are ashamed of Him and say, " I do
not know Him."
ANECDOTES AND ILLTJSTEATIONS 101
Won by Love
I USED to have a friend in Chicago— he is in
heaven now — Colonel Clarke, a man who lived en-
tirely for others, and especially for the poor and
outcast — a rich man, who gave up all his money for
the poor. He lived very plainly. He worked him-
self literally to death. He worked at his business
six days every week, and he preached the Gospel
seven nights every week. He worked at his busi-
ness to make money to run his mission and feed the
poor. And the poor loved him, and the outcast
loved him, and everybody that had any sense and
knew him loved him — one of the loveliest men that
ever walked God's earth. One night there came
into the Pacific Garden Mission — his mission — a
man who had for fourteen years been a hopeless
slave to whiskey and alcohol in all its forms, and
opium and morphine. The man had been crippled
in early childhood. He had been in a railroad acci-
dent, was all smashed up, and lost the use of both
legs. He dragged himself along as best he could
on his crutches. He was not able to stand on his
feet. He sort of balanced himself as he dragged
himself along on his crutches.
This night, when he came into the mission.
Colonel Clarke saw him. I suppose he was the
most miserable-looking man in the mission and
Colonel Clarke went up to him, and tried to per-
suade him to take Christ and to believe on the
Lord Jesus. But he would not. The next day
Colone Clarke was going down La Salle Street, one
102 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
of our busiest business streets, and right ahead of
him he saw this poor opium fiend dragging himself
along on his crutches. Colonel Clarke hurried up,
put his hand on his shoulder, and took him into an
alleyway, where he told him about Jesus. Then he
said, " Let us kneel down." And the strong man
put his arm around that poor wretch of a cripple,
helped him down on to his knees and prayed for
him. This poor man in rags, a wretch, a cripple,
an opium fiend, a whiskey fiend, an alcohol fiend,
knelt there in the alleyway, put his confidence in
Jesus Christ, and when Colonel Clarke helped him
up on his crutches he was a child of God, and to-
day he is a preacher of the gospel.
Two Lawyers Convinced
In the great triumph of Deism in England, two
of the most brilliant men in the denial of the
supernatural were the eminent legal authorities,
Gilbert West and Lord Lyttleton. The two men
were put forward to crush the defenders of the
supernatural in the Bible. They had a conference
together and one of them said to the other that it
would be difiicult to maintain their position unless
they disposed of two of the alleged bulwarks of
Christianity, namely the alleged resurrection of
Jesus from the dead, and the alleged conversion of
Saul of Tarsus. Lyttleton undertook to write a
book to show that Saul of Tarsus was never con-
verted, as is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles,
but that his alleged conversion was a myth, if
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 103
Gilbert West would write another book to show
that the alleged resurrection of Christ from the
dead was a myth. West said to Lyttleton, " I shall
have to depend upon you for my facts, for I am
somewhat rusty on the Bible." To which Lyttle-
ton replied that he was counting upon West, for he
too was somewhat rusty on the Bible. One of
them said to the other, " If we are to be honest in
the matter, we ought at least to study the evidence,"
and this they undertook to do.
They had numerous conferences together while
they were preparing their works. In one of these
conferences West said to Lyttleton that there had
been something on his mind for some time that he
thought he ought to speak to him about, that as
he had been studying the evidence, he was begin-
ning to feel that there was something in it. Lyttle-
ton replied that he was glad to hear him say so, for
he himself had been somewhat shaken as he had
studied the evidence of the conversion of Saul of
Tarsus. Finally, when the books were finished, the
two men met. West said to Lyttleton, " Have you
written your book ? " He replied that he had, but
he said, " West, as I have been studying the evi-
dence and weighing it according to the recognized
laws of legal evidence, I have become satisfied that
Saul of Tarsus was converted as is stated in the
Acts of the Apostles, and that Christianity is true
and I have written my book on that side." The
book can be found to-day in any first-class library.
"Have you written your book?" said Lyttleton.
" Yes, but as I have studied the evidence for the
104 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and
have weighed it according to the acknowledged
laws of evidence, I have become satisfied that Jesus
really rose from the dead as recorded in the gospels,
and have written my book on that side." This
book can also be found in our libraries to-day.
Let any man of legal mind, any man that is ac-
customed to and competent to weigh evidence — yes,
any man with fair reasoning powers, and above all
with perfect candour, sit down to the study of the
evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ from
the dead, and he will become satisfied that beyond
a peradventure that Jesus really rose from the dead
as is recorded in the four gospels.
Lost by Neglect
More people are lost in Christian lands through
simple neglect than in any other way. Millions of
people drift through life neglecting, drift into the
grave neglecting, drift into eternity neglecting, drift
into hell neglecting. Here is a dying man, very
near death, lying upon his death-bed. Standing
upon a table within easy reach — and he has power
to put out his hand and get it — is a goblet in which
there is a healing draught. If the man puts out his
hand and takes the goblet and drinks the medicine,
he will be cured. If he won't drink it, he will die.
Kow, what is all that is necessary for that man to
do to be saved ? Simply to put out his hand, take
the medicine and drink it. What is all that is
necessary for him to do to die ? It is not necessary
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 105
for him to commit suicide by cutting his throat ; it
is not necessary for him to assault the doctor ; it is
not necessary for him to even take the medicine and
throw it out of the window ; it is not even neces-
sary for him to refuse to take the medicine ; all that
is necessary for him to die is simply to neglect to put
out his hand and take it. Every man and woman
and child out of Christ is now dying the eternal
death. Eight within reach in the Bible and in the
Christ of the Bible is the medicine that will cure
you and save you, and it is the only medicine that
will. What is all that you have to do to be saved ?
Simply to put out your hand and take the medicine.
What is all that is necessary for you to do to be
lost ? It is not necessary to get up and curse and
swear ; it is not necessary for you to get up and
ridicule the Bible ; it is not necessary to go out and
say outrageous things about God and Christ ; it is
not necessary to go out and commit a great im-
morality ; it is not necessary even to say, " I won't
take the Gospel " ; all that is necessary for you to
do to be lost is simply to neglect to take it. You
are lost already, and unless you take Christ and take
Him soon, you will be lost eternally.
Here is a boat in the Niagara Kiver away above
the falls. The current there is very gentle. A man
sits in the boat. There is a strong pair of oars rest-
ing by his feet. If the man wants to, he can take
the oars and pull out of the current to the shore.
But the man simply sits there and drifts on and on,
gently at first, then a little swifter, then swifter,
and now the man is in the swift current. He is al-
106 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
ready at the head of the rapids. If he should get
up now and take hold of the oars with all his
strength, he could not pull against the current.
Men on the shore see his peril. They run along
the shore, throw a rope, as has often been done, and
it falls in the boat right at the man's feet. Strong
arms on the shore are ready to pull him ashore if
he takes the rope. What is all that is necessary for
him to do to be saved ? Simply to lay hold of the
rope, and the men on shore will do the rest. What
is all that is necessary for him to do to be lost ? It
is not necessary for him to take the oars and pull on
with the current ; it is not necessary for him to
throw himself overboard into the rapids ; it is not
necessary for him even to refuse to take the rope.
If he will only sit still for about thirty seconds and
do nothing, the current will take that boat and
sweep it on, on, on over the falls over which no man
has gone and lived.
That is a picture of every man and woman
out of Christ. You are in the current. The cur-
rent of sin is so swift and strong that no man can
pull against it in his own strength. But God, stand-
ing on the shores of eternity, in His infinite love,
has thrown out a rope in the Gospel of His Son,
good and strong, and it has fallen at the feet of
every man and woman. What is all that you have
got to do to be saved ? Just lay hold of the rope —
just take Christ, and God will bring you home to
glory. What is all you have to do to be lost ? It
is not necessary for you to get drunk, to commit
adultery, or some other great sin ; it is not neces-
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 107
sary for you to go out and try to be an infidel ; it
is not necessary for you to abuse the preacher. All
that is necessary for you to do is simply to do noth-
ing. You are in the current. Do nothing just a
little longer, and it will sweep you on, on, on over
the awful cataract into the bottomless abyss of
The Holy Ghost Felt Upon Us
I SHALL never forget a day at Northfield, July 8,
1894. It was a Sunday. I was preaching in the
church to the college students gathered there from
Yale, Harvard and other eastern colleges. I was
speaking about the Holy Spirit. I took out my
watch as I closed. It was precisely twelve o'clock.
I said, " Young men, Mr. Moody has invited us up
to the mountainside this afternoon at three o'clock
to pray for the Holy Ghost. It is three hours to
three o'clock. Three hours is a long time to wait.
You don't need to wait three hours. Go to your
hotel, go to your tent, go out into the woods, go
anywhere alone with God, meet the conditions, and
ask God for the baptism with the Holy Spirit, and
you will receive it before three o'clock." Three
o'clock came, and four hundred and fifty-six students
gathered in front of Mr. Moody's mother's house.
She was still living then. I know the number, be-
cause Paul Moody counted them as they passed
through the gate. We passed down through the
fields, and started up the mountainside. After going
part way up, Mr. Moody said, " We don't need to
108 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
go farther now ; sit down here." We sat dow^n on
the logs and on the pine needles. Mr. Moody said,
" Has any one anything to say before we pray ? "
One after another — about seventy-five students, rose
and said in substance, " Mr. Moody, I could not wait
till three o'clock. I have been alone with God and
I believe I have a right to say I have received the
After these testimonies were over, Mr. Moody
said, " I can't see any reason why we should not
kneel down here and pray for the Holy Spirit to
fall upon us as definitely as He fell upon the apos-
tles on the day of Pentecost. Let us pray." Some
of us knelt. Some of us lay upon our faces, and we
began to pray. As we had been going up the moun-
tainside, thick clouds had been gathering over us.
As we began to pray, the clouds broke and the rain-
drops commenced to fall through the overhanging
pine needles. Another cloud had been gathering
over Northfield for ten days — a cloud big with the
blessing and power of God ; and as we prayed, our
prayers seemed to pierce that cloud, and the Holy
Ghost fell upon us.
An Untutored Savage Silences a Man of Science
Years ago a great Frenchman of science was
crossing the Arabian desert under the leadership
of an Arab guide. When the sun was setting in
the west, the guide spread his praying-rug down
upon the ground and began to pray. When he had
finished the man of science stood looking at him
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 109
with scorn, and asked him what he was doing. He
said, "I am praying." "Praying! praying to
whom?" "To Allah, to God." The man of
science said, " Did you ever see God ? " " No."
" Did you ever hear God ? " " No." " Did you ever
put out your hand and touch God or feel God ? "
" No." " Then you are a great fool to believe in a
God you never saw, a God you never heard, a God
you never put out your hand and touched." The
Arab guide said nothing. They retired for the
night, rose early the next morning, and a little be-
fore sunrise they went out from the tent. The
man of science said to the Arab guide, " There was
a camel round this tent last night." With a
peculiar look in his eye, the Arab said, " Did you
see the camel?" "No." "Did you hear the
camel ? " " No." " Did you put out your hand
and touch the camel ? " " No." " Well, you are
a strange man of science to believe in a camel you
never saw, a camel you never heard, a camel you
never put out your hands and touched." "Oh,
but," said the other, " here are his footprints all
around the tent." Just then the sun was rising in
all its oriental splendour, and with a graceful wave
of his barbaric hand, the guide said, " Behold the
footprints of the Creator, and know that there is a
God." I think the untutored savage had the best
of the argument.
110 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
Worth More Than a Bank Account
Here is a working man who goes home on
Saturday from the place where he works. His
wife meets him at the door, expecting him to hand
over the week's wages — very happy at the end of
another week's work. As she opens the door she
sees a very anxious look in his face. She says,
" John, what is the matter ? " " Mary, I am dis-
charged. The place is shutting down. We are
all discharged. There are thousands of men out
of employment in London. I don't know of any-
thing I can find to do. I have no money in the
bank, and I don't know how I am going to take
care of you and the children till work begins
again." And the man sits down and buries his
face in his hands, and is filled with utter despair.
Another man goes home from the same mill.
His wife meets him at the door, but there is no
anxious look. There is a serious look. She says,
" John, what is the matter ? " and he tells her the
same story up to a certain point. " The place is
shut down; we are all out of work. I have no
money put away for a rainy day, and I don't know
where to find employment. I don't know how to
keep you and the children from starvation, but,
Mary, we believe in God and we believe in the
Bible." He hangs up his overcoat, takes out the
family Bible, opens it at the twenty-third Psalm,
and reads, "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall
not want ; " turns to the sixth chapter of Matthew,
the thirty-third verse, "Seek ye first the King-
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 111
dom of God and His righteousness, and all these
things shall be added unto you ; " turns to
Philippians, fourth chapter and the nineteenth
verse, " My God shall supply all your need ac-
cording to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
" Mary," he says, " these are promises of God. I
don't know how we shall be taken care of, but I
know we shall, for these promises are sure."
I had rather have that in a world of change
such as you and I live in, where a man is a million-
aire to-day and a pauper to-morrow than to have
the biggest bank account in England.
Take another illustration. The man goes home
this time light-hearted, his week's wages in his
pocket, thinking how it will gladden his wife as he
hands it over. As he reaches the door, his wife
hurries to the door. The anxious look is on her
face now. He says, " Mary, what has happened ? "
"Oh," she says, "John, little Minnie is very ill.
She has a high fever. You know they are having
scarlet fever around the corner. I am afraid she
has it." He hurries in, lays his hand upon the
fevered brow, looks at those parched lips and that
curious looking skin. He says, "Mary, you are
right; she has the scarlet fever." He sits down
crushed. He has nowhere to turn, for a man who
is godless cannot turn to God.
The other man — the Christian man — goes home.
His wife meets him at the door. He sees an earnest
look in her face. He asks the same question and
gets the same answer up to a certain point — that
she is afraid the little daughter has the scarlet
112 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
fever. He goes in, lays his hand upon the fevered
brow, looks at the symptoms, and sees beyond a
doubt that his little child has the terrible plague.
He says, " Mary, she has the scarlet fever, but we
believe in a God that answers prayer, and I believe
that if we pray He will raise up our child. But, if
in His infinite wisdom. He sees fit to take her from
us, we have brought her up to be a Christian, and
for her to die will simply be to depart and be with
Christ, where we shall meet her again." He opens
his Bible and reads Psalm 50 : 15 : " Call upon Me
in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and
thou shalt glorify Me." He kneels down and
prays ; arises and opens his Bible again at John
14 : 1 and reads, " Let not your heart be troubled :
ye believe in God, believe also in Me. In My
Father's house are many mansions : if it were not
so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place
for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again, and receive you unto Myself,
that where I am there ye may be also."
That is something wprth having in a world such
as you and I live in, and I would rather have that
than the biggest bank account on earth.
Whom the Lord Loveth He Chasteneth
A GENTLEMAN met me on the street one day
and said, " Would you like to take a drive ? " We
went out to a cemetery, and came to a place where
there were three graves. One was long; it was
the grave of an adult, and in it his wife was buried.
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 113
In the two short graves were the bodies of his two
daughters, all he had in the world except a baby-
boy. We knelt and prayed by the side of the
graves. As we were driving back to town the
gentleman said, " I pity the man that God has not
chastened." What did he mean? He meant that
he had been a man of the world, an upright man,
but not a Christian. One night when he came home
his wife said, '* Porter, one of the children is sick."
In a few days she was cold and dead ; and, as she lay
in the casket, he knelt down, and promised God to
take Christ as his Lord and Master. But he lied to
God, and forgot all about his resolution. Some
time after he came home again, and his wife said,
" Porter, the other child is sick." In a few days
she also lay cold and dead. Once more he knelt
down and promised God that he would become
a Christian, and Icejpt his word. All the holiest,
deepest, purest joys of life had come from his great
*'I Am a Scoundrel''
One night in my own church in Chicago in the
after-meeting, a gentleman who sat in the second
row called me to his side. He said, " I want to ask
you a question. I am not a Christian. I make no
pretensions to being a Christian, but I lead a moral,
upright, honest life, and the question I want to ask
you is this, if I don't accept Christ, leading the
moral, upright life that I do, will I be sent to hell
just because I don't accept Christ ? " I said, " You
114 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
certainly will." " Well, all I have to say is, it isn't
fair." I said, " Wait. Suppose you had a mother,
who was one of the noblest women that ever
lived." He said, "I have." " Suppose that mother
loved you with even greater love than a mother
ordinarily loves her son." He said, " She does."
" Suppose that mother would be willing to lay
down her life and to die for you." He said, " She
" Yery well," I said, " having such a mother as
you say you have, suppose you should do your duty
by every one else, your duty by your wife, by your
children, by those you are connected with in busi-
ness, by your neighbours, by the state, your duty
by every one else but that old mother that loves
you, that has suffered for you, that would be willing
to die for you ; now suppose you turned her out on
the street to starve and perish, what would you say
of yourself ? " He said, " I should say that I was
" Yery well," I said, " Jesus Christ is holier,
better, nobler than any mother that ever lived.
Jesus Christ not only loved you enough to die for
you. He actually did die for you. Now suppose
you do your duty by wife, by children, by neigh-
bours, by business associates, but utterly fail in your
duty to Jesus Christ, what would you say of your-
self ? " He had sense enough to see the point. He
said, " I am a scoundrel."
Be honest. You will have to be honest some
day. Be honest with God, be honest with yourself.
The claims of Christ are higher than the claims of
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 115
the whole race, and if we do our duty by every fel-
low being and fail in our duty towards Christ, we
fail at the principal point.
** Earth has no Sorrow That Jesus Cannot
Some time ago, in America, there were a gentle-
man and his wife who had a very happy home.
The man was prosperous in business in the city of
Cleveland, but there came a reverse in business, and
the man lost everything he had in the world. The
home was broken up ; his eldest daughter had to
go out to work for a living. His two boys were
too young to work. His wife had to leave him and
take the two boys and go away to one of the
southern states to the home of a sister, and act as
housekeeper to make a living for herself and boys.
The father went to Chicago, to see if he could not
retrieve his fortunes. He met with success and
cheering letters full of promise of a brighter day
were sent to the wife in the south. But one day
she received a telegraphic dispatch saying that her
husband was very ill, and that she had better come
on to Chicago at once. She took the train. It was
a long journey. She reached Chicago at night and
went to the hospital to which her husband had been
By some mistake, the authorities of the hospital
said to her, " You cannot see your husband to-night ;
come at nine o'clock to-morrow morning, and you
can see him." With a heavy heart she went to the
116 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
place where she stopped, and went back to the
hospital at nine the next morning. As she rang
the bell, they met her at the door and said, " Your
husband died last night." She took him out and
buried him, and so great was her loneliness and
her sorrow, and so frequent her weeping, that it
affected her eyesight. She went to a physician.
The physician told her that it was not very serious,
that she could go back to Mississippi and her eyes
would soon be well. She supposed that he was a
regular practitioner but she found out too late that
he was a Christian Science physician, and was tr}^-
ing to cure her by making her think she was not ill.
She went back to Mississippi. Her eyes got
worse and worse. She went to a regular physician.
He said, " Madam, your case is hopeless. If you
had come to me a few weeks ago, I could have
helped you. Your trouble has gone so far now
that there is absolutely no hope for you. You will
be totally blind." In a few days she was totally
blind — home broken up, husband buried, eyesight
gone. She came on to Chicago. She dropped into
our church ; she heard the gospel, she heard about
Jesus. She came to Jesus with all her overwhelm-
ing sorrow, and Jesus gave her rest.
If you come to the prayer-meeting at our church
any Friday night, you will see sitting there a
woman with a refined, beautiful face, dressed in
black, eyes closed, perfectly sightless, but in that
face you will see a serener and profounder joy than
you have ever seen in many faces. Yery likely,
you will see her rise to her feet in the course of
AlsTECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 117
the meeting with a face radiant with the sunshine
of heaven, and tell how wonderfully God has
blessed her ; and you may hear her say (what she
often says) that she thanks God she has lost her
sight, for out of her great trouble she was brought
to Christ and found a joy that she never knew be-
There is a place where there is a cure for every
sorrow. That place is at the feet of Jesus.
Hunted to Death b^ Her Own Conscience
Oyer in Canada there was a young girl leading
a quiet life in the country. Keport came to her of
the greater gaiety of city life in Toronto. She said,
" I will go to the city ; it is too quiet here in the
country. I will go to the city of Toronto, and en-
ter into a life of gaiety." She went to Toronto ;
she entered upon her gay life, and was soon caught,
as so many another girl has been caught, in the
whirlpool of sin, and went down into a life of
shame. Days passed by ; her conscience did not
torment her very much. One night the Fisk Jubi-
lee Singers were singing in Toronto, and a friend
asked her to go and hear them sing. So she went
to the church to hear the Fisk Jubilee Singers sing,
and she enjoyed the concert very much until these
black singers came to that song, the weird refrain
of which runs :
" My mother once, my mother twice,
My mother she'll rejoice.
In heaven once, in heaven twice,
My mother she'll rejoice."
118 ANECDOTES AKD ILLUSTEATIONS
As the strains of that refrain came floating over
the heads of the audience up to where that poor girl
sat in the gallery, it brought back recollections
of her childhood. She was a little child again of
four years of age. It was evening time. Her
mother sat by the table in the sitting-room. The
lamp stood upon the table, and the open Bible was
in her mother's lap, and the mother was teaching
her, an innocent golden-headed child of four, how
to pray. The concert went on. Again the Fisk
Jubilee Singers came to that refrain :
" M}'^ mother once, my mother twice,
My mother she'll rejoice.
In heaven once, in heaven twice,
My mother she'll rejoice."
The hot blood rushed to the girl's cheeks. She
sprang from her seat in the gallery. Her friend
tried to detain her, but she broke away and rushed
down the gallery, down the stairway, out on to the
streets of Toronto. On and on and on, as fast as
her feet, now growing weary, could carry her ;
on and on and on, beneath the flickering gaslights
of Toronto; on and on and on, out into the open
country ; and the next morning, when a farmer
came to his w^hite farmhouse door, there lay the
poor girl clutching the threshold — dead. Hunted
to death by her own conscience.
Woe be to the men and women whose conscience
wakes up, who have no hiding place from their own
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 119
Only Two Boys
A CHILD can bear witness for Christ. One night
I wenii out to a suburb near Chicago. It was a bitter
cold night. After the meeting I said, " Anybody
that will accept Christ to-night, stand up." I saw
something big begin to get up, and it rose higher
and higher and higher, and broader and broader
and thicker and thicker — he weighed two hundred
and ninety pounds. An enormous man. I said,
" I have caught a pretty big fish to-night," and I
had, for he has been an excellent worker ever since,
but I caught two little fish that night — they looked
little but they turned out big. Before leaving the
building I turned up my coat collar and put on my
gloves ready to go out into the cold. I got about
half way down the aisle and I saw two boys, I tliink
one was about twelve and the other fourteen years
old. I always like boys. Almost everybody had
gone, and I turned and said, " Good-evening, boys.
What are you waiting for ? " " AYaiting to talk
with you, Mr. Torrey." " What do you want to
talk with me about ? " They said, " We want you
to tell us how to be Christians." I turned down
my coat collar and took off my gloves and sat down
and explained to them the way to be a Christian.
They understood it, and they took Christ. After we
got up, I said, '' Boys, what are your names ? "
" Henry Harris," " Charlie Harris." I wrote them
down in my book.
A few nights after there was a young lady sitting
in the meeting, and while I preached I made up my
120 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
mind that she was not a Christian. When I got
through preaching I went down and said, " Good-
evening, are you a Christian ? " *' No, I am not a
Christian." " Would you like to become a Chris-
tian ? " " Yes." " Would you become a Christian
if I showed you how ? " " Yes." She sat down,
and I took my Bible and showed her how to be a
Christian. Then I asked for her name. " Miss
Harris." " Where do you live ? " I wrote it
down, and I said over and over to myself, *f Harris,
Harris ; where have I heard that name ? " I
turned back in my little book and I saw the names
of these two boys. I said, "I had two boys
here the other night with the same name as
yours and they live where you do." " Oh, yes,"
she said, " they are my brothers. They brought
A few nights after a lady came, and while I
talked she just sat and listened, and when the meet-
ing was over I stepped up to her and said, " Are
you a Christian ? " "I am not what you call a
Christian. I call myself a Universalist." " Are
you saved ? " " Not what you would call saved."
" Would you like to become a Christian to-night ?
Would you become a real Christian if I showed you
how ? " We sat down, and she took Christ and we
had prayer together. Then I said, " What is your
name, please ? " " Mrs. Harris." " I had two boys
by that name the other night, who live just where
you do." " They were my two boys. They would
not give me any rest until I came."
The last meeting was in a great big skating rink,
^ ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 121
and one night a little boy, with long chestnut curls,
came up to me. I said, "Good-evening, my boy,
what do you want ? " "I want to become a Chris-
tian." I said, " Why do you want to become a
Christian ? " " Because I am a sinner." He did
not look a bit like it — he looked more like an angel
— but he was right ; he was a sinner. " We have
all sinned and come short of the glory of God." I
sat down and took my Bible and turned to Isaiah
53:6; " All we like sheep have gone astray." " Is
that true of you, my boy ? " " Yes." *• What are
you then?" "I am lost." "We have turned
every one to his own way." "Is that true of
you ? " " Yes, sir." " Then what are you ? " "I
am a lost sinner." " The Lord hath laid on Him
the iniquity of us all." I said, " On whom ? "
He said, " On Jesus." " Yery well, what is all you
have to do then to become a Christian ? " " Just to
believe on Jesus." "Will you do it?" "I will."
"Let's kneel down." And he knelt down. I
prayed and he prayed, and when he had finished I
said, " What are you, my boy ? " He said, " I am
saved ; my sins are all forgiven." " How do you
know that?" "Because Jesus says so." "Sup-
pose after you go home to-night you forget and do
something you ought not to do, what will you do
about it? " He said, " I will tell Jesus." "What
will He do ? " " He will forgive me." " How do
you know that ? " " Because He says so. " I think
that boy had a better idea of salvation than some
grown-up men. "Now; my boy, what is your
name ? " " George Harris." The last one of the
122 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
family. These two little boys that came out that
first night brought the whole family to Jesus.
A Lost Diamond
A QUAINT preacher of the olden days in our
country, the Eev. Dan Baker, puts the danger of
delay in the way of a story. He tells of a man
who was crossing the ocean. He was leaning over
the side of the vessel ; it was a bright sunny day,
and not a wave broke the surface of the water, just
a little ripple here and there kissed by the rays of
the sun. And the man, as he leaned over the rail
of the vessel, was tossing something in the air,
something which, when it fell through the sunlight,
sparkled with singular radiance and glory ; and he
watched it so eagerly as he tossed it up and caught it
as it fell. He tossed it up again and again and again,
and it threw out its marvellous light as it fell through
the sunlight. At last an onlooker came and said,
"May I ask what that is that you are tossing up
so carelessly?" "Certainly," he replied, "look at
it, it is a diamond." " Is it of much value ? " asked
the onlooker. " Yes, of very great value. See the
color of it, see the size of it. In fact, all I have in
the world is in that diamond. I am going to a new
country to seek my fortune, and I have sold every-
thing I have, and have put it into that diamond, so
as to get it into a portable shape." " Then if it is
so valuable, is it not an awful risk you are running
in tossing it up so carelessly ? " " No risk at all.
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 123
I have been doing this for the last half-hour," said
the man. " But there might come a last time," said
the onlooker ; but the man laughed and threw it
up again, and caught it as it fell, and again and
again, and once more, and it flashed and blazed with
glory as it fell through the sunlight, and he watches
it so eagerly as it falls. Ah ! but this time it is too
far out. He reaches as far as he can over the rail
of the vessel, but he cannot reach far enough.
There is a little plash in the ocean. He leans far
over the rail and tries to penetrate with his eager
gaze the unfathomable depths of deep blue ocean.
Then cries, " Lost ! lost ! lost ! All I have in the
world is lost ! "
You say, " N'o man would be so great a fool as
that ; that story is not true." That story is true,
and the man is here to-night. Thou art the man !
That ocean is eternity ; that vessel, life ; that dia-
mond, your soul, that soul of such priceless value
that Christ died to save it. And you have been
trifling with it ! I come to you to-night and say,
" My friend, what is that in your hand which you
are playing with so carelessly ? " You say, " It is
my soul." " Is it worth much ? " " Worth much ?
More than the whole round earth, ' for what shall it
profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his
own soul ? ' " " But don't you think you are taking
an awful risk ? " " Oh, no," you say, " I have been
doing this for the last five years, for the last ten, fif-
teen, twenty years." " Yes, but you might do it once
too often." " Oh, no," you sa}^, and to-night once
more you throw it up. But you may throw it up
124 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS
once too often ; it will fall too far out, beyond your
reach ; there will be a plash, and you will try to
look after it ; not into the impenetrable depths of
the blue ocean, but into the unfathomable depths
of the bottomless pit as it sinks and sinks and sinks,
and you will cry, " Lost ! lost ! lost ! my soul is lost I "
That may be your cry some day. Come to-night,
before it is too late, and put your soul where it will
be everlastingly safe, in the keeping of the Son
''We Shall be Like Him''
How well I remember one man — I spent more
time and more money on the salvation of that man
than on any man I ever tried to lead to Christ. It
was very discouraging. He came to me one night
away down in sin, about fifty years of age. He
came of a good family. He had been well educated,
but now he was a common day laborer when he was
sober — a complete wreck. He came into a meet-
ing. When almost everybody had gone he came
up and said, " I want to ask you something alone."
I said, "Come this way." He leaned over and
whispered, " Mr. Torrey " (I had never met him be-
fore that night), " do you think Jesus Christ can
save me ? " I said, " Jesus Christ can save any-
body." He said, " Do you really think He can save
a man as far down as I am ? " I said, " Jesus Christ
can save anybody." " Well," he said, " I will take
For a little while he went on well. One day I
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 125
was to go to a dinner at a house where he was in-
vited also. My wife and I had nearly reached the
house when, at the bottom of the block of houses,
we saw a young fellow running out of the house up
the street. He came to me and said, " Mr. Torrey,
C. is drunk." My wife thought very much of him,
and she turned to me and almost burst into tears
and said, " Oh, Archie, whom can we trust ? " I
replied in one word, " God I " " You cannot trust
C. You cannot trust any man, but you can trust
We got to the house and found him raging. He
wanted to get out, but they had locked him in a
room. I went into the room and stood between
him and the door. He was a great, big, burly fel-
low, and I said to him, " You cannot go out." He
cried, " Let me out." I said, " You cannot go out.
You are not going to get out until you are sober."
He said, " That is not fair. You know I would not
strike you. You know I could throw you, and you
know I won't touch you." I said, " You cannot go
out." At last he lost all control of himself, and he
made a rush for me, and there were heads and arms
flying around the room for about half a minute.
Then there was a sudden crash, and I was sitting
on top. He was a much stronger man than I, one
of the most powerful men I ever knew. I have
heard that man when he was angry, grind his teeth
so that you could hear it across this hall. I have
seen that man, when under the influence of liquor,
strike an iron fence with his bare fist. It was God
that gave me the victory. He was subdued for the
126 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
time being. I held him there until he got calmed
down. " Now," I said, " I have to call and see a
dying woman. I cannot leave you here. I cannot
very well take you to see a dying woman, but you
have got to go along." I took him along as far as
the door of the house where the woman w^as dying,
and I said, " Sit down on that threshold, and wait
there until I come." When I came back he was fast
asleep. I got him home all right.
This sort of thing went on for months and years.
I moved to Chicago. I sent for him to come to
Chicago, where I got a position for him. He did
first-rate for a while, and then he got drunk, and he
came to see me and he said : " That was not fair
at all the time you threw me in Minneapolis. You
know you cannot throw me." I said, " I am not
going to." That sort of thing went on for months
and years ; but I made up my mind that, by the
grace of God, no matter what it cost in money, and
no matter what it cost in time and patience, I was
going to see that man saved. For some time I
lost sight of him. One night I was in my pulpit
in Chicago, preaching. I had already begun the
service when I saw C. coming into the building.
I went down to where he was sitting, and said,
" Good-evening, C, I am glad to see you." He
stayed to the after-meeting. The next day I was
going to Minneapolis, and I took him along with
me. He said, " Mr. Torrey, there is one thing that
has cured me. I thought you would never want to
see me again, but I hardly had got into the build-
ing, and had sat down away in the back, when you
ANECDOTES AITD ILLUSTEATIONS 127
walked down from the platform and came to speak
to a miserable tramp like me. That was too
much ! " Do you know, from that day C. got his
feet on the Rock !
Years passed, I was in Minneapolis again. I was in
a big restaurant, when I saw C. come in at the far-
ther end, and I went up to him. He said, " I was
looking for you. I heard you were in town. Don't
laugh at me." I said, " I am not going to laugh at
you. What's up ? " He said, " I want to ask you
something. Don't laugh at me." I said, " I am
not going to laugh at you. What do you want ? "
He said, " I want to be married. I am engaged to
a right good Christian woman and I want you to
marry us." I said, " I am your man. I'll do it."
I married him. You say it was pretty risky, but
his feet had been on the Rock now for a good while.
He married that Christian woman, and they built
up a happy Christian home.
The other day my wife wrote to a friend of ours,
who had gone to Minneapolis, to know how C. was
getting on — I think he is her pet of all the drunk-
ards who have come under our roof. This lady
wrote back, " He is doing well. He is leading a
And, friends, the time is coming when poor,
Wrecked, ruined C. transformed by the power of the
returning Christ will be like Him, " For when He
shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see
Him as He is ; " and when this man that I wept
over and worked for and spent money on all these
years, when he meets his Christ, and his salvation is
128 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
indeed complete, he will be so like his Master that
we can hardly tell the two apart.
Killed by Shame
Oh, the awful heart-breaking agony of shame.
In America, in New York State, we had a cashier
in a bank, who was in a hurry to get rich, so he ap-
propriated the funds of the bank and invested them,
intending to pay them back. But his investment
was a failure. For a long time he kept the books
so as to blind the bank examiner, but one day when
the bank examiner was going over the books he de-
tected the embezzlement. He called in the cashier
— he had to acknowledge his defalcation. He was
arrested, tried, and sent to State's prison. He had
a wife and a lovely child, a sweet angel-like little
girl. Some time after his arrest and imprisonment
the little child came home sobbing with a breaking
heart. " Oh," she said, " mother, I can never go
back to that school again. Send for my books.
" Oh," she said, " my darling," thinking it was some
childish whim, " of course you will go back." " ^N'o,"
she said, " mother, I can never go back. Send for
my books." She said, " Darling, what is the mat-
ter ? " She said, " Another little girl said to me to-
day, ' Your father is a thief.^ " Oh, the cruel stab !
The mother saw that she could not go back to
school. The wound was fatal. That fair blossom
began to fade. A physician was called in, but it
surpassed all the possibilities of his art. The child
faded and faded, until they laid her upon her bed,
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS 129
and the physician said, " Madam, I must tell you
this is a case in which I am powerless ; the child's
heart has given way with the agony of the wound.
Your child must die." The mother went in and
said to her dying child, " Darling, is there anything
you would like to have me do for you ? " " Oh,"
she said, " yes, mother, send for father. Let him
come home, and lay his head down on the pillow
beside mine as he used to do." Ah ! but that was
just what could not be done. The father was be-
hind iron bars. They sent to the governor of the
State, and he said, '* I have no power in the matter."
They sent to the warden of the prison. He said,
" I have no power in the matter."
But hearts were so touched that they trumped up
a case and summoned him as a witness. So they
made arrangements whereby the father was suffered
to come home under a deputy- warden. He reached
his home late at night, and entered his house. The
physician was waiting. He said, " I think you had
better go in to-night, for I am afraid your child will
not live till morning." The father went to the door
and opened it softly. The child looked quickly up.
" Oh," she said, " I knew it was you, father. I knew
you would come. I have been praying God to send
you. Father, come and lay your head beside mine
upon the pillow just as you used to do." And the
strong man went and laid his head upon the pillow,
and the child lovingly patted his cheek, and died.
Killed by shame. Men and women, hell is the place
of shame, where everybody is dishonoured.
130 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
A Well-Known Entertainer Becomes a. Soul
One night in London two men went to the theatre
and presented passes for entrance. For some reason
or other, the man at the door did not recognize them
and the passes were refused. One of the men was
a very prominent entertainer and thought he was
well-known in the theatrical profession everywhere,
and this refusal to accept the passes irritated him
greatly, and he left the theatre with his friend in a
rage. They took the Kensington Avenue bus, and
as they were passing the Koyal Albert Hall, he
noticed the signs of the mission. He remembered
he had promised his sister that he would come and
hear me, so he suggested to his friend that they get
off the bus and come into the hall that night. His
friend consented and in they came. He was not
much interested in the singing, though he himself
did a good deal of work in his profession along that
line, but the sermon went right to his heart. He
left the Koyal Albert Hall to think the matter over.
His sister, who v^as an earnest Christian woman,
had left on his mantelpiece a little tract (a report of
a sermon on " Hell " that I had delivered in Lon-
don). He took it down and read it. It brought
him under deepest conviction of sin, and he then and
there fell on his knees and surrendered himself to
The next night he came to see me at the Eoyal
Albert Hall, and told me of his decision to accept
Christ. He made a public profession that night be-
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 131
fore the great crowd in the hall. He told me he
could not go on and take the entertainments for
which he was booked the next day at St. George's
Music Hall. He said, '' I cannot go and entertain
those people and make them laugh when I know
they are going to hell." He tried to get into com-
munication with the stage manager, but could get
no reply from him either by letter or telegraph.
He went down to the Hall and asked to be let off
from his engagement. The manager replied, "I
will let you off on one condition, and one condition
only, and that is that you will go out and tell the
waiting crowd why you are not performing." He
said, " I will do that." He went out on the stage
and said, " Friends, I cannot give my entertainment
this afternoon. I was converted last night at the
Torrey-Alexander mission." The crowd burst into
applause, thinking it was a new joke that he was
getting off. He stopped the applause and said, " It
is no joke. I have been converted. I cannot stand
here and make you people laugh when I know that
many of you are on the road to hell." The audience
stopped their applause and became serious. Many
of them were touched by his earnestness and his
bravery. At least one woman was converted then
and there in that audience.
When he went off the stage, the manager offered
the hall for the use of Gospel meetings the next
week. He accepted the offer. Meetings were held
in that music hall all through the week, and there
were many interesting conversions, including at least
one person connected with the nobility. He was
132 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
afterwards invited ail over England and Scotland
and Ireland and Wales to bold evangelistic meet-
ings. A great London magazine had an article upon
his conversion and said, "Two or three such con-
versions as that would move all London."
Guilty of High Treason
OiTE day in Maryborough, over in Australia, a
fine-looking man came to see me, an unusually fine-
looking man, with splendid physique and dome-like
forehead. He said, " I want to talk with you," and
I said, " Yery well, take a seat, sir." He said, " I
want to know what you have against me ? "
" What I have against you," I exclaimed, " I don't
know you." " I mean this ; I am not a Christian ;
I don't pretend to be a Christian, but I am a moral,
upright man, and no one can deny it. Now," he
said, " I would like you to tell me what you have
against me." I said, " You are not a Christian ? "
" No, sir," he replied. " You have not taken Jesus
Christ as your personal Saviour, and surrendered
your life to Him as your Lord and Master, and
confessed Him as such before the world, and given
your life to Him ? " " No, sir," he replied.
" Then," I said, " I charge you, sir, with high trea-
son against your King. Jesus Christ is your King,
by Divine appointment, and I charge you, sir"
— and I looked him right in the eye — " I charge
you, sir, with the crime of high treason against
your divinely appointed King." A dark cloud
came over the man's face. He got up, and left the
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 133
room, scarcely saying a word. As he went out the
door he never looked back. He walked down the
long walk without ever looking back. Out of the
front gate, never looking back.
Months passed away ; we had been over to Tas-
mania and conducted a mission there, and had re-
turned, and I was preaching in Ballarat, about
forty miles away from Maryborough. After the
service, a fine-looking man came to me, and said,
" Do you remember me ? " I knew his face, but I
could not remember where I had seen him. I said,
" I have seen you somewhere, but I cannot place
you." He said, " Do you remember charging a
man with high treason ? " I said, " I have charged
many a man with high treason." " Yes," he said ;
"but do you remember charging a specific man
with high treason?" Then he began to tell me
his story, and I commenced to gather who he was.
He said, " I am the man, and I have come way to
Ballarat, sir, to tell you that you will never charge
me with high treason again ; " and he held out his
hand, and I held out mine, and he took mine in his
mighty grip — and it was a mighty grip !— and he
said, " Down ! " and he dropped on his knees, and I
dropped on to mine, and he said, " Lord Jesus, I
hand in my allegiance ; I give up my treason ; I
take Thee as my King."
You men ought to do it to-night. He is your
King, and every man and woman among you that
does not accept Him and acknowledge Him as such
to-night I charge you with high treason against
134 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
How D. L. Mood:^ Became a, World-Wide
Mr. Moody once told me this story long after
the incident occurred. He went over to London in
1872, when his church lay in ashes, and while his
new church in Chicago was building, not in order
to preach, but to listen to others who, he thought,
could preach better than he. One Sunday he was
prevailed upon to preach. He got up that Sunday
morning, and tried to preach. " I never had such
a hard time preaching in my life. Everything was
perfectly dead. I said to myself as I tried to
preach, * What a fool I was to consent to preach.
I came here to listen, and here I am preaching.' As
I drew towards the end of my sermon, I felt a
sense of relief that I would be through in a few
minutes. Then," he said, "the awful thought
came to me, ' You have got to do it again to-night.'
I tried to get out of my night meeting, but I could
not. I had promised to preach that night and I
must keep my word.
" I went back to preach that night. The build-
ing was packed with people. There was a new at-
mosphere. The powers of an unseen world seemed
to have fallen upon the audience. As I drew
towards the close, I became emboldened to give out
an invitation ; so when I finished my sermon, I
said, ' If there is a man or woman here who will
to-night accept Jesus Christ, please stand up.'
About five hundred people arose to their feet. I
thought there must be some mistake, and I asked
ANECDOTES AI^D ILLUSTEATIONS 135
the people to be seated. Then I repeated the in-
vitation in a stronger form and they all arose again.
Again I asked them to be seated, still thinking
there must be some mistake. ^Now,' I said, 'if
there are any of you who really mean to accept
Christ to-night, please pass into the vestry and your
pastor and I will meet you there.' They com-
menced to stream in through the two doors. I said,
* Mr. L., who are these people ? ' He said, " Don't
know.' 'Are they your people, Mr. L.?' 'Some
of them.' ' Are they Christians ? ' ' Not so far as
" We went into the vestry and I stood up and gave
out a stronger invitation, and I asked all that really
meant to accept Christ then and there to stand up.
They all arose, about five hundred of them. I
asked them to be seated again. I still thought
there must be some mistake, so I said, ' I am going
to leave London to-morrow for Dublin, but your
pastor will be here to-morrow night. If you really
mean it come back and meet him.' I went to Dub-
lin. No sooner had I got there than I received a
telegram from Mr. L. It was Tuesday morning
and he said, ' There was a bigger crowd out Mon-
day night than Sunday. A great revival has
broken out in my church. You must come back
and help me.' "
Mr. Moody hurried back to London. There was
a revival there that added hundreds of souls to the
churches of North London. That was before he
came here in 1873 for his great work — his introduc-
tion to England.
136 ANECDOTES AI^D ILLUSTRATIONS
When he had finished the story I said to him,
" Mr. Moody, somebody must have been praying."
" Oh," he said, " didn't I tell you that ? That is
the point of the story. There was a woman in the
congregation that morning who had an invalid sis-
ter. She went home and said to her, * "Who do you
think preached for us this morning ? ' and her sis-
ter guessed all the preachers who were in the habit
of exchanging with Mr. L., and she said, ^No, Mr.
Moody from Chicago.' When she said that, the
invalid turned pale. She said, ^ What, Mr. Moody
from Chicago ? I read about him some time ago in
an America paper, and I have been praying God to
send him to London and to our church. If I had
known he was going to preach this morning, I
would have eaten no breakfast. I would have
spent the whole time in prayer. Now, sister, go
out of the room, lock the door, send me no dinner ;
no matter who comes, don't let them see me. I am
going to spend the whole afternoon and evening in
prayer.' " And while Mr. Moody stood in the pulpit
where all was coldness and death in the morning,
that bedridden saint was holding him up in prayer
before God. And God, who delights to answer
prayer, poured out His Spirit. While the multitude
saw Mr. Moody, God was looking at that bedridden
Of Course There's a. Hell
Another reason why I believe that there is " a
wrath to come," is that mj common sense says SQ.
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 137
Look here, here is a man who grows rich by over-
reaching his neighbours, grows rich by robbing the
widow and the orphan. He does it by legal means.
Oh, yes, he is too cunning to come within reach of
the law. But he grows rich by making other people
poor. He increases in wealth and is honoured and
respected. When he goes down the streets in his
magnificent equipage, the gentleman on the streets
turns and says to his son: "There goes Mr. So-
and-so, a man of rare business ability, a man who is
now one of our leading men of capital. I hope, my
boy, when you grow up you will be as successful as
he." He lives in honour, dies in honour, dies re-
spected by everybody — almost. And the victims
of his rapacity, the victims of his oppression, the
victims of his dishonesty lie yonder, bleaching in
the potter's field, where they have gone prematurely
because of his robbery. Do you mean to tell me
that there will not be a day when these men who
have lived on wealth wrung from the poor widow
and orphan w^ll not have to go before a righteous
God whose eyes are not blinded by a few thousands
or by millions given in philanthropy or to the
Church and answer for the infamy of their conduct
and receive what they never received in this world,
the meet reward of their dishonesty ? Of course
there is a judgment day ; of course there is a hell.
If there is not, then there ought to be. Look here,
here is a man who goes through life, never giving
God one thought from one year's end to another.
He leaves God out of his business, leaves God out
of his social life^ leaves God out of his study, leaves
138 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
God out of his pleasures. God's holy day, the
Sabbath, he makes a day of selfish pleasure. God's
holy Book, the Bible, he never opens, or even
scorns. God's holy Son, Jesus, he tramples under
foot. And thus the man lives, and thus he dies,
going through the world ignoring the God that
made him, and gave His Son to die upon the Cross
to save him. Do you mean to tell me that there will
not be a day when that man will have to go up
before a righteous God and answer these questions :
" What did you do with My holy day, the Sabbath ?
What did you do with My holy Word, the Bible ?
What did you do with My holy Son, Jesus ? " Of
course there is a hell, if there is not there ought to
be. And you and I need a hiding-place from it,
every one of us, for every one of us has sinned and
come short of the glory of God.
*' I Have Heard the Biggest Joke "
On our first visit to Liverpool, a well known
business man (manager of eighty-nine butcher shops)
was asked by his wife to accompany her to the
meeting in Philharmonic Hall a certain evening.
He consented to go but with no intention of keeping
his promise. He was far more interested in prize-
fights than he was in evangelistic meetings. He
was known all over the city as a patron of prize-
fights and had been a referee in many of them.
When the evening to accompany his wife to the
mission came, he found there was a great prize-
fight on. He tried to see if there wasn't some way
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIOXS 139
out of taking his wife to the hall, and slipping away
to go in to the fight. He tried being gruff to her,
but this made no difference, she held him to his
promise. Finally he said, " If I promised you to
go, of course, I'll take you." When they got to
the hall, they found the main floor reserved for
men and the women were asked to go to the
gallery. "Now," thought he, "my chance for
escape has come," so he said to his wife, " You go
into the gallery, and I'll slip in down here," but
she knew him too well to be fooled that w^ay, and
insisted that he go into the gallery with her. He
went but very much against his will. In spite of
himself, he was soon interested.
The next night he slipped out of the house with-
out saying a word to his wife and made his way to
the Philharmonic Hall alone. The singing was in
full swing when he reached the hall. Soon after
getting his seat, he heard the men singing very
"See! from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e'er snch love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown ? "
He was completely overcome. He saw Jesus Christ
on the cross for him, and forgetting the crowd and
everything about him, he fell on his knees and
sobbed. All through the evening the vision of
Christ on the cross for him was before his eyes.
He heard little of the sermon. He was occupied
with but one thing, his Saviour dying for him.
140 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIOKS
When the invitation was given out, he was the first
to come to the front and profess his acceptance of
Christ. He went home and told his wife that he
had accepted Christ. To his surprise, she was not
surprised. She said, " I knew you would do it, Ted.
I have been praying for you for years, and recently
we have been holding prayer-meetings for your
conversion, and I knew that God would answer my
He became an active worker at once. Was con-
stantly testifying in private and public to the
saving power of Christ. Wherever he could find a
mission going on, he would go and give his testi-
mony. He was much in demand among the mis-
sions and churches to go and tell the story.
A former comrade met him one day on the street
and said, " Ted, I have heard the biggest joke. I
heard you were converted." He replied, "Didn't
they tell you the rest of it ? The rest of it is the
best part of the joke." " No, what is the rest ? "
" The rest of it is, it's true," and immediately he
preached unto him Jesus.
About fifteen months afterwards we went to Liver-
pool for the second mission, and this man was one
of the best workers we had. He was constantly in
attendance and constantly working to bring others
to Christ. He bought a wagonette to bring people
to the hall, and when they would try to excuse
themselves from going, he would say, " If I drive
around for you, will you go ? " In this way he was
able to bring many of his friends and neighbours to
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 141
One night I called on him for a testimony. He
responded gladly and told in a thrilling way what
the Lord Jesus had done for him. The man who
was over him in the employ of the great firm he rep-
resented happened to be in the building and heard
this testimony. After the meeting he came to him
and said, " It is all very well your being a Christian,
but if you are going around making a fool of your-
self in this way, you will lose your position." For
a moment he was nonplussed and then replied, " I
must be true to the Lord Jesus no matter what it
costs, even if it costs me my position." It did not
cost him his position. On calm reflection his su-
perior thought better of his foolish threat.
** The Fire is in the Fifth Story, Fm in the
Years ago in Minneapolis, the leading paper was
the Minneaj^olis Tribune^ published in a magnifi-
cent six or seven-story building, the finest newspaper
building at that time in the Northwest. I had oc-
casion every week to go into the upper stories of
that building to see editorial friends. But there
was one great defect in that great building which I
had never noticed. The defect was this, that the
stairway went right round the elevator shaft, so
that if a fire broke out in the elevator shaft escape
would be cut off by the stairway as well as by the
elevator. That very thing happened. A fire broke
out in the elevator shaft, and it commenced to
sweep up the shaft, story by story, cutting off
142 a:necdotes and illustrations
escape by the elevator and cutting off escape by the
stairway as well. But they had a brave elevator
boy, who went up through the smoke a number of
times until he got a large number of men down from
the upper stories, and almost all the rest escaped by
the lire-escape outside the building or by the stair.
But away up in the sixth story there was a man, a
despatcher for the Associated Press. He was urged
to escape, but he refused to move. There he sat by
his instrument, telegraphing to all parts of the
country that the building was on fire. He could
have gone out of the building by the fire-escape, and
across the road to an instrument there, and could
have done just as well; but, like a typical news-
paper man, he wanted to do something sensational,
and so there he sat telegraphing the news. Besides
a short time before at the time of the Johnstown
flood, when the dam of the river was breaking, a
woman sat in a telegraph office below the dam tele-
graphing down the Conemaugh River to the people
at Johnstown that the dam was breaking and that
they had better flee for their lives. But she had re-
mained at her post till the dam broke and swept her
away into eternity and her bravery and self-sacrifice
had been heralded over the world and he wished
to match her brave deed. But she had done it to
save life. This man sat there quite unnecessarily,
merely because of his desire for notoriety. " I am in
the Tribune building," he telegraphed, " in the sixth
story, and the building is on fire. The fire has now
reached the second story ; I am in the sixth." In
a little while he sent another message : " The fire
THE PEOPLE DOWN IN THE STREET LOOKED ON
IN BREATHLESS SUSPENSE."
rm NEW YOkK
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 143
has now reached the third story; I am in the
sixth." Soon he telegraphed : " The fire has
reached the fourth story ; I am in the sixth." Soon
again the message came over the wires : " The fire
has reached the fifth story ; I am in the sixth."
Then he thought it was time to leave ; but, in order
to do this, he had to cross the hallway to another
room and a window to reach the fire-escape. He
went to his door and opened it, and, to his dismay,
found that the fire was not in the fifth story but the
sixth and that the hallway was full of smoke and
flame, which, the moment he opened the door, swept
into the room. He shut the door quickly. What
was he to do ?
The stairway, the elevator, and the fire-escape
were all cut off; but he was a brave man, and
would not give up easily. He went to the window
and threw it up. Down below to one side stood a
great crowd, six stories down. They could not
reach him with a ladder. They could not get un-
der him to spread a net to catch him, if he
jumped. There he stood on the window-sill, not
knowing what to do. But presently he looked up.
Above his head was a long wire guy-rope that
passed from the Tribune building to the roof of an-
other building across a wide opening. Below him
was a chasm six stories deep, but brave man that
he was, he caught hold of the guy-rope, and began
to go hand-over-hand across that chasm. The peo-
ple down in the street looked on in breathless sus-
pense. On and on he went, and then he stopped.
The people below could hardly breathe. Would he
144 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTKATIONS
let go ? No. On and on he went, and again he
stopped, and again the crowd below gasped.
"Will he let go?" He took one hand off
the wire and hung high in air hj one hand.
" Will he let go with the other hand ? Is his
strength all gone ? Or will he replace the other
hand further forward ? " The suspense is awful,
but only for a moment. The fingers of the other
hand loosen and down he comes through the air
tumbling, tumbling, tumbling through those six
stories of space, crushed into a shapeless mass below.
All through mere unnecessary neglect !
Men and women, you are in a burning building
to-night, you are in a doomed world ; but thank God,
there is a way of escape, but only one, Christ Jesus.
That way is open to-night, but no one knows how
long that way will be left open. I beg of you, do
not neglect it, and then when it is too late lay hold
on some poor guy-rope of human philosophy, and go
a little way, and then let go, and plunge, not six
stories down, but on and on and on through the
awful unfathomable depths of the gulf of eternal
despair. Men and women, turn to Christ to-night !
" How shall we escape if we neglect so great salva-
We have in America a devoted Christian woman
of culture, refinement, and position, with a heart
full of love to the most outcast and abandoned.
She has devoted much of her life and strength to
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 145
getting matrons appointed in jails and lockups for
the reception and charge of female prisoners. In
one city they said to her, " Mrs. Barney, no woman
can manage the class of women with whom we
have to do." Mrs. Barney replied, " You never had
a prisoner that I could not manage." " We would
like to have you try your hand on * Old Sal ! ' " was
the laughing reply. " I would like to," replied the
gentle lady. "Well, the next time we have her
under arrest, we will send for you."
Not long after, early one morning, Mrs. Barney
received word that " Old Sal " was under arrest,
and she hurried down to the lockup. She asked to
be shown to " Old Sal's " cell. The sergeant at the
desk protested that it was not safe. " Look there,"
he said to Mrs. Barney, pointing to four policemen
with torn clothes and faces, " there is a specimen
of * Old SaPs ' handiwork. It took those four men
to arrest her and she left them in that shape."
" Never mind," said Mrs. Barney, " show me to her
cell." " Well, if you must go an oflBcer must go
with you." "No, I will go alone. Just let the
turnkey open the door, and I will go to her cell
Before going down, Mrs. Barney asked the
sergeant at the desk for " Old Sal's " right name.
" Why," he said, " we always call her ' Old Sal.' "
"Yes," said Mrs. Barney, "but I wish her right
name. What is her right name ? " " It is a long
time since we first booked her, and we always book
her now as * Old Sal.' " " Look up her right
name," said Mrs. Barney. The sergeant went way
146 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS
back through the books and found "Old Sal's*'
proper name. The turnkey opened the door and
pointed to her cell down the corridor. When Mrs.
Barney reached the door, she saw a wild creature
with gray, dishevelled hair, torn garments, and
glaring eyes, crouching in the corner of the cell,
waiting to spring upon the first policeman that
should enter. " Good-morning, Mrs. ," said
Mrs. Barney, calling her by her true name.
"Where did you get that name?" said the poor
creature. Without answ^ering her question, Mrs.
Barney said, " Sarah, do you remember the first
time that you were committed here ? " " My God,
don't I ? " she cried. " I spent the whole night cry-
ing on the floor of my cell." " Suppose," said Mrs.
Barney, "there had been some kind Christian
woman here to receive you that night and to have
treated you gently do you think your life would
have been any different ? " " Altogether different,"
she replied. " Well," said Mrs. Barney, " I am try-
ing to get them to appoint a woman in this lockup
to receive young girls when they are brought here
for the first time, as you Tvere when you were
brought here that first night. Will you help me ? "
" I will do all that I can," she said. All the time
Mrs. Barney had been drawing nearer, and was
now kneeling by her side upon the cell floor,
gathering up her torn and grizzled hair, fastening
it up with pins taken out of her own hair, pulling
together the torn shreds of her garments, and
fastening them with pins taken from her own
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 147
The work was now done, and Mrs. Barney rising
to her feet said, " Sarah, we are going into the
court-room. If you will be good, they will appoint
a woman in this lockup. Shall I go in on your
arm, or will you go in on mine?" The strong
woman looked at Mrs. Barney, and said, " I think
I am stronger than you. You had better go in on
my arm." And into court they went, the gentle
lady leaning on the arm of the hardened old
criminal. " Old Sal " restrained herself through the
whole trial, and answered the judge's questions
She did forget Lcrself once and swear at the
judge, but immediately begged his pardon. Every-
body was amazed at the transformation. A woman
was appointed as matron of the jail, but best of all
Sallie got her feet upon the Rock of Ages, and to-
day, " Old Sal " is in the glory. Love had con-
quered. It always will.
God Silences a Scoffer
On the 31st day of May, 1904, four young men
were playing cards two blocks from the Chicago
Avenue Church. They were sober, industrious
men above the average intelligence, but not Chris-
tians. At the conclusion of their game of cards,
they got to discussing religion and one of them, a
shipping clerk with a leather firm on Illinois Street,
said, "I don't believe there is a God. I believe
something like IngersoU. I don't believe there is a
God, and I won't believe there is a God until He
148 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
proves it to me, but if He proves it to me by strik-
ing me deaf and dumb, I will believe it."
There was silence for a moment or two. Then
he threw up his hands, staggered and fell to the
floor unconscious. At first his companions thought
it was a joke. Then they became frightened and
ran to him and tried to pick him up, and found him
unconscious. One ran for a doctor and another ran
down-stairs for the landlady and told her that
Julian had fainted. The doctor soon came. He
thought at first that the young man was shamming
but soon became convinced that he was actually
deaf and dumb. He was una Die to account for the
condition of things. The young man was not of
a nervous disposition, was strong physically, and
right in his mind. When he came to himself he
tried to talk, his lips moved but no sound came
from them. Then they handed him a pencil and
paper. The first thing he wrote on the paper was,
*' I want my Bible." The next thing he wrote was,
" I want my mother."
The next morning two ladies came to my assist-
ant, Kev. W. S. Jacoby (I was out of the country
at the time) and asked him to go over to see the
young man. Mr. Jacoby went over about eleven
o'clock. Julian sat at the table calm, quiet, well
dressed, showing to all appearances that he was
above the average. He shook hands with Mr.
Jacoby and the people wrote on a piece of paper
that Mr. Jacoby was a minister. Mr. Jacoby sat
down at the table beside him and prayed God that
He might guide him in what he should sav. After
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 149
this prayer he wrote on a piece of paper, " God loves
you." Julian wrote back, " I know it."
Then Mr. Jacoby wrote, " What did you do ? "
He wrote, " I did what I should not have done."
" Why did you do it ? "
" I did not believe there was a God. I believed
what I said. Now I am satisfied there is a God,
and I am wanted in His service."
" Why do you believe there is a God ? "
" Because I said I would not believe there was a
God unless He struck me dumb. A look from His
countenance struck me dumb ; a look from His eye
was as a flash of lightning." (He had written on
the paper to his companions, he had seen the flash
and asked them, " Did you see the flash ? " They
had not seen it. It was for him alone.)
Mr. Jacoby wrote, " Did you see anything as you
fell to the floor ? "
" Are you sorry, and why ? "
" I am, because I feel I did very wrong."
" Do you believe that there is a God ? "
" Do you believe that God hears prayer ? "
" I do."
Again Mr. Jacoby wrote, " God loves you."
He wrote, " I believe He does, for I have heard a
whisper calling me to His work for many years, but
I turned a deaf ear to it."
Mr. Jacoby then related to him part of his own
experience, and how God had revealed Himself to
him. How the voice of the Spirit had said to him
150 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
once in a time of sickness, " Down on your knees,"
and how he had resisted that Spirit but how God
had not left him but again by His Holy Spirit called
him and he had come.
Again Mr. Jacoby wrote, " God loves you, and
He is filling my heart with sympathy for you. He
would not do this unless He was going to save you."
The young man wrote as an answer, " I feel that
way about it but I feel I shall remain this way
(deaf and dumb) until I have prepared to go and
work for Him. My life is His to use as He sees fit.
I shall go home and apply all my time in learning
of Him and when I am fit to do His work, I shall
be all right."
Mr. Jacoby wrote, " I believe the first thing is to
know Jesus Christ as a Saviour." He then showed
him John 6 : 37, " Him that cometh to Me, I will in
no wise cast out." He read it and nodded his
Mr. Jacoby then turned him to Isaiah 1 : 18,
" Come now, and let us reason together, saith the
Lord ; though your sins be as scarlet they shall be
as white as snow ; though they be red like crimson,
they shall be as wool." He took his pencil and
marked this passage in the Bible. He was then
shown John 5 : 24, " Yerily, verily I say unto you,
he that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that
sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come
into condemnation, but is passed from death unto
life." Pointing his finger at the word " hath," Mr.
Jacoby wrote, " The w^ork is done, not will be or
shall be, but * Tiath ' is in the present tense and means
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS 151
that we have eternal life." Again he nodded his
Then he wrote, " I believe now there is a God.
I also believe that Jesus Christ died to save all sin-
ners. I feel that I am accepted because I believe
Him and trust Him, but there is work for me
He was then shown Isaiah 53 : 6, and after that
he was pointed to Acts 13 : 38, 39 (" Be it known
unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through
this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of
sins : and by Him all that believe are justified from
all things," Mr. Jacoby pointed his finger at the
" all " in order that he might see that God would
forgive him for all he had done.
Then he turned to Ps. 103 : 12, " As far as the
east is from the west, so far hath He removed our
transgression from us."
He then showed him John 1 : 12, *' But as many
as received Him, to them gave He power to become
the sons of God, even to them that believe on His
Pointing to the word " Sons," Mr. Jacoby wrote,
" A child has a right to call God Father."
He then showed him other passages that would
enable him to remember that God would keep him
from every temptation and keep him from ail sin :
1 Cor. 10 : 13 ; Jude 24 ; 2 Tim. 1:12; 1 Peter 1 : 5.
He read all these very eagerly as he was shown
Mr. Jacoby then asked him, " Do you know you
are saved ? You write that you feel you are saved.
152 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
do you believe God has forgiven you ? Are you
" I am."
" What makes you think so ? "
" Because I am contented." /
" How long have you thought so ? "
" Since I have believed in Him."
" Why do you think so ? "
" Because I know He will save if I trust Him, and
I do trust Him."
" How long is that ? "
" Since you have shown me His many promises."
He was then asked to read Kom. 10 : 13, " Who-
soever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be
" Do you believe you are saved ? "
He wrote, " I believe I am saved." He then drew
his pencil through the word " believe," and wrote
the word " know " over it.
He made a confession of the Lord Jesus Christ
before his friends in the next room. By standing
up in the doorway Mr. Jacoby would speak the
words so they could hear and then write them so he
could read them, and he answered each question
with a nod.
" You believe there is a God ? "
He nodded, yes.
" Do you receive Jesus as the Son of God, your
Saviour ? "
" You believe He saves you ? "
ANECDOTES AI^D ILLUSTEATIOITS 153
" You thus publicly confess Jesus Christ as your
Saviour ? "
" Yes," he wrote, " I am perfectly satisfied."
The physician who attended him made this state-
ment regarding the case afterwards, " It would not
be remarkable if he had been merely stricken speech-
less under certain conditions of hysteria, but in such
an event there would have been physical conditions
that he did not have. He seemed to be in full pos-
session of his faculties, his ideas were coherent, and
his general health was good." The medical man
could find no physical conditions or symptoms which
would lead to the sudden loss of speech. It was
evidently an act of God. An act of mercy more
than an act of judgment.
His speech was restored to him the following
July. His first words were, " The Lord be praised,"
and after this his lips continued to move and he was
repeating the words of the twenty-third Psalm.
He is now preparing for the ministry of the
'' Is Not God's Word as Good as Mine ? "
Preaching one night in Minneapolis in my own
church on the text " Quench not the Spirit," the
power of God came in a wonderful way upon the
audience. When I stepped down from the pulpit, I
found in one of the front pews four persons kneel-
ing in great distress of soul, two brothers and two
young ladies whom they had brought with them to
the meeting. These brothers came from an utterly
154 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
godless family and were regarded as hard young
men, but the Spirit of God had taken hold of them
that night in mighty power. Three other workers
spoke to three of the four who were kneeling in
prayer and brought them out into the light, and I
undertook to talk to the older of the men. He was
in great agony of soul and listened attentively as I
pointed him to the passages of the Word of God
that showed how Jesus Christ had borne all his sin
in His own body on the Cross, and how if he would
believe in Christ, he would have pardon at once.
He claimed to accept Christ but he found no peace,
and left the building in great distress. He was
present again the next night, and again I talked
with him. He claimed to have accepted Christ, but
did not believe that his sins were pardoned. I took
him to John 3 : 36, " He that believeth on the Son
hath everlasting life," and had him read it over and
over again. I said to him, " Hector, who does God
here say hath everlasting life ? " He said, " He that
believeth on the Son." I said, '' Do you believe on
the Son ? " He said, " I do." I said, " What does
God say ? " '' He that believeth on the Son hath
everlasting life." " What have you ? " " Oh,
Mr. Torrey ," he cried, " won't you pray for me ? "
I said, " Yes, I will pray for you," and again I went
over it, " He that believeth on the Son hath ever-
lasting life." I said, " Who has everlasting life ? "
" He that believeth on the Son." " How many
that believe on the Son have everlasting life ? "
" Every one." " Have you believed on the Son? "
" I have." " What does God say about those who
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 155
believe on the Son ? " " They have everlasting
life."" " Are you sure that they that believe on the
Son have everlasting life ? " "I am." " "What
makes you so sure ? " " God says so." " What
does God say ? " " He that believeth on the Son
hath everlasting life." " Do you believe on the
Son?" "I do." "What does God say you
have ? " " Oh ! " he cried, " Mr. Torrey, will you
pray for me ? " I went over it and over it again
but he could not seem to grasp it. At last he arose
and started slowly down the aisle to leave the
building. Before he started, he said, " Mr. Torrey,
will you pray for me ? " I said, " I will." I let
him get part way down the aisle and then I called
after him, " Hector, do you believe that I will pray
for you ? " " Why, I know you will," he replied.
" How do you know that I will ? " " Because you
said so." " Is not God's Word as good as mine ? " I
asked. The truth flashed in upon his soul in a mo-
ment. He saw that while he had been ready to be-
lieve me, he had not been ready to believe God.
He took God at His Word and knew he had
everlasting life because God said so, and went
home rejoicing in perfect ^assurance that he had
everlasting life and that his sins were all forgiven.
** God Use This Stammering Tongue "
One day during his great mission in London, Mr.
Moody was holding a meeting in a theatre packed
with a most select audience. Noblemen and noble-
women were there in large numbers. A prominent
156 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
member of the royal family was in the royal box.
Mr. Moody arose to read the Scripture lesson. He
attempted to read Luke 4 : 27, " And many lepers
were in Israel in the time of Eiiseus the prophet."
When he came to the name Eiiseus, he stammered
and stuttered over it. He went back to the begin-
ning of the verse and began to read again, but
again when he reached the ^vord " Eiiseus " he
could not get over it. He went back and began the
third time to read the verse but again the word
" Eiiseus " was too much for him. He closed the
Bible with deep emotion and looked up and said,
" Oh, God ! Use this stammering tongue to preach
Christ crucified to these people." The power of
God came upon him and one who heard him then
and had heard him often at other times said to me
afterwards that he had never heard Mr. Moody pour
out his soul in such a torrent of eloquence as he did
then, and the whole audience was melted by the
power of God.
Give Me a Love For Souls
One time during my ministry in Chicago, I was
deeply disturbed that I had so little love for souls ;
that I could meet men and women who were lost
and be so little concerned about it ; that I could
preach to them and had so little inclination to weep
over them. I went alone with God and prayed,
" O God give me a love for souls." Little did I
realize how much the answer to that prayer in-
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS 157
The next day there came into my Bible class a
man who was the most distressing picture of utter
despair I ever saw. At the close of my Bible class
I walked down the aisle. I saw him in the last
seat. His face haunted me. I was burdened. I
could not lose sight of him. I cannot tell the pain
I had for hours and days as I cried to God for his
salvation, but I had the joy of seeing him profess to
Love for souls is one of the costliest things a man
can have, but if we are to be like Christ, and if we
are to be successful in His work, we must have it.
But don't pray for it unless you are willing to suffer.
A LADY in Melbourne, Australia, in reading
the book " How to Pray " was greatly impressed by
one sentence of two short words, " Pray through."
It took a great hold upon her and she began to or-
ganize prayer circles all over Melbourne. Before
we reached Melbourne there were 1,700 prayer cir-
cles a week and the wonderful success of the mis-
sion was largely due to these prayer circles. After
we reached Melbourne, this lady told Mr. Alexander
this story and it made a great impression on him.
He afterwards said the two words, " ' Pray through,'
gripped me like a vice." One day he had occasion
to go into a bank in Liverpool to get some money.
While he was standing at the bank counter waiting
for the clerk to come, he picked up a pen and began
to write on the blotter in large letters these two
158 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS
words, which had been burned into his soul, " Pray
through," " Pray through," " Pray through." Over
and over and over again he wrote it on the blotter
until the big blotter was filled from top to bottom
with the words "Pray through." After he had
transacted his business he went away.
The next day a friend to whom he kept talking
as he printed on the blotter came to him and said
that he had a striking story to tell him. " A busi-
ness man came into the bank soon after we had
gone. He had grown discouraged with business
troubles. He started to transact some business
with the same clerk over that blotter, when his
eyes caught the long column of ' pray theough.'
He asked who wrote those words, and when he was
told, he exclaimed, 'That is the very message I
needed. I will pray through. I have tried to
worry through in my own strength, and have
merely mentioned my troubles to God. Now I am
going to pray the situation through until I get
light. ' "
A lady who heard Mr. Alexander tell the story
wrote a hymn upon it, the last verse of which runs,
''Don't stop praying but have more trust;
Don't stop praying ! for pray we must;
Faith will banish mountains of care ;
Don't stop praying! God answers prayer.'*
Which are Yoa Like ?
Up in the mountains of North Carolina, lived a
farmer who had a poor farm, with thin soil, where
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 159
by hard work, he was barely able to make a living
for himself, wife and son. The son, however, was
a remarkably bright boy, and easily surpassed all
the other boys in the district school. One day the
father said to the mother, " Our son is a natural
born scholar and if he is only a poor farmer's son
he shall have as good an education as a millionaire's
son." The father and mother economized and
raked and scraped and got enough together to send
the boy oif to college. The boy did well at college,
and every little while sent a letter home telling
how well he was doing in his classes. When these
letters came the father and mother would read and
reread them, and they filled their hearts with
One day a letter came and after the father had
read it, he said, "Mother, these letters are all
right. They do cheer my old heart, but letters are
not enough. My heart is lonely for the boy and I
must see the boy himself. I cannot wait. I must
see him." But the mother was a canny woman and
said, " You must wait, you cannot see him. He
cannot afford to lose a day from his studies to come
down here, and you cannot lose a day from the
farm to go and see him. You must wait."
The father said, " I must see him. I cannot
stand it any longer. I must see my boy. I have
a plan. I'll load up the old farm wagon this after-
noon and get up before sunrise to-morrow and drive
to town and sell my load and make enough to pay
expenses, and see my boy. I cannot stand it any
longer, I must see him." That afternoon the
160 A:NrECDOTES AKD ILLUSTEATIOKS
farmer loaded up the wagon, went to bed wuth the
chickens, got up early in the morning before sun-
rise, hitched up the old team and started for the
college town. It was a long tedious journey, but
it did not seem long to the farmer for he was go-
ing to see his boy. As he drove along he would
chuckle to himself, " I will soon see my boy.
Won^t he be glad to see me ? He thinks I am at
home on the farm. Won't he be surprised when I
walk into his room ? Won't he be glad ? "
Every hour of his dreary journey as he drew
nearer the college town his heart grew lighter and
happier, and at last as he drew near the town he
said, " I am almost there. In a little while now I
will see my boy. Won't he be surprised ? Won't
he be glad ? " As he entered the town he tried to
hurry the old team forward, but to no avail as the
team was tired and could not go any faster. As he
drove up the hill towards the college who should
he see coming down the sidewalk but his boy with
two gay young college companions. " There he
comes ! There he comes ! " said the old man,
" won't he be surprised to see me ? Won't he be
glad ? " He whipped up the team, but it could not
go any faster, they were tired out. He jumped off
the wagon and ran up to his boy, who had not seen
hira. " My son," he cried. His son was surprised,
but was not glad. He was ashamed of his father
in his plain old homespun clothes before his gay
college companions. " There must be some mis-
take, sir," he said. " I am not your son, you are not
my father. I do not know you. There must be som^
AlsTECDOTES AKD ILLUSTRATIONS 161
mistake, sir." He might as well have driven a dag-
ger into his father's heart. I am told that the
father went home with a broken heart to die.
Whether that part of the story is true I cannot say,
but I can well believe it. If my son should treat
me that way (thank God he never will) I think it
would break my heart. What do you think of a
son like that ? I think he should be horsewhipped.
The cowardly, ungrateful wretch. But stop before
you condemn him. Some of you here to-night are
more ungrateful than that son. Jesus Christ has
done more for you than that father did for his son.
Jesus Christ has done more for you than any father
ever did for his son. Yet you are so cowardly
and ungrateful that you won't stand up and confess
Him before the world, because you are afraid of
what some one will say, and you are ashamed of
Him. I have never told this story without its mak-
ing my blood boil, although I suppose I have told
it over one hundred times.
Let me tell you another story. Thank God it is
Down in the mountains of Georgia lived a poor
widow. She had a few acres of ground where she
raised berries and one thing and another and made
a little money keeping chickens and selling eggs.
She also took in washing and did other humble
work for a living, but God gave her a bright son.
He too surpassed every one in the district school.
The mother worked hard to get the money to send
him to Emory College. The son worked hard to
get himself through the college. He graduated
162 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
with high honors and won a gold medal for special
excellence in study.
When it came time for him to graduate he went
up to the mountain home for his mother, and said,
" Mother, you must come down and see me gradu-
" ITo," said his mother, " I have nothing fit to
wear, and you would be ashamed of your poor old
mother before all those grand people."
" Ashamed of you," he said, with eyes filled with
filial love, " ashamed of you, mother, never. I owe
everything I am to you and you must come down.
What is more I will not graduate unless you come."
Finally she yielded. He brought her to the town.
When the graduating day came she went to the
commencement exercises in her plain calico dress
with her neat but faded shawl and simple moun-
tain bonnet. He tried to take her down the mid-
dle aisle where the richest people of the town,
friends of the graduating class, sat, but this she re-
fused and insisted on sitting way off under the gal-
lery. The son went up on the platform and de-
livered his graduating address. He was handed
his diploma and received his gold medal. No
sooner had he received the gold medal than he
walked down from the platform and way to where
his mother sat off under the gallery and pinned the
gold medal on her faded shawl and said, " Mother,
that belongs to you, you earned it."
That is a son worth having. Which of those two
sons are you like, the cowardly ungrateful wretch,
ashamed of his poor old father or the noble boy
'HE PINNED THE GOLD MEDAL ON HER FADED
SHAWL AND SAID. 'MOTHER, THAT BELONGS
TO YOU.' "
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS 163
who was proud of his poor mother to whom he
owed all he was in the world ? I have been told by
a president of the college where this happened
that when the boy pinned that gold medal on his
mother's shawl the whole audience burst into such
prolonged applause that the exercises could not go
on for five minutes.
You want to applaud too. Let me tell you a
better way to applaud, imitate him. You owe all
you are to Jesus Christ. Come, pin all your honors
upon Him to day. Come out and confess Him
before the world.
'* If I Could Only Have Saved Just One
Befoee I close I must tell you a story. This in-
cident is so remarkable that when I first heard it it
seemed to me that it could not possibly be true.
But the man that told it was of such a character
that I felt that it must be true because he told it,
and yet I said, " I must find out for myself whether
that story is true or not." So I went to the
librarian of the university where the incident was
said to have occurred and I found out that it
was true. The story as I tell it to you to-day is as
I got it from the brother of the main actor in the
scene. The story is this : About twelve miles
from where I live, twelve miles from the city of
Chicago, is the suburb of Evanston, where there is
a large Methodist university, I think the largest
university of the Methodist denomination in
164 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
America ; at all events, a great university. Years
ago, before the college had blossomed into a great
university, when there were not many students in
it, two young country boys came from the State of
Iowa — strong, husky fellows, and one of them was
a famous swimmer. Early one morning word came
to the college that down on Lake Michigan, just oif
the shores of Evanston, there was a wreck. It
proved to be the Lady Elgin. The college boys with
everybody in town hurried down to the shores of
Lake Michigan. Off yonder in the distance they
saw the Lady Elgin going to pieces. Ed Spencer,
the famous swimmer, threw off all his superfluous
garments, tied a rope round his waist, threw one
end to his comrades on the shore, sprang into Lake
Michigan, swam out to the wreck, grasped one that
was drowning and gave the sign to be pulled ashore.
And again, and again, and again he swam out and
grasped a drowning man or woman and brought
them safe to shore, until he had brought to shore a
seventh, an eighth, a ninth, and a tenth. Then he
was utterly exhausted. They had built a fire of
logs upon the sand. He went and stood by the fire
of logs that cold bleak morning, blue, pinched,
trembling, hardly able to stand. He stood before
that fire trying to get a little warmth into his
perishing members. As he stood there he turned
and looked out over Lake Michigan, and off
in the distance, near the Lady Elgin, he saw men
and women still struggling in the water. He said,
" Boys, I am going in again." " No, no, Ed,"
they cried, " it is utterly vain to try ; you have used
ANECDOTES AKD ILLUSTRATIOIS^S 165
up all your strength, you could not save anybody ;
for you to jump into the lake again will simply
mean for you to commit suicide." "Well," he
cried, " boys, they are drowning, and I will try,
anyhow." And he started to the shore of the lake.
His companions cried, " No, no, Ed, no, don't try."
He said, " I will," and he jumped into Lake
Michigan and battled out against the waves, and
got hold of a drowning man who was struggling in
the water and brought him ashore. And again,
and again, and again, until he had brought an
eleventh, a twelfth, a thirteenth, a fourteenth,
and a fifteenth, safe to shore. Then they pulled
him in through the breakers. He could scarcely get
to the fire on the beach, and there, trembling, he
stood before that fire trying to get a little warmth
into his shivering limbs. As they looked at him it
seemed as if the hand of death was already upon
him. Then he turned away from the fire again,
and looked out over the lake, and as he looked,
away off yonder in the distance he saw a spar
rising and falling upon the waves. He looked at it
with his keen eye, and saw a man's head above the
spar. He said, " Boys, there's a man trying to save
himself." He looked again and saw a woman's
head beside the man's. He said, "Boys, there's a
man trying to save his wife." He watched the
spar as it drifted towards the point. He knew that
to drift around that point meant certain death. He
said " Boys, I am going to help him." " Ko, no,
Ed," they cried, " you can't help him. Your
strength is all gone." He said, " I will try, any-
106 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
way." He sprang into Lake Michigan, swam out
wearily towards the spar, and reaching it he put his
hands upon the spar, and summoning all his dying
strength, brought it around the right end of the
point to safety. Then they pulled him in through
the breakers. Loving hands lifted him from the
beach and carried him to his room up in the college.
They laid him upon his bed, made a fire in the
grate, and his brother Will remained by to Avatch
him, for he was becoming delirious. As the day
passed on Will Spencer sat looking into the fire.
Suddenly Will heard a gentle footfall behind him
and felt some one touch him on the shoulder. He
looked up and there stood Ed looking wistfully
down into his face. He said, " What is it, Ed ? "
He said, "Will, did I do my best?" "Why,
Ed, " he said, " 3^ou saved seventeen." He
said, "I know it, I know it, but I was afraid
I didn't do my very best. Will, do you think I
did my very best ? " Will took him back to bed
and laid him upon it, and sat down by his side. As
the night passed, I am told, Ed went into semi-
delirium, and Will sat by the bed and held his hand
and tried to calm him in his delirium. All that he
thought about were the men and women that
perished that day, for in spite of all his bravery
many went down that day to a w^atery grave.
Will sat there and held Ed 's hand, and tried to
calm him. " Ed," he said, " you saved seventeen."
He said, " I know it, Will, I know it ; but oh, if I
could only have saved just one more."
Men and women of Birmingham, you and I stand
'HE SWAM OUT WEARILY TOWARD THE SPAR."
TRE NEW roftJf
ANECDOTES AKD ILLUSTEATIONS 167
this afternoon beside a stormy sea. Oh, as we
look out at this tossing sea of life round about us
on every hand there are wrecks. Will you and I
sit here calmly while they are going down, going
down, going down, going down to a hopeless
Men and women, let us plunge in again and
and again and again and again, until every last ounce
of strength is gone, and when at last in sheer exhaus-
tion we fall upon the shore in the earnestness of
our love for perishing men, let us cry, " Oh, if I
could only save just one more."
God Does Give the Holy Spirit in Answer
With me the doctrine that God gives the Holy
Spirit definitely in answer to prayer is not a matter
of mere exegesis, it is a matter of personal experi-
ence. If it were a matter of mere exegesis, I would
believe it. If it was clearly taught in the Bible, I
would believe it, whether I had experience or not ;
for I do not believe in bringing the Bible down to
the level of our experience but in bringing our ex-
perience up to the level of the Bible. But with me
it is a matter of certain experience. I know that
God gives the Holy Spirit in answer to definite
prayer as well as I know that water quenches thirst
and food satisfies hunger. How often as I have
knelt beside a single brother, and how often as I
have knelt in a great gathering of God's believing
children, the Holy Ghost has fallen upon us as we
168 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
prayed as definitely, and perceptibly, as the rain
ever falls upon the thirsty ground.
I shall never forget one night in Chicago Avenue
Church. The ministers of the city had been hold^
ing meetings at noon in the Young Men's Christian
Association preliminary to an expected coming to
the city of Mr. Moody. At one of these noon
meetings, one of the ministers of the city sprang to
his feet and said, " Brother Torrey, what we need
in Chicago is an all night prayer-meeting of the
ministers." " Yery well, Brother E.," I replied,
" if the ministers of Chicago wish to have an all-
night prayer-meeting, let them come to Chicago
Avenue Church at ten o'clock next Friday night,
and if God keeps us there all night, we will stay
At ten o'clock the following Friday night some
four or five hundred people gathered in the vestry
of Chicago Avenue Church. They were not all min-
isters, though there were many ministers. Indeed,
they were not all men ; there were some women.
Were you ever in a prayer-meeting where the
devil made a dead set to spoil the meeting ? Well
that was the kind of a meeting it Avas for the first
two hours. To begin with three men got down by
chairs near the door, and commenced to pound on
the chairs and shout until some of our heads were
nearly splitting, and when some one went to them
and protested that things should be done decently
and in order, they swore at the man who made the
protest. Later still a man jumped up in the midst
of the meeting and proclaimed that he was Elijah.
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTKATIONS 169
He was not to blame. He was a lunatic. But
these things disturbed many and they began to
think of going home. But it is a poor prayer-
meeting that the devil can spoil, and hundreds of
us were there w4th the determination to stay until
we got the blessing.
About midnight God gave us complete victory,
and for two hours there was such prayer in the
Spirit as I have seldom heard. A little after two
in the morning while we were all kneeling in
prayer, suddenly there fell upon us an awful hush.
Nobody could speak, nobody could sing, nobody
could pray. All you could hear was the subdued
sobbing of joy unspeakable and full of glory. The
very air seemed tremulous with the presence of the
Holy Ghost. It seemed to me as if, if I had looked
up, I could almost have seen the Holy Spirit there
visibly. I do not know how long we were held
there in this awed silence before the presence of
God. It was now Saturday morning. The fol-
lowing Sunday morning one of my deacons came to
me and held out his hand and took mine and gave
it a mighty grip and said, with choking voice, " I
shall never forget yesterday morning to the longest
day I live."
In the early morning hours, one business man
went out of that meeting and took an early train
for Missouri to transact some business. When the
business was done, he said to the hotel proprietor,
"Is there any meeting going on in this town?"
" Yes," he said. " There is a meeting going on in
the Cumberland Presbyterian Church." He was
170 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
a Cumberland Presbyterian himself and went to
the meeting. When the meeting was opened,
he stood up and asked if he might say a few
words. The permission was readily given, and
with the power of the Holy Spirit upon him, he
poured out his soul to the people. In a few days I
received a paper from that town saying that fifty-
eight persons were converted while he spoke.
A young man went out from that meeting to
Baraboo, Wis., and in a few da3^s I received a letter
from Baraboo, Wis., saying that thirty-eight men
and boys had been converted in Baraboo. That
same man afterwards laid down his life in South
Africa after a brilliant record as a missionary there.
Another young man went out in the early hours
and took a train to Wisconsin, and I soon began to
receive letters from Methodist ministers and others
near Milwaukee asking if we had in our Institute a
young man named Sam J., and adding that a young
man, giving that name, had appeared among them
and was holding meetings in schoolhouses and
churches and the soldiers' home, and wherever he
went there seemed to be conversions. But they
knew nothing about him, and he said he was a
student of the Bible Institute.
Men and women went from that meeting to the
uttermost parts of the earth with the power of God
upon them. As I have gone around the world and
visited China, Japan, India and Australia and other
lands, I think in every land I visited, I have found
some one who was present that morning when the
Holy Ghost fell upon us.
ANECDOTES AND ILLTJSTEATIONS 171
In my first pastorate there was a revival of re-
ligion. It was sweeping through the town and
people of all classes were being converted. Some of
the infidels were greatly disturbed and sent oif for
an infidel lecturer with the hope of stopping the
work, but his coming helped the work rather than
hindered it. Many who did not dare to come out
to hear the preachers had courage to go to hear the
infidel lecturer and were so disgusted by his man-
ner of presenting his position that they looked into
the claims of Christ and were led to accept Him.
One lady said to her husband the night of his first
lecture, " Let us go and hear Professor J. to-night
at the hall." Her husband replied, " What do you
want to hear him for? You don't believe as he
does." " I don't know what I believe," she replied.
The husband consented to take her. As they came
down the stairs of the hall after listening to the
professor's coarse ridicule of the Bible, the lady
turned to her husband and said, " Well, I have
found out one thing to-night anyway." " What is
that ? " "I have found out that I believe the Bible."
She came to me and asked to be taken into rdy
church. It was evident she really had accepted
Christ and she entered the church and became one
of the most active members in it.
But there was another lady in the community,
who a few years before in a revival meeting in an
adjoining town had started for the front and her
husband had laid his hand upon her shoulder and
172 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
forced her back into her seat. She never after-
wards made any attempt to become a Christian but
drifted, as so many others do who resist the Holy
Spirit, into rampant infidelity. When she heard
that the infidels of the town had sent for this infidel
lecturer she remarked to a friend, " I can hardly
wait until Professor J. gets here." She did not wait.
One Saturday evening she was at the house of a
friend at a card party. Ten o'clock came and they
were still playing cards. Eleven o'clock came and
they were still playing cards. Twelve o'clock came
and they were still playing cards. The Sabbath began
but they were still plajdng cards ; — Sabbath break-
ing and card-playing go hand in hand. In the early
hours of the Sabbath morning, she sprang suddenly
from the card table, clapped her hand upon her
head and cried, " Oh," and dropped dead beside the
table. I would rather die somewhere else.
I shall never forget my first meeting with that
woman's husband after this awful tragedy. He
had never spoken to me before, but as I entered the
post-office through one door, he came in through
another. As soon as he saw me, he hurried across
the post-office towards me, held out his hand and I
held out mine in deepest sympathy for the unfortu-
nate man. I shall never forget the grasp he gave
my hand. He knew his wife had gone out into a
hopeless eternity and that he was to blame. Oh !
you men, who are standing between your wives and
their acceptance of Jesus Christ, there is an awful
day coming for you, a day when you will look upon
the white faces of your^wives as they lie in the casket
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS 173
and will be face to face with the thought that your
wives are lost forever and that you are to blame.
Hoiv Men Become Infidels
Iw one of our western colleges there was a time
of deep religious interest. Many of the students
were being converted but there were two young
men in the college that set themselves against the
movement. They agreed to meet on a certain
evening and go into the college chapel and there
blaspheme the Holy Ghost and thus get rid of their
religious impressions. The appointed hour came
and the two young men met at the door of the col-
lege chapel. One man's courage failed him and he
refused to go in, and do as they had agreed. He
afterwards was converted and became a Christian.
The other went into the college chapel alone. It is
not known what he did in there, but when he came
out, he was as white as death. He afterwards
drifted into utter unbelief and became a leader in
one of the well-known infidel organizations of one
of our great cities. This is the way in which many
become infidels. They resist the Spirit of God.
They know their duty, they know they ought to ac-
cept Christ but they refuse to do it, the Spirit of
God leaves them and they drift into the darkness
of utter unbelief.
'' / Wish I Were a Christian "
In one of my pastorates there was a man who
was bitterly opposed to the church. He was one of
174 ANECDOTES AKD ILLUSTEATIONS
the most self-righteous men I ever knew. He never
tired of criticising others, but maintained that his
own character was so good that he had no fear of
standing before God on the ground of his own up-
But the time came for that man to die. A cancer
appeared on his scalp. It ate its way through the
scalp and then began to eat its way through the
skull. At last there was only a thin film of skull
between the cancer and the brain. The doctor in-
formed him that as soon as the cancer penetrated to
the brain, he must die. As he lay face to face with
the stern reality of death, he said, " Send for Mr.
Torrey.'* I hurried to his bedside and sat down be-
side him. " Oh," he said, " Mr. Torrey, they tell
me I have not long to live; that as soon as the
cancer eats a little further through the skull and
penetrates the brain, I must die. Tell me just
what I must do to become a Christian." I tried to
make the way of life as plain as I knew how, but
he seemed unable to grasp it. He had put off the
great decision until too late, and his mind seemed
to have lost all power to grasp things. At night I
said to his family, " You have sat up with him night
after night. I will sit up with him to-night." They
told me what to do for him and retired. All
through the night I was with him. Several times
it was necessary to go out into an adjoining room
to get him something, and whenever I would re-
turn to the room where he lay from the bed over in
the corner of the room, I would hear one constant
groan, " Oh, I wish I was a Christian," " Oh, I wish
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS 175
I was a Christian," " Oh, I wish I was a Christian " ;
and so the man died.
He had found comfort in the thought of his own
goodness in the time of health and strength but as
he had lain face to face with death and eternity and
God, he had seen clearly it was necessary to have
some better foundation but it was too late to find it.
" / Cannot Believe the Bible Because I am a.
One night one of my workers called me to deal
with a man who claimed to be an infidel. I said
to him, " Are you an infidel ? " He said, " I am."
I said, " Will you please tell me what makes you an
infidel ? " He said, " Because I am a scientist and
the Bible contradicts the teachings of science." I
asked him of what branch of science he made a
specialty. He replied, " Chemistry." I said, *' Did
you ever hear of Henry Clerk Maxwell ? " He
said, " No, I never did." I suggested he could not
be very well read in chemistry if he had never
heard of Henry Clerk Maxwell, and further called
his attention to the fact that though Henry Clerk
Maxwell was such an eminent man of science, he
was also an earnest Christian. I next asked him if
he had ever heard of James D. Dana (the great
geologist). He replied that he had. I doubt if he
really had, but he was becoming rattled and did
not wish to appear too ignorant. " Well," I said,
"you know that James D. Dana was one of the
most eminent men of science that this country has
176 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
ever produced. ISTow," I said, " it was my privilege
to study under James D. Dana and to know him
personally, and I have heard him say that one rea-
son why he believed the Bible to be the Word of
God was because there was such a remarkable
agreement between the first chapter of Genesis and
the most recent discoveries in geology. Now," I
continued, " it will not do for a little six-by-nine
scientist like you to say you cannot believe the
Bible because you are a man of science, when men
so eminent in the scientific world have found no
difficulty in believing in the Bible as the Word of
** There is But a Step Between Me and
At one of the noon meetings for business men in
the Lyceum Theatre in Cleveland, a well known
socialist agitator sat near a Christian man. He
listened attentively to what was said. After I had
finished, the Christian man said to him, " D., how
did you like that ? " He replied, " Such reasoning
as that is no good. I could wipe that out in a few
minutes if they would give me a chance to talk."
The Christian man replied, " D., you do not under-
stand spiritual things. You may be able to talk
politics, but you cannot talk religion." "Yes, I
can talk politics with any orator and no one can
pluck the laurels from my brow," he replied.
The following day at noon, just a little short of
twenty-four hours from the time he made his
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 177
boasts, the Big Four Kailroad threw him into a
ditch a lifeless corpse.
Oh, if we only realized that there was but one step
between us and death and eternity. How soon we
would cease our empty boasting.
''I Thought of My Mother "
DuEiNG our Dublin campaign, a young man
came to me in great distress. He had been paying
attention to a young lady, who was very worldly.
He had been brought up under Christian influences,
his mother being an earnest Christian woman. He
told me that the preceding Sunday evening he had
called upon the young lady in whom he was inter-
ested. Though it was Sunday evening, the girl's
mother proposed that they play cards. The young
lady's mother urged him to join in the game, but
he refused. He said to me, " When I was invited
to play cards on a Sunday evening, the thought
came to me, 'What if I should and my mother
should hear of it. It would break her heart.'"
How many a man is kept back from doing things
he would otherwise do by the thought of how it
would grieve his mother if she should hear of it.
But there is One who is more keenly sensitive than
the purest mother, who is grieved at the slightest
departure from the path of right as no mother even
is grieved, that One is the Holy Spirit. He goes
with us wherever we go. He sees all that we do.
He hears all that we say. Yes, He sees the most
secret fancy of the heart, and if there is an act or
178 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATION8
word or thought that has a taint of impurity or
selfishness or sin, He is deeply grieved. To me this
is one of the mightiest incentives to a careful walk.
Oftentimes when some evil thought is suggested to
me by the enemy, the thought comes, " I cannot
entertain that thought for a moment. If I do, the
Holy Spirit, who sees it, will be deeply grieved,
and I cannot bear to grieve this ever-present, faith-
" God Won't Take Me Away Without Giving
Me Another Chance "
A SAILOE from one of the lines of steamers
entering ISTew York dropped one night into the
Berachah Mission. As he was going out, a worker
stopped him at the door and urged him to accept
Christ. But he refused to do so. The worker be-
came more insistent and said, " It might be your
last opportunity." " No," he said, " This will not
be my last opportunity. God certainly won't take
me away without giving me another chance." He
resisted all the pleadings of the worker and left the
mission and started for his steamer. As he went
across the gangplank from the dock to the steamer,
he missed his footing and fell into the water be-
tween the steamer and the dock. Before they
could get him out he was drowned. It will not do
to trifle with God. JSTo man can tell that he will
have another chance. The only day of which we
are absolutely certain is to-day. The only op-
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 179
port unity of which we are absolutely certain is the
'' There Will be no Dance To-Night "
Death often throws its dark shadow across our
gayest moments. I shall never forget one of the
last dances with which I had anything to do. It
was a charity ball for the benefit of an organization
in which I was deeply interested, and though I was
a theological student I was one of the managers of
On the afternoon of the day when the ball was
to take place, my minister called upon me. I think
he was disturbed that one of his members should be
the manager in a charity ball. But as he talked
with me, he did not come to the exact point of the
ball. After a while a classmate, who was also one
of the managers of the ball, came in and said,
" Torrey, are you going to the ball to-night ? " I
think he did it partly to annoy me and partly to
annoy the minister. I said, " Yes, of course, I am
going to the ball to-night." " No," he said, " You are
not going to the ball to-night." I said, " I am going
to the dance to-night." He said, " You are not going
to the dance to-night." " Well," I replied, " I guess
I know and I am going to the dance to-night." He
said, " You are not going to the dance to-night, for
there is to be no dance to-night. While we were
making the last arrangements in the hall this after-
noon, Mrs. — as she walked across the stage
fell dead, and there will be no dance to-night."
180 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS
An Infidel Professor Converted
In one of my pastorates there was a lady member
of our church who had a brother who was a pro-
fessor of geology. He was an able man but an
infidel. Sometimes he delivered lectures on the
conflict between science and Christianity. His
sister came to me and asked me to pray for his
conversion. This I consented to do. Not a great
while after she came to me one day and said, " My
brother is converted," and showed me a letter he
had written her. He said he had recently begun
the study of the Bible (it would have been well
if he had begun the study of the Bible before he
lectured on it) and he had been deeply impressed
by the agreement between the teachings of the
Bible and the teachings of modern science and
that he had become a Christian.
If more men who talked against the Bible would
get down to a real study of the Bible, they would
soon give up their infidelity and accept the Bible
and its Christ.
Common Stones Turned into Diamonds
If it were announced that I were to speak in this
hall to-morrow morning to the business men of the
city upon a process which I had discovered by
which common ordinary stones taken out of the
street could be transformed iato real diamonds, and
if the business men of this city knew I really had
discovered such a process, and this was the only
ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS 181
occasion upon which I was to explain it, do you
think there would be any one here to hear the ad-
dress? The building would be packed to its utmost
capacity. The business men of this city would
begin to gather hours before the appointed time of
the meeting. They would camp out all night be-
fore the doors and a few moments after the doors
were open, the building would be filled, and when
I had finished describing the process, they would
not wait for the benediction, but would rush out
into the streets and into the country roads, and you
would see leading men of this city, forgetting their
dignity, down on their knees in the dirt and mud
hunting for stones. If some friend should come
along and say, " What are you doing there down in
the dirt ? " they would say, " Don't bother me.''
If they should still inquire, "What are you doing?"
He would reply, " Looking for stones."
I can tell you that very thing. I can tell you
how to go out into the streets and alle3^s of the
city, out into the roads and lanes of the country,
and stoop down into the mud and mire of sin, and
take up the common ordinary rude stones, lost men
and women, and by the glorious art of the soul
winner, transform them into diamonds worthy of a
place in the Saviour's eternal diadem. Is not that
worth while ? Is there any other work in the uni-
verse that really is worth while ?
182 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIOKS
No Pilot Ready
One night during a severe storm a vessel was
seen beating about near the entrance to the Golden
Gate, making signals of distress and asking by sig-
nal for a pilot to guide it through the gate, to the
harbour within. It kept on beating about and sig-
nalling for some time, but its signals were not
answered, and so after a while the imperilled ship
turned its prow again towards the stormy sea, from
whose perils it was seeking to escape. The ship was
never heard from again.
There is many a storm-tossed vessel to-day seek-
ing guidance through the golden gate into the
harbour but many of us who profess to be Christians
and know the way into the harbour well will not
take the trouble to go out and face the storm and
bring the distressed vessel safely into harbour.
Thus we leave them to the perils of the deep and
they are never heard of again. Oh, that God would
arouse us sleeping Christians to a sense of our duty,
and that we would hear the cry of God and go out
to bring the storm-tossed safely into harbour.
'' The Harvest is Past, the Summer is
Ended, and I am not Saved''
In the early days of Mr. Moody's work in
Chicago, a man who was a constant attendant at
the Tabernacle often seemed on the verge of deci-
sion for Christ. One day when Mr. Moody urged
him to accept Christ, he replied, " No, Mr. Moody,
ANECDOTES AKD ILLUSTEATIONS 183
I cannot. My business partner is not a Christian
and if I should accept Christ, he would ridicule me."
Mr. Moody urged him to trust God and to brave his
partner's ridicule but he could not muster courage
to do it. Finally he became annoyed at Mr.
Moody's constant urging of him to accept Christ,
and ceased attending at the Tabernacle. For some-
time he was lost sight of, but one day his wife came
to Mr. Moody's house and said, " Mr. Moody, my
husband is very ill. There has been a consultation
of physicians and they say he cannot possibly live.
"Won't you come down and speak to him before he
dies ?" Mr. Moody hurried to the home. He found
the man in a very approachable state of mind, and
he presented Christ to him. The man listened and
seemed to accept Christ. To every one's surprise
his disease took a turn for the better. His convales-
cence was rapid and the next time Mr. Moody
called, he found him sitting up outdoors in the sun-
shine. Mr. Moody said to him, '' Now God has been
so good to you and raised you up, of course as soon
as you are able to come up to the Tabernacle, you will
come and make a public confession of your acceptance
of Christ." " ISTo, Mr. Moody," he said," I cannot do
that for if I should do that my partner would ridicule
me and I cannot stand his ridicule." Mr. Moody
urged him but he would not consent to make an open
confession of his faith. Finally he said, " Mr. Moody,
I am going to move to Michigan and I promise you
when I get over there, I will make a public confes-
sion of Christ." Mr. Moody told him that Jesus
Christ could keep him in Chicago just as well as H©
184 ANECDOTES AND ILLUSTEATIONS
could in Michigan, but the man would not listen.
Mr. Moody went away that day with a heary
Just a week from that day, the man's wife called
at Mr. Moody's house again. " Oh, Mr. Moody,"
she said, "my husband has had a relapse. We have
had another consultation of physicians and they say
it is not possible for him to live. Won't you come
down and speak to him before he dies ? " Mr. Moody
said, " Did he send for me ? " " No," she replied, " he
did not. That is the worst of it. He does not
want to see you, but I cannot let him die this way.
Won't you come?" Mr. Moody accompanied the
wife to the home, went into the room where the dy-
ing man lay. As he approached the bed, the dying
man said, " Mr. Moody, I don't want you to talk to
me. It will do no good. I have had my chance and
thrown it away." Mr, Moody tried to show him
how there was hope even in the last hour ; how
Jesus said, " Him that cometh to Me I will in no
wise cast out " ; that even then he might put his trust
in Jesus Christ and be saved, but the man said, "No,
it is too late. I had my chance and I threw it
away," and he could not be moved. Mr. Moody
said, " May I pray with you ? " " No, I don't want
you to pray with me. It won't do any good.
Pray for my wife and children — they need your
prayers, but don't pray for me. It is too late, I
have thrown away my chance." Mr. Moody knelt
down beside the dying man's bed and tried to pray.
He said to me when telling the story long after-
wards, " I could not pray. My prayers did not seem
ANECDOTES AND ILLTJSTEATIONS 185
to go higher than my head. The heavens above me
seemed like brass. When I got up the man said,
* There, I told you it would do no good. It is too
late. I have thrown away my chance.' " Mr.
Moody went home with a heavy heart.
All that afternoon as the man sank lower and
lower, he kept repeating just one passage of Scrip-
ture, '' The harvest is past, the summer is ended and
I am not saved." Again and again those standing
around his bed heard him repeating, " The harvest
is past, the summer is ended and I am not saved."
Just as the sun was sinking behind the western
prairies they heard him whispering in a low tone
and they leaned over to listen and in a feeble
whisper he said, " The harvest is past, the summer
is ended, and I am not saved," and thus he went out
into the darkness.
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