I remember preaching one night in winter—one of the coldest winters we had—the winter after the Chicago fire. I had been studying up grace, and it was the first time I had spoken of it, and I was just full of it. I started out of the house, I remember, and the first man I met I asked him if he knew anything about the grace of God, and I tried to preach to him. This man thought I was crazy. I ran on and met another, and finally got up to the meeting.
That night I thought I was speaking to a lot of people who felt as I did about grace, and when I got through I asked any one who would like to hear about grace – who had any interest in it, to stay. I expected some would have stayed, but what was my mortification to see the whole audience rise up and go away. They hadn’t any interest in grace; they didn’t want to learn anything about grace.
I put my coat and hat on and was going out of the hall, when I saw a poor fellow at the back of the furnace crying. “I want to hear about the grace of God,” said he. “You’re the man I want, then,” said I. “Yes,” the poor fellow said, “you said in your sermon that it was free, and I want you to tell me something about it.”
Well, I got to talking to him, and he told me a pitiful story. He had drank away twenty thousand dollars, his home had been broken up, and his wife and children had left him. I spoke to him, and it was not long before we were down together praying.
That night I got him a night’s lodging in the Bethel, and next day we got him on his feet, and when I went to Europe he was one of the most earnest workers we had. He was just a partaker of grace—believed that the peace of God was sufficient for him, and he took God at his word and he was a saved man.
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