It was his transformed life that won the infidel



A man of great wealth, prominence, and learning, who is the owner of extensive mining interests in Pennsylvania, had unfortunately become an infidel and almost a blaspheming atheist. He had in his employ a man of desperate character, -- a man whose profanity and wickedness was shocking even to him, infidel and atheist as he was; but such was his value as a workman that he disliked to give him up. At last this wicked, lost man was brought under religious influences, through a meeting held by a Methodist minister for the benefit of sinners. He was soon brought under conviction for sin, and after a fearful struggle was happily converted to God. His whole manner of life was at once reversed. His terribly passionate nature gave place to one as gentle as a child's. His fearful profanity was supplanted by a spirit of prayer and praise, and his insubordination gave place to fidelity of the strictest type. Soon after his conversion he became anxiously concerned about his employer, but could not gather up sufficient courage to go to his home and speak to him about his soul.

At last, some six months after his conversion, he became so deeply concerned upon the subject that he could not sleep; and one morning early, after spending a sleepless night, he determined to go to his employer in the name and strength of his divine Master, and speak to him about his soul. He started with trembling on his way. As he approached the house he saw that, early as it was, there was a light in a lower room. He knocked timidly at the door; his employer answered the summons in person, and by his appearance and manner showed that he had not retired during the night. No sooner was the door opened than the poor miner grasped his employer's hand and cried out, "I hope you will forgive me, but I am so concerned about your soul, I cannot sleep: so I thought I would come and speak to you." The man of wealth and culture pressed the hand of his poor ignorant employee, and in a voice choked with emotion said, "Come in, Thomas, come in; I am so glad you have come; God must have sent you. I am so unhappy. I have been trying all night to pray, but cannot. I want you to pray for me." They knelt down together, and the astonished miner poured out his soul in prayer for his distressed employer; and there they remained weeping and praying until the master was happily converted to God.

He then, in reply to the inquiries of Thomas as to how he came under conviction, made this statement: "I have long been an infidel. I did not see much difference between the lives of many Christians with whom I associated and my own, and that strengthened me in my infidelity. At last you professed to be converted. I knew what a terrible man you had been, and determined to watch you and see the result. I did so. I watched you when you were not aware of it, but I saw nothing with which I could find fault. On the contrary, your consistent and marvelously changed life condemned me. I felt that if you, without education, and sunk to the very bottom of the pit of wickedness, could be so transformed, and lead so beautiful a life, there must be something in religion, and it was time for me, who had enjoyed so many advantages, to think about my soul. And as I thought about it, I found I was a sinner in the sight of God, and lost forever unless He would save me. It was your life, Thomas, that led me to Christ."


From: Revival Kindlings," by M. W. Knapp