Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Not dead..."

In a recent sermon I recounted the famous story of Rev. William Haslam, a man who served as a pastor for quite some time without having been converted. The remarkable part of Haslam's story is that he was converted by his own sermon. After realizing that he was unregenerate, he entered the pulpit with the intent of resigning his pastorate until God saved him. As he preached, he was overcome by the Holy Spirit. The effect was so profound that another pastor, who happened to be visiting Haslam's parish that day, stood up and proclaimed, "The parson's been converted!" Much celebration ensued, and the ruckus was so disconcerting to some that they fled the church in fear.

It turns out that Halsam's conversion marked the beginning of a much larger revival. One of the souls saved during this time was an older man who went by the moniker "Old Billy." This is what happened next, as recounted by Haslam in his book From Death to Life:
This dear man lived for three months after this, verifying the words I was led to say to him at the beginning of our intercourse -- that the Lord was keeping him alive in order to have mercy upon him. At the end of this time, his daughter came to see me one morning in great haste, and said, "Father is dying, and does so want to see you. Will you come?" I went immediately. On reaching his house and entering his bedroom, his wife said, "You are too late; he is dead!" Softly I moved forward to the bed, and looking into that face once more, I thought that I could still see sign of life. Pressing his cold hand, I spoke a few words about the loving-kindness of the Lord. He knew me, and a smile brightened his face at the precious name of Jesus. While we stood silently round his dying bed, he said (evidently in reference to what he had heard), "Not dead: just beginning to live." Thus, with a sweet, triumphant smile, he departed."

No comments:

Post a Comment