My Conversion

The blessed God deals differently with souls. Each saved one, if asked, would tell a somewhat different story of the way in which the Lord Jesus discovered Himself to his or her soul. In reading Acts 16 you get inspired instances of this. You will see how, diverse were the exercises of the Philippian jailer and Lydia, before the Lord made Himself known to them. But both were real. Their works showed that their faith was genuine. And it must never be forgotten that while works have nothing whatever to do with our salvation, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8, 98For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8‑9)); on the other hand, it should be insisted on and affirmed constantly that "those who have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works" (Titus 3:88This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. (Titus 3:8)).
It was several years since, when quartered at W—, and living (I regret to say) as wild and reckless a life as did any in the regiment, that it pleased God, by the Holy Spirit, to convince me of my sins, and to show me the emptiness and hollowness of things down here; and so, like the prodigal in Luke 15, "I began to be in want;" and the truth of those words, "Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again" (John 4:1313Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: (John 4:13)) began to dawn upon me.
While in this frame of mind, two of these friends (who were brother officers recently converted) came to my quarters, and pointed me to Christ as the alone and only Savior; and with but little intelligence, yet with all sincerity, I decided for Him, and confessed His blessed Name.
Still for some time I was in a very unsettled state—some days thinking I Was saved, other days not. Some days I was happy, then again wretched and desponding. But no doubt this exercise was good, and needed by me; and the Lord in His own time sent a servant of His, who was the instrument of my being set free; for these many months, although doubtless I was "born again," I lacked liberty, and needed, like Lazarus (who had been called out of the tomb), to have the grave-clothes taken off. (See John 11:1414Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. (John 11:14).)
This person, hearing I was religiously inclined, came to call on me, and after some conversation put the question point blank: "Have you eternal life?”
"I hope so," I replied.
"Is it only a hope?”
"Yes, I hope I have it.”
"He then took out his pocket Bible, and turned to John 3:3636He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:36), and said, "Read this." So I read, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.”
He explained that it did not mean "hope" or "shall have," but "hath.”
I never saw till that afternoon that, as a true believer, I really did possess "eternal life," and need not hope, doubt, or fear any longer; for the Son of God Himself declared, "He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life." John 6:4747Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. (John 6:47).
And from that day to this, through grace, I have never had a doubt; for although one's feelings vary, and one's experiences are not always the same, yet there stands the eternal, unchanging word of Him who cannot lie: "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." John 3:3636He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:36).
But, in the goodness of God, a few weeks later there was more light and blessing in store for me.
Up to this time, although I knew that Jesus was in the glory, I thought of Him more as "a spirit," and was something like the disciples when the Lord appeared to them in His resurrection body, "They were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit." But the blessed Savior said, "A spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have." Luke 24:37-3937But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. (Luke 24:37‑39).
I learned, to the joy and delight of my heart, that the Lord Jesus was a real Man in the glory.
He was a Man on the cross, He was a Man in the tomb, He was a Man in resurrection, and, blessed be God, He is a Man at this moment on the Father's throne, crowned with glory and honor—very God, yet very Man; God the Son in a human body; "for in Him" (Christ Jesus) "dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily," or "in a body." Col. 3:99Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; (Colossians 3:9).
I now had what I longed for—an "Object for my heart.”
"The heavens are opened now,
Sound it through earth abroad;
And we by faith in heaven behold
Jesus, the Christ, our Lord.”
And now, dear reader, having told you of some of the Lord's dealings with me, let me ask you in all affection a plain, pointed question, "Do you have eternal life?" Do you say,
"Nobody can know that?"
Then listen to what God says,
"God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:1616For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16).
May the reader of these lines be given to see that "God loved" and "God gave," and then be able to say, "I believe" and "I have." God grant it for Christ's sake.