Senor Hyppolyto's Conversion

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
OR twenty years Senor Hyppolyto was one of the most popular and brilliant priests of the Roman church in Brazil. A complete master of more than one language, and a man of great oratorical ability, he was looked upon as a prospective bishop.
In the year 1898 he was selected by the Roman authorities to give a course of lectures against Protestantism, and in order that he might have the necessary local status for this was appointed vicar of one of the most influential city churches.
To fit himself for the work before him, he procured a copy of the New Testament, and applied himself diligently to the study of it.
Then, the better to know what the "heretics" taught he went night after night, under cover of darkness, to listen to the preaching of the Protestant missionary, Dr. Tarboux. Standing outside the building, secure from observation, he heard every word.
As this studying and learning went on, Senor Hyppolyto began to feel that the people to whom he was so violently opposed had a rest and joy in God to which he was an utter stranger. Well he knew that even amongst the most zealous and sincere of his co-religionists there was not to be found this peace, this rejoicing of soul that the hated. Protestants possessed.
At last, under deep conviction of sin, he sought an interview with the missionary. With tears in his eyes he said: "I want you to tell one how to be saved, for I am not saved.”
The way of salvation was explained to him. He was shown that the gulf which sin has created between God and man is too deep, and too vast to be bridged by penance, or prayers, or good works, or anything that the sinner can do. The only bridge across the gulf is that which was built at Calvary. The work of Christ, the merits of His atoning blood, alone suffice to save the believing sinner. In Christ alone is salvation to be obtained.
It was not long before the enquirer found the Savior whom he sought. He was filled with "joy and peace in believing." An experience hitherto unknown filled his soul.
His conversion created a profound sensation in Brazil, especially amongst the Roman ecclesiastics. All sorts of means were resorted to to bring him back, and all kinds of offers and concessions made, but Senor Hyppolyto now stood on the Rock of Ages, and nothing could move him.
He who might have been a bishop is to-day a humble itinerant preacher of the Gospel.
His life is sometimes in danger. He knows that he may at any time fall beneath the blow of the assassin's knife, but the love of Christ constrains him to devote his life to the spread of the glad tidings amongst his fellow-countrymen.
Reader, which would you rather be: the brilliant, popular favorite without Christ, or the humble, despised preacher with Christ for your portion?
"Men of the world," we are told,” have their portion in this life." (Psa. 17:1414From men which are thy hand, O Lord, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes. (Psalm 17:14).) Men of God may suffer the loss of all things here, and may end their days at the martyr's stake, but they have "an inheritance ... that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven" for them.
Make the wise choice. Let your watchword be, "Christ, only Christ, for my Savior, and His precious blood my only plea."
H. P. B.