The Devil's Outcasts

The gospel message had gone forth and the preacher had commended all to God. As he was leaving the platform, a man stood up at the back of the hall and asked if he might give his testimony to the saving power of the gospel of Christ. In simple, touching words he told the story of his life.
"I was brought up in a home where the name of God was never heard except in blasphemy. Strong drink was my portion from infancy. I learned to swear and was encouraged to steal while I was but a little child. My playground as a boy were the most notorious parts of the city. There is not a lane, not any alley that I do not know. I was only once in a place where the gospel is preached before the night God reached me with His Word.
"A poor working man had a group of us ragged boys to meet in his mother's house. He taught us to read and to repeat some verses of the Bible. For that I am deeply grateful, and honor that godly man for his loving service. Another Christian man who preached the gospel on the street in summer sunshine and in winter snows told me I would either end my days on the scaffold, or in preaching Christ. I believe if I had been left to myself, and to follow on in the ways of sin and crime as I had begun, the gallows would have got me. But the grace of God reached down to me. He plucked me as a brand from the burning. He saved me, and I can at least tell to others what His gospel has done for me.
"I was converted on a Sunday night. I had been drinking and carousing all Saturday night. I was feeling very miserable—sick, cold, and disgusted with life when I crept into the hall after the meeting had begun.
I thought the preacher must have been told all about me, for he described my wayward course, and showed that it ended in hell! Then he told of God's love to sinners and how Christ came 'to seek and to save that which was lost.' Luke 19:1010For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10).
" `And,' said the preacher, raising his voice, `Jesus can save the worst, even the devil's castaways.'
"That's me,' I said, half aloud.
"I believe God's Spirit fixed that word on my soul. It was the first time I ever saw myself as a lost sinner and it was the first glimpse I ever had of a God of mercy. I used to dread God. I believe all sinners do. But when I learned that He `is rich in mercy' (Eph. 2:44But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, (Ephesians 2:4)), and that He loves His enemies, even the devil's castaways, my heart was softened, and I longed to know His love for myself.
"After the meeting I had a long talk with some Christian men there. Although I did not `profess' to yield myself to Christ, I have no doubt it was then that the love of God reached my heart. I knew that only in His Son could I find a Savior; and in my heart I knew He died for me.
"Out into the starry night I walked with a new hope in me. I could not tell what it was then, but I know now it was God's love being shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Ghost. (Rom. 5:55And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Romans 5:5).) I was born again! Christ was mine, and I was His. He has been my Keeper all these years, and I can say to the glory of His grace that He is `mighty to save.'”