The Heart and the Head

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 5
Not long ago I received a visit from a man who had been well known in former days as a priest. "We meet as children of God," he said, "as believers in the one Savior."
I knew this to be true, for I had heard of his preaching a faithful gospel on the previous evening. "Then how is it," I asked, "that you are no longer a priest?"
"I was a priest some years ago," he said, "and yet though I had been a priest for several years, I had become an atheist. The priesthood was only a profession to me, but in all honesty I must say I hated it, for I was sailing under false colors."
"Godless as I was, I had been brought up with a sense of honor; and as time went on my conscience prodded me. I felt it would be impossible for me to continue acting a lie. I therefore went to my superior, and told him I was an unbeliever, and that I could no longer endure to say and do things which deceived others.
"He told me that he hoped I would come to my senses. I said I had no intention of altering my mind, and that thenceforward I wished to be known not as a Christian, but as an atheist. I therefore broke off my connection with the church and considered myself a free man.
"Soon after this, a certain pastor heard of me, and invited me to read the Bible with him in the evenings at his house. I thought I should like to hear what he had to say, so I went to these readings. I found the pastor a very clever man, and very learned, and I could not in the least answer his arguments. Nevertheless, in spite of his explanations I was convinced more firmly that there was no God. I can't say why I continued to go there, but I did so for some months.
"One day, in the streets of the city, a poor and shabby man with a pack on his back came up to me. `Sir,' he said, 'do you know that you are a sinner, and that Jesus is the Savior of sinners? Go straight to Him, and He will save you.' "
"I said not a word, for I was speechless; but I turned around and went straight back to my lodging. I shut myself up in my room and knelt down there and gave myself up to the seeking Savior. In that moment I knew that He was with me, and that He loved me with unutterable love; and there He saved my soul. I was happy and thankful I could do nothing but praise God.
"The next day I went to see my friend, the pastor. I said to him, 'Jesus has saved me.' "
"He looked very much amazed, and said, 'So you are convinced at last.'
“‘No,' I said, 'I needed no convincing. He saved me Himself; He has opened my eyes, and given me forgiveness and eternal life.' And then I told him about the poor man who had spoken to me.
"To my astonishment he looked at me with a strange sort of displeasure. 'You refused to believe everything I said to you,' he said, 'and now you believe what a poor, shabby man said, whom you met in the street.'
“‘I beg your pardon, sir,' I said, 'it was not the poor man I believed, but God! If God chooses to speak by the mouth of a poor, shabby man, He can do so! It was God who spoke to me.'
"The pastor, you see, had been hammering all those months at my brains. He did not know that my heart was miserable. The words the man spoke went straight to my heart, and my heart turned to Christ. He welcomed me, and filled me with His love and peace; and now, for nearly ten years, I have been preaching His blessed gospel."
"Did you ever see the man again?"
"Yes; one day, to my joy, I again met him on the street. I found he was a colporteur, selling Bibles and bringing many, many others to Christ by the same message: 'Go straight to Him and He will save you.' "
Miserable and unsatisfied ones, "to you is the word of this salvation sent." To you Christ calls by these simple words. Do you doubt it? Ask Him if these glad tidings are true. "Go straight to Him."
"Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37.