Testimony of a Saved Infidel
A true story
It was a cold January morning, and I had just begun to work at the anvil in my shop when I looked outside and saw Mr. B__. He got off his horse quickly and came in. I could see that he was agitated as he came near me. With teary eyes, he looked very earnestly at me; and taking me by the hand, he said to me with great emotion and indescribable tenderness: “Mr. R__, I am greatly concerned for your salvation, — greatly concerned for your salvation,” and he burst into tears. He stood there with my hand in his as he struggled to regain his self-possession. He tried to speak again and again, but finding that he could say no more, he turned, went out of my shop, got on his horse and slowly rode away.
“Greatly concerned for my salvation,” I said audibly to myself as I stood there, forgetting to bring the hammer down on the anvil. “Greatly concerned for my salvation!” Now there was an argument for religion that I had never heard before, and that I knew not how to answer. If Mr. R__ had reasoned with me, I could have confounded him, but religion must be real or he would not feel as he does. “Greatly concerned for my salvation” – it rang in my ears like thunder! “I should then be greatly concerned for my own salvation,” I said to myself. What shall I do?
I went home. My poor pious wife, whom I had always ridiculed for her religion, said, “Why, Husband, what is the matter with you?” Filled with agony and overwhelmed with a sense of sin, I said, “Old Mr. B__ rode two miles this cold morning to tell me that he was greatly concerned for my salvation. What shall I do? What shall I do?”
“I do not know what better thing you can do but to get on your horse and go and see him,” said my astonished wife. “He can counsel you better than I, and tell you what you must do to be saved.” I mounted my horse and went after him. I found him alone in the little room of his house where he spent the night in prayer for my poor soul; where he had shed many tears for such a reprobate as I, and had besought God to have mercy on me. “I have come to tell you that I am greatly concerned for my own salvation,” said I to him.
“Praise be to God,” said the aged man. “It is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; even the chief of them” (1 Timothy 1:15). He began at that Scripture and preached Jesus to me. We knelt on the floor and prayed. I did not leave his home until God spoke peace to my soul.
I have often been asked to look for the evidence that proves the truth of religion, but blessed be God, I have the evidence of it in my heart, which cannot be refuted or resisted. Formerly, I thought I could overturn, completely demolish and annihilate all the arguments for the truth of religion, but God sent an argument to my conscience and heart (which cannot be refuted or resisted) when a weeping Christian told me how greatly concerned he was for my salvation. God taught him that argument when he spent the night in prayer for my soul. Now I can truly say that I am a happy man. My peace flows like a river. My consistent, uncomplaining wife, who bore so long with my impiety and unbelief, now rejoices with me, because, by the grace of God, I am what I am. I was (spiritually) blind, but now I see. Permit me to say, if you want to reach the heart of a poor sinner (such as I was), you must get your qualifications on your knees, alone with God. So it shall be with me: I will endeavor to reach the hearts of my unbelieving friends through prayer to God.
“Testimony of a Saved Infidel” was taken from Touching Incidents And Remarkable Answers To Prayer, by S. B. Shaw. The author’s testimony was carefully revised for easier reading.