How Can A Sinner Like You Stand Up And Preach ?

‘One evening Mr. North was about to enter the vestry of a church in one of our Northern towns in which he was going to preach, when a stranger came up to him in a hurried manner, and said, ”Here is a letter for you of great importance , and you are requested to read it before you preach tonight.” Thinking it might be a request for prayer from some awakened soul, he immediately opened it, and found that it contained a detail of some of his former ‘irregularities of conduct’, concluding with words to this effect: ”How dare you, being conscious of the truth of all the above, pray and speak to the people this evening, when you are such a vile sinner?”

The preacher put the letter into his pocket, entered the pulpit, and after prayer and praise, commenced his address to a very crowded congregation; but before speaking on his text he produced the letter, and informed the people of its contents, and then added, ”All that is here said is true, and it is a correct picture of the degraded sinner that I once was; and oh how wonderful must the grace be that could quicken and raise me up from such a death in trespasses and sins, and make me what I appear before you tonight, a vessel of mercy, one who knows that all his past sins have been cleansed away through the atoning blood of the Lamb of God. It is of His redeeming love that I have now to tell you, and to entreat any here who are not yet reconciled to God to come this night in faith to Jesus, that He may take their sins away and heal them.”

His hearers were deeply impressed by the words he spoke, and that which was intended to close his lips was overruled to open the hearts of the congregation to receive his message.’

–K. Moody Stuart, THE LIFE AND WORK OF BROWNLOW NORTH; Banner of Truth; pp. 46-47

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