The Worst Drunkard In Town Got Saved Last Night
Many years ago I was visiting Riverside, California, for a brief campaign, and was met at the train by the Captain in charge at about ten o’clock in the morning. His face was glowing as he said to me: ‘We got the worst old drunkard in town saved last night; and I have seen him twice this morning, and he is doing fine.’ How could the poor old drunkard do otherwise, with a Captain bubbling over with faith, love, and good cheer, following him up like that! Don’t forget, he saw the old saved drunkard twice the next morning. ‘Twice’! That is the way new-born babies are cared for, and that is the way to care for new-born souls.
This Officer came east to Pennsylvania; and a Spiritual Special visited his Corps, had about fifty Converts, and the Captain did not lose one, but enrolled them all as Soldiers. On another occasion he labored until after midnight with a drunkard, and then carried him to his lodging-place on his back. The proprietor of the lodging-house refused to receive him, but the Captain carried the chap upstairs to his room, put him to bed, followed him up; and made a Salvation Army Blood-and-Fire Soldier out of him.
On the way home that night, long after midnight, the Captain had to cross a great irrigation ditch, and when he came to the bridge he heard a splash and a groan. Rushing forward he found a man’s feet sticking up, but his head under the bridge and under the water. He pulled the man out of the water and got the water out of him, prayed with him, got him saved, and the man became an earnest Christian. The poor fellow in a fit of discouragement was trying to commit suicide.
This Captain is now a Lieut.-Colonel, and a Divisional Commander; and is still passionately seeking souls, and looking after Converts.
I would like to commend to all my comrades on the Field a re-reading of the life of the Angel Adjutant; and call to your special attention the faithful way in which she watched for souls, and shepherded her Converts. She was a good shepherd and ‘the Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.’
New Converts need care just as new babies do. Many years ago I was taken off of my Provincial Campaigns and put in charge of the Chicago No.1 Corps; and was Commanding Officer for three weeks while awaiting the arrival of the Officer who had been appointed to the Corps. One night a man fifty years of age was converted. He had been a builder and contractor but had met with reverses, and in his discouragement came to The Army and yielded to the Lord Jesus Christ. I took special interest in him; gave him a word of cheer, and a hearty handshake in every Meeting, but one night he failed to come, and I was anxious.
I could not call to see him that night, but I did write him a little note, before going to bed, and enclosed a little tract. I told him how greatly I missed him, expressed my hope that he was well, and urged him to look unto Jesus if he were passing through any temptation, and told him I was praying for him and looked forward to seeing him the following evening. And, sure enough, he was present the next night, and then he told me how he had been passing through a fierce temptation the day before, and was just about to give up and go back to his old life, when my letter with the little tract came with its message of love and faith, ‘and that,’ said he, ‘saved me.’ He became a Soldier and for years was a devoted Christian and worker for the Lord. The little note and tract and a two cent stamp saved him.
If the flock is to be preserved, the lambs must be shepherded.
If babies are to live, they must be nursed with tender care.
If the world is to be saved, we must have Converts and they must be guarded with sleepless vigilance, and followed with ceaseless and loving care.