How I Escaped
“Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowler: the snare is broken and we are escaped.” — Ps. 123:7.
Satan has set snares for all of us from infancy, but especially if he foresaw that we were destined to do his kingdom damage. While we do not accept the doctrine of unconditional election, yet we do believe that some are chosen of God to magnify his Grace more than others. Not because they are worthy, or because He arbitrarily wills their success, but because He finds in them more cooperation than in others — hidden soul-soil that responds readily to His matchless touch.
Personally, this unworthy scribe has nothing of which to boast. Why God should pick me out of a family of nine and thrust me out across the continents, to preach and publish the Gospel in various lands is a wonder of wonders. My godly father called me the “black sheep of the family.” On one occasion he came running into the blacksmith shop when I was beating a horse and cried, “Are you killing the animal?” I replied, “No, I am only teaching him some sense, to stand still while I put this shoe on him.” He answered, “I would not be surprised if I should live to see you stand on the gallows with a rope around your neck.” Our school teacher resigned because I was uncontrollable. A seven-round fight with a man was the last thing that broke my parents’ hearts, just before my conversion at the age of sixteen.