On this day in 1850, my long-dead pastor, Charles Spurgeon, got saved while on his way to church during a snowstorm.
15-year-old Charles ducked into a Primitive Methodist Chapel to escape the snow and sat with a very small congregation to listen to a lay preacher who was filling in for the pastor.
Here is the story that Chuck told 280 times in his sermons:
A poor man, a shoemaker, a tailor, or something of that sort, went up into the pulpit to preach.
He was obliged to stick to his text, for the simple reason that he had nothing else to say. The text was, “Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 45:22).
He did not even pronounce the words rightly, but that did not matter.
There was, I thought, a glimpse of hope for me in the text.
He began thus: “My dear friends, this is a very simple text indeed. It says, ‘Look.’
“Now that does not take a deal of effort. It ain’t lifting your foot or your finger; it is just ‘look.’ Well, a man need not go to college to learn to look. You may be the biggest fool, and yet you can look. A man need not be worth a thousand a year to look. Anyone can look; a child can look. But this is what the text says.
“Then it says, ‘Look unto Me.’
“Ay, many of ye are looking to yourselves. No use looking there. You’ll never find comfort in yourselves.”
Then the good man followed up his text in this way: “Look unto Me: I am sweating great drops of blood.
“Look unto Me; I am hanging on the Cross.
“Look: I am dead and buried.
“Look unto Me; I rise again.
“Look unto Me; I ascend; I am sitting at the Father’s right hand.
“O, look to Me! Look to Me!”
When he had managed to spin out about ten minutes, he was at the length of his tether.
Then he looked at me under the gallery, and I daresay, with so few present, he knew me to be a stranger.
He then said, “Young man, you look very miserable.”
Well, I did; but I had not been accustomed to have remarks made on my personal appearance from the pulpit before. However, it was a good blow struck.
He continued: “And you will always be miserable—miserable in life and miserable in death—if you do not obey my text. But if you obey now, this moment, you will be saved.”
Then he shouted, as only a Primitive Methodist can, “Young man, look to Jesus Christ. Look! Look! Look! You have nothing to do but look and live.”
There and then the cloud was gone, the darkness had rolled away, and that moment I saw the sun; and I could have risen that moment and sung with the most enthusiastic of them of the Precious Blood of Christ, and the simple faith it looks to him. Oh, that somebody had told me this before, “Trust Christ and you shall be saved.”