Converted the Regular Way
I never yet knew a man converted just in the time and manner he expected to be. I have heard people say, "Well, if ever I am converted, it won't be in a Methodist church; you won't catch me there." I never knew a man say that but, at last, if converted at all, it was in a Methodist church.
In Scotland a man was converted at one of our meetings—an employer. He was very anxious that all his employees should be reached, and he used to send them one by one to the meetings. But there was one employee that wouldn't come. We are all more or less troubled with stubbornness; and the moment this man found that his employer wanted him to go to the meetings, he made up his mind he wouldn't go. If he was going to be converted, he said, he was going to be converted by some ordained minister; he was not going to any meeting that was conducted by unordained Americans. He believed in conversion, but he was going to be converted the regular way. He believed in the regular Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and that was the place for him to be converted.
The employer tried every way he could to get him to attend the meetings, but he wouldn't come.
After we left that town and went away up to Inverness, the employer had some business up there, and he sent this employee to attend to it, in the hope that he would attend some of our meetings.
One night, as I was preaching on the bank of a river, I happened to take for my text the words of Naaman: "I thought; I thought." I was trying to take men's thoughts up and to show the difference between their thoughts and God's thoughts. This man happened to be walking along the bank of the river. He saw a great crowd, and heard some one talking, and he wondered to himself what that man was talking about. He didn't know who was there, so he drew up to the crowd, and listened. He heard the sermon, and became convicted and converted right there. Then he inquired who was the preacher, and he found out it was the very man that he said he would not hear—the man he disliked. The very man he had been talking against was the very man God used to convert him.