Last night at KALEO at The Donelson Fellowship, I told the story of a young man named William Haslam who lived in England in the 1800s. He contracted a disease of the lungs. He began reading his prayer book; and after his recovery decided to become a clergyman. For years, he labored in his parish, erecting a church building and trying to get people to come. But Haslam only had “head knowledge” of the Gospel. He had never truly been saved. One day his gardener fell ill and was pronounced a dying man. Haslam had nothing to say to comfort the man, but a Christian neighbor led the dying man to the joy of eternal salvation.
Haslam was troubled, for he knew something was missing in his heart. Bedeviled by this frustration, he rose to preach one Sunday in 1851. He took his text from Matthew 22:42 (KJV): “What think ye of Christ?” As he spoke, his inner conscience was telling him, “You are no better than the Pharisees.” But as he kept preaching, his face changed, his heart leapt upward, and something happened within him. A man in the congregation, seeing the change, stood up and shouted, “The parson is converted! Hallelujah!” Instantly the several hundred attenders began praising God and singing the Doxology. At least twenty people were saved that day, and others were saved as news spread of the preacher who had been converted by his own sermon.
PS – If you like stories like this from Christian history, check out my newly-reprinted book, On This Day, by clicking here.