"YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN"
~100 WELL - KNOWN
MEN IN ALL
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A World-Renowned Expositor
DR. ALEX. MCLAREN, of Manchester, one of the
greatest preachers of all time, whose sermons have
been issued in 32 volumes, thus describes his new birth
in a letter to Rev. David Russell.
"GLASGOW, 2nd June, 1840.
"MY DEAR SIR,--According to your request, I now com-
mence to give you a statement of the working of my mind
since the New Year. It was a sermon from Mr. Alexander
that first led me to think. That night I went back to
Uncle James's, the impression was very slight, but it
gradually increased. When I came home I got by accident
a copy of Doddridge's Rise and Progress of Religion. I
thought that was just what I needed. I read until I came
to the chapter in which he tells the way of salvation.
I read a little of that chapter, but the words of the Bible,
A 'savour of death unto death[,]' as well as a remark I had
often heard that every fresh offer of salvation which was
refused was so much additional guilt, rushed in to my
mind, I got afraid that I would refuse this offer, too. I
laid down the book.
"For a considerable time I was very much impressed,
but I one day began to think in this way. God has from
all eternity elected those who are to be received among
His people, and if I am one of those I will be received
among them, and if not, I can do nothing to alter His
resolution. Although I thus seemed even to myself to
be thinking that this excused me for not accepting His
offered mercy, still my conscience was always telling me
that it did not excuse me.
"After that I began again to become careless, and I had
become quite so, when one Sabbath evening in the class
you read an account of the revivals in Dr. Reid's Chapel,
and advised us all to think for an hour on the passage:
"How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation[?]"
(Heb. 2. 3). I went home. I could not arrange my
thoughts, but the passage continued constantly in my
mind. I continued praying that God would compel me
to believe, but I read nothing about salvation. I con-
tinued thus gradually losing one by one of the impres-
sions which had been made upon me, until I saw your
revival meetings advertised. I said nothing about them
at home, lest I should be asked to go; but one night my
mother was going, and asked me to go. I came away
quite unimpressed, and thought no more about it. On
the Sabbath evening I went down with my mother and
sister. I was as it were, prepared to hear something
peculiarly suited to myself. The sermon went on, and
when you quoted the passage in 1 John 5. 10, as to 'making
God a liar,' all my sin rushed upon me as I had never
before seen it. I sat trembling. Then when you said
that before we rose off our seats we might be saved for
time and Eternity, I felt hope beginning to rise in my
mind. I saw all my guilt and that it was by looking to
Christ, and to His finished work alone, that I could hope
to be saved. I remembered the passage, 'repentance
toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ'
(Acts 20. 21). My sins appeared in all their enormity,
and I found peace and pardon in believing that Christ is
the Saviour. Since then I have found that peace
increasing every day, and have found in reading
the Bible and in prayer great joy and pleasure such as
I never felt before."
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