"YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN"
~100 WELL - KNOWN
MEN IN ALL
RANKS OF LIFE
A London Restaurateur.
JOHN PEARCE, of the Restaurants, at one time in
London known as "Pearce & Plenty," also as "J.P.
Restaurants," who began life in poverty, and left £51,000.
After beginning with a "Gutter Hotel," he passed through
many vicissitudes, the greatest event being thus recorded.
In his early years he worked in a provision merchant's
shop. The owner of that business was in the habit of
having morning prayers, and this experience caused young
Pearce to think. Then he began to attend Wes.'s
Chapel in the City Road. One day there was a bill ex-
hibited in his employer's shop window, which stated:
"A Converted Thief, a Converted Costermonger, and a
Converted Infidel will speak."
This was something new. William Carter, the preacher-
sweep, was bringing these friends with him, and so Pearce
went to see and hear. Then he discovered that Carter had
a Mission for the unwashed of Southwark in a hall that
seated a thousand people. Pearce walked three miles the
next Sunday. It was there he found what he had been
seeking, and his life was changed. "It was a wonderful
thing," was his own verdict, never to be gainsaid.
His own words in later life will be of interest in reveal-
ing something of his Christian life. "As a young man I
felt the danger of the unsaved man sitting next me. Now-
adays you're not responsible for your neighbour. He'd
resent your speaking to him about Eternity. We're all
too jolly respectable. I'm not blaming others. I've
altered myself. It's the spirit of the times. We used to
have to fight for our religion. It needed some pluck. Now
no one persecutes you; no one bothers to criticise you;
no one cares. We used to talk of the fear of God, and con-
viction of sin. A man had to choose between Heaven and
Hell. Those first preachers I knew were not intellectual
preachers, but they knew their Bibles."
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