"YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN"
~100 WELL - KNOWN
MEN IN ALL
RANKS OF LIFE
RICHARD WEAVER, the fighting coal-miner, who
became the forerunner of Moody in English Revivals,
was born in 1827, and had his share of hardships in what
people called "the good old days." He went to work
in the pits shortly after he was seven years of age. His
mother, who was a Christian woman, would walk out
with him at half-past four in the morning, accompanying
him along the lane that led to the pit, encouraging him
as he went. As he grew in years, amid surroundings at
his work that were not helpful, he took fast hold of all
that was evil, mixing with others who cursed and swore
and told lies, learning to do like them. His first glass
of whisky was drunk when thirteen years of age. One
step led to another, and drinking and boxing became his
delights, gaining for himself the name of "Undaunted
Dick." His mother was a praying woman, and never
gave him up.
Eventually he left his mother's house, being tired of her
prayers and her spiritual conversation. An older brother
of his, who was married and a Christian man, was insulted
one day with a man at his work spitting in his face. When
Richard heard of it he asked what his brother did. Learn-
ing that his brother forgave the man, Richard said, "Well,
he may, but I won't." He went to a public-house the
man frequented, challenged him to fight, and completely
knocked him out.
Afterwards he went to live with his brother, and one
night when lying awake in bed he heard his brother come
in from a meeting. His wife asked what the text was.
He replied, "What then shall I do?" Richard thought to
himself, "What a funny text!" But the Spirit of God
applied it to him and made him think: "What shall I do
when God rises in judgment against me?" In the morning
he was troubled in his conscience that he could not go
to his work, and he did not rise out of bed all day. When
his brother came home from his work he thought Richard
was ill, and offered to go for a doctor. But he didn't
want a doctor, he wanted forgiveness of sin.
Next morning he went off to get drink to drown con-
viction. After some drink he had a sparring match with
a noted pugilist. But conviction held a grip of him, and
at two o'clock next morning he went into a field he was
engaged to fight a boxing match in, and there on his knees,
in an old sand-hole, in agony he waited on the Lord.
Deliverance came, for he thought he heard his mother
say, though she was a hundred miles away: "For God so
loved the world, that [H]e gave [H]is only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in [H]im should not perish, but
have everlasting life" (John 3. 16). There and then joy
and peace came to his heart. When he told his sister-in-
law she wouldn't believe it, and his brother said when he
came home and heard the news, "I hope it's true."
Years afterwards, when Richard was out as a preacher,
he was preaching one night in a chapel when a man rose
and asked to be allowed to speak. Permission being given,
the man said: "The last time I saw Richard he broke my
jaw, now he has broken my heart." He was the means
of leading numerous souls to the Saviour.
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