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Hating God
A. B. Earle
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TOPIC and SUBTOPIC: Crossing The Deadline, By Grieving Away The Holy Spirit

TITLE: Hating God

I met a very affecting scene in Philadelphia a few years ago. I went into the Mt. Vernon Hotel, and while waiting for a friend to come from his room, a merchant had turned out a glass of strong drink, and stood over it, uttering a stream of the most blasphemous oaths. He was not intoxicated, did not drink while I was in the room.

While I stood by the door waiting for this friend, this merchant recognized me, called me by name, gave me his name, and asked me if I remembered holding a series of meetings in , New York, fifteen years ago, and if I remembered leaving a young man on the end of the front seat very anxious about his soul. I remembered the meeting, but did not remember about the young man.

He said:

"I am that young man, and was very anxious to become a Christian. But you bade us good-by, and left. That night I went home, and looked the matter all over, and said, if I became a Christian, I must give up the drinking saloons and card tables. What had I better do? I finally said, I will not become a Christian. Holy Spirit, leave me. And he did leave me. From that time I have perfectly hated God. For fifteen years I have not had a desire to become a Christian. I am a merchant purchasing goods; now I am going on with my business, yet I know, when I get through, hell is my portion."

I said:

"My dear sir, don't say it, even if you think so. You hurt my feelings. A man not more than forty years of age going to perdition, hating God!"

He said:

"I do not blame you, sir."

I was so pained by his talk I remained standing by that door for two hours, trying to find some tender place in his heart, but without success. I finally took his hand in both of mine, and said:

"I must go, and I want you to promise me that at a given hour (that I named), when you get home, you will kneel in your closet, and I will be in mine in prayer for you."

He replied:

"I will not. I will not bow my knees to God. I know better. I hate God."

I let go of his hand, and as I went down the street I said:

"Oh, that I had stayed one night more! He might have decided differently. Then I saw the force and truth of those wonderful lines of Dr. Alexander:

"There is a line, by us unseen,
That crosses every path,
The hidden boundary between
Gods patience and his wrath.

To pass that limit is to die,
To die as if by stealth;
It does not quench the beaming eye,
Nor pale the glow of health.

A. B. Earle, From: Incidents Usedů In His Meetings, published in 1888.

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