(He was speaking of the victory gained at Brighton)
"One day I was led just to say to God, "I am Thine;" not, I wish to be, or, I wish I was, but, "I am." Well, did that make any great change? No; no extraordinary change. My duties were just the same, only I felt this, I knew this, that I belonged to God, I believed it on the authority of his Word: 'Ye are mine.'"
Dear friends, I think that these testimonies are one of the most important features of these meetings, and are a means of grace. After all, it is the living witness that carries with him persuasion. It is one thing to speak for one's own sake and another thing to speak for the Lord's sake.
I may say, with my brother Rappard, I was brought to God in a very definite manner. At that time I understood at once that Christ was my righteousness, and that He was my strength. In fact, what led me to Him was not so much the sins of guilt as of weakness.
I may say I never ceased to believe that He was the believer's strength; and that we had no strength outside of Him. I preached it, published it, and, in an emergency, or in the visits to beds of sickness, in proportion to the occasion, I would put myself in his hands, and I always found Him faithful. But between these emergencies, these moments when I thought I must have Him, well, I suppose I thought, indeed, I am sure I felt, I did not need Him so much. But it is a shame; it is a horrible sin to think we can do without the Lord Jesus Christ, now and then, and suit and please ourselves. And yet that was my life. And so it was with me for many years, not without some blessings from God in his wonderful patience.
Well, one day last year, Mr. Pearsall Smith came to Paris, and the first time I saw him I told him there was one trouble with me. I said, "There are some sins, I like. There are some sins at in which I find some satisfaction." Then he simply answered me with one verse from Scripture, "Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin." I went to my Bible and found the verse there; but was it practicable? Could it be done? Was that the way to fight sin? I tried it and found it was; and every time I reckon myself to have died, it is settled in my own mind as a fact, then I am dead to sin, I find temptation, as it were, to drop down before this; it has been a very wonderful and blessed verse to me.
I went on doing that now and then, but I soon felt that I had better do it all the while. One day I was led just to say to God, "I am Thine;" not, I wish to be, or, I wish I was, but, "I am." Well, did that make any great change? No; no extraordinary change. My duties were just the same, only I felt this, I knew this, that I belonged to God, I believed it on the authority of his Word: "Ye are mine."
Then you ask me if I had failures. Yes, I had, and then I confessed to Him that I had turned from Him, and I felt more heart-searching, more sorrows for one transgression than I did before for weeks or months of conscious sin.
He has led me since, step by step; I think that leading of Christ which He hath promised, is really true: "When He putteth forth his own sheep, He goeth before them." Let us expect and receive from Him abundance of life, of light, of love to obey Him cheerfully; to obey, I was going to say, plentifully; and to be like a full stream running over. He has promised as much: "He that believeth on Me, out of him shall flow rivers of living water."—Théodore Monod, The Christian, Thursday, June 17, 1875