Well can I remember the manner in which I learned the Doctrines of Grace in a single instant.
Born as all of us are by nature, an ‘Arminian,’ I still believed the old things I had heard continually from the pulpit, and did not see the Grace of God. When I was coming to Christ, I thought I was doing it all myself, and though I sought the Lord earnestly, I had no idea the Lord was seeking me. I do not think the young convert is at first aware of this.
I can recall the very day and hour when first I received these truths in my own soul–when they were, as John Bunyan says, burnt into my heart as with a hot iron: I can recollect how I felt that I had grown all a sudden from a babe into a man–that I had made progress in Scriptural knowledge, through having found, once for all, the clue to the truth of God.
One weeknight when I was sitting in the house of God, I was not thinking much about the preacher’s sermon, for I did not believe it. The thought struck me: ‘How did you come to be a Christian?’–I sought the Lord. ‘But how did you come to seek the Lord?’–The truth flashed across my mind in a moment–I should not have sought Him unless there had been some previous influence in my mind to make me seek Him. I prayed, thought I, but then I asked myself: ‘How came I to pray?’–I was induced to pray by reading the Scriptures. I did read them; but what led me to do so? Then, in a moment, I saw that God was at the bottom of it all, and that He was the Author of my faith. It was then the whole doctrine of Grace opened up to me, and from that doctrine I have not departed to this day, and I desire to make it my constant confession. I ascribe my change wholly to God.