Oh! I Could Love Him
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
BEING on one occasion, entertained at the home of Rev. Dr. George Pentecost, at Yonkers, the host related to me several incidents connected with his extensive work in India, London, and America, some of which made a lasting impression on my mind. This is one of them :
" It was in the city of Calcutta, where I had been holding special conferences and evangelistic meetings with the high caste educated Brahmins. On this particular occasion there were about two hundred middle-aged men present.
" My address was wholly taken up by a portraiture of the life, character, death and resurrection of Christ ; particularly dwelling upon the human beauty and perfection of his character. At the close of the meeting most of the men, who had for half an hour courteously listened to me as I ` talked of Jesus,' went from the hall. Half a dozen remained and came about me, either to ask questions or to' make some pleasant and courteous remark. Among them was a man of perhaps sixty years of age, a beautiful man, with a face as classically cut as that of an old Greek scholar. He was an official pundit of the government. He salaamed to me, and when I returned his greeting, I said, ` Bab:), I am happy to meet you. I hope you are a Christian?' For there were not a few of this class who in the days of Dr. Duff had embraced Christianity and faithfully lived the life.
" ` No, sahib, I am not a Christian. I am a Hindoo, and I shall always be a Hindoo. I am too old to change my religion. I have been interested in your addresses, many of which I have heard, and confess there is much that is very beautiful and attractive in your Gospel, as you call it. I remember with respect many of the things we used to hear when Dr. Duff was head of our college.'
" I had a little further talk with him, and again pressed the claims of Christ upon him as his loving Friend and Redeemer.
" Again he explained his reasons for not ` becoming a Christian,' mainly because of the disruption of his family which would follow, and because he was ` too old to change his religion.' Nevertheless, the fine old man was evidently deeply moved and touched by what he had heard, and he expressed his sympathy with my work and said nothing but good could come to his people from hearing about Jesus and his beautiful ` life and teachings.' I was so drawn to this gentle and cultured man that I detained him long in conversation, and again and again presented to him the blessed truth of God's everlasting love and grace and urged him not to turn away from the light which had come to him or resist the gentle drawings of the Holy Spirit. All the time he would parry my appeals and arguments with some gentle words of approval, but at the same time excusing himself from any committal of himself to Christ. Finally, he said, as he first salaamed and then, as an act of unusual courtesy, took my outstretched hand. ` No, sahib, I am a Hindoo and I shall always be a Hindoo, but O, I could love Him,' and this with tears in his eyes and his chin quivering with emotion. Who shall say that he did not already love Him."
It is one of the marvels and glories of this generation that so many of the people of India are loving and serving the Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ is the complement of every human being, the other half required to make the human heart whole. By the zeal and heroism of the missionaries, by the generosity and faith of the Christians at home, the whole world will learn of this Saviour, and love him and be obedient to him.