I was weeping in the most bitter contrition of my heart, when I heard the voice of children from a neighboring house chanting, “Take up and read; take up and read.” I could not remember ever having heard the like, so checking the torrent of my tears, I arose, interpreting it to be no other than a command from God to open the book and read the first chapter I should find. Eagerly then I returned to the place where I had laid the volume of the apostle. I seized, opened, and in silence read that section on which my eyes first fell: “Not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not is strife and envy; but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” No further would I read, nor did I need to. For instantly at the end of this sentence, it seemed as if a light of serenity infused into my heart and all the darkness of doubt vanished away.
In the Trinity Term of 1929, I gave in and admitted that God was God and knelt and prayed.
I felt myself absolutely born again. The gates of paradise had been flung open and I had entered. There and then the whole of Scripture took on another look to me.
The old sun shone a good deal brighter than it ever had before. I thought that it was just smiling upon me; and as I walked out upon Boston Common and heard the birds singing in the trees, I thought they were all singing a song to me. …I had not a bitter feeling against any man, and I was ready to take all men into my heart.
I saw myself standing outside a house looking in on a tremendous party with laughter and joy. The Lord tracked me down and found me. I was surprised by grace. I became an avid Bible reader and my initial doubts soon evaporated in the atmosphere of solid Bible exposition at the Christian Union.
Year of grace 1654, Monday 23 November, feast of St. Clement…from about half past ten at night to about half an hour after midnight, FIRE. God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of philosophers and scholars. Certitude, heartfelt joy, peace. God of Jesus Christ. God of Jesus Christ. "My God and your God."… Joy, Joy, Joy, tears of joy… Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ. May I never be separated from Him.