I'm not much of a fan of Charles Finney, but this story is great. I have used it before in my previous blog.
The Cleansing Power of Christ’s Blood
Charles G. Finney told this story. He was holding a revival in Detroit. One night as he started to walk into church a man came up to him and asked, “Are you Mr. Finney?”
“I wonder if you would do me a favor? When you get through tonight, will you come to my home and talk to me about my soul?”
“Gladly. You wait for me.” Finney walked inside, and some of the men stopped him.
“What did he want, Brother Finney?”
“He wanted me to go home with him.”
“Don’t do it.”
“I’m sorry, but I promised, and I shall go with him.”
When the service was over, Finney and the man walked three blocks, turned into a side alley, and stopped in front of a door. The man unlocked it, and said, “Come on in.”
Mr. Finney walked into the room. The man locked the door, reached in his pocket, pulled out a revolver, and held it in his hand. “I don’t intend to do you any harm,” he said. “I just want to ask you a few questions. Did you mean what you said in your sermon last night?”
“What did I say? I have forgotten.”
“You said, ‘The Blood of Jesus cleanses from all sin.’”
Finney said, “Yes, God said so.”
The man said, “Brother Finney, you see this revolver? It is mine; it has killed four people. Two of them were killed by me, two by my bartender in a brawl in my saloon. Is there hope for a man like me?”
Finney said, “The Blood of Jesus cleanses from all sin.”
In the back of this partition is a saloon. I own it, everything in it. We sell to anybody who comes along. Many, many times I’ve taken the last penny out of a man’s pocket, letting his wife and children go hungry. Is there hope for a man like me?’
Finney said, “God says, ‘The Blood of Jesus Christ, His son, cleanses us from all sin.”
”Another question, Brother Finney. In back of this other partition is a gambling joint, and it is a crooked as sin and Satan. There isn’t a decent wheel in the whole place. It is all loaded and crooked. A man leaves the saloon with some money in his pocket, and we take his money away in there. Men have gone out of that gambling place to commit suicide when their money, and perhaps entrusted funds, were all gone. Is there any hope for a man like me?”
Finney said, “God says, ‘The Blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.’”
“One more question, and I will let you go. When you walk out of this alley, if you turn to the right, you’ll see a brown stone house. It is my home. I own it. My wife is there and my 11 year old child, Margaret. Thirteen years ago, I went to New York on business. I met a beautiful girl; I lied to her. I told her I was a stockbroker, and she married me. I brought her here, and when she found out my business, it broke her heart.
“I have made life a hell on earth for her. I have come home drunk, beaten her, abused her, locked her out, and make her life more miserable than any brute beast. About a month ago, I went home drunk, mean, and miserable. My wife got in the way some how, and I started beating her. My daughter threw herself between us. I slapped the girl across the face, and knocked her against the red, hot stove. Her arm is burnt from shoulder to wrist; it will never look like anything decent. Brother Finney, is there any hope for a man like me?”
Finney got hold of the man’s shoulders, shook him, said, “O son, what a black story you have to tell. But God says, ‘The Blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin.’”
The man said, “Thank you, thank you very much. Pray for me. I am coming to church tomorrow night.”
Finney went about his business.
The next morning about 7 o’clock, the saloon man started across the street out of his office. His face was dusty, sweaty, and tear stained. He was shaking and rocking as though he were drunk. But let us go back and take a look at his saloon. He had taken the swivel chair and smashed it through the mirror, the fireplace, the desk, and the other chairs. He had smashed the partition on each side. Every bottle, barrel, and bar mirror in the saloon was shattered and broken up. The sawdust was swimming ankle deep in a terrible mixture of beer, gin, whiskey, and wine. In the gambling establishment the tables were smashed, the dice and cards in the fireplace were smoldering.
The man staggered across the street, walked up the stairs of his home, and sat down heavily in the chair in his room. His wife called to her little girl, Margaret, “Run upstairs, and tell Daddy, ‘Breakfast is ready.’”
The girl walked slowly up the stairs. Half afraid, she stood in the door and said, “Daddy, Momma said to come down. Breakfast is ready.”
“Margaret, darling, Daddy doesn’t want any breakfast.”
The little girl didn’t walk; she just flew down the stairs. “Momma, Daddy said, ‘Margaret, darling,’ and he didn’t swear.”
“Margaret, you didn’t understand. You go back upstairs and tell Daddy to come down.”
Margaret went upstairs with mother following her. The man looked up as he heard the child’s steps, spread his knee out, and said, “Come here, Margaret.”
Shy, frightened, and trembling the little girl walked up to him. He lifted her, put her on his knee, pressed his face against her breast, and wept.
His wife, standing in the door, didn’t understand what happened. After awhile he noticed her and said, “Wife, come here.”
With arms around wife and daughter, he shook with uncontrollable sobs. After he controlled himself, he looked at their faces and said, “You don’t need to be afraid any more. God has brought you home a new man, a new Daddy, today.”