From the time he was a child, Harry Ironside read the Bible through at least once a year. By age 14, he had read it 14 times. In 1888, he attended D. L. Moody’s campaign in Los Angeles. Hazzard’s Pavilion was packed, so Harry clambered up the girders and sat in the rafters. “Lord,” he prayed, moved by the thousands below, “help me some day to preach to crowds like this, and lead souls to Christ.”
But Harry had never given his own heart to Christ, and his ardor quickly cooled. Soon he was dabbling in “the devil’s blandishments” and indulging in “the follies of the world.” On a Thursday night in February, 1890, he attended a loud party. As he moved toward the drinks, he felt uncomfortable with himself. Suddenly a Scripture passage flashed to his mind—Proverbs 1:23: “Turn at my rebuke; surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.”
It was a sword through his soul, and he instantly saw himself as a guilty, self-willed rebel. The friends surrounding him seemed suddenly different, like people laughing at the edge of a precipice, their eyes closed, just a step from eternal death in the chasm below.
Harry hurried home. It was past midnight, and he removed his shoes, thinking he could slip in quietly; but his worried mother was not asleep. He whispered an apology, then rushed to his room and fell on his knees crying, “Lord, save me!” He turned in his Bible to Romans 3, then to John 3, poring over each verse. “God,” he prayed at last, “I take Thee at Thy Word. I believe that Thou dost now save my soul because I trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
In later years, Harry became a well-known Bible teacher and the pastor of the church established by the man he had watched from the rafters—the Moody Memorial Church of Chicago.
Turn at my rebuke; surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. Proverbs 1:23