One day I was walking through the streets of York, in England. I saw a little way ahead a soldier coming toward me. He had the red uniform on of the infantry -- the dress of the army. I knew at once when I saw him that he was a soldier. When he came near me I stopped him. I said, |My good man, if you have no objection I would like to ask you a few questions.| |Certainly, sir,| said he. |Well, then, I would like to know how you first became a soldier.| |Yes, sir, I will tell you. You see, sir, I wanted to become a soldier, and the recruiting officer was in our town, and I went up to him and told him I wanted to enlist. |Well, sir, he said, 'All right,' and the first thing he did, sir, he took an English shilling out of his pocket, sir, and put it into my hand. The very moment, sir, a recruiting-sergeant puts a shilling into your hand, sir, you are a soldier.| I said to myself, |That is the very illustration I want.|
That man was a free man at one time -- he could go here and there; do just what he liked; but the moment the shilling was put into his hand he was subject to the rules of war, and Queen Victoria could send him anywhere and make him obey the rules and regulations of the army. He is a soldier the very minute he takes the shilling. He has not got to wait to put on the uniform. And when you ask me how a man may be converted at once, I answer, just the same as that man became a soldier. The citizen becomes a soldier in a minute, and from being a free man becomes subject to the command of others. The moment you take Christ into your heart, that moment your name is written in the roll of Heaven.