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The Conversion of Josiah the Slave
Josiah, ablack slave during the Civil War, was not acquainted with the Scriptures. One day after listening to the passionate words of a preacher at a camp meeting, Josiah ...

The Conversion of Josiah the Slave

Josiah, ablack slave during the Civil War, was not acquainted with the Scriptures. One day after listening to the passionate words of a preacher at a camp meeting, Josiah heard the gospel for the first time and was converted. He wrote details of his conversion as follows:

When I arrived at the place of meeting, the services were so far advanced that the speaker was just beginning his discourse from the text, Hebrews ii. 9: “That He, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man.” This was the first text of the Bible I had ever listened to, knowing it to be such. I have never forgotten it, and scarcely a day has passed since in which I have not recalled it, and the sermon that was preached from it.

“Who can describe my feelings, and the strange influence that came upon and overwhelmed me, as I listened to those wondrous words?” … O, the blessedness and sweetness of the feeling that then came over me! I was LOVED! I could have died that moment with joy for the compassionate Saviour about whom I was hearing. “He loves me. He looks down from heaven in compassion and forgiveness on me, a great sinner. He died to save my soul” … I seemed to see a glorious Being in a cloud of splendour smiling down from on high. In sharp contrast with the experience of the contempt and brutality of my earthly master, I seemed to bask in the sunshine of the benignity of this glorious Being! He’ll be my dear refuge—He’ll wipe away the tears from my eyes! Now I can bear all things. Nothing will seem hard after this! I felt sorry that my master, Riley, did not know this loving Saviour; sorry that he should live such a coarse, wicked, cruel life. Swallowed up in the beauty of the Divine love, I could love my enemies, and prayed for them that did despitefully use and entreat me … Religion became to me, indeed, the great business and concern of my life …

It is remarkable how the gospel has power to totally transform a life. Josiah’s conversion led him to love his enemies, even after terrible beatings.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

2 Corinthians 5:16, 17


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