Really enjoyed reading this brief account of the life of Henry Clay Trumbull, who was a lifelong addict to winning people to Christ. This story of the soldier is especially powerful:
This man of God had a genuine respect for personality, and he did not believe in high-pressuring people into a commitment before they were Spirit-prepared. But he did recognize that at times it was proper to plead for a decision. One such case concerned a soldier into whose tent Chaplain Trumbull slipped late one night. The soldier was answering his sister’s letter in which she had appealed
to him to become a Christian. Says Trumbull:
I felt that the occasion was a peculiar one, and I must improve it.
I urged him to a decision at that very time, and I would not consent that he
should postpone it. I saw that all he needed was to come to the act of decision,
and there might never be a better moment for this with him than now. So there I
remained with him, pleading for Christ until far into the night. I knew that
here probably never would be a “more convenient season” than this. And his
strong New England mind evidently took in this fact. He was considering the
matter well. Finally, he voluntarily knelt with me beneath the shelter-tent, and
deliberately consecrated himself to the Saviour’s care and service…It was but
a little while after this, that in an engagement in which we had a part, he was
killed: and as I said earnest words of prayer over the grave in which we buried
him, and as I looked down into his dead face, I was glad that I waited that
memorable night until he knelt by my side and gave himself up to his loving and
waiting Saviour. And then I wrote to that faithful and praying sister, and told
her of that midnight hour of his deliberate consecration.
There’s a story which is even better of a guy drinking whisky on a train whom Trumbull falls into discussion with. Trumbull wrote a classic on how to witness and share the gospel. We all worry, of course, about making some dreadful blunder and not presenting a good or gracious witness to Him. But the greatest mistake of all, of course, is not to say anything at all.