Scripture Truth 1940, p. 89
Mr. Darby in his day served with great energy as a teacher and pastor, and few since the days of the Apostle Paul had such keen insight to the Holy Scriptures. Yet, while he often said he was not an evangelist, when opportunity opened, he was happy in doing evangelical work. At times he said he really envied those who had the gift of the evangelist. He ever encouraged young men to evangelize, and deplored when such work was spoken lightly of. A remarkable illustration of his whole-hearted zeal was given to us by a French brother in Council Bluffs, Iowa, some thirty years ago. In brief:
“When I saw J.N.D. first in Switzerland he preached the gospel in the open air. Many were attracted by his simple messages but great opposition was raised against him and I was amongst the persecutors who pelted stones and rotten eggs at him. Some years after this I came to the United States and discovered that my cousin living in Illinois was in the same fellowship with Mr. Darby. Later Mr. Darby came to Chicago, and then came out to our district and was a guest at the home of my cousin. This was a French settlement and most spoke French. My cousin invited me to come to hear him preach (but they knew nothing of my opposition to him in Switzerland). I attended his preaching (the preaching by Mr. Darby was in French) and was impressed and at the close was introduced to him. He enquired concerning my salvation and read to me one passage from John’s Gospel, John 5:24. This gave me great light, and I confessed the Lord to Mr. Darby and went to my farm home happy.
“Next morning, on account of there being a heavy rain during the night, I could not work in the fields, so I went to the village close by to get work done at the blacksmith’s shop. Mr. Darby suggested to my cousin that he would like to visit me this forenoon, so they came to my house and discovered I had gone to the village blacksmith’s shop, and they followed me there. I went out and stood beside their horse and buggy; after he asked me how I was getting along, I replied that after I left him last night I had some very unhappy feelings, although I believed on the Saviour. I felt that something within we was not right. Mr. Darby opened the seventh chapter of Romans and read to me from the latter part of the chapter where Paul described such an experience. I said to him, ‘This is really my experience now.’ ‘O wretched man that I am.’ He then showed me that by the blood of Christ all my sins were removed, in Romans 3, and that each believer was justified from all sins by the blood, but explained also that the old sinful nature still remained in the believer and showed me how we got deliverance from both the law, and the power of indwelling sin. The light dawned upon me, and my joy was similar to what I had last evening when I decided for Christ.”