“I thought the old sun shone brighter than it ever had before. I thought it was just smiling upon me. Do you know I fell in love with the birds? I had never cared for them before. It seemed to me I was in love with all creation.”
That’s Dwight L. Moody on his conversion. And here is an excerpt from his sermon, “The Work of the Holy Ghost,” on love:
Now the work of the Holy Ghost is also to impart love. Just turn to Romans 5:5: “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us.” The real fruit that we look for in a young convert is love…. Go into a society of young converts. If you could have been in our meeting last night you would have seen love and joy in every face, except a few inquiring ones. They all tell the same story. They were of different nationalities, perhaps, but they had only one story to relate. They loved every one, and told how much love and pity they felt for all. And if a man gets up and talks bitterly against any one, and professes to be a young convert, you may believe it is a spurious conversion. It is counterfeit. It has not got the ring of heaven in it, because a man when he is converted will love every one. Not only that, but I have noticed this, that when a man is full of the Holy Ghost he is the very last man to be complaining of other people. He loves everybody too tenderly. He loves even a cold church, and is anxious to lift them up and bring them to a kinder feeling and sympathy.
And I want to say here that I think a good many people have gotten into this habit of coldness. A man told me the other day that he felt it to be his duty to go up to a certain church and open on them when he got a chance for their lukewarmness, and I thought if he could just get a look at these young converts here he would feel differently. For when a man is himself cold he looks upon everybody else as cold too. When a man is himself warm he will talk about everybody else in the same view as of himself; he will talk about the love of God that is in our hearts, and that is what we want. If we only just felt filled with love, how easy it would be to reach man! All these barriers between us would be broken down. If you can only convince the greatest blasphemer and infidel in New York that you really love him you can reach him. What we want, therefore, is this love, and that is the work of the Holy Ghost to impart; and let us pray today that the love of God may be shed abroad in all our hearts.
A Treasury of Evangelical Writings, edited by David Otis Fuller, pp. 415, 419.