Crusoe again: Conversion

Mon, 09/12/2019 - 10:30 -- James Oakley

A fourth post in the 300th anniversary year of Daniel Defoe's novel, Robinson Crusoe, following on from one on the subject of contentment, a second on bondage of the will, and a third on providence.

Finally, we reach the point when Crusoe is converted. It's the centrepiece and highlight of the book. We've watched him (as I've documented) come to an awareness of his own stupid and stubborn rebellion, his inability to see God's kindness in the many good things he enjoys. Finally, he opens his Bible and reads. It's a gloriously joyful moment.

July 4. In the morning, I took the Bible, and beginning at the New Testament, I began seriously to read it, and imopsed upon myself to read a while every morning and every night, not tying myself to the number of chapters, but as long as my thoughts should engage me. It was not long after I set seriously to this work but I found my heart more deeply and sincerely affected with the wickedness of my past life. The impression of my dream revived, and the words, 'All these things have not brought thee to repentance,' ran seriously in my thoughts. I was earnestly begging of God to give me repentance, when it happened providentially the very day that reading the Scripture, I came to these words, 'He is exalted a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance, and to give remission.' I threw down the book, and with my heart as well as my hands lifted up to Heaven, in a kind of ecstasy of joy, I cried out aloud, 'Jesus, Thou Son of David, Jesus, Thou exalted Prince and Saviour, give me repentance!'

This was the first time that I could say, in the true sense of the words, that I prayed in all my life; for now I prayed with a sense of my condition, and with a true Scripture view of hope founded on the encouragement of the Word of God; and from this time, I may say, I began to have hope that God would hear me.

Now I began to construe the words mentioned above, ‘Call on Me, and I will deliver you,’ in a different sense from what I had ever done before; for then I had no notion of anything being called deliverance but my being delivered from the captivity I was in, for though I was indeed at large in the place, yet the island was certainly a prison to me, and that in the worst sense in the world; but now I learned to take it in another sense. Now Ilooked back upon my past life with such horror, and my sins appeared so dreadful, that my soul sought nothing of God but deliverance from the load of guilt that bore down all my comfort. As for my solitary life, it was nothing; I did not so much as pray to be delivered from it or think of it; it was all of no consideration in comparison to this; and I added this part here to hint to whoever shall read it, that whenever they come to a true sense of things, they will find deliverance from sin a much greater blessing than deliverance from affliction.

Blog Category: 

Add new comment

Additional Terms