The Hell Fire Club?
(edited from Spurgeon's sermon, #950
"Means for Restoring the Banished" )
Mr. Thorpe was a member of an 'infidel' club.
In those days infidelity was more blasphemous
than now. This infidel society took the name of
the "Hell Fire Club". Among their amusements
was that of holding imitations of religious
services, and exhibiting mimicries of popular
Thorpe went to hear George Whitfield preach,
that he might caricature him before his profane
associates. He listened to Whitfield so carefully
that he caught his tones and his manner, and
somewhat of his doctrines.
When the "Hell Fire Club" met to see his caricature
of Whitfield, Thorpe opened the Bible that he might
take a text to preach from it after the manner of
Whitfield. His eye fell on the passage, "Except you
repent, you shall all likewise perish." As he spoke
upon that text he was carried beyond himself, lost
all thought of mockery, spoke as one in earnest,
and was the means of his own conversion!
He was carried by the force of truth beyond his
own intention, like one who would play in a river,
and is swept away by its current.
Even the scoffer may be reached by the arrows of truth!
Scripture has often been the sole means in the hands
of its divine Author of converting the soul.
"For the Word of God is full of living power. It is
sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into
our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes
us for what we really are." Hebrews 4:12
(After his amazing conversion, Thorpe became a
noted preacher of the gospel. This is the most
amazing conversion I have ever heard of. -editor)