He who is almost persuaded is almost saved, and to be almost saved is to be entirely lost, were the words with which the Rev. Mr. Brundage ended one of his sermons. P. P. Bliss, who was in the audience, was much impressed with the thought, and immediately set about the composition of what proved to be one of his most popular songs.
One of the most impressive occasions on which this hymn was sung was in the Agricultural Hall in London, in 1874, when Mr. Gladstone was present. At the close of his sermon Mr. Moody asked the congregation to bow their heads, while I sang Almost Persuaded. The stillness of death prevailed throughout the audience of over fifteen thousand, as souls were making their decisions for Christ.
Sankey, p. 112
While engaged in evangelistic work in western Pennsylvania, writes the Rev. A. J. Furman,
I saw the people deeply moved by singing. I had begun my preparation to preach in the evening, from the text,
Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian, when it occurred to me that if Mrs. B—, an estimable Christian and a most excellent singer, would sing
Almost Persuaded as a solo, great good might be done. At once I left the room and called on the lady, who consented to sing as requested.
When I had finished my sermon, she sang the song with wonderful pathos and power. It moved many to tears. Among them was the principal of the high school, who could not resist the appeal through that song. He and several others found the Pearl of Great Price before the next day. After the close of the sermon, I spoke to Mrs. B— about the effect of her singing, and she told me that she had been praying earnestly all that afternoon, that she might so sing as to win sinners for her Saviour that night, and her prayers were surely answered.
Sankey, p. 112–13
It was Sunday night, November 18, 1883, writes Mr. S. W. Tucker, of Clapton, London,
when I heard you sing
Almost Persuaded in the Priory Hall, Islington, London, and God used that song in drawing me to the feet of Jesus. I was afraid to trust myself in His hands for fear of man. For six weeks that hymn was ringing in my ears, till I accepted the invitation. I came, and am now rejoicing in the Lord, my Saviour. How often, with tears of joy and love, have I thought of those meetings and of you and dear Mr Moody, who showed me and other sinners where there was love, happiness, and joy.
Sankey, p. 113
Said a young man to the Rev. Mr. Young,
I intend to become a Christian some time, but not now. Don’t trouble yourself about me. I’ll tend to it in good time. A few weeks after, the man was injured in a saw-mill, and as he lay dying, Mr. Young was called to him. He found him in despair, saying:
Leave me alone. At your meeting I was almost persuaded, but I would not yield, and now it is too late. Oh, get my wife, my sisters and my brothers to seek God, and do it now, but leave me alone, for I am lost. Within an hour he passed away, with these words on his lips:
I am lost, just because I would not yield when I was almost persuaded.
Sankey, pp. 113–14