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Life Without God Is Wasted

One night Canon Hay Aitken preached to a large audience in Bristol, England, on the text, "You must be born again." There in the congregation was a brilliant young man named Horatio Bottomly. He listened intently. He heard the preacher at the end of the sermon call all who were there to trust in the grace of Christ and to commit their lives to Jesus Christ, and he knew the call was addressed to him, too. He was deeply moved, but he said, "Not now, I'll run my own life." And he did.

He made a fortune and a name for himself as the champion of the people's rights. He was a lawyer; he exposed swindlers and prosecuted criminals with great vigor. When Bottomly was 63 years of age, this one who had exposed the crimes of others was himself convicted of a crime and sentenced to seven years in prison.

While he was there, another man visited him and asked to pray with him. Bottomly said that would be fine, and in the course of the conversation, the other man told his story. He said, "Yes, many years ago, I was in Bristol, and I heard a preacher, Canon Hay Aitken, preach on the text: You must be born again. I was so deeply moved that I committed my life to Christ, and ever since then, Christ has been my all in all."

Bottomly was silent for some time, and then he said, "I, too, heard that searching message. I, too, was deeply moved. I knew my need of Christ, but I rejected him." And then he said remorsefully, "A life without God is a wasted life."

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