I was preaching in British Columbia some years ago and a young man came to me, and wanted to become a Christian. He had been smuggling opium into the States.
"Well, my friend," I said, "I don't think there is any chance for you to become a Christian until you make restitution." He said, "If I attempt to do that, I will fall into the clutches of the law, and I will go to the penitentiary." "Well," I replied, "you had better do that than go to the judgment-seat of God with that sin upon your soul, and have eternal punishment. The Lord will be very merciful if you set your face to do right."
He went away sorrowful, but came back the next day, and said: "I have a young wife and child, and all the furniture in my house I have bought with money I have got in this dishonest way. If I become a Christian, that furniture will have to go, and my wife will know it."
"Better let your wife know it, and better let you home and furniture go."
"Would you come up and see my wife?" he asked; "I don't know what she will say."
I went up to see her, and when I told her, the tears trickled down her cheeks, and she said: "Mr. Moody, I will gladly give everything if my husband can become a true Christian."
She took out her pocketbook, and handed over her last penny. He had a piece of land in the United States, which he deeded over to the government. I do not know, in all my backward track, of any living man who has had a better testimony for Jesus Christ that that man. He had been dishonest, but when the truth came to him that he must make it right before God would help him, he made it right.
No amount of weeping over sin, and saying that you feel sorry, is going to help it unless you are willing to confess and make restitution.