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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
Rev. Dr. Norman MacLeod of the Barony on religious decision


"I ONCE attended an old man on his death-bed," said the Rev. Dr. Macleod of the Barony. "He was very lonely and very poor, and more than fourscore years of age. He was naturally very shy and timid, and suffering from many unbelieving doubts and fears. It was sad to see an old man so far from peace with his Father; yet he had been a church member, and had led what is termed a quiet, inoffensive life. I found him, however, very earnest, inquiring, and thoughtful, but very weak in his faith as to the goodwill of God towards him, and in the freeness of the Gospel offers of pardon and grace to him.

"I felt much interested in him one afternoon I was passing his door. I had seen him the day before. His illness seemed to be the lingering weakness of old age. It was within a few moments of my dinner hour, and I had been labouring since morning. A strong impulse seized me to enter the sick man’s house; but the flesh argued for delay, and pleaded fatigue and want of time, and to-morrow, etc. Yet the words, ‘What thy hand findeth to do, do it,’ rung in my mind. I entered, and found the old man very weak.

"Oh, sir,’ he exclaimed, alluding to a previous conversation, ‘is the Lord willing to receive a poor sinner like me?’

"I again pressed a few truths upon his mind, and, when parting, I strongly urged the importance of believing in the love of God to him through Jesus Christ. In bidding him farewell, I said,—’ As freely as I offer you my hand, and with infinitely more love, does Jesus Christ offer, as your Saviour, every possible good, and Himself as the greatest good of all. Believe, and thou shalt be saved!’ He seized my hand, eagerly, saying:

"‘I believe it!’ and promised, according to my request, to resign himself and all his concerns in earnest prayer into Christ’s hands the moment I left his poor and lonely room.

"You will pray for me, sir ?' he asked, as I was departing.

"' Yes,’ I replied,

To-day, sir?’ said he.

"‘This hour,’ was my promise, but,’ I added, ‘no delay—no not a minute !—remember you are to pray immediately to Jesus, and to tell Him all your cares, sins, and sorrows, and to commit your soul to His keeping now and forever. Farewell!’ I sent for a person to sit by the old man, as he seemed weaker than usual. In about half-an-hour after parting from him, the woman whom I had requested to attend him came running to my door with the intelligence that she had found him dead."


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