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
"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
"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
"' 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."