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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
Rev. Dr. Norman MacLeod's last hours


ON the morning of Sunday, the 16th of June, 1872, Dr. Macleod of the Barony was so much better that his brother left him in comparative comfort, and when Professor Andrew Buchanan saw him some hours afterwards, he was surprised at the great improvement which had taken place. He felt so refreshed after taking some food, about seven in the morning, that he asked his wife to sit beside him, while he told her the deeper thoughts that were possessing his soul.

"I believe I will get better," he said, "but I wish you to record for my good, and for our good afterwards, that in this hurricane I have had deep thoughts of God. I feel as if He said,—’ We know one another; I love you; I forgive you; I put my hands round you ;—just as I would with my son, Norman," and here he laid his hand tenderly on his wife’s head, adding,—" I have had few religious exercises for the last ten days. If my son were ill I would not be angry with him for not sending me a letter. But I have had constant joy, and the happy thought continually whispered, ‘Thou art with me.’ Not many would understand me. They would put down much that I have felt to the delirium of weakness, but I have had deep spiritual insight"

When he was speaking of God’s dealings, the expression of his face and his accents were as if he were addressing One actually present. Still more intimately, it seemed, than ever, his fellowship was with the Father and the Son. He again repeated that he believed he would get better, and that his latter days would be more useful than any former ones.

"I have neglected many things. I have not felt as I ought how awfully good God is; how generous and long-suffering; how He has put up with all my rubbish. It is enough to crush me when I think of all His mercies" (as he said this he was melted in tears); "mercy, mercy, from beginning to end. You and I have passed through many lifestorms, but we can say, with peace, it has been all right." He added something she could not follow as to what he would wish to do in his latter days, and as to how he— "Would teach his darling children to know and realise God’s presence."

Some hours afterwards two of his daughters came to kiss him before going to church. "He took my hands in both of his," one of them writes, "and told me I must come to see him oftener."

"If I had strength," he said, "I could tell you many things that would do you good through all your life. I am an old man, and have passed through many experiences, but now all is perfect peace and perfect calm. I have glimpses of heaven that no tongue, or pen, or words can describe." The daughter who communicated this, states :— "I kissed him on his dear forehead and went away crying, only because he was so ill. When I next saw him he was, indeed, in perfect peace and perfect calm."

The church bells had for some time ceased to ring, and the quiet of the Lord’s Day rested on the city. His wife and one of his sons were with him in the drawing-room, where he remained chiefly sitting on the sofa. About twelve o’clock Mrs. Macleod went to the door to give some direction about food. The sudden cry,— "Mother, mother !" startled her, and when she hurried in she saw his head had fallen back. There was a soft sigh, and gently, as one sinking into sleep, his spirit entered into rest.


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