Great Grace

 •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 5
A FEW weeks ago, a poor woman, a stranger to me, came to the door, and said—
“Will you come and see a poor old woman who is dying? We think someone ought to read and talk to her, for she is not ready to die.”
Going at once, I found her in very great agony of body, but in deeper anxiety of soul. I said—
"You are in great pain.”
“O ma'am," she groaned, "I be in great pain, but I baint fit to stand before my Maker. I be such a wicked woman, I baint fit to die, no, I baint fit to die.”
She sobbed very bitterly, crying for God to have mercy upon her. Truly, she was a sad sight. Flushed cheeks and wasted body, in great weakness and agony—convicted of sin, and feeling utterly lost.
Praising the Lord for letting her thus see that she was indeed a lost sinner, I delivered His message that Christ came on purpose to seek and to save even her, for He came to seek and to save that which was LOST. At first it seemed too good to be true, too great to be believed, that God would then, at that moment, pardon all her many black sins, and make her His own child, all that He sought from her being that she should give herself, in all her sinfulness, to Him, and that she should believe His word.
I pointed her to the glorious assurance that the Lord Jesus will in no wise cast out any who come unto Him.
“Then," she cried, "I will come, I do come! Lord,' I will believe. Blessed Lord, pardon my poor soul and take me to be with Thee.”
She closed her eyes, and I thought she had fallen asleep in her weariness, all was so still. I softly repeated John 3:1616For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16), and she opened her eyes, but oh! such a change! The calm after the storm, for the storm was over. She said—
“I believe it all, and that He has forgiven even a poor wicked creature like me.”
Showing her how God has by one offering "perfected forever them that are sanctified," I left her.
Upon calling again the next day, I found her fully and simply resting in the finished work of Christ—"trusting Jesus, that was all." Her daughter told me that after I left on the previous day, she summoned the people of the house to her room, and told them how God had pardoned all her sins, and that she had given herself into the Lord's hands. She was full of joy, and said to me—
“Oh, my dear lady, I can't, I can't praise my dear Lord enough; how shall I praise Him? Oh, it is too much! I be so happy and I be so full, and I do want to thank Him more, but I baint able, I am so full my whole self.”
The following day I found her rejoicing more and more.
“Oh," she said, "I can never tell 'ee how happy I be; I can't praise Him eno'. Only to think what a wicked sinner I have been, and that for sixty years I have been serving the devil; and oh, it was such misery!
“Once I thought it was all right with me, for when my poor old father died, he would have a dear lady come to visit him, just like you, you know, my dear, and he said—
“`Do please pray with her' (that was me). Go down on your knees, Sarah,' said he to me, and ask God to forgive you, and don't get up till He does.'
"My poor father did sit right up in bed, although he was dying, and he cried to God to have mercy on me. I was on my knees a long, long time, and I did so cry, oh, such tears! And a strange hope came to me, and I did think I was all right; so I told my father, and he said—
“I can die happy now, for the last one has come in.'
“After we laid him in the grave, I came home to my children—for I had a lot of little ones—and I told my husband all about it. But the boys came home and worried me, and what with work and the things of this world, I soon went back to my old ways worse than before, and I have never been in the house of God since, or anywhere else where I could get any good. But oh, my dear lady, when I be come for to die, I felt what an awful sinner I was! Oh, to think that He is so good—oh, it is too much!" and with sobs and tears of joy she fell asleep.
When she opened her eyes, she said“—
And my husband is changed too; the last two days he is quite different. This morning he came in and said—
“Mother, I couldn't sleep for thinking of you.'
I said, Father, you must not trouble any more about me; think of Him who has done so much for me. You know, father, I be His now.'
“But, Sarah,' he said, 'you know how wicked you have been and what bad things you have done.'
“I said, ' Oh, father, don't 'ee bring all that up to me now; for my blessed Saviour's sake it has all been forgiven me, and you must forgive me too.'
“Oh, my dear lady, he is changing, he spoke softer to me; and only think, the Lord will save him too, I do believe He will, don't you, ma'am?”
I said, "I know He will, for we have all been praying for him, and the Lord says, If ye ask anything, believing in My Name, it shall be done.'”
Oh," she said," it is too much! if I could only get up, I would tell all the people round what He has done for me.”
As she lingered, she said—
“My blessed Saviour, do open my eyes. I can see more and more every day; I can see it all now. I haven't got one sin left on me, Thou didst bear them all on the cross for me, and I am so happy-just waiting for Thee to call me.”
I asked whether there was anything she wanted, but her answer was always the same—
“Only my dear Saviour to take me home. I do want to 'go, I don't want anybody to tell me anything about the world, I only want to hear about Him, my Saviour.”
I told her I was going away for a few days, but if we did not meet again on earth we should meet in heaven. She did not like saying good-bye, and said, wistfully—
“I did think your face would have been the last I should see;" but added, with such a bright smile, "never mind, I will be looking out for you, and won't it be joy to meet!”
And so we parted, but the Lord spared us to meet again, and four days later, quietly she passed into His presence, sixty-three years in the body, and yet only three weeks and one day old.
The father and daughter are both rejoicing now in the pardoning love of God to sinners. EY. B.
To be crucified to the world is not so highly accounted of by us as it should be: how heavenly a thing is it to be deaf and dead to this world's sweetest music!—Extracted.