The Lauderdale Cowboy

It was the year of the Zulu War with Great Britain, and many Scottish homes were darkened by the tidings of disaster in the early stages of that conflict. Believing that God's message of peace, procured through the blood of the Cross, and proclaimed in the Gospel, is the one grand cure for man's distress, as it is the only remedy for his guilt and ruin, an aged servant of the Lord who had seen much of His work in the salvation of sinners, went out to a village of Lauderdale, and began meetings in a wayside school house which had ceased to be used.
The villagers were notoriously irreligious, and cared little for the Gospel or their own souls, but their children came in large numbers to hear the glad tidings, and God in grace saved quite a number of them. Then the stir began, for these boys and girls began to tell in their homes, and among their companions, what great things the Lord had done for their souls.
The village rang from end to end with the hymns they had learned to sing, and as is always the case where God is working, great opposition began to be manifested toward the preaching. By influence brought to bear on the owner of the school, the use of it was withdrawn, and the preacher turned out.
A Christian farmer, whose young cowboy had been brightly brought to the Savior at the meetings, when he heard of the enemy's attempt to stop the work, remarked,
"It shall never be said in Lauderdale, that God's work in saving sinners was brought to a stop for want of a place to meet in. If nothing else can be had, I will clear my granary and fit it up as a place for the Gospel to be preached in."
And he did. With long plank seats, lit up by oil lamps suspended from the roof, the granary was filled night after night with a congregation of earnest hearers, old and young, Who had come to know their need of God's salvation, and were prepared to be laughed at by those openly ungodly, who had joined hands to molest the gospel-preachers, and hurl abuse at them.
One of the most active opponents was a young lad, whose brother had fallen in the land of Cetewayo, the Zula chief. In preaching one night from the ever-precious words of Isa. 53:55But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5),—"the chastisement of our peace was upon Him," the speaker told of a Scottish soldier, who had taken the place of a brother in the firing line, and was slain in his stead.
"What would you say if that young soldier who owed his life to his brother's death, should speak only evil of his dead brother, and abuse all who honored his memory? Yet that is what all are doing to the Lord of glory, who scoff at the message of peace we preach, through the death of Christ, and ill use those who confess Him as their Peacemaker and Redeemer."
These words went home to the conscience of the young scorner, and as he told afterwards, he "saw his sin, and was shocked at its greatness."
But it did not end there. He came forward in the granary that night, and before all present, confessed his faith in "the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Gal. 2:2020I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)).
The place rang again that night with the voice of praise, shared by a new-born soul, who for the first time sang,
"I hear the words of love,
I gaze upon the blood;
I see the mighty sacrifice,
And I have peace with God."
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Rom. 5:11Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (Romans 5:1).
"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost." Rom. 15:1313Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. (Romans 15:13).