HAUD ON, DEARIE!
I was travelling in a third-class carriage on the Caledonian Railway, some years ago. when, at a small station in the country, a middle-aged woman, of grave and serious demeanour, and evidently of the humblest class of society, got into my compartment. Giving her a Gospel tract, she read it, and then made some comment which led me to judge she was a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, an impression which further conversation quite confirmedÂ— in fact, she was a child of God, and happy in the sense of His love to her. Presently she volunteered that she was going to her home, but with rather a sad heart, as she had been at the death and burial of one who had been her most intimate friend from the days of childhood. On my inquiring if her friend had died in the Lord, she repliedÂ—
“Ou, ay. I believe she was a guid womun.”
“What grounds have you for such a statement?” I asked.
“Weel, sir, she was a godly-livin’ womun, for I’ve kenn’d her frae I was a bairn, but jist afore she deed, I spier’t* at her what her hope for eternity really was.”
“And what did she say?”
“She answered me, ‘I canna say that I ha’e that peace an’ that assurance I have heerd some folk tell o’, but I can truly say I’m like yon puir womun in the Gospels wi’ the issue o’ bluid, who, when she heerd o’ Jesus ,cam’ an’ touchit the hem o’ His garmint;
and though I canna say I feel as I wad like tae, an’ my faith is weak, I’m jist clingin’ tae Him’.”
“That was good,” said I; “and what comfort did you seek to give her?”
“Weel, weel, sir, I jist said, ‘Haud+ on, dearie! He’ll no’ shak’ ye aff!'”
The train stopped; my friend got out. I have never seen her since, and I never expect to again till I see her in glory, but her last words have remained firmly engraved on my memory, and I send them forth with the hope and prayer that they may cheer some timid, doubting, yet withal believing soul.
“Haud on, dearie! He’ll no’ shak’ ye aff!” It was a fine word for a dying soul, that clung to the Saviour, to hear. It is in such moments that Satan gathers up all his powers, arrays all his hosts, marshals all his forces, and shoots all his poisoned arrows to distress and distract the physically enfeebled one. What comfort in such a condition must it have been to this dying one to hear such a sweet testimony to the blessed Lord as this, “He’ll no’ shak’ ve aff!”