Many years since, it was my privilege to be employed as a missionary in the Island of St. Vincent, in the West Indies. My station was in a remote part of the island, and nearly all my congregation were black people, whose ancestors had been brought from Africa as slaves. Among these there was an aged woman, quite blind, who had been in that country from her childhood, having, as she said, been stolen from her home by the white man. Her name was Adelaide, a name given her by her proprietors. The name was a royal one, and she had been for many years a child of God, and, therefore, a royal heir of heaven. My visits to her wretched cabin are fresh in my recollection to this day, and it was my privilege to minister to her wants, as her mistress was very poor.
On one occasion standing in the doorway of her hut, I saw her sitting on the side of her couch, with her hands clasped, and her lips moving in simple utterances of devotion: “Oh, Massa Jesus, You too good to me, poor sinner! You go die for me to save my poor soul, and You give me friends to help me, and You make me glad in all my pains! Oh, Massa Jesus, You too good to poor sinner!” and, finding some one was near (by the keen sense of hearing), she asked, “Who there?” and, on hearing my voice, she said, “Oh massa, me no know you there; me talk with Massa Jesus!”
On another occasion I found her in great pain, and, on asking her how she was, her reply was, “Me very bad; my back hurt me, massa, and me no able to sleep all night, but me talk with Massa Jesus all night, and He make me glad all the night!”
Finding her on her couch one day, and seeing she was becoming weak and approaching the end, I wanted from her lips another testimony for Jesus. I asked her, “Adelaide, do you love Jesus now?” She seemed to frown for a moment, as if I ought not to doubt all her former declarations. I repeated the question, “Are you sure you love Jesus now?” Her answer, given with fresh earnestness of manner, was “Massa, me sure me love Him now. Me love Him so, that if me should do anything to grieve Him, me should go mad about it!” (a saying which meant frantic with grief). Such was her filial fear of the blessed Lord. What more could the most learned Christian have said?
A messenger, one day soon after, came to the mission-house to inform me that Adelaide was dying. I found her removed to the house of her mistress, lying on a mat; and on my bending down and asking her, “Adelaide, are you happy now?” she seemed past hearing, but too anxious to get a last testimony from her lips, I repeated the inquiry somewhat louder. She seemed to wake up as from death, and, with a glow of heavenly joy on that black and wrinkled face, and rolling up the blind eyeballs, she whispered with all the energy her departing breath would allow, “Yes,
massa, me happy! me happy!” and then breathed her last, to depart and to be with that most precious Jesus whom she had loved so long and so ardently to the last.