THE OLD SHEPHERDESS TO WHOM CHRIST WAS PRECIOUS
Margaret Graham was nearly one hundred years old. In early life she had learned to value the Word of God, and, being regenerated, was brought to repentance, and saving faith, in the Lord Jesus Christ. She had been for many years a follower of the Lamb of God, and a lover of the truth as it is in Him, but advanced age had left her blind and nearly deaf; unable to walk or stand, except when supported by others; she was carried to bed at night, apparently unconscious where she was going; spent the hours of the day in her arm-chair, wrapped up in flannel; ate and drank but little; and never spoke, unless spoken to; and then the low mutterings of her voice rendered what she said unintelligible to her friends.
Her Pastor had long ceased to visit her, under an impression that she was incapable of deriving any consolation from his visits;
but one evening when walking with two friends near her lonely cottage, one of them said, “Let us go and visit the old shepherdess.” We found her in her arm-chair, and apparently in good health, though she sat motionless. The Pastor drew his chair near her, and raising his voice, said, “You are still in the body?”
He then raised his voice to a still higher pitch, and said, “How are you?”
Do you know me? If you do, move your hand.”
“Here we have,” he said, “a specimen of human nature in the last stage of decay; and it is a most affecting sight, as it reminds us of the possible state to which we may be reduced.”
“Perhaps,” a friend said, “if you make some reference to Jesus Christ, the spirit will awake from its mental lethargy; and we may have a proof that faith outlives the loss of the senses and the decay of the passions and maintains its ascendancy even when the intellect seems incapable of exercising the faculty of thinking.”
He then said in a still louder tone,
“Is Christ precious to your soul?”
There was now an involuntary movement through her whole frame, her countenance suddenly glowed with an inimitable smile, and, extending her hand, she said, “Is that my Pastor? I am glad you have called to see me once more. Is Christ precious to my soul! Yes, unspeakably. It is a long time since I thought on you. My thoughts are now all fixed on Christ. I can’t think on any other subject than His death and His intercession. My fellowship with Him is now undisturbed; and I long to see Him, when I shall be like Him.”
“Your mind does not now wander back to the scenes of your
“Do you recollect the decease of your husband, or when you used to sit reading your Bible in the front of your cottage?”
He then repeated his former question, “Is Christ precious to your soul?” when she again broke forth in a most impassioned speech,
“Yes, He is precious. I feel His love shed abroad in my heart. I long to see Him, when I shall be like Him. My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for he morning.”
“You trust in Him?”
“You still trust Christ for salvation, as you were enabled to do when you first believed?”
“I trust in Christ for a full, free, and complete salvation.”
“Shall I pray with you?”
No reply. Indeed, though various questions were proposed to her, in a distinct and audible tone, yet unless the name of Christ was introduced, they excited no attention, her mind having become dissociated from every other subject of meditation.
“What a striking illustration does this saint supply,” said the Pastor, “of the Apostle’s expression, ‘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.'”
Gospel Magazine. 1856.