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A Devoted Scottish Evangelist

DUNCAN MATHIESON, the devoted and gifted Scots
        Evangelist, whilst sowing his wild oats, was urged
by his minister to join the Church, along with two other
companions.   His reply was: "I am not converted, and
you know it.   G----- is not converted, nor is D-----.   We
are on the brink, and you would push us over.   You
would have us go to the Lord's table in our sins, and then
on Sabbath evening you would pray for the unworthy

   One Lord's-day evening whilst listening to an awakening
discourse, his conscience lashed him with its scorpion
sting, and rising, he left the building saying, "I cannot
bear this.   If I am to come here I must be converted."

The arrow of conviction pierced him to the quick on one
occasion as he sat under the faithful and searching preach-
of Dr. A. A. Bonar.   Dr. Bonar preached from Exodus
34. 6,7: "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious,
long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keep-
ing mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression,
and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty."

   For a time he tried to work for salvation.   He had not
yet learned that salvation could not be obtained as the
reward of merit; that eternal life was a "gift" and could
not be bought.   Chapters upon chapters of the Bible were
daily read, prayer upon prayer was presented, and vow
upon vow was made.   He had a stair of seventy steps to
climb to his lodgings, and he prayed at every step.   On
reading the Scriptures, he perceived that sinners were
saved by grace through faith.   He read all the books he
could lay his hands on that spoke of faith.   He imagined

that faith was something meritorious and "Faith, faith,
how can I obtain it?"
was his cry.   He did not then see
that faith is the reception of testimony, human or Divine;
that it is but the empty hand that accepts the gift; the
eye of the soul that looks away from self to Christ bearing
the judgment due to sin.   He went to various persons
asking what he had to do to obtain forgiveness.   Some
told him to hope, and others advised him to pray.   He
became perplexed and bewildered by the conflicting
opinions.   In a state of deep soul anxiety, he returned to
his native town, Huntly.   Many pitied the young man who
had, as they said, gone mad.   After wading and wading
through the "slough of despond," and finding he could do
nothing to save himself, he was led to look from his faith
to Him who was its object, and he obtained joy and peace
in believing.
   "I was standing," said he, "on the 10th December,
1846, at the end of my father's house, and meditating on
that precious word which has brought peace to countless
weary ones, 'For 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).
I saw that God loved me, for I was one of the world.   I saw
the proof of His love in the giving of His Son Jesus.   I
saw that 'whosoever' meant anybody and everybody, and
therefore me, even me.   I saw the result of believing--
that I would not perish, but have everlasting life.   I
was enabled to take God at His word.   My burden fell
from my back, and I was saved."

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