A tombstone in the graveyard of St. Andrew’s Church, Fergus, Ontario, bears this inscription:-



In Memory of


Oldest Son of

Andrew Clephane, Esq.

Late Sheriff of

Fifeshire, Scotland

OB 2 May 1851

AE 32



George Clephane having failed to make good in his native Scottish town, decided to go to Canada, where so many of his fellow countrymen had succeeded.  He was known as a remittance man.  This meant that he was without means and depended on a monthly allowance from home, until such time as he could support himself.  He soon fell in with evil companions, with the result that his monthly allowance from Scotland was spent in riotous living.  One night he was so intoxicated that he could not walk home, and fell down in the road.  There he remained in the cold air until he was picked up by the roadside next morning.  He was carried into the home of Dr. Mutch but that night’s drunken carousal proved fatal, for he contracted a disease from which he never recovered.  He died in the home of the good doctor and was buried in the village churchyard.



When the news of his death reached his Scottish home, the whole family felt the shame and tragedy of the circumstances connected with his entrance into another world.  None felt his death more keenly and deeply than his youngest sister, a true Christian girl of twenty-one.  She went up to her room, closed the door, and sobbed bitterly.  As she became calmer she took up a sheet of paper.  She loved her prodigal brother and she felt that God must do so too.  She had faith that her Redeemer had answered her prayers.  Perhaps in his dying hours her dear brother had looked, with the eye of faith, at the Cross and found pardon and peace.  Slowly her fingers closed round her pen and she began to trace on the paper the deep, innermost thoughts of her soul. These were the first lines she wrote:



There were ninety and nine that safely lay

In the shelter of the fold:

But one was out on the hills away,

Far off from the gates of gold;

Away on the mountains wild and bare,

Away from the tender Shepherd’s care.”



She was half ashamed of her poem when finished, and locked it away in her desk so that none other eye should see it.  The writing of it had relieved her feelings and she felt more resigned and peaceful.  The years passed on.  Elizabeth Clephane died; but the grave in Canada and the song in Scotland were yet to produce through the power and operation of the Holy Spirit a golden harvest of precious souls.  When her loved ones went through her desk they discovered the poem, and were so impressed with it that they sent it to a Scottish editor who thought it worthy of publication.



One afternoon in 1874 two gentlemen stood on the station platform in Glasgow.  They were Moody and Sankey, who were to open a big evangelistic campaign in Edinburgh that night.  Just before boarding the train Sankey bought a weekly newspaper for a penny.  He hoped to find some American news in it, but the only thing to remind him of his native land, was a sermon by Henry Ward Beecher.  He cast the paper aside, but shortly before arriving in Edinburgh he picked it up again to peruse the advertisements.  This time he caught sight of a piece of poetry in a corner of the paper, and reading it carefully concluded it would make a splendid Gospel song.  He called Mr. Moody’s attention to it but he was so absorbed in his correspondence that he took no notice.  Mr. Sankey cut the poem out and placed it in his music scrapbook for future reference.



At the noonday service in the Free Assembly Hall both Mr. Moody and Dr. Bonar spoke on the subject of The Good Shepherd.  After the latter speaker had thrilled the immense audience with his earnest and eloquent message, Mr. Moody turned to his colleague and said, Have you a solo appropriate for this subject with which to close the service?”  He was greatly troubled because he could think of nothing suitable.  Then a voice said, Sing the hymn you found on the train.”  But this was impossible, for he had no tune for it.  The impression came strongly on him that he must sing it and that God would provide the music.  Placing the little newspaper slip before him he lifted his heart to God for inspiration.  He struck a chord in A flat and began to sing.  Note by note was given to the singer and when he had finished a great sigh seemed to go up from the meeting.  Mr. Moody left the pulpit and looking at the cutting said, Mr. Sankey, where did you get that hymn? I never heard the like of it in my life.”  Sankey who was in tears replied, Mr. Moody, that’s the hymn I read to you in the train, but you did not hear.”  Then Mr. Moody raised his hand, pronounced the Benediction, and the meeting closed.  Thus Moody’s great work in Scotland had begun.  Only God saw the hidden link between that far-off grave in Fergus, and that harvest of souls in Scotland.  Perhaps one of the joys of Heaven will be to have revealed to us the amazing results which followed some inspired word and writing which to us seemed of little consequence.



-The Gospel Herald.



*       *       *









It was in March, 1904, and the sunshiny scene still lives in my memory.  I had left my hotel and made my way through the picturesque crowds in the streets of A-.  The Sunday was essentially a French one.  By force of habit I had turned aside that day from globe-trotting pursuits and taken my place in the Church of the United Frees among some threescore of God’s people, whose mother tongue was English.



What the minister preached about I really forgot.  Perhaps that was not the preacher’s fault.  He was a pastor there for his health, and displayed no special vigour.  The Order of Service was all lifeless, formal, uneventful, messageless, comfortless.  Even the words and music of the hymns had failed to stir deeps of my nature that day.  I blame no one.  Perhaps I was not in a receptive spirit.  I cannot tell; but so it was.  On went the minutes, and I was not sorry.



The hour had at last fled.  Invocation, lessons, prayers, sermon, collection, announcement, were all over.  What had been a most uneventful service to me was now to be punctuated by a hymn and the benediction.  The minister announced George Matheson’s 0 Love That Will Not Let Me Go.”* When a much-loved hymn is announced in Wales - the land I know best - the people stir with joy and cast meaning glances at each other. The worshippers stand as if to pour out their hearts, and one gets thrilled before a chord is struck.  That morning it was all contrary.  Listless’ could have been written over the whole service.  The announcement of even that hymn seemed to stir no one.


* The writer of this touching song, Rev. Geo. Matheson, was engaged to a young lady whom he loved dearly. A tragedy overtook his life - he began to go blind.  When the young lady discovered this, she returned the engagement ring.  When he received this stunning blow, he was crushed, and from the depths of his sorrow he wrote, “Oh Love that will not let me go, I rest my weary soul in Thee.”



While the minister was reading the first verse, I noticed a man of perhaps fifty change seats with the lady organist.  It was nothing to mark.  He is the local organist,” I thought, “and the lady is a visitor.”  Suddenly the notes were touched, and the little American organ seemed to have been born again.  Bar followed bar.  We all brightened up.  There was a master at the keys.  We stood and sang:



0 love that will not let me go,

I rest my weary soul in thee

I give thee back the life I owe,

That in thine ocean depths its flow

May richer, fuller be.”



Was the change in me or in my environment?  I cannot tell.  The lost chord seemed to have been found.  If a seraph had come to wake me with a song of Zion, the surprise would not have been greater.  The organist seemed in the third heaven.  Here and there he made pauses not in the book.  He sang and played, and carried us on irresistibly.  Then we plunged into the second verse.



0 light that followest all my way,

I yield my flickering torch to thee

My heart restores its borrowed ray,

That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day

May brighter, fairer be.”



I could not fail to notice the deep emotion of the consul’s wife, for she stood in the next pew in front.  She had ceased to sing, her trembling was manifest.  The music was like the sound of many waters.  The volume of it increased.  The third verse was reached:



0 joy that seekest me through pain,

I cannot close my heart to thee;

I trace the rainbow through the rain

And feel the promise is not vain

That morn shall tearless be.”



With a strange suddenness the consul’s wife fell on her knees and was convulsed with emotion.  With her hands she covered her face while the majestic music swept on.  The husband knew not what to do, for all eyes were turned toward his wife.  With inborn calmness and strong sympathy he then bowed in prayer at his wife’s side.  The sight was beautiful, and there were many wet eyes near where I stood.  But what of the organist?  He was in rhapsody.  Down his furrowed face tears made their way.  His head of curls added impressiveness to the scene.  Bending over the keys, he poured out his very soul.  Of time and space he seemed ignorant.  The emphasis was that of intense feeling, born of a rare experience, controlled by musical ability - both instrumental and vocal.



When we reached the last verse I, for one, wished blind Matheson had provided us with more, and yet we might not have been able to bear it.



0 cross that liftest up my head,

I dare not ask to fly from thee

I lay in dust life’s glory dead,

And from the ground there blossoms red

Life that shall endless be.”



The scene continued the same to the end, only with deeper feeling.  Great was the relief when the last note died away, and the minister, as awed as the rest of us, pronounced the benediction.  So great was the solemnity of the occasion that no one wanted to disturb the silence by rising from their knees.



When the congregation did rise to disperse, several went forward to thank the organist.  I was one of them.  In the group were several Americans, and one said to the organist, still bathed in tear marks: “We knew your wife.”  The one answer was a quiet smile, followed by a quick retirement from the church.  This man did not feast on plaudits or compliments.  He was gone before we could say a tithe of what we felt.



In the aisles and at the church door I learned that the man who had waked up everybody’s soul was a distinguished Christian singer of England and Scotland.  Two years before his wife lay a-dying - and she was an American, equal to him in musical talent.  She had asked him to sing to her, as she entered the valley of the shadow of death, 0 Love That Will Not Let Me Go.”  He did so, but had not ventured to sing it again until that memorable morning.  Ah, but that was a sufficient explanation.  Sorrow had wrought the power.



I wended my way hotelward, but my thoughts were on the wings of the music, “blossoming red”.  Such music (that lost chord), set to such words, I can never hope to hear again until I stand within the gates of the New Jerusalem.


- The British Weekly.









Not with my life-work finished, past,

Shall I be “satisfied” at last

Not with the gifts I brought my Lord,

Nor with my knowledge of His Word;

Not with the witness these lips gave

Unto the One Who died to save;

Not with my service, nor my love,

Shall I be “satisfiedabove.



Faulty and weak is my poor “best”,

Needing cleansing with all the rest.

Only from Christ comes grace and power,

Sure “sufficiency” every hour.

HE is my glory and my Song –

HE, Who has led me all alone;

And, in the Light no cloud can dim,

I shall be “SATISFIED” with HIM.



                                                                                                                    - FLORENCE L. BOND.