Oswald MacLeod ~ Hickory, North Carolina

As the reader will discover in this story of the conversion of Oswald MacLeod, July 9, 1995 is the eightieth anniversary of his salvation. We count it a great privilege to print this account of a brother so highly esteemed among assemblies in North America and further afield.

 

(Truth and Tidings, July 1995)

I drew my first breath of Nova Scotian air and first saw the light of day on August 16, 1902 in a farm house in the rural community of Pugwash Junction.

 

Four and a half months before my first birthday, my parents got saved, my father on March 31st and my mother on April 1st 1903, during meetings held by the late David R. Scott. They were not strangers to the gospel as father would have been in his late teens and mother a little younger when Mr. John Knox McEwen brought the gospel to the area, at which time both my grandmothers were saved. Thus, I was privileged above many in being raised in a Christian home where the Bible was read with the family daily and prayer went up to God.

 

My first recollection of soul concern was at a very early age. On this particular Lord’s Day, a Christian young man was a dinner guest. During the meal, the conversation centered on the coming of the Lord. It occurred to me startlingly, that if He came, as I was, I would be left behind for judgment. This should teach us the importance of spiritual conversation in the presence of our children.

 

Many times during the following years I was made to think of eternity. Although under strict parental control, I knew I was a sinner, bad enough to go to hell and I longed to be saved. In July 1913, my brother, five years my senior, got saved. He being my role model, this was a real jolt to me, for I well knew something had come in between us. His consistent life afterward was ever a rebuke to my sinfulness.

 

In the spring of 1915 I had persistent thoughts about getting saved, but decided to wait until the conference, the first of July, when it might be easier to get the matter settled. Two or three weeks before the conference a school girl, a little younger than I, got saved, which led to some serious thinking on my part. The first two days of the conference passed with little concern about my soul. After supper on the third day we went home to do the evening chores, and when I sat down in the kitchen the thought came to me with force, you’ve waited until the conference to get saved, now it is almost over and still you are not saved, and it may be now or never. Immediately the reality of the situation seized upon me with conviction.

 

Mr. John Ferguson was at that conference for the first time. His solemn oratory appealed to me greatly, so it was with pleasure I heard it announced he would remain for a few meetings. Some souls were saved during the conference. On Wednesday a girl of 18 or 19 got saved. Friday night found me, a boy not quite thirteen, in deep soul trouble. All week I had been struggling, trying to believe. This seems to be a real problem with many who are raised in Christian homes, they get taken up with this rather than with the work of Christ. It seemed to me that there must be some special way to believe, as I had always accepted the historical facts of the death of Christ for sinners, and yet I wasn’t saved. I also had the idea that when I believed strong enough or in the right way some feeling would come over me to assure me I was saved.

 

I recall nothing that was preached that night. Later in the home, after our usual reading of the Word and the mention of my name in prayer, all the pent up feelings of guilt before God and soul trouble burst forth in a flood of tears. Mr. Ferguson sat down beside me and opened his Bible to Isaiah 53, and directed me to verses 5 and 6. I remember little of what he said, except he asked me if I were waiting for feelings, this I was, but being a shy boy I hesitated in answering, but he answered his own question saying, “It is not feelings.” He then sought to direct me to the Saviour, but he said nothing that I didn’t already know. So now, more confused and darker than ever, I arose and made for my bedroom. While going up the stairs, I tried to visualize Christ on the cross for me and made a desperate effort to believe it, but nothing happened. It then dawned on me that I was lost, and all hope of ever being saved left me, I could see nothing before me but hell for all eternity.

 

As I walked across the room in the dark, the darkness of the night was no deeper than that of my soul, my thoughts turned to Calvary, no particular verse of Scripture came to me as I recall, but what I had heard all my life that He died for sinners, that moment dawned in upon my soul that He “died for me.” Without any effort of believing or any sense of feeling, I knew I was saved. It was enough that Jesus died and that He died for me. Almost my first thought was, why didn’t I see that before, it is so simple. The burden of sin was now gone, peace settled over my being, love to Christ filled my soul and thanksgiving went up to God.

 

Much more could be written about that memorable night, July 9, 1915, but space forbids. Fourscore years have rolled their course since then, and heaven is not far off now. The joy of salvation that I entered into that night so long ago remains with me still and I can truthfully say grows deeper, fuller and sweeter as the days go by, and soon it will be heaven and home and the Fullness of Joy forever.

 

If perchance the reader of this my story is unsaved, we would kindly remind you that you are guilty before God (Romans 3:19), and thus exposed to His divine wrath forever. We would recommend our loving Saviour to you. If you come as a sinner to Him, owing your guilt before Him, He will receive and save you, then you will enter into all the blessings of this great salvation for both time and eternity.

 

Down from the glory the Saviour came,

Down to the cross and the death of shame,

Gazing in wonder, I there exclaim,

Jesus died for me.

 

Note: Oswald MacLeod went home to be with his Lord on January 28, 2002.