The Converted African
There was lately put into my hands a very short tract of two pages called, “The Converted African.”
A lady called on a minister, and said…
My dear sir, I never, till lately, knew the importance of personal religion, till I saw it in my own African servant. We were in a storm at sea, looking to be all drowned: I was in a great alarm – all on board were – this poor African alone was calm. She said to me when she saw my distress, ‘O missus, don’t fear; look to Jesus, see the rock.’ We were in fear of being sunk in the waters or dashed on a rock; but she said ‘Jesus the rock, nearer than that rock.’
The minister called on the lady, and asked the African when and how she came to know Jesus. She said…
“Good Mr. Hinnican came and tell us Africans that Christ Jesus, the Son of God, came down from the good place to save us sinners. He die, or me die; He die, me no die. I weep very much – I ask Jesus – He good, He save me.”
And it was asked, “Where is Mr. Hinnican now?”
“O, he fall asleep.”
“I see, Mr. Hinnican is dead?”
“O no, he no die, He call us Africans, tell us he go to Jesus, bid us follow, then he fall asleep. He sleep till the trumpet of the archangel sound, where he arise.”
I think here is a noble specimen of the teaching of the Spirit of God – his sublime mystery in all its simplicity:
“Christ Jesus, the Son of God, came down from the good place to save us sinners. He die, or me die; He die, me no die.”
We might take this up theologically as in the everlasting covenant; but take it more simply as in Gethsemane. He came to save sinners. Then there is the dilemma, and what is the dilemma?
“He die, or me die; He die, me no die.”
Then there is the great anxiety, what shall be the resolution?
And the resolution is this: “He die, me no die”
There is first of all the anxeity of the great, the tremendous, the eternal, the infinite issues – the dilemma, “He die, or me die.”
O what anxiety to know which it shall be!
Then there is the resolution.
“He die, we no die;He took the cup, we no die.”
That is relieving, joyously relieving, but it is heart-breaking – “I weep very much.”
“…They shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and, shall mourn…”
Ah! yes – whether “He die, or we die,” that is all anxiety; but when “He die, and me no die” ah, then “I ask Jesus.”
She did not infer her salvation; she asked the Jesus who died. “I ask Jesus.” And then she did not rest her hope of salvation either on her weeping or her asking.
“I ask Jesus; He good. He save me.”
Not my weeping or my asking. “He good. He save me” Ah, “The wayfearing men, though fools, shall not err therein.” (Isaiah 35:8)
And then, as taught of God, she knew what death meant, and she declared of the faihtful minister of Christ – “O no, no, He no die; He fall asleep.”
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”
(1st Thessalonians 4:14)
By J. Duncan