by Robert Russell Simpson
transcribed by RR Simpson
This is a transcription of a diary written by Robert Russell Simpson concerning the last weeks of the life of Sir James Young Simpson. JYS was the uncle of RRS. On the next page is a list of the family, showing the descendants to the third generation (i.e. down to the generation of RRS) of JYS’ father, David (1760-1830).
The diary covers the period from 11th February 1870 to the death of JYS on 6th May 1870. The first dated entry is 8th April 1870, and the part before that (indeed the whole diary) may have been be written as a recollection of events, rather than a contemporary record.
The diary appears to have been available to (and may have been written at the request of) AC Dun when he wrote his biography of JYS (published in 1873). Since then it had been lost. It was discovered in a batch of books handed to the Shelter bookshop in Edinburgh. The bookshop offered the diary to the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh, where it has been kept since August 2006.
The diary is written in a hard-back notebook about 7x5”. The writing is mostly on the right page, with occasional additional notes opposite. Those notes are included in the text of the transcription between angle brackets (<>). The pages of the manuscript are not numbered, but for our purposes we consider the double pages to be numbered, so that if p1 is open, we see p1 left and p1 right, and on turning the leaf, p2 left and p2 right. The text covers 47 double pages, with some additional comments on p48. Page numbers of the original document are indicated here by a dot in the text (˙) and a marginal number
Spelling and underlines have been left as they are in the manuscript, but abbreviations (such as Feb’y for February and Edinr. for Edinburgh) have been expanded, the idiosyncratic use of capital letters removed, and some punctuation added. At a few points there are gaps or question marks in the text; these points are marked with a single asterisk. In a few other places, the writing is hard to decipher; such points are marked with a double asterisk*.
Descendants to the Third Generation of David Simpson (1760-1830)
David Simpson b. 12-Jun-1760, Winchburgh, occupation Distiller, Baker, m. Mary Jarvey, b. 15-Jul-1770, Carmendean, (daughter of John Jarvey and Mary Cleland) d. 5-Apr-1820, Bathgate. David died 17-Jan-1830, Bathgate, Gelnmavis, Bathgate. Walked to London with his bro George ca. 1783 (see Famous Scots p11).
- Thomas Simpson b. 28-Dec-1792, occupation Baker, m. 31-May-1824, in West Calder. Margaret Robertson, b. West Calder, Thomas died 29-Jul-1864, Grangemouth.
1.1. David Simpson occupation Merchant Seaman, m. Mary Ann Dance. David died 1901, at sea.
1.2. Mary Jarvie Simpson b. 1830, m. 1857, John Elliot Clarke, b. 2-Oct-1829, occupation Schoolmaster, d. 7-May-1901, Maryhill, Glasgow, Lochmaben. Mary died ca. 1901.
1.3. Jean Robertson Simpson b. Edinburgh
1.4. Elizabeth Robertson Simpson
1.5. Alice Simpson m. ? Martin
- John Simpson b. 22-Dec-1794, occupation Writer, Bathgate, d. 13-Feb-1841.
- Alexander (Sandy) Simpson b. 7-Aug-1797, occupation Banker, m. 1832, Janet Russell, b. 15-May-1800, (daughter of Alexander Russell and Janet Finlay), d. 12-Feb-1860. Alexander died 20-Jan-1877, Bathgate.
3.1. David Simpson b. 7-Nov-1833, occupation Banker, m. Janet Turnbull, David died 1916, Bathgate.
3.2. Alexander Russell Simpson Sir. b. 30-Apr-1835, Bathgate, occupation Professor Midwifery, m. 21-Jul-1852, Margaret Stewart Barbour, b. 1852, Bonskeid, (daughter of George Freeland Barbour and Margaret Fraser Sandeman), d. 1911. Alexander died 8-Apr-1918, Edinburgh University (1870). Laid foundation stone of Warrender Park Free Church, 23/5/1891 Lived at 52 Queen St from death of JYS (with RRS until 1873) until 1916
3.3. John Simpson b. 23-Feb-1837, Bathgate, occupation Chemist, ptnr Duncan&Floc, m. Christina Petrie, b. 20-May-1840, Peel, IoM, (daughter of Peter Petrie and Elizabeth Grindlay), d. 12-Feb-1933, Edinburgh, 29, Lauder Road & 37 Hermitage Gdns. John died 22-Sep-1876, Edinburgh.
3.4. Janet Finlay Simpson b. 6-Feb-1839, m. James Wells Rev. DD., occupation Minister UFC, d. 1922, Polockshiels. Janet died 14-Nov-1914. James: Moderator of United Free Church 1911.
3.5. Robert Russell Simpson Sir. b. 31-Dec-1840, occupation WS., m. 26-Sep-1877, in Park House, Dick Place, Edinburgh, Helen (Ella) Dymock Raleigh, b. 16-Jul-1852, (daughter of Samuel Raleigh C.A. and Catherine (Katie) Eliza Scott), d. 28-Jan-1923. Robert died 14-Dec-1923, Edinburgh. Depute Clerk to GA of Free and UF Kirk Assemblies ca.1877-1920; knighted 1918
- Mary Simpson b. 9-Jul-1800, m. John Pearson, ref: 1, Australia. Mary died 12-Feb-1860 (or 1851?), Australia. John: Landed at Hobart with family 1840; moved to Victoria 1846
4.1. Mary Jarvey Pearson b. 1834, m. 1855, Peter Learmonth, b. 1821, Scotland, occupation Station manager, Miller, d. 1893, Hamilton, Australia, Hamilton, Australia. Mary died 1913, Australia.
4.2. Marian Johnstone Pearson b. 1835, m. Hugh Arthur Fender Scowcroft, b. 21-Jun-1825, Pembroke, occupation Master mariner, d. 1903. Marian died 1874.
4.3. John Maurice Pearson b. 1837, m. Jessie Russell Simpson, b. 1838, (daughter of David Simpson and Helen Young). John died 1884.
4.4. Joseph Johnstone Bell Pearson b. 1840, m. Mary Holdich Abbott, b. 1852, d. 1906. Joseph died 1882.
4.5. David Pearson b. 1843, d. 1902.
- George Simpson I. b. 1802, d. 1802.
- David Simpson b. 17-Aug-1804, Bathgate, m. Helen Young, b. 1811, d. 1885. David died 26-Mar-1865, Edinburgh & Australia.
6.1. Isabella Simpson, m. James Miller Anderson. 2s, one called James? (ref 25b).
6.2. Mary Jarvey Simpson b. 1834, m. S Lea Allnett. Mary died 1882.
6.3. Helen Young Simpson b. 1836.
6.4. Jessie Russell Simpson b. 1838, m. John Maurice Pearson, b. 1837, (son of John Pearson and Mary Simpson), d. 1884.
6.4.1. (see children above)
6.5. David Simpson b. 1840, d. ca. 1904, Mexico, Mexico & Queensland. Said that he fell in love with an Indian girl and was shot. Buried at the ranch Mariposa.
6.6. James Young Simpson Rev. b. 1843, occupation Methodist Minister, m. 1874, Martha Jane* Phillips, b. ca. 1844, (daughter of R.M. Phillips Capt.), d. 1895. James died 1898, Australia.
6.7. Alexander Simpson infant.
6.8. Thomas Simpson infant.
6.9. Grace Ann Simpson b. 1849, m. Robert Phillips. Grace died 1905.
- George Simpson II. b. 1807, d. 1814.
- James Young Simpson Bt. DCL. MD. b. 7-Jun-1811, Bathgate, occupation Professor of Midwifery, m. 26-Dec-1839, Jessie Grindlay, b. 1812, Liverpool, (daughter of Walter Grindlay and Margaret Scott), d. 17-Jun-1870, Killin, buried: Warriston, Edinburgh. James died 6-May-1870, 52, Queens St, Edinburgh, buried: 13-May-1870, Warriston, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University (1840-1870). Bt. of Strathavon; MD at 19, Prof Midwifery at 29 Discoverer of anaesthetic property of chloroform 4 Nov 1847
8.1. Margaret Simpson b. 1840, d. 26-May-1844.
8.2. David James Simpson MD. b. 1842, d. 14-Jan-1866.
8.3. Walter Grindlay Simpson 2nd Bt b. 1-Sep-1843, m. 13-Jan-1881, Anne Fitzgerald Mackay, (daughter of Alexander Mackay and Unknown), d. 23-Oct-1941. Walter died 29-May-1898.
8.4. Mary Catherine Simpson b. ca. 1845, d. 16-Feb-1847, aged 2.
8.5. James Simpson b. ca. 1847, d. 16-Feb-1862.
8.6. Jessie Simpson b. 1849, d. 15-Feb-1866.
8.7. William Simpson b. 15-Jun-1850, d. 31-Aug-1911.
8.8. Alexander Magnus* Retzius Simpson MD. b. 11-May-1852, d. 1890.
8.9. Evelyn Blantyre Simpson b. 15-Dec-1855, d. 23-Jan-1920.
Notes about the last illness of Sir James Y Simpson
On Friday the 11th day of February1 1870 J.Y.S. went to London to give evidence in the Mordaunt Divorce Case. At midnight a telegram arrived stating that the trial was put off till Wednesday the 16th but Sir James had left Edinburgh 2 hrs before the telegram arrived. When south, he went to see Lady Mordaunt at Bromley (2) so as to be able to give evidence about her condition, and returned to Edinburgh on the 14th. Sir James was very busy ˙2after his return, and had to go once or twice to the country to see patients between his first and second visit to London. On 15 February he again went to London, and on 16th he was examined as a witness for Lady Mordaunt. Reports of his evidence in all the papers. Description of him as he appeared at the trial in the “Daily News” of 17th February. He returned to Edinburgh fatigued with travel, but wonderfully fresh and vigorous. He gave us a most animated account of the trial and of his visit to London.
On _ _ he was called to Perth (?)3* to ˙see a patient – the last of his countless professional journeys.
On Friday 25th February he took to bed, and never left the house again.
He was alarmingly ill several times – especially at night, and on more than one such occasion during the early part of his illness it was feared he would be taken away.
One Sunday morning, Eva4 told me in church that her Papa had been very ill during the night, and on going to the house at mid-day, I found him in a somewhat critical ˙condition from which however he soon rallied.
Saw him again very often and spent much of my spare time with him. It was always delightful to be with him, in health or sickness, but during this last illness even amid intense pain his wonderful kindness and intense interest in the welfare of all whom he loved were most marked.
One Saturday evening, I spent 3 or 4 hours with him alone. When leaving he said in his loving way, “Thank you for spending so much time with me,” as if he and not I had been the gainer. ˙That same evening he spoke of his letter about the cause of Christ’s death appended to Dr Hanna’s work and said he would like to make some correction on it if republished, and asked me to look out the book for him.
At his request I wrote to Sir T Moncrieffe’s solicitor for £400 in payment of fees for attending as a witness in Lady Mordaunt’s case. Also to Mr. _ _* M.P. for Blackburn with copy of his essays on Hospitalism which were at the time attracting attention.
Took great interest in my future. Constantly asking about my ˙arrangements for commencing business.
Eva was writing an essay on “Animals in History.” She spoke to him about it as was her wont, and reminded her of Bruce and spider etc. He often gave his children suggestions for their essays, when this was allowable, but never composed for them.
I told him of Carubbers Close Conference where the subject of How to deal with the anxious was under consideration. Spoke of difficulties.
Showed me a letter from Rev’d Dr Gray5 about Rome. Told him that ˙Dr Guthrie had gone. “Wished I had known he was going and would have given him introduction to friends there.”
Told him of Mr George Craig** having gone to Spain to see its antiquities. Got books and read a great deal about Spain.
When he felt himself worse that he at first supposed he gave up thought of Spain and spoke of going to Buxton, but that too had to be abandoned.
˙He was removed in end of March or beginning of April from his bedroom to the drawing room. He used the front drawing room for a sitting room, and the back drawing room for his bedroom. He died in the latter.
On 3rd April (Sunday) I spent the day while not at church etc with him. I told him that after my Sabbath Evening School I was going to the home of the Industrial Brigade in Grove Street to speak to the lads in my Sunday School and the Brigade boys. He took a deep ˙interest. He often asked me what my subject was to be and always gave me a story or suggestion, which I found helpful. On this particular night in reply to his usual question I told him that my text was to be “Out of the heart are the issues of life.”6 he told me about the ossification of the heart and showed how I might illustrate my subject by it.
Aunt Jessie read part of the story of Orfie** Sibbald (Christian or family Treasury7) to him. 8 This story (clearing away infidel doubts etc) was greatly appreciated by him, and he had it read ˙to him chapter by chapter during his last illness.
On Tuesday (5 April) he had a severe attack of breathlessness.
Wednesday, Father saw him, and was struck by his increasing illness.
Friday 8 April. Spoke to me as if he would not live long with great calmness, and asked me to write a codicil to his will adding Mr Pender as one of his trustees.
Saturday 9 April. After leaving the office at 2.45 I went to Queen Street with his Trust Deed. ˙Found him suffering and ill at ease.
I wrote out a codicil to his will making Mr Pender one of his trustees. When the codicil was signed he was greatly relieved, and having got his worldly affairs arranged as far as possible he unburdened himself about his spiritual concerns. He became calm and collected. Among other things he said to me “I have not lived so near to Christ as I should have liked. I have led a busy and active life and have not had so much time to think about eternal things as I should have wished and should have sought. Yet I know it not my merit that I ˙am to trust to for eternal life. Christ is all.
“I have not got far in the divine life” he added with a sigh of regret.
“But dear uncle” I said “you have learned the one great truth of salvation through the blood of the Lamb. He is made unto us wisdom and righteousness sanctification and redemption. We are complete in Him.”
“Yes that’s it” he replied with a smile. “There is a hymn often on my mind at present which just expresses my thoughts
“Just as I am without one plea
But that thy blood was shed for me”9
“I so much like that hymn.”
˙Spoke of not having a mind for theology. “I like the plain simple gospel truth, and do not care for going into questions beyond that.”
He spoke most tenderly and affectionately of all his family – of Aunt, Walter, Willie, Magnus, and Eva.
He seemed much concerned about Eva. Not to be sent to a boarding school as her health might break down. Nor is she to be pressed with work unduly, as her mental energy is greater than her physical strength. Said he intended to write to Mr Pender to get Mrs P to ask Eva to visit them occasionally. ** to this.
˙Asked me to see Mrs Hayes (Ainslie Place) and to write Mrs Close, Killing Castle Dublin, and Mrs Ainsworth about Eva.
Wished Mr McKie (Advocate) to get some memento of him for his great kindness in connection with the Principalship etc. I suggested that he should get the drawing copy of Daniel Webster’s Works. “Just the thing.” Also Mr Imlach etc to get books.
He desired that his Tracts on Hospitalism should be published together. Expressed regret at his inability to complete this work.
As to his Library he saw that his medical tracts were very valuable. ˙Alek welcome to use of all his medical books etc, and to get them if Magnus does not study medicine.
In regard to the letters etc about Principalship, he asked me to keep the printed copies. If occasion arise, they are to be issued, but not unless absolutely necessary. Pender, McKie and I to consider about this.
I asked, “Who is to be your biographer.” “You,” he said, “aren’t you collecting materials?” “Yes, I should be glad to help but some else must write the memoir.”
“I should like Dr Black to write a letter for insertion in it ˙with his estimate of me.” Nothing further was said on this subject, and I did not care to revert to it.
I spoke of Mr Spurgeon’s approaching visit. “It would give me much pleasure to see him, but I fear I will not be able.” I mentioned the subject of his sermon on the previous subject10, having seen in it the dining room. “When they had looked round about they saw no man any more save Jesus only with themselves”11 “Will you get it and read it to me?”
I read part of the sermon. As he was ˙suffering a good deal, he could not listen attentively to all I read, but his face at times lit up with emotion, and he said, “That’s very nice. Read it again.”
Father came in from Bathgate at 7. Uncle was glad, as usual, to see him.
Of Alek he spoke with much affection. Maybe he should come forward as a candidate for the chair, although at first it might be a pecuniary sacrifice to him. “Duncan will of course be a candidate. He would seek to reverse my teaching; Alek would help to perpetuate it.
Uncle dictated to me this evening the letter to Dr Storer Boston (see copy12).
His patience under his severe suffering was very remarkable and his kindness and consideration for all was most notable.
In the course of the evening he said ˙to Walter (who had come home from Cambridge to be with his father and who with Dr Munro and the faithful Jarvis nursed him most tenderly and assiduously during this last illness), “Dr Munro and you did very well last night.”
I left him to go home about 10 o’clock – he was then somewhat easier.
Sunday 10th April
Went to see uncle in the morning before going to church. Rather worse. had not slept well during the night. Dr Munro was giving him a little chloroform to allay pain.
˙Before leaving for the Sabbath school in the evening, I went to his room to say good night. “Come back,” said he, “and stay all night. I do not think I will be long here, and I should like you to remain till the end.” He added, “From extreme pain I have not been able to read or even think much today, but when I think, it is of the words you read yesterday, “Jesus only,” and really that is all that’s needed, is it not? Jesus only.”
On returning from the school between 8 and 9, I found him somewhat ˙better. Asked about the school, and the lessons.
When Eva and I were alone with him, he spoke of the probability of his being taken away. “I’ve been telling Eva and all of them about Jesus only,” he added.
“Read a hymn,” said he after some of the others had come in. I read “Rock of ages.”13 “A beautiful hymn that, but I like ‘Just as I am’ best. Read it please.”
He went to bed about 11 and I was with him till between 1 and 2. He could not rest in bed, and got feverish and breathless. After being, as he thought, ˙impatient, “Excuse me,” he said, “because I am suffering a good deal.” “Dear uncle,” I said, “I am so sorry to see you suffering so much.” He replied with great submissiveness, “It’s all for the best.” I said, “Your sufferings work out for you a far more exceeding, even an eternal weight of glory.” “Yes,” he said, “an eternal weight of glory.”
“Repeat me some nice texts,” he said. Knowing that the 14th chapter of John was a favourite with him, I repeated several verses of it. Though he knew these words of the Lord Jesus so well, some parts seemed as if new to him, ˙new light being shed on the suffering he was undergoing and the prospect of death near at hand. The thought of the many-mansioned home, and of seeing Jesus and the loved ones from his own fireside who had gone before cheered him amidst the paroxysms of pain. When I came to the verse, “I am the way, etc14,” he asked me to stop that he might think of it. After a short pause he said, “What a wonderful redemption this is! Christ’s blood can float a cork or a man of war. It can bear everyone to heaven.”
Continuing as he ˙wished to repeat some portions of scripture, I quoted from 1 Timothy 1 etc. “This is a faithful saying and worthy of acceptance etc.”15
Said he, “If Paul had to speak of himself as chief of sinners, well may I make use of the words too. But it is not a question of degree, for all have sinned.” He then spoke with much enthusiasm of the atoning power of Christ’s blood. I shall never forget our conversation. How he was cheered and comforted amid pain and weariness by his Saviour’s grace I cannot rightly describe. It was heaven begun on earth. He who had seen suffering in so many ˙forms and had done so much to alleviate the pain of others was now in the furnace of affliction. But there he was sustained by the presence of the Son of Man. He who had so often stood by the bed of death and softened so many dying pillows was now face to face with the last enemy. Yet there was no murmuring under suffering, no terror in prospect of death. He had learnt to count these afflictions as but for a moment he had been taught the secret of victory over death. More than once he said to me that he wished it was all over, as he knew from ˙the nature of his disease that he would have to undergo much suffering but he bared with meek submission to the will of God, and looked forward to death without a tinge of fear or alarm. In former illnesses he was sometimes fractious. There was nothing of this in his last illness. Jarvis remarking upon this one day to Dr Wood said he though this was a bad sign.
I repeated some verses of the hymn,
“Forever with the Lord.”16
He spoke with joy at being ever with the Lord, and of the re-unions in heaven.
˙He again spoke with great tenderness of Eva, and asked me to take an interest in her. “You know her so. She’s the cleverest of them all, and I should like to see her rightly trained.”
Hoped that Alek would marry Margo Barbour17, of whom uncle spoke very highly.
Of Mrs Barbour , “She’s a dear lady. Write her to say that since my illness I’ve often been thinking of her and that I’ve read her last New Year’s address with much pleasure.”
Spoke of Mrs Close etc etc.
˙Monday 11 April
Read and prayed with him before going to the office. Very ill. Didn’t rest well during the night. Got easier during the day.
It was suggested that Magnus (who was in Geneva) should be telegraphed for, but he was averse to this, as he did not wish to give unnecessary pain.
Dr Duns called. He told me that he enjoyed the doctor’s visit, but felt a remark he made about taking opium.18 “As regards that,” he said, “I am strictly in my doctor’s hands.”
Went to Queen Street ˙at 4.30, and found him calm and peaceful. “I am so very well,” he said with a smile.
Walter, who watched unweariedly during these anxious days, was with him. He employed us in examining the proof sheets of the (2nd) letter to Dr Bigelow, in which he was much interested.
Occasional fits of breathlessness.
Spoke of Walter’s future. Strongly in favour of his joining the bar, unless something specially good in the mercantile line turns up.
Walter left for a walk. He wrote a letter to Mr Pender, which he ˙handed me, and asked me to send off when I thought that all hope of recovery was gone.
Spoke of his unshaken confidence in Jesus. “I have mixed a great deal with men of all shades of opinion. I have heard men of science and philosophy raise doubts and objections to the gospel of Christ, but I have never for one moment had a doubt myself.”
I gave him a message from Mr Jenkinson – for whom he had a great regard – to rest entirely in the finished work of Christ. “That’s it,” he said, “that is what I desire to do.” I repeated a verse ˙of Mrs Cousin’s beautiful hymn which Mr Jenkinson gave me for him.
‘I stand upon his merit,
I know no other stand,
Not e’en where glory dwelleth
In Immanuel’s land.’ 19
“Repeat it again,” said he. After repeating it, he said, “Thank him for me. I should so much like to shake hands with him again.”
He asked me to get the whole poem which I afterwards did with an account of Rutherford’s last illness and dying words. he enjoyed the reading of it.
At his request I finished the reading of Spurgeon’s sermon on Jesus only. “Read that again, ˙read that again,” he frequently said, when I came to some passage full of Christ. At the close he said that the sermon, especially the last part of it, had given him great comfort and these words Jesus only were often on his lips.
Walter, Eva and Dr Munro joined us, and at his request I read a chapter from ‘Orfie Sibbald.’
On returning from the office at 9.30, I found him wonderfully well. Dr Wood, Dr Moir, Dr Coghill, Mr Philip and Mr Drummond all saw him. Mr Philip prayed with him.
Walter read part of ˙Oliver Underwood.20
About 11.30 he asked me to read “Just as I am.”
I also read Dr Bonar’s hymn, “I heard the voice of Jesus say.”21 He enjoyed it, especially the first verse about rest22. “Mr Morgan,” said he, “told me to rest my head in Jesus’ bosom as John did at the supper table. I cannot just do that. I think it enough if I have hold of the hem of his garment.”
I read Oliver Underwood until he slept, and I left him with Walter at 1.
Slept well during the night.
˙Tuesday 12 April
Read Romans 8 and prayed.
Alek came from Glasgow to see him. Enjoyed his visit very much.
Mr Morgan also saw him.
I went to Queen Street at 4.30 and found him very well.
Read “Little Will”23 to him – a simple story of a boy’s faith in rhyme. Greatly pleased with it. Dr Park of Andover had told him the story.
Willie arrived from the Isle of Man. Asked all about the friends there and spoke about its future.
Read about Rutherford’s ˙last days.
Dr Wood and Dr Moir came at 10.30. Told them Walter’s intention to study law. Glad they approved of it.
Long talk with them about olden times.
Told me that he had been reading parts of Spurgeon’s sermon Jesus only himself.
I read Ephesians 1 and prayed.
Read Yeddie’s first and last Sacrament24. Liked it greatly. Then Oliver Underwood until he slept from 12 to 8 with slight interruptions.
˙Wednesday 13 April
Read John 3. When I came to the words, “Wind bloweth where it listeth etc”25, “That,” said he, “was the means of Benjamin Bell’s26 conversion.”
When I read the 16th verse27, “Read that again,” said he, “read it again.” Prayed.
Great peace and calmness evening. Read Hebrews 12, and John Ashworth’s Strange Tales28 till he slept.
Thursday 14 April
Passed a good night. Waked between 3 and 4 somewhat heated, but soon fell asleep again.
Read last chapter ˙of Matthew and prayed.
After prayer he said, “Do you know I felt during the worst of my illness that special united prayer was being offered up to God for me and that he heard it.” I then told him about the prayer meetings which had been held for his recovery.
Dr Black came from London in the morning and left in the evening. Greatly pleased to see him.
˙Saturday 16 April
In much the same condition
Sunday 17 April 1870
Before going to school asked me what was to be the subject of my address. I told, “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday etc.”29
Gave me story of native preacher in India telling story of redeeming love to his countrymen in the street of one of the large towns, when a British officer rode up and called out to the preacher, “Well (name)* how is your friend Jesus Christ today?” “Jesus Christ,” he replied, is ˙the same yesterday, today and for ever.” The words touched the officer’s heart and led him to seek pardon and peace from this unchanging Saviour.
Read 22nd chapter of Revelation at worship.
Afterwards I repeated to him the hymn
There is a name I love to hear etc.30
New to him and delighted with it.
˙Wednesday 20 April 1870
Got offer of partnership with Mr Gifford.
Told Uncle of it. Greatly delighted and advised me to accept it. Talked very cheerily.
Thursday 21st April 1870
Went out to Bathgate to see father. Took good accounts of Uncle.
Friday 22nd April
Arranged finally with Mr Gifford.
Uncle could talk of nothing else almost.
Told all the doctors and others seeing him about it.
˙Saturday 23 April
Uncle very well and happy today.
Sunday 24 April
Told Uncle about the service.
Read John 10 at worship.
Monday 25 April
Willie and Eva left for Killin. Uncle, who was wonderfully well, embraced Eva with great affection. “God help you, my darling,” he said and as she left the room his eyes followed ˙her with melting tenderness. It was the last time they spoke together on earth.
Tuesday 26 April
Father came in at night.
Wednesday 27 April
Uncle very well. Slept better than he had done for a week.
Slept in front drawing room in a sitting attitude.
Thursday 28 April
Went to conference at Glasgow.
Uncle sent his love ˙to all there.
He slept in the front drawing room.
Friday 29 April
Read Luke 15 in the evening.
Told uncle I proposed to go to Killin next morning if he felt well. Said, “Go by all means,” and gave me messages to Eva.
Read him asleep.
Saturday 30 April
Left early for Killin without seeing Uncle.
Alek came from Glasgow today to ˙see him.
Got suddenly much worse in the evening.
Mind wandered sometimes.
Sunday 1st May
Monday 2nd May
No signs of improvement.
Tuesday 3rd May
I returned from Killin in the evening. Having had no news of uncle in my absence I was horrified to find him so much worse. He knew me however, and asked kindly ˙about Eva. Then relapsed in torpor.
Wednesday 4 May
Father came in, Alek also.
Uncle’s mind wandering very much.
Father sat up most of night with him. Sat in the pillow with Uncle’s head on his knee. It was a most touching sight to see the elder brother – 14 years older than the younger, and who had watched his progress with such fond affection – watching by the ˙death bed. “Oh Sandy, Sandy,” Uncle repeatedly said, showing he knew who was beside him. Said little more.
Thursday 5 May
Went to Killin and brought Eva home, but he didn’t know us.
Dr Hanna and Mr Morgan saw him during the day and prayed at his bedside.
Friday 6 May 1970
After dinner I went up to his room (back drawing room) ˙where Aunt Jessie and Miss Grindlay were watching.
While Aunt and I were whispering together, we heard a longer drawn sigh than usual. Saw he was dying. Aunt rang the bell for the others to come up. I moistened his lips and while the others came in, he passed away. No struggle – no pain.
˙Besides the chapters above noted, I read to him, among others:-
Ephesians 2, 3, 4 and 5
Isaiah 53rd (favourite), 55th
John 1, 14
1 Peter 1-2
1 Corinthians 3
Also such books as: England 100 years ago (Ryle)31
“Just like me” (story)