Willie Jamieson's Testimony

When I first started in the work, I used to feel that I would get better as I went on in the way. After ten years, I felt if there was any change it was for the worse - this selfish greedy, human nature is always cleaving to the dust, and it will until you pass away. Many make the mistake of thinking we will improve as we go on - I did too, but I don't now. I used to look into the lives of others who were, I thought, superior to me and felt they were better than me and wonder, why was I made like I was, with the nature like some of the others. Have you ever reasoned like that?


There is a religion in California, I don't know if you have it out here also, they teach that as you go on, you gradually have your Human Nature taken from you, just like drawing a tooth from the jawbone. No, it is not like that - we have this human nature as long as we live.


My father was a good man, he had no bad habits, he brought us up as he thought was right. But at the age of 20 years, I felt I was drifting. There was a Stream through our property and after the rains, that water would rise and break its banks and spread out to the right or left hand side. I used to notice how the driftwood would all be carried down the stream. I remember feeling, "Your life is like that." You are not what you were last year and if you continue drifting in the way you have this year, by the time you are 40 years of age, if you live that long, your father will be ashamed of you.


I had as they say, sown wild oats. I used to go out with the boys and each Saturday night, we used to go to the public house. I purposed I would not go with them. My pals asked me every Saturday for a month, and made me feel a weakling. I purposed I would have nothing stronger than lemonade. I remember when I was in that place, thinking, "If your father and mother could see you here, what would they think of you," but I put that thought in the back of my mind, thinking that they were over 100 miles away. Then I remember another thought, "Your Father that is in Heaven, He can see you." That went on, I got past lemonade, and started taking wine and beer. I felt disgusted with myself and at last went to my father and confessed and asked him could he show me how to become a Christian. He said, "Well, I can tell you no more than I taught you as a child. Why not go to the preacher?"


So I was miserable and unhappy and I decided to go to the preacher. Can you picture, just what that meant to me? As I walked up to that great Manse, the servant girl answered the door. She took me in and the preacher came in and I told him what I had come for, and he said, "God bless you, son, you are a Christian already." I said, "Well, why am I so miserable and unhappy?" He said, "Oh, that's because you have not joined the church." So I asked what should I do and he talked to me for a while and gave me some questions to learn and he told me to come back again.


So I went again for about half an hour and answered some questions. Then I was invited to church to the Lord's Supper and there I was invited into the church. So when I went on the Sunday morning the preacher was there, and the Twelve Elders of the church, my father, one, and eleven others. I was called to the front and asked my questions, then the preacher shook me by the hand and said, "I give you the hand of fellowship." After that, the twelve elders shook my hand in fellowship, and one of them was a confirmed drunkard, two others would not speak to each other. They it was, who gave me the hand of friendship. I went home very glad, but by 24 hours, I found I was no different - I found it was only a religious veneer. One thing it could not do for me, and that was, it could not stop me wanting to get to know God. I was so much in earnest that I used to get up at 3 am of a Sunday morning, and feed my sheep and walk 7 miles to church and walk back, because I felt that the preacher at that church might be able to do and tell me more, than the preacher over the road. This went on for three years.


I was not a Shepherd now, I was in business, when a friend came and asked me if I'd like to go to some meetings. I said, "I don't know if I would or not," for I felt like I'd just about given up trying to find God. I'd read the Bible and hadn't got very far. I said, "What is the preacher like? Do you know anything about him?" He said,"Well, I don't know very much, only that he has had plenty of money and when he asked himself what was the right way for a preacher to go out into the Ministry and tried to compare the different men who were preaching, when reading in the New Testament of the rich young man who came and asked that question of Jesus, he said, 'Does that mean I will have to sell all that I have and give it to the poor?'" Then he read where Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man cometh unto the Father but by Me." He felt, "If that was God's way 2,000 years ago, it's right for the 20th century and I want to go in that way."


I said, "This preacher sounds like Peter and John to me and I'll go and hear him." Three weeks later, he called for me. The first thing that I looked at was the hymnbook. It contained the same kind of hymns, then I thought I would get a look at the preacher. There were 7 or 8 men on the platform, but I could not see a preacher among them. In Scotland, the preachers would have their collars turned back to front. I couldn't see a preacher among them and I said to the friend, "Have you made a fool of me?" Well, one of the men stood up and gave out a hymn. I stood up with the others and I sang with all my heart. Then the man stood up and said, "I wonder how many of you played the hypocrite, when you sang that hymn. Some of you sound the words but have no desire to make it practical. Now I will ask you to read through those words and we will sing it a second time. Now will any of you be honest enough, if he feels he can't sing those words from the heart, will you remain seated." Some of the words of that hymn went like this:

"Send me forth, O, Blessed Master,

Where souls in sorrow bow,

Send me forth to homes of want and homes of care,

And with joy I will obey Thy call,

And in Thy Blessed name,

I will carry the light of the blessed Gospel there."


I said to myself, "No, you will not stand up." All the others got up and sang again but I sat there. But they were not all saved that stood up. After they sat down the preacher got up and said, "What I am about to say to you will make you angry, some of you will hate me for what I am going to say to you." I listened and listened and listened. After some time, I noticed it was getting dark and thought a storm must be coming. I happened to notice the time, and do you know he had been speaking for four and a half hours and we had not noticed the time getting away. After the meeting, I went straight up to the preacher, and told him, "This is what I have been searching for, and that I wanted to serve God in that way." Do you know he was a big man, but tears welled up into his eyes and he wept as I told him. He asked me to go out into the country road for a talk, and he did something - he offered me his arm and I took it and like a pair of sweethearts, we went onto the side of the road to talk. He offered me love and that which I had been searching for and after talking to him for a while I asked him a question. Now, you will think it a silly question for me to ask him. I said, "Do you think I could ever be a preacher like you?" He said, "How long will it take you to give up your business?" I said I would have to give two weeks notice, so he said, "I'll have a companion for you in two weeks time." That is how I started out to preach.


God has a plan and a purpose for each one of us and if we accept that plan, God will be with us. That has kept me these 47 years that I have been preaching the Gospel. The only thing we can do with life ourselves is to make a mess of it. My nature was one that made me drift down and down, but when I got the new nature, it made me feel that God had a plan for me.