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Archive for the ‘Evangelist to World’ Category

ON THIS DATE

John Harper died 4/14/1912, in the icy waters near the Titanic.  He was a Baptist preacher from Glasgow, Scotland who was returning to preach again at Moody Church where he had previously ministered a three month period. He & his daughter, Nana were aboard when she “struck an iceberg” about 11:40 PM.  John wrapped Nana in a blanket & handed her over to go into a lifeboat.  He handed his own life-jacket to another passenger.

A survivor clearly remembered that John shouted “Women, children & the unsaved into the lifeboats.” It was John, according to book, The Titanic’s Last Hero, who called upon the band to play “Nearer, My God, to Thee.”  He prayed on deck “with holy joy on his face.”  When the ship started lurching he jumped into the water swimming from one to another urging them to call on Jesus & be saved.

One, Aquilla Webb, told four years later how John had come near him (both floating on wreckage) asking if he was saved.  Webb said he was not to which John said “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ & thou shalt be saved.” A wave pushed John away but God allowed him be swept by Webb again & John asked “Are you saved now?” When Webb answered in the negative John repeated the verse & shortly after was claimed by hypothermia & slipped under the cold water. Webb said, “I am John Harper’s last convert.” 

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 “To accept one interpretation

is to reject the other.”

Phillip Dickinson, 11/3/02

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ON THIS DATE

Samuel Marinus Zwemer was born 4/12/1867, Vriesland, MI, 13th child of a full-blooded Dutch couple.  His father pastored the local Dutch Reformed Church & mother dedicated Samuel to God “as she laid him in his cradle.”  He graduated from Hope Academy & College (BA) & New Brunswick Seminary (BD 1890). 

Still at Hope he offered himself for work among the Muslims.  He & his classmate, James Cantine, moved to Basra on the Persian Gulf & later moved the mission to Cairo.  Arabia & Egypt were home for him from 1890-1929, first doing evangelism then writing/publishing.  He became known as “The Apostle to Islam.” Though he personally saw few Moslems converted he showed the need to reach them & inspired others.

It was while Zwemer was a part of the Church Missionary Society in Arabia (1890-1913) that he met Amy Elizabeth Wilkes.  He & this fellow missionary were married 5/18/1896. 1929-1937.  He was professor of the history of religion & Christian missions at Princeton Theological Seminary & later taught at the Biblical Seminary of New York & at Nyack Missionary Training Institute.  He died 4/2/1952.

He called Islam the “Calvinism of the Orient,” & saw their grasp of Monotheism as a great strength AND also a great deficiency; for without an “understanding of the Trinity, God was unknowable and impersonal.”

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“To say ‘Oh I’m no saint’ is acceptable to human pride

but it is

unconscious blasphemy against God.”

– Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

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“Ritual always appeals to the nursery.

The…drapery, processions and awesome ritual

impress those who have no deeper vision.”

– Samuel Chadwick, from his book Humanity and God

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“I just don’t have enough faith

to believe in evolution.”

– R E Carroll, 2/11/1988

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ON THIS DATE

Charles Wesley was married 4/8/1749, in a small parish church at Llanlleonfel, near Garth, Wales.  His bride was Sarah Gwynne, daughter of Marmaduke & Sarah (Evans) Gwynne. The minister for the ceremony was his brother, John, who had encouraged the wedding.  Sarah (also called Sally – perhaps to distinguish her from her mother) was born in Garth, Powyes, Wales in 1726 (month, day unknown).  She was musically inclined, in fact, performed before King George III.

While a young lady her father, a local magistrate, went on occasion to arrest Howell Harris, a Wesleyan minister.  As Marmaduke listened he liked what he heard, was converted to that view, & brought Harris home.  That was the beginning; years later he entertained two brothers & one of then returned in 1748 to propose.  Her mother had not welcomed Harris to her home but warmed to Charles, her new s-n-law.

Although Charles may not have witnessed a happy marriage as a boy he & Sarah had a good union.  They settled (same year as wed) at 4 Charles St., Bristol & remained there till 1771 (house is preserved as the “Charles Wesley House”).  God blessed them with eight children (only three lived to be adults – too common a happening back then).  She died 12/28/1818 (Charles died in 1788) & was buried beside Charles. 

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