214 – August 01 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Mather, IncreaseIncrease Mather

The man who had two conversions

John Comer experienced two conversions, one involving salvation and one, sanctification. Comer was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on Aug. 1, 1704, during a time that it was not unusual for Congregationalists and Baptists to be a member of the same Congregational church. In this case Comer’s pastor was the famed Dr. Increase Mather. He occasionally had serious concerns for his soul. Then he caught what he called the “distemper” in which he said that he was unprepared for death with no sight of a reconciled God, or any application of the soul-cleansing blood of Christ “to my distressed soul.” Finally he heard the words, “Thou shalt not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord.” He had a glorious conversion to Christ and did indeed live. After his recovery he pursued his education at Cambridge and joined the Congregational church. He believed that it was wrong for a friend, Ephraim Crafts to join the Baptist church in Boston and debated with him on the issue of baptism. However he had a change of mind but kept silent. Another close call with death of a very dear friend, and a violent storm at sea, “brought eternity directly near him in the words of Christ, “whosoever shall be ashamed of me, and of my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the son of Man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of His father, with the holy angels.” After that he was baptized and went on to pastor and co-pastor several churches in New-England during a period of spiritual dearth. He succeeded in bringing order to some in the area of the  ordinances and practices, including public singing. His heart stirring preaching increased attendance in the weaker churches. He was a “way preparer” before great things came later.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 315-16.

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