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174 — June 23 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

When Medley Found Harmony With God

 

Samuel Medley, who had been born on June 23, 1738, at the age of sixteen when war broke out between England and France in 1755 was glad at the thought that he might be able to finish out his apprenticeship in the cloth trade in the British navy. Thus Samuel found himself in the famed Battle of Cape Lagos.  He was wounded as the battle raged, and the greater part of the calf of one of his legs was shot away. The leg did not heal, and in time, the ship’s surgeon told him that gangrene had set in and amputation was imperative. Young Medley was filled with horror, and the doctor granted one more day before surgery. Medley began to think of his godly father and grandfather and remembered a Bible in his trunk. Sending for it, he spent the night reading the Bible and praying. The next morning when the surgeon returned, he was amazed at the healing that had begun, and no operation was necessary. Rather than being led to repentance, Medley rejoiced in his good fortune and turned again from the Lord.

 

Having to convalesce before continuing to pursue his aspirations of advancement in the navy, Samuel Medley went to his grandfather’s home in London.  The elderly gentleman witnessed to and warned his grandson, but young Medley was unconcerned. Then one Sunday evening the grandfather chose to read Medley a sermon by Dr. Isaac Watts, and the Holy Spirit brought conviction and worked a wonderful transformation in the young sailor’s life. What a change resulted! Day by day Samuel Medley studied in his grandfather’s library. He was twenty-two years old now, and there was no time to lose. He was baptized in December of 1760 by Dr. Gifford. He learned both Hebrew and Greek and prayerfully studied the Word of God.

 

Medley’s usual day began in the study soon after his 4:00 A.M. rising. Private devotions and study were observed until ten o’clock, and then the various pastoral responsibilities among his people took place. He loved to witness to the sailors in his seaport city, and he had a keen interest in youth. The pastor loved music and wrote much poetry that found its way into useful hymns.

 

The man of God approached death in his sixty-first year, and on his deathbed he said, “ ‘I am now a poor shattered bark, just about to enter the blissful harbour: and O, how sweet will be the port after the storm.’…His last words were, ‘Glory! Glory! Glory! Home! Home!’ He died on July 17th, 1799,”and thus ended a glorious journey in the grace of God.

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart:: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 257 – 258.

 

 

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105 – APRIL 15 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

Life is the Time to Serve the Lord

 

James Greenwood certainly fulfilled the qualifications of a bishop and steward in being blameless and faithful until his death on April 15, 1815. Notwithstanding his excellent character did not keep him from being persecuted along with his other brethren in their service to the Lord.

 

Semple tells us that “in August 1772, James Greenwood and William Loval were preaching not far from the place where Bruington Meeting House now stands, in the county of King and Queen, when they were seized and, by virtue of a warrant, immediately conveyed to prison.”
Before the constitution of the Bruington Church the Baptists of the neighborhood met in a local barn. Later an arbor was erected where they might meet. It was here while James Greenwood and William Loval were preaching that they were arrested, and were conveyed to the King and Queen county jail. While being led to the jail they began to sing: “Life is the time to serve the Lord” and they gave notice that they would preach the next Lord’s Day from the jail windows.
The hymn that Greenwood and Loval sang challenges the Christian of today to use the time that God has given him or her to accomplish the work of Christ regardless of the hardships of this life. The hymn that they sang was written by Isaac Watts and may be found in The Baptist Hymnal of 1883 Edited by William H. Doane and E. H. Johnson.

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 153-154.

 

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