Today in Church History

Ironside Laid Aside as Dead at Birth

Ironside Laid Aside as Dead at Birth

Harry Ironside was laid aside for dead when he was born on this day, October 14, 1876 in Toronto, Canada. His mother was in a bad state and needed of all the attention she could get if she were to pull through. But God had big plans for the “dead” baby. A nurse detected a feeble pulse in him. She popped him into a bath of hot water and he quickly exercised the vocal cords which would declare Christ to perhaps a million listeners over the course of his life.

By the time he was four, he had memorized his first scripture verse. That did not set his mind at rest with God. He became a great student of the Bible, reading it through fourteen times by the time he was fourteen years old. That brought him no peace. Terrified of eternal death, he held tent meetings and services for children but, when asked if he was born again, could only stammer. But at fourteen years of age, he asked the Lord for salvation. To his surprise, he experienced no feeling, no emotion. Nonetheless, he trusted God for forgiveness of his sins and rose from his knees determined not to call God a liar by doubting him.

Now he began to preach in earnest. At that time he was associated with the Salvation Army. For five years he preached almost nonstop. He sought the experience called “sanctification” and thought he had attained it. This brought him little peace and less purity. He finally learned to look for holiness not within himself, but outside, in Christ Jesus. Leaving the Salvation Army, he became associated with the Plymouth Brethren.

Despite only an eighth grade education, Harry Ironside became one of the world’s best-known and best-beloved Bible teachers, traveling the globe to give messages. Never ordained, he nonetheless pastored Moody Memorial Church in Chicago for eighteen years.

In writing his autobiography he would say, “…As I look back over all the way the Lord has led me, I can but praise Him for the matchless grace that gave me to see that perfect holiness and perfect love were to be found, not in me, but in Christ Jesus alone.” He was on a preaching tour in New Zealand in 1951 when he died following a heart attack. At birth he seemed dead. At death he became alive, for we know he entered eternal life.

A Typical Sam Jones Tough-Nosed Sermon

A Typical Sam Jones Tough-Nosed Sermon

A Typical Sam Jones Tough-Nosed Sermon

Samuel P. Jones knew what drink could do to a man and his family. He began drinking as a young man when his father’s absence left him acting as head of the family. He thought liquor would ease his nervous indigestion.

In 1868 Sam married Laura McElwain. He had become a lawyer and hobnobbed with other hard-drinking men. Within four years, alcohol and gambling had brought him, his family and children to ruin. He moved from place to place and finally was reduced to shoveling coal for twelve hours a day.

While on a six-week drinking binge, he learned that his father was dying. He staggered to the bedside where his father pleaded with him to meet him in heaven. Sam promised. Afterward, he begged a drink from a bar tender. Suddenly he saw his vomit-covered reflection in a mirror. He smashed the glass and fell to his knees, begging God for mercy. After three days of strong coffee, he cleaned up, bought new clothes and went home to the wife he had beaten black and blue.

“‘Honey, God has given you a new husband and the children a new daddy, and I wonder if you will forgive me and start all over again.’ She grabbed me in her arms and cried, ‘Hallelujah! Hallelujah! I have been praying for this!’ And,” Sam added, “I have been going round the country bragging about Jesus ever since.”

He preached his first sermon a week later. With “a wife and one child, a bobtail pony and eight dollars in cash” he set out as a Methodist traveling preacher. Over the years, he stayed sober and his reputation for humor and straight talk grew. Once a saloon keeper flourished a ten dollar bill under Sam’s nose, saying he bet he’d like the money. Sam snatched the ten dollars, saying the devil had had it long enough. Another time, he heard some preachers praying that he’d have more tact. Sam prayed aloud, “Lord, I hope you won’t listen to a one of these preachers. They don’t preach against sin. They don’t visit from door to door. They don’t weep over sinners, and they don’t win souls. And they want You to change me until I’m just like them.”

In the last years of his life, he preached almost daily to audiences of 10,000 and more. It is estimated he turned 500,000 people to Christ. One of his converts, Captain Tom Ryman, built him a tabernacle to preach in; it became the Grand Ole’ Opry.

On this day August 2, 1885, Sam preached a typical sermon to 12,000 people in a camp-meeting near Cincinnati, Ohio. Standing on the top of an old piano box, he took as his text Proverbs 11:19. As righteousness leads to life, so he that pursues evil, pursues it to his own death.

Sam scoffed at preachers who preached a bad man into heaven. “There is but one moral way in the universe of God, and every man in Kentucky is on that way. Heaven is at one end of the road–hell at the other, and the only question is which direction shall you go. A man on his way to hell, if he thinks a minute, and will turn around right on the road he is on, he is in the road to heaven; if he is on the way to heaven and turns around in that way he is in, he is on the road to hell in less than fifteen seconds…”

No one ever changed Sam. To the end of his days, he insisted true religion was to turn from evil and do good. “Just quit your meanness and follow along in the footsteps of Jesus Christ,” he said. However, he did quit preaching for a while. He had preached so hard and so often that his health failed and he needed to take a rest. But he went back to preaching as soon as he could. Returning from preaching in Oklahoma City, he complained he wasn’t feeling well, took a drink of water, and flopped over dead.

Click here for more on Sam Jones 

Today in Church History

Spurgeon’s Last Sermon from the Tabernacle

Dan Graves, MSL
Spurgeon's Last Sermon from the Tabernacle

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, “Prince of Preachers,” preached his last sermon at the Tabernacle in London on this day, June 7, 1891.

Years before, his ministry had almost come to an early end. His congregation had grown so large they had to erect this special building to accommodate the crowds who came to hear him. While it was being built, he rented a hall in Surrey Gardens. At 22 years old, he had already been preaching five years. An overflow crowd filled the Surrey Garden hall. As he prayed aloud, pranksters yelled, “Fire,” and shouted that the balcony was about to collapse. In a panic, people surged toward the exits. Seven people were trampled to death and dozens more taken to hospital badly injured.

Spurgeon collapsed in horror. He had to be carried from the pulpit and fell into such deep depression that he later said he doubted anyone had ever passed as close to madness as he and yet escaped with sanity.

The Tabernacle opened in March 1861. There Spurgeon preached to 6,000 every Sunday for thirty years. That was no mean feat in the days before microphones and was possible only because the Lord endowed him with a commanding voice. From the pulpit, Spurgeon expounded the truths of scripture in a clear and distinct, if showy, style. Each week one of his sermons was published. He quoted frequently from the world’s great literature. More importantly, he preached Christ Jesus. In one of the first sermons he preached in the Tabernacle, he declared, “If I am asked what is my creed, I must reply, It is Jesus Christ.”

His showmanship was criticized as irreverent. Spurgeon pointed out that through it souls were won. The Lord had called him to preach to the lower classes, and he must present the gospel in a manner they could understand.

For his final talk, Spurgeon described what it is to have Christ as our captain. He amplified on the story of David at Ziklag. David and his men had returned to find their city burnt and their wives and children taken captive. His men wanted to stone him. But David strengthened himself in the Lord, and under his leadership, the men recaptured their wives and children. At that time, David stood up for some exhausted men who had stayed behind guarding the baggage. Christ, said Spurgeon, is like David. He stands up for the weak.

“We are all one in Christ Jesus. Surely this ought to comfort those of you who, by reason of feebleness, are made to feel as if you were inferior members of the body … ” Spurgeon showed that David attributed recovery of their families to the Lord and drew this conclusion: “If it is all of free grace, then, my poor struggling brother, who can hardly feel assured that you are saved, yet if you are a believer, you may claim every blessing of the Lord’s gracious covenant.” Christ, the Son of David, is “the most magnanimous of captains.”



 Blessed is the one who endures trials, because when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.  – – James 1:12 (CSB)

A friend shared this picture today on FB and I thought it such a good quote I had to share and decided to add a link to Dr. Livingston’s Bio. – Mike

BIO: Who was David Livingstone?

When someone asked David Livingstone why he became a missionary to Africa, he replied, “I was compelled by the love of Christ.” A medical doctor, missionary, preacher, African explorer, humanitarian, and fighter against the slave trade, David Livingstone went fearlessly to places other outsiders had never gone and, from the obscurity of the remote African interior, became one of the most celebrated heroes of his era….

Continued at Source: David Livingston Bio






The punishment of fools is folly – Proverbs 14:24

Fools make a mock at sin – Proverbs 14:9

Every natural man is a fool. – Thomas Granger

Honor is as fit for a fool and a gold ring for a swine’s snout. – John Trapp


Go thou and hear all that the Lord our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the Lord our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it and do it – Deuteronomy 5:27

A hearer’s life is the preacher’s best commendation. – Thomas Manton

A minister without boldness is like a smooth file. – William Gurnall

Taken from: The Puritans Day by Day © The Banner of Truth Trust 2016

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