On this date, July 30, 1718, William Penn died. An English Quaker, he founded the American colony of Pennsylvania. Among other desires, he founded the colony in hopes that it would be a place of refuge for religious freedom.
On this date, July 29, 1833, William Wilberforce died. A personal hero of mine, he worked tirelessly to end slavery in the English colonies. Wilberforce not only led the fight that eventually abolished the slave trade, he led a lifelong campaign that changed the culture of the world.
On this date, July 28, 1881, American theologian J. Gresham Machen was born in Baltimore, Maryland. A New Testament professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, he opposed the liberalism that was sweeping through the seminary. Ultimately he left and founded the Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.
On this date, July 27, 1926, William Sangster was ordained in Wesley Chapel. He would become one of the most influential leaders of the British Methodists during the twentieth century. He resisted anti-semitism and constantly encouraged the Methodists to return to their roots, lest they stray away.
On this date, July 26, 1837, Phoebe Palmer, an American Methodist was sanctified entirely. She would go on to be extremely influential in the spread of the Holiness message and is considered by many as the mother of the Holiness movement.
On this date, July 25, 1823, Benjamin Titus (BT) Roberts was born. A Methodist, he began to have conflict with the Methodist church over their policy of “buying” pews, where individuals and families would buy their pew in church and that was their pew. No one else could sit there, unless they rented it from the purchaser. This created a tendency to cater towards the wealthy. Roberts believed that was wrong and was actively against it. Ultimately, the Methodist church stripped him of his ordination.
Roberts, along with others found the Free Methodist Church. The free was a pronouncement that anyone, regardless of race or class, was welcome.
On this date, July 24, 1874, Oswald Chambers was born. He died before his first book was published. Chambers’ widow transcribed and published books and articles edited from the notes she had taken in shorthand – thirty of them to be exact! The book that has been the most successful of those thirty is the daily devotional, My Utmost for His Highest.
On this date, July 23, 1742, Susanna Wesley died. She was the twenty-fifth child to her parents, Dr. Samuel and Mary (White) Annesley. She was the mother of prominent Methodists John and Charles as well as seventeen other children. Nine of her nineteen children died in infancy.
On this date, July 22, 1604,King James officially approved the proceeding of the work on the Bible translation that came to be known as the King James Version. It was published in 1611.
On this date, July 21, 1773, Howell Harris died. He was the famous Welsh evangelist.
Here are some of his last words from his journal before he died.
“My spirit is like one at the door waiting to be called in. I could have no access to ask for anything but that I may go home, and that he would make haste and make no long tarry. Oh, Thou who didst bleed to death, and who art alive, come and take me home; and as for the passage, I have committed that to Thee to take care of me. I am Thine here and for ever. I am one of Thy redeemed, the fruit of Thy blood and sweat, and Thy will is my heaven. I feel my spirit continually, as it were, from home, and that I am one of the Lamb’s company and belong to Him and cannot be long from Him. My spirit cries, Lord, Thou canst not be God and not pity and love me, because Thou hast given me what Thou hast promised ill pity to a poor, broken penitent and humble spirit, and also faith to lay hold of Thy righteousness and blood. Oh Lord, Thou canst not leave me long here, Thou must pity and call me home, for I am a stranger here. I love the glorified spirits and long to be among them because they behold His glory and because they have no guile, nor deceit, nor sin, nor strange gods, nor any other corruption; no wisdom, no righteousness but only in the Lamb.”