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Preacher McIntyre
by David T. Myers

In his young years in Scotland, his classmates called him “preacher McIntyre.” That was because his early years were subject to serious impressions. Growing up, he became an apprentice to a shoemaker in Glasgow, Scotland. This “job” was followed by the task of shepherding sheep in the Highlands of the country. John McIntyre would never forget the spiritual lessons of that calling, even many years later.

At the age of twenty years, he made a public confession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It was said that his faith was tested by trying circumstances. One such example of those circumstances was, after his marriage, he emigrated to North Carolina. On the long ocean voyage, they buried overboard their first born child. In fact, unnamed domestic affliction and trouble rolled over the couple greatly, until they moved to South Carolina.

In attending camp meetings of the Great Revival, for a while he doubted his conversion. But God was at work in his life and he was able to recover his hope of eternal life. Pressing on in his spiritual life, he began to desire serving the Lord as an ordained minister. He was now in his early fifties, and friends opposed his desire. After all, he was not in his twenties. He had only a limited education. But John persisted in a laborious study and application of the requisite courses of theology. As a result, he was licensed to preach on September 25, 1807. For the next thirty years, he supplied pulpits at Presbyterian congregations – in Philadelphia, Bethel, Lumber Ridge, and at St. Paul.

His death took place on this day, November 11, 1852, at the age of one hundred and three years of age!

It was said that he was per-eminently devout, prayerful, vigilant of the interests and welfare of the church, was ready for every emergency, and shrank from no duty of religion. About the only thing he questioned was why God should delay so long to call him home!

Words to Live By:
Scripture reminds us in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4, that every believer has at least one spiritual gift. We are to speak or serve our God with that spiritual gift. See 1 Peter 4: 10, 11. Have you discovered your spiritual gift yet? And are you developing it by education and experience? Have you dedicated it to the Lord of the church? And are you doing it, to God’s glory and the benefit of the church to which you belong? “Preacher McIntyre” discovered his gift late in his life, and despite the doubt of many of his church friends, developed it, dedicated it to the Lord Jesus, and did it to God’s glory and the good of the church.

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J.J. JanewayIt was on Thursday, June 13, 1799, that he was ordained by the Presbytery of Philadelphia, along with four others, which, at that day, was rather an unusual occurrence. John Blair Linn, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia—whose bright light was so soon quenched,—William and John E. Latta, and Buckley Carl were the persons then ordained in the Old Arch Street Church. At the same time Mr. Janeway was installed pastor of the church. “On this auspicious day I was solemnly set apart to the work of the ministry of the Lord Jesus. In the presence of God, of his holy angels, and of men, my most solemn vows were made. May the Lord God and Saviour, the Great Head of the Church, endue my soul with abundant fortitude for the all important work, and bless me with great success. I give thanks, oh God, for thy presence on the affecting occasion.”

“Through the week God has favoured me with composure and serenity of mind. My thoughts have been collected. But alas! I have to lament the corruptions of my soul. Oh! what unbelief, what pride, what coldness of affection; how hard to lift the soul to God by fervent breathings of heart. O Lord, I beseech thee to bestow liberally on me of the influences of the Holy Spirit. Prepare me, Lord, for thy sovereign pleasure.    Sanctify me, oh God!”

Then, in Rev. Janeway’s diary, we read on this day, October 5, in 1799

“What a testimony to the insufficiency of human strength, unaided by the power of religion, have I seen during the course of the last week! A young man in the vigour of health, with all the comforts of life about him, seemingly without a cause, attempted to terminate his days. What a witness in favour of religion, which alone can afford adequate help and comfort, under the troubles of this mortal state! I bless God for preserving me from such infatuation, and giving me the aids and consolations of his holy religion, to sustain my soul under the tribulations through which I have passed. I bless my God, who hath redeemed my soul out of all my troubles. In him would I trust, and to his glory I would spend my days. For his help, during the absence of my beloved colleague, I desire to render my hearty thanks. He has exceeded my expectations. Trust him, therefore, O my soul, for all that remains of thy mortal days. Soon will they be over, and thou, I hope, wilt enter into rest. I bless God for the composure and peace of mind which I have enjoyed for some few years. Now I feel some transient attacks on my faith. May God support it and not suffer it to be moved.”

Words to Live By:
Our Lord Jesus Christ is our reason for living, and not merely for living, but living with purpose, for the glory of God. Make it your daily discipline to acknowledge God’s work in your life, How He convicts you of sin and leads you to repentance, how He has redeemed your soul, His many and daily blessings and answers to prayer. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. He is our sustaining joy in life, regardless of what challenges we may face.

For Further Study:
PCA pastor Ron Gleason has recently written When the Unthinkable Happens: What the Bible Says about Suicidean excellent resource for pastors and others who want to be prepared to minister with wisdom, love and grace.

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First Presbyterian Church West of the Rockies

Henry Spaulding and Marcus Whitman along with their wives, were Presbyterian missionaries to the Oregon Territory, seeking to win two Indian tribes to Christ. To accomplish that, they established the first Presbyterian Church west of the Rocky Mountains on August 18, 1838.

The Rev. Henry Spaulding was chosen as its pastor, with Dr. Marcus Whitman as its elder.  The charter members were Mrs. Eliza Spaulding, Mrs. Narcissus Whitman, Joseph Maki, Mrs. Mared Keana, and Charles Compo. The only member outside the missionary force was the last one, Charles Compo, who was a convert from Roman Catholicism.  They would add nine new names on September 1, 1838, but again all these new members were missionaries and helpers to the mission station. So for the first decade, its only members were the white Presbyterians and assorted helpers of the missionaries who had come to bring the gospel to these needy people.  In fact, there was nary one soul who came to the Lord Jesus in the first nine years of existence, despite faithful worship services twice on the Lord’s Day, and Bible studies during the week.  After years of faithful sowing of the Word, there were a few Indian names on the roll of membership.  And in 1870, a revival took place within the area which brought many Indians to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus.

However, in the midst of this time, what has become known as the Whitman Massacre took place in the late fall of 1847. Dr and Mrs Whitman, along with several others, were attacked and killed by the Cayuse Indians.  The reasons were said to be two-fold, if there is ever justification for murder. There was resentment against Dr. Whitman that he was leading more and more white settlers across the Oregon Trail into the Northwest, taking them right by the mission station.  In one wagon train, there were over 1000 settlers. And second, a measles outbreak among their people caught from the many immigrants brought charges against Dr. Whitman that he was responsible for this disease among their Indian children. It was an Indian tradition that if the local “medicine man” could not cure the disease, then he would be physically removed from life.  That tradition became tragic for the Whitman’s.  The site in the state of Washington is today a national monument.

Words to live by:
It is so easy to substitute another purpose in place of our chief purpose in life to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  Before we can know it, we can be seeking the things that are of this earth rather than heavenly things.  In hindsight, that is what happened to Dr. Whitman. He became more interested in being a guide to the countless settlers on the Oregon Trail than being a guide to the souls of the Indian tribe to which he had been called.  Let us examine ourselves continually, using natural or spiritual birthdays, anniversaries, or New Year resolutions, to make sure that we are on the Lord’s track first and foremost.

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A Calvinistic Evangelist

Rev. Dr. Daniel Baker [17 August 1791 - 10 December 1857]Imagine your mother dying when you were an infant.  Then imagine your father dying when you were only eight years of age.  How difficult your upbringing would be.  In the case of little Daniel Baker, who was born at Midway, Liberty county, Georgia, on August 17, 1791, he could only look with sadness at his playmates who had loving parents to watch over them.  But Daniel  had a heavenly Father who watched over  him and was preparing him for great things in the kingdom of God.

Reared by a godly aunt, Daniel came to a knowledge of Jesus as Lord and Savior around 14 years of age.  Soon afterwards, he felt the call to be a preacher of the Word.  Receiving an offer of a scholarship to Hampden-Sydney College, he made a public profession of faith and joined the Presbyterian Church.  His spiritual attainments affected his fellow students there as well as at Princeton University to which he transferred.

Upon graduation, he was interested in enrolling at the Seminary, but instead placed his education under the Rev. William Hill of Winchester, Virginia.  While there was much lacking in this mentoring, his own study in the Westminster Shorter Catechism brought him to the place where the local Presbytery ordained him to the gospel ministry.

One of his greatest blessings was a godly wife, in the person of Elizabeth McRobert, who bore him several children, as well as helping him in his ministry.  While he labored as a pastor, it became almost common that revival would break out under his ministry.  Thousands came to the Lord, not only from the local church, but from those around the church. And so Rev. Baker decided to become a full time evangelist.

It must be remembered that Daniel Baker was a Calvinist evangelist.  He didn’t resort to producing the right emotional effect, but simply preached the whole counsel of God.  And the Lord added to the church such as should be saved.

The last part of his ministry took place in Texas from 1850 on. He became the president of Austin College and resided in Huntsville, Texas, what the school is located. There he preached the same gospel, with the same effects.  He died in 1857.

Words to live by:  Before Daniel Baker passed away, he called  his son to make sure that the epigraph on the tombstone read clearly, “Here lies Daniel Baker, Preacher of the gospel, A sinner saved by grace.”  The close of his life was one of triumph. He lifted his eyes to heaven, and exclaimed, in the calm exercise of a grounded faith, “Lord Jesus, into Thy hands I commend my spirit!” As these words passed his lips, he closed his eyes on earth, to open them forever on the face of that Saviour whom, not having seen, he so loved. Let us be known in life and death as Sinners saved by grace, God’s grace.

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A Desire to Effect a Reformation

J.J. JanewayThe Rev. Jacob Jones Janeway [1774-1858] was an early Philadelphia pastor who served initially as an associate alongside the Rev. Ashbel Green. Rev. Janeway was also a close friend and supporter of the early Princeton Seminary faculty.

When the new year of 1800 opened, the Rev. J. J. Janeway was found on its threshold with a strong desire to “effect a reformation” in his heart and life. He wrote in his diary, “On examination, it is found that early rising, fervency in devotion, religious reflections in company, humility, courage, disinterested benevolence, and much engagedness are particularly worthy my attention in this reformation. May God enable me to reform. Amen.”

It was not a short-lived expectation or goal for Rev. Janeway. He persisted. On June 26th of that same year, he wrote in his diary:

“This day I spent in fasting and prayer for the blessing of Almighty God on my ministry. I have read the Scriptures; meditated and prayed. Confession of sins has been made. I have entreated God to bestow on me courage, wisdom, prudence, ardent piety, circumspection, a feeling sense of the importance of divine truth, compassion for the souls of men. I have prayed that I may propose divine truth with clearness, illustrate it with wisdom, and urge it with affection and energy; that I may be furnished for my work abundantly; that I may be a wise, faithful, able and successful minister of the Lord Jesus.”

Words to Live By:
An able, effective, and pointed prayer for any pastor. And in a similar way, for any and all who claim Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. May each of us press closer to know the Lord, to seek His face, to draw near to Him day by day. Read the Scriptures. Dwell upon their meaning and pray. Confess your sins and ask God to give you what is needed for this day, to live to His glory.

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