January Sermon Illustrations

January 18, 2010

Samuel Morris was a black boy, son of an African king, who escaped from the neighboring tribe which captured him and, making his way to the coast, came to a Christian mission, where he heard the gospel and gave his heart to Christ. He stowed away on a sailing vessel bound for America, and after great hardships and cruelties reached New York, where a man whose name had been given him sent him across the country to Indiana college. Soon after he arrived, and under his influence, the college was swept by a revival.

The boy planned to go back to his African country and tell his people the story of the gospel. He would describe to his fellow students how he planned to gather his people about him on the sand and tell them of the way of salvation. But God had another plan for him.

The severe American winter was too much for this black boy—he was stricken with consumption, and after a brief illness died. It was a strange providence to those who had followed his marvelous career, but a providence which was soon vindicated. Three young men who stood at his grave gave themselves then and there to the work of Christ in foreign lands, to do what this boy had planned to do. Thus the power of his spirit-filled life was carried in every direction. His influence and his death became the chief endowment of that university. Students came from all parts of the world, drawn by his story. The grave of that black boy in the cemetery at Fort Wayne, Indiana, is the most visited grave in all that city; and when a monument recently was erected there, almost forty years after the boy's death, hundreds of citizens came from far and near to wonder at his grave and to give thanks to God.

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