Saturday, March 19, 2011
J. Wilbur Chapman
“It is a very difficult thing to make a rule for another to live by. The rule which governs my life is this: anything that dims my vision of Christ, or takes away my taste for Bible study, or cramps me in my prayer life, or makes Christian work difficult, is wrong for me.; and I must, as a Christian, turn away from it.”
On June 17, 1859 John Wilbur Chapman was born into the home of a loving Christian couple who prepared him for a life in full-time ministry. He accepted Christ as his Savior but struggled with the assurance of his salvation. It was D.L. Moody who took the time to open the scriptures to him which gave him that full assurance.
After graduation from Seminary, he was ordained as a Presbyterian minister. He married three times, losing his first wife Irene one month after the birth of their first child. His second wife also passed away. He married his third wife in 1910.
In 1893 he began evangelistic work, preaching with D.L. Moody at the World's Fair. He went on to conduct many meetings on his own, hiring a young man named Billy Sunday to be his "advance man."
He returned to the Pastorate in 1895 and was appointed Corresponding Secretary of the Presbyterian General Assembly's Committee on Evangelism. As Secretary he directed the activities of fifty-one evangelists in 470 cities and authored numerous books.
He then went on to organize city-wide evangelistic campaigns in the United States and around the world.
In May 1918 he was elected Moderator by the Presbyterian General Assembly. The work this required of him, coupled by the energy he had expended in organizing the many evangelistic campaigns took a toll on his health. He died on December 25, 1918 after emergency gall bladder surgery.
Dr. Chapman is also the author of this beautiful hymn:
One day when heaven was filled with His praises,
One day when sin was as black as could be,
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin,
Dwelt among men; my example is He!
Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me;
Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever;
One day He's coming, O glorious day!
One day they led Him up Calvary's mountain,
One day they nailed Him to die on the tree,
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected,
Bearing our sins; my Redeemer is He!
One day they left Him alone in the garden,
One day He rested, from suffering free;
Angels came down o'er His tomb to keep vigil;
Hope of the hopeless, my Savior is He!
One day the grave could conceal Him no longer,
One day the stone rolled away from the door;
Then He arose, over death He had conquered;
Now is ascended, my Lord evermore!
One day the trumpet will sound for His coming,
One day the skies with His glory will shine;
Wonderful day, my beloved ones bringing;
Glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine!