Sermon Illustrations

As I have been reading about the influence of the Gospel in the history of the United States I am amazed at the price many Christians paid for your and my freedom. Many people paid with their lives and with great sacrifice so that I could believe in Jesus today and enjoy the freedoms that you and I benefit from in our society today. Here is another story to reveal what it means to be persecuted for your faith in Jesus Christ and to pay the price for the freedom to worship Him openly.

Marshall states, “…One episode surpasses all the rest. Early in June of 1780, in support of a British advance, Hessian General Wilhelm von Knyphausen crossed from Staten Island to New Jersey with five thousand men. At the little village of Springfield, just west of Union, he encountered unexpected resistance and was forced to withdraw. In the course of this action, the wife of the Reverend James Caldwell, a mother of nine, was shot in her home, while her husband was away. Whether or not it was intentional (Caldwell had a price on his head and later that same day his house was burnt to the ground), the incident inflamed the towns people. When Knyphausen’s force returned two weeks later, even though reinforced by British General Clinton himself, he was again stopped, this time in furious action. At the height of the shooting, the Patriots, taking cover behind a fence that was adjacent to Caldwell’s church, ran out of the paper wadding needed to hold powder and ball in place in their muskets. Caldwell gathered up all the copies of Watts Psalms and Hymns he could carry, and rushed out to the crouching riflemen. Tearing pages out of the hymnals, he passed them out, shouting, ‘Putt Watts into em, boys! Give em Watts!’ ” (Light and The Glory, page 290).