Sermon Illustrations

Which reminds me of something I heard about a famous preacher by the name of Peter Cartwright, who by the way, was converted during a camp meeting in Logan County in 1801. He surrendered to the ministry in 1802 and became one of the leaders of what we now refer to as the 2nd Great Awakening. Cartwright personally baptized over 12,000 people during his ministry.

He was a Methodist Circuit rider and spent most of his ministry in Kentucky and Tennessee. Peter Cartwright was what we would refer to as a “Hellfire and Brimstone” type of Preacher. He didn’t beat around the bush and was famous for telling it like it was. Around 1830 Cartwright was preaching a Revival near Washington D.C. The Pastor and some of the other leaders in the church found out that President Andrew Jackson was going to attend one of the Revival services. Of course they were excited about the President’s visit, and didn’t want to offend him in any way. So they pulled Mr. Cartwright aside and said, "Listen Peter, the President is going to be here on Sunday and we know that sometimes you can get kind of offensive, so would you mind toning it down just a little. We wouldn’t want to upset the President."

Sure enough, the President attended the service that Sunday morning. When Peter Cartwright stepped up to the Pulpit this is what he said, "I understand that the President of the United States, Andrew Jackson is with us this morning. I have been asked to be guarded in my remarks. But the truth is, Andrew Jackson will go to Hell is he doesn’t repent." The Pastor and other church leaders were appalled, but when the service was over Andrew Jackson grabbed Mr. Cartwright’s hand, shook it and said, "Sir, if I had an army of men like you I could whip the world."