Sermon Illustrations

Ira Sankey Protected during The Civil War

Years ago when Ira Sankey was at the height of his ministry and traveling on a steamer in the Delaware River, he was recognized by some of the people on board. They had seen his picture in the newspaper and knew he was associated with evangelist D. L. Moody. When he was asked to sing one of his own compositions, Sankey said he preferred the hymn by William Bradbury, “Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us.” He suggested that everyone should join in the singing. One of the stanzas begins, “We are Thine, do Thou befriend us; be the guardian of our way.”

When he finished, a man stepped out of the shadows and inquired, “Were you in the army, Mr. Sankey?”

“Yes, I joined up in 1860.”

“Did you ever do guard duty at night in Maryland, about 1862?”

“Yes, I did.”

“Well, I was in the Confederate Army,” said the stranger, “and I saw you one night at Sharpsburg. You were wearing your blue uniform, and I had you in my gun sight as you stood there in the light of the full moon. Then just as I was about to pull the trigger, you began to sing.”

Sankey was astounded as he recalled the incident.

“It was the same hymn you sang tonight,” continued the man. “I couldn’t shoot you.”

There is no doubt about it—God can make us stand firm under his protection! God strengthens and protects his people!

From a sermon by Freddy Fritz, The End is Praise, 10/21/2009

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