I wonder if any genre has so much to offer the believer as biography. There is wonderful fellowship to be had among those whose lives ended even before ours began.
Muster of the dead
Hundreds of lives have been recorded. People whose faith and joy in God changed our nation and our world. Key figures in Australian history include F. W. Boreham, Lionel B. Fletcher, John G. Ridley (though I’ve yet to find a full biography published for him), T. C. Hammond, Archbishop Mowll, A. W. Pink, John G. Paton, Robert Harkness, Paul White, Leon Morris, etc.
Those with significant, but less direct, connection to Australia include Charles Alexander, J. Wilbur Chapman, R. A. Torrey, Billy Graham, Hudson Taylor, Thomas Spurgeon, Gipsy Smith, Henry Varlay, George Muller, J. Sidlow Baxter, etc.
Other key figures worthy of your attention include Charles Spurgeon, D. L. Moody, Jim Elliot, David Brainerd, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Charles Wesley, John Wesley, Count Nikolaus von Zinzendorf, Adoniram Judson, William Tyndale, John Wycliffe, John Newton, William Carey, William Wilberforce, John Calvin, Martin Luther, Augustine of Hippo, etc.
No doubt many others could be added to this list… please feel free to do so in comments. But first, allow me to whet your appetite with a brief biographical tidbit from the life—or should I say death—of Jonathan Edwards.
Oh, that we may kiss the rod
The Rev. Aaron Burr served as the second president of Princeton University. When he died in 1757, his father-in-law, Jonathan Edwards was chosen to replace him as the third president of Princeton University. Edwards left his family to follow later and went to Princeton alone. He served in his new role for just five weeks before smallpox tragically ended his career.
Edwards’ wife, Sarah, was notified of his death by a letter sent from his doctor. On receiving the letter, Sarah wrote to her recently widowed, and now fatherless, daughter (Mrs. Burr) at Princeton.
My very dear Child, What shall I say? A holy and good God has covered us with a dark cloud! Oh, that we may kiss the rod, and lay our hands on our mouths! The Lord has done it. He has made me adore His goodness that we had him so long. But my God lives; and He has my heart. Oh, what a legacy my husband and your father left us! We are all given to God; and there I am, and love to be. Your ever affectionate mother,
Wow. What a faith. What a God!
Grace to you.