Yesterday was the 290th anniversary of the birth of Samuel Davies (1723-1761), a powerful preacher during the Great Awakening in colonial America. Davies was a skilled orator whose rhetorical style influenced a young Patrick Henry. He eventually succeeded Jonathan Edwards as president of the College of New Jersey (later renamed Princeton). On one fundraising trip for the College, King George II of England invited him to preach at the royal chapel. Reportedly, when the king whispered during the sermon, Davies stopped and directly addressing the king, said, “When the lion roars, all the animals in the jungle fall silent; and when the Lord speaks, the kings of the earth shut their mouths.”
Davies also wrote poems and was one of the first hymn writers in colonial America. My hymn of the week is this poem which beautifully describes the call and free offer of the gospel.
(The Invitations of the Gospel)
Today the living streams of grace
Flow to refresh the thirsty soul;
Pardon and life and boundless bliss
In plenteous rivers round us roll.
Ho, ye that pine away and die,
Come, and your raging thrist allay;
Come all that will, here’s rich supply,
A fountain that shall ne’er decay.
“Come all,” the blessed Jesus cries,
“Freely My blessings I will give.”
The Spirit echoes back the voice,
And bids us freely drink and live.
The saints below, that do but taste,
And saints above, who drink at will,
Cry jointly, “Thirsty sinners! haste,
And drink, the spring’s exhaustless still.”
Let all that hear the joyful sound,
To spread it through the world unite;
From house to house proclaim it round,
Each man his fellow man invite.
Like thirsty flocks, come let us go;
Come every color, every age;
And while the living waters flow,
Let all their parching thirst assuage