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023 – This Day In Baptist History Past

January 23, 1823 – John Weatherford was buried, having reached ninety years of age. Among those who filed past the coffin was a small boy who clasped tightly to his father’s hand. Dr. White had wondered for more than sixty years what those white rigid seams were that he had seen on the old preacher’s hands. When he discovered the cause, he called them “the marks of the Lord Jesus-martyr marks of God’s hero. Honor to his noble memory and to all who have suffered for the Kingdom of God.” Dr. White had learned that Pastor Weatherford had been imprisoned in the Chesterfield County of Virginia Colony for five months in 1773 for preaching without a license. The iron bars of the prison did not limit his preaching the gospel to the waiting congregation with great demonstration, extending his hands through the grates. Wicked men stood on either side of the window with knives and slashed his hands until the blood would stream down and sprinkle those who listened to the message of redemption. After being held in close prison for some time, Weatherford was allowed the privilege of the prison bounds. Sometime later an order for his release was secured. The jailer refused to free him until the jail fees (room and board) were paid, which amounted to a considerable sum. The fee was paid by someone whose name was concealed and Weatherford was set at liberty. More than twenty years later, upon removal of Patrick Henry to Charlotte County, Henry became a neighbor of Weatherford, who was the pastor of a nearby Baptist church. Pastor Weatherford learned for the first time that Patrick Henry had paid his fine and secured his release to the prison bounds. During his last illness, he often referred to the astonishing love of God to poor lost sinners.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 30-31.

 

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