Featured Items Ritchie Christian Media

December 2005

From the editor: Adverbs, Adjectives, and the Judgment Seat
J Grant

The Enemy Within (2)
Malcolm C Davies

The Offerings (8)
J Paton

Book Review

The First Book of Samuel (7)
J Riddle

Poetry: Because I May
W Blane

Into All The World: Witnessing (5)
L McHugh

Question Box

Psalm 22
J Gibson

Notebook: The Kings of Israel
J Grant

Whose faith follow: Samuel Wright (1862-1951)
J G Hutchinson

The Lord Looked upon Peter (2)
C Jones

The Finished Work (1)
E A R Shotter

With Christ

The Lord’s Work & Workers


Whose faith follow: Samuel Wright (1862-1951)

J G Hutchinson, Belfast

Mr Wright was born in Drumgath, Rathfriland, Co. Down where his people were farmers. While often during life he was in contact with business and professionals, he seemed ever to retain the simplicity and honesty that is so characteristic of "a son of the soil". As a young man he was saved on the roadside during a period when he was attending meetings conducted by members of the Irish Evangelistic Society; the words of 1 John 1.7 were used by God to bring him into the joy of salvation. Like another young man saved on the road, Saul of Tarsus, his conversion was followed by a desire to know and do the will of God.

These desires led him to observe baptism and take his place with the assembly in Ballygorian, then meeting between Hilltown and Rathfriland. These early men did this out of sincere conviction. Is it any wonder that, despite suffering and earthly loss, they remained there and taught others also? He was bitterly opposed even in his own home. His father, in seeking to stop him getting to the Breaking of Bread meeting, actually took his good clothes and hid them. Salvation so filled his heart and gave him joy that he longed to tell others, and was soon found preaching publicly and from house to house.

When he went forth in full time service, his first series of meetings was in the Cookstown area. For a number of years he laboured with Mr T. Campbell and together they were guided and mightily used of God. Mr Campbell said that during those years he believed they were definitely guided of God as the Israelites were by the cloud and the pillar of fire. He added that in every series they then had, God saved souls. It was during these years that the assembly now meeting at Lungs was formed. Later he joined Mr W. McCracken in Co. Donegal and knew what it was to experience the truth of Philippians 4.12, at times to "abound", and at other times to "suffer need".

When preaching, they would have to find lodgings, and, at times, when the end of the week came there was no money for the landlady. He was then known to cycle miles to the nearest town and come back by train without bicycle or watch, both having been sold to meet expenses. Appearances are deceptive; only God knows the needs of His servants. Honourable men do not hint or beg, much less do they descend to the despicable level of playing to the gallery. This dear man, at the end of a noble life of service, left the princely sum of thirty pounds.

He was a lover of good men and companied much with Mr T. Campbell, Dr Matthews, Mr W. Rodgers, Mr J. Hutchinson, Mr R. Curran, Mr R. Beattie, and others, who all esteemed him as a man of integrity and unswerving loyalty to Christ. He was most careful regarding his time and everything entrusted to him. In his diary, after his decease, it was noted how he would record the purchase of even a razor blade and how long it would last him. He felt his all belonged to God and he was seeking to be a faithful steward. What a voice to all in this age of ease and self-indulgence! As he moved about amongst the assemblies he was careful lest in any way he would hurt or estrange any of the Lord’s people. He was known to say after good meetings in a district, "I will now move on and let someone else come here lest the Christians get too occupied with one preacher". These would be profitable "old paths" for preachers today to follow.

He married Miss Forster of Cootehill, Co. Cavan in 1904 and God blessed them with three sons. Our brother had the joy of seeing them saved and in assembly fellowship. Robert, the eldest, went to Japan as a missionary and did a great work in helping to open up that country to gospel work and assembly testimony.

The closing years of his life were spent living with his son Albert and his wife in Strabane. Right to the end his interest was keen in the gospel and the work of the Lord. That end came suddenly on 16th February, 1951, and without pain or struggle this saintly man went home. It is interesting to note that the text on the calendar at his bedside read, "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise" (Ps 100.4), and at 89 that was his experience. A devout Roman Catholic servant in the home who had cared for him, and who had said earlier that she believed all evangelists and preachers were false prophets, as soon as she heard he was gone declared, "Well, he is in heaven for he was a saint". It is possible that his testimony was the means of her conversion. How important to live and die in that way. His preaching partners Mr T. Campbell and Mr R. Beattie were responsible for the funeral services.


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