Posted by: rcottrill | August 14, 2010

Today in 1810 – Samuel Wesley Born

Samuel Sebastian Wesley was a grandson of Charles Wesley, and a noted organist in his day. He wrote many hymn tunes, including the well crafted Aurelia, which is used with The Church’s One Foundation, and Another Year Is Dawning. It is alleged that Samuel Wesley, being an avid fisherman, chose the churches to which he would accept a call to play the organ according to which had the best fishing nearby!

The church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord,
She is His new creation
By water and the Word.
From heav’n He came and sought her
To be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her
And for her life He died.

Solid and sturdy like a foundation, this great tune seems to suit a pipe organ rendition.

(2) Today in 1948 – Robert Cottrill Saved
Graphic Me as boyOver 60 years ago, a family camp was in progress, in Ontario, Canada. In fact, the particular occasion I’m thinking of was the chapel service that evening. And over to one side of the auditorium–which was actually just an old barn, fancied up a bit–there sat a young family–dad and mom, and a little boy. And as it came time, the speaker presented the message of the evening.

Now, he didn’t seem to be a particularly impressive individual. He’d never written any books that I know of. Or made any popular recordings. And he wasn’t highly educated, or particularly dynamic. And he was getting on, and deaf. (Wore one of those old hearing aids with a metal strap over his head, and a headphone fastened to one ear. The electronics, and the batteries, were housed in a box that was strapped to his chest.)

As I say, not particularly impressive. But he preached the gospel that night. And at the end of his message, he said something like this: “Is there anyone here who’s realized your need of a Saviour? And you want to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, tonight. Please raise your hand, so I can pray for you.”

And there was a pause. Then that little boy–only seven years old–raised his hand. And I know that because that little boy was me (pictured above). Young as I was, I realized that I was a sinner, and that Christ had suffered and died on the cross, taking the punishment in my place, so that I could be forgiven and receive the gift of eternal life. As my mother prayed with me afterward, I believe I became a child of God that night.

In later years, I would become a pastor, and a Bible college instructor. And I always had a keen interest in sacred music, also serving as a choir conductor and a song leader many times. On one occasion, I wrote a little song, A Prayer for God’s Blessing, for the camp where I was saved (see link to Fair Havens at the right).

They used to have a sign at the entrance that said, “Sir, we would see Jesus” (Jn. 12:21). On the back of the same sign, visible on your departure, were the words “We beheld His glory” (Jn. 1:14). My song about these texts has never been published–I make no claim that it’s worthy of that, but you can hear the tune by checking on the Cyber Hymnal.

Here we would see Jesus;
Wearied with the journey
We turn again to be renewed
And know His touch of pow’r.
Yes, we would see Jesus
Through the Scriptures shining.
Lord, lift the veil of earthly sense
And meet us in this hour.

We beheld His glory–
Thus, when homeward wending,
Our hearts will echo with the chorus
Of redeeming love.
We beheld His glory,
And go forth to serve Him,
Till faith gives way to joyous sight
In mansions up above.


  1. Hi Bob. Well that was one story I had never heard before, but as I looked at the picture I could see the resemblance between you and your dear Mother. I remember the sign l at Fair Havens. Just to think many years later your son and his family are at that special place. Great story once again I learned about someone that has been special in my life down through these many years.
    God Bless

    • As to Jim and family being at camp this week, that makes four generations, counting the grandkids! Wow! A lot of water under the proverbial bridge!


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