The Iron Pen #54
"...graven with an iron pen and lead..." Job 19:24
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Swallowed By A Whale!?
They took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging...Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Jonah 1:15 & 17
I believe the account of Jonah is true! In fact I believe the Bible is true from cover to cover. But, through the years I have been confronted by skeptics and on several occasions their skepticism focused on the account of Jonah being swallowed by a whale as Matthew 12:40 says. I am a collector of old Bibles and Christian literature. One of my favorite old Christian magazines is the February 19, 1944 issue of the Gospel Herald. Why? Because it includes an article entitled, "A Modern Jonah." There is not room to reprint the entire article but here is a summary --
In February, 1891, the Star of the East, a vessel of the Star Line of sailing ships owned by the Alaska Packing Company, was whaling within the sight of Pembroke Light, Port Stanley, Falkland Islands. At dawn whales were spotted by the lookout. Hastily two boats were lowered and raced toward the whales. As one pulled alongside the whales huge tail churned the sea scattering men and boat like so much chaff over the surface of the sea. The other boat quickly came to the aid of the unfortunate seamen. When the roll was called, two men were missing and presumed drown. Later that afternoon the same whale was sighted again. Two other boats went to the attack and this time the harpoon was driven home. All that night and part of the next day men worked with flensing knives removing the immense blankets of fat. Finally the remainder of the whale was hoisted upon the ships deck and to the surprise of the crew they saw something moving inside. Quickly it was slit open and there lay the unconscious form of James Bartley, one of the missing seamen. His senseless frame shook. He was cleaned up and taken to the cabin. For two weeks he hesitated at the great divide between life and death. His reason was in a chaotic whirl. At last life called, and he heard and he came back to life and reason. James Bartley lived to tell his story about being swallowed by the whale and an interesting story it is, though we do not have the space to relate it to you here. Many people heard the story because Bartley was never the same after being rescued from the whales belly. The gastric juices of the whale permanently bleached his hands, face and neck a sickly white. When people asked him what happened, he had a whale of a story to tell them! I will share James Bartleys story in the next issue.
J. B. Chapman
Young man, young woman, make the most of your life. Go after souls. Go after them the best way you know, but go after them. Do not listen to those who warn you that you will offend and drive away your persistence. Go after souls. Go after them by public and private testimony. Go after them by service and by prayer. But go after them. Go after them with love and a burdened heart. Go after them by kind deeds. Go after them by song and praise. Go after them when they are bereaved and in sorrow. Go after them when they are especially favored of God and men. But go after them. The soul-winning life is your life--make the most of it.
Every now and then I read something that jumps out at me and really gets my attention. As I was paging through a Christian magazine nearly a half-century old I came across this saying by Thomas Guthrie -- "If you find yourself loving any pleasure better than your prayers, any book better than the Bible, any house better than the house of God, any table better than the Lords table, any person better than Christ, or any indulgence better than the hope of Heaven -- take alarm."
God & Country
"Whoever shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world."