From the Pulpit of a Holiness Preacher March 2013 An email newsletter ministry of Richard D. Swift, publishing the sermons of Rev. Reed A. SwiftMessage 1 of 1 , Mar 16View Source
From the Pulpit of a Holiness Preacher
An email newsletter ministry of Richard D. Swift, publishing the sermons of Rev. Reed A. Swift (1899-1973), a holiness preacher.
The following sermon was preached in the Free Methodist Churches of Pomona, California; Rayville, Louisiana; Mira Loma, California ('49); and Davison, Michigan (young people-'54), in that order. It comes from a book titled, "The March of Faith" by Lindley J. Baldwin, a biography of Samuel Morris.
Samuel Morris- His Challenging Life and Leadership
There's a new book, "The March of Faith" on the biography of Samuel Morris. I think I will give you a brief sketch of this short, thrilling book. [Note: Because of copyright laws, I have included the source of this material at the end of this sermon.]
Born in the jungles of west Africa, he lived half naked and almost on the level of the animals. His native name was Kaboo. His father was a tribal chieftain who had lost freedom in a tribal war. The chieftain who was defeated in war must give his eldest son as a pawn or hostage to insure the payment of war indemnity. If the payment lagged, the son was tortured.
Kaboo was pawn for the third time at age 15. Nothing satisfied the conquering chieftain. Kaboo was whipped with a thorny poisonous vine. Death was welcomed. He was beaten, then burried up to his neck. His mouth was propped open. He was given a sweet mixture of rum and ants. Then he was given to ants that would eat his flesh to the bone. He was then laid on a cross tree for the final beating. He was weak and longed for death.
Then a great light broke over him, and an audible voice from above commanded, "Rise and flee." He obeyed and escaped. he hid in tree trunks by day and was guided by the same bright light by night. It lighted his pathway past many poisonous snakes, pythons overhead, and the glaring eyes of leapords and lurking crocodiles. He saw to gather fruit and roots by night and hid from cannibal natives by day.
After weeks in the jungle, this mysterious light led Kaboo to the only important stronghold of civilized law, among the missionaries in Liberia. There he saw a Kru boy of his own race and recieved a welcome. This was on a Friday.
On the following Sunday, as Kaboo attended church with others, the lady missionary told of Saul's conversion. how a light shone from heaven, and a mysterious voice spoke from above. Kaboo cried out, "That's just what I saw! I have seen that light! That same Light saved me and brought me here!"
Miss Krolls, the missionary from Taylor University at Ft. Wayne, Indiana (or Upland, Indiana now) led Kaboo to Christ. As he heard of Christ, he readily accepted Him. He called his praying, "talking to his Father". He prayed so much after his day's work was done that others in the bunk house said he must keep still.
Then he went to the woods to pray. He prayed until midnight and returned to his bunk, weary. He still lifted his heart to God in silent prayer, when suddenly his room lighted up as if by the sun. He said, "The burden of my heart disappeared and I was filled with inner joy."
Pg.18- He said, "My body felt as light as a feather. I was filled with a power that made me feel that I could almost fly. I could not contain my joy, but shouted until everyone in the barracks was awakened. There was no more sleep that night. some thought I had gone crazy, others that a devil had gotten in me. But I knew my own heart. This was my adoption. I was now a son of the Heavenly King. I knew that my father had saved me for a purpose and that He would work with me."
He knew nothing about theology but simply knew he had yielded himself to God and had heart purity! Poor, ignorant, wretched boy, and yet with a child like faith!
He was baptized under th name Samuel Morris and taken into the Methodist Church. Samuel Morris, a banker in Ft.Wayne, Indiana, assisted Miss Kroll in preparing as a missionary. Kaboo was her first convert, so she named after her benefactor. Samuel lived in this part of Liberia for about two years, working for the missionaries and others and learning to sing the good old hymns from memory.
Samuel's first convert was an escaped boy slave of the same cruel chieftain. He was present at the final torture of Kaboo. He saw the mysterious flash of light and heard the voice commanding him to flee. He being an ordinary slave and not a chief's pawn, escaped without any trouble. God led him to the mission. These things are miracles. He was baptized under the name of Henry O'Neil.
Samuel Morris kept asking about the Holy Spirit until the missionaries said, "we have told you everything we know about the Holy Ghost." Then he asked, "who told you?" the missionary said, "Stephen Merritt", who was then home secretary for Bishop William Taylor. Samuel asked, "Where is Stephen Merritt?" The missionary replied, "In New York." Samuel said, "I will go to see him" and started running directly to the sea coast!
When he arrived, he found a sailing ship anchored. The captain came ashore in a small boat. Samuel confronted him and said, "My Father told me you would take me to New York to see Stephen Merritt." The captain asked, "Where is your father?" Samuel replied, "In heaven." The captain cursed him and went on. After two days of praying and waiting on the beach by Samuel, the captain consented as two boys had deserted the crew. Samuel was delighted. His prayer was answered.
Trip to America: The rough captain furnished rum to the crew made up of various nationalities. A big Malayan man threatened to kill Samuel. Samuel faced him and said, "Don't kill, don't kill." His meekness was stronger than the Malayan. The captain came from his cabin with two guns loaded to kill. All was calm. He saw that Samuel had caused the calm and went below deck with him, knelt by him, and prayed through to salvation.
The captain's cabin was a filthy accumulation of years of dirt and smoke. Samuel always said, "The Spirit of God will not dwell where filth abides." so he gave the cabin a baptism of soap and water. Finally, the whole crew prayed and sang with Samuel. All were converted.
The ship was nearly loaded when the captain landed it once more. There was a great battle on deck. Outnumbered 10-1, Samuel locked himself in the cabin with valuables and prayed as the wind blew and the ship rocked and dragged the anchor. The captain praised Samuel!
Samuel landed in New York City and was the first off the ship and asked the first man he met about Stephen Merritt. A tramp who had been at Stephen Merritt's mission took him to the mission. Stephen Merritt was gone on an appointment. With clothes tattered and torn and with little English, he had seventeen men prayed through to victory when Stephen Merritt returned.
Stephen Merritt, a wealthy man, put Samuel in Bishop Taylor's bed. He went with Stephen Merritt to a funeral. On the way to the funeral, Samuel Morris prayed in the coach. The funeral became a revival!
Samuel Morris went to Taylor University to speak to the students and give his testimony. When the students saw him, they laughed as he was introduced. Stephen Merritt had to leave for a little while. When he returned to the auditorium after Samuel finished his testimony, he found the altar full of students.
In Stephen Merritt's home, Samuel returned thanks for the food and all hearts were melted. Mrs. Merritt said, "Sammy, you make this your home." At school, Samuel asked for a room that no one else wanted. This put the university president under conviction.
Samuel was a Heaven ordained leader as Paul. He visited a revival in the African Methodist Church. He saved Taylor University by helping to start the Stephen Merritt Faith Fund which gave $10,000 for 10 acres of land.
An atheist was converted and later a bishop under Samuel Morris preaching. Later the atheist's friend was led to Christ. Preacher Samuel loved America! After his first Thanksgiving dinner, he asked, "Was this turkey or roast monkey?" At the first snow, he praised God.
[Here I skip a part concerning his illness, death, and tombstone erected to the conclusion of the excerpts]
After Samuel's death, Taylor University became a missionary school. Three volunteered to take his place at once. In one year, one hundred were preparing as missionaries. He was a leader like Christ who was greater in His death than in His life.
This unlettered, uneducated, unattractive, penniless youth, filled with the Holy Spirit, was a power for good. (Young people, you can be too!) Several years later, the captain of the tramp ship came to inquire about Samuel. The captain wept at learning of his death. The crew was still a large Christian family because of Samuel Morris. Stephen Merritt became a flame of fire. Because of Stephen Merritt, 10,000 were brought to Christ. That African Methodist Church prospered. The Stephen Merritt Faith Fund still opperates. Religious services are held at Samuel Morris' burial place. Thousands have prayed through there. His friend, Henry O'Neil, his first convert was educated at Taylor University and became a missionary.
[This concludes my grandfather's sermon. The March of Faith was published by Bethany House Publishers 1942. I insert the following material taken from a noted source at the bottom of said insert. The tombstone epitaph was the part I skipped over in the sermon.]It was his desire to be educated in the Word of God so he could go back to his homeland of Liberia and teach Jesus to the people there. However, that was not God’s plan for his life. Late in 1892, Samuel came down with an illness(Pneumonia) that he could not shake. Though he’d been sick before and prayed for God healing and received it, this time the illness wouldn’t leave. In time, God explained to Samuel why his illness hadn’t left him. He told him that his work on earth was done and that it was time for him to come home. When Samuel related this to his fellow students, they would ask about his dream of returning home to preach the Gospel. Samuel is reported to have said, “It is not my work, Dr. Reade. It is His. I have finished my job. He will send others better than I to do the work in Africa.”On May 12, 1893, at approximately 20 years of age, Samuel Morris, aka Prince Kaboo, died. Fellow students served as pallbearers at his funeral. After his funeral, many of them said they felt led to go to Africa to be missionaries in Samuel’s place, fulfilling Samuel’s prophecy.Though it was the custom in those days to bury blacks in the Negro section of the cemetery, Samuel’s body was later moved to the center of the cemetery, linking blacks and whites in death like he did in life. A memorial is placed at his gravesite that reads:
- Samuel Morris
- Prince Kaboo
- Native of West Africa
- Famous Christian Mystic
- Apostle of Simple Faith
- Exponent of the Spirit-filled life
- Student at Taylor University 1892-3
- Fort Wayne, now located at Upland,
- Indiana. The story of his life
- a vital contribution to the
- development of Taylor University.
- The erection of this memorial
- was sponsored by the 1928 class
- Taylor University and funds
- Were contributed by Fort Wayne
I trust this particular sermon is a blessin and inspiration to you! What a teatimony!Yours for radical Holiness,Richard D. Swift505 Hickory Hills drDexter, MO 63841573-625-9535
- Kjersti, Hoff Baez (1985). Samuel Morris. Barbour Publishing, Inc.. ISBN 1-55748-603-4.
- "Gravesite". Gravesite. Taylor University. http://www.taylor.edu/about/heritage/samuel-morris/samuel-morris-gravesite.shtml. Retrieved 25 June 2011.