Charles Spurgeon via John Piper on how we ought to view and read our heroes of the faith.
As usual, Spurgeon nails it out of the park effortlessly.
What shall we make of such a man?
Neither a god nor a goal.
He should not be worshiped or envied.
He is too small for the one and too big for the other.
If we worship such men, we are idolaters.
If we envy them, we are fools.
Mountains are not meant to be envied. They are meant to be marveled at for the sake of their Maker. They are mountains of God. . . .
We are to benefit from them without craving to be like them. When we learn this, we can relax and enjoy them. . . .
Let us be, by the grace of God, all that we can be for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 15:10). In our smallness, let’s not become smaller by envy, but rather larger by humble admiration and gratitude for the gifts of others.
A brief excerpt from a letter written by Octavius to his congregation at Warwick Street Baptist Church in 1852 after becoming ill while on vacation. I believe this brief paragraph best sums up his ministry and hearts desire in all he wrote and preached, to make little of himself and much of his King:
It has been the distinctive aim, and the sincere desire of my ministry amongst you, to make known and to endear the Saviour to your hearts. . . . And may I, as from a languid couch, still press the Saviour‘s claims to your regard? Oh, how worthy is he of your most exalted conceptions,—of your most implicit confidence,—of your most self-denying service,—of your most fervent love. When he could give you no more—and the fathomless depths of his love, and the boundless resources of his grace, would not be satisfied by giving you less—he gave you himself. Robed in your nature, laden with your curse, oppressed with your sorrows, wounded for your transgressions, and slain for your sins, he gave his entire self for you. . . . You cannot in your drafts upon Christ‘s fullness be too coveteous, nor in your expectations of supply be too extravagant. You may fail, as, alas! the most of us do, in making too little of Christ,—you cannot fail, in making too much of him.
A Pastoral Letter
You can see this map that I made detailing a handful of the locations that were significant in Winslow’s life.
It is still mostly incomplete in New York City (still much work to be done there) but what I have so far may help give readers an idea of where he lived and held pastorates during his lifetime.
The map also has its own tab above under “Biography”.
I am so excited to announce that a new etching of Winslow has been discovered!
It is currently in a collection of original documents and papers of nonconformist literature in England that are in the family possession of a reader of this blog.
He requested that he only be referred to as Peter and that no fuss or attention be drawn to him.
I want to publicly thank Peter for agreeing to make this important historical document available to us!
Octavius Winslow Etching
I wanted to kindly as the readers of the blog for some more input regarding the proposed Winslow biography I am thinking of writing.
As I see it, there really isn’t enough information to fill a book. So what I was thinking of doing was to write a primer of sorts to help introduce people to not only Winslow, but his works as well.
There would of course be a biography along with a chapter or two worth of excerpts of any little jewels I can dig out of his mother’s accounts in Life In Jesus. But, to make it a true primer, I would fill the rest of the book with categorized chapters detailing with excerpts from his works to give a flavor of his writing and help expose folks to his mindset and motivations. Since his quotations are my expertise here on the blog, I thought it would be a natural fit for the book. Also, I could do some chapter recommendations (like I do here) along with some shortened hyperlinks that folks can key into their browser to read in full.
I would really like to hear from you guys to see what ideas, thoughts, or critiques you may have regarding this notion of a primer or wether or not another direction may be in order.
What say you?
I wanted to kindly ask the readers of the blog to please consider praying for a project that I am considering.
When I first established this site and drew up my “mission statement”, one of the goals was to write as detailed of a biography as possible on Octavius. Back then, I knew absolutely nothing on the man and there was just as much on the internet available. With a lot of hard work and many invested hours and headaches, the site has blossomed considerably and the online presence of Winslow has increased drastically. Of which I am so thankful to God for!
With so many new believers becoming turned onto his works, I am at a point now where I think it may, it may, just be possible to write that biography.
Realistically speaking, it would be no substantial book. A rough calculation shows it might at most be a 100 page book…if that. But with the timing of the new found public interest, my contact with a direct descendant of Octavius who has done tremendous work in searching out her family history, the encouragement of my ever supportive wife Rhoda, and the encouragement of the paper written by Tanner Turely entitled “THE EXPERIMENTAL HOMILETIC OF OCTAVIUS WINSLOW: APPLYING DOCTRINE TO LIFE” has found me in a place where I now see that if this biography is ever going to happen, it would probably be now and with me writing it.
So….what am I getting at?
I would covet your prayers at this time from you that the Lord would drive it home for me to set out on this project. That it would both become crystal clear to me that this project is indeed for me to set out on and that He would give me the grace, knowledge, and strength to write it.
Truthfully speaking, I am scared to death and am ill equipped to write it. I am not a writer (I’m a dog groomer) and have absolutely no idea whatsoever how to even begin contemplating how to start a biography! But, with that being said, I know God likes to use weak vessels to do great and impossible things with.
Soli Deo Gloria
With many thanks yet again to a distant relative of Winslow that has been assisting me with piecing together a more complete biography, I now have Winslow’s death certificate. It’s a little macabre perhaps, but as I have stated before, it’s my mission here at the Archive to compile as much information on him as possible.
The scan is a bit tough to read, but it states he died at Lyndhurst Lodge on Wilbury Road in Hove, UK with his daughter Hannah in attendance. The cause of death is stated Atheroma several years, Angina Pectoris 3 days. So it would seem he had a heart condition for some time.
When I first sat down to figure out what exactly my goals were for this site, one of my objectives was to establish a Wikipedia page dedicated to Winslow.
After MUCH time trying to figure out how to make a wiki entry (no small task I assure you), it is finally done!
Please stop in and check it out!
There is absolutely nothing known on Octavius Winslow “the man”. That is, his daily exercises and practices. However, I was able to extract an excerpt from Tanner Turley’s excellent work “The Homiletic of Octavius Winslow” to help us gain a window into the life of Octavius. The excerpt is as follows:
The recollections of John Taylor, a lawyer from Lancashire who became friends with Winslow after reading several of his books, confirm their domestic pursuit and their hospitality. He reflected in his diary:
“Arrived at Leamington at five, washed, and went to my appointment with Rev. Octavius Winslow. Was shown into the drawing-room, and shortly after met Miss Winslow, an only sister to Mr. Winslow, and his mother, Mrs. Winslow the elder. We sat down to tea without ceremony after a blessing asked, and our conversation soon became general and pious. We discussed freely and good-humouredly on many points of doctrine and experience, and a pleasing sight it was to see a mother, daughter, son, and his wife, all converted persons, talking of Christ, living after the example of Christ, and believing in Christ. Mr. Winslow read a chapter and prayed, mentioning myself as their visitor, and praying that I might be enabled to resist the temptations of an exciting and worldly profession (calling). I left them at ten, after an evening spent with the Lord.”
Taylor also supplied a rare description of Winslow:
“He appeared to be about 40 years of age, genteel in appearance, and, though accomplished, yet without much display.”