On this day in1738 Samuel Medley was born.  When the war began between England and France, Samuel joined the British navy.  During the Battle of Cape Lagos, he had a large portion of one leg blown away.  Soon gangrene began to set in, and the ship’s surgeon told him that next day he would cut off that leg.  Samuel, who was not religious, asked if someone would bring him the Bible in his trunk.  Terrified, he spent the night reading, and for reasons only known to the Lord, the next day the doctor decided that there appeared to be some healing and he would postpone the amputation.   But rather than praising God for his delivery, Samuel rejoiced in his “good fortune.”

Forced to leave, the navy Samuel Medley went to convalesce at his grandfather’s house.  The old gentleman, William Tonge, often spoke to his grandson about Christ, but there was little response, until one day he was publically reading a sermon by Isaac Watts.  Inexplicably, the Holy Spirit took those words and broke the heart of twenty-two-year-old Samuel. Trusting Christ, he desired to be baptized as soon as possible, and shortly thereafter he married and began preparing for the gospel ministry.  He served in two churches, the second being a large Particular Baptist Church in Liverpool.  For years, his day started at 4:00 a.m. with prayer and Bible study, because he wanted to spend as much time as possible on the docks, sharing the gospel with the sailors, who stopped there.

As he approached his sixty-first year and on his deathbed he said, “I am now a poor shattered bark (a small ship), just about to enter the blissful harbour; and O, how sweet will be the port after the storm.”  His last words were, “Glory! glory!, glory!  Home! Home!”
Oh, and by the way, as his name might suggest, Samuel Medley loved to write Christian poetry, putting many of his pieces to music.

– Source: “This Day in Baptist History” Thompson and Cummins