Knowing what you now know about salvation, how far would you travel in order to hear the gospel of God’s saving grace? Half way around the world?

Nathaniel Williams was born in Salem, Massachusetts in 1784. His parents were Unitarians, and thus, Nathaniel was raised without any instruction on the deity of Christ or salvation by God’s grace. But in his twenty-fourth year he was baptized, having made a public profession of his faith in Christ. Immediately thereafter he was received into the membership of the First Baptist of Salem. In time, as William learned more of the things of God, he became a deacon in the church, and in 1812 he was licensed to preach. Four years after that he left a lucrative business to be ordained, becoming the pastor the Baptist church in Beverly, Massachusetts.

In 1820 Williams joined Thomas Baldwin, the pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Boston, as members of a committee to revise the constitution of the State of Massachusetts. Through their gifts in logic and persuasion, they helped to bring to that state the principles of religious liberty. Because of this and Williams’ reputation as a diligent student and teacher of God’s Word, Brown University conferred upon him an honorary degree in 1824.

What about Nathaniel’s conversion? As a young man he was employed by his uncle. Having learned the import trade, he was sent to India on one of the company ships. In Calcutta he met the English missionaries, William Carey, William Ward and Joshua Marshman. From them he learned the truth of the deity of Christ and of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for sin. He came under deep conviction, during which he put his faith in the finished work of Christ. Completing his business in India, he returned home, to become one of the Lord’s servants here in this country.

A study of God’s providence is often a delightful exercise. How has the Lord led you to the point where you are now? How did He bring you to the cross? In the case of Nathaniel Williams, God sent him to India, half way around the world, to hear the gospel and to save his soul.