The Hope of Francis Grimké

In an address given at the turn of the century (Dec. 4, 1900) titled "Signs of a Brighter Future" based on the text from Psalm 27:14 ("Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart"), Francis James Grimké once wrote these powerful words (see The Works of Francis J. Grimké, Vol. 1, p. 267): 

"I am hopeful, because I have faith in the power of the religion of the Lord Jesus Christ to conquer all prejudices, to break down all walls of separation, and to weld together men of all races in one great brotherhood." 

He cited Colossians 3:11 ("Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all”) as the basis for his hope. He might well have added Galatians 3:28 ("There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus") or Acts 17:26 ("And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation"). Just as Pentecost signified a reversal of the division of tongues at Babel, all those who are in Christ, of whatever race, are united in Him. The external barriers that have divided men in the past are understood to be of no true account. It was Francis Grimké's hope that the power of the Holy Spirit and true religion of Jesus Christ would bring this to pass on earth as it is in heaven. 

If these words of Francis Grimké inspire you, be sure to check out his Meditations on Preaching published by Log College Press this week.

Have you read Baird on D'Aubigné?

One of the great historians of the 19th century was the Swiss Protestant minister Jean-Henri Merle D'Aubigné, who authored a History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century originally in five volumes and a History of the Reformation in Europe in the Time of Calvin originally in eight volumes, as well as other works. These Histories became D'Aubigné's magnum opus

In America, the family of Robert Baird and his sons Charles and Henry Baird all took a great interest in the history of the Huguenots, publishing multiple studies of the French and Swiss Reformations. In 1843, Robert Baird wrote a biographical sketch of D'Aubigné, introducing his writings to the American public. Many of D'Aubigné's essays were later translated into English from the original French by Charles Washington Baird in 1846. (At least one was translated by Thomas Smith Grimké, uncle of Francis James Grimké, author of a forthcoming book by Log College Press.) 

More recently, in 2001, Sprinkle Publications in Harrisonburg, Virginia, has republished the Histories of D'Aubigné in multiple volumes. The first volume of the Sprinkle edition includes Robert Baird's Life of D'Aubigné, as well as the essays of D'Aubigné translated by Charles Baird. Thus, the biographical sketch and translation work of the Bairds has done much to introduce Americans of the 19th to the 21st centuries to this great Swiss pastor and historian. 

600 pages of wisdom from Francis Grimke

Presbyterian pastor Francis Grimke (1850-1937) lived to the age of 87, and maintained the heart of a pastor till his final years. As he withdrew from public ministry, he continued to write in his notebooks, recording thoughts on preaching, ministry in general, the Bible, the Christian life, and the importance of character, as well as reflections on the racial situation of his day, observations on historical events and figures, and tender thoughts about his deceased wife. His love for Jesus, the gospel, the church, and his wife come through so clearly in the "Stray Thoughts and Meditations" that make up Volume 3 of his Works. Every pastor would do himself a favor to read and meditate upon the wise words of Grimke.

Don't Miss the Four-Volume Works of Francis Grimke!

Francis Grimke (1850-1937), the son of a white plantation owner and a slave, was the pastor of 15th Street Presbyterian Church in Washington, D. C., from 1878 until 1928 (with a brief pastorate in Jacksonville, Florida, in the middle of that period). He left his Charleston, South Carolina, home after the Civil War, and attended Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. From there he went to Princeton University, graduating in 1878. He was an ardent advocate for the rights of African-Americans, and helped to found the NAACP in 1909. His ministry was not only one of preaching, but of writing as well, and his collected writings are contained in the four volumes found here

Here's a sample of what Grimke had to say on preaching: "In preaching are we seeking to impress the truth, or to impress ourselves upon others,—to draw men's attention to Jesus Christ or to ourselves? Too often it is of ourselves that we are thinking; and this is one reason why, though we may preach brilliant and eloquent sermons, they are attended with so little results in the development of Christian character, in the building up of those who listen in faith and holiness. The preacher's aims should be to get such a clear conception of the truth, and should be so impressed with its value, its importance, that in his effort to present it, he will not only lose sight of himself, but his hearers also will, in thought of the truth. It is of no importance whatever that our hearers should think of us, but it is important that they should
think of the truth of God presented." (Volume 3, page 3)

Francis James Grimke is an African-American Presbyterian pastor you need to know.

One purpose of Log College Press is to bring back to the corporate memory of Presbyterians the forefathers we have forgotten, and their writings. None are more forgotten than the African-American Presbyterian pastors of the 19th century.

Francis Grimke (1850-1937) was a 1878 graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary. He pastored the 15th Street Presbyterian Church from 1878-1928, with a few years of ministry in the middle of that time at a Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, FL. In 1909 he helped to found the NAACP. He was a prolific writer, and in due time we will post all of his writings that we can locate. For now, we have posted Volume 1 of his Works, which contains biographical addresses on distinguished Americans, racial addresses, a three part series on the causes and remedies of lynching in the South (written in 1899), and twenty-two miscellaneous sermons. 

Get to know this servant of the Lord and what he had to say to the church of the Lord Jesus Christ!