At The Briefing, Simon Manchester seeks to address the historical imbalance that have been present in appraisals Samuel Marsden’s life.
The second chaplain to New South Wales—Samuel Marsden—was born 250 years ago on 28th July 1764. He was slandered for most of his life, and the epithet ‘flogging parson’ has (sadly) stuck down the years and prejudiced thousands against a mighty man. Wise historians have recognized that standing so alone for Christ in a colony made up largely of soldiers and convicts it is no wonder Marsden was vilified.
Consider this entry in Marsden’s diary as a sign of his theology and godliness—as he faced the challenges of gospelling native inhabitants:
“What would I have given to have had the book of life opened which was yet a sealed book to them—to have shown them that God who made them and to have led them to Calvary’s mount that they may see the Redeemer who had shed his precious blood for the redemption of the world… but it was not in my power to take the veil from their hearts. I could only pray for them and entrust the Father of mercies to visit them with salvation. I felt very grateful that a Divine revelation had been granted to me, that I knew the Son of God had come and believed that He had made a full and sufficient sacrifice or atonement for the sins of a guilty world.”