Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tribute to a Warrior for Christ

A selection from a letter by Sinclair Ferguson, to Susan Marshall, whose husband John had recently passed away. Mr. Ferguson and Mr. Marshall both served together for a number of years on the board of the Banner of Truth Trust. It was my pleasure to hear John Marshall preach on several occasions. He was a powerful preacher of the gospel. He was pastor of the Alexandra Road Congregational Church in Hemel Hempstead, England, for over 40 years. He died August 29, 2003. This letter was written shortly after his death.

Earlier in the year, as John preached at the closing session of the Leicester Ministers' Conference – with such grace and unction – I was overtaken by a sense that perhaps the explanation for the unusual occasion it was might be that it would be the last time many of his friends would ever hear him preach. I do wish you could have been there to have heard him, such was the blessing of his ministry. It now seems to me to have been a little intimation of the Lord's love for him, when John himself seemed to grow in grace, assurance, joy in proclaiming Christ, confidence in the gospel.

John was such a warrior – and now he has placed his sword in tribute at Christ's feet. Yet to me on a personal level he was full of kindness, friendship, encouragement, full of good fun, full of a seriousness of spirit that was a model to me. Thank you for sharing him with me.

John E. Marshall: Life and Writings, John J. Murray, The Banner of Truth Trust, 2005, pp. 80-81.

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