by John Barnett

Wearing His Salvation
John Barnett
Ephesians 6:10-18

Let's continue in Ephesians chapter 6 as we look at the 5th wonderful element we are to be wearing- the Helmet of Salvation. I ask you, are you wearing your Helmet of Salvation? To illustrate that let me just share with you the life of a gentleman who obviously had his helmet in place.

JOHN GIBSON PATON, (1824–1907) was a pioneer Presbyterian missionary to the New Hebrides, a group of islands in the southwest Pacific (now Vanuata). He was born at Kirkmahoe, Dumfriesshire (Scotland), Paton was educated in theology and medicine at the University of Glasgow while serving as a city missioner (1847–1856). Ordained in 1858, he and his bride sailed to the southwest Pacific to begin work among the savage cannibals on the island of Tanna. On November 5th 1858 John Paton and his wife Mary Ann waded ashore a remote island in the Pacific Ocean. The Island of Vanuatu was then inhabited only by fierce cannibals. The ship which ferried the Patons up a thousand miles north from New Zealand would not even drop anchor because of the reputation of the savages. So all alone, thirty four year old John and his bride rowed to their place of ministry. In his journal Paton says his heart was overflowing with joy as they set foot on the jungle shore. That joy would soon find refining in the fires of great affliction.

Just over three months later on February 12th little Peter Robert their first child was born. In the hot and bug infested jungle John's wife Mary did not recover from the pangs of birth. First came severe fever, then dehydration and nausea and finally pneumonia and delirium. As the baby greeted his third week of life, his mother died. In the wet soil of the rain forest John knelt to dig a shallow grave with his own hands. There he laid his wife's lifeless body to await the resurrection.

Sleeping on the grave to keep her precious remains from being dug up and eaten by the cannibals he tried to care for his infan ...

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