by Stephen Whitney

This content is part of a series.

Comfort of God's Promise (2 of 5)
Series: Greatness of God
Stephen Whitney
Isaiah 40:6-11

Reverend John Harper was traveling to America aboard the Titanic to minister at Moody Memorial Church in Chicago when it sank on April 15, 1912 in the icy waters 700 miles off the coast of Canada.

His wife had died a few years earlier, so his six-year-old daughter, Nana and her nanny, Miss Leitch, had accompanied him on the trip. When the ship began sinking, he placed is daughter and her nanny into a lifeboat and they were saved, but he was not.

One persistent story about him reported that he survived the initial moment when the Titanic slipped beneath the ocean. Plunged into the water with many others, he was heard swimming about asking people if they had trusted Christ for their salvation. One man from Canada who survived the sinking claimed to have come to a personal relationship with Jesus because of John Harper's witness in those icy waters that took his life.

On May 1, 1912, the leadership of Moody Memorial Church wrote a six-page letter to the congregation of Walworth Road Baptist Church in London, where John Harper had pastored, to express their condolences. The letter, bathed in Scripture, was a moving testimony to this man who was loved on both continents. It read:

It may be that he suggested to that Orchestra to play 'Nearer My God to Thee' in the last moments. Surely that was his thought and prayer and faith. As he stood on the deck, the night before in the after glow and looked at the red in the Western sky, he said, ''I will be beautiful in the morning.'' How true that prophecy was for him. ''Though our outward man perisheth yet the inner man is renewed day by day, for our light affliction which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far exceeding and eternal weight of glory.'' Therefore, we are - ''willing rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.''

From a human perspective the sinking of the Titanic doesn't make sen ...

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