Andrew Jackson’s Conversion

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Without really intending to, I’ve started a little blog-series on the faith of our American Presidents. Andrew Jackson’s home, the Hermitage, is near my house, and so I’ve studied his life off-and-on for years. His wife, Rachel, was a devout Christian, but she died just before they reached the White House. Andy himself was irritable, strong-willed, combative, and decidedly a non-Christian until late in his life. He made his public profession of faith in the little Presbyterian Church near the Hermitage in July of 1838.

It was very difficult for Jackson to forgive his political enemies, though he felt he must do that as a Christian. It was impossible, however, for him to forgive his wife’s enemies, for their slander had contributed to her death. Those people he simply left for God to deal with.

About seven years later, in June of 1845, as Jackson was languishing on his death bed, his lips began moving. His daughter-in-law, Sarah, bent near and caught the words of a prayer and of a hymn–“How Firm a Foundation.”

Old Hickory was quoting the verse that said: “When through the deep waters I call thee to go, / the rivers of woe shall not then overflow.”

The devil, however, tried very had to have the last word. At Jackson’s funeral, his pet parrot had to be removed because it began swearing!

PS – For Superbowl fans, the Steeler’s Head Coach, Mike Tomlin, has an outspoken Christian testimony in today’s Baptist Press.

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