Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Rev George Stubbs - preacher to dying men

Two or three years ago I was chasing up some Australian history and spent some time thinking about the Rev George Stubbs. At the time I searched his name on the internet without much success, so I am afraid I can't tell you much about him.
Except that I can say that he hailed from N.S.W. (Sydney?) and that his final resting place has now been found.
George Stubbs was the chaplain on the HMAS Sydney and was onboard when the Sydney went down with all hands on 19th November 1941 having been fatally damaged by shells from the German Cruiser HSK Kormoran. In the last few days both wrecks have been found and it made me think again of what it might have been like as a chaplain on a naval vessel in wartime.
Richard Baxter famously encouraged us to “Preach as if you will never preach again and preach as a dying man to dying men.” That certainly ought to apply to a naval chaplain and I hope Stubbs knew it on those last days on the Sydney. I hope he preached the gospel and that the men heard him gladly.
There are chaplains out there today, serving men and women on battlefields. Only God knows how many sermons they have left in them - or how many there are left in us too for that matter!
(I wonder if the Kormoran had a gospel preaching chaplain?!)

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