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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

my 4th-great grandfather

This is a rather personal/family story, but am happy to be able to share it. My apologies for the length, but I trust it will be worthwhile! (Note: the sermon mentioned very well MAY have been an open-air sermon.)
Going through my parents' things, I came across and old book -- a biography of my great-great-great-great-grandfather. Please hear the dear testimony of this now-long-gone man. He wrote this in 1773 [links added by me, obviously]:  [note: please see comments added after the post]

"CHARLES DIXON came from Yorkshire, England, to Nova Scotia in the year 1772, and settled at Sackville, N. B. (New Brunswick).
I, Charles Dixon, was born March 8, old style, in the year 1730, at Kirleavington, near Yarm, in the East Riding of Yorkshire in Old England. I was brought up to the Bricklayer's trade with my Father... At the age of thirty-one I married Susanna Coates, by whom I have had one son and four daughters.
I was brought up a Protestant, or a member of the Church of England, and endeavored to demean myself as one on his Christian race; to live soberly, righteously and Godly in this present evil world, thinking, or at least had no doubt but I should obtain heaven at last.
But being at one time at Robinhood's Bay, near Whitby, I went to hear Thomas Secomb, a Methodist preacher, so called by way of derision. But his preaching was such as I never before heard, for his word was with power, it made me cry out in the bitterness of my soul, what must I do to be saved?
All my pretence of being a member of the church fell to the ground, I was condemned by her articles and homilies. I had broken my baptismal covenant, and was in fact a baptized heathen with a Christian name. For the space of about twelve months I went mourning all my days under a sense of guilt, and bowed down with the Spirit of bondage, but seeking for and asking of God, that Spirit wherewith He made His children free; that I might rejoice with his chosen, and give thanks with his inheritance. At length on Wednesday, September the 21st, 1757, while seeking and striving upon my knees, the Lord proclaimed his name merciful and gracious to forgive my iniquities, healed all my diseases, and set my soul at liberty. ..."

Note that for a number of generations, in the late 1700s and 1800s, a number of my subsequent male ancestors were Methodist preachers -- back when Methodism was still truly Christian and gospel-centered. I look forward to meeting many of them some day! Praise be to Christ!

By the way, he and his wife Susanna (which is also my wife's name) ended up with 8 children, though they had only 5 when he wrote this.  The Lord has blessed me and my Susanna with 7.

Also, I was saved by the same gospel preaching of a Wesleyan(Methodist) preacher -- such preaching I had never before heard! -- back when I was in college. The Lord showed me my lost estate, that I was a sinner in need of salvation, and forgiveness was by faith in Christ, not by works.  I'm not an Arminian, but I do love and appreciate my gospel-preaching Bible-believing Arminian brethren!

SDG, Dave


  1. 1/16/2017: I found him. Charles Dunbar Dixon (1730-1817) was my paternal grandmother's mother's father's father's father. If I'm counting right, that makes him my great great great great grandfather. More importantly, he was my forebear in the Most Holy Faith. Praise the Lord, I have ancestors in heaven! :-)

  2. Charles wrote in his family Bible:
    "Sackville, N.B., 21st May, 1810. This day, 38 years ago, we landed at Fort Cumberland from Hutton Rudby, in Cleveland, Yorkshire, myself, my wife, Mary, Charles, Susanna and Elizabeth, six in all, and at this day the family has multiplied to ninety-four, all alive, save infants, and Ruth, my daughter, who departed 29th March last, much regretted by all who knew her, aged 37 years and three months, but our loss is her gain. She died as she lived, a Christian. Thus has the mercy and goodness of God followed us hitherto." (Signed,) Charles Dixon

    5 years later, at the age of 85, Charles wrote:
    "May 21st, 1815. This day, forty-three years ago, we landed at Fort Cumberland, with four children, viz: Mary, Charles, Susanna, and Elizabeth. Four more are added, viz: Ruth, Martha, Edward and William, all alive save a favorite, Ruth, and I suppose we are multiplied to not less, at this day than one hundred and thirty. But why are we thus multiplied and spared so long? Because God's mercy is over all his works. (Signed,) Charles Dixon. Aged 85."