Many of you have heard of Andrew Jackson, the former president of the United States. It was Jackson who earned the name “Old Hickory” because his personality and rugged manner reminded people of a tough old hickory tree. Needless to say, he had little tolerance for fools or those who weren’t fools, but just weren’t impressed with him. You’ve heard of Andrew Jackson, yes, but have you heard of Peter Cartwright?
He was the pioneer evangelist Peter Cartwright spent 70 years in the work of the Lord and always preached the Word of God with great fear of God and without any fear of man. One Sunday he was asked to speak at a Methodist church in the southern part of the United States. During the song just before the message, the pastor leaned over and whispered in his ear. “President Andrew Jackson just walked in. Be careful what you say. Don’t offend him.”
The evangelist, however, knowing that “the fear of man brings a snare” (Prov. 29:25), was determined not to compromise the truth. He also knew that great leaders need the Lord as much as anyone, so he boldly proclaimed the gospel. In fact, halfway though his sermon he said, “I understand that Andrew Jackson is present in the congregation today. If he does not repent of his sins and accept Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, he will be just as lost as anyone else who has never asked God for His forgiveness.”
Instead of becoming angry, Jackson admired the preacher for his courage. He listened with keen interest to the message and felt such deep conviction that after the service Cartwright was able to lead him to the Lord. From that moment on, the two became the best of friends.