Birthdays on March 17
Birth of Thomas Chalmers in east Anstruther, Scotland. Converted at 31, he became an outstanding pastor and Bible preacher, who practiced New Testament teaching, meeting neglected spiritual and material needs in his parishes. He was the foremost minister of the evangelical party in the Church of Scotland during the first half of the 19th century and was a leader in founding the Free Church of Scotland in which pastors took no state stipends.
Charlotte Elliott was born in Clapham, England. A serious illness at age 33 left Miss Elliott an invalid the rest of her fifty years, during which she devoted herself to devotional writings. A long friendship with the Geneva evangelist, H. A. Usar Malan, made a great impact on her, and she wrote some 150 hymns, which were published in a number of her hymnbooks, such as The Invalid's Hymn-Book, Hours of Sorrow and three other books. Her most famous hymn is the well-known "Just As I Am, Without One Plea." She wrote this during a time when she struggled to believe their was salvation for her. Dorothy Wordsworth is said to have asked that this be read over and over to her as she approached death.