Birthdays on May 24
Emily Divine Wilson is born. It was said of this woman, who became wife to a Methodist minister, "Her musical ability was a great contribution to the work of the local church." And we all know of her through a tune she wrote, used in "Sing the Wondrous Love of Jesus."
John Gibson Paton is born at Kirknshoe, Scotland. He became a pioneer missionary to the New Hebrides Islands. Educated in theology and medicine at the University of Glasgow, he sailed for the New Hebrides in 1858 after doing mission work in Scotland's cities. He suffered severe deprivations as he began his ministry, a low point of which was marked by the death of his wife after their first year of marriage and of his infant son 17 days later. He had to dig their graves, build their coffins, and officiate at their burial himself, since he was the only white person and Christian in the area. His life was under constant threat, and on occasion he escaped with only his Bible and a few papers. On his furloughs to Australia and Scotland, he proved to be a powerful speaker, raising an estimated $400,000 for mission work. His Autobiography is a classic.