Calvinistic Baptist by conviction, Samuel Pearce was born in Plymouth, England on July 20, 1766. He grew up in a godly family. However, as he matured in age he became involved in wickedness. But by God’s grace, when he was about sixteen, he experienced evangelical conversion.
On July 20, 1783, on his seventeenth birthday, Pearce was baptized and became a member of the Baptist congregation in Plymouth. Three years later in November, 1786, having recognized his ministerial gifts, that same church called him into the ministry. To further equip himself for the ministry, from 1786 to 1789, he studied at the Bristol Baptist Academy. Then in 1790 the year after he completed his theological training, he was formally called to be the pastor of Cannon Street Baptist Church in Birmingham.
In 1794 convinced that the Lord was calling him to be a missionary, he considered going to India to help William Carey and John Thomas. But the administrative committee of the Baptist Missionary Society, which sent Carey and Thomas, thought that Pearce could be more effective in England. Pearce’s reaction to this decision displays an important aspect of his spirituality: cheerful submission to God’s will. For instance, the day after he received the decision, Pearce wrote to his wife: “I am disappointed, but not dismayed. I ever wish to make my Saviour’s will my own.” Likewise, writing to Carey, Pearce said:
Instead of a letter, you perhaps expected to have seen the writer; and had the will of God been so, he would by this time have been on his way to Mudnabatty [where Carey was staying]: but it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps…I must submit now to stand still, and see the salvation of God.
Remaining a preacher until he died in 1799 at the age of thirty three, Pearce left behind his wife and five children, and also a spiritual legacy best expressed by William Ward: “I have seen more of God in him than in any other person I ever met.”
When things happen not according to what you want, do you cheerfully submit to God’s will?