Clarence E. Macartney served as Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh from 1927-1957. “Come Before Winter” was Macartney’s best known sermon. Macartney preached the sermon the first October of the ministry in Pittsburgh. The church elders asked that the pastor preach it each year, which he did.
Dr. Arnot Walker, when a student in the Jefferson Medical College, heard Dr.
Clarence E. Macartney preach a sermon on the text, “Do thy diligence to come before winter” (2 Tim. 4:21). The text continued to linger in his thoughts as he sat in his room. He decided, “I had better write a letter now to my mother. Perhaps the winter of death is near for her.” He wrote to her and expressed gratitude for her exemplary Christian life. Two days later while he sat in class a telegram was given to him. It read, “Come at once. Your
mother is critically ill!” Hurriedly he went to the country home. His mother was still living. A smile of recognition and satisfaction was on her face. Under her pillow lay a treasured possession – the loving letter her son had written her after the Sunday service. It had cheered and comforted her
as she entered “the valley of the shadow of death. (Knight)
Whatever we need to do for Jesus and others, let’s do it now -- before winter