The Journal of John Long III
1900 thru 1907
The Excommunication of John Long
Revised December 3, 2011
JANUARY, 1900: Samuel Boyd left me to go home, and I went to Milton of Campsie, where I had a week’s mission in the established Church of Scotland. For a pastor to say of an Evangelist, “I have no need of thee” is a mistake; and for an Evangelist to say of a pastor "there is no need for thee" is a mistake; the work and office of both are Scriptural and should not be done without. My next mission was in the State Quarries, near Abberfoyle, in a Faith Mission Prayer Union; being asked by the representative, while there Samuel Boyd joined me again.
Wherever the Faith Mission has a successful mission, they endeavor to form a Prayer Union; and according to their rules, it is not a new sect; neither is intended to be; yet I have known the mention of it to be opposed by the existing sects. I had been a member for two years. When I resigned the colporteur work in November, 1898, William Irvine wanted me to join the staff of Pilgrims. I applied to J. G. Govan and was accepted; nevertheless he knew that I was seeking to know the will of God as to whether I should join the mission or go on Matthew Ten Lines.
At the Conference held in Roscrea in December, 1899, on the way home I let the Lord make the choice; and it was on the Matthew Ten side, so I wrote to J. G. Govan telling him that I was led in the matter not to join the Faith Mission, and he wrote me a nice letter in return saying that he was glad I was guided in the matter and would like to know in the mean time how it worked out. Though I often prayed and spoke in a Prayer Union, that was the only mission I ever had in one of them; except in Bennybridge, September, 1915. J. G. Govan put a paragraph in their monthly periodical, Bright Words, I remember the words were to this effect: “There are workers going about holding missions in our Prayer Unions and elsewhere who do not belong to us.” To that paragraph I would just like to add an advice of our Saviour, “Forbid him not, for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part.” Mark 9:39-40. From that time, I never renewed my membership.
FEBRUARY, 1900: Our next mission was in Thorn Hull in the Townhall, which we hired for the purpose. Paying for lodgings for two, and also for a hall, in a town where we were only strangers was no small matter of faith; yet that which was lacking on the peoples’ part in the district, George Walker, (who was after having a successful mission in Armadale) supplied by sending us some money. The Scotch (sic) are slow, but very real and lasting friends when they get to know you.
Owing to lack of courage in conducting After Meetings, I had not the visible results of other Evangelists in many of my missions; and because of that, I suffered a good deal of reproach from William Irvine, and other fellow workers who were hard to be pleased; yet I did not get the credit for the amount of day work regarding house to house visitation and literature that was attached to my missions; also the continuous preaching night after night, without any gap or rest or holiday; and that for years without much break.
Our next mission was in Kipper; in an upper room where we had a good time with children; although work among children is tedious, trying and laborious; yet the time and pains taken in teaching them hymns, chorus’s and Bible story’s is not in vain. The Lord Jesus said to Peter, “Feed my lambs.” John 21:15. See also 2 Tim. 3:15.
At that time God raised up a Christian man named Robert Dougal to help us with gifts of money. God had various ways to supply our needs. At times gifts of money were sent to us from friends by post; at times God raised up some person or persons in the district who gave to our help; also at times our needs were supplied by the free will offerings of the assemblies where we laboured; and on occasions we were housed freely for the works’ sake. Time and people and circumstances rendered it impossible for our supplies to come in the same way; and whenever there was a strait, there also was some needed lesson to be learned from the experience permitted to come from the Lord.
MARCH, 1900: At that time some misunderstanding arose between me and William Irvine; he was leaving Ireland, and crossing to Scotland, and he wrote me to go over and take the oversight of the work in the South of Ireland. I felt that it was God who opened up the way when I came first to Scotland, and that I would not leave until He showed me His will in the matter. We went to Doon where we spent one week Street Preaching; then after a visit to Kilsyth, William Clelland and I crossed to Ireland; and held a mission in a barn in Mountmellick; prepared for us by Sister Buckley of Maryborough.
APRIL, 1900: One who traveled through the British Isles cannot help observing the openness and kindness of the South of Ireland people; with all their faults, they are an example to the world regarding hospitality shown to Strangers. In Mountmellick we were warmly received; the number of Episcopalians and Methodist that attended the meetings was good, when we consider the small percentage of protestants in that district. At that mission there were a few results; Sister Robinson; Isaac Langford’s niece got converted and others helped.
MAY, 1900: William Clelland left me to help at a mission in the South of Ireland in a tent near Ballingarry; and I went to Rathmolyon to have a week’s mission in the School Room there; where I had a week’s fellowship with G.C. Grubb, who helped us at the mission; one young man decided for Christ. G.C. Grubb excelled all the Christians I ever met in love and faith and walking with God. He is a head and shoulders above others in stature, and I think the same of him Spiritually.
Desiring to consecrate my life forever to God, as an act of ordinance and sanctification with the burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, I got baptized by immersion, believing it to be a personal act, with personal responsibility; also leaving others to the liberty of their own conscience. I believe that adult immersion, once after conversion to be the original and Scriptural mood of the ordinance; but I am not to press or trouble the conscience of others who through different upbringing see differently, “For God hath received them,” Rom 14:3. Disputing about the time and mood of an ordinance is not well pleasing to God; and Christians should endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace; therefore, I do not make the mood and time of the ordinance a bone of contention and a bar to fellowship. I believe with good old John Bunyon that differences of judgment about water baptism should be no bar to Christian fellowship. I do believe in encouraging and instructing all who are seeking light and help, and who are disposed to obey according to the Scriptures.
1. We publicly confessed the Lord,
Content to be despised
When we obedient to His word
Believed and were baptized.
2. The answer of a conscience good,
To understand the word.
Our goodies washed with water clean
Our hearts are cleansed with blood.
3. Salvation is a gift from God,
Without the ordinance
For thousands have experienced it
And tasted of His grace.
4. But it becometh every saint,
While here on earth they dwell
All righteousness to be fulfilled,
And earthly weights dispel.
5. Immersion is a splendid type,
Reminding of a grave
Buried with Christ to rise again,
Because the soul is saved.
JUNE, 1900: I then went to the South and helped at a mission in a Wooden Tent near Ballingarry. Leaving there I went to Glenlehawn near Aughrim, and helped Matthew Wilson and Thomas Hastings with a mission. They were fishermen struggling to bring the net to land and needed someone else to come to their assistance. I spoke out the Word of the Lord with such strong language; the net was hauled in that night when about thirty persons decided for Christ. The Episcopal minister in the district was kindly disposed and inquired from the Evangelists the best way to shepherd the new lambs. He brought a leg of mutton and thrust it into the tent through a window. Some of the Brothers slept in these Wooden Tents, while others took lodgings, and were often put up free by kind Christian people.
JULY, 1900: I returned again to Rathmolyon to a Convention; the first general one held in connection with the work in the South of Ireland. About forty Christian workers met together to consider the word of the Lord. At that conference, met G. C. Grubb, Robert Miller, Robert Todd, William Irvine, Edward Cooney and others. It was a spiritual time, and we will not forget that hymn of William Gill’s sung sixteen times.
Rich are the moments of blessing,
Jesus my Saviour bestows
Pure is the well of salvation
Fresh from His mercy that flows.
Ever He walketh beside me,
Brightly His sunshine appears
Spreading a beautiful rainbow
Over the valley of tears.
It is not always sunshine to attend one of these Conferences; there are great dangers, as well as great blessings. “Now there was a day when the Sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them,” Job 1:6. Then is the danger of respect of persons, James 2:1. There is the danger of rash controversies, 2 Tim. 2:23-25. There is a danger of being taken up with each other; and get (sic) out of fellowship with the Lord. George Grubb gave us a warning address against strange fire; which God punished with judgment; and against wrong means of getting money for the Lord work; leaving to disaster, failure and bareness.
Faith Lines is not free from its defects and misunderstandings; therefore, I have avoided boasting or rashly making little or despising ministers with a salary. Persons sometimes gave when they thought the Evangelist was in need; and persons sometimes withheld because the Evangelist abounded; therefore, I would commend any one on Faith Lines to let their financial side be a secret between God and themselves. The man who has courage and faith enough to go forth in dependence upon God; can be trusted with the stewardship of what he receives. It is good for the workers not to depend on man, or put too much trust in a friend. “But in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God,” Phil 4:6.
At that time, we anointed Sister Hastings, who was sick and weak. God removed all pain, and filled her with the Holy Spirit; and gave her a very happy death, but did not raise her up. Family circumstances and changes afterwards proved that her time had come. The day after that ordinance was ministered, her daughter reflected on the text in her birthday book; and it turned out to be, “Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” James 5:14-15. There is no Scripture has suffered so much abuse; it has been set aside altogether by some; misinterpreted by others; and wrongly ministered by Roman Priests. 1st: The sick person should call. 2nd: Elders, not youngers, should minister. 3rd: It should be the effectual prayer of a righteous man. The sick person should be in a humble attitude; judging themselves and confessing their sins, and praying one for another, Etc.
AUGUST, 1900: After the Conference I went part by foot, and part by train to West Cork; in all these tours I got opportunities of preaching and personal dealing; wherever I went, the gospel went with me. The doctrines preached by me, the principals were:
· The natural and fallen condition of mankind.
· The Atonement, by our Saviour’s death on Calvary’s cross.
· The Divinity and Incarnation of our blessed Lord.
· The resurrection of Christ; his ascension into Glory; our Mediator, surityship and Great High Priest.
· The second coming.
· Judgment and rewards for saints; and the judgment of sinners.
· Eternal Heaven for the righteous; and eternal punishment for the lost.
· Satan, a personal enemy of God and man.
· The inspiration of the Scriptures.
· That there is salvation for every sinner through repenting; believing and confessing Christ.
· The dedication of little children.
· Believer’s Baptism by Immersion.
· Fellowship, breaking of bread and prayers
· The Baptism, anointing and filling of the Holy Spirit; resulting in holiness of life.
· Family worship; and united worship, good works, Etc. Etc.
At Ballymena, I spent a week helping Sister Gill at a mission in a Wooden Tent, newly built. While in that district, Irvine had a meeting so powerful that the people refused to go home, and it lasted all night. At that time William Irvine asked me to go over to Darlington and take up work in a Wooden Tent newly built by him for the Darlington city mission, so I left Ireland and crossed to Liverpool, and went by train to Darlington. I did not get the tent meant for me; but the elders sent me to work in one in Didridge, which was out of repair. Thus, I found myself a stranger, without friend or money; not knowing what to do. In that trying condition, I tried to make the best of a hopeless matter. I tied the canvas together, and swept the floor and bought some thick candles as substitutes for lamps; and went through the streets announcing for meetings. Not knowing the indifference of the people in England; I expected them to respond like in Ireland or Scotland, and I was astonished to find that only one young man turned up at meeting time. We both knelt down for prayers; and a big anointing of the Spirit fell upon me; the young man was greatly impressed; that was my first English experience; which was rather painful but grand; not easy to the flesh but useful to help in future adventures.
SEPTEMBER, 1900: Next day I started on a walking tour in a northern direction; preaching in every town and village that men and women should repent; til I came to Morphet; when I got tired and weary and languid and discouraged. That verse of a well known hymn kept ringing in my soul.
If all were easy; if all were bright;
Where would the cross be, where would the fight?
But in the hardness God gives to you
Chances of proving that you are true.
In that walking tour I met with many kind Christians who received me into their homes; and helped me on my journey after a jolly sort. The Salvation Army in North Shields put me up for the night. I came in contact with a woman who belonged to the Evening Light movement. She received me into her house; got me a cup of cocoa; she told me about their fellowship contending for all the truths contained in the Acts of the Apostles; yet she looked upon me as being in darkness unless I saw as she saw and joined the same fellowship. While I admired her contention for a literal obedience in dress and works to the word of truth; yet, I did not admire the subverting mood of putting me down as being in darkness unless I saw eye to eye with her in everything.
They condemned the doctrine of the Millennium as a dangerous doctrine; without considering the many Scriptures in the Old and New Testaments; referring to a universal reign of peace; that honest minded students of God’s word expect a literal fulfillment to them, as well as all other prophetic Scriptures, Matt. 5:18. Although high in self-esteem and opinion, I was convinced that if she viewed that which was held in general by their fellowship, however excellent, they could not boast in perfection and infallibility no more than any other in the world.
From Morphet, I went by train to Edinburgh where I spent the weekend in the home of John McGall, a converted brick layer; then I came to Kilsyth and John Barton sent me to Cumbernauld to help Samuel Boyd in a mission held in a Wooden Tent. That was the beginning of three years mission work in Wooden Tents. They were a splendid invention to preach the gospel in districts where it was hard to get Mission halls or houses, etc. There are many buildings called churches idle during weeks nights which would not be given to Evangelists; because of ecclesiastical rules; while the districts round them are in spiritual need; and every moveable Tent has somewhat to speak as a witness against them.
Towards the end of September, we removed our tent to Milton of Campsie. The wheel of the lorry broke on the way and we had to make the best of a hopeless matter. I tied the canvas together, and swept the floor and bought some thick candles as substitutes for lamps; and went through the streets announcing for meetings. Nor knowing the indifference of the people in England, I expected them to respond like in Ireland or Scotland, and I was astonished to find that only one young man turned up at meetings time. We both knelt down for prayer; and a big anointing of the Spirit fell upon me; the young man was greatly impressed; that was my first English experience.
SEPTEMBER, 1900: Next day I started on a walking tour in a northern direction; preaching in any town and village that men and women should repent; til I came to Morphet; when I got tired and weary and languid and discouraged, that verse of a well known hymn kept ringing in my soul.
If all were easy; if all were bright;
Where would the cross be, where would the fight?
But in the hardness God gives to you
Chances of proving that you are true.
In that walking tour, I met with many kind Christians who received me into their homes; and helped me on my journey after a Godly sort. The Salvation Army in North Shields, put me up for the night. I came in contact with a woman who belonged to the Evening Light movement; she received me into her house; got me a cup of cocoa; she told me about their fellowship, contending for all the truths contained in the Acts of the apostles; yet she looked upon me as being in darkness unless I saw as she saw.
OCTOBER, 1900: From the time I started on Faith Lines until the experience in England, I had no financial straits; but from that time until February 1905, I had repeatedly some severe trials. While I was originally helped by William Irvine, yet he often interfered with my providential leadings. I had a companion young man; and we were mostly in lodging and on new ground; and very much depended on the kindness of the people we laboured among; nevertheless God kept us from owing on the one hand or laying up treasures on the other.
Besides our nightly meetings that constituted a mission, I occasionally took mothers’ meetings, Bible classes, children’s meetings; also did a measure of Street Preaching, house to house visitation, personal dealing and tract distribution. In the churches of all protestant denominations, in Mission halls, tents, barns, cottages, School Rooms, public halls, etc. etc.
NOVEMBER, 1900: We removed our Tent from Milton of Campsie to Lennoxtown. We suffered much from children who gave us a lot of extra work and annoyance, clodding the tent and trampling on the boards; little they considered that what was play to them meant worry and work for us. In both these towns our meetings were well attended though we could not get them to publicly decide for Christ; and we did not believe in much pressing; but leave them to the Spirit and Word of God; though it was looked upon as a fruitless time by some, if there were none that professed conversion, which I believe is a big mistake. God and only Him alone knows what good is done by hymns, choruses, reading the Scriptures, prayer, personal conversations, books, tracts, texts, house to house visitations, besides preaching on the streets and indoors. While there, I suffered the biggest trial I ever had financially; we got to prayer and God sent us help from the Church of God at Kilsyth.
I visited a young man in Milton who was sick; I talked to him about divine healing; he said to me that God did not heal in every case. “There is a sin unto death. I do not say that he shall pray for it.” 1 John 5:16. Nearly all commentators are agreed that a sin unto death is some great sin that God punishes with the death of the body, while mercy is extended to the soul on the ground of repentance and faith. See also 1 Cor. 5:5. This may help to explain why some sick Christians are not healed; nevertheless, nothing should prevent trusting the precious Blood of Jesus; there can be no mistake there, as it speaks peace; removes all stains, purges the conscience from dead works to serve the living God, Heb. 9:14. Our need sometimes is permitted to draw us to Christ; and “him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out,” John 6:37. Reader, Go to Jesus, he will revive you.
While I was undergoing a severe trial, and greatly humbled, yet happy in the Lord; the promises of God were given to me in such a manner as I never got them before. Every text I saw on the wall seemed to turn up to suit the experience that I was passing through; and appropriate for the occasion. I had circulated thousands of texts and mottos; enjoying their words; and admiring their beauty; but never till that time did they begin to turn out to suit daily experiences. It was at that time I first met with the Golden Text Calendar. The first time I saw it, the text was appropriate for the experience I was passing through, and I have used one ever since. And through its usage, God gave unto me “exceeding great and precious promises that by these ye may be partakers of the divine nature,” 2 Peter 1:4. The following are a selection from among them with remembering.
Concerning my calling and authority to preach and minister, I got:
“Have chosen you, and ordained you,” John 15:16
“Do the work of an evangelist,” 2 Tim 4:5
“To make thee a minister and a witness,” Acts 26:16
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” Mark 16:15
“Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city,” Luke 14:21
“Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in.” Luke 14:23
Concerning healing, preservation and visitation, I got the following:
“I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears; behold I will heal thee,” 2 Kings 20:5.
“Behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest…I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of,” Gen 28:15.
“And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and I will deliver you,” Isa. 46:4.
“When thou passeth through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee,” Isa. 43:2.
“I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgression, and, as a cloud, thy sins,” Isa. 44:22.
Concerning provision, I got as follows:
“My God shall supply all your need,” Phil. 4:19
“And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the King, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life,” 2 Kings 25:30
Concerning protection, I got as follows:
“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and ever tongue that shalt rise against thee in judgment, thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord,” Isa. 54:17
“Not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof,” Josh. 23:14
From that time the circulation of Scriptural Block Calendars became a very valuable part of my work; and I have an abundant testimony that God has blessed them to sinners, saints and backsliders.
DECEMBER, 1900: We removed our tent to Kirkintilloch where our mission was stopped by a storm which blew down our Tent; after which Samuel Boyd went to County Limerick, where he was much used of God; and I went to Twechar, and had some meetings in the home of Robert Liechman; and from there to Queenzieburn, where I spent the Watchnight praying out the century in which we were born, and praying the century in which we are sure to leave this world; at the time of God’s appointment.
About that time William Irvine left the Faith Mission. All who knew the man was acquainted with the fact that he did not covet or desire to start a new sect or Mission; and his leaving the Faith Mission was not without feeling the risk and responsibility of doing so; but circumstances and events rendered it necessary. Some workers who gave up their situations to go fully in the Lord’s work were not accepted by the Faith Mission; others did not feel led to join it; and others believed in being more like the pattern as seen in Jesus, and reforming according to the ideal church in the Acts of the Apostles; among the latter was Edward Cooney, who had newly started out, became a strenuous advocate. Most of these workers were either young converts or disciples of William Irvine; and it became impossible for him to be true to the rules of the Faith Mission and to them; so he resigned the one and entered enthusiastically into the other.
JANUARY, 1901: We removed our tent to Dennyloanhead near Bonnybridge; and Joseph Gillis, from London joined me; he was a good singer, but not very good preaching. About that time I had a letter from William Irvine; giving me encouragement to go forward, not to be despondent, but to pray much, as there were better days ahead for us all.
By experience we learned that it was not inconsistent with Faith Lines to have a box at the door of our tent for free will offerings; so as that the poor widow could give her mite, as well as the rich their abundance. “But Jehoiada the priest took a chest, and bored a hole in the lid of it, and set it beside the altar on the right side, as one cometh into the house of the Lord,” 2 Kings 12:9. Nearly all Christians are agreed that this should be the case on the Lord’s Day, 1 Cor. 16:1-2. During that campaign in Scotland, we did so; and sufficient was put in it to pay our expenses. While in that part some of the Faith Mission prayer union believers received us warmly and did what they could to help us.
About that time I began to give away the Marked Testaments to young converts and others in order to encourage the reading of the Scriptures; and in two years I must have given away upwards of two thousand.
FEBRUARY, 1901: We removed out tent to Holandbush, where we had an excellent Mission; about thirty persons decided for Christ. A Christian man gave up smoking. The Lord took away “his abominations from between his teeth,” Zech. 9:7. We will not forget the good times we had with children. We gave them a Bible each for learning the 2nd chapter of the 1st Epistle of John. I lay sick for a week, but Joseph managed the meetings until I was better. John Duncan and his wife, also William Barry and Sister Condie; and Brother and Sister Fleming helped us much; not only in the mission but in having us into their home; and giving us gifts of money. The last night of that mission was a record one regarding power when many testified to the grace of God. The two leading elders, from West Port hall, Kilsyth, John Barton and Andrew Murdoch were present; they were holy men of God, who took a great interest in us while we laboured in Scotland; and rejoiced to see God’s work revive.
APRIL, 1901: We removed our tent to Denny; while there Joseph Gillis left me to return to London; and John Hardy joined me. In Denny we had a stiff time. The Baptist Pastor, Brother Wright extended to us the right hand of fellowship and allowed us to break bread on the Lord’s day.
MAY, 1901: We pitched our tent in St. Ninions for one week; but seeing no prospects of a successful mission, we again removed our tent to Kippen; where we had a good attendance, and God blessed the Word.
1. The harvest, it is plenteous,
And labourers are few
To preach the Gospel message,
And do as Paul would do.
In highways and hedges
Out on the marked square
Unto all creeds and classes
The word of Life declare.
2. Our God must get the glory,
For all that He has done
And we must tell the story
Of His believed Son
Till every heathen nation
Turn from their sin to God
Accepting God’s Salvation
Through faith in Jesus’ Blood.
3. It pleaseth God through preaching,
To save them that believe.
And build up saints by teaching,
When they His truth receive.
For they who spread the tidings,
Must be a mighty host;
For God wants faithful vessels
Filled with the Holy Ghost.
4. It pleaseth God through preaching,
To save them that believe.
And build up saints by teaching,
When they His truth receive.
For they who spread the tidings,
Must be a mighty host;
For God wants faithful vessels
Filled with the Holy Ghost.
JUNE, 1901: We returned through Haggs and Kilsyth and crossed the Irish Sea to Dublin, to a Conference that Edward Cooney had arranged for at that time. We were expecting a joyful meeting and greeting on the Irish side by the Brethren there, after being absent for ten months; but we were disappointed when it turned out otherwise, because we found the workers all in confusion among themselves.
It was a very unwise thing of Edward Cooney to bring them together at that particular time, for it was for the worse; not for the better. William Irvine refused to attend the Conference and wisely so, “A prudent man forseeth the evil, and hideth himself. But the simple pass on, and are punished,” Prov. 22:3. However, Cooney was hot in the service of Christ; and meant well to the Kingdom of God; and put up about 40 workers at his own expense.
All public gatherings require control as well as liberty, in order to
preserve unity and peace and make the time edifying and profitable, “Wherefore,
Brethren, covet to prophecy and forbid not to speak with tongues.
Let all things be done decently and in order,” 1 Cor. 14:39-40.
The cause of the confusion and disorder arose from about twelve workers,
mostly women, who were out preaching and used in getting other persons
saved; yet got an experience in which they denied their first conversion.
It might have been bearable had they left others to themselves.
They were inclined to unChristianize others who had not a similar experience; and put down the revival that gave them birth as being all in the flesh. They were very sanctimonious; and careful about little things; yet did not wear the joy or brightness of their former testimony. They denied the possibility of being a carnal or babe Christian. They refused to take any correction; nevertheless, time and circumstances did much to set them right again. I am told that this strange phenomena has repeated itself during revival times in church history; and may have occurred in Paul’s times. See 2 Cor. 10:2. G.C. Grubb had the same experience in his work for God in New Zealand. It occurred among the young converts; he did not like it at all and directed their attention to the Blood of Jesus.
Notwithstanding all the confusion and diversity of opinion that marked the occasion, there were some very good and profitable addresses given by G. C. Grubb, Robert Todd, Thomas Turner, Sister Millard, and others. I was asked to speak and I had a good message from 1 Tim. 11:12.
JULY, 1901: Harry Weir and I went to the South and held a mission in a wooden tent pitched in Dirrinvohill, Borrisokane, where we had some good meetings, and one woman decided for Christ. My Aunt, Jane Bray, and my uncle Billy Bray, received me into their house, and helped at the meetings. At that time, I had some definite anointings and got some special promises.
Some literature published by John Alexander Dowie of Zion City, Chicago were circulated among the workers, and while they were very good on salvation, sanctification and healing, he in very strong language condemned the eating of bacon. If he had been as strong against ritualism and flattering titles, perhaps their testimony would have stood the test of time better. For a short time I gave up eating bacon; nevertheless, in going through the people I found it difficult in order not to put them to trouble; and took for my motto that injunction of our blessed Lord in Luke 10:8 “Eat such things as are set before you.” There is no doubt that much eating of swine flesh in hot countries is injurious to physical health; yet in the New Covenant we are set free from the bondage of the Mosaic precepts regarding flesh, meats and burnt offerings, Etc., except the eating of Blood which is expressly forbidden to the Gentile converts, Acts 10:15 and 15:28-29.
AUGUST, 1901: We removed our tent to Frank Long’s field, Ballingarry. The Methodist minister for that district opposed me, but W.B. Merrick, the minister for Borrisokane helped me. It’s always good to be the accused, not the accuser. However, a true and just witness against error and sin is right, and the work of an Evangelist is to “Preach the Word, be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine,” 2 Tim. 4:2.
OCTOBER, 1901: About that month we had a mission in the home of Sister Corcoran, Finnoe. While there we attended the marriage feast of Brother Swanton, Nenagh. Marriage should be no jest. The pair requires prayer and sympathy; not criticism and severity. Marriage is honourable in all and sanctioned in our Saviour’s presence at Cana of Galilee; John 2:2; Heb. 13:4. It is the ideal life, “Forbid it not.”
We cannot forget the kindness shown to us at that time by the Falkiners, Dennisons and my aunts, Roseanna Long, and others. We did much at that time by way of getting Bibles, hymn books, Wall texts, books, tracts; besides Bible readings, prayer meetings, house to house visitation, personal dealing, Etc.
Owing to the trouble among the workers, William Irvine did not write to any of them for six months but kept in prayer and he had an extra good mission near Edinburgh in Scotland, when seventy persons got converted.
NOVEMBER, 1901: About that time we had a week’s mission in Willsborough, at Sister Falkiners; after that we had another week of meetings at Robinsons, Nenagh. “So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself, first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come,” Mark 4:26-29
DECEMBER, 1901: About that time we had a week’s meetings in our own home, Burntwood; also a weeks meetings at Sister Oakes, Knockane. Concerning the Christian Sabbath, something profitable could be said. It is the duty of all mankind to keep the Lord’s day, as a day of rest and worship. It was the infinite wisdom of God that first appointed the Sabbath; or one day in seven for man and beast; that the body might get physical rest; and the soul be renewed in spiritual strength, by public worship. It is the duty of every Christian to keep the day as our Lord kept it. “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read,” Luke 4:16. He performed works of necessity, Matt. 12:3; works of mercy, Matt. 12:11,12; and service to God on the Sabbath, Matt. 12:5. So can we; however, no Christian man is guiltless that willfully and carelessly profanes the day by manual labour in cultivating the ground, reaping the harvest or transacting business in either buying or selling. No man could have changed the day; as our Brethren, the Seventh Day Adventist vainly boast. It took nothing short of the resurrection of Christ to bring about that universal event of changing the Jewish or seventh day Sabbath into the Christian Sabbath, on the first day of the week. Indeed the Greek [Greek Letters] of Matt. 28:1 and [Greek Letters] of Mark 16:9 rendered one of Sabbaths; or first Sabbath.) indicates the change of the day from our Lord’s resurrection. “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.” Heb 4:9. See Acts 20:7, 1 Cor. 16:2
After some Christmas meetings at Falkiners, Willsborough, Harry Weir went to Dublin, and I crossed to Scotland to a Conference held in the West Port Hall, Kilsyth by Irvine.
JANUARY, 1902: William Irvine had newly returned from his recent mission, with a number of the young converts with him; and he spoke with great power and authority; he emphasized aggressive labor in the Lord’s vineyard; and showed the possibility of doing a work for the Lord, even by giving away tracts; he uttered some strong language concerning religious leaders who opposed him; he gave some important warnings and rebukes, of which we all felt the benefit.
After that Conference I had eight weeks of a mission in Haggs School Room. The first five weeks were very hard and stiff, and I was suffering a good deal from misunderstanding and reproach; my physical strength was not able to bear much annoyance. The meetings almost went against me; except I bought twenty Bibles and gave them to the most prospective youths. During the days of that mission I humbled myself greatly before the Lord; and earnestly sought help and asked him to give me some conversions, and I got the answer through God’s word that my prayer was heard. The turning point came, but before it came, I had to obey His voice in doing what He commanded to be done.
One day I went to visit a Christian home in the district; as I walked to his house I was meditating over that Scripture, ‘Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets,” Matt. 7:12. Just then I met a poor man on the road who was in need and I gave him a shilling. In the home where I visited, my friend slipped a shilling into my hand coming away. On my return journey, I was thinking about an Evangelist in Dublin who was in financial need, so I sent him a postal order for ten shillings; that very night again a Brother from Banton slipped ten shillings into my hand. My text for that day was: “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant,” Psa. 25:14. That night a remarkable turning point began in the meetings outside all my efforts. A band of Christians from Banton came from love to Christ, to help us with their fife and drum, and like Miriam and David, made a joyful noise unto the Lord, and the people gathered into the meetings; souls decided for Christ, and we had a little revival. As the outcome of that mission, John Duncan built a wooden hall in Hollingsrush, where a little mission work has been held ever since.
About that time I heard that my Brother Samuel Long died in India. He was a soft tenderhearted youth who was converted under the ministry of William Irvine. He began to pray and confess Christ under the ministry of John Good. As a domestic servant, he met with some hard masters; not succeeding so well in that line of occupation, he enlisted in the Army and was sent out to China during the Boxer persecutions. On his removal to India, he died at Singapore on 25th Dec., 1901 after thirty two days sickness. The day I heard of his death, the text turned out to be, “And they that were ready went in with him to the marriage; and the door was shut,” Matt. 25:10. This news came as a sad trial to my dear mother, whose physical health was not able to bear much strain.
1. It was a great surprise to us
News from a foreign land
When we heard dear Sam was dead,
Away on India’s strand.
We will not see his face again,
Until we get to heaven.
It only leaves an empty seat
Out of the number seven.
2. He gave himself to Jesus Christ,
When he was twenty one
He testified to saving grace
Before the end had come.
Though trials great beset his path
When he alone did plod,
All things for good together worked,
To draw him unto God.
3. Gone up to heaven, his race is run
Set free from every care
With Jesus it is for the best
Nothing can vex him there.
Now every tear is wiped away
And sorrow changed to song
And best of all, there’s no more death
Among the ransomed throng.
4. This is our day we live in time
By faith the prize we see
But Sam is gone to yonder clime
The vale, the flesh, doth separate
A little while between.
He cannot come across to us
But we can go to him.
These lines were written on the death of a brother Samuel Long, who died on 25th December, 1901 in North India:
1. Dear Sam is gone to yonder home
The first fruits of our kin
He becks for us to come along
To live in bliss with him.
2. This is our day we live in time,
Until we cease to be,
But Sam is gone to yonder clime
3. The vale of death does separate
A little time between,
He cannot come across to us
But we can go to him.
4. At home in Heaven the place of rest,
Set free from every care,
With Jesus it is far the best
Nothing can vex him there.
5. But when we think of him who’s gone
To better worlds above,
Then let us try while in the way
Each other for to love.
6. Not lost are those who go before,
The word of God record,
The dead in Christ shall rise to be,
For ever with the Lord.
7. And we shall see each others face,
To separate no more,
And dwell with all that’s saved by Grace
Upon a happier shore.
MARCH, 1902: My next mission was in Condorrat Methodist hall. Because I went there, William Irvine was displeased; and rebuked me sharply to the face, at a time when I was not able to bear much for I was weak in body. However, I maintained an unsectarian attitude, and held it for granted that I should preach the gospel to every creature and enter every open door without respect of persons, places, or sects. All inquiries were about my mission, watching to see the results of it; when to their great surprise three men and thirteen virgins decided for Christ and they were all silenced.
After that I went to Palace, near Bells Hill, and joined Noble Stinson. We had a weeks meetings in a School Room which were injured by crowds of uncontrollable children. While there I took an influenza, cold my appetite and sleep went; and a severe chill set in on my chest. I was physically weak and exhausted, and was laid aside for six weeks.
APRIL, 1902: Having removed to Kilsyth, the Christians kindly provided a home for me during my convalescent days; where the kindness shown to me by Brother and Sister Bradshaw cannot be easily forgotten.
Before leaving Palace, when my sleep went from me, I could hear the angels singing; but could not see them. On the way from Palace while waiting to change on the Railway Platform, Queens Street, Glasgow, I fainted. The sight left my eyes and I thought that I was dying; however after drinking a cup of milk, I recovered my strength enough to go on my journey to Kilsyth. At my own request I was very successfully poulticed with linseed meal. See 2 Kings 20:5, but refused the doctors medicine and pills. I opened my Bible at, “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. The Lord hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death,” Psa. 118:17,18. I began to recover, my appetite and sleep returned, cough went suddenly. The report went out that I was down for death. Others who were well wishers said that my work was not yet done and prayed and believed for me. Some friends failed me; nevertheless, God raised up strangers, who wrote to me and helped me. At length, I got the commission, “Son go work today in my vineyard,” and I have been working in it ever since; Hallelujah!
After my recovery I preached in the West Port hall, Kilsyth from that
text: “Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached
throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken
of for a memorial of her,” Mark 14:9. Then I went to Sauchie,
where I had a week of meetings in The School Room given to me by Sister
Moody, the School mistress.
JUNE, 1902: The Sister who asked me over to Sauchie for a change of air, also the Brother, John Patterson, whose home I lodged in while I was in the district, both soon after that gave up their situations to go fully on the work of the Lord. While there I had a letter from Edward Cooney asking me to go over to County Antrim and take up mission work in a tent at Kells.
There were two Christian men, brothers James Gault and James Kelly who were interested in the work of the Lord, so as to unitedly contribute unto the building of a Wooden Tent for the Evangelization of the country towns and villages in County Antrim. John Sullivan, a Schoolmaster who had a knowledge of the carpentry trade and who gave up his situation to go fully on the Lord’s work, he voluntarily gave his services to help in building Wooden Tents, when at the same time he preached the Gospel; he built the hall for County Antrim, and set it up in Creavery, where the meetings were disturbed by much persecution from the young men of the district. From Creavery, the Tent was removed to Connor and Kells; where two pilgrims of the Faith Mission held some meetings in it and were obliged to leave it owing to fierce persecution.
At the beginning of that mission we were confronted with much opposition; till we bought a gross of small hanging wall mottos with silver letters; which we gave freely to every house in the two villages; that act of kindness helped to still the persecution, and the people came out to the meetings. After six weeks hard plodding, visiting and perseverance, a Sister at McVeigh got saved, and in nine months after that died, praising God for sending along John Long, and Joseph Kerr, to lead her to Christ. The words on her mouth were: “I expect to pass this way but once, and any good thing that I can do, or any act of kindness that I can show to a human being, or a word that I can speak for Jesus; let me do it now, let me not neglect nor defer it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
JULY, 1902: About that time Edward Cooney began to baptize his converts and form assemblies according to the model in the Acts, namely meeting together on the first day of the week for fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers. The opposition against the work from the clergy and churches rendered it necessary to reform, also the responsibility of shepherding young converts. William Irvine shrank from this great and responsible undertaking; but afterwards went into it. This produced fresh opposition especially when important persons left their churches to go in with an improved testimony.
Joseph Kerr and I went to a Conference held in Portadown; about sixty workers met together to consider missions, doctrines, companions, etc. also to exhort one another in the Lord our God. At that conference, we had a visit from an ex-curate named Clarke; he looked upon many features of aggressive Christianity from a melancholy view; yet to us rather extreme; nevertheless, he had the marks of one who sighed and cried because of the iniquity committed in the land, and because of this Irvine was very lenient and forbearing towards him.
AUGUST, 1902: We removed our tent to Ballynoe where we spent five weeks. We were like Paul in that place we preached and labored with our own hands helping John Gault at his hay. The persecution that attended that mission we will remember as the worst we ever had in a protestant county. A band of young men gathered every night to disturb the meetings by making all sorts of noise, and pelting stones at the tent. On the last night, a covenanter came to the tent and made a speech against us. A great crowd came to hear him. He spoke against street preaching, hymn singing, and women ministry too; Joseph, my companion, answered him from the Lord. That aroused part of the community in our favour; and part were indignant against us. Notwithstanding all the opposition, God blessed the word to some, and souls decided for Christ. We would have sought police protection only for that Scripture “For I was ashamed to require of the King a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the King saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wealth is against all them that forsake him.” Ezra 8:22.
SEPTEMBER, 1902: We removed our Tent to the town head Antrim
where we pitched it in Brother McKillops, Haggard. While in that
town we enjoyed peace, and warm fellowship; and had a splendid time of
prayer, praise, and preaching, and open air work. The Brethren allowed
us to break bread on the Lord’s day; and we will not forget the kindness
showed to us by sister Adams, who did much to help us financially.
Owing to three persons getting baptized by immersion (but did not leave
their respective places of worship) some indignation was aroused against
us because we believed in adult immersion, and did not preach it.
After an experience of nineteen years since I never saw anything accomplished for the Kingdom of God by opposing believers who obey the word of truth; only it hinders and creates strife; which on the other hand reviving times (times of blessing) attend meetings when where believers obey with reverence and humility. Most persons get converted outside the place (church) they belonged too; and for persons to be so sectarian as to go to no other meeting but their own churches, is to sometimes miss the blessing that God has for them attached to men of God. sent to reap the harvest when it is ripe. See Matt. 21:34.
OCTOBER, 1902: About that time, Joseph Kerr left me and Richard Meikle joined me. For knowledge of the Scriptures, Kerr was the finest companion I ever had; and he was only twenty-one; however, Edward Cooney, and William Irvine sent him with me for a Training; and did not leave a good man with me long. I removed the tent to Miltown, near Randalstown and pitched on a Brethren farm. On the Lord’s Day we went with them to the assembly in Randalstown; and they refused to let us break bread because we carried no letters of commendation; and not being acquainted with the exclusiveness of the Brethren, I felt it very much. Although these people who call themselves Brethren have much that’s praiseworthy and scriptural in their form of church government; yet I doubt that they can claim an equal form according to the Acts of the Apostles, and Epistles; and without any partiality to the churches of the reformation on the one hand; or the Brethren on the other, I will try and show how the one has somewhat added to the Word of God and the other is somewhat taken from it: and both weighed in the balances are found wanting regarding an exact assembly.
The churches of the reformation have built high towers and steeples, Gen. 11:4. They have added to the Bible, prayer books, 1 Peter 4:11. Clerical suits, Luke 20:46. Surplus, Ezek. 13:18. Titles of Reverend, Etc., Matt. 23:8. Sign of the cross in Baptism, Col. 3:8. Sponsors in Baptism, Rom. 14:12. Carved images and statutes set up, 2 Chron. 33:7. Has hindered laymen preaching, 1 Thess. 5:20. These are not all; neither are the texts given the only ones in the Scriptures to correct them. Indeed, the whole principle of the New Testament sets forth worship without these rituals. Besides these additions to the word of God, the great neglect of Confessing Christ with the mouth. The neglect of preaching the witness of the Spirit; and the present possession of eternal life; also neglect of family prayer, and thanksgiving at meals; renders a good deal of the principles “a form of Godliness but denying the power,” 2 Tim 3:5.
The Brethren have no recognized elders or pastors. Acts 14:23. They reject the doctrine of the laying on of hands, Heb. 6:2. They do not allow women to pray or prophesy, 1 Cor. 11:5. They do not repeat the Lord’s prayer, Matt. 6:9, Luke 11:2. They reject the gifts of the spirit for the present age, 1 Cor. 12 Chap. They do not minister anointing the sick for healing, James 5:14. They sit to sing, and do not kneel in prayer, Eph. 3:14.
This I would commend them for: what they have is the pure clean Word of God, free from ritualism; and worldly pleasures, public collections and respect of persons; also they set forth sin, atonement, and Salvation in their preaching to the unconverted; so that God uses them to the salvation of the lost. They have Elders, or Pastors in another form, and cannot do without them; for every assembly needs persons to watch over and control and feed the flock. Generally speaking, both are orthodox regarding the fundemental principles of Christianity as set forth in the New Testament.
On the next Lord’s day we both agreed to have the Lord’s Supper, not desiring to make a new sect, but to obey God. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them, Matt. 18:20. God was well pleased with us, as we saw from the text which turned out for that day, “And the Lord smelled a sweet savour,” Gen. 8:21. Next Lord’s day, James Gault joined us, and the text turned out “I will accept you with your sweet savour.” Eze. 20:41. After we left, James Gault continued to remember our Lord’s death, in a little room in Creavery where a few believers still meet. An assembly is not sectarian when open to give and take fellowship with all the Lord’s people, Num. 9:14. “Wherefore receive ye one another as Christ also received us to the glory of God,” Rom. 15:7.
The different forms of church government in the world should not hinder Christians of worshipping God where there is prayer, praise and preaching, and the Word of God read in purity. No one man ministry should usurp the liberty of the Spirit. Would Jesus or his Apostles, or their most Scriptural representatives be permitted to preach in one out of a thousand churches, in certain countries, unless they were strictly conformed to their external ecclesiastical customs? For even then, unless their doctrines were according to the tastes of the managers and of the times. Even in the Jewish Synagogues, there was liberty; to speak, read, and pray; that is lacking in the so called churches of today.
1. We break the bread and drink the wine,
This of our Saviour’s love a sign,
That once He died to set us free,
Upon the cross of Calvary.
2. Around the table of our Lord,
Gladly we meet with one accord,
No man but Christ we want to see,
Upon the cross of Calvary.
3. We have no merit of our own,
We trust in Christ and him alone,
With his own Blood He set us free,
Upon the cross of Calvary.
4. Gone up on high this work is done,
Praise to the Father and the Son,
Until He comes so let it be,
We will remember Calvary.
DECEMBER, 1902: We removed our tent to Creavery; where we suffered much persecution by the sons of Belial; very strange during my missions in Antrim; and the persecutions we endured, we never knew of any clergymen to lift up a warning voice against it, neither did the police come to protect us; and only on a few occasions did the community interfere.
During that mission God warned them by a very solemn event. An aged Christian man came to the meeting, closed the service with prayer, went home, and after family Bible reading and prayer, fell dead. A similar tragedy happened before in the same district during the persecution, when John Sullivan built the tent. That sad event stayed the opposition for awhile but they soon forgot it and were given to persecute again. At the closing night I preached from that text, Jesus answered them, “Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of these works do ye stone me?” John 10:32.
One day I visited Antrim town, and my friend Brother McKillops asked me to speak at a prayer union tea party. [a meeting where tea is provided] I spoke from those remarkable words of our Lord: "When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbors; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just." Luke 14:12-14. At the close of that service, Sister Flemming said to me, Brother Long, if ever you see your way to obey that Scripture yourself, I will give you two pounds towards the expenses of it. On looking up the Golden Text on Christmas Day, I found it to be the same, so we made the feast and bade many; but they refused to come: nevertheless, children came instead and we entertained them. The text turned out, “These that were bidden were not worthy,” Matt. 22:8.
About that time we went to a Conference in Belfast held by Edward Cooney. His labours and the labours of the Go Preachers were then so widespread and blessed, so that it led the day in the British Isles in revival enterprize. As long as they kept from exclusiveness; even though they said hard things, they were much used of God and, much opposed as well.
I have during those many years out fully in the Lord’s work, had to steer a course avoiding exclusiveness on the one hand and clericalism on the other. Indeed all revivals take place from that path; and the assemblies formal; and the missions organized for the Evangelization of the world which are unsectarian and open on the one hand; and pure and Scriptural on the other. Have no hesitation in saying are mostly used of God; and nearest to the ideal Evangel and assembly in the Acts of the Apostles and Epistles. Why not take a whole Bible as our guide? And fashion our lives, and assemblies according to the pattern of The Christ of the New Testament, and the God of the Bible can do the very same today; why deny His power to save, restore or heal; or bestow the same Spiritual gifts, Etc.?
JANUARY, 1903: We removed our tent to Kells-Water, where we had a little revival time. We got for our motto that year, “The people pressed upon him to hear the word of God,” Luke 5:1. For six months we had crowded meetings. The respective people of that district set it in their heads to hinder persecution, and to respect the meetings and Evangelists. About thirty persons decided for Christ; and the fruits remained. Indeed, it is cheering to return to old ground after twenty years has passed and find abiding fruit, John 15:16. John Ross, owner of a linen factory in the district came to the meetings, and helped us financially. Richard Meikle had left me at the new year and William Clelland joined me; he was a good preacher and singer, but not good at visiting, but every person has their own gifts from the Lord; and are responsible one after this manner; and another after that.
MARCH, 1903: Our next mission was in Mahrabeg. The people came out well, but there were no definite decisions. However, the place was not as ripe for a harvest as Kells-Water.
APRIL, 1903: After that we removed our Tent to Slatt. Two full two years in which I laboured in County Antrim. The farmers turned out and removed our Tent free of charge; and it took five loads to take it. The labour attached to it was heavy for Evangelists. It took one day for two men to take it down; one day to remove it; and it took two days to put it up, and one day to clean it, then there was occasional repairs, painting, etc, to be done.
At that time, Thomas Craig joined us, and we had a visit from William Irvine; he wanted to ask my advice about the work for he was in a strait between two as to whether he should go from the work as leader; and labour for God independently in a new district; as he shrank back from forming a new mission or sect; and the work and workers at that time were very scattered and disorganized. He was very downcast, and disheartened and humbled before God: he said to me whatever they would do, he would serve the Lord. I encouraged him not to forsake the work which resulted very largely as the outcome of his own testimony: but to call a Conference; and get the workers united together; and form the young converts into assemblies where they could get spiritual food, but to be open and unsectarian in attitude towards all other sects, missions and persons; at the same setting before them an example of Godly living, and obedience and conformity to the Word of God. “That ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints,” Jude 3.
While in Slatt, I got that text, “Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city…and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” Luke 14:21 to 23. That day I went into Ballymena and called on about one hundred houses speaking to them about their soul’s salvation; and inviting them to come to the tent mission. On Sunday, the tent was not able to hold the people.
While in Antrim I did a lot of house to house visitation, tract distribution, Etc. Having read the life of George Mullar; I said if God gave money to him in answer to prayer; would not He send me in tracts and literature; and I got the answer that God would give me my request. Although twenty years have passed away, I scarcely ever am without tracts, pamphlets, Etc. They come to me in thousands, and it’s very seldom I have to pay for any.
JUNE, 1903: Our next mission was in Grace Hill, a Moravian settlement. While there I baptized Thomas Craig, in a river nearby. Also while there the minister’s son needlessly put a paragraph in the paper against us. It was ably answered by the Ahoghill Brethren, in our absence. John Cennick, the founder, would not have done that, for he knew somewhat of what it meant to suffer for the gospel’s sake. One day when at private prayer in our lodging; the minister came in and being so favourably impressed on the next Sabbath preached from that text in Acts. “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus,” Acts 4:13.
JULY, 1903: After that we went to a Convention in Rathmolyon. From that time all the workers began to baptize, and separate their converts; form them into assemblies to meet together on the first day of the week for fellowship, breaking of bread and prayers. Acts 2:42. Also, they appointed bishops, or elders over them. William Irvine emphasized separation but not exclusiveness. However, it was very manifest that while all that was good and Scriptural and a growing necessity; and an improvement on the existing sects; yet there was much need for more tenderness to the Holy Spirit; avoiding extremes hurtful to the tender conscience, and injurious to truth. It was from that conference a few workers including William Irvine, went to America for a gospel tour.
AUGUST, 1903: At William Irvine’s request, I went to County Tipperary and baptized many disciples; and helped to form there assemblies. One in Cloughjordan in the home of Goodhand Pattison; also in the home of Falkiners, Hillsborough, Borrisokane; and in the home of Hodgins, Lorrha. Then I took a walking tour through Clare and Galway speaking to Roman Catholics about our Saviour. From there I went by train to Enniskillen where I spent a few days in the home of Thomas Betty who married [Faith Mission] Pilgrim Pendry [Elizabeth Pendreigh] before mentioned. Soon afterwards, Thomas and his wife gave up their farm and went fully on the Lords work; also Thomas Elliott and his wife did likewise. Having returned to County Antrim again and removed our Tent to Ahoghill, Samuel Jones [TTT Editor: Sam Jones, the songwriter] joined me as partner.
SEPTEMBER, 1903: In Ahoghil, we had a hard time; the people were unsympathetic, and did not give to our temporal needs; except one poor widow who received us into her home, and God blessed her for it. The Brethren had a weeks meetings at the same time. Because we broke bread in our own tent on the Lord's day, they spoke of two Lord’s tables, Etc., and looked at us through sectarian spectacles. There were the seven churches in Asia; and yet, the church was one.
NOVEMBER, 1903: Our next mission was in the Straid where we had good meetings, many warmhearted friends; yet we suffered from some wild young men whose delight was to annoy us. One night I lost my temper with them and next day my text turned out to be, “See that ye resist not evil,” Matt 5:39.
DECEMBER, 1903: I had a letter from a sister in Antrim asking me to go over and anoint her for healing according to James 5:14. I learned by experience never to anoint unless the sick, person asked; for it is only those with such faith and obedience are healed. She is still living and well.
We went to a Conference in Belfast held by Edward Cooney; who at that time had a revival in Belfast and Newtownards. Samuel Jones left me and John Patterson, from Sauchie came with me during the next campaign.
JANUARY, 1904: The day I got a place for our tent in Ballylisson, my text turned out to be, “The Lord your God who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tent in,” Deu. 1:33. In Ballylisson we had some good meetings, and one young man decided for Christ. Each of those missions lasted about five weeks, and we were mostly in lodging; but on that occasion Brother Gardner received us into his house.
MARCH, 1904: Our next mission was in Whitesides-Corner, where we had some good times, warm Christian fellowship and two persons decided for Christ. In that part of the County we were not persecuted like around Creavery district.
APRIL, 1904: Our next mission was in the Caddy. The meetings were well attended; but we had no definite results.
JUNE, 1904: Our next mission was in Ballymena where we had some good meetings. John Kelly joined us; and spoke with rather unwise and strong language. While in Ballymena I visited the whole town, had many talks and gave away much literature besides we had many stands on the street.
JULY, 1904: After that we removed our tent to Ballyheg; which was our last Tent mission; and the end of two full years in County Antrim. After binding sheaves in the field, at Coopers, Ballymacrea, we went to a Convention in Ballinamallard.
CHAPTER 9 - REVIVAL CHAPTER
SEPTEMBER, 1904: John West, Crocknacrieve, Ballinamallard, near Enniskillen, gave his premises for a Convention that year. William Irvine had newly returned from the United States; and was in good form. The weather was very find during the whole month; which suited the camps set up for the saints and workers to sleep in.
Many of the workers were troubled with a skin disease. Irvine got them separated and treated according to the need of the case and delt (sic) very mercifully with them. Cleanliness was one of the subjects delt with and emphasized. A great effort was made at every conference to put up both workers and friends free of charge; and all who had learned trades such as bakers, and butchers; their services were utilized on the occasion. Full sanitary arrangements were made before hand; there were no appeals for money; and no public collections; the strength and fruits of the teaching produced the necessary money which was given freely to defray the expenses which amounted to nearly fifteen hundred pounds; including the passages of those who went foreign.
Perhaps no movement of modern days gave so much preeminence to reading the Bible; and circulating them; and every worker was prone to spend much time in private prayer. Flirting or courting was not allowed; and the flesh or selfish life strongly condemned. Marriage was not forbidden; yet the unmarried life was commended as the freest for workers.
The necessity of keeping prophets chambers and entertaining strangers was strongly set forth. At the close of the conference, every worker threw his or her money into one common purse; then it was equally divided on departing to the varied districts and fields of labour. At that convention Irvine warned the workers of speaking against men of God, such as J. G. Govan; it would have been much better and wiser for The Testimony if that advice had been attended too, but Satan has ever used this tactic to drive men into extremes and by so doing spoil their testimony; and God can and does set aside one movement, and raises up another. No two revivals are the same but it’s the same Word of God, and the same Holy Spirit, and the same precious Blood, applied by faith to the soul that gives men and women the experience of peace and that produces the revivals of His word and work; this revival chapter may vary in details from the former. Edward Cooney who was in great form tested the meetings every night; when the unsaved came in; and a gospel effort was made to win them. Those efforts were very fruitful for upwards of one hundred-some decided for Christ; and about the same number were baptized by immersion in a river near by.
In all the meetings where doctrines were discoursed I took a prominent part; and Irvine often appealed to me for my opinion on various points. It was very remarkable that Irvine was very free from boasting or talking about his own works experiences or testimony; he took a humble attitude, and was not easy pleased or puffed up with success.
OCTOBER, 1904: After the convention I visited Cloughjordan and Borrisokane and Lorrha; wherever I went I got opportunities of preaching the gospel. Then I returned to Dublin and crossed to Liverpool it would be the seventh sea voyage; and one of the roughest voyages across I ever had although it was a fine day on land; but it was proceeded by a very happy experience in my soul.
I spent a week in Liverpool looking for an opening, but could not find one; but I had a good week preaching on the street, John Fawcett was sent to join me; it would have been better not to have a companion man while doing pioneer work in a strange place among unsympathetic people, until an opening was first made; as in lodging the expenses were great, and no income until the word of truth produced enough friends and money to go ahead with.
NOVEMBER, 1904: John Fawcett and I went to Prescot; and hired a hall in which we had a weeks meetings. The people did not come in so we went to the streets; and had some stirring meetings; on one occasion I preached on a square to a large crowd for one hour, after which the police removed us to another part where we had not the same success. The Brethren in the independent Methodist made a small contribution of money which helped to pay for our week’s keep; though our financial weakness was at that time a great cause of humility and faith and prayer; not at all pleasant to the flesh.
We left Prescot, and went to St. Helens, where we had two weeks Street preaching. John’s Father died, and he left me to cross to Ireland. I was hard put to it; my last copper went to a beggar on the Street. Next day through the means of a very sudden frost; which resulted in a gift of six pence that preserved me for a night; next day I walked six miles looking for work. I found none but a woman gave me one shilling which did one another day and night. On hearing that some Go Preachers were leaving Liverpool to go to America, I walked into the city and saw them off; one of them gave me ten Shillings, and the present of a bicycle; another gave me half a crown; and looking thin in appearance, a sister gave me a bottle of Borvil. When I returned to St. Helens. I had a letter from John Fawcett, telling me about a Wooden Tent in Portadown, so I crossed to Dublin and after visiting Rathmolyon, I cycled to Portadown, and John and I had a mission in Bocombra in a Tent pitched on William Holmes farm.
DECEMBER, 1904: At that time William Irvine visited Scotland; and finding many persons of note, and influences at work against the Go-Preacher mission. He launched out into extraordinary language similar to Matt. 23 Chapter; yet afterwards was very humble and tender. Edward Cooney got afraid of him going too far and losing his head. About that time I had a letter from him telling me to go back again to England, and get the victory. After praying about it I got that Scripture, “Fear not…be glad and rejoice for the Lord will do great things,” Joel 2:21. The same day two sisters came to my rescue and gave me a pound and Samuel Jones and I crossed to Holy Head on the 7th January, 1905.
JANUARY, 1905: In Holy Head, we found ourselves humble, lowly strangers, with not much except the promise of God to sustain us. We found the whole town in a state of religious enthusiasm, and revival element; naturally the Welsh are an excitable people; nevertheless I believe there was a good measure of God in it; as D. L. Moody said, “better sensation than stagnation.”
While God was reviving His work in Scotland and raised up that Godly man and his brethren, J. G. Govan, Etc.; and God raised up William Irvine and Edward Cooney for Ireland; and there was a great redemption of fallen humanity. In Wales also, God was at work and raised up Evan Roberts. Though the revival manifestations under the labours of each of these Evangelist varied as much as the seasons, it only fulfilled the Scripture: “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but the same God which worketh, all in all,” 1 Cor 12:4 to 6.
Evan Roberts was a young man from South Wales. He adapted a peculiar method of leaving his meetings open for the Spirit of God to move men and women to prayer, praise and testimony, and decision for Christ. Had all England, as well as Wales, done this, it might have resulted in an English revival, as well. Church rules are a great hindrance to revivals when they become formal and stereotyped. At midnight hours we were awakened by bands of men and women returning home from meetings, singing hymns in Welsh and English. I tell you that if these should hold their peace, “the stones would immediately cry out,” Luke 19:40. Nearly every place of worship was left open every night, and filled with people; the clergy sat still and let the Spirit of God work. Friends were weeping over their loved ones returning from the error of their way.
Evan Roberts was not the only instrument; many Baptists pastors and Methodist ministers took an active part and helped to Shepherd the flock; and many disciples were baptized in rivers by immersion, without any opposition to the ordinance. It would have been better for our visit to Wales during normal times; there was not much interest in strangers; however, it was an experience not to be forgotten; and we saw the grace of God and was glad when He was glorified.
We got a mission in a Baptist Church; and had some good meetings on the Street. A publican hired a barrel organist to drown our voice by his organ; and as soon as we began to preach, he began to play; there is nothing makes manifest the servants of Satan as much as Street preaching; in some way interruption will come, and unclean Spirits cry out; yet they are restrained by an overshadowing presence of the invisible God. God raised up an Englishman, a Brother Williams, a lighthouse keeper, to receive us into his house, and help us financially; he is still alive and writes to me once a year. (1940; Died in 1945)
FEBRUARY, 1905: We left Holy Head, and went to Bangor in Wales and found that the revival scenes were at their highest enthusiasm in that town. We had a short mission in a School Room, notwithstanding all the aggression; the truth as it is in Jesus in the practical sense seemed to be not popular. No one ministered to our necessities in that town, and the few shillings we had in our pocket ran out. I was sick with an influenza cold, but the Lord healed me. I purposed to take a walking tour out of Wales to St. Helens in England; and act according to Matthew Ten “And unto whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence,” Matt. 10:11. The day we left Bangor, my text turned up to be, “For by me shall thy days be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.” Pro. 9:11.
About the same time in the town of Warrington, Lancashire, an assembly of Christians who met in Academy Street Chapel, called the Free Gospel Assembly; owned and worked by a Godly family of Twiss, of which, at that time, there were three Brothers, who were Elders in the church, William, Edward, and Joseph. They were Armenians in doctrine, of a Primitive Methodist type; whose ancestors received John Wesley when he preached in Warrington. Besides their occupation as house builders, they spent much spare time and expense to spread the Gospel message. On hearing of the Welsh Revival, they began praying for a visitation in Warrington; one of the Brothers named Joseph Twiss, said if the Lord sends Evangelists along, are we prepared to receive them? Thus God prepared that assembly to receive whomsoever he should send.
The trials and experiences of that walking tour cannot be easily forgotten; and although not pleasant to the flesh, were an opportunity to prove the promises; and a test to the people on the way. We were humble and homeless strangers; with no place to lay our heads. Bread and water on occasions were sweet to our taste; unsympathetic people tried our patience. In order to recover ourselves out of the difficulties, we were willing to work and preach; we searched for the same, and even offered ourselves to a farmer in the field, but could find none. The unemployed question was so great in England at that time, work was not easily got even to those who were willing to do it. At any rate, it was not our calling, for God had something better in store for us; not only that of national importance; but that of eternal importance, namely the Regeneration of souls. After ten days we arrived in Warrington on that memorable night 23rd of February, 1905 where God delivered us.
Christians had not been so taught in the word of truth as to entertain strangers; for if they had got the teaching on the practical side, they would be more ready to receive those whom He has sent. We tried the Brethren, and they failed; we tried the Primitive Methodist and they failed; at length, a Latter-Day saint received us into his house, gave us a cup of tea, and we expounded out of the Scriptures justification by faith in the precious Blood of Jesus, as we continued our search for a worthy house and an opening where we could preach Christ’s gospel. We were directed to Academy Street Chapel. On arriving there we found them about to have a prayer meeting, and ready to receive us as angels sent from God. The day before we arrived in Warrington, we knew that deliverance was near at hand because of that Scripture given to us, “Now therefore, ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God,” Eph. 2:19. The Brethren that read in the meeting happened to read the same Scripture. They asked me to speak; and after I was done, William Twiss announced for Special meetings from next night onward.
1. He went about from place to place,
He had no settled home.
He lodged on boats or on the hills,
Where He chanced to roam.
Should Christ our friend be ere forgot,
And never brought to mind,
We’ll sing his loving kindness yet,
As in days of Auld Langs Syne.
2. The foxes had their hiding place,
And man his nightly bed,
But Jesus had not any where
To lay his weary head.
3. A stranger and a homeless one,
While here on earth He trod.
In very deed the Son of man,
And yet the Son of God.
4. Upon the cross he bled and died,
And suffered in our stead
For us He shed His precious Blood,
For us He bowed His Head.
5. Then let us follow in His steps
And run the heavenly race
Looking to Jesus Christ our Lord,
Until we see His face.
MARCH, 1905: In that Chapel we had nine weeks of a mission; many persons decided for Christ; others got restored, stirred up and blessed. The meetings were well attended, persons came from all parts of the town and from every sect. We can never forget the warm Christian fellowship; and the active part that the three Brothers; of the Wrights, Fred, Arthur and Albert, took in the meetings; also Brothers Thomas Hewitt, Eli James and Storcy. We felt the presence of God was very manifest, the ministry of prayer, praise and preaching was glorious; there was a shout of triumph, and a ring of praise which was magnificent. Those were days of refreshing never to be forgotten. Besides the revival meetings we had some Street Preaching and house to house visitation and tract distribution.
Except on the doctrine of Believers immersion alone, they were receptive of all the truth that we believed. Brother William [Twiss]could not see his way in changing his mind regarding infant sprinkling. Where he saw otherwise, I did not think it to be the will of God to guess the conscience or make it a bar to fellowship at a time when God’s Spirit was at work. As an unsectarian Evangelist, I often found myself in such a position…that the four laws observed by Paul had to be carried out, if by any means I might save some; and some were saved in that Chapel. The law of expediency, 1 Cor. 6:12. The law of profitableness, Acts 20:20; the law of charity, 1 Cor. 14:1. The law of liberty of conscience on minor points, Rom. 14 Chap.
At the close of that mission, the Brethren sent us away after a Godly sort with a new suit of clothes each; and the present of a bicycle. From that time, I always had an open door to preach the gospel in England. Although crowds of people in England are given to frivolity and pleasures; yet everywhere there are a Godly remnant who fear the Lord, and eschew evil; and are given to prayer, praise and preaching; and there are a great host of local preachers and Evangelists and Sunday School teachers: Praise the Lord.
MAY, 1905: About that time Irvine sent on two Sisters, who had some meetings in Warrington; followed by a mission in a country district near Rainow with good results and blessing. About the same time, Edward Twiss, Samuel Jones and I had a mission in Weaste near Manchester. The field was not so ripe for a harvest as was Warrington; yet we had some decisions for Christ; and did a good deal of tract distribution and house to house visitations.
It has been my privilege to address many mothers’ meetings in England; their plain simple manner of meeting in the afternoon, for prayer, praise and reading the word of God has been a means of grace and blessing to many who through family duties cannot avail themselves of night meetings; and they are always open for a Brother to address them, Heb. 16:3.
JUNE, 1905: After that, we went to Rainow, where Andrew Robb joined us. The sisters left to cross to Belfast, and we continued the meetings in a farmer’s house named Harry Dale. The meetings were well attended, and God blessed the word. At the close of the mission, we had the privilege of preaching at an annual field meeting held in the district for years by the Twisses; God blessed us with a very fine day.
For fifteen weeks we abounded in the work of the Lord. Ever on Faith Lines, our hands were weak when we have no money. A little money coming in enables us to be kind tot he poor and to give gifts of literature, Etc. and both creates an interest in the Lord’s work; and there are no persons in the world can make better use of it than those who are living for others and not for themselves. Some persons only give to Faith Lines because we are in need; others withhold because we abound.
From Rainow, I cycled to Liverpool, and crossed to Wexford, and spent a few days with my sister Maria Long, who lived in Clemore Glege, Bree, near Enniscorthy. From there I cycled home to Cloughjordan to see my mother; and from there to Belfast, to the annual convention held in a yard, Ledbetter Street. Many a long journey I went by cycling and foot in order to live cheap and abound, more in the work of the Lord; yet they helped to open up the way for personal talks, and occasionally to preach also. They were good for health; after spending so much time in towns and slums, preaching the gospel, and there is no one sees so much of the beauties of nature as an intinerant Evangelist.
JULY, 1905: That convention was a hard one with rather serious issues arising from a statement made by one of the workers. Joseph Kerr, one of the most gifted and talented of the workers got a very prominent place by William Irvine; rather too much so for a novice. He attended a conference, in the Bridge of Allan in Scotland; and he was so disgusted with the way the Clergy preached; that he come to the conclusion that there are no clergymen saved. Without any charitable consideration of the conscience or opinion of others, he preached it at that convention. Irvine defended him, but Edward Cooney opposed him and tried to prove that John Wesley was a born again man.
At that convention, William Irvine the recognized leader of the Go-Preacher mission, was unduly severe on me; partly arising from the fact of me trying to correct extremes; and partly taking the advantage of me not preaching Believers Baptism in the Warrington tent mission (Now although I was hindered of preaching it at that mission; yet I did not deny the fact that we believed in it). Also I felt that he had no right to take from me the liberty of being led by the Spirit of God how to act and preach under difficult circumstances. Only for that Scripture I would have then left the fellowship. “If the Spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not the thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.” Ecc. 10:4
The unwillingness of Clergymen to conform themselves to the pattern as seen in Jesus is very manifest; and the neglect of faithfulness to their calling and office is to be greatly deplored; and a true and faithful witness who tells them the truth in love is to be admired, but to say that there are none of them born again is not true; and limits the power and grace of God to regenerate whomsoever he will. Then again regeneration is a thing of the heart and cannot be always measured by external appearance, dress, salary or education. The Salvation of the Soul is by grace through faith to every one that repents and believes in Christ Jesus; and the experience, testimony and fruits of any clergymen bear witness to the indwelling of the Spirit of Christ. Up to that time they all believed that; nevertheless, Kerr’s new doctrine introduced somewhat of what seemed to be absurd and that the honest hearted could not believe without a violation of conscience and which hindered a true witness against error and wrong; and injured their own testimony.
They blamed me for not separating my converts; but it was unreasonable to expect Evangelists to go on fresh ground among the various sects and get people saved, baptized and separated, etc. Such might be accomplished in China, or Africa, but to accomplish all that among people with a form of church organization already was impossible. And no matter what fruit or success attended my missions, they would give no credit unless converts were separated from their respective places of worship.
In many ways the Go Preachers' Testimony excelled all others; therefore it appealed to lovers of truth. In sacrifice, plainness of dress, self-denial, hospitality and good works, it was ahead of all other missions in the world; and it was to be lamented that such a Testimony should spoil its good by believing an untruth, rather finatic (sic) to think about.
Edward Cooney gave some very sensible and practical addresses at that convention; he was a wholehearted man who was out and out for Christ; he spoke at times with great power, liberty and authority; he was judicious, Scriptural and explicit; he was a good Scholar, and a great poet; only his poetry was tinged with dogma; yet he’s made some very useful pieces, such as:
Live the way I lived was what Jesus said,
To the men who went forth then
Tramp about and preach
Saints will give you bread
This you’ll find described in Matthew Ten.
Jesus got his food just here and there,
As he tramped and preached the word
Martha was willing with Him to share
All that God hath set upon her board. [meaning "table"]
AUGUST, 1905: I left that convention in great humility; yet feeling in my soul that The Testimony, unless purged, was fast running into extremes and exclusiveness; hurtful and dangerous. William Mcllwrath and I went to New Mills in Derbyshire; and held a mission in the Barracka Hall given to us by an aged patriarchial man, who was healed through the laying on of hands and prayer. We had some lively Street Preaching; and taught the people from house to house.
After that we went to Whaley Bridge and had a short mission in the Christian church; there also we had some Street Preaching and house to house visitation. About that time, we were hard put to it financially; being constantly in lodging; yet God raised up Brother Ash, the elder in that church to help us; He always works in an unexpected way.
SEPTEMBER, 1905: Our next mission was in a Methodist Church, Macelesfield, given to us by a Brother Sinnett; whom God raised up to finance us while in that town; where we spent six weeks in hard faithful labour both inside and on the Street, and from house to house. Before we had that mission finished; the Methodist Minister ordered us to be put out; so we hired an empty house, borrowed some seats, and had some good meetings. A blind Sister got much blessing at the meetings and gave us gifts of money.
NOVEMBER, 1905: Our next mission was in the Railway carriages, Edgeley, Stockport; where we did a lot of house to house visitation. In all our sessions of visiting we spoke to the people at their doorsteps about their souls salvation; its marvelous how few people ask Evangelists into their homes; and there is no warrant in Scripture to prove that they should not; except any come denying that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, 2 John 10. Every home should take heed to receive whomsoever Christ sends, Matt. 10:14. But every home should judge the message and try the spirits, 1 John 4:1. Nearly all Evangelical missions and churches in the world believe in reading and praying and singing in the homes of the people; and inmates debar themselves of blessing and reward when either through the spirit of the world; or religious bigotry they neglect to receive the servant of the Lord. While in Stockport we baptized Alexander Shaw by immersion at his own request. While there also I read the Apocrypha books of the old Testament. They are good to read for example of life and instructions of manners; but not to establish any doctrine. During the five weeks we spent in that town, we lived in an unoccupied house, did our own cooking and entertained strangers.
Faith Lines means work lines; but the labourer is worthy of his hire, 1 Tim. 5:18. Faith Lines means cross lines; for it is not popular to be living by the kindness of the people. Faith Lines means suffering lines among people who are not practical and kindly disposed; and in slum and poor districts its expecting something from the preacher they are, and not giving something to his maintenance; therefore, it is a good thing to be able to abound at times and in divers places, for Jesus fed their bodies as well as their souls.
DECEMBER, 1905: After that we went to Ashton under Lyne, where we had a mission in Germyn Street, working men’s mission. J.B. Sharpley and his son, Peter Sharpley, were businessmen who gave a tenth of their income to the Lord’s work, according to Jacob. “And of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto the thee.” (Gen 28:22) Among those who helped me financially, they did more for me than any other English friends. About that time William Macclewrath [Mcllwrath] left me to go to America and Fred Aulder joined me. All through that year I felt in my heart that the Go Preachers’ Testimony was running fast into exclusiveness and extremes that I could never accept as right; also hurtful to themselves and the cause of God.
JANUARY, 1906: That year of grace, 1906, was a record one regarding the amount of Street preaching; owing to the lack of inside places to mission in; the fruits and results of which it is not possible to ascertain. We continued in the district of Ashton Under Lyne, and Dukinfield for three months; and had a mission in the Working Men’s Mission, Hill Street, Dukinfield where we came in contact with some warmhearted and zealous Christians. During that three months I spoke out with authority against concerts, and extreme of dress, wearing of gold, and worldiness, and the Word prevailed and had real and lasting results. While in that district, we had some Street preaching, meetings in Hospitals and lodging houses.
FEBRUARY, 1906: Our next mission was in the Old Cross, Ashton under Lyne; where some received the strong meat with gladness; and others resented my preaching against wearing of gold. While there and in that district, I baptized by immersion many disciples, nearly all of them remained members of their places of worship; nevertheless the act of obedience was good; and the truth as it is in Jesus had its effect; and we made real and lasting friends. Our mission campaigns in England might have been more abundantly fruitful if the people would come in to hear for themselves; or open their places for Evangelists; but alas, the crowds went to the Picture Palaces, Hyperdromes, Concert Halls and theaters, etc. and emptied the churches and Mission halls.
Our next mission was in the Bethesda Hall, Katherine Street, a mission conducted by a Sister Hughes, a Godly Deaconess, a person who has constant visions of Jesus and angels. While there, I dedicated the infant of Sister Frunkfield, which back in the Old and New Testament is sanctioned by precept and example, 1 Sam. 1:24-28; Luke 2:28; Matt.19:13-15.
MARCH, 1906: During that month we spent a week in Oldham, a week
in Rochdale, a week in Bury; also a week in Whitefield; mostly at Street
preaching; but while in Rochdale we had some meetings in the Chapel to
the destitute; and also we had some meetings in the Iron Hall, Whitegate.
Perhaps at that time, we may have raised the standard too high for the
people; and made the way too narrow; nevertheless I took good heed not
to go beyond the Bible; but how very few are willing to take up the cross
and suffer for the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
APRIL, 1906: During the month, Fred Aulder and I cycled from Macelesfield to his home in Berkshire in two days, a journey of 175 miles; after spending one week preaching in country homes, we returned to Macelesfield, where we had three weeks Street preaching. About that time, an earthquake took place in San Francisco, California, just after William Irvine arrived there; when at five o’clock in the morning he was shaken out of his bed with the words on his lips, “Lord Jesus, save me. I perish.” The Lord did save him and preserved his life.
MAY, 1906: Leaving Macelesfield, we went to Bolington, where we had one weeks Street Preaching. It was a hard time, for no one communicated with us in Christian fellowship; no one ministered to our temporal needs. Leaving England, we crossed to Dublin, and cycled to Rathmolyon, where we spent a few days admonishing the saints; and helping them at their meetings.
JUNE, 1906: Next in order, we cycled to Cloughjordan, where we had some good meetings in the home of Sister Corcoran, Licedona. Also in Finnoe, Willsborough, Lorrha, Etc. Then we left Tipperary and cycled to Belfast for the annual conference in Ledbetter Street.
(JULY, 1906:) The convention that year was somewhat moderate in its tone. At times William Irvine spoke very extreme and extraordinary language; but at times humbled himself before God and man.
At that time Edward Cooney arranged to meet J. G. Govan, the leader of the Faith Mission, to discourse doctrinal points with him. Both Gentlemen were so convinced of each others sincerity and self-denial that they were afraid to speak about each other in public. At that time Edward Cooney emphasized re-baptism into their fellowship; which was the beginning of refusing fellowship with Christians of all other denominations; and raising a sectarian barrier which made their fellowship exclusive and sectarian; that I could not receive without a struggle.
Believers have no authority for repeating baptism; unless they are first convinced that the former was not a Scriptural one. See Acts 19:3 to 5. Baptism is not into the name of a man; or sect; but into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Matt. 28:19, 21; 1 Cor. 1:12 to 17. “One Lord, one faith, one baptism,” Eph. 4:5.
Generally speaking, the doctrine of the Go Preachers was orthodox purged from ritualism, and worldly pleasures; it was said that they did not believe in the Atonement, but that was not true, as was manifest in their belief and obedience in the Lord’s supper. And to prove this, I will set forth the first verse of some Hymns sung at their conventions:
When the road we tread is rough; let us bear in mind,
In our Saviour strength enough let us always find,
Though the fighting may be tough, let it always be
Go on, go on, to victory.
Besides returning thanks at meals by prayer; the following alternative was often sung
We thank thee Heavenly Father for our daily bread,
Glory to God Hallelujah!
Seek the Kingdom, I will add it, were the words Christ said,
Glory to God, Hallelujah!
For the Children of the Lord, have a right to shout and sing
Glory to God Hallelujah!
He will never fail us while we own Him Lord and King
Glory to God Hallelujah!
Their hymnbook was a selection of ancient and modern hymns that set forth the responsibility of man, repentance faith, regeneration, testimony, full surrender, fellowship and service. Also, it contains that well known hymn:
Lord, through the Blood of the Lamb that was slain,
Cleansing for me, cleansing for me.
From all the guilt of my sins now I claim,
Cleansing for me, cleansing for me.
An attempt was made to conduct open air missions together with the conventional meetings, but they were too much, and did not work so well together. At that convention, I suffered intensely from neuralgia and tooth aches, and William Irvine made me go to a Dentist and get all the old stumps extracted; and from that time I never suffered from teeth aches since. In many ways Irvine was a compassionate and kind man, even though severe at times. He took up the most faithful worker and thrashed him before the rest for an example; and that accounted for his severity to me.
AUGUST, 1906: After the convention, John Lyston and I crossed to England, and had two weeks Street preaching in Altringham and one week in Nutsford. In both these places we had large crowds and spoke the Word with authority; witnessing against all sorts of sin and error; and defending truth and holiness. Our wallet was scanty, our faith taxed to the uttermost; yet we were never hungry or lacking a meal; for God raised up kind friends to consider our temporal needs; and occasionally to slip into our hands two shillings or half a crown.
SEPTEMBER, 1906: About that time we removed to Newcastle Under Lyme; and Stoke on Trent, and the Potteries; a great center, but stiff to Evangelize. It was the hottest September I ever remember; many fires were kindled all over the land by the head of the sun. While there we heard General Booth preach; and was favorably impressed with the great zeal and whole heartedness of the aged man, with trumpet, voice and abated countenance. Our Street preaching created no small stir in Newcastle. Lyston’s quaint way, and strong Scotch dialect attracted crowds. An Hotel keeper opposed us, but the Constabulary favoured us.
Lyston was a widower of forty-eight years of age, who had newly given up his occupation as fisherman to go fully in the Lord’s work; he was truly converted, but subject to a bad temper at times. No sooner was he out in the work when he was regretting the step he had taken. By that time of life it would be much better to remain at his lawful occupation and be a witness for Jesus during spare time and on the Sabbath day. If a person is going fully on the Lords work, the call comes and the step should be taken earlier in life; when youth is on the side to bear the hardships of an itinerating life. The Levites began active service at twenty-five, and did minister, but not active service at fifty.
OCTOBER, 1906: We went to Ashton under Lyne, and had two week’s meetings on the Market Place. At that time, the cross was heavy; we were subject to much hardships and criticism; nevertheless, in that district we met with warm fellowship and hospitality shown to us from many persons. God healed Sister Carter, Ashford Baths, of a tumour on the breast in response to prayer.
At that time, I earnestly sought God in prayer for a fresh visitation; spent three hours alone with Him one day, and I got the promise, “Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest,” Isa. 29:17. I took it for granted that the Scripture was fulfilled in the blessed experience of sowing and fellowship we had soon afterwards in Leigh district, Lancashire.
Our next mission was in Whaley Hill, in a Baptist mission. The elder was sick, and the members were as sheep without any shepherd; and needed new milk and discipline. It was a trying mission, yet three youths decided for Christ. It was one of the places where no one ministered to our necessities; nevertheless, the friends in Ashton and Dukinfield supplied their lack of service to us by sending to our support. I might mention a few particular Christians in that district who helped us financially, and received us into their homes: George Taylor, Spiby, Sisters Newtons, Hughes, Langtons, Cromptons, Kenwicks, Carters, Etc.
NOVEMBER, 1906: After that we spent a week in Openshaw looking for an opening but could find none. I walked over to Weaste and took the mothers’ meetings on Monday afternoon for Sister Preston, a converted Solicitor’s wife. For many years while cycling to and fro, I got the opportunity of addressing that mothers’ meeting; and the kind and humble lady in charge always gave it over into the hands of a Brother when present; thus recognizing the Spiritual order of respect to the man.
Leaving Manchester, we went to Bolton. In Bolton there then existed an assembly of believers who had heard of the Go Preachers and welcomed us and The Truth as it is in Jesus. The elders of the Bethel mission, Brothers Evans and Archier and Martin, men of God who aimed at a church according to the model in the Acts of the Apostles, received us with gladness. In the Bethel we had a week’s mission; and baptized three disciples. We also had some stirring meetings at the Custome house steps.
Our next move was to West Haughton, where we had a week’s mission in an untenanted house that we hired for the occasion; the meetings we well attended, but much disturbed because of wild young men who interrupted for sport. After we left the town, the hand of the Lord was heavy upon the man of the place; by sickness and accident.
DECEMBER, 1906: Leaving West Haughton, we had a week’s mission in a home in Farnworth. About that time John Lyston left me and went home to Edinburgh; and I returned again to Bolton, where I had a mission in a Mission Room in Shaw Street. About Christmas time, God raised me up very kind and warm Christian fellowship. The family of the Prestons, St. Helens Road, Keswick people, received me into their home, and showed me no small kindness by the way. Perhaps we do not value as we should the kindness and hospitality shown to us because we belong to Christ People with their business to contend with are on Faith Lines too, and shall share the same reward. “As his part is that goeth down to the battle; so shall his part be that tarrieth by the stuff. They shall part alike,” 1 Sam. 30:24.
JANUARY, 1907: That year of grace was a record one regarding the extraordinary sessions of house to house visitation and personal conversations. Paul taught the people “publickly and from house to house,” Acts 20:20. House to house visitation consisted of two sorts. 1st: Direct visits to homes accessible where they receive inside so as to read the Scriptures and pray with the inmates 2nd: Calling at the doors and speaking to persons about their souls salvation also giving them pure gospel tracts, periodicals and pamphlets and inviting them to come to meetings. In England I have done an enormous amount of the latter.
Leaving Bolton, I cycled to Halifax in Yorkshire, where I spent a week in prayer and looking for an opening. During three weeks spent in Yorkshire doing pioneer work, I was constantly hearing that beautiful hymn of P.P. Bliss sung at meetings, and I thought that God had a message for me in it.
I know not what awaits me:
God kindly veils mine eyes.
And ‘er each step of my onward way,
He makes new scenes to rise:
And ever joy he sends me comes
A sweet and glad surprise.
Where He may lead He follows,
My trust in Him repose;
And every hour in perfect peace
I’ll sing, He knows! He Knows!
As I look back on the many years that has passed by since and thought of trials, joys, and experiences. How truly these lines express the future.
Failing to get an inside opening in Halifax, I went to Leeds, where I spent a week in Street preaching, and continued praying for three hours every day. On the Lord’s Day, I went to the Brethren, but they refused to let me keep the feast of remembering the Lord’s death. I have already proved that they cannot boast in a perfect Scriptural assembly, to the exclusion of all others; and why they should take up that attitude towards strangers--there is no Scriptural warrant, no Brotherly love. I have always found that the people afraid of error are keen opposers of some Scriptural truth themselves; and it is not a hearty sign. It is the Lord’s table; and the Lord’s people has a right to be at it; refusing fellowship with us is all right, but refusing fellowship with the Lord’s people is all wrong; however, all assemblies of Brethren are not the same; there are some open and practical and spiritual, as will be shown in other parts of this book. Seeing that the Lord’s supper was instituted on the last Passover night before the crucifixion and was designed to serve the very same purpose, namely a remembrance of Redemption; the instruction concerning strangers regarding the keeping of the Passover holds regarding the Lord’s Supper, and agrees with Rom. 14:1; 3 John 7, 10; and other Scriptures. “And if a stranger shall sojourn among you and will keep the Passover unto the Lord; according to the ordinance of the Passover, and according to the manner thereof, so shall he do; ye shall have one ordinance both for the stranger and for him that is born in the land,” Num. 9:14.
Failing to get an inside opening in Leeds, I removed to Huddersfield, where I spent a week Street preaching on the Monument steps to crowds of people interested in the word of truth, preached so strongly on the open air. A Methodist Minister advised his congregation to go and hear the man on the street; and warned them not to say any thing against me, for what I was saying is true. My money ran out to six pence, so I left Huddersfield and cycled across the hills to Dukinfield, on a snowy day, and found refuge in a widows home, Rubenia Langton, where I spent a week doing some carpentry work, also helping at the Mission Hill Street. I called to see Brother Spiby, Ashton, and found him counting his money, and he handed me seventeen shillings and six pence; it fitted me for a fresh start.
FEBRUARY, 1907: I walked into Hyde, looking for a Mission, but the Spirit suffered me not to abide there. Returning again to Dukinfield and the sweet unction of the anointing I purposed to visit the whole town, going from house to house, asking them if they were converted? It was a good time, and none but God knows the amount of conviction and impression left which took courage, tact and zeal to perform. After that work in that town, I spent six weeks together with tract distribution and helping at the Working Men’s Mission Hill Street; also helping at Germyim Street Mission, Ashton.
APRIL, 1907: Leaving Dukinfield, I went to Oldham, and had a mission in the Working Men’s Mission, Hollingwood. While there, I continued the extraordinary session of house to house visitation with equal conviction and results. In that place, I spoke in strong language against concerts and worldly pleasures introduced into the house of prayer; which was very common in England.
A man in that mission, a local preacher, who took offence at the pleasures introduced to please the young, left them and went into Spiritism, and became a spiritistice medium. It’s a pity when he left that he did not make for some better assembly, but the worst. I tried to rescue him, but did not succeed; so you see how possible it is to preach, and fall into dangerous sin and error. King Saul lost his life because he sought unto a witch and departed from the Lord, 1 Chron. 10:13-14.
MAY , 1907: Leaving Oldham, I went to Leigh, where I spent seven weeks doing house to house visitation, distributing gospel literature, also preaching on the Market Square and in lodging houses, workhouses, School Rooms, and Methodist chapels, Etc. While there I met with John Goodall, a Godly elder that fears God, and all his house, and devotes all his spare time, talents, and money to the propligation (sic) of the Gospel. He gave me many thousands of books, tracts, pamphlets, texts, periodicals, Testaments, Etc.
While there also, I met with Charles Winterburn, a draper, also a Methodist local preacher; he was a man who ran his shop on Faith Lines, trusting God to send in as many customers as supported him and his wife; and enabled them to abound in the work of the Lord. While there also, I met with George Brochs, a converted railway signal man, who helped me in my house to house visitation. Soon after that, he gave up his situation and went on the Manchester City Mission. While there also, I met with James Shields, an Evangelist connected with the English Evangelisation Society; he pitched his tent in Leigh, and we turned out and helped him, and some souls decided for Christ.
JUNE, 1907: Leaving Leigh, I went to Ashton Under Lyne, where
I baptized a few believers; then I crossed to Dublin, and cycled back to
Cloughjordan; and had a week’s meetings in our own home, Burntwood.
Now I come to the saddest events and most painful, trying and unexpected that I met with during my life’s experience; namely having to leave the Go Preacher fellowship; which God used me so much in, FROM ITS BEGINNING, ten years ago.
Men raised up of God to do a special work such as John, ran often into zeal and extremes in fulfilling their mission; and God uses extraordinary men and effort to deliver souls, and to reap the harvest. He used Martin Luther with an iron will to fight the battle of the reformation; also he used George Fox to fight ritualism; but in doing so he swung the pendulum to the opposite extreme of rejecting the ordinances. I have no doubt that God used William Irvine to witness against clericalism; but in doing so he ran into the opposite, in going beyond truth when he preached that every clergyman is a false prophet and unsaved. Because I tried to correct him, and did not accept all he said as truth, I became unpopular among the workers. He remained that year in the British Isles, and every where he went he preached that the clergy were unsaved men going to Hell. He believed that it would be iniquity to believe a thing and not preach it; or to preach it in one place and not in another; that only made him the more faithful in his error; and the less open to take correction from any well wishing servant of the Lord.
All who were in the Go-Preacher fellowship, and came under its teaching knew that there was much in its external obedience to the word that was superior to all other movements in the world; therefore, it appealed to those who received the truth with pleasure; nevertheless, in the internal and Spiritual aspects of truth, there may have been others superior to them. Being taken up so much with the external and legal side of truth, I believe about that time, they neglected the internal and Spiritual. It’s very remarkable that at that time, or one year sooner, originated another movement in Los Angeles, America, who emphasized the Spiritual side. God does raise up one movement to supply the lack and correct the errors of another.
The Lord says, “In measure when it shooteth forth, thou wilt debate with it: he stayeth his rough wind in the day of the east wind,” Isa. 27:8. The definite article [“the”] used in such a narrow way as The truth, The way, The Testimony, Etc. unto the exclusion of all other sects and missions outside their own became at that time very common. They “unChristianized” all Christians outside themselves; and refused fellowship with them, and I could not go that length conscientiously; and indeed the instructions of Christ, given in Matthew Ten to His Apostles appears to be so contrary to that belief and spirit that it must have been blindness on the part of Irvine and Cooney not to have seen it; but he knew well enough they had got into a trap, as was manifest from one address at the convention in which he said it was good to err on the opposite side of the world. Measuring regeneration by the life of Christ and not by the Atonement; by the external conformity and not by an internal experience was one of the causes of the error.
When I went to the south of Ireland before the July convention, I was surprised to find most of the Go-Preacher fellowship against me; and it was heart-rending to find oneself rejected, despised, and betrayed by many of my own friends and countrymen; who set the report going that I was disloyal to William Irvine; that report went up like a whirlwind to the convention held at Crocknacrieve, Ballinamallard, near Enniskillen, in the domain of John West. Among my friends at Cloughjordan was one Goodhand Pattison, a man who meant well; he tried to expostulate with me, to be careful, as it would not be for the better if William Irvine and I separated, we being the two instruments used of God at the origin of that movement.
JULY, 1907: At that time, there would be upwards of 500 Go-Preacher Evangelists, including Brothers and Sisters, out fully in the work. They had already laboured in the British Isles, the United States, Nova Scotia, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa. Converts and workers, including coloured people, were present at that convention. From time to time, Roman Catholics were converted and odd ones went out on the work. Truth was maintained and prayer, praise and preaching were ministered as on former occasion with heavy debates.
William Irvine asked me to speak at one of the meetings, with the planned object of denouncing me before the audience because I believed that there were clergymen born again. The denunciations were so strong it was unbearable for a man of principle and conscience to take it, without demanding from him his authority and justice in doing so When I did, he said that they would have a meeting for me to prove to them that John Wesley was a saved man; and that there are saved clergymen. I was cut to the heart. I sought comforters but found none. I had to wander out and in alone; nevertheless, when earthly comforters failed the Comfort of the Holy Spirit was very real in my soul; and I felt that the Lord Jesus, whow as my Advocate with the Father was pleading for me at the right hand of God.
Had I known that my time was drawing near leaving the fellowship and separation was so near, I would have made a stronger defensive address and protest against error; but knowing how God used William Irvine in the past; and that I had got much blessing through his testimony in my own life and work, it made me more lenial and forbearing towards him than I otherwise would; however, it may be that God preserved me to that hour to witness against an extreme scarcely equaled in the annals of the history of the Christian Church.; and not be so lenient with them; but that arose from past experience and fellowship.
My defensive address was short, but to the point. I warned against strange fire, and believing an untruth. I showed how, through faith in the Lord Jesus, John Wesley received the witness of the Spirit in his soul; also when it went to works, we all come short of the labours of that Godly man. none of them yet was as self denial as he was; I also added that I was not opposed to a true witness against wrong, but a false one. I was seconded by Goodhand Pattison of/from Cloughjordan/but the whole conference stood up to express their belief that there was no clergyman born again; then William Irvine said, "See the majority is against you, John." Then he denounced me again with two untrue accusations. One that I never got on well with any worker (no doubt taking advantage of the rupture between me and John Reyston). The other that I lived for years on his testimony. Unto these I said but little and let the thing pass by. But if God used him to open up my way in Scotland; God used me to open up his way in Ireland; and during the ten years since the revival began with very little exception, I was in lodgings; and hard put to it at times and received very little financial help from him. I was too quiet for William Irvine, and he was a warrior and an able conversationalist.
Then Irvine tested the meeting and asked all those who believe that there are clergymen born again? And there were only two stood up, namely Pattison and I. Then he asked all those who believe that there never was or never could be a clergyman born again to stand up, and every one of them stood up, except two, and there were fully 200 people present. Then Irvine warned me not to visit any saint’s house, but to go on fresh ground for myself, and if I came back after twelve months believing that clergymen were saved, they would look upon me as being unsaved too; that cut the last thread of my fellowship with them, so I left in tears.
Many years have passed away; and time did much to correct extremes; yet I cannot say that the Go-Preacher mission from that time ever did the same soul saving work that characterized the original years of the work. They still exist in an exclusive manner and are more careful in preaching, and modified in their tone. Of the wrong done to me at that time, there has been not public confession or acknowledgement; it severed me from some of my near relatives; and robbed me of my privilege, namely the right of fellowship in the mission I helped to start.
Many persons thought that when I left the Go-Preachers, I would give up the work; or give up portions of the truth; but praise the Lord, all that I held then which was scripturally right, I still hold fast; and this year of grace 1923 finds me still preaching the Gospel, and fully in the Lord’s work and a Go-Preacher, though not in fellowship with them (Nov. , 1941).
1. The Bible’s my guide, for it’s God’s precious Word,
Revealing the will of my Saviour and Lord.
No truth it contains should we ever withhold,
But publish it far with a zeal that is bold.
2. The world is my parish, I’ll preach through it all,
And tell of our Saviour who saves from the fall
The Jew and the Gentile, the rich and the poor,
There’s pardon in Jesus for them to be sure.
3. The people may wonder at such a campaign
And raise opposition that causeth much pain,
But sinners repenting and trusting the Blood,
Shall find full salvation and peace with the Lord.
AUGUST, 1907: I never undervalued or denied the blessing and help that William Irvine’s testimony was to me; and it was a great pity for me to have to leave them; yet because of the exclusiveness and error they went into, it was a great liberation as well; also I had more access to the different sects with the gospel; and more money to abound as well. God saved me from exclusiveness that would debar usefulness and ever since I claim the right of having fellowship with every member of the body of Christ; and preaching the gospel to every creature, entering every open door.
After that, I returned to England and went to Wigan, where I spent one month doing house to house visitation, personal conversation, Street preaching and tract distribution. John Goodall helped me with the gifts of literature and money and sympathy as well. The Open Brethren let me have a week’s meetings where we baptized three disciples; also they let me break bread with them; and helped me on my journey after a Godly sort. An amusing incident happened in Wigan. I took out a parcel of Travellers Guides, to give away on the street; a big crowd gathered around me, so as that they would trample upon one another if I attempted to give them away; an I could not get rid of the crowd; even by the aid of a policeman I could not keep them still; a tram was passing, I jumped into it and went a mile outside the town and escaped the crowd.
SEPTEMBER, 1907: Leaving England I went to Scotland, where I had two months meetings in the wooden hall, Haggs. In the West Port Hall, Kilsyth, I found them praying for a revival; they had heard a good report of the Latter Rain outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Los Angeles, and Sunderland; with the restoration of the Pentecostal gifts of tongues and interpretation of tongues. “These signs shall follow them that believe, Etc.” Mark 16:17. In less than twelve months they were visited with an extraordinary outpouring; if every assembly would pray and believe God would revive His work; for how can Brethren, who say “it’s not for this age” expect God to do a new thing; and “the greater works” that he hath promised to them that believe, John 14:12. One great proof that visitation and manifestation was of God, is that it was sent in answer to earnest united prayer.
Many valuable books were sent to me for free distribution by my kind friend John Goodall; such as The Travellers Guide, Plain Truths for the people, Forgiveness, Live and Glory; and the Shadow and Substance, Cennick's Sermons, Etc. The tracts and pamphlets and booklets circulated by me from time to time; were by the very best authors; and from the best publisher in the world; all orthodox; mostly on the theme of Salvation, Sanctification, healing, Apostles’ doctrine and fellowship.
While in that district, besides nightly meetings, I did a lot of house to house visitation and distributed much literature; it was a hard time, with little visible results.
While there, I baptized three men in the Baptist Church, Banton, and had the fellowship of Robert Gracie Stevenson and others. Also I spoke at a fellowship tea meeting; and had power and liberty. I remember the sweet anointing of the Holy Spirit as I sucked honey out of these words as they rang in my soul.
But thou art coming back Lord,
The time is drawing nigh,
The whole creation groaneth,
And wearily doth sigh.
And we ourselves are waiting
to see the King of earth,
Our pain shall then be ended,
Our sorrow turned to mirth
NOVEMBER, 1907: I went to Carlisle where I did some Street Preaching and gave away much literature. I found the Open Brethren not praying for a revival, but over cautious against error. They would not let me break bread, and thought to hinder another assembly who did; that arose because they found out I was once in fellowship with the Go-Preachers.
We have no right to judge a man,
Until he’s fairly tried.
Should we not like his company,
We know the world is wide.
If the people called the Brethren does not watch, and go in with all the truth that God is restoring; they may become the most difficult in the world to deal with, and the most dishonest with some Bible truth; failing to see that God wants assemblies, as well as individuals to restore the Altar of the Lord which is thrown down. So far as Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper is concerned, every sect of professing Christians (Quakers excepted) believes in them; they may differ in points about the administration of them, and the mode and time, but not the existence and necessity. But when it comes to the Baptism of the Spirit, the Gifts of the Spirit, Divine healing, anointing the sick, laying on of hands, women prophesying, Pastors, Elders, Etc. I find them the most difficult people in the world to deal with; and yet all these truths are taught in the Acts and the Epistles. Someone says they are gathered unto the name of the Lord; certainly, but tell me what other name are all other assemblies gathered unto? Are not all believers who meet together for prayer, praise and preaching; and reading the Scriptures--are they not gathered unto the name; and round the person of the Lord?
DECEMBER, 1907: Leaving Carlisle, I went to Penrith, where I spent six weeks doing Street preaching, and house to house visitation. While there I met with a similar difficulty among the Open Brethren, notwithstanding it all, some of them were kindly disposed to me and helped me with gifts of money. While there John Goodall made me a present of a new bicycle, which did me for nine years. “No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Psa. 84:11.
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