The Journal of John Long III
1918 thru 1921
JANUARY 1918: On Saturday 5th I left Birmingham, and cycled to Leigh in Staffordshire. On Sunday 6th there was special intercession made by order of the King, in behalf of the war. William Bailey and I drove over to Abboth Bromley; where I got preaching twice in a Primitive Methodist Church. I leave myself open to preach the gospel anywhere; and avoid pressing controversial points into essential principals of life and Godliness all Protestant sects are agreed: for all believe in Justification by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who died for our sins and rose again. I preached from that text, "If my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land," 2 Chr. 7:14. After that I visited Dukinfield, Manchester and Warrington, I got taking other meetings, prayer meetings, and Bible classes.
FEBRUARY 1918: A Christian Gentlemen, name Reginold Lunt asked me to do some visiting in Alenley, near Furlsham ____shire; after spending some days in the district going from house to house; I went out to the ____ works, and preached to the men at dinner hour; and it must have been effectual for they made an offering among themselves, a sum of eleven shillings, and sent it unto me. A Deaconess in the Primitive Methodist Church called Ruth Mitchael, the daughter is a Primitive Methodist minister whose parents were dead, happened to be lodging in the same home. Her work was somewhat hindered by having to get up concerts, and socials, for that church; she deeply was feeling her need of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. I was telling her about the Pentecostal blessing poured out upon the saints in Preston; when she remembered that Thomas Myrescough was her Sunday School teacher, when her father was stationed there twenty-two years ago. In getting her address from me, she wrote to him, and he invited her over to Preston, to see and hear for herself when it was convenient. After the lapse of some time she went over to Preston, went to their meetings, and earnestly saught the Baptism, and got it with the gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues. In her return to the Primitive Methodist both the committee, and the Clergyman, cut her off at once from her work and membership. I give this incident in full to show how God delivers, and how clergy in office will not expel the unscriptural converts, etc. and ignore and reject what the church mostly needs the Baptism of the fire and power. John Wesley would not have done that for he often alludes to extraordinary manifestations in his journal and while cautious on the one hand not to believe every Spirit; he was very careful on the other not to reject any experience that was Scriptural; and of God.
MARCH 1918: During that month I visited many of the hospitals in and near Warrington. I got access to six out of nine. A _____ in Numcorn refused to give admittance to one under his authority after I went a journey of seven miles; but I could see he was very clerical and did not believe much in lay work. I had a good time speaking to the wounded soldiers; most of them were under conviction.
After that I had a weeks street preaching in Wigan; in the district where I had a record day in 1907 giving out Travellers Guides; I had a record day at street preaching. Dividing the day into three parts, from ten to twelve; and from two to four, and from five to seven; I stood on different Streets, and altogether had twenty stands. The subjects of my preaching were life and death, heaven and hell, God, eternity, sin, atonement for sin, faith and assurance, The Bible, prayer, conversion, repentance, etc.
After that Caleb Twiss asked me to have a mission in an untenanted house of his, 37 Bostock Street, Ranh Quay, Warrington. About twenty big girls decided for Christ. Flocks of children came and the place was too small for them; so we could only admit those above twelve years of age. About the same time God healed me of an attack of influenza through faith in the atonement. I cycled to Holy Head, and crossed to Kingstown on Friday 28th, 1918. It would be the 43rd sea voyage. I went by train to Belfast to a convention connected with the Elim Mission; at that convention I gave the address to eleven candidates who were baptized by immersion.
APRIL 1918: From that time till September 1919, I came under
the Auspice's of the Elim Mission; though it did not alter my unsectarianism
of Faith in God, and liberty in itinerating; only I got openings among
them and for the time mentioned they were helpful to me and I to them;
and it may have been the will of God for some reasons and _____ of
work mentioned in this Chapter.
The president of the Elim Mission is John Leech, K.C. The director, founder and Pastor is George Jeffreys; both are men of God. There are a band of about twenty Pastors and Evangelists and under their labours there has been many saved; also many baptized with the Holy Ghost.
Pastor Jeffreys, gave me a mission in Hunter Street. For quantity and quality, the city of Belfast is by far the most Gospel town in the British Isles; a grand and magnificent band of Heralds of the Cross stand at the street corners, and the Custom House steps preaching Christ and Him Crucified; and the fruits thereof will be only fully known in eternity.
Only a few times during my life have I ran out of money. During my stay in Belfast George Gillespie put me up free; and this time I purposed to try it and cast in all that I had into the treasury. I had a great objection to wearing of Gold watch guards; and for that reason I wore a leather one which cost one shilling. A friend of mine wrote to me to get him a guard like mine; at the time I got his letter I had not got a copper; so I went into the closet and prayed about it; and that very day a woman gave ma a shilling, and on my way home I saw leather guards selling in a shop marked one shilling so I bought one and sent it to my friend.
MAY 1918: My next mission was Hillbrook, near Larne, in a School Room given to me by the Congregational Minister; and the Episcopal; both of which attended; and his wife played the harmonium for us. The meetings were well attended but I had not as good a reaping time as on the former occasion.
My next mission was in Monaghan, Pentecostal hall; when a Father and son got converted. During that mission I was freely entertained in the home of Brother Bamford, a saved Chemist, who believes in Divine healing for the body; and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit for the soul. Many a time we heard him singing:
The Lord having His way,
The Lord having His way,
Ye must be filled with the Holy Ghost,
And the Lord having His way.
After that I had a weeks mission in the Orange Hall, Connor, where we did much Street preaching; for the people refused to come inside; however the need for a revival in those villages was very great.
After that I had a weeks mission in a School Room, Ballyboley; when I was freely entertained in the home of David Hill. There attended that mission a Brother Logan, who had a daughter bedridden for two years with spinal disease. I talked to her about Divine healing through faith in the atonement; and in twelve months to our surprise she was up, and well and able to walk; but it was the Lord that healed her, and He must be glorified for it.
JANUARY 1919: After attending the conference in Ballymena, in the town hall, with great power, results and blessing; we returned to James Gaults, England where we had a mission in a barn; the meetings were well attended, over 100 at times packed into a barn, nevertheless there came a crowd of half civilized young men, who gave us a hard time of interruption and persecution of a dangerous kind. Stones were thrown on the roof of the barn, Kian Pepper let loose on the inside to disturb: the young men were roudy on the way home. All this was borne patiently by Brother and Sister Gault; who esteemed it a privilege to suffer for the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus. While we were down south, we had four missions in Roman Catholic districts; and they never meddled with us, no not even the Sinn Fieners; while we were peaceable with them they also were peaceable with us. Its time Protestant north awakened to the fact that they as well as southern Ireland has been guilty of hatred and intollerance before God; yea much more because of the Open Bible, and Gospel privileges which their neighbour the Roman Catholics has not. Alas! for Prespyterians who suffered so much persecution in the time of the Reformation and Covenanters, is now become in some districts a persecuting people.
During that mission I let forth the Word of truth with authority; there was some hard hitting, and stiff ploughing for nearly six weeks; some souls decided for Christ; and others in the district being under conviction decided at a mission, which followed ours, in the home of Sister Crawford, Thorn Hill, held by the Brethren for five week. If the clergy had used their influence in our favour; and the Christians prayed unitedly there might have been a general revival in that needy district; however I believed it prepared the way, and sowed the seed for the revival that followed after under the ministery of W. P. Nicholson, in Ballymena in the spring of 1923.
MARCH 1919: That was followed by a mission in Ferniskey, Orange Hall. The persecution still continued, had not some respectable people interfered and stopped it in the bud. Very often when a physical, mental, and sometimes a spiritual relax follows a successful mission. Virtue goes from the instrument, and a rest, and quiet time is required to renew Spirit, soul, and body. For an Evangelist to be expected to do much visiting, or day work or talk during a time like that is unwise and unreasonable; for it uses up the vitality, energy, and strength required for public service.
There lived in Antieur, near Ballymoney; a farmer named John Gault. He had left the Prespyterian Church, and met with the Open Brethren. He came in contact with the Pentecostal people and joined them, owing to him seeking for the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. He had prepared his barn for a mission; and William Campbell, and I went to his house to conduct it. At the same time he took the Flu, and in one week died a victorious death. His friends, who were Presbyterians, made the funeral arrangements, and got the clergy to officiate, in reading the burial service. How much better would it be, if the Gospel was preached at his wake, and at his grave, by the Brethren who ministered unto him, and with whom he associated with during his pilgrimage. I have noticed that unconverted friends usurp authority, and very often get their way in the events of births, deaths, and marriages. While those who live for the Kingdom are often set aside because being peaceable, they will not dispute at such a time as that. The power of priestcraft, clericalism, and custom is tremendous in the north; but will never take the place, or do the work of the Spirit and pure word of God.
APRIL 1919: After that, on hearing that my friend Caleb Twiss was dying, I crossed to Fleetwood; with the intention of visiting him, not knowing that the end was so near, I took a circular tour and visited Preston, Leigh, Manchester, Castleton, and Derby; and returned through Burton on Trent, Leigh in Staffordshire, Middlewitch and Warrington. On arriving I found that Caleb was buried, a few days before. Leaving England, I crossed to Belfast in order to attend the Easter Conference, of the Elim Mission held that year in Hunter Street. At that conference I gave the address at the baptismal service of twenty one persons.
MAY 1919: Our next mission was in Stranokum Orange Hall; where a good work had been done by the Elim Band, in the open air. Sometimes questions are asked in the open air; but nearly always out of curiosity, and not arising from conviction of sin; and it would be just as good not to mind them; but it takes wisdom, tact, zeal, love, and power in open air meetings just as much as in the inside. Two hours is far too long to keep the people standing around a circle; one hour well utilised is long enough; and in that way we can learn many lessons from the Salvation Army. It is wise for the leader not to speak long himself but to keep watch and get the young converts, also any friend who is interested to take part, and speak, sing, or pray.
The question is sometimes asked, Prove from the Scriptures, that the soul of man is immortal? God said concerning man, when he fell, "Dust thou art and unto dust shall thou return" Gen. 3:19. That was spoken of Adam (red earth) his body; but it was not spoken of his Spirit, or soul. See Eccl. 12:7. "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; (mans body to the grave) and the Spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” Then also, the Spirit is said to be alive after death in many passages of Scripture. Matt. 23:32, Luke 16:22, Heb. 12-23, Rev. 14:13, Acts 7:59.
JUNE 1919: After that we had a mission in Portadown in the Pentecostal mission hall; then I cycled to Ballymoney; where we hired a brake and drove to Portrush; and baptized twelve in the sea. A Pentecostal assembly can be heard by their singing; on the return journey they made the streets of Colraine ring with the noise of singing to the glory of God. Returning again to Portadown, we removed to Moneyslane where I had a weeks mission; in the Orange Hall, where the Pentecostal people meet.
Some people who don't rightly divide the Word of truth; or rightly discern between the evil and the good put the tongues people down as Spiritists; but hearken, ye who are mistaken. Spiritists claim to have communion with the spirits of their departed friends. Those who are vulgarly called the tongues people have only fellowship with the Triune God, and the gift of tongues is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Read 1 Cor. 12 Chapter. Spiritists denies salvation through faith in the Blood of Jesus; they deny Redemption through the death of Christ. The Pentecostal put all their trust in the Precious Blood of Jesus; and makes much of the Redemption. We must not reject a gift that’s Scriptural; because it is miraculous and extraordinary. Woe unto them that call light darkness and darkness light.
JULY 1919: During that month I had a fortnights meetings in a tent in Bangor; that was followed by a weeks conference commencing on the 12th of July. About that time they opened a new Church, in (Victoria) Milbourne St., off Townsend Street, Belfast. The opening meeting was powerful; and the first offering was given to Foreign Missions; and amounted to 100 pounds at one collection. At that convention brother Salter, from Central Africa, gave a soul touching, and interesting account of mission work in the Congo. There was nothing so effecting as the account of how eagerly the Black natives desire the Gospel; while the white people in the British Isles, are so hardened that they refuse it, and neglect it.
AUGUST 1919: After that Pastor Jeffreys asked me to take charge of the Ballymena assembly; where I had the oversight for six weeks. During the time we had some good waiting prayer meetings; also I had some record days of visiting in Culleybackey, and in Harryville: we prayed for and anointed some sick persons who got healed: their restoration to health was not instantaneous.
SEPTEMBER 1919: Having heard that my former friend William Irvine; who caused some to leave the Go Preacher fellowship, had to leave himself about 1915: and going to America he remained in the United States till the war was over; and during that time while among the Pentecostal people in Los Angeles, had got their experience of the gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues: I purposed to cross to Scotland and see him on his return to his own folk in Kilsyth. Although we did differ in valid points in July 1905; and still differ on some minor points, yet I was pleased to see him: and he was kindly disposed to me, he holds much truth that’s Scriptural and true and profitable yet there was a measure I could not accept.
OCTOBER 1919: My going to Scotland opened up the way for two months mission work; after having some meetings in the West Port Hall, I started a fortnights mission in Haggs and Banton, in the Baptist Church, when fifty children, and twenty adults decided for Christ.
One Saturday night after preaching in the West Port Hall, Charles Donelly, and I clashed in conversation on the gift of tongues being the only sign of the Baptism with the Holy Ghost; when he was so big on the subject, I asked him to give me the portion of Scripture where the definite Article (the) occurred attached to tongues; I told him "a sign" occurred but "the sign" never once occurred attached to what God had said about the gift. The contention was so sharp, I went home agitated about the matter yet enjoying peace in my soul; I said this is generally held among Pentecostal people; and if they are going to Stereotype the work of the Spirit of God to one sign or gift, I had better continue on the old lines of being an Unsectarian Evangelist in fellowship with all members of the body of Christ; and preaching the Gospel among all the sects; so I wrote to Pastor Jeffreys, stating my intentions and convictions; and that we were to remain friendly as formerly.
1. Do not condemn poor sinners,
But call them to repent.
God loved the worlds salvation,
For this His Son was sent.
To die on Calvary's mountain,
For all the human race.
He opened up a fountain,
To save them by His grace.
2. Be kind unto backsliders,
And try to set them free.
Deal gently with the erring,
As God hath dealt with thee.
Go to the streets and byeways,
And seek the ones thats lost,
For Jesus Blood Redeemed them,
At such tremendous cost.
3. Give to the poor and needy,
Lend them a helping hand.
Upon them have compassion
Preach Christ throughout the Land.
Bind up the sore and wounded,
Strengthen the feeble saint.
The prayer of faith prevaileth,
To heal the sick and faint.
On Wednesday 29th October, I travelled with my former friend William Irvine, from Kilsyth to Wednes, in Lancashire, by train. He left on November 2nd to go to Palestine.
NOVEMBER 1919: On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, 1919, the day of the celebration of the league of nations and proclamation of peace; there was two minutes of silent prayer by order of the King of England: every ship on the sea, every train, every tram car, and vehicles, and publick works, stood still during the Solomnity of those two minutes silence.
About that time Reginald Lunt, Warrington, got me to visit a poor district in Warrington. While much good can be done by house to house visitation, regarding personal talks; it is not the best means, neither is it the most successful to get people to come out to meetings or public worship. A little advertizement is good; but nothing to equal prayer and the hand of God at work, the power of neglect, religious biggotry, and indifference is very great in England; and nothing but trouble and the power God can overcome them.
DECEMBER 1919: After that I had a tour and visited Leigh, Preston, Manchester, Castleton, Derby. During that month my good friend William Twiss died. I had a weeks meetings in Morringlow Heath Primitive Methodist Chapel; also I had a weeks meetings in Wem Pentecostal assembly. The least luggage an itinerating preacher can carry with him the better, just an exchange of underclothing, and a Bible are sufficient; also a preacher should avoid put on tones to his voice; and be natural and himself; no one should immitate another in tones or gifts. On Wednesday 25 - A vast Meteor fell in Lake Michigan, near New York shaking the cities for fifty miles around.
I cannot close the record of the events of that year without an expression of thanksgiving to God the giver of all good is preserving my life, supplying my needs, healing my diseases, and using me in some little measure during the five distressing years that are passed. I once heard a story of a gardner who went into his field to water his plants; and looking for a vessel to perform that service with: he saw an old broken bucket that seemed to be no use at all: he took it up with his hand, and said this will do splendidly to water my flowers with today. When he had finished that service he said Ile not cast it away! Ile lay it aside, and perhaps some other day it may be of use in performing the same service. Many of us may be like that worn out useless bucket; and yet the Lord Jesus, may have some useful service for us to perform; and in His own time may come and call for us.
JANUARY 1920: At that time there were a great scarcety of houses in England; and it became more and more difficult to get lodgings. The causes of this were many, for during the war building new houses were scarce and costly; and there were an enormous amount of marriages; and of new settlers from the continent of Europe. About that time I got many wettings in cycling to and from Wem, Derby, Warrington, Hacclesfield, etc. In bye gone years it was an easy matter to get a house of any description in most towns and villages; now it is nearly impossible to get one "to let" except for sale; and then they were very dear; house rents ran up fully eighty percent; and lodging were more than double: eggs were six shillings a dozen; and butter was very difficult to get at all.
Those difficulties rendered it necessary at times to return on old ground, wherein I had always open doors, and receptive hearts for the truth; and a visit once in a while was helpful to me; and a blessing to them. During that month, I visited Bury Manchester, and Warrington, Castleton, Leigh, etc.
FEBRUARY 1920: After spending one week house to house visitation in Chester, I cycled to Holy Head, and crossed to Kingstown, and took a tour to Bree, and cycled to Cloughjordan; after visiting Limerick, and Adare, Birr, and Portumna; I cycled to Ballygar where I spent two weeks in the home of Ralph Walker; while there I took some meetings; and did some visiting; and sent out many valuable books on Salvation, and Sanctification and healing. About two years ago, I met with a book called Signs and Wonders. It was on Salvation, the Baptism of the Spirit and healing; by an American Evangelist named sister Woodworth Etter. The book was miraculous and extraordinary, and very sound on orthodox principals; and I sent for, and circulated two hundred of them in about two years.
I cannot pass by this part of the record without noting the great help given to me financially, by a converted Auctioneer, a William Kitt of Limerick, who is a great advocate of Faith lines. When old friends were taken home, God raised him up to give to my support, and send often by post gifts of money.
MARCH 1920: After that I visited Enniskillen, and spent a week in the district; doing house to house visitation and personal dealing; some of the Go Preachers received me very well, and some of them were hard and unreasonable. Whenever any mission or fellowship advances an error, it does much harm to the truth they hold; and gives the enemies of the Lord, a cause to speak reproachfully. Error comes at times like a pill of poison rolled up in sugar and is not easily detected, but is made manifest, through time by the harm it does. Then again on the other hand there is danger in keeping out truth; which is Scriptural and profitable.
Leaving Enniskillen I went by train to Londonderry, where I spent one week putting tracts into the homes and street preaching. When I look back twenty years ago I found it very difficult with throat pressure, to spend it all in the open air; then I prayed about it, and now I can speak with ease without hurting my throat, or voice.
Tracts put into homes, and dropped on foot paths and left in railway carriages, or waiting rooms, etc., are very effectual in their mission, and are all the better read because of the strange places and crevices, the silent messengers turns up out of.
Leaving Londonderry, I cycled to Eskylane, near Randalstown, Co-Antrim, on a very wet day: by the time I reached Randalstown, I was exhausted, nevertheless sister Moore, sent me four miles on my journey by motor car. On reaching James Gaults, I got into bed and was better next day. It has been my privilege a few times to wash disciples feet; and the same humble act of service has been done to me by a few worthy servants of the Lord.
APRIL 1920: After that I had a mission in Frankford Street, School Room, Belfast, where about 20 big girls and boys decided for Christ. While there I did much open air work, and gave away many hundred tracts, and one hundred books of the Bible, such as Proverbs, Psalms, Matthew, Romans, etc. While there also I met with Maggie Keegan from Gorey, who soon afterwards became my wife.
I was at that time, anticipating marriage and a home, where I could make head quarters of the Lord's work; having sought first the Kingdom of God, and fulfilled the Levitical period of twenty-five years active service. Having avoided laying up in the bank on the one hand; and owing on the other; I knew that it would cost some pounds to pay the marriage expences and purchase essential furniture to start with. God blessed me financially that year so as that I had twenty two pounds; and starting to give it away to the poor, and to other Evangelists and missions, it began to flow in on the other hand so as that when I had spent the twenty two pounds, I had thirty on hand. I was about to cycle to the County Cork, to see my friends during May.
MAY 1920: At that time the Sinn Fien outrages of crimes and robberies were prevalent and active all through the land; so I thought it best not to carry my money with me but to deposit it in the Post Office Savings Bank; for the purpose of making a start in married life as household utentials, and furniture were very deer at that time and God had promised to supply all my needs. After a weeks meetings in a little mission room Boyn Square; I cycled from Belfast to Blacknook, in five days; after visiting my cousin George Davis; I cycled into Kerry, and visited my Aunt Kate Davis, in Tralee; then I returned to Limerick, about the beginning of the month of June, I spent a week in the home of William Doherty's, Adare; and did some visiting in the Ballingcane district together with my former friend Pastor Johnston who was then stationed in Adare.
No man knows fully whats before him in this life; unless God reveals it to him by His promises and by His Spirit. For years I never thought that I would ever marry; however, as time went on I changed my mind and God gave me a very good helpmate in the person of Margaret Keegan: a young woman from Gorey, County Wexford; one Converted, and Baptized with the Holy Spirit.
JULY 1920: After preaching in Cloughjordan and Borrisokane churches I returned again to Belfast to a convention. We had one week's Conventional meetings in the Elim Tabernacle; and the prominent elder in that week was Charles Booth Clibbern; we had another week's Conventional meetings in The Full Gospel Assembly, Hopeden Street; and the most prominent elder was Thomas Myrescough, Preston; we had another week's Conventional meetings in Ballymena Protestant Hall; and the most prominent elder was Pastor Poleman, from Amsterdam. They were men of varied gifts; yet each one built his faith and message on the one center "Christ and Him crucified." On Tuesday 27 - I crossed to Glasgow, and had some meetings in the West Port Hall, Kilsyth.
AUGUST 1920: After that I had a weeks meetings in the Baptist Church (Kilsyth) Banton; after which I took train to Preston, England, and preached there; then I went to Warrington where I spent a week, and preached in four mission halls.
1. Come let us praise Him more and more,
For what His grace has done.
Thou didst my soul to thee restore.
Through Jesus Christ the Son..
In thee O Lord, I put my trust,
And thou wilt never fail,
Let Jesus death be all my boast,
And then I must prevail.
The sins described by the next verse should be avoided by every young disciple; and Christian worker; for a extreme or high testimony is sure to lead on to a fall.
2. Presumption is a dangerous thing,
Hyprocrisy is vain.
The evil and the froward man
Shall nothing by it gain.
Self righteousness will never do,
When on the Lord we call.
A proud and haughty spirit goes
Before a serious fall.
Before we brand a brother or sister who is overtaken in a fault, we should consider the chain of events that has led on to it.
3. Now Jesus is my Lord and King,
No other name for me.
Yea while I live his praise ile sing
For He has set me free.
Though dust and ashes in His sight,
Thou didst my soul inspire,
He brought me forth into the light,
A brand plucked from the fire.
SEPTEMBER 1920: During that month I had upwards of one hundred short sermons, on the Streets in Newcastle Under Lyme, Stoke on Trent, The Potteries, Middleswitch, and Macclesfield; besides giving away many thousands of tracts. In Middleswitch, I had a good weeks visiting from house to house; also I got addressing the Sunday School. In Stoke on the Trent, I preached many times in the Brethren Gospel Hall. In Macclesfield I got preaching in the Street Baptist Church. While preaching on the Street in Macclesfield a man getting angry at the Word; and supposing me to be a German, went into his house and walked out with a double barreled gun and threatened to shoot me: I walked quietly away and nothing happened.
OCTOBER 1920: On the first week of October, I crossed to Belfast where I spent one week doing some visitation, and preaching in various mission halls, also getting the calendars from ___ Clay, Ann Street; after which I visited Preston, Leigh, Bury and Castleton; also I spent one week with my former friend Harry Sherratt, Canks Lane, Leyland. On Sunday, we spent our time for a few hours reading my journal to a few believers; one of the number afterwards gave me one pound towards the work of the Lord; and that was the first money given to me because of my writings.
NOVEMBER 1920: About that time we had a mission in the Pentecostal Room, Heaner; after which I went to Burton on the Trent, and had two weeks meetings among the Open Brethren, who received me often and sent me on my journey after a Godly sort. After that I crossed to Belfast in order to prepare for my marriage soon to take place. I searched for a house in England, but could not find one suitable to let; so I purposed to take one in County Antrim. And although it is a Protestant county; it is by no means the easiest to Evangelize; the inhabitants are mostly Presbyterians; and their churches are not given to Evangelists very readily; neither do lay men get the opportunities of preaching like the Methodists; and that's not for the Spiritual benefit of the people.
DECEMBER 1920: Leaving England, I crossed to Belfast, where I spent fifteen days; then I cycled out to James Gaults, Eskylane, where the wedding feast was to be held on Christmas Day. During the time I preached in many places; and sent by post and gave away the Scriptural Block Calendars.
On the 25 - The wedding took place in Hopeden Street, Full Gospel Hall, by Pastor Kerr. It was a day of grace, and rich blessing, marked with the felt presence of God: and a praying crowd, who wished us both prosperity and good success. After the bond took place we went by Moto car from Belfast to Eskylane, where Sister Gault prepared a feast. About thirty of the Pentecostal saints; and Faith Mission, and some Prespyterians came from Ballymena on a Brake; and Jesus was there; and His Mother; and the event of our meeting was hallowed by His presence. For three hours the spirit of prayer, praise and testimony excelled. Many gifts of money were sent to us by post and many given on the occasion; and among the presents were the first indications of a prophet's chamber, namely the present of a tea pot, and candlestick.
Marriage is a solemn event; but when equally yoked, it is and it aught to be a happy bond; for he that findeth a wife findeth a good thing; and obtaineth favour of the Lord. The pair requires sympathy and prayer, not criticism and jokes. Civil laws has no right to cumber the sacred bond with unnecessary expence, or declairations; sufficient is the agreement the pair has come to between themselves and the vow of taking each other for life in presence of witnesses.
JANUARY 1921: We began the new year by a mission held in Creavery mission room. On the way home every night we were persecuted by a band of young men with flash lights who followed us throwing mud, missile and stones, and knowing that we did not believe in resisting evil by self defence, made them more presumptuous in their attack. That persecution was stopped by the owner of the mission interfering; then they did not attend the place and refused to come to any meetings in it all the time we were in that district, and after until the Revival in Ballymena, in the spring of 1923, when many in the district got converted; and prejudice was broken down under the Evangelist W.P. Nicholson.
FEBRUARY 1921: We hired a little house in Eskylane, and called it Ebenezer; besides our other work for God we held a Saturday nights meeting in it; where we had some good times and on the whole well attended by the near neighbours, and friends. That month was a busy one buying furniture, painting, and cleaning the house. Unconscious of the prejudice in the district we painted the window sashes green; it being a nice colour that holds well; and to our surprise one morning we found it all bespattered with orange paint. Some people may say that both these events were but sport; but let me ask the question: Is there any sport in throwing stones? or is there any sport in putting unnecessary expence on others? The hand that pulls down is the Devils; he is Aftollyon; the hand that holds up is of God; he is Salvation.
MARCH 1921: Besides the four weekly meetings there in Creavery, and one in Ebenezer Eskylane, I cycled over to Tully, and took the cottage meeting for Matthew McKillen's once every six weeks; also I occasionally preached in the Pentecostal hall in Ballymena. During that month I visited many homes in a field of four square miles; besides personal dealing with all that visited us in our Ebenezer home, and distributing literature.
While cycling from a meeting my wife accidently sprained her foot; an aged woman named Kanisey called to see her, that was an introduction for us to go see her; and minister unto her the words of Eternal life, which she gladly received, and soon afterwards took sick and died a very happy and victorious death and we had an opportunity of preaching to the friends and neighbours at the bereaved home.
APRIL 1921: During that month I continued the session of house to house visitation. No one can tell fully what the results of reading, praying and speaking in the homes accomplishes; at any rate it and street preaching is a field of labour I can always tackle, when other facilities are not available.
MAY 1921: During that month we had a week mission in our Ebenezer home; the meetings were well attended but we did not press for decisions as we thought it best to let the Word of God, do its own work. After that I helped the Faith mission, for a week in the Neighbourhood of Wood Green, near Kells. After that I spent a week in Belfast, and preached in Hopeden Street, and in Milbourne Street Pentecostal meetings.
JUNE 1921: During that month my wife went home to see her parents in Prospect, near Gorey. I spent a week helping James Gault in the bog. James had a sister named Susan, an invalid from her birth, and she was failing fast; one night just as I was going to bed James called to tell me that she was very bad, so I went and stayed up all night with her; and early in the morning she departed this life; the Gospel was preached each day to the friends and neighbours who gathered into the bereaved home. If she did not accomplish anything special during her life owing to her deformity: there certainly was something done at her death! Much was not given; much will not be required.
JULY 1921: During that month I preached in Ballyeaston, Ballyclare, Doagh Park Gate, Antrim, Randalstown, Kells, Connor, Aheghill, Grace Hill Ballymena, on the streets. The summer was marked with a very long coal strike, and drought; and the lawlessness in Ireland at that time was very serious. On the 12 - my wife and I attended a Faith Mission Conference in Ballymena. On 26 - I cycled to Belfast where I spent five days preaching in various mission halls. During the war I wrote notes twice on the book of Revelation; the second edition varied from the first; yet both gave me light and insight worth the labour and pains taken in a systematic study of that book so as that I gave many addresses on the seals, trumpets, and vials. I believe the book should be handled with caution along the lines of locating fulfilled prophesy; for the words of that hymn are true:
To take the book, and loose the seals,
He was found worthy,
To bruise the head, that bruised the heels,
He was found worthy.
O the Lamb, the bleeding Lamb,
He was found worthy.
I love the sound of Jesus name,
He was found worthy.
There is a time of interpretation in which there is no danger, and the saints of God will find the book most helpful; that is along the lines of application; and learning the lesson meant to teach by the symbols given, even though mystical in themselves; for instance no man but Christ knows what the four ______ represent, or symbolize, yet we learn from them most instructive lessons of holiness in worship to God and the Lamb, and their service and interest in mankind, etc. on earth.
AUGUST 1921: I cycled to the South of Ireland and back again; upwards of 500 miles inside three weeks. I saw many old friends, and had many personal talks with them about the things of the Kingdom; also I preached in various places; never was I favoured with better weather, and better strength. That enabled me to preach and cycle eighty miles in one day. After one year and eight months cycling without a puncture I repaired one; is not the providence of God in all this.
SEPTEMBER 1921: Owing to the present disturbed and unsettled condition of things in Ireland, we believe it was the plan of God that He has us located here in the County of Antrim, which happens to be one of the quietest parts of the British Isles during this present general agitation; although it is hard ground for the Gospel. The persecution ceased and the people began to respect us round about Eskylane and Creavery. There were many deaths in the district and God was speaking to the people. Although the number of missions decreased, the number of open airs, house to house visitation, personal conversation, and cottage meetings, tract distribution increased; the work was scattered; and of a ploughing and sowing aspect, and it was essentially necessary.
OCTOBER 1921: From October to February enclusive every year, the season for the circulation of the Scriptural Block Calendars began independent of my other work for God. They were too big and expensive to give to every one; so I followed the rule to give one every year to all who contributed to my work, and made a proper use of them. Besides that rule I gave them to certain persons, poor in circumstances, as far as my means would allow. My old worthy friend John Goodall, Leigh, for many years sent me from 300 to 500 Scriptural short Almanacs. It is seldom that I have to buy tracts, parcels has come to me from all parts of the British Isles, and from the United States; these have been carefully read by me and my wife and great care has been taken not to give away any unorthodox literature; only that which is orthodox and sound in the faith. That year Charles Lepper, Dunn, William Kenny, Heyman Wieyford, and others sent me parcels of Testaments, pamphlets, Gospels, texts, Travellers guides, etc.
One day I cycled into Belfast, to look after the Calendars, it happened to be about that time the city was in a disturbed state of crime, and lawlessness, and bloodshed. One night as I was going to bed I was thinking that the time was come when saved Protestants would have to fight in self defence or die as Martyrs; and as I was thinking what it meant to be a martyr for the Word of God, and the Testimony of Jesus, an anointing of the Holy Spirit came upon me as I repeated to myself the words of that well known hymn, and sucked honey out of the rock.
To the time when I shall gladly lay my cross and burdens down,
I am getting nearer, nearer, every day.
To the time when from my Saviour, I receive a robe and crown,
I am getting nearer, nearer, every day.
All this created a desire for me to read that good old Book once again "Foxes Book of Martyrs". While visiting a Brother next day I asked him had he got the book; and sure enough there was an old copy laying by his arm chair; he picked it up and gave it to me; and, I read it, and James Gault read it, and David Ireland read it, and last of all I gave it to Brother Kelso, Burnside as a gift, having got another for my library.
NOVEMBER 1921: I thought it good to keep in touch with my English friends, so I purposed to cross for about three weeks; when on English soil there is plenty of opportunities for preaching and they are always pleased to see and hear me, who laboured among them also. I took the calendars with me and visited upwards of sixty homes with them. I crossed on October 26 to Fleetwood, and took a circular tour through Preston, Wigan, Leigh, Bolton, Manchester, Stockport, Castleton, Derby, Burton on Trent, Warrington, Liverpool, and returned on Tuesday, 15th to Ebenezer, Eskylane, County Antrim. My wife stayed with Sister Shannon, Belfast, during the time. I was specially favoured with nice weather, and enjoyed the tour.
DECEMBER 1921: On the fifth I crossed to Scotland, where I spent one week, and visited Glasgow, Kilsyth, ______, ______ and had a few meetings in the West Port Hall. On 31 - we had a very good watch night meeting in the home of James Gaults.
During my thirty years ministry, I have worn out about ten Bibles; or about one in three years. I have found the Long Printer Type to be very good for an Evangelist; in middle life I have preached from every book in the Bible and can easy preach from any chapter in it without notes or preparation beforehand, if I have got an audience to suit the occasion and subject. I cannot always preach the same; place, health and congregation may render it hard or easy. Though not a popular Evangelist, my ministry has been accepted by lovers of truth; and blessed by fruit that remained. The last year 1921, however was of a sowing nature; we cannot tell what the increase of the scattered seed will be; if we do not reap, some one else will. To God be all the glory. Amen.
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