The Journal of John Long
1897-1898 "Revival Years" Revised Version
About John Long
Finding John Long's Journal
Significance of John Long's Journal
Treatises and Writings by John Long
Inspirational Poetry by John Long
Photos of the John Long Family
Chapter 4 - John Long's Place in 2x2 History
The Significance of John Long's Journal
Photos of the John Long Family
Poetry by John Long
Treatises & Writings by John Long
John Long's Views on Pentecostalism and Healing
Gifts of the Spirit, Baptism of the Holy Ghost, Healing, Speaking in Tongues, Divine Healing, etc.
The nine (9) Gifts of the Spirit are: the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith gifts of healing, working of miracles, prophecy, divers kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues.
1 Cor 12:4, 8-10 (KJV):
4Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
8For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues
I considered it wise here to explain once for all the reason Why I am an Unsectarian Evangelist. About the time I left living with the rector, to go fully on the Lord's work, I joined the Methodist Society for reasons explained in notes for 1895, Chapter 2, last paragraph.
Strictly speaking I never left the Methodist Society causelessly, but the doors shut when I resigned the Colportage work to go on Faith Lines; also for speaking out strongly against worldly pleasures in the church: and defending the revival under the labours of William Irvine. See notes on Chapter 3, November, 1899. I still preach for them whenever requested.
Through adjusting my life and work to Scriptural ways and doctrines, I got baptized by immersion in a stream by George Grubb, in Rathmolyn, May 1900; also, saw the birth of breaking of bread every Lord's Day, Randaltown, November, 1902. The people called the Plymouth Brethren, although containing much that’s Scriptural, were always too narrow and exclusive for me; nevertheless many of their members helped my work by gifts of money, and occasional hospitality.
For three years, I laboured in a movable wooden hall; after which I got many openings for missions, in undenominational halls; and working men’s missions in England; and although in the Go Preachers’ fellowship, I was open and unsectarian towards other churches, missions, and members. The time came, I regret to say so, when the Go Preachers’ mission became too exclusive and narrow, so as that I was constrained to leave it in July, 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.
From that time I have steered a strait unsectarian course; I came under the auspices of the Elim Mission in 1918, but considered it wise not to join it fully, owing to being used to a wider field of service and fellowship. I am convinced it is scriptural and charitable to have fellowship with every member of the body of Christ; and preach the Gospel everywhere I get an open door. Reader, go to your church, and be a constant communicant; but never despise or reject fellowship with any other Christian. (Journal, January 1925)
I myself have been rejected fellowship at the Lord's table, because I believed in the gift of tongues, which is a Scriptural gift; but thank God, this was only in the exception. I thank God for an open door and a wide extended fellowship with all saints.
Views about Pentecostalism
The year John Long left the Go-Preacher Movement was 1908. The following articles tell about a famous Pentecostal revival that began in 1908 in Kilsyth, Scotland. The Kilsyth Revival commenced in January, 1908, and in the years following, Kilsyth became a well known center for those seeking knowledge of the Pentecostal Experience. John Long made many trips to Westport Hall conventions and preached there on occasions.
The Pentecostal movement developed as a recognizable entity in the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries. The term “Pentecostal” is derived from the emphasis placed on a Baptism of the Holy Spirit, as recorded in Acts 2, and is the conviction that such an experience remains possible for all Christians irrespective of place or time. In the First Century Church, the gift of the Holy Spirit was invariably accompanied by a physical manifestation others could see and hear and this often took the form of speaking with other tongues (Acts 2:4, 10:44).
Pentecostal believers believe that all spiritual gifts that operated in the Early Church are available to Christians today, and that instances of “Glossolalia” (or “speaking in tongues”) has recurred throughout church history. A Pentecostal believer is not necessarily associated with a Pentecostal church.
Westport HALL, KILSYTH, SCOTLAND
“In Scotland the Holy Spirit was outpoured in 1908 at the Westport Hall, Kilsyth where a congregation known as the "Church of God" worshipped and about 200 people received their baptism in the Spirit with speaking in tongues.” (Glory in the Glen - A History of Evangelical Revivals in Scotland
1880-1940 by Tom Lennie, page 426)
“ A significant event in the formative years of the church took place in February 1908, when a revival occurred after the pattern of The Day of Pentecost as described in Acts 2. As a result Kilsyth became a leading centre of the New Pentecostal Movement which was sweeping Great Britain and North America at this time.” [ Kilsyth Church of God - http://www.kcog.co.uk/history.html]
Coincidentally, Newtown, Kilsyth, Scotland was also the place where William Irvine was born on January 7, 1863. He mentions Westport Hall in his letter to George Roy dated February 15, 1923.
Revival fires or holy humbug?
February 22, 2008
“The 1908 revival was associated with the Westport Hall, now the Church of God. The town at that time had among the worst housing stock in Britain and the established churches had great difficulty in integrating the mining community into church life. Local ministers had supported the setting up of the Westport Hall to 'meet the wants of the non-church goer'.
"According to Kilsyth historian James Hutchison, who wrote a history of Kilsyth in 1986, the 1908 revival started when two leaders of Christian work in Scotland, Andrew Bell and Victor Wilson, both known and esteemed at the Westport Hall, attended a Faith Mission conference in Edinburgh and were 'baptised by the Holy Spirit'. They were invited to the Westport Hall to speak about their experiences. The Chronicle of February 7 of that year reported 'extraordinary scenes' in connection with the special services, at which the great majority were young people. All sects and creeds were represented, as well as 'the avowed infidel and thoughtless scoffer'. Many of the devout wondered if the long looked-for revival was at hand. There were reports of people "speaking in tongues", and in the weeks that followed, more than 200 people experienced this.
[Weavers, Miners and the Open Book, A History of Kilsyth by James Hutchison, Kelvinprint, Cumbernauld, 1986; ISBN 0-9511362-0-8
Chapter 21: As in the Days of Pentecost” pp 153-162]
1907 JULY: John Long was publicly excommunicated by William Irvine in July, 1907 at the Crocknacrieve Convention. After he left…he continued as an itinerant preacher along Faith Lines. “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.” (JLJ 1923)
John Long paid many visits to Westport Hall in Kilsyth before and after the famous Pentecostal Revival of 1908.
AUGUST 1907: The following month after he left the Go-Preacher movement, he wrote: "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… "
SEPTEMBER, 1907: Leaving England, I went to Scotland…In the Westport 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.
AUGUST 1908: We had heard that the gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues given to the saints at Los Angeles, and to the Church of England in Sunderland, and to the Church of God in the Westport Hall, Kilsyth; was also given to a few Christians at Lytham. So Thomas Myrescough and I purposed to turn aside and see and hear and judge this wonderful manifestation for ourselves; without partiality or prejudice, by the Word of God and by the fruits.
In less than twelve months they were visited with an extraordinary outpouring; if only 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.
There we saw and heard for the first time persons pray, and speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. We judged it to be of God, because it stood the test of all the essential requirements of the New Testament: 1 John 4:1, 1 Cor. 12:1-3. They confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, 1 John 4:2-3. They trust in and make much of the Precious Blood of Jesus. They are a praying people; also a praising people; a believing people, a missionary people; and a hospitable people. With all these marks and fruits, there is much to praise God for and nothing to be afraid of. God is restoring the extraordinary gifts to the church before the second coming of our Lord.
Kilsyth became the main center for the new Pentecostal movement in Scotland. John Long made annual visits to the Westport Hall Convention held Kilsyth in December.
In remembrance of those days I wrote the following piece of poetry, which is no exaggeration, for it can be said as was expressed by the Queen of Sheba, "The half hath not been told."
1. Ye saints of Jehovah, to Jesus give praise,
For He is reviving His work in our days,
The gifts of the Spirit again are restored,
And Christians are full of the joy of the Lord.
2. Like Apostolic days the truth is restored,
On Sons and on daughters the Spirit is poured.
In Zion the Ransomed are singing new songs,
And others are praying and speaking in tongues.
3. The power of Jehovah is shaking the place,
And God is now saving vile sinners by grace.
The prophets are speaking a message from God.
And sent ones are preaching the Gospel abroad.
4. The Christians are hailing the latter rain shower
And God is baptizing the seeker with power.
The Lord is reviving His strength to the weak,
For some are anointing and healing the sick.
5. The Devil is angry and tries to oppose,
And empty professors has turned to be foes.
But Christians are praying for Jesus to come,
In clouds of the heaven to take us all home.
1908 DECEMBER: At the close of the old year, Harry Sherratt and I went up to Kilsyth to see the Revival in the Westport Hall; in arriving we were surprised to hear of the death of John Burton, the president; he just lived to hear and see the gifts of tongues and interpretation of tongues. We were rather frightened at the shaking; nevertheless that also has to be judged by the Scriptures; and after results and fruits: in Acts 4:31, not only the persons were shaken but the place. It was a great pity that all or nearly all who spoke in tongues believed that every person could have it if they sought for it; and rushed to get them into that experience. Every person should have, and can have the Holy Spirit; but the gifts are diversely disposed. The Pentecostal people aim at a full restoration more than the others.
1913: About 1913, some represents of the Pentecostal Revival came over from England and Scotland to Belfast (Ireland). A little waiting prayer meeting was started by brothers Kerr and Graham, and others on Louer Street. After a time they removed to a larger place, named Hopenden Street, Full Gospel Hall.
1914 JULY: People ask the question what is the utility of tongues? Nevertheless, all such are in ignorance of what the Scriptures says about the gift; and are prejudiced against it. If they were hungering and seeking after the filling of the Spirit and believed in God’s promise to do greater things--they would not question the wisdom and handy work of God in this rejected, yet wonderful gift of his grace.
One night a great crowd came to hear the tongues; and they were all disappointed for no message in tongues was given that night; for it never gratifies curiosity. Concerning tongues, The Lord Jesus said, "They shall speak with new tongues," Mark 16-17 and Paul said, "Forbid (him) not to speak with tongues," 1 Cor. 14:39. How different is the advice of many leading Evangelists, and Missionaries, who have done much harm to these dear people and to God's sacred truth by bringing an evil report. "Wherefore tongues are for a sign not to them that believe, but to them that believe not; but prophesying serveth not to them that believe not, but to them that believe." 1 Cor. 14-22. "A stone of stumbling and a rock of offence, even to them that stumble at the word, being disobedient" 1 Pet. 2-8.
It is a great pity that most persons with the gift should say and teach that it is the ONLY sign of the Baptism with the Holy Ghost; it is a sign--but not the only one. Prophesying, love, a shining face; the power of God manifested in speech, graces, healing, faith, wisdom, etc. but apart from signs, there is the internal experience, and testimony of many whose lives and works meant much for the kingdom of God such as Wesley, Moody, Booth, ___, Spurgeon, etc. Besides if we have an experience or gift that others have not; we are not to subvert, or unChristianise or uncharitably take the advantage or limit the Holy One of Israel, in his variety of operations. "God divides to every man severally as He wills". 1 Cor. 12:11.
The gifts are now restored,
The Lord God be adored.
We see just now the dawn of advent day.
For Hymns and songs are sung
In Heavenly gift of tongue,
Or it must be the breaking of a day.
1914 NOVEMBER: “…the Apostolic Brethren gave me the right hand of fellowship. Some earnestly tried to get me into the experience of the Baptism of the Spirit, with the sign of tongues. I humbled myself and earnestly sought. I got a definite Anointing so as that my face shone, but did not speak with other tongues, yet they were not satisfied. I think that desire to see the one thing in preference to all others is more human nature than the will of God; yet there cannot be danger in seeking the Lord for more than we have got already.
ELIM EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE
Elim Pentecostal churches in Scotland: http://www.eliminscotland.org.uk/
1915: That year 1915 an Evangelist came over from Wales (to Ireland), named George Jeffrey to have a mission in Hunter Street, which was blessed of God. The young converts required Shepherding; and they began to meet together on the Lord’s Day for fellowship, breaking of bread and prayers; also anointing the sick for healing; also prayer meetings for the Baptism with the Holy Ghost. Other workers united …and in a short time there were a little band of Evangelists who held missions in Portadown; Moneyslane, Ballymoney and Ballymena, where assemblies were formed, souls saved, healed and Baptized with the Holy Ghost; also Conferences held at Christmas, Easter, and the twelfth of July. That formed an organization known as the Elim Evangelical Mission which is now connected with Pastor Stephen Jeffrey’s brother George and known as the Welsh Revivalist.
1916 SEPTEMBER: It frequently happens among the sects that those who think they are ahead of all others; and has suffered opposition for the testimony which they held; are apt to look with disdain; and God corrects that by raising up another with restored gifts and fruits; and in the former and instead of humbling themselves, the former is inclined to persecute the latter. I do think that the Pentecostal people because they excelled in experience and gifts have been ignored by many holiness people such as the Go Preachers, the Faith Mission, the Brethren, Baptist, and Methodist, etc.
1916 OCTOBER: Leaving Liverpool, I went to Wiyan, and had a week’s meetings with the Brethren...I found they could understand every truth, but that which they had not experienced; and it took great reasoning to convince them that the gift of tongues was of God; and not the devil. I think they were not convinced so I had to leave them with the injunction of Paul, 1 Cor. 14:38.
Why should a people labour to prove an experience or gift that's Scriptural is not of God? While the recipients labour to prove that it is. Let the infallible Scriptures speak and the Pentecostal people have the best of the argument. The Brethren have very extensively taught that the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit are not for this age; and ceased with their Apostles; and now as they are face to face with facts, they must either humble themselves and acknowledge their error on that point; or oppose, or close the door to more truth and light which God is bestowing on others. They who emphasized "Come out from among them" is it not an astounding fact that individual members of the Brethren who got the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, with the gift of tongues, were constrained to come out from among the Brethren?
1918 MARCH: I cycled to Holy Head, and crossed to Kingstown on Friday 28 th, 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.
1918 APRIL: From that time (March 1918) 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…
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.
1919 APRIL: 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. Our next mission was in Stranokum Orange Hall where a good work had been done by the Elim Band, in the open air.
1919 JUNE: 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 deny 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 make 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.
1919 SEPTEMBER: 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.
1919 OCTOBER: One Saturday night after preaching in the Westport 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.
ONCE AGAIN – AN UNSECTARIAN EVANGELIST
From March, 1918 to October 1919, John Long preached under the auspices of the Elim Mission, and then he returned to being an unsectarian, independent evangelist. He left two movements because they were too narrow, and excluded other Christians.
1923 SEPTEMBER: Although not under the auspices of the Elim Mission, I have very largely contended for the same truths. Although they do not preach Believer’s Immersion, yet they baptize large numbers, as many as sixty together…
1923 JULY: Because I believe in ALL the Scriptural gifts and truths, some Christians put me down as being in error. We must not marvel at this; but be content to bear the reproach of Christ patiently: it is one of the wounds whereby we’re wounded in the house of our friends. To correct the wrong opinions of others would take all our time; and I am afraid nothing accomplished in the end; however, we must go on with truth for the word of God lives, and the testimony of receivers confounds them.
1923 DECEMBER: On Thursday 7 – I took my annual visit to Scotland; and returned on Tuesday, 12; it would be the 64th sea voyage. During the time I preached four times in the Westport Hall, Kilsyth; where God is reviving His work in saving the young people, and adding them to the church.
1924 FEBRUARY: On Sunday 17 – I commenced an eight day's mission in Academy Street, Warrington; during which time I preached on Justification, Sanctification, Baptism with the Holy Ghost, Divine Healing, the Daniels Band, Testimony, Heaven, etc. The meetings were attended with power, and conviction.
1924 NOVEMBER: It is very remarkable the extraordinary growth of Pentecostal assemblies in the British Isles. They are now divided into four companies, Viz. The Elim Evangelical Alliance, The Assemblies of God, the Apostolic Faith Church, and the Independent Assemblies. There is spiritual life and power among them, and much to praise God for…We prefer no name save Christian, for names tend to divide the Church of God; also we are open to give and take fellowship with every Christian, who is sound on the Divinity of the Lord Jesus and the Atonement; we cannot help it when they refuse to have fellowship with us.
1925 JANUARY: From that time I have steered a strait unsectarian course; I came under the auspices of the Elim Mission in 1918, but considered it wise not to join it fully, owing to being used to a wider field of service and fellowship. I am convinced it is Scriptural and charitable to have fellowship with every member of the body of Christ; and preach the Gospel everywhere I get an open door. Reader, go to your church, and be a constant communicant; but never despise or reject fellowship with any other Christian.
APRIL 1925: On the return journey, I attended the Easter Convention in Derby commencing Good Friday, 10th April. At it I heard the remarkable man of God, Smith Wigglesworth who has all the gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians:12. It was a time never to be forgotten, when many got healed in the seats, others got the Baptism of the Holy Ghost; also with water by immersion. Handkerchiefs were prayed over and sent to sick persons at a distance according to Acts 19:12 and some testified to being healed in that way. Many were stirred up to a fuller consecration by Brother Wigglesworth’s addresses on faith, and the chorus: Only believe; only believe: all things are possible: only believe. I got preaching once.
APRIL 1926: I also had a weekend in George Street Mission, Manchester, and on the return journey attended the Easter Convention at Preston; where I was an eye witness to Pastor Stephen Jeffereys ministering the gift of healing to blind, deaf, dumb, halt, lame, consumptive, ruptures, sick, weak, infirm; and enough of conclusive evidence to prove the fact that God is restoring all the nine gifts to the church. Hallelujah!
The following piece of poetry was written in memory of the Easter convention held in Preston on April 6, 1926, and can be sung to the tune, “Forever with the Lord.”
For every gift of God,
We praise His precious Name.
According to His Holy Word,
‘Twas then and now the same.
Praise, for the gift of faith,
“Wisdom” and “knowledge” too,
Our Saviour is the same today,
His mighty works to do.
Wonders, and signs are done
In Jesus precious Name.
The gifts of healing are restored
Unto His Church again.
And we can trust our Lord
For health and daily bread.
To purchase them for all mankind,
His Precious Blood was shed.
With everlasting joy,
The righteous are set free
To praise the Lord with other tongues,
And gift of prophesy.
Their message is made plain,
Another gift is given.
He who interprets in His Name,
His gift has come from heaven.
The Ransomed shall return,
Unto their blest abode.
They look for a new heaven and earth,
The city of their God.
Standing with armour on,
Discerning what is right.
And say to Satan’s host “be gone”.
Before the truth and light.
If thou should hear His voice
Speaking aloud today,
Arise, and harden not thy heart,
And unto Jesus pray.
Within thine own abode,
At noon and evening hour;
Just seek the Lord with all thy heart
For Pentecostal power.
John Long, April 14th, 1926
1927: In Hebrews 6:1 to 2, we have the four foundation principals of the doctrine of Christ in the Divine order in which they should be ministered; namely repentance from dead works; and of faith towards God; of the doctrine of baptisms; and of laying on of hands. The other two are future, namely resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. It is a great lack that Nonconformists have not paid attention to the Divine order in ministry; and in retaining these principals as they are given. Every believer who loves the restoration of truth should examine the foundation on which they build for eternity by this Scripture which corresponds with Acts 8:5 to 17 and Acts 9:3 to 18 and perfect the lack at once, Acts 18:26. Besides the six principals mentioned above, there are others enumerated in various parts of the New Testament, which enables us to go on unto perfection, such as:
The nine beatitudes, namely: poor in Spirit, mourners, meek, thirst after righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, persecuted, reviled.
Also, there are nine fruits of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.
Also there are nine gifts of the Spirit namely: the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith gifts of healing, working of miracles, prophecy, divers kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues. 1 Cor 12:4-12
Also there are seven other additional ones: virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, Godliness, brotherly kindness, charity.
Also, there are seven things we are to think about: truth, honesty, justice, purity, lovely, good report. 2 Peter 1:5 to 7; Phil. 4:8.
John Long wrote: "The following letter I wrote to J. G. Govan, Director of the Faith Mission; and is a specimen of many letters of a corrective kind written by me in defence of truth."
Crumlin, Co. Antrim, Ireland
30th of September, 1924
Dear Brother in Christ:
Since my former letter was written concerning the Faith Mission attitude of refusing a give and take fellowship with the Pentecostal people, and others who contend for a whole Bible; from the observation and experience I have passed through since it was written I have observed that this attitude has produced many evil effects and fruits.
First of all I might say that we have no right to refuse fellowship with any member of the Body of Christ no matter how weak, unless we first tell them their fault according to Matt. 18:15, and this is a statute in the Faith Mission, also in John Wesley’s Sermons: also we should not despise the utility of any gift or ministry according to 1 Cor. 12:21; tongues enumerated among the rest.
There are scattered among the counties Godly persons, Pentecostal and such like, who would show hospitality to the Pilgrims and Delegates of the Faith Mission; and who naturally would be interested in any mission, revival, or conference; no matter where, or how, or whom the servants of God are that He condescends to use for His Glory. Because they are Pentecostal, or in fellowship with such, they get no place to minister; and are rejected and despised, and this hurts the true spirit of prayer, union and revival.
The Prayer Union is a powerful means of grace, but what may it become? if used against any Scriptural truth or gift. There is no commandment of our Lord, a carnal ordinance when rightly observed; and any negative stand against any Scriptural truth opens the door for antinomianism and is sure to hinder the work of the Lord.
The Faith Mission seems to be in alliance with the other churches against the Pentecostal people; and there is an underhand boycott to refuse all fellowship with them; they seem to be afraid to speak out, yet go on rejecting a people more obedient and Spiritual than themselves. As an unsectarian Evangelist, and being somewhat neutral I have had an opportunity to judge for myself between the Pentecostal and the churches of other denominations; and the despised people are far more Spiritual and Scriptural than the others. (Omit respect of persons).
In conclusion, I would say if you used your position and influence affirmative on the side of the Word of God (and against the worldly, and the carnal, who oppose the revival) and seek to restore the church to its original Spiritual power and Scripturalness: I say, sir, you would be a blessing.
Now I have done my duty, as a Watchman (not at all a pleasant one) in writing this second time: I hope you will receive my message of warning and correction faithfully.
I am, yours truly in Christ,
Reply from J. G. Govan:
Your letter of 31 st Sept. to hand.
The so called Pentecostal movement as a body, has not commended itself to us; it has over emphasized some things, and has been very censorious on others who cannot agree with them and appear to us as those who make divisions, therefore we cannot welcome them into our Prayer Unions. We do not seek the respect of persons you speak about, we seek first the Kingdom of God; neither are we ______(?) in any underhand manner.
Trusting you keep well, and that God will continue to use you.
Yours truly in His Service
J. G. Govan
NOTE by JOHN LONG: There’s ample reason to believe that the Faith Mission, as well as the Methodist, Brethren, and Baptists, are opposed to the gift of tongues; and refuse fellowship with Believers who have the experience; causing a good deal of division, hardness of heart, etc...Unto his letter I gave a fuller reply and leave the matter, having done my duty.
Pentecostal Origins: Early Pentecostalism in Ireland in the Context of the British Isles.
Studies in Evangelical History and Thought.
By Robinson, James
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom: Paternoster(2005)
The following quotes are from the above book:
"John Long, one of the earliest companions of Irvine in Ireland, was the most noted convert to Pentecostalism from the sect. Born in Tipperary in 1872, he worked from the age of seven in the peat bog cutting turf in the summer, with schooling confined to the winter months. He received assurance of salvation in 1890 at a mission conducted by the Methodist evangelist Gabriel Clarke. Shortly afterwards, he became a Methodist colporteur for about 5 years. He was about age twenty-five when he made his first contact with Irvine who at the time was conducting a Faith Mission gospel campaign in Ennis, County Clare." (p. 36.)
"He travelled into old age throughout the British Isles often by bicycle, depending on the leading of the Spirit and answerable to no organization. He cut an idiosyncratic figure in Pentecostal circles, familiar to many of the leading figures of the movement." (pp. 36-37)
[Robert] "Tweed's memoir makes passing reference to those who had some expertise as teachers within the Band. John Long, the former Cooneyite preacher was a member of the Band for about a year. His resignation was accepted at the meeting of the EEB [Elim Evangelistic Band] held at the end of December 1919. To the artless Tweed, he was 'a scholar' because of his knowledge of Greek and Hebrew, languages in which Long must have been largely self-taught. Before Long joined the Band, he assisted Long in a mission in Randalstown. This would have enabled him to gain new insights into Scripture from Long's interest in the biblical languages." ( pp. 187-188)
In his letter of resignation, Long stated that 'he preferred to be free from a membership in the Band, believing that he was acting in accordance with the leading of God'. (EEBM, 31 December 1919.) Living a life of stark simplicity, he resumed an independent itinerant ministry modelled on the style of his 'Go-Preacher' days, only this time pursued with Pentecostal sympathies." (p. 188f. 80)
A tract has reached me today, through the post, negative to Divine healing; I have no doubt but it was written by some scholar among the Brethren; and while it contains much truth, and corrects some errors prominent by Divine Healers, yet it renders two very vital Scriptures on the subject of none effect namely, Ex. 15:26, James 5:14. I threw it in the fire.
While I admit that the Bible mentions means or helps in some little measure; yet the balance of Scripture is on the side of faith in God; and men are strongly reproved for trusting in man. Jer. 17:5. Most worldly men who have no faith will contend for physicians and means; and to take their side and censure the babes who blunder in their effort to obey the Word of God, this I cannot approve.
Both Covenants sanction the ministry of healing; and the church as John Wesley said lost it through unbelief; and an attempt to restore it should not be opposed by Christians, as it is the way of faith, the way of the Scriptures and the way of the cross. “The works that I do shall ye do also,” said our Lord in John 14:12. Antichrist shall work miracles, and show signs and wonders to deceive; but not works of mercy, love, and pity for sin bound and Satan bound humanity. The works of the true servants of God are done in the Name, power, and charity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; and are beneficial to man’s spirit, soul, and body: in other words, God using His instruments to minister salvation and healing and righteousness to poor, sick, and needy souls.
To reject a gift or experience because it is extraordinary and miraculous, while it is Scriptural, has ever been the tendency of professed people of God; and there is more danger of rejecting truth than casting out error; and the Inspired prophets foresaw this when it is written: “Behold ye despisers, and wonder and perish; for I work a work in your day, a work ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.” Acts 13:41. While there has been cases not healed among us, and perhaps there is a cause; yet there has been, and are many who have been healed of every sort of sickness, disease, and infirmity. Praise ye the Lord.
It is not hard for Bible Students to prove the truth of Divine Healing from the Scriptures; it is mentioned one hundred and four times throughout its sacred page; and occasioned nearly one half of the ministry of our Lord; also the gifts of healing in the church are mentioned among the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor. 12:9. The rejection of this truth is becoming more and more notoriously manifest by those who reject the counsel of God against themselves. In every age the babes accept and believe it; and the simple experience it, and the Word of God liveth and abideth forever. “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men; but chosen of God and precious.” 1 Peter 2:4. Sanctified education cannot be done without, for by it the Scriptures were written and translated; howbeit God reveals to babes what unsanctified intelligence never can accept or see. Many of our high class College bred men cannot preach without a written manuscript; while a converted uneducated man, who is filled with the Holy Spirit, can speak with ease and unto profit.
That healing is not always instantaneous has the support of Scripture. God does heal gradually for a wise purpose especially when the ailment is serving as a discipline or chastisement; it is only removed as the disciple learns the lessons which God designs to teach; and as the inner man developes. Rom. 8:11. Yet there comes a time when slow cases experience a Divine touch, and a turning point takes place. This is frequently the case regarding bloody flux in man; and the issue of blood in woman. If the whip is suddenly removed the persons might return again to their folly; if by a prolonged discipline the Divine nature grows great within and the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus sets free from the law of sin and death, Rom. 8:2; and they follow the advice of our Lord, “Sin no more” the patient may reach a land mark where the rod of correction is removed and they find themselves perfectly whole. “But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” Rom. 8:25.
Job, Hezekiah, Ephraditus, had to wait for their healing; but the trial of their faith was precious; and afterwards they enjoyed the peaceable fruits of righteousness. Had not this law of life in Christ Jesus came to the aid of many a youth of both sexes, where would they have been, perhaps in an early grave and a lost eternity; nevertheless our Saviour hears their cry, and comes down to deliver them. I do believe in repentance; and it is not to be denied to any one willing to turn from their evil way and amend their ways and goings, no matter how sinful they are or defiled their garments may be: therefore there is a close connection between salvation and healing where the one is ensured the other begins. The degree of our spiritual experience may help our physical health. 3 John 2. Repent, believe, confess, and obey, Christ, always.
Leprosy, cancer, and consumption are very loathsome and contagious diseases, and hard to be cured; yet not impossible and the hopelessness of their case renders them the more ready to accept the Gospel; therefore the disease may be an instrument of destruction to the flesh; and a instrument of Salvation to the spirit. 1 Cor. 5:5. Many children of God are delivered to the tormentors because of an unforgiving, and unmerciful attitude towards an offending Brother. The tormentors may be Demons or darkness, disease or insanity and there is no way out but repentance, restitution, confession and obedience; together with a full surrender to Jesus. Matt. 18:15 to 35. James 5:16 to the end, seems to teach this also.
The fault of failure in certain cases of afflicted ones may not be always in the minister of healing, very often it is in the afflicted ones. We don’t know all the history of their lives; and God sees and knows much that may not be revealed to us: therefore the attitude of both should be one of heartsearching, humility, meekness, and penitence; also the exercise of faith, prayer, and kindness of the poor. These are always means of grace and blessing; and very often health as well. This I have learned both by observation and experience. However it is not a question of success and failure, it is a question “Is it Scriptural or not?” Is it to be ministered or not? I answer it is Scriptural as it forms one of the constitutionary statutes of the New Covenant.
The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, inspired the Holy Apostle James to write it; and to deny it or render it obsolete would be a denial of the whole book, which gives such wholesome instruction concerning Faith, prayer, the tongue, no respecter of persons, riches, second advent, sick, lapsed brother, etc. It is to be ministered in its place and season; otherwise what was it given for?
Roman Catholics counsels and prefates have endeavoured to make the Bible like their church; reformers have endeavoured to make the church like the Bible. Every lover of truth should conform himself to the Word of God; for it is the truth that sets free; and we are sanctified by the Word. See John 14:21; 17:17. In the Old Covenant, Judges, Kings, Scribes, and prophets were always restoring truth, which were neglected or set aside through the lapse of generations, such revivers, and restorer of paths to walk in, had ever the smile and blessing of Jehovah. These are all ensamples unto us to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. Waldensies, Lalardists, Quakers, Puritans, Methodists, Faith Mission, Go Preachers, Pentecostals, etc. have kept up revival flames, have preserved a seed; circulated the Scriptures; sent out Missionaries; Preached the Evangelical truth with God’s seal, and no uncertain sound. Hallelujah!
If the sick one feels that his time has come; and that it is not the will of God to be raised up: then of course there is no occasion to anoint for healing, nevertheless the elders can pray for other graces required in the valley of the shadow of death; such as ease from pain, peace of mind; an abundant entrance; also grace to sustain friends, and waiters, and servants, etc. for the anointing is only part of the ministry to the sick.
There is the spiritual side of reading, singing, speaking, low, and loud also; there is attention to proper food, clothing and company. Many of these comforts are made by the laws of our land by way of Christian institutes such as Work houses for the poor, Hospitals, Infirmaries, Asylums, Orphan, Societies, etc. These are good provisions and should not be despised. Then on the other hand Governments tolerate strong drink, tobacco, betting, racing, games of chance, gambling, etc. which helps to fill Gaols, Asylums, Workhouses, etc. Every statesman, legislator, Magistrate, in fact every Christian should use their influence to remove the cause of crime, sickness, and poverty, degradation and premature death.
Concerning anointing the sick and the ministry of healing, something profitable could be said in addition to what has already been said. It is a difficult ministry because of its miraculous necessities; also its numerous cases, and its difficult problems; mostly arising from some cases of the faithful not being healed.
To avoid, or set aside James 5:14, 15, because of this, has ever been the tendency in church history all along; and undoubtedly is an easier way; and this conformity to the custom of the times has caused commentators to interpret so as to make this Scripture of none effect; such interpretations or expositions never appeal to me; as all Scripture was given for a purpose, that we may know the will of God and do it.
Sick persons are to call for the elders of the church as an evidence of their faith and obedience; also of their humiliation, and penitence; and their desire to be made well, and raised up. Elders are to be called, not novice’s men of office, men of God, men of experience faith and prayer. They are to pray over him, laying on hands; and anoint the sick one with oil in the Name of the Lord; any sort of oil does, olive preferable. The Lord is to do the rest. James 5:14 to 16, Mark 16:18.
If after this the sick one is not raised up for some reason not revealed to us but known to the Lord, He requires the home call of such a one; and neither the sick one nor the ministers should be discouraged, but resigned to the will of God. The sick one has the joy of obedience; and the ministers has the blessing of self denial and humiliation. The following are a few of the causes why every person is not healed.
1. Over the appointed time in a ripe old age, Psa. 90:10.
2. A sin unto death; whereof God requires the home call of His child, 1 John 5:16.
3. Taken from the evil to come, 1 Kings 14:18.
4. Removed because of bearing no fruit, John 15:2.
5. Destroyed because of resisting the word, Prov. 13:13. (despising)
6. Children die because of judgment on parents, Rev. 2:23.
MAY 1911: I chose this opportunity to give a Dialogue on the subject of Divine healing; as I believe very few has handled the subject without excess or extremes.
Q: Is human means Scriptural?
A: Yes, for the Bible speaks of the usefulness of Physicians, Midwives, Apothecary's, Medicines. Ex. 1:15, Jer. 30:13, Ex. 30:15.
Q: Is it lawful, and right for God's people to use means?
A: Yes at certain times and under certain experience's it is, but not to neglect of faith in, and prayer to God. 2 Kings 20:7, 1 Tim. 5:23, Luke 10:37.
Q: Do you not think that the tendency of our times is to neglect the Godward side, and resort altogether to the human side?
A: Yes, and Asa the King was blamed for that very thing; also the neglect of James 5:14 proves this. 2 Chr. 16:12.
Q: What does James 5:14 say concerning sickness?
A: It expressly says: 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, etc.
Q: Is St. James's counsel for the Jews only, or for all Gods people?
A: It is for the church, and it is composed of Redeemed Jews and Gentiles made one in Christ Jesus. Eph. 2:14.
Q: Was it to cease with the Apostles, and canon of Scripture?
A: Certainly not, no more than Baptism, or the Lord’s supper; or any other advice of James, Peter, Paul or John. The Bible has its message for all times, and all peoples and nothing has ceased except the types, and shadows, which are fulfilled in Christ Jesus our Lord. Heb. 9:9,10.
Q: Has the fruits of James 5:14, been sufficient to prove that God seals that Scripture, in our days, when rightly obeyed?
A: Yes, although there are cases of failure; there are cases of success; and the truly obedient soul who loves Gods word, and who is always ready; will be reconciled to the will of God; and will not murmur or be offended even though not healed.
Q: What is Divine healing?
A: It is the act of God officiating either by His Word, or Spirit, or natural laws, so as that a sick, or diseased person is restored to health and this may occur suddenly or gradually. Psa. 107:20, Matt. 12:13, ___.
Q: Is there any distinction between healing and miracles?
A: Yes, a great deal. A blind or deaf person may be sick and get anointed, and raised to health, and the deformity still remain. 1 Cor. 12:9-10.
Q: Is Divine healing to be experience only by the anointing, etc.?
A: There are three ways of healing: 1st By a personal faith without the aid of man; 2nd By the laying on of hands; 3rd By James 5:14, Mark 16:18. Anointing and prayer of the elders.
Q: What are the chief hindrances to Divine healing?
A: Unbelief. Lack of proper teaching on the subject, and sin in the life. Matt. 13:58, John 5:14. Also a breach of natural laws. One of interest in the merits of His death and precious Blood. John 6:57.
Q: Is it necessary to have the gift of healing in order to minister, James 5:14?
A: It is not for the same Scripture says, call for the elders of the church, let them pray. The Lord shall raise him up. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. A man can be a righteous man, and pray the prayer of faith and not have the gift of healing.
Q: So according to your teaching God can heal with or without means: how then can I know which to do?
A: God can and does heal with and without means. A truly obedient soul will be open to know the will and mind of God; and if he takes time to pray God will guide into all truth. James 1:5.
Q: Is it the will of God that his people should at all times trust God for their bodies as well as their souls?
A: It is, for while trusting in Jesus for the body, one always feels the benefit in the soul. Heb. 4:14-16.
Q: Is all sickness and disease of the Devil?
A: All sickness is not of the Devil; but all are directly or indirectly the outcome of a fallen and corrupt nature permitted of God as a judgment, punishment, chastisement, and discipline. Acts 10:38, John 9:3, 1 Cor. 15:53.
Q: Are there not special injunctions and commandments of which the observance of them tends to length of day, and health of body?
A: Yes, Obedience to parents, kindness to the poor, judging ones self. Not adding or taking from the Word of God. In one word obedience. Ex. 15:26, Eph. 6:1, Isa. 58:7,8.