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
JANUARY 1927: On January the first, New Years Day, God blessed us with the birth of a baby boy; and so in His own mysterious way fulfilled one of the greatest promises ever given to me in the fifty fifth (55) year of my age, namely, “I will visit you, and perform my good word towards you.” Jer. 29:10; though I had to wait twenty-six years for it.
On the Hill near Knookanacree, Cloughjordan, lived one of my ancestors named Gilbert Carter, my Grandmother's father, whose son was Thomas Carter a worthy Methodist local preacher. My father's name was Gilbert Long, Burntwood, Cloughjordan, County Tipperary. In order to revive the name of my forefathers, I will call my son’s name Gilbert Long and give God the glory for His mercy, love, and grace in bestowing this favour upon an unworthy servant of His. “And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee.” Deu. 8:2.
On the eighth day we presented the child unto the Lord to be an Evangelist, by the hands and prayers of Elder James Gault and Pastor Mercier; the word occurs in Luke 2:21-22. The example in Matt. 19:13, also the commendation of our Lord, Mark 10:13, 14, and the teaching of the apostles, Eph. 6:4. We cannot find command or example for infant baptism in the New Testament, we can for infant dedication; and if this had been properly taught in the past it might have saved the church from much serious dispute.
To Gilbert Long, my beloved son. It is your parents wish that you grow up to accept, and serve God; also that you obey, and confess our Lord Jesus Christ; it is our wish and desire that you should be an Evangelist, and give your life fully to the Lord’s work. As soon as you come to adult age; and knowledge of Salvation through faith in Jesus, get baptized by immersion; also break bread in remembrance of our Saviour’s death on the cross; and look for the second advent of our Lord. Preach the Gospel to every creature; and have fellowship with all believers in the Holy Spirit; and continue the Evangel in which your father has laboured for thirty three years: and the end is not yet. Hallelujah!
The following is an extract from Justin Martyr, page sixty five, of his first Apology in behalf of the Christians to the Emperor of Rome; and was written about AD 150. As it gives full details as to how Christians worshiped on the Lord’s Day in Primitive times, I have copied it out on January 11, 1927. "And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities, or in the country gather together to one place and the memoirs (writings) of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray and when our prayers are ended bread and wine and water were brought and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the Deacons. And they who are well to do and willing give what each think fit; and what is collected is deposited to the president, who succors the orphans and widows; and those who through sickness or any other cause, are in want; and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us; and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God made the world; and Jesus Christ, our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead having appeared to his apostles, and His disciples, he taught them these things." Luke 24:27, 53.
It is worthy of remark that here there is no Roman Mass; or Episcopal Prayer Book; but the simple form of a primitive Church service; made up of prayer, praise, and preaching, reading the Scriptures, and remembering our Lord's death. I will here insert a few more quotations of importance from the writings of Justin Martyr to show how orthodoxy and Scripturalness of the beliefs held and taught by the Christians of the second century; as I have not read the writing of the Primitive Fathers for no purpose.
"The souls of the Pious remain in a better place, while those of the unjust and wicked are in a worse, waiting for a time of Judgment." "He shall raise the bodies of all men who have lived, and shall clothe those worthy with immortality, and shall send those of the wicked, endued with eternal sensibility, into everlasting fire with the wicked Devils." "For in the Name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe; and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water."
"Whom we not only do not hate, but, as it is proved, pity and endeavour to lead to repentance." "And how those who sinned and repent shall escape their sins, is declared by Isaiah the Prophet - Wash you, make you clean," etc. Isa. 1:16-20.
"But that each man by free choice acts rightly or sins." "Man of our Christian men exorcising them in the Name of Jesus Christ, who was Crucified under Pontius Pilot, have healed and do heal, rendering hopeless and driving the possessing Demons out of men; though they could not be cured by all the other exorcists, and those who use incantations and ______." "Now it is possible to see among us women and men who possess gifts of the Spirit of God." "For the Prophetical gifts remain with us even to the present time."
These are a few out of many quotations inserted here to show the purity and simplicity of the Christianity of the second century, the author was a Christian Evangelist hero and Martyr for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
On the 23 - I preached three times on the streets of Antrim and put some Gospel Magazines into the homes; thus by the Grace of God I try to speak openly to the world; and every opportunity I get to ever teach on this I ______. Looking back over the thirty four years of my ministry I do not remember a single occasion in which I refused to preach in any church, chapel, or mission hall, when asked; God has created in my heart a love for preaching; and not to do it would be woe and pain unto me. Give me a congregation, and I’ll soon find a subject, and a sermon on it; thus one’s whole life is one of education and preparation, yet the Bible is a new book; and I am learning something fresh from it every day. My Saviour breaks the bread for me and I give it unto the people.
Faith Lines requires to be known to the Brethren; so as then they should understand and feel their responsibility toward such, as fully depend on God for maintenance; and then God uses various means and methods to supply their needs; as the following, and precedent record shows. Most of all sects are too sectarian; and are kind to those who are connected with them, to the neglect of passing children of God outside their code, but inside the fold of Christ. Our Jesus is at the right hand of God. Accepted of the multitude of His Brethren, lacking the wealth of his people, and speaking grace to all his seed. Esther 10:3. Some sects are so circumscribed that they will not admit or allow to preach any one unless he belongs to them; and very frequently rule out truth; and some precious truth essential to life and Godliness. Very profitable lessons can be learned from the book of Ruth; Boaz was no biggot or sectarian man; but a well wisher to all. “Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by the maidens.” Ruth 2:8.
Thursday 27 – Home duties and inclement weather hindered me of much active service for God during this month; this only has occurred a few times during my life’s experience; nevertheless during those days, opportunities afforded for testimony, personal talks, letter writing; with an occasional opportunity for preaching, and giving away tracts, Testaments, booklets, etc. Such breaches, and cessation of active service, are necessary in order to recruit Spirit, soul, and body; also to rest throat, voice, lungs, and mental faculties. A lover of the Lord’s work longs for liberty and freedom, as a bird let loose from its cage. "Is the seed yet in the barn – From this day will I bless you." Haggai 2:14.
FEBRUARY 1927: During the month I had some sessions of house to house visitation, but no monetary income from the district; past surplus tided us over the last two months so as that all our need has been supplied. "In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hand be slack." Zeph. 3:16.
On the 16 – I attended the annual Conference in Ballymena among the people called Brethren; it was practical and good, and much Scriptural truths were ministered; but required discrimination specially on their views regarding fellowship with other churches, etc. They excel in the letter; while others excel in the Spirit; there is much need for believers with both the letter and the Spirit, the water and the fire. What one sect lacks, another supplies and none can boast except in the Lord; nevertheless there is a tendency in these people to monopolize to themselves terms that apply to Gods children on the whole such as “Brethren" and "a people for His Name" “Gathered together in my name", etc. I have already stated that I have found as much difficulty with the Brethren as with any other religious people; my unsectarian lines clashes with their narrowness: I would have withdrawn all fellowship with them only necessity requires not; owing to the increase of modernism and worldly pleasures in the churches we are compelled to come forth “unto Him without the camp bearing His reproach.” Heb. 13:13. I have many friends among them, some open and some exclusive; also some who help my work with gifts of money. They do not unchristianize Christians, like the Romans and the Go-Preachers; but very often keep them from the Lord's table; not because of lack of morals or error of doctrine; but because they do not join them fully.
On the 19 – by the Grace of God, I completed thirty two years in the Lord's work. Many changes have taken place regarding nations since; and many notable prophecies of Scripture fulfilled. The Jews have got Palestine as an national home; Ireland has home rule. The earth has been hurt with the greatest war in history; also, the rise and development of the League of Nations. Then in the churches and religious world, revivals have waxed and waned. The Gifts of the Spirit, especially the gift of tongues has been restored, manifest, and opposed by many; and welcomed by babes. In my own life I have married a wife and have two children; and the greatest miracle is I am still alive and actively engaged in the Evangel though many friends and old acquaintances have been called home. I have proved what I preached in my own experience. For I was a sinner and Jesus pardoned me; I was a backslider and Jesus himself restored me; I was sick and Jehovah Ropheka helped me; I was in distress and trouble, and the Holy Spirit Comforted me. This is the covenant I have made with the triune God that I will serve Him for ever and ever. Amen and Amen.
1. Now the promise is mine,
I've a nature Divine,
My Father himself keeps the store.
I have plenty up there,
I'm a real millionaire,
And I'll not be poor any more.
2. There is joy up in heaven,
For the angels they sing,
While Jesus they praise and adore.
Like the lost sheep of old,
I came back to the fold
And I'll wander away no more.
3. I will evil eschew,
For the good I will do.
And work in Gods vineyard to day.
For this is my lot,
In the choice I have got,
Content with a labourers pay.
On the Church something short, and to the point may be said; namely its government, ministry and discipling.
It consisted of Bishops, presbyters and deacons. A bishop was an overseer of more than one assemblies. A presbyter was an old man in office. A deacon was an approved servant in material as well as Spiritual things.
It consisted in Apostles or sent ones and Evangelists. Apostles were pioneer missionaries; Evangelists were travelling preachers of the Gospel. The fixed ministers were prophets, pastors and teachers. Prophets were Extraordinary endowed with the Holy Spirit; Pastors were the above mentioned governors of the church. Teachers were readers and instructors of the Scriptures.
It consisted in teaching, and training believers in the doctrine of Christianity; or receiving worthy, or excommunicating the unworthy; also ordaining to office fit and qualified persons. No one should be excommunicated because of his nationality, poverty, or education, neither for a Scriptural experience or doctrine. Discipling should be excercized against sin, crime, or heresy unrepented of; but never against one who shows signs and fruits of having fellowship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 1 Tim. 3:1 to 13, Titus 1:5, 3 John, Acts 14:2, Matt. 16:18, Matt. 18:15 to 21, Acts 28:31.
Such a ministry purged from all unnecessary and unscriptural titles, gowns, images, masses and priestly clothes, also purged from all worldly pleasures is what the world needs. We want men like Hezekiah and Josiah, also like John Wycliffe, Martin Luther, John Bunyon, Kenzith, etc. who suffered to purify the church, and restore it to the standard of New Testament; also second century Christianity.
The various denominations of the earth who have accepted the Bible, as a Divine revelation from God; consequently defend Christianity as the only true religion, Jews and Mohammedans excepted. They all have the above offices in various forms and names; and while Scriptural terms are to be commended, yet to force or expect a uniformity of Church government would be unreasonable, unscriptural and unwise. The unity our Lord prayed for in John 17:21, was a Spiritual recognition and oneness; and this is produced by a new birth, and growth in righteousness and obedience, Eph. 4:13. For which the gifts of our risen Lord were given to the church.
Howbeit our Lord denounced flattering titles, long robes, exalted ambition, uppermost seats, Lording over God's heritages; and exhorted to simplicity, humility, plainness and a servants place. "But be ye not called Rabbi: for one is your Master even Christ; and all ye are brethren" Matt. 23:8. Many reformers in making from these additions and evils, have ran into the opposite of taking from the Word the pure gifts and offices required for edification and order: this is a serious mistake.
We are often faced with the question, why has God permitted so many divisions and sects in Christianity? A question not easy to answer; and yet I think it can be answered from Scripture. Men’s notions rose up against the purpose of God. In Genesis ten, we read of the city the tower, and the name against the command of God, "Multiply and replenish the earth." Gen. 1:28. In the New Covenant the commission of Christ to His disciples was, "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature," Mark 16:15. In Acts eight, verse one, we read it took a persecution to scatter the church at Jerusalem, "Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word." Verse 4. Every genuine revival has had its Exodus, and scattering. The tower and the name and the greatness was never God’s plan to Evangelize the world; and as in Genesis 10, God has to confound their languages in order to scatter them abroad; even so God permits diversity of opinions and gifts in order to spread the Evangel. Our Lord plainly foretold division. Luke 12:51. Paul gives the cause, 1 Cor. 11:18. Separation from evil and error is commended, 2 Cor. 6:17. A harlot church is represented in the Apocalypse; and God’s people are commanded to come out of her. Rev. 17:4. However we should labour for peace and unity among the brethren; as well as to preach the Gospel to the lost, and ______ ______ ______ every creature .
MARCH 1927: During the last two months we were tried to the uttermost by Home duties; wet and stormy weather; flu colds, etc. yet we looked to the Lord, who heard, helped and delivered. Praise His Holy Name.
On March the first I saw my wife and two children on the train in Belfast for Gorey, to see her people and spend two months for a change of air and holiday.
On Wednesday 2 – I preached in the home of James Gault, Ballymarlow, near Ballymena from Hebrews 9:19.
On Friday 4 – I visited thirty-two homes; and had personal talks with most of them about salvation.
On Sunday 6 – I preached at the morning breaking of bread, Ballymena; and in the evening in the Elim Hall, Colleybackey.
A word might be said concerning the moral law, or ten commandments. Our Lord quoted at least seven of them, so did Paul; and James quoted two of them and at least refers to five under the head Royal law – "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." James 2:8. "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just and good." Rom. 7:12. Seeing that the New Covenant is a higher standard Spiritually than the old, the higher standard does not abrogate the ten commandments but establishes them. Do we make void the law through faith God forbid; yea, we establish them. Rom. 3:31. No civil government can rule without them. The Spirit of Christ in us inclines our hearts to keep them. Rom. 8:4. Otherwise we might easily run into antinomianism and lawlessness.
On Tuesday 8 – I visited about thirty-nine homes. Except a few Faith Mission people who told me they were saved; the ordinary orthodox Presbyterian seems unable to give a reason for the hope that is in them and rather manifest a Spirit of prejudice when asked saying that they go to no place but their own place; howbeit villages and neighbourhoods differ. Indeed I have met a measure of this denominations bigotry, ignorance and darkness among all classes, especially manifested against the work and office of an Evangelist, yet the Evangelical side has ever been the life of the church; the clerical and pastoral side have showed great neglect and weakness in teaching the assurance of Salvation; and the present possession of eternal life, specially the Roman and Episcopalian, and I might add the Presbyterian churches, with few exceptions: and I would commend to all the study teaching and preaching of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans; and Johns Gospel, and Epistles in the most important and neglected subject. Methodist, Baptists, and Brethren who have revived the Evangelical side have risen to the New Testament standard on the theme of salvation, and the witness of the Holy Spirit; and I might add an increasing number of home and foreign missions such as the Faith Mission, Pentecostal, and Salvation Army people, Psa. 68:11.
About this time thirty years ago I met with that great and Godly man William Irvine while labouring in the County Clare. He now resides in Jerusalem. He seems to have given up the Evangelical side, and got involved in the prophetical side concerning the approaching end of the age. On this subject it is very easy to err and be side tracked or carried away; and while we mourn his lapse, we also pray for his restoration to his first love and works. Some who have fallen into the snare of the Devils who formerly had the promises are worthy of restoration. The Word of God saith, “I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and I will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment." Ezek. 34:16.
On Wednesday 9 – I visited forty homes in the districts of Dunadery and Summer Hill; sowing the good seed beside all waters. While we should treat all men kindly; yet every Christian should avoid heterodox doctrines of Spiritists, Romanists, Christian Science, Russelism, Mormons, Theophesists, etc, etc, and "Earnestly contend for the faith once delivered in the saints." Jude 3. I have seen the Grace of God displayed in the conversion of cases of Jews, Mohammedans, and Romans, Infidels, and Atheists.
I believe in "Love your enemies" Matt. 5:44. "Do good to all men" Gal. 6:10. "Prayer for all men" 1 Tim. 2:1. "Forgiving an erring Brother" Matt. 18:21. Not resist evil, Matt. 5:39. Avoiding rash judgment, Matt. 7:1, 2. “Judging their fruits”, Matt. 7:16. Keeping civil laws; and respecting the king, 1 Peter. 2:13, 14. Respecting the married estate, Heb. 13:4. Concerning the latter God favours it, Pro. 18:22. Governments protect it, Rom. 13:4. Old maids admire it, Isa. 4:1. Virgins respect it, Judg. 11:3.
On Thursday 10 – I cycled to Bangor, and spoke at a little prayer meeting in the home of Francis Acheson, and returned again on Friday, 12. On Thursday 17 – I cycled to near the hill of Slemish; where St. Patrick fed the flocks of Malcolm; on the return by Ballymena I preached on the street in Brushane; and preached at night meeting in the Elim Church, Castle Street. During the week I also attended a Mission in a Presbyterian Church, High Street Antrim; conducted by a minister named Sproule; and it was the most Evangelical and earnest I have heard in the Presbyterian Church for twenty five years; it is just what Antrim needs. Beside the famous office of lay Evangelists, God has, and is inside the churches raising up from time to time Godly ministers who labour for conversions, and preach the Gospel faithfully; but ah what a neglect by the majority; and what must be the account when the good shepherd requires the sheep at their hand?
At present all over the land there are widespread epidemics of sickness and disease; and the death rate very high. Many of the Lord's dear people have crossed the river; and many are in the valley; we have much need to be thankful for preservation in the midst of it all; and to redeem the time for the days are evil.
A short Treatise on Christian Baptism may not be out of place, as time and experience tends to perfect us in knowledge both helpful and beneficial to the soul seeking after truth. When we adjust and examine the doctrines we have been brought up in by the teaching of Scripture, as all believers should, we are surprised to find neither command nor example in the New Testament for infant sprinkling: but we do for infant dedication.
Many believers conscientiously think that infant baptism by sprinkling is sufficient; and fulfil the conditions of repentance and faith, and walk in newness of life; and when God receives them and they show fruits of it, why not we; neither should we raise a barrier or disturb their peace by rash judgment or fruitless controversies. Rom. 14 – better any mode or form of the ordinance than none at all. "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature." Gal. 6:15.
There are among Christians eunuchs, invalids, and idiots who never were baptized; also there are those who have repented, and like the dying thief had no opportunity of being baptized. There are in the world many who are ignorant of Christian baptism, because of heathen darkness and no teacher; and who have up to the light of their conscience turned to God from sin. Who can say that the Blood of Jesus has no plea for them; or who dare say that heaven will be shut to them because they never were baptized. Rom. 2:14, 15. To whom little is given little will be required. What must I say about those who altogether deny water baptism saying that there is only one baptism, namely the Baptism with the Holy Ghost; and are wise above that which is written. I praise them not; if such go to heaven, a full reward will not be given; they shall suffer loss. 1 Cor. 3:15.
There are well meaning Christians who say that Believers immersion is only an act of obedience; well, it is that but it is much more; it is a type of identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; it is a public profession of putting off for ever the old man, and putting on the new. And although justification is obtained by faith alone, yet the act of baptism following conversion is an outward type of remission of sins; which has already taken place through faith in the death of Christ: wherefore Gods order is repentance, faith, and baptism. Cornelius was saved and baptized with the Holy Spirit before water baptism. Acts 10:44 to 48. So was the Ethiopian eunuch. Acts 8:37 to 39. So was Saul of Tarsus. Acts. 9. Thus it is written, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Mark 16:16.
However, let no one who has been baptized by infant sprinkling, get it done by immersion, until they see it from the Scriptures for themselves; and is convinced that the Scriptural mode and time is adult immersion, once only after conversion; and let no one who has obeyed in adult believers immersion, ever be moved by any subverting influence to get it done the second time; as there is but one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Eph. 4:5. Personally I am convinced for myself, through the study of the Scriptures that Immersion after conversion is the proper mode and time though I have avoided making it a bone of contention; or a bar to Christian fellowship, as it hurts more essential truth.
Baptism is a personal act with personal responsibility at an adult age, when he or she can understand for themselves. With an infant it is not a personal act, nor choice; and are unable to answer for themselves. Had dedication or presentation of infants without water been properly taught, it would have saved Christianity from much serious dispute; nevertheless I am glad to say that it is reviving by Baptists and Pentecostal churches; and the opposition against adult baptism among Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Methodists, is decreasing every year.
There is another difficulty; was it single immersion or were they dipped three times? My answer is that there are no positive Scriptures to enable us to decide. I believe that all persons immersed once in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit are truly and evangelically baptized; but if they desire to be dipped three times, let them have their request; only, let them not make a rule of it when the Scriptures give no explicit instruction.
Single immersion in the Triune Name appeals to me to be the most natural; as a person is not buried three times but once; and I have baptized sisters in a fainting condition, in which life would have been endangered to dip three times; while they soon recovered the ordeal of one plunge beneath the cold water. I know that dipping three times was a very ancient custom; but we must not decide on such a point by the traditions of the Fathers, but by the Scriptures of truth the only infallible rule of faith. On such a fine point we should not be positive; lest the old serpent, Satan, lie hidden on the bottom of the waters.
All infants are the Lord's whether sprinkled or not. For the atonement of Christ cancelled the original offence; and are not responsible till they come to adult age to know the difference between right and wrong; and with their own choice and wills accept or reject Jesus Christ. Wherefore the means of regeneration is faith, a personal faith; and to awaken that faith: "It pleaseth God through the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe" Rom. 4:18, 1 Cor. 1:21. To substitute baptism for preaching and faith, is a serious error the Ecclesiastes run into at a very early age, making it the initiatory conditions of life and church fellowship. Although in proper order baptism should follow conversion; yet this order can be observed by Missionaries on new ground; than among nominal Christian nations who have undergone a form of it in infancy. Controversy, and rash judgment of a censorious kind has done more to hinder the truth and to quench the spirit of unity and love, than to establish it; Searching the Scriptures; and Godly example has probligated adult baptism in the earth so as that if a census was taken, adult immersion would exceed in numbers at home and abroad. If all infants baptized by sprinkling were in the act regenerated, we should naturally expect to see more fruits as they grow into adult years; and there would be no need for conversion; but contrariwise, we see little fruits and in the majority great need for conversion; therefore they need the Gospel preached to them as they grow up; and the good seed sown in their hearts in the Sunday School, and Bible class during childhood days. It is difficult to prove that the few texts quoted in support of infant sprinkling has any reference to baptism at all. Example as well as precept helps us to decide. Wherefore, we have example for keeping the Lord’s day; we have example for infant dedication; we have example for adult baptism; we have example for laying on of hands; we have example for anointing the sick; we have example for fasting; we have example for ordination but we have no example for infant baptism; and its origin can be traced to the council of St. Cyprian in the 3rd century.
Neither way seems to be a crime as some would make it. Consider the tender feelings of a mother, up to the light she has got, bringing her infant to be Christened; if she does it sincerely as an act of duty and consecration to God she has committed no sin. Consider also that young man, or maiden, newly converted, in their first love for Christ; humbly submitting to be immersed as a type of burial and resurrection with Christ; they have committed no sin as some would try to prove. Either way, water the outward symbol is used; the Triune name is invoked; and the conditions are the same; and God has bestowed His Spirit upon both parties. Nationality and climate, health and sanitary conditions may render an ordinance or sacrament impossible to be observed in the same way, in detail; while the principals and Spiritual conditions that govern the ordinances in their relation to God’s requirements remains unshaken and unchanged. While I write thus I would cast my vote on the side of Adult immersion as the more Scriptural, and original and primitive form of the ordinance others may see differently if they choose. If the Greek word "Baptize," means pouring as well as dipping; and Adam Clarke tells us it does; then it is optional as to which mode is used according to convenience and climate. Personally I have baptized two adults, invalids, at their own request who never were Christened.
APRIL 1927: On Sunday 3rd – I cycled to Ballymena, and preached at the breaking of bread service in the morning; and in Cullybackey Gospel meeting in the evening; returning again on Monday 4 – Concerning the sign of the cross in baptism or other Christian ordinances; where in the New Testament have we any command or precept for the superstitious use of it in the sense that Romans use it today. In the Old Testament we have the cross of Calvary prefigured in many types; but when our Lord said "It is finished" it was an end of sin offerings and Old Testament types. The Lord's Supper is a feast of celebration and remembrance; and the bread and wine are emblems of His broken body and shed blood; water in baptism is an outward type; so is oil in anointing; but there is command and example for these, but I find no Scripture for a crucifix, or making of necessity the sign of the cross. Let Roman Catholics, and Episcopalians, pay attention to the following Scripture. "He removed the high places, and brake the images, (or statues) and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto this day the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and called it a piece of brass." 2 Kings 18:4. See also 2 Chron. 34:1 to 4.
On Wednesday 6 – I preached in Park Gate, Connor, and Keaton on the streets. Weather and place helps much the voice of a herald in the open air; and love for the people constrains to take up the cross and hold forth the Word of God.
Two simultaneous events occurred recently that makes manifest lovers of truth, namely the revision of the book of Common Prayers, in Episcopalianism; with the introduction of some Romanish errors offensive to Evangelical Christians; also, the introduction of Modernism into the Theological colleges in Presbyterianism. We mean by modernism, any doctrines contrary to orthodox principals; especially a denial of the Divinity of Christ, and the atonement; and the inspiration of all the Scriptures in the received canon. "And say unto them" "Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling block out of the way of my people.” Isa. 56:14. These and worldly pleasure and unauthorized ritual has driven lovers of truth from their ______ so as that new assemblies called new sects, ______ ______ to increase in number as long as the cause remains. John 16:1, 2; 2 Tim. 3:1 to 5; Rev. 18:4.
On the 8 – I preached three times on the streets in Antrim; and attended a Bible class in the Brethren Hall; I wish we had more of them throughout the land for it is a right thing to meet together to study the Word of God. Neh. 8:8, John 17:16, 17.
On Sunday 10 – I cycled to Belfast, and preached twice in Hopeton Street assembly. The Lord’s presence filled the place, and I was refreshed in my soul. The assembly gave me one pound towards my work.
Not much is said in this journal of a very valuable feature of my work by post. In letter writing I do not lose time to write experiences so common that every child of God is having them every day; I try to concentrate to the point of necessity, or business; and give a word of comfort, warning, or advice when necessary. Any valuable pamphlet or periodical calculated to do good, and stir up gifts, and awaken faith; I post them to the persons whom they would help; besides Scriptures, Calendars, Almanacs, wall texts, and book.
Thursday 14 – During the last two months, the districts round about Antrim have been visited by various Evangelists, both Pastors and Laymen. At present an unsectarian minister named Courtney is having a mission in the Faith Mission hall, Oldstone; he is a splendid teacher on holiness, and the Baptism with the Holy Spirit; and although Antrim is hard ground for Evangelizing, quite an awakening in some places has taken place, and many has got converted; others also got the Baptism. In my own humble way I tried to help this work by prayer, house to house visitation, and attending when not otherwise engaged. This day I visited twenty two homes on the Antrim line to Belfast; I spoke personally to them who came to the doors, about their souls salvation with good conviction and results; one young man decided for Christ, and others were in the valley of decision. At night we had a half night of prayer for a revival; similar times nearly always attend a genuine revival in any town, city, and neighbourhood. See Acts 12:12.
On Saturday 16 – I cycled to Belfast, and preached in the Tabernacle, Melbourne Street, in the afternoon; and in the Mission room Ballysillen in the evening of Easter Sunday. On Easter Monday, I attended the conference in the new Tabernacle Raven Hill, Road. In the afternoon there was a baptismal service when fifty eight adults, male and female were baptized by immersion. I was asked to preach the word on that occasion; I felt my weakness, but looking to God for strength I had much liberty in speaking to above one thousand of an audience; the largest I ever spoke to. All over the city of Belfast, for a few years back, revival missions meetings and conference’s are being held and God’s richest blessing is being poured out on prayer meetings, open air meetings; Bible classes, and Sunday Schools, where souls get saved, restored, healed and blessed all Glory to God.
On the gift and office of an apostle, something might be said to profit. Our Lord first choose twelve, after the same principal of the twelve tribes in Israel. Matt. 10:2; and sent them, which is the meaning of the Greek word: these occupied an unique and foundation place, Eph. 2:20: and were eye witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus. Acts 1:22. After this the Lord appointed other seventy also, Luke 10:1. This corresponds with the seventy elders in Israel. Some others were called apostles such as Paul, Barnabas, James, etc. So far concerning the laying the foundation of Christianity; and the principals of the doctrine of Christ; also were inspired to write the New Testament; but was the office to be continued in the church? The Christian ministry may be divided into two classes namely the go and the fixed; in other words the apostolic and the pastoral. Disciples, who are chosen, called, and sent to preach the Gospel in heathen lands are doing an apostolic ministry; and may lawfully be called apostles; having Gods anointing and seal. This is a Scriptural, and an orthodox belief: so we may rightly judge that in this secondary and lesser and verbal sense, the gift of our risen Lord. Eph. 4:11, which he sets forth first in the church was to be continued. We read of false apostles; also, we read of a false church; but the existence of a counterfeit only proves that there exists a true church, a true apostle, a true ministry. Why should we substitute Worldly terms for Scriptural ones such as missionary, president, committee, etc? Do not the Scriptural ones carry weight, authority, respect, sweetness? such as Apostle, Evangelist, Pastor, Bishop, etc. The dictionary meaning of the word missionary is the same as apostle namely one sent from one country to another with a message and is an ambassador or apostle for Christ. However on all controversial points there should be liberty; and never made a bar to Christian fellowship, while men are sound on the essentials to life and Godliness. Amen.
On the 21 – I attended an installment service in Killead Presbyterian Church. I do believe in the public appointment of the various offices in the Church; however I am constrained to say the service lacked the Evangelical emphasis one would expect, and what is required. It had the form and a high ideal but lacked the Spiritual power we are used to in our Evangelical conferences. It’s not money, or education that is needed most, it is the Holy Ghost: Natural abilities, training, education, and organised aggression are good and necessary; but require to be watered with the Holy Ghost. The merits of our Saviour, Name, death, and precious blood could be set forth in strong language; and the experience that faith in Him brings, could be expressed and preached so as they all without it would be convinced of their great need. While the principals and rules that govern that church of the reformation, on the whole are Scriptural, a measure of ecclesiastical reform regarding titles and vestments are still necessary. Let Presbyterianism and Episcopalianism purge themselves from unnecessary ritualism and worldly pleasures; and return to the reformation doctrine of justification by faith; and seek the Baptism with the Holy Ghost; then they may boast of a Scriptural constitution unequalled in the history of the Christian Church.
On Saturday 8 – I went out to visit and invite people to Brother Courtney's
mission in Oldstone; on the return my kindness and self denial was doubly
repaid, for I met the man on his way for the Faith Mission conference
in Cullybackey; and he took me with him, paid my fare and we had an excellent
On Sunday 25 – I preached in the morning in Ballymena, and in the evening in Cullybackey. When cycling home I visited what I thought to be an afflicted and poor house; and to my surprise when coming away they gave me five shillings towards my work. It was a joy for me to hear the mother who eight years ago had lost her mind, now able to sing the twenty third psalm. On arriving home I found my calendar text to be, "In a great trial of affliction... their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality." 2 Cor. 8:2. It is a repeated experience after practicing kindness to the poor, that these acts are confirmed by the same thing happening to myself; these are the meeting-places of God with man; and the absence of them means "I never approved of you". On Tuesday 26 – I called at twenty four homes between Muckamore, and Antrim; where about two weeks ago, I had a talk with a young man who ridiculed hell fire; today I heard that he is dead; how precious were the intermittent days: I hope he found repentance.
I might here once for all give in condensed order the Principal Doctrines of the Christian Religion and at least two positive Scriptures to support them by way of command and example.
The Sabbath Day
That the Lord instituted one day in seven for rest and worship. Gen. 2:3; Acts 20:7.
That marriage is an institution of God; and that the state is honourable; and the free will thereof only in the Lord, to the believer. Gen. 2:18; 1 Cor. 7:39. As a Divine ordinance it is a remedy against sin, 1 Cor. 7:5 pronounced as good by God himself; designed for procreation and mutual fellowship. Children are a blessing from the Lord. Psa. 127:3 and birth control a great sin. Gen. 38:9. See also, Matthew 19:4 to 12.
Dedication of infants
That parents should dedicate their children to the Lord; for which act we have precept and example, Luke 2:22; Matt. 19:13 to 15. That they should believe for and expect their salvation. Acts 16:31; and send them to Sunday School to learn the Scriptures. Eph. 6:4.
It is the duty of every person as they grow into adult years to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour; to love God their heavenly Father; and serve him in the Spirit all the days of their lives. John 1:12, 13. This experience of being Justified, or born again is obtained by repentance towards God; and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 20, purchased for every man by the Precious Blood of Jesus. Rom. 3:2.
Confession of Christ with the mouth
That all who repent and believe should confess Christ with their mouths; for by doing this they receive the witness earnest, or seal, of the Holy Spirit. Rom. 10:9, 10; Rom. 8:16.
Baptism by Immersion
That baptism by immersion followed after being made disciples by believing; and was a personal and adult act of identification with the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Matt. 28:19, 20; Acts 8:12. It should not be repeated, Eph. 4:5.
The Lord's Supper
That every born again believer should meet together on the first day of the week; the Lord's day, for fellowship, breaking of bread and prayers. Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 11; that in the church there were three orders, or offices, designed to rule and control; by exercising church discipling and ministry, namely, bishops, presbyters, and deacons, Acts 14:23; Phil. 1:1, 2. In addition to these, from the church, were sent forth to spread the knowledge of the Gospel, ambassadors; namely, Apostles and Evangelists, Eph. 4:11; 3 John 7.
Sanctification and Holiness
That sanctification is an act and growth caused by the full surrender of the members to the head; it is followed by the cleansing of the Holy Spirit through which the abiding soul is purged from all inbred sin. Rom. 6; John 17:17; thus every disciple is called unto holiness, 1 Cor. 1,2.
Laying on of hands
That the doctrine of laying on of hands is Scriptural and was to be continued in the church, Heb. 6:1, 2. It was only done by elders, 1 Tim. 4:14; and the Holy Spirit was given with or without it. Acts 10:44.
Baptism with the Holy Ghost
That all believers were to wait for, and have the experience of the coming upon of the Holy Spirit; for power, for service, Mark 1:8; Acts 8:14 to 17. That the repetition of fillings, or anointings were to be always the experience of God's people. Acts 4:31; Eph. 5:18; 1 John 2:27.
That Christians were to excel in good works towards the Brethren and to all men, Gal. 6:10. Widows over sixty were to be helped by the free will offerings of the church, 1 Tim. 4. A tenth or tithes is commended by the Word, Mal. 3:10; 1 Cor. 16:1, 2; also they were to dress plain, 1 Pet. 3:1 to 5 and not accumulate riches, Matt. 6:19, 20. They are to manifest the fruits of the spirit in showing mercy, Matt. 5:1 to 12 in not resisting evil and to be given to prayer, praise and preaching, Matt. 5:39, 1 Thess. 5:16 to 20.
Anointing and healing the sick
Sick persons are to call for elders; who were to anoint with oil and pray the prayer of faith, James 5:14, 15; Mark 6:12, 13. Confession of sin to God necessary; and of faults to each other, 1 John 1:8; James 5:16.
Burial of the dead
That we have precept and practice for the burial of the dead and the word of truth read on the occasion, Jer. 22:19; Acts 8:2; Gen. 49:29, 30; 1 Tim. 4:5; 1 Tim. 2:8.
That the souls of all men live after their bodies are dead; the just in Paradise, Luke 16:19 to 31; and the unjust in a place of torment; both waiting the resurrection of their bodies at the coming of our Lord for judgment, 1 Thes. 4:12 to 18. These abodes in the Greek are called "Hades."
That our Lord Jesus Christ is coming again for his people; when at His coming there will be a resurrection of the just; and a rapture of all the redeemed to meet Him in the air; after which Satan will be bound for a thousand years, and an age of peace called the millennium, Rev. 20:1 to 6, John 14:3, Acts 1:11.
End of the world
That at the end of the world there will be a general resurrection of all, and judgment; after which the wicked shall be condemned to eternal punishment and the righteous to eternal happiness in the new heavens and the new earth, Matt. 25:31 to end; Rev. 26:11 to 15.
The inspired Word
That all this is the teaching of the inspired Scriptures which is the only rule of faith, and lives for ever, 1 Tim. 4:15__.
The Divinity of Christ
That our Lord Jesus Christ in His Divine nature was God; and in His human nature was man sinless and perfect. He was Emmanuel or God manifested in the flesh; and was begotten by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary. Isa. 9:6, 7; Matt. 1:18 to 25; John 1:1 to 3.
That by our Saviours death once for all on Calvary’s cross a full and perfect atonement is made for all sin; and every person can participate in its benefits; by faith in His Blood it is meritorious only to believers, Rom. 3:25; Heb. 2:9; and we need the continuous merits, and cleansing of the precious blood while in the body, 1 John 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:2.
That in the Godhead, there are three Divine persons; of one substance, namely The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, 2 Cor. 13:14; 1 John 1:7.
That the Devil is a Spiritual enemy of God and man and organises a host of wicked spirits against the righteous and we are to renounce him and all his works, Matt. 13:28; Gen. 3:15; Eph. 6:12. Through his subtlety came the fall of man.
Life a probation
That the whole period of life is one of probation; when man is called upon to turn from sin to God; and amend his ways and goings by accepting with his free will, the free Grace provided for the human race in the Gospel, Isa. 55:7.
Whole volumes might be written on these fundamental principals essential to life and Godliness, and many more Scripture quoted in their support. We may make mistakes in our administration of them; nevertheless, I have yet to be convinced that there is any heresy in believing and teaching the forgoing principals; but everything that makes for life and Godliness; and any departure from them is a byway to error. A fuller description is given in this book of all these doctrines together with a definition and meaning of the terms; but scattered throughout its pages. These are given to show God’s order in ministry; an order, if it had been attended to in the history of the church, would have saved it from many a controversy, and division. My work is so widespread and scattered, as that I cannot at all times write to satisfaction; but having this opportunity I embrace it to give my humble opinion to the best of my ability, concerning the Christian faith every believer embraces in order to ensure an eternity in heaven; trusting some day that it would be counted worthy to be printed and published so as that others may embrace the same Saviour; not being well up in Grammar and punctuation; some educated Christian friend may fit it for the press. John Long.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all people here below,
Praise Him above ye heavenly host,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
JULY 1927: Christians who reform, because they have been excommunicated from the churches because of their faithfulness; or who are constrained to leave through conscientious reasons; should take care not to run into an opposite extreme which would render their testimony as blameable as the erroneous systems they came out from. Also, should be open for a whole Bible; and not circumscribe part of the truth to the rejection of the rest of it.
I have seen more harm done to God’s cause by error of doctrine than by acts of sin; for those who fall into open transgression are humbled, and there is the possibility and probability of repentance unto restoration; but those who receive error are puffed up, and it is almost impossible to correct them; and to attempt to root it out may injure truth. God cannot bless error; yet He by sovereign grace can bless the measure of truth in any sect or mission, to honest and believing hearts.
If the word of truth that sets free, also the felt presence of the Holy Spirit, is with any mission or sect; so as that the people cannot help seeing the fruits thereof; it is good to encourage, and pray for such; and forbid them not, less we be found to fight against God. No Christian that follows the Lord wholly can be exclusive; for a practical obedience to the Words of Christ saves from bigotry, exclusiveness, and sectarianism; and it is along this open line that God revives His work.
It is now twenty years since I withdrew from the Go-Preacher fellowship, because I could not accept the development of their teaching along the lines of unchristianising all other churches, and persons; yet I do not hate them, nor despise them when I come in contact; but try to treat them as I do all other Christians with the Spirit of Jesus; and give them the credit for all excellencies found in their sect, but I don't get this in return.
On the 11 – I preached at the Prayer Union in Dunadery; providential workings resulted in their leaders asking me: I did not compromise but spoke with authority the neglected truths which were fairly received by some members.
On Sunday 17 – I preached in the village of Summer Hill and gave away many copies of the Christian Alliance. I have tried judiciously to divide the quality of the bundles of tracts, pamphlets, booklets, and magazines; to meet the need of the various districts wherein I have laboured; for discrimination is needed both in the oral and written word and we are exhorted to “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Tim. 2:15.
The month was spent doing home duties, house to house visitations, street preaching tours in County Antrim; and tract distribution; also entertaining visitors. A married man has increasing cares; of which the unmarried are exempt from; and we must avoid extravagances and luxuries, and be content with plain things regarding house furniture, food and raiment. The Scriptures sanction this; the voluptuousness of our age demands it. Every burden should be lain aside; also, every thing that deteriorates; all avarice, banquets, superfluousness, debauchery, threatenings, impetuous feelings, frivolousness, revengefulness. Prayer for our enemies; thankfulness for daily benefits, hospitality and charitableness should occupy the time in the home life: Thus home life will become benevolent, courteous, magnificent, pleasant, agreeable, productive, and happy. "Finally, Brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there by any praise, think on these things." Phil. 4:8.
AUGUST 1927: On Monday the first I started on a cycling tour to Cornwall. A Christian friend Reginald Lunt, Warrington, paid my fare by train as far as Gloucester. From thence I cycled to Penzance in five days, preaching on the streets and distributing literature all the way. In Truro, I spent six days, where I spoke much in courts and bye streets. The Open Brethren showed me no small kindness. On Tuesday 16 – I begun my return journey through Plymouth and Exeter, and cycled all the way to Castleton in Derbyshire where I arrived on Friday 26 – This constituted, by far the longest Pilgrim tour I ever took without harm or accident during which I circulated above six thousand tracts and booklets, seventy New Testaments; also preached forty times on the streets and twelve times inside; besides personal talks and house visitation. In Gloucester we prayed over a sister with a sprained ankle and God healed her of it and other ailments. To God be all the glory.
The Lord has given all this victory; and has as it were borne me on eagles wings over hill and dale, over rough and smooth places in all weathers giving triumphs in conversations, and answers to prayers in distress; also supplying my every need. To write an account of this great tour on every detail would take a volume in itself. On August 30 – I crossed from Liverpool to Belfast arriving home the 31 – It would be the ninety sixth sea voyage.
SEPTEMBER 1927: In the country between Crumlin, Templepatrick and Antrim, there lies a circular rout of about ten miles of a course. In this there is held annually Motor cycle races. On Saturday 3 – thousands of people from all quarters gathered together to see a race that a single skid or slip might be fatal to the competitors. During the day, taking the advantage of the occasion, I gave away two thousand tracts. I have no doubt but some fell by the wayside, others on thorny ground, and on rocks; nevertheless I believe some fell on good ground.
On Friday 9 – I went to Belfast to see my wife and two children on the train for the south. The journey to Gorey being long that it is necessary to stay at her own home for one month for a change of air, also to redeem expense; at any rate she needed this after so busy a summer with home duties and entertaining guests.
On Saturday 10 – I heard of the death of Uncle Billy Bray Derrinvohill, Ballyspillane, Borrisokane, County Tipperary age ninety years: he and his wife were the first to encourage me when a novice in Christian experience. He was born in Castleton near Birr, Kings County, and broke bread with J. W. Darby, one of the chief men among the Brethren. He was a devout Methodist for years; however, coming under the preaching of Edward Cooney, he accepted the truth as taught by him; however he gave evidence in his old age of an unbroken covenant with God through the Mediation of Jesus Christ.
On Sunday 11 – I preached in the new Tabernacle, Raven Hill Road, Belfast; and in the evening in the old Tabernacle, Townsend Street. At an open air meeting on the corner of Templemore Avenue, a crowd of anxious souls listened to the Word preached with conviction and hunger for the truth; in that meeting souls are being converted occasionally; believers helped, as young disciples develope their talents of testimony, song, and exhortation; for the open air is a good means of training for inside preaching.
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.
On the 15 – I completed the fifty fifth year of my age; and have attained unto the year of my father, Gilbert Long; who died aged fifty-six. I was a sinner and Jesus saved me. I was a backslider and Jesus restored me; I was sick and Jesus healed me; I was in trouble and Jesus delivered me. I am a great debtor to the grace of God; He has been very good and merciful to me all the days of my life; therefore I will love and serve Him, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; for ever and ever, Amen. So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom, Psa. 90:12. In the evening I preached in Castle Street, Ballymena from the text, Psa. 90:10.
On the 18 – Being the Lord's Day I preached in a Mission Hall, Urney Street, Belfast, in the morning and at night. In the afternoon in the Bethesda Mission, Crumlin Road. During that last seven years it has been a plowing and sowing and watering time, and only an occasional conversion. At the night meeting in Urney Street, six adult persons decided for Christ. All glory to God who promised, "Be not weary in well doing for in due season we shall reap if we faint not", Gal. 6:9.
The following interesting extract was taken by me from the writings of Titus Flavius Clemens the illustrious head of the Cathechetical School at Alexandria, at the close of the second century; he was a famous Christian and Missionary, and his writings furnish some of the finest composition of that time.
"Now this work of mine in writing is not artfully constructed for display; but my memoranda are stored up against old age, as a remedy against forgetfulness; truly an image and outline of those vigorous and animated discourses which I was privileged to hear, and of blessed and truly remarkable men."
I would add to this that in leaving some written composition behind whether it be a diary or Journal; or writing on any subject calculated to edify its readers, a man may be sowing seed that will spring up, and bring forth fruit long after this mortal body cumbers in the grave.
It is not out of place, as I have a leisure moment to give a short Treatise on Satan, Sin and Hell. I will try and be precise and to the point.
Very little is revealed to us in the Scriptures concerning the origin of the Devil. The most received opinion and the one most likely to be the truth, is that he once was an angel in heaven and occupied a high place; but being a free will servant of God, he violated it; and kept not his first estate and was cast out, he and his angels into the bottomless pit. Our Lord said concerning him, "And abode not in the truth." John 8:44.
That sin originated with him, and that he became an enemy is very plain from these words, "An enemy hath done this" Matt. 13:28. In acts and character he is all the opposite of God namely wicked, hatred, destructive, deceiver, liar, unjust, tempter, etc. Gen. 3:1 to 15; Rev. 11:7.
He deceived our first parents and sowed the seeds of sin, sickness and death. He organises his host against the children of men tempting, destroying, perverting and indwelling all who become captivated by him. Mark 5:2 to 15; Luke 13:16; Matt. 12:26.
That hell is a lake of fire and brimstone, which God hath from the beginning prepared for the Devil and his angels, Mal. 25:41; and that Satan and his angels together with the wicked shall be cast into the lake of fire, Rev. 20:10.
As to the extent or degree of torment or punishment I cannot say only, “The judge of all the earth will do right.” It is “Everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.” 2 Thes. 1:9. The bodies of the unsaved shall rise again, be reconstructed; and the fire of Gehenna preserves instead of annihilates. For every one shall be salted with fire, Mark 9:2. Reader "Flee from the wrath to come."
The Greek word "Hades" and its equivalent in Hebrew "Sheol" very frequently translated hell means the separate abode of disembodied spirits till the resurrection, Luke 16:19 to 31. The righteous compartment is called Paradise or Abrams bosom, Luke 23:43. Tartaroo only occurs once in the New Testament, namely 2 Pet. 2:4, and means the lowest hell. The eternal hell is the lake of fire called Gehenna; from which the Jews called the Valley of Gehenna where all the offscouring and unclean refuse were cast; and the destructive fires, and the corruptive worms never ceased to consume their fuel. In this valley the idolaters caused their children to pass through the fire to (Lev. 18:21) Moleck. Our Lord may have referred to this valley, Mark 9:42 to 50.
Two texts of Scripture from two of the greatest prophets in the old Testament, namely Daniel and Isaiah; also two texts of Scripture from our Lord and Paul in the New Testament contain the two most powerful words in the Bible to express the endless time; and are both translated eternal or everlasting, namely Olam and Aion: both are used to express the abode of the lost. Dan. 12-2, Isa. 55-14, Matt. 25-46, 2 Thes. 1-9.
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.
On Saturday 24 – I finished reading the Bible the fourth time since
I was married; altogether I must have read it at least 18 times completely
through during my life time; and yet it is a new book, and always fresh.
Reading the Bible in this fashion at family worship, saves from neglect;
also it brings all Scripture under survey continually. Psa. 1:2.
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.
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.
Compare these with enumerated works of the flesh and a description of the natural unregenerated man. Unrighteous, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful; Rom. 1:29 to 31.
fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred,
variance, emulations, wrath, strife, sedition, heresies, envying, murders,
drunkenness, revellings, Gal. 5-19 to 21.
Signs of the last days: Lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those which are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. Having a form of Godliness but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2 Tim. 3:1 to 5.
On Sunday 25 – I cycled over to Ballymena where I preached in Castle Street assembly in the morning and in Cullybackey Mission in the evening: and encouraged the saints to pray for fine weather that the remainder of the harvest be not destroyed; owing to the continuous rain in August and September.
September 27 – Having a leisure hour, and in order to redeem time I write short notes on important subjects; stating my opinion in such a way as I have learned by experience, Scripture, and helps; avoiding as much as I can reiteration and unnecessary repetition, trusting that the productiveness of new thoughts may somewhere and at some time be a help to others besides myself.
Concerning Faith Lines and a fixed or stated salary. To those who have a stated salary and are faithful in our Lord's vineyard, whom God has received and honoured and blessed; I do not dispute the point or unchristianise them; but to those who live in luxury, and excessively; and are characterized to neglect to preach the Gospel to the poor, and feed His lambs and His sheep; I would say, yet not I but the shepherd in the Scriptures of truth, "I will require my flock at their hand" Eze. 34:1.
Concerning a fixed salary we have no positive Scriptures to support it; but we have for a maintenance or provision for Pastors, and Evangelists who give their full time in the work of the ministry. 1 Cor. 9:14; 1 Tim. 4:17. Faith Lines as it is called has many promises, aspects and facilities, even that the salaried preacher has not; together with its adventure, trials, tests, and victories; it makes for itself channels and avenues through which God works, and provision flows hither to unthought of and undiscovered. "I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and the hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which called thee by thy name, am the God of Israel." Isa. 45:3. This has been my experience now since 1899; and the four years preceding were a training furnace preparing the way.
Concerning collections and free will offerings at meetings, a word in season can be said suggestive to all. Proper teaching on the subject of tithes, firstfruit and almsgiving is necessary in its place and time as that young disciples may be instructed in stewardship which secures unto themselves blessing and promises beyond all other conditions of inheritance. Titus 3:8. Let all believers give attention to the teaching of Paul to the Corinthian Church. “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” 1 Cor. 1:2. The people, called the Brethren excel in practice and example in this respect: they have some good qualities, that deserves commendation, especially in conformity to the Scriptures on the Lord’s Day worship.
Living as lords and reigning as kings over God's heritage has no sanction in the Scriptures (regarding offices in the church) but is strongly reproved: therefore every Apostle to other lands, and every Evangelist in the home lands; as well as the Bishops, presbyters, and deacons should be content with a labourers pay; also should be an ensample to the flock, kindly disposed, and given to hospitality. A little surplus money to super abound is not out of place; and a good use can be made of it in making friends with the mammon of unrighteousness. We all feel the need of this in going among the poor and sick and needy; the fig and the grape are found to prove that we are true prophets, and not false. Matt. 7:16.
In November 1900, while in Lennoxtown, Scotland, I underwent one of the severest financial trials of my life’s experience; the trial was met by faith and prayer. It was during that trial I first met with a Scriptural Block Calendar; and the text on it turned out to suit my experience; and thus perceiving that God was speaking to me through it I began to use one for my own experience and use. From 1901, I began to purchase them for particular and specified friends, as Christmas and New Year presents. Some of these friends began to consider my work, and to give me some money towards it and this has gone on increasing ever since, and now it is an annual comprehensive, and systematic part of my work, greatly used of God. I commence my annual rounds with them every year in October; together with preaching in various Mission halls, and Churches and Chapels everywhere I go; this avenue through which God works to supply our need is one of the ways that has upheld me on Faith Lines. There are other avenues similar, but I mention this one to show the reader how God invents ways known to Himself. This is no violation of Faith Lines; it hath a Divine origin, a Divine blessing, a Divine increase. I give them free, and send them by post free. "Freely ye have received, freely give," Matt. 10:8. Then many well to do, out of their abundance, give towards my work. The largest sum I have received is five pounds; the smallest six pence. "If we have sown unto them spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap their carnal things," 1 Cor. 9:11. Of the Calendars there are a large variety and sizes, and designs; not always are the large ones the best selection of texts. I have known the small one to excel. The principal depots have purchased them from at wholesale price are R.L. Allan & Sons, 131 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow; also McClay & Sons, 42 - 44 Ann Street Belfast.
Having written notes on the doctrines of the Christian faith, I will now proceed to write short notes on the Methods and Manner of Divine Worship; and the different and many means used to reach mankind with the Gospel; also to make disciples, build them up and edify the same.
Marriage is a legal and religious rite, instituted of God for procreation, partnership and family, and mutual help; it is a moral necessity, a remedy against fornication and loneliness, and imperfection in man; for in women there is a supply of virtues lacking in man.
Restricted and guarded acquaintance is necessary before marriage, in order that the pair may be guided aright in their choice, being equally yoked. This should not be too long, lest the pair should be distracted or run into temptation; neither should it be too hastily done lest either sides discover too late that they have made a mistake; for it is a bond forever. Much courtship is dangerous; as both are to remember that they are not one flesh till the bond is solemnized. Parents should endeavour to guard the youth of their children; and in chastity give them some necessary instruction on the laws of human nature that govern both the sexes. Parents should not hinder their children, when they come to ripe age to get married, when they meet with a proper partner. Much harm may be done by the people reporting intended marriage before the pair is ready, or has the day fixed. See what Adam the first, the last Adam, and Paul said on the subject. Gen. 2:23 to 25; Matt. 19:3 to 9; 1 Cor. 7.
Concerning the marriage service: prayer for the pairs welfare is commendable; also one or two hymns of praise to God. It is a grand opportunity for a good sermon to the pair, to the guests, and to the spectators. See John 2:1 to 11; 1 Tim. 4:3 to 6. Let the pair love each other and study each others dispositions and temperaments; also bear one another’s burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ. Gal. 6:2.
The value and necessity for this means of Grace should be taught by Pastors. The responsibility of the practice of it rests very largely with the head of the house. A fixed half hour morning and evening saves from neglect. See Rev. 8:1 to 5. It serves many fruitful purposes; as I have mentioned elsewhere specially the purpose of asking from God what we need daily for ourselves and others. It is helpful to accompany its utility by Daily Bible reading chapter after chapter. It is an antidote and preventative against backsliding; and a constant testimony to everybody that we are God’s family.
In the old Testament dispensation, women were to bring a lamb or turtle dove as an offering, after child birth. See Lev. 12:6. In the New Covenant, she is free from this obligation; however the type always suggest an antitype; and the least she may do after so great a deliverance is to appear publicly to return thanks. Luke 2:22 to 35; 1 Tim. 2:15.
Concerning harvest thanksgiving: In the Old Testament the feast of weeks or Pentecost, with its tribute of a free will offering according as the Lord their God hath blessed them. Deu. 16:9, 10. We have no occasion to bring corn or fruit in the New Covenant; but certainly a thanksgiving service with a free will offering of money is in harmony with the will of God. When a King or Prince proclaims a national day of humiliation of prayer and fasting, or thanksgiving, every loyal subject who fears God and honours the King, should join in, for righteousness shall establish a nation; but sin is a reproach to any people. "Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." Phil. 4:6.
Public Dedication of Infants
A public dedication service of infants is both Scriptural and in harmony with religion, common sense, and the Holy Spirit; and none would forbid it but conceited Brethren, and stern disciples, needing the rebuke of the gentle Jesus, meek and mild. Matt. 19:13 to 16. In the Law, mothers in the case of the birth of males were to appear before the Lord thirty-three days after confinement; in the case of females, sixty and six days. This seems to suggest such a period of time when she would have recovered her strength enough to publicly attend a thanksgiving service. It is a public act before God and the people on the part of parents that so far as their duty lies, they are willing to consecrate their infants to God and His service. It is also an opportunity, after the example of our Lord to pray for them. This, elders can do by placing their hands on their head and taking them up in their arms. It is also an introduction into Christian name and fellowship. See Eph. 6:4.
Places designed for public worship were dedicated to God in the Old Testament. 1 Kings 8. Our Lord seemed to sanction every place in the New. John 4:21. And above the place, the quality. Vs. 23; 24. He knew that poverty and persecution would render it impossible to have expensive and elaborate and magnificent buildings; more a burden than a freedom more a curse than a blessing. It is worthy of remark that in the Acts of the Apostles, the Christian Church had its birth in an upper room; and met there for worship on the Lord's Day; also in the homes of elders. See Philemon 2. However, plain buildings dedicated to God, and set apart for the Church to meet and worship in are necessary in every age, and country; both for cleanliness, and convenience. There are certain principals essential to life and Godliness; also certain requirements for sanitary reasons, age never alters; and once sanctioned in the Scriptures, is for ever sanctioned.
Sunday School Service
Although we have no example of an organised Sunday School in Scripture, yet the plain teaching of God to Moses, and of the Son of God to Simon Peter is "Teach them to thy Children." Deu. 6:7. "Feed my lambs." John 21:15. On this subject all sects of Christians are agreed. The Episcopalians have a good Sunday School. Let us give credit where it is due. To divide a Sunday School into classes is by far the best for two reasons. First children are controlled better in that way; and the lessons can be suited to their age. Secondly, it gives teachers, specially sisters something to do both beneficial to the children and to themselves. Titus 2:3-5. To open with prayer and singing is best. The distribution of Texts, Bibles, or good books for prizes encourages the young to run well so as that they may obtain; but pains should be taken as to the quality of literature given to instruct their young and tender minds for we reap whatsoever we sow.
When young men and maidens come of age they are apt, instead of becoming teachers, to leave off Sunday School and fall into neglect. A Bible class is a good means to keep them going; also to water the seed already sown during Sunday School years; this can be held on Lord’s Day, afternoon, or on week nights. The Brethren have a good Bible Class. Let us also give them credit where it is due. In a Bible class there should be control and liberty; the one to maintain order; and the other to have the help and opinion of fertile minds. In this meeting a one man ministry is not the best. A short prayer and hymn is helpful, to rest the body by a change; and inspire the mind by a variety. The Christian Endeavor Society have a good Bible Class, and follow this line in their methods and object and pledge.
Although Temperance, and Band of Hope meetings are somewhat secular; yet they need not be so; as they are splendid opportunities for Gospel Hymns, prayer, and aggressive Christian service; bringing before the people danger and rescue; disease and remedy; and helps to prepare the way and are stepping stones to the Cross of Calvary. That the Bible teaches temperance is very manifest both in the Old and New Testaments; and it is spoken of as one of the fruits of the Spirit. Gal. 5:23. Alcoholic drinks have been, and are still one of the most deadly enemies of the human race; and only the power of God can give the strength to forsake it. Drunkenness is a degrading and defiling vice and the avenue to all other demoralizing sins. To get the young into the pathway of life where they will never know the taste of it; and not only be temperate, but total abstainers for ever is a good work; and no good work should be despised.
The Methodist class meeting was open to all who had a desire to “flee from the wrath to come”; it has grown nearly extinct in Ireland; but is still kept alive in England. There is no doubt but it was an individual, as well as a collective help. The following extract from John Wesley’s Journal shows its original design; and the texts of Scripture it was founded upon. “This evening our little society began, which afterwards met in Fetters Lane. Our fundamental rules were as follows. In obedience to the command of God by St. James; and by advice of Peter Bohlen, it is agreed by us that we meet together once a week to Confess our faults one to another, and pray one for another that we may be healed.” Standard edition by Cully, Page 459; May 1738.
The Ayann, Agapee, or Love feasts were in the Primitive Church charitable meals got up for strangers who travelled a long distance to worship on the Lord’s Day. This excellent provision crept into abuse and became extinct in the fourth century. At these banquets there was singing and holy conversation on Spiritual things. A form of it was restored by John Wesley and still exists in the Methodist church and the Salvation Army. It seems to be in reference by St. Jude 12. "These are spots in your feasts of charity" (Love feasts). The Methodist Love Feast consists of a biscuit and water; followed by an experience or Testimony Meeting; much the same as the class meeting.
A testimony meeting is usually held at the close of a Mission or Convention. A great revival of it took place under the labours of D. L. Moody, and I. D. Sankey, together with the singing and publication of that sweet Hymn Book; that lives and will live to the praise of God and the benefit of the Church militant. Any open meeting where there is liberty to pray, sing, speak, or testify is sure to help the Spiritual life of the church; for the Scriptures encourages God's people to confess Him in the sanctuary; also to the world and before men. Psa. 144:1-12, Matt. 10:32-33. Many believers get the witness of the Holy Spirit in the act of confessing Christ. Rom. 10:9, 10. This also is one of the best training schools for public preaching. No believers who love unity, and peace, should take the advantage of an open meeting; either to speak or pray too long; or to put forth unwisely a controversial doctrine or opinion "Quench not the Spirit". 1 Thes. 5:14. Testimony should be true, short, and up to date.
No matter what form they take, they are powerful means of Grace; and no church can thrive without them. The society of Friends have their times of quiet waiting upon God for the Holy Spirit to move them. The people called the Pentecostal people have their weekly waiting prayer meetings for the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. The Faith Mission have their Prayer Union, where every member is supposed to take part. In most chapters of the Acts of the Apostles we have ideal prayer meetings; and it can be proved that sisters took part, as well as brothers. Acts 16:13, 14. Days of prayer and fasting were ever the resort of Gods people during time of distress, war, pestilence and persecution. Half nights and whole nights of prayer were always signs of revival seasons. See Acts 12:12. No man will backslide on his knees praying; no church will lose its savour which has her days of prayer.
That prayer meeting by the river side in Philippi seems to have been a sisters’ Prayer Meeting. A mothers’ meeting is a provision for women, whom, through home duties cannot get out to night meetings; and many have been reached in this way by the Saving power of the Gospel in Hymns, or short sermons given unto them. They have a cup of tea, followed by a spiritual meal. This is not unscriptural and resembles the Primitive love feast. I am glad to say that Brethren in England have mothers’ meetings.
Lord’s Day Meeting
This is the Holy place of the church; heaven is the Holy of Holies. I have said so much on the Lord’s Day worship elsewhere that I will not say much here, in order to avoid repetition. See Acts 2:42 and Acts 20:7.
Lord’s Day Gospel Meetings
All sects of Christians have a Sunday Evening service, when saints and sinners, in fact everybody are welcome to come. At this meeting the Evangelical note should be sounded, namely ruin by the fall; Redemption by the (Holy Spirit) Blood, and regeneration by the Holy Spirit should be preached from every pulpit with no uncertain sound. Everything should be free, seats free, hymn books free, and a free Gospel. Occasionally the Gospel net should be pulled in and anxious souls dealt with in pointing them to the Saviour, and in prayer. I see nothing unscriptural in music in worship and meetings. Psa. 150; Rev. 15:2. Solo singing, when done to the Glory of God is very fruitful and effectual. Hymns, Psalms and Spiritual songs are sanctioned by the Lord. See Matt. 26:30; Eph. 5:19.
These are looked upon as the most effectual means of reaping where others have sown; and gathering into the fold the lost ones. They are mostly held by lay Evangelists, in Churches, Mission halls, and tents, etc. However of late years, they have failed to reach the masses as the people have grown hardened; and the falling away has come; and if they will not come in, we are to go out to them. Luke 14:21-23. Prayer, praise, and preaching together with reading the Scriptures constitute the primary means of service; and this uniformly and universally, the means which God has ordained to reach mankind. These are mostly accompanied with after meetings, to give the anxious an opportunity to decide for Christ. This can be either overdone or underdone; and it requires discernment and wisdom on the part of the Evangelist.
Open Air Meetings
This a necessary and Scriptural branch of the Lord’s work and is accompanied with much self denial, humiliation and hardships; and does not at all get the consideration and support that it requires and deserves; yet it is used to reach a class of people with the Gospel, unreached by other means. There are three different features, namely field meetings, Street preaching, by organised bands; also individual stands in bye streets, courts, or Market places. It can be accompanied with the distribution of tracts. Indeed the Greek word, K______ Keerux, means a herald or publisher and can be rightly applied to a street preacher. See notes for September 1898.
House to house visitation
This is a means of bringing the Gospel to the homes of the people; and is very largely the work of Scripture Readers, Colporteurs, and city missionaries. Of this there are two species of visitations; namely accessible homes where the visitor can enter in, and read and pray with the sick, old aged, and infirm. Then there is calling from door to door, giving them a tract; and speaking personally to the inmates about their soul’s salvation. This requires great courage, much wisdom, and good health; for it is very exhausting to the vitality of Spirit, soul, and body. Strangely to say, the people do not come out to meetings through this means. See Luke 14:18; Acts 20:20.
The Lord Jesus said "As my Father hath sent me, even so, send I you." John 20:21. Every pastor, and Evangelist, and Christian worker should carry the Gospel message with them wherever they go; on land or sea, at home and abroad, in fields or highways, towns or villages; in trams, cars, trains, by night or by day. They should always be watching to speak a word for Jesus and Redeem the time. Such personal talks have a lasting effect; and God will give the wisdom, and tact how to deal with every case.
There are many ways of making use of Tracts to profit; selected ones can be sent by post in letters; they can be used as an introduction to homes or personal conversations. They can be put into letter boxes and left at wells, stiles, paths. They can be given out broadcast to large crowds of people. No matter which, they should be backed up with prayer. The same can be said of periodicals, pamphlets, and booklets, Wall texts, and Almanacs.
Selling and giving away Bibles, Testaments, Gospels and other portions to Roman Catholics, Jews and Heathens, accompanied by the oral message, is a work that God has always used and blessed. See my notes on Colportage experience, from February 1895 to 1899. Omitting selling, every faithful Evangelist and Pastor knows something about this, more or less.
Conferences and Conventions
These consist of two sorts, sectarian and unsectarian. Every church or sect has their annual Conventions or meeting of delegates to consider various matters of importance concerning the Kingdom of God; doctrine, appointments and finance, etc. The other sort is unsectarian, annual; and are composed of choice servants of the Lord, met together as "All one in Christ Jesus" for the deepening of Spiritual life, such as Keswick. See notes for July, 1908. This is Scriptural, see Acts 15. Besides these, there are local meetings of Elders and Deacons, met together to talk about the workings of their assemblies. Acts 20:17 to 38. Every believer if possible should try and spend a few days every year at an holiness convention. Not always is it a grand experience; I have come away from them blessed; and I have come away from them pained and wounded sore.
There are not many of these in the British Isles, but they are on the increase. To pray for the sick is a command, as well as a duty. James 5:14 to 16. Meetings where sick and diseased can ask to be anointed for healing should be in every town and church: but sad to say, unbelief has ruled it out; and many are more given to oppose this truth than to repair the altar which was thrown down. However on this subject I have dealt at large in other parts of the book.
Baptism of Adults by immersion is sure to gather a large audience; and this is an opportunity for a stirring address on the occasion. These services are better attached to Conferences; where there is proper provision and sympathy. They speak for themselves; and the results of the candidates who obey is sure to beget the same obedience in spectators, hitherto not immersed.
Burial of the dead service
The Gospel of comfort to the mourners, and the Gospel of repentance to sinners is not out of place on the occasion. How much pride, show, waste, and expense is attached to the burial of the dead; so as that it is made an unbearable burden to the poor and needy. The customs of the people are vain; and children of God should not be conformed to them.
Ordination of elders service
No assembly should be without control; and the public appointment of offices in a church; or apostle going to foreign land, on mission work is Scriptural see Acts 6:6; Acts 14:23. A meeting for prayer and counsel on the occasion is very impressive, Acts 13:2-3.
These are best held by returned missionaries; as it is in line because of their experience. See Acts 14:26, Acts 15:12. Such meetings are very powerful and effectual; to stir up Christians unto more self denial, zeal, and communication.
I have no prejudice to the good old book; there is much of its contents Scriptural, pure and orthodox. However I beg leave to ask a question, has it not become so formal and familiar, that the constant reading of the same thing has lost its effect? I don't see any positive scripture for its use, extempore prayer in the Holy Ghost is the teaching of Scripture. Jude 20.
Hymns are very largely Scripture paraphrased, or Scripture in metre. Written prayers can be done without; and prayers from the heart seem more effectual and powerful; but we cannot sing hymns so easy without a book. Any servant can utter a prayer; but any servant of the Lord can’t sing hymns without a book unless they are retained by memory, the one is prose; the other is poetry. Chanting or singing prayers never appealed to me; Singing hymns appeal to me, and has been much used of God in revivals, also it is Scriptural. Eph. 5:19. A Christian can do without a prayer book, to his profit; but he cannot do without a hymn book, except at a great loss.
OCTOBER 1927: There has passed from this scene, some eminent leaders of Christian Missions and work; among them, that good man J. G. Govan, Leader of the Faith Mission. As an advocate and teacher of Salvation and holiness, perhaps there were none to excel him in our generation: and he lived what he preached. On some points we differed with him, but this is no time to recall them. The fruits of his labours are world wide; and we all tasted somewhat of the benefits of them.
On Sunday 2 – I preached in Hopeton Street, Full Gospel Assembly, both morning and evening; and during the month had many journeys to and from Belfast, and Ballymena sowing the good seed of the Word of God.
On Thursday 13 – I preached in the home of James Gault, Ballymarlow; and on Fri. 14th I had a visit from Brother Boyd, a Missionary from You-Nan-Fu, China, who spent one night with me.
During the week I attended a mission held in Antrim Methodist Church by two sisters, (Deaconess's) one of them is a converted Roman Catholic. The Methodist society make some efforts to reach the Romans by the means of Colportage work and street preaching in the Free State; and God seems to set His seal upon their efforts. During my life’s experience I have seen Thomas Connellan, a converted Roman priest; also, Dunivan who is now a Methodist Minister, and two brothers of the Doherty's; also two brothers of the Conellans converted men, now Christian workers, who through various convictions and instrumentalities were led into light and liberty wherewith the Son of God makes free. Besides these in England and elsewhere, I have met with many local persons who through accepting the Gospel left the bondage of Rome and joined some of the Evangelical Protestant churches or missions; all who can give a reason for the hope that is in them.
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 come 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 truths, 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. Waldenses, Lollardists, 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 Workhouses 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.
During this year of Grace, 1927, being detained at home on certain wet days; in order to redeem the time I have written more extended notes on many useful subjects, feeling that whatsoever we do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus; and to the Glory of God.
On Wednesday 19 – I cycled to Portadown and returned again on Thursday 20 – after visiting some old and valued friends. We had a very wet Autumn till the first of October; and when farmers began to despair of a harvest; and prayer was extensively offered, we had three weeks of almost beautiful summer weather, proving to everybody that there is a supreme being who knows, who hears, who loves, who cares for the children of men.
NOVEMBER 1927: On Wednesday 3 – I crossed the Irish Sea from Belfast to Liverpool and on the 22 – returned again from Fleetwood to Belfast. I have crossed the sea ninety eight times, in all conditions of weather; near Belfast harbour, we beheld one of the many wonders of the sea, namely a beautiful mirage caused by the shadow of the many electric lights reflecting on the waters. Heaven must be a beautiful place.
I beheld the havoc made by a tidal wave which broke in on Fleetwood
town, so as that the waters rose six foot and swamped many streets and
houses causing disaster to human lives, beasts, and distruction of furniture:
making people set less value on earthly things; Perhaps never since the
days of the Apostles has there been such results of crowded meetings; also
salvation and healing as attended the revival campaigns held by Stephen
and George Jeffreys in many towns in England, Scotland and Wales: the need
is great and the end is not yet.
From the third century to the thirteenth, there is a great blank in the history of Evangelical Christianity. Surely the church must have been asleep, or all the heathen nations would have been enlightened with the pure light of the Gospel; and quickened from the life of the true Vine. If the office of an Evangelist, or Missionary had got its proper place and attention, it would not have taken twenty centuries so as that the ends of the earth would have seen the Salvation of God; Popes, priestcraft, and clericalism dominate what was called the Catholic Church to such an extent as that they shut out true Evangelism; also, hindered the Scriptures being read by the laity until the Reformation dawned to allow every man his right to the throne of Grace apart from the mediation of men of like passions of themselves; for all believers are Kings and priests unto God. Also put the Bible into the hands of all and allowed them the liberty to read it and understand for themselves. If the truth of sanctification by faith and its accompanied witness of the Holy Spirit had been preached, the fruits thereof would have been assurance, and newness of life. If every genuine disciple had been encouraged to pray, testify, speak, and work in their Masters vineyard; and not a one-man ministry, how widespread would have been the growth of truth in the earth; and what liberty in the Spirit the world would have enjoyed.
Rome holds on to traditions not according to the Word. Episcopalianism follows hard after. Since the time of John Wycliffe there has been a developement of light and truth; and a worldwide circulation of the Scriptures; Missionaries, or apostles have gone forth into every land. There has been a strenuous effort to bring the church back to the standard of the New Testament even in my own time. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are manifest in various parts of the earth. And in opposition to worldliness, lawlessness and infidelity, there is a separated and sanctified people who look for and love the appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The Spirit of Antichrist is abroad in the earth. Worldly customs and fashions are becoming more and more notorious. Men are lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. Spiritism, conjury, charmers, fortunetellers and false teachers, also false prophets. Young men are fast living; young women loose, lawless, half naked and giddy. The rush for pleasures, honours, and riches are on the increase; crime, suicides, and divorce are rampant. Surely all these are approaching signs of the end of this age. The midnight cry has gone forth, Behold the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet Him. The recent great war has turned things upside down: The burden of taxation rests heavy on this generation. In the midst of all, Gods dear children have peace in Jesus, and shine as lights in the world holding forth the Word of Life.
It is a mistake that Protestant ministers should adapt Roman Catholic titles and dress; for such a distinction there is no New Testament support; but contrarywise is rebuked by our Lord and His Apostles. See Matt. 23:8; Luke 22:46, 47; 1 Peter 5:3. Why not pastors dress plain and neat and clean like their Brethren. Such a clerical attire maintains a priestlyness; and makes an image to the beast which received a wound with the sword and do live. Puritans, Quakers, and Brethren, Go-Preachers, and Faith Mission Elders and Missionaries who dress like the common people; and who protest against the other are sometimes called dissenters by the Ecclesiastes of the Catholic Churches; when in reality they are the ascenters restoring things to the Pattern as seen in Jesus and His Apostles.
At the same time, while I speak thus on an important matter of obedience: I do not deny but there are regenerated men among them; and men used of God, and we do not reject fellowship with them on that account, if in other respects they are faithful; however we prefer conformity to the Word of God; and every revival is producing this, more or less. “If ye be reproached for the Name of Christ, happy are ye, for the Spirit of Glory and of God resteth upon you, on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified." 1 Pet. 4:14. No one should despise the path of life because of the cross.
Concerning the right understanding and interpretation of Scriptures something profitable might be said; as much harm has been done by councils and writers, and preachers by not being more Divinely guided in this matter. We are blessed with a heavenly treasure, mainly the free use of an open Bible; only let us not use our liberty for an occasion to the flesh; but by love to serve one another. The Jews in their Synagogues handle the Scriptures with great sacredness, and prayer; Christians forget this and are so familiar with the good old book, so as that there is danger of undervaluing the Heavenly legacy left to us; or handle it deceitfully.
The same Holy Spirit who inspired the minds of prophets and apostles to write it, will inspire every believer to understand it and interpret it aright; when we seek His aid, and ask His blessing. Difficult Scriptures should be always studied with their connection; and not wrested out of their place. 2 Peter 1:19 to 21. Doctrinal Scriptures should be compared with their kindred references; this is the value of a Concordance or reference Bible for the Bible is its own, and best expositor, 1 Cor. 2:15. Typical Scriptures should be handled cautiously; lest we should give an interpretation never designed. The interpretation that renders a passage effectually is to be commended. As our Lord said to some, they made the Word of God of none effect.
Concerning letters of commendation, something profitable can be said. In the Primitive Church they seemed to be used mostly to guard against the inrush of Judeizing and Gnostic heresies which were prevalent in those days. See 2 Cor. 3:1 to 3; Rom. 16:1; 3 John 9.
I have nothing to say against them; there is example for them and need; only caution should be used not to make them a sectarian barrier during modern days in church history when there are so many sects and divisions: when the spirit of charity and unity should be extended and cultivated towards strangers, sojourners, and Christians from other denominations.
The Divine pen man in the third Epistle of John seemed to foresee that they would be abused, when he reproved Diotrephes for casting disciples out of the church; and commended Gaius and Demetrius for faith and for walking in the truth, for which they had a good report. Those who “Because that for His Name sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles (Heathen or unsaved) we therefore aught to receive such that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth.” 3 John 7, 8.
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.
In every Kingdom there must of necessity be rule, law, and order; and the happiness and freedom of subjects depends much on their obedience; even so in the church, there should be control and liberty; but the liberty of God’s children is maintained by walking in the Spirit. Gal. 5:13 to 18. Organisation is good, only not to limit the holy one of Israel, His Spirit or His Word. Psa. 78:41. God has sometimes disorganised and scattered in order to spread the Evangel. Acts 8:1 to 4. The first three hundred years of church history the Christians were scattered throughout the known world through the ten persecutions enacted by the Emperors of Rome until the reign of Constantine and the Nicean Council which happened in A. D. 325.
The danger of lording over God’s heritage; and circumscribing some truth to the rejection of part is very common and very great. Zac. 2:1 to 5. Every church and mission should be open to receive the whole truth of the Bible in its entirety; this enables God’s Spirit to work on the inside; otherwise Christians narrower than the Word waken up to see that the Spirit of God operates outside their measure.
Every new truth that God revives, which was in existence of old times is opposed; very often from men darkened by tradition; or in the gall of bitterness or the bond of iniquity. Ecc. 1:9, 10; Acts 8:23; Acts 4:25 to 27. Opposition comes very often from unexpected quarters.
The visible church of Christ is an assembly of regenerated persons, met together to worship the Lord God; in which the inspired Word is preached and read, and the ordinances duly administered.
In the church there are three appointed offices, namely Bishops, Presbyters, and Deacons; who should be without flattering titles or vestments, examples to the flock.
That there are eight ordinance’s, namely: The Sabbath, Marriage, The Lord's supper, Anointing the sick for healing, Ordination of offices in a church. Three of these partake of the nature of Sacraments, with outward signs, namely Baptism, The Lord's supper, and anointing for healing. That from the church go forth Apostles or Missionaries to preach the Gospel in foreign lands; also Evangelists in the home lands.
That every believer should have liberty to pray and speak; and give their spare time, talents and money to the Lord's work; also that the church should be kept pure from worldly pleasures, pictures, and unscriptural ritualism: that sheep and lambs should be fed with the sincere milk of the Word; also that widows and orphans should be cared for. The impenitent expelled, and the penitent restored. Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 14:31; 1 Tim. 3; Gal. 6:1; 2 Tim. 3:15 to 17; 4:1 to 5; Matt. 28:19, 20; Rev. 2:1 to 7; James 5:14 to end; John 5:21.
DECEMBER: Most of this month was spent in home duties and post work; this fitted in well as the month was wet, dark, stormy, cold, and frosty. I like the light and long days for travelling and street preaching. When the winter is over and gone and the time of the singing birds has come.
The following is an estimate of work done for God for the past five years.
Preached inside 100 times
Preached on streets 100 times
Visited 1000 homes, with talks
Block Calendars 237
Tracts, books, pamphlets, etc. 20000
New Testaments 60
Gifts freely given about 104 Pd. – 0-D – 0-D
Preached inside 100 times
Preached in the streets 101 times
Homes visited 1601
Tracts, etc. 12706
Block Calendars 235
Bibles & Testaments 57
Free will gifts 125 Pd. – 5-S – 0-D
Preached inside 118 times
Preached on streets 75 times
Homes visited 2464
Bibles and portions 600
Block Calendars 267
Income funds 145 Pd. – 2-S – 6-D
Preached inside 136 times
Preached in the streets 70 times
Tracts, etc. 13395
Hanging wall texts 70
Block Calendars 270
Homes Visited 622
Bibles & Testaments 161
Total income 148 Pd. – 18-S – 0-D
Preached inside 104 times
Preached in streets 76 times
Country Homes visited 750
Travellers Guides 16
Tracts, etc. 24976
New Testaments 100
Word of the cross 300
1 Promise Box
Total free will offerings: 129 Pd. – 13-S – 6-D
On Thursday December 2 – I crossed to Scotland for three days ministry in Kilsyth district; and returned again from Glasgow to Belfast, it would be the one hundred sea voyage, besides Ferry crossings. For about six hours of the night we sailed through a very rough sea against a head wind; everybody was sea sick, as the ship went up and down, also heaved to and fro, doors banging and water splashing: we all felt happy when we reached our desired haven.
For many reasons I prefer the night crossings to the day; as a person has day light on either shores to travel and secure lodgings. Though I have crossed so many times, seldom have I been sea sick; and every time it has less effect. I would advise all who travel by sea, to get on board in time, and choose a bunk, lie down quietly, rest in the Lord Jesus; don’t be alarmed at any tossings of the vessel.
Owing to what God hath said regarding the poor and the promises attached; we have practiced kindness to beggars, tramps, and peddlers. In this district we have been greatly tried by some of an imposing disposition; Satan through them would buffet, and try to push into an attitude of heart towards them contrary to a Christian disposition so as to misrepresent what we really try to be, namely kind and practical.
Now Book One* is coming to its close with the close of this year of Grace, 1927. Here and there, there may be odd mistakes in spelling, syntax and punctuation, easy mended; with all these there are two things will render it easy for any scribe or compositor; namely, I have tried to write plain; so as that he that runs may read; also it will not be difficult to grasp the meaning and sense of the sentence and substance. I have seen manuscripts of great men so cramply written abounding with omissions of words and letters so badly formed that with the aid of spectacles and magnifying glasses, words have to be supplied to fill up the gaps, and supply the lacks here and there.
My wife advised me to rewrite it again; nevertheless, after reviewing it, I said, "No, for with all its faults it would be difficult to improve on its substance at large." Reader do better if you can.
I will try and do better in Book Two,** having past experience to help me. Old age is fast coming on;*** yet with the exception of the lack of teeth I enjoy nearly perfect health; and the joy of the Lord is my strength. To God be all the praise and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
NOTES by Editor:
* This Journal is designated by John Long as "Book One."
** Book Two covered the years up to 1940 and perhaps more.
Originally, there were three copies of the Journal in existence. In 2022, two copies were in the possession of the grandson of author John Long. His father wrote a Journal for each of his two sons. The forward of the second Journal states that it contains additional information that came to his mind as he was copying from the first Journal.
The third Journal was left with Ralph Walker in April 1923, at Cloncannon House, Ballygar. Ralph McMurry emailed Cherie Kropp on May 12, 2013: "Ralph Walker was my grandfather and I'm very familiar with Cloncannon House...which is currently for sale, together with the farm.. The journal remained in Cloncannon House until comparatively recently, and I recall reading it on many occasions...A number of years ago the journal was made available to someone who was interested in the content and unfortunately I now don't know its whereabouts. As far as I remember, it consisted of at least two books, one hard-back and one soft-back. The soft-back book had a blue cover and was in the form of a school "exercise book". I know John Long stayed with my grandparents on several occasions. They were known for their hospitality towards wandering preachers. It is said that they kept a spare room, sometimes called the "prophet's chamber", so that any evangelical enthusiast could be housed and fed. However this could have been located in the barn, as they were already a large family and would have filled the main house. I am sorry I can't be of more help, but I do regret the loss of the journal.