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Vol. 2, No. 9
Sept., 1993


by Glenn Conjurske

Solitude is a commodity which is as valuable as it is rare in modern society----and it is valuable not only because it is rare, like some old postage stamp, but because of its own intrinsic worth. To be alone is wholesome. To be alone is profitable. But solitude is little known and little valued today. It is sought by few, and positively avoided by many. And those who do value it, and crave it and seek it, may find it hard to obtain in this world of hustle and bustle and clatter and clutter. And this is no doubt exactly as the enemy of our souls would have it. Modern civilization, under the undoubted control of the god of this world, has complicated our lives, engrossed our time, flooded our spirits with hurry and business, and cluttered our minds with a thousand thoughts which our ancestors never had occasion to think. Solitude is not so easy to come by now as it was a century or two ago, and those who would have it now must make the greater effort to obtain it----an effort, however, for which they will be well repaid.

But some are no doubt ready to ask, What is the great value of solitude? First of all, to think----to be alone with our own thoughts, far away from the hurry and clutter of the world----to reason, to muse and meditate, to ponder and reflect, to search and study ourselves, to wrestle with the knotty questions which trouble our souls----to remember----to dream. “Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide.” (Gen. 24:63). He “went out.” He sought a place of solitude, to be alone with his thoughts.

But meditation is a lost art in modern society. Men do not seek the place of solitude, but avoid it, and if they are forced to be alone, they must have a radio or tape player pumping sound into their ears. And Christians, who would not listen to the world's radio or recordings, must have Christian radio and Christian recordings, to mar their solitude and destroy their quiet. Is it any wonder that the age in which we live is so extremely shallow? Depth is impossible without meditation, and meditation is scarcely possible without solitude. The Christian radio and recordings are just as destructive of this as the worldly. They may not be so polluting, but they are just as destructive of solitude.

But there is another reason for solitude, more compelling than being alone with our own thoughts, that is, to be alone with God. Why is this so little valued? Alone with God! Alone with the Creator of the universe!----who spoke the starry heavens into being with his word----who painted the wing of the butterfly, and the petals of a myriad of flowers, and spoke their fragrances into existence with a word----who by the same word breathed the melodies into the throats of a thousand feathered flutes. Alone with omnipotence! Alone with eternal wisdom! Alone with the fountain of living waters! Alone with LOVE, and with his ear bowed to my petition. What a wonder, that the human race----yea, the church of God----so little desires this!

But let none imagine that I mean to say that a man ought to be always alone with God, or that it would be wise or wholesome so to be. Man was created by God with a need within him for human companionship, and no amount of solitude with God can fulfil that need. It was of sinless man, free altogether from the unrestrained appetites which reign in the breasts of his fallen posterity----it was of sinless man, privileged every day to walk in unhampered communion with the living God----it was of sinless man that God said, “It is not good that man should be alone.” His communion with God could not satisfy his need for human love. To affirm that it can, or that it ought to, is not spirituality, but hyperspirituality, such as shall meet with only determined opposition from me.

But though it is neither wise nor good to be always alone, yet it is good to be much alone. We all take the Lord Jesus Christ as our example, and when we look into the New Testament at the life which he lived on the earth, we find him often in solitude.

We read in Matthew 14:22-23, “And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray, and when the evening was come, he was there alone.” Here we see him seeking solitude, and taking such measures as were necessary to obtain it. He had gone out into the desert in the first place to be alone. “When Jesus heard of it [the death of John the Baptist], he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities.” (Verse 13). Thus was he deprived of the solitude which he sought. When the day was far spent, therefore, he “constrained” his disciples to depart to the other side----compelled them, for so the word means. That being done, he sent the multitudes away----and retired to his beloved solitude----“up into a mountain apart to pray, and when the even was come, he was there alone”----and there he remained from evening till the fourth watch of the night. And here, by the way, is a hint for those who seek solitude and cannot find it. Should the business and company of the day deprive you of the solitude your soul needs and craves, the night is open before you. Your Savior often used it to be alone.

We see him thus again in Mark 1:35. “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Again in Luke 6:12, “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”

Again in Luke 5:14-16. Having healed a leper, “he charged him to tell no man; . . . but so much the more went there a fame abroad of him, and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.” His ministry always threatened to deprive him of his solitude, and this is no doubt one of the primary reasons that he so often charged those he had healed to tell no man. Yea, “He straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing”----that he was “the Christ of God.” (Luke 9:20-21). He was too thronged with crowds already. And as much as he loved the people, and as thoroughly as he was committed to serving them, communion with God was more to him than all of that, and he “withdrew himself into the wilderness” to obtain it.

Thus he sought solitude. “He went out.” “He withdrew himself into the wilderness.” “He went up into a mountain apart.” He sought solitude at the times and in the places where he knew he could find it.

So also have many of the greatest of his servants. I have often supposed that one reason for the great power of the early Methodist preachers is that they spent so much time alone. They were forced to it, by their itinerant system, but its effect was most beneficial. Without having been there to hear the difference, we can yet easily feel it in the following description of the earlier and later preaching of Henry Bascom, who left the Methodist itinerancy to become a college president: “Those who never heard him till after his soul had been caged in the cramped and narrow cell of scholastic study, and shorn of its freshness, strength, and power, by inhaling the atmosphere of a pent-up city life, can have but faint conception of what he was, when he communed with nature and nature's God, and breathed the pure air of the mountain, in the bright and palmy days of his itinerant life.”

John Wesley, who stood at the head of all the Methodists, has this to say of himself: “It is true that I travel four or five thousand miles in a year. But I generally travel alone in my carriage, and consequently am as retired ten hours in a day as if I was in a wilderness. On other days [when not travelling] I never spend less than three hours (frequently ten or twelve) in the day alone. So there are few persons in the kingdom who spend so many hours secluded from all company.”

And Francis Asbury, the apostle of American Methodism, speaks often of his beloved solitude. I give a few extracts from his journal. The date of each, and his age when he wrote it, will be found in the notes.

“My mind is quiet and serene. I am now free from company, which is very pleasing to me, having found that much company is both disagreeable and dangerous.”

“Employed in reading and writing. I wish to be alone----O how sweet is solitude!”

“I was pleased to enjoy the privilege of retiring alone to the cooling sylvan shades in frequent converse with my best Friend.”

“I feel it necessary to retire and humble myself before the Lord: I have been crowded with company, and have had much talk, and I find a solitary walk very agreeable.”

“How sweet to me are all the moving and still-life scenes which now surround me on every side!----The quiet country-houses; the fields and orchards, bearing the promise of the fruitful year; the flocks and herds, the hills and vales, and dewy meads; the gliding streams and murmuring brooks; and thou, too, solitude----with thy attendants, silence and meditation----how dost thou solace my pensive mind after the tempest of fear, and care, and tumult, and talk experienced in the noisy, bustling city!”

“I too have my sufferings, perhaps, peculiar to myself: pain and temptation----the one of the body, and the other of the spirit: no room to retire to----that in which you sit common to all----crowded with women and children----the fire occupied by cooking----much and long loved solitude not to be found, unless you choose to run out into the rain, in the woods: six months in the year I have had, for thirty-two years, occasionally, to submit to what will never be agreeable to me; but the people, it must be confessed, are amongst the kindest souls in the world. But kindness will not make a crowded log cabin, twelve feet by ten, agreeable: without are cold and rain; and within, six adults, and as many children, one of which is all motion; the dogs too, must sometimes be admitted. ... ----poor Bishop! But we must endure it for the elect's sake.”

“I was sometimes ready to wish I had no company, and no observations to make to hinder my constant communion with God.”

“I must take the road again. Oh, what sweetness I feel as I steal along through the solitary woods! I am sometimes ready to shout aloud, and make all vocal with the praises of His grace who died, and lives, and intercedes for me.”

“I retire to sacred solitude, and great and delightful communion with God.”

“So frequent are the visits of the people to talk or to do business, that I have not time to think or to pray, scarcely: I bear it all patiently. I preached at the Two Mile Stone, and retired to George Suckley's. I resemble my Master in one thing----I cannot be hid----they find me out.”

“At Dover my dear friends who had not seen me for one and two years visited me and led me into conversation the whole afternoon. It is hard, think they, that we cannot see him; so it might be thought in every place; but do they always remember the hardship they impose on me? so we go.”

Thus did this man of God value his soltiude and communion with God, feel it when he was deprived of it, and seek it whenever he could. And is it any wonder that a man who speaks thus of his delight in being alone with God can speak with power to the souls of men when he comes out from his solitude? One last extract from his journal I give to the reader. I have kept it out of its chronological place, in order to present it last:

“Now, I say to my body, return to thy labour; to my soul, return to thy rest, and pure delight in reading, meditation, and prayer, and solitude. The shady groves are witness to my retired and sweetest hours: to sit, and melt, and bow alone before the Lord, whilst the melody of the birds warbles from tree to tree----how delightful!”

Pardon me, friends, but oh, how my heart yearns when I read such a statement. Oh, how I long to be away from the busy world, in the quiet place of solitude, alone with God! But I do not only yearn and long: I seek it, and find it. And how I hope that the words which I here pen, and the words which Asbury penned two centuries ago, may inspire the same yearning and the same seeking in the hearts of my readers.

But I take my leave of Asbury, and turn again to the Scriptures. There can be no doubt that solitude was a great part of the preparation of men of God like Moses and David, who kept the sheep in the wilderness, and we might suppose that they turned again instinctively to that solitude when the heavy burden of caring for the flock of God rested upon their shoulders. Moses we see in such a time of solitude in Exodus 34. “And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest. And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount. And no man shall come up with thee, neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount; neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that mount.” (Verses 1-3). In spite of all of his responsibilities, Moses was ready on short notice for such a call, and “rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai.” (Vs. 4). “And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread nor drink water.” (Vs. 28).

Now picture some of our modern young people receiving such a call from God----yea, some of our modern preachers. They would be pacing to and fro, or sitting with folded arms and restless spirit, looking this way and that, and saying, “It sure is boring up here! There isn't anything to do! It's too quiet here! This silence is too much for me! There's nobody to talk to!” Thus they speak when they are alone with God! But we write not a word to discourage or reproach anyone. There are several factors which explain such a state of things. The first is, we all relate much more easily to our fellow mortals than we do to God. We understand them, and we need them. And they respond audibly and visibly to us. This is understandable. Well, then, take a book in your hand, and go alone with John Wesley or George Whitefield. For many years the best----and often almost the only----fellowship I had was with my books, and thus I got to know John and Charles Wesley, and D. L. Moody, and R. A. Torrey, and Sam Hadley, and Gipsy Smith, and C. H. Spurgeon, and Martin Luther, and William Tyndale, and a host of others----for all these, being dead, yet speak.

But another factor is that we so little know God. We might have been bored in the presence of him who is now our best friend, before we knew him as we now do. Young folks in love, who can scarcely bear to be out of each other's sight, may once have been bored together, before they knew each other. If we but knew God, how would we delight in his presence.

But perhaps the biggest factor is that we so little feel our need for God. We are too well provided for, too worldly-wise, and we fail even to feel our need to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” We too little feel the weakness of the flesh, or our need to pray, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” We feel no need to “watch and pray.” We are too self-sufficient, and we lightly take up burdens which angels would tremble to carry. The wisdom of years, and the scourging of the Father's hand, will hopefully teach us better.

But to return to Moses on Mount Sinai. “He was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights.” “And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone.” (Vss. 29-30). When Moses came down from the mount, he had in his hands something from God to communicate to the people, and his face shone with the glory of God. So we will find it also when we have learned the secrets of solitude.


First John 5:7

by Glenn Conjurske

At some time or other the reader has doubtless read or heard that I John 5:7 is not inspired Scripture, and does not belong in the Bible, but was probably left wondering what facts such an assertion was based upon. On the other side, some of the advocates of the modern doctrines of the perfection of the Textus Receptus and the King James Version have gone the length of affirming that no Bible is of God if it does not contain I John 5:7. Obviously, both of these positions cannot be true. What I shall endeavor to do in this article is simply to set the facts of the matter before the reader, so that he may judge of the question himself, and judge also of the soundness of the modern theories which set all of those facts at defiance.

We have two questions to answer:

1.How did I John 5:7 gain its place in the “Textus Receptus” of the Greek New Testament?

2.How did it gain its place in the English Bible?

As to the first question, we must begin by informing the reader that he might take up almost any manuscript of the Greek New Testament in the world-----ancient or modern, “Syrian,” “Alexandrian,” “Western,” “Egyptian,” “Antiochian,” or what have you----and he will NOT find

I John 5:7 in it. But he may turn to any printed edition of the Textus Receptus, and he will find I John 5:7 in that. How did such a thing come to pass----that a verse which is not in the Greek manuscripts should be found in the printed Greek New Testament? We need not conjecture on this point, for the actual history of the printed Textus Receptus is in our hands. To the facts of that history I direct the reader:

For nearly 1500 years the Greek New Testament was reproduced only by hand-written copies (manuscripts), as printing was then unknown. These manuscripts contain numerous variations----some of them being accidental errors, and others being purposeful alterations----and no two manuscripts contain exactly the same text. Some time after printing had been invented, certain learned men gathered together a few of these manuscripts, in order to compare them and seek to edit an accurate text of the Greek New Testament, in order to print it. The first published Greek New Testament was the work of Erasmus, and was issued in 1516. This Greek New Testament did not contain I John 5:7, for the very simple reason that the verse was not in the Greek manuscripts. As soon as his Testament was issued, however, Erasmus was attacked, by those who regarded the Latin Vulgate as the final authority, for omitting the verse. He replied that he had not omitted anything, for he could not omit what was never there, and it was none of his business to add it. In 1519 he published his second edition, still without I John 5:7. He was further hounded, and at length he promised that if anyone could find a single Greek manuscript which contained the verse, he would insert it in his next edition.

More on that anon. First we must back up a little. One of Erasmus's foremost opponents in this matter was Stunica. He was the primary editor of the Greek New Testament of the Complutensian Polyglot. When Erasmus's Greek New Testament appeared in 1516, the Complutensian Greek New Testament had already been in print for two years, though it had not yet been published, as it was awaiting the completion of the Old Testament. It was not given to the public until 1522. This New Testament contained the Latin Vulgate in one column, and the Greek in the other. It contained I John 5:7. “In the controversy between Stunica and Erasmus, the latter inquired by what authority the Complutensian editors had inserted l John v.7, and whether they really had MSS. so different from any that Erasmus himself had seen: to this the answer was given by Stunica, `You must know that the copies of the Greeks are corrupted; that OURS, however, contain the very truth.”'

By “ours” he meant of course the manuscripts of the Latin Vulgate, and Stunica's statement is really an admission that his Greek manuscripts did not contain the verse, but that he had in fact forced the verse into the Greek New Testament on the sole authority of the Latin manuscripts, which he regarded as containing “the very truth.” Thus it will be seen, by the way, that the principle of Peter Ruckman and his kind, of “correcting the Greek from the English,” is no new thing. Nearly five hundred years ago men dared to correct the Greek original from the Latin version, which they regarded as the final authority. Today they dare to correct the Greek original from the English version, which they regard as the final authority.

But to return to Erasmus, he likely made his promise in the confidence that no manuscript of the Greek New Testament would ever be found which contained I John 5:7. But within a year after his promise was made, somebody came forth with one, and Erasmus inserted the verse in his third edition, in 1522----not because he supposed the verse to be genuine, but to redeem his rash promise.

The manuscript thus forthcoming was called Codex Britannicus by Erasmus, but has since been designated Codex Dubliensis (from its location), or, usually, Codex Montfortianus (from a former owner). Of this manuscript Adam Clarke says, “I am rather inclined to think it the work of an unknown bold critic, who formed a text from one or more MSS. in conjunction with the Vulgate, and was by no means sparing of his own conjectural emendations; for it contains many various readings which exist in no other MS. yet discovered.” On the character of the same manuscript Bishop Marsh is cited as follows: “The influence of the Church of Rome in the composition of the Dublin manuscript, is most conspicuous in the text of that manuscript, which is a servile imitation of the Latin Vulgate. It will be sufficient to mention how it follows the Vulgate at the place in question. It not only agrees with the Vulgate, in the insertion of the seventh verse: it follows the Vulgate also at the end of the sixth verse, having cristo", where all other Greek manuscripts have pneuma: and in the eighth verse it omits the final clause which had never been omitted in the Greek manuscripts, and was not omitted even in the Latin manuscripts before the thirteenth century.”

Such was the manuscript, on the authority of which Erasmus admitted

I John 5:7 into his Greek New Testament. This solitary manuscript has since found an ally in the Codex Ottobonianus, in the Vatican library. Ottobonianus is a Greek and Latin manuscript, with the Latin Vulgate in the left-hand column, and the Greek text in the right-hand column. The Greek text of this manuscript has also “been altered in many places to make it agree with the Latin Vulgate.” There are also a couple of manuscripts which contain the verse in the margin, added by a recent hand, and a very late manuscript which is a mere copy of the printed Complutensian text, but so far as I can learn, aside from these two there are no other Greek manuscripts in the world which contain the verse in the text. And what are these two? They are two late manuscripts, both of them belonging probably to the fifteenth century----written, in other words, at just about the time that written manuscripts were superceded by printed books----and both of them Latinized in their text by the influence of the Vulgate. These two witnesses +stand alone against all the other Greek manuscripts in existence.

But there is more. Not only do these two manuscripts stand alone against all other Greek manuscripts in the world, in the fact that they contain the verse, but they +stand alone against each other in the actual text which they contain. Being independent translations into Greek from the Latin Vulgate, they could hardly be expected to hit upon exactly the same words in translating, and in fact they did not do so. Thus they prove each other to be false witnesses, for their words do not agree together.

But there is yet more. Not only do they not agree with each other in the text which they exhibit, but +neither one of them agrees with the Textus Receptus. The following table will exhibit the actual contents of both manuscripts, as well as the text of the Complutensian Polyglot (another false witness, of the same character as the other two), and Erasmus's third edition, beneath the common text of the Textus Receptus, as found in Stephens' edition of 1550. These are arranged so that even the unlearned reader, who knows nothing of Greek, may see how far they agree or differ; and it will here appear that no two of the five of them contain the same text. The table exhibits:

1. The Textus Receptus, Stephens' edition of 1550.

2. Codex Montfortianus.

3. Codex Ottobonianus.

4. The Complutensian Polyglot.

5. Erasmus's third edition, 1522.

Thus I have laid before the reader the plain facts of the matter, showing both how I John 5:7 came to be inserted in the Textus Receptus, and also upon what slender ground that insertion rests. I only turn aside here to remark the folly of those who, with such facts of history within their reach, in printed books, yet hold that the Textus Receptus contains the Greek text perfectly preserved by God. Such doctrine is only systematized ignorance, and the fact that it is held by so many of the leaders of Fundamentalism is only one more proof of the extreme shallowness of the modern church. And I venture to ask, if the Textus Receptus in I John 5:7 contains the true and perfectly preserved text of the word of God, where was that text perfectly preserved for a thousand years before the Textus Receptus existed? Not in any Greek manuscript, for none of them written before the fifteenth century contain the verse at all, and as it is now commonly read in the Textus Receptus it is not contained in one manuscript under the sun, “Syrian” or otherwise. If this is the true text, it was not “preserved” at all, but rather restored by Erasmus in 1522----and not quite restored even then, for the text as Erasmus printed it in 1522 did not agree with the present Textus Receptus. Where then was it “preserved”? Only in the Latin Vulgate----which the advocates of the modern doctrine of preservation call “the devil's Bible.” But it was not “preserved” even in the Latin Vulgate, for though forty-nine out of fifty of the later manuscripts of the Vulgate contain it, it is absent from the older manuscripts of the Vulgate, and some of those which do contain it have it only in the margin, and others insert it in the text after verse 8. Moreover, it is absent from the manuscripts of all other ancient versions. On this Scrivener says, “The disputed clause is not in any manuscript of the Peshitto, nor in the best editions (e.g. Lee's): the Harkleian, Sahidic, Bohairic, Ethiopic, Arabic do not contain it in any shape: scarcely any Armenian codex exhibits it, and only a few recent Slavonic copies, the margin of a Moscow edition of 1663 being the first to represent it. The Latin versions, therefore, alone lend it any support, and even these are much divided.”

Such are the facts about I John 5:7 in the Greek New Testament, and these facts alone (were there no other) are sufficient to completely overturn the theory of a perfectly preserved Greek text as it is found printed in the Textus Receptus, or an English Bible which is “perfect and without error” in the King James Version----a very modern theory by the way, which was never heard of in the world before the advent of our own shallow generation, and a theory which sets all the facts at defiance, and which discourages and condemns all inquiry into the facts.

But I must proceed to the second question before us: How did I John 5:7 gain the place which it holds in the English Bible? The answer to this is simple enough. When William Tyndale first undertook to translate the New Testament into English, he no doubt had in his hand the latest edition of Erasmus's Greek Testament, the third edition of 1522----in other words, the same edition into which Erasmus had admitted I John 5:7----and from that he translated. Yet Tyndale could hardly have been ignorant of the controversy which raged about this verse. Moreover, he had also in his hands Martin Luther's New Testament, which had also appeared in 1522, and which did not contain I John 5:7. But we suppose that Tyndale was pressed with difficulties enough to translate the text, besides hardships and persecutions, that he did not concern himself with textual criticism, but was content to translate the text before him. He says in his note “To the Reder” at the conclusion of his first New Testament, “Moreover/ even very necessitie and combraunce (God is recorde) above strengthe/ which I will not rehearce/ lest we shulde seme to bost oureselves/ caused that many thynges are lackynge/ whiche necessaryly are requyred. Count it as a thynge not havynge his full shape/ but as it were borne afore hys tyme/ even as a thing begunne rather then fynesshed.” At any rate, when Tyndale gave this first New Testament to the world, it contained I John 5:7, a facsimile of which follows:

Eight years passed ere he brought the work to what he then regarded as “his full shape” (though he was afterwards to revise it twice more). When he did so, in 1534, he retained the verse (with the wording slightly altered), but set it off from the rest of the text, by putting it in parenthesis, and printing it in smaller type, thus:

In his next revision, known as the GH edition, dated 1535/1534, the verse was printed after the same manner, as follows:

In 1535 the first edition of the whole Bible appeared in print in English. This was the work of Myles Coverdale. His New Testament was based on Tyndale, but revised by himself. He also marked I John 5:7 as doubtful, though he did not set it off as markedly as Tyndale had done, for he did not print it in different type, nor did he bracket the words “in earth” (though they stand on the same foundation as the rest of the bracketed words). The verse appears thus in his first edition:

Tyndale, meanwhile, was not idle, and in 1535 he published The newe Testament yet once agayne corrected by William Tyndall. Obviously nothing altered in his opinion concerning I John 5:7, in this he set the verse off with the same marks of doubt as in his former revisions. I give a facsimile from a 1536 printing of this edition:

In 1537 came Matthew's Bible, which incorporated all that Tyndale had done before his martyrdom in 1536. In this the verse appears exactly as it had in Tyndale's revisions.

In 1539 appeared Richard Taverner's Bible. In this also the verse appeared bracketed, and in smaller type, and with this note in the margin: “This that is printed in other charactes (after ye iugement of Erasme, in his annotacions) be not the wordes of Iohn, the writer of this Epystle, but seme to be put in, of some other.”

In 1539 also appeared the Great Bible, under the editorship of Myles Coverdale. It contained the verse, set off after the same manner as it was in the New Testaments of Tyndale, Matthew, and Taverner. The 1540 revision of the Great Bible marked it the same way, as did subsequent printings. The following facsimile is from the 1540 edition:

During the short reign of the boy king, Edward VI, the printer Richard Jugge published a revised edition of Tyndale's New Testament, apparently at the king's behest, for in his dedication “To the most puysaunt and mightye Prince Edward the syxt” he says, “VVherunto are required, not only true and faithfull ministers, but especiallye, that the bokes of the holye scripture be well and truely translated and printed also, both to take away all occasions of scismes and heresies, that by reason of impropre translation and false printe many times do arise amonge the simple and ignoraunt people, and also to stoppe the mouthes of the aduersarie part, whych vpon suche faultes, take a boldenesse to blaspheme and misreport this heauenly doctrine, nowe so plentifully set forth vnto vs, thorowe your graces moste prudent and godlye carefulnesse. VVherin forasmuche as semed to lacke no more to the absolute perfectnesse, but that one vndoubted true impression mighte be had, wherunto in suche worde debates, men might haue recourse and be resolued: Accordyng to the streyghte charge and commaundemente, that I receaued of youre highnesse in that behalfe, I haue endeuoured my selfe accordynge to my duetye and power, to put in print the newe Testament, vsing thaduise and helpe of godly learned men, both in reducinge the same to the trueth of the Greke text (appoynting oute also the diuersitye where it happeneth) and also in the kepynge of the true ortographie of wordes.”

This revision appeared in 1552. Jugge freely incorporated readings from the Great Bible, and made revisions of his own. He removed the marks of doubt which had stood in I John 5:7 ever since William Tyndale had placed them there in 1534. The verse stands thus in his edition:

What moved Jugge to depart from the practice established by his predecessors is unknown, but it was altogether in keeping with the purpose of his edition, to remove doubts, and print one standard of appeal for the settling of controversies. Jugge's edition was not the first which removed those marks of doubt, for Francis Fry lists three printings of Tyndale's New Testament in 1836 (printer unknown) which removed them. Henry Cotton lists upwards of eighty Bibles and New Testaments printed from 1536 to 1551, and I have not examined most of them, though the ones I have checked contain the verse with the usual marks of doubt. The significance of Jugge's revision of 1552 lies in the fact that it was used five years later by William Whittingham as the basis for the Geneva New Testament of 1557, which included I John 5:7 without note or mark. The Geneva Bible of 1560 followed suit, as did the Bishops' Bible in 1568, and the King James Version in 1611. Thus I John 5:7 came to stand in the Bible of the English people. Whether it ought to be there may be well enough determined by the facts set forth above.


Books and the Bible

by Glenn Conjurske

A Sermon Preached August 23, 1992. Recorded, Transcribed, and Revised

I am going to preach tonight on “Books and the Bible.” I know all of you folks here are inclined----some more and some less----to read other books besides the Bible. You all do so. How do you know that you ought to? Can you prove from the Scriptures that you ought to? I always take the ground----have always taken the ground on this point----that you don't need to prove it from the Scriptures. It's something that is so obviously right that even if you can't prove it from the Scriptures, you don't worry about it, any more than you would worry about proving from the Scriptures that you ought to eat----or, what may be more to the purpose, that you ought to eat certain kinds of food. How do you know you ought to eat peaches, pears, and apricots? Why, you've tasted them, and found them good. You know that they come from the hand of God, and experience proves them to be good for you. That's all the proof you need. And the same three tests would prove that the food for your soul, which you can find in books, is just as surely of God and of faith as that food for your body----even if the Bible said nothing about it. But the fact is, you can prove from the Bible that you ought to eat peaches, pears, and apricots. And you can prove from the Bible that you ought to read books----and that's what I intend to do tonight.

Now in searching through the Scriptures on the subject, I was really amazed at how much the Scriptures do have to say on it. What I'm going to do is take you through the Scriptures themselves, and show you what the Scriptures themselves have to say about other books----books which are not in the Bible----and give you a basis to be able to defend what you do if somebody else challenges you on it. Because this is a thing that will be challenged. There are a lot of people who insist that to read other books besides the Bible is in essence to overthrow the sufficiency of the Bible, and they condemn the reading of other books on that basis. Now I want to show you that doctrine in its true light tonight, but I'm going to save that until the end. First of all I'm just going to take you through a number of Scriptures, and show you what the Bible itself has to say about other books.

You can start with Numbers chapter 21, and while I'm showing you what the Bible has to say about other books, I'm going to endeavor to point out to you the implications of what the Bible says about them. Numbers chapter 21 and verse 14 says, “Wherefore it is said in the book of the wars of the Lord, What he did in the Red Sea, and in the brooks of Arnon, and at the stream of the brooks that goeth down to the dwelling of Ar, and lieth upon the border of Moab.” Now, here is the book of the wars of the Lord that Moses is quoting from in writing the Pentateuch. In quoting from this book, he obviously indicates it is worth quoting from, indicating thus that there is something profitable in this book----which is not Scripture. The book of the wars of the Lord. What is it? Nobody knows. Why don't we know? Well, because somewhere back in history the people of God were apathetic and didn't care enough about preserving this book about the wars of the Lord, which Moses regarded as profitable, and worth quoting from in the very word of God.

Joshua chapter 10 and verse 13 reads, “And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.” What is the book of Jasher? Never heard of it. But it's a book that recorded a thing that Joshua was recording in Scripture, and it rather appears to me that Joshua is referring to something here which is so unbelievable that he calls another witness. “If you don't believe what I've got to say here, look in the book of Jasher. It's recorded there, too.” Now, this indicates in the first place that Joshua (who was a holy man of God, because the Scripture says that the Scripture came not by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost)----here, this holy man of God had obviously been reading the book of Jasher. I don't know if the book of Jasher is a secular book, or a sacred book, or what it is. But whatever it is, it was not a book inspired of God----not part of the canon of Scripture, but Joshua was reading it, and knew what it had to say, and here refers to it to substantiate his own testimony.

Now I am going to move on to some references to the books of the Chronicles. The first you'll find in the book of 1 Kings. We'll begin at

I Kings, chapter 14----and I am not going to refer to all the references to these books, but to just a few of them. I Kings chapter 14 and verse 19, “And the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he warred and how he reigned, behold, they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel.” Now the author of this book has just related a few acts concerning King Jeroboam----a very few. But he says the rest of his acts, how he warred, and how he reigned, and everything about him, is all written in the Books of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. Now, what is this Book of the Chronicles? Well, you say “It is the scriptural Book of Chronicles”. No, it is not the scriptural Book of Chronicles, because there isn't any more related there than there is here. Maybe not so much. He relates a few things here, and then says, “the rest of his acts, everything he did, it's all written in the Books of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel.” It cannot refer to the scriptural Book of Chronicles, because whatever he did is not written in that scriptural Book of Chronicles. It's referring simply to the daily Chronicles that were kept at the king's court, and that is where the author of the Book of Kings got his information. And he says in effect that if you want to know more about Jeroboam, that's where you can find out. Now, in so saying He is indicating that there is something profitable for you to know about Jeroboam that's not written here. Something beyond the things which are written here in the Bible is profitable for you to know, and this is where you can find it----in the Books of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel.

Now, in chapter 14 of I Kings, same chapter, the 29th verse, he says, “Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?” Now, here we have another reference----The Chronicles of the Kings of Judah, the same as the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. The daily chronicles that were kept in the Royal court, perhaps written by the king himself, or by his counselors or scribes or somebody, but the record of all the royal acts. And he says in effect, “I've written you a few things here about king Rehoboam. If you want to know the rest of his life, it's all written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah”----again, implying there is something profitable for you to know in the life of this man, and this is where you may find it.

Now, in Chapter 15 of the same book, and verse 7, we read, “Now the rest of the acts of Abijam, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?” Verse 23 of the same chapter, “The rest of all the acts of Asa, and all his might, and all that he did, and the cities which he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?” Now you'll notice we have these continual references to “all that he did.” This is not a reference to the scriptural Book of Chronicles, because “all that he did” is not written concerning any king in that Book of Chronicles. This is talking about the journals kept at the courts of the kings, and the implication is that there is something profitable for you to know there, and if you want to know what it is, that's where you can find it. Thirty-one times in this book he makes that statement. Why? Why would he refer to those books of the Chronicles of the Kings thirty-one times?----and over and over say “the rest of the things that he did, all his works, all his wars, all the things he built, and so forth, everything he did, it's all written in those books of the Chronicles of the Kings”? Why would he say that thirty-one times in this book? Obviously, he is indicating there's something profitable for you to know there, and this is where you can find it. It's obvious, too, that he had been studying these books of the chronicles of these kings himself.

Now, one more verse in this 15th chapter----verse 31: “Now the rest of the acts of Nadab, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?” The reason I refer to this reference is this: some people will be hyperspiritual enough to contend that we ought not to read anything outside of the Bible, and will object to everything that I am saying about these books of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel and Judah, contending that the reference is really to the scriptural books of Chronicles. But this one says concerning Nadab, that the rest of his acts, and all that he did, are written in the Books of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. Is that the scriptural Book of I Chronicles or II Chronicles? Absolutely impossible. There is not one word about Nadab in the scriptural books of Chronicles. The reference is to the secular books of the Chronicles kept at the king's court, and the indication is that there is something profitable there for you to know. Of course, everything which is profitable may not be necessary, and we can't know those things any more. Those books are long since lost and destroyed, along with many other things which would have been profitable, had they been preserved. But we have other things which are profitable, which we can know, and which you can find in the “books of the chronicles” of the lives of the men of God of the present dispensation.

I Kings chapter 11, verse 41: “And the rest of the acts of Solomon, and all that he did, and his wisdom, are they not written in the Book of the Acts of Solomon?” Now again, the implication is the same: “There are a good many other things about Solomon that would be profitable for you to know. I don't have space to write them all here, but they are all written in the Book of the Acts of Solomon.” Wouldn't you like to get your hands on that book? All the acts of Solomon! All his wisdom! Yes, and all his follies and mistakes also. “All the rest of the acts of Solomon.” Wouldn't you love to read that book? You can't. It's forever lost, by the apathy and the carelessness of God's people. Nevertheless, the implication here is, there are other books which are not Scripture which are profitable to read. Now you'll observe that all of these books that we have talked about thus far have been history books: the chronicles of the kings, The Acts of Solomon, The Book of the Wars of the Lord----they are all history books. This is a good indication, by the way, of what kind of books it is that are profitable for you to read. Biographies and histories. A good share of the Bible itself is made up of that, and a good share of the books which the Bible itself refers you to are history books.

Now if you will turn with me to the Book of I Chronicles, chapter 29, we'll see a different sort of book. Verse 29, “Now the acts of David the King, first and last, behold, they are written in the Book of Samuel the seer, and in the Book of Nathan the prophet, and in the Book of Gad the seer.” Now, wouldn't you like to get your hands on those books? The acts of David----first and last! His whole life story, which we have just briefly told here in the Scriptures. Well, you say the book of Samuel the seer, that may be our scriptural Book of Samuel, which does in fact concern itself largely with the life of David. And you may be right. But he also mentions the books of the prophets Gad and Nathan, and these are placed alongside the book of Samuel, and all recommended together. Now I do know something about Nathan. He was the man that came to David from God with his parable, and said, “Thou art the man.” Wouldn't you like to read his book? God himself here indicates that it is profitable----but alas, lost.

II Chronicles, chapter 9 and verse 29, “Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, are they not written in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah, the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer against Jeroboam the son of Nebat?” Solomon was a great and famous man, and his life was evidently written by many, as were the lives of Wesley and Whitefield and Moody and Spurgeon, and the writer of this scripture recommends them all. We have two more books mentioned here besides the book of Nathan the prophet. We have the books of Ahijah and Iddo. The last five of these books which have been mentioned in the past two references, were all written by prophets of God. They are not inspired Scripture, they are not part of the Bible, but they are written by prophets of God. They are historical works concerning the acts, first and last, of both David and Solomon, and God indicates by these references that these things are profitable to be read. They are religious books, not inspired Scripture, but religious books, written by men of God, and God's indication is that there is something in them that you would do well to read.

Turn on with me to II Chronicles, chapter 12 verse 15. It's says, “Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are they not written in the book of Shemaiah the prophet, and of Iddo the seer concerning geneologies?” Here we have another one mentioned, the book of Shemaiah the prophet, another godly man who wrote a book which is not part of the Bible, but recommended by God in the Bible to be read. Profitable----a book written by a man of God. You know, all of these are what may be called “religious books.” But I am going to go beyond that, because the Bible does, and indicates that sometimes it may even be profitable for you to read secular books.

Turn with me to the book of Esther, the tenth chapter, and verse 2. “And all the acts of his power and of his might, and the declaration of the greatness of Mordecai, whereunto the king advanced him, are they not written in the book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia?” Now, here we have a secular book recommended. Thirty-one times he recommends to us the books of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel or of Judah. But here it is the books of the Chronicles of the Kings of the Medes and the Persians. Two pagan nations. Why does he recommend them? Because they contain something about a man of God! The greatness of Mordecai is proclaimed in those books. Now I don't have many secular books in my library. I have hardly any. Most of the secular books that I have are dictionaries or lexicons or something of that nature. Most secular books you ought not to waste your time on. Alas, the same is true of most Christian books! But I do have a very few secular books. The reason I have them is because they contain some information, some reference to the church of God, or the history of the church, or some men of God. And the inspired Scripture here recommends the chronicles of a heathen court, because they contain a record of the greatness of a man of God. Now if it wasn't profitable for you to know those things, God would never have made any reference to such a book----nor to any of these other uninspired books either.

Now, this brings me to the principle that there are many things that are profitable for you to know, which are not written in scripture. Hyperspiritual folks will be offended to death at anyone who says so. They will contend that absolutely all that you need to know is what is written in the Bible. Don't laugh at such folks if they don't know how to butter their bread, for the Bible doesn't tell them----nor how to eat it, either. But the Bible itself teaches us that there are things profitable which are not written in the Bible. Things which are to be found in other books. And the implication of course is, many things which have not been written in other books, too----because everything there is to know, and everything that is profitable to know, has not been written in books. And every profitable thing which is now written in a book was once upon a time unwritten----but it was just as profitable then as it is now.

Now this principle is set forth in the New Testament in the writings of John. You can turn with me first to the Gospel of John, the 20th chapter. It says in verse 30, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book, but these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing, ye might have life through his name.” Now, why does he tell us that there are many other things that Jesus did that are not written in this book? Is this not an indication that what he has given us here is just a small selection, and that there is a great deal more that would be profitable for us to know? He has given us here what is necessary to know to believe and be saved. Now I do believe that the Bible gives us what is necessary for our salvation, but there are other things that need to be done besides getting saved. And there is a great deal of knowledge that is profitable for you to know, for the edification of the church of God, even for the effective preaching of the gospel, which you will not find in the Bible, but you will find in other books. I preached some of those things to you this morning----how God chooses the weak and the foolish and the base and the despised. I didn't find the lives of Gipsy Smith, or D.L. Moody, or Bud Robinson in the Bible. I read other books to find those things. But I see the hand of God at work in them, and that is profitable. Now, in II John, verse 12, we have another verse with the same inference. And I believe this will be very convincing as to the point I am trying to make. II John 12 says, “ Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink, but I trust to come unto you and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.” Now, here is an apostle of Christ. He says, there are many things for me to say unto you. What kind of things? Worthless chit chat and trish trash, or profitable and edifying things? Profitable things, certainly. Not unprofitable things, not foolish trivia, but things that are profitable and edifying. Things that are going to build up the soul. Things that are going to refresh the soul. Many such things. But he says, I am not going to write them with paper and ink. I'm not going to put them in this book. I'm just going to save them till we meet face to face. They are profitable to be known, undoubtedly, but they are not written in the book.

You'll find the same thing in III John, verses 13 and 14. “I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee: But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face.” Now don't you wish that the apostle John had seen his way clear to write down those “many things”? He didn't do it, though. So we have these inspired epistles, II and III John, each of them just about a paragraph long, and in both of them he says, “I have many things to say to you, but I'm not going to write them down.” Now, the plain implication here is that there are many things that are profitable to know. John wasn't going there to be unprofitable, and unedifying. He was going there to profit their souls. He had many things to speak, but he didn't write them down. So, there are many things which are profitable to know that are written in other books. The Scripture plainly teaches that. And there are many things that are profitable to know that aren't written down at all.

So, how are you going to learn them? Well, go through the world with your eyes open. I have come across a very intriguing title of a book. It's by a man I'm not much impressed with, and I don't have the book, but the title of it is, Observation: Every Man's University. I have “observed” that for years. If you want to know anything, go through life with your eyes open, and observe. And, besides that, read the things that other men, especially other men of God, have observed, and you'll learn something.

Now, what about the sufficiency of Scripture? What does this doctrine that I am preaching tonight do to the doctrine of the all-sufficiency of Scripture? Doesn't what I am saying overthrow in some way the sufficiency of Scripture? Not in the least, I'll be very bold with this one.

I believe that those folks who refuse to read other books on the plea of the sufficiency of Scripture, don't have any more belief in the sufficiency of Scripture than I do. What they do have is a belief in self-sufficiency. Turn with me to Ephesians, chapter 4. We read beginning at verse 11, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” Now, if he gave these, these are his gifts. Some people think they don't need his gifts. They say, “All I need is the Bible. The Bible is all-sufficient. I don't need prophets and apostles and evangelists and pastors and teachers. I don't need anybody to teach me. All I need is the Bible.” That is not a belief in the sufficiency of the Scriptures. It is a belief in the sufficiency of self. It is to say, I am sufficient to understand the Scripture all by myself, and I don't need God's gifts, and I don't need what they have written.

But this notion is wrong on another count also, for the Bible was never written to teach you what you can learn without it. It wasn't written to tell you what kind of tree to make your axe handles of, and what kind to put in the fire. It wasn't written to replace common sense and human experience. And neither was it written to replace spiritual experience. It was written to guide it, but not to replace it. The Bible tells you scores of things to do, without giving you a single word to tell you how to do it. “Abide in me.” It tells you what to do, but not how. It doesn't even explain to you what it consists of. “Walk in the Spirit.” It doesn't even tell you what it is, much less how to do it. “Esteem others better than yourself.” You know what that is, but do you know how to do it? The Bible doesn't tell you. How are you going to learn these things? By spiritual experience----or by listening to someone who has some spiritual experience, or by reading his books.

But he goes on and says in verse 12 that all these gifts are given for “the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” Now listen to verse 16: “From whom the whole body, fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” “Built up by that which every joint supplies.” But the man who contends for the sufficiency of the Scripture, and says that therefore he's not going to read any other books, is really saying, “I don't need anything that the other joints supply. I'm all-sufficient myself. I can read the Bible and understand it all by myself. I don't need the other things that the other joints are going to supply. I don't need the working of every part of the body. I don't need John Wesley. I don't need C. H. Mackintosh. I don't need C. H. Sprugeon. I don't need Menno Simons, or Martin Luther. And I don't need to look in the mirror to see if my wig is on straight. I just need the Bible, and my all-sufficient self.”

You see, the Bible is all-sufficient, for the purpose for which God gave it. It is the all-sufficient foundation for the truth of God, but it won't teach you how to tie your shoes, and in the things which it does teach, you aren't all-sufficient to be able to understand it all for yourself. You need that which every joint supplieth.

Now, just in case anybody might misunderstand what I am saying here tonight, I'm not saying you ought to read every book there is. I believe that 95% of all the books that have been written----I'm talking about Christian books----ought not to have been written at all. They were not written by holy men of God, who had a message from God. Many were written by someone who was just proud enough to think that he had the ability to write a book, or maybe somebody who had money enough to print one. Most of them were written by good and sincere men, who were shallow and mediocre. Most of the books on the Christian market today should never have been written. Most of the books on the Christian market in history should never have been written. You don't have time to read everything that has been written. You don't have time to read the profitable things that have been written, much less all the unprofitable. I'm not contending that you ought to read everything that has ever been written. You need to exercise some discernment, and read those things that are most profitable. You may waste plenty of time and money finding out what is profitable.

I did so, and that's why I labor to help other people, so they don't have to. I wasted a lot of time and money on books that weren't worth buying or reading. But that doesn't change the fact that there are books that are worth buying, and that are worth reading and re-reading----that are worth studying. Receive some of that grace which every joint supplies. Do you believe John Wesley was a gift from God to the Church of God? Then maybe he has something to offer you. Do you believe Spurgeon was a gift of God? Maybe he has something to offer you----something you may not get anywhere else.

No man, of course, is any authority. Isaiah 8:20 says, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Setting any book on the same level as the Bible, as an authority, teaching you what you ought to believe, I never dreamed of such a thing----it never entered my head. But I believe there are a lot of things you may learn from reading books, that you won't learn at all from reading the Bible. Or if you do learn it, it may take you ten years to do so.

The nature of the Bible is involved in this question. This Bible is not written to spell everything out to you clearly. This Bible is like a gold mine. You have to dig deep to get the nuggets out of it. Those nuggets are scattered here and there. And some of the gold that is in this gold mine is just gold dust. You have to sift it out. And you know, it often happens, you may read this Book for twenty years, and read right over some nugget of gold, until you read that same thing in some book that some other man wrote, and it finally dawns upon you. You see it clearly. You may have read the Bible for another twenty years, and not have seen it at all. But somebody else saw it, and he wrote it in a book, and that man that wrote that book was a gift of Christ to you to profit your soul. And what he wrote will profit your soul. Not in setting aside the Bible, but in opening up the Bible to you. Or in opening up to you godly, Christian experience----the history of the hand of God at work in the souls of men. Those things are profitable. And as I said, I myself have been rather surprised at how much the Bible has to say on the subject, and how many are the books which are not Scripture that the Bible itself recommends to us. Now, we are not wiser than God. If God in his own Book recommends to us books which are not Scripture, then obviously those books are good for us. Let's dig into them, and get the good.

Chats from my Library
By Glenn Conjurske

Gipsy Smith

Gipsy Smith (whose actual name was Rodney Smith) was born in a gipsy tent, and never attended school a day in his life. Yet he was one of the greatest evangelists of the present century, and as a preacher I rank him above any of the rest of them. In spite of some doctrinal weaknesses, common, alas, to most of that era, some of his printed sermons are among the best gospel sermons I have seen in print. He always preached extemporaneously, and often did not know what he would preach on until it was time to begin. But his sermons were usually taken down and published in the papers. Far too few of them have survived in book form, and it would be a fine project for someone who has time, inclination, and probably money, to hunt up his sermons in the old newspapers where they reside, and print them in a few good books. He who would perform such a task would render a great service to the church of God. The books of his sermons which I have been able to discover are As Jesus Passed By, Real Religion, The Lost Christ, Revival Sermons, and Evangelistic Talks. This last has a very interesting origin. Each day of his Nashville meetings one of the local pastors would speak for ten minutes at the noon meeting on a text of his own choosing. Gipsy was wholly ignorant of the text till he heard it announced to the people, yet he immediately followed with an extemporaneous address on the same text. Those addresses make up the bulk of this volume.

But good as Gipsy's sermons are, his autobiographical works are better. At the head of the list (and one of the most heart-moving books I have ever found) is his autobiography, entitled, Gipsy Smith: His Life and Work. This was first published in 1901, and revised in 1925. Each edition contains a little not in the other. The book went through many printings, and is one of the least scarce of good books. Of the revised edition I have a good copy signed by Gipsy himself in December of 1943, four years before his death. His hand is very legible for a man of 83, and above his name is inscribed, “Kept for the Masters use.” The same book contains (pasted in) a newspaper notice of his death, headed “Gypsy Smith Dies at Sea.” (But “Gipsy” is the correct spelling of his name, as it appears on the title pages of all his books, and as I have it in his own handwriting). A sequel to the autobiography is entitled The Beauty of Jesus, subtitled “Memories and Reflections”----an excellent book, containing much personal information about Gipsy Smith, but not equal to the autobiography. A Mission of Peace, and Your Boys, deal respectively with his mission to South Africa, and his work among the soldiers during war time.

No biography of Gipsy has ever been written, and who would dare attempt it after reading his autobiography? Yet it ought to be done, and should have been done long ago by someone who knew him personally. We are fortunate enough to have one excellent biographical work about him, by one who knew him intimately. This is Sixty Years an Evangelist, subtitled “An Intimate Study of Gipsy Smith,” by Harold Murray----a small book of 143 pages, published in 1937. This is not a biography, but it is brimful of the best kind of information about Gipsy Smith. Another worthwhile book is The Gipsy Smith Missions in America, by Edward E. Bayliss, a book of 158 pages, written in 1906. This is a compilation, and all its parts are not equal in value, but every scrap of information about such a man is precious, and it does contain some good descriptions of his meetings and his methods, as well as a few good extracts from his preaching.

Gipsy Smith married a second time at the age of 78, but his good fortune was not so good for us, for his bride was only 35 at the time of his death, and she lived to renew the copyrights on some of his books. Thus two of his best, Evangelistic Talks, and The Beauty of Jesus, are still shackled with copyrights, and the latter will be for a long time to come.

Gipsy compiled and published a small hymn book (of interest as the work of Gipsy Smith, but of no more value than scores of others of the same nature), entitled, Wonderful Jesus and Other Songs, Used Exclusively in the Gipsy Smith Campaigns.

Richard Baxter (1615-1691) on
“The Great Duty of Heavenly Contemplation”

[Baxter applies his directions on meditation primarily to the contemplation of heaven, yet he does not limit it to that, and I believe his remarks may well apply to meditation in general. He was much taken to task in his day for pressing meditation as a duty, and I confess I would rather invite and inspire the saints to it as to a privilege, than press them to it as to a duty. Baxter defended himself with the plea that there are no works of supererogation, and if it is good for us, it is our duty to do it. Duty or not, Baxter's words have weight. ----editor.]

That meditation is a duty of God's ordaining, not only in His written law, but also in nature itself, I never met with the man that would deny: but that it is a duty constantly and conscionably practised even by the godly, so far as my acquaintance extends, I must, with sorrow, deny it: it is in word confessed to be a duty by all, but by the constant neglect denied by most: and (I know not by what fatal customary security it comes to pass, that) men that are very tender-conscienced towards most other duties, yet do as easily overslip this, as if they knew it not to be a duty at all; they that are presently troubled in mind, if they omit but a sermon, a fast, a prayer in public or private, yet were never troubled that they have omitted meditation perhaps all their lifetime to this very day: though it be that duty by which all other duties are improved, and by which the soul digesteth truths, and draweth forth their strength for its nourishment and refreshing. Certainly I think that as a man is but half an hour in chewing and taking into his stomach, that meat which he must have seven or eight hours at least to digest: so a man may take into his understanding and memory more truth in one hour, than he is able well to digest in many. A man may eat too much, but he cannot digest too well. Therefore God commanded Joshua, that the book of the law depart not out of his mouth, but that he meditate therein day and night; that he may observe to do according to that which is written therein (Josh. i.8). As digestion is the turning of the raw food into chyle and blood, and spirits and flesh; so meditation rightly managed, turneth the truths received and remembered into warm affection, raised resolution and holy and upright conversation. Therefore what good those men are like to get by sermons or providences: who are unacquainted with, and unaccustomed to this work of meditation, you may easily judge. And why so much preaching is lost among us, and professors can run from sermon to sermon, and are never weary of hearing or reading, and yet have such languishing starved souls; I know no truer or greater cause than their ignorance, and unconscionable neglect of meditation.

----The Saints' Rest, by Richard Baxter; London: Griffith, Farran, Okeden & Welsh, 1887, vol. II, pg. 218.

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