The Soul and the Spirit
by Glenn Conjurske
One of the great deficiencies in the theology of the church is the failure
to distinguish between the soul and the spirit. Many indeed hold that
the two are the same thing. But the Scriptures distinguish between them,
and even speak of dividing them asunder. And when once we understand the
great diversity between them, to assert that they are the same thing appears
as foolish as it would be to assert that the yolk and the white of an
egg are the same thing. Such an assertion is based upon nothing other
than ignorance. Yet ignorance has prevailed throughout the church on this
theme. When we look back at the theology of the centuries, it is not that
we find false teaching on the subject, but rather no teaching at all.
Many go so far as to maintain that the soul and the spirit are two different
things, but there their teaching ends. They do not so much as attempt
to explain what the difference is between them. Some in the modern church
have ventured to affirm a few things on the subject
they have more understanding than others, but more self-confidence or
temerity. Such a one is Bill Gothard, whose teaching on the subject is
nothing better than imagination, with no foundation in Scripture, and
so nothing better than confusion. The will he puts into the soul, whereas
it certainly belongs to the spirit. He likewise advises men to repent
with their emotions, whereas repentance is certainly an act of the will,
and so of the spirit, not the soul. The only sound teaching which I have
met with on the subject came from the pen of F. W. Grant (Plymouth Brethren,
1834-1902), who produced two books which contain some light on the matter.
The first is a very small (and very scarce) work, entitled The Doctrine
of the Soul in Life and Death. The second is his large and excellent Facts
and Theories as to a Future State, the first part of which is a discussion
of Man As He Is. These two books, which I read more than two
decades ago, gave me to understand that it is possible to understand from
the Scriptures the diverse properties of soul and spirit, and set me to
thinking in the right direction to find that understanding.
What then is the difference between soul and spirit? Briefly stated, the
soul is the self. Man is a soul. And the Lord God formed man of
the dust of the ground
----this is the body ----and
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life ----the spirit,
as breath is in the Hebrew ----and man BECAME
a living soul. Man has a body and a spirit, but he is a soul. The
soul is the self. Thus:
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world,
and lose HIS OWN SOUL? (Mark 8:36).
For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose
HIMSELF? (Luke 9:25).
The soul, then, being the self, it is the individuality, or what is called
the personality. This being so, the soul is obviously the seat of personal
taste, of likes and dislikes, and so of every kind of desire. As it is
the seat of longing, it is also the seat of enjoyment, satisfaction, and
fulfillment. The emotions belong to the soul. All of this may be plainly
seen in the Scriptures, and to those we shall turn shortly.
The spirit is the seat of choice, determination, and action, and so of
character. The conscience also belongs to the spirit. The spirit is also
the seat of the understanding.
But before I turn to the Scripture proofs of all of this, permit me to
affirm that I do not pretend to have a complete understanding of this
subject. It is a very complex one, as the soul and spirit are themselves
very complex, and very intimately united in their actions, as both of
them are also very intimately united with the body. The subject is further
complicated by the use of figurative expressions in Scripture to represent
parts or functions of man's being, such as the heart, the flesh, the old
man, the new man, the inner man, the mind, the reins, and the bowels.
However deep our understanding of these things may be, yet we know in
part, and deep and many are the questions which remain unanswered. Nevertheless,
there is great reward in any degree of understanding of these matters.
They are intimately connected with many of the deepest and most important
matters of both theology and experience, and to understand the difference
between soul and spirit opens a vast field of understanding in numerous
areas. For those who wish that understanding, I proceed to give the scriptures
upon which the above remarks are founded. This I will do with a fullness
which may seem tedious to some, but I design this article for serious
study by those who wish to understand the subject.
As the soul (Heb. vp#n#, Greek v) is the self, or individuality, it is
the seat of what we call personality. It is the seat, therefore, of all
taste, of all likes and dislikes, of all desires and longings, of emotions
generally, and so of enjoyment and satisfaction.
The soul is the seat of desires and longings in general:
II Sam. 3:21. ...that thou mayest reign over all that thine HEART
[soul, Heb. vp#n#] desireth.
Prov. 13:4. The SOUL of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing.
Eccl. 6:2. A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour,
so that he wanteth nothing for his SOUL of all that he desireth.
Deut. 12:15. Notwithstanding thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all
thy gates, whatsoever thy SOUL lusteth after. See also verses 20
& 21 of the same chapter.
Deut. 14:26. And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy
SOUL lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong
drink, or for whatsoever thy SOUL desireth, and thou shalt eat there before
the Lord thy God. It plainly appears here that the soul is the seat
of taste. One man likes beef, another mutton, and a third likes no meat
at all, but eats only vegetables. The fact is, mutton tastes exactly the
same to each of them, but some like the taste of mutton, and some dislike
it. That like or dislike is in the soul.
Prov. 6:30. Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his
SOUL when he is hungry.
Is. 29:8. It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and behold,
he eateth; but he awaketh, and his SOUL is empty; or as when a thirsty
man dreameth, and behold, he drinketh, but he awaketh, and behold, he
is faint, and his SOUL hath appetite.
The soul is the seat of dislikes and aversions:
Numbers 11:6. But now our SOUL is dried away: there is nothing at
all, beside this manna, before our eyes.
Numbers 21:5. Our SOUL loatheth this light bread.
Proverbs 27:7. The full SOUL loatheth an honeycomb, but to the hungry
SOUL every bitter thing is sweet.
Job 33:20. So that his life abhorreth bread, and his SOUL dainty
The soul is the seat of love, both romantic and generic love:
Gen. 34:3 & 8. And his SOUL clave unto Dinah the daughter of
Jacob, and he loved the damsel. And Hamor communed with them,
saying, The SOUL of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter.
Song of Sol. 1:7. Thou whom my SOUL loveth. The same expression
is used four times in Song of Sol. 3:1-4.
I Sam. 18:1. ...the SOUL of Jonathan was knit with the SOUL of David,
and Jonathan loved him as his own SOUL.
The soul is likewise the seat of hate, dislike, and aversion:
Jer. 15:1. Then said the Lord unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood
before me, yet my MIND [soul, Heb. vp#n#] could not be toward this people.
Ezek. 23:17-18. And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of
love, and they defiled her with their whoredom, and she was polluted with
them, and her SOUL [Heb. vp#n#] was alienated from them. So she discovered
her whoredoms, and discovered her nakedness: then my SOUL was alienated
from her, like as my SOUL was alientated from her sister. The same
in verse 22.
Ezek. 23:28. I will deliver thee into the hand of them whom thou
hatest, into the hand of them from whom thy SOUL [Heb. vp#n#] is alienated.
Zech. 11:8. Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my
SOUL lothed them, and their SOUL also abhorred me.
Prov. 6:16. These six things doth the Lord hate, yea, seven are
an abomination unto him [Heb., unto his SOUL]: a proud look, a lying tongue,
Heb. 10:38. But if any man draw back, my SOUL shall have no pleasure
It will be observed that it is the soul of the Lord which is referred
to in a number of these scriptures. This usage may be regarded as figurative,
along with references to the eyes, ears, and hands of the Lord. Yet if
such things are figurative, they are used precisely because they aptly
figure the things spoken of. The things ascribed to the soul of the Lord
are true also of the souls of men.
The soul is the seat of spiritual desires:
Psalm 42:1-2. As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth
my SOUL after thee, O God. My SOUL thirsteth for God.
Psalm 84:2. My SOUL longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of
the Lord. My heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.
Psalm 119:81. My SOUL fainteth for thy salvation.
See also Psalm 130:5, and Psalm 143:6.
Is. 26:8-9. Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited
for thee: the desire of our SOUL is to thy name, and to the remembrance
of thee. With my SOUL have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit
within me will I seek thee early. This scripture is of great interest,
as it speaks of both the soul and the spirit, but I shall reserve my comments
upon that till later.
The soul is the seat of evil desires:
I Sam. 23:20. Now therefore, O king, come down according to all
the desire of thy SOUL to come down, and our part shall be to deliver
him into the king's hand. The desire spoken of is Saul's desire
to kill David.
Psalm 10:3. The wicked boasteth of his SOUL'S desire, and blesseth
the covetous, whom the Lord abhorreth. (So the Hebrew.)
Prov. 21:10. The SOUL of the wicked desireth evil.
Is. 66:3. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their SOUL delighteth
in their abominations.
All of the above scriptures abundantly indicate the soul as the seat of
all likes and dislikes, and of every kind of desire and longing, whether
physical, emotional, or spiritual. This being the case it follows that
The soul is therefore the seat of delight, enjoyment, and satisfaction:
Ex. 15:9. The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will
divide the spoil; my lust [Hebrew, my SOUL, vp#n#] shall be satisfied
Psalm 63:5-6. My SOUL shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips, when I remember thee
upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.
The preceding two passages indicate that both sinful and spiritual satisfaction
reside in the soul.
Psalm 131:2. Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child
that is weaned of his mother: my SOUL is even as a weaned child.
A weaned child is a contented child. Before he is weaned, he is always
longing for the breast
----satisfied while he has it, otherwise
not. All of this is in the soul.
Prov. 13:19. The desire accomplished is sweet to the SOUL.
Is. 55:2. Let your SOUL delight itself in fatness.
I turn now to the spirit (Heb. j^Wr, Greek, ' ).
The spirit is the seat of the conscience:
Prov. 20:27. The SPIRIT OF MAN is the candle of the Lord, searching
all the inward parts of the belly.
The spirit is the seat of understanding:
Job 32:8. But there is a SPIRIT in man, and the inspiration of the
Almighty giveth them understanding.
Daniel 5:12. Forasmuch as an excellent SPIRIT, and knowledge, and
understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences,
and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel...
Mark 2:8. And immediately when Jesus perceived in his SPIRIT that
they so reasoned within themselves...
Rom. 8:16. The Spirit itself beareth witness together with our SPIRIT,
that we are the children of God. (Greek.)
I Cor. 2:11. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the
SPIRIT of man which is in him?
The spirit is the seat of character:
Num. 14:24. But my servant Caleb, because he had another SPIRIT
with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land.
Psalm 32:2. ...and in whose SPIRIT there is no guile.
Psalm 34:18. ...such as be of a contrite SPIRIT.
Psalm 51:10 & 17. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew
a right SPIRIT within me. The sacrifices of God are a broken
SPIRIT: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Prov. 11:13. A talebearer revealeth secrets, but he that is of a
faithful SPIRIT concealeth the matter.
Prov. 16:2. All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes, but
the Lord weigheth the SPIRITS.
Prov. 16:19. Better it is to be of an humble SPIRIT with the lowly,
than to divide the spoil with the proud.
Prov. 16:32. He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
and he that ruleth his SPIRIT than he that taketh a city.
Eccl. 7:8. ...the patient in SPIRIT is better than the proud in
Is. 57:15. I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that
is of a contrite and humble SPIRIT.
Matthew 5:3. Blessed are the poor in SPIRIT.
Luke 9:55. But he turned and rebuked them, and said, ye know not
what manner of SPIRIT ye are of.
Acts 18:25. Being fervent in the SPIRIT, he spake and taught diligently
the things of the Lord.
I Pet. 3:4. ...a meek and quiet SPIRIT, which is in the sight of
God of great price.
The above scriptures in general concern good character.
The spirit is also the seat of evil character:
Psalm 78:8. ...a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation
that set not their heart aright, and whose SPIRIT was not steadfast with
Prov. 14:29. He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding,
but he that is hasty of SPIRIT exalteth folly.
Prov. 16:18. Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty SPIRIT
before a fall.
Prov. 25:28. He that hath no rule over his own SPIRIT is like a
city that is broken down, and without walls.
The spirit is the seat of action:
Ezra 1:5. Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin,
and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose SPIRIT God had raised,
to go up to build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.
Hag. 1:14. And the Lord stirred up the SPIRIT of Zerubbabel the
son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the SPIRIT of Joshua the son
of Josedech, the high priest, and the SPIRIT of all the remnant of the
people, and they came and did work in the house of the Lord of hosts their
See also I Chron. 5:26 and Jer. 51:11. In all of these the Lord is said
to stir up or raise up the spirits of men to act. It is plain in all of
them that it is in the spirit that action originates. It is never said
that the Lord stirs up a man's soul to act.
Psalm 77:6. I commune with mine own heart, and my SPIRIT made diligent
Isaiah 26:9. With my SOUL have I desired thee in the night; yea,
with my SPIRIT within me will I seek thee early. This scripture
is of the utmost importance, as it defines the distinctive spheres of
both soul and spirit. The soul DESIRES. The spirit ACTS. It is for this
reason that character lies in the spirit. Many have desires, even strong
desires, but never act upon them. Most desires are involuntary, but action
is voluntary, and so praiseworthy or blameworthy.
The spirit is the seat of the will, or power of choice, purpose, and determination:
I grant at the outset that there is little direct proof of this in Scripture.
Yet even were there no direct proof at all, it is a thoroughly safe and
sound inference, from the facts (abundantly attested) that the spirit
is the seat of both action and character, both of which arise directly
from the choice or determination of the will. One scripture directly attributes
choice or determination to the spirit:
Acts 19:21. After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the
spirit...to go to Jerusalem.
It is of course grammatically possible to interpret spirit
here of the Holy Spirit, but this is disallowed by the fact that in Acts
21:4 the Spirit forbids Paul to go to Jerusalem. And finding disciples,
we tarried there seven days, who said to Paul through the Spirit that
he should not go up to Jerusalem. It is not possible that the same
Spirit should have determined Paul to go to Jerusalem, and spoken to him
through these disciples that he should not go. It is really out of the
question to refer the Spirit in this text to anything but
the Spirit of God. We have, who [plural] said to Paul through the
Spirit [singular]. This can hardly be a reference to the human spirits
of the speakers. And through the Spirit is a common phrase
in Scripture to designate words spoken by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
I must take Acts 19:21, then, as direct proof that the power to choose
or purpose lies in the spirit.
But having stated all of the above, I wish to reiterate that at this point
in time diffidence becomes us all. WE KNOW IN PART. This is a vast field
which, to my knowledge, the church of God has never yet explored nor discussed.
I am certain that I know in part. I have many unanswered questions. I
write to move men to study, as well as to give them information. On some
points I see clearly, on others not. But I desire to make a few observations,
to give what light I can, and aid others in the pursuit of further light.
In the present article I have done no more than to endeavor to lay a foundation
for the proper understanding of this theme. The matter itself is of great
importance. It has immense practical bearings, and deep theological bearings.
An understanding of the nature of man opens a vast field of understanding
concerning the nature of the gospel and of gospel preaching. It gives
a clearer understanding of all human emotions and volitions, and so of
all vices and virtues. I have often felt the strength and discernment
which an understanding of these things contributes when dealing with the
souls of men. Yet most of the ramifications of the matter I must reserve
for other times. At present I wish only to give a few hints.
The first thing to which I wish to call attention is the paramount importance
of the Old Testament Scriptures, which are generally so little regarded
in our day. It is to them that we must turn for much of our knowledge
of the nature of man (as well as much of our knowledge of the nature of
----and these are two of the most important matters in all
sound doctrine. Most of what we may know of the nature of man is implicit
in the Old Testament, and these things are neither superceded nor repeated
by the New Testament.
Though it appears to me that feeling in general is in the soul, yet Scripture
ascribes certain feelings to the spirit
of joy and grief.
The heart is a figurative term, which evidently embraces both soul and
spirit, for the Bible uses it of the seat of both desires and purposes,
and either the context or sound doctrine must determine the distinction,
where distinction can be made.
The Bible distinguishes between sin and sins. Sin that dwells in
me is not the same thing as sins which I commit. The former is involuntary,
the latter voluntary. Sin that dwells in me seemingly consists
primarily of illicit desires, while sins are acts resulting from choices
to yield to those desires. The former belong to the soul, while the latter
belong to the spirit.
Thus whatever of inability belongs to man in his depraved state is apparently
in his soul, not his spirit. His emotions and desires are involuntary
----bound ----necessary ----but
his will is free. Every man knows this by his own experience, and it is
everywhere assumed in the Bible, though false doctrinal systems assert
the contrary. A man's emotions and desires may be all wrong, and yet,
under the motivation afforded by the conscience and the understanding,
he may choose to do right. God does not require a man to hate his sins
(as some preachers do), but to forsake them. To hate them he has no immediate
power; to forsake them he does. This is the Bible doctrine of self-denial,
and of repentance and conversion. I am well aware that there is such a
thing as being a slave to sin, for the lusts may be so strengthened, and
the will so weakened, by indulgence in sin, that a man has not sufficient
will-power to break the chain. But what freedom remains to
a man's will in such a state, and how he may break away from the chains
of sin, are questions too large to be treated in this article.
True religion, godliness, and character belong to the spirit. Religion
does not consist of religious emotions, feelings, or desires, which belong
to the soul, but of choices and actions, which belong to the spirit. Many
have such desires and feelings, who have no religion at all.
Ancient Lines on Christ Bearing His
Beholde now, man, wt weping heart,
And late nat êy êo3t ly3tly a stert.
Cryst goê krokedly êys heuy cros vndyr,
And feyntly hyt bereê, hyt ys no wundyr.
They hye hym, and ho goê wtoutyn any stryfe,
And bereê hys own deê, and bereê êy lyfe.
In Modernized English, Thus:
Behold now, man, with weeping heart,
And let not thy thought lightly astart.
Christ goeth crookedly this heavy cross under,
And beareth it faintly, it is no wonder,
They hie him, and he goeth without any strife,
And beareth his own death, and beareth thy life.
----Meditations on the Supper of our Lord, by John Bonaventura,
Drawn into English Verse by Robert Manning of Brunne, about 1315-1330,
edited by J. Meadows Cowper; London: Published for the Early English Text
Society by N. Trübner, 1875, pg 18.
Lines Suggested by the Above
The Saviour bore the tree of death,
To sacrifice his peerless life.
On Calvary that tree bore him,
And so became the tree of life.
The Saviour stooped his body low,
To shoulder that accursed tree.
He sank beneath the weight and fell,
To lift to heav'n poor fallen me.
The heavy cross upon the road,
The weight of sin upon the tree,
My guilt, my pain, he bore it all,
From ev'ry weight to set me free.
O tree of death! O tree of life!
O tree of curse! O blessed tree!
Thou wast the tree of death to him.
Thou art the tree of life to me.
To Taste a Real Revival!
by Nita Brainard
I want a visitation,
Of manna from above,
Another Great Awakening,
A feast of heaven's love.
I want the Spirit's power,
To move among the saints,
To stimulate our flagging faith,
And purge our selfish taints.
I want the living waters
To flow from every soul,
To bring a great, refreshing flood,
To wash from pole to pole.
Oh, let the arid peoples,
The world around, be drenched.
Oh, let their thirst awakened be,
And let their thirst be quenched.
I want the old, old story,
With old-time power again,
With old-time fire and old-time love,
To melt the hearts of men.
I want the glorious gospel,
To have its fullest sway,
To win the weak, sin-burdened souls,
And wash their sins away.
I want the self-sufficient,
The worldly and the vain,
To waken from their deadly sleep,
And throw off Satan's chain.
I want the lowest wretches,
The weak, despised, and base,
To find God's great redeeming love,
And sing Amazing Grace.
I want the great rejoicing,
Of once-bound souls set free,
To praise their new-found Savior's name,
And bask in liberty.
I want the work enduring,
With depth and purity,
With fruits abounding multiplied,
by Glenn Conjurske
That there is something very desperately wrong with most of the preaching
of the present day ought to go without saying. Most of modern preaching
is a true reflection of modern Christianity
lukewarm, tame, dry, and powerless. Instead of changing the low state
of the church, the preaching only perpetuates it, while it makes little
or no impact upon the world. These statements may come as a surprise to
some, for the simple reason that they have never known any other kind
of preaching. They do not know that there is, or can be, or ought to be,
any other sort of preaching than the tame and dry stuff to which they
are accustomed. Yet the word of the Lord is, I will give you a mouth
and wisdom which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor
resist. (Luke 21:15). True, this is spoken of defending ourselves
when we are brought before kings and rulers for Christ's sake, but if
we may have such a mouth and wisdom to plead our own cause, why not to
plead the cause of Christ? Indeed, this very passage says of our defense,
It shall turn to you for a testimony. Such a mouth and wisdom,
in other words, are given to us not merely to defend ourselves, but to
testify for Christ.
Now the fact is, in poring over the records of the testimony of Christ
in years gone by, we often meet with descriptions of preaching which is
called irresistible. I am well aware that sometimes there may be some
exaggeration in these descriptions, and the term irresistible
be used to describe preaching which is not so in the strictest sense.
Nevertheless, some of the accounts seem to use the word advisedly, and
that such a term could be used at all, by judicious and godly men, certainly
indicates that the preaching so described must have been very powerful,
and nearly, if not quite, irresistible. In the present article I desire
to do no more than to rehearse a number of these descriptions, to whet
the reader's appetite and inspire his thirst for the power of the Holy
Spirit of God, of which the modern church knows so little.
Of Joseph Alleine, author of the Alarm to the Unconverted, Richard Baxter
says, It will be hard to tell what man ever spake with more holy
eloquence, gravity, authority, meekness, compassion, and efficacy to souls,
than he did to those to whom in instruction, exhortation, consolation,
reprehension, he most wisely, frequently, and successfully applied himself.
Few could resist, or stand before the powerful charms and united force
of his love and authority, being equally attracted by the one and awed
by the other.
I must grant that I have not met with many such descriptions outside of
the Methodist movement, but among the Methodists they are not so rare.
Of George Whitefield it is said by John Wesley, It was `the love
of God shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost which was given unto
him,' filling his soul with tender, disinterested love to every child
of man. From this source arose that torrent of eloquence, which frequently
bore down all before it; from this, that astonishing force of persuasion,
which the most hardened sinners could not resist.
Of Howell Harris it is written by Charles Wesley, He declared his
experience before our Society. O what a flame was kindled! Never man spake,
in my hearing, as this man spake. What a nursing-father has God sent us!
He has indeed learned of the good Shepherd to carry the lambs in his bosom.
Such love, such power, such simplicity was irresistible.
Of the same Howell Harris another writes, He did not pretend, at
least for some years, to deliver composed sermons, but merely unpremeditated
addresses on sin, and its dreadful consequences in death, the judgment,
and hell. His words fell like balls of fire on the careless and sinful
multitude; and in the course of six or seven years, he, with the aid of
his coadjutors, had aroused the whole Principality. It seems that his
appearance was most commanding, his voice solemn and strong, and his earnestness
quite irresistible and overpowering.
Of Charles Wesley, John Whitehead writes, His discourses from the
pulpit were not dry and systematic, but flowed from the present views
and feelings of his own mind. He had a remarkable talent of expressing
the most important truths with simplicity and energy; and his discourses
were sometimes truly apostolic, forcing conviction on the hearers in spite
of the most determined opposition.
Another of John Wesley's biographers adds concerning his brother Charles,
As a preacher, he was `mighty in the Scriptures,' and possessed
a remarkable talent of uttering the most striking truths with simplicity,
force, and brevity. His ministerial gift was in one respect truly extraordinary:
it came the nearest of any thing I ever witnessd to that which we have
reason to believe was the original way of preaching the gospel. ...where
only God and conscious sinners were before him, it seemed as if nothing
could withstand the wisdom and power with which he spake.
Henry Boehm gives the following account of the preaching of Edward Tiffin,
a medical doctor, who also held several political offices, besides being
a local preacher among the Methodists. Boehm describes his sermon, which
was preached at a camp meeting, as almost irresistible. Several
sermons of great pathos and power were preached on the ground. One of
the most remarkable was by Dr. Tiffin, ex-governor of Ohio, from `What
is a man profited,' etc. The doctor threw his whole soul into it as he
dwelt upon the soul's immense value and its amazing loss, and the fact
that nothing can compensate for such a loss. His appeals to the heart
and conscience were almost irresistible. His voice was musical, his gestures
were rapid, and his countenance expressed all his tongue uttered. There
was a mighty work among the people during the day, and it continued all
The same Boehm writes of Enoch George, Bishop George was a short,
stout man. His chest was large, and this enabled him to speak so easily.
His face was bronzed, owing to exposure; but it was intelligent, and expressive
of benignity. His dress was plain and careless, and his hair was coarse
and thick and parted in the middle. He had quite a patriarchal appearance.
His voice was peculiar for strength and melody. As a preacher, he was
surpassingly eloquent. He had unusual power over his audience, and he
took them captive at his will. At times he was perfectly irresistible.
He was well acquainted with the springs of the human heart, and knew how
to touch them. I must have heard him preach fifty times.
Of another Methodist preacher, John Collins, we are told concerning one
particular sermon, He preached with irresistible power. Of
the same man's preaching in general we read (and this was written by a
justice of the United States Supreme Court), ...it may be said with
as much truth in regard to him as to any other man, that no one ever heard
him without forming resolutions to reform his life. His mind, not unfrequently,
became full of the inspiration of his subject; and on such occasions,
he rose to a height of impressive eloquence which was unsurpassed. These
were never premeditated. They were of a character which defied all ingenuity
and study. They were so spiritual in their conception, and so lofty in
their description, as to seem to have no connection with material things.
And the gush of tears which always accompanied these elevations, made
them irresistible. No one, for the time being, could find it in his heart
to resist such appeals. He yielded at the moment, not only willingly,
Of the same Collins we read again, ...he became the living embodiment
of his theme, and with a soul on fire he poured out the living truth till
every heart was moved. Often have we seen thousands borne down by his
impassioned eloquence like the trees of the forest in a storm. And it
was irresistible. Steel your heart as you might; summon all your philosophy
and stoicism; and nerve up your soul to an iron insensibility and endurance,
surrounding it with a rampart of the strongest prejudices, the lightning
of his eloquence, accompanied by the deep-toned, awfully-sublime thunder
of his words, which came burning from his soul, would melt down your hardness,
and break away every fortification in which you were intrenched, while
tears from the deep, unsealed fountains of your soul would come unbidden,
like the rain. The only way to escape his power was to flee from his presence
Where is such preaching today? And where are the men who will thirst for
it, and cry to God for it, and pay the price, of devotedness and self-denial
and toil and sweat and tears, to obtain it?
Chats from my Library
By Glenn Conjurske
Biographies are among the most edifying and profitable of reading, and
many of the Methodist biographies are among the best in the class. They
are filled with the true spirit of Christianity, and full of spiritual
food. The field is a very wide one, for Methodism generally attached great
importance to the life, labor, and experience of its people, and consequently
produced a great number of biographies. Movements which tended to emphasize
doctrine over Christian experience, such as the Plymouth Brethren and
the Fundamentalists, produced comparatively few biographies. I here pass
by some of the leaders of Methodism, which I have mentioned elsewhere.
To begin with the ladies, Susanna Wesley, the mother of John and Charles,
is commonly called the mother of Methodism, and it is legitimate enough
to regard her also as one of its adherents, at least in her later life.
She is a woman worth knowing. Biographies of her are The Mother of the
Wesleys, by John Kirk (1864), and Susanna Wesley, by Eliza Clarke (1886).
Adam Clarke also has 134 pages on her in volume II of his Memoirs of the
Wesley Family. Hester Ann Rogers was one of the ordinary women of Methodism,
the wife of one of Wesley's preachers. Her memoir, entitled An Account
of the Experience of Hester Ann Rogers, has been popular, and often reprinted.
It is edifying. The Women of Methodism, by Abel Stevens, is a small book
which sketches Susanna Wesley, Lady Huntingdon, and Barbara Heck, with
the female friends of Francis Asbury, and various other women. But I must
turn to the men of Methodism.
Beginning with early English Methodism, many of its biographies were collected
together by the Methodist historian Thomas Jackson, and published in six
volumes entitled, The Lives of Early Methodist Preachers. Many of these
are autobiographies, and most of them brief, but embodying much of the
spirit of early Methodism. They are not all of the same caliber, however,
and some are tame and tedious. Of course the doctrine of perfection is
zealously put forth in many of them. The Journal of John Nelson, which
appears first in the set, is excellent. The only full set of this I remember
ever to have seen I obtained in 1977 from a wants list sent to The Lamp
Press in England, with the personal note of the bookseller, saying, So
Pleased I was able to send some from your Wants, especially the Jackson
set!!!! I was doubtless more pleased than he was. This set is very
scarce, but it was slightly reworked by another Methodist historian, John
Telford, and published in seven volumes entitled Wesley's Veterans. The
original of this is also scarce, but it has been recently reprinted, unfortunately
in paperback. These sets, containing the unvarnished accounts of the unlearned
and ignorant men who turned the nation upside down, contain the bulk of
the edification which is to be found in English Methodism. If we proceed
to another generation, we may find men who preached well-prepared sermons,
which they usually delivered without tears, and wrote massive commentaries
and useful men, but to the early circuit riders they do not compare. Such
a one was Joseph Benson, who was, in his day, one of the brightest
ornaments of Methodism. His biography was written by James MacDonald,
in a large book entitled Memoirs of Joseph Benson. The publishers had
a hard time trying to sell this book, and copies of it were still on hand
eighteen years after publication. This was blamed on the size and price
of the book rather than the content, and a smaller work was therefore
produced by Richard Treffry, with the same title as the other.
Adam Clarke is also worthy of mention, belonging as he does not only to
the Methodists, but to the whole church of God, for his commentary is
still published and used and valued after the passing of two centuries.
He has enough of the spirit of early Methodism in him to exhibit more
of spiritual life than we usually expect from commentators. His autobiography
is a large and very detailed work entitled An Account of the Religious
and Literary Life of Adam Clarke, edited by J. B. B. Clarke, published
in three volumes. J. W. Etheridge wrote a smaller Life of Adam Clarke.
Among the later English Methodists, William Bramwell was a preacher of
note. A useful biography of him is Memoir of the Life and Ministry of
Wm. Bramwell, by James Sigston.
But I gladly turn to American Methodism, which retained its vigor and
spirituality, especially in the western frontiers, long after these had
departed from English Methodism. At its head stands Francis Asbury, but
alas, I do not know that a satisfactory biography of him has yet been
written. Most of those which exist consist mainly of a rehash of his journal.
Such as I have, and such as they are, I list them for the reader:
Of Asbury and his Coadjutors, by W. C. Larrabee, I can say nothing, as
I have never seen it. I would hope it is better than the later biographies,
but this is very unlikely, for if their predecessor had provided them
with something beyond the scanty information which they give us, it is
not likely they would have written such meager books.
The Pioneer Bishop: or The Life and Times of Francis Asbury, by W. P.
Strickland, 496 pp., 1858, is dull, and contains too little on Asbury,
and too much else.
Life and Labors of Francis Asbury, by George G. Smith, 311 pp., 1896,
does a better job of whetting the appetite, but without satisfying it.
Francis Asbury, the Prophet of the Long Road, by Ezra Squier Tipple, 333
pp., 1916, is at least written in a lively style.
Francis Asbury, Founder of American Methodism and Unofficial Minister
of State, by William Larkin Duren, 270 pp., 1928, is an interpretation
of Asbury, with much too little information on Asbury, and much too much
of the author's opinions.
Asbury is a man worth knowing, and he may be pretty well known, in spite
of the poverty of biographies, for we yet possess his journal. The Journal
of Francis Asbury was published in three volumes in 1821, and many years
ago I obtained the original edition of this, nicely rebound, from Kregel's,
for $75. A week later a friend found, at the same store, a later printing
of it for $15. The journal was printed a number of times, and in 1958
it was reprinted in two volumes, with a third volume added, containing
Asbury's letters. This set has been reprinted also, and was in print recently.
Of course there is much that is commonplace and even tedious in a journal,
yet Asbury's is worth reading. I spent several years reading it, here
a little and there a little, making copious notes as I went, and was disappointed
when I finished it
----disappointed that I had no more of it to
read. I felt as though I were taking leave of an intimate friend.
The journal, of course, has one serious disadvantage, in that in it we
see the man only through his own eyes. We want to see him through the
eyes of others. For that there is but little opportunity, but one of the
best sources of such information is Henry Boehm's Reminiscences, Historical
and Biographical, of Sixty-Four Years in the Ministry, a book of 493 pages,
published in 1865. Boehm was Asbury's travelling companion for a time,
and his book contains numerous references to him.
J. B. Wakeley's Heroes of Methodism will introduce the reader to many
of its great men, including Asbury, M'Kendree, Enoch George, Jesse Lee,
John Collins, and Jacob Gruber. It consists mostly of anecdotes, after
Wakeley's usual manner.
One of the greatest of Methodist biographies (and one of the greatest
biographies of Christian history) is the Autobiography of Peter Cartwright.
Concerning this I will only say, those who have not read it ought to do
so. Another work by Cartwright is Fifty Years as a Presiding Elder
to be compared to the autobiography, but certainly worth reading.
Another of the great men of early Methodism was William M'Kendree. His
life was written by Robert Paine, in two volumes, entitled, Life and Times
of Willliam M'Kendree. The second volume contains a large appendix of
letters, papers, and other items. An abridgement of the same was published
in one volume, strangely, with the same title as the original. The book
is not as great as the man, and not to be compared to Cartwright's autobiography,
but valuable nevertheless.
Jesse Lee was another of the weighty men of those days, who narrowly missed
being made a bishop, when the vote went to Whatcoat. His life is told
in Memoir of Jesse Lee, with Extracts from his Journals, by Minton Thrift,
a good book, published in 1823. A later work (1848) is The Life and Times
of Jesse Lee, by Leroy M. Lee, larger in size and scope, as the title
indicates. Freeborn Garrettson's name belongs alongside Jesse Lee's in
the history of those times. The Life of Freeborn Garrettson was Compiled
from his Printed and Manuscript Journals, and other Authentic Documents,
by Nathan Bangs, and published in 1829.
James B. Finley was one of the great men of western Methodism, at a little
later date. The Autobiography of James B. Finley (edited by W. P. Strickland,
and subtitled Pioneer Life in the West), contains much of
the spirit of early Methodism, though most of the early portion of the
book is not spiritual, but is occupied with pioneer life and times. In
late life Finley served as chaplain of the Ohio State Penitentiary, and
detailed the work in Memorials of Prison Life (edited by B. F. Tefft).
He is also author of the very excellent Sketches of Western Methodism,
which contains biographical sketches of a number of other men, and other
miscellaneous information of great value. This book contains much of the
precious little information we have on the stalwart James Axley.
Among the greatest preachers of American Methodism was Henry Bascom. The
Life of Henry Bidleman Bascom was written by M. M. Henkle, D.D., but the
book is not very satisfactory. Indeed, the man was not all that we would
hope, and his later life is a disappointment. John Collins was another
of the great preachers of the movement, but here too the tiny book which
professes to be A Sketch of the Life of John Collins (written anonymously
by John M'Lean) is just enough to whet our appetites. M'Lean also prepared
a Sketch of Philip Gatch, who was one of the first Methodist preachers
Jacob Gruber was a character, and copied after no man. So
begins The Life of Jacob Gruber, by W. P. Strickland. Strickland was really
too tame to write Methodist biographies (though he does not seem to have
done any damage in the ones he edited), but he had a very colorful subject
in this one, and the book is a good one.
Autobiography of a Pioneer, by Jacob Young, is a good book by one of the
lesser men of Methodism. So is the Autobiography of Dan Young, edited
by Strickland. Of the same character also is Foot-Prints of an Itinerant,
by Maxwell Pierson Gaddis. So also the Experience and Gospel Labors of
Benjamin Abbott. There are many Methodist biographies of this caliber,
and alas, there were greater men than these among them whose lives were
never written. This is too bad.
We might chat time enough merely on the lives of Methodist bishops. The
earlier of them will of course afford the most edification. Asbury and
M'Kendree I have mentioned above. Robert R. Roberts was elected bishop
immediately after the death of Asbury, and lived until 1843. His life
was written by Charles Elliott, and titled The Life of Robert R. Roberts.
Elijah Hedding was made a bishop in 1824, and died in 1852. A large and
edifying account of him was written by D. W. Clark, entitled Life and
Times of Elijah Hedding. Thomas Morris was elected bishop in 1836, and
died in 1874. When the blunt Axley first met Morris, he surveyed him from
head to foot, and said, I think they were hard pushed for bishop
timber when they got hold of you. Morris had the good grace and
the good sense to reply, That is just what I thought myself,
and after reading Morris's life, I agree with both of them. The book is
The Life of Thomas A. Morris, by John F. Marlay
profit, but it would have been a much better book if it had been much
smaller. Leonidas Hamline was made bishop in 1844, and died in 1865. The
Life and Letters of Leonidas L. Hamline was written by Walter C. Palmer.
But these will no doubt be bishops enough for my Baptist and Brethren
readers, and for those Baptists who have the true apostolic succession,
this will no doubt be Methodists enough. Yet they would all do well to
pay attention to these books, for the Methodists had something which they
have not, and which the whole church of God stands in need of today.
The Methodists, of course, fell from what they had, as others have done.
By the latter half of the nineteenth century worldliness was sweeping
through their ranks like a flood, and this was soon enough followed by
modernism. Yet one man of that era I will mention, whose life is worth
reading. William Taylor (1821-1902) styles himself a Methodist preacher
of the old stamp
----a zealous worker for souls, who preached
on every continent, and founded self-supporting missions. His autobiography
is a book of nearly 800 large pages, entitled Story of My Life. He also
wrote Christian Adventures in South Africa, a good book, and Seven Years'
Street Preaching in San Francisco, which is more meager in content.
---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----
Methodist Revival on a Dance Floor
Saturday night came on, and found me in a strange region of country,
and in the hills, knobs, and spurs of the Cumberland Mountains. I greatly
desired to stop on the approaching Sabbath, and spend it with a Christian
people; but I was now in a region of country where there was no Gospel
minister for many miles around, and where, as I learned, many of the scattered
population had never heard a Gospel sermon in all their lives, and where
the inhabitants knew no Sabbath only to hunt and visit, drink and dance.
Thus lonesome and pensive, late in the evening, I hailed at a tolerably-decent
house, and the landlord kept entertainment. I rode up and asked for quarters.
The gentleman said I could stay, but he was afraid I would not enjoy myself
very much as a traveler, inasmuch as they had a party meeting there that
night to have a little dance. I inquired how far it was to a decent house
of entertainment on the road; he said seven miles. I told him if he would
treat me civilly and feed my horse well, by his leave I would stay. He
assured me I should be treated civilly. I dismounted and went in. The
people collected, a large company. I saw there was not much drinking going
I quietly took my seat in one corner of the house, and the dance commenced.
I sat quietly musing, a total stranger, and greatly desired to preach
to this people. Finally, I concluded to spend the next day
and ask the privilege to preach to them. I had hardly settled this point
in my mind, when a beautiful, ruddy young lady walked very gracefully
up to me, dropped a handsome courtesy, and pleasantly, with winning smiles,
invited me out to take a dance with her. I can hardly describe my thoughts
or feelings on that occasion. However, in a moment I resolved on a desperate
experiment. I rose as gracefully as I could; I will not say with some
emotion, but with many emotions. The young lady moved to my right side;
I grasped her right hand with my right hand, while she leaned her left
arm on mine. In this position we walked on the floor. The whole company
seemed pleased at this act of politeness in the young lady, shown to a
stranger. The colored man, who was the fiddler, began to put his fiddle
in the best order. I then spoke to the fiddler to hold a moment, and added
that for several years I had not undertaken any matter of importance without
first asking the blessing of God upon it, and I desired now to ask the
blessing of God upon this beautiful young lady and the whole company,
that had shown such an act of politeness to a total stranger.
Here I grasped the young lady's hand tightly, and said, Let us all
kneel down and pray, and then instantly dropped on my knees, and
commenced praying with all the power of soul and body that I could command.
The young lady tried to get loose from me, but I held her tight. Presently
she fell on her knees. Some of the company kneeled, some stood, some fled,
some sat still, all looked curious. The fiddler ran off into the kitchen,
saying, Lord a marcy, what de matter? what is dat mean?
While I prayed some wept, and wept out aloud, and some cried for mercy.
I rose from my knees and commenced an exhortation, after which I sang
a hymn. The young lady who invited me on the floor lay prostrate, crying
earnestly for mercy. I exhorted again, I sang and prayed nearly all night.
About fifteen of that company professed religion, and our meeting lasted
next day and next night, and as many more were powerfully converted. I
organized a society, took thirty-two into the Church, and sent them a
preacher. My landlord was appointed leader which post he held for many
years. This was the commencement of a great and glorious revival of religion
in that region of country, and several of the young men converted at this
Methodist preacher dance became useful ministers of Jesus Christ.
----Autobiography of Peter Cartwright; New-York: Carlton and Porter,
n.d., pp. 206-208.
---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---
Love the Drawing Power
by Samuel H. Hadley (1842-1906)
[The following is Chapter VII from Hadley's matchless book, Down in Water
Street. R. A. Torrey says of Hadley, He was the embodiment of Christlike
love, and here the reader may see the demonstration of it. The discerning
reader may find deficiencies here in doctrine and expression, but where
will we find more of the Spirit of Christ?
Nearly all the policemen in New York know about the Water Street Mission
and its work: so also does every tough, bunco-steerer, professional sneak-thief
and the other specimens of the class, who, after persistently violating
the law and placing themselves in bad repute, find themselves shut out
from every opportunity to earn an honest living, and who dwell in the
shadow of the penitentiary or the electric chair throughout their miserable
When the convict who has served his term in Sing Sing prepares to face
the world again
----that world that can be counted upon to do its
utmost towards driving him back to prison ----he is usually advised
of the thorny path before him, and the last sentence of the advice is
You had better go and see Hadley down at the Water Street Mission.
As the convict has heard of Hadley before, if he purposes to reform he
makes his way to our Mission. There he is sheltered, fed and clothed,
if need be, and put to work at something. He is asked no questions. No
promises are exacted. He has no rules to observe except the one rule of
order. He is not lectured on his past. He is not exhorted. Although it
is essentially a religious institution, neither Bible nor tract is forced
He is left to himself without restraint of any kind. He is neither watched
nor suspected. He is usually puzzled to know what the whole thing means.
He is treated as a brother; as if he were the best man in the world. He
meets with unvarying kindness on every hand. Sometimes he comes to the
concluusion that he has a snap, and proceeds to work it for
all it is worth. He takes advantage of confidence and steals whatever
of value he can lay his hands on, and departs with a chuckle. Sooner or
later he is driven back again, by hunger, to the only place where he can
get shelter and food. On his return he is met with the same welcome, the
same kindness. There is no word of reproof for him, not even a suggestion
or hint that he has not acted honourably.
Again and again he may show the cloven foot, but at last he finds that
in the Old McAuley Water Street Mission there is a stock of love that
cannot be exhausted; that here, if nowhere else, the spirit of the Founder
of Christianity is in full force. It is no wonder that, as a usual thing,
the tough heart of the criminal is finally broken by the glorious principle
of love, and he becomes a practical, earnest Christian, working powerfully
among his former associates to bring them to the One who has saved him.
The most welcome at the Water Street Mission are those who are utterly
wrecked; those whose every effort at reform has failed
outcast humanity, male and female; and when these are finally converted,
the power they manifest on others and in their conversion is marvellous.
But, reader, it is Love that drives our chariot wheels, and death
must yield to love; Love never faileth; Love thinketh
no evil; seeketh not its own; beareth all things.
1 Cor. xiii.
We never tire of reaching out the hand of friendship to the crook, the
drunkard or the courtesan during their unhappy, misspent lives, and when
they die without friends we give them a Christian burial.
We are thankful we get the worst people on earth here. We have had hundreds
of converts here who were such outcasts that the dogs would bark at them
on the streets. With no other purpose but to see if they could get a night's
lodging or a bite to eat, they came here, and here Jesus met them and
saved them by His grace, and they are now taking care of their families
strong, Christian men, members of the churches, and a blessing to all
who know them, when a few years ago they were an unmitigated curse to
Did they come for salvation? Oh, no: they came to beat us out of anything,
from a night's lodging to a suit of clothes. Every one is treated as if
he were a man. No one is turned away: I give to every one that asketh,
and him that would borrow from me I turn not away. This opens his eyes.
He is so used to being kicked and thumped and turned down that he opens
his eyes wide. His poor heart is broken, and he looks for the source,
and when I tell him I was a thief, a drunkard and a liar, he kneels down
and we tell Jesus all about it. He makes a start. He may fall, once or
----who does not? Is it any wonder? His acquaintances
are all drunkards, and the saloons are ready to welcome him on every hand.
But if he does fall, we pick him up, and it often shows him that he must
make a full surrender of spirit, soul and body to God. We believe in holiness
of heart and life, and we teach it and many of our converts have entered
into that place of safety.
A host of the converts of the McAuley Water Street Mission have been called
into Christian work, many more than I have room to speak of in this volume.
I shall give some portraits and histories of those who have come under
my own observation
----those whom I have seen converted and those
whose lives I have known.
One night an old man came in, whom I shall call the Old Colonel. He was
one of the most typical tramps that ever came into our Mission, where
the lost congregate in such numbers. No pen can adequately describe his
condition, but I may be able to give a faint idea of how he looked. He
was over six feet tall, and sixty years of age, but he looked a hundred.
His dirty grey beard was a foot long, and his hair of the same colour
hung a foot down his back. His eyes were bleared and full of matter, and
the hue of his face showed that he and water had long been strangers.
He had on an old, ragged overcoat, probably pulled out of some ash barrel,
and fastened with a nail. An old coat and vest completed his wardrobe.
His trousers could not be called a part of his outfit, for they were little
more than holes with rags tied round them. He had on no shirt or undershirt,
and on his feet were pieces of rags tied up with strings.
I had known him for years. He was a common beggar. He came in here in
June, 1887, to see me. It was Sunday night, and in the middle
of the service he stood and peered forward and said:
Mr. Hadley, are you there?
Yes, I said, I am here.
Will you pray for me? I am contrite. At the invitation he
came up, with probably twenty others, and prayed away like a man in dead
earnest. When we arose from our knees he stood up and said:
Well, I am saved. There is no doubt about it. At the close
of the service he came up on the platform and put his arm around my neck
Brother Hadley, what are you going to give me?
Oh, said I, you will get a night's lodging.
Yes, said he, that's right, but what else?
I will give you a quarter for your breakfast, said I.
That's right, said he; I always knowed you were a Christian,
and with his quarter and ticket for a bed he tottered off. As he left
me he said:
I'll come every night.
Oh, don't, said I; just come occasionally. But
he said again:
Yes, Brother Hadley, I'll come every night. Who was this specimen
of the devil's cruel power and handiwork? He was from one of Ohio's oldest
and best families, from a wealthy, prosperous Christian home.
After going through college, he studied law in the office of E. M. Stanton,
the great War Secretary under the immortal Lincoln. He married, and began
to practice law. But alas! in college he began to drink whiskey, and every
where he was a failure. He entered the army at the outbreak of the Civil
war, and served through that fearful struggle with credit, and was mustered
out a colonel in an Illinois cavalry regiment, a confirmed drunkard. He
tried to struggle against that deadly habit which had so securely fastened
itself upon him, but it was useless. At last, when home, wife and children
were gone, he became utterly discouraged. He gave up in despair, and coming
to New York took an assumed name.
He never went near the post office, and ultimately came to be a street
beggar. For over a quarter of a century he had been a confirmed drunkard.
This was the man who came up for prayers that night. He was on hand early
the following evening, as he promised. He came forward for prayers when
the invitation was given, and prayed away like a good fellow. After we
arose from our knees he stood up, and with much unction said he was saved
sure this time. He tried to put his arms around me again, but I repelled
him this time with much more vigour than grace, I fear. I pointed him
to the door.
Do you mean it? he said.
If you linger much longer, I said, you will see if I
mean it. He went away slowly, cursing me, the Mission and everybody
else. He swore he would die in the streets before he would ever come again.
I had been sorely tried that night. I had been compelled to put out three
'longshoremen who came in drunk looking for fight. I was clearly a backslider.
My heart smote me as I saw the miserable, hopeless figure go out into
the night. I went to bed, but not to sleep. I could think of nothing else,
pray for nothing else. I felt he must be saved, or I would be lost.
The next two weeks was an important period in my Christian life. I must
have slept, but it seemed to me I did not. I believe I learned a little,
just a little, as much as I was able to bear, of what the blessed Jesus
suffered for me that awful night in the Garden.
Two weeks from that day we had our monthly meeting of rescue workers.
Our speaker had disappointed us, and some one said:
Call on Brother Hadley.
Yes, I have something to say, I said, and in shame and tears
I told them about the Old Colonel and how I had treated him. While I was
making the confession it seemed as if the Holy Ghost fell upon us all.
No one said pray, but all fell on their knees. They prayed
for the Old Colonel, and they prayed for me that God would deliver my
soul. While they prayed the clouds broke.
Get up, I said, you need not pray any more. They
gathered around me and said:
Oh, Brother Hadley, have you got your answer?
I have, said I, as I wrung their hands. At the same hour that
we were praying, a friend of mine, Jerry H. Griffin, a redeemed drunkard,
who had known of my agony, and who knew the Colonel, came across him in
Battery Park, and told him I was praying for him.
I hastened to the elevated road and came down to Water Street, and there
on the back bench sat the Colonel. It was my turn now, and as I put my
arms around his neck he burst into tears. I got him a beefsteak, some
potatoes, bread and butter and coffee. He ate like a famished animal.
I got a tub of hot water, a bar of soap and plenty of towels, and with
the hands that pen these lines I washed this poor outcast. I threw his
old vermin-infested rags into the furnace. I dressed him in clean clothes
from head to foot. I then took him across the street to the barber shop
and told them to put the clipper on him. His long hair and beard soon
disappeared, but the moustache seen in his picture was left. He stayed
to the meeting, and came forward for prayers, but oh, how changed! His
whole frame trembled with emotion, and tears fell from his eyes as he
Oh, Lord, if it is not too late, forgive this poor, lost, sinner!
I told my helpers to let him alone, as the Lord had hold of him. For six
nights this was repeated, and at the close of our service on Saturday
night he arose and said with Heaven in his face:
Oh, Brother Hadley, I am saved. I said:
I believe you. Then we did have a hug.
From that instant the old beggar tramp was changed into a child of God.
He fairly loathed rum and all its works. God restored his intellect, which
was so badly impaired. His youth returned and he became, as the reader
can see, a dignified, Christian gentleman.
Thousands have heard him, during the thirteen years he was among us, tell
of the wonderful love of Jesus. He was at last taken sick, and I placed
him in the Presbyterian Hospital. He died triumphant in Jesus, and was
buried from dear old Water Street Mission.
Ï Stray Notes on the English Bible
by the Editor
Strange and Outlandish Women
Nehemiah 13:26 & 27 put to us the questions, Did not Solomon king
of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations was there no king
like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel.
Nevertheless, even him did OUTLANDISH WOMEN cause to sin. Shall we then
hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our
God in marrying STRANGE WIVES? This is the only place in which the King
James Version uses the word outlandish, though it speaks often enough
of strange women.
Strange to our ears is odd or weird, and outlandish means stranger
----wild, as folks would now say, or bizarre. But Solomon's wives
were no doubt the cream of the crop, and hardly bizarre. Outlandish
means simply from outside of the land, or foreign. It was first
used in this text by Myles Coverdale, whose translation contained the
first printed edition of this portion of the Old Testament in English.
His version has, Dyd not Salomon ye kynge of Israel synne ther in? &
yet amonge many heythen was there no kynge like him, & he was deare
vnto his God, and God made him kynge ouer all Israel, and the outlandish
wemen. Coverdale's version failed to give a good sense here (there may
indeed be a printer's omission), but in the Great Bible he amended it
to read, Dyd not Salomon the kyng of Israel synne for such/ and yet
among many heythen was there no kyng lyke hym, whiche was dere vnto hys
God, and God made hym kynge ouer Israel: and yet neuerthelesse, outlandyshe
women caused hym to synne. Shall we then obey vnto you, to doo all thys
greate euell, and to transgresse agaysnt our God and mary straunge wyues?
The Geneva Bible altered this to strange women in verse 26, but the
Bishops' Bible retained outlandish, and was followed in this by the
King James Version.
Coverdale used the term outlandish also in I Kings 11:1
Salomon loued many outlandish wemen. And again in verse 8, Thus dyd
Salomon for all his outlandish wyues. This was retained in the Great
Bible, the Bishops' Bible, and even in the Geneva Bible, but the King
James Version did away with it in favor of strange ----strangely rejecting
the Genevan reading both here and in Nehemiah 13, though it stood on opposite
sides of the question in the two places. Coverdale and all his successors
usually read strange women rather than outlandish. Both come from
the same expression in the Hebrew, but Coverdale did not translate from
the Hebrew, but the German and Latin versions. His use of outlandish
may be traced directly to Martin Luther, who has auslendische (i.e., ausländische ----foreign)
in the same texts where Coverdale has outlandish. Where Luther uses
another term, Coverdale does the same.
The New versions generally banish both strange and outlandish,
and exhibit their usual lack of sound scholarship in what they substitute
for them. The New American Standard Version has the good sense to retain
the strange woman in Prov. 2:16, where, however, it comes from a different
Hebrew term than the one before us. It is the second reference to her
in that verse (the stranger in the King James Version), which corresponds
to the strange or outlandish woman in the other texts. And in rendering
this, all the New versions depart altogether from the meaning of the
Hebrew. The New King James Version has seductress (as it has again
in Prov. 5:20), the New International Version, the wayward wife, and
the New American Standard, the adulteress. These renderings are all
outlandish enough. The nearest thing among them to a real translation
of the Hebrew is the wayward wife, but whatever yr!k=n* may mean,
it does not mean wayward. And these are the versions
which are extolled for their fidelity. The NASV may plead the authority
of Tregelles' Gesenius for their adulteress, but this merits a little
explanation. Lexicons were written to be used by men with common sense.
Hence they commonly give various applications of the words, never suspecting,
I suppose, that anyone would confuse the applications of a word with its
meaning. But that is exactly what the NASV does, here and in numerous
other places. Whatever the lexicons say, they adopt, as though it were
the undoubted meaning of the word. The margin of this version is its one
redeeming feature, but that is often astray also. Here it informs us that
the adulteress is literally the foreign woman, but a little common
sense would have saved them from this also. Common sense is the one commodity
which the old Revised Version is also devoid of, and it also gives us
foreigner here. What then? Are there no such women across the street,
born and raised in town? Are they all foreign women?
But it may be asked again, Does not the Hebrew word mean foreign? The
answer is, No
----not in that sense. It is the stranger, the outsider ----the
unestablished, unexpected, or unentitled. It may as well mean from another
family or from another city as from another country. In Eccl.
6:2 we have, A man to whom God hath given riches, wealth, and honour,
so that he wanteth nothing for his soul of all that he desireth, yet God
giveth him not power to eat thereof, but a stranger eateth it. The stranger
here is another man, a man not himself, but surely not a foreigner, as
the NASV and the NKJV would have us believe. Really, these men display
their incompetence on every page of their versions. Exactly the same again
in Proverbs 5:9-10. Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy
years unto the cruel; lest strangers be filled with thy wealth, and thy
labours be in the house of a stranger. The stranger here is the
simple equivalent of the others in the preceding verse, but again
the new versions must tell us of aliens and foreigners. (Not so the NIV,
however, which, though very much lacking in fidelity, is yet not so devoid
of common sense as the others, and in this place turns the stranger into
another man, which is its true sense).
Again in Proverbs 27:2, Let another man praise thee, and not thine own
mouth: a stranger, and not thine own lips. Here the stranger is
precisely equivalent to another man. Even the NKJV and the NASV are
forced to retain the rendering stranger, and the NASV does not even
dare to tell us in the margin that it is literally, a foreigner, as
they do elsewhere, with as little reason.
But again in Genesis 35:2 (where the Hebrew has the cognate noun rather
than the adjective), Jacob commands his household, Put away the strange
gods that are among you. And again, the old Revised Version and all
the New versions do away with this, in exchange for foreign gods.
This we must suppose to mean the gods of foreign lands
----and indeed they
were no doubt the gods of the land of Laban. Were they then to exchange
these for the gods of the land of Canaan, in which Jacob sojourned as
a stranger? The plain fact is strange gods means other gods ----gods
not the Lord. They need not come from any foreign land.
Likewise, the strange woman in the book of Proverbs is the other woman,
(as she would be called today)
----the woman not his wife ----the outsider,
who has no right or place or title. That Solomon's strange and outlandish
wives were foreign women is not questioned, but it does not follow that
the strange woman of the book of Proverbs is so. She is simply the other
woman. Even Solomon's strange wives were not all outlandish, in the
true sense of that word, for some of them came from within the borders
of the land of Israel, and were its original inhabitants ----as the Hittites
mentioned in I Kings 11:1. They were strange women only in the sense
that they were not Israelites.
The Wycliffe Bible usually has straunge womman in the book of Proverbs,
and often alien wymmen in the texts which refer to foreign women.
In one very interesting case, in Proverbs 5:20, it reads, Mi sone, why
art êou disseyued of an alien womman; and art fostrid in êe
bosum of an oêere
----that is, an other, which is the true
Old articles are reprinted without alteration (except for corrections
of printing errors), unless stated otherwise. The editor inserts such
articles if they are judged to be profitable for scriptural instruction
or historical information, without endorsing everything in them. The editor's
own views are to be taken from his own writings.