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Vol. 3, No. 8
Aug., 1994

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----not because 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 meat.”

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,” etc.

Heb. 10:38. “But if any man draw back, my SOUL shall have no pleasure in him.”

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 upon them.”

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 SPIRIT.”

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 God.”

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 God.”

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 search.”

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 God)----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----especially feelings 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 Cross

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.

----Glenn Conjurske

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,
Unto eternity.

Irresistible Preaching

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----ignorant, worldly, 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 night.”

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, but penitently.”

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 and hearing.”

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

Methodist Biography

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----good 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----not 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 in America.

“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----not without 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 on.

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----Sabbath----there, 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?----editor.]

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 lives.

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 this:

“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 upon him.

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----refuse, 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----fine, 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 society.

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 many times----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 and said:

“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 cried:

“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 Ï

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 still----“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----“But kynge 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 sense.

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