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THE LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 



THE NE77 YOKX ! 

PUBLIC i: 

ASTOR, LFNOX 
TILDEN FOUNDATION':-; 




Portrait of A. B. Simpson at Age of Sixty-five. 



THE LIFE OF 

A. B. SIMPSON 

Official Authorised Edition 
BY 

A. E. THOMPSON, M. A. 

With Special Chapters by 

Paul Rader 
James M. Gray, D. D. Kenneth Mackenzie 

J. Gregory Mantle, D. D. F. H. Senft, B. A. 
R. H. Glover, M. D. W. M. Turnbull, D. D, 



Illustrated 



The Christian Alliance Publishing Company, 
318 West 39TH St., New York. 



TO I!EV/ YC 
PUBLIC LIBPAHY 



ASTOR. LENOX A^D 
TILBEN FOU-DaTIONS 



Copyright, 1920, by 
Christian Alliance Publishing Co. 



FOREWORD 

SOME over bold word artist may yet attempt to depict 
the life of A. B. Simpson on the terms laid down 
by Oliver Cromwell when sitting for young Lally — 
"Paint me as I am. If you leave out a scar or wrinkle, 
I will not pay you a shilling." But what canvas could re- 
ceive the face of Cromwell and what page can reveal 
the life of A. B. Simpson? 

Photography is more accurate than painting, for God's 
sunlight truly reflects the image on the negative ; but what 
mind is sensitive enough to receive the impression of a 
life so unique, and great enough to reveal it without 
retouching it into its own ideal? 

Someone has said that we should take the Bible as our 
model, forgetting what Graham Scroggie remarked with 
Scotch sententiousness, "God wrote those biographies." 
And if God should write a third Testament for the mil- 
lennial age, and should choose Albert B. Simpson as one 
of its characters, who would dare to predict what incident 
or excellency or flaw the Holy Spirit might select for His 
purpose? 

Miniatures not a few, mental photographs brought to 
the light of day from the treasures of memory, portraits 
done by hands love inspired, pen sketches revealing feat- 
ures and attitudes, and delineations of some of the great 
life lines have all been brought together in an attempt to 
create a composite picture of a great and beautiful life. 
Caricatures there are none, though these would fill vol- 
umes if collected, the fact that he provoked so many and 
such extravagantly distorted depictions being but another 



X FOREWORD 

proof of (lie extraordinary quality of his life, for only 
real greatness lends itself to burlesque. 

There has been no lack of material. Mrs. Simpson, 
with characteristic foresight, preserved in huge scrap- 
books much of the newspaper comment and many an- 
nouncements, programs, and records of outstanding 
events. His sister. Miss Louisa Simpson, and old Ca- 
nadian friends have kindly recalled for us their inti- 
mate knowledge of his early life. Fortunately he had 
begun an autobiography which he carried forward as far 
as his college days. A wide circle of friends have sent 
incidents and personal impressions. A few souvenirs 
and the official annual reports have been trustworthy 
guides. His scores of books and nearly fifty volumes 
of his periodicals have been mines of information. It 
has thus been possible to recover many of the revelations 
concerning himself which Dr. Simpson made on rare 
occasions, and so to give a more personal touch to the 
story. The photograph, of which the frontispiece is a 
copy, has been hanging before us as we wrote, constantly 
reminding us of the modesty that forbade him to pro- 
claim himself, but on every page the attempt has been 
made to break through that fine reserve and compel him 
to disclose the secret of his life. 

To those who have supplied data we here offer the 
readers' thanks with our own. Miss Emma F. Beere, 
who for many years was Dr. Simpson's secretary, has 
assisted in the collection of materials, giving valuable 
reading of the proofs. Mrs. C. Myron Peck also gave 
valuable assistance. The special contributors have each 
put us under obligation by their sketches of features 
and phases of this wonderful life. Mrs. Simpson and 
the Editorial Committee of the Christian and Missionary 



FOREWORD xi 

Alliance, including Revs. F. H. Senft, W. M. Turnbull, 
A, C. Snead, and the Editor, have done their part to make 
the work an official biography. 

If in any true sense this sketch is "A Life of A. B. 
Simpson," our aim has been attained. No word but life 
is adequate, for he lived intensely, unselfishly, nobly, 
godly in this present age, holding forth the Word of 
Life that he might not run in vain neither labor in vain. 

Nyack-on-Hudson, N. Y. A. E. T. 



ON EAGLE'S WINGS. 

Mounting up with wings as eagles, 

Waiting on the Lord we rise; 
Strength receiving, life renewing. 

How our spirit heavenward flies! 
Then our springing feet returning 

To the pathway of the saint, 
We shall run and not be weary. 

We shall walk and never faint. 

Oh, we need these heights of rapture 

Where we mount on eagle's wings; 
Then returning to life's duties. 

All our heart exultant springs. 
This our every burden lightens 

Till, with sweet, divine constraint, 
We can run and not be weary. 

We can walk and never faint. 

— A. B. Simpson. 



CONTENTS 

I PAGE 

A. Household of Faith i 

II 
Personal Reminiscences 7 

III 
The High Calling 24 

IV 
College Days 31 

V 

The First Pastorate 41 

VI 
Pastoral Evangelism 53 

VII 
The Life Crisis 63 

VIII 
Divine Life for the Body 72 

IX 
In the Great Metropolis 82 

X 

Manifold Ministries 92 

XI 

Conventions and Tours 104 

XII 
The Missionary Vision 118 

XIII 

The Christian and Missionary Alliance 128 

XIV 
The Ministry of Healing 138 



xiv CONTENTS 

XV 

Author and Editor 150 

XVI 

A Man of Action 160 

XVII 

A Pauline Mystic 171 

XVIII 

A Man of Prayer 184 

XIX 
A Modern Prophet 194 

XX 

Leader and Friend 204 

XXI 

A Christian Educator^ by W. M. Turnbull 214 

XXII 

The Missionary Outcome, by R. H. Glover 224 

XXIII 

Some Characteristics of the Message, by J. Gregory Mantle 236 

XXIV 

Dr. Simpson and Modern Movements, by Kenneth Mackenzie 246 

XXV 

The Saneness of A. B. Simpson., by James M. Gray 258 

XXVI 

The Man as I Knew Him, by Frederic H. Senft 268 

XXVII 
In Memoriam 276 

XXVIII 
A Great Legacy, by Paul Rader ,,,..,,.,.,... 291 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Portrait of A. B. Simpson at Age of Sixty-five. .Frontispiece 

Facing 

PAGE 

A. B. Simpson at Seventeen 15 

A. B. Simpson in College Years 2)2 

A. B. Simpson During Hamilton Pastorate 50 

A. B. Simpson at the Crisis 71 

Mrs. a. B. Simpson 141 

A. B. Simpson During Last Visit to England 277 

At Old Orchard Convention, 1916 log 

At Old Orchard Convention, 1918 no 

Mr. and Mrs. Simpson 281 



CHAPTER I 

A HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH 

ALBERT B. SIMPSON came of generations of 
sturdy and upright stock and was reared in sur- 
roundings congenial to the development of noble and 
godly character. The "Bonnie Highlands" of Scotland 
is the home of a race as rugged as its rocky hills, yet as 
sensitive as its matchless lakes to the moods of wind 
and weather. Neither Roman legions nor Saxon knights 
ever subdued those haughty, crafty clansmen, and on 
every battlefield of modern nations the tartan and bonnet 
of "The Kilties," marching to the weird skirl of the 
pibroch, have been in the hottest of the fray. As widely 
scattered, as easily recognized, and as successful as the 
sons of Jacob, some one has sung of them, 

"They thrive where'er they fall. 
Oh, grasp the hardy thistle close, 
Or grasp it not at all." 

Nor need young Canada, his own much loved native 
land, be abashed even in the presence of the Highlands. 
As Dr. Simpson himself said in a lecture, delivered both 
in his native island and in the church where fifty years 
before he had been ordained, "Every Canadian seems by 
^^his very attitude to be forever saying, T can.' His life 
story will reveal many influences, all instrumental in the 
making of a life of rare completeness. But it would be 
a very faulty interpretation that overlooked the effects 
of his ancestry and early environment. For the seeds 
of character are the fruit of a family tree, and the home 



2 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

and the community are as soil and sunlight to the young 
life. 

The Simpson family emigrated from Morayshire, Scot- 
land, and settled in Prince Edward Island in 1774. James 
Simpson, the grandfather of Albert B. Simpson, was then 
a boy of five years. In after years he married a daughter 
of the island and reared a family of seven boys and four 
girls. The fourth boy, James, married Jane, the daughter 
of William Clark, who with his wife was also of Scottish 
ancestry, being descended from the "Covenanters." He 
was a member of the Legislature, and on his death, his 
son William, then only twenty-one years of age, was 
elected to his seat, which he carried in every election till 
he was eighty years old. The family is still widely known 
and greatly respected. 

Jane Clark's maternal grandmother, Mrs. McEwan, a 
very godly woman, told her tales of the persecutions her 
people had suflFered at the hands of Claverhouse and his 
dragoons; of their faithfulness to the truth amid the 
fiercest persecution; of Peden, the prophet, and other 
great preachers ; of the secret conventicles among the 
hills where these godly folk worshipped at the risk of 
their lives ; of miracles of deliverance, and of the final 
triumph of the reformers in Scotland. No more thrilling 
chapter has been written in Church History, and the 
heart of this highminded girl was stirred to a passion 
of devotion to the faith of her fathers and the God whom 
they worshipped. 

Nor was James Simpson less earnest in his consecra- 
tion to Christ than the young lady whom he sought as his 
helpmeet. Carefully instructed in the great truths for 
which his forefathers had bled, and converted at the age 
of nineteen, he became an earnest student of the Bible, 



A HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH 3 

Though away from home during the years of his early 
manhood and cast among godless companions who scoffed 
at his religion, he continued true to his convictions and 
steadfast in his Christian life. He stood at the marriage 
altar a clean, capable, industrious, and prosperous young 
man, worthy of the remarkable woman whose heart he 
had won. 

The iron crane was hung in the home of James and 
Jane Simpson in Bayview, Prince Edward Island, on 
February ist, 1837. Here five of their nine children 
were given to them. Albert Benjamin, the fourth child, 
was born on December 15th, 1843. The firstborn, James 
Albert, was taken away when only two and a half years 
old. William Howard and Louisa were older than Albert, 
and Margaret Jane two years younger. It was a happy 
home, and sunny skies smiled upon it. 

James Simpson had established himself as a shipbuilder, 
miller, merchant, and exporter. He carried on his busi- 
ness in connection with the Cunard Steamship Company, 
exporting the product of his mills — flour, oatmeal, and 
pearl barley — and importing British goods which he sold 
in his store to the farmers for their produce. Such a 
medium of exchange was a necessity, and the business 
prospered till the financial depression which tested the 
foundations of British commerce swept over the empire. 
Shipbuilding was suspended, and export trade was threat- 
ened with extinction. James Simpson sold his business 
and with part of the proceeds bought a farm in Western 
Ontario. 

Miss Louisa Simpson, the only surviving member of 
the household, gives us the following intimate sketch of 
the journey to their new home and of the family. 

"When my father moved to this country in 1847, he 



4 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

chartered a sailing vessel, and, taking with him seven 
families some of whom had worked with him in his large 
business, crossed the Gulf of St. Lawrence and sailed 
up the river. At Montreal he took a boat for the Great 
Lakes. From Detroit a river boat brought us up the 
Thames to Chatham. It was a journey of thrilling pleas- 
ure to me. Albert, then three and one-half years old, 
was sick all the time, and it was a great trial to him. 
On his arrival at Chatham, father at once bought valuable 
property and settled us in a nice home, intending to 
remain permanently and enter into partnership with a 
shipbuilder in town ; but our little sister took ill and died 
in an epidemic which nearly depleted the town of its 
infants; and my mother, in dread for the rest of the 
children, insisted on going to the farm nine miles away, 
not caring what the hardships might be if only she could 
save her three remaining children from death. 

"Father was not a farmer, and it was a hard struggle 
for him, but he was very courageous and with hired help 
he soon cleared the farm. Being an excellent carpenter, 
he converted the log house into a comfortable home and 
with his own hands made beautiful furniture from the 
walnut on the farm. My mother decorated the home and 
surrounded it with beautiful flowers. A few years later 
a new house and fine farm buildings were erected. The 
surrounding country was gradually transformed into the 
garden of Western Ontario. 

"While speaking of my father, I feel that I owe it to 
his memory to say that, in a period ranging from my 
babyhood till he was nearly eighty-five years of age, I 
never once saw him lose his temper or say an unkind word , 
to anyone, though I often saw him hurt deeply, for he t » 
was very tender and most affectionate. His life was ra- \/ 



A HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH 5 

diant with sunshine. As my brother James, who Hved 
on the farm, stood with me beside father's coffin, he said 
almost enviously, 'There lies a man who never wronged 
his fellow.' 

"Mother was a most earnest Christian all her life. She 
was a woman of the highest ideals. I could add a long 
list to the names of her favorite poets which my brother 
has mentioned. In fact we had about all the poets worth 
while in our little library. What Albert says in his sketch 
regarding her sensitive nature and poetic temperament 
is emphatically true. Deeply religious, she trained us 
to take everything to God in prayer. When I was not 
more than six years old, I used to talk to Jesus and tell 
Him everything as if He were really present in person. 

"With such parents ours was a very happy home. The 
children who were brought to the farm and the others 
who were born there made a large family circle. Albert 
was very timid and imaginative, and anything unusual 
left a deep impress upon his memory. The thought of 
punishment would fill him with terror. I never saw him 
get a whipping; and if he ever got one, it was very ten- 
derly administered. He had been devoted to the Lord 
in his infancy, but my parents withheld this knowledge 
from him as they felt that God alone had any right to 
influence him in this matter. 

"Howard was four years older than Albert. He was 
shy, sensitive, affectionate, a great lover of flowers and 
of everything beautiful, a brilliant student, and a writer 
of many poems of considerable merit, yet he thought 
nothing of his own attainments. His thirst for knowledge 
was insatiable, and he would stand beside his father at 
his work all day and ply him with questions. He was 
always delicate, probably as the result of being burned 



6 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

almost to death when less than three years old, and he 
contracted an illness during his last pastorate in Frank- 
fort, Indiana, necessitating his retirement from active 
work while still in middle Hfe and his return to Chatham 
where he died August 22nd, 1888. 

"James Darnley was born on the farm, and there he 
spent his life. Sturdy and healthy, he w^as generous to a 
fault. Albert when writing to my father spoke of him 
as 'my noble brother James.' He united mother's high 
ideals and father's beautiful disposition. His conversion 
was very similar to Albert's, his conviction of sin being 
terrible, and his peace, when at last it came, was most 
profound. He lived wholly for others, helping them in 
their bodily needs in order to reach their souls. 

"Peter Gordon, our youngest brother, was a carpenter 
and builder. In temperament he was mathematical rather 
than literary. He was delicate in health and died at the 
age of forty-seven. 

"We had a little sister, Elizabeth Eleanor, born on 
Albert's birthday, December 15th, 1852, of whom he was 
exceedingly fond, but she was taken from us when less 
than four years old. A baby brother died at birth. 

"And now the family tree has but one leaf left, and 
that is fluttering in the breeze ready to drop — the little 
sister and helper of the rest — and soon all will meet 
above an unbroken family, not one missing." 



CHAPTER II 

PERSONAL REMINISCENCES 

AT the urgent request of friends, Dr. Simpson began 
an autobiography and wrote a few pages, sketching 
in his racy style some of the events of his early years. 
His disinclination to speak of himself, which was a note- 
worthy characteristic, overcame him, and he left us only 
what follows in this chapter and a few paragraphs which 
appear in the story of his college days. 

"The earliest recollection of my childhood is the picture 
of my mother as I often heard her in the dark and lonely 
nights weeping in her room; and I still remember how 
I used to rise and kneel beside my little bed, even before 
I knew God for myself, and pray for Him to coqifort 
her. The cause of her grief I afterwards better under- 
stood. In that lonely cabin, separated from the social 
traditions to which she had been accustomed and from 
all the friends she held so dear, it was little wonder that 
she should often spend her nights in weeping, and that 
her little boy should find his first religious experiences in 
trying to grope his way to the heart of Him. who alone 
could help her. 

'T would not leave the impression that my beloved 
mother was not a sincere and earnest Christian, but she 
had not yet learned of that deep peace, which came to 
my own heart later in life, and which alone can make 
us independent of our surroundings and conditions. She 
was of a sensitive and highly poetic temperament. Her 
favorite reading was old English ppets. She delighted 



8 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

in Milton, Pollock, Thompson, Kirke, White, and others 
of that highly imaginative school, and I am sure that I 
have inherited a certain amount of inspiration from her 
lofty nature. 

"My next reminiscence has also a tinge of religion 
about it. I had lost a boy's chief treasure — a jack-knife, 
and I still remember the impulse that came to me to kneel 
down and pray about it. Soon afterwards I was dehghted 
to find it. The incident made a profound impression upon 
my young heart and gave me a life-long conviction, which 
has since borne fruit innumerable times, that it is our 
privilege to take everything to God in prayer. I do not 
mean to convey the idea that I was at this time already 
converted. I only knew God in a broken, far-away sense ; 
but I can see now that God was then discounting my 
future, and treating me in advance as if I were already 
His child, because He knew that I would come to Plim 
later and accept Him as my personal Saviour and Father. 
This perhaps explains why God does so many things in 
answer to prayer for persons who do not yet know Him 
fully. He is treating them on the principle of faith, and 
calling 'the things that are not as though they were.' 

"The truth is the influences around my childhood were 
not as favorable to early conversion as they are today in 
many Christian homes. My father w'as a good Presby- 
terian elder of the old school, and believed in the Shorter 
Catechism, the doctrine of foreordination, and all the con- 
ventional principles of a well ordered Puritan household. 
He was himself a devout Christian and most regular in 
all his religious habits. He was an influential officer in 
the Church and much respected for his knowledge of the 
Scriptures, his consistent life, his sound judgment, and his 
strong, practical common sense. I can still see him rising 



PERSONAL REMINISCENCES 9 

long before daylight, sitting down with his Hghtcd candle 
in the family room, tarrying long at his morning devo- 
tions, and the picture filled my childish soul with a kind 
of sacred awe. We were brought up according to the 
strictest Puritan formulas. When we did not go to 
church on Sunday in the family wagon, a distance of 
nine miles, we were all assembled in the sitting room, and 
for hours father, mother, or one of the older children 
read in turn from some good old book that was far be- 
yond my understanding. It gives me a chill to this day 
to see the cover of one of those old books, such as Bos- 
ton's Fourfold State, Baxter's Saints' Rest, or Dod- 
deridge's Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul, for 
it was with these, and such as these, that my youthful 
soul was disciplined. The only seasons of relief came 
when it happened to be my turn to read. Then my heart 
would swell with pleasure, and I fear with self-conscious 
pride, and for a time I would forget the weariness of the 
volume. In the afternoon we all had to stand in a row 
and answer questions from the Shorter Catechism. There 
were about one hundred and fifty questions in all. Our 
rule was to take several each Sunday till they were fin- 
ished, and then start over again and keep it up from year 
to year as the younger children grew up and joined the 
circle. 

"My good father believed in the efficacy of the rod, 
and I understood this so well that I succeeded in es- 
caping most dispensations of that kind. One of the few 
whippings, however, which I remember, came one Sab- 
bath afternoon when the sun was shining and the weather 
was delightful. I ventured to slip out of the house, and 
was unfortunately seen by my father scampering 'round 
the yard in the joy of my ungodly liberty. I was speedily 



lo LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

called back and told with great solemnity that I would get 
my whipping the next morning after breakfast, for it 
was not considered quite the thing to break the Sabbath 
even by a whipping. I got the whipping that was coming 
to me all right the next morning. But I still remember 
how my elder brother, who had a much wider experience 
and a deeper mind than I, took me aside that day and 
told me that if I was ever condemned to a whipping, he 
knew a way of getting out of it. Then he told me with 
great secrecy that if such an occasion should arise, to get 
up that morning before daylight, a little before my 
father was accustomed to rise, light the candle, and go 
and sit in a corner of the sitting-room with the big Bible 
before me, showing a proper spirit of penitence and se- 
riousness. He had found by experience that my father 
would take the hint and let him off. I am sorry to say 
that my heart was as yet sufficiently unsanctified to take 
the hint, and sure enough one morning when a whipping 
was coming to me, I stole out of my bed and sat down 
with a very demure and solemn face to practice my pre- 
tended devotions. I can still see my quiet and silent 
father sitting at the table and casting side glances at me 
from under his spectacles as though to make quite sure 
that I was truly in earnest. After finishing his devotions, 
he quietly slipped away to his work, and nothing more 
was said about the chastisement. 

"Looking back on these early influences, I cannot say 
I wholly regret the somewhat stern mould in which my 
early life was shaped. It taught me a spirit of reverence 
and wholesome discipline for which I have often had 
cause to thank God, the absence of which is perhaps 
the greatest loss of the rising generation today. It threw 
Qver my youthful spirit a natural horror of evil things 



PERSONAL REMINISCENCES n 

which often safeguarded me afterwards when thrown as 
a young man amid the temptations of the world. The 
religious knowledge, which was crammed into my mind 
even without my understanding it, furnished me with 
forms of doctrine and statements of truth which after- 
wards became illuminated by the Holy Spirit and realized 
in my own experience, and thus became ultimately the 
precious vessels for holding the treasures of divine knowl- 
edge. In our later family history these severe restraints 
were withdrawn from the younger members as a new age 
threw its more relaxing influence over our home ; but I 
cannot say that the change proved a beneficial one. I 
believe that the true principle of family training is a 
blending of thorough discipHne with true Christian liberty 
and love. 

"My childhood and youth were strangely sheltered and 
guarded by divine providence. I recall with sacred awe 
many times when my life was almost miraculously pre- 
served. On one occasion, while climbing up on the scaf- 
folding of a building in course of erection, I stepped upon 
a loose board which tipped over and plunged me into 
space. Instinctively throwing out my hands, I caught a 
piece of timber, one of the flooring joists, and desper- 
ately held on, crying for assistance. When exhausted and 
about to fall, a workman caught me just in time. The 
fall would certainly have killed me or maimed me for life. 

"At another time I was thrown headlong over my 
horse's head as he stumbled and fell under me. When I 
came back to consciousness, I found him bending over 
me with his nose touching my face, almost as if he 
wanted to speak to me and encourage me. At another 
time I was kicked into unconsciousness by a dangerous 



12 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

horse, and still remember the awful struggle to recover 
my breath as I thought myself dying. 

"Once I had a remarkable escape from drowning. I 
had gone with one of my schoolmates in the High School 
to gather wild grapes on the banks of the river. After 
a while my companion tempted me to go in swimming, an 
art about which I knew nothing. In a few moments I got 
beyond my depth, and with an agony I shall always re- 
member, I found myself choking under the surface. In 
that moment the whole of my life came before me as if 
in a vision, and I can well understand the stories told 
by drowning persons of the photograph that seems to 
come to their minds in the last moment of consciousness. 
I remember seeing as clearly as if I had read it from 
the printed page, the notice in the local newspaper telling 
of my drowning and the grief and sorrow of my friends. 
Somehow God mercifully saved me. My companion was 
too frightened to help me, but his shouts attracted some 
men in a little boat a short distance away, and they pulled 
me out just as I was sinking for the last time, and laid 
me on the river bank. As I came back to consciousness 
a while afterwards, it seemed to me that years had 
passed since I was last on earth. I am sure that expe- 
rience greatly deepened my spiritual earnestness. 

"But, like other boys, I often passed from the sublime 
to the ridiculous as this little incident will show. It was 
my good fortune to secure as a first prize in the High 
School an extremely handsome book which my chum, who 
had failed in the examination, had set his heart upon 
getting. He finally succeeded in tempting me by an old 
violin, with which he used to practice on my responsive 
heart, until at last I was persuaded to exchange my splen- 
did prize for his old fiddle. The following summer I 



PERSONAL REMINISCENCES 13 

took it home and made night hideous and myself a general 
nuisance. I had never really succeeded in playing any- 
thing worth while, but there must have been somewhere 
in my nature a latent vein of music, and still to me the 
strains of the violin have a subtle inspirational power 
with which nothing else in music can be compared. 

"My first definite religious crisis came at about the age 
of fourteen. Prior to this I had for a good while been 
planning to study for the ministry. I am afraid that this 
came to me in the first instance rather as a conviction of 
duty than a spontaneous Christian impulse. There grew 
up in my young heart a great conflict about my future 
life; naturally I rebelled against the ministry because of 
the restraints which it would put upon many pleasures. 
One irresistible desire was to have a gun and to shoot 
and hunt ; and I reasoned that if I were a minister, it 
would never do for me to indulge in such pastimes. 

"I was cured of this in a somewhat tragic way. I had 
saved up a little money, earned through special jobs and 
carefully laid aside, and one day I stole off to the town 
and invested it in a shot gun. For a few days I had the 
time of my life. I used to steal out to the woods with 
my forbidden idol and then with my sister's help smuggle 
it back to the garret. One day, however, my mother 
found it, and there was a never-to-be-forgotten scene. 
Her own brother had lost his life through the accidental 
discharge of a gun, and I knew and should have re- 
membered that such things were proscribed in our family. 
It was a day of judgment for me; and when that wicked 
weapon was brought from its hiding place, I stood 
crushed and confounded as I was sentenced to the deep 
humiliation of returning it to the man from whom I 
bought it, losing not only my gun but my money too. 



14 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

"That tragedy settled the question of the ministry. I 
soon after decided to give up all side issues and prepare 
myself if I could only find a way to preach the Gospel. 
But as yet the matter had not even been mooted in the 
family. One day, however, my father in his quiet, grave 
way, with my mother sitting by, called my elder brother 
and myself into his presence and began to explain that 
the former had long been destined to the ministry and 
that the time had now come when he should begin his 
studies and prepare to go to college. I should say that 
at this time we both had an excellent common school 
education. My father added that he had a little money, 
rescued from the wrecked business of many years before, 
now slowly coming in, which would be sufficient to give 
an education to one but not both of his boys. He quietly 
concluded that it would be my duty to stay at home on 
the farm while my brother w^ent to college. I can still 
feel the lump that rose in my throat as I stammered out 
my acquiescence. Then I ventured with broken words 
and stammering tongue to plead that they would consent 
to my getting an education if I could work it out without 
asking anything from them but their approval and bless- 
ing. I had a little scheme of my own to teach school and 
earn the money for my education. But even this I did 
not dare to divulge, for I was but a lad of less than four- 
teen. I remember the quiet trembling tones with which 
my father received my request and said, 'God bless you, 
my boy.' 

"So the struggle began, and I shall never cease to thank 
God that it was a hard one. Some one has said, 'Many 
people succeed because success is thrust upon them,' but 
the most successful lives are those that began without a 
penny. Nothing under God has ever been a greater bless- 






PUBLIC 



LE>^Oi 



^Z°Si^^v':^^S£l 



ItDEI* 




A B. Simpson at Seventeen. 



PERSONAL REMINISCENCES 15 

ing to me than the hard places that began with me more 
than half a century ago, and have not yet ended. 

"For the first few months my brother and I took les- 
sons in Latin, Greek and higher mathematics from a re- 
tired minister and then from our kind pastor, who was a 
good scholar and ready to help us in our purpose. Later 
I pursued my studies in Chatham High School, but the 
strain was too great, and I went back to my father's 
house a physical wreck. Then came a fearful crash in 
which it seemed to me the very heavens were falling. 
After retiring one night suddenly a star appeared to 
blaze before my eyes ; and as I gazed, my nerves gave 
way. I sprang from my bed trembling and almost faint- 
ing with a sense of impending death, and then fell into a 
congestive chill of great violence that lasted all night and 
almost took my life. A physician told me that I must 
not look at a book for a whole year for my nervous 
system had collapsed, and I was in the greatest danger. 
There followed a period of mental and physical agony 
which no language can describe. I was possessed with 
the idea that at a certain hour I was to die; and every 
day as that hour drew near, I became prostrated with 
dreadful nervousness, watching in agonized suspense till 
the hour pased, and wondering that I was still alive. 

"One day the situation became so acute that nothing 
could gainsay it. Terrified and sinking, I called my father 
to my bedside and besought him to pray for me, for I 
felt I was dying. Worst of all I had no personal hope 
in Christ. My whole religious training had left me with- 
out any conception of the sweet and simple Gospel of 
Jesus Christ. The God I knew was a being of great 
severity, and my theology provided in some mysterious 
way for a wonderful change called the new birth or re- 



i6 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

generation, which only God could give to the soul. How 
I longed and waited for that change to come, but it had 
not yet arrived. Oh, how my father prayed for me that 
day, and how I cried in utter despair for God to spare 
mc just long enough to be saved! After that dreadful 
sense of sinking at last a little rest came, and the crisis 
was over for another day. I looked at the clock, and 
the hour had passed. I believed that God was going to 
spare me just one day more, and that I must strive and 
pray for salvation that whole day as a doomed man. How 
I prayed and besought others to pray, and almost feared 
to go to sleep that night lest I should lose a moment from 
my search for God and eternal life; but the day passed, 
and I was not saved. It now seems strange that there 
was no voice there to tell me the simple way of believing 
in the promise and accepting the salvation fully provided 
and freely oflfered. How often since then it has been 
my delight to tell poor sinners that 

"We do not need at Mercy's gate 

To knock and weep, and watch and wait; 
For Mercy's gifts are offered free, 
And she has waited long for thee. 

"After that, as day after day passed, I rallied a little, 
and my life seemed to hang upon a thread, for I had the 
hope that God would spare me long enough to find sal- 
vation if I only continued to seek it with all my heart. 
At length one day, in the library of my old minister and 
teacher, I stumbled upon an old musty volume called 
Marshall's Gospel Mystery of Sanctification. As I turned 
the leaves, my eyes fell upon a sentence which opened 
for me the gates of life eternal. It is this in substance: 
'The first good work you will ever perform is to believe 



PERSONAL REMINISCENCES 17 

on the Lord Jesus Christ. Until you do this, all your 
works, prayers, tears, and good resolutions are vain. To 
believe on the Lord Jesus is just to believe that He saves 
you according to His Word, that He receives and saves 
you here and now, for He has said — 'Him that cometh 
to me I will in no wise cast out.' The moment you do 
this, you will pass into eternal life, you will be justified | 
from all your sins, and receive a new heart and all the 
gracious operations of the Holy Spirit.' 

"To my poor bewildered soul this was like the light 
from heaven that fell upon Saul of Tarsus on his way 
to Damascus. I immediately fell upon my knees, and 
looking up to the Lord, I said, 'Lord Jesus, Thou hast 
said — Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast 
out. Thou knowest how long and earnestly I have tried 
to come, but I did not know how. Now I come the best 
I can, and I dare to believe that Thou dost receive me and 
save me, and that I am now Thy child, forgiven and saved 
simply because I have taken Thee at Thy word. Abba 
Father, Thou art mine, and I am Thine.' 

"It is needless to say that I had a fight of faith with 
the great Adversary before 1 was able to get out all these 
words and dared to make this confession of my faith ; but 
I had no sooner made it and set my seal to it than there 
came to my heart that divine assurance that always comes 
to the believing soul, for 'He that believeth hath the wit- 
ness in himself.' I had been seeking the witness without 
believing, but from the moment that I dared to believe 
the Word, 1 had the assurance that 

'The Spirit answers to the blood 
And tells me I am born of God.' 

"After my health was restored, I secured a certificate 



i8 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

as a common school teacher, and at the early age of six- 
teen I began teaching a public school of forty pupils. 
One-quarter of the pupils were grown up men and women 
while I looked even younger than my years and would 
have given anything for a few whiskers or something that 
would have made me look older. I often wonder how 
I was able to hold in control these rough country fellows, 
but I can see that it was the hand of the Lord, and He 
was pleased to give me a power that did not consist in 
brawn or muscle. My object in teaching was to earn 
money for my first cycle of college, and along with my 
teaching I was studying hard every spare moment between 
times to prepare for the first examination of my college 
course. 

"The months that followed my conversion were full of 
spiritual blessing. The promises of God burst upon m.y 
soul with a new and marvelous light, and words that had 
been empty before became divine revelations, and every 
one seemed specially meant for me. I think I had in- 
herited from my mother a vein of imagination, and it 
clothed the glowing promises of Isaiah and Jeremiah with 
a glory that no language could express. With unspeak- 
able ecstasy I read and marked, T have sworn that I will 
never be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee ; for the moun- 
tains shall depart and the hills be removed, saith the 
Lord that hath mercy on thee.' When I heard other 
Christians talking of their failures and fears, I wondered 
if a time would ever come when I should lose this su- 
preme joy of a soul in its earliest love; and I remember 
how I used to pray that rather than let me go back to 
the old life, the Lord would take me at once to heaven. 

"One of the memorable incidents of my early Chris- 
tian life, of which I still have the old and almost faded 



PERSONAL REMINISCENCES 19 

manuscript, was my covenant with God. While I was 
teaching school, I had been reading Doddridge's Rise and 
Progress of Religion in the Soul, in which he recom- 
mends young Christians to enter into a written covenant 
with God. I determined to follow this suggestion and 
set apart a whole day to fasting and prayer to this pur- 
pose. I wrote out at great length a detailed transaction 
in which I gave myself entirely to God and took Him for 
every promised blessing, and especially to use my life 
for His service and glory. There was a certain special 
blessing, partly temporal and partly spiritual, which I in- 
cluded in my specifications. I have since often wondered 
how literally God had fulfilled this to me in His won- 
derful and gracious providences throughout my fife, and 
I can truly say after more than two generations that not 
one word hath failed of all in which He caused me to 
hope. Before the close of the day I signed and sealed 
this covenant just as formally as I would have done with 
a human contract and have kept it until this day. 

"A SOLEMN COVENANT * 
"The Dedication of Myself to God 

"O Thou everlasting and almighty God, Ruler of the 
universe, Thou who madest this world and me, Thy 
creature upon it. Thou who art in every place beholding 
the evil and the good, Thou seest me at this time and 
knowest all my thoughts. I know and feel that my in- 
most thoughts are all familiar to Thee, and Thou knowest 
what motives have induced me to come to Thee at this 
time. I appeal to Thee, O Thou Searcher of hearts, so 



♦Evidently Dr. Simpson did not intend to publsh this covenant, 
but it is so illuminating that we insert it. (Ed.) 



20 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

far as I know my own heart, it is not a worldly motive 
that has brought me before Thee now. But my 'heart 
is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked,' and 
I would not pretend to trust to it ; but Thou knowest that 
I have a desire to dedicate myself to Thee for time and 
eternity. I would come before Thee as a sinner, lost and 
ruined by the fall, and by my actual transgressions, yea, 
as the vilest of all Thy creatures. When I look back 
on my past life, I am filled with shame and confusion. 
I am rude and ignorant, and in Thy sight a beast. Thou, 
O Lord, didst make Adam holy and happy, and gavest 
him abihty to maintain his state. The penalty of his dis- 
obedience was death, but he disobeyed Thy holy law and 
incurred that penalty, and I, as a descendant from him, 
have inherited this depravity and this penalty. I acknowl- 
edge the justness of Thy sentence, O Lord, and would 
bow in submission before Thee. 

"How canst Thou, O Lord, condescend to look on me, 
a vile creature? For it is infinite condescension to notice 
me. But truly. Thy loving kindness is infinite and from 
everlasting. Thou, O Lord, didst send Thy son in our 
image, with a body such as mine and a reasonable soul. 
In Him were united all the perfections of the Godhead 
with the humility of our sinful nature. He is the Media- 
tor of the New Covenant, and through Him we all have 
access unto Thee by the same Spirit. Through Jesus, the 
only Mediator, I would come to Thee, O Lord, and trust- 
ing in His merits and mediation, I would boldly approach 
Thy throne of grace. I feel my own insignificance, O 
Lord, but do Thou strengthen me by Thy Spirit. I 
would now approach Thee in order to covenant with 
Thee for life everlasting. Thou in Thy Word hast told 
us that it is Thy Will that all who believe in Thy Son 



PERSONAL REMINISCENCES 21 

might have everlasting life and Thou wilt raise him up 
at the last day. Thou hast given us a New Covenant 
and hast sealed that covenant in Thy blood, O Jesus, on 
the Cross. 

"I now declare before Thee and before my conscience, 
and bear witness, O ye heavens, and all the inhabitants 
thereof, and thou earth, which my God has made, that 
I accept of the conditions of this covenant and close with 
its terms. These are that I beHeve on Jesus and accept 
of salvation through Him, my Prophet, Priest, and King, 
as made unto me of God wisdom and righteousness and 
sanctification and redemption and complete salvation. 
Thou, O Lord, hast made me willing to come to Thee. 
Thou hast subdued my rebellious heart by Thy love. So 
now take it and use it for Thy glory. Whatever rebel- 
lious thoughts may arise therein, do Thou overcome them 
and bring into subjection everything that opposeth itself 
to Thy authority. I yield myself unto Thee as one alive 
from the dead, for time and eternity. Take me and use 
me entirely for Thy glory. 

"Ratify now in Heaven, O my Father, this Covenant. 
Remember it, O Lord, when Thou bringest me to the 
Jordan. Remember it, O Lord, in that day when Thou 
comest with all the angels and saints to judge the world, 
and may I be at Thy right hand then and in heaven with 
Thee forever. Write down in heaven that I have become 
Thine, Thine only, and Thine forever. Remember me, 
O Lord, in the hour of temptation, and let me never 
depart from this covenant. I feel, O Lord, my own weak- 
ness and do not make this in my own strength, else I 
must fail. But in Thy strength, O Captain of my sal- 
vation, I shall be strong and more than conqueror through 
Him who loved me. 



22 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

"I have now, O Lord, as Thou hast said in Thy Word, 
covenanted with Thee, not for worldly honors or fame 
but for everlasting life, and I know that Thou art true 
and shalt never break Thy holy Word, Give to me now 
all the blessings of the New Covenant and especially the 
Holy Spirit in great abundance, which is the earnest of 
my inheritance until the redemption of the purchased pos- 
session. May a double portion of Thy Spirit rest upon 
me, and then I shall go and proclaim to transgressors 
Thy ways and Thy laws to the people. Sanctify me 
wholly and make me fit for heaven. Give me all spiritual 
blessing in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. 

"I am now a soldier of the Cross and a follower of the 
Lamb, and my motto from henceforth is *I have one 
King, even Jesus.' Support and strengthen me, O my 
Captain, and be mine forever. 

"Place me in what circumstances Thou mayest desire ; 
but if it be Thy holy will, I desire that Thou 'give me 
neither poverty nor riches ; feed me with food convenient, 
lest I be poor and steal, or lest I be rich and say. Who 
is the Lord?' But Thy will be done. Now give me 
Thy Spirit and Thy protection in my heart at all times, 
and then I shall drink of the rivers of salvation, lie down 
by still waters, and be infinitely happy in the favor of 
my God. 
"Saturday, January 19, 1861." 

Written across this covenant are the following re- 
newals ; one of which was made during his third year 
in College and the other during his second pastorate. 

"September i, 1863. Backslidden. Restored. Yet too 
cold. Lord. I still wish to continue this. Pardon the 



PERSONAL REMINISCENCES 23 

past and strengthen me for the future, for Jesus' sake. 
Amen." 

"Louisville, Ky., April 18, 1878. Renew this covenant 
and dedication amid much temptation and believe that 
my Father accepts me anew and gives me more than I 
have dared to ask or think, for Jesus' sake. He has kept 
His part. My one desire now is power, light, love, souls, 
Christ's indwelling, and my church's salvation." 



CHAPTER III 
THE HIGH CALLING 

IT was no easy path that led from the farm on the 
Ontario lowlands to the pulpit and the manse. In the 
Presbyterian Church of Canada the ministry was a sacred 
and carefully safeguarded calling. The Church Session, 
the Presbytery, the Faculty and the Senate of the College 
must all be satisfied as to the fitness of the candidate. 
Beyond these lay the supreme test, for in the Presbyte- 
rian democracy every congregation is a final court of 
decision as to its minister. He cannot be settled as a 
pastor until be has "a call" from a congregation, and in 
those days a call was never extended until a number of 
candidates had been heard in the pulpit, their merits de- 
termined, and a decision reached by vote of the church. 

To a devout family no higher honor could come than 
to have a son in the pulpit, and many were the parents 
who, like the Simpsons, dedicated their firstborn as an 
offering to God and the Church. To have another son 
choose this path was a double honor. Dr. Simpson has 
given us a vivid picture of the family council when his 
father announced that Howard, the firstborn, had been 
dedicated to the ministry, and when he himself informed 
the family of his own desire. To one member of the 
circle that confession was no surprise. His sister says: 
"Like little Samuel, he was given to the Lord from his 
birth. My mother told me that she gave him to the Lord 
to use him in life or death ; to be a minist?er and a foreign 
missionary, if the Lord so willed, and he lived to grow 



THE HIGH CALLING 25 

up and was so inclined." He had, in fact, given early 
indications of his inclination. The children were some- 
times left at home when the parents journeyed nine miles 
to church in Chatham. On such occasions, Albert, when 
not more than ten years old, would fit up the kitchen 
table as a pulpit and preach to the rest of the children. 

Yet honor meant accountability, and the parents felt a 
keen sense of responsibility for their full share in the 
making of a minister. Had their boy the "pairts," as 
the Scotch termed natural ability? Was the call of God 
upon him? Had he surrendered earthly joys and am- 
bitions for this heavenly calling? Could the family pro- 
vide for his education? All this and much more is evi- 
dent in Mr. Simpson's description of the scene in the 
family circle where, with fear and trembling, he made 
known his desires. But when once the decision was 
made, the family never thought of turning back. The 
two boys had been the mainstay on the farm, but hence- 
forth they were primarily students and not farmers. The 
parents made great sacrifices, and the other members of 
the family joined heartily in the plans for the education 
of their brothers. 

Miss Louisa Simpson, who was older than Albert, re- 
calls the struggle through which they went. "My brothers 
wanted to study the classics, so my father engaged as 
tutor a retired minister of the Presbyterian Church, a 
good scholar, and the boys commenced their classical 
education and made rapid progress. Later, after their 
tutor had left, our pastor, the Rev. William Walker, 
offered to give them lessons twice a week if they could 
go into town. My father gave them a horse each, and 
they rode the nine miles to the Manse to get their lessons, 
and thus continued their studies for a length of time. 



26 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

Shortly afterward Albert thought it would be better to 
enter the High School at Chatham and give his entire 
time to study. Howard was in poor health and thought 
he would have to discontinue his studies, so he engag'ed 
as school teacher and taught instead. 

"While Albert was in High School, the drowning inci- 
dent which he has narrated occurred. Shortly after- 
ward, Rev. H. Grattan Guinness, of London, England, 
visited Chatham, and under his pungent preaching Albert 
was deeply convicted. Still under conviction he walked 
home for the week end and was lost in the woods. He 
wandered upon some Indian graves which had been dese- 
crated, and the gruesome sight greatly affected his sensi- 
tive spirit, not yet recovered from the effect of the 
drowning experience. His father found him and brought 
him home, but a long illness followed, during which he 
suffered intense spiritual darkness and often could sleep 
only with his father's arms about him. It was during 
this time that he was converted. 

"As soon as he recovered, he received his certificate 
and secured a school and taught till the end of September 
when he went to Toronto, to Knox College, Howard re- 
maining behind and teaching school another year. Two 
other members of the family were teachers and the farm 
was quite productive, and what was earned or raised was 
gladly drawn upon to help the boys in their education." 

There is an apostolic succession in Presbyterianism 
which lies deeper than a formal consecration by the laying 
on of hands — a succession of life, of spirit, of high tra- 
ditions, of intangible realities. When a lad appears in 
that succession, it is the crowning glory of a pastor's 
ministry. Rev. William Walker had the unusual joy of 
introducing two sons of one of his elders into that fellow- 



THE HIGH CALLING 27 

ship. With the devotion that characterized the godly 
minister of the old school, he counselled them, tutored 
them, commended them to the Presbytery, and continued 
his friendly offices during their course of preparation for 
the ministry. 

The Presbytery is a court composed of the ministers 
within a defined area and a representative elder from 
each Church Session. It is their prerogative to decide 
upon the merits of a candidate for the ministry, to accept 
him as a catechist, to grant him the privilege of preaching 
in the pulpit as occasion offers, to recommend him to the 
Church College which he wishes to attend, to license him 
as a preacher of the Gospel when his course is completed, 
and, when he is called to be the minister of a congregation, 
to ordain him to the ministry. The old time Presbytery 
took nothing for granted, nor did it trust the results of 
secular educational examinations, nor for that matter 
those given by the Church Colleges. Democratic to an 
extreme, it jealously guarded its own honors and insisted 
that the candidate, from the day of his first appearance 
before it until by its hand he was ordained, should prove 
himself and his spiritual and intellectual attainments in 
at least an annual appearance before them. By such 
means have Presbyterians maintained the high standard 
of their traditions. 

Albert B. Simpson appeared with other candidates 
before the Presbytery of London, Ontario, on October 
1st, 1 86 1. According to custom, they sat in silence while 
the Presbytery proceeded with its routine business. Pres- 
ently a committee was appointed for the examination — 
and what an examination ! Their antecedents, their char- 
acter, their spiritual experience, their attainments, their 
soundness in the faith, and their "call" must all be in- 



28 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

quired into. When the report was presented to the 
Presbytery, happy were they on finding themselves ex- 
cused from reading sermons of their own production in 
this fearsome presence. The Presbytery records show 
that they all passed a creditable examination and were 
recommended for admission to Knox College, Toronto. 

We are curious to learn how a boy of seventeen, almost 
fresh from a country farm, met the test of filling the 
pulpits of those old-time Presbyterian churches. Presby- 
terians are the greatest "sermon tasters" in the world. 
The pulpit is the glory of the Church. They will bear 
much from their minister if only he fail not when he 
stands before them to declare the oracles of God. 

Albert Simpson's testing was the severest that could 
have been put upon a boy. During his first Christmas 
holidays he was asked to preach in Tilbury, near his 
home. His .father, his gifted, emotional mother, who 
cannot lift her eyes to her boy's face, his brothers, his 
sister, his playmates, his neighbors are in the audience. 
There may be a trace of jealousy in the pews, but intense 
interest is lacking in none. Yesterday he was Bert Simp- 
son, their fellow, their rival in friendly contests of brain 
and brawn. Today he stands high above them in the 
pulpit, a minister — no, not yet a minister — but in the 
minister's place, back of the open Bible where not even 
his godly father would appear, to speak to them as a 
messenger of God. Can any one who has formed a part 
of such a scene ever forget it? The boy, whose voice 
was to thrill five continents, did not fail. Tense ner- 
vousness in pulpit and pew soon changed to tenser interest 
in the message, for even then the messenger became 



THE HIGH CALLING 29 

"A voice of one crying — 
Prepare ye tlie way of the Lord, 
Make his paths straight." 

If any vivid imagination pictures his friends crowding 
around him, they little know an old-time Presbyterian 
congregation. They had subtler ways of manifesting 
either approval or disapproval. Albert Simpson expected 
no effusiveness, and one of the marks of his greatness 
was that, till the end, he maintained the spirit of his 
fathers in this regard, never allowing any one to con- 
gratulate him on his preaching. In the Memorial Service 
in the Gospel Tabernacle, New York, Rev. Edward H. 
Emett told that a short time before he had linked his 
arm into Dr. Simpson's, and had begun to tell him how 
much his preaching had inspired his own ministry. He 
was quietly but quickly interrupted with the word, "That 
is all very well, Emett, but tell me something about what 
Christ has done for you." 

His success in the home church was repeated in others, 
though his boyish appearance sometimes caused embar- 
rassing situations. On one occasion he was following 
the beadle, who was carrying the Bible into the pulpit, 
when one of the elders stopped him, and he had difficulty 
in persuading that worthy official that he was the duly 
appointed supply for the day. 

One of his college friends, Rev. James Hastie, gives us 
the following account of their first meeting. 

"One summer I taught a rural school a few miles from 
Sarnia, Ontario. The Presbyterian Church was vacant 
and was hearing candidates. On a certain Sabbath there 
was no supply, but unexpectedly a handsome lad entered 
the church and conducted the service. He gave his name 
as A. B. Simpson. A double surprise came to that Scotch 



30 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

congregation, surprise to see a lad of seventeen years in 
the pulpit, and still greater surprise to hear that youth 
preach sermons which in content would do credit to a 
professor of homiletics, and for diction and delivery 
would meet the demands of a teacher of elocution. Dur- 
ing dinner, a lady from a church some distance away 
insisted that he repeat in the afternoon a sermon which 
she had heard him deliver three months before. Mr. 
Simpson replied that he had not used it since, nor had 
he the manuscript with him, nor any notes, and therefore 
he could not recall that sermon with any satisfaction. 
When she still insisted, the young preacher asked his 
hostess for the use of a room. In less than half an hour 
he came out, entered the pulpit, and without a word of 
explanation to the congregation delivered the sermon 
asked for, which was fully the equal of the one given in 
the forenoon in exposition, illustration, searching appli- 
cation, and beauty of diction." 



CHAPTER IV 

COLLEGE DAYS 

KNOX COLLEGE is now situated on the campus of 
the University of Toronto occupying one of the fin- 
est seminary buildings on the continent. It was opened 
in 1844 in one room when the disruption of the Church 
of Scotland resulted in a similar division in the Canadian 
Church. In Mr. Simpson's day, Elmsley Villa, formerly 
the residence of Lord Elgin, Governor of Canada, lo- 
cated where Grosvenor Street Presbyterian Church now 
stands, was its home. 

In October, 1861, Albert B. Simpson entered Knox 
College as a student for the ministry. He was brought 
up in the United Presbyterian Church and had looked 
forward to attending the denominational seminary in 
Toronto, but in that year it was absorbed into Knox Col- 
lege when the Canadian Presbyterian Church was formed 
by the union of the United Presbyterian with the Free 
Church, He had studied so diligently under his minis- 
terial tutors, in High School, and during the time he 
was teaching that, though he was only seventeen years 
old, he was admitted to the third or senior year of the 
literary course. The college required either the full arts 
course in the University of Toronto, with which it was 
the first seminary to affiliate, or three years of Academic 
work in its own halls as a prerequisite to the three years' 
course in Theology. 

The college staff, though not a large body, was excel- 
lent. The head of the Literary Department was Pro- 



32 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

fcssor George Paxton Young, who afterward occupied 
the Chair of Philosophy in Toronto University, a man 
who is remembered for his brilliant scholarship, his ex- 
ceptional ability as a teacher, and his never-failing devo- 
tion to his students. The Principal of the Theological 
Department was Professor Michael Willis. Dr. Robert 
Burns, one of the great figures in the Church of that day, 
was Professor of Church History and Christian Evi- 
dences, while Professor William Caven, who was to leave 
his mark on Knox College by nearly half a century of 
service, was lecturing in his quietly brilliant way in the 
Department of Biblical Literature and Exegesis. These 
men and their associates were real educators, untouched 
by the blight of rationalistic criticism which has fallen 
upon many theological professors of our day. 

Among the students were J. Munroe Gibson, LL.D., 
who became the most outstanding figure in the Presby- 
terian pulpit of London, England ; Francis M. Patton, 
D.D., President of Princeton University ; James W. 
Mitchell, D.D., Henry Gracey, D.D., James Hastie, John 
Becket, George Grant, M.A., and Robert Knowles, all 
of whom have survived Mr. Simpson, though none of 
them are in active service ; R. N. Grant, D.D., known in 
literary circles as Knoxonian ; Mungo Eraser, D.D., one 
of Mr. Simpson's successors in Knox Church, Hamilton ; 
and Robert Warden, D.D., for many years Treasurer of 
the Presbyterian Church in Canada. 

Dr. J. W. Mitchell, who has followed Mr. Simpson's 
career sympathetically, has this to say of his college days : 
"My earliest recollections of Dr. Simpson go back to the 
early sixties when he came up to Knox. Your photo- 
gravure gives a fair representation of him as he then 
appeared, fresh from his father's farm and his country 



^ 




A. B Simpson in College Years. 



COLLEGE DAYS 33 

school teaching, giving little intimation of the mighty 
man of God that he was to become in later years. He 
did not take a full course at the University. He had 
popular gifts of a high order, and I opine was eager to 
get into the field where he could exercise them, and v/as 
sure he would forge his way to the front, I was his 
senior, being graduated in 1863. In that summer, after 
Simpson's first year in theology, he was assigned to do 
some work as a student supply, I had recently been 
licensed and contemplated postgraduate work in Edin- 
burgh after the summer's work in the field. During part 
of the time we alternated. The field was Welland, Crow- 
land, and Port Colborne, I did my work faithfully and 
acceptably, but was quite thrown into the shade by my 
junior, for already his pulpit gifts were notable," 

Another of his classmates, Rev, James Hastie, thus 
describes him: "He was a most attractive young man — 
his body lithe, active, graceful; his countenance beaming 
with kindness, friendship, generosity; his voice rich, 
musical, well controlled. Often, no doubt, flattery was 
showered upon him, and strong compHments were paid 
by admirers and relatives, all of which would tend to 
develop vanity and self-importance; but I never saw a 
trace of these traits, which are so common in brilliant 
young men, in young Mr. Simpson, 'Meek and lowly 
in heart' after the pattern of his divine Master was his 
characteristic then and subsequently." 

Rev. J. Becket, who was also in college with him, writes 
that "he was a favorite with the students and in urgent 
request as a preacher of the Gospel." A friend who knew 
him intimately says that he was never a slavish student, 
and displayed in his college days the same ability to grasp 
a theme quickly and, if necessary, to restate it in an 



34 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

almost offhand fashion which characterized him in his 
later years. 

Though he entered the third or final year in the Aca- 
demic course, he proved his ability and scholarship during 
that first year in college by winning the George Buchanan 
Scholarship of $120.00 in a special competitive examina- 
tion in the Classics. His aptitude in doctrinal discussion 
appeared when the next year he received the John Knox 
Bursary prize for an essay on "Infant Baptism." One 
of his life long characteristics was a love for history. 
It is said that he and his brother had read Gibbon's Rise 
and Fall of the Roman Empire while mere children. 
Little wonder, therefore, that he won the Prince of Wales 
prize for an essay on "The Preparation of the World 
for the Appearing of the Saviour and the Setting Up of 
His Kingdom." This prize, open to first and second year 
students in Theology, was tenable for two years. 

The scholarships and prizes which he won were of great 
financial assistance. The modest remuneration given for 
student supply in the summer added to the little store. 
He had to fall back on tutoring in the winter. Even then 
he was sometimes in sore straits. Facing an audience in 
Grosvenor Street Church in Toronto in 1896, where many 
students were gathered, he related one of these expe- 
riences. "Many a time I found myself without a penny. 
I have thrown myself down on the college lawn, not far 
from where I stand, in the darkness of the night and 
deeper darkness of soul, crying to God for money to pay 
my board bill. And, fellow students, He did not fail 
me then, nor has He failed me yet. Neither will He fail 
you if you will dare to trust Him." Yet even in such 
circumstances, that almost reckless generosity which was 
always evident in him would manifest itself. Not long 



COLLEGE DAYS 35 

since his daughter recalled that her father had once con- 
fided to her that on one occasion when he had received 
the then munificent sum of ten dollars as a fee for his 
Sunday services, he at once proceeded to spend it for 
a present for his sweetheart. 

A few years ago, when called upon to address the 
students of Toronto University, he captivated his au- 
dience by one or two reminiscences of his college days. 
Then, turning to the young ladies, he remarked that their 
presence made him feel quite at home, for fifty years 
before he had left his heart at the door of a Toronto 
residence as it was opened by the fair daughter of the 
house. 

That was an eventful day. Dr. Jennings, whose church 
the Simpson brothers attended, had become interested in 
them, and one day he said to his leading elder, Mr. John 
Henry, "You have a room that you are not using, and 
there are two students in Knox who need it. Will you 
not ask them to call upon you and see what you think 
of them?" It was this invitation that brought Albert 
Simpson to the door of Mr. Henry's home and face to 
face with his eldest daughter, Margaret. Quite uncon- 
scious that the boy already had been sorely wounded by 
Cupid's arrow, the father and mother graciously invited 
him and his brother to accept their hospitality, with the 
inevitable result that before the winter was over the fate 
of two lives was sealed. Margaret Henry as a girl had 
all the quiet dignity and resourcefulness that she has 
shown through a long and eventful life as the wife and 
for fifty years the partaker of the joys and sorrows of 
one of the great leaders of our time. 

Dr. Simpson has left us the following personal remin- 
iscences of his life in college. 



36 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

"It would be of little interest to recite the ordinary 
experience of a college student, and it is only necessary 
to sketch a few of the special pictures that come back to 
memory from these early years. My deep religious im- 
pressions still continued, and they kept me from the 
temptations of city life. But I was thrown with a room- 
mate in the first year of my college course, whose in- 
fluence over my heart was most disastrous. He was a 
much older man, and, although a theological student and 
a very bright and attractive fellow, was a man of con- 
vivial tastes and habits. It was his favorite custom once 
or twice a week to have what he called an oyster supper 
in our room, and to invite one or two of his friends, who 
happened to be medical students, and whose habits were 
worse than his. On these occasions both beer and whiskey 
would be brought in, and the orgy would go on until very 
late at night with laughter and song and story and many 
a jest that was neither pure nor reverent. I had not 
firmness nor experience sufficient to suppress these enter- 
tainments, and I was compelled to be a witness, in some 
measure a partaker, although the coarse amusement was 
always distasteful to all my feelings. But gradually these 
influences had a benumbing effect upon my spiritual life. 
My room-mate was cynical and utterly unspiritual. At 
the same time he had a fine literary taste and was fond 
of poetry, which he was always reading or repeating. 
There was a certain attraction about him, but altogether 
his influence over me was bad. 

"I did not cease to pray or to walk in some measure 
with God, but the sweetness and preciousness of my early 
piety withered. I am sorry to say that I did not fully 
recover my lost blessing until I had been a minister of 



COLLEGE DAYS 37 

the Gospel for more than ten years.* My religious life 
was chiefly that of duty, with little joy or fellowship. In 
a word, my heart was unsanctified, and I had not yet 
learned the secret of the indwelling Christ and the bap- 
tism of the Holy Ghost. 

"At the same time there must have been a strong cur- 
rent of faith and a real habit of prayer in my college life, 
for God did many things for me which were directly 
supernatural and to me at the time very wonderful. There 
was a system of college scholarships, or bursaries, con- 
sisting of considerable amounts of money, which were 
given to the successful student in competitive examina- 
tions. I set my heart on winning some of these scholar- 
ships, not merely for the honor, but for the pecuniary 
value, which would be about sufficient to meet what was 
lacking in my living expenses. One of them required 
the writing of an essay on the subject of baptism, and 
after much hard study, and, I am glad to say, very much 
prayer, I wrote an essay proving to my own satisfaction 
that children ought to be baptized and that baptism should 
be by sprinkling and not by immersion. Through God's 
great goodness I won the prize, but in later years I had 
to take back all the arguments and doctrinal opinions 
which I so stoutly maintained in my youthful wisdom. 

"My next venture was for a much larger prize, amount- 
ing to $120.00, for which an essay was to be written on 
the difficult historical and philosophical subject, 'The 
Preparation of the World for the First Coming of Christ 
and the Setting Up of His Kingdom.' While I studied 
hard and long for the materials of this paper, I deferred 
the final composition till the very last moment. I am 



♦See renewal of Covenant, page 212 



38 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

afraid that my mind has always had a habit of working 
in this way, namely, of leaving its supreme efforts until 
the cumulative force of constant thought has crystallized 
the subject into the most intense form. So I found my- 
self within two days of the moment for giving in the 
papers and the entire article yet to be written out in its 
final form from the crude first copy which had been 
prepared. 

"The task proved to be a longer and harder one than 
I dreamed ; and when the last day had ended, and the 
paper had to be given in by nine o'clock the following 
morning, there was still seven or eight hours' work to be 
done. Of course the night that followed was sleepless. 
Toiling at my desk, and literally tearing along like a 
race horse for the goal, I wrote until my hand grew almost 
paralyzed, and I had to get another to write for me while 
I dictated. But soon my brain began to fail me, and I 
found myself literally falling asleep in my chair. Then 
for the first and last time in my life I sent out to a drug 
store for something that would keep me awake for six or 
seven hours at any cost, and my brain was held to its tre- 
mendous task, till as the light broke on the winter morn- 
ing that followed, the last sentences were finished, the 
paper folded and sealed and sent by a special messenger to 
my professor while I threw myself on my bed and slept 
as if I should never wake. 

"Some weeks passed during which I prayed much for 
the success of my strenuously prepared paper. I found 
there were about a dozen competitors, some of whom 
were students in a higher year. There seemed little hope 
of my success, but something told me that God was 
going to see me through. At length the morning came 
when the name of the successful candidate was to be 



COLLEGE DAYS 39 

announced. I was so excited that I slipped away to a 
quiet place in the college yard where I threw myself on 
my knees and had the matter out with God. Before I 
rose, I dared to believe that God had heard my prayer 
and had given me the prize which was so essential to the 
continuance of my study. Then I returned to the class 
room and sat down in my place. I instantly noticed 
that every eye was turned on me with a strange expression 
which I could not understand. At the close of the lecture 
my professor called me to his room and congratulated 
me on my success, and I learned for the first time that 
while I was out praying in the yard, he had told the class 
that the prize had come to me. I mention this instance 
especially to show how all through my life God has taught 
me, or at least has been trying to make me understand, 
that before any great blessing could come to me I must 
first believe for it in blind and naked faith. I am quite 
sure that the blessing of believing for that prize was 
more to me than its great pecuniary value. 

"During the summer vacations, as I was a theological 
student, I was sent out to preach in mission churches 
and stations. In this way I also earned a little money, 
besides gaining a much more valuable experience in prac- 
tical work. But I remember well the look of surprise 
with which the grave men of the congregations where I 
preached would gaze at me as I entered the pulpit. I 
was extremely young and looked so much younger than 
I really was, that I do not wonder now that they looked 
aghast at the lad who was presuming to preach to them 
from the high pulpit where he stood in fear and trembling. 

"The greatest trial of all these days was my preaching 
for the first time in the church in which I had been 
brought up and in the presence of my father and mother. 



40 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

In some way the Lord helped me to get through, but I 
never once dared to meet their eyes. In those days 
preaching was an awful business, for we knew nothing 
of trusting the Lord for utterance. The manuscript was 
written in full, and the preacher committed it to memory 
and recited it verbatim. On this occasion I walked the 
woods for days beforehand, repeating to the trees and 
squirrels the periods and paragraphs which I had so 
carefully composed." 



CHAPTER V 
THE FIRST PASTORATE 

WHEN I was a young minister of twenty-one, and 
just leaving my theological seminary, I had the 
choice of two fields of labor; one an extremely easy one, 
in a delightful town, with a refined, afifectionate, and 
prosperous church, just large enough to be an ideal field 
for one who wished to spend a few years in quiet prep- 
aration for future usefulness ; the other, a large, absorb- 
ing city church, with many hundreds of members and 
overwhelming and heavy burdens, which were sure to 
demand the utmost possible care, labor and responsibility. 
All my friends, teachers and counsellors advised me to 
take the easier place. But an impulse, which I now be- 
lieve to have been, at least indirectly, from God, even 
though there must have been some human ambition in 
it, led me to feel that if I took the easier place, I should 
probably rise to meet it and no more; and if I took the 
harder, I should not rest short of all its requirements. 
I found it even so. My early ministry was developed, and 
the habit of venturing on difficult undertakings was largely 
established, by the grace of God, through the necessities of 
this difficult position." Such are Mr. Simpson's own 
reflections on his entry into pastoral work. 

Mr. Simpson graduated from Knox College in April, 
1865. In June the Synod authorized the Presbytery of 
Toronto to take him and several other candidates on 
public probationary trial for license. 

It may surprise young preachers of our day to know 



42 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

that the Minutes show that this old-time Presbytery sub- 
jected these college graduates to a searching examina- 
tion in Biblical Hebrew and Greek, Theology, Church 
History, and Church Government, as well as personal 
religion. Moreover Mr. Simpson's examination included 
a discourse on II Timothy i :io, read before the Presby- 
tery, and the following papers submitted for criticism : 
a Latin thesis, an filius dei ah etcrno sit genitis a Pater; 
an excursus on Romans 7 ; a popular sermon on Ro- 
mans 1:16, and a lecture on Matthew 4:1-11. After 
this procedure the candidates were licensed as ministers 
of the Canada Presbyterian Church. 

But the end was not yet. Mr. Simpson had been urged 
by the church in Dundas, which he had supplied after 
graduation, to become its pastor. This he declined. On 
August 15th a call was presented to him through the Pres- 
bytery to Knox Church, Hamilton. Upon his acceptance 
of it, he was ordered to appear in two weeks with an ar- 
ray of sermons and papers similar to those which he had 
presented for license, but he was excused from the 
scholastic examination which had been given by the Pres- 
bytery of Toronto. September 12, 1865, was set as the 
day for his ordination and induction. 

That was a momentous week in the life of A. B. 
Simpson. On Sunday, September 11, he preached his 
first sermon as the accepted pastor of Knox Church. 
On Monday, at two P. M., the Presbytery met in Knox 
Church for his ordination. Rev. R. N. Grant, a class- 
mate, preached; Dr. Ormiston addressed the minister; 
Mr. Stark addressed the congregation ; and the Modera- 
tor, Dr. Inglis, offered the ordination prayer as he was 
set apart to the ministry by the laying on of the hands 
of the Presbytery. On Tuesday he was married in To- 



THE FIRST PASTORATE 43 

ronto to Margaret Henry, daughter of John Henry, by 
their pastor, Dr. Jennings, and Rev. William Gregg, of 
Cooke's Church, afterwards Professor of Church History 
in Knox College. The honeymoon was spent in a trip 
down the St. Lawrence, and a few days later a hearty 
welcome to the Manse was given the young pastor and 
his bride. 

Knox Church had been organized after the disruption 
in 1844 when the Free Church element left St. Andrews, 
which remained in the "Auld Kirk." A handsome stone 
edifice, with a seating capacity of 1200, was erected in 
1846. Its first pastor, Mr. Gale, accepted a professorship 
in Knox College, as did also one of his successors. Rev. 
G. Paxton Young. Mr, Simpson's immediate predeces- 
sor was Rev. Robert Irving, D.D., a brilliant preacher. 
There were men of great ability in the neighboring pul- 
pits, including Dr. Ormiston, who was called a little later 
to New York City; Dr. David Inglis, afterward profes- 
sor in Knox College and later a pastor in Brooklyn, New 
York, and Dr. John Potts, who became the greatest 
leader in the Methodist Church of Canada. 

To maintain the traditions of such a pulpit was no 
easy matter for a young man of twenty-one, yet the 
Hamilton Spectator only voiced the judgment of all who 
knew this young pastor when, in reviewing the history of 
Knox Church, it stated that "He was second to none 
in point of eloquence and ability and success in his min- 
istry." Dr. William T. McMullen, of Woodstock, On- 
tario, one of the few now living who graduated from 
Knox College before Mr. Simpson entered, sees him in 
the larger relation in the Canadian Church. "I was in- 
timately acquainted with Rev. A. B. Simpson, D.D., dur- 
ing his pastorate in Knox Church, Hamilton, which I 



44 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

judge must be about fifty years ago. He stood out at 
that time as one of the most briUiant young ministers 
of our Church in Canada. He was endowed with intel- 
lect of a very high order, and he preached the Gospel of 
the great salvation with a gracefulness of manner, a fer- 
vor, and a power exceedingly impressive." His great 
compatriot, Dr. R. P. Mackay, Secretary of the Board 
of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church of Can- 
ada, gives him a higher tribute. "I can recall when I 
began my ministry, a young man in Hamilton who was 
spoken of as 'the eloquent young preacher.' He went 
to New York, and afterwards I only knew him by re- 
ports. Any man who has been able to accomplish so 
much must have been endowed with special gifts. The 
quality of his work is the best testimony as to the depth 
of his spiritual life. Such men do not belong to any one 
section, but are the gift of God to the Church of Christ." 

In those days few Presbyterian ministers engaged in 
special evangelistic campaigns, however earnest they 
might be as preachers of the Gospel. Dr. Wardrobe, of 
Guelph, Ontario, was one of the exceptions. An incident 
which he recalled in his later years is illuminating. "I 
had just returned to Ontario from a pastorate in the 
Maritime provinces, and, being in Hamilton for a day, I 
decided to call upon a young preacher there and ask him, 
as the most likely man I could think of, to come and 
assist me in a series of revival meetings. With much 
dignity he replied, 'I believe in the regular work of the 
ministry.' What was my surprise, therefore, to learn 
not many years later that my young friend Simpson had 
left the 'regular work of the ministry' to give himself 
to the evangelization of the neglected masses of the 
American metropolis." 



THE FIRST PASTORATE 45 

No greater evidence of success could be given than 
the place the minister won in the lives of individuals and 
in the memory of the congregation. In the Memorial 
Service in the Gospel Tabernacle, New York, Dr. Ed- 
ward B. Shaw, of Monroe, N. Y., told of the lasting im- 
pression made upon him as a little boy in Hamilton, when, 
at the clos'e of the first sermon he ever heard him preach, 
Dr. Simpson laid his hand in tender blessing on his head. 
He added that his mother so esteemed the young minis- 
ter that she still inquires, 'Have you seen my pastor 
lately ?' When I ask which pastor she means, her reply is 
T have only one pastor'." 

Pastoral visitation was his delight, and so ardently 
did he pursue this and other service that we find the 
following minute under date of July 13, 1869. "That 
whereas our beloved pastor is suffering in health from 
the effects of close application to his ministerial duties, 
and feeling that cessation from work and change of 
scene may, by the divine blessing, prove beneficial to 
him, the Session urgently requests him to rest for a 
period of two months and during that period to seek 
such scenes as may refresh his mind and be conducive to 
the restoration of his health." Mr. Simpson agreed to 
accept only one month of holiday. 

Two years later he was granted four months' leave 
of absence for a visit to Europe, a trip he enjoyed to the 
full. His lecture on his observations abroad was bril- 
liant and popular, but contrasts strangely with his ac- 
counts of his tours after the great awakening came into 
his life. 

There are in it two passages which were almost pro- 
phetic of his later life. Here is one. "And here let us 
tread softly — we enter John Knox's house; we gaze on 



46 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

the interior as it was in the sixteenth century ; we sit in 
his veritable study and very chair; and we inhale a fresh 
breath of his heroic spirit, so much needed in these weak 
times." How deeply the young Canadian preacher was 
to drink of that spirit he little dreamed that day. 

He seemed to be moved even more deeply by his visit 
to the tomb of Sir Walter Scott. All of his own elo- 
quence was fired by the memory of this noble Scotchman. 
Scott's struggle to meet enormous financial losses with 
his pen had caught the imagination and moved the heart 
that was later to pour itself out in books of more last- 
ing value than Wavcrley and Marmion. He quotes : "I 
will dig in the mine of my imaginations for diamonds, or 
what may sell for diamonds, to meet all my engagements." 
What could better portray the closing days of his own 
life than this tender picture he gives us of Scott? "But, 
alas, nature sank in the unequal struggle, and the pro- 
ductions which the world enjoys today are the life-blood 
of a brave man's heart. His sun was largest at its setting ; 
and though it went down among many clouds, it was a 
glorious sunset for a glorious soul, and sank, we trust, 
to shine in other climes in cloudless light." 

A visitor to the Manse on any Monday morning would 
have found the pastor occupied in the study with a group 
of fellow ministers. It was "blue Monday" in more 
senses than one, for some of them were addicted to the 
use of the weed. Sermons were discussed, and that 
facility for formulating outlines which amazed Dr. Simp- 
son's students in later years was called into play in criti- 
cism of the past and prospective efforts of his friends. 

Children's voices would be heard ringing through the 
house, for three sturdy boys and one little daughter came 
to bless their Canadian home. The firstborn was Albert 



THE FIRST PASTORATE 47 

Henry, who was truly converted to God at an early age, 
but fell under temptation in New York City. His parents' 
prayers finally prevailed, and his last days were spent in 
devotedly assisting in his father's business affairs. "Dur- 
ing his last illness, which continued over a year, the work 
of grace in his heart and life was most deeply marked and 
beautifully manifest. The crucible of suffering was 
used by the Heavenly Refiner to purify, soften, and 
sweeten his spirit, and at last the very light of heaven 
shone through the pale and suffering face and lighted 
up the crumbling temple with the glory of the life be- 
yond." He entered into rest in the thirtieth year of his 
age. 

The second child, Melville Jennings, was taken ser- 
iously ill with membraneous croup when only three and 
one-half years old while Mrs. Simpson was mourning 
the loss of her father in the old family home in Toronto. 
As his father carried him in his arms, just before his de- 
parture, he said, "Take me to Mamma," and when his 
mother appeared, he repeated to them the verse that she 
had taught him, "Abide in me and I in you." Mrs. Simp- 
son says that this was the first message that ever sank 
deeply into her heart and that it prepared the way for 
the experience into which she entered years afterward. 

The third boy, James Gordon Hamilton, was born on 
the 31st of August, 1870. Of him his father wrote: "In 
his early boyhood he gave his heart to the Lord and 
passed through a very distinct religious experience. In 
later years the temptations of city life frequently over- 
came him, and at times he wandered far from God. But 
it is a great comfort to his bereaved family and will be 
a source of joy to all his friends to know that in the last 
years of his life he was brought back by a very clear reli- 



48 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

gious experience to his early faith, and after much suf- 
fering, borne with Christian patience, he entered into 
rest at the age of thirty-seven with unclouded confidence 
in the Saviour he had learned so tenderly to love and 
trust." 

The fourth child, Mabel, was also born in Hamilton. 
On Feb. ii, 1891, she was united in marriage to Mr. 
Hugh S. Brennen, a prominent business man of Hamil- 
ton, and a member of Knox Church. Both Mr. and Mrs. 
Brennen were devoted Christians, and their home life 
was ideal. Mr. Brennen was called home suddenly in 
1912, leaving his wife and two daughters to prove the 
all-sufficiency of the grace of our Lord and Saviour, 
Jesus Christ. 

The family circle was enlarged by the birth of another 
daughter, Margaret May, in Louisville, and of the young- 
est boy, Howard Home, in New York City. 

In 1894, when the congregation of Knox Church opened 
their Sunday School building, one of the finest at that 
time in Canada, it happened to be the twenty-ninth an- 
niversary of Dr. Simpson's ordination, and he was asked 
to dedicate the building and to deliver several other ad- 
dresses. The church could not hold the crowds that 
thronged to hear him. He made this reference to the 
occasion in The Alliatice Weekly: "It was a most precious 
token of our Father's love, after a generation of service, 
tliat we should be able to come back to our earliest 
friends, and find their hearts open, not only to us, but to 
all the truth we brought them and, indeed, longing for a 
deeper fullness of the Holy Spirit for their own life 
and work." 

On September 12th, 1905, the fortieth anniversary of 



THE FIRST PASTORATE 49 

his ordination, he revisited his first flock and was moved 
to write the following ordination hymn : 

"Ordain me to Thy service, Lord; 

Baptize me with Thy power divine, 
And help me for my future days 
To make my will entirely Thine. 

"For twice a score of years Thy hand 
Has led Thy child along the way ; 
Oh, how Thy patient love has borne ! 
Oh, how Thy grace has crowned each day ! 

"And if Thy mercy yet can trust 
A feeble worm to serve Thee still. 
Ordain Thy child anew this day 
To better know and do Thy will. 

"Correct my thoughts and let my life 

Speak louder than the words I say; 
And give to me this joy supreme 
To know I please my Lord alway. 

"Give me the very mind of Christ; 

Teach me to pray with power divine ; 
Baptize my lips with heavenly fire, 
And let my messages be Thine. 

"And may the years Thou still mayest give 
Exalt my Lord and make Him known. 
Till every land shall hear His Word 
And He can come to claim His own." 

The most memorable visit was ten years later when 
he and Mrs. Simpson were asked to celebrate their Jubi- 
lee with this beloved church which still delighted to honor 
him, though for thirty-five years he had not been in the 
Presbyterian ministry. He preached with unusual fer- 
vency, taking for the morning sermon the text used for 



50 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

his inaugural discourse fifty years before. In the even- 
ing he gave a clear statement of the truth and experience 
into which God had led him. On Monday a reception 
was given to Dr. and Mrs. Simpson, and the address 
which he then delivered showed that during his forty 
years' absence he had neither lost his love for Canada 
nor his facility as a lecturer. 

Church Minutes are usually dry reading, but Knox 
Church Session Minutes throw some strong sidelights 
on the results of his ministry. A great advance was 
made in the prayer life of the congregation by the institu- 
tion of a social weekly prayer meeting in each elder's 
district, and later by establishing a united meeting for 
prayer at the close of the Wednesday evening lecture. 
Thq Session also voted to discountenance the custom of 
holding funerals on the Sabbath. They departed so far 
from tradition as to grant the Sunday School permission 
to install a melodeon. Not the least interesting item is 
the resignation of an elder under discipline for intoxica- 
tion. 

A minute passed in response to questions from the 
General Assembly reveal how much progress has since 
been made in missionary interest. The Session resolved : 
"That the missionary revenue of the church may be 
increased by the formation and vigorous operation of 
Missionary Associations in all the congregations of the 
Church, by the frequent diffusion of missionary intelli- 
gence, and by the establishment and successful working 
of a bona fide Foreign Mission in some heathen land, 
and we recommend China as at the present time the most 
promising opening for a new missionary enterprise." 

The results of the nine years of ministry in Hamilton 
were extraordinary. No less than 750 members were 




A. B. Simpson During Hamilton Pastorate. 



^^^^SST; 






rvl!?^^. 



/ 



THE FIRST PASTORATE 51 

received into church fellowship; a church debt of $8,000 
was paid ; contributions aggregating' $50,000 were made, 
and during the last year the then unusual sum of $870 
was given to missions, and $5,000 to other benevolences. 

One of the Canadian delegates to the great Evangelical 
Alliance Conference in New York City in 1873 was A. B. 
Simpson. He was invited to preach for Dr. Burchard, 
in Thirteenth Street Presbyterian Church. In the au- 
dience were delegates from Chestnut Street Presbyterian 
Church, Louisville, Ky., who, on their return home, recom- 
mended this young Canadian to their congregation, which 
was without a pastor. 

When the Presbytery of Hamilton met on December 
3rd, 1873, there were before it calls to the pastor of Knox 
Church from Chalmers Church, Quebec, and Chestnut 
Street Church, Louisville, and a telegram had been re- 
ceived stating that commissioners were on their way 
with a call from Knox Church, Ottawa. Representatives 
of the Session and the congregation of Knox Church 
were heard, who stated that with great reluctance they 
had agreed to release their beloved pastor if he himself 
should see his way clear to leave his charge. After several 
presbyters had spoken most appreciatively of his ministry 
it was agreed to grant the translation and to dissolve 
Mr. Simpson's pastoral connection with Knox Church 
on the twentieth day of December. 

It was an affecting scene when the pastor bade fare- 
well to his flock. The Ladies' Aid Association, which he 
had organized, presented him with an address giving 
both him and Mrs. Simpson valuable tokens of remem- 
brance. In his reply he gave thanks to God for His 
marvelous blessing on the work and to the people for 
their love and cooperation. The press, which had recog- 



52 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

nizcd his gifts by frequently publishing his addresses, ex- 
pressed the regret felt in the city at the loss of such a 
brilliant preacher. Before the year ended the family 
were speeding to their new home in the sunny South. 



c 



CHAPTER VI 

PASTORAL EVANGELISM 

HESTNUT Street Church was the largest Presby- 
terian congregation in Louisville and the most in- 
fluential in that Synod of the Northern Presbyterian 
Church. It had noble traditions and challenged the best 
effort of the brilliant young Canadian who had been 
called to be its spiritual leader. An annual stipend of 
five thousand dollars relieved him of financial anxiety, 
and the welcome accorded to him and Mrs. Simpson 
promised well for a happy pastorate. 

The inaugural sermon gave assurance of a true Gospel 
ministry. It was a timely application of the text, "And 
they saw no man save Jesus only," leading up to a per- 
sonal pledge and appeal to his people. "In coming 
among you, I am not ashamed to own this as the aim 
of my ministry and to take these words as the motto and 
keynote of my future preaching — Jesus only." 

The young pastor was still treading the well-beaten 
paths of the modern Church. How little he anticipated 
the developments that were to come in his life and minis- 
try was shown by this sentence in his personal address 
to the congregation that morning: "I shall not prove to 
be the apostle of any new revelation or become the ex- 
ponent of any new truth." New to him and to his flock 
were those revelations of the fullness of the Gospel which 
came when his own eyes had seen "no man save Jesus 
only." Strangely new would have sounded his great 
hymn, "Jesus Only," into which he compressed his later 
and richer conceptions, of which this is the refrain — 



54 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

"Jesus only! Jesus ever! 
Jesus all in all we sing! 
Saviour, Sanctifier, Healer, 
Glorious Lord and Coming King!" 

It was not long till Louisville awakened to the fact 
that a very vital force had appeared. The city lay on 
the border line between the North and the South, and 
denominations had been divided" on the question of slav- 
ery, some Louisville congregations adhering to one sec- 
tion and some to the other. A decade had not sufficed 
to reconcile brother to brother even within Christian 
circles. Mr. Simpson felt this hindrance keenly, and after 
much prayer, knowing that nothing would heal wounds 
like a revival, he invited all of the pastors of the city 
to meet in Chestnut Street Church to consult about bring- 
ing an evangelist for a series of union meetings. "But," 
said he, "we must have unity among ourselves first." 
They went to their knees and poured out their hearts for 
such a baptism of love as would sweep away their dif- 
ferences. When they rose, all but one were melted. At 
the second meeting two ministers who had not recognized 
each other since the war began shook hands. 

This resulted in an evangelistic campaign conducted by 
one of the great evangelists of the day. Major Whittle, 
and that sweetest of Gospel singers, P. P. Bliss. The city 
was stirred as never before, and hundreds were converted. 
How greatly Chestnut Street Church was quickened is 
shown by a report of the communion service which ap- 
peared in a daily paper. 

"The building was filled to the utmost capacity, chairs 
and benches having been placed in the aisles and around 
the pulpit. Since the last communion season, three 
months ago, one hundred members have been added to 



PASTORAL EVANGELISM 55 

the church, eighty- four having been received on pro- 
fession of their faith in Jesus Christ as their Saviour 
since the beginning of the meetings conducted by Messrs. 
Whittle and BHss. The pastor, Rev. A. B. Simpson has 
labored with untiring patience and zeal, and has now 
the great joy of seeing this large number saved by the 
blood of the Lamb and safely sheltered within the fold 
on earth. His pastorate has been greatly blessed, and 
during the few months he has been with them one hundred 
and seventy-five have been added to the roll. He is 
faithful, tender, abundant in labors, and the work of 
the Lord is prospering in his hand." 

Mr. Simpson was convinced that a united Sunday 
evening Gospel meeting should be continued, and, failing 
to enlist the cooperation of the other churches, he deter- 
mined to attempt it himself. Public Library Hall, where 
the revival meetings had been held, was engaged for 
these Sunday evening meetings, and the evening service 
in Chestnut Street Church was suspended. The Courier- 
Journal and other dailies gave unstinted support and de- 
fended him against unwarranted criticism. They pub- 
lished some of his addresses verbatim, and their wide 
constituency always received at least the heart of his 
message and an appreciative report of each meeting. 

From the outset this unprecedented procedure on the 
part of a fashionable church met approval from the masses 
and was attended with divine blessing. Consequently, 
what began as an experiment continued as an "institu- 
tion." In the late spring, a reporter wrote : 

"Public Library Hall, seating more than two thousand, 
has been filled to overflowing with the representatives of 
all classes of society. Mr. Simpson's forte is pathos ; 
his pungent deductions, lucid illustrations, and incisive 



56 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

appeals arc but so many strands of a pathetic line of dis- 
course that breaks down, oftentimes, the sturdiest indif- 
ference, takes sophistry by storm, and vitalizes the most 
dormant resolution." Another reporter says that, "He 
broke through the barriers of the pulpit, dissipated the 
reserve of a professional divine, and talked as one young 
man talking to another. The effect of this was, what Mr. 
Simpson may himself not have noticed particularly, that 
in the ensuing days every one wdio had heard him and 
who chanced to meet him saluted him as an acquaint- 
ance." 

The singing of P. P. Bliss convinced Mr. Simpson of 
the wisdom of giving a large place to the ministry of 
song, and in all his subsequent work, not only chorus 
and congregational singing, but solos were special fea- 
tures. He was a keen critic of the work of the soloist 
and was satisfied with nothing less than a musical mes- 
sage given with the same motive and spirit in which he 
preached. Mr. Bliss returned more than once to sing 
in the Sunday night meetings, and his tragic death in a 
railway accident was a great blow to Mr. Simpson. The 
regular soloist, Mr. D. McPherson, was an effective co- 
worker throughout the Louisville meetings. 

The winter campaign was so successful that Mr. 
Simpson proposed to model the future work of the church 
on this pattern, and to this end suggested the erection of 
a Tabernacle in a central location on Broadway, a short 
distance from the old church. The congregation con- 
curred, purchased a suitable site on the corner of Broad- 
way and Fourth Avenue, and proceeded to build their 
new home. A conservative minority opposed this and 
withdrew, forming the nucleus of another church. 

The Sunday night service was resumed in the fall ot. 



PERSONAL EVANGELISM 57 

1875. It seems that subtle opposition prevented the use 
of PubUc Library Hall, and consequently Macauley's 
Theatre was engaged. This led to another storm of 
criticism on the part of a certain element in the churches, 
and caustically censorious articles on ''Sunday Theatri- 
cals" appeared in a religious journal. The Kentucky 
Presbyterian defended the course taken, and the city 
papers were, if possible, more cordial in their support 
than during the previous winter. Even larger numbers 
attended than during the former season, and frequently 
many could not gain admittance. It was not uncommon 
to hold an after meeting for which many remained. Dur- 
ing that winter hundreds confessed Christ as their Sav- 
iour. 

The Tabernacle was not opened till June 9, 1878, 
nearly three years after it was undertaken. The original 
estimates called for an outlay of $65,000, all of which 
was subscribed, but, contrary to the pastor's wishes, the 
plans had been altered and the completed structure cost 
$105,000. With a seating capacity of more than two 
thousand, the auditorium combined simplicity, beauty, 
and perfect acoustic effect, while in its external architec- 
ture it was one of the most imposing churches west of 
New York City. But the debt hung like a cloud on Mr. 
Simpson's spirit and, at the dedicatory service, he poured 
out his soul in a burning and almost pathetic plea to the 
congregation. 

"Side by side with other churches, with a definite de- 
nominational basis and a broad and liberal spirit, we de- 
sire as our specific aim, besides the great work of edify- 
ing the Church and sending the Gospel to the world, to 
draw to this house, and through it to the Cross and the 
Saviour, the great masses of every social condition who 



58 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

attend no church and practically know no God. It will 
expose us to just criticism if we have built a home we 
cannot afford to own. It will prove a fetter to our free- 
dom and our energies. Church debts are properly called 
church bonds. 

"There are two things this church must be if it is to 
be blessed. One is, it must he free, free in the full sense 
that all shall give gladly, freely to God according to their 
means — the cents of the poor being as welcome as the 
thousands of the rich — and no poor man excluded because 
the rich can pay $ioo per year for a pew. But a church 
with a debt can never do this satisfactorily. The other 
is it must he unselfish and missionary. If this Tabernacle 
is not able to give up every year as much to the great 
cause of the conversion of the world as to its own sup- 
port, it stands as a living embodiment of selfishness and 
will die of chills. Now a church with bonds cannot be 
a successful missionary church. Every call for the con- 
version of the world will be answered by the low, sul- 
len word — debt . . . And therefore the easiest way would 
be to make one brave, final sacrifice . . . This morning I 
desire to place on this pulpit the simple standard, Broad- 
zvay Tabernacle Free! free from debt, free to God, free 
to all." 

On that Sabbath morning a throng of nearly three 
thousand people saw the strange spectacle of a formal 
opening of a church without a dedication. The pastor's 
appeal had failed, and he refused to dedicate to God a 
building that was mortgaged. For two years he preached 
in it; and when he resigned, it was still mortgaged and 
undedicated. 

Years afterward Mr. Simpson wrote : "Unable to get 
my people to pray about it, I prayed myself and claimed 



PASTORAL EVANGELISM 59 

it of God in absolute, implicit faith. One year and a half 
after I came to New York I received one morning a 
telegram in these words : 'Tabernacle debt paid yester- 
day. Come next Sabbath and dedicate it. Bring Mrs. 
Simpson with you.' Of course we went, and the most 
wonderful thing about it was that the elder who regarded 
my prayer as impracticable gave $40,000 of the whole 
amount and was one of the first to receive us to the 
hospitality of his home as his guests." 

At its dedication the name of the church was changed 
from Broadway Tabernacle to Warren Memorial, in 
honor of Mr. L. L. Warren, who had been instrumental 
in freeing it from debt. Two months afterwards it was 
destroyed by fire, but "rose, phoenix-like from its ruin, 
and stands today as a monument to its founder." 

Robert Lowe Fletcher writes with keen insight of this 
period of Mr. Simpson's life. "It was in 1876 I heard 
him for the first time, became associated with him in 
religious work, and a member of his flock . . . The details 
of his ministry possibly are most valuable and interest- 
ing as showing the leadings of the Holy Spirit in pre- 
paring a man for a great work — faith tried by fire . . . 
While his was not then the Spirit-filled life it afterward 
became, it was nevertheless characterized by zeal for 
souls and intensity of purpose of the Pauline type — such 
as mocked the cross and flame in the direst period of 
primal Church History. But the rare enduement and 
endowment of intellectual gifts and graces were ever too 
conspicuous to escape the favorable attention of the most 
casual observer. At that time, his modest, shrinking na- 
ture would have forbade his entertaining such high hopes 
for his ministry as were realized, for to the very last he 
cared not that the world should hear of him but his mes- 



6o LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

sage. Nevertheless, those who hkc myself were privi- 
leged to form direct impressions, recognized in that for- 
mative period of a divinely appointed career, a latent 
power, as here and there was a sparkling radiance in his 
pulpit oratory that was to be notable, under God, for 
efficiency and power." 

One of his most distinguished fellow students, Dr. J. 
Munroe Gibson, of London, England, says in a recent 
letter : 

"Since our student days I remember only one occasion 
on which I met him. It was in Louisville and must have 
been between '76 and '80. I thought, 'There is a man 
who must have made marvelous progress since the old 
student days,' and I felt rebuked in his presence. He now 
struck me as a man of mark, and what is much more, a 
man of God." 

Mr. Simpson's pastoral work in Louisville was quite 
as extraordinary as his pulpit ministry. On one occa- 
sion he was impelled to call upon a prominent citizen 
very late at night. It seemed the more unreasonable be- 
cause a fierce storm was raging, but he finally yielded to 
the impulse. The gentleman was surprised, but invited 
him into his study ; and when he learned that concern for 
his eternal welfare, about which he himself took little 
thought, had brought the pastor out at such an unseemly 
time, he was convicted and turned to the Lord. 

There was a young man among the converts who was 
so earnestly seeking to follow the Lord that he secured 
the pastor's consent to spend half of his lunch hour with 
him daily, and under this influence seemed to be gaining 
strength and overcoming his temptations. When informed 
on one occasion that the pastor would be out of the city 
for a few days, his face fell. Then Mr. Simpson said, 



PERSONAL EVANGELISM 6i 

"Will, how would it be, if instead of spending a half hour 
with you daily, I could hve in you?" "Oh, that would be 
fine," Will replied, "for then I should always think and 
do and say just what you would." "Then why not believe 
that Jesus Himself lives in you, Will?" said his pastor. 
When Mr. Simpson returned, Will did not come as usual 
at the noontime ; so he went to see what was the matter. 
Will greeted him with a happy face and said, "Pastor, it 
works. I shall not need to trouble you now, for I have 
found that Christ really lives in me." 

Another incident, which he narrates in Messages of 
Love, shows how he enlisted the service of his flock. 
"I found in the outskirts of the city one of our neglected 
poor so ignorant of human love that she could not com- 
prehend at first what I meant when I told her of the love 
of God. She had been neglected, abused, and wronged 
so long that her hand was against every man, and every 
man's hand was against her. When I tried to lead her to 
the knowledge of Jesus, she looked up into my face and 
said, "I do not understand you ; nobody ever loved me, 
and I do not even know what love means." I went home 
that night to my proud and wealthy church, and I told 
them I wanted them to make a poor sister understand 
the meaning of love. And so they began one by one to 
visit her, to give her little tokens of their interest and 
regard ; until at last one day, months later, as I sat in 
her humble room, she looked up in my face and said 
with much feeling, 'Now I think I understand what love 
means, and can accept the love of God'." 

In one of the last lectures he delivered to the students 
at Nyack he gave another experience from this period. 

"I remember spending a whole month in the early part 
of my Christian experience in seeking a blessing. On the 



62 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

first day of the New Year I started to wait on God for 
a wonderful baptism. I said, 'I shall spend this week 
and set it apart, shutting myself away from everybody.' 
I went home occasionally to my meals, but dropped my 
visiting and pastoral work and just spent the time on my 
face before the Lord. The Lord met me, of course, but 
I did not feel satisfied at the end of the week. I was less 
satisfied at the end of the second; at the end of the third 
I began to have the strangest sensations, and at the end 
of the fourth week I was nearly crazy. I said, 'Lord, why 
don't You meet me? What is the matter?' and at last 
in desperation I opened my Bible and said, 'Show me what 
You want to say to me.' In the last chapter of Matthew 
I found the words, 'He is not here; he is risen; he goeth 
before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him.' In that 
moment I remembered there were a lot of sick people I 
had not visited for four weeks, and others in desperate 
need. I hurried up the street to the first home, where lay 
a suffering one whom I had not visited for some time. 
I had not prayed two sentences until the heavens opened, 
and I had a wonderful baptism of the Holy Ghost. I 
found Him when I took Him by faith and went forward 
to use Him and turn my blessing into a blessing for some 
one else." 

The story of Mr. Simpson's new revelation of Christ, 
of his physical collapse, of the growing missionary vision, 
and other threads interwoven in the Louisville ministry 
is part of later chapters. On November 7, 1879, after 
almost six years of strenuous service, he resigned to ac- 
cept a call to a larger field and to new experiences. 



CHAPTER VII 
THE LIFE CRISIS 

THE life of A. B. Simpson can never be interpreted 
correctly if the great crisis through which he passed, 
after he had been in the ministry for more than ten 
years, is not thoroughly understood. This was not only 
the beginning of his larger life and ministry, but it also 
changed his whole view of the Christian life and deeply 
colored all his after teaching. Moreover, it led him into 
the rugged, lonely path which they must tread who wholly 
follow the Lord. "I have lived a lonely life" was one of 
his last personal remarks to the Nyack students. He 
tasted, as few have done, at once of the bitterness of 
separation from friends and former associates who did 
not follow with him in his new-found path, and of the 
sweetness of fellowship with those who were one with 
him in spirit and aim. 

Addressing a sympathetic audience in London, he said, 
"Well do I remember when first the Holy Ghost came into 
my heart, how lonely I felt, how far I was removed from 
my old Christian associates — they could not understand 
me ; but when I found one or two who did understand 
me, how dear they became to me ! They were more than 
brothers, more than sisters. We could get closer because 
we could get deeper and higher in God's way. Then I 
remember how, when I got a little further and found 
that this blessed Jesus is a living Christ, that not only 
is His spirit for my spirit, but His body for my body, 
touching mine into life, and holding and quickening it 



64 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

with His own resurrection life — then again I felt so 
lonesome. My old friends seemed to leave me, and for 
months I seemed to be alone, separated from hundreds 
and thousands of ministers and people I ^ad loved and 
worked with all my life. But when one and two and 
three began to come and join this little band, oh, how 
much deeper was the bond of love!" 

On the same occasion he gave this simple statement re- 
garding three experiences which mark the great epochs 
in his life. "Some twenty-seven years ago, I floundered 
for ten months in the waters of despondency, and I got 
out of them just by believing in Jesus as my Saviour. 
About twelve years ago I got into another deep experi- 
ence of conviction, and I got out of that by believing in 
Jesus as my Sanctifier. After years of teaching from 
and waiting on Him, the Lord Jesus Christ showed me 
four years ago that it was His blessed will to be my com- 
plete Saviour for body as well as soul." 

The first of these experiences has been narrated in 
Dr. Simpson's reminiscences. He entered into a deep and 
abiding sense of "peace with God through our Lord 
Jesus Christ." He lived and ministered in this precious 
revelation, preaching justification as taught in the fifth 
chapter of Romans, with great power and unction. Of 
the truth declared in the sixth chapter he had then no 
personal experience, while of the heights and depths of 
the eighth chapter he had but glimpses. His personal 
experience was the conflict so vividly described in the 
seventh chapter of that epistle. 

In a sermon to his first congregation in Hamilton on 
the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination, he made humble 
reference to this condition. "Fifty years ago the one 
who addresses you this evening was ordained in this 



PASTORAL EVANGELISM 65 

sacred place. He was a young, ambitious minister of 
twenty-one and had not yet learned the humbling les- 
sons which God in faithful love is pleased to teach us 
as fast as we are willing to learn. He was sincere and 
earnest up to the light that he had received, but even after 
the nine years of active ministry in Hamilton he had not 
yet learned the deeper lessons of spiritual life and power 
which God was pleased to open to him after taking him 
from this place. There is a remarkable passage in Isaiah 
telling us that when the Spirit is poured out from on high, 
the wilderness shall become a fruitful field, and the fruit- 
ful field shall be counted for a forest. When that ex- 
perience came to him, the field of his former ministry, 
which had been so fruitful, suddenly appeared barren 
and withered, and he felt that his true ministry had 
scarcely yet begun." 

The second great crisis began early in his Louisville 
ministry. Contact with those Spirit-filled evangelists. 
Whittle and Bliss, awakened him to his lack of spiritual 
power for life and service and led him to seek the infill- 
ing of the Holy Spirit. 

He has left us this clear-cut testimony about this crisis. 
*T look back with unutterable gratitude to the lonely and 
sorrowful night when, mistaken in many things and im- 
perfect in all, and not knowing but that it would be death 
in the most literal sense before the morning light, my 
heart's first full consecration was made, and with unre- 
served surrender I first could say, 

'Jesus, I my cross have taken, 
All to leave and follow Thee; 
Destitute, despised, forsaken. 

Thou from hence my All shall be.' 

Never, perhaps, has my heart knowii quite such a thrill 



66 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

of joy as when the following Sabbath morning I gave 
out those lines and sung them with all my heart. And 
if God has been pleased to make my life in any measure a 
little temple for His indwelling and for His glory, and 
if He ever shall be pleased to use me in any fuller meas- 
ure, it has been because of that hour, and it will be still 
in the measure in which that hour is made the key-note 
of a consecrated, crucified, and Christ-devoted life." 

His experience, as well as his close study of the Word, 
convinced him that many refuse the workings of the Holy 
Spirit as He seeks to lead them through such a crisis into 
the fullness of God. The pathos of it moved him when 
he wrote, 

"They came to the gates of Canaan, 
But they never entered in ; 
They came to the very threshold, 
But they perished in their sin." 

All this was to him both a new theory and a new ex- 
perience. 'T used to think," he says, "that we were sanc- 
tified at last in order to get to heaven — that the very 
last thing God did for the soul was to sanctify it, and 
that then He took it right home ; and I will confess that 
at that time I was a good deal afraid of being sanctified 
for fear I should die very soon afterward. But the Lord 
Jesus Christ tells us that we are sanctified in order to 
serve Him here." 

Step by step he learned the true meaning of a sanctified 
life. Commenting on Psalm no, he says, "Consecration 
must come first and then sanctification. We can conse- 
crate ourselves as freewill offerings; then God sanctifies 
us and clothes us with the beauties of His holiness. The 
consecration is ours ; the sanctification is His." 

In a brief exposition of the Fourfold Gospel he writes 



PASTORAL EVANGELISM 67 

of the definiteness of this crisis in unequivocal terms. 
"We also believe, and this is the emphatic point in our 
testimony, that this experience of Christ our Sanctifier 
marks a definite and distinct crisis in the history of a 
soul. We do not grow into it, but we cross a definite 
line of demarcation as clear as when the hosts of Joshua 
crossed the Jordan and were over in the promised land 
and set up a great heap of stones so that they never 
could forget that crisis hour." 

Dr. Simpson regarded the Holy Spirit as the divine 
agent in this blessed experience of sanctification. "There- 
fore the baptism of the Holy Spirit is simultaneous with 
our union with the Lord Jesus; the Spirit does not act 
apart from Christ, but it is His to take of the things of 
Christ and show them unto us." 

In the Fullness of Jesus he states this in another way. 
"The indwelling of the Holy Ghost in the human spirit 
is quite distinct from the work of regeneration. In Eze- 
kiel 36:26 they are most clearly distinguished. The one 
is described as the taking away of 'the hard and stony 
heart and giving the heart of flesh' ; of the other it is 
said : T will put my Spirit within you and cause you to 
walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and 
do them.' The one is like the building of the house, 
the other the owner moving in and making it his own per- 
sonal residence." 

In a passage from The Christ of the Forty Days we 
read: "There is a great difference between our receiv- 
ing power from the Holy Ghost and our receiving the 
Holy Ghost as our power. In the latter case we are as 
insignificant and insufficient as ever, and it is the person 
who dwells within us who possesses and exercises all the 
gifts and powers of our ministry, and only as we abide 



68 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

in Him and He works in us are we able to exercise this 
power/' 

He learned, too, that "what men and women need to 
know to-day is not sanctification as a state, but Christ <is 
a living Person." In his much quoted tract Himself, we 
find him saying, "I prayed a long time to get sanctified, 
and sometimes I thought I had it. On one occasion I 
felt something, and I held on with a desperate grip for 
fear I should lose it, and kept awake the whole night 
fearing it would go. And, of course, it went with the 
next sensation and the next mood. Of course I lost it 
because I did not hold on to Him." Out of such painful 
experience grew his glad song: 

"Once it was the blessing, 

Now it is the Lord ; 
Once it was the feeling, 

Now it is His Word ; 
Once His gift I wanted, 

Now, the Giver own ; 
Once I sought for healing. 

Now Himself alone." 

This became so clear to hhii that he never preached 
perfection but a perfect Christ abiding in the sanctified 
believer. He taught that "sanctification is divine holi- 
ness, not human self improvement, nor perfection. It 
is the inflow into man's being of the life and purity of His 
own perfection and the working out of His own will." 

Dr. Simpson believed that this is "complete, but not 
completed; perfect, but not perfected. He states this 
admirably in Wholly Sanctified. "He is the Author and 
Finisher of our faith, and the true attitude of the con- 
secrated heart is that of a constant yielding and constant 
receiving. This last view of sanctification gives bound- 



PASTORAL EVANGELISM 69 

less scope to our spiritual progress. It is here that the 
gradual phase of sanctification comes in. Commencing 
with a complete separation from evil and dedication to 
God, it now advances into all the fullness of Christ, and 
grows up to the measure of the stature of perfect man- 
hood in Him, until every part of our being and every 
part of our life is filled with God and becomes a channel 
to receive, and a medium to reflect His grace and glory." 

A close study of Dr. Simpson's life in Louisville re- 
veals that the fullness of these great truths did not burst 
upon him suddenly. The great crisis moment came in 
1874, but it was not until the summer of 1881 that he 
entered into "the rest that remaineth for the people of 
God," thenceforth to live and work in continual con- 
sciousness of the all-sufficency of Christ for spirit, soul, 
and body. 

It was a stern school through which the Lord led him. 
He recalls that "In a crisis hour of his spiritual experi- 
ence while asking counsel from an old, experienced 
friend, I was shocked to receive this answer, 'All you 
need in order to bring you into the blessing you are seek- 
ing, and to make your life a power for God, is to be 
annihilated.' The fact is the shock of that message al- 
most annihilated me for the time, but before God's faith- 
ful discipline was through, I had learned in some adequate 
measure, as I have been learning ever since, the great 
truth, T am not sufficient to think anything of myself." 
Herein he was finding companionship with Moses, for in 
Divine Emblems he writes, "When God gets him there, 
reduced to the smallest of proportions, the weakest of 
all men that ever lived. He says, 'You are ready for work ; 
now, Moses, I am going to take that rod and with it 
break the arms of Pharaoh and open the way for My 



70 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

people, and bring waters from the desert rock, and make 
you an instrument of power'." 

Another incident, which he sometimes referred to, 
shows how he entered into another phase of this Ufe. 
"Many years ago, the life of the great Hildebrand became 
an inspiration to me, especially when I learned that he had 
chosen a patron saint as the guardian of his life, and 
attributed all his success to the care of St. Peter, to whom 
he had devoted his life. Blessed be God, there is a greater 
than he! and when I read the story, I said, 'I, too, shall 
choose a patron saint.' But it was none other than the 
blessed Son of God ; and thanks to His dear name, what- 
ever I have known of strength for soul and body, of bless- 
ing in the Master's service, it has been through His care 
and friendship. In some little measure I can say, 

'Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Thee, 

How I've proved Thee o'er and o'er, 

Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus, 

Oh, for grace to trust Thee more'." 

How intense was his spiritual longing in those days and 
how wonderfully the Spirit of God guided him to the 
great central truth of which he was to become a special 
exponent is shown in the following narrative. "Once in 
my early ministry I travelled a thousand miles to go to 
one of Mr. Moody's conventions of ministers in Chicago, 
I reached there about six o'clock in the evening and went 
up to the early meeting. I did not hear Mr. Moody sa^ 
anything, but one plain, earnest preacher got up with his 
face all shining. He said, 'I came up here expecting Mr. 
Moody to help me. But last night I saw Jesus, and I 
got such a look at Jesus that I am never going to need 
anything again as long as I live.' And he wound up with 
a long Hallelujah. Something smote my heart. 'All you 



I THE NEW YORK 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 

ASTOR, LENO'^ 
TIU)£N FOUNDATIOIn;. 




A. B Simpson at the Crisis. 



PASTORAL EVANGELISM 71 

need is Jesus ; you go to Him.' I took the train back home 
that night. I did not wait for the convention. I went to 
my office in the church vestry, and I waited there on my 
face at His blessed feet until He came, and thank God, He 
enabled me in some measure to say, 

I have seen Jesus, and my heart is dead to all beside ; 
I have seen Jesus, and my wants are all supplied; 
I have seen Jesus, and my heart is satisfied, 
Satisfied with Jesus." 

One of the lessons came through his failure to lead his 
loved flock with him in these new-found pastures. They 
had gloried in his evangelical preaching and had taken 
the unprecedented action of following him from their 
comfortable church home to a public hall in order to 
reach the unchurched masses. But they halted half way 
on the path of sacrifice and ended in erecting a magnifi- 
cent modern church loaded with debt, thus defeating his 
purpose. Nor had they any sympathy with his strong 
stand in declining to accept a salary as long as they 
refused to discharge the mortgage. It weighed upon his 
sensitive spirit, and this even more than his unceasing 
labors resulted in a collapse so serious that for a time it 
seemed that his ministry was ended. Then it was that 
a larger ministry unfolded before him, and "the utter- 
most part of the earth" became his objective. 

The third great crisis to which he refers followed an- 
other collapse when he was so broken that the help of 
man was unavailing. Then he found that one of the 
provisions of redemption is "that the life also of Jesus 
might be made manifest in our body," and that by this 
same redemption right "we have the mind of Christ." 
How this came about he himself will now tell u&. 



CHAPTER VIII 
DIVINE LIFE FOR THE BODY 

IT was while Mr. Simpson was pastor of the Thirteenth 
Street Presbyterian Church in New York that he 
found the secret of Divine life for the body and entered 
into an experience of physical healing, which bore him 
through thirty-five years of the most strenuous toil in a 
way which caused multitudes to marvel. 

Some years before, during his pastorate in Louisville, 
he had been deply impressed by the healing of a young 
paralytic in his congregation. He thus describes the effect 
upon himself: 

"The impression produced by this incident never left 
my heart. Soon afterwards I attempted to take the Lord 
as my Healer, and for a w^hile, as long as I trusted Him, 
He sustained me wonderfully; but afterwards, being en- 
tirely without instruction, and advised by a devout Chris- 
tian physician that it was presumption, I abandoned my 
position of simple dependence upon God alone, and so 
floundered and stumbled for years. But as I heard of iso- 
lated cases, I never desired to doubt them or question 
that God did sometimes so heal. For myself, however, 
the truth had no really practical or effectual power, for I 
never could feel that I had any clear authority in a given 
case of need to trust myself to Him." 

This experience is no extraordinary one. Thousands 
of devout servants of God are living as he then lived, 
some of whom are unwise enough to assert that there is 
nothing better promised us in the Bible, during this dis- 



DIVINE LIFE FOR THE BODY 73 

pensation at least. For such Mr. Simpson had great 
sympathy, for he knew that the Holy Spirit alone ever 
led him to see that he had a right to the life of Christ for 
body, mind and spirit. 

In The Gospel of Healing, a little book which he wrote 
nearly thirty years ago, and which has been issued in 
many editions, there is a chapter in which he tells how he 
was led to see and accept the truth of Divine healing. 
Among his papers was a revision of this personal testi- 
mony, intended for a new edition which was about to be 
published. As this is his life-long, as well as his latest 
testimony, we shall let him tell the story. 

"For more than twenty years I was a sufiferer from 
many physical infirmities and disabilities. Beginning a 
life of hard study, at the age of fourteen I broke hope- 
lessly down with nervous prostration while I was prepar- 
ing for college, and for many months was not permitted 
by my physician even to look at a book. During this 
time I came very near death, and on the verge of eternity 
gave myself to God. After my college studies were com- 
pleted, I became the ambitious pastor of a large city church 
at twenty-one, and plunging headlong into my work, I 
again broke down with heart trouble and had to go 
away for months of rest, returning at length, as it seemed 
to me at the time, to die. Rallying, however, and slowly 
recovering in part, I labored on for years with the aid of 
constant remedies and preventives. I carried a bottle of 
ammonia in my pocket for years, and would have taken 
a nervous spasm if I had ventured without it. Again 
and again, while climbing a slight elevation or going up a 
stair did the old suffocating agony come over me. God 
knows how many hundred times in my earlier ministry 
when preaching in my pulpit or ministering by a grave 



74 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

it seemed that I must fall in the midst of the service or 
drop into that open grave. 

"Two other collapses of long duration came in my 
health, and again and again during these terrible seasons 
did it seem that the last drops of life were ebbing out, 
and a frail thread held the vital chain from snapping 
forever. 

"A few months before I took Christ as my Healer, a 
prominent physician in New York told me that I had not 
constitutional strength enough left to last more than a 
few months. 

"During the summer that followed I went for a time 
to Saratoga Springs, and while there, one Sabbath after- 
noon, I wandered out to the Indian camp ground, where 
the jubilee singers were leading the music in an evange- 
listic service. I was deeply depressed, and all things in 
life looked dark and withered. Suddenly, I heard the 
chorus : 

'My Jesus is the Lord of Lords: 
No man can work like Him.' 

"Again and again, in the deep bass notes, and the 
higher tones that seemed to soar to heaven, they sang: 

'No man can work like Him, 
No man can work like Him.' 

"It fell Upon me like a spell. It fascinated me. It 
seemed like a voice from heaven. It possessed my whole 
being. I took Him also to be my Lord of Lords, and to 
work for me. I knew not how much it all meant ; but I 
took Him in the dark, and went forth from that rude, 
old-fashioned service, remembering nothing else, but 
strangely lifted up. 

"A few weeks later I w^ent with my family to Old 



DIVINE LIFE FOR THE BODY 75 

Orchard Beach, Me., chiefly to enjoy the delightful air 
of that loveliest of all ocean beaches. I lived on the sea- 
shore while there, and went occasionally to the meetings 
on the camp ground, but only once or twice took part in 
them, and had not, up to that time, committed myself 
in any full sense to the truth or experience of Divine 
healing. I heard a great number of people testify that 
they had been healed by simply trusting the Word of 
Christ, just as they would for salvation. It drove me to 
my Bible. I determined that I must settle this matter 
one way or the other. I am so glad I did not go to man. 
At His feet, alone, with my Bible open, and with no one 
to help or guide me, I became convinced that this was 
part of Christ's glorious Gospel for a sinful and suffering 
world, for all who would believe and receive His Word. 
"That was enough. I could not believe this and then 
refuse to take it for myself, for I felt that I dare not hold 
any truth in God's Word as a mere theory or teach to 
others what I had not personally proved. And so one 
Friday afternoon at the hour of three o'clock, I went out 
into the silent pine woods — I remember the very spot — 
and there I raised my right hand to Heaven and made 
to God, as if I had seen Him there before me face to 
face, these three great and eternal pledges : 

"i. As I shall meet Thee in that day, I solemnly accept 
this truth as part of Thy Word and of the Gospel of 
Christ, and, God helping me, I shall never question it 
until I meet Thee there. 

"2. As I shall meet Thee in that day, I take the Lord 
Jesus as my physical life, for all the needs of my body 
until all my life-work is done ; and, God helping me, I 
shall never doubt that He does become my life and 
strength from this moment and will keep me under all 



76 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

circumstances until all His will for me is perfectly ful- 
filled. 

"3. As I shall meet Thee in that day, I solemnly prom- 
ise to use this blessing for the glory of God and the good 
of others, and to so speak of it or minister in connection 
with it in any way in which God may call me or others 
may need me in the future. 

"I arose. It had only been a few moments, but I knew 
that something was done. Every fibre of my soul was 
tingling with a sense of God's presence. I do not know 
whether my body felt better or not— I know I did not 
think of it — it was so glorious to believe it simply, and 
to know that henceforth He had it in hand. 

"Then came the test of faith. The first struck me be- 
fore I had left the spot. A subtle voice whispered : 'Now 
you have decided to take God as your Healer, it would 
help if you should just go down to Dr. Cullis' cottage 
and get him to pray with you.' I listened to it for a 
moment. The next moment a blow seemed to strike 
my brain, which made me reel as a man stunned. I 
cried: 'Lord, what have I done?' I felt I was in some 
great peril. In a moment the thought came very quickly : 
'That suggestion would have been all right before this, 
but you have just settled this matter forever, and told 
God that you will never doubt that it is done, and you 
must not attempt to do it over again.' I saw it like a 
flash of lightning, and in that moment I understood what 
faith meant and what a solemn thing it was inexorably 
to keep faith with God. I have often thanked God for 
that blow. I saw that when a thing was settled with 
God, it was never to be unsettled or repeated. When it 
was done, it was never to be undone or done over again in 
any sense that could involve a doubt of the finality of the 



DIVINE LIFE FOR THE BODY yy 

committal already made. I think in the early days of the 
work of faith to which God afterwards called me, I was 
as much helped by a holy fear of doubting God as by 
any of the joys and raptures of His presence or prom- 
ises. This little word often shone like a living fire in 
my Bible: Tf any man draw back, my soul shall have 
no pleasure in him.' What the enemy desired was to get 
some doubt about the certainty and completeness of the 
transaction just closed, and God mercifully held me back 
^ from it. 

"The day after I started to the mountains of New 
Hampshire. The next test came on the following Sab- 
bath, just two days after I had claimed my healing. I 
was invited to preach in the Congregational Church. I 
felt the Holy Spirit pressing me to give a special testi- 
mony. But I tried to preach a good sermon of my own 
choosing. It was about the Holy Ghost, and had often 
been blessed, but it was not His word for that hour, 
I am sure. He wanted me to tell the people what He had 
been showing me. But I tried to be conventional and 
respectable, and I had an awful time. My jaws seemed 
like lumps of lead, and my lips would scarcely move. 
I got through as soon as I could, and fled into an adjoin- 
ing field, where I lay before the Lord and asked Him 
to show me what my burden meant and to forgive me. He 
did most graciously, and let me have one more chance to 
testify for Him and glorify Him. That night we had a 
service in our hotel, and I was permitted to speak again. 
This time I did tell what God had been doing. Not very 
much did I say, but I tried to be faithful in a stammering 
way, and told the people how I had lately seen the Lord 
Jesus in a deeper fullness, as the Healer of the body, and 
had taken Him for myself, and knew that He would be 



78 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

faithful and sufficient. God did not ask me to testify of 
my feelings or experiences, but of Jesus and His faithful- 
ness. And I am sure He calls all who trust Him to tes- 
tify before they experience His full blessing. I believe I 
should have lost my healing if I had waited until I 
felt it. 

"Well, the next day the third test came. Near by was 
a mountain 3,000 feet high; I was asked to join a little 
party that were to ascend it. I shrank back at once. Did 
I not remember the dread of high altitudes that had al- 
ways overshadowed me, and the terror with which I had 
resolved in Switzerland and Florence never to attempt it 
again ? 

"Then came the solemn searching thought, 'If you fear 
to go, it is because you do not believe that God has 
healed you. If you have taken Him for your strength, 
need you to fear to do anything to which He calls you ?' 

"I felt it was God's thought. I felt my fear would be, 
in this case, pure unbelief, and I told God that in His 
strength I would go. 

"And so I ascended that mountain. At first it seemed 
as if it would take my last breath. I felt all the old 
weakness and dread ; I found I had in myself no more 
strength than ever. But over against my weakness and 
sufifering I became conscious that there was another 
Presence. There was a Divine strength reached out to 
me if I would take it, claim it, hold it, and persevere in it. 
When I reached the mountain top, I seemed to be at 
the gate of heaven, and the world of weakness and fear 
was lying at my feet. Thank God, from that time I have 
had a new heart in this breast, literally as well as spirit- 
ually, and Christ has been its glorious life. 

"The Lord has often permitted the test to be a, very 



DIVINE LIFE FOR THE BODY 79 

severe one. A few months after my healing He called 
me into the special pastoral, literary and missionary work 
which has since engaged my time and energy, and which 
has involved much more labor than any previous period 
of my life. And yet I desire to record my testimony to 
the honor and glory of Christ, that it has been a continual 
delight and much easier in every way than the far lighter 
tasks of former years. I have been conscious, however, 
all the time that I was not using my own natural strength. 
Physically I do not think I am any more robust than ever. 
I am intensely conscious with every breath, that I am 
drawing my vitality from a directly supernatural source, 
and that it keeps pace with the calls and necessities of 
my work. I believe and am sure that it is nothing else 
than the life of Christ manifested in my mortal flesh. I 
do not desire to provoke argument, but I give my simple, 
humble testimony, and to me it is very real and very won- 
derful. I know *it is the Lord'." 

The idea is too common that a person who is healed is 
thereafter immune from every kind of sickness. Dr. 
Simpson's conception of Divine life for the body was 
exactly contrary to this supposition. He felt himself to 
be wholly dependent upon a vital and continuous con- 
nection with the Lord for his life. 

He illustrated this by a personal incident. One night 
he found it necessary to search for some papers in an 
office which he had abandoned, from which all lighting 
and heating appHances had been removed. There was a 
heap of ashes in the grate and a large bottle of oil on 
the mantel. It occurred to him to pour the oil upon the 
ashes, and the light and heat thus supplied enabled him 
to accomplish his purpose. He says : "It was a beautiful 
parable to me. There was a time when my physical 



8o LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

strength, like that heap of ashes, was burned out, but 
lo! I found a vessel of oil, the blessed Holy Ghost, and 
as God poured His fullness on my exhausted frame, a 
Divine strength came, full of svi^eet exhilarance and un- 
wearied buoyancy and energy, and in that light and life 
of God I am working without exhaustion, and trust still 
to work in His glorious all-sufficiency until my work is 
done." 

A definite instance in which this simple secret of life 
was manifested is narrated by Rev. W. T. MacArthur. 
"Mr. Simpson had contracted a heavy cold, and was 
really a sick man, but he delivered the convention address 
for which he had come to Chicago. At the close of the 
meeting I accompanied him to his hotel where he sat for 
a few minutes in the lobby. He was breathing heavily 
and ablaze with fever. I said, 'Mr. Simpson, is there 
nothing I can do for you?' He replied, 'Yes, Mr. Mac- 
Arthur, you can say good night. I must be alone with 
God.' Early in the morning I called him by telephone, 
I should not have been greatly astonished if there had 
been no response. However, the signal had no sooner 
been given than I heard his voice sharp and clear. He 
seemed surprised that I should be enquiring for his 
health, and asked me kindly if / had rested well. He was 
just leaving for a convention four hundred miles farther 
West. I also was to speak at that convention, and ar- 
rived there about twenty-four hours after he did. All 
agreed that they had never seen him looking better, and 
had never heard him preach so well." 

Some years ago Dr. Simpson himself told the Nyack 
students of one of his many experiences. He had been 
hastening down the hill from his home to catch the early 
morning train when he slipped and dislocated his knee- 



DIVINE LIFE FOR THE BODY 8i 

cap. The pain was intense, and he was unable to stand. 
"Sitting there on the ice," he said, "I held my knee up 
and silently prayed, when suddenly it seemed as if the 
very love of the Lord was bathing it and the pain turned 
into an exquisite sensation that seemed like a physical 
joy." 

It seems not a little strange that we should expect 
those who trust the Lord for their bodies to manifest 
continually a perfect physical life while, at the same time, 
we excuse ourselves and others for very evident failures 
in spiritual life. The Apostle John expressed his ardent 
wish for his friends in this prayer: "Beloved, I wish 
above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health 
even as thy soul prospereth." Dr. Simpson believed that 
this was the true measure of Divine life for the body, 
for to him body, soul, and spirit were inseparably related 
and each equally provided for in the dispensation of 
divine grace. 

Some have thought that Dr. Simpson changed his views 
and attitude in his latter years. Nothing could be further 
from the truth. Those who knew him most intimately all 
bear witness to his unshaken confidence in the Lord as 
the Healer of His people. Even when he himself in his 
last days was not restored, as he earnestly prayed that 
he would be, his faith did not for a moment fail. He 
had never attempted, as some have done, to explain some 
of the mysteries that sorely perplex those who demand 
that the secrets of the individual soul in its relationship 
to God shall be understood by others. We shall do well 
to be as wise as he was in leaving some things to be 
made manifest when we shall "know as also we are 
known," and even to be willing to allow God to keep 
some of his own secrets. 



CHAPTER IX 

IN THE GREAT METROPOLIS 

THE providences of God were most manifest in Dr. 
Simpson's call to New York City. His ministry in 
Louisville had been not only successful, but had marked 
an epoch in his life. It had been as much of a training 
school to God's servant as a ministry to God's people. 
He was ready for a new departure in life and service, 
and it was doubtful if his flock would follow their shep- 
herd into these new pastures. Yet another man with 
ideals in consonance with theirs would find an exceed- 
ingly inviting prospect in the pastorate. 

On the other hand, Dr. Simpson was coveted as the 
successor of his old friend, Dr. Burchard. It was in 
this pulpit that the Louisville elders had heard him preach 
before they recommended him to their congregation. It 
is said that on the occasion of one visit his message had 
so impressed the people and the pastor that Dr. Bur- 
chard would not speak from the pulpit for some time 
afterward, but addressed his flock from the floor. 

New York City presented an unlimited field for such 
work as had been attempted in Louisville if only forces 
could be released to conduct it. The conviction of a call 
to such work was deeper than ever, nor was this young 
pastor yet prepared to admit that it could not be done in 
and through a regular church channel. 

The call to the unevangelized did not come merely from 
a city, however great and needy. The "man of Mace- 
donia" had beckoned the Canadian schoolboy to the 



IN THE GREAT METROPOLIS 83 

South Seas, and m Louisville he had heard the same 
clamant call from China. In New York he would be at 
the missionary center of his own denomination and others, 
and plans were formulating for a personal ministry on 
behalf of the Christless millions. 

All of these considerations and others weighed with 
Mr. Simpson in accepting the call from the Thirteenth 
Street Presbyterian Church of New York City in No- 
vember, 1879. His first discourse, on Acts 1 17, 8, left 
no doubt that he had come among them to declare the 
gospel in dependence upon the Holy Spirit. In the sec- 
ond week of January, 1880, a periodical reported that 
"As a result of a deep and growing work of grace which 
has manifested itself for several weeks, thirty-seven per- 
sons were welcomed into communion, twenty of whom 
were received on profession of faith. The attendance on 
the Sabbath and at the usual week services has largely 
increased. During the Week of Prayer meetings were 
held every evening, and are being continued this week. 
The people of God are greatly revived and strengthened, 
and many of the unconverted are seeking Jesus Christ 
and His salvation." This revival spirit continued, and 
the warm-hearted pastoral ministrations, combined with 
unusual preaching, greatly endeared him to the congre- 
gation, the surviving members of which still hold him in 
the highest esteem. 

It is needless to say that no success within the limits 
of a church building and congregation, however marked, 
could have satisfied Mr. Simpson at this time. For two 
years he used every available means to imbue his people 
with his own ideal for a church located as was this one 
in the midst of the masses. He did not meet even with 
such response as was given him for several years in 



84 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

Louisville. The congregation and officers would support 
him in every effort towards their own edification and the 
extension of the work along accustomed lines, but they 
had no desire for aggressive evangelization of the un- 
churched masses, nor did they welcome attempts to turn 
the church itself into a home for all comers. 

Dr. Simpson was always guarded in his references to 
the attitude of this church, whose affection he greatly 
prized, but on one occasion he related an illuminating in- 
cident. On the outbound trip of a church picnic, dancing 
was commenced on the deck. When the pastor expostu- 
lated, a church officer remarked that the young people 
must have the worth of their money. A prolonged dis- 
cussion was ended with the ultimatum that unless the 
picnic were conducted in a becoming manner, the pastor 
would state the facts on Sunday morning and appeal to 
the congregation. Dancing was stopped forthwith. On 
arrival at the park the pastor was wanted in every di- 
rection, until about four o'clock he slipped away, utterly 
weary, to find a quiet spot for a few minutes' rest. He 
had not gone far till he was attracted by music, and, his 
suspicions aroused, he hastened in the direction indicated. 
To his astonishment and chagrin he found that while 
he had been kept busy with all sorts of demands, the young 
people had been enjoying to the full the license granted 
them by the church officials. It came to him as forceful 
evidence that their ideals and his were irreconcilable and 
was, as he confessed, one of the indications that his hopes 
could not be realized. 

In one of his last public utterances Dr. Simpson gave 
by special request a number of reminiscences, one of 
which referred to this crisis. 

"For two years I spent a happy ministry with this 



IN THE GREAT METROPOLIS 85 

noble people, but found after a thorough and honest trial 
that it would be difficult for them to adjust themselves 
to the radical and aggressive measures to which God was 
leading me. What they wanted was a conventional parish 
for respectable Christians. What their young pastor 
wanted was a multitude of publicans and sinners. There- 
fore, after two years of most congenial and cordial fellow- 
ship with these dear people, and without a strain of any 
kind, I frankly told them that God was calling me to a 
different work, and I asked them and the Presbytery of 
New York to release me for the purpose of preaching the 
gospel to the masses." 

This step was taken after much deliberation and a 
week spent in his study in prayer. After discussing his 
decision with the Church Session he announced it to the 
congregation at a midweek meeting. His address was 
from the text "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because 
he hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor," 
and stated very simply and clearly his reasons for resign- 
ing and his ideals for a work in this great city. A daily 
paper reported that "as Mr. Simpson concluded, many 
of his hearers sat with bowed heads and with handker- 
chiefs at their eyes. Officers of the Thirteenth Street 
Church corroborated Mr. Simpson's statement about good 
feeling in every respect." 

One of the issues which he faced at this time was the 
administration of the ordinance of baptism. He had be- 
come convinced that the Scriptural method was the bap- 
tism of believers by immersion and shortly before had 
submitted himself to this rite. In presenting his resig- 
nation he made reference to this. "He had said to the 
Session what he need not have said, but he did not wish 
to keep back even a minor matter, which he regarded as 



86 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

infinitely subordinate to the great work of the Gospel, 
that he felt he had no right under the New Testament 
to administer baptism to any one who is not old enough 
to make a confession of faith in Christ. As a minister 
of the Gospel he had stood in this spot two years before, 
taking the installation vows that he believed and would 
teach all the doctrines of the Church, and it would be 
false and dishonest for him, since he had changed his 
views, to remain. He had no intention of agitating this 
question. If he were a private member of the Church, 
he could still remain and hold his views on Christian 
baptism, since he did not regard this as such a necessary 
ordinance that it would separate him from the communion 
of any evangelical church." 

Dr. Simpson never entered into controversy concern- 
ing this ordinance, and only one of the more than one 
thousand of his published discourses is on this theme. In 
the Gospel Tabernacle, baptism was administered only to 
believers and by immersion, but no one was excluded 
from membership whose conscience was satisfied with 
infant baptism. His presentation of the identification of 
the believer with our Lord Jesus Christ in his death and 
resurrection was so clear that almost everyone who ac- 
cepted this teaching sooner or later came to see that bap- 
tism in water is a recognition of this participation. Con- 
sequently many applied for baptism at the conventions 
who had no thought of leaving their church affiliations. 

He made no plea for a following from among his 
flock, but advised them publicly and privately to remain 
in the Thirteenth Street Church. Consequently there was 
no division in the congregation, and not more than two 
members withdrew from fellowship. He never became 
a separatist. In conversation with an elder of the Presby- 



IN THE GREAT METROPOLIS 87 

terian Church in Canada not long before his Ufe work 
ended, he said, "Stay in the old church and give your 
testimony there. You are a blessing to my old friend, 
your pastor, and he and the church need you. Unless 
it becomes a matter of conscience, a choice between obe- 
dience to man and God, your place is where you are." 

Nor did he try to deflect Christian workers from their 
associations, though he sorely needed help in those early 
days. Rev. Kenneth Mackenzie says: "As often as I 
could I met with him, for he seemed to long for me, and 
I was always blessed in fellowship with him. I confess 
I was more than once allured to think of following his 
step. In later years he once declared in public that he 
would much prefer to have Mr. Mackenzie's presence 
and teaching as a minister of the Episcopal Church than 
as a worker in the Alliance." 

In due course Dr. Simpson's resignation was accepted 
by the congregation and the Presbytery, his farewell ser- 
mon being preached on November 7, 1881, He had sur- 
rendered a lucrative salary of $5,000, a position as a 
leading pastor in the greatest American city, and all claim 
upon his denomination for assistance in a yet untried 
work. He was in a great city with no following, no or- 
ganization, no financial resources, with a large family 
dependent upon him, and with his most intimate minis- 
terial friends and former associates predicting failure. 
Dr. John Hall said to him, in Presbytery: "We will not 
say goodbye to you, Simpson ; you will soon be back 
with us." 

Only seven persons were present at his first meeting 
which was held in November, 1881, in Caledonian Hall, 
Eighth Avenue and Thirteenth Street. One of this num- 
ber was Josephus PuUs, the reformed drunkard, of whom 



88 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

Mr. Simpson afterward said tliat he was once the great- 
est sinner but now the sweetest saint in New York City. 
From this first meeting until his death in 1914 Mr. PuUs 
was closely associated with the work. 

In one of his choicest books, The King's Business, Dr. 
Simpson referred to that humble beginning. "I remember 
well the cold and desolate afternoon years ago, when a 
little band of humble, praying Christians met in an upper 
room to begin this work for God, and we opened our 
Bibles, and these words were just before us : 'Who hath 
despised the day of small things?' 'Not by might, nor 
by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.' We 
knelt before Him there and thanked Him that we were 
poor, that we were few, that we were weak, and threw 
ourselves upon the might of the Holy Ghost, and He has 
never failed us." 

Three services were held on Sunday and two every 
day during the week, the afternoon gathering being for 
the training of workers. The evening service was pre- 
ceded by street preaching and usually closed with an in- 
quiry meeting where many souls were saved. It soon be- 
came necessary to secure a larger place, and Abbey's 
Park Theatre was taken for the Sunday evenings. A 
feature of these meetings was the singing of a large 
choir which filled the stage. 

The next step, a still further venture of faith, is re- 
corded in In Heavenly Places: 

"Ten years ago when the Lord called me to step out 
into this work of faith and evangelization. He laid it 
upon my heart so strongly that I could not question nor 
resist that I was to take the Academy of Music. It 
seemed a very audacious and almost reckless thing to 
do in the feebleness and poverty of that young work, for 



IN THE GREAT METROPOLIS 89 

few of us had any means, and it would seem that these 
should be husbanded and economized to the utmost. 

"But there was no doubt left of the Lord's mind, and 
I obeyed and committed myself to the work. Afterwards 
I could see God's wise and holy purpose in giving breadth 
and height to the span of the work which was in His 
mind and which He wished us to begin ; and as we 
stepped forward, the way was opened, the means were 
provided at the last minute, and the work was inaugu- 
rated with a sweep of blessing which in no other way 
it could have received." 

In this great auditorium a series of evangelistic services 
was held in which Dr. George F. Pentecost participated, 
and Mr. and Mrs. George C. Stebbins assisted in the 
service of song. Dr. Pentecost was one of the first 
prominent leaders to associate himself with these cam- 
paigns. His attitude is expressed in a letter sent to the 
editors when he heard of the passing of his friend, whom 
he was so soon to join in the presence of the Lord. 

"With thousands of others I have heard with profound 
sorrow of the departure of Dr. Simpson to be with the 
Lord whom he loved and whom he so valiantly and faith- 
fully served. I have known Dr. Simpson for many 
years, in fact, from before the time he came to New 
York from Louisville. A most lovable and courageous 
man, loyal to his deepest convictions, he launched out 
into the deep, cast his net on the other side of Church 
conventionalities, and took a great draught of fishes. His 
missionary zeal was astonishing and put to shame some 
of our older and more conservative Boards. I have met 
some of his missionaries in various parts of the pagan 
world, and they all seemed animated by his spirit." 

After this campaign they met in Steinway Hall, Four- 



90 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

teenth Street and Fourth Avenue, for the remainder of 
the winter. In May, 1882, Grand Opera Hall, Twenty- 
third Street and Eighth Avenue, was rented and was 
the center of the work for about two years. A tent was 
presented by Mr. Heller, a Newark merchant, and a site 
on Twenty-third Street, offered without sohcitation by 
William Noble. An aggressive evangelistic campaign 
was conducted in this tent during the summer of 1882. 
The following summer, the tent work was located on 
Thirtieth Street near Seventh Avenue, in a section then 
the very heart of metropolitan sin and crime. A reporter 
wrote of the tent meetings, "Scores have been brought 
to conversion during the summer, and scarcely a less 
number have been completely cured of diseases, many 
being complaints of long standing that have bafifled the 
best medical skill. A list of names of those who had been 
healed was given, and a number of these were visited, 
all of whom gave their testimony' and evinced the most 
implicit belief in their healing." 

The next place of meeting was unusual. On the second 
anniversary of Mr. Simpson's retirement from his city 
pulpit Madison Square Garden was transformed into 
some semblance of a chapel for the opening of a series 
of Gospel meetings. It was seven years since the Garden 
had been devoted to religious services, the last occasion 
being when Messrs. Moody and Sankey drew large crowds 
to the revival meetings. After the special meetings the 
work returned to Grand Opera Hall. 

In the spring of 1884, a more suitable home, known 
as the Twenty-third Street Tabernacle, was secured. At 
the opening service Mr. Simpson said: "I am reminded 
of a providence I dare not fail to speak of. We desired 
to secure this building, then an old Armory, but a strong 



IN THE GREAT METROPOLIS 91 

financial company, led by Salmi Morse, who had set his 
heart upon presenting the blasphemous 'Passion Play,' 
had secured it for fifteen years. We did not stop praying. 
One lady prayed 'O Lord Jesus, make the carpenters fit 
up that place for us. Make the Passion people just dec- 
orate and furnish it for us. We cannot afford to pay fifteen 
thousand dollars to do it ourselves.' God did put His 
hand on it, and He did stop the public production of that 
play. After spending seventy thousnd dollars in re- 
modelling the building, the project broke down, and the 
company gave up the lease. They offered to sell us their 
improvements for five thousand dollars. We prayed over 
it, and God stopped us from going too fast. The building 
was finally put in the market, and sold at auction, and 
the gentleman bought whom we prayed would buy it. 
The result is that we have been enabled to come in here 
without paying a penny for improvements." 

Mr. Simpson left for England in 1885, and shortly 
afterwards, Mr. Henry Varley, one of the most gifted 
and effective of English evangelists, came unexpectedly 
in touch with the work in the Twenty-third Street Taber- 
nacle, the outcome being that for six weeks in the heat 
of summer he conducted a most successful campaign. 
This provision was one of many providences discernible 
in the story of those early days. God's hand was so evi- 
dent that nothing in the way of divine interposition ex- 
cited surprise. In his subsequent visits to America, Mr. 
Varley never failed to appear on this platform, and was 
one of the most welcome speakers in the Tabernacle 
and the Alliance Conventions. 



CHAPTER X 
MANIFOLD MINISTRIES 

THE first decade of Dr. Simpson's ministry in the 
new movement, of which quite unintentionally he 
became the leader, was an era of evangelism. Dwight L. 
Moody was at the zenith of his success. Major J. H. 
Cole and Major D. W. Whittle were holding campaigns 
in the power of the Spirit. L. W. Munhall, George F. 
Pentecost, and George F. Needham were at the begin- 
ning of their successful careers as evangelists. E. Pay- 
sou Hammond was in the midst of a unique work for the 
conversion of children. J. Wilbur Chapman, R. A. 
Torrey, and the generation of evangelists, among whom 
they were preeminent, were being prepared to follow in 
the train of this greatest group of soul winners of mod- 
ern times. Dr. Simpson himself had been profoundly 
influenced by Whittle, Moody, and Cole, and had become 
a recognized leader of a type of pastoral evangelism 
which changed the complexion of the ministry of hundreds 
of godly men. The true evangelist has had no warmer 
friend nor any wiser or more sympathetic counselor. He 
could overlook almost any idiosyncrasy if only he were 
assured that the man was truly a winner of souls. "Yes, 
but he is one of the Lord's children," he would say when 
criticised for his leniency. 

His preaching never lost the evangelistic note though in 
his later years he could not answer the many calls for 
meetings in every part of the world. When insuperable 
burdens finally overwhelmed him, he was planning to 



MANIFOLD MINISTRIES 93 

resume his old time every night meetings in the Gospel 
Tabernacle. He never attempted any work that had not 
for its object the salvation of souls, and all of his insti- 
tutions at home and abroad have been a light brigade 
in the great movement for world evangelization. 

It was to this that he attributed the blessing which at- 
tended his ministry. In the introduction to his little 
volume. Present Truth, he says, "Perhaps one reason why 
He has been pleased to bless the work which many of us 
are permitted so imperfectly to represent is because in 
some measure we may have caught His meaning and 
may be working out His plan." 

The work around which all of the activities connected 
with Dr. Simpson's ministry centered was the Gospel 
Tabernacle. It was the outcome of his early evangelistic 
meetings in New York City. 

In Word, Work, and World, which he began to pub- 
lish in 1882, he says: "At first there was no formal or- 
ganization, but as Christians began to unite in the work 
and converts to need a Church home, it became manifest 
that God was calling the brethren thus associated to or- 
ganize a Christian church for this special work according 
to the principles and example of His Word. After much 
earnest prayer on the part of the little flock, a meeting 
was held at the residence of the pastor on the tenth of 
February, 1882, and a church formally organized in the 
name of the Lord Jesus Christ consisting of thirty-five 
persons. In one year the actual membership of the 
church has grown to 217, and the stated Sunday evening 
congregations are 700. No assessments or pew rents 
are allowed, nor any unscriptural ways of sustaining the 
Lord's work." 

Mr. Simpson was not following a wholly unbeaten 



94 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

track in his church ideal. "My plan and idea of a church," 
he said, "arc those which are exemplified in the great 
London churches of Newman Hall and of Spurgeon, 
comprising thousands of members of no particular class, 
but of the rich and poor side by side." He did not aim 
primarily, as many have supposed, at rescue mission work, 
for he wrote: "From the first it was not designed as a 
mission to the lowest and vicious classes, but as a self- 
supporting work among the middle classes, who have no 
church home." This was undertaken, as stated in the 
Manual and Constitution, "in a spirit of loving consid- 
eration for all our sister churches and a desire to work 
in the most courteous and harmonious relations with all 
evangelical Christians and congregations of every name." 
As the Gospel Tabernacle was an independent church, 
it was necessary that it should have its own constitution, 
principles, and by-laws. These were exceedingly simple, 
the constitution consisting of only eight brief articles of 
less than five hundred words, yet covering the essentials 
of faith. Profession of living faith in the Lord Jesus 
Christ and the evidence of a consistent Christian character 
and life were held as the only conditions of membership, 
and baptism by immersion upon profession of faith was 
practised, but was not compulsory. The specific mission 
of the congregation was stated to be the evangeHzation 
of neglected classes both at home and abroad. 

The atmosphere of the church was wholesome, an J 
although it suilered much misrepresentation and carica- 
ture, the testimonies of sane religious leaders, which might 
be quoted at great length, prove that there was nothing 
extreme or fanatical either in the testimony or methods. 
In The Christian Inquirer of May 24, 1888, was the fol- 
lowing sentence: "It is a mistake to suppose that Mr. 



MANIFOLD MINISTRIES 95 

Simpson's work is mainly in the line of propagating the 
doctrine of Divine Healing, that being a subordinate 
feature. His chief work is purely evangelistic, and in 
many of the meetings physical healing is not referred to, 
but Christ as the sinner's Friend is the great theme." 
Speaking at the October convention in the Tabernacle 
in 1891, Dr. Ellinwood, Secretary of the Board of For- 
eign Missions of the Presbyterian Church, said, 'T can- 
not but pray that God may speed you in your foreign 
missionary and every other part of your work in seeking 
to lead men from the power of Satan unto God. I re- 
joice in all you are doing." 

The migrations of the congregation during the first 
five years have already been followed. From Twenty- 
third Street Tabernacle they removed in May, 1886, to 
The Church of the Disciples, an immense building at 
the corner of Madison Avenue and Fofty-fifth Street, 
erected as a popular church center, where Dr. Hepworth 
and Dr. John Newman (afterwards Bishop Newman) 
had ministered. This was offered to them at about half 
of its value, and after much praver was purchased. 

The location proved to be less suitable than had been 
anticipated, and after two years an urgent demand for the 
property was accepted. For a few months meetings were 
held in Wendell Hall and Healey's Hall, while the Taber- 
nacle at 692 Eighth Avenue was being erected. The plans 
included a book-store on the Eighth Avenue frontage 
with rooms for the Missionary Training College above it; 
Berachah Home, a six story building fronting on Forty- 
fourth Street ; and the Gospel Tabernacle at the rear with 
corridors opening on both streets. The cornerstone was 
laid January 14th, and the Tabernacle was opened on 
June 23, 1889. Thus, after occupying twelve places of 



96 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

worship in eight years, the congregation found a per- 
manent home. 

The Gospel Tabernacle was the center of the ever in- 
creasing ministry which radiated from the life of Dr. 
Simpson until he rested from his labors. Here un- 
numbered thousands have been saved, sanctified, healed, 
and inspired by the Blessed Hope of the near coming of 
the Lord. It still continues to be the most aggressive 
center of evangelism in New York City. The poor are 
always welcome, and not infrequently drunkards stagger 
in through the corridor and go out saved by the grace 
of God. 

A church with such various activities, with a congre- 
gation so widely scattered, and with such a standard of 
pulpit ministry as Dr. Simpson maintained required asso- 
ciate pastors of rare endowments. The energies of the 
senior pastor were more and more divided. Rev. A. E. 
Funk, who became assistant pastor in 1886, always had 
many duties in the Institute and in the Alliance. Several 
men of marked ability and spiritual power have been 
associated in the pastorate of the Tabernacle. 

From 1891 till his death in 1908 Rev, Henry Wilson, 
D.D., was the greatly beloved associate pastor. He had 
been deposed from a curacy in Kingston, Ontario, by 
the Bishop of the Church of England in Canada because 
he had gone to the altar in the Salvation Army barracks, 
but had been welcomed by Dr. Rainsford as senior as- 
sistant pastor in St. George's Protestant Episcopal Church 
in 1883. After coming to New York he had been mar- 
velously healed and quickened in the Twenty-third Street 
Tabernacle. With Dr. Rainsford's approval, he had 
participated in the Tabernacle ministries ; and when he 
accepted the associate pastorate in the Gospel Tabernacle, 



MANIFOLD MINISTRIES 97 

Bishop Potter said his standing would be unimpaired. 
Consequently he maintained a communion service after 
the Episcopal order in the chapel of the Gospel Taber- 
nacle regularly when in the city. He was Dr. Simpson's 
closest friend and most trusted fellow-worker, and his 
genial presence and spontaneous joy made him an untold 
blessing to the flock and the wider constituency all over 
the continent. 

Rev. Milton Bales, D.D., a Methodist Episcopal min- 
ister, succeeded Dr. Wilson as associate pastor. Later, 
Pastor F. E. Marsh, from Sunderland, England, filled 
this office, lectured regularly in the Missionary Institute, 
and traveled widely in Convention work. Rev. W. T. 
MacArthur, one of the first field workers of the Alliance, 
devoted his unique gifts to the Tabernacle during 1912 
and 1913. Since that time Rev. Elmer B. Fitch, a product 
of the Tabernacle itself, has been assistant pastor. 

Besides these regular pastors, many men with a mes- 
sage were heard in the Tabernacle pulpit. In the early 
days Dr. John Cookman, of Bedford Street Methodist 
Episcopal Church, was heart and soul with Mr. Simpson 
both in his city work and in convention tours. He was 
a gifted preacher and a man of rare spirituality, and his 
early death was an irreparable loss. Another Methodist 
minister, who from the first was associated with Mr. 
Simpson, was Rev. Henry C. McBride. The three made 
an admirable team for convention work. Someone, when 
asked about a meeting they conducted, said, "Simpson 
laid the fuel, Cookman kindled the fire, and McBride 
went up in the flames." 

Rev. F. L. Chapell, D.D., who in his later years was 
Principal of Gordon Bible College, Boston, a preacher ot 
the prophetic type, was often in the Tabernacle pulpit, 



98 LIFE OF A. B, SIMPSON 

and Dr. Frederick W. Farr, for several years Dean of 
the Missionary Training College, was one of the most 
frequent and acceptable substitutes in the pastor's ab- 
sence. That prince of preachers, Dr. A. T. Pierson, was 
always warmly welcomed. In the more recent years the 
younger generation of Alliance leaders were frequently 
heard in this Mother Church. To its pulpit still come 
the most earnest preachers of the day, and not a few of 
the great leaders feel as does Dr. C. I. Scofield who, in 
his opening remarks at a convention, said that he con- 
sidered it a high honor to be upon this platform, and 
indeed would have been disappointed if his friend, Dr. 
Simpson, had not invited him to be one of the speakers. 

A German Branch of the Tabernacle was begun in 
1887 through the ministry of Rev. A. E. Funk and others, 
which has been used to spread the testimony among 
many of the German speaking residents of the city and 
which has added many of the most devoted and godly 
members to the congregation. Regular services in Ger- 
man have been conducted by Pastor Funk. 

J "From the first," wrote Dr. Simpson, ''the highest 
aim of the Tabernacle has been to labor and pray to 
carry out the Great Commission. With this in view, 
The Missionary Union for the Evangelization of the 
World was organized in 1883." How fully this aim has 
been realized is proof of the clear vision which he re- 
ceived at the very beginning of God's plan and purpose 
through his instrumentality. John Condit and four others 
were sent to the Congo in November, 1884, the intention 
being to establish a self-supporting mission, but this first 
missionary venture failed of permanency. All of the 
later missionary efforts were conducted through the So- 
ciety formed at Old Orchard in 1887. 



MANIFOLD MINISTRIES 99 

Another phase of the missionary effort was the insti- 
tution of the Missionary Training College in October, 
1883. This opens such a large chapter in Dr. Simpson's 
Hfe that Dean Turnbull will discuss it in a special 
contribution. 

Though the movement was not a Rescue Mission, spe- 
cial efforts were made from the very beginning to reach 
the submerged element in the city, and such missions in 
New York and elsewhere look to the Alliance for the 
warmest sympathy and support. The closing day of the 
New York convention has always been devoted entirely 
to meetings for Rescue Missions, and draws together a 
large number of their leaders. 

In 1885 two such missions were commenced. One of 
these, at Thirteenth Street, near Greenwich Street, was 
conducted and sustained entirely by the young men of 
the Twenty-third Street Tabernacle. The treasurer was 
Franklin L. Groff, who still continues in active asso- 
ciation with the Tabernacle, and whose business genius 
has been used in his office as Financial Secretary of the 
Christian and Missionary Alliance to establish a thorough- 
going system in the work of the society. 

The other, known as Berachah Mission, instituted and 
conducted by Mr. and Mrs. Henry Naylor, was opened 
on Twenty-ninth Street near Ninth Avenue in the Autumn 
of 1885. Mrs. Naylor had been wonderfully healed, and 
their life and fortune were consecrated to the Lord's ser- 
vice. They purchased a site at Tenth Avenue and West 
Thirty-second Street, and erected the best equipped mis- 
sion in the city at a cost of more than thirty thousand 
dollars. It was dedicated on Mr. Naylor's fiftieth birth- 
day, June 21 st, 1887, and for many years reached thou- 
sands of the most degraded and neglected of the people 



4 C^-4 -i: O 



lOO LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

in Lhis district which was then such a den of iniquity that 
it was known as Hell's Kitchen. It also maintained a 
special work for sailors. Dr. Dowkonnt, of the Medical 
Mission, held a free dispensary and gave medical attend- 
ance without charge to the poor of the neighborhood. 
Rev. Robert Henck was pastor and superintendent for 
some years, and after Mr. Naylor's death was united in 
marriage with Mrs. Naylor. 

In 1889 a branch, known as the Eleventh Avenue Mis- 
sion, was opened on Eleventh Avenue near Thirty-eighth 
Street by converts and workers of the Berachah Mission 
where fruitful soul saving work was carried on. 

As one of the earliest developments a service was 
opened in 1882 at 120 West Twenty-seventh Street for 
the salvation of the fallen women who crowded that part 
of the city, Mrs. Henry Naylor being the chairman of a 
committee of ladies who had this work in charge. This 
ministry has been continued under other auspices as the 
Margaret Strachan Home. 

Mrs. E. M. Whittemore, like Mrs. Naylor, had re- 
ceived a great spiritual quickening when she was healed, 
and also devoted herself to rescue work for girls. In 
1891 The Door of Hope was opened, and this mission has 
been one of the monuments to faith in God. It has al- 
ways had the hearty co-operation of Dr. Simpson and 
the Gospel Tabernacle. 

The South Street Mission also originated with the 
ladies of the Tabernacle but was taken up and wholly sus- 
tained by Mrs. D. W. Bishop, a friend of the work. It 
has been known for many years as the Catherine Street 
Mission, is under the superintendency of Miss Margaret 
Delaney, and is still in cordial fellowship with the 
Tabernacle. 



MANIFOLD MINISTRIES loi 

The Colby Mission, Greeenpoint, Brooklyn, was car- 
ried on and supported for twenty years by Mr. Charles 
Colby and his family, who had been inspired to service 
through Dr. Simpson's ministry. Rev. A. E. Funk assisted 
very frequently, especially in dispensing the ordinances. 

The Eighth Avenue Mission was opened in 1899 by 
Miss May Agnew, the Organization Secretary of the C. 
and M. A. and one of Dr. Simpson's most devoted 
helpers. Miss Sarah Wray, of England, joined her soon 
afterwards as her associate and since Miss Agnew's mar- 
riage to Rev, H. L. Stephens has been the superintendent 
of this soul-saving station which is now located at 290 
Eighth Avenue. There is no Mission on the continent 
where the fullness of Christ is held forth to sinners with 
greater power and attractiveness, and perhaps no other 
that participates so actively in the work of foreign mis- 
sions. 

Various ministries for children were undertaken quite 
apart from the regular Sunday School work in the Taber- 
nacle and missions. Berachah Orphanage was opened 
in the summer of 1886 at 329 East Fiftieth Street in 
answer to the prayers and under the oversight of Mrs. 
O. S. Schultz, who afterwards became joint superintend- 
ent with Mr. Schultz. After occupying various buildings 
in New York the Orphanage was located at College 
Point, L, I., the property being purchased through a gift 
by Mr. Joseph Battin. It also was a work of faith, and 
like all such had many testings. The first came almost 
immediately, when unsympathetic state officials closed it 
because it had not received a charter. But at the hearing 
the opposing party inadvertently read a clause of the 
law which gave the Commissioners the privilege of grant- 



I02 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

ing a temporary license, and that very day the children 
returned to the Orphanage. 

The Junior Missionary Alliance, with a department 
known as the King's Lilies, was organized in 1891, with 
that lover of children, Dr. Henry Wilson, as president. 
Mrs. A. B. Simpson, the treasurer, and Miss E. M. Brick- 
ensteen, the secretary, devoted themselves to this min- 
istry. A unique series of studies for children on the 
Fourfold Gospel and Missions were prepared and widely 
circulated. The children's meetings at the great summer 
conventions are still a feature of never failing interest, 
the contributions of the children being a revelation to 
many a wealthy church member who has been present at 
their jug breaking. 

A number of young people's meetings and societies 
grew up, among which were the Young Ladies' Christian 
Alliance, commenced in a small prayer meeting at the 
first convention at Old Orchard, in 1886; the Young 
Ladies' Christian League, organized in 1891, of which 
Mrs. C. deP. Field was the leader; and the Young Men's 
Crusade. During recent years the Young People's Al- 
liance has been a very vigorous and spiritual work, main- 
tained in the Tabernacle by the younger members. Be- 
sides their own regular meetings they carry on meetings 
on the street, on shipboard, and work in the hospital. 
The Young People's Association in the Alliance branches 
is everywhere characterized by intense missionary zeal. 

It would seem that no one life could support so many 
activities. Yet we have scarcely mentioned Dr. Simp- 
son's literary and publication work, the Missionary Insti- 
tute, Berachah Home and the ministry of healing, the 
great conventions with their distinctive features, nor yet 
the greatest product of his life, The Christian and Mis- 



MANIFOLD MINISTRIES 103 

sionary Alliance. These are so distinct and important 
that a chapter will be devoted to each of them. 

Into few lives has as much been crowded as the Spirit 
of God wrought in and through A. B. Simpson in the 
first decade of this larger ministry. Looking back over 
it, his own heart was hushed and solemnized, and he ex- 
pressed something of what it meant to himself in these 
verses : 

"And what has the decade brought 
For God, and man, and thee? 
O Master, sure it can mean to none 
All it has meant to me. 
O blessed years, 
Begun with fears. 
But spanned tonight 
With rainbow light 

For all eternity. 

"It has brought the richest work of life. 
It has brought His healing power; 
It has given the dearest friends of earth 
And countless blessings more. 
O dear Decade, 
Thy light and shade 
Have seemed to fall 
With Christ in all 

A joyful memory." 



CHAPTER XI 

COXVEXTIOXS AND TOURS 

THERE has been no more unique feature in Dr. Simp- 
son's ministry than the conventions which he and 
his associates have conducted in many parts of the 
world. They have been unlike all other gatherings, al- 
though partaking of many of the essential features of the 
usual camp meetings, conferences, and conventions. For 
one of the elements of Dr. Simpson's genius was his 
ability to adapt other men's methods to the specific aims 
and objects which he wished to attain. The fervor of 
the old time camp ground, the sweet fellowship of the 
Keswick meetings, the strong message of the best Bible 
conferences, the inspiration of prophetic gatherings, the 
aggressive note of evangelistic campaigns, and the world 
vision of missionary convocations — all mingled in these 
conventions. Saints and sinners old men and young chil- 
dren, great spiritual leaders and babes in Christ — all found 
their portion of meat at this table. These gatherings were 
neither dull nor sensational, neither formal nor without 
order, neither without spiritual freedom nor given over 
to demonstrative extravagances. They were a puzzle to 
the professor of religious psychology and an enigma to 
the reporter, but to the hungry-hearted they were a feast, 
to the weary a refreshing, to the sick a fountain of heal- 
ing, to the Christian worker an inspiration, and to the 
worn missionary a haven of rest. 

The convention was the expression of Dr. Simpson's 
very life and personality. His simplicity, his humility, 



CONVENTIONS AND TOURS 105 

his gracioLisness, his freedom, his brothediness, his deep 
insight into truth, his conservatism, his breadth of vision, 
his passion, and his supreme devotion to Christ seemed 
to pervade the very atmosphere and to control every 
meeting. He created a type that reproduced itself so that 
in the hundreds of conventions which he could not attend, 
the same spirit wrs manifest, and continues, since his 
homegoing, in these great gatherings. 

These conventions have done more than any other single 
agency, except Dr. Simpson's pen, to disseminate the 
truth which he so loved and to call men to the service in 
which his own life burned out. Sometimes critics were 
won by the atmosphere and the spirit which he mani- 
fested in a meeting where his masterful appeal was not 
heard. A lady who had consistently opposed her hus- 
band was induced to attend a Canadian convention. Dr. 
Simpson was announced as the principal speaker at the 
afternoon meeting, but his train was late, and the session 
was nearly over when he arrived. He slipped quietly in 
at the side door and with bowed head took a seat at the 
rear of the platform, quite unnoticed by the chairman. 
The gentleman nudged his wife and said, "That's him." 
She watched him for a moment, and then her eyes fell. 
She had expected to see some assertive demagogue, and 
the first glance revealed to her a man with the spirit of 
the Man of Galilee. He had won a friend and disciple. 
A Presbyterian minister from the South, who was at Old 
Orchard, received a letter warning him against the the- 
ology of the Alliance. "Bless you," he wrote in reply, 
"their theology is all gone up in doxology." 

These conventions began in the Twenty-third Street 
Tabernacle in 1884. The object was "to gather Chris- 
tians of common faith and spirit for fellowship; to study 



io6 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

the Word of God ; to promote a deeper spiritual life 
among Christians ; to seek a better understanding of the 
teachings of the Scriptures respecting our physical life in 
Christ ; to wait upon the Lord for a special baptism of 
the Holy Spirit for life and service; to encourage each 
other's hearts in the prospect of the glorious appearing 
of the Lord ; and to promote the work of evangelization 
at home and missions abroad." 

At the second annual convention in the Twenty-third 
Street Tabernacle the speakers included Mrs. Baxter, of 
Bethshan, London; and Mrs. Stroud-Smith, from the 
Isle of Man; Dr. W. S. Rainsford and Dr. Henry Wilson, 
of St, George's Protestant Episcopal Church, New York ; 
Dr. John E. Cookman, of the Bedford Street M. E. 
Church, New York ; Rev. Kenneth Mackenzie, Jr., of 
the Church of the Holy Trinity, New York; Dr. T. C. 
Easton, East Orange, N. J. ; Rev. H. W. Brown, Chicago ; 
Miss Carrie F. Judd, now Mrs. George H. Montgomery, 
Buffalo; Rev. Charles H. Gibbud; Rev. Jacob Freshman, 
of the Jewish Mission; Josephus Pulis ; Captain Lewis 
W. Pennington and Evangelist John Currie of Brooklyn ; 
and Henry J. Pierson, of Boston. 

This second convention in New York so impressed 
Christian workers that invitations came to hold similar 
meetings in the largest cities on the continent. The first 
series included Brooklyn, Buffalo, and Philadelphia in 
October, and Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Detroit in No- 
vember and December, 1885. Some of these were held 
in large halls and others in leading city churches of va- 
rious denominations. In spite of some adverse criticism, 
these meetings commended themselves to a wide circle 
in the Church. Rev. Dr. Spencer, pastor of the First 
Methodist Church, Chicago, where the convention was 



CONVENTIONS AND TOURS 107 

held, wrote indignantly concerning a telegraphic report of 
those meetings. "I have been very greatly pained to see an 
extract from the Detroit Tribune in reference to the con- 
vention held here by yourself, Dr. Cookman, and others. 
It is a scandalous libel and slander against you and your 
associates. I am not a believer in the particular doctrine 
of healing which you teach and did not sympathize with 
the anointing service, yet I want the more to be fair and 
candid. While many were not friendly to the convention, 
they could not but respect the decorum, the propriety, the 
solemnity of the services and especially the anointing 
service." 

The Herald and Presbyter, of Cincinnati, the leading 
Presbyterian journal of the middle West, contained the 
following account of the Pittsburgh meetings. "The 
Faith Cure Convention which was held in Pittsburgh drew 
both through curiosity and sympathy a goodly number, 
and excited much comment especially among Christian 
believers. There was no question of the sincerity and 
integrity of character of the more prominent leaders, and 
the testimony of those who declare themselves to have 
been healed was listened to with great interest and re- 
spect. This is not the place to enter upon a discussion of 
the merits of this special phase of belief, but it was pleas- 
ant to find the conference so entirely evangelical and so 
full of Christ. It had little of the characteristics which 
are ordinarily found in meetings of this kind ; and, except 
for the ceremony of anointing with oil, was scarcely un- 
usual in any way. This ceremony naturally excites cu- 
riosity, yet it was merely an evident attempt to fulfil the 
literal counsel of James." 

In the same kindly spirit the Michigan Christian Advo- 
cate referred to the meetings in the Woodward Avenue 



io8 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

Congregational Church, Detroit. "This convention was 
to us personally a feast as rare as it was refreshing. All 
our aversion and prejudice, and we were full enough of 
both, disappeared under the genial and irresistible warmth 
of their ardent faith and what seemed to us their daring 
trust in God. Cranks they may be in the popular defini- 
tion, but it is for the lack of just such crankiness that 
the Christian Church languishes today. If conversion to 
such a doctrine involves the masterly grasp of spiritual 
truth and that sublime nearness to God in prayer which 
characterizes these people, we cannot accept it too soon 
or too strongly. We were glad of at least one conven- 
tion in which the methods of pastors and the failings of 
the Church were not held up for caustic criticism and 
biting ridicule and in which there was a genial recogni- 
tion that we were one in the work of the Master. . . . 
There was noticeably an entire discrediting of self. The 
anointing was nothing; their agency was nothing; Christ 
was everything. It is not a small thing to have their faith 
and realizing sense of God's immediate presence with 
them, and this, they claim, was an integral part of their 
healing. They have their health, their spiritual elevation, 
and their keen enjoyment of unceasing labor for God. 
On the other hand, we have our invincible theories, our 
conventional piety, our unimpeachable orthodoxy, and 
our doctor's bills. Ought we not to be satisfied ?" 

J The two great central conventions have been held an- 
nually in New York and Old Orchard Beach, Maine, 
where in 1881 Mr. Simpson met one of the great crises 
of his life during Dr. Cullis' convention. Flalf a mile 
from the shore there is a grove with a natural amphi- 
theater. A number of annual religious conventions were 
held on this ground. Rev. H. Chase, one of the Camp- 



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CONVENTIONS AND TOURS 109 

ground directors, attended the second convention in the 
Twenty-third Street Tabernacle, and there gave this testi- 
mony: "I have learned here to receive Christ in His ful- 
ness as never before, and I shall go home, praising Him 
for a finished redemption, to live out His Hfe in me and 
serve Him with all my heart. I cordially invite you all 
to Old Orchard next summer for a similar convention." 
Later an earnest request came from the directors of the 
Old Orchard Camp-ground for a conference for Chris- 
tian Life, Work, and Divine Healing to be held for ten 
days in the summer of 1886. 

The first Old Orchard convention was the outcome of 
these invitations and was held August 3-10, 1886. Among 
the speakers beside Mr. and Mrs. Simpson were Mr. 
W. E. Blackstone, Chicago ; Dr. H. L. Hastings, of Bos- 
ton ; Dr. Henry C. McBride, Ocean Grove ; George B. 
Peck, M. D., Boston ; Mrs. Henry Pierson, Boston ; Rev. 
John Cookman, D.D., Rev. Dr. Munger, Rev. A. E. 
Funk, Rev. C. N. Kinney, Mrs. Henry Naylor, Mrs. M. 
J. Clark, Mrs. O. S. Schultz, Miss Sara Lindenberger, 
and Miss Harriet Waterbury. 

The subject of missions was pressed upon this con- 
vention. Mr. Blackstone delivered an epoch-marking ad- 
dress on Tibet, the last great stronghold remaining to be 
captured for Christ. Such a profound impression was 
made that steps were taken to organize a missionary so- 
ciety to carry the gospel to Tibet and other unevangelized 
regions. It was this moving of God's Spirit at the first 
Old Orchard convention which resulted in the world- 
girdling missionary movement of which Dr. Simpson has 
been the leader. At the second convention the movement 
took definite form in the organization of what was then 
called The Evangelical Missionary Alliance. 



no LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

The early days of August have ever since witnessed 
one of the most remarkable religious gatherings of modern 
times. Dr. Simpson himself always gave his best in a 
series of addresses, and for thirty-two years his OM Or- 
chard missionary sermons were among the greatest mis- 
sionary appeals ever delivered. He gathered around him 
on this platform and at the New York convention the 
most deeply spiritual leaders and missionaries of the 
world, among whom were Dr. Andrew Murray, Dr. 
Baedeker, Mr. Henry Varley, Dr. Harry Guinness, Dr. 
F. B. Meyer, Dr. J. Hudson Taylor, Pastor Stockmeyer, 
Dr. John Robertson, Rev. John McNeill, Rev. Barclay 
Buxton, Rev. Charles Inwood, Pastor F. E. Marsh, Rev. 
D. H. Moore, Rev. Charles Inglis, Pastor Joseph Kemp, 
and many others from abroad were heard from time to 
time. The list of Americans would fill pages. We may 
mention Dr. A. J. Gordon, Dr. A. T. Pierson, Dr. H. L. 
Hastings, Dr. R. A. Torrey, Dr. George F. Pentecost, 
Mr. D. L. Moody, Major D. W. Whittle, Major J. H. 
Cole, Dr. James A. Brookes, Dr. Ellinwood, Mr. W. E. 
Blackstone, Dr. C. I. Scofield, Dr. Nathaniel West, Dr. 
F. L. Chapell, Dr. James M. Gray, Dr. Charles A. Blan- 
chard. Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman, Dr. Robert Stuart Mac- 
Arthur, Rev. Henri De Vries, Dr. Robert Cameron, Dr. 
D. M. Stearns, Dr. Robert E. Speer, Dr. J. Campbell 
White, Dr. A. C. Dixon, Dr. W. B. Riley, Dr. Egerton 
Young, Dr. C. C. Morrison, Rev. Henry Frost, Rev. Seth 
Rees, Dr. John Oerter, Colonel Clark, Dr. Henry C. 
Mabie, Mr. Charles G. Trumbull, Colonel Henry Hadley, 
Mr. Sam Hadley, Mrs. Phoebe Palmer, Mrs. Margaret 
Bottome, and Miss Frances E. Willard. This does not 
include any of the great men who were an integral part 
of the Alliance. 



CONVENTIONS AND TOURS 1 1 1 

Frequently the attendance at the New York conven- 
tion overflowed the Gospel Tabernacle, and the services 
had to be held in some large neighboring theatre or in 
Carnegie Hall. 

One of the proofs of the power of these great conver.- 
tions was the attention given to them in the daily press. 
Sometimes a whole page was devoted in the New York 
and Boston papers to these reports. Cuts caricaturing 
Dr. Simpson and the audience and burlesque reports of 
the proceedings frequently appeared. Occasionally, how- 
ever, a keenly incisive sketch was published. Sometimes 
it came from a wholly unexpected source. A reporter 
from the Neiv York Journal called one day on Mr. Simp- 
son and asked him, "Do you know when the Lord is 
coming?" "Yes," replied Mr. Simpson, "and I will tell 
you if you will promise to print just what I say, refer- 
ences and all." The reporter's notebook was out in a mo- 
ment. "Then put this down: 'This gospel of the king- 
dom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto 
all nations, and then shall the end come' (Matt. 24:14). 
Have you written the reference?" "Yes, what more?" 
"Nothing more." The reporter laid down his pencil and 
said, "Do you mean to say that you believe that when 
the Gospel has been preached to all nations Jesus will 
return?" "Just that," said Dr. Simpson. "Then," re- 
plied the reporter, "I think I begin to see daylight." 
"What do you think you see?" "Why, I see the motive 
and the motive-power in this movement." "Then," said 
Dr. Simpson, "you see more than some of the doctors of 
divinity." And the next morning the Journal constitu- 
ency were given this simple dialogue with a most appre- 
ciative and sympathetic sketch of Dr. Simpson and his 
work. 



112 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

The conventions in other cities have been one of the 
great outlets for the testimony of the Alhance. Unnum- 
bered muhitudes have heard the message who otherwise 
would never have been touched by it. Most of these have 
remained in their churches, themselves quickened into 
new Hfe and their lives empowered for hitherto un- 
thought of service. The ministry of many a pastor has 
been transformed. Hundreds have been called into Chris- 
tian service who had never dreamed of such a life. A 
brilliant young woman, who was a court stenographer 
in St. Louis, was asked to report a convention in that 
city. Thinking it was a medical conference, she con- 
sented. She was amazed when Mr. Simpson rose at the 
beginning of the first meeting and said, "Let us pray." 
She was unconverted, but the Holy Spirit turned her 
heart to search after eternal realities, and before the year 
ended she had accepted Christ. She started to read the 
Bible, but "could not make head or tail out of it," so she 
went to the Moody Bible Institute. She is now known 
the world around as Miss Grace Saxe, Bible teacher of 
the Torrey- Alexander campaigns, and later of the "Billy" 
Sunday party. 

When Mr. Simpson made his first trip to Great Britain 
during his Hamilton pastorate, he went as a tourist. When 
he returned in June, 1885, he was the most prominent 
delegate among hundreds from various lands at the 
Bethshan Conference. This conference brought together 
representative teachers on the Deeper Life from all parts 
of the world, some of the principal speakers being Dr. 
Simpson, Pastors Schrenk and Stocker, of Switzerland, 
and Dr. W. E. Boardman, Robert McKilliam, M. D., Mrs. 
M. Baxter, and Mrs. Katherine Brodie, of London, it 
began in Bethshan Hall, the headquarters of the work of 



CONVENTIONS AND TOURS 113 

Dr. and Mrs. Boardman, but, owing to the large attend- 
ance, Agricultural Hall was secured. 

In Liverpool large audiences assembled in Hope Hall 
where at one of the meetings more than eighty persons 
were anointed for healing. Other conventions were held 
in Brighton, Worthing, Blackheath, Newcastle and Edin- 
burgh. 

The last of the series was held in the beautiful Scot- 
tish capital. Writing of this meeting Mr. Simpson said: 
"When we were last in Edinburgh fifteen years ago, we 
were received with cordial kindness and hospitality by 
the Presbyterian friends in the great Assembly in May, 
and had the privilege of meeting many of the great and 
good men of that Church, and even speaking in the Free 
Church Assembly Hall, in behalf of the Presbyterian 
Church in Canada. But now we were to represent a 
much less popular interest. Indeed, we were to stand 
under the suspicion of doubtful, if not false teaching." 

Many ministers and medical students were in the au- 
diences. At the first meeting a medical student tried to 
force a discussion on Divine healing, though the subject 
had not yet been mentioned. The medical students con- 
nected with the Edinburgh Medical Mission were deeply 
impressed during the meetings and asked for a private 
conference, which the main body of medical students at- 
tempted to break up, but the wisdom given to Dr. Simp- 
son, Dr. McKilliam, and the other leaders, prevailed. The 
series of conferences made a deep and lasting impression 
in Great Britain, and much fruit resulted in after days. 

The most important journey abroad in Dr. Simpson's 
ministry was his tour of the mission fields in 1893. He 
left New York in January for Great Britain where he held 
important conferences with missionary secretaries, in- 



114 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

eluding Dr. Hudson Taylor and the leaders of the Church 
Missionary Society, addressed a number of large gather- 
ings, and renewed precious fellowships with English 
friends. 

A direct journey across the continent and the Mediter- 
ranean, a brief visit in Cairo and other Egyptian towns, 
a landing through the breakers at Jaffa, and he stood 
among sacred scenes. His brief visit to the Holy Land 
was one of the sweetest memories of his life. 

"Sweet Olivet, sweet Bethany, 
My heart shall oft remember thee" 

is a couplet from one of several beautiful hymns and 
poems which he composed during that visit. He was 
kindly received by the missionaries of other societies in 
Jerusalem and assisted in the opening services of the 
Mildmay Mission Hospital at Hebron, then under the 
charge of Mrs. Bowie, of England. The Alliance had no 
mission in Palestine at that time, but Miss Lucy Dunn 
and Miss E. J. Robertson had been in Jerusalem for three 
years supported by friends of the Alliance. On Mr. 
Simpson's return to New York the Board decided to take 
up work in the Land of our Lord. 

The latter part of February and all of March were 
spent in India, visiting and encouraging the Alliance mis- 
sions in the province of Berar, under the leadership of 
Rev. and Mrs. M. B. Fuller, and in a rapid survey of the 
work of other societies in the great cities of India. 

As Rangoon and Singapore were ports of call, Dr. 
Simpson was permitted to touch the mission work in 
Burmah and the Malay Peninsula. In Hongkong, then 
the great missionary center for South China ; Canton, the 
southern mercantile capital, and Macao, where Robert 



CONVENTIONS AND TOURS 115 

Morrison landed as the first missionary to China, he 
made a careful Study of the South China field, where a 
little company of Alliance missionaries were preparing 
for the great pioneer work which was to follow. Similar 
studies in Central China, where the Alliance had estab- 
lished a mission, and in the North, where Miss Duow and 
others were located in Pekin, occupied the remainder of 
his two months' visit to this great empire. He had not 
time to enter Manchuria, where the Swedish Alliance 
Mission had been begun in the previous year. 

Dr. Simpson's three weeks' journey through Japan was 
arranged by Dr. and Mrs. T. Gulick of Kyoto, the an- 
cient capital, who afterward took the oversight of the 
Alliance work then in its inception in this island empire. 
On July /th he left Yokohama and, after a call in the 
mid-Pacific at Honolulu, reached San Francisco and 
crossed the continent, arriving at home just in time for the 
Old Orchard Convention. 

In all the countries visited Dr. Simpson was warmly 
welcomed by other missions. He addressed numerous 
regular gatherings as well as specially arranged meetings 
and conferences, and gave in spiritual blessing quite 
as much as he gained in knowledge of the mission field. 

A full account of this deputational tour was published 
in Larger Outlooks on Missionary Lands, a volume which 
is replete with information about the lands which had 
been visited. 

One paragraph, written in Japan, touches his family 
history. "From across the great seas came also the mes- 
sage that our own dear mother had just gone to join our 
revered and honored father in the home above. We 
thanked our Heavenly Father for her fourscore years 
and the sweet memory of her life and love, and for our 



ii6 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

dear and venerable father, who, at eighty-four, had just 
a little while ago passed on before. How much of the 
rich blessing that has crowded our life is due to their 
faithful prayers! Thank God for their precious lives 
and everlasting memorial." 

In January, iQio, Dr. Simpson left New York for 
another missionary journey. He called at St. Thomas 
in the West Indian Islands, at several Brazilian 
cities, spent a week in our Argentine missions, sailed 
around Cape Horn, visited Chile and the Alliance mis- 
sions in that republic, touched Peru, then Ecuador, where 
a few Alliance missionaries are almost alone as light- 
bearers of the Gospel, and thence journeyed homeward by 
way of Panama. There he was exposed to a contagious 
fever which, but for answered prayer, would have sub- 
jected him to detention in the pest house. He felt that 
it had been permitted to enable him to enter more fully 
into the testings which the missionaries endured in tropi- 
cal climates. This trip so greatly enlarged his missionary 
vision that he said he had discovered South America. 

In the Spring of 191 1 Dr. Simpson again visited Great 
Britain, his last tour abroad. He was accompanied by 
Dr. R. H. Glover, who had just arrived from China on 
furlough, and Pastor F. E. Marsh, of Bristol, England, 
who had arranged a series of conventions extending over 
a period of nearly three months, and covering nearly all 
the principal cities from London to Dundee. Dr. Simp- 
son also preached in many of the large churches and was 
welcomed by such Christian leaders as Dr. F. B. Meyer, 
Dr. R. F. Horton, Rev. Samuel H. Wilkinson, Rev. 
Joseph Kemp, Rev. W. Graham Scroggie, Rev. J. Bar- 
clay Buxton, Rev. D. H. Moore, Rev. Cecil Polhill-Turner, 
and Mr. Louis P. Nott. Besides this series of conven- 



CONVENTIONS AND TOURS 117 

tions, tlie party was invited to participate in several of 
the well known stated conventions for the deepening of 
the spiritual life. 

This deputational visit added thousands to the friends 
which Dr. Simpson had already made in Great Britain. 
Nowhere was his message and ministry more greatly ap- 
preciated, and he received pressing invitations to return 
for service in an even wider sphere, but this was one of 
the many calls to which he was never able to respond. 
The reverence so manifest in British audiences and the 
sincerity evidenced in both criticism and approbation 
found a responsive chord in Dr. Simpson's heart, and he 
highly prized the fellowship of the large circle who knew 
him face to face and the greater number to whom his 
writings were as the words of a father in Israel. 



CHAPTER XII 

THE MISSIONARY VISION 

IT is evident that Albert B. Simpson, like Paul, the 
apostle to the Gentiles, had been separated from his 
birth unto a missionary ministry. His mother had dedi- 
cated him to this high calling.* When he was a few 
weeks old, he was baptized by the Rev. John Geddie, who 
was on the eve of departure to Aneityum, in the South 
Sea Islands, as the first Canadian missionary, and who 
consecrated the child to missionary service. In sending 
out this pioneer, the Presbytery of Prince Edward Island 
laid the foundations of the great foreign missionary work 
of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. And what a foun- 
dation ! The epitaph on Geddie's tomb on the island of 
Aneityum reads: "When he landed in 1848, there were 
no Christians; when he left in 1872, there were no heath- 
ens." In the passion of that consecration prayer this 
missionary apostle begat a son in his own likeness. 

The prayer made an indelible impression on John Ged- 
die's memory. When on furlough twenty-one years after- 
ward, he sought out James Simpson and inquired for the 
boy whom he had dedicated. On being informed that he 
was preaching in Hamilton, licensed but not yet ordained, 
Mr. Geddie immediately visited the young minister and 
informed him that in his baptism he had been devoted 
to the proclamation of the Gospel. 

Another great missionary hero deeply affected his life. 
His sister says, "When Albert was about nine years of 



♦See page 37 (M. S.) 



THE MISSIONARY VISION 119 

age, he read the life of Rev. John Williams, the martyr 
missionary of Erromanga, and was so impressed with it 
that he devoted himself to the work of the Lord, and he 
never swerved from his determination." 

It may have been John Geddie who aroused the par- 
ents to a world vision of the Church's work, but whatever 
the cause, the Simpson home had a missionary atmosphere. 
If the mother consecrated the babe to telling out the 
story, the father did not fail to lead the family to the 
throne of grace for their friend in Aneityum and his fel- 
lows on the outposts of service. For he had a deep in- 
terest in missions. One of Mr. Simpson's classmates, who 
was stationed in the Presbytery of Chatham, testifies 
that James Simpson, the representative elder of his con- 
gregation, was one of the missionary forces in the presby- 
tery. 

The call of a waiting world, which had come to the 
lad, was not lost in college; and when Albert Simpson 
graduated, he still desired to offer himself to the Church 
for its foreign service. These claims and the calls from 
important home centers were weighed, and, after consul- 
tation with his betrothed, the invitation to Knox Church, 
Hamilton, was accepted. A marked increase in mission- 
ary interest was noted in that congregation during his 
ministry. 

It was while pastor in Louisville that the crisis came 
which turned the whole course of A. B. Simpson's life. 
Part of that upheaval affected his relation to foreign 
missions. He had gone to the Believers' Conference at 
Watkins' Glen in 1878, for rest, refreshing, and physical 
recuperation. Mingled with the teaching of the deep 
things of God, for which his heart was hungering, there 
was a strong missionary note for which his mind and 



120 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

spirit had been undergoing a long course of preparation. 
He left the conference deeply stirred, and went west 
to visit friends near Chicago for further rest and waiting 
on God. There the burden of a Christless world was 
rolled upon him by the Spirit of God. In a sermon 
preached in August, 1894, on The Macedonian Cry, he 
tells how the vision came to him. 

"Never shall I forget how, eighteen years ago, I was 
awakened one night from sleep, trembling with a strange 
and solemn sense of God's overshadowing power, and 
on my soul was burning the remembrance of a strange 
dream through which I had that moment come. It 
seemed to me that I was sitting in a vast auditorium, and 
millions of people were there sitting around me. All the 
Christians in the world seemed to be there, and on the 
platform was a great multitude of faces and forms. They 
seemed to be mostly Chinese. They were not speaking, 
but in mute anguish were wringing their hands, and their 
faces wore an expression that I can never forget. I had 
not been thinking or speaking of the Chinese or the 
heathen world, but as I awoke with that vision on my 
mind, I did tremble with the Holy Spirit, and I threw 
myself on my knees, and every fibre of my being an- 
swered, 'Yes, Lord, I will go.' 

"I tried for months to find an open door, but the way 
was closed, and years afterward God showed me that 
He had laid the question on my heart, and until He al- 
lowed me to go forth, if I ever did, I was to labor for 
the world and the perishing heathen just the same as if 
I were permitted to go among them." 

When Mr. Simpson decided to turn his back on the 
inviting prospect of an ever widening ministry at home 
and "depart far hence unto the Gentiles," he immediately 



THE MISSIONARY VISION 121 

wrote to Mrs. Simpson, telling her of his decision, and 
asking her to unite with him in this new consecration 
and to be ready to go with their children to China as 
soon as the way opened. The missionary vision had not 
yet come to Mrs. Simpson. She had been willing to leave 
her loved Canada at the call of the people of the sunny 
South. But China ! Her practical nature, her mother 
instinct, and perhaps her womanly ambition for her bril- 
liant husband all answered No. Looking back on it all 
now, she herself tells the story. "I was not then ready 
for such a sacrifice. I wrote to him that it was all right 
— he might go to China himself — I would remain at home 
and support and care for the children. I knew that would 
settle him for a while." 

He did not lose his vision. Not for others, but as his 
heart's deepest expression he wrote, 

"To the regions beyond I must go, 

Where the story has never been told ; 
To the millions that never have heard of His love, 
I must tell the sweet story of old." 

Yet in the light of what has come to pass, no one can now 
believe that the Spirit of God had planned a place for 
him in China. The Lord of the Harvest had larger 
designs, a mightier ministry for this man whose life He 
had been moulding from his birth. First of all, how- 
ever, his heart must go to the ends of the earth to be 
chained there in endless bondage to the cry of the un- 
evangelized millions of heathen lands, of the Moslem 
world, aye, and of the scattered and peeled sons of Israel. 
Hence his enthralled heart was ever singing his own 
plaintive song: 

"A hundred thousand souls a day 
Are passing one by one away, 



122 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

In Christless guilt and gloom. 

Without one ray of hope or light, 
With future dark as endless night, 

They're passing to their doom." 

Mrs. Simpson is our authority for saying that it was 
this cry from heathen lands, rather than the call of the 
metropolis with its unevangelized multitudes, that de- 
cided him to accept a pulpit in New York. He wanted 
to be at the centre, in touch with the lines radiating to 
the ends of the earth. Moreover he had a well matured 
plan for an illustrated Missionary Monthly, and with that 
unerring instinct which so often led him to the right trail, 
he knew that such an enterprise should be launched in 
New York. 

It was a daring proposal. He was laughed at alike 
by publishers and missionary leaders. They did not know 
that a new force had appeared, who, like every leader, 
was a decade or two ahead of his times. He pursued 
his purpose, and though he broke physically and men- 
tally under the strain, The Gospel in All Lands was 
established, and in other hands remained for years the 
pioneer and pattern of illustrated missionary periodicals. 

There was a charm about his presentation of the mis- 
sionary claim that appealed alike to young and old. He 
was so in love with his Master's plan for the redemption 
of the world that he never failed to make it appear fas- 
cinating and arresting. Dr. Harlan P. Beach, Professor 
of Missions in Yale University, said: "Do not forget to 
mention as one of his great achievements the institution 
of a pictorial review. Dr. Simpson was the first to make 
the missionary story beautiful and attractive." No 
keener judgment was ever passed upon his ministry. 

The great battle cry of th^ Student Volunteer Move- 



THE MISSIONARY VISION 123 

ment has been The Evangelization of the World in This 
Generation. John R. Mott said truly, "No other genera- 
tion but ours can evangelize the present generation," and 
years ago Robert E. Speer boldly defended the evident 
premillennial viewpoint of the watchword. Both of these 
aspects, responsibility and immediacy, were marked in 
Dr. Simpson's conception of our relation to missions. In 
one of his too little read books, The Christ of the Forty 
Days, he states this with his usual incisiveness. "It is a 
very simple and a very awful responsibility, and looking 
in the face of every one of us, the Master simply asks, 
'Are you going to do what I tell you, or not ?' There is 
no possibility of evasion. He simply says, 'Go ye,' and 
we must go or disobey." And again — "Unless I am sure 
I am doing more at home to send the Gospel abroad than 
I can do abroad, I am bound to go; and if He wants m.e, 
I am ready to go whenever He calls and makes it plain. 
This and this alone is the attitude of fidelity on the part 
of each of us to this sacred word of our departing Lord." 
To him the immediacy of the need arose, not merely 
from our responsibility to the men of our own generation, 
but, even more, from the plan of God for the working 
out of the salvation of all mankind. He believed that 
God is visiting the nations, "to take out of them a people 
for His name," and that, 

"After these things I will return, 
And I will build again the tabernacle of David which is fallen; 
That the residue of men may seek after the Lord, 
And all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, 
Saith the Lord, who maketh these things known from of old." 

(Acts 15:16-18.) 

This links missions inseparably with the second coming 
of our Lord. It was this point of approach that made 
Dr. Simpson's teaching of the Second Coming so whole- 



124 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

some and practical, and missionary work a service of 
love to our coming King. 

His great missionary text was Matthew 24:14, "And 
this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the 
world for a witness unto all nations ; and then shall the 
end come." He firmly believed that this is the business 
of the Church during this dispensation and a necessary 
preparation for the coming of the Lord. In an early 
number of Word, Work and World, he wrote: "The 
last great missionary movement therefore will be a uni- 
versal proclamation of the Gospel of the Kingdom. Is 
this the ordinary Gospel Message? Or is it a special 
proclamation of the Advent and the reign of Jesus? 
Young translates it, 'this Gospel of the reign.' It is the 
midnight cry, 'Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye out 
to meet him.' Already it is beginning to sound over 
Christian nations. But it is a cry which the heathen 
must hear, and which will awake the slumbering nations 
as no other call." 

This affected his ideal for the Church. He expressed it 
forcefully in a paragraph already quoted from his address 
at the opening of the new church edifice in Louisville. His 
heart was gladdened as he saw his ideal becoming a real- 
ity in the Gospel Tabernacle. That work was born with 
a missionary passion. When it was a year old, it formed 
a missionary society, and, in its second year, it sent five 
of its members to the Congo. When it moved to the 
Madison Avenue Tabernacle, the pastor was able to say 
in his opening sermon, "I am glad this church has eome 
members today in India, though it is a little church of 
only four or five years' birth. I am glad it has some 
members in Central Africa today, some in England, and 
some in almost every state in the Union. Oh, I trust the 



'" THE MISSIONARY VISION 125 

day will come when we shall count them by thousands in 
foreign lands. I believe the greatest purpose of God in 
sending us here, next to preparation for His coming, is 
to send the Gospel everywhere." 

No leader ever saw his ideal embodied in a movement 
more perfectly than Dr. Simpson's missionary passion 
has been reproduced in his followers. The Alliance 
Branches may sometimes have neglected to provide ade- 
quately for their superintendents, but they have never 
failed when the missionary offering was called for. The 
leaders themselves may be straitened, but no personal need 
ever prevents an Alliance worker from pressing the mis- 
sionary appeal. The pledges received at the local annual 
conventions are even more of a marvel to the public which 
observes them than the first great offerings were at Old 
Orchard and New York City. The only explanation that 
can be offered is that which Dr. Simpson gave to a re- 
porter of the Syracuse Herald: 'Tut this down," he said, 
"our people love to give." "Yes," said the reporter, 'T 
have it. What more?" "That is all," replied Dr. Simp- 
son. And when the reporter witnessed the manner in 
which the offering was made, he had to admit that, 
strangely enough, the people seemed to love it. 

It was no desire to lead a movement that induced Dr. 
Simpson to organize the Christian and Missionary Al- 
liance. Here is his own statement of the principles which 
should guide in such an undertaking. "No new society 
should be organized to do what is already being done by 
some other society. If there is some new principle to be 
worked out, some new method to be proved, some new 
agency to be employed, or some wholly unoccupied region 
to be reached, it is all right to attempt it, provided the 
movement is wisely planned and carried out by experi- 



126 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

enced and consecrated men. But simply to repeat what 
is being done somewhere else, or to start a new society 
because Hudson Taylor, Dr. Guinness, Andrew Murray, 
or somebody else has started a society, will simply prove 
like the echo of the parrot's voice as it tries to repeat the 
empty sound that has fallen upon its ear." 

The foregoing is the negative, but here is a positive 
word with reference to The Evangelical Missionary Al- 
liance, as the society organized was first named. "The 
Evangelical Missionary Alliance has been formed as a 
humble and united effort on the part of consecrated 
Christians, in all parts of the land and world, to send the 
Gospel in its simplicity and fullness, by the most spiritual 
and consecrated instrumentalities, and the most economi- 
cal, practical, and effectual methods, to the most needy, 
neglected, and open fields of the heathen world." 

There was no "at home and abroad" in Dr. Simpson's 
conception of missions. When he lifted up his eyes on 
the fields, they were everywhere white unto the harvest. 
To him the multitudes of New York and our great 
American continent were as sheep without a shepherd, 
just as were the vaster multitudes in the deeper darkness 
of heathen lands. He was never happier or more effec- 
tive than when doing the work of an evangelist, and in 
the last year of his life, when unequal to public minis- 
try, he would be found at the altar tenderly winning and 
mightily interceding for souls. The missionary conven- 
tions under his direction always gave a large place to 
evangelism. His ideal for the Missionary Institute was 
that it should be a training school for effective witnesses 
in our own land and in the regions beyond. He expected 
the same spirit of sacrifice from those who remained at 
home, whether in definitely appointed Christian work or 



THE MISSIONARY VISION 127 

as witnesses at their daily tasks, as is manifested in our 
missionaries, and the crowning glory of his leadership 
was that this ideal was attained. The whole Alliance 
echoes his song, 

"We all are debtors to our race ; 

We all are bound to one another; 
The gifts and blessings of His grace 

Were given thee to give thy brother ; 
We owe to every child of sin 

One chance, at least, for hope of heaven ; 
Oh, by the love that brought us in. 

Let help and hope to them be given. 

"No more noble monument to the beloved founder of 
The Christian and Missionary Alliance, and its leader 
through the more than thirty years of world-wide ser- 
vice, could possibly be erected than that already reared 
in heathen lands, bearing evidence to the fact that Dr. 
Simpson was true to God, true to the vision which God 
gave him of missionary work in many lands, and true 
to the message of the fullness of Christ which was to 
be proclaimed." In these words Rev. Alfred C. Snead, 
Assistant Foreign Secretary, expressed the thought in 
many minds as they reviewed the life of this man of 
God. Dr. Glover, with his graphic pen, will sketch this 
monument. One day we shall all see it. Faces brown 
and black, yellow and white, are being built into it — liv- 
ing stones, chosen and chiseled after the Master Build- 
er's pattern. Some one of Dr. Simpson's spiritual chil- 
dren may find the last stone in some yet closed field, and 
then the King Himself will come. 



CHAPTER Xm 

THE CHRISTIAX AND MISSIONARY 

ALLIANCE 

MR. SIMPSON'S second trip to Great Britain was 
made in response to an invitation to take part in 
an international convention which had been called by 
Dr. W. E. Boardman, to meet at Bethshan, London, in 
June, 1885, at which delegates were present represent- 
ing many of the forward movements and associations 
for the deepening of spiritual life in all parts of the 

world. 

This gathering strengthened Mr. Simpson's conviction 
that the time was ripe for an association of believers in 
the fullness of the Gospel. An editorial in Word, Work 
and World in October of that year speaks of the need 
of "A Christian Alliance of all those in all the world 
who hold in unison the faith of God and the gospel 
of full salvation." 

In the Year Book of the Christian AUiance for 1893 
Mr. Simpson stated the platform and purposes of this 
organization which later became The Christian and Mis- 
sionary Alliance. 

"The Christian Alliance was organized in the summer 
of 1887 at Old Orchard convention for the purpose of 
uniting in Christian fellowship and testimony in a purely 
fraternal Alliance the large number of consecrated 
Christians in the various evangelical churches who be- 
lieve in the Lord Jesus as Saviour, Sanctifier, Healer, 
and Coming Lord. It seemed to very many that there 
was a divine necessity for a special bond of fellowship 



THE CHRISTIAN & MISSIONARY ALLIANCE 129 

among those who were being thus simultaneously called 
into closer intimacy with our coming Lord in order that 
we might give a more emphatic testimony to these great 
principles which might well be called at this time 'Pres- 
ent truths,' that we might encourage and strengthen each 
others' hearts by mutual fellowship and prayer, and 
that we might unite in various forms of aggressive work 
to give wider proclamation to these truths and prepare 
for the coming of our Lord. With this view the Al- 
liance was formed and founded upon the special basis 
of the Fourfold Gospel as above expressed. In all other 
respects and with reference to all other doctrines its at- 
titude is strictly evangelical. 

*Tt is not an ecclesiastical body in any sense, but 
simply a fraternal union of consecrated believers in 
connection with the various evangelical churches. It does 
not organize distinct churches or require its members to 
leave their present church connections. There is no an- 
tagonism whatever in the Alliance to any of the evange- 
lical churches, but a desire to help them in every proper 
way and to promote the interest of Christ's kingdom in 
connection with every proper Christian organization and 
work. Its organization is extremely simple, consisting 
of a central executive Board in New York, incorporated 
under the laws of the state with auxiliaries and branches 
in the various centers of population." 

Any Christian could become a member of the Chris- 
tian Alliance by signing this simple creed : *T beHeve in 
God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in the verbal in- 
spiration of the Holy Scriptures as originally given, in 
the vicarious atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the 
eternal salvation of all who believe in Him, and the ever- 
lasting punishment of all who reject Him. I believe in 



I30 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour, Sanctifier, Healer, 
and Coming Lord." 

Where a group of members existed, they formed a 
local branch of the Alliance with stated monthly or 
weekly meetings and in some places a local superintend- 
ent. A number of such branches constituted a state 
auxiliary with regularly appointed officers, of whom the 
state superintendent was the active head. A group of 
states formed a district, under a district superintendent. 
The superintendents were voluntary or honorary work- 
ers, but, as the movement progressed, it became neces- 
sary for many of them to devote their entire time to 
this ministry. The faith principle was carried out, the 
central organization contributing nothing to the support 
of these workers, though in later years state and district 
superintendents have been granted a small allowance to 
assist them in the work. 

Rev. E. J. Richards, Home Superintendent of the 
Society, gives this summary of the organized work: 
"At the present time there are between three and four 
hundred branches and connected churches in the United 
States and Canada. There are twenty officers known as 
secretaries or department heads, district superintendents 
and field evangelists. About two hundred located pastors 
and local superintendents, twenty-five evangelists devot- 
ing their whole time to revival campaigns, and fifty to 
seventy students of both sexes from the Bible schools, 
who are pouring out their lives in the neglected sections 
of the home field, winning souls for Jesus and getting 
splendid training for aggressive work in the regions be- 
yond." 

At the Old Orchard Convention in 1887 a missionary 
organization known as The Evangelical Missionary Al- 



THE CHRISTIAN & MISSIONARY ALLIANCE 131 

liance was also effected. The Principles and Constitu 
tion then adopted are so fundamental to The Christir/.n 
and Missionary Alliance that a synopsis is given. 

It will be undenominational and strictly evange- 
lical. 

It will contemplate the rapid evangelization of 
the most neglected sections of the foreign mission 
field. 

It will use thoroughly consecrated and qualified 
laymen and Christian women as well as regularly 
educated ministers. 

It will encourage the principles of rigid economy, 
giving no fixed salaries. 

It will rely upon God to supply the necessary 
means through the freewill offerings of His people. 
It will endeavor to educate Christians to sys- 
tematic and generous giving for this greatest work 
of the Church of God. 

It will form auxiliaries and bands in all parts of 
the country for the promotion and extension of its 
objects. 

It will be governed by a board of directors elected 
annually, who shall appoint and direct the mission- 
aries employed. 

It will leave each church established on the for- 
eign field free to organize and administer its affairs 
as it may choose, provided that such method be 
scriptural in its essential features. 
In November, 1889, after conference with friends in 
Canada, this missionary society was incorporated as The 
International Missionary Alliance. Dr. Simpson was 
the General Secretary of the Board, and upon him fell 
most of the executive and administrative duties for sev- 



132 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

eral years. David Crear, a successful business man of 
New York City, was Treasurer, and has ever since given 
his services freely in that ofifice, devoting much of his 
time and a large portion of his income to the Alliance 
work. 

The International Missionary Alliance was supported 
chiefly through the Christian Alliance, and the two so- 
cieties were virtually one in purpose and in constituency. 
Consequently in 1897 they were united formally and 
legally under the name of The Christian and Missionary 
Alliance. Rev. A. B. Simpson was elected President 
and General Superintendent ; Rev. A. E. Funk, Secre- 
tary ; David Crear, Treasurer; and Mrs. A. B. Simpson, 
Financial Secretary. There was also a Board of Mana- 
gers consisting of twenty-four members, including the 
above named officers. This amalgamation not only 
simplified the management but also brought the home 
and foreign fields into even a closer relationship, and The 
Christian and Missionary Alliance has been in a unique 
way a foreign missionary institution. Its local workers 
at home are never heard appealing for their personal 
support, but there are no more earnest advocates for 
foreign missions. The Alliance conventions have been, 
if possible, even more missionary in spirit than formerly, 
and the climax of every convention is the missionary 
offering. 

The increasing demands on the administration and the 
necessity for fuller supervision of the home work re- 
sulted in a revision of the constitution at the Annual 
Council in May, 1912. Without interfering with the 
duties of the executive officers, departments were created, 
each with an executive secretary. These include the 
Finance Department ; the Home Department, which has 



THE CHRISTIAN & MISSIONARY ALLIANCE 133 

supervision over all of the work in America; the Foreign 
Department, which directs the different missions abroad ; 
the Deputation Department, which has charge of mission- 
ary literature and deputations ; the Publication Depart- 
ment, which is responsible for the preparation and issuing 
of books and periodicals; and the Educational Depart- 
ment, which has general supervision over the Training 
Institutes in the United States which are recognized by 
the Board. This system of administration has proven 
to be a great blessing to the work and relieved the pres- 
sure which was overwhelming the executive officers. 

It is doubtless largely on account of this increased 
attention to details that the society has had a perhaps 
unequalled record in the fearful years of testing during 
the great world war. Although allowances have been 
greatly increased owing to the higher cost of living, and 
the demands for transportation and expenses on the 
fields have been nearly doubled, it has been possible to 
appropriate full allowances every month since 1914 and 
to remit all necessary expenditures for station work. The 
native staff has been increased, new stations opened, 
buildings erected, and a score or more of missionary 
recruits added each year. 

The principles upon which the Alliance is organized 
were the expression of Dr. Simpson's own convictions 
and attitude. From the outset he deprecated every ten- 
dency to separativeness from other Christians either in 
spirit or in organization. Yet he saw that unless great 
wisdom and much Christian forbearance were shown on 
the part of the Alliance leaders and teachers, a line of 
cleavage would almost imperceptibly appear, and the so- 
ciety would tend in the direction of sectarianism. He 
used constant vigilance and much wise diplomacy to pre- 



134 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

vent any of his associates from departing from the vision 
which had been given of the work. With pen and with 
voice he frequently restated the stand originally taken. 
In the Alliance Weekly for November nth, 1899, he 
had this to say on the mission of the Alliance : 

"Let us never forget the special calling of our Alliance 
work. It is not to form a new religious denomination. 
It is not to duplicate a work already done. It is not to 
advocate any special system of theology. It is not to 
glorify any man or men. It is first to hold up Jesus in 
His fullness, 'the same yesterday, today, and forever.' 
Next, to lead God's hungry children to know their full 
inheritance of privilege and blessing for spirit, soul, and 
body. Next, to witness to the imminent coming of the 
Lord Jesus Christ as our millennial King. And finally, 
to encourage and incite the people of God to do the neg- 
lected work of our age and time among the unchurched 
classes at home and the perishing heathen abroad. God 
will bless us as we are true to this trust." 

Again, we find him writing in the same organ in 1912: 
"While the Alliance movement to a certain extent is un- 
avoidably a self-contained organization and requires a 
sufficient amount of executive machinery to hold it to- 
gether and make it effective, yet we must never forget 
that it has a certain interdenominational message for the 
Christian Church today and that this ministry must not 
be clouded by any narsow sectarian tendencies that would 
alienate the sympathy of those in the churches that are 
open to our message. There are cases continually arising 
where it is necessary to provide special and permanent 
religious privileges for little bands of Christian disciples 
who have either been converted in some evangelistic 
movement or pushed out of their churches by false teach- 



THE CHRISTIAN & MISSIONARY ALLIANCE 135 

ing and harsh pressure and prejudice. Yet these local 
and independent congregations should never be considered 
as Alliance churches in any technical sense, but simply 
independent movements which God Himself has specially 
raised up 'through the present distress' and over which 
we exercise for the time a certain spiritual oversight." 

Dr. Simpson always maintained the distinction between 
an Alliance branch and an independent church. Replying 
in an issue of The Alliance Weekly of 1913 to a corre- 
spondent who asks whether it is consistent for Alliance 
branches to dispense ordinances, receive and dismiss 
church members, and perform other church functions, 
he said : "The acts and functions referred to are entirely 
proper on the part of an independent church which may 
be affiliated with the Alliance, but are not consistent in a 
regular Alliance branch. The same company of people 
may have a double organization. They may be on the 
one hand a church organized and properly legalized under 
an independent charter, and as such be in fellowship with 
the Alliance, but entirely controlling their own property 
and worship. At the same time many members of this 
congregation or church may be united in an Alliance 
branch which enjoys the hospitality of the church. This 
is the case with the Gospel Tabernacle, New York City, 
the oldest, perhaps, of these independent churches." 

So, too, Dr. Simpson never swerved from his deter- 
mination to hold the movement true to the great funda- 
mentals of the Gospel, and to insist that healing and other 
phases of the testimony be kept in a properly subordi- 
nate place. In the report of the dedication of the Mid- 
way Tabernacle, St. Paul, the headquarters of the work 
of District Superintendent Rev. J. D. Williams, on Dr. 
Simpson's last deputational tour in December, 1917, this 



136 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

statement appears : "He took occasion to emphasize in 
the strongest possible way the fact that the primary ob- 
jective of the Alliance movement was not the teaching 
of special doctrines, but the salvation of souls and the 
reaching of the neglected classes from whom the con- 
ventional methods of modern churches were steadily 
creating a distressing gulf of cleavage and separation. 
He trusted that this should always be the primary ideal 
and aim of our work." 

A society with such principles could not hope to build 
up a great, visible organization. It was always a great 
satisfaction to Dr. Simpson to know that the message 
had reached and permeated multitudes who had no out- 
ward connection with the Alliance. He had no sym- 
pathy with any tendency to exclusiveness or with self- 
centred little gatherings of the saints, nor yet with the 
mere aim to build up a work. To him, an Alliance branch, 
however small, was a lighthouse in its own community 
and a recruiting station for the little army of good sol- 
diers of Jesus Christ which had been sent to the ends 
of the earth. 

Yet this motive and ideal was the strength of the or- 
ganization. Factions might divide it and false fires might 
burn a local branch to ashes, but the Alliance would 
always emerge with new vigor, because two or three dis- 
ciples with "Jesus in the midst" constituted a unit of 
this society. 

The Alliance was regarded by the public as the per- 
sonal work of a great leader. Thousands kept asking 
"What will become of the Alliance when Dr. Simpson 
is gone?" The answer was given in the last year of his 
life when he was not in active leadership. His absence 
from his pulpit, from the great conventions, and from 



THE CHRISTIAN & MISSIONARY ALLIANCE 137 

the editorial chair and the executive offices was keenly 
felt, yet there was no falling off at any point, and the 
missionary offerings were larger than ever before. Since 
he was laid at rest almost another year — the period of 
supreme test of his principles and methods — has passed, 
and the society is in the midst of an advance movement 
all along the line. This is the surest testimony that can 
be given that he had received and obeyed a heavenly 
vision in the development of the movement known as 
The Christian and Missionary Alliance. 



CHAPTER XIV 

THE MINISTRY OF HEALING 

THE ministry of healing was never wholly lost from 
the Christian Church. The testimony of Irenaeus, 
Tertullian and others shows that it continued during the 
first three or four centuries. It was revived by the Wal- 
denses in the Middle Ages. Martin Luther claimed that 
Melancthon had been miraculously healed. Remarkable 
instances of supernatural healing occurred in the min- 
istry of George Fox and the early English Friends, and 
authentic cases are narrated in the lives of Peden, Cam- 
eron, and other Scottish Covenanters. George Whitfield 
was raised from what seemed to be a death-bed and that 
same night preached the Gospel. John Wesley declared 
that anointing was a Christian ordinance designed to be 
permanent in the Church. In the last century Dorothea 
Trudel and Pastors Zeller, Blumhardt, and Schrenk on 
the Continent, and Dr. W. E. Boardman in England were 
greatly used of God in the healing of the sick. In America, 
Dr. Charles Cullis, a physician of Boston, Ethan Allen, 
a venerable minister of Hartford, and others exercised 
this ministry with remarkable results. 

In the Old Orchard covenant Dr. Simpson solemnly 
promised to use the blessing he had received for the glory 
of God and the good of others. Some time before, when 
studying the Scriptures with a brother minister, his friend 
said, "Yes, Simpson, I see that healing is part of our 
privilege, but then we cannot preach it." To which A. B. 
Simpson replied, 'T do not yet clearly see that it is part 
of the Gospel for today ; but if I ever do, I must preach it" 



THE MINISTRY OF HEALING 139 

Rev. Kenneth Mackenzie, who was in close touch with 
Dr. Simpson from the beginning of this ministry, says: 
"Had he renounced Divine heaUng he could have obtained 
a wider and more tolerant recognition. But that would 
have required a diplomacy of which he could never be 
guilty. He would be true to God as God had led him 
to see truth, come what might. And now we find that 
it was the healing element in his initial work that proved 
most influential. The Friday afternoon meeting became 
a shrine for thousands of people connected with the 
churches of the city and its suburbs. From that meeting 
radiated streams of blessing that sanctified homes and 
hearts and parishes." 

Referring to the early days, in one of his last ad- 
dresses. Dr. Simpson said, "Sanctification and Divine 
healing were not crowded upon the popular audiences 
who were not prepared for such strong meat, but some 
of the week-day meetings were appointed for the purpose 
of teaching and testifying along these lines." 

The Friday Meeting, which began in Mr. Simpson's 
parlors, has been carried on uninterruptedly for thirty- 
eight years. It often crowded the auditorium of the 
Gospel Tabernacle and is still one of the most spiritual 
gatherings in the Alliance work. An address on Divine 
healing, and testimonies from those who have been healed 
are given, and requests for prayer are received from 
all over the world. The meeting always closes with an 
anointing service, according to the instruction given in 
the epistle of James. 

Dr. Simpson was always careful to direct those who 
were anointed to look to the Lord and not to the anointing 
or the anointer, and very frequently took a very subordi- 
nate part in such services lest the eyes of any one should 



140 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

be turned to himself. As early as 1883 we find him 
writing, "It is very solemn ground and can never be made 
a professional business or a public parade. Its mightiest 
victories will always be silent and out of sight, and its 
power will keep pace with our humility and holiness. 
We solemnly warn the people of God against caricatures 
and counterfeits of this solemn truth, which they may 
expect on every side. We greatly deprecate the indis- 
criminate anointing of all who come forward, of which 
we hear in various quarters. We trust no one will take 
this honor unto himself, but 'he that is called of God, 
as was Aaron.' We hope the wonder-seeking spirit will 
not be allowed to take the place of practical godliness and 
humble work for the salvation of men." 

Among believers in Divine healing anointing with oil 
has been frequently in connection with prayer in private 
for the sick. Though the elders of the Church, where 
such are available, are usually called upon, many others, 
both men and women, have anointed the sick in the name 
of the Lord, sometimes disregarding Dr. Simpon's 
warning. 

Mr. Simpson soon felt impelled to open his home for 
personal ministry to the afflicted. The Lord had been 
preparing the way for this by a work of grace in Mrs. 
Simpson's heart and life. She had been very slow to 
believe that God was leading her husband out of the 
ordinary channels of life and service into the way of 
faith and sacrifice. The difterence in point of view be- 
came acute when their little daughter was stricken with 
diphtheria. True to his faith, he determined to commit 
the case into the hands of the Great Physician. Mrs. 
Simpson bitterly opposed this course, and finally, late 
at night, left the child with him declaring that she would 




Mrs A. B. Simpson. 



THE MINISTRY OF HEALING 141 

hold him responsible for the consequences. He lay down 
beside the little girl, took her in his arms, soothed her to 
sleep, and committed her then and forever to the keeping 
of the Lord. At daybreak, when Mrs. Simpson entered 
the room, she refused to accept the assurance that the 
child was better, but a careful examination showed that 
every trace of the disease had disappeared. Without a 
further word, she turned away, went to her own room, 
and, shutting herself in, cried to the Lord to reveal Him- 
self to her. That was the turning point in her life, and 
shortly afterwards she consented to the proposition to 
open their home to God's suffering children. 

On Wednesday, May i6th, 1883, a company of Chris- 
tian friends assembled in their home at 331 West 34th 
Street for its dedication as a Home for Faith and Physi- 
cal Healing. The announcement stated that "any sufferer 
who is really willing to exercise and act faith for healing 
will be received for a limited time for instruction and 
waiting upon God for temporal and spiritual blessing." 

The following paragraph of a recent personal letter 
from Miss Fanny A. Dyer, of Chicago, tells of her visit 
to this home in 1883. "I had never heard much of the 
doctrine of Divine healing when I entered the Friday 
Meeting. On Sunday morning while preparing for break- 
fast, without being able to give much more Scripture for 
it than the promise of James 5:14-16, I was instantly 
healed, as gloriously and supernaturally as was the cen- 
turion's son. A new era began in my life for spirit, soul, 
and body, glorious beyond expression." 

In her life story, published in a periodical some years 
ago, Mrs. Katherine H. Brodie tells of her stubborn re- 
fusal to consider the testimony of her friends, Mrs. Mar- 
garet Bottome and others, concerning Divine healing. 



142 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

Finally she attended the Friday Meeting and was invited 
to the Home. "I longed," she writes, "to accept the in- 
vitation but had not the courage to leave the hospital 
and my remedies, and I feared the opinions of my hus- 
band and my friends. Later I attended another of Mr. 
Simpson's meetings and, in obedience to the command in 
James 5:14-16, was anointed and solemnly dedicated to 
the Lord. Then followed ten days in the Home on 
Thirty-fourth Street where precious lessons were learned 
and glorious work given me for my Master. All pain 
left ; the Lord had become my strength. I wrote my 
husband of my new life, but he, failing to understand, 
hastened to New York, fearing I had gone wrong. Nine 
months afterwards he became convinced my healing was 
not mere fancy, and seeing my isolation, he sent me to 
New York again ; and whereas before he had been op- 
posed to Mr. Simpson's work, now he arranged that on 
our arrival we should go to his new Berachah Home." 
Mrs. Brodie has since had a most fruitful ministry in 
Great Britain and has visited America several times, min- 
istering in the power of the Holy Spirit in Berachah 
Home and at the Alliance conventions. 

One year after the Home was begun, Mr. E. G. Sel- 
chow, who himself had been marvelously healed, do- 
nated a building at 328 West Twenty-third Street. On 
May 5th, 1884, it was formally dedicated to the Lord 
under the name of Berachah Home, meaning "The House 
of Blessing." It was moved to a larger house on Sixty- 
first Street and Park Avenue, and in March, 1890, to the 
six story building at 258-260 West Forty-fourth Street, 
adjoining the present Gospel Tabernacle. In 1897 Rev. 
Ross Taylor's beautiful residence on the Nyack hillside 
was purchased and enlarged. To this delightful spot 



THE MINISTRY OF HEALING 143 

Berachah Home was removed where for twenty years 
hungry hearts and broken bodies found refreshing and 
healing. 

When Berachah was opened on Twenty-third Street, 
it was put in charge of Miss Ellen A. Griffin and Miss 
Sarah A. Lindenberger. Miss Griffin, who had been 
an active worker in city missions, had been wonderfully 
healed and devoted her remarkable gifts, until her death 
in 1887, to ministering in most practical ways to the suf- 
fering ones in the Home. Miss Lindenberger, a member 
of a wealthy and worldly Southern family, had been in 
Mr. Simpson's congregation in Louisville. She was led 
by the Spirit into the mysteries of grace and to the devo- 
tion of her culture and enduements to a life of ministry in 
Berachah Home, remaining in charge until, on account 
of age, she was unable to continue this exacting service 
and the Home was closed. It is now one of the dormi- 
tories of the Missionary Institute. 

Dr. Simpson himself gave much time to Berachah 
Home, and nowhere was his graciousness, sympathy, and 
power in prayer more manifest. Dr. John Cookman, 
Dr. Henry Wilson, Rev. A. E. Funk, Rev. Stephen Mer- 
ritt, Rev. F. W. Farr, Rev. W. T. MacArthur, Mrs. A. B. 
Simpson and her sister Mrs. E. J. McDonald, Mrs. Mar- 
garet Bottome, Mrs. C. deP. Field, Mrs. Bishop, Miss 
Harriet Waterbury, Miss Minnie T. Draper, Mrs. E. M. 
Whittemore, Miss Ella G. Warren, and Mrs. O. S. 
Schultz, were among those much used of the Lord in 
this Home and in the Friday Meetings. During the years 
it was located on Forty-fourth Street, the ministry of 
Josephus Pulis was blessed to thousands. Among the 
medical doctors who were in full sympathy and frequently 
took part in these ministrations were Dr. George B. Peck, 



144 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

and Dr. James B. Bell, of Boston, and Doctors Barnett, 
Stevenson, and Brown, of New York. Dr. Scudder of 
New York had an attack on Divine healing ready for 
the press when he became convicted that he should in- 
vestigate for himself. He did so, was convinced of the 
truth, and became a warm friend of the work. 

A number of other Homes were directly or indirectly 
connected with Mr. Simpson's ministry. Bethany Home, 
Toronto, was maintained for many years through the 
faith of Mrs. Fletcher and the Rev. John Salmon. Homes 
of rest and healing have been conducted by Miss S. M. C. 
Musgrove, of Troy, N. Y., and Mrs. J. P. Kellogg, of 
Utica, N. Y., and Mrs. Dora Dudley, of Grand Rapids, 
Mich. Kemuel House, Philadelphia, was under the per- 
sonal care of Mrs. S. G. Beck, assisted by Dr. and Mrs. 
Cliff. In later years Hebron Home has been the center 
of the activities of Rev. and Mrs. F. H. Senft, and the 
headquarters of the Alliance in that city. In 1894, Rev. 
E. D. Whiteside, a Methodist Episcopal minister, whose 
prejudices had been overcome by hearing Mr. Simpson 
in the Twenty-third Street Tabernacle, and who had been 
marvelously healed, established a Branch of the Alliance 
and a Home in Pittsburgh, Pa. That successful business 
man, William Henry Conley, a member of the Alliance 
Board, was closely associated with Mr. Whiteside in 
that work. 

Dr. Simpson's ministry as a teacher of the New Testa- 
ment revelation of physical healing was far-reaching. 
More than any or all of its exponents he formulated 
this truth and by positiv emphasis separated it from cur- 
rent fallacies. Even the secular press was impressed by 
his clear-cut presentation. The Nezv York Sun of Sep- 
tember 1 6th, 1888, contained a full page interview in 



THE MINISTRY OF HEALING 145 

which it stated that "The friends who are represented 
by A. B. Simpson never use the term 'faith healing' or 
'faith cure.' They always say 'Divine healing' because 
they believe that faith has no power to cure anybody in- 
trinsically, but that the real power in every case of true 
healing must be a personal God and not a mere subjective 
state of mind in the person concerned or anybody else." 
Dr. Simpson never was anointed for healing, and though 
he taught that ministers should pray for and anoint the 
sick, he emphasized the right of the believer to claim 
healing directly for himself. How simply he states that 
"the Lord Jesus has purchased and provided for His be- 
lieving children physical strength, life, and healing as 
freely as the spiritual blessings of the Gospel. We do 
not need the intervention of any man or woman as our 
priest, for He is our Great High Priest, able to be touched 
with the feeling of our infirmities, and it is still as true 
as ever, 'As many as touched him were made periectly 
whole'." Thousands, who had no circle of believing 
prayer surrounding them, were thus encouraged to trust 
the Great Physician. 

His philosophy of healing was not couched in meta- 
physical terms. What could be plainer than this state- 
ment: "There are three epochs in the revelation of Jesus 
Christ through Divine healing. The first is when we see 
it in the Bible and believe it as a Scriptural doctrine. The 
second is when we see it in the Blood and receive it as 
part of our redemption rights. But the third is when 
we see it in the risen life of Jesus Christ and take Him 
into vital union with all our being as the life of our life 
and the strength of our mortal frame." And again, "This, 
then, is the nature of Divine healing. It is not the mere 
restoration of ordinary health, but it is the impartation 



146 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

of the strength of Christ through the Holy Ghost, and 
it is often most marked alongside of the greatest physical 
weakness." 

In a general way all devout Christians accept the first 
position. The second, that healing is a provision of the 
atonement, has been and is still bitterly opposed, even by 
some who pray for the sick. The third, or mystical view 
I of participation with the hving Christ in His resurrection 
life, taught by John and Paul and restated by A. B. 
Simpson, has been even less understood. Yet this became 
normal life to him and is interwoven in all of his writings. 
In this imparted life many a missionary "in deaths oft" 
has triumphed. It was the secret of the paradox of Dr. 
George P. Pardington's later ministry, who, though for 
years he had to be carried to and from his classes, never 
missed a lecture in the Missionary Institute. It made 
Henry Wilson's life radiant with buoyant, joyous health. 
It healed Rev. G. Verner Brown of spinal meningitis and 
sustains him in a strenuous ministry. It enabled "The 
little man from Chicago," as Rev. W. G. Meminger called 
himself, to rise from a consumptive's couch and startle 
audiences up and down the continent with his Hallelujahs. 
It is the distinctive testimony of the Alliance as to 
healing. 

Most of the caustic criticism by well-meaning friends 
would be turned into prayer for those who take this 
position if the following quotations from Dr. Simpson 
were properly understood. The first reveals the secret 
source of this life. "We do not possess this strength 
in ourselves; it is the strength of Another, and we just 
appropriate it, and so Christ is our life. It is not self- 
contained strength, but strength derived each moment 
from One above us, beyond us, and yet within us." 



THE MINISTRY OF HEALING 147 

Quite as essential are its terms. "The conditions of 
this great blessing are first that we are wholly yielded to 
Him, so that we should use the life He gives for His 
glory and service. Second, that we believe without doubt 
the promise of His word for our own physical healing. 
Third, that we abide in Him for our physical life and 
draw our strength moment by moment through personal 
dependence upon Him." 

Both Dr. Gray and Mr. Mackenzie call attention to 
the sanity exhibited by A. B. Simpson in regard to the 
practical application of his theory of healing. He was 
no extremist, whatever follies or fanaticisms some of his 
followers may have fallen into. The great preservative 
was the central and dominant truth of his whole system — 
Christ in you. He expected nothing from you, nor yet 
from himself, and was disappointed only with manifest 
rejection of Christ. How tender he was to those who 
failed ! How considerate of those who had not seen the 
truth that to him was all in all ! 

Nothing that could be written would exhibit this so 
clearly as a leading editorial elicited by letters asking 
"Why are they not healed ?" Dr. Simpson replied : 

"First of all, we would say, we do not know, and 
probably you do not know, and will not know absolutely, 
until *we know even as we are known' ; and one of the 
first lessons that God wants you to learn is to be still 
and dumb with silence, suppressing every thought, trust- 
ing where you cannot see, and 'judging nothing before 
the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light 
the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the 
counsels of the heart.' 

"It is quite shocking how some people get upon the 
throne and sit in judgment on God's providences, dealing 



148 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

His judgments upon the heads of their brethren, and ex- 
plaining the mysteries of His will as though they were 
His special interpreters and viceregents. 

"One of His supreme thoughts in many of His deal- 
ings is to teach us to 'be still, and know that He is God.' 
But, while this is true, there are many lessons which He 
would have us learn when we are ready to do it with 
intelligent and earnest faith, and it may be that some of 
these thoughts will be helpful to anxious, perplexed minds. 
Therefore, we would say: 

"I. That undoubtedly some persons have not been 
healed because their life-work was completed, and their 
Lord was calling them to Himself. There comes such 
an hour in every accomplished life. 

'TI. Sometimes, however, this is not fully understood 
by the suffering one or the surrounding friends, and 
there is the natural struggle and the earnest prayer, and 
the deep disappointment when it seems unanswered. But 
we believe that if we shall wait upon the Lord in a life 
of faith, obedience and communion, the heart will usually 
be able, with quietness, to understand enough of His will 
to triumph even in death itself. 

"HI. Sometimes, we believe, life is shortened by dis- 
obedience to God. Long life is promised to those who 
obey Him and follow Him ; and of others it is said : Tor 
this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and 
many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should 
not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chas- 
tened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with 
the world.' This, undoubtedly, has reference to physical 
judgments, and the way they may be escaped is by self 
judging and hcly, watchful obedience. 

"IV. There is often a lack of real faith on the part 



THE MINISTRY OF HEALING 149 

of the sick even where the external conditions of faith 
have apparently been fulfilled, and others may suppose 
there has been real faith in God for healing. 

"Faith for Divine healing is not mere abstinence from 
remedies, an act of intellect or will, or a submission to 
the ordinance of anointing, but it is the real, spiritual 
touch of Christ, and it is much more rare than many 
suppose. 

"There is plenty of faith in the doctrine, plenty of 
readiness to give up remedies, plenty of faith in the 
prayers of others — especially if they are eminent saints — 
plenty of faith for healing in the future ; but personal, 
real faith that takes Christ nozv, and, pressing through 
the crowd, touches His garment, is not much oftener 
found now than in the days when only one, struggling 
through the crowd that surrounded Him, really touched 
Him." 



CHAPTER XV 

AUTHOR AND EDITOR 

ONE of the psalmists was so taken up with the glories 
of the King that he sings, 

"My heart bubbleth up with a goodly matter ; 
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer." 

No such spiritual impulsion moved Solomon when he 

said, 

"My son, be admonished: 
Of making many books there is no end, 
And much study is a weariness o fthe flesh." 

In his early ministry A. B. Simpson knew the laborious- 
ness of much study and yet seems to have followed Solo- 
mon's admonition as to the making of books, for though 
his sermons frequently appeared in current papers, he had 
not given the public the fruit of his studies in permanent 
form. 

When he was filled with the Spirit, it became literally 
true that his tongue was the pen of a ready writer, for 
his messages flowed so felicitously from his lips that a 
stenographic report needed little editing, and his sermons 
appeared almost verbatim in his periodical, and after- 
wards in book form. 

It was because of this unusual gift that the making 
of many books was not an endless "weariness of the 
flesh," but one of the supreme joys of his ministry. Un- 
questionably he had great natural endowments. In his 
first two pastorates he prepared his sermonts with the 
utmost care, writing and rewriting them, thus acquiring 
skill in literary art. "I had a facile pen," he once said 



AUTHOR AND EDITOR 151 

in speaking of liis experiences when he launched out in a 
life of faith, "and thought to support my family by literarj' 
work. But the Lord checked me from commercializing 
my gift." While he consecrated his talents and culture, 
he came to realize their insufficiency for the work to 
which God had called him and applied the great secret 
which he had learned to this as to every other activity. 

In that heart message at Bethshan he said with charac- 
teristic humility : "Then I had a poor sort of a mind, 
heavy and cumbrous, that did not think or work quickly, 
I wanted to write and speak ft)r Christ and to have a 
ready memory, so as to have the little knowledge I had 
gained always under command. I went to Christ about 
it, and asked if He had anything for me in this way. 
He replied, 'Yes, my child, I am made unto you. Wis- 
dom.' I was always making mistakes, which I regretted, 
and then thinking I would not make them again: but 
when He said that He would be my wisdom, that we 
may have the mind of Christ, that He would cast down 
imaginations and bring into captivity every thought to 
the obedience of Christ, that He could make the brain 
and head right, then I took Him for all that. And since 
then I have been kept free from this mental disability, 
and work has been rest. I used to write two sermons 
a week, and it took me three days to complete one. But 
now, in connection with my literary work, I have num- 
berless pages of matter to write constantly besides the 
conduct of very many meetings a week, and all is de- 
lightfully easy to me. The Lord has helped me mentally, 
and I know He is the Saviour of our mind as well as 
our spirit." 

To the same inner working of the Spirit of God Dr. 
Simpson attributed his ministry of song. Though his 



152 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

reminiscences show that he recognized the maternal in- 
fluence in his poetic temperament, a letter written not 
long before he laid down his pen stated that he had nevet 
written a poem in his life until the Spirit of God filled 
him with "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." So, 
too, he speaks of his love for music and of his early, 
unaided attempts to master the violin. He had not a 
musical education, yet a few of his musical compositions, 
which seemed to flow from his heart spontaneouely with 
the hymns to which they are set, have already been recog- 
nized in Church music. Both words and music of Ever- 
lasting Arms, Search Me O God, Thy Kingdom Comr, 
and others touch the heart chords so strongly and ten- 
derly that they will live in our psalmody. 

The Gospel in All Lands, which Mr. Simpson instituted 
during his pastorate in the Thirteenth Street Presbyterian 
Church, was the first illustrated missionary magazine on 
the American continent, and, with one exception, the 
first in the world. He received little encouragement when 
he proposed to issue this monthly. But he had caught 
the vision of a needy world and believed that no art was 
too good for missionary propaganda. The first volume 
which appeared in February, 1880, assured its success, 
and although he was compelled by the physical collapse 
which occurred in the following summer to turn the 
magazine over to others, he had set such an editorial 
standard that for many years it held a foremost place in 
current missionary literature. 

In 1882, shortly after Mr. Simpson's independent work 
began, he issued the first number of another illustrated 
missionary monthly. The Word, Work, and World. Some 
of his best literary work was done on this magazine. He 
was Uying the foundation for his comprehensive grasp 



AUTHOR AND EDITOR 153 

of world wide missions and giving his constituency the 
fruit of his studies in illuminating articles and readable 
paragraphs. All of the freshness of a newly found mes- 
sage is in the sermons which appear in these volumes. 
Leading articles on phases of the deeper life were always 
included, and some of his courses of lectures in the Train- 
ing College, rich in Biblical scholarship, appeared in 
outline. 

In January, 1888, the name of this magazine was 
changed to The Christian Alliance as a few months before 
the society bearing that name had been organized, and 
Mr. Simpson desired to make the paper the mouthpiece 
of the work. It continued as a monthly for more than a 
year and then became The Christian Alliance and Foreign 
Mission Weekly. For a number of years it has appeared 
under the simpler title of The Alliance Weekly. 

In outlining the policy of the paper in its new form 
as The Christian Alliance and Foreign Missionary 
Weekly, August 4th, 1889, the editor made this announce- 
ment: 

"The great movement of today, the greatest m.ovement 
of the Church's history is a CHRIST MOVEMENT ; a 
revealing in our day, with a definiteness never before so 
real, of the person of the living Chirst as the center of 
our spiritual life, the source of our sanctification, the 
fountain of our physical life and healing, the Prince- 
Leader of our work, and the glorious coming King, al- 
ready on His way to His millennial throne and sending 
on as the outriders of His host and the precursors of His 
coming the mighty forces and agencies which today are 
arousing the Church and convulsing the world. 

"This is the chosen and delightful ministry of this 
humble journal and the blessed circle of disciples who 



154 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

gather around the standard of the Fourfold Gospel; not 
merely to preach salvation, or sanctification, or healing, 
or premillennialism, but JESUS CHRIST. 

"Therefore over all other names and themes we write 
our eternal watchword 'JESUS ONLY,' and devote these 
pages to the person and glory, the control, service, and 
exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ." 

As its editor, Mr. Simpson became recognized as one 
of the strongest editorial writers of our time. From 
weeK to week he compressed his richest experiences and 
profoundest knowledge in a few expository paragraphs, 
and scarcely a number left the press without one or 
more incisive editorials on the great providential move- 
ments and the trend of the times. He was most careful 
of the choice of his writers, and perhaps no paper has 
ever been at once so rich in spiritual food and so free 
from the taint of fanaticism. The missionary columns 
were filled with the triumphs of the Gospel not only in 
the Alliance fields but in the work of other societies of a 
kindred spirit. 

For several years beginning July ist, 1902, Dr. Simp- 
son also edited a high class religious monthly known as 
Living TrutJis, his own contributions showing the ma- 
turity of his literary work, and the articles by Dr. Wilson, 
Dr. Farr, Dr. Pardington, and others being of permanent 
value. 

Among those who assisted Dr. Simpson in the details 
of editorial work were Miss Harriet Waterbury, Miss 
Louise Shepard, Miss Emma F. Beere, and Dr. J. Hud- 
son Ballard, their ability and devotion making his editorial 
ministry possible. 

In the early days Mr. Simpson's Sunday morning ser- 
mon appeared in separate serial form as Tabernacle Ser- 



AUTHOR AND EDITOR 155 

mons and had a wide circulation. In 1889, when his pe- 
riodical became a weekly, as the discourse appeared in the 
paper, Tabernacle Sermons was discontinued. The de- 
mand for them had been so great that it became neces- 
sary to issue them in more permanent form. 

In 1886 a book of sermons on service appeared under 
the title The King's Business, and another series cover- 
ing the deeper life as presented in the books of the New 
Testament was issued in the same year entitled The Ful- 
ness of Jesus. Among the other early books of sermons 
may be mentioned The Christ of the Forty Days, or the 
revelation of the risen Christ, a theme on which Mr. 
Simpson loved to dwell ; The Love Life of the Lord, 
which places him with Robert Murray McCheyne and 
Hudson Taylor as an interpreter of the mystical Song 
of Solomon ; The Life of Prayer, showing as deep pene- 
tration into this mystery as Andrew Murray's discussions ; 
The Larger Christian Life, revealing the possibilities of 
a Christ-centered and Spirit-filled life; and The Land of 
Promise, presenting our inheritance in Christ as typified 
in the conquest of Canaan. Many of his later sermons 
were also grouped into books. 

The first volumes of his unique commentary, Christ in 
the Bible, appeared in 1889. This series was intended 
to include a survey of the great truths of the Word as 
revealed book by book. The best of his expository dis- 
courses were adapted to this purpose. 

Four little volumes covering the essentials of Dr. 
Simpson's message were among his earliest productions 
and have had an enormous sale, both in English and other 
languages. They are in reality text-books of the Alliance 
movement. The Fourfold Gospel is a brief statement of 
the four aspects of the Alliance watchword, "Jesus Christ 



156 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

— Saviour, Sanctier, Healer, and Coming King"; and 
tlie others The Christ Life, Wholly Sanctified and The 
Gospel of Healing treat of phases of this truth. 

Dr. Simpson has written a number of other books on 
the distinctive testimony of the AlHance. The Discovery 
of Divine Healing, Inquiries and Answers Concerning 
Divine Healing, A Cloud of Witnesses, and Friday Meet- 
ing Talks deal with Divine healing. His earliest book on 
the Lord's Coming was The Gospel of the Kingdom. The 
Coming One, written in 1912, is a general discussion of 
the Second Coming ; and a companion volume, Foregleams 
of the Coming One, a survey of the prophecies of our 
Lord's Return, was left in manuscript and is now in the 
press. Back to Patmos, an interpretation of the book of 
Revelation, his latest contribution on this subject, was 
written at the beginning of the war. He did not adhere 
either to the Historic or the Futurist view in his interpre- 
tation but took middle ground where an increasing num- 
ber of devout interpreters stand. 

He was not an extremist on typology, but his three 
books on Divine Emblems in the Pentateuch, together 
with Christ in the Tabernacle, Emblems of the Holy Spirit 
and Natural Emblems in the Spiritual Life make clear 
the meaning of most of the typical passages in the 
Scriptures. 

The two large volumes. The Holy Spirit in the Old and 
New Testaments, contain the fullest and clearest general 
survey on the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit that 
can be found in religious literature. 

Polemical discussion had no attraction for Dr. Simp- 
son. He had a positive message and usually left heretics 
and fanatical teaching alone. He loved to tell of the Mis- 
sissippi pilot who justified his lack of knowledge of the 



AUTHOR AND EDITOR 157 

location of the snags in the river by saying, "I reckon 
I know where the snags ain't, and there is where I pro- 
pose to do my saiHng." One of his strongest books is 
Present Truth, a series of discussions of the supernatural, 
in which he puts all opponents of true Christianity on 
the defensive by his clear presentation of the great facts 
which transcend natural law. In another book, The Old 
Faith and the New Gospels, he gives a most masterly 
arraignment of those unChristian phases in education, 
theology, sociology, and experimental life which have 
been seeking to discredit and supplant the orthodox view 
of Christ. 

The great missionary messages which so thrilled multi- 
tudes unfortunately have been left unarranged. His 
Larger Outlooks on Missionary Lands, in which in his 
racy style he surveyed the fields which he visited on his 
tour in 1893, is his only book on Missions. 

Among his most widely read books are several volumes 
prepared for private or family devotions. The most 
popular has been Days of Heathen upon Earth with a mes- 
sage for each day of the year. 

Though there is not a phase of Christian life or expe- 
rience that is not touched in these books, several others 
were devoted to special aspects of the Deeper Life, reit- 
erating and enlarging the great central theme "Christ in 
you the hope of glory." He never allowed himself to be 
drawn away from this one great message. 

During the last two years of his active ministry Dr. 
Simpson devoted much of his time to the Bible Com- 
mentary, in which he was condensing his life study of 
the Bible in the form of a Bible Correspondence Course. 
He had just begun the third and final year of this study 
when his pen was laid down. It was his ardent hope that 



158 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

he would be permitted to complete this work, but this 
expectation was not realized. 

Dr. Simpson's early hymns were included in the first 
volume of Hymns of the Christian Life, which was pub- 
lished in 1891. This was followed by two other volumes 
in which a number of his later hymns appeared. The 
three books were afterward rearranged and combined, 
making a volume which has had a very wide circulation, 
and has greatly enriched modern hymnology. 

In 1894 a number of Dr. Simpson's earliest poems were 
issued in a little volume, Millennial Chimes. This was 
the only book of poems which he published. Some songs 
that are not in the hymnal appeared in his periodicals, 
and a number were sent out as Christmas and New Year's 
messages. He wrote class songs for many of the grad- 
uating classes in the Missionary Institute, some of which, 
like Be True, have become widely popular. Larger Out- 
looks on Missionary Lands contains several of his finest 
missionary poems. Beautiful Japan was written as he 
left these "Islands of the Morning." Our hearts thrill 
with his as we read — 

"Land of v/ondrous beauty, what a charm there Hngers 
Over every landscape, every flower and tree ! 

But a brighter glory waits to break upon thee 
Than thy cloud-capped Mountain or thy Inland Sea. 

Tis the Father's glory in the face of Jesus ; 
'Tis the blessed story of redeeming love. 

Wake to meet the dawning of the heavenly sunrise! 

Rise to liail the glory shining from above!" 
Some of his unpublished poems have been collected 
recently and, together with old favorites, issued under 
the title. Songs of the Spirit. Quite a number still re- 
main in manuscript. Here is the last stanza of one, en- 
titled The Star of Bethlehem — 



AUTHOR AND EDITOR 159 

"Bright Star, thy coming must be near; 
The darkness of the dawn gives warning. 
Behold, the sky begins to clear ! 
The night is almost gone — Good Morning!" 

Dr. Simpson wrote more than seventy books, but by 
far the greatest was the imprinted volume of a Christ- 
centered and Spirit-filled life. Of the making of this 
book he was keenly conscious when he wrote in the con- 
cluding words in his Commentary on Romans, "Beloved, 
the pages are going up every day for the record of our 
life. We are setting the type ourselves by every moment's 
action. Hands unseen are stereotyping the plates, and 
soon the record will be registered and read before the 
audience of the universe and amid the issues of eternity." 



CHAPTER XVI 
A MAN OF ACTION 

ALBERT B. SIMPSON always lived a strenuous life. 
When he was fourteen, he was taking a man's place 
on a Canadian farm. His high school course was cut 
short by a serious breakdown from over study. The pace 
he set for himself in both of his early pastorates resulted 
in enforced periods of rest which he could not be induced 
to complete. When at length he was renewed in mind 
and body by the impartation of Divine life, he devoted 
his new found energies to the service of his Lord with 
a consecration which has rarely been equalled. Believing 
implicitly that this supernatural life had no limit within 
the sphere of duty and opportunity, he never stopped to 
measure his strength against the task before him. 

He was an ambitious man and might have attained 
greatness in more than one sphere in life, but after the 
great crisis all of his aspirations were concentrated into 
those three passions which overmastered the apostle Paul 
and led him to declare, — "I am ambitious to be quiet" ; 
"I am ambitious whether at home or absent to be well 
pleasing unto him" ; "I am ambitious to preach the Gospel 
where Christ has not been named." Because A. B. Simp- 
son attained the first mentioned ambition to a degree that 
few have known, and lived in the repose of God, he was 
able to sustain an activity that amazed his friends and 
silenced the charge that his teaching led to passivity. 

Returning to his pulpit in Louisville after a long, en- 
forced absence in 1879, he preached on the text "This one 



A MAN OF ACTION i6i 

thing I do." The following paragraph from his discourse 
shows that in those dark days he had learned Paul's se- 
cret of service. "The last thing in Paul's watchword was 
ivork, — not I dream, I purpose, or even I will do, but I do. 
He has already begun. Paul gave no countenance to that 
abuse of God's rich grace which encourages easy indo- 
lence and the kind of rest that does nothing because God 
will do all. In Paul we see a perfect example of the fine 
balance and proportion of character which has the most 
sensitive feeling, the most intense spirituality, the most 
devout emotion, and the most unquestioning faith, side 
by side with the most practical common sense." Words 
could not more accurately describe Dr. Simpson's own 
manner of life from that day forward. 

Speaking at Bethshan in 1885, he said, "I have been 
permitted by God to work — I say this to His honor and 
thousands could bear witness to it — and I have worked 
about four times as hard as I ever did in my life. In 
those four years I have not had one hour away from 
work and have not had one single summer vacation." 

For the next twelve years he continued to live in the 
heart of New York City in the midst of manifold minis- 
tries and constant distractions. Yet he seemed to thrive 
on overwork, and added burdens only increased his evi- 
dent vitality. 

During all the years which he lived at Nyack he rarely 
failed to board the 6:18 A. M. train for New York City. 
The hour on the train was given to a rapid glance over 
the events of the day and to study or editorial work. 
Sometimes his secretary was called to his assistance on 
the journey. The day in New York was spent in his 
little office where he accomplished almost unbelievable 
tasks and in interviews, in committees, and in public 



i62 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

meetings. He was busy again on the homeward journey 
and, after dinner, spent hours in his study before he 
finally gave himself to a time of prayerful relaxation as 
preparation for the few hours of sleep which he allowed 
himself. 

It is needless to recount the many activities which have 
been described in previous pages — his pulpit and plat- 
form work, his pastoral duties, his ministry for the sick, 
his lectures in the Institute, his convention tours, his cor- 
respondence, his editorial labors, his preparation of books, 
his production of hymns, and his executive responsibili- 
ties. For him there was no such possibility as leisure. 
Yet he was never flurried, even when hurrying at the last 
minute to keep an appointment or to catch a train. A 
party of friends was at the dock to bid him farewell when 
he was starting on his tour around the world. They sang 
and prayed and waited. The deck hands were loosening 
the tacklings when he appeared, sped up the moving 
gangway, turned, waved his hand and, with that ever 
ready wit that saved many a situation, shouted — "Good- 
bye ; God bless you all ! I'll be twenty-four hours ahead 
of you when I get around the world." 

Yet he was never too busy to meet a special call. He 
had to protect himself from needless interruptions, as 
does every man of affairs ; but when he responded, it was 
with rare graciousness, and few ever knew at what cost 
his time was given to them. 

He had learned the secret of concentrating every power 
on the person or thing to w^hich for the moment he gave 
himself, and the rarer art of a quiet dependence upon 
God to carry him through the hard places. To him work 
and communion were not antagonists but handmaidens. 
He expresses this in his own poetic way. 



A MAN OF ACTION 163 

"I used to be very fond of gardening. I could work 
in the garden and yet smell the roses ; they did not keep 
me from my husbandry ; I had my sweet flowers every 
second ; they did not hinder the work a bit. So you can 
be busy all the time, and have the breath of heaven ; it 
will not hinder you. It is like working in a perfumed 
room, every sense exhilarated. It is something deeper 
than prayer — communion." 

Dr. Simpson never sought nor expected an easy life. 
In one of his last public addresses he stated that "In the 
beginning of the life of faith God gave me a vision which 
to me was a symbol of the kind of life to which He had 
called me. In this dream a little sail boat was passing 
down a rapid stream, tossed by the winds and driven by 
the rapids. Every moment it seemed as if it must be 
dashed upon the rocks and crushed, yet it was preserved 
in some mysterious way and carried through all perils. 
Upon the sails of the little ship was plainly painted the 
name of the vessel in one Latin word, Angustia, meaning 
Hard Places. Through this simple dream, the Lord 
seemed to fortify me for the trials and testings that were 
ahead, and to prepare me for a life's voyage which was 
to be far from a smooth one, but through which God's 
grace would always carry me in triumph." 

What was given in a vision was confirmed through the 
Word. In the well marked Bible which he used in his 
great life crisis in Louisville he heavily underscored Jer. 
39:18, "Thy life shall be for a prey unto thee because 
thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the Lord." On the 
margin he wrote the date, January ist, 1879, and there- 
after he regarded this as one of his life texts. 

When he left home for his convention tours, long or 
short, he carried with him work that would have over- 



i64 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

whelmed an ordinary man, even in his office, and was 
always followed by numerous telegrams and piles of for- 
warded mail. The local demands opon him at every point 
were insistent; and, though he gave himself unstintedly 
to public service and private interviews, he usually found 
it necessary to resort to hotel accommodation to conserve 
time and strength. This was sometimes misunderstood, 
but here and there at least his motives were appreciated, 
as is shown in this incident referred to in a letter from 
Rev. Samuel H. Wilkinson, of the Mildmay Mission to 
the Jews. 

"The following may seem trivial, but it reveals char- 
acter. During Dr. Simpson's stay in England I invited 
him to take part in the Brentwood Convention. He 
promised to do so but stipulated that he should be accom- 
modated at an hotel instead of in a private house because, 
to use his own expression, the 'social instinct' was strong 
in him, and he lost time and strength in conversation. I 
apprised him when he was to speak and named a suitable 
train from London. I met it on the evening he was ex- 
pected and each train thereafter until almost the time 
of the gathering, when, leaving another to meet him at 
the station, I went myself to the Town Hall to apologize 
for Dr. Simpson's delayed arrival. But I found him 
there waiting for me ! 'I thought,' he said, 'that I would 
just come down earlier in the afternoon than I was ex- 
pected and sit awhile in the hotel for repose of mind.' 
And the incident clings even more than his splendid ad- 
dresses, as an indication of the simplicity of greatness." 

More of Dr. Simpson's time and energy than even inti- 
mate friends realized was spent in business affairs. In 
the beginning of his walk of faith he resolved tkat he 
would lead a self-supporting Hfe. He had a large family, 



A MAN OF ACTION 165 

and the financial demands upon him as its head were 
constant. 

His first step in this direction was taken in response 
to the demand for a Fourfold Gospel literature. He de- 
cided to be his own printer, and gradually built up a 
plant which not only produced the books and papers which 
he published but later included contract work in its output. 
In 1912 he sold his publishing business to The Christian 
and Missionary Alliance, but retained his printing house, 
which he continued till he gave up all business afifairs 
in 1918. 

When the Missionary Institute and Berachah Home 
were moved to Nyack, a tract of land was purchased 
by a company composed of several men who had in view 
the establishment of an Alliance center. Their expecta- 
tions in regard to a settlement on the Hillside were not 
fulfilled as few families made it their home. To relieve 
the company of its embarrassments Dr. Simpson, who 
was its President, took over a large part of the lands, and 
this added greatly to his burdens. 

Dr. Simpson also engaged in other business enterprises 
in New York City, not all of which were profitable. Owing 
to his busy life, he was obliged to commit the manage- 
ment to others, and his optimistic attitude toward these 
ventures was not always justified. Had business been 
his calling, some think he would have become one of the 
large financiers. Certainly his mind was cast in a mould 
that would have seemed to promise success in large 
undertakings. 

But A. B. Simpson was called to be a prophet and not 
a business man. In the work which his Master appointed 
him and in which, in consequence, the Holy Spirit directed 
him, he had phenomenal success. Those who have had 



i66 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

opportunity to know something of his affairs can also 
trace the loving hand of an Almighty Helper in his busi- 
ness life. Of this he was himself very conscious, and 
jottings in vest pocket note-books prove that he not only 
prayed but also returned thanks for God's help in his busi- 
ness difficulties. There is no question that his business 
was the great burden that finally proved too heavy for 
him. He would have surrendered it in his later years ; 
but while his own strength endured, he could see no way 
of deliverance. When he could no longer conduct it, he 
acknowledged to intimate associates that he had been mis- 
taken in entering into business and that he should have 
kept himself free, as did the apostles, to give himself to 
"prayer and to the ministry of the word." 

During the Annual Council of The Christian and Mis- 
sionary Alliance in May, 1918, Dr. Simpson conferred 
with several of his brethren in regard to his business 
affairs. He now felt that, as some of these interests had 
* een closely associated with his public ministry, it would 
be fitting for him to entrust their settlement to the So- 
ciety. It was found that there were legal difficulties in 
the way of such action, and after careful consideration 
he made a complete assignment to Mr. Franklin L. Groff, 
one of the oldest and most trusted business men in the 
Tabernacle and in the Alliance, who formed a Company 
made up of prominent members of these organizations, 
to administer this trust. Through careful management 
of these affairs under proper legal advice, this company 
has been enabled by favorable disposition of his holdings, 
and by special supplementary gifts and pledges from 
friends, to provide for the liquidation of all obligations. 

Dr. Simpson never accepted a salary from the Gospel 
Tabernacle nor even the small living allowance granted 



A MAN OF ACTION 167 

to missionaries and executive officers of The Christian and 
Missionary Alliance, and often refused even his traveling 
expenses to conventions. Regarding this relationship to 
his congregation, he more than once said to an associate 
pastor that it might be a very good school of faith for 
the pastor but that it was very bad discipline for the 
flock. When he finally relinquished his business, the 
Board of The Christian and Missionary Alliance gave him 
an ample living allowance and continues to provide 
similarly for Mrs. Simpson. 

How fully his intense life was appreciated by men and 
women of every estate, and especially by the great men 
of action, was shown by the tributes paid to him on the 
platform, in the press, and in personal letters when he 
was called home. Several, including his old associate 
Dr. F. W. Farr, were reminded of the fiery prophet of 
Gilead and exclaimed as did Elisha — "My father, my 
father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof !" 
Mr. W. R. Moody, of Northfield, was most impressed 
by "the faithfulness of his Christian stewardship," and 
adds, "Untiring in his labors, unsparing of his time, he 
wore himself out in the service of his Master." Dr. Geo. 
H. Sandison, Editor of The Christian Herald, wrote: "I 
can think of no one in this age who has done more ef- 
fective, self-denying service for Christ and His Gospel 
than Albert B. Simpson." "His missionary zeal was as- 
tounding," said his old friend. Dr. George F. Pentecost ; 
and with this agrees another associate of other days. 
Dean Arthur C. Peck, who testifies that "his labors were 
apostolic in both spirit and scope. No man ever wrought 
more abundantly and successfully among the heathen." 
He was "fully absorbed in the missionary enterprise and 
devoted all his energies to hasten the coming of the King," 



i68 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

is the impression left upon Rev. J. M. Pike, Editor of 
the Way of Faith. "I remember," said Pastor P. W. 
Philpott at the Memorial Service, "reading- a letter from 
a boy to his mother during the days of war, in which he 
said, 'You know it is not how long a man lives that counts ; 
it is what he puts into life while he is living.' And if 
that is true. Dr. Simpson has lived about three times 
longer than any other man of his age, for he surely put 
into the last thirty years three times as much as the 
ordinary minister." 

There must have been some great secret hidden from 
ordinary ken, some springs of action and fountains of 
energy that accounted for such a life. Here he reveals 
one of them. "There is no service which God expects of 
us for which He has not made the fullest provision in 
the infinite resources of His grace. We cannot dare too 
much if it be in dependence upon Him, for He has given 
us all His fullness, and sends no one warring upon his 
own charges." The following quotation suggests another 
secret. "The power to serve God is no natural talent or 
acquired experience, but Christ's own life and power in 
us through the Holy Ghost. And no man can serve God 
without the Spirit." And yet another is disclosed in a 
stanza from one of his poems : 

"I dwell with the King for His work, 

And the work, it is His and not mine ; 
He plans and prepares it for me 

And fills me with power divine. 
So duty is changed to delight. 

And prayer into praise as I sing; 
I dwell with my King for His work 

And work in the strength of my King." 

Further, Dr. Simpson's attitude to life was that of the 
Son of man who "came not to be ministered unto but to 



A MAN OF ACTION 169 

minister." "What," he says, "would we think of Jesus 
if we ever found Him looking for His own pleasure or 
consulting His own comfort?" And yet again, he had 
felt the pulse of the times for he says : "Everything 
around us is intensely alive ; life is earnest ; death is 
earnest ; sin is earnest ; men are earnest ; business is earn- 
est ; knowledge is earnest ; the age is earnest ; God for- 
give us if we alone are trifling in the white heat of this 
crisis time," This conception moved him to write one 
of his most stirring poems : 

"No time for trifling in this life of mine; 

Not this the path the blessed Master trod, 
But strenuous toil ; each hour and power employed 
Always and all for God. 

"Time swiftly flies ; eternity is near, 

And soon my dust may lie beneath the sod. 
How dare I waste my life or cease to be 
Always and all for God! 

"I catch the meaning of this solemn age ; 
With life's vast issues all my soul is awed. 
Life was not given for trifling ; it must be 
Always and all for God. 

"I hear the footfalls of God's mighty hosts 
Whom God is sending all the earth abroad ; 
Like them let me be busy for His cause. 
Always and all for God." 

There was to him a motive power in "The Blessed 
Hope." He sings "Let us live in the light of His coming," 
and in the following stanza he reveals his sense of 
responsibility : 

"Hasting on the coming of the Master, 
Let us speed the days that linger still; 



I70 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

Time is counted yonder, not by numbers, 

But conditions which we may fulfil. 
If we bring the "other sheep" to Jesus, 

If we send the Gospel everywhere, 
We may hasten forward His appearing, 

And His blessed coming help prepare." 

Not the least of these secrets was a right apprehension 
of God. One night, after he had been meditating on the 
ways of some modern "Quietists," he fell asleep and 
dreamed that he saw an office immensely larger than any 
he had ever conceived. God was in the midst of it and 
radiating from Him were visible electric waves which 
reached the uttermost parts of the earth, everywhere 
creating intense activity but without confusion or strain. 
The impression left upon him when he awoke of God's 
omnipresence and omnipotence was lasting. Thereafter, 
even more than before, he was encouraged to "Attempt 
great things for God." 



CHAPTER XVII 
A PAULINE MYSTIC 

SOMEONE with a true conception of mysticism and 
an intimate knowledge of A. B. Simpson has called 
him "the last of the great mystics." From first to last 
his life is a mystery if viewed from rationalistic ground. 
A mystic by hereditary temperament, a Celtic facility for 
seeing the invisible struggled for the mastery of his youth- 
ful soul against the cold logic of ultra Calvinism. Who 
can read the self revelation he has given in his reminis- 
cences of his conversion without sympathetic pangs? 
There came a day after years of soul agony when the 
veil was rent, and he was ushered into the followship of 
the true mystics of the ages, thenceforth, like Moses, to 
"endure as seeing him who is invisible." 

Some of Dr. Simpson's friends express dissent when 
he is referred to as a mystic, evidently because of very 
general misconceptions of what mysticism is. These are 
very clearly summarized by Professor W. K. Fleming in 
Mysticism in Christianity. "We find three accusations 
quite commonly brought against mysticism — that it deals 
in unsafe and presumptuous speculation ; or that it en- 
courages a sort of extravagant, unhealthy, hysterical self 
hypnotism ; or that it is merely quasi-spiritual feeling, 
vague, dreamy, and unpractical." 

The same writer replies that mysticism is not equivalent 
merely to Symbolism ; that it has nothing whatever to 
do with occult pursuits, magic, and the like, although some 
have lost their way and floundered into this particular 



172 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

morass ; that it has no connection with miracle working 
and the like; that although mystics have frequently had 
visions, mysticism is not a dreaming of dreams nor dreami- 
ness at all ; and indeed that mystics have more commonly 
than not been known as very practical men and women. 

What then is mysticism ? Ewald says "it is the craving 
to be united with God." Professor Seth Pringle-Pattison 
sees that, to the mystic, "God ceases to be an object and 
becomes an experience." Professor Hamack writes that 
"Mysticism is rationalism applied to a sphere above rea- 
son" ; and Dean Inge, who perhaps is the clearest ex- 
ponent of this subject, makes Harnack's statement read 
"Mysticism is reason applied to a sphere above rational- 
ism." This fairly well defines the subject in general, but 
stops far short of Pauline mysticism. 

Some writers have attempted to classify mystics into 
extreme mystics, who disregard everything but their 
revelations; super-rational mystics who, regarding ordi- 
nary Christian experience as merely preliminary to mys- 
tical communion, are indifferent to the externals of doc- 
trine, worship, and sacraments ; and rational mystics who 
would agree with Dean Inge. If such a classification 
were complete, such men as Dr. Simpson would neces- 
sarily be included in the last class. 

Within the orthodox fold a distinction is sometimes 
made between the mystical and the evangelical method, 
the mystic reaching truth through internal experience of 
Christ, while the evangelical attains it by historic fact — 
"The Christ picture presented to the mind by Gospel his- 
tory," Dr. Simpson was both truly mystical and thor- 
oughly evangelical. So were the Apostles and many of 
the Fathers, and so are some of the great men of our 
day. Therefore we need a better classification, and recog- 



A PAULINE MYSTIC 173 

nizing this, we may safely say that A. B. Simpson was 
one of the school of evangelical mystics. 

Some have charged mystics with pessimism, forgetting 
that every prophet to a sterile age and a backslidden peo- 
ple is of necessity pessimistic concerning his times and 
his compatriots. So were the Hebrew prophets regarded, 
"Which of the prophets have not your fathers stoned?" 
asked Jesus of His own generation. But the prophet 
and the mystic are eventually optimists. They see their 
own times clearly because they have seen all time, and 
eternity, and God Himself. The mystic mounts up as 
a seer on wings like eagles ; runs the race of a man with- 
out being weary ; and walks the rugged, thorny pathway 
of earth without fainting because he waits upon the Lord. 
The Pauline mystic is always mightier than the material- 
ist and more practical, for men must always dream dreams 
before they blaze new trails and see visions before they 
are strong to do exploits. 

There was a medieval mysticism which shut men up 
in the cloister, and there is still an abnormal mysticism of 
certain Christian sects. But there remains today a pure 
mysticism which was the very breath and life of Biblical 
Judaism, and which is the secret of the real power of the 
Church. Without this mysticism there never would have 
been a reformation or a revival. It was a revelation that 
saved Noah ; a voice that called Abraham ; a burning bush 
that transformed Moses ; a vision that inspired Isaiah ; a 
call that strengthened Jeremiah ; and a visitation of the 
Son of God that recreated Saul of Tarsus. Augustine, 
Luther, Calvin, Knox, Wesley, Edwards, and Finney 
were scholars and philosophers, but it was a knowledge of 
the mysteries of God that made them mightier than prel- 
acies, thrones, and universities. 



174 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

It was time for another mystic to appear. Mists hung 
in our valleys of experience, and clouds enveloped our 
mountains of vision. We were threatened with a creed- 
less Church, a Christless education, and a powerless re- 
ligion. Men were wear}'ing for some one to lead them 
directly to God, and A. B. Simpson was God's man for 
the hour. 

The word mysterion, which is used in the New Testa- 
ment of divine mysteries, is derived from mystes, mean- 
ing one who was initiated into divine things. But while 
the Greek mystic was initiated into the secret circle of 
the oracle and must keep his mouth shut — as the root 
meaning of the verbal form indicates — the Christian mys- 
tic was given a glorious revelation of things which he was 
to declare. Paul and John indeed heard and saw some 
things which they could not disclose, but the mysteries of 
divine grace were given to them on the terms stated by 
Jesus, "What I tell you in the darkness speak ye in the 
light, and what ye hear in the ear proclaim upon the 
housetops." 

These mysteries include the whole heritage of the reve- 
lation manifested to the patriarchs and to the prophets 
of Israel, and which was more perfectly revealed in and 
through Christ and to His apostles. Those clearly speci- 
fied in the New Testament are the Mystery of God, of 
God's W^isdom, of Christ, of the Incarnation, of the Gos- 
pel, of Faith, of Christ in You, of the Body of Christ, 
of the Fellow-Heirship of the Gentiles, of Our Inheri- 
tance in Christ, of Iniquity, of the Rapture, of Israel, of 
the Kingdom, and of Its Capture from Satan. 

Pauline mysticism included all of these and to him all 
of them were essential ; yet it is on those mysteries which 
pertain to Christ Himself, whom he had hated, that he 



A PAULINE MYSTIC 175 

loved to dwell. He never recovered from the marvel that 
to him, the persecutor, Christ should appear in person 
and make him the recipient of some of these mysteries. 

When we speak of A. B. Simpson as a Pauline mystic 
we mean that he followed Paul in his comprehension and 
declaration of the divine mysteries. With the history of 
Christian mysticism and its errors he was conversant, 
but he escaped the pitfalls in this path by overleaping 
them and going- directly to Jesus and John and Paul for 
his teaching. And herein he was an evangelical mystic. 
The same safeguard enabled him to pass unscathed 
through a veritable vortex of current mysticism. He 
was continually beset both by interviews and through cor- 
respondence by extremists and faddists. Some of the 
leaders of modern movements would have plucked out 
their right eye to make him a disciple. But he kept his 
own course, and that always held right onward to the 
fullness of Christ. 

He was Pauline in his emphasis. Perhaps no modern 
teacher had so well-rounded a theology or was so safe 
a guide in all the mysteries of revelation. But, while 
he dealt simply and fearlessly with every revealed mys- 
tery, he dwelt most upon the great mystery which had 
been specially revealed to Paul — "Christ in you, the hope 
of glory," whom he, like Paul, preached, "warning every 
man and teaching every man in all wisdom ; that we may 
present every man perfect in Christ." 

He was Pauline in his simplicity. It is only those who 
try to peer through a curtain who speak in riddles of 
what they see. Those who have been behind the veil 
come forth to tell in simple terms what has been revealed 
to them. A child can follow him in this passage from 
his great sermon, "Himself." "That word, mystery, 



176 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

means secret. It is the great secret. And I can tell you 
today, nay, I can give you — if you will take it from Him, 
not from me — a secret which has been to me, O, so won- 
derful ! A good many years ago I came to Him burdened 
with guilt and fear ; I took that simple secret, and it took 
away all my fear and sin. Years passed on, and I found 
sin overcame me and my temptations were too strong for 
me. I came to Him a second time, and He whispered to 
me, 'Christ in you,' and I had victory, rest, and such sweet 
blessing ever since; for more than twelve years it has 
been so precious." 

This central truth of Paul's message needed to be re- 
stated and revived in the Church. As conservative a 
teacher as Dr. MacLaren, of Manchester, said that "This 
great truth, the Indwelling Christ, is practically lost to the 
Church. To me this truth, Christ in me and I in Christ, is 
the very heart of Christianity, for which Christ for us 
is the preface and introduction. You may call it mysti- 
cism if you like. There is no grasp of the deepest things 
in religion without that which the irreligious mind thinks 
it has disposed of by the cheap and easy sneer that it is 
mystical." No man since the days of Paul has done 
more to make this vital truth of Christian life real and 
practical in the Church than A. B. Simpson. Had he done 
nothing else and nothing more, he still would live as one 
of the greatest men of the age. 

Paul's mysticism was crystallized in the phrase, "Christ 
in you the hope of glory." This became the very heart of 
A. B. Simpson's message. 

"This is my wonderful story; 
Christ to my heart has come; 
Jesus, the King of glory, 
Finds in my heart a home." 



A PAULINE MYSTIC 177 

Inseparable from this in Jesus' teaching and in the 
Pauline doctrine is the other mystery, "in Christ." The 
two are one in Dr. Simpson's experience and expression. 
He thus concludes the hymn quoted, 

"Now in His bosom confiding, 
This my glad song shall be, 
I am in Jesus abiding; 
Jesus abides in me." 

This mystic union with Christ appears in every phase 
of his teaching. Salvation is not the outcome of faith 
in a mere historic fact, but identification with Christ in 
His very death. 

"I am crucified with Jesus, 

And the Christ hath set me free ; 
I have risen again with Jesus, 
And He lives and reigns in me. 

"Mystery hid from ancient ages 

But at length to faith made plain, 
Christ in me, the Hope of Glory ; 
Tell it o'er and o'er again." 

Perhaps none of the mystics since John and Paul have 
approached him in his daring assumption of the rights of 
redemption, and nowhere has he made so bold in his ut- 
terance as in his hymn, "Even as He." If it were not 
true, it would be blasphemy ; but some one printed it on 
a leaflet and sent it broadcast with a Scripture reference 
to every line, the application of which was indisputable. 

It begins, 

"Oh, what a wonderful place 
Jesus has given to me ! 
Saved by His glorious grace, 
I may be even as He. 



178 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

When with my Lord I appear, 

Like Him I know I shall be ; 
But while I walk with Him here, 

I may be even as He." 

And so the Iiymn sweeps on through all of the experi- 
ences through which our living Head passed, from the 
cradle to the coronation, claiming everywhere our right 
of identification with Plim. 

To him the coming of the Lord was not so much an 
event as a Person, an eternal and inseparable union with 
Christ. 

"Some sweet hour our mortal frame 
Shall His glorious image wear ; 
Some sweet hour our worthless name 
All His majesty shall share." 

Naturally we have turned to Dr. Simpson's poems, be- 
cause poetry is both the gift and the expression of mysti- 
cism. His prose writings, however, are quite as rich. 
After his life crisis, it seemed impossible for him to 
preach a sermon or write an article which was not per- 
meated with the mysteries of the Gospel. 

The eftect upon his ministry is revealed in a confession 
which he makes in The Fulness of Jesus. "1 am always 
ashamed to say it, but it is true, that in the years that I 
did not know Christ as an indwelling Spirit in my heart, 
I never had a single Christian come to speak to me about 
their spiritual life. I was a pastor for ten years before 
this, and in all those ten years I seldom had a Christian 
come to me and say, 'Dear pastor, I want you to tell me 
how to enter into a deeper Christian life.' I had sinners 
come because I knew something about forgiveness, and 
so I could preach to them. But the very moment that 
God came into my heart and gave me this indwelling 



A PAULINE MYSTIC 179 

Christ, the hungry Christians began to come to me; and 
from that time, for years, hundreds have come to be 
helped to find the Lord as a personal indwelHng Hfe and 
power. 

So, too, he found in this the secret of Christian unity. 
He writes in Words of Comfort for Tried Ones: "It 
is as we are united to Him that we are attached to each 
other, and all Christian unity depends upon oneness with 
the Lord. The secret of Christian union is not platforms, 
creeds, or even cooperative work, but it is one life, one 
heart, one spirit, in the fellowship and love of Jesus 
Christ." 

He escaped controversy and became a great reconciling 
force in theology by holding to this mystical treatment of 
the great issues. His most widely circulated and most 
God-honored tract, "Himself," was an impromptu ad- 
dress given at the Bethshan Conference in 1885 on an 
afternoon when the most conflicting theories of sanctifica- 
tion had been assertively proclaimed. Referring to it 
years afterwards, he said, "We were delighted to find at 
the close of the services that all parties could unite in this 
testimony and around this common center." 

He discovered that power is not committed to us, but 
communicated through this mystic union, and states this 
simply in The Siveetest Christian Life. "Let us carefully 
note that this power is all centered in a Person, namely, 
the living Christ. It is not so much power communi- 
cated to him to be at his own control and disposal as a 
dynamo or battery might be ; but the power remains in 
the Person of Christ and is only shared by him while he 
is in direct union and communion with the Lord Himself." 

To him it was the secret of the overcoming life. Thou- 
sands have read this passage from his book of morning 



i8o LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

devotions, Days of Heaven upon Earth. "A precious 
secret of Christian life is to have Jesus dweUing within 
and conquering things that we never could overcome. It 
is the only secret of power in your life and mine. Men 
cannot understand it, nor will the world believe it, but it 
is true that God will come and dwell within us, and be 
the power and the purity and the victory and the joy 
of our life." 

He saw the weakness in Thomas A. Kempis' presenta- 
tion, Imitatioti of Christ, and we find him writing: "It 
is Christ Himself who comes to imitate Himself in us 
and reproduce His own life in the lives of His followers. 
This is the mystery of the Gospel. This is the secret of 
the Lord. This is the power that sanctifies, that fills, that 
keeps the consecrated heart. This is the only way that 
we can be like Christ." 

He also felt keenly the lack in some of the schools 
of holiness, as this terse statement shows. "Even the 
teachers of holiness are in danger of substituting it for 
Him, a clean heart for the divine nature. The mystery 
of godliness is Christ in you the hope of glory. The end 
of all experience is union with God." Nevertheless, he 
goes far beyond these teachers, for he says, "Redemption 
is not the restoration of fallen man, but the new creation 
of a redeemed family under the headship of the second 
Adam, on an infinitely higher plane than even unfallen 
humanity could ever have reached alone. We are first 
born of Christ, and then united to Him, just as Eve 
was formed out of her husband and then wedded to Him. 
So the redeemed soul is formed out of the Saviour and 
then united to Him in an everlasting bond of love and 
unity, more intimate than any human relationship can 
ever express." 



A PAULINE MYSTIC i8i 

Nor would he give ground to those teachers who make 
the terms of intimate union used in the New Testament 
mere figures. "This is not a beautiful figure of speech, 
but it is a real visitation of God. I wonder if we know 
what this means. Does it seem an awful thing to have 
God visit us? My idea of it used to be that it would 
kill a person. It would be more than he could stand. And 
yet it is represented in God's Word as an actual visitation. 
Christ is not to be an outside influence which moves on 
our emotions and feelings and elevates us into a sublime 
idea of God, but the real presence of Christ has come 
within us to remain, and He brings with Him all His 
resources of help and love and mighty power," 

No one who knows Dr. Simpson's life would accuse 
him of holding the errors of Quietism. Yet in one of 
his most widely scattered leaflets, The Pozver of Still- 
ness, he confesses that from the Quietists he learned a 
truth which was one of the secrets of his life. "A score 
of years ago a friend placed in my hand a little book 
which led me to one of the turning points in my life. It 
was an old medieval message, and it had but one thought 
and it was this, that God was waiting in the depth of my 
being to talk with me if I would only get still enough to 
hear Him, 

"I thought that this would be a very easy matter, so I 
began to get still. But I had no sooner commenced than 
a perfect pandemonium of voices reached my ears, a 
thousand clamoring notes from without and within, until 
I could hear nothing but their noise and their din. Some 
of them were my own questions, some of them my own 
cares, some of them my own prayers. Others were the 
suggestions of the tempter and the voices of the world's 
turmoil. Never before did there seem so many things 



i82 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

to be done, to be said, to be thought ; and in every direc- 
tion I was pulled, and pushed, and greeted with noisy 
acclamations and unspeakable unrest. It seemed neces- 
sary for me to listen to some of them, but God said, 'Be 
still and know that I am God.' Then came the conflict 
of thoughts for the morrow, and its duties and cares, 
but God said, 'Be still' 

"And as I listened and slowly learned to obey and 
shut my ears to every sound, I found that after a while, 
when the other voices ceased or I ceased to hear them, 
there was a still, small voice in the depth of my spirit. 
As I listened, it became to me the power of prayer and 
the voice of wisdom and the call of duty, and I did not 
need to think so hard, or pray so hard, or trust so hard, 
but that still, small voice of the Holy Spirit in my heart 
was God's prayer in my secret soul and God's answer to 
all my questions." 

He had also learned that the secret of maintaining 
this union with Christ is the Mystery of Faith. "It means 
staying in God. When the dear Lord led me into this 
place, I entered it without any feeling whatever, and 
simply trusted Him for everything. But after several 
months I found there was a great change in my feelings. 
Then I immediately turned around and trusted the change 
and became happy and buoyant because I was changed. 
It completely rooted up my faith. I had taken up the 
little plant of trust from the soil God meant it to live 
in and planted it in a hot bed of my own preparing, and, 
of course, it died. Ah, how many trust in their own feel- 
ings or their own altered circumstances ! This is not 
abiding in Christ." 

Such a life was the ideal which he held before him for 
his spiritual children. To an extent that perhaps he never 



A PAULINE MYSTIC 183 

dared to hope his desire has been realized not only in 
his own congregation and the numberless persons who 
crowded the great conventions, but also far away in 
heathen lands. There has arisen a church, an elect of 
God from among all nations, whose enlightened eyes have 
seen things invisible and whose hearts burn with some- 
thing of Paul's passion to declare the mystery of the 
Gospel, even though it should lead them, as it did the 
apostle, to prison and to bonds. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

A MAN OF PRAYER 

SOME one who wished to discover the secret of the 
Hfe of Bengel hid himself in his study to see and hear 
him pray. After hours of work upon his Commentary the 
saintly student rose, looked upward, and said, "Lord 
Jesus Christ, things stand with us on the old terms." 

If we are to know Dr. Simpson, we must reverently 
approach his prayer closet. We may be as greatly sur- 
prised as was Bengel's friend, for every mystic has learned 
the simplicity and the continuity of prayer. 

Prayer is one of the mysteries. In his discussion of the 
supernatural in Present Truth Dr. Simpson says, "There 
is no wonder more supernatural and divine in the life 
of the believer than the mystery and the ministry of 
prayer . . . wonder of wonders ! Mystery of mysteries ! 
Miracle of miracles ! The hand of the child touching the 
arm of the Father and moving the wheels of the universe. 
Beloved, this is your supernatural place and mine, and 
over its gates we read the inspiring invitation, "Thus 
saith Jehovah, call unto me and I will answer thee and 
show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest 
not." 

This promise, given to Jeremiah, was Dr. Simpson's 
great life text, and became the foundation of that daring 
faith which was the secret of his mighty ministry. It 
led him to exhort us to "see that our highest ministry and 
power is to deal with God for men" and to believe that 
"our highest form of service is the ministry of prayer.." 



A MAN OF PRAYER 185 

Dr. Simpson had solved the secret of service when he 
learned the mystery of prayer. In prayer he received a 
vision of God's will. Through further prayer he ascer- 
tained God's plans for the carrying out of His will. Still 
praying, he was empowered to execute those plans. More 
prayer brought the supply of every need for the work. 
Continuing still in prayer, he was able to carry through 
what he had begun. Praying always, a spirit of praise 
and adoration welled up in his heart, and God received all 
the glory for everything that was accomplished. 

To Dr. Simpson prayer was not an exercise or a ritual, 
but a life. In the introduction to The Life of Prayer he 
exclaims: "The Life of Prayer! Great and sacred 
theme ! It leads us into the Holy of Holies and the secret 
place of the Most High. It is the very life of the Chris- 
tian, and it touches the very life of God Himself." 

This life of prayer was to him a phase of the Spirit- 
filled Hfe. We find him writing, "The Holy Ghost is the 
source and substance of all that prayer can ask, and a gift 
that carries with it the pledge of all other gifts and bless- 
ings. In the parallel passages in Matthew and Luke 
"the Holy Spirit" and "all good things" are synonymous. 
He that has the Holy Spirit shall have all good things." 
And again we read, "Praying in the Holy Ghost means 
simply this : When the Holy Ghost comes in. He comes 
as a living person and takes charge of the whole life, plan- 
ning for us, watching over us, fitting into every need for 
every moment, for there is not a moment when He is not 
trying to pray in us some prayer," 

Though he knew that faith is essential in true prayer 
and emphasized this, he also knew that "we will not have 
much of the divine element of holy faith in us unless we 
feed it day by day with prayer. We must live a life of 



i86 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

constant prayer." He often quoted Montgomery's lines 

"Prayer is the Christian's vital breath 
The Christian's native air ;" 

Prayer, as Dr. Simpson came to understand it, was one 
of the expressions of union with Christ. He Hked to refer 
to Dr. Robert E. Speer's remark to a friend that normal 
Christian living is the attitude of mind and heart that 
reverts immediately to consciousness of Christ when re- 
leased from absorbing affairs. In one of the issues of 
the Tabernacle Sermons where the indwelling of Christ is 
vividly presented, this personal experience is given : "I go 
back in memory this morning to the time when He first 
came to me in this way and taught me to trust His pres- 
ence and lean in prayer upon Him every moment. I 
came to realize it quietly, for there was nothing startling 
about it. Day after day the consciousness became clearer 
that God was here. I did not have to mount up to the sky 
to find Him. I never whispered to Him but He answered, 
'Here am I.' Oh, how precious it is to be overshadowed 
thus by the cloud of His presence." 

So to him prayer was a habit of life, a free companion- 
ship with an almighty, omniscent, omnipresent Friend. In 
one of his books for daily devotion, he gave us this coun- 
sel : "An important help in the life of prayer is the habit 
of bringing everything to God, moment by moment, as it 
comes to us in life." He had found that the command 
"Pray without ceasing" meant that we were to make re- 
quest "for such things as we need in our common life 
from day to day. This is, after all, the real secret of con- 
stant prayer. In no other way can we intelligently pray 
without ceasing without stepping aside from the path of 
daily duty and neglecting the callings of life and the obli- 



A MAN OF PRAYER 187 

gations of our various situations. There are very few that 
can spend an entire day and none that can devote every 
day and every hour to abstract devotion and internal 
communion with God about things quite removed from 
the ordinary things of life ; and, even if this could be done, 
it would simply develop monasticism, which has never 
been a wholesome type of Christian experience. It needs 
the coloring of actual life to give vitality, reality, and 
practical force to our communion with God." 

His confidence in prayer was rooted in his knowledge 
of the immeasurable reaches of redemption, and because 
of this he could not only ask boldly himself but lead 
others to ask and receive. When a young lady came to 
his office to ask him to pray for her, he finally solved her 
perplexities by saying, "Suppose a friend were to deposit 
$100 at Macy's and say 'I want you to get whatever you 
wish', but you were to say, 'Mr. Macy, I would not dare 
to buy a hundred dollars' worth'. Would he not say, 'The 
money is paid and is to your credit ; you are very foolish 
if you do not get the benefit of it.' That is the way we go 
to God. We have nothing to present to Him as a claim, 
but on the books of God to our credit, the infinite right- 
eousness of Christ has been deposited, and God comes 
and says : Tn his name ask my help as far as that credit 
will go.' You have not any right, but He has the right, 
and He gives it to you. 'Oh,' said the young lady, 'I see 
it. Why, I think I could ask God for anything now'." 

Some say that we should ask once for a thing and 
leave it with God. Not so Dr. Simpson. "What did Paul 
do ? The right thing. He prayed and prayed and prayed. 
So should you. It is all right to pray and to pray again 
and to pray yet again and to pray until God answers you. 
Paul prayed until God answered him. He said, 'Paul, I 



i88 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

have to disappoint you. I am not going to take this thorn 
away'." How sanely he presented this in one of his Fri- 
day meeting talks. "Probably this is the best rule about 
prayer, to pray until we understand the mind of the Lord 
about it, and get sufficient light, direction, and comfort to 
satisfy our hearts. There is such a thing as vain repeti- 
tion, and there is such a thing as supplication and contin- 
unance in prayer. The Spirit must guide rightly in each 
case, but a heaven-taught heart will pray until it cannot 
pray any more. As soon as the assurance comes, we 
should stop praying, and henceforth everything should be 
praise." 

Deeper than his own consciousness there was in Dr. 
Simpson's life what he calls "wordless prayer." He 
speaks of this in Days of Heaven. "In the consecrated 
believer the Holy Spirit is pre-eminently a Spirit of 
prayer. If our whole being is committed to Him, and 
our thoughts are at His bidding. He will occupy every 
moment in communion and occupy everything as it comes, 
and we shall pray it out in our spiritual consciousness be- 
fore we act it out in our lives. We shall, therefore, find 
ourselves taking up the burdens of life and praying them 
out in a wordless prayer which we ourselves often cannot 
understand, but which is simply the unfolding of His 
thought and will within us, and which will be followed by 
the unfolding of His providence concerning us." 

This unbroken fellowship was maintained by definite 
communion and intercession. It was Dr. Simpson's habit 
to spend a time, after he had laid his work aside each 
night, in unhindered, conscious fellowship with Christ. 
He called it his love life, and it was as real to him as 
the interchange of thought and feeling between the most 
devoted lovers. It was his daily renewal of life, his rest 



A MAN OF PRAYER 189 

before sleep, his outgiving of worship and adoration, and 
his inbreathing of the very fullness of God. When for a 
little time this fellowship, unbroken for years, was 
clouded, he was like a weaned child, and those who had 
the privilege of intimacy with him in the last months of 
his life can never forget his satisfaction when his wearied 
brain found abiding rest in the restored consciousness of 
the continuous presence of his Lord. 

Such was his life of fellowship. But his closet prayer 
was more than communion. "Perhaps," he says, "the 
highest ministry of prayer is for others." He knew the 
meaning of a "burden" of prayer. He carried his con- 
gregation, his world-wide constituency, but most of all 
his missionaries in his heart. Sometimes when an over- 
whelming burden was upon him for some far-away mis- 
sionary it would be explained by a cable calling for prayer 
for this very person. The various departments of the 
many sided work, his private business concerns, his fam- 
ily and personal friends called for continual intercession. 

How pressing were those demands for prayer no one 
but he and his Lord ever knew, for he treated his prayer 
life as confidential business with God. In his vest pocket 
diary were found memos of these needs, sometimes for 
his children, at other times for his associates, and often 
for financial demands. An ejaculatory prayer such as 
"Thou knowest, Lord," usually followed. Very fre- 
quently on the same date, or soon after, was written some 
such grateful acknowledgment as "Praise God, need met !" 

His testings of faith were often severe. In a record of 
the early days in New York he frankly acknowledged 
that, "The pastor receives no salary whatever, nor a sin- 
gle penny from the ordinary revenues of the church. From 
the first he placed all he had at God's service and trusted 



I90 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

Him alone for himself and family. He has no private 
means whatever, but the wants of his family are daily 
supplied by the providential care of God. Often when there 
was nothing left and when no mortal dreamed of their 
need, God has prompted some heart to call or send exactly 
the amount required." 

An incident recalled by Mrs. Simpson bears out his 
statement. "We had moved from the comfortable Manse 
on Thirty-second Street to a little four-room apartment. 
One morning we had nothing for breakfast but oatmeal. 
Not being able to trust the Lord as my husband was do- 
ing, I went out and for the first time in my life ordered 
supplies for which I could not pay. For some days Mr. 
Simpson received very little money. Sometimes he would 
come in with a small piece of meat or some other neces- 
sity. One morning 1 received a letter from a lady in 
Philadelphia, whom I did not know, containing a check 
for one hundred and fifty dollars. I hurried over to the 
church office to have Mr. Simpson cash it at a neighbor- 
ing bank, and then made the rounds of the stores to pay 
the bills. That was the first and last time I ever bought 
anything for which I could not pay." 

This life of intercession was the secret of his successful 
public ministry. No one knew this so well as he, for in 
The King's Business he says : "I have noticed that those 
wHo claim and expect souls for God have them given to 
them ; and, for myself, I never dare to preach to the un- 
saved without first claiming alone with God the real birth 
of souls, and receiving the assurance of His quickening 
and new-creating life distinctly for this end. If I fail to 
do this, I am usually disappointed in the results of the 
meeting." 

His private prayer life also explains the power that 



A MAN OF PRAVKR 191 

Dr. Simpson had in public prayer and in intercession with 
fndividuals. Who can forget the prayers he offered in his 
pulpit or the petitions which he poured forth as he knelt 
beside some needy soul? Rev. Kenneth Mackenzie aptly 
expresses our feeling : "My memory recalls most vividly 
his unction in prayer. Though I hated to have to en- 
croach upon him for this ministry, I never came away 
from his presence without a deepened sense of the near- 
ness of the Lord. No one can describe that power which 
he so charmingly expressed as he poured out his soul in 
unselfish importunity for others. It would be sacrilegious 
to try. But thousands have known it and blessed God for 
it." 

Mrs. A. A. Kirk, who for some years was associated 
with Dr. Simpson in the Missionary Institute, recalls that 
on the occasion of her first meeting with him he prayed 
"Oh, Lord, may she be the mother of a thousand," and 
that undreamed of enlargement of ministry came to her. 
She is but one of hundreds who look back to a moment 
when a Spirit-inspired prayer breathed through him by 
the Spirit of God opened the gates into a life of ministry 
in the power of the Highest. 

On one occasion Dr. Simpson was holding a conven- 
tion in the Scranton Valley. A child was dying of diph- 
theria in one of the Alliance families, and threats were 
being made against the parents and Rev. W. T. Mac- 
Arthur. After the evening meeting Mr. MacArthur told 
Mr. Simpson of the circumstances and asked him to go 
to see the child. Together they knelt at the little bedside. 
'Tt seemed," says Mr. MacArthur, "as if a great giant 
had stooped his shoulders under an insuperable burden. 
But it presently began to give way, and we were all lifted 
up into the very presence of God. Then he said, 'Now, 



192 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

Mac, you pray.' But there was nothing to pray for. We 
all knew that the child was healed, and when the physician 
came in the morning, his mouth was stopped." 

How aptly he would turn everything into fuel for the 
fires of prayer is shown by an illustration in his first 
missionary magazine The Gospel in All Lands. "1 will 
kill you," said a gentleman on the deck of a vessel, as he 
held a pistol to the head of a workman by his side, "I 
will kill you on the spot if you stop those bellows for a 
single second ; my brother is down in that diving-bell ; 
that tube must supply him with the air he breathes every 
moment, and you hold his breath in your hands. Be 
steady'." Then he compared this to "holding in our 
hands by believing prayer the vital breath of men and 
women who have gone down into the engulfing waves of 
heathenism, while we close the tube, drop the bellows, and 
forget their desperate need." He also used it in one of 
his most pathetic missionary hymns, the first verse of 
which reads 

"Down amid the depths of heathen darkness 

There are heroes true and brave; 
Shrinking not from death, or toil, or danger. 

They have gone to help and save. 
But we hear them crying, 'Do not leave us 

Mid these dreadful depths to drown; 
Let us feel your arms of pray'r around us ; 

Hold the ropes as we go down'." 

Many of his sweetest hymns were born in prayer and 
lift us as his own heart was lifted into the very presence 
of God in intercession, aspiration, adoration and praise. 
Some have even felt that they must cease to pray as they 
followed him into the heights and depths of his passionate 
prayer life. Who of us was not humbled when he first 
read 



A MAN OF PRAYER 193 

"O Love that gave itself for me, 

Help me to love and live like Thee, 
And kindle in this heart of mine 
The passion fire of love divine. 

"Set all my ransomed powers on fire; 

Give me the love that naught can tire, 
And kindle in this heart of mine 
The living fire of zeal divine. 

"O Holy Ghost, for Thee I cry ; 

Baptize with power from on high, 
And kindle in this heart of mine 
The living fire of power divine. 

"Help me to pray till all my soul 

Shall move and bend at Thy control. 
And kindle in this heart of mine, 
The living fire of power divine. 

With such a leader the AlHance could not but be a 
prayer movement. It was born in the soul agony of a 
man w^ho had seen a vision and had paid the price of his 
dream. It has been nourished on prayer. His desire to 
keep it simple and always dependent upon the Lord was 
a passion. When he could no longer preach or use his 
pen, he prayed night and day for his spiritual children 
and for the great purpose into which they had been called. 
While we pray as he prayed, we shall continue to carry on 
the work which God gave him to do and which is left for 
us to finish. 



CHAPTER XIX 

A MODERN PROPHET 

WHEN we speak of a modern proprhet, some will 
take it as an epithet applied to eulogy, an exaggera- 
tion of a preacher's gifts for the sake of effect. Others 
will question our point of view, for there is a very wide 
spread notion that there are no prophets today. The pop- 
ular idea is that prophets lived in Bible times and pre- 
dicted coming events. On the other hand the rationalistic 
wing of the modern school regards the prophet as a states- 
man and reformer dealing with the social, political, ethical 
and religious problems of his time, and that there is no 
essential difference between the prophets of the Bible 
and men of this type today. Both of these views are im- 
perfect and misleading. 

The Bible is very definite as to the nature of the 
prophetic office. God said to Abimelech concerning 
Abraham, "He is a prophet and he shall pray for thee, and 
thou shalt live" (Gen. 207). When Moses complained 
about his slowness of speech, God said, ''Aaron shall be 
thy spokesman unto the people ; and it shall come to pass 
that he shall be to thee a mouth and thou shalt be to him 
as God." Before he spoke to Pharoah 'Jehovah said unto 
Moses, "See, I have made thee as God to Pharoah ; and 
Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet." 

These earliest references show that there are three 
parties to prophecy — God, man and a mediator who can 
speak to each party for the other. Thus we find Haggai 
the prophet describing himself as "Jehovah's messenger 



A MODERN PROPHET 195 

in Jehovah's message" — a definition of a prophet than 
which no simpler can be given. The subject matter of 
the message may be disregarded, for it matters not 
whether the message concerns the physical or the spiritual 
in man or whether it regards the present or the future. 
The all-important factors are that the prophet be in actual 
communication with God, and that he has been given a 
message to communicate. 

The office was continued in the New Testament dispen- 
sation. Paul wrote to the Ephesians that when Christ 
ascended on high, He gave gifts unto men; "and he gave 
some to be apostles ; and some, prophets ; and some, evan- 
gelists ; and some, pastors and teachers ; for the perfecting 
of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the 
building up of the body of Christ." Until the Body, the 
Church, is complete, these gifts will continue. 

"Desire earnestly to prophesy" Paul says to the Corinth- 
ians. "He that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edifica- 
tion, and exhortation, and consolation." The teacher 
teaching the Word of God, the evangelist telling out the 
glad tidings of salvation, the pastor shepherding the flock 
are not necessarily prophets; for the prophet, whether 
as a teacher he edifies, as an evangelist he exhorts, or as 
a pastor he consoles his people, has come out of the 
inner chamber of God's presence w^ith a specific message 
for a special occasion. Any one who has received this 
gift of prophecy may properly be called a modern prophet. 

It was this mystical element in Dr. Simpson's later 
ministry, this prophetic office to which he was called, that 
made him more than a great pulpiteer, evangelist, and 
pastor — he was all these in his early ministry. Now he 
was lifted into the circle of those to whom are committed 
the oracles of God. 



196 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

The biographer of Lucius B. Compton, the mountain 
evangehst, says that many have gone miles to hear Comp- 
ton only to be greatly disappointed ; but that when God had 
a message to give to men, and had chosen Lucius B. 
Compton to declare it, no one was ever disappointed. This 
is his way of saying that God had taken an ignorant, 
stammering, mountain boy and at times made him a 
prophet. In Mr. Simpson's case God chose one whom 
he had already equipped with many of the spiritual gifts 
and graces. And furthermore his spiritual communion 
with God was so continuous that he seldom if ever ap- 
peared in the pulpit without a message which hearers 
recognized as from God. 

Strange as it may seem, Balaam the soothsayer was 
on at least one occasion a prophet of Jehovah. But no 
man of any age ever exercises the prophetic gift as the 
sphere of his ministry who has not made a definite and 
complete surrender to God. Dr. Simpson clearly recog- 
nized this. "I have," he says, "often seen sermons in 
print that were excellent in conception, in division, in 
language, in illustration, and in logic, but lacking in spirit- 
ual aroma. They were cold and intellectual. When I 
find souls surrendered to God, I feel communion with 
them in what they say. The fact of their abandonment 
to God produces spiritual feeling, and no person can 
counterfeit it. Preaching without spiritual aroma is like 
a rose without fragrance. We can only get the perfume 
by getting more of Christ." 

Surrender is initial but is not in itself sufficient. The 
prophet must walk with God. One of the Bible synonyms 
was "the man of God." Rev. W. T. MacArthur said of 
Dr. Simpson in his memorial message; "If God was his 
method of life, the same was true of his service. How 



A MODERN PROPHET 197 

often have I heard him say, *I am no good unless I can 
get alone with God.' His practice was to hush his spirit 
and literally cease to think. Then in the silence of his 
soul he listened for 'the still, small voice.' It was thus he 
received his messages. Jotting down the divisions and 
the headings of his subjects, he was prepared either to 
go into his pulpit and extemporize or into his study and 
write." Another intimate ministerial friend says, "His 
immediate leaning upon the Lord for his message was a 
delightful study to me." 

How dependent upon the Holy Spirit this master of 
the art of sermon building became and continued to the 
end of his life is shown by a conversation with Rev. R. R. 
Brown shortly before his ministry ended. "One day 
while relating some experiences in connection with the 
Lord's dealing with us concerning our messages, he said 
that he was passing through a new experience. For some 
time the Lord had been withholding the message he was 
to give, oftentimes until he entered the meeting or a few 
hours before at the longest. He continued his study and 
research but contrary to his habits the Holy Spirit had 
been teaching him new lessons of waiting and trusting for 
the message." 

In an informal address to the class in homiletics in the 
Missionary Institute, when he had been fifty-one years 
in the ministry, he told them that he had spent his birth- 
day on the hill-top seeking some new enduement for ser- 
vice and had received a renewed call both to studious 
preparation and prayerful reception of his messages. 

In his conception of preaching, such studious prep- 
aration and prayerful reception of the message were not 
contradictory terms. Dean Turnbull has written — "He 
was a scholar of profound and varied learning, who could 



198 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

countenance no mental shallowness or inadequate stan- 
dards in teaching. He believed that the minister of God 
should be not only spiritually equipped but also as well 
developed intellectually as opportunity would permit. His 
faith in God's ability to quicken the mind and to thor- 
oughly equip those who would not be considered qualified 
according to ordinary educational standards has been 
amply justified by the achievements of many seemingly 
unpromising youths who were trained in his school." 

So he believed in the mastery of the art of public dis- 
course. Indeed his addresses have been analyzed by 
teachers of the psychology of oratory as models of the 
perfection of that art. We quote again from Dean Turn- 
bull, "Tower of expression was always recognized by this 
master teacher as being vitally important for ministers 
of the Gospel. He encouraged the acquirement of good 
English and unaffected oratory. His delight in the bud- 
ding eloquence of each group of graduates was un- 
bounded. He used to say that the human voice was the 
rarest of instruments at God's disposal when once its 
powers were fully realized and yielded to the Master." 

In an Editorial in Wonderful Word Rev. W. Leon 
Tucker gave this apt description of one of the outstand- 
ing qualities of his preaching: "He was a minstrel — a 
spiritual minstrel ; preaching was melodious and musical 
when it fell from his lips. His voice was a wonderful 
vehicle for his message. It was full, resonant, and tri- 
umphant. The very sway of his body was poetic and 
passionate. He was like a reed shaken by the wind of tlie 
Holy Ghost. While multitudes were going broader, he 
was always going deeper. He was a poet preacher. His 
poems belong to the first rank of Christian poetry. Rhyme 
and rhythm were part of his refined nature." 



A MODERN PROPHET 199 

It was the prophetic aspect of his ministry that left the 
deepest impression. Henry W. Frost, Director of the 
China Inland Mission, testifies to this. "In my young 
manhood I attended Dr. Simpson's services. The dev/ of 
youth Vv^as on his brow, and the unction of the Holy One 
was peculiarly with him. It was no wonder that great 
blessings followed his ministry and that I was a sharer 
in it. I can never be other than grateful for the lessons 
learned at that time in his ministry." "The man and his 
message," Rev. W. H. Chandler says, "won my heart to a 
deeper life in the Lord. For years I had been interested 
in the experience of holiness; but when I learned that the 
indwelling Christ was the secret of holiness, my heart 
found rest." That great English preacher, F. B. Meyer, 
D.D., who ministered with him both in America and Eng- 
land, says: "He leaves a trail of light which will linger 
long as an inspiration and appeal." Dr. C. I. Scofield, 
who was even nearer to him, wrote this tribute : "It has 
been my privilege to know with some measure of inti- 
macy the greater preachers and men of God of the pres- 
ent time. Among these, and with no disparagement to 
any, I count Dr. A. B. Simpson the foremost in power to 
reach the depths of the human soul. And his message 
was so bathed in love that it was always redolent of the 
personality of Him whom having not seen we love." Pas- 
tor F. E. Marsh gives this testimony : "It was my happy 
privilege to be Associate Pastor with him of the Gospel 
Tabernacle. His home-going is a personal loss. The im- 
press of his character as a man of God is unique. His 
ministry was unparalleled. He was not only clear in tes- 
timony, but there was a tenderness in tone and sympathy 
in expression which went to the heart." 

Dr. Simpson was a prophet to the prophets. Even in 



20O LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

his early days he left deep impressions upon his fellow- 
ministers, as is shown by the testimony of Dr. W. H. 
Hincks of Toronto, given some years ago before the 
Guelph Methodist Conference where he stated that he 
was very thankful for religious impressions that came to 
him while sitting under the ministry of Rev. A. B. Simp- 
son of Knox Church, Hamilton. In his later years he be- 
came pre-eminently a preacher's preacher. Referring to 
Dr. Simpson in one of his addresses, Dr. T. DeWitt Tal- 
madge said that he had recently attended a meeting in a 
New York City Church, with a dingy auditorium and a 
very ordinary looking crowd of people, with nothing aes- 
thetic or emotional in the service ; but that before the min- 
ister had been preaching three minutes he felt that his 
head and shoulders had been lifted into heaven. One day 
when Dwight L. Moody was in New York, he said to his 
friend. Dr. A. T. Pierson, "Pierson, I have just been down 
to hear A. B. Simpson preach. No one gets at my heart 
like that man." 

Paul Rader, who has had the distinguished honor of 
being the successor both of Moody and Simpson, thus 
speaks of him: "He was the greatest heart preacher I 
ever listened to. He preached out of his own rich deal- 
ings with God. The Word was ever new and fresh in 
his own experience and messages. I thank God with all 
my heart for what his Hfe and messages have been to me 
and to multitudes of others." 

Dr. Wilbert W. White of the Bible Teachers' Training 
School, New York City, sent this message to the Mem- 
orial Service: "For years I read with personal profit 
the messages of Dr. Simpson. Many of them are filed 
away for future reference. Only the other day, in the 
study of Habakkuk, I came across a refreshing sugges- 



A MODERN PROPHET 201 

tion of his concerning the outlook of faith, the patience 
of faith, and the joy of faith." Dr. Marquis, of the same 
school, said at the Sunday Memorial service in the Taber- 
nacle : "Not only was Dr. Simpson a man of God, he 
was a great preacher, the greatest whose voice has been 
heard in New York City in twenty-five years. And more, 
he was an artist in the way of treating the truth. His 
voice, manner, gestures, his marshaling of facts — they 
were the method of one who was an expert in the art of 
expounding God's Word to the people. What made his 
natural gifts and his spiritual gifts as an interpreter of 
the truth effective, were, of course, his deeply spiritual life, 
his profound conviction of the truth, his passion for 
souls, and his great faith in God." 

William Dayton Roberts, D.D., of Temple Presbyterian 
Church, Philadelphia, said after one of his visits, "We 
shall not hear another such message until he returns to 
this city." 

It was said of the Great Teacher that "the common 
people heard him gladly." In this Dr. Simpson was like 
his Master. His closest friend and associate, Dr. Henry 
Wilson, himself a philosopher, said: "There are other 
great preachers who are clear without being so deep. But 
Dr. Simpson is both deep and clear, leading the profound- 
est thinkers into the deepest things of God, and at the 
same time so clear and simple as to be easily understood 
by even the uneducated." 

This quality impressed others. The Atlanta Constitu- 
tion made this comment: "His style of preaching is 
childlike in its simplicity, and he avoids anything like re- 
dundancy. He is fond of simple words and short sen- 
tences, and yet he makes them serve as vehicles for pro- 
found thought and sublime theology. A large number of 



202 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

children were scattered about in the congregation yester- 
day morning, and the eloquent divine seemed to have 
no difficulty in holding their individual attention." 

Rev. Edward B. Shaw, D. D., who was one of the boys 
in Dr. Simpson's congregation in Hamilton, tells this 
story : "Waiting for a train in a little village in Massachu- 
setts, I got into conversation with a flagman. There was 
no mistaking that he was Irish. 'Did you ever hear a 
man named Simpson?' said he. *Yes,' I said, 'I have 
known him many years.' 'And how do you like him?' he 
asked. 'Very much,' said I, 'he is a great preacher.' 
'Sure,' he said, 'I could sit on the point of a picket fence 
twenty-four hours and listen to that man.' " 

His ideal of preaching is shown in a story he told of the 
celebrated philosopher David Hume: "Some one took 
David Hume to hear one of the most popular preachers 
of the time, and when asked afterwards whether he liked 
it, replied, 'That man preached as if he did not believe 
a word of it.' He went to hear John Brown, a devoted 
Scotch preacher, on the same afternoon and came away 
saying, 'That man preaches as though he got the sentence 
straight from heaven, as if Jesus was standing at his el- 
bow, and as though he said, 'Lord, what will I say next?' 
That was the testimony of an infidel to a man that 
preached as the oracle of God, the voice of God, the mes- 
senger of divine revelation." 

Dr. Lowe Fletcher, who has known Dr. Simpson since 
his association with him in Louisville forty-four years 
ago, closes a short life sketch with a paragraph which 
expresses beautifully the thought which is in many a 
heart: 

"The story of Dr. Simpson's life work cannot be told 
in simple words, and not until the men an.d. women savec^ 



A MODERN PROPHET 203 

through his ministry come one by one from the dark 
Soudan, the thickets of Tibet, the shores of the Congo 
and Euphrates, and from the remotest places of earth, and 
sit down with him in the Kingdom of God, will there be 
an opportunity for even an approximate estimate of the 
far reaches of his earthly ministry." 



CHAPTER XX 

LEADER AND FRIEND 

THERE have been many great leaders, but leader- 
friends have been few. The crowning glory of 
A. B. Simpson's leadership was that he was a friend of 
man. He loved the man next to him, he loved men, and 
he loved mankind. 

After what has been written it seems to be needless 
to speak of his leadership. His life story is more elo- 
quent than words. Yet there are features that may be 
outlined to make the picture more complete. 

A. B. Simpson was an apostle. No, he was not a 
thirteenth apostle, nor a fiftieth. There were twelve 
apostles, chosen by Jesus Christ as witnesses to his life, 
death, and resurrection, and there will not be another. 
Neither do we mean that he was in an apostolic suc- 
cession, commissioned by men, who, with their prede- 
cessors back to the Twelve, had been themselves succes- 
sively commissioned. Such men do not claim to be 
apostles. But there were apostles before the Twelve 
and after them. Barnabas is called an apostle in the 
Lystra story. And "There was a man, sent from God, 
whose name was John." Our verb "sent" does not do 
justice to the word John the Apostle used of John the 
Baptist. It is the verbal form of apostle and means sent 
on a commission. An apostle is a commissioner from the 
court of Heaven. Such a man was A. B. Simpson. 

Only a man divinely commissioned could have done 
what Dr. Simpson accomplished. False apostles have for 



LEADER AND FRIEND 205 

a time wrought mighty works, but they did it by the 
skilful use of human agencies, if not by preternatural 
power. This man did not employ the means men use to 
achieve leadership. He neither exalted himself nor would 
he allow others to exalt him. He did not exploit the 
public. The tricks of the advertiser he despised. He 
did not lay stress on organization ; in fact, he deter- 
minedly opposed the introduction of much machinery. In 
his dedicatory address of the Madison Avenue Taber- 
nacle he said : 'T am afraid of human greatness ; I am 
afraid of the triumphs of human praise; I am glad to 
have the work of God beginning in lowliness." But he 
believed that God had sent him on a definite mission and 
for a specific ministry and lived and loved and labored 
in the unconquerable courage and invincible strength of 
a true apostle. 

A. B. Simpson was a pathfinder. Like Abram "He 
went out not knowing whither he went." Many so-called 
leaders follow the beaten path. The really great leaders 
blaze a new trail. Columbus crossed the uncharted sea. 
LaSalle and Mackenzie opened a continent. Lincoln led 
in the liberation of a race. Here we have a man whose 
life work seemed to be to push on aione where his fel- 
lows had seen nothing to explore, and where the multi- 
tude would not follow. He dared to ask his fashionable 
Louisville congregation to follow him from a comfortable 
church home to a theatre that they might together reach 
the masses. Single-handed he launched the first pictorial 
missionary magazine. Alone he stepped out in the great 
metropolis to find a way to the hardened hearts of multi- 
tudes. With a Gideon's band he attempted to take un- 
evangelized continents for Christ. He revived methods 
untried or forgotten since the days of the apostles. He 



2o6 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

found a way through the clash of creeds to Christ Him- 
self, restoring mysticism to Pauline purity, saving sancti- 
fication from the plane of self-perfection, placing healing 
on terms of abiding in and intimate fellowship with 
Christ, and giving a new note of strenuous service to the 
song of welcome to the Coming King. These were "The 
Old Paths" but overgrown with the theological weeds of 
centuries. 

As a leader he was unique. One of his fellow-workers 
has written: "Neither he nor his work can be explained 
upon scientific principles. The organization itself is the 
simplest and, I may say, the most fragile possible. It 
holds together by a mysterious, invisible bond. Its mem- 
bers are neither received into nor cast out from its fellow- 
ship. They simply are or they are not. The methods of 
finance are the same." Dr. C. I. Scofield adds this word, 
"With this seasoned and mature gift was united a power 
of detail and of organization that made him unique among 
the great Christian leaders of the day." His successor, 
Rev. Paul Rader, says "No man ever held an organiza- 
tion with as light a hand as did Dr. Simpson." 

He had his own way of enlisting and training workers. 
He never asked a man to join his organization nor held 
out inducements to attract them. He knew that the path 
that he was marking out was too rugged for any but such 
as had caught his own vision. But when he met a man 
after his own heart, great was his delight. At the first 
convention in Binghamton, N. Y., he met Rev. W. T. 
MacArthur. At midnight Mrs. Simpson called from the 
window beneath which the two preachers were walking 
up and down. Mr. Simpson replied, "Yes, dear, I'll be 
up soon, but I've caught a rare bird this time." Few 
indeed were the conventions which he held, especially in 



LEADER AND FRIEND 207 

the early days, where new workers were not enlisted. The 
city of Toronto alone gave him Dr. R. H. Glover, now 
the Foreign Secretary, Rev. Robert Jaffray, whose per- 
sistent faith planted a mission in Indo-China, and many 
other missionaries and home workers. When a young 
student in that city said to him after one of his powerful 
appeals, "Dr. Simpson, if you have a hard place, please 
send me to it," he secured another recruit by simply re- 
plying, "My dear boy, we have lots of hard places." No 
one ever knew better than he how to awaken the heroism 
in young hearts. 

When they were enlisted, this leader put recruits to the 
test. It has been the practice of the Society to turn mis- 
sionary candidates loose in some untried home field or 
before some half-closed door. If they stood the test and 
proved that they were not only soul winners but good 
soldiers of Jesus Christ who could endure hardness. Dr. 
Simpson and the Board believed that they would succeed 
on the foreign field. Many of these young men and 
women have looked into a penniless purse and an empty 
cupboard, and sung the nursery rhyme about "Old 
Mother Hubbard" to the tune of "Praise God from Whom 
All Blessings Flow." 

A business man, who has been one of his great ad- 
mirers, said recently, "Dr. Simpson had many followers 
but few disciples." The missionary to whom this was 
said replied that there were three hundred men and 
women on the foreign field who were his disciples indeed 
and that his spiritual following in mission lands were 
numbered by thousands. This is borne out by the tes- 
timony of Dr. George F. Pentecost, who, just before he 
finished his course, wrote "I have met some of his mis- 
sionaries in various parts of the pagan world and they 



2o8 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

all seem animated by his spirit." We need not go to the 
distant shores to find his disciples. Dr. George H. San- 
dison, of The Christian Herald, who knew him and his 
work intimately, said "He preached the full Gospel in 
simple yet eflfective language and gathered about him as 
his aids men who were like-minded, and who followed his 
methods with success. 

The test of leadership is time. Long ago, Gamaliel 
said, "Let these men alone." He knew that time would 
tell the story. A prominent minister of New York sug- 
gested at one of the October conventions that, as there 
was no one like Dr. Simpson to continue the leadership 
of the movement, a large endowment fund should be 
raised to insure the perpetuation of the work. Dr. Simp- 
son said nothing and did nothing. He believed with 
Gamaliel that if the work was of God, nothing could 
overthrow it. How he rejoiced during the last months 
of his life when he had no active part in leadership at 
the reports of largely increased missionary offerings and 
marvelous progress on the foreign field. The fact that 
the year that has passed since he was laid at rest has been 
the most prosperous in the history of the work gives its 
own witness. 

Some have concluded that because a great work had 
developed around the personality of Dr. Simpson, he 
must have been autocratic. Those who really knew him 
smile at the suggestion. Rev. A. E. Funk, who has been 
longer and more closely associated with him than any 
other man now living, says, "He trusted those in charge 
of the different institutions and left them free to exercise 
their own gifts" ; and to this statement every man who has 
been intimate with him will subscribe. When some one 
asked a leading member of the Board if it was true that 



LEADER AND FRIEND 209 

Dr. Simpson dominated everything, he repHed somewhat 
indignantly, "Nothing is ever passed in the Board with- 
out full discussion and an open vote. But," he added, 
and herein he showed his own quality of greatness, "if he 
sat in my place, and I were president, he would still be 
the controlling factor," 

This suggests that his leadership was most manifest 
when he was surrounded, as he so often was in public, 
by the great men of his day. He never suffered by com- 
parison. At one of the Old Orchard Conventions, the 
platform was particularly strong. When it was over, 
some one remarked that though the messages had been 
in unusual power, Dr. Simpson's series of addresses was 
the great feature of the convention. 

His associates loved Dr. Simpson. He did not pre- 
serve much of his correspondence, but a Christmas letter 
from Dr. Henry Wilson, written in 1907 very shortly 
before his death, found among Dr. Simpson's papers, 
shows the tender attachment between these two great men. 

"My dear Mr, Simpson: 

Only a brief, true-hearted word of love, sweetening 
and deepening the years and the coming and going of 
these holy seasons — love born from above for yourself 
personally, to whom I owe more than I can ever expioss; 
love for Mrs. Simpson in these days of heavy burden- 
bearing, and for all the family ; and praise for the privi- 
lege of having with you a part in the work dearer to us 
than life. More than ever 

Yours in Christ, 

Henry Wilson."'' 

Few men were more intimately associated with Dr, 
Simpson than Dr. F, W. Farr, who says: "An apostolic 



210 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

man has passed from earth to heaven. His mighty faith, his 
flaming zeal, his tireless devotion, his abounding labors, 
place him among the great leaders of the Christian Church. 
His enduring monument is seen in the multitudes of 
transformed and consecrated lives the world around and 
in the splendid heroism of devoted missionaries in every 
land. Measured by the standards of eternity, his was a 
great and noble life." 

Paul Rader was only voicing his own experience when 
he said of Dr. Simpson's disciples, "They did not follow 
him. He was abandoned to God, and they saw that he 
walked with his Lord. They, too, in this abandonment, 
found the joy of this faith life in the all faithful One." 

Dr. S. D. Gordon, author of "Quiet Talks," speaks of 
hyn in his own distinctive manner: "Gentle, cultured, 
scholarly. Spirit-filled, he left the smoother rhythm of 
the regular pastorate for the very difficult special min- 
istry in answer to the Master's call, and that ministry 
was blessed immeasurably to tens of thousands of com- 
munions of the United States and Canada and reached 
out in the far corners of the earth. The memory of it 
and of him will be fragrant down here until he returns 
with his Lord in the air for the blessed new order of 
things which will likely be very soon." 

Mr. Wm. E. Blackstone, in expressing his deep regret 
that failing strength and great pressure in his own work 
of world-evangelization, prevented him from writing a 
chapter of this biography, said "I cannot express to you 
what a joy it would be to me if I could write a suitable 
chapter for this book. I loved Dr. Simpson, I loved his 
Hfe and ministry, and the work which he has so greatly 
promoted both in spiritual life and in advanced foreign 
mission work." 



LEADER AND FRIEND 211 

At the Memorial Service Mr. Charles G. Trumbull, 
Editor of The Sunday School Times, revealed one of the 
secrets of the regard felt for Dr. Simpson. "I had a 
very real need in my own life, and talked with Dr. Simp- 
son at Old Orchard about it. He listened with all love, 
and sympathy, and understanding, and explained to me 
the meaning of the committal of things to God. Then 
we knelt and he prayed. And I can never forget, even 
in eternity, his prayer for me that day as he talked with 
God, talked to God for me. A man at that time with 
heavy responsibilities for multitudes of persons in every 
part of this earth, with the names of many, many mis- 
sionaries in his mind and on his heart for his prayer 
stewardship, loved ones in the home circle, loved ones 
here in the Gospel Tabernacle, and, with uncounted obli- 
gations in every direction, was just for that moment talk- 
ing to God as though he had no other responsibility except 
this one person who had come to him for help. And as 
he prayed, his whole being was simply vibrating with the 
spiritual consciousness of his fellowship with God at 
that moment for the need of a brother. He was laying 
hold of God because I had laid hold of him for that very 
need. And, oh, can you understand the blessing that 
God poured out at that time into my life just because 
dear Dr. Simpson gave himself wholly, unreservedly to 
that intercession for one person at the throne of God?" 

There were other secrets. Evangelist Charles Inglis, 
who has preached on three continents, says, "He was the 
most gracious man I ever knew." A State Superintend- 
ent of the Alliance, Rev. I. Patterson, writes, "One of 
the greatest secrets of his successful life and ministry 
was his humility." Mrs. A. A. Kirk, for many years 
Superintendent of Women in the Missionary Institute, 



212 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

found that *'He was always most courteous and humble 
in times of ministry, quickly acknowledging the gifts of 
others." A home worker. Rev. H. E. Cottrell, recalled 
with what diffidence he "went to the hotel to meet Dr. 
Simpson, but he put me at ease at once. He reminded 
me of the Psalmist's words, *Thy gentleness hath made 
me great'." 

Rev, E. M. Burgess, a cultured and gifted leader of 
Alliance work among the colored people, sent this special 
message: "During the October Convention of 1915, 
while there at his invitation to sing, I heard him publicly 
express his deep love for our people, especially in the 
homeland, and of the South in particular, and urged the 
people to pray that the time would speedily come when 
the Lord would thrust forth Rev. E. M. Collett, Dr. C. S. 
Morris, and myself as an evangelistic party to tour the 
country, spreading the full Gospel message among our 
people. This utterance received a very hearty and fervent 
assent. On behalf of our people, and at the request of 
some of the leaders of our Branches, please record the 
fact of Dr. Simpson's great and sincere love for our people 
and the inestimable loss his home-going has meant to us." 
If the great men who knew him loved Dr. Simpson, the 
average man and the poor and unlettered held him in equal 
esteem. Not only in his own congregation, but wherever 
he went in conventions, the very attitude of the people 
manifested their love and devotion. In the next chapter 
Dr. Turnbull will tell of the regard with which he was 
held by his students. His missionaries held him in ten- 
• derest affection. His God-speed and his warm hand-clasp 
and word of welcome cheered the recruit and heartened 
the returning veteran. When on some far-away field a 
weary missionary received a personal letter written in 



LEADER AND FRIEND 213 

his own careful handwriting, tears would fall that so 
great and busy a man at so great a distance had time and 
thought for the lonely messenger of the Cross, The chil- 
dren loved him. Dr. Shaw has told us of the effect upon 
him when, as a boy, the hand of the young Hamilton pas- 
tor was laid upon his head. But what would many of the 
younger generation tell of the effect of Dr. Simpson's 
patriarchal hand, his fatherly smile, and his companionable 
word. Truly, he was a Friend of Man. One might 
almost think that he had been in the mind of our Ameri- 
can poet when he wrote : 

"Let me live in a house by the side of the road, 
And be a friend to man." 

Here is Dr. Simpson's own explanation of his influence. 
"If I have ever done anyone any good, it was not I, but 
Christ in me." 



CHAPTER XXI 

A CHRISTIAN EDUCATOR 

By Walter M. Turnbull, D.D. 
Dean of The Missionary Training Institute, Nyack, N. Y. 

THE Spirit-guided tongue and pen of Dr. Simpson 
have been freely recognized by the spiritually minded 
in all sections of the Christian Church as the potent in- 
struments of a modern prophet who was divinely com- 
missioned to impress upon a generation grown callous 
and materialistic the reality of the supernatural working 
of the Lord Jesus Christ in the spirits, minds and bodies 
of present-day believers. Yet he himself considered that 
his highest and most fruitful service consisted in impart- 
ing divine truth and life through systematic training of 
the young and open-hearted. The schools he founded 
were not by-products of his ministry, but were conceived 
as an integral part of his commission. Simultaneously 
with the dawning of his great vision of truth, and the 
beginning of his larger service beyond the borders of the 
accustomed, came the impulse to duplicate himself by 
giving special attention to the instruction of the plastic 
minds among his followers. Thus he strove to revivify 
not only the message but also the method of Scripture. 
His prophetic calling was never better exhibited than in 
the founding of his modern "school of the prophets," nor 
were his God-given wisdom and foresight anywhere more 
clearly shown than in the principles and aims which he 
adopted in connection with his training work. 



A CHRISTIAN EDUCATOR 215 

Mr. Simpson took up the responsibilities of young man- 
hood as a public-school teacher in a Canadian country 
district. He was always a serious and thorough student 
and had the advantage of an excellent education. Through 
constant application he gained a depth and range of 
knowledge that placed him among the world's great 
thinkers. In understanding of the Scriptures he was 
peerless, and his early ministry gave him experience as 
to methods successful and otherwise in the conduct of 
religious affairs. It is not surprising, therefore, to find, 
when the heaven-born passion for the lost led him forth 
from his settled pastorate to evangelize the unchurched 
masses of New York City and to reach out toward the 
dark corners of the heathen world, that he should have 
early turned toward training others as a means of accel- 
erating the accomplishment of his task. His first converts 
caught fire from him and were eager to go as missionaries 
or to win souls at home. They flocked round him for 
advice and help. Thus in the year 1882 the first training 
class, composed of new and zealous followers, met on the 
stage of a theater on 23rd Street, New York, using rough 
benches and hastily improvised tables as their equipment. 
The history of the years that have followed may be con- 
veniently divided into three periods. 

During the first eight years, from 1882 to 1890, the 
school was moved from place to place like the tent in the 
wilderness, but the pillar of fire always attended. On 
Monday, October ist, 1883, it was formally organized, 
and a new rented home on Eighth Avenue was opened 
as the Missionary Training College for Home and For- 
eign missionaries and evangelists. Between forty and 
fifty students were in attendance. The course comprised 
one year of study, including English, Christian Evidences^ 



216 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

Bible Study and Interpretation, Church History and 
Christian Life and Work, As the first prospectus an- 
nounced, the work was most thorough and soHd. The 
plan was to present a complete outline of Bible study in 
the year, beside other kindred subjects of which the Word 
of God is the center. The students who gathered had the 
common qualification that they had given up all for 
Christ, and His work meant all to them. 

Among the notable men who lectured or gave addresses 
in the first session were Dr. Arthur T. Pierson, Dr. 
George F. Pentecost, Dr. Charles F. Deems, Dr. A. J. 
Gordon, Dr. Thomas C. Easton and Rev. Kenneth Mac- 
kenzie. The last named is still connected with the school 
as a highly esteemed special lecturer. 

The following is the first statement of character and 
purpose: "This work originated in the felt need for a 
simple, spiritual, and scriptural method of training for 
Christian work the large class of persons who desire to 
become prepared for thorough and efficient service for 
the Master, without a long, elaborate college course. It 
aims, through the divine blessing, to lead its students to 
simple and deeply spiritual experiences of Christ, and to 
recognize the indwelling presence and power of the Holy 
Ghost as the supreme and all-essential qualification and 
enduement for all Christian ministry ; and to give to them 
a thorough instruction in the Word of God, and a prac- 
tical and experimental training in the various forms of 
evangelistic and Christian work; besides such other theo- 
logical and literary studies as are included in a liberal 
course of education," 

Dr. Simpson was the pioneer in the field of Bible Train- 
ing School work in America, although in Great Britain 
the East London Institute founded by Dr. H, Gratton 



A CHRISTIAN EDUCATOR 217 

Guinness is some years older. Dr. Simpson blazed the 
way for similar institutions whose number is constantly 
increasing. His firm grasp upon the essentials of Chris- 
tian training is exhibited in the fact that the course which 
he planned nearly forty years ago has needed little revi- 
sion to meet the requirements of successive generations 
of students, and has become the basis for the curricula of 
similar schools everywhere. Its value has been proven 
by experience. It has stood the acid test of years. 

The first Commencement was held in May, 1884, and 
shortly afterward five of the graduates sailed for Africa 
as the vanguard of hundreds of Alliance missionaries 
who have gone forth into the virgin missionary fields of 
the world. Thus the strong current of missionary fer- 
vor, which has ever dominated Dr. Simpson's work in all 
its phases, found its initial expression. The third tem- 
porary home of the school was opened a year later on 
West 20th Street, and a fourth in 1886 on 49th Street, 
but in May, 1887, through the apostolic gift of Mr. and 
Mrs. O. S. Schultz, who had first given themselves and 
now gave their possessions to the Lord for this work, a 
new and commodious building was purchased on West 
55th Street, where the school continued until the Gospel 
Tabernacle was erected. 

In 1885, the standard course was lengthened to cover 
three years, and the syllabus included three departments. 
In the Literary Department were the following: English 
Language and Literature, Rhetoric and Public Speaking, 
Logic, Mental and Moral Philosophy, Natural Science, 
Ancient and Modern History, Geography, with special 
reference to Bible Lands and Mission Fields. In the 
Theological Department were included : Christian Evi- 
dences, Bible Exposition, New Testament Greek, Sys- 



2i8 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

tematic Theology, Church History, History and Biography 
of Christian Work, Pastoral Theology. The Practical 
Department comprised : Christian Experience, with spe- 
cial reference to the Enduement of Power, Exercises in 
Sermon Outlines and Bible Readings, Evangelistic Work 
and the Conducting of Religious Services, Personal Work 
for Souls, Foreign Missions, Sunday School Work, Vocal 
Music. 

The second period, from 1890 to 1897, covers the years 
during which the Training College was located at 690 
Eighth Avenue, where a substantial building was erected 
in connection with the Gospel Tabernacle. From this 
time the work developed rapidly. Many who are now 
laboring for Christ in the homeland and mission fields 
received their preparation in the old Training School at 
"690." In 1894 the name was changed to the New York 
Training Institute. The high price of land in New York, 
and the distractions to student life in the city, led to the 
choice of a rural site when a larger building became neces- 
sary. 

For the past twenty-three years, from 1897 to the pres- 
ent time, the Missionary Institute has been located at 
South Nyack, New York. The cornerstone of the main 
Institute building was laid on April 17th, and the open- 
ing exercises were held October 24th, 1897. 

In 1905 the Nyack Seminary, which afterwards was 
called Wilson Memorial Academy in honor of Dr. Henry 
Wilson, was founded to provide Christian education of 
High School standing for boys and girls. It was discon- 
tinued in 1917. In 1913 the large Administration Build- 
ing was erected. So rapidly has the Missionary Institute 
grown that there are now five commodious buildings in 
use for school and dormitory purposes. 



A CHRISTIAN EDUCATOR 219 

Dr. Simpson's educational ideals were expressed not 
only in the Nyack work, but also in regional schools 
which were modeled after the original pattern. Toccoa 
Falls Institute in Georgia and the Alliance Training 
Home in St. Paul are rapidly growing institutions with 
the same aims and methods. The Pacific Bible School was 
also similar in character. Boydton Institute in Virginia, 
for colored students, is now operating upon the same 
principles. In South China, Central China, West China, 
Indo-China, Gujarat in India, Berar in India, the Congo, 
and Palestine are offspring Bible Schools of far-reaching 
influence, manned by those who caught the vision of di- 
vine possibility in such enterprises from their great 
leader. These are some of the material monuments of 
Dr. Simpson's persevering labors. 

The character of the educational ministry of Dr. Simp- 
son may be judged by the splendid company of spiritual 
teachers who were attracted to share this service. For 
several years Dr. F. W. Farr served as Vice-President, 
and gave all his time and large abilities to the administra- 
tion of the School and to teaching. Rev. A. E. Funk was 
Secretary throughout most of the School's history in New 
York and Nyack. Principal W. C. Stevens for many 
years devoted his thoroughly trained powers to the suc- 
cessful development of the school. The saintly and gifted 
Dr. George P. Pardington poured out the richness of his 
consecrated scholarship for a score of years, and crowned 
his ministry by a wise year of leadership during which 
the school came to the full measure of its usefulness. 
Among the worthy list of teachers and special lecturers, 
besides those previously mentioned and those of more 
recent date, are found the names of Dr. James M. Gray, 
Dr. Henry Wilson, Dr. J. H. Oerter, Rev. George N. 



220 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

Meade, Rev. Robert Roden, Rev. W. H. Walker, Rev. 
Stephen Merritt, Rev. D. Y. Schultz, Dr. John Robertson, 
Rev. Henry Varley, Dr. F. L. Chapell, Dr. C. I. Sco- 
field. Dr. George B. Peck, Mr. S. H. Hadley, Rev. A. L. 
Mershon, Rev. J. D. WilHams, Mrs. C. DeP. Field and 
Miss May Agnew. 

The words of Dr, Simpson in his last convention ad- 
dress at Nyack express his convictions as an educator : 

"Just as God called Elijah to stand for a living God, 
so God is calling His witnesses today to stand for a living 
God, a living Christ, a supernatural faith. We stand for 
a supernatural Book, for a supernatural life, and for a 
supernatural work dependent entirely upon the Master 
and the power of the Spirit. 

"This makes necessary our Training School. It is not 
enough that we should grasp these mighty truths, but we 
must commit them to others who will be able to teach 
others also, and provide as the Master did through His 
own disciples, for the perpetuation of these principles and 
their propagation throughout the whole world." 

"How we thank God for the product already of our 
Nyack School! Between three and four thousand conse- 
crated lives have gone forth from this place, over one 
thousand of whom have already reached the foreign field 
as missionaries. A large number are actively engaged in 
the work of other churches and other societies where 
they are spreading abroad these holy principles until our 
people today are being used of God directly and indirectly, 
in under-currents that have not been traced in any organ- 
ized work, to influence men and women in all branches 
of the Church of Christ. Perhaps this has been our rich- 
est and most productive service." 

Although Dr. Simpson was a strikingly handsome and 



A CHRISTIAN EDUCATOR 221 

attractive figure, was possessed of a resonant, captivating 
voice, and was gifted with social graces that gave him 
advantage in any company, it was always to be noticed 
that the affection of his students seemed to be drawn to 
his Master even more than to himself. It is difficult to 
recall his ways and methods in the class room because 
of the overpowering sense of the Lord's presence that 
abides in the memory as the aroma of his teaching minis- 
try. Yet there are many hundreds scattered throughout 
tTie world, wherever need is greatest, who will treasure 
as their most valued recollection the picture of the simple 
chapel at New York or Nyack filled with a company of 
eager young students. The teacher's chair is empty, for 
all have come early at Dr. Simpson's hour. A happy 
chorus is started with exuberance of spirit, and the zest 
of it makes young blood tingle. Another chorus, perhaps 
a trifle boisterous, but suddenly a hush falls, for down the 
aisle comes the dignified form of Dr. Simpson. The 
massive head upon the broad shoulders is bowed as one 
who enters a holy place. The chorus dies away ; he 
quietly takes his chair, opens his Bible, and smiles in de- 
lightful comradeship upon his class. "Will you not sing 
another chorus?" he asks. "Song is a little of heaven 
loaned to earth." He is one of us, young as the youngest. 
One feels that he knows every thought and desire of the 
most wayward heart, yet his face and voice betray the 
fact that he has been caught up into the third Heaven and 
has seen things unlawful to utter. He comes to our level, 
but brings the glory of the Presence with him. We can 
only sing, "My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art 
mine," or some similar hymn of adoration. Then fol- 
lows the prayer as he talks about us to Christ Jesus at 
his side. We breathe softly, and listen for each word 



222 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

as it is uttered. It would not surprise us much to hear 
an audible answer because the Lord seems so near. In 
such moments our petty sorrows and the little selfish 
plans wither and are gone. Deep in the soul is born a 
desire to please in all things, not Dr. Simpson, but that 
Living One whose voice whispers to us and whose hand 
we feel upon our hearts. As the Scriptures are ex- 
pounded, the same Presence lingers and many a splendid 
point of truth is not only intellectually grasped, but is 
personally applied as some convicted one takes a practical 
step of obedience and whispers, "Lord, I will." 

The simplicity and orderliness of Dr. Simpson's class 
room teaching prevented one from fully realizing its pro- 
fundity. Only in retrospect, could one ever attempt to ap- 
praise his incomparable gifts. Without doubt, he was one 
of the master teachers of his generation. His breadth 
and comprehensiveness of view were phenomenal. He 
combined deep spiritual intuition with such forceful yet 
simple presentation that the greatest truths were caught 
by even the unlettered. Men of wide learning and deep 
Christian experience could sit in his classes by the side of 
the intellectual babe, sharing equally in the richness of 
truth that fell with such graciousness from his lips. So 
kindly and affectionate was his manner, that the most 
timid found more confidence, and yet so princely was his 
bearing that no idle questions ever wasted the precious 
moments of his hour. Wholesomeness of spirit radiated 
from his presence and proved a powerful preventative of 
morbidness or fanaticism. His books give some inkling 
of his power, but they are, of necessity, limited in exhibit- 
ing that marvelous realism that made his teaching period a 
visit to the Mount of Transfiguration. He gripped every 
mind that was open. In any department of the educa- 



A CHRISTIAN EDUCATOR 223 

tional world, he would have been an outstanding success. 
His virile personality, quick sympathy, and crystal clear- 
ness would have won him fame ; but when to all his natural 
talents were added the Spirit's gift of prophesying and 
teaching, it is not to be wondered that he holds the su- 
preme place in the minds of all who were ever favored to 
sit at his feet. The secret of his strength is found in a 
few lines from his own pen: 

"How best can I my Father glorify? 
Naught can be added to His majesty; 
But I can let His glory through me shine, 
And shed on all around His light divine." 



CHAPTER XXII 

THE MISSIONARY OUTCOME 

By Robert H. Glover, M.D, 

Foreign Secretary of The Christian and Missionary 

Alliance 

THE careers of Old Testament patriarchs and 
prophets and of New Testament apostles had their 
genesis in a heavenly vision. The Lord appeared unto 
Abraham and Moses and spake unto them. Isaiah and 
Ezekiel both beheld the glory of the Lord and heard His 
voice. To Paul and John, under circumstances strikingly 
different, was given the same exalted heavenly vision. 

In all these instances, and many others which might 
be cited, the essential features were the same, despite wide 
divergence in external setting. There was accorded to 
these men a divine audience, from which they went forth 
with a new subjective knowledge of God, a transformed 
and illuminated spirit, and a sense of a great and com- 
pelling commission to service. 

But God's line of prophets and apostles has not run 
out, and of this fact no better evidence and example can 
be furnished in this generation than the life and work of 
the Rev. Albert B. Simpson. To him, at a peculiar crisis 
in his life, was granted as to these others the heavenly 
vision. It was a twofold vision, first, of the exalted 
Christ and the believer's glorious inheritance in Him for 
spirit, soul and body ; and then, of a lost world dying for 
the lack of the knowledge of that Christ. 



THE MISSIONARY OUTCOME 225 

That vision crystallized in the forming of the Chris- 
tian Alliance and the International Missionary Alliance, 
and these two bodies were in turn united in the present 
Christian and Missionary Alliance. It is with the foreign 
aspect of this movement that the present chapter has to 
deal. 

It was no light undertaking or easy task which faced 
Dr. Simpson and the little group of kindred spirits that 
gathered around him at that early date. It meant the 
blazing of a new missionary trail round the world. It 
was not that there was any disposition on Dr. Simpson's 
part to ignore or underrate the missionary work already 
done or in progress through other agencies. All this he 
gratefully recognized both then and at all times. And 
yet he felt a clear and imperative call to project a new 
missionary movement on certain distinctive Hnes. 

Its program was pre millennial, looking not toward 
world conversion as its goal, but rather toward the reach- 
ing of the whole world with the witness of the Gospel 
and the calling out from among every nation, tribe, and 
tongue of "a people for his name," a bride for the return- 
ing Heavenly Bridegroom. It chose and maintained a 
pioneer policy, with the aim of evangelizing the most dis- 
tant and destitute, and in particular the yet wholly unoc- 
cupied fields. Its preeminent method was evangelism, 
• direct, aggressive, and widespread, with the object of giv- 
ing to all men everywhere a fair opportunity to hear of 
Jesus and be saved. Its standards were spiritual, laying 
insistent stress upon absolute consecration and the filling 
and enduement with the Holy Spirit as the^ supreme re- 
quisite for its missionary candidates, along with consis- 
tent physical strength and intellectual gift and training. 
It recognized and accepted as its missionaries laymen as 



226 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

well as clergymen, and women as well as men, and with- 
out distinction as to denominational connection. It 
adopted the faitJi principle of support, not guaranteeing 
fixed or large salaries but standing with its missionaries 
in trust for the full supply from the Lord of the financial 
needs of workers and work through the free will offerings 
of His people. And, finally, it promoted a spirit of econ- 
omy in living and of sacrifice in giving among its entire 
constituency. 

While in missionary principle and practice the Alliance 
patterned very largely after the already existing and hon- 
ored China Inland Mission, there was from the begin- 
ning the one important difference that the Alliance 
sphere of operations was international ; and this has con- 
tinued to the present to distinguish this society from most, 
if not all, other faith missions which have since begun 
work, inasmuch as the efforts of these other agencies 
have usually been confined to one particular mission field. 

It was indeed a bold and daring enterprise to project 
pioneer missionary parties almost simultaneously into 
half a dozen distant lands thirty years ago, and within 
five years to commence work in fifteen separate fields and 
send out nearly one hundred and fifty missionaries. Any- 
thing less than a clear heavenly vision and a faith firmly 
rooted in God on the part of the leader would have caused 
him to quail before such a venture. But, like Gideon of 
old. Dr. Simpson had seen the Lord face to face and 
heard Him say, "Go in this thy might; have not I sent 
thee?" And so this man of God set his face like a flint 
and went forward unfalteringly in naked faith. 

Nor did it take anything less than God-given conviction 
and courage on the part of those who composed the van- 
guard into these "regions beyond." Seldom has God en- 



THE MISSIONARY OUTCOME 227 

trusted to servants of His a harder task. The earliest to 
go forth were five young men who sailed for the Congo, 
Africa, in November, 1884, three years before the Al- 
liance was regularly organized. Within a few months of 
their arrival on the field their leader, John Condit, died of 
fever. Indeed, the opening of both Congo and Soudan 
fields proved a painfully costly undertaking. Those deadly 
climates exacted such an awful toll of lives that for years 
the missionary graves in both fields outnumbered the liv- 
ing missionaries. 

The pioneer Alliance missionary to China, Rev. Wil- 
liam Cassidy, was never permitted to reach that land, but 
died of smallpox contracted on the Pacific voyage and 
was buried in Japan. Those who followed after him 
faced a China that was then seething with bitter anti-for- 
eign feeling; and especially in the totally unevangelized 
provinces of Kuangsi and Hunan, where they were among 
the early pioneer forces, were they called upon to endure 
no little hardship and danger. Others pressed on west- 
ward to the remote borders of Tibet and knocked at the 
doors of that hostile and devil-possessed land, to enter 
which had been one of the main objectives in mind when 
the Alliance was organized. A little later a band of forty- 
five workers from Sweden penetrated the far north, and 
amidst many vicissitudes planted stations beyond China's 
Great Wall on the borders of Mongolia. The Boxer up- 
rising of 1900 brought this mission to a tragic end. 
Twenty-one of its foreign workers and fourteen of their 
precious children were brutally murdered, and the rest 
made a hazardous escape across the desert into Siberia and 
after harrowing experiences reached their European 
homes. ■ ■ | :' 

Still another pioneer party of about forty set out for 



228 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

Central India, under the wise and godly leadership of 
Rev. Mark B. and Jennie Fuller, and opened work among 
the neglected but proud and resisting Mahratta people. 
Smaller companies were sent in close succession to other 
fields. 

The Annual Report presented in October, 1893, only- 
six years after the society was organized and five years 
from the beginning of its actual operations, showed work 
begun in twelve fields, with forty stations manned by one 
hundred and eighty missionaries. Up to that time twenty- 
three missionary comrades had fallen at the battle front. 
The fields already occupied were Congo, Soudan, India, 
China (Central, South and North China and Pekin mis- 
sions), Japan, Bulgaria, Palestine, Alaska, Hayti and 
Santo Domingo, besides a Jewish field in New York City. 
The first steps had also been taken toward establishing 
missions in Malaysia and the South Sea Islands, but these 
plans did not mature. Circumstances led to the early 
withdrawal from Bulgaria and Alaska, and later from 
Hayti and Santo Domingo. The North China and Pekin 
missions were broken up by the Boxers in 1900 and never 
reopened. On the other hand, work was begun succes- 
sively in West China, Tibet, Brazil and Venezuela (1895), 
Chile and Jamaica (1897), Argentina and Ecuador 
(1898), Shanghai, Porto Rico, and Philippine Islands 
(1900), and French Indo-China (1911). All of these 
fields, with the exception of Brazil and Venezuela, are 
still occupied, thus making sixteen fields at the present 
time. 

The story of this worldwide missionary enterprise, so 
unique in its conception, so varied in its features, and so 
rich in its detail of wonderful experiences, falls naturally 
into three periods. 



THE MISSIONARY OUTCOME 229 

First of all came the Pioneer Period of pressing into 
virgin territory and establishing new missionary foot- 
holds, in the face of obstacles sufficient to challenge the 
faith and courage of the most doughty warrior. There 
were closed doors to force open, and physical obstacles 
to cope with in the shape of deadly climates, unsanitary 
conditions, and every sort of contagious and loathsome 
disease. The most difficult languages of the world had 
to be grappled with. Formidable foes such as bitter anti- 
foreign sentiment in China and Tibet, pride and cunning 
in Japan, caste and fanticism in India, gross superstition 
in Africa, official duplicity in Palestine, the subtle plot- 
ting of priestcraft in South America — all these and a host 
of others — had to be met and overcome. The opening of 
some fields and stations was in the teeth of the most stren- 
uous resistance, involving riots and uprisings, humiliat- 
ing insults, physical injuries, threatenings and dangers of 
many kinds. And having obtained a first foothold under 
conditions of this sort, the pioneer missionaries had to 
negotiate for property, renovate and make habitable old 
buildings or have new ones erected, and plod through all 
kinds of tedious and trying preliminaries before a begin- 
ning could be made in actual Gospel work. 

Then followed the Sowing Period of steady, aggressive 
evangelistic effort along every line. In churches and street 
chapels, in tea houses and temple squares, in crowded 
bazaars and district fairs, in great metropolis and remote 
hamlet, in crowded thoroughfare and on the lonely wind- 
ing trail, everywhere and by every means the Word of 
Life has been sounded forth. Patiently, perseveringly, 
persistently, in season and out of season, by word of 
mouth and by the printed page, the ever enlarging band of 
Alliance missionaries and their devoted native colleagues 



230 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

have sowed these many lands thickly with Gospel seed. 
Oftentimes it has been literally a "going forth with weep- 
ing, bearing the precious seed," amidst many trials and 
discouragements, and with meager visible results or none 
at all to cheer the worker. 

But as with the earliest apostles so with these later 
ones — "they went forth and preached everj^where, the 
Lord working with them, and confirming the word with 
signs following." Wonderfully has God fulfilled in this 
simple apostolic work His promise of sheaves as the re- 
ward of faithful seed-sowing, and so in turn the Reap- 
ing Period has come. At first it was only by ones and 
twos, here and there, that the converts came. But year 
by year the results have steadily increased, and now the 
fuller harvest has set in, and the Alliance is on almost 
every one of its fields reaping the richest fruitage of all 
its history. 

Let a few examples sufiice to illustrate this develop- 
ment. There in dark Congo, early studded so thickly with 
missionary- graves, more than four thousand heathen have 
been converted and baptized, and we find today ten 
churches, several of them seating a thousand or more, 
built with native Christian money and voluntary labor, 
and all regularly filled to capacity with devout worship- 
pers. In Kuangsi, South China, twenty-five years ago 
wrapped in unrelieved heathen aarkness, the Alliance has 
today fifteen churches, several of them wholly self-sup- 
porting, with a membership of nearly two thousand. Hu- 
nan, once the most gospel-hating province of all China, 
is now among the most fruitful fields, and last year in a 
single day one Alliance missionary baptized one hundred 
and seventy-two persons on one station. In India three 



THE MISSIONARY OUTCOME 231 

thousand five hundred souls have confessed Christ in bap- 
tism, and in the Latin America fields three thousand 
more. 

Space forbids the mention of each field in order or the 
recounting of a mass of detailed facts and features of 
intense interest. We can only attempt to sum up in 
briefest compass a few of the outstanding results to date 
of the missionary work which had its beginning only one 
short generation ago in the response of God's faithful ser- 
vant, Albert B. Simpson, to the divine call. The Gospel 
has been carried into a number of the darkest and most 
neglected lands in the world. The Alliance was among 
the pioneers of Kuangsi and Hunan, the last two prov- 
inces of China to be entered. It has penetrated Tibet and 
occupies three points within its borders. It was the 
pioneer of French Indo-China and is still the only evangel- 
ical mission at work among eighteen million benighted An- 
namese. It has stations among the aboriginal tribesmen 
of South China and the pagan Subanos of the Southern 
Philippines, It built the first Protestant chapels in Vene- 
zuela and Ecuador, and is laboring among the Mapuche 
Indians of Chile and the Quichua tribe on the Ecuadorian 
Andes. It has the only American church in old Jerusalem, 
and is located at Beersheba on the southern border of 
Palestine among the wild Bedouin Arabs. It has recently 
planted a station on the banks of a large tributary of the 
Niger River in the vast and unevangelized land of French 
Guinea. And now it s planning advances at an early 
date into French Congo, and across Jordan into the new 
Syro- Arabian state. 

In most of its sixteen fields the Alliance has a large 
territory all its own, and a careful estimate reveals the 
solemn fact that within the areas at present committed to 



232 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

this society, and in which it is as yet the only evangeUzing 
agency, there are at least forty milHon benighted souls 
whose only apparent hope of ever hearing the Gospel is 
through Alliance efforts. What a sacred trust and grave 
responsibihty such a fact bespeaks! Thank God, as a re- 
sult of the work already done, a vast number — at least one 
or two millions — have come under the sound of the blessed 
Gospel for the first time. 

This in itself is an achievement for which we may well 
give praise to God. But there is more, much more than 
this. The preaching of the Cross has thus early borne 
precious and abundant fruit, despite the peculiar difficul- 
ties attending pioneer work in virgin soil. The records 
show that wp to the end of 1919 no fewer than 17,356 had 
been baptized on clear evidence of a saving faith in Christ, 
while many others were counted as sincere enquirers. 
There were 125 organized churches with nearly 12,000 
members in full communion. There have been gratifying 
evidences of marked growth in grace among the Chris- 
tians, many of whom have gone on unto mature spiritual 
manhood. Instances abound of wonderful transforma- 
tions of heart and home, of miracles of healing through 
faith in the Lord, and of His mighty providence and 
power at work along many lines. Last year 8,704 schol- 
ars were enrolled in Sunday Schools, 7,714 in primary 
Christian day schools, and nearly a thousand choice young 
men and women were in training in twenty-six more ad- 
vanced schools, including nine Bible Institutes, in prep- 
aration for active Christian service. 

No single fact bears stronger testimony to the spiritual 
results of this mission work than that from its infant 
native churches 700 men and women have heard the Mas- 
ter's call to service and today comprise — as pastors, evan- 



THE MISSIONARY OUTCOME 233 

gelists, Bible-women and teachers — a devoted and effi- 
cient auxiliary force to the 320 foreign missionaries who 
are holding 500 stations and outstations in this far-flung 
battle line and are vigorously pressing forward on every 
front. 

But while the facts thus stated and the figures quoted 
bear their own testimony, it is to be realized that any 
recital of facts and figures must in the end fall far short 
of telling the full story of the outflow of divine grace 
and power through a thousand streams of consecrated 
activity and influence which were fed from that life that 
itself drank so deeply from the fountain of divine full- 
ness. One thinks of those inspired words uttered by the 
dying patriarch concerning his favorite son as peculiarly 
applicable to the life we are here considering: "Joseph is 
a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose 
branches run over the zvall." Dr. Simpson's ministry and 
influence far outreached the limits of the particular or- 
ganization which he founded. It was the writer's rare 
privilege to accompany him on deputational tours both in 
America and in Great Britain, as well as later to follow 
in his steps in a round-the-world visitation of missionary 
lands. Never will he forget the host of grateful testi- 
monies he has heard borne by godly men and women in 
many lands — among them not a few missionaries of note 
and persons of prominence in other spheres — to the deep 
and abiding influence upon their life and service which 
Dr. Simpson exerted, whether by his personal preaching 
and touch or by his books and writings. And who will 
define the measure in which his clear and inspired vision 
and his impassioned appeals by voice and pen imparted 
a vital impulse to the whole modern missionary enter- 
prise? 



234 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

The Lord has seen fit to promote His honored servant 
to the higher realm of service above. Today he stands 
in the presence of the King and beholds His face. While 
we mourn his loss we rejoice in the heritage he has left 
the entire Church of Christ by his ministry of spiritual 
power and worldwide outreach. Verily, "he being dead 
yet speaketh" the world around, through thousands of 
lives inspired and enriched by his touch, while multi- 
tudes in every land, who owe their salvation to the mis- 
sionary agencies which he was the means of bringing 
into being or of stimulating, "Rise up and call him 
blessed." 

One word more in closing: Dr. Simpson's impelling 
vision and passion were to take the whole Gospel with all 
speed to the whole world. His missionary motto was 
"the regions beyond," his missionary goal "the uttermost 
part of the earth." He projected the witness of the 
Gospel into some of the remotest corners of the globe, 
and today Alliance missionaries are to be found on not a 
few of the most distant outposts of the great missionary 
enterprise. They are on "the roof of the world" in lone 
Tibet, in the thickly peopled deltas of destitute Indo- 
China, on the crest of the lofty Andes looking down into 
the black heart of South America's unpenetrated savage 
Indian region, on the banks of the mighty Niger in the 
limitless stretches of the dark Soudan, and now at the 
fords of the Jordan, ready to press on into the blighted 
land of Arabia. 

But there are other great areas wuth vast populations 
— in Central Asia, in the interior of Africa and South 
America, in the Island World — which still lie outside the 
present activities and even the projected plans of all 
existing missionary societies. These lands were in Dr. 



THE MISSIONARY OUTCOME 235 

Simpson's vision and heavily upon his heart, WJw is to 
carry the Gospel to them, and zvhenf The divine com- 
mand is clear, categorical and unalterable : "to all nations/' 
"to every creature," "unto the uttermost part of the 
earth." The divine will is that all may have a chance to 
hear and be saved. The divine program waits for its 
completion until "out of every kindred, and tongue, and 
people, and nation" at least some representatives shall be 
gathered for the bride made ready for the Bridegroom's 
coming. That the record of this departed missionary 
apostle may stir the heart of the true Church of Christ 
to move forward in fuller obedience, and with a new 
daring of faith and a sacrificial spirit, on definite and con- 
certed lines for the speedy completion of her great un- 
finished task of world evangelization — this is the fervent 
prayer of one who will ever feel the great debt he owes 
to Dr. Simpson, his revered teacher, leader and friend, 
for the moulding and inspiring of his own life and ser- 
vice. 



CHAPTER XXm 

SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF THE 

MESSAGE 

By J. Gregory Mantle, D.D, 
Bible Teacher and Author. 

IN his letter to the Colossians the Apostle Paul makes 
this statement : "I have been appointed to serve the 
Church in the position of responsibility entrusted to me 
by God for your benefit, so that I may fully deliver God's 
message — the truth which has been kept secret from all 
ages and generations, but has now been revealed to His 
people." (1:25,26 — Weymouth.) The expression "that 
I may fully deliver God's message," means that to the 
Apostle was given the revelation that makes full or com- 
plete the Message or Word of God. The highest and full- 
est revelation that God has been pleased to give to men 
was communicated through the Apostle Paul. 

Who can deny that Dr. A. B. Simpson was privileged 
to be in the grand succession of those w^ho, following the 
apostles, received and proclaimed the full-orbed Gospel, 
the complete Word of God ? It was inevitable, since the 
hand of God had brought him through the fire and water 
of affliction into a large and wealthy place, that he should 
exercise a large and wealthy ministry. 

The first characteristic of his message was Spacious- 
ness. The whole thought of the Gospel is to call men out 
of Httleness, out of pettiness, out of the insignificant 
things, into the breadth and sweep of great thoughts and 



CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MESSAGE 2^^ 

forces and to the wide horizon of limitless possibilities in 
the realms of divine grace. But it is not all who answer 
the call. Many insist on living narrow lives in a large 
place. Not so Dr. Simpson. He had discovered the great 
secret, as he himself expresses it, that "Christ has not 
saved us from future peril, and left us to fight the battle 
of life as best we can ; but He who has justified us waits 
to sanctify us, to enter into our spirit, and substitute His 
strength, His holiness, His joy, His love, His Faith, His 
power, for all our worthlessness, helplessness and noth- 
ingness, and make it an actual and living fact, *I live, yet 
not I, but Christ liveth in me'." 

The waters that in the early days of his ministry were 
"waters to the ankles," were now "waters to swim in, a 
river that could not be passed over." What had seemed 
to him at one time to be merely a lake, he now discovered 
to be an arm of the ocean, and that he was on the shores 
of "a vast unfathomable sea where all our thoughts are 
drowned." 

Dr. J. H, Jowett says that the expression, "the unsearch- 
able riches of Christ," suggests the figure of a man, stand- 
ing, with uplifted hands, in a posture of great amazement, 
before continuous revelations of immeasurable and un- 
speakable glory. In whatever way he turns, the splen- 
dor confronts him. It is not a single highway of en- 
richment. There are side-ways, by-ways, turnings here 
and there, labyrinthine paths and recesses, and all of them 
abounding in unsuspected jewels of grace." These un- 
searchable or untrackable riches Dr. Simpson explored 
as few men have done, and the amazing treasures he dis- 
covered he loved to declare. 

What abundant illustrations of the spaciousness of his 
ministry may be found in a volume of sermons published 



238 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

nearly thirty years ago. The volume is entitled A Larger 
Christian Life, and the very titles of the sermons sug- 
gest this conception of amplitude : "The Possibilities of 
Faith"; "The Larger Life"; "Filled with the Spirit"; 
"More than Conquerors" ; "Grace Abounding" ; "God's 
Measureless Measures"; "Enlarged Work," etc. 

In October, 1887, in the opening address at the New 
York Convention Dr. Simpson allowed his imagination 
full play as he described the marvels of the Palace Beau- 
tiful into which his audience was invited to enter : "You 
will be led a little way at this Convention through this 
Palace Beautiful, with its four grand walls corresponding 
to our glorious four-fold Gospel. The front wall is Sal- 
vation. The north wall to protect you from the cold winds 
is Sanctification. The wall on the south, from which the 
hot winds of disease blow, is Divine healing. The east- 
ern wall, toward the sun-rising, is the point from which 
we are looking for our coming King. We look above us, 
and the wings of the Holy Spirit are spread there as a 
canopy. We are thus shut in in His pavilion. I have 
not time to tell you of all the chambers in this wonderful 
house. There is the bath-room, in which you may be 
cleansed from all the filth of the flesh, and emerge a puri- 
fied soul. There is the banqueting-room, in which you 
can feed your hungry spirit. There is the chamber of 
rest, in which you will find that peace which passeth all 
understanding and lose all your care and fear. There is 
the library, in which you can learn the Word and the 
will of God. There is the art-chamber, with its exquisite 
pictures of heavenly things. Above is the observatory 
where you can look out upon the land that is very far off. 
God grant that, as weary pilgrims, you may be well enter- 
tained in this Palace Beautiful, of which the Master 



CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MESSAGE 239 

Himself is the chief delight. In my own heart the one 
word, Illimitable, has been painted. May He, indeed, 
bring us beyond our limit, filling us with all the fullness 
of God." 

Dr. Simpson's ministry was uncommonly fruitful be- 
cause he found in an ever-increasing measure that the il- 
limitable mines of riches he had discovered, were usable 
riches, fitting into every possible condition of human sin, 
sorrow, poverty and need. He proved, day after day, in 
the incessant activities which now engaged him, the truth 
of his own poem : 

"I have come to the Fountain of Love, 
He fills all the springs of my heart, 
Enthroned all others above, 

Our friendship no power can part; 

"And so long as the fountain is full. 
The streams without measure must flow, 

And the love that He pours in my soul 
To others in blessing must go." 

This it was that made his life so radiant and useful. 
He never saw a need in human life that did not find its 
complement in Jesus Christ. 

Another characteristic of Dr. Simpson's messages was 
their Simplicity. 

It is indeed a great art, and one to be devoutly coveted, 
to make profound truths simple and easy of comprehen- 
sion by men and women of ordinary intelligence. Like 
His Master, because of this, "the common people heard 
him gladly." He was the very antipodes of the Scotch 
minister who was said to be incomprehensible on the 
Sabbath and invisible all the week. 



240 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

The doctrine of the Indwelling of Chirst has been so 
greatly neglected during the last half century that it has 
been called a lost doctrine. While that prince of exposi- 
tors, Dr. Alexander Maclaren, of Manchester, was calling 
attention in Great Britain to this lost doctrine, Dr. A. B. 
Simpson was doing the same in this country. 

"The glad thought," Dr. Maclaren says, "of an indwell- 
ing Christ who actually abides and works in our hearts, 
and is not only in the heavens, or with us by some kind of 
impalpable and metaphorical presence, but in spiritual 
reality, is in our spirits, has faded away from the con- 
sciousness of the Christian Church. We are called 'mys- 
tics' when we preach Christ in the heart. Unless your 
Christianity be in the good, deep, sense of the word 
'mystical,' it is mechanical which is worse." 

"This truth of the Indwelling of Christ," says Dr. Simp- 
son, "is no vague figure of speech, this is no dream of 
Pantheism, of New Theology, or of the Divine Imma- 
nence, but it is a great supernatural fact which marks a 
crisis in every Christian's life when the Son of God be- 
comes incarnate in the believer, just as truly as He be- 
came incarnate in the Christ of Judea and Galilee. The 
man who apprehends this truth and goes forth from that 
sacred hour of transformation is no longer a mere man 
fighting the battle of life even with Divine assistance, but 
is a Christ-man, an anointed soul, a dual life with two 
persons united in everlasting bonds, one, the lowly dis- 
ciple, the other, the living Christ, and these two henceforth 
forever one, 'Not I, but Christ who liveth in me.' 

"Once there lived another man within me, 
Child of earth and slave of Satan he; 
But I nailed him to the cross of Jesus 
And that man is nothing now to me. 



CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MESSAGE 241 

"Now another Man is living in me, 

And I count His blessed life as mine; 
I have died to all my own life, 
I have risen to all His life Divine. 

"Ill what sense is this a mystery ? No human mind or 
heart had ever dreamed of it. Ancient mythology had 
foreshadowed some union of God with man, but it was 
a union which only degraded their gods and did not lift 
mankind and still left a great gulf between the earthly and 
the heavenly. 

"It is a secret of which the world has no conception. 
Think of it and try to realize it — not only a God that 
mercifully pardons our guilt and saves us from its con- 
sequences ; not only a God that gives to us a new nature 
that loves to do the right which once we hated ; not only 
a God that comes to our aid in temptation and trial and 
interposes His strength and His providence for our de- 
liverance but above all this, a God Who comes Himself 
to live His own life in us ; Who takes us into the Divine 
family; Who makes us partakers of the Divine nature; 
Who undertakes our life for us ; Who becomes the Author 
and Perfecter of our faith. Who 'works in us both to will 
and to do of His good pleasure.' 

"What does human poetry, human philosophy — the pur- 
est form of human religion — know of anything like this? 
No wonder Paul was aflame with the enthusiasm of his 
glorious discovery and longed to sweep like an angel 
flying in the midst of heaven to tell our helpless race the 
mighty secret, not only that God had come down to visit 
men with a message of mercy, but that He had come to 
stay and live within them with 'the power of an endless 
life'." 

It is earnestly to be hoped that in the near future, there 



242 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

will be given to the public, in a separate volume, a collec- 
tion of Dr. Simpson's marvelously luminous sermons on 
this subject. 

The following is a specimen, among scores of others, 
of how he reduces to simple and easily apprehended lan- 
guage, one aspect of this great doctrine, and shows the 
relationship between the indwelling of Christ and the O; 
dwelling of the Holy Spirit, a subject so full of perplexity 
to so many. 

"One of the most attractive lights in which the Holy 
Spirit is revealed to us in the New Testament is in con- 
nection with the Person of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit 
is a pure Spirit, and has not been incarnated in human 
flesh as the Son of God was in His birth and earthly 
life. Instead of this He has been so united to Jesus 
Christ, that He partakes of the incarnation of the Son 
of God, and comes to us clothed in the humanity of Jesus, 
softened and humanized by His relation to Him and His 
residence in Him during the whole period of His earthly 
ministry. 

"In receiving Him we just receive the Lord Jesus Him- 
self. He comes to us to impart the very life of Jesus 
Christ. He takes the qualities that were in Him, and 
makes them ours. He transfers to us the purity, the 
love, the gentleness, the faith of Jesus Christ, and so 
imparts to us His very nature as to reproduce in us His 
life, and we live, in a very literal and real way, the Christ- 
life as our own experience. 

"Cease to look to the Holy Spirit as simply an addition 
to your human virtue and strength ; and surrendering self 
entirely, accept Him as the divine medium through whom 
Christ is made unto us a wisdom from God, consisting 
of righteousness, sanctification and redemption. 



CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MESSAGE 243 

"This is a very attractive conception of the Christian 
life. It is not our holiness, but the life of our Lord. It 
is not our struggle with the old nature, but it is the im- 
parting of a new nature, and the indwelling of a new 
life. Hence it follows that when the Holy Spirit comes 
into our life and consciousness, it is Jesus that is made 
real to us rather than the Spirit, who never speaks of 
Himself. 

"Jesus is not only the pattern, but the source of our 
life, ^nd it is the business of the Holy Spirit, day by day, 
and moment by moment to transfer His qualities into 
our life. Do we need patience? We just draw it from 
Him through the Holy Spirit. Do we need power? We 
take a deeper draught of His fullness, and He becomes 
our power. Do we need love? We draw a little nearer 
to Christ the Loving One, and through the Holy Spirit, 
His love is shed abroad in our hearts. 

"So the deeper Christian life becomes as simple as the 
life of a babe; as instinctive as breathing; as high and 
lofty in its standard of righteousness as the very holiness 
of Deity. It is at once transcendently great, and yet de- 
lightfully easy. It is God's great secret of holy living/' 

Who can wonder that his exultant spirit so often broke 
forth into song: 

"This is my wonderful story, 
Qirist to my heart has come; 
Jesus, the King of Glory, 
Finds in my heart a home. 

"How can I ever be lonely, 

How can I ever fall ; 

What can I want, if only 

Christ is my all in all! 



244 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

"Christ in me, O wonderful story, 
Christ in me, the hope of glory." 

A third characteristic of this great preacher's messages 
and writings is their Sanity. 

Before me is an article on Spiritual Sanity which Dr. 
Simpson wrote because of swarms of hysterical excite- 
ments that prevailed, and particularly because of the 
danger that the special gifts of the Holy Spirit should be 
so travestied that rational Christians would turn away 
from the truly supernatural and divine manifestations of 
the power of God through fear of the counterfeit. 

With these unbalanced presentations of the deepest 
truths, which created so much prejudice in the minds of 
intelligent thoughtful seekers after God's best, he had 
no sympathy. Nor could he regard with favor the sen- 
sationalism with which so many so-called revivals were 
attended. He says : "The Lord Jesus was never undig- 
nified, spectacular or ridiculous in His personal bearing 
and earthly ministry. Not once did He resort to the 
tricks of the stage performer to attract the public. The 
calm dignity and resistless power of His presence and 
all His work, were sufficient to advertise Him, and again 
and again, even w^hen He sought retirement 'He could 
not be hid.' Surely if the example of our Lord has any 
weight with respect to the bearing and deportment of His 
servants, we shall find little encouragement in the Mas- 
ter's example for many of our modern methods of at- 
tracting the multitude and manifesting the power of the 
Spirit." 

The last paragraph of this article is so sane and strong 
that we venture, in closing, to reproduce it. "It has been 
well said, that the element of proportion is indispensable, 
both in natural and spiritual things. The atmosphere 



CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MESSAGE 245 

we breathe depends for its wholesomeness upon the exact 
proportions in which the different constituents are mingled 
in the air. A Httle more carbon, a Httle more hydrogen, 
or a little more oxygen, would bring death in a single 
instant to the whole human race. It is because these ele- 
ments are so perfectly mingled that the air we breathe 
brings life and wholesomeness. It is precisely so with 
the gifts of the Spirit. The spirit of love alone will make 
us sentimental, unless it is mixed with power and wis- 
dom. The spirit of wisdom alone will make us cold and 
hard, unless it is mixed with love. The spirit of power 
alone will run all the trains off the track, unless wisdom 
stands at the engine and directs the way. God give us 
the blended fullness of the Holy Spirit, the holy tact of 
the Master, who 'increased in wisdom and in favor with 
God and man,' and 'the spirit of love, and of power, and 
of a sound mind'." 



CHAPTER XXIV 

DOCTOR SIMPSON AND MODERN 
MOVEMENTS 

By Kenneth Mackenzie 
President of the Inland South American Union. 

TWO significant facts mark the workings of God in 
the periodical awakenings of His Church — first, the 
agents employed are not conscious that their work is to 
be widely known and felt; second, such awakenings are 
ever coincidental with counter movements. These facts 
are conspicuous in the life and labors of our beloved 
brother, A. B. Simpson. 

He could not know, when he surrendered the comforts 
of a stated parish for the exigencies of a life of faith, 
that he was to become the founder and executive of one 
of the greatest missionary organizations of modern times. 
Nor yet did he realize that God had called him to rescue 
from "peril of perdition" many souls who were likely to 
drift in the tide of unbelief which was at that time rising. 

Those of us who recall the days of the early seventies, 
need no reminder that the subtle and sinister insinuations 
of Christian Science were beginning to quicken the curi- 
osity of the unstable. God had raised up Dr. Cullis to be 
the apostle of spiritual healing, at that time popularly 
called "Faith Cure," and his extensive operations in that 
field had won for him the unique compliment embraced 
in the address of a letter from England designed for him, 
"The Man in America who Believes God." In justice to 



DR. SIMPSON AND MODERN MOVEMENTS 247 

Dr. Cullis, we must testify that his influence over the life 
of Albert B. Simpson was not inconsequential at the very 
time when the step of faith was to be taken. Dr. Cullis, 
however, did not live to prove God in withstanding the 
new metaphysical, pseudo-Christian movement. That 
was given to Dr. Simpson. 

We did not find him, however, ranting against the cult. 
He rather employed the positive method. To help 
people to resist error, one must give them truth. He 
therefore entered the arena armed with the real Gospel 
of healing, affirming and testifying both in teaching and 
experience that "Yesterday, today, forever, Jesus is the 
same." We bless God that he taught the great essential 
of faith, that not healing but God Himself is the true 
quest of life. His immortal poem 

"Once it was the blessing, 
Now it is the Lord" 

stands as a perpetual reminder of his keen vision of God's 
purpose. It were not amiss to say that in the beginning 
of his healing ministry, faith in the promises was the all- 
essential and culminating pre-requisite. But he came to 
the place, as he grew in the life of his Lord, where he 
was convinced that the Cross of Calvary is significantly 
related to our physical need. As sin was the precursor, 
aye, the parent of sickness, the conquest wrought for us 
by our Lord in His sacrificial death must reach the physi- 
cal as well as the spiritual needs of mankind. Not a few 
have dissented from this position, but he could not do 
otherwise than teach it, once the conviction possessed his 
ardent soul. 

And he had yet another step to take, which I think had 
not been discerned by his predecessors or contemporaries. 



248 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

It was that physical Hfe is guaranteed to the believer 
through the exalted resurrection body of our Lord Jesus, 
the Head of the Church. From this postulate arose a 
new interpretation of physical ills and weaknesses. If by 
one stroke of faith they were not removed and full re- 
covery to health conferred, it was that the life of Jesus 
should be made manifest in our mortal flesh, by our 
willingness to bear in our bodies the dying of Jesus, In 
other words, God might not take away the sickness, but 
leave it to be overflowed and overmastered by the abound- 
ing life of our Lord. As a consequence, our beloved 
brother reached to the sublimity of faith in the achieve- 
ment of standing with God who calls those things that 
be not as though they were ! And out of weakness, 
always present, the saint of God could glory in his in- 
firmities that the power of Christ might rest upon him. 
I recall two significant instances in which he illustrated 
this experience. 

At a Friday meeting, many years ago, he was mani- 
festly battling with a high fever ; we felt that if he dared 
to fall from his standard of faith, he could be ill in bed. 
But as he ministered, the evidence of the outpouring of 
the divine life was so apparent to us who watched him 
with loving solicitude, that we were moved to rejoice with 
him in his victory. When the first convention was held 
in Nyack, September, 1897, it was wonderful to see him, 
climbing the high ascent from the lower levels with the 
elasticity of youth. It seemed as though nothing could 
weary him. 

This epoch in his ministry had a far-reaching influence. 
Doctrines, as he always had, he still strongly presented, 
but he accentuated the declaration of the truth of God 
by the all-absorbing plea that the Lord Jesus should have. 



DR. SIMPSON AND MODERN MOVEMENTS 249 

sovereignty in the life of the believer. The one unique 
text which has for many years hung on the walls of the 
Tabernacle, and which most clearly and unctuously de- 
fined his mind and heart was "Jesus Only." 

As I write these words, I have before me a Christmas 
card received from a kindly friend, a very noble man, 
which offers a strong contrast to Dr. Simpson's enriched 
experience. This card, after the conventional Christmas 
greeting, contains the words in his own hand, "And I 
attest that the Christ-birth comes but once in an incar- 
nation ; and blessed is he who gives it the fullest measure 
of devotion as divine knowledge and not as personality." 
I am certified that Dr. Simpson had even then seen this 
seductive Buddhistic pantheism so guilefully adopting 
New Testament history and nomenclature that many 
professing Christians cannot detect the fraud. 

This specious system of reasoning, imported from 
India, denies the existence of sin, save as it gives to that 
horrible thing its own fantastic interpretation, and conse- 
quently has no vital place for the Cross of Calvary. The 
resurrection of our Lord is comprehended in a cryptic 
and meaningless sense. If we read the two Epistles to 
the Corinthians aright, we come to the conviction that 
St. Paul met this very thing in that proud city as well 
as in Colosse, and that it wrung from his heart the de- 
vout confession "I determined to know nothing among 
you save Jesus Christ and him crucified." 

So far as this "divine knowledge" affects the physical 
man, and is marked by a wide exploitation of the heal- 
ing prerogatives, it makes the inestimable boon of health 
to proceed, not from God as a person, but from the divine 
which is the inherent right of all men. The covenant 
rights of the New Testament, purchased through the blood 



250 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

of our Lord, vitalized by His exaltation to the right hand 
of God, is repudiated ; and when the processes are filtered, 
the resultant solution is not the Giver of health, but health 
itself. The power is within. The behest to Jew or Gen- 
tile, Christian or heathen, is "tap the inexhaustible veins 
of indwelling potentiality and you will be rich," 

Another vital truth for which Dr. Simpson firmly stood 
was that the fullness of redemption could not be until the 
Lord Jesus should come in His glory and perfect the 
work He had begun on the Cross. The creed of these 
cults is that the present life is the only life, the present 
world the only world. Reincarnation may bring men 
back, but it is to the same order of existence, conse- 
quently, there is no anticipation of the life to come. There 
is no preparation "to depart and be with Christ," no thrill 
of expectation in our manifestation as the children of 
God. The exultant hope of the New Testament has no 
throb of expectancy. 

Related to what has been defined, we have to note next, 
Dr. Simpson's rational popularizing of the doctrine of 
our Lord's second coming. Through jubilant song and 
clear exposition this discarded doctrine has come to be 
received by thousands who had never even heard of it in 
their churches. And myriads of souls have gone forth 
from the services in the Tabernacle or at conventions, in- 
spired and energized by the Blessed Hope. The unpopu- 
larity of Second Adventism needed the rich and mellow 
presentation of the New Testament truth of our Lord's 
return to encourage the weak and confirm the strong. 
No man in his day and generation did so much to make 
the appearing of our Lord vital and entrancing as did 
Albert B. Simpson. And the glory of it is that he d,ld 



DR. SIMPSON AND MODERN MOVEMENTS 251 

not make it an obtrusive hobby. It was a part of the 
rounded whole of the entire truth. 

And this leads us to consider the wisdom and tact with 
which he conducted the work. In every such movement 
radicalism is pregnantly threatening. His critics called 
him "a. faith-curist." But healing was only a part of his 
ministry. If they failed to see it, they erred for want of 
knowledge. So while he was accused of being a fanatic 
in preaching the coming of the Lord, his judges were 
ignorant of the sweet reasonableness with which he pre- 
sented it. Many a man has gone to his meetings for the 
purpose of discovering preconceived confirmations of ex- 
travagance, only to leave disarmed and humbled by the 
winsomeness of the man and the indisputableness of his 
teaching. We may clearly discern from this that ex- 
tremists found no congenial soil in which to propagate 
their special plants. The most skilful and tender diplo- 
macy was at times needed to curb some outlandish idio- 
syncrasy which would have imperilled the undertaking. 
But he was equal to it for he was so splendidly poised 
himself. It is a rare gift, and essentially divine, to turn 
such corners as he had to, ever and again in all the long 
years of his memorable leadership. Of course, he could 
not expect to square with every fad and fancy that en- 
tered his doors. He had to be firm and he was, but he 
was always gentle and considerate. 

When he began his life of faith and his ministry to the 
common people, the taint of Modernism was newly af- 
fecting the minds of the clergy and poisoning the faith of 
the people in the inspiration of the Word of God. Many 
a distracted soul sought refuge from the speculations of 
the pulpit and "the assured results" of the critics, by a 
visit to his services. I have known more than one per- 



252 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

plexed minister, uneasily feeling the pressure of clerical 
essays in the religious publications of the day, to quietly 
steal into the meetings at the Tabernacle and get tone for 
purer preaching and more devoted service. Probably no 
man, save Spurgeon, did so much for the hard-working 
and truth-loving clergyman as he, through the published 
sermons which he gave to the world each week. And as 
for those whose faith was becoming unsettled in the 
churches, whether or not they could hear his voice, his 
teachings on the printed page brought renewed assurance 
in the "Impregnable Rock of the Holy Scriptures." 

We remark once more, that he did this effective work, 
not by direct assault upon the enemies' lines, but by the 
gentle persuasion of affirmative teaching. To him, one 
"Thus saith the Lord" was worth a volume of argu- 
ments. And the glory of it all is, that while now the 
stream of Criticism is receding ; while one of the stalwart 
chiefs has confessed, "There can be no solution of the 
present unrest until there is a return to positions which 
have been forsaken," Dr. Simpson may look into the 
face of his Lord in that great day with the enriched re- 
membrance that he forsook nothing. He intensified that 
which he had believed ; he deepened foundations ; he 
strengthened existing confidences and dispelled by the 
certainty of his message every question of the truth. He 
lived to see some of the fruits of this steadfastness; and 
coming years will justify his fidelity and consistency. 

Believing as he did in the Biblical presentation of the 
future life, and placing upon the statements of the Scrip- 
tures a logical meaning, the tide of so-called Spiritualism 
but energized him to breast the wave with courage and 
decision. Here again he met a popular tendency by a 
positive and kindly presentation of God's Word. I can- 



DR. SIMPSON AND MODERN MOVEMENTS 253 

not recall any studious refutation of this fallacy from 
his pen. He had only to make his affirmation of truth 
and leave it with God. But he gave to those, whom he 
deemed fitted for the task, the opportunity to present de- 
fined expositions to the readers of The Alliance Weekly 
and the books published under his supervision. The testi- 
mony to the effectual influence of such literature has 
been abounding and most gratifying. Whole families 
have been saved from this now universal deception. 
Thank God, the imprimatur which he set upon standards 
of faith and conduct, by which the AlHance should be 
established, was fixed and permanent. 

While it would be abhorrent to him, as it is indeed to 
me, to classify in this chapter a certain movement within 
the Alliance circles, I cannot refrain from recording the 
agony through which he passed when so many of his most 
trusted and valued friends and workers withdrew from 
him because he did not go with them to the Hmit which 
was their ideal. He could not say of them, as did St. 
John, ''They went out from us, but they were not of us," 
for they were. Their presence and prayers, their sym- 
pathy and service had been a bulwark to him in times 
of stress and strain. But he had to see them go from 
him and trust God with the consummation, whatever 
that might be. If there be some who contend that he 
missed the golden hour of his ministry, equally certified 
are they who believe that consistency to the standards 
he had set demanded that he should hold firmly to what 
had been revealed to him as God's purpose for the great 
body of which he was the trusted custodian. 

His great heart suft'ered hours of pain when he found 
the insinuating perversion of truth, widely known as Mil- 
lennial Dawnism, eating into the ranks of the Alliance 



254 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

people. There is so much that is plausible in that teach- 
ing, so much that accords with the criterion of faith as 
set forth in the Alliance doctrines, that he was troubled 
to know how to meet it. The disciples of that school were 
at conventions, soliciting private conversations, handing 
out literature at the close of meetings. But he saw most 
keenly that persuasion must come through the Holy 
Spirit. Our brother W. C. Stevens' admirable treatise 
amply covered the ground of disputation, and the matter 
could rest with God. But I am sure the weak places 
in that system, without being indicated, were met and 
overcome in strong appeal from pen and pulpit. Any 
propaganda that could adulterate the Deity of our Lord 
Jesus, that could put fanciful interpretations upon the 
doctrine of the future life, that could deny a place in 
the present age to missions, must demand a brave 
resistance. 

The trend of all these movements is to draw people 
to themselves and away from the Church of the Living 
God. I can well recall how this problem came to Mr. 
Simpson at a period of the life of the Alliance when 
methods were still in solution awaiting crystallization. 
He labored to help the churches; "come-outism" was 
offensive to him ; he longed to send the people back to 
their prayer meetings with the fresh witness of their full 
salvation. But he came to see that he must house and 
care for those who had received his testimony whom the 
churches would not tolerate. Consequently, there grew 
the need of a Tabernacle and an ecclesiastical organization. 

In contrast to the worldly-minded policy and mercenary 
motives of some modern movements which alienate con- 
verts from the Christian bodies in which they were born 
and reared, our brother ever unselfishly advised the people: 



DR. SIMPSON AND MODERN MOVEMENTS 255 

who came to him to "go tell how great things the Lord 
hath done." The mighty dollar never spread a glamor 
over his eyes. Whatever came to him was as from the 
Lord. The greatness of the giver, the largeness of the 
gift never intoxicated him. Sophie's early sacrifices were 
as dear to his heart as the liberal contributions of those 
who gave of their abundance. And the motive is not far 
to find. He was God's servant ; in God's care he rested ; 
success or failure were inconsequential so long as God 
had His way. If he could send one man or woman into 
some church where the light received should touch a 
torch or fan a flame, he was filled with joy. Only that 
the Lord Jesus might be glorified, did he labor and pray. 
If he could have set the whole of Christendom aglow 
with clear perspective of truth and compelling unction 
to do the work of God, he would have been content to 
sink out of sight. How he charms us as we recount this 
devotion ! 

And there remains yet this to be said in contrariety of 
these modern fads. Wealth they seek and get in volumes, 
for the spread of their special propaganda. The vast 
sums that are laid on their altars put to shame the beg- 
garly offerings of evangelical Christendom. The reason 
is not far too seek. The Church of the Living God does 
not take its religion wholeheartedly. These people, who 
were once in the churches, do. They think they have 
something which the Church never could give them, and 
they prove their joy in the possession by an abundant 
reciprocation. From the standpoint of consistency, exter- 
nal to the un-Christian character of the systems, we must 
admit that they have the right on their side. But their 
attachment is not to God and to His work. They see 
only the bringing into many other lives of the new and 



256 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

alluring vision which has so thrillingly opened to them. 
As we contemplate Dr. Simpson's dedication to God 
and feel his pulse-beat of longing for "one sinner that 
repenteth" as we stand with him and hear his passionate 
appeal for the "regions beyond," how magnificently he 
looms up as God's servant doing the will of God from 
the heart, seeking nothing, wanting nothing but His Lord's 
gratification of soul-travail in the saving of a lost hu- 
manity for whom He laid down His life. 



CHAPTER XXV 

THE SANENESS OF A. B. SIMPSON 

By James M. Gray, D.D, 
Dean of the Moody Bible Institute, Chicago 

I FEEL the need of apology for using the word "sane- 
ness" as descriptive of a man of Dr. Simpson's char- 
acter and standing, and yet it is employed deliberately 
and much as his co-laborer. Dr. Turnbull, has employed 
it in speaking of the Nyack Institute which Dr. Simpson 
founded. He said its attitude is one "that lifts the mind 
out of morbidness or fanaticism into sane and normal 
relations to God and man." 

There were those who did not know Dr. Simpson other 
than as his critics and the press sometimes represented 
him, and who considered him visionary, impractical, a 
hobbyist, a maker of extravagant claims, an egotist, and 
some other things not so capable of refined mention. "It 
is enough for the disciple that he be as his master and 
the servant as his lord. If they have called the master 
of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call 
them of his household?" (Matthew 10:25). 

The constructive work in which he was ever engaged, 
the enduring evidence of which he left behind him, would 
seem a sufficient refutation of such implications or as- 
sumptions, and yet a personal testimony may not be out 
of place from one who knew him for years, and from 
different angles, though not privileged to be a member 
of the inner circle of his friendships. 



258 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

My knowledge of him began while he was still pastor 
of the Thirteenth Street Presbyterian Church, New York, 
the successor of the distinguished Dr. Burchard, who 
had the name of defeating James G. Blaine for the presi- 
dency by his famous bon mot, "Rum, Romanism, and 
Rebellion." 

When Dr. Simpson resigned that pastorate and with- 
drew from the Presbytery in order to preach the Gospel 
to the non-churchgoers of the great city, I was one of 
the foolish on-lookers curious to see how long he would 
hold out, and what his next "crotchet" might be. Dr. 
Kenneth Mackenzie is right when he says, "it seemed as 
though he had wrecked high possibility for a venture that 
could only end in disaster" ; and also that "satire, cen- 
sure, and condemnation were freely offered him." 

As his Old Orchard experience had preceded this step 
by some months, he was already, if I mistake not, coupling 
the ministry of Divine healing with his Gospel preaching, 
which of course added to the curiosity and the "pitying" 
interest with which his downfall was awaited. But God 
seemed able to make him stand. 

And indeed the discovery of this was a cause of joy 
to the writer when, some time afterward, he himself was 
passing through a not dissimilar spiritual crisis. It was 
in Boston where, settled over a church in close proximity 
to that of the late A. J. Gordon of blessed memory, he 
thus had an opportunity to study at close range another 
example of a Spirit-filled man. Dr. Gordon also preached 
the Fourfold Gospel, and his life quite as much as his 
teaching aided in the interpretation and the understanding 
of that in the career of Dr. Simpson which seemed so 
different from other men and particularly other ministers. 

But by and by I came to know Dr. Simpson himself at 



THE SANENESS OF A. B. SIMPSON 259 

conferences, in business matters, in his school work, in 
private homes, by sick beds, in the intimacy of Christian 
counsel and the fellowship of prayer. Thus learning 
what manner of man he was, it no longer seemed the 
marvel that The Christian and Missionary Alliance should 
expand as it had done, that the Gospel Tabernacle should 
be such an attraction to God's saints, that the Old Orchard 
convention should be a Mecca for half the world, that 
the Nyack Institute should have achieved so much, or 
that the product of his pen should have filled so many 
volumes and brought strength and refreshment to so 
many souls. 

His saneness, if I may use the word, impressed me all 
the more because I had expected something different. A 
friend writes of him that he had the happy faculty of 
devoting himself to a caller seeking counsel as though 
he had nothing else to do, perhaps leaving the crowding 
duties of his busy hours to pay attention to him. And 
I recall the way he grew on me when I saw him more 
than once, temporarily leaving the platform of a con- 
vention where he had been presiding and perhaps deliv- 
ering a powerful address, to talk to some one about a 
detail such as the publication of a book, a lecture schedule, 
the entertainment of a guest or the payment of a sum 
of money, as though it were of all things that in which he 
had the deepest interest. 

"Rich in saving common sense, 
And, as the greatest only are, 
In his simplicity sublime." 

The characteristic impressed me in casual intercourse. 
One was not compelled to be on his guard with Dr. 
Simpson. As to his piety and consecration there was 



26o LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

no question, and he always seemed more than ordinarily 
engrossed with the things that are not seen, and yet he 
never appeared to be expecting anything out of the ordi- 
nary in you ; that is to say, he did not by any show of 
sanctity allure you into a show of cant. He could get 
down to your spiritual level without unkindly humiliating 
you by the contrast. A real gift and an exhibition of 
true grace. 

The same must have been noticed by any with whom 
he happened to differ on a question of Scripture inter- 
pretation. The hobbyist or egotist conceals it with diffi- 
culty in such cases, but Dr. Simpson, master of exegesis 
and exposition as he was, while maintaining his opinion 
if it seemed worth while to do so, escaped the folly of 
letting you suppose that he had ceased to be a learner. 

My thesis found a new illustration when I went to 
lecture periodically at the Missionary Institute at Nyack 
years ago. Its beautiful situation, though very different 
in feature from that of Northfield, stamped its selection 
as that of a man with the practical sense of D. L. Moody ; 
while its buildings and equipment, though limited in com- 
parison with the older and wealthier institution, showed 
a capacity for affairs not commonly associated with a 
visionary. 

The days spent there, going and coming at different 
seasons, afforded an introduction not only to students 
and teachers, but to the officials conducting the business 
of the school, which commanded esteem for the adminis- 
trative ability, to say nothing of the grace and unction 
of the leader and director of it all. Looking back upon 
those days I am able to appreciate another remark of Dr. 
Turnbull, that Dr. Simpson "breathed a spirit of happy 
confidence that was simply contagious." 



THE SANENESS OF A. B. SIMPSON 261 

An amusing personal incident of that time did its share 
also to help me see the "humanness" of Dr. Simpson and 
open a window into his soul. 

Racing down the mountain side one day in haste to 
catch a train, I stumbled over a sharp rock and tore my 
nether garment almost from the belt to the hem. The 
devastation seemed too serious for repair and to travel 
to Boston in that predicament was unthinkable ; and yet 
my exchequer was too low to pay my fare to Boston in- 
cluding a sleeper, and also to purchase a new garment. 
How was the situation to be met? 

Happily, Dr. Simpson had preceded me to the train, 
and looking him up in a forward car where he was im- 
mersed in Bible and note-book, I presented myself to his 
quizzical gaze. 

He made me a loan, the widow's mite if I remember, 
but which alas ! was rendered useless by the event. For 
on arriving at New York, I became aware for the first 
time that it was a legal holiday, Washington's birthday, 
and that no stores were open, not even a tailor's shop. 

What an abasing walk I had that day, and how sorely 
tried my patriotism was, as I meandered through Twenty- 
third Street from the ferry to Broadway, and then north, 
partly on Broadway and partly on Fourth Avenue, to 
the Grand Central Station, looking for a hospitable bushel- 
man; and not until the very end of the journey was one 
found. 

The curtain falls on the happening there, but the recital 
of it afterwards to Dr. Simpson drew me to him in a 
new way as I realized that his gravity was the kind that 
could stand the test of humor. 

Doubtless it is too early to predict which of the facets 
of Dr. Simpson's life will project its gleam farthest into 



262 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

the coming years, but it is natural to suppose that it may 
be his witness to Divine healing. 

The thrilling story of his own healing has never lost 
its effect upon me since the time I first heard it, and the 
many instances coming to me of his exercise of the gift 
of the prayer of faith in the healing of others have been 
a source of praise and wonder. 

This is not to say that I was ever able to see quite eye 
to eye with him in his exposition of the doctrine; but this 
circumstance is mentioned merely because it gives its own 
value to my testimony as to the reasonableness with which 
he presented his views upon it to other people. 

I say nothing now of that which he has written on 
the subject, which speaks for itself, but only of that 
which I have seen in or heard from him as together we 
have sat by the side of an ailing or a dying saint. 

Perhaps the saint was one who was unable to grasp 
the higher round of faith's ladder which he himself had 
scaled, but this did not seduce him into speaking dis- 
paragingly of human physicians in such a case nor in 
making light of medicines. He recognized the place of 
medical science in the economy of things, and regarded 
it as un-ChristHke to denounce or oppose it in its true 
place. But patiently, lucidly, sympathetically he set forth 
the Bible teaching about heaHng as he understood it, 
making any mention of himself with modesty, and then in 
prayer going only as far as the inquirer could go even 
if a disappointing pause was made before the end. 

His attitude seemed to be that expressed in his simple 
verse, written without satire, I feel sure : 

"God has His best things for the few 
Who dare to stand the test; 



THE SANENESS OF A. B. SIMPSON 263 

He has a second choice for those 
Who will not have the best." 

Whether you agreed with him or not, somehow you felt 
that he dealt in that "sound speech that can not be con- 
demned" (Titus 2 :8), the understatement which strength- 
ens argument. 

Some time since there was placed in my hands for re- 
view a book entitled, "Counterfeit Miracles," written by 
an American theologian of distinction, who devoted a 
chapter of some forty pages to "Faith-Healing." He 
paid his respects to several witnesses thereto, including 
three or four of my personal friends now departed to be 
with their Lord, but when he came to the subject of this 
chapter he simply said : 

"Perhaps Dr. A. B. Simpson, of New York, who has 
been since 1887 the president of The Christian and Mis- 
sionary Alliance, founded in that year at Old Orchard, 
Maine, has been blamelessly in the public eye as a healer 
of the sick through faith for as long a period as any of 
our recent American healers. The fame of others has 
been, if more splendid, at the same time less pure and 
less lasting." 

"Blamelessly" and "pure" were particularly well chosen. 

The word for which I apologized in my title was early 
suggested to me as descriptive of Dr. Simspon when, 
years ago, I commenced reading after him, especially 
in the "Answers to Questions" column of The Alliance 
Weekly or its predecessor. If ever one needed the Spirit 
"of power, and of love and of a sound mind" (2 Tim. 
1:7), it is when he undertakes the editorship of such a 
department in a religious journal, 

"What is the 'Abomination of Desolation'?" "Was 



264 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

Adam created with sinful tendencies?' "Please tell me 
what Bahaism is." "How does Christian Science differ 
from Divine healing?" "Will infants be saved?" "Is 
the Church the body or the bride of Christ?" "Should 
Christians vote?" "May a Christian join a lodge?" "Why 
did God punish Pharaoh when he hardened his heart?" 
"Do you teach eradication ?" "Do you believe in conscious 
and eternal punishment?" "Please explain what is meant 
by 'Baptized for the dead'." "Please explain I Peter 
3:19 and Heb. 6:4-6." "Give us your opinion of 
women preaching." "Will the Church pass through the 
tribulation?" "How shall I answer a Seventh Day Ad- 
ventist?" "Is war justifiable?" 

I am bound to say that so far as I am able to judge, 
Dr. Simpson passed this test triumphantly, and pur- 
chased for himself "a good degree and great boldness in 
the faith" (I Tim. 3:13). 

May I enlarge upon that last-named question about 
war? 

Dr. Simpson was a premillenialist, and when the United 
States went to war with Germany, New Theology preach- 
ers thought they saw an opportunity to discredit such, 
stating that they were pacifists, who were weakening the 
Government's hands. 

Of course this was not true. Postmillennialism is es- 
sentially pacifism because it claims that the world is 
growing better all the while, the corollary of which is 
that military armaments are to be discouraged. The 
writer pointed this out in a magazine article, in the course 
of which he said that the earliest and ablest arguments 
from the Christian standpoint in defense of our Gov- 
ernment's action which he had heard, had come from 
premillennialists. 



THE SANENESS OF A. B. SIMPSON 265 

A. B. Simpson was one of these. The title of his ser- 
mon is not recalled, but it is remembered with what mar- 
tial eloquence he described Abram's battle against the 
confederate kings, and how it was approved in the court 
of heaven by the fact that he received the blessing of 
Melchizedek, the priest of the Most High God. 

As I read it, I thought of Mary Queen of Scots, who 
feared John Knox's prayers more than an army of 10,000 
men, and I believed it no hyperbole to say that the Kaiser 
might have been similarly disturbed had he heard the 
clarion note of this man of God which was sounded up 
and down our land and around the world. 

Some were giving forth a very uncertain sound about 
that time, and others were clearly unpatriotic and wrong, 
but when he spoke with the authority of the Bible he 
knew so well and the strong influence of a life hid with 
Christ in God, it brought boldness and steadiness to many. 
Had he coveted a decoration for his breast it was as truly 
merited as in the case of others whose patriotism had 
taken a different form. 

And speaking of patriotism and the Christian saneness 
of which it is sometimes an exhibition, the last word that 
I dare claim space to write concerns that little book of 
Dr. Simpson, The Old Faith and the New Gospels, a 
classic of its kind, which should never be out of print, 
and which this generation at least should not allow to be 
forgotten. Whether it be the chapter on Evolution or 
Creation, or that on Higher Criticism and the Authority 
of the Bible, or that on Socialism and the Kingdom and 
Coming of Christ, it is patriotism of a high order and 
saneness that the whole world needs. 

Our accomplished President has recently coined a new 
phrase about the spiritual leadership of the world. His 



266 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

meaning may require some clarifying for the mind of 
the average poHtician, but the spiritual leadership of the 
world which The Old Faith and the Nezv Gospels advo- 
cates is that which shall remain when the democracies of 
the present shall have forever run their course. He who 
reads it with enlightenment of mind and heart to believe 
it, will set his seal to the testimony of this witness that 
A. B. Simpson was a man "of honest report, full of the 
Holy Ghost and wisdom." 



CHAPTER XXVI 

THE MAN AS I KNEW HIM 

By Frederic H. Senft 

IT was my privilege to know our beloved brother, Rev. 
A, B. Simpson, for over thirty years. His name and 
one of his tracts along with other full Gospel literature 
were sent to me by a friend shortly after graduating 
from college. The Fourfold Gospel appealed to me at 
once. God led me to see these truths in His Word, and 
I found that his statement of doctrine agreed with my 
experience. 

Returning from the South, I came to New York and 
visited his work. I had an interview with him, and heard 
him speak the first time in the Friday meeting, then held 
in a hall while the present Gospel Tabernacle was being 
built. At this meeting I first witnessed and participated 
in an anointing service, which was solemn and uplifting. 
Mr. Simpson spoke from the text: "If God be for us, 
who can be against us?" (Rom. 8:31). 

I was much impressed by Mr. Simpson's serene, spirit- 
ual bearing, and my heart was drawn to him and to the 
testimony and work he represented. It was not through 
any persuasion on his part, but from settled conviction 
that I cast in my lot with this chosen people and work. 

I sat under his teaching for a few months in what was 
then called The New York Missionary Training College. 
My wife, some three years before I met her, had the same 
privilege. She was baptized by Mr. Simpson in Lake Erie, 



268 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

at which time he remarked, "Why, Ruth, the Spirit of 
Christ is so real that He bathes us and seems as oil poured 
on the waters." He officiated at our marriage. So, as 
children in the Full Gospel and co-laborers, we have come 
in close fellowship with him for a score and a half years 
and have shared in the blessed benefits of his ripe expe- 
rience, courtesy, and counsel. 

Men and means have been put at his disposal in answer 
to prayer. True, there have been all along the way per- 
sons attracted to the man, his message and leadership, who 
did not count the cost, and have dropped out for various 
reasons. This has been the record of other spiritual 
movements. A great convention with a magnificent offer- 
ing for missions, has again and again attracted the on- 
looker, who has been caught in the popular wave and 
swept into the movement ; but when the waters subsided, 
with the reproach of the Cross and the patient plodding 
without applause in view, some have fallen out of the 
ranks. 

The best, the sweetest, and indeed all the resources of 
his many-sided life were always held at the disposal of 
His Master. It was surely true of him: 

"Were the whole realm of nature mine, 

That were a present far too small; 
Love so amazing, so divine, 
Demands my soul, my life, my all." 

And as he, by the grace of God, followed faithfully and 
lived out the reaHty of such a complete consecration, God 
in His infinite love and unfailing faithfulness did the rest. 
He was controlled by a lofty purpose and high ideals ; 
his whole being seemed to shun the selfish and the sordid. 
He ever sought to see and seize God's highest choice in 



THE MAN AS I KNEW HIM 269 

all his relationships with God and his brethren, and to 
find and fill the perfect will of his Master. He practised 
his own exhortations to others: "It is a blessed thing to 
have our life laid out and our Christian work adjusted 
to God's plan. Much spiritual force is expended in waste 
effort and scattered in indefinite and inconstant attempts 
at doing good." It was his highest ambition and chiefest 
delight to catch the thought of God, and obediently, 
loyally, and lovingly to fulfill it. He had learned the 
necessity of lingering in the mount with God to procure 
His pattern, and then go down to the hosts of the Lord 
with shining face and divine dignity and serenity to carry 
it out in deeds of love and abiding fruit. He found that 
hours of secluded meditation and holy exaltation v/ere 
necessary for hours of patient plodding and the faithful 
performance of his Father's will and work. 

There was apparently no self-consciousness in Dr. 
Simpson, as one came in contact with him in conversation 
or heard him in public address. His face, manners, and 
spirit, in the pulpit or in private, showed self-effacement 
to a degree that is rare. About twenty years ago, one 
who had become interested in our work in Philadelphia, 
after hearing him preach, remarked : "One does not see 
Dr. Simpson but the Christ whom he preaches and ex- 
emplifies ; he is so completely lost in Christ and His mes- 
sage that he seems to be unconscious of himself and 
others." His was a crucified life. "For me to live is 
Christ," was his theme and the expression of his long life 
and labor. "Himself," the title of his most sought-after 
tract, was the keynote of his message. 

Intelligent and highly cultured he was, yet there was 
no attempt to boast of his accomplishments or to make 
an impression upon those with whom he mingled or to 



270 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

whom he ministered. He held every God-given gift as 
a sacred trust to be used in deep humility as well as in 
unswerving fidelity. Wesley's memorable motto could be 
applied to him: "Simplify religion and every part of 
learning." 

Again, in the ministry of the printed page, A. B. Simp- 
son's plan was similar to John Wesley's, namely, "Cheaper, 
shorter, plainer books." Amid Wesley's other abundant 
labors it is said that "he found time to keep up a constant 
supply of pamphlets, tracts, and sermons, carried by his 
preachers to the remotest parts of the country, beside pro- 
viding them with a large library, written or edited by 
himself." Surely a great heritage of most helpful lit- 
erature has also been left for those who follow our be- 
loved leader, and for the whole Church of Christ, 

Dr. Simpson was a good listener. This added much to 
his companionableness and to the interest with which 
others listened to him. It is difficult to talk with some 
people — one feels ill at ease because of their evident 
eagerness to occupy all the time. Hear his own words 
on this point: "How unseemly it would be for us in the 
presence of an earthly superior to monopolize all the con- 
versation. The best conversationaHst is the best listener." 
He had a rare gift of speech, using well-chosen words 
that flowed with fascinating freedom from his lips. He 
was at times witty, but with a high order of humor, 
having a noble purpose in view. He could tell a story 
with rare skill and abiding effect, especially in his public 
messages and in his printed sermons and books. Nothing 
was lacking in the aptness of his illustrations and the 
effectiveness of the application. Certain of his illustra- 
tions and their pertinent use are still remembered though 
given a score or more of years ago. 



THE MAN AS I KNEW HIM 271 

Brother Simpson possessed unusual qualities both of 
heart and mind, rarely found so highly developed in the 
same individual. Although he was gifted with more than 
ordinary powers, yet he exhibited beautiful humility, as 
well as practical wisdom in counselling with his brethren 
in the work, and profiting by the judgment even of those 
much younger than himself. He had an inspiring per- 
sonality, a keen knowledge of men, a rare combination 
of dignity and simplicity, and a gentle spirit and manner. 

One of the marked inwrought gifts of the Spirit was 
his winsome way of presenting truth and giving personal 
testimony. Many have gone to hear him preach who 
were prejudiced, having preconceived and distorted 
opinions regarding the man and his message. But his 
sweetness of spirit, Scriptural argument, and convincing 
logic disarmed and won the biased hearer, often making 
him a staunch friend and supporter. True, there were 
extremists who, at times, came to his meetings, or sought 
a private interview with him — those who had some fad 
or fancy to present. But with what rare tact and ten- 
derness he dealt with such persons ! Thus he saved a 
public ministry of exceptional power and blessing from 
being side-tracked into discussion and division. Firmness 
mingled with gentleness and true greatness often won the 
day for truth and righteousness. 

He had a remarkable range of practical knowledge and 
his answers to questions were always an interesting feat- 
ure in the conventions. The "Question Box" and the 
question hour were occasions of rare privilege to the 
eager congregations. Some would take advantage of this 
to ask "catch questions" or to air some idiosyncrasy. 
These were usually answered or dismissed in a sentence, 
giving time for the sincere seekers after Hght. Some of 



272 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

these questions and answers have been preserved, as In- 
quiries and Answers Concerning Divine Healing, a pam- 
phlet which has been of inestimable help to many honest 
inquirers. 

Another gift of God's grace bestowed upon our beloved 
brother was the perfect ease with which he entered into 
the condition and confidence of one seeking counsel or 
spiritual help. His approachable attitude and the broth- 
erly atmosphere v/hich he radiated made the seeker after 
help to feel free in his presence. A well-known Christian 
worker said of him : "He was the most gracious man I 
ever met." His deep piety did not produce awe and 
uneasiness, but showed itself in sweet simplicity. His 
intuitive and acquired knowledge of men, their problems, 
heart yearnings, and physical needs, enabled him to probe 
the vital point, and through words of counsel, and pre- 
vailing prayer, to bring down heaven's help, and heahng. 
He did not spare himself at all; he lived for others with- 
out a trace of self-interest. 

In his silence under criticism and persecution one could 
not fail to see in him the marks of highest manhood, wise 
method, and rare spirituaHty. He had the spirit of the 
One "Who opened not his mouth." He met opposition, 
misrepresentation, and persecution of all sorts and de- 
grees, especially in the earlier years of his career when 
he separated from his church and former friends and 
became an exponent of the Fourfold Gospel. But to all 
assailants he "answered not a word." Like Nehemiah he 
was doing a great work, and could not come down to 
answer the railings of the wary, world-inspired troublers 
— usually those of the Pharasaic element of the professed 
Church. It seemed his devotion increased as difficulties 
and persecutions pressed him closer to the bosom of his 



THE MAN AS I KNEW HIM 273 

Master who, by His power, turned the curse into a 
blessing. 

The ceaseless round of duties left him little time for 
rest and recreation. For thirty-five years he scarcely 
knew the meaning of a holiday. His capacity for con- 
tinuous hard work was remarkable. The summer season, 
when ministers usually have a vacation, was his busiest 
time — going from one great convention to another for 
the week-end, then back to New York to catch up with 
accumulated work. 

However, to rest his mind and refresh his body, he 
diverted himself at times in the evenings by working in 
the garden or by turning to mechanical work, making 
fine models for homes at Nyack Heights, and other de- 
vices. He had an inventive and mechanical mind. As 
a boy he knew how to plow and do other service on the 
farm. He was fond of astronomy, and had a small ob- 
servatory near his home where with a large telescope he 
taught the students the wonders of the heavens. These 
diversions from the crowded hours in his New York 
office, a very humble place on noisy Eighth Avenue, 
served as a tonic for his arduous labors which touched 
the ends of the earth. 

As was said of McCheyne, he excelled in prayer. Who 
can forget the ardent prayers coming from the depths of 
dear Dr. Simpson's soul and reaching to the throne of God, 
bringing down untold blessing upon innumerable lives ! 
The months of his infirmity were filled with prayer day 
and night. It was my privilege to stay with him for 
several nights during the first part of his break-down 
when he needed prayerful support in the night seasons. 
How the spirit of ''prayer and supplication with thanks- 
giving" would be poured out, not for himself so much 



274 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

as for others ! Then God would come in comforting bless- 
ing and soon he would sleep as a child on its mother's 
bosom. This was the choicest privilege of my thirty years' 
association with him. 

Upon calling to see him in his room at headquarters, 
New York, a few months before he passed away, I found 
him in bed, weak in body but alert in mind. Sheets of 
paper were about him on the bed. He had been jotting 
down thoughts, though scarcely able to write. During 
these months he led several of the midweek meet- 
ings in the Tabernacle. Coming from one of the services, 
a shade of regret came over him, and he seemed much 
burdened as he said to Rev. E. B. Fitch, the assistant 
pastor, "1 fear that sufficient preparation was not made 
for that message." His state of body and mind, no 
doubt, had much to do with this remark ; but it indicated 
his habit of painstaking care and prayer in preparing for 
his public work. He often told me while in meetings 
together and in our home, 'T must wait on God for a 
fresh message for this service." Dr. Henry C. McBride, 
an old friend and early helper in the work, said to me 
once, after hearing him preach : "In all these many years, 
I have never heard Dr. Simpson repeat a sermon — always 
something fresh, fragrant, and satisfying." 

Dr. Simpson was a forceful and fascinating preacher. 
His expositions of Scripture were profound yet simple. 
His whole soul was poured into his message ; true elo- 
quence flowed from his heart and lips, carrying his 
hearers with him in unbroken and intense interest for an 
hour or more as he preached the glorious Gospel. He 
probably had no superior in missionary appeal. There 
was a manifest spirit of sweetness and strength in his 
messages, a charm of expression, clear and convincing 



THE MAN AS I KNEW HIM 275 

argument, and powerful application of the truth that has 
transformed lives and embued them with the spirit of 
the Christ of Calvary. 

At a large summer convention, Dr. Simpson preached 
one of his characteristic sermons, sweeping through the 
Scriptures, illustrating and enforcing his theme with 
powerful inspiration and conviction. Sitting with one 
of our oldest and ablest workers, one thought in common 
was expressed : "Well, there seems to be nothing left for 
any one to say on that subject ; the whole ground has been 
covered;" and we felt as if it was hardly worth while 
for any one to attempt to follow on any subject. One 
of the leading ministers of Philadelphia, after hearing 
Mr. Simpson preach at our Annual Convention, which 
was held in his church, remarked : "We will not hear 
another such sermon until Dr. Simpson returns to this 
city." 

Notwithstanding his busy life, he took time for careful 
preparation for his public messages. They were steeped 
in prayer. He says in his Testimony, "I have found 
the same divine help for my mind and brain as for my 
body. Having much writing and speaking to do, I have 
given my pen and my tongue to Christ to possess and use, 
and He has so helped me that my literary work has never 
been a labor. He has enabled me to think much more 
rapidly and to accomplish much more work and with 
greater facility than ever before. It is very simple and 
humble work, but such as it is, it is all through Him, and, 
I trust, for Him only. To Him be all the praise." 



CHAPTER XXVII 
IN MEMORIAM 

"So when a great man dies, 

For years beyond our ken, 
The light he leaves behind him lies 
Upon the paths of men." 

WHEN General Allenby captured Jerusalem in De- 
cember, 191 7, Dr. Simpson was in Chicago on a 
convention tour. He went immediately to his room, over- 
come with emotion, and on his knees praised God for 
an hour. He had been watching the Jewish clock for 
forty years, and now its warning chime announced that 
the great hour of the redeemed was at hand. He gave 
a powerful address on "The Capture of Jerusalem" in 
Moody Tabernacle, which he repeated in his own pulpit 
on his return to New York. 

In the following January he was announced as one of 
the chief speakers at a Jewish Mission Conference in 
Chicago, but after the conference had commenced he 
wired his life-long friend, Mrs. T. C. Rounds, Superin- 
tendent of the Chicago Hebrew Mission, who was secre- 
tary of the convention, expressing his regrets that he 
found himself unable to attend. It was a great disap- 
pointment, for every one knew that a message for the 
hour was burning in his heart. 

During the rest of the winter he engaged in very little 
public ministry, and most of his other duties were laid 
aside. He submitted to urgent solicitation and, accom- 
panied by Mrs. Simpson, spent a few weeks with his 




A. B. Simpson During Last Visit to England. 



IN MEMORIAM ^^^ 

friends of other days at Clifton Springs, New York. He 
did not, as some have suggested, take medical treatment. 
Dr. Sanders of the Sanitarium was an old friend and 
a former attendant at the Tabernacle, and thoroughly 
understood Dr. Simpson's position. 

When the Annual Council of The Christian and Mis- 
sionary Alliance assembled at Nyack in May, 1918, Dr. 
Simpson called upon Mr. Ulysses Lewis, Vice-President 
of the Society to preside, though he himself attended most 
of the sessions. During this Council, as stated in an 
earlier chapter, he committed his business affairs to his 
brethren for settlement. This was not only a great per- 
sonal reHef to him but also proved that he never had 
any desire to build up an estate for his personal or family 
interest, and enabled one of the speakers at the Memorial 
Service to make the public announcement that Dr. Simp- 
son left no legacy but the will and work of God — the 
richest heritage ever bequeathed to family or friends. 

Dr. Simpson had hved, as he tells us in the story of 
his life crisis, a lonely life. One of the secrets of his 
success was that he had taken his difficulties directly to 
the Lord, and even his immediate family knew little of 
the burdens which he bore from day to day. He attempted 
to continue to meet the pressure that was upon him dur- 
ing the early months of his physical decline as he had 
always done. The great adversary, against whose king- 
dom he had so valiantly warred, attacked him in his weak- 
ness and succeeded in casting a cloud over his spirit. 

Even yet he did not call his brethren to his spiritual 
help until one of them, a short time after the Council, 
asked for the privilege of staying with him at night, at 
which time the pressure was most severe. For several 
weeks one or other of the brethren enjoyed what they 



2/8 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

will ever regard as the unspeakable privilege of this inti- 
mate fellowship. He would kneel at his bedside with 
the one who was with him and pour out his heart unto 
the Lord. After retiring they would lie in sweet com- 
munion, quoting the great promises of Scripture and softly- 
singing the hymns which have been endeared to the 
Church, or the yet richer Psalms of David in the old Scot- 
tish metircal version, which he, and at least some of these 
friends, had sung in childhood. When the brother would 
say, "Dr. Simpson, you must sleep now," he would say, 
"Yes, yes, but we must have another word of prayer." 
By this time that rich consciousness of the indwelling 
Christ, in which for forty years he had never failed to 
compose himself for sleep, had returned in some measure 
to him, and presently he would be sleeping as a child. 
When he awakened in the morning, addressing the one 
beside him with the affectionate familiarity of a spiritual 
father, he would express the hope that he had not dis- 
turbed him. Again in "psalms and hymns and spiritual 
songs" the day would be begun, till the brother left for 
his daily duty. So several weeks were passed. 

One day two of the brethren, who had been greatly 
stirred by the Holy Spirit for his complete deliverance, 
bowed with him in his library. They prayed a prayer 
into which he earnestly sought to enter with a real Amen. 
The brethren knew, as did Dr. Simpson, that they 
wrestled "not against flesh and blood, but against princi- 
palities, against powers, against the rulers of the dark- 
ness of this world, against wicked spirits in heavenly 
places." Presently they knew that victory had been given, 
but they longed and hoped that it also might mean perfect 
physical deliverance. Before they rose from their knees 
he said, "Boys, I do not seem to be able to take quite all 



IN MEMORIAM 279 

that you have asked. You seem to have outstripped me — 
but Jesus is so real" ; and he began to talk to his Lord 
as only a man who has known the intimate love-life of the 
Man in the Glory can do. 

From that hour no one ever heard Dr. Simpson speak 
of the Enemy, and to the last those who met him in the 
Tabernacle or at the headquarters in New York, or at 
Old Orchard, where he went soon afterward, or later in 
his own home and bedchamber, were conscious of even 
a richer aroma of Christ than that sweet fragrance which 
for so many years had surrounded him. 

His marvelous ministry of prayer was revivified. His 
friend. Rev. W. T. MacArthur, who a short time before 
had spent two or three days with him, returned un- 
heralded. Dr. Simpson met him at the door and said, 
"Well, Mac, you have come to pray for me again." "No, 
Brother Simpson, I have come to ask you to pray for 
me." "That is a very gracious way of putting it," he 
replied. "Not at all; it is the truth. I have carried my 
old sermon barrel till I am sick of it. I must have a fresh 
anointing." "Oh, then, if that is so," said Dr. Simposn, 
"we will go right into my study." That night a series of 
messages were born in the preacher's soul, and those who 
heard him that summer knew that fresh oil had been 
poured upon him. 

Nor was Mr. MacArthur the only one who found his 
way to this man of God for just such an anointing. One 
after another of the brethren met him quietly and alone 
with the same result. He seemed to be pouring out upon 
these disciples something of the gift which had so en- 
riched his own ministry. 

Perhaps the most memorable of these occasions was 
that which occurred when Paul Rader came from Chi- 



28o LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

cago to New York for a night of prayer and special con- 
sultation with the Board concerning his relation to the 
work. We will let Mr. Rader tell the story. 

"Never will I forget a night a few months ago. Dr. 
Simpson was occupying a room at headquarters across 
the hall from the Board meeting which he was unable 
to attend. At the close of the meeting I went into his 
room with Brother Senft and Brother Lewis. He put 
out his arm, and we knelt to pray^ Oh, such a prayer! 
He started in thanksgiving for the early days, and swept 
the past in waves of praise at each step ; then to the pres- 
ent; then on to the future — the prophet vision was mar- 
velous. We were all with upturned, tear-stained faces 
praising God together with him as by faith we followed 
him to the mountain and viewed the Promised Land. He 
was so sure the Alliance was born in the heart of God. 
He lay there in a burst of praise, sure that God could 
carry it forward. He knew his physical life was closing. 
So, reverently he lifted his hands as if passing the work 
over to God who had carried it all these days." 

Perhaps Mr. Rader was the only one of the brethren 
who dared to claim a double portion of his spirit. Those 
of us who saw him that day when he came out from that 
prayer scene realized that in his inner consciousness, 
whether he confessed it to himself or not, Paul Rader 
knew that the mantle was falling upon him. All the way 
to Nyack he would answer us only in monosyllables ; and 
when he stood before the students that night, the natural 
man which had dazzled many an audience had disappeared, 
and for that night he stood in brokenness, quietly uttering 
a message which went to the depths of many a heart, 
though he himself felt that he had failed. 

During the winter of 1918-1919 Dr. Simpson spent ^ 



wsaiixf 







Mr. and Mrs. Simpson. 



IN MEMORIAM 281 

considerable part of the time at headquarters in New 
York, and attended most of the meetings in the Taber- 
nacle, He started a daily prayer meeting and once ven- 
tured to address the Friday meeting. He attended the 
great Prophetic Conference in Carnegie Hall, delighting 
in the fellowship of such old friends as Dr. W. B. Riley, 
Dr. James M. Gray, Dr. George William Carter, Mr. 
Charles G. Trumbull, and many others. The chairman 
of one of the meetings called upon him to lead in prayer, 
and though the audience could see that his strength had 
failed greatly, when he began to pour out his heart to 
God a hush fell over the vast assembly, and men realized 
anew that in real prayer 

"Heaven comes down our souls to greet 
While glory crowns the mercy seat." 

Dr. and Mrs. Simpson spent the early springtime on 
the beautiful Nyack hillside in Dean Turnbull's residence 
near the Institute, to the great delight of the students, 
and later returned to their own home a little further down 
the hill. 

Just before the Annual Council in May he suffered a 
slight stroke of paralysis, which prevented him and Mrs, 
Simpson from going to Toccoa where the Council was 
held that year; but he recovered so rapidly that none of 
the brethren was detained at Nyack. He sent this tele- 
gram to the Council : "Beloved brethren assembled in 
Council at Toccoa : I regret not being able to meet you 
this year to look over the blessing of the year gone by. 
Although turmoil and strife have ruled the world, God 
has held us by His mighty hand from the many trials 
and evils which have surrounded us. Blessing has been 
poured out upon the work and the workers as they have 



282 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

been guided by Him. We praise His name forever. My 
prayer is that God shall rule this blessed work which was 
begun in sacrifice and consecration to Him, for the spread- 
ing of the Gospel into all lands. I hope soon to meet you 
all again as He will. My text today is John 1 1 :4 — 'This 
sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God.' We 
are with you in spirit if not in body." 

When the delegates returned, they found Dr. Simpson 
recovered almost to his condition previous to the stroke. 
He passed through the summer with little change, being 
about his own home and graciously receiving the few 
special friends who were privileged to call upon him. 
His son, Howard, who had been in the Canadian Army 
in France, returned and spent some months at home, but 
in the late summer accepted a business position in Mon- 
treal. His daughter, Margaret, came frequently from 
New York and his older daughter, Mabel, also came from 
Hamilton in the early autumn to visit him. 

During these months Mrs. Simpson watched over her 
beloved husband with the utmost devotion, and was 
wonderfully sustained from day to day by God's unfailing 
grace. Dr. Simpson received all these loving ministries 
with his usual graciousness but made no needless demands 
on those who cared for him. 

On Tuesday, October 28th, he spent the morning on 
his verandah and received a visit from Judge Clark, of 
Jamaica, conversing freely, and praying fervently for 
Rev. and Mrs. George H. A. McClare, our Alliance mis- 
sionaries in Jamaica, and for the missionaries in other 
fields, who were always in his mind. After the Judge 
left him he suddenly lost consciousness and was carried 
to his room. His daughter Margaret and a little group 
of friends watched by the bedside with Mrs. Simpson 



IN MEMORIAM 283 

till his great spirit took leave of his worn out body and 
returned to God that gave it, early on Wednesday morn- 
ing, October 29th, 1919. 

Mr. Howard Simpson and Mrs. Brennan and her two 
daughters, Marjorie and Katherine, hastened from Can- 
ada, Mrs. Gordon Simpson, a widowed daughter-in-law, 
and her daughters, Misses Joyce, Ruth, Wilhelmina and 
Anna, and her son Albert came from New York City, and 
a nephew, Dr. James Simpson, of Ridgefield Park, N, J., 
was also present. 

Mrs. Simpson received hundreds of letters and tele- 
grams from all parts of the world and many messages 
of sympathy were sent officially to The Christian and 
Missionary Alliance and The Alliance Weekly from kin- 
dred organizations. 

The Congo Mission wrote through its Executive Com- 
mittee : "The news of Dr. Simpson's home-going came 
to us as a shock. We had been praying and hoping that 
the Lord would restore him to health and grant him yet 
many years of service in directing the world-wide Alliance 
work which was so dear to his heart and to which he 
gave himself so unselfishly and untiringly. May our 
Heavenly Father, the God of all comfort sustain you in 
your separation and sorrow. As a Mission and as part 
of the Alliance family we bear you up in our prayers 
and trust that the Lord will continue to use you in this 
work, which we know is also dear to your heart." 

Rev. E. A. Kilbourne, of the Oriental Missionary So- 
ciety, Japan, sent this message: "His influence was not 
confined to the ranks of The Christian and Missionary 
Alliance, but preachers, missionaries, editors, and people 
of all denominations have been moved and stirred by 
his untiring zeal for the cause of Christ in all the world. 






284 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

How glad I am that I was permitted to sit at his feet. 
His inspiring messages have always stirred my soul." 

Several leaders in Jewish missions sent tender mes- 
sages, among whom were Rev. Samuel Wilkinson, of the 
Mildmay Mission to the Jews, London ; Rev. S. B. Ro- 
hold, superintendent of the mission to the Jews, Toronto, 
Rev. Thomas M. Chalmers, of the Jewish Mission, New 
York, and Rev. Maurice Ruben, of the New Covenant 
Mission, Pittsburgh, who said: "It is with the deepest 
feeling of a personal loss that I wish to express my inner- 
most sympathy to all the Alliance family in the departure 
of their beloved leader. Truly a prince in Israel has 
fallen. Dr. Simpson was one among thousands, and he 
will leave a vacancy that will not easily be filled." 

Rev. Henry W. Frost, director of the China Island 
Mission, wrote that "Dr. Simpson belonged to the whole 
Church of Christ. His ministries overflowed boundaries 
and went out into every place. It is a true mark of a 
Spirit-filled man. I speak also for the members of the 
China Island Mission in expressing for The Christian and 
Missionary Alliance our heartfelt sympathy in their great 
loss." 

The president of the Toronto Globe, Mr. W. G. Jaf- 
fray, sent this personal word: "The Christian and Mis- 
sionary Alliance stands as a monument of his devotion 
to God's purpose for him in this life. Eternity alone 
will show the full results of his earthly ministry. Both 
myself and my family have experienced his loving sym- 
pathy and help in times gone by." 

Other brief extracts show the regard in which he was 
held by the great men of the Church. Prof. W. H. Grif- 
fith Thomas, D.D., said : "In the death of Dr. Simpson 
it is literally true to say that a great man has fallen in 



IN MEMORIAM 285 

Israel. For many years I have followed his work with 
keen interest and genuine admiration." His old friend, 
Dr. James M. Gray, D.D., Dean of the Moody Bible In- 
stitute, wrote: "I knew Dr. Simpson before The Chris- 
tian Alliance was formed, and my feelings toward him 
have passed from wonder and admiration to the deepest 
confidence and love." Dr. George H. Sandison of The 
Christian Herald, who knew him intimately at Nyack, 
and as a fellow editor, said that "His epitaph is written 
in the hearts of countless multitudes at home and abroad. 
I can think of no one in this age who has done more ef- 
fectual, self-denying service for Christ and His Gospel 
than Albert B. Simpson. It will be one of the dearest 
memories of my life that I had the honor and pleasure 
of calling him my friend." Dr. D. McTavish, in whose 
church in Toronto many of the Alliance conventions were 
held, adds this word: "Rev. A. B. Simpson was a man 
definitely laid hold of by God to do a marvelous work. 
He was a great Gospel preacher, a great defender of 
'the faith once for all delivered unto the saints' ; a great 
missionary advocate and a great-hearted Christian friend. 
We shall sorely miss his genial presence, but what a glor- 
ious welcome awaited such a splendidly invested life." Dr. 
W. B. Riley, of The First Baptist Church, Minneapolis, 
sent this word of mingled sorrow and hope: "It was a 
great personal grief to me to know of the going of Dr. 
A. B, Simpson. For more than twenty-five years I have 
known him and my admiration increased with the ac- 
quaintance. Truly, the cause of Christ is the poorer for 
his departure, but how much richer for his sacrifices and 
services of love. We join with a host of friends in ex- 
pressing congratulations to his dear wife and family on 
the great life he lived, and our condolence on the separa- 



286 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

tlon which, let us trust, will be cut short by the soon-com- 
ing of his Lord." 

Four simple and impressive services were held in con- 
nection with the Memorial. The first of these was in 
The Gospel Tabernacle, New York, on Sunday morning, 
November 2nd, at which several of the church officers and 
members of the Board of The Christian and Missionary 
Alliance gave loving tributes to their beloved friend. Dr. 
Marquis of the Bible Teachers' Training School, who 
was present, was called to the platform and gave a brief 
but most appreciative impromptu address which is quoted 
elsewhere. On Sunday afternoon three hundred Institute 
students lined the winding pathway leading up the hill- 
side from the Simpson home to The Missionary Institute, 
while other students carried the casket to the Institute 
Chapel. An informal service was held in the evening at 
which many testimonies were given as to the influence 
of the life of Dr. Simpson, the founder of the institutions, 
upon the students and the faculty. 

On Monday afternoon a more formal tribute w^as 
given by Rev. R. A. Forrest, Rev. A. E. Funk, Rev. 
Henri DeVries, Rev. T. P. Gates, and Dr. J. Gregory 
Mantle. Dr. Mantle told how the vergers of St. Paul's 
Cathedral show to travelers the sculptured monuments 
of Britain's greatest sons. Finally the verger points out 
a little tablet on which is inscribed 

"Sir Christopher Wren, 
Born in 1631, 
Died in 1723; 
If you seek his monument, look around." 

"So," said Dr. Mantle, "would I say of this man — Tf you 
seek his monument, look around'." 



IN MEMORIAM 287 

The principal service was held in the Gospel Taber- 
nacle, New York, on Tuesday at noon. So many desired 
to attend that admittance was by ticket. The members 
of the Board of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, 
the elders of the Gospel Tabernacle, the faculty of the 
Missionary Institute, many missionaries and home work- 
ers of the Alliance, and representative ministers of the 
Gospel from various denominations filled the platform. 
They included many of the disciples who were now to 
carry forward the work he had begun. Mr. Ulysses 
Lewis, of Atlanta, Georgia, presided. Rev. F. H. Senft 
offered the invocation; Rev. J. E. Jaderquist read the 
Scripture; and Rev. E. D. Whiteside led in a tender in- 
tercessory prayer, Mrs. Margaret Buckman, daughter 
of Dr. Simpson, sang one of his unpublished hymns. The 
Upward Calling. 

"A Voice is calling me, a Hand has grasped me, 
By cords unseen my soul is upward drawn; 
My heart has answered to that upward calling, 
I clasp the Hand that lifts and leads me on. 

"I'm turning from the past that lies behind me, 
I'm reaching forth unto the things before; 
I've caught the taste of life's eternal fountains, 
And all my being longs and thirsts for more. 

"A brooding Presence hovers o'er my spirit, 
The Heavenly Dove my heart doth softly woo; 
I catch bright visions of my heavenly calling 
And all there is for me to be and do. 

"A mystic glory lingers all around me, 
And all the air breathes out the eternal spring; 
I feel the pulses of the New Creation, 
And all things whisper of the Coming King. 



288 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

"And in my heart I hear the Spirit's whisper, 
'The Bridegroom cometh, hasten to prepare!' 

And with my vessels filled and lamps all burning 
I'm going out to meet Him in the air." 

Messages were read from Dr. Robert E. Speer, Secre- 
tary of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions, and 
Dr. Wilbert W. White, of the Bible Teachers' Training 
School, who were both out of the city. Rev. Edward H. 
Emett was present and spoke as Dr. White's personal 
representative. Rev. Kenneth Mackenzie, the first min- 
ister in New York City to stand with Mr. Simpson on his 
platform when he began this ministry; Dr. Edward B. 
Shaw, of Monroe, New York, a Sunday-school boy in 
Mr. Simpson's first pastorate and Mr. Charles G. Trum- 
bull, Editor of The Sunday School Times, represented 
the larger circle of the Christian Church and spoke feel- 
ingly of what Dr. Simpson's life and testimony had 
meant to themselves and to the Church at large. Rev. P. 
W. Philpott, of Hamilton, Ont. ; Rev. J. D. Williams, of 
St. Paul, Minn.; Rev. W. M. Turnbull, of Nyack, and 
Rev. A. E. Thompson, of Jerusalem, all members of the 
Board, gave testimonies on behalf of the Alliance consti- 
tuency at home and abroad. The last message was a most 
touching tribute from Rev. Paul Rader, Vice President of 
The Christian and Missionary Alliance. Perhaps no minis- 
ter in the great metropohs had ever been so truly hon- 
ored in his memorial service as was this man who, thirty- 
eight years before, had dared to step out alone on the 
promises of God and, like Caleb of old, "Wholly follow 
the Lord." 

The funeral cortege proceeded from the Gospel Taber- 
nacle to Woodlawn Cemetery where Dr. Simpson's body 
was placed in a vault. The family had intended that his 



IN MEMORIAAl 289 

last earthly resting place should be in the family plot in 
Hamilton, Ont., but graciously consented to the urgent 
request that his body should be interred on the beautiful 
hillside at Nyack, near the Missionary Institute. Some 
one had suggested that each of the sixteen mission fields 
send a stone, engraved in the native language, to be built 
into a simple but unique monument. 

On Friday, May 21st, 1920, at the closing of the Annual 
Council of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, Dr. 
Simpson's body was brought back to the hillside. Hun- 
dreds of delegates to the Council and other friends gath- 
ered around as the hands of men who had loved him 
lowered his body into the earth whence it came, and eyes 
looked upward knowing that the spirit had departed to 
be with Christ and is waiting for the day for which he had 
looked and longed when "the trumpet shall sound and 
the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be 
changed," when "Death is swallowed up in victory." How 
often he had voiced in song the hope that he would be 
caught up in the clouds together with the resurrected ones 
to meet the Lord in the air and so be "forever with the 
Lord." He can have no regrets now for he is "with 
Christ which is far better" than to be here, even with 
friends and fellow-workers. Mrs. Simpson and many 
friends sorrow not as those who have no hope, for "we 
which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord 
shall not go before them which are asleep" but "the dead 
in Christ shall rise first," As they lived here together 
with Christ, so then together they shall share in the power 
of his resurrection. 

Few men since the days of Paul could so confidently 
say "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my 
course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid 



290 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the 
righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me 
only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

A GREAT LEGACY 

By Rev. Paul Rader 
President of The Christian and Missionary Alliance. 

THERE have been but few world men. We read the 
history of great statesmen who were splendid defend- 
ers of their nation's rights and guiders of the bodies 
politic. We read of some of these who were diplomats, 
for they stood between their own and antagonistic nations 
in the hour of strain or war. We read of others who had 
breadth of heart and smiled with favor on a sister nation 
or a people near at hand who were in subjection. There 
have been men of world-travel fame who have discussed 
for us, on the printed page, the habits and customs of far 
away peoples. We have had great writers on interna- 
tional questions. Of late we have had those who hav<j 
dared to think of world peace. The Hague, with its Peace 
Monument, speaks to posterity of these larger visioned 
men. 

We are today considering the conflict of minds con- 
cerning a League of Nations. It seems that at last lead- 
ers of public thought have been forced by world calamity 
to think of a whole world. The back alley local murders 
and small town scandals were forced from the front pages 
of our dailies for at least four years, and the news of a 
world's troubles and woes was given to us for breakfast 
instead. To at least twenty-five per cent of the world's 
population the geography of the globe has changed. They 



292 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

now know, to some extent, where Belgium is, and Hol- 
land, Germany, Russia, France, and Great Britain. They 
were forced to follow their boys ; they had to buy a map 
or use the one in the dailies. 

Is it not a terrifying conclusion that, with the masses, 
there must be world agony before there is world thought ? 
If world consideration is so hard to obtain, how much 
harder, and therefore rarer, is world sympathy. A world 
man — that is, a man with a whole world on his heart, is 
a rare man and a man close to God, for God alone loves 
the world. Enoch walked with God and talked with God. 
His talk was of the whole world of men and the coming 
flood. Enoch gave his boy a name of warning, Methuse- 
lah, meaning, "When he dies the flood will come." Abra- 
ham talked with God, left his own and stepped out for 
a life that would mean a new race and a blessing through 
them finally to the whole race of mankind. Peter met 
Christ and believed that He was God. Then came that 
dream of a sheet let down from heaven. There God 
gave him a vision, not of one race — his race — but the 
zvhole human race for whom Christ has died. Paul met 
Christ on the road to Damascus, and went to the whole 
world to tell the news of salvation. Other men who have 
come close to the heart of Christ have caught a vision 
of a whole world and a Christ who loves and has died for 
all men. Race prejudice vanishes with a vision of Christ 
for a world of men. 

My outstanding impression of Dr. A. B. Simpson is 
that he was the foremost world man of our generation. 
Many great men of missionary vision have joined hands 
with others to spread the Gospel in the darkened lands. 
Here is a man who, single-handed, started and carried 
forward a movement to the "regions beyond." He 



A GREAT LEGACY 293 

planted his workers in sixteen great mission fields of the 
earth, and did it in twenty-five years. 

With his God-given message from pen and pulpit he 
gathered a constituency to stand behind his recruits. 
Time, money, energy, writing, preaching, prayer, ambition 
— all was poured into a funnel that poured out in bless- 
ing on the whole world. Yes, Dr. Simpson talked with 
God until he became a world man. He is gone to be with 
the Lord, but with such master workmanship did he estab- 
lish his society, that blessing is still flowing from it in a 
greatly increasing stream. 

No founder ever held an organization with so light 
a hand as Dr. Simpson held the Alliance. Since the Lord 
has called him higher, we find that the Alliance, as always, 
is not in the hands of man, but in the hands of God, and 
underneath are the everlasting arms. 

Three things the Alliance was raised up of God to do. 
Dr. Simpson said in an outburst of soul, looking back over 
the years, 'T can well remember the nights I walked up 
and down the sandy beach of Old Orchard, Maine, in the 
summer of 1881, and asked God in some way to raise up 
a great missionary movement that would reach the neg- 
lected fields of the world and utilize the neglected forces 
of the Church at home, as was not then being done. I 
little dreamed that I should have some part in such a 
movement, but even then the vision was given of souls yet 
to be born like the stars of heaven and the sands upon the 
seashore. The movement has been wholly providential." 

Here then we have this world man's own words. So 
it was, first, "neglected fields," second, "neglected forces," 
and God later led him to see the mighty, but largely un- 
preached truths for which the Alliance now stands. There- 
fore, thirdly, we have "neglected truths." 



294 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

Dr. Simpson has been promoted, but the movement he 
founded is going forth to a whole world to preach 
neglected truths to neglected fields with neglected forces. 
Let us look at these three neglected things in the reverse 
order of the one in which we have named them. Very 
decidedly we say that first and foremost the neglected 
truths must be seen or there will be a movement without 
a message. The most outstanding weakness of our time 
is great movements without a message. The Alliance 
still holds and preaches these neglected truths. 

Jesus As Saviour. 

We are in the heart of the apostasy. Many are fall- 
ing away. The fundamentals of Christianity are being 
attacked by a new and subtle method. The war is on 
against the Bible, the Blood, and the Blessed Hope. It 
is a highly organized war with highly educated, highly 
respectable, and highly paid men as officers over its ranks. 
"Salvation through social service" is the battle cry in this 
war against the saints. There comes then a fresh call to 
raise our battle cry of, "Saviour, Sanctifier, Healer, and 
Coming King," above all this Cain religion. 

In thousands of churches on this continent where the 
blood used to be preached and sinners used to be saved, 
there is no cry of new-born babes about their silent altars. 
In thousands more no one occupies the pews, no one the 
pulpit. Empty, forsaken, they stand in mute appeal for 
men with vital breath and a soul-saving Gospel to come 
and open them and pass the Bread of life to the multitudes 
and villagers about them. It is imperative that some move- 
ment preaching Jesus as Saviour step into this great 
breach at once. The neglected truth of Jesus as all suffi- 
cient Saviour must go forth. I did not say "be believed 
and held," I said, "go forth." Though our founder has 



A GREAT LEGACY 295 

gone, we, as an Alliance, say, "go forth," not in words 
but in new systematic, powerful evangelizing methods. 
This world man's evangelizing vision is still our vision. 

When the Alliance was born, the message of Finney 
was still in the air, Moody and Sankey were mighty in 
power. Dr. Simpson caught his first vision of the neg- 
lected crowds outside the churches through an evange- 
listic meeting in his Kentucky town conducted by Major 
Whittle and P. P. Bliss. That mighty man among us in 
the early days, Dr. Wilson, fell at an old-time Salvation 
Army penitent form, when already an ordained clergy- 
man, because of the salvation fire of the Army of those 
days. 

The very air was pregnant with Holy Ghost conviction 
when the Alliance came into being, and sinners by the 
thousands found a living, life-giving Saviour. What a 
contrast to the atmosphere in which we, as an Alliance, 
find ourselves now planning for the preaching of Jesus 
the Saviour around the world. Where are the Holy Spirit 
filled evangelists now? The war, with one fell stroke, 
seems to have wiped commercial evangelism from the 
earth. It has seemingly, also, laid a giant hand of frost 
upon all evangelism. The AlHance takes for itself from 
God to see to it that every last branch is a soul-saving 
station through the week and on Sundays. 

The old rescue mission is gone. The Alliance founded 
by this world man will still open missions to the masses. 
The incorporation certificate of the first Alliance society 
stated that the object of the society was "to do the work 
of evangelism, especially among the neglected classes by 
highway missions and other practical methods." 

We surely believe in defending the fundamentals, but, 
as an Alliance, we will defend them by taking them with 



296 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

renewed consecration and fiery fervor to the masses, any 
way, every way — but take them and preach them. These 
great fundamentals of the faith will defend themselves 
in living witness of their life-giving power when 
preached. 

Yes, Jesus as Saviour is a greatly neglected truth in 
our day. God will give us grace and practical sense in 
planning a larger way of coming to the rescue as flam- 
ing evangels in this sad hour. 

Jesus As Sanctifier 

When the Alliance was born, the holiness movement 
that had its start with Finney and others was at high 
tide. Camp meeting grounds dotted the groves near 
great city centers as well as at the seashores and the lake 
fronts. Methodism led the way under the mighty gen- 
eralship and inspiration of such Spirit-filled men as 
Bishop Joyce and Mallalieu and Dr. S. A. Keen of Ohio. 
Much controversy concerning holiness and its place in 
Bible doctrine was stirring evangelical forces everywhere. 

Into this ripe hour God led Dr. Simpson, bringing the 
great heart and power and cleansing message of the Al- 
liance. Hearts that had hungered for the deeper life, 
found in the Alliance message on the crisis of the Deeper 
Life a splendid Bible ground for their feet, and thousands 
found Jesus as their Sanctifier and were filled with the 
Holy Spirit, counting not their lives dear unto themselves, 
but finding Jesus all and in all. The heart of this mes- 
sage of the Alliance is in the hymn which I consider the 
greatest hymn that Dr. Simpson ever wrote : 

"Once it was the blessing. 
Now it is the Lord. 
Once it was the feeling. 
Now it is His word." 



A GREAT LEGACY 297 

Especially in the lines — 

"Once it was my working, 
His it hence shall be. 
Once I tried to use Him, 
Now He uses me." 

We find ourselves today in no such atmosphere as that 
m which the Alliance was born. We feel the tramp and 
the tread of the great army toward the winding up of 
man's day. Above this army waves the world-movement 
banners. The social service slogans fill the air. The 
printed pages of rationalism are scattered all about. The 
circulars concerning the isms of the day are handed to us 
on car and street. The world attractions blaze on the city 
highways. The movies have lengthened their reels to 
accommodate church and theatre alike. The Church's 
standards and social standards are dropping, dropping. 
We can only gasp as the news comes of newer and wider 
departures from the old fundamentals of the faith. 

Is there lack of money, of organization, of attraction, 
of eloquence, of education, of culture, of popularity? No, 
NO. It all comes from no lack whatever of power with- 
out, but the lack of the living Christ within. 

Truly, the atmosphere of this day is far dififerent from 
the atmosphere a quarter of a century ago; but, atmo- 
sphere or no atmosphere, the Alliance has still a message 
in Jesus as our sanctification for the crisis of the deeper 
life which leads to the fullness of the Holy Ghost and 
fire. This fullness and fire are the greatest needs of the 
saints of all time, and surely today. There was darkness 
in Egypt that could be felt, but we read further in God's 
Word that Israel, at the same time, "had light in their 
dwellings." It was supernatural light. It was a type of 



298 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

tlie full light of the Holy Spirit for these last dark days. 
There is teaching today, thank God, concerning the 
Holy Spirit, and the setting forth of the doctrines of the 
Holy Spirit. The need of the hour is for this movement, 
with these neglected doctrines very clear, but with a 
method just as clear. Our doctrine must be clear ; so must 
be a time table, but the time table and the train are not 
the same thing. The doctrine of the fullness of the Holy 
Spirit, even when believed in, is not the fullness of the 
Holy Spirit. There are those who preach these doctrines 
without seeing any one filled with the Holy Spirit, be- 
cause they never even clear the decks for action with an 
altar service. They never even use the crisis moment at 
the close of their teaching for a crisis decision right where 
the hungry hearts are seated. God is moving freshly 
upon us in power, with Holy Ghost directed altar work, 
for clear cut decisions and definite Spirit-filling. There 
is great need for a revival in the Body of Christ. This 
revival will start and run through the Alliance ranks 
like fire, for we are going back to our old altar services, 
using the Word of God and keeping man's hands off 
the wrestling heart. 

Jesus As Healer. 

Thank God, the home-going of our founder finds us 
true as a Society to the doctrine and practice of Jesus as 
our Healer. The hem of His garment is still being 
touched by the hand of faith. True, the crowd around 
are hurling their anathemas, but He still heals. It is the 
great answer to Christian Science. God has brought many 
workers to the Alliance through miraculously healing 
them, and made the work a miraculous blessing in thou- 
sands of homes. 



A GREAT LEGACY 299 

His Return. 

As the Wise Men followed the star, so the Alliance 
company of faith folk follow lovingly the Blessed Hope. 
It is the pillar of fire by night and the cloud by day. We 
never can stop in the forward march started by the mighty 
man of God to the regions beyond until we see Him face 
to face, since the vision of an open heaven and a descend- 
ing Lord has reached our ranks. 

The Alliance is going to the ends of the earth, to the 
last tribe and tongue because of the Great Commission 
and because His coming back depends upon the going out 
with the message to evangelize the world. This move- 
ment is following the God-given program in gathering 
out a people for His name. Then He will return. The 
Alliance heartily says, "Even so, come. Lord Jesus," but it 
does not say it idly at home. It is saying it from every 
quarter of the globe after these more than thirty years of 
missionary effort. 

The incense from the silent graves of more than seven 
score of missionaries, the clarion call of their laid-down 
lives comes up to God in mighty tones and sweet savor, 
pleading His return. This call is not in sentiment but in 
sacrifice and service. A few more Hves, a few more 
members of His Body gathered out from the lost, and 
He will come. 

With a new Spirit-planned and anointed forward move- 
ment the Alliance is going to the regions beyond to bring 
back the King. He is still beckoning from Macedonia. 
Thank God that bringing back the King is not only the 
Blessed Hope of the Alliance, but the great business to 
which it has consecrated its all. 

The world man who founded this Society has taken off 



300 LIFE OF A. B. SIMPSON 

his armor, but nothing better could be said of the fight 
he fought than that the ranks he commanded are still 
in the fight, with the same message, the same vision, the 
same fire and with increasing victory. 



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