The Journal of John Long
About John Long
Finding John Long's Journal
Significance of John Long's Journal
Treatises and Writings by John Long
Inspirational Poetry by John Long
Photos of the John Long Family
For many years I gave up the intention of keeping a Journal, however, as I grew older in years I changed my mind and decided to keep a select account worth remembering for my own interest as well as others. While I had not the privilege of an excellent education like others, very few has had such a training in the school of experience; however I have tried to improve on what I did get, so as to return my talents with increase and usury.
In this record there is only a brief sketch of what did happen; every mission, meeting, and journey is not mentioned. On my first mention of doctrines believed and taught by me, I have quoted once for all the plain Scriptures defending them; also, I have given the meaning of Ecclesiastical terms and words, using the very best Lexicons and helps that can be found. The poetry found in this book are mostly my own composition, and are scattered throughout the pages to make it interesting, also to serve as a definition of subjects. I have also gone through my writings and crossed with a red pencil every verse of poetry not my own composition. In alluding to hymns, I have only quoted the first line. I have used the title Pastor instead of Reverend, as applied to the clergy. Thus I have tried to adhere to the Word of God.
An interesting part of this Journal are some true accounts of the origin of the Faith Mission, Go-Preachers, Welsh, and Pentecostal revivals, gathered from personal experience and observation. Some warnings are thrown out here and there, like floating buoys on treacherous waters. Though I did not begin to write this record till 1918, great events, also a good memory, together with principal dates noted in my Bible, enabled me to give them accurately; this is a revised and enlarged edition of the original copy. It is a condensed embodiment of Christian Theology. "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ," Ephesians 3:8. “Unto Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father, to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 1:5-6.
P.S. I hope the feelings of other missions, or persons will not be
by any friendly criticism contained in this book. I have tried to be
and charitable as well and only alluded to mistakes where I could not
it, considering that I have a right to my opinion, and so has every
of God. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."
January 20th, 1923
I, John Long, am a sinner saved by the Grace of God I was born in Burntwood, Cloughjordan, County Tipperary, [Ireland] on the 15th September, 1872. I confess that I am a stranger and a pilgrim upon the earth as all our fathers were. Psalm 39:12.
My Grandmother, Jane Long, was a Godly woman and was sister to Thomas Carter, a famous Methodist Local Preacher in Cloughjordan circuit. Under his ministry, my father Gilbert Long, was converted, and for some time attended class, though he backslid from it, but was restored before he died. I used to read the Bible for my Grandmother in her old age, and I owe much to her prayers, which I believe were abundantly answered. My mother, Ann Long, was of a religious family named Turners; she was a quiet person, and naturally tried to live good, and do good. Reader: “Honour thy father and mother which is the first commandment with promise," Ephesians 6:2. Many die when young, and do not live out half their days because of ingratitude and unkindness shown to parents: they may not be all that they should be, nevertheless we should cover their faults, and bare with their infirmities, 1 Peter 4:8.
At the young age of seven, I began to work on a small farm, also for many years during the summer months was occupied in wheeling, footing, and selling turf, one of the ways by which our family was supported. In the winter I went to Newtown School, where I learned to read and write. My first religious instruction was given by the Episcopal minister at day school. I cannot boast like others of a very sudden conversion; it took a session of events to lead on to the great change. About that time I had very acute convictions of sin, and repeated buffetings of Satan; to will was with me, but how to perform that will I knew not; I never remember a time in which I was not willing to be a Christian; nevertheless the evil environments were enough to corrupt good manners: and the fear of man hindered me of making a bolder confession of Christ. Two books greatly impressed me namely, "The Pilgrims Progress" by John Bunyon; and "Precious Truths for every one" by Samuel Haughton. The reading of them deepened conviction; sowed the good seed in my heart; and increased desires to be saved and to know it.
At the age of twelve, I began to go to Sunday School and took an interest in reading the Bible, and winning prizes, in which I was very successful, commencing at class one, I took a first prize every year until I reached class eight in which I failed one year, but went ahead and took the Shepherd prize the year after. About the same time I signed the Temperance Pledge against alcoholic liquors, from which I have been a total Abstainer ever since. At the age of sixteen, I was confirmed according to the rite of the Episcopal church but did not find the peace with God that I was anxious to have. I have no objection to an Elder laying on hands for the filling of the Holy Spirit, if the Bishop was Baptized with the Holy Spirit himself, and the candidates were truly converted and earnestly seeking the gifts of the Spirit. The doctrine is established by the Scriptures Acts 8:17, Hebrews 6:2.
In February 1888, my Grandmother, Jane Long, died. We buried her in Modreeny Churchyard, beside her brother Thomas Carter, inside the gate to the left.
About July 1889, a Methodist Minister named John Good, was stationed
in Cloughjordan. He was an able Evangelist, a skilful fisher of men,
a good visitor. He did not confine his labours to Methodists only, but
he went among the Episcopalians. He visited our home and invited
us to attend a monthly cottage meeting held in the home of Thomas
Garrawn. While attending those meetings I was greatly convicted under
preaching; the Spirit of God at that time was mightily striving with
and I never could be alone without thinking of Heaven and Hell, God and
eternity. I cannot say that I found peace with God then, but he was
on, step by step, to the place of assurance.
FEBRUARY, 1890: In February 1890, a mission was held in the Methodist Church, Cloughjordan, by Gabriel Clarke a very zealous preacher and a beautiful singer. My aunt, Jane Bray, took me up to the front to decide for Christ. Very powerful intercessory prayer was made in my behalf by John Good, which I have no doubt was answered soon after, though at that time I had no assurance. One of the first times I got the witness of the Spirit within my soul was when I was asked to pray in public, which was a great cross to me at that time. The prayer was short and broken, nevertheless God heard and answered it, for great peace filled my soul; precisely the same thing occurred when I first returned thanks at meals in our own home.
The gospel decree
That Jesus loved me
And paid all my debt on the cross
That I might go free
His servant to be
And count all this world but as dross.
Believing I claimed
New life that He named
Confessing my Saviour as Lord
I knew in my soul
That I was made whole
Because of His Spirit and word.
In joy and distress,
Yet onward I press,
With the promise of God to sustain.
Till I hear the “Well done”,
And the prize it is won.
In a land without sorrow or pain.
On November 19th I left home to go and live with Leapold O’Sullivan, the rector of Cloughjordan, as a domestic servant. About the same time my father recovered from a severe sickness, he asked the Lord to spare his life for two years longer and got his request, for he lived four years and six months longer, and saw and enjoyed the Gospel meetings held by me in our own home.
Although the rector was an exclusive church man, he excelled in visiting the sick; also in Sunday School work. He was a quiet man, and it was easy to live with him; although he never encouraged me in my gospel work, he never hindered me when I did his service well.
The place was not an easy one, for I was tried and tested in many ways, namely treacherous Roman Catholic neighbours, deceitful fellow servants, bad fence round the Glebe land, rendered it difficult for me being only an novice and inexperienced. All these things were instrumental in causing me to pray for grace and patience, and God preserved and delivered and brought me safely through, for His eye was upon me, having apprehended me for His own work. I will just relate one incident in my experience to show how much I suffered, and patiently endured at that time. One day I refused a neighbour of apples out of the garden; while returning home that night I was followed by two men who dashed a rotten egg into my face. I was nearly suffocated, yet I recovered and forgave the man that did it, and through time was respected and liked. "When a mans ways please the Lord, He maketh even His enemies to be at peace with Him," Proverbs 16:7.
A converted Gentleman named Macready, came to live in the Deer Park
house, Cloughjordan. He was a great advocate of the Temperance movement
and organised many meetings to help on the cause; into that work I
my whole energy, giving recitations at meetings, and trying to
persons to sign the pledge. Brother Macready was the superintendent of
the Sunday School, and taught our class. He took a great interest
in me, and at a Christmas feast got up for the Sunday School scholars,
gave me D. L. Moody's book of love addresses, which was a treat to
On his death bed in 1894, he was heard to repeat my name several times. About that time I went in for a competitive examination on the injury done by alcohol to the human body; this improved my education very much. In those days I underwent great conflicts and temptations, sinning and repenting. I knew that God wanted me to go home and read and pray with my parents, and I was disobedient, kept back by the fear of man; this disturbed my peace with God for a time, till I took up my cross and entered in at the strait gate and started a gospel prayer meeting in the old home on September 10th, 1893. From that time, I have preached the gospel ever since. "Praise the Lord."
The voice of God then said to me
Take up thy cross I've set thee free
I rose, obeyed my Lord's command
To preach the gospel through the land.
My ways and acts I tried to mend
And on Christ's death I did depend
He lead me on from grace to grace
And brought me to a larger place.
Though trials great beset my way
It taught me how to watch and pray.
Little I knew as they did rise
They all were blessings in disguise.
1893, September 10: I preached for the first time from that beautiful text of Scripture "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest," Matthew 11:28. The meetings were well attended and God blessed the word to some, others opposed and criticised. It is the duty and privilege of all God's people to witness for Him in the world. A very common error was then prevalent among Romans and Protestants, especially Episcopalians, that no man should preach the gospel unless he had a college education and was ordained. It frequently happens that those who preach without those qualifications are moved to do it by the Holy Spirit of God and are the true ordained servants of the Lord. "Would God that all the Lord's people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them all," Numbers 11:29. "As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God,” 1 Peter 4:10. Indeed God seemed to correct that error by raising up the testimony of two great men in modern times, namely, John Bunyon, the famous writer, and D. L. Moody, the famous Evangelist.
In face of all these Scriptures and facts, the thirty-first Article is still taught in Episcopal Sunday Schools. The Greek word translated “ordained” is EMIMOE Epeectha thai, and means “Appointed.” Every believer is ordained according to the following Scriptures "I have chosen you and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit." John 15:16. "To good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them," Ephesians 2:l0. Elders can be appointed over the flock of God by the laying on of hands, Acts 14:22 [shd be 1 Tim 4:14]. Apostles can be sent forth on missionary tours by the laying on of hands, Acts 13:3. This may be done in appointing to office, but no where in the word of God can it be proved that laying on of hands is essential to preaching or testimony. Conversion and the Holy Spirit are the essential qualifications for the ministry of the word, John 3:10; Acts 20:28. From that time I went home once a week and held a prayer meeting, until I went fully on the work of the Lord.
About that time I was helped much by Samuel Weir, the Methodist minister for Cloughjordan circuit, he gave me every encouragement to go forward in the good work, and he helped me in my education. He put me on the Local Preacher’s plan, and every Sabbath evening when my master's work was done, I conducted meetings in Dromree, Snugsborough, Towra, Licadona, Newtown, Cloughjordan. A converted gentleman named Johnston Stoney, Emmel Castle, asked me to preach in his little Mission room, invited the neighbours to come and hear me preach. On the event of Samuel Weir leaving Cloughjordan, my father and mother went into the Methodist Chapel to hear him give his farewell address. I remember well the Hymn sang on the occasion was "Our souls are in His mighty hand." This produced a feeling causing tears at the parting of one whose ministry was a blessing while among us. I went home in tears, feeling the loss of such a valuable friend, who for loyalty and love excelled all others.
Desires to go fully on the Lord's work increased. I knew that God was calling me into active service. My parents were sympathetic, leaving me to myself and the Lord's leadings. My relatives and neighbours were untrustworthy, except a few who wished me well. "A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house," Matthew 13:57.
The good example of a young man named William Kenny from Ballingarry, Kings County, who after his conversion gave up his farm and went as a Colporteur in the Methodist society, set me thinking about doing the same thing. It seemed to be the only branch of Mission work open to me at that time; also I heard that they were anxious to employ one in the Limerick district. After praying much about it, I opened my Bible at this Scripture, "Prepare thee stuff for removing. In their sight shalt thou bear it upon their shoulders, and carry it forth in the twilight," Ezekiel 12: 3-6. This seemed to me to have reference to my first days in the work, carrying the bag of books, exposed to the criticism and reproach of neighbours round about home.
The great lack in Episcopalianism was that of preaching conversion, the witness of the Spirit, the present possession of Eternal life, confessing Christ with the mouth, family prayer, and liberty for laymen to preach in the churches. Because the Methodist preached those essential and vital truths, I left the Episcopal church, and joined the Methodist, although I never undervalued the Scriptural instruction and knowledge I got in Sunday School. I left the rector's employment to go fully on the Lord's work on the 19th February, 1895. I spent four years and four months.
Most Roman Catholic homes, book stalls, and libraries, were without Scriptures. Christian Protestants who desired the salvation of their neighbours the Roman Catholics, tried through the agency of the Colportage work to place the Scriptures in the hands of all who desired to have them. The colportage work was really a mission work. It consisted in selling the Scriptures, and other good books, to all denominations, also personal conversations with the people about their souls salvation together with giving away tracts and reading and praying in the homes; and occasionally holding Gospel meetings; critical persons viewed the selling only.
The Limerick District was a large section of the South of Ireland, divided by the Methodist; of which division the City of Limerick was the centre. It consisted of the Counties: Clare, Limerick, Galway, and part of Kings County, Tipperary, and Kerry. The population were largely Roman Catholics with a minority of Protestants.
The principal books sold by me were the Scriptures, The Pilgrims Progress, Foxes Book of Maryrs, The Travellers Guide from Death to Life, The Life of our Lord in simple language for little children. The Glories of Jesus, The Peep of Day, Kept for the Master's Use, hanging wall texts, mottoes, Hymn Books, etc. I believe in the verbal inspiration of the Bible, a variety of rendering does not remove inspiration, while substantively, and doctrinally all versions are the same. That the Bible is verbally inspired, read 2 Timothy 3:16. All Scripture is Divinely inspired. It is perfect in doctrine Psalm 19:7. It is called the Book of the Covenant, Exodus 24:7. It is called The Book of the Lord, Isaiah 34:16. It is called the Word of God in numerous places. It is called Holy Scriptures, 2 Timothy 3:15.
Testament means covenant or will. Canon means the received books, namely that which is inspired as distinct from other ancient writings. The Douay or Rhemish Testament, without notes was sold by Protestants to Roman Catholics. It is a translation from Jerome’s Latin Vulgate, and except the word penance for repentance, it is a noble version of the Scriptures. The Authorised Version has the Greek word METAVOE'W, Metanoeoo, rendered correctly repentance and means a change of mind.
The precious Book inspired of God
To be His peoples guide.
The Bible is infallible
And there is none beside.
There Christ is seen in every page
The bright and morning star
In type throughout the Jewish age
They saw the cross afar.
Our Great Messiah when he came
Told us of heavenly things.
The son of Righteousness arose
With healing in His wings.
Till heaven and earth shall pass away
No word of Christ can fail,
For every jot must be fulfilled
And truth it must prevail.
The glory of the Book is Christ
The centre is the cross.
God offers there to all mankind
Eternal gain or loss.
Every person should have the liberty to read the Bible for themselves. Any King, prince or bishop who prohibits the reading of the Bible in State or Church, or the home circle, is guilty of a great sin and acting unworthy of their office. The Septuagint Version of the Scriptures was the first general translation of the Scriptures from the Original Hebrew into Greek, made in the year B.C. 285 by order of Ptolemy Philadelphus, King of Egypt. It is called the LXX. The Latin Vulgate was a translation made in the year A.D. 384 out of the Greek Septuagint, and the original Greek New Testament, by Jerome. From it many translations were made until the Reformation times, when William Tyndal made a translation from the original Hebrew and Greek. The Authorised Version, was made by order of King James and was finished in 1611. No version ever made from the Originals has got such a universal circulation, and for 300 years has performed such an Evangelical work. Our Lord rebuked the Saducees for their ignorance of the Scriptures. "Ye do err not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God," Matthew 22:29. Paul and Luke commended the Bereans for searching the Scriptures, Acts 17:11. "Blessed is he that readeth, and that hear the words of this prophesy and keep those things that are written therein, for the time is at hand," Revelation 1:3.
MARCH, 1895: After securing five pounds worth of books, I made a start and visited most of the towns and villages in north riding Tipperary. My first days in the work were attended with many trials, hardship, cross-bearing, reproach, and extremely cold weather, together with a measure of success. It was a great cross to go to Roman Catholic houses, and yet when the cross was taken up, it became easier than I first imagined, for I found some of them friendly.
APRIL, 1895: During that month I visited Killaloe and Scarif in County Clare, and Templemore and Thurles in South riding Tipperary. I had my first experience of lodging in Roman Catholic houses, and succeeded in selling a large number of Douay Testaments and portions. From the very beginning, I had rather acute convictions regarding selling the Scriptures to Roman Catholics as the best means of reaching them with the Gospel. That arose from the priests forbidding them to buy or read any books sold by Protestants, also commanding the people to burn the Testaments, and denouncing the Colporteur as an heretic and proselytiser. However there were many copies sold to men in civil service, who used their own reason, and I am sure all the seed was not devoured by the fowls of the air. Many who fell out with the priests, fell in with the word of God, also many who travelled abroad were more unprejudiced and open minded; therefore, they bought freely. This proves that the South of Ireland is kept in darkness and bondage by the priests. I was convinced that conversation and preaching should go before the Scriptures, therefore our Lord said "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature,” Mark 16:15. Preaching and selling books did not go well together among Romans, but preaching and selling were very successful among Protestants.
The word Catholic means universal, and can be applied to all members of the body of Christ. The word Protestant means Pro for, and test, testimony. "For testimony". Yet how many who boast in that name, and have no real saving testimony for Christ, neither are they Catholics, who are not regenerated members of that one universal body of Christ.
MAY, 1895: During that month I visited Birr, Kings County, and Borrisokane. The will to the people about salvation was present with me, but power to perform that will was wanting. A Godly man named James Haslem, spoke to me about the Baptism, or filling of the Holy Spirit. Being troubled about his words and my own need, I went out into a field, and prayed, and arose renewed with spiritual power. I did not speak with other tongues like the primitive church, but I did speak with my mouth, and asked many Protestants and Romans the question: “Do you love Jesus?” "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God," I John 4:15.
Leaving Birr I went to my Aunts in Durrinvohill, Borrisokane, and at that time my Aunt and Uncle Bray took a great interest in me and encouraged me to go forward, also Goodhand Pattison, and his wife of Cloughjordan, were well wishers and sympathisers, while many were critical and treacherous.
JUNE, 1895: I arrived home on June 10 to find my father, Gilbert Long, had taken sick. Pneumonia set in, and he fell asleep in Jesus, June 18, 1895. We buried him in Finnoe Churchyard with his ancestors. I believe the dead in Christ have gone to Paradise, Luke 23:43. Hades and its Hebrew equivalent Sheol is the separate abode of the disembodied spirits until the resurrection of the body. The righteous compartment is called by our Lord "Abraham’s Bosom." Or “Paradise,” Luke 16:19-31.
The Spirits of departed saints
To Paradise have gone
Unto the promised rest and peace
To hear the words "well done."
They join the great triumphant throng
Set free from pain and care.
They sing the new eternal song
Nothing can vex them there.
With all the ransomed sons of men
There no more tears or pain
Waiting the resurrection morn
When Jesus comes again.
They look for anew heaven and earth
According to the word,
The city of the living God
Whose maker is the Lord.
JULY, 1895: Sister Lindsay, Crinkle, Birr, also Sister Loney, Ballingry, were the first to put me up freely for the Gospel's sake. I have no doubt but that has been one of the secrets of Spiritual, as well as temporal blessing. "And she said unto her husband, behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God which passeth by us continually. Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither," 2 Kings 4:9-10. At that time I was a probationer, waiting the decision of the district meeting, to know whether they would accept me as a Colporteur or not. On Sundays, I took a class in the Methodist Sunday School, and preached in various places in the evenings.
Does your light shine around you; in the midst of daily strife?
Always waiting for the opening, holding forth the word of life.
For the Gospel of our Saviour, to the end of time shall be
Then you'll hear the Master saying "Ye have toiled and borne for me."
Do you keep a prophet's chamber, with a little stool and bed?
Where the preacher in his journeys, can turn in to lay his head.
Look at Martha, how she kept a home, where her dear Lord could be.
Aim to win this commendation "Ye have done it unto me."
Do you like to cheer the children, as in adult years they grow?
Teaching them the Holy Scriptures, in their hearts the good seed sow.
For you toil, and care, and patience, rewarded it shall be,
By these loving words of Jesus "Ye have done it unto me."
Do you help the foreign mission, by your prayer and by your gift?
Taking interest in their labours, then their work will get a lift.
Soon shall mission work be over, when the gathering home shall come
Then how sweet the words of Jesus, "Ye have done it unto Me."
AUGUST, 1895: Owing to neglect of regular meals, worry, and
I got run down in health, and at times felt weak, tired, faint and
with some bad attacks of neuralgia, etc. I sought the Lord earnestly
healing, and it came, but not suddenly. I believe in Divine healing for
the body because the Scripture teaches it. And one of the attributes of
God to His redeemed people is "I am the Lord that healeth thee," Exodus
16:26. This, as well as all other blessings, is given to His people on
the ground of the merits of the Precious Blood of Jesus. In Isaiah
the Hebrew word rendered griefs is Choloynu, and is better
"sickness." "With His stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:5. "He
is the Saviour of the body," Ephesians 5:23. The conditions of
pardon are repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus
Acts 20:21. The Greek word translated faith and belief is pista,
and means trust, confidence etc. The conditions of receiving healing is
contained in one word, namely "obedience." First: obedience
to parents, Ephesians 6:1-3. Second: Obedience to the law of
Exodus 15:26. 1 Corinthians 9:21. Third: obedience to natural
Proverbs 1:8. Proper food, sleep, cleanliness, clothing, fresh air
are essential to good health. As infirmities and sickness are sometimes
permitted as a discipline and chastisement, Hebrews 12:8, they are not
hastily removed until they fulfill the purpose of God.
SEPTEMBER, 1895: On the 3rd, I was appointed a Colporteur by the district meeting held that year in Cloughjordan, I was sent forth by prayer. At that time I had a salary of one pound a week; it took ten shillings a week for lodging besides travelling expenses, and clothing, and a tenth to the Lord, and postage, etc. so as that a colporteur had barely maintenance. Either fixed pastors, or sent ones, who give their full time to the Lord's work should be supported or maintained by the gospel. “Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel,” 1 Corinthains 9:14. "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour." 1 Timothy 5:17. The Greek word translated honour is Tiun timee, and means price or pay, as well as respect.
OCTOBER, 1895: The society sent me to the west of Clare. I began in Kilkee and Kilrush. I found the inhabitance of that County affable and kind, but very much in ignorance and darkness. I had great success by way of sales during the four months spent in that county. The Methodist Minister of Kilrush gave me the right hand of fellowship and encouraged me to go forward. The first home I entered into bought a Douay Testament from me. One day on approaching the home of a poor woman, I had the Gospel of John in my hand. She was on her knees praying when I called; she arose and bought the gospel from me. God was answering her prayers, in sending the Word of God to her door.
NOVEMBER, 1895: During that month I visited Miltown Malbay, and Ennistymon. The hardships endured in that work were many; heavy loads, long journeys, irregular meals, etc. The dangers were very great; while some people were civil--others were treacherous, and at times one's life stood in danger. The excellences and utility of the work especially among Protestants were many, for neglected and isolated homes away in mountains and glens, and wilderness places were helped spiritually by friendly visits and happy presence of a man of God, reading, praying, talking, and distributing pure gospel literature among them; then they in return ministered in temporal things, in getting the welcome visitor a cup of tea, milk, or coffee, etc. "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation." Isaiah 52:7. The Colporteur brought good tidings of good, and the Evangelist in the open air published salvation.
DECEMBER, 1895: After visiting Corofrn and Ennis, I went home for Christmas, and whenever I was in the old neighbourhood I visited the aged also the sick and careless, and read and prayed with them, pointing them to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world. While at home, I was asked to give an address on my work in the Methodist Church, Cloughjordan. I had a very hard time when I said things I never meant to say, and things I meant to say went from my memory. I went home in tears; four months passed away, when I was again asked to take a service in the same church and had a remarkable time of liberty and power, when I returned home rejoicing.
Cast thy bread upon the waters
Let thy money go.
Give it freely to the needy
When God wills it so.
Cast thy bread upon the waters
Preach to all thy word
Of a full and free salvation
Through the risen Lord.
Cast thy bread upon the waters
With a busy hand
Bible portions, tracts, and booklets,
Broadcast o'er the land.
Cast thy bread upon the waters,
Give unto the poor,
Feed the hungry, clothe the naked,
God will give thee more.
JANUARY, 1896: During that year I had a hard time, suffering conflicts and temptations; oppositions and persecutions. The funds of the society did not work well, and I suffered for lack of money. The County Galway differed much from County Clare. That arose from two things. The Irish Church Missions had for years worked in it and were inclined for controversy which raised hostility against any one seeking to do them good, the people being warned not to have anything to do with Scripture Readers by their priests. The people of that County were the old Irish race, and were more excitable and war like than the inhabitants of other counties. During those testing times and wilderness experiences, I had some remarkable providential deliverances, answers to prayer, and anointings, and God was fitting for better days to come. "I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." Isaiah 48:10.
On the 5th January, 1896, I took my journey to Ennis downcast and discouraged. We read in Genesis 32:1 that "Jacob went on his way and the angels of God met him." It was just as true with me during that adventurous campaign in the Lord's work; human messengers were raised up to comfort, help, and guide me until the joy of the revival days near at hand; nevertheless, the Lord prepared some oasis here and there in the wilderness. At Ennis I had a good time of sales, and the Roman Catholics treated me friendly. There is a great variety among the Roman Catholics, and I believe there are some who have the experience of regeneration, but through lack of teaching on the subject are ignorant of the doctrine of it as set forth in the Scriptures; this also is true regarding many of the Episcopalians, and Presbyterians as well.
FEBRUARY, 1896: During that month, I visited Gort and Athenry, where I met with dangerous persecution being denounced by the priests from off the altar for selling the Scriptures. I had to leave Athenry and go to Tuam being routed by the priest. "But when they persecute you in one city, flee ye into another," Matthew 10:23. They did not meddle with me in Tuam, though they would not buy from me.
The Devil is opposed to God
An awful enemy
No mercy can he ever show
For this is plain to see.
Up from beneath the serpent came
Out of the dark Abyss
The adversary of God and man
The Bible calls him this.
As prince of the rebellious host
Tempting the sons of men
He leads a great organic force
To make the people sin.
By many subtle crafts he tries
The tares midst wheat to sow
He steals, he kills, and then destroys
He is a deadly foe.
Beware of him, ye sons of men
Resist him in the faith
He is the author of all sin
His power on earth is great.
The strong man aimed keeps his house,
His goods are all secure
Stronger than he is Christ the Lord
The greater conqueror.
I believe in a personal Devil, the enemy of God and man, the author of all sin; he is prince of the evil angels and organizes his hosts against the Lord's people, and his truth, he indwells his people and uses them to perform his wicked devices, just as the Lord indwells all who love and serve Him, and uses them to do good, and witness for His truth in the earth.
MARCH, 1896: I removed to Galway town and had warm Christian fellowship but found plenty of opposition in country districts and found it hard to sell. One day while going out into the country, in order to be like a working man, I took off my collar and tie; that very day for six hours I had an extraordinary experience. I was in an ecstasy of joy and peace in the Holy Spirit. Like Peter, I could say, “Lord it is good for us to be here,” Matthew 17:4. I felt that this world was too unholy to live in, and that God wanted me to give up selling and speak to everyone about their soul's salvation. That remarkable experience was repeated again the same year near Nenagh.
APRIL, 1896: I removed to Loughrea, after securing lodgings I was in agony and could not sleep owing to the need of money at that time. All night I felt that the angels were around my bed. I could almost hear them repeat that chorus which was then ringing in my soul:
I'll stand by until the morning
I've come to save you, do not fear.
Towards morning I regained courage, faith revived. I then went out in the country and had a good week. Also a Christian man, named John Ludlow, received me into his house and encouraged me in the Lord’s work. I went to the church service on the Sabbath day, I had a number of copies of D. L. Moody's sermon on the Blood of Jesus to give away. A remarkable coincident took place; the minister's sermon turned out to be on the same subject, and the congregation thought it was printed for the occasion. I was going to remove from Loughrea to Portumna, a distance of fourteen miles, and there was no railway connection. I had got heavy luggage, and God made a very unexpected provision for the occasion. A Christian man named Lowry from Portumna on his journey to Galway had left his pony and trap at Loughrea and was wanting some person to drive his pony back, so it just turned up that I did the man a service, and the man did a service to me. From Portumna, I went home to see my mother, who was then sick. She recovered of that illness and saw God's work revived.
MAY and JUNE, 1896: These two months were spent in the city of Limerick. I visited nearly the whole city; going to shops, courts, barracks, slums, docks, etc. I found it a very bigoted Roman Catholic town, and at times I was exposed to great danger, nevertheless the overruling care of God delivered me out of all distress and danger and preserved my life. Pastor Greer, the Methodist minister was very kind to me and gave me some encouragement in the good work. The number of sales in that city were small in comparison to the amount of homes visited.
JULY, 1896: During that month I visited Adare and Rathceale where I had good times among the Protestants. I was in the house where Barbra Heck lived, the woman who emigrated to America and started a prayer meeting in the city of New York, with only a few believers who met together to pray for a revival and encourage each other in the Lord; it grew to become the origin of the Methodist Church in the United States, which is one of the largest Protestant organisations in the world. Outside the door grows an old pear tree, remarkable for its age, and John Wesley preached under it during his visit to the Palitain Protestants in Ballingrane; it still bears some fruit.
AUGUST, 1896: During that month I visited Tarbert and Kildysart. An itinerating man has many trying experiences regarding damp beds, wet and cold weather; social and unfriendly people, nevertheless the unfavourable experiences of that kind has been fewest in number, and I found most of the homes clean, and the people kindly disposed. Hotels were far too expensive to lodge in, so I nearly always got lodging in private houses for ten or twelve shillings a week.
SEPTEMBER, 1896: My next remove was to the town of Nenagh, where I found the people hard and prejudiced. In trying to sell to Roman Catholics, I had many difficult questions to answer such as: Are you a Catholic? Are these Catholic books? What society is sending you out? What salary are you getting? It was difficult at times to answer them and speak the truth in love; yet it was not always wise to tell them everything and the teaching of our Saviour to those He sent out in Matthew Ten was good to be observed at all times. "Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves." Matthew 10:16. Many of the homes bought to help trade, as they called it, and we can never tell what a glance at the Scriptures meant to them who sat in darkness, for single texts has meant reformations.
OCTOBER, 1896: During that month I visited Ballinasloe and Aughrim, where I preached the Gospel in the Methodist Church with success, being encouraged to go forward by sister Storey, a mother in Israel, and a servant (Greek Deaconess) of the church in that village. Books are silent preachers, a good book on the subject of Salvation, like "The Travellers Guide" or on sanctification like "Kept for the Master's Use" is preaching in writing and can be read, lent, and doing good for years. Every person should judge what they read and see that it is sound in the faith, for many corrupt books have gone out into the world.
Beware of false teachers, ye people of God
They come in sheep’s clothing denying the Blood
But they that are real through time shall be shown
Our Saviour has said, by their fruits they are known.
Like the Scribes in the Bible, and Pharisees too,
They spend time accusing, the ones that are true
But judgment and mercy, and faith, are unknown
They see people's faults but they can't see their own.
See, none can get grapes, no nor figs from the thorn,
No fruits of the Spirit, from men who will scorn
They say but they do not the will of their God,
Though oft with lip service they call Him, Lord, Lord.
Like trees that are withered, plucked up by the roots
They worship in form but lack the sweet fruits
Like Balaam the prophet who took his own way
Or Cain the avenger, his brother did slay.
The husbandman looketh, no fruit can be found
Their presence do hinder, and canker the ground
Destruction and judgment are swift on their track
They heard not the watchman, that calleth them back.
NOVEMBER, 1896: About that time I visited Ballinasloe, Banagher and Birr. The success of a Colporteur varied much, places and persons had much to do with it. Districts lying away from towns such as mountains and glens; the inhabitants were most ready to buy, not being under the immediate power of the priests. The simple people in ignorance betrayed themselves by their superstitious custom of taking a book when they bought it to the priest to get it blessed. The priest then would either tell them to burn it; or not to take any wrong meanings out of it. Around the town of Birr, I gave away many tracts, pamphlets, etc. to Protestants; also read and prayed in homes, and talked to many Protestants and Romans about the things of the Kingdom.
Tracts serve many useful purposes. A selected tract can be made with an instrument of introduction to homes; and to Spiritual conversation; also a selected tract can be sent in a letter to a friend conveying a message which would take a long time to write. At times while visiting homes, finding the people too busy to be interrupted, tracts could be left which they can read when at leisure, or on the Sabbath day. In order to introduce Spiritual talks, I have found the law of adaptation good, such as our Lord used to the woman at Jacob's well in John’s 4th chapter.
DECEMBER, 1896: After that I visited Roscrea, where I had fellowship with S.W.H. Nesbitt, the Methodist Minister, who was my superintendent in the Colportage work; also William Treanor, a Godly draper, whose influence for good is very great in that town. During that time and for the space of five years, I was a Methodist member in fellowship, at their class meetings, love feasts, and Sacramental means of grace. It would be ingratitude for me to ever undervalue the help I got at those meetings; and the encouragement received from those men of God.
The Things That Remain
The feast of the Lord still abides
The table, the wine, and the bread
And saints in His love still confide.
"Do this till I come" Jesus said
All who love Him should keep His command
And gather as one to His Name
Remember our Lord is at hand
And strengthen the things that remain.
The Bible, God's Word still abides
The precious infallible Word
A treasure beyond all besides
It tells us of Jesus our Lord.
Then read it, ye servants of God
Its doctrines and truth still retain
And publish its precepts abroad
Go strengthen the things that remain.
The Spirit of God still abides
To comfort and strengthen the saint;
Revealing the things that are Christ’s,
Renewing the health of the faint.
Then quench not His flame that’s within,
His filling and joy still retain.
And never more grieve Him with sin,
But strengthen the things that remain.
JANUARY, 1897: I visited Killaloe and Scarif, and Mountshannon. I called at a priest's house, who received me very rashly, he told me that the Douay Testament was got up by a society of damned heretics to proselytize! I was in great danger of my life, and got to prayer privately and the fear of the Lord was upon the village so that I escaped unhurt and went to Tully.
FEBRUARY, 1897: I went to Ennis, where I had the fellowship of the Presbyterian Colporteur, and we had some good success. There I first heard of William Irvine, a Faith Mission Pilgrim who had newly come to evangelize in the County Clare. I heard that he was a wonderful man of God, remarkable for saying, "Praise the Lord," no matter what happened. At that time, Charles Cronhelm, the Methodist Minister of Kilrush, had asked him there for a Mission.
MARCH, 1897: The Faith Mission was founded in Scotland by J. G. Govan, a Christian gentleman, in 1886 for the evangelization of country districts in Scotland and Ireland. The Evangelists, who have the name of Pilgrims, went out two by two. William Irvine was then one of their staff. He was born in Kilsyth, Scotland about the year 1861. He was a collier manager for William Beard and Company, and was converted under the preaching of John McNeill, in Motherwell, in 1893. In nine months after he gave up his situation to go fully on the Lord's work. After spending two years in the Bible Training Institute, Glasgow, he joined the Faith Mission, then he went to preach in County Antrim, from whence he was sent by J. G. Govan to the South of Ireland to evangelize, and to thrust out workers into the harvest fields.
I removed from Ennis to Corofin; while there I had a letter from Charles Cronhelm, to go over to Kilrush for a week end, as he had two Faith Mission Evangelists having meetings and he would like me to meet with them. Unto that invitation I responded and went and spent the week end in the fellowship of William Irvine.
He had announced for a Magic Lantern address, in order to influence the Roman Catholic people to come into the little Methodist Chapel, to hear singing, and the Gospel message. The lantern refused to work that night for something had went wrong with it, and had to give the address without the aid of the Lantern slides and pictures, so he turned it into a sermon. Some Romans were in the meeting and the Evangelist [Wm Irvine] spoke with great vehemence, love and power; placing Catholic and Protestants on the same natural condition, namely all are sinners, all need Salvation or Regeneration; and all can be saved through believing with their heart; and confessing with their mouth the Lord Jesus. His remarks were founded on Mat 16:16-19; and Rom 10:9-10. Unclean spirits cried out of some, and others were convicted, helped and blessed. After the meeting I was introduced to him; then he took me down a street, where he put tracts under doors in the homes, and dropped them on the footpath, so as that I got afraid of hostility rising; however the people stood it well. Next day being the Sabbath, he took me where we had private prayer together, and God blessed my soul with renewed strength.
On Monday, I left Kilrush, and went to Lisdoonvarna, and he [Wm Irvine] left soon after and went back to Queenzieburn, Kilsyth, to see his sick mother, who at that time gave herself to Jesus. In either secular or religious matters, he was a born leader of men; he was a holy man, and practical. In personal dealing, he was preeminently the best conversationalist I ever met, and skilful in soul winning. He had a marvellous insight into the deep things of God's word, and like his Master, was an apt teacher of all who received the truth with pleasure. He always set forth the cross, and was a swift witness against all pride, vainglory and hypocrisy; he was severe on Christians, but merciful to sinners. In prayer, praise, and preaching he excelled in joy, liberty, and power. He was very much opposed and misunderstood by religious people; nevertheless, the common people liked him and heard him gladly. He got for his Call to Service that Scripture "Behold I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth, thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shall make the hills as dust," Isaiah 41:15
While in Lisdoonvarna I was denounced by the priest from off the altar for selling the Scriptures. I had to leave the town and go to Miltown Malbay. A saved sister who lived in the house where I was lodging, prayed for me and said that God would judge the man who meddled with me; her words came true, for that week the priest was struck down with rheumatism and died soon after. I hope he found mercy from Him who willeth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he turn from his way and live.
APRIL, 1897: As time went on, by experience I was finding out that Rome does not and cannot tolerate the reading of the Bible. The growing hardness of the people against Colporteurs; their refusing to buy any books from them; their constant allusion to their priest's denunciations from the altar, also ordering them to burn the Testaments; all this showed the growing hostility of the people buying and reading the Scriptures. I have met very few Roman Catholics lovers of daily reading the Bible. How can they? And do the things they do, and believe the doctrines held and taught by their church. Every Roman bows to the altar, and occasionally to the image of Mary and Jesus; worships the Blessed Virgin, believes in Purgatory and transubstantiation. Because societies judged the work by sales, and pressed on the books, I was feeling more and more the bondage of the work, but how to be set free, I knew not; however God Himself designed a way.
Out of the land of Egypt
Redeemed by precious Blood
Led by the hand of Moses
Straight through the red sea flood.
Not by the great sea border
But by the desert sand
The Lord God led his people
To seek the promised land.
He gave them living water
Out of the solid rock
For Jacob's son and daughter
A great and precious flock.
No enemies could touch them
Jehovah stood between
And never since creation
Was such a desert scene.
He rained them bread from heaven.
They ate of angels food.
He wrote upon the tables
A law both just and good.
A shining fire did lead them
By night upon the way
Also a cloudy pillar
Before them went by day.
For forty years they wandered
Within the wilderness
Although the Lord was angry
He helped them in distress.
They were preserved from danger
Kept by God's mighty hand
Until they came to Canaan
The blessed promised land.
MAY, 1897: During the days spent in that work I had many tiresome journeys; sometimes I walked twenty miles a day. Feeling the need of a rest, I went to Limerick city where the journeys were not so long. While there I underwent a severe trial for lack of money; during the delay I spent a day in prayer and fasting, and I received a very definite anointing of the Holy Spirit, and some money came in next day by post.
He came from His home in the glory
To live and to die on the tree,
And now I delight in the story
Of Jesus the Saviour for me.
I know I am safe in His keeping,
His child in His care may depend.
He never will leave or forsake me
Because well, you see He's my friend.
No matter what trials befall me
He owns me His child and He seals
Henceforth not a servant He calls me
His word, and His will, He reveals.
What He sends to the sinner I claim it
I can on His promise depend
And why should I fear then to name it
Because well, you see He's my friend.
Ashamed of myself, not my Saviour
A sinner Redeemed by His grace,
And now through His Blood, I find favour
Enjoying the simile of His face.
And now I delight in His service
My joy till the journey shall end
You ask Why I witness He frees us,
Because well, you see He's my friend.
JUNE, 1897: I left the city and sailed down to river Shannon for Kilkee. On board the ship, I again met with William Irvine on his return journey from Scotland, to Tarbert, County Kerry. He was very humble and homesick, but very loving and happy. At Tarbert Quay we parted with the agreement that we should write to each other. While in Kilkee, I had an excellent time of prayer and fasting. Peter Greer, the Methodist Minister then in charge, had to go to the Conference in Cork, and he left me to undertake his place in the Methodist Church till he came back, so I got an opportunity of preaching the Gospel. After that I removed to Tarbert and lodged in the same house with William Irvine and Fred Tapp for two weeks.
JULY, 1897: In Tarbert, where he had a mission, and scattered much tracts, he was suffering reproach; nevertheless, he was very happy, but at times repining over the Spiritual laxity of the churches; and was spending much time in prayer for a revival. I went very far out into the country, and succeeded in selling some Testaments. On my return Irvine, encouraged by my success, under the power of a special anointing, filled a bag with Testaments, and went into the country at twilight and sold thirteen, and when he could not get money he took eggs instead, and returned home at eleven o'clock at night.
He was out of an opening, and one day when he was praying, it was
to me by the Holy Spirit, to write to Goodhand Pattison, the
Methodist Steward about an opening for a mission. That letter resulted
in him getting permission from William Whittaker, the Methodist
to have the use of Nenagh Methodist Church.
AUGUST, 1897: I left Tarbert, and went to my Aunt Kate Davis, in Ballyheigue, where I spent two weeks. William Irvine and Fred Tapp left also and went to Spanish Point, and from there to Nenagh where THE REVIVAL BEGAN. After we left Tarbert we were all denounced by the priest from off the altar. From Ballyheigue, I removed to Tralee. I left there for home, greatly discouraged for lack of money. I purposed to give up the work but to love Jesus as much as ever. In one week I returned to it again, being encouraged by the friendly counsel of some who wished me well.
The Revival began in a town which was mostly a Roman population, under very unfavourable circumstances; owing to bad attendances, the Methodist Church was closed, as the Protestants in that town were few in number. At his [Wm Irvine’s] first meeting only five persons attended; but at the closing meeting, there were one hundred present. He fought the battle and won the victory alone in prayer with God in his lodging, when God gave him that promise; "And lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee." Acts 27:24. The Protestant School Mistress, Sister Oakley, was the first to get saved; altogether upwards of thirty persons of position and note got converted; most of them afterwards gave up all that they had to follow Jesus.
SEPTEMBER, 1897: During that month I visited Portumna and Borrisokane. Pastor Nesbitt resigned the superintendency of the Colportage work and Pastor Merrick accepted it. The society paid me the debt which enabled me to buy a second hand bicycle; it turned out to be of great use to me during the Revival Days that followed. At the mission held in Nenagh, a young man named Jack Carroll, also his sister May Carroll, got converted; they had a brother, Bill Carroll, who was a steward at Captain Fowlers, Rathmolyon, County Meath. Through their instrumentality they got the use of the School House in Rathmolyon for a mission for William Irvine, where forty persons got converted; most of them afterwards gave up their situations to go fully on the Lord's work. The Episcopal minister and his daughter attended the meetings and were sympathetic; he said that God sent that man in answer to his mother's prayers; who prayed for the conversion of every member of that congregation. The humility, love, self denial, compassion, humour, etc. of the Evangelist, also his complete abandonment to God won the affections of all who came in contact with him.
OCTOBER, 1897: About that time I visited Banagher and Birr, but found it getting harder to sell among the Romans; however I managed by aid of the bicycle to reach far off districts and villages. The little town of Roscrea, Kings County, had a fair congregation of warm hearted Methodists; one feature of their work for God was a very good Christian Endeavour made up of Episcopalians and Methodist. At that time they were favoured with a very eminent Godly Minister named Crookshanks. On hearing of the Revivals in Nenagh and Rathmolyon, Pastor Crookshanks invited William Irvine to have a mission there, when many young people decided for Christ, and the Endeavour Meetings got great blessing. After that mission William Irvine crossed to Scotland, just in time to see his mother before her death. I had a letter from him telling me about the success of the missions, and saying that he expected to soon return again to labour in the South of Ireland, as he believed the good work had only begun; he gave me exhortation to go forward looking unto Jesus, letting God have his way in and through our lives.
NOVEMBER, 1897: I removed from Birr to Roscrea and saw some of the results and fruits of the Revival. About the same time William Irvine had returned to Nenagh and had a mission in the Presbyterian Church given to him by Pastor Douglas. Some new persons decided for Christ, and some old believers were stirred up, also the young converts of the former mission were helped much, they were children who talked and walked for Jesus, and the whole town was in a ferment of Revival Element.
Come sinners to Jesus for pardon today,
The time for repentance will soon pass away.
The Spirit is striving, the servants still call
Today Christ's salvation is offered to all.
Come take up thy cross and follow the Lord,
Confessing His name believing His word.
Be filled with the Spirit, abide in His love,
The Kingdom inherit lay treasures above.
Be humble in dress, like Jesus live plain,
The life set apart to suffer and reign.
Exhort one another, instruct in the word,
And love the appearing of Jesus our Lord.
Go forth in His name, preach Christ unto all,
Tell them of Jesus who saves from the fall.
Backsliders restore unto their dear Lord,
And strengthen believers in God's precious word.
DECEMBER, 1897: Pastor Whittaker started a mission in Cloughjordan to prepare the way for the coming of William Irvine to that needy town; I left Roscrea and went to help there. The mission at first was a stiff one, but well attended by people of all denominations. Every reserved, tact, wisdom, humour, and power that characterized the preaching of the Evangelist were taxed to the uttermost, against the spirit of worldliness, criticism, opposition, etc. The mission ended with victory and blessing and lasting results. During his stay in Cloughjordan, I invited him out to our home in Burntwood, for a cup of tea, and the humble and loving way by which he dealt with my Brothers and Sisters sowed the seed, and prepared the way for their conversion which happened within one year afterwards.
That mission ended up with an All Days Conference; when the Christians from Roscrea and Nenagh came to our help. Open air preaching for years was an unknown thing in the town of Cloughjordan; the inhabitants being mostly Romans of a bigoted type. In the evening William Irvine suggested an open air march through the street, which took the inhabitants by surprise. Outside the Methodist Church we formed a circle and sang the best of all hymns.
There is a fountain filled with Blood
Drawn from Immanuel's veins.
Hostility began to rise from Roman Catholic young men, unclean Spirits crying out with loud voices came out of many; but from the Lord's people there was a triumphal ring of praise.
The precious Blood atoned for all
Upon Mount Calvary
The antidote to Adam's fall
From Satan's power to free.
No change our Saviour ever knows
Triumphant is His name.
The Word of God from age to age
Remaineth just the same.
God planted in the heart of man
A powerful will and choice,
And God commandeth every one
To harken to His voice.
He that believeth on the Son
Hath everlasting life.
He that believeth not is damned
And vain his earthly strife.
Then turn ye sinners while ‘tis day
Unto the Lord your God,
Then He will wash your sins away
In Jesus Precious Blood.