The Journal of John Long
1897-1898 "Revival Years" Revised Version
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
1897-1898 "Revival Years" Revised Version
(Discovered in 2022)
Comparison to Original Journal
By Cherie Kropp
Revised December 30, 2022
Background: Early Worker John Long wrote three Journals, one for each of his sons and another one. He started writing his first Journal in 1919 and completed it in 1927. He refers to them as Book One and Book Two. He explained that Book Two was a revised copy of Book One: In giving this report of the work of the Lord during this year, I have entered into details, so as that in this Revised Version of my journal, I might give it more justice than I did in my first narrative. So, my Son, you can read and know for yourself somewhat of the experiences your Father went through in the early years of his life. End of Vol. I.
Book One and Two are currently in the possession of his grandson (also John). Another copy was given to Ralph Walker in April 1923, of Cloncannon House, Ballygar, Ireland; it has not been found. A family member of Walker has written Cherie Kropp that they read it while it was in their ancester's home, but has not been able to locate it.
John Long allowed Robert Kee to photocopy Book Two; he made pdfs of each page. He then emailed the copies to Cherie who typed them and posted them on TellingTheTruth.info. Later when Robert took Cherie and her husband to visit John Long's son in 2004, we discovered he also had Book One--we didn’t know even existed until that time! While inspecting the journals, Cherie compared a few texts in each of the Journals and noted they were not exactly the same; in particular the narrative about the Matthew 10 Bible study was set out explained below.
Following the Paper Trail
About twenty years later in 2022, Wayne Baird of Belfast, N. Ire., discovered in his attic a well preserved hand-written revised version of John Long's Journal for the two years 1897 and 1898, also known as "the revival years."
Wayne Baird's great-grandparents were William and Rachel Baird. The family name Baird goes back to the early days of the movement. Possibly, Rachel Baird was the first in the Baird family to go to gospel meetings. They resided in Oldstone, Muckamore, Antrim and later moved to Antrim Town. Of their six children, only two professed, William and John.
Recall that John Long married Maggie Keegan on Christmas Day 1920. In 1922, they moved to Oldstone, Muckamore, Co. Antrim and were living there in 1927 when he completed Journal Book One.
Their great-grandson, Wayne, speculates that Rachel Baird probably made the acquaintance of John Long and somehow acquired this 2-year version of John Long's Journal. Perhaps Long gave her a copy that he or his wife made; or Rachel made a copy for herself. The handwriting appears different on the two versions. The opinion of someone trained in handwriting analysis who examined the two versions is that they were not written by the same person.
After Rachel passed away on April 30, 1970, her son William Allen "Willie" and his wife, Anne Jane "Cissie" (Holland) Baird, acquired the Journal. Both were both Irish workers who had labored in South America for a time. Willie worked in Chile and Argentina in the late 1920s and through the 30s. Cissie worked in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina in the same timeframe. They married around 1940–1941 and at some point returned to Ireland for health reasons. Cissie had a brother named Jack Holland who spent his life in the work in Eastern Canada, dying in 1960.
At some point, the 2-year Journal was handed over from Willie to his brother, John and wife, Greta Baird. When Greta died on August 4, 2001, in Co. Antrim, N. Ireland, her photos, notes and letters etc. were passed to her grandson, Wayne Baird, who placed them in his attic in Belfast.
Recently, Wayne discovered this 2-year Journal and kindly donated it to Cherie Kropp in December 2022 for her 2x2 archive and safekeeping.
NOTE: This 2-year revised version could have been copied from the Journal Book Two.
OR it could be yet another version he/someone made while copying those 2 years to this new doc.
Interestingly, John Long provided his purpose for making the 2-year version. It is very similar to the full version which he calls a revised version!!
In giving this report of the work of the Lord during this year, I have entered into details, so as that in this Revised Version of my journal, I might give it more justice than I did in my first narrative. So, my Son, you can read and know for yourself somewhat of the experiences your Father went through in the early years of his life.
Cherie Kropp compared the 2-year version with Journal Book Two that is posted on TellingTheTruth.info.
Some Observations of Cherie Kropp
Long talked a LOT about how very hard and discouraging it was to evangelize to the Roman Catholics.
He took great pains and many words to show how Irvine appeared in the beginning...(in a positive light)
Mentioned Ben Boles and wife. Further research revealed that Boles entered the work in 1900—after his wife died earlier that year in 1900 and stayed in it til his death in 1948.
Considered himself a pioneer of Faith Lines (and rightly so!). "if I had joined the Faith Mission, the Preacher's fellowship might never have sprung up, as my example of stepping out on Faith lines pioneered the way for many others doing the same thing soon afterwards.
Provided another version of the Matthew 10 Study: JULY 1898: While in Kilkee we had a Bible reading on Matthew 10. We spent most of the day in fasting and prayer. William about giving up the Faith Mission, and I about giving up the Methodists and going forth wholly and solely in dependance upon God. Our ideal was beyond that which was possible to carry out in a country and county wherein the majority were Roman Catholics and Matt. 10 must be taken according to the Acts of the Apostles after Pentecost. It was that Bible study reading set me first thinking about going on Faith Lines, which a few months after that, it took place, and events were leading me on to where I made the final decision.
Additional info that WmI converted his mother before her death—NOTE: this took place in 1897 while he was a Pilgrim with the Faith Mission and before his sect was formed and became exclusive. She was a Presbyterian—why did she need to be converted?
1897: Death of William Irvine's Mother. Irvine arrived in Scotland in time to see his mother before her death. Elizabeth Irvine died on November 25, 1897, aged 64. WmI was the informant on her death certificate.
Book Two: "My mother broke her heart in trying to hinder me from doing what I did … But both Mother and Father on their deathbed said I was right, and the best son they had"
Book Two: Wm. Irvine…went back to Queenzieburn, Kilsyth, to see his sick mother, who at that time gave herself to Jesus.
1897-98 (Oct 1897): After that mission William Irvine crossed to Scotland, just in time to see his mother before her death who fell asleep in Jesus about that time. She lived to see him, to say, "Willie, you did what was right after all in going fully on the Lord's work.
Baptism by Holy Spirit: (Nov 1898): At the same time, Tom Turner and I removed to Birr, and while there, I resigned the Colportage work for the Limerick district. It was there also that I received the baptism with the Holy Ghost… NOTE: he was baptized by immersion by Rev G. Grubb in 1900.
March 1898: Irvine taught that every saved soul is indwelt by the Spirit of Christ; that the life that Jesus lived here is the pattern for everyone to imitate and follow, and that the life of forsaking all for Christ's sake is the best to live.
He laid down that the conditions to workers was to sell all and give to the poor, take up thy cross, etc. The conditions he laid down to saints were to keep a home and business, dedicate it to the Lord, and entertain and show hospitality and receive all who went forth in the way that Jesus sent them.
The fruits of that teaching resulted in farmers, shop keepers, domestic servants, school teachers, police, soldiers, and persons of every occupation forsaking all that they had to follow Jesus, and to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
Dec 1898: William Irvine left the conference with a broken spirit and a tender heart, as being a man of foresight, he knew that unless there was an Ecclesiastical Reformation among the Clergy, it would mean a coming out from the Churches as they were and seeing that, in dress and titles, they were unwilling to reform, the only alternative for the new Revival was to come out from among them and be separate, as the people called the Brethren had done a generation before them. As time went on, the growing opposition to the work tended to drive it in that direction and had they watched and not ran into exclusiveness and an opposite extreme, it might have been one of the most powerful movements in the world.
Oct 1898: There were many causes for me resigning the Colportage work.
The first and primary cause was, as stated before, I had conscientious convictions of selling to the Roman Catholics because of certain facts.
The second was that conscientious troubles seemed at times to the hinder Spirit-full-life, and the work was partly one of bondage hard on body and soul.
The third was that the Society pressed for sales at a time when God was using me otherwise, and it was growing harder and harder to sell among the Romans. Returned visits in many cases showed me that the actions of the Priests towards the Scriptures and the Colporteurs had turned the people against them and harm was done instead of good.
The fourth cause was that circumstances were leading me on to a more excellent way, as was manifested in the recent revival of which W. Irvine and I were pioneers, and now the time for me to step out into liberty had fully come. Yet I do not regret or undervalue the experience I have had, for nearly four years in that work and the kindness and help showed to me by Mr. S. Nesbitt, W. Merrick and many other Christian friends in the Methodist Church. They will get their reward at the resurrection of the Just.
Why John Long made the right decision not to join FM:
Had I joined the Faith Mission, it would have been only leaving one control to enter under another, and the freedom that I have enjoyed ever since would not have been mine. By this saying, I do not despise rule or controls, and as a young worker, I am glad to have been under superintendence for at least three and half years until I got experienced.
Then, had I joined the Faith Mission, it would have sent my life into another direction, and the duty I performed toward home, especially my Mother, could not be done so faithfully and well.
Then if I had joined the Faith Mission, the Preacher's fellowship might never have sprung up, as my example of stepping out on Faith Lines pioneered the way for many others doing the same thing soon afterwards.
Then if I had joined the Faith Mission, I would have to set aside the Ordinances of Believer's Baptism and Breaking Bread on the Lord's Day, which is an important part of obedience. "If ye love me," etc. (John 14:15).
1897-1898 "Revival Years" Revised Version
Comparison to Original Journal (Book Two)
By Cherie Kropp
NOTE: The additional or edited information found in this 2-year version has been interspersed
into the original Book Two in [brackets] and in bold type.
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, [John Morrison] and we had some good success [labouring together in the same work]. There I first heard of William Irvine, a Faith Mission Pilgrim who had newly come to evangelize in the County Clare [being sent by the director J. G. Govan, Rothesay, Scotland]. I heard that he was a wonderful man of God, remarkable for [faith and prayer, and for] saying,"Praise the Lord," no matter what happened. At that time, Charles Cronhelm, the Methodist Minister of Kilrush [and Ennis met him there], had asked him there for a Mission [in his church in Kilrush].
MARCH, 1897: The Faith Mission was founded in
by J. G. Govan, a Christian gentleman, in 1886 for the
country districts [and villages] in Scotland and Ireland. The Evangelists, who have
name of Pilgrims, went out two by two [sisters as well as brothers, and it became a fruitful and useful organisation not only in the conversion of sinners, but also in the Sanctification of believers].
William Irvine was then one of their staff. He was born in Kilsyth, Scotland about the year 1861. [From twenty to thirty,] 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 [resigned] 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. [When he had also fulfilled their course of 6 months training in Rothesay, J. G. sent him to Ulster] then he went to preach in County Antrim [where he laboured for 6 months in Ahogville and Ballymena districts in 1896], 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 [vineyard].
[March, 1897] I removed from Ennis to Corofin; while there I had a letter from Charles Cronhelm [for me] 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. [On a Saturday in March, I went to Kilrush, arriving in the evening] Unto that invitation I responded and went and spent the week-end in the fellowship of William Irvine. [On arriving in Kilrush, the meeting had begun.]
He had announced for a Magic Lantern address, in order to influence
Roman Catholic people to come into the little Methodist Chapel, to hear
and the Gospel message. The lantern refused to work that night for
had went wrong with it, and [he] had to give the address without the aid of
Lantern slides and pictures, so he turned it into a sermon. Some
were in the meeting and the Evangelist [Wm. Irvine] spoke with great
love and power, placing Catholic and Protestants on the same natural
namely all are sinners, all need Salvation or Regeneration; and all can
saved through believing with [all] their heart and confessing with their
the Lord Jesus. His remarks were founded on Matt 16:16-19; and Rom
Unclean spirits cried out of some, and others were convicted,
and blessed. After the meeting, I was introduced to him; then he took me
a street, where he put tracts under doors in the homes, and dropped
on the footpath, so as that I got afraid of hostility rising [in so Roman a town as Kilrush. Some of them liked his preaching and said that he was the fairest man they heard yet]. However
people stood it well. Next day being the Sabbath, he took me where we
private prayer together, and God blessed my soul with renewed strength.
[The fellowship on the Lord's day was sweet and refreshing, and William Irvine asked me for tea with him in his lodgings at Sister Bradley's (a converted Christian woman), who had a son Walter who was converted under John Good and who went into the Methodist ministry. I told him somewhat of my life, and he told me somewhat of his and on having prayer together, God anointed me with a time of refreshing coming from His presence. Next day he saw me to the train, and so for the present we parted, soon to meet again.]
On Monday, I left Kilrush [for Corofin and removed], and went to Lisdoonvarna, and he [Wm. Irvine] left soon after and went back to Queenzieburn, Kilsyth, [Scotland] to see his sick mother, who at that time [got converted and] 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 [and had the happy manner of spirit while in controversy to contend for the truth and convince his opponent at the same time by a wisdom, humour attended with grace, mercy and love.] 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 [marked out] set forth the cross, and was a swift witness [of all who receive the truth with pleasure] against all pride, vainglory and hypocrisy; he was severe on Christians but merciful to sinners. [He was a man of] In prayer, praise, and preaching [with power and conviction]. 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
[APRIL, 1897: During my short stay in Lisdoonvarna, I was doing well in the country, but the school children told their teacher about me selling the Scriptures, and she told the Priest, and the Priest came to the landlady, a Mrs. Wilson, a Protestant, to put me out. He also denounced me from off the altar on Sunday. Mrs. Wilson 's sister, a converted woman, prayed for me and said that the man who meddled with me would suffer surely, for it says, "Touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm."]
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 Milltown 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 [afflicted] struck down with rheumatism and [left the country] and died soon after [in Trinidad]. I hope he [repented] found mercy from Him who willeth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he turn from his way and live. [I left town and went to Miltown Malbay.]
APRIL, 1897: As time went on, by experience I was finding out that Rome does not and cannot tolerate the [free use] reading of the Bible [and how can she and hold the doctrines that she does which very largely are the traditions of men?] 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 goes to prove that Rome is not a friend of the Bible] 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 [prayers for the dead, Masses, etc. etc. This is very little short of idolatry]. 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. (poem/hymn inserted)
MAY, 1897: [The Colporteurs' work is a severe work on body and on soul, and] During the days spent in that work, I had many [long and] tiresome journeys; sometimes I [must have] walked twenty miles a day [and seldom did a day occur without a measure of success. At times I came home discouraged and at times rejoicing.] Feeling the need of a rest, I went to Limerick city where the journeys were not so long. [but I soon found out that the foul smells rising in the slum parts of that city were not as healthy as pure fresh country air.] While there I underwent a severe trial for lack of money; [concerning which] 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. (poem/hymn inserted)
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. [He gave me a tract named "Abandonment to the Holy Spirit"; also he spoke to me on a very important point in my work, namely putting conversation before selling.]
At Tarbert Quay we parted. [Irvine for the Co. Kerry side and I for the Clare side. We parted] with the agreement that we should write to each other. While in Kilkee, I had an excellent time of prayer and fasting [and away in the coves beside the sea there, I prayed for God's work in Tipperary, also for the conversion of many old friends. Pastor] Peter Greer, the Methodist Minister then in charge [of the Church in Kilkee], had to go to the [annual June] Conference in Cork, and he left me [in charge] to undertake his place in the Methodist Church till he came back, so I got an opportunity [a splendid chance] of preaching the Gospel.
JULY, 1897: [I had a letter from William Irvine asking me if I could not get him an opening anywhere in the Limerick district. I did not answer, but I went in person, removing from Kilkee]. After that I removed to Tarbert and lodged in the same house with William Irvine and Fred Tapp for two weeks. [During William Irvine's mission in Smyth's barn, he did a lot with literature.] In Tarbert, where he had a mission, and scattered much tracts, [and because of this] he was suffering [a measure of opposition and] reproach; nevertheless, he was very happy [and full of the joy of the Lord, and we had a very precious season of reading and prayer together], but at times repining over the Spiritual laxity of [things] the churches; and was spending much time in prayer for a revival.
[William Irvine bought a number of Douay Testaments, also many copies of "The Life of Our Lord" in simple language for the little children. This helped my reports very much. However, I gave them to him at cost price and was responsible for the sale price myself so all things work together for good in our fellowship and experiences.]
I went very far out into
country, and succeeded in selling some Testaments. On my return Irvine, encouraged by my success, under the power of a special anointing,
a bag with Testaments, and went into the country at twilight and sold
thirteen. [When William Irvine saw that I had success, the Spirit of the Lord came upon him and he filled a bag full of Douay Testaments, choosing the evening, he ventured out under the sweet influence of the anointing and in the quiet Spirit of Jesus, went from door to door. He introduced the Douay Testaments by reading from it James 5:14. "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord." They believed that. Nearly every house bought a book] and when he could not get money he took eggs instead. [In one house, they asked him to have a cup of tea, and while he was drinking it, the man went out. Irvine discerned some opposition or plot and arose and went out, fearing lest there should be organised opposition. He came home across the fields arriving at 11 o'clock in the night] [He often spoke about the joy of this eventful experience.]
[About the same time on the Lord's day, we went out into a place where prayer is want to be made. As we walked the path, a man in his bare head, very angry-looking came out to stop us; and William Irvine seeing this, he had the first word and spoke to the man in such a soft, loving way, it disarmed all prejudice, and we got a nice talk to the man about spiritual things. This reminds us of the Scripture, "A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievious words stir up anger," Prov. 15:1. If this sowing had been let alone, who can tell what would have been the results. But it was not so, for after we had left Tarbert, we were all denounced by the priest. Can this be anything but the Antichrist which means "against the Christ." The same thing could be said of Kilrush. We were denounced there too.]
[About this time, or a little before this, Goodhand Pattison of Cloughjordan had an anonymous letter sent to him saying that the Lord's work was not done and to get at once to prayer for a revival. This prepared him to pay more attention to my letter. William Irvine] He was out of an opening, and one day when he was praying [morning while he was on his knees], it was revealed to me by the Holy Spirit, [the Holy Spirit put it into my mind] to write to Goodhand Pattison, the Cloughjordan Methodist Steward about an opening for a mission [for William Irvine in the Cloughjordan circuit. When he arose, I mentioned the matter to him, and he said do, John.]
[So I wrote, saying that I was writing under the direct leading of the Holy Spirit. Goodhand had been the most faithful, and God worked out His purpose by using His worthy ones and revivals flow through connected channels. The Methodist Evangelist, a brother Pykes, had left Nenagh, and the place was nearly closed down. Goodhand Pattison showed my letter to William Whittaker, the Methodist
Minister for Cloughjordan, who said he would give the Nenagh Methodist Church to the Pilgrims of the Faith Mission, as he knew the Pilgrims, having met them in Northern Ireland.] That letter resulted
in him getting permission from William Whittaker, the Methodist
Minister [for Cloughjordan],
to have the use of Nenagh Methodist Church.
AUGUST, 1897: [Being some time from home, and my sister Jane wanted to see me,] I left Tarbert [for home] 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, [Co. Clare. On the Lord's day, William Whittaker said to me, "John, I intend to get the Pilgrims for Nenagh." I said, "Very well. I will write to William Irvine tomorrow." So I wrote saying that Nenagh was open for him and his companion to have a mission.] and from there to Nenagh where THE REVIVAL BEGAN.
[NENAGH WHERE THE REVIVAL BEGAN]
[When William Irvine got my letter, they left for Nenagh. On arriving there, they had a search for the key of the Methodist Church. They got some bills ready and distributed them at the Church door as the members came out.]
The Revival began in a town [Nenagh] 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. [Very few came at first, but as the nights went on by, the numbers increased and persons of prominence decided for Christ.] At his [Wm. Irvine’s] first meeting only 5 persons attended; but at the closing meeting, there were 100 present. [On his knees in prayer in his lodgings, the victory was won through the Merits of the Lord Jesus, and God gave him Acts 27:24] 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; [so did Jack Carroll and his sister May; so did Allen Harkness and his sister Norma; and Mr. and Mrs. Robinson and Miss Wallace. On the closing night there were upward to 100 persons out. And times of refreshing came from the presence of the Lord, and God's work was revived in that town.] Altogether upwards of 30 persons of position and note got converted; most of them afterwards gave up all that they had to follow Jesus.
[On returning to] After we left Tarbert, we were all denounced by the Priest from off the altar, [so I did not abide there, but hired a car and drove to near Cidowell, and from there I visited my Aunt Kate Davis in Ballyheigue. Her son at that time was ___ for J. D. Crosby. After spending a week there]. From Ballyheigue, I removed to Tralee [where I labored for a fortnight.
One day in the country on the Listowell Road, I called on a farmer who looked at me, and he said "You are not the man—for I bought a Testament from a man like you—selling books, took it to the Priest to get it blessed, and he was so displeased at me for bringing it, as an act of penance for my sins, he made me take off my boots and walk home barefooted. By the time I walked 8 miles, sickness had set in and I lay in bed for 9 months." Poor souls—when will they learn the Truth of the gospel that we are bought with a price. "Be ye not the servants of men."]
[For some time the funds of the society did not come in, and I was paying myself out of the money received for the books. This worked out well some weeks, but did not work in others, as in some parts it was hard to sell, and the books sold to Romans were sold very cheap. In proposition to the years of service, I had more financial difficulties while under a society with the name of a salary than ever I had on the Faith Lines.] I left there for home, greatly discouraged for lack of money. [Because of this] 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. [I left Tralee on the 2nd September, arriving home penniless.]
SEPTEMBER, 1897: [On hearing of the Revival in Nenagh, Rathmolyon and Roscrea, and knowing that God used me as the Pioneer of it, I took courage and restarted having come under the good counsel of well wishes in the Lord's work. I went to Nenagh and preached in the Methodist Church and saw some of the fruits of the Revival, being cordially received by Jack and May Carroll. I learned from good authority that Mr. Whittaker was severely criticized for giving me the Nenagh Methodist Church to William Irvine for a mission This was opposition without a cause coming from the Ecclesiastics where it nearly always begun. However, the opinion of the men with the love of Christ at heart carried. This took place on 3rd Sept. at the district meeting in which my work was also considered.]
During that month I visited Portumna and Borrisokane. Pastor [S.W.H.] Nesbitt resigned the superintendency of the Colportage work and Pastor [W. B.] Merrick accepted it. [From that time on, I never suffered financially.] 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. [From that day to this, the push bicycle has been a great relief and a poor man's friend.]
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
at Captain Fowlers, Rathmolyon, County Meath. Through their
they got the use of the School House [Room] in Rathmolyon for a mission for
Irvine, where forty persons got converted; most of them afterwards
gave up their situations to go fully on the Lord's work. [The converts were of a healthy kind; they prayed and sang and testified for Jesus.]
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 Rector of Rathmolyon, Co. Meath, had a Christian Mother who used to pray for the conversion of all in their parish. He was a man evangelically inclined and did not oppose William Irvine. 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.]
[REVIVAL AT ROSCREA]
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 [being the chairman of the district] invited William Irvine to have a mission there [in Roscrea], when many young people decided for Christ [got converted], 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 [who fell asleep in Jesus about that time. She lived to see him, to say, "Willie, you did what was right after all in going fully on the Lord's work.][During those days I had a letter from William Irvine telling me of the death of his mother and anticipating a return visit to North Tipperary in the near future.] 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 [commenced]; he gave me exhortation to go forward looking unto Jesus, letting God have his way in and through our lives.
[About that time Charles Butter Stoney of Portland Lorrha asked me to visit in his district for a few days. This gentleman continued to take an interest in my work until he died about 1919. Howbeit, his sons followed in his footsteps and annually contributed to my work.]
[During that month, I laboured in Ballinsaloe, Aughrim, Banagher, etc. Sister Storey always had a welcome for me, and I had some good times of preaching the gospel in the Methodist Church in the Village of Aughrim. There was a grand opportunity of doing this to the orphan children who came into the service on the Lord's Day. During that month or about that time, I took down the names of the shopkeepers in towns and in villages and sent portions of the Word of God to them at my own expence, but always the Douay Version. I also sent out a Douay Testament to William Shea, Dennis Hogan, Edward Oakley, Thomas Sherlock, Michael Bourke in the Cloughjordan districts. I do not believe in sending anonymous letters to anyone, but very few despise an anonymous gift, as it costs the sender something and there is no better gift than the Word of God.]
NOVEMBER, 1897: I removed from Birr to Roscrea [I labored in the districts of Birr and Roscrea] and saw some
the results and fruits of the Revival. [During my visits to Birr, I visited the Military Barricks and had personal talks with the soldiers and distributed tracts to them. In these districts, I found it very hard to sell to the Roman Catholics, but I had excellent times with the Protestants. In Roscrea, I got acquainted with Charles Crookshanks, the chairman of the district and one of the ablest preachers in the Methodist Connection. While there he asked me to preach a kind of trial sermon, and I remember speaking from John 7:37, the Living Water. He said nothing, but the time when God would honour me in the presence of the Brethren had not come yet, but was near at hand.]
[REVIVAL CONTINUES AT NENAGH]
[By this time] About the same time William Irvine had returned to Nenagh and held a mission in the Presbyterian Church given to him by [the minister, a brother Douglas] Pastor Douglas [who went heart and soul into the revival. Persons who were not brought in at the first mission were converted at the second and the young converts were edified and built up and helped] 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. [The news of the awakening went far and near.] The Episcopal leaders and Ministers at their council meetings said that the cause of all this were those 2 men, William Irvine and John Long. (poem/hymn inserted)
[I met with a book written in Indiana America on Heresies and the writer put down the revival as a mistaken operation of the Holy Spirit. Persons from the outside should be careful how and in what way they misapply the real facts. I am not writing of the work as it is now. I am stating facts as they were then. I am not writing about William Irvine as he is now in Palestine. I am writing about what I believed him to be then. I cannot doubt but that this work in its origin was of God and that William Irvine as I found him then was a real man of God, the fruits bear witness.]
[REVIVAL IN CLOUGHJORDAN]
DECEMBER, 1897: [In the Cloughjordan Methodist Church, there were some godly persons praying for a revival; among them were Goodhand Pattison and his wife, Mrs. Davis of Emmel, William Guest, William Davis and others.]
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. [William Whittaker got up some special meetings, expecting great things. At them, a young man, a servant of Goodhand Pattison from Adare got converted. I had commended this young man to Goodhand Pattison, he afterwards got a situation as a Railway Porter on the Great S. Railway & Western Railway. Awaiting William Irvine's coming, great crowds attended the meetings.]
[Irvine found it to be stiff soil.] The mission at first was a
stiff one but well attended by people of all denominations. Every
reserved, [all the gifts] tact, wisdom, humours, and power [excellences] that characterized the preaching of the
Evangelist were taxed to the uttermost, against the spirit of
criticism, opposition, etc. [At a meeting of the Elders, Whittaker was for closing down the mission—had it not been for the intervention and counsel of Goodhand pattison, whose advice was to see it out to the end.] The mission ended with victory and blessing
and lasting results.
During his stay in Cloughjordan, I invited him [William Irvine] out to our home in Burntwood for a cup of tea, and the humble and loving way by which he dealt with my [Mother, also my] brothers and sisters, sowed the seed, and prepared the way for their conversion which happened within one year afterwards [followed soon afterwards].
That mission ended up with an all-day conference; when the Christians from Roscrea and [converts of] Nenagh came to our help. [In the morning meeting, Charles Crookshank spoke with freshness and power on the seven aspects of Abraham's faith. In the afternoon, Whittaker said we have on the platform five Heralds of the Cross, all of which were to speak a short sermon in order. The names of these persons were John Walton, John Long, Evangelist Gilbert, Mr. Crookshanks, Jr., and Fred Tapp. I felt weak, but from that time, God began to establish my way and looking to Him for help and a message, I spoke from these words, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men" (Matt 4:19). The message was attended with much freshness and power, and on leaving the meeting, Charles Crookshanks said to me, "John, you do well to keep in contact with these meetings when you are getting blessed in them."]
Open-air preaching for years
was an unknown thing in the town [village] of Cloughjordan, the inhabitants being
mostly Romans of a bigoted type [and to venture at it meant a great cross, not knowing the consequences.] In the evening William Irvine suggested
an open-air march through the street, [singing "Steady, Forward, March." Two Methodist ministers, namely C. Crookshanks and S. W. H. Nesbitt, also his Colporteurs, Robert Barbour and John Long, and two Lay Elders, Mr. Robinson and William Treanor, joined in the adventurous march which took the
inhabitants by surprise. On the return] outside the Methodist Church we formed a circle and sang the best of
hymns [that well known hymn], "There is a fountain filled with Blood, Drawn from Immanuel's veins,"
which took the
inhabitants by surprise.
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. [Tea was provided for strangers between the meetings. Mrs. G. Pattison, not discerning danger, sent me across the street to their house for a kettle of boiling water. On my return, I was seized by two men. Robert Barbour, the Presbyterian Colporteur who knew me, he was a strong tall young man, came to my rescue, and when they saw him, they let me go.] (poem/hymn inserted)
JANUARY, 1898: In the little town of Borrisokane there is a small Methodist Church, where [worshipped] met a little assembly of godly believers, who loved to see souls saved [people converted]; and prayed earnestly for a Revival. My former superintendent, S.W.H. Nesbitt, who left Roscrea, and was stationed at that time in Borrisokane. He was an evangelical man who refused to take the title of "Reverend," [and why not all the ministers do the same thing? My present superintendent W. B. Merrick will not wear a clerical suit, and why do not all ministers do the same thing?]
[Nesbitt opened] He threw his church open for a mission; also two Godly women, sisters named Mrs. Gaynor and a Miss Rodgers opened their home to receive the Pilgrims. On hearing about the success [Revival] in Nenagh, [Rathmolyon, and Roscrea] etc., and also hearing that the Revival was not popular, but a good deal of opposition had arisen against it from unexpected quarters, they came with warm affection to the help of the Lord against the mighty.
We will ever remember that mission held in Borrisokane, as one of the
most powerful [and effectual and attractive] and fruitful we ever had. It was very unsectarian in manifestation
and operation. It was a real [warm and] conventional time [mission] when many Christian workers
took part, and both sowers and reapers rejoiced together over the conversion
of sinners, even Roman Catholics. Others who were the Lord's people [even myself] sought
and found a second benefit [or blessing], 2 Corinthians 1:15. The power that attended
the singing of Songs of Victory, was [heavenly and] extraordinary [which is always characteristics of effusions of the Holy Spirit. The having all things common also] The joy in fellowship,
and [partaking] at meals proved it to be a taste of Pentecost.
A REVIVAL was in the air, for all the fruits and signs expected from a work of God were seen and felt and manifest. There was a REVIVAL of the salvation of souls, the restoration of backsliders; [also there were cases of] sick healed in answer to prayer. There was a REVIVAL of prayer, praise, and preaching [and testimony]; attended with [giving], good works, self-denial, and hospitality.
[People travelled long distances on bicycles, traps and Irish jaunting cars, not without hazards, hardships and cross bearing. One was called the Missionary Jennet [a horse] because the worthy owner gave her to drive Christians from Cloughjordan to Borrisokane. His fruit was rewarded and his heart cheered by hearing the Christians drive home at midnight hour singing hymns down through the streets of Cloughjordan.]
There was much use made of Bibles, Testaments, texts, tracts, [and the Faith Mission] periodical such as Bright Words. William Irvine took a special interest in circulating [and commending] Andrew Murray’s books, such as Abide in Christ, The New Life, The Ministry of Intercession, With Christ in the School of Prayer, etc. [Opposition kept within bounds being held back by an overruling providence. Three were old established Christians who stood aloft and were not moved by this revival. One reason perhaps was it did not come in the way they expected and it did not please them in every detail.] [The people stood aloft with awe and wonder, inclined to persecute but afraid to meddle, and the two months mission passed away without any serious hurt. Rome showed herself many a time in trying to upset singing, and persons on the way home.]
We did not march through the street as we did in Cloughjordan, but on some nights, we formed in a circle outside the Church railings on the street and sang hymns. One of the hymns I remember was "I was once far away from the Saviour." A Priest came down and turned away his flock from hearing the Gospel sung in hymn. We were trying to give the Gospel, and he was trying to hinder them from hearing the Gospel. The one for—the other against.]
A Christian commercial traveller, named Edward Cooney [from Enniskillen. He was converted under the preaching of George Grubb, and his brother was one of the seven that constituted the Egyptian Mission Band. Edward was a smart, low, level-headed, educated, aggressive Christian young man of about 32 years of age at that time.]
During his business
tours, he met some of the young converts [in Nenagh] and being impressed with the genuineness
of their testimony was resolved to meet the Evangelist [with William Irvine] and have an interview
with him. That meeting was [an eventful] a loving one and meant much for the Kingdom
of God. [In a Christian home before the meeting on the Lord's day evening, we all met where we had a warm time of prayer, singing, conversation and Christian fellowship. Before the meeting, E. Cooney and I had prayer together under the cover of an arched gateway, when a man came and routed us.] How careful we should be regarding first impressions, as they have
real and lasting effects. The memory of which is not easily erased, [and revivals may spring up from a smile of God on a text, a conversation, a prayer, an act of kindness or an event or incident.]
[In the meeting, Irvine asked Cooney to speak a short message and he had not much liberty, but William Irvine spake with much freshness and at the close Edward Cooney said to me that God gave that man Irvine great grace and power, and at that time, it must be acknowledged that it was so. At the close of that eventful mission, as well as at the close of the one in Cloughjordan, there was a Conference in which many Heralds of the Cross took part, also well-meaning Christians who wre graciously moved by the visitation and time of refreshing coming from the presence of the Lord.]
In [this conference] both of them, I was asked to speak, [saying that they wanted me to the front more than ever. I was very nervous
and kept looking to the Lord for a message, and God gave me revelation,
liberty, and power, and began to establish my way in presence of the Brethren.
I have learned by experience when speaking in the presence of great men,
never to aim at anything great, but to be as simple as a child. When a King or Prince makes a proclamation and publishes it to the general public and peasantry people, it is done so plainly that he that runs may read for there are no superfluous words used. Why not all do the same?]
[About that time I had the first convert. I had labored for three years out fully in the Lord's work and vineyard on a sowing and pioneering line without seeing much definite results. A sister in Christ asked me had I spoken to old Mr. Woods about his soul's salvation. I said, "No." She said, "You ought to." And being impressed with her words, I mounted my bicycle and rode to his house where I met the old man at the door. I asked him definitely was he born again. He answered that he knew it was necessary, but was in doubt about it being his experience. I said to him, "Are you willing to be?" He said, "I am." So I had the privilege of being the instrument of leading him to Christ. This is the substance of our conversation together as far as I remember.]
[About the same time on a road, I spoke to John Cavanagh about his soul's salvation and found him willing to accept the Saviour. We both went into a field, knelt down in prayer, and he got converted and gave up his situation as a blacksmith and went out fully on the Lord's work. He afterwards went as a missionary to South Africa. Since then I have heard of his death through an accident.]
Decisions are landmarks never to be forgotten and although the witness of the Spirit is not always given in the event of decision, yet the yielding of the heart and will puts the anxious soul in the attitude towards God where He gives His Spirit to the Believer. Therefore, being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Rom. 5:1. Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, Rom. 3:25
MARCH, 1898: Near the Town of Borrisokane in a country district called Finnoe, there are a [large] goodly number of [Episcopal] Protestant homes. There stands a little Episcopal church where my ancestors lie [are buried] until the resurrection. A farmer named John Burgis, [aka Burgess per Census ] whose house stands near the church offered his barn to William Irvine for a mission. The special REVIVAL efforts [times] continued with lasting results; in that barn, whole families got converted, [namely] including my Aunts, Rosanna Long [who was my Mother's sister and married to Robert Long, a cousin of my father; a family named Corcorans, Falkiners and Dennisons and others who were swept into this Salvation by the current revival.]
Others were graciously moved to open their homes in order to entertain the Lord's people and for cottage meetings [who kept prophet's chambers and entertained strangers.] Among them [who did so] was Sister and Brother Falkiner, Willsborough, Borrisokane, whose whole household got converted and whose home was opened to entertain the Lord's people, meetings and Conferences. [in whose home we had many meetings, missions and even half nights of prayer. It became our resting place for the Pilgrims, which continued for many years after that memorable mission held in John Burgis' barn. A Christian Schoolmaster named Dennison got restored; he used his influence and became a fellowhelper of the truth as it is in Jesus. The Spirit of love and loyalty shown to one towards another, in having all things common, proved the extent in which the word and power of God grew and prevailed.
A good deal of opposition arose at that time because [from that time] William Irvine [began to speak] spoke with great authority against the unfaithfulness of the clergy believing that God had raised him up to thresh the mountains. [He did not do this until he had a cause, because of the attitude they took towards him and his work.] Many threw on the brake, but he refused to be corrected by them.
The strain of continuous
ministry; also the care and charge of young converts effected much the
physical health of the Evangelist who was known to preach for five hours [at a time],
all the while holding the attention of his audience [and hold his audience interested all the time. Besides trusting in
God for healing,] he was skilfull in being his own physician, and taking
natural care, fresh air, and proper food, etc.
Whatever people may say against the man and his work, a grip was taken and a move made that meant many persons passing from death unto life [and from the power of sin and Satan unto God]. It was true that some old truths seemed to be set forth in a new setting, but what matter about that when the fruits were manifested and good. I have no doubt but the clergy opposed him when God was mightily using him as an instrument in reaping the harvest, and his first outspokenness was against their opposition to him. Whenever any one of them showed any interest to his work and displayed a desire to do the will of God in seeking the lost, or feeding the flock of God with sincere milk of the word, he was sympathetic towards them, as was seen in the case of Wetheral, Crookshanks, Nesbitt, and Douglas.
Concerning the principles of the Doctrine of Christ, he was sound. He believed in the fall of man, [in the necessity of being regenerated], in the Atonement, in the Trinity, in the Divinity of our Lord [Deity of Christ] and [His incarnation, also his meritorious death on Calvary's Cross for sin and in His resurrection], in the immortality of the soul, in the resurrection of the body, the inspiration of the Bible], in Heaven for the saved [righteous], and in Hell for the lost [wicked]. He believed in a personal Devil, the enemy of God and man. He believed and taught Repentance and that every person can be saved and know it, and that the conditions of Salvation were "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Romans 10:9.
[He believed in the Dedication of Infants and the Ordinances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper. He believed in the free will to marry though he emphisized the unmarried life as the best for Christian Workers. He believed and taught holiness of life. He was very strong on the indwelling of Christ. He also believed in a defenitive anointing of Baptism with the Holy Spirit for power and service. He believed in the ethical and practical fruits of Christian living. He believed that every disciple should have an experience and a testimony for Jesus. he believed in the second advent of our Lord and the Millennium of one thousand years. I have no doubt but that the clergy opposed him when God was mightily using him to reap the harvest in His vineyard let out to Husbandmen.]
[He taught that every saved soul is indwelt by the Spirit of Christ; and that the life of Jesus, is the pattern for everyone to imitate and follow; and that the life of forsaking all for Christ's sake was the best to live. He laid down that the conditions to workers was sell all and give to the poor, take up thy cross, etc. The conditions he laid down to saints were to keep a home and business, dedicate it to the Lord, and entertain and show hospitality and receive all who went forth in the way that Jesus sent them.
The fruits of that teaching resulted in farmers, shop keepers, domestic servants, school teachers, police, soldiers, and persons of every occupation forsaking all that they had to follow Jesus; and to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. "And John answered Him saying, Master, we saw some casting out Devils in Thy name, and he followed not us, and we forbad him, because he followed not after us. And Jesus answered him saying, Forbid him not; for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me, For he that is not against us is on our part," (Mark 9:38-40).]
Whenever any of the clergy showed any interest in his work and displayed a desire to do the will of God in seeking the lost, of feeding the flock of the Lord with the sincere milk of the word, he was sympathetic towards them as was seen in the case of Wetheral, Crookshanks, Nesbitt and Douglas.
[So far, I accepted all this, and as long as they kept to the Scriptural truths and openness til the year 1905 – when these truths were pushed to such an extreme so as to unchristianise all the clergy. The outcome of these truths were that many gave up their situations to go fully on the Lord's work, some joined the Faith Mission, some joined Robert Todd's mission in Lister___?, and more went out independently trusting God alone for supplies.
And John answered saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name. Jesus answered him saying, Forbid him not, etc. (Mark 9:38-40).]
It was a great privilege for me to get the benefit of this revival and to be a fellowhelper in pointing anxious souls to Our Saviour. It is true that owing to the cause of being weak in body at that time, I neglected sales and some did complain. Nevertheless, souls were of more importance than sales. God was preparing for a more excellent work in the near future. Notwithstanding all the interests of the Mission by the aid of my bicycle, I had some good days in the Colporteur work, and besides my secretary was Evangelical and lenient. In filling in my report, I did not, at that time, do justice to myself, for as well as sales, I should have filled in the number of meetings that I conducted and the number in which I took part. However, I think, he understood and made allowances for me, showing that God was training me for better service in the future [God was preparing for a more excellent work in the near future].
APRIL, 1898: [By this time in many parts the young converts commenced to work for Jesus and hold meetings and [the testimony of the young converts worked conviction everywhere], and some of them in Rathmolyon began to hold missions themselves. Many persons who were convicted and refused to decide for Christ went back, got worldly and hardened and never truly converted. "Seek ye the Lord" (Isa. 55:6). Also, there were some persons who opposed the work and severe judgment happened unto them. "Touch not mine" (Ps. 105:15).] [By this time, and many who were convicted and refused to decide for Christ, never got the same opportunity again; and severe judgment happened to some who spoke and acted against the work.]
Two sister Pilgrims were sent on by J.G. Govan, to help at the REVIVAL: Sister Pendry [Elizabeth Pendreigh] and A. McLean. Concerning women ministry, much has been said for and against it [in the Christian world]. I only contend for it insofar as the Scriptures sanction it. Paul's liberty, as well as Paul's bridle, should be considered, 1 Corinthians 11:5; 1 Corinthians 14:34. One should think that a Holy sister may preach the Gospel, according to the Revised Reading Ps 68:11 "The Lord giveth the word," etc."
[There are abundant proofs that God sets His seal upon their ministry],There are abundant proofs that God uses them now, as well as in Biblical times; and the bias of interpretation should go on the side of God's seal. In Psalm 68:11, the Hebrew text reads thus: [Hebrew Letters]. In English characters it reads thus: Adonai ythen amer ha-mebassheroth tsiba rab. (Translated: "Of the female preachers, there was a great host." [But for a woman to have authority over a man, or to teach or minister the doctrines of ordinances of the Church while men are present or disturbing a meeting by talking and asking questions that give use to disorder, these presumptions are plainly forbidden in 1 Cor. 14:34, 1 Tim 2:11-13. Also a woman can pray and prophecy in an assembly with her head covered 1 Cor 11:5; otherwise, how could the prophecy of Joel be fulfilled (Acts 2:17) "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams."]
Within the temple service
Brave Anna had a part
Serving her Lord and Master
With an obedient heart.
Selected to this honour
The good news first to tell
She spoke of Christ the Saviour
To souls in Israel.
First, woman was created
Out of the side of man.
To show she is appointed
To do the best she can.
By helping souls to Jesus,
Co-workers on the way;
Then let her tell the story,
Then let her speak and pray.
In public, she's instructed
These words St. Paul hath said
To respect man's position
With cover on her head.
Nor should this rule be broken
Although she is set free
And never out of order
[During this revival, it pleased God to use many of the new pieces in Songs of Victory, they came with great freshness and power and were sung in the home circle, also by the young men at their work in the fields and the young maids at their work in the homes. They were introduced into funeral services and wedding feasts. The ministry of the two Faith Mission sisters was somewhat new in S. Ireland. They were treated with much respect and kindness, especially amongst the Methodist. Their singing, preaching and visiting; also the story of how they were led to Christ carried much weight and conviction. Yet they were strangers and had many hardships to endure—also opposition and criticisms as they went in and out among people. Miss Pendry soon afterwards married Thomas Betty, near Enniskillen, who soon after gave up their home and farm and went fully on the Lord's work.]
The following are a few of the Hymns selected from "Songs of Victory" which were greatly used and blessed of God at the REVIVAL meetings. [Hymns quoted]
[Concerning William Irvine's tactics [methods] in conducting missions and meetings, something profitable can be learned.] He had no fixed forms or stereotyped methods of prayer, praise, and preaching; yet he did it with order and reverence [yet he always kept his meetings under good liberty and control.]
He seldom prepared his sermons beforehand but was a constant student of the Bible. [He dug deep] and brought forth out of that treasure things new and old. [He was inclined to Spiritualize, but never so as to cause Scripture to contradict itself.] He occasionally threw his meetings open for prayer but [always] encouraged shortness and definiteness. He had plenty of singing, and was careful in selecting hymns suitable for the occasion, and kept young converts at the same ones until they had thoroughly learned them. He always valued God's gifts in others and utilised any person who could [play or] sing solos effectually to the Glory of God. He seldom had [announced] After Meetings, but tested his meetings [right off] immediately after his sermon, without dismissing his audience and nearly always was successful [was seldom without results]. He often had Testimony Meetings; and encouraged shortness, and up to date testimonies; and always tried to get young converts to speak, sing and pray. Sometimes he closed the meetings by singing the Doxology; and at times made them clasp each other's hands and sing "Keep me true Lord to Thee." ["I'll be true Lord to Thee."]
[Irvine did much in his home and lodging life. People came from all parts to converse with him. He gave out much literature, and was an able correspondent and did much by letter writing and was a swift penman. He was fond of children and animals. He was fond of telling stories and giving illustrations in his preaching. Being of a Presbyterian upbringing, he loved a Psalm and constantly had one in his meetings. He never encouraged a carnal ministry, and he himself laboured to be in the spirit on the Lord's day and encouraged others to do the same.]
William Irvine was a man who had keen spiritual discernment and knew at a glance where persons were spiritual. At the same time he laboured to help into fellowship with God and seldom lost opportunities of dealing personally with men and women. He seldom alluded to his own works or experiences and never coveted position or worldly honour. Like most great men of God, Elijah among the rest, he was subject to what Charles Spurgeon called "preachers' fainting fits." He was a swift witness against pride, vainglory, and hypocrisy, and was a kind friend to the poor and distressed. [He walked with God and spent much time in private prayer and nearly always retained any up-to-date joy in his life. Such was the character of the man when we first knew him, and no wonder that lovers of truth were moved by his testimony concerning the Lord Jesus whom he loved and followed.]
[This mission eventually at length came to a close.] About that time the special services spread into three districts [counties]. The two sisters went to Shinrone [Kings County]; Evangelists Gilbert and Fred Hughes went to [Stony Island] a district four miles beyond Portumna, [Co. Galway;] and Irvine and I went to Templederry.
At the same time God healed us of influenza [I was laid up for a week with influenza], after spending a week resting in my Aunt Jane Bray's [and Uncle Willy's] home, Dirrinvohill, Borrisokane. [God healed me and after spending a few days with the Falkiners, I journeyed to Templederry to assist William Irvine in his mission.]
[At Stony Island in Co. Galway, between Portumna and Woodford, there was quite a little revival. Some of them, Brother and Sister Bayley, converted Methodists, opened their home for a mission where Evangelists Gilbert and Hughes had a time of blessing. A number of Protestant families, called "Planters" got converted, including Thomas Turner, a schoolmaster and his sister. He very soon after gave up his school and started out with me during the last four months in the colportage work.] became for a time my companion in travels.
MAY, 1898: During the Nenagh mission, a draper named James Robinson, and his wife got converted; he opened his home to [the Pilgrims] entertain the Lord's people. He had in his employment a young woman named Wallace from Templederry, whose parents invited us to have a mission in their home [and invited William Irvine and I to conduct it.]
Templederry is a mountainous district situated between Nenagh and Templemore, [and the mountaineers are a plain phesantry people] where there were a good many Episcopalians [Protestant families scattered up and down the hills and valleys]. In that [country] home, [William Irvine held a mission for three weeks in April 1898, and there was a little revival.]
The commencement was attended with real difficulties, yet God moved in a mysterious way and complete victory was the outcome of prayer and patience. [The first difficulty consisted in that we posted a written advertisement to about 30 homes in an enclosed envelope and put only one half-penny stamp on them. When they arrived, the people in each home had to pay one penny on each letter, as the Post Office had written, "Contains a letter within." On hearing this, to show our neighbours that we were honest, we enclosed one penny to each home, which caused us second labor and expense.]
[The second difficulty consisted is that during the Mission in Borrisokane, a Roman Catholic young woman decided for Christ. She was out of employment and William Irvine, as an act of kindness, paid her fare across to Rothesay [Scotland] to be a domestic servant for John George Govan. She had got as far as Dublin when she was influenced by some enemy of truth and wrote after this manner to William Irvine. "Sir, I have made a grave mistake in attending your meetings and leaving my church which has been honoured with so many martyrs." This is another instance of the influence of Rome against, instead of for Christ, putting Christianity instead of repentance and faith in Christ.]
The enemy came in like a flood,
but the Spirit of the Lord lifted up a standard against him. [The third difficulty consisted in the fact that William Irvine said] something hard about the clergy [while conducting a meeting] in the Young Women’s Christian Association
Room, Borrisokane. [This would have been better not said. Also, the lady should not have made a servant of the Lord's a sinner for a word.] A lady who was then present wrote to Pastor Anderson, the Minister of Templederry, saying that a dangerous man had come into the parish, and while we both were in the home of Sister Wallace, Anderson came in very angry and asked Mrs. Wallace to put us out. Thus, the minister was in one part of the house and William Irvine and I in another praying that God would defeat the Devil.
[n leaving, he refused to have a personal talk with Irvine, which was not Scriptural, for the Bible says "If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone" (Matt 18:15). This Mr. Anderson did not do, so as that from a Scriptural point of view, the accuser was wrong. William wrote a letter to him in haste and sent it by me to Mr. Anderson saying, "Let not the sun go down on thy wrath." The meeting began and while we were inviting the people to come, Mr. Anderson was going] Excited with indignation, he went through [the homes] of his parishioners and advised [warned] them not to attend the meetings. A wise elder of his church said, "Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God" (Acts 5:38-39). [The meetings were at first poorly attended, but the numbers increased as the nights went by. At them, I preached a short message every night followed by Irvine who spoke with great freshness and power. During the day I did a measure of Colporteur work, but I was not strong after the fit of influenza cold.]
That opposition soon ceased, owing to Pastor Anderson's illness, which happened while we were in the district. [Before the Mission ended, Mr. Anderson took sick and the Sunday after his recovery, we heard him preach from these words, "Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upwards." During the last nights of the Mission, upwards of 30 persons decided for Christ, and it was my privilege to give them a New Testament each.] That mission ended up with complete victory when many souls decided for Christ, including my Brother Samuel Long, who was a [domestic] servant to the rector [for Mr. Anderson] at that time.
In the little town of Shinrone, Kings County, there is a small Methodist church, where Sisters Pendry [Elizabeth Pendreigh] and McClean [A. McLean] had a mission. They were helped by a Schoolmaster named Benson, and a [Christian] shopkeeper named Davis, [and the Christians in Roscrea came to their help]. Although they had a stiff time when they commenced, it resulted in definite blessing to some, so the work spread [and the Christians got blessed. I can't recall that there were any conversions.]
JUNE, 1898: [Wm Irvine and I for the time parted] About that time Irvine went to Maryborough, and I went to Portumna where together with [Evangelist] Gilbert we had a mission in Sister Lowrey's home. C. B. Stoney of Portland, a converted gentleman, took a great interest in the REVIVAL, wrote in its defence, and contributed to its support [and show who's side he was on.]. Just as Jordan overflowed her banks all the days of harvest; people's purses, as well as their hearts, got touched, and there was no lack of money, food, friends, prophet's chambers, etc.
[During the mission William Lowry got converted. One day while engaged in the Colporteur work, Gilbert and I had a very interesting conversation with a Priest who quoted the old text they always fly to and misapply. "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock," etc. (Matt 16:18). Gilbert only knew two words in Greek "petros" and "petra.". He asked the Priest was Peter's name "petros" or "petra"? Now "petros" translated means a stone; but "petra" means a rock. To this the Priest laughed, saying, "I think that you must have been in Trinity College."]
After that William Irvine and I went to Limerick City, where Irvine had a mission in the Young Men’s Christian Association rooms given to us by a Brethren man named Fredrick Wright. It was a stiff mission with some [little] success. [I saw the Evangelist held up, every word was a struggle, when some advanced critics were in the meetings. Pastor Gibb was in a measure sympathetic, so also was C. B. Robertson, the Evangelical Episcopal Minister of St. Mienshows, Lim. City. I went through the city once again, which involved great danger.] One day a raid was made on my books and two men carried off some volumes. I let the thing go and said nothing about it, bearing the loss myself.
[During our stay in Limerick, we cycled out to Killaloe to see Fred Hughes' parents for they lived there.] I lost control of my bicycle [down a hill,] and was thrown into the ditch [off onto a bank]. I escaped unhurt but the bicycle was slightly injured. "As many as I love I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent," Revelation 3:19. [God has marvellously preserved me from serious accidents.]
[JUNE:] About that time, the work became scattered. [However, God's smile rested on many of the worker who were labouring up and down throughout the land and in many places revivals were manifested.] There was an increase of prayer meetings, also young converts began to hold missions in Meath, Kildare, Tipperary. Some joined the Faith Mission, others joined Todd’s Mission in the Southeast of Ireland, and others went out not connected with any mission. Opposition against the work became more and more manifest, for some clergy favoured it and others opposed it.
As long as the work [Evangelists] kept [open and unsectarian and avoided] exclusiveness, [and were devoted to God], and remained unsectarian in manifestation, they were wonderfully used of God in the [winning souls to Christ] salvation of sinners and the making of disciples, [and helping believers in a fuller experience of Spiritual Blessing.]
At that time, the workers [on the Lord's Day] occasionally went to the various churches, and at times preached in them whenever the way opened up. This helped to disarm prejudice, and get at the unconverted to win them for Christ, leaving them to the option of their own [choice] will as to where they worshipped and get the most spiritual food [and what denomination they belonged to].
I might here once for all give the meaning of some important ecclesiastical words:
Church: Assembly of believers.
Baptism: To dip or to immerse
Saint: Holy, sacred
Minister: To serve. A bondservant.
Apostle: Sent One
Prophet: Foretelling and forthtelling.
Evangelist: A preacher of the Gospel.
Pastor: To feed the flock. The same as elders, bishops.
Preach: To proclaim or publish.
Elder: An old man in office.
Bishop: An overseer, or elder.
Deacon: Minister or servant.
JULY, 1898: At that time William Irvine, Fred Hughes and I went to Kilkee, where we had a mission in the Methodist Church [given to us by] also we had the fellowship of W.B. Merrick, my superintendent in the colportage work. He was a minister who never wore a clerical suit, and rightly so for where in the New Testament do we read of Apostles or elders having any distinction in their dress?
A consumptive young woman named Miss Hodgins from Balymackey, Nenagh, was staying in Kilkee for the good of her health. This young woman and the possibility of her being healed through laying on of the hands the prayer of faith was the burden of Irvine's thoughts. [One Lord's day after preaching on Divine Healing, Irvine and I went to her lodgings, prayed with her.] While there William Irvine laid his hands on a delicate young woman [her commending her to God for complete cure] and God healed her. [From that time on, she began to recover and as far as I know the Lord healed her.]
[This is Scriptural for it says,] "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." Mark 16:17-18. Divine healing was not taught nor ministered [much] then [throughout the British Isles and in all the world,] even as yet it is only believed and ministered by few: this is strange when the Bible says so much about it!
[During that time, I had some remarkable days in the Colporteur work. Near Carrigaholt I sold 8 Douay Testaments in one day and had many personal talks to individuals about the salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we had some precious times of fellowship in our lodging with W. Irvine.]
[During the Borrisokane Revival meetings, one night in a Young Woman's Christian Assoc. room, great power rested on the meetings, and a heavenly atmosphere rested on the meeting singing of Hymn 116 Songs of Victory. I was journeying in the noontide during the singing. I made a consecration of my life to do the will of God in my work whatever it costs. None but those who have been in the work know how difficult it is to sell to Romans and do the will of God. The push and aim to sell in some ways debars this, and every revelation and anointing received of God points out the path of His will not along the lines of sales, but along the lines of oral message (Isa 321--??)]
[THE MATTHEW TEN STUDY]
JULY, 1898: While in Kilkee we had a Bible reading on Matthew 10. [We spent most of the day in fasting and prayer. William about giving up the Faith Mission, and I about giving up the Methodists and going forth wholly and solely in dependance upon God. Our ideal was beyond that which was possible to carry out in a country and county wherein the majority were Roman Catholics and Matt. 10 must be taken according to the Acts of the Apostles after Pentecost.] It was that Bible [study] reading set me first thinking about going on Faith Lines, [which a few months after that, it took place, and events were leading me on to where I made the final decision.]
It was a very remarkable coincident that Edward Cooney turned up next day, for he very soon after gave up a very good [well-to-do] situation, and distributed thirteen hundred pounds to the poor, and went fully on the Lord's work, and became a great advocate of preachers going without a stated salary [of Matthew 10 and the Truth as it is in Jesus.] I remember well the friendly debate that Irvine and Cooney had on the Doctrines of Annihilation and Eternal or Everlasting Punishment and Irvine contended to Immortality and individuality of the Soul and the awful reality of eternal punishment.
However, as a guide to preachers, Matthew 10 should only be taken in conjunction with the other Scriptures and Acts of the Apostles after Pentecost. This is a very important point lest young preachers should attempt that which our Lord never meant and run into catastrophe; as in Matthew 10, that tour was only for a few days, to meet a need and prepare the way for His visit to them. Vs. 10-25.
In Matthew 10 they were not to go to the Gentiles, nor to the Samaritans; after Pentecost they were to be "Witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in Judea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth." Acts 1:8. In Matthew 10 they were to take neither gold, silver, or brass, in their purses nor any luggage; after Pentecost they used money, and carried necessary luggage. Acts 4:34-35; 21:15; 28:30-31; 1 Corinthians 9:14.
These words "As ye go preach" gave rise to the name "Go-Preacher," [being a better substitute for the name "Tramp Preachers."] Indeed "Apostle" should be the name instead of [for] "Missionary" [and it means a 'sent one," for it is mentioned as one of the gifts of our Risen Lord (Ephesians 4:11).] $$
AUGUST, 1898: At that time, William Irvine left me and went to Galway town; Fred Hughes went back to [his situation] merchandise and [I went to Kilrush where I had some fellowship with W. B. Merrick. One day he and I visited 21 homes on it, selling 13 Douay Testaments. I hope the priests did not pick up the good seed sown, but I am very doubtful about it, judging from past experiences. One of the converts in Portumna, a School Master [Thomas Turner] gave up his situation and came to be my companion in travels. He was a good Christian man, a good singer and preacher, but had weak eyes. I am sure he was not sorry to meet with W. B. Merrick, my superintendent, as he acted a wise counsellor to him and treated him kindly as well.] Thomas Turner joined me and we visited Kilrush, Spanish Point, and Ennis.$$
[Thomas Turner and I removed to Spanish Point and got lodging in the home of Mrs. Brew, a Christian woman who entertained the Church of Ireland Scripture Readers. On the Lord's Day, we went to see our Roman Catholic neighbors doing penance for their sins at a Holy Well. We went with the object of preaching the Gospel to them, but got no opportunity. A number of them walked barefooted round and round a well till their feet must have been well sore. Poor ignorant creatures. How long will they be kept in darkness? How long will they be deceived by the comments of men and reject the Word of God. Oh my people (Isa 3:12). When will our Roman neighbors see that Jesus did all the Penance on Calvary's Cross, and said "It is finished." They make much of Christ's death as an outward show to the eye, but they set aside the merits and power as an act of Faith, and adds to the finished work, human merit and their own good works, which avail nothing.]
While in Spanish Point I spent a day in prayer and fasting, seeking to know the mind of the Lord [as to what I should do regarding] concerning giving up the Colportage work [line] and going out on Faith Lines; [and when I made a real surrender to do the will of God at all costs] I received a very definite anointing of the Holy Spirit, It shed like oil upon my head. [From that time selling began to recede and preaching began to increase from Spanish Point, we removed to Ennis where we spent two weeks. Mr. Merrick gave us the use of the Methodist Church for a short mission, and we were very much concerned about starting street-preaching and open air work...gospel mission.]
SEPTEMBER, 1898: [Irvine visited Galway town to prepare the way for us.] Our next move was to Galway town, where we were warmly received by the Congregational Pastor, Robert Miller, who gave us the Sea Road Hall, for a mission. [The Christians there very warmly received us.]
[During our stay in Galway], We tried to sell the Scriptures but the people would not buy. One day we left our books at home [bags in our lodging and started on the Athenny Road], and took a Matthew 10 Tour into the country saluting people with the salutation "The Kingdom of God is come unto you" (Matthew 10:7), and calling at the homes with these words, "Peace be unto this house." Luke 10:5.
[Second Mission:] This might have done well in a Protestant town or country where there was sympathy, but in a Roman Catholic Country such as the rank Romans of County Galway, it was beyond the word of limitation. Go not in the way of the Gentiles (Matt 10:5). We did not go far when persecution of a dangerous kind [I might say persecution] began to arise; notwithstanding some heard us gladly. It is no good sign of Rome being the true church when they persecute them that seek to do them good.
[Tom Turner and I sat down on the road and began to question as to our tactics being the best way of reaching the Romans with the Gospel. Neither Tom or I can ever forget that adventurous and eventful day. Howbeit, our mistake was divinely overruled, and our zeal used of God to stir up conviction and set people thinking about salvation. The cross was in it, and God suffered no man to do us hurt and remarkably preserved our lives for his glory.]
While in Galway town [on the Lord's day we had our first experience of street preaching [in] Galway Square where a number of persons spake, namely Robert Millar, Mr. Glasgow, Wilson McClung, Thomas Turner and even I, "Praise ye the Lord."] It is a work that neither gets the sympathy nor the support that it deserves; it is a splendid way of training young disciples if they cultivate the practice of not speaking too loud, fast, or long [and many are reached by the open-air with the gospel missions that are not reached inside meetings and gospel missions.] Street Preaching and personal conversation, are the most powerful and straightforward methods of reaching Roman Catholics with the Gospel, whether they will hear, or whether they will reject. The preachers have faithfully done their work and the responsibility rests with themselves; and is without burdens and expences. In defence of it [street preaching] from a Scriptural standpoint, I have written this piece: (two poems inserted about open-air preaching)
OCTOBER, 1898: [We next in order visited Clifden, where we could not do much, and the Methodist Minister at that time did not give or show us much friendship or sympathy in that town. He was somewhat negative. Howbeit, John Ludlow from Loughrea took our part and defended our work. When we all met in a Christian home (drapers) for tea, we could not help the condition of things, as we were in a part where there were very few Protestants, and the Romans refused to buy and were inclined to mildly oppose, and what we did do was unknown to him.] After a visit to Clifden, where we could not sell, for it seemed as if God was closing the door for sales, but another door, a great and effectual one opened up.
Pastor B. Merrick treated Tom Turner very kindly and when he paid me my salary of £1 a week, he allowed Tom T a half 10/? a week. This helped to pay his lodgings besides some gifts that were given to him.
We returned to Ballinasloe, on [the first week of October, being] the week of the great fair, [one of the largest in South of Ireland]. [At this great fair,] we got a little table and placed our books upon it, yet no person bought from us. Thomas Turner, my companion [started to sing] sang a hymn, and a crowd gathered [to listen] but our success was hindered by the interference of the man whose house was opposite our stand. [He got hostile and ordered us away and to take our stand away. Having to do this raised a question as to his authority for meddling with us at all. While preaching under the agricultural hall, water and chaff were thrown on us, and we got a sprinkling, but did us little harm. The Methodist Minister, Pastor Munton, stood by us and said that right should be defended.]
[Pastor Munton stood by us and said that right should be defended. He was a Methodist Preacher then stationed in Ballinslow and Aughrim. The Congregational Minister of Galway, a] Robert Miller [by name] from Galway town came to our assistance. He was one of the original pioneer preachers in Galway City, together with a brother named Coughlan. He suffered blows for the Word of God and testimony of Jesus Christ. On hearing of our adventures in Ballinsloe, he came at once to our help. We had three days preaching on the streets during the fair week with very little opposition.
[Third Mission: Following this, Tom Turner and I had a mission in the Methodist Church in Aughrim. As far as I remember, there were some good results among the young, and some of the orphan children decided for Christ. Sister Storey was always in the attitude of giving encouragement to evangelists. From there we cycled to Stony Island, where we had another weeks meetings in the home of Sister Thomas Bailey, one of the Methodist Planters in the district, who kept a Prophets Chamber for the Lord's people]
NOVEMBER, 1898: After preaching in Aughrim and Stony Island, we went to Birr. [The town of Birr, Co. Offlay (formerly Parsonstown, Kings County), though not called a city, had nearly all the qualities that go to make one up. It covered a square mile of area. It had a jail and Quarter Sessions. It contained a very large Military Barricks. It had its high schools and Music Training Halls. Outside stood the Earl of Rosse's domain, wherein was contained the largest telescope in the world--now out of date and the Spectrum is in the British Museum. The Protestant population in Birr and its suburbs are numerous, wherein lines many of the upper class and aristocracy, some who made you feel that they were of a superior cast and upbringing, as class distinction at that time in the South of Ireland was very conspicuious.]
Here we again met with William Irvine who was having a mission in Soldiers’ Home, given to him by Brother Elgie, a worthy saint of the Lord [devoted Christian and a Holy manwho kept a Mission Hall and a place of rest for the soldiers. On hearing of the revival in Roscrea, Rathmolyon, Nenagh, Portumna, Cloughjordan and Templederry, he invited Irvine to have a mission. Pastor Robertson, a Godly Methodist Minister then stationed in Birr was also interested and waited to see God's work revive.]
[That song of Redemption struck and was made a blessing to many who heard him in his lodging; and also proved that W. Irvine believed in the Atonement and the wonderful Redemption wrought out by Our Saviour's Blood, once for all shed on Mt. Calvary. In his lodgings, many came to him and went away benefitted as the outcome of his joy and his word, and I am of the opinion, the best part of the mission took place there.] That was the only mission in which Irvine said, so far as he could judge, there was no conversions; in years afterwards I heard of a woman who was converted at that mission [who testified to a person that she knew got converted at that mission proving that when there are no visible results at the time, there may be unseen results made manifest afterwards.]
[At the same time, Tom Turner and I removed to Birr, and] while there, I resigned the Colportage work [for the Limerick district. It was there also that I received the baptism with the Holy Ghost and Sister Lindsay and Clement were some of the first to show me hospitality and put me up freely for the works sake.]
The last day I spent in it, I sprained my foot through a fall off my [a Cushen Tyne] bicycle. God let me off with chastisement tempered with mercy. This laid me aside for the last two weeks in November. During these days I spent them with William Irvine in his lodging, during which he washed and bathed my feet in warm water. Six years passed away, and he met with a bicycle accident, and sprained his foot, in Warrington, and he came to my lodging, and I washed his feet. In the Colportage work wherein I spent three years and nine months, besides the other features of it, in round numbers I must have sold, and circulated upwards of 100,000 literature, from the Bible to the tract; and although I gave up the selling, it was by no means a finish of my literature experience, but rather God blessed it. I presented them—[did] not sell them.
No matter what way a Christian Evangelist may try to reach Roman Catholics with the Gospel of the grace of God, as long as they are true to the principles [beliefs] of their church, they cannot be delivered into the liberty whereby the truth doth set men free.
I venture to say there is less danger and persecution to the Missionaries [among the heathens] in China, India and Africa. And next to Mohammedans, the Romans are the hardest people in the world to Evangelise, and the South of Ireland are not behind. And while we deplore the abuse and negligence of Protestants who have the truth, but have rejected the power of it, yet we cannot value enough that liberty of access to God through Jesus Christ, the one Mediator; and the free use of an open Bible for which the Martyrs shed their blood.
[Whatever may be said about the manner and tactics of William Irvine, at that time, he was no man-pleaser and did not compromise the truth and feared not the face of man. It cannot be said that at that time he was out of communion or fellowship with God. All who saw and heard his testimony in his lodgings bear witness to the reverse; that the joy and sweetness of his fellowship at that time none of us can easily forget and was manifested in that Hymn sang so often, "He redeemed me." The sympathetic spirit manifested by a man whose personal influence carried great weight and amounted to much, attracted many to come to him in order to get spiritual blessing. This, at the time was attended with humour and cheerfulness so pleasant and harmless.] We cannot forget
the joy of his private life and the effects and fruits of a single chorus, "He Redeemed me, He Redeemed me."
[The mission was well attended, but the audience were critical, proud, hard and slow to move; and every tact and talent of the Evangelist were tested, yet he spake with authority and power. We cannot forget his sermon on Daughters of Zion (Isa 11:16-23). Of course, this was not well received well by some, yet it showed up the condition of things and ended to bring down pride and produce a humility in the people of God.]
[During that mission, we had a visit from Angus McKenzey, the Secretary for the South American Evangelical Mission. He made a good impression regarding his perfection and caution in speech. He, too, got taken up with the chorus "He redeemed me." On the event of leaving Birr, we all saw him to the station and W. Irvine, in the act of bidding his friend good-bye, was speaking words of cheer and encouragement which roused the temper of a Roman, who put his head out through the carriage window and cried out to the Porters to put that man out off the platform. The Porters came to W. Irvine and asked the question, "What did you say that made him mad?" Irvine said, "I was only saying to my friend to keep praising God." The Porters said, "Well, he should not be angry with you for saying that."]
[This is another instance of the hostility of the Romans and how some of them treat a man of God and cannot bear the truth and hate the light because their deeds are evil. Yet there is a difference among them for what roused one man, the others smiled at and were affected by it. The Word of the Lord and the Testimony of Jesus always divide and produces two classes: a positie and a negative. There were many causes for me resigning the Colportage work. The first and primary cause was, as stated before, I had conscientious convictions of selling to the Roman Catholics because of certain facts.]
[The second was that conscientious troubles seemed at times to the hinder Spirit-full-life, and the work was partly one of bondage hard on body and soul.]
[The third was that the Society pressed for sales, at a time when God was using me otherwise, and it was growing harder and harder to sell among the Romans. Returned visits in many cases showed me that the actions of the Priests towards the Scriptures and the Colporteurs had turned the people against them and harm was done instead of good.]
[The fourth cause was that circumstances were leading me on to a more excellent way, as was manifested in the recent revival of which W. Irvine and I were pioneers and now the time for me to step out into liberty had fully come. Yet I do not regret or undervalue the experience I have had, for nearly four years in that work and the kindness and help showed to me by Mr. S. Nesbitt, W. Merrick and many other Christian friends in the Methodist Church. They will get their reward at the resurrection of the Just.]
The experiences and trials of that time gave me courage and a training for visiting personal dealings, street preaching, and literature that will be a life-long value and I am sure that there are and will be results as the outcome of this sowing that only eternity will reveal. To God be all the glory.
DECEMBER, 1898: William Irvine, Thomas Turner, and I went to Roscrea, to have a mission in the Methodist Church given to us by Pastor Crookshanks. [It was more for Christians than for the unsaved and Charles Crookshanks and William Treanor very wisely stood aside to let the Spirit of God work. Ben Boles, a shopkeeper from Roscrea and John Sullivan, a School Master from Moneygall, gave up their occupation to go fully on the Lord's work. Irvine was rather severe, for he spoke against the 20th Century Fund, which was in operation at the time. It was the aim of the Methodist Church to produce One Million Pounds towards the funds of this Church. This, of course, did not please many of them who in other respects were sympathetic.]
Much good was done by personal talks and prayer meetings in the day time. [The best work connected with the Mission was done in the quiet home of Mr. Bourke who cordially had entertained the Pilgrims. Here John Sullivan, Ben Boles and his wife, Tom Turner and others got instructed in the ways of the Lord more perfectly which prepared them for future service. Many sisters also who loved the Lord came to hear the word of God read and expounded and to get a drink of the living water so freely.] Willie Gill from Rathmolyon paid us a visit and went to a shop and made me a present of a new overcoat, and soon after that, Ben Boles, Willie Gill and John Sullivan gave up their situations to go fully in the Lord's work. I went out to the country and called on some Protestant homes, read and prayed with them and gave them tracts. "She hath done what she could."
Thomas Turner succeeded me in the Colportage work for one month, when he resigned and went as an Evangelist on Faith Lines. Through the instrumentality of Goodhand Pattison, Cloughjordan, he and Brother [Alex] Givan, went to the West of County Cork, where God blessed their labours in the Salvation of souls and a little revival took place. In most of these places and districts visited with a revival during this wonderful year of Grace, 1898, the work was carried on and built up by cottage meetings in which Elders, local preachers became aggressive. Also young converts got an opportunity of prayer, praise and testimony, and from that time, many counties in the S. of Ireland were in one ferment of revival.
While there I took a walking tour from Roscrea to Templederry,
and returned again [to Nenagh on a walking tour on Matt. 10 lines] in about eight days. I called at some Roman houses [without the books],
and told them [that God had sent me to tell them] to Repent and believe the Gospel. [On the whole], they received the message
well. [There was no manifestation of opposition.] John Sullivan, Mr. Baskerville and Mrs. Wallace and Mrs. Robinson received me and put me up for the night freely for the work's sake. The cross was very great in this walking tour. Howbeit, we cannot tell what impresions were made nor what the results will be. In Mr. Baskerville's home, I got preaching the gospel on the way. My faith at first was very weak.
George Caleb Grubb originally came from the town of Cahir, County Tipperary. In an English College in Germany, while reading John 3:16, he was led to trust our Lord Jesus Christ and so got converted. He entered the Episcopal Ministry and was a Rector in the Church of Ireland. He was one of the first to welcome Moody & Sankey on the occasion of their first visit to Ireland. He gave up a salary of £350 and went out on Faith Lines. From Keswick, he and six others took a tour to Cape Town, Ceylon, Australia, New Zealand, S. America and Canada. On both their first and second tours (Missions), God used him and his co-workers very much. He is a tall man of a very large experience. During the experiences in Nenagh and Roscrea, we had the privilege of hearing and seeing this great man of God.
Street preaching and personal conversation, are the most powerful and straightforward methods of reaching Roman Catholics with the Gospel, whether they will hear, or whether they will reject. The preachers have faithfully done their work and the responsibility rests with themselves; and is without burdens and expences.
My faith at first was very weak
It faltered by the way
But in the will of God I stood
Encouraged day by day.
By His own hand He led me on
Exploits I tried to do
The people laughed, and said he's mad
Ink with the wine that's new.
Long walking tours from place to place
Till God did bid me stay
Telling that I was saved by Grace
To people by the way.
Following verses were added later:
Now many years have passed away,
And I am still preserved.
Mercy and truth they followed me,
Much more than I deserved.
Jesus, the keeper of my soul,
Exalted now must be;
He ever lives to make me whole,
Until His face I see.
[Towards the end of the year 1898] The mission ended with an all-day conference [held in Nenagh Methodist Church. Christian workers and young converts came from all quarters] that was attended by many noble servants of the Lord. Among the speakers was George C. Grubb, whose testimony [testified to giving up his salary] concerning going on Faith Lines [and the least God ever gave him in the year was £120 and the most was £3,500, but he did not keep it for himself] helped me to make the final decision that night. There was an excellent day of prayer, praise, preaching and deep spiritual blessing rested on the Word through his consecreated servants.
[But why should a gospel tract cause anger— as it will do no harm? and if read may do a lot of good. Though I cannot remember the exact date of these conferences, yet the certainty of them being held about that time is well remembered by me. The Roscrea conference followed Nenagh and quite a little Keswick people from all denominations attended. So mighty grew the Word of God and prevailed. There were represented Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians, Brethren and Faith Msision. Other ministers were present; besides Crookshanks, Nesbitt, Douglas, there were Kirkwood and Moore from Malbouragh and Mountwrath and G. C. Grubb. Besides these were Evangelists Gilbert, Barbour, Turner and Long, etc. and a large number of elders, such as Falkiner, Eljie, Roan, Pattison, Robinson, as well as very worthy sisters.]
[Both in the missions and conferences, C. Crookshanks acted very wisely and manifested an unsectarian Spirit. At these conferences, there were times of prayer, praise, preaching and testimony. Some spoke long and dreary and some short and to the point. G. C. Grubb's message was instructive, but seemed to lack the power that attended his word in Nenagh. Tom Turner and I spoke a short message; Turner's was with weight and power. William gave his last message in the Methodist Church with contrition, humility and feeling, and it made a good impression on the minds of Johnston Stoney and other gentlemen who were present. My Mother came with me to that conference and I cannot forget what a narrow escape she and I had of being late for the train which was leaving the platform when we arrived. Someone opened the carriage door for us and some one else was behind pushing us in.]
William Irvine left the conference with a broken spirit and a tender heart, as being a man of foresight, he knew that unless there was an Ecclesiastical Reformation among the Clergy, it would mean a coming out from the Churches as they were and seeing that in dress and titles, they were unwilling to reform, the only alternative for the new revival was to come out from among them and be separate, as the people called the Brethren had done a generation before them.
As time went on, the growing opposition to the work tended to drive it in that direction and had they watched and not ran into exclusiveness and an opposite extreme, it might have been one of the most powerful movements in the world.
About that time, William Irvine wanted me to join the Faith Mission but I was not clear about it being the will of God, only to venture out on unsectarian Lines of Faith. [As to doing so I was in doubt.] I applied and was accepted only by J. Govan understood as to me seeking to know the will of God in this matter. Returning from the conferences, I made the final decision to go on Faith Lines and not to join the Faith Mission. I reached that point where I said, "Well Lord, even though I fail, I will obey you." I wrote at once to J. G. Govan to say I was led of the Spirit along that line, and he wrote me a very nice letter saying that he was glad that I discovered the will of God in the matter, and that I should let him know in the future how it worked out.
Soon afterwards, I was rightly guided not to do so.
[Had I joined the Faith Mission, it would have been only leaving one control to enter under another, and the freedom that I have enjoyed ever since would not have been mine. By this saying, I do not despise rule or controls and as a young worker, I am glad to have been under superintendence for at least three and half year until I got experienced.
Then, had I joined the Faith Mission, it would have sent my life into another direction, and the duty I performed toward home, especially my Mother, could not be done so faithfully and well.
Then if I had joined the Faith Mission, the Preacher's fellowship might never have sprung up, as my example of stepping out on Faith lines pioneered the way for many others doing the same thing soon afterwards.
Then if I had joined the Faith Mission, I would have to set aside the Ordinances of Believer's Baptism and Breaking Bread on the Lord's Day which is an important part of obedience. "If ye love me," etc. (John 14:15).]
The powerful principal of Irvine's way of discipline; also the standard of obedience, self-denial and liberty, imitating the pattern as seen in Jesus; were sure to clash with the ritual and rules of ecclesiastical ministry; and the opposition to his method became more and more manifest every day; so that it meant either a reformation with the one, or a separation by the other. Irvine being a man of foresight, and feeling the tremendous responsibility of being a reformer and leader against his will, made him give a soul touching and loving address; and left the Conference with a broken Spirit, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, like His Master.
Reader, I now bring this chapter to a close. I have not exaggerated;
as what is recorded here are very fragmentary accounts of all that did
happen, nevertheless these should be sufficient (no matter what changes
time brought about) to prove the work had a Divine origin; and that REVIVAL was of God.
End of Revised Chapters 1-5 1897-1898
[In giving this report of the work of the Lord during this year, I have entered into details, so as that in this Revised Version of my journal, I might give it more justice than I did in my first narrative. So, my Son, you can read and know for yourself somewhat of the experiences your Father went through in the early years of his life. End of Vol I]
JANUARY, 1899: On the first of January, 1899, I started on the new Lines of Faith in God.
Note: The [bracketed bolded] text contains additional/edited material from the second revision for the years 1897 and 1898 that have been inserted into the first revised version .
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