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Powerful and Loving Preacher
"It is to be observed that he [Titus Coan] asserts an intense and habitual consciousness during the earlier period of his ministry to the Hawaiians, of a Divine power resting upon him in speaking the word. To those who witnessed his speech in those days, or who were familiar with the wonderful effects produced, such an assertion will not seem strange or improbable, unless they are disbelievers in the Savior's promise of such power of the Holy Ghost to his messengers.
"It is also to be observed, that he declares a mighty out-reaching of his heart in loving desire towards his hearers, also an all-conquering assurance possessing him at such times of the irresistible, penetrating power of the Word upon the souls of the hearers. To my mind these are most pregnantly significant expressions of that combined power of faith and love with which our departed friend was gifted by the Holy Spirit to wield the Divine Word, for the salvation of such a multitude of souls as gave evidence of true conversion to Christ through his preaching.
"It appears from his statement that the period of his enjoyment of this extraordinary prophetic or preaching, endowment, in its highest degree, was about ten years. After this, while habitually preaching with a peculiar power, both of love and of confidence, he would seem to have more commonly exercised the pastoral gifts of teaching, ruling, training the Lord's household, rather than the evangelist's gift of awakening and converting men in great masses.
"Permit me now to state briefly my own early recollections of Mr. Coan, in the first years of his ministry in these islands. I was, from 1834 to 1839, one of a company of the older children of missionaries. During the general meetings, every year, we were wont to be assembled frequently, often daily, for children's meetings. Mr. Spalding had been our favorite children's speaker, but when Mr. Coan came he absolutely fascinated us. He was sweet and winning, in presence and tones; he was fertile and copious in such stories and illustrations as please the youthful mind; but underlying and pervading his whole speech and presence there was a personal magnetism of love that 'wrapped his heart' around us, and drew us, sweetly and irresistibly, to the love of God in Christ. I, later, came under the stringent intellectual and spiritual force of Finney, and felt the piercing power of the Spirit's sword, in his hands, but never have known a winning power of love in any preacher like that of the spiritual father of our childhood.”—Pastor S. E. Bishop, quoted in Titus Coan: A Memorial by Lydia Bingham Coan