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(Great Man of the Spirit and Prayer)
Samuel Chadwick (1860-1932) was one of the greatest preachers of English Methodism. Born in Burnley in a strong Methodist home, he signed the pledge when he was eight, worked in a cotton mill 12 hours per day as a youth, and was minimally educated. He was converted at the age of ten, and immediately began praying three times a day. He began preaching at the age of 16. He became a lay pastor at Stacksteads when he was 21. At the time he had fifteen sermons. Unfortunately no conversions resulted from his sermons and he stopped leaning on them. He also entered what he referred to as a crisis of obedience. Fortunately he saw the first conversions from his efforts. He served several circuits, in one area becoming known for his outdoor preaching. He was both loved and hated.
He loved preaching and frequently saw conversions. He also served as the editor of the Joyful News Magazine for twenty-five years. At the age of 47 he became a Tutor in biblical and theological studies at Cliff College. Later he came the principal of the college.
Chadwick's lectures on preaching were highly regarded. His own preaching was heard in Europe and North America, and his ability to hold audiences were legendary—preaching one time for three hours, and praying in public on another occasion for twenty-five minutes.
Samuel Chadwick's book, Pathway of Prayer, is marvelous, as is his Way to Pentecost, a book on the Holy Spirit. The latter book is a collection of articles drawn from the Joyful News magazine that he edited.
Quotations by Samuel Chadwick
The Spirit-Led Church and Prayer
"The Church is the Body of Christ, and the Spirit is the Spirit of Christ. He fills the Body, directs its movements, controls its members, inspires its wisdom, supplies it's strength. He guides into truth, sanctifies its agents, and empowers for witnessing. The Spirit has never abdicated His authority nor relegated His power. Neither Pope nor Parliament, neither Conference nor Council is supreme in the Church of Christ. The Church that is man-managed instead of God-governed is doomed to failure. A ministry that is College-trained but not Spirit-filled works no miracles. The Church that multiplies committees and neglects prayer may be fussy, noisy, enterprising, but it labors in vain and spends its strength for nought. It is possible to excel in mechanics and fail in dynamic. There is a superabundance of machinery; what is wanting is power. To run an organization needs no God. Man can supply the energy, enterprise, and enthusiasm for things human. The real work of a Church depends upon the power of the Spirit. The Presence of the Spirit is vital and central to the work of the Church. Nothing else avails. Apart from Him, wisdom becomes folly, and strength weakness. The Church is called to be a "spiritual house" and a holy priesthood. Only spiritual people can be its "living stones," and only the Spirit-filled its priests.
"The Church always fails at the point of self-confidence. When the Church is run on the same lines as a circus, there may be crowds, but there is no Shekinah. That is why prayer is the test of faith and the secret of power. The Spirit of God travails in the prayer-life of the soul. Miracles are the direct work of His power, and without miracles the Church cannot live. The carnal can argue, but it is the Spirit of God that convicts. Education can civilize, but it is being born of the Spirit that saves. The energy of the flesh can run bazaars, organize amusements, and raise millions; but it is the presence of the Holy Spirit that makes a Temple of the Living God. The root-trouble of the present distress is that the Church has more faith in the world and in the flesh than in the Holy Ghost, and things will get no better till we get back to His realized presence and power. The breath of the four winds would turn death into life and dry bones into mighty armies, but it only comes by PRAYER!"
Samuel Chadwick on Preaching
“I would rather preach than do anything else I know in this world. I have never missed a chance to preach. I would rather preach than eat my dinner, or have a holiday or anything else the world can offer. I would rather pay to preach than be paid not to preach. It has its price in agony of sweat and tears and no calling has such joys and heartbreaks, but it is a calling an archangel might covet; and I thank God that of His grace He called me into this ministry. Is there any joy lke that of saving a soul from death? Any thrill like that of opening blind eyes? Any reward like the love of little children to the second and third generation? Any treasures like the grateful love of hearts healed and comforted? I tell you it is a glorious privilege to share the travail and the wine of God."
On the Power of God
“To men with God all things are possible. Man plus God is, to all practical purposes of the Divine will and requirements of the Divine life omnipotent as God Himself. This means that with God all that a man ought to be, he can be, and all that a man ought to do, he can do. That is the gospel that I bring to you.”
Chadwick on Prayer
"The secret of Elijah's power in prayer was that he "prayed in his prayer." That is the translation given in the margin of the Authorized Version. He "prayed earnestly" is given in the text, and "fervently" in the Revised Version, with the note in the margin that says the Greek literally is, "with prayer." He prayed with prayer; he prayed in his prayer. That is to say, he really prayed his prayers. He did not say prayers; he prayed in praying. His whole personality was in his supplication. He really wanted what he asked, and fervently meant what he said. Can that kind of prayer be taught? It is the prayer that prevails. Formal routine of temple-service and the regular reading of words of second-hand inspiration and no understanding are neither acceptable to God nor profitable to man. They are vain repetitions. There is much praying that avails nothing, so far as we can judge. ... Prayers are measured neither by time nor by number, but by intensity. There are prayers that are impassioned and there is no answer, and there are things for which we know we ought to pray in an agony of prayer, and there is no power to pray. We do not know how to pray.
There is no way to learn to pray but by praying. No reasoned philosophy of prayer ever taught a soul to pray. The subject is beset with problems, but there are no problems of prayer to the Though a man should have all knowledge about prayer, and though he understand all mysteries about prayer, unless he prays he will never learn to pray. There have been souls that were mighty in prayer, and they learned to pray. There was a period in their lives when they were as others in the matter of prayer, but they became mighty with God and prevailed. In every instance there was a crisis of grace, but it was in the discipline of grace that they discovered the secret of power. They were known as men of God, because they were men of prayer. Some of them were renamed, like Jacob and Simon and Saul. They were called "Praying John," "Praying Mary," "Praying Bramwell," and "Praying Hyde." Our Methodist fathers were mighty in prayer. They saved England by prayer. They shook the gates of hell by prayer. They opened the windows of heaven by prayer. How did they learn to pray? They learned to pray by being much in prayer. They did not talk about prayer; they prayed. They did not argue about prayer; they prayed. "—Path of Prayer
"Christianity is this: Christ in you; and Christ comes and dwells in you in the person of His Spirit. It was a great thing for God to be incarnate in Jesus Christ, but the incarnation of God in the believer is not one whit less wonderful. Every conversion is an incarnation, every believer is a miracle of God. You may be able to do a great many things, but you cannot make temples, and you cannot make conversions: you cannot make Christians. A man becomes a Christian by God coming to live in him."
On Biographies that made a difference in his life
"No missionary biography ever made the impression on me that the “Life of James Gilmour of Mongolia” made. His constant and prayerful study was to do as Christ would have done in his place, and this was the question he constantly asked: How would the Lord Jesus act or speak in these circumstances? And the greatest spirit I ever knew was James Chalmers, who left everywhere he went the savor of his Master’s presence, and made those whom he met feel that they had had a visit from the Lord."
Download the Life of James Gilmour of Mongolia;
Download the Biography of James Chalmers)
On God's Power
“Fire is mightier than learning. A soul ablaze is a better guide to effective speech than much scholarship. It is ﬁre that conquers the heart, and this ﬁre still falls from heaven.”
On Samuel Chadwick's Successful Writing Ministry
"It is not often that an evangelist is successful in print. Samuel Chadwick of Leeds is a great and successful evangelist; he has published a volume of sermons which is great and successful also. How does he do it? He uses short sentences. He quotes John Wesley in preference even to John Bunyan. His doctrine is perfectly clean-cut and settled. And yet these are but the externals. He does it because he has unbounded faith in Christ, and unbounded pity for man."—From a review of Humanity and God.
Way to Pentecost (Download pdf of Way to Pentecost)
This book was THE book that helped me discover the way to the Holy Spirit. In the summer of 2010 I was in London holding a revival series, and took with me A. J. Gordon's Ministry of the Spirit. Every chance I could, I read chapters from that book. For some reason I searched for something on the internet and came across Chadwick's book on the Holy Spirit (Way to Pentecost), read a bit, and determined to spend a day prayerfully reading throught it. I did. My life has been difference since. This is "must reading" on the Holy Spirit!
Call to Christian Perfection (Download pdf of Call to Christian Perfection)
Chadwick was strongly committed to holy living and wrote on that subject in this book.
Path to Prayer (Download pdf of Path to Prayer)
Anytime the Spirit is manifested one can be certain prayers are going up. Here Chadwick provides helpful information on effective praying.
Sermons and Writings
On Christian Perfection
"The meaning (of perfection) is the same when applied to Christian life and experience. It is the adjustment, cleansing, and equipment of man’s nature for all the purposes of the life in Christ. It is nothing more than making ﬁt in every part to do the will of God. Everything that hinders and dislocates is taken away, the powers of mind, heart, and body are restored to their true order; and every need of grace and power is supplied. There is no deﬁciency, no disorder, no discord ; the man of God is made perfect for, and in the will of, God. Wesley’s deﬁnition is short, simple and scriptural, “Pure love alone reigning in the heart and life, this is the whole of Christian perfection.” (Read the rest of Chadwick's sermon on Christian Perfection)
"To the world things are everything. It longs for them, works for them, fights for them, lies for them, lives for them. Its one ambition is to possess abundance of things. To secure them it will pay any price, endure any hardship, suffer any obloquy, sacrifice any thing. Its homage and its envy are reserved for those who have the most things. It never troubles about how they got them, nor what they do with them, it is enough that they have won for themselves piles of things! The cry of the world is for things, things, things; always more things. This is a purely pagan view of life. (Read the rest of his thoughts on 'Things'")
On The Meaning of the Cross (four part series)
These helpful sermons were delivered at the 25th Annual Winona (Indiana) Lake Bible Conference ,which was held in August of 1999. Some of the sermons were later published by the Winona Publishing Society. Other speakers included G. Campbell Morgan, Cortland Myers, and A. T. Robertson. Specific titles include: 1. The Cross and the Modern Mind; 2. The Cross and Personaility; 3. The Cross and the Lust of the Flesh; 4. The Cross and the World. (Read the rest of the Samuel Chadwick's Meaning of the Cross)
The Will To Do
Here are a few thoughts from this article showing that doing is as important as knowing when it comes to knowing truth, for only when we combine what we know with action do we really know. As he put it: "No man ever did either by merely mastering the theories of painting or music. The only way to learn is by doing. The will to do is the way to learn, and doing is as much a part of learning as study. The law holds in the region of truth just as surely as in art and craft." (Read the rest of this article from Joyful News)
"Nothing makes for a preacher's effectiveness more than a true conception of his calling. He is a messenger. That which he speaks is not his own. He is not at liberty to criticize, modify, or tamper with that which is entrusted to him; neither has he any right to withhold it from any person to whom it is sent. But he is neither a postman nor a phonograph. He delivers an open message which he has received from God for men. His first business is to wait for his message, and his next is to see that it is faithfully delivered." (Read the rest of his lecture on this subject)
On Reaching Outsiders
“The real difficulty with the outsider begins at the church door. When the four men of Capernaum got the man sick of the palsy to the house where Christ was, they found the way blocked with the crowd. Some church doors are blocked against the outsider, even where there is no crowd. The church that really wants the outsider gets him, and the church that has not got him does not want him. That is the plain English of the situation. The church that is not prepared to welcome the man it invites had better go on with its pious prosing and let the outsider alone. That outsiders flock to religious services outside churches proves clearly that their objection is not against Christianity, but against the church.” (Read the rest of his presentation on reaching outsiders)
Additional links on this topic:
Samuel Chadwick | The Meaning of the Cross This wonderful series of sermons on the meaning of the cross were delivered by Samuel Chadwick at the Winona Bible Conference in 1919. In the series he shows how the modern mind is still scandalized by the cross and how Christians should respond to the challenge.