Samuel Chadwick (1860-1932)

Spirit-filled Preacher, Author, Revivalist

Brief Biography

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-seven 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. His ability to hold audiences was 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. (Read a longer biography on Samuel Chadwick)

Sources of Information

I have personally combed the internet for sermons and articles of Samuel Chadwick that appear in magazines from his era and have been rewarded in finding some. I also spent two days at Cliff College in England where Chadwick was editor of the Joyful News from 1905-1932, where I was able to read articles from that journal and other documents. In the course of reading those documents I also learned about other individuals who were associated with him and have been blessed by reading about them since that visit to Cliff College. Their ministry will be reflected on other pages of this website over time. I pray you will be blessed by what you read.—Dan

Quotations by Samuel Chadwick

On 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!"

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.”

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 man who prays. They are all met in the fact of answered prayer and the joy of fellowship with God. We know not what we should pray for as we ought, and if prayer waits for understanding, it will never begin. We live by faith. We walk by faith. Edison wrote in 1921: "We don't know the millionth part of one per cent about anything. We don't know what water is. We don't know what light is. We don't know what gravitation is. We don't know what enables us to keep on our feet when we stand up. We don't know what electricity is. We don't know what heat is. We don't know anything about magnetism. We have a lot of hypotheses about these things, but that is all. But we do not let our ignorance about all these things deprive us of their use." We discover by using. We learn by practice.  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

On Conversion

"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 Life-Changing Biographies

"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.”

Samuel Chadwick's 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.

"Brief, lucid, orthodox, abounding in Scripture and attractive illustration, Dr. Chadwick's sermons are a fine example of ancient effectiveness in modern intelligence and energy. Essentials of truth and spirit never die; men die, and forms of thought and speech die with them; but spirituality lives on and is promoted by energy from ancient coal-mines as well as by that from living forests. In fact, our dependence up to the present has been chiefly upon the ancient storehouses. Dr. Chadwick deals in keen, incisive fashion with such subjects as, ''Sin and Grace," "Born of the Flesh and Born of the Spirit," "Man: Natural, Carnal, Spiritual," "The Incarnation and Its Glorious Purpose," "The Way of the Cross," " Christ's Promise of the Spirit," "The Spirit-Filled Life," and "Christian Perfection"—an ascending series, following the ascent of our Lord from babyhood to the throne of human character and of divine power. The spiritual biography of Christ is the spiritual pathway of the Christian. It is a notable volume of its class, not wanting in intellectual grip, but fascinating in spiritual devotion. It lacks appreciation of the everyday world where men really live, but it does valiant and necessary service in opening the door of the prayer closet and the library, and compelling men to come apart awhile to pray and to listen." Taken from the American Journal of Theology, Vol. 10, 1906

Books / Resources by Samuel Chadwick

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 reasons I no longer recall, I searched for something on the internet related to what I was reading and came across Chadwick's book on the Holy Spirit (Way to Pentecost), read a bit, and determined to spend a day prayerfully reading through it. I did. My life has been different since. The Way to Pentecost is "must reading" on the Holy Spirit! You can read the book online or download a copy formatted for your tablet.

(Read The Way to Pentecost Online)

(Download Way to Pentecost in format for tablet)

Call to Christian Perfection    

(Download Call to Christian Perfection)

Chadwick was strongly committed to holy living and wrote on that subject in this book.

Path of Prayer    

(Download of Path of Prayer)

Anytime the Spirit is manifested one can be certain prayers are going up. Here Chadwick provides helpful information on effective praying.

Humanity and God

(Download Humanity and God)

This book of sermons was the result of the prodding of his associates who begged him to publish a book of his sermons. We can be grateful for their urging. (Download Humanity and God)

The Joyful News Magazine



One cannot read about Samuel Chadwick without learning about the Joyful News publication, which he edited from 1905 to 1932. Launched by Thomas Champness on February 22, 1883, the paper continued to be published until 1963. What was initially declared to be a “Journal Devoted to  Recording and Spreading the Glad Tiding of Salvation,” was eventually modified to a broader, “A Methodist Weekly devoted to Evangelism, Scriptural Holiness, Social Righteousness and Spiritual Revival. With the support of his friend Josiah Mee and a legacy received by his wife Eliza, Champness began publishing the paper in spite of dire predictions of its failure. Within a few weeks he had over 30,000 subscribers. In 1905 Champness turned the paper over to Henry Smart and Thomas Cook. Chadwick became editor in September of that year and continued in that role until his death in October of 1932, having been editor for 27 years—part of the time during which he was also the Principal of Cliff College. Chadwick produced two articles per week for the publication. Needless to say, Joyful News is a treasure trove of resources from Samuel Chadwick. Due to the nature the contents—many pages of advertisements, it is doubtful that it will ever be printed. However, some of the books published with his name are compilations of his writings drawn from Joyful News. It is worth noting that his editorial letters were concise, pithy, challenging, thought-provoking, meaningful and to the point.—Dan  (You can download a history of the Joyful News at this link.)

Getting the Blessings of Pentecost

This is a sample portion of one of his editorial letters where he provides detailed information on how to receive the Holy Spirit. Portions of this letter would be later used in the book Way to Pentecost(Read the letter on receiving the blessing of Pentecost)

Sermons and Articles by Samuel Chadwick

I include excerpts from some of his sermons that I have found on line and otherwise on this page, as well as a link to another page on this website where you can read the rest of the presentation in most cases.—Dan

What is Meant By Conversion

"Conversion adds no new faculty, but it wonderfully quickens and strengthens every power the man has got. He has the same eyes but new sight, the same brains but new thoughts, the same tongue but a new speech. All his members are withdrawn from the service of self and sin, and yielded to God to do His will in the service of love. Conversion is central, vital, essential. It is the test by which every Church must ultimately stand or fall. Without it, man cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. By it, there shall yet come the new heaven and the new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. It is the one thing that matters for this life and the next. Are you converted? Are you living with your back to God and your face seeking the pleasures of sin and the gains of the world? If you are, turn, return, and live. 'Seek ye the Lord while He may be found; call ye upon Him while He is near: let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.'"  (Read the rest of the lecture on conversion given by Samuel Chadwick in 1905 in Manchester) in 1905 in Manchester)

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 1899. 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 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 comprehending truth, for only when we combine what we know with action do we really understand. 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)

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)

Northfield Sermons

Dwight L. Moody would hold spiritual conferences at Northfield in Massachussets. Many highly regarded pastors and authors were invited to speak for these convocations, including Samuel Chadwick. This series included six sermons: Impossible Things; Cleansed From Idols; Ye Shall Be As Gods; Christ As Man; The Divine Servant; and The Print of the Nails. (Read this series of sermons from Northfield by clicking on this link) forthcoming!

The Groaning of Imprisoned Life

"Passing to what has more to do with our own spiritual life and work as Churches, it is significant that we, who have received the firstfruits of the Spirit, also "groan within ourselves." It is not true of every man that he groans; some men grunt. It is only the man that has felt within himself the quickening of a new life that knows anything of the groan of travail. The curse of much of our religion is that we are content with the commonplace, and the mediocre, and the ordinary. It is only the man who has seen the vision and felt the throb of a new life within him in the gift of the Spirit who is conscious that, somehow, all the avenues through which life has to find expression are inadequate. Every man who is seeking to serve God and bless his fellows is impressed from time to time that life is, after all, largely but a groan. A groan is a yearning of anguish in the soul that is too big for human speech; it is not simply a consciousness of pain, but a longing to burst forth into fuller expression. And every man who looks back upon his life sees how limited, and cramped, and inadequate, and imperfect is the outward expression of the inward life. Oh! who does not know the difference between life as he sees it upon the mountain-top of communion, and as he lives it in the commonplace of his daily service? Who is not conscious of the great gulf between what a man hopes and prays he might be in his best hours of vision, and the halting, blundering, faltering expression as he comes to try and translate his ideals into the actualities of common life and experience. Man groans. God sees the inner life, and will judge thereby. The manifestation of that life is yet to be, but in the meantime one of the great sorrows of man's life is that he finds it so utterly impossible to give adequate expression to all he hopes and desires and prays to be. And the Church of Jesus Christ is a community of yearning and groaning people. The Church is conscious within itself of an enormous experience of a life for which, somehow, it never finds adequate and complete expression. It takes upon itself the burden and sorrow of the world's sin, is called into fellowship with Christ's saving and redeeming purpose; and we are conscious that we are in the midst of a community to save it for God, to transform its conditions into those of the Kingdom of Heaven; and although we labour and toil, how utterly inadequate the result seems to be!" The whole creation groaneth," and the Church of God groaneth with a sense of burdened and imprisoned life, conscious of the inadequateness of the avenues through which her energies are to find expression, waiting for the larger and more perfect and complete material instrument through which she can find opportunity to render her service unto her Lord." (Read the rest of the Chadwick's sermon on the groaning going on.)

The Fire of the Lord

"The fire of the Lord came after the altar had been restored. The fire follows the altar. In itself the altar is nothing. It was built of unhewn stones, unchiselled and unshaped, but it was the place of sacrifice, the centre of fellowship, and the sign of the covenant. When the altar is neglected the fire goes out. Man's work is to repair the altar and provide the offering; God lights the fire." (Read the rest of Chadwick's sermon on the Fire of the Lord)

The Christian in the Modern World

"Methodist converts were required to come out from the world. An unworldly life could not be imposed, for that is essentially of the spirit and of the mind, but there were certain well known signs of worldliness that must be avoided, and certain marks of Methodist piety that were expected. Methodists dressed in an unworldly way, and their social fellowships banned worldly forms of amusement. They went to worship, class-meetings, and prayer-meetings. The orbit of their life was for the most part confined to home, Chapel, Sunday School, and business; and in that order. They did not dance, play card-games, or go to the theater. These were the accredited and acknowledged "Marks of a Methodist." That was their White Line.
All this clear cut distinction has gone. The Methodist is now very much like the motorist in Punch who was brushing the sleet and slush away on a dirty night, trying to find the white line!"  (Read the rest of Chadwick's sermon on the Fire of the Lord)

Systematic Giving

Chadwick believed there was a close tie between a man's faithful giving and his prosperity, as attested by the sermon and illustrations on this page. Here is one sentence to ponder:

"Unless a man cultivates a habit of systematic giving when he has not much to give, he will give little when he is rich." (Read the rest of the sermon and illustrations)

Things! Things! Things!

"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")

How I Became a Missioner

This article, published in 1897, describes how Samuel Chadwick became a highly successful "missioner"—we would use the term "missionary"—in the poor working districts of his Leeds territory. In the course of the article he states there were two secrets he learned that continued to influence his ministry the rest of his life—in fact he said he learned everything about revival in an early revival where a "Lazarus" was converted. This is highly practical reading! (Read How I Became A Missioner)

God's Preparatory Work for Chadwick's Work in the Leeds Missions

"That was my first great discovery [the conversion of a notoriously wicked man]. Lazarus solves the problem of empty churches. He is the greatest attraction and the strongest argument. Wherever there is the continual operation of saving power, bringing dead men out of their graves, the work of the Lord will prosper. For this power there is no substitute, and it never fails. There are no languishing churches where souls are saved. People believe when they see graves opened and the dead come forth in newness of life. This has been the first fundamental of my working creed.” ...

"In that court I discovered the second working principle of a missioner’s life. From that day I have regarded it as an essential part of my sacred calling to hunt the wolf as well as to care for the sheep.” (Read more from the excerpt on Chadwick's work in the slums)

Effective Preaching To Reach the Masses

"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 effective preaching.

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)