HISTORY and TIMES of THE KINGDOM
The Story of Nathan Harriman and the Tacoma Party
This page will tell the story of how Nathan Harriman's Ecclesia Mission in Tacoma, Washington come to Shiloh, and how the relationship between the mission in Tacoma first developed, and the ultimate demise of the relationship between Sandford and Nathan Harriman. Many of the articles reprinted here are from the Tongues of Fire and Everlasting Gospel.
from Tongues of Fire November 1, 1897 p. 175
A Voice from the Pacific Slope
Dear Brother in Christ:
"Have just read your August 15th number Tongues of Fire, and a great hallelujah goes up from my soul. Across the broad continent my soul reaches out to you with a hearty fellowship in the "TRUTH." God bless you more and more and make you a blessing. In some way I feel a premonition that you or your movement or both are to be used by Him to help us solve some of our problems here. At this moment I am waiting on Him for a light as to a contract for a place for our future work, and must settle it in thirty minutes; and while on my knees waiting for His answer He told me to rise and write the letter to you which I was addressing when the messenger came to tell me that I must decide so soon. Well, Amen. For six weeks we have been shut in, and everything fails that we turn to, and we have but three weeks more in our present quarters. The devil hates us, as he does you. God make us worthy to suffer and triumph as you have. Our aim and principles are the same as yours, as you will see by the enclosed leaflet.
I have heard of your work, by letters from M___ and an occasional sight of your paper. Once, I got afraid of wildfire and fanaticism; also feared some teachings on the book of Revelation, about the one hundred and forty four thousand. But I did not know then that we are Israelites. I now believe it, and do not doubt that God has given you great light on those subjects. I have read every line of your paper at a sitting this morning, and my spirit says "Amen" to it all. I could read between the lines of much of it, and several times an audible "Hallelujah!" followed some account of victory. Glory to God!
Now, dear Brother, won't you ask the school, if it seem good to the Holy Ghost and you, pray the Father to hold us still till He gets ready to reveal His will to us for the future of our work, and then to let us hear His voice saying, "This is the way?" It is hard for us to remain long in the dark. And the issue means so much, for it is to settle between two courses so radically different; one, that of general evangelistic work on the lines of holiness, the other, a training or Bible school, building up a center of evangelization.
And would you have sent me something about your methods of study, teaching, recitations, courses, etc., etc., including matter of teachers? Well, I have ten minutes more to decide that question in. Speak, Lord.
P.S. No answer. Another door closed.
Yours in the blessed hope,
Rev. N. H. Harriman
from Tongues of Fire May 1, 1900 p. 73-74
Were the words spoken to me one day by the Spirit. "The Western Coast," was the more definite direction since given.
I expect, in company with Brother Whittaker, and possibly four or five others, to start for Winnipeg, Manitoba en route for California, next Monday morning. I ask the prayers of Christendom for God's direction from first to last that this campaign may be as successfully finished as the one just described. Especially do I ask the prayers of my brethren that we may go the the very places in God's plan (and to none others) during our absence.
Remember that we start out by not knowing whither we go, and in simple dependence on Him who said, "Take no anxious thought as to what ye shall eat and drink, but rather seek first my kingdom, and these things shall be added unto you."
Will you pray for the hundreds of dollars which will be the necessary expense for such a journey, and will you ask God to make us bold and brave and true and firm, and yet gentle in the things of God?
Those wishing to write Mr. Sandford personally may address him until May 7 as follows: No. 69 King St. c/o R. D. Browne Winnepeg, Manitoba. After the above date till further notice, No. 124 North G Street, c/o N.H. Harriman, Tacoma Washington.
from Tongues of Fire July 1 & 15, 1900 p. 109-111
The following article from Tongues of Fire details in Frank Sandford's own words, the trip west, their stay in Tacoma with the Ecclesia Mission, the trip home, their introduction to Parham, and thier triumphal return to Shiloh.From Atlantic to the Pacific
"Traveling in the Greatness of His Strength"
While passing through the Rocky Mountains, God gave me a message for Tacoma, Wash., the point of our destination; it contained but two words, "An eagle."
During the inspiring journey amid the grandeur of these mountains previously recorded we beheld a sight which I believe win be forever stamped upon my memory. Over the right toward a mountain nearly two miles in the heavens, the top and sides of which were covered with the purest white snow. The distance to the summit was so vast that ones imagination almost reeled as he gazed upward and there, plainly outlined against the mighty bank of snow, soared two eagles. Imagination carried me up, up, up tin I soared with them over that abyss. The distance was so great that it was simply awful ; and there, amidst eternal solitudes God furnished the foundation for His message to the western coast.
Following our arrival we spent nearly a week in waiting upon God that we might renew our strength as the eagle, and Sunday morning at the opening public service I preached to a large audience from the God-given text in the Rockies.
'' I beheld . . . an eagle flying through the midst of heaven saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels which are yet to sound." Rev. 8 13, Rotherhams's translation.
The eagle here represents the majestic messenger of the Lord God delivering the judgment message. This is the message which God has brought to this western coast and is now sending forth to the ends of the earth.
I. The church of God at Tacoma must be an eagle in power.
The little sparrow may flit hither and yon from tree to tree, the dove may fly higher and with more powerful stroke make its way through the lower regions of the sky, but the eagle with mighty stroke mounts upward. and ''flies away toward heaven" tin it is lost from earthly view and soars alone with God.
Though faint, the church of God in these last days may renew its strength by waiting on God, and mount up with wings as eagles. Isa. 40:31.
II . The church of God in Tacoma must be all eagle in perception
Power without eyes is like Samson with sightless orbs grinding for the Philistines. In these last awful days we must be able to discern both good and evil or else Satan may harness and use our power in his own interests. An eagle makes her nest on high, from thence "her eyes behold afar off." Job 39:29. God wants the eyes of those who dwell in heavenly places anointed with eye-salve that they may see the subtleness of Satan, the signs of the times, and even behold from afar the secrets of eternity.
III. The church of this western coast must have keenness of scent as well as of vision.
" Wheresoever the body is thither win the eagles be gathered together." Luke 17: 37.
Even though hidden from view, nevertheless an eagle win find his prey through the power of scent; so God wants His people to have their senses, including spiritual scent exercised to discern what is of Satan and what is of God. Of Jesus Christ it is expressly stated that "the Spirit of the Lord shall make Him of quick understanding" (margin "scent or smell "). Thank God, there is, through the Christ formed within, a power greater than that of vision, which win enable an expert warrior to detect the hidden carcass.
IV. This church must be like all eagle in its courage to attack.
Job tells us of " the eagle that hasteth to her prey.
Whoever knew the king of birds to be afraid of an encounter? He is brave and courageous; he boldly attacks his enemies and fears nothing-in fact, he "hastens to his prey." So this church must pursue after those who disregard God's Word or any portion of it. Of Jehovah it is said, "He shall come as an eagle against the house of the Lord, because they have trespassed against my law." Hosea 8:1. Let this church follow the example set by her God and boldly attack every unscriptural foe.
This church must be as an eagle in its likeness to divinity in service.
Of the cherubim it is said that their fourth face was the face of an eagle, and of the service of this eagle-faced cherub it is expressly stated it was "as the voice of the Almighty." " The house was fined with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the Lord's glory, and the sound of the cherubims' wings was heard . . . as the voice of the Almighty God when he speaketh. Ezek. 10: 4,5. It is a wonderful thing to have church machinery so harmonious that its ministrations in behalf of God sound like divine speech.
VI. The church of these last days must be an eagle in its marvelous success in overthrowing the kingdoms of the earth.
The power of God in overthrowing the nations is represented as that of an eagle in Jer. 49: 22, and 48: 40-42. "Be bold, he shall come up and fly as the eagle, and spread his wings over Bozrah and at that day shall the heart of the mighty men of Edom be as the heart of a woman in her pangs". "For thus saith the Lord; behold, he shall fly as an eagle, and shall spread his wings over Moab . . . And Moab shall be destroyed from being a people, because he hath
magnified himself against the Lord."
The eagle which John saw flying through the midst of heaven was proclaiming a judgment message to the nations of the earth, preparatory to their becoming the "kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ." As the eagle with outstretched wings hovering over its prey brings terror to the same, so the church of the Living God in the last days is to be a terror to evil doers, yea, to every earthly power.
VII. This church is to be as an eagle in its imperial majesty.
One of the living creatures around the throne had the face of an eagle, and that face looked into the face of God. Rev. 4:7. Day and night they worship God, saying "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty which was, and is, and is to come." Such worship should be that of the church of these last days while it cries to every nation with a loud voice, "Fear God and give glory to him for the hour of his judgment is come and worship him that made heaven and earth and the sea and the foundations of waters. "
Thus, beholding as in a glass the glory of the great and awful Jehovah, the eagle-faced church of these last days "fair . . clear . . . and terrible" shall be transformed "into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
Then followed the best week's work it has ever been the privilege of this hand to perform in the interest of the Master, the minute account of which we win omit, substituting in its place the account published by the pastor of the church in his paper.
At the first evening service five adults came to the altar seeking salvation. They were wonderfully blessed and two of their number afterward entered the Bible School at Shiloh.
The last Saturday we were in Tacoma, Brother Harriman baptized about a score of candidates in Wapato Lake.
During the services Brother Whittaker prayed with about one hundred sick people
One evening Brother Gleason preached a marvelous sermon on "The Lion of Judah." As he stood on the platform delivering his message God said, "A giant, let him loose." I had a spiritual consciousness of turning on power as I said, "I let loose every possibility in that young man's life tonight". If ever the Almighty spoke through our brothers lips, He did that evening and the vast audience was stirred to its depths by the picture of the Lion-Lamb protecting His own.
Brother Harriman had a splendid company of people gathered about him, and as he gave us the entire control of the services we had the best possible chance for effectiveness in the delivery the gospel message. It seems incredible that as a result of but seven days discourse such tremendous changes in the history of the church should have been effected.
We had been asking God for a company of students for the Bible School, and our prayers were remarkably answered. Including the workers and the children, nearly forty people started Monday night following the close of the service for Shiloh. The account of the battles fought as these brave hearts believed God for the supply of their temporal needs, would have made a volume in itself. But few of them had money enough to purchase a ticket to their destination at the time of their decision to enter the Bible School. Many of them even packed their trunks and sent the same to the depot in simple reliance that He who had directed them to go would furnish the means for their transportation The prayers of faith that they prayed out as we met together in prayer for the entire party were an inspiration to the workers and would have done credit to a band of veteran warriors. As they gathered that last evening upon the platform and gave their farewell messages to their fellow townsmen the audience was deeply affected. The power of God was present in a marked way.
The message given by the Almighty was that written by the pen of inspiration concerning the departure of the Israelites from Egypt, "It was a night much to be observed." Awestruck, the people of Tacoma beheld the triumphs of faith in their midst. During the service God said to me, "A dime," and made me know that He wished me to give Him that amount as the foundation for a miracle. Remembering that I He took the two small fish and blessed them, that it was not the size, of the fish but the size of His bless upon the material on hand for that meal in the wilderness I took the dime in my hand and in the name of the Master blessed it. With the faith of the Son of God within I first prayed to God and second commanded that bit of money to multiply to the sum of $1000. After I gave the command I distinctly heard a still small voice within me say with quiet authority, "Enlarge," I knew that not only had the Almighty led me to give the command, but He Himself had repeated it. Hence I was a certain that that ten cent piece represented $1000 as that I existed. To the glory of God who said "Enlarge," I was enabled that last evening to pay out the above sum and even more than that to a representative the Railroad Company as I purchased the tickets for our party.
At the close of the farewell service followed by a large company of friends, our party walked to the depot and at half past eleven o'clock at night rolled out of the city at the close of the most remarkable series of meetings ever held in this movement. I believe the world the flesh and the devil have not been more surprised for centuries than they were that night.
Brother Gleason and wife with Brother McKenzie were left to carry on the work of the church and Bible School in place of Brother Harriman and family who had been led of God to accompany us to Shiloh. It was a joyful, victorious company that stepped aboard our special car at Portland and rolled triumphantly through Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Kansas to our next stopping place at Kansas City, Missouri. Thursday morning in spite of the rush and roar of the train we observed the six hours of fasting and prayer with people at Shiloh and elsewhere. It must have bee a strange sight to the brakeman and conductors as they passed through our car to again and again find us engaged in vocal prayer and praise. They reverently removed their hats as they passed through our midst and seemed to feel respect the presence and power of God manifested in so unusual a manner. As we passed the highest point in the Rocky Mountains I claimed from God a special car of our own for the transportation of Shiloh's "seventy" to the various parts of this continent, while Brother Harriman stretched out both hands, one to the east and the other to the west, taking both parts of this great land for our God.
At Kansas City we were joyously met by our two students, members of the seventy sent out last winter, and conducted to Brother Barton's home. The services Saturday and Sunday were richly blessed, and Brother Parham, a religious leader who had come from Topeka to attend the services, insisted that we accompany him home. The bond of union Sunday afternoon which had united three leaders of three great movements, one in the extreme west, another in the extreme east and the third in the centre of our vast country, must have brought rejoicing among the angels, and especially to the heart of Him who prayed so long ago that we might be "one." As a result of our trip to Topeka, a party of seven, including the pastor of the church, joined our company, and this addition in connection with eleven who joined us at Kansas City swelled the sum total of our numbers to fifty-five.
As in Tacoma, there were most remarkable instances of' God's celerity in answering prayer for those who felt called to accompany us and yet had not the means with which to pay their expenses. It was certainly the most remarkable company of people in this respect that ever made their way across these United States of America. At Chicago public services were held for several days, during which time we were joined by another minister of the gospel, W. N. McCandlish from Omaha, Nebraska. After some most remarkable experiences which thrilled our hearts and made our Father unspeakably precious to us, experiences which seemed to continually remind us of the Israelites' journey to Canaan, the entire party of fifty-six finally with many a " Praise the Lord" as Shiloh's vast structures came into view, reached their eastern home.
It had been a mighty undertaking, but the God that led His people across the Jordan finally landed this vast company in safety at their destination. We had journeyed 7000 miles through Canada and the United States, had expended between $2000 and $3000 traveling expenses, and the party of seven, after leaving some of its members to hold the work in Tacoma had returned, including the sixteen from Manitoba, a sum total of seventy-two to Shiloh.
No one except those who for seven weeks have been taking such mighty steps of faith can have any comprehension of the joy that swept our spirits as we caught our first sight of Shiloh and beheld its buildings fairly alive with students waving us all a welcome home. But inspiring as was that sight even more so was the one as the barge and three double horse wagons heavily loaded with students made their way amid fluttering handkerchiefs, trumpet blasts and a mighty chorus of song to a reception such as even this hill-top never gave before.
God had enabled us to travel to the Pacific and thence back to the Atlantic in the greatness of His strength, and the grandest campaign in this movement had ended amid enthusiasm unequaled by any earthly hosts.
from Tongues of Fire July 1 & 15, 1900 p. 112
The following article was reprinted in Tongues of Fire and details in Nathan Harriman's own words the Shiloh party's visit in Tacoma with the Ecclesia Mission, as well as the trip back east. It appears from his choice of words ("errand") that the Tacoma group's intent may not have necessarily been to stay at Shiloh indefinitely. The article itself was written and first published for Harriman's newspaper, The Ecclesia Voice. The exuberance and enthusiasm experienced by Harriman, as well as by so many others who were swept along and chose to join Shiloh's ranks, is clearly articulated.
THE SHILOH PARTY.
N. H. HARRIMAN, FROM THEIR ECCLESIA VOICE
WITH THE coming to Tacoma of this party, announced in our last, a veritable cyclone of spiritual power surged and whirled and tossed, with Ecclesia Hall as its vortex.
In all our somewhat extended and varied experience in spiritual work, we never saw such clean, true, thorough, uncompromising, downright and upright work done as was done by this blessed party. Everything gave way before it.
What worship! What mighty sweep of prayer! What honoring of the precious blood ! What exaltation of the Word in its every syllable ! What insistence upon exact obedience as the secret of power! What lifting up of Christ! What recognition of the Holy Ghost! What heights and depths and richness in the development of doctrine ! What absolute freedom from cant and sentiment, and reliance upon plain and honest dealing with God ! What grappling with Satan in his strongholds, and binding and casting him out from his usurped authority and power! What accounting the things that are not as though they are ! What insistence upon the absolute reality of the accomplished work of Christ, and reality in all our spiritual experiences!
Sham, cant, hypocrisy, sentiment that will not "do the will of God," empty words, dead works, --these had no place to live in the fierce blaze of exact truth that flashed upon us and scintillated about us for eight blessed days. And when the bugle sounded calling off the hosts, the victors pulled out of Tacoma with over thirty prisoners, on their way to Shiloh to train them for world-wide evangelization; while fully forty others signified their purpose to follow soon. It was wonderful! Everybody seemed to be under the call of God, and willing to follow Jesus to the ends of the earth.
And in the party was the pastor, with wife and five children, three of whom have surrendered all for the world's evangelization. And we go on a special car secured for our exclusive use, where we hold meetings and have a sanctified atmosphere, free from the principalities and powers.
Moreover, the most wonderful thing about it all is perhaps this, that all this expense - from the Atlantic to the Pacific by the original party of seven, and the return to the Atlantic again of this party of nearly forty is borne by the most naked and boldest, and most blessed and downright faith that we have ever experienced
Less than two years ago we went around the globe on naked faith; we thought we knew what faith meant. But to pray all obstacles out of the field of vision so that only God is visible was a revelation to us.
We saw this band, on Sunday night at midnight after the last public sermon and after the great congregation had dispersed, go on their faces and close in with God, mere children in years some of them but with great faith. Most of them had but a small part of what was needed, had no earthly prospect of getting it, yet were confident in God, so joyfully confident and triumphant, that it seemed almost better than realization.
There for an hour, they triumphed over a cowering and defeated enemy, defeated by the blood that made them perfect to do the will of God, no matter what might oppose. They seemed actually to see God only. He filled the whole field of their vision. Satan was whipped and had no place on the field. It was grand.
And all this took place less than twenty-four hours before the time that the Spirit had whispered that we were to start. Indeed, some went to the station, whither their trunks had preceded them, without money enough to get their tickets. And at this very moment, while we descend the Rockies on the Atlantic side, bound for Kansas City where we are to spend Saturday and Sunday and hold meetings, some of the party have not money enough to get their tickets east of Chicago. Yet all is victory. "There's naught but victory here!"
In our own case, two of our three children who had given their blessed young lives for the world's evangelization, had one dollar each; the third had his fare. For these two we were not permitted to have any care, simply joining faith with them. And it all came the last late in the afternoon.
We needed for self and wife and one boy, two and a half tickets, and had positively no earthly prospect of getting the money. Yet never had we such glorious, restful, blissful unconcern about any matter as about this, after Sunday morning when the Spirit made us know that wife and the two younger were to accompany the party.
And one o'clock of that day of departure came, without any sign of the Father's way of doing it, and without our even thinking of any way in which it might be done.
At that hour, in a most unexpected way, God abundantly supplied our need. Praise His holy name! It is easy for Him to work, when faith gives Him a fair field.
But enough for this issue. In our next, we will tell something about the Shiloh teachings and some other things that our readers will be interested in.
Thus far our trip has been most extraordinary. Never we are sure, has such a party crossed this continent, on such an errand, under such conditions.
Besides the members of the original party, over a score and a half of precious jewels for the Saviour's crowning day!
Most of them are of our own people; three of them are our own precious ones; and over all and each we have yearned and planned and hoped and prayed.
Now we look at each, and each brings a peculiar delight to our heart, as we know that each does to the heart of Christ ; each having the lustre and hue of some precious stone, a lustre and hue all its own.
They are now on the way with the great Lapidary,to be polished by Him for Himself.
The whole world lies at the feet of this little company, by faith; and in His holy name we take it for God.
From The Almighty and Us Chapter 18, by N.H. Harriman p132-133.
This excerpt from Arnold white's book quotes the newspaper Tacoma Post and Intelligencer and describes an incident that occured at the train station as the Shiloh group together with the new students from Harriman's Ecclesia School head east for Maine.
And yet in another article from the same paper, Mr. White writes. . .
And Mr. White continues. . .
From The Everlasting Gospel January 15, 1901 p. 23-26
This is the second of a series of articles by Nathan Harriman appearing serially in the Everlasting Gospel. It was later published as a bound document entitled "Shiloh As It Is." After his change of opinion in 1903, these glowing articles would ultimately come back to haunt their author. For years afterward Harriman was vilified by the faithful for his "defection". Mr. Harriman's observations go a long way to explain why so many people were drawn to Mr. Sandford and his movement.
BY N. H. HARRIMAN.
II. SHILOH'S LEADERS.
"Not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called."
The principle embodied in the above text has been followed in God's conduct of this movement. If any of the leaders were anything in the flesh before coming into this movement, God has quickly reduced them to naught before He could use them.
This was true of the movement in its very beginnings, when God called its leader, Mr. Sandford, out of his popular and successful pastorate in the denominational work, carried him down through all the grades of crucifixion of the self life, reduced him to nothing, and then began to lead him up the heights. He has been going on ever since; and every man that God calls to take his place beside Mr. Sandford, He causes to correspond to the description in the above text, before He puts upon him any responsibility.
Associated with Mr. Sandford in the conduct of this movement, at the present time as ''elders" are seven ordained ministers of the gospel, each one with a history, each fitted of God to do the work of an elder, praying with the sick, leading the flock, supporting the leader, ministering in the things of God, preaching the Word, and in all things doing the work of a blameless bishop. Some of these have grown up in the work and been ordained by Mr. Sandford and the church; others have been ministers before coming into this movement. All are blessedly united in Scriptural bonds of real unity.
Of these we mention first Brother Willard N. Gleason, the youngest man of the seven, a fiery young prophet, wonderfully owned of God. He was Mr. Sandford's first pupil and is now in charge of the work on the Pacific Coast.
Brother Ralph El. Gleason, an older brother of the former but a young man under thirty, is one of the seven also. He was partly trained in the Gordon Training School, and had one year in the Bangor Theological Seminary. He is especially used in the work of healing, and is in charge of Bethesda.
Brother C. E. Holland is another. He is also a young man, was graduated from the Gordon Training School, came to this work in its early days, has followed its fortunes and its leader through thick and thin ever since, and is in general charge under Mr. Sandford. In Mr. Sandford's absence, he takes his place in managing the affairs of the School. He came in response to a call for one hundred men, to work in tents, "with salary, Matt. 6: 33." He has been, and is, a faithful steward and satisfied with his pay.
Brother Almon A. Whittaker is a man just under forty, was trained at Shiloh, fresh from his farm in Aroostook, and within a brief time was back there preaching the gospel. As fruit of his labors, more than thirty people are here from that section, and more are to follow. He is a mighty man in praying for the sick and casting out demons, and his ministry is largely in that direction. He accompanies Mr. Sandford sometimes, on his longer trips, a "son of thunder."
Brother George W. Higgins is under forty, and was trained in the Methodist body. Believing in and preaching holiness, healing, and the Lord's coming, he met with much opposition and not a little persecution, till he found himself unable to go on with them longer. Attempting to hold meetings at Levant, Maine, he was tarred and feathered, and came near loosing his life, at the hands of an infuriated mob of citizens. One of the sweetest and gentlest of men, he is also a lion for courage, and is deeply taught in the things of God and the life of the Spirit. He joined the Shiloh movement soon after his experience at Levant, and is now in charge of Elim, Boston, and the scattered churches in New England.
Brother A. K. Perry is also about forty, was educated as a business man, has been prominently connected with the Gospel Union work, and for three years has had an honored place at Shiloh. During that period, he spent some time at the head of the Bible School in Chicago, and most of one school year with the Bible School in Liverpool, England. He is a successful teacher, and his talent appears to lie in that direction predominantly. At present, he is assisting Mr. Sandford in the lecture at Shiloh.
The writer is the oldest of the group, having passed his fiftieth birthday last July. In pursuit of God's best he has passed from the Congregational to the Baptist denomination, thence into independent work, on strictly scriptural lines. This has brought him to Shiloh, as God's last and highest movement. Three of his children are students here, and he himself also is in one sense a student, becoming fitted for God's highest uses, as God may lead. (There are several ministers in the School, as students; and several others outside who are more or less closely connected with the movement, but none of them have become so "adjusted" to the work as to be yet regarded as "leaders" in it). In the midst of the group, presiding over it and the movement of which the Bible School is the centre, is the man whom God has raised up for this great work of "the last days."
FRANK W. SANDFORD.
My readers are more interested in Mr. Sandford than in his helpers, so I give more space to him though I a writing for God, and have no desire to gratify idle curiosity.
Mr. Sandford passed his thirty-eighth birthday the second of last October. He was converted at eighteen, a graduate of Bates college, spent two years in the divinity school, had two remarkably successful pastorates in the Free Will Baptist denomination, was called out in undenominational work in January 1893, and seven years ago last July was sent of God to his native town of Bowdoinham, Maine, to receive his first lessons in that school of trials in which he was fitted, through many disciplines, to take the lead in this work.
By nature, Mr. Sandford is a sunny, vivacious, sympathetic, stirring, resourceful man, possessing all the natural traits of popular leadership. By grace, purified in the hot crucible of God's fiery trials, he is still an affable, hearty and sunny personality, sympathetic and kindly and delicate as a woman, when dealing with honest hearts; fierce and fiery as a conflagration, when dealing with dishonesty; easy, fluent, graceful and attractive as a speaker when speaking on easy themes; grand and awful as a tornado when dealing with awful themes. When turned loose against the enemies of God, none but Spirit filled souls can understand him; it is the foreshadowing of the wrath of God, that in the days of the two witnesses will blaze forth as fire from their months and devour their enemies.
One of Mr. Sandford's most marked characteristics, and perhaps the most fundamental, is his intense loyalty to the truth. For the truth, he swung out from all fellowship with every other movement, because in no other movement was there entire loyalty to all truth. In the pursuit of truth, and reality in all things, God has put him through a unique discipline, one of the fruits of which is a spirit saturated with loyalty to the Word of God. "The Truth" is the motto over the door of Shiloh. It is also the motto graven on the fleshly tablets of his heart. In a way never seen by me before, he lives a life "shut in" to truth. It characterizes everything he says and does. The whole movement is keyed to this. Everything grows and flows from this.
Thus the prominence given here to what we call "Divine Order" grows naturally from his loyalty to the truth. All the favors of God are claimed and appropriated in this movement, without diminution. Therefore, they must be sought according to the conditions laid down in God's Book, Hence the exquisite "order" laid down there for the introduction of divine energy and life into the Body, is strictly followed. In that order, there is absolute safety for each member of the Body. Out of that order, there is confusion and discord not only, but the door is opened for enemies to get in, the shield is removed and the fiery darts of the wicked one cannot be kept out. This, is the secret of "leadership" here. It is also the secret of the perfect orderliness in the wildest "charges" in the most intense and enthusiastic meetings. Divine authority, through Christ to his recognized leader, and through him to the Body, this gives "Divine Order."
It is the same in the conduct of the family. God's Word says that man is the head of the woman; therefore Mr. Sandford says the same, and he applies it. The Bible says that the woman is to reverence and obey her husband in all things; therefore Mr. Sandford says the same thing, and applies it. The Word of God commands, "Husbands love your wives," and Mr. Sandford insists upon this. It may be of interest to sonic to here state, that this emphasis of the woman's position and place, as insisted on at Shiloh, did not originate with Mr. Sandford; it started with the women; he looked into it and saw that they were correct, and bowed to the truth. The Bible says that children are to honor and obey their parents; therefore Mr. Sandford insists on the same. As a result, there is perfect order, perfect protection, perfect safety, on Shiloh hill-top. The leader and the men of God protect the Body. The husband protects the wife and children. All is in the divine order, and each receives the benefit of the ''Divine Authority" that commands demons disease, and all the powers of darkness. All this flows from a recognition and loyal enforcement of "the truth."
Another prominent characteristic of Mr. Sandford, and it is closely related to the one just mentioned, is the intense reality of the things of faith. At first one thinks him entirely devoid of sentiment, so matter-of-fact is he and natural in all things, so free from all gushand mannerisms of emotional piety. But one does not know him at all deeply without finding that he is satu rated with sentiment, and that of the highest kind' No flights of Biblical imagery soar so high that he does not follow them and translate them into reality. Faith, with him, insists that all things that God says in the Book He means; and his faith translates them into fact. Thus the work is characterized by frequent and common use of the loftiest imagery of the prophets. The exquisite language of The Song of Songs is every day language here, and has real and definite meaning. To be "fair, clear, and terrible," an expression that no doubt sounds strained and unreal outside, is as real here as the commonest language is to other people. It is be cause everything in the Scriptures is real to Mr. Sandford's faith, and he insists on having it real with his students. It is "the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." It is "the substance of things hoped for," actual substance, here and now-reality.
Another pronounced characteristic of Mr. Sandford is his singleness of eye. He has the heart of David, single to do the will of God. He frequently says that his head is small, but that God has given him a true heart. This is best understood by those who know him best. And it flows directly out of his loyalty to the truth like the other traits. Because of this he knows the secret of being led by the Spirit. He has but one aim and pur pose, but one thing to do-the will of God. There is no mixture of motives to one with a single eye, a David heart. Hence, he takes no steps until he is sure of God's will. So far from being arbitrary-save in the energetic conduct of his meetings, and in dealing with some spiritual danger which may threaten the interests of the same, where sometimes he may seem arbitrary to an inexperienced person-he is the most careful of men. He spends sometimes days in prayer and fasting to get God's plan for some important matter, and hours often over some small matter that a less spiritual man would settle by his own wisdom in as many minutes.
Together with these characteristics, Mr. Sandford possesses a royal courage, without which these would be useless. Having but one thing to do, the will of God, and having the habit of getting that will before he will act, and having accustomed himself to get that will till he has come to know when he does get it-when he has the will of God clearly before him, he brings to the-doing of it an undivided will that turns aside for nothing. Those who were present at the Fall convention, and heard his wonderful sermon on courage, will never forget it. In his lecture on Joshua, be touched on the same, and the touch was supernatural. Like most of his preaching; there is an atmosphere of reality about it all, springing from the fact that be has gone on from theory into reality and actually proved the truth that he presents, that gives to his preaching a higher quality of supernaturalism than that of any man to whom I ever listened. And it is also natural that you find that he has learned the secret of how to be natural in the supernatural.
As a Spirit led man, he is wholly unnatural, and his movements wholly unaccountable from the natural standpoint. By years of discipline in the walk with God, he has learned to get God's latest thought; therefore, like the God within him, you never know what he will do next. Yet he believes in order; but it must be the divine order, not man-made. The Word of God, the Spirit of God, and the providences of God, determine everything. When these speak, no thinking, theorizing, reasoning, imagining or guessing are tolerated. "Thus saith God"- -by His Word, His Spirit, or His providences--that admits to no appeal. It is exactness; it is reality. God is as real and definite with him as his wife or children. He deals with Him accordingly. If the case in hand is covered by the Word, that settles it. If not specifically covered, the voice of the Spirit is specially sought. If He speaks, and the voice is found to be really His, that settles it. If neither the Word nor the Spirit gives light on the matter in hand, then "What say His providences?" In this realm, he consults the whole School, takes light from the simplest, and will not hurry,
Long seasons of fasting and prayer are had, as I have said, before important action is taken, and all have their share of the responsibility. When preparing to go to the Pacific Coast, two whole nights were spent in prayer and fasting, for God to make up the party as he wanted it. Again and again the School asked him to decide, but he would not. He simply will not make a move until he knows the will of God about it.
Another characteristic of Mr. Sandford, and one that is a great stumbling-block to the shallow and thoughtless, is his honoring of the Holy Ghost in himself, and some of the things that flow naturally from it. He regards it just as wrong and sinful for him to dishonor the God in himself as in any one else. He will not discount His ability in him, and will not allow others to do so, either in him or in themselves. He reckons Him able to meet every emergency that God will bring him into. This is the secret of his mighty faith. It is the wellspring of his whole character. Whatever the Book says is expected of man, by the indwelling God working through him, that he expects, and that he insists on. This is the practical secret of all his teaching, the key to his theology.
One thing that flows from this, applied as rigidly to himself as he would apply it to another, is his refreshing unconsciousness when speaking of the acts of the Holy Ghost through himself. He never sees any need of false modesty about it. If the Holy Ghost has given a great truth or preached a good sermon through him, he speaks of it as simply as if another had been the medium of the the Spirit's utterance. And why not? To apologize, or trim it down, or belittle it, because he was the human agent, would be to take to himself that which belonged to the Holy Spirit. This illustrates his intense reality. Few men know this supreme unconsciousness of self. He has it only by the grace of God and absolute strictness in dealing with himself in getting into reality. To a shallow or an artificial person, it is supreme conceit; to those who have learned to value reality, it is sublime. Your first impulse is to smile, when you suddenly hear it; your second is to praise God for this supreme victory over self-consciousness.
But it is as a man with a divine call to a mighty work, that Mr. Sandford is to be regarded, if one is to understand him even slightly. This is what he says of it in brief: "While in fasting and prayer, April 14, 1898, the voice of God distinctly said to me, 'Remove the covering cast over the face of all the earth."' To do this, the whole world must be evangelized. Later, God told him to "Oversee it." These two calls constitute his great commission. It is as real, and as vital a part of him as the written Word, It enters into all his thinking and acting. Through this medium he looks out upon the world. By this commission he tests every living creature. Since God requires this at his hands, He surely will stand by him in seeing it done. He will therefore by this judge every man. Those who standby him, God will bless. Those who reject him, God cannot bless but will curse. And his career thus far proves the correctness of the logic. In the light of it, in what danger is
the great bulk of mankind, especially the denominational ' 'ministry! People who come to the hill-top, look these lofty truths in the face, hear the call to fall into line with God's plans, and fail to yield to God, usually go away demonized and not infrequently wrecked spiritually, for life. They have a shield offered them for the battle, they refuse it, throw it away, and the fiery darts of the wicked one come thick and fast in upon their unprotected souls, and they are cursed. Here on the hilltop we have seen some of the most striking cases of divine interposition, in ferreting out and bringing to the light hidden cases of rebellion against authority. One cannot be here long without learning that he is dealing not with a mail, but with God.
Early in his career, Mr. Sandford prayed God to make him an apostle. One day he learned that one of the signs of an apostle is "all patience," and he realized his unfitness. Seven years later he emerged from the furnace, purified, and was made to know while in foreign lands, after having undergone the most terrible ordeal of his whole career that the raising of Miss Olive Mills from the dead just previous to his leaving America was the seal of his apostleship. With the revelation that he was to die a martyr during the great tribulation came into his already intense personality an added seriousness and solemnity. He believes that many of the overcomers; will also pass through the tribulation. He does not teach that they all will, but he says that those who do must be of the same quality of soul as those who are "worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man," and he does not know how many will be chosen to go down into the awful darkness of that unspeakable period. He does not believe, however, that any are ready for translation who have not the warrior spirit to go through the tribulation. Hence the prominence of the militant, martial spirit here. Everything suggests warfare.
But I cannot close this article, without emphasizing the solemnity of the issue which this man and this movement present to every living soul. With such forces at work, with God speaking so mightily as He is speaking here, with such tremendous events just at the door, with the man and the movement to meet these events, with the call gone out for all to hear and heed,-if these do not strip the awful blindness from Christendom and rouse from their comfortable security the churches and the ministry, what voice shall wake the dead and make them hear? Only the voice of the Son of God, and that voice will be the voice of solemn judgment