SOME over bold word artist may yet attempt to depict the life of A. B. Simpson on the terms laid down by Oliver Cromwell when sitting for young Lally "Paint me as I am. If you leave out a scar or wrinkle, I will not pay you a shilling." But what canvas could receive the face of Cromwell and what page can reveal the life of A. B. Simpson?
Photography is more accurate than painting, for God's sunlight truly reflects the image on the negative; but what mind is sensitive enough to receive the impression of a life so unique, and great enough to reveal it without retouching it into its own ideal?
Someone has said that we should take the Bible as our model, forgetting what Graham Scroggie remarked with Scotch sententiousness, "God wrote those biographies." And if God should write a third Testament for the millennial age, and should choose Albert B. Simpson as one of its characters, who would dare to predict what incident or Excellency or flaw the Holy Spirit might select for His purpose?
Miniatures not a few, mental photographs brought to the light of day from the treasures of memory, portraits done by hands love inspired, pen sketches revealing features and attitudes, and delineations of some of the great life lines have all been brought together in an attempt to create a composite picture of a great and beautiful life. Caricatures there are none, though these would fill volumes if collected, the fact that he provoked so many and such extravagantly distorted depictions being but another proof of (lie extraordinary quality of his life, for only real greatness lends itself to burlesque.
There has been no lack of material. Mrs. Simpson, with characteristic foresight, preserved in huge scrapbooks much of the newspaper comment and many announcements, programs, and records of outstanding events. His sister. Miss Louisa Simpson, and old Canadian friends have kindly recalled for us their intimate knowledge of his early life. Fortunately he had begun an autobiography which he carried forward as far as his college days. A wide circle of friends have sent incidents and personal impressions. A few souvenirs and the official annual reports have been trustworthy guides. His scores of books and nearly fifty volumes of his periodicals have been mines of information. It has thus been possible to recover many of the revelations concerning himself which Dr. Simpson made on rare occasions, and so to give a more personal touch to the story. The photograph, of which the frontispiece is a copy, has been hanging before us as we wrote, constantly reminding us of the modesty that forbade him to proclaim himself, but on every page the attempt has been made to break through that fine reserve and compel him to disclose the secret of his life.
To those who have supplied data we here offer the readers' thanks with our own. Miss Emma F. Beere, who for many years was Dr. Simpson's secretary, has assisted in the collection of materials, giving valuable reading of the proofs. Mrs. C. Myron Peck also gave valuable assistance. The special contributors have each put us under obligation by their sketches of features and phases of this wonderful life. Mrs. Simpson and the Editorial Committee of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, including Revs. F. H. Senft, W. M. Turnbull, A, C. Snead, and the Editor, have done their part to make the work an official biography.
If in any true sense this sketch is "A Life of A. B. Simpson," our aim has been attained. No word but life is adequate, for he lived intensely, unselfishly, nobly, godly in this present age, holding forth the Word of Life that he might not run in vain neither labor in vain.
Nyack-on-Hudson, N. Y. A. E. T.
ON EAGLE'S WINGS.
Mounting up with wings as eagles,
Waiting on the Lord we rise; Strength receiving, life renewing.
How our spirit heavenward flies! Then our springing feet returning
To the pathway of the saint, We shall run and not be weary.
We shall walk and never faint.
Oh, we need these heights of rapture
Where we mount on eagle's wings; Then returning to life's duties.
All our heart exultant springs. This our every burden lightens
Till, with sweet, divine constraint, We can run and not be weary.
We can walk and never faint.
A. B. Simpson.
The Life of A. B. Simpson is the Official Authorised Edition by A. E. THOMPSON, M. A. with Special Chapters by Paul Rader James M. Gray, D. D. Kenneth Mackenzie, J. Gregory Mantle, D. D. F. H. Senft, B. A. R. H. Glover, M. D. W. M. Turnbull, D. D. Published by Christian Alliance Publishing Co. 318 West 39TH St., New York in 1920. Lightly updated to the language of the 21st century by D. N. Pham. (c) 2012.
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Life of A.B. Simpson - C&MA
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