THE PRAYING PLUMBER OF LISBURN - A Sketch of God's Dealings with Thomas Haire by A. W. TOZER. Published by CHRISTIAN PUBLICATIONS, INC.
By a remarkable providence this sketch of Tom Haire by A. W. Tozer brings together two men who in most ways are very much different but who in their affinity for things spiritual are very much alike. Accordingly, they have another characteristic in common: both are nonconformists, each fashioned by divine processes according to an individual pattern.
The significance of God-made men in the twentieth-century West can best be appreciated against the backdrop of our times. In this age of mass production and mass media of communication, when the stress in school and church, at least in America, is on social adjustment, the inevitable result is mediocre conformity. The product is a religious robot instead of a saint. "This world is not a friend to grace" takes on added meaning in our day, and it helps to explain why there are so few saintly Christians.
The orders of the Catholic Church have for centuries tried to produce saints by imposing a right regimentation of thought and conduct on the human spirit. While few Protestant groups have followed this procedure, yet the prevalent insistence on group conformity is just as deadly. The liberal can be identified by his affected intonation and his repetition of liberal cliches. The fundamentalist, indoctrinated in a particular school of orthodoxy, becomes an acceptable poll-parrot of verbalism. Even "holiness" preachers have their characteristic mode of expression - their badge of the spiritually elite.
The human spirit, however, can only be stultified by this insistence on social conformity. It is a tragic misuse of freedom to use it for even the more refined types of enslavement. It must be set free by Christian redemption and servitude to Jesus Christ to find its realization in the boundless reaches of the Eternal. Fortunately, neither the subject nor the author of this sketch is a product of convention. Had either been, there would be no sketch, for there would have been nothing to write about on the one hand, and on the other, the author would not have had the insight to appreciate the spiritual stature of Tom Haire. Both were needed to produce this booklet - the deeply devout life of Brother Haire and the kindred spirit of Dr. Tozer speaking through his gifted pen.
How the plumber from Lisburn, Ireland, and the editor of The Alliance Weekly in Chicago were brought into an intimate understanding of one another is an extraordinary providence. The hotel fire that almost took the lives of Tom Haire and Evangelist Ravenhill is one link in a chain forged by divine purpose. How fellowship in things spiritual is gloriously possible is here demonstrated. Tom Haire the layman has little formal education while the author's erudition extends to many fields, but both in very much different ways are God-made men whose habitat is the heavenlies. There both are very much at home.
It has been my good fortune to know both the author and the subject of these chapters. Both men are enemies of exaggeration, pretense, sensationalism and window dressing. Accordingly, the sketch here published is an honest account forthrightly written. It has already been blessed to thousands of readers of The Alliance Weekly, and I earnestly pray that it will be used of God to bring many of His children into a closer fellowship with Himself.
One of the rarest experiences I have ever had was in prayer with Tom Haire. As his hands clasped my hand with that of a distinguished churchman and theologian, he poured out his heart in prolonged intercession. Afterwards, this prelate and I agreed that this kind of prayer in its depth and height and breadth and insight was outside any human dimensions. Tom had not learned to pray in any school of human tutoring. We had been listening to a man converse with God who knew from the Spirit's tutoring the concerns of the Father's heart and the vocabulary of the heavenlies.
From THE PRAYING PLUMBER OF LISBURN - A Sketch of God's Dealings with Thomas Haire by A. W. TOZER. Published in 1954 in The Alliance Weekly magazine. It has been explicitly authorized by the Alliance Life editors to be made available free online. The only stipulations are: 1) The work may only be made available for FREE. 2) The following citation must appear: Originally published in the Alliance Weekly (now Alliance Life) January 6, 13, and 20, 1954. Used by permission. Creative Commons license: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0.
Insights of the past for the present
Plumber of Lisburn - A.W. Tozer
ON THE BOOK SHELF
May your insights be worthy.