Compromise — never
7.50pm. We had a grand time in the Bible Study [B.S. 174 Speaking in Tongues]; the Lord gave us much new light on speaking in tongues. I must produce a book on the subject; there is nothing in print that I know of that adequately deals with the subject.
We had trouble with the car on the way over to Sheila’s, perhaps something to do with the choke control. The car became very sluggish, as though grossly overweight, and I was relieved when we eventually arrived home, well after midnight. We came back through the city centre where there has been much re-routing of traffic; it will take some time to get used to all the diversions.
I awoke early, went to the office to open the letters, came home for breakfast, then returned to the office at 10.00am as Sister Townsend had asked if she could come to discuss the Word I had from the Lord for her. She left at 11.30am and I remained behind to go through the letters and to pray and read.
This afternoon Freda and I went for a walk down Warwick Road (more road and traffic alterations pending) and Grange Road, and Freda’s mother started out in the opposite direction at 3.25pm so that we met in Kineton Green Road.
Oral Roberts’ and T. L. Osborn’s magazines arrived by the morning post and I read these this afternoon. Abundant Life was especially devoted to Oral Roberts University, an inspiring issue. How God has used this man! I admire his faithfulness to what God has called him to do. In this issue he speaks of the almost violent reaction from some of his team members who felt that in creating a university he was leaving world evangelism for higher education, and of the supposed conflict between the academic and the spiritual. But he has done what he felt the Lord wanted him to do.
I used to wonder years ago why such-and-such a man who was being used of God could not see some truth or other, or why he should be doing something I personally could not feel was of the leading of the Lord — like Oral Roberts becoming ordained in the modernistic Methodist Church — but I have come to realise over the years the folly and stupidity of such presumption. Peter asked the Lord “And what shall this man do?” and Jesus said, “What is that to thee? Follow thou Me” (John 21:21–22).
I liked what Oral Roberts says: “I do not believe this [Pentecostal] experience should be held as one to separate brethren in the Lord, and preached as a thing of exclusiveness. On the contrary, our being filled with the Spirit should deliver us from exclusiveness, and enable us to genuinely include any Christian as our authentic brother.”
While we were having supper at Sheila’s last night, the subject of spiritual compromise came up, and it was brought to my mind of the time when R.W. Culpepper and David Nunn, whom I still respect and love in the Lord, wanted to use me to build an outreach for them in the British Isles. I was to be cut in to the tune of 25% (or was it 331/3%), which would have run to thousands of pounds, no small enticement perhaps in those days. But it was while they were in Ireland and we were on holiday in the Isle of Wight, that Brother Culpepper came on the ’phone, very agitated and concerned because they had heard, wrongly, that I was a “Oneness” preacher, and they were concerned by the damage that might be done to them. They wanted an assurance from me that I would not bring up the subject of Baptism in the Name of the Lord Jesus in what was to be a joint evangelistic outreach, and since I never use Scripture truth to divide up God’s people, I was able to set their minds at rest. But I could see that I was to be expected to compromise; the spirit of the thing was wrong, and I got out.
I have made many mistakes over the years, some out of youthful exuberance, some out of spiritual immaturity, and some out of pride or self-will, but by God’s grace I have never compromised God’s truth as it has been revealed to me. But I will never use that truth to divide up God’s people. I discern my calling to work for the unity of the people of God, and what one sees or does not see of God’s truth is something to do with the outworking of our predestination and election. All that God expects of us is that we do what He has called us to do and not concern ourselves with what others are or are not doing.
Thinking along the lines of compromise, I was reminded of the time in my very early preaching days when the Rev. E.E. Pritchard (Uncle Ernie as we sometimes referred to him) was delegated by the Local Preachers’ meeting to get me to desist from my evangelistic method of preaching and appeal, and to conform, and I could not. But what I most remember was the offer that was made me, the subtle temptation (but it was not a temptation) to accept popularity and success in the ministry, if only I would compromise. I had nothing in those days, save a burning zeal for souls borne out of the miracle of God’s grace in my conversion, yet God blessed my ministry, such as it was. I was already becoming “popular”, people came to hear me, and there were results and “signs following” the Word. Years later, the Rev. Walter Wilson, one of the old-fashioned God-saved Bible-believing Methodists, would write to say he could never understand the decision I had made to leave the Methodists (though I was forced out) but he believed I must be doing what I felt was God’s will for my life. But what if I hadn’t? What if Oral Roberts or Tommy Osborn or any of the others had not done the will of God for their life? May I by God’s grace not be disobedient to the heavenly vision.
Plate-making and printing
10.45pm. We are watching the David Frost show on TV. It has been a busy day. I spent the whole morning and afternoon plate-making and printing, alternating between 1112A and 1126A. I printed more than 8,000 letterheads in Kingfisher Blue, which will last for a little while. I came home at 5.30pm as we were going to my parents’ for Dad’s [63rd] birthday tea. We had arranged that Malcolm should pick us up so as to enable me to drive the car to Prestage’s and have a lift back. After tea Mam and Dad went to the hospital to see Albert [Blakeman]. Clarice and Rebecca also had tea with us; Noel, still busy on the alterations to their house, joined us later.
The Ethiopian Royal Family
10.30pm. The post did not come until 9.15am this morning. There was a big mail and [we] still had letters outstanding at the end of the afternoon. There was a grand letter from Mr. Oglesby [the Rev. Kenneth Oglesby], now back in Addis Ababa, but with the disturbing news that Princess Sophie, from whom we have not heard for some time, had an incurable disease. Apparently she has been in Switzerland for six months and the Imperial Family were anxious that she should contact us on her way back to Ethiopia. It seems that Princess Ruth called on the Oglesbys last Friday week (20th February) when they were out shopping and sent a note by her chauffeur. Mr Oglesby phoned Princess [?]Makelle the same evening and she asked him to write Sophie a letter, which Princess Aida would take to Europe at 7.00am next (Saturday) morning. Mr. Oglesby was seeing the Crown Prince last Wednesday morning and will be seeing His Imperial Majesty shortly. He says, “Altho’ there are attempts at times at his life by his enemies, still he moves on with Faith in God for that protection which he is confident that his Lord will provide. An undaunted faith.”
It is getting on for five years since we met the Emperor, and more than three years since we talked with Mr. Ian Smith. He is much in the news today as at midnight Rhodesia became a Republic.
It has been a most interesting day in every way. Stephanie Stanton sent me a book, A New and Living Way by Mary C. Fullerson, which I have read at a sitting this evening. It contains the same teaching on the Communion as the Lord gave me by revelation of the Spirit some years ago, and which inspired me to publish our book on the subject. Then Audrey Rees sent me a weighty volume of nearly 700 pages, The Balfour Declaration by Leonard Stein, a most valuable addition to my library.
Freda rang Mrs Buxton for me this afternoon. The first copy of How the Gospel Came to Britain will be ready for me to collect tomorrow morning. But there is some doubt whether I shall be able to get over to Halesowen. The car is still at Prestage’s with a fractured something or other in the clutch. It is a MIRACLE that we were able to get to Wylde Green and back and to Freda’s mother’s last weekend.
Jane Birdwood [The Dowager Lady Birdwood] wrote. She has one parcel left of The Plot Against the Throne and asks if I can spare an hour “at least” to have a talk when I go to collect them from her. It looks as though we shall have to fit in a visit to London pretty soon. We have also to pick up the tape-recorders, Julia’s wedding dress, and also go to Billericay. Helene van Woelderen wrote on Saturday to confirm that we may have the cottage for the first two weeks in June, and the Billericay folk are looking forward to joining us there for a few days.
So much to record today! The ford gave me light on Re-incarnation from the Scriptures. While putting a cover on The Balfour Declaration late in the afternoon, I put on a tape of William Branham, “Modern Events made clear by Prophecy” preached 6th December 1965 at San Bernardino, and there was the same truth.
This evening we saw a thriller play The Rumour on ITV. Several jet planes flew over very low. Planes were being diverted to Elmdon from Heathrow where a strike of firemen closed the Airport for two hours, and will do so again from midnight (now half-an-hour away) until 8.00am. We have chaos and anarchy everywhere, just as I wrote in Judgment on Britain.
Growing interest in the work
8.55pm. I met the postman on the way to the office this morning and had a word with him about the systematic pilfering of our outgoing mail about which I have been complaining to the GPO over many months. All they can tell me is that someone evidently has a grudge against us, but almost impossible to trace the person responsible.
The car was ready for me to collect at 10.30am and I went to Halesowen to pick up some more covers and to get the first copy of the new book. We hope to take delivery next Wednesday and to send them out the following day. Janet rang The National Message and Mr. Hulley phoned me later to confirm that we can place a half-page advertisement in the April number. He has asked to see the new book first, however, so I have had to send him my set of page-proofs.
We are at Freda’s mother’s this evening, and we have been watching an amusing British film comedy The Captain’s Table with John Gregson and Donald Sinden. The latter we saw in Not Now Darling at the Alexandra Theatre about a couple of years ago, one of the funniest things I ever saw in my life. It is still running in London.
Mum had a letter from Uncle Owen and Auntie Iris yesterday. Enclosed was a page from the Toronto Telegram featuring an article about us. Uncle Owen says, “You will be interested and so will Freda and Brian in the newspaper clipping which we are enclosing. It was sheer chance that it came into our hands. It was sent originally to Joyce by one of her friends, Rita Pearce. She had no idea that the bit about Brian would interest Joyce. What she thought would interest Joyce was the other part of the sheet, which deals with the Shibunny’s dilemma.” This is as remarkable as the time I was reading aloud to Freda an article in Time and Tide with suggestions for a new government, when I came across my own name! And the item was written from a man in New Zealand who is not even on our mailing-list! Then someone last year read a lengthy article about us in the Durban Sunday Chronicle which we never heard about.
The big jets are flying over tonight. Heathrow is closed again. We have had snow showers for the last two days and there is a thin covering on the ground now.
9.45pm. Last night’s snowfall became the heaviest of the winter; it was six inches deep this morning, transforming everywhere into a scene of great beauty. I got the camera out and Freda took three photographs [slides 04207-9] when it was light. With the snow still fresh it was almost a festive scene. Some people were finding the time to throw snowballs and with the traffic piled up and almost at a standstill some motorists were playing pop music with their car windows down. It took me seven minutes to walk to the office instead of three, and Janet and Jean were both late.
Apart from the snow which continued throughout the morning it was an uneventful day. Freda spent most of the day in the office sorting out foreign stamps, and I was nearly all afternoon in the dark room at 1112A doing camera work and plate-making. I made a plate for Julia and Malcolm’s Wedding invitation. I did not get home until twenty to seven.
8.15pm. There was a little more snow and a hard frost overnight but with bright sunshine during the day some of the snow has gone. Mr. Lyons dug the car out for us. Freda came with me to the office this morning to finish sorting the foreign stamps, and Mr. Higgins, the Inspector from the Ministry of Social Security, who sells the stamps for a servicemen’s charity, has called this evening to collect them. At the moment we are watching Softly Softly and I am recording Scrapbook for 1950 off the radio.
I spent the greater part of the day endeavouring to print the Wedding Invitations, but without success. The image of “Wedding Invitation” on the plate was too weak; it was in silver lettering on the original, and I had given it too long an exposure. But with a shorter exposure the material I had typed on the IBM Executive was too little exposed. I shall have to make another plate and modify my technique.
During the afternoon we unloaded the last of the book covers which I brought back from Halesowen on Tuesday.
I had two new books today which I had ordered from the B.I.W.F. in Toronto, Worlds in Collision and Earth in Upheaval, both by Immanuel Velikovsky. I also received In the Light of the Lord by Joan Hoffmeyr from South Africa and East-West Digest, Journal of the Foreign Affairs Circle.
Letters from old friends
4.55pm. The sun is shining brightly and the snow is thawing fast after a hard frost last night and one or two snow showers this morning. I have been most of the afternoon in the dark room experimenting to see how best to produce a plate for the wedding invitations. Mrs. Graveley came at 4.30pm with more of the colour printing, which we took straight upstairs at 1112A. It was a heavy job. Mr. Graveley still forgot the colour slides which I shall require for when we go to Billericay, God willing, next Tuesday.
There were letters this morning from the Rev. Fred Smith in Edinburgh and from Mrs. M. Cameron of Silloth, two old friends we had not heard from for some months and whom I had thought might have died. Fred Smith stayed with us for a couple of nights in about 1964. We spent the second week of our honeymoon at his Manse of Kirkurd by West Linton in Peeblesshire, 27th June to 4th July 1959, and I preached to his congregation at the Sunday service, and I well remember the great many professed decisions for Christ on that occasion. Mr. Smith said I had reaped in one service what he had sown for thirty years.
Mrs. Cameron was, and is, leader of the Full Gospel Mission in Cumberland where I held my first full-length campaign 23rd November to 7th December 1957. Mr. F.E. Morewood is one of the people from that same mission who is still faithfully supporting us in the work more than twelve years later. Mrs. Cameron had told us that they seemed likely to lose their building but they have had a reprieve for two years, and have been offered a Primitive Methodist chapel for £2,000, which Pastor Tweed is negotiating for them.
There have been heavy showers of rain all day and it is very cold tonight with ground frost expected. There is little to record. We got all the correspondence answered by lunch-time and Janet and I spent the afternoon at 1112A. [We had a letter from Rev. David Shrisunder in Solapur, India, a new contact.]
We now have most of the magazines ready for us to take to Chivers’ for binding. We have Faith Digest complete for [1957 and] every year since 1959, with just a few issues missing for 1956, the first year of publication, and only one missing for 1958. I was greatly disappointed to see that with the April issue it has gone over to a large page-size and looks just like Billy Graham’s Decision magazine. It is, indeed, exactly the same size. This means that it will be impossible to bind it uniformly with previous volumes. To complicate matters still further, the change-over has taken place in the middle of a volume, leaving three odd issues. Oral Roberts did the same thing in September 1968 when Abundant Life went over to a larger format, only to revert to the original size six months later. The same thing happened with Time and Tide, which we have had every year for some years now.
Mary Stuart Reid came at 4.30pm and we had a profitable discussion. She is the widow of a surgeon and knows personally some of our leading statesmen and politicians. Her daughter was Quintin Hogg’s secretary, and another daughter is married to a Rothschild. It is encouraging to hear that our literature is well-received and the work respected by some of these. Ian Harris rang while Mrs Reid was still with me. Janet had earlier in the day ’phoned Mr de Pemberton, so I was able to tell Ian Harris, for Mr Porter’s benefit, that the Holy Land tour was still on.
At 6pm I went to Elt’s garage to pick up the car after its 24,000-mile service. Mr Priddy had rung during the morning to ask if he should renew the rear brake shoes as they were badly worn. The bill was nearly £26. Dad came after tea and we went to the office to do some printing, and Freda to clean. Tomorrow is Dad’s last day at work after 49 years in the same factory. [He has been made redundant.]
It has been a pleasant if busy day in the office and I have only just done up the last few letters. The morning’s work was almost totally disrupted when Dimitri Kasterine came to take photographs for the Daily Telegraph Magazine feature, and it turned out to be an almost 90-minute session. Having suffered at the hands of press reporters and photographers so often over the years I was rather apprehensive and ill-at-ease to begin with, especially when having to pose unnaturally holding the big Union Jack [framed poster] from off the wall or displaying some of our books. But in the end, after numerous pictures of me standing, leaning or sitting on the storage heater (as I am wont to do), Mr Kasterine moved the table and chairs out and took many more of me sitting or kneeling on the floor against a backdrop of the stencil filing cabinets. He must have taken 60-70 photographs in all. [jpg] It was 12.40pm before he left.
Then this afternoon Mary Stuart Reid called again unexpectedly requesting more books. She said that Lady Worsley had had Britain’s Royal Throne to give to her daughter, the Duchess of Kent, and wanted a copy of How the Gospel Came to Britain for her ?daughter, who was to be at Holyrood House with the Queen.
But quite the best news today was a letter from the Oglesbys to say that Princess Sophie has been marvellously healed in answer to our prayers. Her case looked hopeless and the doctors of Switzerland are amazed by her recovering so speedily. Now we pray for Princess Tenagne Work [jpg], who has to undergo a minor operation shortly.
Raymond T. Vine sent me The Sabbath by M. L. Andreasen.
I ’phoned my parents to see how Dad had got on on his last day at work. After 49 years in the same factory I could imagine his conflict of emotions at leaving. Dad called in at the office just before 6.00pm and brought me back home.
The Cricket Council this afternoon bowed to Government pressure and called off the tour of the South African cricketers. By thus yielding to blackmail the Government condones violence.
Last night’s Bible Study was at our house. We were to have continued our studies in Genesis but Joe and Mrs Townsend got into a slight disagreement on who would be lost in the coming age. Joe said none, and Mrs Townsend argued that God would destroy the finally impenitent. So we discussed How Many will God Save? [Tape No. 186]
Mum and Joe took Mrs Ridout home. We locked ourselves out and had to call in at my parents’ to borrow their key to our house.
We went to the office this morning to open the letters and found that none had been delivered. Freda rang the Postmen’s Office and they said that as it was Saturday and our post-lady was away they had decided not to deliver it. Yet it contained First Class letters, which would not have reached us until Tuesday, Monday being Bank Holiday. The letters were eventually sent out with the parcel post and it was 11.30am before we got it. By the time we had opened the letters the morning had gone.
After lunch I washed up then we went for our Sabbath walk to Elmdon Park. Last time we were there people were tobogganing and skiing. Afterwards we called in at Julia and Malcolm’s to let them have the projector, colour slides and screen, and to pick up the TV set which we were borrowing to take with us to Glastonbury tomorrow.
After tea with Mum and Joe we came home early as I had to be at the office by 8.00pm when a West Indian lady, Mrs Nelson, was supposed to be coming for prayer. She did not come, however. A letter from her this morning indicated that she was expecting me to go and see her at her sister’s home at Erdington where Mrs Nelson was coming today, and that if she happened not to have arrived I could call in any time next week.
I spent the evening perforating the new stock letter I had written during the day, the TT letter based on Psalm 33:12 with which will be sent out the Time and Tide item in which I am suggested minister in a new Government; I also wrote up the accounts and dealt with all the letters ready for Jean to answer on Monday (she is coming in specially). There was a letter from Canon Norman Power, Vicar of Ladywood, who has for many years written in the Mail on Saturday nights. He had read The Plot Against the Throne and wrote sympathetically (though not of our “extreme right-wing” emphasis), and said he would show it to Prince Philip.
Tomorrow we go to Glastonbury. There is much to be done in the office before then and we must be up at 5.00am.
Abelard and Eloise
Here we are at [Zebulon Hove, 55 Hill Head,] Glastonbury. We left home at exactly 9.15am and arrived here at 2.00pm, having come our usual way. We drove down in bright sunshine and it was really hot by the time we arrived. I spent two or three hours in the office before breakfast. There was a letter to be answered, books to be mailed out, the Rotaprint to clean (there was not time on Thursday evening), books to trim, and literature to be packed into the car. With 500 books for binding and approximately 60 other volumes, together with Kim and his basket, and everything we should need for our stay here, we had a full load.
It was a hot afternoon. After unloading the car we sat out on the terrace with a cup of tea and cake and a pile of last week’s Daily Expresses and Daily Telegraph colour magazines left by the outgoing Martlews. They had left a nice letter wishing us a happy time, and there was one too from Helene telling us we could stay on for an extra week or two if we so desired as the person who was to follow us has a broken ankle.
But we felt thoroughly homesick a little later on. We walked to Chalice Well to fill our flasks with water, and found the ground filled with groups of hippies. All were dressed in strange attire, someone was playing weird music on a record player, and the whole effect was depressing, despite the sunshine and the birdsong and the running waters. Freda said it was exactly the same atmosphere as when we visited Ro in the mental hospital a few days before she committed suicide.
I felt sorry for these young people who have “dropped out” of society in protest against a world gone mad. Their way of life is a religion to them; they pray and meditate, take “trips” on L.S.D., and they gravitate to Glastonbury so as to feel its vibrations without the slightest idea of what life is all about. This is not, after all, an irreligious age. How we long for that day when the Word of the Lord shall sound forth throughout the land, and these shall know the Truth that sets men free. Paul told the Athenians, “Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you” (Acts 17:23). Yesterday morning (Sabbath), while praying at the office, I was given great liberty to pray for and lay hold of the promise of a national awakening.
For the moment though, we were glad to leave the hippies and return [to] the house. By now we were tired. Freda went to sleep on the bed in the sun-lounge and I dozed off in the sitting room. I had earlier set up the portable TV set we brought with us, and at 7.00pm we switched on Stars on Sunday, which featured Diana Rigg and Keith Michell in Abelard and Heloise, which had its premiere at the Alexandra Theatre during the week we were here last time. Peter Abelard was a teacher in France more than 800 years ago, and Heloise his pupil. Theirs was a tragic love story. He became a monk and she a nun. They died in 1142 and 1164, and in 1814 the French Government moved their remains and mingled their dust, erecting a plinth inscribed with the words “Abelard and Heloise — Forever One”. We found this pretty depressing, too.
While having tea we watched Paul Temple and later went for a walk round the block [Roman Way, Tor View Avenue and Hill Head]. Whilst I have been writing this we have been watching A Step in Time, a history of the social dance.
I omitted to mention yesterday that one of the crows came to the office twice, each time bringing dry bread, which he soaked thoroughly whilst paddling in the water, then taking it off to the nest. We shall miss them when we get back.
THURSDAY 25th JUNE 1970
FRIDAY 26th JUNE
SATURDAY 27th JUNE
SUNDAY 28th JUNE