Intro

This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Soul Winning and the Fullness of the Spirit

The intimate connection between efficiency and success in saving souls and the fulness of the Spirit, may be seen in the study of the lives of those among the laity and the ministry who have instrumentally turned many to righteousness. It is an open secret that their suasive power dated from the hour when their hearts were enlarged by the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

From this experience in the city of New York, in answer to the prayers of a few consecrated women, Dwight L. Moody dates the beginning of his highest efficiency as an evangelist. This made Mrs. Catherine Booth's preaching so pungent in convicting of sin among the middle and upper classes in the West End of London; while by the same mighty power as a conscious experience, her husband, Gen. Booth, was conquering the slums in the East End of that city of nearly five millions of souls. Dr. Finney, after the Spirit anointed him, was like an electric dynamo from which streams of power went forth whenever he stood up to preach, and sometimes from his speechless presence. Benjamin Abbott, converted late in life, so extremely illiterate that he preached on the "oyster man," misreading "austere man," preached in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland under the anointing of the Spirit with so great success that thousands were added to the Lord. A layman by the name of Carpenter was comparatively a cipher in the Presbyterian church until he was filled with the Holy Ghost, when he became, through personal effort, the most successful winner of souls in his generation. He drew men to Christ to the number of several thousands as estimated at his funeral. These are a few instances out of myriads in which the baptism of the Spirit has given all the qualities requisite for moving souls from sin unto Christ, love, self-sacrifice, persistence, fear, fearlessness, tenderness and sympathy.

We should have mentioned joyfulness as an element of great power in drawing sinners to salvation. Joy always attends the of the Holy Spirit. It differs from all other kinds of happiness which arise from a pleasant environment and depend on things external and hence changeable and transient. The joy of the Holy Ghost is internal, abiding and eternal. The joy of men and women pelted with brickbats and rotten eggs, taking joyfully the spoiling of their goods, has a strange power to convince the persecutors of the truth of the gospel, on the principle that "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church."

— edited from The Gospel of the Comforter, Chapter 21.