Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Literature of Devotion

Jesse Halsey | 1935

Mr. Editor—

The enclosed may serve as a book review in The Advocate. If you use it kindly mail me a copy of The Advocate, if not return MS.

Jesse Halsey

The Literature of Devotion is rapidly growing. Its sources are in no one denomination. A Catholic like von Hugel, a Churchman like Inge, a Quaker like Rufus Jones—they speak for all of us and to us all. There is one Lord and one faith—whatever the baptism.

Other middle walls of partition have broken down, also; for two Presbyterian come to us from the Methodist press* which may well augur good things to come, for the Brotherhood of the Spirit.

Hubert Simpson, a Scot, now preaching in London has the flavor of the best Scottish imaginative exegesis in his reverent study of The Seven Words. “The fierce blast of Calvary shook his soul but could not alter its prevailing bent . . .” “Faith may seem to waver, hope to be at a low ebb; but love is always at full tide in the soul of Jesus.” This is a sample of the quality. It is deep spiritual insight expressed in high diction. There is illustration from the secret places of the soul—and from the seven seas. Human stuff gets a divine suffusion, from the Three Hours—and The Christ. Dr. Simpson is a good companion in the darkness—you forget him and see Our Lord.

And Richard Roberts; that good Scribe with things new and old! “Raw human nature is much the same in New York as it was log ago in Jerusalem”; and “it is raw human nature that sets us our problems still!” Palestine was cosmopolitan, not the backwater; it was small but a world highway; in a word, their situation and ours are much alike. On this basis he makes “The Cross” and “The Strange Man” our contemporaries. And he does it well, no man equally, except Coffin (and with a different aspect of Jesus’ life, Stanley Jones in “The Man of the Mount”).

The Gospel in compelling form is in these books as it is in these men and their ministries. Devotion can take wings and leave the earth, but in these it climbs the Hills (and the Hill Golgotha) as it keeps its feet on the earth; most divine when it is most human, as is our Lord.

·      “Testament of Love,” Hubert Simpson, Abingdon
·      “That Strange Man His Cross,” Richard Roberts, Abingdon

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