As a (completely forgotten until now) follow-up to my second-to-last post, where I had an excerpt from a sermon by A.B. Simpson, I just want to make a sort of journal entry here to remember how it was that I found out about him.
1) Sometime last year I came across a Christian minister by the name of A.W. Tozer (Aiden Wilson) through some of his sermons that have been posted to YouTube. According to what I read on Wikipedia, he was born in Pennsylvania (1897-1963) and was a minister for some forty-four years with the Christian and Missionary Alliance (Protestant evangelical). He pastored churches in the U.S. and Canada, his last church being Avenue Road Church in Toronto, Ontario. As I listened to some of his sermons, I had the feeling that there was somewhat of the mystic/contemplative about him, and quite often, as I listened, I wondered if this had caused him any difficulties in the Protestant community at that time.
2) A few months later, I picked up a wonderful book (at the Salvation Army, my primary resource for second-hand books) entitled “Meditation Moments” by Millie Stamm. It has a reflection for each day of the year, and as I read, I was deeply touched by her prayerfulness, her insights, and here too, I felt an underlying mystical/contemplative quality to her writing/prayers – she felt very much a kindred spirit. I haven’t been able to find out much about her online, so I don’t know which Protestant denomination she may have been associated with, but she was very active with Christian women’s groups and clubs. It was in her book that I discovered A.B. Simpson, because she quoted him in her entry for January 14th: “There is in the deepest center of the believer’s soul a chamber of peace where God dwells and where, if we will only enter in and hush every other sound, we can hear His still voice.” Of course, after reading this, I was then on the search for A.B. Simpson to find out more about him.
3) So, according to Wikipedia, it turns out that A.B. Simpson (Canadian, born in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, 1843-1919) was the founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. There is too much to his life and background and what denominations he was raised in, how he changed and developed, etc., to get into here, but there’s much information available online. Fascinating man and life.
4) And guess who wrote a biography of A.B. Simpson, entitled “Wingspread”??? That’s right – A.W. Tozer.