SIX REMARKABLE MINISTERS

ed. B. A. Ramsbottom

Gospel Standard Trust Publications

h/b, 348 pages, £8.89.

     The word ‘remarkable’ sums up admirably the six testimonies given in this highly commendable book. Thomas Godwin (1803-1877), was an illiterate cobbler who taught himself to read by praying over the Bible on his knees. Alexander Barrie Taylor (1804-1887), a poacher, hunter and singer, was chosen from his worldly ways to became an eloquent preacher and William Gadsby’s successor at Manchester. Frances Covell (1808-1879) stammered so badly that it was often impossible to understand what he was trying to say. His stammering stopped suddenly on his first preaching engagement and he never stammered again! Edward Samuel (1812-1896), a Jew, ran away from persecution in Russian Poland when a young boy and after the most horrifying adventures came to England to find his Messiah. George Mockford (1826-1899) was a poor shepherd boy who kept off starvation by stealing turnips, raiding orchards and eating rats. How he came to be a minister of the word is a miracle in itself. Robert Moxon (1840-1906) planned a murder but found the Lord and first preached amongst the Wesleyans before becoming a champion of free and sovereign grace.

     We must thank Mr Ramsbottom for rescuing these stories from oblivion and providing serious readers with a treat indeed. All six men came from the most humble of circumstances and none of them had anything like a proper education. Nevertheless, they were so successful in the school of the Lord and in their labours for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus that they were, in truth, second to none. Yet they tell their own stories in such a simple, honest and humble way that none of self shows through and the praise and glory is all the Lord’s. I picked this book up in the afternoon and put it down at one o‘clock in the morning after reading it straight through. I am still praising God for what He has taught me through these remarkable lives.