Archive: The Calling of E. Stanley Jones

by H. C. Morrison, Methodist Evangelist

Condensed from his book “Remarkable Conversations, Interesting Incidents and Striking Illustrations”.

Many years ago I had been engaged by a group of devout people to conduct a holiness convention in one of the Methodist churches in Baltimore. The pastor of the church cooperated with the people and we were all looking forward to a gracious time of blessing.

The presiding elder of the Baltimore District, however, decided that such conventions would not be for the best interest of the church and community. He notified the pastor that the church must not be used for any such gathering. They wrote me the circumstances and regretfully cancelled the engagement. …

There was a little mission conducted by holiness people in the city of Baltimore. When they heard I would not be allowed to preach in the Methodist church, they wrote asking me to give them these few days. I assured them that I would be there. This was not in the spirit of lawlessness. I have a profound conviction that God would have me preach full redemption from sin, here and now, through faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And always when church officials sought to use their authority to prevent my preaching this full salvation to the people, I have felt compelled to listen to the voice of the Spirit and obey the higher law.

I remember hearing a prominent preacher say, “The voice of the church is the voice of God to me.” That sounds to me very much like Roman Catholicism. … Certainly there is much talk going on by various church officials today that thoughtful and devout men would not dare to believe God has anything to do with!

I went and held the convention in that little Baltimore mission. The people were frightened; the attendance was not large. Some seemed to think I had committed a great sin in daring to come into a city over the protest of the Methodist elder. But there was earnest prayer, hungry hearts were fed, and we were all blessed together.

I have found that when we meet together with sincere hearts, under the strong opposition of the opposers of the doctrine of full salvation, we are blessed in a most signal and gracious manner. Somehow, when we are cut off from human sympathy and help, it drives us to God in deep humility, earnest prayer, and humble trust.

In Baltimore sinners were converted, backsliders were reclaimed, and believers were sanctified. There was some abiding fruit. One evening after the meeting a very handsome boy, with an unusually classic and pure face, came to me. Looking up with an eagerness that profoundly impressed me, he said, “I feel that I am called to preach the Gospel. … ”

In due time the young brother showed up on the campus at Asbury College, was enrolled, and turned out to be an excellent student. At first, he was not favorably impressed with some of the joyful manifestations of other students, but in due time fell under deep conviction for full salvation and received a gracious baptism with the Holy Ghost in sanctifying power.

At once he took front rank in the spiritual life of the school, and felt a call to the mission field. He was a good speaker and was often heard on the college platform. Frequently he went out into the community to preach and speak on the subject of missions.

Immediately after graduation this young man went out to the vast mission field of India. Later when I was making my tour of the world, I found him laboring successfully among the Hindu people. He had acquired the language in a remarkable degree. He was a sort of John Fletcher among the missionaries. Though quite young, his spiritual influence was being felt, not only among the Methodist people but among the devout missionaries of all churches. He was a modest man, with saintly appearance, beautiful voice, and a courtesy and kindness that won the respect and confidence of all. It was frequently whispered to me that he was wielding a wider and more profound spiritual influence than any other man in India.

During the several furloughs to America, this brother has been able to wield a wide and powerful influence on the home church. In fact, he has become one of the best known and most loved men in Methodism. He has been enabled to arouse thousands of people, not only to more liberal giving, but to a better understanding of the whole spirit of missions, and a deeper consciousness of their obligations to spread the Gospel of our Lord Jesus throughout the world. He was a member of the General Conference at one time. His brethren would have thrust upon him the office of bishop, but after earnest prayer, he positively refused. He much preferred to remain an evangelist in India, where God had given him open doors and the open hearts of a countless multitude of people.

I claim no credit whatever, for the splendid character and remarkable ministry of this man. But I have asked myself what the results might have been had I not disregarded the orders of the Methodist presiding elder and instead obeyed the higher order—the voice of God in my soul. The young man called to preach during that Baltimore meeting was E. Stanley Jones.


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