Henry Moorhouse; The English Evangelist John Macpherson
B. Charles, Consett
Paperback, 150 pp.
Published by Gospel Folio Press, 304 Killaly St. West, Port Colborne, ON. L3K 6A6, Canada.
This is a reprint of a biography written in the 1880’s, shortly after Moorhouse’s death at the early age of 40 years.
The writer presents his material under various headings, such as, ‘Conversion’, ‘Work in England and Wales’, ‘Work in America’, ‘Bible teaching’, ‘Bible Spreading’, ‘Last days’. A good feature of the book is the extracts from Moorhouse’s letters and messages, which feature in a number of sections; for example, we have details of a message on ‘the precious blood of Christ’, given in New York. It is a slim volume, so the chapter on England and Wales, for instance, occupies only eleven pages. Moorhouse’s use of Bible-carriages is interesting, but little space is devoted to it; the same is true of people converted under his preaching. There is a lack of information generally; we learn very little about Moorhouse’s wife, family and home, for example.
The writer does insert into the record of his subject’s life moral and spiritual lessons and observations, and also exhorts his readers in a didactic way. There are not just odd sentences, ‘Often a good candle burns but dimly at first’, but also paragraphs, such as those on conscience and alcohol, ‘the solace of strong drink’ is that ‘with which the devil mocks a soul fevered in its sins’ and three paragraphs on the potential dangers and ‘charm’ of ‘lay preaching’, which is ‘without smell of the midnight lamp, without starch of system’. In such paragraphs there is no explicit reference to Moorhouse and this tends to remove the limelight from him. These are the kind of comments one might expect to hear in ministry on a Bible character.
The opening sentence raises the question – ‘Is the life of Henry Moorhouse worth recording?’ Yes it is, and this is an interesting book which does give an inspiring picture of the life of the evangelist, but as I read it I did think at times, ‘O for more of Moorhouse, and a little less of Macpherson’!
[Our thanks to Bryan Charles, Appledore, England, for this review]