Perhaps the most
intriguing thing that happened to me personally in the course of the past
year, since I have been posted in Washington, was the meeting with organized
American Jewry. The best place to see them as they are, the place where
I always came each year to admire them, is the annual convention of the
pro-Israeli lobby AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee). This
is the place not only to feel the pulse of American involvement in the
Middle East, but also where I felt that somehow it helps me to ignore the
deep distress inherent in the feeling of loneliness of living in a sate
located in the heart of so many hostile Arabs...
I always asked myself what
was the value of the Jewish experience in America as far as Israel is concerned.
Did the identification with Israel derive from a deep sense of a common
Jewish fate or was it one of the tools of the local community to garner
power for achieving equal rights in a mixed society comprised also of many
emigrants and members of various faiths? Was Jewish power in the U.S. a
phenomenon which will decrease or increase? Were the intermarriages of
Jews with gentiles threatening to weaken the Jewish power in the U.S.?
Or, so I was sometimes afraid, were American Jews building a new Jewish
cultural center that would compete with Israel?
'...Adat Yisrael' synagogue
in Washington is not only a place of worship. It is Jewish community center,
with a prestigious Jewish kindergarten, a Jewish school with Judaism, literature,
culture and, of course, Hebrew classes. On Saturdays there are always two
separate prayer sessions. The first is the large one, encompassing hundreds
of worshipers, which ends in a food blessing tastefully laid with Jewish
delicacies. Its members belong to the creme de la creme of Washington society;
senior administration officials, successful lawyers, rich businessmen...All
are wealthy people. Next week, on the Jewish New Year, the prayers will
be joined by many other Jews who usually spend their weekends at the most
exclusive clubs, or on the most expensive golf courses, or riding the near
the West Virginia lakes, or sailing in their private yachts...
Next week, like during all
Jewish holiday seasons, the most expensive limousines that can be imagined
will stop at the entrance of the synagogue, to let out the elegant women,
the men mummified in their expensive suits at their side, followed by the
well-dressed children. The entrance fee to the synagogue is $1,000 for
a single holiday. In addition to that prayer session another, with younger
members and cheaper entrance fees, regularly gathers in one of the other
halls, where prayers are held according to the customary Israeli style,
except for the fact that men and women sit together...
This session has at last
several other characteristics. Most of the members visit Israel at least
once every year. Most of them speak fluent Hebrew (Yiddish). All of them
are familiar with the prayer procedures. Only a few of them come out of
deep faith. Others do so out of the wish to meet a Jewish girl whom they
would marry...But the most important reason for their praying is that they
feel a close connection with Israel. Those of them whose love for Israel
is most ardent watch the Israeli TV news every night. It might sound strange
but the Washington cable station broadcasts the Israeli TV news program
every night at half past midnight...The other synagogue competing for the
young generation of wealthy Jews is located in Georgetown. It is a fully
Orthodox synagogue, but its prayers are conducted in the Israeli style
flavored by 'Gush Emunim.' The Israeli flag is proudly displayed above
the Sacred Ark alongside the American flag. On each Sabbath the prayers
include the benediction for the Israeli Jewish soldiers and the prayer
for the welfare of the Israeli government and its officials. Many Jewish
administration officials pray there. They not only don't try to conceal
their religious affiliation but go to great length to demonstrate their
Judaism since it may help their careers immensely.
The enormous Jewish influence
in Washington is not limited to the government. In the Washingtonian media
a very significant part of the most important persons and of the givers
of the most popular programs on TV are warm Jews (Remember a 'warm Jew'
is one who owes no allegiance to the U.S. at all, all their allegiances
is to the State of Israel). A significant part of senior media correspondents,
newspaper editors and analysts are Jewish and many of them are 'warm Jews,'
Many of them are influenced
in Israel's favor by attending suitable synagogues. The Associated Press's
political reporter, Barry Schweid, and the Washington Post's education
reporter, Amy Schwartz, regularly participate in a prayer session which
is considered to be close to Israel at the Cleveland Park synagogue. Let
us not forget in this context the Jewish predominance in the Washington
At the National Center of
Medicine the percentage of Jewish researchers is very much higher than
their relative percentage in the population. In the fields of security
and science, in the film industry, in art and in literature, the Jewish
influence can only be described as immense, with a corresponding enhancement
of Jewish power...Where did they all spring from? In Israel we are already
accustomed to the names of the Jews called Dennis Ross, Dan Kurtzer and
Aharon Miller, since they have taken part in each of the secretary of state's
visits to the Middle East in the last six years. But that is a relatively
new phenomenon. When Dan Kurtzer, a pious Jew who observes the Sabbath
and all commandments of Judaism arrived at the American State Department
18 years ago with a doctorate in Middle East studies, he was told: 'You
have all the qualifications to serve in the Middle East division, but don't
even think of suggesting it because of your Jewish origin.'
Today he is the boss of those
who gave him that piece of advice, so much had Jewish power increased in
the meantime. When he arrived it was the time when the Arabists ruled the
State Department and the few Jews who had infiltrated it preferred to conceal
their Judaism. There were precedents, such as the late Arnold Rapel, who
was a senior deputy of the secretary of state's assistant for the Middle
East, but his co-workers learned of his faith only when he was buried in
a Jewish ceremony.
Kurtzer was the first to
announce that he could not work on Jewish holidays since he observed all
the commandments and went to synagogue. Today, when the TV star Roseanne
Arnold announced that she intended to produce a series on Hanukkah since
the Christmas programs are already too numerous, and when public schools
in the U.S. are closed on the first day of the Jewish New Year, the story
about Kurtzer seems very distant.
Today, when there is talk
about 51 percent of interfaith marriages, the danger of assimilation appears
to be even greater, yet when examining the phenomenon from close up one
finds that the trend is the opposite. More and more Jewish youngsters seek
out the synagogue and Jewish education which are very good for advancing
one's career. It is important that Israel do its bit in this area. Rehm
Emmanuel is a living proof of that. Three months ago he was married in
a Jewish religious ceremony to Amy, a young woman from a Christian family.
She converted to Judaism and her Jewish name is not Yael. If Rehm had wanted
to assimilate, he would not have married in a religious ceremony.
There Is A Jewish Conspiracy
Against All Nations - Part 26
Dennis Ross, so familiar
and so friendly to us, has an even more amazing story. His parents were
divorced when he was two years old. His contact with his father was almost
totally severed. Two years later his mother married a Catholic and moved
to California. However, she posed a condition for her new husband that
her children were to have a Jewish education.
Dennis grew up in a Reform
Jewish environment and could have easily assimilated without remaining
true to his roots. Although he attended a Reform Jewish school on Sundays,
it was more of a social than a Jewish experience. But he did not forget
and it was Israel which made a warm Jew of him. In 1970 he visited Israel
for the first time with a group of American students in that glorious period
of victory after the Six Day War. His connection with Judaism grew stronger
Can Israel really sense that
at a distance of thousands of miles away there is a flourishing Jewish
center that not only deeply admires and supports it, but also feels a shared
destiny with it? There is no doubt about it, especially in the matters
concerning its existence. All the Clinton administration's officials dealing
with Israel: Ross, Kurtzer, Indyk and Miller being just a sample, may have
different views concerning the desired solution for the Israeli-Arab conflict
but they are warm Jews in whatever they do.
They also firmly believe
that the shared interests between the two states are fundamental and permanently
enduring. It is because of this deeply held belief that they made a huge
contribution to the fact that the Clinton administration has fully adopted
their approach on the issue of relations between the U.S. and Israel.
Perhaps because of that belief
they claim that they are upset about the Israeli violations of human rights
in the territories, and are even more upset when one or another Israeli
minister takes an initiative concerning Iraq which does not accord with
the American line. 'If Israel wants American support for all its interests,
it also must coordinate its steps with us when this concerns the basic
interests of the U.S.,' one of the senior officials told me this week,
following the news of the initiative of ministers Moshe Shachal and Binyamin
Ben-Eliezer to add Iraq to the peace process.
The many Jews in Clinton's
administration have been created by a design, their larger number is not
due to chance. The American way of life supports the achievers. Despite
the previous Jewish generation wish, perhaps, to assimilate, it gave its
children the best education and not necessarily only in Jewish religion.
It was especially their achievements
and ability which, while also preserving their Jewish roots, brought the
present generation of Jews to their present positions of enormous influence
and power. Dennis Ross, the founder of the theory of 'the confidence-building
measures' between Israel and the Arab states, is a typical product of that
Jewish generation in America. Their power might certainly boost the confidence
of Israeli Jews in the eternity of the Jewish people and dull their sensation
of loneliness among the Arabs...
Incidentally, although the
Jewish power in the current Democratic administration is so huge, there
are also many warm Jews heading for the top positions in the Republican
Party. I met Paul Wolfowitz, for example, who was the senior deputy of
the American defense secretary in the Bush administration in the course
of a visit to a Patriot missile base during the Gulf War. When he was received
by the commander of the base, whose name was emblazoned over his chest,
Lt. Col. Crimkowitz, his face glowed: 'You're Crimkowitz, I'm Wolfowitz.
We both have relatives here.'
That does not mean that they
are all like that. Even in America there are and will be people with Jewish
roots who do not support Israel, to say the least. Such was the former
American defense secretary, Caspar Weinberger, and such is Richard Haass,
Martin Indyk's predecessor on the National Security Council. But now they
are certainly exceptions."
In September, 1995, President
Clinton awarded the "Congressional Medal of Honor" to a dead Jew, who was
born in a foreign country and never served one single day in the armed
forces of the United States; he never did one single thing which benefitted
any American who was not a Jew; he never did a single thing which one could
define as bravery under fire; nor did he ever do anything worthy of such
a high honor. He received it, simply because President Clinton is a coward,
a draft dodger, and a traitor to the United States of America.
HOW ABOUT THAT FOLKS: NOW
YOU KNOW WHY AMERICA IS HATED AROUND THE WORLD, AND WHY NOTHING WASHINGTON
DOES IS IN FAVOR OF THE UNITED STATES AND ITS PEOPLE!
Yet as long as the origin
and evolution of American institutions are studied by free men, so long
as the Mayflower, the Pilgrim Fathers and Colonial Puritanism abide as
key influences, which no cynic or iconoclast can brush aside, Lord Bryce,
Professor Ernest Barker and other renowned scholars, have repeatedly emphasized
the close connection between the "little democracies" of the New England
Congregational ("Independent") Churches, the winning of American Independence,
and the overthrow of the old, corrupt Monarchy of France, Religious self-
government among these Colonists, prepared the way for political self-government;
and the success of the American War of Independence probably achieved more
than all the writings of Rousseau, Voltaire and the Encyclopedists, in
nerving the French people to break the yoke of their Bourbon oppressors.
The Contribution of the Pilgrim
Fathers, moreover, to popular education was far-reaching. Puritanism was
a book religion, demanding a first-hand knowledge of the Bible; while autonomous
government in Church and community, demanded a trained intelligence: hence
the necessity for schools. From the first, therefore, the Pilgrim Fathers
established a system of "common schools." And it is but emblematic of their
thirst for knowledge, that within sixteen years of the sailing of the Mayflower,
they had founded a College destined to be world famous. Within two years
of its founding, came its first important legacy. Rev. John Harvard, dying
childless (1638), bequeathed all his books and half his estate to this
new college, which thenceforth bore his name. Nor did these builders of
New England forget their debt to certain venerable institutions of Old
England. The community cradling the infant Harvard University was called
Cambridge, in memory of the alma mater of several of its founders; for
not a few of the Pilgrims were University men, who cherished memories of
youthful days at Cambridge and Oxford.
But not only did these fathers
of a mighty nation lay the foundations of liberty, self-government and
universal education. Though their existence was threatened, both by the
Indians and the French, and though for many years they forced a rugged
soil for scanty amount of food, they finally conquered a wilderness, as
God had said they would in the Scriptures, and it bloomed as the Garden
of Eden. They were courageous, adventurous men, these men of Israel, these
pioneers; men of vision and moral rectitude, conscious of a destiny, and
living for tomorrow rather than today. Their task, however, was so titanic
and they were so staunchly in earnest, that they had little appreciation
of the subtler shades of life. Colors to them were white and black; moral
problems, Yes! and No! As soldiers scaling a mountain citadel, they had
little time for speculation or debate.
Their theology, too, though
singularly direct and sustaining, was over stern and legalistic; at some
points indeed it was forbidding and threatening. The blacker shadows of
Calvinistic logic had, for a long time, dominated their doctrinal outlook.
Their conception of the Sovereignty of God tended to be rigid, predestinarian,
over-powering, almost merciless; for too often it was little influenced
by the compassion and love of Christ. Hence the "witchcraft" obsession
inflamed by Cotton Mather, and the persecution of Quakers. These New World
Puritans had the faults of their qualities. Occasionally they were as obdurate
and Old Testament minded as the later South African Boers. But this, despite
the modern avalanche of cynicism, must in fairness be added. For all the
iron in their blood, sufficient Gospel grace underlay their Legalism, to
cause them, when once they perceived the horrors of persecution, to recant
their cruel, mistaken attitude both towards "witches" and Quakers.
There Is A Jewish Conspiracy
Against All Nations - Part 27
Only against the backgrounds
of Colonial Puritanism, can the amazing impact of George Whitefield on
America, be fairly gauged. True, the thirteen weeks of his first American
sojourn, in 1738, though confined to Georgia, were successful. But it was
not until his second Colonial tour (October, 1739, until January, 1741),
when he came into contact with Pennsylvania and New England, that he began
really to stir the New World. And how congenial he found the PROMISED LAND
of the Pilgrim Fathers, his own words make clear: "On many counts it certainly
exceeds all other provinces in America; and for the establishment of religion
all other parts of the world. Every five miles or perhaps less you have
a meeting house...I like New England exceedingly well."
Admittedly, too, it was in
Georgia, despite the protestations of Benjamin Franklin, that Whitefield
founded his famous Bethesda Orphanage, which for so many years was to offer
a home for from 80 to 140 destitute or abandoned children. That Orphanage,
however, was located in Georgia, because Georgia was the center of such
need. Whatever the shortcomings of the Puritan settlements, they not only
educated their children, but they left none of their orphans to suffer
the pangs of starvation and nakedness. The neighborliness of the Puritan
parishes obviated such inhumanity. Nevertheless, all was not well with
the Puritan commonwealths when Whitefield began his momentous mission.
The influence of that great but austere theologian, Jonathan Edwards, radiating
from Northampton, Massachusetts, was still considerable; but already reaction
was at work.
The relentless predestinarianism
of the man who could write, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, was certain
to alienate many sensitive souls; while those who concluded they were damned,
concluded, with equal consistency, that they might as well earn their damnation,
by indulging the pleasures of sin while yet opportunity remained. The gigantic
physical exertions, moreover, of the initial Pilgrim Fathers, now no longer
were equally imperative; leisure was less scant; and not a few of the characteristic
vices of Old England had become all too apparent in New England.
Drunkenness was on the increase;
cock-fighting was becoming popular; gambling in some quarters approached
an obsession; material standards of success were undermining the earlier
fraternalism; and the tares (Jews) of monetary cupidity were choking the
wheat (Israelites) of spiritual attainment.
The protracted impact of
Whitefield on America was the very thing needful to save Colonial Puritanism
from its legalism, its rigidity, its mounting individualism, and its increasing
danger of self-righteousness. His gracious adaptability, his marvelous
imagery and his spontaneous, overflowing eloquence went straight to the
heart of the New World. The man whose pulpit appeal could extract from
the then-hostile Franklin, all the copper, silver and gold in his pockets,
was no ordinary preacher, no common mortal.
Whitefield was not a little
influenced by what was best in New England, and some aspects of Edward's
teaching left a permanent stamp on him; but he brought to the dominant
religious outlook in America a complimentary message which was invaluable.
His enthusiasm and compassion, his universal charity and selflessness were
as gentle, showers on parched soil. His central emphasis was not the majesty,
but the Love of God; he proclaimed not divine wrath, judgment and retribution,
but divine mercy and patience, divine pardon and grace. It is poignant
that from Northampton, where so many souls were seared and scorched by
the threatened fires of judgment, Whitefield reports: "I found my heart
drawn out to talk of scarce anything besides the consolations and privileges
of the saints and the plentiful effusion of the Spirit upon believers."
Whitefield's theology was
cast in the mold of a mild Calvinism, but his ministry always was tender,
healing, inspiring. In pressing the logic of theory, he knew where to stop;
and if to the end his preaching implied "the decrees," that implication
was merely an attempt to vindicate the omniscience of God. It was his friend
John Wesley, the unflinching advocate of "free will," whom he desired to
preach his funeral sermon in his great Tabernacle, London. To him, the
conscious unity of heart and spirit superseded all disagreements on doctrine.
Not yet, has the historical
importance of Whitefield's labors been duly appreciated. In Scotland, with
its Calvinistic background, his influence was immense; in America, the
land of his special devotion, it was strategic. Sir James Stephen, in his
Essays in Ecclesiastical Biography, says: "If every philanthropy burned
in the human heart with a pure and intense flame, embracing the whole family
of man in the spirit of universal charity, it was in the heart of George
Whitefield. He loved the world that hated him; he had no preferences but
in favor of the ignorant, the miserable and the poor."
Again, the free-thinking
Benjamin Franklin, who at first was annoyed with Whitefield because he
could not persuade him to plant his Orphanage in Philadelphia, finally
said of him: "I knew him intimately upwards of thirty years. His Integrity,
Disinterestedness and Indefatigable Zeal in prosecuting every good work
I have never seen equalled, and shall never see excelled."
Whitefield not only awakened
the existing Churches in America to a new enthusiasm, a new vision and
a new tolerance. His mission, being instrumental in establishing hundreds
of new congregations within half a dozen communions, diffused a new evangelical
unity; while thousands of those who, in religious things, could not previously
"discern between their right hand and their left," began to hunger and
thirst after righteousness and to seek diligently the things of the Kingdom
Even provincial Governors
"embraced him" in deep emotion, as he departed out of their midst. Franklin,
to satisfy his curiosity, made a mathematical calculation of the size of
the Philadelphia multitude hanging on Whitefield's words, and, to his amazement,
determined that 35,000 souls were at one time listening to the Evangelist's
message. The financing of Whitefield's Orphanage was itself, in those days
of sparse money, no slight undertaking; yet this was but one of many Good
Works for which Whitefield raised such voluntary collections as never before
had been heard of on American soil.
Even in education, Whitefield's
contribution to American development was phenomenal. With the origins of
several now famous Universities, he was directly connected. Princeton University,
wherewith the name of President Wilson is so closely connected, issued
from the "Log College" built on the Neshaminy by William Tennet and his
That humble institution,
with the support of Governor Belcher, a devoted follower of Whitefield,
soon was transferred to Princeton, New Jersey, where, as "Princeton College,"
it became the center for the training of Presbyterian ministers in six
colonies, viz. New York, Hew Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and
Carolina; and in Princeton it expanded into the now world-known university.
In the infant days of this center of learning, Whitefield was to the Tenants
and Belcher a tower of strength. Gilbert Tennent often accompanied Whitefield
on his preaching missions, and on both sides of the Atlantic the evangelist
raised for the struggling College substantial support. Whitefield was one
of the first men upon whom "Princeton" conferred its M.A. degree. But Princeton
was not an "only child;" no less than sixty-two American Colleges "trace
their origin to the Log College."
With the origin of the University
of Pennsylvania, Whitefield's connection was even more intimate. In 1740,
his "New Building" was erected in Philadelphia by warm supporters, including
Franklin. To it the "Awakener" insisted on adding a Charity School, for
"the instruction of poor children gratis, in the knowledge of the Christian
religion and in useful literature." That Charity School evolved first into
an academy, then into Philadelphia College, and ultimately into the University
There Is A Jewish Conspiracy
Against All Nations - Part 28
When, in 1914, on the Bicentenary
of Whitefield's birth, a noble statue of the evangelist was raised at the
University, this statement was read: "The inspirer and original Trustee
of the Charity School of 1740, the forerunner of the University of Pennsylvania,
he solicited the first donations to the Library of the University...guided
the new school of learning by this godly counsel, heartened it by his masterful
preaching, and inspired it with his noble life."
"Zealous advocate and patron
of higher education in the American colonies," is one of the inscriptions
on the pedestal of this memorial. But the man who, "taking two continents
under his wing," spent more than two years of his life upon Atlantic crossings,
fostered education on both sides of the water. For Charity Schools in England,
he raised such collections as never previously had been known; to Dr. Doddridge's
Nonconformist Academy, he proffered yeoman assistance; Dartmouth College
was equally indebted to him; while, after the destruction of Harvard's
Library by fire, he secured fresh gifts of books from England. Nor did
he forget the American Indians. The Boston Gazette reported an occasion
when he collected �120 for Mr. Wheelock's Indian School, in Lebanon,
Whitefield was a man of heart
and soul too big, to be understood by the swarm of little critics, who
buzzed so busily to besmirch his name. Franklin's unvarnished tribute will
stand the tests of time.
Dr. Abel Stevens, in his
History of the Methodist Episcopal Church, says: "The Congregational Church
of the New England, the Presbyterians and Baptists of the Middle States,
and the mixed colonies of the South, owe their later religious life and
energy mostly to the impulses given by Whitefield's powerful ministrations...the
New England Churches received under his labors an inspiration of zeal and
energy which has never died out. He extended the revival from the Congregational
Churches of the Eastern to the Presbyterian Churches of the Middle States.
In Pennsylvania and New Jersey...he was received as a prophet from God;
and it was then that the Presbyterian Church took that attitude of evangelical
power and aggression which has ever since characterized it...The stock
from which the Baptists of Virginia, and those of the South and South West
have sprung, was also Whitefieldian. And, although Whitefield did not organize
the results of his labors, he prepared the way for Wesley's itinerants.
When he descended into his American grave, they were already on his track.
They came not only to labor, but to organize their labors; to reproduce,
amid the peculiar moral necessities of the New World, both the spirit and
the method of the great movement as it had been organized by Westley in
The post-Whitefieldian development
of the Evangelical Movement in America is a subject too expensive in range,
too epic in consequence, to permit even of outline here. Francis Asbury,
Wesley's master-builder in America, was a characteristic product of the
Revival. His "Theological College" as Dr. Curnock puts it, "was his mother's
Class Meeting." From infancy he imbibed the Evangelical spirit; when eighteen
he undertook the labors of a local preacher; when twenty-one, he was appointed
by Wesley as an itinerant, and for five years (1766-1771) he labored zealously
and effectively on four different circuits, in England. Then when twenty-six,
in the year following Whitefield's death, he volunteered for America, where
for forty-five years, till his demise in 1816, he toiled with a constancy
and selflessness resembling of Wesley himself.
Asbury was endowed with none
of Whitefield's dramatic, spectacular gifts; but attaining a much riper
age, he labored nearly four times as long on American soil, and being par
excellence a conciliator, organizer and builder, he was singularly adapted
to follow the fiery Awakener. No sooner had Ashbury landed in America,
when friends insisted he confine his labors to the more populous centers.
They did not know their man; Ashbury, above all, was a trail-breaker, a
frontiersman, a pioneer. From the first, he determined that the most isolated
settlers must enjoy the privileges and inspirations of an organized religious
life; his passion, like that of Wesley, was to serve the most neglected.
Hence, decade after decade,
despite the perils of the Revolutionary War, despite extreme changes of
climate and the fury of the elements despite the lurking dangers of untracked
forests, quicksand bogs, turbulent torrents, bridge less rivers and forbidding
mountains, he rode regularly some 5,000 miles a year; winning wherever
he went devoted followers who became local leaders; and creating wherever
he went, Class Meetings, Societies, Sunday Schools, Circuits and finally
This Staffordshire peasant
became, perhaps, the most creative religious statesman the North American
continent has yet known. Owing nothing to the schools of his day, he was
entirely the product of religion: love, sympathy, vision, courage, faith
and prayer made him great. For thirteen years before Dr. Coke arrived to
ordain him, he had been to the wilds of America their chief shepherd of
His ordination therefore
but proclaimed him what already he was, a superintendent, a bishop, over
the far- separated flocks of Christ, which his own ministrations had so
largely led into the fold. Other of Westley's leaders, including Philip
Embury, Barbara Heck and Captain Webb, were at work in America for long
before Asbury arrived. Coke, his fellow "Superintendent," with his scholarly
and executive powers, rendered memorable service. But to the saintly Bishop
Asbury must go the honor of being "Father to God" to the largest Protestant
Church the New World knows. His life was a marvel, almost a miracle, of
consecration and attainment.
Like Wesley, he rose habitually
at four a.m.; and like Wesley, too, he strove to account for every moment
of every day. Self-taught, without fixed abode, a man of the roads, he
made it his rule to read one hundred pages of good literature daily. He
taught himself Latin, Greek and Hebrew. Always his saddle-bags were packed
with books which he himself had mastered; and many of these he persuaded,
not only his preachers and Class-leaders, but thousands of his humblest
followers, to buy and read.
field-preaching, barn- preaching and camp-meetings in tents, were among
his chief means of establishing contact with pioneer communities: and always
his converts he organized into Classes and Societies, thus nurturing Local
leadership. Log schools and Churches, accordingly, reared by the co- operative
"bees" of settlers who hungered for understanding and righteousness, rose
up as beacon-lights wherever this holy man went.
The salary of this peerless
missionary, "for the greater part of his life was under �20 a year."
Money to him, like time and life, was a trust from God: and this spirit
he breathed into the whole heroic band of his "co-workers in the Gospel."
In the formative days of
this young Republic, these apostolic missionaries outmarched the prospectors
and gold hunters; they out-toiled the homesteaders and ranchers. What Lincoln
came to mean to the social and political life of the United States, that,
Asbury before him, meant to her moral and religious life. Indeed, apart
from the Bible and spiritual influences mediated by Asbury and his fellow
"Enthusiasts," there is no understanding Lincoln.
Bishop Asbury could claim
"Apostolic Succession" only through Wesley, the "Baptism of Fire" and the
Gospel of Christ. Often his episcopal status had been ridiculed. Yet, if
by their fruits they are known, he was a Bishop indeed! In the single decade,
1780-1790, the American Methodist circuits increased from 20 to 114, and
their Church membership from 8,504 to 57,631. This amazing achievement
represented the first harvest of Asbury's sowing; and it successively became
the seed of mightier harvests ahead.
In the United States, as
in Britain, popular
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