The LIFE and MINISTRY of MR. M. J. MICKLEWRIGHT (1

The LIFE and MINISTRY of MR. M. J. MICKLEWRIGHT (1897 – 1994)

 

Mr M.J. Micklewright in his later years M.J. Micklewright

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 One of God’s Worthy Servants – and a thorough English Gentleman

 

 

Early Life and World War One Service

Montague James Micklewright was born in Balham, London on February 10th 1897 and christened at St Stephen’s Church. He was ‘Monty’ to his family, always either ‘Mick’ to friends of his own age, or ‘Mr Micklewright’ to most of his junior friends, and ‘MJM’ for this account of his life. MJM had the benefit, which he appreciated that both of his parents were God-fearing and nurtured their son in the truths of their sincerely held Christian faith. His parents taught by example and they had regular family prayers. He had a calm and happy childhood, although he did suffer from some bouts of illness. He always regarded himself as rather a mischievous child, but at school, MJM was considered, by his teachers, as one of the best in the class at writing essays.[1] However, his education was cut-short by the early death of his father, which necessitated MJM going out to work to supplement the home income this was when he was aged 14.[2] MJM always valued education and he determined to do his best and make up for what he felt he had missed. He followed in his father’s steps and worked for the Post Office as a Telegrapher, which became his main life career, although he used it as a kind of ‘tent making’ as he took on some part time pastorates.

In his early days, MJM had strong spiritual convictions and awareness about God and religion. He particularly remembered C.J. Vine who as the minister made MJM tremble and this inculcated respect, which was always retained. MJM remembered Rev. Vine as ‘a man with a flowing white beard’ and he remembered one time when he was discoursing on the ‘Great White Throne’ (of Revelation) when he wept tears that flowed down profusely. He was not always aware of the import of what he said and did but he impressed his family with his faithfulness and zeal, even as a youngster. His grandmother used to describe an incident of a childhood illness. MJM was little more than an infant, but was running such a high temperature that steam seemed to come from his head. Coping and caring for him was difficult by the fact that MJM just would not lie down, but kept getting on his knees to pray. Prayer, it seems, became part of his way and method of life from an early age.

Another piece of family history relates to a Great Aunt who came and lived with the Micklewrights for a time. It was said that she was a rather ‘formidable lady’, who had not a ‘lot of time for religion’, but though she was, and prided herself on her uprightness of character – ‘she always gave 20 shillings to the pound’ – nevertheless, there was doubt whether she had made a Christian commitment. MJM was only a toddler and would often imitate the preaching style of their minister. His copying was characterised by his using the forthrightness of an evangelist – ‘believe on the Lord Jesus and be saved!’ MJM would not go to sleep easily and would often do his preacher’s turn in his cot, which included his prayers. This Great Aunt would stay and sit with him until he eventually went to sleep. When the aunt was dying, she was asked whether she knew Christ as her saviour and simply, but firmly said the she was ‘under the blood’ – a reference to the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. The family were firmly persuaded that MJM’s ‘sermons’ were the instrument of the gospel as far has the Great Aunt was concerned.

The Micklewright family joined Ramsden Road Baptist Church in December 1913, and there MJM and his sister Kitty were baptised by the minister, Rev. Douglas Brown[3]. Douglas Brown, was the son of Archibald Brown, one of C.H. Spurgeon’s old students and a powerful preacher and the minister of the East London Tabernacle, came to regard MJM as his protégée and wanted to help him towards the ministry. MJM responded to this encouragement of his minister, for Douglas Brown had seen the potential in him and that he had a heart that simply wanted to serve the Lord and do his will. He was encouraged to preach at the local YMCA and subsequently, MJM sometimes doubted the wisdom of one so young being encouraged so much. However, there was a general expectation, by family and friends, that MJM would enter the Christian ministry and it was his very intention to do so. Although his family was somewhat strapped for cash, there was a certain Major Bolton, who had been so impressed by MJM that he offered to provide the means of getting him through theological college. This happened just before the First World War, but then both men were ‘called up’ for war service. Major Bolton was posted to the front in France, where, sadly, he was killed while on active service. At the same time, MJM developed an absess in his mouth, which meant that he needed to be taken out of the draft for active service so that he could have a period of recovery. When MJM finally enlisted in 1917 and reported for duty, he was not sent to France as he expected, but to the eastern war zone in the Middle East, to Mesopotamia.  So this meant that MJM missed his opportunity to study for the ministry by attending a theological course, but, there again, he also missed being a possible casualty on the terrible western front.

MJM served in the war effort in Mesopotamia. He had been a leader in the Post Office Christian Union and he helped in the organisation of their meetings. In the army he continued to serve in both capacities. On the journey by ship out to Mesopotamia, he helped arrange services for some six hundred troops and sometimes he took services himself. At one such service, he was somewhat taken-aback by the number of men who came and his astonishment increased when he saw that the Commanding Officer was among the congregation. It was at one of these services that one of the men professed conversion. While out in ‘Mespot’ MJM was active, in such spare time as he had, in organising services and taking his share in being a help and a witness to the truth of the gospel. There were many episodes that MJM recalled; one of the most strange was one of his officers ‘spending the morning cursing the Arabs’, This procedure, apparently took advantage of their fatalistic temperament and helped to ensure that the officer was told fewer lies and the information more dependable!

When MJM was ‘demobbed’ from the army, he returned to his work at The Central Telegraph Office and worked for telegraphic communications. He had formed a firm friendship with a fellow soldier during the war and after the hostilities ceased MJM kept up the friendship with visits. There happened to be a sister and they got on well together, eventually they fell in love. The lady was Evelyn Musgrave and they were married on February 10th 1923. Their family consisted of two daughters, but their first daughter, who was born in 1924, lived only 3 days, six years later their second daughter Elizabeth (Betty) was born, who was always their pride and joy.

MJM’s work with The Central Telegraph Office meant that he had access to further his increased interest in books. He remembered in the earlier part of his service at the Central Telegraph Office (inevitably known to its staff as the ‘CTO’ and, which incidentally, numbered about two thousand) there was Paternoster Row, a road given over to bookshops. There were lots of second hand bookshops, many of them selling religious books; for MJM had a great appetite to read 'good spiritual books. He wrote,"one that figures large in my memory was Sidney Kiek, where each day the shutters were taken down to reveal stalls right on the street. People could walk right off the pavement between the stalls and shelves and browse at will: they could then, if they wished, go to the till and pay for any that they wanted to buy and, let me say, they were very moderately priced! Hunter and Longhurst was another shop with a similarly ‘open’ policy to encourage browsing. There was another bookshop called ‘Holiness’, a Christian Brethren publisher. I often spent time in these shops looking around and reading and becoming familiar with a host of authors’ names.”[4]

The Lowestoft Revival of 1921

MJM always regarded himself as privileged to have been a witness of the Lowestoft Revival of 1921 and it was through his friendship with Douglas Brown. Brown, not only greatly admired his father, but was also influenced by his father for he listened to his father's preaching. He later recalled, “as a little schoolboy of ten, on Friday nights I used to unlace my boots and take them off and creep along from the room where I was supposed to be doing my homework to the door of my father’s study. ... Every Friday night father was in his study preparing for Sunday, and he used to pray. What I heard through that keyhole was more wonderful than what I heard from the platform on Sunday morning. I heard a big strong man telling Jesus that he was nothing, that Jesus was everything. I heard the agony of Calvary. I listened to somebody who understood the fellowship of the suffering of his Lord, until on Friday nights he was as it were, hanging on the cross with Jesus: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me.” I could not understand it all as a little boy, but it gripped me. I feel the aftermath of it today.”

Douglas Brown had witnessed himself conversions in his church every Sunday up to the time when he began to itinerant in evangelism in 1921. After twenty-six years of apparently successful ministry in a large London Baptist Church, Douglas Brown became acutely aware that something was missing from his life. He later wrote, "Christ laid His hand on a proud minister, and told him that he had not gone far enough, that there were reservations in his surrender . . . He nearly broke my heart while I was preaching." Throughout November and December of 1920, an intense struggle went on; it carried on through to January of the following year. He felt the Lord convict him about his need to leave his pastorate for mission work and although, reluctant, he finally surrendered.  Then in February 1921, Douglas Brown was wrestling in prayer when he felt able to yield his life fully to God. “After four months of struggle that there came the crisis. Oh, how patient God is! On the Saturday night, I wrote out my resignation to my church, and it was marked with my own tears. ... Then something happened. I found myself in the loving embrace of Christ forever and ever; and all power, joy and blessedness rolled in like a deluge. How did it come? I cannot tell you. Perhaps I may when I get to heaven. All explanations are there, but the experience is here. That was two o'clock in the morning. God had waited four months for a man like me; and I said, ‘Lord Jesus, I know what you want; you want me to go into mission work. I love Thee more than I dislike that.’ I did not hear any rustling of angels' wings. I did not see any sudden light”[5] Within eighteen months, he came to address over 1700 meetings, and saw revival in his evangelistic work In the same month, while Douglas Brown was conducting a mission in Lowestoft in Suffolk, God began a revival that spread all over East Anglia and up into the fishing ports of Scotland. Douglas Brown had a striking appearance as a preacher, winsome personality and with an eloquent and dramatic delivery.

Hugh Ferguson, the Baptist minister at London Road Baptist Church in Lowestoft on the East Anglia coast had invited Douglas Brown to preach at a mission there from Monday 7th to Friday 11th March. When the evangelist arrived by train, he was ill. However, he spoke Monday night and at meetings on Tuesday morning, afternoon and night. The power of the Holy Spirit moved among the people from the beginning. On Wednesday night, 'inquirers' packed the adjacent schoolroom for counselling and prayer. Some sixty to seventy young people were converted that night, along with some older folk. Each night more and more packed the 'inquiry room' after the service, all wanting couselling. So the mission was gradually extended - almost indefinitely. Douglas Brown returned to his church for a weekend and then continued with the mission on the Monday. By the end of March, the meetings were moved from the 700 seating Baptist Church and other nearby churches to the 1100 seating capacity of St John's Anglican Church. This was a remarkable occasion and it was reported and so brought others to attend the meetings.

March saw the beginning of revival in the area. Although Douglas Brown was the main speaker in many places, ministers of most denominations found they too were evangelising. Revival meetings multiplied in the fishing centre of Yarmouth as well in Ipswich, Norwich, Cambridge and elsewhere. Some Scottish fishermen from the Aberdeenshire coastal ports, were working out of Yarmouth in the winter months, were strongly impacted, and took revival fire to Scottish fishing towns and villages in the summer. Jock Troup, a Scottish evangelist, had visited East Anglia and witnessed for himself the scenes there during the revival. He became an effective continuation of the movement and ministered powerfully on the east coast of Scotland.

Stanley Griffin wrote in his study of the revival, “On March 17th the first of three reports appeared in The Christian entitled ‘Revival Times in Lowestoft’ by M.J. Micklewright … Having been unwell and hearing of the blessing that had broken out at Lowestoft, he obtained leave from his employment and went to see what great things God was doing. When, early in the second week, Douglas Brown saw Micklewright in one of the meetings he said, ‘The Lord sent you here; I want you for my “curate”’. Montague Micklewright’s task was to collect names and requests and list them for the prayer meetings, which took place in the Baptist Church each morning. After a short address by Mr. Brown, requests for prayer were read out and so numerous were these requests that they had to be divided into three sections, one for the morning session, another for the afternoon Bible reading, and a third group for the evening meeting. Prayers were made daily for the salvation of souls; husbands, wives, children, parents, friends and neighbours were brought before the Throne of Grace; these became powerful times of intercession, when the believers pleaded with God for the salvation of specific individuals that they knew. ‘It was great to hear the sobs through those prayers, as they cried to God for the salvation of those who were lost,’ commented Ferguson”[6] [the minister of London Road Baptist Church, Lowestoft]. His part as a witness to the Revival of Lowestoft stayed with MJM for life; he would love to recall the event and what he had seen personally in the meetings, there was an over-flowing grace of God in changing people’s lives with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“As the people prayed in Lowestoft they knew that in other places, such as the Ramsden Road Church, Balham, and the Metropolitan Tabernacle, people were praying for a mighty out-pouring of the Holy Spirit on Lowestoft and beyond. When Douglas Brown returned to Balham for the weekend of March 19th-21st, he told the Saturday evening prayer meeting of the work of God in Lowestoft. The same spirit of prayer that he had experienced in the East Anglian fishing port descended on that meeting also. “‘We took it as an earnest sign of coming blessing,’ wrote Montague Micklewright. ‘The following Sunday and Monday witnessed an open confession of faith on the part of scores of persons – some of them adults of mature age, the remainder children and young people. During the week in Lowestoft, upon a moderate statement, about eighty persons entered the inquiry rooms at the Baptist Church from Tuesday to Friday, and among them some very striking cases of conversion.’”[7] MJM was always impressed by the range and types of personality that were responding to the Gospel message through Douglas Brown and he was always interested and urgent in his advice to preacher, that they should be seeking to see changed lives through the powerful work of the Gospel.

MJM would often recount the stories of Douglas Brown as an effective preacher, for he had a great influence on him. Dr. Lloyd Jones was later to ask how MJM would compare the preaching of his own with that of Douglas Brown. The answer that MJM gave was that Douglas Brown kept up a tremendous sense of intensity throughout his whole sermon, which was where Lloyd Jones built up to and was, certainly, the way he would finish. His daughter recounted the day in 1940 that her father heard that Douglas Brown had died, ‘he sat still for some time, very moved’, he was remembering the passing of a great servant of God, who had been a profound influence and help to his own ministry.

Pastorates, Preaching and Reading

On May 27th 1921, MJM became the part-time minister of Major Road, Baptist Church, in Stratford, in East London. Douglas Brown not only helped him, but he also preached at his ordination service. In that address Brown said, “Clearly the times in which we live have gripped him [MJM], but more than that, the unchangeable gospel of Christ holds him fast. Hence, he is out of patience with a dead modernism, also with doctrinal compromise. Is it to be revolution or regeneration? The question haunts many minds today, and many are content to wait and see. Mr Brown however, calls men to Calvary, to repentance unto life, to new birth. To believers he has a word of abounding freshness from inspired prophecy. With him, the blessed hope of the Lord’s return is not a negligible theory of things. ‘Whosoever hath this hope in him purifies himself’ (1 John 3, v3). As a nation, we have turned our backs on God. As organised churches, we have put our programmes in place of the Holy Spirit. We must get back to the primal message of the cross, to the simple evangelistic message of the Master himself, and to the prayer of faith. Some seem to be afraid of emotion. As a matter-of-fact, the Church is dying for want of emotion! In eloquent terms the preacher called his hearers back to Calvary and its implications in a regenerated life, and his appeal was made urgent in the solemn declaration that ‘The coming of the Lord draws near!’”[8] This was how MJM was launch on his part-time pastorate at Major Road Baptist Church and he felt it to be an awesome undertaking.

 MJM’s senior deacon at Major Road was Dr. James William Thirtle, the editor of The Christian, a Christian newspaper. This was a great asset to the Church and a considerable help to MJM, who always maintained that although he did not receive a college education – Dr. Thirtle was, in himself, ‘a liberal education’ and he regarded himself as mentored by Dr. Thirtle. Thirtle was born in1854 and his father was converted to the Christadelphian faith while Thirtle was a child, but it is not clear when Thirtle himself broke from this group, what is known is that in 1881, he published in The Christadelphian magazine a glowing defense of two of the later works of John Thomas Eureka and Phanerosis.  However, Thirtle must have made his break in the 1880s for in 1887 or 1888, he became the editor of The Christian magazine. In 1904, he received the honorary degree of Master of Arts and Divinity from Westminster College (Missouri). In 1904, Thirtle advertised for sale in The Christian the personal library of the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon, consisting of some 12,000 volumes.[9] In 1905, at the time of the Baptist World Congress was being held in London, Thirtle arranged for the sale of the core of the library, about 7,000 books, to the William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, in the United States. This was one particular fact that MJM mentioned rather ruefully, as he, like many others in Britain, would have preferred to see the library remain in the United Kingdom. In 1904, Thirtle published, perhaps his most remembered work, The Titles of the Psalms: Their nature and meaning explained (1908). A senior scholar E.W. Bullinger confirmed Thirtle’s scholarship and his personal thoroughness of research were of the best. When Thirtle died at Stratford, East London on December 5 1934, he had remained the editor of The Christian until the end. This was an amazing achievement to have occupied an editorial position for 47 years (1887 to 1934) and outlasted William Robertson Nicoll tenure with the British Weekly form 1886 to 1923.

Thirtle certainly guided MJM though many standard texts and directed his willing student to the best of Christian literature. Thirtle had written several books[10] himself as well as making significant contributions to his paper. He also imparted much sagacious wisdom, which were imprinted on MJM’s extraordinarily receptive memory. He remembered Thirtle’s opinion and assessment about Douglas Brown’s work schedule as a Baptist Union Evangelist being taken over by a committee, after the success of the Lowestoft mission. “These men had a genuine concern for the preaching of the gospel throughout the land but, quite unintentionally, they took over Douglas Brown and he was no longer free to be led by the Holy Spirit. This is how Mr Micklewright saw the situation: ‘When the committee in question was formed, Dr. J.W. Thirtle … said “This is the end”, meaning, as I understood it, that organisation had taken over, and that the committee thought that the mere presence of a dynamic personality like that of Douglas Brown ensured continued revival. It was a sad misapprehension on their part as Dr. Thirtle’s prediction was entirely fulfilled’”.[11] MJM continued to speak about Dr. Thirtle and of his indebtedness to him all through his life, there can be no doubt that Thirtle had a lasting influence on his servant.

MJM would travel over to Stratford each weekend by tram from Streatham for the services at Major Road. He had hospitality each Sunday with the Dr. Thirtle, which included, after lunch, a constitutional walk; these were the times MJM came to know more about the man and his thinking about people and events, how many of these were reflected in some of his own opinions, it is impossible to say. It was the travelling, which eventually brought MJM’s resignation after some years in the pastorate. Then, during the late 20s and 30s, MJM ministered for a period at North Brixton Baptist and Rayleigh Park Baptist Churches, but always in a part time capacity. His wife would accompany him to the services, and would play the piano, if needed. They were not able to attend Ramsden Road and anyway the preaching was not what it was under Douglas Brown who had moved away. It was by general agreement that in 1935, the family moved to New Malden in Surrey and this further limited the travelling possibilities.

During the Second World War, Lewin Road Baptist Church in Streatham became the Micklewrights’ home church. There they got on very well with the pastor Stephen Madden. Again, MJM had a good relationship with Madden and it was on Madden’s advice/request that he decided and then accepted a call to be a part-time pastor the Church at Streatham Vale. This was around 1942/3 and just before Stephen Madden accepted a call to Upton Vale, Torquay and moved away from Streatham.

As the Second World War, progressed MJM was assigned to the press Censors Department at the War Office. His offices were fire-bombed in 1941 in a particularly devastating raid in the Blitz. He felt it providential that he was away from the offices on leave, but he remembered that many of his colleagues died in the raid. Being in town, he found himself increasingly sitting under and enjoying the ministry of Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones at Westminster Chapel, in Buckingham Gate Road, London. MJM was not comfortable with the new ministry of Angus MacMillan at Lewin Road, but it was a few years before he went for an interview with MacMillan, with a view to changing their membership to Westminster Chapel. This they did in 1946/7, although MacMillan was sad to see the family leave him but the family transferred their membership to Westminster Chapel and, sooner than is the custom for a new member, in 1948; MJM was invited to become a deacon.[12] He went on to serve faithfully in that capacity under D.M. Lloyd Jones and continued to serve under the subsequent ministries of Glyn Owen and R.T. Kendall. He was to fill this position until he died, although in his later years he was honoured with the title ‘Deacon Emeritus’.

What kind of preacher was MJM? This is not so easy to answer, but he was also very self-critical. His height gave him a presence, for he held himself upright. His demeanour could be severe, but this was his sense of the seriousness of the preaching commission that he felt. He had an effective sense of the drama of the preaching occasion, but he was winsome and always pastorally aware of the needs of the people that he had in his congregation. His utterance was strong and always vital – MJM could never have walked through a service of ministry without committing himself to the needs of the opportunity. There was always a high level of competence, a great sense of gravitas and an earnest desire to commend and show the glory of the Lord Jesus as our Saviour. Her father’s ability struck his daughter as she listened to him. She remembered a youthful reflection, which had been occasioned when the family had attended one of her father’s preaching engagements at a friend’s church; the thought suddenly struck her – “Dad sounds a lot more impressive than many others she had heard”.

From his youngest years, MJM had listened to many of the famous preachers of the time, but he appreciated and listened with particular discernment in the twenties and thirties. He could analyse their pulpit styles and speak of their successes, many of them published books of their sermons, many of which he recommended to aspiring preachers. These, were his heroes and they belonged to an age that believed in preaching, when they saw many affected and helped by their work. He had great admiration for Samuel Chadwick[13] and strongly urged the reading of Chadwick’s biography by Norman G. Dunning.[14] Here was a spiritual giant who served in many churches and whose sermons had a power to excite and inspire. He recommended Chadwick’s books, which showed the urgency and passion that he felt about the people knowing and realising all their inheritance and privilege in the Lord Jesus Christ. One incident impressed MJM this was Chadwick’s concern that church would seek a ‘Lazarus’. This came about through the conversion of a town drunkard, Robert Hamer. His reputation gave him the name ‘Bury Bob’. It was said that there was hardly any crime that he had not been involved with, and that people said they he seen him eat grass, fight rats with his teeth, break furniture, swallow knives, fight policemen, wreck public houses and fight all comers.[15] However, Chadwick saw him soundly converted and a member of the Band of Hope [temperance group]. The part of the story that MJM loved to read was what came after Bob’s profession of faith. “Next morning he was first at the quarry, and very quietly he told every man as he came what had happened. Then hell was let loose! Men, who a week before dare hardly have looked at him, sneered and taunted, tempted and teased the great giant. He bore it meekly until Friday. Then as they were moving a huge piece of rock, it caught his finger, and before he knew it, he swore a great oath. Then they laughed with a great laughter, and asked what had happened to his religion. They released his finger, and offered to bind it up. To their surprise he dropped on his knees, clasped his hands, and while the blood dripped off his elbow he cried to God in great agony of soul. When peace came he rose quietly, and every man of them was standing with his cap in his hand. Next Sunday morning the town turned out to see Bob go to chapel ... The common people, the disreputable people, all sorts of people, came that they might see Lazarus whom Jesus had raised from the dead. The revival went on for months, and hundreds of the very worst people were gloriously saved”.[16] At the time, Chadwick had been studying the Gospel story and he had prayed that God would convert some notorious sinner, which would draw people to see a practical demonstration of God’s power at work in the community. This became a strategy in subsequent Churches where Chadwick worked: ‘We need a Lazarus!’ he would say in every Church he pastored and evangelistic crusade he lead: “If God is at work week by week raising men from the dead, there will always be people coming to see how it is done. You cannot find an empty church that has conversion for its leading feature. Do you want to know how to fill empty Chapels? Here is the answer: Get your Lazarus”.[17] MJM revelled in the display of the power of God seen in the changed lives of people and this incident in Chadwick’s life particularly appealed to him.

 Another figure that MJM spoke about was F.B. Myer[18], who was an out-standing preacher and the writer of many helpful books for Christians. MJM believed that Myer took over from F. Krummacher[19] who had begun to publish books on biblical characters; Myer turned his books into an outstanding series. MJM always remembered F. B. Meyer as the man who stopped the Heavy weight championship fight, between Jack Johnson and Billy ‘Bombardier’ Wells, on the grounds that that such a fight would be exploited in a racial way. MJM subscribed to the view of Myer, that when he left his mainly pastoral and preaching ministry and entered the murky water of politics and social justice, he lost a vital engagement with the spirituality of his congregations. By becoming the mouthpiece of the Nonconformist Conscience, he lost supporters who felt that he lost something in his pulpit touch and spiritual authority by becoming and expected to be controversial. This had the picture of making Myer as the Spokesman for Evangelical Christianity come across as usually a negative killjoy, especially in a world bent on having some fun, after the World War. MJM always said that ‘F.B.’ Was an effective preacher, ‘he was very good, but he knew it’ – perhaps this referred to a sense of distance, if not actual condescension in Myer’s ministry.

A particular favourite preacher with MJM was Dinsdale Young[20] of the Westminster Methodist Central Hall. He thoroughly enjoyed his preaching and often recommended Young’s books of sermons as outstandingly evangelical, because they had given him so much pleasure. The Particular book of Young that MJM enjoyed was Stars of my Retrospect[21], because it was young writing in a homely way about people and books that had influenced him. The writer can remember that MJM often browsed through this volume and discussion often started with some words of Young’s from this book which had struck him as being significant. The impression was that MJM had listened to Dinsdale Young quite often, quite possibly during the mid-week meeting at the Westminster Central Hall. Other volumes of Young’s that MJM enjoyed were Popular Preaching[22] and The Gospel of the Left Hand[23]. The first book because it emphasised a view of preaching that reached the masses and was not too bound up with scholarly and doctrinal rectitude; and the second because of Young’s suggestiveness and skill in finding usual texts and angles on the old familiar themes of Gospel Truth. MJM’s fascination with Young’s influence was summed up by Owen Rattenbury’s summary statement[24] about the impact of Dinsdale Young’s preaching: “Dinsdale Young never used notes, so he had no temptation to speak into his book board. He had a power of ready speech. He had prepared his sermon so that one part fitted naturally on to another. He spoke out and spoke up. He had learned the art of breathing his words out exactly as a skilful soloist does. He was never dull. One might disagree with him, as many people in his huge audiences did, but nobody ever went to sleep when he spoke or preached.”[25]

 

Deacon at Westminster Chapel

There can be no doubt, whatever, that it was primarily the preaching of Dr. Lloyd Jones that drew MJM to Westminster Chapel and his service there. Dr. Lloyd Jones[26] had been born in Cardiff, raised in Llangeitho, Ceredigion and never lost his love of Wales. Llangeitho was associated with the Welsh Methodist revival of the Eighteenth Century, and was the location of Daniel Rowland's outstandingly influential ministry. Dr. Lloyd-Jones went to grammar school in London between 1914 and 1916 and then trained St Bartholomew's Hospital as a medical student. From this training, he would later bring into his preaching ministry, his extraordinary diagnostic skills in understanding the Scriptures and their relevant message for the times. In 1921, he started work as an assistant to the Royal Physician, Sir Thomas Horder. Worthy and worth while though this work was, Dr. Lloyd Jones felt not only a higher constraint, but also saw that that Christian Gospel was the real and true answer to so many of the problems that he was being confronted with in the hospital. After struggling over his calling to preach for two years, in 1926, he resigned his post and returned to Wales, he married Bethan Phillips, an accepted a call to minister at a church in Aberafan (Port Talbot).

He spent a decade ministering in Aberafan, where his preaching was fruitful in building up the Church and he became increasingly involved with inspiring and leading Evangelical work nationally and internationally. At Port Talbot, it was a time of severe depression, when the steel works and much of the country were in sad state and the Lloyd-Jones family had often to cope with the problems of depression that saw people seeking to escape into drunkenness. However, it was a time of fruitful service, a time of remarkable growth and many members of the church came to know the Lord as their saviour in Lloyd Jones’ days at Sandfields.

The in 1938, Dr Campbell Morgan invited Dr. Lloyd Jones to share the ministry and then become the co-pastor with him at Westminster Chapel. The day before his position was official; the War broke out in Europe. During that same year [1939], he became the president of the Inter-Varsity Fellowship of Students, which is known today as the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship. During the War, he and his family moved to Haslemere, Surrey. In 1943, Dr. Morgan retired, leaving Jones as the sole Pastor of Westminster Chapel. Dr. Lloyd-Jones became well-known for his expository style of preaching, and the Sunday morning and evening meetings at which he officiated drew crowds of several hundred, as did the Friday evening Bible studies – which were, in effect, sermons in the same style. He would take many months – even years – to expound a chapter of the Bible verse by verse. His sermons would often be around fifty minutes to an hour in length, attracting many students from universities and colleges in London. Some of his sermons were transcribed and printed in the monthly Westminster Record, which was read avidly by those who enjoyed his preaching.

Certainly, the ‘Doctor’ came to regard MJM as one of his ‘standard bearers’ at Westminster Chapel, in fact, it was the quality of personal loyalty which characterised his attitude to all his ‘chiefs’ at Westminster Chapel. Dr. Lloyd Jones was not only encouraged by MJM’s loyalty, but he also took time to instruct and help MJM with his wider reading and understanding of theology. In fact, the relationship was so productive that it was reputedly said by Lloyd Jones on one occasion, ‘He’s the only one who understands what I am preaching about’. MJM came to regard Dr. Lloyd Jones as his hero and this was always clear in any conversation; sooner or later MJM would say as a ‘clincher’ to most discussions, ‘I seem to recall that the Doctor once said ...’ He was always appreciating and learning as he supported the ministry as one of Westminster Chapel’s deacons and one of his primary duties and privilege was the Sunday prayer meeting before the evening service at 5-30 pm in the Institute Hall. MJM knew that this was an important time for Lloyd Jones always preached Evangelistically on a Sunday evening and was concerned that the service impacted all those who attended, which included many students, and other curious listeners who were drawn in to see what was going on. Dr. Lloyd Jones always preached well, but he knew that he needed the divine unction of the Holy Spirit to apply his sermon to the hearts and lives of those who listened. MJM understood this and was not only faithful in attendance, but also was usually one of the first on his feet[27] and praying for God to give a great blessing through the ministry of the coming service. MJM never missed a prayer meeting if he could help it; he was there to get on with the job of praying. A typical comment of his was, “Why are you at the prayer meeting – to pray – then be about your business, and stand in the breach and pray”. On one Sunday, some young-men of the Chapel, who could have a particularly critical disposition, approached MJM. They simply asked him whether he would agree with them that the prayer meeting had been ‘poor’. He confounded them in typical MJM forthrightness – “I was there and so were you – but I don’t think I heard you pray!”

MJM had many anecdotes of the Doctor’s influence and could retell them vividly and enthusiastically. Like the discussion following a Puritan Conference lecture on ‘Revival’, when a certain principal of a Bible college said that he thought that if we could organise our churches and get every member commitment and preach the gospel faithfully – then we would have a revival! To which the Doctor simply observed that the statement was like looking to water the garden with all the watering-cans and hoses out – needed and good work – but they could not really compare with a good down-pour of rain – that was the difference that revival made. Then again, there was the Westminster Fraternal meeting that discussed the sad and lamentable results of Higher Criticism on church life. Doctor listened to one and another of the brothers telling of the problems and deprecating the undermining of the faith. John Caiger, the secretary, asked the Doctor for his comments. Here the Doctor admitted that he was in a quandary and explained why. He said that of course he agreed with all that had been said about the baneful influence of the higher critical views of the Bible. The he explained that, during the week he was often speaking at other churches, he would get back to the Chapel and prepare for his Friday session on Romans and many a time he not only found himself tired, but the Word was not gripping his focus and heart. His remedy, he explained, was to go to his bookcase and pick up ‘Commentary of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans’ by C.H. Dodd. “I find that after a few pages – I am fight fit!” MJM could delight in telling and retelling such anecdotes with great relish.

MJM was always ‘kindly’ – he projected it and people came to him for advice and counsel, but he also lived it. People in some sort of trouble felt that they had a listener who would help as much as he could. Here an individual who was in trouble with the police and one evening was hovering near the Doctor’s vestry. MJM discerned that there was something wrong and got the individual in to see the Doctor in confidence. MJM took him home and found that the man had a large bag of coins, which he had thought he would feed the gas meter and commit suicide, underlining the extreme nature of the man’s perception of his troubles. MJM took the bag of coins in exchange for some bank notes. Eventually MJM even spoke for this man in court, presumably as a character witness and the judge was just and dealt with the situation fully and sensitively. Here MJM showed his kindly manner was real and measured up to the needs of particular situations and he was there to help his ‘chief’ in the pastoral needs that arose week by week.

 

Mr Micklewright of the Evangelical Library

It was during the Dr. Lloyd Jones years that MJM began his ‘helping out’ at the Evangelical Library. He became a helper/adviser/counsellor at the Evangelical Library in Chiltern Street. “Mr M.J. Micklewright was turned 60 when he began at the Library. In three decades he dispensed information and cheerfulness to all who visited the premises and lived to be ninety seven.”[28] It was at this time that the present writer came to know MJM. I was attending the London Bible College, which at the time [1967-1970] was situated in Marylebone Road. The afternoons were free for students to get some recreation, my recreation was to climb the stairs at Chiltern Street and enter the Evangelical Library. Inside the door, what greeted you was a room full of shelves stocked with books; all arranged into sections and divisions according to their subject matter. In the office was a lady, who took her work and the welfare of the library with utmost seriousness; this was Miss Denby and the business of the library was to be done with due solemnity. Behind one of the divisions was a ‘gentleman’ (‘Mr. Micklewright’ was never less than that), who was often making selections of books and arranging for them to be posted to the inquirer (it has to be said that his dexterity with paper and string was marvellous to watch).

Gradually my time, on most afternoons, was occupied with impromptued discussions, which covered theology, history, biography and pastoral and church matters in particular. Quite often, it was a matter of what had come up in college lectures, but since my special interest was in Church History and MJM had studied a great deal, let alone he had heard many of the great preachers of the 1920s and 1930s, he had, what seemed to be, an inexhaustible fund of views and information. Some MJM would initiate the discussion, particularly if he had been researching for an enquirer. It was not long before I found in MJM an individual who, not only had a good mind and an amazing memory, but who had a marvellous delight and enthusiasm to share his life discoveries with others. His enthusiasm was infectious and was never simply a recital of mere facts, but a personal appreciation and validation of the Christian life and principles that he sought to live by.

It was here that the author learnt about preachers and preaching from John Flavel to Samuel Chadwick as well as some of the pastoral reflections from his ministerial charges. These men and their teaching had gripped his life and he communicated that to be so that I wanted to read them and sometimes acquire them for myself. I witnessed MJM’s patience and care with many visitors, some of whom really had no idea of what they wanted, but they were given his attention and often he was able to help them after he had made a few judicious enquiries. His advice of counselling ministry must have touched hundreds of lives in the twenty years of his time at the library. It was always a privilege to see God’s servant in action.

One enthusiasm that we shared was in the novels of Jane Austen. For MJM, ‘Dear Jane’ has been a constant source of wisdom, insight and fun. His sense of humour sparkled at the reminder of a particular incident in the novels, this invariably caused the outbreak of laughter and the inevitable attentions of the library patrol as the face of Miss Denby peered disapprovingly round the side of a partition. MJM loved all the novels, but Pride and Prejudice was particularly special to him and his delight at the wit of Jane Austen in drawing characters such as Lady Catherine de Burgh and Mr. Collins was infectious. ‘Do you recall ...’ was often the start for a ‘Dear Jane’ insight. I think that he had difficulty in keeping her out of some of his sermons and he said that he found that she was invariably kind to her characters; he believed that she wrote always seeking to find some feature of a character that was ‘redeemable’ affirmation of their humanity. Other novelists MJM recommended were Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe and George Eliot’s Clerical Tales, but not nearly so often as ‘Dear Jane’. He passed on the advice of DMLJ for those who found it difficult to read a Scott novel such as Ivanhoe – ‘start half way through and you are then into all the action’ – of course DMLJ just loved all the details by which Scott set his stories in their context and setting.

Some books were very special to MJM and these he often recommended because he appreciated the help that they had given him. John Flavel’s ‘Evangelical Repentance’ was two sermons from Flavel’s complete works, which MJM kept a couple of reproduced copies to invite various folk to read and both interesting and helpful they proved to be. Thomas Goodwin’s exposition of the early chapter of Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians was another Puritan volume that MJM would refer to and recommend.

MJM admired and commended the writings of an Anglican, C.J. Vaughan[29] and I acquired many of his books and enjoyed them. Dinsdale Young paid high compliments to Dean Vaughan that MJM would readily have agreed with. “For upwards of twenty years he has been one of my chiefmost teachers. I regard him as the greatest expositor of England in the last century [nineteenth century]. For a preacher he is indispensable. His scholarship was deep and brilliant. His gift of translation of the Greek Testament is all but unique. His English is often scarcely inferior to Ruskin ... His evangelical insight is eagle-eyed. I have read every one of his fifty-five volumes, many of them over and over again, and I keep them all upon my shelves for constant reference”.[30] MJM would have singled out Vaughan’s studies on Philippians and his Lectures on the Book of Revelation, as being outstandingly valuable for the preacher. In September 1973, he and Betty enjoyed a visit to Llandaff Cathedral, he wrote to the writer, “Best of all CJV’s tomb with full-length figure lying as if asleep in his Dean’s robes with an open book clasped to his breast. The inscription is, ‘C.J. Vaughan D.D. Dean of Llandaff 1879-1897 Honoured in his generation as Scholar, Master, Preacher, Counsellor, a man greatly beloved, ‘ambitious to be quiet’ 1 Thessalonians 4v2’. It was very moving to stand looking down on him”.[31]

The writings and the biography of Adoniram Judson Gordon was another favourite author. He writes himself, “One of the very first [book] I obtained ... was a book by a great American preacher and minister, Dr. A.J. Gordon of Boston, it was called The Two-fold Life. I have found it of lasting interest and value. Dr. Gordon was very friendly with D.L. Moody [the evangelist] and rejoiced in the evangelistic movement that was then prevalent in the world through Moody’s ministry. Yet, while he rejoiced in this, he also pointed out that there was need, in spite of the wonderful success of Moody style evangelism, for people to find something of the balance of the Puritan teaching of three hundred years earlier. [Gordon saw that] the modern evangelistic work rightly and successfully pointed out the objective work of Christ for us – [for] it was through His Atoning Sacrifice and through His righteousness, not ours, that we are saved, but [Gordon believed] the Puritans  ... also pointed to the subjective work of the Holy Spirit within us. He said [that] the before mentioned balance was the balance kept between the work of Atonement and the work in our hearts and beings and that that work was most important.”[32]

The Two-fold Life, in a most wonderful way, brought together many great souls, who have adorned the church, including Roman Catholics, such as Pascal and Fenelon. I remember how he applauded Pascal, who was very concerned about the work of Christ within him and crying out to God in prayer and [having] been crying out for a long time, [as one] to whom came the revelation, almost as by an audible voice, ‘Thou wouldst not seek me unless thou had already found me’. So that the [assurance] of the work of Christ in the believer derived from the Work of Christ on behalf of the believer. Pascal had to learn, on balance, not only the importance of what he did understand and valued, but to understand that the basis was always Christ’s work for us.

There is another of Gordon’s books I have recommended over the years, How Christ came to Church. It is interesting to me to remember that this was the first book that Dr. Lloyd Jones and I discussed. The Doctor’s ministry was so much along the lines of the Puritans that it reminded me of Gordon and I spoke to him about Gordon. He asked me whether I had ever read How Christ came to Church, for it was a ‘marvellous book! When I read it, I found it amazing, for, in a sense, the secret of the wonderful spirituality and power of Gordon’s ministry [was there]. [There were] other books of Gordon’s – The Ministry of the Spirit, The Holy Spirit in Missions and In Christ. [In the latter book, Gordon takes the] expression that we find in the New Testament [and mainly through] the letters of Paul, [Gordon opens up] ‘Righteousness in Christ’ and Perfect in Christ.’ Then there is the [biography] of Gordon by his son, Ernest Gordon and a wonderful life it is. [Gordon] was of tremendous significance to the church at the turn of the century [Gordon died 1894], to me it is an inspiration to write of him and I recommend his books.”

MJM always spoke very highly about Bernard Lord Manning[33] a Congregational lay-man, but known as an out-spoken defender of the faith and recommended me to get and read his books whenever I could. The particular books he recommended were The Making of Modern English Religion (1929), Essays in Orthodox Dissent (1939) and Protestant Dissenting Deputies (1952).

A historical hero that he shared with Dr. Lloyd Jones was Oliver Cromwell. We certainly touched on the usual areas where Cromwell is criticised and this interest culminated in a visit that I made with MJM to Cromwell country. It was a beautifully bright day and MJM was able to enjoy the situation from the school were Cromwell attended, then a museum, to the sight of swans and ducks of the river at St Ives.

MJM had an infectious, but irresistible sense of fun and humour. There were times when the laughter would spill out of that part of the Evangelical Library where MJM did his work. This was often a cause for the face of the serious Miss Denby to peer around the corner of the book shelf. I do recall MJM making attempts to explain the reason for our hilarity – but I don’t recall Miss D. actually getting the reason our laughter. ‘Well this is a library and not the kind of thing that users of this place would expect. If Miss Denby had a sense of humour she certainly kept it well hidden when working at the library. MJM recalled his days of travelling to Stratford for a funeral and was unusually wearing a top hat. On this occasion he had to change buses at the Elephant and Castle. He moved to the exit behind a rather large lady and the conductor called out; “Elephant and Castle – (adding under his breath) – elephant in front and castle behind”. He recalled the humour of a football match crowd – one afternoon when he was watching a match at the Arsenal ground and the match was lacking excitement – the crowd was subdued and quiet – suddenly a voice rang out – “I see it has turned out nice again!” – and immediately a laugh went round the stadium. Even in his duties at church the humour would bubble up as he saw the ridiculous or funny side of some statement. Dr. Kendall was one time delay in traffic and there was great concern about what was to be done. However, at the last moment Dr. Kendall managed to get in and asked someone to pray for him before the service. A deacon began in earnestness – “O Lord we are very late” – MJM just started to laugh and all in the group joined in – relieving the tension before the evening service. A man with natural gravitas and dignity, yet with the capacity to see the humour and enjoy it and helping others to see the light and shade in the human dealing – even in the House of the Lord.

Many shared and enjoyed MJM’s wit, wisdom and spirituality, which meant that he was sadly missed by so many folk, when he was finally called home. It is something of a personal regret that I and others, with whom he shared his desire to do something autobiographical, did not have time to collect, in some systematic way, his reflections on his life and the people that he knew, listened to and appreciated during his long life. He did try to put down some of his thoughts; these thoughts were undated and predated the time when his eyesight deteriorated to prevent any further exercises. “I find it difficult – one does hate to appear to be concerned with one’s own image or importance. However, I have come to the conclusion that my contacts over the years (not because of any great significance in my own personality or achievements) have brought me in touch with some remarkable people. ... It may be that my situation in the Evangelical Library for the last twenty years is in some respects typical of what has been my experience for a much longer period – books, books and yes, more books have been my main interest in life. I have been a preacher, a part-time pastor, a civil servant – but I think the main interest would have to be books. These have furnished me with material for work that I have undertaken in churches as a preacher, as a part-time pastor and in the great office in which I worked for about forty years – The Central Telegraph Office. This building during the Second World War was fir-bombed nearly out of existence, but was overtaken, subsequently, by the march of technology. From about 1932 to 1955, when I retired, I was called on to edit the bulletin of our Christian Union. This was known as The Advocate.”[34] Loss of his eyesight and the difficulties of age prevented him from venturing further with his project.

MJM serve as a loyal deacon under Dr. Lloyd Jones’ successors; the first was Rev. J. Glyn Owen, who was minister at Westminster Chapel from 1969-1974. It was never going to be easy following Dr Lloyd Jones, and it wasn’t, but again MJM was always supportive and if need be combative in defending his new ‘Chief’. Glyn Owen began his pastorate in October of 1969 and he was converted when a young journalist. Soon after had felt the call to the ministry of the Presbyterian Church of Wales and his first charge as a minister was heath Presbyterian Church in Cardiff. A fruitful ministry there was followed by a time of ministry in Wrexham before he went to Berry Street in Belfast in 1959. When the call came from Westminster Chapel, Berry street were reluctant to release him, because he establish an appreciated ministry of preaching and teaching during which many young men had sought to train for the ministry. Though Glyn Owen was a Welshman, with considerable pastoral and conference speaking experience, he found it hard to hold the ‘old’ membership. Even with the tireless help of his assistant David Marshall, the congregation began to wane, as some members, who were used to travelling some distance, decided to seek and join local churches. It was a time of reassessment and reappraisal for the church; some could be vociferously discontent with the new order, but MJM supported and worked tirelessly to smooth the path for the new ministry, but the work was tiring and a considerable strain on the pastor. Nevertheless, MJM shared the shock when on a Sunday in 1974 Glyn Owen announced that he had accepted a call to the Knox Presbyterian Church in Toronto, Canada. “Mr. M.J. Micklewright, the senior deacon at the time, wrote, ‘It was a ministry of such compassion, kindness and sympathy, out of a heart of love – quite wonderful’”.[35]

Dr. R.T. Kendall became minister of Westminster Chapel in 1977 and he found a loyal and trusted supporter in MJM. As his predecessors had done, Dr. Kendall came to appreciate MJM’s friendship and encouragement. Dr. Kendall referred to him as the ‘Patriarch’ and pointed out that even Dr. Lloyd Jones referred to MJM as ‘Old Mr Micklewright’ and he was only two years his junior! In the 1980s Dr. Kendall was changing the style and approach of the Chapel, he writes, “Old Mr. Micklewright would remind me of one particular question Dr. Lloyd Jones would ask when a minister did something risky or different: ‘What has it done to his preaching?’ In other words, if it doesn’t hurt his preaching, don’t worry.”[36] In appreciation, he wrote, “Another memory I cherish … was old Mr. Micklewright, then in his eighties, coming into the vestry on a Sunday night to say, ‘Well, I got saved again tonight.’ What he meant was that the gospel was refreshing to him and his assurance was renewed. He lived until he was ninety-seven. The only time I interrupted a summer holiday was when I preached at his funeral in August 1994”.[37]

 

Tributes

Speaking at MJM’s funeral Dr. Kendall commended the Lord’s servant, who from his gentleness, humour, extraordinary memory, wide reading and scrupulous devotion to the Word of God, ministered to so many others during the course of his life. In Particular, Dr. Kendall singled out five characteristics that he was personally grateful to God for his servant:

Firstly, MJM was always such an encourager, even when it came to showing respect for a new young minister to Westminster Chapel like himself. As Kendall sought to preach the gospel faithfully and afterwards he would wonder whether he had communicated, he remembered be met, after the sermon, by MJM in the vestry with, ‘I got saved all over again tonight!’ This man was a true encouragement to me.

Secondly, MJM had a Theological mind and he could and did minister, in his pastorates and in Westminster Chapel. He had received the teaching of Dr. Lloyd Jones and his accurate memory could quote the incident or quotation with ‘spot on accuracy’ and this was very useful on many occasions in the deacon’s meetings.

Thirdly, he had such a pleasant manner if he felt an admonishment was needed. Dr. Kendall pays tribute to MJM coming into the vestry after he had admonished the church about not forgetting the poor and our tendency to become rather middle-class, MJM simple said to Kendall, ‘You think that we are all snobs’ – and Dr. Kendall said, ‘he was right, I had gone too far’. MJM was not a frequent participator in the deacon’s meetings, but Dr. Kendall remembered one decision in which the whole deaconate had taken at Dr. Kendall’s request, afterwards MJM stayed back and simply said to Kendall, ‘I believe you are praying for unction’ – this caused Kendall to see that he needed to reverse the previous decision.

Fourthly, MJM was a great storyteller; he could remember such extraordinary details and incidents. He was the only person that Dr. Kendall had heard who was able to mimic Dr. Campbell Morgan, but the days of Douglas Brown and the Lowestoft Revival were favourites that all loved to hear again and again.

Fifthly, there was no mistaking it – Dr. Lloyd Jones was MJM’s great hero. He had many preachers that he admired and all he had a high respect for because of their calling, but Dr. Lloyd Jones was his authority and adviser on Biblical truth and living the Christian life, which he displayed with amazing timing and appropriateness, especially at deacon’s meetings.

 

Mr Micklewright was a wonderful servant of his Master; he sought to commend his Lord wherever he went.  I praise the Lord for mant happy, instructive and inspiring hours that I was privileged to spend in his company. May we all seek to commend and live for our Lord Jesus in the effective and unassuming way he did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] “Monty has done well, his essays are undoubtedly the best in the class” MJM’s school report, cited by R.T. Kendall at MJM’s funeral, August 1994.

[2] Personal reminiscences, included in this study, were given to the author by Elizabeth (Betty) Micklewright, MJM’s daughter.

[3] Douglas Brown (1874-1940) described revival as "the humbling of self before the . . . majesty of that consciously present Jesus." God brings revival not for the enjoyment of His people, but for the glory of His Name; and He will not share that glory with men. The moment men boast of their achievements the glory will depart.

[4] Micklewright, M.J.: from some autobiographical notes that he began to make, but never was able to finish.

[5] et al: Griffin, Stanley C.: A Forgotten Revival (Day One Publications, Bromley) 17-18)

[6]Ibid 24

[7] Ibid 24-6

[8] The Christian: June 2 1921, cited ibid 42

[9] Dr. Thirtle, of Morgan & Scott Publishers, acted as agent for the William Jewell College, Missouri. Dr. John Priest Greene, President of the College, Dr. J.T.M. Johnson, John E. Franklin, and Dr. J.E. Cook were instrumental in acquiring the collection. Dr. Thirtle supervised the packing of the books into 38 canvas-lined wooden crates and arranged for transportation, insurance and customs. Dr. Thirtle corresponded almost daily with the purchasers.

[10] Dr. Thirtle published The Titles of the Psalms: Their nature and meaning explained (1904); Old Testament Problems: Critical Studies in the Psalms and Isaiah (1907); The Lord’s Prayer: An interpretation critical and expository (1915)

[11] Griffin, Stanley C.: op cit 80-1

[12] This was considered as rather unusual and MJM sought the advice of the Dr. Lloyd Jones who agreed that he should stand, particularly because of the pastoral experience that he had had.

[13] Samuel Chadwick (1860-1932) was a Methodist preacher, whose life work was marked by his emphasis on prayer. He began as a mill-worker in Burnley, but felt called to become an evangelist, in this he showed unusual power and effectiveness. He attended Didsbury College for formal ministerial training (1883-85) and went on to hold pastorates in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Leeds, before joining the staff of Cliff College, Derbyshire, where he became Principal from 1912 until he died in 1932.

[14] Dunning, Norman G.: Samuel Chadwick (Hodder & Stoughton, London 1933)

[15] Ibid, 44

[16] Ibid 44-5

[17] Ibid 54

[18] Frederick Brotherton Myer (1847-1929) came from a wealthy family with German ancestry, who graduated from London University in 1869, trained for the ministry at Regent’s Park Baptist College and was successful minister at Liverpool, York, Leicester, before coming to London in 1888. He was associated with two churches for the rest of his ministerial career, Regent’s Park Church and Christ Church, Westminster Bridge Road. He became the president of the Free Church Federal Council in 1904. He was a popular conference speaker at D.L. Moody’s Northfields and the British Keswick Convention.

[19] Friedrich Wilhelm Krummacher (1796–1868) wrote Elijah the Tishbite, as well as many other books.

[20] Dinsdale Thomas Young (1861-1938) was born on Tyneside, raised in Yorkshire, accepted as a candidate for ministry by the Wesleyan Methodist Conference and trained at Headingley College, Leeds. He moved around a number of circuits in Birmingham, York, Manchester, Edinburgh, but it was in London that he made his mark, at Queens Street, Holborn [1904], Wesley’s Chapel, City Road [1906-1914] and Westminster Central Hall [1914, remaining there for 23 years].               

[21] Young, Dinsdale T.: Stars of Retrospect: Frank Chapters of Autobiography (Hodder & Stoughton, London 1920)

[22] Young: Popular Preaching (Epworth Press, London 1929)

[23] Young: The Gospel of the Left hand: A Book of Evangelical Cheer (Hodder & Stoughton, London 1909)

[24] Rattenbury, Owen: ‘Dinsdale T. Young – The Popular Preacher’, Little Library of Biography, No 73 (RTS – Lutterworth Press, London N/D)

[25] Ibid 5

[26] David Martyn Lloyd Jones (1899-1981) was a Protestant Christian leader who headed and inspired much of the evangelical movement 20th Century Britain. He began his ministerial career as a Welsh Presbyterian or Calvinistic Methodist, but he came to hold national and international significance. He made a firm stand against what he saw as the false liberal doctrines that had become a part of the Christian denominations of Wales and England.

 

 

[27] One piece of advice that he gave to the compiler of this study was, “In a prayer meeting there is a job to be done, so don’t hang about and get up and on with the reason we have come together, to seek this blessing of our God upon the service of the day’.

[28] Murray, Iain H.: Not a Museum but a Living force: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Evangelical Library in London (Evangelical Publications & Banner of Truth, 1995) 14

[29] Charles John Vaughan (1816 - 1897) was an active Broad-Church Anglican who was successfully, a reforming Headmaster of Harrow School and then chose to go into active church life. He became Vicar of Doncaster  (1860-69), Master of the Temple (1869-1879) where he prepared some 450 ordinands for ministry who were known as ‘Vaughan’s Doves’, and Dean of Llandaff in 1879, until his death in 1897. His sympathy with Nonconformity won him influence in S. Wales, and he took part in the foundation of the University College at Cardiff (1883–4).

[30] Young, D.T.: op cit 176-7

[31] Micklewright, M.J.: postcard to the writer dated September 7 1973

[32] Micklewright, M.J.: Autobiographical reminiscences (N/D 1990?)

[33] Bernard Lord Manning (1892-1941) was a fellow, bursar and  senior tutor at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he was a historian of the Mediaeval Period, yet he found his roots in the Crucicentrism that was at one Calvinistic, catholic and evangelical – ‘Grace is the one thing necessary and sufficient to make and maintain a church’.

[34] Micklewright, M.J.: op cit

[35] James, C.D.T.: ‘Westminster Chapel – 1841-1998’, Westminster Chapel Pamphlet, 1999

[36] Kendall, R.T.: In Pursuit of His Glory: My 25 years at Westminster Chapel (Hodder & Stoughton, London 2002) 78

[37] Ibid 55

 


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