If you have been a part of deeperChristian for some time, it should not come as a surprise that I love Samuel Logan Brengle and his books. Samuel Brengle is one of the men from recent Christian history that I turn to over and over, whom I feel I have a deep friendship with. He and a few others (men like Oswald Chambers, Ian Thomas, Andrew Murray, AW Tozer, Leonard Ravenhill, and EM Bounds) have had an incredible influence upon my life.
Samuel Brengle was a man of profound faith, who preached a bold gospel, but yet lived a life of tremendous humility. God used Brengle (both his life and words) to deepen the faith of countless thousands as he traveled the country as an evangelist for the Salvation Army—early in the Salvation Army history, soon after William Booth first started it. His biography made my list for must read Christian biographies and is a powerful story of a man who gave up great fame and prestige to allow God to form deep humility within his life so that he might be used in greater measure for God’s kingdom and glory.
One of the things I greatly appreciate about Brengle is his love, passion, and focus upon Jesus.
In his biography, one of my favorite stories is how, as an itinerant preacher, Brengle was ministering in an impoverished and destitute area of Boston. As he was walking down a street, a drunkard who hated him recognized his face and finding a paving brick nearby, threw the brick at the head of Samuel Brengle.
Greatly hurt, Brengle was taken to the hospital where he spent several months recovering from the head injury. It was there in the hospital bed, to pass time, Brengle wrote articles for the War Cry (a Salvation Army publication) championing the need for revival and holiness in our lives.
These articles were compiled and turned into the book Helps to Holiness.*
What I love about this story is the fact that when people would exclaim to Brengle how his book impacted their lives, his response was often: “If there had been no little brick, there would have been no little book!”
The depth, insight, and divine intimacy contained within this little volume is astounding as Brengle passionately exhorts individuals to press in to Jesus and give up all for the All in All. Though each chapter is relatively short, they are power-packed with truth and heavenly fire.
A Quick Overview
Samuel Logan Brengle’s book Helps to Holiness* contains 28 chapters. Without giving description of each chapter, the following chapter titles should give you a simple overview of the contents of the book itself:
- Holiness – What Is It?
- Holiness – How to Get It
- Hindrances to Obtaining the Blessing
- The Temptations of a Sanctified Man
- After the Holiness Meeting
- “Fight the Good Fight of Faith”
- The Heart of Jesus
- The Secret Power
- The Leakage of Spiritual Power
- The Man God Uses
- Your Own Soul
- Gideon’s Band
- The Chained Ambassador
- Faith – The Grace and the Gift
- Don’t Argue
- Letting the Truth Slip
- If You Have Lost the Blessing – What?
- Soul-Winners and Their Prayers
- Present-Day Witnesses to the Resurrection
- The Radicalism of Holiness
- Perfect Peace
- My Experiences in Teaching Holiness
- Another Chance for You
- Birds of Prey
- “With Peace Unbroken”
- Sanctification vs. Consecration
- Some of God’s Words to Me
The emphasis of Brengle’s book is holiness—what it is, isn’t, and what it means to live a life governed by the Spirit. While speaking of the Spirit within evangelistic meetings and our lives, Brengle states:
He who wants a meeting of life and power should remember that there is no substitute for the Holy Ghost. He is life. He is power. And if He is sought in earnest, faithful prayer, He will come, and when He comes the little meeting will be mighty in its results.” Therefore, as he later quotes: “Put your all on the altar, and leave it there; do not take it back, and God’s fire will surely come and consume the offering.
Have you found your life lacking and desire God to press and deepen His work within you? Helps to Holiness brings illumination of soul, conviction of heart, and a fiery zeal to the spirit. Oh the endless depths of our Jesus! May we aggressively go after Him. May He be the fullness of our life, holiness, and Godliness. As Brengle proclaims:
Oh, there are unspeakable breadths, and lengths, and depths, and heights of the love of God for you to revel in and discover by the telescope and microscope of faith! Glory to God! You need not fear that the experience will wear out or grow tame. God is infinite, and your little mind and heart cannot exhaust the wonders of His wisdom and goodness and grace and glory in one short lifetime. Bless the Lord! Hallelujah!
*The book has been out of print for some time and though a few copies have been reproduced and made available on Amazon, most are either extraordinarily expensive or are cheaply made. I have decided to publish a special deeperChristian edition of Helps to Holiness in the coming months (likely coming November 2015, which will be available in both print and ebook format).