Henry C. Mabie, 1906
This is an instruction manual on how to win people for Christ. He emphasizes that successful evangelizing builds on the little piece of truth that everyone has. Following that truth will lead the person to Christ. We must focus on the fundamentals of salvation, avoiding doctrinal niceties and sectarian competition.
|Contents and Preface|
|I. Presuppositions in the Soul-Winner|
|II. The Evangelizing Message|
|III. The Immediate Practical Aim|
|IV. The Nature of Saving Faith|
|V. Tact in Personal Approach|
|VI. Christ's Method of Self-Disclosure|
|VII. The Fields White unto Harvest|
Method in Soul-Winning On Home and Foreign Fields
By Henry C. Mabie, D.D., Corresponding Secretary, American Baptist Missionary Union, Boston, Mass.
"He that is wise winneth souls" - Prov. 11:30
New York: Fleming H. Revell Company, 11906
To All Winners of Souls
The writer of the following pages, while yet in student days, was singularly led, largely through the influence of Dwight L. Moody and some of his associate workers in Chicago, into active efforts for souls, and was blessed in seeing many brought to the acceptance of Christ.
Later when he entered the ministry and assumed different pastorates, east and west, much more marked blessing attended his labours of an evangelistic sort. An important spiritual crisis through which he passed while pastor in Indianapolis, in 1884, led him to see with new clearness that faith primarily involves a decisive act of the will in obedience to some present measure of spiritual light. This, rather than theoretic belief of the truth as a system of intellectual propositions, is the chief element in that "belief of the heart" which is "unto righteousness." It is also the only principle on which any Christian, however orthodox, can grow in grace, and have power to help others into light. A certain measure of theoretic belief is, of course, always implied in an act of faith; and may usually, in Christian lands, be taken for granted.
Practically, however, what others need from us, is to be "put on the clue" to a personal realization of Christ within themselves. This, the Holy Spirit, always and everywhere, waits and yearns to work in the willing heart.
In 1890, the writer as secretary of the foreign mission society of his denomination, was commissioned to visit the mission fields of Asia. On that tour he had much opportunity to test, among the heathen, the value and practicality of his conceptions in dealing savingly with souls. Interviews with many inquirers in the various lands visited, and frequent conferences with experienced missionaries then and since, have but confirmed him in the validity of the conclusions herein recorded. The great moment of the subject is sufficient apology for contributing in the way of testimony what one may, towards the solution of a question of ever growing interest, namely, how successfully to lead men to Christ.
In the course of the years of varied experience in evangelical work, a good many striking instances of conversion, illustrating the postulates laid down in the following chapters, have come under the writer's notice. As he has related from time to time, the accounts of how some of these souls were started in the new life, he has been asked to commit the narratives to print, in the hope that they might shed their light afar.
In the chapters which ensue, various incidents showing steps, whereby particular individuals were "put on the clue" Christward, are given, in the hope that they may afford helpful hints to some perplexed workers on the home field; to students, teachers, leaders of young people's societies, and ministers, and to young missionaries about commencing their work among pagan peoples. To this end the special aid of the Holy Spirit, which alone can give that "understanding" and skill which shall turn the many to righteousness," is invoked.
H. C. M.
Boston, January 10, 1906.
To First Chapter
I. Presuppositions in the Soul-Winner
Soul-winning not a perfunctory thing - Implications in the winner - Vision of God presupposed - Something to impart - D. L. Moody's Anointing - Evan Roberts - Author's experience in college days - Similar crises in lives of present-day college men - A wife's impress on her husband - Bishop Williams and his Japanese pupil - How an army major was reached - Anxiety for a neighbour rewarded - Idealizing those we would save - A woman, prominent in the Blaine Campaign, won - A timid farmer, "doing the impossible" - Story of Valentine Burke, the Missouri convict - The vision which inspires.
II. The Evangelizing Message
Two elements in the saving problem - Finding and delimiting the message - Dr. R. A. Hume's answer to a Parsi - What it is to evangelize - The aegis of an evangelical probation - All men exist under it; few realize it - A lawyer who "took under the will" - The new potential heredity in Christ - Speculative beliefs in abeyance - Weakness in current use of the Atonement - Something deeper than the Crucifixion tragedy - Meaning of redemption by blood - A speaking emblem - Under spell to the redeeming Christ.
III. The Immediate Practical Aim
The subjective side of the problem - Dealing with children - A bewildered agnostic - Putting on the clue - Gaining the confidence - A wicked vow repudiated - A Harvard agnostic committed to his ideal - The Russian Baron Uixkiull's conversion - Christ's method of giving light - Disappointment of prejudice - Our highest work - Continuance of the spiritual life as affected by true evangelization.
IV. The Nature of Saving Faith
Faith synonymous with doing the truth - A collective, executive act of the soul - Sad misunderstandings - Standing-ground in heathen systems to be utilized - Loyalty to light is faith - Beginning in Christ's school can be made anywhere - A common tactical mistake - Dealing with a Romanist - The place for objective doctrinal instruction - David Brainerd and the Indian reformer - Walking in the light rather than living up to it - Confession of George Romanes - Christ's method that of the laboratory, experimental.
V. Tact in Personal Approach
The right angle of approach - Dr. Hume's preaching in India - The personal equation - A blaspheming carpenter's conversion - Picking up an inebriate - a Japanese convert - Reaching the aged - A cynical blacksmith won - The old brickmaker paying his vows.
VI. Christ's Method of Self-Disclosure
Visit to India - Test of principles - Message to Brahmins - Christ's method of illumination in Ninth of John - Four stages in process - Principles involved - (1) Christ permitted to have His way - (2) Divine word acted on: a German agnostic - (3) Light acknowledged as it came - (4) Stood alone - Sequel of visit and exposition of principles.
VII. The Fields White unto Harvest
Large harvests warranted - One conversion may imply many - Great evangelists personal workers - Not all however will believe - Supernatural draughts of men - Christ's method at Sychar - (a) Found joy in divine will - (b) Established friendly relation - (c) Disappointed prejudice - (d) Built on elementary faith - (e) Induced spiritual thirst - (f) Awakened conviction for sin - (g) Unveiled a present Messiah-(h) Presumed on work of predecessors - Surprise in all revivals - Expect great things.
To First Chapter
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