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How do you prove that there is a God? is the question of the class which delights in the acrobatics of philosophical debate. Introduction

"A VESSEL UNTO HONOR"

Romans 9:21

by Charles A. Jennings

In His merciful plan, our God so favors His people in choosing His servants and giving them as 'gifts' unto the Body of Christ. This is what our Lord did when He chose a young English lad named, William Pascoe Goard.

He was born in Cornwall, England in1863. He was miraculously converted to Christ while still a young boy. At the insistance of his father he studied law, but his first love through a divine call was to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He preached his first sermon at the age of fourteen.

While still a teenager, his family moved to Canada where he soon became involved with The Salvation Army. He was promoted to the rank of Captain at the age of twenty-one.

In order to prepare himself for Christian service, Goard studied theology at Wesley College located in Winnipeg, Manitoba and was ordained in the Methodist Church. He later pastored the Grandview Congregational Church in Vancouver, British Columbia.

In the early1890's, he was introduced to the Christian Anglo-Israel message of the Bible by Victoria University Professor Edward F. Odlum. He soon launched his own intensive research on the subject and became thoroughly convinced of its validity both by the Scriptures and secular history.

William P. Goard went on to distinguish himself as editor of the NATIONAL MESSAGE magazine, helped to establish the Harrow Weald Park College, was an international lecturer and prolific author. His life-long love was the study and proclamation of God's Holy Word.

In the following article entitled IN THE COOL OF THE DAY, Goard relates his warm heartfelt testimony of how his Blessed Savior revealed Himself to him while still a young lad. There the Lord placed within him that divine call that stayed with him until he was called home on February 9, 1937.

In the second article entitled FROM ISRAELITE TO SAXON, Goard so adequately Ė yet so briefly Ė presents to the reader his knowledge and commitment to the Christian Anglo-Israel message of the Bible.

IN THE COOL OF THE DAY

by the late WILLIAM PASCOE GOARD

"The LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day . . ." (Genesis 3:8)

"And the Lord appeared unto him . . .. . in the heat of the day." (Genesis 18:1)

"And behold the word of the LORD came unto him . . . and he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven and tell the stars . . ."
(Genesis 15:4-5)

Is there a God? Thus cries the class which takes its pleasure in negations.

How do you prove that there is a God? is the question of the class which delights in the acrobatics of philosophical debate.

Such questions as these could never be entertained by the writer and by the many millions of the class to which he belongs, for the simple reason that God is a well-known Personality to them, having joined them at the cool of the evening, in the heat of the day, or when the stars march forth in their stately progress across the sky.

It has seemed to the writer that many questions might be relegated to the scrap-heap of unnecessary things by simply telling of some of the times when God has spoken to ME.

This is a case when only the first person singular may be used. I cannot tell when God has joined you as you have walked abroad, or come to you when you have been in receptive mood at home. That would be hearsay evidence on my part, and would not be admitted in a court of law. But my personal testimony in the first person singular would be entertained and classed as evidence of the first order, that is to say, evidence by direct testimony.

This evidence was voiced by former generations who sang:

"What we have felt and seen, with confidence we tell
And publish to the sons of men, the signs infallible."


That is to say, personal experience published by direct personal testimony. It is a long time ago now that the first experience of a conscious personal meeting with God came to me.

I had gone to a little church to hear a preacher, not very noted perhaps as far as the great general public was concerned, but known and beloved as an annual visitor in our community.

He preached a sermonóas usualóand the text was:

"Having slain the enmity thereby . . . nailing it to His Cross."

I am not quite sure that I should at this time phrase things just as he did. But he caused me to see that those transgressions and sins which separated me from both my fellow-men and from God had been taken away and nailed to the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.



Perhaps the next day, at all events before the week was far gone, I was walking in one of the beautiful Cornish lanes in the heat of the day. A glorious sun shone overhead. Fleecy clouds sailed across a vividly blue sky. The hedge-rows and ditches were filled with ragged robins and other midsummer flowers, the meadow-sweet contributed their perfume, the red clover filled the air with sweetness, there was the hum of busy insects and the midday twitter of the birds. It was all so perfect.

Suddenly the thought of what I had heard and what I had meditated upon on the Sabbath came back ∑to me. Withall, there suddenly came a new brightness to the sun, a new sweetness to the perfume, a new tone to bird and insect notes, A NEW PERSONALITY WALKING WITH ME UNSEEN, but manifest by new brightness in what I saw, and new sweetness in the tones I heard.

Startled, I halted for a moment, and in that momentís halt seemed to hear a Voice around me and within, thrilling my whole being:

"My son, give Me thy heart."

The beauties which I have described, of eye and ear, are a general impression such as a great painter creates by a landscape masterpiece. I may or may not have got the details exactly as they were. The impression which remained I have.

But there was startling clearness in this Voice, which seemed to fill the surrounding space and at the same time to fill my inner being. I knew it for what indeed it was, THE VOICE OF GOD CALLING TO ME IN THE HEAT OF THE DAY.

I did not want to share this experience with any living soul. Looking about for a retired place, I noticed that I was near a well-known "gap" in the hedge which gave access to a well-known field. I mean that "gap" and field were well known to me, for this was my birthplace Ė and I had rambled over every field, and was well acquainted with the surroundings.

So I passed through the "gap," as entering into a sanctuary where God was. I remember the waving wheat just headed out. I remember the triangular little patch of red clover in the corner of the field. I can smell the perfume, and hear the bird and insect voices still. But under, and over, and through it all was the insistent Voice:

"My son, give Me thy heart."

I knelt there in the Presence of my God and gave to Him my heart.

Then the brightness and the lightness which flooded everything and inspired even my feet to walk in the midst of the glories of that midday was an experience the memory of which is vivid after a half-century of travel and activity has passed away.

This might have been looked upon as the dreaming, the vivid dreaming, of a twelve-year-old boy, and nothing more, but for the fact that in many lands, and under many circumstances, for fifty years and more, that meeting has held its place and power in my life. As surely as the life of Saul of Tarsus was changed into that of St. Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles, from Jewry, in its most intense form, to Christianity as manifested in his life and writings, so surely was my life changed and given a set direction in that meeting with God. The place was in a Cornish lane, but the meeting place was at the Cross.



"Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying . . ." This would have been the form of expression in Old Testament days. In faint measure the experience was the same for me.

This time it was a Sunday afternoon, and the place was the deep window-seat of my bedroom. The outlook from my window was beautiful. "Just the place to breed a poet," said a visitor friend of my youth when he caught the outlook from my window.

Well-kept gardens, with treasures of bloom and shrub, were under my window. The River Strat murmured by outside the garden wall, to be met by a tributary which, on occasion, could flood the lower part of the village and form "land waters" over orchard and field; but which usually murmured its way by the end of the garden.

Just where the two met at the angle of the garden was a weir over which all the water, but such as passed into a mill "leat" or "lead," fell with a musical song, the tone of which varied according to the volume of the stream. Beyond opened out a valley, with orchard and meadow, and swelling hillsides, filled with the wild life which makes such landscapes vivid and vocal.

The question in my mind that afternoon was:

"Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?"

Three openings were before me at that particular time. An opening into a business house on good terms, openings into mechanical pursuits, and an opening into a law office.

What age? About fourteen.

I was musing over this. It had been a matter of conversation between my parents and myself at the midday meal.

The feeling of the Presence led me to take a course somewhat like the enquiry of our forefathers by Urim and Thummim in order to obtain direction from the Lord. I relate the facts. They include the course taken by a boy. I might not take the same course now.

Yet I do not know, granted the same sense of the Presence.

I knelt in the window and prayed after the manner of Gideonís prayer. I asked that direction might be afforded me through the words of the Book. Closing my eyes, I placed the Book upright between my two hands. Withdrawing my hands, I allowed the Book to fall open, and placed my finger on the words. How they shone. I am not aware that I had ever noticed them before, but now they seemed to be written in letters which glowed:

"Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the House of Israel."

I examined the passage, and found that the roll was the roll of a Book. I understood that the eating of the roll meant the mastering of the Book. I had not heard of Anglo-Israel in those days, but I never doubted for a moment then nor later that the House of Israel were my own British people. Not "a people of a strange language," as the passage goes on to say.

I was startled, but not convinced that here was more than coincidence.

I prayed again and followed again the same course. My finger lit on the same words: "Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the House of Israel."

But, my mind seemed to say, this Book has been so used that it falls open that way, and the repetition is therefore an accident.

Turning to my dressing-table, I took a Bible which had been given to me the preceding Christmas as a "reward" from the Sunday-school. It was a leather-covered, brass-bound, brass-clasped Book, which had not been in use at all. I prayed yet once more as Gideon did regarding the fleece. Then I stood the Book between my hands with my eyes closed. It fell open, and I placed my finger. Opening my eyes I read:

"Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the House of Israel."

And I said, "I will, Lord."

It was an intense moment. It seemed to me then and seems to me still that there and then the Lord gave to me my commission and my marching orders.



Later in life the hands of a distinguished Bishop were laid upon my head, a Bible was placed in my hands, and the voice of Bishop Carman said:

"Take thou authority to preach the Word of God.. . ."

I took the Bible, but I had received the authority before. Never when thinking of my ordination does my mind halt at that service of ordination. My mind goes back to that Sabbath afternoon when I was caused to read, "Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the House of Israel."

Can one wonder that the authorities of the Church called upon me almost at once, before that year had ended, to begin that long period of service in preaching, "speaking unto the House of Israel"?

My father had received no such impression. Therefore an arrangement was made by him whereby I should continue to attend school in the morning and go into a law office for the afternoon. My employer, the lawyer, set me the task of reading law, and held me to it. He trained me like a veritable martinet in the reading of documents and in the preparation of cases, and in the various things which it is necessary for the legal man to know. But underneath it all was the urge, "Eat this roll, and go speak unto the House of Israel." Preaching and teaching on Sundays and week evenings, school and office, books and documents on weekdays, filled in my time, and I did not know how matters would be arranged.



Then suddenly came the consciousness of the Presence. The Voice this time seemed to be saying, "Get thee out from thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy fatherís house, to a land which I will shew thee."

At first we talked of Australia and of all going together. A broken bank rendered that move out of the question.

Then the United States of America, and conjunction with my motherís brother, came up for discussion. I wrote to my uncle. He thought it wise to write and state the difficulties of the new land. I read into it a reluctance to take the responsibility of my coming to him. This I later found to be entirely a wrong reading of a very wise letter, but it turned me aside.

One day I came home to my fatherís house with the ticket in my pocket to Ontario, Canada, and so the die was cast.

The Presence had again guided my footsteps.

A hundred proofs of that have come to me since that time.

So on a Sabbath in June,1880, I found myself standing on the deck of the Polynesian in mid-ocean, preaching the Word to the company from the British Isles who were on the way to make the great Dominion their home.

A fortnight later, in little Salim Church in Durham County, I began the work of "speaking to the House of Israel" in the Dominion of Canada. I have not finished that task yet.



Time will fail me to tell of a later occasion when the Presence came to me and sent me forth again, this time from the most comfortable surroundings and the happiest fellowship, conjoined with the most congenial labours, to pioneer life on the great Western plains.

Yes, He was with me there in the heat of the day, in the cool of the day, and when the stars shone in the sky.

Once again He came and sent me still farther West to the great Province of British Columbia. There He caused me to stake down my tent and to make my home.

Again, and the Voice bade me to recross the continent and the ocean and to go to London. But there were physical obstacles in the way I would not bargain. I told the Lord of the physical difficulty, and of my willingness to go; but I prayed that the physical difficulty might be removed. It was removed. To His glory be it spoken.

And so there has been the long route. Vancouver in the West, London in the East, and the yearly migration between them. Thus He has staked out my parish, and kept me traveling from end to end of it. Now in Canada, now in the United States, now in Britain, and so it goes.

Then came the call to write the message for the Manifestos, and the call to His servant to publish the same. And so the work goes on, and still we hear His Voice walking in the garden in the cool of the day.

He spoke in the "Crossing of the River." He has spoken in many and many a message. He will speak again, bye and bye, and He will say:

"It is enough, Come up higher, enter into the joy of thy Lord."
 
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