Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

So This Is Boreham: Part Ten

This brings to mind a story Boreham shared. A minister was leaving his church for another charge, when a church member approached him at a farewell reception and said, "Sir, I am sorry to see you go. I never had but one objection to you; your preaching was always too horizontal!" Boreham ties in this parishioner's brutal honesty with the words of Henry Jowett: "We must preach more upon the great texts of the Scriptures; we must preach on those tremendous passages whose vastnesses almost terrify us as we approach them!"

If you are looking for unexcelled conversion testimonies, his Great Texts series is a necessity. Some of the best devotional thoughts penned anywhere can be found in The Tide Comes In. Boreham delves into the Beatitudes in The Heavenly Octave and sheds light upon Luke 15 in The Prodigal. Mrs. Ruth Graham Bell was influenced by The Prodigal and includes a wonderful Boreham story of Dostoyevsky's death-bed scene in her book, Prodigals and Those Who Love Them.

Finally, in one of his rarest and earliest writings, Whisper of God, Boreham reminds the preacher that he must have a vision of Deity before he steps into the pulpit. Preaching must flow from the wellspring that has as its source a personal relationship with Almighty God. Says Boreham, "A man who has no personal experience of the presence and power of God cannot possibly impress others with the august and intense reality of things eternal."

He reminds us of how this truth permeated the thoughts of our preaching forefathers. Boreham shares the words from the journal of an old Puritan divine: "'Resolved that, when I address a large meeting, I shall remember that God is there, and that will make it small. Resolved that, when I address a small meeting, I shall remember that God is there, and that will make it great.'

It is said that, when Chrysostom was composing his sermons, he was wont to fancy that the communion rails around the pulpit were crowded with listening angels. It was splendid inspiration. But the truth is greater still. Dr. Gordon dreamed that, when he preached, the Christ sat in the pew. It is verily so. The preacher needs a vision of Deity as will fill his whole horizon with the grandeur of the Divine, and assure him, in the hours of loneliness and listlessness, of the stupendous fact that God is his witness and Co-worker."

Where do you begin? Just like the rest of us who love Boreham's writings--on your hands and knees scouring second-hand book shops. Be warned! His books are not easy finds, but when one is discovered, the recipient is awash with a sense of instant gratification and accomplishment of a job well done. Those of us in the ministry need that from time to time! Then the reward: relax in a comfortable chair, pour a cup of coffee, (Boreham would prefer that you imbibe with a cup of tea), and settle back. Happy hunting!

Rev. Jeffrey S. Cranston is Senior Pastor of LowCountry Community Church, Hilton Head Island/Bluffton, South Carolina, USA.

This is the final instalment of So, This is Boreham. Many thanks Jeff for your permission to publish it here on The Official F W Boreham Blog Site (GP).

Benson, Irving C. "Dr. Frank W. Boreham--The Man and the Writer." In The Last Milestone, F.W. Boreham, London: The Epworth Press, 1961.
Boreham, Frank W., Jr. Personal correspondence with the author, 01 February 1997.
Boreham, F.W. Cliffs of Opal. Wheels Within Wheels. London: The Epworth Press, 1940.
________. Cliffs of Opal. So This is Moody!. London: The Epworth Press, 1940.
________. Faces In the Fire. The Baby Among the Bombshells. London: The Epworth Press, 1941.
________. My Pilgrimage. London: The Epworth Press, 1940.
________. A Temple of Topaz. London: The Epworth Press, 1928.
________. Whisper of God. The Seer. London: Arthur H. Stockwell, 1902.
Crago, Rev. T. Howard. "Tribute to Dr. F.W. Boreham." The Australian Baptist, May 27, 1959.
The Australian Baptist. "Death of Dr. F.W. Boreham", May 27, 1959.
The Victorian Baptist Witness. "New Mission Centre is Dedicated". July 1995, p. 3. page ________. Scholarships and New Courses. December 1996, p. 14.
Wiersbe, Warren. Walking With the Giants. Chicago: Moody Press.

Image: F W Boreham with his son, Frank, circa 1958 (GP). Frank, Jnr died about three years ago and he with his wife Betty, was very helpful to all those who were seeking to learn about their famous father.