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The study of the past, one element of history, is a guide in forecasting the future. On the one hand it is a caution, and on the other an inspiration. History is the truest biography, or biography is the truest history. The lives of men filling sacred or ecclesiastical positions have been the richest heritage of historians. Secular and sacred history would be void of much of its luster and potentiality, if it did not give the achievements of Luther, Calvin, Chrysostom, Wesley, Spurgeon, and many other illustrious church characters.
Our race group and our churches must tarry here long enough to learn the value of this subject and the importance of the biographer's pen. That it is
mightier than the sword " applies here with more force and aptness than elsewhere. Deeply stirred by this fact, the author of this volume presents to the world the biography of the lamented Rev. E. J. Fisher, D.D. Now, reader, pause just a moment before you begin
, the perusal of the remarkably interesting pages of this volume. This book is a good deed. It deals with
the life and the achievements of a masterful character:
a a preacher of the last generation of slaves, and one that clearly illustrated the possibilities of his race and the all-conquering power of God's grace.
He, the late Rev. E. J. Fisher, D. D., was one of nature's noblemen. He was blessed with an imposing physique and a commanding presence. He possessed a strong personality, was always moved by deep convictions and by purposes that were constant and captivating. He loved humanity with a deathless, pulsa ting devotion because he first loved God. His love was not of the sentimental, evanescent type, but was crystallized and expressed in altruistic services which yet live to accentuate his
memory. Whatever may die or be forgot,
Work done for God, it dieth not. This volume written by M. M. Fisher, a young theologue, and the son of the Dr. E. J. Fisher, is convincing evidence of the substantial worth of the labors of his father, the slave, the freeman, the “ ambassador of Christ,” sailing in “ turbulent seas," but bringing into calm harbors" at last his most valuable cargoes.
The book is written with a facile pen and in a charming style, and will, if read understandingly, be
an abiding inspiration to Christian workers and ministers, “Knights of the Cross," "the slaves of Christ Jesus.” It shows plainly what God can do with man's resources when these are fully surrendered to him.
It is history, biography, having a setting and a subject which alone are interesting. But the clearness and general style of this author, his keen insight, and his apt, faithful compilation of many scattered, tragic facts, and his skilful interpretations of these increase marvelously the interest and value of this life of the Master's slave.
It is the pathetic story of an earnest, patriotic pastor, beset here and there by unusual difficulties—but he battles with them and converts them into steppingstones by which he “mounts the zenith,” leading with him innumerable hosts from the world's plains and its miasmic lowlands. He was no creature of environments. He followed not “ the line of least resistance," but being a man of courage, he rightfully has his place with those of whom Dryden discoursed when he said:
The brave man seeks not popular applause,
Unsham'd, though foil'd, he does the best he can. Doctor Fisher wrought well. The present harmony and progress of Olivet are eloquent and convincing testimony of his useful life and labors. Here “he being dead yet speaketh.
We pray that God's choicest blessings will rest upon the book, give it a wide and ready circulation, and thereby help to verify the promise of God,
“He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."
L. K. WILLIAMS, Pastor Olivet Baptist Church,
That poverty, obscurity, and lowly birth are no handicap is frequently evidenced in the later development and conspicuous achievements of men. Affluence and opportunity do not insure leadership. Poverty is not always a guaranty that those who live in its surroundings will reach conspicuous heights, but there is greater incentive for those who have all to gain and nothing to lose to exert themselves than is the case with those who are supplied with everything which money and comfort afford. A fixed purpose in life, integrity, morality, industry, truthfulness, and determination are among the elements necessary to success. It does not matter that those who possess these elements are handicapped either by lack of opportunity or wealth or influence. Success comes to those who are determined to achieve it and have but one object and that object the fulfilment of an ambition, and who work toward it unceasingly and will not be diverted from that ambition by any obstacle. Obstacles to such men are but added incentives to success. They bring out the best there is in a man. Comfort and pleasure and luxurious sur