Brethren Archive

Henry Moorhouse

Born: 27th September 1840
Died: 28th December 1880






Intro, Biographical Information, Notes etc:
 





Chief Men Among the Brethren Biography

HENRY MOORHOUSE, or as he was more familiarly called, "HARRY MOORHOUSE, the English Evangelist, " was born in the city of Manchester. When very young he was sent to jail on more than one occasion, afterwards joining the army and trying the life of a soldier, being bought off by his father at considerable cost.

Passing the Alhambra Circus in Manchester, where Richard Weaver was preaching, hearing a noise within, and thinking a fight was going on, Henry buttoned his coat and rushed in, ready for the fray. As he entered he was arrested by one word—"JESUS. " The glorious Name shot from the preacher's lips went home as a bullet and as balm to the heart of the wanderer. His early childhood, reckless career, and awful danger rose vividly before his vision, the "Glorious Gospel" (2 Cor. 4. 4) message went home to his heart, and he who had entered to fight remained to praise and pray.

Thus suddenly and soundly converted to God, he entered heartily into the service of his new Master. His first services were chiefly in the open air, at local and national gatherings, and in special places of concourse. From morning till evening his joy was to spend his time distributing tracts, speaking personally with individuals wherever he got an opportunity, or crying aloud in the street or market-place, urging multitudes to "flee from the wrath to come. "

Like the apostle of old, he had visions of God. Upon one occasion he saw in his sleep three young men in Manchester, each strangely attired in a white jacket, on which were the words legibly written, "These men are going to Hell!" The place appeared to be near the infirmary, and before them was a deep burning lake of fire, unperceived by them. Henry called aloud for them to stop, but they took no heed, until he fell down upon his knees and cried to God, saying, "Lord, it is not by might, nor by power, but by Thy Spirit." The men then turned back in haste, having discovered their danger. This dream was on Friday night; and on the Sunday evening following, when Henry was preaching in the Alhambra Circus, those three identical young men came into the place, and before the meeting closed they were all on their knees crying out for mercy, and were brought to accept the Lord Jesus Christ and the pardon of their sins.

The revival stream, which had begun to flow in 1854, was in full tide in 1860, when Moorhouse was converted. Thus he was early brought into touch with the enthusiastic spirits—RICHARD WEAVER, from the coalpit, whose style he largely followed; JOHN HAMBLETON, the converted actor; EDWARD USHER, a dockyard labourer; Wm. CARTER, the converted sweep; HENRY VARLEY, a butcher, and afterwards valiant champion for the truth; REGINALD RADCLIFFE, the Liverpool lawyer; BROWNLOW NORTH, the man of wealth and fashion; JOSHUA POOLE, better known as "Fiddler Joss;" J. DENHAM SMITH, a devout expositor; C. H. SPURGEON, of the Metropolitan Tabernacle; H. GRATTAN GUINNESS, of the "Regions Beyond, " and many others. D. L. MOODY and IRA D. SANKEY afterwards became his special friends.

Henry's special call to devote all his time to the work of the Lord came through an enthusiast,known as "the hatless preacher." One evening when Henry was engaged in crying his wares as auctioneer of "Notions," and rapping for bids, the hatless man suddenly appeared before him, and cried aloud, "Thou oughtest to have thy Bible in thy hand out amongst the people, and not that hammer for the devil, " and immediately departed. That short, terrible, speech was like a thunderbolt falling on Henry, and the words gave a harder blow than he could stand. He at once dropped the auctioneer's hammer, went to Liverpool, sought out Hambleton, and entered with him on an evangelistic tour through the provinces. Since that date Henry laboured in the special work of evangelising without a fixed salary, or human promise of support. A trio consisting of John Hambleton, the preacher; Edward Usher, the singer; and Henry Moorhouse, the young and fervid disciple, attended the tercentenary of William Shakespeare at Stratford-on-Avon. They bore aloft textboards bearing the words, "Christ for Me! Praise the Lord! Mercy's Free!" and created no small stir, with fruit which shall abound in "that Day."

The stories concerning the visits of these heroes to race meetings, haunts of vice, sinners in the slums; their theatre services, sometimes fourteen theatres were filled in London on one Sunday night; visits to public executions, then not uncommon; labours amongst Romanists in many parts of Ireland, and "labours more abundant" are told in "Buds, Blossoms, and Fruits of the Revival. "* Through incessant labours in Britain, Henry Moorhouse, never strong at the best, began to show signs of sadly needing rest and change. Hence he set out for the United States, arriving in Philadelphia in 1868. His welcome was so hearty, and his ministry so appreciated, that he paid five visits in the following ten years. How he became "the man who moved the man who moved the world" is best told in D. L. MOODY'S own words: "In 1867, when I was preaching in Dublin, at the close of the service a young man, who did not look over seventeen, though he was older, came up to me and said he would like to go back to America with me, and preach the Gospel. I thought he could not preach it, and I said I was undecided when I could go back. He asked me if I would write to him, as I did not know whether I wanted him or not. After I arrived at Chicago I got a letter saying he had just arrived in New York, and he would come and preach. I wrote him a cold letter, asking him to call on me if he came West. A few days after I got a letter stating he would be in Chicago next Thursday. I didn't know what to do with him. I said to the officers of the Church, 'There is a man coming from England, and he wants to preach. I am going to be absent Thursday and Friday. If you will let him preach on those days I will be back on Saturday and take him off your hands.' They did not care about his preaching, being a stranger; but at my request they let him preach. On my return on Saturday I was anxious to hear how the people liked him, and I asked my wife how that young Englishman got along. How did they like him? She said they liked him very much. 'He preaches a little different from what you do. He tells the people God loves them. I think you will like him.' I said he was wrong. I thought I could not like a man who preached contrary to what I was preaching. I went down on Saturday night to hear him, but I had made up my mind not to like him, because he preached different from me."

After graphically describing the six nights on John 3. 16, Moody concludes: "In closing up that seventh sermon, he said, 'For seven nights I have been trying to tell you how much God loves you, but this poor stammering tongue of mine will not let me. If I could ascend Jacob's ladder and ask Gabriel, who stands in the presence of the Almighty, to tell me how much love God the Father has for this poor lost world, all that Gabriel could say would be, that "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever beliveth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. "' I have never forgotten those nights. I have preached a different Gospel since, and I have had more power with God and man since then. " Ever after he was a close, personal friend and helper of Messrs. Moody and Sankey. Fleming H. Revell, the, American Publisher, who died in 1931, was present at these services, and confirms the story as here stated.

During the last few years of his life he found work something akin to that of his early days in preaching and selling Scriptures from a Bible carriage. In two years he sold over 150,000 Bibles and Testaments, and gave away millions of books and tracts.

In 1876 his service was evidently closing, his last year of labour was one of much suffering, the doctors said his heart was twice the size it ought to be, yet he was ever bright and happy. Near the end he said, "If it were the Lord's will to raise me up again, I should like to preach from the text 'God so loved the world.' " On 28th December, 1880, in his fortieth year, he passed Home to receive the "Well done, " and to enter into "the joy of his Lord. "

The two veterans, Richard Weaver and Henry Moorhouse, lie not far from each other in Ardwick Cemetery, Manchester. John 3:16 is engraved on the memorial to Moorhouse.

John Hambleton, in relating his farewell interview with Henry, aptly summed up his life: “Calling to see him on Monday last, before he left us, I grasped his arms, as his face betokened that the enemy death was doing his last work, and said, ‘Harry, we shall soon meet up yonder.’ He replied, while gasping for breath, ‘Sure, sure, sure I’ How plainly visible is the work of God in putting into such a little frail vessel as our brother such a treasure, showing us all that the excellency of the power is of God.”

Henry’s last letter aptly summed up his own life. “Ask prayer for me to suffer for Christ better than ever I preached for Him; I ONLY WANT TO GLORIFY HIM.”

HyP.

* "John Hambleton, the Converted Actor. " 2d. net (2Jd. each, or 5 for l/-,p.f.).





Comments:
Samuel said ...
Tom, you will probably be able to find a copy quite easily of "Henry Moorhouse, the English Evangelist. By John Macpherson. London : Morgan & Scott. Post 8vo, Cloth. 144 pages. Price 2s. 6d" I have been looking unsuccessfully for one on google-books. But you might be able to find a scanned copy somewhere. It is often bound with Moorhouse's little book "Ruth the Moabitess" P&I used to reprint both.
Friday, Mar 9, 2018 : 20:16
Tom said ...
Thanks, it was on the Internet Archive.
Monday, Mar 12, 2018 : 23:53
Paul said ...
What was Mr. Moorhouse's connection to the Brethren?
Friday, Nov 30, 2018 : 21:51
Marty said ...
Henry Moorhouse is listed on many sites as a "Brethren Evangelist"
He was born on 27th Sept. 1840, according to John Macpherson.
Saturday, Dec 1, 2018 : 01:28
Tom said ...

Yes I guess it is a matter of personal interpretation as to how far the Brethren movement extends. Personally I wouldn't really have considered Moorhouse as part of it, but that's probably as my own experience is with the Exclusive end of the spectrum. I think though it is possible to overly tie up Brethrenism with Exclusivism, as that part of it has the most vocal history, where as in reality Exclusives were actually a break off from the original movement. I would consider Moorhouse more one of the Revivalists though.

Saturday, Dec 1, 2018 : 19:42
DAV CETGAR said ...
EN REALIDAD NO IMPORTA TANTO DE DÓNDE SALIÓ EL HERMANO MOREHOUSE, O SI TENÍA UNA LINEA U OTRA DE DOCTRINA, LO QUE REALMENTE IMPORTA SON SUS FRUTOS, QUE SEGÚN ENTIENDO ERAN LOS FRUTOS DEL ESPÍRITU, Y QUE SU VIDA, Y SU TESTIMONIO HAYAN IMPACTADO DE TAL MANERA A HERMANOS CÓMO LOS QUE SE NOMBRAN EN ÉSTE ESCRITO, ES MÁS QUE UNA GARANTÍA DE QUE EL ESPÍRITU SANTO LO LLENABA, LO CUBRÍA, Y LO GUIABA, TOTALMENTE LLENO, Y CUBIERTO DEL NUEVO HOMBRE, CREO QUE EL CON TODA CONVICCIÓN PODRÍA HABER DICHO CÓMO PABLO, CRISTO EN MI, MI ESPERANZA DE GLORIA, Y YA NO VIVO YO, SINO CRISTO VIVE EN MI, Y LO QUE HOY VIVO EN LA CARNE LO VIVO EN LA FE DEL HIJO DE DIOS, QUE SE ENTREGÓ A SI MISMO, POR MI. VIVÍAMOS ESTO HERMANOS.
Sunday, Jun 16, 2019 : 03:15
DAV CETGAR said ...
EN REALIDAD NO IMPORTA TANTO DE DÓNDE SALIÓ EL HERMANO MOREHOUSE, O SI TENÍA UNA LINEA U OTRA DE DOCTRINA, LO QUE REALMENTE IMPORTA SON SUS FRUTOS, QUE SEGÚN ENTIENDO ERAN LOS FRUTOS DEL ESPÍRITU, Y QUE SU VIDA, Y SU TESTIMONIO HAYAN IMPACTADO DE TAL MANERA A HERMANOS CÓMO LOS QUE SE NOMBRAN EN ÉSTE ESCRITO, ES MÁS QUE UNA GARANTÍA DE QUE EL ESPÍRITU SANTO LO LLENABA, LO CUBRÍA, Y LO GUIABA, TOTALMENTE LLENO, Y CUBIERTO DEL NUEVO HOMBRE, CREO QUE EL CON TODA CONVICCIÓN PODRÍA HABER DICHO CÓMO PABLO, CRISTO EN MI, MI ESPERANZA DE GLORIA, Y YA NO VIVO YO, SINO CRISTO VIVE EN MI, Y LO QUE HOY VIVO EN LA CARNE LO VIVO EN LA FE DEL HIJO DE DIOS, QUE SE ENTREGÓ A SI MISMO, POR MI. VIVÍAMOS ESTO HERMANOS.
Sunday, Jun 16, 2019 : 03:15
DAV CETGAR said ...
IGNORO EL PORQUE AL ENVIAR EL COMENTARIO ES CAMBIADO AUTOMÁTICAMENTE, Y MODIFICADO EN ALGUNA DE SUS PARTES, CHEQUEN ESO HERMANOS.
Sunday, Jun 16, 2019 : 03:20
Jonathan said ...
"...where as in reality Exclusives were actually a break off from the original movement..."

Hmm, yes, well many, many books have been written debating that point ... I didn't know it had been so clearly settled! :-)
Sunday, Jun 16, 2019 : 06:37
Marty said ...

From: "The Gospel Watchman"
In Memoriam.
WITH very great sorrow, we record the death, in the prime of his life and of matured capacity for usefulness, of our beloved and valued brother, HENRY MOORHOUSE. For the past three years, he has suffered from disease of the heart, was called to his rest at midnight of Monday, 27th December 1880, aged forty, and was buried on the last day of the old year in the presence of many of his brother-evangelists and other friends, some from long distances. Among those who took part in the service at the grave were his early and constant friends, John Hambleton, Richard Weaver, and John Street.
But, being dead, he yet speaketh. All our readers, and all who know Mr. Moody, know how much, at the outset of his career, he owed to Henry Moorhouse. Truly the seed sown by the brother who has gone, has borne abundant fruit, and, we trust, will bear yet more abundantly for years to come, in the work for God of D. L. Moody, Major Whittle, and others in America, as well as not a few in England, who profited by his simple, dear, and, forcible expositions of the Good Tidings.
The following letters express some little of the affectionate regard in which he was held:

Dear Brother,—Our dear little brother has gone home; his great heart was too big for his little frail body. I stayed at his house three or four nights a week while labouring in Manchester during December. His sufferings were great, coughing for hours together, but his happy smile throughout, completely answered to that precious peace of soul reigning within. "Oh, all right," he would say, "it's only a cough; it would be worse if there were no cough." Galling to see him on Monday last before he left us. I grasped his arms, as his face betokened that the enemy, death, was doing his last work, and said, "Harry, we shall soon meet up yonder." He replied, while gasping for breath, "Sure, sure, sure!"
"There was a native simplicity in this dear lad ever since he was brought to the Lord. We travelled together when he was about nineteen, and his little anecdotes would, in two or three minutes, fill a whole congregation with tears of joy. In his sleep, at that time, he would talk of Jesus, and often be as though he were preaching, saying, "We ought to be more honest, more truthful; living near to God. God wants men; Christ wants men; the Holy Ghost wants men—men of truth, men of God!" His growth in the knowledge of his Bible in the years that followed has been proved by his works, which will follow him. How plainly visible is the work of God, in putting into such a little frail vessel as our brother, such a treasure, showing us all that the excellency of the power is of God, and not of us.
—Yours in Him, JOHN HAMBLETON."

MR. CHARLES INGLIS writes:—"Although suffering intense pain, he was enabled to cheer the sorrowing ones around him with such words as, "All, all is well;" and to his own "little Willie," he could leave that precious text that he ever loved to speak of—"God is Love."
When we saw him a week or two since, he said he thought his work for Christ was nearly done; and as we gazed at his remains, we could hardly realize even then that those lips would never again tell of Jesus and His love to sinners, and that his well-worn Bible, which lay in its accustomed place, would never again be used by him in helping young converts, and in edifying the Church of God.
Twenty years ago, he was brought to Christ in one of the meetings in Manchester, and from the very first, began to speak for his Lord; and from that time till just before his departure, he has been incessant in the Masters service. Some of us who knew him intimately, and have laboured with him in this and other lands, have met not only with many who were brought to Christ through his instrumentality, but very many Christians to whom his precious Bible-readings have been made a lasting blessing. Yesterday (Dec. 31st), a number of us carried his remains to the Ardwick Cemetery to await the morning of the resurrection, when the sleeping saints will be changed, and the living ones caught up to meet their Lord in the air. As we stood around that open grave, we were able to sing, though our eyes were dimmed with tears—

"There'll be no parting,
There'll be no parting there."

And as that song went up from the many who were there, we thought of the day about to dawn when we all should meet to go no more out forever. Need I ask that friends here and in America, will remember his widow (Mary) in their prayers, that the God of all grace may establish her in this heavy trial.

Tuesday, Sep 10, 2019 : 07:31


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