Brethren Archive

Reminiscences of Frederick Arthur Banks.

by John Brown

The writer doubts not, but worthier hands might well be found to record, even at this late date, somewhat of the exceeding grace of God that abounded in and through the subject of this note.  At the same time, none could more willingly do what one can in such a delicate, yet usefully becoming task.  Frederick Arthur Banks and the writer were closest of friends from the first time they met until the last hour of hallowed opportunities.  
Much in this connection might herein to profit be embodied, but we forbear.  Most of the writings to which this forms an introduction were discussed and threshed not a little ere publication in those times of communion.  This godly habit is but little cultivated now-a-days, despite the good words of counsel given in 1 Cor. 2. 13.  F. A. B. was an exceptionally bright example of the great advantage that is his or hers who is early brought to Jesus; and a very encouragement to parents as well as to all workers among the young.  The exact age at which he passed out of death into life is not known to us for certain, but all are agreed that he was very young in years.  F. A. B. was no ordinary pioneer in the things of God.  Consequently, most of his writings were quite beyond what was generally known when he wrote and published.  At this time of day, those things are more commonly known, by name at least. There is, therefore, in his writings, what, in the light of to-day, shows the roughnesses of the pioneer, and which to profit, may be given as they were published at the first, although our knowledge and remembrance of him compels us to add that had he been with us until now, no man would more readily have conformed to all that God has been pleased to more accurately reveal, thus causing an appreciation to hold fast the form of sound words, maintaining thus the excellencies of things that are different.  As to his oral public ministry, it was universally felt and confessed that he had always something of worth to say and knew also how to express it.  BREVITY, LUCIDITY, OPPORTUNENESS, characterized his ever-welcomed ministry, which was greatly blessed by God.  His bodily strength was never great, yet his labours were abundant, not only in Great Britain and Ireland, but in the far-away West Indian Islands, where fruit not a little was granted him in men of several nationalities.  In private life, he was most genial and considerate, able and valiant in and for the Faith, no rancour obtained in the conflict or in the issue.  Being apt to teach made him to be prized for counsel, which ever showed how fully he was a peace maker.  The parent-like care and love he carried about with him for an afflicted brother in the flesh, evidenced to us who knew him, how big and tender his heart was. Yet, alas! how little this was regarded by those to whom the honour was given to maintain such an one as having gone forth for "The Name's Sake"; we pray that this may be noted by all unto the buying up of opportunities that are yet within our reach in the others who as he, are too often viewed as by themselves alone, whereas there are generally those of their household besides, dependent on the support of such labourers as to the bread-winners (compare 2 Tim. 1. 16-18).  Before his departure to be at home with the Lord, it was quite noticeable how frequently he asked the Saints to sing, making melody in their heart to God, that very sweet hymn—
"The glory shines before me,
I cannot linger here."
To reflect our dear departed a little in his brevity, we must close, and would with a word or so more, urge our readers' prayerful consideration of his writings, which shall doubtless bring about a fulfilment of the spirit of the words, "THEIR WORKS DO FOLLOW THEM."  And even thus, Abel-like, shall F. A. B., though dead, yet speak, and, Samson-like, effect more by his death than by the days of his life upon the earth.  To this end will the writer, your well-wisher, pray.  
JOHN BROWN.  Greenock, June 1898.
“Spiritual Growth” F. A. Banks

Samuel said ...
The Needed Truth folks reprinted FAB’s “Spiritual Growth” with a new preface by J Dorricott. It is this latter edition which Gospel Tract Publications reissued in the last volume of “The Assembly Writers Library” . It’s an odd choice for Samuel Johnston who surely wouldn’t have sought to promote an eminent leader amongst the “Churches of God” .(ie Dorricott) rather than the famous John Brown of Greenock, author of the valuable book “Spoken Words”
Friday, Mar 22, 2024 : 17:57

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