St John, Harold (1876-1957)

LIsten

 

From the United Kingdom.

He preferred his name pronounced sin-jun, feeling that the title of “saint” was too superior sounding. But if anyone wanted an example of saintliness, they could have pointed in Harold St John’s direction. His normal workday lasted nine hours, after which he would catch a quick tea and march off to a preaching appointment. Vacation time was given to helping Lord Radstock in his evangelistic work on the continent. To mix in with the highbrow element would have been natural for this oh-so-proper Englishman. But he had already set his course, and his brush with aristocrisy did not turn his head. Percy Rouff worked at the bank, too, and said that he never saw him dawdle, on the street or in life. Together they would descend to places like “The Mile End Waste” to preach in the open air. Ada Habershon also did personal evangelism among the street people of London and Harold helped. He was willing to do this kind of work, but it did not come naturally to the upscale bank employee. Many nights he preached in the open air, or in flop houses, but was disturbed by the way his less fortunate audience took to his message: He said “I sat where they sat, and the fleas that bit them bit me; the same crawly things that crawled on them crawled on me. I spent some nights in that dreadful chamber silently listening to their needs and woes. Then at six o’clock one morning, when they were getting their breakfast, I arose and began to speak to them. Now I found there was not the slightest difficulty in obtaining their attention. I understood how the seas of life were buffeting them, and they were perfectly willing to listen to a man who had sat where they sat.”

In 1913, he astounded his superiors by resigning from his well paying job at the bank in order to pursue missionary work. His manager asked, “How will you live, and who will provide for your expenses, since you are not going out under any recognized missionary society?”

Harold answered, “I’m going out to do God’s work. God is sending me, and God will provide.”

“Well, St. John, I wish I had your faith.”

Click a link below to listen to Harold.

 

Matthew 5-6

Matthew 6:1-18

Matthew 7