A Great American Preacher
DR. R. A. TORREY, the well-known American evan-
gelist, whose name will long be held in regard by
thousands of Christian workers in all parts of the world,
was born in 1856, at Hoboken, N.J., his father being a
manufacturer in Brooklyn and New York City. From
his earliest childhood he was brought up in the nurture and
admonition of the Lord, being taught to read his Bible
and pray daily, a habit which he maintained during later
years of wandering and scepticism. The first definite
religious impressions came from reading a book on which
he stumbled, when but a boy, in the lumber-room at home.
Reading this book, the question arose: "Will you be a
Christian now?" But
with that came the thought that if
he said "Yes" he would have to be a minister, and,
shrinking from such a calling, he said, "No," and
some years seemed to be left alone.
At the age of fifteen he entered Yale University, and
having no spiritual life, easily
fell into the ways of sin,
associating with a fast set, and becoming reckless, even
while continuing constant in attendance at church and
prayer-meeting, as well as the reading of the Bible and
daily prayer! In all this he found, of course, no true
happiness, and, indeed, confessed that, "during his junior
years, life became an utter burden, of which he wanted
to be relieved, until, in sheer desperation, one night he
rose from bed, and told God that if He
would give relief
he would preach the Gospel, should
He so bid him."
This open confession he made in the last term of his
senior college year. Entering Yale Theological Seminary,
he fell away for a time, and professed to be a sceptic, but
by the goodness of God was brought out of darkness into
the light of life, through the study of Christian evidences.
His evangelistic tours covered many years--Australia,
New Zealand, India, Great Britain, United States and
Canada. Taken as a whole, the movement which Dr.
Torrey organised and carried out with abounding energy,
marked the greatest of its kind since the days of Moody
and Sankey. Death came on Friday, 26th October,
1928, at Ashville, North Carolina.