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Albert Benjamin Simpson

Albert Benjamin Simpson (December 15, 1843 – October
29, 1919), also known as A. B. Simpson, was a Canadian
preacher, theologian, author, and founder of the Christian
and Missionary Alliance (C&MA), an evangelical
denomination with an emphasis on global evangelism.

Early life and ministry
Influence on Pentecostalism
Posthumous Compilations
Works About A. B. Simpson A. B. Simpson, founder of the Christian and
Missionary Alliance
External links

Early life and ministry

Simpson was born in Bayview, near Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, Canada, as the third son and fourth child of
James Simpson, Jr. and Janet Clark.[1] Author Harold H. Simpson has gathered an extensive genealogy of Cavendish
families in Cavendish: Its History, Its People. His research establishes the Clark family (A. B. Simpson's mother's
side) as one of the founding families of Cavendish in 1790, along with the Simpson family, and he traces common
ancestors between Albert B. Simpson and Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables.

The young Albert was raised in a strict Calvinistic Scottish Presbyterian and Puritan tradition. His conversion of faith
began under the ministry of Henry Grattan Guinness, a visiting evangelist from Ireland during the revival of 1859.[2]
Simpson spent some time in the Chatham, Ontario area, and received his theological training in Toronto at Knox
College, University of Toronto. After graduating in 1865, Simpson was subsequently ordained in the Canada
Presbyterian Church, the largest of the Presbyterian groups in Canada that merged after his departure for the United
States. At age 21, he accepted a call to the large Knox Presbyterian Church (closed in 1971) in nearby Hamilton,

In December 1873, at age 30, Simpson left Canada and assumed the pulpit of the largest Presbyterian church in
Louisville, Kentucky, the Chestnut Street Presbyterian Church. It was in Louisville that he first conceived of preaching
the gospel to the common man by building a simple tabernacle for that purpose. Despite his success at the Chestnut
Street Church, Simpson was frustrated by their reluctance to embrace this burden for wider evangelistic endeavor.

In 1880, Simpson was called to the Thirteenth Street Presbyterian Church in New York City where he immediately
began reaching out to the world with the gospel. By 1881, after only two fruitful years at Thirteenth Presbyterian, he
resigned in order to begin an independent gospel ministry to the many new immigrants and the neglected masses of
New York City.[3] Beside active evangelistic work in the church, he published in 1882 a missionary journal, The Gospel

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in All Lands, the first missionary journal with pictures.[4] Simpson also founded and began publishing an illustrated
magazine entitled The Word, Work, and World. By 1911, this magazine became known as The Alliance Weekly, then
Alliance Life. It is the official publication of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, in the USA and Canada.

In 1882, Simpson began informal training classes in order to reach "the neglected peoples of the world with the
neglected resources of the church".[5] By 1883, a formal program was in place and ministers and missionaries were
being trained in a multi-cultural context (This school was the beginning of Nyack College and Alliance Theological
Seminary). In 1889, Simpson and his church family moved into their new home at the corner of 44th St. and 8th Av.
called the New York Tabernacle. This became the base not only of his ministry of evangelism in the city but also of his
growing work of worldwide missions.

Simpson's disciplined upbringing and his natural genius made him a most effective communicator of the Word of God.
His preaching brought great blessing and converts wherever he preached and his unique gospel of Jesus became
known as the Fourfold Gospel: "Jesus our Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King".[6] The Fourfold Gospel is
symbolized in the logo of the C&MA : the Cross, the Laver, the Pitcher and the Crown. He came to his special emphasis
in ministry through his absolute Christ-centeredness in doctrine and experience.

Plagued by illness for much of his life since childhood, Simpson experienced divine healing after understanding it to
be part of the blessing of abiding in Christ as Life and healing. He emphasized healing in his Fourfold Gospel and
usually devoted one meeting a week for teaching, testimonies and prayer on these lines. Although such teaching
isolated him (and the C&MA) from the mainline churches that either did not emphasize or outright rejected healing,
Simpson's uncompromising trust in the Word and power of God kept him steadily forging ahead of his times without
criticism or rancor with those who disagreed.

Simpson's heart for evangelism was to become the driving force behind the creation of the C&MA. Initially, the
Christian and Missionary Alliance was not founded as a denomination, but as an organized movement of world
evangelism. Today, the C&MA plays a leadership role in global evangelism.

In his 1890 book, A Larger Christian Life, Simpson discussed his vision for the church:

He is showing us the plan for a Christian church that is much more than an association of congenial
friends to listen once a week to an intellectual discourse and musical entertainment and carry on by
proxy a mechanism of Christian work; but rather a church that can be at once the mother and home of
every form of help and blessing which Jesus came to give to lost and suffering men, the birthplace and
the home of souls, the fountain of healing and cleansing, the sheltering home for the orphan and
distressed, the school for the culture and training of God's children, the armory where they are equipped
for the battle of the Lord and the army which fights those battles in His name. Such a center of
population in this sad and sinful world![7]

Simpson composed the lyrics of over 120 hymns,[8] 77 of which appear in the C&MA's 1962 hymnal, Hymns of the
Christian Life, co-edited with R. Kelso Carter.[9]

His missionary vision is illustrated by these words of his hymn, "The Missionary Cry":

The Master's coming draweth near.

The Son of Man will soon appear,
His Kingdom is at hand.

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But ere that glorious day can be,

The Gospel of the Kingdom, we
Must preach in every land.[10]

Influence on Pentecostalism
During the beginning of the twentieth century, Simpson became closely involved with the growing Pentecostal
movement, an offshoot of the Holiness movement. It was common for Pentecostal pastors and missionaries to receive
their training at the Missionary Training Institute, now Nyack College, Nyack, New York, that Simpson founded.
Because of this, Simpson and the C&MA had a great influence on Pentecostalism, in particular the Assemblies of God
and the Church of the Foursquare Gospel. This influence included evangelistic emphasis, C&MA doctrine (especially
on healing and his articulation of a Fourfold Gospel), and Simpson's hymns and books.[11]

A severe division developed within the C&MA organization over "the initial evidence doctrine" within Pentecostalism.
While Simpson and the C&MA wholeheartedly embraced the Filling of the Holy Spirit and the spiritual gifts, including
speaking with tongues, they rejected the position that tongues was the only initial evidence for that Baptism
experience; instead, they held that the primary evidence is the Fruit of the Holy Spirit and that "fruitful ministry" is
another strong proof.[12]

A number of C&MA churches bear Simpson's name, as does Simpson University in Redding, California, the Albert B.
Simpson school in Lima, Peru, the A. B. Simpson Alliance School in Zamboanga City, Philippines, and the Simpson
Memorial Church (established in 1923) in Jamalpur, Ahmedabad, India. A. B. Simpson and his wife, Margaret, are
buried on the Rockland County Campus of Nyack College in Nyack, New York.

Wholly Sanctified (1880)
The Gospel of Healing (1885) (New and Enlarged edition 1890)
The Self Life and the Christ Life (1886)
Divine Emblems in the Book of Genesis (1888)
Divine Emblems in the Book of Exodus (1888)
The Fourfold Gospel (1888) (3rd ed. rev. 1890)
A Larger Christian Life (1890)
The Life of Prayer (1890)
The Four-Fold Gospel (1890)
Hymns and Songs of the Four-fold Gospel, and the Fullness of Jesus (1890)
The Christ of the Forty Days (1890)
Service for the King (1900)
Divine Emblems in Genesis and Exodus (1901)
The Names of Jesus (1892)
The Love Life of the Lord (3rd ed. rev. 1895)
'The Holy Spirit' or 'Power from on High' Volume I (1895)
'The Holy Spirit' or 'Power from on High' Volume II (1895)
Christ in the Tabernacle (1896)
Days of Heaven Upon Earth: A Year Book of Scripture Texts and Living Truths (1897)
Hymns of the Christian Life, Numbers One and Two (1897)
Present Truths or the Supernatural (1897)
Danger Lines in the Deeper Life (1898)
But God: The Resources and Sufficiency of God (1899)
Heart Messages for Sabbaths at Home (1899)
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The Sweetest Christian Life (1899)

The Apostolic Church (1900)
The Cross of Christ (1910)
Life More Abundantly (1912)
The Coming One (1912)
Michele Nardi: The Italian Evangelist; His Life and Work (1916)
The Gentle Love of the Holy Spirit

Posthumous Compilations
Songs of the Spirit: Hitherto Unpublished Poems and a Few Old Favorites (1920)
Missionary Message (1925)
Standing on Faith and Talks on the Self Life (1932)
Walking in the Spirit: A Series of Arresting Addresses on the Subject of the Holy Spirit in Christian Experience

Works About A. B. Simpson

The Life of A.B. Simpson Albert E. Thompson (1920) (Rev. 1960)

1. George A. Rawlyk, Aspects of the Canadian Evangelical Experience, McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, Canada,
1997, page 271
2. Austin, Alvyn (2007). China's millions: the China Inland Mission and late Qing society, 1832–1905. Grand Rapids,
Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 96 (https://books.google.com/books?id=BylfTMGyHRAC
&pg=PA96). ISBN 0-8028-2975-9. OCLC 76828852 (https://www.worldcat.org/oclc/76828852).
3. Klaus Fiedler, The Story of Faith Missions: From Hudson Taylor to Present Day Africa, Wipf and Stock Publishers,
USA, 2011, page
4. J. Gordon Melton and Martin Baumann, Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and
Practices, ABC-CLIO, USA, 2010, page 605
5. William Kostlevy, Historical Dictionary of the Holiness Movement, Scarecrow Press, USA, 2009, page 270
6. Randall Herbert Balmer, Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism, Westminster John Knox Press, USA, 2002, page 128
7. A. B. Simpson, A Larger Christian Life. p. 153.
8. "People " Simpson, A. B. (Albert B.), 1843–1919 " Texts" (http://www.hymnary.org/person/Simpson_AB?page=1).
Hymnary.org. Retrieved December 11, 2011.
9. Hymns of the Christian Life: A Book of Worship in Song Emphasizing Evangelism, Missions, and the Deeper Life,
1962 revised and enlarged edition. Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, 1962.
10. Hymn 338, Hymns of the Christian Life (https://archive.org/details/hymnsofchristian00simp), No. 2, 1897
11. Blumhofer, Edith L. The Assemblies of God: A Chapter in the Story of American Pentecostalism Volume 1—To
1941. Springfield, Missouri: Gospel Publishing House, 1989. ISBN 0-88243-457-8. Pages 29–31.
12. The Christian and Missionary Alliance. "Spiritual Gifts" (http://www.cmalliance.org/about/beliefs/perspectives/spirit
ual-gifts), Official Position Paper

Austin, Alvyn (2007). China's Millions: The China Inland Mission and Late Qing Society. Grand Rapids, Michigan:
Eerdmans. ISBN 978-0-8028-2975-7.
Tozer, A.W. (1943). Wingspread: Albert B. Simpson—a Study in Spiritual Altitude. Harrisburg, PA: Christian
Van De Walle, Bernie A. (2009). The Heart of the Gospel: A. B. Simpson, the Fourfold Gospel, and Late
Nineteenth-Century Evangelical Theology. Eugene, OR: Pickwick. ISBN 978-1-55635-940-8.

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External links
Works by Albert Benjamin Simpson (https://www.gutenberg.org/author/Simpson,+A.+B.+(Albert+B.)) at Project
Works by or about Albert Benjamin Simpson (https://archive.org/search.php?query=%28%28subject%3A%22Sim
0%28-mediatype:software%29) at Internet Archive
Albert Benjamin Simpson biography (http://www.hymntime.com/tch/bio/s/i/m/simpson_ab.htm)

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