This is the day that … Oswald Chambers was born in 1874, in Scotland … the author of 30 best-sellers, who never wrote a book!
“Thirty-two volumes bear his name on the cover, including My Utmost for His Highest, (which has been a blessing to thousands in their daily quiet time), but he never knew about any of them!” (Christianity Today, Sherwood Wirt, June, 1974).
His parents had been baptised by Charles H. Spurgeon and his father was later ordained to a Baptist pastorate by that same ‘prince of preachers’.
Oswald’s conversion took place on the way home from hearing Spurgeon preach. Oswald remarked to his father, “had the opportunity been given, he would have given his life to Christ.” The wise parent told him that he could do that very thing then and there … so it was “standing under a gas lamp in a London street” Oswald Chambers began his Christian pilgrimage (Os. Chambers, by D. Lambert, page 12).
He studied art, entered Bible College, married Gertrude Hobbs, and founded a Bible College in Clapham, England.
After four years as principal of a Bible Training College in Dunoon (Scotland), from 1911-1915, Chambers sailed for Egypt to join the staff of the YMCA, as a chaplain among the troops during World War I. He arrived in Egypt on 9 October, 1915, and many of his Bible lectures, given to thousands of soldiers solidly over the next two years, were taken down in shorthand. He was rushed to hospital in Cairo, and on 15 November, 1917, God took his servant home … at the age of 43 years.
It was then his wife gathered his writings: scraps of paper with scrawled notes, never intended for publication. Friends who had sat at his feet and taken notes of his messages sent them to her.
So it was, Baffled to Fight Better, rolled from the press shortly after his death …
In Chambers’ biography by his wife, Dinsdale T. Young pens this tribute in the Foreword: “Whenever I met him he did me good. He had a richly endowed mind which he reinforced by ceaseless study and prayer. His utterances in public were charming in form, rich in suggestion and full of ‘power from on high’. In his delightful and spiritual writings his works do follow him” (page 9).
And so the name of Oswald Chambers lives on in the 32 books he never knew he wrote!
This post is based on the work of my late friend Donald Prout whose love for books and Christian history led him to collate a daily Christian calendar. I continue to work with Don’s wife, Barbara, to share his life work with the world. I have updated some of these historical posts and will hopefully draw from Don’s huge files of clippings to continue this series beyond Don’s original work. More of Don’s work can be found at www.donaldprout.com.