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Biography of Elizabeth Swift Brengle
Product Code: 0200114022
- By Eileen Douglas
- 117 pages.
- Published 1990, The Salvation Army
Foreword by Mrs. Bramwell Booth
This little book is a welcome addition to similar volumes—the life-stories of Salvationists. Differing from one another very widely, as they do by birth, by circumstances, by race—some like Mrs. Brengle, delicate and refined; others like Commissioner James Dowdle, the Railway Guard, and John Allen, the Navvy, strong men, able for the roughest work–they yet are linked by a wonderful unity of spirit.
As I recall the impression which have been made upon my own mind and heart when reading these books, I feel that we may say they resemble a bouquet of flowers gathered from a cultivated and well kept garden. As with every flower, so the inspiration from each of these lives brings forth some particular aspect of beauty and grace. It is impossible to take away one from among the rest and say of it "This is the best." As a garden is not any particular flower, but the fragrance and beauty of all that are there'; so the best thing about these volumes is the fragrance of each life as it manifests some particular aspect of the work of God in the heart and experience of His children.
We are justified in using the simile of a garden, for has not God said that we are trees of his planting–that each soul may be like a 'well-watered garden'—that He comes looking for fruit.
In lives that the Sun of Righteousness has influenced – just as in flowers – there are varying beauties according to the different degrees of the Holy Spirit's work in various types of character. God is the Great Cultivator. The varying colors of the flowers, we are told, are due to the different way in which they absorb and reflect the sun's rays. But it is from the sun and the sun alone they derive their beauty.
Mrs. Brengle's life reminds us of the humble sweetness and yet dignity of the violet. Her life, especially its later part, was more sheltered and retired than that of many Salvation Army Officers. This volume is as full of beautiful surprises as a violet bed in early spring.
Here are two instances of this grace.
Early in the volume we read:—
'I have learned to trust Him entirely for results, and to leave results with Him. It is not necessary that I should see…but it is so necessary I should not shirk, that I should be sure I have done my utmost and left no stone unturned.'
And then, nearer the end:—
'My home with you [her husband] could not seem any more definite, personal, and delightful than my home with God.'
Yes this is the record of a sanctified life.
Such lives shine for Jesus in this dark world as the white flowers shine forth when we look into the garden at night. The others we scarcely see. The red roses are hidden, the purple violas, the crimson sweet-williams seem to have vanished because there is something lacking in the reflection of light they give. But the white flowers throw back every ray, and so stand out from the darkness. All through the ages holy lives have shone forth in the same manner, bearing witness to the true Light–the light that is in them as well as the light upon them.
May this volume prove another call to all who read it to let the power of Christ appear in their life, so clothing them with the white garments of Full Salvation that they may make manifest all–not merely one here and another there–all the graces of His character, and be able to say with Mrs. Brengle:—
'He Himself is my realized hope, "Christ in you, the hope of glory."'
Florence E. Booth.
London, September, 1922.