Last Monday's lunch time lecture at the Evangelical Library on F B Meyer went off quite well. We had a good turn out and Steve Taylor our librarian had prepared a nice display of some of Meyer's many books. The lecture was recorded and I will try and find an outlet for it somewhere.
It began thus:
Our subject today is the pastor and author Frederick Brotherton Meyer (1847-1929). He gained the name Frederick from his father, the name Brotherton from the progressive liberal MP for Salford, Joseph Brotherton, a family friend.
Let me begin with two anecdotes to do with the man the Daily Telegraph dubbed at the time of his death ‘The Archbishop of the Free Churches’ and who was also known as the Christian Cosmopolitan, the ubiquitous Dr Meyer and, perhaps less kindly, the evangelical opportunist.
The first is my own. I had no Christian background but was converted as a young teenager in the 1970s. Our church ran camps for young people, proper under canvas camps, and when I attended my first one I bought a book from the bookstall. I am unsure whether I still have it but it was a green paperback called Paul, Servant of Christ by F B Meyer. It was the first Christian book I read. I did not know who Meyer was and I am sure I did not realise the book was seventy years old and the author had been dead more than 40 years, or if I did I guess I thought living writers were hard to come by.
Meyer was the author of some 75 books or more and they still appear to sell well. Spurgeon said of his writings, they are “Exceedingly good, not only spiritual, but also thoughtful, fresh, suggestive and thoroughly practical.” His author page on Amazon UK offers sixty titles and many of his works are also available online. The Library catalogue lists some 96 titles by Meyer, including some duplicates.
I few chiefly on two more recent books Bob Holman's If I had a hundred lives and Ian M Randall's Spirituality and social change.