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THE Rev. W. B. Godbey, D. D., needs no introduction to the people at the hands of the writer. Most of the States in the Union have not only seen him, but have been blessed by his wonderful expositions of Scripture, and inspired by his consecrated life.
Many thousands of people will grieve over his translation to heaven when it takes place, and say, as Elisha did of the departing Elijah: “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and the horsemen thereof!”
Our first sight of Dr. Godbey was his appearance in the aisle of a church in St. Louis one Sunday morning, three or four years ago. He had a limp felt hat; a brown-looking duster was on his body, the dust was on his shoes; while in one hand he carried a stick which he had cut in the woods, and in the other he clasped close to his heart his Bible, wrapped in a gray cloth and tied with a twine string.
A double pleasure was realized at the announcement. First, we were going to have a Commentary written from the full salvation or holiness point of view; and, second, that Dr. Godbey was going to write the book.
As to the first, we would say, what thousands of others will echo, that we greatly need such a Commentary. It is true that sanctified men have written Commentaries; but they have not brought the great truth out clearly and made it prominent, as they should. Dr. Adam Clarke and Richard Watson were both sanctified men; but how little light they have thrown on certain passages where light and help were needed! A Full Salvation Commentary on the Gospels, Epistles, and Book of Revelation, is what is needed and wished for today.
The second pleasure arose from the fact of the authorship. Dr. Godbey is the man to do the work. His wide range of reading, his familiarity with the different versions of the Scripture, his knowledge and experience of the blessing itself, all fit him for the task There will not be a dissenting voice to this throughout the holiness ranks.
We listened once to one of his talks, in which Dr. Godbey described the joy, glory, and material plenty of the millennial days. He made the earth fertile; the fruits and harvests sprang spontaneously; the forest trees ceased bearing acorns and were loaded with luscious fruit. We thought at the time that all he needed to add was that the great African desert was turned to brown sugar, and the picture would have been complete. As it was, however, he so transformed the world, and so transfigured the race to suit the world, that the audience to whom he was talking was electrified, and the people sprang to their feet, clapping their hands and shouting the praises of God.