The day of Pentecost changed the Church forever. The Holy Spirit filled and empowered the people there so radically that the ripples were felt far beyond the confines of that holy space.
Thousands of years later J. H. Jowett poses questions in The Transfigured Church, like, “Is the modern Church the centre of similar interest and wonder? Is there any awed and mesmeric rumour breathing through the streets, stirring the indifferent heart into eager questioning? The modern Church claims immediate kinship and direct vital lineage with that primitive fellowship in the upper room. Does she manifest the power of the early Church? Does she reveal the same magnetic influence and constraint?”
He addresses this and other subjects in the following work. A few chapter titles include:
- The Magnetism of the Uplifted Lord
- What is Sin?
- Thy Strength! My Strength!
- The Energy of Faith
- Wanted, A Verdict!
About the Author
John Henry Jowett was born at Barnard Castle, Durham, England in 1864. "I was blessed with the priceless privilege of a Christian home," he later remarked. His love for reading manifested itself early as he spent his evenings in the town's Mechanics' Institute devouring volumes from their library. Jowett's father had arranged for him to begin working as a clerk for a lawyer in Halifax, but the encouragement of his Sunday school teacher, Mr. Dewhirst, turned Jowett's heart toward the ministry.
After theological training at Edinburgh and Oxford, Jowett assumed the pastorate of the Saint James Congregational Church, New Castle-on-Tyne in 1889. His six effective years of ministry brought him to the attention of the Carr's Lane Congregational Church in Birmingham, England, on the death of their pastor. For the next fifteen years, the church grew and prospered. Their pastor's vision led them to increase their efforts to bring people to Christ.
Jowett came to America for the first time in 1909 to address the Northfield Conference founded by D. L. Moody. While in America, he preached twice at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York. The church immediately asked him to come as its pastor. Jowett refused having received a petition signed by more than fourteen hundred members of his church in England begging him to stay. The Fifth Avenue Church called him again, and then a third time. Finally, Jowett concluded that this was God's leading for his life. He assumed the pastorate in 1911.
Although his preaching style was not dynamic (he read all of his sermons), the depth of his knowledge, the clarity of his language, and the power of his life commanded respect. Attendance at the church which had dropped to six hundred on Sunday morning rose to fifteen hundred. Lines up to half a block long formed of people waiting for unclaimed seats. Jowett began preparing his Sunday sermons on Tuesday following a meticulously detailed schedule. When G. Campbell Morgan resigned the Westminster Chapel in London in 1917, Dr. Jowett once again crossed the ocean to take a new church. This would be his final pastorate.
Declining health forced him to give up preaching in 1922, and his death in 1923 took from the world one of its most gifted and dedicated preachers.