By Roscoe Barnes III
Author, F.F. Bosworth: The Man Behind Christ the Healer
Copyright (c) 2018
Healing the Sick and Casting Out Devils (The Voice of Faith Ministry, 1955)
The 1955 edition of T.L. Osborn's Healing the Sick and Casting Out Devils included a strong endorsement by F.F. Bosworth and an Introductory Note that was strangely similar to the Preface in Bosworth’s Christ the Healer. The endorsement, combined with the citations, acknowledgments, and paraphrases of Bosworth's writings, suggest a mutual respect between the two authors and a clear indication and example of Bosworth's influence.
First published in 1950, Osborn’s book on healing is considered a classic. Today it’s called, Healing the Sick. And so far, it has reportedly sold more than 1,000,000 copies. The book has become so popular that it’s hard to talk about Osborn without also mentioning his book.
When the 1955 edition of Healing the Sick was published, Bosworth was 78 and Osborn was only 32. Bosworth had known the young preacher since the 1940s, having served as a mentor to Osborn and other healing evangelists associated with The Voice of Healing organization.
In some ways, Osborn’s book seems to be modeled after Bosworth’s Christ the Healer (1924). Both books feature sermons, testimonies, and the teachings of other leaders who wrote about divine healing. Unlike Bosworth, however, Osborn’s book presents more of his personal testimony, which includes his ministry as a missionary and pastor, as well as his documented cases of healings in mass evangelistic meetings in the United States and other nations.
'Continuation of The book of Acts'
Bosworth's endorsement appeared on the inside section of the front cover of the colorful paper-bound book. He began by describing the book as a “book of record of messages and ministry” of Osborn. He suggested Osborn’s global ministry provided “some of the greatest Evangelistic and Divine Healing Campaigns in history.”
As a noted healing evangelist himself, Bosworth helped to validate Osborn’s writings by noting the content of the book – primarily a collection of sermons -- had “inspired thousands, all over the world” to believe God for healing. Osborn’s ministry, he wrote, had been effective in bringing salvation and healing to “literally hundreds of thousands of sufferers.”
Osborn was known for documenting thousands of cases of divine healing and he recorded them in the form of a diary. Bosworth mentioned some of the cases. He wrote: “In a single campaign which the Evangelist and his wife has conducted, as many as 125 deaf-mutes, 90 totally blind, and hundreds of other equally miraculous deliverances have resulted.”
Bosworth highlighted the importance of Osborn’s ministry by linking it to the Book of Acts: “The chapter of Notes from His Diary is no less than a twentieth century continuation of 'The book of Acts.'” Interestingly enough, he once made similar remarks about other leaders, such as Maria Woodworth-Etter.
Five volumes have been written of Mrs. Etter’s work as an evangelist, and it is doubtful if there is any record written since the “Acts of the Apostles” that is so wonderful. (From The Latter Rain Evangel of Chicago, Ill., reprinted in A Diary of Signs and Wonder, 1916).
Bosworth’s endorsement placed Osborn on a level with other Pentecostal giants, and his ministry, with help from his wife, Daisy, continued to grow in countries throughout the world. The full content of Bosworth’s endorsement is below.
Letter of endorsement by F.F. Bosworth
This book is a record of the messages and ministry of Evangelist and Mrs. T.L. Osborn, who have traveled extensively, around the world, conducting some of the greatest Evangelistic and Divine Healing Campaigns in history.
The sermons contained in this book have inspired thousands, all over the world, with faith to be healed by God’s power.
Through their simple, but sound presentation of the Gospel, the Osborns have been instrumental in the deliverance of literally hundreds of thousands of sufferers.
In a single campaign which the Evangelist and his wife has conducted, as many as 125 deaf-mutes, 90 totally blind, and hundreds of other equally miraculous deliverances have resulted. Happy and joyful conversions have numbered as many as 50,000 in one revival.
This book is presented to you direct from the great battlefield of faith.
The chapter of Notes from His Diary is no less than a twentieth century continuation of “The book of Acts.”
This book is designed to bring immediate deliverance to you, for soul and body, while reading it, therefore open your heart and read with reverence; believe God’s promises and you too will be healed.
I deem it a privilege to recommend such an unusually inspiring volume of sound Gospel truth to the world today.
Signed: F.F. Bosworth
F.F. Bosworth is the author of the 250-page new and enlarged seventh edition of “Christ the Healer,” priced at $2.50. His address is P.O. Box 678, Miami Beach 39, Florida, U.S.A.
A second endorsement by Bosworth appeared on the last page of Chapter 25 under the heading, "A note by F.F. Bosworth":
THE CONTINUAL RE-READING OF AND RE-MEDITATING ON THE TRUTHS set forth in this volume will prove a lifelong blessing to every Christian. Get thoroughly acquainted with each truth in this message by reading it and MEDITATING on it over and over again. Practice this message every day of your life and you will be able to keep God both busy and happy fulfilling His good pleasure in making all of His divine promises good on your behalf and on the behalf of others for whom you pray and to whom you teach the truths.
Signed: F.F. Bosworth
In addition to featuring Bosworth's endorsements, Osborn paraphrased some of his teachings. He also quoted Bosworth in several places, beginning with Chapter 1, "How Many Will God Heal?" He wrote:
“We can find no ground for doubting God! Evangelist Bosworth says: ‘Don’t doubt God. If you must doubt something, DOUBT YOUR DOUBTS, because they are unreliable, but never doubt God, nor His Word.’”
Aside from the practical and faith-inspiring teachings on divine healing, Healing the Sick reveals, on some level, a possible bond between Bosworth and Osborn that was not seen in the writings of other evangelists of that era. It also displays a sense of gratitude and generosity between the two leaders. Whereas Bosworth was lavish in his praise of Osborn's book, Osborn, it could be said, was equally generous in his acknowledgments of Bosworth and in his respect for Bosworth's ministry as a famous healing evangelist. Simply put, Osborn gave credit to whom credit was due.
Similarities in writing
While it is clear that Osborn used some of Bosworth’s teaching material with permission, it is also clear that he borrowed from the Author’s Preface in Bosworth’s Christ the Healer. Following is a number of excerpts from Bosworth’s book and Osborn’s Introductory Note in Healing the Sick and Casting Out Devils. The excerpts, which begin with the writings of Bosworth, are organized to show the similarities between the two authors.
When in the year 1924 we wrote the messages for the first edition of this book, little did we dream that the truths presented were to bless such vast numbers in so many parts of the world.
When we published the first edition of this book, we never dreamed that the truths presented would so quickly bless such vast numbers in so many parts of the world.
In this book we have tried to use the vocabulary common people understand, and a continual stream of testimonies comes to us from those soundly converted and miraculously healed through their own faith which came to them while reading and meditating on the truths of the Bible which we have tried to make plain.
No literary style is pretended….
We receive a continual stream of testimonies from all over the world written by those who have been joyfully converted and miraculously healed while reading the sermons contained in this book.
Amongst the thousands who have been miraculously healed by our Lord under our won ministry, only a small fraction of them have been individually prayed for. Most of them have been healed through their own faith which came to them while meditating on the bible truths we have presented from the platform of from the printed page.
We have found that those who have tuned in the broadcasts of the National Radio Revival, most of whom we have never seen, by reading the healing and other literature we have published, get a much broader understanding than those who hear only an occasional message in our public meetings. Because they can be re-read and studied, we have the proof that our messages in printed form produce better results in the souls and bodies of those for whom we pray, than in some who attend our meetings and desire to be prayed for before they hear enough of the Word of God to produce faith.
We have found that those who carefully read and act upon the messages herein presented obtain a much broader understanding, and so a far more solid faith, than those who hear only an occasional sermon in our campaigns. Very often, those who attend our meetings and who fail to receive healing, are later miraculously healed while reading and meditating on the same Bible truths set forth in this book. Because they can be re-read and studied, it is proven repeatedly that many receive more benefit from our messages in this printed form than others receive from occasionally attending the campaigns.
In the closing paragraphs of Osborn's Introductory Note, he fully acknowledged the people and written material he drew on for his book. The first person mentioned in both paragraphs is Bosworth. He wrote:
I am especially indebted to the writings of F.F. Bosworth, E. W. Kenyon, E.H. Ahrendth, S. Wigglesworth, C. Price, J. Scruby, and others; to the continuous word of encouragement from my dear wife, and her untiring faithfulness; then, most of all, to our dear Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, and the lives of the apostles.
The material abridged from the writings of F.F. Bosworth and E.W. Kenyon has been used by special permission.
Bosworth's support of Osborn may serve as a reminder that success is often found on the shoulders of giants who paved the way. His endorsement of a young preacher illustrates how older ministers can have an impact on younger generations. The fruitful and respectful relationship that he and Osborn shared is also an example of how Christian leaders can help each other by generously passing along what they have learned. Perhaps John Donne was right when he wrote:
"No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main."
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