To The Barber's 5: The Oil Straight From The Can

Yesterday evening I happened to mention E. A. Johnston. My two companions had heard of him, and had also heard him speak. Dr Johnston is popular on, but not with either of them. One described his voice as “an irritating, monotonous drawl”, and the other could not believe that his accent was authentic.

This is strange, because I like him a lot, and I listen to his short talks and sermons far more readily and regularly than to those of anyone else.

It is true that from time to time he will make assertions regarding biblical standards, the nature of hell, and certain supernatural phenomena for which I can find no scriptural warrant. This does not deter me. 

I have never met him, and I have no way of knowing what he is like in person, but I suspect that he would regard me as shallow and superficial in the extreme. 

So, what is it about him that keeps me listening?

It is because, in an age when so much of so-called Christianity is little more than religiosity and rôle-playing, he strikes me as an entirely serious man, with a care for the lost and a concern for the souls of men that goes far beyond my own. I admire that in him.

Here are just a few of his comments for your consideration. As he often says of himself: “Ah’m from the South, and I’m gonna give yah th’oil strait from the can.”


If you want more of Jesus, then be prepared to have more of His cross.


We cannot make God move, but He can move us.


It is not the amount of prayer but the agony of prayer that gains His ear.


True repentance is a painful process because through it our darling idols are ripped from us permanently.


Revival is not only possible, it is probable, as long as we are expendable.


God builds His servants through His Divine Process of reducing and decreasing; gold must be reduced to its purity in the furnace of affliction. A branch must be trimmed back and decreased before it can grow more fruit. If we desire further usefulness to God then we must submit both to the refiner’s fire and the Divine Pruning knife.


Be willing to be reduced to nothing so He can be everything through you.