A Short Account of the Life and Work of Hauge," by C.B., 1890
This little paper-bound book first published 120 years ago was given as a Christmas present by my grandparents, Alfred and Bergit Stadem, to my eldest brother, Darrell R. Ginther, in 1948, when he was about 14 years old. It is, spiritually, a "blockbuster" where sin and unrighteousness is concerned (and you will see increasingly my justification for making this claim, why I say this, as you read along, Emmaus Walker--Ed.). Darrell since that time went through many traumatic experiences and struggles, but became an evangelist, trained and accredited at a Bible school in Seattle, bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to street people in countless cities in the Northwest, California, the Midwest, even as far as Europe and Norway. He is presently in his Seventies, but is still sharing Christ in Tacoma, Washington, his home, and in California and until recently, Vancouver, B.C. I cannot vouch he ever read the wonderful book my Grandpa and Grandma gave him so many years ago, but he has certainly lived out a life of sharing the Gospel, the Good News to all sinners, faithfully imparting it in word and song to whomever will listen.
This book, which tells of the great Norwegian faith revival Hans Nielsen Hauge, sparked under the authority and power of the Holy Spirit, is very much needed to be read today, when aggressive, politically-correct secular-humanism (just like the dominate philosophy of 18th Century Rationalism in Hauge's time) has all but driven Christian faith and practice out of the public sphere and even from many churches and congregations, rendering our society godless and immoral and a prey to all sorts of political agendas and no longer subject to the Word of God and the Ten Commandments). All we have to do is look around at what is happening in our own families and churches and communities to see that God has been abandoned and we are all sliding on the downward slope to destruction.
The recent Moslem or anti-Moslem (or "Right Wing Christian" as the New York Times would have it!) terrorist attack in the heart of Oslo, striking the government HQ housing the prime minister's own offices, leading to more than 9 dead in the capital, while an island hosting a Labor Party youth camp was attacked just hours afterwards by a gunman, the bomber this time dressed as a policeman, leaving more than 80 youth dead and others missing, is said to be the worst attack on Norwegian soil since World War II. What do we make of this? Is not Norway, the land of peace and reconciliation between friend and foe? Even misguided, worldly-minded Christians proclaim it so. Or it is a nation sold out to the evil, depraved world system dominated by Satan, whose banner too is Peace, only it is a false and infinitely demonic peace, not the Peace of God that is pure and true and everlasting?
"BORN A REBEL AGAINST GOD AND GODLY PARENTS"
Hans Nielsen Huage was born on the Hauge farm in the parish of Tune on the 3rd of April, 1771. The father, Niels Mikkelsen, was from Evinrod farm in the parish of Glemminge, and was married to Marie Olsdatter, with whom he got the Hauge farm, and where he passed away on January 10th, 1813, 81 years old.
The parents were quiet, pious-minded people, and Hauge referred especially to his father as a man with discrimination and understanding on divine subjects. The mother was a tender woman with a gentle disposition. The son inherited her fervency. She died the 1st of January, 1811, 76 years old.
In this family the fear of God had been deeply rooted. The children were brought up to close the day with prayer, the mother taught hymns and prayers to the little ones, the father assembled the family to worship. In such a family Hauge was raised to "grow as a good branch" on "the good vine, Jesus Christ," in whom he "by baptism was grafted."
But, as Hauge looks back upon his youth, he finds that he quite early "acquired some knowledge of wicked and good;" but that which was wicked grew more than what was good. That man is wicked from youth onward, was in evidence here also. He confesses that when his father reprimanded him, it roused his obstinate recalcitration. He relates that, at the age of 7 or 8 years, he fancied the thought of destroying himself, for in this way to take revenge over his parents.
Hauge was of a quiet, introspective nature. He was one of those, who right from the moment when the consciousness awakens, is apprehended and attracted toward religion. This longing for the eternal, this sigh toward God on High, this singularly gifted mind's ceaseless meditation, this struggling with his inner self, this flinching between the serious thought of eternity and the recklessness of youth, impressed the days of his whole boyhood and youth with a unique stamp of fervency.
"I had," he says, "no inclination to fight, little liking for merrymaking with my boon companions, was much more gloomy when I was at parties, and saw or heard boisterous gaiety; I was especially sorrowful when someone picked a quarrel. I never danced, didn't value games or music, would never be present in inns; but, when someone told stories and talked about religious or spiritual things, then I was interested with heart and soul.
"When I grew older, and knew better how to read and think about what I read, I wondered a great deal about the condition of heaven and hell, until I was about 11 or 12 years old, and at that age I was a very confused; however, I always kept it to myself, which was so much worse, because, if anybody had known about it, especially my father, I would surely have received comfort and instruction.
"When there were rumors about war and pestilence, I was very much afraid of death and often felt that something mysterious surrounded me. My heart rebelled, and sometimes I wept when I saw dead people or heard talk about death and eternity. I, myself, often thought of the death and the eternity, and if people were now living in such a way that they had reason to anticipate that they would be saved, and if they didn't have much more reason to expect to be eternally rejected by God.
"Often in my sleep I dreamt about heaven and at other times about hell, about murder and terror; but when I prayed to God before I went to sleep, then calm fell upon me. This was especially the case from my ninth to my twelfth year.
"At that time I also heard some talk about several religions. This caused me new great anxiety with fear and doubt if ours was the right one, for even though my parents and others said so, I was in doubt anyway, particularly when they talked about how godly some had been. I myself had read about their great zeal spreading the glory of God. Some had suffered much because they professed faith in God and faithfully cared for the salvation of their fellow men, and for this reason they were ridiculed, persecuted and severely and cruelly tortured.
"I discovered at this meditation that we didn't live like they, but were indifferent in our worship, and couldn't bear to suffer like those had endured. I got still more uneasy and thought that I wouldn't be saved."
A boy that age, with such thoughts, was of course looked upon as peculiar, by his companions, and he mingled with them as a stranger, uncomprehended both by himself and others, an odd specimen.
About this he himself says: "Because I couldn't show myself smart in the folly of youth, I was looked down upon by those of my own age, often ridiculed and considered stupid; indeed, I felt myself inferior to others, so whenever a respectable man mentioned my name with praise, I felt unworthy."
Thus it was easiy to understand that the Lord started early to prepare Hauge for that work to which he had designated him. He, who became a tool to guide so many souls, had in his whole path of development beenalone with /god. He had no other guide; not even to his father had he revealed what was in his heart. But through his spiritual solitude he achieved that firmness of character, that independence of thought, that keenly sensible mind, which distinguished him as a man.
Through an incicdent which happened when the boy was thirteen years, he encountered his calling with greater seriousness and more definite than hitherto. Together with his father, brother and a third person he had gone out to the Sound of Rolfso to fetch some hay. On the way back one of them fell over board, seized hold of the boat and upset it, so they all fell in the water. Hauge immediately gave up any hope of rescue and stood face to face with death. About this he writes: "First I thought of my mother, who minds trifles so much, and now my father, my brother, and I shall be lost over board, that will cause her insufferable sorrow; next I thought of the small things I had, my clothes, etc., and I thought: my brothers will have that; it was hard to leave it, because I loved it all, although death threatened.
"I sighed to God that He would have mercy upon me for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ. But infernal anguish maddened me, and I started to dread the darkness of hell, because I had not loved God as I should, and at last the dark horror of death threatened so terribly that when I think of it, my heart must weep. And though I longed for the light, it became dark for me, and my feelings disappeared."
Without consciousness he floated in the river a while, and in this condition he drifted towards the river bank, where his brother, who together with the others already were safely ashore, picked him up as dead. They succeeded in bringing him back to life; soon he recovered from the consequences of the bath in the river; but the danger of death and the rescue from the jaws of destruction left impressions which were of lasting worth for his future life.
It became more earnestness in his reading, more determination in the purpose to want to live according to the Word; he "started to ponder on this, and then many thoughts came." Then he also had many struggles with youthful fickleness which his young age naturally carried with it.
He himself says about this:
"Often when I prayed to God for grace, and I renounced wickedness, then I found not only appeasement, but often joy also; on the other hand, when--either by my own reading, or when I heard my father read morning or evening prayers etc.--my thoughts were turned to worldly, useless things, then these thoughts fell heavily upon me: The evil demon tears away the Word from my heart! O, I am in the devil's power and have strayed away from God! Which again forced me to pray for grace for Jesus' sake."
Among books which Hauge used and which were his teachers, may be mentioned: Luther's Catechism, the Explanation by Pontoppidan, King's hymn book, and the Bible. He also used Johan Arndt's True Christianity, Luther's and Mueller's Book of Sermons, Mirror of Faith by Pontoppidan, Collin's Revelation of Christ in the Soul, Rare Jewel of Faith by Brorson, etc.
In his sixteenth year he was confirmed by assistant pastor Hammer. About this he tells the following: "I still remember the day of confirmation; it was the custom that one should dress up especially well that day. But as I had never had a desire to look vain, so I hadn't intended tolook different that day; but one of my sisters took it upon herself to tidy me up a little. On my way to church one of the other boys said to me and others inthe company: "Today Hans Nielsen has his hair dressed"etc. "Yes," I answered, "if not today we have dressed-up our bodies, wold that we have not forgotten our immortal souls, but bethought ourselves of the great promise we today shall give, namely that we shall renounce the devil and all his works and all his ways, and believe in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit."
Hauge had a strong talent in concerns of the world and showed himself very practical in this field already from his early years. This was in a way dangerous for him. There was therefore a hard struggle with his inner self under the influence and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God conquered the young man's heart and made him useful tohis people in temporal as well as in spiritual respects.
His condition at this time Hauge describes like this:
"My mind's fancy enthused me to several earthly desires--also to trading, which led my soul into unrest, so that the older I got, the more I lost my soul's noble feelings. I heard many words of God from my teachers, Hammer,and my father,and those words found their way into my heart; but the concern of the world took the upper hand, things temporal were so important to me that I had no rest even on Sundays. I had my treasure in the world, and I tried in all directions to acquire temporal possessions. I was the prodigal son and thought six times about the temporal, and provided for my body, against once to think of the things spiritual,a nd take care of my soul. My eyes had looked for the world's vanity and had forgotten the Creator." [In other words, the young, able Hauge was giving in to his practical abilities, which were extremely se developed, and lay in grave danger of becoming a materialist, sold out to wealth and material things, and obsessed with acquisition--which would characterize the present spirit of Norwegian and Western society also--Ed.]
But the Lord did not forget his sleeping child, who was in danger, but tried to reach it through suffering. Shortly after his confirmation, his life was endangered, as he fell into a creek, from which his sister saved him. Later on he was in "danger of death" on Glommen, outside of Sannesund. Thereafter he was confined to bed. During his illness he was despairing over his own state of mind, and trembled for "the torture in the eternal death; but through the mercy and help of the good Lord I was able to sigh and raise a cry, then I obtained my sane mind back." Once more his life was endangered on the river Glommen, and the horrors of death and hell lurked over him; but this time also he was saved.
[Adversity clearly became his teacher and goad, apparently, used by God to drive him back to the path of life, to following God, and putting God first in his heart and life--Ed.]. After he had busied himself with different things in the country, Hauge in 1795 moved to Fredrikstad where he went to work for a widow. His stay here was short, but of vital importance to his inner life. In this city he was placed in the midst of ungodly, frivolous, sensual surroundings [sounds like an apt description of contemporary Norwegian society and life today in the 21st century!--Ed.], where he was compelled to choose whether God or the world should have his allegiance.
"Here," he says, "I was exposed to several temptations, and wicked people sought my company [O, if there were wicked people then in the 18th century, wouldn't there be wicked people now in the 21st century, but you would not think so, if you read the liberal papers of today, and how sophisticated, affluent, liberal Norway today reacts to the traditional norms of Biblical morality and Biblical standards of righteousness!--Ed.]. Intoxication had so far been abominable to me, but, as I sometimes lacked food, and otherwise when there was a chance, I developed a taste for brandy; soI think I soon wold have become a drunkard; but as I realized thatthis would mean demoralizationto my soul and body, I prayed to God that He wold preserve me, developed an aversion tothis vice, and by the grace of God I was preserved, so I only once in my life have become intoxicated, and that happened when I was at the place mentioned.
"When I was there, I resumed reading on the holidays, which was why some said to me, one may sigh to God, and that is enough; as long as one doesn't know anything, one has nothing to answer for; and, if I continued to read, I would soon lose my reasoning power, etc. These objections from Satan I disregarded, and kept on with my prayers that God would keep and preserve me; and I asked them to read and look into it, but this was only sneered at.
"By associating with these wicked people I loathed the sin more and more."
At the request of his parents, Hauge left Fredrikstad, evidently in the middle of the year 1795, and returned home. Through continued reading of God's Word and religious books he gradually saw more clearly the will of God. A deeper self-knowledge created a deeper need for grace, and the faith started to show its power to conquer the world. The opposition he met when he spoke to people about spiritual things, forced him to search still deeper, so he could convince those who contradicted him, and thus he himself became better informed in the meanings of the Word.
"I now developed disgust for all sins," he said. "When I prayed, I bowed way down with unworthiness of heart for the great good He gave me, and because I had not served the Lord as I should. Sometimes I kneeled and prayed that the Almighty God, for His Son's sake, would firmly establish His truth in me, so I could build upon the spiritual rock, Christ. I invoked the Lord of my salvation, that He would manifest His Son's love in me, betstow upon me His Holy Spirit, so I could see my own wretchedness and impotence, teach me the path to follow in the footsteps of Christ--to be a true God's child, and here I felt I was wanting much, especially when it came to love the Lord above all things,and to be humble of heart. I prayed much for grace for this purose,a nd to learn to know His will, what I was to do and not to do.
"Wilt Thou, my Father, give me strength, let my heart be filled with Thy love, then I, of all my might will serve Thee. I will sacrifice very thing, even my life, like the martyrs of old, rather than deviate from Thy commandments.[Would that this prayer of Hauge's be sincerely prayed in all the homes and churches of Norway, it would transform the nation from its present unspeakable ungodliness, rebellion against God, and mountains and slimey cesspools of moral filth to a pure land and people of shining righteousness and love for God and one another!--Ed.]
"Several people started mockingly to call me a saint; others said that if I continued the reading, then I would lose my reason, which they said had happened to several others who had read too much.
"I answered that I could not believe that those who studied the Word of God, could lose their reason, but much rather that they would gain wisdom to carry out the will of God."
The contradiction he thus encountered, brough him to inquire more into the Word, just as he also got a clearer view of the ungodliness and the infidelity which dominated his surroundings. Over these contemplations he sighed and prayed: "God, our Father, rouse me, for Thy dear Son's, our Savior's sake, through Thy Holy Spirit."
Thus Hauge was carried forward to become a living Christian. He came, as we have seen, unto the knowledge of the truth through a gradual development from his early youth to his 25th year.
The curious fact about this man is that he, so to speak, without human teachers, by the Word of God and the Spirit's guidance, was led to the living knowledge of the truth for his own part, and then he could, with a clear and versatile viewpoint appear as teacher and leader for his fellow men.[!]
SPIRITUAL BAPTISM, APRIL 5, 1796
The 5th of April, 1796, he was out woring in the field. He sang the hymn, "Jesus, I long for Thy blessed communion." When he had sung the second verse:
"Mightily strengthen my spirit within me,
That I may learn what Thy Spirit can do!
O take Thou captive each passion within me,
Lead Thou and guide me by my whole journey through!
All that I am and posess I surrender,
If Thou alone in my spirit mayest dwell,
All will I yield Thee, my Savior most tender,
Take me and own me, and all will be well,"--
he seemed to be lifted up from earth, and his soul was filled with the peace "that passeth all understanding."
As soon as he had gathered his wandering sense, then he was sorry that he had not served the dear God; now he felt nothing in the world was worth while. "It was a glory which cannot be explained," he says; "my soul felt something supernatural, divine and blessed." He sensed a fervent love of God and wished that all people should be saved.
He found renewed interest in study of the Bible and the sacred writings, and new, bright thoughts concerning the truth flashed upon his mind. The revelation of the whole truth gathered up into this sum total for him:
"Christ has come to be our Savior, we will by His Spirit be born again, be converted, more and more be consecrated into the qualifications of God to serve only the Triune Deity, in order to prepared our souls for the eternal happiness."
Thus on the foundation of this hymn he was brought near God in an extraordinarily spiritual manner; in this nearness to God he still acknowledged his sins stronger, at the same time the power of God sprang forth with great strength; all this signified that God had heard his prayer.
Now he sees the whole existence in the light of this new life; his soul is filled with the most ardent love for those who still wandered in darkness.
"Then I saw, as it were, the world submerged in evil, which I lamented, and I prayed that God would delay the punishment, that some might be converted. Now I had the desire to serve God, and prayed that he would reveal to me what I should do."
As an answer to this prayer, he was forcefully reminded of the events in Isaiah, Chapter 6; and the Lord's orations to the prophet became alive in his soul as if it were spoken to him. "I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: whom shall I send and invite to my big supper and call from all sides, north and south, east and west? I said: Send me; for my heart burned for love for all people. Deep within me I heard a voice saying: You shall confess my name before men, exhort them to repent and seek me, while I am to be found, to call upon me while I am near, to touch their hearts, so that they may pass over from darkness to light."
[Would you not agree that this Baptism event, this transformation, this infilling of the Spirit of God in Hauge's young heart and life, is the very thing that the hungry, thirsty souls of Norwegian youth are seeking, but seeking in the wrong places, in drugs, promiscuous sex and orgies, in alcohol, in parties, in extreme sports, in superficially "clean" Olympic sports and careers that nevertheless excite and feed egos and pride, in fashionable clothes and shoes, in resort hopping at the fleshpots of the Mediterranean and Southeast Asia, in wealth-gathering, in travel to exotic places, in pleasure and entertainments of all kinds, in rock concerts and celebrities, in animal rights activism, in sundry world peace and environmental organizations, in Satanism, even in violence and murder and terrorism for political aims...? Until you offer a chance at the experience of God as Hauge experienced God, you are robbing the youth of Norway of the best, all you form-obsessed, rationalistic, social gospel preaching churches of Norway, and also all you proud and arrogant, elitest, secularist institutions of education and government and politics! All you have to offer them is fool's gold, you don't have one thing of real lasting, spiritual worth! --Ed.]
CLOSER CONTEMPLATIONS ON HAUGE'S MISSION
"Twenty-seven years ago
God lovingly called me;
He healed the wounds from all my sins.
And me of mercy called
To serve Him in time,
His holy name confess,
Struggle with the chosen."
All Christians experience rejoicing and sweetness when they are converted, and their sins are forgiven. Hauge experienced this in a special degree. That should be of comfort and strength to him during the many tribulations and difficulties which he met in carrying out his mission in life. Through the baptism of the spirit, to which Hauge had been subjected, he not only was better able to see and understand his own self, but he was also better enabled to understand his contemporaries. He saw that sin and spiritual death took hold of his people, and with his prophetic grace took hold of his people, and with his prophetic grace he followed the prophetic necessity which urged him to go between God and the people with intercessory prayer and bear testimony.
HAUGE'S VIEW OF HIS GENERATION
We will let this wakened man put down for us with his own words the dark slate, as he view it, when he received his spiritual vision. He says: "The greater part of the people live in spiritual ignorance. They commit adultery and murder; the one betrays the other, and covet their neighbor's property instead of helping him." [Is it any different today, is it improved any since Hauge's time, in Norwegian society under the reign of liberalism and its false, humanistic value system? But Hauge goes on to describe Norway's people who are lost in their sins and in bondage to Satan while claiming they are educated, refined, and spiritually minded.--Ed.]
Gluttony and drunkenness and anxiety for the daily bread had the upper hand so much so that many didn't consider these bad vices as sin. Cursing and swearing and injustices were common, and loving kindness had grown cold. The sins, manifested in many forms, had spread in all directions. Many were worse than heathens in all vices, and God's Word and Name was not respected.
Others no doubt appear to be living decent, but are spiritually dead anyway. They pray, read and sing, but they entertain the lusts of the flesh in their hearts, and are such barren trees, bearing evil fruits. These rationalists deny Christianity in its very essence. They need no "redeemer," they only want a "teacher." Without conversion, without life in God, they live their days in conceit. When death comes, they start to pray and say: "Lord, have mercy upon me!" And then God says, "I do not know you!" for through "literal knowledge" or through "self-assumed consolation" nobody can come to God.
[Isn't this going to happen to a lost soul who says more than once, "I'll get squared away with God when I get this and that done first"?--that moment will never come as it did when God was calling that soul to Him. We don't come, after all, to God on our own terms--impossible!--Ed. ]
The teacher makes the way to Heaven broad, so the Lord must lament now as before: My people are lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray. The clergymen who are dead in sin,close heaven; for they speak perverse things. The carnal clergy live either in obvious vices or in debauched self-righteousness. What especially brings a curse upon them and their official duty is their avarice. They are hirelings. Such kind of shepherds are paid well to lead their flock; everybody may get forgiveness for their sins, particularly when they can pay what they are asked to pay. They deceive the souls with hope of salvation until they awake in hell.
What these ministers aimed at was a fat pastorate and money; then they pass away the time with their friends at cards, theatres or other sensual amusements, but if a poor man wants to talk to the minister, gifts are expected from him, and the minister will find some leisure time to give him. For money they judge people saved in their funeral sermons, so here may be applied the prophet's words: "My people, those, who deem you saved, they begile you, etc."
Thus Hauge saw the condition of the people, and anything worse can not be said either of people or clergy. Realizing this, he was seized with fervent sorrow and compassion for his people. He intercedes for them and prays that God will help him to appear as a Lord's witness in this, the dark night of sin. He received a reply to his prayer; he was told to confess the name of the Lord before men, exhort them to repent and seek the Lord while he is to be found. He preached conversion for his people.
He himself being one of the masses, he understood as very few could,now to bring out the life in God in such a manner that it could be grasped even by the simplest, both in print and on platforms. He walked from parish to parish, from town to town over the whole country, to bring the "celestial flame" to as many as would accept it. In regard to spiritual talent and personal independence, he was equal to any man in the land, learned or unlearned. Therefore he could with full authority lift up his voice both to punish and admonish.
Hauge was confident in his conviction, and stood firm on his calling from God to proclaim the truth for his people and awaken the sleeping to life. When he would try to be silent, his conscience started tobother him,a nd he was disciplined as one who is not faithful tohis calling. He felt like the apostle when he says: "Woe to me, if I don't preach the gospel."
HAUGE AND ARTICLE 14 OF THE CONFESSIONS
In the Augsburg Confession, which is the confession of our church, Article 14 reads as follows: "Concerning the ecclesiastical civil service they teach that it behooves no one publicly to instruct or administer the sacraments, unless he be duly called to do so."
This article the enemies of truth have used as weapons against "lay-preaching activities"; that men, who have not attended school and are not ordained ministers, speak the Word of God for their fellow.
This enmity from the world Hauge experienced in a high degree. The impious clergy were furious with him because he ventured to preach to people. They charged him with being an impostor, an enthusiast, an ill-reputed fanatic, etc., and misrepresented his words and his general conduct in the most scandalous manner.[compare the reaction of this religious elite with the Sadducees and Pharisees and their opposition and treatment of Jesus! Isn't it the same? Only Jesus, in claiming to be equal with God, infuriated his enemies all the more intensely than Hauge did with his ministry of love, correction, and the saving Gospel--yet there remains a great, striking similarity in the responses of the religious authorities of 18th century Norway and 1st century Judaea to both Hauge and Christ. Why? Is it not because, precisely, that both challenged the oppressive hold these groups had on the lost sheep God was seeking to save from their sins?--Ed.]
All reborn and believing souls belong to the spiritual priesthood and in consequence of their calling and new nature they must bear witness of Him, who their souls hold ddear, even if the clergymen and great men stand up against them.
The mentioned article is not meant to be against the free Christians' acitivities. It is the misunderstanding and animosity by the learned ones, who have expressed their minds in it. The article is a testimony that the Lutheran Church wants orderliness in the congregation, and wants to test and induct those who shall administer the means of grace.
STRUGGLE AND DISTRESS OF MIND
It had been Hauge's intention as soon as he met his parents, sisters and brothers, to report the exceeding grace which had been extended to him during that uplifting to the spirit we previously have mentioned. But it appeared lost to him; it seemed as if the Lord said that he should not tell it to anyone, as he might not be understood, and it might cause "corruption" of his inner life. Hauge did not have the habit to boast of his spiritual experiences. On the contrary, he reproved those who as soon as they felt the least touch of the spirit had to tell it to others at once.
But as he now burned with longing to get his fellow men to "run for the heavenly treasure," he could not keep still. Already in the evening of that day, when he experienced the wonderful nearness of God, he started to admonish his sisters two of whom right away were persuaded and changed in their minds and renounced the lusts of the world. The one of those, called Anne, seems to have been a true Mary, one of those quiet persons with deep disposition, who at the same time are spreading warmth and peace. Between Hauge and his sister, the first fruit of the see of the Lord, there grew a very beloved and Christian brotherly relation. During his unfolding she had a beneficial influence upon him, and he gives her posthumous reputation that she had been a good support to him in his spiritual life's path.
For three weeks after the 5th of April Hauge experienced an undisturbed peace and calm of the soul. His mind was quiet and entirely penetrated by sacred emotions. The things of the world in which he hitherto had shown so much interest now became of little consequence to him. During this time his mind became so affected by and filled with things spiritual, that he didn't get more than at most a couple hours sleep at night. "The thoughts were filled with the Word of God, and how I should succeed in getting the people converted." He ate very little, and his mother, unable to understand him, became anxious that he might lose his mind [his family and relatives thought Hauge might go crazy, just as Jesus' family and relatives thought he might go crazy, become "beside himself," as it used to be phrased. This is so strange, when you think of it, though understandable in the frail human condition. Imagine a warrior who did not care to sleep but pursued the enemy until he caught and beat him, or a general who continued, even without adequate sleep, to campaign until he had won a climactic battle or a war--such men are thought admirable and in their right mind, but when men seek God so passionately and singlemindedly, as to give up sleep, that somehow that is a sign to feeble-minded religious people of "craziness."--Ed.].
His mother begged him that he should desist these pondering thoughts, but later on she understood her son differently, and wished that she could get on to the same path. But not only the mother was won to the Lord, but also his five sisters and brothers. The father, who understood his son, Hans, best of all from the beginning, gained more warmth and fervency by his son's revival.
The Hauge farm became a real Bethany, and our Hans could rejoice and find strength in the sympathy and intercessory prayers which his own folks offered on his behalf. In his activities he had his father's full approval. When others were concerned about Hauge, the old man always aid: "Oh, Hans will manage it all right."
HAUGE'S PUBLIC APPEARANCE
After the spiritual peace and rest followed work and struggle. He became very distressed over some things which are deep and inscrutable for a poor human, but through inquiry and prayers, through the help of God, he conquered the temptations, as he in his simple way believed in God's Word and there found rest.
He also expetrienced the struggle between the yearning of the spirit and the cravings of the flesh. He took up this struggle very seriously, and fought and prayed, "I lay a whole night," he said, "and fought and prayed to God, that I might be freed from the wicked desires and said: 'My dear Father and holy God! I cannot serve Thee or confess Thy name to men or instruct others, when I myself am beset with wicked desires!" But he soon learned to understand that such temptations and struggles were necessary in order to keep humble before God.
As he more and more learned to know about Adam's shameful fall within himself, the plainer he saw that the strength of God is made perfect through weakness [this is the key, as we cannot of ourselves deal with sin, only Christ can with His power and cleansing blood.--Ed].
Amid such inner struggles Hauge started to bear witness to his fellow men. He entered upon his duties first by speaking to individuals, leading them on the road to eternal life. When he met people on the road or they came to him in his home, he talked to them and showed them how important it is to work towards our salvation. His general conduct attracted attention and caused stir among the people; some changed, and he was gladdened in seeing the fruit of his work [we can see the scene, Hauge, passionately pursuing righteousness among a people who were living hopeless in their besetting sins, and chained in them by the religious system too, holding the golden key of liberty--Christ's victorious power over sin--as he went about in the countryside encountering one person after another and nudging them back on the right path to victorious living in Christ and a free conscience at last!--Ed.]
In the fall he started to hold prayer meetings, and then began the common revival. But then Hauge, with his testimonyt became a real testing stone for others, as he himself also was tried. Some were awakened and became worried about their salvation; others scoffed at him and trumped up all kinds of stories about him; some praised him, others criticized him; and here he stood in the midst of the excitement, with danger on all sides. But the Lord helped him and kept him, on one side from despair, on the other from pride. His motto was: The good I might have done is not done by myself, but by the good God who has enlightened me with His Holy Spirit, for which I will praise and thank Him and His dear Son, Jesus Christ.
While he experienced great joy by seeing sinners converted, at the same time as he grieved over people's apostasy, he was forced forward to bear testimony. He felt sometimes quite despondent when he thought of the greatness of the task. Had he earlier said to the Lord: Send me! in these dark moments he said: Send somebody else! "Once I was in the woods with my brother and cut trees," he said. "Then my mind became very agitated at the thought of the infidel race of the time, and with all my eagerness I doubted that men in general could be brought to see the truth; for the great majority of them mocked and despised me and my talk; some were indifferent, and few were sincere. Then I called to God and wept so violently that the tears streamed frommy eyes, and I admonished the Lord to take this heavy duty from me, namely, to confess His name, and rather send a bishop or another great man; the people would listen to him and respect his talk, me they did not respect."
[Emmaus Walker, do you see the value in this account yet? It shows a developing Billy Graham of that time, who eventually led an entire nation out of darkness and forward to the throne of Grace in Christ before his ministry ended with his death at the age of 55, presently struggling with such turmoil and thoughts as this account shows us. It was not smooth sailing to the foremost pulpit of the nation, by any means! Hauge had to combat and battle his own doubts, and even fight with the mountainous things he saw looming in his path--discouragement, the people's evil obstinacy in pursuing sinful lives, the bitter attacks of sworn enemies in the Church itself. These hostile giants could silence any young man who considered what he was up against and then looked at his own frail strength and short-comings. Before Hauge could go on and upward, he had to defeat these giants with Christ's power--or we would have never heard of Hans Nielsen Hauge, just as we never heard of many another young evangelist who stumbled and faltered in his determination and lost the battle with similar giants. How did Hauge prevail when so many others, totally unknown to us, did not? That is the question, and the answer for which we can turn to this account for, in the following pages! What is your answer to it, Emmaus Walker? Do you already have an idea what it could be?--Ed.]
Then he heard a voice in her inner self which said: "Do you wish to die now? You have formerly served sin, will you not now, when you are saved, bring Me some fruit of My work in you? You have promised to serve Me. I have often used the lowly in this world to spread My Kingdom, for to this I have called those from the plow, shepherds, fishermen and publican. I will give you strength and wisdom, which your enemies shall not be able to withstand. Be firm in your purpose and continue in patience." Then I said: "Yes, when Thou, my God, will strengthen me, thenI shall be willing."
Another incident which was painful for Hauge, was that he was put at odds with "Seberglanerne," followers of Pastor Seeberg. These people were taken in by Herrnhutism, but carried their separate opinions to such extremes that it led to lawlessness and plain sin. This estranged Hauge from that trend of mind.
Through all these tribulations he was stripped of his own, and learned to understand that it was through the virtue of the Lord he should fight and conquer, besides which he won quite a little experience, which later on in his particular calling helped him a great deal.
HAUGE'S FIRST PUBLICATION
As Hauge's life thus passed through different inner vicissitudes, he set to work to write his spiritual career. His aim was, by telling how God had led him to disapprove the wicked rumors which circulated about him. [You can expect wicked lies to be spread about you and your character, if you are a man or woman of God in an effective ministry; even Billy Graham was not immune to this. I heard a church broadcast turn very sour and even scandalous, as I listened to the preacher start to cast deep, bitter accusation and venom on Billy Graham, smearing him with a charge of racism and that he advocated the castration of black males over in South Africa--which was totally false, as Billy Graham advocated the acceptance of blacks and the full rights of blacks and this black congregation pastor was totally deceived or uninformed, but he said this terrible thing before his congregation and also a listening radio audience, even though I could tell from his own comments that his wife who was present did not approve of his remarks, which is a credit to her.--Ed.].
Incidentally he would also, as he appeared as a revivalist at a time when so very few knew from their own experience what conversion and life in God were, give his own impressions of what it means to be converted and become a living Christian [surely this is always a current need, as people in the churches are generally confused it.--Ed.]. That is why he started his first book with these words: "As I, by the long-enduring kindness of God, have been kept in the world until now, I will here enumerate the most notable and bad which has happened tome so far, with the intention that others together with me may consider what we ought to have done, and what we really did."
Many derived benefit from this publication. The converted ones had nobody toguide them. The parents were afraid of insanity, the pastor advised blood-letting, others wanted those converted to play cards, to dance, etc., in order to get the notions out of their heads. In this extremity Hauge's publication was a precious guidance to peace and strength against all ignorant advices and temptations.
This publication was added to another which he printed soon thereafter. Here he had in a way interpreted his programme for his later activity: to induce "the great controversy between Michael and the dragon," to strive for "that the true Christianity shall get the upper hand," this is the inscription on the banner he raises in the air, and under which he will fight, even if the struggle shall bring him a "crown of martyrdom." [I firmly believe my own mother, who passed to glory April 23, 2011, won a crown of martyrdom, for though she fought for her life to the end, she resigned herself into God's hands, despite the fear-and-drug-for-profit-driven culture rampant in my family and the hospital and nursing home that took her life while ostensively seeking to preserve it. How much we need a Hauge today to stand up against this death culture ruled by Satan! Yes, there is a "great controversy" beween Michael and the dragon, but who is going to stand like Daniel in intercession, fasting and prayer while that controversy goes on, in order to receive God's intervention on the behalf of the Church and the sorely oppressed flock of today? Hauge did it for his generation. But we need his counterpart today just as badly as 18th century Norway.--Ed.]
In this pamphlet he severely punished the clergy, and it took him much struggle before he decided to have it printed. [Today we see the clergy as the chief culprits in the spreading apostasy in the churches. They are compromising, many of them, the Bible and its truths and moral standards with the satanic world system and its evil and godless philosophy of secularism and liberalism.--Ed.]
HAUGE'S FIRST TRIP TO CHRISTIANIA
Now Hauge set out for Christiania to have his book printed [let us remember, this is a farmer's son, now writing and publishing books of revival and Biblical theology! What a threat this was to the established apostate ecclesiastical system of Norway! They were the dragon, he was like Michael--and we shall soon see the tail of the dragon lashing out against Hauge as his books spread like wildfire among the oppressed laity of the oppressed church of Norway.--Ed.]
As he had proceeded a short distance on his way, he lost the manuscript. Then he wondered if it was the will of God that he was not to publish the books,and he was satisfied with that; but when a traveler brought the manuscript back, he set out once more. He felt an urgent call to pour out his thoughts to the Lord, and he went aside and prayed aloud to God. Another traveler approached and observed the praying man. He thought that Hauge was out of his mind, and ought not go about alone. But, as Hauge in the conversation about earthly things convinced him that he was right in his head, the man changed his opinion and went with Hauge a whole mile (Norwegian) past the place where he was supposed to stop. Through Hauge's talk the man became affected by the Word of God and was converted. [wasn't it also said of Paul, that his much learning had affected his mind? that he was somewhat crazy or "beside himself"?--Ed.].
When Hauge advancd so far that he could see the city, a terrible obsession came over him; but the Lord helped him out of this dilemma, and after some difficulty he was able to make arrangements for the publication of the book which he called: "Viewing the World's Folly."
The contents of the book pointed out how badly they were off, both the pastors and their listeners, how important it was to return to the Lord, get new life in their hearts, and show this life's fruit through a god-fearing life.
At the same time he also published another little pamphlet, "Evangelical Rules of Life." To this, which was a Danish translation from German, he added one he himself had written, "Opinion on the Lord's Prayer."
After he arrived home from Christiania [the wicked city and capital of Oslo, now called], he wrote another pamphet which he called "Attempt to Discussion on God's Wisdom." He tells that as he wrote hisbooks, texts from the Scripture and fundamental sentences came to him without his knowing where they came from. Learning and thorough studies do not distinguish his writings, but the enthusiasm of the spirit and a fervent care for the conversion and salvation of his fellow men.
HAUGE AS EDIFICATION PREACHER
Hauge now started to hold prayer meetings and publicly to preach God's Word for those who came to hear him. His first edification [a term he used for his meetings, which perhaps got round the religious jargon of the day, and also the ire of churchmen who opposed "services" and "convocations" and "evangelistic meetings" being attributed to a "mere, untrained, un-ordained layman" like Hauge--Ed.] he held in his father's house. Later on he was allowed to hold meetings at different places in the parish [you see how he had to plow uphill, and do it low-profile?--Ed.]. This new aspect of his activity roused enormous attention. That "a son of a peasant preached like a minister," people had never heard of before [except there was a previous case, that of Jesus preaching, the supposed "son of a carpenter of Nazareth--Ed.].
But his speeches did not lead only to astonishment, the truth seized the hearts with the power of comviction. Many, even among those who formerly had scoffed, were converted, and the fgire of the spirit burst out in flames [this was a real movement of the Spirit, with the signs of a true revival--Ed.].
But now the enemies woke up in a rage. The minister in Tune, Urdal, was the first one to show his teeth against Hauge. The minister was so exasperated at Hauge, that at a party where Hauge was present, the minister ordered he should be thrown out. Once, while they were alone together, the minister's passion carried him so far that he struck Hauge and threatened him with life imprisonment.
THE EDIFICATION AT GRAALUM.
Hauge held prayer meeting at the home of Iver Graalum, and the pastor, after being invited, came also to hear the lay preacher. He had with him his curate and the bailiff. Hauge talked to a large audience, and the learned gentlemen were also listeners. When it was over the parish minister rose and forbade Hauge to hold any more meetings like this one. Hauge was of the opinion that nobody had any right to forbid him to exhort people to repent and believe, as long as he did this in conformity with the Word ofGod, and asked if the minister had heard him say anything wrong. To this the minister answered by asking the bailiff to let the people know what the law decreed in regard to assembling for religious worship.
Hauge had the conventicle act with him,a nd asked them to read it, so people could hear what was said therein. But no, the great gentlemen would not do this. Several of the farmers took the floor in Hauge's behalf and asked if the magistrate and the clergy would "hinder that which was good." They thought it queer if such gatherings should be forbidden while they permitted dances and other gatherings where sin and indecencies were committed.
As the magistracy saw that they had the people against them, they sneaked off and left Hauge in peace.
The minister sent an account of the whole affair to the bishop and said that one ought to crush this enthusiasm right in its beginning, but the bishop did not agree with this. Such fanaticism would die by itself, the distinguished bishop decreed. Thus Hauge was allowed to work undistrubed.
HAUGE'S SECOND TRIP TO CHRISTIANIA.
Toward the end of September Hauge went to Christiania for the second time, partly in order to get the book, "God's Wisdom," into print, partly to push the printing of the pamphlets already in the hands of the publisher. This time he stayed in Christiania nearly three months, continually busied with learning to print and bind books; his talents in practical direction found here a new field of action. Towards Christmas he returned home with his printed books.
In the Christmas season he worked partly at binding his books, partly at ttraveling around holding prayer meetings. He also brought his books along, which he partly sold, partly gave away. Outside his home parish he visited Glemminge, Raade and Rygge [now I realize these placenames mean little or nothing to you reading this--they are just strange Norwegian places, probably no more than little towns or villages, looking much the same as fishing ports and farm communities in Nova Scotia or some other out of the way northern seacoast land, but yet God's Spirit chooses to work oftentimes in the most obscure, humble places--and the repercussions nevertheless spread from there round the world--Ed.].
The pastor in Raada was a devout Christian. He acknowledged Hauge and his activity, and instead of persecuting the layman, "he confirmed him with God's Word." The pastor in Rygge, on the other hand, was a keen opponent of the new movement; he went even so far as to lose his temper and rushed at Hauge's brother, Mikkel, and struck him in view of many. [was assault and battery permitted in those days? apparently it was in religious meetings!--Ed.]
The year 1796 (three years after fifteen families of my Stadem family line left Norway and sailed for a new life in America beyond the Thirteen Colonies, though later a second wave of my ancestors carried Hauge's influence and teachings with them, as they had created the movement of lay ministry which meant so much to my forebears and my grandparents too--Ed], this momentous year in the Norwegian Church History, was drawing to a close. Several in Tune, some along the road to Christiania, where Hauge had traveled, a few in Glemminge, Raade and Rygee, were awakened from their indifference to sin and had "looked toward Jesus, their Savior, who saved them from sin and gave them strength to serve God." Already it was the dawn of a new day.
HAUGE'S FIRST LONGER JOURNEY
During January and February, 1797, Hauge continued his activity partly in Tune and partly in Fredrikstad.
Here he became acquainted with a couple of men who had Christian tendencies, and who joyfully took up Hauge in their circle. One of these was Nils Borso [put a backslash through the "o" please--Ed.], in whose home he held edification on February 17th with permission from the parish minister, Feierman, who at that time had nothing against Hauge's holding edifications. The other man's name was Nils Stillaugsen, who was in comfortable circumsances, and who liked Hauge so well that he asked him to marry his daughter, an offer which Hauge declined, however.
He now went to Moss, and from there to Christiania and Drammen. He traveled partly in order to spread the Word of God and partly to form acquaintances with Christian friends, of whom there were a few to be found here and there [isn't this usually the case, God has his true, faithful saints spread about, maybe thinly, but these open hearts will be found "here and there" despite the equally bleak, indifferent spiritual landscape of the time we live in?--Ed.].
Pastor Thaulow in Moss was a rationalist ["rationalists" were those officially-ordained and sanctioned churchmen who exalted the formal doctrines and traditions of the state Church so much they valued the intellectual but denied the heart relationship to the truth of God, and it is with the heart first that God works, though the mind is renewed in time by the preaching of the Word and submission to God's dealings and revelation--Ed.] he preached "the moral law and the Creator's elevated perfection." [but denied, effectively, the transforming power of the Scriptures and the Spirit of God--Ed.]. He did not have any sense of the living Christianity, but once he heard Hauge speak. First, two persons in the audience sange a few verses, while the others listened, after which Hauge spoke on edification, and then the assembly was over. The pastor considered the whole thing some harmless nonsense [of course!--Ed.], and said that as far as he was concerned, they could go on all they please, as long as they didn't do anything wortse than what he had seen and heard, and as long as they did not keep people from their work.
But when Hauge's preaching caused people to wake up and repent, the minister became scared and angry and tried to harm Hauge by insults and slander [now you see the hitherto hidden evil beast rising up in the rationalism of this cultured clergyman!--Ed.].
From Moss Hauge walked to Christiania. The condition in the capital of Norway was sad [the condition likewise in the capital of Norway, the same city in 2011, is sad--Ed.]. The biship and the six ministers who worked in the city were with one exception rationalists [you might well substitute "liberals," or secularists, who today hold to multiculturalism, diversity, amorality or relativism, and their own brand of "Tolerance" of all religions except a Jesus-focused, Bible-based Christian faith--Ed.]. The one minister, Lumholtz, was fairly right in his preaching, but was dry and cold and considerably indiscreet in his conduct. However, he was friendly inclined towards Hauge.
The upper class people in the city were busy with their private theatres, processions, balls, and other amusements; the lower classes imitated their superiors. People were to an appalling degree impious [no change at all in these descriptions, right? If anything, Norwegian society has grown even more impious or defiant of God and his commandments and hostile or indifferent to the Gospel of Christ--Ed.]. Hauge held gatherings both in and outside the city, and several of the working classes came to serious reflections. In Aker he found some who were affected by the United Brethren. They gathered around him and became the foundation for the Haugians there.
From Christiania he traveled through Asker and Lier to Drammen [reminds me of Christ's ministry, sowing the seed of the Word, healing too, from town to town, village to village, in region after region of Galilee first, then Judaea, and the Decapolis and even up to the environs of Sidon--Ed.]. Among those must be mentioned the girl Larine Oxne [backslash through the "O"--Ed.]. Her transition from darkness to light she describes thus:
[The late 18th century poetic language in translation doesn't speak very meaningfully to us today, so I will offer an amended version of the printed poem that I trust will help to communicate the poem's spiritual meanings to us better than the original language in translation.--Ed.]
wandering about, poor, but paying a stiff cost,
imprisoned, truly, in wretchedness and sin,
yet the world seemed sweet to me--despite the darkness within.
I was blind to my own condition, in that state;
with sin master over me, how could I see for me looming a most terrible, shameful fate? Yet I was dimly aware of my being caught in some vast dark web,
and cried to God for release from it,
even while my spirits sank at lowest ebb.
I felt my soul's dirt lying thick and black in me,
so filthy inside, while appearing clean outside-- it was Truth, desiring it, that made me so uneasy with myself as I was,
Truth was a light that shines and exposes darkness, that's what it does.
I began to really desire freedom and turned to Jesus, my Balm,
seeing that without Him I'd drink nothing but poison and never know a moment of calm.
So, Jesus, take my heart no matter whatever happens to me,
hold me with your tender grasp, like a bridegroom his sweet, willing bride,
I am done with the Devil's merry-go-round and selling my soul for a ride; my soul's passion has become like a fire leaping up to Thee!
"Jesus, Savior, in Thy name
We are gathered now to hear Thee.
Let Thy Holy spirit's flame
Sanctify us, bring us near Thee!
Let Thy love our guardian be,
Thou our Lord, Thy children we.
By Thy grace the heavenly bread,
E'er inviting, pleading ever,
On Thy table now is spread,
We Thy guests, and Thou the Giver,
May Thy peace in heart and mind
Us in sweet communion bind!
By Thy blood upon the cross
Thou from sin has purified us.
All besides we count but loss,
If Thou wilt but keep and guide us.
Jesus, for Thy sweat and pain,
Let Thy Word not sound in vain!"
Thus she could rejoice and sin in the midst of her tribulations; she herself had experienced the truth of what she says another place:
"For he who has felt the love
Which comes to him from above
The world doesn't matter, because he rather
Will serve his Heavenly Father!
Her days were soon counted, for she passed away already in her 20th year. Eight days before her death she visited Eker's Paper Mills. As she parted from her friends there, she said to them that it was possible they wouldn't see each other more down here. Then she traveled to Drammen where she was bedridden in the home of merchant T.O. Bache. She bore her sickness with quiet patience; her strength ebbed out by and by, and the transition from life to death was just as imperceptible as the color-tinges int he sky on a beautiful summer evening. She went home to God the 16th of September, 1803. But the memory of her has been kept wonderfully green among Hauge's friends to this day.
Hauge stayed in Drammen for some time and implanted the spiritual seed which bore so blessed fruit in that city.
It is assumed that he obtained passage on a ship going home from Drammen. He stayed home for a while now, partly working on his father's farm, partly gathering people around the Word of God.
He even went outside his own circle. He was in Rakkestad several times. One of the hostile ministers talked about him in this way: "I heard him preached once to a large audience who listened to him with very much attention. I seem to recall that he explained the Lord's Prayer at that time--that is to say in a rather pitiful way for an informed person. After the speech was given, he called upon every man to confute him if they were able to, but none of those present [including this critical minister!--Ed.] had the inclination nor courage to do so.
Thus talked the minister.
It is likely that Hauge closed his speeches calling upon the audience to either disprove him or else, if he spoke the truth, receive the Word and change their course of living. [Now isn't that what the Word should do, cause us to consider our ways, then choose God's way or continue in our own sinful way? People shouldn't come and hear the Word and go away unchanged, unless they chose to remain unchanged! The Word is intended to have a transforming effect, always! This Hauge understood perfectly.--Ed.]
Another day he came to Augustinus Sorby and stayed there for three days. He asked if he might call a meeting on this farm next Sunday, which he was granted, as the minister had agreed. about 400 people gathered. Hauge stood upon a tall fence and spoke. One of those present has repeated gthe contents of his speech as thus: "He admonished his listeners to hold to the Catechism which he called the small Bible."
A minister who was present talked depreciatively about Hauge and exasperated the people against him, but Hauge, nevertheless, won the confidence of the people.
HAUGE'S SECOND LONGER JOURNEY
From his home Hauge undertookanother journey. He first went to Holmestrand and from there through the counties to Tonsberg. Here he met several god-fearing people whose confidence he won and held. Then he journed to Drammen, where he on his first visit had won several friends, and through Eker to Kongsberg. Everywhere he traveled, sparks lighted which after some time became great fires.
HAUGE AND THE STORY OF THE CONVERSION OF TAULER A little book, which describes the conversion of a learned man by a layman's testimony, made a deep impression on Hauge. The learned man was Johan Tauler and the layman's name was Nikolaus of Basel. This story of conversion threw a somewhat new light over Hauge's call and strengthened in him this purpose,above all to be the Lord's witness among his people. In said layman's behavior Hauge found an ecclesiastical model for his own mission. As Nikolaus of Basel had been called by God to become an instrument of the learned but spiritually dead Tauler, so Hauge from the same God had received the mission to preach conversion to the spiritually dead people of Norway [are they not spiritually dead again today in Norway? But where is the Haugean messenger from God to speak to them and turn them from the darkness to the light of Jesus?--Ed.]
It was the layman's office of admonition he had received, the office of servant to give the Lord's people their food in due season.
Developed and prepared in this manner Hauge was ready in earnest to start his important day’s work. He was now a man in the prime of his life. “He was about 65 inches tall, with broad shoulders, broad chest and stout of limbs, had a mild countenance, light brown hair and eyebrows.”—He had with him a rich inner disposition, a heart filled with God’s love, which with marvelous power attracted people, a deep intuition, delicate and tenderly susceptible of the influence of sin, and elevated at the feeling of the heavenly mercy.—But above all Hauge was a man of action, the man with the stern will, the ardent active power. On all points is this character destined by his fervent life in God; as for the relation to him, that was above all the main thing for Hauge. And even so he had at the same time an open eye both for the beauty in nature and for the importance of the temporal duties. His conduct was quiet and gentle, such as the conduct of the one becomes who lives under the discipline of the Spirit. And still none could with more earnestness than he reprove “the many who use mournful voice, bowed head, humbled gestures and speech, who with their mouths profess to be poor sinners and show themselves humble but are hypocrites just the same, and do it in order to win the praise of the people.” In his personal association Hauge is supposed to have been very amiable, that is why his friends with great fervency and love were so attached to him.
For a closer understanding of Hauge’s activity and how a man in so short a time could accomplish so much, we must first emphasize his conversations with the individuals.
As mentioned before, Hauge began his activity with individual conversations, and this was also very essential in his mission. Hauge must have been especially gifted in this respect. He had great spiritual experience and his spiritual vision was penetrating. His speech was lively, and he made everything intelligible by examples, illustrations and pictures. His words seemed to carry the weight of eternity, even when he spoke only a couple of words in passing, so it is exemplified that a few words from him stayed in the souls of some for 40 to 60 years without losing their power, and above all he had a glowing, burning love, which pervaded his heart, and against this his quiet, strong love could almost no weapon hold its own. There are examples also that he with almost magic strength held his most enraged opponent only by a friendly word or a kind pat on the shoulder.
He generally started his conversation with worldly-minded people about temporal things and went from there easily over to the spiritual. In entering a house his first words were as a rule: “Do you live well here?”—a question which often awoke earnest thoughts. Time and again he talked to the individual like this: “Will you become a brother in Christ?” or he laid his hand on the person’s head and asked: “Will you love God?”, etc. The aspect of Hauge’s activity also found its application when he conversed with those who gathered around him in larger and smaller groups. Partly before, partly after the edification speeches and partly also on the roads, by the churches, etc. It was rather strange to hear how he replied to objections, brought deriders to fall silent, helped one who faltered on to frankness and answered the inquirer.
His friends often came from afar to talk with him, and they always found guidance and consolation with him in the Word of God. One writes aout this: “As I arrived at the said place, I talked with the man whom I a long time had wanted to meet. I became much confirmed in his edification, as he knew both in teaching and in living how to lead the weak and convince the recalcitrant.” Another says: “The Word of God bore testimony to me that he spoke the truth, and I felt I absolutely could not resist, and he was also very friendly towards everybody, een the lowliest, so that clearly gave evidence that he must have Christ’s disposition, as I never before had seen such a person.”
HAUGE’S EDIFICATION SPEECHES
were flowing freely from his deep and fervent life in God, not according to scientific rules, but there were in them the abundance of such faith and love which rendered effect. Hauge never studied his sermons, for if he had there would have been less warmth and fervency in them, but not more light and serenity, as it was the power of life that worked. He himself tells that when he had figured out how he should preach in order to convince the wicked and edify the faithful, it nearly came to a stop for him; but when he resigned himself unto God and asked Him to control his tongue, it always came easy for him to talk about the walks of life. That is why he held to the promise: “It shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.”
One of his listeners says: “His word and speech were over my heart as a double-edged sword. As he began tos peak the Word of God, my heart became so agitated with astonishment over his love and gentle mind, as I have never heard anyone speak as he did.” His speeches were very vivid and well suited to fascinate the listeners’ hearts.
Hauge’s edifications were attended by many people; often large crowds gathered on the highways to follow him to the place where he had appointed edification. Old people have said that when such processions went by, one would almost be moved to go along.
made a hit with the people to a wonderful degree. About that the many large publications and reprints gave evidence. In many p0laces his books were known before he himself came, and in a way the books prepared the soil and smoothed the path for him. On his travels he also always had his publications with him and left them behind as an abiding testimony for those who had heard the Word from his mouth.
Hauge’s publications had defects as far as the language and style were concerned, but that didn’t interfere with the wide publicity of his books, because the contents was so convincing that it made a hit just the same. But “the wise and intelligent ones” found in Hauge’s publications only “madness and nonsense,” the most miserable twaddle. That is the way it is and has been. “God hath manifested it for the simple of mind, but concealed it from the wise and intelligent ones.” The most significant testimony to the great importance which Hauge’s publications had, was the chagrin of the rationalists. His publications were many times seized by the government, but his friends held them very dear and often concealed them.
We will also give a couple of samples of his correspondence. He writes sometimes to individuals, sometimes to larger or smaller groups of friends. Now he instructs, now he reproves, tries to adjust misunderstandings, etc. He writes thus: “You, Ole B., do you become wise by experience and now constantly dig deeper, exterminate the wicked and with the servant gird yourself. Luke 17:8. Then be willing to suffer, humble your heart, give thanks and serve God sincerely, who has called and drawn you to blessing.”
“Likewise you, Andreas O., and the other members of the house, build up;on the rock Christ, let us be like Him in love and lowliness of mind.”—“Each and all on lower Rone; let no peace and agreement remain in the sin and no difference bar us from the Kingdom of God. Be the one, not too zealous, severe or miserly, a nd the others not arrogant, lavish or heedless, but—faithful and true stewards.” –“You, Christian, who for some time have been forlorn, come back now and be led well.”
“You, Paul B., if you will remain in humility, watch and pray, then the evil shall not touch you, but the good lasts from day to day. Do not stand still, but make haste to good deeds; in yourself you see the wicked, and then you have nothing in which to glory.”
“Likewise you, Karl, let us all unite in the mind of Jesus, and in it become obedient.”
Hauge’s co-workers were the many who either affected by Hauge personally or by his publications felt the urge to go out and bear testimony for their fellow men about the one thing needful. These co-workers were called “lay-preachers.” Hauge admonished his friends to pray God to awaken teachers of truth who would proclaim the Word of God in spirit and truth. He says in part: “As Christ with divine strength has emancipated us from the power and domination of sin, then we are anointed with the ointment of Christ of God’s love. We have oil in our lamps, shouldn’t we then preach his Word and confess his will even to the wicked race?”
Gradually thee was a great number of these lay-preachers around the country, and their work was of much blessing, so sinners were awakened from their indifference and began to love Jesus.
From 1798 to 1804 we find Hauge nearly continually traveling. He traveled mostly on foot, but now and then a man might give him a lift a mile or so, sometimes he also went by ship, but the greater part of the 7 to 8 thousand English miles he traveled during this time he walked on foot. He usually held two to four edification speeches every day, wrote letters by the hundreds and composed books, so we can understand that he was never idle but used the time well wherever he was.
HAUGE AND PASTOR FEIERMAN
During Christmas, 1797 [my own Norwegian ancestors by our family name Stadem (on my mother’s side) departed Norway in 1793 and sailed to America via Canada, overwintering in Winnepeg, then the following spring journeying to the area later known as the Dakota Territories. Had they heard of Hauge and his ministry? I think they did, for most of Norway had heard of him by this time, since there was no one so influential among the lay ministry of the Church as Hauge —Ed.]. In the evening of the third day of Christmas some people had gathered, and Hauge spoke on Paul’s words to Titus: “The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and wordly lusts,” etc. While Hauge spoke, the parish minister of Fredrikstad came, accompanied by a lieutenant and three soldiers. He had become apprehensive and exasperated over the godly revival which had begun also in his congregations, and he had decided to crush the originator.