The books that currently make up the Pioneer Series are all well worth reading. J. G. Hutchinson’s book, Frank Knox, is especially meaningful to me since I personally knew and highly esteemed Mr. Knox.
Many men crossed my path as a young Christian, and for this I am most thankful. They were men that did not necessarily know Greek, but men that knew their God. Some were outstanding in worship, others stood out in ministry, and many excelled in the preaching of the gospel. In the early sixties, I met Frank Knox in the city of Dublin. My recollection of him is that he was a man who was exceptional in prayer, a man who was in touch with God. Frank Knox had a private life with God, a public life for God, and a prayer life to God. Once he prayed at an open-air meeting before the gospel meeting: “Oh God, may the message go through the key-hole of the door and reach the sinner in need of salvation.”
Frank Knox loved to tell how God reached and saved him. Convicted of his sins, a statement remained with him: “Young man, you are condemned already. If you die as you are, you will land in hell.” His testimony has been written in poem form.
“Condemned already,” fearful words!
They fixed me to the seat,
Struck terror to me when I thought
‘Tis God I have to meet.
Four weeks I struggled in the dark
And light I could not see;
I longed to know how to be saved
And from my sins be free.
I then left Belfast city for
The County Donegal;
The God of grace was with me and
He overruled it all.
For whilst engaged at work one day
A letter I received,
And as I read its contents o’er
I on the Lord believed.
Frank Knox often spoke at the Belfast Easter conference. Listening to the report of his gospel work was always enjoyable. One aspect of his gospel work was to preach in prisons. One day, at a prison, Frank was told that he was to only visit “his own flock.” Frank then remarked that he would not need to return to the prison as none of his “own flock” was incarcerated.
He was a man who made many witty statements in his life. Statements such as “Put your children’s salvation before their education.” “Keep low, go slow, and don’t blow.” “All good men are not good preachers, and all good preachers are not good men.” He spoke about the modern evangelist of his day and said, “Some preachers will put the tent pole up through the roof of the Gospel Hall.” It is recorded of Frank Knox that between the years 1956-1957, he visited 52,000 houses, an average of 1,000 a week. He said, “I can heartily commend this kind of Christian recreation; it is good for both body and soul.” The last time I heard him speak was at the Belfast Easter conference. He said, “What I have said today will be taken by wires, tires, flyers, and liars.”
Frank Knox was a man who preached what he believed. This was written of him:
The Preacher came, a stately man,
He stood upon a box,
Sure heaven shone upon his face,
His name was called Frank Knox.
The preacher spoke with earnestness
And this I sure perceived,
That everything this man declared,
He himself believed.
When Frank Knox died it was said of him, “A man of God has been taken from us.” Three things mark a man of God: He believes in God, he belongs to God, and he behaves like God. Frank Knox was a man whose faith was worthy of following. This book could easily be read at one sitting and will speak deeply to the heart of Christians.