Hamilton Smith (1862-1943), born in Barnes, Surrey, the son of a sea captain, was employed in the office of his uncle's building firm, where he was later joined by his cousin F B Hole. By 1901, married and living in Sutton, Surrey, with his wife and young family, he had retired from the building trade and entered full-time upon the task of building up the church of God. Later in life, he moved to Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, his wife Rachel's home county. His personal ministry was delivered in the United Kingdom, but his written ministry continues to be read worldwide. Along with H P Barker, A J Pollock, J T Mawson and F B Hole he frequently contributed articles to "Scripture Truth" magazine, which often provided the basis for books later published by the Central Bible Truth Depot. Hamilton Smith's written expositions of the Scriptures are brief, clear and very much to the point. This volume is one of a series of Old Testament character studies for which he is probably best known. It examines the history of Elisha, the man of God. Like a heavenly stranger he passes on his way morally apart from all, while in grace the servant of all, accessible alike to rich and poor. He is found in every condition of life; he comes into contact with every class; he moves at times within the land of Israel, and at times he passes beyond its bounds. But, wherever he is, in whatever circumstances he is found, with whoever he comes into contact, his sole business is to make known the grace of God. Sometimes he is mocked; sometimes ignored and forgotten; at times men plot to take his life; but in spite of all opposition he pursues his service of love. He allows nothing in his ways and manner of life that is inconsistent with his ministry of grace. He refuses riches and gifts, content to be poor that others may be enriched. Thus in many ways he foreshadows Christ, who lived among us full of grace and truth; who became poor that we might be rich; who endured the contradiction of sinners, and who, at last, gave up His life that grace might reign through righteousness. But Elisha is also the pattern for every believer in Christ, teaching us at all times to be the exponents, in a needy world, of the grace of God that has reached us in our degradation in order to have us with and like the Man Christ Jesus in heaven.
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