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Billy Bray "The King's Son"

Billy Bray, The King's Son
By F. W. Bourne

"If they were to put me into a barrel, I would shout glory out through the bunghole!" So said Billy Bray, the singing, shouting drunkard-turned-preacher from Cornwall, England.

Billy Bray was one of my favorite characters. He was a little old Cornish coal miner who got converted and shouted everywhere he went. Every time you met Billy Bray, he would shout, “Hello! Amen! Hallelujah!” And if you didn't say, “Amen!” he would think you were not saved.

Somebody said, “Billy, don´t talk like that. And you're singing all the time and you can't carry a tune.”

Billy said, “Hush. God would just as soon hear a crow as a nightingale. I'll sing all I want to sing.”

“Billy,” he said, “shut your mouth.”

“If I shut my mouth, my feet would still shout. Every time my left foot hits the ground, it says ‘Amen!´ And every time my right foot hits the ground it says, ‘Well, glory,´ and I can't help myself.”

Billy had the breath of the heavenly dew upon him. He had this unction upon him. He had this anointing upon him. And from that moment forward, Billy Bray was aflame for God, walking up and down the streets witnessing, preaching whenever he had opportunity, testifying to all he cam in contact with--because he was anointed with the Holy Spirit.

Somebody said to him, “Billy Bray, you´re going to die.”

He said, “You mean I'm dying now?”


“Glory to God! I'll be Home by the morning!”

“Billy, what if you go to Hell? What if you had been mistaken all these year?”

“I´ll just shout all the way to Hell. I'll say, ‘Glory! It was wonderful to think I was going to Heaven all those years!´ I'll just praise the Lord because I thought I was going to Heaven, and I had a wonderful life. If I go to Hell I'll say, ‘Amen! Glory to God! what a wonderful life it was!´ And if the Devil walks up and says, ‘Billy, you can't shout like that here,´ I will say, ‘I´ve got to shout! It's in my bones!´ And if the Devil will say, ‘You´ve got to get out of here,´ I'll say, ‘That´s what I'd like to do anyway, old Devil, if you don't mind.´ And I'll just should all the way to Glory! Praise the Lord! Glory to God! I'm saved!”

This is a wonderful story told about Billy Bray! His crop of potatoes had not brought much of a return on his effort. As he was digging them in the fall, Satan was at his elbow saying, "There Billy, isn't that poor pay for serving your Father the way you have all this year? Just look at those pitiful potatoes." The story goes that Billy Bray stopped his hoeing and replied, "Ah, Satan is at it again, talking against my Father, bless His holy name. Why, when I served you, I didn't get any potatoes at all. Why are you talking against my Father?" Satan left him.
Billy Bray had built his life on a rock.

Billy tells of the encounter with the Devil in his own words: “Friends, last week I was a-diggin’ up my ’taturs. It was a wisht poor yield, sure ’nough; there was hardly a sound one in the whole lot. An’ while I was a-diggin’ the devil come to me, and he says, “Billy, do you think your Father do love you?”.
“I should reckon he do”, I says.
“Well, I don’t”, says the ould tempter in a minute.
If I’d thought about it I shouldn’t ha’ listened to ’en, for his ’pinions ben’t worth the leastest bit o’ notice.
“I don’t”, says he, “and I tell ’e what for: if your Father loved you, Billy Bray, He’d give you a pretty yield o’ ’taturs; so much as ever you do want, and ever so many of ’em, and every one of ’em as big as your fist. For it ben’t no trouble to your Father to do anything; and He could just as easy give you plenty as not, an’ if He loved you, He would, too.”

Of course, I wasn’t goin’ to let he talk o’ my Father like that, so I turned round ’pon ’en.
“Pray, sir”, says I, “who may you happen to be, comin’ to me a-talkin’ like this here? If I ben’t mistaken, I know you, sir, and my Father, too. And to think o’ you comin’ a-sayin’ He don’t love me! Why, I’ve got your written character home to my house; and it do say, sir, that you be a liar from the beginnin’! An’ I’m sorry to add that I used to have a personal acquaintance with you some years since, and I served you faithful as ever any poor wretch could: and all you gave me was nothing but rags to my back, and a wretched home, and an achin’ head, an’ no ’taturs, and the fear o’ hell-fire to finish up with. And here’s my dear Father in heaven. I have been a poor servant of His for thirty years. An’ He’s given me a clean heart, an’ a soul full o’ joy, an’ a lovely suit o’ white as’ll never wear out; and He says that He’ll make a king o’ me before He’ve done, an’ that He’ll take me home to His palace to reign with Him for ever and ever. An’ now you come up here a-talkin’ like that!”
Bless ’e, my dear friends, he went off in a minute, like as if he’d been shot – I do wish he had – and he never had the manners to say Good mornin’.”

He became a wonder to all who knew him. "They said I was a mad-man," recalled Billy in later life, "but they meant I was a glad-man, and, glory be to God! I have been glad ever since."
His favorite saying was, "I am the child of a King."

Every Christian should read this extraordinary story of God's saving grace and power!

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