Albert Benjamin Simpson was born in Prince Edward Island, Canada on December 15th, 1843 to James and Janet (Clark) Simpson. His family had emigrated from Scotland and Simpson's religious training was through his parent's Scottish Covenanter heritage. A depression hit Canada in the 1840's and his father's business failed. They moved to western Ontario and took up farming. His father was a highly respected deacon and his parents pressed Simpson to become a minister. He had conflicting feelings about this. He had a sound moral background, but no strong personal conviction that he was called to the ministry.

Simpson went to at Knox College in Toronto to become a Presbyterian minister. Under great stress while studying to become a minister, he had an emotional and physical collapse. Simpson was only 14 years old! He was convinced that he might die at any time, and he became overwhelmed at the thought that he didn't really know God and might not have eternal life. In 1858 he had a pivotal change in his understanding of God. He had come across Walter Marshall's book on the "Gospel Mystery of Sanctification" in his pastor's study. It included a clear presentation of the necessity of receiving Jesus Christ as savior and that all works outside of this were in vain. Total justification was on the acceptance of Jesus alone, and on that basis we would be filled with the Holy Spirit and receive a new heart. Amazingly, this was a new revelation to Simpson. He fell to his knees and committed his life to Christ. A new sense of peace filled him and the Word became alive to him as never before.


1881 was the turning point in Simpson's health and beliefs about divine healing. He had experienced a token of God's love in this area years before. A woman, whose older son was in a coma and dying, asked him to come and pray with the man. She was not sure that he was saved and felt burdened about his salvation. Simpson went to her house and prayed that her son would become well enough to speak to his mother about this. When Simpson was getting ready to leave the son woke up and from that point on recovered his health. It was so remarkable that Simpson never forgot it. He made an initial attempt to believe in Jesus as his healer, but was told by a physician it was presumption and so abandoned it.

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