What do you think when you hear a book's title prefaced by the word "unabridged?" You probably think: this book is the original text of the author, in its unmodified form. You probably also think that, somewhere, there exists an abridged or altered version of the text. I'd like to show you that, in the case of War On The Saints, being prefaced by "unabridged" does NOT guarantee you that you are looking at the text as the author originally published it.
The Unabridged 1912 Edition and Abridged Editions
A dear brother of mine, while discussing the best Christian literature, mentioned War On The Saints to me, describing it as THE definitive work in all of Christendom, and throughout the ages, on Spiritual Warfare. This interested me, because I had studied many books on demons and their activities in our lives; how to resist them, recognize them, and to be delivered from their influence upon us. In telling me about the book, he mentioned that this book was a hard-to-find, out of print book. He also mentioned that, from the time it had been written in 1912, it had been abridged by some who had disagreed with the doctrinal position of Mrs. Penn-Lewis on the "possession" of believers (Note: We generally think of the demoniac of Gadara when we hear the word "possession," but this not wholly representative of what it means to be "possessed" according to her defintion. You must read the book to understand.) This abridged work essentially gutted the book of it's power to liberate the Christian from the influences of demons.
The so-called Unabridged Edition
My curiosity was peaked about these abridged versions--how had the editors of the abridged versions neutralized the power of the message? I went to my local Christian Bookstore hoping to find one and, lo and behold, they had an (so-called) UNABRIDGED copy of War On The Saints. I thought to myself, "Well, that wasn't so hard to find!" Granted it was by a different publisher and it was paperback; but at least it was UNABRIDGED! (so I thought)
When I got home, I pulled out the unabridged 1912 edition my brother had given me and compared it with the so-called "unabridged" addition I found at the store, only to find out that the books were only remotely similar, much less the exact same book. The chapter names were completely different. I couldn't even FIND the first chapter of the so-called "unabridged" edition in the 1912 edition. In the places that I could recognize similarity between passages, many words had been changed that reduced the effectiveness of the passage. I began to notice immediately that the editors of the so-called "unabridged" edition agreed with the editors of the more honest abridged editions: they disagreed with Mrs. Penn-Lewis' belief that believers could be controlled by demons, or that they were in need of deliverance, after conversion. We, as believers, need to KNOW that we can be controlled by demons EVEN after conversion, if we are to be successful against the powers of darkness, and grow on to maturity in the faith. Neither the abridged editions or this so-called "unabridged" edition have this message. Both have replaced "believer" in many (if not all) places with "people." THAT'S A BIG DIFFERENCE!
I can only surmise as to why the editors of this falsely-called "unabridged" edition decided that it was acceptable to claim that their version of War On The Saints was the SAME as the unabridged 1912 edition. THIS IS A BLATANT LIE! Perhaps they are only following the lead of other publishing houses. It is difficult NOT to conclude the possibility exists that, because of the content of this book, SOMEONE was conspiratorially trying to eliminate the original text from the public's hands. Consider: if you recommended War On The Saints to a brother, and said: "You MUST get the unabridged edition," and they walk to a store and see…. "unabridged" on the book and purchase and read it, wouldn't you think they would be convinced that they had ALREADY read the book, and thus be prevented from actually benefiting from the unabridged 1912 text? I think so. If my brother had just said: "You need to get the unabridged edition," and I had purchased this falsely-called "unabridged" edition I found at the store……. wouldn't I have thought that? (assuming he never saw the book to contradict me).
Seeing that there appears to be a determined act to silence the unabridged 1912 edition, which I receive as superior to all abridged and so-called "unabridged" editions, I decided to make this book available to all through the medium of the Internet. So, without further delay, I now present to you the unabridged 1912 edition of War On The Saints (link to Book Review--A must read!).