Clarence Larkin was born October 28, 1850, in Chester, Pennsylvania. At the
age of 19, a member of an Episcopal Church, he felt called to the ministry of
preaching, but was unable to pursue it at the time and got a job at a bank
instead. Two years later, he left the bank and went to college, becoming a
He continued for some time as a draftsman, then was a teacher of the blind –
a job that taught him many of the skills he would use later in his ministry for
God. However, health problems required that he give up his job.
After he recovered, Larkin became a manufacturer. Again he felt the call of
God on his life and at the age of 32 became a Baptist and was ordained to preach
two years later.
He first pastored in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, then later at Fox Chase,
Pennsylvania. He pastored at Fox Chase for the next 20 years. During this time
he studied the Scriptures intently and adopted a premillenialist position. To
help teach this doctrine, he began making large wall charts, which led to
invitations to teach in two Bible Institutes. He published several prophetical
charts, which circulated nationwide and attracted much attention.
In 1914 World War I began, and Larkin was asked to teach on “The War and
Prophecy”. After that, he began work on Dispensational Truth (or God's
Plan and Purpose in the Ages), containing numerous charts and descriptions.
He published the book in 1918 and it was very well-received worldwide.
The first edition was quickly sold out and a second edition was issued.
Following the second edition, Clarence Larkin revised and expanded the work,
producing the version we have today. Larkin followed with several more books,
including: Rightly Dividing the Word, The Book of Daniel,
Spirit World, Second Coming of Christ, and A Medicine Chest for
Christian Practitioners. He gave up his pastorate to write full-time.
Clarence Larkin passed away on January 24, 1924.