Sunday, 26 April 2015

The wisest arithmetic!

The wisest arithmetic!

(Alexander Smellie, "The Secret Place" 1907)

"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." Psalm 90:12 

I number my days aright, when I feel their fewness. To the imagination of the young, life seems long. They catch no echo of "the roar of the waves of eternity, as they dash on the shores of time" — so far away those shores appear to be. But the farther I advance in age, the more swiftly and imperceptibly the hours and weeks and years steal on. At the outset of the voyage, I mark my progress by the objects on the river-banks: trees, houses, towering hills. But, later, I have left the river, and am on the trackless sea; and the sea remorselessly impels me on. Soon I shall hear the cry, "Land ahead!" and my voyage of life will be finished and past!

I number my days aright, when I recall their uncertainty. Often they are abruptly broken, before they have attained their bound. "Lord, spare the green — and take the ripe," is a cry often sounded. But the cry is not always answered, and the child as well as the parent is laid in the churchyard grave.

Let me remember how brittle my years are — and let me seize hold upon eternal realities which cannot be shaken.

I number my days aright, also, if I compare them with the unchangeableness of God. The world  watches the generations come and go. But God is without beginning, and the millenniums have left Him unhurt by the tooth of time. How paltry my fourscore winters seem, in the light of His unending ages! Yes! but let me turn to Him. Let me cast myself on the Everlasting Arms — and the enduringness of my God will pass into my frailty and littleness.

And I number my days aright, if I think of them in relation to the limitless future. In one sense, I am easily robbed of them; in another sense, my years will come to no conclusion at all. As short as they are, they prelude an unimaginable, deathless existence. Now I am laying the foundations of an eternal palace — or of an eternal prison, from which I shall never leave. Now I am moulding for myself a king's unfading crown — or a criminal's inexorable chain. And since such momentous outcomes hang on the slender thread of my fleeting days, let me live as one about to migrate to the eternal world, and let me be diligent in my Father's business.

This is, indeed, the wisest arithmetic!

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Sin's enormity!

Sin's enormity!
(Arthur Pink)

"Oh, do not do this abominable thing that I hate!" Jeremiah 44:4

If we took a survey of everything on the earth — we could find nothing so vile as sin. The basest and most contemptible thing in this world, has some degree of worth in it, as being the workmanship of God. But sin and its foul streams have not the least part of worth in them. Sin is wholly evil without the least mixture of good — it is vileness in the abstract.

Sin's heinousness appears in its author: "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning." Sin is the Devil's trade, and he practices it incessantly!

Sin's enormity is seen in what it has done to man: it has completely ruined his nature and brought him under the eternal curse of God!

Sin is the source of all our miseries. All evil and wretchedness are its fruits. There is . . .
  no distress of the mind,
  no anguish of the heart,
  no pain of the body
 — but is due to sin!
All the miseries which mankind groans under, are to be ascribed to sin!

Sin is the cause of all divine punishments: “Thy way and thy doings have procured these things unto thee; this is thy wickedness”. Had there been no sin, there would have been . . .
  no wars,
  no calamities,
  no prisons,
  no hospitals,
  no insane asylums,
  no cemeteries
  no eternal Hell!
Yet who lays these things to heart?

"The deceitfulness of sin!" Sin assumes many garbs. When it appears in its nakedness — it is seen as a black and misshapen monster! How God Himself views it, may be learned from the various similitudes used by the Holy Spirit to set forth its ugliness and loathsomeness. Sin is likened to the scum of a seething pot in which is a detestable carcass — and to a dead and rotting body!

There is a far greater malignity in sin than is commonly supposed, even by the majority of church members. Men regard sin as an infirmity, and term it a human frailty or hereditary weakness. The majority regard sin as a mere trifle.

Tens of thousands of religionists see so little filth in sin, that they imagine a few tears will wash away its stain. They perceive so little criminality in it, that they persuade themselves that a few good works will make full reparation for it.

All comparisons fail to set forth the horrible malignity in that abominable thing which God hates. We can say nothing more evil of sin, than to term it what it is!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Thomas Watson choice quotes on Scripture

Thomas Watson choice quotes on Scripture
(Thomas Watson)

The lines of Scripture are more valuable than mines of gold!

God's Word is the star which directs us to Heaven!

Scripture is the field where "the Pearl of great price" is hidden.

The Scriptures are the richest jewels that Christ has left.

The Word is so full of goodness, justice, and sanctity, that it could be breathed from none but God. It bears His very image. It has no errata in it. It is a beam of the Sun of Righteousness. It is a crystal stream, flowing from the Fountain of Life. It commends to us whatever is "just, lovely, and noble."

This "sword of the Spirit" cuts down vice!

Out of this tower of Scripture — is thrown down a millstone upon the head of sin!

The Scripture is the Royal Law, which commands not only the actions — but the affections.

Where is such holiness to be found — as is dug from this Sacred Mine? Who could be its author — but God Himself?

God's Word is the judge of controversies — and the rock of infallibility!
All truth must be brought to the touchstone of Scripture.

This blessed Book will fill the head with knowledge — and the heart with grace!

 God wrote the two tables with His own fingers.
If God took pains to write — well may we take pains to read!

The Scripture is a rock of diamonds — a chain of pearls adorning the Christian, and glorifying God.

The Scriptures are profitable for all things.
Is the believer cast down? Here are "comforts to delight the soul!"
Is he assaulted by Satan? Here is "the sword of the Spirit" to resist him.

The Scripture is the chart, by which the believer sails to eternity!

The Scripture is the Christian's Sundial, by which he sets his life!

The Scripture is the Christian's Balance, in which he weighs his actions!

The Scripture is the Christian's Map, by which he daily walks!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

What a believer would do — if he could

What a believer would do — if he could
(Letters of John Newton)

"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." Galatians 5:17

This is a humbling but an accurate account of a Christian's attainments in the present life, and is equally applicable to the strongest and to the weakest. The weakest need not say less — the strongest will hardly venture to say more. 

The Lord has given His people a desire aiming at great things — but they cannot do as they would. Their best desires are weak and ineffectual, not absolutely so — but in comparison with the noble mark at which they aim. So that while they have great cause to be thankful for the desire He has given them, and for the degree in which it is answered — they have equal reason to be ashamed and abased under a sense of their continual defects and the evil mixtures which taint and debase their best endeavours! 

It would be easy to make out a long list of particulars, which a believer would do if he could — but in which, from first to last, he finds a mortifying inability. Permit me to mention a few, which I need not transcribe from books, for they are always present to my mind.

He would willingly enjoy God in prayer. He knows that prayer is his duty; but he considers it likewise as his greatest honor and privilege. In this light he can recommend it to others, and can tell them of the wonderful condescension of the great God, who humbles Himself and opens His gracious ear to the supplications of sinful worms upon earth! The believer can bid others to expect a pleasure in waiting upon the Lord, different in kind and greater in degree than all that the world can afford. By prayer he can say: "You have liberty to cast all your cares upon Him who cares for you. By one hour's intimate access to the throne of grace — you may acquire more true spiritual knowledge and comfort, than by a week's converse with the best of men, or the most studious perusal of many books." And in this light he would consider it and improve it for himself. 

But, alas; how seldom can he do as he would! How often does he find this privilege to be a mere task, which he would be glad of a just excuse to omit! and the chief pleasure he derives from the performance — is to think that his task is finished! He has been drawing near to God with his lips — while his heart was far from Him. Surely this is not doing as he would, when (to borrow the expression of an old woman here,) he is dragged before God like a slave, and comes away like a thief!

Though we aim at this good — evil is present with us!

Alas! how vain is man in his best estate! How much weakness and inconsistency, even in those whose hearts are right with the Lord! What reason have we to confess that we are unworthy, unprofitable servants!

It were easy to enlarge in this way — would paper and time permit. But, blessed be God, we are not under the law — but under grace! And even these distressing effects of the remnants of indwelling sin are overruled for good. By these experiences — the believer is weaned more from SELF, and taught more highly to prize and more absolutely to rely on Him, who is our Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification and Redemption! The more vile we are in our own eyes — the more precious He will be to us! A deep repeated sense of the evil of our hearts — is necessary to preclude all boasting, and to make us willing to give the whole glory of our salvation where it is due!

Again, a sense of these evils will (when hardly anything else can do it) reconcile us to the thoughts of DEATH! Yes, they make us desirous to depart — that we may sin no more; since we find depravity so deep-rooted in our nature, that, like the leprous house, the whole fabric must be taken down before we can be freed from its defilement! 

Then, and not until then — we shall be able to do the thing that we would! When we see Jesus — we shall be transformed into His image, and be done with sin and sorrow forever!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The Bible League Trust

The Bible League Trust

'Our Pastor had the privilege of representing The Bible League Trust in March this year (2015), at meetings held at Wattisham Suffolk and Chelmsford Essex. The Bible League was founded in 1892 shortly after the death of C. H. Spurgeon to promote believing and reverent Bible study, and to resist attacks made upon the inspiration, inerrancy and sufficiency orf God's word. Unlike many christian organisations, The Bible League has remained true to its founding principles. Its witness is needed today in the light of the serious decline that we witness in the churches of our land. Pastor John Thackway will be with us again at our annual South Wales rally to be held, God willing on Monday May the 11th at Margam Road Evangelical , Reformed Church Port Talbot. The Photograph is of Mr and Mrs Stephen Toms who helped oraganise the meetings in March. Mr Toms became a member of the Bible League in 1947 and subsequently joined the Trust. He knew Mr Poole Connor well who in turn knew Spugeon.'