Saturday, 17 December 2016

We held a Christmas Bible Club for Primary school children on Saturday 17th of December at 10.00a.m-12.30 in the afternoon.

Posters and flyers were made for distribution around the immediate area of the church and two families came with their children. There were about twenty children in all including the families of the church together with others who came as a result of contacts with church members.

Activities included
-the singing of Christmas carols
-the making of Christmas cards
-the making of large collage or mural
-telling of the Christmas story
-organised games and refreshments

The children participated in all activities eagerly and were well behaved. Our prayers have been answered and we give thanks to the Lord.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

An ever-present help in trouble

An ever-present help in trouble

(Thomas Brooks, "A Word in Season to Suffering Saints")

"But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour" Isaiah 43:1-3 

This divine presence is the greatest good in the world.

The people of the Lord should be very thankful for His presence with them in their greatest troubles and deepest distresses. O Sirs! this divine presence is a great mercy.
It is a special mercy, it is a distinguishing mercy.
It is a big-bellied mercy — which has many mercies in its womb.
It is a mercy-greatening mercy; it greatens all the mercies we enjoy.
It is a mercy-sweetening mercy; it sweetens health, strength, riches, honours, trade, relations, etc.

It is a soul-mercy, a mercy...
  which reaches the soul,
  which cheers the soul,
  which lifts up the soul,
  which quiets the soul,
  which satisfies the soul, and
  which will go to Heaven with the soul.

Will you not be thankful for such a mercy? Will you be thankful for temporal mercies — and will you not be thankful for spiritual mercies? To enjoy the presence of God when we most need it, is a mercy which deserves perpetual praises. It is the greatest mercy in this world, to enjoy the gracious presence of God in our great troubles and desperate dangers. Therefore be much in blessing God, and in admiring God — for His presence with you in a dark and trying day.

"There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." Joshua 1:5

"The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge." Psalm 46:7

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1

Sunday, 22 May 2016

O, it was one word that I saw in your book which troubles me!

O, it was one word that I saw in your book which troubles me!
(George Burder, "Heaven and Hell!")

"And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." Matthew 25:46

The very word ETERNITY ought to fix our attention on this great subject! O that it may have as good an effect upon you, as it had upon the following lady:

A lady, who was fond of gaiety, spent the whole afternoon and evening at a card party and other vain amusements. Returning home late at night, she found her maid diligently reading a religious book. Happening to look over her shoulder, she saw what it was, and said: "Poor melancholy soul, why do you sit here so long poring over your book?"

After this she retired to bed, but could not sleep — she lay sighing and weeping for several hours. Being repeatedly asked by her maid what was the matter, she burst into tears and said, "O, it was one word that I saw in your book which troubles me — there I saw the word ETERNITY!"

O that we could impress upon you a lasting idea of Eternity!

Suppose all the vast ocean to be distilled by single drops, and a thousand years to pass between every drop — how many millions of years would it take to empty it.

Suppose the whole world to be made up of grains of sand, and one grain only to be taken away in a thousand years — how many millions of years would it take to remove the whole? We cannot count how long — yet we suppose it may be done in a most immense length of time.

Suppose it done. Suppose the ocean emptied, drop by drop. Suppose the globe reduced, grain by grain, to the last sand. But would eternity be lessened? No, not at all. It is a whole eternity still — and the torments of the damned would be as far from an end, as when they began!

A minute bears some proportion to a million years — but millions of millions of years bear no proportion to eternity.

O how would the damned in Hell rejoice, if ten thousand years might finish their miseries! But it is for ETERNITY! Do you startle at the word? It is Christ's word. Christ says in the text, "And these shall go away into everlasting punishment:"

Saturday, 14 May 2016

All the Hell that you shall ever have!

All the Hell that you shall ever have!

("The Mute Christian Under the Smarting Rod" or, "The Silent Soul with Sovereign Antidotes" by Thomas Brooks, 1659)

Consider Christian, that all your...
  trials and troubles,
  calamities and miseries,
  crosses and losses,
which you meet with in this world — is all the Hell that you shall ever have!

Here and now, you have your Hell.
Hereafter, you shall have your Heaven!

This life is the worst of your condition — the best is yet to come!

Lazarus had his Hell first — and his Heaven last.
Dives had his Heaven first — and his Hell at last.

You have all your pangs, and pains, and throes here — that ever you shall have!
Your ease, and rest, and pleasure — is yet to come.

Here you have all your bitters — your sweets are yet to come!

Here you have your sorrows — your joys are yet to come.

Here you have all your winter nights — your summer days are yet to come!

Here you have your evil things — your good things are yet to come.

Death will put an end to all your sins — and to all your sufferings!

Death will be an inlet to those joys, delights, and comforts — which shall never have an end!

Who can seriously meditate upon this, and not be silent under God's most smarting rod?

Sunday, 8 May 2016

It takes a long and painful process to purge it out!

It takes a long and painful process to purge it out!
(James Smith, "The Love of Christ! The Fullness, Freeness, and Immutability of the Saviour’s Grace Displayed!")

"Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." Isaiah 48:10 

The love of Jesus will not preserve His people from trials — but rather, assures them of trials! All whom He loves — He chastens! He has a furnace to purge our dross, and refine our souls. His Word and the Spirit reveal to us our defilement and impurity — and His grace and providence co-operate to remove them. "I am the Lord God, who sanctifies you."

It is divine love which...
  prepares the furnace,
  kindles the flame,
  brings the Christian into it,
  superintends the whole process, and
  brings him out as gold, seven times purified!
"From all your filthiness and from all your idols, I will cleanse you!" He cleanses them in the laver of the Word by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit. But He also cleanses them by a variety of afflictive dispensations, through which He causes them to pass.

Our sin calls for trials — His love sends them!

Our nature repines at trials — but grace submits to them!

Our flesh is enraged at trials — but the Spirit sanctifies them to our good, and our Saviour’s glory.

He makes His people choice ones — in the "furnace of affliction!" He says, "I will put you into the fire — and will purely purge away your dross."

Believer, never repine at your trials, nor be over-anxious for their removal. They are appointed by Jesus as your Purifier — and are choice blessings in disguise!

Seek their sanctification,
wrestle with God that you may see His love in every stroke, and
look to Jesus that you may enjoy His presence when passing through the flame!

Nothing can hurt you — while Jesus is near you; and He is never nearer to you — than when you are in the furnace! For He sits right there as the Refiner...
  watching the process,
  regulating the heat, and
  waiting to effect a gracious deliverance — when the ends of His love are answered.

He is only preparing you for fresh manifestations of His glory — and fitting you for larger communications of His love.

In the furnace, you will lose nothing that is worth keeping — but you will obtain what is truly valuable!

The flesh and the soul need constant cleansings — for corruption is so deeply rooted in our nature, that it takes a long and painful process to purge it out! But in reference to the furnace, your Lord says, "The Lord did this to purge Israel's wickedness, to take away all her sin!"

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Oh, do not waste life!

Oh, do not waste life!
(George Everard, "Mind Your Steps!" 1884)

"Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:16 

Be careful to make the very best use of your time. Make the most of each passing day. Instead of trying to kill time — strive to make it so fruitful of good to yourself and others. Hours and moments are golden — yes, more valuable than pearls and diamonds — and to squander and waste them is folly beyond description! Until we reach eternity, we shall never know how much good has been obtained or wrought...
  by a moment's earnest prayer,
  by a passing opportunity seized,
  by five minutes given to read a helpful book,
  by a quarter of an hour given to visit some suffering saint.

How much Christ accomplished in the three years of His public ministry! He was always intent on the work He had to do, so that tens of thousands were taught and benefited. And though we are so sinful, and our power so feeble in comparison — is not His life to be a pattern for ours?

Oh, do not waste life! Map it out prudently, and think well of the work to which you yourself are called.
No lost hours through late rising in the morning!
No mornings or evenings worse than lost, in drinking in the poison or the vanity of a worthless novel!
No moments thrown away in idle gossip and foolish talking!
No, no — our was life given to us for this! Use it far better and more wisely. Remember that...
  the time is short,
  the work is great, and
  the outcome is for eternity!

Soon will the great bell toll, which will usher you into a future state. Brother, sister, make haste to do all the work allotted to you — to do it well, that the Master may be glorified, and your crown the brighter.

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

Saturday, 23 April 2016

This would help you more than anything!

This would help you more than anything!
(George Everard)

A wandering of the mind in prayer is an evil to be carefully avoided. I imagine there is no child of God but has continually to lament wandering thoughts — something coming in to divert the attention, and often carrying you miles away from the presence of the Lord. Even those who most grieve and regret this evil, find that it often comes and disturbs them. It meets them in the sanctuary, it meets them in family worship, it meets them in their private devotions. It is a weed that is ever growing, and no remedy has yet been found that can completely root it out of the garden of the heart.

Yet some guidance may be given in the matter. Strive to be very definite in your prayers. Think of what you most need, and then put it very distinctly before the Lord.

Also, endeavour always to speak as to a living person. If you could more fully realize and always recollect that when you pray, a living Redeemer and an omnipotent Friend bows down the ear to hear, that He is close by you, that you are not speaking into the air — but that you speak your words to one who as truly sees you and hears you as if you saw Him with your very eyes before you — this would help you more than anything!

Sunday, 17 April 2016

He was infinitely happy and glorious without us!

He was infinitely happy and glorious without us! 
(James Smith, "The Pastor's Evening Visit")

"Christ that loved us." Romans 8:37

No condition can possibly be more dreary, than to feel that no one loves or cares for us!

There is something peculiarly sweet and pleasant — in being the object of another's love. Even the love of a poor child is sweet. But to be loved by one who is most wealthy, most exalted in station, and most honourable in character — must be peculiarly delightful!

How, then, should we rejoice; how happy should we be — who are loved by the Lord Jesus! Especially when we consider:
on the one hand...
  how despicable,
  how poor,
  how worthless, and
  how unlovely WE are!
And, on the other hand...
  how glorious,
  how wealthy,
  how worthy,
  how lovely JESUS is!

To be loved by Jesus — is to be preferred before the possession of a world!

Think of...
  the glory of His person,
  the vastness of His possessions,
  the number of His angelic attendants,
  the unlimited sovereignty which He exercises,
  and the excellent character He bears!

Also bear in mind — that He knew what loving us would cost Him — how He would be treated by us and by others — for our sakes!

Yet He fixed His love upon US!

He loved US — just because He would!

He passed by others more dignified in nature, more exalted in station — but He chose US!

He did not, could not, NEED us — for He was infinitely happy and glorious without us!

Yet He loved us!

He still loves us!

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Like coins from the same mint!

Like coins from the same mint!
(Letters of John Newton)

My dear sir,
I could write a long note indeed, upon your very great mistake in considering me as a great man. If we could have a personal interview — I think you would be quickly undeceived! Ah! how different I am — from what perhaps I appear to be to others when in the pulpit.

Your mistake, however, has done me good. A whole quire of invective from an enemy could hardly have given me so keen a sense of shame. The Scriptures assure us that our hearts by nature, like coins from the same mint — are all alike. I hear my fellow-Christians complain of evils similar to what I feel. Otherwise I would have reason to conclude that there could not be one believer upon earth — so inconsistent, so evil, so vile beyond expression — as myself!
Ah, dear sir! what would you have thought of me — had you seen me when I lived among the slaves? The sight of me would have been offensive to your eyes, and my vile speech would have struck you with horror! I was miserable and despicable in every view — the common mark of scorn and insult! My whole wretched amusement and pleasure seemed to lie in blaspheming the name and person of Jesus, and in feeding my imagination with schemes of wickedness!

Some of my unhappy companions have perished in their sins — who have just cause to charge the ruin of their souls to my account! For Satan himself, had he been upon earth in a bodily shape — could hardly have been more industrious in tempting to infidelity and profligacy than I was!

There is seldom a day of my life, in which my thoughts are not led back to my former state of estrangement from Him, and that pre-eminence of wretchedness into which my sins plunged me!

Yet, it is of grace that my poor story is not much worse. The Lord is my keeper — therefore I am still preserved. "By the grace of God — I am what I am!" 1 Corinthians 15:10

I am, dear sir, your affectionate friend and servant,
John Newton, 1778

Friday, 1 April 2016

The best Physician!

The best Physician!
(Thomas Watson)

Christ is the best Physician.

Christ  is the most skilful Physician. There is no disease too hard for Him. "who healeth all thy diseases." Psalm 103:3. He can cure the gangrene of sin — even when it comes to the heart. He can melt a heart of stone, and wash away black sins in His crimson blood! There are no desperate cases with Christ. He has those salves, oils, and balsams which can cure the worst diseases.

Christ is the cheapest Physician. Sickness is not only a consumption to the body — but the purse! (Luke 8:43). Physicians charge fees — but Jesus Christ gives us our cures freely. He takes no fee. "And he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." Isaiah 55:1. He desires us to bring nothing to Him but broken hearts. And when He has cured us, He desires us to bestow nothing upon Him but our love — and one would think that was very reasonable.

Christ heals with more ease than any other. Other physicians apply pills, potions, or remedies. Christ cures with more ease. Christ made the devil go out with a word (Mark 9:25). So when the soul is spiritually possessed, Christ can heal with a word, nay, He can cure with a look. When Peter had fallen into a relapse, Christ looked on Peter — and he wept. Christ's look melted Peter into repentance — it was a healing look.

Other physicians can only cure those who are sick — but Christ cures those who are dead. "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;" Ephesians 2:1

Christ cures not only our diseases — but our deformities! The physician can make the sick man well; but if he is deformed, he cannot make him lovely. Christ gives not only health — but beauty. Sin has made us ugly and misshapen. Christ's medicines do not only take away our sickness — but our blemishes. He not only makes us whole — but lovely. Christ not only heals — but adorns.

Last, Christ is the most bountiful Physician. Other patients enrich their physicians — but here the Physician enriches the patient! Christ advances all His patients. He not only cures them — but crowns them! (Revelation 2:10). Christ not only raises from the sick-bed — but to the throne! He gives the sick man not only health — but Heaven!

Oh, the love of this heavenly Physician! Christ Himself drank that bitter cup which we should have drunk, and by His taking the bitter potion — we are healed and saved! Thus Christ has shown more love than any physician ever did to the patient.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Easter Holiday Bible Club

An enjoyable and hopefully profitable time was had by all this morning. There were around seventeen children in attendance mainly from the friends and families of the church.

It was good to see new faces who readily participated in the activities prepared for them,ranging from the following;
- an innovative way of learning a memory verse
- the singing of songs,
- the listening to the Easter story,
- team games and quizzes
- making of Easter cards,
- origami (demonstrated by Gruffydd,one of the children, his demonstration of his skill in this area was quickly picked up by others.)
We are very grateful for those, including husbands, wives and students who gave of their time to help out and offer that extra pair of hands to the children in their activities.
We are also grateful to the Lord for His presence in our midst and that everything went smoothly.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Oh, what a mystery of humility — what a mystery of condescension and love!

Oh, what a mystery of humility — what a mystery of condescension and love! 
(George Everard, "Help and Consolation from the Sanctuary" 1868)

"Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." 
Matthew 1:23 

Who shall fathom this deep well? What a depth of marvels in the Word made flesh and dwelling among us! What depths in that name, Emmanuel!

"God with us! The mighty God!" — and yet needing a mother's tender care!

His goings forth from everlasting — and yet an infant of days!

The Heaven of heavens cannot contain Him — and yet He is wrapped in swaddling clothes!

The everlasting Jehovah His Father — yet a poor Galilean maiden His mother!

Many mansions in the Father's house are at His disposal — and yet He is denied a lodging in a village inn.

Worshipped by angels — and yet under the same roof with the beasts of the field.

Oh, what a mystery of humility — what a mystery of condescension and love!

Yes, innumerable are the benefits which Christ comes to bestow. He comes...
  to bind up the broken-hearted,
  to proclaim liberty to the captives,
  to give recovery of sight to the blind,
  to comfort all who mourn,
  to seek and to save those who are lost,
  to give His life a ransom for many,
  to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons,
  to save sinners, even the chief,
  to save to the uttermost, all who come to God by Him — from guilt, wrath, and everlasting woe,
  to set them at His own right hand in glory, where they shall shine forever in the likeness of God!

Sunday, 20 March 2016

But why?

But why?
(Don Fortner)

"Behold, we count them happy which endure." James 5:11

Faith counts them blessed who patiently endure trials, as Job, the saints, and prophets of old did.

But why? Upon what grounds do we count them blessed?

Enduring their trials, God's saints find themselves compelled to cling tightly to their Saviour — -and that brings them into closer, sweeter communion with Him. And that is our happiness! We are blessed, indeed, when...
  we are admitted into the inner chambers of Him whom our souls love,
  our sorrows more fully reveal to us the Man of Sorrows,
  our griefs cast us upon the heart of our God,
  our troubles take us to the Throne of Grace.

Little chicks in the sunshine run all over the yard, pecking and gathering whatever they find. But if a hawk appears in the sky, the mother hen calls them with a sharp alarm. Immediately, they perceive the danger and run under her wings for safety.

God's saints are like those chicks. He was a much afflicted man who wrote, "He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust:" Psalm 91:4

One of the most delicious of sensations outside of Heaven, is to fall helplessly into the arms of Christ! There we find...
  strength in helplessness
  joy in submission,
  rest in resignation,
  and peace in surrender!
Anything which...
 gives new life to prayer,
 brings us to the Throne of Grace,
 and renews communion with our God —
is so great a gift that, "we count them happy which endure".

There is no place in all our pilgrim journey more needful for our souls than the Valley of Humiliation. The tops of the Delectable Mountains are wonderful, exhilarating spots, from which we sometimes see the Golden City. But those are heights too steep for our trembling feet to stand firmly upon them. The valley suits us better, though flesh and blood finds it hard to go downhill. Here our dear Saviour manifests Himself to His chosen as He does not to the world. Therefore "we count them happy which endure".

Once more, "we count them happy which endure" because "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;" 2 Corinthians 4:17. Oh, what glory awaits us on the other side! And that glory awaiting us is made all the more glorious by the trial of our faith.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Here is a sermon which none can dispute!

Here is a sermon which none can dispute!
(George Everard, "Up High!" 1884)

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:16

We are to let the beauty of Jesus be seen upon us, that some rays of His glorious holiness may be manifested to the eyes of the world around. We are to go forth clothed in...
  His meekness,
  His purity,
  His love,
  His heavenliness,
  His unselfishness —
that sinners about us may gain some faint idea of His grace, through His likeness seen in us.

When, from beneath the humble garb of some lowly disciple, there shines forth something of Christ, something of what He was when on earth — here is a sermon which none can dispute, here is an appeal to the human conscience, more eloquent than the most powerful address ever made from the pulpit!

Christian, do you thus glorify Christ day by day?

Does your life speak so distinctly and plainly for Christ, that men cannot fail to hear?

Does your temper, your tone of thought and speech, bear witness that you walk continually before God?

Do men take knowledge of you, that you have been with Him — and that He is with you?

Is there transparent sincerity in what you say, and unsullied integrity in all your actions?

Is there the spirit of self-sacrifice — trampling SELF under foot, and spending time and money for the welfare of others?

Is there a deep hatred of sin as sin, and a desire to do the will of God under all circumstances?

Is there a fixed determination rather to die, than wilfully to break a single command, or cast a shadow of dishonour on the name of Him who so loved you?

Do you "long to be like Jesus," and every moment to live devotedly and wholly in His service?

Then for this purpose, plead with Him this prayer, "Lord Jesus, glorify Yourself in me! Help me to show forth by my daily life, that I have been with You. May Your image be formed in me, and may Your life on earth be the pattern which I ever strive to follow."

Saturday, 5 March 2016

The physician's blood became the sick man's salve

The physician's blood became the sick man's salve
(Thomas Brooks, "The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures")

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:5
Our sins were the cause of Christ's sufferings!

It was our sins which smote Him, and bruised Him!
It was our transgressions which gave Christ His deadly wounds!

Every Christian may look upon Christ and say,
"I was that Judas who betrayed You!
 I was that soldier who murdered You!
 It was my sins which brought all those sorrows, and sufferings, and evils upon You!
    I have sinned — and You have suffered!
    I have been wicked — and You have died!
    I have wounded You — and You have healed me!"

Oh, that we might look upon...
   a humble Christ — with a humble heart,
   a broken Christ — with a broken heart,
   a bleeding Christ — with a bleeding heart,
   a wounded Christ — with a wounded heart!

"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." 1 Peter 2:24

Here you see that the physician's blood became the sick man's salve!

Here is the gospel mystery — that the wounding of One, should be the cure of another!

Oh, what an odious thing is sin to God — that He will pardon none without blood — yes, without the precious blood of His dearest Son!

Oh, what a Hell of wickedness must there be in sin — that nothing can expiate it but the best, the purest, the noblest blood of Christ!

Oh, what a transcendent evil must sin be — that nothing can purge it away but death — the accursed death of the cross!

Oh, what a leprosy is sin — that it must have blood, yes, the blood of God, to take it away!

Sunday, 28 February 2016



(John MacDuff, "The Words of Jesus")

"The very hairs of your head are all numbered!" Matthew 10:30

What a promise is this! All that befalls you, to the very numbering of your hairs — is known to God! Nothing can happen by accident or chance. Nothing can elude His inspection. The fall of the forest leaf — the fluttering of the insect — the waving of the angel's wing — the annihilation of a world — all are equally noted by Him! Man speaks of great things and small things — but God knows no such distinction.

How especially comforting to think of this tender solicitude with reference to His own covenant people — that He metes out all their joys — and all their sorrows! Every sweet — and every bitter — is ordained by Him. Even "wearisome nights" are "appointed." Not a pang I feel, not a tear I shed — but is known to Him. What are called "dark dealings," are the ordinations of undeviating faithfulness. Man may err — his ways are often crooked; "but as for God — His way is perfect!" He puts my tears into His bottle. Every moment His everlasting arms are underneath and around me. He keeps me "as the apple of His eye." He "bears" me as a man bears his own son!

Do I look to the FUTURE? Is there much of uncertainty and mystery hanging over it? It may be, much foreboding of evil. Trust Him! All is marked out for me. Dangers will be averted; bewildering mazes will show themselves to be interlaced and interweaved with mercy. "He keeps the feet of His saints." Not a hair of their head will be touched.

He leads sometimes darkly, sometimes sorrowfully; most frequently by cross and circuitous ways, which we ourselves would not have chosen; but always wisely, always tenderly. With all its mazy windings and turnings, its roughness and ruggedness — the believer's is not only a right way — but the right way — the best which covenant love and wisdom could select.

"Nothing," says Jeremy Taylor, "does so establish the mind amid the rollings and turbulence of present things — as both a look above them and a look beyond them; above them — to the steady and loving hand by which they are ruled; and beyond them — to the sweet and beautiful end to which, by that hand, they will be brought." "The Great Counsellor," says Thomas Brooks, "puts clouds and darkness round about Him, bidding us follow at His beck through the cloud, promising an eternal and uninterrupted sunshine on the other side." On that "other side" we shall see how every apparent rough blast has been hastening our boats nearer the desired haven.

Well may I commit the keeping of my soul to Jesus in well-doing — as unto a faithful Creator. He gave Himself for me. This transcendent pledge of love — is the guarantee for the bestowment of every other needed blessing. Oh, blessed thought! my sorrows are numbered — by the Man of Sorrows; my tears are counted — by Him who shed first His tears, and then His blood for me! He will impose no needless burden, and exact no unnecessary sacrifice. There was no unnecessary drop in the cup of His own sufferings; neither will there be in that of His people. "Though He slays me — yet will I trust in Him!" "Therefore comfort one another with these words."

Saturday, 20 February 2016

What is repentance?

What is repentance?
 (George Everard, "Welcome home! Plain teachings from the story of the Prodigal" 1871)

"I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' So he got up and went to his father." Luke 15:18-20

Notice the spirit of deep self-abasement in the resolution which the prodigal made.

True repentance is intensely personal. The prodigal felt it was his own sin. "I have sinned!" He can scarcely see any sin but his own. He sees his own sin in the very worst colors. Study the fifty-first Psalm. See how David again and again speaks. It is my transgression, my iniquity, my sin ever before me.

True repentance beholds the wrong done to God by sin. The prodigal felt that his sin was primarily against God. It was a breach of His holy law. It was opposition to His holiness. It was sin against His goodness, and against redeeming love. So David cries in his bitter sorrow, forgetting for the moment the wrong he had done to Uriah — in the far greater wrong which his sin had done to God: "Against You, You only have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight!"

True repentance makes no excuses. The prodigal seeks for no palliation, no covering, no cloak. He says nothing of the circumstances which led him to do evil, or of companions who had drawn him aside. He does not attempt to shift the burden from his own shoulders to that of others. He makes no self-justifying pleas — he has too much sorrow, too much true brokenness of spirit, to desire or attempt it. One thing, and one thing only, he sees — his own terrible fall, and his own exceeding guilt.

True repentance takes the very lowest place. Once to be a son was not enough for him — but now he will be content even to be a slave or a hired servant! He feels utterly unworthy. As Jacob felt: "I am not worthy of all the mercies You have showed me." As the centurion felt when he sent to Jesus: "I am not worthy that You should come under my roof." So did the young prodigal esteem himself: "I am no longer worthy to be called your son."

Be sure that God delights in the humble and contrite soul. Lift yourself up in pride and self-satisfaction — and God will assuredly cast you down. Cast yourself down in humble confession of your sin — and God will assuredly lift you up. "God resists the proud — but gives grace unto the humble."

But we see here the purpose of the heart accomplished. The young man not only made the resolution, but he kept it, "So he got up and went to his father." He turned his back forever on that far country and his old companions — and turned his face homeward. Doubtless it was with many a tear, with many a bitter feeling of regret for all that had passed — since in so different a spirit he had trodden that path before. Yet onward he trudges with weary heart and weary footstep, in the hope that a place may still be found for him in his father's house.

Do you ask, What is repentance? I can scarcely better describe it than from the path of this wanderer. It is turning the back ...
  on sin,
  on the ways of the world,
  on the lusts of the flesh,
  on the service of the devil.

And it is turning the face God-ward, Heaven-ward, confessing all that is past, looking upward for grace to live holier, with one single desire — to abide in the fear and love of God.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Ten thousand foul sins and vices burst forth and turn earth into a Hell!

Ten thousand foul sins and vices burst forth and turn earth into a Hell! 
(George Everard, "The Curse Removed!" 1885)

"There shall be no more curse" Revelation 22:3

What a sad history our world has had! Ever since the tempter set his foot on earth, all the fair beauty and glory that pertained to man have well-near utterly perished!

Cursed is the ground for man's sake — thorns and thistles spring up apace! And far worse, man himself becomes as a thorn or a brier — instead of adorning the paradise of God.

Hatred and envy and evil passions of all kinds stir him up to immorality, violence, cruelty and murder.

The image of the righteous, holy God is lost.

Ten thousand foul sins and vices burst forth and turn earth into a Hell! Selfishness, pride, jealousy, oppression — bringing misery and confusion into all the relationships of life.

And the soul of man, once the palace of the King of Love — becomes the cage and dwelling-place of unclean spirits!

Oh the terrible weight of the curse which since the Fall has rested on man! Oh the woe and the wickedness which have blighted that which was once holy and fair and beautiful! The crown has fallen from our head — woe unto us that we have sinned!

But Jesus Himself bore on the cross, the penalty and the curse that sin merited — and now He gives in its place an everlasting and unchanging blessing!

There shall be a new Heaven, and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness. God shall wipe away all tears from men's eyes. Sorrow and suffering, pain and death, shall no longer burden the earth.

"And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever." Revelation 22:3-5

Sunday, 7 February 2016

A diamond with a flaw — is better than a pebble without one!

A diamond with a flaw — is better than a pebble without one!
(George Everard, "The Home of Bethany" 1873)

"Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him." John 11:16

We often think only of Thomas as the picture of a doubting, unbelieving disciple. Let us not forget that there was in him the spirit of true self-denying love. Christ purposed to go into Judea. Thomas thought the Jews would kill Him — but if so, he was ready to share the danger.

We may learn a lesson here — let us look at the best side of a Christian's character.

"A diamond with a flaw — is better than a pebble without one!" A Christian may have some grave infirmity; he may fail very grievously at some crisis of his Christian career — yet for all that he may be one of Christ's jewels, and may shine brightly hereafter in His crown!

There is more breadth than depth!

There is more breadth than depth!
(George Everard, "Strong & Free! A Book for Young Men" 1882)

In the present day Christianity, there is more breadth than depth.

There is more profession of the truth — but less eminence in holiness.

Let not this be so with you. Be zealous to excel. Do not be content with a commonplace standard of Christian living. Press on to high attainments. Yield up your heart fully to Christ, and ask Him to fill every niche and cranny with Himself! Let every chamber of your heart be replenished from His own bounteous grace.

Let it ever be remembered, that from first to last your peace, your strength, your hope lies in a simple, whole-hearted dependence upon Christ alone. Think of Him at all times...
  as your High Priest and Intercessor before the throne,
  as your Leader and Captain in the warfare you have to wage,
  as your Righteousness and your Robe under the remembrance of sin,
  and as your Eternal Refuge and Portion amidst the various changes of this mortal life.

Be content with no half measures — be thorough and whole-hearted. Take the lowest place and cast yourself in deepest humiliation at Christ's feet. Then trust Him utterly. Believe that He will undertake all that concerns you. On your knees give yourself to Him to be His altogether and forever. Let there be no more reserve, no more delay, no more uncertainty. "Burn the bridge behind you!"

Life is short.
Eternity is near.
The soul is unspeakably precious.
Christ is All-mighty, All-merciful, All-faithful, All-sufficient!

Sunday, 31 January 2016

The great idol!

The great idol!

(George Everard, "Backwards or Forwards — Which?" 1882)

"and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her." Ruth 1:14 

If you are faithful, if you live godly in Christ Jesus — you will find that the reproach of the cross has not yet ceased. In some shape or other, you will have to bear this burden for Him, who bore the terrible burden of your sin.

Orpah was unwilling to give up the idols of Moab — Baal, Ashtareth, and the like. She preferred them, to the thrice holy Jehovah whom Naomi worshipped.

With the professor now, as with Orpah then, it is no easy thing to give up the idols which hitherto have reigned in the heart. Bear in mind that . . .
  whatever you love best,
  whatever eclipses the Sun of Righteousness in your soul,
  whatever rules on the throne of the inner man
 — that is your idol, that is your God!

With Lot's wife, it was the society of Sodom.
With Balaam, it was Balak's silver and gold.
With the young ruler, it was his "great possessions."
With Demas, it was "this present evil world."

With you it may be one or other of these, or it may be something widely different. It may be...
  a friend or a relation,
  success in a lawful calling,
  the comfort of your own happy fireside,
  the praise of man, or
  some of the varied pleasures which the world offers.

But there is one idol more hard to part with than all these — I mean the great idol SELF! Self, in its thousand shapes, is ever claiming the first place in our hearts. Self-love, self-will, self-wisdom, self-importance, self-righteousness — all these are not easily cast out, and rise again and again to re-assert their power!

Be assured, my reader, that if any of these are uppermost, the day will most likely come that you will very plainly renounce that Saviour whom you profess to have chosen. Or if you should carry the name of Christian even to the end — yet you are not Christ's. He reckons you not one of His. You have not chosen that good part which can never be taken from you. He has said, "whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:33. That is, unless Christ is so pre-eminent in your affections, that you are willing to forsake all, even life itself, when it comes into competition with Him — you cannot be numbered among those who follow Him.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

The believer's lesson book!

The believer's lesson book!
(George Everard, "Beneath the Cross" 1877)

"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." Galatians 6:14

The cross of Christ is the believer's lesson book. The sufferings He bore for our sake, should be the subject of our constant meditation.

Nowhere, as in the Cross and in the scenes connected with it — do we see such revelations of the heart of Christ.

Mercy shines forth in her beauty...
  seeking pardon for His cruel murderers,
  compassionating the daughters of Jerusalem,
  and saving a sinner of the deepest dye!

Justice, too, stands forth in unsullied glory. In paying the debt of human guilt, in bearing the penalty of a broken law — Christ is seen to be a just God, as also a Saviour.

In our Lord's suffering and death, there is precious instruction for the believer in almost every matter belonging to the Christian life...
  what are the perils you are likely to meet with — and how best to overcome them;
  what should be your life in secret before God — and what should be your path in the world;
  what is your strength in the hour of temptation, and in the season of sorrow;
  how to crucify the world — and how to glorify God in the position which you occupy
 — all this may be learned in fellowship with our suffering Redeemer.

Beneath the Cross likewise, you may best learn to cultivate every Christian grace and virtue.
Meekness and courage,
zeal and love,
prayer and patience and forebearance,
and submission to the will of God —
are the fruits of a believing view of Christ's death.

You may learn, too, to conquer sin by the sight of that which it cost Christ to save you from it. The nail and the spear may be driven through the sins which have been most cherished. You may thus be enabled to crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts.

And beneath the Cross you may learn another lesson. You may learn how to die. Through death, Christ has destroyed the power of death — the sting is gone. To him who believes, death is life — for it is departing to be with Christ, which is far better.

Therefore let us often betake ourselves to Calvary. Let memory recall and ponder those hours on which our everlasting peace depends. Let our faith bridge over the centuries that have passed between. Let us go and stand in thought, beside the faithful women who were last at the cross, and first at the grave. Let us look again, and yet again, and discover new lessons of instruction and fresh grounds for the deepest contrition, as also for everlasting joy and thankfulness — beneath the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Search the Scriptures!

Search the Scriptures!
(George Everard, "A Talk about the Family Bible" 1878)

The word Bible signifies Book; and when we call it the Bible, we mean that it is the Book of books — the best Book, the wisest Book, the Book that will do us the most good of any in the world!

If all the other books in the world were destroyed, however great and irreparable the loss — if men still had the Bible, they would be far better off than if this were destroyed and all other books remained.

It is the Book that alone can tell . . .
  how sin can be forgiven,
  how temptation can be overcome,
  how trouble and sorrow can be met,
  how tears can be wiped away, and
  how death can be the gate of everlasting life.

It is indeed the best companion . . .
  for days of trial,
  for the day of sickness, and
  for the hour when we must part from all below!

Oh what a treasure is a well-read Bible! It is . . .
  a mine of gold,
  a hive full of honey,
  a field covered with a rich harvest.
It is a tree of life, of which every twig bears precious fruit.
It is an ocean full of pearls.
It is a river full of the purest water of life.
It is a sun whose beams warm and cheer the heart.
It is a bright star that can guide the pilgrim through the darkest night.
It is a granary stored with the finest of the wheat.
It is a medicine-chest, from which we may find a remedy for every malady of the soul.
It is a Mount Pisgah, from which we can view the promised land of Canaan.
All this and much more, is the Bible to those who love to search it and explore the depths of heavenly wisdom which it contains.

Dear reader, whatever you forget, never, never forget to read something out of this precious Book day by day.

The Scriptures warn against . . .
  the fear of man,
  the allurements of worldly pleasures,
  the snare of pride, and
  the temptation of doubt and unbelief.

Sunday, 10 January 2016


(Hannah More, "PRAYER")

Prayer is...
  the application of need, to Him who alone can relieve it,
  the confession of sin, to Him who alone can pardon it,
  the urgency of poverty,
  the prostration of humility,
  the fervency of penitence,
  the confidence of trust.

Prayer is...
  not eloquence, but earnestness,
  not the definition of helplessness, but the feeling of it,
  the "Lord, save us — or we perish!" of drowning Peter,
  the cry of faith, to the ear of mercy.

Adoration is the noblest employment of created beings.

Confession is the natural language of guilty creatures.

Gratitude is the spontaneous expression of pardoned sinners.

Prayer is desire — it is...
not a mere conception of the mind,
not an effort of the intellect,
not an act of the memory.

Prayer is...
  an elevation of the soul towards its Maker,
  a pressing sense of our own ignorance and infirmity,
  a consciousness...
      of the perfections of God,
      of His readiness to hear,
      of His power to help,
      of His willingness to save.

Prayer is not an emotion produced in the senses, nor an effect wrought by
the imagination — but a determination of the will, an effusion of the heart.

Sincere prayer gives...
  a tone to our conduct,
  a law to our actions,
  a rule to our thoughts,
  a bridle to our speech,
  a restraint to wrong passions,
  a check to ill tempers.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

I am sure I cannot endure to the end!

I am sure I cannot endure to the end!
(Letters of John Newton)

"but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me." Jeremiah 32:40

Jesus, to whom I have been led to commit myself, has engaged to save me, absolutely, and from first to last. He has promised not only that He will not depart from me — but that He will put, keep, and maintain His fear in my heart — so that I shall never finally depart from Him! And if He does not do this for me — I have no security against my turning apostate! For I am so weak, inconsistent, and sinful; I am so encompassed with deadly snares from the world; and I am so liable to such assaults from the subtlety, vigilance, and power of Satan — that, unless I am "kept by the power of God," I am sure I cannot endure to the end!

I do believe that the Lord will keep me while I walk humbly and obediently before Him; but, were this all — it would be cold comfort! For I am prone to wander — and need a Shepherd whose watchful eye, compassionate heart, and boundless mercy — will pity, pardon, and restore my backslidings!

For, though by His goodness and not my own — I have hitherto been preserved in the path of holiness; yet I feel those evils within me, which would shortly break loose and bear me down to destruction, were He not ever present with me to control them.

Those who comfortably hope to see His face in glory — but depend upon their own watchfulness and endeavours to preserve themselves from falling — must be much wiser, better, and stronger than I am! Or at least they cannot have so deep and painful a sense of their own weakness and vileness, as daily experience forces upon me. I desire to be found in the use of the Lord's appointed means for the renewal of my spiritual strength — but I dare not undertake to watch a single hour, nor do I find ability to think a good thought, nor a power in myself of resisting any temptation! My strength is perfect weakness — and all I have is sin.

In short, I must sit down in despair — if I did not believe that He who has begun a good work in me, will carry it out to completion.

"Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe" Psalm 119:117