THE BOOK OF JUDGES
by Wm. Bunting
by Stanley Buchanan
WORDS FOR MAN
by A.E. Trigg
by T. Ernest Wilson
OUTLINING THE BOOK OF REVELATION
by Samuel Jardine
THE INTER-VARSITY FELLOWSHIP
by J.K. Duff
By Wm. Bunting
Thoughtful students have not failed to notice that there is a remarkable correspondence between the life of Samson, on the one hand, and the history of the Church, as pictured prophetically in the seven Epistles of Rev. 2 and 3, on the other.
First, the name “Samson”, which as we have seen, means “Sunlike”, suggests that he was intended to shine for God in the dark day in which he lived. In Rev. 1-3 the churches addressed are each compared to a lampstand, which, of course, implied the same thing—they were to shed abroad the light of Christ’s knowledge during the long night of His absence.
Again, Samson was called to be a Nazarite—a man separated unto God from his birth. In like manner, the Church was called to be a spiritual Nazarite—pure and spotless—a pilgrim and stranger in a defiling scene—devoted in affectionate service to the One who gave His all to make her His own, and Who therefore should be the source of all her joy and satisfaction.
Further, Samson was the man of supernatural strength—a strength imparted by the Divine Spirit (13:25), and inseparably linked with his separation. Is not the same true of the Church? Think of the power which is latent in her by the indwelling Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:19; 3:20). Yet it is only as she moves in the consciousness of her separation unto God that her strength for God becomes effective.
Now, in ch. 14:1, where the history of Samson opens, we observe that his first step was downward—“And Samson went down”. It is well for the young Christian to remember that the first steps are always important. They are often a portent of what is to follow.
It was so with Samson, for some six times later we are told of his going “down” (14:5, 7:19; 15:8; 16:21), and as we shall see, we have in Rev. 2 and 3 ‘the down-grade movement’ of the Church.
Then follows the story of Samson’s love affair with the Philistine woman of Timnath. As already pointed out in these papers, his heart became divided. God was no longer given the place of sole affection in his thoughts and desires. His parents remonstrated with him about this. They felt truly concerned about his spiritual welfare. Before he was born at all his mother had prayed, “How shall we order the child?” (13:13). in this chapter, however, it seems it was the child who “ordered” the parents, and we fear that in many cases it is the same to-day. “But”, we are told, they “knew not that it was of the Lord” (14:4). This does not mean that the Lord had prompted him to love the Philistine. The Lord permitted him to do so for His own glory; but “it was of the Lord that he sought an occasion against the Philistine”. Though he loved the woman he rightly hated her people.
Notice, however, that though he had taken this retrograde step, and was about to enter an unholy matrimonial alliance, Samson’s strength was as yet unimpaired, as seen in his rending the young lion that roared against him (vv. 5:6).
With these thoughts in mind, consider the first Epistle in Rev. 2, addressed to “the angel of the church of Ephesus”. That Christ had been everything to these saints in an earlier day we learn from Acts 19. They had gladly made a bonfire of their books of magical arts, and publicly—“before all men” —confessed Him as their Saviour and Lord (vv. 18:19). Those were the days of their “first love”. At a later date Paul addressed to them his Epistle, setting forth their heavenly calling and hope, proof that the early glow of their affection and fidelity had not yet been damped. Here surely was true Nazarite character, and what is said of this local church, is, we believe, a picture of the general state of the entire Church in the days of the Apostles. Had those early Christians known the words, how lustily they would have sung:
- “All for Jesus I all for Jesus!
- All my being’s ransomed powers;
- All my thoughts and words and doings,
- All my days, and all my hours.”
Now, however, in Rev. 2. all is changed. If in Jud. 14 we have a fallen Judge, here we have a fallen church—“Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen” (v. 5). If “Ephesians” set forth their high position, Rev. 2 reveals their fallen condition. The light was burning dimly. The lampstand was about to be removed. And the great Searcher of hearts put His finger upon the cause: “But I have this against thee, that thou didst leave thy first love” (v. 4, R.V.). Solemn words indeed! As in the case of Samson, decline began with the affection becoming divided. Christ no longer held the supreme place in the Church’s love. Another, the world, shared the throne of her heart. Mark you, like Manoah’s son, she still had power, for the nine clauses of verses 2 and 3 are all indicative of strength and energy. Observe, however, that while “labour” is included in these, it is not “labour of love”, as in 1 Thess. 1:3, but merely “labour”. Like Samson, too, she was opposed to God’s enemies. For if he hated the Philistines, she “hated the deeds of the Nicolaitanes (v. 6), ‘and these Nicolaitanes were only Philistines in another guise’. But ‘everything else paled into insignificance by the side of this’ —thou didst leave thy first love”.
The first pure, warm, fresh upsurge of Christian affection was no more, and this her precious and matchless Lover lamented. And how does He feel about her condition, beloved? For how cold, worldly, and ungrateful these poor hearts can grow! Oh for grace to look up into His wonderful face and say from our very hearts:
- “Is there a thing beneath the sun
- That strives, with Thee my heart to share?
- Ah! tear it thence, and reign alone,
- The Lord of every motion there”
Perhaps it will cost us something to do so. Perhaps we too shall have to kindle a bonfire, but it is well worth paying the price. What are all the charms and accomplishments of a bride to a bridegroom, if he has reason to suspect that she is not genuinely true to him? And what does all our busy life mean to Christ if the “first love” be absent? Better, Oh, a thousand times better, to have a good fire now, brethren, than to see our works reduced to a pile of ashes at Christ’s Judgment Seat (1 Cor. 3:13-15).
By Samuel Jardine, Belfast.
THE FIRST PARENTHESIS—Chapter 7.
After the sixth seal and before the seventh comes a descriptive insertion of great importance, revealing that while earth will be convulsed with lawlessness, carnage and hatred of God, there will be a mighty overruling that will secure a testimony for God and His Word, which will be even more remarkable than the abounding evil.
The Lord’s control of adverse circumstances is graphically pictured in the restraint imposed upon the four winds (vv. 1-3). The destructions cannot begin until the bond-servants of God who will be the special workers of that period have been securely sealed. Such a mark of Divine ownership makes this representative company (one hundred and forty-four thousand) from the tribes of Israel immune from the evils that surround them. The tribe of Dan pays the price of her idolatries by forfeiting a place amongst these sealed witnesses. Ezekiel 48:1-5, however, shows that she does not forfeit her place as an inheritor of the land. Repentance and restoration will be learnt in those dark days and there will be “a portion for Dan.”
The “after this” of verse 9 encourages the conjecture that “the great multitude of all nations and kindreds and peoples and tongues,” have been saved through the instrumentality of those sealed Hebrews. They are, no doubt, to be understood as a representative number functioning as the Lord’s “bondslaves” in the administration of the Gospel of the Kingdom (Matt. 24:14). This will initiate a great movement of saving grace that will result in countless multitudes being spiritually fitted for participation with Christ in His glorious Kingdom. These flatter are from the Gentile nations and are clothed with robes of righteousness and bear the tokens of joy and victory: “Palms in their hands”, while they praisefully ascribe their Salvation to the God of the Throne and to the Lamb Whose blood redeemed them. Such a marvellous sight again provokes the worship of angels, of elders, and of the four living creatures (vv. 11-12).
The internal evidence of the chapter shows that this scene is not located in Heaven and this should be carefully weighed in conjunction with the scenes of chapters 21 and 22. Here there are “day and night”; there is need for protection from the rays of the sun; and there is a Temple, all of which are said to be absent from the New Jerusalem (21:22, 23:25). The Throne-Occupier is said to “dwell among them” which points further to Christ’s presence on earth as King.
John is instructed by one of the Elders as to the past, present and prospect of this “great multitude.” They have come out of “the Great Tribulation,” having availed themselves of the cleansing efficacy of the blood of Christ. They share the beneficent rule of God’s King and enjoy the privilege of ministering to Him. Their days of sorrow and suffering, as in the Great Tribulation just concluded, will be over forever and the combined blessings of God and the Lamb will satisfy, direct and comfort them throughout ‘the golden age.’ Here we see in a completely new setting Jews and Gentiles brought under the sway of our Lord Jesus Christ, but the principles that govern their Salvation and future felicity as an earthly people are identical with those that govern the Salvation of the heavenly people, the Church. The terms of “the Gospel of the Kingdom” will suit the people to whom it will be addressed, and for whom the next item on the programme will be the Millennial reign of our Lord Jesus Christ. Their Salvation and Kingdom status will derive, as does ours, from the pure unmerited grace of God. God saves on no other terms.
The blessedness of these citizens of Christ’s earthly empire is ensured by the overspreading of the Tabernacle of God (v. 15), a definite fulfilment of Isaiah 4:3-6. The Israel of God, described as “living”, “enrolled” and “washed” and resident in Jerusalem shall again see the Cloud of glory, the token of the Divine presence, hovering over them as their covering and protection. It is further ensured by the Shepherd ministry of the Lamb (v. 17)—“the Lamb shall shepherd them.” In this striking paradox is a reminder that as the Lamb He knows all the needs of the flock over which He rules as the Shepherd. There are fountains of refreshment to which He will lead them and during that millennium of felicity all tears will be wiped away.
(To be continued).
By Stanley Buchanan, Belfast
It is a great pleasure to me to relate God’s dealings with me prior to, and at the time of, my conversion. I had the unspeakable privilege of being born into a Christian home. When I say “Christian home”, I mean that my father and mother both knew the Lord Jesus Christ as their own personal Saviour. Consequently from my youngest days I had a godly influence in my life. Like Timothy of old, “from a child I knew the Holy Scriptures”, which I was taught not only in the home but in the Sunday School. So I knew from childhood that I was a sinner in need of God’s salvation. But like many other young men, I put it off, left the Sunday School at the age of 14 years, and tried to find satisfaction’ in the little pleasures my heart desired. But the world never satisfied my inward longings, for the thought of where I would be in God’s great Eternity still kept coming up before me.
In the month of December, 1915, God spoke to me very loudly through the Home-call of my dear father. The thought that troubled me most after his death was that if I did not get saved I would never, never see him again.
Just at that time, a servant of the Lord, Mr. Samuel Meneely, came to Lisburn, my home town, for special Gospel meetings. I attended these meetings every night, and became most anxious to have my precious soul saved. But the meetings passed and I was still in my sins and undecided. Twelve months later, another preacher, Mr. Garnet E. Thomas, came for meetings. I attended these also, and almost from the first night the Holy Spirit strove with me. I felt I must have the great matter settled at this time. Indeed on Friday of the first week I made up my mind that I would get saved without further delay. I felt that I could not, that I dare not, wait another day, so great was my danger. A brother who is now in the Glory, Mr. Samuel Wilson, came to my house to speak to me. We read together Isa. 53. 6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all”. Through those precious words I could see that Christ bore my sins on the tree, and that through believing the good news I went free. I knew I was saved. How simple! How blessed!
That, dear reader, was on the 2nd of March, 1917. Now after 44 years of Christian experience, I can say that though I have failed Him many times, He never has failed me. Christ satisfies. If you are still unsaved, think of what that means. Think of meeting a holy God in your sins. Think of a long Eternity. Think of the sufferings of the lost, and now earnestly and whole-heartedly accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour and know that you are saved.
- “Eternity! Eternity!
- Where wilt thou spend Eternity ?”
By A.E. Trigg
|SIX PRINCIPAL NAMES FOR MAN (OLD TESTAMENT)
|REFS. TO CHRIST
|A MAN OF THE RED EARTH
Gen 1.27: MANKIND
|“SONS OF ADAM” (Psa 49.2)
“The SON of MAN” (Psa 8.4)
|A MAN OF HIGH DEGREE
A MALE or HUSBAND
VIGOUR of MIND and BODY
|Sons of ISH
Woman or WIFE
|A FRAIL, MORTAL MAN
AFTER THE FALL (Gen 3)
|Job 4.17; Psa 8.4
CORRUPTIBLE, MORTAL (1 Cor 15.43)
Rom 8.3; Act 13.37
|A MAN OF STRENGTH
A WARRIOR (1 Sam 16:18)
(Strong in God: Psa 40.1-4))
(Strong in Himself: Psa 52.1-7; 2 Sam 1.19)
|A MALE — YOUNG or OLD
(Reference to the sex — MALE)
|A MAN CHILD (Jer 20.15)
AN ADULT MALE (Num 31.35)
|A LIVING SOUL
|CREATURE OF BREATH
(Isa 2.22; Psa 146.4)
1 Cor 15.45
|TWO GREEK NEW TESTAMENT WORDS
|ANTHROPOS (Matt 4.4)
|A HUMAN BEING
(One of the Race)
|MANKIND (including Man, Woman, Child)
1 Tim 2.5
|REPRESENTATIVE OF MAN (Joh 19.5)
SON OF MAN (Luk 19.10)
REDEEMER & MEDIATOR (1 Tim 2.5)
|ANEER (Luk 23.50; 19.2)
ANDROS (Mat 1.16; Joh 4.16)
|A FULL GROWN MALE
or A HUSBAND
|CONTRAST to Child and Woman
1 Tim 2.8
|THE DIGNIFIED MAN
A MAN APPROVED OF GOD (Act 2.22)
A MAN — PROPHET (Luk 24.19)
by T. Ernest Wilson, Africa.
THE principle that any course of human action has the tendency to recoil on the head of the perpetrator has been called poetic retribution. The French Revolution was one of the greatest upheavals in modem history. The peasants and working classes in France had been down-trodden’ and made to suffer by a corrupt court and a debauched aristocracy to such an extent that finally pent up hatred and a rankling sense of injustice burst forth in a torrent of fury and drenched the land with blood. Like all movements of the kind many innocent people suffered and hundreds who had nothing to do with the political state of the country, but who were thought to be in sympathy with the oppressors were dragged off to the guillotine and beheaded. It is estimated that 3000 persons met their death in this way within a few months. The leader in this dreadful slaughter was a man called Robespierre. After a career of bloodshed and cruelty without pity, this human monster disgusted and alienated the people he led, with the result that he was taken off and beheaded himself. As he had done to others, so it happened to himself.
This principle has many illustrations in the Word of God. In Judges 1, we read of Judah and Simeon forming a coalition to conquer their inheritance in Canaan. The first battle they fought was against a king called Adoni-Bezek. Ten thousand of his men were slain and he fled. He was finally captured and his thumbs and great toes of his feet cut off by his captors, no doubt with the object that he could no longer bear arms as a soldier or run away again. His comment on his punishment was “Three score and ten kings having their thumbs and great toes cut off gathered their meat under my table; as I have done, so God hath requited me.” His cruelty on subject kings reacted on himself.
Jacob is another illustration that proves that sin and deception are deadly boomerangs. In conjunction with his mother he conspired to deceive his poor weak-sighted old father. With a goat skin on his hands and neck he went in to get for himself the blessing of the firstborn which belonged to his brother Esau. It is true that Esau sold his birthright and that later God would give Jacob the firstborn’s place, but there is no excuse for his deception. The ruse succeeded but his brother was so infuriated that he vowed to take Jacob’s life. He had to flee the country and for many long years was a slave and an exile from the land of his birth. He probably never saw his mother again nor she her son. About 30 years later when his sons were grown men, they brought Joseph’s coat dipped in the blood of a kid and said “This have we found: know now whether it be thy son’s coat or not.” And he knew it and said, “it is my son’s coat; an evil beast hath devoured him.” “And Jacob … mourned for his son many days.” Jacob had deceived his father and now 30 years later his own sons deceive him.
The darkest stain in the career of David, the man after God’s own heart, was his dreadful sin with Bath-Sheba and his treacherous murder of the valiant man against whom he had sinned. He tried to put a brave face on the whole disgraceful affair and for a time kept up a pretence of worshipping God. But his sin had to come out and while his repentance was true and sincere and God forgave his sin, yet its inexorable results haunted his house and dogged his footsteps as long as he lived. He murdered a man and his own son was murdered. He defiled a woman’s honour and his own daughter was dishonoured. He shielded a guilty son and he lived to see that son brought to an untimely end, hanging by his hair in the branches of an oak tree. His lament reveals his broken heart. “Oh my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son my son.” What a harvest for allowing his passions to master him, and what a lesson for all the people of God.
In the Persian court to which Esther had been so providentially brought there was a bitter enemy of her kindred called Haman. He was one of the last of the Amalekites. They had a reputation in the past for smiting the weakest of God’s people and here their illustrious son is at the same old trick. Esther’s uncle Mordecai had aroused his ire because he would not bow to this self important individual and he hatched a plot to have Mordecai hung on a gallows which he had erected for the purpose. But the well thought scheme back fired on himself. The story is dramatically told in Esther 6-7, how God intervened at the critical moment for his persecuted servant and Haman was ignominiously hanged on his own gallows.
So we might go on quoting case after case. “The mills of God grind slowly but they grind exceeding small.” The law is inexorable. “God is not mocked; whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.” A life of godliness, kindness and honesty brings its own reward, but trickery, slander and deception sooner or later will have their inevitable reaction on those who practice them.
From—“Words in Season”
A critical examination of its teachings and practices in the light of Scripture.
By Keith R. Jenkins, Cardiff.
(4) Its Sectarian Character.
A “sect”, according to the Oxford dictionary, is a body of persons separated from others over some doctrine. For faithful Christians, the only true basis of orthodoxy is the written Word of God. The only One whom we follow is the Lord Jesus Christ, who directs us through His Spirit. The only sphere of service He has laid down for us, and the only gathering in which He is said to be in the midst of, is the simple N.T. local assembly. If, therefore, we lay aside or deviate from, any of these essentials we surely thereby become sectarian.
Think you, young brethren and sisters, do we pursue a wise or thoughtful course if we go back into sectarianism, when it cost a good deal (the loss of careers, friends and social prestige among other things) for men and women of God to come out of it in the last century?
III. SEPARATION IN THE SCRIPTURES
From the call of Abraham in Genesis, to our Lord’s command in Revelation 18:4, the principle of separation from all error—be it civil, religious, or moral—is clearly taught. One has wisely said, “Scripture teaches by Precept, Pattern, and Principle.” Examples of all three have a bearing on our subject.
(1) Pattern—Acts 2:42.
In this passage, we are told that the converts of the day of Pentecost “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” This is our pattern; and it implies separation from all religious error, and from any system not fully guided by Scripture’s light. The I.V.F., while it has many commendable features, does not conform to the Divine pattern; hence this passage should prohibit us from yoking ourselves to it.
(2) Precept—Romans 16:17.
Scripture enjoins upon us not only separation from the unconverted, and that which is evil (See 2 Cor. 6:14-17 and Rev. 18:4), but also from all, including professing children of God, who “cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned.” Again we read, “Withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received from us” (2 Thess. 3:6). These divine precepts are binding on all who love the Lord. Let us therefore be obedient to them by remaining outside all unscriptural systems.
(3) Principle—Acts 5:29.
As I have sought to point out, Scripture teaches separation from any form of error. Although men sometimes offer ingenious (though not very ingenuous) reasons why we should put aside this teaching by joining bodies such as the I.V.F., and though this may seem a wise course for us to pursue, yet we ought to “obey God rather than men,” and it is God’s Word that teaches us this lesson of separation. For, says 1 Cor. 3:19, “the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” Let us remember that, being God’s written Word to us, the Bible’s authority must be FINAL in everything. God knows what is right for us far better than we do ourselves; for ‘what is man’?
Thus we are sometimes told: ‘God is blessing I.V.F. with conversions, so this must mean that it has Divine approval; hence we cannot be doing wrong by joining it.’ A moment’s thought will be sufficient to enable us to see that this thinking and arguing is entirely erroneous. For example, Moses struck the rock a second time, and Israel was blessed with more water than the first time when he was obedient to God’s will. But did this mean that Divine approval of the action was thus implied? By no means, for Moses died outside the promised land as a punishment for this action.
Further, Judas betrayed his Lord and Master, and as a result Jesus was crucified; and divine blessing in the shape of salvation by faith in His finished work was poured upon guilty mankind. But did God approve of Judas’ action? Again no; for Judas hanged himself and ended in ‘his own place.’
Now if such an argument as this was valid, would these men have been punished? The answer, of course, is “no”, and hence we see that we cannot put any belief in such an “old wives tale.”
Though this paper was written about the I.V.F., there are many evangelical “fellowships” (e.g. for nurses, G.P.O. workers, and so on) to which its remarks apply.
It is, unfortunately, the practice of some young believers in a place of further education, to join the Student’s Christian Movement (S.C.M.) if there is no I.V.F. branch available. This practice I condemn out of hand; for S.C.M. and I.V.F. separated from each other for the reason that the former felt that “other traditions of churchmanship” should be admitted. For example: I am told that they felt that the doctrine of the Atonement need not be held before one joins S.C.M. This being so, the vast majority of S.C.M.’s members, although “having a form of godliness” are unsaved; hence to join S.C.M.—besides all the remarks I have made with respect to I.V.F. applying—is akin to joining a worldly society; and “if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
I should like to point out here, that I am advocating separation from unscriptural systems and not the Christians who are members of these systems. Personally, I like to show my love for them in the correct way—by trying, I trust in the power of the Holy Spirit, to direct them into a fuller knowledge of the mind and will of God.
My advice to all young students in assemblies would be as follows. Separate yourself from all man-made systems but let your separation have a positive aspect. Put all your effort into building up your local assembly, to the very limit of your capabilities. Give to your assembly (either ‘home’ or ‘adopted’) every moment of time, and every ounce of energy that you can spare from your legitimate studies. If your University or College town has no local assembly (not a very likely contingency, this, for only four out of twenty two University towns in England and Wales fall into this category), my advice with regard to I.V.F. and S.C.M. would be the same— be separate, even though it may cost a lot.
However, I believe that it would be the wisest course to ensure that, before even applying to a University, Training College, or other similar institution, that you would be within reach of an assembly. The Scripture says, “forsaking not the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is” (Heb. 10:25). This might involve a loss of some magnitude with respect to courses available (though this is somewhat unlikely); but I feel sure that in such a case the Lord would bless you for your faithful and scrupulous adherence to His Word.
May God help you, “having done all, to stand” in this matter.
- He touched my restless heart, and all was still,
- And I was just content to wait His will;
- He told me how I yet should surely see
- That He had planned the very best for me.
- Ah! blessed, soothing touch! ’Tis His, I know,
- No other hand could ever touch me so.
- He touched me first, when I was full of sin,
- For I have heard Him saying, “Be thou clean,”
- And then He touched my eyes that I might see
- His beauty which eclipsed all else for me.
- Without His tender touch, my hands by turn
- Hang idle, or with restless fever burn;
- That touch alone can loose the speechless tongue,
- So that His endless praises may be sung.
- And so I need His touches, day by day,
- Earth’s fevers, and earth’s fears, to take away;
- To bid the wonderings, and the doubtings cease,
- And fill me with His own unclouded peace.
- Hide me, O my Father, hide me
- Safe in Thy pavilion sweet,
- From the strife of Babel voices,
- That my foolish ears do greet.
- Hide me, then will I fain listen
- To Thy voice—to Thine alone:
- Voice that breaks the mighty cedars:—
- Voice of peace from mercy’s throne.
- Oft I’ve left the blessed pathway
- Marked out in Thy Word for me,
- Reaping only deepest sorrow;
- Days of darkness—far from Thee.
- Keep me! O my Father, keep me!
- Lest I stray from Thee again,
- Grieving Thine own heart so tender,
- By my ways of grief and pain.
- Keep me, then, O Father, keep me!
- Far above the strife of tongues,
- Safely keep in Thy pavilion,
- Till I join the heavenly throngs.
By our late beloved brother, J. H. McKnight, Belfast.
- I thought how an old Puritan doctor wrote a book years and years ago, called “The Bruised Reed” which fell just at the right time into the hands of Richard Baxter, and brought him under the influence of the enlightening power of the Spirit of God; and then Baxter’s ministry was like the sun in his strength, and he wrote a book called “The Call to the Unconverted,” which continued to speak long after Baxter himself had ceased to speak with human tongue. That “Call to the Unconverted” went preaching on until it got into the hands of Philip Doddridge (prepared by his pious mother’s teaching) from the Dutch tiles of a mantel-piece with very quaint Scriptural stories; and it was the means of enlightening him to a broader knowledge, and a richer faith, and a deeper experience of the things of God. And then I thought how Doddridge wrote a book called “The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul.” which, just at a critical period in his history, fell into the hands of William Wilberforce, who wrote a book called “Practical Christianity” which far down in the sunny Isle of Wight, fired the heart of a clergyman, who has attained, perhaps, in connection with this society, the broadest and widest reputation of all—for who has not heard of Legh Richmond? He wrote the simple annal of a Methodist girl, and published it under the title of “The Dairyman’s Daughter”; and I should like to know into how many languages that has been translated, and been made of God a power for the spread of truth. The same book on “Practical Christianity” went right down into a secluded parish in Scotland, and it found there a young clergyman who was preaching a gospel that he did not know, and it instructed him in the way of God more perfectly, and he came forth a champion valiant for the truth upon the earth, until all Scotland rang with the eloquence of Thomas Chalmers. Look at it!—not a flaw in the chain: Richard Sibbes, Richard Baxter, Philip Doddridge, William Wilberforce, Legh Richmond, Thomas Chalmers—is not that apostolical succession!
- MR. DONALD ROSS once asked Mr. Caleb Baker at a conference—“How did Noah get all the animals into the ark? Did he play a flute or a bagpipe to attract them in?” Mr. Baker said, “No, God brought them in.” Then Mr. Ross roared like a lion, “God, God brought them in,” and proceeded to exhort God’s people to get into fellowship with God and they would not need any of the inventions of the Devil to keep unconverted people merry on the way to hell, in order to amuse the people while they gave them a pithless and powerless imitation of the Gospel. When worldly attractions such as musical instruments, solos, clownish actings calculated to make people laugh, bright attractive speeches, human wisdom and such like things enter Gospel meetings by one door repentance goes out the other. Then a little sentimental story to bring a tear or two; then a stirring appeal to decide now for Christ, and then the converts are numbered. And the man is heralded all over as a great evangelist able to attract great crowds and make many converts. But when the enthusiasm cools down the converts return like the dog to his vomit or the sow to her wallowing in the mire; or are baptized and brought into the assembly to the sorrow of the godly.“The Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom. But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness. But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:22-24).