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Happy Reformation Day 2021!

October 31, 2021 1 comment

mid_00248455_001The scene above, itself a recasting of an earlier one from 1617, depicts a later tradition (dating to 1591), supposedly related third-hand, that, on the night before Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Elector Frederick the Wise had a dream which he related to his brother John the following morning. In the dream, a monk wrote something on the door of his Castle Church with a pen whose quill stretched all the way to Rome and threatened to knock the tiara from the pope’s head.


We will quote from J. A. Wylie concerning this picture:

“We step a moment out of the domain of history, to narrate a dream which the Elector Frederick of Saxony had on the night preceding the memorable day on which Luther affixed his “Theses” to the door of the castle-church.

The elector told it the next morning to his brother, Duke John, who was then residing with him at his palace of Schweinitz, six leagues from Wittemberg. The dream is recorded by all the chroniclers of the time. Of its truth there is no doubt, however we may interpret it. We cite it here as a compendious and dramatic epitome of the affair of the “Theses,” and the movement which grew out of them.

On the morning of the 31st October, 1517, the elector said to Duke John, “Brother, I must tell you a dream which I had last night, and the meaning of which I should like much to know. It is so deeply impressed on my mind, that I will never forget it, were I to live a thousand years. For I dreamed it thrice, and each time with new circumstances.”

Duke John: “Is it a good or a bad dream?”

The Elector: “I know not; God knows.”

Duke John: “Don’t be uneasy at it; but be so good as tell it to me.”

The Elector: “Having gone to bed last night, fatigued and out of spirits, I fell asleep shortly after my prayer, and slept calmly for about two hours and a half; I then awoke, and continued awake to midnight, all sorts of thoughts passing through my mind. Among other things, I thought how I was to observe the Feast of All Saints. I prayed for the poor souls in purgatory; and supplicated God to guide me, my counsels, and my people according to truth. I again fell asleep, and then dreamed that Almighty God sent me a monk, who was a true son of the Apostle Paul. All the saints accompanied him by order of God, in order to bear testimony before me, and to declare that he did not come to contrive any plot, but that all that he did was according to the will of God. They asked me to have the goodness graciously to permit him to write something on the door of the church of the Castle of Wittemberg. This I granted through my chancellor. Thereupon the monk went to the church, and began to write in such large characters that I could read the writing at Schweinitz. The pen which he used was so large that its end reached as far as Rome, where it pierced the ears of a lion that was crouching there, and caused the triple crown upon the head of the Pope to shake. All the cardinals and princes, running hastily up, tried to prevent it from falling. You and I, brother, wished also to assist, and I stretched out my arm; — but at this moment I awoke, with my arm in the air, quite amazed, and very much enraged at the monk for not managing his pen better. I recollected myself a little; it was only a dream.

I was still half asleep, and once more closed my eyes. The dream returned. The lion, still annoyed by the pen, began to roar with all his might, so much so that the whole city of Rome, and all the States of the Holy Empire, ran to see what the matter was. The Pope requested them to oppose this monk, and applied particularly to me, on account of his being in my country. I again awoke, repeated the Lord’s prayer, entreated God to preserve his Holiness, and once more fell asleep.”

Then I dreamed that all the princes of the Empire, and we among them, hastened to Rome, and strove, one after another, to break the pen; but the more we tried the stiffer it became, sounding as if it had been made of iron. We at length desisted. I then asked the monk (for I was sometimes at Rome, and sometimes at Wittemberg) where he got this pen, and why it was so strong. ‘The pen,’ replied he, ‘belonged to an old goose of Bohemia, a hundred years old. I got it from one of my old schoolmasters. As to its strength, it is owing to the impossibility of depriving it of its pith or marrow; and I am quite astonished at it myself.’ Suddenly I heard a loud noise — a large number of other pens had sprung out of the long pen of the monk. I awoke a third time: it was daylight.”

Duke John: “Chancellor, what is your opinion? Would we had a Joseph, or a Daniel, enlightened by God!”

Chancellor: “Your highness knows the common proverb, that the dreams of young girls, learned men, and great lords have usually some hidden meaning. The meaning of this dream, however, we shall not be able to know for some time — not till the things to which it relates have taken place. Wherefore, leave the accomplishment to God, and place it fully in his hand.”

Duke John: “I am of your opinion, Chancellor; ‘tis not fit for us to annoy ourselves in attempting to discover the meaning. God will overrule all for his glory.”

Elector: “May our faithful God do so; yet I shall never forget, this dream. I have, indeed, thought of an interpretation, but I keep it to myself. Time, perhaps, will show if I have been a good diviner.”[5] So passed the morning of the 31st October, 1517, in the royal castle of Schweinitz. The events of the evening at Wittemberg we have already detailed. The elector has hardly made an end of telling his dream when the monk comes with his hammer to interpret it.”

Footnote:

[5] D’Aubigne, Hist. Reform. (Collins, 1870, pp. 79, 80), from an MS. in the archives of Weimar, taken down from the mouth of Spalatin, and which was published at the last jubilee of the Reformation, 1817.

Rev. J. A Wylie – The History of Protestantism Vol. 1.


Whether this dream is true or not, nevertheless, there is some truth behind it. Luther’s pen definitely shook Rome and knocked the Pope’s hat off his head!

Reformedontheweb would like to wish everyone a blessed Reformation day!

It also perpetuates the change of form, and thus wholly abolishes baptism itself

3. It also perpetuates the change of form, and thus wholly abolishes baptism itself.

As we have but “one Lord,” and “one faith,” so we have but “one baptism.” There is no other. That “one baptism” is the burial in water, and raising again, by a true minister of the gospel, of a believer in our Lord Jesus Christ, upon a profession of his faith, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. So ably and conclusively, by numerous writers, is this proposition established, that I deem it unnecessary here to enter into the argument. This is the form of Christian baptism. It is its invariable form. Baptism itself is but a form. The form is the thing. Take away the form, and nothing is left. Destroy the form, and you destroy baptism. He who in baptism is not immersed, is really not baptized. The change of its form is the abrogation of baptism. But, except in the Greek church, infants are never immersed. They have water sprinkled, or poured upon them. The form is changed. No one, I presume, imagines that this desecration would ever have become general, had it not been to accommodate infants. “Men and women” who read, and believe the scriptures, who are governed by them, and act for themselves, would never think of submitting to any other than the scripture form. But to immerse infants would be, to say the least, very inconvenient, and not always perhaps entirely safe. Infant baptism has, therefore, perpetuated the change of form, and thus wholly abrogated baptism itself. Infant baptism is thus also in conflict with the authority of Jesus Christ.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 10- Infant Baptism is an Evil because it leads its advocates into rebellion against the authority of Christ

GOD SPEAKING TO ALL

October 28, 2021 2 comments

EVERY man in his CALLING has a sermon preached to him. The farmer has a thousand sermons. He need not go an inch without hearing the songs of angels and the voice of spirits wooing him to righteousness; for all nature round about him has a tongue given to it, when man hath an ear to hear.

There are others, however, engaged in a business which allows them to see but very little of nature, and yet even there God has provided them with a lesson. There is the baker who provides us with our bread. He thrusts his fuel into the oven, and he causes it to glow with heat, and puts bread therein. Well may he, if he be an ungodly man, tremble as he stands at the oven’s mouth, for there is a text which he may well comprehend as he stands there: “For the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble; they shall be consumed. Men ingather them in bundles, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” Out of the oven’s mouth comes a hot and burning warning, and the man’s heart might melt like wax within him if he would but regard it.

Then see the butcher. How doth the beast speak to him? He sees the lamb almost lick his knife, and the bullock goes unconsciously to the slaughter. How might he think every time that he smites the unconscious animal — who knows nothing of death — of his own doom! Are we not, all of us who are without Christ, fattening for the slaughter? Are we not more foolish than the bullock, for doth not the wicked man follow his executioner, and walk after his own destroyer into the very chambers of hell? When we see a drunkard pursuing his drunkenness, or an unchaste man running in the way of licentiousness, is he not as an ox going to the slaughter, until a dart smite him through the liver? Hath not God sharpened his knife and marie ready his ax, that the fatlings of this earth may be killed, when he shall say to the fowls of the air and the beasts of the field, “Behold, I have made a feast of vengeance for you, and ye shall feast upon the blood of the slain, and make yourselves drunken with the streams thereof?” Ay, butcher, there is a lecture for you in your trade; and your business may reproach you.

And ye whose craft is to sit still all day, making shoes for our feet, the lapstone in your lap may reproach you, for your heart, perhaps, is as hard as that. Have you not been smitten as often as your lapstone, and yet your heart has never been broken or melted? And what shall the Lord say to you at last, when, your stony heart being still within you, he shall condemn you and cast you away because you would have none of his rebukes, and would not turn at the voice of his exhortation?

Let the brewer remember that as he brews he must: drink. Let the potter tremble lest he be like a vessel marred upon the wheel. Let the printer take heed that his life be set in heavenly type, and not in the black letter of sin. Painter, beware! For paint will not suffice, we must have unvarnished realities.

Or you engaged in business, where you are continually using scales and measures. Might you not often put yourselves into those scales? Might you not fancy you saw the great Judge standing by’ with his gospel in one scale, and you in the other, and solemnly looking down upon you, saying, “Mene, mene, tekel — thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” Some of you use the measure, and when you have measured out, you cut off the portion that your customer requires. Think of your life, too; it is to be of a certain length, and every year brings the measure a little farther, and at last there come the scissors that shall clip off your life, and it is done. How knowest thou when thou art come to the last inch? What is that disease thou hast about thee but the first snip of the scissors? What that trembling in thy bones, that failing in thy eyesight, that fleeing of thy memory, that departure of thy youthful rigor, but the first rent? How soon shalt thou be rent in twain, the remnant of thy days past away, and thy years all numbered and gone, misspent and wasted for ever!

But you say you are engaged as a servant, and your occupations are diverse. Then diverse are the lectures God preaches to you. “A servant waits for his wages, and the hireling fulfilleth his day.” There is a similitude for thee, when thou hast fulfilled thy day on earth, and shalt take thy wages at last. Who, then, is thy master? Art thou serving Satan and the lusts of the flesh, and wilt thou take out thy wages at last in the hot metal of destruction? Or art thou serving the fair Prince Emmanuel, and shalt thy wages be the golden crowns of heaven? Oh, happy art thou if thou servest a good Master! For according to thy master shall be thy reward; as is thy labor such shall the end be.

Or thou art one that guideth the pen, and from hour to hour wearily thou writest. Ah, man! Know that thy life is a writing. When thy hand is not on the pen, thou art a writer still; thou art always writing upon the pages of eternity; thy sins thou :art writing, or else thy holy confidence in him that loved thee. Happy shall it be for thee, O writer, if thy name is written in the Lamb’s book of life, and if that black writing of thine, in the history of thy pilgrimage below, shall have been blotted out with the red blood of Christ, and thou shalt have ‘written upon thee the fair name of Jehovah, to stand legible for ever.

Or perhaps thou art a physician or a chemist — thou prescribest or preparest medicines for man’s body. God stands there by the side of thy pestle and thy mortar, and by the table where thou writest thy prescriptions, and he says to thee, “Man, thou art sick; I can prescribe for thee. The blood and righteousness of Christ, laid hold of by faith, and applied by the Spirit, can cure thy soul. I can compound a medicine for thee that shall rid thee of thy ills, and bring thee to the place where the inhabitants shall no more say, ‘I am sick.’ Wilt thou take my medicine, or wilt thou reject it? Is it bitter to thee, and dost thou turn away from it? Come, drink, my child, drink, for thy life lieth here; anti how shalt thou escape if thou neglect so great salvation?” Do you cast iron, or melt lead, or fuse the hard metals of the mines? Then pray that the Lord may melt thine heart, and cast thee in the mold of the gospel? Do you make garments for men? Oh, be careful that you find a garment for yourself for ever.

Are you busy in building all day long, laying the stone upon its fellow, and the mortar in its crevice? Then remember thou art building for eternity too. Oh, that thou mayest thyself be built upon a good foundation! Oh, that thou mayest build thereon, not wood, hay, or stubble, but gold and silver, and precious stones, and things that will abide the fire! Take care, man, lest thou shouldest be God’s scaffold, lest thou shouldest be used on earth to be a scaffolding for building his church, and when his church is built thou shouldest be cast down and burned up with fire unquenchable. Take heed that thou art built upon a rock, and not upon the sand, and that the vermilion cement of the Savior’s precious blood unites thee to the foundation of the building, and to every stone thereof.

Art thou a jeweler, and dost thou cut thy gem and polish the diamond from day to day? Would to God thou wouldest take warning from the contrast: which thou presentest to the stone on which thou dost exercise thy craft! Thou cuttest it, and it glitters the more thou dost cut it; but though thou hast been cut and ground, though thou hast had cholera and fever, and hast been at death’s door many a day, thou art none the brighter, but the duller, for, alas! Thou art no diamond. Thou art but the pebble-stone of the brook, and in that day when God makes up his jewels he shall not enclose thee in the casket of his treasures; for thou art not one of the precious sons of Zion, comparable unto fine gold.

But be thy situation what it may, be thy calling what: it may, there is a continual sermon preached to thy conscience. I would that thou wouldest now from this time forth open both eye and ear, and see and hear the things that God would teach thee.

Charles H. Spurgeon- Words of Wisdom for Daily Life- Article ‘God Speaking to All’

The Wednesday Word: The Cities of Refuge (Part 2)

“Then you shall appoint cities to be cities of refuge for you, that the manslayer who kills any person accidentally may flee there. (Numbers 35:11).

In Joshua 20:7-8, they appointed six cities to which a person, guilty of manslaughter, could flee for refuge. When inside the city, the guilty person was safe. As you remember, from last week, each city, in its name, gives us a beautiful picture of the Lord Jesus.

Last time we considered the city of Kedesh and in it saw Christ as our Holiness. This time let’s think about Christ, our Shechem.

2) Shechem.

What does the name Shechem tell us about Christ? In the Hebrew language, Shechem means ‘shoulder.’ A shoulder is often used for carrying things and so it is that Jesus carries His people.

Moses speaks of God conducting the children of Israel through the wilderness as a man carries his weak and weary child (see Deuteronomy 1:31). Carrying is the kind of thing the Almighty does. And David knows something of this carrying for he says, ” I am poor and needy; yet the LORD thinks upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer (Psalm 40:17). Yes indeed, we are helped, we are delivered, we are carried by the Lord. Jesus is our Shechem!

Jesus is the true Shechem. It was prophesied of Him that “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4). This prophesy was fulfilled by Christ at Calvary. Literally, our sins have been lifted off us and carried away by Him.

This lifting and taking away is a fact. Think of Him in the garden of Gethsemane when the pressure of our sins was coming upon Him. See the drops of blood falling from His brow (Luke 22:44)! What immense pressure! By the way, only Jesus could have carried such an awful load and burden as this. Neither angel nor archangel could have carried this. But Jesus, being the God/Man, was alone “able to save unto the uttermost” because His shoulders, as it were, could sustain the entire weight of the sins of His people.

Another way of seeing Jesus as our Shechem is in Isaiah 9:6. There we read that the “The government shall be upon His shoulder.” This indicates that Jesus, the God/Man, whether we see it or not, is ruling all things in heaven and earth.

Let’s break that down. Simply speaking, it means the Lord Jesus, right this moment, is graciously in charge of our lives. He is able to carry and bear those things that weigh us down. The poorest and weakest of believers are welcome in Shechem. He can bear the entire weight of His people. Right this moment, He is loving, caring and providing for us all. Food, clothing, health, sickness, difficulties, strength, friends and home, are all gifts from Him. He is our Shechem. He can be trusted!

So, what should we do in times of trial? We are invited to flee to the city of refuge, the Lord Jesus, our Shechem, and remember that He bears us on His shoulders!

You say, ’I’m too far gone to even flee. Then consider the New Testament picture of Jesus, the good Shepherd, carrying the lost lamb back home. That poor creature had gone astray but the great and gracious Shepherd had gone after it and found it; and when He found it, He laid it on His shoulders rejoicing and brought it back to the fold (Luke 15:4-5).

What wonderful security and safety we have in the Lord Jesus. Just as the guilty one, back in Israel, was safe inside the city of refuge so the believer, today, is safe in Christ. We can say in full confidence, “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep; because thou, Lord, only makes me to dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8).

He is our Shechem.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com  

What it is to suffer according to the will of God

October 27, 2021 2 comments

[What it is to suffer according to the will of God, or his law and testament.]

He that keepeth the word of God is such an one that has regard to both the matter and manner thereof. The matter is the truth, the doctrine contained therein; the manner is that comely, godly, humble, faithful way of doing it which becomes a man that has to do with the law and testament of God; and both these are contained in the text. For, first, here is the will of God to be done; and then, secondly, to be done according to his will. “Let them that suffer according to his will”: which words, I say, take in both matter and manner of doing. So then, the man that here we have to do with, and to discourse of, is a man that, in the sense now given, suffereth. That which makes a martyr, is suffering for the word of God after a right manner; and that is, when he suffereth, not only for righteousness, but for righteousness’ sake; not only for truth, but of love to truth; not only for God’s word, but according to it, to wit, in that holy, humble, meek manner as the word of God requireth. A man may give his body to be burned for God’s truth, and yet be none of God’s martyrs (1 Cor 13:1-3). Yea, a man may suffer with a great deal of patience, and yet be none of God’s martyrs (1 Peter 2:20). The one, because he wanteth that grace that should poise his heart, and make him right in the manner of doing; the other, because he wanteth that word of the Holy One that alone can make his cause good, as to matter. It is, therefore, matter and manner that makes the martyr; and it is this man that is intended in the text which is aforesaid described. So then, they that suffer for the law and testament of God in that holy and humble manner that the Word requires, they are they that, by this Word of God, are commanded to commit the keeping of their souls to God.

From this consideration, two things present themselves to our sight.

I. That a man may be a Christian, and suffer, and yet not suffer, in the sense last given, according to the will of God.

II. There have been, and may yet be a people in the world that have, and may suffer in the sense of the apostle here, according to the will of God.

John Bunyan- Seasonable Counsel or Advise to Sufferers

He called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us, concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed

October 26, 2021 9 comments

Arthur PinkThere is a word in Genesis 5:28, 29 which we should carefully ponder in this connection. There we read that “Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son: and he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us, concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed.” This is the first mention of Noah in Scripture, and there is no doubt he had his name prophetically given him. His name signifies “Rest,” and was bestowed upon him by his father in the confident expectation that he would prove more than an ordinary blessing to his generation: he would be the instrument of bringing in that which would speak peace and inspire hope in the hearts of the elect—for the “us” and “our” (spoken by a believer) obviously refer to the godly line.

The words of the believing Lamech had respect unto what had been said in Genesis 3:15, and were also undoubtedly a prophecy which looked forward to Christ Himself, in whom it was to receive its antitypical fulfillment, for He is the true rest-giver (Matthew 11:28) and deliverer from the curse (Gal. 3:13). The full scope and intent of Lamech’s prophetic language is to be understood in the light of those blessings which were pronounced on Noah by God after the Flood blessings which, as we shall see, were infinitely more precious than that which their mere letter conveys. They were blessings to proceed through the channel of the everlasting covenant of grace and by means of the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. The proof of this is found in the fact that they were pronounced after sacrifice had been offered. This requires us to glance again at Genesis 8:20-22.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Three-The Noahic Covenant

But if sin in the retrospect be the sting of death, what must sin in the prospect be?

CharlesSpurgeonLet us now dwell upon the fact, that “the sting of death is sin.

3. But if sin in the retrospect be the sting of death, what must sin in the prospect be? My friends, we do not often enough look at what sin is to be. We see what it is: first the seed, then the blade, then the ear, and then the full corn in the ear. It is the wish, the imagination, the desire, the sight, the taste, the deed; but what is sin in its next development? We have observed sin as it grows, we have seen it at first a very little thing but expanding itself until it has swelled into a mountain. We have seen it like; “a little cloud, the size of a man’s hand,” but we have beheld it gather until it covered the skies with blackness and sent down drops of bitter rain. But what is sin to be in the next state? We have gone so far, but sin is a thing that cannot stop. We have seen whereunto it has grown, but whereunto will it grow? For it is not ripe when we die; it has to go on still; it is set going, but it has to unfold itself for ever. The moment we die the voice of justice cries “Seal up the fountain of blood, stop the stream of forgiveness; he that is holy let him be holy still” he that is filthy let him be filthy still.” And after that the man goes on growing filthier and filthier still; his lust develops itself; his vice increases; all those evil passions blaze with ten-fold more fury, and, amidst the companionship of others like himself, without the restraints of grace, without the preached word the man becomes worse and worse; and who can tell whereunto his sin may grow? I have sometimes likened the hour of our death to that celebrated picture which I think you have seen in the National Gallery, of Perseus holding up the head of Medusa. That head turned all persons into stone who looked upon it. There is a warrior there with a dart in his hand: he stands stiffened, turned into stone, with the javelin even in his fist. There is another with a poignard beneath his robe about to stab he is now the statue of an assassin, motionless and cold. Another is creeping along stealthily, like a man in ambuscade, and there he stands a consolidated rock, he has looked only upon that head, and he is frozen into stone. Well, such is death. What I am when death is held before me, that I must be for ever. When my spirit goes, if God finds me hymning his praise, I shall hymn it in heaven; doth he find me breathing out oaths, I shall follow up those oaths in hell. Where death leaves me, judgment finds me. As I die, so shall I live eternally.

There are no acts of pardon passed

In the cold grave to which we haste.”

It is for ever for ever, for ever! Ah! There are a set of heretics in these days who talk of short punishment, and preach about God’s transporting souls for a term of years and then letting them die. Where did such men learn their doctrine, I wonder? I read in God’s word that the angel shall plant one foot upon the earth, and the other upon the sea, and shall swear by him that liveth and was dead, that time shall be no longer; But if a soul could die in a thousand years it would die in time; if a million of years could elapse, and then the soul could be extinguished, there would be such a thing as time, for talk to me of years, and there is time. But, sirs, when that angel has spoken the word, “Time shall be no longer,” things will then be eternal; the spirit shall proceed in its ceaseless revolution of weal or woe, never to be stayed, for there is no time to stop it; the fact of its stopping would imply time, but everything shall be eternal, for time shall cease to be. It well becomes you then to consider where ye are and what ye are. Oh! Stand and tremble on the narrow neck of land ‘twixt the two unbounded seas, for God in heaven alone can tell how soon thou mayest be launched upon the eternal future. May God grant that when that last hour may come, we may be prepared for it! Like the thief, unheard, unseen, it steals through night’s dark shade. Perhaps, as here I stand, and rudely speak of these dark hidden things, soon may the hand be stretched, and dumb the mouth that lisps the faltering strain. Oh! Thou that dwellest in heaven, thou power supreme, thou everlasting King, let not that hour intrude upon me in an illspent season, but may it find me wrapt in meditation high, hymning my great Creator. So in the last moment of my life I will hasten beyond the azure, to bathe the wings of this my spirit in their native element, and then to dwell with thee for ever-

Far from a world of grief and sin,

With God eternally shut in.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- Thoughts on the last battle, A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Evening, at Exerter Hall Strand, May 13, 1855

Categories: Gospel Tags: , , , ,

By dispensing with the appointed profession of faith as a condition of baptism

2. Infant baptism offers an indignity to the authority of Christ by dispensing with the appointed profession of faith as a condition of baptism.

The previous profession of faith in Christ is made by the gospel itself, an indispensable condition of baptism. It can never be disregarded without a violation of the commandment of God. The apostles, and primitive Christians, never departed from this principle in a single instance. So plainly is this fact set forth in the sacred word, and so firmly has it ever been fixed in the public mind, that, as we saw in a previous chapter, it has always been demanded even of infants! Papists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, and others, to this day, farcically pretend that little children do believe; and, since they cannot themselves make their own profession of faith, sponsors are appointed to make it for them! But who that thinks at all, does not know that this is all a miserable fiction? It is absurd. It is ridiculous. Infants have no repentance, no faith, no religion. They are baptized without any profession of their own whatever. The law demands of all who are baptized a previous profession of faith. Infants make no such profession. Therefore infant baptism is rebellion against the law, and an indignity to the authority of Jesus Christ.

R. B. C. Howell- The Evils of Infant Baptism- Chapter 10- Infant Baptism is an Evil because it leads its advocates into rebellion against the authority of Christ

ROWLAND HILL AND LADY ERSKINE

October 21, 2021 4 comments

ONCE when Rowland Hill was preaching, Lady Ann Erskine happened to be driving by: she was in the outer ring of the circle, and she asked the coach-man, what all the people were there for. He replied, “They are going to hear Rowland Hill.” Well, she had heard a great deal about this strange man, accounted to be the very wildest of preachers, and so she drew near. No sooner did Rowland Hill see her, than he said, “Come, I am going to have an auction, I am going to sell Lady Ann Erskine.” She of course stopped, and she wondered how she was going to be disposed of. “Who will buy her?” Up comes the world. “What will you give for her?” “I will give her all the pomps and vanities of this present life; she shall be a happy woman here, she shall be very rich, she shall have many admirers, she shall go through this world with many joys.” You shall not have her; her soul is an everlasting thing; it is a poor price you are offering; you are only giving a little; and what shall it profit her if she gain the whole world and lose her own soul?

Here comes another purchaser — here is the devil. “What will you give for her?” “Well,” says he, “I will let her enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; she shall indulge in everything her heart shall set itself unto; she shall have everything to delight the eye and the ear; she shall indulge in every sin and vice that can possibly give a transient pleasure.” Ah, Satan! What will you do for her for ever? You shall not have her, for I know what you are; you would give a paltry price for her, and then destroy her soul to all eternity.

But, here comes another — I know him — it is the Lord Jesus. “What will you give for her?” Says he, “It is not what I will give, it is what I have given; I have given my life, my blood for her; I have bought her with a price, and I will give her heaven for ever and ever; I will give her grace in her heart now and glory throughout eternity.”

O Lord Jesus Christ,” said Rowland Hill, “thou shalt have her. Lady Ann Erskine, do you demur to the bargain?” She was fairly caught; there was no answer that could be given. “It is done,” he said, “it is done; you are the Savior’s; I have betrothed you unto him; never break that contract.” And she never did. From that time forth, from being a gay and volatile woman she became one of the most serious persons, one of the greatest supporters of the truth of the gospel in those times, and died in a glorious and certain hope of entering the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever is willing to have Christ, Christ is willing to have him.

Charles H. Spurgeon- Words of Wisdom for Daily Life- Article ‘Rowland Hill and Lady Erskine’

The Wednesday Word: The Cities of Refuge (Part 1)

“Then you shall appoint cities to be cities of refuge for you, that the manslayer who kills any person accidentally may flee there. (Numbers 35:11).

At that time, throughout the Middle East, when a man was killed accidently or by malice, the nearest relative, his heir, or any person related to him, could take revenge for him. In Joshua 20:7-8, as a response to the instruction of Numbers 35:11, they appointed 6 cities (Kedesh, Shechem, Kirjatharba (Hebron), Bezer, Ramoth and Golan) as cities of refuge for the protection of those guilty of unintentionally killing someone. Such a person could take refuge in any one of these cities and not die by the hand of the ‘avenger of blood.’

Mark this down, all these cities, in their names, point us to the sinner’s safe-haven, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the true City of Refuge. He is the preserver of all those who flee to Him for mercy (see Hebrews 6:18). He is our divinely appointed Saviour who saves to the uttermost all those who come to God by him (Hebrews 7:25).

The names of these six cities have much to tell us about the Lord. They are, in fact, six lovely pictures of the Saviour. May they, as we examine them, motivate us to love the Master even more.

The first city we encounter is,

1) Kedesh.

What does this name tell of Christ?

The Hebrew word Kedesh means “Holy. Our city of refuge, Jesus, is, in fact, “The Holy One.” Not one stain of sin polluted His holy human nature (I Peter 2:22; 1John 3:5).

The angelic creatures in heaven, rested not day and night as they cried out to Him, “Holy! holy! holy!” (Revelation 4:8).

Devils on earth recognized Him and were compelled to exclaim, “We know thee who you are, the Holy One of God” (Mark 1:24).

Paul wrote about Him and said “He was Holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Hebrews 7:26).

He challenged His enemies saying, “Which of you convinces me of sin?” (John 8:46). The word in Greek for ‘convinces’ literally means to reprove, rebuke, convince, convict, expose, admonish to call to account or demand an explanation. Jesus was utterly sinless and entirely holy. He could not have been exposed as being a sinner for He was pure.

Then consider the disciples. They had lived with Him for three years. For more than 36 months they had shared their lives yet not one of them could point to any sin He had committed. When it comes right down to it, living with others is when we find out what the other person is really like. But no one could find fault in Jesus. He was and is Divine Holiness in human expression. What an amazing city of refuge!

However, there is something about holiness that scares, and threatens us. People, who claim to be holy can make us feel uncomfortable, inferior, unworthy, guilty, and condemned. But in Jesus the opposite is true. In Christ, the worst of sinners finds the deepest of love. The Lord’s holiness does not threaten the believer. Jesus says, ‘come unto me and I will give you rest … not retribution.’

In addition, Christ’s holiness does not stand against us. In fact, through grace, it is reckoned to us. It is calculated to the believer’s account (1 Corinthians 1:30).

May we always remember that Jesus could not have saved us had He not been sinless. If He had had one sin, we would have been lost forever. As J.R. MacDuff observed, “Just as one leak in Noah’s ark of old would have sunk it, so one leak of sin in Jesus, the true Ark, would have plunged us all in the depths of eternal despair.

He is our Kedesh. He is our holiness! May the Lord help us to say,

“I love the name of Jesus,

Immanuel, Christ the Lord;

Like fragrance on the breezes,

His name abroad is pour’d;”

“I long to be like Jesus,

Meek, lowly, loving, mild;

I long to be like Jesus,

The Father’s HOLY Child!”

The next city of refuge we encounter is Shechem, but we’ll have to look at that next time.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com