Archive

Archive for the ‘Comment’ Category

Happy Thanksgiving 2021

November 25, 2021 4 comments

Reformedontheweb would like to wish everyone

a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

I will leave you with a devotional by Charles H. Spurgeon:

PRAYER, THANKSGIVING, PRAISE

Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6, 7

No care, but all prayer. No anxiety, but much joyful communion with God.

Carry your desires to the Lord of your life, the guardian of your soul. Go to Him with two portions of prayer, and one of fragrant praise. Do not pray doubtfully, but thankfully. Consider that you have your petitions, and therefore thank God for His grace. He is giving you grace, give Him thanks. Hide nothing. Allow no want to lie rankling in your bosom; “make known your requests.” Run not to man. Go only to your God, the Father of Jesus, who loves you in Him.

This shall bring you God’s own peace. You shall not be able to understand the peace which you shall enjoy. It will enfold you in its infinite embrace.

Heart and mind through Christ Jesus shall be steeped in a sea of rest. Come life or death, poverty, pain, slander, you shall dwell in Jesus above every ruffling wind or darkening cloud. Will you not obey this dear command? Yes, Lord, I do believe thee; but, I beseech thee, help mine unbelief.

Charles H. Spurgeon’s Faith’s Checkbook, March 30th devotional.

Explaining R. B. C. Howell’s position on infant salvation as expressed in his book “The Evils of Infant Baptism”

I have been blogging through R. B. C. Howell’s book entitled ‘The Evils of Infant Baptism.‘ I have reached chapter nine whereby he argues that infant baptism is an evil because it subverts the true doctrine of infant salvation. I have received several comments from my readers who are concerned with Howell’s reasoning in this chapter. These comments have not raised concerns concerning Howell’s denial of infant baptism, but rather raise concerns concerning Howell’s view that all infants are saved who die in infancy. My reader’s believe it to be strange that Howell would base his denial of infant baptism on the point of subverting the doctrine of infant salvation, however, when we turn to great theologians who had come before him, we will see that many held the position that infants dying in infancy are saved by God’s grace.

It would not be strange that Howell believed in infant salvation, if many of the leading theologians before his time or who were his contemporaries also held to this same view. So in this article we are not building a case for the doctrine of infant salvation per se, but rather seek to answer the question of whether or not many of the leading theologians before his time or during his time, also believed in infant salvation.

I start off by quoting Howell himself. This quote comes directly from his book ‘The Evils of Infant Baptism,’ chapter nine, ‘Infant Baptism is an evil because it Subverts the true doctrine of Infant Salvation,’ after which Howell proceeds to defend this doctrine:

“Every child dying in infancy is saved. This is the doctrine of the Baptist denomination. Not of a few only, nor of our churches, and people, of the present day alone. It is the doctrine which has been invariably held by us in all countries, and in every age. It is the doctrine taught by the word of God.”

Here it is clear that Howell was convinced that this doctrine was the position of all Baptists. However, not all Baptists held to this view, even though some certainly did hold this opinion.

Now I will quote from the Westminster Confession of Faith, (Chapter 10, Of Effectual Calling):

III. Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit, who works when, and where, and how He pleases: so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.

Here is some commentary on this point found in the WCF:

“It is unlikely that the Westminster Divines were making the point that ‘non-elect infants dying in infancy’ are not regenerated! Rather the contrast is between elect infants that die in infancy and elect infants who go on to mature years. However, there was certainly a reluctance on the part of some to speak in the less ambiguous terms of the Baptist Confession. Thus Shedd can speak of ‘elder Calvinists’[1] who, unlike John Owen for example,[2] were reluctant ‘to make the circle of election large enough to include all dying infants, and not a part only.’ This he claims, was due to a fear of Arminianism.[3]

Gary Brady- Infant Salvation: A Reformed Baptist Perspective- [1] Shedd, op cit, p. 109., [2] Shedd, op cit, p. 111; Strong, op cit p. 663. I have been unable to trace Strong’s incorrect reference to Owen., [3] Shedd, op cit, p. 111.

The London Baptist Confession of Faith, (Chapter 10, Of Effectual Calling) reads thus:

3. Elect Infants dying in infancy, are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit; who worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth: so also are all other elect persons, who are uncapable of being outwardly called by the Ministry of the Word.

Though this statement in the confession affirms that some infants who die in infancy are saved, nevertheless the ambiguity relative to the phrase and the difficulty of pointing to a direct affirmation from the Bible on this issue prompted one confessionally Reformed Baptist to suggest that perhaps its framers should have said nothing at all.

“The Bible is silent on this issue. It would have been better, therefore, for the Confession simply to say nothing at this point, for that, I am convinced is precisely what the Bible says.”

Sam Waldron- A Modern Exposition of 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, p. 150.

However, the confession does use the terminology, ‘elect infants,’ therefore stating that at least some infants are saved who die in infancy. I believe that this is the same terminology used by the WCF and is not to be contrasted between non-elect infants and elect infants, but between elect infants who die in infancy and elect infants who grow up to eventually profess faith in Christ.

Many believe that John Calvin’s writings are not clear enough in order to determine what he believed concerning this subject. I will give a few quotes from his written materials and let you, the reader, decide whether or not Calvin believed that all infants dying in infancy are saved.

“Infants are not barred from the Kingdom of Heaven just because they happen to depart the present life before they have been immersed in water.”

John Calvin- Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol. 4, p. 319 (pdf version), Battles Translation

“I everywhere teach that no one can be justly condemned and perish except on account of actual sin; and to say that the countless mortals taken from life while yet infants are precipitated from their mother’s arms into eternal death is a blasphemy to be universally detested.”

John Calvin, in Augustus H. Strong “Systematic Theology”, page 663.

B. B. Warfield wrote an article on the ‘History of Doctrine’ and another article on ‘The Development of the Doctrine of Infant Salvation.’ This is what he says:

“If only a single infant dying in irresponsible infancy be saved, the whole Arminian principle is traversed. If all infants dying such are saved, but doubtless the majority of the human race hitherto, have entered into life by a non-Arminian pathway”

B. B. Warfield- Two Studies on the History of Doctrine, p. 230.

B. B. Warfield shows the development of the doctrine of infant salvation among Reformed Theologians. He outlines Zwingli’s doctrine of salvation:

1. That all believers are elect and hence are saved, though we cannot know infallibly who are true believers except in our own case.

2. All children of believers dying in infancy are elect and hence are saved, for this rests on God’s immutable promise.

3. It is probable, from the superabundance of the gift of grace over the offense, that all infants dying such are elect and saved; so that death in infancy is a sign of election; and although this must be left with God, it is certainly rash and even impious to affirm their damnation.

4. All who are saved, whether adult or infant, are saved only by the free grace of God’s election and through the redemption of Christ.

The central principle of Zwingli’s teaching is not only the common possession of all Calvinists, but the essential postulate of their system. They can differ among themselves only in their determination of what the signs of election and reprobation are, and in their interpretation of these signs. On these grounds Calvinists early divided into five classes:

1. From the beginning a few held with Zwingli that death in infancy is a sign of election, and hence that all who die in infancy are the children of God and enter at once into glory. After Zwingli, Bishop Hooper was probably the first to embrace this view. It has more lately become the ruling view, and we may select Augustus Toplady and Robert S. Candlish as its types. The latter, for example, writes: “In many ways, I apprehend, it may be inferred from Scripture that all dying in infancy are elect, and are therefore saved… The whole analogy of the plan of saving mercy seems to favour the same view. And now it may be seen, if I am not greatly mistaken, to be put beyond question by the bare fact that little children die… The death of little children must be held to be one of the fruits of redemption…”

2. At the opposite extreme a very few held that the only sure sign of election is faith with its fruits, and, therefore, we can have no real ground of knowledge concerning the fate of any infant; as, however, God certainly has His elect among them too, each man can cherish the hope that his children are of the elect. Peter Martyr approaches this sadly agnostic position (which was afterward condemned by the Synod of Dort), writing: “Neither am I to be thought to promise salvation to all the children of the faithful which depart without the sacrament, for if I should do so I might be counted rash; I leave them to be judged by the mercy of God, seeing I have no certainty concerning the secret election and predestination; but I only assert that those are truly saved to whom the divine election extends, although baptism does not intervene… Just so, I hope well concerning infants of this kind, because I see them born from faithful parents; and this thing has promises that are uncommon; and although they may not be general, quoad omnes,… yet when I see nothing to the contrary it is right to hope well concerning the salvation of such infants.” The great body of Calvinists, however, previous to the present century, took their position between these extremes.

3. Many held that faith and the promise are sure signs of election, and accordingly all believers and their children are certainly saved; but that the lack of faith and the promise is an equally sure sign of reprobation, so that all the children of unbelievers, dying such, are equally certainly lost. The younger Spanheim, for example, writes: “Confessedly, therefore, original sin is a most just cause of positive reprobation. Hence no one fails to see what we should think concerning the children of pagans dying in their childhood; for unless we acknowledge salvation outside of God’s covenant and Church (like the Pelagians of old, and with them Tertullian, Epiphanius, Clement of Alexandria, of the ancients, and of the moderns, Andradius, Ludovicus Vives, Erasmus, and not a few others, against the whole Bible), and suppose that all the children of the heathen, dying in infancy, are saved, and that it would be a great blessing to them if they should be smothered by the midwives or strangled in the cradle, we should humbly believe that they are justly reprobated by God on account of the corruption (labes) and guilt (reatus) derived to them by natural propagation. Hence, too, Paul testifies (Romans 5:14) that death has passed upon them which have not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, and distinguishes and separates (1 Corinthians 7:14) the children of the covenanted as holy from the impure children of unbelievers.”

4. More held that faith and the promise are certain signs of election, so that the salvation of believers” children is certain, while the lack of the promise only leaves us in ignorance of God’s purpose; nevertheless that there is good ground for asserting that both election and reprobation have place in this unknown sphere. Accordingly they held that all the infants of believers, dying such, are saved, but that some of the infants of unbelievers, dying such, are lost. Probably no higher expression of this general view can be found than John Owen’s. He argues that there are two ways in which God saves infants:

(1) “by interesting them in the covenant, if their immediate or remote parents have been believers. He is a God of them and of their seed, extending his mercy unto a thousand generations of them that fear him;

(2) by his grace of election, which is most free, and not tied to any conditions; by which I make no doubt but God taketh many unto him in Christ whose parents never knew, or had been despisers of, the gospel.”

5. Most Calvinists of the past, however, have simply held that faith and the promise are marks by which we may know assuredly that all those who believe and their children, dying such, are elect and saved, while the absence of sure marks of either election or reprobation in infants, dying such outside the covenant, leaves us without ground for inference concerning them, and they must be left to the judgment of God, which, however hidden from us, is assuredly just and holy and good. This agnostic view of the fate of uncovenanted infants has been held, of course, in conjunction with every degree of hope or the lack of hope concerning them, and thus in the hands of the several theologians it approaches each of the other views, except, of course, the second, which separates itself from the general Calvinistic attitude by allowing a place for reprobation even among believers’ infants, dying such. Petrus de Witte may stand for one example. He says: “We must adore God’s judgments and not curiously inquire into them. Of the children of believers it is not to be doubted but that they shall be saved, inasmuch as they belong unto the covenant. But because we have no promise of the children of unbelievers we leave them to the judgment of God.” Matthew Henry and our own Jonathan Dickinson may also stand as types. It is this cautious, agnostic view which has the best historical right to be called the general Calvinistic one. Van Mastricht correctly says that while the Reformed hold that infants are liable to reprobation, yet “concerning believers’ infants… they judge better things. But unbelievers’ infants, because the Scriptures determine nothing clearly on the subject, they judge should be left to the divine discretion.”

B. B. Warfield- The Development of the Doctrine of Infant Salvation, pgs. 281-283 (pdf version)

Again B. B. Warfield elaborates on the development of the doctrine of infant salvation among Reformed theologians:

“Toplady, and Doddridge, and Thomas Scott, and John Newton, and James P. Wilson, and Nathan L. Rice, and Robert J. Breckinridge, and Robert S. Candlish, and Charles Hodge, and the whole body of those of recent years whom the Calvinistic churches delight to honor, that all who die in infancy are the children of God and enter at once into His glory — not because original sin alone is not deserving of eternal punishment (for all are born children of wrath), nor because they are less guilty than others (for relative innocence would merit only relatively light punishment, not freedom from all punishment), nor because they die in infancy (for that they die in infancy is not the cause but the effect of God’s mercy toward them), but simply because God in His infinite love has chosen them in Christ, before the foundation of the world, by a loving foreordination of them unto adoption as sons in Jesus Christ. Thus, as they hold, the Reformed theology has followed the light of the Word until its brightness has illuminated all its corners, and the darkness has fled away.”

B. B. Warfield- The Development of the Doctrine of Infant Salvation, pgs. 285-286 (pdf version)

Among the Baptist there has also been a variation of opinions on this subject. Charles Spurgeon certainly believed that all infants dying in infancy were saved. Spurgeon answered the charge of hyper-Calvinists who had begun to adopt Arminian teaching of the damnation of infants:

Among the cross falsehoods which have been uttered against the Calvinists proper, is the wicked calumny that we hold the damnation of little infants. A baser lie was never uttered. There may have existed somewhere, in some corner of the earth, a miscreant who would dare to say that there were infants in hell, but I have never met with him nor have I met with’ a man who ever saw such a person. We say, with regard to infants, Scripture saith but very little, and, therefore, where Scripture is confessedly scant, it is for no man to determine dogmatically. But I think I speak for the entire body, or certainly with exceedingly few exceptions, and those unknown to me, when I say we hold that all infants are elect of God and are therefore saved, and we look to this as being the means by which Christ shall see of the travail of his soul to a great degree, and we do sometimes hope that thus the multitude of the saved shall be made to exceed the multitude of the lost. Whatever views our friends may hold upon the point, they are not necessarily connected with Calvinistic doctrine. I believe that the Lord Jesus, who said, “Of such is the kingdom of heaven,” doth daily and constantly receive into his loving arms those tender ones who are only shown, and then snatched away to heaven. Our hymns are no ill witness to our faith on this point, and one of them runs thus:

Millions of infant souls compose

The family above.”

“Toplady, one of the keenest of Calvinists, was of this number. ‘In my remarks,’ says he, ‘on Dr. Nowell, I testified my firm belief that the souls of all departed infants are with God in glory; that in the decree of predestination to life, God hath included all whom he decreed to take away in infancy, and that the decree of reprobation hath nothing to do with them.’ Nay, he proceeds farther, and asks with reason, how the anti- Calvinistic system of conditional salvation and election or good works foreseen, will suit with the salvation of infants? It is plain that Arminians and Pelagians must introduce a new principle of election, and in so far as the salvation of infants is concerned, become Calvin. Is it not an argument in behalf of Calvinism, that its principle is uniform throughout, and that no change is needed on the ground on which man is saved, whether young or old? John Newton, of London, the friend of Cowper, noted for his Calvinism, holds that the children in heaven exceed its adult inhabitants in all their multitudinous array. Gill, a very champion of Calvinism, held the doctrine, that all dying in infancy are saved. An intelligent modern writer, (Dr. Russell, of Dundee. ) also a Calvinist maintains the same views; and when it is considered that nearly one-half of the human race die in early years, it is easy to see what a vast accession must be daily and hourly making to the blessed population of heaven.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- Exposition of the Doctrines of Grace, Thursday, April 11th 1861

A letter written by Spurgeon:

To [A Correspondent].

NEWINGTON, S.E., June 12, 1869.

DEAR SIR, —

I have never, at any time in my life, said, believed, or imagined that any infant, under any circumstances, would be cast into hell. I have always believed in the salvation of all infants, and I intensely detest the opinions which your opponent dared to attribute to me. I do not believe that, on this earth, there is a single professing Christian holding the damnation of infants; or, if there be, he must be insane, or utterly ignorant of Christianity. I am obliged by this opportunity of denying the calumny, although the author of it will probably find no difficulty in inventing some other fiction to be affirmed as unblushingly as the present one. He who doubts God’s Word is naturally much at home in slandering the Lord’s servants.

Yours truly,

C. H. SPURGEON

Charles H. Spurgeon- Letters of Charles H. Spurgeon- General Corresponce, page 193, pdf version

Whereas Baptist theologians such as Keach, Dagg, and Boyce held that there were indeed non-elect infants, Baptists theologians like Spurgeon, Gill, and Broadus, believed that all infants who died in infancy are saved. All of the above believed that infants inherent Adam’s guilt and therefore ground their views of ‘elect infants’ in God’s electing grace.

All the Reformed Theologians who held to the doctrine of infant salvation were guarding the gospel against an Arminian perversion of it. If Arminianism were true, then no infants who die in infancy are saved because they do not grow up to be able to accept Christ as their Saviour. However, if God has elected infants who die in infancy unto salvation, then the Arminian scheme of salvation falls flat on its face.

Thus we have seen that many who lived during the time of Howell, among those who are Calvinistic in their soteriology, believed in the salvation of all infants who die in infancy. Therefore, we should not think it strange because Howell held to this view.

Hope in Christ in the face of death Pt 2

April 24, 2021 6 comments

As many of you know I posted about my wife’s cancer at the end of last year. It is hard to believe that it has been almost 6 months since I blogged about this life changing event! I just wanted to give a short update on how things are going.

My wife underwent surgery in December. The doctor removed some colon, an ovary, a kidney, and some of the lining of her muscles on the left side of her body. The tumor, which was discovered via cat scan, had grown that large. She pulled through the surgery quite well.

She then began chemo therapy. However, as the beginning of February dawned, we both caught covid and she had to stop her chemo treatments. In March she restarted chemo therapy and is doing very well. She goes to Birmingham every other week, and sits in the office, as they pump two different types of chemo into her veins. She is then sent home with a pump attached to her, which pump, is administering a third type of chemo.

In order to pay bills and to keep our finances stable, I had to go back out on the road and drive a big rig. So this is why I have not posted any special material on my blog in a while.

Also, Wednesday April 21 her mother passed away. She was 80 years old. I had to come home the 22nd of April and we buried her mother Friday the 23rd of April.

Through all of this God has been gracious. He knows what is best for us in each and every situation. This does not mean that we do not need prayer! Oh no! Keep praying saints! What it does mean however, is that God works where and how he wills and we must thank him for his many blessings in the midst of it. We our not our own, we are bought with a price!

Therefore, I want to thank all those who have prayed for us and ask that you continue to do so.

God bless you,

Hershel

Merry Christmas: 2020

December 25, 2020 3 comments

Reformedontheweb would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas!

“Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the

east, and are come to worship him.” — Matthew 2:2.

THE incarnation of the Son of God was one of the greatest events in the history of the universe. Its actual occurrence was not, however, known to all mankind, but was specially revealed to the shepherds of Bethlehem and to certain wise men of the east. To shepherds — the illiterate, men little versed in human learning — the angels in choral song made known the birth of the Savior, Christ the Lord, and they hastened to Bethlehem to see the great sight; while the Scribes, the writers of the law and expounders of it, knew nothing concerning the long-promised birth of the Messias. No angelic bands entered the assembly of the Sanhedrim and proclaimed that the Christ was born; and when the chief priests and Pharisees were met together, though they gathered around copies of the law to consider where Christ should be born, yet it was not known to them that he was actually come, nor do they seem to have taken more than a passing interest in the matter, though they might have known that then was the time spoken of by the prophets when the great Messiah should come. How mysterious are the dispensations of grace; the base things are chosen and the eminent are passed by! The advent of the Redeemer is revealed to the shepherds who kept their flocks of sheep by night, but not to the shepherds whose benighted sheep were left to stray. Admire therein the sovereignty of God.

The glad tidings were made known also to wise men, magi, students of the stars and of old prophetic books from the far-off cast. It would not be possible to tell how far off their native country lay; it may have been so distant that the journey occupied nearly the whole of the two years of which they spake concerning the appearance of the star. Travelling was slow in those days, surrounded with difficulties and many dangers. They may have come from Persia, or India, or Tartary, or even from the mysterious land of Sinim, now known to us as China. If so, strange and uncouth must have been The speech of those who worshipped around the young Child at Bethlehem, yet needed he no interpreter to understand and accept their adoration. Why was the birth of the King of the Jews made known to these foreigners, and not to those nearer home? Why did the Lord select those who were so many hundreds of miles away, while the children of the kingdom, in whose very midst the Savior was brought forth, were yet strangely ignorant of his presence? See here again another instance of the sovereignty of God. Both in shepherds and in Eastern magi gathering around the young Child, I see God dispensing his favors as he wills and, as I see it, I exclaim, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.” Herein we see again another instance of God’s sovereign will; for as of old there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elias the prophet, but unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto the woman of Sarepta; so many there were who were called wise men among the Jews, but unto none of them did the star appear; but it shone on Gentile eyes, and led a chosen company from the ends of the earth to bow at Emmanuel’s feet.

Sovereignty in these cases clothed itself in the robes of mercy. It was great mercy that regarded the low estate of the shepherds, and it was farreaching mercy which gathered from lands which lay in darkness a company of men made wise unto salvation. Mercy wearing her resplendent jewels was present with divine sovereignty in the lowly abode of Bethlehem. Is it not a delightful thought, that around the cradle of the Savior, as well as around his throne in the highest heaven, these two attributes meet? He makes known himself — and herein is mercy; but it is to those whom he has chosen — and herein he shows that he will have mercy on whom he will have mercy, and he will have compassion on whom he will have compassion.

Charles H. Spurgeon- The Sages, The Star, and The Savior, Delivered on Lord’s Day Morning, December 25th, 1870.

Happy Thanksgiving 2020

November 26, 2020 1 comment

Thanksgiving is a day in which we pause and reflect on the blessings of God in our lives over the past year. Most dwell on the material earthly things of which they have obtained. However, as Christians, we ought to pause and thank God for the greatest of all gifts. This gift is the gift of the Lord Jesus Christ, who lived a life pleasing to God, in our stead, and was delivered up to God’s wrath, for the punishment of all his elect’s sins. So this day we pause and thank God for this of all the greatest gifts: Obtaining salvation through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Happy Thanksgiving from Reformedontheweb!

A quote from Spurgeon:

“Furthermore, beloved, we have heard of heavenly harvests, the outflowings of the upper springs, which, in days of yore, awakened the Church of God to loudest praise. There was the harvest of Pentecost. Christ having been sown in the ground like a grain of wheat, sprang up from it, and in his resurrection and ascension was like the waved sheaf before the Lord. Let us never forget that resurrection which crowned the year of God’s redeemed with goodness. It was a terrible year indeed; it began in the howling tempests of Christ’s poverty, and want, and shame, and suffering, and death; it seemed to have no spring and no summer, but yet it was crowned with an abundant harvest when Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Fifty days after the resurrection came the Pentecost. The barley-harvest had been passed wherein the wave-sheaf was offered; then came the days of wheat-harvest. Peter, and the eleven that were with him, became the reapers, and three thousand souls fell beneath the gospel sickle; there was great joy in the city of Jerusalem that day — nay, all the saints who heard thereof were glad, and heaven itself, catching the divine enthusiasm, rang with harvest joy. It is recorded that the saints ate their bread with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God. Pentecost was a crowning mercy, and it was remembered by the saints with crowning thanks.”

Charles H. Spurgeon-Sermon Delivered On Sunday Morning, September 27th, 1863 (Text that Spurgeon preached from: “Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.” – Psalm 65:11.)

The ‘Word of God’ and quotes from Reformers via social media Pt 3

In my first post I discussed a strange phenomenon or development which occurred while I was driving over the road last year, namely: that many on social media which call themselves Christians, have developed an antipathy for the Words of God. You can read my first post here. In my second post I went on to discuss the quoting of ‘Reformers, creeds, confessions, and men who are for the more part theologically sound in the things of God.‘ You can read that post here.

In my last post I had two primary questions concerning the quoting of ‘Reformers, creeds, confessions, and men who are for the more part theologically sound in the things of God.‘ I covered the first question in my last post, which was:

First. Why have Christians, especially Reformed Christians stopped reading quotes from men who have come before us or creeds and confessions?

My goal today is to discuss the second question which is:

Secondly. Why does the only attention they (my quotes) draw is a negative comment, instead of reading them in context?

In answering this question I will state that I believe many think of themselves as grown up or beyond the scope of learning anything new from men who have come before us. In other words, they took their baby steps with Calvin, Luther, Knox, Spurgeon, and so forth, and now they need something deeper. I have talked to many Pastors/theologians on social media. Some of these were prideful and wouldn’t give me much of their time because I didn’t have that degree abbreviation associated with my name. Many of these are no longer on my friends list because they fell into some heinous sin, which brought shame on the name of Christ. The heinous sin which brought shame on the name of Christ wasn’t their downfall. Their downfall was the primary, underlying, main sin which they clung too and that was the sin of pride.

The main and primary reason of which I believe that my quotes draw a negative comment is because of laziness. That is right. I said that it is because of laziness. In other words, because we live in a society that is fast paced, we do not take the time to search a quote out and read it in context, to see if it is reading differently than what we perceive it to read. When I post a comment to social media it is not some obscure comment of which I searched the net and found. I list all the credentials under it in order that anyone who reads it may be able to go back and read it in context. Again, I list the author of the comment, the publisher of the book, the name of the book, and the exact page number where it may be found in the book from which the quote was taken. Just as we do not interpret a single scripture by itself, but instead interpret it in the light of context and the whole council of God, even so we should not interpret a single quote in isolation.

Another reason my quotes draw a negative comment is because it is not from that persons theological camp. A Baptist doesn’t think the quote is good because it isn’t from a Baptist theologian and a Paedobaptist doesn’t think the quote is good because it isn’t from a Paedobaptist. I once had a Covenanter state that we should only quote from our own theological camp. I even had one person tell me that I shouldn’t be quoting from Sir Isaac Newton’s: ‘Observations of the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John.‘ I asked them, ‘Why not?’ They said, ‘Don’t you realize that he was a Unitarian?’ It is funny that John Gill didn’t seem to mind quoting from him in his ‘The Sure Performance of Prophecy.

There may be other reasons why my quotes draw a negative comment, but I will conclude with this reason:

My quotes draw a negative comment because words have changed meaning or have bad connotations attached to them. For instance, many Baptists will not use the word ‘sacraments,’ when speaking of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper because of the use of the term ‘sacraments’ among Roman Catholics. These Baptists prefer to use the term ‘ordinances.’ Many of them do not realize that the seventeenth century Baptists used the term ‘sacraments’ when they wrote concerning Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

For instance: A few weeks ago I placed a quote up be Martin Luther and a brother of whom I highly respect and love, had a problem with one of Luther’s words. Now to be fair and honest, I probably should not have quoted from Luther’s Table Talk. This book, which was not written by Luther, but by his students, possibly should be read primarily for entertainment, due to the fact that the material contained therein is second hand testimony. Roman Catholics like to attack the writings of Luther. It usually falls on deaf ears when you point out that Luther didn’t write the Table Talk. However, a honest, recent Roman Catholic scholar pointed out that the Table Talk does not qualify unconditionally as a primary source. He stated, “the real distortion of the Luther image occurred with the Table Talk.”[1] This is because the Table Talk was written by Luther’s students. Luther had students who stayed in his house and as they gathered around meals or took walks in the garden, Luther would expound on questions or topics, of which were brought up by his students or his friend. Therefore, being notes on what Luther said, they cannot and should not be read as actual quotes from Luther.

However, I did quote from the Table Talk and here is the quote:

“A good preacher should have these properties and virtues: first, to teach systematically; secondly, he should have a ready wit; thirdly, he should be eloquent; fourthly, he should have a good voice; fifthly, a good memory; sixthly, he should know when to make an end; seventhly, he should be sure of his doctrine; eighthly, he should venture and engage body and blood, wealth and honor, in the word; ninthly, he should suffer himself to be mocked and jeered of every one.”

My theological friend responded with 1 Timothy 3:1-7. This list in 1 Timothy are the qualifications for the office of Bishop or Overseer. There is a vast difference between listing the qualifications of an office and listing good qualities which could reside in those holding the office. However, I do recognize that Paul also includes qualities that should reside in those who are seeking this office. So even if Luther did actually make this comment to his students, nevertheless, the qualities or properties for a good preacher which are listed, are not bad in and of themselves. Also the very next paragraph is a qualifier or explains why Luther may have made this comment and that is why my theological friend should have searched the matter out and seen why Luther may have made the comment found above. Here is the next paragraph from the Table Talk:

“The defects in a preacher are soon spied; let a preacher be endued with ten virtues, and but one fault, yet this one fault will eclipse and darken all his virtues and gifts, so evil is the world in these times. Dr. Justus Jonas has all the good virtues and qualities a man may have; yet merely because he hums and spits, the people cannot bear that good and honest man.”

Notice that the Table Talk, if it be Luther’s actual words or not, states that the defects in a preacher are soon spied out, even though the minister may have ten good virtues. And the Table Talk lists an example of a minister who had all good qualities, except for the fact that he hummed and spit while he preached and the congregation could not bare that. (Examples from other theologians will be found below stating some of the same things the Table Talk does concerning the use of the voice in preaching.)

My theologian friend admitted that some of the qualities listed in the above quote for a good preacher are good qualities, but God never expects a man to be eloquent nor to have a good voice. This word ‘eloquent‘ I believe is what really had him up in arms over the quote. This is due to what I stated above, namely that when evil or bad connotations get attached to a word, then people will not use or accept that word.

Some believe that when Paul stated: ‘And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 1 Cor. 2:1, that he was stating that he did not come to them with eloquent preaching. Now if we define eloquence as the Corinthians did, then certainly Paul did not come to the Corinthians with rhetorical speech of the art of sophistry. The art of oratory was huge among the Corinthians. If someone had a problem in court with one of the members of their community, then they would hire them an orator to speak for them. The content was not as important as the rhetoric. If the speech was beautiful and eloquent, then it would captive the audience and move them towards the point of view of the one who had hired them. Certainly Paul did not come to Corinth with this form of rhetoric, However, if eloquence is taken in its basic definition of ‘fluent or persuasive speaking or writing,’ who could argue that Paul wasn’t eloquent? For certainly no more eloquence could be found in words than the words he wrote the Corinthians:

1Co 2:1-7 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:

So when the Table Talk uses the expression ‘eloquence‘ it is not stating that a good preacher must be gifted in rhetorical speech, but must be eloquent in the subject of which he is speaking.

I will close this article with a few quotes:

Tell me what you think in the comment section below.

Notice that Ames speaks about a ministers speech, gestures, and voice while preaching:

Concerning delivery, Ames advises that speech and gestures should be: “completely spiritual, flowing from the from the very heart; showing a man very conversant in exercises of piety, who also has persuaded himself beforehand, and thoroughly settled in his own conscience, those things to which he endeavours to persuade others; and into which, finally, there is Zeal, Charity, Mildness, Freedom, and Humility, with grave authority. The pronouncing of the speech must be both natural, familiar, clear, and distinct, so that it may be fitly understood; and also agreeable to the matter, so that it may move the affections. Gal 4.20, I would now be present with you, and change my voice, because I am in doubt of you. Among others, here are two voices that are most to be criticized: the one which is heavy, slow, singing, and drowsy, in which not only the words are separated with a pause, the same as a comma, but even the syllables in the same word are separated, to the great hindrance of the understanding of things. The other voice which most offends here is that which is hasty and swift, which overturns the ears with too much celerity, so that there is no distinct perceiving of things. That type of speech, pronunciation, and action which would be ridiculous in the senate, in places of judgment, or in the Court, is even more to be avoided in a Sermon.”

William Ames- The Marrow of Sacred Divinity, Chapter 35- Of ordinary Ministers, and their Office in Preaching.

Notice Spurgeon speaks first negatively concerning the use of the voice and then positively concerning the same:

“You are not singers but preachers: your voice is but a secondary matter; do not be fops with it, or puling invalids over it, as so many are…….On the other hand, do not think too little of your voice, for its excellence may greatly conduce to the result which you hope to produce…..I once heard a most esteemed minister, who mumbled sadly, compared to “a humble bee in a pitcher,” a vulgar metaphor no doubt, but so exactly descriptive, that it brings to my mind the droning sound at this instant most distinctly, and reminds me of the parody upon Gray’s Elegy: —What a pity that a man who from his heart delivered doctrines of undoubted value, in language the most appropriate, should commit ministerial suicide by harping on one string, when the Lord had given him an instrument of many strings to play upon! Alas! alas! for that dreary voice, it hummed and hummed like a mill-wheel to the same unmusical turn, whether its owner spake of heaven or hell, eternal life or everlasting wrath. It might be, by accident, a little louder or softer, according to the length of the sentence, but its tone was still the same, a dreary waste of sound, a howling wilderness of speech in which there was no possible relief, no variety, no music, nothing but horrible sameness.”

Charles Spurgeon- Lectures to My Students Vol 1, Lecture 8, On the Voice

He does warn not to play act while in the Pulpit:

“This is a most important matter. Of all things that we have to avoid, one of the most essential is that of giving our people the idea, ‘when we are preaching, that we are acting a part. Everything theatrical in the pulpit, either in tone, manner, or anything else. I loathe from my very soul. Just go into the pulpit, and talk to the people as you would in the kitchen, or the drawing-room, and say what you have to tell them in your ordinary tone of voice.”

Charles Spurgeon- Lectures to My Students, Lecture 3, Anecdotes and Illustrations

Notice Edwards, possibly the greatest mind ever produced on American soil, uses the term ‘eloquence‘ in a positive and not a negative sense:

“We know that when men are greatly affected in any matter, and their hearts are very full, it fills them with matter for speech, and makes them eloquent upon, that subject and much more have spiritual affections this tendency, for many reasons that might be given.”

Jonathan Edwards- The Present Revival of Religion, Part 4, Section 2- Another cause of errors in conduct attending a religious revival, is the adoption of wrong principles

Here is an example of eloquence used in the negative sense and then used in the positive sense:

I inquired of Dr. West, Whether Mr. Edwards was an eloquent preacher. He replied, “If you mean, by eloquence, what is usually intended by it in our cities; he had no pretensions to it. He had no studied varieties of the voice, and no strong emphasis. He scarcely gestured, or even moved; and he made no attempt, by the elegance of his style, or the beauty of his pictures, to gratify the taste, and fascinate the imagination. But, if you mean by eloquence, the power of presenting an important truth before an audience, with overwhelming weight of argument, and with such intenseness of feeling, that the whole soul of the speaker is thrown into every part of the conception and delivery; so that the solemn attention of the whole audience is riveted, from the beginning to the close, and impressions are left that cannot be effaced. Mr. Edwards was the most eloquent man I ever heard speak.”

Memoirs of Jonathan Edwards, Chapter 25- Concluding Remarks

Apollos is called an eloquent man in scripture: (chiefly because he was fluent in the scriptures)

Act 18:24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.

Commentators on Acts 18:24

John Gill– an eloquent man; in speech, as well as learned, wise, and “prudent”, as the Ethiopic version renders it:

John Calvin– Furthermore, lest any man should think that Apollos’ eloquence was profane or vain, Luke saith that it was joined with great power, namely, that he was mighty in the Scriptures. Which I expound thus, that he was not only well and soundly exercised in the Scriptures, but that he had the force and efficacy thereof, that, being armed with them, he did in all conflicts get the upper hand. And this (in my judgment) is rather the praise of the Scripture than of man, that it hath sufficient force both to defend the truth, and also to refute the subtilty of Satan.

J. P. Lange, Philip Schaff– He was an eloquent man (λόγιος means both learned and eloquent; as the main fact, however, viz., that he was learned in the Scriptures, is specially mentioned, the word is to be here taken in the latter sense). As his knowledge of the Scriptures is represented as having been very great (δυνατὸς ἐν τ. γρ., i.e., it constituted his strength), it is quite probable that, as an Alexandrian, he was indebted both for his skill in the interpretation of the Old Testament, and for his eloquence, to the school of Philo.

Footnote:

[1] Franz Posset- ‘The Real Luther,’ p. 30.

The ‘Word of God’ and quotes from Reformers via social media Pt 2

In my last post I discussed a strange phenomenon or development which occurred while I was driving over the road last year, namely: that many on social media which call themselves Christians, have developed an antipathy for the Words of God. You can read my last post here.

Today, I would like to discuss point 2 of what I normally post on social media, which is:

2. Quotes from Reformers, creeds, confessions, and men who are for the more part theologically sound in the things of God

I have found, after I came off the road, that quotes which used to generate a lot of attention, rarely draw any attention at all now. I say they rarely draw any attention at all now, however, I have found that when those calling themselves Christians, comment on them; it is usually to say something negative. So my discussion of this strange phenome-non will center on two points:

First. Why have Christians, especially Reformed Christians stopped reading quotes from men who have come before us or creeds and confessions?

Secondly. Why does the only attention they draw is a negative comment, instead of reading them in context?

First. It seems to me that men have given up the great teachers who have come before us. I have had one Pastor tell me, “I do not care to study Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Dagg, Pink, or Spurgeon. I learn through reading scripture by myself.”

It is true, that we are to read scripture. I highly recommend that everyone pull out the Bible and give it a read. Start at Genesis and work your way to Revelation and then start over. However, the Pastor who told me that he only learns by reading scripture himself works 65 plus hours a week. There isn’t much time left to read the Bible, study it in context, and prepare his sermons appropriately. Now I am not knocking working in order to support your family, but as a man who stands in the pulpit, I would rather drive an older vehicle, live in a smaller house, and wear used clothes than to neglect the study of God in order to feed God’s sheep.

This Pastor has committed at least two errors in his study of the things of God:

1st. As heirs of the Protestant Reformation we do not cry, solo Scriptura, but sola Scriptura.

Solo Scriptura basically means ‘just me and my Bible.’ One can get well aquainted with the scriptures by studying one’s Bible by themselves, however, since we all approach scripture with certain biases, then we will never come to the right interpretation, except we be taught.

A good course in hermeneutics will aide the student of scripture to rightly interpret the text. For instance: We all can read the morning paper and the interpretation of what is in it comes spontaneously because we live in the era of the events taking place, of which we are reading. This is not so with the Bible. There is a huge gap between the interpreter of scripture and the text of which he is interpreting. Hermeneutics helps to bridge this gap by applying rules to what we are studying. Hermeneutics isn’t only used with respect to the Bible, but with all pieces of ancient literature. Since there is a time separation between us and what is in the Bible, then there is a historical gap; in that our culture is different, there is a cultural gap; in that the original text was in another language than our own, there is a linguistic gap; in that the documents originated in another country, there is a geographical gap and a biological gap. In that usually a totally different attitude towards life and the universe exists in the text it can be said that there is a philosophical gap. The last could relate to how the universe was put together or who put it together.

Solo Scriptura has lead to many erroneous doctrines, not to mention many cults who call themselves Christians. All one would have to do is look at the doctrines of cults like: The Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, and Mormonism to recognize that one is not supposed to approach the study of scripture with a ‘just me and my Bible’ attitude.

The battle cry of the Reformation, however, was sola Scriptura and basically means that scripture is sufficient as our supreme authority in all spiritual matters. It means that all truth necessary for our salvation and spiritual life is taught either explicitly or implicitly in scripture. However, this view does not overlook tradition. I realize that the word ‘tradition’ has some bad connotations attached to it because of the Roman Catholic Church’s view of tradition, however, when the Protestant Reformers spoke of tradition they spoke of something entirely different than what the Roman Catholic Church meant.

Reformed Theology shares much in common with other communions of historic Christianity. The sixteenth-century Reformers were not interested in creating a new religion. They were interested, not in innovation, but renovation. Though they rejected tradition as a source of divine revelation, nevertheless they did not despise the entire scope of Christian tradition. They believed that the Church had learned much in her history and therefore embraced the doctrines articulated and formulated by the great ecumenical councils, including the doctrine of the Trinity and of Christ’s person and work formulated at the Council of Nicea in 325 and of Chalcedon in 451.

To close this point: We are not called to live as a hermit and hide in a cave somewhere with just our Bibles and study scripture on our own.

2nd. This Pastor has also rejected the gifts of God. God’s Word says:

Eph 4:11-14 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive…

These men of God were gifts unto the Church. Whereas Ephesians 4:8 states this: “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” These gifts were given for the edifying of the body of Christ, that we might grow in Christ and not be children who are tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine. Therefore, Christ taught the apostles, the apostles taught the Churches, which elders sprung from, and those elders taught other elders. Much of what Luther and Calvin knew concerning the proper interpretation of scripture came from Augustine, Bernard, Hilary, and many others.

Therefore, to reject the study of men who have gone before us, is to reject the gifts God has given to the Church. It seems to me that some think that they have grown so much, as to not need to be taught anything new. When I state, ‘taught something new,’ I do not mean a new novel or original doctrine, but mean that as long as we are in this body we are always learning concerning the things of God. Once we get to heaven all knowledge will not be given to us for we are not omniscient, but we will always be learning the things concerning God. So this is the primary reason I see that many now pass over quotes from men who have gone before us and that is because many think that they have outgrown studying the things concerning God through men who have gone before us or through the gifts Christ has given to the Church.

I do not want to make this post to long, so I will close here and pick back up next week with:

Secondly. Why does the only attention my quotes from men who came before us or my quotes from creeds and confessions draw is only a negative comment, instead of reading them in context?

Tell me what you think, in the comment section below, of why there has been a distaste for the study of the things of God.

The ‘Word of God’ and quotes from Reformers via social media Pt 1

April 27, 2020 7 comments

Many may not be aware that I am no longer driving over the road, but quit this last November for reasons that are primarily related to trucking itself, rather than my ability to do the job. I will not go into these reasons here, but instead want to speak on a phenomenon which has occurred over the last year while I was away from social media.

This phenomenon or development is related specifically to what is posted to social media platforms, particularly what I post to my social media platforms and the response it receives. I myself rarely use social media to tell the world about my dog dying, the sale I found at J C Penny’s on some cool looking jeans, or any other related events in my life. However, I do discuss a little football on social media and when I need prayer concerning some important event in my life, I let everyone on my friends list know.

The two primary things of which I post to social media is:

1. The Word of God

2. Quotes from Reformers, creeds, confessions, and men who are for the more part theologically sound in the things of God

1. Concerning the former, my posts from ‘The Words of God,’ (the Bible) before I went back out on the road used to generate a lot of attention. This should be if anyone is a Christian. How could a true Christian see God’s Word and not say amen or hit ‘like’ in passing? However, a year latter this is not the case. There seems to be more of an antipathy towards God’s Word or to say it more plainly, there seems to be an aversion, distaste, or dislike concerning the Scriptures in the times we are now living. Now I realize that most Christians could just read their Bible if they want to read scripture. Matter of fact, I had one Facebook friend say those exact words, “If I wanted to read scripture, then I would just open my Bible.” But how many Christians actually do that in the days in which we are living? If it were not for the pandemic of which the world has been facing the past few months, most Christians would not be quarantined and would be about their usual busy lives of making a living, tending their yards, and participating in events that consume all their free time. Even in this time of self quarantine I imagine that most Christians are staying busy catching up on the latest episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ or following CNN so as to have something new to post to social media concerning this pandemic.(1)

There are many reasons that I post scripture to my social media platforms, however, I will only list a few:

The reason I post scripture to my social media platforms is first and foremost because scripture holds preeminence in my life. The second reason I post scripture to my social media platforms is because scripture says, ‘Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.‘ 1 Cor. 10:31. The third reason I post scripture to my social media platforms is because I read scripture and rarely watch much television, and by doing so I try to bless those on my friends list with a scripture or two, that will help them as they go about their daily lives. However, one would think that if they had a friends list which included 400 to 500 professing Christians, God’s Word would receive more than 2 to 3 likes as those Christians browsed their social media feeds. Though I could list several more reasons for posting scripture to social media, nevertheless, I will conclude with the fourth and final reason why I post scripture to my social media platforms and that is because unbelievers are present on those social media platforms and I use scripture as a witnessing tool to them.

Now I am not writing this because very few have liked my posts here lately. I could care less what anyone thinks of me. I have been ridiculed, refused wages, fired, lost friends and family, and a host of other things since I began following Christ. Those things have not stopped my witness. I have been in valleys where God seemed far away and sin seemed as if it consumed me, yet those things have not stopped my witness. Though my old man has over the years tried to rear his ugly head, that has not stopped my witness, and God is still with me these 28 years later.

So my point of writing this post is just to ask, “What has happened over the past year to make Christians turn from acknowledging God’s Word on social media platforms? I will give a few reasons that could explain the disinterest in God’s Word on social media platforms:

Perhaps, 400 to 500 Christians are to busy to hit the ‘like’ or as I would call it, ‘the Amen button.’ or Perhaps, Christians are walking through the valley of the shadow of death or it may be the opposite, they are living on the mountain and don’t need God’s Word at this time. or Perhaps, there are not as many Christians on my friends list as I thought and they are showing their true colors at this point and time. or Perhaps, this global pandemic has hardened hearts towards God and Christians do not feel an Amen at this time. or Perhaps, Christians have chosen to read their Bibles instead of reading scripture online.

Concerning the last possibility that Christians are now reading their Bibles, instead of reading portions of scripture on social media sites, if this be the case, then I rejoice in this fact and praise God for it. However, I don’t believe this is the case.

So I ask, “What has moved hearts towards a distaste in God’s Word?” I will let you leave a comment below and tell me what you think.

I will cover point 2. Quotes from Reformers, creeds, confessions, and men who are for the more part theologically sound in the things of God, in my next post.

Note:

(1) I do not watch ‘The Walking Dead’ or CNN and if you do, I am not judging you for that. You have the liberty to watch either one. I am particularly not interested in either of these, as entertainment or the other as a news source.

Reformedontheweb has finally reached 100,000 views

December 2, 2019 7 comments

Reformedontheweb is happy to announce that this site has finally reached 100,000 views. Matter of fact, it is right now at 100,484 views total. I thank God for this. I also thank all those which browse this site regularly.

God bless you all,

Hershel

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 241

GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE

To [Readers of his sermons].

MENTONE, Jan. 17, 1892.

MY DEAR READERS,—

Your weekly preacher is still weakly; but though his progress towards strength is slow, it has been steadily maintained during the late trying weather. When we consider how many have died, your chaplain is very grateful to be alive to be able to send forth his usual discourse from the Press, and to be, as he hopes, half-an-inch nearer to his pulpit. Happy will he count himself when he is able to preach with the living voice.

Would it not be well for all the churches to hold special meetings for prayer concerning the deadly scourge of influenza? The suggestion has no doubt been made by others; but I venture to press it upon Christians of all denominations that they may in turn urge all their pastors to summon such meetings. Our nation is fast learning to forget God. In too many instances ministers of religion have propagated doubt and the result is a general hardening of the popular feeling, and a greatly-increased neglect of public worship. It is written, “When Thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.” Let us, who believe in inspired Scripture, unite our prayers that it may be even so. With a court and a nation in deepest mourning, it is a time to cry mightily unto the Lord.

I have been able again to revise a sermon without assistance. It is upon Psalm 105:37, and, if the Lord will, it will be published next week.

Yours, in deep sympathy with all the sick and the bereaved,

C. H. SPURGEON.

The End of Spurgeon’s Letters