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Showing posts from December, 2015

A Godly Man is a Lover of the Word! by Thomas Watson

Thomas Watson Posted at Grace Online Library : O how love I your law.’ (Psa. 119:97) Part A: Godly Man Loves the Word Written Chrysostom compares the Scripture to a garden set with ornaments and flowers. A godly man delights to walk in this garden and sweetly solace himself. He loves every branch and part of the Word: 1. He loves the counselling part of the Word, as it is a directory and rule of life. The Word is the direction sign which points us to our duty. It contains in it things to be believed and practiced. A godly man loves the directions of the Word. 2. He loves the threatening part of the Word. The Scripture is like the Garden of Eden: as it has a tree of life in it, so it has a flaming sword at its gates. This is the threatening of the Word. It flashes fire in the face of every person who goes on obstinately in wickedness. ‘God will wound the head of His enemies, the hairy scalp of the one who still goes on in his trespasses.’ (Psa. 68:21). The Word gives no indulgenc

How to Read the Bible

By Rev. Benjamin P. Glaser - Posted at Mountains and Magnolias : One of the most common questions I receive as a pastor is, “Rev. Glaser, how do I get the most out of my Bible reading?” It is a question even the apostles themselves wondered. (2 Peter 3:14-18). In this short article we will look at three things that can help you feast upon the meat of the gracious Word of our Triune God. First of all we must understand that what we are reading is God’s Word. (Heb. 1:1-4, 2 Tim. 3:16, 2 Peter 1:16-21). This may seem obvious or even unnecessary to mention, but part of the problem many of us have is that we, intentionally or not, use the Bible the way we would any other book. We look for pithy statements for a greeting card or a quick verse to simply settle an argument or to find a justification for something either we would like to do or even as a club to stop someone from doing something we may not like. When we humbly present ourselves before the Word as the recipient of the Bible an

Samuel Davies: Apostle of Virginia

Princeton University Chapel By Thomas Talbot Ellis - Posted at Fire and Ice: [Reprinted from The Banner of Truth Magazine , no. 235, April 1983,with permission] Some years ago the late Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones said to an audience in the United States, 'You Americans do not know one of your greatest preachers'. He then pronounced a name almost unknown — the name, 'Samuel Davies'. Unhappily, we Americans still do not know one of our greatest preachers. Graduates of the finest seminaries in our land have not so much as heard of Samuel Davies. This is certainly not universally true, but those who have become aquainted with this man have found reason to agree with Dr Lloyd-Jones. Davies is indeed one of America's greatest preachers. The life of Samuel Davies was remarkable in many respects. For one thing, he may be said to have preached his own funeral sermon when he was only thirty-seven. The occasion was a service in the chapel of the College of New Jersey at Prince

A New Year's Gift

By Rev. Samuel Davies (Preached January 1, 1760) - Posted at Grace Gems : "Knowing the time—that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed." Romans 13:11 TIME, like an ever-running stream, is perpetually gliding on, and hurrying each of us into the boundless ocean of eternity! We are now entering upon one of those imaginary lines of division, which men have drawn to measure out TIME for their own convenience; and, while we stand upon the threshold of a new year , it befits us to make a solemn contemplative pause; though time can make no pause—but rushes on with its usual velocity. Let us take some suitable reviews and prospects of time past and future , and indulge such reflections as our transition from year to year naturally tends to suggest. The grand and leading reflection is that in the text, with which I present you as a New-Year's Gift: "Knowing the time—that it is now high time to awake out of slee

Of God the Son (Continued)

Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note. This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer. 15. Lord's Day Q. 37. What dost thou understand by the words, "He suffered"?  A. That he, all the time that he lived on earth, but especially at the end of his life, sustained in body and soul, the wrath of God against the sins of all mankind: (a) that so by his passion, as the only propitiatory sacrifice, (b) he might redeem our body and soul from everlasting damnation, (c) and obtain for us the favour of God, righteousness and eternal life. (d)  (a) Isa.53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of Go

The Justice of God—and the Sins of Our Country

By Rev. Samuel Davies (1755) - Posted at "When disaster comes to a city—has not the LORD caused it?" Amos 3:6 It concerns you all seriously to reflect upon your own sins , and the sins of your land —which have brought all these calamities upon us. If you believe that God governs the world , if you do not abjure him from being the Ruler of your country —then you must acknowledge that all the calamities of war , and the threatening appearances of famine —are ordered by his Providence! And if you believe that he is a just and righteous Ruler, you must also believe that he would not thus punish a righteous or a penitent people. We and our countrymen are sinners, aggravated sinners! God proclaims that we are such by his judgments now upon us: by withering fields and scanty harvests, by the sound of the trumpet and the alarm of war . Our consciences must also bear witness to the same melancholy truth. And if my heart were properly affected, I would concur

He Came; He Is Coming

By C.H. Spurgeon - Posted at Daily Checkbook/ Sermon Audio : "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven" — Acts 1:11 Many are celebrating our LORD's first coming this day; let us turn our thoughts to the promise of His second coming. This is as sure as the first advent and derives a great measure of its certainty from it. He who came as a lowly man to serve will assuredly come to take the reward of His service. He who came to suffer will not be slow in coming to reign. This is our glorious hope, for we shall share His joy. Today we are in our concealment and humiliation, even as He was while here below; but when He cometh it will be our manifestation, even as it will be His revelation. Dead saints shall live at His appearing. The slandered and despised shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Then shall the saints appear as kings and priests, and the days of their m

Presbyterian And Reformed Ambivalence About Christmas

By Dr. R. Scott Clark - Posted at The Heidelblog : The Christmas season is nearing its climax. As the shopping ebbs and the work schedule slows a bit (for some anyway—remember in your prayers your local police and firefighters as this can be a difficult time for them) it gives us opportunity to think a bit about what we are doing and why. Tomorrow evening, on Christmas evening (as observed in the West anyway. Christians in the Eastern traditions keep a different calendar) and on Christmas morning congregations will gather for worship services. Many Christians, especially those with roots in Northern Europe, have Christmas trees in the their homes and sometimes in church buildings. For some it is a joyous time to remember the incarnation and birth of Christ our Lord. For others, however, it is a sad time as the sense of loss and loneliness is especially intense. Of course, we all struggle with the commercialization and sentimentalizing of the holiday. There are a number of reasons,

Belgic Confession: The Civil Government

Posted at Daily Confession: "We believe that because of the depravity of the human race our good God has ordained kings, princes, and civil officers. He wants the world to be governed by laws and policies so that human lawlessness may be restrained and that everything may be conducted in good order among human beings. For that purpose he has placed the sword in the hands of the government, to punish evil people and protect the good. And being called in this manner to contribute to the advancement of a society that is pleasing to God, the civil rulers have the task, subject to God’s law, of removing every obstacle to the preaching of the gospel and to every aspect of divine worship. ..." (Taken from Article 36: The Civil Government ) Read more here... 

Heaven Is Not For Sale

Posted at The Reformed Reader : How does the Christian maintain holiness in his daily walk? Of course there are things like prayer, God's Word, public and private worship, and the sacraments that help the Christian in the area of holiness. William Gurnall also mentions a few more, including one I'd like to point out here. Again, the question is: "How does a Christian continue in holiness day by day?" Be sure to propound a right end to yourself in your righteous holy walking, and be sure you are not standing on a legal end. That is, do not think that by your righteousness you can purchase anything from God's hand. Heaven stands not for sale to anyone... Read more here... 

Hugh McKail Martyred (1666): 'He Gained the Martyr’s Crown'

Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History : "Farewell father, mother, friends, and relations; Farewell the world and its delights; farewell meat and drink; farewell sun, moon, and starts; Welcome God and Father; welcome sweet Jesus Christ the mediator of the New Covenant; welcome blessed Spirit of grace, the God of all consolation; welcome glory, welcome eternal life; welcome death! Into Thy Hands I commit my spirit." (Hugh McKail's last words) The enemies of the Covenanters had very long memories. Long after sermons were preached or actions taken, the authorities in Scotland remembered words and actions against them. Such was the case with a young minister by the name of Hugh McKail. A child of the manse, from Bothwell, Scotland, his pastor father was one of those forced out of his pulpit and parish when he refused to conform to Prelacy. Little is known of young Hugh’s early days, but he did go to Edinburgh for education. There he was soon marked out as a young man of

Grace Gems: "The Christian should remember that every day he lives, he has..."

a God to glorify, a soul to save, repentance to perform, a Savior to believe and imitate, a body to mortify through the Spirit, graces and virtues to nurture by earnest prayer, sins to weep over and forsake, mercies and deliverances to be thankful for, a Hell to avoid, a Paradise to gain, an eternity to meditate upon, time to redeem, a neighbor to edify, works of charity to perform, a world to fear, and yet to conquer, demons to combat, passions to subdue, and perhaps, death to suffer, and judgment to undergo! And all these must be met and performed in the grace of Christ, and not in your own strength, which is perfect weakness. "Hold me up, and I shall be safe!" Psalm 119:117 (Hannah More, " Self-Examination ") Source:

Of God the Son (Continued)

Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note . This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer. 14. Lord's Day  Q. 35. What is the meaning of these words "He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary"?  A. That God's eternal Son, who is, and continues (a) true and eternal God, (b) took upon him the very nature of man, of the flesh and blood of the virgin Mary, (c) by the operation of the Holy Ghost; (d) that he might also be the true seed of David, (e) like unto his brethren in all things, (f) sin excepted. (g)  (a) Rom.1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from th


By Loraine Boettner - Posted at When we come to study the influence of Calvinism as a political force in the history of the United States we come to one of the brightest pages of all Calvinistic history. Calvinism came to America in the Mayflower, and Bancroft, the greatest of American historians, pronounces the Pilgrim Fathers "Calvinists in their faith according to the straightest system." 1 John Endicott, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony; John Winthrop, the second governor of that Colony; Thomas Hooker, the founder of Connecticut; John Davenport, the founder of the New Haven Colony; and Roger Williams, the founder of the Rhode Island Colony, were all Calvinists. William Penn was a disciple of the Huguenots. It is estimated that of the 3,000,000 Americans at the time of the American Revolution, 900,000 were of Scotch or Scotch-Irish origin, 600,000 were Puritan English, and 400,000 were German or Dutch Reformed. In addition t

Dying to Live

By Dr. T. M. Moore - Posted at The Fellowship of Ailbe: If we would truly live, we must surely die. “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” - John 12.24 Consider the infinite, multiple power of the seed – how many grasses, fruits, and animals are contained in each kind of seed; and how there surges forth from each a beautiful, innumerable multiplicity of forms. - Eriugena, Homily on John 1.1-14, Irish, 9th century [1] Personal Mission Field: Preparation What a strange paradox, that, in a certain sense, a seed must first die in order to live. The same is true for every follower of Christ. If you would live for Christ, you must die to self and the world. Dying daily is just the normal way to a full, abundant, and fruitful life in the Kingdom of God. Read more here...

Samuel Miller’s Assessment of Thomas Jefferson

Posted at The Continuing Story : I found this interesting. In 1808, Dr. Samuel Miller wrote to President Thomas Jefferson, suggesting that the President declare a day of fasting and prayer. This would have been at a point in time when Miller was a pastor in New York City, and prior to his 1813 appointment to serve as a professor at the Princeton Theological Seminary. President Jefferson replied to Miller in a somewhat lengthy letter, declining the suggestion and stating his principles for doing so. While Jefferson’s reasoning is interesting in itself, particularly in contrast with the conduct of contemporary politics, Miller’s later (1833) assessment of Jefferson is also worthy of reflection. We might also examine whether, or how, Miller’s conclusion that “It was wrong for a minister of the gospel to seek any intercourse with such a man,” reflects on current discussions about the doctrine of the spirituality of the Church.  [The short version of this matter is posted here firs

Understanding the Social Gospel

By David T. Myers - Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History : December 15: L. Nelson Bell on the Social Gospel It was in the old Southern Presbyterian Journal of December 15, 1947 that its editor, the Rev L. Nelson Bell, answered a letter from a reader on this matter of the social gospel. That reader had written a letter to the magazine which sought to chastise Christians for not engaging in the social gospel. Dr. Bell answered this letter with clarity and insight. Listen to his words: “(The reader) is confusing the ‘social gospel’ (which is ‘another’ gospel) with the application of the social principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by Christians. . . . The “social gospel” is a gospel of good works. It is making social reform an end in itself . . . It denies sin as the underlying cause of social injustice. It completely ignores the redeeming work of Jesus Christ as the only ultimate solution of world needs.  “On the other hand, Christian participation in and the application

“First Called Christians”

By David Clark Brand - Posted at The Christian Observer : "So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians." – Acts 11:25-26 ESV “The First Colonial Event” 1739-1742 America’s First Great Awakening was identified by Harvard’s Perry Miller as “the first colonial event.” In the midst of this event George Whitefield (1714-70), aware that his friend John Wesley had adopted Arminian theology, wrote to this Methodist leader urging him to stay in England. Whitefield explained that in America God was blessing the biblical message as it had been expounded by the incomparable scholar John Calvin. [1] In fact, the 1734 revival at Northampton, Massachusetts, which preceded Whitefield’s preaching tour, was precipitated by Jonathan Edwards’ preaching on the subject of “Justification by Faith Alone

From Grace Gems: 'He has a window into your heart!'

( George Everard , " Little Foxes, and How to Catch Them! " 1878) " You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me!" Matthew 15:7-8 Many professing Christians go to church from Sunday to Sunday, but in God's sight their worship is altogether in vain, as they offer their listless, heartless prayers. The lips speak--but the heart is dumb. The knee is bent--but the soul is unhumbled. Their thoughts are to the ends of the earth. Whether it is the prayers or the hymns--it matters not; for business and a multitude of worldly matters engage the mind, and there is no room for true worship. Those who go regularly from habit to the House of God, are often living altogether unmindful of the truths they hear, or of the petitions they offer. Such is mere lip service, and profits nothing--but is rather abomination in the sight of God. How many sit before God as His people--and yet n

Of God the Son (Continued)

Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note. This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer. 13. Lord's Day Q. 33. Why is Christ called the "only begotten Son" of God, since we are also the children of God?  A. Because Christ alone is the eternal and natural Son of God; (a) but we are children adopted of God, by grace, for his sake. (b)  (a) John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God. John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the

Should We Make Images of Jesus?

By Andrew Webb - Posted at Building Old School Churches : The Relationship between the Second Commandment and Images of Christ The Following is a Brief listing of just some of the Reformed Evangelical witnesses that directly address the creation and use of pictures of Jesus, either in worship, decoration, art, or mental imagery. They are arranged in chronological order from the Reformation to the present day. Table of Contents (1561) The Second Helvetic Confession – Chapter IV (1648) The Westminster Larger Catechism Q&A 109 (1674) Thomas Vincent, A Family Instructional Guide (1679) John Owen, The Glory of Christ (1692) Thomas Watson, The Ten Commandments (1700) Wilhelmus A’Brakel, The Christian’s Reasonable Service (1753) Ebenezer Erskine and James Fisher, The Assembly’s Shorter Catechism Explained, By Way of Question and Answer  (1949) J.G. Vos (son of Geerhardus Vos) Commentary on the Westminster Larger Catechism (1961) Prof. John Murra

Another Gospel

By AW Pink - Posted at Grace Online Library : "The gospel of Satan is not a system of revolutionary principles, nor yet a program of anarchy. It does not promote strife and war, but aims at peace and unity. It seeks not to set the mother against her daughter nor the father against his son, but fosters the fraternal spirit whereby the human race is regarded as one great ‘brotherhood.’ It does not seek to drag down the natural man, but to improve and uplift him. It advocates education and cultivation and appeals to ‘the best that is within us.’ It aims to make this world such a comfortable and congenial habitat that Christ’s absence from it will not be felt and God will not be needed. It endeavors to occupy man so much with this world that he has no time or inclination to think of the world to come. It propagates the principles of self-sacrifice, charity and benevolence, and teaches us to live for the good of others, and to be kind to all. It appeals strongly to the carnal mind

Margaret Mure: 'And they shall be one flesh'

By Angela Wittman "And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him…And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." (Genesis Ch. 2, vs. 18, 21-24 KJV) This week’s character sketch is of Margaret Mure, who was born in Scotland in 1618. It is reported her parents brought her up in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord." Her first marriage was to the minister Zachary Boyd of Glasgow. She was soon widowed and then went on to marry Mr. James Durham, a celebrated and popular minister wh

Covenanters in the Crown of London

By David T. Myers - Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History : The story of the Covenanters defeated at Bothwell Bridge and sent aboard the Crown of London as slaves is a sobering story. There are pictures on the web of the monument on the coast of Orkney near the sea as well as the Covenanter Fountain in Kirkland. Covenanters in the Crown of London Following the disastrous Battle at Bothwell Bridge on June 22, 1679, in which Covenanters were defeated in the battle, close to 1200 Covenanter prisoners were taken to Edinburgh and imprisoned in a make shift, open air prison next to Greyfriars Kirk (church). Some were tortured and killed immediately. Others died of natural conditions due to the harsh conditions of the site. Others were pardoned and set free under the August 14th Act of Indemnity that same year. But our attention today focuses in on the approximately 257 alleged ringleaders, including Covenanter ministers, who were sentenced to be shipped to the West Indies or Virginia as

Understanding the "Federal Vision"

By Alan D. Strange - Posted at New Horizons : "The doctrine of justification is indeed, as John Calvin wrote, "the hinge on which religion turns." As such, it is of the utmost importance that we get this doctrine right. This was the burden of the Reformers above all: if they did not get this doctrine right, then they did not get anything right, and the Reformation was an error or worse. ..." The movement that has come to be known as the "Federal Vision" came to the attention of many in Presbyterian and Reformed circles following a pastor's conference at Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Monroe, Louisiana, in January 2002. The word federal means "covenantal." Federal Vision proponents seek to revitalize and develop the doctrines of the covenant and the church. There are some legitimate concerns that the Federal Vision has raised, especially in our current ecclesiastical context. Being afflicted as we are, in this land, with a low

Melville: Two Kings, Two Kingdoms

Originally posted at The Heidelblog : Andrew Melville - Wikipedia "Sir, we will always humbly reverence your majesty in public; but since we have this occasion to be with your majesty in private, and since you are brought in extreme danger both of your life and crown, and along with you the country and the church of God or like to go to wreck, for not telling you the truth and giving you faithful counsel, we must discharge our duty, or else be traitors both to Christ and you. Therefore, Sir, as diverse times before I have told you so now again I must tell you, there are two kings and two kingdoms in Scotland: there is King James the head of this commonwealth, and there is Christ Jesus the King of the church, whose subject James the sixth is, and of whose kingdom he is not a king, nor a lord, nor a head, but a member. Sir, those whom Christ has called and commanded to watch over his church, have power and authority from him to govern his spiritual kingdom both jointly and severall

The Covenanter Communion

Posted at Mint, Anise and the Cumin: Covenanters, Though historically they were predominately lowlanders there were many highlander’s among them including two of the largest Highlander clans and like all true Scotsmen, “They fought like warrior poets.” and were poetic to the core. And may we imitate them and their faith & actions for the glory of Christ. The Covenanter Communion by David Vedder Dedicated to Doctor Reverand Thomas M’crie, 1828  I. Dark is the page that chronicles the time When James the latest tyrant of his race Reigned o’er his bleeding country Not sublime With golden sceptre but an iron mace With which he crushed his subjects power and place Were given to base familiars who to fill The measure of their crimes in briefest space Did deeds of woe at which the blood runs chill And owned no law except a gloomy bigot’s will  II. Land of my sires beloved of bounteous heaven On wbose blest soil nor slave nor tyrant treads Then then by bigotry thy sons were driven From hea

The Divine Law of Political Israel Expired: General Equity

By Sherman Isbell - Posted at The Westminster Presbyterian : General Equity About 1970 claims began to be published that a perpetual obligation remains in many Old Testament ordinances which classical Reformed theologians had regarded as expired under the New Testament. The "Christian Reconstruction" movement seeks to conform modern society to this reassertion of certain laws given to Old Testament Israel. One of the tenets of Christian Reconstruction is theonomy, the belief that the Old Testament civil law is morally binding today. This essay will examine the diversity between theonomy and the classical Reformed tradition. Particular attention will be given to the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms as representative of classical Reformed theology; our reference will be to the original text of the Confession (1646), without the eighteenth-century American revisions respecting the civil magistrate. Important Issues at Stake There are important practical im

Of God the Son (Continued)

Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note. This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer. 12. Lord's Day   Q. 31. Why is he called "Christ", that is anointed?  A. Because he is ordained of God the Father, and anointed with the Holy Ghost, (a) to be our chief Prophet and Teacher, (b) who has fully revealed to us the secret counsel and will of God concerning our redemption; (c) and to be our only High Priest, (d) who by the one sacrifice of his body, has redeemed us, (e) and makes continual intercession with the Father for us; (f) and also to be our eternal King, who governs us by his word and Spirit, and who defends and preserves us in that salvation, he has