Professor Barkley Refuses Moderatorship to work for Union with Rome

Professor John Barkley nominated as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Irish Presbyterian Church by a small number of Presbyteries has refused to take the Moderatorship because he says he is working for reconciliation with the Church of Rome.

Professor Barkley is a well known modernist and a leading member of P.A.C.E. "Protestant and Catholic Encounter." This movement is an offshoot of Ecumenism and through it Professor Barkley hopes to achieve union with Rome.

When he was ordained and also when he was installed in his Professorship in Assembly's College he swore to teach the doctrines of the Westminster Confession of Faith and that he believed the Confession as a confession of his own faith.


Chapter 25, paragraph 6: "There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ: nor can the Pope of Rome in any sense be head thereof; but is that antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God."

Chapter 29, paragraph 2 reads: "in this sacrament Christ is not offered up to His Father, nor any real sacrifice [2] made at all for remission of sins of the quick or dead; but only a commemoration of that one offering up of Himself, by Himself, upon the cross, once for all, and a spiritual oblation of all possible praise unto God for the same, so that the Popish sacrifice of the mass, as they call it, is most ABOMINABLY INJURIOUS to Christ's one only sacrifice, the alone propitiation for all the sins of the elect."

It is evident that Professor Barkley has foresworn himself on these articles and is using the position which he gained by subscribing them to destroy the Protestant position of the Church.

The Word of God comments on such as Dr. Barkley:

Timothy, chapter 4, verses I and 2: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron."

A Church which would elect such a person to its highest office both in its College and its General Assembly has most certainly apostasised and comes under the category of those which the Scripture commands us to withdraw ourselves:


Timothy chapter six, verses 3-5: "if any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the Words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself." [3]

A Touch of Revival in Ballymoney

For three weeks in October the Lord's blessing was poured out in a remarkable way in Ballymoney as the Rev. Ken Elliott conducted a Gospel campaign.

The preparations for the campaign were intense and carried with them the clear evidence and seal of God's approval. Almost 10,000 leaflets were distributed inviting men and women to the meetings, while 100 posters were pasted in prominent places throughout the locality, keeping the services before the public eye. The preparations came to a climax in the week preceding the commencement of the mission.

On the Monday evening Dr. Bob Jones preached a very simple yet a very powerful message on witnessing for the Lord and many of God's people were so touched as to be made really effective witnesses in the weeks which followed. The rest of that week was spent in prayer and one prayer meeting lasted twenty-six hours non-stop as God's people came in teams to keep up the pressure at the Throne of Grace.

The Lord more than repaid all the effort in the three weeks of Mr. Elliott's ministry. The campaign was the best attended which the church has had and great numbers of unsaved people were gathered in each night. Mr. Elliott preached night by night with a real anointing from the Lord and his powerful presentation of the Gospel will long be remembered in Ballymoney.

The main feature of the meetings was the way in which God's people took to themselves the task of bringing in their unsaved friends, neighbours and loved ones. Each Friday night of the campaign was a special night. The first was Youth Night when it was a great thrill to see pew after pew filled with young people. The second Friday night was Neighbour Night when each of us in the congregation visited our own neighbours and sought to bring them under the sound of the Gospel. Again this was a great success and we had people in the church for the first time as a result of this special effort. The final Friday night was Family Night and again the church was thronged as God's servant dealt with the family and the home in the light of God's Word.

In every service the Hymn 228 in Our Own Hymn Book was sung. This [4] was adopted as the campaign hymn because it summed up the assurance which God had given His people as they prayed for this campaign,

"Confide in His Word - His promises so sure;
In Christ they are
'yea and amen,'
Though earth pass away, they ever shall endure,
'Tis written o'er and o'er again"

Best of all, however, is the fact that night by night precious souls were gloriously saved and in all we know of 53 people who came in repentance to the Lord Jesus Christ as a result of the preaching of the Gospel in these meetings. Indeed in the Praise Service held on the Monday night after the conclusion of the mission four souls trusted Christ. What a glorious crown to this three week special effort in the Gospel!

This mission has taught us more than ever the value of Spirit filled witnessing in reaching souls for Christ, and consequently the Session and Committee of Ballymoney Church have taken a decision to look for a man of God's provision to undertake full time evangelism among the people in the homes of North Antrim.

Pray that this work will go on and that the souls saved in the mission will be but the cloud of the man's hand which Elijah saw, to be followed by a mighty outpouring of God's blessing. [5]

The Five Fundamentals By C. H. SPURGEON

"If the foundations be destroyed what can the righteous do?" Psalm 11:3

I will mention a few of these foundation things which we know cannot be removed, but we will ask the question, if they should be removed, what then?


First we will take the foundation book. This Word of God, this revelation of himself which he has made to us by prophets and by seers, by apostles and by evangelists, and by His own dear Son - this book we believe to be true even in its jots and tittles. Whatever form of thought we may adopt as to the method of inspiration, we believe this book to be inspired throughout, and we accept all its utterances as the teachings of the Most High. From the first word of it to the last we give our "unfeigned assent and consent" to it, as being nothing less and nothing more than the word of Jehovah, the Lord our God, to us. But if it should not be so, what can the righteous do then? If after all, the attacks of modern sceptics should have some force in them; if they can dislodge part of the Word of God from its sure resting place; if first one stone shall topple from the summit of the battlements, and then another shall be loosened from the parapet, and by-and-by its enemies should come to work with their great bars upon the very lowest and most valuable stones in the wall - what then? What if the Book should be a delusion; what if it should be false? Ah! then, my brethren, what can the righteous do? Oh! better had it been for us that we had never been born, than that the Bible should not be true, for here is the only balm that heals the wounds that sin has made, here is the only bread that satisfies the hungering of our spirits.

It must be true, or else what could we do? Cling, then, to the divine authority of the Scriptures with a death gripe! Let those give up the inspiration of the Bible who can afford to do so, but you and I cannot. Let those cast away the sure promise of God who have got something else to comfort them, who can go to their philosophy or turn to their self conceit. But as for you and for me, it is a desperate matter for us if this Book be not true, and therefore let us be ready to defend it at all hazards, and if need be to die for it, for oh! brethren, it were better to die, that Book [6] being true, than to live, that Book being false. It were better for us that all the miseries of this life should fall upon us, that Book being an unmoved foundation, than for all the joys, of life to be ours if that Book be once taken away. Clasp it to your heart; enfold it in your bosoms; hold it as the very core of your life's comfort, and the very strength of your existence, remembering that if that be removed there is nothing for the righteous to do but despair and die. I hope we shall ever sing,

"Should all the forms which men devise
Assault my soul with treacherous art,
I'll call them vanity and lies,
And bind this Bible to my heart.


But now we turn from the foundation Book to the foundation doctrine. What is the foundation doctrine? I shall not shock any one of you if I say that it is admitted by all evangelical Christians that the standing or failing in the church is that of justification by faith. The church which holds that doctrine is in the body; the church which is tampering with that doctrine is not in the body. I will not merely say the church that is not holding it, but the church that is not holding it in the most distinct form is not to be acknowledged as a part of the body of Christ; for this is such a truth that it must not be hidden, and to obscure those words, legible in their own light - "Believe and live" - is to commit high treason against the majesty of God, and to make one's self an outlaw from God and from mercy.

The great standing or failing doctrine, then, is this - "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God;" "Therefore we are justified by faith, and not by the works of the law." We hold that it is of faith that it might be of grace through Christ Jesus. Holding this truth, that every soul who believes in Christ is thereby made a partaker of the merit of His passion and is saved, what joy and peace are opened up to us! Some of us live in a sense of pardon. Oh! brethren, this is a river to swim in, when we can sing -

"Now freed from sin I walk at large,
My Saviour's blood my full discharge;
At His dear feet my soul I lay,
A sinner saved, and homage pay

Oh! the blessedness - as Ainsworth translates it - "the heaped up blessedness of the man whose iniquity is forgiven, and whose sin is covered." Oh! the blessedness of being justified by faith, and of possessing peace with God! But if that be removed, what can the righteous do? My brethren, the righteous can do nothing; they can do nothing, but they must [7] at once give up their peace, give up their joy, give up their hopes, and then give up existence altogether.

"We were of all men the most miserable, if our only hope were gone!" But oh, brethren, we will come back to this, that it is by faith in the blood of Jesus that we are saved. For this doctrine let us make any exertions. Let us publish it to every wind; let us invoke the help of every wave to bear it abroad! My brethren and sisters, help those of us who are engaged in telling out this precious truth of salvation by faith, and then proclaim it far and wide yourselves. Distribute it in a printed form; speak of it with your warm and loving lips! Tell it, tell it the wide world over, that there is a foundation already laid in Zion, a corner-stone elect and precious, and that "other foundations can no man lay than that which is laid, Jesus Christ the righteous," and that "whosoever believeth in Him is not condemned."


We will now go a step further. We have had the foundation Book and the foundation doctrine, and now we come to the foundation fact. The fact upon which our faith rests is this, that "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them." The great fact on which genuine faith rests is this, that "the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us," and that having taken upon himself the form of a servant, and being made in the likeness of man, He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, for us. The great truth which makes the gospel worth proclaiming, is the truth that "Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners," that Christ also hath suffered for sin, "the just for the unjust that he might bring us to God;" "Who himself bare our sins in his own body on the tree;" "For the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed." In one word, the great fact on which the Christian's hope rests is substitution. The vicarious sacrifice of Christ for the sinner, Christ suffering for the sinner, Christ's being made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him, Christ offering up a true and proper expiatory and substitutionary sacrifice in the room, place, and stead of as many as the Father gave Him, who are recognised by their trusting in Him, - this is the cardinal fact of the gospel. Now, if this be true, what will we not do? Do? Why, we will sing of Christ in time, and sing of Him in eternity. We will sit at the foot of his cross and

"View the flowing Of the Saviour's precious blood;
With divine assurance knowing He has made our peace with God

We will praise Him when we get to heaven and sing,

"Unto Him that loved us and washed us from our sins in His Blood." [8]

There is just now, and there has been for many years, a direct attack made upon the doctrine of the atonement. Men cannot bear substitution. They gnash their teeth at the thought of the Lamb of God bearing the sin of man. Ah! but we will proclaim it in defiance of them, and hurl it in their teeth; we will neither dilute it, nor change it, nor fritter it away in any shape or fashion. It shall still be a Christ a positive substitute, bearing human guilt, and suffering in the stead of men, for if this be not so, what could we do? We cannot, dare not give it up, for it is our life.


I have thus given you three matters, and now just a word upon another point, namely - the foundation work. The blood of Jesus, brethren, must be applied by the Spirit of divine grace, and the foundation of our inward confidence must be in the work of grace in our own souls. Now, the foundation in us was laid in repentance, and in faith in Christ, and we have gone on to build thereon, much I am afraid, of wood, hay, and stubble, but still, something of gold, and silver and precious stones. Now, if the grace of God could cease to work, if the eternal love of Jehovah could be removed, and if the effectual might of the Holy Spirit's arm could be withdrawn, what could you and 'I do?

Would it not be as hard to get to heaven by the gospel as by the law if it were not for the work of grace in us? Brethren, Calvary is no nearer to heaven than Sinai, if the Spirit of grace work not in us.

"Oh! to grace, how great a debtor,
Daily I'm constrained to be!

Were that grace once gone what should I do? Hold fast, then, to that which we have received, that no man take your crown. Cling to the doctrine of the work of the Spirit with a death-grip! Never give it up. Having begun in the Spirit, do not seek to be made perfect in the flesh. Do not look to excitement; do not let your faith stand in the wisdom or the speech of man, but in the power of God, and in the invincible might and majesty of the Holy Ghost; for if you go anywhere else, the foundation will be removed, and then what can you do? O God! thou hast begun the good work, and thou wilt carry it on, and perfect it unto the day of Christ. This foundation shall not be removed.


Once more, there is also the foundation hope. Something which we may, I think, call a foundation, since our joy and our peace very much depend upon it. You and I possess, dear friends, a hope which is sometimes called "a blessed hope," and at [9] another time "a good hope." It is a hope partly that Christ may come, a hope that when he cometh, "we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." It is a hope that whether He cometh in our life-time or not, yet, if we fall asleep, we shall sleep in Jesus. We have a hope that sometimes bursts out into a song, and then we tune it in warbling such as this:-

"On Jordan's stormy banks I stand,
And cast a wishful eye
To Canaan
's fair and happy land,
Where my possessions lie.

Or sometimes it is:-

"Jerusalem! my happy home!
Name ever dear to me;
When shall my labours have an end,
In joy, and peace, and thee

Or, perhaps it is:-

"Jerusalem the golden,
With milk and honey blest;
Beneath thy contemplation
Sink heart and soul opprest;
We know not, oh! we know not,
What joys await us there;
With radiancy of glory,
What bliss beyond compare.

At any rate, whatever notes we may use to warble out the hope, the hope is still the same.

"It is the hope, the blissful hope,
Which Jesu
's grace has given;
The hope when days and years are past,
We all shall meet in heaven

Now, if that were removed, what could we do?

"What is here that I should wait?
My hope
's alone in thee;
When wilt thou open glory
's gate,
And take me up to Thee?

That hope abideth sure and steadfast; let us think of it more than we do. Let us plume our wings of flight every now and then. Come, ye birds of heaven, ye eaglets of God; how is it that ye keep below upon the earth, as though ye had no wings? Come, plume, your callow pinions and begin to fly. The clouds are your atmosphere; beyond there is the blue empyrean, when all is fair and clear. Up with you! Up, nearer to God, nearer to eternity, nearer to your home, nearer to your everlasting mansion.

Remember that you

"Nightly pitch your moving tent
A day
's march nearer home,"

and let the thought that you shall soon be

"For ever with the Lord"

come over your hearts, and sweep like the touch of some master harper's hand, as he sweeps the ten-stringed instrument, and wakes it up to thunders of sacred melody. Be glad in the Lord, ye righteous, and shout for joy, ye upright in heart; for this foundation cannot be removed, and ye need not fear. [10]

New Free Church Established

The now normal packed crowds at these occasions, turned out at Tullyvallen, despite the "Bandit Country" reputation, for the opening of the new Free Presbyterian Church there.

Dr. Ian Paisley was special speaker on the occasion: in the chair was Rev. S. B. Cooke of Armagh, who will be in charge of the outreach, and soloist was Mrs. Ken Elliott, wife of the Portadown Free Presbyterian minister.

The building, which is the portable Hall recently moved from Armagh, where it served the congregation there until the establishing of their new church, has been given a facelift inside and out, and is looking really well. It is positioned on a solid cement base.

Security was somewhat in evidence as the crowds, including a bus and a mini-bus lead from Belfast, arrived in the form of several police officers at the site, and soldiers who checked vehicles on at least one approach road.

The opening hymn was "Under the burden of guilt and care," then Rev. Elliott led in prayer, during which he referred to this "oasis" now established in a "spiritual desert."

Mrs. Elliott gave a beautiful and touching rendering of "All things are possible, only believe," with Mrs. McNiece presiding at the organ very apt, when one considers what the following speaker had to say.

Mr. Cooke opened his address with a word of welcome to all who had come along. He said he felt quite at home in the building, as he had spent quite a time in it prior to its removal.

"It's great that God has seen fit to transfer this building with its happy memories to here," he commented.

Mr. Cooke gave a brief outline of the commencement of the new outreach. Since coming to Armagh nine years ago, he has had the opportunity of preaching in the general area, including six months of Sunday afternoon meetings in the Newtownhamilton Orange Hall. Many families from the area travel to the Armagh church and one of the things that was of benefit in this was when a priest went into the pulpit of the Newtown Church of Ireland with the Presbyterian minister in attendance. "I put them all in the same boat," said the speaker. Many came to the Free Church because of this. [11]

A lot of initial opposition was against the church, Mr. Cooke continued. Planning permission at first was not granted, but when the "big gun" (Dr. Paisley), was brought in things changed. "I held his coat while he talked to them," asserted Mr. Cooke.

Two members of the Armagh church, Mr. Jim Irwin and Mr. Ken McCreary, were responsible for transferring the hall to the site, given without charge, by Mr. Bert Carson. Although the congregation in Armagh has a 30,000 overdraft, it was given completely free.

The total cost of its erection came to 3,170; l,500 of which came on loan from the Presbytery of the Free Presbyterian Church. Already, Mr. Cooke continued, the outreach has received 832 in free gifts.

When the offering was later collected the total amount accepted in the one day, including the previous figure came to 1,680.81!


The normal meetings of the church will commence on Sunday, 24th October at 3-30 pm.

Mr. Cooke continued - "We are under no illusion as to the task before us." He was reminded of the Apostle Paul's words - "For a great door is opened unto us and there are many adversities," and asserted that this would be no exception. [11]

The speaker referred to the many ecumenical churches in the area which have recently acquired incumbents. He thought it was because they knew the Free Presbyterians were coming, and referred to some ministers who tell their people not to attend such services, as "the best publicity machine we have."

The Gospel is obsolete as far as ecumenicals are concerned, Mr. Cooke commented, but like David and Goliath: when they met, Goliath was brought down by a stone from a sling, then beheaded with his own sword which he hadn't even taken out of its scabbard. This is what will destroy God's enemies, the sword of the Gospel, which they have left in the scabbard.

Mr. Cooke exhorted all to remember the new church in their prayers.

Mrs. Elliott then sang another beautiful piece, "My happy soul rejoices."


Dr. Paisley, in his usual good humour was next to speak. He too, referred to opposition to the work, and said history will record this of every Free Presbyterian church, but also victory over the opposition.

"Please God, many precious souls will be saved here," he said. And when people are saved and leave the apostasy they are not finished only started in fact - the members [12] here, for instance, began their own work.

A lot of people today desire one world Church, Dr. Paisley commented but we had this before the Reformation, and it is known in history as the Dark Ages! "Few believe the Bible today, but I believe it from cover to cover," he said, "and I believe the covers too, because they keep the pages clean."

Dr. Paisley referred to the recently formed Toronto church, and said it has now a hundred members and is going forward. Indeed the Free Church as a whole is, for the Saturday following his return from Canada, Dr. Paisley laid the first brick at the Clogher Valley Church ("I think I laid it crooked but the builders will right that!").

The following Saturday he was in Ballymena performing a ceremony on the site of the new church there. And a week after that he re-opened Sandown Road Free Church, which was closed for extensive enlargements during the summer. And now, the latest Saturday in the line, he was along to Tullyvallen. "Nothing can stop the Word of God," the speaker added.

Dr. Paisley implored people to come out of apostasy. He hit out at those ministers who, at the funerals of murder victims, make sweeping statements of condemnation. They are nothing more than hypocrites, he said, for the violence would never have begun if the Word of God was preached in the Churches.

God's people will have to take over the land, come out of apostasy as the Lord can't bless while the people are connected with evil. The message to separate was made clear by the Lord while He was on the earth, Dr. Paisley continued. "I don't promise an easy path: I've been in jail twice, but God giveth the victory."


The speaker suggested that in areas where there are no fundamental witnesses, people should band together, and hold meetings in their own homes. When you get the people together, you will get the building: and he quoted - "To him that hath, to him shall be given."

Dr. Paisley asserted the Church is in business to save souls, and if this isn't happening, something is wrong with it.

He referred to the meeting Mr. Cooke and he had with the planning authorities. One of the excuses they put up against the church, was that as the Free Presbyterians are doing so well, the little country road on which it is erected, could not cope with the volume of cars to be parked! However, no doubt to relieve their worries, a sizeable car park has been constructed.

"We have no friends in high places" [13] continued the speaker, but we have a friend in the highest of all - God."

"If you please God, it doesn't matter whom you don't," and he underlined this with the scripture verse "Woe unto ye when all men speak well of ye."

Dr. Paisley took his text from Luke 19. Here, the Lord Jesus is going through Jericho on His way to Jerusalem, and is speaking of a nobleman, who leaves three servants, each with a little money, to use it for gain while he is away. Dr. Paisley likened this to Christians, who should use what they have of the Lord for gain of precious souls. The speaker went on to elaborate on the subject, and delivered an interesting and indeed very helpful message.

Rev. David Creane, of John Knox Memorial Free Church, concluded the service with the benediction.

The Free Presbyterian Forward Movement

At the October meeting of the General Presbytery of Ulster the Presbytery officially launched "The Free Presbyterian Forward Movement" and appointed Rev. Ivan Foster as its full time evangelist.

Mr. Foster has resigned as minister from the Enniskillen congregation as from 1st January, 1977. His task will be to form congregations across Ulster and to pastor them until they are ready for handing over to the Presbytery for constitution and the calling of a minister.

The Free Presbyterian Forward Movement has been established and gifts are requested. In the meantime such gifts should be forwarded to the

Free Presbyterian Forward Movement c/o Martyrs Memorial Free Presbyterian Church, 356 Ravenhill Road, Belfast BT6 8GL.

We carry below a message from our brother.

"Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward" (Exodus 14.15)

Ecumenism is no longer an innovation in Ulster, it has become a way of life. Its philosophy pervades every phase of life in this Province. It controls local government. It dictates [14] from Stormont. Like as the prophets of Baal were welcome at Ahab's court, so today the Betty Williams' and Mairead Corrigans are feted and fawned over by the Westminster regime.

The dark cloud of apostasy has settled upon Ulster. Evidence of this shall be seen in the activities that will surround December 25th. It will be impossible to tell Protestant from Papist, what with all the candles and crucifixes, the beads and the blessings, the mitres and the Masses. In a few short years the clock has been put back to almost pre-Reformation times in this land of ours. In such circumstances God's people have a duty to perform. The Wycliffe preachers did it. The Reformers did it. We must likewise do it. We must get God's Word out into the towns and villages of Ulster.

Gone are the days when a few handbills and posters attracted hundreds. In those days handbills were read by people who were to some degree, nurtured in God's Word in their homes - not so today. Mr. and Mrs. Average in our day have never really been confronted with the need to be born again. In times past when an evangelist came with his tent or hall, among his congregation there were those who were well acquainted with their soul's condition and need. They were already, to some degree, under the Holy Spirit's conviction as a result of the sowing of God's Word on some earlier occasion. They were ready for harvesting. That is not the case today. Rarely does an evangelist meet with any real concern of soul or knowledge of the Gospel when he is breaking new ground. A missionary work is called for today.

These facts have been driven home to my heart during my ten years in Co. Fermanagh. Thousands of homes in my County are in darkest ignorance concerning the saving grace of the Gospel of Jesus. In order to reach them we have had missions, but I have to acknowledge my own inability to pastor a congregation and to also give the time and the energy required for such missionary work. Therefore at the October Presbytery I asked leave to resign from my Enniskillen charge in order to take up full-time home missionary work. I have received the Presbytery's approval and I intend taking up my new duties in the Kesh area of Fermanagh at the beginning of 1977.

The conviction that this was God's will for me settled upon my heart during the series of meetings held in Kesh during the Autumn. We were greatly hindered by the stormy weather but nevertheless in the early part of the mission saw good attendances build up at the tent meetings. However during a particularly stormy period one tent was badly damaged and the other one, we had put up in preparation for a visit by Dr. Paisley, [15] was blown down on a number of occasions. Faced with the prospect of having to abandon the meetings I discussed the matter of a more permanent structure with those who first showed interest in the Gospel meetings in the area. As a result of that discussion we decided upon the erection of a portable hall.

I realised that such a decision to form an extension work in Kesh made it impossible for me to continue my pastoral duties since the new work would require much attention. I there and then decided to seek to be appointed by the Presbytery as a home missionary. As the result of that decision I took a step of faith and in the Name of the Lord purchased the site on which the tents had been erected, and I ordered a new hall. The total cost of that step was 3,500. Up to date we have received approximately 2,500, the most of which has been raised locally. For this and many other tokens of God's goodness I praise His Name.

The Lord has saved souls in Kesh. There have been eleven children and teenagers won to Christ and between twenty-five and thirty children attend our weekly meeting conducted by my wife. We know also of one man who has professed faith in Christ. And early in the New Year we intend running another series of Gospel meetings.

I ask your prayer support for this work. It is by no means a glamorous work which produces instant results but rather a missionary work requiring much hard toil. No one can deny the hard work that the Ecumenists have put into their campaign in this land. God help us to equal and surpass them as we serve the KING OF KINGS.

The Dangers of Christian Complacency
A Solemn Warning and Exhortation by DR. J. C. RYLE, onetime Bishop of Liverpool.

The times require distinct and decided views of Christian doctrine.

I cannot withhold my conviction that the professing Church is as much damaged by laxity and indistinctness about matters of doctrine within, as it is by sceptics and unbelievers without. Myriads of professing Christians nowadays seem utterly unable [16] to distinguish things that differ. Like people afflicted with colour-blindness they are incapable of discerning what is true and what is false, what is sound and what is unsound. If a preacher of religion is only clever and eloquent and earnest, they appear to think he is all right, however strange and heterogeneous his sermons may be. They are destitute of spiritual sense, apparently, and cannot detect error . . . The only positive thing about them is that they dislike distinctiveness and think all extreme and decided and positive views are very naughty and very wrong!


"These people live in a kind of mist or fog. They see nothing clearly, and do not know what they believe. They have not made up their minds about any great point in the Gospel, and seem content to be honorary members of all schools of thought. For their lives they could not tell you what they think is the truth about justification, or regeneration, or sanctification, or the future state. They are eaten up with a morbid dread of CONTROVERSY and an ignorant dislike of PARTY SPIRIT; and yet they really cannot define what they mean by these phrases. And so they live on undecided; and too often undecided they drift down to the grave, without comfort in their religion, and, I am afraid, often without hope.

The explanation of this boneless, nerveless, jelly-fish condition of soul is not difficult to find. To begin with, the heart of man is naturally in the dark about religion-has no intuitive sense of truth - and really NEEDS instruction and illumination. Besides this, the natural heart in most men hates exertion in religion, and cordially dislikes patient, painstaking inquiry. Above all, the natural heart generally likes the praise of others, shrinks from collision, and loves to be thought charitable and liberal. The whole result is that a kind of broad religious "agnosticism" just suits an number of people, and specially suits young persons. They are content to shovel aside all disputed points as rubbish, and if you charge them with indecision, they will tell you: "I do not pretend to understand controversy; I decline to examine controverted points. I daresay it is all the same in the long run." Who does not know that such people swarm and abound everywhere?

Continued Next Issue