[2]
GRADUATION SERVICE
Preached on 23rd June, 1982, by Dr. Paisley at
Martyrs Memorial Church

On the threshold of future Christian service, and I trust dedicated Christian service, it will be both good for you and for us to consider the testimony of one of the greatest of all Christian stalwarts and servants of Jesus Christ, the apostle Paul. What a man the apostle was! Transformed, twenty-five years before he wrote these words in the third chapter of the epistle to the Philippians, transformed I say on the Damascus Road as he was on a mission of murder, to stamp out the people of God. Suddenly, supernaturally, divinely he was arrested by the Lord Jesus Christ. Changed from a slave of Hell to the slave of Heaven, changed in his outlook, changed in his allegiance, changed in his ambition, changed in his doctrines and changes in his convictions.

In the eighth verse of this third chapter of Philippians he gives us his testimony. He gives it confidently. He doesn't apologise for what he is about to say. Look with me in your Bible at that eighth verse, and what a verse it is!

"Yea, doubtless". He has no doubts about it. He is not re-thinking his position. He is affirming that which he has courageously affirmed for a quarter of a century. He says, "Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung that I may win Christ."

It is the duty of the Rev. S. B. Cooke to teach you students Homiletics. Homiletics is the art of sermonising and the art of delivering the sermon after it is produced, so I must be careful in my preaching this evening, lest instead of, passing with distinction I might not even get a pass mark at all!

On the surface of my text you'll find five great things concerning Paul and concerning Paul's ministry.

First of all you have the Magnitude of Paul's Reckoning. He is making a reckoning. He is doing a calculation. He is making an estimation, and having put the assets on one side and the liabilities on the other side he comes to the magnitude of an apostolic reckoning and he cries, "Yea, doubtless, I count many things?" No, sir! "Some things?" No, sir! "The majority of things?" No, sir! "I count all things but loss". The magnitude of Paul's reckoning.

Then, secondly, if your look at the text, you will find that you have the Majesty of Paul's Reasoning. How does he reason? He reasons and he makes this majestic conclusion to his logic. What is it? "The excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord". That is a majesty that eclipses all other majesties. That is a reasoning that has about it the Logic of Divinity itself. [3]

Then, thirdly, notice with me the Manner of Paul's Resigning. What does he say? "For whom I have suffered the loss of all things". He is resigned to a cross. He is resigned to a crucifying. He is resigned to a sacrificing. He is resigned to suffer the loss of all things. The Manner of Paul's Resigning.

Look, fourthly, at this text. He says, "For whom I have suffered the loss of all things", and he is still calculating; he is still estimating; he is still reckoning, and he says, "I count them but dung" - The Might of Paul's Repudiating.

He is repudiating the 'all things', and, my, with what might he repudiates them. Here is the speech of a man who is deadly earnest; a man whose heart is red hot, may, verily, white hot for his God. He says, "I count them but dung".

Fifthly, notice with me the Marvel of Paul's Rewarding - "That I may win Christ"

Now, of course, I could preach a series of addresses on this marvellous text. Every point deserves careful consideration, but very briefly this evening let us look at our text again. Let us glance at the magnitude of Paul's reckoning.

ONE - THE MAGNITUDE OF PAUL'S RECKONING

I want you, first of all, to underscore in your Bible the word "doubtless". Doubtless! There is no uncertainty here. There is no way that Paul is leaving for a get out position.

There are some believers, you know, and when they commit themselves to a certain task, they always leave a careful escape route so that if things don't turn out well there is a way out-a way of escape. But Paul had burned every boat and every bridge behind him. Paul does not re-think his position daily. Down the Damascus Road when he saw the Living Christ and was touched with the nail-pierced hand in a mighty ordination service, that day Paul made a reckoning and that reckoning was for all eternity. No changing. No going back. No turning round. No softening of his stand. "I count all things but loss".

If you study this epistle to the Philippians you will find that this word 'all things' is a recurring theme in the epistle. Five times you will find it, and the 'all things' are always different things. In fact the "alls" in Scripture, as the Principal will agree with me, are to be carefully studied, because there is a boundary to the Scripture's 'alls', and there is a definition of the Scripture's 'alls'.

What are these 'all things' that he is mentioning? They are the 'all things' that he has listed further up the chapter. What are they? Well, we find them here in verse 5, there are seven of them, it is a complete catalogue.

"Circumcised the eighth day".

Paul is dealing with the Judaisers in the church; with those that would take us back to Mosaic ceremonial, and would find away of salvation in [4] the keeping of the Mosaic law. Thank God the law is no longer for us a way to life. However its moral principles are always for the believer a way of life, but the way to life is in Christ and in Christ alone. We are not under the law, Hallelujah, but under grace. Grace says, 'Believe and live'. The law says, 'Do and live'. We cannot do. We have tried to do and we have utterly failed, but, praise God, Jesus did it all, and in Him we have the end of the law; the finish of the law; the fulfilling of the law; the culmination of the law, for He is the end of the law for righteousness to them that believe in His Name. Credibility! Paul puts his credibility on the altar. He was circumcised the eighth day. "I am no proselyte", he says.

'On the very day that God's law ordained that the covenant sign of Abraham should be placed on my flesh, not a day too soon, not a day too late, I was circumcised on the eighth day. My credibility is unchallengeable, but my credibility is on the altar. I'm not here to defend my credibility under the law. I am here to defend my faith in Jesus Christ."

Secondly, "Of the stock of Israel". There's his Integrity. He came of the stock of Israel. He is not a plant that was grafted in to the stem. He grew upon the full stem of Israel. His integrity as well as his credibility are unchallengeable, but he puts his integrity upon the altar and counts it but loss.

Then we come to his tribe, "Of the tribe of Benjamin" - The tribe that gave the first king to Israel, called by the same name as Paul - Saul, King Saul. It was in the canton of Benjamin that the temple was built. Yes, and Benjamin was the only son of Jacob born in the promised land. All the other sons were born outside the promised land. He was born at Bethlehem. And Paul is putting his Royalty, and he says, "I am of the stock of Israel, a royal tribe, but I am putting my royalty on the altar as well".

Then look at the fourth one. You will find his Purity, "An Hebrew of the Hebrews".

'There is no impure Gentile blood in my veins. My credibility, integrity, royalty and purity are unchallengeable. You Judaisers, look at me, I'm head and shoulders above you all".

Those were the four things he got by natural birth, but what did he attain to? Three other things.

First of all, "As touching the law, a Pharisee" There is his Orthodoxy.

He was no heretic. He repudiated the heterodoxy of the Sadducees who denied the Resurrection. He subscribed to the verbal Inspiration of the Bible. He believed the Word of God. He was a Pharisee. There's his orthodoxy.

Then notice the second thing he attained to. "Concerning zeal, persecuting the church" There's his Authority.

You remember he got letters from the chief priests to go and persecute the church and stamp out every vestige of Christianity in Damascus, and he went armed with those letters. There's his authority. [5]

Last of all, notice, "Touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless". There is his Legality.

"As far as the ceremonial law is concerned, I am absolutely blameless". What did Paul say? Notice the magnitude of his reckoning. He puts on one side his credibility, his integrity, his royalty, his purity, his orthodoxy, his authority and legality. He puts them on one side. You would think those were assets, but to Paul those are liabilities. They are not only zero but they are minus as far as he is concerned.

On the other side he puts Christ, and he says, "You can take my credibility. You can take my purity. You can take my authority. You can take my orthodoxy. You can take my royalty. You can take my legality. I care not for them all. I've done a reckoning and this is the magnitude of it, I am cutting myself off from all that I was by birth, and all that I attained to by works. I cut myself off. I count all things but loss".

TWO - THE MAJESTY OF PAUL'S REASONING

Secondly, Paul brings us to the Majesty of his Reasoning, "The excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord".

I looked this up in the Greek text, and, of course, my friend Mr. Greer and others sitting here could expound this much better than I could, but you know this is a verse that is almost untranslatable. Paul piles participle upon participle in this verse, and if we should read it literally and yet with the aid of paraphrase to bring out its majesty, it would read something like this, "But indeed that is not all, therefore I affirm at least even this, that I do count all things but loss because of the all surpassing excellence of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord". That is what Paul is saying.

He is not talking about knowledge. That is, the grasping of X number of propositions by his brain. He is talking about a personal living, affectionate eternal knowing of Christ, really knowing Jesus. He is back on the Damascus Road. He is coming down that road astride his steed, and the flanks of the steed are running rivers of blood as he plunges his stirrups into the side of his beast and whips it on in his madness to get after God's saints. Then suddenly the horseman is on the ground. A light brighter than the sun has shined into his darkened heart, and he says, "Who art Thou Lord?", and the reply from Heaven comes, "I am Jesus Whom thou persecutest".

He met personally his Lord, and in a moment of time he had sealed with his Lord an everlasting relationship, an unbreakable eternal knowing of Christ. From that day Paul had only one desire, (it is set out further down the chapter), "That I might know Him". The majesty of Paul's reasoning here is wonderful indeed. The stars all go out when the sun arises, and all the stars in the horizon of Paul - the stars that he followed, the stars that illuminated his pathway heretofore, went out forever. The sun arose, and in the brilliance of that sunshine Paul walked every step of the way from the day of his conversion to the day he laid down his head upon the block, [6] and it was severed from his body and his immortal spirit, freed from the bondage of the clay, fled into the immediate presence of his God, and there face to face tonight he rejoices in intimately knowing Jesus.

The little word, do not miss it, "The excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord". Put a ring round it - "My Lord" - "Mine! Mine! Mine! I know Thou art mine! Saviour, Dear Saviour, I know Thou art mine!" The knowing! The surpassing excellence of knowing Him! What a majesty of reasoning is here!

Oh, how poor is the reasoning of the world! The world says, "Give us life", but Paul says, "Christ is the only One. If I have Christ then I have Life, and it is Life indeed, and it is Life more abundant. The life of the world is death, the Life of Christ is Life Everlasting". The world says, "Give me pleasure", but Paul says, "in Thy presence is the fulness of JOY, and at God's right hand there are pleasures for evermore". Where is Jesus? He is at God's right hand. That is where the pleasures are. The oceanic fulness of pleasure is in Christ. The world says, "Give me riches. Let me have a bank balance that is in the black and not in the red". Paul says, "The exceeding riches of His grace. That is the riches I want". The world says, "Give me health", but health is found in Christ and in Christ alone. The man that is healthy is the man that is holy. The man who is healthy is the man who walks with God.

Paul was a Presbyterian, and he was a Free Presbyterian, for he believed in the first question and its answer in the Shorter Catechism, "What is man's chief end?" "Man's chief end is to glorify God (listen to it) and enjoy Him forever". What a miserable lot of people God's people are today. They don't look as if they are enjoying the Lord. Some people don't look as if they are enjoying this sermon! Let me say to you tonight, we should get the magnitude of Paul's reasoning into our being-the excellency of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Nobody can take Him from me. He is mine. All Hell can combine, all sin can combine, all men can combine, but I am His and He is mine!

Old Samuel Rutherford, in the exile of that imprisonment and banishment in Aberdeen, could write:

"Oh, I am my Beloved's,
And my Beloved's mine;
He brings a poor vile sinner

Into His house of wine;
I stand upon His merit,
/ know no safer stand,
Not e'en where Glory dwelleth in Emmanuel's Land.
"

THREE - THE MANNER OF PAUL'S RESIGNING

Let us come to the third one, the Manner of Paul's Resigning, "For Whom I have suffered the loss of all things". He is resigned. He is resigned to lose by the standards of the world. [7]

Let me tell you, young people, by the world's standards you are all losers.

I was interested to note that this word translated 'loss' only occurred in one other place in the New Testament. It occurs in the Book of the Acts, (let us look at it), Acts chapter 27. You will find it although it is not translated in our Authorised Version as loss, verse 10, yet it is there. "And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive that this voyage will be with hurt and with much damage. Not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives". The word that is translated 'damage' is the word 'loss'. It is found again in verse 21, "Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss".

This incident in Paul's biography illustrates (perhaps he had this in mind) what was gain and would have been gain to those shipmen, the cargo of their ship. Verse 38, "And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship and cast out the wheat into the sea", and that which was to get them gain was thrown overboard. "I have suffered the loss of all things". The old captain, as the wheat went into the sea could say, "I'm suffering the loss of my whole cargo", but in the pouring out of the cargo there was a way of gain - a way for final safety and security.

May God help us to gladly throw overboard all that the world counts as gain, to be losers in the world's estimation, to suffer the loss of all things. We are back to his credibility. We are back to his integrity. We are back to his royalty. We are back to his purity. We are back to his orthodoxy. We are back to his authority and his legality. He proclaims, "They are all overboard. Yes, and in putting them overboard I have suffered, (mark the word!), I have suffered". Oh, there is suffering, there is suffering in this resigning. The break doesn't come easy. To give up the world doesn't come easy, but, praise God, we have to suffer for Jesus' Sake.

He goes further, and we have the might of Paul's repudiating, and he says, "I do count them but dung". The strongest expression he could use.

FOUR - THE MIGHT OF PAUL'S REPUDIATING

There was an old preacher called Benjamin Keach. He was one of the great Baptist preachers in London. He was the man that really founded the Church that eventually grew into the Church in New Park Street which subsequently called the great C. H. Spurgeon to its oversight and pastorate. Benjamin Keach has a book of Scriptural Metaphors. The great Spurgeon says, "He makes them run like centipedes on a hundred legs".

I was looking up old Keach, and he said, "The word here had to do with a dog". Look at verse 2 of Philippians chapter 3. "Beware of dogs". The word here has to do with the leftovers of a dog's meal. We talk about "a dog's breakfast". That is what Paul is talking about, the abominable scraps that the dog wouldn't eat. That is what he said about these things which mean so much. A man's credibility, integrity, royalty, purity, [8] orthodoxy, legality and authority, my, the whole Christian Church are all fighting for that, but Paul was not fighting for that. He said, "They are like the leftovers of a dog's meal. They stink as far as I am concerned. I hold my nose and pass by on the other side".

Would to God God's people did that with the world today! My, we would be in revival if that happened. Alas, the beckoning hand of the world is intriguing. It has a magnetism - an unholy magnetism that attracts the people of God, but Paul had come to a place where these things had no attraction to him. "Paul, you are in prison". "Yes, I am in prison". "Paul, do you not think you should change your mind? It is not really so good, is it, what has happened to you. You have lost everything. The very Churches that you founded, they are not happy about you. The Presbytery of Asia has closed you out. Now Paul you are not doing too well". Paul says, "I count them but dung".

C. H. Spurgeon in a great sermon called "The Priceless Prize" says, Gregory Nazianism a foremost father of the Christian church rejoiced that he was well versed and learned in Athenian philosophy. Why do you think he rejoiced that he was well learned in Athenian philosophy? Because he had to give it all up when he became a Christian, and he said, "I thank God I had a philosophy to throw away when I came to Christ". He counted it no loss but a gain, to be a loser of such learned lumber when he found the Saviour. And old Divine made this statement, "Who would refuse to give up a whole sky full of stars if he could buy a sun therewith? And who would refuse to give up all the comforts of this life if he could have Christ at so good a price?"

That grand old Ignatius, one of the earliest of the church fathers said, "Give me burning. Give me hanging. Give me all the torments of Hell if I may but get my Saviour I would fain be content to bear them all as the price".

What of the martyrs of the Marian persecution? Living in the bloody Bonar's Prison House, one of them writes, "There are six brave companions with me in this paradise, and we do sit and sing in the dark all the day long". Ah, yes, they were not the losers!

Did not Rutherford say, when he declared he had but one eye, and his enemies had put that eye out, "That one eye was preaching the Gospel, an eye to the glory of God", and his enemies had made him silent in banishment in Aberdeen so that he used to weep over his dumb and silent Sabbaths, and yet he lifted his pen and he wrote these glowing words, "But how mistaken they are. They thought they sent me to a dungeon, but Christ has been so precious to me that I thought it to be the King's Parlour and the very Paradise of Heaven itself."

Did not James Renwick say, oftimes when he had been out among the bogs in the Scottish mountains, hunted over the mosses with the stars of God looking down upon the little congregation, "That they had more of [9] God's fellowship than bishops ever had in cathedrals, or than they themselves had ever had in their Kirk, when in brighter days they had worshipped God in peace."

I tell you, it is a great thing to count those worthless things of this world but dung, to pass them by. They are worthless. They are refuse. The very dog wouldn't eat them. May it not happen to us, as it is recorded in the Book, that "the dog has returned to its vomit, and the sow that was washed to its wallowing in the mire". The might of Paul's repudiating, "I count them but dung".

FIVE - THE MARVEL OF PAUL'S REWARDING

One final word, the marvel of Paul's rewarding, "That I may win Christ".

Oh, there is a sweetness in Christ worth winning. There is a preciousness in Christ worth winning. There is a glory in Christ worth winning. There is a love in Christ worth winning. There is a majesty in Christ worth winning. There is a warmth in Christ worth winning. Men and brethren hear me, there is a satisfaction in Christ worth winning.

It is the only thing that is worth winning in this old crooked, perverse world. "That I might know Him", and he gives us the three steps. "The power of His Resurrection". The only power that can make you know Christ is the power that empties the tomb, and the power that breaks the sepulchre of death. This world is one great sepulchre, and all men lie dead in Adam's transgression. Oh, for the power to walk among the tombs in victory! That is what happened to the man that was among the tombs. Jesus found him, and we read, "He was clothed and he was in his right mind, and he was at the feet of Jesus". He had learned the power of Resurrection.

The life is in order to cross-bearing. "That I might know Him, and the power of His Resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering".

You will never know anything about the Lord Jesus until you come to the shadows and there you find Him. "Standing somewhere in life's shadows, You'll find Jesus."

In the shadow of disappointment; in the shadow of despair; in the shadow of disease; in the shadow of depression; in the shadow of bitterness; in the shadow of bereavement, bless God you will find Jesus. He's the only One Who cares and understands. Standing somewhere in the shadows you will find Him, and you'll know Him by the nail-prints in His hands! "That I might know Him, and the fellowship". What is fellowship? Fellowship is a close meeting of minds and hearts; a knitting together of kindred spirits, so that they think the same way. They love the same things. They go the same road, and when I am one with Christ the cross is sweet.

There is something more. You carry the cross in order to die on that cross. "Being made conformable unto His death, even the death of the cross". To be conformed to Christ. [10]

Christ was beautiful in swaddling clothes. Christ was beautiful in His seamless robe. Christ was beautiful in the mount of transfiguration-in the garment that glowed and glistened with a whiteness dazzling to the beholders. But as Samuel Rutherford said, "Christ is sweeter still when He puts on the red vest of His Cross-work, and when His garment is not white nor swaddling, but His garment is crimson with His Blood". Then we taste His fulness, and then we learn the truth of His own Holy promise, "Except ye eat my flesh and drink my Blood there is no life in you". It is not a carnal eating or a carnal drinking, as Rome in her idolatrous Mass would profess and pretend, but this is the Holiest of All, when with my Lord. I fill up that which is behind of the sufferings of Christ in my body, for the church's sake. Not that the sufferings of Christ needed to be added to, for they are perfect. But the sufferings of Christ need to be displayed in our bodies, that the world might see the beauty of Jesus in me.

"What seest thou Margaret Wilson?", said the proud persecutors, as they pointed to old Margaret McLachlan, further out in the tide of the Solway Firth; "What seest thou now?" Young Margaret Wilson said, "I see Christ wrestling in the body of one of his saints". "Being made conformable unto His death".

Christ is everything. And Paul said, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus".

"Oh, spread Thy savour on my frame" the hymn-writer wrote, "No sweetness is so sweet; 'Till I get up to sing Thy Name, Where all the singers meet". And one day we will all graduate into the full knowledge of our Blessed Lord.

George Whitefield, as the candle burned out on the stairway, on the night before his death, as he preached to the people that crowded around the banisters of his ascent to his death-bed, said, "I go to my everlasting rest. My sun has risen, shone and is setting. Nay, it is about to rise and shine forever. I have not lived in vain, and although I could live to preach Christ a thousand years, I die to be with Him which is far better". We can die daily and be with Him in a better knowledge of His wonderful work and Person.

May you from this Graduation Class go out with the same great motive and motto of the apostle, and if you do nothing in this world but be Christ-bearers, then shall your bearing of Christ bring forth fruit unto holiness and in the end everlasting life.

May God bless His Word, for Christ's Sake!

AMEN AND AMEN!

[11-17 MEDITATIONS FOR THE MONTH]

[18-25 PHOTOGRAPHS FROM WHITEFIELD COLLEGE OF THE BIBLE GRADUATION]

[26]
PROTESTANT REFORMERS' MEMORIAL CHURCH LIVERPOOL
Installation of Rev. William Hillis Fleming

Friday 23rd July 1982 was an historic occasion for both the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster and the Protestant Reformers' Memorial Church, Liverpool. It was the day when Rev. Hillis Fleming was installed as Minister of the Protestant Reformers' Memorial Church, the first Free Presbyterian Church in England, under the Presbytery of Ulster.

Prior to the Installation Service, members of the Church gathered in the Church Hall, for tea prepared by the ladies of the Church. The Secretary, Ron Henderson welcomed the guests at tea, a number of whom had come from Ulster, including the Moderator of the Presbytery, Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley, M.P.

A special welcome was extended to Rev. D. G. Evans, Minister of Stanley Park Church who had assisted the Protestant Reformers' Memorial Church during the period of Pastor Mason's long illness and since his death on July 8th last year. Stanley Park Church has a close relationship with the Protestant Reformers', both churches having grown out of the church founded by Pastor George Wise in 1903.

The Secretary read a letter he had received from Mr. Evans predecessor, Rev. Sidney Wolstenholme, who now ministers at Sudbourne Baptist Church in Suffolk. Mr. Wolstenholme wrote:-

"It was with great joy that I learned that the Protestant Reformers' Church had called a pastor and I write to express my prayerful good wishes for his induction to the Pastorate on Friday evening.

It is so good to know that your historic church will once again have an Undershepherd to lead the flock of God in your area of the city, and I pray that Mr. Fleming may be endued with a full measure of the Holy Spirit to preach Christ crucified, and earnestly contend for the faith.

May the divine blessing be upon this union of pastor and people, and may the new minister prove to be truly in the 'Apostolic succession' and be a worthy successor of Pastors Wise, Longbottom and Mason.

My warmest Christian greetings to the new Pastor, and of course to Dr. Paisley, your goodself, and all my friends at the Reformers."

Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus,
S. Wolstenholme.

After tea, some 500 worshippers gathered in the Church for the installation of Rev. Hillis Fleming as Minister, at which Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley presided. The service began by Dr. Paisley welcoming the Rev. D. G. Evans (St inley Park Church); Pastor David Carson (Zion Chapel, Chester); Pastor Joe Gould (Norris Green) and other ministers, present among whom were Rev. Gordon Ferguson, B.A. (Licentiate minister of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster and the Organising Secretary of the British Council of Protestant Christian Churches); Rev. Trevor Baxter (Dungannon); Rev. Roy Stewart (Cookstown); Rev. David McIlveen (Belfast). There were also a number of friends from Mount Merrion Church, Belfast at which church Rev. Hillis Fleming ministered before accepting a 'call' to Liverpool. [27]

The Service commenced with the singing of Psalm 100 after which Rev. Gordon Ferguson read a portion of Scripture from I Peter, chapter 1.

Prayer was made to our God for His blessing on the Church and its ministry by Rev. Trevor Baxter. After prayer and the singing of the hymn

I'm not ashamed to own my Lord,
Or to defend His cause;
Maintain the honour of His Word,
The glory of His cross.

Rev. Roy Stewart preached a powerful installation sermon based on I Peter, chapter 1. During his sermon Mr. Stewart emphasised the importance of heeding the Word of the Lord which "endureth for ever". "If the Bible is not true then God is not true. If the Bible is not true, there is no heaven, there is no hell, there is no Sinless Saviour. The Bible is true from Genesis right through to Revelation."

Following the Installation Sermon, the acting clerk of the Presbytery, Rev. David McIlveen submitted the prescribed questions to Rev. Hillis Fleming, confirming his stand on Holy Scripture and his adherence to the Protestant Reformed Faith as outlined in the Westminster Confession of Faith. The signing of the Westminster Standards having been completed and the installation prayer by Rev. McIlveen, Dr. Paisley extended the right hand of fellowship to Mr. Fleming who was then welcomed into the ministry of the Church by representatives of the Liverpool and other churches.

The hymn:-

O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer's praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace!

was sung during which an offering was taken, this amounted to 277. The Moderator, Dr. Paisley, then gave the Charge to the Minister and congregation. Taking as his text II Kings chapter 6, verses 1 to 6, he preached an inspiring sermon on that portion of the reading "and the iron did swim".

"Looking out across the churches of our land we see the tragedy of lost Power. Over them can be written, 'Ichabod, the glory of the Lord has departed'. The tragedy is that such churches do not know they have lost the Power of the Holy Spirit. They know nothing of the triumph of Redeemed Power; but," said Dr. Paisley, "I have good news for you - the God of miracles is not dead. The God of Wesley, Whitefield, the Reformers, the Apostles, He is alive. He is a living God. THE IRON CAN SWIM."

Greetings from the Church were then extended to Rev. Hillis Fleming by the Secretary, Ron Henderson, who welcomed him both as minister and pastor. Handing the keys of the church to Mr. Fleming he said that not only would these keys open the doors of the church, they are a symbol that the Holy Spirit will give you the Power to open the doors of many hearts in this place. "May the same eternal Sovereign Lord Who has led us hitherto be with you as you enter into the ministry here".

Some words of Charles Haddon Spurgeon may be of encouragement: "The fulness of Jesus is not changed. Pentecost, is that to be a tradition? The Reforming days, are these to be memories only? I see no reason why we should not have a greater Pentecost than Peter saw, and a Reformer deeper in its foundations, and true in its upbuildings than all the reforms which Luther or Calvin achieved. We have the same Christ, remember that. The times are altered, but Jesus is the Eternal, and time touches Him not."

Rev. Hillis Fleming then gave a brief testimony to the Saving Grace which he experienced in his life and how on [28] Saturday morning 25th February 1961 he entered into the joy of salvation when knowing he was a sinner, he prayed the sinners prayer "God be merciful to me a sinner". He knew he was born of God, "old things had passed away, behold all things had become new."

In closing, Mr. Fleming expressed his thanks for all who had joined in this service of installation, some had come great distances. He thanked the ladies for the fine tea they had earlier prepared and for those men and women who had worked so hard in cleaning the church and hall for this special occasion. Concluding, he said it must be acknowledged that Protestantism is not what it was, but must the Standard must remain in the forefront of the battle." Our task must be to bring the church back to the Standard."

The doxology having been sung, Rev. Hillis Fleming brought this historic and inspiring service to a close.

R. F. Henderson.

1682 * 1982 The Martyrdom of William Hervi (or Harvey) at the Cross of Lanark on 2nd March 1682

William Hervi, or Harvey, was a weaver in Lanark. He was taken before the Justiciary Court in Edinburgh on the 20th February, 1682. Three charges were laid against him viz: that he was present "at the late rebellion", i.e. the Battle of Bothwell Bridge, and also at the publication of "the treasonable Declaration" at Lanark on the 29th May 1679 and that he had taken part in the publication, on the 12th January 1682, of the Declaration circulated by the Societies. The Judiciary Court failed to pronounce sentence on him until ordered to do so by the Council. He was found guilty and sentenced to death. A party of guards was ordered to take him to Lanark where they were to witness his execution. Before his death he was granted permission to emit a brief testimony.

Hervi affirmed that he was a Presbyterian and that in his judgment people should obey the King in his lawful authority. He had been condemned to death for "proclaiming a paper over the cross". It had contained in it statements against Prelacy, but he acted out of conscience and argued people to repeat the petition "God save the King". He believed what was contained in the Scriptures and adhered to the Confession of Faith, Nation Covenant, and Solemn League and Covenant, the Catechisms and all the faithful testimonies since 1660. He declared himself to be for "Kingly government according to God's Word".

He prayed fervently at the Cross then he climbed the ladder and exhorted those present to make their peace with God, and to serve God, and the King so far as this was compatible with the Word of God and no further. He prayed again, committed himself to God's mercy and freely forgave all those who had a part in his death. It is recorded that he died with a great deal of composure, at the Cross of Lanark.

The inscription on Hervi's gravestone at St. Kentigern Kirkyard records that he suffered "for his adherence to the Word of God, and Scotland's Covenanted Work of Reformation".

He died at the age of 38.

Derek Sproule

[29]
LOUGH ERNE FUNDAMENTALIST CONVENTION

Who had ever been to the Lough Erne Fundamentalist Convention, or who had ever even heard of it before 1982? The answer is very simple - nobody. The explanation for that is also very simple; this is the first year it has taken place. It is also the first time a Convention of this kind has been held in Co. Fermanagh. Over the years there have been Convention gatherings organised by those who adhere to what is known as the Holiness teaching. Never has there been a Convention which is distinctly and forthrightly fundamental. A need for this had been felt for some time and has been much prayed about. The Session of Bethel Free Presbyterian Church, Enniskillen, decided to organise the meetings this year, and supported by the Committee, took the step of faith.

Back in July 1981 Dr. Paisley was approached about coming to the Ulster Lakeland District for the Convention. He felt it was a worthwhile project and consented to come to preach. During the conversation it was suggested that Dr. Myron Guiler be also asked to preach, and he accepted the invitation. Then during the course of the year he wrote to say he would not be coming to Ulster, and this rather upset the plans. However, just after this news arrived, the Rev. Stephen Scott-Pearson, from Bradford, came to Enniskillen to speak about the Papal visit to Gt. Britain and the protests connected with it. His ministry was so much appreciated he was asked to take the place of Dr. Guiler. The next day information was received that Dr. Guiler would now be able to come, so that increased the team of preachers to three. Then during the final preparations before the Convention came the good news that Dr. Bob Jones would be available to visit Fermanagh for a couple of days. Thus in the plan of God a top team of preachers was assembled for this venture of faith.

The large tent belonging to Dr. Paisley was brought to the Car Park on the Sligo Road, Enniskillen, which is owned by a local businessman, Mr. B. C. Stuart, who had some time before granted the free use of the site. No one had any idea how the meetings would be attended, or what response would be forthcoming from the members of our sister congregations or the local people. To the glory of God it must be said that the Convention exceeded the expectations of any of those who were involved in its Organisation. The Bethel Church members wholeheartedly threw in their lot and worked tirelessly; many members of other Free Church congregations gave enthusiastic support, quite a number spending a holiday week in this beautiful area. A great many Christians of other denominations attended regularly. [30]

The Meetings were scheduled to run from Saturday 24th July to Friday 30th July, but due to the blessing of the Lord and the great interest, they continued on Saturday evening, 31st July, and Sunday afternoon, 1st August. From the first night it was evident the numbers attending would exceed all expectations. That meeting was addressed by the Rev. Scott-Pearson and Dr. Guiler, both speaking with great liberty and power. The first message by the Rev. Scott-Pearson was a statement of fundamentalism, setting out clearly the position which fundamentalism holds. This message, given with such ability and anointing, set the pattern and tone for the whole Convention. This brother came to Fermanagh as a stranger but from the beginning of his ministry the people took him to their hearts. Dr. Guiler was not very well known either in the area, indeed he was known to only a few, but he too won the hearts of the people. His messages were encouraging and challenging, comforting the believers in times of apostasy, and setting out their responsibility to guard and contend for the Truth of God against the apostates of the present day. The last message he preached on the Saturday evening was on Jude, the Acts of the Apostates, setting forth the scriptural description of those who champion error and apostasy.

Dr. Bob Jones arrived on Tuesday, a very tired man with travelling, and we did not have the privilege of hearing him until Wednesday. He gave a brilliantly simple and spiritually inspired message on God's Principle of Separation in Genesis One. His second message was on the Maniac of Gadara, when the sinful state of the sinner was clearly described, and the power of Christ to save demonstrated. Dr. Paisley spoke on Sunday evening, bringing a Gospel message from Eph. 2, v. 7, pointing out the exceeding riches of God's grace towards the sinner. On Tuesday he spoke from 2nd Kings 6. Here were the Sons of the Prophets, God's people, doing the Lord's work; Elijah the Prophet, representing the Holy Spirit with them; the axe head lost and restored, illustrating the loss of power by the believer in God's work and its restoration.

During the Convention precious souls were saved, backsliders were restored, believers putting things right with the Lord. Those who came to the meetings left taught through the Word, built up in Spirit, with hearts full of the joy of the Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ was uplifted before the people, and His Name exalted. So the Lough Erne Fundamentalist Convention has been launched, and it is proposed, in the will of God, to make it a yearly event. Like Abraham we pitched out tent,, literally; we built our altar, the Cross of Calvary, and the risen Lord Jesus Christ; we digged our well, the Word of God, and found refreshing, renewing and reviving waters for our souls. We say thank you to all who helped by attending the Convention. We raise our Ebenezer to the Lord and praise Him for His goodness and faithfulness and blessing. If you missed this year, plan D.V. to be with us in 1983.