THE WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES: (W.C.C.) A Wicked Chamber of Corruption
by Ian R. K. Paisley M.P.

The W.C.C. has just finished its world assembly in Vancouver B.C., Canada. In that assembly the dark blasphemous evolution of end time apostasy was manifested. And how dark and how blasphemous that apostasy is!


The prelude to the Assembly was the building of a Spirit House and the lighting of a fire by a witch of the North American Indians. This House was the commencement of the worship of the W.C.C. in Vancouver.

The first act of worship was the lighting of a fire from which the other worshippers could light their torch and so share the flame - a universal flame typifying Christ as the Light of the World. A flame originating in a Spirit House to represent, Christ - could Satan think up a darker insult to the Blessed Person of the Son of God. In fact the whole exercise of the W.C.C. at Vancouver was the total rejection of God, manifest in flesh, our Glorious Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The commencement, the continuation and the conclusion of the Assembly was a total repudiation of the Bible and its teaching concerning the Blessed Son of God. It showed and declared itself to be the Antichrist Council of the Antichrist. Christ is the True Light and all other false religious lights are in reality darkness. The so-called light in the W.C.C. is darkness, and how great is that darkness!


The second act of worship was the reception and erection of an Indian Totem Pole, an idol pole around which the prayers, dances and devotions could be offered to the Indian "Great Spirit". This idol was accepted by the W.C.C. and is to be re-erected outside their H.Q. at Geneva.

God says clearly in His precious word, "For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of a forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers that it move not. They are upright as the plain tree but speak not - the stock is the doctrine of vanities", Jer. 10:2-6 and verse 8.

It was to such lying vanities that the W.C.C. gave its sanction at Vancouver. The fundamentalist protesters at the W.C.C. cried out with [4] the old prophet, "There is none like unto Thee O Lord, Thou art great and Thy name is great in might."


Christ the sole Head and only King of the Church has commanded us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. The World Council of Churches satanically seeks to reverse that great commission. Instead she clears her platform so that a Hindu dancer can perform as part of the opening exercise of worship.

According to "The Province" newspaper, Wednesday 21 July 1983, John Taylor a director of the Council's program for dialogue with other faiths said that the Council now agreed that all faiths need each other. "Dialogue," he said, "with Moslems is hindered by the fact that missionary work on Moslems is still going on. We should stop all missionary efforts among Moslems. Missionary work should be carried out with restraint. Many Jews say, 'Leave us alone'. The only attitude we can take is to respect that and accept that." The Gospel has to be stopped and missionary work has to cease, that is the message from this Wicked Chamber of Corruption!


All the world knows that the W.C.C. is financing subversives throughout the world. In fact at their last assembly the following resolution was defeated:-

"We recommend that the Churches do not support the Program to Combat Racism and the Special Fund unless an assurance is given that no assistance will be given from the Special Fund to organisations that at the time of their application are such that THEIR COURSE OF ACTION IS LIKELY TO CAUSE THE INFLICTING OF SERIOUS INJURY OR THE TAKING OF LIFE." (emphasis ours)

The minutes of the Assembly record that this resolution was defeated 325 to 62. Thus the W.C.C. voted overwhelmingly for murder and violence.

In May 1983, a bomb exploded in South Africa killing 17 and wounding over 200 people. Responsibility was claimed by the African National Congress. The African National Congress has been receiving financial aid from the W.C.C. since 1970.

Now at this assembly the General Secretary of the W.C.C. went on television, defending this vote and said, "THE BIBLE IS THE MOST SUBVERSIVE BOOK IN THE WORLD." The Rev. Allan Boesak another W.C.C. leader said, "When oppressed people pick up weapons churches must choose for the oppressed people" - The Globe and Mail, 26/7/83.

Such is the World Council of Churches - a Wicked Chamber of Corruption.

CHURCH, EDINBURGH By the famous Scotch Preacher ALEXANDER WHYTE, D.D.

Augustus Montague Toplady was the author of what is perhaps the best hymn in the English language, "Rock of Ages, cleft for me". Toplady was born in the year 1740. His father was a major in the British army, and he fell in the Siege of Carthagena in 1741, the year after the birth of his son. Young Toplady began his studies at Westminster School and he took his degree of Master of Arts in Trinity College, Dublin.

We have Toplady's conversion told us in his own graphic words: "Strange that I who had sat so long under the means of grace in England should be brought right unto God in an obscure part of Ireland, midst a handful of people met together in a barn, and by the preaching of a man who could scarcely spell his own name. It was the doing of the Lord, and it is marvellous in my eyes. The sweet text of the morning was this - 'Ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ'. I was, I trust, made nigh that August day in 1756."

In 1762 Toplady received orders in the Church of England, and he laboured in season and out of season as a preacher, a pastor, and an author till he wore himself out in his 38th year. "Your pulse," said the doctor, "is becoming weaker." "I am glad to hear it," replied Toplady, "for that is surely a good sign that my release is near at hand." And with tears of heavenly gladness running down his cheeks he said: "It will not now be long; for flesh and blood cannot hold together under the glory that God has already shed abroad in my soul."


"Rock of Ages" was Prince Albert's favourite hymn. The Prince Consort died with "Rock of Ages" on his lips. Everybody knows how Mr. Gladstone loved this same hymn. As long ago as 1848 he had already rendered it into Latin verse:

Jesus! pro me perforatus!

A traveller tells us that he entered one Lord's Day an Armenian Church in Constantinople, and seeing great numbers of the congregation in tears during the praise, he asked what it was they were singing: when he was told that it was "Rock of Ages" in a Turkish translation. A Quaker lady tells us that she was visiting a hospital during the American Civil War, and was sitting near the death-bed of a little drummer-boy. Ever since he had fallen in the field there had been no sign of consciousness. More, therefore, for her own sake than for his, the lady whispered in the dying boy's ear, "Rock of Ages, cleft for me." When the little fellow's eyes opened, and he answered her,

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eyelids close in death,
When I soar to world unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgment, throne.
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

"My mother," he said, "taught me that, and we often sang it in our Sunday School," and with that he died.

Again, a minister tells us that a half drunk man on one occasion stumbled into his church, and sat down near the pulpit and fell fast asleep. When the [7] organ was pealing out "Rock of Ages" the man awoke, listened a moment and then buried his face in his hands, and wept. The week after he came to the prayer-meeting, and apologised to the minister for coming. "It was that hymn," he said, "my mother sang it to us on her death-bed." "That man is now one of our deacons," adds the minister, "and I do not know a member of mine who is more in earnest, or more successful in doing good than he is."


And, once more, when the London was lost in the Bay of Biscay, the last man that was saved off the wreck was asked at the enquiry what the remaining passengers were doing when it was seen that they could not be rescued. "The last sounds I heard were a great multitude singing -

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

What is His Name, and what is His Son's Name? if thou canst tell, asks Angur. Well, Rock of Ages is one of His Names, and it is one of His Son's Names also. This noble Name, is proclaimed by God to be one of His Names that He specially desires to be known by in the Church in Israel. Almighty God was the Rock, the Refuge, the Hiding-place of His people from every enemy, and from every kind of danger, till the Old Testament is full of this great and glorious Name.

Let the young people take a good Concordance and spend an hour some Sabbath day on this Old Testament Name of God, and they will never forget the lesson they will thus get. And then, both in the Old Testament and in the New, God the Father shares this great Name of His with His Son, as good old Cruden will point out to you. But then, God's Son is more than the Rock of Ages. He is the Rock of Ages cleft on the Cross for our sin. A great thunderbolt had been shot out of Heaven and had cleft open that Rock in Horeb into which God put Moses. And so did the holy bolt of the Divine vengeance against sin strike our Substitute, the Son of God, when our sin was laid upon Him. Till the chief of sinners is invited to hide himself in Christ Crucified, just as Moses was hidden in that cleft rock in the wilderness of the wanderings. Horeb and Calvary, taken together, as the Scriptural background, and the evangelical inspiration of this Gospel hymn. First Horeb, and then Calvary; these two Redemption scenes taken together, took possession of Toplady's mind, and imagination, and heart, till this great atonement song came pealing out of his heart, like the sound of the angel's silver trumpet.


"Calvary has a mystery in it as well as a history," says Walter Marshall in his golden book, 'The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification'. Calvary has many mysteries in it; but the water and the blood that flowed from our Saviour's spear-pierced side has, from that day to this, been one of the most mysterious and supernatural sights of that so mysterious and so supernatural day. And the disciple whom Jesus loved felt all the mystery and supernaturalism of the sight. For he set us his special seal to his history in this arresting and solemnising way. "He that saw it bare record, and his record is true; and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe." Toplady has received the record of John, and he has believed it, and has penetrated that mystery of Calvary in the opening verse of his great redemption hymn:

Let the water and the blood
From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt and power.
Not the labours of my hands

Can fulfil Thy law's demands

every aged saint sings. But no new beginner in saintliness ever sings that with his whole mind and heart. Every new beginner says with James and. John, "We are able". Every new beginner is a new beginner. He is a neophyte, as Paul calls him. He has not come to years in the divine life. It takes the accumulated attainments and experiences of many years to teach the true people of God somewhat of the height, and the depth, and the length, and breadth of God's Holy Law. The intense, transcendent, and absolutely unattainable spirituality of God's Holy Law is the teaching of the Holy Ghost Himself carried on in the spiritual mind through a long lifetime of effort and failure and self-despair. "The law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin" - only a very far advanced saint of the living God ever yet said that. "A prayer, living and dying, for the holiest believer in the world" - that was Toplady's full and original title to his great hymn.

Not the labours of my hands
Can fulfil Thy law's demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears for ever flow.
All for sin could not atone,

Thou must save and Thou alone.

All passing on, with such scripture and such experience into this:

Nothing in my hands I bring,
Simply to Thy Cross I cling,
Naked come to Thee for dress,
Helpless look to Thee for grace.
Foul, I to the fountain fly,

Wash me, Saviour, else die.


"Thou knowest not that, thou art naked," the Rock of Ages says to every one of us. But when we once anoint our eyes with His eye-salves we are as if we had seen down into very Hell itself. We are from that day filled with a self-contempt bitterer to drink than blood. We catch at every rag to cover our shame. Were it not that this soul-deceiving world is so full of fig-leaves we would go mad at the sight of ourselves.

But there are a thousand things to take our eyes off ourselves for a season. We have duties that occupy us. We have pleasures that divert us. And we have people in crowds all around us who are as much bent upon escaping from themselves as we are. And they make the same use of us that we make of them. But, with all that the shame of our soul-nakedness will sometimes appear before the time. The hand of God will sometimes tear the scales off our eyes, till we see ourselves as if it was already the last day, when we shall be "found naked". "And they shall go forth and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be unquenched; and they shall be an abhorring to all flesh." "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still, and he which is filthy, let him be filth still; and he that is naked, let him be naked still. I counsel thee to buy of me white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear. Behold I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."

Naked come to Thee for dress,
Helpless come to Thee for grace
Foul I to the fountain fly,
Wash me, Saviour, else I die.
Rock of Ages cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.

A Sermon preached In Martyrs Memorial Church by Dr. Paisley

The twenty-fourth verse of the eighteenth chapter of the Book of the Revelation: "And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth."

I have entitled this message, "S.O.S. to Ulster Protestants". Over 100,000 Roman Catholics voted in the General Election to destroy the Protestant people of our province with I.R.A. bullet and bomb, and in the same week the General Assembly of the Irish Presbyterian Church voted in Dublin to set her face towards Rome. Ulster can never be the same again. We are moving into a very serious situation in our land. I have heard people who have said, "Well, at the Election 15 Unionists of one kind or another were elected, and only 2 Republicans, so things must be well." Anybody that says that is completely deluding themselves. The result of the Election does not mirror accurately the voting trends in this land, and the sooner we awaken to that fact the better.

The Roman Catholic system, if my Bible is correct, is a system of Satanic deception. It is not a popular thing to say that today. There was a time when Protestant ministers exposed the deceptions and the dogmas of the Roman Catholic Church; that there was nothing unusual about them because they were simply adhering to the doctrines of the Reformation, the language of the Reformers, and better than that the language of the Holy Book itself. But the whole ecclesiastical setup of organised Protestantism has become corrupted, has become de-Protestantised, has become apostate, and when a Protestant minister says today that the Church of Rome is not a Christian Church, then the eyebrows go up and the 'holy hands', so-called, are lifted, and they say: "He surely is a bigot, he surely is an extremist, and if he is very bigoted and very extreme, he is a Paisleyite."

Here is the Westminster Confession of Faith - the Confession of Faith of the Irish Presbyterian Church and all other Presbyterian bodies. One lady did me the great credit of inferring that I wrote the Westminster Confession of Faith. The Westminster Confession of Faith came out of a great Puritan controversy in the days of Cromwell. I would like to be old and wise but I must plead guilty of not living in that era!

In this Confession which every Presbyterian minister signs at his ordination, and every elder signed at his ordination. This Confession states, "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." So the historic Creed of Biblical Presbyterianism brands the Pope as the Antichrist, brands the Pope as the Man of Sin, brands the Pope as the Son of Perdition. John Paul the Second Antichrist, Man of Sin, Son of Perdition. [10]

Now any Organisation that is headed up with the Antichrist, that is headed up with the Man of Sin, that is headed up with the son of Perdition couldn't be a Christian Church.

I read tonight the eighteenth chapter of the Book of Revelation. The seventeenth chapter delineates the Roman Catholic system and Church, and the eighteenth chapter tells of the judgment - God's judgment, Heaven's judgment, righteous judgment upon the villainies, the devilries, the deceits, the cheats of that system. Around the walls of this Church there are plaques to the various martyrs. It would do you well afterwards to have a look at them, and you will see that these men and women died because they refused to give their allegiance to the Church of Rome, they refused to go to the Mass, and they refused to accept Romanism as Christianity. They rejected Romanism as Antichristianity, deception, Devil-inspired Kirk of Hell, as John Knox described her. I am glad I am in good and holy company when I expose the machinations and deceptions of the Roman Catholic system.

There is this verse, an amazing verse, which I have taken as my text, and this verse tells us that in Rome there is found the blood of the prophets of God. Well, I could understand that, for Rome has put to death the best and greatest prophets of God. It says there is found in Rome the blood of the saints. I can understand that, becausethe most godly of men and the most godly of women, and the most godly of children have been put to death in Rome's great sweeps of fierce and awful persecution. Note the end of my text, (a staggering and stupendous statement), "all that were slain upon the earth." All that were slain upon the earth! "Rome," says this Book, "has her hand in all bloodshed." Rome's hand is imbued in every controversy upon the earth. This brings us to the great Roman conspiracy. The tentacles of the Church of Rome reach out to all lands, all places, all power houses, all legislative assemblies, all parliaments, all places of authority. The machinations of this great Satanically-conceived and Satanically-motivated false Church of the Beast - the Antichrist.


Let me come to the first part of the subject. One hundred and two thousand, seven hundred and one Roman Catholics went into the booth on the 9th June and they put their X opposite the name of an I.R.A. front candidate. Now, of course, if I said it, that to so vote you were voting for violence and murder, you would have the raucous cry from many sources: "Oh, but that is the voice of bigotry - Protestant bigotry." But certain Roman Catholic Bishops, certain Roman Catholic politicians, certain Roman Catholic leaders, they said that every vote recorded for Sinn Fein was a vote recorded for violence. So I am only drawing the conclusion that has already been drawn by spokesmen of the Roman Catholic system. [11]


Every Roman Catholic that put their X opposite the name of a candidate for the I.R.A. did three things. First of all, they condoned all the barbarous atrocities of the Irish Republican Army. Every atrocity carried out by the Provos in this campaign of Protestant genocide they condoned it by voting for their candidates. So you can take all the atrocities, from the killing of Lord Mountbatten to the murder of the servicemen at Narrow Water Castle; from the Abercorn, the Bus Station, the Ballykelly bombings, every police officer shot on our streets, every police reservist murdered on our roads, every U.D.R. man assassinated in the highways and byways, every member of the British Army put to death, every civilian, be it woman, man or child, over one hundred thousand Romanists said: "I condone those atrocities." That is the first thing.


The second thing is this, when they put their X opposite the name of an I.R.A. front candidate they committed their full support to the I.R.A. campaign in the future. And it will intensify. It is not a pleasant prospect that Ulster has. You need to look over your back when a Roman Catholic passes you now on the street, for remember 43% of the total Nationalist vote was recorded for the Sinn Fein candidates. Another 7% and they will be equal, they will be at 50%. I am not a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but in five years there will be more than 50% when it comes to the voting. So we are moving into a most treacherous and disastrous time as far as our Province is concerned. Every I.R.A. man that plants a bomb says, "A hundred thousand people back me as I plant this bomb." Every I.R.A. man that pulls a gun and shoots dead his victim can say, "I have a hundred thousand Roman Catholics behind me as I carry out this campaign of murder and genocide of the Protestant population." It is terrifying to consider, and the Protestant people better consider it and consider it well.


Thirdly, their act of voting Sinn Fein not only condones the barbarous atrocities of the past, and commits them to full support for the future, but that act confesses that their aim and the aims of the I.R.A. are one and the same. What is the aim of the I.R.A.? To completely obliterate the entire Protestant community in this land. You say, "That is a strong statement." Yes, it is the truth. You see, when they say, "Irish for the Irish," they don't include any Protestant as incorporated in that term of 'Irish'. We are [12] looked upon as the British garrison in this land. We are looked upon as 'intruders, colonisers'. It is a known fact that the lands of Ulster at present owned by Protestants have already been allocated by the Roman Catholic organisations when the day comes when they achieve their goal and finally obliterate the Protestants of this Province. Make no mistake about it, the Church of Rome has worked for this for a very long time. Open your history book, read the massacre of 1641 when the first attempt was made to destroy the Protestant planters. Read of the Rebellion of 1798 when the same acts of atrocities were carried out by the Roman Catholic politicians and priests against the Protestant populace, and now today the battle lines are drawn again, and none of us can be sure of our safety; none of us can be sure or certain of security even at home, at work or on the street. The gunmen are loose, the campaign of murder is under way, and before this summer is out and before this year has fled, you will see some of those atrocities to which the I.R.A. have been spurred on to commit by a hundred thousand Romanists who backed them at the ballot box on the 9th of June.

Let me turn from the affairs of State for a moment, and let me turn to the religious scene. While the I.R.A. was busily engaged in their electioneering, the General Assembly of the Irish Presbyterian Church convened in Dublin, and before the Assembly there were memorials from the Presbyteries of Armagh, Ballymena and Tyrone and the Portrush Kirk Session. All honour to these Presbyteries and to this Kirk Session who, alarmed at the trends in the Irish Presbyterian Body towards Rome, tried to call a halt to this disastrous road down which the Irish Presbyterian Church now for many years has been traversing, but what was the result of that debate? It is interesting to note that our newspapers gave very little of what happened on the floor of the Assembly. I went to the Parliamentary Library, I got the Librarian to get me every newspaper from the South, and I found some interesting things recorded in those newspapers. Dr. Robin Boyd, who is he? He is the Director of the Irish School of Ecumenics. Who was the first Director of that School? Father Hurley, you have heard of him, the Jesuit. So now a Presbyterian minister has followed the Jesuit in this School of the apostasy. You say to me, "What is this School?" This is the School to which the Protestant ministers go to be finished off; to get their final rub and to get, what they call, Refresher Courses. It is pledged and committed to final union with the Roman Catholic Church, and here is what its leader said, on the floor of the Assembly - remember Dr. Boyd swore to believe this Confession - he said, "It was a great privilege to attend a Roman Catholic service, and to share his Reformed Faith with Roman Catholics." How you can share your Reformed Faith at the ceremony of the Mass I fall to understand. Only a deceiver would come out with such a statement as that, but when a man is a liar and a perjurer then one would not wonder to what depths of deception he would stoop. He said that he believed that he was being faithful to the principles of the Reformation. Strange fidelity to [13] seek union with the Pope and then say he was following in the Reformation tradition. He thought that the request to keep Presbyterian ministers from joining in Roman Catholic services and at the Mass was related "to an outdated model of their own faith." He believed that he was being asked to take a stand in the seventeenth century, when the Confession of Faith was written. So what he was really saying was, "I don't believe a word of the Confession that I swore to teach, uphold and defend."

Then Dr. John Barkley - and we all know where he stands, nothing would surprise us! - he said: "Over many years Presbyterians had bemoaned the refusal of Roman Catholics to worship with them. Now that they were prepared to worship with them, it would be tragic if Presbyterians reverted to the position that Roman Catholics held prior to the Second Vatican Council."

In this Church tonight there are Roman Catholics here and they are always welcome to listen to the Word of God. The issue is, "Can I, as a believer in the one finished Sacrifice of Christ, go into a Mass House and identify myself with the worship of a wafer god, and a so-called re-enactment of the agonies of Calvary in the unbloody ceremony of the Mass?" That is an issue that is vital to the very heart of the Christian faith. I cannot be there. I have known Roman Catholics murdered in my constituency, I have been in all their homes, I have read the Scriptures and offered prayer at their request, and they all know that they don't expect me to be at the Mass ceremony in the Church, for they know where I stand and why I stand there. My loyalty to Christ stands before my loyalty to anyone else, and for a Protestant minister to associate or countenance by his presence or otherwise any act or ceremony of Papal worship, would be an act of grave disloyalty to Christ. In fact that is the vow of the Orange Order which I have been quoting, that an Orangeman will not countenance by his presence or otherwise any act or ceremony of Papal worship.

Then we had the Rev. Ruth Patterson. She is one of the great Ecumenists of our day, glorying in the fact that she was recently at a Mass Service, and "what wonderful love, the Christian love, she experienced at that ceremony". But listen, she told the Assembly that "instead of trying to end the sense of togetherness and trust between Christians of different denominations, the Assembly should be seeking more opportunities for Ecumenical links. We need more Mass Services, We need more Roman Catholic priests in Presbyterian pulpits." Of course you may know that recently Miss Patterson, I understand, followed Dr. Gordon Gray to the Cathedral of the Cardinal in Armagh, and took part in a united Service there. So in Church and in State the great battle is on.

I need to ask the question, what must Protestants do? I am going to attempt to answer that question in this House next Lord's Day, evening.

"And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon this earth." [14]

If this week the assassin's bullet called you suddenly out of time into the great Eternity, where would you be? I have been informed by the police that I am at the top of the list for assassination. I didn't have three Scotland Yard Officers with me in Edinburgh, I had six police officers with me. My guards were doubled. If this week you hear on the radio or in the Press that Ian Paisley has been shot dead, I want to tell you my personal testimony, I shall die with my faith resting upon the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. For me the call will be from earth's shame and sorrow to Heaven's Glory and gain, for many years ago as a lad I knelt at the Cross and I received Christ as my own and personal Saviour. I am His and He is mine, and I can say with old Dr. Valfry, "In peace let me resign my breath, And Thy salvation see, My sins deserve eternal death, But Jesus died for me." My friend, if you haven't got that hope, that peace, that salvation, then if death comes it will be eternal Hell and judgment for your soul for evermore.

I trust that every man and every woman, every boy and every girl that has heard me preach tonight will have a saving interest in the precious, precious Blood of the Lamb.

If you want to talk with me about the great matter of your soul's salvation, immediately this Service concludes I shall be in the Kirk Session room of the Church here on my right-hand side and your left-hand side. Come and talk to me, I will be glad to point you to Christ.



"The water is purest at its fountain among the mountains, where it gushes cold from the rock, or bubbles up at the mossy spring; the nearer to the source the clearer is the stream. By every mill it rolls, it grows in volume; till the streamlet, which a child could leap, fed by many tributaries, has swollen into a broad river, on whose bosom, as it nears the sea, fishermen shoot their nets, and the ships of nations ride. But what the water has acquired in depth and breadth, it has lost in purity, growing the muddier the further it goes. How like to what happens with Churches - which, as they become larger, usually become more loose in doctrine, and more lax in discipline. With an increase of numbers, they often present such an increase of corruptions, that to find the purest days of many a sect we must turn our steps backward to the period of its rise." - Dr. Guthrie.



"Need I premise that the pulpit is the Church's high tower of might. In its strength she is strong: in its ability she is able: in its brightness she is bright: in its victories she wins trophies. So too in its weakness she is weak: in its poverty she is poor: in its immeritableness she is lightly esteemed.

Look now at the Protestant Church. She sits weeping beside her pulpits, refusing to be comforted because her children are not nourished, and her locks are shorn. Complaints are heard on all sides bristling with negatives. Rich wine is claimed: a tasteless cup is given. The pure juice of the grape is desired: an unripe berry is received. Instead of gold, there is tin: instead of bread, a stone. I analyse these complaints. I find these main objections. Sermons too often are Christless, heartless, careless, lifeless in utterance.


1. Christless. Can I deny the charge? The name of Christ may often sound. But to speak of Christ is far from preaching Christ. An historic Christ - Christ the glory of all grace, a hero eclipsing all earth's great ones, the supremest model of a martyr, a mighty intellect demolishing an empire of error, and establishing a new school of morals, is not Christ the Saviour. The Christ of the Gospel is Christ crucified for sin. Christ risen, living, interceding, reigning, coming: Christ knocking at the door; inviting to His Cross; inhabiting the heart by faith; the mainspring of the inner man; such is the Christ of God. Such is the Christ of the Bible. Such should be the Christ of the pulpit. Do any fear that Christ pervading every sermon, as light pervades the atmosphere, must be monotonous reiteration of one chord? The thought is utter ignorance of Christ. He is a depth unfathomable, from which streams flow in boundless fullness: a sun of countless rays, around which orbs innumerable roll; a treasury of wealth surpassing infinitude; a garden of every fragrant flower and every luscious fruit, in which we may ever wander and find delights which cannot end. Christ is a theme in which variety abounds with no diversity or contradiction, and similarity untinged by sameness. The Scripture exceeds not sober truth when it points to the 'unsearchable riches of Christ'. The preacher may measure ocean's drops, the shore's sands, the sun's rays, but he cannot exhaust Christ's fullness. 'Let Christ shine forth as the pulpit's glorious light, and insipidity is gone. Was Christ ever fully preached, and hearers failed to listen, or pews remained unthronged? [16]


2. Heartless. Too often the sermon burns not with feeling. What! Heartlessness in unfolding such a Saviour, pleading with souls, calling to Heaven, warning of Hell! With such themes all energies should strain, all faculties should agonise, and burning words should prove the inward fire. Mark how the lifeboat flies! See how the hearty firemen ply the engine! Lives and property are in peril. Zeal for rescue works earnestly. Let the pulpit show deep heartiness. Then drowsiness will no more nod. Wandering minds will be enchained. The earnest preacher never lacks earnest hearers. Heat in the pulpit melts hearts in the pews.


3. Careless. Sermons may have defects for which no blame is due. But carelessness finds no excuse. What! carelessness in the main work of ministerial life! Extremest care should blazon on each sermon's brow. The earliest hours of the week should witness careful selection of the subject. The text should be carefully studied - sifted - pondered. Relative Scriptures should be carefully examined. Careful preface should introduce. Careful divisions should dissect. Careful illustrations should elucidate. Careful recapitulation should impress. Careful application should arrest the heart and conscience. The whole should prove that greater care could not be used. A sermon without clear divisions is too often a mere chaos, a ladder without rounds, a ford without stepping stones, a desert without landmarks. If memory would recall, the task unravels an entangled skein. There is nothing to mark progress but the watch. A sermon without close application is an arrow aimed at the clouds - a Priam's harmless shaft. A sermon from which hearers retire to discuss the preacher rather than to meditate on Christ is effectless and something worse. Let it not be said that countless claims preclude this care. Full well I know what burdens weigh down ministers. But pulpit study is holy ground. It should be resolutely fenced against intrusions of all kinds. Is there not blame when scientific and amusing readings can be elaborated, and Christ's message finds comparative neglect?


4. Lifeless in utterance. Should he be drowsy who stands between the living and the dead, that souls may perish not? Enter our senate or courts of law! Approach our platforms! Listen to candidates for place and power! What life! What energy! What impassioned utterance! The speakers are no dull readers of some commonplace. They drawl not heavily some ill-written type. I maintain that hearers should feel that they are anxiously addressed. And I deliberately hold that the gift of ready, lively, warm, [17] affectionate appeal should be most diligently cultivated.

Think not that I here forget our bright exceptions. We have many an Apollos - verdant spots in a wide desert. This number might increase. The Church has talents and rich gifts; but they are lost as water spilt. Let them be concentrated in the pulpit-focus. Then insipidity is banished. Need I add, without the Spirit's aid all effort must be vain. Only He Who said, "Let there be light," can make a minister of Christ.


I see snares and temptations in capitulating, composing, ceding, minching with distinctions of circumstances, formalities, compliments, and extenuations in the cause of Christ. "A long spoon - the broth is Hell-hot." Hold a distance from carnal compositions; and much nearness to the fountain, to the favour and refreshing light from the Father of lights speaking in His oracles - this is sound health and salvation. Angels, men, Zion's elders eye us; but what of all these? Christ is by us, and looketh on us, and writeth up all. Let us pray more and look less to men.

We shall entreat you, consider what a stumble it is to malignant opposers of the way and cause of God, who with their ears heard you, and with their eyes saw you, so strenuously take part with the godly in their sufferings, and profess yourselves for religion, truth, doctrine, government, of the house of God, His covenant and cause; if now you build again what you once destroyed, and destroy what you builded; and shall you not make yourselves, by so doing, transgressors? How shall it wound the hearts of the godly, stain the profession, darken the glory of the Gospel, shake the faith of many, weaken the hands of all, if you, and you first of all in this kingdom, shall stretch out the hands to raise the walls of our Jerusalem by reason of which the Lord made her terrible as an army with banners. We therefore, your brethren, children of one Father, cannot but, with tears and exceeding sorrow of heart, earnestly entreat, beseech, and obtest you, by the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, by His sufferings and precious ransom which He paid for us both, by the consolations of His Spirit, by your appearance before the dreadful tribunal of our Lord Jesus; yea and charge You before God and the same Lord Jesus, "who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and in His kingdom," break not the spirits and hearts of those to whom ye are dear as their own soul; forsake not the assemblies of the' people of God; et us not divide. [18]


The impulse given by this revival continued from 1625 to 1630, when it was followed by a similar effusion of the influences of the Spirit in another part of the country. This took place at the Kirk of Shotts. And here also it is observable that the honour of originating the revival was reserved not to the minister of the parish, though a good man, but to one of those faithful servants who suffered for their nonconformity to the innovations of the time; the Lord thus signally accomplishing His word, "Them that honour me, I will honour."

The circumstances which led to this revival were the following: Some ladies of rank who had occasion to travel that way, had received civilities at different times from Mr. Hance, the minister of Shotts; and on one occasion, when their carriage broke down near the manse, he kindly invited them to alight, and remain till it was repaired. During their stay they noticed that the house was much dilapidated, and in return for his attentions, they got a new manse erected for him in a better situation. Mr. Hance, on receiving so substantial a favour, waited on the ladies to thank them, and wished to know if there was anything he could do to testify his gratitude. It is pleasing to know that at this time, as well as afterwards, the noblest of the daughters of Scotland distinguished themselves by their zeal in the cause of religion. These ladies loved the Gospel, and the persecuted ministers who were contending for its purity. They, therefore, gladly seized the opportunity of asking Mr. Hance to invite such of them as they named to assist at the sacrament, that they might enjoy the benefit of their ministrations, and afford to others an opportunity of partaking in a privilege at this time rarely enjoyed. The minister gladly consented; and information of it spreading abroad, an immense concourse of people gathered from all parts to attend the dispensation of the ordinance, which was fixed for Sabbath the 20th of June, 1630.

Among the ministers invited on this occasion, at the request of these ladies, were the noble and venerable champion, Robert Bruce, of Kinnaird, who was still able to preach with his wonted majesty and authority, and John Livingstone, chaplain to the, Countess of Wigton, who was afterwards settled some time in Ireland, but who at present was only a preacher, and about twenty-seven years of age. Much of the spirit of light and love was imparted during the services of the communion Sabbath; and so filled were the communicants with the joy and peace which they had experienced, that, instead of retiring to rest, they joined together in small companies, and spent the whole night in devotional exercises.

It had not been usual before this time to have service on the Monday after the dispensation of the Lord's Supper; but God had vouchsafed so much of His gracious presence on the preceding days of this solemnity, that they knew not how to part on this Monday without thanksgiving and praise. John Livingstone was with difficulty prevailed on to preach the [19] sermon in the memoirs of his life, written by himself, he gives the following memorandum in reference to this discourse:

"The one day in all my life wherein I found most of the presence of God in preaching was on a Monday after the communion, preaching in the churchyard of Shotts, June 21, 1630. The night before, I had been with some Christians, who spent the night in prayer and conference. When I was alone in the fields, about eight or nine of the clock in the morning, before we were to go to sermon, there came such a misgiving of spirit upon me, considering my unworthiness and weakness, and the multitude and expectation of the people, that I was consulting with myself to have stolen away somewhere and declined that day's preaching, but that I thought I durst not so far distrust God, and so went to sermon, and got good assistance about an hour and a half upon the Points which I had meditated on: 'Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh,' Ezek. xxxvi. 25, 26. And in the end, offering to close with some words of exhortation, I was led on about an hour's time, in a strain of exhortation and warning, with such liberty and melting of heart, as I never had the like in public in all my lifetime."

To this sermon, under the blessing of God, no less than five hundred people ascribed their conversion; and in gratitude for such a remarkable token of the Divine countenance on this day, the Church of Scotland has ever since devoted a part of the Monday after a communion Sabbath to the duty of public thanksgiving.

Some remarkable incidents occurred on that Monday; one of which, as illustrating the striking effect produced by Mr. Livingstone's discourse, may be now related: "Three Young gentlemen belonging to Glasgow had made an appointment to 90 to Edinburgh to attend some public amusements. Having slighted at Shotts to take breakfast, one of their number proposed to go and hear a sermon - probably, more from curiosity than any other motive; and for greater expedition, they arranged to come away at the end of the sermon, before the last prayer. But the power of God accompanying the sermon was so felt by them, that they could not go away till all was over. When they returned to take their horses, they called for some refreshment before they mounted; but when it was set upon the table, they all looked to one another, none of them daring to touch it till a blessing was asked; and as they were not accustomed formerly to attend to such things, one of them at last said, 'I think we should ask a blessing to our drink. 'The others assented at once to this proposal, and put it on one of their number to do it, to which he readily consented; and when they had done, they could not rise till another had returned thanks. They went on, their way more sedately than they used to do, but none of them mentioned their inward concern to the others, only now and then one would say, 'Was it not a great sermon we [20] heard?' Another would answer, 'I never heard the like of it.' They went to Edinburgh, but instead of waiting on diversions or company, they kept their rooms the greater part of the time they were there, which was only about two days, when they were all quite weary of Edinburgh, and proposed to return home. Upon the way home they did not discover the state of their minds to one another; and after arriving in Glasgow they kept themselves very much retired, coming seldom out. At last, one of them made a visit to his friend, and declared to him what God had done for him at the Kirk of Shotts. The other frankly owned the concern that he had been brought under at the same time; and both of them proceeding to the third, and finding him in the same state of mind, they all three agreed to have a fellowship-meeting. They continued to maintain a practice suitable to their profession for the remainder of their lives, and became eminently useful in their day and generation."

From this, and other well-attested instances, it appears that the revival on this occasion was not characterised by those excesses which have brought discredit on similar scenes in our own country and elsewhere. The word of God sank deep into the hearts of the hearers, forcing them to retire, like the stricken deer, into solitude, there to weep and mourn till the dart was extracted by the hand that had launched it, and the balm of consolation was poured into the bleeding wound. It was some time before the modesty of the converts would permit them to own the change wrought upon them, till, like the spring of living water, which cannot be controlled or concealed, the grace of God evinced its power by bursting from the once "stony heart", and pouring itself forth in the pure, peaceful, and fruitful stream of a holy conversation.

- From M'Crie's "Sketches of Scottish Church History."



The famous Lord Macaulay, in his great speech on the Factory Bill, dwelt on the benefits of the Sabbath as the great resuscitator of the human frame, enabling it to do more effective work in the long run than if seven days a week were devoted to labour - "The natural differences between Campania and Spitzbergen is trifling when compared with the difference between a country inhabited by men full of bodily and mental vigour, and a country inhabited by men sunk in bodily and mental decrepitude. Therefore it is that we are not poorer, but richer, because we have, through may ages, rested frOm our labour one day in seven. That day is not lost, while industry is suspended, while the plough lies in the furrow, while the Exchange is silent, while no smoke ascends from the factory, a process is going on quite as important as the wealth of nations as any process which is performed on more busy days. Man, the machine of machines - the machine compared with which all the contrivances of the Watts and Arkwrights are worthless - is repairing and winding up, so that he returns to his labours on the Monday with clearer intellect, with livelier spirits, and with renewed corporal vigour."


The Christian Intelligencer, the organ of the Dutch Reformed Church, very justly remarks of Calvin:-

"There is much significance in the fact that Unitarians, Universalists, Arminians, Episcopal High-flyers, and Papists, are ever found ready to form a chorus for the purpose of abusing Calvin and Calvinism. On the other hand, all historians, from Hume to Bancroft, testify that civil and religious liberty, as now enjoyed, are to be ascribed to the influence of the principles taught by the Genevese Reformer. If Calvin had not been the teacher of the same Gospel which Paul preached, his labours would not have resulted in such large and lasting benefits to mankind. The Calvinists of Holland, Scotland, England, and America, have ever been the staunchest champions of human rights, and by their zeal for rational liberty have vindicated Calvinism, so that in truth it stands proclaimed today as that system of faith and of government which harmonises with the true interests of states, and secures to individuals the highest realisations of spiritual power. As confirmatory of the above, we quote the following paragraph from the Tablet, a Roman Catholic journal of this city. Its concessions are quite enough to neutralise its venomous slander:

'It cannot be denied Calvin was the great man of the Protestant rebellion. But for him Luther's movement would probably have died out with himself and associates. Calvin organised it, gave it form and consistency, and his spirit has sustained it to this day. If Luther preceded [28] him, it is still by his name rather than Luther's that the rebellion should be called, and the only form of Protestantism that still shows any signs of life and vigour is unquestionably Calvinism. It is Calvinism that sustains Methodism, that gives what little life it has to Lutheranism, and that prevents a very general return of Anglicans to the bosom of the Church. It is hardly too much to say that no greater heresiarch than John Calvin has ever appeared, or a more daring, subtle, adroit, or successful enemy of the Church of God. Calvinists, too, are the hardest of all the enemies of the truth to overcome and bring back to the truth, for, like their master, they believe only in might, and disregard all justice and mercy.'

"The Scottish Reformation would have been a poor soulless thing without the Calvinistic element. The Puritan element in the Church of England and in Nonconformist bodies was directly traceable to Calvin." - Presbyterian Watchword 1868.


Mr. Spurgeon, in addressing a meeting in connection with the annual conference of the Pastor's (London) College, referred to certain phases of modern thought. He said that he had been censured by a certain paper for having spoken hard things against the modern school of thought. He would only say that if he had uttered anything that appeared hard, it was intensely soft and gentle to what he would say if he knew how to say it, for, he had no feeling towards it but that of inextinguishable hate. He loved the men, but pitied their mistakes. He respected their characters wherever they were respectable men, and generally speaking they were so, but he regarded the modern school of thought as being Satan's principal instrument for undermining the citadel of truth. Many of these men were using the arts of Jesuits, for some held views contrary to the churches over which they presided; while others did not scruple to take texts and preach from the Bible in whose inspiration they did not believe. Towards them he had the same feeling as God has towards evil, only he could not feel it in the same infinite degree - " but if there was any epithet they could fling at him that would show their hostility towards him, he trusted they would say it. He felt flattered by their contempt, and gratified by their animosity.

By John Bradford, Martyr, 1554

The world for a time may deceive itself, thinking it has the victory; but the end will try the contrary. Did not Cain think he had the victory when Abel was slain? (Gen. iv). But how say you now, is it not found otherwise? Thought not the old world, and men then living, that they were wise and well, and Noah a fool, who would creep into an ark, leaving his house, lands, and possessions? For I think he was in an honest (prosperous) state for the world. But, I pray you, who was wise when the flood came? Abraham was considered a fool to leave his own country, friends, and kin, because of God's word; but, dearly beloved, we know it proved otherwise. (Gen. xii). I will leave all the patriarchs and come to Moses and the children of Israel. Tell me, were not they thought to be overcome and stark mad when, for fear of Pharaoh, at God's word, they ran into the Red Sea? Did not Pharaoh and the Egyptians think themselves sure of the victory? But it proved contrary. Saul was thought to be well, but David, in an evil case, and most miserable because he had no hole to hide him in; yet at length Saul's misery was seen, and David's felicity began to appear. (1 Samuel xvi, xvii, xviii, xix). The prophet Micaiah being cast into prison for telling - Ahab the truth, was thought to be overcome by Zedeklah and the other false prophets; but, my good brethren and sisters, the holy history tells otherwise (1 Kings xxii). Who did not think the prophets unhappy in their time, for they were slain, prisoned, laughed to scorn, and jested at of every man? (Jer. xx, Is. viii, 2 Kings ii). And so were all the apostles (1 Cor. iv). Yea, the dearly beloved friend of God, than whom among the children of women none arose greater - I mean John Baptist - who was beheaded, and that in prison, even for a dancing damsel's desire. As all these, by the judgment of reason, were then counted heretics, runagates, unlearned fools, fishers, publicans, etc; so now, were they unhappy and overcome, indeed, if God's word and faith did not show the contrary (Rom. viii).


But what speak I of these? Look upon Jesus Christ, to Whom we must be like-fashioned here if we would be like Him elsewhere. Now, say you, was not He taken for a fool, a seditious person, a new fellow, a heretic, and one overcome of everybody, yea, even forsaken both of God and men? But the end told them and tells us another tale; for now He is in majesty and glory unspeakable. When He was led to Pilate of Herod, or when He was in prison in Caiapha's house, did not their reason think that He was overcome? When He was beaten, buffeted scourged, crowned with thorns, hanged upon the Cross, and, utterly left by all His disciples, [30] taunted by the high priests and elders, cursed by the commons, railed on by the magistrates, and laughed to scorn by the lewd (ignorant) heathen, would not a man then have thought that He had been out of the way, and that His disciples were fools to follow Him and believe Him? Think you that whilst He lay in His grave, men did not point with their fingers when they saw any that had followed and loved Him, or believed in Him and His doctrine, saying, "Where is their Master and Teacher now? What! is He gone? Forsooth, if they had not been fools they might have well known that the learning He taught could not long continue; our doctors and pharisees are no fools now, they may see."


Of this sort men either spoke, or might have spoken, against all such as loved either Christ or His doctrine; but yet at length they and all such were proved fools and wicked wretches. For our Saviour arose maugre their beards (in spite of their opposition), and published His Gospel plentifully, in spite of their heads and the heads of all the wicked world, with the great powers of the same, always overcoming; and then, most of all, when He and His doctrine were thought to have had the greatest fall. As now, dearly beloved, the wicked world rejoices; the Papists are puffed up against Christ and His people, after their own kind; now they cry out "Where are these new-found preachers? Are they not in the Tower, Marshalsea Fleet, and beyond the seas? Who would have thought that our old bishops, doctors, and deans, were fools, as they would have made us to believe, and, indeed, have persuaded some already, which are not of the wisest, especially if they come not home again to the Holy Church?"


These and such like words they have to cast in our teeth as triumphers and conquerors; but, dearly beloved, short is their joy; they beguile themselves; this is but a lightening before their death. As God, after He had given the Jews a time to repent, visited them by Vespasian and Titus, most horribly to their utter subversion, delivering first all His people from among them; even so, my dear brethren, will He do with this age, when He hath tried His children from among them, as now He begins to do, and by suffering has made us like to His Christ, and, by being overcome, to overcome indeed to our eternal comfort. Then will He, if not otherwise, come Himself in the clouds (1 Thess. iv). I mean our dear Lord, Whom we confess, preach, and believe on. He will come, I say, with the blast of a trump and shout of an archangel, and so shall we be caught up in the clouds to meet Him in the air, the angels gathering together the wicked wretches which now welter and wallow as the worfd and wind bloweth, to be tied in bundles and cast into the fire which burneth for ever most painfully (Matt. xiii). There and then shall they see who has the victory - [31] they or we - when they shall see us afar off in Abraham's bosom (Luke xxi). Then will they say "Oh, we thought these folk fools and had them in derision; we thought their life madness, and their end to be without honour; but look how they are counted among the children of God, and their portion is with the saints. Oh, we have gone amiss and would not hearken."


Such words as these shall the wicked say one day in Hell, whereas now they triumph as conquerors. And this much for you to look often upon, namely, that whatsoever is done with you, even death itself, shall not hurt you any more than it did Abel, David, Daniel, John Baptist, Jesus Christ our Lord, with other dear saints of God who suffered for His name's sake. Let not season, therefore, be judge in this matter, nor present sense, but faith on God's word, as I have shown; in the which let us set before our eyes the shortness of this present time wherein we suffer, and consider the eternity to come, when our enemies and persecutions shall be in intolerable pains, helpless; and we, if we persevere to the end, shall be in such felicity and joys, dangerless, as the very heart of man in no point is able to conceive (1 Cor. ii, Is. ix, iv). If we consider this, I say, we cannot but contemn, and set nothing by the sorrows and gresses of (steps towards), and lustily go through thick and thin with good courage.