[2]
Ordination and Installation of Rev. R. Johnstone in Clogher Valley Church

On Friday night over 400 people gathered in Clogher Valley Free Presbyterian Church for the ordination and installation of the Rev. Ronald R. Johnstone as the new minister of the congregation.

The service was led by Rev. Ivan Foster. Rev. Michael Patrick, a former minister led in prayer and the Scripture reading was read by Rev. Stanley Barnes.

It is the practice in our church that the last installed minister preach the installation sermon. This was the duty of Rev. Maurice Baxter from our Corragarry Church.

The prescribed questions to the minister elect were put by the Rev. Trevor Baxter from the Dungannon church following which Mr. Johnstone subscribed to the Westminister Confession of Faith. Ministers and elders then came forward for the laying on of hands by the Presbytery of Ulster and the ordination prayer, which was offered by the Moderator.

Dr. Paisley then brought the charge to the minister and congregation basing his remarks around the incident concerning Phinehas recorded in Numbers 25. In a powerful address Dr. Paisley spoke on Phinehas and his stand for God's honour in his day, and urged the new minister and all those present to emulate the character of that faithful man.

It was graphically shown by Dr. Paisley that the battle Phinehas fought is the same battle that the Preachers today, by God's grace must continue to fight.

Mr. Johnstone was then called upon to give his testimony. He spoke of his conversion as a child, of the grace of God in his life and of the privilege it was to serve God in the Free Presbyterian ministry.

The Rev. Johnstone then thanked the Clogher Valley congregation for issuing the call to him and prayed that God would give him grace to continue the work of God laid by the previous ministers. He thanked his wife for the support she had been to him on the mission field in Papua New Guinea and in his training for the ministry.

Mr. Baskin Boyd, Clerk of Session of the church then extended a welcome to the new minister, his wife and his family and prayed that God would richly bless them as they laboured in the area.

Rev. Austin Allan, the previous minister of the church, then closed in prayer after which a lovely supper was served.

About sixty people from the Carrickfergus Church where Mr. Johnstone previously ministered braved the snowy night to attend the service. The Deputy Mayor of Carrickfergus presented a beautiful oil painting of Carrickfergus Castle to the new minister, his wife and family. [3]

Funeral Service of the Late Reserve Constable Campbell (Victim of the Newry Massacre)
Hillsborough Free Presbyterian Church - 2nd MARCH 1985

REV. STANLEY BARNES:-

As we commence our Service this afternoon I would like, as the minister of the Church, to take the opportunity to express on behalf of our Kirk Session, Committee and Congregation our deepest Christian sympathy to all the members of the Campbell family. We especially think of Kenneth's dear wife and parents. We do pray that they might know that round about and underneath are the Everlasting arms, and that the God Who is our refuge and strength and a very present help in trouble will be with each one of them in this their hour of need.

Also may I on behalf of the Campbell family thank each one of you for your presence here today. Both your friendship and prayers are greatly appreciated. We would specially thank those representing Her Majesty's Government, Members of Parliament, R.U.C., R.U.C.R., The Ulster Defence Regiment, Assembly Members, the Mayor of Lisburn Mrs. McKinney and her husband the Rev. Mr. McKinney, and all the local Councillors who have come to join with us for this Service. May the Lord bless each one of us as we gather here in His Name!

The Psalm 23, "The Lord's my Shepherd" was then sung.

Prayer was then offered by Mr. Barnes.

The Hymn, "I have a Shepherd" then followed.

The Scriptures were then read by Rev. William Beattie from the Psalm 37 and from the Gospel of John chapter 14.

DR. PAISLEY'S ADDRESS

It is my first duty this afternoon as Moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church to express on behalf of the whole Church our deepest sympathy to the Campbell family.

I say this not only on behalf of our Churches in Ulster but on behalf of our overseas, Churches in America, Canada, England and in Australia. The whole Church is deeply shocked at this terrible tragedy, and I would like to assure [4] Geoffrey's wife and parents, and the whole family of our sincere sympathy, of our love and of our prayers. May the God of all comfort sustain them in this dark and terrible hour.

I want to leave very briefly with you this afternoon two contrasting Scriptures. The first one is in the Old Testament. The subject of both these Scriptures is the subject of peace. The first one is found in the prophet Isaiah at the chapter 57, and at the verse 21, "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked". The other one from that beautiful portion which Mr. Beattie read for us is a word from the lips of the Saviour Himself, John 14 and verse 27 He says, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid".

Silent Grief

Great grief is never great at talking. Our whole Province is numbed and silent at the savage and diabolical massacre which took place in Newry, when nine gallant members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary - two women and seven men - were murdered. Now linked with that is the callous killing of the U.D.R. soldier, Trevor Harkness, in Pomeroy. These killings go right across the religious divide, both Protestant and Roman Catholics fell at the bloody hands of the murderers.

As Ulster begins today to bury its heroic dead, it behoves all of us in this House of God to consider our latter end and be wise unto the salvation of our own souls. We need to learn some vital and important lessons. Alas, how slow we are to learn these lessons! We need to learn that lying at the back of the terrorist problem, the political problem, the economic problem is the real problem of Northern Ireland which is the age long problem of sin. The Holy Book tells us that sin when it is finished bringeth forth death.

That problem of sin cannot be dealt with by churches, by governments, by legislation, or by resolution. That problem can only be dealt with by the intervention of Almighty God. What each one personally needs and what this Province requires is Divine intervention. The situation has got beyond human control, and neither political parties nor governments can solve it.

Return to God

We need, therefore, to return as a people to the Word of the Living God the Scriptures of Truth - the Bible, and obey His commandments. Violation of God's commandments will always bring judgment. We reap what we sow, that is the unalterable law of God. The ten commandments in which God has summarised the moral law have been grievously departed from, and no wonder we have the resulting chaos and calamity.

Obedience to God's law brings Heaven's blessing. Disobedience brings [5] Heaven's curse. We need to have personal dealings with God. The Gospel of Christ is the good news of salvation to every one that comes as a sinner seeking pardon and peace and life everlasting. Through Christ's death alone can Divine life come to our sinful souls. Violence results from the refusal of man to submit himself to God's law. "Sin", says the Book, "is the transgression of the law". As individuals we must submit ourselves to God's commandments, and as a nation we must also submit ourselves to God's commandments.

The Government's Responsibility

The Government cannot absolve itself from its God-given responsibility. The New Testament spells it out clearly that the duty of the Government is not to bear the sword in vain. Successive British Governments have failed in their most solemn responsibilities, and indeed have even intervened to hinder the sword being effectually exercised by the Security Forces in this Province. The power of the sword in Scripture is the power of death. God's Word both in the Old and New Testaments lays down the death penalty for capital crimes. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself and the apostle Paul are absolutely unequivocal in that. Departure from the Law of God will always result in bloodshed and anarchy, and causes this Age of ours to be prophetically described in Scripture as paralleling the Age of Noah, "the earth was filled with violence".

The duty of the Government is to defend its citizens, and that is its first duty. If it fails to do that it forfeits the right to govern.

I would be failing in my duty having visited all the homes yesterday of those that have been caught up in this awful tragedy, and having listened to the representations that they made to me amidst their tears, anguish, heartbreak and grief, I would be failing in my duty as a preacher of the Gospel if I did not this day put it on record that the Government has not only failed in its duty but it has failed in one of the most important parts of that duty, the duty to defend by every means at its disposal its own Security Forces.

The recent cutbacks by Government in this field are a black and damaging indictment of the present Government's whole security policy. The removal of guards and the cutting back in personnel result in a lowering of vital security surveillance, and eventually leads to the killings that we witness this day as we mourn over our dead.

Difference of Treatment

People in this Province can see the difference of treatment bestowed by this Government on its citizens. I must say today that I deplore the fact that the [6] Secretary of State flies into this Province, does not even spend a night in Ulster when we are mourning, and flies out again and will not return until the burials are past.

That, my friends, is not what happens across the water. When a policewoman is murdered the whole Government shows by its presence at a Service its grief and pain. I say from this pulpit that the life of an Ulster policewoman ought to be as precious as a life of an English policewoman, and two Ulster policewomen have been murdered in this tragedy. I speak for those that have put representations to me, those that have been plunged into this great grief. I must also say that they have said to me, "If there were no bombings in England we would be forgotten altogether". There is a great strength of feeling in this Province about that particular representation.

To The Terrorists

Let me turn for a moment to the terrorists. I say to them today that the Scriptures are true, and "there is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked". That conscience dulled today within your heart will one day be quickened by the power of Almighty God, and you will carry your own accuser within your breast. Ah; what torment a God-awakened conscience can give the guilty soul! That is something that lies before every man who planned and executed this deed. One day before the Throne of Him from Whose face the heavens and the earth shall flee away, each one of you shall stand and God Himself shall judge you for this your dastardly deed of blood. There may be an escape from the courthouses and jurisdiction of men, but there shall be no escape on the last great assize day of God.

Equally Guilty

But there are those equally guilty, and I refer to those who knew what was happening. Is it not surprising when the Security Forces in Strabane carried out their proper duties in defending this Province that in the early morning a witness could come forward to give a biased and prejudiced account of what happened, and become a rescue agent for the I.R.A.? Yet at half past six in the evening in Newry no one saw anything or no one witnessed anything?


The hijacking of a lorry, the preparation of that lorry, the driving of that lorry, the parking of that lorry was seen by many people, but those people have been absolutely silent. They are equally guilty. Shall I not today be unfaithful if I did not say from this pulpit that those who howl loud to heaven when criminals get their just desserts at the hand of the Security Forces, are equally guilty because they make escape routes for criminals and become apologists for the murderers. [7]

Appreciation

I must say today from this pulpit, as a Protestant minister, that I welcome most heartily the sincere sympathies that have been expressed from the Roman Catholic population. We salute those who took their lives into their hands last night in Newry, warned by the I.R.A. that they would be photographed if they dared to shew their sympathy and march in through the streets of Newry.

I say we as Protestants appreciate that, and we put that on record just as firmly. We have no individual bias against our fellow Roman Catholics. We wish all men in this Province to live at peace and enjoy a prosperity that comes through the benefits of civil and religious liberty for all men. We utterly deplore, however, the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church and its Bishops and Cardinals who seem to be very loud in their denunciation of the Security Forces, and whose other statements ring hollow in such events through which we are now passing.

Peace Through The Gospel

One final word, God has an offer of peace for us all. Peace with God through the Sacrifice of His Son. The peace of God given and gifted by the Spirit of God within the heart. The God of peace to be our comfort and our sustainer in our time of need. Today let us turn to God Himself. As Lord Carson, the founding father of our Province, said on his deathbed to the Archbishop of Armagh, "Sir, I have come to rest my confidence in that great text that my mother taught me as a child, 'God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life'."

By Christ's death there is life for you and me. Through His Blood there is cleansing from all our sins, and by His grace there is immediate pardon for all that come and put their trust in Him.

Let us all remember that one day our friends shall gather and bid their last respects to us, and we too shall go the way of all flesh. I wonder how will it be with our souls? Eternity, Eternity, where will you be in Eternity? In the quietness of this solemn service I trust that each one of us will pray from our hearts that great prayer;

"Then O my Lord prepare
My soul for that great day,
O, wash me in the Precious Blood,
And take my sins away."

May it be so, for Jesus' Sake! AMEN!

Hymn, "Abide With Me" and Benediction.

[8-15 MEDITATIONS FOR THE MONTH]

[15]
FOR BOYS AND GIRLS: A Door

If you want to enter a house, where do you go? To the door. That is the way in. What do you do if you find it shut? Knock. Will that open the door? No; there must be some one to open the door to you. If you want to go out again, you still use the door; that is the way out. Doors are sometimes very hard to open; you want it done for you. Why do people ever stay in prison? Because all the doors are locked and the prisoners cannot get out.

How glad they are when some one comes to open! When you come to church or to school, there is no need to knock at the door. Why? The door is open. What for? On purpose that you may come in. The open door invites you to come in. How long is it kept open? Till church or school begins - then it is shut. What for? That those inside may be undisturbed; to keep out the noise in the streets; to keep out the cold; to keep you sheltered and comfortable, and at home. Sometimes doors are shut for another purpose - to keep people out. When people do not come in time they are sometimes not wanted at all. Knocking is no use when it is too late.

Now let us talk of a door that is open. There are many rich and beautiful and pleasant places where the doors are shut - you may not go in and out as you like. But the best door of all is open. Look at John 10: 1. A sheepfold is where sheep have all they want - cared for, provided for, kept safe. What is the "door" into God's sheepfold? (John 10: 9). Christ is the way in [16] to pardon, and peace, and happiness, and safety, and everything you can want. There is no other way of getting in (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Eph. 2:13-18). How do you know that this door is open? Because Jesus said "Come" (Matt. 11:28). "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37). The door is open to receive.

Now look at some doors which need opening. Many things which you may want to do as time goes on, places where you may want to go, but the door seems shut; you cannot get in. Paul asked his friends once to pray that a door might be opened to him. See what it was (Col. 4: 3). He wanted to tell many people about Christ, but had to wait till the door was open. And sometimes people want to get out when they are in trouble or danger, or in some place they do not like. They seem shut in, like Israelites in the Red Sea (Exod. 14:3), or like Peter in prison (Acts 12:6). What is to be done?

There is One who can open all doors - that "openeth, and no man shutteth" (Rev. 3: 7,8). He opened doors for Paul at Corinth (Acts 18: 9-1 1); at Troas (2 Cor. 2: 12); at Ephesus (1 Cor. 16: 9). Does He always do this at once? Not always. You think if you could only get through it you would be all right. But do you know what is beyond! No; like the Israelites (Josh. 3: 4), you "have not passed this way". But Christ "Knoweth the way" (Job. 23: 10); can open it as He did for Peter (Acts 12: 10); and for David (Ps. 18:19, 31:8).

Now think of 'a door which will be shut'. Read of it in Matt. 25: 10, and Luke 13: 25. Why is this door shut? Because the time for going in is past. Those that then come and knock will come too late. Remember what we are told in 2 Cor. 6: 2, "Now is the accepted time", etc. Read in Rev. 21 :10-23; 22:1,2, of some of the glorious things inside the door. How sad to lose all this! And how blessed they who have the "right" (Rev. 22: 14) to go in! But many people go into the Queen's palace who have no right" to stay there - only a right" to go in because they have been invited for a time. It is quite different in the heavenly city. It will be home - the "Father's house" to the people of God, and they shall live there for ever (see Rev. 3:12). [17]

"LIVING ROOM": A page for women, presented by Eileen Paisley

Did you ever notice how often cups are spoken of in the Bible? The first time a cup is mentioned in God's Word is in Genesis 40, where the cup of Pharaoh figures in the dream of his chief butler. Further on in Genesis we read of the silver cup of Joseph which he had placed in Benjamin's sack of corn. Nathan the prophet, in his parable to King David, speaks of the poor man's cup out of which his little lamb drank.

On many occasions cups are spoken of figuratively in relation to their contents. How often do we hear someone ask for another cup of tea, when all they really want is more tea in the cup. Or they ask for a hot cup of coffee when what they want is hot coffee in the cup. What disastrous results might follow if their request was granted! How careful we need to be when making requests. In Matthew's gospel our Lord had been talking to His disciples and telling them of His forthcoming betrayal and crucifixion and resurrection. Then the mother of James and John came to Jesus and asked Him that her two sons should sit on either side of Him in His kingdom. Every mother wants the best for her family, and Mrs. Zebedee was no exception. Hadn't her sons left all when Jesus called them as they were mending nets in their father's ship, and didn't they give up the family business to follow Him? She wanted to make sure she had her oar in first on their behalf and see that they were given a place of honour when Christ's kingdom would be established. We must not judge her because I am sure it was out of love for her sons that she spoke so to the Saviour. Remember too that she was one of the women who followed Christ to the Cross. Jesus answered by asking her a question, "Are you able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of?" She [18] and her sons answered, "We are able". If they had known what lay ahead they might not have answered so readily, for James did indeed, as our Lord foretold, drink of the same cup, for we read in Acts that James the brother of John was put to death by Herod.

Down through the centuries a great multitude of faithful servants of Christ have drunk of that cup of sorrow and suffering. They have had "tears to drink in great measure". No one, however much they have suffered, has ever had to drink such a bitter cup as our blessed Saviour. Of Him it was said, "Behold and see if there is any sorrow like unto my sorrow?" He had to drink that cup alone. His disciples forsook Him and fled, and we recall His cry from the Cross, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"

What boundless, amazing, untold love the Saviour had for you and me, that made Him drink of that dreadful cup, and what a debt of love we owe Him. "Love so amazing, so divine, demands my life, my soul, my all."

Another cup we read of is the cup of wrath. This is a cup we all deserve. David and Job both tell us that the wicked shall drink of this cup. In Romans we are told that the ungodly shall drink of it. Those who disobey the call of the gospel and reject the gracious invitation of the Saviour will also partake of the cup of God's wrath. What a fearful cup that will be. Thank God we don't have to drink of that cup, because "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us".

The wrath of God that was our due,
Upon the Lamb was laid,
Who, by the shedding of His Blood,
For us the debt has paid.

In Psalm 116 we read of a wonderful cup. It is the cup of salvation. "What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord." By partaking of this cup we are saved from wrath, saved from the power of sin and death, saved from hell, saved from fear, saved to serve and glorify God, and one day we will be saved to sin no more.

The cup of salvation is for all who will partake. "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Isaiah 51 : 6 tells us that God's salvation is for ever.

For those who put their trust in Christ there is the cup of blessing. What countless blessings God's children receive. The bitter cup which Christ drank dry at Calvary has procured for us the cup of blessing, the precious Blood of Christ, which cleanses us from all sin, and makes us night to God. Lamentations tells us that God's compassions fail not, they are new every morning. Pause for a few moments, count your blessings, then you will be able to say with David "My cup runneth over". Our cup should always be overflowing, for we can also say with David "The Lord is the portion of my cup". If God's presence and peace and love and joy is the portion of our cup, then our lips and lives should be overflowing in telling and showing forth His praise. Let us ever be drinking from this joyful cup.

In Jeremiah's day the Jews were in trouble because of sin. What a sorry [19] state they were in, and the prophet tells us there was no man to give them the cup of consolation. What a precious cup is the cup of consolation. Sorrow comes to all of us at some time no matter who or what we are, and when it comes how comforting it is to be able to partake of this cup which God has graciously provided for us. This cup never fails, it is an "everlasting consolation", (2 Thes. 2: 16). In Hebrews it is called a "strong consolation". When we have partaken of it ourselves then we are enabled to help others by sharing it with them in their time of need and consoling them in times of distress and sorrow.

It is the little things in life that count. Gifts don't need to be expensive in order to be appreciated, and quite often it is the small things that people remember most. A kind word, a loving deed, a friendly smile, a sympathetic ear, are things which cost nothing to give but are priceless to receive. A cup of cold water is the most inexpensive refreshment available, yet its worth cannot be valued. Riches, wealth, possessions or luxuries cannot revive a person dying of thirst, but a cup of cold water can bring restoration and quench the parched lips. The Lord Jesus Christ has promised a reward to those who give a cup of cold water in His name. Let each of us search our hearts and see when and if we have ever given a cup of cold water to anyone out of love to our Saviour. How blessed it will be to hear the One who gave Himself for us say "Come ye blessed of my Father . . . Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me". [20]

INSIDE INSIGHT: a page of inspirational poetry presented each month by Rhonda Paisley.

Poems by H. Bonar

A SINFUL MAN AM I

A sinful man am I,
Therefore I come to Thee,
To Thee, the holy and the just,
That Thou mayst pity me.

Wert Thou not holy, Lord,
Why should I come to Thee?
It is Thy holiness that makes
Thee, Lord, so meet for me.

Wert Thou not gracious, Lord,
I must in dread depart:
It is the riches of Thy grace
That win and draw my heart.

Wert Thou not righteous, Lord,
I dare not come to Thee;
It is a righteous pardon, Lord,
Alone that suiteth me.

Our God is love - we come;
Our God is light - we stay;
Abiding ever in His Word,
And walking in His way.

Mercy and truth are His,
Unchanging faithfulness;
The cross is all our boast and trust;
And Jesus is our peace.

We give Thee glory Lord;
Thy majesty adore.
Thee, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
We bless forevermore.

FITTED FOR SERVICE

Oh, turn me, mold me, mellow me for use,
Pervade my being with Thy vital force,
That this else inexpressive life of mine
May become eloquent and full of power,
Impregnated with life and strength divine,
Put the bright torch of heaven into my hand,
That I may carry it aloft,
And win the eye of weary wanderers here below,
To guide their feet into the paths of peace. [21]
I cannot raise the dead,
Nor from the soil pluck precious dust,
Nor bid the sleeper wake;
Nor still the storm, nor bend the lightning back,
Nor muffle up the thunder,
Nor bid the chains fall from off creation's long enfettered limbs;
But I can live a life that tells on other lives,
And makes the world less full of anguish and of pain,
A life that, like the pebble dropped upon the sea,
Sends its wide circles to a hundred shores.
May such a life be mine!
Creator of true life, Thyself the Life Thou givest,
Give Thyself that Thou mayest dwell in me, and I in Thee.


Progress in Ballymoney F.P.C.

Saturday 16th March, 1985 marked another step in the life and witness of Ballymoney Free Presbyterian Church. On a cold wintry afternoon the Moderator, Dr. Paisley, officially opened the new extension building. In the brief opening ceremony, Mr. Nevin Carson (Clerk of Session) presented the key to Dr. Paisley and after the declaration of opening Rev. John Wylie, a former minister, led in prayer.

The service commenced with the singing of Psalm 124 and the opening prayer was offered by Rev. R. Cranston, Newtownabbey. Rev. R. J. Beggs from Ballymena read the Scriptures and the soloist was Rev. William McCrea M.P.

The minister of the church, Rev. J. L. Curran, welcomed the congregation and expressed a special word of thanks to all who had worked so hard in the erection of the extension. He went on to say that only 10% of the overall cost of the building was for labour charges, showing the vast amount of voluntary work that had been carried out. Small tokens of appreciation were made to members of the congregation who had sacrificed much of their time and made use of their various skills.

(Continued on p. 31)

[22]
The Sunday School Teacher's Teacher

Subject: The Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Lesson XIV - The Baptist's Testimony
Lord's Day 7th April 'Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.'

Read - John i. 19-37, iii. 26-36; Learn - John iii. 28-30; 2 Cor. iv. 5.

SKETCH OF LESSON

We must now go back to John the Baptist. We saw, three Sundays ago, how plainly he told the Jews he was not the coming King, but only sent to prepare the way for Him. Let us see what He said - his 'testimony' - about that King.

Testimony - what is that? (Illustrate by witnesses in law courts, etc.) We are all witnesses - give testimony every day - i.e. tell what have seen and heard. Is our testimony always true? Often tempted not to tell right, when we have to say what will be disliked, disbelieved, laughed at, etc.; or, what will make others think less of us (eg. boy having to tell of schoolfellow better or cleverer than himself). (illustrate further.)

Now see how John gave his 'testimony', and what came of it.

I. THE TESTIMONY

(1) What was it He said at the first? Look at Matt. iii. 11, 12; Mark I. 7, 8; Luke iii. 16, 17. The coming One was to be greater than John, so much greater that John would feel unfit even to be His slave - was to baptise, and that not merely with water, as a token of repentance, but inwardly, by giving the Holy Spirit to come into men's hearts and cleanse them through and through as metals are purified by fire; - was to be like a farmer winnowing corn: and what should happen to the chaff, to the worthless in His sight? - what to the pure and wholesome grain?

(2) But, now John speaks still more clearly - that coming One has appeared - he knows Him now - he has seen Him - when what had he seen at the same time? - how had he known what that wondrous sight meant? Matt. iii. 16, 17; John i. 32, 33. (Refer to Lesson XII.) Six weeks have passed since then; and now there comes to John a solemn deputation from Jerusalem to inquire who he is. (Read ver. 19-28.) How does John answer? how does he now speak of the King?

(a) As One already come - (ver. 26) - 'there standeth one among you' unknown - unnoticed among the people (see John i. 10) - 'this is He'. (Where had Jesus been since John last saw Him?)

(b) As the Lamb of God - (ver. 29) - the true Lamb, typified by the passover lamb, prophesied of as 'led to the slaughter', see Exod. xii. 1-13; Ise. liii. 7; Acts viii. 32; 1 Cor. v. 7; Rev. xiii. 8.

(c) As the Son of God - (ver. 34) - no more man, fallen and weak, but One almighty and all-sufficient. See Heb. vii. 25-27.

II. HOW THE TESTIMONY WAS RECEIVED

(1) Did the priests and Levites believe all this? They do not even inquire for this 'One standing among them'; and see what Jesus said to them afterwards (John v. 33, 38, 40, 43). Just so it was thirty years before, with the Magi at Jerusalem. But can we see why they did not believe John? They would think (a) how could Messiah be 'standing among [23] them' and they not know it? how could this rough preacher know better than they? (b) How could Messiah be like a lamb? He might indeed get rid of the world's sin by slaying those wicked Gentiles, but that would not be lamb-like. (c) How could an unnoticed person in the crowd be the 'Son of God'?

(2) But there were some who did believe. Here are two fishermen from Galilee: they had come to hear John - had been convinced of their sins - had confessed them - had been baptised; and then had not gone home again, but stayed with John. And now he has told them just what they want - (b) of One who can take away the guilt of those sins they have confessed who will 'bear their iniquities' - as they have often read in Isaiah's prophecy should be done by One who would be 'led as a lamb to the slaughter' (Isa. liii.); - (c) of One too who, being one of themselves, could understand them; - (d) and yet the Son of God, able to 'save them to the uttermost'. They did not understand all this clearly, as we do; but when John again pointed out to them the 'Lamb of God' (ver. 36), what did they do?

(3) Is John jealous of his followers leaving him to go after some one else! He has yet more to bear in this way. Jesus, after a little while, comes forward publicly, teaching and baptising, like John, and doing what John had not done - what? (chap. ii. 23, x. 41). What is the consequence? (chap. iii. 26, iv. 1). How does John like the people being drawn away from him? Look at chap. iii. 28-31; he knows he is not the bridegroom - content to be the bridegroom's friend, to bring the bridegroom (Christ) and the bride (His people) together - his heart full, not of jealousy, but of joy. And see what he says about Jesus, more solemn than anything he has said before, ver. 36.

See what a good 'witness' John was. (Refer to opening illustration.) Did he tell what was true? (iii. 32); where did he learn what he told? (i. 33). Did he take care to say nothing but what the Jews would like? Did his testimony exalt or lower himself? When Jesus became greater than he was, how did he like it? (Recapitulate.)

ARE THERE ANY WITNESSES LIKE JOHN THE BAPTIST NOW?

1. Witnesses (ministers, teachers, Bibles, good books) come and tell you the very same things: (a) Jesus one of us - a man; (b) Jesus the Lamb slain for sinners; (c) Jesus the Son of God. How do we receive this 'testimony'? - like the Jews, 'making God a liar' (see 1 John v. 10) - or like the two fishermen, 'setting our seal to it (as to an agreement) that God is true'? (see John iii. 33).

2. You ought to be witnesses too. What do we light lamps for? - just to burn the gas or oil? - what for? Look at Matt. v. 15, 16 - what does Christ want His people to be like! and see what He called John the Baptist, John v. 35. Comp. Phil. ii. 15. (Other illustrations: - Passing on good news; Handing buckets of water on from one to another at a fire.) Let us say, with Peter (Acts iv. 20), 'We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard'. And if we 'testify' about Christ, what should it lead others to do? - what did John's words lead his disciples to do? Let the text for repetition (2 Cor. iv. 5) be true of us all.

Lesson XV - The First Disciples
Lord's Day 14th April 'Not many wise men, not many mighty, not many noble.'

Read - John i. 37-51; Learn - John xvii. 8; 1 Cor. i. 26, 27.

SKETCH OF LESSON

Jesus is again at the bank of the Jordan - separated by His baptism, strengthened (Heb. v. 8) by His endurance of the days of Fasting and His victory in the Temptation, endued with the Holy Spirit 'without measure' - His public ministry on earth must now begin. How will He set about it? Will He present Himself before the rulers at Jerusalem - work mighty miracles to shew who He is? No - will begin quietly - His first followers not to be great folk. What does today's text say? now see how true it is.

Have you seen a great river? - broad and deep - bridges across - steamers, etc. on it - could you count the drops of water? Church of Christ like that - multitudes worshipping every Sunday all over the world [24] - could you count them? But go where river begins - little bubbling spring - how wonderful to think that becomes the great river. Can we go to beginning of Church? See it today - see the first five members.

1. John and Andrew. (Read ver. 35-40.) Last Sunday we saw how Jesus was pointed out to two Galilean fishermen. Who were they? What did the Baptist tell them of Him? Let us follow them as with eager steps they go after Jesus. How kindly He speaks to theme Would a few minutes be enough for them? They are sinners seeking a Saviour - long to know more of Him. And that very evening they are persuaded that this humble workman from Nazareth is, indeed, the promised King. (See ver. 41.) Persuaded by what? by miracles? His blessed words are enough; see John vi. 68, vii. 46.

2. Simon Peter (Read ver. 41, 42.) They cannot keep the glad tidings to themselves. (Refer to illustrations in preceding Lesson.) If you had good news, to whom would you tell it first? John and Andrew have brothers - Andrew's is close by. Quickly he is brought to Jesus. What is his name? But Jesus greets him with a new name - not, indeed, to be his yet - 'thou shalt be called' (comp. 'thou art', in Matt. xvi. 18) why not? Simon is full of love and ardour, but unsteady, easily moved this way and that - so not like a 'stone'. But should grow to be firm and steadfast - being with Jesus, should become like Jesus (see Heb. xii. 8; 1 Pet. ii. 4-6; 1 Cor. iii. 11).

3. Philip. (Read ver. 43, 44.) The next day a fourth disciple joins the band, not of his own accord (like John and Andrew), not invited by a brother (like Simon) - how then? Does he hesitate to 'follow' the quiet Nazarene? When he comes to Jesus, whom does he meet besides? are they strangers to him? ver. 44.

4. Nathanael. (Read ver. 45-51.) Philip has a friend - must bring him to Jesus. No doubt the two have often talked together about the promises 'which Moses in the Law and the Prophets did write', (ver. 43) perhaps Nathanael is thinking about them when Philip comes in. Startling news - 'We have found Him!' Whom? where? from Nazareth? Impossible! How wisely Philip answers! not angrily, not arguing, but quietly waiting - bye-and-bye Nathanael will agree with him.

Jesus sees the doubter coming - is not angry - knows how many Jews are unworthy of their name (see Rom. ix. 6; Rev. iii. 9) - knows this man is one of the 'Israel of God' (Gal. vi. 16; Rom. ii. 28, 29). He who had predicted Simon's steadfastness, now proclaims Nathanael's sincerity.

Think of Nathanael's amazement - what at? (1) at hearing a stranger describe his character, ver. 47; (2) at finding that the stranger's eye has watched his movements, ver. 48 (comp. John iv. 17, 18, v. 14). He feels as David did, Ps. cxxxix. 1 -3; his whole heart bows in adoration; he, the 'Israelite indeed, acknowledges this Nazarene as the Divine King of Israel; called to see the 'son of Joseph', he beholds the 'Son of God'.

See how Jesus rewards the faith of the 'Israelite indeed', ver. 51 - wondrous promise! His ancestor (the man whom God named 'Israel') saw a vision - what was it? But he shall see the true 'ladder', the true 'way' by which to mount to heaven, and that 'way' the very Man (note the expression 'Son of Man') whom he has just confessed as the Son of God.

THESE WERE THE FIRST DISCIPLES, the first members of the Christian Church. What a small beginning! (Refer to illustration of river, above.) Think what the Church has grown to now. And it is still extending - missionaries on the Ganges and the Niger just continuing what Jesus Himself began on the Jordan.

To this Church we belong, If we are born again. But, as there were Israelites in name only, and 'Israelites indeed', so now not all who belong to the visible Church are true disciples.

ARE WE TRUE DISCIPLES OF CHRIST?

See if we are like those we have now read of. Do we, like John and Andrew, come to the 'Lamb of God'? Do we seek to be like Simon, stones in the great building of the Church? (Who can make us so? Eph. ii. 22.) Do we, like Philip, obey Christ's call? Do we, like Andrew and Philip, seek to bring others to Christ? (Especially those at home; Peter's after-life shews what a brother's word can do.) Do we, like Nathanael, confess Christ as our King?

Remember that CHRIST KNOWS US - Knows the true answer to these questions. He who knew the characters of Peter and Nathanael knows ours. See Matt. ix. 4, xii. 25; Luke vi. 8; John ii. 24, 25; Rev. ii. 23. (illustration - French general confined in dungeon - in the wall is a small hole - through it a sentinel watched him perpetually. The thought of that eye ever on him most oppressive of all sufferings.) What does He see in us? - 'No guile'? This is [25] what He looks for, Ps. li. 6, comp. Ps. xxxii. 2; 1 Pet. ii. 1. Can we adopt Peter's words, John xxi. 17? Pray - 'Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open', etc.

Lesson XVI - The First Miracle
Lord's Day 21st April 'The Son of Man is come eating and drinking.'

Read - John ii. 1 - 11; Learn - John ii. I 1; Phil. iv. 19; Eph. iii. 20.

SKETCH OF LESSON

Let us go back to Nazareth today, to the quiet home where Jesus lived so long. He is not there - been absent two months went away, like so many others, to go down to the Jordan, to be baptized by the great preacher there. Two months have passed Jesus not come back - what must Mary think?

At last He comes - but not alone - who with Him? - how many? (refer to last lesson) - why with Him? - what do they think of Him? chap. i. 37, 41, 45, 49. Think of Mary's joy and expectation; what words would come back to her mind? Luke i. 32, 33; how eagerly she must look for what He will do now!

I. WHERE JESUS WENT - to a marriage feast. (Read ver. 1 -5.)

A wedding in the family - at Cana, a few miles off - Mary there. Now Jesus come home, is asked too - and His new friends - one of them (perhaps) no stranger (see chap. xxi. 2).

But will they go to a feast? John the Baptist never did - very strict - lived alone - what did he teach his followers? (Luke v. 33, vii. 33) - will not the new prophet be like him? What does Jesus do? Andrew and the rest follow, but how they must wonder!

The bridal party assembled - not rich people - cannot afford much wine - it is nearly all gone - what shall they do? Mary sees it - a thought strikes her - might not Jesus help them? Elisha had multiplied oil and bread (2 Kings iv. 1-7, 42-44) would the promised King have less power? See the answer of Jesus - how gentle yet a rebuke - the time for being 'subject' is past - He is now to act by Himself Yet not by Himself either - must be 'about His Father's business' (refer to Lesson X) - do everything just when the Father appoints - that is 'His hour'. But He says only 'not yet', so Mary waits, and prepares the servants.

II. WHAT JESUS DID - turned common water into costly wine (Read ver. 6-10).

The feast goes on; the wine is exhausted. No, the servants are taking some to the ruler'. He tastes it - what sort does he expect to find it? - but what is it? ver. 10 - how is that? The bridegroom knows not - thought all gone - where can it be from? - great jars? - but they are water-jars - were full of water just now. Yes, but now all full of wine - the very best - enough to supply the family for months! How was it?

Think of the feelings of the party, the bridegroom's gratitude, the guests' amazement, Mary's joy - she never looked for this!

But what did John and Andrew think? Strange enough that Jesus should have gone at all - but what has He done now? The Baptist never even tasted wine (Luke i. 15), and taught them to fast often. He told them of their sins - baptised them in repentance - then pointed to the 'Lamb of God'. That 'Lamb of God' they followed, and the very same week He has taken them to a feast, has chosen there to show what power He has, has created quantities of wine! what can it mean? But do they turn from Him? ver. 11 - they love and trust Him all the more.

III. WHY JESUS ACTED THUS - to manifest His glory' (Read ver. 11).

To 'manifest', is to shew. What did Jesus shew? - His power? Yes; but though 'power' and 'glory' often the same with men (e.g. Napoleon's only 'glory' was his 'power' to conquer), not the same with Jesus (comp. Lord's Prayer). He had 'all power' (Matt. xxviii. 18); but the question is - How did He use it?

(a) He used it to make people happier - did not frown on their pleasure - joined in it (comp. Rom. xii. 15) - worked a miracle to increase it.

(b) He used it to make the commonest of things a blessing.

(c) He used it to shew what St. Paul says, 1 Tim. iv. 4. [26]

(d) He used it quietly - no display - not like magicians (wands, mutterings, etc.) but like God (whose works so silent - stars moving - plants growing, etc.).

This, then the 'glory' of Jesus - to make people happy - to bless common things to sanctify all God's gifts - to do good unostentatiously.

DO WE WISH TO BE MADE HAPPIER?

We can be - how? By having Christ with us.

Where will He be with us? Not only in Church - in the home, school, playground, streets, workshop, kitchen; at work-time, school-time, play-time, meal-time. Not only when we are praying - even when laughing; in company as well as when alone.

Will His being with us make us happier? Are you afraid of its making us gloomy? Did it at Cana? Did Jesus stop the pleasure there? But one thing He must stop if He comes - sin (see John xvii. 15; 1 Cor. vii. 31; Jas. i. 27). No wonder those who are happy in sin do not want Him - are you? But does sin really make pleasant things more pleasant? Just the other way (eg. how many 'days of pleasure' are spoilt, because one is selfish and another irritable!).

How will His being with us make us

happier? Exactly in the same way as at Cana

(a) he will turn our 'water' into 'wine' - our common things into rich blessings - our 'trivial round and common task' into 'a road to bring us daily nearer God'. Even troubles, etc.; see Neh. xiii. 2; Ps. xxx. 11; Ps. lxi. 3; Rom. v. 3.

(b) He will give what He gives without stint - 'exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think', Eph. iii. 20; Phil. iv. 19.

(c) He will give His best things - His 'good wine' - at the last. See Luke xviii. 30; 1 John iii. 2; 1 Cor. ii. 9; Ps. xxxi. 19. First the cross, then the crown. 'Not as the world giveth, give I unto you' (John xiv. 27).

Lesson XVII - The First Public Appearance at Jerusalem
Lord's Day 28th April 'The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His Temple.'

Read - John II. 13-25; Learn - John i. 11; Ps. cxix. 139; Luke xii. 40.

SKETCH OF LESSON

The public ministry of Christ is now begun. He has been pointed out as the Messiah by the messenger sent by God to prepare the people for His coming; He has gathered His first followers; He has worked one great miracle to assure them who He really is. And now it is time that he Should come forth publicly before the nation.

Where ought He to do so? Certainly at 'the city of the great king'.

What would be the best time? Surely, when the people from all parts of the country, and many who were settled in foreign lands, assembled at Jerusalem - when would that be?

In what way should He proclaim Himself?

This we shall see.

I. MESSIAH EXPECTED

Imagine we are at Jerusalem, at Passover time. How crowded the city is - almost all Jewish faces - but various costumes and strange languages (Acts ii. 5-11) - trains of camels and asses from distant parts - every body busy and alive - meetings of friends - hiring of lodgings (see Mark xiv. 12-16) thousands of lambs driven in for the Passover feast.

But there are some faces not Jewish - who are these soldiers? - no warriors of Israel as in olden times - but Romans who have conquered the country; and there are more than usual now - come from Caesarea to keep order among the Passover crowds. How the people hate to see them! how they long for the promised king God's Messiah - 'the Lord's Anointed' to come and 'restore the kingdom to Israel' (Acts i. 6)1 Will He not soon come? - has not John told them so? [27]

II. MESSIAH NEEDED

But are the Jews worthy to be God's favoured people as before? Come to the Temple and see. It is magnificent - grander than any building we have ever seen - and look at the crowd of priests and Levites the multitude of worshippers - the smoke of many sacrifices ever ascending - surely God must be well pleased!

But look at Isa. i. 11; Mark xii. 33; John iv. 24. God wants the heart - do they give Him that? 'What meaneth, then, this bleating of sheep and lowing of oxen?' Look at the great outer court - a noisy cattle-market on God's sacred ground? - rough men selling animals for sacrifice (doves for the poorer worshippers, Lev. xii. 8; Luke ii. 24) - others exchanging money; how unlike the solemnity of God's house! (Eccl. v. 1; comp. Gen. xxviii. 17; Exod. iii. 5). Do not the people need to be changed themselves before God can give them the kingdom again? (Comp. Josh. vii. 12; 1 Sam. vii. 3.) So John told them (Matt. Ill. 8). What, then, is the Messiah most wanted for? Is it not to 'save His people from their sins'? (Matt. i. 21.)

III. MESSIAH COME (Read ver. 13-16.)

The promised Messiah is there - unknown - just one among many other plain Galilean peasants. This is 'His Father's house' (ver. 16) - what must He think of the scene? how hateful! What does He do? See the sudden confusion - cattle driven out tables upset - drovers and money-changers unable to resist - all the turbulent crowd dispersed - by what? By His divinely-awful look - by His divinely-indignant words (comp. John xviii. 6).

Was that the way to shew Himself as the Messiah? Look at Mal. iii. 1-3. Where had God said Messiah should appear? What was He to do? ('Purify', etc.) What state would the people be in? ('who may abide', etc.) How exactly fulfilled! Jesus would not stand up and say, 'I am the Messiah' - who would believe that? But He does what Messiah should do - and He speaks of 'His Father': this (with John's testimony) ought to be enough. (See John v. 32, 33, 36.)


IV. MESSIAH REJECTED (Read ver. 17-25.)

Was it enough? What did the disciples think? (ver. 17); comp. Ps. lxix. 9 - (all the Jews considered this Psalm Messianic). What did the rulers think? They durst not complain of what Jesus had done - felt their own guilt in allowing such a scene doubtless remembered Malachi's prophecy, and what John had told them - would say 'This Galilean claims to be the Messiah let us see if he can prove it by giving some wonderful sign'. How does Jesus answer them? He sees their hearts (see ver. 25) knows no sign of any use - so will not give one now, but foretells their murder of Himself (God's true Temple, Col. ii. 9), and His resurrection, which shall be the great and only sign given them (comp. Matt. xii. 38-40; Rom. I. 4). Did they understand? No; Yet did not forget (see Matt. xxvi. 61, xxvii. 40).

But Jesus does do some 'signs' (ver. 23), though not what they want - most likely kind works of healing the sick, etc. And some do trust in Him as the Messiah; but He does not trust in them - He knows them too well. What does this knowledge shew us about Jesus? (see 1 Kings viii. 39).

Thus we see how the true King of Israel was received by His own favoured nation how the Eternal Son was received in His own Temple. Is not John i. 11 true? But Malachi's great prophecy has to be fulfilled once more, for -

THE LORD WILL AGAIN COME SUDDENLY

- Not in humiliation, but in glory (Matt. xxiv. 30, xxv. 31). Not to submit to scorn and rejection, but to - what? look at Matt. xiii. 41 - 'to gather out of His kingdom' (is. His Church) - what? Now, good and bad mingled in the Church - then to be separated - all the bad to be 'driven out' so that God's people may be 'an holy temple unto the Lord' (Eph. ii. 21). Truly, 'who may abide the day of His coming?'

How will He find us? - ready to receive Him? That depends on whether we receive Him now. For He does come now: into our churches - to see how we worship there; into our hearts - to see if we are 'temples of the living God' (1 Cor. iii. 16, 17, 2 Cor. vi. 16), holy, devoted to His service. Pray that He drive sin from us now - not us from Him then. [28]

Things I have learned from the Bible by Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley

Judges ch. 3 v. 17: "And he brought the present unto Egion King of Moab: and Egion was a very fat man". Eglon is a type of the flesh (see Genesis 19:37), Moab was the bastard child of Lot and his firstborn daughter. Compare with verse 29 in this third chapter of Judges. Verse 20, notice the flesh always needs pampering, "sitting in a summerhouse".

Judges ch. 3 v. 22: "And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out". Only the two-edged dagger of the word of God can deal with the flesh. When the word goes in the dirt goes out. Entrance the word, exit the dirt.

Judges ch. 3 v. 31: "And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slow of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel". Unusual weaponry, mighty in the hands of God's chosen servants.

Judges ch. 3 v. 27: "And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blow a trumpet in the mountain of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the mount, and he before them". Trumpet calls in the book of Judges should be noted. Gideon in chapter 6, verse 34, blew the trumpet, "but the spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, and Abiezer was gathered after him " - In the next chapter he also gave trumpets to the men who followed him and we read concerning them that he divided the three hundred men into three companies (verse 16 of Judges 7) and he put a trumpet in every man's hand with an empty pitcher and lamps within the pitchers. And then in verse 20, the trumpets in their right hands did blow withal.

Judges ch. 3 v. 30: "So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years". This is twice the number of years that the land had rest after the victories of Othniel. (Compare with verse 7 of the same chapter 3).

Jeremiah ch. 15 v. 1: "Then said the Lord unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth". What a terrible verse this is. When the Philistines came to take over Israel, Samuel cried unto the Lord and the Lord delivered the nation at that time. When the children of Israel had sinned grievously with [29] Aaron in the making of the golden calf and God threatened their utter destruction, Moses prayed and his prayer prevailed and Israel was delivered and saved and preserved. Yet if these two mighty intercessors who saved the nation on two occasions by their prayers, should pray now for Israel at this juncture in her history, God says he would not listen, he would not hear, he would not sheath his sword but would pour his fury and his judgment upon them. How terrible the sin that closes God's ears even from the effectual prayers of his choicest saints.

Jeremiah ch. 15 v. 2: "And it shall come to pass, if they say unto thee, Whither shall we go forth? then thou shalt tell them, Thus saith the Lord; Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity". Here we have a sovereign God with immutable appointments. Those whom he appoints to the sword, the sword shall slay, those whom he has appointed to death shall die the very death he has decreed, those who are appointed for famine shall be overcome by the famine, and those who he has appointed for captivity shall be led into captivity. None could stay his hand or say to him, What doest thou? All we can do is bow our heads in humility and cry in wrath, Remember mercy.

St. Mark's Gospel, ch. 1 v. 27: "And they were all amazed in as much as they questioned among themselves saying, What thing is this? What new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey Him." Old truth is always called new doctrine by those who are dead and buried in the rut of traditionalism.

Mark ch. 1 v. 30: "But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her, and he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them". Always invite the Lord Jesus to your home when your loved one is sick. He is the great physician.

Mark ch. 1 v. 45: "But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter". What a blaze the fire of personal testimony kindles.

Acts ch. 6 v. 1: "And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration". Women and race lie at the heart of all the troubles that have afflicted the church.

Acts ch. 6 v. 4:

"But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word". Praying and preaching go together. These that God have joined together man has always sought to put asunder. A church that prays and doesn't preach and a church that preaches and doesn't pray [30] have the same characteristics they are powerless.

Acts ch. 6 v. 7: "And the word of God increased;" This is a most interesting expression. The word of God has been finalized and yet it still increases. This is a paradox, for the word of God is seed and like produces like. The living word produces living men and living women, regenerated by the power of that seed the seed of the word.

Jeremiah ch. 15 v. 6: "I am weary with repenting". What an expression this is. God says he is weary with the repentings of his people because they were repentings which were easily repented of. The only repentance that God is not weary of is a repentance that is never repented of. God give us such a repentance.

Jeremiah ch. 15 v. 10: "Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth!" God's servant is born to contend, he is born to be a man of strife, there is a woe upon him, there is no rest to be given to him, he has drawn the sword, he has thrown away the scabbard, there is no discharge in this war.

Jeremiah ch. 15 v. 16: "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart, for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts". First of all we have the discovery of God's word, "Thy words were found". And then we have the devouring of God's word, "and I did eat them". And then we have the delight of God's word, "Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart". And then we have the dynamite of God's word, "For I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts".

Jeremiah ch. 15 v. 18: "Wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail? or that be not sure". Here we have the faithful and fearless pleading of Jeremiah with God. There is a terribleness and an awe about these words. This man is desperate but he is desperately in earnest. Such prayers are bound to bring God's answer.

Jeremiah ch. 15 v. 19: "Therefore thus saith the Lord, if thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth". If the Prophet is going to be the mouth of God he must engage In the separation business taking forth the precious from the vile. This is the message that makes a man God's mouth in his generation, and this is the message for our generation this twentieth century of apostasy.

Jeremiah ch. 16 V. 5: "For thus saith the Lord, Enter not into the house of mourning, neither go to lament nor bemoan them: for I have taken away my peace from this people, saith the Lord, even loving kindness and mercies". What a word is this, the removal of God's loving kindness and God's mercies, but if that happens mourning is in vain, lamenting is in vain, and bemoaning is in vain. It is darkness, the blackness of darkness, for evermore. [31]

Down the Ecumenical Road at Downpatrick

St. Patrick's Day in Downpatrick was scarred by a further sign that the Ecumenical movement is seeking to continue with its policy of trying to present an acceptable image to the people of Ulster. Against the background of Cardinal O'Fee's outrageous statements in America and his subsequent rebuke by Dr. Cromie, the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church, the Service in Down Cathedral was for the very first time, attended by the "four main church leaders". Supported by the Charismatic Movement, deceived Protestant and Roman Catholic people assembled to witness the staging of another ecumenical charade performed by their compromising clergy. As the 17th March was left aside for a Special Day of Prayer throughout the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster it was only possible for a token protest to be arranged so that the people of Ulster might know that there are those who will not be deceived by the evil antics of the ecumenical clergy.

About thirty protestors assembled in the vicinity of the Cathedral bearing upon their placards messages such as, "Rome Burned the Reformers", "Rome Enslaves but Jesus Saves".

The hatred etched upon the countenance of those attending the service, towards the protesters was clearly consistent with Cardinal O'Fee's intense hatred for the Protestants of Ulster. As God's people we must pray earnestly that God will mercifully open the eyes of men and women that they may be alerted to the devious schemes of the Roman Catholic Church as it strives in its attempts to undermine our God-given Protestant heritage.

Progress in Ballymoney FPC (Continued from p. 21)

Mr. William Stevenson, a foundation member and elder in the church, made presentations to the minister and to Dr. Paisley. In reply, Dr. Paisley recalled the times when the church met in Mr. Stevenson's barn at Cabra and of the joyful and blessed meetings there.

Rev. John Douglas brought greetings from the Presbytery, after which the Moderator preached the Lord's message from the opening verses in Deuteronomy chapter 6. This wasn't the message he had prepared for the meeting but felt led to this passage during the service, commenting that the preacher is always a man 'under orders'. The word preached proved a great blessing to many.

The memorable meeting was brought to a close with prayer led by Rev. George Whyte from Coleraine. Tea was served to all present by the ladies of the congregation.

A special week of meetings was to follow with the Rev. William Whiteside from Ballygowan.