[2]
Editorial

The other day I picked up a copy of 'The Christian Treasury, a periodical published over one hundred years ago. The following is a most timely message from its pages. I have simply updated it. 

The Past Year and The Coming One

We walk here amid change, and evil, and death. Each year begins and ends with some of these; and the broken ties of earth, far more than the fallen leaf, remind us that this is not our rest. With how many of us are the memories of the past year more linked with the sickbed and the churchyard - with earthly losses and broken hopes - with partings and disappointments, and heaviness of spirit - than with gaiety, or brightness, or mirth..

But in all this do we not discern most vividly wisdom's devisings, and love's doings? How much in earnest must God be with us, thus to multiply the dealings of His wondrous discipline, that discipline by which He is drawing men to himself out of a present evil world, and leading upwards, from height to height, those whom He has already delivered, and made heirs of His kingdom!

A tale that is told - a dream of the night - a rushing river - a vanishing vapour a fading blossom - a passing rainbow - a gleam of the wave - these are some of the figures with which the life of man has been painted. And they are all true. For "all flesh is grass, and all the glory of man is as the flower of the field; the grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away; but the Word of the Lord endureth for ever."

Our past cannot again become either our present or our future. Other sorrows and other joys we shall have, but the past is over for ever. We cannot weep over again the same tears, nor be weighed down under the same burdens; nor be bound with the same fetters; nor mourn again over lost loved ones; nor dread the same perils over again, either for ourselves or

(Continued on p. 13)

[3]
Why I Am A Protestant by Ian R. K. Paisley

Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you." 1 Pet. 3:15.

My Protestant convictions can be summed up by five plain reasons which I believe cover the whole controversy with Rome.

First of all, I am a Protestant because I repudiate the fraud of the Papacy and reaffirm the finality of Holy Scripture.

The greatest hoax in history is Rome's claim to infallibility. Of course in these days when there is abroad this so-called ecumenical spirit it would not be very popular (I suppose it would not help the ecumenical atmospherics) for us to remember and repeat that Rome's doctrine of papal supremacy and infallibility is built upon a stupendous forgery.

The Isidorian Decretals

I am referring to the Isidorian Decretals. Perhaps I should define for you some terms which occur in matters relating to papalism. A decree is a papal ordinance enacted with the advice of the College of Cardinals. A canon is a law ordained by a provincial or general council. A dogma is an ecclesiastical law relating to doctrine. A decretal is an authoritative rescript or answer of a Pope in reply to a question put to him.

The Isidorian Decretals were attributed to a star of the Spanish Church, Isidore, Archbishop of Seville, hence their name.

These Decretals were published in the ninth century, and were claimed to be the writings of the third and fourth centuries. The Decretals were in three parts.

"The first part contained, among other things, spurious decretals, purporting to have been issued by Roman bishops from Clement of Rome to Melchiades, who died in 314. The second part contained the forged Donation of Constantine, to the effect that Constantine gave to Sylvester, the Bishop of Rome, not only the Lateran palace as a place of residence for him and his successors, but all the imperial insignia, with a large tract of Roman and Italian territory, thus antedating the temporal power of the [4] Popes by more than four centuries. The third part of the work contained what purported to be the decretals of Roman bishops from Sylvester onwards, thirty-five of them being pure forgeries." (Dr. James Heron in 'The Evolution of Latin Christianity' )

Now Rome maintained the truthfulness of these decretals and stamped them as canonical, right on to the seventeenth century.

Exalting the Pope by a Fraud

The Papacy in the ninth century required something to bolster up her ever increasing claims to supremacy so she devised the production and publication of these decretals. Their object was, of course, to exalt the clergy above the laity, but especially to exalt the Pope above all. In these decretals the clergy are above the laws of men and subject to God only. The royal power is far inferior to the papal power. The Pope is the ultimate umpire in all controversy and from him there is no appeal. Such was the stupendous fraud which Rome propagated to exalt her Popes.

Roman Catholic Cambridge Professor Accuses Rome of Fraud

I would point out that it is not only Protestant historians who have indicted Rome with this fraud. Lord Acton, a Roman Catholic, and sometime Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge, writing in the North British Review in October 1869, page 103, stated:

"The passage from the Catholicism of the Fathers to that of the modern Popes was accomplished by wilful falsehood; and the whole structure of traditions, laws, and doctrines that support the theory of infallibility and the practical despotism of the Popes stands on a basis of fraud."

So I am repudiating the fraud of the papacy. It is the greatest hoax in history.

Rome Admits the Forgery but Perpetuates the Fraud

David Blondell, born at Chalons-sur-Maine in 1591 and died in Amsterdam April 6th, 1655, minister of the Reformed Church of France and professor of history at Amsterdam, was especially responsible for the exposure of this Roman Catholic deceit. That these documents were forgeries is now admitted by all Roman Catholic historians.

A Catholic Dictionary edited by Donald Attwater and bearing the official imprimatur states: [5]

"The False Decretals. A number of forged papal letters, purporting to be of the Popes of the first six centuries, written by and included in a collection of canon laws by one who called himself Isidore Mercator about 850. They cover the whole field of Christian Doctrine and discipline, and lay particular stress on the rights of the episcopate and of the Holy See, but contain nothing that was an innovation at the time they were written. They were accepted as genuine and used by canonists throughout the Middle Ages; but from the middle of the fifteenth century came under suspicion and have been repudiated by all canonists since 1628."

It was in 1628 that Blondell's masterly and unanswerable exposure of the Decretals was published. Notice, Rome admits that these doctrines were accepted as genuine during the Middle Ages. Note also she has been forced to admit they are forgeries. What of the doctrine of Papal Infallibility which Rome built on these decretals? Rome has been forced to admit that her foundation is one colossal fraud, but she has refused to repudiate the structure she has built thereon. The world is asked to embrace the structure without questioning how it came to be there.

So we must repudiate the fraud of the papacy and reaffirm the finality of Holy Scripture. We turn from these forgeries to the final Word of God. What saith the scriptures? You will not be judged by the statements of any writing of man either true or false, but you will be eternally judged by the Book of God.

The Bible is the basis of our Protestantism. The Bible and the Bible only the Religion of Protestants. God has spoken in His Word. Away with all the documents and devices of men! Away with all the forgeries and frauds of Romanism! Give us the veritable Truth of God a!3 contained in Holy Writ and that Word of Truth will make us wise unto salvation.

Secondly, I am a Protestant because I reject the mockery of the Mass and rely on the Sacrifice of the Son.

We are now coming to Rome's great central doctrine, the doctrine of the Mass. Now what does Rome teach on this vital Subject? Listen to the creed of Pope Pius IV, which is a summary of the findings of Rome's Great Council of Trent:

"That in the most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist there is truly, really and substantially the Body and Blood, together with the Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that there is made a conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood; which conversion the Catholic Church calls Transubstantiation. I also confess that under each kind alone Christ is received whole and entire, and a true Sacrament."

I have a Mass Book here and in it the priest and congregation are instructed thus:

"After the words of Consecration, the priest, kneeling, adores the Sacred Host; rising, he elevates lit - Look up at the Sacred Host with faith, piety and love, saying: 'My Lord and My God' - and then placing it in the corporal, again adores It." [6]

The priest and the congregation actually worship the little pancake god and call it "My Lord and My God". No wonder I call it the mockery of the mass. Yes, and what a mockery of God, of Christ, of the Holy Ghost, and Calvary it all is!

Listen to some of the antics the priest goes through in this central act of Roman ritual:

"The priest signs himself at the Mass with the sign of the cross sixteen times. He turns to the people six times. He kisses the altar eight times. He lifts his eyes to heaven eleven times. He strikes his breast ten times. He kneels down ten times. He folds his hands together twenty-four times. He bows his head twenty-one times. He bows his shoulder seven times. He bows himself low eight times. He blesses the altar with the sign of the cross thirty-one times. He lays his two hands flat on the altar twenty-nine times. He prays with out-stretched hands fourteen times. He prays with hands folded thirty-six times. He puts his hands folded on the altar seven times. He puts his left hand alone on the altar nine times. He lays his left hand on the breast eleven times. He lifts both hands to heaven eight times. He prays secretly eleven times. He prays aloud thirteen times. He covers and uncovers the chalice ten times. He goes to and fro twenty times."

The Roman Catholic writer, P. Martin Von Cochem, from whose book on the Mass we give this quotation, also states:

"Besides these three hundred and fifty oft-repeated things, the priest has also to observe one hundred and fifty other ceremonies, which together make five hundred ceremonies. Every priest must also, besides this, remember four hundred rubrics or rules; if, now these be also reckoned with the ceremonies, the priest who reads the Mass according to Roman fashion has nine hundred things to do, of which he cannot omit one without SIN."

So if the priest omits one of these nine hundred things he commits sin and so the mass is marred. In the mass the priest claims to repeat Calvary: and he offers a prayer, I quote again from the mass book.

"In the name of the Church the priest asks of God the Father to accept the sacrifice of the Body and Blood of His Son as He did that of Abel, of Abraham and of Melchisedech, which were figures of the sacrifice offered first on Calvary and then renewed in each Holy Mass."

Now as a Protestant I reject the mockery of the mass, and I rely on the sacrifice of the Son

From this colossal piece of pagan idolatry I turn to the Holy Scriptures, and in the tenth chapter of Hebrews at the verse -twelve I read these words:

"But this man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hard of God."

This tremendous verse lays the divine axe at the very root of this growth of hell, the pagan papal mass.

The text divides itself into three great parts. These parts answer three tremendous questions.

(1) Who is He?

The text answers "this man". [7]

(2) What Has He Done?

The text answers, "offered one sacrifice for sins forever".

(3) Where is He?

The, text answers, "sitting at God's right hand". Let us think on the first question and answer:

WHO IS HE?

"This man." The chapter, nay verily the whole Epistle to the Hebrews, gloriously expounds His person.

In chapter one He is greater than Angels. In chapter two Christ is greater than Adam.

In chapter three Christ is greater than Moses.

In chapter four Christ is greater than Joshua.

In chapter five Christ is greater than Aaron.

In chapter six Christ is like unto Melchisedec.

In chapter seven Christ is better than the Levitical Priesthood.

In chapter eight Christ is better than the Covenant of Works.

In chapter nine Christ is better than the Tabernacle.

In chapter ten Christ is better than the Law.

In chapter eleven Christ is better than the Old Testament Saints.

In chapters twelve and thirteen Christ is superior to all commotions of earth and changes in time.

Who is He? "This Man." What Man? The God-man, the Man Christ Jesus. The Christ of God, who is greater than Angels, greater than Adam, greater than Joshua, greater than Aaron; who is like unto Melchisedec, and is better than the Levitical Priesthood, the Covenant of Works, the Tabernacle, the Law and the Old Testament Saints, and who is superior to all commotions of earth and changes of time. His supremacy and sufficiency make His sacrifice all-atoning. "This Man." Who is He? He's the Lord from Glory and of Glory. He's God the Son manifest in flesh. He was born of a pure virgin, born miraculously, lived miraculously, died miraculously, rose again miraculously and, Hallelujah, is coming again miraculously.

WHAT DID HE DO?

This text sets forth the great sacrifice of the Son. Look at the historicity of the sacrifice. "After having offered." It is in the past tense, isn't it? The sacrifice is over. It has been offered. It is not about to be offered; it is not being offered; it is not at some future time to be offered; IT HAS BEEN OFFERED. Christ died, that's history, for our sin that's the doctrine. Calvary is the great event of history. At this point time divides and so do the two eternities. [8]

We need no priest to kiss a stone altar or to genuflect before a wafer in order to atone for sin. At yonder cross I can say as I behold the Godman die:

Full atonement! Can it be?

Hallelujah, What a Saviour!

Again this text sets forth the singularity of the sacrifice. Notice it is the one sacrifice". There never was a sacrifice like Calvary and there never will be another sacrifice like Calvary. It is the one sacrifice, one death, one bloodshedding, and one offering.

Lastly our text shows not only the historicity and singularity of the sacrifice but also the finality of the sacrifice. The sacrifice was offered "forever". The Death of Christ is final. The Saving Work has been all done at the old tree. "It is finished" my surety cried as full and complete and final atonement was made.

Yes, and I am a Protestant to-night because I reject the mockery of the mass and rely upon the sacrifice of the Son. Do you rely on Christ's sacrifice alone? What's your trust in, for eternity?

WHERE IS HE?

The text answers "At the right hand of God". What is He doing there? He has sat down. The Tabernacle had no seat amongst its furniture. The priest's work was never done. But Christ has finished the work. The resurrection is the proof that sin's bills are fully paid and "Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins". Acts 5:31.

Oh seek now the gift of repentance and forgiveness from the Royal, Risen, Reigning Saviour.

Thirdly, I am a Protestant because I refuse the idolatries of Romish worship and I receive the simplicity of the Gospel.

Time would not permit me to discuss with you all the ritual and all the idolatrous worship of Rome. I will just deal with her idolatry at baptism. What does Rome claim for he baptism. She teaches that at baptism "Original Sin" is washed away.

Dr. Doyle's Abridgment of Christian Doctrine, page 112: How is Original Sin taken away?" "Answer: By Holy Baptism."

Council of Trent, Sess. 5, Can. 5: "Whosoever shall deny, that the guilt of original sin is remitted by the grace of our Lord Jesus, bestowed in baptism; or shall affirm, that that wherein sin truly and properly consists is not wholly rooted up, but is only cut down, or not imputed; LET HIM BE ACCURSED."

Now it is very interesting to none what Rome does at a baptism.

The following are a list of her superstitious practices:

1. The exorcism (driving the devil out) of the water! [9]

2. The exorcism of the salt!

3. The exorcism of the infant by the priest, who blows in its face three times.

4. The exorcism of the salt again.

5. Putting salt in the child's mouth.

6. The exorcism of the devil!

7. The priest's touching with his own spittle the nose and ears of the infant!

8. The priest's anointing the infant between the shoulders and on the breast, with the oil of the catechumens!

9. The lighted candle!

This is the idolatry of Rome by which they claim they root out "Original Sin".

Listen to what God's Holy Word says: "By one man sin entered into the world and death by sin and so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned". Romans 5:12.

You are already under the curse of Adam's first transgression. Original sin is in each one of us. We are born in sin and shapen in iniquity. You're not a sinner because you're sinning, but you sin because you're a sinner. It's in your very nature to sin.

Now how are we going to have this sin dealt with? Here is the simplicity of the gospel. You require righteousness. "For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which received abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one Jesus Christ." Rom. 5:17.

Righteousness is a gift. Jesus Christ by the perfect obedience of His Life and by the all-sufficient power of His Blood has provided a perfect righteousness for me the sinner. It is absolutely free. It is without money and without price. It can be yours right now.

Christ is our Righteousness. "But as many as received Him to them gave He power to be called the sons of God." John 1:12.

Receive Him now and His Righteousness is yours eternally. That is the simplicity of the Gospel.

Fourthly, I am a Protestant because I reprobate the pardon of the priest and I am regenerated by the Power of Christ.

Let me read to you Rome's official teaching on the pardon of the priest: -


"That every man and woman, after they come to years of discretion, should privately confess their sins to their own priest, at least once a year, and endeavour faithfully to perform the penance enjoined on them: and after this they should come to the sacrament at least at Easter, unless the priest for some reasonable cause, judge it fit for them to abstain for a time; and whosoever does not perform this, is to be excommunicated from the Church; and if he die, he is not to be allowed Christian burial." - The Council of Lateran Decrees. [10]

In his text book for the priest "Saint?" Alphonsus de Ligoure has this to say:

"Were the Redeemer to descend into a church, and sit in a confessional to administer the sacrament of penance and a priest to sit in another confessional, Jesus would say over each penitent "Ego te absolvo" and the priest would likewise say over each of his penitents "Ego te absolvo" and the penitents of each would be equally absolved."

The forgiveness of the priest according to Rome's own teaching is the same as the forgiveness of Christ.

This pardon of the priests of Rome I reprobate. It is utterly false. It is a delusion and a deception and it will bring certain damnation.

How could any poor fallen son of Adam forgive me my sins?

Priests of Rome have been notorious drunkards. Could a drunkard forgive my sins!

Priests of Rome have been outrageous whoremongers. Could a whoremonger forgive my sins?

Priests of Rome have been diabolical murderers. Could a murderer forgive my sins?

Held in sin's bondage themselves how could they loose others from iniquity's galling chains?

Fifthly, I am a Protestant because I resist the claims of the Romish church and I resolve to obey the commands of the Risen Christ.

Here is the oath which all Rome's beneficed priests, professors and bishops must take. It sets forth quite clearly the claims of the Romish Church: -

"I, N.N., do at this present freely profess and truly hold this true Catholic faith, without which no one can be saved; and I promise most constantly to retain and confess the same entire and inviolate, with God's assistance to the end of my life. And I will take care, as far as in me lies, that it shall be held, taught, and practised by my subjects, or by those the care of whom shall appertain to me in my office.

This I promise, vow and swear, so help me God, and these holy gospels of God."

The claim of Rome is plain. Outside her dominion there is no salvation.

Let me echo from this pulpit the message of the Apostle Peter, for it is the true Catholic and apostolic faith, the faith of a faithful Protestant:

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12.

Go not to any church for salvation, go only to Christ.

Trust not in any sacrament for salvation trust only in Christ.

Rely not in any religion for salvation, rely only on Christ.

Obey the commandment of Christ and thou shalt live. "And this is His commandment, that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ." 1 John 3:23. [11]

INSIDE INSIGHT: But, They Could Be Children of the Resurrection! By Rhonda Paisley B.A.

Step, will you please, into the heartbeat of our Nation's youth and with uncompromising vision let us read its message. Images of rebel youth have changed dramatically since the days of hippies and student radicals in the 60's - but young people today face more opposition and abuse than any other age group in society. What chance is there for teenagers in families where adults behave like violent unpredictable children, and children - glued to their pop heroes - try to behave like sophisticated mini-adults? Young people today are not just going through a phase of adolescent upheaval. Their symbols of hopelessness mirror society's message to them. We ignore the conflict at our peril because it isn't going to evaporate when these teenagers become adults. With this generation providing the parents of the next the downward spiral takes another twist into despair.

Youth culture! This is what it is all about. The idealism of young people. Their enthusiasm for risk and change. The potential of a new generation how vast! But, what is happening to this vitality? A society choking in its gluttony for sin rides greedily over youthful creativity - and swallows it. How do we know this? Examination of the unemployment statistics yields the answer - Fact 1: Unemployment in the U.K. among those under 25 years is twice that of older people. Fact 2: One quarter of these have been unemployed for more than a year. Fact 3: Between 40% and 60% of all unemployed worldwide are under 26 years.

It is absurd that young people are first to be consigned to redundancy!

Unemployment leads to leisure time - leisure time devoted to hours of music listening and development of youth culture. Youth culture exists because if it did not where else would young people hear the message to fight convention? Mass-marketed Superstars do that for them. Stars that fray the edges of rigid sex roles; stars that boast their ability to sleep with 20 women in a week; stars that wreck and shred every area of purity mentally, physically and spiritually. Ought we not to be asking, "Where these lead what will follow?" Today's music for youth embraces the doctrine of Satan. Born before today's teenagers, it will outlive them. The industry is here to [12] stay. Rock has been reclaimed and now lives bigger, louder, and more corrupt than ever. "Rock! The best comeback since Lazarus" - that is how youth hails it.

Satan never finds trouble employing the unemployed. In 1951 the repeal of the Fraudulent Mediums Act secured for him an easy route to do just that. Today in Britain all ritual equipment is available through Mail Order Occult Catalogue! Prediction the monthly magazine for the occult and astrologists in the U.K. has a stable circulation of 32,000! In Britain the official record states that one in every 50 persons is a practising witch. According to the high priests of 13 main occults in England the reasons for the recent vast growth of the craft are simple:

1. Failure of the Christian Church to deliver the goods;
2. Growing anti-rationalism;
3. Expanding anti-nuclear movements;
4. The need of the individual to have control over life's events.

Witchcraft is reaching youth. Witchcraft is damning youth. Of the 162 contacts our Outreach has made - 42 are involved in the occult.

1951 is a year that Britain is beginning to reap but so too is 1968. Until 1968 everyone was stopped at Customs, then it was reduced to 33%, now it is at 1% and at peak travelling times this falls to 0.3%! As one Customs Officer put it, "The would-be drug pusher must be killing himself laughing". But, let's not be too hasty in our condemnation of the young addict, because for every adolescent who takes the rap for drug addiction there are 10 fathers "socially" on alcohol and 20 mothers "medically" on Valium. Here is disease in its cruellest form in the home.

The example, when difficulties have arisen, has been to get rid of the discomfort with another gin, another prescription and therefore, another fix!

Society cries out for a better, stronger pain killer to take the symptoms away then for another little while there is no need to worry what the pain is saying for it will be blotted out. For the addict the higher up you go; the harder and faster you come down - drugs, too, obey the law of gravity.

We see its defeating crushing power in the youth we work with. Of 162 contacts, 108 are abusing drugs and glue sniffing.

Today it only takes 10 to buy enough heroine to keep an established addict for 24 hours - but remember, that's less than his father spends on a bottle of malt whiskey! The British market for heroine brings in 200 million annually.

Goodbye to innocence may come for many young people when they find themselves on the dole queue; for more when they succumb to music's gospel; for others in witchcraft and for more still when they smoke their first joint; but today in Britain it also comes to many through incest. One in every 4 families in Britain has a case of incest. Two-thirds of the girls are under 10 years when this begins, and helpless until they are old enough to leave home.

The statistic is high therefore its relevancy is great. Hundreds of young girls have been ignored for far too long with terrible consequences. Two thirds of anorexia nervosa sufferers in the U.K. are incest victims. A major proportion [13] of prostitutes were incest victims and drug abuse is a common escape route for incest victims.

Life is not a rehearsal - its the real thing. Young people will never have the opportunity to restage their teen years. In Ulster, added to the areas we have touched on we must keep in mind that our youth have lived all their years under the pressure of "The Troubles". A pressure we too readily forget because we are used to it.

The heartbeat of our youth pulses out the regularity of sin, so will it be for them in the damnation of Hell - the most awful feature of God's justice . . . but they could be Children of the Resurrection!

"God hath spoken once: twice have I heard this, that power belongeth unto God" (Ps. 62:11). His word has power to regenerate. Has he not declared, "Is not My word like as fire, and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?" (Jer. 23:29).

There is no sin for which Christ's blood has not power to cleanse. Our youth beg to hear of that which alone satisfies. Our youth pitifully live out their existence headed towards judgement weighed by perfect holiness. Dare we leave them to suffer the determined but righteous eternal torment of Hell? Has not Christ provided covering for them by His Atoning Blood? This personal righteousness, this imputed righteousness that is freely ours in Christ is offered freely also to them that they might be CHILDREN OF THE RESURRECTION!

The Past Year and the Coming One (Continued from p. 2)

others. The past is truly past! And with so many billows already rolled over us, there must be fewer before, with so many storms discharged on us, there remain fewer in the time to come. Eighty-four years of our century have now gone by, and with them all their events are buried till the great day of reckoning and resurrection.

Our changing years affect not Him with whom one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day: who is the same yesterday, and today, and for ever. In a changing world, let us rejoice in this unchangeableness.

Brief present, long future! short time, endless eternity! These are the thoughts that quicken and lift us above the things seen and temporal. We have not yet lived; we are only beginning to do so; or rather, we are only preparing to begin. O Lord, our God and Father, who art our life and the light of our days, grant unto us the wisdom and the strength, the endurance and the love, whereby we shall be enabled to do, or speak, or write something for Thee and Thy glory here during our earthly sojourn.

Having tasted that the Lord is gracious, we gird ourselves anew for another yea r's race and conflict, pressing forward in the power of that grace which we have tasted. If past years have been barren and lean, let not this one be so. For the time is short, and our day of service will soon be done. Whatsoever our hand findeth to do, must be done with our might: the night cometh, when no man can work. [14]

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

In our garden there are various trees growing, and among them is a beautiful holly tree which never fails to fill me with wonder. There are always red berries on it, even during its flowering stage. Indeed, several weeks ago I called the attention of my family to the fact that the tree was producing flowers, as well as green and red berries, all at the same time.

A florist friend of ours was visiting with us and when he saw the tree his imagination ran riot and he offered me a "good price" for its berried branches. "No Sale" was my immediate reply. I couldn't pin notes on the remaining branches, they wouldn't last very long nor give me much pleasure, but every time I look out of my living-room window or walk in the garden, or look down from my daughter's bedroom window, I am reminded of the great Creator of the ends of the earth who never fails those who put their trust in Him.

We also had a plum tree in our garden, which for a few years produced delicious plums and then something went wrong, it ceased production and began to wither until the man who looks after the garden said, "I'm afraid that tree is for the axe." There is something sad in seeing a tree cut down, and this incident reminded me of the parable in Luke 13. The owner wanted the fruit from the fig tree, but the gardener pleaded for leniency in those touching words, "Let it alone this year also." He knew only too well that for three years there was no fruit on the tree, but he continued to tend it, to dig about it, to encourage it to again bear fruit, and now his master was becoming impatient and demanding the removal of the offending tree.

As we think back over the years of our lives and look out on this new year just dawning, we need to give thanks for all the blessings of the past and pray that we may enter 1985 and travel its unknown way under the guiding and controlling hand of our ever-loving Saviour who has tended us and digged about us and encouraged us with unfailing love. How often we must have provoked Him to anger with our waywardness, our wastefulness, our fruitlessness, yet He is so gracious, so longsuffering, and in His tender mercy He has brought us to "this year also". Let us determine that by His grace we will not be cumberers of the ground, but will be fruitful Christians, worthy to bear His Name. [15]

The Sunday School Teacher's Teacher

Subject: The Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Lesson I - The Incarnation
Lord's Day 6th January 'The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.'

Read
- Texts referred to in Lesson; Learn - Phil. ii. 6-8; John i. 14.

SKETCH OF LESSON

We are going to talk about the Life of the Lord Jesus Christ. Perhaps have gone through it before - if so, try and understand it better than ever. Not like lives of other men, which read once or twice and then want something else. Some have studied every word of Gospels many times, yet each time more interesting, always something new. And see why the Gospels written John xx. 31. Yet how few care about it? Why? See 2 Cor. iv. 4 - how terrible! Pray, with David, Ps. cxix. 18.

When we read a man's life, what's the first event recorded? But we must go back before the birth of Jesus. For look at John xvii. 5. What was He then? Not a man, not an angel, but -. How long had He lived as God? John i. 1-3; Col. i. 17. And how long will He be God? Heb. i. 8. So in the Te Deum - 'Thou art the Everlasting Son of the Father.' And in our texts today - 'only begotten of the Father', 'in form of God,' 'equal with God.'

When we pray 'Our Father,' we pray to God, but not to Jesus. Who then? And who else is God too? Here are three sacred Persons, yet how many Gods? Deut. vi. 4; 1 Cor. viii. 4. What do we call this Three in One? See where the Three Persons are put together as equal in Scripture, Matt. xxviii. 19; 2 Cor. xiii. 14. When and where do we hear these verses quoted? (Baptism, Benediction in Church.)

Can we understand this? No one can. You have seen a great engine puffing and snorting as it drags the train along. Perhaps have learned how all those strange wheels and bars of iron move so beautifully. But does the little insect that jumps on the wheel know all that? Could it be taught? And when we try to understand the great God, we are like the fly trying to understand the engine.

Look again at our texts - 'made flesh', made in the likeness of man'. God the Son came down upon earth, and became the Man Jesus. This called the Incarnation, i.e. 'taking flesh' ' Another mystery (as St. Paul calls it, 1 Tim. iii. 16). Consider now -

I. HOW GOD THE SON BECAME MAN

1. He laid aside His glory. See a picture of what that glory was, Isa. vi. 1-6 (see John xii. 41). See how, when upon earth, He desired to return to it, John xvii. 5. Then how great the love that gave it up, 2 Cor. viii. 9. It is called 'emptying Himself,' Phil. ii. 7.

2. He took a human body. He was really born, and had a real mother, Gal. iv. 4. His body grew, Luke ii. 52. He was hungry, Matt. iv. 2; thirsty, John iv. 7, xix. 28; tired, John iv. 6. He really died, Mark xv. 44, 45.

3. He took a human soul. He thought and felt, had a human will, Luke xxii. 42; was glad, Luke x. 21; sorry, Mark iii. 5, Luke xix, 41, John xi. 35; surprised, Matt. viii. 10, Mark vi. 6; - like other men. He was loving, patient, pitiful, upright, pure, just as other men ought to be, only - only what? - see 2 Cor. v. 21; Heb. iv. 15; 1 John iii. 5.

4. Yet He was God all the while. See what was predicted, Isa. vii. 14, ix. 6 - the child should be 'the Mighty God'; and what does 'Emmanuel' mean? Matt. i. 23. And in [16] His life we see both the Godhead and Manhood together; e.g. on the lake, it is the weary sleeper who wakes and stills the storm; at Bethany, the tearful mourner calls the dead to life, etc. etc.

It is 'this Jesus', 'very God and very Man', whose life, while upon earth, we are going to read.

II. WHY GOD THE SON BECAME MAN

1. To take away sin, 1 John iii. 5, 8. Look at Ps. xiv. 2, 3 - 'the Lord looked down'; what did He see? (Comp. Gen. vi. 5.) Think of all the misery this sin has brought. God wished us to be happy - then must sweep away sin - how do it? see Heb. ix. 26; Isa. liii. 6. So what is Christ called? John i. 29.

2. To obey all God's law, Heb. x. 7. What for? - to get heaven for Himself? - but He was there already. See why, Rom. v. 19, x. 4.

3. To take away death's power, and give us life, Heb. ii. 14, John x. 10.

4. To be able to sympathise with us, Heb. ii. 17, 18.

5. To give us an Example, John xiii. 15.

6. To reveal God to us. What do men know about God? 1 Cor. i. 21. Yet what do they often think? Ps. 1. 21. It is Jesus who shows God to us, John i. 18; Luke x. 22. How? John xiv. 9; Col. i. 15.

7. To make us love God. Do we naturally? Rom. viii. 7. But how can we help it when we see such love? 1 John iv. 10, 19; 2 Cor. v. 14, 15.

8. To unite God and man. Did the Man Jesus cease to live when the Son of God ascended to heaven? What did Stephen see? Acts vii. 56. So the Son took our nature for ever; and what does He give to us? 2 Pet. i. 4. How wonderful!

What a work to undertake! No wonder only God could do it.

Think of any one losing all these blessings! Think of any one refusing them, or caring nothing about them! Are you like that? You have the privilege of knowing about them - 'receive not this grace of God in vain!' So wrote St. Paul to the Corinthians; and what did he say next? 2 Cor. vi. 1, 2.

Lesson II Prophecies of the Coming Saviour
Lord's Day 13th January 'As He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets.'

Read
- Passages referred to in the Lesson; Leam - John v. 39; Matt. xiii. 16, 17.

SKETCH OF LESSON

Last Sunday we saw 'Why God the Son became Man,' to take away sin, etc. (Recapitulate.) How came this to be necessary? (Question on the Fall.)

But the Saviour did not come at once waited long - 4,000 years at least - why? Men must learn how dreadful sin is, or would not want a Saviour. Next Sunday see how He came just at the right time.

Did the people who lived before He came know nothing of Him? God told them, in many ways, a great deal. Today look at some of His messages.

I. THE PROMISE IN EDEN

Just when Adam and Eve in misery, because of their sin, God told them of a Saviour - told them before He punished them (Gen. iii. 15-19); how pitiful! What did He tell them about the Saviour? See ver. 15. (a) He should be a man ('Her seed'). (b) He should fight against their cruel enemy ('enmity'). (c) He should not be conquered as they had been, but should crush the enemy ('Bruise thy head' - the way to kill a serpent). (d) He must be stronger than the enemy - could He then be only a man? (e) Yet He should be hurt, should suffer, though not conquered ('bruise his heel').

Who is all this like? See 1 John iii. 8; Heb. ii. 14; Luke xi. 21, 22; Rev. xii. 9-11.

II. THE PROMISES TO THE PATRIARCHS

In spite of God's promise to Adam and Eve, men forgot Him, grew worse and worse even the Deluge only stopped it for a time - at last scarcely any one who cared for God - promise forgotten. Then God chose a man - his family to become a great nation - separate from all the world - that He might train them to know and obey Him - that He might give them His messages to men to write down and keep safe - that from them the Saviour might come; Acts vii. 2, xiii. 17; Deut. vii. 6-8; Rom. iii. 2.

What did God tell Abraham of His purpose? Gen. xii. 2, 3, xv. 1-6, xvii. 1-8, xxii. 15-18; comp. xxvi. 3, 4, xxviii. 13, 14. [17]

(a) Despite the sin all around, all nations should one day be blessed. (b) This blessing should come through Abraham's family. (c) But Abraham knew his children would be sinful like himself - how then such a blessing? - God the only source of blessing (xv. 1) - should not God Himself be the Saviour.

Who was both God and the seed of Abraham? Rom. ix. 5; Gal. iii. 16; Heb. ii. 16 And what did Jesus say about Abraham knowing Him? John viii. 56. And is Jesus a blessing? Acts iii. 25, 26; Eph. i. 3, iii. 8, comp. Ps. lxxii. 17.

"Blessings abound where'er He reigns."

III. THE TYPES OF THE JEWISH LAW

Abraham's family in Egypt - slaves - very ignorant - few remembered the Promise. How did God teach them after He brought them out? By pictures - figures - types like 'shadows' (Heb. viii. 5, x. 1), which give the outline of a man's form, but not his features, etc. But if see a shadow, what sure of? Must be some real thing coming no shadow alone. Tabernacles, priests, sacrifices - what did they teach? See Heb ix. 8 - that sinful men could not come near holy God - must have some one between, also that God would accept another's death instead of the sinner's.

Who has come between? Who has really died for sinners? 1 Tim. ii. 5, 6.


IV. THE LATER PROPHECIES

By-and-by God told more about the Coming Saviour, to David, Isaiah, Daniel, all the prophets. It would take many lessons to look at all His messages. Two great things predicted: -

1. The glory of the Coming Saviour. In Moses' time, if the Israelites thought about the Coming One, would think of one like Moses - could imagine nothing better than that; so what sort of person did God promise them? Deut. xviii. 15. But when they had a king - and that king David would think Coming One must be like him - would look for a great King. How then did God describe Him now? (a) He should be the Son of David, Ps. lxxxix, cxxxii. (b) He should reign as a King, ii. 6, xlv.; gloriously, xlv. 3, 4; righteously, lxxii. 2; graciously, lxxii. 4-7, 12-14; despite all opposition, ii. 1-6, cx. 1, 2. (c) His Kingdom should be everywhere, lxxii. 8; ii. 8: and for ever, lxxii. 5, 17.

Under good and bad kings the same message came, Isa. ix. 6, 7, xxxii. 1; Jer. xxiii. 5: Micah v. 2-5; in and after the captivity, Dan. ii. 44, vii. 13, 14; Zech. ix. 9; under the Romans, Luke i. 32, 33. To this they looked forward, Luke xix. 11; John vi. 15; Acts i. 6.

Who is this King? Rev. i. 5, xix. 16. What did Jesus say Himself? Matt. xxv. 31, 34; john xviii. 36; Rev. iii. 21. See the above prophecies applied to Him, Matt. xxi. 5; Acts iv. 25-27; Heb. i. 5, 8, 9.

2. The Humiliation of the Coming Saviour. Even in Eden this mentioned ('bruise his heel'); the types pointed to redemption by death; and amid all the prophecies of Messiah's kingly glory were many others of His sufferings. God put Ps. xxii (and others) into David's mouth to describe what Christ should undergo; comp ver. 1, 6-8, 16-18, with Matt. xxvii. 35 36, 69 - 43, 46. See expecially Isa. liii.; comp. ver. 7, 8 with Acts viii. 32-35; ver. 12 with Mark xv. 28; also Dan. ix. 26.

Did the Jews understand this? John xii. 34. Not even the disciples at first, Matt. xvi. 22, 23; Luke xxiv. 20, 21. But what use would all the rest be without it? Satan could not have been crushed - sin would have kept from us all the 'blessings' of Abraham's seed - the King could only condemn us. In heaven no Satan - no sin - every blessing - the King Himself 'in His beauty' (Isa. xxxiii. 17); yet what do they most rejoice in there? Rev. v. 9, 12.

"Worthy the Lamb that died, they cry!"

Would Abraham, David, Daniel, be thankful for God's goodness in telling them about the Coming Saviour?

To us He is not the Coming Saviour, but the SAVIOUR WHO HAS COME. How much ought we to thank God! A Sunday-school child can know more about Him than Moses or Isaiah.

'How blessed are our eyes,
That see the heavenly light;
Prophets and kings desired it long,
But died without the sight.'

Are we looking to Him - as the Conqueror of Satan, to succour us; as the Seed of Abraham, to make us blessed; as the King, to rule in our hearts; as the suffering Saviour, to take away our sin? [18]

Lesson III - The Fulness of Time
Lord's Day 20th January 'The Desire of all nations shall come.'

Read - Passages referred to in the Lesson; Learn - Ps. cxix. 126; Matt. iv. 16; Gal. iv. 4.

SKETCH OF LESSON

At last the time came for the Incarnation. At last the King and Saviour so long promised was to come. But what had been going on in the world all this time? Were men looking out, thankfully and hopefully, for the Coming One? Nations were rising and failing - men working, playing, fighting, idol-worshipping, living, dying - as if no God had forgotten Him altogether.

Had God forgotten? Ps. x. 11 - 16; Prov. xv. 3. What was He doing? You have seen when old houses pulled down for new building - empty space - mounds of rubbish - men working here and there - great stones brought - poles set up looks all disorder - but who is watching, ordering, planning, all the time? God is like the architect, Ps. cxv. 3; Isa. xl. 22; Dan. iv. 35 - all that long time was preparing or the coming of His Son. At last all ready. Today see condition of the world when He came.

I. THE ROMAN EMPIRE

(1) The world then not at all what it is now - Britain a distant province of great empire - emperor at Rome ruling countries in north, south, east, and west - no Pharaoh in Egypt, Hiram at Tyre, Benhadad at Damascus, or Sennacherib at Nineveh the great kingdoms named in the Old Testament gone - Rome everywhere (see Luke ii. 1). So God had told Daniel (ii. 40, vii. 23). This just the time for the Gospel to be preached - why? If many kingdoms, different governments, wars, how could the Apostles have travelled about so easily?

(2) Now, if book published in London, cannot be read in France, Spain, etc., unless translated. One of the hardest parts of a missionary's work to learn the language of the people he goes to. But then, one language all over Roman Empire - not Roman (Latin), but Greek - such a beautiful language, that when Greece was conquered, even the proud Romans learned it. So when St. Paul preached everywhere in Greek, could be understood; when he wrote Greek letters (the Epistles in our Bible), how many could read them?

(3) But what sort of people lived in the great empire, spoke the beautiful language? Many very rich and selfish - others oppressed and miserable - great wickedness, Rom. i. 28-32. Now, even people who do not love God often ashamed to sin - very few ashamed then. Very few thought even of their false gods; if they did, it was only to get something out of it (like the silversmiths at Ephesus, Acts xix.). The clever men knew the idols no good, but never thought of the great God always looking down on all, 1 Cor. i. 21; could see things were very bad, but knew no remedy; had found out many wonderful things, but could not make men good - not always good themselves. See the sad words of Eph. ii. 12.

So when the Gospel came, the world was ready, for there was: -

(a) One great empire; universal peace.

(b) One language everywhere.

(c) A people sunk in sin, caring not even for the idols, and whose best men could do them no good.

But what of the nation God had chosen out to be separate, to have His revelations (as we saw last Sunday)? Let us took at:

II. THE CHOSEN PEOPLE

1. Their Government. No David or Hezekiah now: a foreigner reigns in Zion. And even he can only be king because the Romans let him - they supreme here too. Is he a good king? what does Matt. ii. tell us of his deceit (ver. 8) and cruelty (ver. 16)?

2. Their Religion. Were they better than the Gentiles? No idolatry - in old times always caring for idols - never after the Captivity. Had the Scriptures - valued them greatly - kept the law, sabbaths, sacrifices, washings etc. Worshipped not only at Temple - synagogues everywhere - scribes to teach, like Ezra, Neh. viii. 1 -8, 13. But this not all. Scribes did not teach rightly - thought more of great Rabbi's words than of God's words, Mark vii. 8 argued hard questions - only gave the people hard rules to keep, Matt. xxiii. 4; comp. John vii. 49; Luke iv. 18. The Pharisees - they prayed, fasted, gave alms, Matt. vi. 2, 5, 16; Luke xviii. 11, 12; but were they acceptable to God? - why not? ('to be seen of men'; comp. Matt. xv. 8, 9, xxiii. 5, 6, 14, 25-28).

3. The Jews of the Dispersion. Were the Jews, with their greater knowledge, any [19] good to the Gentiles? No longer shut up in Canaan as of old - dispersed everywhere - even so in Esther's days, Esth. iii. 8, 12, 13; much more then, see Acts ii. 5, xv. 21; Jas. i. 1. If they had set a good example, been kind and upright, etc., how much good they might have done! But see Rom. ii. 24; comp. Acts xviii. 2, 14-17, xix. 34.

Must we not say, with David (Ps. cxix. 126), 'It is time for Thee, Lord, to work, for they,' Gentiles and Jews, 'have made void Thy law'?

Did no one feel this - No one long for Messiah to come?

III. EXPECTATIONS OF THE MESSIAH

(a) Look at Acts xxvi. 7. The Jews were looking out - but for what? Not for the blessing on all nations promised to Abraham - not for the sufferer and sinbearer Isaiah spoke of - only for the King (on these points refer to last Lesson) - a King to deliver them from foreign rule and make them great. But some different, Luke i. 77 - 79, ii. 32, 38.

(b) Not only the Jews. Of whom was it predicted that they should 'desire' a Redeemer? Hag. ii. 7. So it was. Books written then speak of an expectation everywhere of some great One coming. Who came from the far East to worship the King when He was born? Matt. ii. 2. Who was waiting for Messiah to 'tell her all things'? John iv. 25.

So in every way, when Christ came, it was 'the fulness of time,' Gal. iv. 4.

Again, as last Sunday, we see now GREAT IS OUR PRIVILEGE.

How happy are our eyes,' etc

'The darkness is past, and the true light now shineth,' 1 John ii. 8. The promised 'Sun of Righteousness' (Mal. iv. 2) has risen. And what does He say to us? see John xii. 36. Are our hearts dark in the midst of light? We see what the world was without Christ - so is a heart without Christ. And there are dark lands still - think of them.

'Can we, whose souls are lighted,' etc.

Let us work for them, and pray -

'Through the world, far and wide,
Let there be light!'

Lesson IV - The Saviour's Mother
Lord's Day 27th January 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord.'

Read - Luke i. 26-55; Leam - Luke i. 46-48; Matt. xii. 49, 50.

SKETCH OF LESSON

Before we come to the Birth of the Saviour, let us read a little about His mother. What nation must she belong to? - tribe? family? (Question on Lesson II.) See Gen. xxii. 18; Mic. v. 2; Ps. cxxxii. 11. Where should we expect to find David's Descendants living (See John vii. 42; comp. Luke ii. 4.) But we have to go to a little quiet country town far away - Nazareth. There no prince living in a palace - the heir of David's house is the village carpenter betrothed to a humble maiden of the same royal family - she to be the Saviour's mother!

I. THE ANNUNCIATION

(Read Luke i. 26-38.)

Mary alone - a quiet, simple woman perhaps engaged in her household work (God's messages often sent to men when at common duties - Moses, Gideon, Elisha).

Suddenly an angel - bright and glorious - speaking startling words to her - 'highly favoured' - 'blessed among women' what can it mean?

No wonder she is greatly agitated - like Daniel and Zacharias when the same angel came to them, Dan. viii. 16, 17, 27; Luke i. 12.

Then look at the next gentle words - her own name uttered to soothe her - and what then? Yes, the long looked-for King is coming, and He will be her child! Is she perplexed still? - is the message so wondrous? - what does the angel remind her of? (ver. 37); and God has just given a token of His power - the aged Elizabeth is to have a son too.

How does the angel speak of the Child that should be born? (a) What shall be His name? (see Matt. i. 21). (b) He shall have a Kingdom - whose? over whom? for how long? (ver. 32, 33). (c) But He shall be much greater than David - why? Who shall be His Father? (ver. 32, 35).

How does Mary receive the message? Does she doubt it? or is she vain of so high a privilege? or does she shrink from so high a position? Look at her words - trustful, humble, calm, ready for God's will; ver. 38. [20]

II. THE SONG OF MARY

(Read ver. 39-55.)

Mary must tell some friend the great news. Joseph is told by the angel, Matt. i. 20. Whom does Mary seek? All the way to Judea (perhaps to Hebron) to see her whom the angel had named. Look at Elizabeth's greeting - the very same words the angel had used! how should she know? (ver, 41). Then the same Spirit comes on Mary - she is like a prophet of old - inspired ('breathed into' by God) - Heaven-taught words of praise burst from her lips - just like those from Hannah's, I Sam. ii. 1 - 1 0. What does she say?

1. Whom does she praise? (a) 'God my Saviour' - why this? She thought not of the Kingdom the Child should have, but of the Name. He should bear (ver. 31) 'Saviour'. Through Him God would 'Save' His people. (b) 'He that is mighty' 'Nothing impossible to Him' (comp. ver. 37).

2. What does she praise God for? For His goodness - (a) To herself. Why did she rejoice to think of a Saviour? who need a Saviour? what was the Saviour to save from? Mary thought first of her sinfulness. Then she thinks of the future - people would look back and think 'Mary was the Saviour's mother - happy woman!' But is she vain of this? (see next verse). (b) To all His people. Is God's mercy for her? - so for them (ver. 50). Can He do great things for her? - so wherever His 'strong arm' is needed (ver. 51): Is she, with her low estate, exalted? - others shall not be forgotten (ver. 52, 53). Does she believe His message to her? - all His ancient promises shall be fulfilled (ver. 54, 55).

Was Mary indeed 'highly favoured'? Was it not a great honour to be related to Christ - so closely too - His own mother? Yes; and so thought a woman who once spoke to Him, Luke xi. 27. Did He say No? But what did He add? More blessed. - how so? - look at Matt. xii. 47-50; because -

WE MAY HAVE A CLOSER RELATIONSHIP

Who is the head of a family? Jesus here (Matt. xii. 50) speaks of a 'Father' - who? The great God has a 'Family', 'in heaven and earth', Eph. iii. 15; there is One Son, John i. 18; but many others are 'adopted' (Gal. iv. 5) - 'become (John i. 12) 'sons of God' - then what relation to Jesus? see John xx. 17; Heb. ii. 11.

This spiritual relationship closer than the earthly one. Why?

(a) More happy and united. When mothers and children, brothers and sisters, are loving and happy together, it is a blessed sight - but are they always? The Elder Brother -

'His is love beyond a brother's:
Oh, how He loves!' -

always loves, John xiii. 1; and His 'brethren' love Him, 1 Pet. i. 8.

(b) More lasting. Jesus might have had an earthly relative who would have rejected Him, died in sin, been lost; His spiritual relatives with Him for ever: Mary now in heaven, not as His mother, but as redeemed by Him.

Then because the relationship closer, the love should be greater, Matt. x. 37.

HOW MAY WE HAVE THIS RELATIONSHIP?

What does Jesus say? 'Whosoever shall do the will of My Father.' What is God's will about His 'adopted sons'? John i. 12 'Believe on Christ's name' (comp. Gal. iii. 26); 2 Cor. vi. 17, 18 - 'Come out,' etc.; Eph. v. 1 - 'Imitate God'; Rom. viii. 14 Be 'led by the Spirit'. In other words.

We must have Mary's character - trusting 'God our Saviour', and yielding ourselves to His will. Let each say, 'Behold me - Thy handmaid [or (with boys) Thy servant]; be it unto me, in body and soul, in life and death, according to Thy word.'

[21]
Gems from John Howe 1630-1705

John Howe was an eminent Puritan and one of Cromwell's chaplains. His works are among the most suggestive and profound of the Puritan writers. Robert Hall testified, "I have learned more from John Howe than from any author I have ever read." There is an astonishing magnificence about his conceptions."

Mr. Howe was tall in person, graceful in manner and of a piercing and pleasant eye. He was a ready off-hand preacher and never used notes.

His printed works were, 'Delighting in God' 1674, 'The Living Temple' 1st Part 1676, 2nd Part 1702, 'The Redeemer's Tears over Lost Souls' 1684.

1. If all that I am and have be from Him, I cannot surely owe Him less than all.

2. As to religion it is all one whether we make nothing to be God or everything; whether we allow of no God to be worshipped, or leave none to worship Him,

3. God is in good earnest, and intends no mockery or deceit in His offer of peace.

4. Though none can claim mercy, all may forfeit it.

5. The soul hath its clothing, its vestment of life, upon as cheap terms as the lilies theirs; it doth neither toil nor spin for it.

6. When our eye shall take in the discovery of Divine glory, how sweet and satisfying a pleasure will arise from that grateful mixture of reverent love, humble joy, modest confidence, meek courage, a prostrate magnanimity, a triumphant veneration; a soul shrinking before the Divine glory into nothing, yet not contenting itself with any less enjoyment than of Him who is all in all.

7. The womb of grace knows no maimed defective births.

8. So far from doating on that popular idol liberty, I hardly think it possible for any kind of obedience to be more painful than an unrestrained liberty.

9. How many visits from heaven are lost to us when we are, as it were, between sleeping and waking.

10. The seal is fair and excellent, but the impression is languid or not visible. We think to be saved by an empty name, and glory in the appearance of that, the life and power whereof we hate and deride. 'Tis a reproach with us not to be called a Christian, and a greater reproach to be one!

11. With what compassionate tears should the state of mankind be lamented by all that understand the work of a soul.

12. It is not fatal necessity, but a wilful choice that has made thee miserable.

13. Wherefore doth God discover His own heart to thee, but to melt, and win, and transform thine.

14. Who sees not that a man is more wicked according as his will is more wickedly bent. [22]

Alderman Albert H. Duff Memorial Free Presbyterianism in Sandy Row

Our Lord told His disciples that they were entering into other men's labours. So it is with the Free Presbyterian Church in Sandy Row.

Alderman Albert H. Duff J.P. and Mrs. Duff did a great pioneer work in this area. They laid a solid foundation of gospel work and though they are dead they yet speak.

The Paisley family and the Duff family have lengthy connections. When my father conducted his first evangelistic mission in Keady, Mr. Duff was his organist.

After the Alderman retired he requested that we take over the work.

The old hall in Aughrim St. had to be demolished because of the redevelopment in the area and as a result the work had to be accommodated in temporary premises.

Now a new hall has been erected and the work given a fresh injection of life. Mr. John Gray, a student for the ministry, has been placed in charge by the Kirk Session of the Martyrs Memorial Church.

The Sunday School and Children's Work is averaging out about 60 at each meeting and a special Lord's Day evening Service recently had roughly the same number of adults present.

The Opening Meetings were conducted by myself and our brother Dr. Franco Maggiotto, a converted R.C. priest from Italy was also present. It was a happy and pleasant time. Pray for the work that it will prosper mightily. I.R. K. P. [23]

FOR BOYS AND GIRLS: The Lambs of Christ's Flock

Frederic and Annette were sitting together at the door of their cottage home in Switzerland one Sabbath afternoon, talking about the sermon they had just heard at church, and which had been about keeping the Sabbath day holy. They both tried to recollect as much as they could. "The minister said we ought to love Sabbath more than any other day, and put away all our work, and think about Jesus, and try to help any one in trouble," said Frederic, thoughtfully. "Yes," rejoined Annette; "but, do you know, I saw old Joseph making baskets today; and yet Sabbath belongs to God." The children were silent for a few minutes; then the little girl continued: "Supposing, Frederic, we were to go to old Joseph, and tell him that Sabbath belongs to God?" They did not hesitate long, but set off together hand in hand to go to the poor blind man's. They found him sitting in his little garden, very busy making a basket. When they got near, Annette summoned up courage to say, "Joseph, do you know today is Sabbath, and Sabbath belongs to God? We ought not to make baskets today." The blind man looked vexed, and said, sharply, "Who are you, and what do you want?" "I am Frederic," replied the little boy, "and this is Annette." "And we are only come to tell you," continued the latter, "that Sabbath belongs to God, and that we ought to love Jesus, and love Sabbath." The poor man knit his brow, and turning from them impatiently, went on with his work all [24] the harder. The children stood still before him with such an imploring look, it would almost have touched his heart could he have seen them; but he only replied, "You have nothing to do with me, children; go away home!" "I must just give you this first, Joseph," said Frederic, as he slipped a penny which his uncle had given him into the old man's hand, for he knew that he was very poor, and was sometimes even forced to beg. The blind man was taken by surprise, and said, in a milder voice , "Well, tell me what it is you want." "We wanted to give you this," they replied both together, "and to say that we ought not to work on Sabbath.' , "What could I do if I didn't?" said Joseph; "it would be no good to me going to church, for I am blind, and nearly deaf too." Frederic took from his pocket the little Testament which had been given to him at the Sunday school, and said, "if you would not mind leaving off work for a few minutes, I will read to you what we heard today at church." He sat down with his sister on the grass, by the old man's side, and read, in a clear, distinct voice, part of the ninth chapter of St. John, about the blind man whom our Saviour cured. it was something quite new to poor old Joseph. He listened with folded arms, and more than once expressed his astonishment. The children left him, saying, "Good-bye, Joseph; please do not work any more on Sabbath."

After they were gone, the blind man felt as though he could not go on with his basket; but he sat still for a long time, deep in thought. The children's words, "Sabbath belongs to God," had touched his heart.

When the children came, the next Sabbath, to see Joseph, they found him ill in bed. They sat down quietly; and, presently, Annette asked him, "Should you like Frederic to read to you again?" "Yes," replied the old man, with a deep sigh. The boy opened his Bible at the fifth chapter of St. John, and read the whole of it through. Joseph listened with fixed attention, and said, as he finished, "I should like to hear more about Jesus, but I have no one but you to read to me. Could you not come sometimes of an evening, and read to me a bit?" "Oh yes! " exclaimed both the children, quite delighted, "we could come every evening after school."

And so these little children were allowed to become the instructors of the poor old blind man; and each evening they came and read to him a chapter from the Bible, and talked to him about what they had learnt at school about Jesus Christ, who died for sinners, and who is so willing to receive all who come to Him.

Joseph was ill for many long weeks, and during this time he was often visited by the good pastor of the village; and it pleased God so to bless His own Word, that, though his bodily eyes were still blinded, the darkness was taken away from his heart. He learnt first to know that he was a sinner, and then to look to Jesus as his Saviour. The sad, gloomy expression he used to have, quite disappeared from his face, and, instead of it, a bright, happy smile rested on his countenance. After some time, it pleased God to restore his health in great measure; and, one bright Sabbath morning in spring, poor old Joseph went for the first time to God's house, led by the two dear children who had first carried to him the message of mercy. [25]

[25-30 MEDITATIONS FOR THE MONTH]

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

Acts ch. 8 v. 5: "Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them". Philip reaped what Christ had sown. Never forget the evangelisation of Samaria which took place by our Lord, and the converting of the woman at Sychar's well. Then again in verse 14, Peter and John reaped what Philip had sown. One soweth, another reapeth, but it Is God that giveth the increase, that's the divine order.

Acts ch. 8 v. 35: "Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus". Jesus Christ is the subject of every text, and every text is the gate, the path, that leads to Him. He is the grand subject and the grand object of God's precious word. Preachers preach Jesus out of the Book and signs will follow the preaching of that word.

Acts ch. 8 v. 39: "And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing". Philip's life's work was not the great revival of Samaria, his life's work was the winning of the Ethiopian eunuch, for in winning the Ethiopian eunuch, he won a continent, the great vast continent of Africa for the Lord. The Ethiopian eunuch was the first-fruits of that mighty harvest.

Mark ch. 4 v. 1: "And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea: and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land". Note the repetition of the word "again" in this gospel of Mark. Our Lord kept at it, so must we. We must not allow the monotony to discourage us or to make us give up.

Mark ch. 4 vs. 3, 4: "Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow. And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up"'. This parable should be rightly called, not the parable of the sower, but the parable of the soil. We don't need to pray for the seed, it is incorruptible, but we must pray for the soil. God can transform the way side, the stony ground and the thorny ground, into good ground for the sowing and bringing forth of the seed.

Mark ch. 4 v. 22: "For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was anything kept secret, but that it should come abroad". No cover-up possible except God's cover-up (atonement) of our sins.