[2]
20 I.R.A. Sinn Feiners Smash Up Sixmilecross Free Presbyterian Church

Savage attacks launched by the IRA/Sinn Fein on Protestant places of worship are being concealed from the general public while any attack whatsoever on Roman Catholic property is given the greatest possible publicity. The Newsletter failed completely to report one line of the exposure made by Rev. W. McCrea the M.P. for the area in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

ATTACKS ON FREE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES (SIXMILECROSS AND RAVENHILL ROAD)

Rev. William McCrea: On 21 May last, at 4.30 am, the Free Presbyterian church in Sixmilecross, built only two years ago, was attacked by Republican thugs. The police tell us that 20 men were involved in that attack. Every breakable item, including every window, was smashed; over 2,000 worth of damage was done. Yet I could get hardly one line in the press, hardly one word on the media, because it happened to be a Free Presbyterian church. It happened to be one of those places the rebels are allowed to smash and to destroy with little or no action taken. And if that is not galling enough, there is more to this story. Bearing in mind the recent activity of the Republicans in the Mid Ulster area, I would have thought that a guard would be put on that church immediately lest it be burned to the ground. But there was absolutely no guard put on it. But what did the authorities do? They turned round and immediately put a guard on the Beragh chapel.

No Loyalists have attacked the Roman Catholic churches in my constituency. The vast majority of the Protestant people have always desired to remain good citizens, and have proved that throughout this country. Indeed any attack on a place of worship has been condemned without equivocation by the representatives of the Loyalist community. But little or no condemnation for this has come from anyone on the Republican side. Indeed I think it is to be condemned that the Royal Ulster Constabulary, instead of putting a proper guard on that and other free churches in an area where the Repub-

(continued on p. 16)

[3]
The Battle of the Boyne - Why it must be fought again today
A Sermon preached by Dr. Paisley in Martyrs Memorial Free Presbyterian Church on July 8th 1984

Exodus ch. 17, verses 8-16

"Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. . . ."

As has been announced, my subject this evening is 'The Battle of the Boyne - Why it must be fought again today'.

Some cynics would say, that the Battle of the Boyne was a family domestic quarrel; that the son-in-law William fell out with his father-in-law James; coveted his father-in-law's throne and took a military offensive to drive his father-in-law out of his dominions. After all, in-laws do fall out, and sons-in-law and fathers-in-law do have quarrels. We all know that. Then other people would say 'it was just a mere political squabble; The great men of England did not like the Royal prerogatives as they were exercised by James the Second; they saw a coming back of supremacy to the Crown and they did not like that, and so they encouraged and invited William Prince of Orange to come over to fight their battles and do their work for them'. But when we tear aside all the suppositions and comments of cynics and those who don't like to face the truth of the issue, we discover that the real battle that was fought at the Boyne is a battle that has been raging from generation to generation of all mankind.

Liberty Versus Oppression

There is a record of one of the great episodes of that Battle in this seventeenth chapter of the Book of Exodus, it is the Battle of Liberty against oppression - the Battle of Truth against the lie. The Battle of God's plan of salvation against all the counterfeit plans of man's way of religion and man's way of salvation.

One has only to read history to understand how under the domain and sovereignty of James the Second arbitrary power was brought back into [4] Reformation England. The great liberties of the nation were once again brought under subjection to the Throne and the Crown, and the Protestant faith was undermined, and a train of events set in order to destroy the Protestantism of the nation. William the Third at the Battle of the Boyne delivered this nation from Popery and from arbitrary power. It must be said that William Prince of Orange was not intolerant, he was not a despot, he was not out in any way to subjugate and to subdue those who differed from him either religiously or politically. That was manifested at his inauguration in Edinburgh when he was to receive the Crown of the Kingdom of Scotland, and in the Oath that was demanded of him it said that he was to root out all heretics and all enemies of true worship - the true worship of God. William stopped and he said, "I will not bind myself under any obligation to be a persecutor". The Duke of Argyle said, "Your Majesty, neither the words nor the law of this country would bind you with such an obligation". Then the King replied, "If that is so, I will take the Oath in the wording that you have asked. What I ask for myself I refuse for no one else."

Ireland Prepared by James

Of course James the Second had prepared well for the conflict in Ireland. Every Protestant had been already discharged from the Army in Ireland. The Charters of the various Boroughs in Ireland had been surrendered; their privileges were gone and King James manipulated them and appointed to office those that would totally and fully support him. Lying Dick Talbot, as he was called, the Earl of Tyrconnell - the Lord Deputy Lieutenant Governor of Ireland was absolutely dedicated to subdue the Protestants that were left on this island. History records how over Dublin Castle, he declared, in favour of King James against King William, with a banner that said, "Now or never". Those sound familiar words, for those are the words of the Romanists in this land down through the century echoed not so long ago by John Hume when he said it was a United Ireland or nothing, 'Now or never'. History has a habit of repeating itself.

Rome's Hatred

I was in Londonderry this afternoon. The First Presbyterian Church there has been under attack by Republicans for some time, they have petrol bombed it and they have burned it and done much damage to it. It has just been re-opened after the spending of tens of thousands of pounds of repair work on its fabric, work that had to be done because of continual and constant attacks upon it. The night before last it was set on fire by [5] incendiary bombs, and two hundred thousand pounds of damage was done to that building. I want to say from this pulpit tonight that that illustrates the fact that you cannot appease Romanism or Republicanism. It is vain to attempt it. The English ministers told us that if we drop the name Londonderry it would bring peace to the City, but since that name was dropped there has been more Republican attacks on police and property than ever before. Let me say to you, every Roman Catholic school in this country is a nursery of sedition, totally opposed to what they are pleased to call in their spleen and hate 'The Protestant Ascendancy'. Any symbol of the Protestant Ascendancy is a justified target as far as they are concerned. That is why they attack the Royal Ulster Constabulary, they see them as part of the Protestant Ascendancy. That is why they attack members of the Ulster Defence Regiment, they see them as part of the Protestant Ascendancy. That is why they attack Protestant Churches, because they see them as part of the Protestant Ascendancy. That is why they attacked the Rev. Robert Bradford and brutally murdered him, because they saw him as part of the Protestant Ascendancy. This is not some new development in Ireland, this is something that has gone on down through the years.

The Williamite Revolution Settlement

One has only to look at the Revolution Settlement to notice exactly what this whole battle was about, and the whole battle was about the interference of Romanism, the interference of Popery in the political, and social and religious life of our nation. We are all aware of the great Act of Settlement which wrote into the Constitution of this United Kingdom, that 'No Roman Catholic could occupy the Throne, and any member of the Royal family who entered into relationships with Rome, immediately forfeited the right to occupy the Throne'. It was stated over and over again at that particular time that the whole aim was to rid our United Kingdom of having any interference by foreign prince, person, prelate, State or Potentate. At this very time we have the attempt to violate our Constitutional Settlement - an attempt by the South to intrude into the affairs of our Province; an attempt of Her Majesty's Government to encourage the South to interfere in this Realm of our United Kingdom, and so to undermine the Settlement for which our fathers fought and for which they died.

The Conspiracy

There was an overwhelming conspiracy under King James to destroy the whole Reformation as it appertained to England, to Ireland, and Scotland to take us back to pre-Reformation times; back to the bondage, back to the superstition, back to the idolatry and back to the priestcraft of Roman Catholic doctrine and Roman Catholic dogma. That is what the battle was [6] about.

It is interesting to note that there was hardly a Protestant nation and hardly a Protestant Church that was not represented at that Battle of the Boyne in William's army. That is a most interesting thing. I was reading Lord Macauley's history of England and I was amazed to find that from every part of Europe William's army was drawn, especially from those that had been persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church. In fact, in the middle of the battle when the Huguenots of France moved forward into line, their General pointed at James' forces and said, "There are your persecutors", and the Huguenots marched forward and did yeoman service in that great and glorious battle. The Providence of God was evidenced in it all.

The Winds of God

When William prepared to leave the Netherlands and to come to England, a great storm arose, and his ships were driven back. Instead of the eastern wind he needed, a furious north-western gale did blow, and his ships were driven back into port. The Romanists in England were delighted, they thought it was reverse of what happened at the Armada a hundred years before. They lit their bonfires, they rang the bells, and they thought that William would never come. But after eight days, as the historian records it, a Protestant wind did blow - an easterly wind, and it carried the Navy of William right past the Navy of James that awaited them. They never saw them in the channel, and it blew so hard that it blew William past the Bay of Torquay where he had planned to land, and he thought he would have to go on to Plymouth. Then suddenly the wind changed and blew the ships back up the channel safely into Torquay Bay, and after they were safely landed another gale set in, William was protected in the Bay in safe anchorage, but James' Navy was blown to pieces in the upper reaches of the channel. So God blew His winds and they were scattered. God moves in the affairs of men, God is a God of history, He is the God of destiny, and all things happen according to the counsel of His own will.

The Protestant Religion

What was that flag that flew at the masthead of William's ship? "For the Protestant Religion and the Liberties of England". That was what the battle was about.

Then, of course, after the passing of the Revolution Settlement, William landed here in Ireland, Carrickfergus, moved on down to Drogheda to the Boyne Valley, and there the battlelines were drawn. On the eve of the battle the French spied William on his horse, they decided to win the battle with one shot. They rolled up a six pounder gun, aimed it carefully at the King, a [7] shot went home damaging the King's sword arm. When they saw him lean over his horse they exulted, they thought that the King was dead. In fact, the message was sent all round Europe and the Church bells, we are told, rang in the City of Rome letting the people know that 'William was dead'. But far from dead, he had his right hand bandaged and he said, "I will fight with my left hand". So in the true picture of William crossing the Boyne, his sword is in his left hand. The next time you see a picture of King William crossing the Boyne, if the sword is in his right hand then the artist is absolutely wrong, for he fought with his left hand. Yes, William was at a disadvantage, James had all the advantage of position and defence, but men are defenceless when the God of battles is on the side of the one whom He deigns and ordains to conquer.

Victory

That day William had the victory. James fled. His forces were broken up. Ireland eventually capitulated, but more than all, Protestantism, freedom from tyranny and arbitrary power, was established in this Kingdom of ours.

There is a very different picture today. The aim of our enemies remains entirely unchanged. We have seen what Rome has done in the South of this land. We have seen her power in those nations of Europe where she has control. You know, you are not supposed to say anything about her.

I issued a pamphlet during the Election on the Vatican and the E.E.C. It really got up the nose of John Hume. In the debate last Monday he was really mad, so I thought that I should more or less pre-empt it, so I said, "I issued the pamphlet, and I stand over every word of it. I didn't ask the Pope to make Mary the Madonna of the Common Market, the Pope did that". John Hume doesn't want anybody to know that. Well, I will be telling them loud and clear with trumpet blast. The whole E.E.C. setup is a setup of Roman Catholicism in control, and I have seen it in the floor of that House. When a Debate comes up that touches the Church of Rome, how all those adversaries come together, unite to stand as best they can for the Church and its dogmas.

I'm very glad that a Protestant has been elected from the Netherlands, I will not feel so lonely when I go over to Europe this time, because one of the small Protestant Parties in Holland has succeeded in getting a member. I see one of the commentators said, "It was like another Paisley that was arriving from the Netherlands". 'One shall chase a thousand, two shall put ten thousand to flight'. So we will wait and see.

Let me say this to you tonight, that the battle goes on nationally, but that same battle goes on individually. There is a battle for every man's soul being fought in this meeting tonight, the battle for liberty and the battle for bondage. The Devil is the binder and deceiver and blinder of men's souls, "The god of this world has blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ should shine into their hearts". He wants to keep you in bondage. He wants to keep you in darkness. He wants [8] to keep you under his grip. Thank God, there is a great Emancipator the Lord Jesus Christ - the KING of Kings, the LORD of Lords, He can break every imprisonment, snap every evil habit, smash every chain that binds, He can set you gloriously, wonderfully and, praise God, eternally free. That is what the Gospel is all about. Oh, the wonderful joy of having freedom tonight to preach the Gospel. If Rome ruled supreme in this land, every Protestant Church would be closed. Oh yes, Rome believes in democracy when she has to live in a democratic State, she will pay lip service to it, but once she comes into a totalitarian situation then she persecutes. It was Lord Macauley who said, "When Rome is in the minority she is like a lamb. When she is on the equality she is like a fox, but when she is in the majority she is like a tiger". Let me say tonight, the Church of Rome hates this Bible, hates the Gospel of free grace and hates those who preach this Gospel. Every man that has ever stood for God down through the years in this land in pre-Reformation times; Reformation times and post-Reformation times; pre-revolution times and post-revolution times, have always come under the attack of the Roman Catholic Church. I am always glad when I am attacked, I know I'm doing well, I say to myself, "Ian, you're doing badly, nobody is attacking you". I tell you, when you are getting attacked, the Word is going home with power. God help us to stand that! God help us to preach this Book in all its fulness. Men and women, there is no way to Heaven via the Church, whether it be Protestant or Reformed, it cannot save your soul. There is no way to Heaven by Sacraments or priests or pastors or prelates or popes. There is no way to Heaven by ceremonial or ritual. There is no way to Heaven by anything material. God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. The only way to Heaven is through Christ and through Christ alone.

When King William came to die in the Royal apartment in Whitehall, he told old Bishop Burnett that he was resting simply upon what Christ had done for him. I want to tell you that is the whole core and heart of the Gospel. It is not what I am it is what Jesus is that saves me. It is not what I have done it is what Jesus Christ has done that saves me.

"Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy Cross I cling,
Naked come to Thee for dress,
Helpless look to Thee for aid;

Foul I to the Fountain fly,
Wash me Saviour
Wash me Saviour or I die".

At the Cross there is light. At the Cross there is pardon. At the Cross there is liberty, and at the Cross there is salvation for all who will believe. I trust tonight that men and women, and boys and girls will come to the Cross and find pardon and peace and life everlasting.

AMEN AND AMEN!

[9-16 MEDITATIONS FOR THE MONTH]

[16]
20 I.R.A. Sinn Feiners Smash Up Sixmilecross Free Presbyterian Church
(continued from P. 2)

licans are clearly trying to drive out Protestants, slapped the Protestants in the face, saying, "Well you might attempt to attack Roman Catholic chapels, so we will put a guard on." I do not believe that action is the result of a local decision; rather it comes from the hierarchy of the RUC, once again to placate Republicans. It is an orchestration by Government officials in the Northern Ireland Office to always keep the SDLP and other Republicans at peace. Clearly the attack on Sixmilecross Free Presbyterian Church was a Sinn Fein attack. It was well orchestrated, and not carried out simply by vandals, as was reported in the press to take the blame off the Roman Catholic community - oh yes, say it is vandals. But it is a clear indication of what freedom there would be for Protestants in this country if Sinn Fein were ever allowed to get into the place of power.

That was not the only such activity at that time. The Bible in the wayside pulpit at the Free Presbyterian Church on the Ravenhill Road was taken to the side of the church, douched with petrol and burnt. Of course, that is nothing new for that church; It has been done in the past. We, as Protestants, are not going to be trampled into the ground, and we are not going to allow anybody to treat our churches in that way. We demand to be treated equally in this Province as citizens of this great United Kingdom who are law-abiding, and have proved that in the past. [17]

I Indict Jenkins of Durham as a Viper in Vestments by Dr. I. R. K. Paisley M.P.

We are told by the so-called pundits of modern thought that we should pattern our ministry on Christ and especially on "The Sermon on the Mount". We are most happy to do so. It is they, not us, who depart, not only from the teaching but the example of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ. Christ warned of the 'wolves in sheep's clothing'. He described apostates as 'swine' and warned His hearers of the false religious leaders who rejected Him, as being a generation of snakes.

"Harsh, severe language," you say. "Yes indeed," we reply, "but, it is the language of the Incarnate Son of God." It is His language we should emulate and not the shibboleths of those peddlers of 'another Jesus', the Jesus of their own imagination, a God of their own making.

In recent days, following a whole succession of clerical blasphemers there is nothing new under the sun - there has appeared in the ecclesiastical firmament or underworld, as you choose to view it, the latest product of religious apostasy, one Dr. Jenkins, the Church of England Bishop of Durham.

God's Wrath

The nation itself had a singular demonstration of Divine indignation after the consecration of this perjurer in York Minster.

When no lightning was reported in the area, there struck the ancient Minster a lightning flash, so tremendous in power, that no lightning conductor could carry its might. Fire destroyed part of the historic edifice. "The Times", (no Bible loving paper), in its editorial, spoke of Elijah calling down the fire upon the false prophets of Baal. [18]

It is a sobering thought surely, that it is only in apostate days that God intervenes directly to show His grave displeasure. Remember, the days of the prophets were the days when the priests had apostatised.

The new Bishop is the loudmouthed parrot of Antichrist. He attacks the person, the purity, the passion and the power of our wonderful Lord.

The mark of Satan, the poison of Hell's viper, can always be identified by its blasphemous and vicious hatred of the Saviour.

What Think Ye of Christ?

"What think ye of Christ?" That is the great test question.

When we ask that question of Jenkins we can readily discover that he is nothing less than a brat of the devil. He totally and utterly rejects the "Virgin Birth of the Saviour". Such a denial empties the Saviour not only of His purity but of His Deity.

Look at the alternatives. If Christ be not virgin born then He was a sinner, an inheritor of Adam's transgression and thus a partaker of original sin. If Christ be not virgin born then He cannot be what He claimed to be, very God of very God. It follows that such a person, as Jenkins portrays our Lord Jesus to be, is both an imposter and a liar. What is more, the logic of Jenkins' satanic propaganda is that Mary was a strumpet and our Lord a bastard.

This is the lie of Hell, the venom of the serpent, the spewing of the Antichrist.

His Apron - No Cover

As fallen Adam could not cover his sinful nakedness by a fig leaf apron, neither can the Bishop conceal his, behind one of clerical cut and cloth. Nahab and Abihu stained the priest's garments of glory and beauty with their drunken vomit, similarly would this apostate successor seek to stain the garment of Christ's affianced bride. [19]

With eyes enlightened by the Holy Scripture, we view the Bishop's denials as the spewing of a clerical rascal inebriated with the heady wine of his own self importance. A viper in vestments indeed and in truth!

Not content to cast a filthy slur on the birth and character of the Incarnate Son of God, this enemy of the Cross of Christ proceeds to ridicule the bodily resurrection of the Saviour.

He ridicules the scripture narratives as a "conjuring trick with bones", and when pressed tries to cloak over his infidelity by using the term "resurrection" in a way entirely divorced from its New Testament meaning and content.

From the resurrection Durham has jettisoned every iota of the supernatural. His resurrection doctrine is bereft of every scriptural characteristic and is indeed an endorsement of ungodly and God denying atheism.

His teaching can be plainly stated. The Bishop says, "Christ did not rise bodily from the tomb as the Bible teaches." The only resurrection in the Bishop's doctrine of Christ's resurrection is his resurrecting the old Satanic lie - "the disciples stole away the body of Christ".

The bodily resurrection of Christ is the Rock on which the Church of Christ is built. It is the Rock which shatters all the armoury of Hell.

In 1 Corinthians chapter 15, Paul spells out the alternatives to a rejection of the fact of the bodily resurrection of Christ.

  1. Our preaching is in vain - verse 14.
  2. Your faith is in vain - verse 14.
  3. We are found false witnesses - verse 15.
  4. Ye are yet in your sins - verse 17.
  5. Those who have fallen asleep in Christ are perished - verse 18.

That pathetic ecclesiastical figure, Jenkins of Durham, creeps up to this impregnable Rock with his little damp squib of unbelief and stealthily lights the fuse. The only thing blackened by the smoke is his own miserable self.

Jenkins Rock a Sham-Rock

The Rock still stands.

On Christ the solid Rock we stand, Jenkins' rock is a sham-rock! There is, however, one matter which must not go unexposed.

Dr. Jenkins has entered into a solemn obligation to believe and adhere to the historic Christian Faith as set out in the XXXIX Articles of the Church of England.

Articles II and IV are as follows: -

Article II. Of the Word or Son of God, which was made very man. "The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of [20] the Father, the very and eternal God, and of one substance with the Father, took man's nature in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, of her substance: so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and manhood, were joined together in one person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God and very man; Who truly suffered, was crucified, dead and buried, to reconcile His Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of men."

Article IV. Of the Resurrection of Christ. "Christ did truly rise again from death, and took again His Body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of man's nature; wherewith He ascended into Heaven, and there sitteth, until He return to judge all men at the last day."

Perjury!

When Dr. Jenkins was consecrated the following questions were put to him: -


(i) Are you persuaded that the Holy Scriptures contain sufficiently all doctrine required of necessity for Eternal Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ? And are you determined out of the same Holy Scriptures to instruct the people committed to your charge; and to teach or maintain nothing as required of necessity to Eternal Salvation, but that which you shall be persuaded may be concluded and proved by the same?

Answer: I am so persuaded, and determined, by God's Grace.

(ii) Will you then faithfully exercise yourself in the same Holy Scriptures, and call upon God by prayer, for the true understanding of the same; so as you may be able by them to teach and exhort with wholesome doctrine, and to withstand and convince the gainsayers?

Answer: I will do so, by the help of God.

(iii) Are you ready, with all faithful diligence, to banish away all erroneous and strange doctrine contrary to God's Word; both privately and openly to call upon and encourage others to the same?

Answer: I am ready, the Lord being my Helper.

Now having attained to high office by affirming belief of these truths and swearing to be their defender, the Bishop has become their outspoken enemy. In the Affairs of State this would be called treason. In the Affairs of the Church it is High Treason against the Son of God. To take the Church's shelter and money in order to engage in the destruction of the Church's foundation is that same sin which branded Cain and damned the Iscariot.

Need I say anything more? I indict the gartered and gaitered Bishop Jenkins of Durham as a viper in vestments. [21]

The Sunday School Teacher's Teacher

Subject: The Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Lesson XXII - The Rejection at Nazareth
Lord's Day 2nd June 'Is not this the carpenter?'

Read - Luke iv. 16-30; Learn - Luke iv. 22; Isa. liii. 1-3

SKETCH OF LESSON

If a man well-known in our town or neighbourhood went away for a time became famous - great soldier or traveller - then came back to the old place - how would he be received?

Jesus thirty years at Nazareth - small town - everybody knew Him well. How was He occupied when there? Had no doubt done carpenter's work for them - been paid, etc., etc., - no one thought who He was. Now He goes there after being away some time - since last there has done wondrous things - see how He is received.

I. THE 'CARPENTER'S SON' IN HIS OWN TOWN (Read vs. 16-20).

It is the Sabbath - people gathering to the synagogue (as now to church) for Sabbath worship and teaching - eager to go today - expect to see one who for years was regularly there, but absent lately - the son of Joseph the carpenter's widow whom none could ever find fault with - so good - too good to be liked by all. (So now, church often the place where first expect to meet absent friend.) Why eager to see Him? Have heard strange reports of what He has done at Jerusalem, Cana, etc. - of His preaching publicly and having disciples, etc.

The synagogue full - He is there - not looking very different - not dressed like old prophets or the stern man who baptised in the Jordan. The service goes on - presently the 'Lesson' to be read - He rises as if a regular scribe - takes the roll given Him - the roll of Isaiah's prophecies reads out a beautiful message from God (Isa. lxi. - words they know well) - then sits down to preach in the very building in which He had sat so often as a listener - all eyes on Him.

II. THE 'CARPENTER'S SON'S' CLAIM

See the text (vs. 18, 19) and first sentence (v. 21) of His sermon - we have no more ('He began to say'), but how full this is! and how suitable! Think what sort of people sitting there - the common people of a little town. Most of them 'poor', toiling wearily day by day - some 'broken-hearted' with trouble or sorrow - some 'captives' to besetting faults - some 'blind' (either literally or with ignorance). No postman brings good news to them - but the text does ('Gospel' = good news). God promises a 'Jubilee year' - a time of release from the worst slavery (John viii. 34), of recovery of an 'inheritance' that is 'incorruptible', etc. (1 Pet. i. 4).

But who to bring all this? One 'anointed' by God's Spirit - the 'Messiah' - of whom Isaiah wrote so much. And when? What does Jesus tell them (v. 21)? Now! 'this day'! - then He means that He is Messiah!

III. THE 'CARPENTER'S SON' REJECTED (Read vs. 22-30) [22]

Now see what the Nazarenes think of it all. They like His words - so different from what used to come from scribes - no hard rules which no one can remember or keep - 'words of grace' (the literal meaning) indeed - and He (they well know) not a learned man either. They are fascinated at first. But see - altered looks - whispering - murmurs - 'What! he! he whom we have known all his life, Joseph's son, the carpenter - he set himself up to be God's Messiah!'

Jesus stops - He knows all their thoughts - see what He says, ver. 23-27. "It is only what He expected ('surely') what is always the case ('no prophet', etc.) - but let them be careful - they may lose great blessings. Are they jealous because His works (healing sick, etc.) not done there first (ver. 23)? What had God done of old? did the barrels of meal last in Hebrew homes in Elijah's days? did Elisha heal Israelitish lepers? If they will not have the 'good news', God can send it down to the publicans and fishermen of Capernaum can even send it away to the Gentiles (comp. Acts xiii. 46, xviii. 6, xxviii. 28).

This maddens them. 'Does this carpenter compare Himself to Elijah? does He dare to say that the promise to Israel shall go to the Gentiles - the dogs - the uncircumcised?' Comp. The tumult at St. Paul's similar words, Acts xxii. 21, 22.

Look! - on the Sabbath - in the house of prayer - the whole congregation springing up, seizing the gentle Jesus, dragging Him out, rushing to the edge of the cliff to hurl Him over. Suddenly - He is gone! where? none can tell! So they have seen a miracle after all, but - it has separated them from their Saviour.

WHICH OF US ARE LIKE THESE NAZARENES?

1. All of us are like them in one way. The same Saviour comes to us, proclaiming the same Gospel. But do we want it? Are we poor? Perhaps we have nothing; Solomon will tell us how, Prov. xiii. 7 (comp. Rev. iii. 17). Are we broken-hearted? We ought to be, for sin; see what David says, Ps. li. 17. Are we blind? Peter (2 Pet. i. 9) or John (1 John ii. 11) will tell us how that might be. Are we captives or bruised (ie. crushed) by cruel foes? Paul can help us to answer, see Rom. vii. 23, 24; 2 Tim. ii. 26. Is any one of these texts like a mirror, in which we see ourselves? if so, to us Jesus comes, to make rich, Prov. viii. 17, 18; to give comfort, John xiv. 18, 27; to open the eyes, Acts xxvi. 18; to deliver from bondage, Rom. vi. 14, vii. 25; to do everything for us, Phil. iv. 19.

2. Some of us are like them in another way. They rejected Jesus; how many do now! But, you say, we would not have done as they did. Are you quite sure? They little thought that morning what they would do before night. But you may reject Jesus without going so far as that. To neglect Him is to reject Him. (Illust. - I offer you money - you simply do not put out hand to take it - is not that rejecting it?)

3. In one other way we are like them. What made them reject Jesus? Was it not that they knew Him so well, His face and voice so familiar, thought little of it? And you know all about Him - heard it often - Gospel nothing new to you is that why you care not for it? (Illust. Sunshine, action of heart in breathing, etc., such common mercies that not appreciated.) Negroes and savages not clothed and educated like you - whom you would look down on - they often eager for God's message - and they will be in heaven when some clever English boys and girls 'cast out'. But may come now - 'acceptable year of Lord' (comp. 2 Cor. vi. 2) - now 'in no wise cast out' (John vi. 37).

Lesson XXIII - The Call of the Fishermen
Lord's Day 9th June 'Lo! we have left all and followed Thee.'

Read - Matt. iv. 12-22; Luke v. 1 - 11; Learn - Matt. x. 37, 38; Phil. iii. 7, 8. [23]


SKETCH OF LESSON

I. THE LAKE

Why does a river flow into the sea? The sea-level always lower than the land water always flows down, never up - so river winds away, lower and lower, till it "falls' into sea. There is one place on earth where there is water - lakes and a river far below sea-level, but shut in by land. If could cut a canal from sea to those waters, they would not flow down into sea - sea would rush down upon them and fill up the deep gorge in which they lie. It is the deepest land in the world.

This wonderful spot - the Jordan valley - the waters are Gennesareth, River Jordan, Dead Sea. If three churches as high as St. Paul's, one on top of another built by the Dead Sea, top would not reach to level of sea outside (Mediterranean).

Let us today go down, down, to the lake of Gennesareth. Now desolate, forsaken. In Gospel days bright and busy - towns and villages all round, full of people; mostly Jews, but many foreigners - Roman soldiers, Greek merchants, crowds of pleasure seekers; Herod's palace at his grand new city Tiberias (see Lesson IX). Much misery there, blind, lame, lepers, demoniacs; much sin too, money-getting, rioting, etc.; hypocritical Pharisees who cared not for poor, only for selves.

Here Jesus chose to live and work.

The proud rulers at Jerusalem will not have Him (see Lesson XVII); His own towns-folk at Nazareth will not have Him (see Lesson XXII). Now He comes down here. Look what God's prophet had predicted 700 years before, Isa. ix. 1, 2; Matt. iv. 13-17.

II. THE FISHERMEN

In the Lake quantities of fish - many got their living by catching the fish - had boats, nets, etc. Hard work - out all night - often caught nothing - dangerous storms.

Two fishermen, Jonas and Zebedee. Each two sons - Simon and Andrew, James and John. Where do they live? John 1. 44. When great excitement in country about John Baptist, the young men went to hear him; what happened to them? Whom besides did they get to know? John i, 35-42 (refer to Lessons XIV, XV). Believed they had found the Messiah, of whom had read in Scriptures, heard in synagogue had been with Him at Jerusalem, Samaria, Cana - seen His miracles, heard His words - had been allowed to baptise for Him just like John.

But they had come home again, living as of old, fishing. And now sad news - their old teacher John put in prison by Herod (Matt. iv. 12); and of Jesus they see nothing - is it all a dream? - the 'kingdom' not come after all?

III. THE FIRST CALL (Read Matt. iv. 18-22)

One day they are all on the shore; two (which?) throwing out small net into water to catch the fish swimming about close under the rocks; three (which?) sitting in boat mending larger nets.

Who comes by? where has He come from'? what to do? (recapitulate). He too I going a fishing - whom to catch? The people living in those busy Galilean towns like the fish in the Lake - 'immersed' in darkness (ver. 16) and sin; He would 'catch' them - not killing them as in real fishing, but giving them new life. He is seeking helpers in this work - shall He call learned Rabbis, scribes used to teaching? No: He will call these fishermen - humble, indeed, but diligent, keen, patient, at their own work, and He will make them so at His (see 2 Cor. xii. 16).

Will they obey the call? It comes from no stranger; they already honour and love Him (recapitulate). At once - gladly - they go.

IV. THE SECOND CALL (Read Luke v. 1 - 1 1)

Jesus has begun work on the busy shores of Gennesareth - teaches in synagogues heals sick - read of this next Sunday great crowds following Him. Where are the four men who left their nets? Gone back to their fishing - don't understand they are to leave it altogether - Jesus must call them again - see how He will do it.

A long night of toil, but no fish - in the morning boats hauled up on soft beach - what Simon and the others doing? A great multitude coming down out of Capernaum, pressing round the new Prophet - where does He take refuge? He preaches - from what pulpit?

See the boat now sailing out into deeper waters - nets preparing - strange - if failed in night (when fish mostly caught) how expect to catch in day-time? 'At Thy word' - but why listen to a 'landsman'? Where have they learned the power of 'His Word'?

Down goes the net - suddenly a heavy [24] strain - how must they have felt! How came the fish there? see Ps. viii. 5-8 (comp. with Heb. ii. 6-9); so Jonah i. 17, ii. 10; Matt xvii. 27; John xxi. 6. Then two narrow escapes of 'haul' being lost - first net breaking - then boat sinking; but the power that gave can also keep.

What are Andrew and the rest doing? but Peter on his knees - Christ's power and love has broken his heart - he would do anything for Him now - but his unworthiness overwhelms him - how can he ever be fit to be with such a Master, ever be a 'fisher of men'? rather let Jesus go away and leave him. (Comp. Gen. xxviii. 17; Exod. xx. 19; Judg. xiii. 22; Job xiii. 5, 6; Isa. vi. 5.)

See the Lord's reply - a rebuke? - not even a command this time - a promise. It is Peter's very self-abasement that makes him fit for the work (Ps. li. 17; Isa. Lvii. 15, lxvi. 2). And now a great decision: here lies the heap of fish, promising large profits there stands the beckoning Saviour; on the one hand home - on the other a life of self-denial. Which shall it be?

Do they now regret their choice?

THEY WERE CALLED - SO ARE WE

(a) What to leave? Whatever keeps from Christ. Sin of course. Any good thing that we care for more than for Christ (see Matt. x. 37, xix. 22; Luke xiv. 18-20; 2 Tim. iii. 4).

(b) What to do? 'Follow Christ' - ie. to love, trust, obey, imitate Him.

THEY OBEYED - ARE WE HESITATING?

Think who calls - what He has done for us, 2 Cor. v. 14, 15. Think of the end. Moses did, Heb. xi. 26 - Paul did, Phil. iii. 7, 14 - Jesus Himself did, Heb. xii. 2. See what it is, John xii. 26.

Lesson XXIV - A Sabbath at Capernaum
Lord's Day 16th June 'Mighty in word and deed.'

Read - Mark i. 21 -35; (comp. Matt. viii. 14-17; Luke iv. 31-44); Learn - Matt. iv. 23, 24; Heb. xiii. 8.

SKETCH OF LESSON

Jesus now at Capernaum, down in the hollow of the Lake (see last lesson). Here He lives a long while - not in a house of His own, perhaps in Peter's - not now working as a carpenter, always 'going about Lake, to Chorazin, Bethsaida, Magdala, etc., and up into the hill-country, all over Galilee - preaching in open air, teaching in synagogues, healing sick - never resting, yet never wearying.

Today see what He did on one day. See Him teaching, working, praying.

I. THE WORDS OF JESUS (Read ver. 21 -28)

(a) His words as the Teacher of men. It is the Sabbath - the people of Capernaum gathered for worship in the synagogue Jairus (see Mark v. 22) and the other rulers and elders in chief seats - perhaps others there whom we know, Jairus's little daughter, the nobleman and his restored son, the generous Roman officer by whom the synagogue was built (Luke vii. 5).

The people there used to hearing the Scriptures read and explained by the Scribes. But today the preaching is very different (see ver. 22): no long dry argument about what this and that Rabbi thought this Teacher speaks on His own authority; such 'gracious words' - probably like those at Nazareth (see Lesson XXII) - not 'laying burdens on men's shoulders' (Matt. xxiii. 4) - no hard intricate rules - but 'glad tidings' to the poor and needy (Luke iv. 18); and yet words of warning too, like the Baptist's (see ver. 15) - people must repent', turn from sin, be ready for the new 'kingdom' - (about this next Sunday). How had this teaching been received at Nazareth? - first, wonder - then, envious dislike and contempt. Here the people equally astonished, but have not known Jesus as the village carpenter, so no thinking themselves as good as Him willing to be taught - and He gives them what He could not (comp. Mark vi. 5, 6) give the Nazarenes, a sign. [25]

(b) His words as the Conqueror of devils. Suddenly, a loud cry of terror and hatred a man's voice, but not the man's own cry it is the evil spirit in him (dwelling in him always, how dreadful! worse than being mad) that cries out. Why? - 'I know Thee' (comp. Jas. ii. 19). The 'unclean' spirit hates God's 'Holy One' (comp. Ps. xvi. 10; Dan. ix. 24; Acts iii. 14); and fears Him - why? 1 John iii. 8.

Hear Christ's words - not to the poor man - him He pities but to the evil spirit. No words of love - the devils fierce and unchangeable enemies of God and man - between them and Jesus can be only 'enmity' (Gen. iii. 15) - He will not have them even as allies to testify who He is 'Hold thy peace (comp. ver. 34, chap. iii. 12; Acts xvi. 17, 18). See two things in His Words: authority - the 'Lord of all' has a right to command; power - He can compel them to obey; see Luke iv. 36.

Now see the poor man - falls down in midst of congregation, convulsed; but rises up, in health and peace, master of himself! Here is 'liberty to the captive' indeed! Think of the news spreading everywhere as the people go home.

II. THE WORKS OF JESUS (Read ver. 29-34)

One mighty work we have just seen. Now go with Jesus - to whose house? Why Peter in trouble? what doctor does he go to? (Luke iv. 38). See Jesus at the bed-side what does He speak to? what does He touch? The fever gone, like the evil spirit! but is the woman left weak, like others after fever? - not at all, - strong as ever, she is serving the Sabbath meal.

Evening - the sun just gone down. Look into the street - it is filling with sick and infirm people; here a cripple on crutches, there a blind man feeling his way - here men carrying a dying friend on a litter another and another - all the sick in the city! Why come? have heard what happened in the synagogue in the morning - have been longing for sunset, to come (without breaking Sabbath) to the wonderful man at Simon's house. Every one cured - not one goes back to his home sick or infirm.

Do you think it was such a simple and easy thing for Jesus to do all this? no trouble? all done with a single word? Look at Matt. viii. 17 - what solemn words! - then it did cost Jesus something to do it - how? (a) Pleasant to relieve suffering, yet painful to see it at all (selfish people won't - send money for others to give); who feels this pain most? is it not the kindest person? then what must Jesus have felt? (comp. Mark vii. 34). (b) But much more to Him - He felt sin at bottom of all - and sin (though He hated it) He came to bear - so 'bare our sicknesses'. And (c) very likely it took all the evening to do - would not Jesus speak to each one? - then how tiring!

III. THE PRAYERS OF JESUS (Read ver. 35)

Would He not want long rest and sleep now? Yet when does He get up? See Him coming out in the dark night - leaving the silent, sleeping city - up into some lonely place in the hills - there for hours on His knees. Why did He pray? just as a duty that had got to be done? It was His great pleasure, His refreshment. We know not what He said, but, recollecting other times when we are told, can we not fancy Him thanking the Father for those mighty miracles (comp. John xi. 41) - for He did them not alone (John xiv. 10) - and praying for the souls of those whose bodies He had healed (comp. Luke xxii. 32)?

Here we have a specimen, a sample, of the life of Jesus for months - day after day just like this.

What are our lives like? Are we 'following in His steps'? How many there are to whom we might do little kindnesses - such as even a little child can do! Which of us can say -

'I want to be like Jesus,
Engaged in doing good.'

Or are we selfish, caring for none but ourselves - our own comfort, pleasure, getting on in life? How unlike Christ! (Rom. xv. 3.)

But we want to be done good to ourselves. Is the fever of sinful desire burning in our hearts? Is Satan holding us fast, trying to defile us? Then remember -

JESUS IS THE SAME NOW

He is still pitying, still praying, still healing (Heb. vii. 25) - can cool the feverish with the 'water of life' (Rev. xxii. 17) - make the prostrate strong (Isa. xi. 29-31) make the unclean pure (Ezek. xxxvi. 25) drive away the devil (Rom. xvi. 20). No case too hard (Luke xviii. 27); none turned away (John vi. 37) -

'He is faint and weary never,
And he turneth none away.'

Why should not the whole school, the whole parish, be (see ver. 33) 'gathered together at His door'? Knock, and it shall be opened to you.' [26]


Lesson XXV - The Sermon on the Mount - I
Lord's Day 23rd June 'My kingdom is not of this world.'

Read - Parts of Matt. v., vi., vii; Learn - Matt. v. 3, 20.

SKETCH OF LESSON

In all directions the report is spreading of the wonderful miracles at Capernaum. Crowds come together from neighbouring towns and villages to hear and see the new Prophet. Many, too, from distant north and south, from the shores of Phoenicia and the mountains of Edom (Matt. iv. 25; comp. Mark iii. 8).

Think of the eager discussion - 'Is this the coming King? a leader at last to drive out Romans and restore Israel's greatness?' John Baptist had said, 'the kingdom at hand'; had pointed out this Nazarene as the coming One; and now He too is proclaiming the 'kingdom' (Matt. iv. 17).

Jesus will give them an answer - tell them all about it. Up in the mountains a spot found where thousands can hear at once. He sits (like all Jewish teachers) John and Andrew and the others next to him - the vast multitudes all round eagerly waiting His words (chap. v. 1, 2).

What He said is in these three chapters. It would take us months to go through all. Look at one or two chief things.

I. ABOUT THE KINGDOM

(1) Look at His very first words, ver. 3. Yes - He mentions the 'kingdom'. But who are to have it? What! not the Jews? 'Did not God found the kingdom ages ago, when He called Abraham out from the heathen, and promised Him the land? does not the kingdom belong to Abraham's children, to all of us Jews?' - so they would think. But quite mistaken - not a word about restoring David's victorious throne - not a word about Israel as God's favoured people. True, He speaks (ver. 13, 14) of 'salt of the earth', 'light of the world' - but who are so? - not the Jewish nation - (see ver. 11, 12). And see what the Baptist said, Matt. iii. 9. Then the kingdom to be a new one - not the old - something quite different.

(2) Look again - who to have the kingdom - to be in it? (a) What had Jesus told Nicodemus? (refer to Lesson XVIII) - must be 'born again' - new life - begin all afresh. So, what said that night in lowly house at Jerusalem, Jesus now says on the mountain to all - 'poor in spirit' - not to be proud because Abraham's children or because so favoured by God - not to think much of selves any way; to feel worth nothing - got nothing - want everything - 'poor' (comp. Rev. iii. 17). (b) Ver. 10 'persecuted for righteousness' sake' to have the kingdom - the kingdom would not (as they thought) bring power, pomp, prosperity, but persecution - then unhappy and to be pitied? - no, 'blessed'. (c) Perhaps they think, 'If only some Jews to have the kingdom - if it depends on goodness - surely the strict scribes and scrupulous Pharisees will have it." But see ver. 20 - must be more righteous than they!

(3) What righteousness can be greater than that of the Pharisees? - so careful to know all the law, and keep every bit of it prayers, alms, fastings, etc., etc., see Luke xviii. 11, 12. Jesus will tell them - chap. v. 21-48, and vi. 1-18, all about it. Take two points. (a) The Sixth Commandment. Pharisees thought, if not murderers, kept it. What does Jesus say? ver. 21-24. Unkind feelings and hard words, break the Commandment (comp. 1 John iii. 15). For who can tell what a thought may come to? Cain loved Abel once. Suppose some one very unkind to you, does you harm - how treat him? see ver. 44. (b) Prayer, chap. vi. 5, 6. Not 'saying prayers' because used to it, or because got to do it, or that others may see; but asking kind Father for what you want (more of this next Sunday).

Would not the people say, 'Who can be righteous like this?' That's just what Jesus meant them to feel - then 'poor in spirit' come as sinners to God - ready to be saved in His own way. We know this way - what is it? how get sin taken away? what righteousness will admit us to the 'kingdom'? (Rom. iii. 19-26). Then 'seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. (vi. 33). [27]

II. ABOUT THE KING

Who should be the King? Jesus Himself. They felt this; for He spoke 'with authority' (vii. 29) - not only unlike the scribes, but unlike the old prophets - they said, 'Thus saith Jehovah' - what did He say? See chap. v. 17, 18, 20, 22, 26, 28, 32, 34, 39, 44; vi. 2, 5, 16, 25, 29; vii. 24, 26.

But what sort of King should He be? The people mistaken about this too; as looked for Jewish kingdom, so looked for King like David - overcoming foreign oppressors, reigning at Jerusalem, receiving tribute from Gentiles. But He should do much greater things than that: should be -

(a) Founder of the new spiritual kingdom. David only ruled nation set apart long before by God; Jesus would himself call out men for new 'holy nation, peculiar people' (1 Pet. ii. 9) - does He not say who they shall be in chap. v. 3-11?

(b) Lawgiver of this kingdom. David only executed Moses' laws; Jesus would not sweep them away (chap. v. 17) but give a new law greater and higher than all - see it in chap. vii. 12. Suppose schoolboy always keeping this law (illustrate), then no others wanted.

(c) Judge of all men's hearts, to see whether truly in 'kingdom' or not. David might be deceived by false followers; but see chap. vii. 21 -23, - none could deceive Him - good words and great works no use - heart must be right.

He, Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth, saying all this! no wonder they were astonished, ver. 28; can we not see them looking at one another - hear them eagerly talking - fancy their hearts 'burning within them'?

We, too, are hearers of Christ's Words. How do we listen? Not so astonished, perhaps, for used to it; do we love them better for knowing them better?

'Hark, my soul, it is the Lord;
'Tis thy Saviour: hear His word.'

Pray for grace to 'hear meekly His word, and to receive it with pure affection' - and 'to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit', too; for the great question is -

Are we doers also? - 'thirsting after righteousness' (v. 6) - 'asking, seeking, knocking' (vii. 7-11) for His righteousness - trying to be like Him (v. 48)? If so, on the rock (vii. 24-27) - nothing can harm us safe for ever.

Lesson XXVI - The Sermon on the Mount - II
Lord's Day 30th June 'Your Father which is in heaven.'

Read - Parts of Matt. v., vi., vii.; Learn - Matt. xi. 27; Rom. viii. 15.

SKETCH OF LESSON

When a child - even the youngest - prays to God, what does it call Him? Who first taught men to say 'Our Father'? When did Christ teach it? On that mountain where we saw Him last Sunday (question on the scene). We have seen what He said about the 'kingdom', its people, and its King (recapitulate). Today see what He told the people about God - what to think about Him - how feel towards Him.

I. THAT GOD IS A FATHER

Why should Jesus tell them that? It is just what people don't feel till they are told. (a) Many heathen nations believe in a 'Great Spirit' above all their idols; but think of Him as far off - caring nothing for them. (b) Mahometans not idolaters - worship one God - yet think just the same. (c) But Jews different? - Yes - knew much more - yet knew not this. In Old Testament, God is called Almighty, Jehovah, God of Abraham, etc. - hardly ever 'Father'. Never by Jews praying to Him, except by Isaiah (lxiii. 16, lxiv. 8), and once by David (1 Chron. xxix. 10). True, God had promised to be their father (Hos. i. 10, Jer. iii. 4), but this not understood or felt - no doubt almost all that great crowd on the mount thought like the Mahometans (in illustration).

So one great thing Christ came for was to reveal' (ie. draw veil or curtain aside [illustrate]) the Father. Why could He do it - and only He? See the very first words we have of His, Luke ii. 49 ('My Father's [28] business') and His words when He first appeared as Messiah in the Temple, John ii. 16 ('My Father's house'). (See Lesson XVII.) Thus He told of God as His own Father now tells of Him as our Father. Had told one person already (John iv. 23) (See Lesson XIX.); now tells all this great multitude.

See how many times in the Sermon He speaks so: fifteen times of 'your Father' (chap. v. 16, 45, 48; vi. 1, 4, 6, 8, 14, 15, 18, 26, 32; vii. 11), once of 'our Father' (vi. 9), once of 'My Father' (vii. 21), once of the children of God (v. 9). Look, at some of these - and will see how astonished the people must have been.

II. HOW GOD IS A FATHER

Think of some things in which your father is to you different from other men. So see if God is like a Father.

(a) If people want anything from the Queen, hard to get at her - many obstacles in the way - she is not accessible. (illustrate further:- the mayor or squire even the clergyman - not always at hand.) But your father - close to you - go to him without fear at any time - accessible.

So is God (see vi. 4, 6, 18) - 'seeth in secret' even - always near - 'Not far from every one of us' (Acts xvii. 27) - is that dreadful? - but it is 'your Father' - can always 'draw nigh' to Him (Jas. iv. 8) accessible. And this more than earthly fathers - they sometimes away - God never.

(b) Do fathers refuse what children ask? Almost always wish to give, if able - sometimes even too ready, over-indulgent. And what sort of things do good parents give their children? - bad things? See what Jesus says, vii. 11 - but what does He add? 'Much more your heavenly Father'. So our Collect (12th Sun. after Trin.) - 'more ready to hear than we to pray' - gives I more than we desire or deserve'. Look, too, at vi. 4, 6, 18 - no merit in our alms and prayers, yet God so kind as to 'reward openly' (as father, unobserved, sees boy doing little kindness to sister, and commends it before family). No doubt the widow (Luke xxi. 1-4) hoped none would see her 'two mites', yet how openly rewarded!

(c) Is not a father provident for his children? - looking forward, thinking, reckoning what they will want. (illustrate eg., winter clothing). So the heavenly Father - see vi. 8, 32 - 'knoweth what things ye have need of'; and not only knows, but provides - even for flowers and birds (vi. 26-30) - 'shall He not much more clothe you?'

(d) Parents kind to all their children even to bad ones. Is not God like that? To whom does he give warm sun and gentle rain? See again what Jesus says, v. 45.

Now think of that great multitude - had never thought of all this - scribes never told them - what good news for them! You are told - do you think of it? Then will wish to see the third thing that Jesus taught them, viz: -

III. HOW WE SHOULD TREAT OUR HEAVENLY FATHER

(a) Remember that He is near - sees 'in secret'; feel everywhere, at all times, 'Thou God seest me!' Could the 'hypocrites' have done as they did (vi. 2, 5, 16) if they had felt this?

(b) 'Draw nigh' to the Father who is so nigh - not merely 'say prayers', like the 'hypocrites', as if only 'seen of men' - but ask for what 'have need of' - this real prayer. Perhaps don't know what to say, so Jesus gives the 'Lord's Prayer'.

(c) Trust in the Father's provident care, just as would in earthly parent's; not be over-anxious about 'tomorrow' (vi. 34).

(d) Be like our Father, chap. v. 48 (comp. Eph. v. 1); especially in loving and being kind to those that ill-treat us (v. 45), forgiving them (vi. 14, 15), making peace between those that quarrel then will be recognised as ('called') the 'children of God' (v. 9).

(e) Bring honour to Him - how? See chap. v. 16 ('men see good works, and glorify., etc.). Just as a boy seen to be good is a credit to his parents.

But all this is of children at home - in the family - with the Father.

Are you so? Or are you like the Prodigal - a wanderer from home - a 'lost sheep'? All are, naturally - born so (just as if Prodigal had had a child in the far country - that child would have a grandfather at Prodigal's home - yet never been at home - born an outcast). So, too, in daily life, all must say, "Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred and strayed from Thy ways like lost sheep.'

But God wishes us to be His children indeed - shews His willingness by letting us be brought to baptism and marked as His own. How can we be His true children? See Gal. iii. 26 - only 'by Faith in Christ Jesus'. For Christ's sake restored, 'adopted' (Gal. iv. 5). He the 'Elder Brother' - we to be like Him (1 John iii. 1-3). [29]

The Preachers Magazine, Why?

I have been approached over and over again by preachers, Christian workers and Bible lovers for help in the edifying study of the Holy Scriptures of Truth, and in the gracious proclamation of the Gospel revealed therein, that is the Gospel of the free grace of God.

As I will soon be entering the thirty-ninth year of my ministry (I have now been preaching 43 years) it cannot be gainsaid that if I lack anything, and God knows I lack many many things, it is certainly not experience. I would like to put the lessons, which I have been taught in the school of experience, at the disposal of my younger brethren. God has given to me in His great mercy wonderful mercies and bountiful opportunities. I am a debtor, and I would like in some measure to show my gratitude, although I can never repay my debts.

Through the ministry of my revered and honoured father, the Rev. James Kyle Paisley of Ballymena, I was early introduced to the Sacred Volume of Holy Scripture, and to those great men and their writings which adorned the doctrines of the Eternal Word.

For many years I have read the Bible through each year and the New Testament and the Book of Psalms the second time every year, using Robert Murray McCheyne's plan of Bible reading. "Give attendance to reading," said the veteran Paul to young Timothy. That is an exhortation no preacher can afford to disobey. Early in life I learned to read quickly, and what I read I was enabled to store it up for future use. I have always kept up with my reading, so over the years I have made myself acquainted with a vast number of volumes. At regular intervals I will be sending out this Magazine in cassette form. At least six times a year, and possibly nine times it will come to you. I plead for this child of mine a hearty welcome to the preacher's study and the Christian worker's desk. As God's servants journey in their cars they can be edified through this medium. Precious time can thus be redeemed.

The Magazine will be suggestive, it will help you to dig for yourself in the precious goldmine of the Word. It will direct you to the best books which [30] will be useful tools in that glorious labour. It will seek to shew you the things new and old in God's Bible. The way to interpret the Word of God will be simply stated, and Biblically illustrated. Numerous sermon outlines will be included every month. Interviews with the great preachers of today will be included. The way to preach and the pitfalls to avoid will be continuously considered. Do introduce this Magazine now to your friends. Give it as a gift to your preacher. Send it to your missionaries. Acquaint students for the ministry with it. May God give us all a holy relish for the Bible, and a holy zeal in its proclamation. To profit from this Magazine you require a King James Authorised Version of the Bible with marginal readings.

The Arminian Error


Dr. W. Cunningham
seems to us to have happily hit off the real inwardness of the Arminian error when he says: "It is not very difficult to point out what may fairly enough be described as the fundamental characteristic principle of Arminianism - that which Arminianism either is, or has a strong and constant tendency to become; and this is, that it is a scheme for dividing or partitioning the salvation of sinners between God and sinners themselves, instead of ascribing it wholly, as the Bible does, to the sovereign grace of God, the perfect and all-sufficient work of Christ, and the efficacious and omnipotent operation of the Spirit . . . The encroachment they make upon the grace of God in the salvation of sinners varies, of course, according to the extent to which they carry out their views, especially in regard to men's natural depravity, and the nature and necessity of the work of the Spirit in regeneration and conversion; but Arminianism in any form can be shown to involve the ascription to men themselves, more directly or more remotely, of a place and influence in effecting their own salvation, which the Bible denies to them and ascribes to God" (historical Theology, ii. 377, 378). This is a serious indictment against Arminianism, for it virtually means that it robs God of His glory in the salvation of the sinner and denies that this salvation is all of grace from beginning to end.

Prof. R. Watts, of Belfast, used to tell his students that Arminianism fought none of the battles of the Reformation, and that when it appeared on the stage it was as the sower of discord and disunion that it made its presence felt. Arminianism, in a word, is a direct challenge to the sovereignty of God. This is the rock against which it is spending its strength, and on which it will ultimately be broken to pieces. In this attack it has as its supports all these elements in our fallen nature which are at war with the divine sovereignty. Arminianism has never had a glimpse of the majesty of the divine truth that God, as sovereign Lord, has a right to do with His creatures what seems to Him good, and it has failed to grasp the utter ruin of man and the awful depths to which he has fallen. It denies to God the high place that is due to Him, and exalts man to a position which is not his due. If it has ever candidly faced the Saviour's words: "Even so, Father for it seemed good in Thy sight." It has never been awed or subdued by them. [31]

Report on Irish Presbyterian General Assembly 1985
"Revolution, ecumenism and anti-British Constitution remarks in the air"

Irish Presbyterian Church Accelerates Towards Rome

In a massive pro-ecumenical vote of 271 to 169 the Irish Presbyterian General Assembly of 1985 decided to continue with the Inter Church Ballymascanlon talks. This was a much larger majority than last year and clearly shows an increasing betrayal of the Biblical Protestant faith by the Irish Presbyterian Church.

During the Thursday debate the lie was exposed that Presbyterianism was not under threat when one speaker, the Rev. J. Carson, stated that church unity was on the agenda for Ballymascanlon.

Reformed Moderator?

The new moderator, Rev. R. Dic;kinson of Tobermore, is one of the leaders of a group called the Campaign for Concerted Witness to Reformed Truth. However there was little evidence of Reformed Truth in some of the statements made by Rev. Dickinson. Indeed the title of his group was not mentioned and on the opening night of the Assembly he said, "he would have to consider each invitation before making his decision on whether to attend any ecumenical services that might be organised during his year in office".

In a letter to the Moderator Dr. Cathal Daly said, "I am sure many Roman Catholics will be praying with you during the important days of your General Assembly for an outpouring of the Spirit". In a clear ecumenical reply, Mr. Dickinson said he "fully reciprocated" Bishop Daly's sentiments and so agreeing with Bishop Daly that Roman Catholics are Christians.

Retirement of The Revolutionary Clerk

This year marked the retirement of Dr. J. Weir, the Clerk of the Assembly, who met the IRA leaders at Feakle. On the Wednesday debate in a typical revolutionary statement Dr. Weir said, "We must make it quite clear that neither our church, nor our personal faith, nor the Gospel we proclaim, can be tied to a particular flag or constitution". [32]

Bearing in mind that Paul describes the State Ruler as a Minister of God (Romans 13, v . 4) and that in the Coronation Oath the Sovereign sweats to maintain the laws of God and the true profession o the Gospel to the utmost of the power, the unchristian revolutionary rhetoric of Dr. Weir is typical of the ecumenical movement. It is the bounden duty of Church Ministers to support the Constitution and its rulers. However bearing in mind that a letter in the Newsletter at the beginning of Assembly week (Tuesday 4th June) revealed that Dr. Weir had recently attended a week long conference in the USA organised by the Jesuits, his revolutionary sentiments are not surprising. It is interesting that there was no Assembly debate on this secret get-together of birds of a feather!

The Armstrong Affair

The lid was kept firmly down on any detailed discussion but on the Thursday debate the Convenor of the Inter Church Relations Board, Rev. Douglas Armstrong, in a clear slap in he face for those elders who had voted against Armstrong in Limavady said that the work of Mr. Armstrong must continue. So according to the official Church spokesman Mr. Armstrong's denial of the faith and the doctrinal standards of the Church by attending Mass services must go on!! I wonder what the elders in Limavady think?

Church Split over Sinn Fein's Role in Province

This was the Newsletter headline on Thursday 6th June in reference to the remarks of Rev. Moore of Taughmonagh that Sinn Fein had a "right to be heard". In no other country in the world would those who advocate murder of the police force be permitted to stand for election yet Mr. Moore says that Unionists should be prepared to talk to the associates of the IRA. Such remarks show a disgraceful attitude towards those relatives who have had loved ones murdered by the IRA. It shows the darkness of ecumenism on the human mind. The recent Baker Report on The Emergency Provisions Act states that Sinn Fein is "a complete accomplice and partner of the PIRA".

These were the main issues in the Assembly debates. The only other vote of interest was a "No smoking" vote which was passed. This is something we in the Free Church don't have to worry about. Yes, revolution and radical un-British ecumenism was in the air again in the Assembly. To those who are saved and who value their Unionist heritage the command of the Word of God is clear. "Come out form among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord and touch not the unclean thing" II Corinthians 6, v. 17.

Reformer