[2]
Councillor Cecil Harvey - A Tribute by Ian R. K. Paisley

Councillor Cecil Harvey, one of the founding elders of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, has been called home.

Now the only surviving foundation elder of the first Ulster Presbytery is Mr. Hugh James Adams of Crossgar and I am the only surviving minister.

Our Brother Harvey was a brother beloved amongst the congregations of our church.

He came into a saving experience of the free grace of God under the preaching of that eminent and world famous evangelist Rev. Wm. P. Nicholson. From the day of his salvation he never lost the fire of evangelism through which he himself had been brought to the Saviour.

His salvation led him immediately into service for Christ. He became active in the Lissara congregation of the Irish Presbyterian Church and was appointed acting captain in the Boys' Brigade Company attached to the Church.

Later he was elected an elder and ordained by the Presbytery of Down.

When the Presbytery of Down set aside the decision of the Lissara Kirk Session to grant the use of their Church Hall to the Crossgar Mission Hall for an Old Time Gospel Campaign conducted by myself Mr. Harvey joined with the majority of the Kirk Session in refusing to bow to the Presbytery's dictatorship.

Mr. George K. Gibson and Mr. Hugh James Adams were both suspended by the Presbytery. Mr. Harvey was not present at the Presbytery meeting but along with two other elders Mr. Wm. Miscampbell and Mr. James Morrison resigned subsequently. They formed the first Kirk Session of the Crossgar Congregation and issued the call for the formation of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. At the opening Mr. Emerson was added to their number.

Brother Cecil was a diligent and enthusiastic Free Presbyterian. In those early days he threw himself wholeheartedly into the work. A gifted preacher his ministry was deeply appreciated by the infant church. He was a soul winner and fervent in soul-winning in the sphere of evangelism.

It was through his vision that the old Courthouse and Police Station were purchased in Whiteabbey and what is now the thriving Newtownabbey Church was formed. For a lengthy period our brother acted as pastor of the work there.

Cecil was of a happy and ever youthful disposition. He always saw the bright side of the picture and loved every moment of service for his Lord.

What times of prayer and preaching we shared. As for his attempts at

(continued on page 31)

[3]
Apostate Priests - Burned to Death with the Fire of God! A Sermon preached by
Dr. Paisley at the Easter Convention in the Martyrs Memorial Church, Monday, 8th April, 1985

Two contrasting verses, verse 24 of Leviticus chapter 9, and verse 2 of Leviticus chapter 10, "And there came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces". What a scene is that! The sacrifice on the brasen altar, but no fire kindled under the sacrifice. Then suddenly the glory of the Triune Jehovah God appeared - that Blessed Shekinah - that indefinable splendour of the visible Majesty of God's appearance - and from the Mercy Seat there comes a fire that goes out in its fulness through the Holy Place and past the laver and kindles the sacrifice upon the altar.

I will come back to this wonderful scene. From the Mercy Seat there comes a Holy, Sacred, Majestic Fire of God, and it consumed on the altar the sacrifice already laid there. What a shout of wonder, of worship, of praise, of ecstasy and joy goes up from over a million hearts! They fall on their faces and they worship. But in a few moments afterwards that fire comes forth again, this time, not in blessing but in judgment. This time, not in atonement but in punishment. There are two bodies burned by that fire, the bodies of two priests, the sons of Aaron the high priest of the tribes of Israel.

NADAB AND ABIHU

I want to preach about Nadab and Abihu. Could I say by way of preface that sin always blots the fairest copybook that God gives into the hands of man.

The Blot of Sin

Was there ever a fairer copybook than the Garden of Eden? Sinless, roses without thorns, and blooms without briars, then sin entered, and that which was lovely, and pure and beautiful became the scene of rebellion, of wickedness, of evil, and of anarchy.

After Eden and Paradise Lost the world was washed of its iniquity, and Noah steps out into a washed and purified world. Noah soon stains that world with the sin of drunkenness, and his son with the sin of sodomy, and a fair copybook is blotted once again.

Then we read of that land of promise conquered by the triumphant armies [4] of Israel. The land flowing with milk and honey becomes the possession of the sons of Jacob, but it is not very long until we read that they turned to Balaam and followed after Ashtaroth, and the land of promise became polluted with the putrid stains of their idolatry.

Then there arose a king in Israel called Solomon. How wonderful was his kingdom! How glorious his throne! How magnificent his sceptre! How glorious his economy! Silver, in the days of Solomon was as common as stones, and gold abounded in the land. At the end of his reign alas, we see the glory of Solomon tarnished with the darkest of idolatries and the darkest of sins.

Yes, and everyone of us are looking forward to that day when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign. I happen to believe that the Lord Jesus will come Personally to this present earth, and that His feet shall touch the Mount of Olives, and He shall reign. But at the end of the thousand years of the glorious reign of Christ there will erupt again this vile thing called sin. It always blots, through man and Satan, the fair copybook of God.

Today I look beyond the millennial to the Eternal reign of the King, and I look for a new heaven and a new earth in which dwelleth righteousness. Then sin, Hallelujah, will never erupt again. What a new Heaven that is going to be, and what a new Earth that is going to be! We have that illustrated here, how sin blots the fair copybook that God gives to man. There are three things that I want to speak about in my sermon today.

ONE: THEIR LINEAGE

I want you to notice the lineage of Abihu and of Nadab; their lineage. Then I want for a moment to dwell upon their privilege, and then, finally, I want to look at their sacrilege. We have three simple things to consider, but I believe that in their consideration we will cover the whole awful story of their apostasy. Their lineage, their privilege, their sacrilege.

The Meaning of Their Names

Turn to Exodus chapter 6 and verse 23, and we read there that, "Aaron took him Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab, sister of Naashon, to wife, and she bare him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar".

Here we have the background and the lineage of Nadab and Abihu. They came of that tribe specially chosen and set apart by God Himself - the tribe of Levi. The names of these five who became the priests of Israel - the first priests of Israel, Aaron the high priest and his four sons are very interesting. Aaron means 'lofty' or 'mountainous', and if you study the history of Aaron you will discover that the mountain heights were of great importance marking the epochs of his life story. (I have not time to dwell on that, I must not take time, because the great thrills of Bible study are the byways that you would be tempted to go down when you start reading the Word. A labyrinth of byways and suggestions that are worthy of study.) [5]

Then we come to Eleazar, his name means 'who God aids'. It is great to know that God aids His people. I'm glad He is the El-Shaddai - the God Who is All-Sufficient and the God Who is enough.

I bear testimony to the fact He has been El-Shaddai to me, He has been All-Sufficient to me in my going out and in my coming in.

Then Ithamar speaks and means 'the land of palm trees - a place of fruitfulness - an oasis in the desert - a place of water in the time of drought'.

All those names have an interesting meaning, but strange to relate, Nadab and Abihu have even a more interesting meaning. You know what Nadab means? (When I got this I got the key to it.) It means 'liberal'. So Nadab was a Liberal by name and by practice. Abihu means 'God is my Father'. If you want a description of apostates you have it there. They are religious and doctrinal liberals, and they believe in the universal Fatherhood of God. I don't believe in the universal Fatherhood of God.

I met Jim Callaghan once, and he said to me, "Ian, we are all the children of God". I said, "I don't believe a word of it." "Oh, oh, oh," he said. I said, "You need not 'oh' there. You might be Home Secretary of a British Government that I have very little time for, but even although you are Home Secretary, Jim Callaghan, I prefer to believe in Jesus.

"Jesus said that none of us were children of God until we are born again. Instead of being children of God we are children of wrath, even as others." He replied, "Oh, we will not discuss the Scripture". I said, "You brought it up, so if you bring up anything in this conversation, I'm ready to discuss it". A certain commentator writing in the Spectator Journal, I think, or The New Statesman, said, "What a foolish man to argue Scripture with Ian Paisley, he should keep away from Scripture when he meets Ian Paisley". That commentator had a little wit. Jim Callaghan had no wit. A person sent word to me and said, "You were cutting near to the bone, for as a young man Jim Callaghan made a profession of faith and was baptised and preached in Baptist Churches". So I was getting near to the bone. It is a good thing to get near to the bone, and get to the quick and heart of the subject.

In Nadab we have a Liberal, and in Abihu a man who claimed that God was his Father - he believed in the universal Fatherhood of God, and the common brotherhood of man.

Let us look at these two men a little more closely and we discover who the men were who became apostates. They came of the highest possible lineage. Their credentials were unquestionable. Their historical line was unbroken, and yet they became the apostates in this historical narrative.

The Apostasy of Historic Protestantism

Of course, the great historic Churches of Protstantism are now apostate. I was reading the other day about Matthew Henry's Chapel or Church. Do you know what it is now? It is a Unitarian Meeting House. You think of that, Matthew Henry who wrote his great Commentary, a great Presbyterian, a noble defender of the faith. Now up the steps of his pulpit and behind his [6] desk every Sunday stands an unbloody Unitarian who blasphemes the Virgin Birth, the Deity of Christ, the Personality of the Holy Ghost, and the Infallibility of the Word of God.

In our own land the great Irish Presbyterian denomination, the great Irish Methodist Church and the great Irish Episcopal Church are now apostatised. How are the mighty fallen and the weapons of war perished!

I have under this pulpit the pulpit cushion of Dr. Henry Cooke, that great champion of orthodoxy. In Cooke's Church today, although above the door it says the Church was built as a monument to his protest against the prevailing errors of his. day, the very errors that he contested with and fought and challenged and slew are now trumpeted from the pulpit that he once occupied.

They talk about their unbroken historical descent. They talk about their credentials. They talk about their apostolic succession. I want to say something, that the true apostolic succession is not found in some so-called unbroken or more often broken historical link, but true apostolic succession is the man who preaches the message of the apostles; the man who thunders forth the Infallible Book of God; the man whose ministry is attested by Heaven with the Sacred Fire which gives him souls for his ministry, and pays him his hire in the coin of redeemed ones who start for Heaven through his preaching and proclamation.

The Curse of a Dead Orthodoxy

Let me say something, as I pass, dead orthodoxy is the beginning of apostasy. Dead orthodoxy is the beginning of apostasy! Churches that boast of their soundness but are so sound that they are sound asleep. God save this Church from dead orthodoxy! I pray that every day. There is only one thing that will save us from dead orthodoxy, and that is the sacred power and fire of the Holy Spirit. Let no Pentecostalist, let no Charismatic leader steal from the true church the blessed infilling of the Holy Ghost. That is why, before I preach a sermon, I take the promised Holy Ghost, the Blessed Power of Pentecost to fill me to the uttermost, I take, thank God He undertakes for me.

I was preaching in a Church and a fellow came to me, he said, "I don't want you to offer that prayer, they will think you are a Charismatic." "Get behind me Satan." I want to tell you that the Holy Spirit is the Blessed portion of every Bible believer, and the church needs a Spirit-filled minister and the church needs Spirit-filled members.

"Filled with Holy Ghost"

Are you filled with the Holy Ghost, my brother? Are you filled with the Holy Ghost, my sister? W. P. Nicholson used to preach a sermon, "The Christian's Alternative to Getting Drunk". The religious people lifted up their ears, and the old beetle-browed Pharisees in the pews brought their eyebrows together until they nearly met and kissed one another above their nose and rebelled. Oh, yes, "Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but [7] be filled with the Spirit of God".

My dear young Christian, don't you worry about those old baldheaded men and those old women that have not walked with God for years. You get filled with the Holy Ghost genuinely, definitely, emphatically, gloriously, Biblically filled, a filling for every Gospel opportunity, an filling for every Gospel duty to perform, a filling every time I read the Book, a filling every time I open my mouth to proclaim His Blessed Name, and, thank God, "if ye being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall He give the Holy Ghost to them that ask Him?" Praise God, the Holy Ghost, I say it reverently, is for the asking, but we never hear it asked for. There are Churches that can run without the Holy Ghost. There are ministers that can preach without the Holy Ghost, and the results are dead orthodoxy. Dead orthodoxy then leads to apostasy. No Churches have apostatised quicker than those that were once sound in the faith, and were as orthodox as Hell itself. Aye, but they had not the Blessed Spirit to preserve the Truth in the hearts and lives of those that worshipped within their walls.

The Need for Evangelistic Fire

Something else, evangelistic fire! Oh, let me tell you, friend, if there is no evangelistic warmth in our Churches we will die. The Church must ever be a growing Church. When Zion travails she brings forth. This Free Presbyterian Movement will die except the fire of evangelism is burning in every pulpit; except the fire of evangelism is burning in every Kirk Session, in every Committee man's heart, in every Sunday School teacher's bosom, in every walk of life, the Church ablaze, the Church aflame, the Church on fire.

When I came to this city as a young preacher they were selling the old County Down Railway, and they had a big announcement in the Press: "Thousands of old sleepers for sale, will make good firewood". I said, "That is a great title", and I preached a sermon on 'How to Set the Church on Fire, thousands of old sleepers will make good firewood'!

Our brother was talking about revival. When revival comes, every sleepy-headed, dozy Christian will wake up, and they will say, "What on earth is happening to our preacher?"

One day I got filled with the Holy Ghost in the little Church down the road, and there was a man who had slept for thirty years in Church, and he woke up, and you know what he said? He said, "He has gone mad", and he got up and left, and he said, "I'm not going to listen to a madman". But, glory to God, if it was a madman, down the aisle came precious souls weeping their way to the foot of the old rugged Cross, and it has never finished, it has been going on ever since, men and women coming to the Blessed Son of God. Yesterday morning in this House of God we had holy water, not the stuff the Pope makes, but the tears of repentance as a dear woman sought and found her Lord. Evangelistic fire!

You can boast of your lineage. You can boast of your historical connection, of the great history of the Protestant Church in the past - that will not [8] prevent the apostasy and deadness setting in upon you. My friend, it is not lineage, it is life the Church needs. It is not dwelling on history, it is getting fired up with Eternity that the Church needs.

TWO: THEIR PRIVILEGE

An Invitation

Let us come to their privilege. Turn to Exodus chapter 24 and in this chapter you will find these men were men of privilege. God said unto Moses, "Come up unto the Lord, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. Come up unto the Lord." These men got a special invitation to meet God. What an invitation that was! Moses, Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu (no word of Ithamar or Eleazar or Phinehas), and seventy only of the tens and hundreds and thousands of Israel. That is all who went up to meet God. An invitation!

An Altar Experience

You notice the second thing is, they had an altar experience, because in verse 4 Moses built an altar and it was a young man that offered the burnt sacrifices. Before the tribe of Levi was appointed to the priesthood, every firstborn son had the priesthood. That was the heritage and birthright of the hat firstborn ones. So here were men that had an invitation to meet God, that had an altar experience.

Hearing the Word

Look at. verse 7, here were men that heard the Word from the Book of God. They heard the Word from the Book of God. It is a privilege to meet God. It is a wonderful thing to have an altar experience. It is a blessed means of grace to hear the Book of God.

Sprinkled with Blood

Something more: Exodus 24, verse 8. They were sprinkled with the Blood of the Covenant, "and sprinkled the blood on the people". Nadab and Abihu were included in the sprinkling of the Blood.

Face to Face with God


Then in verse 10, "they saw the God of Israel" and they not only saw Him, but they entered into fellowship. It says, "They saw God, and did eat and drink". They saw God and did eat and drink.

The Priesthood

When we turn to chapter 28 and verse 1, you will find they were appointed to the priesthood. Just five men out of all the thousands of Israel appointed to the priesthood - Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, and with that call and appointment they received the badge and robes of office, for in [9] verse 40. "Coats and girdles and bonnets were made for them, for glory and for beauty". These men had seven privileges given to them: an invitation to meet God, that others never got; an altar experience; a knowledge of the Word; a sprinkling with the Blood; a face to face vision; glorious fellowship; and the blessing of the priesthood. Yet these men were the men that apostatised.

I want to tell you, when the Devil wants to overturn the work of God, he starts with the preacher, he starts with the pulpit, he starts with the College, he starts with the Church's leadership. Let me tell you, an invitation to meet God, an altar experience, a hearing of the Word, a sprinkling of the Blood, a face to face communion, and vision and fellowship, and an appointment to the priest's office, and a badge of the priest's office upon you, are no guarantee that you will not apostatise.

I have gone to the United States of America, I went with Dr. Guiler to New York and we had a couple of hours to spare. I said, "Myron, let us go into the centre of New York, I want to see a Church." We went to see a Church that once had a great fundamentalist preacher, and when I got there it was a picture of dilapidation and ruin; the Church Secretary met us in a trouser suit (that was very encouraging), and I said to her, "Did you ever hear this name?", and I mentioned the name of this great preacher. She says, "I never heard of him". I said, "He was the man that founded this Church, and packed it, and he was the greatest preacher that New York ever had or ever will have". She said, "I know nothing about him".

I went out into a room and there were many old portraits of great men of God lying on the floor, and among the rubble I picked up the history of the Church and the history of the great man that preached there, and who had raised a standard to God and Truth. I said to Myron, "You know, the greatest of all preachers is no guarantee against apostasy". "How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!" Do not think that the Free Presbyterians have a monopoly on the Holy Ghost, for they have not. And if this Church does not do the job that God raised it up to do, God will raise up another Church, and God will remove the candlestick, and God will make this Church that has known Divine blessing and Divine power, and even our enemies say it is a miracle how it has happened, God will make it a byword and a hissing, and will write Ichabod across its pulpits, for the glory has departed.

My brethren let us walk humbly. Let us walk with trembling. Let us say, "He that standeth, take heed lest he fall".

It has been my privilege to meet the great fundamentalist leaders of this generation. I can think of about five of them now, and out of those five I know only two that ended well. Some of them carried great Churches in their stride; founded new movements; were lifted to the giddy heights of worldwide fame, but how they did fail! I am thinking of one great fundamentalist leader, and the end of his days was immorality; the end of his days was sorrow; the end of his days was tragedy piled upon tragedy, and his name is now unmentionable in fundamentalist circles. I tell you, when I think [10] of that I tread softly, and I say, "Oh, God, bury me before I soil your testimony. Put me in the coffin before I bring disgrace or disrepute to your church. Take me out of the way, but oh God, don't let me cause the enemies of God to blaspheme because of my folly".

All these privileges that we have from God are no guarantees against apostasy, and I say to you brethren, let us put up the hedges around our Churches. Let us put up the walls around our Churches. Let us not, for the sake of bigness, pull down God's standard. Let us say to those that don't go God's way, "You have no part with us in building the House of God". Let us proclaim this Book with vigour, with strength and with power. And when anybody comes and points the finger at this old Authorised Version, you have my authority to shut him up and kick him out and keep him out. I want to say that. I thank God I have got an Infallible Book to preach. I am not looking for it, I have got it. Thank God for the blessing. I know it is a translation, I am not as green as I am cabbage looking, but, thank God, it is a faithful translation, and it has God's seal down through the Ages. To think that some manuscript found in the trash can of a monastery in the last century, or some manuscript that was found in the Pope's Library is the true Word of God, and the Reformation was founded on a mistake! Don't believe a word of it. "By their fruits ye shall know them". I have seen the fruits of preaching out of this old Authorised Version, and the fruits are good. And I have seen the fruits of New Translations, and the fruits are evil. Let us stick to it, let us put up the barricades.

THREE: THEIR SACRILEGE

I must come to their sacrilege, and this is the saddest part of the story.

Firstly - A Bad Example

You know, first of all, they had a bad example. Who gave them that bad example? Their father Aaron gave them a bad example. Turn to Exodus chapter 32, "And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us, for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not has become of him. And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf. And they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it, and Aaron made Proclamation, and said, Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play". [11]

They had a bad example!

Aaron did not turn totally away from the worship of Jehovah. What did Aaron do? - he was prepared to mix idolatry with the true worship of God. This is ecumenism. Oh, you can still read the Bible. You can still say the prayers. You can still sing the old hymns, but, you see, we have got beyond our fathers, got away beyond them. "The Church of Rome is a Christian Church you must know". Billy Graham says, "The Pope is an evangelist", and Billy must be right. When he attended Mass recently and they elevated the host, he said that he found his heart strangely warmed. So it must be right. So we should be seeking for unity, a consensus. Ah, we should have dialogue (too much like dead wood for me).

We did not find that when the Devil rebelled in Heaven that God said to Satan, "Beelzebub, let us have a round table conference. I would like to understand what you are thinking, and I would like to explain my position, and maybe we will get a bit of consensus". God never dialogues with evil. God damns evil. Do you understand that? That is what God does, He does not dialogue, He damns it.

I want to say something today. The power of our example is a tremendous power. You know, this little Church of ours has a great influence throughout the world. I have met people in my travels, and you know what they have said. "We wait to see how you and the Free Presbyterians are going to react to a certain political and religious situation, and then we take our cue from you". I say, "That gives me a very serious responsibility. I had better know the Book. I had better be a man of prayer, because my example could lead people astray and not lead them aright."

Aaron led them astray, he tried to mix the evil of idolatry to the true worship of God. That is the first thing, he gave a bad example.

Secondly - Their Drunkenness

Secondly, I hope you noticed it as we read the tenth chapter of Leviticus. These men were drunk, that was what was wrong with them. The root of their apostasy was strong liquor. The fruit of their apostasy was offering strange fire Unto the Lord. Look at verse 8, God issues a warning, He says, "Look Aaron, no liquor has to be consumed when you are doing my work".

Is it not interesting that drunkenness and idolatry always go together in the Bible? The great whore is a drunken great whore. That is what the Bible says. The drunken whore of Revelation chapter 17. Drink, of course, appealed to the flesh, and when the flesh is appealed to I want you to notice, the separation lines are blurred. Look at verse 10, "that ye may put difference between the holy and unholy, and between the unclean and the clean". Do you notice the order there? I was greatly struck by the order there. If you had been writing that you would have kept the first order, you would have said, "between the holy and the unholy, between the clean and the unclean" God changed it; it is "the holy and the unholy" Then it is, "the unclean and the clean" because in God's order at the beginning there is holiness and at the end there is cleanness. If you are walking in God's [12] order, the beginning and the end, friend, will always dovetail together; there will be no conflict.

The world laughs at us, and says, "They are old Puritans". Hallelujah! If I am a Puritan I want to be as pure as pure as can be. They say, "Those Free Presbyterians have family worship in their homes". Hallelujah! Have more of it! "Those Free Presbyterians will not mix with people". No, I do not believe in dolly mixtures and liquorice all-sorts in God's work, and I tell you don't eat them dear, they put on calories, do not be eating them!

Let me say from the pulpit today, they are blurring the difference. They try to call the unclean thing clean, and they try to call the thing that is unholy, holy. There is nothing holy about priestcraft.

The sin of the Nicolaitans, which thing God hated. There is nothing clean about it. There is nothing clean about the old whore of Babylon. We need to preach the way the Reformers preached. God, send us a race of Bible Protestant preachers in this land! If there were no Free Presbyterians preaching against Popery, nobody would preach against Popery. I tell my wife it is well I have my own Church to preach in, for I would have nowhere left to preach in. I would have to go down to the Cathedral steps and preach. There are plenty of sinners there, both outside and inside. Maybe the biggest ones are inside!

Thirdly - Strange Fire

These men were drunk. Their timing was wrong. The day to offer incense was the great day of atonement. They were in the wrong place, for it was to be offered on the altar of incense and on the mercy seat. They were in the outer court where no incense was ever to be burned. They had the wrong fire, they did not get it off God's altar, it was strange fire that they were offering, not a fire of the Lord's kindling.

I want to say to you, we have strange fire in our Churches today, and they say it is successful. My Bible has nothing to say about success. My Bible has everything to say about faithfulness. This Bible majors on faithfulness; it does not major on successfulness. The rich fool was successful, but he is in Hell. Old Lazarus was not successful, but he is in Heaven. I would rather be with Lazarus, he was faithful.

I want to say to you, that I don't care what is successful. If it is contrary to this Book it is error, it is deception, it is of the Devil. Let me say it clearly!

"Why do you not speak in tongues?" I will tell you why. Because the Bible says it is a sign for the unbeliever and not for the believer. I am not looking for an unbeliever's sign. They say to me, "Why do you not join the Charismatic Itch?" I don't like being itchy! What is more, when I see the gang on the ballroom floor I would not want anything to do with them. A man that denies the Deity of Christ and he says he is an evangelical, an evan-jellyfish would be a better name for him. They embrace one another, and talk about lovely fellowship, "Oh, is it not wonderful?" "Down there in Rostrevor with Cecil Kerr, is it not lovely?" Wee David Armstrong from Limavady I see has gone to the Church of England, to a Charismatic Church. Thank God for a Free Presbyterian minister in Limavady that told the Limavady people the truth about Armstrong! God bless Wesley [13] McDowell! We will not hold it against him because he is called Wesley!

Let me say this, you can't have strange fire friend. We must build God's work in God's way, and you will have terrible opposition, and it will be slow going. Nehemiah did not built the wall in a hurry. You know why? Because he had to go into the clearing of the rubbish first, and that took a long time.

I have been clearing rubbish out of the Churches for years. Thank God for that woman that was cleared out on Saturday night, brother. She can dance in the old apostate Church, she will not be dancing in our property, Hallelujah for that! I want to tell you that we have to take a strong stand for God's own fire.

There is something here in this portion of Scripture and it reminds us of the history of the Church. I lifted a book out of my library shelf, it is the Gospel in Leviticus, by Joseph N. Seiss, and he sums it up very well, far better than I could do. He says, "Looking back upon the history of the church as it first went forth under its sublime inauguration to evangelise the nation, the first thing that strikes us is the gradual uprising from the level of a common priesthood of a lordly power in the hands of bishops, stealthily concentrating upon metropolitans, then upon patriarchs, and finally upon one supreme pontiff who surrounded himself with a conclave of advisors, claims to have the keys of Heaven to open and shut, go in and out as to him it may seem good. I look upon his magisterial assumptions trampling God's Bible under his feet, arrogating to himself all earthly power, arraying himself with the attributes and titles of Jesus; instituting sacraments; ordaining dogmas of belief which God has not commanded, and undertaking with his heathen pomp to mediate between earth and Heaven. I consider the nature of his proceedings, the elements of his assumptions, the spirit that underlies all his doings, I analyse his whole official conduct and reduce it to its principles, and when the whole thing is sifted I find it to be nothing but a re-enactment of a drunken Nadab supplanting Aaron, taking the high priesthood upon himself, and offering strange fire in the tabernacle of the Lord".

That is the way the old-fashioned preachers preached. You don't hear much about that today. That is old-fashioned preaching against Popery.

He goes on, "Along with Pontifical power came in great doctrinal and moral corruption. The one was the start of the other. They developed together. They were brothers. As the Church grew some became Judaisers and made the first move toward the corruption of the simplicities of the Gospel. Heathen men were brought in without a complete adjuration of their heathen tastes and ideas. Mediaeval religion with its denunciations of natural relations, its mockery, priestly orders, saint worship and superstition, confession, indulgences, false works, and obscurations of the great gospel doctrines of justification by faith was the natural fruit of nosticism. Penances, Masses, priestly absolutions, purgatorial expiations, the mediation of clergy and saints, celibacy, outward ceremony were all attributed into the place of repentance, faith and charity, and obedience to God's own Precious Word. Bishops retired from their pulpits to sit as spiritual lords superior to all the kings of the earth. The Virgin Mary was installed as the world's Mediator. Earthly priests assumed the work of intercession, and undertook [14] to forgive and license crimes for a price. The Church was driven into the wilderness. The vomit of Hell was upon the robes of Christ's bride. Another Abihu in his drunkenness had entered the Holy Place and was offering strange fire before the Lord".

That is the well known commentator Dr. Joseph Seiss, quoted by all the prophetical writers, but they leave out what he said about Popery. It is not palatable in this Twentieth Century. I say he was right in what he said.

Ah, my friend, these men suffered terrible judgment. They had given in to the flesh, they had become the propagators of will-worship. They had departed from God's commandments. They had invented a new form of worship. They tried to take over God's House and make it a shrine of their own idolatry. That is what modernism has done. Modernism never built a Church. Modernism never founded a College. Modernism never founded a Mission Board. Modernism was the cuckoo that planted its eggs in another bird's nest, and then took over the property.

I say, the Ecumenical Movement has hijacked millions and millions of pounds of property paid for by our godly forefathers for the propagation of the Gospel, and they hijacked them and stole them. No wonder Jesus said they had made His Father's House a den of thieves. They have robbed Him of His Deity.

De Witt Talmage was right, he said, "They have gone through the Bible and robbed it of its Inspiration. They have gone through Hell and robbed it of its fire. They have gone through Heaven and robbed it of its glory. They have gone through Calvary and robbed it of its Blood. They have gone through salvation and robbed it of its grace. They have gone through the Gospel and robbed it of its new birth. They have left the world in darkness".

Thank God for the fundamentalist preachers that are left. Thank God for separated Churches in this Twentieth Century who still blow the Gospel trumpet, and who still earnestly contend for the faith, that was once for all delivered to the saints!

I was reading that old fiery preacher, Joseph Parker, and he had this to say. "Notice it was the same fire that came out from the altar that burnt the sacrifice. That same fire scorched the apostates."

You know the way to scorch an apostate preacher? Preach the Gospel. Man they hate it! When I go into a town to preach the Gospel, every pulpit in the town cries out against me. My, they hate the Gospel. That old preacher who never visited his people, he wears out his shoes going round his congregation, "Don't go and hear Paisley". You tell an Ulsterman not to do something and he will just do it. I have found that. Tell him not to do something and he will do it. The apostates are scorched by the Gospel.

Let me tell you this. Fire had just consumed the burnt offering and the fat upon the altar in token of Divine complacency, and the sacred nearness and the acceptance of human worship. That same fire came out from the Lord and devoured the audacious priests. The sacerdotal blasphemers - it ate them up as if they were only common bones. God's flame is an awful flame. Our God is a consuming fire. Priests, officers, leaders, men of position, men of wealth, play not your little tricks at God's altar. Your vanity and pomp [15] and fashion and base wealth will be no protection against the anger and righteous judgment of God.

The pulpit must obey. The foremost men must obey to the hindmost. The law must be obedience. Simple, complete, honest, unquestioning obedience. Ours is not to ask for reasons. Ours is not to make objections. Ours is not to start new difficulties. Ours is not to invent new methods. Ours is to walk the path of a loving, holy obedience to God's Word. That is what we have got to do. This is what always happened in history to men like Nadab and Abihu. History is full of the white ashes of heretics. Leave the Lord to handle the infidel, whether he be priest or an outside sceptic. The Lord is never negligent about His own altar. Men have risen from century to century proposing the use of new censors, granting to every man the use of his own censor, and thus paying a subtle tribute to the vanity of the human heart. In many Ages have men risen to write down the Bible, to tear down the altar, to supersede God's sanctuary. For a time they succeeded but because there was no depth of earth they soon withered away.

The Lord will burn every Nadab and Abihu, and burn them the more quickly because they professed to be priests. If they had been sound heretics, really out and out enemies and assailants, He might have conferred with Moses and Aaron about them, as He conferred with Abraham about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, but He has no paralleling when priests and Gospel Churches depart from the truth, for the evil is at the altar and there is nothing between the deed and the judgment. It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for preachers, teachers and professors who have been playing the fool, and have substituted the traditions of elders for the commandments of God. The Lord said, "I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified". And Moses called two of the family and said, "Carry these men out and bury them" and when they got to their bodies a miracle had happened, their bodies were charred and burned, but their priestly raiment was untouched by the fire. They carried them out in their coats.

My friend, the pastor can be smashed for being unfaithful, but God will always preserve the pastoral office. A man may pollute it and make it unclean, but God will always preserve the office, and another man will come to fill the shoes of the unfaithful preacher, and another man will rise up to preach the old Truth, "For He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh, the Lord shall have them in derision".

I have delivered my soul to you this afternoon. I trust God will write it in your hearts as He has written it in mine. God, keep this Free Presbyterian Church pure! Keep it clean! Keep it separate! Keep it Protestant! Keep it preaching out of the Authorised Version of the Holy Scriptures, and keep its heart to please God, and its mouth set to preach the Gospel, and its feet running after souls on the road to Hell, and its hands outstretched to welcome sinners at the foot of the old rugged Cross!

May God do it, for Jesus' Sake!

AMEN AND AMEN!

[16-23 MEDITATIONS FOR THE MONTH]

[24]
The Sunday School Teacher's Teacher

The Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Lesson XVIII - The Conversation with Nicodemus
Lord's Day 5th May 'Ye must be bom again.'


Read
- John iii, 1-21; Learn - John iii. 5-7; Gal. vi. 15

SKETCH OF LESSON

How pleasant, when many against us, to find one who believes in us! (illustration: new boy at school, timid, laughed at; one kind to him: to that one he can tell what he cannot to the rest.)

How was Jesus received at Jerusalem? (Recapitulate.) To whom did He not 'commit Himself'? Why? To-day read of one to whom He could and did 'commit Himself'.

I. THE NIGHT VISITOR

The Jewish rulers, doubtless, talk about the new prophet - how scornfully - 'he the Messiah! a Galilean villager! (comp. John vii. 52) - where is his sign, too?' But some not so - are struck. 'He has done signs, though not just what we wanted. 'One especially - a great teacher - cannot shake off feeling must get at Jesus; but what will men say at his going to such a man? - must go secretly - can we wonder at it?

(Read ver. 1-4.) See Nicodemus in dark streets - enters house (not a grand one) - gives the humble carpenter the title (Rabbi) so often addressed to himself acknowledges Him as 'come from God'.

Now what would Nicodemus expect Jesus to tell him? If really the Messiah, might say what intended to do - how going to drive out Romans, set up the expected 'kingdom', make Jews great, especially the holy Pharisees. Or if only a 'teacher', might give new explanation of law, recommend more fasting and alms, even proclaim a message from God about the expected 'kingdom'. See him waiting to hear what Jesus has to say.

II. WHAT HE REALLY NEEDED TO BE IN THE KINGDOM - a new life.

Now see Christ's answer - a solemn one ('Verily, verily') - meant for Nicodemus himself - ('I say unto thee'). Yes, He speaks of the Kingdom - but how? 'Except a man' - any one - Jew as well as Gentile Pharisee as well as publican - 'you, Nicodemus' - be born again, cannot see it.' 'Born again' - what is that? All life so far as nothing - whole life must be different. What does life begin with? so must be as if born anew - begin all over again.

See what Nicodemus says, ver. 4 - how foolish - can he mean it? - he is startled, 'taken aback', knows not what he says, 'This Galilean going to set up Messiah's kingdom, and a strict and learned Pharisee unworthy to be in it without some extraordinary change!'

Then Jesus tells Him three things (read ver. 5-8):-

(1) What this new birth is.

What had John the Baptist been doing for two or three months past? What did his baptism mean? People to dip in the water in token of putting away sin and leading new life. And what had he said? Luke iii. 16. Coming One also to baptise - but how? not outside, but inside - the Holy Ghost to cleanse the heart. So Nicodemus needs two things (comp. Rom. x. 10): (a) To come forward boldly, confess himself a sinner, be like the publicans, submit to the token which shows that all his past life (however strict) needs to be washed away, that he must [25] begin afresh. (b) To come to Messiah for what He only can give, the Spirit - all else useless without that - beginning new life no good without, for would be as bad as the old one - must have Holy Spirit in heart.

(2) Where it comes from. (ver. 8)

Nicodemus had puzzled about a bodily birth, ver. 4. But suppose this could be, what use? Sin comes from father to son ('born of the flesh is flesh'). If become a baby again, still a sinful baby. So if heart, feelings, wishes, will, life, to be new, must be from God - 'born of the Spirit'. Comp. John i. 13; Rom. viii. 5-9; 1 Pet. I. 23.

(3) How it can be seen. (ver. 8)

Imagine fine day in woods, air still, no hard wind, very quiet; you hear a rustling up above - what is it? - leaves moving - why? gentle breeze - so soft that can't tell if north, south etc. But you know the wind there. So, see a man (or child), who cares nothing about God, beginning to look, speak, act, as if did care - as sleeper just waking moves a little - then know that is the Spirit's work; cannot see Him, but see and hear what He does. See Gal. v. 22,23; 1 John ii. 29, iii. 9,14, v. 1, 4, 18.

(Read ver. 9,10.) Ought Nicodemus to have known? (a) Should have understood about 'new birth', for when Jews baptised Gentiles who believed in true God, used to call them 'infants just born'. (b) Should have known no outward change enough, must be spiritual, from the Scriptures he knew so well; see Ps. II. 6, 10, 17; Isa. I. 10-17; Jer. iv. 14; Ezek. xi. 19, xviii. 31, xxxvi. 25-27.

But if this now life must be got - if no salvation without - how shall Nicodemus get it? (ver. 9 - 'how?') So Jesus tells him -

III. HOW HE MIGHT GET IT - by faith in the Son of Man.


We cannot, in one lesson, talk of all Jesus said - (read ver. 14-16).

If all need change, all sinners; then all deserve to 'perish'; yes, even Nicodemus! But - what? ver. 16 - 'God loved the world' - yes, all alike - Jews sinful like Gentiles, and God loved Gentiles as well as Jews. Then how save the perishing? 'Gave' - whom? who is that? see ver. 14, 'Son of God' and 'Son of Man' the same - then this humble Nazarene sifting in this quiet room claims to be God's Only Begotten! - Must believe in Him if to be saved!

But how should the Son of Man save men? What Moses did to Brazen Serpent to be done to Him - 'lifted up'. Nicodemus knew what the bitten Israelites had to do; so he, not questioning, to look in faith on a 'lifted up' Messiah - one crucified as a criminal. How strange! could not take it in then - but when Jesus was 'lifted up', what did Nicodemus do? - John xix. 39 - came out boldly, after three years' hesitation, and, at the very time that the Apostles had deserted Christ, avowed himself a disciple.

If he had not, what would have come upon him? see ver. 18. But what has he got now? ver. 15.

Have you the New Life? Are you 'born again'? You have had the token, the 'outward and visible sign' - when? But have you the 'inward and spiritual grace,' the Holy Spirit in the heart? Without this, no 'seeing the kingdom', no 'eternal life.'

How know if have the new life? what did we say on ver. 8?

How is it that we, poor sinners, can have such a gift? Because the Father loved, the Son came down, the Spirit works.

Lesson XIX - In Samaria - I

Lord's Day 12th May 'If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink.'

Read - John iv. 1-26; Learn - John iv. 13, 14.

SKETCH OF LESSON

Jesus, rejected by the rulers at the capital, now turns to the country people, chap. iii. 22; goes down to the Jordan, preaches like John; but who baptised the crowds of people (iii. 26, iv. 1) that came? iv. 2. By and by news of this comes to Jerusalem (iv. 1) - rulers think it serious - ought to be stopped. What does Jesus do? His 'hour not yet come' (comp. ii. 4) for conflict with them - work to be done first in Galilee - starts thither. (Read ver. 1-4.)

Which way shall He go? Along bank of Jordan, or up over hills of Samaria? To-day see why He 'must needs' go latter way. [26]

I. EARTHLY WATER REFUSED

Think of two beautiful high hills (same as where Law solemnly proclaimed in Joshua's days (Josh. viii. 30-35) - valley between old city in valley - what called? - what formerly? At entrance of valley a well - very old - who dug it? That well is there now.

It is mid-day - sun very hot. A party of weary travellers comes up - one of them too tired to go further - sits on well while others go on to get food at town. Who is it? (Read ver. 5-9.) Cool sparkling water down in that well; but can He get it? a woman coming great jar on head - going to draw water He will ask her for some. Anything strange in that? (comp. Gen. xxiv. 17; 1 Kings xvii. 10). Did He not look worn out? Would she not pity Him?


She stops short in surprise - why? Samaritans great enemies of Jews: Jews despised them as foreigners - hated them because pretended to be Abraham's children - would not eat with them or use same vessels, etc., see John viii. 48; they jealous of Jews - thought themselves as good - ill-treated Jews journeying through country (Luke ix. 52, 53). And so Jesus gets no water! What does God say of such 'hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife'? Gal. v. 20, 21. 'From envy, hatred, etc., Good Lord, deliver us!'

II. HEAVENLY WATER OFFERED. (Read ver, 10 - 15.)

Does Jesus rebuke the woman? 'If thou knewest . . . asked . . . He would have given thee' - would have treated her very differently - does not this rebuke her churlishness? - yet how gently! And what would He have given? See her surprise where should He get it? - not from the well' - (why not?) - 'and did this Jew mean 'better water than that? - he not satisfied with Jacob's water!' But Jesus points out two defects in that water, good as it is: (a) it cannot satisfy for ever ('shall thirst again', ver. 13); (b) it cannot always be got at (see ver. 14 - 'in him'). But the water He gives (a) if once drunk, drives away thirst altogether- (b) even then is always within reach ('in him') to refresh and be enjoyed.

What did Jesus mean? See John vii. 37-39, - the Holy Spirit; and all that He brings - faith in Christ, grace to make holy, peace, comfort, happiness - all spiritual blessings - salvation.

Now see again what He said of this 'water', this 'gift of God', these blessings of salvation.

(a) 'Shall never thirst'. Is anybody quite contented? Is not every one always wanting something he has not got? A little more money, a little more pleasure - then quite enough, quite happy - but is it so? should like that' - and then that - never satisfied. Things may be very good, like Jacob's water, but 'you thirst again'. See Isa. lv. 2; and what did Solomon 'in all his glory' say? Eccl. ii. But what have those said who took God's 'living water'? e.g. David, Ps. iv. 6, 7; St. Paul, 2 Cor. vi. 10.

(b) 'In him, a well (lit. fountain) of water'. Can we always got what we want of earthly things? Ask the Prodigal Son, Luke xv. 13-17. But God's 'living water' can always be had for the asking, Isa. xii. 17, 18, Iv. 1.

Does she understand? ver. 15 - not fully; yet is struck - feels this Jew has some great blessing to give - asks for it. But she little thinks that, in His next words, He is giving her this very 'water', as He said (ver. 10) He would. See how.

III. HEAVENLY WATER GIVEN (Read ver. 16-26.)

What is this heavenly water? (Recapitulate.) And to give all this to the woman Jesus teaches her three things:

(a) About herself, ver. 16-19. That she is a sinner, and that He knows all about it. But, then, how to become better? - She is used to thinking God must be worshipped up there on Gerizim - Jews say no, His presence only at Jerusalem - how she to know? So Jesus tells her -

(b) About God. A Spirit, everywhere can always approach Him -

'Where'er they seek Thee, Thou art found,
And every spot is hallowed ground.'

A Father - Kind, tender, forgiving, willing to hear - 'seeking' out (comp. Luke xix. 10) poor sinners who will come to Him. But how must they come? not merely kneeling, singing, saying prayers outwardly - but with all their heart - 'in spirit' (comp. Phil. iii. 3), not just to get pardon, and then go and sin again - but 'steadfastly purposing to lead a new life' - 'in truth' (comp. Ps. cxlv. 18).

(c) About Himself. She is still puzzled - would like to do right - but ignorant - never mind - Messiah is coming one day - then know. Think of her standing there, feeling her sin, wanting salvation - before her a poor traveller, parched, weary, footsore - can you not see her face as that poor Jew says, 'I am He!'

Next Sunday see what came of it.

Would we, too, have this 'Water'? Then do as the woman did - ask Christ. He will give us the Holy Spirit - and what will the Spirit [27] do? (a) Shew us ourselves, our sins, our sinful hearts - make us 'thirst after righteousness' (Matt. v. 6). (b) Shaw us God great and holy - yet a tender Father, willing to forgive and help. (c) Shew us Christ, the one Saviour, who died, rose again, lives, and pleads 'for us men and for our salvation.'

Then, like fresh water in the soul - will be revived, refreshed, strengthened - and that not for once - never thirst again. And what hereafter? See Rev. vii. 17.

Lesson XX - In Samaria - II
Lord's Day 19th May 'I have meat to eat that ye know not of.'

Read
- John iv. 27-43; Learn - John iv. 34; Ps. cxxvi. 8

SKETCH OF LESSON

You have seen a sower scattering his seed. Can you guess what he thinks about? Is it not about the ground - will it bear well? - the weather - will rain and sun be favourable? - the crop - will it be a good one? He is looking forward - hoping. But is he in a hurry? Perhaps anxious, but can wait patiently - harvest not yet.

And you have seen the reaper's sickle in hand, cutting the yellow corn - the golden sheaves, loaded waggons, bright faces, happy voices, harvest home - all joyful. How different! Yet could you have the harvest without the sowing?

In this chapter we have both scones.

I. THE SOWER'S PATIENCE AND HOPE

While Jesus was sitting at Jacob's Well, where were the disciples? ver. 8. No doubt they hurried back to their weary Master. Now see - do they speak affectionately to Him, and at once give Him the food they have brought? ver. 27.

A dead silence. Six or seven persons together, none uttering a word. The disciples - amazed (A7 at seeing Jesus, now sunk down with exhaustion, not longing for water, but His face full of hope, love, pleasure, animation; (b) at seeing who else there - a woman! and she a Samaritan! The woman - speechless - He, a poor wayfaring Jew, whom she had treated unkindly, the long-expected Messiah! (refer to last lesson.) Jesus Himself, too, silent why? has been sowing - sees the seed even now springing up - the harvest at hand (more of this presently) - thinking of that. (Comp. a similar silence, John xxi. 12.)

Who first moves? ver. 28 - see her hastening away to the town, her heavy pitcher left behind that she may go faster.


Then the disciples produce their food; but He cares not for it now - why? (Read ver. 31-34.) What can this mean?

1. Had He not been really tired, hungry, thirsty? Look at ver. 6 - think what o'clock it was - the mid-day sun beating down - He left alone at the well while the rest went on His request to the woman - and see Heb. II. 17, iv. 15. Yes, He suffered just as we should. Yet what had He been doing? Think of all last Sunday's lesson - all He taught the woman - so wise and good; and she a wicked woman - unfeeling too - she could get at the water, but did she give Him any? How patient! how unselfish! (comp. Rom. xv. 3).

2. How, then, could He do all this? Not just because He was God (comp. Lessons XII, XIII.). In His strength He was like us, as well as in His suffering. When a man doing something very exciting, very delightful, will often forget pain, fatigue, hunger. (Illustrate:- e.g. British troops marching over steep mountains towards Magdala - one day long march - exhausted - could scarcely drag on - suddenly turned corner - there was Theodore's army! Immediately forgot pain - rushed forward - battle victory - no rest or food for hours after. The chance of fighting for Queen and country just like food to them. Or sailors in storm (e.g. Acts xxvii. 33).)

3. But what was Christ's 'meat'? We have seen His likeness to us - now see difference. Anything exciting, exhilarating, in teaching a dull, unkind, sinful woman about God? What made it so pleasant to Him?

(a) It was His Father's will and work. When had He spoken of this before? Luke II. 49. See what had been prophesied of Him, Ps. xi. 8. When did He 'finish' God's work? John xvil. 4, xix. 30.

(b) It was sowing. All that patience with the woman just like the sower's patience. And He looked forward to the harvest (as He [28] did on the cross, Heb. xii. 2). Now see when the first sheaves were reaped.

II. THE REAPER'S JOY AND REWARD

(Read ver. 35-38.) When seed sown, how long wait before harvest? So Jesus reminds disciples - but His harvest to come directly. 'Look!' He says - 'fields ripe now'. But - nothing of the kind - corn not grown yet what mean? Look again towards Sychar - a company coming - Samaritans - the woman bringing them - there is the harvest! Disciples had not sown for that harvest (ver. 38). One had sown - had laboured all that hot afternoon sowing the 'seed'; others they themselves - should reap (ver. 37); they should gather the crop, and have the wages (i.e., the joy) too (ver. 36); He and they would 'rejoice together'.

But how came the seed to spring up like that? (Read ver. 28-30, 39-42.) Follow the woman from the well back to the town how eager! Her neighbours gather round her - 'Come!' she says - and what then? Does she tell of the wonderful water the stranger has? or of the true worship instead of that on Gerizim, of which He spoke? Does she not keep to herself His knowledge of her life, of her sins? It is just this that she tells them (contrast Adam, Gen. iii. 10) - this that makes her think Him the Messiah! See them all flocking out - bringing Jesus back with them to Sychar - keeping Him and the disciples two days - hospitable to a party of Jews!

The seed in the woman's heart has sprung up in one day. How the Sower and reapers rejoicer For months Jesus has been teaching crowds, the disciples baptising; but those only half-hearted (see John ii. 24, iii. 32). What a contrast here, with these poor despised Samaritans!

But these only a few sheaves (the 'handful of corn', Ps. lxxii. 16) - much more to come - see what a harvest Peter and John reaped there a few years after, Acts viii. 5-17 (comp. ix. 31, xv. 3).

Who are the Sowers now? Ministers, missionaries, we teachers. What do we sow? Luke viii. 11. What harvest do we look for? 1 Thess. ii. 19. And we shall have it; see today's text (Gal. vi. 9), and Ps. cxxvi. 5, 6.

You can be Sowers too, and you too shall reap. Did not the Samaritan woman sow? and did she not share in the reapers' joy, when the people she brought to Jesus believed in Him? But she received the seed into her own heart first - so must you. Pray, 'Blessed Lord, who hast caused,' etc.

Lesson XXI - The Nobleman of Capernaum
Lord's Day 26th May 'The obedience of faith.'

Read - John iv. 43-54; Learn - John iv. 50; Jas. ii. 22

SKETCH OF LESSON

How often we have talked of faith! Who understands what it is - many do not - try to-day.

In the last six lessons we have seen many believing in Christ; but many different sorts of believing. Look at chap. ii. 23, 24 - one sort; at chap. iii. 2 (comp. ver. 12) - another sort; two sorts in chap. i. 41, 49, comp. with ii. 11; two sorts in chap. iv. 39-42. To-day see a picture of faith growing - like an acorn becoming an oak; a man believing at first scarcely at all, at last with all his heart.

The Roman governor Pilate ruled only in Judaea. Over Galilee and Parses (the country 'beyond Jordan') one of King Herod's sons reigned, called Herod Antipas; see Luke iii. 1. At his palace many courtiers, lords, officers - gay people (comp. Mark vi. 21) - given up to court affairs and pleasures - no thought of God's promises - would they care about any new prophet? Yet knew John the Baptist - had heard him preach before Herod (Mark vi. 20) - but would not like one who so sternly rebuked sin. Now had heard [29] of Jesus - would they care for him? would say, 'this man a prophet! he is only a Nazarene!' But some went to Passover came back to Galilee, telling what wonderful things Jesus did (ver. 45; chap. ii. 23) - still many would think little of it.

What is it that sometimes brings thoughtless people to Christ? Isa. xxvi. 9, 16; Ps. cxix.67. Upon one of these Herodian courtiers God sends trouble - his son very ill - doctors cannot cure - worse and worse - just dying (ver. 47). How little the poor father cares now for finery and gaiety - all his money no use - what shall he do?

Now look at our picture of faith (Read passage). See this nobleman -

I. BELIEVING IN CHRIST'S POWER

In his distress he thinks of the Nazarene carpenter - 'he healed some at Jerusalem could he not heal my son?' Jesus is only twenty miles away (ver. 46). Early in the morning the father sets off - tiring journey - up steep roads into hilly country. Perhaps he thinks (like Naaman, 2 Kings v. 9-12) that the 'prophet' will be highly flattered at so great a man coming to Him, and will eagerly go back with him (perhaps in hope of reward) to the sick bed at Capernaum.

What sort of faith is this? Thought Jesus could heal - know not how - perhaps with some curious magic at bedside - certainly never thought (a) of instant cure, (b) of cure at a distance, or (c) of cure after death (comp. Martha and Mary, chap. xi. 21, 32). Anyhow, cared not for Jesus Himself nothing to him who Jesus might be.

See what Jesus said, ver. 48 - what meant? Something like this: - 'Ye Jews have the Scriptures testifying of Me - the Baptist has announced Me - I have fulfilled prophecy before your eyes (see Lesson XVII.) - yet ye will not believe - do not even care to inquire about Me - only want to see great wonders - even then many will not accept Me.'

Was it not true of them? chap. ii. 18; Matt. xii. 38, xvi. 1; 1 Cor. i. 22. Was it not true of this man? - never thinking of Jesus till wanted His healing power - even then only asked for that - no idea of being a disciple.

Do Jesus' words impress him? - does he feel the rebuke? Thinks only of the one thing - no desire for anything greater from Jesus - knows nothing of the 'living water' - of the 'Saviour of the world' (see ver. 14, 42). Yet not offended, like Naaman - too sad and anxious.

Jesus might be angry with him, but only ,very pitiful and of tender mercy' - will do 'exceeding abundantly above all he has asked or thought.' When had Jesus done so before? chap. ii. 1 - 11. Then He shewed His power over the good things of the world, blessing and increasing them. Now He will show His power over the evil things of the world, checking and curing them.

But faith must be tried - the father must go back alone. Now see this man -

II. BELIEVING IN CHRIST'S WORD

'Thy son liveth I' - 'How can He know that here at Cana? and how can it be true? - can he heal without touching the sick one?' So the nobleman might have felt. Can he go back alone? Suppose this a mistake.

Does he hesitate to go? But mark - he is in no hurry. It is noon - he could get back tonight if made haste - does he? It is next day, when, on the way, he meets his servants. Why this? 'He that believeth shall not make haste' (Isa. xxviii. 16).

What sort of faith is this? (a) Sure that what Christ says is true. This more than some, see chap. ill. 4, 12, 32. If can receive Christ's words, then heart ready - only requires to know more in order to believe more. (b) Willing to obey Christ. This the test. Comp. Abraham, Heb. xi. 8; contrast Naaman. See faith growing.

Now see the glad news. Child not dead cure complete ('fever left him') - and when? Then it is all true - this Jesus has done it and what then? See the man, and all his household -

III. BELIEVING IN CHRIST HIMSELF

What does ver. 53 mean? Not merely believing Jesus can cure - this they know now. Much more: believing in Him as Messiah, avowing their faith (comp. Rom. x. 10), becoming his open disciples - the great officer of Herod's court boldly joining the poor despised Nazarene.

What sort of faith is this? (a) Confident and happy faith - not timid and gloomy, but like that of Paul (2 Tim. i. 12), and of Peter's converts (1 Pet. i. 8). (b) 'Faith which worketh by love' (Gal. v. 6) - not sitting still, but ready to work and suffer for Christ.

Now what is our faith like? Of course we believe (1) in Christ's power. But do we believe. (2) in His word - all He says to us in the Bible? Above all, do we believe (3) in Himself, taking Him as our Saviour, Lord, Friend, caring for Him above all others?

How is this to be proved? See text for repetition (Jas. ii. 22). How know difference between dead tree and living tree? So, does our faith in Christ make us 'plenteously bring forth the fruit of good works'? [30]

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

Chosen!

He has chosen us
What a thought is this
He has created,
Has predestinated -
He has chosen us!

He has chosen us
Adoption by His Son
Through regeneration,
now sanctification -
He has chosen us!

He has chosen us
For an inheritance
though no relation
Deserving no portion
He has chosen us!

Cherith Paisley

Made Nigh by the Blood

Come closer, child
I wish you near
Heed not your sin and Satan's words
You are mine -
Through the Blood.

Draw nearer, child
I desire your presence
Ignore iniquities, atonement's made!
You belong to Me -
Through the Blood.

Come here! My child,
Must I order you to come?
The gulf is healed, why hesitate?
You are made nigh -
Through the Blood.

Rhonda Paisley [31]

What Righteousness is This?

What righteousness is this,
God reckons unto me?
Can blessedness in depth and truth
Be given all from Thee?
Can I stand free from law and guilt,
From my iniquity,
Because a sacrifice was giv'n
And His justice made content?
Can faith become my lifeline
Being freely justified? 
And can I know the grace that set forth
Propitiation so Divine?
Redemption states for me this mercy
All complete, and reckons to me fully
His Righteousness!
Then, what righteousness is this,
God reckons unto me?
Imputed righteousness -
That's what it is! -
As declared by Calvary
A gift - it's mine.
He gave - I took!

Rhonda Paisley

Councillor Cecil Harvey - A Tribute by Ian R. K. Paisley (continued from page 2)

singing it was then that we both really laughed. For many years he served as treasurer for the whole denomination.

Brother Harvey was an encourager. He loved to help forward others in the service of Christ. He died as he lived, active and enjoying God's salvation.

Brother Cecil had learned more than most the answer to the first question in our Catechism - Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

He enjoyed his Lord.

Two large representative companies filled the Crossgar Church, one for the funeral service and the other for a memorial service.

Rev. Cecil Menary who was the first licenciate of the Ulster Presbytery and at present minister of Crossgar conducted both services. Revs. John Wylie, J. Lepine (son-in-law), David McIlveen, Mr. John Moxen and myself had the privilege of taking part.

Brother Cecil was a serving D.U.P. member of the Down District Council and had served as a member of the first N.I. Assembly and also of the N.I. Convention.

To his dear partner, his four daughters, two sons, and grandchildren, as a church we extend our sympathy and love and assure them of our prayers.

Thank God we are not saying 'Goodbye' dear brother, we are only saying 'Goodnight'. We shall meet you in the morning. WHAT A MORNING!