Our beloved Province is entering into a very serious situation. The onslaught of the devil and his forces of evil are manifested on every side. As the British Government moves towards its announcement of its sell-out agreement with the Dublin regime Ulster is going to be pushed over the precipice of one of the most serious constitutional crises in all her history.

The Blueprint has been carefully prepared. The plans are well in order and everything, as far as the British Government is concerned, has been laid to start the process of the eventual destruction of Ulster as an integral part of the United Kingdom. It could very well be that certain brakes have been put on the momentum carrying forward these proposals, but, nevertheless, the proposals when they come will be the beginning of a process - a process which Mr. Hume has told us, through the media, is one upon which successive Irish Governments will build until they achieve their goal, that of the annexation of Ulster into the territory of the Irish. Republic and firmly under the rule of Dublin.

In the meantime Ulster is going to have a different type of Government from any other part of this United Kingdom, a foreign and hostile Government - a Government which claims jurisdiction over Ulster's territory, and not only so but gives sanctuary to the killers and destroyers of Ulster people; is to have a full consultative role in all happenings in our Province - our Agriculture, our Economy, our Health and Social Services, all to be influenced by what Dublin feels is best for the Republican population of the Province. The Ulster Protestants are to be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency.

Ulster is going to be made an example of the results of Ecumenism in the pulpit and treachery in the State. The same situation that occurred in Israel in the days of Ahab and Jezebel is occurring at the present time in our Province, and God's judgments will continue to be upon us if we turn not our whole heart and our whole soul unto Him.

There is a need today for God's people to return unto the Lord. The apathy, the indifference, the worldliness of God's people are symptoms of an even worse disease of heart - a heart rebellious against God and a heart

(Continued on P. 19)

"How to Maintain the Spirit-Filled Life" A Sermon by Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley

The last message which I preached from this pulpit was upon a vitally important subject, the subject of being filled with the Spirit of God. I want to continue that subject this morning by asking the question and seeking a Biblical answer to the same, "How can the Spirit-filled life be maintained?" I think you will find the answer to that in the great thirty-seventh Psalm. Turn to the thirty-seventh Psalm. You will find there three negatives which have to be observed, and five positives which have to be observed.

One: Do Not Fret

First of all, we are not to fret. It is interesting to note that the Psalmist repeats that. Three times that exhortation is given; verse 1, "Fret not thyself because of evildoers"; verse 8, "Fret not thyself in any wise to do evil"; and then again in verse 7, "Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way". The first negative is we are exhorted not to fret. (I will come back to that in a moment.)

Then we have in verse 8, to cease from evil, and also in verse 8 we are to forsake wrath.

If the Spirit-filled life is to be maintained we have to observe carefully these three great negatives. The word 'fret' means 'heat not thyself with vexation'.

I find today that it is very easy to be heated up. It is very easy to be vexed. It is very easy to come into a state where our minds and hearts are not normal, and we get excited and stirred up sinfully. I am not talking about righteous indignation. I'm not talking about an anger which becomes those that love the Lord and hate evil, but I'm talking about a vexation of spirit that is sinful.

Do you remember the Lord Jesus Christ said, "Be anxious for nothing". I am not saying that you should not have legitimate anxiety. The word there in the original is the word which means you have not to be in a state where you cannot think straight, where you cannot act reasonably because you have taken upon yourself an unbearable burden about the future. We are not to carry such a burden, that is the Lord's business and the Lord will carry that burden for us.

We live in a day when God's people fret themselves. You will notice three things here. Verse 1, they fret themselves because of evildoers. Verse 7, [4] they fret themselves because of those that prosper in the way, and then in verse 8 they fret themselves to do evil. These are things that we must avoid if we are going to maintain the Spirit-filled life.

It is easy to have our minds set upon what evildoers are doing, and be vexed in heart and heated up because it seems there is no end to their mischievous and evil deeds. It is easy to wonder why God prospers someone that is evil, and seems to bring nothing but adversity to those that are righteous. It is very easy to be so excited and in a state of fretting that we would do evil and sin and grieve the Lord. God says, "Fret not thyself". A very essential and needful exhortation of God and a very practical one.

Two: Cease From Anger and Three: Forsake Wrath

Then if you look at verse 8, we have to cease from anger, and we are to forsake wrath. We are talking here about sinful anger and about sinful wrath, and that is to be avoided at all costs. The Christian who is Spirit-filled is to walk a road marked by evenness. He is not to allow his temper to flair. He is not to allow himself to be led astray by a fit of wrath and anger. He is to be under the steadying, sustaining, normalising influence of the Spirit of God.

So much for the negatives, let us come to the positives. Look at verse 3, We are to trust. Look at verse 4, We are to delight. Look at verse 5, We have to commit. Look at verse 7, We are to rest. Look at verse 7 again, We are to wait. Trust, Delight, Commit, Rest and Wait!

One: Trust

In the Old Testament Scriptures there are seven Hebrew words which are used for 'Trust'. There is a word used for 'Trust' that means, 'To flee for refuge' - 'To take shelter in'. That word is used thirty-seven times in Old Testament Scriptures. There is another word used which means to 'put faith in' ' That word is used six times in the Old Testament Scriptures. There is another word which is used for 'Trust' which means 'To tarry'. That word is used once in the Old Testament.

There is another word which is used for 'Trust'. It means to 'Roll on' or to 'Devolve to', and is used once in the Old Testament. There is another word which means 'to wait for', or 'to wait on', and is used twice in the Old Testament. There is another word which means 'to rely on'. That is used once.

The word used in this Psalm is the most popular word in the Old Testament, and it is used one hundred and seven times, and it means 'to confide in', to 'Take the Lord into your confidence'. That is a very suggestive word, [5] is it not? Of course, the prerequisite to that is prayer. The Spirit-filled life can only be maintained by prayer.

Have you taken the Lord into your confidence this week?

"A little talk with Jesus,
How it smoothes the rugged road,
How it seems to help me onward
When I faint beneath my load,
There's naught can yield the comfort
Like a little talk with 14im"'

Do you know anything about that, believer? This is what the Psalmist is talking about. If you look down that Psalm it is repeated again in verse 5, 'Trust also in Him'. If I am going to maintain a Spirit-filled life I have got to take the Lord into my confidence.

You can test a Spirit-filled believer very quickly. What does he do when he is faced with a crisis? Does he run to someone else or does he make haste to the Lord? What is the first thing you do when you are in trouble? Do you run to the Lord or do you run to a friend? That is the test, 'Trust also in Him'.

Notice that this trust is a practical trust. Look at verse 3, is it a trust which enables us to do good. There are people who tell you that they trust in the Lord and then they immediately break the commandments of the Book. That is not trusting in the Lord. Trusting in the Lord results in obedience to Him. 'Trust in the Lord and do good'. 'Trust in Him and He shall bring it to pass'. This is the confidence and this is the faith that conquers. This is the faith that overcomes the world, trusting in the Lord, taking Him into your confidence. That is the first positive.

Two: Delight

The next thing is, "Delight".

What is your delight, believer? Is it home, friends, family, work, occupation, recreation? What is your delight? What is the thing you really and truly delight in? The Spirit-filled man delights himself in the Lord. He is delighted with the Lord. He does not get out of bed in the morning and kneel down in a miserable state doing a formal duty. He does it with delight in his heart. He picks up the Holy Volume with joy, knowing that something good is going to happen to his soul because he is going to read a message from Heaven.

The Spirit-filled life can only be maintained by prayer and by a constant delighting in the Word. A non-read Book leads to a backslidden Christian. A well-read Book leads to Spirit-anointed living for God.

Tell me, Are you delighting in the Lord? Look at the result of delighting in the Lord, 'He shall give thee the desire of thy heart'. Hearts' desires can be achieved. How? By delighting in the Lord. Delight in the Lord. Make it a joy to do the work of God. Don't do it as if you were going to 'Purgatory', do it [6] as if you were going to 'Paradise'. Delight in the things of the Lord. "His yoke is easy, His burden is light".

If there is one thing that is killing fundamentalism it is a spirit of legalism. One would think that the Lord was a hard taskmaster. I must do this and I must do that and I must do the other thing as if God was an angry schoolmaster and He was whipping His children at their desks. That is not the God of this Book. God is a loving, gracious, Heavenly Father, and He chooses the very best for His people, nothing but good from God, He wants you to have the very best. Hallelujah!

Three: Commit

You are to commit your way to the Lord. That is your whole life. Every step that you take in life's pathway will be all right if you commit it to the Lord. The Lord does not make any mistakes. Could I repeat that, for some people think that the Lord makes mistakes. He makes no mistakes. Everything that happens to me along life's way is for my eternal good. Everything!

All Things - For Good

There was a little boy, David Woods, the son of the Minutes Secretary of our Presbytery, an elder in our Castlederg Congregation. Little David took a tumour on the brain. Then he took a heart attack and died. I met his parents yesterday. I thought it would be my duty to try and comfort them, but I did not need to, because when I met them they were rejoicing.

You say to me, 'How could parents rejoice in such deep sorrow?' I will tell you why. Because they had discovered that God makes no mistakes. His will, although they could not understand it, was absolutely perfect. They said to me, 'God has taught us, and although there is an empty seat at our table and there is a big emptiness in our home, that He does all things well, and that one day we will understand'.

I want to tell you, friend, that is the secret of Christianity. How could I live if I had not the Lord? I could not live at all.

Thank God for God's way. We are to delight ourselves in the Lord, and then we are to commit our way unto the Lord. Commit it to the Lord, take it to the Lord in prayer.

You say, 'Preacher, if you knew some of the difficulties I have you would not glibly say, "Take it to the Lord in prayer".' I want to tell you, if you knew the difficulties I have, then you would know that what I am saying this morning is out of a heart of experience. There is not a problem, there is not a difficulty, there is not a mountain or an ocean that has to be crossed that the whole thing cannot be solved by doing What the Lord says. What does He say, 'Commit thy way unto the Lord'. Hand it over to Him.

Starting the day, I hand it over to the Lord. I'll have decisions to make. I [7] have difficulties to face. I'll have bitter temptations to fight. I'm going to meet the world, the flesh and the Devil in all their satanic spleen and opposition, but, glory to God, the Lord will handle them. That is what the Spirit-filled life is about. Letting the Blessed Spirit of God handle the difficulties. 'Commit thy way unto the Lord' .

Was there ever a man committed his way, was there ever a woman committed her way, unto the Lord and the Lord did not fully and completely deliver them? Thank God the Lord completely undertakes for His people.

Four: Rest

Let us come to verse 7, 'Rest'. That is a lovely word, 'Rest'.

Mr. Nicholson used to sign all his letters with these words, 'Yours restfully busy'. Many a time when I received a letter from him I looked at those words, 'Yours restfully busy'.

Wesley used to say, 'I have to work in haste, but, praise God, I'm never in a hurry'. He had proved that great truth as well.

You know, the old Devil would like to have us like Martha, 'cumbered with much service'

There is a difference between doing much service and being cumbered with much service. You could not do too much service for the Lord, but when the service becomes an encumbrance you are in trouble. I have got to be on the top of it. It has not to be on the top of me.

I meet preachers and they tell me, 'I dread Sunday'. I say, 'Why?' 'Well, I have to preach twice'. I say, 'Well, I always preach three times, and sometimes four times, and if I can get a fifth congregation I'm very happy'. They say, they don't know why I enjoy it. I reply, 'You don't know why I enjoy it, it has not mastered me, I have mastered it'.

Until you, by the Holy Ghost, are in the driving seat you will never live the Christian Life. The Holy Spirit comes in in order that you might have control of the situation by His Omnipotent power. It would be a terrible thing if a person dreads to do the work of God.

Christians say to me, 'I am scared to pray in the prayer meeting'. You are not scared to talk to your wife or your husband, but remember God is your Heavenly Father and you should be prepared to talk to Him. I never have any trouble getting my children to talk to me. I have terrible trouble in getting them to shut up.

Yes, let me tell you something, if you have that childlike attitude to your Father, you will be able to talk to Him all right. The Lord is not worrying about the grammar of your prayers. The Lord is worried about the sincerity of your prayers, that is what the Lord is taken up with. If a man is absolutely sincere and he prays, it does not matter what people think about his praying. It matters how the Lord answers him, and what the Lord thinks about him. 'Rest in the Lord'. The word in the Hebrew here is, 'Stand still and be silent'. Go through the Bible and see everywhere the Lord told the [8] people to stand still, and how many times He told people to sit still. Just study it for yourself.

Naomi said to Ruth, 'Sit still, my daughter'. God said to Moses, 'Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord'. Samuel said to Saul, 'Stand still a while and I will shew you the Word of the Lord'.

Stillness, a blessed peace in the heart! The whole world may be in a fury, but that great Psalm 46, how applicable it is to us in our day and generation. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, Therefore, will we not fear though the earth be removed and the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea, though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God. Be still and know that / am God".

That is it, that is the blessed rest!

If you have got this blessed rest you will not be running from pillar to post.

You will not be running from one Christian to another pouring your tale of woe into their ears. No, sir, you will have poured it out before the Lord. And when you fast and pray you have to wash and appear as if you were not fasting. Then and only then your Father that seeth in secret shall reward you openly.

Five: Wait

Then the last one in verse 7 (it is a very important one), 'Wait patiently'. Just wait! Here we are back to praying. We started with a confiding in the Lord in verse 3, we are ending 'waiting patiently'.

God moves in His own time. His time is always the right time, His time is always the best time. So let us wait. This means that we must be constant in prayer. This means that we must not give up. This means that we need a baptism of stickability. Let us stick at it. It is so easy to give up.

I meet young preachers and they tell me, 'O, I am going to resign' ' I said, 'No, re-sign to go on with God'. You do not resign. When difficulties come you don't run away, you stick at it. God wants us to wait patiently.

You say, 'But, preacher, I have waited a long long time'. It is not God's time yet,

Unanswered yet the prayers your lips have offered,
In agony of heart these many years,
Doth faith begin to fail?
Does hope seem vanquished?
And think it all in vain
Those falling tears?
Say not, 'The Father hath not heard your prayer'.
You shall have your desire sometime, somewhere.

Brethren this is the way to maintain the Spirit-filled life. It is simple. It is practical. It is not beyond your reach. There is nothing I have said this morning that the smallest child here cannot understand and put into practice. Let us go out this morning and put it into practice in our Christian lives and have them revolutionised.

Our attitude to the prayer meeting will be changed. Our attitude to God's Word will be changed.

The first Book we will reach for in the morning will be the Word of God. The last Book we will reach for in the evening will be the Word of God. We will be enquiring what prayer meetings we can go to, not what prayer meetings we can opt out of. Our whole life will be changed. Why? Because we have committed our way unto the Lord.

May the Lord help us to do it and then we shall be abundantly happy in His service.


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

God of the covenant, Triune Jehovah,
Marvels of mercy adoring we see;
Seeker of souls, in the counsels eternal
Binding Thy lost ones for ever to Thee.

Not now by words bringing death to transgressors,
Grace unto life the new covenant brings,
Jesus our surety, our kinsman - Redeemer,
Round us the robe of His righteousness flings.

Blessings on blessings through ages unending,
Covenant fulness in glorious flood,
Ours is a hope which no mortal can measure,
Brought in by Jesus and sealed in His Blood.

God of the covenant - changeless, Eternal,
Father, Son, Spirit in blessing agree;
Thine be the Glory, our weakness confessing,
Triune Jehovah, we rest upon Thee.

J. F. Webb [10]

The Spirit breathes upon the Word,
And brings the truth to sight;
Precepts and promises afford
A sanctifying light.

A glory gilds the sacred page,
Majestic like the sun:
It gives a light to every age;
It gives, but borrows none.

The hand that gave it still supplies
The gracious light and heat:
Its truths upon the nations rise;
They rise, but never set.

Let everlasting thanks be Thine
For such a bright display
As makes a world of darkness shine
With beams of heavenly day.

My soul rejoices to pursue
The steps of Him I love,
Till glory breaks upon my view
In brighter worlds above.

William Cowper, 1779

God, Our Sufficiency

Who trusts in God, a strong abode
In heaven and earth possesses;
Who looks in love to Christ above,
No fear his heart oppresses.
In Thee alone, dear Lord, we own
Sweet hope and consolation;
Our shield from foes, our balm for woes,
Our great and sure salvation.

In all the strife of mortal life
Our feet shall stand securely;
Temptation's hour shall lose its power,
For Thou shalt guard us surely.
O God renew, with heavenly dew,
Our body, soul and spirit,
Until we stand by Thy right hand,
Through Jesus saving merit.

Joachim Madeburg - translated by B. H. Kennedy


(continued from p. 2)

committed to sinful ways and ungodly practices.

The yearnings of God over His people Israel in days of national apostasy recorded for us in the Old Testament prophets should be read and re-read by the people of Ulster today. They bring to us the message of a God Who manifests His compassion as He grieves over those that should be walking in fellowship with Him, "How can I give thee up O Ephraim?" There you have the heartcry of a compassionate, tender and longsuffering God. "How can I give thee up, O Ulster? Ulster that I have favoured with spiritual blessings. Ulster that I have refreshed over and over again with revival. Ulster that has had more privileges, spiritually speaking, than any other part of the United Kingdom, and Ulster that has more born again Christians to the square mile than perhaps any other part of the world". The compassion of God and the grief of God over backsliding and wayward children of God should have an effect upon all our hearts and minds. There should come to us true repentance, true contrition and a true forsaking of the ways of backsliding and sin and worldliness, and a return to God with all our hearts and all our souls and all our minds. If the people of God at this vital juncture in Ulster's affairs do not shoulder their solemn responsibilities and with dedication of heart and fervency of prayer cry mightily unto God, then the dark clouds will become darker and instead of God's smile we will have God's frown, and instead of God's deliverance we will have God's judgment. The people of God must 6e shaken out of their apathy. The people of God must be stirred up from their Laodicean spirit. The people of God must with contriteness of heart set themselves to seek their God, that because of His Name's Sake He might in wrath remember mercy and give to us the deliverance that we need. If God delivers us not then we perish!

Let us all ask ourselves the question, Have I faced up to my individual responsibility? How is my prayer life and my relationship to God? What burden am I carrying? What prayers have I offered that God would avert the disaster that seems almost now inevitable?

There is a word of encouragement for us all, "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him."

God is able to lift up a standard against the powers of darkness and the forces of evil. The enemy is surely coming in like a flood. The time has come now for God's people to plead fervently that great promise and to see that standard of the Spirit's power uplifted in controlling and conquering the sweep of the awful current of evil that is upon us.

The cry used to go up in the days of Israel's defeat, "To your tents, O Israel". The church of God must not retreat to its tent, but must rather retreat to the sanctuary, "To your knees, O people of God," for only upon our knees can the enemy be defeated and routed, and our Province delivered.

May we not be a people that fail God and fail our families at this time, but may we be a people who shall know our God, "Those that know God shall be strong and shall do exploits". [20]

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

I'm sure most, if not all of us, have at some time or another unexpectedly received an invitation to a wedding or to a function of some sort. Our first reaction is one of excitement, which soon turns into consternation as we exclaim, "I haven't a thing to wear!" Now, that isn't absolutely true.

What is true perhaps, is that most of our dresses are becoming rather dated, and we wouldn't feel properly dressed in any of them.

How glad I am that God has provided a wardrobe for His children, and its contents are never out of date.

This clothing is suitable for all occasions. We can wear it while we work; we can wear it at home; we can wear it to public functions, or to private parties, to business meetings, all day and every day, Sunday, through Saturday, January to December.

Yes, Romans 13-14 tell us what it is, "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ."

If Christ is in our hearts through faith in His finished work, then His love should shine through in our lives. How gracious is the Saviour in allowing poor, unworthy sinners, to "Put on" Christ. How we need such a covering. And what a change we would know and what a change the world would see in us if we would only wear Christ as our daily clothing.

When we receive Christ as our Saviour, He gives us a robe of righteousness. We have no righteousness of our own, because God's word tells us there is none righteous, no not one. This robe covers our sin, our weakness, our shame, our failure, our poverty, and we are hid with Christ in God.

We are not told to "Put on meek Moses" or "Put on faithful Abram" or "Put on Deborah" or "Elizabeth", or "Lydia", great and good and noble as all these were, we are to have but one example, "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ". We need strength to work for Him, strength to meet the enemies of the world, the flesh and the devil. He is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever."

In our tawdry wardrobe we have no power to resist evil. But if we put on Christ, He will give us that power. We cannot trust our own resolutions, [21] they will crumble and fall around our feet.

If we are to be useful and usable followers of the Saviour, we should be conformed to the image of His Son." How can we? By putting on Christ. The more we put on Jesus the more like Him we will be.

Be like Jesus, this my song,
In the home and in the throng.
Be like Jesus all day long,
I would be like Jesus.

Not only is this clothing suitable for all occasions, it is suitable for all believers, rich and poor, high and low, young and old, female and female. Jesus was rich, for our sakes became poor. He came from the heights of glory to a lowly manger, so no matter our circumstances we may put on Christ. The richest person is poor without Christ, the poorest person is rich when they can put on Christ.

It doesn't matter what your position in life may be, put on Christ and the most menial task will be made light.

Maybe you are the only Christian in your home, and you find it hard going - Put on the Lord Jesus Christ - His garments smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia. Your home can be filled with that perfume. Jesus knows all your problems, your difficulties, your temptations, your weaknesses, your ailments - remember He was tempted in all points as we are. He was friendless, despised, rejected. Are you better than your Master?

Col. 3 opens up the wardrobe to our view. What other items are in there? Mercy. Kindness. Humility. Meekness. Longsuffering. There are 5 in verse 12. There are 2 in verse 13 - Forbearing and Forgiving - I wonder how often we take these dresses from our wardrobe? Are you tenderhearted do you show kindness. Have you a humble mind or are you puffed up with pride? Have you a meek spirit? Are you a patient person?

Are you forbearing or overbearing? Are you forgiving or unforgiving?

Let us never forget that our sinless Saviour "endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself".

Isn't it time we "Put on Christ".

Paul goes on to tell us, "Above all these things - put on charity (or love), - the bond of perfectness, Love covereth all sins (Prov. 10: 12), 1 trust all our hearts will be full of love to Jesus "who loved me and gave Himself for me". Love to one another and love for poor sinners.

Paul further advises us to "let the peace of God rule in your hearts". So often other things take priority in our hearts, but if the peace of God rules then all other things will be in their proper place. Another thing we need to be is thankful.

There is not much thankfulness in the world. As children of Christ we ought to be thankful for all the mercies and blessings we receive daily from His hand.

This world is hard and cold, and we need to be ever "putting on" Christ and wrapping Him around us. We have only one life and how quickly it flashes by.

We have no time to waste, so don't leave it too late to clothe yourself in these precious priceless garments. [22]

The Sunday School Teacher's Teacher

Subject: The Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Lesson XXXII - The Sick Woman and the Ruler's Daughter
Lord's Day 6th October 'All things are possible to him that believeth.'

Read - Mark v. 22-43 (comp. Matt. ix. 18-26; Luke viii. 41-56); Learn - Luke viii. 48-50.


Under our streets run great pipes full of water, to supply cisterns, etc. When a house is on fire, the water could put it out - but what use if can't be got at? (Or, dark school-room - gas in pipes no use unless can turn it on and put light to it. Or, starving children at home - plenty of bread in cupboard - but no key to open it.) We want pardon of sin, grace to be better, kind feelings, gentle ways, strength against temptation: Provision for all in Christ - He is willing to give - yet how few get it! (Illus. - Boy once with bad temper, wished to overcome it, knew Christ able, yet said, 'Teacher, I can't (a fact).)

Today read of two people who wanted blessings from Christ, and how they got them.


(1) The Ruler. When a father and mother have only one little girl, how much loved! If she ill, what distress! In Capernaum, in large house, great trouble - the one little girl dying - how old? (see Luke). What to be done? Jairus remembers what he has seen as he sat in ruler's seat in synagogue (Lesson XXIV) - how he and his colleagues went to Jesus to plead for the kind Roman (Lesson XXVIII) - will go now for his own child. See him hastening - where to? Whom Jesus still talking to? Matt. ix. 18. Before all - proud Pharisees and disreputable publicans - he, who sits above them all in the synagogue falls down in his anguish at Jesus' feet. Look at Jesus - He has been refusing to tell His new publicandisciples to look sad and gloomy (last Lesson) - but now that one really sad comes to Him, does He turn him away?

(2) The Sick Woman. Go back twelve years - when Jesus quietly working as village carpenter - what then happening in Capernaum? ver. 25, 42 - (a) Jairus and his wife very happy - little girl born; (b) a Jewish lady ill, sending for doctor. Who could think that the humble Nazarene would by-and-bye cure, on same day, that child and that lady? All the time while the little girl growing to be twelve years old (some of you know how long that is) that lady suffering. She had plenty of money, but by-and-bye all gone - how? Now poverty as well as sickness; and, after trying every remedy, worse than before (ver. 26). [23]

She, too, knows Jesus - but modest and retiring - does not like to tell Him all the long, sad story - yet surely He could heal - and if such power, could He not heal without knowing it? Would it not be enough to touch Him? She sees the people crowding after Him as He goes along the street from Matthew's house to Jairus's now a chance - may get near Him without being noticed.


(1) The Sick Woman. See her edging her way through the crowd - she is close to Him - sees the fringe on His robe - not broad like the Pharisees', certainly, but (she thinks) sacred - that she will touch. In a moment - cured! - the Great Physician (last Lesson) has done what all others failed in. She drops back into the crowd - how thankful! But - oh! she will be found out - what is Jesus asking? ver. 30 - He has turned round - His eye upon her (comp. Nah. i. 7 - 'He knoweth them that trust in Him') - trembling she falls before Him, and openly confesses all.

How did she get the blessing? Here was her malady - there was Christ's power: what was it that brought the one to the other? The touch? But what did Peter say? (Luke) - was it not true? and yet Jesus says her touch quite different from the crowd's touch - how? See what He told her, ver. 31 - what saved her? The crowd touched Him without thinking - meant nothing by it; she touched Him because believed - what? So, as her hand touched His robe, her faith touched His Divine power and love. And Jesus called her out Purposely that she might know this - not think some strange magic in His dress - but that His power and love healed because she trusted.

(2) The Ruler. Poor Jairus! - How impatient he must have felt at the delay on the road! - ahl and too late now - see the message from the sick room, ver. 35. What does Jesus say? ver. 36. Jairus, too, must learn what it is that can get His help - not enough that the child ill - other children 'II too, yet not cured - something wanted faith - and if 'only believe', no matter to Jesus whether child dying or dead.

At the house at last. The paid mourners there already - hear their noisy wailing (see 2 Chron. xxxv. 25; Jer. ix. 17-20; Amos v. 16). But - suddenly it is turned into mocking laughter - what at? ver. 39, 40. Why did Jesus call death sleep (comp. John xi. 11-14)? - how easily we wake a sleeper! - just as easily He wakes the dead (John v. 28; 1 Thess. iv. 15, 16). Now He stands by the bed. There the lifeless body here its Maker and Redeemer: what can bring His power to it? Just as before - only faith. Who there also? Only the believing ones: father and mother weep - Peter, John, and James wonder - yet they are trusting; the scoffers turned out - if the miracle depended on their faith, when could it be done? (Matt. xiii. 58, xvii. 20).

Listen! - He speaks to the dead child how tenderly - in the very words her mother might call to her in the morning 'My child, get up'. See - she rises - is she really alive? yes, can walk and eat, ver. 42, 43.


For ourselves, like the woman. Feel there is 'something the matter with us', causing bad thoughts, bad words, bad deeds. 'We have left undone those things,' etc., and 'done those things,' etc why? 'no health in us.' Try 'physicians' change way of living (illust. - A boy, feeling he could notbe 'religious' at his workshop, gave up situation and got another (a fact)) - no use - nothing 'bettered' - the evil in ourselves.

For others, like Jairus. (Name any instance in the class - e.g., girl may wish her brother 'a better boy.')

Is not Christ as ready and able to help now as He was then? (Heb. vii. 25, xiii. 8.)


Not enough to have Him in the midst of us - what good was it to that pressing throng? What good all His love and power at Nazareth (Mark vi. 6)? The water may be close to the fire (or gas, or bread whichever illus. taken) - but what good if not used? Church-going, prayer-saying, like touch, no use in themselves.

What, then, is the 'missing link'? THE TOUCH OF FAITH.

What is that? Just kneel down and ask Christ for what you want. (1) because you want it, (2) because you know He will hear and help. Then not go away and forget (did Jairus? - why not? He wanted it so much). (illust. - When you take messages, or ask favour, don't you wait for an answer?)

'I bring my wants to Jesus:
All fulness dwells in Him;
He heals all my diseases,
He doth my soul redeem.' [24]

Lesson XXXIII - At Jerusalem - The Cripple at Bethesda
Lord's Day 13th October 'I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.'

- John v. 1 - 16; Learn - Isa. Ivii. 18; Rom. vii. 18; Phil. iv. 13


Have you ever watched the crowd at a hospital door? how sad to see so many sick and infirm people! How blessed is health! Do you ever thank God for it?

(1) No hospitals in ancient times - never thought of till Christ had taught men to care for others. Many sick in Jerusalem when Jesus there, but no place where could have gentle nurses and skilful doctors for nothing. Yet might see there a great throng of infirm people crowded together under arches of colonnade surrounding pool of water. (Read ver. 1-5.) Why there? Sometimes strange moving of the water then wonderful healing power in it - how eagerly they would watch for the time - how eagerly get in where saw the bubbling!

(2) Look at one lying there - a cripple for thirty-eight years! - all the time that Jesus had lived, and seven years before - how weary! At length had come to the pool lay there waiting with the rest - had seen the moving water - tried to get in - why not quick enough? why stopped when another in first? ver. 7. Now in despair - 'hope deferred, heart sick' (Prov. xiii. 12) - his hopes withered, like his limbs.

(3) Another crowd there too (ver. 13) friends of the sick - others come to see the waters moving - many from distant parts - why? - come to Jerusalem for one of the feasts. One comes up to the poor man - a Galilean - a stranger. But the cripple no stranger to Him - He knows all about him - the long suffering - and the old sin of forty years ago (ver. 14). When did we see Jesus healing without being asked? (Lesson XXIX.) Now He will do so again.

(4) 'Do you want to be made whole?' - of course he does - why such a question? But listen again - 'Rise!' - how can he? for thirty-eight years helpless - how walk now? Yet he does, instantly! What then? does he thank his Healer? but Jesus is gone - ver. 13. See the man walking away, like the paralytic at Capernaum, with his rough mat. It is pleasant to walk after a few days' confinement at home - what must it have been to him!

(5) Suddenly he is stopped by some of the rulers - 'What are you doing? don't you know it's the Sabbath?' What law was he breaking? see Exod. xxxi. 13-17; Neh. xiii. 15-19; Jer. xvii. 21, 22. But how could he question what his Healer had told him? surely one with such a power must have the right to command. Why, they think, that is worse, deliberately to tell a man to break the Sabbath - 'Who is it?' See, they care not to ask who worked such a cure - only, who broke the Sabbath.

(6) The man is in the Temple - what would he be there for? See Ps. xxvii. 6, ciii. 2, 3, cxvi. 12-14; Luke xvii. 15; Acts iii. 8. But is it enough to thank God? see the solemn reminder Jesus comes and gives him - a 'worse thing!' - worse than thirty-eight years' pain and helplessness! Let him 'shew forth God's praise not only with his lips, but in his life'!

What this miracle brought on Jesus we shall see next Sunday. Now look at it to find the key to a difficulty that often puzzles boys and girls - how they can do what seems an impossibility. Ask three questions: -

I. THE COMMAND - What was it that Jesus told the man to do?

To 'rise and walk'. So He tells us to do. He sees us just living on from day to day as if no God, no judgement to come, no danger from sin and Satan, no Saviour to deliver us - like those asleep or dead and what does He say? - Eph. v. 14 'Awake! Arise!' And then to 'walk' - how? 'in newness of life' (Rom. vi. 4); 'as He walked' (1 John ii. 6; see also i. 6, 7, ii. 10, 11; 2nd John 4; 3rd John 4); so as 'to please God' (1 Thess. iv. 1). And to 'run' [25] too, like a racer (1 Cor. ix. 24; Heb. xii. 1).

II. THE DIFFICULTY OF OBEYING THE COMMAND - Why was it difficult to 'rise and walk'?

Because the man was a cripple, impotent', helpless. That is just what we are. Not in our bodies - run well enough. Not in our minds - learn quick enough. But in our souls. You know it is so - often feel it - feel it would really be a happy thing to be 'religious', but somehow can't. This habit, that companion, must then be given up - can't do it. This and that duty must then be done - can't. Why? - 'without strength' (Rom. v. 6). And why this? without Christ, and so - look at John xv. 5. Just as hard, as impossible, to change our lives as for a negro to change his colour (Jer. xiii. 23). Even when have 'risen up" when a true Christian, not easy to 'walk'; see how St. Paul found it, Rom. vii. 15-23.

III. THE COMMAND OBEYED - How was the man able to 'rise and walk'?

Because Jesus gave him power? - yes - but how gave it him? Simply told him to get up. Suppose the man had said, 'But I can't' - then not healed. He tried, and found he was able. What made him try? Did Jesus first give him a feeling that he could? - not at all - just gave the command. But he looked into Christ's face, and felt sure He would not mock him by bidding him do what was impossible - so obeyed; and when he obeyed, he got the strength.

Many boys and girls who would like to 'rise and walk' - who know this the way to be happy, but who feel they can't - think they are not to blame - not their fault that they are still 'impotent'. But it is your fault. Christ says, 'Arise!' He commands - 'Be converted' (Acts iii. 19) - does He mock us? If wait for some overwhelming feeling, may wait for ever. Only obey Him honestly, and, though quite true you 'can't', will find you can. The Holy Spirit is indispensable, but is given to those who ask (Luke xi. 13). But must be honest - did the impotent man try to rise, secretly intending not to succeed?

Say, with the Prodigal, 'I will arise!'

Lesson XXXIV - At Jerusalem - Persecution
Lord's Day 20th October 'All men should honour the Son even as they honour the Father.'

Read - Parts of John v.; Learn - Luke xx. 13, 14; Heb. xii. 25.


A great commotion among the chief men of Jerusalem. A year has passed since the Stranger from Nazareth drove the traders out of the Temple. They heard of Him afterwards baptising, like John - got uneasy at that (John iv. 1); then lost sight of Him for a while; then strange reports from Galilee, of wonderful cures such as John never did, of great crowds following the new prophet. But now He has turned up again at Jerusalem - has dared to break the Sabbath publicly, and to order another to break it - and that, too, when the city crowded at feast-time (refer to last Lesson). What to be done? Dark thoughts in their minds - they must get rid of Him somehow by death, even.

But greater offence to come. See what Jesus says when accused of Sabbath-breaking. 'God works on the Sabbath' -how? preserving, sustaining, etc. Are not children born - do not people die - are not sicknesses cured - on the Sabbath? Who does all this? Well, they know that of course He does; but, they would say, how can that justify a man working on the Sabbath? Look again at His words - 'My Father and I'. 'Why, that is making Himself equal with Godl blasphemy! worse than Sabbath-breaking - die He must'.

Now see Jesus face to face with the rulers. Think - On one side many of their greatest men - members of the 'Sanhedrin' (like our Parliament) - Learned Rabbis, as Gamaliel, Nicodemus, etc. men, as Joseph of Arimathea (comp. [26] Matt. xxvii. 57 with Luke xxiii. 50, 51) chief priests - crafty scribes, and proud Pharisees. On the other side one man, humble, plain, who never learned from the great Rabbis (John vii. 15), a carpenter from a despised country village!

What they said to Him not preserved; but see what He said to them -


They blamed Jesus for calling God His Father, for making Himself equal with God - does He confess the error? does He say He did not mean that? Ver. 19 - says it again. Ver. 23 - says that He, the poor despised Nazarene, ought to be honoured just as God is. Why? two reasons:

1. What He does, God does.

They blamed Him for doing the miracle on the Sabbath. What does He say? Ver. 19 (and 30) - He was not alone in it - God had a share in it - He could do nothing without God. Why? Because Father and Son ONE (comp. x. 30). (Illust. - What your hand or foot does, done by you - no part of body can act of itself - all united together.) So, in persecuting Him they were persecuting God. What must they have thought! - 'worse blasphemy than ever'.

Now, what kind of person was Jesus? untruthful? proud? seeking great things for Himself? Was He not 'lowly in heart'? Yet here He exalts Himself as God - why? could it be for any reason except this, that He really was and is God? (Comp. Matt. I. 23; Phil. ii. 6; Col. i. 15; Heb. i.)

2. What God does, He does.

What do they think is God's greatest work? Creating? - what kind of creating? - not earth, air, water, etc., but living beings. To give life is the greatest work. Well, that He does too - He, Jesus the Nazarene. Did they marvel because His word 'Rise' gave strength to the cripple? they shall marvel more than that (ver. 20). His word shall do God's great work, give life - life to the dead (ver. 21). His voice shall be heard by dead souls now (ver. 25), by dead bodies at the last day (ver. 28). The cripple rose up at His command, but there shall be a far more wondrous rising up souls, from the death of sin (refer to last Lesson), to a new, holy, happy life (ver. 24); bodies, from green churchyard, cold vault, deep sea, to be joined again to the souls that had left them, and be ready for the great judgement (ver. 29). (Comp. Dan. xii. 2).

And who shall judge men? Is not that God's own work too? - yes (Ps. 1. 6, lviii. 11, lxxv. 7) Yet who will be the Judge? (ver. 22, 27). (Comp. Acts xvii. 31; 2 Cor. v10). And who is this Son of God and Son of Man? He, the humble Galilean they are persecuting! They, the Sanhedrin, can summon Him to their bar now; but then they shall stand at His bar, and receive His sentence! And who are they to whom alone no condemnation' then? (ver. 24; comp. iii. 18, 36; Rom. viii. 1) those that hear Him. Learned Rabbis and strict Pharisees must receive the Nazarene, if to be saved! Think of the mingled awe and hatred as they hear that!

Is that judgement a dreadful prospect to us? It is to some (Heb. x. 27.) It need not be. The Judge is the Son of Man, One who knows us, loves us, lived and died for us -

'See the Judge, our nature wearing.'

There is a way by which we may 'not be ashamed before Him at His coming', 1 John i. 28.


How could they know that all this was true? Jesus does not ask them to believe it on His own word (ver. 31); but He reminds them of the evidence - the testimony (see Lesson XIV) - they have, ver. 32-39. The accused calls His witnesses for the defence. Have they forgotten the Baptist, now in Herod's prison, but a year ago so much thought of? What did he tell their deputation? (i. 19, 34). But a greater Witness than John - who? ver. 32, 37. True, they had not seen or heard that Witness, ver. 37; but they had His testimony - two kinds: - (a) The Miracles - did not these prove that God was with Him? ver. 36 (comp. iii. 2, ix. 33; Acts ii. 22). (b) Their own Scriptures let them 'search' these, ver. 39; then would see how all the prophecies pointed to Him (comp. Luke xxiv. 27, 44).

Yet He knew they would not believe in Him, ver. 40; though He desired to save them, ver. 34. Why not? ver. 44 (comp. Matt. vi. 2, 5, 16) - to be His disciples would be such a low thing; they, looked up to by all, to join the Nazarene! - what would be said of them! Some of them were inclined to join Him, yet even they afraid (see iii. 2, xii. 42, 43, xix. 38).

We know not what came of this wonderful discourse then. But for long after (probably eighteen months) Jesus could not go to Jerusalem; why? (vii. 1.) For the second time rejected by the rulers (first time in chap. ii.); God had sent His Son - 'the Heir' - to the vineyard, and they said, 'Come, let us kill Him!'


How much more we know than the Jews! To them Jesus was the Nazarene; to us He is the crucified, risen, ascended, almighty and all-loving Saviour. Were they blind and wicked? What must those be who now reject Him! What is God's message to such?

Lesson XXXV - The Message from John the Baptist
Lord's Day 27th October 'Art Thou He that should come?'

Read - Matt. xi. (comp. Luke vii. 17-35); Learn - Luke vii. 22, 23.


Jesus back in Galilee again - crowds about him as before - but not believers glad to get their sick healed, but as to His being Messiah, think much as John's disciples (above). What would they think of John's message? - 'even he doubts'. Jesus knows their hearts - must answer them as well as John. His reply, marvellous in wisdom, we have in this chapter. See in it three things: -


1. His Works and Words, ver. 4-6.

Before answering the messengers, what does Jesus do? Luke vii. 21 - what a blessed sight to see! - eyes opened, tongues loosed, etc. Let them tell John what they have seen; and what heard too other miracles - and what else? the poor preached to - anything wonderful in that? - very unlike the Scribes (Matt. xxiii. 4, 14) - and just what Messiah should do (Isa. xxxv. 3-6; lxi. 1).

But all this they knew before - had told John already (see above) - why then only this message to him? He is to be content, to trust, not judge Jesus by his own ideas, not to be impatient, not to 'fret because of evildoers' (Ps. xxxvii. 1, 7, etc.); all that the Messiah was to do shall be done in proper time.

2. The Testimony of John, ver. 7-15.

The messengers are gone. Now Jesus has a word for the people. A year ago, they were hastening from all parts down to the

Down by the Dead Sea, in the old country of Moab, a gloomy castle - thick walls, strong doors, etc. - belonging to King Herod. In a dungeon there, a prisoner whom -we know - John the Baptist (Luke iii. 19, 20). What has become of all the people who flocked to Him to be baptised? Some gone back to their old ways; some now running after the greater prophet at Capernaum. A few followers still attached to him - come and visit him in prison. Many things to tell him: particularly about Jesus - 'what crowds come to Him (comp. John iii. 26) what wondrous miracles done (see Luke vii. 16-18); and yet very strange! - He can't be Messiah after all - makes no effort to incite nation against Romans - just goes about quietly - is not strict or stern, either - and, if He can do such mighty works, why not get John out of prison? No wonder the rulers at the capital have rejected Him' (last Lesson).

John is perplexed too - why? Does He forget that Voice at the Jordan - 'My beloved Son'? No - cannot doubt it Jesus is the Son of God. Is he offended at being left to pine away in prison? No would gladly suffer much more if God willed it. And yet - 'it is strange - is He not to purge His floor and burn up the chaff (Matt. iii. 12) - to sweep away oppression of kings, hypocrisy of Pharisees, all sin? Why this delay? is He only to be the suffering Lamb of God - another to come as the conquering King and Judge?' Will send Jesus and inquire. [28]

Jordan (refer to Lesson X17. What for? Jesus now asks.

(a) Merely to stare at (the literal translation of 'see' in ver. 7) one of the waving reeds by the river? The idlest trifler must have gone for more than that. And the stern, unyielding man they did see (see Matt. iii. 7) - how unlike a reed - would he be in prison if easily 'shaken'?

(b) To see an easy, indulgent man, who would introduce them to a life of pleasure? But would go for that to Herod's court at Tiberias - if any one went into the desert for it, how disappointed! for what was John's life? Matt. iii. 4.

(c) To see a prophet? well, then should believe what he said - what was that? Matt. iii. 11 - his work only to announce One yet to come - and to Whom had he pointed?

3. The Fulfilment of Prophecy. What had they often heard out of the book of their last prophet? (comp. ver. 10, 14, with Mal. iii. 1, iv. 5). John was that 'messenger', the expected 'Elias' - therefore greater than all the prophets. But if John the 'messenger', who the 'Lord' he came to announce? Surely He means Himself, Jesus of Nazareth, then speaking to theml (Jesus does not say so, but see ver. 15 - like 'you see what I mean'). And if John 'more than a prophet', what must He be? even the least (poorest and humblest) in His 'kingdom' greater than the greatest prophet (ver. 11; comp. Matt. xiii. 17)!

Then to be in the 'kingdom' something worth an effort - and only by great effort could be in it (ver. 12; comp. Luke xiii. 24) - why? because to be in it must be a follower of Him, the despised Nazarene; and to be that needed a great wrench of feelings - and no sitting still - must be 'up and doing'.


1. Folly, ver. 16-19. Children's games then as now imitating real things (illustrate); used to play at having weddings and funerals. Sometimes very changeable would start first one game, then another and be angry because others not inclined, or too busy, to join; is that right? Now see who Jesus says was like such children? The Jews offended, first with John, because not light and merry as they wanted to be - did not like his stern rules and strict life; then with Jesus, because He kept not all their fasts, etc. - did not like His going to publicans' feasts (see Lesson XXXI). But how foolish, how childish, to object just because their whims not humoured! (illust. - Would a man in prison refuse a pardon brought to him because the messenger not dressed as he would like, or because his face too grave or too gay?)

(Apply.) How do we receive God's messages? Some Sunday-scholars come to school from curiosity, or to play, or for what they can get - don't care for Gospel; or won't take. it as it is - want to have stories told them. Or want a religion of their own, not too strict; or else selfish and not kind to others. All these like the Jews. Are you so?

2. Guilt, ver. 20-24. It was not only silly; it was ungrateful and wicked. They had had wondrous blessings; that very day, what great things He had done for them (see above) - and how many before! They thought of Tyre and Sidon, of old Sodom, with horror - so wicked! but these cities never had such blessings - if they had, what then? see ver. 21, 23. Yet had they repented? But a day coming when all would see the men of Tyre and Sodom not so bad as they.

(Apply.) Our blessings far greater than those of the Jews. How guilty those who care not for Christ now!


For some did receive Him. Who?

1. 'Babes', ver. 25. Not childish, but childlike - those not proud of their own wisdom - not (like the others in ver. 16, 19) offended because Jesus not exactly what they expected - but ready to be led and taught. Peter, Andrew, etc., like that. Yet even they would not have come to Jesus of themselves; how was it, then? ver. 25 (comp. John vi. 44).

(Apply.) May each of us 'receive the kingdom of God as a little child' (Mark x. 15)1 Pray for the Spirit, that we may be children 'taught of God' (Isa. liv. 13).

2. The weary and heavy-laden, ver. 28-30. Who are they? Those who want to get rid of the burden of sin, but can't - to be better and holier, but can't - to be really happy, but can't. See one next Sunday.

(Apply.) Any of us like this? What does Jesus promise? When we are very tired, how good to lie down and rest! He will give rest to our souls'.

John asked, 'Art Thou He that should come?' Here is the answer - 'Yes; there is no other; therefore - COME UNTO ME!' [29]

Buses Burnt at Lisburn

Shortly before 3.20 in the darkness of Wednesday morning, September 11th, vandals entered the grounds of Lisburn Free Presbyterian Church fully intent on destroying the buses used by the church.

With incendiaries of some sort the arsonists burned a mini-bus and 30seater coach. The 12-seater mini-bus was gutted in the blaze, while the coach became so extensively damaged that it has been written off. The barking of a dog aroused a neighbouring family who contacted the fire brigade and police when they saw the flames shooting up skywards. The dog created too much noise for the liking of the raiders who made good their getaway - the third vehicle in the car park, a 50-seater coach, was thankfully left untouched.

These church buses, particularly those which were burned, served the Sunday School, youth and children's work for the most part. The raiders maliciously destroyed the vehicles just as the new season's work among the boys and girls approached.

N.B. The fire became a point of local interest. Friends rang to inquire and express sympathy. Rev. John Douglas, minister of the church, was especially touched when a lady stopped by and graciously offered a donation for the Bus Fund. Rev. Stanley Barnes suggested that the Hillsborough Church would be able to lend a bus to allow the children's work to start on time.

P.S. A new Bus Fund has been commenced by the Lisburn Congregation. Meanwhile the Police are continuing their investigations and have hopes of apprehending those responsible within a few weeks. [30]

The Heart of Christianity by Dr. O. Talmadge Spence (President, Foundations Bible College)

Church history is replete with the various individuals who have set forth the Bible in a manner and after a presupposition of their study. The great scholars of the past, who have borne the burden of biblical interpretation, have also given a multiplicity of ways in which one might approach Bible study.

We would certainly agree at this point in history that all of the fundamental teachings of the Word of God have been enunciated and that there are probably no new fundamental truths to extricate and proclaim from the Word of God which have not been preached and published. We do not believe that we need any NEW thing to make the Gospel complete in its presentation down through history for the salvation of man. There is nothing new that is true.

Possibly, however, we should acknowledge that there has been a tendency throughout all of the systems to eventually go at least a little to a tangent by some overemphasis upon some aspect of biblical truth which tended to obscure some other truth. Of course, some systems go much further off into a wider tangent.

It is the opinion of this writer that there is a great need for all theologians, teachers, pastors, preachers, and evangelists to get back to the central core and heart of the Gospel to change men's lives for Christ. We need to preach Christ for Christ's sake, as Robert Murray McCheyne would say, and we must preach Christ for the Christian's need before God in the generation in which we live.

Where would we go in the Bible, presupposing the heart has truly received evangelical and fundamental truth in the New Birth, for the heart-core needed for the Christian life?

I am writing this article while taking some summer studies at Oxford University, and I am simply amazed and appalled by the evidences here manifested from these 36 colleges within this system. All of them bear a name that is directly or indirectly identified with Christianity in the English-speaking world. The beloved King James Version of the Holy Scriptures was [31] translated by scholars from Oxford along with others from Cambridge and Westminster. Oxford is a place in England one-mile square where there are more churches and bookstores per square foot than any heretofore Protestant geography on earth. But what is the central emphasis in Christianity here? Certainly not evangelical, fundamental, biblical Christianity. Where in the Christian world did we get off? What is the central need we have missed? Well, to each his own, as the saying goes.

It is my firm conviction that the modern institutional and intellectual church forces have forsaken the Beatitudes, as Jesus taught them, based upon fundamental Christianity. Almost everywhere there is a great dearth and death of these precious teachings of our Lord Jesus.

The Beatitudes deal with Godly character; Godly character is the Holy of Holies of the Christian life. When we contrast or compare Matthew and Luke in the two presentations, we might note the following:

1 .Matthew has 107 verses, 29 of which are found in Luke 6:20-29.

2. Matthew has 47 verses which have no parallel in Luke at all.

3. Matthew has 34 verses which are scattered through Luke in other places.

4. Matthew is particularly presented with the disciples in mind, whereas, in Luke, the multitude is more in mind.

5. Both accounts are marked with the catalyst of Jesus "seeing the multitudes" (cf. Matthew 5: la Et Luke 6:19).

6. The manner of Christ's teaching here ("when he was set") emphasises the preacher, Jesus, becomes the teacher, Jesus.

7. The actual speaking of Jesus here ("He opened his mouth, and taught them, saying") indicates the classical and formal care of these sermons.

Much could be added in commentary to each of these points, but suffice it to say that when Jesus saw the multitudes, He was moved to give the Beatitudes as the great Preface to the Sermon on the Mount and on the Plateau: the first, to the Disciples; the second, to the multitudes. O how the multitudes on this earth need, once again, to see the Godly character of the Beatitudes in all of our lives.

This first Five Beatitudes (poverty of spirit, importunate cry, meekness of action, hunger-thirst for God, merciful in life), all, lead to the Sixth - Purity of Heart. This is the central Beatitude in the central core of the Christian life - Godly character. Then the Christian is ready and enabled to meet the last three Beatitudes as Peacemaker, Persecuted, Reviled. The Purity of Heart is central to those inner needs, and the Purity of Heart is the central key to those outer demands.

O may God grant to all His people not only the grace that forgives but also the enabling grace that consecrates. The former brings us into Christ; the latter speaks and lives out for Christ. The former brings evangelism; the latter brings revival.