Tuesday, December 21, 2010

God speaking to us

“Therefore the second practice concerns everyone whose heart is to live for God; so that namely they may love and magnify his unique rule (Ps. 119:127, 2 Thess. 2:10). This consists in love for the divine word (a) in bowing our disposition to Scripture to such a degree that we receive Scripture as God speaking to us, as it were, with His own mouth, with such great submission of course to whatever has been commanded; with such grea0t care and aversion to whatever has been forbidden; with such great delight and desire for whatever has been promised; and finally with such great fear and anxiety of whatever has been threatened; and, as it were, we have God speaking such great things in our presence (1 Thess. 2:13).” Petrus van Mastricht

Thursday, December 16, 2010

the pulling down of strongholds

On 5th July 1910 the Synod of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland opened in Inverness with a sermon by the Moderator, Rev. Alex Macrae on the text.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds” – 2 Corinthians 10:4. Closing his sermon Macrae said the following which is very relevant to the situation today.

We are in extreme danger. It is, however, with the weapons that the Gospel supplies that Christ will yet, through His mighty power, pull them all down. He shall consume the man of sin “with the spirit of his mouth and shall destroy him with the brightness of his coming.” He shall yet completely demolish the strongholds of error that are spread all over Christendom in the present day...The weapons furnished in the Gospel alone will do it, through the forthputting of the almighty power of God. When His time comes, the light of the Gospel will flash throughout all lands. In spite of all opposition, Christ will have the heathen for His inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession.

In conclusion, we have reason to bewail many shortcomings. We see little of the Lord’s work anywhere in our Land. The Holy Spirit is grieved. There is a general falling away from the faith once for all delivered to the saints. There is a process of retrogression persistently going on from purity of doctrine and practice. There is a growing indifference to true religion and undefiled. There is a wide-spread apathy to the inroads of the Papacy that aims at depriving us of our civil and religious liberties. There is a false charity that is more careful of not offending the protagonists of error and falsehood than the God of truth and righteousness. Our duty, however, is clear. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever. His truth is the same. Let us, therefore, value more and more the weapons that are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, and unflaggingly conduct the warfare to which the Lord has called us, in the strength of His grace, and with a single eye to His glory. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Amen.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof

Is weak government a judgement from God upon our sins?

Prov. 28:2 For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof: but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged.

Note, 1. National sins bring national disorders and the disturbance of the public repose: For the transgression of a land, and a general defection from God and religion to idolatry, profaneness, or immorality, many are the princes thereof, many at the same time pretending to the sovereignty and contending for it, by which the people are crumbled into parties and factions, biting and devouring one another, or many successively, in a little time, one cutting off another, as 1 Kings xvi. 8, &c., or soon cut off by the hand of God or of a foreign enemy, as 2 Kings xxiv. 5, &c.

2. Wisdom will prevent or redress these grievances: By a man, that is, by a people, of understanding, that come again to themselves and their right mind, things are kept in a good order, or, if disturbed, brought back to the old channel again. Or, By a prince of understanding and knowledge, a privy-counsellor, or minister of state, that will restrain or suppress the transgression of the land, and take the right methods of healing the state thereof, the good estate of it will be prolonged. We cannot imagine what a great deal of service one wise man may do to a nation in a critical juncture.

- Matthew Henry Commentary

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


David Calderwood identified 1596 as the year of greatest "perfectioun" and "puritie" in doctrine and discipline for the church in Scotland. 1596 was not only the year in which Andrew Melville called King James VI "God's sillie vassall," a phrase that symbolises the Scottish resistance to Erastianism; it was also the year in which the presbyterian movement showed most strength. A covenant, subscribed in March 1596 was adopted by the general assembly and two synods. The covenant involved a confession of the sins of ministers and a promise to be more zealous. It was a national repentance led by the Church. These were the headings of the covenant:

"Corruptions in the persons and lives of ministers of the gospel."
"Offences in His Majesty's house."
"The common corruptions of all estates."
"And offences in the Courts of Justice."

The initiative in this came from Davidson of Prestonpans. He submitted an overture from the Presbytery of Haddington showing that deep humiliation on account of sin was the first and best preparation against the national disaster of impending invasion. This had followed his visitation to Nithsdale, Annandale, Lauder-dale, Eskdale, and Ewesdale where he witnessed sad corruptions.

On Tuesday, 30th March 1596, the members of Assembly and other brethren having met in the " Little High Church," Mr Davidson discoursed on the evils of an ungodly ministry, and urged his hearers to repentance and self-abasement. For fifteen minutes he sat down and remained silent, the whole place became a Bochim as many of his hearers became deeply moved and sobbed audibly. After another impassioned address, he called on each one to stand up, and with extended hand to pledge himself to a more earnest ministry. "There have," says Calderwood, "been manie dayes of humiliation for present judgement in imminent dangers, but the like for sinne and defectiqun was thus never seen since the Reformation."