Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The King in His Beauty #1

Matthew Vogan, “The King in His Beauty”: The Piety of Samuel Rutherford

“The King in His Beauty” introduces readers to the life and writings of Samuel Rutherford (1600–1661). Matthew Vogan’s biographical introduction traces the significant events of this Scottish theologian’s life and guides readers through his writings, focusing on his distinctive insight into Christian experience. In forty-three excerpts drawn from Rutherford’s letters, major treatises, catechism, and sermons, readers will discover the depth of Rutherford’s compassion, piety, and theological wisdom, all rooted in his unwavering love for Christ.

Description by the publishers. Coming soon (DV) from Reformation Heritage Books

Friday, February 11, 2011

nothing can hinder God from aiding us

Calvin on Psalm 102:12 "But thou, O LORD, shalt endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations".

When the prophet, for his own encouragement, sets before himself the eternity of God, it seems, at first sight, to be a far-fetched consolation; for what benefit will accrue to us from the fact that God sits immutable on his heavenly throne, when, at the same time, our frail and perishing condition does not permit us to continue unmoved for a single moment? ...What advantage would we derive from this eternity and immutability of God's being, unless we had in our hearts the knowledge of him, which, produced by his gracious covenant, begets in us the confidence arising from a mutual relationship between him and us? The meaning then is, "We are like withered grass, we are decaying every moment, we are not far from death, yea rather, we are, as it were, already dwelling in the grave; but since thou, O God! hast made a covenant with us, by which thou hast promised to protect and defend thine own people, and hast brought thyself into a gracious relation to us, giving us the fullest assurance that thou wilt always dwell in the midst of us, instead of desponding, we must be of good courage; and although we may see only ground for despair if we depend upon ourselves, we ought nevertheless to lift up our minds to the heavenly throne, from which thou wilt at length stretch forth thy hand to help us."

Whoever is in a moderate degree acquainted with the sacred writings, will readily acknowledge that whenever we are besieged with death, in a variety of forms, we should reason thus: As God continues unchangeably the same—"without variableness or shadow of turning"—nothing can hinder him from aiding us; and this he will do, because we have his word, by which he has laid himself under obligation to us, and because he has deposited with us his own memorial, which contains in it a sacred and indissoluble bond of fellowship.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

falling into Christ's lap

O how sweet to be in Christ, and to grow as a tree planted on the banks of the river of life! when such die, they fall in Christ's lap and in his bosom, be the death violent or natural; 'tis all one whether a strong gale and a rough storm shore the child of God on the new Jerusalem's dry
land, or if a small calm blast even with rowing of oars bring the passenger to heaven, if once he be in that goodly land.
from Christ Dying and Drawing Sinners to Himself

See here for related quotations

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Open Communion

Sometimes one comes across inferences that the FP Church practices closed (as opposed to restricted) communion. Closed communion means that no one outwith that denomination or congregation can be admitted to the Lord's Supper. The following longstanding Synod resolution gives the accurate statement of the position:

"The Synod would record their strong disapprobation of the conduct of some individuals connected with this Church, who have circulated unfounded charges among our people about the meaning of a resolution passed by the Synod in November last year. The resolution reads follows—"That the Synod approve of the procedure adopted by Mr Macintyre at Winnipeg in the matter or admitting persons to the privilege of the communion, and give it to be understood that, while this Church does not hold close communion, none are to be admitted to the privilege mentioned but such as are known as God-fearing persons by a majority of those who are responsible for admission." The Synod declare that the meaning attached by them to the above resolution is as follows- 1) The office-bearers of the Church in Canada, having sent a request to the Synod to give a deliverance in regard to the position held by this Church about communion, the Synod gave it to be understood that neither the Church of the Reformation, or the Fire Presbyterian Church of Scotland, held or hold close communion; 2) The Synod gave it to be understood that none are to be received to the Lord's table in this Church 'but such as are God-fearing persons'; and that none shall be admitted without the approval of the majority of the Kirk Session. That this has been all along the way of admission to the Lord's Table in the Free Presbyterian Church will be quite manifest to all their people. 3)The Synod would also declare that it flows from ignorance or something more blameworthy on the part of some, to have spread a report to the effect that the Synod, by foresaid resolution, had changed the Constitution of the Church and opened a wide door to receive members wholesale from other Churches to the Lord's table. The people of this Church may rest assured that the Synod did not and does not intend to open the door to communion in the least degree wider than it has been in the Reformed Church of Scotland since the Reformation, and in the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland hitherto."