Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One of Heaven's Jewels: Rev Archibald Cook #2

The second edition of this unique book has now been produced following the success of the first edition. The second edition is largely the same as the first with minor differences. This site posted a review of the first edition which does not need to be repeated. The second edition can be purchased here.

It is certainly worth drawing attention to Cook and his ministry afresh, however. The question was put to Archibald Cook on one occasion, ‘Which do you fear most, that which has gone past in your life, or that which is to come?’ He replied that it was what was past in his life. He was asked, ‘Why is that so?’ ‘Well, I mean this,’ he said, ‘if what took place in the past was right, I fear not what will come after.’

The preface to the book makes reference to one minister who reads a portion of Cook's sermons every day. The author also makes the following summary of Cook's influence. "Perhaps his major long-term legacy to Highland Christianity is that he reinforced the evangelical idea that people claiming to have been born again in Christian religious conversion should give up some parts of their previous life-style, including secular entertainments". In the following extract from a sermon, Cook speaks of coming up out of the wilderness of this world and away from its attractions.

The world is a wilderness literally, because it lost the beauty in which it was created. "Cursed is the ground for thy sake." God's curse wasted the original beauty of the earth. Again, the earth is a wilderness, because it is unable to satisfy the soul. The soul was created to be a dwelling place for God; and when God left the soul of man at the Fall nothing else could ever fill it. Because the Creator is robbed of the affection of the soul by the world, He is provoked to place a worm at the root of everything that is drawing the soul away from Himself. The Lord desires the soul's affection for Himself. When it is given to any creature and not to the Creator, He sees the extent to which He Himself is being despised in favour of that other object of affection. Even if it were to an angel that you would give your soul's affection you would thus be guilty of robbing God. When, for example, a man's worldly affairs prosper and take away his soul's affection from God, he is guilty of robbing God. Throughout eternity many will be cursing the day in which their worldly affairs began to prosper. You take care that the world does not draw your heart away from God.

...The world is a wilderness because it is under sentence of death. The day of judgement will usher in the end of the world. The sentence of death has been pronounced against it as a murderer. They are few in number whose souls are not being destroyed by the world. In the day that you come to a saving knowledge of God you will come to know that the world is a murderer, and in that day you will lose your love for it.

...In the day when the Lord comes into the soul, the world becomes an empty place it becomes a wilderness to that soul. Blessed is the man in whom this view of the world is maintained until the day of his death. In the day in which the Lord will come into your soul you will see no beauty in the creature but what is of God in it. This is what no hypocrite ever saw; but those who are the objects of God's love must see it, and do see it. Until they come to see this, any godliness they may have will be a half-grown godliness; and it is no wonder that they do not bear fruit. But when their eyes are opened they do not see any excellency in the world but what is of God in it. You who have not this view of the world, still have the world, and not God, as your portion.