Monday, December 20, 2010

A wonderful Welcome at the end of the Year

All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out. John 6:37.


Jesus Christ says to you, “Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” I did look, and was saved by the same Gospel I preach to you! And as this is the last Sabbath night in another year, and as it may be the last Gospel invitation you will ever have the opportunity of hearing, I repeat to you the very last invitations recorded in the Word of God, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” This agrees with John 3:16 which I have already quoted to you, and it also agrees with Christ’s words in our text, “him that cometh to Me” John Bunyan said that meant any “him” in all the world—“I will in no wise cast out”—that is, for no reason, for no conceivable motive, for no possible cause will Christ cast out one who comes to Him by faith! “him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out. ” .......

What do you say, My Hearers, to all this? I have pleaded with some of you hundreds of times and now, in this, my last Sabbath message for the year, I ask you once again—Will you come to Christ? When will you come? Tomorrow? That means never, for tomorrow never comes. By-and-by? That means that you do not intend to come to Christ at all! The text is in the present tense, “him that cometh to Me,” for, “now is the accepted time: behold, now is the day of salvation.” Trust in Jesus now, ...... “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Free Bible Offer

For the month of December 2010

Free Bible to residents living in the New Forest, Hampshire UK

The Sound-Hearted Christian

The Sound-Hearted Christian
by William Greenhill

Publisher: Soli Deo Gloria
ISBN-13: 9781601780997

Reformation Heritage Books

Publisher's Description: Nearing the end of his life and ministry, William Greenhill left his congregation a parting gift and lasting testimony of his pastoral care for their souls—he published The Sound-Hearted Christian. This book developed from a series of sermons Greenhill preached on Psalm 119:18, “Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.” Greenhill shows that a sound heart is watchful and attentive, recognizing that our soul is our greatest possession. After demonstrating the excellence and desirability of a sound heart, he challenges us to test the soundness of our heart. He then directs and motivates us to get and keep a sound heart. The book ends with several appended sermons on faith, Christ, and God’s Word, which serve as further encouragements to establishing and maintaining a sound heart.

"Greenhill’s exposition of sound-heartedness is superlative. His chapters on how to keep and retain a sound heart are themselves worth the price of the book. The five additional sermons included in this volume are incredibly rich and clear in content, and help promote sound-hearted Christian living. Taken together, The Sound-Hearted Christian and these appended sermons form an outstanding, practical summary of how to live coram Deo (in the presence of God) from the inside out. If you are a Christian who yearns to walk before God with biblical, Christ-centered, spiritual vitality and practical reality, I know of no book more valuable than this one." - Dr. Joel R. Beeke

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Autumn Preaching 2010

God willing, the third Autumn Preaching meeting at Crosslanes Chapel will be held at 6pm on Saturday 30th October, at the church.

The preacher will be the Rev. Richard Brooks, minister of The Dales Evangelical Church.

Refreshments will follow the service.

Rev. Brooks will also preach on the Sabbath (31st October) at 11am and 6pm.

Latest online sermon: Listening to the truth (John 18 v 37) a gospel sermon preached on the evening of the Sabbath 12th September 2010.

The Proclaimer, Autumn 2010

Magazine of Crosslanes Chapel

News of the Fellowship
Summer Conference 2010, Tabernacle Cardiff
A Christian on the Mount Thomas Watson
Book Recommendations: Catch The Vision and Walking as he Walked
Visit of Pope Benedict XVI
Metrical Psalm 8 Notes by John Brown of Haddington
Jesus and the Children C. H. Spurgeon

Jesus and the Children

Sermon on Mark 10 :13 – 16.

C. H. Spurgeon, Treasury of the New Testament.

I have sometimes met with a deeper spiritual experience in children of ten and twelve than I have in certain persons of fifty and sixty. It is an old proverb that some children are born with beards. Some boys are little men, and some girls are little old women. You cannot measure the lives of any of us by our ages. I knew a boy who, when he was fifteen, often heard old Christian people say, "The boy is sixty years old: he speaks with such insight into divine truth." I believe that this youth at fifteen did know far more of the things of God, and of soul travail, than any around him, whatever their age might be. I cannot tell you why it is, but so I do know it is, that some are old when they are young, and some are very green when they are old; some are wise when you would expect them to be otherwise, and others are very foolish when you might have expected that they had quitted their folly. Talk not of a child's incapacity for repentance! I have known a child weep herself to sleep by the month together under a crushing sense of sin. If you would know a deep, and bitter, and awful fear of the wrath of God, let me tell you what I felt as a boy. If you would know joy in the Lord, many a child has been as full of it as his little heart could hold. If you want to know what faith in Jesus is, you must not look to those who have been bemuddled by the heretical jargon of the times, but to the dear children who have taken Jesus at His word, and believed in Him, and loved Him, and therefore know and are sure that they are saved. Capacity for believing lies more in the child than in the man. We grow less rather than more capable of faith: every year brings the unregenerate mind further away from God, and makes it less capable of receiving the things of God. No ground is more prepared for the good seed than that which as yet has not been trodden down as the highway, nor has been as yet overgrown with thorns. Not yet has the child learned the deceits of pride, the falsehood of ambition, the delusions of worldliness, the tricks of trade, the sophistries of philosophy; and so far it has an advantage over the adult. In any case the new birth is the work of the Holy Ghost, and He can as easily work upon youth as upon age.

Some, too, have hindered the children because they have been forgetful of the child's value. The soul's price does not depend upon its years. "Oh, it is only a child!" "Children are a nuisance." "Children are always getting in the way." This talk is common. God forgive those who despise the little ones! Will you be very angry if I say that a boy is more worth saving than a man? It is infinite mercy on God's part to save those who are seventy; for what good can they now do with the fag-end of their lives? When we get to be fifty or sixty, we are almost worn out; and if we have spent all our early days with the devil, what remains for God? But these dear boys and girls,—there is something to be made out of them. If now they yield themselves to Christ they may have a long, happy, and holy day before them in which they may serve God with all their hearts. Who knows what glory God may have of them? Heathen hands may call them blessed. Whole nations may be enlightened by them. If a famous schoolmaster was accustomed to take his hat off to his; boys because he did not know whether one of them might not be Prime Minister, we may justly look upon converted children, for we do not know how soon they may be among the angels, or how greatly their light may shine among men. Let us estimate children at their true valuation, and we shall not keep them back, but we shall be eager to lead them to Jesus at once. In proportion to our own spirituality of mind, and in proportion to our own child-likeness of heart, we shall be at home with children; and we shall enter into their early fears and hopes, their budding faith and opening love. Dwelling among young converts, we shall seem to be in a garden of flowers, in a vineyard where the tender grapes give a good smell.

Metrical Psalm 8

Notes by Rev John Brown of Haddington

This psalm contains a pleasant, but solemn meditation upon the glory, the greatness, and the grace of God. Let me here observe, (1.) How illustrious and widespread are all his glory and renown, ver. 1, 3, 9. (2.) By how weak and insignificant instruments, he manifests and spreads his superlative fame, ver. 2. (3.) Behold his marvellous condescension and bounty to mankind, but chiefly to the man Christ, in uniting his human nature to his divine person, and in giving him all power in heaven and earth, for the benefit of his chosen people, ver. 4-8.

May this Jesus, this name of God in him, be the enthroned inhabitant, the everlasting wonder, and the superlative darling of my heart. Let me, with the babes of Jerusalem, Matt. 21, pour forth my hosannas to him that cometh in the name of the Lord to save me hosannas in the highest. Let all the works of nature lead, and excite me to admire their Creator's kindness towards men towards sinful and insignificant me.

1 How excellent in all the earth,
Lord, our Lord, is thy name!
Who hast thy glory far advanc'd
above the starry frame.

2 From infants' and from sucklings' mouth
thou didest strength ordain,
For thy foes' cause, that so thou might'st
th' avenging foe restrain.

3 When I look up unto the heav'ns,
which thine own fingers fram'd,
Unto the moon, and to the stars,
which were by thee ordain'd;

4 Then say I, What is man, that he
remember'd is by thee?
Or what the son of man, that thou
so kind to him should'st be?

5 For thou a little lower hast
him than the angels made;
With glory and with dignity
thou crowned hast his head.

6 Of thy hands' works thou mad'st him lord,
all under's feet didst lay;
7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and beasts
that in the field do stray;

8 Fowls of the air, fish of the sea,
all that pass through the same.
9 How excellent in all the earth,
Lord, our Lord, is thy name!

Visit of Pope Benedict XVI

On Thursday the 16th of September, the Pope, Benedict XVI, is due to visit the United Kingdom for four days. The last time a Pope came to these shores, Pope John Paul II, was in 1982. As we know certain events are planned, and many are set to welcome this man, including the Queen.

Amongst other gross errors which must be strongly refuted, the Pope claims to be the head of the church. Now, as Bible believing Christians we strongly oppose this claim, for Christ alone is Head of the Church. The apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:23, “Christ is the head of the church: and He is the Saviour of the body.” As there is but one head, the Pope without question, stands opposed to Christ; he is Antichrist.

In the days of the apostle John, there were many who were called antichrists; 1 John 2 : 18, “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” They stood opposed to Christ, and then also to the doctrine of the Trinity as a whole. There were many of them, however, I believe, along with others, that the Pope particularly is to be called, the Antichrist, that man of sin. Whilst rejecting the claims of the Pope, many believers, particularly in modern Evangelical Churches, refrain from declaring him to be the Antichrist.

Paul wrote concerning the Antichrist in 2 Thessalonians 2:3; “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” Each successive Pope is, the Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition.

John Calvin wrote “All the marks by which the Spirit of God has pointed out Antichrist, clearly appear in the Pope

In the Westminster Confession chapter 5;'The Church', we read in section 6 There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ. Nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof, but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalts himself, in the Church, against Christ and all that is called God.

Let us see the Pope for who he really is, he is not the head of the Church, but the Antichrist. There is a planned visit to the United Kingdom, however let us remember and rejoice, that Christ our King and glorious Head sits upon His throne. My dear friends, He will not allow the Pope to have the pre-eminence, but will, in His perfect timing and almighty power bring him down.

Aaron J Lewis August 2010.

Walking as he Walked

Author: Dr. Joel R. Beeke
Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books and Bryntirion Press (2007)
ISBN-10: 1601780109
ISBN-13: 978-1601780102

Here are four excellent sermons preached by Dr. Beeke at the Aberystwyth Conference in 2006 under the title, “Walking as He Walked”. There is also a helpful Study Guide after the sermons. Pastor Geoffrey Thomas in his introduction to the book says, “Dr. Beeke is in a class of his own when it comes to exegetical and expository preaching. He never disappoints. He is always fresh, illuminative, and instructive”. To this assessment we would concur.

The theme “Walking as He Walked” is drawn from 1 John 2:6, which reminds us that those who abide in Christ should “walk, even as He walked”.

Dr. Beeke quotes the Puritan William Fenner, “None of us in this life will walk so purely, so unspottedly, so steadily, so effectively as Christ walked, although this is our goal while running the Christian race”. How adequately this sums up our daily walk as Christians.

In these sermons we are shown how we can be more conformed to the image of Christ in four of the most difficult areas of the Christian life: cross bearing, office bearing, sorrow, and endurance.

In the first sermon on “Cross Bearing”, Dr. Beeke considers, from Mark 15:24 and Luke 23:26, how Simon of Cyrene carried the cross of Jesus before the crucifixion. We are shown Simon as a cursed, coerced, and conquered cross bearer.

We are reminded of Charles Simeon, preacher at Holy Trinity, Cambridge for fifty four years, who had been feeling very discouraged for some time in 1796. He had felt “persecuted on all sides”, and had asked, “What is the point of going on?” He wanted to resign his position, but then, he read Mark 15:21, “Simon bore his cross after Jesus”, and so Charles Simeon continued on in his ministry at Holy Trinity.

We are called upon to bear our cross, willingly without complaining, and without shame. We are to keep our eyes on Christ, and on the joyful promise of His reward, the crown of life.

Bearing our cross as “Office Bearers” is the theme of the second sermon. We are referred to Luke 22:31-32, where we read of the sifting of Simon Peter by Satan. We who are leaders in the Lord`s work are encouraged by Dr. Beeke to daily flee to Christ, and to defy Satan, remembering Romans 16:10, “the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all”.

The third sermon concerns “Sorrow”, and we are asked to consider the Saviour`s “tears” from John 11:35 at Bethany, Luke 19:41 at Jerusalem, and Hebrews 5:7 at Gethsemane. Allow me to quote Dr. Beeke, “What about your tears; are they motivated by sympathy for those in need? Are you truly touched by their circumstances? Does your heart go out to the mourning, the needy, the handicapped, and the lost? Do you have a big evangelistic heart? Are you walking as Jesus walked?

The last sermon concerns “Endurance”. We are shown from Hebrews 12:1-3 how to endure as a Christian. We are reminded that in the letter to the Hebrews there are ninety six references to “endurance”. The Christian life is like a race, we must lay aside every weight that might hinder us in our spiritual progress, upon which Dr. Beeke quotes Dr. Ollyott, who says, “For some of you this will mean cancelling your subscription to the internet, getting rid of your TV, not reading certain books and magazines.
For others it may mean giving up football, or some other sport. It is SIN that is the great enemy in the Christian race!”

It is to be noted that each sermon includes an invitation to the unsaved to follow in the Saviour`s steps.

May I add a personal note of delight to see the Scripture references in this new book taken from the Authorised King James Version (1611) especially on the eve its four hundredth anniversary.

As the Rev. Maurice Roberts observes, “we are encouraged to gird up our loins, take up His cross, and press on through the thorns, until we come into His glorious presence above: no cross, no crown”.

May the love of Christ constrain us to follow in the Master`s footsteps until we see His blessed face.

Gary A Jerrard

Catch The Vision

Author: Rev. John J. Murray
Publisher: Evangelical Press (November 2007)
ISBN-10: 0852346670
ISBN-13: 978-0852346679

Catch the Vision, written by the Rev John J Murray traces the Reformed Recovery, back in the mid 20th Century. After the 'Downgrade Controversy' and later the death of C H Spurgeon, things continued to deteriorate through the dangerous and harmful teaching of liberal scholars, and through the unfaithfulness of many pulpits. However, God in a gracious way, and mercifully in His Providence, raised up a group of faithful leaders and a subsequent Reformed Recovery took place. Notable names such as; J. Gresham Machen, E J Poole Connor, W. J Grier, Dr D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Iain Murray, and Professor John Murray were in their turn were used mightily by God. From a number of pulpits the refreshing sound of God glorifying and experimental preaching was heard. The Evangelical Library appeared on the scene in London, and the Banner of Truth Trust came into being on July 22nd1957. As a result, there appeared numerous, sound, evangelical and Reformed books. Many of the Puritans Works were reprinted, and in turn found their way into the homes and hearts of many Christians. God was at work in a remarkable way.

The author John J Murray, came to love the Reformed faith and was also influentially used by God, as he still is today; being a faithful ambassador for the Reformed Faith. We are grateful for his input, and also for this valuable book, tracing the roots of the Reformed recovery.

In the final chapter of the book he points to number of developments, which, as he sees it, were partly to blame for why the vision began to falter. From this, as he rightly identifies, lessons can be learnt in our present day.

We are thankful for this helpful insight, by one who had a clear knowledge of the day, seeing for himself many of the events that arose. May we, as we read of what happened in the middle of the last century, pray that God would in a wonderful way, work again mightily in our midst.

Aaron J Lewis July 2010

A Christian on the Mount

A Treatise Concerning Meditation By Thomas Watson

"His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night." Psalm 1:2

VI. Showing the SUBJECTS of Meditation.

The next particular to be discussed, is the subject-matter of meditation; what a Christian should meditate upon. I am now gotten into a large field —but I shall only glance at things; I shall but do as the disciples, pluck some ears of corn as I pass along.

Some may say, "alas, I am so barren I know not what to meditate upon!" To help Christians therefore in this blessed work, I shall show you some choice select matter for meditation. There are fifteen things in the Word of God, which we should principally meditate upon.

Section 1. Meditate on God's ATTRIBUTES.

The Attributes of God are the several beams by which the divine nature shines forth to us; and there are six special attributes which we should fix our meditations upon.

1. Meditate upon God's OMNISCIENCE. His eye is continually upon us; he has a window open into the conscience; our thoughts are unveiled before him. He can tell the words we speak "in our bedchamber," 2 Kings 2:12. He is described with seven eyes, to show his omniscience. "You number my steps," Job 14:16. The Hebrew word signifies to take an exact account. God is said to number our steps, when he makes a precise and critical observation of our actions; God sets down every step of our lives, and keeps as it were, a day book of all we do, and enters it down into the book. Meditate much on this omniscience.

Meditation on God's omniscience would have these effects.

1. It would be as a bridle to check and restrain us from sin. Will the thief steal—when the judge looks on?

2. Meditation on God's omniscience would be a good means to make the heart sincere. God has set a window in every man's breast, "does not he see all my ways?" Job 31:4. If I harbor proud, malicious thoughts, if I look at my own interest more than Christ's, if I juggle in my repentance—the God of heaven takes notice! Meditation on his omniscience, would make a Christian sincere, both in his actions and aims. Only a fool would dare to be a hypocrite before God!

2. Meditate on the HOLINESS of God. Holiness is the embroidered robe God wears: it is the glory of the Godhead, Exod. 15:11. "Glorious in holiness!" Holiness is the most orient pearl of the crown of heaven. God is the exemplar and pattern of holiness. It is primarily and originally in God as light in the sun; you may as well separate weight from lead, or heat from fire, as holiness from the divine nature; God's holiness is that whereby his heart rises against any sin, as being most diametrically opposite to his essence, Hab. 1:13. "You are of purer eyes than to behold iniquity." Meditate much on this attribute.

Meditation on God's holiness would have this effect; it would be a means to transform us into the similitude and likeness of God; God never loves us until we are like him. There is a story of a deformed man, who set lovely pictures before his wife, that seeing them she might have lovely children, and so she had. Be that as it may, while by meditation we are looking upon the beams of holiness, which are gloriously transparent in God, we shall grow like him, and be holy as he is holy. Holiness is a beautiful thing, Psalm 110. It puts a kind of angelical brightness upon us; it is the only coin which will pass current in heaven; by the frequent meditation on this attribute, we are changed into God's image.

3. Meditate on the WISDOM of God. He is called "the only wise God," 1 Tim. 1:17. His wisdom shines forth in the works of providence; he sits at the helm guiding all things regularly and harmoniously; he brings light out of darkness; he can strike a straight stroke by a crooked stick; he can make use of the injustice of men to do that which is just; he is infinitely wise, he breaks us by afflictions, and upon these broken pieces of the ship, brings us safely to shore; meditate on the wisdom of God.

Meditation on God's wisdom would sweetly calm our hearts.

1. When we see things go badly in the public. The all-wise God holds the reins of government in his hand; and whoever the earthly ruler—God over-rules; he knows how to turn all to good; his work will be beautiful in its season.

2. When things go badly with us in particular, the meditation on God's wisdom would rock our hearts quiet. The wise God has set me in this condition, and whether health or sickness, his wisdom will order it for the best. God will make a golden cordial from poison, all things shall be beneficial and medicinal to me; either the Lord will expel some sin, or exercise some grace. Meditation on this would silence murmuring.

4. Meditate on the POWER of God. His power is visible in the creation. "He hangs the earth upon nothing," Job 26:7. What cannot that God do—who can create? Nothing can stand before a creating power! He needs no pre-existent matter to work upon; he needs no instruments to work with, he can work without tools; he it is before whom the angels veil their faces, and the kings of the earth cast their crowns. He it is who "removes the earth out of her place," Job 9:6. An earthquake makes the earth tremble upon her pillars—but God can shake it out of its place. God can with a word, unpin the wheels, and break the axle of the creation. He can suspend natural agents, stop the lion's mouth, cause the sun to stand still, make the fire not burn! Xerxes, the Persian monarch, threw fetters into the sea, as if he would have chained up the unruly waters; but when God commands, "the winds and sea obey him," Matt. 8:27. If he speaks the word, an army of stars appear, Judg. 5:20. If he stamps with his foot, a multitude of angels are presently in battalia; if he lifts up an ensign, and does but hiss, his very enemies shall be up in arms to revenge his quarrel, Isaiah 5:56. Who would provoke this God! "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God," Heb. 10:31. As a lion—"he tears in pieces his adversaries," Psalm 50:22. Oh meditate on this power of God.

Meditation on God's power would be a great stay to faith. A Christian's faith may anchor safely upon the rock of God's power. It was Samson's riddle, "Out of the strong came forth sweetness;" Judges 14:14. While we are meditating on the power of God, out of this strong comes forth sweetness. Is the church of God low? he can "create praises in Jerusalem," Isaiah 65:28. Is your corruption strong? God can break the head of this leviathan. Is your heart as hard as a stone? God can dissolve it. "The Almighty makes my heart soft." Faith triumphs in the power of God: out of this strong comes forth sweetness. Abraham meditating on God's power, did not stagger through unbelief, Romans 4:20. He knew God could make a dead womb fruitful, and dry breasts give suck.

5. Meditate upon the MERCY of God. Mercy is an innate disposition in God to do good; as the sun has an innate property to shine, Psalm 86:5. "You Lord are good, and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy to all them that call upon you. God's mercy is so sweet, that it makes all his other attributes sweet. Holiness without mercy, and justice without mercy, would be dreadful. Geographers write that the city of Syracuse in Sicily is curiously situated, that the sun is never out of sight; though the children of God are under some clouds of affliction, yet the sun of mercy is never quite out of sight. God's justice reaches to the clouds; his mercy reaches above the clouds.

How slow is God to anger. He was longer in destroying Jericho, than in making the world; he made the world in six days—but he was seven days in demolishing the walls of Jericho. How many warning arrows did God shoot against Jerusalem, before he shot off his destroying arrow? Justice goes by foot, Gen. 18:21. Mercy has wings. The sword of justice often lies a long time in the scabbard, and rusts, until sin draws it out and sharpens it against a nation. God's justice is like the widow's oil, which ran a while, and ceased, 1 Kings 4:6. God's mercy is like Aaron's oil, which rested not on his head—but ran down to the skirts of his garment, Psalm 133:2. So the golden oil of God's mercy does not rest upon the head of a godly parent— but is often poured on his children, and so runs down, "To the third and fourth generation," even the borders of a pious seed. Often meditate upon the mercy of God.

Meditation on mercy would be a powerful loadstone to draw sinners to God by repentance. It would be as a cork to the net—to keep the heart from sinking in despair. Behold a city of refuge to fly to—"God is the Father of mercies," 2 Cor. 1:3. Mercy does as naturally issue from him, as the child from the parent. God "delights in mercy," Micah 7:18. Chrysostom says, it is delightful to the mother to have her breasts drawn; and how delightful is it to God to have the breasts of mercy drawn! Mercy finds out the worst sinner; mercy comes not only with salvation in its hand —but with healing under its wings.

Meditation on God's mercy would melt a sinner into tears: One reading a pardon sent to him from the king, fell a weeping, and burst out into these words, "A pardon has done that which death could not do, it has made my heart relent."

6. Meditate upon the TRUTH of God. Mercy makes the promise, and Truth performs it, Psalm 89:33, "I will not allow my faithfulness to fail." God can as well deny himself as his word. He is "abundant in truth," Exod. 34:6. That is—if God has made a promise of mercy to his people, he will be so far from coming short of his Word, that he will be better than his Word. God often does more than he has said, never less; he often shoots beyond the mark of the promise he has set, never short of it. He is abundant in truth. God may sometimes delay a promise, he will not deny it. The promise may lie a long time as seed hidden under ground—but it is all the while a ripening. The promise of Israel's deliverance lay four hundred and thirty years under ground; but when the time was come, the promise did not go a day beyond its reckoning, Exod. 12:41. "The strength of Israel will not lie," 1 Sam. 15:29. Meditation on God's truth would—

1. Be a pillar of support for faith. The world hangs upon God's power, and faith hangs upon his truth.

2. Meditation on God's truth would make us ambitious to imitate him. We should be true in our words, true in our dealings. Pythagoras being asked, "What makes men like God?" answered, "When they speak truth."

Section 2. Meditate upon the PROMISES of God.

The promises of God are flowers growing in the paradise of scripture; meditation, like the bee, sucks out the sweetness of them. The promises are of no use or comfort to us, until they are meditated upon. Roses hanging in the garden may give a fragrant redolence, yet their sweet water is distilled only by the fire. Just so, the promises are sweet in reading over —but the water of these roses, the spirits and quintessence of the promises, are distilled into the soul only by meditation. The incense, when it is pounded and beaten, smells sweetest. Meditating on a promise, like the beating of the incense, makes it more fragrant and pleasant. The promises may be compared to a gold mine, which only enriches when the gold is dug out. By holy meditation, we dig out that spiritual gold which lies hidden in the midst of the promise, and so we come to be enriched!

Cardan says that every precious gem-stone has some hidden virtue in it. They are called precious promises, 2 Pet. 1:4. When they are applied by meditation, then their virtue appears, and they become precious indeed. There are three sorts of promises which we should meditate upon.

1. Promises of REMISSION. "I, even I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and will not remember your sins," Isaiah 43:25. Whereas the poor sinner may say, "Alas, I am deep in debt with God, I fear I have not filled his bottle with my tears—but I have filled his book with my debts!" Well, but meditate on his promise, "I am he who blots out," etc. The word there in the original to blot out, is a metaphor alluding to a merchant, who when his debtor has paid him, he blots out the debt, and gives him an acquittance. So says God, "I will blot out your sin, I will cross out the debt-book!" In the Hebrew it is, "I am blotting out your transgressions." "I have taken my pen, and am crossing out your debt!" Oh, but may the sinner say, "There is no reason God should do thus for me." Well, but acts of grace do not go by reason, "I will blot out your sins—for my name's sake." Oh, but says the sinner, "Will not the Lord call my sins again to remembrance?" No, he promises to send them into oblivion; "I will not upbraid you with your sins—I will remember your sins no more." Here is a sweet promise to meditate upon; it is a hive full of the honey of the gospel.

2. Meditate upon promises of SANCTIFICATION. The earth is not so apt to be overgrown with weeds and thorns, as the heart is to be overgrown with lusts! Now, God has made many promises of healing, Hos. 14:4, and purging, Jer. 33:8. Promises of sending his Spirit, Isaiah 44:3, which, for its sanctifying nature, is compared sometimes to water which cleanses the vessel; sometimes to wind, which is the fan to winnow and purify the air; sometimes to fire, which refines the metals. Meditate often on that promise, Isaiah 1:18, "Though your sins be as scarlet—they shall be as white as snow!" Scarlet is so deep a dye, that all the art of man cannot take it out; but behold here a promise—God will whiten the soul; he will make a scarlet sinner—into a snow white saint! By virtue of this refining and consecrating work, a Christian is made partaker of the divine nature; he has a suitability and fitness to have communion with God forever. Meditate much on this promise.

3. Meditate upon promises of REMUNERATION. "The haven of rest," Heb. 4:9. The beatifical sight of God, Matt. 5:8. The glorious mansions, John 14:2. Meditation on these promises will be as choice cordials to keep us from fainting under our sins and sorrows.

Section 3. Meditate upon the Love of Christ.

Christ is full of love, as he is of merit. What was it but love—that he should save us—and not the fallen angels? Among the rarities of the loadstone, this is not the least—that leaving the gold and pearl, it should draw iron to it—which is a baser kind of metal. Just so, that Christ should leave the angels, those more noble spirits, the gold and pearl—and draw mankind to him—how does this proclaim his love? Love was the wing on which he flew into the virgin's womb!

1. How TRANSCENDENT is Christ's love to the saints! The apostle calls it a love "which passes knowledge," Eph. 3:19. It is such a love as God the Father bears to Christ; the same for quality, though not equality, John 15:9. "As the Father has loved me—so have I loved you." A believer's heart is the garden where Christ has planted this sweet flower of his love. It is the channel through which the golden stream of his affection runs.

2. How SOVEREIGN is Christ's love! "Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth." 1 Corinthians 1:26 In the old law God passed by the noble lion and the eagle —and took the dove for sacrifice. That God should pass by so many of noble birth and abilities, and that the lot of free grace should fall upon me —O the depth of divine grace!

3. How INVINCIBLE is the love of Christ! "It is strong as death," Cant. 8:6. Death might take away Christ's life—but not his love! Neither can our sin wholly quench that divine flame of love; the church had her infirmities, her sleepy fits, Cant. 5:2, but though blacked and sullied, yet she is still a dove; Christ could see the faith, and wink at the failing. He who painted Alexander, drew him with his finger over the scar on his face. Just so, Christ puts the finger of mercy upon the scars of the saints! He will not throw away his pearls for every speck of dirt! That which makes this love of Christ the more stupendous, is that there was nothing in us to excite or draw forth his love! He did not love us because we were worthy —but by loving us he made us worthy!

4. How IMMUTABLE is Christ's love! "Having loved his own, he loved them to the end," John 13:1. The saints are like letters of gold engraved upon Christ's heart, which cannot be erased out. Meditate much upon the love of Christ.

1. Serious meditation on the love of Christ, would make us love him in return. "Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burnt?" Proverbs 6:28. Who can tread by meditation upon these hot coals of Christ's love, and his heart not burn in love to him?

2. Meditation on Christ's love, would set our eyes abroach with tears for our gospel unkindnesses. O that we should sin against so sweet a Savior! had we none to abuse—but our best friend? Had we nothing to kick against—but affections of love? Did not Christ suffer enough upon the cross—but must we needs make him suffer more? Do we give him more gall and vinegar to drink? O, if anything can dissolve the heart into mourning, it is the unkindness offered to Christ. When Peter thought of Christ's love to him—Christ could deny Peter nothing, yet he could deny Christ, this made his eyes to water; "Peter went out and wept bitterly."

3. Meditation on Christ's love would make us love our enemies. Jesus Christ showed love to his enemies. We read of "the fire licking up the water," 1 Kings 18:38. It is usual for water to quench the fire, but for fire to dry up and consume the water, which was not capable of burning, this was miraculous! Such a miracle did Christ show; his love burned where there was no fit matter to work upon—nothing but sin and enmity. He loved his enemies; the fire of his love consumed and licked up the water of their sins! He prayed for his enemies, "Father forgive them;" He shed His tears—for those who shed His blood! Those who gave him gall and vinegar to drink—to them he gave his sin-forgiving blood to drink. Meditation on his love—should melt our hearts in love to our enemies. Augustine says, "Christ made a pulpit of the cross, and the great lesson he taught Christians was, to love their enemies."

4. Meditation on Christ's love would be a means to support us in case of his absence. Sometimes he is pleased to withdraw himself, Cant. 5:6, yet when we consider how entire and immutable his love is, it will make us wait with patience until he sweetly manifests himself to us. He is love, and he cannot forsake his people very long, Micah 7:19. The sun may be gone a while from our climate—but it returns in the spring. Meditation on Christ's love may make us wait for the return of this Sun of Righteousness; Heb. 10:37, "For yet a little while and he who shall come will come." He is truth, therefore He shall come; He is love, therefore He will come.

Summer Conference 2010, Tabernacle Cardiff

The main speakers this year were, the Rev Vernon Higham, Rev Malcolm Watts and the Rev David Kay. After David Kay opened the Conference with a Gospel sermon taken from John 11, Vernon Higham preached four sermons entitled 'Pilgrims progress' and then Malcolm Watts preached four sermons on the 'First things'. God's blessing was known, His presence was felt, and many profited from the Word. Next year's Summer conference, is due to take place, the Lord willing, from Monday 25th of July, to Friday 29th July. For further details look on the the website.

News of the fellowship

Rev. Harry Woods of Beauly in Scotland was our preacher for our 159th. Church Anniversary on May 22nd. He preached from Revelation 5 to a large and attentive congregation. We give thanks to God for the long preservation, and the Scriptural worship of our Church at Crosslanes.

Monthly door to door visiting has continued in Fordingbridge with some good response. Also the open-air Services in Ringwood have brought about many useful conversations with passers by. Two more Bibles have been given away, and the Gospel leaflet distribution continues in Verwood.

Youth meetings fluctuate in numbers, but we consider it to be a most profitable time in sharing the Word of God with them. How these young people need our prayers! The Holiday Bible Club took place on August 6th. We took them to Hengistbury Head where they thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and listened carefully to the Word of God brought to them by our Pastor.

We linked up with our friends from Totton for our Annual Outing on August 12th. The weather was superb. After our refreshment, our Pastor shared some very helpful spiritual thoughts from Psalm 34. A blessed time of fellowship was shared by all.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer Reading

Contagious Christian Living
Joel Beeke
Reformation Heritage Books (June 2010)
ISBN-10: 1601780796
ISBN-13: 978-1601780799

The Christian on the Mount
Thomas Watson
The Northampton Press (March 2009)
ISBN-10: 0979857961
ISBN-13: 978-0979857966

Heirs with Christ
Joel Beeke
Reformation Heritage Books (January 2008)
ISBN-10: 1601780400
ISBN-13: 978-1601780409

Catch the Vision
John J. Murray
Evangelical Press (November 2007)
ISBN-10: 0852346670
ISBN-13: 978-0852346679

For further information go to Ibsley Christian Bookshelf and Reformation Heritage Books.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Psalm Singing

Thankfully, for which we give God the praise, there has been in England a growing interest in what was once a widespread practice, the singing of Psalms in the public worship of God. Sadly however, the Psalms, or the 'Book of Praises', which without question is God's inspired hymnbook, continues to be rejected by many a minister and local congregation, this I believe, is to be greatly lamented.

May I, in a loving and compassionate way, remind those who continue to reject the singing of Psalms of three important facts. Firstly, Christ whilst here upon earth, delighted in and sung exclusively from the Psalms; as did His disciples and the early church. Secondly, the Psalms, as being God's hymnbook, will never be surpassed by any other. And then thirdly, the acceptance of it by God as worthy praise, cannot be questioned.

We have witnessed in recent decades a downgrade in public worship on an immense scale, things are not what they used to be, a recovery is so vital. Now, I believe in the road to recovery God's hymnbook must be introduced in those Churches where it is absent, for in worship, there must be, as the Lord has abundantly made plain in Scripture, the singing of Psalms.

Over recent years, the Trinitarian Bible Society has republished the Psalms of David in Metre in two quality editions. The large print edition, ideal for local congregations, is an excellent edition, not only for the young but also for the elderly. The small pocket size edition is ideal for taking whilst travelling. Both come at a very reasonable price, making it much more affordable to local churches and individual believers compared with that of other hymnbooks.

May I, as one who has come to understand not only the Biblical warrant for, but also the blessing of Psalm singing, heartily recommend these Psalters.

May there in days to come, be an even greater awareness of the singing of Psalms, and may the Psalms again have their rightful place in the worship of God.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Church Anniversary 2010 Online

The sermons preached by Rev. Harry Woods at the 159th Anniversary of Crosslanes Chapel are now available for listening online:

The Lamb upon the throne (Revelation 5)
Christ's return to the Father expedient (John 16 v 7)
Not far from the kingdom of God (Mark 12 v 34)

You can also listen to psalm singing from the meetings: Psalm 147 v 1-5 (tune Main), Psalm 80 v 14-19 (tune Kilmarnock), Psalm 119 v 105-112 (tune Grafenberg) and Psalm 40 v 1-5 (tune Ayrshire).

The latest online sermon by the Rev. Aaron Lewis is Come, whosoever will (Revelation 22 v 17), a gospel sermon preached on the Sabbath evening, 30th May 2010.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Church Anniversary 2010

God willing, the 159th Anniversary of Crosslanes Chapel will be marked by a Service at 6pm on Saturday 22nd May, at the church.

The preacher will be the Rev. Harry Woods, minister of Beauly Free Church of Scotland (Continuing).

Refreshments will follow the service.

Rev. Woods will also preach on the Sabbath (23rd May) at 11am and 6pm.

Latest online sermon by Rev. Aaron Lewis: Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, preached from Psalm 33 v 12 on Wednesday evening, 5th May 2010.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Proclaimer, Winter 2010

Magazine of Crosslanes Chapel

Cultivating a Biblical unity. New Year Sermon C.H. Spurgeon
News of the Fellowship
Rest in the Lord. Psalm 37. New Year Sermon Aaron J Lewis
A Christian on the Mount Thomas Watson
Book Recommendations: Providence Handled Practically and Heirs With Christ
Special Meetings 2010
Metrical Psalm 16 Notes by John Brown of Haddington
Go to Jesus Octavius Winslow

Latest online sermons by Rev. Aaron J. Lewis:
Their faith, their love, their hope, preached on the Sabbath evening 17th January 2010 from Colossians 1 v 4-5.
Good news for all, preached on the Sabbath evening 14th February 2010 from 1 Timothy 1 v 15.
The feeding of the five thousand, preached on the Sabbath morning 21st February 2010 from Luke 9 v 12-13.
What is your life?, preached on the Sabbath evening 21st March 2010 from James 4 v 14.

New link: Affirmation 2010

Go to Jesus

Octavius Winslow

What is the one specific cry of a truly spiritually regenerated and awakened soul? Is it not for JESUS, the bread of life? Most assuredly! Go to the sinner bowed beneath the weight of the law, to the man awakened to a conviction of his sinful and lost condition, who has been brought to know the nothingness of his own righteousness, and ask him, ‘What will make you happy?’ Bid him go to his religious duties, to his sacraments, to his church, to his minister. Oh, how bitter will be his reproof - “I asked you, as a starving man, for bread, and you give me husks. I need Christ - I need to know that my sins are pardoned - that my transgressions are blotted out - that I am an accepted, forgiven child of God. And nothing short of this will meet my case. I have tried every other expedient, have come to the end of all my own doings, and I perish with hunger. I have been feeding upon ashes. I have sought to meet the cravings of my spirit with the chaff. I have been drinking in the wind. Give me Christ, or I die! None but Christ! None but Christ! Place me upon a pinnacle, and give me the world. I survey from there, still, without Christ I am undone - I starve - I perish! Lord, I fall at Thy feet. Thou only has the bread of eternal life. Here will I lie, here will I cling; and if I perish in my hunger, it shall be asking Thee, imploring Thee, crying to Thee for bread!”

Oh, thank God if the blessed Spirit has brought you to see the difference between the bread of life and the husks with which man would seek to meet your spiritual craving! Fall on your knees, and thank God if you have been taught that none but Christ - a crucified, atoning, and full Saviour - a Saviour whose blood blots out the deepest stain of guilt, and whose flowing robe of righteousness justifies the believing soul from all sin - can meet your soul’s necessity!

That Jesus is the bread of the spiritual soul, how clear and impressive is His own teaching - “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread, that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” “Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” “He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me and I in him.” “He that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.” Shall we not exclaim, in view of this marvelous statement, “Lord, evermore give us this bread!”

Metrical Psalm 16

Notes by Rev John Brown of Haddington

This psalm is indeed a michtam, a golden psalm. Behold the man according to God's heart, (1.) Committing himself to God as his preserver, ver. 1. (2.) Avowing his endeared love to the people, and strict adherence to the worship of God, ver. 3-4. (3.) With great confidence and joy claiming God for his satisfying portion, ver. 2, 5-7. (4.) Comforting himself in, and blessing God for his present intimacy with him, and granting direction to him, and for his certain prospect of the eternal enjoyment of him, ver. 8-11.

But chiefly behold here, Jesus, the man of God's right hand, surrendering himself up to his Father's service, in room of, and for the everlasting advantage of his elect! Behold him, taking out his new-covenant claim to God, as his God and portion for ever; and as our God and portion in him! Behold how, supported of God in his holy manhood, he suffers unto a tremendous death, and debased burial; but being raised again, he is crowned with everlasting glory and honour! Behold how the agonies of suffering, and the pains of death, are succeeded with fulness of joy, and rivers of life and pleasures, at God's right hand for evermore! Looking to him, let me with patience run the race that is set before me, living on, and rejoicing in God, as my all, and in all; and looking for the blessed hope, and glorious appearing of the great God my Saviour. Through him, neither sin, nor devils, nor death, nor hell, shall be able to prevent my immediate and everlasting enjoyment of Jehovah, as my infinite portion and exceeding joy.

5 God is of mine inheritance
and cup the portion;
The lot that fallen is to me
thou dost maintain alone.

6 Unto me happily the lines
in pleasant places fell;
Yea, the inheritance I got
in beauty doth excel.

7 I bless the Lord, because he doth
by counsel me conduct;
And in the seasons of the night
my reins do me instruct.

8 Before me still the Lord I set:
sith it is so that he
Doth ever stand at my right hand,
I shall not moved be.

9 Because of this my heart is glad,
and joy shall be exprest
Ev'n by my glory; and my flesh
in confidence shall rest.

10 Because my soul in grave to dwell
shall not be left by thee;
Nor wilt thou give thine Holy One
corruption to see.

11 Thou wilt me shew the path of life:
of joys there is full store
Before thy face; at thy right hand
are pleasures evermore.

Special Meetings 2010

The Lord willing, the following special meetings are planned for 2010:

159th Church Anniversary, May 22nd & 23rd

The Rev. Harry Woods of Beauly Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) will preach at 6pm on the Saturday and at 11am and 6pm on the Sabbath.

3rd Autumn Preaching Meeting, October 30th and 31st

The Rev. Richard Brooks, minister of The Dales Evangelical Church will preach at 6pm on the Saturday and at 11am and 6pm on the Sabbath.

Heirs with Christ

The Puritans on Adoption by Joel Beeke

We can do no better than to begin this recommendation of Heirs with Christ with Mr. Beeke`s quotation from Thomas Watson, the Puritan, in his Body of Divinity, “We have enough in us to move God to correct us, but nothing to move Him to adopt us, therefore exalt free grace, begin the work of angels here; bless Him with your praises who hath blessed you His sons and daughters”. A glance at the comprehensive bibliography at the end of the book reveals the extent of interest that there has been, and still is, in this doctrine of Adoption.This is what Samuel Willard (1684) says on this subject, “God did not adopt us because we were lovely, but that we might be so. God saw as much beauty in others as in us, and that was none at all! And hence, that He should adopt us at all is a demonstration of His inconceivable grace!”

Dr. Beeke, after distinguishing between human and divine adoption, ably summarises the privileges and benefits of Adoption into God's family: as a Father, 1. God cuts us off from the family to which we naturally belong in Adam as children of wrath and of the devil, and He engrafts us into His own family to make us members of the covenant family of God. 2. He gives us freedom to call on Him by name and gives us a new name, 2 Chron. 7:14. 3. He gifts us with the Spirit of Adoption. 4. He grants us likeness to Himself and to His Son. 5. He strengthens our faith through His gifts of promises and prayer. 6. He corrects and chastens us for our sanctification, Hebrews 12:6. 7. He comforts us with His love and pity. 8. He counsels and directs us. 9. He offers us spiritual, Christian liberty as His sons and daughters, John 8:36. 10. He preserves us and keeps us from falling, 1 Peter 1:5. 11. He provides everything that we need as His children, both physically and spiritually, Psalm 34:10. 12. He gives His angels, as ministering spirits, to serve us for good, Psalm 34:7. 13. He makes death a narrow gate to lead us into everlasting life in heaven.

The Church today would richly benefit from this exposure of Puritan teaching on the biblical doctrine of Adoption. Therefore, we highly commend Dr. Beeke's book to old and young alike.

Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books (2008)
ISBN-10: 1601780400
ISBN-13: 978-1601780409

Providence Handled Practically

Introduced and edited by Joel R. Beeke and Matthew Winzer.

Obadiah Sedgwick in this brief but valuable book opens up the subject of Divine Providence, showing to us the right and godly response to it. The first two chapters deal with the subject of God's general providence over all creation, His church and His people.

He then from chapter three makes some useful applications. 1) Learn to depend on Providence of God , 2) learn not to vex your mind, 3) Wait upon Providence, and finally 4) Be content. In conclusion he write concerning comfort and duty for the people of God. With regards to the former he begins, “Since there is a special Providence actively and effectually laying out itself in a special way for the good of the church, then this may be as a rock for the church, on which it may rest itself in all the varieties and difficulties of its militant estate and condition” And then in “Regarding duty,” he writes, “there are several things which concern the church, especially when the enemies attack, and she seems to be desolate, oppresses, and it seems that God does not go forth with her armies. He then gives three pressing duties 1. The church must reform, 2)The church must also put itself upon this singular Providence by fervent and humble prayer, 3) Engage this singular Providence for you by your trust in God.

This excellent and timely reprint, for which we are grateful, is more than worth its money and will be enjoyed by those who love sound doctrine and believe in experimental Christianity.

Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books (2007)
ISBN-10: 1601780257
ISBN-13: 978-1601780256

A Christian on the Mount

A Treatise Concerning Meditation By Thomas Watson.

"His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night." Psalm 1:2
Having led you through the Chamber of Delight in my previous discourse, I will now bring you into the Withdrawing Room of Meditation. "In his law does he meditate day and night”

I. The opening of the Words, and the Proposition asserted.
Grace breeds delight in God, and delight breeds meditation. Meditation is a duty wherein consists the essentials of religion, and which nourishes the very life-blood of it. That the Psalmist may show how much the godly man is habituated to this blessed work of meditation, he subjoins, "In his law does he meditate day and night;" not but that there may be sometimes intermission: God allows time for our calling, he grants some relaxation; but when it is said, the godly man meditates day and night, the meaning is, frequently - he is much conversant in the duty.

It is a command of God to pray without ceasing, 1 Thess. 5:17. The meaning is - not that we should be always praying - but that we should every day set some time apart for prayer. We read in the Old law it was called the continual sacrifice, Numb. 28:24, not that the people of Israel did nothing else but sacrifice - but because they had their stated hours, every morning and evening they offered, therefore it was called the continual sacrifice. Thus the godly man is said to meditate day and night, that is, he is often at this work, he is no stranger to meditation.

Doctrine. The proposition that results out of the text is this - that a godly Christian is a meditating Christian, Psalm 119:15. "I will meditate in your precepts." 1 Tim. 4:15, "Meditate upon these things." Meditation is the chewing upon the truths we have heard. The beasts in the old law which did not chew the cud, were unclean; the professor who does not by meditation chew the cud, is to be accounted unclean. Meditation is like the watering of the seed, it makes the fruits of grace to flourish.

II. Showing the NATURE of Meditation.
If it be inquired what meditation is, I answer - Meditation is the soul's retiring of itself, that by a serious and solemn thinking upon God, the heart may be raised up to heavenly affections. This description has three branches.

1. Meditation is the soul's retiring of itself. A Christian, when he goes to meditate, must lock up himself from the world. The world spoils meditation; Christ went by himself into the mountainside to pray, Matt. 14:23, so, go into a solitary place when you are to meditate. "Isaac went out to meditate in the field," Gen. 24:63; he sequestered and retired himself that he might take a walk with God by meditation. Zaccheus had a mind to see Christ, and he got out of the crowd, "He ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him," Luke 19:3, 4. So, when we would see God, we must get out of the crowd of worldly business; we must climb up into the tree by retiredness of meditation, and there we shall have the best prospect of heaven.

The world's music will either play us asleep, or distract us in our meditations. When a mote has gotten into the eye - it hinders the sight. Just so, when worldly thoughts, as motes, are gotten into the mind, which is the eye of the soul - it cannot look up so steadfastly to heaven by contemplation. Therefore, as when Abraham went to sacrifice, "he left his servant and the donkey at the bottom of the hill," Gen. 22:5, so, when a Christian is going up the hill of meditation, he should leave all secular cares at the bottom of the hill, that he may be alone, and take a turn in heaven. If the wings of the bird are full of slime, she cannot fly. Meditation is the wing of the soul; when a Christian is beslimed with earth, he cannot fly to God upon this wing. Bernard when he came to the church-door, used to say, "Stay here all my worldly thoughts, that I may converse with God in the temple." So say to yourself, "I am going now to meditate, O all you vain thoughts stay behind, come not near!" When you are going up the mount of meditation, take heed that the world does not follow you, and throw you down from the top of this pinnacle. This is the first thing, the soul's retiring of itself - lock and bolt the door against the world.

2. The second thing in meditation, is, a serious and solemn thinking upon God. The Hebrew word to meditate, signifies with intenseness to recollect and gather together the thoughts. Meditation is not a cursory work, to have a few transient thoughts of religion; like the dogs of Nilus that lap and then run away; but there must be in meditation a fixing the heart upon the object, a steeping the thoughts. Carnal professors have their thoughts roving up and down, and will not fix on God; like the bird that hops from one branch to another, and stays in no one place. David was a man fit to meditate, "O God, my heart is fixed," Psalm 108:1. In meditation there must be a staying of the thoughts upon the object; a man who rides quickly through a town or village - he minds nothing. But an artist who is looking on a curious piece, views the whole portraiture of it, he observes the symmetry and proportion, he minds every shadow and color. A carnal, flitting professor, is like the traveler, his thoughts ride hastily - he minds nothing of God. A wise Christian is like the artist, he views with seriousness, and ponders the things of religion, Luke 2:19. "But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart."

3. The third thing in meditation, is, the raising of the heart to holy affections. A Christian enters into meditation, as a man enters into the hospital - that he may be healed. Meditation heals the soul of its deadness and earthliness: but more of this afterwards.

III. Proving Meditation to be a DUTY.
Meditation is a duty lying upon every Christian, and there is no disputing our duty. Meditation is a duty, 1. Imposed. 2. Opposed.

1. Meditation is a duty imposed - it is not arbitrary. The same God who has bid us believe, has bid us meditate, Josh. 1:8. "This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth - but you shall meditate therein day and night." These words, though spoken to the person of Joshua, yet they concern everyone; as the promise made to Joshua concerned all believers, Josh. 1:5 compared with Heb. 13:5. So this precept made to the person of Joshua, you shall meditate in this book of the law, takes in all Christians. As God's Word does direct, so his will must enforce obedience.

2. Meditation is a duty opposed. We may conclude it is a good duty, because it is against the stream of corrupt nature. As one said, "you may know that religion is right - which Nero persecutes;" so you may know that is a good duty - which the heart opposes. We shall find naturally a strange averseness from meditation. We are swift to hear - but slow to meditate. To think of the world, if it were all day long, is delightful. But as for holy meditation, how does the heart wrangle and quarrel with this duty; it is like doing of penance. Now truly, there needs no other reason to prove a duty to be good, than the reluctancy of a carnal heart. To instance in the duty of "Let a man deny himself," Matthew. 16:24, self-denial is as necessary as heaven - but what disputes are raised in the heart against it? What! to deny my reason, and become a fool that I may be wise; nay, not only to deny my reason - but my righteousness? What, to cast it overboard, and swim to heaven upon the plank of Christ's merits? This is such a duty that the heart does naturally oppose, and enter its dissent against. This is an argument to prove the duty of self-denial good; just so it is with this duty of meditation; the secret antipathy the heart has against it, shows it to be good; and this is reason enough to enforce meditation.

Psalm 37, Rest in the Lord

Sermon preached on the 27th December 2009. Aaron J Lewis

Psalm 37 : 1 -7

“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.”

In the 26th chapter of Isaiah we have words of great encouragement. In verses 3 & 4 we read, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:” Going down to verse 12, we then read “LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us:” We dear brethren are to exercise faith in the Lord our God, 'Trust ye in the LORD'. In verse 20 the Lord through His servant gives us a gracious and loving invitation, “Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.” Having these encouragements before us and this gracious and loving invitation, let us trust the Lord, and stay near to Him in the day of adversity.

The Psalmist here in the 37th Psalm exhorts us not to fret because of ungodly men, but to place our confidence, our trust, in the Lord and rejoice in Him. My dear brethren as we come to the end of this year and are now at the threshold of another, may we, through the assistance of the Holy Spirit, take on board these short, but full and helpful exhortations which we have here in the first seven verses of this Psalm.

1stly Fret not. In verses 1 and 2 we read, “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.”

The word fret means to glow, to glow warm, to blaze up , burn, or be angry. Having a wood burner, I often have to give the fire a poke. After a few moments, sometimes a little longer, it suddenly blazes up, and burns fiercely. Here we are exhorted, not to blaze up or be angry in a sinful way against our enemies, or blaze up, or be angry at all, in any way, against the Lord our God.

1stly, let us not fret against our enemies in a sinful way. We are taught by the Lord to; “love thy neighbour as thyself.” We are to have a true and sincere love in our hearts for our fellowman, and even for our enemies. Our Lord said in Matthew 5, verses 44 & 45, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” God has a love, and so must we. We are to love them, bless them, do good to them and pray for them. Oh how they need our prayers! With these things in mind, let us fret not or be angry against them in a sinful way. The psalmist wrote, “Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.” He goes on to write, “For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. “ Matthew Henry wrote, “Their triumphing is short.” Consider for a moment what will soon happen to them, if they do not turn to the Lord in a way of belief and repentance. My dear friends, fret not, but earnestly pray for them.

2ndly, let us not fret at all against the Lord. Remember how Jonah was angry with the Lord after he had shown mercy towards Nineveh. In Jonah 4 verses 1 & 2 we read, “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the

We as the Lord's people who believe in, and take comfort in the Providence of God should never be angry with God for one moment, God forbid! In verse 8 we read “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. “ Let us flee this sin. Fret not!

2ndly Trust and Rest

“Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.”

Those who trust in the Lord, and do good, (their good works giving evidence of their faith in the Lord), are provided for by the Lord in a gracious and wonderful way in His providence here below, and will one day know the blessing of being with the Lord in heaven.

Now, here we are exhorted to trust in the Lord, rather than fret against Him, or our enemies. There is much to alarm us today, for many who are against us, however brethren, do not fret, but with a child-like faith, trust in the Lord. In Proverbs 3 : 5, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Do not lean upon your own understanding, for it soon gives way, look up to your God, your heavenly Father for He knows best.

Charles Hodge “It is a child-like, unwavering confidence in our Father's well proven wisdom, faithfulness, and love.” Oh for strong faith, for at times we are fearful and our faith seems weak.

The word 'trust', here in this place means, 'to place hope and confidence in one.' Now, as we have seen before, to trust is to have faith in the Lord. For example in Ephesians 1 : verses 12 & 13 we read, “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.” My dear brethren, It is, come and welcome to Jesus Christ, and those who do, through the grace of God, are found trusting in the Lord. Oh dear brethren, trust in Him, humbly, in a child like manner, look to the Lord by faith to your promise-keeping, gracious, merciful and eternal God. In Isaiah 26 : 3 & 4 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:”

Now, as we have seen before, there are various denominations of faith which help us to understand what faith is, 'trusting' being one of them. With the help of the Rev John Willison, (1680 -1750), who ministered in Dundee from 1718, consider a few more;

1. Believing, Galatians 2 : 16
2. Coming unto Christ, John 6 : 35
3. Flying to Christ for refuge, Hebrews 6 : 18
4. Casting our burdens on Him, Psalm 55: 23
5. Leaning on Him, Song of Sol. 8 : 5
6. Looking unto Christ, Isaiah 45 : 22
7. Receiving Christ, John 1 : 12
8. Cleaving to Him, Acts 11 :23
9. Putting on Christ, Romans 13 : 14
10. Hungering and thirsting after Him, Matthew 5:6
11. Eating and drinking, John 6 :35
12. Entering, John 10 :9
13. Resting, Psalm 37 : 7

How precious is that description of faith in the Song of Solomon. “Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?” Leaning on the Beloved is the joyful and wonderful testimony of the people of God. We are also known as resting in Him.

Now, let me underline, these are not different acts of faith, but different denominations of faith, Ebenezer Erskine wrote “There are a great many denomination of faith, of the same Divine authority with these two mentioned in the answer of the Catechism, such as eating, drinking, fleeing, entering, coming, trusting, &c. But these are not different acts, but only different expressions of the saving act of faith.”

In verse 7 we read “Rest in the LORD”
The Hebrew word, translated here as rest, means 'to be dumb', 'silent', 'quiet', or to 'be still'.

Naomi told Ruth, in Ruth 3 : 18, “Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall: for the man will not be in rest, until he have finished the thing this day.” Ruth was concerned about what was going to happen, would Boaz be able to marry her?

Anxiety and panic can often set in, and as a result one is found vexed, wondering what is going to happen. At such a time we need to rest, that is, found exercising the grace of faith. If we are honest, is not easy for us to sit still at certain times in our lives. For some children it is very hard to do, especially when they are excited. Sometimes at the Youth meeting on Friday evening it is, “sit still, be quiet, sit still be quiet, I'm not going to start until every one is quiet, sit still”. My dear friends, the Lord says to us, “sit still”, “Rest”.In Proverbs 3 : 5 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Lean on the Lord, and rest in His infinite wisdom and wonderful Providence, not on your limited understanding.

The Psalmist in a time of great difficulty rested upon the Lord, and through the assistance of the Holy Spirit was found uttering those words found in Psalm 57,verses 1 & 2, “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.” In family difficulties, and those in the work place, in the community, and in the nation, how important it is to be found resting in the Lord. John Flavel wrote, “It is the duty of the saints, especially in times of straits, to reflect upon the performances of Providence for the them in all the states and through all the stages of their lives.” It is our duty, it is our pressing need, to be found, resting in the Lord.

In the coming year there may be many things on the horizon which may bring you much difficulty and cause you much inward pain, therefore my dear brethren, trust in Him. Rest in the Lord. In times of sorrow and in times of joy, let us all be found exercising faith in the Lord.

To be continued.

News of the fellowship

On October 18th. a Thanksgiving service was held for Nathanael James Lewis. Our Pastor, spoke from Mark 10:13-16, “Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God”. We pray along with our Pastor and Sharon, that God in mercy will smile graciously upon Nathanael and save him at an early age.

Our Autumn Meeting was well attended, and we were much blessed under the ministry of the Rev. Dewi Higham from Cardiff Tabernacle. On the Saturday he preached from Psalm 103, and on the Lord`s Day, from Acts 1:14 in the morning and Ephesians 2:10 in the evening. Sermons are available on the Church's Website.

It was a great joy to witness along with many of his family and friends the baptism of Mr. Matthew Main on November 22nd. The following Sabbath evening it was also a joy to welcome Matthew into membership here at Crosslanes Chapel.

In 2009 we were able to give away 17 Bibles to those who had requested them in the Local area. It has been a great encouragement to us to give away these Bibles, and that in the second week of this year 3 more had been requested. One, a South African who lives in Fordingbridge, received at the end of 2009 a TBS Calendar, two weeks later he requested a visit from our Pastor and was pleased to recieve a Bible.

Church leaflets are currently being distributed in Ashley Heath and St. Ives, and T.B.S. calendars have recently been given out in our village.