Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hitherto hath the LORD helped us

Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us. 1 Samuel ch. 7 v. 12

Concluding comments of sermon, delivered on the Lord's Day Morning, March 15th, 1863, by the Rev. C. H. SPURGEON, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

I said this text might be read three ways. We have read it once by laying stress upon the centre word. Now it ought to be read looking backward. The word "hitherto" seems like a hand pointing in that direction. Look back, look back. Twenty years, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, "hitherto!" say that each of you. Through poverty, through wealth, through sickness, through health, at home, abroad, on the land, on the sea, in honour, in dishonour, in perplexity, in joy, in trial, in triumph, in prayer, in temptation, hitherto. Put the whole together. I like sometimes to look down a long avenue of trees. It is very delightful to gaze from end to end of the long vista, a sort of leafy temple with its branching pillars and its arches of leaves. Cannot you look down the long aisles of your years, look at the green boughs of mercy overhead, and the strong pillars of lovingkindness and faithfulness which bear your joys? Are there no birds in yonder branches singing? Surely, there must be many. And the bright sunshine and the blue sky are yonder; and if you turn round in the far distance, you may see heaven's brightness and a throne of gold. "Hitherto! hitherto!"

Then the text may be read a third way, looking forward. For when a man gets up to a certain mark and writes "hitherto," he looks back upon much that is past, but "hitherto" is not the end, there is yet a distance to be traversed. More trials, more joys; more temptations, more triumphs; more prayers, more answers; more toils, more strength; more fights, more victories; more slanders, more comforts;... And then come sickness, old age, disease, death. Is it over now? No, no, no! We will raise one stone more when we get into the river, we will shout Ebenezer there: "hitherto the Lord hath helped us," for there is more to come. An awakening in his likeness,... the face of Jesus, the society of saints, the glory of God, the fullness of eternity, the infinity of bliss. Yes, as sure as God has helped so far as to-day, he will help us to the close. "I will never leave thee, I will never forsake thee; I have been with thee, and I will be with thee to the end." Courage, brethren, then; and as we pile the stones, saying, "Hitherto the Lord hath helped us," let us just gird up the loins of our mind, and be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be revealed in us, for as it has been, so it shall be world without end.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Autumn Preaching 2011 Online

Sermons preached by Rev. John Thackway at the fourth Crosslanes Chapel Autumn Preaching meeting are now available for listening online:

The Lord's Compassions (Lamentations 3 v 22,23)
Secret Prayer, Sudden Prayer and Social Prayer (Nehemiah 1 v 4, 2 v 4, 4 v 9)
Psalm 6

The Proclaimer, Autumn 2011

Magazine of Crosslanes Chapel

News of the Fellowship
Duties after the Lord's supper, by John Willison
Haggai, Be strong, work, and the Lord be with you. (2)
Book Reviews: Only a prayer meeting! and Sing a new song.
Psalm 18 Notes by John Brown of Haddington
C H Spurgeon John 17 : 16

Sermon: C. H. Spurgeon

Opening and concluding remarks of sermon preached on John 17 : 16 delivered on Thursday Evening, November 22, 1855, by the Rev. C.H. Spurgeon, at New Park Street Chapel, Southwark.

"They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” John 17:16

Christ's prayer was for a special people. He declared that he did not offer an universal intercession. "I pray for them," said he. "I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me, for they are thine." In reading this beautiful prayer through, only one question arises to our minds; Who are the people that are described as "them," or as "they?" Who are these favoured individuals, who share a Saviour's prayers, are recognized by a Saviour's love, have their names written on the stones of his precious breastplate, and have their characters and their circumstances mentioned by the lips of the High Priest before the throne on high? The answer to that question is supplied by the words of our text. The people for whom Christ prays are an unearthly people. They are a people somewhat, above the world, distinguished altogether from it. "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."

And Christian, lastly, by way of practice, let me comfort thee with this. Thou art not of the world for thy home is in heaven. Be content to be here a little, for thou art not of the world, and thou shalt go up to thine own bright inheritance by-and-bye. A man in travelling goes into an inn; it is rather uncomfortable, "Well," says he, "I shall not have to stay here many nights; I have only to sleep here to-night, I shall be at home in the morning, so that I don't care much about one night's lodging being a little uncomfortable." So, Christian, this world is never a very comfortable one; but recollect, you are not of the world. This world is like an inn; you are only lodging here a little while. Put up with a little inconvenience, because you are not of the world, even as Christ is not of the world; and by-and-bye, up yonder, you shall be gathered into your father's house, and there you will find that there is a new heaven and a new earth provided for those who are "not of the world."

Metrical Psalm 18

Notes by Rev John Brown Haddington

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who spake unto the Lord the words of this song in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul:

In this psalm of thanksgiving for manifold deliverances, observe, (1.) David's ardent love to God in Christ, whom he believed to be his own, in every gracious and saving relation; and by whom he had experienced his merciful, almighty, and seasonable deliverance from depths of trouble, ver. 1-19. (2.) His comfortable reflections, on the integrity which the Lord had enabled him to maintain, and on the gracious kindness of God, consequential thereupon, ver. 20-28. (3.) His thankful ascription of all the glory of his noted exploits to God, as his director and strengthener, ver. 29-42. (4.) His triumphant faith and hope, of further assistance and favour from God, to himself and to his seed for evermore, ver. 43-50.

But let me not forget Jesus, to whom Jehovah is so closely, so marvellously, so sweetly related: Jesus, who so ardently loveth his eternal Father, and for ever returns the grateful remembrance of his kindness to him, and to his chosen seed, in delivering him from distress; in raising him from the dead; in rewarding his obedience unto death, in giving him glory at his own right hand, and in rendering all nations his obedient subjects. Let me sing this new song, in the full assurance of faith, that God in Christ is my all and in all; and with a heart ravished with the consolations of Christ, and in the sweet reviews of what he hath done, what he doth, and what he will for ever do, for my soul.

1 Thee will I love, O Lord, my strength.
2 My fortress is the Lord,
My rock, and he that doth to me
deliverance afford:

My God, my strength, whom I will trust,
a buckler unto me,
The horn of my salvation,
and my high tow'r, is he.

3 Upon the Lord, who worthy is
of praises, will I cry;
And then shall I preserved be
safe from mine enemy.

4 Floods of ill men affrighted me,
death's pangs about me went;
5 Hell's sorrows me environed;
death's snares did me prevent.

6 In my distress I call'd on God,
cry to my God did I;
He from his temple heard my voice,
to his ears came my cry.

7 Th' earth, as affrighted, then did shake,
trembling upon it seiz'd:
The hills' foundations moved were,
because he was displeas'd.

8 Up from his nostrils came a smoke,
and from his mouth there came
Devouring fire, and coals by it
were turned into flame.

9 He also bowed down the heav'ns,
and thence he did descend;
And thickest clouds of darkness did
under his feet attend.

Sing a new song

Sing a new song edited by Joel R. Beeke and Anthony T. Selvaggio

Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books (2010)

ISBN-13: 978-1601781055

In His infinite wisdom, our Lord graciously gave to the Church, a wonderful manual of praise, commonly called the Book of Psalms. It has never been surpassed, nor can be, though many have thought otherwise. No one can deny, if they seriously read the Bible, that the singing of Psalms has an important place in the Worship of God. Sadly the singing of Psalms is never, or rarely heard in many congregations. Even from a non exclusive psalm singing position, which as you know is not the position I take, this ought not be. In their own arguments many have believed in the singing of Psalms, yet in practice they are generally at odds with themselves.

As God has made abundantly plain that the Psalms are to be sung in worship, where they have been neglected, a recovery is urgently needed. Thankfully there are some signs of hope, for which we give God the praise, however much more must be done for God's glory. Any book that has been compiled by good men who advocate Psalm singing has to, and must be recommended. 'Sing a new song, Recovering Psalm singing for the twenty first century ',fits into this category.

As a little taster, the three main parts of the book are as follows;
Part 1 Psalm singing in History.
Part 2 Psalm singing in Scripture.
Part 3 Psalm singing in the twenty first century.
We are grateful to Joel Beeke, Anthony T Selvaggio and all who worked on and contributed to this excellent book.

May it be, that under God, we live to see a wonderful recovery in the singing of divinely appointed praise. “Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him:” Psalm 105 : 2

Only a prayer meeting!

Only a prayer meeting! by C. H. Spurgeon

Publisher: Christian Focus Publications (2006)

ISBN-13: 978-1845505783

Are the prayer meetings in decline? Is there a low view of the importance of them? The church in this country is experiencing difficulties and yet the prayer meeting is suffering. These things ought not to be. When reading through the book of Acts we cannot fail to see that the early Church placed great importance upon the gathering of the people for prayer. It, being instituted by our Lord, therefore is of great concern to us. C H Spurgeon contended hard for the prayer meeting, which thankfully was heeded by many in his day. In this book there are a number of addresses, sermons and illustrations which have been gathered together, to encourage Christians to pray. The book begins with Spurgeon's address in which he declares those now familiar words; 'only a prayer meeting!'. Listen to Spurgeon; 'What a company we have here tonight! It fills my heart with gladness, and my eyes with tears of joy, to see so many hundreds of persons gathered together at what is sometimes wickedly described as “only a prayer meeting.” It is good for us to draw nigh unto God in prayer,and specially good to make up a great congregation for such a purpose.

At the last prayer meeting our glorious King was in the midst; were you there? If not, can you honestly say, He understood and accepted my absence.

May the Lord stir us up to pray!

Be strong, work, and the Lord be with you

Taken from a sermon preached by our Minister at the beginning of the year. In the previous magazine we considered the words 'be strong', at the beginning of the verse. We continue on this time to consider the call to work, and the encouragement of the Lord's accompanying presence and help.

2ndly Work
“Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I [am] with you, saith the LORD of hosts:”

Strength was the urgent and pressing need of the day, for much work lay before them in building the temple, and their enemies were many and strong in might.

My dear brethren we need strength as we live here upon earth for a number reasons, however particularly consider how we need strength for the Glory of God; to worship Him and to serve Him in the work which He has called us to do. Let us pause at this moment in our lives and remind ourselves there is work to do!

The Minister of the Gospel, first of all, as being one called to that vital and important work, is to toil hard for the Master's sake. A Minister is described as a workman; in 2 Timothy 2 : 15 we read, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Further back in Ephesians 4 : 11 & 12 we read of the 'work'; “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” It is work, in which a Minister will be supported, but also in which he will know the weariness of the flesh; let us not underestimate the work.

Now there is much work to be done, particularly as we see in Acts 6: 4, The apostles declared, “ But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.” In Mark 16 : 15, our Lord made plain they are to preach the the Gospel; He declared to the disciples “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” We see that the Ministers of the gospel must go, having a divine mandate, and as they go they must go preaching! Unashamedly they are to make known the law, sin, and it consequences. They must also must point sinners to Christ as the only Saviour and hope for them. George Whitefield encouraged ministers not to preach on just one day of the week, that being the Sabbath day, but on the other days of the week as well. Oh for such a day, when there would be a great interest and hunger for the word.

Dear brethren, pray that we might live to see great days in open air preaching, and that accompanying this, there would be a great awakening in this country! However, and this is so important, let us not forget there is still much to do, in these days of small things, for the Ministers of the gospel.

Although there is so little blessing seen in this country of England and there is much to discourage, the Ministers of the gospel are to be strong, and humbly be about their business, for the glory of God.

Moving on, consider secondly, all of God's children are to arise and serve the Lord. “Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work:” Dear brethren, as those who have been saved by the sovereign grace of God, there is a work for you to do in this world, which must be your concern. The Lord has abundantly made plain in Scripture that He calls certain men to the ministry, and that work is for them and them alone to do, however, all believers belong to, and are servants of the most high. Therefore all of us should be toiling for the Master in some way.

Many an elderly saint has spent hours in the important work of prayer. A certain elderly lady who lived in Totton, on the edge of the New Forest, passed away. Next to her body was discovered a piece of paper that the Minister had given to her. Written upon it was a list of some unconverted young people. Previously, she had asked her Minister on a certain occasion, what could she do? What an important and vital work she faithfully continued to her dying day!

There are many things we can do. We are thankful for those who spend hours walking up and down the gardens paths delivering gospel tracts,those who spends hours on their knees in prayer, those who write letters to the prisons and to local schools.

My dear brethren, may I humbly exhort you to keep your selves in check; and ask yourselves, what am I doing for the Lord.

Sadly, a spirit of slumber can shroud the heart and the excuses come forth: I am too tired, others use that all too familiar line “I have not the time.” My dear brethren our lives are busy, there is much we must do by way necessity, but, and this is so important, let us not put to one side and neglect service for the King. In this modern age, here in the West, home improvements are high on the agenda amongst some, if not many of the Lord's people. Now it is not wrong to make some improvement from time to time, however, let me plead with you, be careful of how much time you spend on your properties each month. In Zerubbabel's day as we see in chapter 1 the people were concerned more about their own dwellings, rather than the house of God. It is not new thing.

Work for the Lord! Do not make excuses, be found serving the Lord. Now it can be tiring, and discouraging, but oh go and labour in the vineyard!

As we reflect this vital subject, consider the Lord whom we serve and then what Christ has done for us; does He not deserve our devotion, our time, our all! In 1 Chronicles 22 : 16, “ Arise therefore, and be doing,”

3rdly The Lord be with you.

“Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts:”

There was a great and important work standing before them, a work which was fiercely opposed and which would involve much toil. By way of encouragement, and to lay before them the wonderful truth, the Lord said, “I am with you.

We are in need of the Lord's gracious presence and help, for left to ourselves, we can do nothing, We must earnestly pray and make our supplications unto Him, however, having said this be encouraged as you read this text, and take comfort, the Lord promises His gracious presence.

Remember again those words of our Lord to His disciples, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Lo I am with you, always.” When one is weary and discouraged, being assaulted by the evil one, and laughed at by the world, they can, and must, take comfort in their faithful and gracious Redeemer.

We are not alone, and further remember there is divine assistance awaiting us. In Isaiah 41 : 10, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

We can be troubled like those disciples in the upper room, however, we are not like those who have no hope for we have the God of all comfort as our portion and who declares these wonderful and heart warming promises to our weary souls. Listen again to those words, “I am with thee,... I am thy God, I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

Now, pause and consider, how amazing it is, that God, who is infinitely Holy, dwells with, and assists His people. We fail the Lord so often and sin against Him, yet He is our God and will never leave us or forsake us, dear brethren, does it not show to us the wonder and the glory of His grace and mercy. As you go forward in the service of King Jesus be encouraged.

How important is the work of evangelism. It was expressly commanded by our Lord not long before He left this world, and is a vital part of giving Him the glory, yet it is not an easy work, however take comfort, the Lord is with us. Oh dear brethren, rejoice, we have with us the friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Oh what mercy, oh what condescension; He goes with us! Be encouraged in Him, as you think of the work and those difficulties associated with it. In Romans 8 : 31 we read, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”

Here is the Lord's message for us in these days. May this exaltation and encouragement find a resting place in our hearts, and let us with Divine enabling serve the Lord: As you do so, remember this wonderful truth, it is not in vain! In 1 Corinthians 15 : 58 the apostle writes, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

Duties after the Lord's Supper

by John Willison

Q. What duties are required of us after partaking of the Lord's Supper?
1. To preserve and keep a suitable frame of spirit when we rise up and come away from the Lord's Table.
2. To examine ourselves when we go to our retiring places.
3. To order our conversation rightly afterwards.

Q. What is that suitable frame and disposition of spirit which communicants ought to have when they rise and come from the Lord`s Table?
A. We ought to come away from this ordinance:
1. In an admiring frame.
2. In a thankful frame.
3. In a rejoicing frame.
4. In a humble frame.
5. In a watchful frame.
6. In a praying frame.
7. In a charitable frame.
8. In a willing and obedient frame.
9. In a fixed and resolute frame.
10. In a longing and heavenly frame.

Q. What should be matter of admiration to us when we come from the Lord's table?
A. We should wonder at the goodness and condescension of God to us, that He should have had thoughts of love for us, provided such a Surety and sacrifice for us as His own beloved Son, entertained us at His table, taken us into covenant and communion with Himself, and given us guarantees of our everlasting inheritance; and that He who is higher than the heavens should have done all this for creatures who are by nature mean as worms, nay, polluted and loathsome in the sight of God (Psalm 8:4; Psalm 113:5-6; 2 Chronicles 6:18; 2 Samuel 7:18).

Q. What is it that we should be thankful for when we come from the Lord's table?
A. We should be thankful to God for His love in giving Christ, and for the love of the Holy Spirit in revealing Christ to us and in us. Also, we should bless God for all the blessed fruits of this love, particularly for the well- ordered covenant of grace and the seals of it; for pardon of sin, and for all the rich benefits sealed to us at a communion table; that we live in a Goshen on earth and have the prospect of a Canaan above (Luke 2:14; Ephesians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 9:12, 15; Revelation 1:5; Deuteronomy 8:10).

Q. What is it that we should rejoice in when we go from the Lord's table?
A. 1. In the persons of the glorious Trinity: in God the Father as our covenanted God and portion, in God the Son as our Saviour and Redeemer, and in God the Holy Spirit as our Comforter and Sanctifier (Psalm 43:4; Romans 5:11).
A. 2. In the attributes and perfections of God, particularly in His goodness, mercy, wisdom, might, immutability, and faithfulness, as being all in confederacy with us and engaged to promote our well-being and happiness (Psalm 104:24; Psalm 73:25-26; Psalm 48:14; Habakkuk 3:17-18).
A. 3. We ought to rejoice in our Redeemer's love, His wonderful undertaking, and the glorious victories and purchase He has obtained for us (Philippians 3:3; Luke 1:47-51).
A. 4. We should rejoice in the ways of God, having our hearts lifted up in them, and enlarged both to run and to sing in the ways of the Lord, and to go about every commanded duty with pleasure (Acts 8:39; 2 Chronicles 17:6; Psalm 119:32; Psalm 138:5).

Q. Why should we come from the Lord's table in a humble frame?
A. Because we have manifold grounds for our humiliation before God at that time, when we consider:
1. Our vileness by sin, and what we deserve on that account. We have more reason to cry out than Mephibosheth had, when David promoted him to eat bread at his table and he asked, "What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon a dead dog such as I am?" (2 Samuel 9:8).
2. The defectiveness of our preparation for this solemn ordinance. Alas, our souls were not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary!
3. Our great shortcomings in the near approach we were making to a holy God; namely, that our hearts were not more deeply affected with the great sights presented to our view, and the glorious things put in our offer at the Lord`s table; that our dull affections were not more raised, our wavering minds more fixed, or our cold hearts more warmed when we were about such spiritual and heavenly work (2 Chronicles 30:18-19).
4. We are still exposed to many dangers, and surrounded by strong enemies who are never more busy and active than after we have been at the Lord's table, or admitted to nearness with God and especially when we consider our own weakness and insufficiency to grapple with them (Luke 22:31; 2 Corinthians 12:7-8).

Q. Why ought we to come from this holy ordinance in a watchful frame?
A. Because of the many evils, snares, and enemies that we are then in danger of; and therefore we must stand upon our guard and watch, particularly against these:
1. The malicious designs and devices of Satan, who is getting about seeking to rob us of any benefit we have gotten by this ordinance (Luke 22:31; Matthew 26:41; 2 John 8).
2 . We ought especially to watch against the workings of spiritual pride after this ordinance; for our wicked and deceitful hearts are most ready to be lifted up with the great favours and honour here conferred upon us.
3. We should guard against resting upon the sacrament, as if all our work were now done and our warfare accomplished. No, we are still in a military state, and may expect new assaults from our spiritual enemies; we have still the good fight of faith to fight and the work of salvation to work out, which must be done with a constant holy fear and trembling (Song of Solomon 3:7-8, Philippians 2:12).
4. We must watch against the levity and wanderings of our hearts that are prone soon to divert from the work we have been about, and study to keep them close in meditation upon a crucified Christ and the great sights which we saw at the communion table.
5. We should watch against vain and frothy discourse and the snares of company after this ordinance; for hereby many have lost that sweet relish of the things of God which they have had upon their spirits. For this reason it is much safer for communicants to retire for secret meditations, prayer, and praise after this solemn work than to be in the best of company.
6. We should watch against the inroads of worldly cares and
encumbrances, that they be not allowed suddenly to rush in upon us and rob us of the spiritual frame and comforts with which we have been privileged in this ordinance. We ought not hastily to return to our worldly business after a sacrament, but by degrees, and that with great tenderness, care, and circumspection, resolving that Christ should have the throne of the heart and that the world be kept at the footstall.
7. We should carefully guard against all temptations to passion and rash anger, and study to be meek and quiet under provocations; for if we give way to the disorders and tumultuous passions of our hearts, the Holy Spirit will be grieved and provoked to withdraw from us.
8. We should watch against sloth and formality in duty, and be endeavouring always to stir ourselves up to liveliness and spirituality in all our performances.
9. We must watch against relying on our own strength in performing duty, and study to keep ourselves constantly depending upon Christ as our Head of influences, looking to Him for quickening and strength.

To be continued

News of the Fellowship

On July 17th. we were able to give thanks for the birth of Samuel Lewis. The Service was conducted by his father our Pastor. Family and friends were present on this occasion after which there followed refreshments in the Church Hall.

Door to door visiting continues in Fordingbridge on a monthly basis. We are delighted at the number of Bibles and Gospel tracts which have been received in that town.

Also, in Ringwood each month we hold an open-air Service in which our Pastor proclaims the Word of God and Christian literature is distributed.

The number of schools which our Minister is able to visit in the New Forest area has greatly increased. We are delighted with the demand for Bibles and other Christian literature in this 400th. Anniversary year of the Authorised (King James) Version of the Bible

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Autumn Preaching 2011

God willing, the fourth Autumn Preaching meeting at Crosslanes Chapel will be held at 6pm on Saturday 29th October, at the church.

The preacher will be the Rev. John Thackway, minister of Holywell Evangelical Church and editor of the Bible League Quarterly.

Refreshments will follow the service.

Rev. Thackway will also preach on the Sabbath (30th October) at 11am and 6pm.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The Lord's Prayer

Many of you may already know that back in January my wife gave birth to a lovely boy called Samuel. As with all our Children we have carefully chosen their names, thinking particularly of what each name means. Samuel means; 'asked of God.' A lady called Hannah in the Bible talked to God in prayer and asked Him for a son. In accordance to His will, He granted Hannah her request. Now, not always does God answer prayer in the way one might hope, however prayer should be a frequent activity and an important part of ones life. Let me ask you, do you pray?

The Bible as a whole gives us much direction regarding the subject of prayer. However, that special direction is, the form of prayer which Christ taught His disciples, commonly called 'The Lord's prayer'. It begins with those words, “Our Father which art in heaven.” We come to God to praise Him and to present certain petitions before Him. Hannah prayed to the Lord for a child. Now it very important that we first ask God for the forgiveness of sins having believed in Jesus.

Just under 2000 years ago, the Lord Jesus Christ died on the Cross, so that there would be the forgiveness of sins, for those who believe.

In 1 John 1 : 7 we read “the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Having believed in Jesus, and having been forgiven ones sins we can truly address God as our Heavenly Father, and enjoy communion with Him. What a blessing it is to pray in times of joy, in times of sorrow, and then each and every day.

It is my hope that you might know the blessing of prayer, and that you having faith in your heart, might engage in it often.

Church Anniversary 2011 Online

The sermons preached by Rev. William Macleod at the 160th Anniversary of Crosslanes Chapel are now available for listening online:

The Lord's love to the sick (John 11 v 3)
Escape for thy life (Genesis 19 v 17)
A man of God with a message (1 Kings 13)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Church Anniversary 2011

God willing, the 160th Anniversary of Crosslanes Chapel will be marked by a Service at 6pm on Saturday 28th May, at the church.

The preacher will be the Rev. William Macleod, minister of Knightswood (Glasgow) Free Church of Scotland (Continuing).

Refreshments will follow the service.

Rev. Macleod will also preach on the Sabbath (29th May) at 11am and 6pm.

The Proclaimer, Spring 2011

Magazine of Crosslanes Chapel

News of the Fellowship
Bible Distribution from Crosslanes Chapel
TBS Wessex
Haggai: Be strong, work, and the Lord be with you
Book Reviews: The Authorized Version, A wonderful and unfinished history and The Diary of Kenneth Macrae
Metrical Psalm 13
CH Spurgeon: "I will never leave thee"

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sermon: CH Spurgeon

“I will never leave thee." Hebrews 13:5.

No promise is of private interpretation. Whatever God has said to any one saint, He has said to all. When He opens a well for one, it is that all may drink. When He openeth a granary-door to give out food, there may be some one starving man who is the occasion of its being opened, but all hungry saints may come and feed too. Whether He gave the word to Abraham or to Moses, matters not, O believer; He has given it to thee as one of the covenanted seed. There is not a high blessing too lofty for thee, nor a wide mercy too extensive for thee. Lift up now thine eyes to the north and to the south, to the east and to the west, for all this is thine. Climb to Pisgah's top, and view the utmost limit of the divine promise, for the land is all thine own. There is not a brook of living water of which thou mayst not drink. If the land floweth with milk and honey, eat the honey and drink the milk, for both are thine. Be thou bold to believe, for He hath said, "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."In this promise, God gives to His people everything. "I will never leave thee." Then no attribute of God can cease to be engaged for us. Is He mighty? He will show Himself strong on the behalf of them that trust Him. Is He love? Then with lovingkindness will He have mercy upon us. Whatever attributes may compose the character of Deity, every one of them to its fullest extent shall be engaged on our side. To put everything in one, there is nothing you can want, there is nothing you can ask for, there is nothing you can need in time or in eternity, there is nothing living, nothing dying, there is nothing in this world, nothing in the next world, there is nothing now, nothing at the resurrection-morning, nothing in heaven which is not contained in this text—"I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."

Metrical Psalm 13

Notes by Rev John Brown Haddington

Here we have the Psalmist sowing in tears, but reaping in joy. Observe, (1.) His extreme distress, occasioned by God's apparent unkindness, and by inward anguish of soul, and the insolence of enemies, ver. 1-2. (2.) His fervent supplications that God would consider his case, strengthen his faith, direct his goings, and comfort his heart, ver. 3-4. (3.) Sudden deliverance, flowing from
a fixed trust in God, and inducing to a triumphant joy in him, ver 5-6. Think, my soul, how divine withdrawments, sensibly perceived, sting a renewed heart! How changeable the saints' spiritual frames are, while they continue in this world. Weeping endures for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. And behold, how quickly the prayers of faith are answered, and its expectations fulfilled!

1 How long wilt thou forget me, Lord?
shall it for ever be?
O how long shall it be that thou
wilt hide thy face from me?

2 How long take counsel in my soul,
still sad in heart, shall I?
How long exalted over me
shall be mine enemy?

3 O Lord my God, consider well,
and answer to me make:
Mine eyes enlighten, lest the sleep
of death me overtake:

4 Lest that mine enemy should say,
Against him I prevail'd;
And those that trouble me rejoice,
when I am mov'd and fail'd.

5 But I have all my confidence
thy mercy set upon;
My heart within me shall rejoice
in thy salvation.

6 I will unto the Lord my God
sing praises cheerfully,
Because he hath his bounty shown
to me abundantly.

Be strong, work, and the Lord be with you

Taken from a sermon preached by our Minister at the beginning of the year

Haggai 2 : 4
“Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts:”

David in his old age, after preparing an abundance for the building of the temple, charged his son Solomon, recorded for us in 1 Chronicles 22 : 16, to,“Arise therefore, and be doing.” After which he encourage his son with a wonderful promise, “and the LORD be with thee.”

Dear brethren, for God's glory, for benefit of the Church, and then for the good of our own souls, let us arise, and be found serving the Him. In so doing, let us be comforted by these words of promise, and encouragement, “and the LORD be with thee.”

After the captivity, the Lord's Messenger, Haggai, here in this chapter, brought a further message from the Lord, to Zerubbabel, the chief governor, Joshua the high priest, and then to the common people. “Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts:” . They were to continue on with the work!

Now they had many enemies, recorded for us in Ezra chapter 4, who greatly opposed them, and through their words were effectual in discouraging them and in hindering the work. Finally, because of a certain kings letter, Ezra 4 : 24, the work came to a halt. However despite this, we see they were rebuked for their slothfulness; being more concerned about the their own houses than God's house. Haggai 1 : 4.

The messages had the desired effect. The Lord having stirred up their hearts, the work resumed. In verse 14 of chapter 1 we read, “And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God,”

Later, recorded here in this 2nd chapter, Haggai brings another message from the Lord in order to encourage them in the work.

Discouragements continued to settle in many a heart, as was the case when the foundation was laid, it is not like Solomon's! In verse 3 we read, “Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?” Many were greatly discouraged. However, now comes a word of encouragement, “Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts:” Dear brethren, let us, in these days wherein there is much opposition, frequent battles, and a great volume of hard work ahead of us, be encouraged in the Lord God and go on in His service.

As we come to these words consider;1stly the exhortation to be Be strong, 2ndly, Work, and 3rdly The encouragement; the Lord be with you.

1stly Be strong.

Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land

Many were discouraged; it was not like Solomon temple, the work was hard, and further, many opposed them. My dear brethren, there are times when Ministers, Missionaries, Sabbath School leaders, youth leaders, and all who seek to serve the Lord become discouraged. William Carey was seven years in waiting and faced many setbacks, what discouragements he must have known in those early years. Discouragements can so easily set in. Certain causes may be: 1stly, The feeling of ones own weakness, unworthiness and sin. 2ndly, Difficult and awkward people. 3rdly, Enemies. Remember the enemies of Nehemiah and the Jews who scoffed at the work. In Nehemiah 4 : 2 - 3 “And he (Sanballat) spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned? Now
Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall.” There will be no shortage of people to pour scorn upon us, for we have many who oppose and speak out against us. Where a good work is being done, it is sure to be attacked. And then, consider our great foe, the Devil.

4thly The lack of perceived progress.
How discouraging it can be to a Minister, or Ministers when people look at a small congregation, or congregations, and then immediately boast of the large Church they are in, and the numerous additions that are taking place. Fruitless seasons can be a cause of great discouragement. Turn with me for a moment to that fruitless night those disciples had known out on the lake.
Luke 5 : 5 “Master, we have toiled all the night.” Much hard toil yet nothing! Discouragement can set in, one can feel so weak and at such a time Satan can whisper, is it worth it? The Lord says to us “be strong,”

Dear brethren, we need to be strong, for we have work to do! Oh look to the Lord and pray for it! How we need that strength which comes from the Lord. In Psalm 121 : 2 “My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.” Look to the Lord and rest in Him by way of faith.

In Psalm 46 : 1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Matthew Henry wrote “God is our strength to bear us up under our burdens, to fit us for all our services and sufferings. He will by his grace put strength into us.” Dear brethren, He will come to our aid, He will strengthen, for He is gracious and faithful to His promise. Have we not proved this is so. In Psalm 28 : 7 “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.” In Philipians 4: 19. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Now the Lord speaks in order to strengthen. We at certain times, when the Holy Spirit takes and effectually applies, find strength in the Word, and as a result we are strengthened. How precious are those choice times which we have been privileged to know. Strength in a time of weakness, and strength to go on.

“Be strong” is the word of the Lord to us, oh then let us seek the Lord. In Psalm 105 : 4, “Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore.” Go and fetch strength from your never failing covenant God. Spurgeon wrote “we all need strength, let us look to the strong One for it.”

To be continued.

TBS Wessex Auxiliary

On the 8th of January 2011 an inaugural meeting was held at Derry Hill, near Calne, in the county of Wiltshire for the newly established Wessex Auxiliary. Back in February of the previous year a group of men were invited to a meeting in Salisbury to discuss the possibility of re-stabilising an Auxiliary in the West of England. After much prayer and consideration five willing men were approved by the General committee of the Society and the Wessex Auxiliary was formed in October 2010, with an inaugural meeting planned for early on in the new year.

Returning to the 8th of January, nearly 100 people made their way to Derry Hill. Mr G Buss chaired the meeting, and gave an informative account of the work and a small address to the children there present. Mr David Broom spoke further of the work of the Society and its present situation. After the singing of the second praise the Rev Malcolm Watts preached from 2 Timothy 3 :15 “ And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. In his concluding remarks he set forth his great desire, which so many of us share, that through the distribution of the Bible many would come to hear of Jesus Christ and further believe in Him as their personal Saviour.

God's presence was known and His word was blessed. After the meeting refreshments were served and a time of fellowship was enjoyed.

To encourage the Children a bag full of TBS material, including colouring books, and book marks was made freely available, along with, and much to the delight of the Children, an item of food to take home. How good it was, as is always the case, to see children in the service.

We look back on the inaugural meeting with much thankfulness to God and give Him the praise which He so deserves. We pray looking forward in the will the Lord to the great work that is set before us, praying that God would continue to richly bless the work, and that through the distribution of His word many would come to faith in Christ.

Free Bible Distribution

Last year, 2010, it was our joy and privilege to distribute, on the doors, in the open air and through other means 73 AV Bibles to those interested.

Back in April, 25 were delivered to Parkhurst prison on the Isle of Wight. Since our visit, the Prison Chaplain has requested that, when he is in need of more Bibles, he will be in touch, being thankful for our support in this way to the prisoners. Since the end of the summer in Ringwood, down where we hold the Open Air services, we have at regular intervals, besides on those occasions when we hold an Open air services, set up a table for the free distribution of Bibles, Luke's Gospels, and other material. This has proved to be a valuable means of distributing God's Word to needy souls in our immediate area. In all, 34 Bibles have been received. On one memorable occasion, whilst Pastor was preaching the Gospel, in the space of ten minutes 7 people came and took a copy of God's word. We pray that those who have received God's Word might think upon and be led to Christ.

So far this year we have have distributed 43 Bibles, many of them in our local town of Ringwood, for which we give God the praise.

News of the fellowship

Rev. Richard Brooks was our preacher for our Autumn Meeting. We were greatly blessed through his ministry, and our Meeting was well attended.

Door to door visiting continues in the Fordingbidge area, the second time round. Gospel leaflet distribution, has been completed in Verwood, and has now begun in St. Ives and Ashley Heath.

Last Autumn a desire was expressed that outreach should commence in a number of villages and hamlets in the northern part of the New Forest, where there is now no evangelical witness. After much prayer, and careful consideration, back in November all the homes in the village of Bramshaw received literature. At the beginning of this year the village of Brook also received likewise. We pray that over the coming months and years that every home in this part of the Forest might be reached with the Gospel.

Youth meetings are continuing with a steady flow of children from the Church and from the surrounding area. we are especially pleased to see children attending our Sabbath School and the evening Service.

On the 2nd of December 2010 a memorial Service was held at Crosslanes for the life of Mrs Ann Sharman. Mr and Mrs Sharman were married in the Chapel some 57 years ago. Despite the heavy fall of snow that had fallen in the night, and the untreated roads making driving dangerous, around sixty villagers came out. Our minister preached from Proverbs 18 : 24, presenting Christ as "the friend who sticketh closer than a brother" to all those who put their trust in in Him, and repent of their sins. Our prayers and thoughts are with Mr Gordon Sharman as he mourns the loss of his dear wife. We pray also for all who gathered in the Chapel who were strangers to grace, that they might yet know that peace which is in and through Christ.

Our Annual Lucheon was held on January 13th. in our Church hall. Once again this was well attended,and much enjoyed by all who came.

We give thanks to God, along with our Pastor and Sharon, for the the safe arrival of Samuel Stephen Lewis on January 24th.

The 13th. March was the occasion of our Pastor`s 10th. Anniversary, for which we give praise to God. We were greatly blessed through the ministry of Rev. Malcolm Watts from Emmanuel Church, Salisbury.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pastor's 10th Anniversary

On the occasion of the pastor's 10th anniversary, Rev. Malcolm Watts of Emmanuel Church, Salisbury was the preacher on the Sabbath, 13th March 2001.

These sermons are now available online: on 2 Corinthians 6 v 11-13 from the morning service, and on 1 Corinthians 2 v 1-5 from the evening service.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Authorised Version: A Wonderful and Unfinished History

The Authorised Version: A Wonderful and Unfinished History
by C. Peter Hallihan

Publisher: Trinitarian Bible Society (2010)

ISBN-13: 978-1862280496

2011 marks the 400th Anniversary of the Authorised, (King James) Version. Despite numerous versions since its appearance, and the many unwarranted criticisms made upon it, the Authorised version remains the best and most accurate English translation we have in circulation today, and which is still widely in use. Even the New King James Bible, which, is probably about the best of the modern translations cannot compare with the Authorised Version.

To mark the 400th Anniversary, the Trinitarian Bible Society have published a short but very informative booklet, entitled, “The Authorised Version, A Wonderful and Unfinished History” . The author is C.P. Hallihan.

After a useful timeline, there follows five chapters covering such subjects as the Manuscripts, John Wycliff and the English Bible, the Hampton Court Conference and the printing of the Authorised Version. In the sixth and final chapter entitled itself, “The Last Chapter?”, we are left with considering that this is an unfinished story. God is still blessing the use of this wonderful and accurate translation of His Holy word; not only to the salvation of many, but to the blessing of many a congregation and individual believer.

At the end of the book come the 'Appendices.' The first concerns the 1604 Directive, and the last concerns the men who were chosen to form the committee responsible for this wonderful translation.

In this booklet, we have before us a concise but extremely helpful reminder of an unfinished history under the providential hand of God, concerning the Authorised Version.

I heartily recommend this booklet, but particularly the Authorised Version which this booklet sets forth.

May God continue to use this faithful translation of His word to the salvation of the lost sinners, and to the blessing of many a congregation and individual believer.

The Diary of Kenneth Macrae

The Diary of Kenneth Macrae
edited by Iain H. Murray

Publisher: Banner of Truth (March 1980)

ISBN-10: 0851512976
ISBN-13: 978-0851512976

Any man, aged eighty at his death, having a procession a quarter of mile long, consisting of men only, and following his coffin to his grave, deserves some attention.

Rev. Iain Murray has, for The Banner of Truth Trust, edited Mr. Macrae`s diary,covering a period of his fifty years in the Christian ministry. The diary appeared in book form, 535 pages, in the year 1979, but sadly, it is now out of print. This reviewer makes no apology for having read the diary four times.

Kenneth Macrae was born on November 4th. 1883, in Dingwall, Ross-shire, Scotland. His earliest memories were of Fort George, the military garrison on the Moray shore. His father was a recruiting officer for the Seaforth Highlanders. In 1899 Macrae entered the civil service, obtaining a first class certificate in electricity and telegraphy.

His conversion took place in this manner: he writes, “I went from church to church, and got nothing. God took His own way of liberating me”. In 1964, he again wrote, “I hereby put on record, that since the LORD, in His sovereign mercy, entered my heart on the lonely summit of Bell`s Hill in the Pentlands, on that memorable afternoon - 9th. August 1909 – I have ever sought to serve Him as my only LORD”.

Macrae attended St. Columba`s Church in Edinburgh, and entered the university in 1911, and the Free Church College soon after. In 1915 he was called to the Free Church congregation of Lochgilphead, which lies on the shores of Loch Fyne. This is how Macrae sums up his eight years of ministry there: “Thus ended the most blessed time I have ever had in my life. I had been inclined to think that the LORD was so grieved by the sins of His people that he had ceased to evidence gospel power in any marked degree. This is a great lesson for me: the power of prayer. Blessed be the LORD for giving such a wretched sinner such a sight of His power”.

Mr. Macrae went on to be the minister at Kilmuir in Skye from 1919 to 1931, where he experienced much blessing from God. From 1931 until his death in 1964, he exercised his outstanding ministry in Stornaway on Lewis, where hundreds of young people, for two generations, loved him, and waited on his ministry from Sabbath to Sabbath, as if spell-bound.

What was the secret of his power over the young? Was it compromise in matters of doctrine and worship, so common today? No, it was a strict faithfulness to the Word of God and the doctrines of grace.

But, like Daniel of old, he often had to plough a very lonely furrow, and pay the price for his convictions, but he was always the stalwart Christian gentleman, calm in debate, and honest in self examination. Macrae was truly a champion of the Reformed Faith, who loved reverent worship, and the singing of unaccompanied Psalms exclusively in worship.

Now he has gone to his reward, and who will take up the Macrae mantle today? Has God His man hidden somewhere in a prison as Joseph was? How urgent the need to train young ministers in the Reformed Faith today, and so we should pray with the

Instead of those thy fathers dear
Thy children Thou mayest take,
And in all places of the earth
Them noble princes make.