Bulletin Edition March 2020

The Christian Journey. Life is a journey, often a short one, and always uncertain. But there is another journey. The believer is traveling through a waste howling wilderness, to another and a glorious region, where ineffable delight and happiness await us. The road is narrow, the entrance strait, so strait that thousands miss it and perish in the wilderness. But true believers, under the teaching and convoy of the Holy Spirit, find it and walk in it. The King, in His infinite love and compassion, has made a hedge about them, separating and defending them from the many beasts of prey that lurk around them; and although they hear their howlings and behold their threatenings, they are safe from their power. But their strongest foe is within themselves; a heart deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. From this there is no escape but by constant watchfulness, and earnest cries to their best Friend and Guide for protection. Were it not for this faithful Guide, how often, discouraged by reason of the way, would they turn back! But He watches over them by night and by day, strengthens them when weak, upholds them when falling, encourages them when cast down, defends them when attacked, provides for them when in need, leads them by living streams, and causes them there to lie down in pleasant pastures, and on sunny banks. And as they advance they obtain brighter views of the good land they are nearing, and they long to see the King in His beauty, and the land that is yet very far off, and to meet those that have already arrived on that happy shore.

Octavius Winslow


“The eternal God is your refuge.” Deuteronomy 33:27


There is, to my mind, much sweetness in the contrast between the eternal God being the refuge of his people, and the lying refuges that most hide their heads in. God’s people need an eternal refuge. They have a never-dying soul; and unless they have a never-dying refuge, it is not sufficient for a never-dying soul. Works! these are for time; the never-dying soul needs something to stand when works and wonders cease. Doctrines, opinions, sentiments, ordinances, the good opinion of men, the applause and flattery of the creature–these are of the earth, earthy; they fail when a man gives up the spirit.

But a child of God needs a refuge, not merely that his soul may anchor in it in time, but that when time is ended, when the angel proclaims, “There shall be time no longer,” and his liberated soul escapes its prison-house, and is wafted into the presence of the eternal God, it may find in Him at that solemn moment a refuge. No, all through eternity, in the rolling circle of its never-ending ages, the soul will still need a refuge. For could it even in eternity exist for a moment out of Christ–in a word, were the refuge of the elect anything but eternal, the moment the limited time of their shelter closed, the frowns of God would hurl them into perdition; so that nothing but an eternal God can ever be a refuge for a never-dying soul.

It does not say, “His grace is your refuge.” No; because grace will end in glory. Nor does it say, “His mercy is your refuge,” for his mercy will end in blessing and praise. Nor does it say, “His attributes or his perfections are a refuge.” It drops the gifts, and leads the soul up to the Giver, as though God’s own gifts and mercies were not sufficient, but that the immortal soul must have the immortal God, and the never-dying spirit is only safe in the bosom of an eternal Jehovah.


The happiest Christians

(John Newton’s Letters)

They are the happiest Christians, who have the

lowest thoughts of themselves, and in whose eyes

Jesus is most glorious and precious.

“Unto you who believe He is precious.” 1 Peter 2:7


Weaned from feeding on husks and ashes

(J. C. Philpot, “Zion’s Blessings” 1843)

“I will satisfy her poor with bread.” Psalm 132:15

The Lord has given a special promise to Zion’s

poor—”I will satisfy her poor with bread.”

Nothing else? Bread? Is that all?

Yes! That is all God has promised—bread,

the staff of life.

But what does He mean by “bread”?

The Lord Himself explains what bread is. He says,

“I am the Bread of life. He who comes to Me will

never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will

never be thirsty. I am the living Bread who came

down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread,

he will live forever.” John 6:35,51

The bread, then, that God gives to Zion’s poor is

His own dear Son—fed upon by living faith, under

the special operations of the Holy Spirit in the heart.

“I will satisfy her poor with bread.” Psalm 132:15

But must not we have an appetite before we can

feed upon bread? The rich man who feasts continually

upon juicy meat and savory sauces, would not live upon

bread. To come down to live on such simple food as bread

—why, one must be really hungry to be satisfied with that.

So it is spiritually. A man fed upon ‘mere notions’ and a

number of ‘speculative doctrines’ cannot descend to the

simplicity of the gospel. To feed upon a crucified Christ,

a bleeding Jesus!—he is not sufficiently brought down to

the starving point, to relish such spiritual food as this!

Before, then, he can feed upon this Bread of life he must

be made spiritually poor. And when he is brought to be

nothing but a mass of wretchedness, filth, guilt, and misery

—when he feels his soul sinking under the wrath of God,

and has scarcely a hope to buoy up his poor tottering heart

—when he finds the world embittered to him, and he has no

one object from which he can reap any abiding consolation

—then the Lord is pleased to open up in his conscience,

and bring the sweet savor of the love of His dear Son

into his heart—and he begins to taste gospel bread.

Being weaned from feeding on husks and ashes, and

sick “of the vines of Sodom and the fields of Gomorrah,”

and being brought to relish simple gospel food, he begins

to taste a sweetness in ‘Christ crucified’ which he never

could know—until he was made experimentally poor.

The Lord has promised to satisfy such.

“I will satisfy her poor with bread.” Psalm 132:15


The cross has not become obsolete!

(Horatius Bonar, “The Surety’s Cross”)

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those

who are perishing; but to us who are being saved it is

the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18

The whole world looked with contempt—indignant at the

audacity of a few humble Christians, thus affronting and

defying the “public opinion” of nations and ages; assailing

the religions of earth with the cross as their only sword;

striking down their idols with this as their only hammer;

and with this, as their one lever, proposing to turn the

world upside down!

From that day the cross became “a power” in the earth;

a power which went forth, like the light—noiselessly yet

irresistibly—smiting down all religions alike, all shrines

alike, all altars alike—sparing no superstition nor philosophy.

This power remains—in its mystery, its silence, its influence,

it remains. The cross has not become obsolete! The

preaching of the cross has not ceased to be powerful and


There are those who would persuade us that, in this modern

age—the cross is out of date and out of fashion, time-worn.

But this shakes us not. It only leads us to clasp the cross more

fervently, and to study it more profoundly, as embodying in

itself that gospel which is at once the wisdom and the power

of God.

Yet the cross is not without its mysteries.

It illuminates—yet it darkens.

It is life—yet it is death.

It is honor—yet it is shame.

It is wisdom—but also foolishness.

It is . . .

both pardon and condemnation;

both strength and weakness;

both joy and sorrow;

both love and hatred;

both medicine and poison;

both hope and despair.

It is Christ’s humiliation—yet it is His exaltation!

It is Satan’s victory—yet it is Satan’s defeat!

It is the gate of heaven—and the gate of hell!

The cross is the key to God’s character, His word,

His ways, His purposes. It is the summary of all

the Bible—the epitome of Revelation!



“Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.” Mark 6:50

Listen, then, to the voice of Jesus in the storm. It is I who raised the tempest in your soul, and will control it. It is I who sent your affliction, and will be with you in it. It is I who kindled the furnace, and will watch the flames, and bring you through it. It is I who formed your burden, who carved your cross, and who will strengthen you to bear it. It is I who mixed your cup of grief, and will enable you to drink it with meek submission to your Father’s will. It is I who took from you worldly substance, who bereft you of your child, of the wife of your bosom, of the husband of your youth, and will be infinitely better to you than husband, wife, or child. It is I who have done it ALL.

I make the clouds my chariot, and clothe myself with the tempest as with a garment. The night hour is my time of coming, and the dark, surging waves are the pavement upon which I walk. Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid. It is I—your Friend, your Brother, your Savior! I am causing all the circumstances of your life to work together for your good. It is I who permitted the enemy to assail you, the slander to blast you, the unkindness to wound you, the need to press you! Your affliction did not spring out of the ground, but came down from above—a heaven sent blessing disguised as an angel of light clad in a robe of ebony.

I have sent all in love! This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God. This bereavement shall not always bow you to the earth, nor drape in changeless gloom your life. It is I who ordered, arranged, and controlled it all! In every stormy wind, in every darksome night, in every lonesome hour, in every rising fear, the voice of Jesus shall be heard, saying, “Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.

Octavius Winslow

The year before our eyes

(J. C. Philpot)

“As your days—so shall your strength be.”

Deuteronomy 33:25

The year before our eyes may hold in its bosom

events which may deeply concern and affect us.

We do not know what is to come. What personal

trials, what family trials, what providential trials

may await us—we do not know.

Sickness may attack our bodies,

death enter our families,

difficulties beset our circumstances,

trials and temptations exercise our minds,

snares entangle our feet, and

many dark and gloomy clouds, make our path

one of heaviness and sorrow. Every year hitherto

has brought its trials in its train; and how can we

expect the coming year to be exempt?

If, indeed, we are His, whatever our trials

may be, His grace will be sufficient for us.

He who has delivered, can and will deliver.

And He who has brought us thus far on the road,

who has so borne with our crooked manners in the

wilderness and never yet forsaken us—though we

have so often forsaken Him—will still lead us along;

will still guide and guard us, and be our God, our

Father and our Friend—not only to the end of the

next year, if spared to see it, but the end of our life.

Blessed with His presence, we need fear no evil;

favored with His smile, we need dread no foe;

upheld by His power, we need shrink from no trial;

strengthened by His grace, we need panic at no suffering.

Knowing what we are and have been when left to

ourselves—the slips that we have made, the snares

that we have been entangled in, the shame and sorrow

that we have procured to ourselves—well may we dread

to go forth in the coming year alone. Well may we say,

“If Your Presence does not go with us—do not send us

up from here!” Exodus 33:15

Eternally repose your weary

soul in the bosom of Jesus!

(from “Go and Tell Jesus” by Octavius Winslow)

Forward, believer in Christ, to the toils, duties,

and trials of another stage of life’s journey!

Jesus is enough for them all.

Jesus will be with you in them all.

Jesus will triumphantly conduct you through them all.

Beloved one, live in the constant expectation

of soon seeing Jesus face to face; conversing

with He whom here below, cheered, comforted,

and sweetened many a weary step of your

Christian pilgrimage.

That moment is speeding on.

In a little while and all that now wounds and

ruffles, tempts and pollutes, will have disappeared

like the foam upon the billow, and you shall eternally

repose your weary soul in the bosom of Jesus!

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