Bulletin Edition November 2020

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? Why so
 disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for
 I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”
     Psalm 42:11

Do you forget, O soul, that the way to heaven
is a very strait and narrow path—too narrow for
you to carry your sins in it with you?

God sees it good that you should be cast down.

You were getting very proud, O soul.

The world had gotten hold of your heart.

You were seeking great things for yourself.

You were secretly roving away from the Lord.

You were too much lifted up in SELF.

The Lord has sent you these trials and difficulties
and allowed these temptations to fall upon you,
to bring you down from your state of false security.

There is reason therefore, even to praise God
for being cast down, and for being so disturbed.

How this opens up parts of God’s Word which
you never read before with any feeling.

How it gives you sympathy and communion
with the tried and troubled children of God.

How it weans and separates you from dead professors.

How it brings you in heart and affection,
out of the world that lies in wickedness.

And how it engages your thoughts, time after time,
upon the solemn matters of eternity—instead of being
a prey to every idle thought and imagination, and
tossed up and down upon a sea of vanity and folly.

But, above all, when there is a sweet response from
the Lord, and the power of divine things is inwardly
felt, in enabling us to hope in God, and to praise His
blessed name—then we see the benefit of being cast
down and so repeatedly and continually disturbed.

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? Why so  
 disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for
 I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”
     Psalm 42:11


The following is by Don Fortner-

“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life
was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15

I must warn you who are yet without Christ, if you will not trust
Christ you must be forever damned! Soon, you shall be “cast into
the lake of fire!” All who are found guilty of sin in that great
and terrible day of God’s wrath and judgment shall be cast into
the lake of fire. There you shall be made to suffer the
unmitigated wrath of almighty God forever!

One by one the Lord God will call the damned before his throne
and judge them. As he says to you, “Depart you cursed!”
He will say to his holy angels, “Take him! Bind him! Cast
him into outer darkness!” There will be no mercy for you!
There will be no pity for you! There will be no sorrow for you!
There will be no hope for you! There will be no end for you!

To hell you deserve to go! To hell you must go!
To hell you will go! Unless you flee to Christ and take refuge
in him, in that great day the wrath of God shall seize you and
destroy you forever! I beseech you now, by the mercies of God,
be reconciled to God by trusting his darling Son! “Knowing
therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men!”
Come to Christ now! Eternity is before you!

Behold his infinite love revealed in the sacrifice of his dear
Son, and know that God is gracious, merciful, and willing to
save sinners (2 Cor. 5:14-15). Behold Christ’s finished atonement,
and know that God in Christ has found a way to deliver sinners
from going down to the pit (2 Cor. 5:21). Infinite wisdom found
an infinitely meritorious ransom in the sin-atoning blood of the
Lord Jesus Christ. Now, God can be and is both just and the
Justifier of all who believe on his Son. Behold his amazing,
almighty, saving grace, and know that our God is a God who is
able to save.

“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for
our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”
2 Cor. 5:21

In that great and terrible day I hope to be found in Christ,
not having my own righteousness, but having his righteousness.
How will it be for you in that day?

John MacDuff
“This is the resting place, let the weary rest; and this is the place of repose”—

“O Israel, put your hope in the Lord.” Psalm 130:7

Hope opens its bright vista-view through the Elim palms—the morning dewdrops drenching their fronds and sparkling with diamond luster in the rising sun!

“Hope!” Who is insensible to the music of that word? What bosom has not kindled under its utterance? Poetry has sung of it, music has warbled it, oratory has lavished on it its enchanting strains. Pagan mythology, in her vain but beautiful dreams, said that when all other divinities fled from the world, Hope, with her elastic step and radiant countenance and lustrous attire, lingered behind. The weeping Hebrews, in the day of their exile, did not unstring the harps of Zion or break them to pieces. No; they hung them, tuneless indeed and mute, but still undamaged, on the willowed banks of the streams of Babylon. Why? because Hope cheered them with the thought that these silent melodies would once more awake, when God, in His own good time, would “turn again their captivity as streams in the south.”

“Hope!” well may we personify you lighting up your altar-fires in this dark world, and dropping a live coal into many a desolate heart; gladdening the sick room with visions of returning health; illuminating with rays brighter than the sunbeam the captive’s cell; crowding the broken slumbers of the soldier, by his campfire, with pictures of his sunny home and his own joyous return.

“Hope!” drying the tear on the cheek of woe; as the black clouds of sorrow break and fall to the earth, arching the descending drops with your own beautiful rainbow! Yes, more, standing with your lamp in hand by the gloomy realms of Hades, kindling your torch at Nature’s funeral pile, and opening views through the gates of glory! Beautifully says a gifted writer of the sister country—

“Where’er my paths
On earth shall lead,
I’ll keep a nesting bough
For Hope—the song-bird, and, with cheerful step,
Hold on my pilgrimage, remembering where
Flowers have no autumn-languor, Eden’s gate
No flaming sword to guard the tree of life.”

Yes, if hope, even with reference to present and finite things, is an emotion so joyous; if uninspired poetry can sing so sweetly of its delights, what must be the believer’s hope, the hope which has God for its object and heaven for its consummation? “I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I HOPE.” “Let Israel HOPE in the Lord.”

This lofty grace, indeed, at times, requires stern discipline to develop its noble proportions. It is often the child of tribulation. The apostle traces its pedigree, “Tribulation works patience; and patience experience; and experience HOPE” (Rom. 5:3, 4). It would appear as if (recurring to the figure already employed), like the rainbow in the natural heavens, Hope specially loves to span the moral firmament with its triumphal arch, in the cloud of tribulation.

But, heaven-born, it is heavenward, too, in its aspiration. It is generally represented by the sculptor’s chisel as a beautiful female form, with wings ready to be extended in flight. The safety of the timid bird is to be on the wing. If its haunt is near the ground—if it flies low—it exposes itself to the fowler’s net or snare. If we remain groveling on the low ground of feeling and emotion, we shall find ourselves entangled in a thousand meshes of doubt and despondency, temptation and unbelief. “How useless to spread a net in full view of all the birds!” (Prov. 1:17; marginal reading). “Those who wait (or hope) in the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles” (Isa. 40:31). “I will hope continually,” says David, “and will yet praise You more and more” (Ps. 71:14).

Again using a similar emblem—the bird in the tempest rushing for shelter under the mother’s wing—”You have been my help, therefore under the shadow of Your wings will I rejoice” (Ps. 63:7). The Believer is a “prisoner,” but a “prisoner of hope.” The gospel is a “gospel of hope.” Its message is called “the good hope through grace.” The “helmet of salvation” is the helmet of hope. The “anchor of the soul” is the anchor of hope. The believer “rejoices in hope.” Christ is in him “the hope of glory.” Hope peoples to him the battlements of heaven with sainted ones in the spirit-land. He “sorrows not as others, who have no hope.”

When death comes, Hope cheers the final hour—”Now, Lord, what do I wait for? my hope is in You.” Hope stands with her torch over his grave, and in the prospect of the dust returning to its dust, he says, “My flesh shall rest in hope.” Hope is one of the three guardian graces that conduct him to the heavenly gate. Now abides these three, “Faith, Hope, and Love;” and if it be added, “the greatest of these is Love,” it is because Hope and her companion finish their mission at the heavenly door! They proceed no further; they go back to the world, to the wrestlers in the earthly conflict. Faith returns to her drooping hearts, to undo heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free. Hope goes to her dungeon vaults, her beds of sickness, her chambers of bereavement and sorrow. To take Faith or Hope to heaven, would be to take the physician to the well man, or to offer crutches to the strong, or to help to light the meridian sun with a tiny candle. Faith is then changed to sight, and Hope to full fruition. Love alone holds onto her infinite mission. Faith and Hope are her two soaring wings. She drops them as she enters the gates of glory. The watchman puts out his beacon when the sun floods the ocean; the miner puts out his lamp when he ascends to the earth. Hope’s candle-light is unneeded in that world where “the sun will never set again, and the moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end.”

“I dwell here in content,
Thankful for tranquil days;
And yet my eyes grow dim,
As still I gaze and gaze
Upon a mountain pass
That leads—or so it seems—
To some far happier land
Beyond the world of dreams.”

“On we haste, to home invited,
There with friends to be united
In a surer bond than here:
Meeting soon, and met forever!
Glorious HOPE! forsake us never,
For your glimmering light is dear.

“All the way is shining clearer,
As we journey ever nearer
To the everlasting Home.
Friends who there await our landing,
Comrades, round the throne now standing,
We salute you, and we come!”

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

To bathe in the ocean of endless bliss!
    “Blessed are those whose strength is in You,
        who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
    As they pass through the Valley of Baca, (“weeping”)
        they make it a place of springs;
        the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
    They go from strength to strength,
        until each appears before God in Zion.”
            Psalm 84:5-7

Every living soul that has been experimentally taught
his lost condition—that has known something of a resting
place in Christ—that has turned his back upon both the
world and the professing church—and gone weeping
Zionward, that he may . . .
  live in Jesus
  feel His power,
  taste His love,
  know His blood,
  rejoice in His grace;
every such soul shall, like Israel of old, be borne safely
through this waste howling wilderness—shall be carried
through this valley of tears—and taken to enjoy eternal
bliss and glory in the presence of Jesus—to bathe in the
ocean of endless bliss!

“I pray with all my heart; answer me, Lord! I will obey your principles. I cry out to you; save me, that I may obey your decrees. I rise early, before the sun is up; I cry out for help and put my hope in your words. I stay awake through the night, thinking about your promise.” Psalm 119:145-148
Octavius Winslow
To be heavenly-minded, in the true and scriptural sense, is to carry our holy Christianity into every department of life, and with it to elevate and hallow every relation and engagement. There is no position in which the providence of God places His saints, for which the grace of Jesus is not all sufficient, if sincerely and earnestly sought. Nor is there any sphere, however humble, or calling, however mean, to which the life of Jesus in the soul may not impart dignity, luster, and sacredness. Christianity, through all grades, and classes, and occupations, is capable of diffusing a divine, hallowing, and ennobling influence, transforming and sanctifying all that it touches. Blessed and holy are they who know it from personal and heartfelt experience.

But “if we be risen with Christ,” what is it to seek those things which are above, and to set our affections not on things on the earth? In other words, what is true heavenly-mindedness? It involves the habitual and close converse with God. The life of the soul can only be sustained by constant and ceaseless emanations from the life of God. There must be a perpetual stream of existence flowing into it from the “Fountain of Life.” And how can this be experienced but by dwelling near that Fountain? Of no practical truth am I more deeply and solemnly convinced than this, that elevated spirituality—and, oh, what a blank is life without it!—can only be cultivated and maintained by elevated communion. The most holy, heavenly-minded, devoted, and useful saints have ever been men and women of much prayer. They wrestled with God secretly, and God wrought with them openly; and this was the source which fed their deep godliness, which supplied their rich anointing, and which contributed to their extensive and successful labors for Christ. Thus only can the life of God in the soul of man be sustained. Other duties, however spiritual—other enjoyments, however holy—other means of grace, however important and necessary, never can supply the place of prayer. And why? because prayer brings the soul in immediate contact with Christ, who is our life, and with God, the Fountain of life. As the total absence of the breath of prayer marks the soul “dead in trespasses and sins,” so the waning of the spirit of prayer in the quickened soul as surely defines a state in which all that is spiritual within is “ready to die.” Let nothing, then, rob you of this precious mean of advancing your heavenly-mindedness—nothing can be its substitute.

The believer should correctly ascertain the true character of his prayers. Are they lively and spiritual? Are they the exercises of the heart, or of the understanding merely? Are they the breathings of the indwelling Spirit, or the cold observance of a form without the power? Is it communion and fellowship? Is it the filial approach of a child, rushing with confidence and affection into the bosom of a Father, and sheltering itself there in every hour of need? Examine the character of your devotions; are they such as will stand the test of God’s word? will they compare with the holy breathings of David, and Job, and Solomon, and the New Testament saints? Are they the breathings forth of the life of God within you? Are they ever accompanied with filial brokenness, lowliness of spirit, and humble and contrite confession of sin? See well to your prayers! “The Lord is far from the wicked: but He hears the prayer of the righteous.” “The Lord is near unto all those who call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth.”

This is the saint’s inheritance!

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of
 God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in
 His sufferings in order that we may also share in
 His glory.” Romans 8:17

This is the especial blessedness of being a child of God:
that death, which puts a final extinguisher on all the
hopes and happiness of all the unregenerate—gives him
the fulfillment of all his hopes and the consummation
of all his happiness—for it places him in possession of
“an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that
fades not away, reserved in heaven.”

In this present earthly life, we have sometimes sips
and tastes of sonship, feeble indeed and interrupted;
yet are they so far pledges of an inheritance to come.

But this life is only an introduction to a better. In this
life we are but children—but in the life to come, we shall
be put into full possession of the eternal inheritance.

And what is this? Nothing less than God Himself.
“Heirs of God!” says the Apostle. God Himself is
the inheritance of His people—yes, He Himself in
all His glorious perfections . . .
  all the love of God,
  all the goodness of God,
  all the holiness of God,
  all His happiness, bliss, and blessedness,
  all His might, majesty, and glory, in
  all the blaze of one eternal, unclouded day!

This is the saint’s inheritance!

Let us press on by faith and prayer to
win this eternal and glorious crown!

There is one stable rock amidst the billows of the sea of life!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age!” Matthew 28:20

It is well that there is One who is ever the same, and who is ever with us. It is well that there is one stable rock amidst the billows of the sea of life. O my soul, do not set your affections upon rusting, moth-eaten, decaying treasures—but set your heart upon Him who abides forever faithful to you. Do not build your house upon the moving quicksands of a deceitful world—but found your hopes upon this rock, which, amid descending rain and roaring floods, shall stand immovably secure!

My soul, I charge you—lay up your treasure in the only secure cabinet; store your jewels where you can never lose them. Put your all in Christ; set . . .
  all your affections on His person,
  all your hope in His merit,
  all your trust in His efficacious blood,
  all your joy in His presence,
and so you may laugh at loss and defy difficulties.

Remember that all the flowers in the world’s garden wither and die—and the day is coming when nothing will be left but the black, cold earth. Death’s black extinguisher must soon put out your candle. Oh! how sweet to have sunlight—when the candle is gone! The dark flood must soon roll between you and all you have!

So wed your heart to Him who will never leave you. Trust yourself with Him who will go with you through the black and surging current of death’s stream, and who will land you safely on the celestial shore, and make you sit with Him in heavenly places forever!

Go, sorrowing son of affliction—tell your secret troubles to the Friend who sticks closer than a brother. Trust all your concerns with Him . . .
  who never can be taken from you,
  who will never leave you, and
  who will never let you leave Him, even “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”

“I am with you always,” is enough for my soul to live upon—though all others forsake me!


Octavius Winslow
“The Lord is my portion, says my soul; therefore I will hope in Him.” Lam. 3:24

It is our great privilege, beloved, that we live in a portionless world. This is both our distinctive badge and our Christian charter. When God parceled out the land of Canaan among the tribes of Israel, He made an exception in the tribe of Levi, to whom He said, “You shall have no inheritance in the land, neither shall you have any part among them;” assigning as His reason, “I am your share and your inheritance.” The gospel teaching of this is obvious and significant. As the Lord’s true priesthood, this world is not our portion, nor earth our rest. It may have required some painful discipline, and no small measure of faith, on the part of the devout Levite, as he gazed upon the fertile meadows, the watered plains, and the vine-clad hills of the Promised Land, before he was made willing to relinquish it all for Him who is invisible–and it needs no little teaching and discipline of our God, and no little faith on our part, before we are led to give up the world, the creature, self, and all, for Christ–satisfied to have the Lord alone as our Portion, and heaven only as our inheritance.

But the Lord will not put His people off with anything unworthy of Him to give, or them to accept. He has set them apart for Himself, and Himself apart for them. “All believers are the Lord’s CLERGY; and as they are His portion, so He is theirs.” (Leighton.) “The Lord’s portion is His people, Israel is the lot of His inheritance.” “The Lord is my portion, says my soul.” His love to us was so great, that when He could give no greater proof of that love, He gave HIMSELF. Nothing more could have expressed the yearnings of His heart, nothing less could have satisfied the desires of ours.

And oh, what a Portion is God! All that He is and all that He has is ours! Every attribute of His being is over us, every perfection of His nature encircles us, every pulse of His heart beats for us, every glance of His eye smiles upon us. We dwell in God, and God dwells in us. It is not the world which is our portion, but HE who made, upholds and governs the world. It is not the creature who is our portion, but the Lord of angels and the Creator of men. Infinite portion! illimitable power! immeasurable grace! boundless love! all-satisfying good! all, all is ours!

And what a Portion, O my soul, is Christ! A divine Christ, a redeeming Christ, a full Christ, a sympathizing, ever-present, ever-precious, ever-loving Christ.

‘Lord, I bless You for the discipline that brought me to realize what a divine, all-satisfying Portion I have in Yourself. You took from me an earthly portion, only to enrich me with a Heavenly one. You removed from me the human prop upon which I too fondly and idolatrously leaned, that I might learn what Christ was, as my soul’s all-sufficient, all-satisfying, and everlasting Portion. I can now admire the wisdom and adore the love that blasted my gourds and emptied me from vessel to vessel, that, rising superior to the broken staff, the drooping flower, and the failing spring of creature good, I might claim my portion as a true spiritual Levite in Yourself alone.’

Believer in Jesus! make the most of your portion. It is all-sufficient for all your need. God has, perhaps, made you poor in this world, that you might be rich in faith and an heir of that kingdom of glory, the New Jerusalem, He has prepared for you–whose foundations are precious stones, whose walls are jasper, whose gates are pearls, whose streets are pure gold, and through which softly flows the river of the water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb, in the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river is the tree of life, bearing twelve manner of fruit, and yielding her fruit every month. All this awaits you! Hope in the Lord, hope in adversity, hope in trial, hope against hope, for God in Christ is your present and eternal Portion. “The Lord is my Portion, says my soul; therefore I will HOPE in Him.”

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