Bulletin Edition May 2022

Upon a life I did not live, upon a death I did not die; anothers life, anothers death, I stake my whole eternity.          ~Horatius Bonar

Your Saviour’s heart

(John MacDuff, “The Throne of Grace“)

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable
 to sympathise with our weaknesses.” Heb. 4:15

Jesus is able to sympathize with all the sorrows
and infirmities to which His people are exposed.
Such is our great High Priest—divine in His ability,
human in His sympathy. Amid earth’s painful
trials and temptations—amid its changes and
vicissitudes—amid dangers and duties, it is
such a High Priest that we stand in need of.

Oh, precious thought! that we have a Friend above
who can sympathise as no other can—that we have
an Intercessor who can plead more powerfully than
we are even able to conceive—and whose eye of love
is on each one of His followers—to support, sustain,
and comfort, amid daily trials, vicissitudes, and conflicts.

Let us then, because we have such a High Priest above—the
all-powerful, all-helpful, all-loving, all-tender Saviour—One
who can and does feel for us—One who knows all our cares,
and troubles, and trials—One who has Himself deeply suffered,
and is therefore able to sympathise with us in all our sorrows,
“let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that
we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Come, then, you poor, you disconsolate,
come, you tried and afflicted,
come, you wounded,
come, you needy,
come, and welcome, to the throne of grace!

Reader! whatever be . . .
  your need,
  your weakness,
  your trial,
  your infirmity,
do not brood over it—but bring it to the throne of grace!
The longer you bear about with you the burden under
which you groan, the more hopeless and wretched
you will become. But if you take it to the foot of the
Cross, you will assuredly obtain relief.

Surely, it is a comforting thought, that you are bringing
your wishes, and cares, and anxieties to One who knows
how to pity and support—who longs to show mercy, and
to impart “grace to help in every time of need.”

Your Saviour’s heart is . . .
  a human heart,
  a tender heart,
  a sinless heart,
  a heart, once the home of sorrow,
  once an aching, bleeding, mournful heart.

And He is still unchanged! He loves . . .
  to chase grief from the troubled spirit,
  to bind up the broken heart,
  to stanch the bleeding wound,
  to dry the weeping eye,
  “to comfort all who mourn.”

Yes, Christian, if you would disclose your sorrow to One
who sorrowed as none ever sorrowed—if you would weep
upon the bosom of One, who wept as none ever wept—if
you would bare your wound to One, who was wounded as
none ever was wounded—then, in your affliction, turn from
all creature sympathy and support, to your “merciful and
faithful High Priest.”

Your temptations from Satan,
your persecutions from man,
your struggles with an evil heart,
your tribulations and dangers, and fears,
all are known to Him—and He feels for you.
Tender, to Him, are you, as the apple of His eye.

Your happiness,
your peace,
your necessities,
your discouragements,
are all subjects of His deepest interest,
and of His incessant care.

His faithfulness never falters.

His love never changes.

His tenderness never lessens.

His patience never wearies.

His grace never decays.

“I cried unto the Lord, and He heard me, and
 delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4

Can the Ethiopian change his skin?

(Joseph Philpot, “Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers”)

Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the
 leopard its spots?
 then you also do good
 that are accustomed to do evil.”
    Jeremiah 13:23

Before the soul can know anything about salvation,
it must learn deeply and experimentally the nature of
sin, and of itself, as stained and polluted by sin.

The soul is proud, and needs to be humbled.

The soul is careless, and needs to be awakened.

The soul is alive, and needs to be killed.

The soul is full, and requires to be emptied.

The soul is whole, and needs to be wounded.

The soul is clothed, and requires to be stripped.

The soul is, by nature . . .
  self righteous and self seeking,
  buried deep in worldliness and carnality,
  utterly blind and ignorant,
  filled with . . .
      and enmity.

It hates all that is heavenly and spiritual.

Sin, in all its various forms, is its natural element.

To make man the direct opposite of what he originally is . . .
  to make him love God, instead of hating Him;
  to make him fear God, instead of mocking Him;
  to make him obey God, instead of rebelling against Him;
  to make him to tremble at His dreadful majesty,
    instead of defiantly charging against Him;
to do this mighty work, and to effect this wonderful
change, requires the implantation of a new nature by
the immediate hand of God Himself!

Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the
 leopard its spots?
 then you also do good
 that are accustomed to do evil.”

    Jeremiah 13:23

Utter beggary and complete bankruptcy
(Joseph Philpot)

“O visit me with Thy salvation.” Psalm 106:4

Salvation only suits the condemned, the lost.
A man must be lost; utterly lost; before he
can prize God’s salvation.

And how is he lost?  By . . .
  losing all his religion,
  losing all his righteousness,
  losing all his strength,
  losing all his confidence,
  losing all his hopes,
  losing all that is of the flesh;
losing it by its being taken from him,
and stripped away by the hand of God.

That sweet grace

(J. C. Philpot, “Pilgrims’ Hunger and Pilgrims’ Food“)

“Remember all the way the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the
 wilderness for forty years, to humble thee.” Deut. 8:2

We learn humility by a deep discovery of
what we are
; by an opening up of . . .
  the corruption,
  the weakness,
  the wickedness,
of our fallen nature.

The Lord’s way of teaching His people humility is
by placing them first in one trying spot, and then
in another; by allowing . . .
  some temptation to arise;
  some stumbling block to be in their path;
  some besetting sin to work upon their corrupt affections;
  some idol to be embraced by their idolatrous heart;
  something to take place to draw out the sin which is
in their heart; and thus make it manifest to their sight.

As a general rule, we learn humility, not by hearing
ministers tell us what wicked creatures we are; nor
by merely looking into our bosoms and seeing a whole
swarm of evils working there; but from being compelled
by painful necessity to believe that we are vile, through
circumstances and events time after time bringing to
light those hidden evils in our heart
, which we once
thought ourselves pretty free from.

We learn humility, not merely by a discovery of what
we are, but also by a discovery of what Jesus is.

We need a glimpse . . .
  of Jesus,
  of His love,
  of His grace,
  of His blood.

When these two feelings meet together
in our bosom . . .
  our shame, and the Lord’s goodness;
  our guilt, and His forgiveness;
  our wickedness, and His superabounding mercy;
they break us, humble us, and lay us, dissolved in tears
of godly sorrow and contrition, at the footstool of mercy!

And thus we learn humility, that sweet grace, that
blessed fruit of the Spirit in real, vital, soul-experience.

The Gospel

The gospel is not a plan to be followed, or a program to be practiced.  It is not a precept or a principle to be understood. The gospel is a person. The second person of the triune Godhead, who bore the sins of God’s elect and by the sacrifice of Himself put them away once and for all. He was raised from the dead, ascended into glory, and is right now seated at the right hand of the majesty on high. He is the sovereign Savior of sinners. He is the Substitute and Surety for His people. His name is Jesus, for He has saved His people from their sins. He is Faithful and True to all His promise. What “good news” (gospel) it is for the soul of a sinner to know they have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous One. He himself is the sum and substance of the gospel.               ~Greg Elmquist

    ‘Love beareth all things.’ It bears its own burdens of everyday life. It bears the burdens of other believers, and so fulfills the law of Christ. It patiently bears the reproaches from the world. Love bears it all – ‘All things.’

    ‘Love believeth all things,’ that God has said in his written word. All the promises, prophecies, and even the threatens and warnings. If God has said it, love believes it –‘All things.’

    ‘Love hopeth all things.’ God has purposed amazing things for his redeemed people. That they will be with Christ, and like Christ and all that that entails etc., and love lives in the hope of it all –‘All things.’  

    ‘Love endureth all things.’ Love will never give up. It will never let go, or go back. Love will keep believing and cleaving till the end. Love endures everything – ‘All things.’ Thank God for love.                                                                      ~Bruce Crabtree


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

“He healed all their sick.” Matthew 12:15

The last words which fell upon the ears of Israel before coming to Elim, and while they were yet encamped at Marah, were these—”JEHOVAH ROPHI,” “I am the Lord which heals you.” Christ is this Great Physician—the Universal Healer—the Curer of every species and every case of spiritual paralysis. The appeal of the weeping prophet—”Is there no balm in Gilead, is there no physician there?”—is silenced in the presence of the Divine Restorer. Amid endless diversities of country, climate, language, manners, civilization—in the polished age, the uncivilized age, the philosophic age, the war age, the utilitarian age, the human heart is found the same—and the One Physician, the one medicine, “Christ crucified,” is able to heal all diseases. “He is the power of God unto salvation to every one who believes.” To every one! We may follow the sun in his fiery course as he circles the globe, and in vain shall we search for the spot on which he shines, where this Gospel may not be freely proclaimed.

Let none stand in doubt, owing to any peculiarity of circumstance, as to their warrant to appropriate the purchased blessings of Redemption. There is but one condition which, using another figure, the Divine Healer Himself employs, as He invites His Pilgrim people to the true ‘Wells of Elim’—”If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink.” No other condition is there, in partaking of the living springs. The quality of water is not affected by the nature of the vessel which contains it; the water is the same, whether it be taken in a golden goblet or an earthen jar—by the king holding it in his jeweled cup, or the beggar that has no cup but the palm of his hands.

So is it with the water in the wells of Salvation. Around these, the rich and poor, naturally and spiritually, meet together; and whether it be with vessels of great, or vessels of small quantity—”vessels of cups” or “vessels of flagons”—the invitation is the same, “Whoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” “Whoever comes to Me” (irrespective of all sins, shortcomings, moral disabilities) “I will never drive away.”

Look at that scene in the early Church; Peter and John healing the impotent man at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple. It was an acted parable of the healing influence of the Gospel and the Gospel’s Author. That helpless cripple, at the all-powerful name of “JESUS OF NAZARETH,” cast aside his crutches, rose from his couch of miserable helplessness, with strength in his powerless limbs, and praise on his long-sealed lips. And next day, when the two apostles were summoned before the high priest, with the rulers, and elders, and scribes, and asked, “By what power, or by what name, have you done this?” Peter nobly replied (and it is a reply applicable to every diseased, helpless, sin-stricken sinner, who has risen from his couch of misery and entered the Temple of grace, walking, and leaping, and praising God), “If we are being asked to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, by whom God raised from the dead, that his man stands before you healed” (Acts 4:9, 10).

That all-powerful name and that all-powerful theme has lost none of its efficacy. May its music gladden us through life! As we move from encampment to encampment in the pilgrim journey, may “peace through the blood of His cross” be the gracious words which fall on our ears as we strike the tent and prepare to follow the unknown way. May they be the last to cheer us when our footsteps are on the brink of Jordan! Let us listen, in closing, to words from one of the “Hymns of the Fatherland”—

“Weep not, Jesus hears thee,
Hears your moanings broken,
Hears when you right wearily
All your grief have spoken.
Raise your cry,
He is nigh,
Everything on earth be shaken,
You will never be forsaken.
“Weep not, Jesus hears thee;

He shall come and surely save;
And each sorrow you shall see
Lie buried in your grave.
Sin shall die,
Grief shall fly.
You have wept your latest tears
When the Lord of life appears.”

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

John MacDuff

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