Bulletin Edition May 2023


Jesus saith unto her, “Thy brother shall rise again.” John 11:23

We have lately been with Jesus in the chamber of sickness and of death; let us now accompany Him to the house of mourning. He was equally Himself in both. His loving, sympathising heart was at home in every place where suffering and woe found a lodgement. He Himself had passed through this school. And well He had learned its lessons, emerging from its teaching and discipline in all respects fitted for, and in all points assimilated to, His peoples’ trying and afflictive circumstances. Oh, wondrous truth! oh, marvellous love! Must the divine Son of God, must the sinless Son of man be perfected by suffering, that He might suffer when I suffer, weep when I weep, bear the heaviest end of my cross, and in all my afflictions be Himself, by sympathy and support, afflicted? So I read, and so I believe.

You are a bereaved one–the Lord’s bereaved! Himself has done it. Arise, oh my soul, from second and proximate causes. With them you have nothing to do. Like pieces of wreck floating on the surging waves, they will but wound and bruise you, and, perhaps, loosen your hold of faith on the Divine and faithful plank to which you are clinging, and which will assuredly bear you up, and float you in safety to the shore. Every view of your bereavement which draws your eye away from Jesus will but lacerate and inflame your wound. Looking above, seeing Jesus only, recognising God’s hand in your calamity, and referring it all to His infinite wisdom, perfect righteousness, and unchanging love, will enable you to bow meekly in your sorrow, and with your mouth in the dust, exclaim, in lowly imitation of your Lord, “My Father, if this cup may not pass from me except I drink it, Your will be done.”

Yes, beloved, your brother shall rise again. Did he not die in the faith of Jesus? Did he not depart in the hope of glory? Then, that faith has saved him, and that hope sheds a halo around his grave. He shall rise even now, for the memory and the influence of his holy life and love still live in undecaying power and fragrance; and, “he, being dead, yet speaks.” But he shall rise again in the resurrection of the just at the last day, when, at the Second Resurrection, the trumpet of Christ, the Archangel shall sound, and the “dead in Christ shall rise first.” Oh, the glory and the bliss of that moment, when the ruined temple of the Holy Spirit shall spring from the dust, a spiritual body, freed from all the taint of sin, the grossness of the flesh, the sorrows and sufferings of earth, resplendent in beauty, perfected in holiness, “fashioned like unto Christ’s glorious body.” And, until my body shall be committed to the dust in the faith of Him who is “the Resurrection and the Life,” may I live and die, dear Lord, to You, and, then, be with You forever!

Jesus is one with you in your bereaved grief. He is in your house of mourning now. He goes with you to the grave to weep there. Spiritual blessings will bloom around that grave, sweeter and more beautiful far than the flowers with which you deck it, if your sorrow draws you closer to Christ, making you better acquainted with Him, the weeping and sympathising Saviour, and loving Friend and Brother, born for this crushing adversity.

The gate of death, and the gate of glory, are one!

(John MacDuff, “Meditations on the Glories of Heaven”)

“TODAY shalt thou be with Me in paradise.” Luke 23:43

The same moment in which I close my eyes on a

world of sin and suffering, I open them in glory!

The gate of death, and the gate of glory, are one!

The uncaged spirit will all at once fly upwards

to nestle in the golden eaves of Heaven!

Let me look forward, then, with bounding heart,

to the hour of death, as the hour of my entrance

into endless bliss; the birthday of eternity!

Oh, if there was “joy in heaven among the angels

of God” at the hour of conversion, what will it be

at the hour of glorification!

If God the Father even on earth has joy in seeing

His returning prodigal; what will it be when He

welcomes him to his everlasting home!

“He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in

 His love; He will rejoice over thee with singing!”

    (Zeph. 3:17.)

The Redeemer utters His intercessory prayer over

the death bed on earth, “Father, I will that this

one whom you have given Me be with Me where

I am, to behold My glory.”

The prayer is heard; the angels are sent down; and,

swift as lightning leaps from the cloud, THAT HOUR,

and forever, he is “with Jesus in paradise!”

“TODAY shalt thou be with Me in paradise.”

A welcome guest!

(“A Few Sighs From Hell” or “The Groans of the Damned Soul” by that poor and contemptible servant of Jesus Christ, John Bunyan, 1658. Being an exposition of Luke 16:19-31, concerning the Rich Man and the Beggar, wherein is revealed the lamentable state of the Damned — their cries, and their desires in their distresses, with the determined judgment of God upon them. A good warning word to lost sinners, both old and young, to seek salvation by faith in Jesus Christ — lest they come into the same place of torment.)

“Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before Him!” Ecclesiastes 8:12
Believer, it will be well with you!
Consider how safe, how sure, how happy are you!
For when others go to Hell — you must go to Heaven!
When others go to the devil — you must go to God!
When as others go to eternal prison — you must be set at liberty, and at ease!
When others must roar for sorrow of heart — you shall sing for the joy of heart!

Consider, you must have . . .
all your well-spent life to follow you — instead of all your sins;
the glorious blessings of the gospel — instead of the dreadful curses and condemnations of the law;
the blessing of the loving Father — instead of a fiery sentence from the righteous Judge.

Let death come when it will, it can do you no harm; for it will be but only a passage . . .
   out of a prison — into a palace;
   out of a sea of troubles — into a haven of rest;
   out of a crowd of enemies — into an innumerable company of true, loving, and faithful friends;
   out of shame, reproach, and contempt — into exceeding great and eternal glory!

For death shall not hurt you with his sting, nor bite you with his soul-murdering teeth; but shall be a welcome guest to you — in that it is sent to free you from your troubles which you are in, while here in this poor world.

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain!” Philippians 1:21

“having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better!” Philippians 1:23

The Christian and Death!

Spurgeon, “The Last Enemy Destroyed” No. 72. 1 Cor. 15:26.

“Death gives us infinitely more than he takes away!
To stand before that throne upon the sea of glass
mingled with fire, to bow within the presence chamber
of the King of kings, gazing into the glory that excels,
and to see the King in his beauty, the man that once
was slain, wearing many crowns and arrayed in the vesture
of his glory, his wounds like sparkling jewels still
visible above! Oh! to cast our crowns at his feet, to
lie there and shrink into nothing before the Eternal All,
to fly into Jesus’ bosom, to behold the beauty of his love,
and to taste the kisses of his mouth, to be in Paradise,
swallowed up in unutterable joy because taken into the
closest, fullest, nearest communion with himself! Would
not your soul burst from the body even now to obtain this

When believers die!

(John Newton’s Letters)

“Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am: that they may behold My glory!” John 17:24

Health and sickness, life and death — will always be in the hands of the Lord.

When believers die
 — whatever the accident or the illness may be — they are only the means, but not properly the cause of their death. They die because the time has come when He who loves them best, will have them with Him to behold His glory!

Until then, they are immortal. They recover from sickness, however threatening, and are preserved unhurt — in defiance of the greatest dangers! But when His appointed hour arrives — then they must depart. When He will have them with Him — we cannot detain them; nor ought we to wish it, though the flesh will feel the parting stroke.

None of us can be perfectly happy in this poor fleeting world. It is a state in which sin and sorrow will hunt us and pain us to the last step of life! Therefore, though we wish to keep those whom we love with us as long as we can — it is well both for us and them, that we cannot live here always. We are in the Lord’s hands — and He does all things wisely and well, at the right time and in the right manner.

Death is but a temporary separation. Those who are gone before us, are waiting for us. Oh! It will be a happy meeting before the throne of the Lamb — out of the reach of sin and sorrow, to meet and part no more!

How great then, is the blessedness of true believers!

(John MacDuff, “Looking unto Jesus!” 1856)

God says, “I will be their God — and they shall be My people.” 2 Corinthians 6:16. This is a promise in which every other promise is included. Sometimes God says to the Christian: I will be your strength, your righteousness, your deliverer, your shield, your reward; but these are nothing but modifications of the former.

Believer! endeavour to realise something of the blessedness involved in having God for your God. For this purpose, think of the representations He gives of Himself in His word. Think of Him . . .
  in all the perfections of His nature,
  in His unsearchable riches,
  in His unspeakable glory,
  in His omnipotent power,
  in His universal dominion,
  in His spotless purity,
  in His eternal veracity,
  and, above all, in His infinite grace and mercy!
And having viewed Him thus, you may venture to say, with unwavering faith and adoring gratitude, “This God is our God forever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death!” Psalm 48:14. How great then, is the blessedness of true believers!


(edited from “The Bow in the Clouds” by John MacDuff)

For I am the Lord, I change not: therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed.” Malachi 3:6

The Unchangeableness of God.

What an anchor for a storm tossed sea!

Change is our portion here!

Scenes are altering. Joys are fading.

Friends! some of them are removed at a distance;

others have gone to their ‘long home’.

Who, amid these checkered experiences, does not

sigh for something permanent, stable, enduring?

The vessel has again and again slipped its earthly

moorings. We long for some secure and sheltered harbor.

“I am the Lord, and I do not change!” Heart

and flesh may faint; yes, do faint and fail.

But there is an unfainting, unfailing, unvarying God.

All the changes in the world around cannot affect Him.

Our own fitfulness cannot alter Him. When we are

depressed, downcast, fluctuating; our treacherous

hearts turning aside “like a broken bow,” He does

not change.

“God who cannot lie,” is the superscription on His

eternal throne; and inscribed on all His dealings.

“I am the Lord, and I do not change!” This forms

a blessed guarantee that nothing can befall

me but what is for my good. I cannot doubt His

faithfulness. I dare not arraign the rectitude

of His dispensations. It is ‘covenant love’ which

is now darkening my earthly horizon. This hour He

is the same as when He “spared not His own Son!”

Oh, instead of wondering at my trials, let me

rather wonder that He has borne with me so long!

It is because of the Lord’s unchanging mercies that

I am not consumed. Had He been man, changeful,

vacillating, as myself, long before now would He

have spurned me away, and consigned me to the

doom of the cumberer.

“I am the Lord, I change not!”

When I have breathed my final breath

And dropped this robe of flesh in death,

When my appointed work is done

And my allotted time is gone,

Don’t stand around my grave and cry.

I’ll not be there. I did not die.

My Saviour came to call me home,

And I with Him to heav’n have gone!

Now I am free from sin and pain;

And with the glorified I reign!

Don’t stand around my grave and cry.

I’m glorified! I did not die!

Seated with Jesus on His throne,

Glorified by what He has done,

I am a trophy of His grace.

Rejoicing, I behold His face:

Don’t stand around my grave and cry.

I am with Christ! I did not die!

My body lies beneath the clay

Until the resurrection day.

In that day when Christ comes again,

Body and soul unite again!

Don’t stand around my grave and cry.

Rejoice with me! I did not die!

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