Bulletin Edition July 2023

Head or Heart?

(From Octavius Winslow’s, “The Coming of the
Lord in its Relation to Nominal Christianity”)

A person may have well balanced theology, and
his general views of truth would be considered
evangelical and orthodox. And yet, thus far may
he proceed in the deepest ‘self deception’.
With all this “form of knowledge,” this lodgement
of the truth in the understanding, this subscription
of the intellect to the doctrines of revelation, he
is an utter stranger to that ‘heart transformation’,
that inward illumination of the Holy Spirit, without
which the soul is spiritually dead, the heart is
unrenewed and unholy, and the whole man is
unfit for the kingdom of heaven.

In short, we have here the case of one who, while
his judgment assents to the truth, his heart entirely
rejects it. The Gospel is to him a thing of intellectual
subscription, and not of heart experience. Not a single
truth of the Bible has become an element of life and
holiness in his soul.

 “Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing:..” – Luke 18:22

That one thing this young man lacked was not religion, he had that. And he didn’t lack riches because he had that too. Though he didn’t know it, the one thing he lacked was the one thing he needed the most: Jesus Christ himself. The one thing needful to give him acceptance with the Holy God, he did not have. The One whom God makes to be the wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption of every believing sinner, he did not have. The One thing essential to be presented faultless before God, he did not have.

Jesus Christ is the One thing needful because Christ is all and those who are in him are complete. When time shall be no more, and the dead, small and great are standing before God, and multitudes are being cast into the lake of fire, because they lacked the One thing needed to enter glory, what everlasting joy it will be for all those who are found in Christ, lacking nothing!             

 ~Larry Criss

The decipherer…

by Toplady

To unconverted persons, a great part of the Bible
resembles a letter written in ciphers.

The blessed Spirit’s office is to act as God’s decipherer,
by letting His people into the secret of celestial
experience, as the key and clew to those sweet
mysteries of grace which were before as a garden
shut up, or as a fountain sealed, or as a book
written in an unknown character.

The Bible!

(Henry Law, “Beacons of the Bible” 1869)

The Bible is the richest treasure of the world!

Without it, the palace is a dark blank.
With it, the poor cottage sparkles with celestial light.

It is the transcript of God’s heart.

It tells what human reason is too weak to find.

It is pure truth without one shadow of error.

It gives knowledge on all things needful for time and for eternity.

It is a safe guide through life’s entangled path.

It is a compass . . .
  through shoals and rocks;
  amid winds and waves;
  to Heaven’s eternal rest!

The sage is ignorant without it.

The peasant learns from it salvation’s road.

It is a solace for every hour.

It is a companion always ready to converse.

It cheers when other comforts fail.

It is arrayed in every charm for the intellect.

It never wearies.

It is always fresh.

Its oldest truths cannot grow old.

Its readers become more wise — and more holy.

Other books may puzzle and corrupt.
The Bible is from Heaven, and leads to Heaven.
It enters the heart with purifying grace.

The more you search the Bible — the more your minds will wonder, and your hearts will love.

Read it as literally true. Then no human philosophy will beguile you.

Ponder its characters. You will find on them the intrinsic stamp of truth.

“The Bible is . . .
  an armoury of heavenly weapons,
  a pharmacy of infallible medicines,
  a mine of exhaustless wealth,
  a guidebook for every road,
  a chart for every sea,
  a medicine for every malady,
  and a balm for every wound!
Rob us of our Bible, and our sky has lost its sun!” (Thomas Guthrie)

“Oh, how I love Your Law! It is my meditation all the day!” Psalm 119:97

“Thy Words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy Word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart!” Jeremiah 15:16

The Sun of righteousness

(Spurgeon, “The Sun of Righteousness” #1020)

“But unto you who fear my name shall the Sun of
 righteousness arise with healing in His wings.”
    Malachi 4:2

The golden tressed sun is the most glorious
object in creation; and in Jesus the fullness
of glory dwells.

The sun is at the same time the most influential
of existences, acting upon the whole world; and
truly our Lord is, in the deepest sense, of this
great world both eye and soul. He with benignant
ray sheds beauty, life, and joy from above.

The sun is, moreover, the most abiding of creatures;
and therein it is also a type of Him who remains
from generation to generation, and is the same
yesterday, today, and forever.

The ‘king of day’ is so vast and so bright that
the human eye cannot bear to gaze upon him.
We delight in his beams, but we would be blinded
should we continue to peer into his face. Even yet
more brilliant is our Lord by nature, for as God he
is a consuming fire, but He deigns to smile upon
us with milder beams as our brother and Redeemer.

Jesus, like the sun, is . . .
  the centre and soul of all things,
  the fullness of all good,
  the lamp that lights us,
  the fire that warms us,
  the magnet that guides and controls us.

Jesus is the source and fountain of all . . .
   and strength.

Jesus is . . .
  the fosterer of tender herbs of penitence,
  the quickener of the vital sap of grace,
  the ripener of fruits of holiness, and the life of
everything that grows within the garden of the Lord.

Whereas to adore the sun would be idolatry;
it is treason not to worship ardently the divine
Sun of righteousness.

As the sun is the centre, so is Christ to His people.

As the sun is the great source of power,
so is Christ to His people.

As the sun is the fountain from which
light, life, and heat perpetually flow,
so is the Saviour to His people.

As the sun is the fructifier by which fruits
multiply and ripen, so is Christ to His people.

Enthrone Jesus as the central sun of your hearts.
Bask in his beams, and let Him rule your entire
being; enlightening your understanding; warming
your hearts; filling all your powers, passions, and
faculties with the fullness of his presence. Come
and lay your souls beneath His divine influence.

Come, plunge into this sea of sweetness,
dive deep into this abyss of happiness!

Holy posture!

(Octavius Winslow, “Evening Thoughts”)

Then said I, woe is me! For I am undone; for I am
 a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a
 people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have
 seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Isaiah 6:5

What prostrated his soul thus low in the dust?

What filled him with this self abasement?

What overwhelmed him with this keen sense of his vileness?

Oh, it was the unclouded view he had of the
essential glory of the Son of God! And thus
will it ever be. The beaming forth of Christ’s
glory in the soul reveals its hidden evil; the
knowledge of this evil lays the believer low
before God with the confession, “I abhor myself.
Woe is me! for I am undone.”

Beloved, let this truth be ever present to your
mind, that as we increasingly see glory in Christ,
we shall increasingly see that there is no glory
in ourselves.

Jesus is the Sun which reveals the pollutions
and defilements which are within. The chambers
of abomination are all closed until Christ shines
in upon the soul. Oh, then it is these deep seated
and long veiled deformities are revealed; and we,
no longer gazing with a complacent eye upon self,
sink in the dust before God, overwhelmed with
shame, and covered with confusion of face.

Holy posture!

Blessed spectacle!

A soul prostrate before the glory of the incarnate God!

All high and lofty views of its own false glory
annihilated by clear and close views of the true
glory of Jesus. As when the sun appears, all the
lesser lights vanish into darkness, so when Jesus
rises in noontide glory upon the soul, all other
glory retires, and He alone fixes the eye and
fills the mind.

“Above it stood the seraphims: each one had
 six wings: with twain he covered his
 face, with twain he covered his feet and with twain he did fly”. Isaiah 6:2

Their own perfections and beauty were not to
be seen in the presence of the glory of the Lord.

How much more profound should be the humility
and self abasement of man! Have we covered
ourselves; not with the pure wings of the holy
cherubim, but with sackcloth and ashes before the
Lord? Have we sought to veil; not our beauties,
for beauty we have none; but our innumerable
and flagrant deformities, even the sins of our
best and holiest things; and, renouncing all self
glory, have we sunk, as into nothing before God?
Oh, we are yet strangers to the vision of Christ’s
glory, if we have not.

If the constellation of human gifts and attainments,
distinctions and usefulness, on which unsanctified
and unmortified self so delights to gaze, have not
retired into oblivion, the Sun of Righteousness has
yet to rise upon our souls with healing in His wings!

“But unto you who fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings.” –Malachi 4:2


Just as the sun rises in the east and gradually mounts up into the meridian sky, dispersing with every ray light, warmth, and gladness; so this blessed Lord Jesus, as the Sun of righteousness, is ever dispersing the beams of his grace and the rays of his favor; and whenever those beams come, and those rays fall, there is light and life, and everything to make the soul holy and happy. Now a man would act very foolishly if, wishing to have light in his room when the sun was shining at noonday, he should shut all the shutters, and strike a match to give him a little light for a few moments. Let us not then be so foolish as to look for happiness or comfort in our own performances when the glorious Sun of righteousness is at the right hand of God, and shining thence upon believing hearts. But when the veil is over the heart, it is like shutters in a room–there is no light to show who, what, or where Jesus is. And then need we wonder that men strike a light and make a fire, that they may “walk in the sparks of their own kindling?” But what is God’s word against all such? “This shall ye have of mine hand: ye shall lie down in sorrow” (Isaiah 50:11).

“God is the Lord, which has shewed us light.” Psalm 118:27


The Psalmist was clearly possessed of light, for he says, “God is the Lord, who has showed us light.” He was evidently, then, possessed of light; and this light was in him as “the light of life.” This light had shone into his heart; the rays and beams of divine truth had penetrated into his conscience. He carried about with him a light which had come from God; in this light he saw light, and in this light he discerned everything which the light manifested. Thus by this internal light he knew what was good and what was evil, what was sweet and what was bitter, what was true and what was false, what was spiritual and what was natural.

He did not say, This light came from creature exertion, this light was the produce of my own wisdom, this light was nature transmuted by some action of my own will, and thus gradually rose into existence from long and assiduous cultivation. But he ascribes the whole of that light which he possessed unto God the Lord, as the sole Author and the only Giver of it. Now, if God the Lord has ever showed you and me the same light which he showed his servant of old, we carry about with us more or less a solemn conviction that we have received this light from him.

There will, indeed, be many clouds of darkness to cover it; there will often be doubts and fears, hovering like mists and fogs over our souls, whether the light which we have received be from God or not. But in solemn moments when the Lord is pleased a little to revive his work, at times and seasons when he condescends to draw forth the affections of our hearts unto himself, to bring us into his presence, to hide us in some measure in the hollow of his hand, and give us access unto himself; at such moments and seasons we carry about with us, in spite of all our unbelief, in spite of all the suggestions of the enemy, in spite of all doubts, fears, and suspicions that rise from the depths of the carnal mind, in spite of all these counter-workings and underminings, we carry about with us at these times a solemn conviction that we have light, and that this light we have received from God. And why so? Because we can look back to a time when we walked in no such light, when we felt no such light, when everything spiritual and heavenly was dark to us, and we were dark to them.

The old cellar?

From Spurgeon’s sermon, “The Prodigal’s Return”

When the ‘light’ of God’s grace comes into a person’s heart,
it is something like the opening of the windows of an
old cellar that has been shut up for many days.

Down in that cellar, which has not been opened for many
months, are all kinds of loathsome creatures, and a few sickly
plants blanched by the darkness. The walls are dark and damp
with the trail of reptiles; it is a horrid filthy place, in which no one
would willingly enter.

You may walk there in the ‘dark’ very securely, and except now
and then for the touch of some slimy creature, you would not
believe the place was so bad and filthy.

But once open those shutters, clean a pane of glass,
let a little light in, and now see how a thousand noxious
things have made this place their habitation.

Surely, it was not the ‘light’ that made this place so horrible,
but it was the light that showed how horrible it really was!

So let God’s grace just open a window and let the light into a
man’s soul, and he will stand astonished to see sinful he really is.

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