Bulletin Edition October 2023

What a beautiful image of the true Christian is light! The child of the light!” The saints in light!”

Walking in the light of a Father’s reconciled face;
walking in the light that beams from the cross of Jesus;
walking in the light of an indwelling, teaching, sanctifying Spirit;
walking in that bright, luminous path, which “shines more and more unto the perfect day.”

Octavius Winslow


This is another of the characters of the Lord Jesus Christ; for as Jesus is the life, so is he the light of men. Coming up from all eternity in the councils of peace, for the salvation of his people, he is the everlasting light and glory of his people. He it is that first caused the light to shine out of darkness in the original creation of nature. 

In like manner, he is the first to cause light to shine out of darkness in the new creation, when the day spring from on high first shines in upon the soul, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor. iv. 6.) Oh! rise, thou Son of righteousness, on the souls of thy redeemed with healing in thy wings that they may go forth and grow up as calves of the stall, (Mal. iv. 2. Luke ii. 32. Ps. iv. 6. John viii. 12, &c.) 

Robert Hawker

Light shines the earliest wonder of the world. Who can depict its beauties and its properties! But it is more than nature’s charm and earth’s benefit. It is a treasure of Gospel-truth. Its lovely rays show the more lovely image of the Lord. It is written, “That was the true light which enlightens every man who comes into the world.” (John 1:9) Jesus, also, selecting it as a typical mirror, cries, “I am the light of the world: he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12) The prophet, anticipating the rising of the true “Dayspring from on high,” sweetly sings, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” (Isa. 9:2) Thus from early morn to evening’s close we are encompassed by an atmosphere, the Truth of which is Christ.

Henry Law

“Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour. Ephesians 5:2

Octavius Winslow

It was an entire sacrifice. It was Himself He offered up. More He could not give; less would not have sufficed. He gave Himself- all that He possessed in heaven, and all that belonged to Him on earth, He gave in behalf of His people. His life of obedience, His death of suffering, He gave as “an offering and is sacrifice to God.” It was an entire surrender.
It was a voluntary offering. “He gave Himself.” It was not by compulsion or by constraint that He surrendered Himself into the hands of Divine justice- He went not as a reluctant victim to the altar- they dragged Him not to the cross. He went voluntarily. It is true that there existed a solemn necessity, why Jesus should die in behalf of His people. It grew out of His covenant engagement with the Father. Into that engagement He voluntarily entered: His own ineffable love constrained Him: But after the compact had been made, the covenant of redemption ratified, and the bond given to justice, there was a necessity resting upon Jesus why He should finish the work. His word, His honour, His truth, His glory, all were pledged to the entire fulfilment of His suretyship. He had freely given Himself into the power of justice; He was therefore, on His taking upon Him the form of a servant, under obligations to satisfy all its claims; He was legally bound to obey all its commands. And yet it was a voluntary surrender of Himself as a sacrifice for His people. It was a willing offering. If there was a necessity, and we have shown that there was, it grew out of His own voluntary love to His Church. It was, so to speak, a voluntary necessity. See how this blessed view of the death of Jesus is sustained by the Divine word. “He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opens not His mouth.” His own declaration confirms the truth. “Therefore does my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.”

“The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18

Octavious Winslow

The first light that dawns upon the soul is the daybreak of grace. When that blessed period arrives, when the Sun of Righteousness has risen upon the long-benighted mind, how do the shadows of ignorance and of guilt instantly disappear! What a breaking away of, perhaps, a long night of alienation from God, of direct hostility to God, and of ignorance of the Lord Jesus, then takes place. Not, however, strongly marked is this state always at the first. The beginning of grace in the soul is frequently analogous to the beginning of day in the natural world. The dawn of grace is at first so faint, the daybreak so gentle, that a skilful eye only can observe its earliest tints. The individual himself is, perhaps, ignorant of the extraordinary transition through which his soul is passing. The discovery of darkness which that day-dawn has made, the revelation it has brought to view of the desperate depravity of his heart, the utter corruption of his fallen nature, the number and the turpitude of his sins, it may be, well near overwhelms the individual with despair! But what has led to this discovery? What has revealed all this darkness and sin? Oh! it is the daybreak of grace in the soul! One faint ray, what a change has it produced! And is it real? Ah! just as real as that the first beam, faintly painted on the eastern sky, is a real and an essential part of light. The daybreak, faint and glimmering though it be, is as really day as the meridian is day. And so is it with the day-dawn of grace in the soul. The first serious thought- the first real misgiving- the first conviction of sin- the first downfall of the eye- the first bending of the knee- the first tear- the first prayer- the first touch of faith, is as really and as essentially the daybreak of God’s converting grace in the soul as is the utmost perfection to which that grace can arrive. Oh, glorious dawn is this, my reader, if now for the first time in your life the daybreak of grace has come, and the shadows of ignorance and guilt are fleeing away before the advancing light of Jesus in your soul. If now you are seeing how depraved your nature is; if now you are learning the utter worthlessness of your own righteousness; if now you are fleeing as a poor, lost sinner to Christ, relinquishing your hold of everything else, and clinging only to Him; though this be but in weakness, and tremulousness, and hesitancy, yet sing for joy, for the day is breaking- the prelude to the day of eternal glory- and the shadows of unregeneracy are forever fleeing away. And as this day of grace has begun, so it will advance. Nothing shall impede its course, nothing shall arrest its progress. “He which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” The Sun, now risen upon you with healing in His beams, shall never stand still- shall never go back. “He has set a tabernacle for the sun” in the renewed soul of man; and onward that sun will roll in its glorious orbit, penetrating with its beams every dark recess, until all mental shadows are merged and lost in its unclouded and eternal splendour.

“O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me to thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.” Ps 43:3

Henry law

Left to ourselves, we are in darkness, and we surely stray. Conscious of need and guidance, the disconsolate Psalmist prays for heavenly aid, and that light from above would clearly shine upon his path; and that all events in providence would be in accordance with the provisions of the everlasting covenant. Those who truly follow the Lamb shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life. They know that the conditions of the covenant secure their everlasting happiness, and they confidently plead that God would do to them in accordance with its terms. He prays especially that he may be restored to the joys of holy worship. He thinks not so much of the comforts and splendour of his palace, of his costly provisions, and luxurious delights—his heart is fixed on the hill of Zion and the house of God. There he had sought spiritual communion—in comparison with this, he counted other things as less than dross.

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6


When a man is walking in the darkness and death of unregeneracy, he has no true light. He may indeed have a false light, as the light of presumption, delusion, or vain-confidence; but all such borrowed light is worse than darkness; as the Lord says, “If the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness!”

The only saving light is the light of God shining into the soul, giving us to see and know “the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he has sent.” A man may have the clearest light in his judgment, and yet never have the penetrating light of the Spirit producing conviction in his soul; he may have the soundest knowledge of the doctrines of grace, and see the harmonious scheme of salvation; and yet never have seen a holy God by divine teaching, nor have ever felt the spirituality of God’s righteous law condemning him as a transgressor. But “the light of life,” as the Lord calls it, is sure to guide its possessor aright. If we have it not, we shall be sure to go astray; we shall be entangled in some error, plunge into some heresy, imbibe some doctrine of devils, drink into some dreadful delusion, or fall into some dreadful sin, and “concerning faith make shipwreck.”

A false light is something like the lights which pirates hold up to entrap ships to their destruction; or like the fires, which the “wreckers,” those dreadful characters in Cornwall, used to kindle on their iron-bound coast, in order that the mariner might mistake them for some friendly light-house, and run his vessel on the rocks, where those heartless wretches plundered it. A false light can but wreck us on the rocks of presumption or despair. But the light of divine life in the soul is accompanied with all the graces of the Spirit. It is the light of the glory of God, the light of Jesus’ countenance, and the light of the Spirit’s teaching, and therefore an infallible guide and guard; as the Apostle says, “You have an unction from the Holy One, and know all things.” And this infallible pilot will guide the soul to whom it is given safe into the harbour of endless rest and peace.

Divine guidance

(John Newton’s Letters)

In general, God guides and directs His people, by affording
them, in answer to prayer, the light of His Holy Spirit, who
enables them to understand and to love the Scriptures.

The word of God furnishes us with just principles, and right
apprehensions, to regulate our judgments and affections, and
thereby to influence and direct our conduct. Those who study
the Scriptures, in a humble dependence upon Divine teaching,
are taught to make a true estimate of everything around them,
and are gradually formed into a spirit of submission to the will
of God. They thereby discover the nature and duties of their
several situations and relations in life, and the snares and
temptations to which they are exposed.

The word of God dwelling richly in them, is a preservative from
error, a light to their feet, and a spring of strength and consolation.
By treasuring up the doctrines, precepts, promises, examples, and
exhortations of Scripture, in their minds, and daily comparing
themselves with the rule by which they walk, they grow into a
habitual frame of spiritual wisdom, and acquire a gracious taste,
which enables them to judge of right and wrong with a degree of
readiness and certainty, as a musical ear judges of sounds. And
they are seldom mistaken, because they are influenced by the
love of Christ, which rules in their hearts, and a regard to the
glory of God, which is the great object they have in view.

The Lord, whom they serve, does not disappoint their expectations.
He leads them by a right way, preserves them from a thousand snares,
and satisfies them that He is and will be their guide even unto death.

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