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Bio of Dr. Robert L. Reymond

Monday, October 19th, 2009

dr-robert-reymond

Dr. Reymond is a Christian theologian who holds to the Reformed faith.

He holds B. A., M. A., and Ph. D. degrees from Bob Jones University and has done doctoral and post-doctoral studies in other seminaries and universities.

Mr. Reymond, an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America, has lectured in various countries in Europe and the East.

Reymond held the possession of Professor of Systematic Theology at Knox Theological Seminary in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Prior to taking the Chair of Systematic Theology at Knox Theological Seminary, he taught at Covenant Theological Seminary for more than twenty years.

After resigning from Knox in January 2008, he accepted a call to Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church.  

He has authored numerous articles in theological journals and various reference works, and has written some ten books. He is best known for his work on “The New Systematic Theology of the Christian Faith.

To say the least, Mr. Reymond is a well-educated, highly trained, and skilled theologian.

With permission from The Trinity Foundation

Anne (Williams) Dutton (1692-1765) – Bio

Friday, April 10th, 2009

ann-dutton-1Anne (Williams) Dutton (1692-1765)

Ann Dutton was an outstanding woman of her day, a strong Christian Calvinist and a woman of many talents. She corresponded with many strong godly religious leaders, she wrote hymns and poems and many strong theological writings.

Ann Dutton was born in 1692. Her parents were members of the Congregationalist Church in Northampton. Ann loved to read the Scriptures and enjoyed reading and singing hymns, which she delighted to commit to memory. I could not find the names of her parents or whether she had any siblings or not.

She said “That it pleased the Lord to work savingly upon my heart when I was about thirteen years of age. There was mighty impression made upon my heart, of the reality and consequence of a future state either of misery or of glory, of unspeakable happiness, or inconceivable torment…I pressed through all difficulties and cast myself at the foot of free grace in Christ….The blessed Spirit took me, as it were, by the hand and lead me to take a survey of Christ…I viewed all my sins meeting on Jesus! In the finished work of redemption, I viewed my salvation wrought out; and a perfection of peace, pardon, life, and glory, came flowing down to me in free grace, through the blood of Christ.” (Taken from Selected Spiritual Writing)

When she was in her late teens and was attending a Baptist church in Northampton, and it was here that she was baptized. She said here she found “Fat -green pastures.” Ann commented that under Pastor Moore’s ministry she established her judgment in the doctrines of the Gospel.

When Ann was 22 she married Mr. Cattell, the two of them moved to London and it is here she attended a Calvinistic Baptist church in Cripplegate and became greatly influenced by Calvinistic doctrine and grew spiritually under the preaching of Pastor John Skepp.

1720 was a very sad year for Ann as her husband Mr. Cattell pasted away. She moved back home to Northampton and a short time later she married a man by the name of Benjamin Dutton, a clothier. Benjamin trained for the Baptist ministry and served in several different congregations in Cambridgeshire, then later the couple moved to a Huntingdomshire village in Great Grandsend in 1731. As a pastor, Dutton’s preaching caused growth in hearts and minds as well as his congregation size, to the point they needed to build a new church which can still be visited in Great Grandsend today. 

During the next ten years Ann began to write several devotionals and theological works. Ann had been writing to several people, one of which was George Whitefield. It is said that he was her spiritual advisor.  Whitefield worked to promote her works as well as to get them published.  During George Whitfield early years he was friends with John Wesley, however the two of them had several bitter and heated arguments and George Whitefield stood firm on biblical Calvinistic views while John Wesley turned to the Arminian doctrine.  Ann herself being a strong Calvinist was a passionate opponent of John Wesley

In 1747 Ann’s dear husband Benjamin died at sea on a return voyage from North America where he had been on a fund raising trip. Upon his death Ann stayed in Great Grandsend. She would live another 18 years as a widow, however, during this time she wrote more than she did before her husband’s death. And became well known for her devoted life and work for the Lord on both sides of the Atlantic.

Ann being kind, yet she was quick to critique those who she felt were incorrect in their Scriptural views. She was a strong opponent of John Wesley and his Arminianism views. She wrote a book entitled “Letters to the Reverend Mr. John Wesley against Perfection as Not Attainable in this Life” which was a collection of her letters to him.

It has been said that one of her best works was her work on The Lord’s Supper which was published in 1748.

Notes taken from: Selected Spiritual Writings of Anne Dutton

J.R. Miller – Bio

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

j-r-millerIn 1840 a baby boy named James Russell was born in Frankfort Spring, Pennsylvania, to his parents James Alexander Miller and Eleanor Creswell (both were of Irish-Scottish ancestors). Frankfort Springs is in the southern portion of Beaver County, on the banks of the Big Traverse which was a small mill steam which drained what is said was a very beautiful valley. James Alexander and Eleanor had ten children, of which their oldest child a daughter died before James Russell their second child was born. James and Eleanor had three boys and seven girls, of which one brother and two sisters died in infancy. The children went to the regional school in Hanover Township, Beaver County, Pennsylvania. When James was around fourteen, the family moved to a farm near Calcutta, Ohio, where the children attended the regional school in the winter time, however during the summer and harvest time they helped their father on the farm, gardening, doing chores and bringing in the fall crops. In 1857 James Russell was accepted by Beaver Academy.

In 1861 The Christian Commission (YMCA) was organized at a convention in New York City and James would later become a delegate for the organization. This group was created to minister to the troops during the civil war.

James then went to Westminster College, Pennsylvania in 1862 and graduated from Westminster College that same year.  The fall of that year he entered the United Presbyterian Church theological seminary at Allegheny, Pennsylvania. In 1863 James took a break from his studies at the seminary and agreed to serve The Christian Commission as a delegate for six weeks, however upon the end of his service he became an Assistant Field Agent and later he was appointed to the office of General Field Agent, of which he served until July 15, 1865

In 1865 he resumed his studies at the seminary and completed them in the spring of 1867. In the fall of 1867 he was ordained and installed (on September 11, 1867) by the First United Presbyterian Church of New Wilmington, Pennsylvania where he had accepted a call. In two years as the pastor of the church of the First United Presbyterian Church he added almost two hundred people to the church membership. He was raised in the United Presbyterian Church and held strongly their views. Although he did not agree with singing the Psalms only and therefore decided to leave because he could not profess this as part of his beliefs. He then resigned from his office and began the process to join the Presbyterian Church (USA).

On November 12, 1869 both the old and new Presbyterian churches joined together as the Presbyterian Church USA, of which nine days later Reverend Miller was called as their pastor to the church called Bethany Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia. The congregation grew from 75 members to around twelve hundred and was the largest church in Philadelphia. In 1878 he resigned this position and accepted a call as pastor with the new Broadway Presbyterian Church out of Rock Island, Illinois.

James, now thirty years of age, married Louise E. King of Argyle, New York on June 22, 1870. The couple had three children named William, Russell, and Mary.

In 1875 he began to write Christian articles while at the seminary in Allegheny, Pennsylvania of which he did for some time. Then in 1880 Pastor Miller resigned his position at Broadway Presbyterian Church and was given the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Westminster College, they then invited him to assume editorial work for the Presbyterian Board of Publication in Philadelphia, where he became the assistant to the Editorial Secretary for the said board of publication.

While in Philadelphia he became involved with the Hollond Mission and later became their pastor. He was their pastor for sixteen months and while there the membership increased greatly. Then in 1899 a new church was organized with sixty-six members. They named themselves St. Paul Church in West Philadelphia and asked Miller to become their pastor. He was there from 1899 to 1912, which was the year he died. This congregation grew from the 66 members to 1,397.

In 1911 he retired his positions due to health issues. On July 2, 1912 in the afternoon, James was resting quietly and without warning he quietly passed away, with his wife Louise and his daughter by his side. He passed so quickly there was not time to call Louise and James sons to the bedside of their father.

James Russell Miller wrote numerous articles and books. Under his direction 66 million copies of the periodicals were printed by the Presbyterian Board of Publications. His books had a circulation of over two million copies during just his lifetime. It is in hopes that many of his articles and books will continue to be republished, as so many good solid Christian writers of the past books need to be reprinted, not for money sake but for building the Church.

In the USA all James R. Millers works before 1923 are out of copyright and all of his poems are out of copyright.

Gleaned from J.R. Miller’s Archives, and Wikipedia

Thomas Watson – Bio

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

thomas-watsonThomas Watson (1620-1686)

Thomas Watson was an Englishman, most likely born in Yorkshire, England. He was Puritan preacher, a non-conformist and a author. He was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he was noted for remarkably hard study. While at Cambridge Watson was known as a dedicated scholar.

In 1639 he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and then a Masters of Arts degree in 1642. Once he completed his studies He lived in a Puritan household of Lady Mary Vere, she was the widow of Sir Horace Vere. Horace was a Baron of Tilbury.

In 1646 he was commenced a sixteen year pastorate at St. Stephen’s Walbrook. While he was here he was a rector for approximately six years as well as giving many years of lectures. In 1647 he met the love of his life and was married to Abigail Beadle who was the daughter of John Beadle, a minister in Essex, England. Her father had very strong Puritan beliefs. Thomas and Abigail had seven children, which four of them died in their childhood, how sad that must have been for them.

He was a very strong Presbyterian during the period of England’s civil war, He thought highly of the king Charles I, and in 1651 he went to Oliver Cromwell and protested Charles’s execution. He along with several ministers was imprisoned briefly for his share in Christopher Love’s plot to recall Charles II. of England and to restore the monarchy. His friend Christopher Love was beheaded for plotting the whole matter while the others pleaded for their lives and were released on 30th June, 1652. After being released from prison Watson was formally reinstated vicar of St. Stephen’s Walbrook. He obtained great fame and popularity as preacher until the Restoration, when he was ejected for nonconformity. Notwithstanding the rigor of the acts against dissenters, Watson continued to exercise his ministry privately as he found opportunity, like in homes, in forests, and in barns.

There was a terrible fire in London in 1666 and after the fire Thomas went to work to find a large room for worship and opened it up to the public.

Upon the Declaration of Indulgence in 1672 he obtained a license for the great hall in Crosby House. He and a friend used the room to share the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

After preaching there for several years, his health gave way, and he retired to Barnston in Essex, England, where he died suddenly while praying in secret. He was buried on 28th July, 1686, in the same grave as his father in-law.
All of Thomas Watson’s writings and sermons are replete with sound doctrine, practical wisdom, and heart-searching application. His profound spirituality, gripping remarks, practical illustrations, and beauty of expression make him one of the most irresistible of the Puritans.

We have three of his works – which are: The Lords Prayers, The Ten Commandments, and A Body of Divinity.
Lynn

With permission From Five Sola’s – The Thomas Watson
From the Introduction to A Body of Divinity, C.H. Spurgeon wrote. . .

Octavius Winslow – Bio

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

bible-1Octavius Winslow (1808-1878)

There are no pictures to be found of Octavius Winslow. It has been very hard to find out much about him however I hope what I have been able to glean will enlighten you about the love he had for our Saviour. 

 

Edward Winslow came over on the Mayflower in 1620 of which Octavius was a descendant of, Edward was a pilgrim leader among his fellow men and a leading New England Puritan. 

 

Thomas and Mary Winslow were the parents of Octavius, as well nine other children. Thomas was a captain in the Army and stationed in London, where Octavius was born on August 1, 1808. When Octavius was seven years old his father passed away and shortly after his death his mother moved the family to New York, where Octavius was raised and educated. In spite of the deep loss of Mary’s husband and her children’s father, the Winslow family would be deeply blessed of the Lord as all ten of Mary’s and Thomas’ children were saved of which three became preachers, (Octavius was one.) It has been said that Thomas and Mary’s family were very devout and loved the Lord deeply and stood on the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

 

On June 21, 1833 Octavius was also ordained to the ministry and shortly after he moved back to England where he became one of the most esteemed and respected non-conformist ministers of the nineteenth century, mainly because of his sincerity in preaching the Word of God. He was known for his practical excellence in his abundances of written works. He held the office of pastor at Leamington Spa, Bath, and Brighton. He was greatly in demand as a speaker for special occasions, such as the opening of C.H. Spurgeon’s Metropolitan Tabernacle in 1861. 

 

“His Christ centered writings show devotion, practicality, and excellence. He seems to be richly devotional and warms the soul and inflames the heart with a sincere love, reverence, and glorification of Christ.” Jeff with Grace Gems. 

 

Though broad in his interests and sympathies he always adhered to the old Reformed and Puritan theology, yet knew no denominational walls.  His life was devoted to the promotion of an experimental knowledge of the precious truths of God. (Just what does this mean? It means that all the truths of God’s Word, especially the Cross Work of Christ is so absorbed into us, that our lives, our being, and our thoughts, and all that is within us comes alive. We must understand our corrupt nature, what total depravity truly means, the cost we inflicted upon our Saviour and what it means to know Jesus Christ and Him crucified. We then should live a lifestyle of thankfulness and appreciation in our deepest gratitude for the Father – the Son and for the Holy Spirit. Our forever aim should be to bringing Him glory and enjoying Him forever. 

 

After a short illness, Octavius Winslow died on March 5, 1878, and was buried in Abbey Cemetery, Has.

Octavius wrote an immense memoir from the view of his mother on their family which is called “The Life in Jesus.” It is filled with spiritual content on his mother’s life and experiences, arranged from her Correspondence, Diary and Thoughts.  

 

During His lifetime he enthusiastically wrote more than forty books in which he wrote on the truths of God. Some of his works include: Born Again, or, From Grace To Glory; Christ Ever With You; Christ the Theme of the Missionary; Divine Realities; Evening Thoughts; Glimpses of the Truth as it is in Jesus; Grace and Truth; Heaven Opened; Hidden Life; Midnight Harmonies; Human Sympathy; Morning Thoughts;  No Condemnation in Christ Jesus; Personal Declension and Revival of Religion in the Soul; The Fullness Of Christ; The Glory Of The Redeemer in His Person and Work; The Inquirer Directed to an Experimental and Practical View of the Atonement; The Inquirer Directed to an Experimental and Practical View of the Work of the Holy Spirit; The Man Of God, or Spiritual Religion Explained and Enforced; The Silver Trumpet; The Tree of Life; Emmanuel, or the Titles of Christ;  

 

“For several years, I have kept an old used copy of The Precious Things Of God near my desk, often using it as a devotional to stir up my heart to treasure those sacred truths of Scripture which are to mold our thoughts, words, and actions if we aim to live Christ-like. As is true of all of Dr. Winslow’s writings, this volume is a precious gem about precious truths, replete with memorable statements and written for spiritual edification.” Jeff from Grace Gems 

 

This devotional on Octavius Winslow would not be possible without the permission from Grace Gems – I am finding out even more how precious is the work by Jeff at Grace Gems is and his willingness to share with the saints anyway he can. To God be the glory!

Jonathan Edwards – Bio

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

sarah-edwards-3Jonathan Edwards (1703 – 1758)

Born:
Jonathan Edwards was born on October 5, 1703, in East Windsor, Connecticut, into a Puritan godly Protestant household. He was the third President of Princeton but only for one month before his death. He was a pastor, missionary, tutor, and College President. He also wrote numerous books and sermons.

Parents:
His father was Timothy Edwards (1668 – 1759) Timothy was a minister in East Windsor, Connecticut and his mother was Esther Stoddard, she was the daughter of Rev. Solomon Stoddard of Massachusetts. Esther was a very bright and devout Christian woman. Timothy and Esther had eleven children of whom Jonathan was their only son and fifth child.

Childhood:
His childhood education as well as his undergraduate years (1716-1720)
Jonathan enjoyed the subject of History, when he was ten years old he wrote an essay on the “Flying Spider.” It sounds like something a boy would do. He also wrote a tract on the “Immateriality of the Soul.”

Education:
Jonathan was prepared for college by his father and highly educated older sisters. He entered college at the age of twelve almost thirteen and when he graduated he was the head of his class.

His graduate studies (1721-1722) He was the valedictorian at Yale College during this time he was immersed not only in the most current thought coming out of Europe, such as British empiricism and continental rationalism, but also in the debates between the orthodox Calvinism of his Puritan forebears and the more “liberal” movements that challenged it, such as:

1. Deism (a belief in God based on reason rather than revelation and involving the view that God has set the universe in motion but does not interfere with how it runs. Deism was especially influential in the 17th and 18th century

2. Socinianism (a follower of Laelius and Faustus Socinus, Italian theologians who preached belief in God, but rejected other traditional Christian doctrines such as the Trinity and the divinity of Christ), Arianism (a follower of the ancient Greek Christian theologian Arius, who argued that Jesus Christ was the highest created being, but was not divine. This doctrine was pronounced heretical in the 4th century AD.)

3. And especially Anglican Arminianism (relating to or following the Protestant theologian Arminius or his doctrines, which rejected the biblical Calvinist view of absolute predestination etc.)

After his graduation he spent two years studying theology.

Conversion:
Jonathan struggled with his own conversion and sought salvation diligently, while at Yale he had an experience of some kind, at which time he lost the distaste of the doctrine of predestination and embraced it with vigor. He use to think it was a terrible doctrine but now found it to be “exceedingly pleasant – bright and sweet.” His whole outlook changed and he realized that God is Sovereign, and that He can do whatsoever He pleases. He also enjoyed nature and loved reading the Song of Solomon. While in school he wrote theological treatises and many sermons – with many on the Beauty of God and the study of the rules and principles of art

Marriage:
In 1727 he married a lovely lady and godly woman, by the name of Sarah Pierpont, she was seventeen and a very devout Christian young woman. Sarah was the daughter of the very wealthy James Pierpont, who was the founder of Yale. Jonathan and Sarah had eleven children – three boys and eight little girls. Three of Jonathan and Sarah’s daughter married graduates from Yale and their three sons graduated from Princeton of which one of his sons Jonathan Edwards Jr. (1765) became the President of Union College.

Jonathan and Sarah took walks together every evening. Psalm 131 was one of Sarah’s favorite passages in relation to her submission to God. In 1742 she had an experience that changed her life more to the love of God and her submission to him. She wrote down the words “Jesus I am resting, resting! Being liked a winged child rested from the things that keep me from my God”

A very wonderful audio on Sarah Edwards by Desiring God.
http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/MediaPlayer/1656/Audio/

Ministry:
For a short time Jonathan filled the pulpit of a small Presbyterian Church in New York. I would say he was an intern preacher. The church asked him to stay, but he did not feel that was where he was to be. So he went home and studied for two months.

He was ordained a minister at Northampton, Massachusetts, where he was an assistant to his own grandfather Solomon Stoddard. Jonathan found himself the pastor of the largest church in the colonies when his grandfather passed away on February 11, 1729. It is nice to know that he preached in the same church his grandfather was the pastor. He was quite an influence and inspirational leader of religion in the American colonies, and held a great part in developing Christianity in the colonies. He was a man who was dearly respected and loved by many.

“The Great Awakening”In 1731 he preached a sermon in Boston called the “Public Lecture” which was his first and very hard attack on Arminianism. He preached that the work of Salvation was only the work of God and that God alone was Sovereign. That God was the giver of Grace and Faith and it was He who gave the New Heart so one could believe, and that a life in Christ would lead to holiness. He believed if a person had to say a certain prayer, or ask Jesus into their heart it was not the Gospel and was a work of man.

Galatians 2:16: Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

2 Timothy 1:9: Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Titus 3:5: Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

2 Timothy 1:9: Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Ephesians 2:9: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

A revival broke out in Northampton in 1733, which led to the “Great Awakening” from 1739 to 1740 and within just six months almost three hundred souls were added to the church. During this time he wrote “A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God in the Conversion of Many Hundred Souls in Northampton.” It is said that Jonathan Edwards was the spark which started the movement. It is known as a revival movement among the people which changed the lives of many. This movement gave the people the conviction to get right with the Lord and to serve and to follow Him. He took them back to the Scriptures which gave them faith and a belief in the truth of the Scriptures. The Great Awakening changed their scope on religion.

Romans 10:17: So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

He Fought Vigorously Against Arminian Doctrines:
Jonathan was very strict, as well as very conservative in his Calvinist beliefs. He struggled for some time with the doctrine of predestination, but once God opened his heart and mind it became so clear he could not cease to preach the wonderful doctrine to his hears. He lived defending Calvinist theology while teaching that the freewill doctrine of the Arminians was not biblical, but a false and very dangerous doctrine.

The Arminian teaching was doing away with the biblical teaching of Total Depravity, Original Sin and forcefully was teaching the false doctrine of Freewill. Which he felt was robbing God of His glory. Because of this people were relying on themselves to save themselves instead of having a call upon their lives by God. They were making the Gospel of Christ a simple matter which all depended upon the people themselves by asking Jesus into their hearts or saying a prayer.

Edwards Church:
He alienated numerous members of his congregation in 1748 when he departed from his grandfather’s practices of promoting that all who were baptized were to partake of Communion. Edward felt that the only people who could partake in Communion were those who gave acceptable verification of conversion.

There are two things that I have read about Edwards that lead to the congregation dismissing him.
1. Was that he created a list of young people who were reading books that were unfit for a Christian to read and he posted it, with the offenders and accusers names on it. However there are two views, of which one says, he did not distinguish between the two groups, and the other view was that he had them separated on the list. This matter was said to have upset his congregation so that it led to the dismissal of Edwards.

The other thing that helped lead to his dismissal was:
1. Many members of his church felt that he was of the “Old” school and that the truth of the past which the church was founded on didn’t apply to them anymore.

That Arminian teaching took a strong hold in the churches, even in his church and it disturbed Edwards greatly. He believed that Christianity wasn’t just accepting certain doctrine and having head knowledge, but that true Christianity was a real call upon the life of the believer, which possessed the souls of the people who were effectually called and chosen by the Lord. He believed that mankind needed to be born again, converted, having a genuine acknowledgment of the depth of sin and of true faith.

His church being so caught up in the Arminian doctrines and turning away from the truth of the Gospel dismissed him from his pastoral duties on June 22, 1750, which was a very sad day for the man who loved the Lord so greatly. On July 1, 1750 he shared his “Farewell Sermon” with his congregation. He was a gentleman and held no spite or malice toward the congregation and when he gave his last sermon he did it with love. His sermon was taken from 2 Cor. 1:14 and the subject matter was on the future of the true believer when they shall all stand before God Himself. I bet that was a convicting message to some.

It sounds like his church gave him the responsibility to find a new preacher and after four years one candidate came forward. Jonathan gave him a few instructions which the man refused to submit to, however the church backed the candidate and the break between his congregation was final. He then was refused the right to discuss his views within the pulpit. Yet he was allowed to present his views, but only on Thursday afternoons. These meeting were well attended by many people, but not by any members of his own church. His church voted 200 to 23 not to allow him to occupy the Northampton pulpit, but to our surprise the congregation invited him to preach until October 1751.

Although his church had issue with him, all throughout New England his beliefs and teachings were accepted. He believed that the Lords Supper saved no one and some members of his own church thought it did. He knew that the Lords Supper was in remembrance of what the Lord had done for His elect people and that it saved no person. He also felt that once confirmed they should be professing Christ as Saviour and Lord. Later a pastor by the name of Joseph Bellamy was successful in making these issues a model in New England.

Without Employment:
Jonathan was now without a job to support his large family when those in the body of Christ stepped up and offers of help were given him. His church refused to let them keep an allotment of land which was used to garden food for their family, so times were very hard on Jonathan and Ester to provide for their large family. He also was offered a parish in Scotland and one in Virginia but refused them both. But he did accept a pastoral call to in a church in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, as well as a missionary to the Housatonic Indians using an interpreter to help him to preach to the Indians. Stockbridge was a frontier settlement, while there he was able to devote much of his time in writing and in deep study. This was when he wrote “The Freedom of the Will” a very good book.

In 1758 Aaron Burr married Edwards’s daughter Esther, they were only married for five years before his untimely death. Burr was the President of the College of New Jersey and when he passed away, Edwards accepted the post to be the President of the College of New Jersey (Princeton University) One month after taking this office he died of experimental smallpox vaccine.

Tragedy strikes the Edwards over and over in one year

Aaron Burr passed away as noted above, then Jonathan passes away and then Esther their daughter die suddenly 2 weeks after the death of her father, then on October 2, 1758 Sarah herself passed away at a friend’s home of dysentery. Sarah was 49 years old upon her death. It is thought their older children raised the remaining children.

Jonathan felt strongly that the enemy to the true Christian faith was the Arminian professors and their freewill doctrine, as many of the early colonists were falling away from the teachings of the Scriptures and into Arminian teaching. He also believed in Presbyterian government in the church over Congregational government.

Jonathan Edwards will always be remembered as a man who loved God so dearly and that he believed strongly in preaching the Word of God and standing firm on it. He was a man who took being a Christian as a serious matter and way of daily life. His works are still in print and he will always be remembered for being a teaching pastor, missionary as well as a great writer.

His Beliefs:
Salvation by Grace alone, through faith alone.
He believed in the Predestination of the elect of God.
He believed in the teachings of Calvinist.
He felt strongly that Arminianism freewill doctrine was a false doctrine.
Lynn

All material presented – is with permission from: “SermonAudio.com,” “The Highway,” “Grace Gems,” & “Stillwater Revival Books” “Trinity Foundation” “Darrin Brooker “Puritan Library” “Five Sola’s” “Italian Protestantism

John Calvin – Bio

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

calvin-6-darrin-brookerJohn Calvin (1509 – 1564)

John Calvin’s real name was Jean Chauvin or Caulin, – (Calvin is the Latin form of Cauvin). He was born on July 10, 1509, in Noyon just NE of Paris and died in Geneva, Switzerland on May 27, 1564. Calving was converted between 1532 -1534.

His father was Gerald Cauvin a very well educated man and held several different positions. His mother was Jeanne Le Franc from Cambria. Both of his parents were very staunch Roman Catholics and he was raise into the Catholic faith. At one time his father was the administrator in the Catholic cathedral in Noyon.

Gerald and Jeanne had five sons, of which John was their second son. Three of his siblings died during childhood. Jeanne died when John was young and Gerald remarried – his second wife’s name is unknown – they had two daughters from this union.

Some say Calvin’s father wanted his son to be a priest so he went to Paris to pursue the priesthood. Others say his father wanted him to be a lawyer and so he entered college for that purpose, in studying Calvin both were true.

At 14 years of age John attended the College de Marche, which was to prepare him for the university. He studied arithmetic, astronomy, geometry, grammar, logic, music, rhetoric (persuasive speech or writing). In 1523 he changed colleges to the College Montaigu, as well as his name to Jean Calvin. We must remember that he was deeply involved in the Roman Catholic Church, but at the meeting of some new friends in 1527 in became accounted with the Reformed faith. Also in 1527 his father decided John should take on the study of law.

In 1532 -1534 he was converted and became a man of God, a passionate Protestant and follower of Christ. His conversion impressed upon him the Sovereignty of God and man’s sinfulness and total depravity – total! He was highly thought of as one of the early leaders of the Protestant Reformation and was a man who did not compromise the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, and stood firm in God’s biblical teachings in His Word.

He fled to Basel, Switzerland because of the Catholic persecution in France; here he wrote his “Institutes of Christian Religion” in 1536 he went to Geneva, Switzerland where he met William Farel, who was himself a reformer and who convinced Calvin to stay longer than the short overnight which he had intended. Farel was so forceful or should we say threatening of God’s anger and a curse from God, if Calvin did not stay, that Calvin decided to take him up on his offer of persuasion and stayed.

At the age of 27 and while in Geneva he was a lecturer and a preacher however by 1538 he was asked to leave because of conflicts in theology, although it is said that he and William Farel had to flee for their lives, because of vigorous plans to reform the church and the immoral city government.

Calvin moved to Strasbourg where he was extremely happy and ministered to a French congregation. While in Strasbourg he met and married a widow lady named Idelette de Bure.

Then in 1541 his friends in Geneva gained control of the Geneva council and he was asked to return and executed a list of moral rules and establish church government. This action on his part saved the town of Geneva from the savageness of sinful men.

Calvin became ill in 1561 and died three years later. He was unquestionably one of the greatest of Protestant divines. and perhaps, after St. Augustine, the most perseveringly followed by his disciples of any Western writer on theology.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did researching John Calvin.
Lynn

With permission from SermonAudio.com
Also with permission from Darrin Brooker

John Bunyan

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

john-bunyan-in-blueJohn Bunyan ( 1628 – 1688) A Christian preacher and author

John Bunyan was born, on November 30, 1628, at Harrowden in the rural village of Elstow, only a mile south of Bedford, England. There is a plaque on the site where there was once a lowly cottage, it is here that it is thought John Bunyan was born. It is near two fields called “Further Bunyans” and “Bunyans”.

John followed in his father footsteps and became a tinker’s or brazier trade (a metal worker). His father was very poor and when he died he left John with only one shilling. As a child he loved to play “tip-cat”, a game played on the village green in Elstow. John had very little education and was a very crude and vulgar young man, with a very irreverent and disrespectful mouth. It is said even wicked men were shocked at what came out of his it.

His mother passed away in 1644 and his father (for the third time) quickly remarried one month later. John was not pleased with his father’s remarriage and found himself estranged from his father.

During England’s civil war, in 1644 young John joined the army and served in Cromwell’s Parliament at Newport Pagnell. At one time he was called to be in the siege and another young man asked if he could take John’s place. The young man was killed and John felt this was a sign that God saved his life from death and felt that the Lord had something for him to do. John was released from the military in 1647.

In 1649, he returned to Elstow and married a local woman whose name was probably Mary, and the two of them lived in Elstow. Mary was born in 1625, she came from a godly home and was very influenal in sharing the gospel with John. They had three children, including a daughter Mary who was blind from birth. They also had another daughter named Elizabeth and two sons John, and Thomas.

He and his wife were both very poor and it is said that neither had silverware or a dish to eat out of. One day as he was reading from two Christian books (here he was being influenced by Gospel truth) “The Plain Man’s Pathway to Heaven” by Arthur Dent and “The Practice of Piety” by Lewis Bayly, which were given to the young couple as a dowry gift from his father in-law, he heard a voice. “Will you leave your sins and go to Heaven, or have your sins and go to Hell?” Of course between reading the book, which was convicting to him and hearing the voice, he was very disturbed. All of a sudden he began to question his rebellious and unruly lifestyle and began to search for a deeper sense of significance. John felt himself such a sinner that he thought God would not forgive him, yet with much struggle he put away his dirty mouth and spent much time reading his Bible, however, with little peace of mind. Yet he felt he was making points with God by his reading and cleaning up his mouth and actions.

John continued to struggle with the lack of peace until one day he overheard two women speaking about their faith and he decided to leave his church and started attending the ladies congregation meeting at St. John’s Church, Bedford. Here he became very good friends with the pastor, John Gifford. However all of this did not change him until around 1650 when he read Luther’s commentary on Galatians and then he realized that salvation was by faith alone and not of works. Here he finally found the peace he was searching for. As all Christians from time to time, have struggles along the way in our Christian walk in Christ, John too had struggles and yet God used him greatly. He became a preacher with a great following, who would arrive before dawn just to hear him preach. John was also preaching now at John Gifford’s church along with openly in the streets and country side. Anywhere there were people, John would be found preaching. There was one problem with John Bunyan preaching and that was he needed a license from the State to preach.

He had a ruddy complexion, sparkling eyes, was tall of stature, strong-boned, he also had a high forehead and wore his reddish hair like men of his day. As he aged his hair became more salt and pepper. His nose was strong and his mouth was on the large size. He was not wealthy, nor traumatized with hardship.

John’s countenance was stern and seemly to have a rough temper; however he never boasted of himself; in conversation he was mild and easygoing. He was plain and modest and was not given too many words when in the company of others, unless the circumstances were necessary. He abhorred lying and swearing, never revenged injuries, but would reconcile differences with love. Because of this trait he made many friends from those who were his enemy. He also had an excellent ability to discern people and their motives. Bunyan’s best godly character was his deep, heartfelt humility.

John’s dear godly wife, Mary died in 1655; this little union was to have lasted only 6 years. Then in 1659 he remarried a sweet lovely lady named Elizabeth. John and Elizabeth had two more children Sarah and Joseph. Elizabeth was a very godly and courageous woman and loyal to John, even during all the years of imprisonment for his convictions of his faith.

In 1660 when the monarchy was restored and in the attempt to restrain the growth of Independent Congregations it once again started going after the non-conformist preachers and they went after them with vigor, they made preaching without a license illegal. Bunyan became a deacon in his church and began preaching where ever he felt like it. But of course it was against the law, since John was not a licensed minister of the state church. He would preach out in the open which was highly illegal and since he didn’t have a license he was arrested. He was threatened if he preached in homes or on the street or out in the country he would be arrested. But boldly he did it anyway. He was promptly arrested and given three months in prison. During this time his wife Elizabeth had a miscarriage which greatly bothered John.

No matter what the authorities said and what laws they passed, John believed in what he was preaching, to the point that he could not cease sharing the Gospel with others, for he know it was the power of God unto Salvation. In 1660 while preaching near a farmhouse in the village of Samsell, he was arrested again, and taken to Bedford where he was tried at Bedford Assizes and ordered held in the County jail for his crime of not conforming to the laws of preaching. He was told if he promised not to preach he could be released however, he refused their offer by saying “That such a promise was not possible.” So he was incarcerated for twelve years. He was most lonely for his wife and family but determined he was standing for the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. While in prison he had time to read his Bible, write and even preach to the prisoners. It was in jail he wrote his sixty books, one of which was Pilgrim’s Progress and Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners.

His wife pleaded with the authorities to release her husband but with no avail. She told them “My lord, I have four small children that cannot help themselves, of which one is blind, and have nothing to live upon but the charity of good people.’ But it made no difference to the authorities, that she was really destitute.

(Picture of John saying goodbye to his wife and children in prison)

His wife pleaded with the authorities to release her husband but with no avail. She told them “My lord, I have four small children that cannot help themselves, of which one is blind, and have nothing to live upon but the charity of good people.’ But it made no difference to the authorities, that she was really destitute.

Prison was a dirty grungy place, where they were forced to share the private areas. Many people died in prison because of the unfit conditions. While John was in prison he made shoelaces to help support his wife and children. The church also helped with her support. John did not waste his time, but read his Bible, wrote poems, books, essays sermons, witnessed to the inmates, and preached to them along with making hundreds his shoelaces to sell. So he could supply his house with bare necessaries to meet the expenses of a wife and four children must have filled him with anxiety.”

In George Offor’s memoir in his edition of The Works of John Bunyan he comments: “Bunyan was thus left in a dreary and hopeless state of imprisonment, in which he continued for somewhat more than twelve years, and it becomes an interesting inquiry how he spent his time and managed to employ his great talent in his Master’s service. The first object of his solicitude would be to provide for his family.

While in prison John wrote an article called Some Gospel Truths Opened against the Quakers – yet the Quakers helped to get him released from prison. At long last, King Charles II set free most of the non-conformers which included John Bunyan. He was enjoying his wife and children but was not home long tell he was arrested again shortly after being released for you guessed it preaching. Then Charles II recanted on his word and had all the non-conformers arrested.

While John was out preaching a warrant had been issued for his arrest. This time he spent six more months in jail. This is when he began to write the his book “Pilgrim’s Progress.”

John had expected to be incarcerated again and was greatly filled with anguish of heart with regard to his families’ welfare. Several things went through his mind but everything led him to the Scriptures and the Lord strengthen him in his anguished heart.

On May 15, 1672 he received his license to preach. Upon being set free he set out first to care for his family and then to the preaching and writing to share the blessed Gospel with other. Also during this time he visited those who stood by him and his family while he was in prison.

When Pastor John Gifford died, John took his place as head of St. John’s Church, he would travel all over the district preaching and sharing the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and that salvation was by grace alone through faith and not according to man’s works.

He preached vigorously as usual and was very well thought of and his services were of demand all over the country of England

He shared with a Mr. Cockayn, who considered John the most distinguished man, that spiritual pride was his easily besetting sin, and that he needed the thorn in the flesh, lest he should be exalted above measure. A sense of this weakness probably led him to peculiar watchfulness against it. His humbleness was genuine and not with the pride. Having preached with great vigor, one of his friends took him by the hand and could not help observing what a sweet sermon he had delivered; ‘Ay,’ said he, ‘you need not remind me of that, for the devil told me of it before I was out of the pulpit!’

His humbleness was from his spiritual union with the Lord Himself, daily he was taught deeper humility from his time in prayer with the Lord and his reading in God’s Word. He knew with all his heart that God was the High and Lofty One, who inhabited eternity! And, he felt that any man who knew this should creep into a mouse-hole and hid himself from such Majesty. John wrote: “There is room in this man’s heart for God to dwell.’’ ‘‘I find it one of the hardest things that I can put my soul upon, even to come to God, when warmly sensible that I am a sinner, for a share in grace and mercy. I cannot but with a thousand tears say, ‘‘God be merciful to me a sinner.’’

John became ill with a sweating sickness which was often fatal. In 1688 though weakened he traveled to Reading, London and on his way home he encountered bad weather of chilling cold and torrential rains – he caught a terrible cold and fever and was able to stop at a Christian friends home, there he was overcome by a great fever, after of which he had a stroke. He died on August 31, 1688 and was buried in the Bunhill Fields in London. This lovely couple was married for a sort 29 years, with much of it being separated by John’s imprisonment. It is not known if Elizabeth was with him when he passed from this life and into the arms of his Lord and Master.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did researching John Bunyan’s life.
Lynn

My notes were gleaned with much appreciation and with permission –I would like to thank both “SermonAudio.com” on their John Bunyan bio. as well as Barry E. Horner’s “Bunyan Ministries” from his writings on “John Bunyan as a Husband, Father and Family Man” a very in-depth biography by Dr. Horner

Horatius Bonar Bio (short)

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

horatius-bonar-11Horatius Bonar D.D. (1808 – 1889)

Horatius Bonar D.D. A Scottish author, poet, and preacher who wrote over 600 hymns of our faith, was born on December 19, 1808, in Old Broughton, Edinburgh, Scotland, and he died on July 31, 1889, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Horatius was the son of James Bonar and was one of eleven children, of which two others, Andrew and John were also minister of the Free Church of Scotland. Horatius came from a family filled with Presbyterian ministers, a total of 364 years of ministers left their legacy in his family. Horatius and his family not only taught the Word of God, but they lived devote Christian lives before their fellow men. He was a dearly beloved brother in Christ and is highly respected to this day in Scotland.
Horatius received his early education in Edinburgh. Though young he devoted himself to the service of God, and chose to make the ministry his life-work. He was honored to have studied under Thomas Chalmers while at the University of Edinburgh. He earned his Doctor of Divinity degree in 1853 at the University of Aberdeen.

A young women named Jane Catharine Lundie the daughter of Rev. Robert Lundie was born December 1821 in Kelso Manse, Scotland. Jane had lost her mother in 1832 and moved to a Edinburgh, Scotland. After which she was sent to London for schooling in 1835, after her schooling she returned to Edinburg and then went to Cleish and stayed there with her sister Mary until Mary died in 1840. Horatius and Jane met and fell in love and then married 1843. They had nine children of which five of them died while yet young. I cannot imagine the grief and sorrow that they must have felt with losing their five children in death. Jane died on December 3, 1884.

His beloved wife passed away in 1884 and Horatius suffered exceedingly the last two years of his life. He died on July 31, 1889, five years after his dear Jane. They both died in Edinburgh, Scotland and are both buried in Canongate churchyard.

I hope you have enjoyed this biography of Horatius Bonar and his wife Jane.
Lynn

My Biography was created from my notes taken from information and with permission from Darrin Brooker on Horatius Bonar, from Darrin’s two sites one called “Darrin Brooker”  The Life and Work of Horatius Bonar” 

Horatius Bonar – (med. size) Bio

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

horatius-bonar-15Horatius Bonar D.D. (1808 – 1889)

Horatius Bonar D.D. A Scottish author, poet, and preacher who wrote many hymns of our faith, was born on December 19, 1808, in Old Broughton, Edinburgh, Scotland, and he died on July 31, 1889, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Horatius was the son of James Bonar and was one of eleven children, of which two others, Andrew and John were also minister of the Free Church of Scotland. Horatius came from a family filled with Presbyterian ministers, a total of 364 years of ministers left their legacy in his family. Horatius and his family not only taught the Word of God, but they lived devote Christian lives before their fellow men. He was a dearly beloved brother in Christ and is highly respected to this day in Scotland.

A young women named Jane Catharine Lundie the daughter of Rev. Robert Lundie was born December 1821 in Kelso Manse, Scotland. Jane had lost her mother in 1832 and moved to a Edinburgh, Scotland. After which she was sent to London for schooling in 1835, after her schooling she returned to Edinburg and then went to Cleish and stayed there with her sister Mary until Mary died in 1840. Horatius and Jane met and fell in love and then married 1843. They had nine children of which five of them died while yet young. I cannot imagine the grief and sorrow that they must have felt with losing their five children in death. Jane died on December 3, 1884.

In 1837 he became a minister in Kelso, and he was totally devoted to the work of the Lord, and spent many an hour’s weekly visiting and comforting his congregation, and they dearly love him for his care of the flock of God.

He was a busy minister and edited several magazines, in addition he wrote many books and hymns, yet his heart was on preaching the Word of God.

He preached about a Sovereign God and salvation by Grace alone, he knew that man was saved not by his own freewill but only and solely by the Grace of God, through faith by and through the working of the Holy Spirit. A great revival broke out in Dundee, and God’s Spirit moved greatly as Horatius took part in “The Great Disruption, in 1843 which led to the founding of the Free Church of Scotland.

Mr. Bonar nicely put it ““Righteousness without works to the sinner, simply on his acceptance of the Divine message concerning Jesus and His sufficiency,–this has been the burden of our good news…It is one message, one gospel, one cross, one sacrifice, from which nothing can be taken and to which nothing can be added. This is the…beginning and the ending of our ministry.”

Bonar worked hard to spread the Gospel message, realizing that he could reach more people by the written word, he began to write tracts. His goal was 1. Edify the saints 2. Warn those who lost, and 3. To present the gospel message simply. In the pulpit his messages were clear, as he preached righteousness alone came by Christ alone who was the only hope of sinners.

Horatius Bonar wrote not only wonderful hymns filled with doctrine but he also wrote hymns for children to sing as well. They would have a children song and then a short message to them. Horatius loved these times building the faith of the young. Horatius worked hard for the Lord and his congregation followed his example as they were filled with zeal and good works.

Bonar’s songs and messages spread worldwide, He himself revered the early church fathers and was very comfortable with them, and he studied deeply the literature of the Reformation and dearly loved the Puritans. He was so deeply in love with his Master the Lord Jesus Christ that he could not keep what he learned to himself, and as a godly shepherd he quickly shared to enrich the lives of others.

One wonderful thing can be said about Horatius Bonar and that is that he loved his Lord with all his heart and served his Master well. He lived the life he preached which was to the glory of God and in turn those who heard his messages and saw his life profited greatly children and adults alike. He did not seek the honor of men, but with his great sermons, hymns and literature honor was bestow upon him. His work for God is meat for the soul and is handed down to many a generations. We now live in times when doctrine is not important nor the ways of our forgathers, churches are places of entertainment and books on self improvement have taken many a people away from the God of the Bible.

Horatius Bonar’s wife, Jane Lundie Bonar, wrote hymns as well and their home must have been filled with hours of joyful God honoring music.

Let us refresh ourselves with our Bibles and great writings – songs and poems of those who have gone before us as we put our feet back on solid ground and depart from the slippery sloops of the false gospels that are being preached from pulpits today. Let us know who we follow and know what and why they believed in what they did. Let us make sure of our foundation so we stand as Christ commanded us to do.

Horatius had written over 600 hymns, although they did not sing his hymns in his church, as hymns were never sung in the worship service!

His beloved wife passed away in 1884 and Horatius himself suffered exceedingly the last two years of his life. He himself died on July 31, 1889, five years after his dear Jane. They both died in Edinburgh, Scotland and are both buried in Canon-gate churchyard.

May you enjoy this as much as I did researching all the material on him.
Lynn

My Biography was created from my notes taken from information and with permission from Darrin Brooker on Horatius Bonar, from Darrin’s blog called “Darrin Brooker”

For more information on Horatius Bonar go to: “The Life and Work of Horatius Bonar

Horatius Bonar – Bio – Longer

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

horatius-bonar-16a-cabninet-printHoratius Bonar D.D. (1808 – 1889)

Horatius Bonar D.D. A Scottish author, poet, and preacher who wrote many hymns of our faith, was born on December 19, 1808, in Old Broughton, Edinburgh, Scotland, and he died on July 31, 1889, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Horatius was the son of James Bonar and was one of eleven children, of which two others, Andrew and John were also minister of the Free Church of Scotland. Horatius came from a family filled with Presbyterian ministers, a total of 364 years of ministers left their legacy in his family. Horatius and his family not only taught the Word of God, but they lived devote Christian lives before their fellow men. He was a dearly beloved brother in Christ and is highly respected to this day in Scotland.

A young women named Jane Catharine Lundie the daughter of Rev. Robert Lundie was born December 1821 in Kelso Manse, Scotland. Jane had lost her mother in 1832 and moved to a Edinburgh, Scotland. After which she was sent to London for schooling in 1835, after her schooling she returned to Edinburg and then went to Cleish and stayed there with her sister Mary until Mary died in 1840. Horatius and Jane met and fell in love and then married 1843. They had nine children of which five of them died while yet young. I cannot imagine the grief and sorrow that they must have felt with losing their five children in death. Jane died on December 3, 1884

In 1837 he became a minister in Kelso, and he was totally devoted to the work of the Lord, and spent many an hour’s weekly visiting and comforting his congregation, and they dearly love him for his care of the flock of God.

He was a busy minister and edited several magazines, in addition he wrote many books and hymns, yet his heart was on preaching the Word of God.

He preached about a Sovereign God and salvation by Grace alone, he knew that man was saved not by his own freewill but only and solely by the Grace of God, through faith by and through the working of the Holy Spirit. A great revival broke out in Dundee, and God’s Spirit moved greatly as Horatius took part in “The Great Disruption, in 1843 which led to the founding of the Free Church of Scotland.

Mr. Bonar nicely put it ““Righteousness without works to the sinner, simply on his acceptance of the Divine message concerning Jesus and His sufficiency,–this has been the burden of our good news…It is one message, one gospel, one cross, one sacrifice, from which nothing can be taken and to which nothing can be added. This is the…beginning and the ending of our ministry.”

Bonar worked hard to spread the Gospel message, realizing that he could reach more people by the written word, he began to write tracts. His goal was 1. Edify the saints 2. Warn those who lost, and 3. To present the gospel message simply. In the pulpit his messages were clear, as he preached righteousness alone came by Christ alone who was the only hope of sinners.

Horatius Bonar wrote not only wonderful hymns filled with doctrine but he also wrote hymns for children to sing as well. They would have a children song and then a short message to them. Horatius loved these times building the faith of the young. Horatius worked hard for the Lord and his congregation followed his example as they were filled with zeal and good works.

Bonar’s songs and messages spread worldwide, He himself revered the early church fathers and was very comfortable with them, and he studied deeply the literature of the Reformation and dearly loved the Puritans. He was so deeply in love with his Master the Lord Jesus Christ that he could not keep what he learned to himself, and as a godly shepherd he quickly shared to enrich the lives of others.

One wonderful thing can be said about Horatius Bonar and that is that he loved his Lord with all his heart and served his Master well. He lived the life he preached which was to the glory of God and in turn those who heard his messages and saw his life profited greatly children and adults alike. He did not seek the honor of men, but with his great sermons, hymns and literature honor was bestow upon him. His work for God is meat for the soul and is handed down to many a generations. We now live in times when doctrine is not important nor the ways of our forgathers, churches are places of entertainment and books on self improvement have taken many a people away from the God of the Bible.

Horatius Bonar’s wife, Jane Lundie Bonar, wrote hymns as well and their home must have been filled with hours of joyful God honoring music.

Let us refresh ourselves with our Bibles and great writings – songs and poems of those who have gone before us as we put our feet back on solid ground and depart from the slippery sloops of the false gospels that are being preached from pulpits today. Let us know who we follow and know what and why they believed in what they did. Let us make sure of our foundation so we stand as Christ commanded us to do.

Horatius had written over 600 hymns, although they did not sing his hymns in his church, as hymns were never sung in the worship service!

His beloved wife passed away in 1884 and Horatius himself suffered exceedingly the last two years of his life. He himself died on July 31, 1889, five years after his dear Jane. They both died in Edinburgh, Scotland and are both buried in Canon-gate churchyard.

May you enjoy this as much as I did researching all the material on Horatius Bonar.
Lynn

My Biography was created from my notes taken from information and with permission from Darrin Brooker on Horatius Bonar, from Darrin’s blog called “Darrin Brooker” 

Gordon Haddon Clark

Monday, February 16th, 2009

gordon-haddon-clark-3Dr. Gordon Haddon Clark (1902-1985)


The only son of David and Elizabeth Clark was born on August 31, 1902 and was given the name of Gordon Haddon Clark.
  

His father was a pastor who himself graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary and pastored three Philadelphia churches of which his last was Bethel Presbyterian (this too is the church he pastored when Gordon was born and David remained there until his death in 1939.) Gordon was without a doubt brought up in a Christian home and learned much from his father and mother about the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. In addition Gordon had access to his father’s wonderful library from his youth and he gleaned material on great reformed men of God like Hodge, Calvin and Warfield to say the least. He was instructed by his parents in Calvinistic doctrine and taught from the Westminster Confession of Faith and its shorter catechism. While in a vocational school he received a very good education as well as learning French and Latin. In 1924 he graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and five years later from the same school he graduated with a Ph. D. in philosophy. He also studied at Sorbonne in Paris. 

Gordon was married in 1929 to a lady named Ruth Schmidt; they had two daughters who they named Lois and Nancy and were married for 48 years. 

Over the years he held various positions of some of which were: – 1929 to 1936 he was an instructor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. Then during 1936 to 1944 He held a position as professor of Philosophy at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He was ordained on August 9, 1944 and became the pastor of the Orthodox Presbyterian Chruch after of which he served at the Trinity OPC Church in Cincinnati, Ohio and at the same time was a working Professor of Philosophy at Butler University. He left the OPC in 1948 and joined hands with the UPCNA, a different Presbyterian group. Dr. Clark merged with or changed denominations several times. He refused to join hands with the PCA but in 1984 he joined with the Covenant Presbytery. During all these years Dr. Gordon Haddon Clark held a position with Butler University as the Chairman for the Depart men of Philosophy until his retirement in 1973. Then between 1973 and 1983 he taught at Covenant College at Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. Starting in 1974 and for 10 years there after he spent his summers at the Sangre de Christo Seminary in Westcliffe, Colorado and off and on at the Reformed Episcopal Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  

In 1977 Ruth preceded her husband in death and some years later Gordon himself died after a short but serious illness. He was laid to rest on April 9, 1985, and was buried in Westcliffe, Colorado. 

Dr. Clark wrote over 33 books – many articles and was the founder of the evangelical Theological Society. He left behind many students who dearly loved him along with our very own pastor Mike Waters.  

Clark was influenced heavily by the nature of the Reformation.  He believed that doctrine was best expounded by the Reformers and followed their lead in exegesis while applying it in the realm of the philosophical views in which he lived. He was an American philosopher and Calvinist theologian, and was  primary an advocate for the idea of presuppositional apologetics. He was an expert in pre-Socratic and ancient philosophy and was noted for his rigor in defending Platonic realism against all forms of empiricism, in arguing that all truth is propositional and in applying the laws of logic. His theory of knowledge is sometimes called scripturalism.   

 

Gleaned from information and with permission from Trinity Foundation and A Puritan’s Mind.

Ferrell E. Griswold – Bio

Monday, February 16th, 2009

dr-ferrell-griswoldFerrell Griswold (Sept. 21, 1928 – Feb. 13, 1982)

Ferrell Eugene Griswold – was a faithful minister of the Word of God, and pastor in Birmingham, Alabama for thirty-two years, He was born in New Brockton, Alabama on September 21, 1928 and passed away on February 13, 1982.

Ferrell Griswold was the son of Marvin and Una Griswold. He graduated from Howard (now Samford University), Southeastern Bible College and Birmingham Southern, he received his Master’s degree from Grace Seminary in Albany, Georgia and his Doctor’s degree from the University of Chicago.

He was in demand as a lecturer and a preacher, all across the United States – Spain – France Mexico – Ireland as well as England, and had a world view of sharing the Bible.

Ferrell Griswold was not afraid to defend the Word of God and to preach it with force which God used greatly. He was an outspoken individual in his views on Biblical Creationism and on Scriptural Theology. In addition he felt very strongly about his patriotism and on Constitutional Government as well as the Christian’s heritage of this nation. He was a Reformed Baptist minister who wasn’t afraid to preach the Word of God.

Ferrell Griswold is very special to my husband and I, as God used him greatly in our lives.

We heard him on the radio and through his preaching we were strengthened and our faith was built ever stronger.
I hope you enjoy reading about him and grow to love his preaching.
Lynn

With permission from SermonAudio.com 

Frances Ridley Havergal – Short Bio

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

frances-havergal-5Frances Ridley Havergal  – (1836-1879)

Miss Havergal’s life was brief yet powerful for our Lord and Saviour. She was born December 14th, 1836, in Ast­ley, Wor­ces­ter­shire, Eng­land and died June 3rd, 1879, in Cas­wall Bay, near Swan­sea, Wales. Frances was buried in Ast­ley, Wor­ces­ter­shire, Eng­land, which was the ci­ty of her birth. On her tomb­stone one will read the Script­ure verse she claimed as her own: “The blood of Je­sus Christ cleans­eth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

Frances was the daughter of Reverend William Henry Havergal and his wife Jane. She was the youngest of five siblings, three sisters and two brothers. She was brought up in a Christian home. Frances followed in her father’s footsteps as he was known as a famous writer of sacred music.

Yet Frances struggled with self through a life of the utmost purity and even sanctity, a life devoted to good works, and endeavors of all sorts, she was disturbed by the sense of continual back-sliding.  She said: “I remember longing to be able to say ‘O God, my heart is fixed’ in bitter mourning over its weakness and wavering.”  With all her humanness and works she struggled to know Christ, and yet she failed in all herself attempts to be in Christ, for she discovered all her works were in vain, and failing to have her intended desirer, she discovered she had nothing in herself to make her a Christian and if she were to be one, she realized that she must TRUST in Christ alone to save her, for it was His grace and nothing less that would grant her, her hearts desirer. It is pleasant to know that these dark shadows were eventually lifted, and her struggles were succeeded by a calm trust and confidence, thus faithfully mirrored in the prelude to “Under His Shadow.” Frances dedicated her life to Him, the one who saved her from her sins and self, in addition she wrote many poems and hymns for Jesus her Lord and Saviour.

In 1879, nine years after her father’s death, Frances became very ill, not allowing her to take a trip to Ireland with Sankey and Moody to sing her beloved hymns. She died at the young age of 42 on June 3, 1879. Frances is buried in Ashley churchyard near her mother and father.

Though she died at age 42 ½, Frances Ridley Havergal was known as “the consecration poet” and is remembered for her life being fully surrendered to Christ, her King.  Frances said, “There cannot be full blessedness until there is full surrender.”  This she did whole-heartedly during her lifetime . . . it was all for Jesus.!

Excerpts from “My King and His Service,” Information from and with permission from Cyber Hymnal and Mrs. Sherry Goodwin

View a longer Biographical Sketch By: Sherry Goodwin

FRANCES RIDLEY HAVERGAL – Bio

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

frances-havergal-6Frances Ridley Havergal – (1836-1879) 

 

Miss Havergal’s life was brief yet powerful for our Lord and Saviour. She was born December 14th, 1836, in a village of Ast­ley, Wor­ces­ter­shire, Eng­land and died June 3rd, 1879, in Cas­well Bay, near Swan­sea, Wales. Frances was buried in Ast­ley, Wor­ces­ter­shire, Eng­land, which was the ci­ty of her birth. On her tomb­stone one will read the Script­ure verse she claimed as her own: “The blood of Je­sus Christ cleans­eth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

Frances was the daughter of Reverend William Henry Havergal (1793 – 1870) and his wife Jane. William and Jane were married on May 2, 1816. She was the daughter of William Head from East Grinstead. Reverend Havergal was the pastor to the Anglican Church in Astley which is in Worcestershire County, England. Reverend Havergal was also a writer of scared songs and music, of which he was well known. Frances’ mother was known as “The lovely Jane Head.” Her father had a nickname for her which was “Little Quicksilver.”  Several of his sermons and over 100 of his hymns are preserved yet to this day.

She was the youngest of six children, three sisters and two brothers. Her siblings were: Miriam, Maria, Ellen, Henry and Frank. The children were brought up in a Christian home. You could say they “were brought up in a little hot house like where flowers grow,” the children along with the servant were gathered together each evening for a time around the blessed Word.

When Frances was six years old she heard a sermon which stayed with her… “Of this I even now retain a distinct impression. It was to me a very terrible one, dwelling much on hell and judgment, and what a fearful thing it is to fall into the hands of the living God. No one ever knew it, but this sermon haunted me, and day and night it crossed me.”

Frances learned to read at the age of three, and at the age of four she began to memorize the Word of God. She then began her writing at the age of seven, taking Scripture verse of text and writing her poems and song from them. France herself was an exceptionally gifted child. She is known for her prose, poetry and song. God used her talents to reassure – console – edify – as well as to encourage those who read or sang her beautiful writings, poems and songs. She was also known for being an accomplished singer and musician. It is said that her voice was angelic.

It has been written of Frances that she “played the piano with skill, sang with charm, and composed. Her friends delighted to hear her interpret the works of the great masters, especially Handel, Beethoven and Mendelssohn, much of whose work she knew by heart. Her playing of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” was absolutely unforgettable.”  She spent many hours to the point of exhaustion in her composing of poems – music and writing books.

She lived near the Severn River of which was the inspiration of one of her songs “Like a River Glorious”

Her father was a sickly man most of his life, yet he lived to a good old age. In 1841 and because of her father’s ill health they moved to Henwick House, near Worchester. Their new home was situated on large grounds with beautiful gardens; it is here where she became aware of God and His creation. Frances and her spaniel dog Flora would disappear into the gardens quite often. Here feeling alone she began to be impressed with the knowledge of God. During this time her mother said to her: “You are my youngest little girl, and I feel more anxious about you than the rest. I do pray for the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you. And remember, nothing but the precious blood of Jesus Christ can make you clean and lovely in God’s sight.”

Just four years later in 1845, Mr. Havergal’s health improved and her father accepted the position at the Parish of St. Nicholas, Worcester. In time he was made the Dean of the cathedral and later a Canon. Frances did not like the life in Worcester and called herself a “Caged lark.”

Her mother passed away from a two year battle with cancer on July 5, 1848 when Frances was only twelve years of age, after a long and excruciatingly painful illness. The day they carried the coffin from her home, Frances broke down realizing the scope of the situation. The only thing the child could say was “Mamma, Mamma.” She knew her mother’s heartfelt prayer was that she would come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal Saviour.

 

As many young girls in those days, Frances too, was sent away to Campden House in London to school. Here she saw much evidence of others being brought to Christ, yet at this time He did not touch her heart unto Salvation.

 

Mrs. Teed a headmistress in a school in Campden House in London stopped in to visit the family, bringing along Mrs. Teed’s friend, Miss Caroline Cooke, (who turned out to be her father’s second wife) and, who was instrumental in bringing Frances to the Lord.

 

When Frances was 14 years of age, Caroline asked Frances “Could you not commit your soul to Him, to your Saviour, Jesus?” And quite suddenly Frances got up and rushed to her room knowing that at last she could say ‘yes’. She wrote, “Then and there, I committed my soul to the Saviour, I do not mean to say without any fear or trembling, but I did—and the earth and heaven seemed bright from that moment—I did trust the Lord Jesus. For the next few days my happiness increased. Over and over again, I renewed that giving up my soul to the Saviour which has made entrance for the joy.” Jesus did save her and she trusted Him with her life and with her death. Later she wrote hymns like “In Full and Glad Surrender” and “I am Trusting Thee, Lord Jesus”

 

In 1853 after making a trip in 1852 to Germany with her father to a doctor who was able to improve his failing eyesight, Frances was confirmed in the cathedral in Worcester. Here she gladly professed her belief and love of Christ. Upon her confirmation she let it be known that she was no longer her own master and that she had been bought with a price, the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

In 1859 her father and his new wife Caroline moved once again and then in 1860 to 1867, Frances became a nanny to her sister’s children, and during this time she had become quite a singer and had published a book of poems and hymns titled “The Ministry of Song.”  Once again her father and his wife moved when he retired in Leamington. Frances though loyal to her stepmother never felt accepted by her. Her father died in 1870 on Easter Sunday. Caroline along with the Havergal daughters continued living at Leamington. Frances was well known for her poetry and songs and was the major support for the little family, Caroline died in 1878 at which time Maria and Frances then moved to Wales.

The path of God’s children is often more than not, a life of grieving over sin. The closer they grow in God’s grace and knowledge, the more they hate sin and understand its depths. The more one understands the subject of sin from the viewpoint of a Holy God, they cry out to God as Paul did “Oh wretched man that I am” this is the cry of most dearly beloved children of God. For they long to be like their Saviour in all manner of godliness. Frances herself thought often that she was not worthy of God’s wonderful grace (which none of us are) she felt that when she met Him face to face He would discard her. The wonderfulness of this is that in God’s dear sweet time, He gave her the blessed assurance she so desired.

People do not see the heart as God does, yet Frances had written in her Autobiography, “I am quite sure, that nothing in the way of earthly and external trials could have been to me what the inner darkness and strife and utter weariness of spirit, through the greater part of these years have been.  Many have thought mine a comparatively thornless path; but often when the path was smoothest, there were hidden thorns within, and wounds bleeding and rankling.” 

Frances life was wholeheartedly dedicated to her God and Saviour; in her devotion to Him she was lovingly committed to good works toward others, and attended many social events that she thought would advance the name of her Saviour Jesus Christ. She received many letters from all over the world asking for personal advice, of which she never failed to answer. With all the things she was involved in she never once neglected the needs of others, both physical and spiritual.

Yet she was often disturbed with the sense of continual back-slidings.  “I remember longing to be able to say ‘O God, my heart is fixed’ in bitter mourning over its weakness and wavering.” As she grew in the graces of our Lord these fretful feelings left her. In her later years she was resting in her Saviour’s love. This is when she wrote “Under His Shadow.”

Frances wrote:

So now, I pray Thee, keep my hand in Thine
And guide it as Thou wilt.  I do not ask
To understand the “wherefore” of each line:
Mine is the sweeter, easier, happier task
Just to look up to Thee for every word,
Rest in thy love and trust and know that I am heard.

Frances became very ill which kept her from taking a trip to Ireland with Sankey and Moody to sing her beloved hymns. She died on June 3, 1879 at the age of 42. Frances is buried in Astley churchyard near her mother, father and her stepmother. Though she lived what we today say was a short life she was fluent in French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Latin, and Welsh. She would study the Bible in both Hebrew and Greek. It had been written of her that “She was a musical genius, and could play through Handel and much of Mendelssohn and Beethoven” by memory, without the music before her. On top of that she had memorized most of the New Testament, the books of Psalm, Isaiah and the Minor Prophets. She is known as “the consecration poet,” and was totally surrendered to the Lord, the one who saved her from her sins and self. Over the years many a gentlemen asked to marry Frances and yet she felt to marry would lessen her devotion to Christ her King and Saviour. She chose to remain single.

May we remember two things of Frances:

1.      These words which she said: “There cannot be full blessedness until there is full surrender.” 

2.      And, that she shared openly at every opportunity the Lord Jesus Christ. You could say of her as Paul said in Romans 1:16-17 – For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith.

 

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did researching Frances life.

Lynn

Excerpts from MY KING AND HIS SERVICE, Frances Ridley Havergal

Information from and with permission from Cyber Hymnal and from All For Thee