“For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:” Hebrews 9:24 *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-* John Gill’s First Words at Carter Lane Many have read and justly quoted Spurgeon’s first words in the Metropolitan Tabernacle. They are worthy to be inscribed upon every pulpit in the world. It should be required of every preacher that he put into practice what Spurgeon said on that momentous occasion. But few have read or heard the first words spoken by his venerable predecessor, John Gill, at the opening of the house of worship at Carter Lane more than 100 years earlier. A comparison of the two will show that Spurgeon followed Gill in doctrine and practice as well as in the pastoral office. The meeting house at Carter Lane was opened on October 9, 1757. The pastor, John Gill, preached from Exodus 20:24. In the course of his message he made the following comments. “As we have now opened a new place of worship, we enter upon it, recording the name of the Lord by preaching the doctrines of the grace of God, and of free and full salvation alone by Jesus Christ; and by the administration of gospel ordinances, as they have been delivered to us. What doctrines may be taught in this place after I am gone is not for me to know; but as for my own part, I am at a point; I am determined, and have been long ago, what to make the subject of my ministry. It is upwards of forty years since I entered into the arduous work; and the first sermon I ever preached was from those words of the apostle, ‘For I am determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified:’ and through the grace of God I have been enabled, in some good measure, to abide by the same resolution hitherto, as many of you here are my witnesses; and, I hope, through divine assistance, I ever shall, as long as I am in this tabernacle, and engaged in such a work. I am not afraid of the reproaches of man; I have been inured (accustomed) to these, from my youth upwards; none of these things move me.” Blessed is the church of God when her pastors follow the words of John Gill! *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-* What a Price! Death, the price of freedom Some of our young people, it’s sad to say neither know, nor seem to care, what the price of freedom can cost. I read a letter Abraham Lincoln wrote to a mother who had five sons killed in the civil war. This is what he wrote: “Dear Madam; - I have been shown in the files of the war department a statement of the adjutant general of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously in the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the republic they died to save. I pray that our heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom. Yours very sincerely and respectfully, Abraham Lincoln." If it hasn’t been taken down, or torn down, this letter stills hangs on the walls at Oxford University. Those who can dismiss such a sacrifice with a mere shrug of the shoulders -or worse, a disgusting laugh, neither love human life nor place any value upon freedom. What was the price for our freedom from sin and the judgment of God upon it? What price had to be paid to free us from the curse of God’s broken law? Nothing short of the death of God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
What a price! All humanity dying at once as a sacrifice could not obtain such freedom. “Free from the law, oh happy condition, Jesus has bleed (there is the price - paid and accepted), and now there is remission.” Those who can live without a heart hunger for an interest in this freedom, do not love him who died, neither do they know anything about the awful slavery they are presently in to sin and the devil. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherefore Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage (Gal.5:1).”
–Pastor Bruce Crabtree *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-* The everlasting covenant which God has made with Jesus, and through Jesus, with all His beloved people, individually—is a strong ground of consolation amidst . . . the tremblings of human hope, the fluctuations of creature things, and the instability of all that earth calls good. --Octavius Winslow *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-* For what accords better and more aptly with faith than to acknowledge ourselves . . . divested of all virtue—that we may be clothed by God; devoid of all goodness—that we may be filled by Him; the slaves of sin—that He may give us freedom; blind—that He may enlighten us; lame—that He may cure us; feeble—that He may sustain us; to strip ourselves of all ground of glorying—that He alone may shine forth glorious, and we be glorified in Him!