Archive for June 10, 2013

Cooling Afternoon Rains   Leave a comment

Cooling afternoon rains

fall, yet not consistently,

providing times of downpour

separated by periods without

while flash flood alerts apply

to the local terrain.

—–

Flash floods and flash flood alerts aside,

this rain delights me to my core,

for regarding the fresh air flowing through the open windows

I would not dare (and do not want) to complain

and I know that higher temperatures will follow

soon and the hell of Summer will descend

upon us; such weather I cannot defend.

—–

For now, at least, I have cause to rejoice,

and so I thank God, upon whom I depend,

with the voice

of a pen.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 10, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (U.S.A.), 1983

THE FEAST OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA, 1925

THE FEAST OF SAINT EPHREM OF EDESSA, ROMAN CATHOLIC DEACON AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT LANDERICUS OF PARIS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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The Christ of Sovereign Authority   8 comments

Christ Pantocrator

Above:  Christ Pantocrator

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Matt. 28, 18

Jesus took our nature (sin excepted) with its weaknesses upon himself to reach and and save us.  He won his place by the suffering he endured.  Now the Father hath exalted him to the first place in all the universe!  All authority is his.

1.  Has authority over the Angels.  They cast their crowns at his feed and gladly do his bidding.  (1 Peter 3, 22)

2.  Hath authority over the church to direct all of its affairs forever.  “Is head over all things to the church which is his body”–see Rev. 1, 12-18; Eph. 5, 25-27; Acts 13, 2-5, Dan. 7, 13-14.

3.  Power or authority to forgive sin.  Such is His sovereign right (Mk 2, 10-12).  Without this He is a colossal failure.  If he is Divine of course He can.  Many are witnesses that He does.  He dominates devils, cast them out.

4.  Authority to execute judgment also (Jno. 5, 22).  Will decide the destiny of every soul at last.  His pierced hand shall open the gate of peal to admit his children; and shall close if against the finally impenitent (Matt. 25, 34, 41, 46).

5.  Have you yielded to Him or do you dare hold out against Him, whose blessing is offered now?

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

God or Satan; Which?   1 comment

Gen. 2, 17 & 3, 4

God or the devil; which?  Constant warfare is between the two;–Truth–Goodness and Holiness vs. lies, deception, and wickedness.

1.  God warns man of the awful consequences of sin, lest he sin & die .

Satan denies it flatly and slanders God’s motive in declaring it.  Now he says it is out of date and belongs in the Dark Ages.  Gives perverted views of nature and of sin.

2.  Who affirms and who denies?

God, the Creator & preserver of all things and Redeemer of all men, who established the laws of the physical and moral world, affirms the laws He has ordained.

Satan, the father of all lies, deception and evil, denies what God affirms.  His design is to deceive and destroy; God’s is to enlighten and save.

3.  Experience demonstrates the truth.  Sin blights the life and destroys the soul just as God said it would.  Who makes shipwreck?  Who believes & obeys Satan.

4.  Whom do you choose, God or Satan?  Whom will you obey?  Choose you now whom you will serve.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Cain’s Offering Rejected   4 comments

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

The great mythic tale of Cain and Abel does not explain why God rejected Cain’s offering, although one might surmise that attitude might have had something to do with it.  Or maybe it is a story about agriculturalist versus pastoral societies.

I do detect in my great-grandfather’s notes upon which I base this post his antipathy for formal worship.  As I have written already in this series, I adore ritualism.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 10, 2013 COMMON ERA

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Gen. 4, 7

1.  God is no respecter of persons–is without partiality.  Is of great mercy unto all who call upon Him.

Who can doubt his good will?  When one pleases Him he smiles?  His approval is man’s joy & peace.

2.  Cain is conscious [that] God is not pleased with his formal service, and is in an ugly mood about it.  God shows him the reason.  Heb. 11, 4.  1 Jno. 3, 12.  Matt. 15, 8.

3.  He need not be mad at Abel, nor complain at God.  Sin–his own sin–is the trouble.

What a truth is here.  Rid of sin, rid of all disturbance of one’s peace.  Would men really believed it.

Cain should be mad at himself, for he is the guilty one.

4.  Cain could yet remedy the trouble and all would be well.  If he offer a righteous sacrifice God would accept him.

Men need not go another day without peace (1 Jno. 1, 9).

Do you have peace, is all well with your soul?

If not, get right with God now and you too shall rejoice in Him.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

My Brother’s Keeper   3 comments

Gen. 4, 9

1.  Am I in any way responsible for the welfare of my brother?  The query of the text a negative reply, originated in sin and a murderer was the first preacher of it.

2.  I am my brother’s keeper, because:

(a)  God created us both social beings with a common destiny.  What affects him touches me.  Each helps make the other’s environment.

(b)  I so conclude because I shall be judged for my conduct toward him.  “Inasmuch as ye did it to one of these ye did it to me.”  In serving my brother I serve Christ; in neglecting him I neglect my Lord.

3.  Then I am duty-bound to him to do him the good I can.

(a)  By trying to put evil out of his way.  “With thy meat destroy not him for whom Christ died….If eating meat cause my brother to stumble, I will eat no flesh forevermore.”  (1 Cor. 8, 13 & 10, 33)

(b)  By helping him over the rough places of life.  “If a man be overtaken in any trespass, ye who are spiritual restore such a one,” etc.  (Gal. 6, 1-2)

I must do what I can for his good.  Less than this is short of my plain duty not to mention my privileges.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Seek Ye the Lord   1 comment

Isa. 55, 6-7

1.  Sin separated man from God, turned him into ways of sinfulness and every evil work.  Whatever religion may do for a man, he must be turned away from his sinful ways.

2.  Mercy is the only hope of man–sinners.  At our best we need His mercy to cover and forgive our failures.

3.  To obtain mercy man mus seek the Lord of mercy.  Not enough merely to wish one was saved–must seek Him, must pray for His grace, turning away from all sin.  “Seek and ye shall find.”  “Let the wicked forsake his way…and let him return unto the Lord.”  You wandered away; now return to Him.

4.  When do this?  Now while He may be found, now while He is near.  Not to call now is to reject Him for the present.  Tomorrow is the devil’s plea; now is God’s time.  Tomorrow may be too late.

5.  For he will abundantly pardon.  Will forgive the past, graciously, abundantly.  He desires to do it now.  He “delighteth in mercy.”

He calls lovingly, pleadingly, and anxiously awaits your action.

Will you heed him now?

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Prepare the Way of Jehovah   2 comments

8b24544v

Above:  Highway Crossing the Desert in Sandoval County, New Mexico, April 1940

Photographer = Russell Lee (1903-1986)

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/fsa2000017214/PP/)

Reproduction Number = LC-USF34-035924-D

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

The proper English-language interpretation of the Tetragammaton with vowels is “Yahweh,” not “Jehovah,” which is a Medieval creation.  My great-grandfather therefore erred when using “Jehovah” as did many others, including some who translated the Authorized (King James) Version of the Bible.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 10, 2013 COMMON ERA

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Isa. 40, 3-5

1.  All God’s mercies are conditioned.  Necessarily is it so & a great blessing it is.

2.  So it is in the text.  The King of earth and heaven would visit his people and bestow rich blessings upon them.  But there are conditions to be met ere He come and we can profit by His coming.  We are in a desert and need to cast up a highway for our God.

(1)  Indifference a great mountain that must be removed.  God can’t help those who have no interest in divine things.

(2)  Doubt is a deep valley that must be filled.  Unbelief is sin.  God is hampered by it (Matt. 13, 58).  Doubt and distrust such a God as He?

(3)  Sin the great mountain in the way.  It must be repented of, forsaken, gotten from between the soul and God.

3.  Then He will come to Zion and bless her with the riches of His grace.  He ever thus responds to such a turning to Him.

Will we meet the conditions or will we block the way?

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Christ Our Sinbearer   1 comment

Asseenfromthecross-vi

Above:  What Our Saviour Saw from the Cross, by James Tissot

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

I do not note on this weblog every instance of disagreement I have with my great-grandfather.  Yet I feel the need to write the following:

1.  “The Jews” were not monolithic.  They are still not monolithic; no human population is.  I have a more favorable opinion of the Jewish people and of Judaism than did my great-grandfather.

2.  Three understandings of the mechanics of the Atonement reach back to the first five centuries of Christianity and the writings of the Church Fathers:  The Conquest of Satan/Evil (“the Classic Theory”), Penal Substitutionary Atonement (which St. Anselm of Canterbury and my great-grandfather favored), and the Incarnation as the atoning act itself.  I favor the Classic Theory.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 10, 2013 COMMON ERA

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Isa. 53, 6

1.  Someone must suffer the consequences of man’s sin.  The seat of sin is in the moral nature and its effects are there and in the outward life.  The effects follow the deed.  God’s nature demands it also; His word cannot be ignored by Himself.  Broken law required not obedience, but death.

2.  Shall man suffer the results of his sin?  If so he must suffer here without hope, and die eternally in the world to come.

The Jews said to Pilate, “His blood be upon us and our children,” but what an awful thing, as history has shown.

3.  Since man can’t and because God loved the world Jesus bore our sins that we might be saved therefrom here and eternally.  He made a full, perfect, and complete oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world.

4.  But unless one accept by faith as his portion there he is no better off actually than if Jesus had not died.  Now all rests with man whether the sacrifice of Christ shall benefit him.  Let no one dream he can get along without Christ.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Educational and Medical Missions   2 comments

00464v

Above:  Bed, Ulster Children’s Church Missionary Society Hospital, Between 1940 and 1946

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/mpc2004000769/PP/)

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-matpc-00464

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Luke 4, 18-19

1.  Jesus interprets His mission under the Spirit’s inspiration.  This the right method; a cold, calculating spirit is not of God.  Under this anointing He accepted the Father’s will.

2.  His work was for body, mind & soul.  He never turned a soul away but yearned after all.

None of His work was transient.  It was the beginning of a world movement which the church was to carry on to the finish.  See Jno. 20, 21; also 14, 12.  They were to do not one work, but “the works” He did.

3.  Hence educational missions are scriptural and absolutely essential.  There can be no strong, self-supporting church without it.  It is needed to train the native preachers and workers.

4.  Medical missions is the church continuing Christ’s work of healing.  Else the church “passes by on the other side.”  Easiest made self-sustaining & not one whit behind other departments in Spiritual results, besides the pain it kills.

5.  He will approve it all at last & does now.  “I was hungry & ye gave me meat, sick & ye visited me.”  “Enter ye.”  Will He say it to you?

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT

Christ Content to Suffer if Man is Saved   1 comment

Ghent_Altarpiece_D_-_Adoration_of_the_Lamb_2

Above:  Ghent Altarpiece (1432), by Jan van Eyck

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EDITOR’S NOTE:

I wonder when the United States was a Christian nation–when we had chattel slavery, men had more property rights than women, Jim Crow was the law of the land, et cetera?  Certainly not!  Yet my great-grandfather wrote (a century ago) of the U.S. as a Christian nation.  He was mistaken.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 10, 2013 COMMON ERA

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Isaiah 53, 11

1.  Jesus suffered much.  His whole life was a humiliation, was belied, misunderstood, mocked, betrayed, crucified.  In the garden suffered much & upon the cross.

2.  But it is certain he suffered not for any wrong he did but for us.  He hath borne our griefs.  He travailed to give us spiritual birth or life.

3.  Yet he is content with it if only his one great object be accomplished.  Love forgets the cost.  He rejoices in the redemption of souls as do the angels.

4.  But he died for all men and the salvation of all is his purpose & pleasure:  “Other sheep I have, them also I must bring.”  He still yearns over the world till every nation is saved.  Is glad of Christian America but years over China, Japan & Africa.  By every token he strives to reach there.

5.  Some great day the world shall be reached and the nations brought to Christ.  Then shall He rejoice and the satisfied that he died for man, as he rejoiced when the 70 returned victorious.

6.  Can the church rest while her Lord is so much concerned for the lost?  She must have this divine passion for souls which she has.

GEORGE WASHINGTON BARRETT