Monday, February 09, 2009

These Scotch Presbyterians!

Dr. Samuel Johnson, famously, was incredulous as to whether even "one book of any value on a religious subject" had ever been penned by a member of the Scottish clergy.

It may be unseemly to disagree with Dr. Johnson, but I must. My mentor in prayer is John Baillie, whose A Diary of Private Prayer saved my life. And day by day I am blessed by a little book edited by John Birkbeck, A Private Devotional Diary, which has snippets of sermons and writings from Scottish men and women--clergy, gentry, royals and others.

The entry for this past Friday, from a sermon written by James Henderson (1787-1858), Minister at Galashiels, reads:

"Jesus will never forsake them that truly love him. Though their love be but a feeble spark, he will not suffer it to be quenched amid the trials and troubles of this life, but will watch over it and fan it into a flame. Though their faith be weak, he will give growing distinctness to its views and confidence in the promises it embraces, and make them strong in its exercise, giving glory to God. Though hope may now struggle feebly with doubt and fear, it shall yet fix its anchor firmly within the veil, and comfort the soul that is tossed with tempest, with the sure prospect of an entrance into the desired haven."

I think if Dr. Johnson had read that, or Dr. Baillie's books, he might not have been so dubious. For my part, Wesleyan that I am, I am almost invariably strengthened in my prayers by these Calvinists and their convictions as to the sovereign grace of God.

1 comment:

Mark Crumpler said...

And here I sit, a born and bred Baptist turned Presbyterian who reads with appreciation your Methodist musings! Blessings to you Tom.