Thursday, October 23, 2008



Alexander Campbell was influenced by the forces of John Glas and Sademanianism. This emphasized a sterile intellectualism that was in some ways anti-spiritual. Without the influence of Barton Stone and the "Christians" no Restoration Movement would have survived. We need both heart and mind in our spiritual development. The story of Christmas Evans teaches us some valuable things.

[adapted from Sermons and Memoirs of Christmas Evans by Joseph Cross, Kregel 1986.]

(Christmas Evans was born Christmas Day, 1766 in Wales and "was saved" at age 18. He was known as the "one-eyed man from Anglesea that is a prophet sent from God." Large crowds gathered to hear his powerful eloquence.)

About this time arose among the Baptists of North Wales a bitter and distracting controversy, concerning Sandemanianism and Sabellianism, which had been introduced by the Rev. Mr. Jones, a man of considerable learning and influence in the denomination. Mr. Evans was at first inclined to fall in with these doctrines, and participated largely in the strife of tongues. He says: "The Sandemanian system affected me so far as to quench the spirit of prayer for the conversion of sinners, and it induced in my mind a greater regard for the smaller things of the kingdom of heaven than for the greater. I lost all strength which clothed my mind with zeal, confidence, and earnestness in the pulpit for the conversion of souls to Christ. My heart retrograded, in a manner, and I could not realize the testimony of a good conscience. Sabbath nights, after having been in the day exposing and vilifying with all bitterness the errors that prevailed, my conscience felt as if displeased, and reproached me that I had lost nearness to, and walking with God. It would intimate that something exceedingly precious was now wanting in me; I would reply, that I was acting in obedience to the word; but it continued to accuse me of the want of some precious article. I had been robbed, to a great degree, of the spirit of prayer and of the spirit of preaching."

Mr. Evans thus describes the effect of this controversy upon his people:

"The Sandemanian spirit began to manifest itself in the counties of Merioneth, Caernarvon, Anglesea, and Denbigh, and the first visible effect was the subversion of the hearers, for which the system was peculiarly adapted; intimating, as it did, that to Babylon the crowd of hearers always belonged. We lost, in Anglesea, nearly all those who were accustomed to attend with us; some of them joined other congregations; and, in this way, it pulled down nearly all that had been built up in twelve or fifteen years, and made us appear once again a mean and despicable party in the view of the country. The same effects followed it in a greater or lesser degree in the other counties noticed; but its principal station appears to have been in Merionethshire; this county seems to have been particularly prepared for its reception, and here it achieved by some means a sort of supremacy."

Mr. Evans had been a long time in this controversy, destitute of all religious enjoyment, or, to use his own expressive phrase, 'as dry as Gilboa,' when he experienced a remarkable refreshing from the presence of the Lord. He wrote: "From this time, I was made to expect the goodness of God to churches and to myself. Thus the Lord delivered me and the people of Anglesea from being carried away by the flood of Sandemanianism. In the first religious meetings after this, I felt as if I had been removed from the cold and sterile regions of spiritual frost, into the verdant fields of the divine promises. The former striving with God in prayer, and the longing anxiety for the conversion of sinners, which I had experienced at Lëyn, was now restored. I had a hold of the promises of God. The result was, when I returned home, the first thing that arrested my attention was, that the Spirit was working also in the brethren in Anglesea, inducing in them a spirit of prayer, especially in two of the deacons, who were particularly importunate that God would visit us in mercy, and render the word of his grace effectual amongst us for the conversion of sinners."

Mr. Evans now entered into a solemn covenant with God, made, as he says, "under a deep sense of the evil of his heart, and in dependence upon the infinite grace and merit of the Redeemer." Some of this renewed determination can be seen in the following.

1. "I give my soul and body unto Thee, Jesus, the true God, and everlasting life - deliver me from sin, and from eternal death, and bring me into life everlasting. Amen."

2. "I call the day, the sun, the earth, the trees, the stones, the bed, the table, and the books, to witness that I come unto Thee, Redeemer of sinners, that I may obtain rest for my soul from the thunders of guilt and the dread of eternity."

3. "I do, through confidence in Thy power, earnestly entreat Thee to take the work into Thine own hand, and give me a circumcised heart, that I may love Thee, and create in me a right spirit, that I may seek Thy glory. Grant me that principle which Thou will own in the day of judgment, that I may not then assume pale facedness, and find myself a hypocrite. Grant me this, for the sake of Thy Most Precious Blood. Amen."

4. "I entreat Thee, Jesus, the Son of God, in power, grant me, for the sake of Thy agonizing death, a covenant-interest in Thy blood, which cleanseth; in Thy righteousness, which justifieth; and in Thy redemption, which delivereth. I entreat an interest in Thy blood, for Thy BLOOD'S sake, and a part in Thee, for Thy Name's sake, which Thou has given among men. Amen."



"The cow grazes in many pastures, but the milk she gives is her own." Just so writers are influenced by many and much as they generate the written word.
Many years ago I came into contact with this little book of "Devotions" written by Lancelot Andrewes during his lifetime. He died in 1624.

Andrewes was a leader and scholar of the English Church. He was appointed as one of the translators of the King James Version Bible in 1604. He translated Joshua through Second Chronicles.

He had a "gift" with language. His Devotions are a kind of "prose-poetry." He wrote in the language of the 16th century. I have attempted to keep the spirit of his writings, while condensing and revising certain things. Although his "world view" was quite different from ours, he loved God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, etc. He may have been overly pessimistic, which was likely due to the times in which he lived. This world is a dangerous and difficult place! Yet Christ Jesus brought in a Living Hope! May we all be people of hope! of Christian love! and of holy joy! R.D.Ice

A Preface to the Lord’s Prayer:

Grant, O Lord, to remember me
according to the multitude
of Thy mercies,
wink at mine infirmities,
O Lord, and cast me not away:
But sovereign Lord which lovest
After Thine unspeakable love
account me worthy, O Lord,
remove mine iniquities:
without condemnation,
with clean heart,
with contrite soul,
with face unashamed,
with hallowed lips,
to make bold to call upon Thee
the Holy God and Father which
art in heaven.
Do not by reason of me and my sins
refrain Thy readiness to hear
my service and my prayer.
Holy is Thy Name above every Name!


O GOD THE FATHER, of heaven,
who hast marvellously created
the world out of nothing,
who dost govern and uphold heaven
and earth with Thy power,
who didst deliver Thy Only-begotten
for us unto death:

O GOD THE SON, Redeemer of the world,
who didst will to be incarnate of
a virgin,
who hast washed us from our sins
by Thy precious blood,
who rising from the dead didst ascend
victorious to heaven:

O GOD THE HOLY GHOST, the Comforter,
who didst descend upon Jesus in
the form of a dove,
who coming upon the apostles didst
appear in fiery tongues,
who dost visit and confirm with
Thy grace the hearts of the saints:

always to be praised, yet always
O Father good -
O Son loving -
O Spirit kind -
whose majesty is unspeakable,
whose power is incomparable,
whose goodness is inestimable:
whose work is life,
whose love is grace,
whose contemplation is glory:

Thee I worship, Thee I call upon,
with the whole affection of my heart
I bless now and forever:
through Jesus Christ our Lord,

* References:
1 Timothy 6:15-16
1 Timothy 2:3-6
Hebrews l:5-7
John 14:15-17
Romans 11:33-36


Look down, O Lord our God,
from heaven Thy dwelling place
and from the throne of the glory
of Thy kingdom,
and come to hallow us.
Jesus, Thou that sittest on high,
with the Father, and art here
with us invisibly,
come to hallow the worship
that we set forth.
And give us communion and fellowship:
unto faith unashamed,
Love without hypocrisy,
keeping of the commandments,
alertness for every spiritual
turning aside of every spiritual
healing of soul and body:
With the intent that we also,
with all the saints,
which have been wellpleasing
unto Thee since the world began,
may be made partakers
of Thine unalloyed and everlasting
good things,
which Thou hast prepared for
them that love Thee, O Lord:
in whom Thou art glorified

O Lamb of God,
that takest away the sin of
the world,
take away the sin of me who am
a mere sinner.
We beseech Thee, O Lord,
that with the witness of our
conscience clean,
receiving our share of Thy
hallowed things,
we may be united to the holy
body and blood of Thy Christ
and not unworthily
may have Christ indwelling in
our hearts,
and be made a temple of the
Holy Ghost.
Yes, Our God, grant us unto our
last and closing gasp,
worthily to receive hope
of Thy hallowed things and
appropriation of Thy kingdom.


Blessed art Thou, O Lord
who didst bring forth out of water
moving creatures that have life,
and whales, and winged fowls:
and didst bless them,
so as to increase and multiply.

The things concerning the Ascension to heaven:
Set up Thyself, O God,
above the heavens and
Thy glory above all the earth.
By thine Ascension draw us
unto Thee, O Lord,
so as to set our affections
on things above,
and not on things on the earth.
By the fearful mystery
of Thy Holy Body
and Precious Blood
in the evening of this day:
Lord, have mercy.


Coming unto God,
I believe that He is,
and that He is a rewarder of them
that diligently seek Him:
I know that my Redeemer liveth;
that He is the Christ
the Son of the Living God;
that He is indeed
the Saviour of the world;
that He came into the world
to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
Through the grace of Jesus Christ
we believe that we shall be saved
even as our fathers were.
I believe verily to see
the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.


O my Lord, my Lord,
I thank Thee for that I am,
that I am alive,
that I am rational:
for nurture,
for education,
for Thy gifts
of grace,
for redemption,
for my calling,
for re-calling,
further calling manifold:
for forbearance,
long longsuffering towards me,
many times,
many years,
until now:
for all good offices I have received,
good speed I have gotten:
for any good thing done:
for the use of things present.
Thy promise and my hope
touching the fruition
of the good things to come:
for my parents honest and good,
teachers gentle,
always to be had in remembrance,
colleagues likeminded,
hearers attentive,
friends sincere,
retainers faithful:
for all who have stood me
in good stead by their writings,
their sermons,
for these things and all other,
which I knew of,
which I knew not of,
open and secret,
hings I remember,
things I have forgotten besides,
things done to me after my will
or yet against my will,
I confess to Thee and bless Thee
and give thanks unto Thee,
and I will confess and bless
and give thanks to Thee
all the days of my life.
What thanks can I render to God
thanking Him again
for all the benefits
that He hath done unto me?

Thou are worthy,
O Lord and our God,
the Holy One,
to receive the glory
and the honour and the power:
for Thou hast created all things,
and for Thy pleasure
they are and were created.

O Lord and Father, our King and God,
by whose grace the Church was enriched
by the great learning and eloquent preaching
of your servant Lancelot Andrewes,
but even more by his example
of biblical and worthy prayer:
Conform our lives, like his,
to the Image of Christ,
that our hearts may love You,
our minds serve You,
and our lips proclaim the greatness
of Your mercy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with You
and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Within to strengthen,
without to preserve,
over to shelter,
beneath to support,
before to direct,
behind to bring back,
and round about to fortify.
Be with:
young men,
grown men,
old men,
them that are in extreme age,
the hungry,
those without friends;
the sick in soul, or body,
fainthearted, those that are past hope;
those in prison and bonds,
those condemned to death;
orphans, widows, strangers,
those that travel by land, by water;
those with child,
those nursing children,
those in solitude."

One prayer called "The Dial" goes through the various hours of the day, speaking of different events in the life of Christ. Andrewes related them to his own spiritual growth. Here are three samples:

"Thou who at the sixth hour
and on the sixth day
didst nail the sins of the world
with Thyself on the cross:
blot out the handwriting
of our sins which is against us
and taking it out of the way save us....
Thou who at the ninth hour
for us sinners and for our sins
didst taste of death:
mortify in us our earthly members
and whatsoever is contrary to thy will,
and save us....
Thou who at eventide
didst will to be taken down
from the cross and buried in a tomb:
take away our sins from us
and bury them in thy sepulchre,
covering with good works
whatsoever we have committed ill,
and save us."

In a beautiful prayer to be said upon waking in the morning, Andrewes associated the light of morning with light in the soul:

"Thou who sendest forth the light,
createst the morning,
makest the sun to rise
on the good and on the evil:
enlighten the blindness of our minds
with the knowledge of the truth:
lift Thou up the light
of thy countenance upon us,
that in thy light we may see light,
and, at the last, in the light of grace
the light of glory."

A delightful evening prayer was used by Andrewes when going to bed:

"Let me think upon thy Name
in the night season,
and keep thy law:
let the evening prayer go up unto Thee,
and thy pity come down unto us,
O Thou which givest songs in the night,
which makest the outgoings
of the morning and evening to praise Thee,
which givest thy beloved wholesome sleep."

Many of the prayers in this manual of private devotions are penitential. This is not reflective of a bad life or an evil soul on the part of Andrewes, but rather it is typical of those great souls who are humble and sensitive to imperfections on our part and to God's infinite holiness. Even before giving praise to God in one prayer, Andrewes confessed:

"But for me, O Lord,
sinning and not repenting,
and so utterly unworthy,
it were more becoming to lie
prostrate before Thee
and with weeping and groaning
to ask pardon for my sins,
than with polluted mouth to praise Thee."

O Lord, send your angel
with a live coal from off the altar
and lay it upon my mouth:
my iniquity take away,
my sin purge and cleanse.
Here am I O Lord, send me,
and let the meditations of my heart
praise Thee forever and ever.

Monday, October 20, 2008



Alexander Campbell thought the word "trinity" was misused and political, and objected to some things being said. Yet he showed his belief in the God who revealed Himself to us as Father/Son/Holy Spirit. Note that allowance must be made for Campbell's response to the challenges of the day. Both he and Stone said things that can be misunderstood and misused. And some deliberately did so. But we take note of things that they wrote and compare them to understand. Matthew's Great Comission from Campbell's Living Oracles Version of the New Testament. "All authority is given to me in heaven and upon th earth; go, convert all the nations, immersing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all the things which I have commanded you: and behold! I am with you always, even to the conclusion of this state." He emphasized baptism into The Name (singular) of Father/Son/Holy Spirit.

I wrote in 2002: "The Devil attacks God. First he attacks the Holy Spirit (Matt. 12:24). Next he attacks Jesus (1 John 2:22-23). The Devil has always tried to replace God with idols. Even though "trinity" is not a Bible word, our fathers in the faith strongly believed in God Who Is A Trinity. Campbell said: "Jehovah the Father, Jehovah the Son, Jehovah the Holy Spirit." This should not be thought of as a conundrum, since each one of us is: body-soul-spirit (1 Thess. 5:23).

Rather than trying to solve the mystery of GOD, we need to refocus. The Triune and Living God helps us understand and deal with crucial practical issues facing all who seek to live in The Spirit of Christ in both church and world today. In the encounter with GOD we are invited to share in divine life and grace through Jesus Christ by the power of The Holy Spirit. At the same time we are called to live in a new relationship with one-another, as we are gathered by The Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ (note Eph. 2:19-22). The doctrine of The Trinity, then, explores the mysteries of love, relationship, person-hood and communion (sharing - note 1 Cor. 10:16-17) within the framework of God’s self-revelation in the person of Christ Jesus and the activity of The Holy Spirit."

This from Campbell's "Christian System." Chapter V.

II. The Spirit is said to do, and to have done, all that God does and all that God has done. It [He] has ascribed to it [Him] all divine perfections and works; and in the New Testament it is designated as the immediate author and agent of the new creation, and of the holiness of Christians. It is therefore called the Holy Spirit. In the sublime and ineffable relation of the deity, or godhead, it stands next to the Incarnate Word. Anciently, or before time, it was God, the Word of God, and the Spirit of God. But now, in the development of the Christian scheme, it is "the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit" - one God, one Lord, one Spirit. To us Christians there is, then, but one God, even the Father; and one Lord Jesus Christ, even the Saviour; and one Spirit, even the Advocate, the Sanctifier, and the Comforter of Christ's body - the church. Jesus is the head, and the Spirit is the life and animating principle of that body.

III. The whole systems of creation, providence, and redemption are founded upon these relations in the Deity. Destroy these, blend and confound these, and nature, providence, and grace are blended, confounded, and destroyed. The peerless and supreme excellency of the Christian system is, that it fully opens to the vision of mortals the divinity - the whole godhead - employed in the work of man's regeneration and ultimate glorification. God is manifest in human flesh, and is justified and glorified by the Spirit, in accomplishing man's deliverance from ruin. Each name of the sacred three has its own peculiar work and glory in the three great works of Creation, Government, and Redemption. Hence we are, by divine authority, immersed into the name of the FATHER, the SON, and the HOLY SPIRIT, in coming into the kingdom of grace; and while in that kingdom the supreme benediction is, "The grace of the LORD JESUS CHRIST, and the love of GOD, and the communion of the HOLY SPIRIT, be with you!" Indeed, in the old church that was in the wilderness, while matters were comparatively in the shadows of a moonlight age, the High-Priest of 'Israel was commanded to put the name of God upon the children of Israel, in the same relation of the sacred three - "The LORD [NOTE: In the Hebrew Bible it is Jehovah each time.] bless thee and keep thee - The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee - The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace." [NOTE: Numbers vi. 24-28.] "Jehovah bless thee" is equal to "the love of God." "Jehovah be gracious unto thee" answers to "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ." And "Jehovah lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace," corresponds to "the communion of the Spirit." [2 Corinthians 13:14.]

IV. The divine doctrine of these holy and incomprehensible relations in the Divinity is so inwrought and incorporated with all the parts of the sacred book - so identified with all the dispensations of religion - and so essential to the mediatorship of Christ, that it is impossible to make any real and divine proficiency in the true knowledge of God, of man, of reconciliation, or remission of sins, of eternal life, or in the piety and divine life of Christ's religion, without a clear, and distinct perception of it, as well as a firm and unshaken faith and confidence in it, as we trust still to make more evident in the sequel.

Look at