Pardon for the Greatest Sinners – Jonathan Edwards

Pardon for the Greatest Sinners – Jonathan Edwards

Psalm 25:11 New American Standard Bible (NASB) 11 For Your name’s sake, O Lord, Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.

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Jonathan Edwards – (1703-1758), American puritan theologian and philosopher

Edwards was born in East Windsor, Connecticut, to Timothy Edwards, pastor of East Windsor, and Esther Edwards. The only son in a family of eleven children, he entered Yale in September, 1716 when he was not yet thirteen and graduated four years later (1720) as valedictorian. He received his Masters three years later.

As a youth, Edwards was unable to accept the Calvinist sovereignty of God. He once wrote, “From my childhood up my mind had been full of objections against the doctrine of God’s sovereignty It used to appear like a horrible doctrine to me.” However, in 1721 he came to the conviction, one he called a “delightful conviction.” He was meditating on 1 Timothy 1:17, and later remarked, “As I read the words, there came into my soul, and was as it were diffused through it, a sense of the glory of the Divine Being; a new sense, quite different from any thing I ever experienced before I thought with myself, how excellent a Being that was, and how happy I should be, if I might enjoy that God, and be rapt up to him in heaven; and be as it were swallowed up in him for ever!” From that point on, Edwards delighted in the sovereignty of God. Edwards later recognized this as his conversion to Christ.

In 1727 he was ordained minister at Northampton and assistant to his maternal grandfather, Solomon Stoddard. He was a student minister, not a visiting pastor, his rule being thirteen hours of study a day. In the same year, he married Sarah Pierpont, then age seventeen, daughter of James Pierpont (1659-1714), a founder of Yale, originally called the Collegiate School. In total, Jonathan and Sarah had eleven children.

Solomon Stoddard died on February 11th, 1729, leaving to his grandson the difficult task of the sole ministerial charge of one of the largest and wealthiest congregations in the colony. Throughout his time in Northampton his preaching brought remarkable religious revivals. Jonathan Edwards was a key figure in what has come to be called the First Great Awakening of the 1730s and 1740s.

Edwards then moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, then a frontier settlement, where he ministered to a small congregation and served as missionary to the Housatonic Indians. There, having more time for study and writing, he completed his celebrated work, The Freedom of the Will (1754).

Edwards was elected president of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University) in early 1758. He was a popular choice, for he had been a friend of the College since its inception and was the most eminent American philosopher-theologian of his time. On March 22, 1758, he died of fever at the age of fifty-four following experimental inoculation for smallpox and was buried in the President’s Lot in the Princeton cemetery beside his son-in-law, Aaron Burr.

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Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother – Theodore Cuyler

Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother – Theodore Cuyler

Theodore Ledyard Cuyler (January 10, 1822 — February 26, 1909) was a leading Presbyterian minister and religious writer in the United States.

Born at Aurora, New York, Cuyler’s father died before Cuyler was five years old. Cuyler graduated from Princeton University in 1841 and from the Princeton Theological Seminary in 1846, then became a pastor in Burlingham, New Jersey. He was successful in reviving the flagging institution under his pastorship, and in 1853 he realized similar success as pastor of the Market Street Dutch Reformed Church in New York City. These successes led to Cuyler’s installation in 1860 as the pastor of the Park Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, from which he oversaw the construction of the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian church a block away, completed in 1862. The newly constructed church, under Cuyler’s leadership, became the largest Presbyterian Church in the United States. His circle of acquaintances included other noted preachers of the day, including Horatius Bonar, Charles Spurgeon, D. L. Moody, and Charles G. Finney.

Cuyler was an outspoken supporter of the temperance movement, and an opponent of women’s suffrage in the United States. He was a leader of “The New York Anti-Suffrage Association”, deriding women who “snatch after the ballot, the juryman’s seat, and the police baton of civil authority”, and contending that women would no longer be pure when they finished the job of “‘purifying’ the primaries, the caucus, and the conventions”.

Cuyler Gore, a park in Brooklyn, was named for him prior to 1901. Cuyler demurred from having a monument erected in his favor there, instead instructing the donors to simply keep the park with beautiful flowers and trees.

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J. C. Ryle – William Grimshaw of Haworth & His Ministry

J. C. Ryle – William Grimshaw of Haworth & His Ministry

‘Perhaps this century has not produced another who could say with more justice and propriety to his hearers (if his great humility would have permitted him). “be ye followers of me, as I am of Christ”.’ — JOHN NEWTON

‘A few such as him would make a nation tremble. He carries fire wherever he goes.’ — JOHN WESLEY

‘Grimshaw’s unflagging energy and vigorous defense of the faith was matched by a charitable spirit that was a model of true Christlikeness . . . a surprising measure of what he said and wrote is germane to the times in which we live. This is a welcome addition to the rich treasure trove already available from the Banner of Truth. It is also a classic example of what a good biography ought to be.’ — JOHN MACARTHUR

GRIMSHAW, WILLIAM (1708–1763), incumbent of Haworth, Yorkshire, was born at Brindle, Lancashire, on 3 Sept. 1708. He was educated at the grammar schools of Blackburn and Hesketh, and at the age of eighteen went to Christ’s College, Cambridge. In 1731 he was ordained deacon, and became curate of Rochdale, but in the same year removed to Todmorden, which is a chaplaincy in the patronage of the vicar of Rochdale. At Todmorden he led at first a careless life; but in 1734 and the following years he passed through a long and severe spiritual struggle. The death of his wife, to whom he was deeply attached, is thought to have been the turning-point in his career. It does not appear that he was even aware of the similar change which was going on at about the same time in the Wesleys, Whitefield, and others. He was, however, much affected by the writings of the puritans of the preceding century, especially by Thomas Brooks’s ‘Precious Remedies against Satan’s Devices’ (1652), and ‘Owen on Justification.’

Some time before he left Todmorden he became a changed man, and when in 1742 he was appointed perpetual curate of Haworth, he entered upon his work in his new parish with the fervour characteristic of the early evangelicals. Haworth is a desolate parish on the Yorkshire moors. It is now famous as the home of the Brontes. Grimshaw had become acquainted with the leading methodists, and joyfully welcomed in his pulpit the two Wesleys, Whitefield, Romaine, and Henry Venn. He also became intimate with John Nelson, the stonemason, one of the most remarkable of John Wesley’s lay-preachers. Grimshaw became in his own person a most successful evangelist.

The effects which he produced in his own parish were marvellous. He raised the number of communicants from twelve to twelve hundred, and acquired so much influence in the place that he was able to put a stop to Haworth races, to enforce the strictest observance of the Lord’s day, and bring his people to church whether they would or not. Though he was eccentric to the verge of madness, no one could help respecting ‘the mad parson.’ His earnestness, his self-denial, his real humility, his entire absorption in one great object, and the thorough consistency of his life with his principles, were patent to all. He was also most charitable, both in the ordinary and in the highest sense of the term. In the hot disputes between Calvinists and Arminians he lived in perfect amity with the adherents of both systems. Though he was a Calvinist, his friendship with John Wesley was never interrupted.

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Persecutions in PERSIA – John Foxe / Book of Martyrs

Persecutions in PERSIA – John Foxe / Book of Martyrs

The Actes and Monuments, popularly known as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, is a work of Protestant history and martyrology by Protestant English historian John Foxe (1516/17 – 18 April 1587), first published in 1563 by John Day. It includes a polemical account of the sufferings of Protestants under the Catholic Church, with particular emphasis on England and Scotland. The book was highly influential in those countries and helped shape lasting popular notions of Catholicism there. The book went through four editions in Foxe’s lifetime and a number of later editions and abridgements, including some that specifically reduced the text to a Book of Martyrs.

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Persecutions in Italy under the Papacy – John Foxe / Book of Martyrs

Persecutions in Italy under the Papacy – John Foxe / Book of Martyrs

The Actes and Monuments, popularly known as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, is a work of Protestant history and martyrology by Protestant English historian John Foxe (1516/17 – 18 April 1587), first published in 1563 by John Day. It includes a polemical account of the sufferings of Protestants under the Catholic Church, with particular emphasis on England and Scotland. The book was highly influential in those countries and helped shape lasting popular notions of Catholicism there. The book went through four editions in Foxe’s lifetime and a number of later editions and abridgements, including some that specifically reduced the text to a Book of Martyrs.

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Servant of Sin – Donald Cargill / Covenanter Pastor (1619 – 1681)

Donald Cargill (1619 – 27 July 1681) was a Scottish Covenanter who worked to uphold the principles of the National Covenant of 1638 and Solemn League and Covenant of 1643 to establish and defend Presbyterianism.

After the death of Richard Cameron, Donald Cargill was the only field preacher left in Scotland. Cargill was born in 1627. He went to university in St Andrews where he read and re-read the books of John Knox and Andrew Melville. However the biggest influence on his life was his tutor, Samuel Rutherford. In 1655 he became minister of the Barony Church in Glasgow.

Two years after the Restoration of Charles II Cargill got into trouble for preaching against the king and had to go into hiding. He had to go into hiding, but kept preaching in the fields. After the Covenanters’ victory at Drumclog, Cargill rushed to join those preparing to fight at Bothwell Bridge. Cargill was badly wounded in the battle and left for dead. However, he survived, went to Holland for a while, and then came back to join Richard Cameron in preaching in the fields throughout Scotland.

Cargill preached Cameron’s funeral service, and then held a massive meeting at Torwood where in the name of Jesus Christ he excommunicated the king, Charles II – the highest punishment of the church.

The government now became more determined to catch Cargill than ever, and offered a large amount of money to anyone who would catch him, dead or alive. He was finally captured in July 1681, found guilty of treason and hanged in Edinburgh.

Just before he died, Cargill wrote: “This is the most joyful day that I ever saw in my pilgrimage on earth. My joy is now begun, which I see shall never be interrupted.” He had complete confidence that all his sins had been forgiven by Christ, and so he was not afraid to die. His calmness when facing death had a big impact on those who were watching, especially 18 year-old James Renwick.

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Prayer & Practical Christianity – John Kid (Martyr) Sermon

Prayer & Practical Christianity – John Kid (Martyr) Sermon

Lastly, I do further bear my Testimony to the Cross of Christ, and bless him that ever he counted me worthy to appear for him in such a lot as this: Glory to him that ever I heard tell of him, and that ever he fell upon such a method of dealing with me as this, and therefore let none that loves Christ and his Righteous Cause be offended in me.

And as I have lived in the faith of this, that the three Kingdoms are married Lands, so I die in the faith of it, that there will be a resurrection of his Name, Word, Cause, and of all his interest therein, though I dare not determine the time when, nor the manner how, but leave all these things to the infinitely wise God, who has done, and will do all things well. Oh that he would return to this Land again, to repair our breaches, and take away our back sliding, and appear for his work: Oh that he were pacified towards us; Oh that he would pass by Scotland once again, and make our time a time of Love, Come Lord Jesus, come quickly. Himself hasten it in his own time and way. The Lord is my light and life, my joy, my song, and my salvation; the God of his chosen be my Mercy this day, and the inriching comforts of the holy Ghost keep up and carry me fair through, to the Glory of his Grace, to the edification of his people, and my own eternal advantage. Amen.

John Kid.

August, 14th. 1679.

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