TUESDAY THE THIRD OF JULY, 2018
We thank you, O Father, for your readiness to hear and to forgive; for your great love to us, in spite of our unworthiness; for the many blessings we enjoy above our deserving, hoping or asking. You have been so good to us in our ingratitude, thoughtlessness and forgetfulness of you. For your pity, long-suffering, gentleness and tenderness, we bow our heads in humble thankfulness of heart. We worship you who are infinite love, infinite compassion, infinite power. Accept our praise and gratitude; through Jesus Christ our lord and saviour. Amen.
( C. J. N. Child )
Through the bleak and dreary street where the cold winds keenly blow,
see, a child with bare, chilled feet, wandering on amid ice and snow;
houseless, homeless. God’s own Word shall its precious comfort be:
"As you did it unto these, you have done it unto me."
In an attic cold and bare amid the dropping of the rain,
see, a woman, gaunt and wan, stitch from morn till morn again,
fainting, famished. Christian man, does not God appeal to thee:
"As you did it unto these, you have done it unto me"?
When you pass the orphan by with averted look of scorn;
while the lone one toils and sighs, faint and weak from morn to morn.
Think, there soon shall come a day when your God shall say to thee,
"As you did it unto these, you have done it unto me."
( Alonzo B. Bragdon )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Harriet Beecher Stowe; John and Henry Venn:
fighting for the abolition of slavery
( transferred from Sunday )
Today Saint Laika’s remembers three valiant fighters in the cause of the abolition of slavery, on both sides of the Atlantic: Harriet Beecher Stowe in the United States, best known as the author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” which recounted the tragic consequences of slavery on families, and John and Henry Venn, father and son, who were active in the abolitionist movement in Britain, working alongside William Wilberforce.
Harriet Beecher Stowe was born in 1811 and came from a family of Christians who practiced their faith in public. Her father, Lyman Beecher, was a famous preacher. Her mother, Roxana, was a public advocate for higher education for women. Her sister, Catherine, was a fierce opponent of Andrew Jackson’s policy of relocation of native peoples away from their ancestral lands. "Uncle Tom’s Cabin" (1852) ratcheted up the fervour of the anti-slavery movement in the United States. It was reported that upon meeting her, Abraham Lincoln said, “So this is the little lady who started this great war!”
She died on the first of July, 1896.
Late in the eighteenth century John became the rector of Clapham. The rectory of the church became a hub of philanthropic activity and anti-slavery activism. The group that met there regularly became known as the Clapham Sect. John’s son, Henry, was born at Clapham in 1796.
The Clapham Sect saw its efforts rewarded in 1807 when Parliament passed a bill outlawing the slave trade, but not slavery itself. That would come in 1833.
John died on the first of July, 1813 and Henry died on the thirteenth of January, 1873.
Scripture. In the twenty-sixth chapter of "Isaiah," at verses eight and nine, we read:
In the path of your judgments, O LORD, we wait for you; your name and your renown are the soul’s desire. My soul yearns for you in the night, my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
... for peace in the world.
... for an end to slavery, in all the forms it takes, throughout the world.
... for missionaries, that they may be safe in their work and successful in revealing Christ to the people of all nations.
... for the people of Belarus who celebrate their national day today.
... for the twelve and their football coach trapped in a cave in Thailand, that now they have been found they will soon be freed and reunited with their families. DETAILS
... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.
... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.
... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.
... for ourselves.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
From the sermon, "On Preaching the Gospel" by John Venn:
We do not " preach the Gospel," if we represent man as in a state different from that which the Gospel supposes. If we do not describe him as fallen and corrupt; if we do not speak of him as yielding to the power of sin, and therefore obnoxious to the just displeasure of a holy God; we give a false view of the subject; such a view, indeed, as wholly supersedes the grace of the Gospel.
Again, if, allowing the corrupt state of the human race, we assert that there is sufficient power in man to restore himself by his own exertions, without referring him to the grace and power of God, we do not "preach the Gospel." This is to render the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit unnecessary. The philosophers of old did not "preach the Gospel;" for they pointed out no other means of reclaiming man than the wisdom of his own reasonings and the energy of his own exertions.
Further, if we so exalt the merit of any righteous acts which man can perform, as to suppose them sufficient to counterbalance his transgressions, and to render him acceptable in the sight of God we do not "preach the Gospel;" for thus also we make the cross of Christ of none effect. This was the error of the Jews: they had a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge; for being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to the righteousness of God.
Again, if we represent Christ as only an example to mankind and not as making atonement by his blood for sin; as being a mere man and not as the "only begotten son of God," who came down from heaven to become our redeemer; we do not " preach the Gospel." For "great is the mystery of godliness," that is, of the Gospel.
"God was manifest in the flesh, seen of angels, received up into glory."
In like manner, if we do not insist that the great end of Christ's coming in the flesh was to purchase to himself a holy people who should be zealous of good works, to enable them to escape the corruptions of the world, and make them partakers of a divine nature, we do not "preach the Gospel;" for we overlook the very design of Christ incoming upon earth.
In a word, if we represent man as in no need of a saviour, or if we ascribe to him the ability to deliver himself; if we leave Christ out of our view, or substitute any thing in the place of his meritorious death, perfect righteousness, and prevailing intercession; or if we do not insist on the necessity of the sanctifying influence of the Spirit; we evidently do not preach the Gospel: we do not glorify Christ, or exalt his Spirit as we ought: we give false views of the state of man, and therefore fail in rightly preparing him for eternity.
Gracious God, we thank you for the witness of Harriett Beecher Stowe, and John and Henry Venn, whose passion for justice caused them to bring to light the shame and sufferings of enslaved peoples. Help us, like them, to strive for your justice, that our eyes may see the glory of your son, Jesus Christ, when he comes to reign with you and the Holy Spirit in reconciliation and peace, one God, now
and always. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
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