John Brown of Wamphray
John Brown was one of the great theological writers in the later period of the Second Reformation. Samuel Rutherford said that he “saw Christ in him more than in his brethren”. He was a man of “very great learning, warm zeal, and remarkable piety”.
He was the minister of Wamphray near Dumfries. Together with other faithful ministers he was removed from his congregation after the restoration of Charles II. He was imprisoned in 1662. After a while, he was so ill that he was at the point of death and was exiled to Holland. Here he pastored the Scots Church at Rotterdam and wrote a large number of books. It was said of his sermons that they breathed “nothing but faith in Christ, and communion with Him”.
The Only Test Of Truth
“The only test and touchstone by which we are to try what is truth, what is error, and upon which we are to rest, is the Word of the Lord”
Beware of Corruption
“We must look upon the Church of Christ as an hospital…wherein every person has some defect or other…This Is God’s holy appointment that He may show His love and care in going through His hospital, daily giving physic [medicine], here binding up the broken leg or arm, there bearing His sickly children in His arms, turning the other sick one’s bed unto him, washing away the blood and of another and curing all so that none dieth in His hands, He carrieth all safe to glory”
One Thing Is Needful
“Let then a man have never so much knowledge, and be acquainted with the mysteries of all arts and sciences, and with the depths of nature, and intrigues of states, and all the theory of religion; if he be unacquainted with Jesus, he knoweth nothing as he ought to know. Oh! if we were wise at length, and could think more of this one thing necessary; and could be stirred up to learn more of him, and to make this the subject of all our study and labour”
A Sure Anchor
“…It were good in such a time of erring from the way of truth, to be gripping Christ faster, and cleaving to Him by faith and living by faith in Him. This is to hold the foundation fast: and then let the tempest of error blow as it will, they will ride at a sure anchor and be safe because fixed upon the Rock of Ages, and further, living near Christ in such a dangerous day, would be a noble preservative from the infection of error.”
How Can Prayer Be A Burden?
“What a wonder is this. Will the Lord be content to hear all our heart secrets and admit us to intimate familiarity with Him as one heart friend with another…and shall this be our burden?”
Long Winter Nights - Spiritually
“We wonder that ’tis not always hot summer days, a flourishing and fruitful season, with souls and with churches. But know we the thoughts of the Lord; see we to the bottom of the deep contrivance of infinite wisdom? Know we the usefulness, yea, necessity of long winter nights, stormy blasts, rain, hail, snow, and frost? Consider we, that our state and condition, while here, calleth for those vicissitudes, and requireth the blowing of the north as well as of the south winds? If we considered, how grace had ordered all things for our best, and most for the glory and exaltation of grace, we would sit down and sing under the saddest of dispensations, and living by faith and hope, we would rejoice in the confident expectation of a gracious outgate [release]”
They Cannot Take God From You
Newness of life is not passing novelty but an abiding fresh principle of grace that we need constantly. There is encouraging strength here for our daily spiritual renewal.
Ministers need our earnest prayers more than ever. If we have experienced difficulties over the past couple of years, they certainly have too.
Facing chaos, repression, disease, violence, food shortages and persecution, what hope is there for Afghan believers? Scripture guarantees strength and hope despite them all.
There is much more involved than we may realise in coming together as a body for worship or fellowship. There is mutual giving and receiving in valuable spiritual things.
Sometimes we think we know what type of Scripture teaching we need at present and what we are less ready to receive. But all Scripture is designed to give us hope.
It is frighteningly possible to cause spiritual harm to others. Even through straightforward actions and words. Even when we don’t mean to. We must avoid it.
Apparently most evangelicals recently surveyed in the USA support women preachers. But does the Bible support it? John Brown of Wamphray considers relevant passages.
How do we honour the government when they seem to be demanding extreme obedience? What do we owe them and how do we keep our consciences clear in relation to what God requires? These can be very difficult questions in practice but Scripture does not leave us without answers.
People’s behaviour often contradicts the strong morals they profess to believe. It’s a problem for true believers too. Why is this? John Brown explains from the Scriptures.
We are drowning in personal debt. It’s a crisis and undoubtedly a bad thing. So when (according to the Bible) is it wrong to be absolutely debt-free? The answer to that is truly arresting.
This is a question that takes us to the heart of true prayer. We can only ask anything in prayer for Christ’s sake. You will be surprised at how much practical help we can receive from this simple truth.
Prayer is in danger of being squeezed to the edges of our lives. Prayerlessness can seriously damage your spiritual health. We need to identify the factors that influence us to downgrade the importance of prayer in everyday life.
Online communication may even undermine our face-to-face interactions. Edifying one another in the best possible way must not become a casualty of social media excess. Here is some wisdom to meet this challenge.
“The just shall live by faith”. These few words had a tremendous impact because there is so much to unpack from them.
We still need clear and accurate teaching on how we are made right with God. John Brown shows from SCripture how faith justifies.
Civility has disappeared from a great deal of public discourse. How do we respond and avoid worldly spite infecting our response?
Do you feel so weak and dead that you wonder how it will ever change? John Brown of Wamphray explains how Christ is still life to the deadened soul and how to make use of that life.
Much of our culture centres around self-image and the need to boost our sense of self-worth. Few ever ask what might be the dangers of excessive self-esteem. What does Scripture say?
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