Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Concise Argument Against Holy Days

by John Brown of Haddington, excerpted from A Compendius View of Natural and Revealed Religion (Reformation Heritage Books edition, 2002).
Men cannot, without sin, appoint any holy days. 1. God has marked the weekly sabbath with peculiar honour, in his command and word. But, if men appoint holy days, they detract from its honour: And wherever holy days of men's appointment are much observed, God's weekly sabbath is much profaned, Exodus 20:8; Ezekiel 43:8. 2. God never could have abolished his own ceremonial holy days, in order that men might appoint others in their room, Colossians 2:16-23; Galatians 4:10, 11. 3. God alone can bless holy days, and render them effectual to promote holy purposes; and we have no hint in his word, that he will bless any appointed by men, Exodus 20:11. 4. By permitting, if not requiring us to labour six days of the week in our worldly employments, this commandment excludes all holy days of men's appointment, Exodus 20:8, 9. If it permit six days for our worldly labour, we ought to stand fast in that liberty with which Christ hath made us free, Galatians 5:1; 1 Corinthians 7:23; Matthew 15:9. If it require them, we ought to obey God rather than men, Acts 4:19; 5:29. -- Days of occasional fasting and thanksgiving are generally marked out by the providences of God: And the observation of them does not suppose any holiness in the day itself, Joel 1:14; 2:15; Acts 13:2; 14:23; Matthew 9:15.

Saturday, December 30, 2006


"It doesn't matter where you're going, as long as you're going the right way."

-- Daniel W. (age 5).

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Brief Sabbath Meditation.

Some thoughts on worship:

"Worship is right conceptions of the character and works of God suitably expressed. It is seeing Him, and expressing our thoughts and feelings concerning Him. It is an act of the soul. There are forms of expression used in worship, but forms and words and attitudes are not in themselves worship. That is essentially an act of the soul. We are called upon to pour out our hearts to the Lord. God is a spirit, and they who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. The most reverent genuflections, the divinest strains of music, and the most devotional words are nothing and worse than nothing unless the soul of the worshiper is going out to God in them. " -- Rev. W.H. McMillan, The Idea of Worship, page 11 of THE PSALMS IN WORSHIP.

Friday, December 22, 2006

From the "Did you know?" department...

Next December will mark the 100th anniversary of Xmas being legal in every State in the United States. Yes, that's right... 100 years, that's all. I remember when we stopped observing Xmas due to religious conviction (We stopped, not because we are not Christians, but because we ARE Christians), that some of our family members objected that we are rejecting this ancient practice of Christians. Some people would be shocked to know how novel their "Christianity" actually is.


Who was Against Christmas?
By Paul V.M. Flesher

Picture the following scenario. Crowds of Americans rioting in the streets. Two opposing groups shout loudly, vying to have their messages heard and heeded. The groups meet. Confrontation ensues. Fistfights break out. Church windows are smashed. What are these rioters fighting about? Christmas. One group favors celebrating Christmas, the other opposes all Christmas observances. This isn't an imaginary event, it is history. It happened in Boston on Christmas day in 1706.

In America's increasing love-affair with Christmas (both the Christian and commercial versions), we have forgotten that there was a time when much of European and American Christianity thought that Christmas should not be celebrated. In the riot described previously, the anti-Christmas group consisted largely of Congregationalists (Puritan descendants), Baptists, and Presbyterians, while the pro-Christmas group comprised mostly Anglicans (Episcopalians). The notion that Christians of any stripe should not want to celebrate Christmas is so foreign to our present concept of the holiday, that we need to review some history to understand it.

Prior to the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s, Roman Catholicism celebrated the "Christ Mass." It was one of many special masses and feasts of the Catholic Church celebrating key events in Jesus' life or the birthdays of saints. The three main Protestant movements that ultimately came to America had three different reactions to this situation.

First, although the Anglican Church developed a Protestant theology, it kept much of Catholic liturgy, including festivals celebrating aspects of Christ's life and the feast days of many saints. It gave special emphasis to the celebration of Christmas.

Second, after Martin Luther nailed his "95 Theses" to the door of the Wittenberg Cathedral in 1517, special liturgical observances began to be frowned upon. The Lutherans thought that the celebrations of saints' days were too much and so cancelled them. But they still emphasized observing events in Jesus' life, and so continued with joyous Christmas festivities.

Third, the Calvinists in Switzerland banned all Christian holy days not mentioned in Scripture. That approach meant that the Sabbath was acceptable, but nothing else. Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and other celebrations were to be treated as normal days with nothing special about them.

The Calvinist position came to be quite influential in Great Britain, even though it never altered the position of the Anglican Church. John Knox brought Calvinism to Scotland as Presbyterianism where Christmas was banned in 1583, while the Puritans brought Calvinism into England, where it became influential in circles both within and outside of the Anglican Church. During the Civil War in 1647, Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan followers outlawed Christmas observance. It was brought back in 1660 at the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II.

From England, both sides brought their Christmas beliefs to America. The Puritans (later becoming the Congregationalists) were joined by Presbyterians, Quakers, Methodists (despite their founders' pro-Christmas predilections), and Baptists on the anti-Christmas side, while the Anglicans dominated the pro-Christmas side, and were later joined by the Lutherans and the Dutch Reformed.

In Boston, the Puritans outlawed Christmas in 1659. Although the ban was lifted in 1681 when the British government took control of the colony, an armed guard had to protect the governor on his way to church on Christmas of 1686. When the colony reverted to local control in 1689, Christmas again fell out of favor.

The objection to Christmas by Americans was two-fold. First, for Calvinist theology, it reflected the pagan character of Catholic worship. Christmas was not a biblical holiday and had not even become a Christian festival before the late 300s; it was a creation of the church, not of Christ. Second, the holiday was accompanied by extensive reveling. Celebrations were not primarily worshipful, but involved feasting, game playing, heavy drinking, shooting, and gambling. For the over-indulgers, it brought out the worst of their excesses. Since the holiday celebrated the Savior's birth, such immoral behavior was seen as sacrilegious.

During the 18th century, Christmas observance began to be more accepted. Church-goers turned their attention to purifying the holiday of its excesses, rather than rejecting it altogether. By the 1750s, even New England hymn books contained Christmas carols. By the early 1800s, Christmas was observed with an emphasis on family and children.

In 1836, Alabama became the first state to make Christmas a legal holiday. Other states followed suit; even Massachusetts legalized Christmas in 1856, almost 200 years after its ban. But the last state, Oklahoma, did not join in until 1907. So next Christmas, 2007, will be the centenary of Christmas being the first religious holiday whose celebration across the United States is sanctioned by law.

[end of article]

Monday, December 18, 2006

I kill fish and crabs

I wish I was better at fish-keeping. Our cool Catfish died today, and our little fidler crab kicked the bucket a few days ago. Our other Catfish is acting funny and one of our guppies don't look so good.

If I ever offer to keep you in a tank, it would be wise to decline.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Friday, dangerously close to the end of the week.

Thanks to all of those who expressed their care and concern for little Gideon, we are very appreciative. It turns out that after a series of X-rays at Hershey Medical Center, they could not find whatever it was that appeared on the X-ray at our local hospital. Hmm... whether a miraculous answer to prayer, or a medical mess-up by the doctors at our local hospital, I'm just thankful that my boy is alive and well.

I'm reminded of how fragile we humans are. As infants, we very well may be the most helpless creatures on earth. As toddlers, our disproportionately large baby heads can be cause for some treacherous moments. As we grow to walk on two feet, we... well... walk on two feet! Think about that one for a minute. Would you sit on a two-legged chair? Climb up a two-legged ladder that is not propped up against something? It is much safer to be at least a tripod, but alas, we are mere bipods, teetering on the brink of destruction with every step. And have you ever considered that every time you eat something your food is just inches away from your airway. It's amazing we don't choke on every bite. John Calvin once preached in a sermon that we would pray more, and more earnestly, if we would consider the dangers we are subject to on a daily basis. Yes, indeed. In a split second, our littlest one went from happily playing to not being able to breathe.

The next day, when Gideon returned from the hospital, we read this Psalm during family worship:

Psalm 91

1He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

2I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

3Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

4He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

5Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

6Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

7A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

8Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

9Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

10There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.


In other news: We bought some new creatures for our aquarium. We promptly killed the fidler crab, but he was neat while we had him for those two days. The snails keep climbing out of the tank and into the filter... I understood this a little better when we found the one snail doing something that appears to me to be laying eggs. Our other two fish -- another guppy and a catfish, are doing just spiffy. Or is that spiffily?

In more other news: I'm digging the DVD burner on the new 'puter. I just got done archiving about 4.5 gigabites of blues mp3's onto one DVD.

"I do not play no rock and roll, y'all. I just play da straight natchal blues. ~Mississippi Fred McDowell.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Pray for Little Giddy

Tonight Gideon was sitting on the floor in the dining room, when he suddenly fell backwards -- he was pulling on something and his hand slipped, and ended up flat on his back. He must have had something in his mouth, because he started choking, the real choking, not just coughing. He was breathing sometimes, and not breathing other times, and when he could breathe, it was shallow and weezy. Back blows between the shoulder blades, and some upside down treatment made him vomit. Good, we thought. He calmed down and fell asleep for a short nap. When he woke up, he started coughing again -- one of those terrible, trying to get something out from deep inside, coughs. Rachel took him to the emergency room. They took X-rays, and whatever he swallowed is stuck in his lung. They're transferring him to Hershey Medical Center tonight to remove it. It's going to be a long night, it looks like.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Old Joe Brown

This morning I stopped in at my local tobacco shop to stock up on some stuff to burn in my pipe. Looking at the variety of pipe tobacco available, I noticed one jar labeled "Ancient Joe Brown." Now, let's go back a couple years....

My bud that says "Ahh-mun" instead of Almond, Jason, came out to visit us, maybe 2 years ago now (? remined me, would you Shoe?), and the two of us went to this same shop, and Jason bought some tobacco called "Old Joe Brown," and if I recall, J was a bit disappointed in it. Jump back to the present...

So I ask the shop owner, "Hey, didn't "Ancient Joe Brown" used to called "Old Joe Brown"? He says, "Yeah, but he got way older, ain't Joe?", looking to an old man in the shop who was just standing there smoking a pipe. The old man says, "Yep, I'm another year closer to retirement." Jocosity ensued.

Ok, there's my silly tobacco story that no one but maybe Jason will think is even slightly funny.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Every once in a while...

It's good to take a good long look in the mirror.

Tell me, do you like what you see?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Hello, yeah, it's been a while...

My computer blew up. Yes, I mean it blew up. Crack, bang, pop, fizzle sizzle, smells like mom's cooking, blew up. Today the new Dell came. I know nerds, there's better, but this is a pretty nice machine and the price was right.

I've been trying to get this thing set up like I want it. Obviously I've reached the world wide web, but there's more I need to fix. For one thing, I'd like to get rid of all this extra junk that Windows XP has in order to "help" me. Ugh...

But more pressing is saving the info on my old hard drive. Here's my problem, techies (yep, you're nerds when I want to be quiet, and techies when I need your help) -- My old hard drive needs IDE cables, but the new Dell has the SATA type drive/cables. So, how's a guy hook up an IDE slave to an SATA master? I wonder do they have external thingies that I can use to plug the old drive into a USB or something? Help would be appreciated.

In other news...

Ever have one of those heart in your throat, nearly wet your pants, don't want to go into a room for fear of what you'll find, kind of moments? Here was moment like that tonight:

"Dad! Daniel got Cole's knife stuck in his mouth!"

It was not as bad as it sounded, all thanks be to the Good LORD.

That's it for now.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Dad Workout

Ok, quick for you dad's who wanna workout but don't wanna spend money on joining a gym or buying weights:

1. Have a child lay on his back on the floor. Standing with feet shoulder width apart, straddling the feet of the child, bend at the knees and grab the kid's ankles. Slowly stand up and pull the child up in front of you as high as you can. There's your deadlift and front deltoid raise all in one.

2. Sling a kid over your shoulders (kata guruma/fireman's carry style). Squat till it burns.

3. Line up the kids and carry them up the stairs, over and over until you sweat.

If you want, you can also military press your kids, and have a kid hop on your back during pushups.

When you become strong enough that your kids become to easy to lift, move on to your wife.

There you go, the Dad Workout.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Christ our Wisdom, Righteousness, and Sanctification

Where it is said that Jesus Christ is given to us to be our redemption, [1 Cor. 1:30] St. Paul declares at the same time how it is done, namely because (he says) he is given us to be our wisdom, righteousness, and sanctification. And how for wisdom? In order that our whole mind may rest upon him and not wander from him on this side or that. Again, he is given us to be our righeousness, in order there should not be any spot or wrinkle in us when we appear before the face of our God, but that the blood of Jesus Christ should suffice us for the whole of our uprightness. Also he is given to us for our sanctification, in order that we should be renewed by his Holy Spirit. And whoever separates these things one from another intends to tear Jesus Christ in pieces as much as lies in him.
~~John Calvin, Sermon on Ephesians 5:25-27.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Kata Guruma x2

Kata Guruma is a throw used in Judo. It is also contained in the karate system we study, as found in Wansu and Sunsu kata (kata being something different in karate than it is in judo -- in judo kata is a move, and in karate it is a set series of moves contained in a solo exercise).

I like kata guruma, it's fun. Here's a good example of one, countered with the same move:

I know, maybe you don't like stuff like this, but I do and it's my blog.


Time keeps flying by. It seems like a blink and a month half-passes. I used to feel like I had too much time, and now it seems I don't have any.

And yet, I'm so far too easily distracted from important things.

This I find to be frustrating.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Duty of Singing Psalms LOUDLY.

"And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them" (Acts 16:25).

This proves that the singing of psalms is a gospel ordinance, and ought to be used by all good Christians; and that it is instituted, not only for the expressing of their joys in a day of triumph, but for the balancing and relieving of their sorrows in a day of trouble. It was at midnight that they sang psalms, according to the example of the sweet psalmist of Israel (Ps. cxix. 62): At midnight will I rise to give thanks unto thee. (3.) Notice is here taken of the circumstance that the prisoners heard them. If the prisoners did not hear them pray, yet they heard them sing praises. [1.] It intimates how hearty they were in singing praises to God; they sang so loud that, though they were in the dungeon, they were heard all the prison over; nay, so loud that they woke the prisoners: for we may suppose, being at midnight, they were all asleep. We should sing psalms with all our heart. The saints are called upon to sing aloud upon their beds, Ps. cxlix. 5. But gospel grace carries the matter further, and gives us an example of those that sang aloud in the prison, in the stocks. [2.] Though they knew the prisoners would hear them, yet they sang aloud, as those that were not ashamed of their Master, nor of his service. Shall those that would sing psalms in their families plead, in excuse for their omission of the duty, that they are afraid their neighbours should hear them, when those that sing profane songs roar them our, and care not who hears them?
~~Matthew Henry's Commentary upon Acts 16.

Monday, October 30, 2006


Tonight I didn't go to Karate class. Instead I went to the Wine and Spirit Store. I got a jug of Chianti, a bottle of Riesling, a bottle of White Zinfandel (for the little lady), and a bottle of Bourbon. That's right! I skipped a workout to buy booze!

That sounds terrible, doesn't it?


Sunday, October 29, 2006

A Meditation for those who do not meditate on Christ.

Be assured of this: your sins must be your meditation, then, if Christ is not your meditation now. May there be great searchings of heart this night! How often do your convictions disperse like the smoke from the chimney, or the chaff from the winnower's hand; they soon vanish. It will not profit you to live at this rate — hearing sermons and forgetting them. Take heed to the voice of warning, lest God should say, "He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall be suddenly destroyed, and that without remedy." O wicked men! wicked men! one word to you, all of you who know not God, and ye shall go.

I will give you a subject for your meditation to-night. It shall be a parable.

A certain tyrant sent for one of his subjects, and said to him, "What is your employment?"

He said, "I am a blacksmith."

"Go home," said he, "and make me a chain of such a length"

He went home; it occupied him several months, and he had no wages all the while he was making the chain, only the trouble and the pains of making it.

Then he brought it to the monarch, and he said, "Go and make it twice as long." He gave him nothing to do it with, but sent him away.

Again he worked on, and made it twice as long. He brought it up again, and the monarch said, "Go and make it longer still."

Each time he brought it, there was nothing but the command to make it longer still. And when he brought it up at last, the monarch said, "Take it, bind him hand and foot with it, and cast him into a furnace of fire." There were his wages for making the chain.

Here is a meditation for you to-night, ye servants of the devil! Your master the devil is telling you to make a chain. Some of you have been fifty years welding the links of the chain; and he says, "Go and make it longer still. Next Sunday morning you will open that shop of yours, and put another link on; next Saturday night you will be drunk, and put another link on; next Monday you win do a dishonest action, and so you will keep on making fresh links to this chain; and when you have lived twenty more years, the devil will say, "More links on still!" And then, at last, it will be, "Take him, and bind him hand and foot, and cast him into a furnace of fire." "For the wages of sin is death." There is a subject for your meditation. I do not think it will be sweet; but if God makes it profitable, it will do good. You must have strong medicines sometimes, when the disease is bad. God apply it to your hearts! Amen.
~~C.H. Spurgeon, from Sermon 2690, Meditations on God.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Some Karate Pics from Last Month

I've obviously not been posting as often as I have been accustomed to, and in the void, I forgot to post these --

Cole and Daniel graduated to their next respective belts (for Daniel, this was his first promotion -- no longer a white belt!).

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Acceptable Prayer

What are the true conditions of acceptable prayer?

1. The person offering the prayer must be in a state of reconcilation to God through Christ. This does not mean that God never answers the prayers of unregenerate persons; but the promise can be claimed only by those who have accepted the conditions of salvation and are loyal to their Christian engagements.

2. The prayer must be sincere, must express a real desire of the heart, and it must be offered and the answer sought only through the merits and intercession of Jesus Christ.

3. The prayer must be offered in absolute submission to the higher, broader knowledge, wisdom and righteousness of God. It must follow our Saviour's "not as I will, but as thou wilt." The only objects for which we have any warrant to press unconditional petitions are: (1) our own sanctification; (2) the bringing on of the triumph of Christ's kingdom, because God has positively revealed both of these to be his "will." The unconditional, unsubmissive demand for any other benefit, in relation to which the will of God is as yet unrevealed, is obviously a presumptuous sin, a ground of offence, and not an acceptable prayer.

4. In order that the prayer shall be acceptable, the person praying must in every case intelligently and dilligently use the means provided by God himself in the great framework of second causes and natural laws for the attainment of the end desired. If a man who prays for a crop neglects to sow the seed; or if a man who prays for learning neglects to study; or if a man who prays for the cure of a disease neglects to take the appointed remedies; or if a man who prays for sanctification neglects to use the means of grace; or if a man who prays for the conversion of sinners neglects to work for it as far as his power or opportunity goes, -- then, in every case, he disobeys and insults God: his prayer is a mockery and an offence, and it can be answered only by rebuke and chastisement.

Means in relation to ends and ends in dependence upon means are as much an ordinance of God and as obligatory on us as prayer itself. If God shuts us up in a situation where no means are possible, we have a right to pray for what we want in the absence of all means, and God is perfectly able to give it to us without means, if it seem wisest and best to himself. But in every case in which means are available to us their use is commanded, and the poor fanatic who neglects them and petulantly cries for what he wants dishonors God, grieves rational Christians and gives occasion to the devil and to his friends to triumph.

5. We must believe in the efficacy of prayer itself as a divinely-appointed means of attaining blessings. We must believe that we do and will obtain blessings by means of prayer in which we would not attain without it.
~~A. A. Hodge, Prayer and the Prayer-Cure, from pages 99-101 of Popular Lectures on Theological Themes; 1887.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Reflections on a Birdbath

Six little birds splashing in the bath,
Rolling, fluttering, frolicking.
And then all of the sudden,
Everybody's gone.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


The Boston Cream Donut!
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Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I've noticed something lately. Several times now, I've noticed people telling me "God bless you," when responding to the amount of children I have.

"You have seven children?"

"Yes, that's right. Seven."

"God bless you!"

Now, I don't know what these people mean in their hearts by saying this to me, but I'll take a blessing... thank you. I'm reminded of Baalam speaking an unintentional blessing, and the fact that it was indeed God who moved him to pronounce the blessing.

Is God moving these people to bless me and my family? If I am a man of faith, how can I think otherwise? Yes, thank you for pronouncing a blessing upon me, and thank God Almighty for blessing me.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Some thoughts on the slaughter of the Amish children

I don't have a bunch of answers... alot of questions, some of my own thoughts, but not a bunch of answers.

I couldn't sleep the other night, and I was up thinking. The question crossed my mind, What would possess someone to do something like this? And immediately I thought, "Hmm... possess...," and I remembered reading a sermon with some interesting points. I grabbed my book of Christopher Love sermons off the shelf and started paging... ah yes, there it is, Sermon 15 on The Combat Between the Flesh and the Spirit:

"1. Motions to sin from Satan are usually such as are abhorrent to nature's light of unnatural sins, those which the very light of nature struggles. And therefore divines rank temptations to blasphemy against God and to lay violent hands upon a man's self to be from Satan because they are unnatural. These motions do not arise primarily from the flesh but from the devil because they are contrary to nature, and therefore not from nature....

"2. Motions from the devil are usually to gross acts of sin which are not seated in the inclination and affections....

"3. Temptations from Satan are usually accompanied with with much horror and fear when they are first suggested. When a temptation is so strongly suggested that it makes a man quake, and horror comes upon him, this is an argument that it comes from the devil. And the reason is because nature provokes to those sins which are most pleasing unto nature. Nature does not raise a combustion in the mind."

This slaughter of the children was diabolical...demonic... I think so, anyway. Like I said, I don't have a bunch of answers, just some thoughts.

Some other thoughts... Monday morning a man entered a school room with the intent to rape and murder a school room full of little girls... and Monday night America enjoyed a nationally televised football game. The Eagles crushed the Packers.

How can anyone play a game, cheer about a game, care about a game, when something like this happened? It's the American way, it seems, to ignore tragedy and just go on like nothing happened. It's been going on for a while now. When is America going to take a moment to consider why our nation is given over to violence and perversion? And what is the Lord's quarrel with us? Like I said, not alot of answers, just a bunch of questions.

Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not. -- Jeremiah 31:15.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Much Affliction

Acts 14:

 19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.

 20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.

 21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,

 22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

This was part of our Bible reading today, and it was encouraging to me to know that the Christian life is one of afflictions.  And yet I'm humbled to even use the word affliction to describe anything in my life when I've never been bashed unconscious with rocks and left for dead.  Just something I'm thinking about this Lord's Day that I thought might provoke good and edifying thoughts.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Wanna get really strong?

I mean really really strong? Then you gotta deadlift. I'm not talking about getting perfectly sculpted biceps that peek like mountains when flexed, I'm talking about "dad strength," as in "Dad, you're strong! You can lift THAT?" If you wanna get "dad strong," then DEADLIFT.

I'm not much of a physical specimen, to tell you the truth. And I've always felt kind of weak... weak grip, can't lift much, just not strong. So, for the past few months I've been lifting some weights in the basement a couple times a week. A few weeks ago, I added the deadlift into my routine, and I love it. Today was "get the air conditioner units out of the windows day," which is traditionally the weekend before Yom Kippur, or thereabouts. Four air conditioners, one of them an oversized beast. Well, guess what -- piece of cake. I could have picked them up over my head and tossed them. And why? The deadlift.

The beauty of the deadlift is that this one exercise works virtually the entire body. Here's how to do the standard deadlift:

A variation that I do, since I don't have room or equipment to safely do the other exercise that works virtually every body part (the squat), is the sumo deadlift, where your legs go on the outside of your arms, and you end up squating like a sumo wrestler.

My routine, consisting mostly of compound exercises, now looks something like this (with a warmup set before each exercise):

Deadlifts (with shoulder shrugs) 6-8 reps, two sets.

Sumo deadlifts 6-8 reps, two sets

Flat Bench Press 6-8, two sets

Bent over dumbell rows, 6-8 two sets

Dumbell shoulder presses (I'm awful at these, and hate them... still playing with # of reps and sets).

Pull downs, 6-8 two sets.

I finish with one set of pushups to failure, and some crunches to failure.

I know, it's not a big long routine with tons of sets, but the average joe don't need tons of sets to get big a strong. Besides, I also go to Karate class twice a week, and have a job, a wife, and seven kids, so I have to squeeze as much as I can into a short time for a couple times a week.

Did I mention that I'm really diggin' the deadlift?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Day Trip to Luray Zoo

Since we were nearby to Luray, we decided to visit the Luray Zoo and Reptile Jungle. It's a smallish zoo, consisting of mostly rescued animals. We were greeted in the parking lot with a warning that was a bit concerning. We were glad that we had money to pay the admission price!
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The kids liked the entrance to the zoo, which looked like big alligator jaws.
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Inside, there were very many interesting reptiles, including a very large alligator turtle, an amazing selection of snakes, and these bearded lizards which I named "The Three Stooges":
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The outdoor portion of the zoo featured some very cool animals. We especially enjoyed the monkeys.
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And the petting zoo was a favorite of the littles.
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The Alligator feeding was especially groovey. The zoo owner, Mr. Mark Kilby explained to us that he doesn't approve of the foolishness of jumping on crocodilians, tying their mouths shut, wrapping them up, and all that jazz that is sometimes seen on certain nature shows. Mr. Kilby just calmy approaches his alligators, and presents the food, and gulp, the alligators chomp it down.
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After the alligator feeding, Mr. Kilby was kind enough to sit down with Cole and talk.
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One of the questions Cole asked was, "So, were you considering Steve Irwin when you said that you didn't jump on your animals like some other people?" Mr. Kilby spoke very respectfully of Mr. Irwin, and yet with every bit as much conviction for the conservation of animals, explained why he believed Mr. Irwin was wrong in his tactics and antics. "My animals trust me, and if I grabbed my snakes by the tail and held them up and yelled stuff, they would never trust me again." He also talked about the time Steve Irwin came to the Luray Zoo, and borrowed some of Mr. Kilby's snakes for filming (under the condition that he would not act crazy with the snakes). We found Mr. Kilby to be a very knowledgeable and kind man.

Later, he got out some of his snakes to show us, including a Copperhead, a Diamondback rattlesnake, and a Cobra!
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During the snake show, Mr. Kilby made an interesting point (I'm going on memory here): The most common venomous snake in Virginia, is the Copperhead. The Copperhead has killed 6 people in Virginia since 1948. That's SIX -- two of which were religious snake handlers who did not seek medical attention due to their delusional thinking. The other four deaths were intoxicated males that were bitten between the fingers and the elbow ("I know I'm a little drunk y'all, but I'll be dipped if'n I can't pick up that there snake!"). Snakes are generally hated, and killed with a shovel when seen. A far more deadly animal -- that has killed thousands of people, many of them elderly ladies, infants and other young children, is greatly loved and kept as pets -- the dog. The dog kills babies and old ladies, and the Copperhead takes care of nuts and drunks, and we love the dog but hate the snake, because one is "creepy" and the other is cute. Hmm...

We had a great visit to the Luray Zoo, and everyone had a really good time.
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Monday, September 25, 2006


We just got home from a trip. The first load of laundry is in, the neighborhood kids are all gathered around the house, on the porch, in our yard, to welcome us home, and I have a few minutes at the moment to write a quick note to let you all know that we were gone, and now we're back. I plan on sharing some things about our trip in the very near future. For right now...

I was in the restroom at a fast food place a few hours ago, and I noticed a page with writing on it in the urinal next to me. I squinted to try to read what it was. I was shocked and saddened to read the name of my Lord on the piece of paper... it appeared to be a page from either the Bible, or perhaps from the Book of Mormon, but it was my Savior's Name, that's for sure. I thought for a moment. If I saw my own name in a filthy urinal, I probably wouldn't bother to reach my hand in there and pick it out. My name, I confess, is worthy of such an insult as to be a target in a urinal. Besides, I would rather take the insult of having my name voided on, rather than putting my hand in something so vile. But this was not my name, but a far BETTER name, and one NOT deserving of this treatment, and so... in my hand went. The page was then properly disposed. So...

If you are the one that put a page of what appeared to be Scripture in the urinal of a fast food place's restroom in Green Castle PA, email me... I want to talk to you.

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

"To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life."

The Name which you depised is the only Name given under Heaven whereby you must be saved, and they way you treated it indicates that it is a savor of death unto death to you.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

"How dare you call me violent! Now I must kill you!"

So, the Pope quotes a medieval text that calles Muhammad's teachings evil and inhuman, and notes that Islam has been historically spread by the sword.  As if wishing to prove the Pope's point, many Muslims respond by burning the Pope in effigy, and calling for his death.

I can't be the only person that finds this whole thing tragically and awfully funny.  I mean, all of this seems to me to be a diabolic case of sibling rivalry. Some of the quotes I read from the angry Muslims are warning the Pope that true religion will come to Rome and knock down the Pope's thrones along with all the crosses in the houses. Hmm...

And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
~Rev. 9:17-21.

"Antichrist is the pope and the Turk together; a beast full of life must have a body and soul; the spirit or soul of antichrist is the pope, his flesh or body the Turk. The latter wastes and assails and persecutes God's church corporally; the former spiritually and corporally too, with hanging, burning, murdering, etc. But, as in the apostle's time, the church had the victory over the Jews and Romans, so now will she keep the field firm and solid against the hypocrisy and idolatry of the pope, and the tyranny and devastations of the Turk and her other enemies." ~ Martin Luther.

May the LORD JESUS CHRIST restrain and conquer all His and the Church's enemies, and protect and save all those that are His.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Cool Picture of Camel Shadows

Check out this picture... the "camels" you see are actually mere shadows. Look closer to see the camels themselves (click the pic):

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(Yes, it's a real photo).

Monday, September 11, 2006

Fish Experiment NOT going well.

Well, poor Henry didn't make it through the weekend. Squirt ain't looking to hot today either. :-(

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Our new hobby

We picked up some used aquarium equipment a couple weeks ago. I got it up and running a few days ago. Today, we introduced our first two fish to the aquarium. I decided on...

(drum roll)...

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The Blue Gourami!

Let's see if they can hang in there for a while. The Ph level and the temperature are A-OK, but aquariums can be fragile environments sometimes. Gouramis are pretty hardy, though.

Well, I'm tired and feeling kinda... ugly... really for the second half of the day, for whatever reason. Time for family worship, and then BED.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

(Almost a) Headline: Guy in goofy gi goes to wrong class.

I'm all messed up (no wise-cracks!).  I work at noon today, so I figured I'd get up early and try to catch a Karate class this morning before work.  So I drag myself out of bed (I've been really tired lately), chug two cups, eat a banana, grab my gear and head out the door.  I get to class, and it's filled with Krav Maga people.  Now, they don't dress like us karateka, and there I am standing with my bo.  So, before getting into full uniform and making a complete goof out of myself, I sneak over to the schedule hanging on the wall, and figure out that IT'S WEDNESDAY (thanks LABOR DAY!), and my class isn't til 11am, which is too late for me cuz I work at noon, so I came home and typed this instead.  Good news is that I do indeed work at noon, and my not knowing what day it is did not make me late for work.... yet.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Crocodile Hunter


Video removed to avoid offense (see comments), and to avoid any possible vain use of the Lord's Name (unintentional on my part).

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Be Angry And Sin Not

I'm in the process of posting a series in Calvin's Corner from his sermons on Ephesians on the verse that says "Be ye angry, and sin not."  I do believe it is the best explanation of that verse I've ever heard.  Far from finding justification for outward anger in these words, Calvin would have us to be angry at ourselves, at our sin, and what should follow is a carefulness to check ourselves against sin, a willingness to forgive others, and decrease in rage against others. 

Post #1

Post# 2

Post# 3

With more to follow, Lord willing.

If you have any good John Calvin quotes you think others may benefit from reading, come on over to Calvin's Corner and share them.

Friday, September 01, 2006

AikiJutsu bullshizu

Something tells me that you have to be in this guy's martial arts cult in order for these moves to be effective on you. I mean, a shrug of the shoulder sends someone flying? Give me a break!

Let's see a shoulder-shrug take out one of these guys, huh?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Of Death and the Grave

"We must be willing to go through the grave to Christ; that way he went to his glory, and so must we. If we cannot see God's face and live, better die than never see it."

~~Matthew Henry, from Commentary on John 20:1-10.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Arminianism is enmity against God.

All seem to agree about this, that the great end of all the Lord's counsels and decrees is his own glory, to be manifested on men and angels; and that this must be first in his mind; not that there is first or last with him, but to speak after the manner of men. If he had many thoughts, as we have, this would be his first thought; and in this one purpose this end is chiefly aimed at, and all other things are by the Lord's counsel subordinate to this, as means to compass that. But as concerning the order of these means, and consequently of his majesty's purpose about them, men, by examining his majesty according to the creature's rules, or according to sense, bring him down far below his own infinite greatness. Some conceive that that was first, as it were, in his mind which is first done. Looking upon the execution of his purpose in the works of his power, they imagine, that as he first created man righteous, so this was his first thought concerning man, to create man for the glory of his goodness and power, without any particular determination as yet of his end. And I conceive, this is the thought of the multitude of people. They think God was disappointed in his work, when they hear he created such a glorious creature that is now become so miserable. They cannot believe that his majesty had all this sin and misery determined with him when he purposed to create him, but look upon the emergent of man's fall into sin and misery as a surprisal of his majesty; - as if he had meant another thing in creating him, and so was, upon this occasion of man's sin, driven to a new consultation about the helping of the business, and making the best out of it that might be. Thus 'through wisdom' the world knows not God. They think God altogether like themselves, and so liken him to the builder of a house, who set nothing before him in doing so, but to build it after that manner for his own ends; but then being surprised with the fall and ruin of it, takes a new advisement, and builds it up again upon another and a surer foundation. But because they cannot say, that God takes any new advisements in time, but must confess that all his counsels are everlasting concerning all the works of his hands, therefore they bring in foreknowledge to smooth their irreligious conceit of God; as if the Lord, upon his purpose of creating man, had foreseen what should befall him, and so purposed to permit it to be so, that out of it he might erect some glorious fabric of mercy and justice upon the ruins of man. And that little or nothing may be left to the absolute sovereign will of God, to which the Scripture ascribes all things, they must again imagine, that upon his purpose of sending Christ to save sinners, he is yet undetermined about the particular end of particular men, but watches on the tower of foreknowledge to espy what they will do, whether men will believe on his Son or not, whether they will persevere in faith or not; and according to his observation of their doings, so he applies his own will to carve out their reward or portion of life or death. These are even the thoughts which are inbred in your breasts by nature. That which the learned call Arminianism is nothing else but the carnal reason of men's hearts, which is enmity to God. It is that very disputation which Paul in this chapter exclaims against, 'Who art thou, O man, that disputest?'
~~Hugh Binning, Of Predestination.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Amazing Trivia

The spitball, a pitch in baseball in which the ball is tampered with (spit on, scuffed, smeared with petroleum oil or peanut butter, etc.) in order to affect the movement of the ball during the pitch, was permitted in Major League Baseball until 1920. Back in the day, the same baseball was used for much of the game, unlike today where they replace the ball after every couple pitches -- the ball was sometimes stained with various substances, including tobacco spit. The spitball was difficult for the batter to see coming. It was in 1920 when Ray Chapman was hit with a spitball pitch. Ray Chapman died 12 hours later, from injuries to his skull. There is some dispute whether or not Chapman's death was the cause of the ban of the spitball.

Crop circles, the "phenomena" where some guys use a board to smash down wheat, corn, or other crops, into sometimes elaborate designs, may have been around in the 1600's. A pamphlet (August 22nd, 1678) called "The Mowing Devil" features a woodcut of a devil smashing down crops into a circle. Hmm...

It seems that when lifting weights to gain strength, one set of 12 reps may be almost as effective for the average joe, as the classic 12 rep/3 set workout.


Monday, August 21, 2006

Yes! My knees are sore.

Tonight I was icing the inside of both my knees, and do you know why?

Because Karate class tonight was AWESOME, that's why.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Mocking Popery ≠ Christianity

To say that men may lawfully eat flesh on a Friday, and to mock all the superstitions of popery, and to say that they are but empty and trivial things -- that they can do with ease. But, at the same time, if a man asks them what it is to be regenerate, what patience is, what newness of life is, and what it is to be fashioned again after the image of God -- there the majority of them will show that they never tasted the truth of the gospel, but have disregarded all but the externals, and never came to the real substance of it.
~John Calvin, The Twenty-Ninth Sermon on Ephesians.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

I pity the Poor Immigrant

I took this idea from Willena's blog.

"I pity the poor immigrant, when his gladness comes to pass." -- Bob Dylan.

dylan bob lyrics

song lyrics

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I'm kind of ashamed

I'm kind of ashamed because I joined alot of people in just assuming that JonBenet's parents were involved in her murder. I don't mean only that they were responsible for dressing her up like a model and painting her face like a prostitute so as to attract sick perverts, I mean that I assumed that one or both of them must have murdered her.

It looks like I was wrong, and I feel bad about that -- not about being wrong, I'm that all the time. I'm sorry I thought such an ugly thought about them without knowing the facts.

It makes me think about how many times I may have done this sort of thing. It makes me think that I need to work harder to have charitable estimations of others.

LXXVII. Ques. What is required in the ninth commandment?

Ans. The ninth commandment requireth the maintaining and promoting of truth between man and man, and of our own and our neighbour's good name, especially in witness-bearing.


Q. 11. What doth the ninth commandment require of us, in reference to the good name of our neighbour?
A. The ninth commandment requireth of us, in reference unto the good name of our neighbour, the maintaining and promoting thereof as our own, and that both in regard of ourselves and in regard of others.

Q. 12. How ought we to maintain and promote our neighbour's good name, in regard of ourselves?
A. We ought to maintain and promote our neighbour's good name, in regard of ourselves — 1. By looking unto, and having a due esteem of, the worth and the good things which are in them. "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others." — Phil. 2:4. "Esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake." — 1 Thess. 5:13. 2. By liking, and loving, and desiring, and giving thanks to God for their good name and fame. "I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world." — Rom. 1:8. 3. By a ready receiving a good report concerning them, and rejoicing therein. "I rejoiced greatly when the brethren came, and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth." — 3 John 3. "Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth." — 1 Cor. 13:6. 4. By deafening the ear against and discouraging talebearers, backbiters, slanderer; who speak evil of their neighbours. "That taketh not up a reproach against his neighbour." — Ps. 15:3. "The north wind driveth away rain; so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue." — Prov. 25:23. 5. By grieving at their faults, which expose them unto disgrace, with desires and endeavours to promote their amendment and the recovery of their reputation. "For, out of much affliction and anguish of heart, I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you." — 2 Cor. 2:4.

Q. 13 How ought we to maintain and promote our neighbour's good name, in reference unto others?
A. We ought to maintain and promote our neighbour's good name, in reference unto others — 1. By giving that honour unto them which is their due, speaking well of them behind their backs, freely acknowledging their gifts and graces, and good things, and preferring them in honour before ourselves. " Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king." — 1 Pet. 2:17. " Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record, and ye know that our record is true." — 3 John 12. "I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; that in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." — 1 Cor. 1:4, 5, 7. " Be kindly affectioned one to another, with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another." — Rom. 12:10. " Let nothing be done through strife or vain-glory, but, in lowliness of mind, let each esteem other better than themselves." — Phil. 2: 3. 2. ;By defending their reputation and good name, in endeavours to prevent or stop any evil or false report concerning them, and to vindicate them so far as we can; especially when we are called before a magistrate to bear witness to their innocency, so far as it is consistent with truth. "Then Ahimelech answered the king, and said, And who is so faithful among all thy servants as David, who is the king's son-in-law, and goeth at thy bidding, and is honourable in thine house?" — 1 Sam. 22:14. 3. By concealing and covering their faults and infirmities when we may, with unwillingness to expose them unto disgrace; and, in the spirit of meekness, endeavouring to restore them when they are overtaken and fallen into sin. "Charity shall cover the multitude of sins." — 1 Pet. 4:8. "Joseph, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privately." — Matt. 1:19. "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." — Gal. 6:1. 4. By reproving them before others only when there is need, and that with a respect unto their condition, and remembrance of what is praise-worthy in them. "If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more," &c. — Matt. 18:15, 16. "I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience," &c. "Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee," &c. — Rev. 2:2, 4.
~Vincent's Commentary upon Shorter Catechism Q&A #77.

It also makes me think about how easy it is to have one's thoughts and opinions guided by the media.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Tai Chi application

Tai Chi is a very slow, graceful, and really sorta strange exercise. Here's a video of some of those slow, graceful, strange moves applied. Oh... ~that's~ what that is!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Some Words of Matthew Henry, on Samson

We've been reading through Judges in the mornings as a family, and we just finished up on the life and death of Samson. Having been pressed upon the duty of making good use of the tools we have today to help us understand the Bible better (from reading the Westminster Larger Catechism's question and answer #157, and J.G. Vos' commentary thereon), I turned to Matthew Henry to help me understand more about this "riddle of a man" named Samson. Some of Rev. Henry's thoughts to ponder:

"Samson did only begin to deliver Israel (David was afterwards raised up to complete the destruction of the Philistines), but our Lord Jesus is both Samson, and David too, both the author and finisher of our faith."

"It is no part of religion to go contrary to the innocent usages of the places where we live; nay, it is a reproach to religion when those who profess it give just occassion to others to call them covetous, sneaking, and morose. A good man should strive to make himself, in the best sense, a good companion."

"It were well for us if the unkindnesses we meet with from the world, and our disappointments in it, had but this good effect upon us, to oblige us by faith and prayer to return to our heavenly Father's house and rest there. The inconveniences that occur in our way should make us love home and long to be there."

"When differences happen between near relations, let those be ever reckoned the wisest that are most forward to forgive and forget injuries."

"The mischief we seek to escape by any unlawful practices we often pull upon our own heads."

Wylie on Descending Covenant Obligation prove the transmission of the obligation of religious covenants to posterity, or those who enter into them representatively. In doing this we shall select some of the scripture passages which establish the point most clearly.

1. We find posterity recognized in the transaction between God and Jacob, in Beth-el, Gen. 28:13, where the good old patriarch, travelling to Padan-aram, in the visions of the night, had a remarkable interview with God. He engages to give unto Jacob and his seed all the land of Canaan. More than a thousand years from that time, this engagement is pleaded by his posterity, as having been made with them. Hos. 12:4, In allusion to this transaction, they say, "He found him" (Jacob) "in Beth-el, and there he spake with us." There he covenanted with us in the loins of our father Jacob.

2. We have another remarkable instance of the transmission of covenant obligation to posterity, in Deut. 5:2,3, "The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even with us, who are all of us here alive this day." There are several things connected with this passage, peculiarly deserving notice.

(1.) The covenant here alluded to, was made about eight or nine weeks after Israel's departure from Egypt. Compare Exod. 12:6 with 19:1.

(2.) It is now the eleventh month of the fortieth year, since they began their journey, Deut. 1:1. They are in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, attending to the rehearsal of the law.

(3.) All who had actually and personally for themselves entered into this covenant are now dead save three, viz. Moses, Caleb and Joshua, Num. 26:64,65, "But among these there was not a man of them whom Moses and Aaron the priest numbered, when they numbered the children of Israel, in the wilderness of Sinai. For the LORD had said of them, They shall surely die in the wilderness. And there was not left a man of them, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun."

(4.) All the persons now addressed, save Caleb and Joshua, must either be such as were minors at the making of this covenant, and so not able to engage for themselves; or such as were born after that period. Yet mark how Moses addresses them. He declares, the LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, that is, with our fathers only, but also with us, even with us who are all of us here alive this day. Can words be more explicit in demonstrating the transmission of covenant obligation to posterity?

3. We have another example of the same kind full in point, Deut. 29:10-15, which respects the renovation of the Sinaic covenant. Here Moses addresses the whole congregation. "Ye stand this day, all of you before the LORD your God; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel, Your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water: That thou shouldest enter into covenant with the LORD thy God, and into his oath, which the LORD thy God maketh with thee this day."

To this important duty they are exhorted, from the consideration, that it would be an excellent mean of establishing them in the land whither they went. "Neither," saith he, "with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; but with him that standeth here with us this day before the LORD our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day." The covenant is here made with persons of three different descriptions. One of them is addressed or spoken to. "Neither with you only," &c. intimating that the covenant was made with them but not exclusively: others are comprehended. Two descriptions are spoken of. One of these is present, represented by the words, "Him that standeth here with us," &c. which evidently point out minors, who were yet incapable of covenanting for themselves. The other is absent, namely, "Him that is not here with us this day." This could have no reference to any of the Israelites then in existence, as they were all present. It must therefore include posterity, yet to be begotten, together with all future accessions to their community, of those then considered strangers and aliens from the common-wealth of Israel. With them, Moses informs us the covenant was made, as well as with those who actually entered into it, in the plains of Moab.

4. Another instance, in which posterity is recognized in covenant obligation, is found in Josh. 9:15. This covenant was made between the children of Israel, and the Gibeonites. Between four and five hundred years after that time, the children of Israel are visited with a very severe famine, in the days of David, 2 Sam. 21:1. And it is expressly declared by the LORD that "It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites." And at the same time, ver. 2, that very covenant is recognized, and the breach of it stated, as being the formal reason of the Divine displeasure. Now, had it not been for this covenant, the extirpation of the Gibeonites would not have been imputed to Israel as a thing criminal; for they were comprehended in the Canaanitish nations, which God had commanded them to root out.

It may here be thought singular, seeing the LORD had expressly forbidden Israel to make any league with the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, that, notwithstanding, when they sinfully entered into covenant with them contrary to his command, this deed should be held valid by God, and they punished for the violation of it.

Perhaps this difficulty may be solved, by distinguishing the commands of God, into moral natural and moral positive. The former, God commands, because they are necessarily right, and their contrary inconsistent with the perfections of his nature. The latter are right, because God commands them. For any thing we know, they flow from his arbitrary will, and , had it pleased him, commands different or contrary would have been equally right. These commands, of course, he may reverse whenever he chooses. God's moral subjects have no right of this kind. They are bound to obey every one, even the least of his commandments. The violation of them is highly criminal. Neither ought we to come under any obligation to do what they forbid. But if any man, or community of men, should ignorantly engage to do what is contrary to a command which is only moral positive, provided God recognizes the deed, the person or persons are bound, however criminal they were in coming under the obligation. This we presume was the situation of things, in the point before us. Israel was criminal in entering into a league with the Gibeonites, contrary to the command of God. But there was nothing, in the matter of this deed, inconsistent with the divine perfections, or contrary to the moral natural law of God. He could never recognize or sanction an oath, whereby his subjects would be bound to act inconsistently with his divine attributes.

5. Another passage of scripture full in point is found in Jer. 11:10. God brings a charge against his people in these words. "The house of Israel, and the house of Judah have broken my covenant, which I made with their fathers." Now it would be inconsistent to suppose, that, God would charge any with breach of covenant obligation, except those who had really covenanted; but he charges the house of Israel, and the house of Judah, with breach of covenant obligation; therefore they had really covenanted. But the covenant was "made with their fathers," and yet they are considered as really bound, as if it had been actually entered into by themselves.

6. This doctrine is proved also by infant baptism. It would be foreign from the point in hand, to enter upon a probation of the propriety of baptising infants. This at present I take for granted. To those who admit it, the argument will have the same force, as if it had been proved.

Our Westminster Divines very justly observe that "Baptism seals our ingrafting into Christ,—and engagement to be the Lord's." Baptism, like circumcision, is a seal of the righteousness of the faith, Rom. 4:11.. But seals are confirmatory of the deeds to which they are appended, and necessarily involve an obligation. Now when the person baptised, in infancy, comes to maturity he is either bound agreeably to the tenor of the obligation, or he is not. If he is bound, whence does his obligation arise? Not from his own act, for he was merely passive in the whole matter. It must arise from the connexion established by divine institution between him and his parent in this particular act. Between the parent and the child there is a representative identification, so that, whatever is actually done by the father in this representative capacity, is virtually done by the child, and thus the deed of the one becomes obligatory upon the other.—But supposing the child is not bound, when he arrives at maturity, then his baptism in infancy was useless. It was a mere form and cypher. He wants what was essential to the ordinance, viz. obligation to resist the devil, the world and the flesh, and to be for Christ alone. He ought now to be baptized, as having never before received this holy ordinance.

7. The truth of this doctrine may be further illustrated from the common practice of wills, or testamentary deeds among men. By these the heirs of the testator are bound. It may be here objected, that the example is not to the point, because the legatees are bound only inconsequence of their coming into the possession of the deceased's inheritance, but should they disclaim all interest in the estate, the obligation would not extend to them. Be it so. Then it will at least follow, that those who choose to enter upon the religious inheritance of their ancestors, are bound by their deeds. But is it a mere optional thing, whether they receive the inheritance or not? In whatever our ancestors erred, their deeds could neither bind themselves nor us. But, so far as they were right, we are bound to enter upon the inheritance, and endeavour to transmit it, with all possible improvements to posterity. See Psalm 78:1.
~Rev. Samuel Wylie, Discourse on the Obligation of Covenants, 1803.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

I'm still here

Wow, this might be the longest I ever went without writing something here. Well, I'm still alive and kicking (figuratively and literally). It's been an emotionally draining, very busy, couple of weeks that included a family trip, what I thought was the death of a family member (the family member, it turns out, only appeared to be dead, and after a while in the hospital, pulled through -- there's alot more to this story that I'll probably just keep to myself), contact with a couple ministers that I hope leads to bigger things (but if not, at least I have some more Christian friends), and a bunch more other stuff I can't seem to summon to mind right now.

So, last evening, I'm upstairs putting on a tee-shirt with the intent of going into the basement and lifting some weights, so as to improve upon my manly big bulkiness, when I hear a ruckus from outside. I bend my hear, and figure out that there is a kid (don't ask me how old... old enough to know better, that's for sure) yelling down my walkway, into my yard, demanding that a neighborhood girl that my kids were playing with come out to him. My kids responded by protecting her -- "Go away, she doesn't want to talk to you. You're not allowed in our yard." etc. This punk, purporting to be in our city's "Most Dangerous" gang, continued while I'm putting on my shirt. Then I heard "Do you think I'm afraid of you ****ing little kids?!" "Oh, no he didn't just say that," I thought to myself as I grabbed my sneakers and ran down the steps, blasted my front screen door open, threw my shoes down on the porch and sat down in a chair, so that I am know staring face to face, eye to eye, with this creep, and I start putting my socks and shoes on. He says, "I'm asking for A_____ to come out and talk to me." I yelled... and I mean I YELLED... "I HEARD WHAT YOU SAID!!!," giving him my best nasty, about to get medieval, look. Then, still staring at him with daggers for eyes, I told him, "You better split before I get these shoes on!" in a kind of "I came out here to do two things: Put on my shoes, and kick your rump black and blue.... and I'm almost done putting my shoes on." He looked at me and asked, "What?" I repeated, "YOU BETTER SPLIT BEFORE I GET MY SHOES ON!" He and his buddy, who I guess I didn't notice was standing there until this point, ran away. This is not the first time I've had to chase people off my property
Man, that fired me up. I almost lost it. We're all but fed up with living in the city. I want to go live in the woods.

Friday, July 21, 2006


"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee" (Psalm 122:6).

"LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? [He] in whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD" (Psalm 15:1, 4).

"If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us" (1John 4:12).

"Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee" (Numbers 24:9).

"God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister" (Hebrews 6:10).

"We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him" (1John 3:14, 18, 19).

Clarke's Precious Bible Promises(Thanks, Tom!).

Saturday, July 15, 2006


A print depicting a group of Covenanters having their worship time interrupted by a group of soldiers coming to arrest them, by William H. Weatherhead.

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My birthday is right around the corner (February).

For more info on Presbyterians being arrested, tortured, and killed by the government, while the government-issued "preachers" told everyone to submit this this "ordinance of God," see A Cloud of Witnesses. Thanks to two of my friends, A Cloud of Witnesses can also be read here.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Yeah, tell me about it.

"People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient, then repent."

-Bob Dylan.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Waldensian Covenanters

from The History of Protestantism
Volume Second - Book Sixteenth

by Rev. James Aitken Wylie, LL.D.

Chapter 7:

The Waldenses of Lucerna sent deputies across the mountains, then covered to a great depth with snow, to propose an alliance with the Protestants of the Valley of Pragelas, who were at that time threatened by their sovereign Francis I. The proposed alliance was joyfully accepted. Assembling on a plateau of snow facing the mountains of Sestrieres, and the chain of the Guinevert, the deputies swore to stand by each other and render mutual support in the coming struggle. It was agreed that this oath of alliance should be sworn with a like solemnity in the Waldensian Valleys.

The deputies from Pragelas, crossing the Mount Julien, arrived at Bobbio on the 21st January, 1561. Their coming was singularly opportune. On the evening before a ducal proclamation had been published in the Valleys, commanding the Vaudois, within twenty-four hours, to give attendance at mass, or abide the consequences–"fire, sword, the cord: the three arguments of Romanism," says Muston. This was the first news with which the Pragelese deputies were met on their arrival. With all the more enthusiasm they proceeded to renew their oath. Ascending a low hill behind Bobbio, the deputies from Pragelas, and those from Lucerna, standing erect in the midst of the assembled heads of families, who kneeled around, pronounced these words-"

In the name of the Vaudois Churches of the Alps, of Dauphine and of Piedmont, which have ever been united, and of which we are the representatives, we here promise, our hands on our Bible, and in the presence of God, that all our Valleys shall courageously sustain each other in matters of religion, without prejudice to the obedience due to their legitimate superiors.

"We promise to maintain the Bible, whole and without admixture, according to the usage of the true Apostlic Church, persevering in this holy religion, though it be at the peril of our lives, in order that we may transmit it to our children, intact and pure, as we received it from our fathers.

"We promise aid and succor to our persecuted brothers, not regarding our individual interests, but the common cause; and not relying upon man, but upon God."

The physical grandeurs of the spot were in meet accordance with the moral sublimity of the transaction. Immediately beneath was spread out the green bosom of the valley, with here and there the silver of the Pelice gleaming out amid vineyards and acacia groves. Filling the horizon on all sides save one stood up an array of magnificent mountains, white with the snows of winter. Conspicuous among them were the grand peaks of the Col de Malaure and the Col de la Croix. They looked the silent and majestic witnesses of the oath, in which a heroic people bound themselves to die rather than permit the defilement of their hearths, and the profanation of their altars, by the hordes of an idolatrous tyranny. It was in this grand fashion that the Waldenses opened one of the most brilliant campaigns ever waged by their arms.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

One Red Paperclip

Kyle MacDonald, a fellow Blogspot blogger, set out to get a house by trading one red paperclip for something of greater value, and that item for another item of greater value, and continued to trade up like this until he finally traded for a house.

He actually did it, in 14 trades over the course of one year!

LOL @ “I will go anywhere in the world except for Yahk, British Columbia.”!!!

This guy falls into that "Why didn't I think of that?!" category, like the inventor of the Pet Rock, or the original "Send me a dollar" website person. A paperclip? A paperclip! Wow.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Pain. Pain. And good on Daniel!

Please pray for me and my family. The problems mentioned in the previous post are not all resolved, and I'm having to make difficult decisions, and am being asked to answer problems that I have no answers for.

I am also in some physical pain in my neck and shoulders -- probably stemming from rolling full-on with my partner in karate class the other night. We were doing headlock escapes, and my (blackbelt) partner and I made a contest out it, fully resisting one another. I think I held my own, but I have sore muscles in my neck (and face!) that I didn't know could get sore. Yesterday it got worse (alot of driving, walking, pushing a stroller, piggy backing kids, and other daddy-duties), and overnight it got worse yet. Ouch.


The world may not be ready for this... but too bad, you's better get ready:

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Daniel earned his white belt! Yep, at our school you must earn the white belt too. The fury has been unleashed -- prepare or suffer the consequences!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Oh, what a night!

In the course of reading this my blog, one might be able to gather that my life does not always go smoothly (whatever smoothly is). However, I often do not share all of the details, but only little tiny bits and pieces. This is because although I do want my friends to know of my struggles and triumphs, that they might weep with me and rejoice with me, yet I do not want this to be a river of crying and self pity, nor do I want to uncover the nakedness of my loved ones by naming them. And so, sometimes things like I'm about to say will not always make sense, unless you know me "in real life" and can put two and two together (two taken from blog entries like this, and the other two provided by real life info). That being prefaced...

MAN did I have a lousy night last night! The evening I intended to have was to be something like this -- I stop by the karate school to pick the kids up and bring them home, eat a nice meal together with my family, maybe catch a quick rejuvinating power nap, spend some helping little Daniel perfect the art of bicycle riding, and maybe go to karate class myself or lift weights in my basement (depending on my mood), and then end the day with family worship, put the kids to bed, and have some "husband and wife time" as opposed to all the "mommy and daddy" time we put in having seven kids.

Ok, I was able to pick the kids up and bring them home. Sometimes the best made plans and all that. A phone call started it. I had to go help, as I wasn't going to let him go through this kind of thing alone. So I kiss my wife goodbye for the night, tell the kids "I have to go take care of something, daddy will be back soon," and down the road like a Greyhound.

Long long long story short short short: My evening involved two very drunk people, one of them hostile from the beginning, one of them growing more hostile as the night went on; confiscating bottles and bottles of oxycodone, ativan, and many other pills, some of which are unlabelled; police; an ambulance; a crisis intervention worker; suicidal threats; physical violence; coming ~this~ close to having to put a guy flat on his back to take an involuntary nap for our safety and for his own good; disgusting filthy stories and accusations; and a few hours of the most blasphemous, ugly, bizarre, heinous, malicious, nasty verbal abuse that I've ever been subjected to collectively in my whole life.

But, I'm home and safe, though a little tired, and a bit sick to my stomach. Could've been worse, for sure.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

God Keeps His Promises -- A Lesson from the Book of Joshua

"And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand. There failed not ought of any good thing which the LORD had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass." --Joshua 21:43-45.

The performance makes the promise appear very true and the promise makes the performance appear very kind.

I. God had promised to give the seed of Abraham the land of Canaan for a possession, and now at last he performed this promise (v. 43): They possessed it, and dwelt therein. Though they had often forfeited the benefit of that promise, and God had long delayed the performance of it, yet at last all difficulties were conquered, and Canaan was their own. And the promise of the heavenly Canaan is as sure to all God's spiritual Israel, for it is the promise of him that cannot lie.

II. God had promised to give them rest in that land, and now they had rest round about, rest from the fatigues of their travel through the wilderness (which tedious march, perhaps, was long in their bones), rest from their wars in Canaan, and the insults which their enemies there had at first offered them. They now dwelt, not only in habitations of their own, but those quiet and peaceable ones; though there were Canaanites that remained, yet none that had either strength or spirit to attack them, nor so much as give them an alarm. This rest continued till they by their own sin and folly put thorns into their own beds and their own eyes.

III. God had promised to give them victory and success in their wars, and this promise likewise was fulfilled: There stood not a man before them, v. 44. They had the better in every battle, and which way soever they turned their forces they prospered. It is true there were Canaanites now remaining in many parts of the land, and such as afterwards made head against them, and became very formidable. But, 1. As to the present remains of the Canaanites, they were no contradiction to the promise, for God had said he would not drive them out all at once, but by little and little, Exod. xxiii. 30. They had now as much in their full possession as they had occasion for and as they had hands to manage, so that the Canaanites only kept possession of some of the less cultivated parts of the country against the beasts of the field, till Israel, in process of time, should become numerous enough to replenish them. 2. As to the after prevalency of the Canaanites, that was purely the effect of Israel's cowardice and slothfulness, and the punishment of their sinful inclination to the idolatries and other abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord would have cast out before them but that they harboured and indulged them. So that the foundation of God stands sure. Israel's experience of God's fidelity is here upon record, and is an acquittance under their hands to the honour of God, the vindication of his promise which had been so often distrusted, and the encouragement of all believers to the end of the world: There failed not any good thing, no, nor aught of any good thing (so full is it expressed), which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel, but in due time all came to pass, v. 45. Such an acknowledgment as this, here subscribed by Joshua in the name of all Israel, we afterwards find made by Solomon, and all Israel did in effect say Amen to it, 1 Kings viii. 56. The inviolable truth of God's promise, and the performance of it to the utmost, are what all the saints have been ready to bear their testimony to; and, if in any thing the performance has seemed to come short, they have been as ready to own that they themselves must bear all the blame.
--Matthew Henry.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Dumb and Blind

Local dumb and blind idolators worship a dumb and blind statue.

Interesting phrases from the article:

"My husband and I have heard lots of stories about people who have been cured by the statue. That’s the main reason why I have come here to pray in front of her."

" worship the Madonna..."

"...a special Mass in honor of the statue."

God says,

"For the violence of Lebanon shall cover thee, and the spoil of beasts, which made them afraid, because of men's blood, and for the violence of the land, of the city, and of all that dwell therein. What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it" (Habakkuk 2:17-19)

"The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths. They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them"(Psalm 135:15-18).

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sight through a Glass, and Face to Face

A poem, by David Dickson.

I Love the windows of thy grace,
thro' which my Lord is seen,
I long to meet my Saviour's face,
without a glass between.
Oh! that the happy hour were come,
to change my faith to sight:
I shall behold my Lord at home
in a diviner light.
Haste my beloved, and remove
these interposing days;
Then shall my passions all be love,
and all my pow'rs be praise.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

One more

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The testing today was a very humbling experience. I just didn't have my best stuff today. I messed up some things, but recovered ok I guess. After I was done testing, I thought to myself, "Jerry, you're stinking the place up, this is not your best work." But a black belt came up to me and said, "You look awesome. You're going to make a very good black belt when you get there." And at the end of it all, I was presented with my brown belt. So, I'm tired, and relieved, and humbled, and... am looking forward to getting one more.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

World Cup Update

This post consists mostly of a comment I left over at Erica's blog, about all the excitement about World Cup Soccer! Since the streets of America are in such a buzz about the big game this morning between America and Ghana, I decided to turn that comment into post of my own.


Look, I know that this is the biggest sporting event in the world and everything, but you have to understand something....

Americans don't care.

Americans don't care about soccer. And do you want to know why? Because it's not American. Americans care about REAL sports, like football (no, not soccer; soccer is not football, despite what the entire world thinks; soccer is soccer; FOOTBALL is football; the closest we'll come to acknowledging that soccer is football is to call the table game with the little guys with no legs "fussball"), baseball, and basketball. Americans love football, baseball, and basketball, because those sports are AMERICAN, and we don't care about anything that is un-American. Hockey, the distant 4th sport, being a Canadian invention, is only slightly acknowledged as a real sport -- the vast majority of Americans would rather watch a regular season FOOTBALL game over a playoff hockey game. And NO ONE is taking off work today to watch the American soccer team play Ghana, or Togo, or Quiznos, or whoever else gathered a bunch of guys to run around and kick a ball to an exciting 0-0 tie, or even an amazing 1-0 "blowout." Americans to NOT care about soccer, and they never will. Americans still measure themselves by feet and inches, drive on the right side of the street, can't find Ghana on a map, and are more interested in whether or not Terrell Owens looks good at Dallas Cowboy's mini-camp than they are concerned for soccer, even "American soccer."

One more thing, until American athletes grow up to be soccer players, instead of football, basketball, and baseball players, we will never win a World Cup. Until this country's Dwayne Wades, Derek Jeters, LaDainian Tomlinsons, Brian Urlachers, and
Kevin Garnetts grow up saying "I want to be a soccer player!" we aren't going to win squat. Do you know why the U.S.'s best athletes do not grow up to play soccer? It's because there is no money in soccer, because Americans don't care about soccer.

This has been WORLD CUP UPDATE.

UPDATE ON THE UPDATE: USA 1, GUANO 2. The streets are filled with crying Americans overturning cars and setting trash dumpsters on fire.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

"Jesus Christ, this is the true God, and eternal life." -- John the Beloved.


Excerpted from:

VOL. II. SEPTEMBER, 1880. NO. 15.

He that hath the Son hath life.—1 John 5.12.

As in the days of our Lord’s personal ministry on earth, various views were entertained concerning his person and work; so in our own day the opinions of men on the subject are various and conflicting. To the question of the Saviour, "Whom do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" the answer must contain many and opposing sentiments. Some, as the Arians, will admit that he is a super-angelic being, the best and noblest of all the creatures of God; while others, as the Socinians, regard him only as a man possessed of all human virtue. But while men are so divided in their opinions on the doctrine of Christ’s divinity, his true disciples are united in testifying to his supreme deity. The confession of all such will accord with that of Peter addressing his Master, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Anything short of this derogates from the honor due to his divine person.

That Jesus Christ is God, equal with the Father, the Scriptures furnish abundant proof. He is expressly called the true God—"We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true; and we are in him that is true, even in his Son, Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life." 1 John 5.20. These words teach most plainly the divine personality of the Son of God. They are the testimony which the Father has given concerning his Son, whom he commands all men to honor, even as they honor himself. In the latter part of the verse cited, the pronoun "this" {470} clearly refers to "Jesus Christ," immediately preceding; and it is of the person designated by this title, that the remainder of the verse is affirmed—"the true God and eternal life." Though the word "God" in the Bible is sometimes applied to angels and sometimes to magistrates, yet when so applied it never occurs in the form in which it is found in this verse. The "true God" is a title of Jehovah, and distinguishes him from all false gods and all creatures. In the 17th chapter of John, the Son designates the Father "the only true God," and the ascription of this title to the Son, proves him to be a divine person, equally with the Father. But this is only one of the many places in which he is explicitly called God, and in connections when it is impossible that any but the true God is intended. In the beginning of the Gospel by John it is declared, "The Word was God." Thus the "Word" here mentioned is a person, and that this person is the Son is proved by the 14th verse following—"The Word was made flesh," &c. In Acts 20.28, the elders are exhorted "to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." The "he" and "his" refer to God, immediately preceding. The language here used cannot be applied to the Father or to the Holy Ghost, for neither of them became incarnate, and, therefore, being a pure spirit, could not be said to purchase the church with his own blood. But the blood here mentioned is called the blood of God, emphatically "his own blood." There is but one in the universe to whom these words will truly apply, and that is to the eternal Son, who is God manifested in the flesh, true God and true man. Though blood can be predicated of his human nature only; yet by the indissoluble union subsisting between his humanity and his divine person, what could otherwise be attributed only to his human nature, can be ascribed to his whole person. Thus, having but one person, the blood of his natural body is called his own blood, which is indeed the blood of God. The language of this verse, therefore is irrefutable evidence that the Son is God, in the full sense of the word. But we are not limited to the New Testament for decisive proofs {471} of this doctrine. The Old Testament also furnishes conclusive evidence; and taken in the light which the New [Testament] has cast upon it, abundantly sustains the claim of the Son to an equality with the Father in all divine glory and perfections. By comparing John 12.41, with Isaiah 6.1, we are assured that he whom Isaiah saw sitting upon a throne, and who in the 5th verse is called the "Lord (Jehovah) of hosts," was the eternal Son. The ascription of the peculiar title Jehovah is sufficient of itself to establish the doctrine of his supreme deity; for it is the sacred name of the true God, and never in Scripture applied to any created being. It is expressive of his eternal self-existence, and contains in it that glory which he has declared he will not give to another. Isaiah 42.8. The Son is indeed a distinct person from the Father, yet in the divine subsistence he is one with the Father (John 10.30); so that the sacred name applied to the Son is not given to another. This title of Jehovah is frequently given to him throughout the Old Testament, as in Jer. 23.6, where he is called "the Lord (or Jehovah), our righteousness." All the visible appearances of God under the Old Testament economy were in the person of the Son, as appears from John 1.18—"No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him." He was one of the three men who appeared to Abraham in the plains of Mamre, and called a number of times in the same chapter by the name Jehovah. To him Abraham directed his address, and he remained while the other two went towards Sodom. Gen. 18.19. In Zech. 13.7, a man is declared to be the "fellow of the Lord of hosts." "Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts, smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered; and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones." In the New Testament, Christ applies this prophecy to himself, thus proving his identity with the man who was Jehovah’s fellow, the shepherd that was to be smitten. This verse clearly holds forth the equality of the Son with the Father. How could a {472} mere man or created angel be the fellow and companion of Jehovah? The most excellent of his creatures are but of yesterday, and their highest employment is in adoring the glory of Jehovah, while they cover themselves in conscious unworthiness. None could be the fellow of Jehovah who was not his equal, for he was infinitely exalted above the comprehension of any created intellect, and to any such intelligence, his counsel is unfathomable. Evidently the man here spoken of is the same who is described in the 8th chapter of Proverbs, as being "daily his (Jehovah’s) delight; rejoicing always before him."

In addition to all the names of the true God being given to him, the same attributes are ascribed to him as to the Father, which would not be lawful if he were not God equal with the Father. Thus, eternity is attributed to him (Micah 5.2): "Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." This is said of him who was to come out of Bethlehem to be ruler in Israel, who is obviously the Lord Jesus. Matt. 2.6. In the eighth chapter of Proverbs, under the character of wisdom, he says, "I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was." Immutability is also ascribed to him (Heb. 13.8.): "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever." (Heb. 1.12.), "Thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail." Omniscience is attributed to him (John 21.17): "Lord, thou knowest all things." He also knows all that passes in the minds of men (John 2.24): "He knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man; for he knew what was in man." (Matt. 12.25,) "Jesus knew their thoughts." This searching of the hearts of men is claimed by Jehovah, in the Old Testament, as his own special prerogative. Jer. 17.10. Amos 4.13. The ascription of this knowledge to Christ in the New Testament proves his equality with the Father.

He is also said to be omnipresent (Matt. 28.20): "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Christ, in making these promises to his disciples, {473} knew all the circumstances in which they would be placed till the end of time, and how widely they would be scattered; so that by his promise he is in all these meetings wherever they may be, though they be distant one from another. These promises he could not fulfill were he not the Almighty God, who alone is omnipresent and who filleth all in all.

The great work of creation is ascribed to him (John 1.5): "All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made." (Col. 1.16,17), "By him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible, and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist." The visible creation declares the glory of its creator. Even to those who are endowed with no other light than that of nature, the things that are made sufficiently proclaim the eternal power and Godhead of him who called them into being. Rom. 1.20. But when we consider the immeasurable extent of the universe, of which we see but a small speck; and the innumerable hosts of spiritual beings that are in heaven, we become lost in admiration of the power and glory of their omnipotent creator. All this is ascribed to Christ, and he upholds and governs the same. To any finite intelligence this is impossible. He only who is the Lord, wonderful in counsel and excellent in working, is capable of performing such a task. Those who say that Christ was only an instrument by which God created all things, and that he was only a creature destitute of creative power, are chargeable with a plain absurdity; for when it is said that all things were created by Christ, it is obvious that the word "all" is used in its universal signification, as is proved by John 1.3, "Without him was not one thing made that was made." Now, Christ is either God, eternally self-existent, or one of the "all things" that were made; and to say that he is a creature, seeing that he created all things, is to imply that he created himself, while he was a nonentity, which is nonsense. The only rational conclusion is, that he is {474} God, and that he created all things by his own inherent power.

He is also the author of the great work of redemption. Heb. 10.14, "By one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified." Acts 20.28, "The church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." The work of redeeming a guilty world from the wrath and curse of an offended God could never be accomplished by any finite being. All creatures are dependent on the will of God for their being, and all that any of them can render to him is his own; and he requires all the services of his creatures as duties which they owe to him as creator. So that none could give a ransom to God for another, nor would the highest offering of the highest angel be of any more value as an atonement than the blood of bulls and of goats, which God has declared could not possibly take away sin. God is not profited by any of his creatures, and a jot or tittle of his law is of more value than heaven and earth. Matt. 5.18. But it is declared that Christ, by one offering, has forever redeemed and sanctified his people, and rendered that satisfaction to justice, which could not have been given by the eternal suffering of the whole human race. That his life was a sufficient ransom for the countless millions of his redeemed is full proof that he was a divine person: for as his body was a true natural substance, it of itself could not answer the ends of an atonement; therefore it must have been the infinite dignity of his person, to which his true body was united, that gave an infinite worth and efficacy to his sacrifice. His divinity was the altar that sanctified the gift.

Christ is also the proper object of worship, both by angels and men. (Heb. 1.6), "When he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him." Equal praise and blessing is ascribed, by the whole host of the universe, to him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb forever and ever. Rev. 5.13,14.

It is a divine command: "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." (Matt. 4.10), and to render worship to any living creature is idolatry; to which sin God {475} has annexed the penalty of death. The fact that the Scriptures ascribe this worship to the Son equally with the Father and Holy Ghost, undeniably proves that he is divine. He accepted this worship from his disciples while on earth. Matt. 14.33; John 9.36. He commissioned his apostles to baptize in his name, as well as in the name of the other two persons of the trinity, which is certainly an act of religious homage, and their successors have continued to do the same to this day. So if we refuse to acknowledge the deity of the Son, we must conclude that he was a setter-up of idolatry, and failed in the work which he came to do. He was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil, of which idolatry is among the chief; and we are infallibly assured that he finished the work which his Father gave him to do (John 17.4); and consequently he could not countenance idolatry. This worship, therefore, is an additional proof of his supreme deity.

Thus we have seen that the Scriptures everywhere represent the Son as a divine person: 1st, by ascribing all the names and titles of God to him; 2d, by attributing to him divine attributes; 3d, by representing him as the author of creation and redemption, and 4th, by requiring equal worship and honor to be given to him as to the Father. These proofs should be sufficient to establish this important doctrine, and they are but a few of the many which the Scriptures contain; so that all who, with the Bible in their hands, deny the doctrine of Christ’s divinity, are willfully ignorant and guilty of refusing to "honor the Son even as they honor the Father."