The Old Testament Needed

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In Sunday’s May 5, 2016 notes

But Scripture has another method of ministering encouragement to our often fainting and faithless hearts. It cuts down through all the complications of human affairs, and lays bare the innermost motive power. It not only shows us in its narratives the working of sorrow, and the power of faith, but it distinctly lays down the source and the purpose, the whence and the whither of all suffering. No man need quail or faint before the most torturing pains or most disastrous strokes of evil, who holds firmly the plain teaching of Scripture on these two points. They all come from my Father, and they all come for my good. It is a short and simple creed, easily apprehended. It pretends to no recondite wisdom. It is a homely philosophy which common intellects can grasp, which children can understand, and hearts half paralysed by sorrow can take in. So much the better. Grief and pain are so common that their cure had need to be easily obtained. Ignorant and stupid people have to writhe in agony as well as wise and clever ones, and until grief is the portion only of the cultivated classes, its healing must come from something more universal than philosophy; or else the nettle would be more plentiful than the dock; and many a poor heart would be stung to death. Blessed be God! the Christian view of sorrow, while it leaves much unexplained, focuses a steady light on these two points; its origin and its end. ‘He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness,’ is enough to calm all agitation, and to make the faintest heart take fresh courage. With that double certitude clear before us, we can face anything. The slings and arrows which strike are no more flung blindly by an ‘outrageous fortune,’ but each bears an inscription, like the fabled bolts, which tells what hand drew the bow, and they come with His love. (Maclaren. Expositions of the Holy Scripture)

Maclaren was twice president of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, and president of the Baptist World Congress, in London, in 1905.[1] He received honorary degrees of divinity from both Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities.[1] In 1896 the citizens of Manchester had his portrait painted for their art gallery, and on the presentation of the portrait the Anglican bishop of Manchester gave the address and said:

In an age which has been charmed and inspired by the sermons of Newman and Robertson, of Brighton, there were no published discourses which, for profundity of thought, logical arrangement, eloquence of appeal, and power over the human heart, exceeded in merit those of Dr. Maclaren.[1]

 

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