The Iron Pen #74
"...graven with an iron pen and lead..." Job 19:24
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
God & Country
I have in my library a set of old McGuffy Readers. The author of these books was a Presbyterian minister named William Holmes McGuffy (1800-1873). These readers, written for the first six grades of elementary school, helped shape American education and morals for almost a century. Over 120 million copies were sold. I have chosen a section from the 1837 Eclectic third reader to give you an idea of what was taught. It reads, "The Scriptures are especially designed to make us wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus; to reveal to us the mercy of the Lord in Him; to form our minds after the likeness of God our Savior; to build up our souls in wisdom and faith, in love and holiness; to make us thoroughly furnished unto good works, enabling us to glorify God on earth; and, to lead us to an imperishable inheritance among the spirits of just men made perfect, and finally to be glorified with Christ in Heaven." McGuffy was called "The Schoolmaster of The Nation," and yet today's public schools could not use his historic works in training children to read because of their Christian content! That, my friends, is a great tragedy!
God's Work Alone Is To Be Seen
Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564), the noted painter, sculptor, architect and poet, is said to have worn over his forehead and fastened to his cap a lighted candle for use in his work. The candlelight shone brightly upon the canvas, and prevented any shadow of the artist himself from falling upon the picture. By the same token, the prophet of the Lord was to be a man who should speak only the words, which God commanded him, and the Lord would not permit any shadow of the prophet himself to mar the canvas where the work of God alone should be seen. The Lord is often unable to use us in His service, because we stand in His light and prevent God's work from being seen in its entirety.
"Great Is The Lord, And Greatly To Be Praised"
- Ps. 86:13; 103:8,11; 1 Chr. 21:13
He is great in Grace - Acts 4:33; 2 Cor. 9:14; 1 Pet. 4:10
He is great in Love - Eph. 2:4; John 3:16
He is great in Kindness - Joel 2:13; Ps. 31:21
He is great in Goodness - Ps. 31:19; 145:7; Zech 9:17
He is great in Faithfulness - Lam. 3:23; 1 Cor 1:9; 1 Thes. 5:24
He is great in Power - Eph. 1:19; Ps. 147:5; Jer. 32:17-19
He is great in Works - Ps. 111:2-4; 92:5; 86:10
(From Moody Monthly, July, 1935)
"Christ is our righteousness. From this we conclude that our words are good insofar as they are Christ's; but insofar as they are ours, they are neither right nor good." (From a January 29, 1523 sermon published by Huldrych (or Ulrich) Zwingli)
I am not now what I once was,
Nor am I what I want to be;
But what I am I am by grace,
And when I see Him face to face
I shall be like Him perfectly.
I once was dead, yet though I lived,
And now I live, though dead I am;
I live in Him with whom I died,
I to the Lord am crucified;
My life, my song, is Calvary’s Lamb.