BLTC Press Titles


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The Revolt of the Netherlands

Friedrich Schiller


Paradoxes of the Highest Science

Eliphas Levi


The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky


Theory of Colours

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Andrew A. Bonar, D.D., diary and letters

by Andrew Alexander Bonar

Excerpt:

Wednesday Night, iQtk—I tremble at Christ's word to the seven churches. May I be enabled to lean over the well of Jacob every morning and evening to draw water.

Collace, Thursday, 20th.—I have been a good deal exercised in seeking and wishing to possess, but tremble lest I have not, faith to expect that my ordination will be so blessed that there will be a change in me such as in the disciples after Pentecost, and in Moses, after the call was really received. This morning, so soon as I awoke, which was early, I read over the confession of sins for ministers and preachers, drawn up by the Assembly in 1661, applying it to myself. Psalm li. seemed to me very suitable, also Psalm xxvi. 7, 8. Both express zeal for God's glory, and also that the minister should wash in the blood of Christ before going to proclaim with voice of thanksgiving God's salvation for men. I remembered too, that as Christ after His baptism was tempted, so Satan would be watching me. I thought over 'to me, who am less than the least of all saints,' etc. I wished for deeper views of my sinfulness in its length and breadth, that I might feel as Paul, and go to present myself just as an empty vessel which the Lord is to fill. O that I felt really disinterested zeal for God's glory, for this seems to me even more difficult to attain than the other, love to Christ and desire of saving souls. May I ever feel complete victory over that shame which is ready to come upon us when we are with the world and the world cannot see nor know this thing. May 'another heart be given me.' I wished much that I had been alone instead of being at Bandirran, but, nevertheless, I feel comparatively little distraction, and have got good from conversing with Mr. Mcllis of Tealing on the subject, and with my brother Horace, who is here also. I pray that I may receive the spirit

1838] ORDINATION SERVICES 73

of love, affection for the people, and anxiety about the old minister's soul, and may I receive this at ordination. O that Isaiah xi. 1-9 may be fulfilled to me, that I may be like Christ, daily His witness, His Spirit of wisdom and understanding teaching me the Scriptures. I shall look back often upon this day, but always to the great Author of the blessing, the Giver of it. Walking through the wood that led to the church of Collace over the hill, I mentioned that I had been struck with the expression this morning, 'Ye shall receive power,' etc. My brother Horace called my attention to the frequency with which Whitefield mentions his preaching in power, as his own feeling, apart from its effects upon the people. My brother John's letter was very useful to me, in the way of strengthening and confirming. 'Ordination is not a sacrament, but the fact of being set apart contains a pledge of grace on the part of God, just as a sacrament does.'

Evening.—The ordination sermon was upon Isaiah liii. 3-5. Mr. Findlay of Perth preached, and all the while I was happy and composed. But his prayer, as he came down to lay his own hands and the brethren's upon my head, struck me as specially directed by the Holy Ghost. He asked Isaiah xi. 2-4, the very thing I had myself sought. While their hands lay upon me, and the words of prayer ascended, I felt like one for whom very strong intercession was going up to God to the very highest heavens, and in great calmness and strong desire I gave myself to God my Saviour, and expected henceforth His promised Spirit. I rejoice that many of my dear friends were present, mother and sisters and brothers; and among the ministers present were Robert M'Cheyne, Robert Macdonald,1 Mr. Candlish, Frank Gillies,1 James Lewis, as well as my own brothers. O may I have true grace and apostleship from this hour. I felt affection to my own friends and family increased when I saw them present . The people were very cordial in their welcome at the door of the church. I thought of the prayers that my people at Jedburgh, and our family, and Alexander Somerville, and John Thomson at Leith, were to offer for me this evening, and also others in other places. If I have so little grace, notwithstanding all these prayers and this ordinance, O how deep must be my corruption, and the devil's temptations how strong, and the world how deep within me! And O what should I have been this year without the benefit of these prayers of other saints! This one consideration humbles me very low.

1 Minister at Blairgowrie, then at Leith, who died in Edinburgh on the 21 st of August 1893.

Saturday, 22nd.—Yesterday was like a blank day, through my being unusually in company, and also busy at my house, seeing it arranged, that I may get in next week. O that my heart were filled with grace and love and clear truth! It would then overflow upon souls in common conversation. I do feel a real joy in looking forward to the rest remaining for God's people, and I think I could leap for joy if, instead of my ordination, I were receiving from God the assurance that my labours were to end in a few days, and I to be with Christ! If there really be such joy in the hope of bringing a few souls in a parish to Him, oh, what will be the joy of His appearing and His kingdom, when all things are under Him, and we are in His bosom and in His joy! I have been drawing encouragement as to after success from Exod. xxxiii. 16, since many ministers and others look upon our way of preaching and acting


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