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Christian Experience by Edward Payson

Christian Experience

The Grateful Christian Rehearsing What God Hath Done For His Soul

On few of our race has the great Giver of every good gift, bestowed more temporal blessings than on David. He gave him, while yet a stripling, courage to attack, and strength to subdue, the lion and the bear; he rendered him victorious over the giant of Gath; he took him from the sheep-fold to be king over Israel, in his own time placed him on the throne, and crowned his reign with almost unexampled prosperity. A per­son destitute of religion, on hearing this highly favored monarch express a determination to declare what God had done for him, would naturally, therefore, have expected to hear him mention those temporal blessings as the principal favors for which he was indebted to the bounty of heaven. But such an expecta­tion would have been disappointed. So far from mentioning these things as his greatest blessings, David does not even men­tion them at all. Not that he was insensible to these favors. Not that he did not consider them as great and deserving his thanksgivings. But in comparison with his spiritual blessings, in comparison with what God had done for his soul, he regarded them, and justly regarded them as nothing. Instead, therefore, of calling men to hear of his deliverance from the lion, the bear, the Philistine, the tyrant; and his exaltation to the throne of Israel, he says, “Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul,” [Ps. 66:16].

My hearers, every real Christian, when he feels like a Chris­tian, will wish to make the language of this passage his own. However great, however numerous may be the temporal bles­sings which he has received, he will consider them as nothing in comparison with what God has done for his soul. God has done substantially the same things for the soul of every Christian which he did for the soul of David; and every Christian will wish to declare what God has done to those that fear Him. To illustrate this remark is my present design. With this view, I shall attempt to answer the three following questions:

  1. What has God done for the soul of every Christian?
  2. Why does the Christian wish to declare what God has done for his soul?
  3. Why does he wish to make this declaration to those only who fear God?

I. What has God done for the soul of every Christian? Before I answer this question, it may be proper to remind you that the Christian’s God has revealed himself as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Each of this Divine Three has done many things for his soul, and whatever is done by either of them is done by God. An answer to the question before us, must, therefore, include everything which has been done for the soul, either by the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit. The answer I shall give in the name of a Christian, or in the language which he might be supposed to adopt, while making such a declaration as that in our text.

Come then, all ye that fear God; see a Christian, meditating in deep and silent thought on the spiritual blessings which God has bestowed on him; see the expression of self-abasement, penitence, faith, hope, love, wonder, admiration and gratitude, which his countenance assumes, till at length, unable any long­er to contain or repress his emotions, he breaks forth in a hum­ble, affectionate, thankful declaration of what God has done for his soul.

Before my soul began to exist, he says, God began to provide for its salvation. He loved it with an everlasting love; he chose it to be a vessel of mercy, in which he might show forth the riches of his glory, chose it in Christ Jesus before the world began. All that he has done for me was done according to an eternal purpose, which he purposed in himself. Before I knew that I needed a Saviour, before I existed, before the foundations of the world were laid, he provided for me a Saviour, in the person of his Son, and gave me to that Saviour in the covenant of redemption, as a part of his promised reward. When in his own appointed time he called me into being, he who fixes the bounds of every human habitation, placed me in a part of the world where he knew I should have the opportunity to acquire a knowledge of himself, and to hear the gospel of salvation. He watched over my soul during the helpless years of infancy, the inexperienced season of childhood, and the dangerous peri­od of youth; and did not suffer death to bear it away to perdi­tion in an unprepared state.

While I lived without him in the world, scarcely sensible that I had a soul to lose, his guardian care shielded me from a thou­sand dangers which would have proved fatal; by the secret influence of his restraining grace, he prevented me from yield­ing to many temptations, and held me back from many sins, into which my own wicked heart, aided by the great deceiver, would have otherwise plunged me; he guided and led me along by an unseen hand, when I knew him not, and by his provi­dence ordered all my concerns in such a way as to bring me to the place where I should find salvation. Then, when I lay dead in trespasses and sins; when I was a child of wrath, justly doomed to everlasting burnings; when I was daily, by new sins, increasing my guilt and provoking him to cast me off for­ever; when the enemy of God and man kept my heart as his castle, like a strong man armed; when self-ignorance, unbelief, hardness of heart and opposition to the truth combined to chain me down in a hopeless state, and when I loved my chains too well to make any struggle for liberty;—even then he began to employ means to effect my deliverance. His Spirit came to awaken me from my lethargic state; truths which I had a thou­sand times heard in vain, were made to affect me, my con­science was awakened to reprove me, and I was led to inquire, What shall I do to be saved?

But the answer which inspiration gives to this inquiry, my darkened mind did not understand, and my proud, wicked heart would not believe. In various ways I resisted the blessed Guide who would have led me to a Saviour’s feet. When Christ knocked at the door of my heart, I refused him admission; I sought salvation by the works of the law, by my own merits; I was unwilling to repent, forsake sin and deny myself; and eagerly sought destruction, when, as I fondly imagined, I was seeking salvation. But my merciful and unchangeable God would not give me up, as I so richly deserved. He caused light to shine into my benighted mind. He led me to see the justice of my condemnation, and my inability to escape from it. He made the way of salvation appear plain to me. He subdued my proud heart and stubborn will, reconciled me to himself, gave me repentance, drew me with cords of love to a Saviour’s feet, broke my chains, delivered me from my tyrants, freely forgave my numberless offences, put his law of love in my heart, enstamped upon me his image, and came to dwell in my before disconsolate, polluted breast. He adopted me as his child, and constituted me an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ, of the heavenly inheritance. He filled me with joy and peace in believing, and taught me to abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost. Thus, when I was slumbering on the verge of hell, he roused me; when I was dead in sins, he raised me to life. When I was a slave, he set me free; when I was a child of disobedience, he made me a child of God; when I was an heir of perdition, he made me an heir of glory; when my heart was like a cage of unclean birds, he transformed it into the temple of the Holy Ghost. Ever since that time he has been watching over me, and carrying on his work of grace in my heart. He has taught and assisted me to pray, and has answered my prayers. He has corrected my errors and mis­takes; he has assisted me in subduing my sins and in resisting temptation; he has borne with my numberless infirmities; he has granted me ten thousand pardons; he has healed my fre­quent backslidings; he has strengthened me when weak, he has encouraged me when desponding, he has healed my soul when sick and wounded, he has consoled me when afflicted, he has wrought in me to will and to do of his own good pleasure; he has often refreshed me by his ordinances, and has sometimes caused me to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. No day, no hour has passed in which he did not do something for my soul.

And as if all this were not enough, he has engaged to do, and will do still more. He will strengthen me, yea he will help me, yea he will uphold me by the right hand of his righteousness. He will keep me by his power through faith unto salvation. He will be with me and comfort me when I am called to pass through the dark valley of the shadow of death, and will receive my disembodied and perfected spirit to be with himself till the resurrection. He will then bring me with him when he comes to judgment. He will raise my body immortal, incorrupt­ible and glorious, like his own; he will pronounce me blessed, and in the presence of the assembled universe, call me to inherit the kingdom prepared for me from the foundation of the world. To the possession of this kingdom I shall again ascend with him to heaven, and receive the crown and the throne which he has promised to them that overcome. Then, in the enjoyment of perfect holiness, glory and felicity, I shall be forever with the Lord.

All this he has, in effect, done for me already, since he has promised it, and with him, promise and performance are the same. For my security he has given me his eternal purpose and his solemn oath; two immutable things in which it is im­possible for him to lie. Who, then, shall lay anything to my charge? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that shall con­demn me? It is Christ that died, yea, rather that is risen again, who also maketh intercession for me. And what shall separate me from the love of Christ? Shall persecution, or distress, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things I am more than a conqueror through him that loved me; and I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor the world, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus my Lord.
Such is the answer which every real Christian may give to the question, What has God done for my soul? I do not, how­ever, assert that all real Christians will venture to give this answer. Many of them may, and do doubt whether they are real Christians; whether they are not deceived by a false con­version. Hence the greater part would perhaps venture no far­ther than to say, I hope God has done these things for my soul. Their doubts do not, however, if they are Christians, affect their salvation. It is certain, whether they know it or not, that God has done, or will do everything for their souls which has now been mentioned; for he knows, if they do not, that they are Christians, and he will treat them accordingly.
II. The second question which it was proposed to answer, is, Why does the Christian, when he feels like a Christian, wish to declare what God hath done for his soul? This question has been, in part, at least, already answered. While stating what God has done, we have indirectly assigned a sufficient reason why Christians should wish to declare what he has done; for who can receive favors so great, so overwhelming, and not wish to speak of them? If we have seen or met with anything wonderful, we naturally wish to speak of it. That God should do such things for a sinful soul is beyond measure wonderful. It is by far the most wonderful of all his works. He himself represents it as such. Well then may every one for whom he has done such wonders of grace and mercy, wish to declare it.

We find that those whom our Saviour miraculously cured when he was on earth, loudly proclaimed and published every where how great things God had done for them. They could not keep silence, even when he charged them to do it. His power, his goodness, and the benefits he had bestowed on them appeared so great, so astonishing, that they could not hold their peace. Much more, then, may Christians whose spiritual mala­dies have been healed, to whom God has made far greater and more astonishing displays of his power and grace, feel unable to conceal what God has done for their souls. They must speak of them for the same reason that saints and angels in heaven sing God’s praises, because they are so full that they cannot contain themselves. They must give vent to their feelings. Gratitude constrains them to speak. It is a relief to their burst­ing hearts, burdened and overwhelmed with the weight of inestimable favors, to show what great things God has done for them, and how he has had mercy on them.

Regard for God’s glory also prompts the Christian to speak. He feels that what God has done for him is a most glorious work; that it involves a most glorious display of the divine perfections. He wishes therefore to proclaim it, that men may know how wonderfully merciful and gracious God is. Thus the Samaritan leper, when cleansed from his leprosy, turned back, and, with a loud voice, glorified God.

The Christian, farther, wishes to declare what God has done for his soul, in order that others may assist him in praising the bountiful Benefactor. His own unassisted voice is not loud enough. His own praises seem altogether insufficient. He would have his praises and thanksgivings heard through the world. He would have the whole human family, were it pos­sible, join with him in one universal chorus of praise to God; and while he tells what God has done for his soul, his desires are expressed in the words of the Psalmist, O come, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. Such are some of the reasons why every Christian wishes to declare what God has done for his soul.

III. Why does he wish to make this declaration to those only who fear God. He does so,
First, Because they alone can understand such a declaration. He might indeed speak to others of temporal favors, or what God has done for his body; but should he begin to declare what God had done for his soul, his language would be scarcely intelligi­ble, and they would regard him as an enthusiast or a madman. Conviction, conversion, the pardon of sin, adoption into God’s family, communion with God, and a title to heaven, are expres­sions which convey almost no meaning to the mind of an irre­ligious man. Agreeably, we are told that to such the gospel is foolishness, and that they receive not the things of the spirit of God, neither can they know them because they are spiritually discerned. Hence the apostle, after exclaiming, Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God, adds; The world knoweth us not, that is knows nothing of the blessings and privileges which we enjoy, because it knew him not. Paul, also, speaking in the name of Christians, says, now we have received not the Spirit of the world, but the spirit of God; that we may know the things that are freely given us of God; thus plainly intimat­ing that those only who have been taught by the Holy Ghost, know or understand the spiritual blessings which God bestows on his people. And in the same chapter he adds, He that is spiritual discerneth all things, but he himself is discerned of no man; that is, no man discerns or knows what he has received and what he enjoys.

The Christian wishes to make this declaration to those only who fear God, in the second place, because they alone will re­ally believe him. As those who have no fear of God, do not un­derstand what blessings he has bestowed on his people, so neith­er do they believe that such blessings are ever bestowed. Hence, should they hear a Christian declaring what God has done for him, they would either despise him as a proud boaster, or pity him as a weak, deluded fanatic, whose vain fancies had bewil­dered him into a fool’s paradise. Accordingly, the author of the book of Ecclesiastes represents the wicked as ridiculing the righteous, for calling themselves the children of the Lord, and making their boast that God is their father.

In the third place, the Christian wishes to make this declara­tion to those only who fear God, because they only will listen with interest, or join with him in praising his Benefactor. Men destitute of godly fear, would listen to an idle tale or empty dream with more interest than to his relation; and even did they understand and believe it, they would not praise God on his ac­count, but would rather murmur at God as partial, because he had not conferred similar blessings on them also. But not so they that fear God. These will listen with interest, for they love to hear of God’s wondrous works of mercy and grace. They will join with him in his joyful and grateful expressions of praise, for they know in some measure the dangers from which he has been rescued, and the number, worth, and magnitude of the blessings which he has received. They know that God has in­deed done great things for the soul of everyone who is saved; they can, like the angels, rejoice over every sinner that repenteth; nay more; they can sympathize in his joy, for they have them­selves been in the same situation, and tasted of the same deliv­erance. Hence, while the Christian exclaims, The Lord hath done great things for my soul, whereof I am glad; they can re­spond, yes, he has done great things for you, and for us also, and blessed be his name.

Thus have been answered the three questions suggested by the text. It remains only to make some improvement of the subject.
To those of us who have publicly professed ourselves the dis­ciples of Christ, this subject is peculiarly interesting. By mak­ing such a profession, we expressed a persuasion, or at least a prevailing hope, that we were Christians; and of course that God either had done, or in due time would do for us, everything which has now been mentioned. I have a right, then, my pro­fessing hearers, to address you as persons who, at least, hope that God has done these things for your souls. Permit me then to ask you, in view of this subject,

  1. Whether the returns which God requires of you in the gospel, are not most reasonable? He there tells you that you are not your own, that you are bought with a price, and requires you, therefore, to glorify him in your bodies and spirits which are his; —to feel that you are his property, to act as his servants, to consecrate yourselves and all that you possess to him. Now, is not this requisition most reasonable? Has he not a right to expect that we should comply with it? Even if he had not created us, if he were not our rightful sovereign, if he had no rights but those of a benefactor, no claims but those which are founded on what he has done for our souls, might he not still justly expect from us all that he requires, all that we can render? What, O what can be too valuable to give to him who gave his own Son to die for us? What, O what can be too difficult to do, or too painful to suffer, for him who has done and suffered so much for us? What returns may not he justly expect who, at an expense so infinite, redeemed our immortal souls from eter­nal death, and bestowed on them everlasting life? Surely we must forget what God has done for us, if we can think his re­quisitions hard or unreasonable; if we ever hesitate to perform any duty, or to make any sacrifice which he requires. And have any of you, my professing friends, been guilty of this for­getfulness? Have you hesitated to make the returns, to per­form the duties, to offer the sacrifices which your Benefactor requires. Has it ceased to be your habitual language, Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits? If so, you may,

  2. Learn from this subject how inexcusable is your ingrati­tude, how much reason you have for sorrow, shame and self-abasement. In order to this, review once more what God has done for you, and contrast it with your returns to him. Have you not, in multiplied instances, rewarded him evil for good? Do you not discover in your past conduct, innumerable proofs of unkindness, unfaithfulness and ingratitude? And O, how black, how base is ingratitude in us! Of all beings that exist on earth or in heaven, the Christian has by far the most cause to be grateful even more than the blessed angels themselves. Of course, ingratitude in a Christian is more criminal and hateful than it would be in any other being. O then, what deep, what bitter repentance ought we to feel! And can you avoid feeling it? Can any Christian be otherwise than broken-hearted when he contemplates God as his Father, Benefactor, and Redeemer, loving him with an everlasting love, promoting his happiness with unceasing care, and doing so much, so very much for his salvation? Can any Christian recollect without a pang, that he has neglected, disobeyed and grieved his Father, his Sovereign, his Benefactor, through fear of offending a fellow-worm, or to gratify some base lust, or to avoid some trifling evil, or to ob­tain some imaginary good? O, it may well wring our hearts with anguish to reflect what weak temptations, what insignifi­cant trifles have led us to sin; have had more weight with us than the wishes, the commands, the entreaties of that Friend for whom we ought to think it an honor and a privilege to shed our blood. Surely then, my brethren, we cannot but repent. Surely the overwhelming goodness of God must lead us to repentance, and constrain us to turn to him with our whole hearts, with weeping and mourning and humble confession. Surely, we must approach the table of our still forgiving, though often of­fended Lord, with feelings like those of the penitent who wash­ed the Saviour’s feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. And we shall go from his table, crying, What shall I render to the Lord for all his benefits? and resolv­ing to bring forth fruits meet for repentance. By all your hopes of heaven, by all that God has done for your souls, by the dy­ing love of his Son, who is here set forth crucified before you, and of whose flesh and blood you are now to partake, I beseech and conjure you to do this; to live as becomes those for whose sakes so much has been done, and to present yourselves afresh, as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. If you refuse or neglect to do this, how can you any longer profess a hope in Christ, or come any more to his table? As often as you approach it, you publicly profess a hope that God has done, or will do for your souls, everything which has now been mentioned. And can you express such a hope as this, without living in a corresponding manner? Can you bear to say, one hour, I believe, or hope that God has done all this for my soul, and the next hour, say by your conduct, I feel no gratitude, and shall make him no returns? Can you bear that the world should have occasion to say, there is a man who professes to believe that God has done, we know not how many wonderful things for his soul, and yet he shows little more thankfulness, or religious sensibility or concern for his Master’s honor, than we do, who profess nothing? O, my brethren, we must, we must, be consistent. We must either cease to express a hope that God has done all this for us, or we must live as be­comes those for whom so much has been done. We must either love much, or cease to express a hope that much has been for­given us.

I need not tell you that nothing is more irksome than to hear a person whose life exhibits little of the power of religion, adopt the language of our text, and relate a long tale of his conver­sion and religious experience. The language of open impiety itself is not so disgusting. How inexpressibly loathsome, then, must we appear to the holy, heart-searching God, if we call him our God, style ourselves his children, address him in long prayers, and come to his table, while he sees little or no love, zeal or sin­cerity in our hearts. Well may he compare such persons to lukewarm water, and cast them from him with disgust, exclaim­ing, I would thou wert either cold or hot.
Yet even such characters he will freely forgive, if they now repent. Let none be driven away by a sense of guilt. Let us come rather and present him that sacrifice of a broken heart which he will never despise, however unworthy the hand that offers it. Do this, my brethren, and the reception of new par­don and new mercies, will give you new reason to cry, Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.

Bio – John Newton


John Newton – slave trader, poet, and preacher. (1725 – 1807)


John Henry Newton Jr. born in Wapping, London, son of John Henry Newton Sr. and Elizabeth Newton (nee Seatclife). His father a shipmaster in the Mediterranean service was educated at Jesuit College in Spain .His mother a godly women, brought John up as a Nonconformist Christian and dedicated him to the Lord and His ministry. When John was six, his mother died of tuberculosis. His father remarried the following year. The stepmother didn’t pay much attention to John and his needs so when he was 9 he was sent to a boarding school for two years and at the age of 11 he went to sea with his father for a total of six voyages. John became a teenager raised in a godless surrounding. After the six voyages his father retired, and his father planned for John to take up a position as a slave master at a sugar plantation in Jamaica however, in 1743 he became a captain of a slave-ship himself. 

John’s life sounds like a movie with being forced to join the naval service, trying to escape, being caught and flogged 96 times, contemplating suicide, put on another ship called the Pegasus where he again is in trouble for making a deal with a slave traitor named Amos Clowe, who was married to an African duchess named Princess Peye. Both Clowe and his wife abused him terrible. Newton later remembered this as the time he was “once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa.” Now, John’s father is looking for him, and had asked a captain friend of his to keep and eye out for him, he was found and rescued from his bondage. Next upon a ship heading home, a terrible storm cames up awakens him as the ship was filling with water, he cries out to God – upon that moment the Lord touched his heart, although it was not with salvation at  this point in time – oh the goodness of God as He worked in John’s life and heart! Surviving this ordeal he began to read the Bible.  He turned away from gambling, drinking and profanity; though he continued to work in the slave industry he had a compassion now for the slaves he was dealing with. John said “I cannot consider myself to have been a believer in the full sense of the word, until a considerable time afterwards.” 

Next in his this very unusual life John returns to England and a friend of his father’s hires him as his first mate, once again on a slave trading vessel. This ship was now bound for the West Indies off the coast of Guinea. In 1748-49 John became sick with a fever and finally professed total belief in the Lord and asked God to take control of his life. John marks this as his conversion and at this point he said he now had total peace, the amazing grace of God and how mysteriously are His ways.  

On February 12, 1750 John married his live long friend and distant cousin Mary Catlett, who he had been in love with since he was seventeen. Now he goes back to sea and after three more trips to trade slaves and after having a stroke, he stopped this type of employment but continued to invest his monies in the trade business. With time on his hands he began to study Hebrew, Greek and Syriac and became known as a lay minister, seven years later was ordained into the Church of England.  Through a series of things he is finally ordained makes friends with George Whitefield and picks up the nickname of “Young Whitefield.” He also became friends with John Wesley. He was called a moderate Calvinist or a hidden one because of the debates of the day. Newton held strong objection to secular amusement and did not tolerate the Roman Catholic Chruch and its false teachings. 

In December 1790 his dear wife passed away from cancer. In “Letters to a Wife” (2 columns) you can read of his love for his wife. Though his faculties failed him with age, being elderly and blind he continued to preach,. He said he could not stop. On December of 1807 Mr. Newton died and was buried next to his wife at St. Mary Woolnoth. Later in 1893 both bodies were move to Olney, as the church at St. Mary’s removed all those buried there.  

John Newton was a great hymnist and writer – writing one of our best known hymns – Amazing Grace.

J.R. Miller – Bio

j-r-millerIn 1840 a baby boy named James Russell was born in Frankfort Spring, Pennsylvania, to his parents James Alexander Miller and Eleanor Creswell (both were of Irish-Scottish ancestors). Frankfort Springs is in the southern portion of Beaver County, on the banks of the Big Traverse which was a small mill steam which drained what is said was a very beautiful valley. James Alexander and Eleanor had ten children, of which their oldest child a daughter died before James Russell their second child was born. James and Eleanor had three boys and seven girls, of which one brother and two sisters died in infancy. The children went to the regional school in Hanover Township, Beaver County, Pennsylvania. When James was around fourteen, the family moved to a farm near Calcutta, Ohio, where the children attended the regional school in the winter time, however during the summer and harvest time they helped their father on the farm, gardening, doing chores and bringing in the fall crops. In 1857 James Russell was accepted by Beaver Academy.

In 1861 The Christian Commission (YMCA) was organized at a convention in New York City and James would later become a delegate for the organization. This group was created to minister to the troops during the civil war.

James then went to Westminster College, Pennsylvania in 1862 and graduated from Westminster College that same year.  The fall of that year he entered the United Presbyterian Church theological seminary at Allegheny, Pennsylvania. In 1863 James took a break from his studies at the seminary and agreed to serve The Christian Commission as a delegate for six weeks, however upon the end of his service he became an Assistant Field Agent and later he was appointed to the office of General Field Agent, of which he served until July 15, 1865

In 1865 he resumed his studies at the seminary and completed them in the spring of 1867. In the fall of 1867 he was ordained and installed (on September 11, 1867) by the First United Presbyterian Church of New Wilmington, Pennsylvania where he had accepted a call. In two years as the pastor of the church of the First United Presbyterian Church he added almost two hundred people to the church membership. He was raised in the United Presbyterian Church and held strongly their views. Although he did not agree with singing the Psalms only and therefore decided to leave because he could not profess this as part of his beliefs. He then resigned from his office and began the process to join the Presbyterian Church (USA).

On November 12, 1869 both the old and new Presbyterian churches joined together as the Presbyterian Church USA, of which nine days later Reverend Miller was called as their pastor to the church called Bethany Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia. The congregation grew from 75 members to around twelve hundred and was the largest church in Philadelphia. In 1878 he resigned this position and accepted a call as pastor with the new Broadway Presbyterian Church out of Rock Island, Illinois.

James, now thirty years of age, married Louise E. King of Argyle, New York on June 22, 1870. The couple had three children named William, Russell, and Mary.

In 1875 he began to write Christian articles while at the seminary in Allegheny, Pennsylvania of which he did for some time. Then in 1880 Pastor Miller resigned his position at Broadway Presbyterian Church and was given the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Westminster College, they then invited him to assume editorial work for the Presbyterian Board of Publication in Philadelphia, where he became the assistant to the Editorial Secretary for the said board of publication.

While in Philadelphia he became involved with the Hollond Mission and later became their pastor. He was their pastor for sixteen months and while there the membership increased greatly. Then in 1899 a new church was organized with sixty-six members. They named themselves St. Paul Church in West Philadelphia and asked Miller to become their pastor. He was there from 1899 to 1912, which was the year he died. This congregation grew from the 66 members to 1,397.

In 1911 he retired his positions due to health issues. On July 2, 1912 in the afternoon, James was resting quietly and without warning he quietly passed away, with his wife Louise and his daughter by his side. He passed so quickly there was not time to call Louise and James sons to the bedside of their father.

James Russell Miller wrote numerous articles and books. Under his direction 66 million copies of the periodicals were printed by the Presbyterian Board of Publications. His books had a circulation of over two million copies during just his lifetime. It is in hopes that many of his articles and books will continue to be republished, as so many good solid Christian writers of the past books need to be reprinted, not for money sake but for building the Church.

In the USA all James R. Millers works before 1923 are out of copyright and all of his poems are out of copyright.

Gleaned from J.R. Miller’s Archives, and Wikipedia

Arthur W. Pink – (1886-1952)

Public domain picture of PinkA.W. Pink was born in Great Britain in 1886 and he bowed his knee to the Lord his Saviour in 1908.

He immigrated to the United States and studied at Moody Bible Institute. He became a teaching Baptist preacher – evangelist and an author. Many people believe that Arthur Pink was one of the great Biblical Christian authors of our time.

He pastored churches in Colorado, California, Kentucky, and South Carolina before becoming an itinerant Bible teacher in 1919. He also moved to Sydney Australia for a short period of time.

He was well known for his Calvinistic and Puritan theology and while the church was turning away from the Scriptures, Pink was a shot in the arm, by returning the church to Biblical doctrine.

As in 1922 Reverend Pink published a magazine called “Studies In The Scriptures” until his death in 1952. These articles are still distributed and may be found on the internet.

Arthur W. Pink exposed the false teaching of Dispensationlism! He was taught dispensation theology in his earlier years of schooling, of which he wrote several articles, (i.e. The Antichrist and The Redeemer’s Return ). However before his death he realized the false teaching in the pre-tribulation rapture theory and his views of dispensationalism. Before he died, he did everything he could to show the world that it was a false teaching, by writing five articles in 1952 to deny and prove, that this teaching was in error, and a man made doctrine. These articles where published in magazine called “Studies In The Scriptures” they were published between the June and October issues. They were called “A Refutation of Dispensationalism.”

In 1934, at the age of 48, Arthur Pink returned to Great Britain his native land, then in 1940 he lived on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland, and was there until his death.

By the guidance of our Lord and Saviour, we owe great writings like “The Attributes of God” and “The Sovereignty of God” along with a lot of wonderful messages to A. W. Pink.

I hope you enjoy this biography of A.W. Pink a man of God.

With permission from Grace Gems and — You may access many of Arthur W. Pink’s sermon on at:

More In-depth Bio. On Horatius Bonar

Horatius BonarHoratius Bonar D.D. (1808 – 1889)
Horatius Bonar D.D. A Scottish author, poet, and preacher who wrote many hymns of our faith, was born on December 19, 1808, in Old Broughton, Edinburgh, Scotland, and he died on July 31, 1889, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Horatius was the son of James Bonar and was one of eleven children, of which two others, Andrew and John were also minister of the Free Church of Scotland. Horatius came from a family filled with Presbyterian ministers, a total of 364 years of ministers left their legacy in his family. Horatius and his family not only taught the Word of God, but they lived devote Christian lives before their fellow men. He was a dearly beloved brother in Christ and is highly respected to this day in Scotland.

A young women named Jane Catharine Lundie the daughter of Rev. Robert Lundie was born December 1821 in Kelso Manse, Scotland. Jane had lost her mother in 1832 and moved to a Edinburgh, Scotland. After which she was sent to London for schooling in 1835, after her schooling she returned to Edinburg and then went to Cleish and stayed there with her sister Mary until Mary died in 1840. Horatius and Jane met and fell in love and then married 1843. They had nine children of which five of them died while yet young. I cannot imagine the grief and sorrow that they must have felt with losing their five children in death. Jane died on December 3, 1884.

In 1837 he became a minister in Kelso, and he was totally devoted to the work of the Lord, and spent many an hour’s weekly visiting and comforting his congregation, and they dearly love him for his care of the flock of God.

He was a busy minister and edited several magazines, in addition he wrote many books and hymns, yet his heart was on preaching the Word of God.

He preached about a Sovereign God and salvation by Grace alone, he knew that man was saved not by his own freewill but only and solely by the Grace of God, through faith by and through the working of the Holy Spirit. A great revival broke out in Dundee, and God’s Spirit moved greatly as Horatius took part in “The Great Disruption, in 1843 which led to the founding of the Free Church of Scotland.

Mr. Bonar nicely put it ““Righteousness without works to the sinner, simply on his acceptance of the Divine message concerning Jesus and His sufficiency,–this has been the burden of our good news…It is one message, one gospel, one cross, one sacrifice, from which nothing can be taken and to which nothing can be added. This is the…beginning and the ending of our ministry.”

Bonar worked hard to spread the Gospel message, realizing that he could reach more people by the written word, he began to write tracts. His goal was 1. Edify the saints 2. Warn those who lost, and 3. To present the gospel message simply. In the pulpit his messages were clear, as he preached righteousness alone came by Christ alone who was the only hope of sinners.

Horatius Bonar wrote not only wonderful hymns filled with doctrine but he also wrote hymns for children to sing as well. They would have a children song and then a short message to them. Horatius loved these times building the faith of the young. Horatius worked hard for the Lord and his congregation followed his example as they were filled with zeal and good works.

Bonar’s songs and messages spread worldwide, He himself revered the early church fathers and was very comfortable with them, and he studied deeply the literature of the Reformation and dearly loved the Puritans. He was so deeply in love with his Master the Lord Jesus Christ that he could not keep what he learned to himself, and as a godly shepherd he quickly shared to enrich the lives of others.

One wonderful thing can be said about Horatius Bonar and that is that he loved his Lord with all his heart and served his Master well. He lived the life he preached which was to the glory of God and in turn those who heard his messages and saw his life profited greatly children and adults alike. He did not seek the honor of men, but with his great sermons, hymns and literature honor was bestow upon him. His work for God is meat for the soul and is handed down to many a generations. We now live in times when doctrine is not important nor the ways of our forgathers, churches are places of entertainment and books on self improvement have taken many a people away from the God of the Bible.

Horatius Bonar’s wife, Jane Lundie Bonar, wrote hymns as well and their home must have been filled with hours of joyful God honoring music.

Let us refresh ourselves with our Bibles and great writings – songs and poems of those who have gone before us as we put our feet back on solid ground and depart from the slippery sloops of the false gospels that are being preached from pulpits today. Let us know who we follow and know what and why they believed in what they did. Let us make sure of our foundation so we stand as Christ commanded us to do.

Horatius had written over 600 hymns, although they did not sing his hymns in his church, as hymns were never sung in the worship service!

His beloved wife passed away in 1884 and Horatius himself suffered exceedingly the last two years of his life. He himself died on July 31, 1889, five years after his dear Jane. They both died in Edinburgh, Scotland and are both buried in Canon-gate churchyard.

May you enjoy this as much as I did researching all the material on him.

My Biography was created from my notes taken from information and with permission from Darrin Brooker on Horatius Bonar, from Darrin’s blog called “Darrin Brooker” at:

For more information on Horatius Bonar go to: “The Life and Work of Horatius Bonar” at

Horatius Bonar D.D. (1808 – 1889)

H. Bonar with permissionHoratius Bonar D.D. (1808 – 1889)

Horatius Bonar D.D. A Scottish author, poet, and preacher who wrote over 600 hymns of our faith, was born on December 19, 1808, in Old Broughton, Edinburgh, Scotland, and he died on July 31, 1889, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Horatius was the son of James Bonar and was one of eleven children, of which two others, Andrew and John were also minister of the Free Church of Scotland. Horatius came from a family filled with Presbyterian ministers, a total of 364 years of ministers left their legacy in his family. Horatius and his family not only taught the Word of God, but they lived devote Christian lives before their fellow men. He was a dearly beloved brother in Christ and is highly respected to this day in Scotland.
Horatius received his early education in Edinburgh. Though young he devoted himself to the service of God, and chose to make the ministry his life-work. He was honored to have studied under Thomas Chalmers while at the University of Edinburgh. He earned his Doctor of Divinity degree in 1853 at the University of Aberdeen.

A young women named Jane Catharine Lundie the daughter of Rev. Robert Lundie was born December 1821 in Kelso Manse, Scotland. Jane had lost her mother in 1832 and moved to a Edinburgh, Scotland. After which she was sent to London for schooling in 1835, after her schooling she returned to Edinburg and then went to Cleish and stayed there with her sister Mary until Mary died in 1840. Horatius and Jane met and fell in love and then married 1843. They had nine children of which five of them died while yet young. I cannot imagine the grief and sorrow that they must have felt with losing their five children in death. Jane died on December 3, 1884.

His beloved wife passed away in 1884 and Horatius suffered exceedingly the last two years of his life. He died on July 31, 1889, five years after his dear Jane. They both died in Edinburgh, Scotland and are both buried in Canongate churchyard.

I hope you have enjoyed this biography of Horatius Bonar and his wife Jane.

My Biography was created from my notes taken from information and with permission from Darrin Brooker on Horatius Bonar, from Darrin’s two sites one called “Darrin Brooker” at:

And the other “The Life and Work of Horatius Bonar” at: