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God will overrule it all to His glory!

In Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. on 20/09/2012 at 12:17

Located yesterday among the correspondence in the Robert Dick Wilson Manuscript Collection, there is this letter from Dr. H. G. C. Hallock which caught my attention.

Henry Galloway Comingo Hallock, was born on 31 March 1870, and prepared for ministry at the Princeton Theological Seminary, 1893-1896. Upon graduation he immediately took a post as a PCUSA missionary to China. In 1905 he withdrew to independent ministry and teaching, serving later as Professor of Homiletics in the department of theology at the University of China, Chenju, Shanghai, 1925-1927.  For a time he had also been connected with the National Tract Society for China. Among some Princeton alumni information, there is indication that he remained in China up until at least June of 1942. Later returning to the United States, he died on 16 January 1951.

The letter that follows is a powerful testimony from the field of conflict. It is a revealing letter, telling the truth about evil, and a hopeful letter, speaking the truth about our Lord who sovereignly prevails over evil, purifying His Church, raising up a strong testimony to His grace and glory. Today, Rev. Hallock’s “prophecy” of China’s future rings true.

C.P.O.Box No. 1234, Shanghai, China, March 22, 1927.

Dear Friend,

I have written several times about our Bible School and of our work among its students and about our students’ work among the chil­dren and with the people in the country villages, I hope you are inter­ested and that your heart has prompted you to help. There has not been time for a reply from you, as it takes a month each way for letters to go and come; but let me write again and tell you more. We are having very serious troubles in China. Fighting and unrest are all about us. I hear cannon booming and see many houses burning in Shanghai now as I write. Tho’ our Bible School is in the danger zone yet we have not been molested in the least. The militarists have closed a secular school of 600 pupils near us, as the generals feared the students were cutting the telegraph wires, R.R. tracks, and doing other mischief; but our Bible School goes on without interference. We are very glad and thankful to our Heavenly Father. We are grateful also that you have been praying for us.

Pray much also for China. An idea is abroad that a spirit of nationalism is among the people. This is largely a mistake. I do wish there were a spirit of real nationalism abroad, the leaders seeking the real good of their country and people; but I am sorry it is not so. The people are driven about in fear—like a flock of sheep pursued by mad— dogs or wolves—by men in the pay of Bolshevists. Lest these beasts of men be moved by pity for their own people the Bolshevists enlist perfect strangers from a distance to carry on propaganda, terrorize people, stir up strikes and shoot those too poor to strike, initiating a reign of ter­ror, making the workers afraid to work—lest they be killed for working or their wives and children be killed while they work. As soon as ample protection is provided the people are very glad to flock back to work. The so-called Nationalists, led by the Bolshevists, say they are seeking the good of the people; but wherever they go they rob and kill the people and smash up schools, hospitals, churches and Chinese temples. You friends in good old America don’t want them and can largely keep the Bolshevists out; but the Chinese are not able to do so, so these fiends carry on with a high hand. There seems to be no limit to their deviltries. They cry, “Down with imperialists! Give the people freedom!” but they themselves are tyranic imperialists, and crush freedom. They are domineering over­lords making a comparatively free people slaves. Freedom is impossible where they come. Like fierce, wild animals they are over-running the country, and the people, poor and rich alike, are fleeing for their lives.

But amid the deep gloom there appears a bright cloud still. God will overrule it all to His glory—is doing so. The church is being tried as by fire. The true Christians will remain true—will become more “loyal and true—and the dross will be removed. The “rice Christians” and all who are not true will desert and so the church will be refined. The church needs purging and it is being purged “with a vengeance.” And then, too, the scattered loyal Christians, as in the times of the Acts of the Apostles, are preaching the Gospel wherever they flee. The Bolshevists try to beat out the fire; but they only scatter the sparks. The flames spring up in numbers of unthinkable places. The missionaries have had to leave their stations; but it casts their Chinese Christians wholly into the loving arms of the dear Lord where they renew their strength, running and not weary, walking and not faint. Now is the time to bear the Christ­ians up in the arms of prayer as you have never done before. Pray much, too, for the native preachers and Bible women, and also for the young men in our Bible School. They are staying firm in the school tho’ dangers are all around. — Shanghai just captured. Many Chinese killed. I can’t well flee. God guards. P.O. is closed. If this arrives you’ll know all’s well.

Yours in Christ’s glad service,

(Rev.) H. G. C. Hallock.

[emphasis added]

“Why Doesn’t God DO SOMETHING About this War?”

In Harold Samuel Laird on 12/09/2012 at 14:17

It has been interesting to notice, over the past number of years, how a certain few men are spoken of in the highest terms, in almost hushed tones (that’s putting it too strongly, but it makes the point). The Rev. Harold Samuel Laird was one such man, greatly regarded by those who knew him. It is our loss that he is now largely forgotten by current generations.

The following is a sermon preached by the Rev. Laird at some point over the summer of 1942, about a year after the United States had entered World War II. He had the previous Sunday preached a sermon titled “What Should the Christian’s Attitude Be Toward This War?” The second sermon in this short series, reproduced here below, takes Matthew 24 as its text.

Harold Samuel Laird [1891-1987]

Why Doesn’t God
DO SOMETHING
About this War?

Matthew 24

There are two questions touching the present war with which by this time most of us are quite familiar, for they have been repeatedly asked. They are: first, What should the Christian’s attitude be toward this war? and second, Why doesn’t God do something about this war?

While the first of these two questions arises for the most part in the minds of Christians, many of whom honestly desire to know and do the will of God in the present emergency, the second comes not so much from Christians, who are more or less acquainted with the revelation which God has given of Himself in the Holy Scriptures, but rather from those who are wholly ignorant of that revelation.

In the light of this fact, it is not the least bit strange that we hear the question of our theme so often in these days. Though the Bible is now, as it ever has been, the best seller among all the books in the world, never in its history have the great masses of the people who possess it been more ignorant of its contents than they are in this very day. This is no doubt due very largely to the fact that the Church itself has failed miserably in its God-given mission to make known to the world the message of the Word of Cod. Instead, it has been giving another message—the message of human philosophy, or the “wisdom of this world,” which, according to the greatest philosopher the world has ever seen, is “foolishness with God.”

Therefore, when one puts to me this question, earnestly and honestly, I am absolutely persuaded that I have the answer that will perfectly satisfy his soul, provided he is willing to accept the testimony of this Book, as a supernatural revelation from God concerning Himself and His immutable purposes for this, His sin-cursed creation.

You ask me, “Why doesn’t God do something about this war?” 1 answer by means of three positive statements: first, God has already done something about this war, second, God is now doing something about this war; and third, God will yet do something about all wars.

I.—God HAS ALREADY DONE Something About This War.

I refer, of course, to that which God did two thousand years ago, when He saw the wickedness of man, that it was great in the earth. Once before, approximately three thousand years prior to that, Moses tells us in the Book of Genesis, the book of beginnings, that God saw the same sight, “and that every imagination of the thoughts of his (man’s) heart was only evil continually.” Moses adds that “it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart. And the Lord said, 1 will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth’’ (Gen. 6:5-7). And we have it both from the record of Sacred History and from the traditional history of practically every heathen race, that in due course of time God did what He said He would do, and, save for one man and his family, who found grace in the eyes of the Lord, the whole sinful human race was destroyed by the flood. Read the rest of this entry »

Gordon Clark’s Foreword to Charnock’s Attributes of God

In Gordon H. Clark on 08/09/2012 at 13:28

Recently I’ve been reading John Flavel’s short treatise on Isa. 26:20, titled The Righteous Man’s Refuge [highly recommended and found in Flavel’s Works, vol. 3]. Flavel’s main point in this work is that the attributes of God are a very real refuge for the believer in times of trial and testing. Finishing that work, it was only natural then to turn to Stephen Charnock’s masterpiece, The Existence and Attributes of God. As it turns out, my copy was a 1958 edition and I noticed that it includes a foreword by Gordon H. Clark. Since the PCA Historical Center houses the Papers of Dr. Clark and since I don’t see Clark’s foreword elsewhere on the web or in print, I thought I would post it here. I’ve placed in bold print one particularly relevant comment.
If I were to make one point, I think that had Dr. Clark read or kept Flavel’s treatise in mind, he would have had at hand even greater arguments for Christians to study the attributes of God.

Gordon H. Clark’s Foreword to the 1958 Sovereign Grace Book Club edition
of Stephen Charnock’s work, The Existence and Attributes of God.

FOREWORD

The life of Stephen Charnock (1628-1680), in contrast to the turbulence of England in the mid-seventeeth century, was almost uneventful. The occurrence of one event, however, secures his reputation for adherence to gospel principles, for, although he was not immprisoned as John Bunyan was, he was one of the ministers ejected under the inquitous Restoration of Charles II.

For the rest, he had an early charge in Southwark; became a Fellow and then a Senior Proctor at Oxford (1649-1656); went to Dublin as chaplain to the Governor; then in 1675, when restrictions on the reformed ministers were somewhat relaxed, he accepted a call to Crosby Square, where he remained until his death.

How he spent his time, in addition to preaching carefully prepared sermons, became evident upon the posthumous publication of his manuscripts, of which the Discourses upon the Existence and Attributes of God is the most famous. This edition includes every word of Charnock’s remarks on the attributes of God, and the existence of God. However, in most editions in the past, his discourses on Providence, Practical Atheism, and God as a Spirit have been included. These are omitted here with regret. However, 1100 pages would be too much for this one volume. Read the rest of this entry »