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Letter to the Editor: Response to the Last Editorial

Letter to the Editor Response to Last Edition’s Editorial Dear Editor, Thank you very much for your Christian charity and spirited editorial, Friday 8th October 2021, ( E.C. No.8090).  Also thanks are due to you for reprinting so much excellent reformed evangelical...

Letter to the Editor: The Murder of Sir David Amess

Murder of Sir David Amess Dear Editor, I grieve at the loss of a friend and former Party colleague Sir David Amess, MP who was murdered in an increasingly dangerous world. In the 70s I worked with David in the Young Conservatives before he became an MP and he was...

Reformation Sunday Advert

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:                        15 October 2021. My ‘Advert’ titled “Reformation Sunday 31 October” said, “The Church of England should still celebrate this 500th year since Martin Luther declared at the ‘Diet of Worms’ in 1521, “Here I stand. God help...

Leicester Diocese Illogical

Letter to the Editor Leicester Diocese Illogical   Sir, Leicester Diocese’s decision on 9 October to replace its traditional Parishes with ‘Minsters' is both spiritually and financially illogical.  The Church of England’s own growth report ‘From Anecdote to...

Barnabas Fund Reports: Turkey Escalates Airstrikes Against Christians in Syria & Iraq

Barnabas Fund Reports Turkey Escalating Airstrikes Against Christians and other Minorities in Syria and Iraq Turkey has escalated a supposedly anti-terrorist military campaign in Syria and Iraq which appears to be targeting Christians and other minorities. A spate of...

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Gospel-Driven Anglicanism Part 4

Should I Stay or Should I Go? By the Revd Dr Mark Pickles Part 4 Gedaliah is appointed governor and we read that Jeremiah purposely chooses to live amongst “those of the poorest of the land who had not been taken into exile in Babylon” (40:7). Things have taken a turn...

466th Anniversary of the Martyrdoms of Latimer & Ridley

466th Anniversary of the Martyrdoms of Latimer & Ridley Saturday, 16 October marked the 466th anniversary of the martyrdoms of Bishops Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley.   They were burned at the stake after being found guilty of heresy due to their refusal to...

Clive West Memorial Trust Lecture: John Yates III to Speak

Clive West Memorial Trust Lecture  Revd Dr John Yates III to Speak The annual Clive West Memorial Lecture will be held on Thursday, 11 November at 19:30 at St Nicholas’ Church, Lisburn Road in Belfast.  This year’s speaker is the Revd Dr John Yates III, Rector of Holy...

Book Review: Bleeding for Jesus

Bleeding for Jesus John Smyth and the cult of the Iwerne Camps Andrew Graystone Darton, Longman and Todd, 2021 (ISBN: 9781913657123, 250pp, £12.99) This book is the latest instalment of a long-running tragedy. It comes six years after the author was first made aware...

School Pupils Across the Country Memorise Passages from BCP for £1,000 Prize

School Pupils Across the Country  Memorise Book of Common Prayer Passages  £1,000 Prize for Winner By Tim Stanley Hundreds of school pupils across the country are busy this term studying prayers and readings from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer in a bid to win a prize...

JC Ryle on Sickness

Bishop JC Ryle on Sickness

Lord, he whom You love is sick!” John 11:3

The chapter from which this text is taken, is well known to all Bible readers. In life-like description, in touching interest, in sublime simplicity — there is no writing in existence that will bear comparison with that chapter. A narrative like this is to my own mind, one of the great proofs of the inspiration of Scripture. When I read the story of Bethany, I feel “There is something here which the infidel can never account for. This is nothing else but the finger of God!”

The words which I specially dwell upon in this chapter are singularly affecting and instructive. They record the message which Martha and Mary sent to Jesus when their brother Lazarus was sick: “Lord, he whom You love is sick!” That message was short and simple. Yet almost every word is deeply suggestive.

Mark the child-like faith of these holy women. They turned to the Lord Jesus in their hour of need, as the frightened infant turns to its mother, or the compass-needle turns to the North Pole. They turned to Him as their Shepherd, their almighty Friend, their Brother born for adversity. As different as they were in natural temperament, the two sisters were entirely agreed in this matter. Christ’s help was their first thought in the day of trouble. Christ was the refuge to which they fled in the hour of need. Blessed are all those who do likewise!

Mark the simple humility of their language about Lazarus. They call him “He whom You love. They do not say, “He who loves You, believes in You, serves You” — but “He whom You love.” Martha and Mary were deeply taught of God. They had learned that Christ’s love towards us, and not our love towards Christ — is the true ground of expectation, and true foundation of hope! Blessed, again, are all those who are taught likewise! To look inward to our love towards Christ — is painfully unsatisfying. To look outward to Christ’s love towards us — is peace.

Mark, lastly, the touching circumstance which the message of Martha and Mary reveals: “He whom You love is sick.” Lazarus was a godly man, converted, believing, renewed, sanctified, a friend of Christ, and an heir of glory. And yet Lazarus was sick! Then sickness is no sign that God is displeased. Sickness is intended to be a blessing to us — and not a curse. “All things work together for good to those who love God, and are called according to His purpose.” “All things are yours — life, death, things present, or things to come; for you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.” (Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 3:22-23. Blessed, I say again, are those who have learned this! Happy are they who can say, when they are ill, “This is my Father’s doing. It must be well!”

I invite the attention of my readers to the subject of sickness. The subject is one which we ought frequently to look in the face. We cannot avoid it. It needs no prophet’s eye to see sickness coming to each of us in turn one day. “In the midst of life — we are in death.”

 

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