Frederick Brotherton Meyer Preacher and Writer

Frederick Brotherton Meyer died on March 28, 1929, at the age of 82.   This well-known preacher ministered worldwide, although his pulpit was in London.

Meyer was born in London on April 8, 1847 and became a Baptist pastor and English evangelist

While pastoring at Priory Street Baptist Church in York in 1872 Meyer met American evangelist Dwight L Moody, whom he befriended and promoted to other churches in England.

In 1895 Meyer took the pulpit at Christ Church in Lambeth. Within two years he grew the congregation from 100 to over 2,000 regularly attending. After fifteen years in that pulpit he began to travel and preach at conferences and evangelistic services.

Evangelistic tours took him to South Africa and Asia and he visited the USA and Canada several times.

From 1904-1905 he served as president of the National Federation of Free Churches.

He crusaded for temperance work, for homeless children, and other social problems.  He was president of the World Sunday-School Unions, president of Christian Endeavour, and founder of a missionary training college. He is credited with closing nearly 500 brothels and he worked to rehabilitate former prisoners.

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Many a time he spoke at Keswick conventions.  In 1923 he visited Australia (met in Melbourne by Dr F W Boreham), where he preached to crowded meetings.

Alexander Gammie describes him as “a lightweight evangelist”- no pulpit thumping, no raised voice, no wild gestures, no dancing around the platform – but he quietly, yet powerfully “held aloft a winsome Saviour.  Everything was intimate, tender and appealing.”

Through his 77 books, F B Meyer led a multitude of believers into a closer walk with the Lord.  Whilst no great pulpit orator, his saintly life gave power to the message.

The day prior to his death he said:  “I ought to be in Heaven now.  I have settled all my affairs and there is nothing to wait for.  I can’t understand it.”  And thus he departed to be with Christ, which is far better.

Find hundreds of succinct Church History posts at: http://chrisfieldblog.com/topics/ministry/church-history

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This post is based on notes by my late friend Donald Prout. I have updated these historical posts with information gleaned from other sources. I am indebted to Don for awakening in me an interest in Church History. Don’s notes can be found at: www.donaldprout.com

Feed Your Faith

Do you struggle to trust God at times? Do you find that you are sometimes full of faith and other times you seem empty? It is not wrong to run low on faith, but the Bible does teach us to boost our faith. So this article is about how to Feed Your Faith, helping you keep a strong faith level for the challenges that might come your way.

Levels of Faith

The Bible talks about faith as something that comes in different sizes and different levels. James points out that some people are “rich in faith“.

“Has not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to them that love him?” James 2:5

Jesus met a Centurion who had “great faith“.

“When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Truly I say to you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” Matthew 8:10

Jude tells us to “build up our faith“.

“But you, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit” Jude 1:20

We are shown how that “faith comes by hearing“.

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

How to Build Up Your Faith

In the verses just quoted you will find two keys to building up your faith. The Apostle Jude tells us that “praying in the Holy Spirit” is part of the process. That involves praying in the heavenly prayer language that we receive when we are Baptised in the Holy Spirit.

Jackie Pullinger shares in her testimony about how her regular, daily praying in tongues, for 20 minutes each day, built her up in spirit and transformed her ministry in Hong Kong’s Forbidden City (See her testimony book: Chasing the Dragon). She was continually building up her faith by praying in the Holy Spirit.

The other way to build up our faith is to hear the word of God. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”. Hearing the preaching of God’s Word, and reading God’s Word are powerful ways to build up our faith. However, this is not to be the dry and empty sounding out of God’s Word, but the Spirit-anointed quickening of God’s Word to our hearts and minds.

Using Bible Verses

Years ago I was encouraged to make a list of faith-building verses and to quote them out loud multiple times each day. This was like a regular therapy, such as a sick person might do three times a day, or a fitness enthusiast might use as a daily exercise program.

When I came across verses that built up and fed my faith I noted them and then wrote them out on a page which I pinned at my desk. Multiple times each day I would read the list out loud to myself; encouraging myself to trust God and expect His blessing and favour.

A Starter List

Someone recently asked me to give them a list of faith-building verses. I would actually prefer that people dug out their own list, as that is a spiritual exercise in itself. But I did pull a list of verses together. I am sharing that list with you here, to encourage you to print it off and pin it somewhere where you will read it multiple times each day. I want you to build up your faith and have you become confident in God.

I also encourage you to add other verses to this list, as you find texts which encourage your faith. These verses are based on the King James Version, which is my usual text. You might want to copy them out in a more modern version. I have updated these verses to make them more reader-friendly.

Faith Building Bible Verses

“Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which has pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.” Psalm 35:27

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11

“Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, will men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you measure out it will be measured back to you again.” Luke 6:38

The blessing of the LORD, makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.” Proverbs 10:22

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32

“And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you will be a blessing” Genesis 12:2

“Saying, Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” Hebrews 6:14

“Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.” Jeremiah 32:41

“But my God will supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

“Commit your way to the LORD; trust also in him; and he will bring it to pass.” Psalm 37:5

You will not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.” 2Chronicles 20:17

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5,6

“Jesus said to him, If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes.” Mark 9:23

Blessed is the man that trusts in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he will be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreads out her roots by the river, and will not see when heat comes, but her leaf will be green; and will not be careful in the year of drought, neither cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7,8

George Matheson Blind Preacher

George Matheson was born in Glasgow, Scotland, on March 27, 1842.

The story has been told of this Glasgow-born clergyman who was jilted by his fiancée, when she realised that he was going blind.  And how, saddened and alone, he penned the immortal hymn:

O Love, that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul on Thee …

True … he wrote the hymn.  But that was in 1882 – and he was “wholly blind by his 18th year”. Matheson himself tells us that his famous hymn was written on 6 June, 1882 – “the day of my sister’s marriage” – and it may well be that the events of that day evoked sad memories of a romance that came to naught 22 years earlier. He went blind while studying for the ministry, and his sister had been the one who had taken care of him all those years until her own marriage.

Despite his blindness, George Matheson became a pulpit giant, even being summoned to Balmoral Castle to preach before Queen Victoria. Matheson had learned to memorise well and so he would commit sermons and entire passages of scripture to memory. Consequently his listeners were often unaware of his blindness.

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For 13 years he ministered to crowds of over 2000 at St Bernard’s Church in Edinburgh.  He was “one of the outstanding Presbyterian ministers of his day,” says one biographer. It is suggested that, had he not been blind, he would likely have led the Presbyterian movement of his day.

However another writer points out that Matheson’s book, Aids to the Study of German Theology (1875) tended toward Neo-Heglianism! Matheson gave up scholarly writing when one of his books, The Growth of The Spirit of Christianity, was heavily criticised for inaccuracies. This convinced him that his blindness kept him from that are of his interest.

However, in his pastoral ministry he shone with great effect.

He also wrote the moving hymn:
Make me a captive, Lord,
and then I shall be free.
Help me to render up my sword
And I shall conqueror be.

Matheson maintained a determination to serve the Lord despite his limitations. In the face of all obstacles he kept his eyes toward God’s promises, as expressed in his most famous hymn: “I trace the rainbow in the rain, and feel the promise is not vain”.

George Matheson died in Edinburgh on 28 August, 1906.

Find hundreds of succinct Church History posts at: http://chrisfieldblog.com/topics/ministry/church-history

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This post is based on notes by my late friend Donald Prout. I have updated these historical posts with information gleaned from other sources. I am indebted to Don for awakening in me an interest in Church History. Don’s notes can be found at: www.donaldprout.com

George Smith Translates Gilgamesh

George Smith was born on March 26, 1840, in Chelsea, England. He became a bank note engraver with an interest in archaeology.

Smith was an intelligent and talented young man who was held back by his working-class background. Education was not readily available to him, so he made a point of educating himself. He excelled as an engraver and, with a wife and young family, he spent his lunch hours in the British Museum, teaching himself cuneiform.
Smith’s proficiency with cuneiform soon surpassed the staff at the Museum and thus he came to the attention of Henry Rawlinson, the leading Assyrian scholar of the day. Rawlinson arranged for Smith to be made assistant to the Assyriology department, to work at translations of Babylonian tablets.

So it was in 1872 that he sat in a small room in the British Museum poring over the recently acquired tablets from Assyria.

These tablets were first unearthed near Mosul by Austen Henry Layard and his Iraqi assistant Hormuzd Rassam during an archeological expedition in 1840.

Among the tablets Smith deciphered the famous Epic of Gilgamesh, about an ancient Babylonian folk hero who travelled the world facing new and exciting adventures. This epic story is the oldest-known written work of literature in the world.

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As George Smith read this difficult cuneiform script he came across the story of Gilgamesh’s meeting with Uta-napishtim, who told him…

But there the epic of Gilgamesh ended. Alas!  The last piece of the puzzle was missing.  One tablet still lay buried in the mounds of greater Nineveh.  The “London Daily Telegraph” offered 1000 guineas to the person who would go and find the missing tablet!

George Smith went, and in Mesopotamia he attacked the pile of rubble left by Layard and Rassam. It was, as one writer says, like looking for a needle in a haystack!  (Gods, Graves and Scholars, by C. Ceram, page 274).  But he found it!

Not only did it complete Uta-napishtam’s story … it told of a flood … and a boat and animals … and of birds being sent forth when the boat rested on a mountain.

Here was the Babylonian version of Noah’s Ark.  There are some real differences from the Biblical account.  But it is obvious that both have a common origin.

As Christians we believe this Babylonian version was handed down by word of mouth, being distorted along the way;  whereas the Biblical account, vouched for by the Lord Jesus Himself (Matthew 24:37), is an inspired record of what really happened.

Smith made three visits to Mesopotamia, and specifically Assurbanipal’s ancient library at tell Kouyunjik (ancient Nineveh). On his third trip, with the British Museum Professor George Smith fell ill with dysentery and died at Aleppo at the age of 36 on August 19, 1876.

Find hundreds of succinct Church History posts at: http://chrisfieldblog.com/topics/ministry/church-history

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This post is based on notes by my late friend Donald Prout. I have updated these historical posts with information gleaned from other sources. I am indebted to Don for awakening in me an interest in Church History. Don’s notes can be found at: www.donaldprout.com

Karma Upgrade

What version of Karma are you running? I don’t mean on your computer, I mean in your daily life. Karma has been through a bunch of versions through the centuries and the all time best upgrade includes a fool-proof Karma Firewall!

If you haven’t reviewed your Karma recently, then you need to read this illuminating report.

Buddha and Karma

Contrary to popular notions, the concept of karma which Gautama Buddha presented back in the sixth century B.C. was primarily negative. That is to say, Buddha believed that karmic thought, word or deed deserved karmic revenge – a curse of suffering that pursues the person till he or she dies. Buddha’s original notion of karma is very close to what Moses presented in previous generations. When people do wrong they must suffer or are under a curse because of their actions and thoughts. A penalty is hanging over everyone’s head that we cannot run away from, no matter what we do.

Karma and Reincarnation

Buddha realised that karma could not be easily conquered and that its impact is deadly. Karma locks people into fear. It demands an eternal payment which is exacted when the person suffers in this life and in the after-life.

Buddha did not necessarily agree with the Hindu notion of reincarnation. Reincarnation should be seen as a curse which karma inflicts upon people, making them tread this world of suffering over and over again. What hope is there of ever resolving karma’s revenge?

Buddha told his followers that there was no way a person could ultimately become free from their karma, no matter how many lives they were forced to live and re-live. Reincarnation offered nothing to Buddha, but a hopeless perpetuation of the curse of karma.

Even if people could be reincarnated, to have another chance to live life and accumulate more karma, they would be locked into an endless cycle of repeated mistakes, suffering and reincarnations. True deliverance would have to come from an outside deliverer who would save mankind from karma.

A New Hope

It is known that Buddha predicted the coming of a Holy One who would deliver people from karma. This Holy One was to be recognized by wounds in his head and in his hands. Many of us believe we have already found this Holy One!

The Western Upgrade

Eastern mysticism has been dressed up and repackaged for today’s westerners. Popularised by various Hindu yogis, supported by such popular identities as the Beatles rock group and disseminated in a host of books about eastern topics, eastern mysticism has been packaged as a New Age movement.

In the New Age movement ideas from Hinduism and Buddhism have been merged with anything that carries an alternative spirituality to the faith of the Bible. In that repackaging process karma has been re-packaged as a new Western version.

Western devotees now speak of “good karma” and teach you how to increase your good karma. While it is possible that good deeds may be seen as good karma, Buddha never said that good karma can erase bad karma. Yet it is popular in commercialised western mysticism to offer people the hopeful notion of karma as a friend.

In that repackaging, the notion of reincarnation has also been interpreted as a friendly process, not a hopeless futility. Upward progress is believed in, as people conquer their bad karma, cultivate good karma and finally get to live “happily ever after”.

The Western upgrade of karma is fake. It is a seductive repackaging of the hopelessness and bondage of eastern religion, to seduce westerners away from the highly effective and valuable religious roots of their culture. Eastern religions have produced eastern living, which includes the caste system, poor economy, limited technology, religious masochism and so on.

Western culture owes little to eastern mysticism, while the east owes much of its modern advances to the Christian-based West.

The Karma Seduction

What is seductive about the western ‘upgrade’ of karma is that it denies what Buddha taught two and a half millennia ago. Buddha knew that karma was unconquerable and that the only hope was an external deliverer who would break the power of karma from our lives.

The western upgrade has dressed up karma in people-friendly garb. But if people think they can generate good karma and get rid of their own bad karma, they are deceived. They will become self-reliant and not look for the saviour which so many ancients prophesied about and waited for.

The karma seduction will doom people to ultimate judgement for their wrong doing. It will rob them of the saviour they need.

Westerners, once wonderfully blessed by knowledge of Jesus Christ as saviour, are being led away from the real help they need, to foolish confidence in their own ability to save themselves.

If you have had a Western Upgrade on your karma then you have been infected with a deadly virus which will eat the heart out of you and leave you ready for the eternal scrap-heap.

The Karma Firewall

What you need is not a karma upgrade, but the Karma Firewall. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses you from all sin (1John 1:7). When you confess your wrongs to God He will not only forgive you but cleanse you from the effects of that sin (1John 1:9).

The blood of Jesus Christ is the firewall that blocks all effects of karma. It roots out the old infections, no matter how long they have been in your system. It also quickly neutralises all new infections.

That means you are able to go straight to the ultimate level. You don’t need reincarnation. You don’t need to earn your way out of your mess. You don’t go back to square one and have a clean slate. You get upgraded to a Son of God! You enter into relationship with the creator of the universe, Almighty God.

Jesus Christ has suffered for all our karma, in any and all of its forms.

My Silly Old Poem

Years ago I wrote a little ditty to celebrate the finished work of Christ in delivering us from karma and the need for reincarnation.

“Jesus Christ has freed me from my karma, and I’ve been born again.
Jesus Christ has done away with karma, and I’m complete in Him.
I’ve been born again; Didn’t need a reincarnation.
I’ve been born again, And it’s called salvation!”

Get your upgrade today!

More Information

For more information on Buddhism and the teachings of Buddha I recommend the excellent book by Steve Cioccolanti, called “From Buddha To Jesus: And Insider’s View of Buddhism & Christianity”. You can find out more by visiting: http://www.buddhabook.org