Encapsulated Truth.

We are always being told that the simplest way to deal with an inadequate diet is to take a ‘vitamin supplement’ to make up for what we are missing out on by our skipping meals and  through our substituting ‘junk food’ for those more nutritious.vit amins.jpeg

Science fiction tells us that one day all our dietary requirements will come in a condensed and probably rather tasteless form.

The increased pace of our lives demands things to be quick, easy and ready to hand.

Why should we be wasting time cooking and preparing meals when it is far easier to buy something ready prepared and microwaveable, even if not quite as healthy and tastes of cardboard?

It has often been the case that expedients and substitutes have found their way into people’s diets.

The American woodsman who could not always carry supplies and find game, survived on dried meat called ‘jerky’. The Arctic explorer made do with ‘Pemmican’ and the seaman ‘salt pork’ and biscuits, often accompanied by weevils.pemmican

These expedients were necessary at times but could never make up for a balanced and sufficient diet.

In the area of communicating information and points of view, opinions and truths are often conveyed by the passing on of quotes from learned and influential people.

These ‘quotes’ often serve to  illustrate points we may feel they communicate in a superior or more condensed than we ourselves are able to do.

As you see from this blog, I avail myself of quoted sources which in my view ‘encapsulate’ truths I think are important and worthy to be more widely known.

Some people have a great gift for compressing useful and memorable truths into a terse and ‘pungent’ i.e. affecting ways.

These ‘words of wisdom’ and ‘quips’ and ‘quotes’ may supplement our intellectual diet and may be convenient forms to carry  and help preserve things into our memory, but will not wholly replace our own reading, study and contemplation.

Our Lord Jesus Christ was a master at conveying teaching to the masses in the ‘condensed’ forms of Parables and ‘sayings’. These teachings were easily remembered and were heard gladly by the people.

Some were content to marvel at Christ’s wisdom and entertainment value without looking more deeply and  as a consequence received no further benefit, others sought deeply and  found more substantial ‘food’ and reaped eternal benefits.

Taken in isolation, the ‘sayings of Jesus’ can act as a ‘pick me up’ in a given situation and they are valuable for their coming in a more portable and readily memorable form but they must be accompanied by continued feeding and meditation and thorough digestion of what God has to say to us in His Word as well as reading those who have left sound and useful works for us to study.


Due to the decline of ‘Corner stores’ or as we call them here ‘shops’, there are many of them that are now merely people’s homes.old store

They  may still have the overhead ‘verandahs’ and the large display windows but now they are closed and have no access and interaction with the public.

It may be said that many ‘Christians’ are  much like these disused businesses that inasmuch as their only concern is with their own salvation and personal welfare and have no further concerns.

They may make a token effort in supporting the work of missions and some prayer but they have long given up very much in the way of witness and evangelism as  being a ‘lost cause’ in the current atheistic climate.

It is easy to be discouraged as to the state of affairs in Christianity and its progress and witness in the World. We may have all come to the point that we have thrown up our hands and yielded to despair.

We have been infected with the almost universal sense of embarrassment with regards to the gospel .It does seem that many of those who make the most noise in Christianity, proclaim very little of the Scriptural message of Salvation and instead preach a ‘therapeutic’ gospel’ which most find less offensive.

While we may be assured that the cause of Christ will triumph in the end we are still reminded by Christ’s parable of the talents, that we have been each given spiritual ‘capital’ to invest and a heavenly reward awaiting us. Therefore we, each one of us are called by the Saviour to be ‘open for business when it comes to our life and witness for Him in the World.


To me the most poignant thing I have come across in my ‘cemetery’ researches is the  finding of a grave in one of the ‘infant’ sections where a couple  lost twins.

Three rows down I found that three years later this same couple, lost a baby girl.

I can only imagine how these parents suffered and wonder how they survived?

The Christian life is not not one that is free or immune to tragedy and sadness and sometimes we come close to being crushed by them.

But for the Christian faith and the power of Christ’s resurrection, death would remain a hopeless void.

We can only pity those who have no ‘Rock’ to cling to and seek to  lift up Christ as the truest support and stay for people who would otherwise be without hope.




Encapsulated Truth.

Knowledge without Wisdom!


The Bible tells us that in the ‘last days’ knowledge will increase and so it has proved, yet I believe it cannot be truly said that ‘man’s’ wisdom has grown in proportion to his scientific knowledge.

We see the modern push for the young to pursue scientific and technological careers in the hope they will improve themselves and the prospects for the World’s future.face

I would never downplay education but it seems to be case that advanced knowledge can often dwell in the same soul with low morality and depravity and selfishness.

The desire for Wisdom as well as knowledge among men is in itself admirable but for the Christian it is the wisdom ‘from on high’ that is to be sought above all else.

To know the Lord Jesus Christ is the gateway to all true wisdom and is the truest and best path to that knowledge which satisfies our yearnings and aspirations.

Kenneth Graham’s Toad may have sung boastinglyMr-Toad-s-image-from-the-book-mr-toad-38372591-621-768.jpg

“The wise men up at Oxford know all that is to be know’d, but none of them know half as much as intelligent Mr. Toad”.


But all the knowledge and worldly wisdom we might obtain is but a cipher unless Christ is the figure we place before it, (paraphrasing George Swinnock ,Puritan)

A ‘nasal twang’!

J.K. Popham, as I recall, lamented in his day, the fact that the most of the Christianity people heard and sought out invariably came with a ‘nasal twang’ or in plain speech from America and Americans.uncle sam.jpeg

This fascination for American Christianity in other parts of the World has continued to this day.

There is no doubt that the ‘United States’ has long been regarded as a ‘go ahead’ place and a driving force in the modern world.

Even with the rise of China, America still sets the tone and trend for much of the planet.

From its media most of all. We feel its influence on what we wear what we listen to and watch and what is socially and morally acceptable or not.

The American impact on ‘Christianity’ has been phenomenal to such an extent that most if not all of the world’s Christians look to it in expectation for guidance and example.

That the United States has had a positive impact on Christianity is demonstrable, that it has had some negative influence and effect it is also evident.

The only point I would make is that our admiration for what America represents and achieves should not lead us into blind and unthinking emulation.

The Christian Church in the U.S. as it appears in the ‘media’ seems to the rest of us, successful and vibrant.

So in many places it may be.

Sadly, much of what we have seen has savoured more often than not of ‘hype’ and ‘razz a matazz’.

What is truest and best in Christianity is not always what we see conveyed to us on the ‘Christian’ media.

We may be impressed by the numbers attending and the phenomenon displayed, but is the gospel being preached, is the Christianity of the people attending real and constant and of a ‘Biblical’ type?Lakewood-Church.jpg

Napoleon said that ‘God is on the side of the big battalions’.

America may have the ‘big battalions’ in a seemingly Christian sense but it is the reality of the Christianity professed and the reality that the name of Christ is being glorified which counts now and in eternity.

We may well be thankful for the much good ‘American’ Christianity does, while being wary of the false teaching and unreal expectations that originates from some sections of it.

bishop Jewel

Knowledge without Wisdom!

Trouble and Strife!

Many refer to the Christian Church in its earthly form as the ‘Church militant’.

The Church sadly, has often been less engaged in conflict with its greatest enemies of ‘sin, the flesh and the devil’ but more often with different factions and shades of opinion within its self.

It not only has to do with open enemies but also those who are, when measured by Scripture found to be ‘false teachers’. Still further the Church must deal with those who err from aspects of the truth without departing from the faith.

This is leading to a great deal of online discussion, even more so with the passing of Dr. Billy Graham.

Some would be tempted to ignore the controversies of the times and others would sail in ‘sword waving’.

To me it seems that the great need of the times is for us all to seek a well balanced and proportioned Christianity.

It is unlikely that the majority of Christians will harmonize on many things pertaining to theology and practice. So whatever our persuasion or perspective it behooves us all to endeavour to avoid the pitfalls on the one side while keeping clear of the quagmire on the other.

At the very least this involves us in coming to an understanding of Scripture as a whole and not grasping at one teaching of Scripture at the expense of another.

Also it is necessary to place no more weight and emphasis on a portion of Scripture than it can reasonably bear.

It is also dangerous to take many portions of Scripture out of their context and historical setting.

We have seen in the past the tendency to spiritualize scriptures that were meant to be taken literally and contra wise take literally scriptures that were meant to be taken spiritually. How much discernment is required to decide which is which?

So many it seems have their own axe to grind and therefore see the entire of the Word of God in a certain light and live their Christianity accordingly.

Ultimately it is an over confidence in our own wisdom and abilities that prevents us from realizing our own utter inability and instead seeking wisdom from on high to help us to come to a true and proper understanding of what God says to us in His Word and live our Christian lives accordingly.

Our crying need is for true Christ-like living balanced with true Scriptural knowledge tempered by true Christian humility and love.

The ‘Westland Whirlwind’


was a British twin engine fighter built during World War Two.

The prolonged development problems with its Rolls Royce ‘Peregrine’ engines and its tendency for engine power to fade at altitude caused it to be limited to low altitude ground attacks, in this it was very effective.

Likewise, many Christians find it difficult to aspire to the Spiritual heights that others may reach. Yet rather than wait idly for some exalted revelation or experience they must serve Christ to the best of their ability in the more pedestrian and mundane areas of Christian service.

As Christ teaches us in the Parable it is the one who contents Him or herself with the humblest place that receives the call to “Come up higher‘!


jcryle on luke12

The Marble Man!

Someone described Robert E. Lee as the “Marble man” because he was such a fine and noble man that it was hard to find fault with him, despite being blamed by many ‘Northerners’ for lengthening the war even when it was clearly lost by the South.r lee

There are very few if any who can go throughout the entire lives without truly or falsely having criticism laid against them.

Whether it is the fact of mud always sticking or genuine criticism of obvious error, the Christian must be in constant vigilance to be fair and just as well as loving and compassionate in all their judgments and assessments of people and ideas.

We can set people so high in our esteem that we are purblind to their failings and faults while with others we are always on the lookout for any failing and fall.

Naturally we would like to appear as those who are forever seeing the best in people but the truth is we are more prone to look for the worst.

We have in this country something called ‘the tall poppy’ syndrome. It is where we build some one up to the skies and then later  take much pleasure in tearing them down again.

Such a spirit and attitude is very far from a Christian one.

Our Lord Jesus Christ knew, even while on earth what was in men’s hearts, finally and ultimately He alone can judge the depth and reality of our faith and obedience.

We would do far better if we left the Final Judgment to Him alone.



To some of you we say, Go forward rather than pray. Think not that we would, as these words might imply, cast discredit on prayer. But, beloved our hearts are deceitful, and although we should at every moment have an upward eye and a thirsting heart for the guidance and the presence of the living God, still there are times and circumstances when it becomes almost a sin to pray. Sometimes it is unbelief that makes us pray, or rather seem to pray, else what does that word mean, ”Why criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel that they go forward.'”(Ex 14:15) — William C. Burns


Trouble and Strife!

Known of God.

The ‘Ford’ branch of my family were ‘tallow chandlers’ in Redruth Cornwall selling candles to the Tin mines.A5 Wheal Peevor group.jpg

The earliest member of the family I know about came from somewhere in England and purchased a partnership in the candle making firm (it became Magor and Ford) in Cornwall and married a Cornish girl.

My great, great, great grandfather lost most of his money through the business and immigrated to Australia on board the ship ‘Red jacket’ in 1858.DT2036

majorca churchThey appeared on the goldfields at Moonambel, Victoria and then moved across to another gold-strike at “Majorca” this was where my great, great, grandmother married my great, great, grandfather in 1868.


My forebear carried on a ‘cartage’ business and is described as a dealer in ‘tea’ in Cemetery records.

There is no marker in the area where my great, great grandparents are buried so I can only approximate within a short distance where they are, which I find rather sad.

We say of those who died in war that have no known grave that their whereabouts is known only unto God.

Whatever happens to us, let us seek to not only to be known of God but to know God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Yet there is room!

While “Strait is gate and narrow the way that leads to life.” The truth remains that the “Father’s house has many mansions.”images bl

There is no shortage of room in the Father’s house.

The door despite its narrowness is not barred to anyone who is willing to enter.

It is our unwillingness to enter that is the fundamental problem.

Fussy Eaters!

One of my favourite comedy shows has the hero on an economy drive desperately trying to save money.

By sheer misfortune, the only meal he can afford to purchase at a ‘cafeteria’ is one that he detests and will not eat.imageshancock.jpeg

To my mind if I were in his position, I would force myself to eat it rather than go hungry.

It is difficult to get small children to eat vegetables no matter how much we say that they are good for them.

Many only develop an appetite for them much later in life and regret they did not eat more of them earlier.

What makes all this healthy eating harder is the fact that most of us love sweet things and deserts.

It is often the promise of a lovely desert that has been used to encourage our eating of healthier but less tasty foods first.

For some of us there are many things in the Bible that are not easy to swallow and do not appeal to our taste buds. Yet the Scriptures as God’s Word is the wholesome meal set before us.

We may need the promise of the spiritual equivalent of desert to bring us to partake of it, at least at first, but as we grow, we find that our palettes become accustomed to it and it becomes ‘sweet to our mouths’.


Known of God.

The one thing Needful!


According to Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes’s “ignorance was as remarkable as his knowledge”.

The ‘fictional’ detective only sought and retained knowledge that was necessary to his crime detection and mystery solving: anything else was discarded and forgotten as a matter of course

To Holmes, anything perceived as irrelevant was superfluous and useless.

Watson discovered to his astonishment that his friend was unaware that the earth circled around the Sun and that he knew next to nothing about literature, politics and philosophy.

How could someone so brilliant be ignorant of things that were common knowledge to all?

The Apostle Paul exercised like disciplined when he came among the Corinthians; “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” 1Cor: 2-2

At this time and in this place, Paul preached what the Corinthians needed most to hear, the simple and unadorned gospel of Jesus Christ.

There are many things that Christian Church has to say to the sinful World around us, but the Message of the Cross of Christ is what is most desperately needed and should be our primary and all consuming theme.

Where’s a Genius when you need one?

A theme that is often recurs in many dramas on television, is that of people who are geniuses and have far above average intelligence and skill.Scorpion

These people sometimes have difficulty interacting with ordinary and less intelligent people because they think in ways and at such an advanced level that others cannot comprehend them.

As a result these prodigies are often societal misfits and develop humorous quirks and display bizarre habits and behaviours.

The multiplication of such programs may be symptomatic of the loss of hope and disillusionment with our current crop of thinkers and leaders.

I say this is because it appears that many of the problems we face now and in the future are quite beyond most of us to comprehend much less solve.

We are confronted in many areas by a seeming impasse before us that our current ways of thinking cannot get around and overcome.

We face problems that our present ways of thinking and dealing with are totally inadequate to handle.

Problems such as the breakdown of Society and the family institution compounded by the increase in poverty, unrest, violence, crime and the drug culture, perplex us all and drive us to despair.

Things like pollution and the fast depletion of resources and many other problems appear to most of us insoluble and rob us of any hope for the future of mankind.

We perhaps hope that ‘somewhere out there’, there are geniuses and prodigies who will address and solve these problems for the rest of us and guide us into a better future.

We hope that they will solve the mathematical problems that give the rest of us ‘brain-freeze’ or perform the scientific experiments that will lead to the saving of the world from the consequences of its own actions.

For all I know, there may be such people out there.

The problem is that human minds, no matter how well developed are finite.

The wisest and cleverest among us soon discover that they have limitations and that there are some problems that can never be solved by our unaided human intelligence.

You cannot cure all the ills of the world with a calculator or computer and some answers cannot be found through a micro or telescope.

“For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.” 1 Cor 1:21

The unaided genius and wisdom of the World was completely inadequate when it came to understanding God and the problem of human sin.

Thanks be to God, He condescended to come into this World and reveal to us the wondrous gospel of Christ in such as way that even the most simple could understand and come to believe by faith in His Name.

God’s wisdom and knowledge are far above any human genius and save to the ‘uttermost’ those who trust in Him.

Asked of God!

Samuel was the last judge of Israel and stood as bridge between two eras in Israel’s history.

He may not spring immediately to mind when we think of the Old Testament heroes of the faith.

There are others that far more readily spring to mind such as Moses, David or Elijah.

True we all learned  about him in Sunday school (of course we have moved on from calling it that now); we were taught how Samuel was born as a result of  the fervent prayer of his mother and  that he was dedicated to the Lord from infancy.

hannah and eli

We also remember the story of how God called to the young boy and despite an initial misunderstanding with Eli the priest, was called to serve the Lord and the children of Israel as judge and prophet.call of samuel

Lest we lose interest in him, we also find that he plays a central role in setting up of kingship, firstly in the ill fated choice of Saul and later the far more enduring choice and anointing of David and his line which culminated in the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

anointing of David


There was that  somewhat ‘spooky’ business with the Witch of Endor and the accompanying ghost story (which many scholars tie themselves into knots over)  but then we  quickly move on to the life of David and all those beautiful Psalms he wrote.

Who are we to say that Samuel is a ‘lesser light’ or less worthy of study compared to some others we could mention?

As an example of early piety Samuel is second to none.

As an example of faithfulness and obedience to God and love for his people he is also worthy of admiration and imitation.

Just because his own sons failed to follow his example does not excuse us from humbly seeking a similar faithfulness and love to God, His cause and people.

In a dire time in the history of the children of Israel, Samuel was the man of God’s choosing to fulfill His purpose and reveal His will.

The prophet Samuel rightly takes his place in the glorious roll of the heroes of the Faith.

If only there were more among us who like him would cry out “Speak Lord Thy servant heareth.” 1 Samuel 3:10



The one thing Needful!

The Sunny side of the Brae!

I was under the misconception that a ‘brae’ was the ‘Scots’ word for ‘brook or stream’ rather it refers to the brow of a hill, though it can refer to ‘the high ground adjoining a river bank’.


“God hath called you to Christ’s side,” wrote the saintly Rutherford, “and the wind is now in Christ’s face in this land; and seeing ye are with Him, ye cannot expect the lee-side or the sunny side of the brae.” (Quoted by A.W. Tozer)

This is Rutherford’s picturesque way of saying that the follower of Christ cannot expect to go to Heaven on ‘the flowery beds of ease’.

Christ endured hardship and suffering during his earthly ministry and the faithful Christian must expect some of the same and “endure hardship as a good soldier of Christ” 2 Timothy 2:3.

Our present age is one that  abounds in luxuries and cries out for pleasure and ease. Most people would rather win money than earn it and be served rather than serve.

This ‘spirit’ has crept into the Church when we ‘out for what we can get’ rather than seeking for the opportunity to give.

We indeed share in the day to day toil and strife that is common to mankind and like them we crave comfort, ease and pleasure.

Yet the believer is also a worker in the cause of Christ and His soldier in the battle against sin, Satan and the godless world.

For Christians to expect an easy time of it in the world and to forever  walk a ‘primrose path’ all the time is self delusion.

The pleasures of this world, while enjoyable at the time, are transitory and only reach to the fleshly part of our beings; they seldom deliver all their promised satisfaction and over indulgence in them rob them of any real benefit.

God indeed sweetens and blesses the ‘stony’ road the Christian walks but this is to help speed us on our way not divert us into idleness.

Therefore ‘Let us go on’, ‘come wind come weather’.

‘Gang aft a-gley’

From reading old books such as ‘the letters of Samuel Rutherford’ over the years, I have become familiar with many words from the old Scottish dialect as well as sayings in use in Scotland from the sixteen hundreds into the 19 century.

Rather than always referring to the ‘glossary’ of Scottish words at the end of the book,  in the past I often lazily attributed to them a meaning that I felt they carried in the context of the passage or simply moved on to the following words that were more understandable in meaning.

It was only when I referred to the  glossary or the index that I came to understand  the writers actual meaning and to what he was referring.

Yet even after this, when these words ‘cropped up’ in a sentence they stood in the way like an old fashioned ‘Style’ was used to climb over a fence, not so much an obstacle but a reason for more thought , concentration and effort.style

Does this sort of thing occurs when we read the Bible or Christian books?

Does it occur when we hear the preaching of the Word?

We assume a working knowledge of Christianity and yet because of our failure to grow in understanding and seek ‘wisdom from high’ we labour under misconceptions and fall short of an accurate and complete grasp of God’s truth.

We come to a passage or word in the Scriptures and by failing to study its meaning and not looking at their historical context or by failing to compare Scripture with Scripture we remain none the wiser and without a genuine understanding of God’s message for us.

None of us perhaps will be completely free from misconceptions and mistakes in spiritual matters or the teaching of the Scripture but the more we study the word of God and the more we seek to Him for wisdom and understanding  the less likely we are to fall into doctrinal error or stray from the path of holy and godly living.

“The gate of heaven is the sunny side of the brae, and the very garden of the world.” – Samuel Rutherford

Samuel Rutherford has been long regarded as one of the most saintly men who lived in seventeenth century Scotland and his letters have been highly esteemed, even by those who disagreed with him in other areas.

Some in later times have accused Rutherford of being excessive in his language and lacking in propriety when speaking of the beauty of Christ and His love.
To some in who lived in later ‘ Victorian’ times such overflowing devotion was unseemly and indelicate.

In our day we are so much affected by the World’s ideas of romantic love. Also we are being inundated in the Church with a sickly sentimental idea of Christ.

Few today have plunged themselves into the beauties of Christ by the searching and feeding on the Word or communing with Him through prayer to the extent that the great Believers of the past did.

The result being we have substituted in our devotion for God the same sort of worldly emotion and carnal love we are swamped with in our daily lives.

It is only when we make God, Father Son and Holy Spirit the centre and soul of our existence that we will be enabled to  truly soar in spirit to the heavenlies even now and will when we come to the end, indeed ‘ change our place but not our company’.







The Sunny side of the Brae!

It is all ‘Greek’ to me!


If I were able to choose an ability to be gifted with it would be a gift for languages.

It would be wonderful to be able to pick up a previously unknown language simply by hearing a few words of it spoken.

Imagine being able to see a written word and be able to give the English equivalent with a minimum of study.

Sadly this ability is given to very few, for the most it takes many years of hard study.

My efforts to translate Latin phrases have fallen down because while a dictionary may give me the meaning of the word, unless can understand the declension i.e. grammatical variation of form, you cannot completely understand the writer’s meaning.indexlatin.jpeg

Additionally, you need a greater understanding of grammar than I currently possess.

Recently it has been made clear to me that the Greek of the New Testament has in its words greater shades of meaning and richness than can be adequately conveyed in English translations.

To give you an idea of this I would suggest you peruse a copy of the ‘Amplified ‘Bible.


It does make for rather cumbrous reading but does reveal the depth of thought of the New Testament writers under the Spirit’s guidance.

One teacher’s educational course for biblical ‘Greek’ was called appropriately ‘Greek’ for the rest of us’.greek alph

While I would not expect us all to try for a working knowledge of the languages of Scripture it is still imperative that we grow and get deeper in our understanding of the Word.

A Basic knowledge of the imperatives of Christianity is fine at the outset of the Christian life but can hardly sustain the growth necessary to the believer.

True, we cannot content ourselves with a mere ‘academic’ knowledge of the Word.

It must be applied daily to our experience and thinking in dependence of the one who ‘breathed’ it to the writers of Scripture in the first place.

The modern trend of relegating and trivializing Scripture makes our efforts to grasp its truths all the more imperative.


The best that modern medical science and ‘New Age’ philosophy can offer is ‘Euthanasia’, a (supposedly) ‘good’ death. Only God in Christ can give ‘Athanasia’, eternal life.

A ‘rust bucket’


An author writing about the last days of service of Australia’s last Aircraft Carrier; the H.M.A.S. Melbourne, states that the crew no longer engaged in ‘scraping’ the ships paintwork, to remove the rust underneath. Apparently finding, it had developed to such a stage that it was only the rust that held sections of the ship together.

He writes that the ‘gangways’ were so rusty that members of the crew fell through them.

He adds that this state of affairs was understandable because this warship was only built to last for the duration of the emergency of the Second World War.

As it was, it the ‘Melbourne’ served the Royal Australian Navy for over thirty years.

Historically, there have always been those who regard the Bible in much the same way as this grand old ship.

They think the Scriptures are ‘past their used by date’ and of no more than historical or sentimental interest.

These people are forever finding ‘rust’ where it is not there and imaginary ‘barnacles’ which they would gladly remove. If they could but throw overboard those things in the Scriptures they see as superfluous, obsolete and offensive they would be well pleased.

Yet in the end they discover that they only sink themselves while the Bible keeps afloat all those who trust in God and remain aboard it.

An author writing about the last days of service of Australia’s last Aircraft Carrier; the H.M.A.S. Melbourne, states that the crew no longer engaged in ‘scraping’ the ships paintwork, to remove the rust underneath. Apparently finding, it had developed to such a stage that it was only the rust that held sections of the ship together.

He writes that the ‘gangways’ were so rusty that members of the crew fell through them.

He adds that this state of affairs was understandable because this warship was only built to last for the duration of the emergency of the Second World War.

As it was, it the ‘Melbourne’ served the Royal Australian Navy for over thirty years.

Historically, there have always been those who regard the Bible in much the same way as this grand old ship.

They think the Scriptures are ‘past their used by date’ and of no more than historical or sentimental interest.

These people are forever finding ‘rust’ where it is not there and imaginary ‘barnacles’ which they would gladly remove. If they could but throw overboard those things in the Scriptures they see as superfluous, obsolete and offensive they would be well pleased.

Yet in the end they discover that they only sink themselves while the Bible keeps afloat all those who trust in God and remain aboard it.


It is all ‘Greek’ to me!