Thursday, March 01, 2007

Happy St David's Day

March 1st is the National Day of Wales. Here is D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who died on St. David's Day in 1981, extolling the vibrant virtues of Welsh Calvinistic Methodism:
My argument is, that cold, sad, mournful, depressing Calvinism is not Calvinism at all. It is caricature; something has gone wrong somewhere. It is mere intellectualism and philosophy. Calvinism leads to feeling, to passion, to warmth, to praise, to thanksgiving. Look at Paul, the greatest of them all. We should not talk about 'Calvinism'; it is Paul's teaching. He tells us that he wept. He preached with tears. Do you? When did we last weep over these matters? When did we last shed tears? When we have shown the feeling and passion he shows? Paul could not control himself, he got carried away. Look at the mighty climaxes; look at the way in which he rises to the heavens and is 'lost in wonder, love, and praise'. Of course, the pedantic scholars criticize him for his anacolutha. He starts a sentence and never finishes it. He starts saying a thing and then gets carried off, and forgets to come back to it. Thank God! It is the truth which he saw that led to these grand climaxes of thought of his; and it is bound to do so. If we understand the things we claim to believe we are bound to end in the same way. 'Who shall separate us from the love of God?' And the answer is, 'I am persuaded' - and in the language of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodists it is much better and stronger - 'I am certain'. It is sure , it is certain, 'that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord'. Or listen to him again at the end of Romans 11, 'O the depth of the riches of both the wisdom and knowledge of God.' How often have you had this 'O'! - this feeling, this passion. You are moved to the depths of your being and you are filled with joy, wonder, and amazement. 'O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgements, and his ways past finding out!' and so on. Or take the same thing at the end of Ephesians 3. These are men dominated by a sense of the glory of God, and are concerned about His praise!
In other words, I am arguing that the first Christians were the most typical Calvinistic Methodists of all! I am describing them to you. Not only the great apostles - Paul and others - but the people, the ordinary people - joy and rejoicing, praising God and thanking Him always 'from house to house' as they ate their bread together. Peter can say of them: 'Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.' That is 1st-century Christianity! It is also the very essence of Calvinistic Methodism. It leads to praise and thanksgiving and rejoicing.
From The Puritans: Their Origins and Successors, D. M. Lloyd-Jones, p. 212-213, 1987, Banner of Truth Trust

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