THE following Synod Committees will meet in Inverness Free Presbyterian Church
as follows, God willing:
Tuesday, 23 March
11.00 am – 1.00 pm Foreign Missions Committee
2.00 pm – 3.30 pm Welfare of Youth Committee
2.00 pm – 5.00 pm Finance Committee
5.00 pm – 6.00 pm Sabbath Observance Committee
5.00 pm – 6.00 pm Outreach Committee
6.30 pm – 8.00 pm Publications Committee
7.00 pm – 8.30 pm Dominions and Overseas Committee
8.00 pm – 9.30 pm Bookroom Committee
Wednesday, 24th March
9.00 am – 11.00 am Religion and Morals Committee
11.00 am – 11.30 am Training of the Ministry Committee
11.30 am – 1.00pm Church Interests Committee
MEETINGS OF PRESBYTERY (D.V.)
NORTHERN: At Dingwall on Tuesday, 23rd February, at 2.00 pm.
WESTERN: At Laide on Tuesday, 9th February, at 6.00 pm.
SKYE: At Portree on Tuesday, 2nd February, at 11.00 am.
OUTER ISLES: At Stornoway on Tuesday, 2nd March, at 1.00 pm.
SOUTHERN: At Glasgow on Tuesday, 2nd March, at 3 pm.
AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND: At Auckland on Friday, 29th January, at 2.30 pm.
ZIMBABWE: At Bulawayo on Tuesday, 9th March 1999, at 11.00 am.
FIFTY YEARS IN THE MINISTRY
ON the evening of Wednesday, 23 December, 1998, after the prayer meeting, the Congregation of St. Jude’s, Glasgow, gathered to acknowledge the goodness of the Lord in sparing their pastor, the Rev. Donald Maclean, to see the completion of fifty years in the ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland.
It was on Wednesday, 22 December, 1948, that Mr Maclean was ordained and inducted to the charge of the Portree congregation in the Isle of Skye. There he remained until he was directed, we are persuaded, by Divine guidance to accept a call to the pastorate of the St. Jude’s congregation, to which he was inducted on the 14th of June, 1960.
Down through the years Mr Maclean’s ministry has been much appreciated by the Lord’s people not only in his own congregations but throughout the church and has, we believe, been blessed by the Holy Spirit in delivering many out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son.
In the gracious providence of the Most High, the Rev. Donald Maclean has been pastor of St. Jude’s for more than 38 years, a longer period than that of any of his predecessors. The first minister of the congregation, the Rev. Neil Cameron was ordained and inducted in 1896 and passed to his everlasting reward in 1932, having been pastor for 36 years. His successors, the Rev. Roderick Mackenzie and the Rev. Donald J Matheson, pastored the congregation for the lesser periods of about 12 and 14 years respectively.
While the congregation of St. Jude’s, to which he has ministered for more than 38 years, owe Mr Maclean, under God, a debt of gratitude for his faithful declaration of all the counsel of God, it is not be forgotten that he has also served the Free Presbyterian Church as Synod Clerk, Tutor in Systematic Theology, and Church Deputy to Africa and the Dominions, as well as Convener of several Synod Committees.
On behalf of a grateful congregation, Mr Maclean was presented with a cheque as a token of their esteem and affection, in the hope and with the prayer that the One who called him into the ministry will enable him to continue to declare to us as a congregation the unsearchable riches of Christ. To mark the occasion and in recognition of the esteem and affection which she has effortlessly won in the hearts of the people of the congregation, Mrs Maclean was presented with a leather handbag.
The memorable and happy occasion was brought to a close with praise and prayer.
VISIT TO CHESLEY AND TEXAS
IT is intended that the Rev. Keith Watkins will visit Texas to preach there on Sabbath, 14th February, God willing, and that he will be in the Chesley Congregation, Ontario, for two Sabbaths, 21st and 28th February.
The Apostle Peter said to those to whom he wrote that “the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow” were things reported unto them ” by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. . .” 1 Peter 1:11,12. We need to plead constantly at the Throne of Grace for such an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, without which the preaching of the gospel will not be blessed to those under it.
Rev. D. A. Ross, Convener, Dominions and Overseas Committee
CHURCH DEPUTY’S VISIT TO NORTH AMERICA
ON Thursday, 29 October, I was met at Toronto Airport by Mr. David Schuit and driven to Chesley in Ontario where I spent five Sabbaths. Great hospitality and kindness was shown by the families of Chesley congregation, all of whom were visited during my stay.
This congregation has had a strong attachment to the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland going back over many years. Godly persons in Ontario expressed their whole-hearted support for the stand made in 1893 in Scotland. Some, such as Rev. John Ross of Brucefield, who died in 1887, had made a similar stand in Canada. His faithful elder was George Forrest, whose letters appear in the early issues of The Free Presbyterian Magazine. He displayed a great love for the truth and for the Free Presbyterian brethren in Scotland, and it was his desire and prayer, in his old age, that this Church be established in North America. Demands on the ministers at home in the early part of this century were heavy, and the great, rolling, Atlantic Ocean stood between the brethren in the two continents. It must therefore have been with great joy that old George Forrest saw the arrival of the Church’s first deputy, Rev. Neil Cameron, in 1902 and the subsequent arrival of Rev. Walter Scott as the first minister of Chesley in 1912. The early deputies often spent a much longer period in North America than those in recent times, although they were no less busy. Rev. Neil MacIntyre turned down a request for him to go as deputy, preferring to remain in his own congregation at home. This refusal was to his cost, as being laid aside by sickness, he was unable to preach for the eighteen weeks that he would have been overseas. Needless to say a second invitation to go as deputy to North America was readily accepted!
Bidding farewell to the friends in Chesley on Monday, 30 November, Mr. Gerrit Schuit and I proceeded to Texas, where we have likewise been shown every courtesy in the homes of the people. About thirty persons regularly meet together for public worship under the auspices of the Free Presbyterian Church on weekday and Sabbath. Many trips to Scotland and Chesley have been made by persons in this group, at no small expense to themselves, in order to keep up spiritual fellowship not available nearer at hand. The services are held in Richmond, a place centrally situated between the towns where the people live. These people are exercised in spiritual things, feeding their souls on the writings of the Puritans, Owen, Edwards, the Erskines, Boston and such like authors. The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland has been the means, under God’s hand, of bringing these families together. Three of their number are members in full communion with our church. Last Sabbath, 13 December, nine of their children were baptized in Richmond.
Due to the prevailing state of the churches in America, some of them have not had the benefit of public ordinances for many years, and they much appreciate the efforts of the Dominions and Overseas Committee, and the deputies, together with other members and friends throughout the church, who have helped them hitherto. The Kirk Session and congregation at Chesley have given much valuable encouragement and assistance, and do visit the Texas and other families in the USA. The work in America is encouraging and the Lord’s leading is evident. Every endeavour therefore should be made to nurture and sustain this work, and to build on what has been already been accomplished, that nothing be lost. It would be of great advantage to station a deputy in Texas for an extended period.
There are others in the USA. who are of like mind in spiritual things. Mr. Hembd from Indiana, who is also a member in full communion with us, drove 500 miles to Chesley to be there for a Sabbath during my visit, whilst Mr. Jacob Schuit drove a similar distance from Mississippi to join with us in Texas. Profitable spiritual discussion was held on the telephone with members of the Townsend family of Illinois.
Let the world, the Devil, and the flesh do and say what they will, it is to be hoped that we will be enabled to follow the injunction of the preacher: “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand” (Eccl. 11:6).
(Rev.) John L. Goldby
FREE PRESBYTERIAN PUBLICATIONS
Present Publications One Day in Seven is a most instructive four-page leaflet about Sabbath observance. It deals with the continuing obligation to observe the Sabbath in New Testament times and that it is now, following the resurrection of Christ, to be observed on the first day of the week instead of the seventh. The leaflet also indicates briefly the principles on which observing the Sabbath is to be based, and the blessing that follows obedience in this way to the will of God. One Day in Seven is available fom the Free Presbyterian Bookroom at 20p per copy, but with discounts on quantities.
We also draw attention to The Larger Catechism of the Westminster Assembly, published last year. It is a handy 48-page booklet at