Rev. William MacLean*
“TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” (Daniel 5:27).
IN this chapter we have an account of the great feast that Belshazzar, King of Babylon, made to “a thousand of his lords” (verse 1). In the course of his feast he “commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein” (verse 2). The vessels were brought, and the entire company drank from them.
In this way Belshazzar was showing his contempt for the living and true God. By putting the sacred vessels of the temple of God to this unholy and sacrilegious use, he was showing his contempt for the God of Israel, and was honouring his own gods. We read that “they drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood and of stone” (verse 4).
Belshazzar learned – as every sinner shall learn, either in mercy or in judgement – that “God is not mocked” (Gal. 6:7). By making this sacrilegious use of the holy vessels of God’s house, and at the same time honouring gods of silver, brass and stone, he was mocking the God of heaven, but he learned to his cost that “God is not mocked.” In the midst of their merriment and revelry, there came forth the fingers of a man’s hand that wrote on the wall opposite the King. This writing on the wall had a powerful effect on the King: “his knees smote one against another” (verse 6) – he trembled for fear! And he called for the astrologers, the Chaldeans, the soothsayers and the wise men of Babylon, that they might read and interpret the writing on the wall.
“But they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof.” The king was greatly troubled. Then the queen told him that there was among the captives taken from Jerusalem one, Daniel by name, in whom light, understanding and wisdom had been found in the days of Nebuchadnezzar (the present king’s father), and who was able to interpret dreams and hard sayings. Daniel was therefore summoned before the king. He read the writing on the wall and gave the interpretation of it. In the words of our text we have part of the writing and its interpretation – “TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.”
In God’s balances Belshazzar the king was found wanting. The writing on the wall was a sentence of death and of judgement. That night Belshazzar was cut off in the midst of his revelry and blasphemy. He was slain by Darius, King of the Medes, who also captured the kingdom.
The words of our text teach us that the Lord has balances: balances which are just and true, for “shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Gen. 18:25). We may notice first, that when we are weighed in God’s balances, the sentence which is passed on every one of us as we are by nature is that we are found wanting. Secondly, we shall notice that sinners prove, as surely as Belshazzar did, that this is true of them: that they are found wanting. Thirdly, we shall notice the end of all who shall die in this state of being found wanting. As Belshazzar was struck down by the sword of King Darius, so all who shall die in a state of being found wanting, shall be cut down by the sword of God’s inflexible justice, and be given their portion in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Fourthly, we shall notice the ground upon which the Lord saves sinners from this sentence of death. The everlasting Gospel sets before us the basis upon which the Lord delivers sinners from this sentence of condemnation and death. Finally, we shall see what is true of those who have this sentence revoked – who are delivered from the sentence of condemnation. We read: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1), and they are now “accepted in the beloved” (Eph. 1:6).
I. First, this is a sentence passed on every individual: “TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” In God’s balances we are found wanting, as we are by nature.
As man came forth from the hand of God in a state of innocence, he was not found wanting. He was created as holy in the image of God, in righteousness, in holiness, and in knowledge. He was able to come up to the righteousness of the law, and to give perfect and sinless obedience to the holy law of God. Man in a state of innocence had fellowship and communion with God. There was no deficiency; he was not “found wanting”.
But man fell from the estate wherein he was created. By the disobedience of one man “sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12). This is the condition in which we were born and in which we are by nature; in God’s balances we are found wanting.
There are three things which make us to be wanting in God’s balances. The first is, the guilt of Adam’s first sin; for we sinned in him and fell with him in his first transgression. The second is the want of original righteousness. Through the fall we lost God’s image – the righteousness, holiness and knowledge which we had. Unless God’s image is restored to your soul through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, and unless you and I are made new creatures in Christ Jesus, death will find us wanting in the balances of the Judge of all the earth. We have the want of original righteousness whether we are conscious of it or not. The third thing which makes us to be wanting before God is the corruption of our whole nature, which is commonly called original sin. We do not have a holy nature but a nature that is full of sin. The heart of man “is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). The Lord Jesus declares that “out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matt. 15:19). People are sometimes described as having good hearts; but the seed of every conceivable sin is in your heart and mine; the heart is a cesspool of iniquity. We have a nature that will drink in iniquity like water; we have no relish for holiness, no relish for God’s truth, and no relish for Christ. We have a relish for the pleasures of sin. That is proof of how corrupt we are in our nature; that is the writing on the wall of God’s truth with regard to all of us.
It would be our wisdom to read the writing, to face up to facts, for if we do not read the writing now we shall read it on the walls of a lost eternity. There are many of whom it is true that it is on the walls of hell they shall read the writing for the first time, and discover that they are TEKEL: weighed in God’s balances and found wanting. It is in mercy and in love that the Lord is now setting before us the writing on the wall of His holy word, and is revealing that we are found wanting in His balances as we are by nature. He shows us that the guilt of Adam’s first sin is laid to our charge and that we have the want of original righteousness. Lacking the image of God, it is the image of Satan that is on our souls, as Christ declares: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do” (John 8:44). Our doing those lusts, as we are by nature, prove that we are found wanting.
II. Secondly, we shall notice that men prove, as surely as Belshazzar did, that they are found wanting in God’s balances. Belshazzar proved it to be so by the sacrilegious use to which he put the holy vessels of God’s temple. At this popular feast he held, attended by all the lords and ladies – the upper classes of society – there was plenty of drink and merriment. That is true of many of the celebrations of our day: there is plenty of strong drink: much carnal merriment: and much blasphemy as God’s holy name is taken in vain. The person who does not attend these carnal feasts in which there is carnal mirth, drinking and dancing, is considered a killjoy. But Christians can be sociable without making fools of themselves, and without trampling God’s holy commandments underfoot. At New Year time, and especially at Christmas time, you will find people abandoning themselves to all forms of levity and frivolity. They are at home in these worldly feasts, and the solemn realities of death and judgement vanish from the mind, if they were ever there previously. Persons who are given to the fleeting pleasures of sin find themselves at home in such places, and thus prove that they are found wanting when weighed in God’s balances. You will not find the Lord’s people there.
Pubs are such places. They are simply dens of iniquity, seething with sin and blasphemy. People who find themselves at home in public houses prove, as surely as Belshazzar did, that they are weighed in God’s balances and found wanting. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him for ever. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). Now a person cannot glorify God, and fulfil the end of his creation by frequenting cinemas, pubs and dance halls: places that pander to the flesh, and where provision is made to gratify the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye and the pride of life.
Sinners also prove themselves to be found wanting by the ill-use that they make of the holy vessels of God’s house. The vessels which Belshazzar made a sacrilegious use of were the vessels of the Lord’s temple. We shall mention three of the Lord’s vessels in His house today which many people ill-treat, and thus demonstrate that they are weighed in the balances, and found wanting.
First of all there is His holy Word. This book, the Bible, is God’s holy Word: inspired by the Holy Ghost. When people call into question God’s holy Word – its inerrancy, trustworthiness, authenticity and infallibility – they prove that in God’s balances they are found wanting and that they were never born again, whatever standing they may have or whatever their academic attainments may be. I was reading an article in the Presbyterian magazine The Outlook, by Principal Lloyd Geering1 of the Presbyterian Theological Hall in Dunedin, in which he clearly shows his attitude to God’s Word – how he sits in judgement on the holy Word of God, and clearly does not accept it as God’s inspired, infallible Word. What Principal Geering says proves clearly that he is found wanting in God’s balances. It is to be feared that this is the case with the great majority of the ministers of the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand, when they would have a man who makes such attacks on God’s holy word as the Principal of their college. Those who accept such views, whatever their standing in church or state, are in God’s balances found wanting. Unless they repent, they shall be in that condition at death, and throughout the endless ages of eternity.
Persons who do not read the Bible may say, “Oh, yes, we believe the Bible to be God’s Word,” but they do not search the Bible. They do not take the Word of God as a lamp to their feet or as a light to their path.
his way to purify?
If he according to thy word
thereto attentive be,
(Psalm 119:9, metrical).
Persons who do not take the Word of God as a light to their path are going their own way; they show no regard for what God says in His truth. They prove clearly that they are TEKEL: weighed in the balances, and found wanting.
The second vessel of the Lord is the public means of grace, on Sabbaths and weekdays. These are the Lord’s ordinances: vessels belonging to Him. Persons who are indifferent as to their attendance at the means of grace, and their making right use of them, and who have no concern for worshipping the Lord in these means of grace, show clearly that they are found wanting.
The Lord’s day is the third vessel of God. “The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days, and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God’s worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.” People who prostitute God’s holy day for pleasure and profit – as Belshazzar was putting the holy vessels of God’s temple to a sacrilegious use – and who have no love for God’s holy day, are indeed found wanting in His balances. A great divine, Thomas Sheppard,2 said that in his opinion, the sin which comes next to the sin for which there is no forgiveness, is the sin of neglecting and despising the means of grace. This is a solemn statement: the person who is despising and neglecting the means of grace is rubbing against, as it were, the sin for which there is no forgiveness. It should be a wonder to us that we have the means of grace: a blessing which is denied to millions of our fellows.
These three, the Scriptures, God’s holy day and the ordinances of God’s house, are some of the vessels of the Lord. If they are not honoured as they should be in our attitude towards them and use of them, we show that we are found wanting when weighed in God’s balances, – and terrible shall be our end if we do not repent.
III. We have, in the third place, the end of all who shall be found wanting at last. They shall be cut down at death as surely as Belshazzar was, and their portion shall be given them in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. God shall not be mocked by kings or queens, or principals of theological halls, or doctors of divinity, or archbishops; or by any person high or low, rich or poor. What the Word of God says shall stand. God will not be mocked by the worms of the dust; and unless sinners repent and turn to the Lord, they shall assuredly perish. As the Lord Jesus Christ wasappointed to be the Judge of the quick and the dead – “for we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10), so He declares, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). A lost eternity – an eternity of everlasting despair with the devil and his angels – an eternity of the wrath of God – will be the portion of those who die in this condition of being found wanting.
on sinners he shall rain:
This, as the portion of their cup,
doth unto them pertain” (Psalm 11:6).
That is the cup they are filling up; a cup of defiance to the Lord; the cup of their iniquities; and when that cup is full, it is given to them as a cup of condemnation. This is our danger – that we shall be cut down.
The parable of the barren fig-tree was spoken to reinforce the necessity for repentance. Unless the tree would bear fruit within a certain period, the order would be given: “Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?” (Luke 13:7). What is the earth better of cumberers of the ground, of sinners whose mouths are full of blasphemy, and who use their strength and time to defy the God of heaven? The Lord, by the Flood, purged this earth of a whole generation of such; He swept them with a besom of destruction to a lost eternity, and for all we know He may come forth, by means of nuclear warfare or disaster, to burn up this generation in a moment of time. Thousands who are now as these people were at Belshazzar’s feast, in the midst of their revelry and blasphemy, may in the twinkling of an eye find themselves in the depths of hell.
We are called upon to read the writing on the wall now. “TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” It is a personal matter. We see how others are found wanting: for example, the foolish virgins fully expected that they would enter heaven, but when they arrived “the door was shut” (Matt. 25:10). How solemn are these words! They were shut out for all eternity because they were weighed in the balances, and found wanting. We must heed the writing now, and seek to be delivered from being found wanting.
IV. In the fourth place, we shall consider the ground upon which the Lord delivers sinners from this condemnation under which they are. There would be no point (speaking with all reverence) in bringing these truths before sinners, unless there was a way of escape revealed. The gospel makes known to us how sinners can be saved from the condemnation under which they are on account of their sins, and from the danger to which they are exposed because they are found wanting – the danger of being cut down by the sword of God’s justice and cast into a lost eternity. The Lord has provided the ground upon which sinners can be delivered in accordance with the claims of His law and justice, and in a way that is to the glory of the righteousness of His nature. In a righteous, just and holy way, God can save the chief of sinners from this condemnation. It is by way of the paying of a ransom, for we read, “Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom” (Job 33:24). It is upon the grounds of ransom paid by the Redeemer that sinners are delivered from going down into the pit of hell. The Lord Jesus Christ said that He came “to give his life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). He paid the ransom price by the obedience and sufferings of His life and death. He poured out His soul unto death; He made reconciliation for iniquity; He brought in an everlasting righteousness. It is on the ground of His finished work – the ransom which He paid – that the Lord is just when He justifies the sinner who believes in Jesus.
What Christ did in the room and stead of His people is described as “blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross” (Col. 2:14). This handwriting which is contrary to us, signifies the curse and condemnation of God’s law. “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them” (Gal. 3:10). We are already under the condemnation of God’s law. In other words we are TEKEL: weighed in the balances of God’s holy law and found wanting. This is the writing which is contrary to us: the law and its condemnation. The Lord is speaking personally: “Thou art weighed in the balances”; and we are called upon to read the writing. What a blessing it would be if we were led to read the writing on the wall concerning ourselves and to believe that this is our state in God’s sight: and what a blessing to be led, through the teaching of the Holy Spirit, to see how that writing can be blotted out.
None could blot out that writing which was contrary to us, save the Lord Jesus Christ; and that by His cross (that is, by His atoning death and not the literal cross). By the cross of Christ we mean the work that He accomplished on the cross. People wear crucifixes and crosses, and vainly imagine that these are going to save their souls or help them to heaven – that is not what we mean by the cross. We read in 1 Corinthians 1:18 of “the preaching of the cross”. There the apostle makes it clear that by the preaching of the cross is meant the preaching of Christ and Him crucified. He preaches the work that Christ accomplished on the cross: His obedience unto death. Now, the handwriting is blotted out by Christ’s obedience unto death: the perfect obedience which He gave to the law in His life, and His having suffered the penalty of the law in His death. He bare the curse of the sins of His people as He stood in their place. The sins of all the elect were imputed to Him. He bare their sins in His own body upon the cross, that is, He suffered what was due to them for their sins. “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:5). “He was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification” (Rom. 4:25).
Now, it was when He cried on the cross, “It is finished”, having finished the work given Him to do, that He blotted out the handwriting of ordinances which was contrary to us, and spoiled principalities and powers, making a show of them openly. He triumphed over all the enemies of His people: over death, the grave, hell, and Satan; and He blotted out the condemnation and curse of the law. And it is in virtue of Christ’s finished work – the atonement which He made and the ransom which He paid – that sinners can be delivered from this sentence of death and condemnation: “TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.”
If there was any sinner who proved that she was a sinner found wanting in God’s balances, it was the woman of Samaria. What an ungodly life she led! She came that day at noon to Jacob’s well to fetch water; she left her home with no thought of death or eternity; a sinner going about her ordinary occupations; and there at Jacob’s well the Lord met her. Without going into the whole story, we see how she got from Christ living water. He convinced her of her sins; He gave her vision to see the writing on the wall; He enabled her to see that He alone could blot out the writing on the wall, and that He could give her what she could never get from the pleasures of sin which are but for a season. She got that living water, and returned home a new person in Christ Jesus.
Many a poor sinner came to the means of grace – to the well of Gospel ordinances – and in the course of the sermon saw the writing on the wall, and not only that, but got deliverance. That can happen just as the Lord in His sovereignty sees fit. The great preacher and divine, Jonathan Edwards of America, said that he believed that during a time of revival in his congregation, 200 people passed from death to life under one sermon. They saw themselves to be lost and hell-deserving; they saw the writing on the wall and believed that this was their condition; they saw also the One who could deliver them from going down into the pit.
The Saviour calls upon us in the everlasting Gospel to look to Him: “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Isa. 45:22). None other can do this for you. If Christ will not do it for you, you are lost: lost eternally. An angel, a saint, all the Church of God cannot do it for you; father and mother cannot do it for you; an apostle could not do it for you. Though the apostle Paul should come back from the dead and preach to us, he could not do it. One, and One only, can do this for you: and that is the Lord Jesus Christ – the One who died for sin and rose again, and who alone has power on earth to forgive sins.
Unless you apply to Christ you are lost. Whatever any minister, elder or any person may say to you to the contrary, you shall be lost. You will die under the curse and condemnation of a broken law. But “if the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). You will be free from the sentence of death, and you will never come under condemnation again. Read the writing that is against you and look to Christ for salvation. Trust Him for salvation.
V. Finally and fifthly, we shall make a few remarks about those who have been delivered from this condemning sentence: “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” It was through the gracious teaching of the Holy Spirit that they came to believe that they were found wanting, and that they acknowledged their guilt. “When he (the Holy Spirit) is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement” (John 16:8). They were convinced that they were found wanting, and that nothing they themselves could do would blot out the writing against them.
Some people, when they begin to realise their condemnation, think that perhaps if the Lord would give them time and opportunity, they would by their own good works, and by their tears and prayers, blot out the writing of condemnation. Others make a decision for Christ’ and think that the decision may help them. But the believer has to testify that he discovered that nothing he could do would deliver him, that the writing was still there and he was convinced of this in his soul. All the advice, all the promises, all the exhortations and invitations that others might pour into his mind (and rightly so, for the Lord can bless means) could not erase the sentence of death. He saw what he was in God’s sight: a lost, ruined, and hell-deserving sinner. The writing was on the wall of his conscience.
But then the Holy Spirit enlightens the mind of that poor sinner in the knowledge of Christ, and renews his will. It is by the enlightening work of the Spirit that the sinner sees the One who can deliver him from condemnation. On the day on which the sinner closes in with Christ and exercises faith upon Him, the writing is blotted out, and he is delivered and set free in God’s sight. The moment a sinner looks to Christ and closes in with Him, he is justified: God blots out the writing. Although it may be some time after that before his new standing is made clear to himself, the fact is that in the moment he closes in with Christ and believes in Him, he is justified in God’s sight; and being justified by faith, he has peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. The sinner who looks to Christ will also have peace in his conscience. Perhaps in some cases the light may not be very clear; they may be troubled as to whether they are truly born again – but they will be seeking to make their calling and election sure.
It is true of those that are in Christ Jesus by faith that there is “now no condemnation to them”, and they “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit”. They walk not as they used to, when they made provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof; they are now seeking to mortify the flesh with its affections and lusts; to crucify the flesh and to walk after the Spirit. They are seeking to be led by God’s Spirit, to walk in newness of life and to follow the Saviour in this world, through good and through evil report. The writing on the wall that was against them has been blotted out for ever: they shall never come into condemnation. And what is the writing on the wall now for the Lord’s people? It surely is this: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1).
King Belshazzar needed an interpreter to read the writing and interpret it. Speaking with reverence, the Lord’s people need the Holy Spirit as their interpreter of the writing in God’s Word concerning themselves. Indwelling sin and the mists of unbelief often blind their eyes. They walk in darkness and have no light, but they cry to the Lord. “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God” (Isa. 50:10). Christ is spoken of here as the Lord’s “servant”. Although His people are seeking to listen to the voice of the Servant of the Father, and are fearing the Lord and believing His Word, they still find themselves at times walking in darkness and having no light. They need the Holy Spirit to give them light; they need that the Lord would bless His Word and ordinances to them.
There is also this written on the wall for God’s people: “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee” (Isa. 44:22). His people need these things to be brought before them. Written on the wall by the finger of God for them is this: that the cause of their condemnation has been eternally blotted out. “Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee” (Zech. 9:12).
There are many things written on the wall for the redeemed. There is this: “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee” (Jer. 31:3); and this: “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1); and all the other great and precious promises. The Lord’s people have a right to them all. It is in His light that they see that.
Instead of now seeking their pleasures in carnal feasts, as many of them at one time did, they are now seeking to go to the feast that Christ has set up: the feast of the Gospel. It is there that they now desire to be fed; there that they seek their satisfaction, for they know that He alone can satisfy them.
doth fully satisfy;
With goodness he the hungry soul
doth fill abundantly.
(Metrical Psalm 107:9).
They will be coming to the means of grace hoping to receive something for their souls – praying for food for their souls and asking the Lord to teach and enlighten them by His Word. They will be going to the feasts to find what will meet the needs of their souls. I have told the story before of a girl in times of the persecution of the Covenanters in Scotland: the times when those who were keeping to the truth and preaching the Gospel were banished from their homes and churches, and had to meet in lonely glens and solitary places. There they used to meet quietly and worship the Lord. The dragoons (with Claverhouse at their head) used to scour the mountainsides looking for these poor people worshipping the Lord. When they were captured, some were shot instantly or taken away and tortured; others were sold as slaves or hanged and burnt. During the persecution, which lasted for 28 years, it has been computed that “not less than 18,000 people suffered death, or the utmost hardships and extremities on account of religion”.3 Now, the girl heard that there was to be a conventicle held in a certain place – miles from her home and in a quiet, solitary place – and that the Lord’s death was to be commemorated. She determined she would go, although in doing so she was risking her life. She did not have all the conveniences that we have; she had to walk and even run, being in danger of meeting with the dragoons: in danger of death, torture and banishment. But off she went. The dragoons spotted her. Suspicious as to where she might be heading, they accosted her, and questioned her. “Oh”, she said, “my Elder Brother has died, and today they are reading His will. I am going to see if He has left anything in the will for me”. The dragoons of course understood her literally; they did not understand the significance of her words. “Oh”, they said, “if that’s your business, just go on your way”. But what the girl meant, of course, was that Christ the Elder Brother had died, and that His will – the everlasting Gospel – was being preached, and His death commemorated in a certain place, and that she was going to see if there was anything in the will – in Christ’s Testament – for her soul.
That is true of all His people: that they will be seeking to follow Him in His means and in His ordinances, in a cloudy and dark day. They will seek to deny themselves for His sake and to follow Him through good and evil report. They look for what is on the wall of the everlasting Gospel for them. They believe that he will fully satisfy the longing soul, and abundantly fill the hungry soul.
It is in Christ alone that you will find deliverance from the condemnation under which you are; and in Christ alone that you will find what will satisfy your soul. You go alone to some secret place and cry to the Lord to show you what you are, and to reveal Himself to your soul. Plead that you would taste and see in your own soul’s experience that God is good, and gracious, and that who trusts in Him is blessed. _
Rev. William MacLean (1907-85) became the minister of the Ness congregation in Lewis in 1948. He was translated to the Gisborne congregation in New Zealand in 1962, to the Grafton congregation in Australia in 1973, and re-inducted to the Ness congregation in 1976, where he remained until his death. Under the pen-name of Ergatees he wrote Arminianism – Another Gospel; Christ or Antichrist – Facts for Enquirers, and several other useful pamphlets, published by Westminster Standard Publications. See The Free Presbyterian Magazine, December 1985, page 378.
1. Born in 1918, Lloyd Geering was Principal of the Theological Hall at Knox College, Dunedin, from 1962 to 1971. The article referred to is called “Is a new Reformation possible?”, published in The Outlook, Vol. 72, No 17 (25 September, 1965), pp16 – 18.
2. Thomas Sheppard (1605-1649), a celebrated Puritan divine, who retired to New England in 1635 and is known especially for his exposition of the parable of the ten virgins.
3. McCrie, The Story of the Scottish Church, 1875, p. 377.