Monday, October 31, 2011

Menno Simons

Menno Simons

Today (31st October) is reformation day, and so my focus will be on the reformer, Menno Simons.

Menno Simons was a contemporary with Martin Luther, who seems to have taken all the credit for the reformation. But where Martin Luther failed in his reformation, Menno Simons didn’t.

Menno Simons was born in the old Holy Roman Empire, which was a huge empire during the 14th century (1500s). But the part of the Empire to which he was born is now part of the Netherlands. Menno Simons was born in the year 1496, but the actual date of his birth is uncertain.

Menno Simons was brought up as a Roman Catholic, and as this was the only version of Christianity in the western part of Europe at that time, I guess he really had no choice in the matter.

As a young man it was Simons’ desire to become a Catholic priest, and so he went into training. The Catholic Bible was the vulgate, written in Latin, and the only translation allowed in the Catholic Church, so it was necessary that as a training priest, Menno Simons should learn Latin. But through all his catholic training, he never once touched a Bible (and that’s not exaggerating).

In the year 1515 or 1516 Simons was ordained as a Catholic priest.

During this period Martin Luther was working as a Doctor of theology at the University of Wittenberg, which is where he began to read his Bible, and to realise that the Catholic religion was unscriptural. Menno Simons had a similar revelation from the Holy Spirit, which we will read about in the following paragraphs.

Menno Simons was a priest for about 10 years, and yet had never studied the Bible. But then there began to be discussion about the doctrine of transubstantiation. Transubstantiation is the doctrine that the Catholics believe, that in communion the wine and the bread supernaturally transform into the literal body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. So it was that the curious Menno Simons decided to look in his Bible for the true answers about the doctrine of Transubstantiation. Looking in the Bible, Simons found out that the wine and the bread were only the memorial of Christ’s death and not some kind of supernatural ritual.

It was also during this time of studying the scriptures that Simons noticed that there was no evidence for infant baptism, in fact to the contrary, he noticed that every baptism in the Bible was of a believer. Then it was that he became a great advocate for Believer’s baptism, then known as “Anabaptists”.

Although there were Baptists before the time of Menno Simons, it was through him that God spread His true religion in a time when there was much heresy in the church.

Then on the 30th January 1536 at the age of 39, Menno Simons made his first profession of faith, and was subsequently baptised as a believer.

After this he became a great leader in the Baptist church, and preached fearlessly against the false practices of the Catholics. And so it was that the Catholic Church denounced him as a heretic, and put a large sum of money as a bounty for anyone who should betray Simons. And many who confessed their belief in Simons’ doctrines paid with their life.

But we all know that God is much stronger than all our foes, and Menno Simons proved this. He lived a further 25 years and died a natural death having never been caught by the Catholics. And the work which he has done for Baptists still lives on, and God’s truth is not without witness to this very day.

Menno Simons died 31st January 1561 the day after his 25th anniversary of publicly professing Jesus Christ.

Let us learn from the examples of great men like Menno Simons who gave their life for God. And why should we not likewise give our whole lives over to the service of God, Didn’t He come to earth and give his own precious life to us so that we might be saved?

Well, may this be of some use to someone this day, and may you all find encouragement to stand up for the truth of God’s word.



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Time Traveller: Chapter 3

The Time Traveller Chapter 3

So here we are again, ready for our next instalment of the Time Traveller.

I have nothing special to say at the beginning of this chapter, but I would beg that you forgive in advance some of the self love I am going to manifest today.

After John’s visit to see the prophet Enoch, there was a flash of light, and he found himself again inside the Vapour.

John was initially a little shocked to find that he was one moment talking to Enoch and the next moment he was back inside his time machine. But John had just started to expect the weird to happen, and so this did not come so much a shock to him as it might have done.

Wondering where he might have turned up, and what year he was in, John thought there was no use in staying inside his ship, and so he endeavoured to venture out into the open.

He opened the door a little crack, and was delighted to see that he was in the middle of a modern city.

The first thing that John noticed was that they were speaking with American accents, so he worked out from that that he was in an American City.

Then he saw someone drive past in a very strange looking vehicle, not a car, but similar, except that it hovered above the ground, rather than rolling along on wheels. It reminded John a bit of Star Wars.

It was obviously a later year, and sometime in the future, but John couldn’t begin to guess the date. He didn’t want to ask a passer-by as he was afraid that they might think he was insane, or mentally unwell. So he decided to go to a store and buy a news paper.

He wandered around the town for a while until he found a little corner store, which he entered into. John learned a lot from entering into that store. First he discovered that he was in New York City, by looking at the different magazines and seeing that all the local papers were New York papers. He also found out that the date was 8th September 2050. And then he discovered that they believed very strongly that the world was going to end on the 15th September. John bought the New York Times, to have a look at later. There was no human at the store counter; instead there was a robot, which seemed to speak perfect English.

John found a nice little park, where there was a bench, where he sat down and read his news paper. He read about a famous evangelist by the name of Michael Buckingham, who was telling everyone that it was merely a myth that the world will end, because, as he argued, that the day that Christ returns will be the day that the world ends, and that day is said in the Bible that no man can know the day or the hour when these things shall happen.

This seemed to catch John’s attention, and he intended to seek out this man, and learn from him.

It wasn’t that hard a job for John to seek out Michael Buckingham, he was so well known in the city of New York, that all he needed to do is ask one person where he lived, and he was directed to the very door.

The house was nothing so grand, it was not like anything John had expected from most famous evangelists who seem to preach about contentment and moderation, but do not live by their rules. Michael Buckingham’s house was small and moderate.

John rang the door bell. A beautiful young lady answered the door; she was about the same age as John. When John had told her about how he had heard of Michael Buckingham, and that he was keen to meet him, she told him that he was her father, and that he always welcomes guests.

The young lady led John into the sitting room where Michael Buckingham was sitting. Michael immediately stood up and introduced himself as “Michael”.

John then introduced himself. And Michael said, “I trust you have already met my daughter Ofelia?”

John turned to Ofelia and smiled, “Ofelia, that’s a lovely name!”

“You are dressed very strangely my friend!” said Michael, “You wear clothes as if you were an old man like me. Have you come far?”

“Yes, Indeed” Said John, “very far, but I don’t think you would believe me if I told you.”

Michael Answered, “Maybe you’re right, I feel to have a problem believing sometimes. It’s my old nature getting the better of me”

Ofelia stood up and asked John if he would like a cup of “Lyang”. John had no clue what Lyang was but assumed that it was the futuristic version of coffee of tea. And in any case, the way that Ofelia, looked at John, I don’t think he could refuse anything, so he said, “Yes please!”

Michael Continued: “Scientists have supposedly discovered that the world will end next week, but as Christians we believe that the world will not end that day, because that it cannot be known by humans.”

“I read that in the news paper,” Said John.

“Don’t believe everything you read in the papers, son” Said Michael, “the Devil is very much behind them trying to cause panic and confusion, the Chinese are selling tickets to go to New Earth for 1 billion Dollars each. Only a fool would spend that amount of money.”

That’s as far as we are going today, the next part will continue the narrative.

Obviously I am not prophesying the future, God has not given me that gift, I am merely creating an enjoyable story that contains a mixture of Fact, Speculation, and Fiction.

Until next time, farewell.

Friday, October 21, 2011

George Tankervil

George Tankervil

George Tankervil (also known as George Tankerfield) was born in the early 1500s in the city of York in England.

Tankervil worked as a baker, but it was not for this occupation that he was made famous.

During the reign of good King Edward 6th (12 October 1537 – 6 July 1553) Tankervil was a Catholic, and thought that the protestants were no more than just rebels from the Faith of the Fathers.

But something happened during the reign of Bloody Queen Mary (from the year 1553 onwards). When Tankervil saw all the horrible tortures and deaths that Mary was imposing upon the Protestants, he began to realise that maybe Catholicism wasn’t so peaceful and righteous as he had initially thought. And so it was that he prayed that the Lord would open his heart as to whether the Catholics were right or the Protestants.

And so it was that the Lord opened Tankervil’s heart by degrees that he began to become more and more convinced that the Catholic faith had slipped into heresy. And so was his conversion complete.

So after learning about Protestantism and the true Gospel, as a good soldier of Christ, Tankervil, began to tell all his friends and family about the true Gospel, and began to tell them all the things of Jesus, in a true and living way, not like the Catholics.

This act of spreading the Gospel drew the attention of the Catholics, and they began to hate him, and to label him as a heretic.

After these things, Tankervil became very ill, and with his illness he was not able to do so much baking, and so the business became not so lucrative.

One day while Tankervil was out having a walk in the Temple Fields of London (close by to where they were living) a man came to the door, and Tankervil’s wife answered. The man told her that Lord Paget (a wealthy man) was going to have a dinner, and have lots of guests, and requested that Mr Tankervil should come along and prepare the food, for it had been said that he was an excellent cook. And so Tankervil’s wife, not knowing that it was a trap set by the Catholics, agreed to the request.

When Tankervil returned from his walk, his wife told him about the visitor. And when Tankervil heard about it, he realised that it was a trap, but instead of running away, he said that he would go, and that God’s will be done.

I don’t think Tankervil was aware of what was about to happen to him, and indeed that’s a mercy, for otherwise he may have given up the faith to save his life.

And so it was that Tankervil was arrested and put into prison.

There was a man by the name of Bonner, who was employed by the Catholics to persuade Tankervil to denounce his Protestant faith, and revert back to Catholicism. Tankervil always answered Bonner referring to the Scriptures, saying that unless Bonner can persuade him using the Bible, he would not convert. Which, obviously, Bonner could not do, but rather he would reference Catholic leaders and perverted men, but never would he allude to the Scriptures.

Tankervil was then taken to St. Albans (which is just north of London) where he was to be burned as a heretic.

While at St. Albans he stayed at the Cross Keys Inn under supervision of a guard. And while there, many people came to him telling him that he must embrace Catholicism or die, but each and every time he would refer them to the Scriptures refuting the Catholic doctrines.

In the evening, as Tankervil sat beside the fire, he talked with himself arguing that he was doing the right thing by offering his life to The Lord. And thus he talked with himself: The Flesh says, “O you fool, will you burn, when you need not to?” And then the Spirit answers, “Don’t be afraid; what is a short martyrdom in comparison with and eternity in Hell?” Then the Flesh says, “Will you leave all you friends and your family who love you dearly?” The Spirit answered “I only need one friend and brother, our Lord Jesus Christ” Now the flesh says “But you have your whole life ahead of you, why die now?” The Spirit answers, “I give up a short life here, for an eternity of life in Heaven.”

Before his death, Tankervil asked that he might be given a pint of wine and a loaf of bread, and so he commemorated the Lord ’s Supper before he enters heaven where he will feast and never hunger again.

Early in the afternoon, Tankervil is taken to a place just outside the Abbey which was called Romeland, where he knelt down to pray. And when he had finished his pray he turned to the people waiting to view his death, and said, “I have had a poor dinner this day, but later, I shall have a joyful supper in Heaven.”

They tied Tankervil to a large pole in the ground which is called the “stake”, with loads of little sticks below which are called the “fagots”.

And while they were pouring oil on the fagots, a Catholic priest tried to persuade him to give up his faith, but Tankerfield told him that he defied Babylon (the Catholic faith), and then told the people not to believe the lies of the Catholics.

When the Mayor of St Albans heard Tankervil defying the Catholics, he became very angry, and ordered the men to light the flame and said that if he had all the fagots in the world he would give them for Tankervil’s burning.

A gentleman came up to Tankervil and quietly told him to trust in the Lord, to which Tankervil replied that he thanked God that he was given the faith to put all his trust in Him.

And with that Tankervil was baptised with fire, and rose to life eternal.

Tankervil was martyred on the 26th August 1555. There is a plaque in the centre of St. Albans in memorial of him.

May we all be given the faith that Tankervil was given when we too must come to our death beds!


Foxe’s Book of Martyrs

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Time Traveller: Chapter 2

The Time Traveller
Chapter 2
If humans had no memory then we would be doomed to make the same mistakes over and over and over again. And it’s the same with Christianity, if Christians do not properly study Church history, then we will be doomed to fall into the same errors that earlier Christians fell into.

It is my hope that through this series of semi-allegorical / Historical / Eschatological sermons, that we will begin to understand where we as a Church have come from and where we might be going.

But I don’t reckon that you really want to hear me today, as I’m sure you have all probably come to hear the adventures of our time travelling missionary, John.

So here’s his story:                     

John sat himself in the “Vapour”, made himself comfortable, and said a little prayer that God would be with him. And then he pressed the big red button!

There was a flash of light, and all went dark.

These were very strange occurrences, and before today John had never thought that time travel was even a remote possibility. And so when the light flashed and all went dark, John just sat there in the ship a little bit dazed.

But after a while John thought that he ought to at least open the door to see what was actually outside.

John opened the door just a little crack, and saw that it was all dark outside. Well, it certainly wasn’t dark when he stepped into this machine, and now it is. So if this isn’t just an elaborate hoax, John’s going to have to admit that time travel is actually possible.

So John decided that this was not the time to be exploring his new surroundings, there was no telling what could be out there. So he decided to sleep in the Vapour, and check it all out tomorrow.

That night John had some really bazaar dreams, which he couldn’t quite remember when he woke up, but took it as a sign that there may be some strange things lining the path ahead of him on his new missionary journey.

That morning the sun was shining brightly, and it was very hot. It was certain that he wasn’t in England any more, as you definitely do not get that weather in England.

John decided that he ought to venture outside.

As John looked around himself, he saw that he was in the middle of a desert, and very far from home. All of a sudden, John felt a shiver run up his spine, a moment of fear when he realised that he was all alone in a strange place. But then John realised that although he was the only human within miles around, yet he was not alone. God was with him. In fact he felt closer to God here in the wilderness then he had ever felt while in the comforts of his own home in England. In a way he felt as if he were following in the Saviour’s footsteps, who too had to spend many days alone in the desert.

I won’t bore you with the tale of John travel through the desert, I’m sure you can imagine for yourself what might have happened on that solitary journey, where nothing living seemed to have ever ventured.

But finally, John found his way to greener lands. And it was here that John saw his first human being, although I’m not sure “human” is quite the right name to describe them. There was a man and a woman, butt-naked and seemingly shameless, doing abominable things out in the open countryside. John was obviously very shocked as he would never have seen anything like that in England. But, nevertheless, he pretended not to have noticed them, and walked right past.

He walked a little further and saw a man walking towards him. The man wore a long robe , the hem of which almost touched his sandals. The man was smiling. His face was as a young man’s face, very smooth, and yet there seemed in his eyes the wisdom and grace that can only be seen in very aged men in our world.

The man greeted him with a bow, and said, “Come friend, we have been waiting for you”

John looked confused and asked, “Do I know you?”

“No” the man answered, “but we be brethren nonetheless!”

By this, John inferred that the man too was a Christian.

“I’m sorry” said the man “I haven’t introduced myself yet, my name is Enoch, I am the seventh in line from the father of all, Adam. And I understand that you are a messenger from God. Don’t worry thy brother Raphael has told me of your coming, and has duly taught me your speech”

For the benefit of my readers, Raphael is an Angel of God, and although never mentioned in the bible is mentioned many times in Jewish literature, and in Enoch’s own book, which bears his name.

Enoch continued, “Please, follow me back to my earthly abode, and there you may tell me what message the Lord has put in thy mouth for my ears.”

As they were walking, they saw even more vile acts of lust, performed by the wicked people of the land.

“It has been shown me” said Enoch “that God will destroy this world, for all the ungodly deeds that the men have ungodly committed. And then there can be no salvation for this world.”

“That is not true” said John, “there will be salvation, God will even send his son into this world and He will bear our sins and in so doing will save our souls from eternal condemnation!”

Enoch’s face began to be full of joy and said, “Brother, indeed I am very thankful that God has sent you here this day to bring me such marvellous news, I have preached against the sins of this nation for many years, and have focussed much on the wrath of God, but today I realise that God also has a greater measure of Mercy, and when I leave this earth Mercy will be my only plea, O God be merciful to me!”

After that, John heard a voice from heaven saying “IT IS TIME”. And he saw Enoch ascending into Heaven. And then there was a flash of light, and John too had disappeared!

Enoch was a very important figure in Bible times, and his book: The Book of Enoch, was often considered to be part of the Bible. It was even quoted in the Book of Jude.

I would recommend The Book of Enoch to you; it is a good read, and very influential throughout Bible times.

Well that’s all for The Time Traveller for today, but he’ll be back soon.

Michael Buckingham

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Time Traveller: Chapter 1

The Time Traveller
Chapter 1
Today we start a series of sermons about a time traveller, these sermons will mostly take the form of a fictional narrative which will contain strong historical and eschatological (The Study of End Times) facts.

So without further ado, let us begin our narrative.

 Our story begins in a little village in Oxfordshire, called South Moreton.

In South Moreton there was a Baptist Chapel, where there were many worshippers. But our narrative is only concerning one member of the congregation: John Smith. (Yeah, lousy naming right?)

John was interested in working as a missionary, and had approached a number of missionary societies for support for work in China, but had many times been rejected, because of his poor language skills.

But one day while John was sitting down to his supper, he heard the phone ringing, so he went to answer it.

He picked up the phone, and after uttering a greeting, he listened intently to what the person on the other end of the line was saying. I’m not exactly sure of the exact words but it seems that John was offered to join a missionary society as a “time travelling missionary”. And so, without much thought as to what this work might entail, John said “Yes”. So it was agreed that John should go to Reading the following day to have a looks at the “ship” and test run it.

That night John didn’t sleep too well, he was nervous, and uncertain as to whether he had made the right decision. So John decided that he must decline the offer in the morning.

So in the morning John got himself ready to go to Reading. His intention was to tell the missionary society that he felt that it was not God’s will at the present to undertake such a ministry.

So when John arrived at the mission headquarters in Reading, he was greeted by the chairman of the society, who asked him whether he was ready for the test drive. John thought it would be impolite to decline the mission before he had formally test-driven the “ship”.

So the Chairman showed John the way to the “ship” which was rather small looking and had the name “Vapour” written on the side.

The Chairman said, “Time is like a vapour, that’s where we get the name from!”

John and the Chairman stopped just in front of the door to the “Vapour”, and John asked the chairman, “Did I mishear you on the phone of something? Because I thought that you said that this is a time travelling mission, and I’m pretty certain that people can’t travel back in time.”

The Chairman replied, “O but you can travel through time. People have been doing it for centuries, it’s just been kept very hush-hush”

“Oh” replied John, “but if God is sovereign, and has already decreed all that should happen through time, how then can we go back through time and change what has already happened?”

“I too had a problem with that” The Chairman explained, “but it was discovered to me by someone else the mystery of time travel, that in God’s eyes time is happens all at once, and so now is happening parallel to the day of Christ’s birth, and it is only in our human and inferior perspective that time is linear, that one day follows another. That is why Christ’s blood atoned for David who died many years before Christ appeared in human flesh. And thus when you travel back in time you will not be changing the decree of God in time, but you will just be changing your own perspective of time.”

John pondered these thoughts for a few minutes, and then said, “I’m not sure that I really understand what you are saying.”

The Chairman replied, “It is hard for me to explain, but I trust that you will know these things by experience. You see it’s like trying to explain the atoning merits of Christ’s blood to one who has never experienced first-hand the mercies of God.”

John had nothing to reply to this, he was a young man, and the Chairman had seen many years and so he realised that there was a wisdom which cannot be gained but through years of serving our Lord.

So after that confusing conversation, The Chairman opened the door of the Vapour and revealed inside just enough room for one man to sit on a chair.

The Chairman drew John’s attention to a big red button in from of the chair, and said, “There is only one button, so it should be easy to navigate where you want to go, the button is already programmed to go where you are most needed. Under the chair you will find a large number of Bibles, and some books on how to speak a lot of the ancient languages. So now could I ask you to get in to the seat and just press the button? And may God be with you!”

John followed his orders, still unbelieving concerning these time-travelling theories, but thought that the Chairman deserves respect, and thus John went into the Vapour, shut the door, and pressed the button.

The Vapour vanished!

Well, I must leave the story there, I know we haven’t actually done any time travelling yet, and we haven’t gone anywhere, but I intend to in the next sermon, if the Lord wills.

Now to clarify the theories of time travel: It obviously has not happened as yet, but I believe that it is possible, and that if one was able to time-travel, it would not be any kind of argument against the overruling providence of God.

So I pray that The Lord will bless His word, and this narrative, and I hope to see you next time.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Joseph Hart

Joseph Hart
Joseph Hart is not so well known now as he had been in previous times and yet he is still an important part of our Church History.

Joseph Hart is best known as a Hymn writer, but that was not his only career, he was also a prominent preacher in his day, and was a teacher of literature. He also wrote a number of books.

During the course of this sermon, I will attempt to tell the story of Joseph Hart’s life. I hope you will enjoy it, and I hope that it may be profitable to someone here this day.

Joseph hart was born in London in the year 1712. Almost 300 years ago.

Hart’s parents were Christian and so from his youth he was taught to read the Bible and to pray. And so in his early days as a youth, he was kept from the worst of sins. But as we should all know, a good family and good upbringing is just not good enough.

And like everyone who has been brought up in a Christian household, and as yet not come to Jesus, Hart rebelled against his parents’ religion, and started to make worldly friends and to laugh at their rude jokes and to even go so far as to profane to most holy and worthy name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Which wickedness he, in a later date, confessed and was truly penitent of.

Soon after these events, Hart decided that he needed to become better. To do good things instead of bad things, in short he felt that he needed to do good things to get into Heaven. And I‘m sure you have all heard the preacher say that no matter how many good works you do you can never get you own way into Heaven. And I reckon that Joseph Hart had also heard similar things preached about when he was younger too. But I guess he never learned them, because here he is trying to reinvent the wheel by trying to buy his own way into Heaven.

Well, I’m just going to stop there for a minute, I am NOT saying that good works aren’t important, but if that is all you are placing your trust in, it is just not going to be good enough. We should trust completely in Christ for salvation, and then we will do good works because we know that God delights in good works, and thus we do it not as our ticket to glory, but because we love God and we want to do that which is pleasing to Him.

So, let’s get back to the story.

Joseph Hart soon realised that these good works weren’t doing him any good and he decided to go all hyper-Calvinistic. Sorry for using a long word, that just means that he decided that we didn’t need good works to get into Heaven so he figured that, he could give up good works altogether and do whatever he wanted to do, and just sin to his heart’s content.

And it was about this time that he wrote a rather nasty letter to John Wesley calling him a Legalist, and defending the doctrine of hyper-Calvinism. Later on, however, Joseph Hart apologized to Wesley.
The following is a segment that I wrote for Wikipedia a long long time ago:
“Hart later considered that there was a need both to do good works and to believe in God. But then came the uncertainty: Was he really and truly saved? He had no indication from God, no elaborate vision, telling him that he had been saved. This was a great worry to Joseph Hart. He began to pray to God that there would be some revelation granted him, or perhaps just a little sign. This tormented Hart for more than a year.
“Then, the week before Easter of the year 1757 Hart "had such an amazing view of the agony of Christ in the garden [of Gethsemane]" [2] showing to Hart that all Christ's sufferings were for him (along with the rest of the church).
“But soon after this, Hart again began to be afraid of the life to come- eternity, and feared exceedingly when reading about the condemned in passages in the Bible.
“But it was on Whitsunday that Hart's true conversion came. Hart was converted under the ministry of George Whitefield, and felt blessed in his soul.
“After these times Hart still had sufferings and uncertainties as to his conversion, but he could always look back to his conversion, and believe that God saved his soul.
“Hart's motto after this time was: "Pharisaic zeal and Antinomian security are the two engines of Satan, with which he grinds the church in all ages, as betwixt [between] the upper and the nether [lower] millstone. The space between them is much narrower and harder to find than most men imagine. It is a path which the vulture's eye hath not seen; and none can show it us but the Holy Ghost."[3]

I have been interested in Joseph Hart for many a year now, it was soon after my baptism, in the year 2005 that I began to study the life of Joseph Hart at the Angus Library in Oxford. The intent was to write full biography, but the idea was eventually abandoned as this had already been done in the year 1910, and I had no new evidence to add to that.

This is the Joseph Hart hymn that I have often named as my favourite, and is also the hymn that I chose for my baptism:

1 A Man there is, a real Man,
With wounds still gaping wide,
From which rich streams of blood once ran,
In hands, and feet, and side.

2 'Tis no wild fancy of our brains,
No metaphor we speak;
The same dear Man in heaven now reigns,
That suffered for our sake.

3 This wondrous Man of whom we tell,
Is true Almighty God;
He bought our souls from death and hell;
The price, His own heart's blood.

4 That human heart He still retains,
Though throned in highest bliss;
And feels each tempted member's pains;
For our affliction's His.

5 Come, then, repenting sinner, come;
Approach with humble faith;
Owe what thou wilt, the total sum
Is cancelled by His death!

6 His blood can cleanse the blackest soul,
And wash our guilt away;
He will present us sound and whole
In that tremendous day.

Anyway time is getting short, and I’m sure you want to know what happened after Hart’s conversion.

Hart soon became a preacher and started his own congregation at Jewin Street in London. The building is no longer there, but it is reported that he had well over 1000 people in his congregation, and his Church building had 4 balconies.

Hart became famous for compiling Hart’s Hymns, which the well-known William Gadsby added as a supplement to his hymn book “Gadsby’s Hymns” which is still used in a lot of UK Baptist churches to this very day.

Joseph Hart was not a Baptist, but I guess we cannot all be perfect. But he has been mostly associated with Baptist churches and I feel that we still owe him quite a lot.

I think I shall leave the sermon there, and I hope that it has been profitable.

May the Lord add His blessing!