30 January, 2007

The Authority of the Spoken Gospel

By what authority does a minister of the Gospel come? To what extent does his authority, in Christ, extend?

The full and free and unrestricted power to take possession of this world in the name of Christ, to the exclusion of any other form of faith and worship, is what Christianity demands: with less than this it cannot be satisfied...The ministers of the Gospel claim it as a right to go into every nation, however fenced around and guarded from intrusion, and to demand an entrance in the name of Him who sent them, even although the magistrate should bid them depart from his coasts. Further still, the messengers of the Cross arrogate to themselves the title to enter into every human dwelling where is a sinner is to be found,- seeking admittance in the name of the Saviour of sinners, that they may negotiate with the inhabitant in behalf of their master, however sternly the door may be closed against them by jealousy of their errand, or hatred of their cause.
-James Bannerman, The Church of Christ, volume 1, page 141

29 January, 2007

Dark Winters

Dark times in life will can lead to greater reliance on Jesus Christ. I am sure the Lord Jesus allows us to suffer so that we will come to love him more.

The Psalms speak a lot of the suffering of the true believer. Psalm 42 probes the depth of doubt and unbelief and ends with a stronger reliance on the Lord. May our hurts, disappointments, and persecutions lead us to love Christ with a deeper love, and serve him with more freedom.

It is said that in some countries trees will grow, but will bear no fruit because there is no winter there. -John Bunyan

Psalm 42
As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? 4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. 5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. 6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. 7 Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. 8 Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. 9 I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? 10 As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? 11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

What is the Blue Banner?

Recently a friend of mine asked what the Blue Banner stood for. Here is a two paragraph answer that is worth reading.

Also check out Wikipedia for a starting point if you want to learn more about Presbyterian history. I would begin with a search on the RPCNA. Pay special attention to the history section. From there do a Covenanter search. You should also read on the Bishop's Wars for a better understanding of what all of the fighting was about. (Remember Wiki is only a starting point, make sure not to use it for serious research since any person can have access to writing on it.)

There are also a number of books that are worth reading:
  • Fair Sunshine by Jock Purves

  • Our Covenant Heritage by AN Moore

  • Scot's Worthies by John Howie

  • The Scottish Covenanters by JG Vos

Make sure to read the first two parts of Glasgow's History of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in America for some really great information. He discusses the history of the Covenanters as well as the formation of the ARP in America.

For those of us in the center of Dutch Reformed society I would recommend The Scottish Covenanters by JG Vos. His father was Christian Reformed theologian, Geerhardus Vos who was president of Calvin Seminary in their glory days. He left Calvin to teach at Princeton and JG was 'converted' there to the RPCNA.

Feel free to add links to other places of interest concerning the Covenanters to the comments section.

John Brown on the Catechism

Questions and Answers on the Shorter Catechism by John Brown of Haddington has just been republished by Reformation Heritage Books. John Brown was an Associate Presbyterian in Scotland and brings much insight into the Word of God through this style of 'catechising on the catechism'. This book has not been republished since 1846.

This book will prove to be extremely valuable to pastors, teachers, and all those who want to know the Scriptures better, the Catechism better, and Christ better. Each answer in this book is heavily supported by Scripture. Following the 'proof-texts' will prove to be a valuable Bible study in itself.

28 January, 2007

Sabbath a'Brakel: On Martyrdom

If therefore the Lord leads us in difficult ways, and brings us in a situation where we must lose our life for the truth's sake, may we then not love our life and deem it precious, but offer it willingly to the Lord as a sacrifice. Paul said, "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand" (2 Tim. 4:6). There is no more glorious death imaginable than to die as a martyr for Christ. Oh, how blessed is he who may thus use Christ as Priest, and who himself may be a spiritual priest! (I: 560).

25 January, 2007

Cultivating a True Spirituality

How serious do we take our high calling of being a follower of Christ? Do we cultivate that relationship with Him or do we find contentment in the fact that now I am a believer I can go on 'doing my thing'. I believe that there is a sad form of antinomianism in the reformed churches today that wants to replace our battle cry of 'All things done to God's glory and enjoyment' with a spirit of 'do these things really matter'?

I answer with this: If things matter to the Lord Jesus Christ, they should matter to us. All Scripture is given for doctrine, etc. If my main concern with my relationship to my wife is to keep the legal status of married, I would not have to cultivate much in that relationship. If my main desire is to love her, to honor her, to respect her, to please her, to care for her, to grow deeper in love with her- then I have a lot of daily labor as I cultivate that type of relationship.

If I want to maintain my legal status with the Lord Jesus Christ I can do those lowest common denominator things. If I want to fall deeply in love with the Lord Jesus Christ and esteem his smiles higher than the smiles of men and esteem his frowns higher than the frowns of men; than I have some work to do.

Heart-work is hard work indeed. To shuffle over religious duties with a loose and careless spirit, will cost no great difficulties; but to set yourself before the Lord, and to tie up your loose and vain thoughts to a constant and serious attendance upon him: this will cost you something. To attain ease and dexterity of language in prayer and to be able to put your meaning into appropriate and fitting expressions is easy; but to get your heart broken for sin while you are actually confessing it; melted with free grace even while you are blessing God for it; to be really ashamed and humbled through the awareness of God's infinite holiness, and to keep your heart in this state not only in, but after these duties, will surely cost you some groans and travailing pain of soul. -John Flavel

23 January, 2007

Christian Love Book Study

I am hoping to start a monthly book study at my house on Sunday nights following evening worship. I would like to go through the Puritan Paperbacks, beginning with Christian Love by Hugh Binning. I will be submitting a proposal to session, and am wondering if this is something that people would be interested in. It will only be once a month and we will cover one or two chapters per month. I would be happy to provide the book to anyone who cannot afford it.
Is this something that people would be interested in? All are welcome as long as there is a commitment to reading the material and interacting with it. Children are also welcome, since the church is a covenant community, not just a community of adult believers.

16 January, 2007

Closed This Week

Well folks, it seems as though they found the still in the cellar. Just kidding! I will be back next week.
  • Please pray for me as I preach at Rose Point Reformed Presbyterian Church this coming Lord's Day

  • Pray that the semester gets off to a good start, I have 19 credits, plus my job.

  • Pray that my Dutch Reformed Ecclesiology professor sees the superiority of the Westminster over the Three Forms of Unity.

14 January, 2007

Sabbath a'Brakel

Prayer is a glorious work, for it permits us to enter the inner chambers of the King of kings--of God, the Lord of heaven and earth (III: 469).

11 January, 2007

Logic 201: Rev. Brian Schwertley on Salvation

The Arminian view of Christ’s atonement not only contradicts the biblical definition of Christ’s redemptive work, but also contradicts itself. An examination of three options regarding Christ’s death will prove that Arminianism is irrational. Jesus Christ paid the price and endured God’s wrath against sin for either: 1) all the sins of all men, 2) all the sins of some men, or 3) some of the sins of all men. If number 3 is true, then all men still have the guilt of some sins to answer for. This would mean that all men will go to hell, for it only takes the guilt of one sin to merit eternal damnation. If one holds to option 2, that Christ died for all of the sins of some men, then one believes that only some men (i.e., God’s elect) will be saved and go to heaven. This is simply biblical Christianity; that Christ actually achieved the salvation of all of God’s elect. The non-elect are passed by and perish. Arminianism, or inconsistent universalism, holds to position number 1, that Christ died for all the sins of all men. If this position is true, then why are not all men freed from the punishment of all their sins. The Arminian will answer: “because they refused to believe in Jesus Christ. They are guilty of unbelief.“ But this unbelief, is it a sin or is it not a sin? If unbelief is not a sin, then why should anyone by punished for it? If unbelief is a sin, then Christ was punished for it in His death. If Christ paid for this sin as all others, then why must this sin stop anyone from entering heaven more than any of the other sins (e.g., murder, adultery, homosexuality, etc.). Furthermore, if Christ did not die for the sin of unbelief, then one cannot say that He died for all the sins of all men. The Arminian cannot escape from the horns of this theological dilemma.

09 January, 2007

Logic 101: John Owen on Salvation

The Father imposed His wrath due unto, and the Son underwent punishment for, either:
All the sins of all men.
All the sins of some men, or
Some of the sins of all men.

In which case it may be said:
That if the last be true, all men have some sins to answer for, and so, none are saved.
That if the second be true, then Christ, in their stead suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the whole world, and this is the truth.
But if the first be the case, why are not all men free from the punishment due unto their sins?

You answer, "Because of unbelief."
I ask, Is this unbelief a sin, or is it not? If it be, then Christ suffered the punishment due unto it, or He did not. If He did, why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which He died? If He did not, He did not die for all their sins!"

07 January, 2007

a'Brakel on Conduct AFTER the Lord's Supper

Be very careful to conduct yourself well after the Lord's Supper. If Satan has not been able to gain the advantage over you in the preparation for and celebration of the Lord's Supper, he will yet endeavor to get the advantage over you after the Lord's Supper. After the Lord Jesus had been baptized, He was tempted of the devil, and after the disciples had celebrated the Lord's Supper with Christ, they were in that same night offended and dispersed, and Peter was sifted as the wheat. After Paul had been drawn into the third heaven, there came an angel of Satan who buffeted him. This is generally also true for believers--after having been comforted they must arm themselves against the assaults of the enemy, so that he may not get a hold upon them. As one must be on guard against the enemy, he must likewise take special care to conduct himself appropriately toward God, his Benefactor. We may indeed apply to this spiritual meal what God demanded of Israel upon their arrival in Canaan with its abundance: "When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which He hath given thee. Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God" (Deu. 8:10-11) [II: 593].

05 January, 2007

Loose Lips Sink Ships

I often read and meditate upon the control of the tongue and thoughts. James said that the tongue is the smallest member of the body, yet the most difficult to bridle. I believe that this area will be the last to be sanctified for many Christians. We have grown up hearing 'sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me!'

When that is filtered through a Christian worldview there can only be one assessment- it is a lie. Words are very powerful. The worlds were created at the speaking of a word. Satan will finally be destroyed at the speaking of a word. Christian witness, Christian homes and marriages, Christian friendships, and Christian churches can all be destroyed as well by the speaking of our words.

Let us heed the words of John Calvin,
I consider looseness with words no less of a defect than looseness of the bowels.

04 January, 2007

Some thoughts on the Lord's Supper

What is it for the Lord's people to renew their covenant with him at his table?

A. It is to acquiesce anew in the covenant of grace, as made with Christ, Isa. 44:5; and, in so doing, to surrender themselves to the Lord, to be wholly his, trusting that he will keep them by his power, "through faith unto salvation," 1 Pet. 1:5.

What is it for them to renew their love to all the saints on that occasion?

A. It is to embrace the opportunity of being at the Lord's table, to breathe out the secret and habitual desires of their souls before him, that all the saints, as well as themselves, may share abundantly out of the fulness of Christ, Psalm 90:14; and that they keep themselves "in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life," Jude ver. 21.

Taken from Fisher's Catechism

02 January, 2007

Used Book Sale

Baker Book House, my place of employment while I was at Calvin College, is having a huge used book sale. In my 10 years in Grand Rapids I have never seen them budge one red cent on the price of their overly-priced used books.

They are having a 20% off sale now until the 13th of January. Today my family packed up the Mountaineer and headed with my list of wants and desires. I found four books that I have been looking for, two of which are replacements for loaned books.

Help to Domestic Happiness by James Angell James
Shepherding God's Flock by Jay E. Adams
Today's Gospel by Walter Chantry (I used to have 5 at a time on hand and give this one out- I had none left.)
Signs of the Apostles by the same author.

All of these books were well under $30. Good deal, and yes, I have already added them to my librarything.

01 January, 2007

My Rights Versus God's Rights

How often do we allow people to blaspheme God by their words, deeds, or actions and silently think, "well its not my business." But when we are personally offended by something we demand that our rights be vindicated. The Scottish Covenanter, James Renwick had a favorite saying that puts all of this life into perspective:

Let us be lions in God's cause and lambs in our own. -James Renwick

Happy New Year: Edward's Resolutions

Jonathan Edwards, as a boy, wrote 70 resolutions by which to formulate his life. These resolutions come up in his writings through-out his life, which is evidence that he ruminated over them for a lifetime. In this season of resolutions, let us resolve to follow Edwards as he followed Christ.

Remember to read over these Resolutions once a week.
1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God' s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever, and how great soever.
2. Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new contrivance and invention to promote the aforementioned things.
3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.
4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.
5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.
8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God. July 30.
9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.
10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.
11. Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances do not hinder.
12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.
13. Resolved, to be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.
14. Resolved, never to do any thing out of revenge.
15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger towards irrational beings.
16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.
17. Resolved, that I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.
18. Resolved, to live so, at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.
19. Resolved, never to do any thing, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.
20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance, in eating and drinking.
21. Resolved, never to do any thing, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him. (Resolutions 1 through 21 written in one setting in New Haven in 1722)
22. Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.
23. Resolved, frequently to take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God, and trace it back to the original intention, designs and ends of it; and if I find it not to be for God' s glory, to repute it as a breach of the 4th Resolution.
24. Resolved, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then, both carefully endeavor to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.
25. Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.
26. Resolved, to cast away such things, as I find do abate my assurance.
27. Resolved, never willfully to omit any thing, except the omission be for the glory of God; and frequently to examine my omissions.
28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
29. Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, nor that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept.
30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.
31. Resolved, never to say any thing at all against any body, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution.
32. Resolved, to be strictly and firmly faithful to my trust, that that, in Proverbs 20:6,‹A faithful man who can find?Š may not be partly fulfilled in me.
33. Resolved, to do always, what I can towards making, maintaining, and preserving peace, when it can be done without overbalancing detriment in other respects. Dec. 26, 1722.
34. Resolved, in narrations never to speak any thing but the pure and simple verity.
35. Resolved, whenever I so much question whether I have done my duty, as that my quiet and calm is thereby disturbed, to set it down, and also how the question was resolved. Dec. 18, 1722.
36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it. Dec. 19, 1722.
37. Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent,- what sin I have committed,-and wherein I have denied myself;-also at the end of every week, month and year. Dec. 22 and 26, 1722.
38. Resolved, never to speak anything that is ridiculous, sportive, or matter of laughter on the Lord' s day. Sabbath evening, Dec. 23, 1722.
39. Resolved, never to do any thing of which I so much question the lawfulness of, as that I intend, at the same time, to consider and examine afterwards, whether it be lawful or not; unless I as much question the lawfulness of the omission.
40. Resolved, to inquire every night, before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could, with respect to eating and drinking. Jan. 7, 1723.
41. Resolved, to ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possibly, in any respect, have done better. Jan. 11, 1723.
42. Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism; which I solemnly renewed, when I was received into the communion of the church; and which I have solemnly re-made this twelfth day of January, 1722-23.
43. Resolved, never, henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God' s; agreeable to what is to be found in Saturday, January 12, 1723.
44. Resolved, that no other end but religion, shall have any influence at all on any of my actions; and that no action shall be, in the least circumstance, any otherwise than the religious end will carry it. January 12, 1723.
45. Resolved, never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection at all, nor any degree of affection, nor any circumstance relating to it, but what helps religion. Jan. 12 and 13, 1723.
46. Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eye: and to be especially careful of it with respect to any of our family.
47. Resolved, to endeavor, to my utmost, to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented and easy, compassionate and generous, humble and meek, submissive and obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable and even, patient, moderate, forgiving and sincere temper; and to do at all times, what such a temper would lead me to; and to examine strictly, at the end of every week, whether I have done so. Sabbath morning. May 5, 1723.
48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that I may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or not; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of. May 26, 1723.
49. Resolved, that this never shall be, if I can help it.
50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world. July 5, 1723.
51. Resolved, that I will act so, in every respect, as I think I shall wish I had done, if I should at last be damned. July 8, 1723.
52. I frequently hear persons in old age, say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age. July 8, 1723.
53. Resolved, to improve every opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust and confide in him, and consecrate myself wholly to him; that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I confide in my Redeemer. July 8, 1723.
54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it. July 8, 1723.
55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if, I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments. July 8, 1723.
56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
57. Resolved, when I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether I have done my duty, and resolve to do it, and let the event be just as providence orders it. I will as far as I can, be concerned about nothing but my duty, and my sin. June 9, and July 13 1723.
58. Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity. May 27, and July 13, 1723.
59. Resolved, when I am most conscious of provocations to ill nature and anger, that I will strive most to feel and act good-naturedly; yea, at such times, to manifest good nature, though I think that in other respects it would be disadvantageous, and so as would be imprudent at other times. May 12, July 11, and July 13.
60. Resolved, whenever my feelings begin to appear in the least out of order, when I am conscious of the least uneasiness within, or the least irregularity without, I will then subject myself to the strictest examination. July 4, and 13, 1723.
61. Resolved, that I will not give way to that listlessness which I find unbends and relaxes my mind from being fully and fixedly set on religion, whatever excuse I may have for it-that what my listlessness inclines me to do, is best to be done, etc. May 21, and July 13, 1723.
62. Resolved, never to do anything but duty, and then according to Ephesians 6:6-8, to do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man:‹knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord.Š June 25 and July 13, 1723.
63. On the supposition, that there never was to be but one individual in the world, at any one time, who was properly a complete Christian, in all respects of a right stamp, having Christianity always shining in its true luster, and appearing excellent and lovely, from whatever part and under whatever character viewed: Resolved, to act just as I would do, if I strove with all my might to be that one, who should live in my time. January 14 and July 13, 1723.
64. Resolved, when I find those groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26), of which the Apostle speaks, and those breakings of soul for the longing it hath,Š of which the Psalmist speaks, Psalm 119:20, that I will promote them to the utmost of my power, and that I will not be weary of earnestly endeavoring to vent my desires, nor of the repetitions of such earnestness. July 23, and August 10, 1723.
65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this, all my life long, viz. with the greatest openness, of which I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and every thing, and every circumstance; according to Dr. Manton' s 27th Sermon on Psalm 119. July 26, and Aug.10 1723.
66. Resolved, that I will endeavor always to keep a benign aspect, and air of acting and speaking in all places, and in all companies, except it should so happen that duty requires otherwise.
67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, what am I the better for them, and what I might have got by them.
68. Resolved, to confess frankly to myself all that which I find in myself, either infirmity or sin; and, if it be what concerns religion, also to confess the whole case to God, and implore needed help. July 23, and August 10, 1723.
69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it. August 11, 1723.
70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak. August 17, 1723.