Mc Ritchie's Gems

Some comments taken from the great K.M.McRitchie. The book we quote from is an elderly book entitled, 'Overcoming Life's Handicaps' - We feel it to be a tragedy that so many books like this are now unobtainable).

I t was to one of their own tribe that our Lord gave the Parable of the Good Samaritan which is recorded in Luke 10: 30-37. The priest and the Levite, who took no notice of the afflicted man, had plenty of creed, but they had no compassion. The Samaritan who took pity on the afflicted man had no creed (according to Jewish thinking), but he had compassion. And the Lord directed the lawyer who had a correct creed in his head to follow the example set by the Samaritan who had no creed in his head but had loving and practical compassion in his heart. From this we learn that it is better to have true compassion than to have a sound creed. It is possible to have a good mental creed without a heart compassion, but a genuine heart compassion embodies the creed of truth. 'The end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned' (1 Timothy 1: 15). According to James, the devils have a sound creed (James 2: 19), but they remain devils still. John Wesley pointed out that the devil believed everything that was in the Bible, from cover to cover, and therefore no one could surpass the devil in mere intellectual belief" (page 110)

"Dr Gordon proclaimed all the counsel of God without fear or favour, with the result that the worldly element was soon roused, and tongues were soon busy. The preacher was not suitable for that church. He might suit some inferior churches, but their church required a specially qualified preacher, etc. Therefore, steps would have to be taken to bring about a change. Someone said to Dr Gordon, 'Do you know what is going on in the congregation, and what they are planning to do?' 'Yes,' he answered, 'I understand all that is going on' 'And what are you going to do in the matter?' 'I am going to do nothing,' replied the preacher. Eventually, at a church meeting, a certain one stood up as the spokesman of the critics and tried to put forward their case for a change in the pastorate. But a solemn hush fell upon the congregation, and there was not even a seconder to the spokesman. The Lord had intervened on His servant's behalf, and said, 'Thus far, and no farther." (page 115)

"Landseer, the artist, was once staying in a Highland cottage, the wall of one of the rooms of which was disfigured by an ineradicable stain. It was explained to him that every possible effort had been made to remove the stain, but all in vain. Then the artist conceived an idea for transforming that stain from an unsightly thing to a thing of beauty. With the stain as his basis he painted a design on the wall which not only transfigured the stain, but enhanced the beauty of the whole room. And cannot the Divine Artist, by the transforming power of His grace, so overrule the weaknesses and handicaps of human lives that they will help to reflect His beauty and grace? He surely can." (page140)

"whatever our circumstances...we must never cast away our confidence and allow ourselves to sink into despair. 'Is there ever any ground to be cast down?' says George Muller. 'There are two reasons but only two; if we are as yet unconverted, we have ground to be cast down; or if we are (apparently) converted but live in sin, then we are rightly cast down. But except for these two things, there is no ground to be cast down, for all else may be brought before God in prayer with supplication and thanksgiving; and regarding all our necessities, all our difficulties, all our trials, we may exercise faith in the power of God, and in the love of God; and in His own time help will come in answer to prayer and faith...there is never a time when we may not hope in God. Whatever our necessities, however great our difficulties, and though to all appearance help is impossible, yet our business is to hope in God. And it will be found that it is not in vain; in the Lord's own time help will come" (page160)

"We are so constituted that we naturally drop into the way of formulating plans and purposes for the future. Such plans and purposes of whole-hearted Christians will, of course, be formed with a view to glorifying God, rather than to please ourselves. But we have to recognise that it is for God to say whether any purpose we have formulated is to come to fruition. Some of our purposes may fit in with the plan and purpose of God, and some will not,however sincere and excellent they may be. David Livingstone purposed to go to China as a missionary, but the providential overruling of God led him to Africa. China was his natural choice, but God destined him for Africa...Robert Morrison decided to go to Africa as a missionary, but God chose China for him..." (page167)

"God's people must recognise that their aim and ambition must be to glorify God, and not merely to have their own desires fulfilled. The Lord did not overrule in the case of Paul, and preserve him, and enable him to reach Rome, in order to fulfil any natural desire on his part. The Lord's promise to him was: 'Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome' (Acts 23: 11). It is very easy for us to make a mistake at this point, and to feel that because we have a very strong desire to accomplish some particular thing, or go to some particular place, the Lord should answer immediately our earnest prayer and open up the way for our desire to be realised. But our attitude and prayer should always be: If it be for the glory of God that I should do this particular thing, or go to that particular place, then I pray that it may be brought to pass; but if it is not for the glory of God, I pray that some barrier may be put in the way of its coming to pass. And if to glorify God is the sincere burden of our heart, and not to please ourselves, we shall not be disappointed and cast down when some cherished ambition is frustrated, but we shall willingly accept it as the will of God, and say with Him who left us an example, that we should follow His steps, 'Not my will, but thine, be done'" (page 174)

"Someone has said that our trials are great opportunities. our adversities are greater opportunities for our faith to shine. The severity and adversity of the unjust judge created the opportunity for the widow's faith to shine. Adversities test our faith and display whether it is genuine or not. I know some people who seemed to have a very real and strong faith until they found themselves facing adversities, and then all their faith seemed to vanish. They lost their employment, and instead of holding on to the promises of GOd and relying on Him as their Heavenly Father to provide for them, they got discouraged and lost all joy and buoyancy of soul. that showed that there was something very much lacking in their faith. The genuine faith is the faith that overcomes when tested by adversity. A number of years ago Mrs Commissioner Booth-Tucker was killed in a railway accident. In connection with that sore bereavement, one who was a friend of the Commissioner relates this incident, 'I said to him, Commissioner, the passing of your beloved wife is one of the things that I freely confess that I cannot understand.' He looked at me across the table, his eyes wet with tears, and yet his face radiant with the light that never was on land or sea, and said, 'Dear friend, do you know the cross can only be reached by tragedy? When my wife and I were last in Chicago, I was trying to lead a sceptic to Christ. At last he said, 'It is all very well. You mean well; but if that beautiful woman at your side lay dead and cold by you, how would you believe in God?' Within one month she had been taken through the awful tragedy of a railway accident, and I went back to Chicago, and, in the hearing of a vast multitude said, 'Here, in the midst of this crowd, standing by the side of my dead wife as I take her to burial, I want to say that I still believe in God and I love Him.' He had a faith which enabled him to glorify God in his deepest affliction." (pages45-6)

"A few years ago a Jew, by the name of Arthur B. Genese, who had sunk to the lowest depths of sin, got wonderfully converted ...He became an evangelist and a great soul-winner, but after a few years of full time service in the Master's vineyard he was seized with cancer of the throat. During the last year of his life he suffered excruciating pain, but all the time he kept praising the Lord. Every twinge of pain that would naturally call forth a complaining sigh he turned into expressions of praise to the Lord. In a letter to a friend towards the close of his life he wrote, 'The pain never ceases; but I praise God for the gift of His glorious Son, who bestows such wonderful grace in these times of testing! He is far better than all His promises...I am leading a more and more (kind of) life, if I may call it so. The more pain, the more grace; the more grace, the more peace; the more peace, the more joy - yes! wonderful joy in the knowledge of the Saviour, Who is with me constantly.' A week later he wrote again, 'Breathing is difficult; sleep is scarce. But Hallelujah! the peace just grows deeper and deeper and more beautiful as the days go by. And Jesus is more precious than ever.' Such resignation and glorying in tribulation was bound to have a powerful influence on those who witnessed it. People who would not be moved by any amount of preaching were awakened and melted by such testimony to the marvellous grace of God. After visiting Mr Genese in his sickroom and learning a little about him, a young lady wrote to a friend; 'You ask if I have had a blessing (at a meeting she had been attending). No! It's Mr Genese! The thought of his lying there in all his pain, and yet thinking of others and of his Lord, has touched me more than I can say. It has had a tremendous effect on me.'...The uncomplaining resignation and joyful endurance of a most painful affliction, manifested by Arthur B. Genese, is an example of what the marvellous grace of Christ can accomplish in the soul that is fully yielded to Him." (pages 46-48)

(Added to UK Apologetics 2001).

(These are extracts from a very old, undated and apparently uncopyrighted book published by Marshall, Morgan and Scott, and written by K.M. McRitchie).



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