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Memories of Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones

January 2015

A lady who knew Dr Lloyd-Jones well has kindly supplied these personal memories of ‘the Doctor’ to Evangelical Times.

Dr Lloyd-Jones did not use a ‘silver’ trumpet, but he sounded a very loud alarm in his ministry at Westminster Chapel, London.

The Sunday morning service always began with a very earnest prayer, and normally followed with an exposition from one of the epistles, such as Ephesians. Twice he took a series, on the subjects of revival and the Pilgrim’s progress.

On Sunday evenings he preached a gospel message, ending with an appeal to flee from the wrath to come, to flee to the Lord Jesus Christ and cast yourself upon him. He did a series on Acts on Sunday evenings.

His emphasis was always on the majesty of a holy God and the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ (following the pattern of the apostle Paul). You could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit and it was awe-some. You would invariably be moved to tears (not many preachers had that effect on me).

He was more than a gospel preacher; he was a Bible teacher and pastor as well. He gave time to people, listening and counselling. He was often exhausted from this; no problem was too small for him.

Hymns

The Doctor only allowed good solid hymns, and at least one metrical psalm, and was very specific about the music to accompany them. He would never have allowed guitars or bands, but did have a good organist! He preferred not having a choir, as he favoured the role of the congregation in singing. He even rebuked the congregation at times for not singing!

We sang the Te Deum once a year at Easter (attributed to St Augustine of Hippo). Friday nights were entirely devoted to expositions of the epistle to the Romans, which left you marvelling and worshipping.

You were strongly encouraged to think about the Scripture for yourself and not follow blindly any one interpretation or commentary. I have since found Romans one of the most difficult to interpret correctly on some chapters, and do not necessarily agree entirely with the Doctor on every single interpretation — and he would smile at that!

He had observed how much I loved Friday nights and my love of ‘justification by faith alone, through grace alone’. I am also a great admirer of the German theologian and Reformer Martin Luther, and, of course, the Doctor did not leave us ignorant over these periods of history or the great revivals of the Christian church.

I would share one other thing with you personally. He told me once that he never knew if anyone had really been saved or helped through his ministry. This astonished me and yet, knowing his deep humility, I am not really surprised he felt this.