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All articles in category Historical

April 2014
Articles > Historical

Henry Havelock – ‘every inch a soldier and every inch a Christian’ (1)

In the south-east corner of Trafalgar Square stands a guano-spattered statue, not long ago the object of the then Mayor of London’s ire, who threatened to remove this relic of empire and replace it with something more ‘relevant’. On its plinth is this stirring declaration: ‘Soldiers! Your labours, your privations, your sufferings and your valour, will not be forgotten by a grateful country’. Such were the concluding words of the last Order of the Day penned by Major-General Sir Henry Havelock, written to his victorious troops in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Bithoor of August 1857, at the height of the Indian Mutiny...

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March 2014
Articles > Historical

Elkanah Wales of Pudsey (2)

In the 1650s, the Puritan, Elkanah Wales, wrote a book on the atonement entitled Mount Ebal levell’d or redemption from the curse. In this treatise he draws three conclusions. The first conclusion is that all men are under the curse of the law (see ET, February 2014). The second is that Christ was made a curse for us by having our sin imputed to him and enduring the wrath of God on our behalf. ‘The Lord Jesus … steps in and stands between us and the blow; yea, he takes this wrath and curse off from us unto himself’. Further, Christ ‘stands under the stroke...

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March 2014
Articles > Historical

Thomas Bilney – the forgotten Reformer

Just before his death in the flames, Hugh Latimer encouraged his fellow martyr Nicholas Ridley with these justly famous words: ‘Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle by God’s grace in England, as I trust shall never be put out’.  Latimer was indeed a great light, whose ministry shone out of the spiritual darkness covering England in the sixteenth century. But there was also another light; a lesser, almost forgotten light, whose name was Thomas Bilney. While lacking the energy and eloquence of Latimer, and the scholarly dedication of Tyndale, Bilney nevertheless played a...

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March 2014
Articles > Historical

William Gadsby – preaching with power

The humour of William Gadsby was unmistakable. When commenting on Acts 20:37: ‘they [the Ephesian church] fell upon Paul’s neck’, he remarked: ‘it did not mean a building of stone, for if it had been our old collegiate church, it would have broken his neck!’ On another occasion he noticed some boys misbehaving in the church, he stopped his sermon to warn them that he would tell their father, not realising that their father was actually asleep in his pew! Love Some criticised him for such flashes of wit in the pulpit, and considered him coarse. Gadsby also had a powerful, clear voice. He was one of...

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March 2014
Articles > Historical

Robert Haldane (1764-1842) (2)

Last month we learned about the conversion of Robert Haldane and his transformation from Scottish country gentleman to Continental gospel preacher. His arrival in a spiritually lifeless Geneva was to have an enormous impact for God’s kingdom. And God was going to reward his faithful ministry with revival blessing. Let’s see how the story continues. What was the outcome of this mighty work of God through the ministry of Robert Haldane? Storm clouds were gathering over Geneva. For while Haldane’s ministry had been a means of great blessing to the 25 young men he led to Christ and taught, it also stirred up antagonism in...

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February 2014
Articles > Historical

Robert Haldane (1764-1842) (1)

In July 2005, the World G8 Summit was held at the prestigious Gleneagles Hotel between Stirling and Perth in Scotland. It is doubtful if any of the world leaders in attendance would have even known the name of Robert Haldane, and yet the estates of Gleneagles and Airthrey in Stirlingshire had been the ancestral home of the Haldane family for several generations. Their lineage stretched back to Roger de Halden, to whom a charter had been granted by King William the Lyon in the twelfth century. And even among evangelicals, the names of Robert and James Haldane are little known today. So let’s look briefly...

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February 2014
Articles > Historical

The war that changed the world

‘They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them’. The memorials in every city, town and village, engraved with lists of the names of local people who died, starkly bring home to us the reality of ‘the war to end all wars’! One hundred years on, we feel deep gratitude for the sacrifice of a previous generation whose losses laid the foundation for our freedoms. It is right to remember and reflect on the war that changed the...

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February 2014
Articles > Historical

Elkanah Wales of Pudsey (1)

In the late 1650s, the Puritan minister Elkanah Wales wrote a majestic book on the doctrine of God’s satisfaction in the atonement. He entitled it Mount Ebal levell’d or redemption from the curse. He did not write because of ‘any itching desire to be seen in print’, but so he ‘would leave something behind … which might conduce to the building up of my hearers in the most holy faith and obedience’ something of ‘special necessity and worth, touching upon the three main pillars, or principles of Christian religion: man’s misery by the fall, his recovery by Christ, and his duty, arising thereupon’. Wales drew...

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