Dr Tow's Letter 18 Mar 2018

My dear readers,
(Extracts from Daily Remembrancer by Pastor James Smith, edited by Dr SH Tow)

1.  "She loved much" (Luke 7:47, Feb 23 EVENING)

“Thy sins are forgiven.” These words from God the Son were as the sweetest music in the ears of the one forgiven. The woman from the city had been a great sinner; convinced of her sin, she sought the Saviour; seeking pardon, she found mercy. Deeply affected with the love of Christ and the manner in which He displayed it, her soul responded with love to Him in return. She not only loved Him, but she loved Him much: and therefore she could endure scorn, contempt, and persecution, in order to enjoy His presence and listen to His word. With love overflowing she brought the alabaster box of precious ointment, washed His feet with her tears, wiped them with the hair of her head, and anointed them with the ointment. Here is an example for us; we also are great sinners, Jesus has kindly received us and pardoned our sins; His love to us is as great as it was to this woman, but is our love to Him equal to hers? I fear not. But why? Because our conviction of sin is not as deep, our feeling of unworthiness not as strong, our apprehension of danger not as real, and our sense of pardoning mercy not as heartfelt. We must direct our prayers to Jesus, and ask for the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love. Then we too shall love Him much.

For love like thine, O God of heav’n,
What grateful honours shall we show?
Where much transgression is forgiv’n,
Let love in equal ardour flow.

2. "Gethsemane" (Matt 26:36, Jan 9 MORNING)

The agony in this Garden was a prelude to the victory on the cross. Here Jesus, the substitute of His people, received the cup of wrath from the hand of His offended Father. It was the wrath of God, what we had deserved; the punishment we should have endured; the Son of God in our nature, in our stead, for our salvation, was punished by divine justice. No human hand touched Him, no human voice spoke to Him, when He sweated great drops of blood falling down to the ground. It was the baptism He expected, and O how great was His love, the baptism He came to undergo! See the wonderful sufferer, hear His dreadful groans, listen to His heart-breaking sighs; heaven and hell are astonished, only man remains unaffected. Beloved, He is our surety. He is paying our debt, redeeming our souls, purchasing our happiness, and making our peace. He went to Gethsemane that we might not go to hell. He was punished that we might be spared. Often, very often, visit this sacred spot; here by faith have fellowship with Christ in His sufferings. O my soul, I charge thee to visit Gethsemane, and visit it very often for fellowship with Jesus!

Go to the garden, sinner, see
Those precious drops that flow;
The heavy load He bore for thee:
For thee He stooped so low.

3. “Being in an agony” (Luke 22:44, May 5 MORNING)

He prayed more earnestly. Our Surety suffers for us. Beloved, let us visit Gethsemane today and see this strange sight: Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, the brightness of Jehovah's glory and the express image of His person, groans on the cold ground, baptized in blood. He is sore amazed. His heart is filled with horror and His mind with dread. His soul is troubled, tossed with tempests and not comforted. He is exceeding sorrowful even unto death. The sorrows of death compass Him and the pains of hell have gotten hold upon Him. His heart like wax is melted, His whole nature is convulsed. He sweats blood. He cries aloud with an exceeding bitter cry for His heart fails Him. No human hand touches Him, but it is the hour and power of darkness. Our sins heap upon Him; His soul is made an offering for our sins; and it has pleased Jehovah to bruise Him. Was ever sorrow like unto His sorrow? He is in an agony. Here our sins are punished, our iniquities are expiated, and our justification is procured. O to love Jesus, even to an agony!

Go to dark Gethsemane,
Ye that feel the tempter's power;
Your Redeemer's conflict see,
Watch with Him one bitter hour;
Turn not from His griefs away,
Learn of Jesus Christ to pray.

4. "Peter followed Him afar off" (Matt 26:58, Sep 14 EVENING)

Peter denied the Lord whom he professed to love. Have not we done the same? Once we thought that nothing could cool our love, dampen our ardour, or turn our feet aside. Like Peter, we thought we might even die for Him. But we have long since discovered our mistake. Still, it is better to follow at a distance, than to turn our backs on Him. For Peter there was some excuse in the circumstances in which his Master was placed; for us there is none. Faith brings us near to Jesus, and love keeps us there; unbelief is the cause of our slow pace, and lagging behind in His ways. Let us carefully guard against unbelief. It poisons our loyalty, shakes our profession, dampens our zeal, hinders our communion, thrusts us away from Jesus, and alienates our souls from Him. Let us encourage our faith, strengthen our hearts, quicken our pace, endear our Saviour, fortify our minds, and keep near to our beloved Lord. Reader, are you following the Lord closely? Or, are you like Peter, afar off? If you are, beware. You know to what this conduct led him; who knows where it may lead you? Get close to Jesus, and keep close. Let your thoughts gather round Him, your affections fix upon Him, and your hopes centre in Him.

The soul that would to Jesus cleave
And hear His gracious call,
Must his own strength and wisdom leave,
And let the Lord be all.

God bless all readers.

Yours faithfully in the Saviour’s Service,

Dr SH Tow

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