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............."Oh, the gallant fisher's life, It is the best of any 'Tis full of pleasure, void of strife, And 'tis beloved of many." ..........[Piscator's Song, "The Compleat Angler" by Izaak Walton] "The fishers also shall mourn,and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish." [Isaiah XIX:8]

Saturday, November 5, 2016


In the midst of this tumultuous, if not despicable, presidential campaign and that in the face of unprecedented worldwide terror from the hands of radical Islamists, it seemed good to me to offer a healthy dose of biblical heavenly-mindedness.  I have in mind a sermon based on Hebrews 11: 9-10 which was preached by Geerhardus Vos in  Princeton Seminary chapel more than a century ago  and  printed in the little book Grace and Glory.  :

By faith [Abraham] lived as an alien in the land of promise,

as in a foreign land,

dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob,

fellow heirs of the same promise;

for he was looking for the city

which has foundations,

whose architect and builder is God. (Hebrews 11:9-10)

     I offer the following excerpt:

from Grace and Glory by Geerhardus Vos

            Man belongs to two spheres.  And Scripture not only teaches that these two spheres are distinct, it also teaches what estimate of relative importance ought to be placed upon them.  Heaven is the primordial, earth the secondary creation.

            An excess of interest in the present life, when shown in the name of the religion, is apt in our day to be a synonym of doubt or unbelief in regard to the life to come.  Our modern Christian life so often lacks the poise and stability of the eternal.  Religion has come so overmuch to occupy itself with the things of time that it catches the spirit of time.  Its purposes turn fickle and unsteady; its methods become superficial and ephemeral; it alters its course so constantly; it borrows so readily from sources beneath itself, that it undermines its own prestige in matters pertaining to the eternal world.  Where lies the remedy?  It would be useless to seek it in withdrawal from the struggles of this present world.  The true corrective lies in this, that we must learn again to carry a heaven-fed and heaven centered spirit into our walk and work below.  The grand teaching of the epistle that through Christ and the New Covenant the heavenly projects into the earthly, as the headlands of a continent project into the ocean, should be made fruitful for the whole tone and temper of our Christian service.  Every task should be at the same time a means of grace from and an incentive to work for heaven.  There has been One greater than Abraham, who lived his life in absolute harmony with this principle, in whom the fullest absorption in his earthly calling could not for a moment disturb the consciousness of being a child of heaven.

            A religion that has ceased to set its face towards the celestial city is bound sooner or later to discard also all supernatural resources in its endeavour to transform this present world.  The days are perhaps not far distant when we shall find ourselves confronted with a quasi-form of Christianity professing openly to place its dependence on and to work for the present life alone, a religion, to use the language of Hebrews, become profane and a fornicator like Esau, selling for a mess of earthly pottage its heavenly birthright.

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