Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Unexpected blessings in St Andrews

Today we toured St. Andrews, beginning with San Salvator's College, and the site on which Patrick Hamilton was martyred for his bold proclamation of Christ and his gospel of free grace, February 28, 1527. Hamilton was only 24 years old. Here's an excerpt from THE MIGHTY WEAKNESS OF JOHN KNOX:

 Finally, Christians bewildered by those who preach that we keep or forfeit justification by our obedience or disobedience to the law will find in Knox’s teaching refreshing clarity on faith and good works, “on which men so readily and so fatally go astray.”[i] The first Scottish Reformation martyr Patrick Hamilton laid a firm foundation for Knox here. From Luther, Hamilton had made the greatest of all discoveries, that men and women do not earn or keep salvation by the works of the law. Hamilton imaginatively put the adversaries, law and gospel, in the ring to contend with one another. 
"The law saith, “Where is thy righteousness, thy goodness, thy satisfaction?” The gospel saith, “Christ is thy righteousness, thy goodness, thy satisfaction.” The law saith, “Thou art bound and obliged to me, to the devil, and to hell.” The gospel saith, ‘Christ hath delivered thee from them all.”

After taking in the chapel and singing from the Scottish Psalter and from Scots hymn writer Horatius Bonar (we visited his grave and sang in Edinburgh), then we visited St. Mary's College where Rutherford taught theology and where he died. On a whim, I asked the custodian if we could go into the Hall where Rutherford taught. Nice chap. he let us in there where we reviewed the important role Rutherford was called to in the second Reformation and at St. Andrews. Next visited Holy Trinity and the Sharpe memorial inside, commemorating the murder of Sharpe, May 3, 1679 by over-zealous Covenanters. From there we went to the cathedral where Knox preached and then to Rutherford's grave. I did an impromptu writing workshop with some of the young writers on the tour, they sitting in worn, stone monk stalls in the cathedral ruin, while I blabbed, and blabbed, and blabbed. We dispersed to the castle, St. Rule's Tower, the pier walk, martyrs monument, and the old course where three of our travelers had won a tee time to play the classic old course at the Royal and Ancient Golf Course, one of the most famous in the world. Started raining, but then this is Scotland and we wouldn't want everyone to get the wrong idea about the weather, now would we?
Talked about Thomas Chalmers and how God used him to inspire young men at St Andrews to proclaim Christ throughout the world in the 19th century missionary movement. Then off to the Balaka Restaurant, East Indian food to keep before our minds that "Christ purchased for God men from every tribe and kindred and people and tongue." Good fellowship all around! And off to Leuchars, Dundee, Perth in the morning, M'Cheyne and his horse, Church Extension at Dundee, and more on missions. Now to bed.


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