TRINITY LIFE

 

Iris's Archives 

Mrs Iris Holt, Church Warden Emerita at Holy Trinity Ashby, has long gathered material that supports and sustains her Christian faith. Starting in 2017, Iris is going to share snippets from her archives.
 

Here you can find the full text of Iris' latest Archive and links to past collections.


Iris' Archives, September 2019 

BOCSKAY, STEPHEN (boc'skay)

1557-1606 Prince of Transylvania. Hungarian leader of the Reformation. Champion of Protestantism in the 16th century in central Europe. His struggle, together with other Protestants, with the civic authorities to pro tect his rights and preserve his properties ultimately culminated in the peace of Vienna which guaranteed all the constitutional rights and religious privileges of the Hungarians both in Transylvania and imperial Hungary. Bocskay was important enough to the com plete picture of the Reformation in Europe to be included as one of the ten great Reforma tion leaders on the wall of the Monument to the Reformation in Geneva, Switzerland.

BURNING TORCH

As a Christian symbol it signifies witnessing for Christ. "Let your light so shine." (Matthew 5:1)

Hymn: Amazing Grace

[Crusader Hymns. No. 108] A Hymn Story by Billy Graham

One Sunday in 1966 during the Earls Court crusade in London, we were driving between speaking engagements in the university towns of Oxford and Cambridge. Suddenly I noticed that we were passing through the village of Olney and I remarked to my wife, "There's a famous church and graveyard here. Let's stop to visit them." Riding through the Olney village square, we passed the former home of William Cowper. It is now a museum that houses the personal effects of that great English poet, to whom we are indebted for classic poetry as well as for some of our finest hymns. This village is also famous as the place where the Shrove Tuesday pancake races originated. The Olney parish church of Saints Peter and Paul was built in the fourteenth century, but much of the original beauty and dignity remains. In the corner of the churchyard, almost overgrown with tall grass, we found what we were looking for — a large tombstone with these words inscribed: John Newton, Clerk; once an Infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves to Atria, was by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith be had long labored to destroy. Newton was the son of a sea captain who was engaged in the Mediterranean trade. His mother died when he was six, and after only two years of formal schooling he joined his father's ship at the age of eleven. His early life was one of immorality, debauchery and failure. He was rejected by his father, in trouble with all his employers, and finally jailed and degraded. In later years he served on slave ships, where he so incurred the hatred of his employer's negro wife that he became virtually a "slave of slaves." This miserable seaman was brought to his senses by reading Thomas a Kempis's book, Imitation of Christ. His actual conversion was the result of a violent storm in which he almost lost his life. At the age of thirty-nine, John Newton became a minister and gave the rest of his life to serving God in the church. During the fifteen years he was the pastor at Olney, he wrote many hymns. Together with William Cowper, he published a hymnal which was widely used in Anglican churches.

It seems to me that "Amazing Grace" is really Newton's own testimony of his conversion and of his life as a Christian. He might have begun the hymn with the first stanza of another of his poems. "He Died for Me," but these words have somehow dropped out of use: In evil long I took delight, thawed by shame or fear, Till a new object struck my sight, And stopped my wild career. "God's grace" has been defined as "His undeserved favor." It was this grace that reached out to John Newton. When he learned that Christ loved him and had died for him, he was amazed. It was this grace which made him conscious that he was a sinner ("grace taught my heart to fear") and then assured him that his sins were forgiven ("grace my fears relieved"). So it is with all of us. We are all "great sinners" not only because of transgressions committed, but also because we fall short of God's standard for our lives. And this "amazing grace" is available to all of us. [Road or sing stanzas 1 and al As Christian believers we continue to experience God's undeserved love and favor throughout all of life. Every day He forgives our shortcomings, if we confess them. Every day He supplies all our needs. John Newton never ceased to marvel at God's mercy and grace that had been granted to him. Over the mantelpiece in the Olney vicarage he had placed an inscription which still remains: Since thou west precious In my sight, thou had been honourable Ilsa. 43:41. But thou shalt remember that thou wart a bondman In the land of Egypt, and the Lad thy God redeemed thee (Mut. 15:15). He never forgot the sea. Late in life, when he was pastor of St. Mary, Woolnoth in London, Newton entered the pulpit in the uniform of a sailor, with a Bible in one hand and a hymnbook in the other. His mind was failing then, and he sometimes had to be reminded what he was preaching about. When someone suggested that he should retire, he replied, "What, shall the old African blasphemer stop while he can speak?" On another occasion, he said, "My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Saviour?' They tell us that the last stanza of this song was not written by John Newton. But I think he would agree that it is a fitting climax to his testimony. After he — and we — have been in heaven for ten thousand years worshipping our Lord, we will still have endless time to sing of His amazing grace!

Humour

Real Exam paper answers

What is a nitrate?

It is much cheaper than a day rate.

Give a bried explanation fo the meaning of the term 'hard water'

Ice

What is a vacuum?

Something my mum says I should do more often.

What is the process for separating a mixture of chalk and sand?

It is a process called flirtation

What is the process where steam turns into water?

Conversation

What happens when your body starts to age?

When you get old your organs work less efficiently and you can go intercontinental.

Inhabitants of Moscow are called...

Mosquitoes

Name one technique used by garmers to improve crop yield.

Farmers mostly increase crops by irritating the land.

Name a regular triangle

A three-sided triangle.

What is conditional probablility?

Maybe, maybe not

Who were the Bolsheviks?

People led by linen


Past Archives

Stephen Bocskay, Amazing Grace, The Buring Torch and real exam answers
Dean Henry Alford, The Wheat, The Appeal of the Third Verse, and a dead donkey
GUILLAUME FAREL, COLUMBINE, Henriette Auber, Form or Ceremony
The Reformation Wall, The Lamb, John Calvin, Thomas Kelly, Humour
The Phoenix, Jesus lives, thy terrors now Can, O Death no more appal us, William Temple, Beethoven's 7th
William Temple, O for a closer walk with God, The Jerusalem Cross, An Artist's Specification
Hymn: Much in sorrow; People: Henry White and John Darby; Symbol: The beehive; Humour: HWP
Iris' Archives will be back in February.
Coligny, The Angels, "O Holy Night", Humour
Thomas Cramner, The IHS, Love Divine All Loves Excelling
Athanasius, Isaac Watts, When I Survey, INRI and D. Nimmo
John Clarke, The Ship, Rock of Ages and The Archbishop and the egg
Coverdale, THE EPIPHANY STAR, The brightest and best of the stars of the morning
William Tyndale, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Carols on the Street
Constantine, "Come, ye thankful people, come", Dove with Olive Sprig
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Tim Phillips, 10/11/2018