Sometime ago a brother with a view to my making some comment in this column loaned me a little pamphlet with the above title. Who this Uncle Mike is we are not told. The Meditations are compiled and distributed by a certain M.F. Engle of Corbin, Kentucky. 

Our readers, as we did, may find some of these Meditations interesting reading. We therefore quote some of them without further comment. 

“If nobody is ever offended at your preaching, shut up your Bible and quit. You are in the wrong business. 

He that puts the Bible in the crucible of human reason and twists it to say what his reason thinks it ought to say has no business in a Christian pulpit. 

A universe without decrees would be irrational and appalling as an express train driving on in the darkness without headlight or engineer. 

Regeneration and faith are simultaneous—The adoption of this theory will save us perplexities that will otherwise annoy. For instance, those insisting on the precedence of regeneration will be not a little perplexed when asked if there can be a regenerated unbeliever; and those taking the opposite view will be equally perplexed when asked if there can be an unregenerated believer. 

Men will allow God to be everywhere except on His throne. They will allow Him to be in His workshop to fashion worlds and make stars. They will allow Him to be in His almsry to dispense His alms and bestow His bounties. They will allow Him to sustain the earth and to bear up the pillars thereof, to light the lamps of Heaven, and to rule the waves 6f the ever moving ocean. But when God ascends the throne, then His creatures gnash their teeth; when we proclaim an enthroned God and His right to do as He wills with His own, to dispose of His creatures as He thinks well without consulting them in the matter, then it is that we are hissed and execrated, and then it is that men turn a deaf ear to us, for God on His throne is not the God they love. But it is God on the throne that we love to teach. It is God on His throne whom we trust. 

Election is injustice to none, while it is an unspeakable blessing to some. It takes a multitude which no man can number, but which God can number, out of the fallen race of Adam and raises them up to hope and Heaven. 

To be born is an everlasting calamity, unless we are born again. 

God is both architect and builder of the house made of living stones. 

God sets the gospel table and also gives appetite for the bread of life.

The Holy Spirit fills the Father’s house by compelling them to come in. This is not external compulsion which would destroy human free agency, but is an inward work of grace which produces willingness and desire to come in.

The way to have strong faith is to have a great and mighty God. No one’s faith can be stronger than he believes his God to be. I cannot have strong faith in a God who, I think, is weaker than men. If my God is weak, then my faith, of necessity, will be accordingly weak; I cannot have much faith in God if I believe he is being defeated on most battle fields. I cannot have much faith in God if I believe he is trying and failing. If I believe His will is being thwarted by the will of men. If I believe He is doing the best He can to accomplish the most good He can, and to save as many as He can. But, if like Job, I believe that, what His soul desireth, even that he doeth,’ then with Paul I can say, ‘He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think according to the power that worketh in us.’ 

Faith is a provision for men who are so fallen that they cannot lift the axe of justice; So corrupt that they cannot change their own nature; So averse to God that they cannot come to Him; So blind that they cannot see Him; So deaf that they cannot hear Him, and so dead that He Himself must open their graves and lift them unto resurrection. 

Of old, God complained to an apostate Israel, ‘Thou thoughtest that I was altogether as thyself.’ Such must now be his indictment against an apostate Christendom. Men imagine the Most High to be moved by sentiment, rather than actuated by principle. They suppose His omnipotency is such and idle fiction that Satan is thwarting His designs on every side. They think that if He has formed any plan or purpose at all, then it must be like theirs, constantly subject to change. They openly declare that whatever power He possesses must be restricted lest He invade the citadel of man’s free will and reduce him to a machine. 

The lower the all efficacious atonement, which has actually redeemed everyone for which it was made to a mere remedy which sin-sick souls may use of as they feel disposed to, and they enervate the invincible work of the Holy Spirit to an offer of the gospel which sinners may accept or reject as they please. 

The God of this twentieth century no more resembles the God of Holy Writ than does the dim flickering of a candle, the glory of the mid-day sun. The God who is now talked about in the average pulpit, spoken of in the ordinary Sunday School and mentioned in much of the religious literature of today, and preached about in many of our so-called Bible conferences, is the figment of human imagination, an invention of maudlin sentimentality. The heathen outside the pale of Christendom form gods out of wood and stone, while the millions of heathen inside Christendom manufacture a god out of their own carnal mind. In reality, they are but atheists for there is no other possible alternative between an absolute sovereign God and no God at all. A God whose will is resisted, whose designs are frustrated, whose purpose is checkmated, possesses no title to Deity and so far as, being a fit object of worship, deserves naught but contempt. 

We ask the question, how shall we come to Jesus, the resurrection? How shall they that are dead, in themselves, seek and establish contact with the power of life? Shall preachers be sent to them to declare to them that Jesus is the resurrection and that He is willing to impart His life to them? That He is waiting for them somewhere? That He is watching for the signal on their part that He may go ahead and quicken them? Shall we tell men that He can do no more, and that if the dead will not come to Him, the resurrection can never come to them; and shall we thus persuade the dead to take action at once before it is too late?

That is, in substance, the gospel, or rather the corruption of the gospel, that is being preached rather generally in our day. Such a perversion of the gospel denies, after all, that men are really dead and that Christ is really the resurrection. It preaches a death that is more powerful than the resurrection. A resurrection that must fail unless death gives its consent. 

I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I want to be. I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still, I am not what I used to be, and by the grace of God, I am what I am. 

To say that the destiny of the soul of one is in his own hands, reverses the very laws of nature, and implies that water can rise above the level of its source; that man can lift himself by his own boot-straps, and that the Ethiopian can change his skin and the leopard can divest himself of his, spotted robe. The theory that one’s destiny is in his own hands begets self-righteousness. The belief that destiny is in the hands of God, begets SELFNEGATION. 

The human will is free, but its freedom is within the limits of human nature. It is free like water; water is free to run down hill. It is free like the vulture; the vulture is free to eat carrion, but it would starve to death in a wheat field. Likewise, the sinner is free to do the things it is his nature to do, but until his nature is changed, he will starve to death in the presence of the Bread of Life. 

The hog’s vision is so constructed that, when he is under the acorn tree, he can never see the source from which his food comes, unless he is placed on his back.

A half truth concerning God’s Holy Word is more dangerous and deceptive than a plain falsehood. One may, indeed, freely proclaim, ‘over vale and hill,’ that whosoever will may conic, but he is unfaithful to his ministry unless he adds, ‘no one can come unless the Father draws him.’ 

An anxious and pleading God, whose power is limited, and whose hands may be tied by the proud and stubborn sinner, who is less than dust of the balance, is no God, but a miserable idol. 

To speak of cooperation between God and man, in the matter of salvation, is like speaking of cooperation between the potter and his lump of clay in the formation of a vessel, God is God! Over him, man is never a party. 

Throughout this series of meditation we have sought to emphasize a God of sovereign grace who does according to His will in the army of Heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth.’ This teaching stands out in bold relief against the abominable travesty of many modern preachers and self-styled evangelists of our day. All emphasis is laid on that word ‘ACCEPT.’ One must accept Jesus and that is all. And to do this lies in the power of every sinner. On this acceptance of Jesus by the sinner everything depends. For this act on the part of the sinner, the Savior must wait. It is the signal which the sinner gives Christ that He may go ahead and quicken him. It is the act whereby the sinner opens the door of his heart to a Christ that stands and knocks at the door, but is unable to enter unless the sinner permits Him. O, indeed, they admit that salvation is of grace, and some even prattle of sovereign grace, but this grace is, nevertheless, presented as enervated and paralyzed if the sinner refuse its saving operation. The sinner’s power to accept or reject Jesus receives’ all the emphasis. That the act itself is very natural and simple. All that is required of the sinner is to raise his hand, to come forward, or to kneel down by the radio and repeat after the preacher, ‘I accept Jesus as my personal Savior,’ and the matter is settled. 

Seeing that the thing is so natural, very natural means are employed: Hence, the highly sensational altar call climaxing the sermon. All that is calculated to arouse mere human emotions is brought into play. Sentimentalism replaces sound preaching of the Word. The audience is asked to bow their heads in silent prayer, the organ softly plays, or the choir gently sings: ‘Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,’ or ‘Just as I am without one plea,’ and in the meantime the preacher begs and pleads with voice full of emotion for sinners to raise their hand, to come forward, to let Jesus into their heart and to accept Him as their personal Savior. He speaks of a God that begs for the privilege to come into their hearts; of a Holy Spirit that longs to make newborn children of God of them, and of a sinner upon whom depends the decision of life and death, of Hell and Heaven, of the whole matter of salvation, and of the very glory of God in Christ. 

Against this evil sentimentalism and free-willism, gone wild, we raise our unqualified protest. It is high time that the church, which is the custodian of the gospel, and to whom the commission to preach the Word, should raise her voice in loud protest against this evil of presenting Jesus as the cheapest article on the religious market, that may be either received or rejected at the sinners will.” 

M.S.