The Red Redmaynesby Eden Phillpotts
This is a post WW1 mystery, written in the so-called golden age of mystery stories. Set in Britain.
Things as They Are Mission Work in Southern India
Here is a review written by a contemporary of Miss Carmichael’s:
From Rev. T. Stewart, M.A., Secretary, United Free Church Mission, Madras.
This book, Things as They Are, meets a real need—it depicts a phase of mission work of which, as a rule, very little is heard. Every missionary can tell of cases where people have been won for Christ, and mention incidents of more than passing interest. Miss Carmichael is no exception, and could tell of not a few trophies of grace. The danger is, lest in describing such incidents the impression should be given that they represent the normal state of things, the reverse being the case. The people of India are not thirsting for the Gospel, nor “calling us to deliver their land from error’s chain.” The night is still one in which the “spiritual hosts of wickedness” have to be overcome before the captive can be set free. The writer has laid all interested in the extension of the Kingdom of God under a deep debt of obligation by such a graphic and accurate picture of the difficulties that have to be faced and the obstacles to be overcome. Counterparts of the incidents recorded can be found in other parts of South India, and there are probably few missionaries engaged in vernacular work who could not illustrate some of them from their own experience.
Current Reader Review: In this book by Amy Carmichael, we have a very candid portrayal of the life of a missionary in Southern India in the early 1900′s. This particular book was published in 1903. One of its defining characteristics, as with all of her writing is that the honest truth is told. She does not sensationalize or romanticize the missionary life. She by no means sugarcoats the truth. She tells of life like it really is. She shares both the joys and the hardships of the missionary life. She appeals to the conscience of the reader and asks for prayers, for financial support and even for more laborers; believing that the workers are indeed few, but the need is so great.
This book, as the title says, covers stories from the experience of Amy Carmichael and the other missionaries working in Southern India. I will not go into detail, except to say that their missionary work consisted primarily in saving children from some of the perils of Indian life at the beginning of the 20th century. For a more comprehensive biography of Amy Carmichael, I recommend the book “Amma”, written by Elizabeth R. Sloglund. See also the wikipedia entry here.
Some of the chapters include stories about children, such as we find in chapter 5, “The Prey of the Terrible”. Carmichael writes:
There is a young girl in Cupid’s Lake Village whose heart the Lord opened some weeks ago. She is a gentle, timid girl, and devoted to her mother. “Can it be right to break my mother’s heart?” She used to ask us pitifully. We urged her to try to win her mother, but the mother was just furious. The moment she understood that her daughter wanted to follow Jesus, or “join the Way,” as she would express it, she gathered the girl’s books and burnt them, and forbade her ever to mention the subject; and she went all round the villages trying to stop our work.
There are many stories like this one. They are always personal and heartfelt. Here is another example from the chapter called, “The Elf”:
Sometimes she brings me perplexities not new to most of us. “This morning I prayed with great desire, ‘Lord, keep me to-day from being naughty at all,’ and I was naughty an hour afterwards; I looked at the clock and saw. How was I was naughty when I wanted to be good? The naughtiness jumped up inside me, so” – (illustrating its supposed action within), “and it came running out. So what is the use of praying?
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I gained a clearer picture of what the daily life of missionaries like Amy Carmichael was like during this time period. I found the book convicting in many places. It made me want to find out about the current work in India and the progress that the gospel has made over the past 100 years. It certainly motivates me to pray more for foreign missions and to be generous when asked to give financially. It also made me remember my days on the mission field and wish for another opportunity to go.
I think my only criticism with the book was that it was at times melodramatic. Her appeals to the conscience of the reader to be involved bordered on emotionalism. While she was emotional, she was also factual. On the whole, I found the emotional appeals to be a little overbearing.
While this book, is a little dated, is still inspiring and challenging. It caused me to ponder again my responsibility towards missions and our calling as the church. What are we doing to further the advance of the kingdom and to spread he gospel around the world?
The Consideration of Our Saviour’s Precept,
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth”.
By Anthony Norris Groves (1795–1853).
Excerpt: We all know what a persuasive power the deaths of the Martyrs exerted on the minds of those who witnessed them; and, in its just measure and proportion, would the dedication of property, time and talents, have a similar effect at the present day. It would convince those, whom we are anxious to convince, of the reality of our faith in that Redeemer and that inheritance, which they now think only a name, in consequence of the secular spirit that disfigures the Christianity of too many of its professors. How differently would the Heathen look on our endeavours to publish the mercy of our glorified Lord, if the hardy and suffering spirit of primitive times were to descend again on the silken age into which we are fallen! and if they perceived in us that love which led them to endure all things for the elect’s sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. Example is a far more fruitful source of self-denial than the influence exerted on the mind by precept. If we call on those, who know nothing of the savour of that Name which is as ointment poured forth, to give up all for Christ, and this you literally do to every Hindoo and Mahomedan; let us, who thus call, and who profess to know much of the power of His Name, do so likewise; that they may catch a kindred spirit from a living exhibition. Let us evidence, in very deed, that we love not the world, neither the things of the world, but that the love of the Father is in us. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he, that doeth the will of God, abideth for ever” (1 John 2. 15).
The Calvary Road
From the introduction; I am sure from my own experience, as well as from what we have seen in the ranks of our Mission these last three years, that what the authors tell us about in these pages is one of God’s vital words to His worldwide church today. For long I had regarded revival only from the angle of some longed for, but very rare, sudden outpouring of the Spirit on a company of people. I felt that there was a missing link somewhere. Knowing of the continuing revival on a certain mission field, and because it was continuing and not merely sudden and passing, I long felt that they had a further secret we needed to learn. Then the chance came for heart-to-heart fellowship with them, first through one of our own missionary leaders whose life and ministry had been transformed by a visit to that field, and then through conferences with some of their missionaries on furlough and finally through the privilege of having two of the native brethren living for six months at our headquarters.
From them I learned and saw that revival is first personal and immediate. It is the constant experience of any simplest Christian who “walks in the light,” but I saw that walking in the light means an altogether new sensitiveness to sin, a calling things by their proper name of sin, such as pride, hardness, doubt, fear, self-pity, which are often passed over as merely human reaction. It means a readiness to “break” and confess at the feet of Him who was broken for us, for the Blood does not cleanse excuses, but always cleanses sin, confessed as sin; then revival is just the daily experience of a soul full of Jesus and running over.
Further, we are beginning to learn, as a company of Christ’s witnesses, that the rivers of life to the world do not flow out in their fulness through one man, but through the body, the team. Our brokenness and openness must be two-way, horizontal as well as vertical, with one another as with God. We are just beginning to experience in our own ranks that team work in the Spirit is one of the keys to revival, and that we have to learn and practice the laws of a living fellowship
Holy in Christ Thoughts on the Calling of God’s Children to be Holy as He is Holy
Reader review: God’s plan for us does not end with salvation in Jesus Christ but in an ever growing relationship based on the life of Christ within us changing us and bringing us into a higher level of relationship with the Father. If you are looking for greater spiritual insight into our mission as Christians in this life and the one to come, you need to read this book. Murray’s teaching gift is evident in every lesson of this book. He has a way of communicating (inspired by the Holy Spirit, no doubt) that is just as engaging and real world relevant today as when first written. Read this book prayerfully and thoughtfully. It is truly inspiring.
Excerpt: ‘Like as He which called you is holy, be ye yourselves also holy in all manner of living; because it is written, Ye shall be holy, for I am holy.’—1 Pet. i. 15, 16.
THE call of God is the manifestation in time of the purpose of eternity: ‘Whom He predestinated, them He also called.’ Believers are ‘the called according to His purpose.’ In His call He reveals to us what His thoughts and His will concerning us are, and what the life to which He invites us. In His call He makes clear to us what the hope of our calling is; as we spiritually apprehend and enter into this, our life on earth will be the reflection of His purpose in eternity.
Holy Scripture uses more than one word to indicate the object or aim of our calling, but none more frequently than what Peter speaks of here—God has called us to be holy as He is holy. Paul addresses believers twice as ‘called to be holy’ (Rom. i. 7; 1 Cor. i. 2). ‘God called us’, he says, ‘not for uncleanness, but in sanctification’ (1 Thess. 12iv. 7). When he writes, ‘The God of peace sanctify you wholly,’ he adds, ‘Faithful is He which calleth you, who also will do it’ (1 Thess. v. 24). The calling itself is spoken of as ‘a holy calling.’ The eternal purpose of which the calling is the outcome, is continually also connected with holiness as its aim. ‘He hath chosen us in Him, that we should be holy and without blame’ (Eph. i. 4). ‘Whom God chose from the beginning unto salvation in sanctification’ (2 Thess. ii. 12). ‘Elect according to the foreknowledge of the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit’ (1 Pet. i. 2). The call is the unveiling of the purpose that the Father from eternity had set His heart upon: that we should be holy.
It needs no proof that it is of infinite importance to know aright what God has called us to. A misunderstanding here may have fatal results. You may have heard that God calls you to salvation or to happiness, to receive pardon or to obtain heaven, and never noticed that all these were subordinate. It was to ‘salvation in sanctification,’ it was to Holiness in the first place, as the element in which salvation and heaven are to be found. The complaints of many Christians as to lack of joy and strength, as to failure and want of growth, are simply owing to this—the place God gave Holiness in His call they have not given it in their response. God and they have never yet come to an agreement on this.
Quiet Talks on Service
Personal Contact with Jesus: The Beginning of Service
The Triple Life: The Perspective of Service
Yokefellows: The Rhythm of Service
A Passion for Winning Men: The Motive-power of Service
Deep-Sea Fishing: The Ambition of Service
Money: The Golden Channel of Service
Worry: A Hindrance to Service
Gideon’s Band: Sifted for Service
Excerpt: Looking at Jesus–what does it mean practically? It means hearing about Him first, then actually appealing to Him, accepting His word as personal to one’s self, putting Him to the test in life, trusting His death to square up one’s sin score, trusting His power to clean the heart and sweeten the spirit, and stiffen the will. It means holding the whole life up to His ideals. Aye, it means more yet; something on His side, an answering look from Him. There comes a consciousness within of His love and winsomeness. That answering look of His holds us forever after His willing slaves, love’s slaves. Paul speaks of the eyes of the heart. It is with these eyes we look at Him, and receive His answering look.
There are different ways of looking at Jesus, degrees in looking. Our experiences with Jesus affect the eyes of the heart. When this same John as an old man was writing that first epistle, he seems to recall his experience in looking that first day. He says “that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we beheld.”1 From seeing with the eyes he had gone to earnest, thoughtful gazing, caught with the vision of what he saw. That was John’s own experience. It is everybody’s experience that gets a look at Jesus. When the first looking sees something that catches fire within, then does the inner fire affect the eye and more is seen.
You have been in a strange city walking down the street, looking with interest at what is there. But all at once you are caught by a sign that contains a familiar name, and at once a whole flood of memories is awakened.
The little Jericho Jew peering down from the low out-reaching sycamore branch was full of curiosity to see the Man that had changed his old friend Levi Matthew so strangely. But that curiosity quickly changes into something far deeper and more tender as Jesus comes to abide in his own home.
That lonely-lifed, sore-hearted woman on the Nain road looked with startled wonder out of those wet eyes of hers as Jesus begins talking to her dead son. What love and faith must have been in her looking as Jesus with fine touch brings her boy by the hand over to her warm embrace again!
We are Changed.
Looking at Jesus changes us. Paul’s famous bit in the second Corinthian letter has a wondrous tingle of gladness in it. “We all with open face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord are changed from glory to glory.”2 The change comes through our looking. The changing power comes in through the eyes. It is the glory of the Lord that is seen. The glorious Jesus looking in through our looking eyes changes us. It is gradual. It is ever more, and yet more, till by and by His own image comes out fully in our faces.
We become like those with whom we associate. A man’s ideals mold him. Living with Jesus makes us look like Himself. We are familiar with the work that has been done in restoring old fine paintings. A painting by one of the rare old master painters is found covered with the dust of decades. Time has faded out much of the fine coloring and clearly marked outlines. With great patience and skill it is worked over and over. And something of the original beauty, coming to view again, fully repays the workman for all his pains.
Hymns of the Greek Church Translated with Introduction and Notes
I have enjoyed reading this book before just as poetry of early believers.
Excerpt: ST. METHODIUS
Methodius, a prominent name in Ecclesiastical history, and a Father of the Church, was born about the middle of the third century. He was first of all Bishop of Olympus in Lycia, and, according to Jerome, became ultimately Bishop of Tyre. He combated certain views of Origen, but would seem to have been influenced not a little by the teaching of that great theologian.
In his principal work, The Banquet of the Ten Virgins, the hymn is found from which the following is a cento. It contains twenty-four strophes, each beginning with a letter of the Greek alphabet in alphabetical order, and ending with the same refrain.
Methodius is said to have suffered martyrdom under Diocletian about 311 A.D.
ἄνωθεν, παρθένοι, βοῆς ἐγερσίνεκρος ἦχος
Behold the Bridegroom! Hark the cry,
The dead, awaking, rends the sky!
Go, virgins, He is near,
Your lamps all burning clear;
He enters where the rising light
Asunder bursts the gates of night.
In holy garb, with lamp aglow,
To meet the Bridegroom forth I go.
The smiles of earth that turn to tears,
Its empty joys and foolish fears
I leave, for Thou dost call—
Thou art my Life, my All;
I would Thy beauty ever see,
Then let me, Blessed, cling to Thee.
In holy garb, with lamp aglow,
To meet the Bridegroom forth I go.
The Shepherd of the Hills
IT was corn-planting time, when the stranger followed the Old Trail into the Mutton Hollow neighborhood.
All day a fine rain had fallen steadily, and the mists hung heavy over the valley. The lower hills were wrapped as in a winding sheet; dank and cold. The trees were dripping with moisture. The stranger looked tired and wet.
By his dress, the man was from the world beyond the ridges, and his carefully tailored clothing looked strangely out of place in the mountain wilderness. His form stooped a little in the shoulders, perhaps with weariness, but he carried himself with the unconscious air of one long used to a position of conspicuous power and influence; and, while his well-kept hair and beard were strongly touched with white, the brown, clear lighted eyes, that looked from under their shaggy brows, told of an intellect unclouded by the shadows of many years. It was a face marked deeply by pride; pride of birth, of intellect, of culture; the face of a scholar and poet; but it was more–it was the countenance of one fairly staggering under a burden of disappointment and grief.
As the stranger walked, he looked searchingly into the mists on every hand, and paused frequently as if questioning the proper course. Suddenly he stepped quickly forward. His ear had caught the sharp ring of a horse’s shoe on a flint rock somewhere in the mists on the mountain side above. It was Jed Holland coming down the trail with a week’s supply of corn meal in a sack across his horse’s back.
As the figure of the traveler emerged from the mists, the native checked his horse to greet the newcomer with the customary salutation of the backwoods, “Howdy.”
The man returned Jed’s greeting cordially, and, resting his satchel on a rock beside the narrow path, added, “I am very glad to meet you. I fear that I am lost.”
The voice was marvelously pure, deep, and musical, and, like the brown eyes, betrayed the real strength of the man, denied by his gray hair and bent form. The tones were as different from the high keyed, slurring speech of the backwoods, as the gentleman himself was unlike any man Jed had ever met. The boy looked at the speaker in wide-eyed wonder; he had a queer feeling that he was in the presence of a superior being.
Throwing one thin leg over the old mare’s neck, and waving a long arm up the hill and to the left, Jed drawled, “That thar’s Dewey Bal’; down yonder’s Mutton Holler.” Then turning a little to the right and pointing into the mist with the other hand, he continued, “Compton Ridge is over thar. Whar was you tryin’ to git to, Mister?”
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