2005-06-27 - Memoirs
Exodus 33:6 So the sons of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments from Mount Horeb onward.
In the sermons I have been hearing lately at my church, there have been consistent mention of an old church divine named Thomas Halyburton by the pastor. So after hearing the name time and time again, I pulled down an old copy of his memoirs off the shelf and have been reading it for a couple of weeks. Memoirs are the personal reflections of the person writing them. They are a form of an autobiography.
Halyburton lived from 1674-1712. He was an influential divinity professor at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. When I was at St. Andrews about nine years ago, I even went and visited his grave near the University. His memoirs were taken from his personal papers after he died, and were never intended for publication. They detail his thoughts and his struggles throughout his life. They have had a wide influence in the Christian church.
What has struck me, as I have been reading his memoirs, has been the fluidity with which he uses Scripture. He seems so familiar with the Bible, that he is able to apply even obscure verses to his life as he writes about it. He easily takes his thoughts and life experiences and applies God's Word to them as he writes. It is rare to find a paragraph where he does not cite Scripture 2-4 times. I would like to give you an example of how he writes. This is no exaggeration. What I did was simply open up the book, and whatever page I landed on is the page I decided to use. I am giving you points 2-4 of how he feels about the guilt of his prior sins. See how even in his personal notes, or journal, Scripture flows through all he says:
I wish I could use Scripture so freely. Do you have a desire to have such a grasp of Scripture, that when you are just writing random thoughts you think no one will ever see, you could take them and interact with God's Word so easily? There is only one way for this to develop in our lives. We must seek to study God's Word, or we will never come to the point where we can freely use it in our lives. I encourage you to seek to spend some time in God's Word each day, if you don't already. Even a little time will help to get you more and more familiar with God's Word. If you already spend time with the Lord in His Word, hang in there, and keep on seeking the Lord. Progress might seem slow, but sometimes progress is real, and we are blind to its reality.
Soli Deo Gloria,