Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dr Martyn Lloyd Jones and the Ulster Scots

Yes, it's hard to believe, but I've just come across an excerpt from the renowned theologian Dr Martyn Lloyd Jones' book Preaching and Preachers where he refers to John Livingstone, the Killinchy minister who had preached with such power at the Kirk O Shotts revival in Scotland in 1630:

"...A revival, by definition, is the mighty act of God and it is a sovereign act of God It is as independent as that. Man can do nothing. God, and God alone, does it … A revival is something which, when it happens, leads people to say, as the townspeople said in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, ‘What is this? What is it?’ It is something that comes like a tornado. It is almost like an overflowing tide, it is like a flood. Astounding things happen, and of such a magnitude that men are left amazed, astonished...

Miraculous things happen, things that are beyond the explanation and the wit of men. And indeed, if you consult the men whom God has used on such occasions, they will all tell you the same thing.

They suddenly, like John Livingstone, became conscious of a power coming upon them.

Not themselves. Taken up, taken out of themselves. Given liberty. Given authority. Given fearlessness. Speaking as men of God with the boldness of the original apostles. They knew when the power came, they knew when the power went. You will read it in the journals of Whitefield and of Wesley and all the rest. This is the hand of the Lord. This is the demonstration of the Spirit and of power. It was because he knew so much about this that the Apostle Paul says ‘For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ’ (2 Corinthians 10:4–5). That is it ..."