Book Launch and Giveaway!


It’s finally hear. The long awaited book written by Tanner Turley  on the topic of the preaching and homiletic of Octavius Winslow is finally available to everyone. It’s called Heart to Heart: Octavius Winslow’s Experimental Preaching.

Tanner originally prepared this as a dissertation while at seminary at Wake Forset, North Carolina.

Now, here it is…the only book written solely on the topic of Winslow himself.

To help celebrate its publication, Reformation Heritage Books has been gracious enough to donate 3 copies to give away absolutely free. From today until Friday, March 28 you will have a chance to enter and win a copy of your very own.

To win, simply head over to our Octavius Winslow Facebook fanpage and “like” us if you have not already. Then, share the post with your friends on Facebook and leave a comment there in the comment section.

That’s it.

On Saturday the 29th I will pick 3 random winners. If the chosen winner does not respond in 4 days time, a runner up will be chosen.

If you do not have a Facebook account, then just leave a comment here on this blog post.

Winner of “Heaven Opened”

The winner of the fourth and final Winslow Book Giveaway is:

Doug Newell

Congratulations to Doug! I will be contacting him ASAP to obtain his shipping address for the book. If he does not respond to my email within 48 hours, a winner up will be chosen.

Many thanks to everyone for participating in this years Octavius Winslow Book Giveaway and to Reformation Heritage Books for donating the four books for this series.

Please stop in at their website to view their complete list of Winlsow books!



The Octavius Winslow Book Giveaway: “Heaven Opened”

Giveaway #4

The fourth and final book on the list that we will be giving away is Heaven Opened.

An endorsement for this book from Joel Beeke is as follows:

“The letters of Mary Winslow are a rich treasury of experiential and practical divinity. Living, vital Christianity is here set before us in undeniable reality. Read this book prayerfully, and let Mary Winslow be your spiritual mentor.”

How To Enter

Step 1

Fill out this form.

Step 2

Post the following tweet into your Twitter status:

Stop in to win a free Octavius Winslow book from @RHB_Books and @WinslowQuotes 


click on the nifty Facebook button at the bottom of this post to post to your Facebook status.

If you would like to do both of these, please feel free. I would greatly appreciate it.

That’s it. You will then be entered to win.

If you do not have either a Twitter or Facebook account, no worries. Just fill out the form in Step 1. We’ll let you slide.

This giveaway is drawing on the honor system a bit, so I will have to trust that you will be tweeting or posting to your Facebook status. I’m sure you will not mind helping get the word out to others about free Winslow books! :)

Guidelines and Rules

This giveaway will last one week. A winner will be randomly drawn on Monday, July 25, 2011.

I will notify the winner via the email address given in the form that was filled out in Step 1, so please make sure your email address is filled out accurately.

The winner has 48 hours to respond back to me with a shipping address for their book. If that winner does not respond back to me in 48 hours, a runner up will be drawn and notified.

Once I receive your address, I will pass it along to Reformation Heritage Books and they will ship you the book directly from their warehouse.

Sound good? Great!

Thanks for entering and thanks again to Reformation Heritage Books for their generous donation!

See you in a week!

The Winner Of “Our God”

The winner of the book Our God in the third Octavius Winslow Book Giveaway is:

Joseph Perez

I’ll be shooting Joe an email shortly to get his shipping address. If I do not hear back from him in 48 hours, a runner up will be chosen.

Congrats to Joseph!

The next and final giveaway announcement will be this coming Monday!

The Octavius Winslow Book Giveaway: “Our God”

Giveaway #3

The third book on the list that we will be giving to someone will be Our God.

An endorsement for this book from Joel Beeke is as follows:

“Do you yearn to know God better? Read this book thoughtfully and prayerfully. “Our God” may well be Octavius Winslow’s very best book, for what better subject can a believer desire to meditate on than the character of the triune God whom he loves, worships and fears? And who is better suited to expound the grandeur and to stammer about the infinity of such a subject than this author who always seems to write profoundly and winsomely about the most sacred themes with remark-able reverence and a commanding flow of language? This warmly experimental treatment of the attributes of God engages the mind and heart as no other that I have read on this glorious subject. Here is angel’s food.” 

How To Enter

Step 1

Fill out this form.

Step 2

Post the following tweet into your Twitter status:

Stop in to win a free Octavius Winslow book from @RHB_Books and @WinslowQuotes


click on the nifty Facebook button at the bottom of this post to post to your Facebook status.

If you would like to do both of these, please feel free. I would greatly appreciate it.

That’s it. You will then be entered to win.

If you do not have either a Twitter or Facebook account, no worries. Just fill out the form in Step 1. We’ll let you slide.

This giveaway is drawing on the honor system a bit, so I will have to trust that you will be tweeting or posting to your Facebook status. I’m sure you will not mind helping get the word out to others about free Winslow books! :)

Guidelines and Rules

This giveaway will last one week. A winner will be randomly drawn on Monday, July 11, 2011.

I will notify the winner via the email address given in the form that was filled out in Step 1, so please make sure your email address is filled out accurately.

The winner has 48 hours to respond back to me with a shipping address for their book. If that winner does not respond back to me in 48 hours, a runner up will be drawn and notified.

Once I receive your address, I will pass it along to Reformation Heritage Books and they will ship you the book directly from their warehouse.

Thanks for entering and thanks again to Reformation Heritage Books for their generous donations!

See you in another week!

The Winner Of “The Fullness Of Christ”

The winner of the book The Fullness of Christ in the second Octavius Winslow Book Giveaway is:

Phillip De Leon

I’ll be shooting you an email shortly to get your shipping address. If I do not hear back from Phillip in 48 hours, a runner up will be chosen.

Congrats to Phillip!

The next giveaway announcement will be this coming Monday!


The Octavius Winslow Reading Group: Help Heavenward (Chapter 11)

Well ladies and gentlemen, you did it. You made it through your very first book written by the late Rev. Octavius Winslow D.D. How does it feel?

I hope that those of you who are new to Winslow and have followed along with us have fallen in love with his Christ centered and gospel focused writing. At the end of this post, I would really appreciate it if you would please comment on your overall experience from this series and what you think of Winslow now that you have tasted in his literary goodness.

It’s been my pleasure and humble honor to have tried to lead you through Help Heavenward and it is my hope that you not only have been taken by this book but will now go on to read more of his works.

It has been my primary mission here to expose believers to him and his works and I hope I have somewhat accomplished that in this meager little series.

Now, sadly, for our final chapter.

Our adorable Lord came down to earth to allure us up to heaven. In all His delineations of that happy, holy place, He sought to present it to the believing eye clad in its richest beauty, and invested with its sweetest and most winning attractions. Its hope was to sanctify us, its prospect was to animate us, and its foretastes were to comfort us.

Sufficient, however, of the vail was uplifted to reveal the fact of its existence, to awaken the desire and to inspire the hope of its possession. We cite, as illustrating this, the words at the head of this chapter. They are few, but how expressive! Heaven is portrayed as our FATHER’S HOUSE. What a precious, endearing, attractive view does this give us of our future and final rest—our eternal abode!

He tells us it is a house—a Father’s dwelling and that within its walls there are many mansions, one of which awaits each of us; and then, He bids us not to be troubled in heart by reason of the sorrow and privation of our present exile, since ere long He would come and take us home.

While reading this chapter, I began to think of the fact that countless scores of believers that have gone on before us have distilled holy scripture of all of its illustrations and images of our future happy land that they might store them upon their minds and hearts that they might never forget that as their last breath would exit their bodies, they would finally be in that golden land with their Lord. They would suckle upon these minute images as honey to draw from them soul nourishment to ease their uncomfortable pilgrimage and ever wishful eye. That they would be in great trial, tribulation, suffering, pain, torment, and persecution and have only these brief words to grasp their souls arms upon to keep from losing heart and to bolster their ever weakening faith. They, as we, have a destination. It is our Father’s house!

The FATHERHOOD of God is the first truth our Lord propounds in connexion with this picture of heaven. It was a natural and befitting introduction to His attractive theme. In speaking of the Father’s house, He would first reveal to us the parental relation of God. We could never have given to this truth the grasp of faith it demands had not Christ revealed and explained it. It was He who first taught our lips to say, “Our Father!” In asserting His own relation as an Elder Brother, He flung around the entire brotherhood the filial bond that linked both Himself and them to the same God and Father.

Next, Winslow goes into a bit of proof texting to further shore up our heavenly confidence in the precious doctrine of our Adoption. What sweeter discover can be made by the feeble believer than to know and fully understand that he is now God’s son or daughter! No longer are we cast outside of the family home of the King of that great land but we have been searched out in the streets and byways of the outer city of His kingdom and have been brough nigh inside the castle gates, we have been washed clean, our infirmities are all gone, and we are now clothed in the sweet smelling raiment prepared for us by the King Himself! And no one can ever take that from us!

He states the examples below:

Let us cite a few examples. Speak we of prayer? Hear Him cry, “O righteous FATHER, the world hath not known thee, but I have known thee. I know, FATHER, that thou hearest me alway.” Speak we of duty? Hear Him exclaim, “Wist ye not that I must be about my FATHER’S business?” Speak we of reverence! Hear Him say, “Even so FATHER, for so it seemed good in thy sight.” Speak we of submisson? Listen to His words, “Not my will, O my FATHER, but thine, be done.” Approach we the solemn scene of His death? Hear Him exclaim, amidst the maddening tortures of the cross, the thunders of God’s anger, the lightning of God’s justice rolling and flashing above and around Him, “FATHER, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” Do we track His footsteps to the mount from the summit of which He went back to glory? Hear His parting words, “I ascend unto my FATHER, and unto your FATHER.” And as we return from these hallowed scenes, we ask ourselves, Is it any marvel that He, the Elder Brother, who could so embosom Himself in the Fatherhood of God, should teach our faltering lips, when we prostrate ourselves before the Divine Majesty of heaven and earth, to breathe the prayer, “Our FATHER, which art in heaven?” O beloved, allow your heart no repose, and the Holy Spirit no rest, until He seal ABBA, FATHER, upon your heart!

Next he turns his attention to our Father’s HOUSE:

We have alluded to the hallowed attractions and the sunny memories which cluster around the paternal home. Transfer your thoughts, my reader, from the earthly to the heavenly,— take the purest, the fondest, the most poetic conception you can form of the one, and blend it with the other,—and still you have but the faintest analogy of heaven! And yet you have made some approximation to the idea. You have entwined around your heart the image and hope of heaven as your HOME. Earth has some foreshadowings of this truth. If “now are we the children of God,” then ours is not a state of dreary orphanage—we are not fatherless and homeless.

If, then, we are not fatherless, there is a sense in which we are not homeless: but that the lower rooms, the outer courts, the vestibules of the heavenly Home, are found on earth, in which we meet and hold communion with our heavenly Father. What is the sanctuary, filled with His glory,—the closet, hallowed with His presence,—the chamber of sickness, soothed with His love,—the hill-side, where at even-tide we go to meditate, sanctified with His fellowship, but our Father’s Home coming down out of heaven to dwell a while with His children on earth? Where my Father is, there is my Father’s house.

Winslow picks up on some very clever thoughts regarding the concept of our HOME here on earth. Frankly, I have never considered it this way, but have come to conclude he is indeed correct. We have here on earth but shadows and whispers of our future glorious home in such graces such as worship, prayer, meditation, and fellowship. It is as if a little bit of heaven has come down from on high and has done us a tremendous mercy in relieving our heart’s yearning pangs in these blessed events! Oh that He thinks so dearly of us in His beloved Son!

“In my Father’s house there are many mansions.” Guided by these words, the first view which it presents to the mind is its appointed and prepared state. We go to no uncertain home. It is the family mansion, eternally ordained and prepared for the dwelling of the saints. The everlasting love which chose us to salvation, the predestination which appointed us to be sons, provided the home we were eternally to occupy.

The apostle, too, reminds us that it is “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, RESERVED in heaven for you.” And did not our blessed Lord declare the same truth when He said, “I go to PREPARE a place for you.” We go, then, to a home all appointed and prepared, all garnished and made ready for our coming.

Personally speaking, I have some medical problems with my legs. I have a condition that will not allow the blood in the lower parts of my legs to be pumped back up to my heart. Therefore, the blood pools below my knees and causes me tremendous pain throughout the day. There is not one portion of my daily life that I am not in some degree of pain. What often will bring me great comfort is to lie in bed as still as I can and close my eyes and begin to think that there is a heavenly city and a heavenly home being prepared for me this very instant and that when I finally come to its doorway, my pain will be no more. My sleepless nights and pain filled days will be long forgotten and I will finally enter into my Kings celestial home. A home for me. A home for you.

Next, Winslow begins to explore the rooms of the mansion a bit:

The solemn hour of death once passed, the spirit, upborne by angels, finds itself at once ushered into the RECEPTION-ROOM of heaven, the first of the “many mansions.” There we shall see Jesus, not seated, but standing,—as when He rose to receive His first martyr,—to welcome us home, encircled by the general assembly and church of the first-born, the spirits of just men made perfect, and an innumerable company of angels, waiting to greet our arrival. In advance, and more eager than all the rest of that blessed throng, will be the loved ones from whom we parted on the margin of the river across which they passed to the Celestial City. Oh, what a reception! what greetings! what joy-wishings then!

What a joyous notion! Finally, as we close our eyes in mortal death and open them in infinite life we will see our Lord standing before us to welcome us home and embrace us as His own. Believing loved ones who have died in the Lord before us will be there to welcome us home along with the shouts of countless angels. Blessed thought!

The Heavenly Repast, which succeeds the reception, will introduce us into the BANQUET-HALL of heaven, another mansion of the Father’s house. We have remarked that there are bright gleams of heaven falling upon earth’s shadows. Among the most resplendent of these are the foretastes of the banquet which awaits us on high.

It is thus described by the evangelical Isaiah: “In this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a FEAST of fat things, a FEAST of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.” How full and rich is the gospel of Christ! How divine the provision—how ample the supply—how free the invitation! The forgiveness of all and every sin,—your reconciliation with the offended Majesty of heaven,—peace in your soul so divine, so great, that it “passeth all understanding,”—life and immortality, the consummation and crown of its blessings! Oh, pray for and cherish a spiritual zest for this banquet!

There Christ will nourish you with the finest of the wheat; with honey from the rock will He satisfy you. Never forget that such is the fulness of the gospel of Christ, such its variety of blessings, such the sufficiency of its supply, and such the freeness of its bestowment, that it meets every case, every trial, every phase, and every want of our humanity! What a banquet, too, is the Lord’s Supper, where, perhaps, the brightest gleams of glory fall, since that, of all other institutions of Christ, the most closely unites and blends the atoning death and the millennial glory of Christ.

Oh to finally sit down among the myriads and myriads of saints to feast finally at our Lord’s banquet table! The countless Sunday Lord’s Table provisions while on earth were only shadowing this final moment when finally He will sit among us and drink the wine He said he would not until we had joined Him. What must this meal be like? Imagine the pains and trials of the previous life only making that moment all the more delicious to our senses. Can you imagine it? I cannot!

The Father’s house has also its MUSIC-MANSION. Adoration and praise would seem to constitute the principal employment of the redeemed in heaven. The visions of glory which floated before the eye of John were all associated with music. To his sea-girt isle were wafted the strains of the song sung by the hundred and forty and four thousand who stood on Mount Zion.

And who and what are the subjects of their song?—Jesus and His Redemption? “Thou art worthy, for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” Blended with the song of Redemption will be the song of PROVIDENCE. Retracing all the way thy God led thee through the wilderness, thou shalt gather material from each mercy and from each trial, from each joy and from each sorrow, for an eternal hymn of praise to His great and glorious name. Beloved, you are learning these songs now in the house of your pilgrimage. As you cross the desert sands, or break your lone footsteps through the depth of the wilderness, or stand within the sacred shadow of the cross, God is preparing you for the Music-mansion of glory. All His dealings with you in providence and in grace are but to train and attune the powers, affections, and sympathies of your soul to the sweet harmony of the spheres.

Oh to be in this room! What must these sounds be like? Those saints whose trials have tuned their voices to sing with utmost of praise must bellow throughout the halls corridors. Imagine the throng singing praises to their King! Countless upon countless souls lifting up with one voice the Lamb who was slain. All honor and all glory is He due!

The THRONE-ROOM of heaven is not one of the least appropriate and gorgeous mansions of the Father’s house. The saints of God are a kingdom of priests—a royal priesthood—the heirs of a kingdom. And no character in their glorified state will be more visible and distinct than their regal one.

A public and glorious enthronement and coronation awaits you. A royal priest, you will ere long be made like Christ, a “priest upon His THRONE.” Emerging from your present incognito—the ignorance of the world and the cold neglect of the Church—you will be ushered into the THRONE-ROOM of glory, saints and angels will escort you to your seat, and, amidst the halleujah chorus of countless myriads, Christ will CROWN you a KING and a PRIEST unto God, and you shall REIGN with Jesus for ever and ever. Oh, whatever obscurity may now vail your relation as belonging to the seed-royal, let your demeanor be such as to stamp you with the character once ascribed to Gideon’s brethren, of whom it was said, that “each one resembled the CHILDREN of a KING!”

Next Winslow draws us inside the glorious throne room where we shall sit beside our Lord forever and ever. To be in His presence as He rules over the universe as a glorious redemptive King. We will be there dressed in robes of resplendent glory that mortal eyes might melt if they were to view them. We will be with Him and shall never again depart!

We are trespassing not upon the region of Imagination when, in depicting the spiritual architecture and appointments of the Father’s house, we refer to the PICTURE-GALLERY as constituting one of its most appropriate and attractive mansions. It is not materializing heaven to transfer to its spiritual descriptions the expressive imagery of the material. In so doing we but imitate the Holy Ghost, who, in all His spiritual delineations of glory, hesitates not to dip His divine pencil in the bright, gorgeous colors with which God has tinted and enamelled this beautiful world.

Upon the walls of that magnificent gallery, depicted in color of living light, will be seen all the marvellous events of God’s moral and providential government in the history of the universe, separately, visibly, and eternally traced. Nor this only. What will be our astonishment and marvel, when we gaze upon the walls of that gallery, to behold our individual history, from our entrance into this world of woe, to our entrance into the world of glory,—each event, each epoch, each step delineated with a life-like truthfulness, a depth of tint, and a transparency of color which shall reveal all the past with startling vividness, overpowering the mind with wonder, and expanding the heart with praise! Incidents which we had failed to note, events which we had totally forgotten, providences which we had blindly seen, and circumstances which we had strangely misunderstood, will then form a series of pictures, presenting a complete and perfect history of our individual life, illustrating the infinite wisdom, goodness, faithfulness, and love of our Father throughout the whole.

Now this is a room I am most interested to walk in. To see, painted on the walls, every trial and joy given to us on our earthly pilgrimage by the hand of our Father and the reason why it was given. To see, finally, why the Lord allowed such and such incident to occur in our lives and how it had a profound affect on drawing our souls heavenward. Who of us does not say, from time to time, “why is the Lord allowing this to happen to me”? We will then finally know why!

Among the many mansions there will not be wanting one which will especially recognize heaven as a place of study. What a LIBRARY of knowledge, therefore, awaits us in our Father’s house! Heaven is a place of thought, of expanded intellect, of matured and ever-enlarging and enriching mind. Our minds are but in the infancy of their being; and the themes of reflection and subjects of research which they grasp are necessarily graduated to our present infantine and limited powers.

And will THE BOOK have no place in that library? Verily, I believe that it will. I do not think that in the archives of heaven, the Sacred Scroll of God’s Revealed Truth will be missing. That most marvellous of all wonderful books, the BIBLE,—the parent, and source, and foundation of all that was accurate in history, true in philosophy, profound in science, rich in poetry, sound in ethics, and real in religion,—will then unclasp its lids and unfold its leaves; and in a light that will explain every truth, elucidate every mystery, harmonize every discrepance, we shall read the Bible as we never studied its wondrous contents before. Not a truth will be lost.

The Library of Knowledge! What a thought! To be able to open the volumes of the wealth of God’s knowledge, or at least what He will allow us to know, to be able to comprehend and understand so much! I can;t even begin to wrap my mind around it. And the, probably in the center of this library, may lie the Best of Books. We will then be able to read its pages and understand so much more than our fallen minds could while on earth! I want to understand what was going through Eve’s mind!


Well, that’s it folks. We’re all done! What did you think? What say you of this 19th century Victorian pastor and writer now? What has this book helped you to see or understand?

By all means, please take some time and write your reflections below in the comment section. I am so excited to hear from you.

Thanks for reading along with me!


The Octavius Winslow Reading Group: Help Heavenward (Chapter 10)

Quick Announcement: My apologies for not getting this posted on Monday. I made a brief mention on the Facebook Fanpage that recently my wife was admitted to the local hospital with some chronic issues she has been fighting and that my time just simply slipped away from me. I am happy to report that as of right now, she is feeling a lot better (though not out of the woods quite yet) and is now beginning to recover a bit. Thanks to all of you who expressed concern and offered your most coveted prayers for her and our little family.

Also, please note that the last chapter will not be due this Monday but he following Monday as I think that might be a wiser decision on my part since I am not exactly sure how much free time I will have this upcoming week.

So, with no further a do, heeeeeeeere’s Winslow:

The emancipation of God’s people from the iron furnace of Egypt, their march across the desert, their passage over Jordan, and their final settlement in the land of Canaan, are indisputable points of agreement, and present at one glance the moral map of the Christian’s pilgrimage and journey from earth to heaven.

Approaching the end of this volume, we feel there would be wanting an essential link in the chain of helps heavenward were we to omit gathering around the closing scene of the believer’s life those appropriate instructions, soothings, and hopes essential to the succouring of the soul in so solemn and momentous a stage of its history. Doubtless to the eye of the children of Israel, as they stood upon its banks surveying the promised land beyond it, the intervention of Jordan was an object of gloom and terror.

That there are swellings of Jordan in the Christian’s experience we doubt not. For example, there are the fears with which the child of God anticipates the last enemy,—there are the sad recollections of all his past sins crowding around his pillow,—there are the suggestions of unbelief, perhaps more numerous and powerful at this moment than ever,—and there is the shrinking of nature from the final wrench, the last conflict, the closing scene—the last glance of earth, the last look of love, the loosing of those fond and tender ties which entwine us so closely with those we leave;—these are some of the swellings of Jordan.

The crossing of the river Jordan has been one of the most recognizable metaphors of death used by believers down through the ages. And why shouldn’t it be? After all, it’s the culmination of a life lived and that is ready to finally be laid aside to come into its full inheritance in the Lord Jesus. But to pass over this river is no small matter, not even to believers. As Bunyan so beautifully portrayed in Pilgrim’s Progress, there are some of us that, when we come to its banks, shall not proceed without much trial and difficulty. Satan still lingers upon its shore to accuse Zion’s travelers already weakened by the pilgrimage thus of their failures and shortcomings. Thus, when they proceed into its waters, they begin to flail and thrash as its depths begin to creep slowly upon their necks. Doubts and remembrances may begin to pummel their tender conscience that they begin to gasp and almost even drown.

Thankfully, however, their Anchor lies well within the city beyond and is there to safely provide them safe passage to her shining shores. There are also those of us who may go boldly and in full confidence into her raging waves where every step forward only draws even more and more confidence and courage to plunge ahead and lay hold of the sandy banks beyond squarely and firmly. Those of us in Jesus will indeed cast a wishful eye upon her banks one day. None of us will be exempt. We will all one day see her shores.

Winslow then launches into a tremendously beautiful typological illustration of the twelve priests as they carried the ark of the covenant through Jordan’s waters:

We read that God commanded that twelve priests, representing the twelve tribes, should bear the ark of the Lord before the people, and that the moment the soles of the feet of the priests that bore the ark were dipped in the brim of the water, the waters rose up on either side; and then we read that, “the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.” Now here we have a beautiful representation of the passage of the children of God through death into heaven. Take each particular. There was present, first, the ark of the covenant. Upborne upon the shoulders of the priests, it went before and led the march of the advancing hosts. That ark was an especial and glorious type of the Lord Jesus. Christ, our divine Ark, has already clave the waters of Jordan, for He has passed through death in advance of His people. And still the Ark is with them. Never was there the departure of a believer unattended by the presence of Jesus. Delightful thought! Christ our Ark will divide the dark waters as we pass, will go before, will go with us, will be our rearward, and thus encircled by Christ, amid the swelling of Jordan, we will fear no evil. What more is needed than the sensible presence of the Saviour to raise the heart superior to the fear of death, and to bear the soul tranquilly across the river? Fear not, then, believer—you will see His smile, you will hear His voice, you will feel His hand, and His conscious presence will enfold you as you pass.

Then, the feet of the priests stood firm in the midst of Jordan. The waters had parted, and on either side they stood as crystal walls of defence, while the hosts of the Lord passed over. Infinitely firmer do the feet of the saints stand on Christ when they die. The Rock on which you stand is a firm rock,—the covenant of grace which you grasp is a sure covenant,—the love of God in which you confide is an unchangeable love,—the atoning work upon which you rest is a finished and accepted work. The throne of God in heaven stands not firmer than does the weakest and most fearful who, leaning on Jesus, clinging to Jesus, is sustained by Jesus, as he cleaves his way through the swelling of Jordan.

And then we are told that, all the people passed clean over. What an impressive illustration of the full salvation of the whole Church of God! All the people,—the small as the great, the timid as the bold, the weak as the strong,—not one left upon the shore, but all went over and stood an unbroken column on the other side. Blessed thought! the Church of Christ shall be finally and fully saved—not one shall be left upon the bank, not one shall perish amid the swelling of Jordan. You have often mused—“How shall I meet the final conflict? Will faith as weak, will grace as little, will knowledge as limited, will experience as shallow as mine be able to breast the swelling flood?” But why these fears? why these misgivings? why these doubtful reasonings? Weak as may be your faith, small your grace, limited your experience, you shall not perish, for it is not your hold upon Christ, but Christ’s hold upon you, that insures your safe and certain passage over.

Now who of you cannot draw encouraging strength from the honey of this exposition!? Oh that we should see more of Jesus in all of our readings of the Old Testament!

Jordan was the passage to Canaan,—death is the passage to heaven. Beyond the “swelling flood” faith descries the better land, the fair haven, the glorious and eternal inheritance of the saints. Let this thought exert a soothing influence on your mind. And then, to this add a kindred reflection—that, on the other side of Jordan you will greet again the loved ones from whom you parted on this side of the river. Our home circles are thinning; vacant places around our domestic hearth remind us that some, who sat with us there, have passed over.

Friend after friend is departing,—familiar and loved faces are disappearing from our view,—and life seems more lonely and the world more desolate. Well, be it so. We shall find all who sleep in Jesus again on the other side of the river. We accompanied them to the margin, saw them enter the swelling tide, heard their shout of victory, and then they vanished from our sight, and we saw them no more. And soon our time will come, when we, too, shall pass over and meet them all again.

Be not over anxious as to the time, the place, or the mode of your passage over Jordan. As death is in the covenant, so are all the circumstances of death likewise in the covenant, and they will transpire just as your covenant-God has fixed and arranged. Ah, how many feel the swelling of Jordan more in groundless, anticipative fears than in actual reality! But be not careful, beloved, about this matter. All is in the Lord’s hands, and He will divide the swelling billows, and take you dry-shod over, and not a heaving, not an undulation of the cold waters, shall chill the warmth or ruffle the calmness of your breast.

We all are going to die. It is the one thing in our lives that we will have to do absolutely alone. But in a sense, we are not alone, for there is One who waits for us weary travelers on the river’s bank on the other side. We shall take no provisions, no wealth, and no family or loved ones may cross with us. We must all, believer and unbeliever alike, ultimately submit to her rushing waters. And when we do finally come to the other side, we will either be wearing the spotless white robe of our Beloved or the rags of our former life of sin. As Bunyan so insightfully stated, “There is a way to hell, even from the gates of heaven”. Horrific thought to consider that there will be multitudes upon multitudes that will be led down that dark path while the precious few shall enter into their Kings rest and glory!

And what will it profit us to fret and worry about that glorious day? What will it add to our comfort or encouragement? Be content to just know that one day, perhaps tomorrow or in 50 years, you will breathe your last breath and shall enter His presence. Until then, we must be busy at our Master’s work here on earth with the time allotted to us.

I put the question to the sincere humble believer in Jesus—How will you do in the swelling of Jordan? You reply, “I will cleave closer and closer to Jesus. As the waters deepen, I will plant my foot of faith firmer and firmer upon the Rock, until I find myself in glory.” Then, fear not the swelling tide! Death will be to you—looking to Jesus, clinging to Jesus, accepted in Jesus—but a falling asleep,—a translation from the family of God on earth to the family of God in heaven,—a going from the Church below to the Church above. It is but a narrow stream that divides you, as seen by faith. You may go down to the margin of the river, weeping and lamenting as you go—

“Oh! could I make my doubts remove,
These gloomy doubts that rise,
And see the Canaan that I love
With unbeclouded eyes!

“Could I but climb where Moses stood,
And view the landscape o’er,
Not Jordan’s streams, nor death’s cold flood,
Should fright me from the shore.”

But when you enter, your tears will cease to flow, and your song will commence, and your departure shall be like that of Bunyan’s pilgrim, “Valiant-for-the-Truth,” which that master of allegory thus inimitably describes:—“‘My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get it. My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me that I have fought His battles who will now be my Rewarder.’ And when the day that he must go hence was come, many accompanied him to the river-side, into which, as he went, he said, ‘Death, where is thy sting?’—and as he went down deeper, he said, ‘Grave, where is thy victory?’ So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.”

Next Week

Please read the final chapter, Our Father’s House for April 11. I am giving an extra week for this last chapter to ensure I have enough wiggle room in case my time gets pretty thin.

I’ll see you here then!


The Octavius Winslow Reading Group: Help Heavenward (Chapter 9)

“Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the Lord our God.”—Jeremiah. 3:22.

Few will read the pages of a work designed to proffer a helping hand to Zion’s travellers to whom that hand will be more needful and acceptable than the awakened, returning backslider. To such, languid and fainting, depressed and despairing, hesitating to return, doubting God’s welcome,—evidences lost, soul-beclouded, fears rising, hope vailed,—the strongest cordials of God’s most gracious, full, and free promises are needful to rouse, revive, and reassure the wanderer that the Lord invites, receives, and welcomes the returning backslider—the child retracing his way back to his forsaken Father.

God addresses them as backsliding CHILDREN. He can never forget His parental relation to them, though they may forget or abuse their filial relation to Him. Children though we are, adopted, sealed, and inalienably entitled to all the covenant blessings of adoption, we are yet backsliding children. The heart is ever swerving from God. The renewed soul possesses the principle of its own departure, contains the elements of its own declension, and but for the electing love, the restraining grace, the illimitable power of God, would destroy itself entirely and forever.

If ever there were a more encouraging chapter in all of christen dome and in all works ever penned by the hand of man, this chapter and this opening verse must be it. Who of us cannot immediately relate and benefit of its rich blessing and comfort? Who of us had not, even in the quiet of our very souls, slidden away from our true Love and sought solace in the futility of another’s earthly arms? Wretched men and women that we are! Though we be saved, redeemed, and regenerated, who of us does not need to hear this opening word to us? “Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.” He does not call us enemies or rebels here, He calls us children! Blessed thought!

He goes on. This excerpt is a little long, but it really needs to be read:

The language in which God addresses you is most reassuring. He calls you “children;” though a backslider, yet a child. Can the human parent ever forget, in the deepest provocation of his offspring, that still he is his child? God here meets His wanderer just where that wanderer stands most in need of a Divine assurance. What relation is it which spiritual backsliding the most contravenes, which sin the most obscures, and of which unbelief and Satan, presuming upon that backsliding, would suggest to the mind the strongest suspicion and doubt? We answer—the relation of Divine sonship. The backslider reasons thus—“Is my adoption real? Can I be a child of God, and prove so base, sin so deeply, and depart so far from my God? If a son, why am I so rebellious, disobedient, and unfaithful? Surely I cannot belong to the adoption of God, and grieve and wound the Spirit of adoption thus?” Now God meets the wanderer just at this critical juncture. He declares that though a backslider, yet he is still His child, and that no departure however distant, and that no sin however aggravated, has impaired the strength or lessened the tenderness, tarnished or shaded the lustre of that relation. If God, then, comes forth, and, despite our backsliding, recognizes our son-ship, and acknowledges us as His children, who shall dispute or contravene the fact? “Let God be true, and every man a liar.” Such, beloved, is the first consolation I suggest to your sad and depressed soul. Could it be surpassed by anything else I may offer? What! does God still call you His child? Does He not disown and disinherit you as a son of God and an heir of glory? Ah, no! He cannot forget that He has predestinated you to the adoption of children, that His Spirit has been sent into your heart, and that in happier days gone by you have often called Him “Abba, Father.” And although you have been rebellious, backsliding, and stiffnecked, yet, taking with you words and turning to the Lord your God, He meets you as once He met His repenting, mourning Ephraim— “I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself . . . Is Ephraim my dear SON? is he a pleasant CHILD? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord,” (Jer. 31:18, 20.) Clear is it, then, that God’s children do backslide; that it is no strange thing that their love to Him should wax cold, their faith decline, their strength decay, their zeal slacken, their godly frames grow sleepy and inert, the spirit of prayer be restrained, the means of grace be neglected; and, as a consequence of all this inward declension, the world should have an ascendancy, Satan prevail, and the sin that does most easily beset them attain a momentary triumph. But still they are God’s children,—O wondrous grace! O changeless love!—and chastened, corrected, rebuked, and humbled, their heavenly Father will restore them to His pardoning love and gracious favour, and they shall again walk with Him filially, humbly, softly, as His dear children, “when He is pacified towards them for all that they have done.”

After reading that excerpt, stop a moment and let it fall on you. Mediate and taste all that is in it! If your heart is not firmly planted within the clouds after reading that you are not alive!

What an invitation! “RETURN!” It is GOD who speaks it—the God from whom we have revolted, departed, and gone so far astray. It is the word of our Father, against whom we have rebelled, so deeply, so grievously sinned. He trammels His invitation with no conditions. His simple word is—“Return unto me!”

The Lord Jesus is this open door. The blood of Jesus, the righteousness of Jesus, the intercession of Jesus, the grace of Jesus, the quenchless love of Jesus, the outstretched hand of Jesus, unite in guiding the trembling footstep of the returning soul back to its Father. The present efficacy and the continuous presentation of the Lord’s sacrifice in heaven, blended with His intercessory work, personally and constantly prosecuted before the throne, are a warrant that this door to God shall never be closed while there lives a penitent sinner to enter it.

Brood not over what is past, yield to no forebodings and fears as to what may be the future—grapple with the present. For it you have a door, which God Himself has opened and which neither man, nor Satan, nor sin, shall shut. You have a throne of grace now inviting your approach; and you have the blood of Jesus with which to enter, as new, as efficacious, as prevalent, and as free as when it streamed from His sacred body on the cross. Let there be no postponement, then, of your return to God.

As Winslow said, the door is wide open for the adopted sons and daughters of God and no one, NO ONE can or will ever shut it! Do not fret yourself believer that if you return He may be disgusted or displeased with you. He is now your Father and as such He cannot disown you. Though you have run from Him and have tasted of the worlds foolishness and fickle idols, He ever waits to embrace you once more. And as you return your gaze to Him from afar, He runs to you and welcomes you willingly and openly! He loves you believer! HE LOVES YOU!

Backsliding from the Lord involves wounds, bruises, dislocation. It wounds the conscience, it bruises the soul, it breaks the bones of our strength, and causeth us to travel in pain and halting many a weary step. Ah, there is nothing so wounding as departure from God! Nothing so bruising of the soul’s peace and joy and hope as sin! Who can heal, who can bind up, who can mollify, who can reset these broken bones so that they shall rejoice again, but our sin-pardoning God? We have no self-power in this great matter of restoration. All that we can do is to make burdens, forge chains, carve crosses, inflict wounds,—in a word, destroy our own selves.

God will forgive! Christ will bind up the broken heart! The Comforter will restore joy to the soul! There is still balm in Gilead, and a Physician there. The healing balsam still bleeds from the wounded, stricken Tree of Life. The gate of paradise is yet unclosed, its portal garlanded with a thousand exceeding great and precious promises, all inviting your entrance and insuring you a welcome to its sunny banks, its shaded bowers, its peaceful quiet streams.

What glad tidings these astounding words contain to repentant back-sliders! What a bow of promise and of hope do they paint upon the dark cloud of despair which enshrouds the soul! “He will turn again.” Though He has turned a thousand times before, yet, “He will turn AGAIN;” not “seven times” only, but “seventy times seven.”

When we do return to the Savior of our soul, we are promised and assured He will bind our wounds, heal our hurts, and pour salve on our conscience. I the embrace of a Father’s arms in humble repentance, all things are made anew and all becomes well again with our souls. He will not continue to chasten us upon our return, but He has promised to re assure us over and over and over again that we are His and we will always be the apple of His eye and the joy of His heart through His Son Jesus Christ. No matter how many times we have departed or how cold our hearts have grown, He will always be ours and we will always be His… thanks be to God!

If the Lord has graciously given you to experience His restoring mercy, forget not one great reason why you are restored—that you might hate and forsake the cause of your departure. If we have succumbed to temptation, it is not enough that we have broken from its snare; if we have fallen into sin, it is not enough that we have escaped from its power. God would have you learn thereby one of your holiest lessons—the deeper knowledge of that which tempted and overcame you, that you might go and sin no more. Restored yourself, seek the restoration of others.

Seek to bring souls to Jesus. Let this be an object of life. Be especially tender, gentle, and kind to Christians who have fallen into sin, and are thereby wounded, distressed, and despairing. Extend a helping hand to lead them back to Christ. Your deep abhorrence of the sin must not be allowed to lessen your compassion and sympathy for the sinning one.

Therein lies the importance of belonging to a local body of believers and realizing that these trials are not only sent for our own sanctification and growth, but to now go and help others who are struggling in their earthly war and need help heavenward. Ask yourself, during your times of brokenness and trial, wouldn’t you have wanted a kind word or an open ear to help you in your time of need? Such a blessing you can be to a fellow traveler on the King’s highway with you!

From here Winslow jumps off into a bit of exposition of Hebrews 6:4-6, of which, I think I will not touch on at this moment as I feel his treatment of this text is of such weight and has caused much damage to many a fragile soul that it really needs its own post here on the blog. So please look for that in days to come. I will leave you this week with his introduction to this brief exposition:

It is no uncommon thing for the Lord’s backsliding children to be sadly and sorely distressed and cast down by certain portions of God’s Word, containing delineations of character and denunciations of woe which they suppose applicable to themselves; and which, so applied, inconceivably aggravate their soul distress, their mental anguish, and incapacitate them from receiving the promises and accepting the comfort which God, in His Word, so profusely and so graciously extends to His children, returning from their backslidings, with weeping and mourning, confession and prayer. Among the declarations thus referred to, which are supposed to have, the most direct application, and to wear the most threatening aspect, are those, so frequently quoted and as frequently misinterpreted and misapplied, found in the 6th chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews from the 4th to the 6th verse:—“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

Next Week

Please read Chapter 10: The Swelling of the Jordan for March 28!




More Thoughts On The Winslow Book?

I wanted to kindly as the readers of the blog for some more input regarding the proposed Winslow biography I am thinking of writing.

As I see it, there really isn’t enough information to fill a book. So what I was thinking of doing was to write a primer of sorts to help introduce people to not only Winslow, but his works as well.

There would of course be a biography along with a chapter or two worth of excerpts of any little jewels I can dig out of his mother’s accounts in Life In Jesus. But, to make it a true primer, I would fill the rest of the book with categorized chapters detailing with excerpts from his works to give a flavor of his writing and help expose folks to his mindset and motivations. Since his quotations are my expertise here on the blog, I thought it would be a natural fit for the book. Also, I could do some chapter recommendations (like I do here) along with some shortened hyperlinks that folks can key into their browser to read in full.

I would really like to hear from you guys to see what ideas, thoughts, or critiques you may have regarding this notion of a primer or wether or not another direction may be in order.

What say you?