For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. ~Psalms 36:9

Monday, October 20, 2014

"Without holiness on earth — we will never be prepared to enjoy Heaven. ...I do not know what others may think — but to me it does seem clear that Heaven would be a miserable place to an unholy man. It cannot be otherwise. People may say in a vague way, that they "hope to go to Heaven," but they do not consider what they say. There must be a certain "fitness for the inheritance of the saints in light." Our hearts must be somewhat in tune. To reach the holiday of glory — we must pass through the training school of grace. We must be heavenly-minded and have heavenly tastes in the present life — or else we will never find ourselves in Heaven in the life to come! "Without holiness, no one shall see the Lord!"
-- J.C. Ryle, Holiness

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The History of Daily Light on the Daily Path

Daily Light on the Daily Path and the Bagster Family

The origin of Daily Light on the Daily Path is closely connected with the Bagster family of England and the publishing firm which bore the same name—Samuel Bagster & Sons Limited.
Samuel Bagster was born in England, December 26, 1772, and brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord in a Christian home.
At age 7, he was enrolled in a school taught by the Baptist minister John Ryland, and at the close of his education Samuel was indentured to a bookseller. Upon completion of his apprenticeship, he opened his own bookshop in London, April 19, 1794, at the age of twenty-one. A devout Christian, he made it a rule that he would never sell any book which might be considered questionable in taste or subject.
Samuel Bagster married Eunice Birch, December 19, 1797 and they were blessed with twelve children. It was Jonathan (1813-1872), their tenth child, who was mainly responsible for the idea and the method by which Daily Light was compiled when he was himself a husband and father.
In preparing for daily family worship, Jonathan Bagster selected a Scripture text that the family joined together in prayer were asked to illustrate by further applicable Scripture texts. He was editor-in-chief, and his daughter Anne was his chief assistant.
The resultant Scripture texts "were carefully considered, discussed and arranged by common consent of all those present, after which the manuscript would be laid aside for prayer and meditation to see if there would be any guidance for further improvement. Sometimes it was weeks before it was felt that the reading for a particular day could not be improved and then that page would be sent to the printer to be set in type. Later it would be read and corrected and all the references would be verified. Each day for two years the readings were compiled, corrected and improved in this way until the whole book was ready for publication in two volumes, one of the Morning readings and the other of the Evening readings."
It was one of Jonathan's sons, Robert (1847-1924), who in about 1875, first published the collection of 732 Scripture readings—morning and evening for 366 days.
According to Robert Bagster—"This book was prepared entirely within our family, mostly by my father, Jonathan Bagster, his sister, and eldest daughter, while others of the younger ones (myself included), worked in a subordinate position. Few can appreciate the heart-searching care with which every text was selected, the days, nay weeks, of change, alterations, and improvements, until at last each page was passed."
Thus it is correct to say that Daily Light on the Daily Path was prepared by Jonathan Bagster and other members of his family, who were descendants of Samuel Bagster (1772-1851), founder of the publishing firm, Samuel Bagster & Sons Ltd. in 1794.
Prepared for 2012.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Broken Things - What God Uses

When it rises up, the mighty are terrified, at its thrashing about they withdraw. (Job 41:25)
God uses most for His glory those people and things which are most perfectly broken. The sacrifices He accepts are broken and contrite hearts. It was the breaking down of Jacob’s natural strength at Peniel that got him where God could clothe him with spiritual power. It was breaking the surface of the rock at Horeb, by the stroke of Moses’ rod that let out the cool waters to thirsty people.
It was when the 300 elect soldiers under Gideon broke their pitchers, a type of breaking themselves, that the hidden lights shone forth to the consternation of their adversaries. It was when the poor widow broke the seal of the little pot of oil, and poured it forth, that God multiplied it to pay her debts and supply means of support.
It was when Esther risked her life and broke through the rigid etiquette of a heathen court, that she obtained favor to rescue her people from death. It was when Jesus took the five loaves and broke them, that the bread was multiplied in the very act of breaking, sufficient to feed five thousand. It was when Mary broke her beautiful alabaster box, rendering it henceforth useless, that the pent-up perfume filled the house. It was when Jesus allowed His precious body to be broken to pieces by thorns and nails and spear, that His inner life was poured out, like a crystal ocean, for thirsty sinners to drink and live.
It is when a beautiful grain of corn is broken up in the earth by DEATH, that its inner heart sprouts forth and bears hundreds of other grains. And thus, on and on, through all history, and all biography, and all vegetation, and all spiritual life, God must have BROKEN THINGS.
Those who are broken in wealth, and broken in self-will, and broken in their ambitions, and broken in their beautiful ideals, and broken in worldly reputation, and broken in their affections, and broken ofttimes in health; those who are despised and seem utterly forlorn and helpless, the Holy Ghost is seizing upon, and using for God’s glory. “The lame take the prey,” Isaiah tells us.
O break my heart; but break it as a field 
Is by the plough up-broken for the corn;
O break it as the buds, by green leaf seated, 
Are, to unloose the golden blossom, torn;
Love would I offer unto Love’s great Master,
Set free the odor, break the alabaster.
O break my heart; break it victorious God, 
That life’s eternal well may flash abroad;
O let it break as when the captive trees, 
Breaking cold bonds, regain their liberties;
And as thought’s sacred grove to life is springing,
Be joys, like birds, their hope, Thy victory singing.
—Thomas Toke Bunch
- Streams in the Desert, October 15th

Sunday, October 12, 2014

"Fret Not Thyself"


Said the Robin to the Sparrow:
“I should really like to know
Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and worry so?”

Said the Sparrow to the Robin:
“Friend, I think that it must be
That they have no Heavenly Father
Such as cares for you and me.”

~ Elizabeth Cheney ~

Friday, October 10, 2014

Redeeemed . . . the song and a bit of history

It is often encouraging to look at the history behind hymns that we sing in our churches.  Many of them were born out of trials and difficulties, and others are written records of great truths taught by the Master in Heaven.  They are testimonies of God’s amazing grace.

Fanny Crosby, 1872
One of the most well known hymn writers in American history is Fanny J. Crosby (1820-1915).  Blinded by an incompetent doctor at the age of six weeks, she found hope in Jesus Christ.  She wrote over 8,000 hymns, many of which are still sung in churches around the world.  By her songs and her life, she taught many to look unto Jesus; Miss Crosby once said of her blindness, “It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all of my life, and I thank him for the dispensation.  If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow, I would not accept it.  I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.”

In 1882, Redeemed, How I Love to Proclaim It! was published.  Its melody was composed by William Kirkpatrick.  The message of the song is filled with Gospel truth, and it has blessed many for well over a century.  The lyrics are:

Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy,
His child and forever I am.

Redeemed, and so happy in Jesus,
No language my rapture can tell;
I know that the light of His presence
With me doth continually dwell.

I think of my bless├Ęd Redeemer,
I think of Him all the day long:
I sing, for I cannot be silent;
His love is the theme of my song.

I know I shall see in His beauty
The King in whose law I delight;
Who lovingly guardeth my footsteps,
And giveth me songs in the night.

I know there’s a crown that is waiting,
In yonder bright mansion for me,
And soon, with the spirits made perfect,
At home with the Lord I shall be.


Redeemed, redeemed,
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed, redeemed,
His child and forever I am.