Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Think Children's Television hasn't changed SIGNIFICANTLY in the last 40 or 50 years?? Check out this clip from my goofball hero Soupy Sales that actually aired as after-school programming for youngsters in 1965.  [Albie turned One year of age that long-ago annum.]

Whiskey, firearms, tobacco and... sports betting?? Just an average visit to Soupy's whacky grotto!  [Did he actually say "Shut up, I'm DRINKING!?"] 

No way on EARTH could he ever do this stuff today!


By the way, that cool song POOKY "sings" here is called
"Chew Tobacco Rag" by Red Ingle and The Natural Seven. 
Amazon.com [of course] has the CD.


Monday, July 30, 2012

GOOD ARTICLE: "From Whence Cometh 'Anti-Semitism'?" by DEREK PRINCE

ALBIE'S NOTE: Have you ever wondered why Anti-Semitism has a strange durability among all the hatreds of this world? The late internationally respected Bible teacher DEREK PRINCE (14 August 1915–Jerusalem, 24 September 2003) pretty much hit the nail on the head in this article.  If you doubt that this peculair and enduring hatred has anything short of Supernatural origins I urge you read this great article carefully:

A Roman Catholic historian has given a brief but vivid summation of 2,3OO years of continuous antisemitism:
As the historian of antisemitism looks back over the millennia of horrors he has recorded, an inescapable conclusion emerges: Antisemitism is the longest and deepest hatred of human history. Other hatreds may have surpassed it in intensity for a historical moment, but all in their turn have assumed—or presently commence to assume—their proper place in the dustbin of history. What other hatred has endured some twenty-three centuries and survived a genocide of 6,OOO,OOO of its victims in its twenty-third century of existence only to find itself still intact and rich in potential for many more years of life? The very magnitude of the record, seen as a whole, cries out for explanation. How did this amalgam of undying hatred and oppression come to be? What is it essentially? Who or what was responsible for it? (Michael Flannery, Anguish of the Jews)
The author goes on to offer his own explanation of antisemitism. His remarks are illuminating and helpful, but in my opinion they do not provide an adequate explanation. Over the years I have heard explanations of antisemitism representing a variety of different approaches: theological, philosophical, sociological, economic. But none ever seemed adequate.

In 1946 I discussed this question with my first Hebrew teacher, Mr. Ben Zion Segal, who was the secretary of the newly established Hebrew University—located at the time on Mount Scopus, Jerusalem. Mr. Segal believed that the problem of antisemitism was basically sociological: the Jews were always an alien minority with a distinctive culture of their own, out of harmony with the culture of the Gentile nations that harbored them. Once the Jews got a state of their own—which happened two years later—this would resolve the basic cause of antisemitism.

To this I replied:

“If you are correct that the basic cause of antisemitism is sociological, then the establishment of a Jewish state should go a long way toward resolving the problem. But if—as I believe—the basic cause is spiritual, the establishment of a Jewish state will not resolve the problem, but will intensify it by providing it with one obvious focus: the newly established Jewish state.”

Looking back now over nearly 5O years, I have to say—regretfully—that I believe history has proved me right!! The establishment of the State of Israel has merely provided a more “politically correct” name—“antizionism” in place of “antisemitism.” If anything, the virulence has increased.

Although I was right in identifying the basic cause of antisemitism as spiritual, I did not feel I had laid bare the root. Quite recently, however, without any conscious searching on my part, I received two successive flashes of inspiration from the Scriptures which I believe do trace antisemitism to its root.

While I was preaching in our local church in Jerusalem, quite unexpectedly I heard myself say, “Antisemitism can be summed up in one word—MESSIAH!” At that moment I understood that from its beginning antisemitism had one source— Satan—who was motivated by the knowledge that the One who was to be his conqueror, the Messiah, would come through a people that would be specially prepared by God. This people would have one distinctive feature: the Messiah would be able to set an example of obedience to his earthly parents without dishonoring his heavenly Father by any form of idolatry. Molded by God through many centuries, the Jewish people alone fulfilled this requirement.

Then I saw how, from the birth of Israel as a nation onwards, Satan had unceasingly sought to do two things: to entice them into idolatry, and if that failed, to completely destroy them as a nation. Satan’s attempts to entice Israel into idolatry are a recurring feature of their national history.

History also records two main attempts of Satan to destroy Israel as a nation. In Egypt Pharaoh ordered the murder of all their male babies. If this had been carried through, it would have effectively terminated their existence as a nation. Later, Haman came very close to carrying through a decree for the extermination of all the Jews in the Persian Empire—which was in effect all the Jews alive at that time.

In the second century B.C. Antiochus Epiphane, the dictator of Syria, attempted by force of arms to compel the Jews to renounce their unique destiny as a nation and to merge into the idolatrous culture of the surrounding Greek Empire. Only the courageous resistance of the Maccabees foiled his attempt and ensured that a century and a half later there was a Jewish Nation to which Jesus could be born as Messiah.

Through His sacrificial death on the cross Jesus fulfilled the purpose for which He came. As the representative of Israel and all nations, He satisfied the requirements of God’s justice on our behalf and thus cancelled all Satan’s claims against us. By this He imposed upon Satan a total, eternal, irrevocable defeat. The full outworking of this defeat, however, will only be consummated at the second coming of Jesus.

Satan, who pays more attention to biblical prophecy than many preachers, is fully aware of all this. Until Jesus returns, Satan knows that he will remain free to continue all his evil activities and to present himself as “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

There is therefore one event which Satan fears more than all others and which he opposes by every means in his power: the return of Jesus in power and glory to establish His kingdom and to banish Satan from the earth. The opposition of Satan to the return of Jesus is the unseen force behind many of the conflicts and pressures in the contemporary world situation.

In His final prophetic discourses in Jerusalem, Jesus pinpointed two events which must precede His return to earth. In Matthew 24:14 He said, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” At the close of His earthly ministry, Jesus gave His disciples an explicit order: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature . . .” (Mark 16:15). “Go and make disciples of all nations . . .” (Matthew

Jesus has never cancelled this order. It is still in force. He will not return until His disciples have carried it out. Satan therefore uses every means in his power to divert the church from completing its task. The longer the church delays, the longer Satan retains his liberty.

Just previously, however, in Matthew 23:38–39, Jesus had said to the Jews in Jerusalem, “See, your house [that is, the temple] is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD.’”

The way in which the Lord will prepare the hearts of the Jews for this is predicted in Zechariah 12:1O: “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they have pierced; they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.”

Notice that the Lord Himself is speaking in the first person, yet He says “Me whom they have pierced.”

The Holy Spirit will move supernaturally on the hearts of the Jewish people to bring a revelation of their Messiah and anguished repentance for having rejected and crucified Him. Notice, however, that this description refers specifically to “the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” The restoration of the Jews to their own land and to the city of Jerusalem is an essential preliminary. Until this takes place, the defeat of Satan will not be finally consummated.

This, then, is the second condition that must be fulfilled before Jesus will return: the Jews must be regathered in their own land and in the city of Jerusalem, and their hearts must be prepared to acknowledge Jesus as Messiah. Just as surely as Jesus came the first time through the Jews, so surely He will come back the second time to the Jews.

This insight gave me an altogether new understanding of the worldwide furor and confusion concerning the situation here in Israel. What else could explain the almost daily focus of the world media, of the United Nations, and of the world’s most powerful governments upon a tiny strip of land at the east end of the Mediterranean, with a population of five million and an area about the size of the nation of Wales or the state of New Hampshire?

There is no normal, political explanation for such a concentration of world forces upon a situation and a people that would normally be considered insignificant.

I also understood in a new light the clear revelation of Joel 3:1–2 that at the close of this age God will judge all nations on the basis of their attitude towards the regathering of Israel in their own land: “For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there. On account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land.”

The implications of these revelations are far-reaching and frightening. Our attitude towards the return of Jesus is revealed by two things: our concern for world evangelization and our concern for the reestablishment of the Jews in their own land. If we are indifferent towards world evangelization, we are in fact—whether we acknowledge it or not— indifferent to the return of Jesus.

Probably there are many Christians who would give at least lip service to the urgency of world evangelism, but who are still blind to the significance of the restoration of Israel. Yet both alike are main themes of the prophetic Scriptures and of the words of Jesus Himself. The issue of Israel’s restoration goes much deeper than theology or intellectual understanding.

Ultimately it is spiritual.

The spirit that opposes the reestablishment of Israel is the spirit that opposes the return of Jesus.

Though it may wear many disguises, it is the spirit of Satan himself. Faced with these clear scriptural issues, we each need to ask ourselves a decisive question: Am I sincerely committed to support by every legitimate means the task of world evangelization and the reestablishment of Israel as a nation in its own land? The answer we give will reveal our attitude towards the return of Jesus.

Derek Prince (1915–2003) was an international Bible teacher whose daily radio programme Derek Prince Legacy Radio was broadcast to half the population of the world in various languages. He was especially noted for his teachings about Israel.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

WALK IN THE MONSOON... With the Dawgs!

Today my wife and I took a walk with our 2 dogs in the nearby historic Fairbank, AZ ghost-townsite.  It is a great little state park about 3 miles away from my house that has a wonderful nature walk down to the San Pedro River.  [What we call a "River"  in AZ would probably make make most of you all laugh uproariously, but this time of year it actually has water-- so you would laugh slightly less!]

Well we got caught in nifty gully-washer of a Monsoon, and had to take shelter under an old train trestle for about a solid hour [great and needed rainstorm!] where Patty snapped this pic of me holding our crazy hound dog Posy's leash.

God has given us a great rainy season in Southern AZ this summer so far... in fact...  I am quite sure what we have gotten is already enough to insure NO REPEAT of last year's awful Fire season!

Praise The Lord!

A pretty good site about Fairbank is found  HERE. 

The Wikipedia article is  HERE.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

SPURGEON salutes SAVONAROLA, from "The Sword And The Trowel" 1869

Here is a great article from Charles Spurgeon's magazine SWORD AN THE TROWEL from 1869. It is a tribute to the "proto-reformer" Girolamo Savonarola  (1452 - 1498), who I always think never gets his full due as a figure from evangelical history-- one volume of Church History in my possession-- written from an Evangelical perspective, no less-- flippantly writes him off as a "thoroughly medieval personage."  Still, while it is often noted that he stayed a member of the Church Of Rome all his life [til they killed him, of course!] I think Spurgeon is correct to count him a great man and a hero of the Christian Faith...

IN THE month of May this year it is proposed to hold a conference of Italian Christians in the fine old city of Florence. Gavazzi, whose evangelistic work among his countrymen has inspired new hopes in English breasts, as to the future of Protestantism in that land of olives and cypresses, has, with the assistance of those who are equally enthusiastic for the cause of God and truth, formed an Evangelical Alliance in Italy, for the purpose of unitedly combatting "the two great enemies of the divine religion of Christ—Popery and Rationalism." They thus hope to "present a compact phalanx against the expected assaults of the coming Œcumenical Council."1

Florence has not inaptly been chosen as the scene of this Protestant demonstration. Exactly four centuries ago, it witnessed the martyrdom of a Florentine monk, who, ere the Reformation dawned, and while, indeed, Martin Luther was a youth of six years of age, had aroused the enmity of one of the vilest miscreants of all the debased wretches that wore the triple crown, and had struck a blow at the pretensions of the Papacy, which was only the precursor of that mightier onslaught which staggered the See of Rome, and ushered in the Reformation. It is worth while to run over the incidents of that short but eventful life, since its lessons are as useful to-day as ever.

Savonarola was born in 1452, of respectable parents, at Ferrara. From his grandfather, a physician to a noble duke, he gained his first acquaintance with learned pursuits; from his mother he obtained those lessons of goodness and piety which influenced his heart and moulded his character. Designed for the medical profession, he soon evinced a passionate longing for other pursuits. Thoughtful, earnest, high-souled, his heart guided his head, and both became devoted to the inner world of spiritual life, into which he withdrew, bidding adieu to the scenes of greedy lust and worldly pleasures by which he was surrounded. He was not the first, we suppose, who sought to relieve his young burning heart by rhyming. We have very little left of his youthful effusions, but they indicate the great struggles of his soul, and foretell the thoughts of a riper and more matured and experienced observation. Thus early, he seemed to have gained a profound sense of the deep-seated corruptions of the apostate church. The profligate sensuous age moved him to write in terms of just severity; and it is noticeable how emphatically he lays the axe at the root of the upas-tree2

"The earth so staggers under every vice,
That never will it lift its head again;
Rome is that head, so bowed with wickedness,
That ended now for ever is her reign."

Deeply did he lament the corruptions of the church. Bitterly did he bewail its abandonment of the high mission to which he believed it had been called. And yet, when he saw the outside world, he viewed it with intense disgust. For him it had no attractions. He despised its allurements; he detested its vanities; and so, with a moral determination, and a stern self-denial, worthy of a nobler consummation, he retired into a Dominican cloister. At first a lay-brother, mending the garments and keeping the garden of the convent, he became, after a year of probation, a monk. He was an enthusiastic student. As he himself confesses, he strove after truth with all his powers. Truth was the empress of his soul. He loved her for her own sake. "She illumines," he says, "the soul with divine light, and leads it to communion with God, who is himself truth." Fortunately, he obtained, like his successor of the convent of Erfurt, a copy of the Holy Scriptures. How earnestly did he apply himself to a thorough investigation of its teachings! Here, in his solitary cell, shut out from the gaieties and fascinations of Italian life, isolated from others by his very earnestness and heart-yearnings, like a panting hart braying for the water-brooks, he thirsted for the translucent purity of God's all-satisfying truth.

It is true, he read the Scriptures in the light—always a "dim, religious" one—of the church, but he could not shut his eyes to the awful revelations it gave of the abomination of desolations. His soul luxuriated in the peace-infusing teachings of the Word; but his heart was stirred up within him as he compared the church as it was with its ideal state. "Where," he asks, "are the precious stones—where the pure diamonds, the bright lamps, the sapphires, the white robes, and white roses of the church?" It was thus that fourteen years of retirement were spent; the fires of suffering purifying his nature, and leading him to that higher renunciation and nobler consecration so needed for the work of the future.

Just at this time, Florence was at the dizzying height of its renown. It possessed nearly a thousand fortified positions. Its beauty of situation, its rich lands, its luxuriance, its wealth, its treasures of art, its libraries, its seats of learning, magnificent palaces, unrivalled advantages and commercial prosperity, with its gaities and worldly attractions, made it one of the wonders of Europe. If England be, as the keen satire of Napoleon has represented, "a nation of shopkeepers," Florence was well-nigh a city of bankers and merchants. Being the great banking-place of the Continent, its wealth was enormous. As Corinth, under the fostering care of Augustus, and in the zenith of its commercial glory, grew licentious, and proud, and reckless, so Florence, under the luxurious sway of Lorenzo di Medici the Magnificent, became heathenish and viciously immoral.

Savonarola's voice was soon heard in the church of St. Mark, censuring the tendencies of the age, and laying, bare, with merciless severity, the corruptions of the church. It must have been a strange sight to see the spare, haggard form of his pale-faced, keen-eyed, Roman-nosed monk, exciting, the crowds of listeners, and overpowering them with his vigorous eloquence. There was nothing in his voice to allure attention. It was thin and weak. Nor was there anything in his manner, for he was unpractised in speaking; but his words carried weight, and each had a flaming fire-dart which pierced its way, and carried conviction. His denunciations of the paganism of Florence, and the gross abominations of the church, stirred the city to its depths. The friar's popularity grew and spread like living fire. Men listened and shuddered. Priests heard, trembled, and hated. The people grew enthusiastic. Salvation by faith, not by works—forgiveness of sin, not by absolution, but by Christ; these were unheard of truths from such a pulpit, and were as welcome as they were strange. With sternness of manner he denounced the prevailing sins of the time, and with affectionate entreaty besought men, like another John the Baptist, to "repent, for the kingdom of heaven was at hand."

Indeed, his prophetic utterances of a visitation from God were listened to with much dismay. His extraordinary faithfulness in rebuking those current sins of the wealthy to which they thought they had a prescriptive right; his personal form of address, without which no minister or reformer can hope to be successful in soul-winning; his clear evangelic utterances as to the natural state of the soul, its need of redemption, and the suitability of the free gospel of God's Grace to meet that need, told upon the people. They wept. They were silenced. Men who took down his discourses, were known to drop the pens from their hands. Country people walked miles to hear the great preacher; came, indeed, the night before the Sunday, and besieged the church doors at early morn, that they might be sure of a seat. Rich burghers gave them victuals, and even acted as doorkeepers. The convent church was too small; nor could the cathedral accommodate more than the three thousand persons who flocked to hear the friar!

As prior of St. Mark, Savonarola was expected to pay homage to Lorenzo di Medici. He refused. In vain did Lorenzo seek to win the stern friar's confidence; he would loiter in the garden to attract his attention; money was given most royally to the poor; the sermons were heard; but all Lorenzo got in return was unsparing denunciation. Five men were sent to induce the friar to moderate his stinging criticisms, and to cease his prophetic utterances.

"Go," was the stern answer, "and tell Lorenzo that he must repent of his sins, for God is about to punish him and his. He threatens me with banishment. Well, I am a foreigner, and he a citizen, and the first in the city; but know that I shall stay, and that he will soon be forced to quit."

Strange to say, this declaration came true! Lorenzo the Magnificent lay on his death-bed. Anxious to be absolved from his sins, he sent for the monk, whom he had feared. Savonarola imposed Three Conditions.

He was first to believe in God's ability and willingness to forgive; this the sick man confessed.

Then he was to restore that which he had unrighteously gained. This duty he promised to perform by his heir.

Thirdly, said Savonarola, "Give back to Florence her ancient liberty;" but Lorenzo turned his head away, and Savonarola departed.

After Lorenzo's death he addressed himself to the work of reformation. Beginning where reformation, as well as charity, should begin, at home, he renovated his convent, induced the monks to reform, to live higher lives, to study, and to preach. Next, he sought the reformation of the Florentine State. Henceforth he must become a politician. It is useless to criticise and condemn: he may have been fanatical, unwise, foolish. He, at least, did not think so. He had his dreams of an ideal government, and he lived to see them come true, though they hastened his fate. He preached on the downfall of the State; declared that soon the Lord's vengeance would come upon the Florentines; announced the termination of the great house of Medici; and predicted that "Over the Alps one is coming sword in hand against Italy to chastise her tyrants. His coming will be in the storm and in the whirlwind, like that of Cyrus." At the time, no one believed the warning voice of the strange prophet. The city was at peace; people were married and given in marriage, and the end came not. But lo! the King of France came over the Alps, with an immense army, took Naples, and marched into Florence. Then believed they the message of the friar. The Medici were expelled. Savonarola appeared before the King of France, secured peace, obtained milder terms; and the Florentines were allowed to choose their own mode of government. On the friar, however, was devolved this task. He chose the democratic form; but Jesus Christ was to be King of the city. A general amnesty was proclaimed, and the streets of Florence were thus saved from the deluge of blood which seemed inevitable. A contemporary writer states that "Apart from the Father's preaching, streams of blood would have been seen to flow in the city; but his words and his authority, which stood at that time very high, appeased the storm, and hindered the carrying out of revengeful thoughts."

It was marvelous how his power was felt. He was looked upon as a deliverer and a prophet. His words were treasured up, and were held as coming from God himself. His holy ascendancy was such that men everywhere saw it, felt it, were cowed under it, and not a few wished to be delivered from it. He waged relentless war against the sins of the rich, and denounced the vices of the poor. He changed for a time the character of society in the city. Dr. Seibert, in his biography, "Savonarola der Reformator von Florenz," describes the wondrous effect of the friar's teaching:—"Mortal enemies fell into each other's arms and became reconciled; the rich spontaneously restored ill-gotten gains: one citizen in particular made restitution of 3,000 ducats, the possession of which disquieted his conscience. Women renounced of their own accord their pride of dress, and went about in modest garments of drab. Ballads and love songs were heard no longer in the country, and religious singing took their place. In the city the theatres and taverns soon became empty and desolate, and in a short time cards and dice were no longer to be seen, vain pomp disappeared, all moral earnestness, and a wonderful degree of love and devotion to eternal things laid hold of the people."

As one of his opponents said, "The people seemed to become fools from love to Christ." At the season of carnival men delivered up their dice, cards, and card-boards, scandalous images, and immoral novels, and women their rouge, scented waters, veils, false hair, mirrors—indeed, never before, and we fear never since, were women more self-sacrificing—all these luxuries were collected in the marketplace and burnt, youths singing in procession, round what has been called this "auto-da-fé of sin and worldly pleasures."

Besides improving the social condition of the poor, he endeavoured to reform the church. He never spared the priests—they were "the devil's midwives." Referring to the primitive church, he once said, "In those days they had a golden priest and wooden vessels, but now we have golden vessels and a wooden priest." But especially was he emphatic in his testimony to the preciousness of the Scriptures. "The ruin of the church," he said, "is to be traced to this, that Christians no longer read the Scriptures; it is owing to this that thick darkness broods over the Christian people, and that impiety gets so much the upper hand." He very imperfectly understood the Scriptures, but he was alone in demanding that they should be read, and their lessons taught to the people.

A man like Savonarola, it is needless to remark, must soon have aroused the enmity of the Papacy.

It was no difficulty for him to find foes; they compassed him about like bees. They were principally of the order of the Franciscans, who always hated the order of which Savonarola was a member—the Dominican.

News reached Rome of the terrible power and popularity of the friar. The Pope's first thought was to conciliate so dangerous a foe. He, therefore, offered him a cardinal's hat. But it was declined. "I wish," he said, "for no other red hat than that of a martyr, dyed with my own blood." It was equally in the power of the Pope to grant him that favour—for which, indeed, he felt most inclined. He was then respectfully and in a most fatherly way invited to show himself at Rome. "Beloved son! Health to thee, and apostolic benediction."

But, as everyone knows, the Pope's blessing was always a curse, and in this case the blessing concealed—or only partly concealed—a power that would by penance, prison, or poison, reduce the friar to everlasting silence. Savonarola was not to be caught. He knew the man with whom he was dealing. The Pope was the incarnation of all the devilry that ever escaped from hell. An abandoned wretch, guilty of scandalous crimes—who could trust him? And so, wisely, the friar refused to go. He did not refuse, however, to fulminate against the Pope. He, too—like most of us—could issue his little bull from his diminutive Vatican. At last the Pope prohibited his preaching, and ordered that the congregation of St. Mark should be dissolved. Such elements were, however, not readily dissolved. Savonarola for a time maintained silence, but was stung into action by the  it Pope's Breve.

"I cannot forbear preaching," he declared; "the word of God is as a fire in my heart; unless I speak it,burns my marrow and bones."

"It is now time," he said, "to open the den; we will turn the key; such a stench and so much filth will be vomited forth by Rome as will overspread all Christendom, and everybody will be tainted with it."

At last the Pope applied to the Signori to deliver up this heretic; but it was in vain. Franciscan monks were sent to preach him down; but his preaching went up. Then it was, with his customary politeness, that the Pope sent a gracious message, hurling his curse at his head, cutting him off as a rotten member of the church's body, and giving him over to the powers of hell. Savonarola had his defenders in Florence, and those were among the wealthy as well as among the poor; but a host of circumstances were combining to ruin him. His friends were injudicious. His new state constitution was, as might be expected, a failure. His alliance with the King of France, who had done nothing for the church, damaged his popularity. Plague and famine irritated the people; and, as no miracle was wrought on their behalf, Savonarola was disliked. One of his friends foolishly put a controversy with the Franciscans upon the issue of a trial by the ordeal of fire. The fire was prepared in the marketplace of Florence; the citizens expected to behold a notable spectacle; but the Signori and a shower of rain interfered and dispersed the crowd. The mob then turned upon Savonarola; the monastery was assailed; the once popular monk was made a prisoner; and the Pope was communicated with.

Overcome with joy, "His Holiness" granted permission for the monk to be tortured. A recantation was demanded of him, but he refused. He was then stretched seven times during the week upon the rack. In the height of his sufferings he cried, "Lord, take my spirit," and, worn out by the tortures, he agreed to confess. When, however, he had rested a while, he withdrew his recantation, and boldly avowed all that he had previously taught. Between the day of his trial and the day of his execution he wrote an exposition of the Fifty-first Psalm, which Luther later highly prized, and published in Germany.

He was burnt, with two friends, on the 22nd of May, 1498. The bishop deprived him of his priestly garments, saying, "Thus I exclude thee from the militant and triumphant church."

"From the church militant thou mayst," exclaimed Savonarola, "but from the church triumphant thou canst not."

He died blessing the people who had deserted him, and clinging to the Christ whose love had never departed from him.

The question has often been asked, How far was Savonarola the herald of Protestantism?

The best answer to that question is, we think, furnished in his admirable work—far ahead of the times in which it was written—"The Triumph of the Cross." We are glad that those enterprising publishers, Messrs. Hodder and Stoughton have brought it out in a cheap and handsome form.3 For the sake of the memory of the martyr, it should be read; for the sake of the truths it so luminously sets forth, it deserves a wide circulation. Mr. Travers Hill, beside writing an interesting sketch of the Italian Reformer's life, has ably translated the work.

At a time when the church held every one in bondage, when the Scriptures were hid from view, and the masses were ignorant of the way of salvation—when darkness covered the earth and gross darkness the people—when the church to which every one bowed in lowly submission was so corrupt as to allow a pope stained with every crime to preside over it—and when Luther's shrill testimony had not as yet been given—it is pleasant to find words of such evangelic power written in the cloister of a monastery. And though Savonarola was wedded to many of the errors of the church, yet his testimony in favour of justification by faith and not by works, and the forgiveness of sins by Christ and not by man, was clear and decisive.

His object was undoubtedly to purify the Church of Rome, not to destroy it; but it is evident that throughout his life he was, if loyal to his church, far more loyal to his Christ!


1. The First Vatican Council (1869-70) was about to get underway when Spurgeon wrote this article. Among the decrees of Vatican I was the notorious declaration of Papal Infallibility.
2. "Upas-tree." A fabled poisonous tree whose vapours were supposed to be fatal to all life that came under its influence.
3. The Triumph of the Cross by JEROME SAVONAROLA. Translated from the Latin, with Notes and a Biographical Sketch. By O'Dell Travers Hill, F.R.G.S. London: Hodder and Stoughton.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

LANCE by WARREN TUFTS: A sample of Eleven Legendary Western Sunday Comic Pages, 1959

Albie's Note: I love western comics, and this here is the Rolls-Royce of western comics!  LANCE, by the great comic-strip workhorse Warren Tufts (December 12, 1925 - June 7, 1982) is still remembered as possibly the all-time pinnacle of the long-lamented "Sunday Full Page" comic strip.

Let comic historian Don Markstein explain:

""Lance" was the hero's first name, not his last—his full name was Lance St. Lorne. He was an officer in the U.S. cavalry at Ft. Leavenworth, Ks., in the 1840s, when his unit's task was to tame the Western territories, making them safe for American settlers. The setting and the task provided plenty of scope for adventure—fighting the Sioux, interacting with real historical personages like Kit Carson, and whatnot. Like Casey Ruggles, Lance was characterized by high-quality stories and art, but also by historical accuracy. Unlike, say, Lucky Luke, when Lance met someone who had really lived, that person was as old as he'd actually have been at the time, and in circumstances congruent with the known course of the person's life. Lance started out in about a hundred or so papers. It was so successful, Tufts even did a daily version, as a companion. But his drawing was so meticulous, he was spending as much as 100 hours a week just producing the comic, leaving little time for such niceties as taking care of business. With United Feature, this had led to missed deadlines. With him responsible for the whole enterprise—something had to give. The daily didn't last long, and the Sunday, which had originally been drawn in the full-page format popular before World War II and not easily reformatable, shrank to a half page, and then smaller yet."

Here is a "continuity" sequence of the great strip from  The Year Of Our Lord, 1958 A.D., courtesy of Manuel Caldas' great tribute site, which can be visited HERE.

Enjoy these 11 beautiful Sunday pages from the Neplus Ultra of Western Comics! 

MEMORABLE QUOTES FROM SERMONS #3: Ian Paisley, 1968-- "60 Minutes To Go!"

Albie's note: I like the fiery Northern Irish Protestant preacher Ian R. K. Paisley [Born 1926.]  This Brother has been thrown in jail, vilified, harangued and slandered more times than we American Christians can even contemplate. 

This excerpt is transcribed from a 1968 sermon entitled "60 Minutes To Go."  I'd love for you to read this, but I'd be even happier if you'd listen to the entire sermon, which is avaible in audio form HERE. For one thing, Dr. Ian's powerful and thundering Irish voice adds a really indescribable dimension.

...And, friend, you are not saved. Some of you have sat under gospel preaching all your days and you are not saved. And you have got old and grey headed under gospel preaching, but you are not saved. And so tonight I would appeal to you in God’s name, 60 minutes to go! But, praise God, you can be saved tonight. You can turn to Christ and be saved!

When I was a student studying for the ministry I visited often in a home and there was a dear old lady in that home. She was an Irish Presbyterian, one of the old "blue stocking Presbyterians," knew the catechism backside forward, not only the Shorter, but the Larger! She was a real old Presbyterian, but she wasn’t saved. I used to call her "grandmother." And she took ill and I went out to see her and I climbed up the stairs and went in to her room.

She said, “Ian, I am glad to see you.”

And we talked about many things and then I opened the Bible. And I said, “Grandmother, I would like to talk to you about the Lord.” And then the atmosphere got very tense and I read to her about Nicodemus and what the Lord said, “You must be born again.” And I said to her as tenderly as I could, I said, “Grandmother, you would need to be born again.”

She was very angry. She said, “Ian, you had no right to come here and tell me that.” She said, “You know just how I think about these things. And I don’t go in for this salvation business and I don’t go in for this new birth business.” She said, “I was baptized in the
Presbyterian Church and I have attended it all my life! I never did anybody any harm. I am a good, straight, honest woman. I am 76 years of age.” And she said, “If anybody will get into heaven, I will!”

I said, “Grandmother, I want to tell you it will not be heaven you will be in. You will be in hell.”

And I said, “I know after today our friendship is finished. I know that. I know after today you will not want to talk to me,” but I said, “Grandmother, some day you and me will be at God’s Judgment Bar and it would be a terrible thing if you turned around to me and said, ‘Ian Paisley visited in my home and talked to me and never told me I needed to be saved!’”

So I said, “I have come to tell her.”

She said, “You can go.”

So I set my book and I went to the door of the house. I discerned a little tear in Grandmother’s eye so I stood in the doorway and I said, “Grandmother, is that final? Are you saying goodbye not to me, but to Jesus today?”

She burst out into tears. She said, “Ian, could Jesus wash away 76 years of sinning and receive me, an old woman that rejected him all my life? Could he do that??”

I said, “Praise God he can do that!”

And I went back into the room and I knelt down and I took her frail hand in mine and I prayed and I said, “Lord, Jesus, here is grandmother, 76 years of age, a Christ rejecter, a religious woman, a good woman from the standards of the world, but as far as you are concerned a rejecter of your Son and she wants to come to you.”

And grandmother prayed the sinners prayer and came to Jesus, got gloriously saved!

Not long afterwards she passed the river and she said to the Presbyterian minister-- he was an old apostate-- he knew nothing about the gospel. She said when she was dying-- and, of
course, she was a good churchwoman and paid into the church and he would have done anything for her-- she says, “I want Ian Paisley to preach at the grave side!”

He says, “What do you want him for?”

I had a bad reputation even in those days, 22 years ago. I never had a good reputation in my life. [Laughter.]

She says, “I just want him to preach at the grave.”

So I went to the funeral and he went over his antics in the house, for that is all you could call them. He was an old sinner himself, knew nothing about the gospel, led his congregation to hell, made jokes about gospel preachers, laughed at "Bible Thumpers" as he
called them. But at the graveside I was there and he said to me, “This woman told me that you were to preach at the grave side.”

I said, “Sir, that is what I intend to do.”

So he stood there like a stuffed mummy and I preached the gospel hot and strong. And after I had finished I said, “Man, I am going to tell you a wee story. I am going to tell you what Grandmother would have told you if she had been here.”

And I told how I led grandmother to the Lord. You should have seen those big men standing and the tears running down their cheeks as I told bout 76 years of sins going under the blood.

It is a great thing, isn’t it?


Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Albie's note: Did it ever seem odd to you that King David was the only figure in scripture ever called "a man after God's own heart?"  I would like to share the following passage by the great English essayist and philosopher Thomas Carlyle [1795-1881.] 

Old Tom Carlyle isn't a thinker I always agree with, but these words touched me greatly, and I hope they can, perhaps, bless someone else too.


Who is called "the man after God's own heart"?

David, the Hebrew king, had fallen into sins enough -- blackest crimes -- there was no want of sin. And, therefore, unbelievers sneer, and ask, "Is this your man after God's own heart?"

The sneer, it seems to me, is but a shallow one. What are faults, what are the outward details of a life, if the inner secret of it, the remorse, temptations, the often baffled, never ended struggle of it, be forgotten?

"It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." Of all acts, is not, for a man, repentance the most divine? The deadliest sin, I say, were that same supercilious consciousness of no sin;—that is death; the heart so conscious is divorced from sincerity, humility and fact; is dead: it is "pure..." as dead dry sand is pure.

David's life and history, as written for us in those Psalms of his, I consider to be the truest emblem ever given us of a man's moral progress and warfare here below. All earnest souls will ever discover in it the faithful struggle of an earnest human soul towards what is good and best.

Struggle often baffled -- sore baffled -- driven as into entire wreck; yet a struggle never ended, ever with tears, repentance, true unconquerable purpose begun anew.

--Thomas Carlyle, (1795-1881), from the book "On Heroes and Hero Worship."  1841

Painting by William Brassey Hole

"Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest."
--King David, PSALM 51:4


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

HYMN TIME #8: "Count Your Blessings"

Today's old hymn is actually the best one I can think of for Independence Day. Have you ever stopped and considered how blessed you are to live in this country?  A free market economy to live and work in? Freedom to meet in Jesus' name? Freedom to read your Bible?

How about "innocent until proven guilty?" Representative government? Very little widespread hunger?   I could go on and ON...

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS  first appeared in Songs for Young People, compiled and published by Edwin 0. Excell in 1897. It has been sung all over the world. One writer has stated, "Like a beam of sunlight it has brightened up the dark places of the earth."

It was written by Johnson Oatman [words] and Excell [music].  It is an excellent reminder to value every thing you have been generously given through God's Amazing Grace!

Now for the videos:  I really like this lady's attitude... about life, blessings and especially Old Hymns Of The Church.  She does a pretty great job with the song itself too.


And here is a musical version from some Irish folks:
 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.”  
Ephesians 1:3