Friday, May 19, 2006

Declaring the Death of Christ: James Denney. XVI.

James Denney died on 11th June 1917, at the age of sixty-one, worn out by the strain of the churches. He joined his wife and his closest friends in eternity, before the throne of God. His body was laid to rest in Glasgow. Denney's Cunningham Lectures for 1917 were never delivered, the full manuscrip was published as his memorial under the title The Christian Doctrine of Reconcilliation.
Denney's dying had been sustained by thinking on the atonement, on the fact that Christ had paid all the debt of sin for him. He died as he had lived, depending on the atonement paid by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Denney's books are still read today, although by fewer people than they once were, no doubt because there are now sounder books on the subjects which we can read. But Denney's battles are being fought again today, and we must fight them. We are therefore glad to have Denney's works.

In Memoriam: James Denney.
By Rev. W. R. Thomson, B.D.

Friend, who hast fallen 'mid the din of war,
Take now thy portion of the soldier's sleep;
For thou, God's sentry, didst thy vigil keep,
Nor watched with idle eyes the strife from far.

Naught trivial found a home within thy mind,
Nor any baseness in thy spirit's place;
Self's spectre fled the daybreak of thy face
To herd in dark confusion with its kind.

The light of thought enthroned upon thy brow
Its splendid largesse flung upon our way;
God's benison to one who loved the day,
Whose riches did us poorer men endow.

And when the shadow fell, and bugles shrill
Blew war's fierce challenge all about the land,
Who more than thou, at Duty's high command,
Didst toil to fortify the nation's will?

Who more than thou didst toil to feed the flame
Of high resolve? to keep inviolate
Our troth with those - to honour dedicate -
Who reaps on fields of death a deathless fame?

Ah, silent now that voice of quiet power,
And dark the eye that kindled at the call
Of God within, and stilled beneath the pall
The valiant heart that held faith's endless dower.

Blow the Last Post across the soldier saint,
Give to the wind and sun our sorrow deep;
Friend, take thy portion of the soldier's sleep,
Thou who didst march God's way and didst not faint.

These posts are based primarily on T.H. Walker, Principal James Denney, D.D. (London, Marshall Brothers, 1918) and John Randolph Taylor, God Loves Like That! (London, SCM Press, 1962). The main other source is an unpublished Summer Project for the London Theological Seminary.



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