Wednesday, September 05, 2007

'Through Many Trials' David Brown - V.

The last of the so-called Five Points of Calvinism is the Perseverence of the Saints. This does not mean that true saints never fall away, but it means that God always graciously brhings them back when they do. So it was swith David Brown. He wanted to go to Germany and plunge into the unbelief that John Duncan had introduced him to. But God hindered him, and instead Brown found himself spending the winter in Edinburgh. There he enrolled at the university, attending lectures in chemistry as well as other subjects. He also came under a very different religious influence, attending services at the High Church (St. Giles') where the evangelical Dr. Gordon was minister, and at the church pastored by Dr. M'Crie, the biographer of John Knox and other Scots worthies (see here for more information on Dr. M'Crie). But, with a new-found enthusiasm for all things Continental, his greatest influence was Cesar Malan of Geneva (the subject of our illustration). Malan was a follower of Calvin, and he preached the Gospel, urging men to come at once to a clear determination of their condition with God. David was delivered from the bondage of a false theology, and restored to true views of the glory of Christ. His spiritual vision was restored, and he returned to Aberdeen desiring to share this liberating truth with Duncan.
Duncan did not recieve it at first, refusing to talk to Brown about spiritual things. David Brown prayed for an opening, and one came. They talked for hours, and Brown pointed out the great difficulty that had to be overcome for Duncan to believe - his pride. Brown helped Duncan to see that he was a sinner, and that he was a 'Greek' (we preached on that text recently) who thought God's way of Salvation was 'foolish'. The doctrines of Christianity, he explained, ARE Christianity, the atonement everything.
Charles Brown, who had been with his brother in Edinburgh, had invited his friend Dr. Malan to Aberdeen. David Brown, knowing how Dr. Malan's ministry had been blessed to him, he invited Duncan to speak with the Genevan evangelist. Duncan came, and Malan pressed the Gospel on him. Duncan, the proud scholar, was converted and became as a little child. It was not the pressure of the evangeliust that converted him, but the grace of God as he sat at home in his study. So David Brown was used to bring one who is still a blessing to many thousands to faith in Christ.

God willing, next time we shall see how David Brown entered on the ministry of the Gospel.



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