AN ORDER OF SERVICE FOR DIVINE WORSHIP; DESIGNED FOR PRIVATE DEVOTIONS, FAMILY GATHERINGS AND CHURCH MEETINGS.

A Call To Worship

King David wrote in Psalm 111:7-10: “The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.”

Hymn—“It is the Lord Enthroned in Light”

Scripture Reading—Psalm 42:1-13

”As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday. Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life. I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”

Hymn—“God Is My Everlasting King”

Opening Prayer

Hymn—“The Honors Of Your Lord And King”

Sermon—“The Eternal God Is Thy Refuge”

Jared Smith’s series of studies in Paul’s epistle to the Romans will continue after 4 weeks. In its place, a selection of sermons by Strict Baptist gospel preachers are provided. Please see the footnote to learn more about Mr. Stanley Delves.

Hymn—“Leaning On The Everlasting Arms”

Closing Prayer

Benediction

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with us all. Amen.

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Stanley Delves served in the gospel ministry for almost 60 years. For the last 54 years of his life, he served as the pastor of Forest Fold Chapel, Crowborough, England. The Lord took him home on 4 March 1978, at the age of 80. In a booklet published by the deacons of Forest Fold Chapel, Mr. Delves writes of himself:

“I was born in 1897, the year of the rebuilding of Forest Fold Chapel, in the very out-of-the-way village of Rushlake Green, which lies between Heathfield and Hailsham in East Sussex. I was the youngest of four sons, and we had no sisters. Our father was at that time the village blacksmith. Our parents were both godly people and members of the little church in Mount Hermon Chapel, our father being the Deacon there. My brother Jesse and myself are the only surviving members of their family. In every way my beginning was small. I had not the advantages now provided for children and young people to equip themselves, nor was I very desirous of them, for I had no idea of any prominence in life nor ambitions whatever.

My early life gives me little pleasure as I remember it, for though I was under a gracious parental upbringing and regularly attended Chapel and Sunday School I can only say with the Psalmist, “Remember not the sins of my youth…according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.” But at times I was not without solemn feelings and resolutions to be better; but these wore off, and I thought that when I was free to do so I would go my own way. There were evils in my heart which would have been my eternal ruin had sovereign grace not intervened.

Reference is made in my testimony to Mr Botten of the Dicker, and the effect of his preaching on me. As I have given some account of my spiritual experience there, I will only say now that when about 15 years of age I left home to work in Tunbridge Wells. At that time I was under concern of soul, but without understanding of the great truths of the gospel except in a notional way which brought no blessing to my heart. I came there to live and work for Mr J. W. Harmer, who was a very useful supply minister. There I met his daughter Esther Caroline, who subsequently became my precious and faithful wife.

After a time I moved to another post on The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells where I worked, except during my war service, until I became Pastor, and thereafter gave my whole time to the gospel ministry. The Pantiles area has many memories for me. I think of the days when I walked around there in concern, sometimes almost distracted, about preaching, and later the question of accepting the pastorate at Crowborough; but I was brought through I believe by the Lord’s guiding hand, which appears more clear now than it did then.

In 1917 I was called up for military service in the first World War. Some few months I was in the south of Ireland, mostly in rural villages where I saw the poverty of the people and the power of the Roman Catholic religion over them. From there I went to North Russia, where I had equal opportunity to observe the Greek Orthodox religion, and though the latter repudiates some of the practices of the former, I saw little to choose between them. I was twelve months in the north of Russia and experienced the rigours of an arctic winter. In the year 19191 returned to Scotland where, as related in my testimony, I came into a deep exercise concerning the ministry.

In 1924 I became the pastor of Forest Fold, and on 21st April was married in Rehoboth Chapel, Tunbridge Wells. My wife and myself were entirely of one mind in spiritual things; she was baptised at Rehoboth. We were first attracted to each other spiritually, and our natural affection grew out of that. She was in every way patient, prudent, tender, forbearing, a true pastor’s wife; she helped me to the utmost of her power. But she was seldom free from pain, owing to varicose ulceration, which in the end caused the entire amputation of one leg. Further complications supervened, and she passed quickly away on 12th August 1963. We had two daughters, Christine Mary and Rachel Esther, who remain to be a comfort to me in the evening of my days.”



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