But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
Christ worked out our salvation that we might have peace, joy, heaven and glory forever. He was set forth sweating blood in agony and wrestling with the thoughts of death which he was to suffer for our sins. He cried, wept and mourned under the lashes of justice. He was nailed to the cross with his arms open wide to show the freeness his merit would be bestowed upon us if we come. O how heartily he will receive us into his arms! He offers all freely; yea, he comes in the word od the gospel with the blood running down his face, tears upon his cheeks, fresh wounds in his hands and feet, and blood still flowing from his side, to entreat you to accept his gracious offering of reconciliation. Will you love sin more than grace, and darkness more than light? Will you shut your eyes to him but open them wide for the pleasures of the flesh? Will you run the hazard of death in the day of judgment? Will you despise him and reject his grace? Will you abide in sin until the day of judgment? The loss of the soul is not a fable. Body and soul must be destroyed in hell. The body is the instrument, and the soul is the actor, but O the soul is the sinner and as the principal part must be punished ! The soul has the deepest hand in sin, and the soul is to bear the burden of punishment. The soul will be most tormented and bear its own punishment. Outside of Christ’s grace the body and soul must be lost, cast away, and judged in hell for sin. What shall I say? How terrible to be an infinite distance from God! Who knows the power of God’s wrath, the weight of sin, the torments that will swallow up the soul, and the lengths of eternity, when cast away from God? O what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Sinclair Ferguson has publicly stated that no one has had a greater spiritual impact on his life than William Still! William Still was the minister of Gilcomston South Church, Aberdeen, from 1945 to 1997. While his name may not feature in the official annals of the Church of Scotland, it is doubtful whether any other individual in his Church during the latter half of the twentieth century had such a profound or widespread influence. For over fifty years Mr. Still pioneered a single-minded commitment to expository preaching and congregational prayer which made Gilcomston a beacon of Reformed and evangelical Christianity in Scotland.
A man whose very life breathed the grace and love of God, no one who ever met him, received his counsel, or sat under his ministry, could have escaped the sheer Christlikeness of Mr. Still’s life. In the early days of his ministry he wrote: “There is no part of me, or of my life, that I will withhold from the work that God has called me to.”
It was one of the marks of his evident commitment to the service of Christ that he devoted himself to the pastoral care of his people, providing them with daily Bible reading notes that would feed their souls and prepare them for works of service. The “Notes”, which appeared in the monthly “Congregational Record,” soon became highly sought after across Scotland, the United Kingdom, and even to the far-flung corners of the world, increasing in many a love for and commitment to the Word of God.
Drawn from every book in the Bible, this selection, edited and arranged by David C. Searle, will take the reader through the year with William Still. These pages will explain what it means to live under the authority of Scripture, to exalt the glorious Person of Christ, and to rejoice in the wonder of the gospel.