A Prayer for Ministry, from Thomas Chalmers

May 8, 2006

Amen C.J.!

Thomas Chalmers was one of the leading lights of the Scottish evangelical awakening in the nineteenth century. From October of 1841 to September 20, 1846, on Sunday afternoons, Chalmers wrote a series of devotional-expositional-supplicational thoughts on each chapter of the New Testament, starting with Matthew 1 and going to Revelation 22. He wrote them, apparently, simply for his own edification, but they have become a source of edification to many a Gospel minister. I am happy to say that Solid Grounds Christian Books is producing a new edition of them! Get it.

Meanwhile, I’ll share with you a taste of the riches contained therein. Having begun his notes (written in long hand with no erasures, strikeouts or corrections in any of the volumes!) with the arresting words "All history is subservient to the great work of Redemption," Chalmers is meditating on Matthew 1, on a Lord’s Day afternoon (in October of 1841), and journaling—as was his habit over the last six or so years of his life and as described above—and he observes: "And under what an endearing and comforting title is it that he is first announced to us—Jesus the Saviour—and from what? He saves us from our sins—not the guilt of them only, but also the power of them." Then Chalmers records his personal prayer in light of this truth: "—Realize upon me, O God, the whole of this salvation. Give me a part, both in the justifying righteousness which this Jesus hath brought in, and in the sanctifying Grace which He sheds forth on all who believe in him, that I may be regenerated as well as reconciled; and that admitted to the pardon which has been sealed by His blood, I may furthermore be purified—and, meet for the Master’s use, may become one of His peculiar people, zealous of good works." May that be our prayer too.

Thomas Chalmers, Sabbath Scripture Readings (Matthew I), in The Posthumous Works of Thomas Chalmers, Vol. IV, edited by William Hanna (Sutherland and Knox: Edinburgh, 1848), 1-2.