Bonhoeffer uses a similar phrase 'worldly Christianity'. It's J Gresham Machen that I want to line up most closely with. See his Christianity and culture here. Having done commentaries on Proverbs (Heavenly Wisdom) and Song of Songs (Heavenly Love), a matching title for Ecclesiastes would be Heavenly Worldliness. For my stance on worldliness, see 3 posts here.

Erroll Hulse and Peter Jeffery

The funerals have taken place already this week of two men of God, Erroll Hulse and Peter Jeffery. Erroll was born in South Africa in 1931 and Peter in South Wales in 1937. Both were pastors, both served in various churches over the years and both had extensive ministries when those pastorates came to an end. Both were authors too. Erroll's books and booklets are in double figures, Peter's number more than fifty. Both had international ministries and were great encouragers to many men. Erroll I knew best through the Cary Conference and more recently since being involved in organising the Westminster Conference. Apparently, underneath the memorial to John Wesley in Westminster Abbey it says "God buries his workmen but carries on his work." Quite right. As we read in Hebrews 13:7, 8 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 
You can find responses to these deaths here (Erroll Hulse) and here (Peter Jeffery).

A Little Bit ...

I just love pop music. It's so infectious.

Daniel Rowland's Nose

Being in Llangeitho recently and seeing the statue of Daniel Rowland reminded me of an incident from the year 1981. That summer I worked in the Christian Bookshop in Aberystwyth, then located near the station. That summer the Banner of Truth had reproduced a memoir of Rowland by a vicar called John Owen. We put the magazine with a line drawing of Rowland on the cover in the window. One day two elderly farm women, in from the countryside, came in. They wanted a copy of the magazine they said. The talkative one revealed that the other one was a descendant of Rowland. "You can tell" she said "by the nose. She's got the same nose." When I looked, there it was - Daniel Rowland's nose right in the middle of this poor woman's face!

Luther and the 9.5 Theses

This review for another little book recently appeared in Evangelical Times
Luther and the 9.5 Theses
by Kenneth Brownell
July 2017
Publisher: 10 Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-91127-236-6 
Pages: 104
Price: 4.99

Unless you have been hiding in a monastery, you will know that this year is the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation. A plethora of publications have appeared, drawing attention to this fact at various levels and from different points of view. This title comes from Dr Brownell, who has been pastor of East London Tabernacle for over 30 years.
This little book is one of the shorter contributions. It should not be sneered at, however, as in brief and accurate compass it not only gives you the essential story of Martin Luther and his 95 theses but places before us 10 theses for today. These follow careful reflection on the original historical debate, but also speak powerfully to today’s world.
To take one example, the third modern thesis is that ‘Unbiblical doctrines and practices in churches contradict or undermine the gospel and need to be challenged, repudiated and discarded if Reformational Christianity is to flourish’.
Brownell chases down some obvious culprits, such as liberalism, Romanism and the prosperity gospel. He also highlights two areas closer to home, namely pastoral care that is little more than pop psychology, and public worship that does not exalt the Triune God or build up God’s people before a watching world.
On page 62, the author refers to Luther as one who could write learned treatises as well as simple books. Dr Brownell is blessed with the same gift and this present volume is evidence of it. Like Luther’s own work, it is theologically informed writing that not only engages the mind but the will and the emotions also.
Like Luther’s Sermon on indulgences and grace, which was reprinted 24 times between 1518 and 1520, this book is designed for mass distribution. Let’s hope it gets it.

Crazy Lazy

We live in the age of the little book. Back in 2014 this one was published. I'd not seen it but enjoyed reading it recently. I guess itis from a sermon and in some ways a balance to Kevin DeYoung's Crazy Busy. Both books are worth a read. One mistake in the transcription is the appearance of the phrase "its dreadful, ravishing impact" on page 29, which should surely read "its dreadful, ravaging impact".

Lord's Day August 20 2017

We were in Alfred Place, Aber, again yesterday, as planned. Originally, one of the elders was to have preached in the morning and Rhodri in the evening but the elder was not well so Rhodri preached, am, and I stood in, pm. Rhodri preached very well on Romans 6:11. It was a delight to be there. In the evening I decided to go for Hebrews 13:8. I had preached that text at the beginning of the year in Childs Hill and was able to adapt it for yeseterday evening. I recalled a story from A W Pink's The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross worth repeating, which I did.

“It is finished.” Do you really believe it? Or, are you endeavouring to add something of your own to it and thus merit the favour of God?
Some years ago a Christian farmer was deeply concerned over an unsaved carpenter. The farmer sought to set before his neighbour the gospel of God’s grace, and to explain how that the finished work of Christ was sufficient for his soul to rest upon. But the carpenter persisted in the belief that he must do something himself. One day the farmer asked the carpenter to make for him a gate, and when the gate was ready he carried it away to his wagon. He arranged for the carpenter to call on him the next morning and see the gate as it hung in the field. At the appointed hour the carpenter arrived and was surprised to find the farmer standing by with a sharp axe in his hand. “What are you going to do?” he asked. “I am going to add a few cuts and strokes to your work,” was the response. “But there is no need for it,” replied the carpenter, “the gate is all right as it is. I did all that was necessary to it.” The farmer took no notice, but lifting his axe he slashed and hacked at the gate until it was completely spoiled. “Look what you have done!” cried the carpenter. “You have ruined my work! ” “Yes,” said the farmer, “and that is exactly what you are trying to do. You are seeking to nullify the finished work of Christ by your own miserable additions to it!” God used this forceful object lesson to show the carpenter his mistake, and he was led to cast himself by faith upon what Christ had done for sinners. Reader, will you do the same?

Nice to meet friends old and new, including family members.

Ein Ffrind Newydd Alffi

Here are one of my sons and grandsons with our new 11 week old dog Alffi. He's a Cavachon.

10 Dyslexic Welsh Words

Because Welsh has a different orthography to English, at first blush a Welsh word may seem to be misspelled, though it is not. Here are 10 examples.

1 Beibl (ie Bible)
2 Teigr (ie Tiger)
3 Pensil
4 Papur
5 Caffi
6 Sinema
7 Theatr
8 Pasport
9 Blows (ie Blouse)
10 Sgert (ie Skirt)

J Mack J Akkerman

FYE (for your enjoyment)

Aber 2017 Fourth Evening Fourth Morning & Final Evening

Aber 2017 Seminar on Williams Pantycelyn

The only non plenary session I have attended in this last week in Aber is an excellent paper on Wales's greatest hymn writer William Williams, given by local man Gwyn Davies. Gwyn is an indidividual and this was a highly interactive lecture that was designed chiefly to draw attention to Pantycelyn and his wonderful hymns and other writings, that have been translated into English (ie The experience meeting and parts of Theomemphus). The lecture included a little moan about the modest three piece combo employed in the main meetings here. I don't think any Pantycelyn hymns have been sung in the main sessions this week.
The seminar is accessible onYouTube here.
Here is a less familiar translation of one of his Welsh hymns (best known in Bobi Jones' version In Eden sad indeed that day). I've had a go myself too.

Can I forget bright Eden’s grace,

My beauteous crown and princely place,
All lost, all lost to me?
Long as I live I’ll praise and sing
My wondrous all-restoring King,
Victor of Calvary.

Lo! Faith, behold the place, the tree
Wheron the Prince of Heaven, for me,
All innocent, was nailed;
One here has crushed the dragon’s might;
Two fell, but One has won the fight;
Christ Jesus has prevailed.

In Eden, this I'll long review - 
The blessings lost, more than the dew,
How my good crown fell too.
But victory on Calvary
Back again to him has won me - 
I'll sing while life I see.

On Calvary, as heat strength drains,
Our great High Priest he feels death's pains,
And blood flows from his veins;
Righteousness mine, there is no fee;
The books of heaven are cleared we see,
With no demand on me.

(Yn Eden, cofiaf hynny byth,
Bendithion gollais rîf y gwlith,
Syrthiodd fy nghoron wiw;
Ond buddugoliaeth Calfari
Enillodd hon yn ôl imi,
Mi ganaf tra fwyf byw.

Ar Galfarî, yng gwres y dydd,
Y caed y gwystl mawr yn rhydd,
Trwy golli gwaed yn lli';
Does dim heb dalu, rhoddwyd iawn
Nes clirio llyfrau'r nef yn llawn
Heb ofyn dim i mi.)

Aber 2017 Third Morning

Good stuff from Art again. (I'm glad someone told him how to pronounce Bore da - it was getting embarrassing).

New Banner Book

I have placed a similar blogpost to this on my John Elias and John Hurrion blogs (see here and here) saying that Banner of Truth have just republished John Hurrion's book on Particular Redemption. It includes a preface written by John Elias for the Welsh language edition that John Aaron has translated into English. You can see the original here.


Yesterday (Wednesday) a friend here in Aber (Mike Iliff) kindly took a myself and another minister friend (Peter McKenzie) down to Llangeitho. It's only about 20 miles away but for some reason I had never been.
The main thing to see is the statue of Daniel Rowland outside the present CM Chapel. Some few things inside the chapel go back to Rowland's time too (the flagstones on the way in and a communion cup). He began ministering in the Parish Church which we also saw. That is where he is buried and there is also a pulpit there he is believed to have preached from.
The other thing to see these days is a slate plaque outside the caffi, which notes that this is where Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones lived 1904-1914 (as reported on this blog some time ago).
It was a very nice afternoon out and a reminder of the greatness and providence of God. I can recommend the bacon bap at the caffi, very nice.
The 19th century was dne by Edward Griffith. Below it are these words

Daniel Rowland ganwyd 1713 bu farw 1790
O nefoedd! nefoedd! nefoedd! Buasai dy gonglau yn ddigon gwag on i buasai fod sion yn magu plant i ti ar y ddaear!


Daniel Rowland Born 1713 Died 1790
Oh Heaven! Heaven! Heaven! Thy corners would be sufficiently empty were it not that Zion is nursing for thee children upon the earth.

O nefoedd! nefoedd! nefoedd! was apparently a saying of Rowland.

Aber 2017 Second Morning and Third Evening (Wednesday)

Aber continues with our main speakers, Art Azurdia and Hector Morrison. They are easier to listen to as you get used to their very different styles. Hector Morrison was perhaps a little long but what a subject - the Father's discipline of his children. The full sevices are avaialbe on Youtube again.


10 Chelsea Players whose names begin with H 1964-1974

1. Ron Harris (61-80)
2. Peter Houseman (62-75)
3. John Hollins (63-75/83-85)
4. Marvin Hinton (63-76)
5. Tony Hately (66-67)
6. Chico Hamilton (66-68)
7. Stewart Houston (67-72)
8. Ian Hutchinson (68-76)
9. Alan Hudson (68-74/83-84)
10. David Hay (74-80)

(These are the main years when Peter Osgood was in the team)

Aber 2017 First Morning Second Evening

The main speaker this year is Art Azurdia who is speaking from Acts. He began with 1:1-11. Hector Morrison, principal of Highland Theological College, is slated to speak on the Fatherhood of God and began in Genesis. Both were worth listening too though not always easy to take in.

Aber 2017 First Evening

We had a great start to our conference yesterday evening. Ian Parry preached from Exodus 15. I was surprised to know he had been 55 minutes. It didn't really seem that long. You can access the wholeservice here on Youtube. 

Lord's Day August 13 2017

It was good to be in Aberystwyth once again on the Lord's Day. Things are a little different here this year. The EMW dedided that as my father-in-law would not be around they would hold services in the Great Hall, as they do for the conference itself. Peter Greasley and Adrian Brake preached I understand. The services can be found here and here on Youtube.
We went along to hear my son Rhodri in Alfred Place. A few others had decided to do the same but only a few. I'm sure it is not easy for a young minister to have four or five ministers present but if you remember they too need to be fed all should be well. He preached very helpfully from Exodus 3 and Lamentations 3:22, 23. It was wonderful to be there. We sang some of the hymns a capella and that was great. In the morning there was a distrubance. An older man appeared to be choking adn so Rhodri stopped proceedings and we sang a hymn. With a suitable reference to Eutychus he then gave the third adn final point of the sermon.
It was a good day. I was glad to be there.

Fun in Aberystwyth

We had a picture like this at home. I've long liked the idea.
Eat your heart out Uber
My youngest reads me a story

10 Beatles songs featuring harmonica

1. Please Please me
2. Chains
3. Love me do
4. There's a place
5. From me to you
6. Thank you girl
7. I'll get you
8. Little child
9. I should have known better
10. I'm a loser


We got to see the film Dunkirk last week. I don't need to say anything about it except that it is worth seeing. It attempts to give us the experience , which is an obvious thing to do, which menas little explanation and lots of action. Some of the story choices seem strange and people have had a field day with all the inaccuracies of various sorts. I was interested to learn that the man on whom the Mark Rylance character was based had been second officer on the Titanic. The air, land, seainterchange is doen very well. I picked up no hints to the marvellous providenc of God that some speak of and thought the film was generally anti-war, partly by dint of its accuracy. I remember visiting Dunkirk one day on a school trip to Ostende when I was 12. I was surprised when one of my sons (the history graduate I note) told me that the first revelation for him on seeing the film was that Dunkirk is in France not Scotland! 

Midweek Meeting August 9 2017

We were not a large number for the last midweek meeting before my holiday break - four church officers, two of their wives, two Korean friends and two others. We looked once again at the subject of heaven and the six negatives of Revelation 21, 22 - no sea, no tears or death, no temple, no wickedness, no night and no more curse. Everyone except the Koreans prayed after the Bible Study. There's alays a lot to pray for. I love the midweek meeting. I only wish more would come along. In some ways heaven will be like a midweek meeting - prayer considering the Bible story, etc. No-one ill be missing then.

Lord's Day August 6 2016

We began with communion last Sunday and then I preached another sermon on the judgement - the judgement of the righteous. Perhaps we should be preaching more on such themes. We were  alittle low in numbers but again two new people - a Southe African lady working as  acarer in the area and a Ghanaian lady who normally goes to church in Harlesden but lives near us. Another birthday celebration to follow. A new member has just turned 21. In the evening I preached on humility and putting pride to death - always easier to preach than to act on. I had a slight end of term feeling, although I am spekaing on Wednesday before heading off for me hols.

My Parents on their wedding day April 1955

10 father and son songs

1. Someday never comes/Creedence Clearwater Revival
2. In the living years/Mike and the Mechanics
3. Father and son/Cat Stevens
4. Tears in heaven/Eric Clapton
5. Beautiful Boy/John Lennon
6. A boy named Sue/Johnny Cash
7. Father to son/Queen
8. My old man/Ian Dury of the Blockheads
9. Sometimes you can't make it on your own/U2
10. Leading me there/Jan Akkerman

The Tremor of Forgery

The tremor of forgery is the thirteenth of Patricia Highsmith's 22 novels and about the tenth I have read. It first appeared in 1969. On the cover of this one they quote Graham Greene to the effect that this is her best, which I was doubting for much of the book but I found the final 10 chapters or so both gripping and full of interest as nce more she explores the whole area of morality and conscience. Those final chapters, of course, only work because of the long set up that precedes it.
This passage struck me

Ingham had a sick feeling he hadn't experienced since adolescence, when he had looked into some religious books at home, dusty old things that must have belonged to great-grandparents. "Repent your sins ... bare your soul to Christ" The questions and answers had assumed that everyone had sins, apparently even from birth, but what were they? The worst Ingham had been able to think of was masturbation, but since at the same time he had been browsing in psychology books which said it was normal and natural, what was there left? Ingham didn't consider that what he had done that night had been a sin or a crime, if he had killed the Arab at all, which would always be not quite certain, until someone actually found the corpse.

When we try and speak to people in terms of biblical morality, it is often an uphill task. Only a truly biblical world view gets things in the right perpective.
This is a theme Highsmith almost endlessly explored.

Midweek Meeting August 2 2016

Nine of us gathered yesterday to consider the second in a series on unseen realities. We looked at chunks of 1 Corinthians 15 and the resurrection of the body on the last day. I should have anticipated that there would be lots of questions. I was also rather poor gathering together material for prayer, several items only coming to mind after we had prayed. Many people to pray for at the moment. We got on with praying though and inched forward a bit I hope, by the grace of God.

Lord's Day July 30 2017

It's a funny time of the year but numbers kept up last Sunday and we had a good time even with many regulars and others away. There was a new Spanish lady who, like so many these days, is often working on the Lord's Day. A man who does come regularly but who I thought would not be there came. That was good. We were down to about 16 in the evening. I preached in the morning the first in a new series on the judgement day and in the evening another in the series on living the Christian life - this time growing in holiness (easy to preach not so easy to do). You sometimes think may be things are not hopeless. We sang happy birthday after the morning service to a lady who has just turned 70 and two girls, one just turned 12 and one about to turn 8. That worked out well as birthdays can easily be forgotten at this time of the year. 

10 Things - a nice website

As readers of this blog, we like lists of 10 here. Most of these lists are rather inconsequential I'm afraid but look at this website here for any number of such lists well worth a decko. See here.

Here's ten by Garry Williams on God's love.

1. God’s love is incomprehensible
2. God’s love can be known
3. God is known by analogy
4. The pictures of God in the Bible regulate themselves, including pictures of his love
5. We quickly leap to the wrong conclusions about God’s love
6. God’s love must be "read" within the rest of what Scripture teaches about his divine attributes
7. God’s love must be "read" especially within what Scripture teaches about his triune life
8. Reading God’s love in its wider context keeps us from error
9. Understanding the different manner of God’s love helps us to see its immeasurable magnitude
10. God’s love truly perceived always draws out from us a response of love

Famous (again)

I found this recently on IMDb. In 1967 I was only 8 so a little young for the part.
(Click on pic if necessary).

18th century baptistry

Here's something I came across on my recent travels - a plaque marking the site of a baptistry used in the 18th century by the Baptsts of South Craven. The South Craven Baptist Church currently occupies a modern building opposite the beck where baptisms took place in times gone by. The church started in 1711.

Titus Salt

In Saltaire today and here with a bust of Mr Salt himself, one of the Christians featured in Faith Cook's book. 

Fine gold from Yorkshire

As we were to be spending some days in Yorkshire I thought I'd start reading Faith Cook's new set of biographies Fine gold from Yorkshire. I've just finsihed it here in the dales. This is a collection of a variety of short biographies of various lengths and from various periods and contains some well known Christians such as Wilberforce and Wycliffe, unknowns like Ruth Clark and Robert Arlington, people not necessarily known as Christians, such as Titus Salt, Kit Calvert and Anne Bronte, and others such as Hudson Taylor who are well known enough but may not necessarily be connected with Yorkshire. Faith Cook has a light touch and keeps up the interest well. The first and last words are given to Roger Carswell and it is celar that one hope is that the book will be picked up by the casual reader adn that they will be drawn to the gospel. We pray that will be so. There are 21 biographies from various ages though perhaps witha  bias to the 18th century and a little rag bag at the end mentioning a few more.
PS On the way up here we popped into Barnsley hoping to see the pharmacists where Hudson Taylor began but all we managed was a puncture! Ah well, next time!

Wedding of my son Dewi

Great day yesterday as my son Dewi married Esther from Cross Hills in Yorkshire. It was rather wet at first but brightened through the day adn we an excellent time as we moved from the wedding itself to the cake reception and eventually to the main reception in Cracoe. It was great to see everyone. A lovely day for which we give thanks to God.
(Ps pic by a friend of Dewi's Gareth Thomas)

Lord's Day July 23 2017

The summer months can be a little strange in Childs Hill with many away but there are plenty of opportunities to do good. We had a good congregation in the morning (a little slow filling up but okay). Our African visitors from last week were not back but two people who began to come the week of the mission were with us and another who has been once before since then. There was also one Iranian again and a new lady, a Filipina. I preached one of the great New Testament texts 1 John 1:9. It is difficult to go wrong with such a statement. In the evening we were due to have ccommunion at 6 pm but everyone forget so we did not do that until 6.25. We were only seven communing. By the time we came to the main meeting we were double that, including one member fresh in from Aberdeen. It was a privilege to preach to so many young people. (Everyone in the congregation was younger than me). I preached on fellowship with believers, the third ina  series I'm doing on living the Christian life.

Midweek Meeting July 19 2017

We were a small company last night but we had a good session looking at the subject of heaven and then in prayer. Always plenty to pray about. Being so few we were finished not long after nine.


We finally got to see the film Hampstead last night. Knowing it is based in our neighbourhood we were curious to see. I remember seeing them filming it from time to time a year or two back. We went to see the film in the JW3 Centre, which we had not been to before. It's a cultural centre with restaurant, cinema, etc. It currently features a large sanded area with deckchairs and a Tel Aviv backdrop. There are security guards on the gates but it has a nice voluntary Israeli feel. Anyway the film is a nice gentle romance featuring two older people not convinced about the rat race. It is nice to be reminded of what a lovely area we live in (as ever in such films the geography is fictional and you know where things really are). It is sad that the only only alternatives offered in this set up are rat race, moan at the race or drop out. There are other alternatives. We managed to exit the cinema just as it was about to rain. I've rarely seen such a storm.

Gail and Paul

We had the invite to my sister's wedding today.
It reminded my wife of two bakers in nearby Hampstead.
My sister will be giving up being a Baker (in joke).

Lord's Day July 16 2017

We were not many Sunday evening, about 12, but in the morning we were packed out - eventually - even with many away. There were some new comers - two lots of two Africans. I didn't get to speak to the one pair but I did meet two South African ladies (one is from Botswana). The most encouraging thing today is that a lady who came for the first time during our mission came again for the first time in a while. I was sorry not to ahve seen her and thought perhaps she wasn't so interested but in fact she has been unwell all this while and was very glad to be back. I preached in the morning on Romans 6:23. It was so encouraging to be preaching on such a verse with such a person present. In the evening we looked at another aspect of Christian living and at union with Christ.

Another Idris Davies poem

I thought I might just throw in another Idris Davies poem at this point.

High summer on the mountains
And on the clover leas,
And on the local sidings,
And on the rhubarb leaves.

Brass bands in all the valleys
Blaring defiant tunes,
Crowds, acclaiming carnival,
Prize pigs and wooden spoons.

Dust on shabby hedgerows
Behind the colliery wall,
Dust on rail and girder
And tram and prop and all.

High summer on the slag heaps
And on polluted streams,
And old men in the morning
Telling the town their dreams.

Midweek meeting July 12 2017

Leviticus 15 is all about bodily discharges and I thought it might be difficult to handle but it was not really as with a bit of help from Philip Eveson I was able t make some good points without embarrassment. We'll have another little break now having looked at the while section on being clean or unclean. Only another 12 chapters and it will practically be just 1 and II Chronicles and Lamentations left. We had a good number out and a good time of prayer.

10 Panics

1. 1819 First major peacetime financial crisis in USA followed by a general collapse of the US economy that persisting until 1821. It announced the transition of the nation from its colonial commercial status with Europe toward an independent economy, increasingly characterised by the financial and industrial imperatives of central bank monetary policy, making it susceptible to boom and bust cycles. Driven by global market adjustments in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, the severity of the downturn was compounded by excessive speculation in public lands, fuelled by the unrestrained issue of paper money from banks and business concerns.
2. 1825 Stock market crash that started in the Bank of England. It arose in part out of speculative investments in Latin America, including the imaginary country of Poyais. It was felt most acutely in England where it precipitated the closing of six London banks and 60 country banks but was also manifest in the markets of Europe, Latin America and the USA. An infusion of gold reserves from the Banque de France saved the Bank of England from complete collapse. It has been referred to as the first modern economic crisis not attributable to an external event, such as war, and thus the start of modern economic cycles.
3. 1837 Financial crisis in the USA that touched off a major recession that lasted until the mid-1840s. Profits, prices and wages went down; unemployment went up. Pessimism abounded. It had both domestic and foreign origins. Speculative lending practices in western states, a sharp decline in cotton prices, a collapsing land bubble, international specie flows, and restrictive lending policies in the UK were all to blame. On May 10 banks in New York suspended specie payments, meaning that they would no longer redeem commercial paper in specie at full face value. Despite a brief recovery in 1838, the recession persisted approximately seven years. 
4. 1847 Minor British banking crisis associated with the end of the 1840s railway industry boom and the failure of many non-banks.
5. 1857 Financial panic in the USA caused by the declining international economy and over-expansion of the domestic economy. Because of the interconnectedness of the world economy by the 1850s, the financial crisis that began in late 1857 was the first worldwide economic crisis. In the UK, Palmerston's government circumvented the requirements of the Peel Banking Act, 1844, which required gold and silver reserves to back up the amount of money in circulation. Surfacing news of this circumvention set off the Panic in the UK.
6. 1873 Triggered a depression in Europe and USA that lasted until 1879, and even longer in some countries (France, UK). In the UK it started two decades of stagnation known as the "Long Depression" that weakened the country's economic leadership. It was known as the "Great Depression" until the events in the early 1930s set a new standard.
7. 1893 Serious economic depression in the USA that ended in 1897. It deeply affected every sector of the economy and produced political upheaval that led to the realigning election of 1896 and the presidency of McKinley.
8. 1901 First stock market crash on the New York Stock Exchange, caused in part by struggles between E H Harriman, Jacob Schiff and J P Morgan/James J Hill for financial control of Northern Pacific Railway. The stock cornering was orchestrated by James Stillman and William Rockefeller's First National City Bank financed with Standard Oil money. After reaching a compromise, the moguls formed the Northern Securities Company. As a result of the panic thousands of small investors were ruined.
9. 1907 Also known as the 1907 Bankers' Panic or Knickerbocker Crisis, a US financial crisis that took place over a three-week period starting mid-October, when the New York Stock Exchange fell almost 50% from its 1906 peak. Panic occurred, as this was during a time of economic recession, and there were numerous runs on banks and trust companies. It eventually spread throughout the USA when many state and local banks and businesses entered bankruptcy.
10. 1911 A slight economic depression that followed the enforcement of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. It mostly affected the stock market and business traders who were smarting from the activities of trust busters, especially with the breakup of the Standard Oil Company.

Lord's Day July 9 2017

We had quite large congregations (for us) morning and evening last Lord's Day. Three Iranians were present so it wasencouraging to see that link has not entirely gone. Our two Korean friends were back and there were lots of Nigerians, as is often the case. We ended up with seven children for the talk and Sunday School. I am going through the klife of Peter and we are almost through. I hope to tackle Luther mext. We had our communion before the morning service and tea before the evening, an unusual combination. I preached a text in the morning Romans 5:1, 2 and starteda lttle series in the evening on Christian living, beginning with  the fear of God  - something I don't think I've ever preached on or possibly heard preached on.

Gwalia Deserta by Idris Davies

One further feature of PSB's Every Valley is part of a poem by the Monmuthshire poet Idris Davies (1905-1953) sung by James Dean Bradfield (also from Monmouthshire or Gwent, like myself). I have mentioned him here before and how I discovered him studying Anglo-Welsh poetry in university. The piece is from Davies's Gwalia Deserta, which includes the part made famous by Pete Seeger, the Byrds, the Alarm, etc - The Bells of Rhymney.

In the places of my boyhood
The pit-wheels turn no more
Nor any furnace lightens
The midnight as of yore.

The slopes of slag and cinder
Are sulking in the rain
And in derelict valleys
The hope of youth is slain.

And yet I love to wander
The early ways I went
And watch from doors and bridges
The hills and skies of Gwent.

In Gwalia, my Gwalia,
The vandals out of hell
Ransacked and marred forever
The wooded hill and dale.

They grabbed and bruised and plundered
Because their greed was great
And slunk away and purchased
The medals of the state.

And yet I love to wander
The early ways I went
And watch from doors and bridges
The hills and skies of Gwent.

Though blighted be the valleys
Where man meets man with pain
The things by boyhood cherished
Stand firm and shall remain.
(Repeated several times)

Every Valley PSB

Unusual experience yesterday. I read a review of four new albums in the pop section and knew what they were talking about. I'd not heard of Broken Social Service, but I am aware of Arcade Fire and War on Drugs who apparently followed in their pioneering wake.
Then there was Calvin Harris whose name rang a bell (as did those of Pharell Williams and Arian Grande who are involved on this album I think).
There was also Haim who I've got (rightly or wrongly) next to the Staves in my galaxy of bands I don't know much about.
Anyway, I'm only aware of these becasue I have or have had teenage sons. The fourth album reviewed was a new one by Public Broadcasting Service. I became aware of them when I heard the track Go on Radio 2 one Saturday afternoon. I consequently purchased most of the album The race for space. The other items didn't quite grab me. This new album Every Valley however is about the rise and fall of the South Wales coal field and was recorded in my home county. Having grown up on the eastern edge of the coal field (one of my uncles was a miner as was a great grandfather in Cwmbran itself) I was drawn by this offering and after a listen through on itunes downloaded it in digital form.
Some potential cliches are there (a song in the Welsh language, the final track is done by Beaufort Male Voice) but plenty of others are avoided - a song about Aberfan and references to Margaret Thatcher, Scargill, etc. Rather, the whole thing is done in a more general way in my opinion comes together very well.
Worth checking out. Start here.
This is also well worth looking at.

Met Tab Summer School 2017

I've not been to the Metropolitan Tabernacle in a little while but this year looked an attractive programme so I decided to go and was there for most though not all of it.
I was a little disappointed with Ibrahim ag Mohammed's first session on the vast and vital subject of Priesthood of all believers (OT) but the second from the New Testament (4 beauties and 8 duties) was fine. I only caught one of Roland Burrows' set of anecdotes from the Reformation period but that was a lovely session to be in on.
Dr Masters began with Reformations in the Bible but by the time I heard him he had given up on that theme and so we had messages on sincerity (Ephesians 6) and on John 17. Dr Masters has a way of presenting his material that slates half of evangelicalism and usually most of the Reformed constituency too. It has its strengths and you certainly can't listen in a complacent way.
I was surprised to know Vishal Mangalwadi was going to be speaking. It is unusual to see someone in the Met Tab pulpit without a tie but he carried it off in his attractive and apparently meandering conversational style. I must read his Schaeffer style book which has sat on my shelves too long.
Several found him the highlight but I would have to opt for the three messages from Dr Nick Needham on the Reformation, first on the two kingdoms then on Reformation seeds (giving more credit to Erasmus than is usually the case) and finally on the seeds that got lost, pointing out how Baptistic Zwingli, Luther and others were, early on.
Interesting things seen - Chris Cooper approaching a man at the front who didn't get the memo and so raised his hands in worship during the first hymn. It's good to have a clear policy. Also, poor Nick Needham being harassed by some poor man who had quite a shock when Nick suggested that Anabaptists were not Protestants.
I felt slightly more at home here than in the Barbican. The bookshop seemed to be in a slight time warp. I couldn't find anything to buy - always disappointing experience. The depth and breadth and consistency of the work at the Met Tab is stunning. As at the EMA most of the hundreds of faces were unknown to me, although there were a few familiar faces, including that of my father-in-law who made a flying visit and kindly treated me to lunch at the nearby Imperial War Museum.