Tag Archives: David Dickson

“The privilege of a faithful elder” by David Dickson

“To be but hewers of wood and drawers of water in such a Master’s house would be a great honor, but ours is still greater. As friends of the Bridegroom, to be helps and witnesses to the betrothal of sinners to Jesus; to stand by and see the salvation of God; to watch the operations of His hand; to guide and encourage His ransomed ones on their way Zionward; and to see many of them safe home before Himself– this is the privilege of a faithful elder.”

–David Dickson, The Elder and His Work, Eds. George McFarland and Philip Ryken (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1883/2004), 129.

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“A praying mother” by David Dickson

“Richer and brighter sheaves are not to be found in God’s harvest than can be gathered in by a praying mother.”

–David Dickson, The Elder and His Work, Eds. George McFarland and Philip Ryken (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1883/2004), 101.

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“A church in miniature” by David Dickson

“Your district of fifteen or twenty families is a little world, or rather a church in miniature. There are all ages– the little children, the young men, the fathers.

And there are all varieties of temper and disposition and spiritual state– the careless, those at ease in Zion, the anxious, the newborn believer, the fretful, the desponding, the lively, the peaceful, the rejoicing, the steady, the excitable, those who have left their first love, and those who are pressing toward the mark.

There are Peters and Thomases, Marys and Marthas, Pliables and Stand-fasts, Little Faiths and Great Hearts; and among them there is a constant change going on. Your one specific for all cases is, ‘Looking unto Jesus’ (Heb. 12:2). For saints and sinners, He is the one thing needful.

For ourselves and for our people, the balm of Gilead and the living Physician are our all in all. Looking to Him, we are lightened, we are humbled, we are sanctified, changed into His image from glory to glory, the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keeping our hearts and minds.”

–David Dickson, The Elder and His Work, Eds. George McFarland and Philip Ryken (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1883/2004), 81.

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“Prayer is the most powerful thing in the world” by David Dickson

“In every way let an elder seek to stir up his people to pray– private prayer especially, but public also. Prayer is the most practical and powerful thing in the world, for it moves the Hand that moves the universe.”

–David Dickson, The Elder and His Work, Eds. George McFarland and Philip Ryken (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1883/2004), 80.

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“The family” by David Dickson

“The family– how much of a nation’s happiness and prosperity depends on that institution as a nursery, a school, a society, a sanctuary, a little church, and an emblem of the great family– ‘the whole family’ (Eph. 3:15), part of which is in heaven, and part still on earth.”

–David Dickson, The Elder and His Work, Eds. George McFarland and Philip Ryken (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1883/2004), 55.

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“Our privilege and duty” by David Dickson

“To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction is our privilege and duty, and to carry with us such messages from the Word of God as are fitted to bind up the broken heart.

In cases of sudden and severe affliction, we may be able to do little more than weep with them that weep, giving the afflicted some word from the merciful and faithful High Priest, and perhaps taking hold of the sufferer’s hand– an act of sympathy that often has a wonderful power to calm and soothe in times of deep distress.

We know very little about those ministering spirits who are sent forth to minister for those who are heirs of salvation. But may we not be often side by side with them? For this is our privilege as well as theirs.

And it is our part, being ourselves in the body, to do what they are not privileged to do– to sit beside a dying believer, to smooth his pillow, to moisten his lips, to remind him of the rod and the staff that are ready for his help in the dark valley, and to direct his dying eye to Jesus. All this is a precious service we cannot render in heaven, but only on earth.

Have we realized the honor and privilege given us by our Lord of ministering to an heir of salvation? Would we like to have shown kindness to Jesus Himself, who for our sakes became poor?

Would we like our roof to have sheltered Him, our fire to have warmed Him, our food to have fed Him? This service of life is still within our reach, for ‘inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye did it unto Me.'”

–David Dickson, The Elder and His Work, Eds. George McFarland and Philip Ryken (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1883/2004), 60-61.

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“They should learn from us” by David Dickson

“The usefulness of an elder will depend in the long run more on his character than on his gifts and knowledge. Quiet Christian consistency will give weight to his words of advice and be a daily lesson to all around.

His walk and conversation, his style of living, his companions and friends, his geniality, his amusements will all have an important influence, not only on his own family, but on the people of his district and congregation.

Young people especially notice, and get good or evil from, much that they do not speak about to others. They should learn from us what a Christian is like, not by the frequent use of certain pious expressions, but by the clear, transparent outflow of a life hid with Christ in God.”

–David Dickson, The Elder and His Work, Eds. George McFarland and Philip Ryken (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1883/2004), 33-34.

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