Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 13 January, 2013

"Those that be planted in the house of the Lord
shall flourish in the courts of our God" (Ps. 92:13)

Morning Service - 11:00 AM - Rev. M. McGeown

With the Shepherd in the Fearful Valley  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Psalm 23:1-6
Text: Psalm 23:4

I. The Fearful Valley
II. The Shepherd’s Presence
III. The Comforted Sheep
Psalms: 107:8-14; 22:1-7; 27:1-5; 23:1-6

Evening Service - 6:00 PM - Rev. M. McGeown

Why Heidelberg Catechism Preaching?  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: John 8:21-59
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1

I. Why Confessions?
II. Why This Confession?
III. Why Preach This Confession?
Psalms: 65:1-5; 22:8-14; 147:3-11; 116:9-19

For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services, contact Stephen Murray
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart

CPRC website:
CPRC YouTube:
CPRC Facebook:

Quotes to Consider

Albert Barnes: "The dying man seems to go into the dark valley alone. His friends accompany him as far as they can, and then they must give him the parting hand. They cheer him with their voice, until he becomes deaf to all sounds; they cheer him with their looks, until his eye becomes dim, and he can see no more; they cheer him with their fond embrace, until he becomes insensible to every expression of earthly affection, and then he seems to be alone. But the dying believer is not alone. His Saviour God is with him in that valley, and will never leave him. On his arm he can lean, and by his presence he will be comforted, until he emerges from the gloom into the bright world beyond" (Psalms, vol. 1, p. 212).

Phillip Schaff: "The Heidelberg Catechism ...  was prepared on the basis of two Latin drafts of Ursinus and a German draft of Olevianus. The peculiar gifts of both, the didactic clearness and precision of the one, and the pathetic warmth and unction of the other, were blended in beautiful harmony, and produced a joint work which is far superior to all the separate productions of either. In the Catechism they surpassed themselves" (Creeds, vol. I, p. 535).

Samuel Miller: "The adoption and publication of a creed is a tribute to truth and candour which every Christian church owes to the other churches and to the world around her" (Doctrinal Integrity, p. 14).

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

We welcome Rev. McGeown who will be preaching for us today We also welcome Thiago, Sarah, Nara, Lidi, David and Marco to our worship services today.

A new C. R. News is on the back table. A new RFPA book, The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, is also available for book club members.

Lucas Hall was transferred to Antrim Hospital yesterday. He is gaining weight and has been taken out of the incubator.

Monday Catechism: 6 PM - O.T. Beginners (Bradley & Alex) 6:45 PM - N.T. Juniors (Nathan, Jacob & Joseph) 7:30 PM - Heidelberg (Timothy)

The council meets tomorrow at 8:15 PM, with Rev. McGeown in attendance.

The Tuesday morning Bible study will be held this week at 11 AM. We will continue the new section on "The Nearness of Christ’s Coming."

The Belgic Confession Class will meet this Wednesday, at 7:45 PM, to continue article 19 on the 2 natures of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) will be "Authority in the Sphere of Labour" (I Tim. 6:5-9) by Rev. Bruinsma.

Ballymena Lecture: Friday, 8 February at 7:30 PM, Rev. Stewart will speak on "Calvinism, Hyper-Calvinism and Hypo-Calvinism."

Offerings: General Fund - £628.95. Building Fund - £231.25. Donations: £235.68 ($379 from Hope PR School), £50 (website), £17.50 (CR News), £200 (DVDs).

Website Additions: 2 Italian translations.

PRC News: Hope PRC will call from a trio of Revs. Koole, N. Langerak, Overway.

Family Worship (2)

by J. H. Merle D’Aubigne
(preached in Brussels and published in Paris in 1827)


If we leave the humble dwellings of the primitive Christians, it is true that we shall find the practice of Family Worship becomes less and less frequent; but how gloriously it reappears at the epoch of the Reformation! How great an influence it exerted then upon the creed, the manners, and the intellectual development of all the nations which returned to primitive Christianity! It is not very long since it was still to be found in all evangelical families. If our fathers were deprived of its light, our forefathers were acquainted with it. It flourished especially in the evangelical provinces of this kingdom; and many precious remains can still, we trust, be found here.

My brethren, such has been, in all times, the life of piety. And will we be Christians, or will we not? Shall we invent a new mode of piety which will harmonize with the world, or shall we hold fast to that which God has commanded us to possess? Shall we not say, in looking at that worship which passed from the tents of the patriarchs to the houses of the primitive Christians, and was finally established in the dwellings of our fathers, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord"?

But, my brethren, if the love of God be in your hearts, and if you feel that, being bought with a price, you ought to glorify God in your bodies and spirits, which are his, where do you love to glorify him rather than in your families and in your houses? You love to unite with your brethren in worshipping him publicly in the church; you love to pour out your souls before him in your closets. Is it only in the presence of that being with whom God has connected you for life and before your children, that you can not think of God? Is it, then, only, that you have no blessings to ascribe? Is it, then, only, that you have no mercies and protection to implore? You can speak of every thing when with them; your conversation is upon a thousand different matters; but your tongue and your heart can not find room for one word about God! You will not look up as a family to him who is the true Father of your family; you will not converse with your wife and your children about that Being who will one day, perhaps, be the only husband of your wife, the only Father of your children! It is the Gospel that has formed domestic society; it did not exist before it; it does not exist without it; it would, therefore, seem to be the duty of that society, full of gratitude to the God of the Gospel, to be peculiarly consecrated to it; and yet, my brethren, how many couples, how many families there are, nominally Christian, and who even have some respect for religion, where God is never named! How many cases there are in which immortal souls that have been united have never asked one another who united them, and what their future destiny and objects are to be! How often it happens that, while they endeavour to assist each other in every thing else, they do not even think of assisting each other in searching for the one thing needful, in conversing, in reading, in praying, with reference to their eternal interests! Christian spouses! is it in the flesh, and for time alone, that you are to be united? Is it not in the spirit, and for eternity also? Are you beings who have met by accident, whom another accident, death, is soon to separate? Do you not wish to be united by God, in God, and for God? Religion would unite your souls by immortal ties! But do not reject them; draw them, on the contrary, tighter every day, by worshipping together under the domestic roof. Voyagers on the same vessel converse of the place to which they are going; and will not you, fellow-travellers to an eternal world, speak together of that world, of the route which leads to it, of your fears and your hopes? "Many walk thus," says St. Paul, "of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ;" but "our conversation is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ."

But if it be your duty to be engaged with reference to God in your houses for your own sakes, ought you not to be so engaged for the sakes of those of your households whose souls have been committed to your care, and especially for your children? You are greatly concerned for their prosperity, for their temporal happiness; but does not this concern make your neglect of their eternal prosperity and happiness still more palpable? Your children are young trees entrusted to you; your house is the nursery where they ought to grow, and you are the gardeners. But oh! will you plant those tender and precious saplings in a sterile and sandy soil? Yet this is what you are doing, if there be nothing in your house to make them grow in the knowledge and love of their God and Saviour. Are you not preparing for them a favourable soil, from which they can derive sap and life? What will become of your children in the midst of all the temptations that will surround them and draw them into sin? What will become of them in these troublous times, in which it is so necessary to strengthen the soul of the young man by the fear of God, and thus to give that fragile bark the ballast needed for launching it upon the vast ocean?

Parents! if your children do not meet with a spirit of piety in your houses, if, on the contrary, your pride consists in surrounding them with external gifts, introducing them into worldly society, indulging all their whims, letting them follow their own course, you will see them grow vain, proud, idle, disobedient, impudent, and extravagant! They will treat you with contempt; and the more your hearts are wrapped up in them, the less they will think of you. This is seen but too often to be the case; but ask yourselves if you are not responsible for their bad habits and practices; and your conscience will reply that you are; that you are now eating the bread of bitterness which you have prepared for yourself. May you learn thereby how great has been your sin against God in neglecting the means which were in your power for influencing their hearts; and may others take warning from your misfortune, and bring up their children in the Lord! Nothing is more effectual in doing this than an example of domestic piety.

Public worship is often too vague and general for children, and does not sufficiently interest them; as to the worship of the closet, they do not yet understand it. A lesson learned by rote, if unaccompanied by any thing else, may lead them to look upon religion as a study, like those of foreign languages or history. Here, as every where, and more than elsewhere, example is more effectual than precept. They are not merely to be taught out of some elementary book that they must love God, but you must show them God is loved. If they observe that no worship is paid to that God of whom they hear, the very best instruction will prove useless; but by means of Family Worship, these young plants will grow "like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season: his leaf also shall not wither." Your children may leave the parental roof, but they will remember in foreign lands the prayers of the parental roof, and those prayers will protect them. "If any," says the Scripture, "have children or nephews, let them learn first to show piety at home. But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."