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Book Review

Spiritual Meditations by August Van Ryn; published by and available from John Ritchie Ltd; 221 pages; price £6.99.

This book is one of the volumes in the Classic Reprint Series.

August Van Ryn was born in the Netherlands in 1890. He later emigrated to the USA, was converted in 1910, and went out in full-time service in 1915.

Two years later he visited the Bahamas, met Persis Roberts, who would become his wife, and spread the gospel there for fourteen years. Fearing blindness, August Van Ryn memorised the entire New Testament and substantial portions of the Old Testament, which proved to be of invaluable help to him in his service unto the Lord.

For over sixty years he travelled throughout the United States, Canada, and the Bahamas, preaching and teaching in assemblies. The Lord called home this valiant servant in 1982. The subject matter for this book was discovered by his son while looking through a folder entitled "Homespun Homilies". These spiritual reflections on various portions of the Word of God are often embellished with relevant illustrations.

The passages considered begin in John’s Gospel and conclude in Jude’s Epistle. A rich variety of subject matter is considered including the following: Worship; Chosen to Bear Fruit; Reactions to Sin; Spiritual Investment; and many more.

The article entitled "Warming Up" contains practical help on how to keep spiritually warm in an icy world that hates the Lord Jesus Christ. The author shows from the Bible that: 1. We are to stir up the gift that is in us (2 Tim 1.6) since the verb "stir up" is used for poking the fire when it is dying down. 2. We must turn to the Word and meditate upon it, for, as Psalm 39.3 reminds us, "While I was musing, the fire burned". Two further pertinent points follow.

There are many memorable sayings in the book such as, "The natural man is just naturally an ‘I’ specialist". The wise exhortation to "keep your eye of faith fixed on Christ" is not only the expressed desire of the author for every Christian, but he goes a long way in enabling the reader to do exactly that in Spiritual Meditations.


The Coming Prince by Sir Robert Anderson; published by and available from John Ritchie Ltd; 314 pages; price £7.99.

John Ritchie Ltd. continue to add to their Classic Reprint Series. Older readers of Believer’s Magazine will be familiar with the name Sir Robert Anderson, an anglicised Irishman of Scottish descent. Most will recall that he was Chief of the Criminal Investigation Department at Scotland Yard, which led to his knighthood. He preached with John Nelson Darby before later seeking fellowship in assemblies. The Coming Prince is perhaps his best known work.

Anderson is credited with establishing the historical accuracy of the Lord’s presentation to Israel as the fulfilment of Zechariah 9.9: "… behold thy king cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly and riding upon an ass and upon a colt the foal of an ass." He shows with considerable clarity that the coming of Messiah the Prince" (Dan 9.25) as recorded in Matthew 21.1-11 occurred on the very day Daniel identified. Anderson’s detailed calculations are set out in The Coming Prince. Indeed the reviewer, who studied Anderson’s calculations 40 years ago, welcomes the re-issue in order that present generations of Christians might note his methodical approach and marvel again at the accuracy of Scripture that could withstand such detailed consideration.

The Coming Prince contains eight chapters of commentary on Daniel’s prophecy in addition to essays on New Testament truth; The Fullness of the Gentiles, the Second Sermon on the Mount, and John’s Patmos Visions included among them. These are helpful. Many writers of Anderson’s era saw the answer already fulfilled in the papacy to features of the man of sin (2 Thess 2.3). Anderson describes such systems of interpretation as an "absurdity ...transparent and complete". He rightly teaches that Revelation 4-22 and a number of other passages will have their "absolute and final fulfilment in that ‘one age’ to which in their ‘height and fullness’ they belong." Diligent readers will find help in The Coming Prince.



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