Mary and I had a good overnight trip to Northern Ireland on February 3. I was able to edit Paul Washer’s third volume that Reformation Heritage Books is publishing—the final volume in his series on the gospel. This volume is on gospel assurance and gospel warnings—and it may well be the best of the three. I really appreciate his emphasis on the assuring marks of grace as expounded by the apostle John in his first epistle.
By Tuesday noon we were settled into the beautiful country home of Pastor Paul and Rebekah Dowling in Ballymena, Northern Ireland. What a delight this homeschooling family is! We enjoyed our time also with their children: Samuel (12), Hannah (11), Bethany (9), and Cherith (8).
Tuesday evening I spoke on “Practical Ways for Overcoming Worldliness Every Day” to a variety of people from several church backgrounds. The meeting was held at the Bangor Free Methodist Church, pastored by Jeremy Forsyth, who, together with some of his people, have taken a keen interest in Puritan writings.
On Wednesday we slept in, making up for a lost night on the plane, and then worked for several hours to prepare for my messages and catch up on e-mail. In the afternoon, I had a great visit with Rev. John Greer, moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church of Northern Ireland, and pastor of the denomination’s largest church. We resonate well on every issue we discuss; this dear brother is as thoroughly Reformed, conservative, and experiential as our ministers and churches are. He is a great gift to the FP churches of Northern Ireland.
In the evening, I preached on Gethsemane’s King-Lamb for the Loughbrickland Reformed Presbyterian Church, which has been pastored faithfully by Rev. David Silversides for the last 25 years. Brother Silversides is another Northern Ireland pastor whose friendship I have grown to appreciate in recent years. He is one of a rare breed of ministers in our day who truly magnifies the ministerial office as one of divine dignity.