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A Gracious Tour Response

By admin | July 1, 2009

What a wonderful tour! All of us are very thankful to the Lord for His abundant mercies to us. We enjoyed safety (once or twice someone stepped into the street without looking to the right) and good weather, but mostly wonderful moments of friendship and a profound sense of the power of God’s workings among his people. One of our ‘tourists’, Dewain Arndt from Pennsylvania, has written a response to the tour. Here is what he wrote:

For a believer, reading accounts of God’s dealings with some of His choicest servants is many times both encouraging and challenging.  We see how God can take an ordinary person and use him or her mightily in either accomplishing a great task  or bringing the gospel to others. Reading about these accomplishments is good and instructive, but actually visiting the places where God used these individuals literally makes the story come alive.

We were privileged to visit some of the places in England where Baptists and Puritans had their roots.  From  Hampton Court Palace (where James I hosted the Hampton Court Conference)  to Bedford (where John Bunyan wrote “Pilgrim’s Progress”), to Olney (where Cowper and Newton lived and ministered), to Moulton (where William Carey ministered), to the area where the Pilgrim movement had its beginnings, and to Oxford (where John Owen, George Whitefield, Ridley, Latimer, and Cranmer made their marks), each step gave further insights into God’s providential and sovereign designs in giving us our Reformed heritage today.  We realize that unto God all the glory must be given, yet at the same time we come away from this trip with profound gratitude to the many men and women who gave up much (and some, like Latimer, Cranmer, and Ridley, their lives) to give us the rich spiritual heritage we as 21st century believers enjoy today.  These brave men and women died in the Lord, but now they “rest from their labors, for their deeds follow after them”  (Rev 14:13).  Like Abel, “though dead, <they> still speak.”  (Heb 11:4).

In the words of William Bradford, “As one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled <in Plymouth> hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehovah have all the praise.”  The light kindled years earlier by John Wycliffe and William Tyndale in their ministry and translation and printing work is passed to these courageous men and women who in turn passed it on to others, and we are the beneficiaries of their lives and sacrifices.

For me, this trip was truly the trip of a lifetime.   I’m grateful to God for allowing me to be a part of such a journey, and to Dr. Jim Renihan for organizing and directing the trip. (Thank you, Jim, for your many efforts on our behalf!)  Re-visiting the lives and locations of some of these individuals I have read about for years has given a greater appreciation for the many freedoms and privileges we have in the US, and I trust this knowledge will spur me on to greater service to God in my local church.

Soli Deo gloria…to God (alone) be the glory!

Dewain E Arndt

Topics: Baptism, Baptist History, Church, John Owen, Puritanism, Puritans, Reformation, Reformed Theology, Spurgeon | Comments Off

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