Iris's Archives 

Mrs Iris Holt, Church Warden Emerita at Holy Trinity Ashby, has long gathered material that supports and sustains her Christian faith. Starting in 2017, Iris is going to share snippets from her archives.

Here you can find the full text of Iris' latest Archive and links to past collections.

WILLIAMS, ROGER (wil'yamz) c. 1603-c.1683

English Puritan clergyman who in earliest Massachusetts objected to its restrictions on religious liberty, and fled south to establish Providence Plantation (1636), later united in the colony of Rhode Island. Instrumental in founding the First Baptist Church in America, 1639, but left it very soon to become a "seeker". World-famous as a pioneer exponent of complete separation of Church and State.

The Larger Room

The Rev. John Newton, in 1764, became curate in-charge of Olney in Buckinghamshire. Formerly a atheist and at one time captain of a slave-ship, h became converted to God, and was eventually ordaine by the Bishop of Lincoln.

At Olney he did a wonderful work for God, an during each week he held regularly no less than fou meetings for prayer, two on Sunday (at 6 a.m. an 8 p.m.) and two on Tuesday (at 5 a.m. and at night). This latter, on Tuesday evenings, was the largest o all his weekly gatherings, and eventually it outgre the place of meeting.

In April, 1769, Mr. Newton, writing to a friend,says : " We are going to remove our prayer meetin to the great room in the Great House. It is a nobl place, with a parlour behind it, and holds one hundre and thirty people conveniently. Pray for us, that th Lord may be in the midst of us there, and that a He has now given us a Rehoboth (with reference t Gen. 26: 22), and has made room for us, so H may be pleased to add to our numbers, and make u fruitful in the land."

One of Newton's little devices for keeping up hi people's interest in their prayer meetings as the provision of a new hymn every Tuesday evening, whic he often used as a text for his address; these wer sometimes written by himself, and sometimes by hi friend the poet Cowper, then a resident at Olney. Fo this momentous occasion of the removal to the large room, two special hymns were written; one was b Newton himself beginning, " 0 Lord, our languid soul inspire," but which we know best in its modern form, which begins " Great Shepherd of Thy people, hear "; the other hymn, by Cowper, was the well-know " Jesus, where'er Thy people meet." When thes circumstances are known, the words of several line in both hymns are seen to have special reference t the occasion. In Newton's hymn we have the lines :

As Thou has given a place for prayer,
So give us hearts to pray;

and again :

Within these walls let holy peace,
And love, and concord, dwell.

Cowper's hymn has a clear reference to the chang from the old place of gathering to the new in th lines:

Dear Shepherd of Thy chosen few,
Thy former mercies here renew;

while one of his stanzas has two of its lines so limite in its reference to the special circumstances as to caus its omission from the hymn as we know it, viz :

Come Thou and fill this wider space,
And bless us with a large increase.


From early times myrtle has been the symbol of love. In Christian symbolism it is an allusion to the Gentiles who became followers of Christ.

Today's Stock Market Report:

Helium was up.
Feathers were down.
Paper was stationary.
Fluorescent tubing was dimmed in light
Knives were up sharply.
Cows steered into a bull market.
Pencils lost a few points.
Hiking equipment was trailing.
Elevators rose, while escalators continued
their slow decline.
Light switches were off.
Mining equipment hit rock bottom.
Diapers remained unchanged.
Shipping lines stayed at an even keel.
The market for raisins dried up.
Coca Cola fizzled.
Caterpillar stock inched up a bit.
Balloon prices were inflated.
And batteries exploded in an attempt to
recharge the market.

Past Archives

WILLIAMS, ROGER (wil'yamz) c. 1603-c.1683 | The Larger Room | Myrtle | Today's Stock Market Report
Stephen Bocskay, Amazing Grace, The Buring Torch and real exam answers
Dean Henry Alford, The Wheat, The Appeal of the Third Verse, and a dead donkey
GUILLAUME FAREL, COLUMBINE, Henriette Auber, Form or Ceremony
The Reformation Wall, The Lamb, John Calvin, Thomas Kelly, Humour
The Phoenix, Jesus lives, thy terrors now Can, O Death no more appal us, William Temple, Beethoven's 7th
William Temple, O for a closer walk with God, The Jerusalem Cross, An Artist's Specification
Hymn: Much in sorrow; People: Henry White and John Darby; Symbol: The beehive; Humour: HWP
Iris' Archives will be back in February.
Coligny, The Angels, "O Holy Night", Humour
Thomas Cramner, The IHS, Love Divine All Loves Excelling
Athanasius, Isaac Watts, When I Survey, INRI and D. Nimmo
John Clarke, The Ship, Rock of Ages and The Archbishop and the egg
Coverdale, THE EPIPHANY STAR, The brightest and best of the stars of the morning
William Tyndale, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Carols on the Street
Constantine, "Come, ye thankful people, come", Dove with Olive Sprig
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Tim Phillips, 10/11/2018