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.