Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church


Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 24 January, 2010

"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and
things wherewith one may edify another" (Rom. 14:19)

Morning Service - 11:00 AM

The Outrage at Gibeah (1)
What Sort of a Man Is This Levite?    [download]    [YouTube]

Scripture Reading: Judges 19:1-21
Text: Judges 19:1-21

I. What About His Marriage?
II. What About His Eating and Drinking?
III. What About His Lodging Place?
Psalms: 99:1-7; 49:1-9; 114:1-8; 72:1-8

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

The Christian Sacraments   [download]    [YouTube]
Scripture Reading: Romans 4
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 25

I. What Are They?
II. What Is Their Purpose?
Psalms: 125:1-5; 49:10-15; 27:9-14; 103:1-7


Contact Stephen Murray for CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services.

CPRC website:
CPRC YouTube Site:

Quotes to Consider:

Homer C. Hoeksema: "So tragic and so sordid is this history [of Judges 19-21], from the point of view of all who were involved in it, that the entire incident became proverbial in Israel’s history, so that it is still referred to in the latter prophets, particularly in the prophecy of Hosea [9:9; 10:9]."

Matthew Henry on Judges 19:5-8: "A good man’s heart is where his business is; for as a bird that wanders from her nest so is the man that wanders from his place [Prov. 27:8]. It is a sign a man has either little to do at home, or little heart to do what he has to do, when he can take pleasure in being long abroad where he has nothing to do."

Announcements (subject to God’s will):

Monday, 7 PM - Zoe, Amy & Lea Campbell at the manse 
Tuesday, 7 PM - Jacob & Nathan at the Buchanans 
Tuesday, 8 PM - Mark & Lauren at the Hamills 
Wednesday, 1 PM - Beginners OT Class at the manse

Midweek Bible study meets this Wednesday at 7:45 PM at the manse. We will continue our study with I Peter 3:21-22 on Noah "saved by water."

The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day (8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW) is entitled "May God’s Kingdom Come!" (Luke 11:2) by Rev. R. Kleyn.

The Council meets next week Monday, 1 February, at 7:30 PM at the manse.

Ladies Bible study meets next week Thursday, 4 February, at 10:30 AM at the Murrays to study the second half of Lesson 3 of Keeping God’s Covenant.

Upcoming Lectures in Limerick: Friday, 12 February - "Preaching: The Voice of Christ" Friday, 12 March - "The Real St. Patrick"

Offerings: General Fund: £610.66. Donations: £20 (CR News), £50 (CR News), £15.75 (Limerick).

Church Building Update: All the slates have been laid on the roof and porch. The upstairs rooms and much of the downstairs have been plastered. The building has been hooked up to the electricity grid. New photos are on our website (

Website Additions: 1 German, 1 Portuguese and 1 Italian translations were added. An article by Francesco entitled "The Unbreakable Bond of Marriage" was also put on-line.

PRC News: Rev. Spriensma is considering the call from Bethel PRC. Rev. Koole is considering the call from First PRC of Holland. Rev. Key is considering the call from Loveland PRC. Rev. J. Laning (Hope) is considering the call from Cornerstone PRC. Trinity PRC has a new trio of Revs. Haak, Key, and A. Lanning.

Luther’s Letter in Behalf of Christian Schools (I)

Mr. Brian Dykstra, teacher at Hope PR Christian School


We’ve just concluded our consideration of Martin Luther’s "Open Letter." Luther dealt with a wide range of topics in this lengthy letter. Only a small portion of it dealt with the education of the church’s youth and young people. The next of Luther’s works which we will treat deals exclusively with Christian schools. Luther wrote his "Letter to the Mayors and Aldermen of All the Cities of Germany in Behalf of Christian Schools" in 1524, a mere seven years after the beginning of the Reformation. Luther saw the critical importance of Christian schools for the cause of God’s church as God gave her a new life in the Reformation.

As you will see from the quotations below, Luther writes forcefully. When he believes his position is backed by Scripture, Luther states his case in strong terms. Luther sees the importance of Christian education for the children of the kingdom of God. Luther is also very much aware that he is coming to grips with Satan’s desire to maintain his kingdom on this earth.

The quotations which follow come from Franklin V. N. Painter’s book Luther on Education, published by The Lutheran Publication Society in 1889. The last two chapters of Painter’s book are translations of Luther’s two important works on education, his letter to Germany’s mayors, and Luther’s "Sermon on the Duty of Sending Children to School."

Near the beginning of his letter to mayors, Luther points out how the universities in Germany are deteriorating because the light of God’s Word has shown how deficient in scriptural truth they were. Furthermore, he is deeply troubled by the attitude he saw in Christian parents toward education.

The universities are becoming weak, the monasteries are declining, and, as Isaiah says, "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it," through the Gospel. For through the work of God the unchristian and sensual character of these institutions is becoming known. And because selfish parents see that they can no longer place their children upon the bounty of monasteries and cathedrals, they refuse to educate them. "Why should we educate our children," they say, "if they are not to become priests, monks, and nuns, and thus earn a support?"

The hollow piety and selfish aims of such persons are sufficiently evident from their own confession. For if they sought anything more than the temporal welfare of their children in monasteries and the priesthood, if they were deeply in earnest to secure the salvation and blessedness of their children, they would not lose interest in education and say, "if the priestly office is abolished, we will not send our children to school." But they would speak after this manner: "if it is true, as the Gospel teaches, that such a calling is dangerous to our children, teach us another way in which they may be pleasing to God and become truly blessed; for we wish to provide not alone for the bodies of our children, but also for their souls." Such would be the language of faithful Christian parents.

Next Luther addresses what he sees as Satan’s hand in the education of Christian children. Luther credits Satan’s wisdom as the devil changed tactics in recognition of the fact that the spiritual battlefield in education had been altered.

It is no wonder that the devil meddles in the matter and influences groveling hearts to neglect the children and the youth of the country. Who can blame him for it? He is the prince and god of this world, and with extreme displeasure sees the Gospel destroy his nurseries of vice, the monasteries and priesthood, in which he corrupts the youth beyond measure, a work upon which his mind is especially bent. How could he consent to a proper training of the young? Truly he would be a fool if he permitted such a thing in his kingdom, and thus consented to its overthrow: which indeed would happen, if the young should escape him, and be brought up to the service of God.

Hence he acted wisely at the time when Christians were educating and bringing up their children in a Christian way. Inasmuch as the youth of the land would have thus escaped him, and inflicted an irreparable injury upon his kingdom, he went to work and spread his nets, established such monasteries, schools, and orders, that it was not possible for a boy to escape him without the miraculous intervention of God. But now that he sees his snares exposed through the Word of God, he takes an opposite course, and dissuades men from all education whatever ... For any fatal wound to his cause must come through the young, who, brought up in the knowledge of God, spread abroad the truth and instruct others.

Satan has been interested in education since Genesis 3 when he "educated" Eve about the "real" reason why God forbade her and Adam to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When the devices of Satan are exposed by godly men, Satan will not slink away with his satchel of schemes tucked under his arm and sulk in a corner. He tries a new tactic. Education at every level in western society is dominated by ungodliness. What place is left for God in any government operated school? In addition, Satan effectively uses the productions of Hollywood to educate our society in his curriculum. Satan desires to instruct us too.

After writing about how the citizens of Germany expended large sums of money to defend themselves against the threat of the Turks which they could see, Luther asks why money is not spent to combat ignorance, a spiritual enemy they could not see.

Therefore I beg you all, in the name of God and of our neglected youth, not to think of this subject lightly, as many do who see not what the prince of this world intends. For the right instruction of youth is a matter in which Christ and all the world are concerned. Thereby are we all aided. And consider that great Christian zeal is needed to overcome the silent, secret, and artful machinations of the devil. If we must annually expend large sums on muskets, roads, bridges, dams, and the like, in order that the city may have temporal peace and comfort, why should we not apply as much to our poor, neglected youth, in order that we may have a skillful school-master or two?

Luther then shifts to giving three reasons "that should move every citizen, with devout gratitude to God, to contribute a part of his means to the support of schools ..." Initially Luther states that money had become available since the Germans were no longer subject to the "exactions and robbery" of the Roman Catholic Church so they could now fight "against the devil, the most artful and dangerous enemy of men" by establishing their own schools. Next Luther indicates that God has provided men who "could be of great service as teachers," so they had better not miss this opportunity. Luther warns,

If we let the gracious season pass without gratitude and improvement, it is to be feared that we shall suffer still more terrible darkness and distress. My dear countrymen, buy while the market is at your door; gather the harvest while the sun shines and the weather is fair: use the grace and Word of God while they are near. For know this, that the Word and grace of God are like a passing shower, which does not return where it has once been. The Divine favour once rested upon the Jews, but it has departed. Paul brought the Gospel into Greece; but now they have the Turks. Rome and Italy once enjoyed its blessings; but now they have the Pope. And the German people should not think that they will always have it; for ingratitude and neglect will banish it. Therefore seize it and hold it fast, whoever can; idle hands will have an evil year.

Finally, Luther asserts the highest reason of all to establish Christian schools, "namely, God’s command, which through Moses so often urges and enjoins that parents instruct their children ..." He concludes this section:

It is indeed a sin and shame that we must be aroused and incited to the duty of educating our children and of considering their highest interests, whereas nature itself should move us thereto, and the example of the heathen affords us varied instruction ... In my judgment there is no other outward offense that in the sight of God so heavily burdens the world, and deserves such heavy chastisement, as the neglect to educate children.

May Luther’s admonitions and warnings encourage us to maintain our Christian schools, a blessed heritage of the Reformation.