Saturday, October 17, 2009

Closing a Door, Opening a Window Part 2

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. (John 10.1)

Following up the theme of closed doors and open windows, the story of Alexander Henderson's conversion, while already in the ministry, is a remarkable instance of John 10.1 applied literally.

Robert Fleming, The Fulfilling of the Scriptures, Vol. 1 (1671, 1801 ed.), pp. 366-367 (modernized spelling):

I shall here set down one passage of famous Mr. [Alexander] Henderson, who at his first entry to the ministry at Leuchars, was very Prelatic, and by the bishop of St. Andrews, brought in against the parish's consent, so that the day of his admission, the church doors being shut by the people, they were forced to break in by a window to get him entrance, but a little after this, upon the report of a communion where Mr. [Robert] Bruce was to help, he would needs from a longing he had to hear and see such a man, go secretly there; and placed himself in a dark part of the church where he might not be known, when Mr. Bruce was come to the pulpit, he did for a considerable time keep silence as his manner was, which did some way astonish Mr. Henderson, but much more when he heard the first words wherewith he began, which were there, He that cometh not in by the door, but climbeth up another way, the same is a thief and a robber; which did by the Lord's blessing at the very present take him by the heart, and had so great an impression on him, that it was the first mean[s] of his conversion.

The rest, as they say, is history. Alexander Henderson was not only, by the grace of God, given a new birth in Christ; he turned from prelacy to become the great defender of the perogatives of Christ's Crown and Covenant, and the civil and ecclesiastical liberties of Scotland.

No comments:

Post a Comment