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Chapter One – The People in God’s Kingdom

Also, take acre-worms, called larves, as many as you choose to take, and scurvy-grass in like quantity, boil well together, distil in an alembic just the same as rosewater is distilled. In this substance you can harden whatever you desire. Inasmuch as, at this juncture, all looks so gloomy in society, the writer of this expects that no pirate of books will wrongfully seize this work and reprint the same, if such an one does not wish to incur the eternal curse, and even condemnation from such an act. Mirathe saepy Satonich petanish pistau ytmye higarin ygeirion temgaron—aycon, dunsnas caflilacias satas claeius jocony, hasihaja yeynino Stephatitas beaae Ind, Doneny eya hidue reu vialta eye vahaspa Saya Salna bebia euci yaya Blencke na vena Serna.

Take the water of the patient and mix it with some flour and make a dough thereof, of which seventy-seven small cakes are made, each one as large as a lintel; proceed before sunrise to an ant-hill and throw the cakes therein. As soon as the insects have devoured the cakes, the fever vanishes. For Cataract of the Eye. Take half an ounce of prepared tutia, and blow this through a goose quill into the animal's eyes.

For Spots in the Eye Take two drachms tutia, half drachm white vitriol, one half of an ounce rose honey, make a salve thereof, and use it to grease the eyes therewith. To Heal Boils on the Hoofs. Take two ounces of nitric spirit, one drachm of sperm oil, mix well, and steep the boil in it. After this rub with the Egyptian salve. To make a good Ointment for Burns. Take two ounces of turpentine, three ounces of yellow bees'-wax, six ounces of linseed oil; mix upon a coal fire and grease the sore therewith. Take orange peels, aloes one drachm, and five cents' worth of carrots.

Put in a bottle, shake well, and take evenings and mornings a good draught of it till the cure is effected. To stop the Bleeding of a Wound. Paint the wound with nitric spirit. To make a Blister. Mix these ingredients to a plaster. To Extirpate Warts. Take blossoms of the walnut tree, rub the warts with them, and they will soon heal. To cite a Witch. Take an earthen pot, not glazed, yarn spun by a girl not yet seven years old. Put the water of the bewitched animal into the pot, then take the egg of a black hen and some of the yarn and move the latter three times round the egg, and ejaculate in the three devils' name; after this put the egg into, the water of the pot, seal the lid of the vessel tightly that no fumes may ooze therefrom, but observe that the head of the lid is below.

While setting the pot upon the fire, pronounce the following: Lucifer, devil summon the sorcerer before the witch or me, in the three devils' name. In Case one Suffers from a Theft. If something is stolen from you, proceed also as stated above, take likewise water, draw it from a brook stream downward, and cut three splinters from the threshold over which the thief did run.

The water must be drawn in the three names of the devil. That no Witch may leave a Church. Purchase a pair of new shoes, grease them on Saturday with grease on the outer sole, then put them on and walk to the church, and no witch can find the way out of the church without you proceed before her. Fasten a squill sea onion over the principal door of the house, and no person will come to trouble you in the dwelling.

To Beat Witches. Let the sweepings, which are swept together in a house for three days remain in a heap, and on the third day cover it with a black cloth made of drilling, then take a stick of an elm tree and flog the dirt heap bravely, and the sorceress must assist, or you will batter her to death.

For Sorcery. Take elm wood on a Good-Friday, cut the same while calling the holiest names. Cut chips of this wood from one to two inches in length. To Cause a Witch to Die within One Minute First, try to obtain a piece of the heart of the cattle which had been attacked, then take a little butter and fry the piece therein, as if prepared for eating, then take three nails from the coffin of a corpse, and pierce with them the heart through and through.

Piercing the heart and killing the witch, are facts of the same moment. All will be correct at once. Good and approved. Take butter from the household larder, render it down in an iron pan until it broils, then take ivy or wintergreen, and fry it; take three nails of a coffin and stick them in that sauce; carry the mass to a place where neither sun nor moon shines into, and the witch will be sick for half of a year.

When a Horse is Sick or has the Blind Fistula. Take of camphor, for five cents; saffron, five cents; olive oil, five cents, and give it in a glass of wine. It helps certain sure. I implore thee, by the Hying God, that thou may draw the disease from the body of N. Three times spoken.

Such a person must put a pair of shoes on, and walk therein until his feet perspire, but must walk fast, so that the feet do not smell badly; then take off the right shoe, drink some beer or wine out of this shoe, and he will from that moment lose all affection for her. A Banishment. Three trees are standing on Jesus' heart — the first is called humility, the other forbearing, the third is called, if it pleases, God.

Rider, horse, or walker on foot, ye shalt not stand still, and not move from hence until I grant permission. While pronouncing this, the hat must be placed on the back of the head, and the right hand put three times thereto. When designing to release them, grasp the hat with the left hand, and put the hat as it was before, keep the hat in the left hand and beat with the hat in the direction where they are wanted to move to or remove from hence.

The sufferings of Christ I hear upon me. In meekness I begin my work, stop rider, walker, robber stop, stop ye thieves. In meekness desist, from evil shrink, since Jesus' blood did we drink; your musket and your rifle be stopped with Jesus' blood, your sabres, knives, swords, halbards and spear, they be as soft as Christ's five holy wounds. Since only three roses upon the Saviour's heart do bloom, the first is benign, the second of good mind, the third is the will [71] of God.

If you wish to let them ride away again, speak. Ride thither in the bad name of all evil spirits. To Cause the Return, of Stolen Property. Take three pieces of bread, three pinches of salt and three pieces of hog's lard, make a strong flame, put all the articles upon this fire, and say the following words, while keeping alone: I put bread, salt and lard for the thief upon the fire, for thy sin and temerity so dire. I place them upon thy lungs, liver and heart, that thou art troubled with terror and smart, a distress shall come over thee with dread as if thou wert to be smitten dead, all veins in thy body shall burst and break, and great havoc and trouble shall make, that thou shalt have no peace nor rest, till what thou hast stolen thou hast returned and brought all back from whence it were taken.

Three times to recite and every time the three holiest names spoken. For the Toothache. Bay leaf flour for five cents; fennel powder for five cents. A handful wheaten flour and one egg; bake a cake of this, and put upon the ears during the night. To Lay Spirits by an Anathema. Ye persons look upon me for a moment till I draw three blood drops from you, which ye have forfeited. The first I draw from your teeth, the other from your lung, the third I draw from your heart's own main; with this I take your hosts away and ye shall stand till I remove from ye the iron band.

Another Anathema. Welcome, ye brethren, be of good cheer, we have partaken of Christ's blood there and here, and if we had not drank it, [72] yet we surely would do so when next time we met. God the Father who is with me, God the Son who is with thee, God the Holy Spirit who is between us all, that we in peace may part, in peace may call, that never a sword ye may be able to draw, no pistol may fire, no rifle nor cannon discharge.

God aid me to vanquish you all. For the Mange or Itch of Sheep. Make an ointment of these articles and grease the sheep therewith. For the Purging of the Sheep. Laurel oil and excecizium made into a salve, and the body greased with it; Spanish fly, five cents; laurel oil, five cents; evorbium, five cents; lard one quart, and three-points of a knife full of salt. All of these mix cold and grease several days in succession. For a Rupture. For the Chicken Pox. A certain cure for this disease, to save the eyes of the children, take roots of rue and roots of sassafras, and suspend them from the child's neck.

Probatum est. To Prevent every Person from Hitting the Target. Put a splinter of wood which has been hit by a thunder bolt behind the target. No person will be able to hit such a target. To cause Rifles or Muskets to miss Fire. To make One's Self Shot Proof. Dig and stick mouse-ear herb on a Friday, during the half or full of the moon, tie in a white cloth and suspend it from the body.

Casper guide thee, Balthasar bind thee, Melchior keep thee, 5 three times. These words utter into the right ear. These are of course the traditional names given to the Three Magi who presented gifts to the baby Jesus. To compel a Thief to Return Stolen Articles. Upon this stone I pray to the Lord, that he may give me three nails upon my word, the first I hammer, through his tongue, the other through his heart and his lung, the third through all his limbs and his members, that the thief to return the things may remember, that he may have neither peace nor rest like the Virgin Mary, bore her child upon straw, in the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

To prevent a Person to Escape. Take a needle wherewith the gown of a corpse was sewed, and draw this needle through the hat or shoe of him whom you seek to fasten, and he cannot escape. For a Horse that cannot Stall. Take hare leap herb, tie a stone to it, and let the horse drink over it, and forthwith the horse will have an opening. To See what Others cannot See. Take a cat's eye, lay it in salt water, let it remain there for three days, and then for six days into the rays of the sun, after this have it set in silver, and hang it around your neck.

To Draw Moles from their Holes. Take sulphur and garlic, place it over the holes, and the moles must come out immediately. Take the eggs of a swallow, boil them, return them to the nest, and if the old swallow brings a root to the nest, take it, put it into your purse, and carry it in your pocket, and be happy. To Open Locks. Kill a green frog, expose it to the sun for three days, powder or pulverize it. A little of this powder put into a lock will open the same. To Understand the Song of Birds. Take the tongue of a vulture, lay it for three days and three nights in honey, afterward under your tongue, and thus you will understand all the songs of birds.

To Stop the Bleeding of a Wound. Take a small bone of a human body and put into the wound, and the blood will cease to flow. To Drive away Bed Bugs. Take the scrapings of the hoof which the farrier cuts when shoeing a horse, boil them well in water, with it wash the bedsteads or whatever may be infested with the pests. Has been satisfactorily tried. Catch a white weasel, take its head off, and carry in your right side pocket. When a Horse has a Skin growing over the Retina of the Eye. Take of fresh butter a piece as large as a pigeon's egg and knead with saffron.

Put it into the eye of the horse, bandage the eye, and in twenty-four hours the skin will have vanished. A spoonful of the same put into a beverage for a drink, and to desist from drinking anything else, and used as long as is desired, will cure. To Sharpen Scythes for Mowing. Arviter Romain Erad; Vire. For Bites of Rabid Dogs. Write these words upon a letter, and hang the same around the neck of man or beast:.

How to Discern all Secrets and Invisible Things. If you find a white adder under a hazelnut shrub, which had twelve other vipers as its twelve guardsmen with it, and the hazelnut bush, under which they lay, bears commonly medlers, you must eat the white adder with your other food, and you will be enabled to see and discern all secret and otherwise hidden things. Jesus born at Bethlehem, Jesus crucified at Jerusalem, as true as these words are, to truly understand N. To make yourself Shot Proof. Dig and stitch mouse-ear roots on a Friday, during full moon or half moon, tie it in a white handkerchief, and wear it around the neck.

Cletemati, Sobath, Adonay, Eleona, Florit. Compare note 4 above. In June, on SS. Peter and Paul's Day, dig blue waywort roots, fifteen minutes before twelve o'clock; also procure the herb of this plant. If you carry this herb with you, and they bind or fetter you, all ropes, fetters and locks, will spring open; neither can you be shot. Or: Take wild radishes, eat them before breakfast, and no one will be able to flog you, and while you carry them in your mouth you will be able to vanquish all your enemies. How to make One's Self Agreeable to All.

Carry a whoop's eye on your person. To Fasten a Person that he may not Escape. Take a needle wherewith the gown from a corpse had been sewed and put this needle into the foot prints of the person you seek to fasten. And never will that person, so treated, be able to get away. Take the right thumb in your hand, and put the hand in your right-hand pocket whenever a delinquent is executed, and thus you will secure good luck in playing and be liked by your fellow-men.

Reader Success Stories

To Prevent Hares from Destroying the Cabbage. Take garlic, press out the sap, sprinkle over cabbage seed and sow the same. To Try if a Person is Chaste. Sap of radish squeezed into the hand will prove what you wish to know. If they do not fumble or grabble they are all right. How to Cause your Intended Wife to Love you. Take feathers from a rooster's tail, press them three times into her hand.

Or: Take a turtle dove tongue into your mouth, talk to your friend agreeably, kiss her and she will love you so dearly that she cannot love another. When you wish that your Sweetheart shall not deny you. Take the turtle dove tongue into your mouth again and kiss her, and she will accept your suit. Or: Take salt, cheese and flour, mix it together, put it into her room, and she will have no rest until she sees you.

If such a stone is wrapped up into a bay leaf and is given to a prisoner, that prisoner will be liberated at once. Whoever touches a door with such a stone, to him that door will be opened, and he who puts that stone into his mouth will understand the song of every bird.

Three roses are under our beloved Master's heart; the first is humility, the second gentleness. Oh, blood with N. Give it horseradish, enzian and Christmas roots. For Burns. I have been burnt, Christ the Lord was crucified. If to him the crucifying did no harm, the burning will not harm thee. Take unwatered butter and move it round the burnt spot, and after this put the butter for nine days in a quiet, secluded place. An Approved Representation. Bind Peter, bind Peter, bind Peter, bind for me all those thieves, both male and female, who steal from my home or my estates, or have the intention of doing so, bind them with iron bands and with the Lord's own hands, with the holy five wounds, and with the true twelve hours, that they must stand for me like a stick and look like a buck, count for me the stars that stand in the firmament, they look upon the Lord's foliage, herbage and grass, which groweth on earth, the heaven be their cover, the earth be their shoe.

If ye are stronger than God then ye may from hence depart, but in case ye are not stronger than God, stand still until I free you [78] by my will. Three times spoken and before three times twenty-four hours will elapse, he the thief will be there, and you tell him to depart in the name of God. For Bed Bugs in Bedsteads. One ounce mercury, two ounces hog's lard rendered down, then take a drachm of bruised wolfswort, one drachm juniper-berry oil, make into a salve and apply the same to the cracks and screw-holes of the bedsteads.

A good remedy. An Excellent way to Prove whether a Person is a Witch or not. Try to obtain St. John's roots and one ounce of herb of the same plant called moto. Write the following letters upon a scrap of paper and put to the root and herbs:. You will then perceive that no witch can remain in the same room with you.

Take from four to five pounds of fresh milk; mix a few pinches of black snuff tobacco in the milk, or instead of the tobacco some vinegar and ground leaven or yeast. This give to the sick animal, whereupon it should be slowly driven around. The horse will soon have an opening, and is saved in an easy manner from the disease. In order to dispose of the curdled blood it is necessary to mix an equal part of mutton tallow with turpentine.

Grease the limb therewith and rub gently. When a Child is Bewitched. Stand with the child toward the morning sun, and speak: Be welcome in God's name and sunshine, from whence didst brightly beam, aid me and my dear child and feign my songs serenely stream. To God the Father sound my praise, help praise the Holy Ghost that he restore my child to health, I praise the heavenly host. Take a quart of fresh milk, dog's waste stirred therein and strained through a cloth.

This is a good internal medicine. Or make for External Use: Tormantil wort For Frosted Feet. Take deer's tallow, one ounce of virgin wax, and one ounce laurel oil. Let these run together, add a little brandy, smear upon three plasters, and apply to the feet. When a Horse stubbornly refuses to tie Shod, speak into his Ear. Melchior bind thee. It will only be necessary to say, by the last name, where it may be wanted: Balthasar conduct thee back. For the Worm on the Finger. Camphor, five cents; olive oil, five cents; white lead, five cents some silver litherage, and a little wine vinegar.

Make into a salve paint on a plaster, and apply. To Transfix a Rider. Mother Mary shall decide over you. The paradise is opened unto him. Therewith I am closed with my goods and chattels. Hold therein hellish fire flames, as true as Christ was crucified upon the cross. With these words, by which I fixed you, I again release thee. Horse and rider, I affix ye, and by the holy three hours. Horse and rider, I fix ye, by the holy five words and wounds, as Jesus Christ spake while on the Cross. God the Father will cause thee to appear, God the Son will bind thee, and God the Holy Ghost will not liberate thee until I bid thee to depart hence.

Mary walked with her dear child, when two thieves came by, and quickly took it away from her. But Mary spake to St. Peter: St. Peter, St. Peter bind. Peter said: I have bound him with Jesus' bands, with his five holy wounds my goods have bound. Whoever steals from me, shall stand like a stick, and look around like a buck. If he can count more than all the stars which stand on the sky, can count all leaves, all blades of grass, all drops of rain, all flakes of snow, he may depart with his stolen goods.

If he cannot do this, he stands on this place for a ransom, until I may be able to view him with my own eyes, and with my own mouth bid him to go thither. Depart in the name of the Holy Trinity. Procure a looking glass, such as are commonly sold. Inter it on the crossing of two pathways, during an uneven hour.

On the third day thereafter, hie to the place at same hour, and take it out: but you must not be the first person to look into the glass. It is best to let a dog or a cat take the first look into the mirror:. Now, I step out in God's great name, now step out in his might and fame, now I step out in God's footstep, right which is against all spirits might. A Grace for Robbers and Murderers. Be happy brethren. Brethren, thus your proud race run. We will meet in joy, and part in peace.

The Message of the Cross

If a Person cannot Churn out. Another for the same Purpose. Take a card — the nine of hearts — and a knife, on which three crosses are engraved. Put these two articles under the stirring dish or churn, and all will work well. To Fasten a Thief upon your Estate. Thus, Peter, bind; St. Peter, fasten with God's own hand, and ye thieves are fastened and affixed as long as it pleases me. In his wicked position, be the thief fixed to stand, fixed to the land, and now stand still, till Judas departs from hell. Judas dare not leave the lower region; hence the thief must quiet stand still, till I may with my own eyes and hand, see and feel that wicked wight; and bid him to depart with all his might.

Remember where thy possessions lay, and with the right finger or hand point to them. This obey. To release: Without trouble to thee or me, depart from hence, in the name of the Evil One, without mirth or glee. To Regain the Stolen Property. Take three crumbs of bread, three pinches of salt, and three very small portions of lard.

Then make a strong fire, lay all these nine articles upon it, and speak these words, while remaining alone: I lay for the thief, bread, salt and lard, upon the flame, for thy sin is hard; I lay it upon thy lung, liver and heart, that thou may feel a bitter smart. It shall come upon thee, need and dread, as it approaches a dire death. All veins shall in thy body burst, and cause thee pain and quenchless thirst; that thou shalt have no peace or rest, till all the theft thou hast returned and place it where thou hast taken the plunder, or be caught by lightning and thunder.

When you have a Sprained Limb. They have crucified the Saviour on the holy cross. It did not hurt him, it did not pain him. Hence thy sores and thy sprains will hurt thee not. Become well again. What he asks for he will receive. When a Cow Loses Her milk. Take camphor, five cents' worth; three bits of asafetida or devil's dirt , three small spoonfuls of black sulphur, six spoonfuls of stove soot, a little of five-finger herb and iron herb, and milk of the troubled cow.

Stir these things well together, and pour them all into a pail. After a Cow has Lost her Milk. If you find half of a horseshoe, put it into the milk while it boils. Take a switch of three-year-old hazelnut shrub — but they must not be bitten off, but have the knots from above. With them beat into the milk, and speak thus: I burn and beat thee, Trott and Morth, in all the devil's names, till thou unto me, N. Asafetida of the size of a bean, and magic balsam for five cents, put therein, and given upon a piece of bread three or four mornings in succession.

In the morning early, and evening after feeding. Another Remedy for the same Ailment. Take the milk, water and excrementis. Put it in an unglazed pot with a lid upon it, and seal it tightly, so that the fumes cannot escape. Put it upon a fire, and allow it to boil down gently.

Category: Orthodox Life

But during twenty-four hours following this boiling, you must not lend anything unless somebody asks it "for God's sake. Burn them to powder. Put it into the stock of your gun. Also in a little bag, and hang it under the right arm. You will then be able to shoot whatever you desire.

If you carry the same under your left arm, you will be gay and happy. To make One's Self Shot-Proof. According to this formula, on the day of Peter and Paul, at vesper tide, there spring open waywort roots, of which hunters and men of the forest believe that he who carries them on his person cannot be hit or shot. To Catch Fish. Take valerian, or cocculus Indicus, and make small cakes thereof with flour; throw these into the deep. As soon as a fish eats thereof, it will become intoxicated, and float upon the surface. Another: Camphor, wheat flour, Arund Arda ololivar aa Zsz.

Mix together, and it will become a salve. If you then proceed to fish, anoint your hands and shins therewith, and miracles you will experience. To Ascertain whether a Sick Person will Die or not. Take a piece of bread, place it before the sick one's brow, then throw it before a dog. If he eats it, the patient recovers; if he rejects it, the sick one dies. Early on Good Friday morning, dig Antemonium. Shall take! Three of these roots cut fine, as near the eyes as you can; the other three dry and pulverize them. Then take an egg and let the white thereof run out, and put the yolk in, and add salt until the egg shell is filled.

Then skillfully close it, and set it end ways upon hot ashes, till it becomes hard like a stone. Be careful not to boil it over, because it will [93] never be good. Pulverize it, and fill with this egg the quill of a feather, and blow the contents gently into the horse's eyes. Although it pains, it will destroy the skin that grew over the eye, and make it see again.

How to Obtain a good Memory. Take the gall of a partridge, and with it grease the temples every month, and your memory will be like that of Mnemon. To Drive away and Vanquish all Foes. Whoever carries the hemlock herb, with the heart of a mole, on his person, vanquishes all his enemies, so that they will not be able to trouble him. Such a man will obtain much.

When this herb is laid under the head of a sick person, the sick one, when he sings, will get well; if he cries, he will die. To Make a Black Horse White. Take goat's gall, and paint the horse with it, and it will turn white. A certain way to Stop the Blood. Take bread and leaven, and mix with brandy to a plaster, and bind with it, sores and wounds. For a Stubborn Horse. On Walpurgis night, thy reverence, I hope, will one enable, to curb thy temperament unstable; for zigzag courses we are wont to keep, be kind enough and gently light us up the steep.

For the day of Labor Pains. A certain Remedy. First of all write the following in one line upon a paper: A b h z P O b L 9 h b m g n Subratum nome nex gr. After this the patient's name in the center. Put this into a bag of leather and sew the same up, but the seam must be on the right side. This must be made without a knot, on thread or band, and hung up during an uneven hour.

Cut three corners of a table edge from below, of every edge a chip and a grain of salt, and a bit of bread, also a little of buck's beard. All this do noiselessly, and suspend on the child's neck, with a little unbleached yarn during an uneven hour, and with these N. To cause the Return of Stolen Goods. Write upon two pieces of paper, the following words, and lay the one over the door, and the other under the threshold, and the thief will return on the third day and bring back the stolen articles, viz. Dig mouse-ear herb on St. John's-day, hang herb and roots around the neck of the afflicted, be it man or beast.

Write upon three roads with a horseshoe nail, these words: Kex, Par, Mox. Whether a Patient Dies or Recovers. Take his water, drop some milk of a woman, who is nursing a male child, therein; if the milk settles upon the ground, the patient dies; but if it floats above, he recovers. To Disgust a Person who is Addicted to Gambling. Give sow's milk to one who is addicted to gambling, and he will feel disgusted when he wishes to play.

If a Horse is Costive. Let it take crabs' eyes, for five cents, and in fifteen minutes the cure is effected. When blind, and the eyes are covered with a skin, or the eyes are darkened and dim, take the eggs of red ants and put them into a small glass. Draw a water therefrom. This glass containing the eggs must be kept well corked, so that nothing may ooze out, then put the phial into dough of rye flour and bake in the oven with other bread, and when taken from the oven let cool off with the other loaves, then carefully remove the bread from the glass, so as not to break the same, and the ant eggs will prove to have turned into water.

This water apply four or five times, as may be necessary, to the afflicted eye, every time one drop only. This has been tried on man and beast. Take the skull of a corpse, scrape some bone-dust off the cranium with your knife and strew into the wounds. When a Grapevine Breaks or Warps. Dig red raspberry roots and suspend them to the broken vine.

It will cause the vine to be all right again. Take incense, sulphur, pure wax and yarn, boil it and make thereof a candle, and whenever the light extinguishes there the money is concealed. To Wean a Tippler from Drinking Wine. Take an apple, put it into the hand of a dying man, and let the apple remain there till the person dies. But the drunkard must not be aware of your designs. To make a Person dislike Gambling. Speak to an executioner, give me some wood of a whip wherewith you have beaten criminals, and flog the gambler with this upon his naked body, and never more thereafter will he gamble.

That none may Vanquish you, and how to Open Locks. Take the eye of a raven, lay it into an ant's hill for eight days, and you will find a little stone thereby, that stone carry with you upon your person. When you have Lost your Manhood. When you are infatuated and bewitched by a woman, so that you may not love any other, then take blood of a buck and grease your head therewith, and you will soon be all right again.

That a Horse will not be Tired. Put links from the chain of a gallows bird, or needles of the blade of an executor's steel into your spurs. If Something is Stolen from your House. That Every one will Buy from you, be it what it may. If men make a jest of your religion, pray none the less. If they even become cruel and violent to you, pray none the less; never the less, not a word less, not a syllable less, not a desire less, and not any faith less. What are your difficulties, dear friend, in coming to the mercy seat? What hindrance lies in your way?

Let nothing obstruct your approach to the throne of grace. Turn all stumbling-stones into stepping-stones; and come, with holy boldness, and say, notwithstanding all opposition, "never the less, we made our prayer unto our God.

Chapter Two – People Who Pray

Notice, next, that it was a prayer that came before anything else. It does not say that Nehemiah set a watch, and then prayed; but "nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch. Do whatever else is wise, but not until thou hast prayed. Send for the physician if thou art sick; but first pray.

Take the medicine if thou hast a belief that it will do thee good; but first pray. Go and talk to the man who has slandered you, if you think you ought to do so; but first pray. Begin, continue, and end everything with prayer; but especially begin with prayer. Some people would never begin what they are going to do, if they prayed about it first, for they could not ask God's blessing upon it. Is there anybody here who is going out of this Tabernacle to a place where he should not go? Will he pray first? He knows that he cannot ask a blessing on it; and therefore he ought not to go there.

Go nowhere where you cannot go after prayer. This would often be a good guide in your choice of where you should go. Nehemiah first prayed, and then set a watch. Once more, it was a prayer that was continued. If I read the passage aright, "we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night," it means that, as long as they watched, they prayed. They did not pray their prayer, and then leave off, and go away, as naughty boys do when they give runaway knocks at a door.

Having begun to pray, they continued praying. So long as there were any enemies about, the prayer and the watching were never parted. They continued still to cry to him who keepeth Israel as long as they set the watchman of the night to warn them of the foe. When shall we leave off praying, brothers and sisters? Well, they say that we shall do so when we get to heaven. I am not clear about that. I do not believe in the intercession of saints for us; but I remember that it is written in the book of Revelation, that the souls under the altar cried, "How long, O Lord?

Remember thy Son, glorify his name, accomplish the number of thine elect. One lady. Who professed that she had long been perfect, said that her mind was in such complete conformity with the mind of God, that she need not pray any longer. Poor creature! What did she know about the matter? She needed to begin at the first letter of the alphabet of salvation; and pray, "God be merciful to me, a sinner!

The prayer which Nehemiah offered was, next, a prayer that was home-made. There may be some of you who like prayers made for you; and it may be that, if all the congregation are to join in the supplication, and every voice is to speak, the prayer must be prepared even as the hymn is; but ready-made prayers always seem to me very much like ready-made clothes, they are meant to fit everybody, and it is very seldom that they fit anybody.

For real business at the mercy-seat, give me a home-made prayer, a prayer that comes out of the deeps of my heart, not because I invented it, but because God the Holy Spirit put it there, and gave it such a living force that I could not help letting it come out. Though your words are broken, and your sentences are disconnected; if your desires are earnest, if they are like coals of juniper, burning with a vehement flame, God will not mind how they find expression. If you have no words, perhaps you will pray better without them. There are prayers that break the backs of words; they are too heavy for any human language to carry.

This prayer, then, whatever it may have been as to its words, was one the pleaders made: "We made our prayers unto our God. It is very important to notice, that it was a prayer that went to the home of prayer: "We made our prayer unto our God. So-and-so prayed the finest prayer that was ever addressed to a Boston audience. That is not the kind of prayer that God loves. Forget that there is anybody present, forget that a human ear is listening to your accents; and let it be said of your prayer, "Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God. It is a very commonplace remark to make, that prayer must go to God if it to be of any avail; but it is very necessary to make it.

When prayer does not go to God, what is the good of it? When you come out of your closet, and feel that you have only gone through a form, how much are you benefited? Make your prayers unto your God. Speak in his ear, knowing that he is there; and come away knowing that he has replied to you, that he has lifted up the light of his countenance upon you. That is the kind of prayer we need for our protection against our enemies both day and night. Only once more upon this first point. I gather from the words before me that it was a prayer saturated with faith.

No, "unto our God. They had a full assurance that, though he was the God of the whole earth, yet he was specially their God; and so they made their prayer unto the God who had given himself to them, and to whom they belonged by covenant relationship. The door of prayer seems to turn on those two golden hinges,-"our God. This setting of the watch was a work appointed. We must not say, "I must try to be watchful. When you go to bed at night, pray the Lord to guard you during the darkness.

In the morning, set a watch when you go to your business. Set a watch when you go to the dinner-table; set a watch when you return home. Oh, how soon we may be betrayed into evil unless we set a watch! It was a work carefully done; for Nehemiah says, "We set a watch against them day and night, because of them. Very well, set a watch there. Perhaps they may shift about, and come up this way. Possibly they may come climbing over the wall in front here. Brother, set a watch there. Another is very morose at home, critical, picking holes in other people's coats.

One friend has a tendency to pride, another to unbelief. Set a watch wherever the foe is likely to come. It was a work continued; Nehemiah says, "we set a watch against them day and night. Is there to be someone sitting up all night? Of course there is. If Sanballat had told them when he meant to attack them, they might have gone to sleep at other times; but as he did not give them that information, they had to set a watch "day and night. It was a work quickened by knowledge. The more you know of the plague of your own heart, the more you will set a watch against it.

The more you know of the temptations that are in the world through lust, the more you should set a watch.

Battle Ready Restoration Prayer

The older you are, the more you should watch. In the Old Testament or in the New, have you an instance of a young believer who went astray? The Bible tells us of many old men who were tripped up by Satan when they were not watching; so you have need to set a watch even when your hair turns grey, for you will not be out of gunshot of the devil until you have passed through the gate of pearl into the golden streets of the New Jerusalem.

You and I, dear friends, have need to set a watch against the enemies of our holy faith. Some people ask me, "Why do you talk so much about the 'Down-grade'? Let men believe what they like. Go on with your work for God, and pray to him to set them right. We have to guard with jealous care "the faith once for all delivered to the saints. A night-watchman's place is not an easy berth; but I am willing to take that post for my blessed Master's sake.

Those professed servants of Christ who enter into an unholy alliance with men who deny the faith will have to answer for it at the last great day. As for us, brethren, when our Lord comes, let him find us watching as well as praying. But, dear friends, to come home to ourselves, we must set a watch against our own personal adversaries.

I hope that, in one sense, you have no personal enemies; that you own nobody a grudge; but that you live in peace and love towards all mankind. But there are Christian people here, who will go to homes where everybody in the house is against them.


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Many a godly woman goes from the sanctuary to a drunken husband; many children, converted to God, see anything but what they like to see in their homes. What are they to do in such circumstances? Set a watch. Dear woman, how do know but that you shall be the means of saving your unconverted husband? If so, you must set a watch; do not give him a bit of your mind; you will not convert him that way. And you, dear children, who have come to Christ, and joined the church, mind that you are dutiful and obedient, for otherwise you will destroy all hope of bringing your parents to the Saviour.

Set a watch over your temper, set a watch over your tongue, set a watch over your actions. Be patient, be gentle, be loving. May the Spirit of God work all this in you! But there is another set of enemies much more dreadful than these adversaries that are without us, the foes within, the evil tendencies of our corrupt nature, against which we must always set a watch.

Perhaps you say, "How can I do this? People who are beginning the Christian life should seek to know where their weak points are. I should not wonder, dear friend, if your weak point lies where you think that you are strong. Where you think, "Oh, I shall never go wrong there! Set a watch wherever any weakness has appeared; and if you have, in the past of your Christian life, grieved the Holy Spirit by anything wrong, set a double watch there. Where you have tripped once, you may trip again; for you are the same man. Set a watch, also, dear friend, whenever you feel quite secure.

Whenever you feel certain that you cannot be tempted in a particular direction, that proves that you are already as proud as Lucifer. Set a watch, set a watch, set a watch. Avoid every occasion of sin. If any course of conduct would lead you into sin, do not go in that direction. I heard a man say, as an excuse for drinking, "You see, if ever I take a glass of beer, I seem to lose myself, and I must have two or three more. Better go to heaven as a hermit, than go to hell with a multitude.

Pluck out your right eye, and cut off your right hand, sooner than that these should cause you to fall into sin. Do not go where you are likely to be tempted. Well, then, if that is your case, put on the whole armour of God, and do not go without being prepared to fight the good fight of faith. Watch against the beginnings of sin. Remember, Satan never begins where he leaves off; he begins with a little sin, and he goes on to a greater one. When he first tempts men, he does not aim at all he hopes to accomplish; but he tries to draw them aside by little and little, and he works up by degrees to the greater sin he wants them to commit.

I do not believe that, at the present time, a Christian man can be too precise. We serve a very precise God: "the Lord thy God is a jealous God. The question is, whether they are Christians at all. If we must not judge them, at any rate, let us judge for ourselves, and settle it, once for all, that we dare not go where they go; indeed, we have no wish to do so.

Watch for what God has to say to you. In your reading of the Bible, if the Holy Spirit applies a text of Scripture to you with special force, regard it as a hint from your heavenly Father that there is a lesson in it for you.

Prayer: The Hammer That Nails The Word of God Into Your Spirit by Elisha Goodman

I am often surprised at the way in which the morning text will often instruct me through the whole day. Persons who come to hear the Word of God preached, often find that, within two or three days, there is a reason why the preacher delivered that particular sermon, and a reason why they were led to hear it. Whenever you see a professing Christian going astray from the way of holiness, do not talk about it, and so increase the mischief. Dear friends, neither of these two guards is sufficient alone. Prayer alone will not avail. To pray and not to watch, is presumption.

You pretend to trust in God, and yet you are throwing yourself into danger, as the devil would have had Christ do, when he tempted him to cast himself down from the pinnacle of the temple. If you pray to be kept, then be watchful. I cannot say this is the experience at my church. I also have to say yes I have to if no one else will that you have a lot of baggage that has not been dealt with here. They do.

People are screaming for a Savior. I am experiencing it. Even though I will remain a member until My assigment s here are complete and my administrative replacment is trained , in the interim, Along with The Word of God Bible I am reading A. Moody, R. Torrey, and E. M Bounds. What led me to these late great men saints of our Lord?

Introverted church to church fellowship and not Church to community. Where certain families are elevated and others dismissed. Ask God to give you a new home. The only perfect Home is in Heaven. He will give us our new Houses of Worship. Will there be porcupines there too? But God can give us less of these-wherever He ultimately plants us. This Christian pscychologist hits the bullseye. Wow, I wish that your experience was different…. It is terribly frustrating to try and make changes with the old guard causing waves. It is so easy to give up and not want to invite people to our church.

Love is the answer. You are slamming a heavy hammer. Driving in nails with each blow. I find that a huge majority of Southern Baptist churches in Central Texas are exactly like what you are saying. Sadly, most church members look in mirrors and see something different than what non attendants not just non believers see.

Jason, you listed several attitudes that do exist in many churches. I think Carey put fort a positive way to overcome many of those negatives. Engagement by more people. There is a good chance you are not the only one to notice the negatives. By working with the pastor or elders a person can unite others in correcting those negatives with their active engagement. Jason: Amen to all!! Especially regarding music and building projects! I could not agree more.

You are right Brother. God has left the building long ago! We church-hopped for a couple of years driving ever farther away to find a church that was Biblically-focused and had some depth. No luck yet, and now we stay home on Sundays. Churches in the USA are shrinking at an alarming rate and from what I can tell the decline will continue. Everytime I read an article like this, which is often lately, I ask my self what this means for denominations who are supported by the local church tithe, which in turn support missions, church planting and other ministries. As a church leader with my husband for thirty years in the U.

We are in a time of waiting on the Lord for what he wants us to do next but my energy is sapped by church goers who fight fall out and complain! This is a wasted if valuable leadership ministry experience all because the church is too selfish and introverted so at the moment I am giving church a wide berth as it saps me of everything that is good sad but true and there are many more like me!

They just want us to be. Very interesting article. I agree with many options set out by the author in order to transform the church so it reaches again to every members and non-members. But what about the Holy Spirit? I like that quote from A. I agree about what Michael said about the Holy Spirit. Also, Biblically speaking, the church is for believers of Jesus. It is not for the unsaved.

We are to be the church and do the work ourselves. Preach, tell, deliver, heal, baptize, make disciples. Jesus told us to do that. Yes we should have fellowship with other believers but it does not have to be in a certain building, at a certain time etc. I agree with this article… excluding the fact that a lot of people have been hurt by churches by getting involved.

Months or years later, you decide you miss going to church because you need to be fed in order to get to the place where you were before the church incident. Totally agree. Been burned twice by church politics. At this point in my life, I need to attend with no expectations. Kai: so totally true, been there done that, and the part about church politics is true also… especially when your own pastor tells you that he would rather see you a member for 30 years leave than a newer person who he personally likes better but who has never been involved in service in the church.

Can you imagine the heart break and disappointment one would feel, coming from their own pastor. To preach and being careful to practically implement: Love the kind that God is, God gave and gives and the resulting interactions between active believers, is a mute subject. The biblical pattern is old and young to work together till the old drop off because of fading physical strength and God calling them home.

This pattern repeats. Church folk who are adamant that they will NOT work with anybody other than themselves. Making love your aim, encourage each other etc are rare luxuries. This causes rather than being encouraged for closer fellowship with each other and the Lord, to be repelled. No love IN the church, no difference to the world, no effective witness to the world.

No love, then the preaching and other do-good activities are just noise making cymbals, causing ear ache, heart ache, belly ache bad feelings and unease about church and a dismembered body. Hence the Letter to the Ephesians in Revelation. Let him who wants to be the greatest be the servant of all. That still leaves enough to do for having to forgive each other as we are all different.

About Truth in Reality

Lev, great response.. I have recently found solice in seeking a more universal religious connection, i. I work for and attend a mega church in the inland empire in California. Sunday feel pretty lonely sitting in our big new worship center. My husband and i get up for the 6th day of the week, hassle the traffic, ride a bus from the parking lot and leave without connecting with anyone.

I have read most of the responses here and I find them all to have a heartfelt base. The one thing I can ask of those who mentioned the Mega churches, is why are you going there? They just come enjoy the music service and the feel good message and get out as fast as they can in order to beat the traffic. After they go they can say to themselves we have done our duty as Christians, and that should last us through the week until next time.


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  6. Then there are the Mega churches where it seems as if everyone is involved they go out to the community, seek out the lost and bring them in meet their individual needs showing them the true religion of Faith in Jesus. Thus the church grows and there is something for everyone. We are the communion of saints, we need to gather together to be the church.

    I hate online, live TV, mega church, I am not here to be entertained. Maybe Im too old already but church is for everyone, we should not cater to any one group. You learn what you live, if you grow up in the church, you will be come back to the church. I taught my kids Jesus is their rock.

    They can depend on him when all else fails. I love our pastor, our church, and the community we have. I wished I could spend more time there. An hour a week is really not enough……. I know a lot of people that think one hour on Sunday morning is just right. Being active is very important to continue attending.

    If I am in the ICU unit praying with people who are desperate for the Lord to change their situation, am I attending church? If I am comforting a friend who just lost a loved one, am I attending church? If I stop while I am shopping and pray with the man using crutches, am I attending church. If I give the homeless person a sandwich and a bottle of water, am I attending church? Of course, I am! You can see where I am going with this, I hope.

    The Church is the body of Christ and when we do the things we see Him do and say the things we see Him say, then we are in attendance with the Church He is building. Sure, we should seek to worship Jesus in all we do. That is, we are commanded to have a rest time where we meet and gather with other believers. We are commanded after all to not stop meeting together as some are in the habbit of doing. Yes, worship God in all you do.

    But one of those things we should do is gather with other believers to rest in the grace, mercy and presence of Jesus. You are not going to church, you have just described what being the church looks like. You are living out what it means to be part of the kingdom of God. The Church today has stopped studying scripture. He gave us his word but sermons tend to be about feelings. If teenagers hate your church service, so will unchurched people. The point was that teenagers generally have their finger on the pulse of our culture, so if you want to reach the unchurched — who are the culture — then check out what the teens think.

    Adolescents can tell when someone is teaching fluff and they can sense inauthenticity a mile away. If they hunger for what is being taught, then you are going to reach the culture. The danger is when the Gospel is not being preached in the middle of it. THAT Truth is what the culture is eager to hear. And if it is being preached in an authentic, vulnerable, welcoming community — to people of all ages, stages, ethnicities and demographics — then the unchurched will be drawn. It is not the light-show, the rock and roll music, the whatever.

    All people want Truth. All people want to be welcome in an authentic community. Teens are only your thermometer. I am still looking for a church that does not pander to the young but loves the elderly too. Most I have attended have a band too loud , a praise team of about 4 people, and a choir that sits in those seats but do not really act as a choir. They chant something you see on a big screen and have forgotten about the beautiful hymns we used to sing to praise our lord.

    I guess what I want and am looking for is a church like I grew up in…. I just have not found that yet. Sammy, I have to agree with you, in that I am still searching for the kind of fellowship that builds you and reinforces what you believe. A church should be a gathering place of all peoples who are like minded in the service of the Lord, be you young or old, age is irrelevant except for the fact that older Christians should be looked up to by the younger, and older Christians should be setting an example and mentoring the younger Christian.

    Sometimes tho, the younger Christian is more mature than some elders but he shows respect, and Just as Jesus did as a young person teaching in the Temple by asking the elders questions that may lead to both or all learning. Yes I too would love to find a church that is balanced. A Church based in the community for the community. The focus of a church is to be what teenagers think? And the unchurched?

    If others want to come in and see what is happening, they should be welcome to observe and listen. And all generations should be welcome — both young AND old. But to focus on what teens like? Based on what? Sallie, I believe that is a great statement. If teenagers, who have their fingers on the pulse of the culture, feel welcome and engaged in a church service, the unchurched — those immersed in the culture — will as well. Yes, ALL generations should be welcome and we should be doing all we can to engage people of all ages, stages, ethnicities and cultures. But the teens are the gauge of how relevant our church is presenting the gospel to the culture.

    The gathering of the church is for the building up and edification of the Body of Christ. I thought the point of growing up was to be able to participate with the adults, not expect the adults to pander to the lowest common denominator. Where is the idea even remotely implied in the Scriptures that teenagers know what appeals to the lost who are enamored with the culture so that should guide our services?

    They are more astute than they often get credit for. Amen Sister!!!! In fact, it should never be about how relevant the church is to any segment of society. It is not about segmental presentations with slick marketing programs. You do not have to go home to be married either. But in both cases if you do not, you will have a very poor relationship. Kent Hughes. I hear you and relate. The sad part is that there is a pecking order in the church at all. A shame that some Pastors are the ones who have created the pecking order and are dividing the flock.

    God loves all people, and the church above all, should want and need all Christians. This is so true. My elderly parents and their friends all feel pushed aside in the church I grew up in. They even went to the consistory to ask where they now fit in. They were told basically they served their time and now it us the next generation who will step up. As a result many older members of this congregation left. As did their tithing. And guess which generation faithfully tithes. Now there is s financial burden in the church. The church needs to be a place for every generation. Hebrews 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

    If we stop attending church how will the church plan and carry out their missions of reaching the poor? You my friend are in danger. Dude…did you actually read the whole article and not just the title? The question is not should we meet and plan. It is if what is done nowadays is effective. While I agree with much that the article says, I wish that the title of the article was different. To many, it probably does not matter. To me, an English major and a pastor, it matters greatly. The way it comes across is negative and gives people ammunition for not attending church.

    I do not think this is the focus, or intent, of the article. Early church was held in homes. I live the small gatherings of believers. We host cowboy church at our boarding stable. Sometimes articles like this feel like institutional religion drival. Btw, I am a subscriber to your podcast, and I enjoy listening. One of the reasons we should attend church, the author never mentions, is that it is a basic pillar of the Christian faith, as it is a commandment to do so.

    Hebrews It is also where the Apostle Paul tells us to live out our faith with fear and trembling Philippians Church serves as a symbol of our relationship to God to those outside of the church. Article was not critical, just simply factual, items like, not being greeted at the door,,, and not being able to even find the right door , having to hunt for a bulletin, being pushed aside so people could reach over me to greet each other during the greeting time, and basically absolutely no one speaking to me.

    I listed several other specific events also, once again not critical , and also sent a copy to a local pastor who is was working on a book about greeting and bringing people into the church. I would love to send you a copy, and a copy of the response I got from one of the 5 churches.. I am 73 years old and am NOT going to go back and repeat any of my seminary work or my classes and other classwork at this age. I have offered to cover for this pastor if she needed to be away, do bible studies for her I previously did them for 2 churches and offered other services….

    She scheduled me to do a Bible Study, which after I had spent 3 weeks beginning preparation, she cancelled,,, I have not been allowed to preach any more, and my offer of doing Bible studies have been totally ignored.. I also have done special studies in Islamic studies, which were deeply appreciated by my previous pastor.. Would this be possible? I also feel people do not go to church for several other reasons , i. I have, in the meantime, got ordained yes on line , 15 years ago, and have set up my own ministry, ministering to motorcycle groups, campgrounds, and senior citizens and performing marriages when asked..

    Do not want this published, please. Put a note up somewhere and invite. Or personally invite 5 people. And maybe let them invite someone. Mixing is good. There is a whole lot of politics and red tape garbage in every area of life. Perhaps they just need to see you prove yourself. It might just be a whole new area for you to expand them to. Hey- meet in a parking lot with lawn chairs…. Thanks Karen, I have been thinking about doing exactly that, but health problems have set me back a bit for the past several months.. Have been looking for a small place to use, and for starters may just do it in my home.

    Thanks for the support. Ask yourself…. Are they singing along? With segregated worship, blended service here — contemporary service there — traditional service tonight, where is the intergenerational connection being fostered? Where can the mentoring Of young Saints and seekers like John with Timothy happen in a segmented, siloed church experience? Most important, like the gentleman with the long hair in his youth, do you welcome the broken and fallen? Do you preach the truth in love, and exhibit that to your fellow pew partners? Or like a bad high school drama, do you clump in your familiar cliques and let the unknown faces flow past you assuming the staff will make them feel welcome.

    That carries the article. Gone are the days of trying to entertain to draw a crowd. Gods Word never returns void. If we are sincere people who truly love God and love our neighbors, the unchurched will know us by our love. Great and provoking thoughts in the article. Thank you. One of the major reasons people are leaving the Church is because of Church hurt. That is why I left. Changing Church hurt is not going to be accomplished by simply reaching the unchurched and making your services more teenage friendly. Those are just more superficial changes such as changing from pews to chairs in the sanctuary.

    The reason I was hurt in the Church and left the Church was because there was no sacrificial love in the Church and sacrificial love must start with the leadership. As long as all you do is make superficial changes then the people will continue to leave. I came to Christ more through the music than the sermons at first. Everyone connects with music, and for me it told the promise of Christ in a way I could picture, with a tune that got stuck in my heart, and that was powerful. Soon after my rebirth I was recalled into the USCG I never attended just one church but many, being invited by other guys there.

    In I was transferred to Seattle WA. I felt I had to find a permanent home church, but where? Introducing me to the Pastor then the youth pastor and knew I was at home. Here I met my first wife, in we were transferred to St Louis MO and we found another church home. What kept us in the church was the truth was taught, worship services were deep into the heart of God, one just knew he was present everyday of our lives.

    My wife and I served in the Choir from the beginning once the newer younger group took over worship services it no longer felt like true worship we continued to attend eventually they removed the song books and Hymnals, so many of the great worship songs were no longer a part of the services more and more glitter and show than actual worship. I just quit going with enthusiasm. We eventually decided to not go for two reasons, the number one was financial, could not afford the gas to go back and forth.

    Maybe it was us but we no longer felt welcome. It has been well over a year since we left and only one couple reached out to us once. We are still looking for someplace to actually be a part of the service, but nothing close to us. SO we do our worshiping at home with good teaching and many different pastors. Our favorite is John Hagee. I still miss the old time worship songs that had great meaning in my life. Great article.