It was on this day in 1857 that the Rev. Ebenezer Platt Rogers [1817-1881] delivered an historical discourse regarding the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Albany, New York, on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 1857. But if like me you are still suffering from too much turkey and pecan pie, perhaps it will be best to skip over the heavier substance of the message from Rev. Rogers and simply to focus on his opening words. I pray you will find these words thought-provoking and something to take to heart.
We begin with the text chosen for his discourse.
Walk about Zion, and go round about her; tell the towers
thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that
ye may tell it to the generation following.—Psalm xlviii: 12, 13.
“Thus does the pious psalmist exhort us to note with zealous care, the history and character of the Church of God. To trace out that history, to record her progress, to take note of God’s dealings with her from time to time, and testify to her advancement and triumph, is a grateful task, and a solemn duty. Especially when that history runs over the track of centuries, should this duty be discharged. For as the river widens its channel, and bears richer freight on its bosom, as it flows farther and faster from its source, so as we follow the history of the Church down the stream of time, we find it richer in interest, and more deeply laden with the treasures of the Divine presence and blessing.
“And what is true of the church at large, is no less true of individual churches and congregations. We regard it as the solemn duty of every church to keep a faithful record of its history, and to afford the opportunity to succeeding generations to know something of its origin, its progress, its vicissitudes, its foes, its struggles and its triumphs. The ancient Jews were required “to instruct their children that they might convey throughout all generations the history of those Divine interpositions and mercies with which they had been favored.” And the obligation is no less binding upon Christian churches, thus to keep in perpetual remembrance the dealings of God with them for the information and encouragement of succeeding generations.”
Words to Live By:
Time and again throughout the Scriptures, perhaps most notably in the Psalms, we are instructed to remember the Lord’s works. By God’s design, it is a means by which we can keep our hearts fresh before the Lord and our love for Him fueled anew.
Praise ye the Lord. I will praise the Lord with my whole heart,
in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.
The works of the Lord are great,
sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.
His work is honourable and glorious:
and his righteousness endureth for ever.
He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered:
the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.
—Psalm 111:1-4, KJV (emphasis added)