Langholm Old Church Parish Magazine

N0.42                      Price 1/- with LIFE AND HOME - 6d LOCAL MAGAZINE ONLY                       JUNE, 1964.

Minister: Revd. TOM CALVERT, The Old Manse, Langholm. Tel. 256.

Session Clerk: Mr. JOHN TYMAN, National Bank Buildings. Tel. 223

Clerk to Conregational Board: Mr. E. C. ARMSTRONG, Town Hall, Langholm , Tel. 255

Treasurer: Mr. R. A. BLACK, 35 Eskdaill Street.

Organist: Mr. A. C. MALLINSON, A.R.C.O., L.R.A.M., 72 Henry Street.

Church Officer: Mr. ARCHIE SMITH, 7 Holmwood Crescent.

Hall Caretaker: Mr Donaldson, 7 West Street.

Text for June: "And behold the half was not told me. 1 Kings 10, 7.


Dear Fellow-Member,

Our text for June takes us out to Southern Arabia, that area of the Middle East where our soldiers (including the 1st Battalion K.O.S.B.) are today engaged in violent struggle with rebel forces. For these words of our text were spoken by the Queen of Sheba—and the realm of Sheba was what we today call Southern Arabia.

It was away back in the 7th century before Christ when the Queen of Sheba paid a state visit to King Solomon. According to the Old Testament historian the purpose of the visit was academic and cultural, she came to prove him with hard questions. But there was, no doubt, much more to it than purely philosophical questions. When the ruler of a powerful state makes a long journey by camel caravan over desert wastes, bringing costly gifts of gold and spices and precious stones, the object of the visit is rarely to make a parade of scholarship, but more likely to be economic and political. So we may safely assume that in the conversations that took place between the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, the question of more trade between the two countries was touched upon, and earnest consideration given to the politics of the Middle East, which would be just as tricky in ancient days as they are today.

In a communique issued at the end of the talks the Queen of Sheba made acknowledgement of what she had seen and found in the Court of Solomon. It had exceeded all her expectations in magnificence and splendour. Some of her own people had warned her in advance to expect tremendous luxury in Solomon's Court, but she had not believed all she had been told. Now she says that it was all true, and that indeed the truth was far more wonderful than what she had been told. These are her exact words: "It was a true report that I heard in my own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. Howbeit I believe not the words until I came, and mine eyes have seen it, and behold the half was not told me."

One of the old Sankey hymns has taken this story as an illustration of the wonders of God's grace offered to us in Jesus Christ—that not half has ever been told of all He has done and offers to do for us.

"Not half has ever been told, not half has ever been told, Not half of that wonderful story, to mortals has ever been told."

First of all in regard to the Christian experience of trusting in God according to the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We read in the Gospels of what Jesus did for men and women who came to him—how He healed the sick, cleansed the leper, restored the sight of the blind and hearing to the deaf. But the Gospels do not tell us all He did—for as St. John says in the last sentence of his Gospel—"many other things Jesus did, which if they were written, the whole world would not contain all the books that would be written."

In the Acts of the Apostles we read of all Jesus did in His risen power. How he captured Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus and changed him from Saul the persecutor into Paul the missionary. And of how through faith in the living presence of Jesus men and women were uplifted and empowered and filled with a new sense of confidence and joy, so that "men took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus". And down through Christian history we have teeming numbers of incidents of men being upheld and renewed by the power of God's grace. And the story has never been fully told, it goes on today in every land where Christ's name is known and reverenced. A well known London Congregational minister, Dr. Stanley Howard, conducted a series of broadcast services in 1955 on putting God's great power in Jesus Christ to the test. In the final address he invited listeners to write to him about their experiences, and during the next week he received 79 letters, all telling of how faith in Jesus had helped men and women to face up to hardship, temptation and sorrow. And he obtained permission from the writers of these letters to publish some of the most interesting of them. Here are two or three examples. A woman in Stepney tells of how she had lost three sons in their twenties with T.B. and saying that but for her faith she would have gone mad. Another from an ex-soldier of the Indian Army, now a metropolitan policeman, telling how through the grace of Christ he had been enabled to conquer fierce temptations. Another from a woman in Chester-le-Street, for whom one trouble has followed another, and about whom friends said, "However does she keep her faith?"—to which she replied, "You have got it all wrong, I don't keep my faith, my faith keeps me."

And so the endless story goes on—if all was written the whole world would not contain all the books that would be written—of how God's grace is available to all who trust Him, and how the living Christ is present with us today and seeking to live in us and through us. Not half has ever been told of all He has done, is doing, and is seeking to do for us.

Apply our text to the experience of earnest praying men and women.

Jesus taught His disciples to pray, because He knew that we are powerless and without a guiding hand when we neglect our prayer life. What God can do for and through a praying man or woman is more than any words can tell. Not half has ever been told of what answers God has given to earnest prayer. There is no limit to what God can do when we pray. As Paul says, "He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think". What wonderful help we can give our friends if we bring them before God's throne of grace in pleading prayer. We read of Augustine in the fourth century being turned from an evil life to become the pillar and guiding light of the Church, all through his mother's prayers. As the saintly Bishop Ambrose said to Monica his mother, "it was impossible that the child of such tears and prayers should perish." In 1955 there was a meeting in Glasgow of journalists who were interested in the Christian faith. The meeting was the outcome of what was called, "the All Scotland Crusade". There was an American journalist present, who was over in this country to cover the Dr. Billy Graham Crusade. He was a famous American journalist, the extent of his fame can be understood from the fact that his material is syndicated to 268 American newspapers. This is the story he told. "Four years previous I had reached the stage of being a chronic alcoholic, had wrecked my home, lost my job and ruined my life. Through a certain evangelist I met with the living Christ, With the evangelist I prayed for God to help me. I got down on my knees one man and got up another." Of course for others prayer has meant support in some great work they were seeking to do in God's name. Dr. Thomas Barnardo, George Muller of Bristol, and William Quarrier of Bridge of Weir, all found answer to prayer the main support of the Homes they organised for homeless children, and they were never long in waiting for an answer, answers which came in the most unexpected and wonderful ways. Read their stories and they will sound as incredible as the stories the glories of Solomon's Court sounded to the Queen of Sheba until she had seen them with her own eyes. A few months ago Mr. Hugh Redwood, the well-known Fleet Street journalist and author of many religious books, passed away in his eighties. His story is well known, how in middle life he was converted to become a follower of the Lord Jesus as the result of listening, to begin with unwillingly, to a broadcast sermon. Since then he has shared in Christian work with the Salvation Army. He was a great man and fine Christian, whom I got to know personally during the war years. In 1956 Hugh Redwood was very ill and was told by his doctors that unless he underwent an operation for cancer he would not be living at Christmas. This was in Awn! st when he was asked to consent to a major operation, and after much prayer and consideration he declined, The diagnosis of his condition was confirmed in hospital by X-ray photographs and an exploratory operation. The cancer was growing rapidly and it was urged that the major operation be performed within a week. Hugh Redwood decided to decline the operation and leave the issue to God, after much prayer and consideration. He felt that since he had become a Christian after wasting many years of his life he still had work to do and that if God willed he would live on for more years of service. His own family doctor was a man of prayer and after the decision took him home and gave him remedial treatment. His doctor even prayed with and for his patient. By the time Christmas came he was carrying out a far heavier programme than he had for years and living a busy, active life. So he did not die as the surgeon has foretold but lived to serve God for another seven years. He died in December 1963 from broncho-pneumonia and peritonitis. And here is an interesting thing. In view of the cancer diagnosis in 1956 his wife asked for a post mortem. And this was the declared result: "There is no cancer in the body. They have found no trace in any of the organs." Now you can try to account for this as you like and ask all kinds of pertinent questions like "why does God heal some and not others who have prayed with equal earnestness"? But the facts seem to be that somehow or other and for some mysterious reason best known to God He answered Hugh Redwood's prayers—and the findings of men of medical science were rendered of no account. I have seen a lot of wonderful answers to prayer in my own life, every bit as wonderful as that of Hugh Redwood—and I tell you, my friends, that not half has ever been told of what God can do for you when you get into grips with Him in spoken or unspoken prayer. For as Tennyson has said: "More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of."

Apply our text to the value of a humble Christian life and its influence over others.

The thing that impresses me more and more the longer I live is the value of the influence of people of a Christian way of living upon others. I have read of a soldier who had been severely wounded in the Western Desert in the last war. The padre asked him if there was anything he could do for him and the dying lad whispered, "Yes, please write to my mother and tell her I was thinking of her, and to my Sunday School teacher and tell him I have never forgotten what he taught me." The padre wrote the two letters. Some time after he received two letters of reply. One was a letter of thanks from a brokenhearted mother. The other from the Sunday School teacher, which read: "God forgive me, I gave up Sunday School teaching last year as I felt I was just wasting my time." The man had thought his work in the Sunday School was doing no good and yet, all unknown to him, his influence was helping lads now away in the army to live better and happier lives. Not half has ever been told of the good people do by quiet Christian living. The present Lord High Commissioner of the Church of Scotland, General Sir Richard O'Connor, was one of the bravest soldiers of the last war. The story of his escape as a prisoner of war makes thrilling reading. At the beginning of the last war he was a Major General, Commanding the Garrison of Jerusalem, and every Sunday he used to attend the morning service in St. Andrew's Church of Scotland and read the lessons. The Revd. Dr. Norman McLean, Moderator of the Assembly, visited Jerusalem and hearing of the General's regular attendance at the church remarked to him what a fine influence he was over the men. Sir Richard replied that his habit of attending church and striving to live the Christian life dated back to his boyhood when he used to go with his parents each year for a holiday in the Western Highlands of Scotland. He said that in those days everybody went to church and that the simple, sincere services had left a mark upon him. Have you ever thought of the influence you are having over many people unknown to you—often young people—by your habits of attending church on Sundays? There are people watching us and taking their cue for living from what they see us do. And not half has ever been told of the length our influence goes with others for good or evil.

And finally, think of our text in reference to the realm beyond this present life. Not half has ever been told of the wonders of the life that awaits God's children when your earthly days are finished.

We are not told much in the Bible about the realm beyond except that it is a place called heaven. Jesus speaks about it as "My Father's house", and He said, "In My Father's house are many abiding places, I go to prepare a place for you." St. John in the Book of Revelation calls it "The New Jerusalem" and says it is a city with a garden. One of our hymns says "I know not, O I know not, what social joys are there. O sweet and blessed country, the home of God's elect, O sweet and blessed country, that eager hearts expect." Our hymns try in the language of earth to picture what the New Jerusalem will be like, but one thing we can be sure about is that it will be a grander life than ever anyone has dreamed or imagined, a place where we will be far more alive than we are now. St. Paul hints that half has never been told of the spaciousness and wonder of the realm that awaits us when our earthly journey is finished. He says :"Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither hath it entered the heart of man the things that God hath prepared for them that love Him."


At a recent meeting of the Kirk Session it was resolved to discontinue the Evening Services during the Summer months, that is for June, July and August. The chief reason for this decision is not the small attendance at Evening Service but to give people the opportunity of getting away on Sunday afternoons during the Summer without feeling that they are failing in their duty in Church attendance.

The Sunday School annual Flower Service and Prize-Giving will take place on Sunday, 21st June, at the 11 o'clock Morning Service. Children are asked to bring flowers which will later be taken to hospital and to the sick and aged. The whole service will be led by the children in special readings and singing of seasonable hymns. This Service will mark the close of the present session of the Sunday School.

The Sunday School Outing takes place on Saturday, 20th June, to Gatehouse and Mossyard. The coaches will leave Langholm at 9 a.m. from David Street. The children will be well looked after by the Sunday School staff and will have a very lovely, sandy bay for games at Mossyard. This is the safest sea-shore you can find and well sheltered and warm even on a dull day. We have secured Gatehouse Town Hall for our use in the event of a wet day.


The Guild Outing is also on 20th June to Kirkcudbright and Dairy, Galloway. The coach leaves Langholm at 12.30 p.m. and the charge, including high tea at the Mayfield Hotel, Kirkcudbright, is 17/-. Those wishing. to go should get in touch with Mrs. Wood, Guild Secretary, at the National Commercial Bank.

At a recent meeting of the Guild Committee an interesting programme of fortnightly meetings was planned for next session. The Committee approved the payment of the balance outstanding on the Church Hall ceiling. The total cost of the work was £189 16s, and already the Guild had paid £120 and it was hoped that other organisations might have raised the balance. With the problem of raising a donation towards heating and running the Hall the other organisations have been unable to contribute to the ceiling costs. We are very grateful to the Women's Guild in relieving the Church Treasurer's anxiety by giving the additional £69 16s, which means that the lowered ceiling has been given entirely by the Guild. In addition to this the given Guild contributes annually over £200 towards our allocation to the Co-Ordinated Scheme of £421, the sum we are due to pay to the Church of Scotland this year in support of the various schemes like Horne and Foreign Missions, etc.


During the past few weeks, particularly the past week, we have been saddened by the sudden passing of members of the Old Parish who were highly esteemed in the community. Early in the month of May Mr. Arthur Tolson, Border Esk Garage, passed away at the wonderful age of 83. He had lived some 30 years in Langholm and was a grand character. Our deep sympathy with his widow and family. Mr. William Haining, who passed away in his 81st year, was a member of Ewes but latterly lived with his daughter, Mrs. Walker, at Hallcrofts. I was glad of the opportunity of taking him private Communion a few weeks before he passed away. He was very happy living with his daughter and very active in mind up to the last. The sudden passing of Mr. Charles Young, 61 Caroline Street, at the age of 50 brought sorrow to us all. He had not enjoyed good health for some time. Charles had a good record in the army, serving as a sergeant in the R.A.O.C. in West Africa and later on the War Office staff in London during the terrible days of air raids. He was very highly thought of in our community and this was evident by the large attendance at the funeral. Our sincere sympathy with his wife in her sudden bereavement. Mr. Christopher Bell, 24 Holmwood Drive, passed away at the age of 58 without any warning of ill-health. He was also highly thought of by his many friends in Langholm. He was a man of quiet, kindly ways who always had a good word for everyone. His widow was very recently bereaved of her mother, Mrs. Harkness. We extend to her sincere sympathy. And to the great surprise and sorrow of us all, Mr. John Fenton, M.A., English Master and Deputy Rector of Langholm Academy, passed away very suddenly at the age of 37. His value as a teacher, his wide and varied interests in the life of our community, and the leadership he was giving as chairman of the Youth Club Committee, makes his loss very great indeed. Our tenderest sympathy with his widow and the three boys in the terrible loss and sorrow that has fallen upon them.

As this magazine goes to print we are all feeling very anxious for Dick Elliot of Maxwell Place, who is in hospital in Newcastle. We join with his wife Ann and relatives in praying and hoping for news of his recovery.

With greetings to all our people.

Yours sincerely,

TOM CALVERT, Minister.


Collections for May 64

F.W.O. £86 19 3 Ordinary £46 9 9

By Deed of Covenant £27 10 0

By Annual Envelope £8 4 0

By Collecting Box £0 13 0


No Evening Services in June and July.

June 14—11 a m—Revd. Tom Calvert,

Flowers: Mrs. D. Hendrie, Cleuchfoot.

June 21—11 a.rn.—Revd. Tom Calvert.

Annual Flower Service and Prize-Giving.

Flowers: Mrs. J. Pattie, The Schoolhouse.

June 28—11 a.m.—Revd Tom Calvert.

Flowers: Mrs. L. Ewart, Parliament Square.

July 5—11 a.m.—Revd. Tom Calvert

Flowers: Mrs. Jean Goodfellow, 8 Buccleuch Terrace.


The Annual Display of the Boys' Brigade took place in Buccleuch Hall on Friday, 1st May, being the sixth annual inspection of the 1st Langholm Company, The Inspecting Officer was Superintendent Stenhouse of the Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary. A most interesting programme of drill, physical training, Indian clubs, tumbling, pyramids and vaulting was given. The Inspecting Officer spoke highly in praise of the youth of today and praised the work of the Boys' Brigade. Captain Robcrtson said that that night the highest honour the Boys' Brigade could confer was being awarded to a member of the Langholm Company, and amid great applause he called upon Sergeant Gavin Graham to receive the Queen's Badge from Mrs. Dinwoodie. Captain Robertson said the Company had had a good year and the strength stood at 40 members. A Life Boys Team had been formed, he said, and was meeting on Friday evenings in the Congregational Church Hall under the leadership of Miss Ruby Norman assisted by Mrs. Maxwell and Miss Wylie.

Congratulations to Private Philip Harkness on winning first prize in the annual Post Card Competition organised by the Border Division of the Boys' Brigade. The prize was for the best essay written on one side of a post card on the subject The Boys' Brigaed and The Church.


May 9—Funeral of Mr. Arthur Tolson, Border Esk. Aged 83.

June 1—Funeral of Mr. Charles Young, 61 Caroline Street. Aged 50.

June 3—Funeral of Mr. Christopher Bell, 24 Holmwood Drive. Aged 58.

June 5—Funeral of Mr. John Fenton, M.A., 36 Holmwood Drive. Aged 37.

"I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord. He that believeth in Me, though he were dead yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die."—John ll, 25/26.

Printed at Advertiser Office, Langholm.