A Few Short Messages By Mr. J. K. McEwen

A Practical Word

There are four distinct things stated in the first Psalm as the result of meditating upon God’s Word, apart from the blessing which the individual enjoys who is found so doing. See verse 1. Let me enumerate them.

1. Like a tree planted by the rivers of water,

2. Bringeth forth fruit in his season,

3. His leaf shall not wither (always green),

4. Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Dear child of God, how is it with you? On every hand in the days we live in, we see, and hear of, those who once lived for God and were used of Him, being tripped up by the devil, “the lust of the flesh,” or the world. Backsliding both in heart and practice characterizes these last days; and beloved, what is the cause of it all? We verily believe the neglect of two things namely: closet prayer and reading and meditating upon God’s blessed Word. Reader, let me ask you tenderly and lovingly, as you hold this paper in your hand, have you had a quiet time alone with God this morning, reading and meditating upon His own precious Word— speaking to Him and He speaking to you? We do not mean, did you kneel down and go over a prayer, but have you seen the face of your Lord today and heard Him speaking to your heart? It may be you can sing “Oh, the pure delight of a single hour” but hold now, be honest with your soul, when did you spend an hour in His company?

How dishonoring it is to God and grieving to His Holy Spirit to sing about spending an hour with Him, when it is not true. Have we not all been guilty of spending too much time in company of one another, and too little time in the company of God? God in His Grace has made blessed provision for our every-day life while passing through the wilderness. We get it beautifully pictured in the history of Israel, passing on to Canaan. Morning by morning they gathered the manna, fresh down from heaven, and, no doubt, it took both trouble and time to gather it. Early in the morning, early in the morning, brethren, the Camp of Israel was astir. See them down on the ground gathering, every man with his omer filled; and this was all done before the sun was up.

How often it is the case, in these days, among the saints of God, that instead of being up in the morning early and getting alone with God, seeking to see His face and catch His voice, there is the lying in bed until the last possible moment and then a hurry to get away to work. No watching, no praying, no reading of the Word, no meditating, and, as a matter of course, no fruit borne, no greenness, no prosperity and when Satan comes along there is no power to resist his temptations. Oh, beloved children of God, let the time past of our lives suffice us to have wrought the will of the flesh, and in the future let us seek to walk in the blessed footsteps of Him, who rose a great while before day, so that He might have time to commune with His Father.

The days are getting darker and we feel it more difficult to get along every day we live. But He who has saved us and brought us so far is willing, yea, it is His delight, to feed us with the finest of the wheat and satisfy us with honey out of the rock. “He openeth His hand and satisfieth every living thing,” Psalm 145:16 and His word to us is, “open thy mouth wide and I will fill it.” Psalm 81:10.

May we then until the morning dawn remember His words, Matthew 26:41, “WATCH AND PRAY.”

J. K. McEwen

The Good Cheer of Psalm 3

This short Psalm of eight verses has again and again cheered our hearts while passing through trials, and our object in writing a few words upon it is to endeavour to cheer and help any weary traveller passing through the wilderness —“the place of trial.”

Sad to say, many of us have made our trials our places of mourning instead of our places of worship. There are many instances in God’s blessed word where we find His children making their trials places of worship. Abraham, in chapter 22 of Genesis, when called upon by God to offer up Isaac, says to the young men, “Abide ye here with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder and worship.”—(verse 5). Yes, on the very spot where he expected to thrust the blade into his only son Isaac, he made his trial his place of worship.

Again, Moses, in the Book of Numbers, is found five times falling on his face before God, even when the whole congregation spake of stoning him. What a lesson for those who take the lead in the assemblies of God. Paul and Silas, too, with bleeding backs and feet fast in the stocks, could make the jail at Phillipi ring with praises to God. They made their trial a place of worship, and that prison was a Bethel to their souls. What a lesson for us, beloved. Every child of God is called to pass through trial. (See John 17:23; Acts 14:22; Heb. 12:5, 11.) Let us, therefore, remember how God would have us act, whether it be in the assembly, in our homes, or in our business.

This Psalm might be divided into three parts:—In verses 1 and 2 we get trial, 3 to 6, trust; and 7 and 8, triumph. The first word of the Psalm is very instructive. Take it away from verse 1 and we get the language of many a child of God, but David had found the Lord previous to this, and when going into he could say Lord, while passing through it he could say Lord; and at the end of his trial he could say Lord. Six times he uses the word “Lord.” Let us not forget it; let us keep on saying “Lord” in the trial. Let us resort only to Him, and He will bring us out shouting victoriously, “Salvation is of the Lord.” An aged brother in Christ used often to say, “Help Lord, is a good prayer.”

Do we not feel family trials most severe. Sometimes we are called to suffer from those we love, and we say, “I could bear it from anyone else, but it comes so hard from my own friends.” Well, we get such a case before us in this Psalm. Absalom had been stealing away the hearts of Israel for years, and now his proud, ambitious spirit seeks to take the kingdom from his father. Absalom and Ahithophel, David’s counsellors, conspire to put him off the throne. What a trial to a father’s heart; but he resorts to the Lord, and though enemies increase, though many rise up against him, though many say of his soul “there is no help for him.”


Many years ago at a Conference in U.S.A., a ministering brother used a telling illustration when speaking on Romans 12:1, an illustration which I have never forgotten. The picture was that of a bullock standing between an altar and a plough, and underneath were the words, “Ready for either,” the application being that we should be ready for either service or sacrifice. The question which constantly faces christians is, “Are you ready?”

Some years after that conference I used the illustration in a meeting at the end of which a sister in the Lord came to me and said, “I am ready for either.” She went abroad with the gospel—to serve; and in twelve months she departed to be with Christ. She was ready for the altar, as well as for the plough. Are you?

David’s servants declared, “Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord, the king shall appoint” (2 Sam. 15:15), and a later warrior, the Apostle Paul, confessed in Rom. 1:18. “I am ready to preach the gospel.” As an old servant, well over the allotted span now, and nearing the end of the pilgrimage, let me appeal to my younger brethren, Are you ready to preach the gospel? An old Shetland woman in bed as she held me by the hand said, “Dinna be afeard to tell them baith sides o’ the gospel. Tell them of the glories of heaven. Tell them of the agonies of the lost.” We must declare the whole counsel of God.

The apostle, too, was ready for sacrifice. “I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand” (2 Tim. 4:6). That had been his attitude through his entire christian experience, making it easy for him to exercise self-sacrifice, as he did when he wrote to the Corinthians, whose treatment of him was anything but commendable, “The third time I am ready to come to you.” What overcoming grace! What noble spirit!

In the same way this great man was ready to suffer, saying, “What mean ye to weep and break my heart, for I am ready, not to be bound only, but also to die for the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 21:13). We cannot do better than follow his example, ready for service, for sacrifice, for suffering.

Original Bible Outline

His Fulness.

The Reavealer

Matt. 11:27

The Restgiver

Matt. 11:28

The Ransomer

Matt. 20:28

The Redeemer

Eph. 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18

The Reconciler

Col. 1:21; 2 Cor. 5:19

The Restorer

Psa. 23:6

The Rock

Exod. 17:6

The Renewer

Isa. 40:31

—John Knox McEwen

The Blood Of Christ.

Innocent Blood

Matt. 27:4

Precious Blood

1 Peter 1:19

Purchasing Blood

Acts 20:28

Redeeming Blood


Speaking Blood.

Heb. 12:24

Atoning Blood

Lev. 17:11

Cleansing Blood

1 John 1:7

Sanctifying Blood

Heb. 13:12

Justifying Blood

Rom. 5:9

By His Blood, moreover, we have access to God (Heb. 10:19), liberty (Rev. 1:5), and victory (Rev. 12:11).—John Knox McEwen

The following letters were written by Ada King (who later became Mrs. Silver Allen) to Miss Ada McPherson who later married Mr. George Simpson. Their depth of spirituality and devotion to Christ make them worthy of being published so that they may be shared by others and become a blessing in the lives of the readers.

Doherty Creek
May 15th, 1887

My dear Sister in a Risen Christ:

The grandest intelligence I have to communicate to you today is that Christ has died and is risen again for my justification. Yes, I have been made His by His own precious blood. Dear Ada, how we should praise His Name for discovering to us our state in His presence and leading us to gaze by faith on Calvary’s Cross. Yes—as the poet exclaims “There is life through a look at the Crucified One.” What a marvelous thing to be born of God—indwelt by the Holy Spirit.” Unto us who believe He is most precious. The dear unsaved know nothing of the precious-ness of Christ. No—No.—He is still the rejected Nazarene. Now we see as through a glass darkly, but soon—Ah, soon we will see Him face to face. Oh! may the brief time we are left here be spent to His Honour and Glory.

I was reading yesterday “Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body, which is His.” Yes, our filthy garments have been taken away and we have been clothed with the robes of righteousness. Ada dear, I hope you are enjoying much of His presence. You have His own word to go by and Oh, live for Him. He alone is worthy. We have no excuse for not living for Him. He has made every provisoin for us through the wilderness journey. He knows the different spheres in which we are placed and “His grace is sufficient for us at all times.” These words have spoken to me of late. “Ye must all appear before the Judgment Seat”—All will be revealed there what we have been doing for Jesus. Ours is a responsible position down here.

Well Ada dear, I am again located at Doherty Creek. I am feeling much better in body. My school is not very large at present. I am boarding at Mr. Stevens for a while. I expect to go to Mr. Eaton’s after a while. I do enjoy them so much. They are just a dear couple. We have nice meetings up there, but Oh Dear, we miss you so much. I wish you were here now! Mrs. Eaton wished me to write that poetry for you titled, “Lines written to a Brother on the love of Christ,” as she has only one printed leaflet. I thought it would be so much nicer if I could get you one printed. So I am going to try and will send it to you. Sister Maggie is teaching about 3 miles from Truro. I purpose going home tonight. I am always so pleased to get home.

Now dear Ada I must close this epistle for I am writing this at noon hour. Do write me as soon as you get this and all the news. I hope your dear sister with whom you are staying has Christ. We have not had any word from Bro. McEwen yet. Live live for Jesus dear. From your Sister in Christ.

Eph. 5-11 to 17

Ps. 27-1, 2.

Ada M. King

Doherty Creek
May 31, 1887

Dearest Ada:

Your sweet letter to hand on Tuesday 24th. I was so delighted to hear from you, and that you are enjoying His Presence. How grand to know that whom He loveth He loves unto the end. His is unchangeable love. His love is never chilled by our coldness. No—No.— Oh! What a Friend we have on whom we can rely with full confidence at all times. It gratifies His loving heart to lavish blessings on His members. We are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.

Dearest Ada, you have not the privilege of gathering with His dear redeemed ones, but you have the grand privilege of communicating with Our King Himself. We read in the Word, “They went and told Jesus.” You have this source to repair to—Yes at all times.

“Looking off unto Jesus my spirit is blest. In the world I have turmoil, in Him I have rest.” Oh the peace we have in Jesus, our Loving Saviour. Oh, what a comfort it is to my heart today, dearest sister, to know that my Father, who rideth upon the Heavens, is my helper and your helper. “The Eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Deut. 33, 26-27. Oh, what a blessed privilege to be permitted to make Him our refuge! And what a comfort to know that underneath are His everlasting arms to support us and bear us safely through. Yes, he has brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, and oh, we have many a battle to fight to take possession of our inheritance. If we desire to enjoy nearness of communion with Him, how often we feel there is a battle to be fought. So a dear Bro. remarked when contending with the foe, “The Devil cannot keep us outside the Veil, for the blood is carried inside there and the blood is our title to go right into the Presence of God.”

I was reading this morning in Mark 13, verses 36, 37 spoke to me, “Lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping.” Dearest Ada, surely this is the dark midnight hour, and Oh, we need to be on the watch tower. He says, “Ye are my Witnesses.” He is on yonder Throne for us. We need the work He is doing there, as much as the work He finished on Calvary. Of course, not in order to be saved. No—that was a settled matter when we were led by faith to gaze on Calvary’s Cross. What a dear loving Saviour we have.

I was up to Mr. Eaton’s Lord’s Day. We had just a grand meeting. There was an all day meeting at the Hall on the 24th. I did not get out to it. Mr. M. had a letter from Mr. McEwen. He arrived at Liverpool safely. He purposes (D.V.) returning in July. Do you intend going to New Bedford? I am sending you that poetry. It is just sublime!

Now dear Ada do write me soon again. I am writing this at noon, so I shall have to close for it is school time. How I should like to see you. I may be in the States this winter. I think I shall go for a visit. I know it would do me good. With fondest love I am your Sister in a Coming Saviour.

Mat. 6:25 to end

Ps. 18:30 to 35-also verse 46

Ada M. King

Doherty Creek
Sept. 20th, 1887

My dear Ada:

Your long expected letter came duly to hand on Saturday last. Thought that you had almost given me up as a correspondent. I was so pleased to hear from you and that you are getting on so nicely. In a very brief time we will be done with the things of Earth and wholly taken up with the things of eternity. Dearest Ada it was just two years yesterday since I was led to behold that precious Saviour paying my dept on Calvary’s Tree. Ah! that is a period in our lives that we will never be able to forget. It does rejoice my heart to muse upon it. Oh! what a precious Saviour we have on whom we can fully rely at all times.

I was home last Friday. Mrs. Eaton took me over to D. Kennedy’s. We had a nice prayer meeting here on Friday evening. Mr. McE. & Simpson were present. Oh what precious times we do have together waiting on our Father! We had a very nice meeting on Lord’s Day morning. We were looking at the different Scriptures bearing on Christ being in the “Midst”. John 19: 18—Jesus in the midst of two thieves. Mat. 18:20—Jesus in the midst of the twos and threes gathered in His name—Rev. 5:6— “Midst of the throne.” How grand!

In the afternoon we had a Bible reading from Exodus 15, 16 ch. What a vast difference between the beginning of ch. 15 and the end. They sang the song of redemption out of a full heart, no doubt, at the beginning, but ah! they soon began to murmur because of the bitter waters, but as soon as the tree was brought down into it, it was made sweet. Yes, dear Ada all of our difficulties and trials vanish away when we think of Calvary’s Tree. Did you ever notice about the Manna in ch. 16? Every individual had to gather it for himself every morning before the sun was up. This is what we need, to get the Manna first from God every morning. In verse 13—dew all about it. It never touched the earth—representing Christ never coming in contact with earth. Verse 14, It was “small”—showing the humanity and meekness of Christ, “round” showing the completeness of Christ. Verse 31, “white”—the purity of Christ, and “sweet” to the taste as honey. I am sure Christ is sweet to our taste. In this ch. we get John 6—Christ the Manna—but notice—God did not give them the Sabbath until they had eaten of the Manna. We did not enter into the Sabbath until we had partaken of the Manna (Our precious Christ). Then we ceased from our labours and rested on His -finished work for us.

How blessed dear Ada that we are clothed with the righteousness of God’s Son. Oh! that the dear people would drop their self righteous garments and come and be sheltered by Christ from the coming Storm. It is fast approaching. How blessed to be on the Solid Rock, that can never be moved. I do love the lines of that hymn—“His love to the utmost was tried. But firmly endured as a rock.” Yes—His love never wavered when God dealt with Him on account of our sins. Oh! should not this draw out our hearts to live for Him.

Now dear Ada I will have to close this dry scroll. Excuse this hastily written note. Now dear Ada write as soon as you get this. All the folks are real well here. The Saints appear to be happy. How do you like it there? Do tell me all about the place. Do you meet with Miss B. Gray? Do you think of coming home? I think I shall stop asking so many questions. See Ps. 19:7 in connection with Luke 22:32. Do please write at once dear. With much love.

Ada King

Port Philip
Jan. 8th, 1888

Dearest Ada:

I am going to ask you in the beginning to excuse my negligence in not answering your letter ere this. But I heard of your changing your situation, and I always, when writing to Louise, forgot to ask her for your address. So you will see I am trying to excuse myself all that I can.

Well Ada dear, how grand—the beginning of this another year to know that “We are in Him,” 1 John 6:20, and that “He is in us.” What a contrast to what we get in the same chapter of John, 19th verse, “The whole world lieth in wickedness.” or (R.V.) in the wicked one. How blessed to be clothed in the “best robe,” which is Christ, our Robe of Righteousness—which makes us fit citizens for the “New Jerusalem.” Glorious thought! Ada dear. We have had some very searching meetings here Xmas and the New Year. Maggie, Annie and I were up to Mary Ville for two days meetings. Then all the Saints from the different places gathered together at Port Howe New Year’s day. It was really a searching time in God’s presence. Mr. McEwen spoke in one of the meetings from 2 Chron. 29. You will see in the previous ch. how Ahaz, the wicked King, polluted the House of God by not obeying God. Then in ch. 29 they began to cleanse the House of the Lord. Just read the chapter and you will see how long it took Him to get the rubbish out, verse 17. It is just a picture of God’s house today, which are our bodies. How much filth and rubbish there is to be cleansed out in order to let Jesus reign wholly in our hearts. How often Jesus needs to take the scourge of small cords and cleanse the Temple. Then he spoke from the different Scriptures bearing on the word “Covetousnesss”—Mark 7:22, Romans 1:29, Eph. 5:3, 2 Peter 2:3, 1 Cor. 6:10. “Covetousness” here means—”Wishing for more than we have.” I can only say I am guilty, guilty. Then in 2 Timothy 3:2—1 Timothy 6:10 means the “Love of money.” How God warns us against this. O, may our one object be to please God. Time is so brief. Soon we shall all be gathered home and that for all Eternity.

I expect you heard of Johnnie Eaton getting his arm broken, but it is quite well again. I saw your dear Mother. I do like her so much. She knows Jesus. When do you expect to return again (D.V.) I do long to see you again. I am home for the winter. Miss Copp is home at present. We do hope to see her soon (D.V.). Now Ada I do want you to write me a long letter as soon as you get this and tell me how you are getting along, and how you like the place. I must now close for it is near dark and I purpose going to Pugwash. With much love from your Sister. Live for Jesus and look to Jesus.

Ada King

Port Philip
Sept. 7, 1888

My dear dear Ada:

Your long silence has almost led me to think that you have given up writing me altogether, but anyway I am going to try and pen you a few lines, this being noon hour. We have a faithful unchangeable friend in our Lord Jesus Christ; How precious! Well Ada dear some months have elapsed since you left N. Scotia and I have so often thought of how you were getting along—both spiritually and temporally. The Lord has done wonderful things for us who are redeemed. Saved with an “Everlasting Salvation,” and very soon we are going to enjoy the wonderous glories of Heaven. How it becomes us to spend the brief time here for Him. “We are not our own, we are bought with a price.” The blood of the Son of God.

We had special meetings at Port Howe on August 24 and 25th. The preachers we had with us were: Bro. Fraser from Phil., L. McEwen from England, Lennox and Simpson. The meetings were grand. They are godly men—speaking faithfully according to the Word. Mr. McEwen is very much like his brother. He knows very much of the Word. He thinks of going to Boston or Toronto, Canada. Mr. & Mrs. Eaton were down to the meetings. They seem happy in the Lord. There were about 50 of us who sat around the table of the Lord on the 25th. It was so nice dear Ada. I do long to see you. I hope you are enjoying very much of the sweet presence of the Lord. How easy it is for our minds to wander off of Him. This is Satan’s object to think of anything but Jesus. Oh, to be enjoying the practical part of Matthew 17:8.

Well Ada winter is approaching again. It will only be 7 weeks before my school closes. It is much on my mind to go to some part of the States for the winter, if the Lord so guide. I have had a strong desire to go for the last two or three winters, but seems I have never made it out. I believe a change of climate would do me so much good. Do you think there is anything I could get into in the town where you are? What kind of work would I be likely to get into? I would like for you to write me and tell me all about it, if it would not be too much trouble.

Sister Louise was home a few weeks this summer. She is again in New Bedford with Miss Grey. (That is in her store.) I was up to Mr. Eaton’s for a day in July. They have a nice little girl baby. The Scripture has spoken to me of late—”What is not of faith is sin.” Oh, how little faith I have in the Living God. May God search me in His Presence.

Now dear I must bring this scrawl to a close, as it is time for school to be taken in. Do write very soon. With very much love, your Sister in a loving Saviour.

Ada M. King

Port Philip

Jan. 20th, 1889
Lord’s Day afternoon

My darling Sister Ada:

Well may you ask—“Where art thou.” Well my dear, I hardly know how to begin to apologize to you for my long silence, but I assure you my dear it was not because I did not think of you, therefore, I will have to refer you to Eph. 4:32—especially last stanza. I was really so glad to hear from you. Mrs. Eaton told me that you were still living with your sister. I do hope Ada dear that you are feasting on the roast Lamb. Ah, Jesus—Calvary’s Lamb. The One who was slain, but is now the risen— glorified—exalted Lamb on the Throne of Glory. How grand to be hiding in Jesus. God has placed us in Him and taken possession of the key, so none is able to unlock the door. It is just the hungry—thirsty—soul sick—lost ones that are allowed to enter through that door. How good of God to discover to us individually—I am the ungodly one. It was then that we could drink in that precious truth—Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6. I have just been thinking how God has abundantly blessed us with all things, see Romans 8:32. Yes, he has given us everything with one exception—that is ourselves 1 Cor. 6:19 & 20. He took the worst gift and gave us the best. Think what a gift I am!—a rebellious, God-hating creature, with such a black heart—assenting with the rest of that mob, as they led Jesus away to Calvary, “Away with Him, Crucify Him.” What has not grace done for us.

Should not every moment of our lives be spent for Him? We, or rather I, do need to be kept ever in the dust, at the feet of the Lowly One: God alone knows the pride of my heart.

Well my dear, we had nice meetings at the opening of the D. Creek Hall. The Word was with Power. I expect Mrs. Eaton has written you all about it. Annie and I were up to the opening of the Hall at Bayside, N. B. Mr. McEwen told out the Gospel in the power of the Holy Ghost. The hall was crowded. The meetings were searching. Eternity alone will reveal the results. Mr. Simpson is preaching at Dalhousie, N. B. at the present. Some professed to be saved. Mr. McEwen is preaching at Oxford. The meetings are largely attended and good attention. May God save many souls! Pray for the meetings here. Did you get to the Boston or New Bedford meetings? Louise said they were searching. How I would love to have you with me today—talking face to face with you. Do you purpose coming to Nova Scotia next Summer (D.V.)? I gave up the idea of going to Mass. or other parts of U. S. Mother was so against me going, but if the Lord will, I may go next Autumn. I presume you know that Louise is with Miss Grey. I am not feeling very strong. I am not teaching this winter.

Now my dear, do write me very soon and forgive my negligence. I will try and do better in the future. Ann sends love to you. Are there many saved in the place you are? Give my love to your sister. I saw her at one of the meetings when in Nova Scotia. Is it hard to get a good situation there? Do write very soon again, my dear. Your Sister by the Precious Blood.

Ada M. King

Live for Jesus. He is worthy of all.
1 Peter 2:9