Super Member

From the beginning:

Salvation came to me in a prison cell in Stafford Prison on the Crescent Wing on the 10th May 1984. I was serving a 30 month custodial sentence for theft of goods under the 1968 Theft Act. On that morning of the 10th May I was brought up from the Block - punishment cells - having been taken before the prison Governor for conduct that was against prison regulations. I lost 60 days of my remission period and so effectively 60 days were added to the time I would have to serve to complete the sentence of the Court.

The previous evening at around 21:00 Hrs six prison officers burst into my cell which at that time was on the Main Wing of the prison and carried me down to the block. They had concluded an investigation into my conduct in the prison as a trusted inmate where I had been giving other inmates extra wages and fiddling the books which I was in charge of in the Pay Canteen. I was already in a single occupancy cell on the Main Wing. Yet my cell was twice the size of a normal cell and shaped rather differently as it was one of the cells that was built into the Main building for trusted inmates - they were known as Red Bands.

In that rather splendid cell I had books, tobacco, alcohol, drugs, art equipment, divination tools and a host of other things so my life was in fact extremely comfortable and pleasing to my flesh. I worked in the Prison Pay Canteen and my job was to process the inmates who were coming into the prison from Remand Prisons across the region. They always came with a Pay Slip and that slip contained the amount of money they had in their prison account. So when they came I selected all the men I knew from within the prison system and destroyed their slips wrote new ones and increased their savings by as much as 100%. For which I took a 50% cut.

It was on one of these Remand Prison intakes that a man by the name of Stephen suddenly appeared in my office and at first I though that I was in for another 50% cut because I knew him and so knew that I could trust him. But as my eyes settled on him a thought suddenly came into my mind that somehow he was different. And he being the great brute that he was came and sat down right next to me and said quietly "I have become a Christian." I wasn't going to argue with him and so I processed his Pay Slip penny for penny accurately. Then he left. It was three days later that the Prison Guards burst into my cell.

When I was carried down the Block - punishment cells - I was so enraged that I began to manifest demonically and by the time we got to the block the guards were shaking and almost seemed to be powerless. I should say that at this time I was already a committed occultist and my cell contained a 200 page occult theosophical framework I was writing in order to establish an occult order when I left prison. As they tried to close the cell door they found that they could not do it and I demanded that they went and brought me some paper and a pen. On that agreement the door was shut and a few minutes later the shaken guard brought the paper and the pen. I then sat down and began to write. All I can remember of what I wrote consist of no more than one line.

"They do not comprehend that the greatest power is hate and not love.”

So the next morning I went before the Governor and had the 60 days added to my sentence. I lost everything from my Main Wing cell and all I had to take with me to my new isolation cell was my bedding and my occult theosophy. It was 09:30 Hrs on the 10th May 1984 when I was taken to the Crescent Wing which at the time was a filthy and vile Victorian prison block built by mad men who imagined that austerity was a benefit. As I arrived on the wing the other inmates on that landing were slopping out (an amusing term to describe emptying ones potty), and as I turned to look across the landing in the very opposite cell door way was Stephen who had so sweetly told me that he was now a Christian just a few days previously in the Pay Canteen. So I shot across whilst I had the chance and asked if he had any books.

When I entered his cell it was free of all pornography on the walls and I joked that it looked like a monks cell in an Abbey. He gave me a book by Rita Nightingale called Freed for Life. I looked at him in disbelief and asked him somewhat carefully if he was jesting. He just loved me right back and so I took this book that is a testimony of a sister who was saved in prison some years earlier across to my new solitary dwelling and the Prison Officer closed the door. By this time it was 10:00 Hrs. By 12:30 Hrs when the cell door was opened for me to go and collect my food to return to my cell and eat it I was completely changed and my occult theosophy was in the bin.

I had gone and laid on my bed to begin reading this book Stephen had given me and before I was more than a few pages into it my cell was filled with the presence of the Father and I threw the book over my face and cried out "Forgive me Father, I did not know that you were real". I was not only shattered by the presence of the Father in my cell filling the room and filling me also, but I was deeply grieved that I had sung His praises as a choir boy when I was seven and had been held in His hands as a child and had not realised His great love and His mercy also. In the interim years not only did I forget what I had known as a child, but I forgot God Himself and so came to a place that His presence seemed as though it were the first time I had known Him. I wrote a prayer to commemorate this recollection as a seven year old boy sitting in a theatre with my class mates from the same Religious School and knowing then that despite the insanity of my troubled childhood the Father knew me and He had His hand on my life.

The prayer was this:

O Lord my God when I first knew of you Lord in the recess of my heart, I was yet a child. Though I could not understand the magnitude of your throne and the breadth of your canopies, I knew that you were true God. In my childish manner I was received into your courts, and as a child I believed that all my friends were good. So as I looked at them in the quiet place of needing to understand why Christ died, I saw that none were weeping Lord. In my consternation I asked myself why? Yet I cannot say O Lord that they despised you or that they did not have their thoughts and neither can I say that they did not have their burdens and their pains also. In that instant Lord, I knew only that you were my Lord and that you had given your life on the cross. And I knew that I wept and my friends were dry. Selah

Now O Lord these many years later I come before you a child, no longer innocent of offending your glory and no longer innocent of the breadth and depth of your great love with which you have loved all men. It is as though I am ruined, Lord. It is as if I have thrown all your tables down and scattered your plates. Hear my cry O Lord. Restore unto me O Lord the joy of your salvation and renew a right spirit within me. Forgive me, Father, that I no longer look through eyes that are sanctified by tears, which when as a child I knew in my childish innocence. Forgive me O Lord that now through the trials of life by which I have come to know that though my friends were dry, their pain was real and their consternation was no less than my own. You knew them all O Lord and yet you gave me tears. Selah

Forgive me Father, that I have walked only in the remembrance of my childish tears seeing that Christ died, and grant me the burden to remember that it was my sins that brought your Son to the cross. Cause me to know Father, that the remembrance of my innocence when I wept of your Son, and my childish tears will not now deliver my wretched friends for who's sake He also died. Forgive me, Father, that I have taken confidence in childish tears which by now are a ruined house, and ought to have come into your dominion wherein it is no longer possible to see only my pain and my grief in life, but must now also see the great love with which you have loved all men through your beloved Son. Forgive me Lord my God, that I have thrown down your tables and scattered your plates so that my friends who were dry when I wept, are now scattered also. Have mercy O Lord, and gather them into your fold. Amen

Robert Chisholm
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Super Member
I looked and saw the Potter’s clay.
Conceived in all its worth and purpose.

To comprehend such fine intent, was made.
Behold in all that beauty measured true,
The Workman did with skill to labour all.

Its lovely hues and colours set to good.

The outer garment bright, its form well hewn.
Its detail all mosaic laid and true it was

Then chanced to test its purpose known.

And in an instant hope was need and waste.

True purpose dashed, its beauty gone aside.
Such form by sin did break it all and loss.

Until that day would come when promised seed,
Being lifted up and pierced did bear the cost.
That in this earthen vessel, now death and ruin,

Receive that treasure which was priceless made.
Not now outward can its worth be known.

Nor eye can yet behold its beauty more.
is inward set, a mighty gift, eternal treasure.
The gift of life His very own is given now.

Where look you ought save to His purpose made?
Where look to see His present labour on?
Where look you now to flesh refused for hope

A broken vessel yet, the proof is set within.
The sweet aroma rises in hopes new song.

Robert Chisholm
2013 England


Super Member
So much a perfect work restrains this carnal flesh,
Imprisons all, though inward shines.
If not the garment torn by willing cross to bear,
If all its purpose pressed conceive no blessing.
The end to dust return, our wait as sons of God.
In Christ, a child by faith cries, ‘Abba Father’
Awake! And fruitful make the time, a wait no more.
This barren form conceived by purpose known.
The summer heat, its flower scorched and lost.
Treasure now present, cry out, cry hope!
Let all the parts to cleave, if parts to form.
Once again corruption set aside, eternal vessel.
A faithful wait! The kingdom of our Lord.

Robert Chisholm
2013 England


Super Member
If Pilgrim walked a thousand leagues, o’er coals and shards of broken pain.
If once to look the narrow way, with questioned hope and self restraint.
If right and left were set before, and straight the way made good and clear.
With ever thoughts of ease did labour on, refusing all the Cross to bear.
What profit in these things would find, a man with no distain for fleshy life?

What purpose in these things would show, if comprehending nought but certain woes?
To wink sweet vanity and self repose, discomfort all and looks of being shamed,
Take nothing more than foolish gain, and in it all be found alone?
To press with joy the narrow way, makes nothing sure its course ne’er run.
Nor left nor right but straight and true, will of itself accomplish none.

Except ye first conceive to know, what lies ahead this way to go,
And by such choosing grasp this truth, that Christ Himself bore man’s reproof.
To look ahead in purpose straight, a profit for our Lord to reap.
It will be found in certain measure, the fool has run himself to gain.
But gain for self and none for Christ, is gain not all but gain for one.

Though gain had been as He did gain, would gain for all and gain indeed.
Ahead the road is made “The Cross” and so The Cross is sought for hope.
Faith and Truth that in His body won, the cost of life was borne in full.
And there is set another measure, the scales of which weigh works and deeds.
Now will that man take more concern, to labour well by Christ indeed.

Walk on walk on a thousand leagues, we labour now no more concerned.
With worthless purpose vain conceit, with faithless thoughts and foolish faith.
Cast down to furrowed ground made good, where seed will die and broken, grow.
Thirty, sixty and an hundred fold, thy portion Lord thy harvest knows.

And when by faith at journey on, obedience still remains and hopes.
Ne’er left nor right but straight and true, the fullness of thy servant makes.
To look and then to comprehend, great weights and scales are set before.
In one last cry in Hope secure. to throw ourselves upon thy rest.
For though we walk ten thousand leagues, or bear The Cross as set before.

It is The Cross behind us now, that Christ our Lord and Saviour bore.
What count we now our little done, if done in strength and of our own?
If not His strength but ours we labour, we would have laboured not at all.
Tis all His gain tis all His good. Ours the chaff before the wind.
Would better yet to labour not, than labour false ne’er true to Him.

When harvest comes and wheat and tares, are by His word made clear,
We find that tares are we and sure. what wail and cry, what gnash of teeth.
But grief by Christ will not in measure, of just one soul by foolish labour.
It will by many as the sand, which would not go that narrow way.

Consider Christ and all His efforts, consider Christ His labours done.
Consider God His purpose known, to bring us all to Christ His Son.
With selfish thoughts and ease we see the loss which faithless labour proves.
Consider Christ in Truth and Hope, gave His life that we might choose.
And having chosen Christ and all. let Christ and all be to our choice.
Made certain by our choosing Him. The narrow way of Christ at last.

Robert Chisholm
2013 England


Super Member
Before this cause did once besought my youth,
Undoubted measure in measure full conceived.
Betided truth of nothing left for gain or hope,
Complete the fall which fall did make to press.

Rise up my chosen child of hope rise up
Rise up, and in thy supplication flee to Christ.
If now to rise on wings of faith in Him.
In hope to fly on eagle’s wings.

Hail grief bespoken pressed and sorrow known.
In fixtures made of certain hope and purpose.
In shadows long and darkness passed away.
The mountains of thy hidden cart and all thy bed.
Thy valleys formed, thy seams thy sockets made.
Thy gaze that once did worship cause to draw.
In all thy labours pressed and tore His service due.

Hail Christ and all His works have crushed thy head
Laid bear now you dread fame, laid bear your fables.
Cast down capricious naive your crown of shame
Your kingdom set by fire within, consumed and lost.
This gain in Christ is full and all complete in Him.

Thy loss is gain beneath His feet, and gain for Christ.
Thy works undone, His light made light of life.
His light shines on and Truth is ample made.
The fruit of faith, eternal hope and hopes new song.

Rise up my chosen child of hope rise up.
Rise up and in thy supplication flee to Christ.
At last to fly and rise on wings of faith in Him.
By faith to fly on eagle’s wings.

Robert Chisholm
2013 England


Super Member
It is a simple thing to press ones words into prose and in doing so to give others a basis for believing that we are a fine man. It is civility that we seek because civility gives us a way of escape. Neither can we escape if we are servants of the Lord. Yet we imagine that we can run away and seeing that we are bounded by the flesh it is worship that we press and worship does indeed give us release. Then we are once again in the flesh and once again civility demands our favour. We are driven by it and by it we are endlessly tossed on the anger of others and so we become vulnerable to words and by words we become vulnerable to the accuser of the brethren. Then seeing that he comes as an angel of light we flee from his words and stumbling always. Now we fall into despair and cry out to God. Yet God remains silent and so we find our own words and by our own words we embrace civility and once again embrace mere flesh.