STEVE SCHLISSEL Versus REFORMATION WORSHIP
(Or biblical, historic, Puritan and Reformed worship and the regulative principle of worship [RPW] defended from Scripture and history.)

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Reformation worship issues (including the regulative principle of worship) are thoroughly covered in many classic Reformation books on Reformation Bookshelf CD 19.


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Reformation worship issues (including the regulative principle of worship) are thoroughly covered in many classic Reformation books on Reformation Bookshelf CD 19.

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Reformation worship issues (including the regulative principle of worship) are thoroughly covered in many classic Reformation books on Reformation Bookshelf CD 19.


STEVE SCHLISSEL Versus REFORMATION WORSHIP

A SHORT NOTE ON THE MODERN ATTACK ON REFORMATION FOUNDATIONS; OR, THE STRANGE FIRE OF OUR CONTEMPORARY SUB-CALVINIST NADABS AND ABIHUS REBUKED

"If it be inquired, then, by what things chiefly the Christian religion has a standing existence among us and maintains its truth, it will be found that the following two not only occupy the principal place, but comprehend under them all the other parts, and consequently the whole substance of Christianity, viz. a knowledge, first, of the mode in which God is duly worshipped; and, secondly, of the source from which salvation is to be obtained." (John Calvin, The Necessity of Reforming the Church, 1544, free at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/NRC_ch00.htm).

"The principle that the church hath power to institute any thing or ceremony belonging to the worship of God, either as to matter or manner, beyond the observance of such circumstances as necessarily attend such ordinances as Christ Himself hath instituted, lies at the bottom of all the horrible superstition and idolatry, of all the confusion, blood, persecution, and wars, that have for so long a season spread themselves over the face of the Christian world." (John Owen, quoted in Instrumental Music in the Public Worship of the Church by John Girardeau, available at http://www.swrb.ab.ca/catalog/g.htm or below.)

"I will punish them that serve me otherwise than I have commanded, not sparing the chief that the people may fear and praise my judgements." (Note from the Geneva Bible [http://www.swrb.com/bibles/bibles.htm] on Lev. 10:3, after "fire went out from the Lord" and killed Nadab and Abihu for violating the regulative principle of worship).

With one of the foundational principles of the Reformation under increasing attack (i.e. the regulative principle of worship), even among those (like Steve Schlissel, Doug Wilson [my debate with Wilson on this point is FREE at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/Saul.htm ] John Frame, The Chalcedon Report, James Jordan, et al.) that still profess to be Reformed, we would like to draw your attention (below) to some important resources in defense of our biblical Reformed heritage.

We would also point out that the modern attack on the regulative principle from sub-Calvinist quarters (which must bring delight to Papists and Prelates everywhere) fails on two essential fronts. First, these attacks are essentially antinomian, in spite of any protests to the contrary. Second, they deny the faithful testimony of our Reformation forefathers and the faithful historic confessions and catechisms of the Reformation. "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." (Isa. 8:20).

On the first point, it is interesting (if not sadly amusing), to note the lack of time that Schlissel, Frame and others spend on the exposition of the second commandment in their attacks upon the regulative principle. It is as if they can't see the forest for the trees. The second commandment is the foundation of the regulative principle, just pick up any older Reformed commentary, catechism or confession and note the prominent attention given to the second commandment in regard to questions related to worship.

For example, here is what the Westminster Larger Catechism teaches,

Question 108: What are the duties required in the second commandment?

Answer: The duties required in the second commandment are, the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God has instituted in his Word; particularly prayer and thanksgiving in the name of Christ; the reading, preaching, and hearing of the Word; the administration and receiving of the sacraments; church government and discipline; the ministry and maintenance thereof; religious fasting; swearing by the name of God, and vowing unto him: as also the disapproving, detesting, opposing, all false worship; and, according to each one's place and calling, removing it, and all monuments of idolatry.

Question 109: What are the sins forbidden in the second commandment?

Answer: The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising, counseling, commanding, using, and anywise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself; tolerating a false religion; the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature whatsoever; all worshiping of it, or God in it or by it; the making of any representation of feigned deities, and all worship of them, or service belonging to them; all superstitious devices, corrupting the worship of God, adding to it, or taking from it, whether invented and taken up of ourselves, or received by tradition from others, though under the title of antiquity, custom, devotion, good intent, or any other pretense whatsoever; simony; sacrilege; all neglect, contempt, hindering, and opposing the worship and ordinances which God has appointed.

The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) makes the same point,

Question 96. What does God require in the second commandment?

Answer. That we in nowise make any image of God, nor worship him in any other way than he has commanded in his word.

Our modern sub-Calvinist detractors have either forgotten that the regulative principle of worship is based on the second commandment or they are purposely ignoring it -- either way their antinomianism is obvious. Let them produce a 10-20 page exposition of the second commandment (including a statement as to why they deny the confessional Reformation position on this commandment) in their attempt to overthrow the Reformation's regulative principle of worship; we will then be happy to compare them with the many older Reformed commentaries, catechisms and confessions on the second commandment -- to determine who is being faithful to the word of God. Kevin Reed, in his Presbyterian Worship: Old and New, (free at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/FrameWor.htm), which critiques John Frame's teaching on worship by comparing it to the classic Reformation position as found in various creedal statements of the Reformation has already done much of the groundwork on this point, for those who are interested. However, I sincerely doubt that any of the modern anti-regulativists will take up this challenge, for it will surely expose the biblical bankruptcy of their slide into Popish principles concerning worship, while at the same time demonstrating that they have left the narrow path of Reformation so carefully (and Scripturally) laid out in many classic Reformation works (cf. Reformation Worship Sale http://www.swrb.com/Puritan/reformation-worship.htm).

Second, our modern anti-regulativists deny God's testimony in Scripture and history when they attempt to overthrow the Reformed view of the second commandment (i.e. the regulative principle of worship). Communists, Jesuits (Papists) and other anti-biblical revolutionaries have always understood that to destroy a people you need to sever them from their historical roots. Our modern anti-regulativists must do the same, if their anti-Reformed rhetoric and sophistry is to gain any type of hearing in Reformed circles.

Brian Schwertley, in his critique of Schlissel (free at: http://reformedonline.com/view/reformedonline/schlissel.htm) aptly notes,

Schlissel says that the regulative principle is "not biblical" (1:3; 2:4), that it is "an invention of men and therefore an imposition upon the consciences of those forced to accept it" (1:7). He says that it is an addition "to our legal obligations under God" (1:7) which is based on "a pattern of obfuscation" (2:1). He also teaches that "it cannot survive when measured against Scripture" (3:1). After realizing that he has insulted and impugned all the Calvinistic reformers, all the Reformed Confessions, and all the Reformed churches (Presbyterians, Dutch Reformed, German Reformed, French Huguenots, the Puritans) Schlissel offers up some historical relativism.[2]

Even though, according to Schlissel, the regulative principle is unbiblical, legalistic, an invention of men, based on obfuscation and false exegesis, dictatorial, totalitarian, contrary to our legal obligations to God and a human imposition upon the consciences of men, what the Reformers did was not unethical because of their unique historical situation. They were just coming out of Romanism. If the regulative principle is an unbiblical, dictatorial and human tradition that is a perversion of biblical worship (as our brother asserts), then what the Reformers did was positively sinful.

Schlissel cannot have it both ways. He cannot repudiate modern advocates of the regulative principle without also repudiating the Reformed faith.[3] What separates the Reformed Confessions from Luther and Calvinistic Baptists[4] is not soteriology, but worship and government. Reformed worship is squarely founded upon the regulative principle. Once that foundation (and the worship and government that rest upon it) is removed, the word Reformed means nothing.

In the full footnotes to these quotations (not supplied here), Schwertley also correctly states that,

Schlissel has created a historical fantasy to justify his own departure from the Reformed faith... All the Calvinistic Reformers and all Reformed Churches adhered to the regulative principle. In the early days of the Reformation, if the Lutheran theologians and the Reformed theologians had been able to agree over worship (in particular the Lord's supper), there probably would have been one church rather than two. Calvin's view of the regulative principle can be found in his Institutes I, XI, 4; XII, 1 and 3; II, VIII, 5 and 17; IV, X, 1 and 8-17; cf. his commentary on Jer. 7:31; sermon on 2 Sam. 6:6-12; his tract on The Necessity of Reforming the Church [ http://www.swrb.com/newslett/FREEBOOK/JCalvin.htm]," and the confession drafted by Calvin for the Reformed churches of France (1652). John Knox's view is clearly set forth in A Vindication of the Doctrine That the Sacrifice of the Mass Is Idolatry (1550, free at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/FREEBOOK/JKnox.htm). The Reformed creeds also teach the regulative principle of worship: cf. the Belgic Confession (1561) Art. VII, XXIX, XXXII; the Heidelberg Catechism Q. 96; the Westminster Standards: Confession 1:6, 7; 20:2; 21:1; Shorter Catechism Q. 51; Larger Catechism Q. 108, 109. A strict interpretation of the regulative principle can be found in the writings of George Gillespie, William Ames, Samuel Rutherford, Jeremiah Burroughs, David Dickson, Thomas Watson, Matthew Henry, John Owen, James Begg, James Bannerman, William Cunningham, Thomas Ridgeley, Thomas Boston, John Cotton, Thomas Manton, William Romaine, R. L. Dabney, James H. Thornwell, John L. Girardeau, John Murray, and many others. Anyone who advocated Schlissel's views would have been defrocked in any of the Reformed denominations of the past, whether English, Dutch, Scottish, German, French or American.

There is no question (except among those totally ignorant of Reformation history) that the regulative principle of worship was one of the foundational pillars of past Reformations (for more on this point see: "An irenic letter written to a PCA elder [by Bill Mencarow], regarding Steve Schlissel's recent attacks on historic Reformed [biblical] worship," free at: http://www.cashflows.org/rpw.htm). To deny the regulative principle is to deny the Reformed faith. Hundreds of examples could be provided to prove that Schlissel, Frame and other modern sub-Calvinists are rejecting the Reformed faith concerning worship.

When one denies the regulative principle of worship, he has become essentially Arminian in his view of worship (as the regulative principle is simply the application of the sovereignty of God in worship). I develope this argument more fully in "The Regulative Principle of Worship in History," which is free at http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/CRTPWors.htm . Simply stated, there is no way around this: either the revealed will of God determines our worship practises, or the will of man will. There is no neutrality possible here!

The matter is not of so small importance, as some suppose. The question is, whether God or man ought to be obeyed in matters of religion? In mouth, all do confess that only God is worthy of sovereignty. But after many -- by the instigation of the devil, and by the presumptuous arrogance of carnal wisdom and worldly policy -- have defaced God's holy ordinance, men fear not to follow what laws and common consent (mother of all mischief) have established and commanded. But thus continually I can do nothing but hold, and affirm all things polluted, yea, execrable and accursed, which God by his Word has not sanctified in his religion. God grant you his Holy Spirit rightly to judge (Knox, Works [volume 5, p. 14] cited in John Knox, True and False Worship (Presbyterian Heritage Publications, rpnt. 1988), p. x, free at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/Vindicat.htm).

To first get Reformed people to even consider becoming Arminians in worship you must destroy, dismiss or dismantle (revise) the history of the Reformation (which was a return to the faith of the Apostles). The Jesuits have been masters of this technique (cf. "Arminianism the Road to Rome" free at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/RHNarmin.htm) and Dabney's review of Girardeau's Instrumental Music in the Public Worship of the Church (on sale below in our EMAIL SUPER SPECIALS for the first time!), eloquently shows us where the denial of the regulative principle will lead,

Dr. Girardeau has defended the old usage of our church with a moral courage, loyalty to truth, clearness of reasoning and wealth of learning which should make every true Presbyterian proud of him, whether he adopts his conclusions or not. The framework of his argument is this: it begins with that vital truth which no Presbyterian can discard without a square desertion of our principles. The man who contests this first premise had better set out at once for Rome: God is to be worshipped only in the ways appointed in His Word. Every act of public cultus not positively enjoined by Him (by direct command, approved Scriptural example, or which can be deduced by good and necessary consequence from Scripture -- RB) is thereby forbidden. Christ and His apostles ordained the musical worship of the New Dispensation without any sort of musical instrument, enjoining only the singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Hence such instruments are excluded from Christian worship. Such has been the creed of all churches, and in all ages, except for the Popish communion after it had reached the nadir of its corruption at the end of the thirteenth century, and of its prelatic imitators.

Rejecting the regulative principle of worship (and thus the second commandment) is a serious offence against God -- one which the Westminster Larger Catechism calls "spiritual whoredom," further stating that God accounts "the breakers of this commandment such as hate him" (Q. & A. 110). Calvin forcefully drives home the same point, proclaiming that God hates all the idolatrous will worship which is invented by the mind of man outside of His command in the public worship (while at the same time defending the regulative principle) in his comments on Amos 5:26,

To make these things (images and idols--RB) is at all times vicious in sacred things; for we ought not to bring any thing of our own when we worship God, but we ought to depend always on the word of his mouth, and to obey what he has commanded. All our actions then in the worship of God ought to be, so to speak, passive; for they ought to be referred to his command, lest we attempt any thing but what he approves. Hence, when men dare to do this or that without God's command, it is nothing else but abomination before him (Calvin's Commentaries, vol. 14, p. 298, emphases added).

Publicly denouncing this principle (as Schlissel and others have done) is a mark of apostasy. Furthermore, the rejection of the regulative principle of worship is not only a high-handed sinful rejection of the second commandment (and thus grounds for excommunication), but also a bold-faced denial of the Reformed Faith. Anyone claiming to be a minister of Christ who publicly rejects the regulative principle should be marked and avoided (at least until public repentance is manifested) in accord with the Scriptural command: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them" (Rom. 16:17). This is the most loving action that we can take against those wayward souls that would corrupt the worship of God. Coupled with prayer, maybe God will yet grant some of these deluded individuals (who now unwittingly do the work of the Romam Antichrist) repentance (2 Tim. 2:25-26).

Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men (Mark 7:7).

For the Third Reformation,
Reg Barrow
President, Still Waters Revival Books

P.S. For individuals who can not find a church that worships God according to His commandments (upholding the regulative principle of worship in all its fullness), separation is not an option, it is God's commanded response to idolatry (see Douglas' Strictures on Occasinal Hearing at http://www.swrb.com/catalog/d.htm and Eire's War Against the Idols: The Reformation of Worship from Erasmus to Calvin below or at http://www.swrb.com/catalog/e.htm). Calvin writes,

Some one will therefore ask me what counsel I would like to give to a believer who thus dwells in some Egypt or Babylon where he may not worship God purely, but is forced by the common practice to accommodate himself to bad things. The first advice would be to leave [i.e. relocate -- GB] if he could. . . . If someone has no way to depart, I would counsel him to consider whether it would be possible for him to abstain from all idolatry in order to preserve himself pure and spotless toward God in both body and soul. Then let him worship God in private, praying him to restore his poor church to its right estate. (Cited in: Appendix G in The Covenanted Reformation Defended (see below) by Greg Barrow (http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/append_g.htm), "A brief examination of Mr. Bacon's principles regarding the visible church and the use of private judgment. Also, some observations regarding his ignoble attack upon Kevin Reed in his book entitled The Visible Church in the Outer Darkness;" originally from: John Calvin, Come Out From Among Them, The Anti-Nicodemite Writings of John Calvin, a forthcoming book to be published by Protestant Heritage Press, "A Short Treatise", pp. 93, 94, emphases added. Calvin's Come Out From Among Them is NOW AVAILABLE on the new PHP CD: "LIBRARY OF PRESBYTERIAN HERITAGE PUBLICATIONS and PROTESTANT HERITAGE PRESS," for $US98.98, though the printed version may be some time yet before it is released. A full description of the contents of the CD can be found at http://www.swrb.com/Puritan/presbyterian-heritage.htm).

Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us (2 Thes. 3:6).

P.P.S. Here is a question, excerpted from Gilliespies A Dispute Against English Popish Ceremonies (p. 133 in volume one of his Works [http://www.swrb.com/catalog/g.htm]) that the anti-regulatives will never be able to answer without admitting that the Reformers were biblically justified in maintaining the so-called "strict" view of the regulative principle of worship. Gillespie writes,

Since our opposites will speak in this dialect, let them resolve us (i.e. provide an answer to the question about -- RB) whether the washings of Pharisees, condemned by Christ, were corrupting or perfecting additions. They cannot say they were corruption, for there was no commandment of God to which those washings did corrupt or destroy, except that commandment which forbiddeth men's additions. But for this respect our opposites dare not call them corrupting additions, for so they should condemn all additions whatsoever. Except, therefore, they can show us that those washings were not added by the Pharisees for perfecting, but for corrupting the law of God, let them consider how they rank their own ceremonial additions with those of the Pharisees. We read of no other reason wherefore Christ condemned them but because they were doctrines which had no other warrant than the commandments of men, Matt. 15:9; for as the law ordained divers washings, for teaching and signifying that true holiness and cleanness which ought to be among God's people, so the Pharisees would have perfected the law by adding other washings (and more than God had commanded) for the same end and purpose.

Moreover, the very next section of A Dispute Against English Popish Ceremonies (wherein Gillespie continues his defense of the regulative principle of worship) ties in perfectly with what we have stated above regarding the second commandment,

Sect. 11. To the second distinction, we say that the Christian church hath no more liberty to add to the commandments of God than the Jewish church had; for the second commandment is moral and perpetual and forbiddeth to us as well as to them the additions and inventions of men in the worship of God. Nay, as Calvin noteth (Inst., lib. 4, cap. 10, sect. 17) much more are we forbidden to add unto God's word than they were.

You are welcome to provide a link to the article above (without asking our permission). It is on our web page at: http://www.swrb.com/Puritan/steve-schlissel.htm


FREE!
REED, KEVIN
Biblical Worship

"The Protestant Reformation was a conflict over many critical issues. And of all the issues contested between Romanists and the reformers, no issue was more crucial than the question of true worship" (Reed, John Knox the Forgotten Reformer, p. 37). This book explains the two preeminent characteristics of all faithful corporate worship, as seen both in the OT and in the NT. It also contains an excellent section on disputed aspects of worship. This section, in particular,  is very valuable, in that it shows how many non-Romanist communions today have actually rejected the Reformation and adopted Rome's presuppositions regarding worship. 80 pages.

Biblical Worship is out of print, but FREE as etext on the web at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/BibW_ch0.htm and also available on the Presbyterian Heritage Press Library on CD under "REED, KEVIN" at: http://www.swrb.com/catalog/R.htm.

FREE Psalm Book for Singing (see the end of the first item) at:
[Music-Psalters-CDs]

Also see: Reformation Worship Sale
http://www.swrb.com/Puritan/reformation-worship.htm


EIGHT SELECT WORSHIP RESOURCES ON SALE (to September 13, 2010)

Hundreds more can be seen on our web page at:
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NEW 30 CD set: Reformation Bookshelf CD Series Super Sale
http://www.swrb.com/Puritan/reformation-bookshelf-CDs.htm

Resource 0. REFORMATION BOOKSHELF CD (Volume Nineteen)

The Reformation Against Arminianism (in Worship and Salvation)

Against Arminian Views of Worship (Calvinistic Worship and the Regulative Principle of Worship), for the Psalms and Exclusive Psalmody, Against Instrumental Music in Public Worship (A Popish Innovation!), Against Arminian Views of the Lord's Supper (Calvinistic Close Communion Versus Arminian Open Communion), Against Arminian Views of Salvation (Calvinistic Soteriology),

Augustine, John Calvin, John Knox, Jonathan Edwards, John Owen, C.H. Spurgeon, Robert Traill, the Covenanted General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, David Hay Fleming, Jerom Zanchius, William Ames, David Steele, R.L. Dabney, James M. Willson, Robert Baillie, Ralph Erskine, Christopher Ness, Elisha Coles, Augustus Toplady, John Gill, John Brown (of Haddington), John Anderson, William Binnie, Robert Nevin, James Chrystie, the Reformed Presbytery (RPNA), J.A. Wylie, James Douglas, Michael Wagner, the Puritan Reformed Church of Edmonton (Session), Greg Price, Lyndon Dohms and Family, Greg Barrow, Reg Barrow, the Westminster Divines, the famous Synod of Dort (1618-1619), Thomas Manton, George Gillespie, Samuel Rutherford, Matthew Henry, John Brown (of Wamphray), Francis Turretin, James Durham, John Howie, William Hetherington, Samuel Miller, John Girardeau, Edward Fisher, Robert Shaw, A.W. Pink, Loraine Boettner, Augustus Toplady, Andrew Symington, Patrick Fairbairn, William Roberts, Richard Baxter, William Cunningham, John Anderson, Andrew Clarkson, David Scott, John Cunningham, George Smeaton, Larry Birger, Francis Rouse, Dr. F. Nigel Lee, Bill Mencarow, et al.

This CD contains:

AGAINST ARMINIAN VIEWS OF WORSHIP
(Calvinistic Worship and Regulative Principle of Worship)

AMES, WILLIAM

A Fresh Suit Against Human Ceremonies in God's Worship (1633)

A rare facsimile from this Calvinist divine who was one of the most acute controversialists of his age. This highly influential Puritan theologian was assistant to the president of the Synod of Dort and Professor of Divinity at Franecker. He died in 1633. In this massive work, Ames aims at vindicating the Lord's sovereign Kingship in matters of worship. The summary and general thrust of the detailed and precise argumentation found in this book is beautifully encapsulated by the words inscribed on its title page, "I hate vayn inventions: but thy law doe I love" (Ps. 119:113). Almost 700 pages.

BARROW, REG

Reformation Worship and Separation from Idolatry

These two articles, "Worship, The Regulative Principle of Worship in History," and Psalm Singing in Scripture and History," are also available in the "Free Books" file in all the Reformation Bookshelf CDs.

BARROW, REG

A Warning Against the False and Dangerous Views of James Jordan Concerning Worship: A Book Review of Kevin Reed's Canterbury Tales

This article is in the "free book" files on every Reformation Bookshelf CD.

BARROW, REG & DOUG WILSON

Saul in the Cave of Adullam: A Testimony Against the Fashionable Sub-Calvinism of Doug Wilson (Editor of Credenda/Agenda Magazine); and, for Classical Protestantism and the Attainments of the Second Reformation

Demonstrates in an email debate (of 170, 8.5 inch by 11 inch, pages) between Doug Wilson (editor of Credenda/Agenda magazine) and Reg Barrow (president of Still Waters Revival Books) how violations of the regulative principle of worship (i.e. the second commandment) are grounds for excommunication. Also gives specific examples of how modern "Reformed" Christians (e.g. John Frame) and denominations are in violation of the second commandment and are tolerating false and idolatrous worship contrary to their own Confessional standards and vows. Contains many quotations from major Reformation works and confessions in defense of the regulative principle of worship representing the classical Reformation position on worship. This book is in the FREE BOOKS file on this CD.

CALVIN, JOHN

An Exhortation to Suffer Persecution and to Flee Outward Idolatry (1553)

COVENANTED GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND

Directions of the General Assembly Concerning Secret and Private Worship, and Mutual Edification, For Cherishing Piety, For Maintaining Unity, and Avoiding Schism and Division: With An Act for observing these Directions, and for censuring such as use to neglect Family Worship. And An Act against such as withdraw themselves from the Public Worship in their own Congregations (1647)

ERSKINE, RALPH

Faith No Fancy: Or, A Treatise of Mental Images (1745)

The title continues: "Discovering the vain Philosophy and vile Divinity of a late Pamphlet, entitled, Mr. Robe's fourth Letter to Mr. Fisher, and Showing, that an imaginary Idea of Christ as Man, (when supposed to belong to saving Faith, whether in its Act or Object), imports nothing but Ignorance, Atheism, Idolatry, great Falsehood, and gross Delusion." David Lachman calls this "Erskine's most extensive publication," noting that it "was a contribution to the controversy with the Church of Scotland ministers involved in the Cambuslang revival" (Cameron, ed., Dictionary of Scottish Church History and Theology, p. 302). We have added Erskine's sermon "The True Christ, No New Christ" (1742) and Fisher's "Review of What Has Been Called an Extraordinary Work at Cambuslang, Kelsyth, etc." from the 1805 Philadelphia edition of this work. A very pertinent book given all the idolatry connected with the senses, pictures of Christ, etc. in our day. 523 pages.

HAY FLEMING, DAVID

The Hymnology of the Scottish Reformation (1884)

A courteous and detailed historical defence of the exclusive Psalmody of the Scottish Reformers, Calvin and others. These articles (excerpted from the Original Secession Magazine) were written to counter the false claims of Horatius Bonar, that uninspired hymns were used in the public worship of the church during the Scottish Reformation. 42 pages.

KNOX, JOHN

Against Apostasy and Indifference

Formerly titled "An Epistle to the Inhabitants of New Castle and Berwick, 1558," one subheading reads; "John Knox to the Inhabitants of Newcastle and Berwick, and Unto All Others, Who Sometime in the Realm of England Professed Christ Jesus, and Now Be Returned to the Bondage of Idolatry, Wishes True and Earnest Repentance By the Power and Operation of That Same Spirit Who Called From Death Jesus, the Only Pastor of Our Souls." Written to stem the tide of backsliding and compromise during the dark days of Mary's reign in England, Knox sends a pastoral exhortation of repentance to those who had reverted to idolatrous worship.

OWEN, JOHN

A Discourse Concerning Liturgies and their Imposition

Bannerman (in his two volume set The Church of Christ), summarizes this book by Owen as "giving the Scriptural argument against the imposition of liturgies as well as of other humanely devised elements in Divine worship, with great clearness and force" (p. 435).

Furthermore, the Westminster Theological Journal (55, 1993, p. 322, 3n) notes, "Owen discusses the true nature of NT worship, especially focusing on the challenge made to it by the Church of England. His discourse regarding the imposition of liturgies is one of the most thorough and forceful arguments for the regulative principle of worship as the only principle which safely guards the Christian conscience from the abuse of church power."

RYLE, J.C.

Idolatry

"To study the Reformation debate over idolatry is to peer into the eye of the storm. 'Idolatry' is a fighting word. It presupposes a definition of what is true and what is false in religion, for an idol cannot be universally recognized as such; idolatry is not simply the worship of a physical object, but rather any form of devotion that is judged to be incorrect''(Eire in War Against the Idols, p. 5 [$US39.95]). In this book Ryle gives the definition, cause, and form of idolatry. He concludes by showing what will end it.

WILLSON, JAMES M.

Dr. (Isaac) Watts, an Anti-Trinitarian: Demonstrated in A Review of Dr. Samuel Miller's Letter to the editor of the Unitarian Miscellany (1821)

This book is a review of a letter written by Prof. Samuel Miller. Prof. Miller had preached a sermon in which he had noted that Unitarians are not Christians, and in response a Unitarian periodical had published a heated attack on Miller. Miller thus wrote a reply to the attack, but the Unitarian periodical would not print it. Miller's reply was then published separately.

Willson reviews Miller's letter and points out that he clearly refutes the Unitarian's published attack. There was only one problem with Miller's argument; he claims that Isaac Watts was a Trinitarian. Watts was not, in fact, a Trinitarian, and Willson considered this point important enough to demonstrate from Watts' own work that he does not hold to the orthodox view of the Trinity. After citing portions of Watts' writing, Willson states,

"In these quotations Watts cannot be misunderstood. He most distinctly denies the existence of three persons in the Trinity, and makes the Son and Holy Ghost to be mere faculties, physical faculties, or attributes. The Son and Holy Ghost, in his view, are no more persons, than the human understanding and will are persons."

Thus, Isaac Watts, a favorite hymn writer of evangelicals, actually held to what Willson, Miller, and Turrettin all agree (in this book) is a "damnable heresy." For as Willson points out, Turrettin maintains, that no anti-trinitarian can be saved, while continuing in the belief of anti-trinitarianism. Contains 18 (8.5"X11") newly typeset pages.

YOUNG, WILLIAM

The Puritan Principle of Worship

(Psalms and Exclusive Psalmody)

THE PSALMS OF DAVID IN METRE (i.e. the Scottish Metrical Psalter of 1650): Allowed By the Authority of the Kirk of Scotland, and of Several Branches of the Presbyterian Church in the United States. With Notes, Exhibiting the Connection, Explaining the Sense, and for Directing and Animating the Devotion (1844 edition published by Robert Carter [New York]) John Brown of Haddington (annotations).

Psalter as translated by Francis Rouse, the Westminster Divines, and the Scottish General Assembly (from 1646-1650)

This is the Psalter (less Brown's notes, which were added later) mandated, approved and used (for public and private worship) by the Westminster Assembly and all those who covenanted to uphold the Biblical Reformation that these Divines proclaimed. The text of the Scottish Metrical Psalms was authorized by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1650. The notes added by Brown are suitable for explaining the Psalm before singing and are a great aid to understanding and worship (whether public, family or private). This is a primary source document of Reformation; not to be missed by those serious about the Reformed faith -- and worshipping God in spirit and in truth. There are few things in life as pleasing and enjoyable as communing with Christ through the singing of His Psalms!

ANDERSON, JOHN

Vindiciae Cantus Dominici: Or, A Vindication of the Doctrine Taught in a Discourse on the Divine Ordinance of Singing Psalms (1793)

Because the author contends that "the welfare of the church and her members is deeply concerned in the preservation of the purity of God's worship," he here defends the old paths of Protestant worship in opposition to the will-worship of Popery, Socinianism and Arminianism. Herein he shows how the singing of songs other than the Psalms (in public worship) violates the second commandment, dishonors God and brings His wrath upon individuals, churches and nations. Anderson also answers a number of objections against exclusive Psalmody which are still common today; for example the objection, "with respect to the nature of singing, as if there were no difference between it and prayer, except in the manner of performance." This is a valuable contribution to the defense of exclusive Psalmody. 184 pages.

ASSOCIATE PRESBYTERIAN MAGAZINE

The Ancient and Modern Mode of Singing the Psalms (Sept., 1863)

Historically demonstrates how the Old Testament saints, the early New Testament Christians and almost all Presbyterians (after adopting the Westminster Standards) sang the Psalms by "lining them out" (e.g. see the Westminster Directory for Public Worship). Musical instruments, a Papal innovation, were also unheard of among faithful Reformers and "denominated the ensigns of Baal."

BINNIE, WILLIAM

The Imprecations: God's Forgotten Prayers of Power

BINNIE, WILLIAM

The Psalms: Their History, Teaching, & Use

A one-of-a-kind general introduction to studying the psalms [1886]. "A highly valuable work... great skill and intense devotion... unlike any other...," said Spurgeon. Part one: "History and Poetical Structure of the Psalms." Part two: "The Theology of the Psalms." Part three: "Notices Regarding the Use of the Psalms in the Church." Indexed, 424 pages.

BLAIKE, ALEXANDER

A Catechism on Praise (1854)

"In brief space, and a clear, calm, scriptural way, this little manual covers, we conceive, the entire ground of the Psalmody question, and will meet a cordial reception from all the friends of the inspired songs and a simple worship" (Christian Instructor magazine).

DICK, JAMES

Hymns and Hymn Books (1883)

Greg Price calls this one of the best short defences of exclusive Psalmody. It is excerpted from The Original Covenanter magazine (Dec, 1883, vol. 3, No. 12). Here is a taste of Dick's writing,

Hymns of human composition are used so commonly now in public worship by Presbyterian churches that it is difficult to believe that the practice is not a hundred years old, and that in some of the churches it is of very recent date. On the supposition that it is good and dutiful and wise to sing such hymns in worship, it is equally difficult to account for the neglect of the churches at the time of the Reformation, and for generations afterwards. What could have so blinded the reformers as to make them reject hymns and sing the Psalms alone? How could the Westminster Divines, in framing their Confession of Faith and Directory for Worship, have been so unanimous in the blunder that the service of praise is to consist of the 'singing of Psalms?' And apart from the aspect of duty, how could the Presbyterian churches, for about a hundred and fifty or two hundred years after the Westminster Assembly, have been so insensible to the power of hymns as an attractive addition to their public services? We cannot by any means understand how it was that, if it was dutiful to use hymns in worship, the reformers did not discover the Scriptural warrant for the duty, especially as hymns had been used for centuries by the Church of Rome. Nor can we understand how they rejected the hymns and used the Psalms alone, unless on the supposition that they believed the use of hymns to be part of the will-worship of Rome. If they were wrong on this point, then Rome and our modern Presbyterian churches are right. In that case, the Puritans and Covenanters were fanatics, and Romanists were truly enlightened! And most of our Presbyterian churches of the present day were fanatical too, and did not become truly enlightened and liberal till they got back to the Romish practice!

GIBSON, JAMES

The Public Worship of God: Its Authority and Modes, Hymns and Hymn Books (1868)

Gibson was Professor of Systematic Theology and Church History at Free Church College in Glasgow. Written to promote the glory of God and the purity of His worship. The chapters deal with Praise, Public Worship, Alleged Authority for Human Hymns, Historical Argument for Human Hymns, How Hymn Books Were Introduced into Public Worship, Instrumental Music, and a Review of Hymnbooks. An important book given the fact that, "[t]he public worship of a church is a decisive measure of its true spiritual condition" (Kevin Reed, John Knox the Forgotten Reformer [ on the PHP CD, $98.98 at http://www.swrb.com/catalog/R.htm ], Presbyterian Heritage Publications, p. 79).

MAGILL, GEORGE (Chairman)

Psalm-Singers Conference (1905)

While hardly any department of the Psalmody question is entirely overlooked, several of its most important aspects are more fully and satisfactorily dealt with than in any previous work on the subject. 328 pages.

MANY AUTHORS

The True Psalmody; or, The Bible Psalms the Church's Only Manual of Praise (1878)

This book was originally "issued at Philadelphia in 1859 by a committee of ministers from the Reformed Presbyterian and United Presbyterian church of that city. A judicious compilation of the finest argumentation from a number of 19th century writers, the volume went through at least six American editions, the last in 1870. It was also printed in Belfast, Ireland in 1867, and in 1878 at Edinbugh, Scotland" (Isbell, Presbyterian Reformed magazine, vol. IX, No. 3, p. 111). In our opinion, this is the best older American defense of the Reformed practice of exclusive Psalmody, as it covers some aspects of this debate not covered in any other publication. 212 pages.

M'MASTER, GILBERT

An Apology for the Book of Psalms in Five Letters (1852)

This book argues for exclusive Psalmody. It includes a detailed history (ancient [the Fathers, Augustine, Apostolic Constitutions, etc.] and modern [Wickliffe, Luther, Calvin, etc., to the author's day]) of Psalmody, gives reasons for retaining the book of Psalms and considers numerous objections. It takes on both Watts (and his anti-Trinitarianism) and Wesley. 223 pages.

MCNAUGHER, JOHN, ed.

The Psalms in Worship

Dr. David Freeman (who was John Murray's pastor in Philadelphia) said that the Psalms in Worship was the most comprehensive treatment of this subject to be found anywhere. This volume (of almost 600 pages) consists of material presented at two conventions in 1905, promoting the claims of the Psalms in worship.

PRESSLY, JOHN

Review of Ralston's Inquiry into the Propriety of Using an Evangelical Psalmody in the Worship of God (1848)

ROMAINE, WILLIAM

Essay on Psalmody (1880)

STEELE, DAVID

Continuous Singing

The title continues: "In the Ordinary Public Worship of God, Considered in the Light of Scripture and the Subordinate Standards of the Reformed Presbyterian Church; In Answer to Some Letters of Inquiry Addressed to the Writer." Here Steele defends the Apostolic practice of "lining out" the Psalms in public worship -- noting love for the brethren (i.e. young children, others that can not read, etc.; but can join in the worship when the Psalms are lined) as the primary motivation for this practice; in accord with God's command (1 Pet. 3:8).

(Instrumental Music in Public Worship: A Popish Innovation!)

DABNEY, R.L.

Dabney's Review of Girardeau's Instrumental Music in Public Worship (1889)

GIRARDEAU, JOHN

Instrumental Music in the Public Worship of the Church (1888)

"To sing the praises of God upon the harp and psaltery," says John Calvin, "unquestionably formed a part of the training of the law and of the service of God under that dispensation of shadows and figures; but they are not now to be used in public thanksgiving."

Written in 1888, this book was highly praised by R.L. Dabney (in a review which we have bound together with this printing). Dabney notes,

Dr. Girardeau has defended the old usage of our church with a moral courage, loyalty to truth, clearness of reasoning and wealth of learning which should make every true Presbyterian proud of him, whether he adopts his conclusions or not. The framework of his argument is this: it begins with that vital truth which no Presbyterian can discard without a square desertion of our principles. The man who contests this first premise had better set out at once for Rome: God is to be worshipped only in the ways appointed in His Word. Every act of public cultus not positively enjoined by Him is thereby forbidden. Christ and His apostles ordained the musical worship of the New Dispensation without any sort of musical instrument, enjoining only the singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Hence such instruments are excluded from Christian worship. Such has been the creed of all churches, and in all ages, except for the Popish communion after it had reached the nadir of its corruption at the end of the thirteenth century, and of its prelatic imitators.

Arguments from Scripture, history and creedal standards are all considered, while objections are noted and countered. Defending the Apostolic (and later Puritan and Reformed) position, against Popish innovations, Girardeau clearly lays down what God requires in the area of public worship. Given the present rejection of the regulative principle of worship (which is nothing less than the biblical application of the second commandment) in most Protestant quarters, this book is even more valuable today than when it was first written. It contains the best discussion of biblical and godly guidelines regarding worship in general, and the instrumental music question in particular, that has come to us out of the 19th century. 208 pages.

GLASGOW, JAMES

Heart and Voice: Instruments in Christian Worship Not Authorized (1873)

"The Early church did not use instrumental music in its worship.... They considered the practice as pagan or Jewish rather than Christian. Dr. Hughes Oliphant Old, in his work The Patristic Roots of Reformed Worship says: "As is well known, the ancient church did not admit the use of instrumental music in worship. It was looked upon as a form of worship which like the sacrifices of the Jerusalem temple prefigured the worship in spirit and truth....'" (Needham, The Presbyterian, #32, p. 35). This book contains advanced exegetical study of the second commandment (from the Hebrew) and upholds the regulative principle of worship. It's a vindication of the Westminster Confession against all ritualistic practices that give the Church the power to decree rites and ceremonies -- a power that denies the sovereignty of God. Glasgow proclaims that he has "sought to vindicate the words of the Westminster Confession," and has made his "appeal "to the law and to the testimony." He also demonstrates why it was that many of the Reformers regarded the use of instrumental music in public worship as the "badge of Popery."

NEVIN, ROBERT

Instrumental Music in Christian Worship (1873)

Nice, moderately short (87 pages of smaller type) refutation of this Popish innovation!

NEVIN, ROBERT

Instrumental Music in the Worship of God

An excellent short introduction to this subject. Defends the regulative principle of worship, proves that the use of instruments in the Old Testament was ceremonial, answers some major objections from instrumentalists, and explains why this is not a trivial matter.

AGAINST ARMINIAN VIEWS OF THE LORD'S SUPPER (Calvinistic Close Communion Versus Arminian Open Communion)

ANDERSON, JOHN

Alexander and Rufus; or a Series of Dialogues on Church Communion, in Two Parts. Part 1: Vindication of Scriptural Church Communion in Opposition to Latitudinarian Schemes. Part 2: Defence of the Communion Maintained in the Secession Church (1862)

Alexander and Rufus gives us an excellent defense of biblically regulated close communion, which Anderson shows to be God's ordained method of promoting truth, unity and Reformation.

BARROW, REG

Calvin, Covenanting and Close Communion (1996)

Demonstrates how social covenanting and close communion were practiced by Calvin in Geneva. This book is available in the "Free Books" file in every Reformation Bookshelf CD.

BARROW, REG

Publisher's Preface to The Covenanted Reformation Defended Against Contemporary Schismatics (1998). In the free book section of this CD.

CHRYSTIE, JAMES

Terms of Church Union and Communion

After having witnessed "Calvinists and avowed Arminians at the table of the Lord, under the influence of a disposition to esteem their differences of no importance," the author began to question his own loose views regarding terms of admission to the Lord's supper. This eventually led to this book. Promotes the necessity of agreement to faithful creeds and confessions, as prerequisites to unity and for partaking at the Lord's table. Deals with: the difference between essentials and non-essentials; which creeds are faithful; Calvin's and Augustine's views; and the arguments from Holy Scripture.

GEORGE, R.J.

Close Communion

Covers the five major theories of Church communion: 1. The Latitudinarian Theory; 2. The Visible Discipleship Theory; 3. The Restricted Communion Theory; 4. The Occasional Communion Theory; and 5. the Close Communion Theory. Shows how the theory of close communion presents the true Scriptural doctrine of Church fellowship and answers objections to the doctrine of close communion. An excellent short, easy reading introduction.

LEE, F.N.

Calvin's Convincing Antipaedocommunionism

This fascinating book contains much useful information concerning some of the first steps toward understanding close communion in Calvin's writing and thought (for more see Reg Barrow's Calvin, Close Communion, and the Coming Reformation), while primarily demonstrating how Calvin refuted the very dangerous error of paedocommunion -- which is a form of open communion. This book is in the "free books" file in all the Reformation Bookshelf CDs.

REFORMED PRESBYTERY

An Explanation and Defence of the Terms of Communion, Adopted by the Community of Dissenters, etc.

Defends the inescapable necessity of creeds and confessions, while promoting a fully creedal church membership. Shows how the law of God obliges all Christians "to think the same things, and to speak the same things; holding fast the form of sound words, and keeping the ordinances as they have been delivered to us" (Col. 3:13). After laying some basic groundwork, this book proceeds to defend the six points of the "Terms of Ministerial and Christian Communion Agreed Upon by the Reformed Presbytery." These six points are the most conservative and comprehensive short statements of consistent Presbyterianism you will likely ever see. Besides the obvious acknowledgement of the alone infallible Scriptures, the Westminster Standards, and the divine right of Presbyterianism, these points also maintain the perpetual obligation of our Covenants, National and Solemn League, the Renovation of these covenants at Auchensaugh in 1712, and the Judicial Act, Declaration and Testimony emitted by the Reformed Presbytery. In short, this book sets forth adherence to the whole of the covenanted reformation, in both church and state, as it has been attained by our covenanting forefathers.

UNKNOWN

Ecclesiastical Fellowship Versus Free Communion

Works out the implications of open communion by exhibiting its destructiveness to the discipline of the visible church. The author says that open (or free) communion "is the secret enemy of all constitutional government -- of all distinctive truth -- of all purity of worship -- and of all ecclesiastical discipline."

AGAINST ARMINIAN VIEWS OF SALVATION
(Calvinistic Soteriology)

AUGUSTINE

A Treatise on the Predestination of the Saints (c. 428)

Augustine was the great forerunner to the Reformation and it was on books like this that Luther, Calvin, and the other magisterial Reformers cut their teeth. The corrupted demon seed of Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism (later being refined into Arminianism), being just newly planted by the wicked one in Augustine's day, has grown into a massive tree in our day. Its poison fruit now feeds most of the branches of ecclesiastical antichrist: from Rome, to the liberal Protestant churches and the cults, and now even reaching all the way into the very heart of so-called "evangelical" Protestant churches (of all varieties). This soul destroying heresy has reached pandemic proportions among professing "Christians" in our day. Ironically, this work of Augustine is probably more needed in our day than it was in his -- over a millennium and a half later.

BAILLIE, ROBERT

The Canterburians Self-Conviction: or an evident demonstration of the avowed Arminianisme, Poperie, and tyrannie of that faction, by their owne confessions.... (1641)

Baillie was one of the Scottish commissioners to the Westminster Assembly. The two predominant heresies addressed by Baillie in this book still cover much of the professing Christian world today; these being: (1.) false, man-centered views of salvation (Arminianism and Pelagianism) and (2.) false man-centered views of worship (Liturgical innovationism: either high church or Charismatic). "Baillie fought hard against Arminianism" noted Johnston (The Treasury of the Scottish Covenant, p. 310); making this book especially valuable for today! This is the third edition of 128 pages, plus a 28 page postscript.

BROWN, HENRY

Arminian Inconsistencies and Errors; In Which It Is Shown That All the Distinctive Doctrines of the Presbyterian Confession of Faith are Taught by Standard Writers of the Methodist Episcopal Church (1856)

This title focuses on the doctrine of salvation, especially the five points of Calvinism. It contrasts Calvinism with Arminianism throughout. Wesley's distinctive positions (aberrations) also receive much special attention -- including his views of sanctification and original sin.

COLES, ELISHA

God's Sovereignty, A Practical Discourse

A Puritan work recommended by Charles Spurgeon, John Owen, Thomas Goodwin and William Romaine. Owen, in particular, marvels at Coles' singular reliance on Scripture alone to vindicate God's sovereignty, as it relates to election, redemption, effectual calling, and the perseverance of the saints. Originally published in 1673, this is the 1831 edition. 298 pages.

EDWARDS, JONATHAN

Total Depravity, Obtaining Salvation and Miscellaneous Discourses

GILL, JOHN

The Cause of God and Truth

An exegetical work on the five points of Calvinism and reprobation. The Preface states that "this work was published at a time when the nation was greatly alarmed with the growth of Popery," and that rather than just "lopping off the branches of Popery, the axe should be laid to the root of the tree, Arminianism and Pelagianism, the very life and soul of Popery."

LANDIS, ROBERT W.

The Doctrine of Original Sin, as Received and Taught by the Churches of the Reformation Stated and Defended, and the Error of Dr. Hodge in Claiming that this Doctrine Recognizes the Gratuitous Imputation of Sin, Pointed Out and Refuted (1844)

Considered a classic in its field, this book of over 550 pages takes on Charles Hodge and his views concerning original sin. The author states that the "doctrine concerning Imputation and Original Sin" as taught "for many years past, in the Theological School at Princeton" is a "radical departure from... recognized Augustinian theology, or Calvinism." The author also notes "that the difference in this issue is fundamental to evangelical doctrine. The design of the present tractate, therefore, is to furnish a thorough historical, theological, and exegetical discussion of the essential points which this issue involves." Furthermore, Landis writes (concerning Hodge's view) that "the church herself can ultimately and logically have no possible alternative but either to abandon all the distinctive principles of the Augustinian or evangelical system of doctrine, or to reject this (i.e. Hodge's--RB) theory utterly and in all its parts."

KNOX, JOHN

Against an Anabaptist: In Defense of Predestination

Curt Daniel calls this "Knox's major theological work." Moreover, he states that this is "more than a short answer (to the Anabaptist--RB, 468 pages), it is a complete exposition and defence of the Reformed doctrine at the height of the Scottish Reformation" which helped "guide early Presbyterianism and build the theological bridge between Edinburgh and Geneva." This work was much esteemed by Knox's Puritan friends in England and "Calderwood, in summing up Knox's character, remarks: 'How profound he was in divinity, that work of his upon Predestination may give evidence" (Laing. ed., p. 17). Quoting freely from Calvin, his major influence in this work, Knox lays low the heresy that man plays any part in his own salvation. This heresy, of man's pretended ability to save himself (in any way), is at the root of all defection from the sovereign God of Scripture and is rampant today! As Kevin Reed notes, in refuting this Anabaptist, Knox unequivocally states, "For with the Pelagians and papists, you have become teachers of free will, and defenders of your own justice," clearly recognizing that, "the defence of man's free will, to do good and avoid evil," is "the damned heresy of Pelagius."

NESS, CHRISTOPHER

An Antidote Against Arminianism (1700)

Recommended by John Owen, John Gill, and Augustus Toplady. An easy-to-read but devastating critique of the Arminian heresy. A treatise to refute all five points of Arminianism, setting forth predestination and the five points of Calvinism clearly and forcefully, along with numerous Scripture proofs.

OWEN, JOHN

A Display of Arminianism: Being A Discovery of the Old Pelagian Idol of Free Will, With the New Goddess Contingency Advancing Themselves Into the Throne of the God of Heaven, to the Prejudice of His Grace, Providence, and Supreme Dominion Over the Children of Men...

This was Owen's first publication (1642) and immediately brought him into notice. It contains numerous useful charts contrasting Arminian doctrines, from some of their major teachers, with those of Scripture (Calvinism) in a side-by-side format. Owen leaves no room for compromise with Arminianism as he shows why this is, when sincerely believed, a dangerous, devilish and damnable heresy!

RICE, N.L.

God Sovereign and Man Free: or the Doctrine of Divine Foreordination and Man's Free Moral Agency, Stated, Illustrated, and Proved from Scriptures (1850)

SPURGEON, CHARLES H.

Spurgeon's Sovereign Grace Sermons

Completely retypeset and unedited, this book (of 188 pages) contains ten stirring Spurgeon sermons focusing on the sovereignty of God, the five points of Calvinism and the triumph of Christ as King.

Sermons included are:

1. God's Will and Man's Will
2. High Doctrine
3. The Sure Triumph of the Crucified One
4. The Perpetuity of the Law of God
5. The Unconquerable King
6. Human Inability
7. Christ's Work No Failure
8. Christ Crucified
9. The Doctrines of Grace Do Not Lead to Sin
10. Election.

TOPLADY, AUGUSTUS

A Letter to John Wesley Relative to His Pretended Abridgment of Zanchius on Predestination

Toplady here documents Wesley's deliberate lies and deception concerning Calvinism. He shows how Wesley abridged certain Calvinistic writings and attributed the abridgments to Toplady. This book also exposes Wesley as a plagiarist, pointing out his pro-monarchy and anti-American sentiments.

TRAILL, ROBERT

Select Practical Writings of Robert Traill

Traill was a persecuted covenanter, 1642-1716. His father was once severely wounded when he refused to submit to Cromwell, during a siege by the English army at Edinburgh, and was later imprisoned by Charles II. Thus he (Robert) learned early of hardships brought by faithfulness to truth. Later he was forced to flee Scotland because of Prelatical persecution. In Holland, a shelter for persecuted Presbyterians, he assisted in publishing Rutherford's Examination of Arminianism. When he returned to Scotland, he risked his life to preach (without Episcopalian ordination) at field conventicles, a capital offence in those days. This is the 1845 edition and clearly shows the excellence of Traill's works. Written during the times of life and death struggles for Christ's crown and covenant, these are no ivory tower essays. Contains: "By What Means May Ministers Best Win Souls," "The Protestant Doctrine of Justification Vindicated from the Charge of Antinomianism," and much more.

ZANCHIUS, JEROM

The Doctrine of Absolute Predestination

Atherton calls this "one of the best, if not the best book ever issued on Absolute Predestination."

This CD contains the 101 FREE bonus books and articles listed in the summary for Reformation Bookshelf CD #1 ( http://www.swrb.com/Puritan/reformation-bookshelf-CDs.htm ).

Also free on this CD are the following audio (MP3) tracks:

John Calvin - Election and Reprobation: Concerning Jacob and Esau #6

Reformed Presbytery - An Explanation and Defence of the Terms of Communion, Adopted by the Community of Dissenters, etc. (1/2)

Reformed Presbytery - An Explanation and Defence of the Terms of Communion, Adopted by the Community of Dissenters, etc. (2/2)

R.J. George - The Badge of Popery: Musical Instruments in Public Worship

Greg Price - Corrupt Worship & God's Anger With the Church and the Nations (Micah Series, Micah 1:1-7)

Greg Price - What is Biblical (Presbyterian) Worhsip?

Greg Price - Regulative Principle of Worship in the Old Testament

Greg Price - Regulative Principle of Worship in the New Testament

Greg Price - Exclusive Psalmody 1/7 (Inspired Song vs. Uninspired Song)

Greg Price - Exclusive Psalmody 2/7 (God's Covenant Songs in Worship)

Greg Price - Exclusive Psalmody 3/7 (Sufficiency of the Psalter)

Greg Price - Exclusive Psalmody 4/7 (Exclusive Psalmody & the Regulative Principle)

Greg Price - Exclusive Psalmody 5/7 (Exclusive Psalmody in Church History)

Greg Price - Exclusive Psalmody 6/7 (& the Westminster Standards)

Greg Price - Exclusive Psalmody 7/7 (Objections to Exclusive Psalmody Answered)

Lyndon Dohms and Family - 50 Suggested Tunes for Use With the Scottish Metrical Psalter

John Howie - Biographia Scoticana: or, A Brief Historical Account of the Lives, Characters, and Memorable Transactions of the Most Eminent Scots Worthies (2/21) (Second edition, corrected and enlarged, 1781)

This CD contains approximately ???? pages of material.

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Resource 1. CALVIN, JOHN

Necessity of Reforming the Church (1544)

C.H. Spurgeon once said, "[t]he longer I live the clearer does it appear that John Calvin's system is the nearest to perfection." (cited in Christian History magazine, Vol. 5, No. 4). Ironically, Credenda Agenda (a magazine that denounces those who uphold what Calvin teaches about worship in this book) reviewed this work stating,

...the relevance of Calvin's book today is exceptional. Apart from the grace of God, the human heart never changes. Men have always loved external religion, and unless God saves them, they always will. But God demands heart religion... His writing is relevant because the church today is in dire need of a similar reformation and revival. Like Calvin, some few believers today see 'the present condition of the Church... to be very miserable, and almost desperate.' Our context is different in one key respect however. The church needing reformation in Calvin's day was the tradition-encrusted church of Rome. Shortly after the Reformation, for those leaving Rome behind, two streams became apparent. One was the stream of classical Protestant orthodoxy, represented today by a handful of Gideons in their desktop publishing winevats. The other was the left wing of the Reformation -- the anabaptist movement. In the early years, the anabaptists were suffering outsiders. But today the anabaptist church is the Establishment -- an establishment governed by a chaos of traditions instead of biblical worship. Everywhere we look we see Christians approaching God with observances in worship which Calvin calls 'the random offspring of their own brain' (which was Calvin's way of rebuking those who reject the regulative principle of worship; which ironically, the writers of this very statement [Credenda Agenda] do--RB).

Though this work is not an elaborate systematic presentation of the foundations of Christianity, such as Calvin's Institutes, it has still been correctly acknowledged as one of the most important documents of the Reformation. Calvin here pleads the cause dearest to his heart before an assembly perhaps the most august that Europe could have furnished in that day. It has been said that the animated style used by Calvin in this work would not lose by comparison with any thing in the celebrated "Dedication" prefixed to his Institutes. To this day, The Necessity of Reforming the Church remains a powerful weapon, both defensive and offensive, to fight the contemporary battle for true doctrine, faithful (or biblically regulated) worship and Scriptural church government. Here, in one of Calvin's classic works, we find the answers to many of the vexing questions which continue to agitate the Church in our day -- over four and a half centuries after this great Reformer first penned these words. 114 pages.

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THIS ITEM IS ALSO AVAILABLE on THE NEW Presbyterian Heritage Publications CD ($US98.98), along with the whole PHP collection. For the complete contents of this CD see: http://www.swrb.com/Puritan/presbyterian-heritage.htm ). Calvin's The Necessity of Reforming the Church is also FREE on our web page at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/NRC_ch00.htm


Resource 2. BUSHELL, MICHAEL

The Songs of Zion: A Contemporary Case for Exclusive Psalmody (third edition, 1999)

Contains one of the best explanations of the Scriptural law of worship (also known as the regulative principle of worship) in print today. For this and a number of other reasons this is one of the most significant books published this century concerning worship! Furthermore, it demonstrates and defends (from Scripture, history and the creeds) the Reformation practice of exclusive Psalmody. It dovetails splendidly with Eire's celebrated War Against the Idols, setting forth foundational principles that lay at the very heart of Reformation thought, theology and practice. For as Bushell points out, "Purity of worship and uniformity of worship go hand in hand because they are both founded upon the assumption that the Scriptures contain clear, sufficient and authoritative directions as to the proper way of worshiping God. The diversity of worship practice that we see in our churches arises ultimately from a denial of this assumption, and it constitutes, therefore, a denial of a central aspect of the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture. There is much more at stake, then, in this whole discussion than the mere observance or non-observance of a few external rites" (2nd edition, 1993, p. 3). If you are a Calvinist and have not read this book, you are missing a real treat!

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Resource 3. GIRARDEAU, JOHN

Instrumental Music in the Public Worship of the Church (1888)

"To sing the praises of God upon the harp and psaltery," says John Calvin, "unquestionably formed a part of the training of the law and of the service of God under that dispensation of shadows and figures; but they are not now to be used in public thanksgiving." Calvin continues:

With respect to the tabret, harp, and psaltery, we have formerly observed, and will find it necessary afterwards to repeat the same remark, that the Levites, under the law, were justified in making use of instrumental music in the worship of God; it having been his will to train his people, while they were yet tender and like children, by such rudiments until the coming of Christ. But now, when the clear light of the gospel has dissipated the shadows of the (ceremonial--RB) law and taught us that God is to be served in a simpler form, it would be to act a foolish and mistaken part to imitate that which the prophet enjoined only upon those of his own time.

Calvin further observes,

We are to remember that the worship of God was never understood to consist in such outward services, which were only necessary to help forward a people as yet weak and rude in knowledge in the spiritual worship of God. A difference is to be observed in this respect between his people under the Old and under the New Testament; for now that Christ has appeared, and the church has reached full age, it were only to bury the light of the gospel should we introduce the shadows of a departed dispensation. From this it appears that the Papists, as I shall have occasion to show elsewhere, in employing instrumental music cannot be said so much to imitate the practice of God's ancient people as to ape it in a senseless and absurd manner, exhibiting a silly delight in that worship of the Old Testament which was figurative and terminated with the gospel.

Written in 1888, this book was highly praised by R.L. Dabney (in a review which we have bound together with this printing). Dabney notes,

Dr. Girardeau has defended the old usage of our church with a moral courage, loyalty to truth, clearness of reasoning and wealth of learning which should make every true Presbyterian proud of him, whether he adopts his conclusions or not. The framework of his argument is this: it begins with that vital truth which no Presbyterian can discard without a square desertion of our principles. The man who contests this first premise had better set out at once for Rome: God is to be worshipped only in the ways appointed in His Word. Every act of public cultus not positively enjoined by Him is thereby forbidden. Christ and His apostles ordained the musical worship of the New Dispensation without any sort of musical instrument, enjoining only the singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Hence such instruments are excluded from Christian worship. Such has been the creed of all churches, and in all ages, except for the Popish communion after it had reached the nadir of its corruption at the end of the thirteenth century, and of its prelatic imitators.

Arguments from Scripture, history and creedal standards are all considered, while objections are noted and countered. Defending the Apostolic (and later Puritan and Reformed) position, against Popish innovations, Girardeau clearly lays down what God requires in the area of public worship. Given the present rejection of the regulative principle of worship (which is nothing less than the biblical application of the second commandment) in most Protestant quarters, this book is even more valuable today than when it was first written. It contains the best discussion of biblical and godly guidelines regarding worship in general, and the instrumental music question in particular, that has come to us out of the 19th century. 208 pages.

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Resource 4. PRICE, GREG

Foundation for Reformation: The Regulative Principle of Worship (1995)

"The central focus of Reformed Protestantism was its interpretation of worship," points out Eire (War Against the Idols [$US39.95], p. 3). Acknowledging this fact in the idea that the regulative principle is just the application of sola Scriptura and the sovereignty of God to worship, Price convincingly argues for a return to Scriptural purity in worship. He maintains the regulative principle of worship, in all its beauty and splendor, as that which came from the hand of God, and as an indispensable component of true Christian piety.

Furthermore, it should be noted, that "it is also important to realize that the regulative principle also provides the basis for the positive work of reformation. That is, it not only requires the exclusion of man-made worship; but it points us to the divine pattern of true worship" (Kevin Reed, John Knox: The Forgotten Reformer, [PHP CD, $98.98). Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. (1 John 5:21). A antidote to Arminianism in worship.

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RELATED RESOURCES

Greg Price cassettes on sale at 50% off our already discounted

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The Regulative Principle of Worship

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Exclusive Psalmody Series

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2. Exclusive Psalmody (2/7) God's Covenant Songs in Worship, $3.98 [$1.98 until September 13, 2010]

3. Exclusive Psalmody (3/7) The Sufficiency of the Psalter, $3.98 [$1.98 until September 13, 2010]

4. Exclusive Psalmody (4/7) Exclusive Psalmody & the Regulative Principle, $3.98 [$1.98 until September 13, 2010]

5. Exclusive Psalmody (5/7) Exclusive Psalmody in Church History, $3.98 [$1.98 until September 13, 2010]

6. Exclusive Psalmody (6/7) Exclusive Psalmody & the Westminster Standards, $3.98 [$1.98 until September 13, 2010]

7. Exclusive Psalmody (7/7) Objections to Exclusive Psalmody Answered, $3.98 [$1.98 until September 13, 2010]

Instrumental Music in Public Worship

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Terms of Communion: Presbyterian Worship and Government

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Christmass Condemned By Christ

Some great teaching on the application of the regulative principle of worship.

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Micah 1:1-7 (#1) Corrupt Worship & God's Anger With the Church & the Nations (1998)

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You Saw No Form (Images & the Regulative Principle)

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Pictures of Christ and Idolatry

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Motives for Pure Worship

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I John #27 (Keep Yourselves From Idols)

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Resource 5. EIRE, CARLOS M.N.

War Against the Idols: The Reformation of Worship from Erasmus to Calvin

Eire shows that as the Reformation progressed the primary focus of the Reformers became upholding God's sovereign prerogative in worship -- what today is called the regulative principle of worship. Eire's War Against the Idols demonstrates the extent of the Reformers clear condemnation of Arminianism in worship (i.e. will-worship [Col. 2:23]) in rejecting all elements of worship that did not have Scriptural warrant. In fact, Calvin was so intent on highlighting this point, concerning the centrality of worship (and the application of Sola Scriptura as exhibited in the regulative principle of worship), that he placed worship ahead of salvation in his list of the two most important elements of Biblical Christianity. Regarding Calvin's On the Necessity of Reforming the Church Eire notes,

Calvin speaks about the nature of worship and about the seriousness of the sin of idolatry in his 1543 treatise, On the Necessity of Reforming the Church, where he concentrates on the significance of worship for the Christian religion. Calvin's argument, as indicated by the title of the treatise, is that the Church had reached such a corrupt state that its reform could wait no longer. The most significant aspect of corruption singled out by Calvin is the perversion of worship, and it is in explaining this issue that he set forth the basis for his attack on idolatry.

Calvin begins by studying the place that worship holds in the Christian faith, and he concludes that it is one of the two elements that define Christianity:

If it be asked, then, by what things chiefly the Christian religion has a standing amongst us, and maintains its truth, it will be found that the following two not only occupy the principal place, but comprehend under them all the other parts, and consequently the whole substance of Christianity, viz., a knowledge first, of the right way to worship God; and secondly of the source from which salvation is to be sought. When these are kept out of view, though we may glory in the name of Christians, our profession is empty and vain. (War Against the Idols, p. 198, citing from Calvin's On the Necessity of Reforming the Church [FREE at: http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/NRC_ch00.htm ] , emphases added).

The scholarly translational work found in Eire's book also gives insights into the worship question not found in any other English history books (concerning Calvin, Knox, and a host of others) -- for it contains much from previously untranslated (into English, that is) Reformation documents.

A large portion of this book centers on Calvin, but its major thrust is to reveal the single most burning issue confronting the Reformers: purity of worship! Furthermore, this book's teaching regarding the Reformers (and their view of the Scriptural law of worship) is as applicable today as it was in the days of the first Reformation -- for it brings to light the time-tested Biblical principles which guard against the errors, excesses, and idolatries of the Roman harlot (Roman Catholicism), Eastern Orthodoxy and all liturgical innovators on one hand and the modern "evangelicals" (including the sub-Reformed movement headed up by the likes of Steve Schlissel, John Frame, Doug Wilson et al.), Anabaptists and Charismatics on the other. This is, without a doubt, one of the best Reformation history books available -- stirring, scholarly, relevant and edifying!

As far as we know this book may be out of print in the near future, so those interested would be advised to obtain a copy as soon as possible.

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FREE! (Contra Schlissel's Denial of Reformed Worship)

An irenic letter written to a PCA elder, regarding Steve Schlissel's recent attacks on historic Reformed (biblical) worship, is FREE at: http://www.cashflows.org/rpw.htm

A Brief Critique of Steven M. Schlissel's Articles Against the Regulative Principle of Worship, by Brian M. Schwertley, is free at: http://reformedonline.com/view/reformedonline/schlissel.htm 


Resource 6. GILLESPIE, GEORGE

A Dispute Against the English Popish Ceremonies Obtruded on the Church of Scotland (1637, reprinted from the 1660 edition)

George Gillespie was one of the Scottish commissioners to the Westminster Assembly, the youngest member there, and undoubtedly one of the most influential. William Hetherington observes "The effect produced by this singularly able work may be conjectured from the fact that within a few months of its publication, a proclamation was issued by the Privy Council, at the instigation of the Bishops, commanding that all copies of the book that could be found be called in and burned by the hangman. Such was the only answer that all the learned Scottish Prelates could give to a treatise written by a youth who was only in his twenty-fifth year when it appeared" ("Memoir," from the Works of George Gillespie, p. xviii.). James Bannerman notes, "This was Gillespie's first work, and it may be truly said to have settled the controversy which called it forth, so far as argument was concerned. No answer to it was ever attempted by the Prelatic party; and no answer was possible. It displays singular acuteness, learning, and force of reasoning; and the thoroughness of the discussion is as remarkable as the power with which it is conducted" (The Church of Christ, vol. 2., p. 435). Possibly the best uninspired book ever written on biblical worship, an extensive and thorough masterpiece that leaves no stone unturned. For advanced study.

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Resource 7. DICK, JAMES

Hymns and Hymn Books (1883)

Greg Price calls this one of the best short defences of exclusive Psalmody. It is excerpted from The Original Covenanter magazine (Dec, 1883, vol. 3, No. 12). Here is a taste of Dick's writing,

Hymns of human composition are used so commonly now in public worship by Presbyterian churches that it is difficult to believe that the practice is not a hundred years old, and that in some of the churches it is of very recent date. On the supposition that it is good and dutiful and wise to sing such hymns in worship, it is equally difficult to account for the neglect of the churches at the time of the Reformation, and for generations afterwards. What could have so blinded the reformers as to make them reject hymns and sing the Psalms alone? How could the Westminster Divines, in framing their Confession of Faith and Directory for Worship, have been so unanimous in the blunder that the service of praise is to consist of the 'singing of Psalms?' And apart from the aspect of duty, how could the Presbyterian churches, for about a hundred and fifty or two hundred years after the Westminster Assembly, have been so insensible to the power of hymns as an attractive addition to their public services? We cannot by any means understand how it was that, if it was dutiful to use hymns in worship, the reformers did not discover the Scriptural warrant for the duty, especially as hymns had been used for centuries by the Church of Rome. Nor can we understand how they rejected the hymns and used the Psalms alone, unless on the supposition that they believed the use of hymns to be part of the will-worship of Rome. If they were wrong on this point, then Rome and our modern Presbyterian churches are right. In that case, the Puritans and Covenanters were fanatics, and Romanists were truly enlightened! And most of our Presbyterian churches of the present day were fanatical too, and did not become truly enlightened and liberal till they got back to the Romish practice!

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