The following brief biographical sketch concerning the author of this Catechism was supplied by Mr. Kevin Reed.
John Craig (15121600) was a Scottish reformer. Previously a Dominican Friar, Craig was converted to the Protestant Faith. The Roman Inquisition condemned Craig to death, yet he escaped and returned to Scotland. In 1560, Craig became copastor with John Knox in Edinburgh. Later, Craig became a chaplain to James VI. At the direction of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Craig composed this catechism, which was subsequently approved by the Assembly in 1592.
I. Of Our Miserable Bondage Through Adam
Q. 1. What are we by nature? A. The children of God's wrath, Eph. 2:3.
Q. 2. Were we thus created of God? A. No, for he made us to his own image, Gen. 1:26.
Q. 3. How came we to this misery? A. Through the fall of Adam from God, Gen. 3.
Q. 4. What things came to us by that fall? A. Original sin, and natural corruption, Rom. 5:12, 18, 19.
Q. 5. What power have we to turn to God? A. None at all, for we are all dead in sin, Eph.2:1.
Q. 6. What is the punishment of our sin? A. Death eternal, both in body and soul, Rom. 6:23.
II. Of Our Redemption by Christ
Q. 7. Who may deliver us from this bondage? A. God only who bringeth life out of death.
Q. 8. How know we that he will do it? A. By the promise and sending of his Son Christ Jesus in our flesh, John 3:16, 17.
Q. 9. What kind of person is Christ? A. Perfect God and perfect man, without sin, Matt. 1:23; Luke 1:31.
Q. 10. What needed this wonderful union? A. That he might be a meet Mediator.
Q. 11. How did he redeem us? A. Through his obedience to the law, and death of the cross, Phil. 2:8.
Q. 12. Suffered he only natural death? A. No, but he suffered also the curse of God, in body and soul, Gal. 3:13.
Q. 13. How know we that his death brought life to us? A. By his glorious resurrection and ascension.
Q. 14. Wherefore that? A. For if he hath not satisfied for all our sins perfectly, he hath not
risen, nor we by him, 1 Cor. 15:14, 17.
Q. 15. Is it needful that we believe these mysteries? A. No doubt, but yet that is not enough, Jam. 2:17, 20.
Q. 16. What more is required? A. That we be made partakers of Christ and his merits, John 15:47.
III. Of Our Participation with Christ
Q. 17. How is that wrought? A. Through his continual intercession for us in heaven, Heb. 7:25.
Q. 18. Declare how that is done? A. Hereby the Holy Spirit is sent, John 14:16, 26.
Q. 19. What doth the Spirit in this work? A. He offereth Christ and his graces to us, and moveth us to receive him.
Q. 20. How doth he offer Christ to us? A. By the preaching of the evangel, Rom. 10:1315.
Q. 21. How doth he move us to receive him? A. Through printing in our hearts true faith in Christ, Acts 16:14.
Q. 22. What thing is faith in Christ? A. A sure persuasion that he is the only Saviour of the world, but ours in special, who believe in him, John 6.
Q. 23. What doth this fruit work? A. Our inseparable union with Christ and his graces, Eph. 3:1619.
Q. 24. What is the first fruit of this union? A. A remission of our sins, and imputation of justice, Rom. 5:19.
Q. 25. Which is the next fruit of our union with him? A. Our sanctification and regeneration to the image of God, John 3:3, 5.
Q. 26. Who doth this, and how? A. The Holy Spirit through our union with Christ, in his death, burial, and resurrection, Rom. 6.
Q. 27. What are the chief parts of our regeneration? A. Mortification of sin, and rising to righteousness, Rom. 6.
Q. 28. How know we sin and righteousness? A. By the just and perfect law of God, Rom. 7.
IV. Of the Word
Q. 29. Where shall we find the Word of God? A. Only in the holy scriptures, Rom. 15:4.
Q. 30. Are the scriptures sufficient for our instruction? A. No doubt, as the apostles do testify, John 20:31; Gal. 1:8; 2 Tim. 3:16.
Q. 7. How should we receive and use the word ? A. We should read it privately and publicly with all reverence, Deut. 7:12.
Q. 32. Is this sufficient for our instruction? A. No, if public teaching may be had, Eph. 4:11, 12.
Q. 33. Wherefore that? A. For as God raiseth public teachers and pastors, so he hath commanded us to hear them, Mal. 2:7.
Q. 34. How long should we continue in this school? A. All the days of our lives, seeing we are ignorant, forgetful, and easy to be deceived, Col. 3:16.
Q. 35. What then serve the sacraments? A. They are added for our further comfort and admonition as a visible Word, Gen. 17:911; Ex. 12.
V. Of Our Liberty to Serve God
Q. 36. What good things may we do now being thus regenerated ? A. We may serve our God freely and uprightly, Rom. 12.
Q. 37. May we do it perfectly according to the law? A. No, truly, for our regeneration is not perfect, Gal. 5:17, Eccl. 7:22.
Q. 38. What followeth upon that? A. A certain rebellion of the flesh against the Spirit, Rom. 7:1525.
Q. 39. Is not this rebellion cursed by the law? A. Yea, truly, but yet it is not imputed to us,
2 Cor. 5:19.
Q. 40. Wherefore that, seeing it is sin, and the root of all our sins? A. Because Christ satisfied all the points of the law for us, Rom. 3:21, etc.
Q. 41. What are we then who believe in Christ? A. Just in him, but sinners in ourselves, Rom. 8.
Q. 42. What craveth this confession of us? A. A constant faith in Christ, and continual repentance.
Q. 43. What then is our only joy in life and death? A. That all our sins bypast, present and to come, are buried; and Christ only is made our wisdom, justification, sanctification, and redemption, 1Cor. 1:30.
Q. 44. What fruit cometh of this faith? A. A peace of conscience, and joy in the Spirit, in all our troubles within and without, Rom. 5:2; 2 Cor. 6:4.
Q. 45. What shall we gather of this whole discourse? A. How miserable we are through Adam, and how blessed through Christ, Phil. 3:8.
Q. 46. When should we remember of this doctrine? A. At all times, but chiefly when we are touched with a proud opinion of our own worthiness, or are troubled in conscience for sin, Luke 18:19.
Q. 47. Then this meditation serveth for a preparation to the holy sacraments? A. Yea truly, if they be rightly considered.
VI. Of the Sacraments
Q. 48. Declare that in baptism. A. We see there the seal of our spiritual filthiness through our communion with Adam, and our purgation by our communion with Christ.
Q. 49. Declare the same in the Supper. A. We see, feel, and taste there also, the seal of our spiritual wants, and death through Adam; and likewise of our spiritual treasures and life through
Q. 50. How contract we our spiritual filthiness from Adam? A. Through our natural communion with him, Rom. 5:12, etc.
Q. 51. How came we to our spiritual purgation, and life by Christ? A. Through our spiritual communion with our second Adam, Head, and Spouse, Eph. 5:30.
Q. 52. Do the word and the sacraments work this communion? A. No, for it is the work of the Spirit only, Eph. 3:16.
Q. 53. Whereunto do the word and sacraments lead us? A. Directly to the cross and death of Christ, 1 Cor. 1:17, 18, 23, 24.
Q. 54. Wherefore that? A. Because through his cross and death the wrath of God was quenched, and all his blessings made ours, Gal. 3:13, 14.
Q. 55. Why was this high mystery represented by these weak and common elements? A. Because they express most lively our spiritual purging and feeding, which we have by Christ, John 6:32, etc.
Q. 56. When doth he these things to us in very deed? A. When he is so joined with us, and we with him, that he abideth in us, and we in him spiritually, John 15:4, 5.
Q. 57. How is this union and abiding expressed here? A. By natural washing, eating, drinking, digesting, feeding, and abiding in us.
Q. 58. How may we feel and know this spiritual abiding in us? A. By the testimony of the Spirit in us, and external actions agreeable to Christ in us, Matt.7:16; Rom. 8:16.
Q. 59. Then Christ is not an idle guest in us? A. No truly, for he came not only with water and blood, but also with the Spirit, to assure us, in some measure, of his presence in us, 1 John 5:6.
VII. Of Baptism
Q. 60. What signifieth baptism unto us? A. That we are filthy by nature, and are purged by the blood of Christ, Titus 3:5.
Q. 61. What meaneth this our union with the water? A. Our spiritual union with Jesus Christ, Rom. 6:3, 8; Gal. 3:27.
Q. 62. What followeth upon this our union with him? A. Remission of sins and regeneration, Rom. 6:4, 18, 22.
Q. 63. From whence cometh our regeneration? A. From the communion with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, Rom. 6:4, 5, 8.
Q. 64. How long, and by what way doth baptism work in us? A. All the days of our life, through faith and repentance, 1 Cor. 6:19, 20.
Q. 65. How then are infants baptized? A. Upon the promise made to the faithful and their seed, Gen. 17:7, 10.
Q. 66. How doth baptism differ from the Supper? A. In the elements, action, rites, signification and use.
Q. 67. Wherefore is baptism but once ministered? A. It is enough to be received once in the house of God, Rom. 8:16.
Q. 68. Declare the cause of that. A. For they are never casten out, who are once truly received in his society, John 6:37.
Q. 69. Why is the Supper so oft ministered? A. We have need to be fed continually, John 6:55.
Q. 70. Why is not the Supper to be ministered to infants? A. Because they cannot examine themselves, 1 Cor. 11:28.
VIII. Of the Supper
Q. 71. What signifieth the action of the Supper? A. That our souls are fed spiritually, by the body and blood of Jesus Christ, John 6:54.
Q. 72. When is this done? A. When we feel the efficacy of his death in our conscience by the Spirit of faith, John 6:63.
Q. 73. Why is this sacrament given in meat and drink? A. To seal up our near conjunction with Christ.
Q. 74. Wherefore is both meat and drink given? A. To testify that Christ is the whole food of our souls, John 6.
Q. 75. Is Christ's body in the elements? A. No, but it is in heaven, Acts 1:11.
Q. 76. Why then is the element called his body? A. Because it is a sure seal of his body given to our souls.
Q. 77. To whom should this sacrament be given? A. To the faithful only, who can examine themselves.
Q. 78. Wherein should they examine themselves? A. In faith and repentance, with their fruits.
Q. 79. What should the pastors do when men are negligent, and abuse the sacraments? A. They should use the order of discipline established in the word.
IX. Of Discipline
Q. 80. Who should use this discipline? A. The pastors and elders by their mutual consent and judgment.
Q. 81. What is the office of the eldership? A. To watch upon their flock, and exercise the discipline.
Q. 82. How is this done? A. By private and public admonition, and other censures of the kirk, as need requireth.
Q. 83. Who ought to be excluded from the sacraments? A. All infidels, and public slanderers.
Q. 84. Wherefore are these excluded? A. Lest they should hurt themselves, slander the kirk, and dishonour God.
X. Of the Magistrate
Q. 85. What is the office of the Christian magistrate in the kirk? A. He should defend the true religion and discipline, and punish all troublers and contemners of the same.
XI. Of the Table in Special
Q. 86. Why use we a table here, and not an altar as the fathers did at God's commandment?
A. Because we convene, not to offer a sacrifice for sin, but to eat and drink of that sacrifice, which Christ once offered upon the cross for us, Heb. 7:23, 24, 27, and 10:11, 12, 14, 18.
Q. 87. What protest we when we come to the table? A. That we are dead in ourselves, and seek our life only in Christ.
Q. 88. Shall this confession of our unworthiness be a stay to come to the communion?
A. No, truly, but rather a preparation to the same, if faith and repentance be with it, Mark 2:17.
Q. 89. Wherefore is there mention made here of Christ's body and blood severally? A. To testify his death, by the which only he was made our spiritual meat and drink, John 6:51, 55.
Q. 90. For what cause is this action called the communion? A. Because it is the true cause of our mutual society with Christ in all things, good and evil.
Q. 91. Declare how that is performed. A. Hereby he removeth all evil things from us, which we have by nature, and we receive of him all good things, which we want by nature.
Q. 92. Declare these things more plainly. A. The wrath of God and sin is removed, which we have by nature, and the favour of God, and adoption, with the joy of heaven, is restored to us, the
which things we have not by nature, Rom. 8.
Q. 93. What thing may the faithful soul say? A. Now live I; not I, but Christ liveth in me; it is God that justifieth,
who shall condemn?
Q. 94. Let us therefore give thanks, and pass to this holy action, every one of us, saying and singing in his heart, The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup; thou shalt maintain my lot; the lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a fair heritage, Ps. 16:56.
A. Let it be done so, with heart and mouth, to the confusion of all idolaters, and glory of our God.
XII. The End of Our Redemption
Q. 95. To what end are we thus redeemed, and brought in hope of that endless joy to come?
A. To move us effectually to deny all ungodliness, worldly lusts, and unrighteousness, and so live godly, soberly, and righteously in this present world, looking for the coming of Christ, for our full redemption, Tit. 2:1113.
Q. 96. What shall be the final end of all these graces? A. God shall be glorified for ever in mercy, and we shall enjoy that endless life with Christ our Head, to whom with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be all honour and glory for ever. Amen.
About the Text
The text of this edition is based upon An Form of Examination before the Communion, as published in volume 2 of William Dunlop's Collection of Confessions of Faith, Catechisms, Directories, Books of Discipline, etc. (Edinburgh: James Watson, 1722). Spelling and punctuation have been revised to reflect contemporary usage.
Copyright © 1996 by Presbyterian Heritage Publications
P.O. Box 180922, Dallas, Texas 75218, U.S.A.
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The Westminster Confession of Faith
"The product of Puritan conflict," stated Shedd, reaching "a perfection of statement never elsewhere achieved.""All that learning the most profound and extensive, intellect the most acute and searching, and piety the most sincere and earnest, could accomplish, was thus concentrated in the Westminster Assembly_s Confession of Faith, which may be safely termed the most perfect statement of Systematic Theology ever framed by the Christian Church," writes Hetherington in The History of the Westminster Assembly of Divines (p. 345, emphasis added). "These are worth an hundred victories on the battle field. We do not fear to say of them that they are the finest transfusion into uninspired language of the sublime, awful, blessed truths of the Word of God which the Church has as yet been honored to make... Never can the Covenanters be robbed of the immortal honor of having, while at the summit of their power, published this great principle to the world" noted J.A. Wylie, in praise of the Westminster Standards (cited in Johnston_s Treasury of the Scottish Covenant, p. 101). Concerning the Shorter Catechism, which is one of the items also included in this book, Mitchell, in his Westminster Assembly: Its History and Standards, notes: "...it is a thoroughly Calvinistic and Puritan catechism, the ripest fruit of the Assembly's thought and experience, maturing and finally fixing the definitions of theological terms to which Puritanism for half a century had been leading up and gradually coming closer and closer to in its legion of catechisms" (p. 431). The WCF is the greatest of all the creeds of the Christian church. The church of Christ cannot be creedless and live. Especially in an age of doubt and confusion, it is her duty to define and proclaim the one true faith. Nowhere has the Reformed church done this so effectively as in the Westminster family of documents. This book represents Reformed thinking at its purest and best. It was intended, as part of the covenanted reformation taking place during its compilation, to be adopted as the binding confessional standard for every individual, family, court, church, and legislature in the British Isles. Study it carefully and we think that you will see why this same goal should be covenanted to by all serious minded followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the definitive edition of the WCF and its many related documents. It contains Manton's "Epistle to the Reader," the Larger Catechism, Shorter Catechism, "The Sum of Saving Knowledge," "The National Covenant (1638)," "The Solemn League and Covenant (1643)," "Acknowledgment of Publick Sins and Breaches of the Covenant (1648)," "The Directory for the Publick Worship of God (1645)," The Form of Presbyterial Church Government (1645)," "The Directory for Family Worship (1647)," an extensive index and more! "Every effort has been made, by sparing no expense or labour... to render it the Standard Edition," note the publishers. An essential book for every Christian home, church, and state! Next to the Bible itself, no other book can furnish you with as much necessary spiritual information. Related item: William Hetherington's History of the Westminster Assembly ($9.98/cerlox bound photocopy or $19.00/Hardcover photocopy).
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Protesters Vindicated: Or, A Just and Necessary Defence of
Protesting Against, and Withdrawing from This National Church of Scotland on
Account of Her Many Gross and Continued Defections (1716)
The title continues: "More particularly, her approving of, and going into the legal establishment of the Prelatic constitutions of England. The generality of ministers swearing, in the Oath of Abjuration, to maintain Erastianism, Prelacy, and English Popish Ceremonies. Non-Jurants joining with Jurants, judicially approving that practice to be free of scandal. The Church's establishing tyranny in government, against all who will not join in communion with her, and approve her practices without redress of grievances. Wherein these and several other causes of withdrawing are proven to be justly chargeable on the Church, demonstrated to be contrary to the Word of God and Reformed principles of this Church, and just grounds of withdrawing, and setting up judicatures distinct from her; and the objections of Jurants and others fully answered." This is a classic, detailed statement of the old covenanted principles and the biblical attainments of the second Reformation (like the Solemn League and Covenant, the Westminster standards, etc.). It is also an excellent defense against the modern malignants who counsel Christ's children to remain in the backsliding and covenant breaking denominations that abound in our day. Very Rare! 270 pages.
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Records of the Kirk of Scotland, Containing the Acts and
Proceedings of the Generals Assemblies, From the Year 1638 Downwards, As
Authenticated by the Clerks of Assembly; With Notes and Historical
Illustrations, by Alexander Peterkin (1838 edition)
"The object of the present work is to present to the public, in a form that may be generally accessible, the history of one of the most interesting periods in the annals of our National Church, by the republication of the Acts and Proceedings, at and subsequent to the era of her second Reformation; and, combined therewith, such historical documents and sketches as are calculated to preserve the memory of an important, and, ultimately beneficial revolution," notes Peterkin in his introduction. This is one the most valuable publications we offer related to second Reformation history and the many important questions that were debated (and oftentimes settled) during this watershed period -- before, during and after the sitting of the Westminster Assembly. It also contains some indispensable information on the Protester/Resolutioner controversy (which reveals many valuable lessons for Reformed Christians today), including excerpts from some lost books and papers written by the Protesting Covenanters. The excerpts from James Guthrie's The Waters of Sihor, or the Lands Defectione, in which Guthrie enumerates the errors of the Resolutioners, as well as the marks of malignancy, is one prime example. Other rare Protester documents (inveighing against the "pretended Assemblies" of the Resolutioners), signed by the likes of Samuel Rutherford and Robert Traill are also included. Very rare and very valuable -- a gold mine for the serious student of the second Reformation! 684 pages.
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Act, Declaration, And Testimony, For The Whole Of The
Covenanted Reformation, As Attained To, And Established In, Britain and
Ireland; Particularly Betwixt The Years 1638 and 1649, Inclusive. As, Also,
Against All The Steps Of Defection From Said Reformation, Whether In Former Or
Later Times, Since The Overthrow Of That Glorious Work, Down To This Present
Upholds the original work of the Westminster Assembly and testifies to the abiding worth and truth formulated in the Westminster family of documents. Upholds and defends the crown rights of King Jesus in church and state, denouncing those who would remove the crown from Christ's head by denying His right to rule (by His law) in both the civil and ecclesiastical spheres. Testifies to the received doctrine, government, worship, and discipline of the Church of Scotland in her purest (reforming) periods. Applies God's Word to the Church's corporate attainments "with a judicial approbation of the earnest contendings and attainments of the faithful, and a strong and pointed judicial condemnation of error and the promoters thereof" (The Original Covenanter and Contending Witness, Dec. 17/93, p. 558). Shows the church's great historical victories (such as the National and Solemn League and Covenant, leading to the Westminster Assembly) and exposes her enemies actions (e.g. the Prelacy of Laud; the Independency, sectarianism, covenant breaking and ungodly toleration set forth by the likes of Cromwell [and the Independents that conspired with him]; the Erastianism and civil sectarianism of William of Orange, etc.). It is not likely that you will find a more consistent working out of the principles of Calvinism anywhere -- and fittingly this work has been called "the most profoundly reasoned document ever issued by the (R.P.) Church." It deals with the most important matters relating to the individual, the family, the church and the state. Sets forth a faithful historical testimony of God's dealings with men during some of the most important days of church history. A basic text that should be mastered by all Christians.
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Auchensaugh Renovation of the National Covenant and Solemn
League and Covenant; with the Acknowledgement of Sins and Engagement to Duties
as they were Renewed at Auchensaugh in 1712... Also the Renovation of These
Public Federal Deeds Ordained at Philadelphia, Oct. 8, 1880, By the Reformed
Presbytery, With Accommodation of the Original Covenants, in Both Transactions,
to their Times and Positions Respectively (1880 ed.)
"In 1712, at Auchensaugh, the Covenants, National and Solemn League, were renewed... At the renewal the covenant bonds were recognized as binding the descendants of those who first entered into those bonds. The Covenanters, however, sought to display the true intent of those Covenants with marginal notes. These notes explained that the Church of Jesus Christ, in Scotland (and around the world), must not join hands with any political power in rebellion to the crown rights of King Jesus. The Covenanters pledged the Covenanted Reformed Presbyterian Church to the support of lawful magistracy (i.e. magistracy which conformed itself to the precepts of God's Word) and declared themselves and their posterity against support of any power, in Church or State, which lacked biblical authority." (From "About the Covenanted Reformed Presbyterian Church" newsletter). An excellent introduction (historical and moral) regarding the reasons, motives and manner of fulfilling the duty of covenanting with God. Especially helpful concerning the Biblical view of the blessings (for covenant-keepers) and cursings (for covenant breakers) related to covenanting. As noted on page 37, "the godly usually in times of great defection from the purity and power of religion, and corruption of the ordinances of God's worship, set about renewing their covenant, thereby to prevent covenant curses, and procure covenant blessing; as we find both in scripture record, 2 Chron. 15:12-13; 29:10; 34:30-31; Ezra 10:3, and in our own ecclesiastical history." Times like ours certainly call for a revival of the Scriptural ordinance of covenanting, for "[t]he nations throughout Christendom, continue in league with Antichrist and give their strength to the beast. They still refuse to profess and defend the true religion in doctrine, worship, government and discipline, contrary to the example of the kingdoms of Scotland, England and Ireland in the seventeenth century" (p. 136 in this book).
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Various Official Acts, Declarations, Protestations, etc.,
Concerning the Covenanted Reformation
Contains 24 rare documents from the period 1638-1650. One document, "The Act of Covenant Renovation" (1880) by the Reformed Presbytery (which was a faithful renewal of the National Covenant and the Solemn League and Covenant [adapted to the present time], with a confession of public sins), is added from outside this period to illustrate the continuing obligations that rest upon the moral person (civilly and ecclesiastically). Among the seventeenth century documents we find much (from both the church and the state) that relates to the central place that covenanting played in the second Reformation. We also find various authoritative international testimonies against Popery, Prelacy and Schism (i.e. Independency, Cromwell, etc.), and for biblical covenanted uniformity, divine right Presbyterian church government, and apostolic worship. Military documents related to the second Reformation are also added. One proclamation by Charles I is even included, to illustrate Royalist opposition to Reformation. 686 pages.
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(Hardcover photocopy) $29.00 (US funds)
The Book of the Universal Kirk of Scotland
Contains the earliest official records (acts and proceedings) of the Established Reformed Church in Scotland, covering the period from 1560 to 1616. Peterkin calls them "the only sure and satisfactory memorials of the course of Ecclesiastical affairs in the times immediately succeeding the Reformation." Lee, Clerk of the General Assembly in 1828 writes (regarding the originals), "there is no difficulty in proving that the volumes in question were laid on the table of the General Assembly which met at Glasgow in 1638; and that they were pronounced by that Assembly to be true and authentic Registers of the Kirk of Scotland." Concerning this copy of "The Booke" ("for the first time fully printed from the copies in the Advocates' Library"), Lee further states that these records exhibit, "the real character of the internal government of this national church. They display the operation of the principles by which the first Reformers and their immediate successors were actuated. They demonstrate that these men were not more distinguished by zeal for the truth, than by loyalty to the head of the government, attachment to true principles, (I do not say of toleration--for that was a term which they certainly did not employ or approve)--of religious liberty and civil subordination. They bear testimony to the strictness and impartiality of ancient discipline. They vindicate the character of those illustrious men whose names have been unjustly aspersed, but who, both by their doctrine and lives,--by their unwearied exertions and their patient sufferings,--left an example, not indeed or faultless excellence, but assuredly of the most noble, magnanimous, and fearless adherence to the standards of our constitution. These Registers also contain much that is capable of correcting erroneous representations of historical facts with regard to the internal state of the kingdom-- institutions, habits, and customs, as well as the morals of the people, and the spirit which was most prevalent at particular periods in various districts of the land... they prove, that from the very first moment, it was the determined object of the leaders of the Reformation, to establish such a Presbyterian Government, as was at last, with the utmost difficulty completed... they deserve to be preserved with care, as the most venerable remnants of a distant age--as the earliest annuls of our infant church... of confessors and martyrs, who counted not their lives dear to them; and who when they thought it necessary, never shrunk from sealing their testimony with their blood... (they) present the seal and superscription of glory to God, and good will to man--peace to the church, and happiness to the state" (pp. xi-xii). John Knox, the first name listed in the first record of the first General Assembly (in 1560), of course, plays a prominent role in much of what is recorded here. 631 pages.
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(Hardcover photocopy) $29.00 (US funds)
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 by Reg Barrow
Doug Wilson and others at Credenda/Agenda used their magazine to publicly attack and slander Reg Barrow (President of Still Waters Revival Books) in a column that they call the "Cave of Adullam." This invective was Credenda's response to Barrow's comments on Knox Ring (where Barrow noted that John Calvin would have excommunicated John Frame for the apostasy that he manifests in his new book on worship). Numerous private attempts were unsuccessfully made (by Barrow and others) to call Wilson to repentance for this slander. Ultimately, charges for violation of the ninth commandment were brought (in accord with Matt. 18:15-17) against Wilson by Barrow. This book recounts the salient points of the controversy (and the Matthew 18 proceedings) between Wilson and Barrow -- in their actual email debates! Also included is Barrow's demonstration of why Calvin would have excommunicated Frame and Greg Price's Testimony Against The Unfounded Charges of Anabaptism. These debates are a classic example of the differences that exist today between paleopresbyterians (Barrow) and neopresbyterians (Wilson). Wilson's charges against Barrow, of Anabaptism, separatism, etc. are all refuted under a mountain of quotations from Reformation source documents. Barrow's refutations of Wilson's spurious charges bring to light many aspects of Reformation thought that have been lost or forgotten in our day. Besides the initial controversy (over Frame and worship) and the restoration process (set forth in Matthew 18:15-17), this book should be of special interest to all of those who love the "old paths" of truth -- trod by our forefathers in the Reformed faith -- for some of the most pressing issues of our day (regarding the individual, church and state) are addressed herein. Classic statements, cited by Barrow, not only exhibit the wisdom which God granted the best Reformers of both the first and second Reformations, but also specifically demonstrate how Wilson and many other modern Protestants actually reject the Reformation at many points (all their protests not withstanding). "And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in" (Isa. 58:12). This item is also available as a bound photocopy for $7.98 (US funds) or a Hardcover photocopy for $19.00 (US funds).
Why the PCA is Not a Duly Constituted Church and Why Faithful Christians Should Separate from this Corrupted "Communion" by Larry Birger
Two letters from Larry Birger, Jr. to the session of his former congregation in the PCA, with an historical introduction. Birger states, "This work is emitted by way of testimony against the defections from the reformation of the true religion granted by God in ages past, in hopes of playing some small part in the edification of God's people currently languishing under such defected and defecting denominations." It spotlights the differences between classic Presbyterian thought [paleopresbyterianism] and what today is but a pale imitation [neopresbyterianism] of the Reformation attainments that have been won [at the cost of much suffering and many lives] in the past. This is a good practical introduction to ecclesiology, testimony-bearing, and second Reformation thought.
Brief Defence of Dissociation in the Present Circumstances (1996)
This work explains why Christians should separate themselves from those churches which deny biblical truth and its implications. It defends this position using many Reformation source documents. Samuel Rutherford has been especially misunderstood concerning separation. Examples of misleading and seriously flawed presentations of Rutherford's position on the church and separation have been seen in Walker's The Theology and Theologians of Scotland 1560-1750, Bacon's The Visible Church and Outer Darkness and a host of other works -- all of which overlook foundational second Reformation truths set forth by Rutherford and his fellow Covenanters. This book clearly demonstrates, from Rutherford's own actions and teaching (during the Protester/Resolutioner controversy in the Scottish church), how far off many previous works on this subject have been. It is the best short introduction to questions regarding the visible church and separation which we list.
(Bound photocopy) $9.95-60%=3.98
Reformed View of Schism"
The Reformers often said "that to avoid schism we must separate." This should give the perceptive reader some indication of how badly misunderstood the biblical teaching regarding schism and separation (which should be differentiated in many ways) has become in our day. Sadly, some of the most anti-Reformed work on this subject has been written by contemporary individuals, who, though calling themselves Reformed, "understand neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm" (1 Tim. 1:7). This excerpt from Clarkson's Plain Reasons for Presbyterians Dissenting should contribute much to correcting the problem of unbiblical ecumenism and place this doctrine (of biblical unity in the visible church) back on its Scriptural foundation -- which was recovered during the Reformation. Clarkson cites Beza, Rutherford, Gillespie, Dickson, Durham, McWard (Rutherford's "disciple"), Marshal, Watson, Owen, Burroughs, and many others, while defending the truth about schism. Objections brought against the Reformation view of schism are also carefully answered. This is probably the single best medium length treatment of this subject.)
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