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"Essential" implies belonging to the very nature of a thing and therefore being incapable of removal without destroying the thing itself -- Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary
The visible church is a society made up of all such as in all ages and places of the world do profess the true religion, and of their children. -- Westminster Larger Catechism, Q. 62
When we categorically deny to the papists the title of the church, we do not for this reason impugn [attack or deny] the existence of churches among them. Rather, we are only contending about the true and lawful constitution of the church . . . . I say that every one of their congregations and their whole body lack the LAWFUL FORM of the church . -- Calvin's Institutes, 4:2.12
Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. -- Revelation 18:4
My studies of the original teachings of the reformers, over the last year and a half, have led me to many striking and saddening conclusions. In short, I am more convinced than ever that if the reformers were essentially correct in their exposition of the scriptures, then only one evaluation can be made of today's "reformed" and "presbyterian" churches by the honest student of scripture and history: we are far along the road to apostasy. I see clearly taught by outstanding reformers that the Roman church was the whore of Babylon (indeed, this teaching was creedal in at least one case), who persecutes the woman (the faithful church) and her seed, driving them to exile in the wilderness (Rev. 12; 17:6; Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF), 25:4; note the Scripture proof 'h' for the WCF here). It should be carefully noted that this wicked harlot is described as being a mother of harlots and abominations (Rev. 17:5). Who then are the daughters? Churches who, regardless of their glorying in names like "Protestant", "reformed", etc., nevertheless follow in the footsteps of the Roman whore and her abominations are justly deserving of this title, insofar as they hold to such idolatry and filth. Please note that I am referring to the churches here in their formal or constitutional capacity, for I believe that there are some, if not many, of God's people still among them. It is in this capacity (constitutionally) that we are to evaluate them using the marks of the true church (sound preaching and teach ing, lawful administration of the sacraments, faithful biblical discipline; see Scottish Confession of Faith, Chapter 18, WCF 25:4, and Institutes, 4:1-2). The church in her essential capacity, on the other hand, is simply, "all those throughout the world who profess the true religion, together with their children" (WCF 25:2; Westminster Larger Catechism (WLC), Q. 62); it is not the church's organization or government. This government and ministry are given "unto this catholick visible church" (WCF 25:3), which presupposes her existence apart from them. This is confirmed in WLC, Q's. 62-63, where the ministry, etc., are privileges given to her, not essential characteristics.
That the organizational form of the visible church equals the visible church, is a Popish error rampant in our day. Calvin considered this a fundamental difference between Protestants and Papists, as he says in his "Prefatory Address to King Francis,"Institutes, p. 24-25 (Battles edition):
Our controversy turns on these hinges: first, they contend that the form of the church is always apparent and observable. Secondly, they set this form in the see [seat of authority -- LB] of the Roman Church and its hierarchy. We, on the contrary, affirm that the church can exist without any visible appearance, and that its appearance [i.e. when the church in her organized form is indeed recognizable -- LB] is not contained within that outward magnificence which they foolishly admire. Rather, it has quite another mark: namely, the pure preaching of God's Word and the lawful administration of the sacraments. They rage if the church cannot always be pointed to with the finger. But among the Jewish people how often was it so deformed that no semblance of it remained? What form do we think it displayed when Elijah complained that he alone was left [I Kings 19:10, or 14]? How long after Christ's coming was it hidden without form? How often has it since that time been so oppressed by wars, seditions, and heresies that it did not shine forth at all? If they had lived at that time,would they have believed that any church existed?
Therefore, in the former capacity (constitutionally) a given church can be considered false, a synagogue of Satan (in the worst case scenario), or of the whore (insofar as she follows the whore's practices), while at the same time, considered in the latter capacity (essentially), she nevertheless can have in her a true church. This is evident from Rev. 18:4. Note that Rev. 18:2 is a proof-text for the phrase, "some have so degenerated as to become no churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan" in WCF 25:5, and yet 18:4 says that God's people are among her. Thus, in a synagogue of Satan, there may yet be found God's people, which can only be accounted for by this distinction between the essence (God's people, who due to their regeneration do profess the true religion) and the lawful form or constitution (in this case, a synagogue of Satan) of the visible church.
It is also evident from Calvin's Institutes, IV:2.12 (by the way, please note in this and the quote above how often Calvin uses the word "form" and similar words when considering the church from these two different angles):
However, when we categorically deny to the papists the title of the church, we do not for this reason impugn the existence of churches among them. Rather, we are only contending about the true and lawful constitution of the church, required in the communion not only of the sacraments (which are the signs of profession) but also especially of doctrine. Daniel [Dan. 9:27] and Paul [II Thess. 2:4] foretold that Antichrist would sit in the Temple of God. With us, it is the Roman pontiff we make the leader and standard bearer of that wicked and abominable kingdom. The fact that his seat is placed in the Temple of God signifies that his reign was not to be such as to wipe out either the name of Christ or of the church. From this it therefore is evident that we by no means deny that the churches under his tyranny remain churches. But these he has profaned by his sacrilegious impiety, afflicted by his inhuman domination, corrupted and well-nigh killed by his evil and deadly doctrines, which are like poisoned drinks. In them Christ lies hidden, half buried, the gospel overthrown, piety scattered, the worship of God nearly wiped out. In them, briefly, everything is so confused that there we see the face of Babylon rather than that of the Holy City of God. To sum up, I call them churches to the extent that the Lord wonderfully preserves in them a remnant of his people, however woefully dispersed and scattered, and to the extent that some marks [i.e. ruins or remnants; e.g. baptism, though corrupted in its administration -- LB] of the church remain--especially those marks whose effectiveness neither the devil's wiles nor human depravity can destroy. But on the other hand, because in them those marks have been erased to which we should pay particular regard in this discourse [that is, the marks of a true church -- LB], I say that every one of their congregations and their whole body lack the LAWFUL FORM of the church (emphases added).
It must be stressed that, because these churches have followed, to varying degrees, in the whore's footsteps (and not the footsteps of the flock -- Song 1:8), they are guilty of dividing the body of Christ. They are schismatics, who have separated themselves (though they are the vast majority in terms of numbers) from the company of the fai thful (who are the great minority), and are instead obstinately walking in disorderliness, and are causing divisions contrary to the apostolic doctrine and practice (2 Thess. 3:6,14; Rom. 16:17). Note carefully that we do not necessarily consider them to have so far degenerated as to be considered synagogues of Satan. Nevertheless, until they repent in their organizational or formal capacity, we must obey the Lord's commands respecting such schismatics and separatists:
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. . . . Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. . . . But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother [how much more if any body that is called a church be unrepentant in these -- LB] be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.. . . Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. . . . Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother [much more every church that refuses to repent -- LB] that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. . . . And if any man [let alone any unrepentant church -- LB] obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. . . . If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting abou t questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmising, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness; from such withdraw thyself. . . . If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. . . . Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. . . . Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD. . . . Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Beth-aven, nor swear, The LORD liveth. For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer: now the LORD will feed them as a lamb in a large place. Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone. . . . Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the wor ds of knowledge. . . . let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them. . . . And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities" (Rom. 16:17; Matt. 16:12; I Cor. 5:11; II Thess. 2:15;3:6,14; I Tim. 6:3-5; I Cor. 15:33; 2 John 10-11; II Chr. 19:2; Hos. 4:15-17; Pr. 19:27; Jer. 15:19; Rev. 18:4-5).
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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 -- Reg Barrow
Terms of Ministerial and Christian Communion in the Reformed Presbyterian Church, and In Our Day, In the Puritan Reformed Church; With Explanatory Dialogue (Including "The Biblical and Logical Necessity of Uninspired Creeds") --Larry Birger, Jr.
Why the PCA Is Not A Duly Constituted Church, and Why Faithful Christians Should Separate From This Corrupt "Communion" -- Larry Birger, Jr.
The Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 4, chapters 1 & 2 -- John Calvin
What is a Moral Person? How God Views the Church and Nations (newsletter) -- David Scott, John Cunningham, and George Smeaton
Corporate Sanctification: Holding Fast the Attainments of Reformation (newsletter) -- John Brown (of Wamphray; Samuel Rutherford's disciple)
Concerning Close Communion -- W. J. McKnight
Alexander and Rufus: Dialogues on Church Communion -- John Anderson
Plain Reasons for Presbyterians Dissenting from the Revolution Church -- Andrew Clarkson
Paleopresbyterianism Versus Neopresbyterianism by Michael Wagner
Defines the major differences between "paleo" or old Presbyterianism (the position held at the Westminster Assembly, 1648) and "neo" or new (modern) Presbyterianism. Maintains and proves that the two major differences are found in the form of subscription (whether complete, as with the "paleo's," or loose [i.e. allowing for scruples], as with the "neo's") to the Westminster standards and in whether or not the Solemn League and Covenant is thought to be binding today (in its moral equity). Wagner also demonstrates how the neopresbyterians have turned away from the original Presbyterian position. The implications of this introductory booklet are far reaching and revolutionary and could easil y shake the prevalent neopresbyterian establishment (PCA, OPC, etc.) to its very core. This item is also available as a bound photocopy for $2.39 (US funds)
Terms of Ministerial and Christian Communion in the Reformed Presbyterian Church, and In Our Day, In the Puritan Reformed Church; With Explanatory Dialogue (Including "The Biblical and Logical Necessity of Uninspired Creeds") by Larry Birger
Though not originally written with Brian Schwertley in mind, in the providence of God Birger's work has come at a crucial time. This delightful dialogue, between Hans (a paleopresbyterian) and Franz (a neo-turned-paleopresbyterian), deals with many of the accusations made by Schwertley (a minister in the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North Ameri ca -- RPCNA) in his recent open letter against the Puritan Reformed Church ("PRC" -- Edmonton, AB, and Prince George, BC) and Still Waters Revival Books (SWRB). In the process, this enjoyable work sets forth in a very clear, easy-to-understand way a number of the more controversial and misunderstood teachings adopted by the PRC and promoted by SWR B in their return to the biblical attainments of the Second, or Covenanted Reformation on the British Isles. The conversation begins with "The Biblical and Logical Necessity of Uninspired Creeds", where Hans shows Franz that Franz's rejection of uninspired creeds is itself an uninspired creed. After several months of study Franz is now interested in joining Hans' Covenanter church, but has been confused and unsettled by the charges of his friend (a member of the RPCNA). This RPCNA friend alleges that Hans' church is a continuation of the "schism" of the "Steelites", and that they are "basically Papists, putting uninspired works on a par with the Bible and then abusing (their) church autho rity by requiring faith in the church, rather than in the word of God." Hans then goes through and explains pertinent aspects of each term of communion, demonstrating that the RPCNA friend's (and Schwertley's) charges and objections are entirely inaccurate, vindicating in the process precious and vital truths of the Reformation. This easy-reading and mild-mannered dialogue includes an index of topics discussed and objections raised, and is an excellent introduction to the true Covenanter position (i.e. the position of the Westminster Assembly and the Church of Scotland during the Second Reformation) and an effective antidote to the kinds of unfounded slanders circulated by those lik e Brian Schwertley. This item is also available as a bound photocopy for $1.99 (US funds)
A Free Disputation Against Pretended Liberty of Conscience (1649 edition.)
Rutherford's Free Disputation, though scarce, is still one of his most important works -- with maybe only a few copies of the actual book left in existence. Though Rutherford is affectionately remembered in our day for his Letters, or for laying the foundations of constitutional government (against the divine right of kings) in his u nsurpassed Lex Rex, his Free Disputation should not be overlooked -- for it contains the same searing insights as Lex Rex. In fact, this book should probably be known as Rutherford's "politically incorrect" companion volume to Lex Rex. A sort of sequel aimed at driving pluralists and antinomians insane. Written against "the Belgick Arminians, Socinians, and other Authors contending for lawlesse liberty, or licentious Tolerations of Sects and Heresies," Rutherford explains the undiluted Biblical solution to moral relativism, especially as it is expressed in ecclesiastical and civil pluralism! (Corporate pluralism being a violation of the first commandment and an affront to the holy God of Scripture). He also deals with conscience, toleration, penology (punishment), and the judicial laws, as related to both the civil and ecclesiastical realms. Excellent sections are also included which address questions related to determining the fundamentals of religion, how covenants bind us, the perpetual obligation of social covenants (with direct application to the Solemn League and Covenant and the covenant-breaking of Cromwell and his sectarian supporters), whether the punishing of seducing teachers be persecution of conscience, and much more. Walker adds these comments and context regarding Rutherford's Free Disputation, "The principle of toleration was beginning to be broached in England, and in a modified shape to find acceptance there. Samuel Rutherford was alarmed, or rather, I should say, he was horrified, for he neither feared the face of man or argument. He rushed to the rescue of the good old view... It is not so easy to find a theoretical ground for toleration; and Rutherford has ma ny plausible things to say against it. With the most perfect confidence, he argues that it is alike against Scripture and common sense that you should have two religions side by side. It is outrageous ecclesiastically, it is sinful civilly. He does not, however, take what I call the essentially persecuting ground. He does not hold that the magistr ate is to punish religion as religion. Nay, he strongly maintains that the civil magistrate never aims at the conscience. The magistrate, he urges, does not send anyone, whether a heretic (who is a soul murderer--RB) or a murderer, to the scaffold with the idea of producing conversion or other spiritual result, but to strengthen the foundations of civil order. But if he gives so much power to the king, he is no lover of despotism withal: the king himself must be under law. To vindicate this great doctrine is the object of another book, the celebrated Lex Rex; of which it has been said by one competent to judge, that it first clearly developed the constitutionalism which all men now accept" (Theology and Theologians..., pp. 11-12). In our day Francis Schaeffer, and numerous others, have critiqued many of the problems found in modern society, but most have spent little time developing explicitly Biblical solutions -- especially regarding the theoretical foundations that Rutherford addresses here. Rutherford's Free Di sputation provides a detailed blueprint for laying the foundations that must be laid before any lasting, God-honoring solutions will be found. Furthermore, Rutherford and his writings were the enemies of all governments not covenanted with Christ. This book will give you a very clear picture as to why "the beast" (civil and ecclesiastical) has reserved his special hatred for such teaching. As Samuel Wylie noted "[t]he dispute, then, will not turn upon the point whether religion should be civilly established... but it is concerning what religion ought to be civilly established and protected, -- whether the religion of Jesus alone should be countenanced by civil authority, or every blasp hemous, heretical, and idolatrous abomination which the subtle malignity of the old serpent and a heart deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, can frame and devise, should be put on an equal footing therewith" (Two Sons of Oil: or, The Faithful Witness For Magistracy and Ministry Upon a Scriptural Basis, softcover). Can our gene ration swallow Rutherford's hard, anti-pluralistic, Covenanter medicine, poured forth from the bottle of the first commandment, without choking on their carnal dreams of a free and righteous society divorced from God (and His absolute claims upon everyone and everything)? Not without the enabling power of the Holy Spirit -- that is for sure! In su mmary, this book answers all the hardest questions theonomists (and their wisest and best opponents) have been asking for the last 20-30 years (and these answers are much more in depth than any we have seen in the last couple of millennia [less about a century to account for the apostles]). As the reader will discover, Rutherford was a wealthy man when it came to wisdom (and much advanced theologically), and those who take the time to gaze into the King's treasure house, as exhibited in this book, will find that they are greatly rewarded. Furthermore, because of its uncompromising stand upon the Word of God, this book is sure to be unpopular among a wicked and adulterous generation. Howeve r, on the other hand, it is sure to be popular among the covenanted servants of King Jesus! This is one of the best books (in the top five anyway) for advanced study of the Christian faith. We have now obtained an easy-to-read, amazingly clear copy of this very rare, old treasure. Great price too, considering that a copy of the 1649 edition, conta ining this quality of print, would likely cost upwards of $1000 on the rare book market -- though it is unlikely you would ever see a copy for sale!
Available at http://www.swrb.com/catalog/R.htm
The Ordinance of Covenanting (1843)
This book is considered by many as the classic work on covenanting. "The theology of Covenanting is here unfolded with a richness of scriptural research and a maturity of intellectual strength which would have made the grey eye of Peden glisten with delight. The treatise is a valuable addition to that solid theological literature of which the Refo rmed Presbyterian Church has produced repeated and enduring specimens, and stamps Mr. Cunningham as a distinguished disciple of the thoughtful and scriptural school of Mason and the Symingtons" (Presby Rev., (1844) as cited in The Treasury of the Scottish Covenant by Johnston). The author himself notes that "Prayer and the offering o f praise are universally admitted to be duties of religion. The Scriptures announce a place among these for the exercise of solemn Covenanting... What the word of God unfolds concerning it, is addressed to the most resolute consideration of all, and is capable of engaging the most extensive and prolonged investigation. And yet, though none have fo und this subject, like all God's judgements, else than a great deep, still in meditating upon it, the ignorant have been brought to true knowledge, and the wise have increased in wisdom. 'The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant' (Ps. 25:14)... Mutual federal engagements, concerning things religious and civil, whether entered into merely by simple promise, or confirmed by the solemn oath, have been made from the highest antiquity to the present. The hostility to some such engagements, and also the proud disregard for their obligation, which have been evinced by some in all ages, demand a most careful examination into their nature and design... F urnished with the key of Scripture, approaching the subject, we are enabled to open the mysteries in which ignorance and prejudice had shut it up; and equipped with the armour of light shooting forth its heavenly radiance, in safety to ourselves we assail the darkness thrown around it, and behold the instant flight of the spirits of error which th at darkness contains. Standing alone in beauteous attractions descended from heaven upon it, this service beckons us to approach it, and engages to connect extensive good with a proper attention to its claims. The observance, under various phases, is described in Scripture as an undisputed and indisputable reality." In this book Cunningham exhaust ively covers the subject of covenanting in over 400 pages. He deals with the manner, duty and nature of covenanting (including personal and social covenanting), the obligation covenanting confers, how covenanting is provided for in the everlasting covenant, how it is adapted to the moral constitution of man and how it is according to the purposes of God. Numerous Divine examples are cited from Scripture and covenanting is shown to be one of the great privileges of the Christian life. An interesting chapter covers "Covenanting Enforced By the Grant of Covenant Signs and Seals;" which touches on circumcision, baptism, the Sabbath, the Priesthood, the new heart and the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Furthermore, this book demonstrates how God's approbation rested upon Covenanters in formers ages, how covenanting is predicted in prophecy, how it is recommended by the practice of the New Testament Church and at what seasons it is appropriate. The appendices touch on the relationship of covenanting to immoral and unscriptural civil governments, the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, the British constitution and the apostasy of the Revolution settlement. Additionally, Cunningham acknowledges that the true church is "bound by the obligations of the Church of God is past times" and is still obligated to pay what it has vowed to the Lord in those magnificent att ainments of the second Reformation (the epitome of these attainments being embodied in the Solemn League and Covenant and the Westminster Standards). If you are interested in the ordinance of covenanting this is the most extensive treatment you will find in one book. It is a gold mine of Scriptural references and should be read at least once by ev eryone who calls upon the name of Christ.
Available at http://www.swrb.com/catalog/C.htm
(NEW!) Unity and Uniformity in the Church (1881)
This item lays out the case for unity among churches, proving its assertions from: (1.) throughout Scripture; (2.) from our Lord's declaring His will both in precept and prayer; (3.) from apostolic practise; and (4.) from the covenanted Reformation's "Solemn League and Covenant" which lead to the production of the Westminster standards. Houston no tes that in the Apostolic church "the government of the church was one and common wherever churches were planted. It was Presbyterian, and neither Prelatic, a system of monarchial despotism, nor Congregational, a system of popular democracy." This biblical and Presbyterian uniformity was considered the apostolic, visible and doctrinal manifestatio n of the scriptural injunction to "one Lord, one faith, (and) one baptism." Houston also points out that "the only true and safe way of union is based on the platform of Scriptural uniformity; while that which is framed on allowing diversity in doctrine, and differences in government and worship, is a mere human contrivance, and its effect is to s anction and perpetuate divisions (which is to sanction schism under the false pretence of unity--RB), and to mar the prospect of an ultimate happy union in the church of Christ." Biblical union and uniformity is shown to be based on "agreement in doctrine, worship, discipline, and government." Moreover, the author contends that, "this is to be con stantly sought after by men united in mind and heart, pledged to God and to one another; it is to be externally manifested, and to be diligently labored for, that it may be generally and universally prevalent. It is never to be viewed as impracticable. This was the main design of the convocation of the Westminster Assembly." The eschatological asp ect of visible unity is also noticed, shedding valuable light on such postmillennial strongholds as, "The watchmen on the walls of Zion shall see eye to eye, they shall lift up the voice together, and together shall they sing" (Isa. 52:8) and "The Lord shall be King over all the earth; in that day there shall be one Lord, and His name one" (Zech. 14:9). This book is full of faithful encouragement and is one of the best introductions to this topic we have seen.
Available at http://www.swrb.com/catalog/H.htm
(NEW!) The Millennium: Peace, Prosperity and National Covenanting (1879)
This is the Reformation (especially second Reformation) view of postmillennialism as set forth and explained in terms of the national blessings and gospel purity that will be present when the millennium arrives. Some items discussed include: the visible state of unity in the church during the millennium; national covenanting; how kings will be "nu rsing fathers" (Isa. 49:23) to the church during this blessed period of history; and how "all nations shall serve him" (Ps 72:11) in that day (and there are no nations in heaven -- so this must be speaking of what will take place on earth before Christ returns, contrary to amillennialism)! In short, the millennium will be marked by visible civil a nd ecclesiastical obedience to Christ as King! This is exactly the opposite of the situation that we are presently experiencing -- for we live in the days of the great apostasy (2 Thes. 2:3). The church (visible) is in disarray and has grievously backslidden from her previous Reformation attainments. No nation is covenanted with Christ (as a natio n), but instead, "The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us" (Ps. 2:2-3). The nations and many churches despise Christ's royal law and He now "vex(es) them in his sore displeasure" -- but when t he millennial glory arrives the river of His Spirit will fill the earth (Ezek 47:1-12) and His high priestly prayer will be answered (John 17:21: "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."). This is a greatly encouraging introduct ion to this topic and the best short treatment of this subject that we offer! Excerpted from the Original Covenanter and Contending Witness magazine (volumes 2:4-6).
Available at http://www.swrb.com/catalog/M.htm
The Reformed Presbyterian Catechism (1853)
A manual of instruction, drawing from such notable authors as William Symington and J.R. Willson, presenting "arguments and facts confirming and illustrating the 'Distinctive Principles'" of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. Chapters deal with: "Christ's Mediatorial Dominion in general;" Christ's exclusive Headship over the Church;" "The Supreme a nd Ultimate Authority of the Word of God in the Church;" Civil Government, the Moral Ordinance of God;" Christ's Headship over the Nations;" "The Subjection of the Nations to God and to Christ;" The Word, or Revealed Will of God, the Supreme Law in the State;" "The Duty of Nations, in their National Capacity, to acknowledge and support the True Re ligion:" "The Spiritual Independence of the Church of Christ:" "The Right and Duty of Dissent from an immoral Constitution of Civil Government;" "The Duty of Covenanting, and the Permanent Obligations of Religious Covenants;" "The Application of these Principles to the Governments, where Reformed Presbyterians reside, in the form of a Practical Te stimony;" and finally "Application of the Testimony to the British Empire." A most important book, as we approach (possibly) the end of the great apostasy and will be in need of preparing for the dawning of the glorious millennial blessings to come; the days prophesied in which the church "shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck t he breast of kings" (Isa. 60:16).
Available at http://www.swrb.com/catalog/R.htm
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 T his Present Day (1876)
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. Write for a sample of this highly recommended publication at: P.O. Box 131, Pottstown, PA, 19464, USA). Shows the church's great historical victories (such as the National and Solemn League and Covenant, leading to the Westminster Assembly) a nd 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 o f the principles of Calvinism anywhere. 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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