Showing posts from November, 2015

Of God the Son

Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note . This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer. 11. Lord's Day Q. 29. Why is the Son of God called "Jesus", that is a Saviour?  A. Because he saveth us, and delivereth us from our sins; (a) and likewise, because we ought not to seek, neither can find salvation in any other. (b)  (a) Matt.1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Heb.7:24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Heb.7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to mak

For Thanksgiving 2015: 'A Prayer of Moses the man of God.'

1 Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. 3 Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. 4 For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. 5 Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. 6 In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. 7 For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled. 8 Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. 9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. 10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and s

"Thanksgiving Street" by Susannah Spurgeon

Posted at Out of the Ordinary : "Thanksgiving Street" "Whoever offers praise glorifies Me." Psalm 50:23 "The time of the singing of birds is come," and from early morning until the sun sets, their sweet notes are a constant reminder of the duty and delight of thanksgiving. Out of the joy of their hearts they trill forth their gladness for the sunshine, and the opening flowers, and the unfolding leaves; and I have heard the same tender song when the rain has fallen, and cold winds have blown, and dark clouds have swept across the sky. Many a time have the birds in the garden sung a lesson in my listening ears, and rebuked my dullness or my unbelief, by their gleeful carolings. Ah! Dear friends, some of us do not praise our God half enough. We "raise an Ebenezer"now and then; but we pitifully fail to obey the command. "Rejoice in the Lord always." Yet, how much we have to bless Him for, and what sweet encouragement is

The Death of John Knox (1572)

Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History : No Wonder He Was Weary. Our post today, an account of the death of John Knox, is taken from the essential biography written by Thomas McCrie:— Monday, the 24th of November [1572], was the last day that he spent on earth. That morning he could not be persuaded to lie in bed, but, though unable to stand alone, rose between nine and ten o’clock, and put on his stockings and doublet. Being conducted to a chair, he sat about half an hour, and then was put in bed again. In the progress of the day, it appeared evident that his end drew near. Besides his wife and Richard Bannatyne, Campbell of Kinyeancleugh, Johnston of Elphingston, and Dr. Preston, three of his most intimate acquaintances, sat by turns at his bed-side. Kinyeancleugh asked him, if he had any pain. “It is no painful pain, but such a pain as shall, I trust, put end to the battle. I must leave the care of my wife and children to you (continued he,) to whom you must be a husband

CH Spurgeon: 'Acquiring Perseverance'

Posted at Spurgeon's Daily Checkbook/ Sermon Audio : "The LORD thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little" — Deuteronomy 7:22 We are not to expect to win victories for the LORD Jesus by a single blow. Evil principles and practices die hard. In some places it takes years of labor to drive out even one of the many vices which defile the inhabitants. We must carry on the war with all our might, even when favored with little manifest success. Our business in this world is to conquer it for Jesus. We are not to make compromises but to exterminate evils. We are not to seek popularity but to wage unceasing war with iniquity. Infidelity, popery, drink, impurity, oppression, worldliness, error; these are all to be "put out." The LORD our God can alone accomplish this. He works by His faithful servants, and blessed be His name. He promises that He will so work. "Jehovah thy God will put out those nations before thee." This He will

Rev. Adam Boyd: An Old Side Presbyterian Plants Numerous Churches

Posted at This Day in Presbyterian History : One would need a firm grip on God’s sovereignty to live and minister in the early days of our country. It was true that countless Scot-Irish families resided throughout the regions of colonial America. But it was also true that whereas there were many members of the Presbyterian faith, under-shepherds to care for them were few indeed. So when a colony of Presbyterians found a pastor, he usually stayed a long time. Such was the case for the Rev. Adam Boyd. Born in Ballymoney, Ireland in 1692, he moved first to New England in either 1722 or 1723. Recommended by the venerable Cotton Mather, he was called by the Scots-Irish people at Octoraro and Pequea, Pennsylvania churches. Ordained to the gospel ministry on October 13th, he began his ministry to the people of this new colony. It was an extensive field of labor, to which by foot and horseback, he visited the people faithfully as he cared for the spiritual needs. A week after his ordinatio

Of God The Father (Continued)

Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note. This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer. 10. Lord's Day  Q. 27. What dost thou mean by the providence of God?  A. The almighty and everywhere present power of God; (a) whereby, as it were by his hand, he upholds and governs (b) heaven, earth, and all creatures; so that herbs and grass, rain and drought, (c) fruitful and barren years, meat and drink, health and sickness, (d) riches and poverty, (e) yea, and all things come, not by chance, but by his fatherly hand. (f)   (a) Acts 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; Ac

The Scriptural Regulative Principle of Worship

By G.I. Williamson - Posted at The Westminster Presbyterian : How are we to worship God? That is the question. And the answer is already implied in our firm adherence to the Bible as the inspired word of God -- the only infallible rule of faith and practice . The remainder of my presentation will therefore be an attempt to demonstrate two things from the Scriptures: [1] The first is the fact that there is a regulative principle taught in the Bible , and [2] the second is what that principle means -- and how it ought to be applied -- today, in our churches. In a paper on this subject a few years ago Professor Norman Shepherd referred to the already existent literature on the subject of the regulative principle. He correctly stated that this literature "abounds with references" to certain "Biblical examples." "There is therefore" he said, "no need to discuss these examples in detail . . . ."(1) Well, I could agree with that statement in the co

Distorting the Gospel

"The second reason why such holy days are an abomination to God is that it is necessary to sanction error in order to give them our esteem. We shall again cite Christmas by way of example. If there were any possibility that the date of Christ's birth were preserved through tradition, then it would be January 6th rather than December 25th which deserved the preference. The Greek Church is an older institution than is the Latin. And if tradition has any validity, that validity depends upon antiquity. "Even if we were to appeal to the false criterion of tradition we would be condemned! However, as tradition is condemned by Scripture we can neither build upon it nor be judged by it. "Much more important is the fact that the celebration of Christmas (and other such humanly devised holy days) distorts the true gospel of Jesus Christ. By the special religious observance of certain days, certain aspects of the gospel are given a prominence which is not given them

Is Christmas Scriptural?

By G.I. Williamson - Posted at Horizons : I want to thank the Committee on Christian Education for remaining faithful to the Orthodox Presbyterian tradition of respecting minority views that are firmly rooted in Presbyterian and Reformed history. I therefore gladly avail myself of the privilege to express myself on the subject of Christmas. It is seldom understood today that there was a time when such days as Christmas were generally regarded as lacking any warrant from Scripture. But listen to the careful statement of Idzerd Van Dellen and Martin Monsma in The Church Order Commentary (Zondervan, 1941). Under the heading of "The Original Position of the Reformed Churches regarding Special Days," they say this on page 273: "During the early days of the Reformation some Reformed localities observed only Sunday. All special days sanctioned and revered by Rome were set aside. Zwingli and Calvin both encouraged the rejection of all ecclesiastical festive days.

Top 10 Traditions About Christ’s Birth That Are Not True

By Rev. Benjamin P. Glaser - Posted at Mountains and Magnolias : As King Grumpus makes his appearance once more I bring to you this year the top 10 (of many) traditions which have come to be held as gospel truth and inform so many of the celebrations during these months of the year that unfortunately not only have no historical factual foundation, but obscure the biblical representation of the glorious incarnation of Christ Jesus. While this post is meant to be a bit playful, it is worth remembering these verses as we begin: “He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.” — Deut 32:4  “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” — John 4:24  “Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.” — 2 John 1 This list is given in no particular order, just as they popped into my h

The Second Helvetic Confession

Posted at : Date: 1566 Author: Heinrich Bullinger The First Helvetic Confession of 1536 had been drawn up by Heinrich Bullinger, Martin Bucer, and Leo Jud for the German-speaking Swiss Cantons. It was an attempt to reconcile Lutheran and Zwinglian views before the spread of Calvinism. Thirty years later, commissioned by Friedrich III, Bullinger drew up a lengthier and more thoroughly Calvinistic confession. It became widely used among Swiss Reformed churches, as well as Reformed churches in Hungary, Poland, Scotland, and France. Outline Preface Of the Holy Scripture Being the True Word of God Of Interpreting the Holy Scriptures; And of Fathers, Councils, and Traditions Of God; The Unity and the Trinity Of Idols; Or of Images of God, of Christ, and of the Saints Of the Adoration, Worship (Rom 12:1), and Invocation of God Through the Only Mediator Jesus Christ Of the Providence of God Of the Creation of All Things; Of Angels, the Devil, and Man Of Man’s Fall; Si

WLC #109, Mental Images of Christ, and a Seceder View

By Benjamin P. Glaser - Posted at Mountains and Magnolias : Faith No Fancy One of the most common exceptions taken in the ARP (and the PCA et al) by newly ordained men and those taking transfer exams in presbytery is without a doubt the clause in the explanation to Westminster Larger Catechism #109 concerning the prohibition against making mental images of the Godhead in accordance with the catechism’s teaching on the Second Commandment. I will post the question below: Q. 109. What sins are forbidden in the second commandment? A. The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising, counseling, commanding, using, and any wise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself; 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

A Jonathan Edwards Warning Label

Westminster Bookstore By Shane Lems - Posted at The Reformed Reader : Many of our readers may know that some in the new Calvinist movement are huge fans of Jonathan Edwards. For example, John Piper constantly refers to Edwards and was very much influenced by his writings. However brilliant and helpful Edwards is, there are some troublesome spots in his theology and philosophy. We can benefit from Edwards’ writings, but we also need to remember that Edwards had his flaws and is not the best example of solid, Reformed confessional theology. On this topic, here’s a blog post I wrote back in 2012: Near the end of Josiah Bull’s biography of John Newton , there’s a quote by Newton that is somewhat critical of the great American theologian Jonathan Edwards. Here it is: “Mr. Edwards was an excellent man, but some of his writings are too metaphysical, and particularly that book [ The Freedom of the Will ]. If I understand it, I think it rather establishes fatalism and necessity tha

The Waldensians – their antiquity and faith through time immemorial

By Maria Tatham - Posted at  Pilgrim’s Progress revisited – Christiana on the narrow way: With this post I’m returning to The Pilgrim Church by E.H. Broadbent. Here is a passage from his chapter on the “WALDENSES & ALBIGENSES.” ANTIQUITY of the WALDENSES … A Prior of St. Roch at Turin [Italy], Marco Aurelio Rorenco, was ordered in 1630 to write an account of the history and opinions of the Waldenses. He wrote that the Waldenses are so ancient as to afford no absolute certainty in regard to the precise time of their origin, but that, at all events, in the ninth and tenth centuries they were even then not a new sect. And he adds that in the ninth century so far from being a new sect, they were rather to be deemed a race of fomenters and encouragers of opinions which had preceded them. Further, he wrote that Claudius [Bishop] of Turin was to be reckoned among these fomenters and encouragers, inasmuch as he was person who denied the reverence due to the holy cross, who rejected

Of God The Father

Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note. This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer. 9. Lord's Day  Q. 26. What believest thou when thou sayest, "I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth"?  A. That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (who of nothing made heaven and earth, with all that is in them; (a) who likewise upholds and governs the same by his eternal counsel and providence) (b) is for the sake of Christ his Son, my God and my Father; (c) on whom I rely so entirely, that I have no doubt, but he will provide me with all things necessary for soul and body (d) and further, that he will make whatever evils he s

The Lord who fights

By Lisa Spence - Posted at Out of the Ordinary : The tenth chapter of the book of Joshua opens with the kings in the southern region of the Promised Land forming a coalition to come against the city Gibeon. The men of Gibeon send an urgent plea for help to Joshua and as he and the mighty fighting men of valor prepare for a night march, the Lord once again assures Joshua of victory: Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands. Not a man of them shall stand before you. ( Joshua 10:8 ) It is interesting to note that the Lord speaks in past tense though the battle has yet to be fought! The Lord will be gracious to empower His people and to secure the victory for them. The outcome is assured but the people must step out in confident obedience to engage the enemy. What follows is surely one of the most interesting passages of Scripture! The author of Joshua reports that after Joshua and his men marched all night long in order to launch a surprise attack, it was the Lord Him

The Trial of Lady Jane Grey – 13th November 1553

Lady Jane Grey Posted at The Anne Boleyn Files : "...Leanda de Lisle4 writes of how Michel Angelo Florio recorded that Jane remained cool and calm during the proceedings and it seems that she did not react at all to the sentence, perhaps her faith sustained her. Ives goes on to describe of how she used her months of imprisonment in the Tower studying the Bible and writing letters and prayers. ..." On this day in history, 13th November 1553, Lady Jane Grey, her husband Guildford Dudley, his brothers Ambrose and Henry, and Archbishop Thomas Cranmer were tried for treason at a public trial at London’s Guildhall. They were led from the Tower of London, through the streets on foot, in a procession led by a man carrying an axe turned away from the prisoners, to show that they had not yet been found guilty of a capital crime: treason. The Chronicle of Queen Jane describes the procession, although some of the wording is missing:- “Next followed the lorde Gilforde Dudle

The Trumpeter of Scotland: The Preaching of John Knox

By Dr. Steven J. Lawson - Posted at Sermon Audio: (59 minutes) Link:

John Knox: The Making of a Reformer

By Gervase N. Charmley - Posted at The Banner of Truth : Of all the major Reformers, John Knox is the one about whose early life we know the least – a fact that may come as a surprise since he wrote a History of the Reformation in Scotland . 1 We cannot even be certain of the year in which he was born; it was either 1514 or 1515, but the day is completely unknown. Until the last century, it was generally believed that he was born in 1505, the date given by Thomas M’Crie, an error that serves to illustrate how little we know of Knox before he became a Reformer. The mistake was in part the result of mistaking another man of the same name, who was a student in Glasgow in 1522, for the Reformer. The place of his birth we do know for certain; it was in a house, long since vanished, in Giffordgate, a street in the then thriving and prosperous town of Haddington, across the river Tyne from the great church of St. Mary, which was called ‘The Lamp of the Lothians.’ When he called himself ‘

Scottish and American History Series by Dr. George Grant

This series is posted at Sermon Audio : (53 minutes) Link: (48 minutes) Link: (40 minutes) Link: (52 minutes) Link: (64 minutes) Link: (34 minutes) Link:

Extract from “A History of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in America” - Rev W.M.Glasgow, M.D. (1888)

Posted at The Reformation/ Ulster Scots Index : " The country was now thrown into the excitement and turmoil of the Revolutionary war, and every colonist who loved civil and religious liberty was called upon to defend his country and his rights. To a man the Covenanters were Whigs. An unsound Whig made a poor Covenanter, and a good Covenanter made a loyal Whig. The colonists declared themselves independent of Great Britain, July 4, 1776, at Philadelphia, and a five years’ war ensued. North and South the Covenanters went hand and heart into the struggle for independence. When the Rev. Alexander Craighead removed to North Carolina he was thoroughly imbued with the principles of the Covenanter Church, and disseminated them among the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians of that community. The consequence was the First Declaration of Independence was emitted by his followers in May, 1775, a year or more previous to the National Declaration. From reliable histories a few interesting facts ar

Extract from "Scotland's Mark on America," by George Fraser Black.

Posted at The Reformation/ Ulster Scots Index : Originally published by the Scottish Section of "America's Making" New York, 1921, p 8 -18. Some additional cross references have been added in [ ] and as footnotes. Image from Parker, the historian of Londonderry, New Hampshire, speaking of the early Scots settlers in New England, has well said: "Although they came to this land from Ireland, where their ancestors had a century before planted themselves, yet they retained unmixed the national Scotch character. Nothing sooner offended them than to be called Irish. Their antipathy to this appellation had its origin in the hostility then existing in Ireland between the Celtic race, the native Irish, and the English and Scotch colonists. Belknap, in his History of New Hampshire (Boston, 1791) quotes a letter from the Rev. James MacGregor (1677-1729) to Governor Shute in which the writer says: "We are surprised to hear ourselves termed Irish peopl

The Second Part - Of Man's Deliverance (Conclusion)

Heidelberg Catechism (extended) The Catechism Method of Instruction in the Christian Religion As the Same is Taught in the Reformed Churches and Schools (with the Scripture references written out) Note. This Catechism is fully based on the Scriptures. The references to Scripture are indicated in parentheses with a letter. For example, the letter (a) points to the texts (a) placed after the answer. 8. Lord's Day Q. 24. How are these articles divided?  A. Into three parts; the first is of God the Father, and our creation; the second of God the Son, and our redemption; the third of God the Holy Ghost, and our sanctification.  Q. 25. Since there is but one only divine essence, (a) why speakest thou of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost?  A. Because God has so revealed himself in his word, (b) that these three distinct persons are the one only true and eternal God.  (a) Deut.6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: Eph.4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above

Early Presbyterians in America and the Declaration of Independence.

The Log College ( Image from ) By Brian Orr - Posted at The Reformation/ Ulster Scots Index : An unnamed minister from Ulster is recorded as working his ministry in Maryland in 1668. The Rev William Trail of Lifford went to Maryland in 1682 and officiated there for several years before returning and becoming minister at Borthwick, Scotland. The Rev John Makie, from St Johnston, Scotland went there in 1690 and in Delaware the Rev Samuel Davis, from Ireland, ministered to a growing congregation. In 1705 another Irishman, John Hampton from Burt, joined the ministry in America. Thus by 1706 Frances Makemie was able to organise the first American Presbytery - that of Philadelphia. Rev Francis MaKemie (1658-1708) is usually credited with being the first to organise Presbyterianism in America although it must be said that his task was made easier by the endeavours of others before him. He was licensed in 1682 by the Lagan Presbytery and went first to the West Indies b

The Irish Killing Time (1641)

By Brian Orr - Posted at The Reformation/ Ulster Scots Index: It would take several large forests to write about all the events which allegedly occurred and to represent every point of view. The following is just a snapshot of how events affected the Presbyterian settlers. In Ireland the persecution of the Presbyterians had sown the seeds for rebellion by the native Irish under Sir Phelim O`Neill who sought to rid themselves of British rule and recover forfeited lands. It is thought possible that the Irish took a leaf out of the Scottish Covenanters book, who in 1639-40 resorted to armed resistance, albeit minimal, in the Bishops Wars, and had wrung concessions from Charles I. O`Neill is, however, quoted as declaring "He would never leave off the work he had begun till Mass should be sung or said in every church in Ireland, and that a Protestant should not live in Ireland, be he of what nation he would." At a meeting at the Abbey of Multifarnham in Westmeath about a fort

Beginnings of the Ulster-Scots / Scotch-Irish.

(10 minutes) You Tube Link:

Ulster Scots: Presbyterians in Ireland - So many Oaths to take.

( ) By Brian Orr - Posted at The Reformation/ Ulster Scots Index : Presbyterians were in Ireland before the Plantation period and, moreover, were in the south. The Rev Walter Travers, first Provost of Trinity College, Dublin was a Presbyterian minister as was his successor, the Rev. Henry Alvey who became the first Vice Chancellor. James Hamilton, later Lord Claneboye, was one of the first elected Fellows of the University along with James Fullerton. Thus there was a group of Presbyterians in places of power and influence from Elizabethan times. Although the Presbyterian Covenanters were essentially Scottish and were bloodily persecuted in the later years of the 17th century, their Presbyterian brethren who migrated to Ireland were also subjected to persecution by those in authority and suffered their own " Killing Time " With hindsight it is quite remarkable just how many times successive governments cynically sought to use an Oath as a device for

Catholic and Protestant

By David Clark Brand - Posted at The Christian Observer : I will look with favor on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; He who walks in the way that is blameless shall minister to me. No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes. Psalm 101:6-7 Catholic: “Universal” The Evangelical United Brethren pastor was visiting the writer’s childhood home. Mother inquired about the use of the word “catholic” in the Apostles’ Creed during the Sunday morning worship hour. Pastor Ralph Steese explained that the word “catholic” simply meant “universal,” and on that basis, it was perfectly okay for Protestants to affirm the words of the Apostles’ Creed: “I believe in the holy catholic church.” The church’s catholicity reflects its apostolicity in the sense that it defines the church as God Himself established it through the testimony of the apostles[1] on the foundation of Jesus Christ [2] in its local expression,

Ulster Scots: The Plantation Scheme 1610 - 1630

Image from By Brian Orr - Posted at The Reformation/ Ulster Scots Index : The rebellion by Sir Cahir O'Dogherty on 19 April 1608 led to the sacking of Londonderry and the use of Scottish levies from Ayr to take Carrickfergus - the first use of Scottish troops by the English for conquest abroad. The troops remained and became a further source of tenants. When Derry was granted to the City of London in 1610 among the South Western Scots who were compensated were Boyd, Patterson and Wray. In January 1609 proposals were made for the plantation of Tyrone which became the plan for the division of the escheated lands in the six Counties. The Proclamation of the Plantation on 8 March 1609 by the Scottish Council opened the doors for the settlement of thousands of Scots in Ulster under the Plantation Scheme. Applicants for land tended to come from within 25 miles of Edinburgh. They were generally persons of substance and position and the applications were by w

Ulster Scots: The Montgomery Plantation in County Down.

Posted at  The Reformation/ Ulster Scots Index : "Yet among all this care and indefatigable industry for their families. a place of God's honour to dwell in was not forgotten or neglected, for indeed our forefathers were more pious than ourselves, and so soon as [the] said stump of the old castle was so repaired (as it was in spring time, 1606), as might be shelter for that year's summer and harvest, for Sir Hugh and for his servants that winter, his piety made some good store of provisions in those fair seasons, towards roofing and fitting the chancel of that church, for the worship of God ;and therein he needed not withdraw his own planters from working for themselves, because there were Irish Gibeonets and garrons (ponies) enough in his woods to hew and draw timber for the sanctuary ; and the general free contribution of the planters, some with money, others with handicrafts, and many with labouring, was so great and willingly given, that the next year after this, vi