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Archive for September, 2011|Monthly archive page

Where Were They Educated?

In Presbyterian Church in America on 27/09/2011 at 16:32

A question sometimes comes up regarding the theological education of the founding pastors of the Presbyterian Church in America. Working from a list of 180 pastors, as found in the Minutes of the First General Assembly, the following list indicates where these men were educated. Of those 180, 172 were educated at seminaries; for 8 no indication has been found of a seminary education and this raises the question of whether those 8 were ordained under the extraordinary clause.
Following each school name, the following dates indicate years of graduation. Concluding this list is a statistical summary. Read the rest of this entry »

God’s Unfailing Guidance

In Christian Life, Harold Samuel Laird on 25/09/2011 at 13:17


Rev. Harold S. Laird, D.D.

[The Independent Board Bulletin 7.3 (March 1941): 3-4.]

1 will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: 1 will guide thee with mine eye.” (Psalm 32:8.)

The thirty-second Psalm describes two methods of supernatural guidance. Both methods, of course, are employed only on behalf of those who are ordained of God unto eternal life.

The first is that employed with those of His children who have a desire to know and to do His will. To them, and to them alone God speaks when He says, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” The second method is that used with those who are self-willed, stubborn, and wayward. It is of this group that He speaks when He says, “Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.” Thus God does guide many, in order that, in spite of their self-willed waywardness, they may at last be brought unto Himself. Read the rest of this entry »

The Greatest of These

In Uncategorized on 24/09/2011 at 10:57


Rev. Harold S. Laird, D.D.

[The Independent Board Bulletin 7.5 (May 1941): 3-4.]

And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three: and the greatest of these is love” (I Cor. 13:13).

The supremacy of love suggests at once to those of us who know the love of God in Christ nothing other than God’s love for us. To be sure, this love is supreme, for God is supreme, and God is Love.

Yet there is a realm in which the love of the human heart is supreme—the realm of human possessions. It is supreme among man’s natural talents—”though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” It is supreme among the supernatural gifts to man—”though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge . . . and have not love, I am nothing.” It is supreme even among the very chiefest virtues of man—”now abideth faith, hope, love, these three: but the greatest of these is love.” Read the rest of this entry »

Blessed Is That Man

In Christian Life, Harold Samuel Laird on 23/09/2011 at 17:13


Rev. Dr. Harold Samuel Laird

[The Independent Board Bulletin 7.6 (June-July 1941): 3-4.]

Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust.Psalm 40:4.

How many of us can honestly say “Amen” to the great truth set forth in this verse! We have tasted of the blessedness promised those who honestly make the Lord their trust. This blessedness is to many of us the more pronounced because it is in contrast to the anxiety and fear experienced before we learned to make Him our trust, and while we were making someone else or something else our trust.

It is quite possible that many have not yet made the Lord their trust simply because it is not clear to them just what this means. This word “trust” is the characteristic Old Testament word for the New Testament words “faith” and “belief,” being found more than one hundred and fifty times in our English Bibles, and many more times in its Hebrew forms throughout the Old Testament. A careful study of these Hebrew forms of the word “trust” will disclose that in their literal sense there are three which cover the entire period of the soul’s experience—past, present, and future. Read the rest of this entry »

In Nothing Be Anxious

In Christian Life, Harold Samuel Laird on 23/09/2011 at 17:04

There is no better way to introduce the author of the next several articles than to reproduce this memorial which was spread upon the Minutes of Susquehanna Valley Presbytery (PCA). In my work here at the PCA Historical Center, every once in a long while I hear certain men spoken of with the greatest of respect. Harold S. Laird was one such man.

[8 August 1891 – 25 August 1987]
Harold Samuel Laird was born on August 8, 1891, in New Castle, Pa. His father was a faithful Presbyterian pastor who raised him in the nurture of the Lord. Harold Laird was converted at a young age and walked closely with his Lord ever afterward. Upon graduation from Lafayette College and Princeton Theological Seminary he was ordained to the Gospel Ministry and held six successful pastorates.
Harold Laird was an outstanding preacher of the Gospel, a caring pastor, a contender for the faith, and one who was vitally interested in world missions. He had a leading role in the events which led to the formation of one source of the PCA. He was a founding member of the Board of Directors of Westminster Theological Seminary, the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions, and Faith Theological Seminary. He was willing to suffer for his convictions even to the point of being suspended from the ministry of the PCUSA and being removed as pastor of one of the most prestigeous churches of Wilmington, Delaware. Wheaton College honored him with a Doctor of Divinity degree and he was elected as Moderator of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod. He also served on the Board of the Quarryville Presbyterian Home.
Dr. Laird was a man who walked with God. All who heard him pray came into the presence of God. His life verse was Matthew 6:33 and his godly spirit evidenced that he practiced it. He was completely content in the providence of God in his life. Harold Laird ran his race well and entered into glory on August 25, 1987.


Rev. Harold S. Laird, D.D.

[The Independent Board Bulletin 7.4 (April 1941): 3-4.]

In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 4:6, 7 American Standard Version.) Read the rest of this entry »

Van Til Reviews Three Essays by Barth (1960)

In Apologetics, Presbyterian Journal on 23/09/2011 at 15:34

COMMUNITY, STATE AND CHURCH — Three essays by Karl Barth — with an introduction by Will Herberg. Anchor Books, Doubleday & Co., Garden City, New York. 193 pp. 95 cents.

The Three Essays of Earl Barth comprising this book all deal with social questions.

In a long foreword Will Herberg, among other things, relates Barth’s views on social and political problems to his basic theological convictions. It was only gradually that Barth attained to a completely self-conscious Christological approach in his theology.

Similarly it is not till he wrote his “dear Christian brethren in Great Britain” in 1941 that he “urges his Christological foundation for political action.” A “large-scale police measure” against Hitler has become “absolutely necessary” “for Christ’s sake.” On the basis of the resurrection of Christ we know “that the world in which we live is already consecrated.”

Herberg gives these quotations from Barth because he is convinced that in his war-time writings “Barth is to be seen at his best as a Christian interpreter of the great historical crises of our time.”

But what has happened to Barth in recent times, asks Herberg. Discussing Barth’s attitude toward Communist tyranny Herberg says: “In a word, the man who once aroused the Church to action now urges it to turn away from political involvement and remain indifferent to political actualities.” Read the rest of this entry »

Monday Night Reading

In J. Gresham Machen, Premise on 19/09/2011 at 17:23

For your Monday evening repast—an oldie, but a fine read and well worth the review (if you caught it the first time back in 1997, when the Internet was still fresh and new.

Newspaper Coverage of J. Gresham Machen’s Ecclesiastical Trial in 1935

by James Daniel Barr

Posted at

This is part of a new project to repost some of the content of the old Premise magazine.


Sunday Departure : Hosea 4:4

In Sermons on 17/09/2011 at 13:52

If you will permit the archivist to briefly stray from recounting our history, I would share something from one of my favorite commentaries. Consider this a Sabbath-day posting; perhaps in the future I can post sermons from some of the founding fathers of the various conservative Presbyterian denominations. But today, this is what I’ve been reading and what has impressed me with its relevance. I have long thought that the message in the book of Hosea is especially apt for our times. And I don’t think anyone more fully expounds that message than the Rev. Jeremiah Burroughs. However, knowing that many people won’t read at length in such things, here’s a partial summary of his observations on Hosea 4:4.

Yet let no man strive, nor reprove another; For thy people are as they that strive with the priest.

Obs. 1.  Sin cannot be got from men without striving. Such is the perverseness of men’s hearts, that they take fast hold of deceit.

Obs. 2.  Even private men [i.e., those other than pastors], so long as the there is hope, should strive with their brethren, by way of admonition and reprehension, to bring them from their sin.

Obs. 3.  It is a great aggravation of sin, and a forerunner of destruction to a people, not to regard the strivings, admonitions, and reprehensions of others. It is vain to strive (now that is the meaning); indeed, so long as there was hope there might be striving, but now they are past striving. This was the height of wickedness that they were grown unto, and the forerunner of that wrath of God, which was now ready to fall upon them, that they were now past all reprehension and admonition.

Obs. 4.  Sin increases where it is let alone. . . Those that once were capable of admonition, going on in sin and hardening their hearts, grow quickly past all reproof.

Obs. 5.  There is a time when men may, yea, men should give up striving with, admonishing, and reproving others, when they should let them alone. Read the rest of this entry »

Wrapped in Prayer

In Christian Life, The Presbyterian on 16/09/2011 at 16:38

Prayer and Care for Young Converts

by the Rev. Samuel G. Craig

[The Presbyterian 99.44 (31 October 1929): 3-4.]

THERE should be much intercessory prayer, or prayer for others. Those who are Christians should pray for all classes and conditions of men. They should pray for the heathen, that they may be evangelized; for the wicked and criminal, that they may be led to turn from the evil of their ways; for the unconverted, that they may be turned to know and accept Christ as their Saviour; for the sick, that they may have the healing grace of God; for the sorrowing, that they may be comforted; for the aged, that they may have the sense of God’s presence; for the children and the young people, that they may become the true children of God. Read the rest of this entry »

This Great Body of Divine Truth

In Christian Life, The Presbyterian on 16/09/2011 at 16:31

The Christian’s Need of the Old Testament

By Rev. John T. Reeve, D.D.

[The Presbyterian 99.44 (31 October 1929): 8-10.]

Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”—John 5: 39.

“SEARCH the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye O have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5: 39). There is another verse that should be associated with this, recorded in Luke 24: 27—”And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” These words occur in the conversation between our Lord Jesus and the two disciples on the way to Emmaus on the first Easter afternoon. They were troubled about his death, for they had thought “It had been He which should have redeemed Israel.” But now he was dead and their hopes were all dashed to the ground. You remember how he chided them: “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken,” asking them, “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into his glory?” Then it says, “And beginning at Moses and the Prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” Read the rest of this entry »