Double Handed Folly

Truly there is nothing new under the sun. This from THE CHARLESTON OBSERVEROctober 8, 1836:

MORALS! KNIVES!!

The practice of carrying knives and Pistols in our peaceable community prevails to an alarming extent, and should be expressly prohibited by an act of the Legislature as unlawful weapons. Lord Ellenborough it will be recollected, caused a law to be passed making it a capital offense to stab, wound, or maim, with felonious intent; and if we cannot check a fierce and furious spirit in other sections of the country, means, strong and effectual means must be adopted to prevent it here. Persons must not misunderstand their rights—they must not suppose because this is called a free country that it is not, or was not a country of laws—of order and good government. Carrying Knives and Pistols is illegal, because it may lead to a breach of the peace. A man armed at all points with deadly weapons is more apt to get into broils and difficulties than he who is unarmed, for he feels confident of his own strength, and in a sudden ebullition of passion the dagger may be fatally used. They should be abolished by Statute : there is no necessity to carry them, and they are dangerous to the peace, the safety, and the character of the City.

Now this is wrong in a city constituted like ours, and the subject should occupy the attention of our public authorities, and above all convictions for stabbing should be followed by strong and severe punishments.—New York Evening Star.

It is strange that Intelligent Editors should live in the midst of scenes of immorality for years, comment upon them in every paper, and in all aspects, and yet should let their philosophy be perpetually on the surface. What harm in carrying knives by the gross, if there is no disposition to use them? Is it the habit of carrying private arms, or the habit of cherishing those feelings which make arms pernicious, that is to be censured? If Quakers should arm their whole sect, who would fear evil? And why? Quakers do not drink, don’t gamble, do not haunt theatres, nor horse races, nor sporting clubs.—Now if the good citizens of New York would let alone the knives and pistols and dirks and fall upon the evil morals of their vagrant population, if they would purge out their grog shops—maintain the influence of religion over the community, visit theatres less and church more, we should soon hear as little about the danger of carrying “knives,” as we did forty or fifty years ago. And their political papers, if they would cease to laud the theatre, to puff demoralizing scenes, would find less need of bewailing the consequences. As it is in the morning they bid god speed to strong causes of vice and immorality; and in the evening they bemoan their natural and inevitable results. This is double handed folly.

[excerpted from The Charleston Observer 10.41 (8 October 1836): 162, columns 3-4.]

Attendance at Church Courts

Attendance and participation in the courts of the Church—those meetings of the Session, the Presbytery and the General Assembly—always involve some level of personal cost and expense for each attendee. For some the cost is greater than for others. This is one reason why the meetings of Presbytery and General Assembly move regularly from one location to another, so that inconveniences are averaged out over time for all the officers of the Court.
All of this is nothing new. There have always been those who questioned the expense, and perhaps not without good reason, each in his own situation. But as you will read, there are also good and compelling answers urging upon Commissioners their full participation at the Courts of the Church.

For The Charleston Observer.

Mr. Editor.—Is it my duty to travel between four and five hundred miles, at an expense of at least fifty dollars [at least a month’s wages in 1836], for the sole purpose of attending Synod, when in all probability its business would be as well conducted without as with my presence? And in so doing I should be necessarily absent from the people of my charge two, if not three Sabbaths?
—A Member of Synod.

REPLY.—We answer, 1. Should every member of Synod conclude from similar premises that it was not his duty to attend, there would be no meeting at the time and place appointed, and of course no business done.

2. One member frequently changes the entire complexion of a meeting; and no one has a right to suppose that his presence is a matter of indifference.

3. If the member can afford the expense it will be money well laid out, and if not, his people should aid him. The time occupiied in going and returning, may often be profitably employed. The journey may be of advantage to his health. In conference with his brethren he may receive a new impulse in his Christian course, and be better prepared to labor with effect among his people on his return; so that neither he nor they will be losers by his absence.

4. When he was set apart to the work of the Ministry, he was expected to make many sacrifices for the good of the cause. And if his brethren to whom he has solemnly promised subjection in the Lord, did not regard attendance upon the Judicatories of the Church as important, they would not have exacted an apology or excuse for non-attendance.

5. Instances are exceedingly rare that a Minister has ever cause to regret the sacrifices which he has made in attending the Judicatories of the Church. On the contrary he most usually feels himself amply repaid for all the sacrifices which it has cost him.

6. The present crisis of the Church seems to demand more than ever a full attendance both of Ministers and Elders, cost what it may. [In 1836, the Old School/New School debate was raging in the PCUSA, and the momentous split of the two factions came a year later]

[excerpted from The Charleston Observer, vol. 10, no. 39 (24 September 1836); 154, column 4.]

02_1936_0521_p160Southern Presbyterian Denomination’s 75th Anniversary [1936]

Borrowing from our other blog’s theme, “On This Day in Presbyterian History,”—May 21, 1936the southern Presbyterian Church celebrated its seventy-fifth anniversary. The following text is from a news clipping preserved by the Rev. Henry G. Welbon. An image scan of the news clipping is shown on the right:

TIMES-UNION, Jacksonville, May 21, 1936.

Presbyterians Hold Session in Historic Church

Diamond Jubilee of Organization Is Convened at Augusta.

AUGUSTA. Ga., May 21, (UP) — The seventy-fifth anniversary of the building of a church out of the crisis of the War Between the States will be observed dramatically at the diamond jubilee of the Presbyterian Church of the United States.

The annual meeting of the church opened tonight in the First Presbyterian Church here where 75 years ago, December 4, 1861, the Southern division of the faith was established.

The Southern Presbyterian Church’s existence began during the days of the War Between the States. The Presbyterian Church in the United States of America had passed the famous Gardiner Springs resolutions in ’61, calling upon every member of the church to pledge allegiance and loyalty to the Federal Government which was fighting the Confederacy.

The adoption of that resolution left the Southern Presbyterian members with no choice but to withdraw and form their own general assembly. This was done December 4, 1861, at a meeting in the Presbyterian Church here. At that time, Dr. Joseph Ruggles Wilson, father of late President Woodrow Wilson, was pastor of the Augusta church.

The ancient building still stands, and a reminder of the days that caused the formation of the new assembly is seen, in the slave galleries for the negroes. Until the last of them died a few years ago, there were still several colored members who held their memberships from slave days.

A stated clerk to succeed the Rev. J. D. Leslie, who died recently, is to be elected by the assembly. The Rev. E. C. Scott of Dallas, Texas, who has served as assistant stated clerk, is expected to be elected stated clerk.

Three overtures asking that the church take steps to promote an organic union of all Presbyterian bodies in the Nation are to be presented formally to the assembly Friday, but no action is expected until Monday. The Presbytery of Central Mississippi is to file an overture disfavoring the union move.

William E. Hill, Jr. : We Need Revival!

hillWEThe Rev. Bill Iverson called today, in need of a document, and somewhere in our conversation the name of Bill Hill came up. The Rev. William E. Hill, Jr. is particularly remembered as a faithful pastor, as the founder of the Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship, and as a leading voice in the formation of the Presbyterian Church in America. The following article was written by Rev. Hill and published in THE PRESBYTERIAN JOURNAL about three years after the formation of the PCA.

Not more organization and programs, but the dividends of Spirit-filling—

We Need Revival!

by William E. Hill, Jr.
[1880-1983]

We of the Presbyterian Church in America have come through a traumatic experience. New churches have been formed, enduring birth pains sorrowfully yet joyfully.

Some churches have been able to gain their freedom from earlier connections without difficulty. Others have suffered. Ministers and members whose heritage stretches back for generations in one denomination which was their lifelong home now find themselves in a new one. For some, the transition has been relatively easy. For many it has been exceedingly difficult. Some churches and ministers have endured bitter persecution.

However, now that the agony is over, there is joyful elation, very much akin to the joy experienced by people in the early Church as recorded in Acts 2-3. They “ate their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people.” So, also, some have been enabled by the Spirit to rejoice that they were ‘‘counted worthy to suffer for His name’s sake.”

We are free at last. This is good, but we are compelled to raise the question: So what? And the “so what?” reminds us that the early Church, after the traumatic experience and joyful elation, still found dangers to be encountered (Acts 4-5). For some, disillusionment was ahead. As in the case described in the epistle to the Hebrews, we face certain definite dangers of disillusionment.

We also face another danger—having escaped one ecclesiastical strait- jacket, we proceed to put ourselves into another, not quite so bad but nonetheless real. We face dangers of infighting among ourselves. We have our hyper-Calvinists, our moderate Calvinists, and our charismatics, our premillennialists and our amillennialists, each a little bit concerned about what the new denomination will do to them.

Looking at the situation after our third General Assembly, we raise the question: Does the PCA need revival? Some may say, “That is a silly question—we are already in revival.” This I question. Some may suggest that we need doctrinal instruction. Others may say we need to perfect our organization and outreach.

It seems to me, however, that what is most desperately needed in the PCA is real revival. Of doctrinal identification we have enough. Of ecclesiastical machinery we have too much. Of debating fine points we are weary. Now the question is or should be: How in the world are we going to meet the needs of many of our small, struggling groups? This is a big question.

Indeed, how are we going to find ministers to pastor these people? Another big question. The answer to all these questions, I believe, is revival. Without it we will degenerate into an ecclesiastical machine, grinding out materials, spewing forth pronouncements, fussing over theological distinctions, and languishing in barrenness and sterility.

The primary mark of real spiritual awakening for any people or any individual is repentance. On the Day of Pentecost there was real repentance with people crying out, “What must I do to be saved?” as their “hearts were pricked” by the Spirit-filled preaching of the apostles. In the revival at Ephesus (Acts 19-20), the people confessed their sins openly, publicly burning the instruments of their sins. Paul recounted in Acts 20 how he had preached with a twofold thrust, the first of which was “repentance toward God” (Acts 20). Continue reading “William E. Hill, Jr. : We Need Revival!”

Samuel Miller & Thomas Jefferson

Samuel Miller’s Assessment of Thomas Jefferson

Dr. Samuel MillerI found this interesting. In 1808, Dr. Samuel Miller wrote to President Thomas Jefferson, suggesting that the President declare a day of fasting and prayer. This would have been at a point in time when Miller was a pastor in New York City, and prior to his 1813 appointment to serve as a professor at the Princeton Theological Seminary. President Jefferson replied to Miller in a somewhat lengthy letter, declining the suggestion and stating his principles for doing so. While Jefferson’s reasoning is interesting in itself, particularly in contrast with the conduct of contemporary politics, Miller’s later (1833) assessment of Jefferson is also worthy of reflection. We might also examine whether, or how, Miller’s conclusion that “It was wrong for a minister of the gospel to seek any intercourse with such a man,” reflects on current discussions about the doctrine of the spirituality of the Church.
[The short version of this matter is posted here first. For those that want to read deeper, there was a fuller discussion of the subject earlier in Miller’s biography, reproduced below.]

Excerpted from The Life of Samuel Miller, vol. 1, pp. 235ff. (available online, here.):—

3. PRESIDENT JEFFERSON.

Mr. Jefferson was approaching the commencement of his last year in the Presidency, when Dr. Miller wrote to him a letter, and received a reply, in regard to which, after the lapse of twenty-five years, the latter made the following memorandum:–

“I can never read this letter [Mr. Jefferson’s] but with regret and shame. At the time in which it was written, I was a warm and zealous partizan in favor of Mr. Jefferson’s administration.. I substantially agreed with him in political principles, without being aware of the rottenness of his moral and religious opinions. I had written to him, urging him to recommend to the nation a day of religious observance, on account of the peculiarly solemn and interesting circumstances, in which we were placed as a people. I informed him that a number of serious persons, (clergymen and others,) of different denominations, had thoughts of formally addressing him on the subject, and, as a body, requesting him to appoint a day of special prayer. I stated that I was very desirous of his appointing such a day, and had thought of uniting in the effort to secure a joint address; but that, before doing so, I wished to know, whether it would be disagreeable to him to receive such an application; assuring him that neither I nor my associates in this plan, had any wish to embarrass him; and that, if it would give him pain to be thus addressed, I would endeavor to prevent the adoption of the proposed measure. To this communication his letter was an answer.

‘ I now (1833) feel, that I was utterly wrong in thus writing; and, if I had known the real character of the man, I should never have done it. It was wrong for a minister of the gospel to seek any intercourse with such a man. It was wrong so far to consult his feelings, as to oppose a formal and joint address, that he might be spared the pain of refusing.’ Continue reading “Samuel Miller & Thomas Jefferson”

The Pastor’s Storehouse

“A scholar may think his library his storehouse of knowledge, and, in certain circumstances of continuous study, it is so; but we recall walking with the late Dr. Duryea through the alcoves of the fine Theological Library on Somerset Street, Boston, when he said: “This is a splendid and very complete collection, but I find that my work I have to do with a few old tools up in my attic study.”  Even a scholarly minister finds his practical need of knowledge too suddenly pressing for the searching of libraries. He has not time to hunt up the needed book, or to hunt through the book for what he wants. His prompt work must be done at once as the need is felt, mainly with no help but such as he can draw from within; with little knowledge but what he has already gathered, with only the briefest suggestion added here and there to what memory already has in possession, stored away from former acquisitions. Her’s is the only available storehouse, and a man is rich or poor as that storehouse is well filled and so filled that its treasures may be reached promptly at need.”

[excerpted from The Pulpit Treasury, Vol. 19, no. 1 (May 1901): 63.]

Personal Testimony of A.A. Hodge

Browsing through an old periodical, I came across the following testimony by Archibald Alexander Hodge, son of Charles Hodge. I’m not sure if this testimony found its way into some other publication by A.A. Hodge, or otherwise where it came from. Perhaps some alert reader can let us know.

PERSONAL REASONS FOR BELIEVING CHRISTIANITY TO BE A REVELATION.

HodgeAABy Prof. A. A. Hodge, D.D., Theological Seminary, Princeton, N. J.

To the question, “Why do I personally believe Christianity to be a Revelation?” I would say:

1.     I recognize the obvious fact that my rational and moral intuitions, and the information they afford, are as valid as my sense perceptions and the discoveries they make of the material world. Personality, freedom, moral responsibility—the eternal, ultimate, universal, and supreme obligation of the Right, are to me the first and most sure of realities.

2.     The light of my own personality, will, intelligence, and conscience, cast upon external nature, and upon the human society which surrounds me, reveals God. He is manifested in the exercise of my own consciousness, and in the phenomena of external nature, as the invisible spirits of our fellow-men are visible in their persons and actions; and I spontaneously recognize Him as certainly as I recognize them. Intelligence, choice, and, therefore, personality, are everywhere visible in the successions of external nature; and the presence of a presiding moral personality is witnessed to by the sense of responsibility and of guilt never absent from my own consciousness. To the extent to which science renders nature intelligible is the latter proved to be the product of an ever-present and acting intelligence. This God is discerned to be immanent in the external and internal world, as distributed through space and time, just as clearly as the phenomena themselves through the medium of which He is manifested. At the same time, He is just as clearly and as certainly discerned as a moral and providential Governor objective to ourselves, transcending all phenomena, and speaking to us, and acting upon us from without.

3.      As thus revealed, it is evident that this God has created me in His own image. Instincts, also, which cannot be denied, testify that He is my Father. As a child of God, unassuagable instinct cries for union with Him. As a subject of His moral government, I know myself to be justly exposed to His wrath because of sin, and that I must have a Mediator to make my peace, else I die. His treatment of the race historically, and of me personally, affords strong presumption that He will sometime reveal Himself to me, and redeem me from the ruin effected by my sin.

4.     I was born in a Christian family, and in a Christian Church. Parents and friends lived before me from the beginning lives which, in strong contrast with the character of the surrounding community, were unmistakably supernatural. Through the subsequent years, I have seen innumerable individuals of many nationalities whose lives and deaths, in spite of all inconsistencies, possessed the same supernatural character. All these referred the mystery of their lives to the facts of an Incarnation of God eighteen hundred years ago, and to the subsequent indwelling of a Divine Person in their hearts. The history of this stupendous event, and the promise of this indwelling, I found recorded in a Book, itself giving, whenever and wherever believingly received, equal evidence of supernatural origin and power.

5.     The Bible and the Church thus present me with Christ. I find His person, life, words, death, and resurrection, and the consequence thereof, to be, when accepted as intended by the evangelists, the key which gives unity to all history, or, on the contrary, when not so understood, an infinite anomaly, neither to be reasoned away, nor explained. The very God immanent in nature und in conscience is revealed in this Christ with a satisfying completeness, solving all problems, and satisfying all needs—expiating human  guilt, sanctifying human life, reconciling the Moral Governor to His sinful subject, and uniting the Heavenly Father to His child.

6.     This objective revelation of Christ in the Bible and in the Church, once accepted as genuine many years ago, has ever since been developed and strengthened in my consciousness, by a religious experience, which, however imperfect, has proved continuous, progressive, and practically real, to this day—a power in my life as well as a light in my sky.

7.     This confidence grows more entirely satisfying through every renewed examination I am able to make of the historical monuments by which the fundamental facts of Christianity are certified. The authenticity of the records, the definite certainty of the facts, the miracles wrought, and the prophecies fulfilled, are among the best established events in history. If these be denied, there will be nothing left of which we can be sure. The supernatural birth, life, death, and resurrection of the God-man, and the miraculous growth of the early Church are all to me certainties, implicated in all rational views of the past or present state of mankind.

8.     This is corroborated by all I have learned, as for years the pupil of Joseph Henry, of the genuine results and tendencies of modern science. Instead of stumbling at special and transient collisions, I have seen it to be true, as in all other healthy, open-eyed vision, that the worlds of matter and spirit, and the revolutions of Scripture and science gloriously supplement and interpret each other. As the body is organized to the uses of the spirit, and the shrine to its resident divinity, so science is evermore unveiling the Temple which none other than the Triune God of Christianity can fill with His presence and crown with His glory.

9.     The conviction of the truth of Christianity is greatly confirmed by the violent contrasts afforded by all other religions, by the miserable failures the best of them achieve; in their historical records; in their representations of God, of nature, and of man; in their provisions for the needs of the human reason, conscience, or affection; in the relation of their cosmogonies to the results of modern science; and in their influence upon human character and life, individual and collective.

10.     Finally, my satisfaction with Christianity is consummated by the sorry plight presented by all the various parties who deny its truth, or rebel from its authority. Uncertain, inconsistent, inharmonious, instable, unfruitful, they take refuge in negations, and nowhere dare confront Christianity with positive, coherent counterpositions of creed, of evidence, or of practical results.—Ex.

[excerpted from The Pulpit Treasury, vol. 3, no. 8 (October 1885): 371-373.]

Memorial for Rev. John L. Girardeau

With a recent request for information from the Minutes of the Synod of South Carolina, (in the old Presbyterian Church, U.S.), I have come across this Memorial to the Rev. John L. Girardeau:

REV. JOHN L. GIRARDEAU, D.D., LL.D.

girardeau (2)James Island near Charleston, S.C., has the distinction of being the birth place of John Lafayette Girardeau.

He was born on November the 14th 1825, and was, as his name indicates, of Huguenot extraction.

In 1844 he graduated from Charleston College, and completed his studies at the Columbia Theological Seminary in 1848.

For a short time after he left the Seminary he served the Wappetaw Church. In 1850 he was ordained and installed pastor of the Wilton Church near Adams Run. In 1854 he was invited to take charge of a colored mission work, which grew into Zion, the great negro church in Charleston, whose house of worship was built by wealthy Presbyterians for the religious instruction of the slave population. The immense place of worship was thronged at every service, many whites attending regularly, and hundreds were hopefully converted. No congregation in the State enjoyed the ministrations of a more gifted preacher.

This happy and most fruitful pastorate was interrupted by the war between the States. Doctor Girardeau was elected Chaplain of the 23d South Carolina regiment, and served in this capacity until the conclusion of hostilities in 1865. He was as brave as the bravest, and discharged with tender and efficient fidelity the part of friend and spiritual teacher of the men of his command.

Upon his return to Charleston he became pastor of Zion Glebe Street Church which had under its care for several years his former colored congregation.

zionPC_CharlestonSCUnder his able leadership and labors this rapidly grew into one of the strongest churches in the Southern Assembly, in point of members, charitable work and pecuniary offerings.

In 1875 the St. Louis General Assembly unanimously elected him Professor of Systematic Theology in the Columbia Seminary and in 1876 he assumed the duties of that chair.

For eighteen years in this Institution, with an untiring devotion and zeal, he assisted in preparing young men for the Christian Ministry. Because of an age limit in the constitution of the Seminary, he resigned in 1895, and resisted the most earnest appeals to permit his re-election. To him there must have been a premonition of his approaching end, for during the winter following his powers began to fail, and after lingering for more than two years, the Master called him, and he passed to his reward upon the 23d of June 1898.

Of Dr. Girardeau’s intellectual gifts there can be but one opinion. He was an incessant and thorough student. He hungered for knowledge. There was nothing superficial in his search for truth. His mind was acutely analytical and logical, and once having assured himself of his premises he pushed them remorselessly to their conclusion. His convictions, therefore were strong and he held to them tenaciously without fear or favor.

In his reading he ranged the fields of history, and poetry, and philosophy and metaphysics, and his memory held for ready service  the treasures they had been made to yield.

As a Professor he was unusually attractive and efficient, painstaking and thorough he invested with peculiar charm the lesson of every day. No recitation dragged with him. He knew how to excite enthusiasm, to stimulate thought, to encourage investigation, to get at the measure of a student’s acquaintance with the subject, and at the end of the hour each one left the class room intellectually richer than when he entered it.

As a Presbyter he was an example of regular attendance upon our church courts. No one ever saw him unattentive to the proceedings. He was ready for any work that might be assigned to him. He held closely to the regular methods of conducting business, was prepared to participate in the discussion of every important question, and was always an alert, vigorous formidable, but courteous antagonist in debate.

As an Author, he has left numerous magazine articles upon a variety of topics, “Instrumental Music in the Public Worship of the Church,” “Calvinism and Evangelical Arminianism,” “The Will in its Theological Relations,” and the Manuscripts of “Philosophical Discussions,” “Theological Discussions” and “Life Letters, Poems and Sermons.” It is to be hoped that these last, in printed form, will soon enrich the literature of our day.

Oglethorpe College conferred upon him the degree of D.D. in 1868, and the South Western Presbyterian University that of LL.D., in the year [1874?].

girardeauGrave01As a Preacher, though probably his greatest fame was won, and it is as a preacher more than likely that he will be lovingly remembered.

Of him it can be truly said he “magnified his office.” The Bible was his Book of books. Its teachings lived in his life. His knowledge of it was profound. He loved his Savior, the Divine Christ, with all of the intense ardor of his being. He believed in his very soul, that men are lost sinners and that their only hope is in the royal gospel of God’s free grace. He shunned not to declare therefore, the whole counsel of God, but with the tender pathos of “the beloved disciple,” and the logical power of a Paul.

His presence was commanding, his voice clear, musical, far reaching; his imagination chaste and brilliant, his diction oppulent and superb, and his delivery, as a rule unhampered by manuscript, was always graceful, often thrillingly impassioned.

With a master’s hand he swept, at will, the entire key board of human feeling.

As a Teacher, Presbyter, Debater, Author, Preacher, John L. Girardeau easily takes an enduring place among the most distinguished men of the Southern Presbyterian Church.

—W. T. Thompson, Chairman.

Image sources:
1. Rev. Dr. John L. Girardeau. Photograph courtesy of Rev. Dr. Nick Willborn. Used by permission.
2. Zion Presbyterian Church, Charleston, South Carolina. Photograph by Dr. Barry Waugh. Used by permission.
3. Grave of Rev. Dr. John L. Girardeau, in the Elmwood Cemetery, Columbia, South Carolina. Photograph by Dr. Barry Waugh. Used by permission.

Ancient Revivals: “The Testimony and Advice.”

Psalm 145:10-12
10.  All Your works shall give thanks to You, O Lord, and Your godly ones shall bless You.
11.  They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom and talk of Your power.
12.  To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts and the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom.

Earlier this week, The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University, in partnership with William Eerdmans Publishing Company, announced that they will be producing A JONATHAN EDWARDS ENCYCLOPEDIA. The volume, to be published in print and online, will be comprised of some 450 entries. In light of that project, here transcribed below is an important document from the latter years of the First Great Awakening. THE TESTIMONY AND ADVICE is not otherwise easily found on the Internet at this time, other than in short quotations, and so it seemed good to reproduce it here.

In that era of the First Great Awakening, Presbyterian and Congregationalist pastors worked readily with one another in the proclamation of the Gospel, both groups being strongly Calvinistic in their theology. As you read through this document, you will see mentioned several of the concerns which figured prominently in the Old Side/New Side split of the Presbyterian Church, 1741-1758. The issues prompting that split included itinerant preaching and ministerial authority, and both of these concerns are discussed in THE TESTIMONY AND ADVICE.

[Originally published Boston : Printed, and sold by S. Kneeland and T. Green, 1743, and here excerpted from THE CHARLESTON OBSERVER, Vol. XII, No. 38 (22 September 1838): 149, columns 4-5.]

From the Pastor’s Journal.
ANCIENT REVIVALS.

After the remarkable work of God in New England in the beginning of the last century, it was suggested by a writer in the Boston Gazette of May 31st, 1743, that a Convention of Ministers should be held to “consider whether they are not called upon to give an open, conjunct testimony, to an event so surprising and gracious, as well as against those errors in doctrine and disorders in practice, which through the permitted agency of Satan have attended it, and in some measure blemished its glory and hindered its advancement.” Accordingly, on the 7th July of the same year, about ninety Ministers met at Boston for the above purposes. After a sermon, they proceeded to confer together, and to hear the letters of such as desired but were not able to attend the meeting. As the result of their deliberations they drew up and published the following document, which was signed by sixty-eight Ministers—the number of those who remained, the others having left.

THE TESTIMONY AND ADVICE

Of an Assembly of Pastors of Churches in New England, at a meeting in Boston, July 7th, 1743, occasioned by the late happy Revival of Religion in many parts of the land. Continue reading “Ancient Revivals: “The Testimony and Advice.””

How To Leave the House of God

[excerpted from THE CHARLESTON OBSERVER, Vol. XII, No. 39 (29 September 1838): 154, column 2.]

HOW TO LEAVE THE HOUSE OF GOD.

And he sent them away.“—From these five short and simple words, Bishop Heber forms one of his most practical and interesting sermons. After repeating the Evangelist’s account of the miracle, at the close of the performance of which Jesus Christ uttered these words, he goes on to lay before his hearers the duties that are incumbent upon them, after being “sent away,” with a blessing from the house of God, and begs them, in his own impressive manner, to bow in supplication, as they leave that temple, to Him who can alone give them strength to go on their way rejoicing, or enable them to fulfil the duties that intervene between that time and the next period appointed for their assembling together. So should we go away strengthened, and refreshed in spirit by the words of the teacher, as the multitude left the Saviour, nourished in body by the miraculous food he had bestowed—”then would the dawn of each returning day bring increase of knowledge;” then, when another Sabbath calls us to God’s holy temple, we would return in the increased favor of God and the clearer light of His countenance; and at length, when the great Sabbath of nature is arrived, and he who once fed the poor flock in the wilderness returns in His father’s glory, to rule over heaven and earth, He will “send us away” no more, but cause us, world without end, to dwell in His tabernacle, and before His face, that “where He is, there we may be also.”Southern Churchman.