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7907Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: Act Declaration and Testimony

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  • Martin
    Mar 1, 2003
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      ;[807] idleness, gluttony, drunkenness,[808] unchaste company;[809] lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancings, stage plays;[810] and all other provocations to, or acts of uncleanness, either in ourselves or others.[811]
      Hmmm, books too eh?  Or perhaps "lascivious" modifies the context of the following items?  Heheh, I can't help but chuckle at the thought of the Westminster divines being unqualifiedly against books.
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2003 11:02 AM
      Subject: Re: [Covenanted Reformation] Re: Act Declaration and Testimony

      Hello Brian,
      The RPNA maintains the following as part of the subordinate standards to the Scriptures.
      In Christ,
      Q. 139. What are the sins forbidden in the seventh commandment?
      A. The sins forbidden in the seventh commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required,[792] are, adultery, fornication,[793] rape, incest,[794] sodomy, and all unnatural lusts;[795] all unclean imaginations, thoughts, purposes, and affections;[796] all corrupt or filthy communications, or listening thereunto;[797] wanton looks,[798] impudent or light behaviour, immodest apparel;[799] prohibiting of lawful,[800] and dispensing with unlawful marriages;[801] allowing, tolerating, keeping of stews, and resorting to them;[802] entangling vows of single life,[803] undue delay of marriage,[804] having more wives or husbands than one at the same time;[805] unjust divorce,[806] or desertion;[807] idleness, gluttony, drunkenness,[808] unchaste company;[809] lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancings, stage plays;[810] and all other provocations to, or acts of uncleanness, either in ourselves or others.[811]

      [810] Ephesians 5:4. Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. Romans 13:13. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 1 Peter 4:3. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries. See Ezekiel 23:14-16; Isaiah 3:16; 23:15-17; Mark 6:22.


      Page 98, 2nd Para., ADT on "Stage-Plays" below:

      Not to insist further in enumerating particulars, the presbytery finally, testily, against church and state, for their negligence to suppress impiety vice, and superstitious observance of holy days, &c. The civil powers herein acting directly contrary to the nature and perverting the very ends of the magistrate’s office, which is to be custos et vindex utriusque tablae; the minister of God, a revenger, to execute wrath on him that doeth evil. Transgressors of the first table of the law may now sin openly with impunity; and, while the religious observation of the sabbath is not regarded, the superstitious observation of holy days, even in Scotland, is so much authorized, that on some of them the most considerable courts of justice are discharged to sit. Stage-plays, masquerades, balls, assemblies, and promiscuous dancings, the very nurseries of impiety and wickedness, are not only tolerated, but even countenanced by law. And as these, with other evils, are permitted by the civil powers; so this church seems to have lost all zeal against sin. No suitable endeavors are used to prevent the growth of atheism, idolatry and superstition: and though prelacy, as well as popery, is growing apace in the lands, and organs publicly used in that superstitious worship; yet no testimony is given against them, but new modes introduced into the worship of God, for carnal ends, as a gradual advance toward that superstition. Yea, so unconcerned about suppressing vice and extravagent vanity, &c., that not only are the forementioned nurseries of sin frequented by ministers’ children, but ministers themselves have countenanced them by their presence, to the great scandal of their office, and manifest encouragement of these seminaries of immorality. And notwithstanding that by the late proclamation the penal laws against vice and profanity seem to be revived (which is in itself so far good), yet this cannot supersede or remove the ground of the presbytery’s testimony against church and state complexly, on the above account, or even against the thing itself, in the manner that it is gone about. For besides that, notwithstanding of all former endeavors of this kind, since the overthrow of our scriptural and covenanted reformation, immorality and wickedness have still increased and overflowed all these banks; partly, because, after all their pretenses, the laws were not vigorously put in execution (and as good, no law nor penalty, as no exception) and partly, because these law-makers, being also themselves the law-breakers, have entrusted the execution to such as are generally ringleaders in a variety of gross immoralities; it is not likely, that ever God will countenance and bless such attempts, whereby (contrary to scripture and all good order) the ecclesiastical power is subjected to the civil and ministers made the bare inspectors of men’s manners, and informers to inferior judges, without having it in the r power to oblige such transgressors (if obstinate) to compear before church judicatories, and conform and submit to the laws of Christ’s house. Nay, so far will God be from approving such Erastian methods of reformation, that he will certainly visit for this, among all other iniquities, and in his own due time make a breach upon us, because we sought him not in the due order. Wherefore, and for all these grounds, the presbytery testify against both church and state, as in their constitutions Erastian and anti-scriptural, including the substitution and acknowledgment of another head and governor over the church than Christ, as may be sufficiently evident; from proofs above adduced. And particular because the British united constitution is such as involves the whole land, and all ranks therein, in the dreadful guilt of idolatry, communicating with idolators, apostasy, perjury, &c.[see HERE] They declare they can have no communion therewith; but that is such an association as that God’s call to his people, concerning it, is, "Come out from among them. Be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you, saith the Lord."


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