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Re: Simon's Post

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  • Colin
    ... Some significant corrections need to be made to this unusual post by Simon (which at first I thought was some kind of April fool s joke, but apparently he
    Message 1 of 16 , Apr 5, 2004
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      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, s.padbury@t...
      wrote:
      > Hi BD, and all,
      >
      > {BD, I thought I would also send my response to you [slightly
      > corrected, e.g., typos] on this list, now that something has become
      > evident to me (see what I write in some background information
      > below). I dislike having to bring this up again, but I think I must
      > do so because many long-standing members of this list will be aware
      > of at least some of what has been going on between myself and
      > Colin.

      Some significant corrections need to be made to this unusual post by
      Simon (which at first I thought was some kind of April fool's joke,
      but apparently he seems to be serious).

      First, there is nothing "going on on" between myself and Simon. I
      have not had any personal contact with him for over a year.

      > So, dor some background information.....}
      >
      > You may be aware of some of the history emnity between Colin and I.
      >

      I wouldn't call it "emnity" on my part.

      > If not, here: Since I mentioned on that list that I think Theonomy
      > is an error, and consequently Colin became agitated and sought to
      > defend and promote Theonomy/Christian Reconstructionism at great
      > length over a year ago.

      Ah! the good ol' days! :-) But I don't recall ever getting "agitated".

      > Colin repeatedly accused me of being "slanderous" (because I said
      > his presbyterian Theonomist heros were opposing WCF 19.4), "wicked"
      > and "ungodly" (because I opposed Theonomy's errors,

      Simon has taken my words out of their original context. I have never
      called anyone "wicked" or "ungodly" merely because they "opposed
      Theonomy". But I have occasionally done so for the *way* some have
      chosen to oppose it when the situation clearly called for it. (i.e.
      calling a spade a spade).

      In Simon's case, it would have been better for him to go back to the
      archives and see my original posts on the matter and then cite my
      words **in their original context**, instead of his own interpreted
      context and selective quotation of my words.

      > and he thinks that all who do so are antinomian,
      >

      Again, this is false, and I have never said that "all" those who
      oppose Theonomy are "antinomian" (though some may well be).

      I certainly do not do what some Steelites Covenanters do, who call
      all non-Steelite Presbyterians "backsliders" and "covenant breakers"
      (never mind what they call all hymn singers!). My point here is that
      I am far more charitable towards non-Theonomists than some Steelites
      are to non-Steelites (there are some exceptions of course).

      > and if we persist in it after a Theonomist has tried to 'educate'
      > us, therefore we must be reprobate and blind), and "ignorant"
      > (because I admitted that I had not read as many Theonomist books as
      > he had, and I had no wish to do so).

      I have never said nor implied such nonsense.

      > I temporarily left the group while relocating to Stockton-on-Tees,
      > and then ex-Theonomist Greg Loren Durand stepped in and so
      > strongly 'grappled' with him, that Colin lost all the arguments,
      > even many arguments which at that time I myself struggled with.
      > Evidently Greg was the better man for fighting people like Colin!

      Simon is clearly dreaming if he thinks that I "lost" any arguments to
      Mr. Durand. I have repeatedly engaged him on other forums, and I have
      so thoroughly refuted his many false accusations and fabrications of
      facts that he publicly chose to no longer "interact" with me anymore
      or respond to my e-mails. Durand is not fighter but a quitter.

      Furthermore, I would readily debate him again if the occasion
      requires it. His arguments are easy to refute because many of them
      are either strawmen fallacies, or ad hominem fallacies, or hasty
      generalization fallacies, or mere scurrilous accusations. He is
      simply not a serious critic of Theonomy/CR.

      Remember too that its just as easy to create strawman attacks against
      Calvinism as it is to do so against Theonomy. The polemical methods
      are identical in most cases.

      > Later I engaged Colin in a series of private emails, trying to get
      > him to retract his outrageous accustions against me.

      Unfortunately for Simon, he never presented my allegedly "outrageous
      accusation" in its original context. And I could hardly "retract"
      words that were clearly taken out of their initial context.

      > I resumed the debate in private with him, and showed him clearly
      > that I was *not* an antinomian, and that I well knew the arguments
      > of the Theonomists/Christian Reconstructionists from the (fewer)
      > books that I had read by Bahnsen, North, Rushdoony, and on the
      > Chalcedon Foundation websites and many other websites. I showed him
      > that I was a Christian at least as truly as he was, and that I
      > loved the law of God. But Colin completely refused all my attempts
      > at freindly reconsiliation.

      Again, this is false. I never "refused" any "attempts at friendly
      reconcilliation". In fact, it was Simon who insisted on stopping all
      private communication with me. His exact words were: "I will not
      waste my time any more. So, I will not be continuing this
      discussion with you". And that was the last thing he ever said to me.

      But just prior to all that, one of the things I had previously said
      to him was:

      "We are probably not as far as apart as you might think."

      I also said to him:

      "And BTW I never said that to disagree with North and Rushdoony makes
      you "ungodly" or "wicked"."

      I also referred to him as a "present day Calvinist".

      And I further told him last year before he abruptly ended our private
      correspondence:

      "I accept your hand of genuine Christian Fellowship."

      Now does that sound like I had "refused all attempts at friendly
      reconciliation."??

      > NEVER have I treated Colin as badly and shamefully as he has
      > treated me.

      Well I never chose to cut off communication with Simon, but I did
      respect his decision to cut off all communication with me.

      >
      > I sincerely believe that it will not be well with his soul unless
      > he 'takes back' what he has said against me.

      Well it would also be better for Simon to read and cite my words in
      their original context before insisting that I should "take them
      back". I do not take back words that are taken out of their original
      context. That would be foolish.

      > And I would not be surprised that he likewise 'character-
      > assassinates' other Christians for opposing Theonomy/Christian
      > Reconstructionism.

      I have witnessed more "character assassinations" made against
      Theonomists than I have the heart to recall. Just recently on another
      forum, a would be critic of Theonomy insisted on accusing all
      Theonomists of being "unregenerate" and "Phariseeical" and similar to
      the "Arian cult". Thankfully, the non-Theonomic Moderator rebuked
      that person and demanded that she never speak on the topic again.

      But I would have no reason to "character assassinate" anyone merely
      for "opposing Theonomy". Though I do admit that at times, some of my
      responses have been ad hominem after being overly provoked by a less
      than fair critic of Theonomy. But 'character assassinations" as such
      is not my method. Simon doesn't seem to be aware that his own
      comments could be classified as a "character assassination" against
      me.

      > Maybe Colin the Theonomist, if he ever had power over me for
      > opposing his preferred form of governing
      > such "slanderous," "wicked," "ungodly" men as myself, would seek to
      > have me stoned to death! I can only conclude that he fully believes
      > I am a heretic, and in the Theonomic system, heretics bust be
      > punished with death.

      It was these kind of absurd remarks that made me first think that
      Simon was playing some kind of April Fool's joke on the forum.

      I have never desired that Simon "be stoned to death". Nor do I
      believe that he is a "heretic". Nor do I believe that heretics should
      be stoned or "punished with death". Neither does the Theonomic system
      ever teach that "heretics be punished with death". (If Simon has read
      Rushdoony's Institutes like he claims, then he would have known that).
      Infact, I don't know of any modern Theonomic book that teaches that
      heretics be punished with death. So I have no idea where Simon could
      have got that notion from.

      Perhaps he should be more concerned about the Steelite Covenanters
      who do infact believe that heretics should be punished by the civil
      magistrate. (I don't mean that he should be concerned about his own
      life of course, but that he should be concerned about what the
      Steelites really believe about punishing heretics).

      > On the more recent matter of disagreement, "The Bishop's Doom"
      > responded to me, seeking to clarify my response to Colin. Actually
      > I have not really begun to respond to Colin, but so far I am merely
      > trying to get him to respond to me as though I were a Christian
      > brother. He is refusing to do so.

      Well Simon is greatly mistaken if he thinks that I don't consider him
      a "Christian brother". My personal e-mails from last year should have
      prevented him from making that mistake.

      Simon is also mistaken that I am "refusing" to respond to him. I've
      actually been quite busy, as well as dealing with matters on other
      forums (and I am currently a Moderator of two Discussion Forum, and I
      have been asked to be a Moderator of a third one).

      > BD has thought that maybe in my annoyance with Colin, I was also
      > opposing him (BD). BD emailed me in private about this, and I
      > responded in private.

      Simon, I have not had the time to interact with your previous post or
      with BD's post. But I will respond eventually to your earlier posts.
      I assure you that my lack of response has nothing to do with our
      previous disagreements, or with what you erroneously think is my
      negative attitude towards you. I still stand by my last words to you
      from last year:

      "I accept your hand of genuine Christian Fellowship."

      <Snip>

      Colin
    • gmw
      ... Can t miss a chance to take a shot at Covenanters. Look, in all the time you ve been in this group, it seems to me you ve spent far more time and effort
      Message 2 of 16 , Apr 6, 2004
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        --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Colin "
        <cbx292000@y...> wrote:

        > I certainly do not do what some Steelites Covenanters do, who call
        > all non-Steelite Presbyterians "backsliders" and "covenant breakers"
        > (never mind what they call all hymn singers!). My point here is that
        > I am far more charitable towards non-Theonomists than some Steelites
        > are to non-Steelites (there are some exceptions of course).

        Can't miss a chance to take a shot at Covenanters. Look, in all the
        time you've been in this group, it seems to me you've spent far more
        time and effort disagreeing with the things said here then agreeing.
        Every story needs an antagonist, I realize. But perhaps your role
        here has been played out.

        Don't take this as me picking on you because you're the theonomist....
        I would have read your post without any comment had I not come across
        this shot taken at those who strive to uphold the principles of the
        Covenanted Reformation. This is the Covenanted Reformation Club, mind
        you.

        gmw.
      • Colin
        ... Gerry, if you read my words carefully, you would note that I qualified them by saying some . And in case anyone would miss that, I even added there are
        Message 3 of 16 , Apr 6, 2004
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          --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "gmw"
          <raging.calvinist@v...> wrote:
          > --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Colin "
          > <cbx292000@y...> wrote:
          >
          > > I certainly do not do what some Steelites Covenanters do, who
          > > call all non-Steelite Presbyterians "backsliders" and "covenant
          > > breakers" (never mind what they call all hymn singers!). My point
          > > here is that I am far more charitable towards non-Theonomists
          > > than some Steelites are to non-Steelites (there are some
          > > exceptions of course).
          >
          > Can't miss a chance to take a shot at Covenanters.

          Gerry, if you read my words carefully, you would note that I
          qualified them by saying "some". And in case anyone would miss that,
          I even added "there are some exceptions of course").

          I was not criticizing the entire Covenanters, or even all the
          Steelite ones.

          > Look, in all the time you've been in this group, it seems to me
          > you've spent far more time and effort disagreeing with the things
          > said here then agreeing.

          I've never been good as acting as a mere "Yes man". I'm sorry that
          you think that I make a poor candidate for the Steelite
          Covenanter "cheerleading squad".

          But I have in the past expressed my agreements with the Scottish
          Covenanters (though admittedly far less so with the modern Steelite
          edition).

          Agreements such as 5 point Calvinism, The Free Offer of the Gospel,
          the pedagogic value of puritan and presbyterian church history,
          Postmillennialism, the pedagogic value of creeds and confessions, the
          pro-nomian views of the law of God between Covenanters and
          Theonomists. The belief in the universal kingship of Christ (as ably
          expressed in William Symington's "Messiah the Prince" and similar
          covenanter writings). The militant protestant stand against Romanism
          and idolatry in the Church. The appreciation for the Protestant
          Reformers like Calvin and Knox, as well as for the Protestant Martyrs
          of England and Scotland. The opposition to political tyranny and
          pluralism in government (e.g. "Lex Rex"), etc.

          >
          > Don't take this as me picking on you because you're the
          > theonomist....
          > I would have read your post without any comment had I not come
          > across this shot taken at those who strive to uphold the principles
          > of the Covenanted Reformation.

          My "shot" Gerry, was not intended as a shot at the Steelites at all,
          but only to point out to Simon that his concerns about Theonomy were
          entirely unjustified. And if he is really concerned about the matter
          of state punishment of heretics (that he wrongly imputes to
          Theonomists), he ought to more concerned about a group of Christians
          who actually believe in that (such as the Steelite Covenanters). But
          Simon appears oblivious to the real irony of where he actually
          expressed his concerns about State punishment of heretics, that is,
          on this very forum which holds to that view.

          So I was really taking more of a "shot" at Simon's paranoia, than at
          the Steelites. I am sorry that you took it the wrong way, Gerry.

          > This is the Covenanted Reformation Club, mind you.
          >

          Yes, and I have learned much from many of your posts, and from BD's
          posts, and I appreciate your zeal for reformed Church history.

          Colin
        • gmw
          ... wrote: I m sorry that you think that I make a poor candidate for the Steelite Covenanter cheerleading squad . We got spirit, yes we do,
          Message 4 of 16 , Apr 6, 2004
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            --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Colin "
            <cbx292000@y...> wrote:

            "I'm sorry that you think that I make a poor candidate for the
            Steelite Covenanter "cheerleading squad".

            We got spirit, yes we do, we got spirit....

            How 'bout you?

            gmw.
          • thebishopsdoom
            It is true that some of the modern debates on the issue of Reformed Presbyterians have gotten quite polemical, not just in favour of, but also against the
            Message 5 of 16 , Apr 6, 2004
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              It is true that some of the modern debates on the issue of Reformed
              Presbyterians have gotten quite polemical, not just in favour of, but
              also against the views of the Reformed Presbyterians.
              Perhaps it's time to take a closer look at David Steele, since so
              much of the modern controversy seems to revolve around appeals to
              him. It seems much ado has been made about Steele for a whole lot of
              nasty things.
              Despite popular opinion, Steele was not absolutely loathed by the
              RPCNA in his day as a minister among them. J.R. Willson had
              handpicked him for a professorship at RPTS (while the controversy
              with Synod was ongoing in which Steele had taken a part), and had
              promised Steele that he already had the votes to get him in as co-
              professor. Steele declined, because he felt he was not adequately
              prepared for a professorship at that time. (This is incidentally
              notably absent from the book on RPTS history, Spare No Exertions.) He
              was during that time also called to be minister in one of the
              congregations in the Pittsburgh area, though he had declined the call
              at that time. Yes, Steele for his leaving synod did accrue some
              strong opponents in the RPCNA. But the view some of them had of him
              was not universal.
              Despite some polemical language used of a few ministers who he
              believed weree engineering what became the New Light split, and a few
              others afterwards who he believed were attempting to bring the Old
              Lights down the same road - talk of former brethren, false brethren,
              and the like, David Steele did not as a rule speak of people in that
              way, either within nor without the RPCNA. Even "false brethren"
              didn't mean "false Christian" (as some appear to have assumed) but
              rather the falsity was with claiming to be fellow covenanters when
              the persons in question were attacking the views expressed in the
              standrads themselves. In particular, it might be noted that Steele
              late in life mentioned that he never ceased all the while to regard
              Willson Sr as a godly man upon whom he had no known quarrels (in
              spite of the fact that Willson did not feel compelled to leave when
              Steele, Lusk, and several ruling elders determined just cause to
              dissent from synod). In some of the issues of the magazines edited by
              Steele, it mentions some of his travels, both preaching and
              vacations. In there you find that Steele was granted by various RPCNA
              ministers the allowance to use their buildings to preach a sermon
              while in the area. The UPC allowed members to attend Mr. Steele's
              preaching. Steele preached to vacant congregations of the RPCS and
              RPCI in Ireland and Scotland by request of the people, and in one
              case was asked to consider a call to be their pastor. In this, he
              declined, stating that he would have to join with the RPCI to do so,
              and he could not in good conscience join them in the present
              constitutional state that they were in. No talk of "you wicked
              covenant breaking apostates," no talk of "come with me and flee
              babylon" or anything like that. He did not encourage people to leave
              their churches if unconvinced with the covenanter side of the church
              splits, though he encouraged people to consider the issues, and
              inform themselves of why the churches had so broken up. If they were
              convinced, and wished to transfer themselves under care of their
              presbytery (or later, general meeting), they were free to do so. If
              they did not fully understand the issues, but did enough to desire to
              transfer over to the reformed presbytery with a willingness to be
              instructed, he would not turn them back, though they were not made
              communicants without attaining some knowledge of the reason for the
              church's existence as a separate branch of the presbyterian church.
              It seems from my knowledge of him that if any were to ask about what
              problem Steele had with their church, he would certainly oblige to
              explain as best he could the causes of splits in the church and why
              they existed as a distinct church and did not agree to the routes
              taken in the other splits, believing them to have introduced error
              into the churches and broken off from the root. Undoubtedly if they
              did not agree or were unsure, he would have encouraged the inquisitor
              to continue considering these things as they progressed in their
              understanding of the faith. This is at least the picture of David
              Steele that I have gotten from the materials I have read with
              firsthand accounts. It also agrees with the fact that the Associate
              Presbyterian magazine actually published one of his articles that
              addressed an in-house issue going on at the time among the Associate
              Presbyterians, giving his take on the controversy. I don't see they
              would have done that if he was supposedly so universally viewed as a
              theological or ecclesiastical monster.
              In one of the articles concerning Steele's travels, in one of the
              covenanter magazines, he mentions a man coming up to him after
              sermon. Steele recognized him as a former congressman who was an old
              neighbor of his. He mentions the person as having been a member of
              the Methodist church, and also states (Steele was authoring the
              article) about the man being a friend of his and old neighbor whom he
              hadn't seen in a long time. Steele gladly obliged his friend's
              request to lodge at his home for some time. This at the least shows
              that Steele was able to do what most people can do, hold friendships
              with those he disagrees with. Something I think some people in the
              way they paint Steele can not conceive of.
              David Steele also took to task elder J.J. Peoples of the reformed
              Presbytery for vitriolic language in expressing his views on
              political dissent.

              I will conclude by merely quoting a bio of Steele from a secular book:

              The REVEREND DAVID STEELE was ordained and installed as the third
              pastor of the Brush Creek Presbyterian Community Church of Adams
              County, Ohio on June 24, 1831. Brush Creek is an historic
              congregation due to church disputes over dogma.
              Dr. Steele was among the early settlers of Adams County, Ohio.
              Several members of his family followed him west from Pennsylvania. He
              was born in Londonderry, Ireland, November 2, 1803 of scotch-Irish
              ancestry. He was the the youngest of six brothers, whose father,
              David Steele, was the fourth generation from Captain John Steele of
              Lismahago, near Glascow, Scotland who fought on the side of the
              Covenanters in the battle of Drumclog, June 22, 1679. He was trained
              up according to the strict order of observance in Covenanting
              families. When he was about 20 years old he emigrated to the United
              States, arriving in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 7, 1824, where
              he stayed with an uncle and pursued his classical studies. Later on
              he taught in Edinburg Academy in Pennsylvania.
              In 1826 he was graduated from Western University of Pennsylvania and
              after studying theology with the late Dr. John Black of Pittsburg,
              Pennsylvania, he was licensed to preach the Gospel in April 1830. The
              following year he married Miss Eliza Johnson of Chillicothe, Ohio and
              one month afterward was ordained and installed as pastor of the
              Reformed Congregation of Brush Creek by the Ohio Presbytery at a
              salary of $400 a year.
              Brush Creek was then a wilderness and he and his wife found
              everything primitive and uncongenial to educated and refined living.
              Thousands of miles he travelled on horse-back yearly, having often to
              ford rivers when he had to get up on his knees in the saddle to keep
              from being saturated with water as there were few bridges in those
              days. For 29 years he labored in this congregation upon a salary
              hardly sufficient to procure the necessities of life. He also took
              care of several other community churches - one being Mill Creek,
              Kentucky.
              Although a little below medium in stature, he possessed an excellent
              constitution which enabled him to bare up under difficulties which
              would have been too great for others.
              As a scholar Dr. Steele was far above most of his compeers,
              particularly in the ancient classics as he could read the most
              difficult Latin and Greek at sight. His "Notes on the Apocalypse"
              show he was a master of Bible truth. He trained quite a number of
              young men for the Gospel ministry; and his home was the resort of all
              educated people who came to the neighborhood, and hospitality was a
              marked feature of his house.
              It is but proper to state that his wife cooperated heartily with him
              in all his plans for the elevation and culture of all who dwelt in
              the vicinity of Brush Creek. Brush Creek owes much to him as a leader
              in morality and culture.
              As an orator the Reverend David Steele was concise, clear and
              frequently eloquent and impassioned and his discrimination in the use
              of words showed his mastery of the English language. He received the
              Doctor of Divinity degree from his Alma Mater a few years before his
              death.
              After leaving Ohio he spent several years near Sparta, Illinois,
              retiring to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he died in the 54th
              year of his ministry at the age of eighty-four. His remains lie in
              the Petersburg Cemetery in Huntington, Pennsylvania.
              -Taken from A History of Adams County, Ohio by Evans and Stivers

              -thebishopsdoom
            • s.padbury@tiscali.co.uk
              I accept your hand of genuine Christian Fellowship. Thankyou Colin, but I guess I either forgt about that part, or else I didn t think it was worth anything
              Message 6 of 16 , Apr 8, 2004
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                "I accept your hand of genuine Christian Fellowship."

                Thankyou Colin, but I guess I either forgt about that part, or else I didn't
                think it was worth anything since you refuse to retract your repeated references
                to me as wicked and ungodly and slanderous.

                You say we might not be so far apart as I might think. That may be true
                in some of the outcomes, but we arrive at them by distinctly different routes.
                But at least you're backing off from suggesting that I am somewhat an antinomian
                or a dispensationalist now.

                As for raking through past posts and engading you in these matters again,
                I can't be bothered, sorry. I've had enough of debating with (some!) Theonomists,
                because of their abusive language.

                But I do admit that you are not as bad as some in that respect, and I appreciate
                that.

                Simon.

                __________________________________________________
                Broadband from an unbeatable £15.99!

                http://www.tiscali.co.uk/products/broadband/home.html?code=SM-NL-11AM
              • gmw
                ... There is nothing new under the sun. It is sinful man s nature to say sinful things towards those with whom we disagree. Thanks for this informative post.
                Message 7 of 16 , Apr 9, 2004
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                  --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, thebishopsdoom
                  <no_reply@y...> wrote:

                  > It is true that some of the modern debates on the issue of Reformed
                  > Presbyterians have gotten quite polemical, not just in favour of,
                  > but also against the views of the Reformed Presbyterians.

                  There is nothing new under the sun. It is sinful man's nature to say
                  sinful things towards those with whom we disagree. Thanks for this
                  informative post.

                  I'm not sure if this has anything to do with the present topic or
                  not, but the following are objections and answers taken from A Short
                  Vindication of Our Covenanted Reformation, published by a commitee of
                  the Reformed Presbytery, Philadelphia, 1879 (the objections sound
                  familiar, and the answers are refreshing):

                  ---
                  1. "You think nobody right but yourselves." Just so; that is, in the
                  points wherein others differ from us; otherwise we will only proclaim
                  our own hypocrisy. We believe, and therefore speak.

                  2. "You think nobody will be saved but such as adopt your peculiar
                  principles." This is an old objection. It was "cast in the teeth" of
                  one of our martyred ministers, Mr. Donald Cargil, as he was "led as a
                  lamb to the slaughter." He meekly answered, "No." "Well, and what
                  more would you want than to be saved?" "I want a great deal more,"
                  was his simple reply, "I want Christ glorified on earth." He
                  understood the first question of the Shorter Catechism, of which too
                  many are ignorant to-day. "Man's chief end is neither his salvation
                  nor destruction." Rev. 4:11.

                  3. "Your principles are impracticable." If they are scriptural the
                  objection is true in one sense, but false in another. Our Saviour
                  told his real disciples—"Without me (separated from me) ye can do
                  nothing." Jno. 15:5. This was Paul's experience (Rom. 7:18), and he
                  tells us that this is part of all believers' experience. Gal. 5:17.
                  On the other hand, if our distinctive principles are scriptural, as
                  we believe them to be, they are certainly practicable to a true
                  believer; for of such no impossibilities are required. 2 Cor. 12:9;
                  Phil. 4:13.

                  4. "You meddle with political matters;—preach the gospel and let
                  civil government alone." We often meet this objection under the form
                  of friendly advice; and we believe none is of deeper significance or
                  more pregnant with consequences. (a) It confounds politics and civil
                  government. (b) It separates between the gospel and civil government.
                  (c) It excludes the Bible and its Author from the commonwealth. (d)
                  It conducts us to infidelity and issues in blank atheism. But this
                  objection involving, as it does, so much both of principle and
                  practice, demands more consideration and a particular and
                  intelligible answer. It is not true that we meddle with politics; for
                  a Covenanter can affiliate with no existing political party because
                  no party will consent to be governed by the Bible. The gospel, as we
                  understand it, covers the whole of the Scriptures. Gen. 18:18, Gal.
                  3:8, Heb. 4:2. It is "another gospel" which excludes any part of the
                  Bible. That we may be more fully understood, we assert that the Holy
                  Scriptures are the only infallible rule to direct mankind in
                  individual and social life: that all the lawful relations of this
                  life are instituted, defined and limited in the Bible. We find in the
                  Sacred Oracles that God has organized society in three, and only
                  three departments, both for its conservation and reformation. These
                  are the family, the church, and the state, the two latter being
                  auxiliaries of the first—the church and civil commonwealth to be
                  helpful to the family. The plain lesson of history and experience is,
                  that insubordination in the family generates contumacy in the church,
                  and issues in insurrection and rebellion in the state. If there be
                  no "church in the house," there will be no godliness in the church,
                  nor honesty without godliness in the state. To effect a real
                  reformation then, these three divine ordinances are the proper
                  instrumentalities to be employed—and no other. These have the promise
                  of their Author to render them effectual. Prov. 22:6; 1 Tim. 4:16;
                  Josh. 1:8. Of course, we cannot co-operate in the voluntary and
                  irresponsible confederacies of our time, having but one condition of
                  fellowship, and demanding a pledge of fidelity. To ask or give such
                  pledge involves an insult offered to our Master, to whom alone our
                  pledge has been previously given, that we will be governed by that
                  law in His hand, which commands every duty and forbids every sin in
                  all our relations. According to our interpretation of the gospel,
                  therefore, we must have scriptural and definite views of the divine
                  ordinance of civil government, while we do not "meddle with politics"—
                  earth's party politics, which disregard the Lord, His Anointed and
                  His word.

                  5. "You will admit none to your communion but those who adopt your
                  peculiar principles: and does it not follow that you account none to
                  be Christians but yourselves? All others, by your close communion,
                  you would shut out of heaven." We have given this objection in
                  greater fulness than the preceding ones, because of the frequency and
                  plausibility of its utterance by the generality of professors. Well,
                  we readily admit the truth of the first part of the objection: but in
                  the practice of restricted fellowship we are not peculiar, and we
                  think consistency, common sense and honesty, justify this part of
                  Christian practice. Nor does this practise involve a denial of the
                  Christianity or meetness for heaven of any others. This part of the
                  objection denies, or at least confounds the necessary distinction
                  between the visible and invisible state of the church—an error which
                  is logically followed by many others. Consistently with our
                  distinctive principles and practice, which alone exemplify true
                  charity, as we sincerely believe, we doubt not many are now in heaven
                  and also on earth, partakers of the "common salvation," who never
                  heard of Covenanters. And, moreover, Covenanters have always, in
                  private intercourse, been ready to embrace in their heart's
                  affections, all who in their judgment love God in Christ. This they
                  do on the principle that "every one that loveth Him that begat loveth
                  Him also that is begotten of Him." 1 Jno 5:1. But this private and
                  occasional intercourse the Scriptures distinguish from public,
                  ecclesiastical fellowship; and Covenanters endeavor to act according
                  to that supreme rule. They cannot, therefore, at the same time,
                  consistently testify against the errors and sins of parties, and
                  appear under an official or judicial banner as one with them. "If any
                  man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple,
                  shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat
                  those things which are offered to idols?" 1 Cor. 8:10.—Not that we
                  charge all others with idolatry: but there is a rule in Logic which
                  the learned acknowledge to be correct, Majus et minus non variant
                  speciem,—"greater or less does not vary the nature of a thing." And
                  we are enjoined to "mark them which cause divisions and offences
                  contrary to the doctrine which you have learned; and avoid them, Rom.
                  16:17: as also to "withdraw ourselves from every brother that walketh
                  disorderly"—yes, though a brother. 2 Thes. 3:6; 1 Tim. 3:5. No, no,
                  we are not uncharitable. While hating Pharisaic exclusiveness, we no
                  less dislike the spurious charity that "suffers sin upon a brother"
                  without rebuke. Lev. 19:17; Tit. 1:13.

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                  gmw.
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