Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.—Rom. 8.33

[Difference between the Reformed Presbytery and the RPCNA.]

Excerpted from:

VOL. III.           MARCH, 1884.           No. 7.
We are frequently told by the adherents of the above-named Synod, that there is no difference in principle between them and us, and, therefore, our maintaining a separate organization is unjustifiable.

There is no excuse, even for those who ignorantly make this assertion. Messrs. Lusk, Steele, and McAuley have demonstrated beyond the possibility of successful contradiction, that the Old Light Synod, so-called, have radically departed from the faith of the true Reformed Presbyterian Church, and are no longer worthy of the name.

But, as what these honored brethren have written is scattered through the pages of our magazines, to which all may not have access, we have thought it might be for edification to point out as concisely as we can wherein we differ from these former brethren. We will mention first, their joining in the voluntary associations of the day to effect moral reform.

When, in 1840 Mr. Steele presented resolutions, asking the Synod to condemn this practice, it refused to declare what all acquainted with the history of the witnessing church knew to be her faith on the subject—No association with the enemies of God, no going down to the plains of Ono to consult especially the hereditary enemies of God’s people. As the church was not sufficiently leavened to permit an open declaration in favor of uniting with the known enemies of truth and righteousness, duplicity was resorted to, to deceive the simple.

Dr. Sproull, in a published letter to Mr. Steele, declared that the church was fast coming to the position demanded by the resolutions referred to. I wonder if he does not blush when he thinks of that declaration. They are today more deeply immersed in anti-Christian confederacies than ever. Are not their members actively co-operating in the temperance movements of the day? This movement {407} is wholly founded on the covenant of works. It assumes that even the beastly drunkard, wallowing in the mire, if not by his own strength, can, with the help of his fellow-men, reform and become a Christian. God’s word says, "Cursed is the man that trusteth in man, etc." We are told in the first chapter of Romans, that the reason men fall into those vices which degrade them below the brutes, is their enmity to God and their consequent forgetfulness of him.

Temperance is one of the fruits of the Spirit, and embraces infinitely more than mere abstinence from intoxicating drinks. It is the subjection of all the desires of the heart to the law of God. When Paul said, "I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, to be content," he manifested that he was a model temperance man. If temperance is a fruit of the Spirit, what blasphemy is it to say that it can be effected by associations containing the avowed enemies of Jesus Christ. Why did not Paul, in the first chapter of Romans, propose voluntary associations to deliver the world from the debasing crimes he declared were practiced in it? Just because he knew that the faithful preaching of the gospel was the only remedy. He knew that any other method would only aggravate the disease and plunge men deeper in destruction. These moral reform associations practically deny the missing of the Saviour.

In their great pet movement, called National Reform, designed to put down the rebellion of these United States against God, they unite with prelates, who are equally in rebellion against Divine authority. They assume an authority over the house of God expressly forbidden by Jesus Christ, the King and Head of the church. Prelacy has ever been one of the most cruel foes with which the church has had to contend.

They say prelacy has changed. This is impossible. Rebellion against God will ever remain the same, however, the external appearance of society may change. Prelacy is just as much enmity against God, as when it was pursuing our fathers to death on the mountains of Scotland. Time has aggravated its sinfulness. It would seem that {408} many believe that ungodly systems lose their malignant character by age, and become, if not entirely holy, at least harmless.

Another point of difference is in regard to what is called Occasional Hearing. There is no consistency in refusing to fellowship a corrupt state, while we hold communion with a corrupt church. Time has fully demonstrated this in regard to our former brethren. They are beginning to exercise the Elective Franchise, if human testimony is true. The Delphic response of Synod in relation to voting for the Prohibitory Amendment to the Constitution of Iowa, clearly evinces how deeply the body has become corrupted. That a body putting forth such claims to learning, piety, and zeal for reform, should give such an answer to the prayer of its adherents asking for light, is a singular phenomenon.

Either the Synod failed to use language intelligibly, or they used words designedly with double meaning. They can choose either horn of the dilemma. The first will not be very creditable to their scholarship; the second, will be as damaging to their honesty. Evil communications have corrupted good manners. Mingling with the enemies of a Covenanted Reformation, they have learned their ways. It would not be difficult to point out the Damascene altar from which they took their pattern.

To profess to bear testimony against error and at the same time wait on the ministrations of those who advocate it, completely nullifies the witnesses’ testimony. It will not only impair the effect of their testimony upon errorists, but they themselves will soon begin to regard the errors testified against to be matters of small consequence. Their spiritual judgment decays, and objects that were once clearly seen, can no longer be discerned.

This practice has brought the church to her present lamentable condition. Covenanters are following the United Presbyterians, who are following the Methodists; and, if mercy prevent not, all will overtake the Church of Rome.

Some tell us that we will hear a good gospel sermon. {409} How do they know this beforehand? Surely, they are endowed with an extraordinary amount of pre-science. But the "minister does not occupy the pulpit merely as a minister of Jesus Christ, but as the public, authorized advocate of all the errors of the community to which he belongs." The teaching of these false doctrines makes him a disorderly worker; and we are expressly commanded to withdraw from all such.


(To be continued.)

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