Friday, July 28, 2017

July 28: Thomas Watson

by archivist
Three Hundred Years of Application . . . and CountingWritten by Rev. David T. Myers
This author still possesses all three volumes in his personal library. Bought while a Sophomore in college in 1960, the publishing date of their reprint, Thomas Watson's one-hundred and seventy six sermons on the Westminster Catechisms of the Westminster Assembly are timeless in their assistance to every child of God who desires to know theology and have it applied to his or her spiritual life. I can testify to that, having underlined and proclaimed many truths from their pages for the edification of all Christians during my forty years in the pastorate.
The remarkable truth about their author is that we do not know either the time of his birth or the death of it either. They are missing from the history of the church, and known only by God. However, we do know that he was buried on this day in history, July 28, 1686, and so we write this brief biography on his life. Much of the latter is taken from a brief memoir written by none else than Charles Spurgeon.
Thomas Watson attended and graduated from Emmanuel College, Cambridge with a B.A. Degree in 1639 and a Master's degree in 1642. It was said that he was a laborious student, prompting Spurgeon to quip “the conscientious student is the most likely man to become a successful pastor.” Watson went on to be just such a preacher at a Church of England parish and church called St. Stephen's, Walbrook in London, England. But let there be no doubt here. Watson was a Presbyterian through and through. And to his congregation, many came, or as Spurgeon put it, the church was filled constantly with worshipers.
Among his sermons during those sixteen years was, as mentioned above, a thorough proclamation of the principle themes of the Westminster Confession of Faith. This author has in his years of ministry in catechetical studies among the covenant children of the church, adult studies in the Sunday School and Bible studies, and yes, even sermons from the sacred desk, used Watson's thorough grasp of biblical texts, clear expositions of Bible doctrine, and practical applications. It might be 300 years old, but biblical truths such as these do not ever pass away in teaching and application.
There is found in two of his three books on the title page this phrase “Ejected by the Act of Uniformity.” We have mentioned before about that terrible act which threw out the Puritan members of the Clergy in the Church of England, countless of whom were Presbyterian clergy. Yet in the next 20 years until his death and burial in 1686, Watson continued on in the proclamation of the Word of God wherever people would come to hear him. Due to a weakening in his health, he was praying in his closet when he departed from this earth.
Words to Live By:I read on the web recently something which disheartened me. Among the characteristics of a church pulpit committee was that they were looking for a minister who had a well known name! The apostle Paul to the Corinthians would write in 1 Corinthians 2:4, 5, “my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.” The fault is ours, is it not, brothers and sisters in Christ, that we pay too much attention to the outward and external characteristics of those who minister to us the Word of God, and not enough attention to the plain and simple proclamation of the Word of God as empowered by the Spirit of God? If we want the spiritual power of the days of yesterday, we must set our hearts on men who are filled with the Spirit of God, who preach the whole counsel of God.

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Unfriending

I have over 2000 Facebook friends may of whom I have not met face to face. AFAIK three have unfriended me and I have unfriended one.

The first unfriend me was a pastor in Las Vegas who did not like my views on gambling.  I am unrepentant but not surprised.

The second was a German doctor practicing in Scotland. IIRC he did not like my observations on WW2 and bomber command. I think it a disgrace that these brave young men received no campaign medal. Post unfriending he objected to my view that EU nationals resident in Scotland should have a vote in the independence referendum. I remain unrepentant and generally friendly to Germany and Germans.

The last one still surprises me. A Scottish journalist whose fine book I have reviewed on Amazon and the son of a famous father. He seemed to have taken the hump over me recounting with approval a political speech by the late I R K Paisley. IMO the most surprising reason to defriend.

Of course there may be others who quietly slipped away unbeknown and not lamented.

So finally the one I defriended. I will debate with those from whom I differ. I even have friends among the fans of Corbyn. But this was an American teetotaller who became uncivil and abusive when I pointed out that alcohol is a gift from God to be received with thanksgiving. It may lead to drunkenness but that is a sin. Alcohol is not sin. Money is not evil. Love of money is evil. Drunkenness is sin. I have rebuked others for incivility and sometimes deleted their posts if obscene or unthinkingly profane.

Still 2581 friends left. BTW no known LGBT or Muslim friends have unfriended me AFAIK. And I do have some active ones. PC objectors will be vicarious.

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

July 27: Donald Cargill [1619-1681]

by archivist
The Lone Star of the Covenantby Rev. David T. Myers
<
p style="text-align: justify;">Donald CargillChallenged by his land owner father to become a minister, Donald Cargill resisted the suggestion at the first. His inclination was not the gospel ministry. Finally, with what his father had put into his hand and heart, young Cargill at last set aside a day to prayerfully consider whether God was calling him to this ministry. It was said that a text from Ezekiel came into his mind, “Son of man, eat this roll, and go speak to the house of Israel.” Then when Presbytery chose the same text from Ezekiel during his trials, there was no doubt of his divine calling to the ministry.
His first charge was that of the Barony Church in Glasgow, Scotland, which charge would take his time and talents from 1655 until 1662. The church was divided in Covenanting groups and non-Covenanting groups of people. No one can abide long in such a divided congregation without receiving the wrath of one group or the praise of another. All this changed however in 1661, upon the restoration of Charles, when Donald Cargill delivered a sermon before a great crowd. He said in part, “the king will be the woefullest sight that ever the poor Church of Scotland saw. Woe! Woe! Woe! unto him, his name shall stink while the world’s stands, for treachery, tyranny and lechery.” Obviously, this was not a statement which would bring good relations between the Crown and his place as pastor in Scotland! And indeed, before a week went by, government soldiers were out looking for him, and he had gone into hiding.
His ministry from that point on until his capture by the Crown was that of witnessing before small groups of men and women. From 1668 on, he became a traveling evangelist for the Gospel, escaping death and destruction by many a close call. To be sure, he showed bravery and courage in many a situation. In other cases, he was weakened and oppressed by lack of assurance.
On one occasion, a great crowd was present to hear the word of grace from his lips. But in addition to that Word came words which amounted to a curse upon his persecutors. He said, “I, being a minister of Jesus Christ, and having authority and power from Him, do, in His name, and by His Spirit excommunicate, cast out of the true Church, and deliver to Satan, Charles the Second . . . The Duke of York, the Duke of Monmouth, the Duke of Lauderdale, the Duke of Rothes, General Dalziel, and Sir George MacKenzie. And as the causes are just so being done by a minister of the gospel, and in such a way as the present persecutions would admit of, the sentence is just. And there are no kings or ministers on earth who, without repentance of these persons can reverse these sentences. God, who is their author, is more engaged to the ratifying of them: and all that acknowledge the Scriptures ought to acknowledge them.” There is no doubt that such words were inflammatory and some even questioned and criticized such talk. Yet all those he mentioned here in his curse did die in strange ways. As Calvinists, we see no place for coincidence in the realm of persons, places, and events on this earth.
Finally caught by the authorities, he would be martyred on July 27, 1681. His last words were “farewell, all relations and friends in Christ; farewell, acquaintances and earthly enjoyments; farewell, reading and preaching, praying and believing, wanderings, reproach, and sufferings. Welcome, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; into Thy hands I commend my spirit.”
Words to Live By:
Standing in the crowd of mourners was James Renwick, a future minister of the Covenanters and the last in Scotland to die by hanging for the cause of Christ. God is so gracious as to continue His witness in the land. Consider times when mere man thought that some event was the end of the matter. But God . . . But God . . . But God! To Him goes our prayers and praise for the truth that “He does according to His will in the hosts of heaven And among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?'” (Daniel 4:35b)

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Monarchy in quotations

  • As long as the human heart is strong and the human reason weak, royalty will be strong because it appeals to diffuse feeling, and Republics weak because they appeal to the understanding.- Walter BagehotThe English Constitution (186
  • 7)
  • Britain is fortunate indeed in having a breed of distinguished people ...whom people come from all over the world to see. It would be an act of cruelty to impose that function of royalty on any normal family of citizens, but seeing that there is a family which is born to it as the fruit of a long historical evolution it would be an act of great political folly to establish a Presidency...I have such a strong sense of the political usefulness of British royalty to substantial and competent progressive forces in the society. - Brendan Clifford, "The Monarchy & Progress", in "Labour & Trade Union Review" Magazine, December 1987.
  • The metaphor of the king as the shepherd of his people goes back to ancient Egypt. Perhaps the use of this particular convention is due to the fact that, being stupid, affectionate, gregarious and easily stampeded, the societies formed by sheep are most like human ones.Northrop Frye, Canadian literary critic, 1957. Quoted in 100 good reasons to be a Republican, "New Statesman", August 2000.
  • If instead of insisting on rights everyone does his duty, there will immediately be the rule of order established among mankind. There is no such thing as the divine right of kings to rule and the humble duty of the ryots to pay respectful obedience.-Mohandas Gandhi, "Rights or Duties?", Harijan Magazine, 6 July 1947. Quoted in Mahatma Gandhi: The Essential Writings, edited by Judith M. Brown. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2008. (p.91)
  • Of the various forms of government that have prevailed in the world, a hereditary monarchy seems to present the fairest scope for ridicule.-Edward GibbonDecline and Fall of the Roman Empire, (1776-1788).
  • A monarch's neck should always have a noose around it. It keeps him upright.-Robert A. Heinlein in The Cat Who Walks Through Walls (1985)
  • Humans should not worship other humans at all, but if they must do so it is better that the worshipped ones do not occupy any positions of political power.-Christopher HitchensThe Monarchy: A Critique of Britain's Favourite Fetish (1990), Chatto Counterblasts

  • We know well that the Primitive Church in her greatest purity were but voluntary congregations of believers, submitting themselves to the Apostles, and after to other Pastors, to whom they did minister of their Temporals, as God did move them. So as Ecclesiasticus, cap. 17, says, God appointed a Ruler over every people, when he divided nations of the whole Earth. And therefore if a people will refuse all government, it were against the law of God; and yet if a popular State will receive a Monarchy it stands well with the Law of God.-Sir Henry Hobart, 1st Baronet, C.J., Bruton v. Morris (1614), Lord Hobart's Rep. 149; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 100.
  • The state of Monarchy is the supremest thing upon earth; for kings are not only God's lieutenants upon earth and sit upon God's throne, but even by God himself they are called gods.-James I of England, speech to Parliament at Whitehall (21 March 1609), from Political Works of James I.

The insuperable objection to monarchy is that the king or queen is elevated, and respect is accorded, for no reason other than birth . . . No one who believes either in the claims of merit or in the pursuit of equality can defend the system.-Mervyn Jones, 1977. Quoted in 100 good reasons to be a Republican, "New Statesman", August 2000.

Great Britain is a republic with a hereditary president, while the United States is a monarchy with an elective king.- The Knoxville Journal 9 Feb 1896, Quoted in "The Politics of American Foreign Policy" by Peter Heys Gries p 170

We Britons should rejoice that we have contrived to reach much legal democracy (we still need more of the economic) without losing our ceremonial Monarchy. For there, right in the midst of our lives, is that which satisfies the craving for inequality, and acts as a permanent reminder that medicine is not food. Hence a man's reaction to Monarchy is a kind of test. Monarchy can easily be "debunked", but watch the faces, mark well the accents of the debunkers. These are the men whose taproot in Eden has been cut — whom no rumor of the polyphony, the dance, can reach – men to whom pebbles laid in a row are more beautiful than an arch. Yet even if they desire mere equality they cannot reach it. Where men are forbidden to honor a king they honor millionaires, athletes, or film-stars instead — even famous prostitutes or gangsters. For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served — deny it food and it will gobble poison.- C. S. Lewis, in "Equality", in The Spectator, Vol. CLXXI (27 August 1943)


  • A crown
  • Golden in show, is but a wreath of thorns.
    Brings dangers, troubles, cares, and sleepless nights
    To him who wears the regal diadem.- John MiltonParadise Regained (1671), Book II, line 458.
  • A king is a king, not because he is rich and powerful, not because he is a successful politician, not because he belongs to a particular creed or to a national group. He is King because he is born. And in choosing to leave the selection of their head of state to this most common denominator in the world- the accident of birth- Canadians implicitly proclaim their faith in human equality; their hope for the triumph of nature over political manoeuvre, over social and financial interest; for the victory of the human person.- Jacques Monet, in "The Canadian Monarchy" in The West and the Nation : Essays in Honour of W. L. Morton(1976), edited by Ramsay Cook, and Carl Berger. p. 324.

  • Fear God. Honour the King.- I Peter, II. 17
  • The monarchy is a political referee, not a political player, and there is a lot of sense in choosing the referee by a different principle from the players. It lessens the danger that the referee might try to start playing.- Conrad Russell, 5th Earl Russell, as quoted in The Spectator (11 January 1997).

  • Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.-William ShakespeareHenry IV, Part II (c. 1597-99), Act III, scene 1, line 31.

  • I believe that the royal family are a focus of patriotism, of loyalty, of affection and of esteem. That is a rare combination, and we should value it highly. - Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, in a Civil List debate, in the House of Commons (24 July 1990

  • The king reigns but does not govern.-Otto von Bismarck, in a debate in the Reichstag (Jan. 24, 1882). He denied the application of this maxim to Germany.

  • The Prussian Sovereigns are in possession of a crown not by the grace of the people, but by God's grace.-Otto von Bismarck, speech in the Prussian Parliament (1847).

  • That the king can do no wrong is a necessary and fundamental principle of the English constitution.- William BlackstoneBook III, Chapter XVII.

  • The king never dies.-William BlackstoneCommentaries, IV. 249

  • In good King Charles's golden days
  • When royalty no harm meant,
    A zealous high-churchman was I,
    And so I got preferment.- Vicar of Bray, English song written before 1710. Also said to have been written by an officer in George the First's army, Col. Fuller's regiment. The Vicar of Bray was said to be Rev. Symon Symonds; also Dr. Francis Caswell. A Vicar of Bray, in Berkshire, Eng., was alternately Catholic and Protestant under Henry VIII., Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth. See Fuller—Worthies of Berkshire. Simon Aleyn (Allen) named in Brom's Letters from the Bodleian, Volume II, Part I, p. 100.
  • Every noble crown is, and on Earth will forever be, a crown of thorns.-Thomas CarlylePast and Present, Book III, Chapter VIII
  • I am monarch of all I survey,
    My right there is none to dispute,
    From the centre all round to the sea,
    I am lord of the fowl and the brute.-William Cowper, verses supposed to be written by Alexander Selkirk.
  • The Royal Crown cures not the headache.-George HerbertJacula Prudentum (1651)

  • Whenever monarchs err, the people are punished.-HoraceEpistles, I. 2. 14.

  • God gives not kings the stile of Gods in vaine,
  • For on his throne his sceptre do they sway;
    And as their subjects ought them to obey,
    So kings should feare and serve their God againe.-King JamesSonnet Addressed to his son, Prince Henry.
  • They say Princes learn no art truly, but the art of horsemanship. The reason is, the brave beast is no flatterer. He will throw a Prince as soon as his groom.-Ben JonsonDiscoveriesIlliteratusPrincep
    • He who knows not how to dissimulate, can not reign.
    • Louis XI. See Roche et Chasles, Hist. de France, Volume II, p. 3
    • He who knows how to dissimulate knows how to reign.- Vicentius Lupanus,De Magistrat. Franc. Lib. I. See Lipsius, Politica sive Civilis Doctrina. Lib. IV. Cap. 14. Conrad Lycosthenes—Apopothegmata. De Simulatione & Dissimulatione. Burton—Anatomy of Melancholy, Part I. Sect. II. Mem. III. Subsec. 15. Palingenius—Zodiacus Vitæ. Lib. IV. 684. Also given as a saying of Emperor Frederick I., (Barbarossa), Louis XI, and Philip II. of Spain. Tacitus—Annales. IV. 71.
  • A crown! what is it?
    It is to bear the miseries of a people!
    To hear their murmurs, feel their discontents,
    And sink beneath a load of splendid care!- Hannah MoreDaniel, Part VI
  • What is a king? a man condemn'd to bear
    The public burthen of the nation's care.-Matthew Prior, Solomon, Book III, line 275.
  • Put not your trust in princes.-Psalms. CXLVI. 3.

  • To know how to dissemble is the knowledge of kings.-RichelieuMiranne.

  • Here lies our sovereign lord, the king,
  • Whose word no man relies on,
    Who never said a foolish thing,
    And never did a wise one.-Rochester. To Charles II. "That is very true, for my words are my own. My actions are my minister's." Answer of Charles II, according to the account in Hume's History of England, VIII, p. 312.

  • Here lies our mutton-looking king,
    Whose word no man relied on,
    Who never said a foolish thing,
    Nor ever did a wise one.-Another version of Rochester's Epitaph on Charles II, included in works of Quarles.

  • The first art to be learned by a ruler is to endure envy.-Seneca the YoungerHercules Furens, CCCLIII

  • Every monarch is subject to a mightier one.-Seneca the YoungerHercules Furens, DCXIV.

  • Kings are like stars—they rise and set, they have
    The worship of the world, but no repose.-Percy Bysshe ShelleyHellas, Mahmud to Hassan, line 195
    • The first king was a successful soldier;
      He who serves well his country has no need of ancestors.-Voltaire, Mérope. I. 3.

  • Hail to the crown by Freedom shaped—to gird
    An English sovereign's brow! and to the throne
    Whereon he sits! whose deep foundations lie
    In veneration and the people's

  • Let kings be as David was, men after God's own heart, yet they will not want a Shimei to rail on them.-Finch, L.C.J., Hampden's Case (1637), 3 How. St. Tr. 1232.

  • The King can do no wrong; he cannot constitutionally be supposed capable of injustice.-Sir John Nicholl, Goods of King George HI., deceased (1822), 1 St. Tr. (N. S.) 1287

  • It is true that the King never dies; the demise is immediately followed by the succession; there is no interval: the Sovereign always exists; the person only is changed.-Lord Lyndhurst, Viscount Canterbury v. Att.-Gen. (1843), 1 Phill. 322.
  • All Governments rest mainly on public opinion, and to that of his own subjects every wise Sovereign will look. The opinion of his subjects will force a Sovereign to do his duty, and by that opinion will he be exalted or depressed in the politics of the world.-Lord KenyonTrial of John Vint and others (1799), 27 How. St. Tr. 640.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Good books going free

I have a number of Banner hardback puritan sets in good condition. Any or all are free to good homes  if the recipient collects from me in West London.
Brooks 6 vols
Flavel 6
Owen 15 for vol 3 missing
Sibbes 3
Trail 2

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July 26: Alexander McWhorter

I post this proving I am more of a Presbyterian than a British patriot. BTW the references should be to the British army not English.

by davidtmyers
A Presbyterian Patriot Pastorby David T. Myers
One of the Presbyterian pastors who was a decided patriot was the Rev. Alexander McWhorter. Born of Scotch-Irish parents on July 26, 1734, his father was a linen merchant and later a farmer. He was also with his wife, a decided Presbyterian. They had emigrated first to Northern Ireland (Ulster) and then to the American Colonies.
After the death of his father, Alexander at age fourteen moved with his mother to North Carolina to join three brothers there. They attended a Presbyterian church where Alexander was exposed to revival services which left him anxious, it was said. However, he joined the Presbyterian church. Later he would return to New Jersey after the death of his mother. He entered the College of New Jersey and graduated in 1757. Called to the ministry, he studied theology under William Tennent of Log College fame, and licensed to preach by the Presbytery of New Brunswick. After a trip to the New England area, he was called to be the teaching elder at the Presbyterian Church of Newark, New Jersey, where the bulk of his pastoral ministry was to take place. It was during this long pastorate that God's Spirit led him to have an active role on the battlefield for the independence of the colonies from England in the Revolutionary War.
When General George Washington traveled through Newark on his way to take command of American forces, Pastor McWhorter met him on the way. It would not however be the last time. They were to have many more occasions during this trying time in the history of this new nation. In fact, on one occasion, General Washington asked the Presbyterian pastor to interview two spies which the American troops had captured. The future president asked the Presbyterian clergyman to deal with them spiritually while at the same time to ascertain from them the size and strength of the British forces!
Forced to flee from Newark by British forces who ransacked his parsonage, McWhorter joined the American army as an unofficial chaplain. He was present on Christmas eve when the American army defeated the hired Hession mercenaries in Trenton, New Jersey. After that victory, Pastor McWhorter became the chaplain of Brig. General Henry Knox Continental Artillery Brigade. It was said that every Lord's Day when Pastor McWhorter was in the pulpit, General George Washington sat under the preaching of our Presbyterian Patriot Pastor! He would serve as an Army chaplain until 1778 when a lightening bolt struck his wife back in Trenton. He hurried home from his Army calling to care for her.
Other than a brief span to pastor a Presbyterian church in Charlotte, North Carolina and be the president of a academy there, the British forces had marked him as an agitator. When they invaded that area of North Carolina, he was forced to flee for his life and lost all his ministerial books in the process. He returned to Newark, New Jersey where he served as a pastor in earlier years until his death in 1807.
Words to Live By: It takes an extraordinary man to have an effective ministry in two spheres of ministry. Certainly one's congregation has to have a wider view of mission than simply the local one as well. Not many teaching elders have the spiritual gifts to be able to minister effectively in two places of ministry. Our featured figure on this day had those special gifts of ministry. And yet for such a one to be effective, they must have the spiritual help of gifted lay people. How can you help your local pastor in fulfilling more than one calling of ministry in your area? Think prayerfully about it, talk with your pastor of your willingness to use your gifts, and get busy in the work of the Lord.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

RECKLESS POLITICIANS ENDANGER BRITAIN AT HOME AND ABROAD OVER SAME-SEX MARRIAGE


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Dear marriage supporter,
Britain’s national interests are being put at risk by senior politicians and civil servants in order to push a same-sex marriage agenda, no matter the cost.
This month alone, we have seen:
  1. Theresa May putting the constitution at risk: the Prime Minister voiced support for the introduction of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland, interfering with the constitutional settlement which devolves the issue to the Assembly. In a separate article, she told the Church of England to “reflect” on allowing same-sex marriage, despite considerable opposition within the CofE to redefining marriage.
  2. Justine Greening putting children in England at risk: the Education Secretary clearly linked new legislation making Relationships Education compulsory for children as young as five to “push[ing] on with all of the [LGBT] agenda” in an interview with The Times. In a separate piece today Ms Greening alleges that churches are not “part of a modern country” if they do not perform same-sex marriages.
  3. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) putting our diplomacy at risk: the FCO recently announced that over the last year 202 same-sex marriage ceremonies have been performed in British embassies and high commissions worldwide in countries which still adhere to traditional marriage. By flouting the wishes of the people and governments of 12 countries including Australia, China, Cyprus, Japan, Mozambique and Vietnam, the FCO puts our bilateral relationships in peril at just the time when our diplomats are pursuing post-Brexit trade deals.
Acting against convention, prudence and the national interest, those in power have allowed same-sex marriage to deflect them from their proper pursuit of public service.

Coalition for Marriage

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A hard Brexit

As someone opposed to the European project since before traitor Heath took us in (in more ways than one) I am under no illusions as to how hard it will be to Brexit.

The reasons are external and internal. Extreme  pressure will be brought to bear by EU states so that we do not Brexit. The reason is simple. Not malice but economics. UK and Germany are the two net contributors to the EU. They cannot afford to lose us.

The internal opposition comes from the vocal remoaners, the fifth column from among the 48% who did not want out.  They are exemplified by Vince Cable the new leader off the Lib                                                                                 (non) Dems. If at first you don't get the result you want, try try again. He wants another referendum following best EU practice. They did it over a past Irish referendum. The result was not what Brussels wanted so another vote was held and produced the desired result. Of course you do not need to be a Brussels fan to do this. Red Ken when  London mayor wanted to put a tram down the Uxbridge Road in Ealing. We the locals said it was a ridiculous idea and would cause chaotic displacement of traffic. Not liking that,  Livingstone called for another 'consultation'. He got his desired vote but it cost Labour control of Ealing council at the next election and the tram was off the rails.

So Brexit faces the twin challenges of economics and pseudo-democracy. 'Put not your trust in princes, especially not europhicic ones'

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

July 22: Richard Cameron [1647-1680]

by archivist
Man knows not his time. So too for Richard Cameron, that noble Scottish minister, who died at Ayrsmoss on this day July 22, 1680.

The Lion of the Covenantby Rev. David T. Myers
To our readers who have been ordained into a church office, or who have had the privilege of attending the ordination of someone else who has been set apart to the biblical office in a local church, I dare say none of us have ever had the following experience happen to us. But in the Presbyterian history of ages past, it did happen to one young man, who was at that time living in Holland. After the laying on of the hands, setting him apart for the office of minister, all but one of the Dutch ministers took their hands off of his head. That sole minister who kept his hands on Richard Cameron’s head, uttered a prophetic sentence, saying, “here is the head of a faithful minister and servant of Jesus Christ, who shall lose the same for his Master’s interest, and it shall be set up before sun and moon in the public view of the world.”
Our focus today in Presbyterian history is Richard Cameron. Born in 1647 in Scotland to a Christian merchant by the name of Alan Cameron, Richard was the oldest of four children. After his university exercises at St. Andrews, he still was not a Christian. Attending a service held by one of the field preachers, he heard the blessed gospel and regeneration occurred in his heart and mind. One year later, he was licensed to preach the Word with strong evidence of his calling beginning to manifest itself in his gifts. Jock Purves in his book Fair Sunshine, said that his sermons “were full of the warm welcoming love of the Lord Jesus Christ for poor helpless sinners.” (p. 44) But in addition to the proclamation of the blessed gospel, there were also strong denunciations of the persecuting government authorities which made such field preaching necessary. Despite the danger to both himself and his gathered congregation, Cameron continued to faithfully, fearlessly proclaim the Word of God.
airds_moss_memorialJust a month before his demise at the hands of the authorities, Richard Cameron had set the issue plain before the whole nation by the posting of the Sanquhar Declaration on June 22, 1680. Now a month after that bold challenge to the government of the kingdom, the latter’s military forces caught up with Richard Cameron and his followers at Ayrsmoss on July 22, 1680.
The battle was preceded by Cameron three times praying “spare the green, and take the ripe.” Looking to his younger brother Michael, who was with him on that occasion, Richard said “Come Michael, let us fight it out to the last; for this is the day that I have longed for, to die fighting against our Lord’s avowed enemies; and this is the day that we shall get the crown.” And he did, along with many others. The monument to their sacrifice is pictured at right.
Oh yes, Richard Cameron’s head and hands were cut off by the British dragoons, to be taken to the city of Edinburgh. But before they were placed on stakes in front of the prison, they were taken to his father Alan who was in prison. He kissed them, saying, “I know them, I know them. They are my son’s, my own dear son. It is the Lord. Good is the will of the Lord, Who cannot wrong me nor mine, but has made goodness and mercy to follow us all our days.”
Words to Live By:
When all your mercies, O my God, my rising soul surveys,
transported with the view, I’m lost in wonder, love, and praise.
Unnumbered comforts to my soul your tender care bestowed,
before my infant heart conceived from whom those comforts flowed.
When worn with sickness, oft have you with health renewed my face;
and when in sins and sorrows sunk, revived my soul with grace.
Ten thousand thousand precious gifts my daily thanks employ;
nor is the least a cheerful heart that tastes those gifts with joy.
Through every period of my life your goodness I’ll pursue;
and after death, in distant worlds, the glorious theme renew.
Through all eternity to you a joyful song I’ll raise;
for oh, eternity’s too short to utter all your praise.

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“Dedication’s what you need if you want to be Covenant breaker”

by ealinglevy
I like David Robertson, he's a Mr Valiant for Truth and I absolutely love his work amongst Atheists. He's also a controversialist which I particularly enjoy. There are times though when I slightly despair of some of his material.
The latest piece that has got on my goat is his piece on why he does Baby Dedications at St Peter's, Dundee. It's been lauded by the FIEC as a piece of generosity by a paedo Baptist, my fear would be that David is selling the farm from us.
It would seem to me that David is conceding to the supposed demands of the religious market-place (give the customer what he wants). David and his preaching teams are very able men and I rejoice in the growth that St Pete's has known in Dundee, because of the quality of the ministry I am sure that many believers of all sorts of ecclesiastical persuasions are coming to the church. This is a wonderful thing, however they are coming to a confessional Presbyterian Church. There is no mention of baby dedications in the confession, the public directory of worship makes no mention of such things.
From a Biblical perspective the Reformed position is that there are two sacraments commanded of believers, the Lord's Supper and Baptism. Baptism is to be administered to Believers and their children. It is a sign and seal of God's promises to us. In fact the Confession of Faith that both David and I subscribe to states that is a great sin to neglect this Ordinance (WCF28:5). The argument that is often made by Baptists is that they can't see Infant Baptism commanded in the Bible, the simple response surely must be where do we see Baby Dedications commanded?  I would want to argue John Murray's view that Infant baptism is not merely an option for Christian parents but a divine ordinance 'Put the sign of the spiritual covenant on the physical seed'.
Infant Baptism according to the Reformed perspective is about what God has done and the promises of God - 'I will be your God and you will be my people'. Baptism is not about my profession and what I am doing.. Baby Dedications put the emphasis in the opposite place, our 'human dedicating'. If we see Baptism as the covenant sign of entrance to the church, I'm not sure what sign Baby Dedication is a sign of, apart from wanting Baptists to feel welcome in the church.
The issue with doing both is you are saying the bible can mean either, surely the next time you are preaching on the subject you have undermined peoples confidence that the bible is clear is about your own confession of faith. If you take the approach this is one interpretation and feel free to disagree. To be consistent on this will mean on Spiritual gifts, complementarian/ egalitarian,   ... the issue here is not having folks in the church membership who have different views (this is good) but rather having those different views being exercised in corporate worship. Why not, logically, allow speaking in tongues or a woman preaching even if your own Confession of faith doesn't mandate it? Realistically in the next 5 years our churches will have people who apply to membership who would claim faith in Christ but have a different view on the bible's teaching on homosexuality and yet expect to be welcomed in. The role of a full confession of faith which we hold to and teach will be even more vital in the decades to come.
Our church membership is open all baptised believers in Jesus Christ, we have Baptists in our congregation of which I'm glad. I joke that I want Baptists to feel welcome but not comfortable! We are a Presbyterian Church as St Peter's  is and those who come to our congregation surely need to understand that. We can give thanks for their children, we view them as Covenant Children even though they do not have the sign but we long to see their parents coming to a Reformed understanding of the faith and bringing their children in obedience to be baptised.

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