January 2019

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REV. FRANCIS P. MULLALLY, D. D.

Death in New York of a Distinguished South Carolina Divine and Patriotic Citizen.

The Charleston News and Courier, of last week, contained the following write up of the life and distinguished services of the Rev. Francis P. Mullally, D. D., who died in New York on January 17, 1904. We feel sure the article will be read with interest, as Mr. Mullally was well known to a great many of readers:

Dr. Mullally was a native of the County Tipperary, Ireland, the son of what is called in that country a gentleman farmer. His early boyhood was passed in that romantic, region. Ile had inherited a love for field sports and became a splendid horseman, ever foremost in the chase. He had finished his academic studies, when the “Young Ireland” party raised the standard of revolt, under the leadership of Smith

O’Brien, John Mitchell, Thomas F. Meagher, Devin Reilly, Thomas Davis and other gifted and gallant Irishmen.  It was the famous movement of 1848, which terminated in disaster and defeat.  Dr. Mullally was one of the most ardent and active of the revolutionists; his zeal in the cause and the sterling qualities of the young patriot attracted the admiration of Smith O’Brien, who appointed him his private secretary.

He enjoyed the confidence of the leaders and was complimented for his courage and constancy, which was a breathing inspiration, a glowing heart-fire.

After the capture, conviction and transportation of the leaders he managed to escape and came to America.  After remaining for a brief period in New York he went to Georgia and taught the classics in the C. P. Beman Academy, near Sparta.  He then came to this State and settled in Columbia, where he entered the Presbyterian Seminary, from which he was graduated with high honors.  On entering the ministry ho was appointed co-pastor to the renowned Rev. J. H. Thornwell, D. D., and soon became prominent in religious circles, and was noted for eloquence, impressiveness, fervor and zeal.

In 1859 he was married to Miss Elizabeth K. Adger, daughter of the Rev. J. B. Adger, D. D.  At the breaking out of the war he promptly volunteered his services and entered the field as a member of a company attached to the 2d regiment South

Carolina volunteers, commanded by the knightly Col. J. B. Kershaw, and went to Virginia with that command, doing his duty faithfully. Although a minister of the Gospel he was frequently found on the firing line, not only giving spiritual consolation to the dying, but also encouraging the men fighting in the front of the battle.  On one occasion, at least, he used a rifle effectively, and his coolness and courage elicited the admiration of Lieut. Col. William Wallace, and that fearless officer spoke of him as the embodiment of bravery.  When Orr’s 1st regiment of rifles went to Virginia, under the command of the gallant and chivalrous Col. J. Foster Marshall, Dr. Mullally was appointed regimental chaplain and immediately won the affection of the men by his devotion to duty, his winning amiability of manner and lofty eloquence, which attracted the attention and thrilled hundreds in other regiments of Gregg’s (afterwards McGowan’s) brigade.  Gen. McGowan complimented him highly for the deep interest he took in the welfare of the men.

Dr. Mullally was known to Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson, who spoke of him in complimentary terms.  On that memorable morning, at the Wilderness, when the lion hearted Gen. Micah Jenkins was killed and Gen. Longstreet was seriously wounded, Dr. Mullally was in the midst of the fight, his handsome and expressive face all aglow as he cheered his courageous comrades or knelt by the dying heroes.

After the fateful 9th of April at Appomattox Dr. Mullally returned to South Carolina, and for some time taught school in Pendleton.  He afterwards went to Boliver, Tenn., thence to Covington, Ky., where he remained several years as pastor of one of the churches. The failure of the Southern cause, like the unsuccessful rising in his loved motherland, left him depressed in spirit.  He went to Sparta, Ga., and subsequently to Lexington, Va., where he took a course in law at the Washington and Lee University. The degree of doctor of divinity was conferred on him by the Mecklenburg college.  For some time he was the able and accomplished President of Adger College, Walhalla.  He lived in Dakota for two years; after this he went to New York, where he remained until the lamatable day of his death.  Although absent from

South Carolina, the affection for the cherished home of his adoption remained unchanged.  He continued to believe in the righteousness of the noble cause he so ardently espoused and so faithfully defended.

Dr. Mullally was strikingly handsome, tall and finely proportioned.  He was magnetic in manner, cultured and of a gentle and generous nature. His piety was of the purest order.  He was high-mined and conscientious, firm in his opinions, but temperate and tolerant towards others.  He loved his fellow man, assisted him when in distress, made due allowance for his frailties and aided him, too, in a manner fully commensurate with his means.  His devotion to his native land was a passion and a romance. In the South he had many admiring friends, who loved him when living, to whom he had endeared himself by his warm-heartedness, manly and sterling qualities, and who deeply deplore his death. Among the many tributes paid to Dr. Mullally during the war, there was none more eloquent than that which came from one of his heroic army comrades, the late Judge James S. Cothran, of Abbeville, to whose assistance Dr. Mullally went during the battle in which that gallant officer was seriously wounded.  Judge Cothran frequently said Dr. Mullally was, like Bayard of old, “without fear and without reproach.”  Dr. Mullally was a finished scholar, thoroughly versed in the classics; his oratory was of the Ciceronian order. There are survivors of McGowan’s brigade in Charleston and elsewhere throughout the State who recall his rich and resonant voice, his fertility of thought and felicity of expression.  During the winter of 1864 he delivered a discourse on the righteousness of the Confederate cause which was a masterpiece of lofty and inspired eloquence, learned and logical. Dr. Mullally wrote a series of able and brilliant articles on the book of Romans, and was a frequent contributor to papers and magazines.  He was domestic in his habits and loved the happiness and tranquillity of the home circle. Dr. Mullally leaves eight children : J. B. Adger Mullally, Thornwell, Mandeville, Lane, William, Miss Elizabeth K., Miss Susie D. A. and Miss Mary Clare Mullally.

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It is interesting to find an early description and assessment of the Fundamentalist Movement, this from 1924 and published in 1925. Pictured here is a fair unanimity within the Movement. Already by the time of this writing it is evident that there was a clear division among fundamentalists over millennial issues, but it took another decade for that division to become more formalized and more divisive of fellowship between the two sides. Implicit in this article, as you will see later, were the attempts by modernists to foster division among the modernists. Those attempts had been recognized as early as 1921 and, it might be argued, finally bore fruit in the mid-1930’s. And again in the 1940’s, in the Southern Presbyterian Church, there are indications that behind the effort to speak to the issue of dispensationalism there were the machinations of modernism seeking to divide the conservatives.  

The Rise and Growth of the Fundamentalist Movement
by the Rev. Raymond J. Rutt
[The Presbyterian 95.1 (1 January 1925): 7-8.]

[This article is a brief of the one read by Rev. Raymond J. Rutt, pastor of the Oliver Presbyterian Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota, before the Presbyterian Ministers’ Association of Minneapolis, on December 8, 1924.

I regret very much that it has become necessary to classify groups in the church of our Lord Jesus Christ. I abhor being called theologically by any other name than Christian, because no other name can fully represent a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

But when there appears a group of people within the church who deny the final authority of the whole Bible in faith and practice, and put the human mind in the place of final authority, then I am compelled to submit to a classification of believers, who have always, and do now, believe in the final authority of the whole Bible in all matters of faith, by whatever name they may call themselves.

The name “fundamentalist” has been given to, and quite generally accepted by, those believers in the Christian church who rely upon the whole Bible for their authority. And in contrast, the name “modernist” has also been given, and as generally accepted by those who do not accept the whole Bible as authoritative, but put their own minds above the statements of Holy Writ. I know there are some who feel that fundamentalists and modernists are two extremes, and they prefer to take a middle-of-the-road policy between them. To me, this seems impossible. It is very evident that among modernists, the mind of man has rejected great portions of the Bible. If the mind of man is made supreme over any portion of the Bible, what will keep them from destroying the whole testimony of the Word? The difference between these two elements in the Christian church is not a matter of method or interpretation, but rather a matter of premesis [i.e., premise(s)] of authority. Fundamentalists all agree on the authority of the whole Bible. The question is often asked, “Are the modernists our brethren in the Lord?” I think that depends on how much of the Bible they reject. It is dishonoring God to reject any portion of his Holy Word. And when that rejection continues to the extent of denying doctrines that are essential to salvation, then I cannot consider that person a brother in Christ. Many modernists have gone beyond this limit, and I do not consider them brethren.

There are two kinds of fundamentalists, and yet they both accept the final, absolute and supreme authority of the whole Bible, and agree in the essentials of salvation. Premillennial fundamentalists believe that the coming of the Lord before the millennium, which they feel is imminent, is fundamental to a right understanding of the prophecies, but not fundamental to salvation. The post-millennialist fundamentalists feel the same about their position. Thus we find that both kinds of fundamentalists agree as to essentials of salvation.

I think it is commonly agreed that the fundamentalists are the descendants of historic Christianity, for they are generally satisfied with the statements of faith as handed down to them by the Fathers. Not because their statements were infallible, but because they, who have given to us our great church of Christ, have done so from the standpoint that the whole Bible is the absolute, supreme and final authority in all matters of faith. This must not be interpreted to mean that we do not welcome research, study, and new truth that may be shed on the sacred page by the work of the Holy Spirit. We do believe that the Bible should be critically scrutinized and studied from every possible angle and applied to modern life in all its complexities. We welcome constructive criticism. Every believer has a creed, and unless he holds to the final authority of the whole Bible, he will have difficulty in holding it. Truths declared t0-day by the mind of man are denied to-morrow by the same mind of man. On that basis, what can a man believe? But if we cling to the whole Bible, we have a stabilizing standard which has held the heart and hand of the believer from the time of its first revelation.

There has been a desire on the part of fundamentalists to be associated together in fellowship and to promote efforts to defend the authority of the whole Bible against the destructive penknife of the modernist. The premillennial fundamentalists, gathered from all the states but two, and Canada, in Philadelphia, for a Bible Conference, in May, 1919, and organized the World’s Christian Fundamentalist Association. At that time they elected Rev. W.B. Riley, D.D., pastor of the First Baptist Church of Minneapolis, as their executive secretary. The association has met each year since then, and each time re-elected Dr. Riley, who has given one-half of his time to the promotion of Bible conferences all over the continent. Many state organizations have been organized under the World Christian Fundamentalist Association. Again, many local fundamental associations have been organized in cities and counties, some as premillennial fundamentalists and others as associations of all fundamentalists. Of the latter kind, one of the oldest and best known is the Rocky Mountain Bible Conference, of Denver, Colorado. Recently, such an organization has been effected in Minneapolis, and is known as “The Twin City Bible Conference.”

As fundamentalists, we regret very much the sharp differences that exist between fundamentalists and modernists. We are sorry our modernistic friends have deemed it necessary to revolt against the historic standards of the Christian church. I feel that a great deal of ill feeling has been caused by the wrong representation of the one by the other on both sides. As a fundamentalist, I have not appreciated being called a “funny-mentalist,” and I dare say many modernists have resented being called “funny-monkeyists.” Such classifications are but the way of bluff and do not reflect the spirit of the Master.

In conclusion, let me say we fundamentalists are not trying to make a new church, or even a division in the church. We are trying to preserve the church because we believe her Standards have been given to us by God-fearing Fathers, who accepted the whole Bible as their sole authority. We would not curb men’s minds or try to have all believers see alike, but we do believe in the absolute, supreme and final authority of the whole Bible. And if believers will take that stand, there will be little, if any, trouble as brethren together in the Lord. With these words from THE PRESBYTERIAN, I close :

“Christianity is no quiescent thing, but an eternal, omnipotent energy that has been at work in the world, not only in the past, but which is at work in this and every time, yet its specific content was given it once for all by Christ and his apostles, and that this content found authoritative expression in the New Testament. Each generation must, in some degree, express this content in its own language, and its own terms of thought, but the content itself, according to the fundamentalist, like Christ himself, as generation succeeds generation, abides the same to-day, yesterday, and forever.”

“it is a greater privilege, and a greater obligation, to witness to God than to lead a soul to Christ…”

Work slowed some time ago on an author-title index to the THE INDEPENDENT BOARD BULLETIN, the official publication of the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions, an organization formed by Dr. J. Gresham Machen and others in 1933. THE BULLETIN was first issued in January of 1936 and continues to this day as the primary newsletter of that organization. Among the articles appearing in the earlier issues is this by Miss Frances Brook, for which the editor’s opening comments, shown in bold, are striking and deserve serious reflection. We see something of this truth being lived out even today in the lives of Rev. Wang Yi and the congregation of the Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China.

GOD’S KEY-MEN IN WORLD SITUATIONS
His Provisions and Equipment
Isaiah 44:1-8
by Miss Frances Brook 

…In this article Miss Brook emphasizes the thought that God’s key-men are “even His witnesses that He is God.” It was precisely because missionaries failed to realize that it is a greater privilege, and a greater obligation, to witness to God than to lead a soul to Christ, that there was so much evasion of that primary obligation in the Japanese Empire. Missionaries and Christians alike failed to realize that in trial comes priceless opportunity, and therefore, save for a very few, missed a glorious opportunity to testify to the very highest officials in Japan that Jehovah alone is God.

How intimately God speaks in all these passages to His prostrate servant, the captive people in Babylon, the one who is heir to this situation, the people for whom it has been created. What loving personal words, to rouse him from his indifference and apathy! “But thou, Israel,” 41:8. “But now, saith the Lord” 43:1. “Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant,” 44:1. And is He any less intimate with us? True power of intercession lies in such close heart intercourse with God!

These verses, Isa. 44:1-8 bring the promise of Pentecost, but not without the foundation of Calvary. How consistent God’s Word is in its oft-repeated revelation. Gal. 3:13 and 14 is the New Testament counterpart, Calvary, thence Pentecost. We must look back at chapter 43:22-28 to get the background of this love appeal, this promise. Verses 18-21 have preceded with their gracious foreshadowing of Pentecost, “a new thing,” a spontaneous, God-given outburst of new life; refreshment and satisfaction just where it might least be expected—”in the wilderness.” Is there anything as “new” as a Pentecostal manifestation of the Spirit? Verses 22-28 describe the spiritual wilderness in which this Pentecostal change is to be enacted. “Things as they are!” A God-weary, God-wearying people. “But thou hast been weary of me, O Israel.” No wonder then they had not called, vs. 22. What a heart-breaking statement for God to make, God the Eternal Lover! Has He never had to say it of us, as He looks down upon our prayerlessness, our apathy? The heart-broken appeal of these verses reminds us of Jer. 2:31. “Have I been a wilderness unto Israel?. . . Wherefore say my people . . . we will come no more unto Thee?” Is it really God speaking? And how tenderly He adds in Isaiah, “I have not wearied thee.”  Prayerlessness, lack of devotion, lack of love, how these things go to God’s heart. Verses 23 and 24 bring this out. God misses our love-tokens. “No water. No kiss. No ointment.”

This is its New Testament counterpart, Luke 7:44-46. And from whence did the love gifts come that gladdened our Lord? From the woman whose sins were many and were forgiven. We turn back to Isaiah 43. “But thou has wearied Me with thine iniquities.” God’s love cannot stay on that dismal, heart-breaking scene, it goes on, it must go on to Calvary. “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake and will not remember thy sins.” Sin that has been borne by the broken-hearted sinless One can be blotted out, no more remembered. God invites us to meet Him there. Verse 26 speaks of this. We can put Him in remembrance of the Sacrifice, acknowledge our transgression and be justified. The curse, the reproaches, the devastated Sanctuary, vs. 27-28, all point to a heart condition that has left God out! Sins, sins, sins! No love, no prayer, “Yet now, hear, O Jacob.” Into this dismal scene God sends the promise of Pentecost, but Pentecost based on Calvary. The outpoured Sacrifice is complemented by the outpoured Spirit.

To those who have received the first, the second comes as God’s own answer to the one perfect and sufficient Sacrifice for the sin of the whole world. Calvary looks toward Pentecost. And Pentecost alone can heal God’s heart-break over your sin and mine. “Yet now.” God goes back in these verses, 1 and 2, to His original purpose for His people. It can be attained, it shall be attained. “Fear not, I will pour my Spirit.” For uttermost need, uttermost dryness of soul—Pentecost! God will pour Himself out. The curse absorbed in Calvary’s love-transaction, what is left to give but blessing? Gal. 3:13 and 14. Thus verses 4 and 5 picture the spontaneity of Holy Ghost life to the soul that listens. They picture Spring as it breaks forth from Winter barrenness and hopelessness. And now (contrast 43:22-24) there is deliberate response to the Divine Giver. Can any response be more simple, more safe, more satisfying than the one for which He has so long waited, “I am the Lord’s!” All Heaven is waiting for the soul that is the Lord’s. I Cor. 3:21-23.

But why call himself by the name of Jacob? Can any good thing belong there? No, it is the heart confession of failure, utter failure. “What is thy name?” said the Divine Angel to Jacob at his life crisis when God wrestled with him to change him. “And he said, Jacob,” and God said, “Thou shalt no more be called Jacob, but Israel.” Israel could not be super-imposed on Jacob. Jacob could not grow into Israel. It is necessary to be perfectly honest in our dealings with God. “I am Jacob” with all it stands for—all the weary plotting and maneuvering to outwit and outreach another—all the failure to attain the thing for which I was made and which God was waiting to bestow—I am Jacob. “Thy name shall be called . . . Israel.” “One with whom God has power.” This is the true interpretation of the Hebrew. Hence Jacob’s power with God and men. Here we come upon the secret by which prayerless self-lovers can be made into “the new sharp threshing instrument having teeth,” into God-lovers who can turn other  men’s failures into victory. No real change is possible in the situation till there is this change in us. How quickly it followed in Jacob’s case when God had His way with him. Gen. 32:26-28 and 33:1-4.

Is not this “subscribing with his hand unto the Lord?” I expect from God what heretofore I have looked for from myself. I sign my checks in His name, I am the Lord’s and have the Bride’s privilege to draw on all that is His. So I use it now, and over against Jacob, my heart confession of failure, I dare to write Israel, my new name, the man who at last has room for God, and expects all from Him. Paul says the same in Phil. 3:3, “rejoice in Christ Jesus . . . no confidence in the flesh.” This fits the Divine assurance of 44:6 aas an empty socket gives play to the joint, fulness working in emptiness. John saw the same at Patmos and fell at His feet as dead, and He said, “Fear not; am the first and the last.”

And so the God-appointed people come at last to their God-appointed end, verse 7. They are even His witnesses that He is God, verse 8. They live to show forth His praisem, 43:21. They are formed for Himself and in no other way can they reach their End. In all helplessness and utter weakness we receive Him. This is Pentecost. And it means a changed people.

“I take the promised Holy Ghost
I take the power of Pentecost
To fill me to the uttermost
I take, He undertakes.”

Pentecost is God’s cure for prayerlessness; God’s answer to Calvary; the place where God meets the man who is resting in the Sacrifice, and life is changed.

With some slight editing, our post today is drawn from Richard Webster’s work, A History of the Presbyterian Church in America: from its origin until the year 1760. (1857):—

The Rev. Daniel Elmer was pastor of the Fairfield Presbyterian Church, Fairfield, New Jersey, from 1729-1755. Rev. Elmer was the eighth pastor of this church, which had been organized in 1680. The church is now a member of the PCA. Rev. Elmer was preceded there by the Rev. Noyes Parris [1724-1729] and following him at that pulpit was the Rev. William Ramsey 1756-1771].

Daniel Elmer was born in Fairfield, Connecticut, in 1690, and graduated from Yale in 1713. He married soon after, and, “for some time, carried on the work of the ministry” in Brookfield,Massachusetts.
The General Court allowed the town twenty pound for three years, to aid in sustaining the gospel. Elmer received only half of this encouragement, having left before 1715. Where he spent the next twelve years is not known. In 1728, he settled at Fairfield, in Cohanzy. At the declaring for the Confession, in 1729, he was the only minister who professed himself unprepared to act. Time was granted him to consider; and the next year he informed the Synod that he had declared before the presbytery his cordial adoption of the Confession and the Catechism.

Whitefield visited West Jersey in the spring of 1740. Gilbert Tennent was there in the summer; and, while Whitefield was preaching (November 19) on Wednesday, the Holy Ghost came down “like a mighty rushing wind” at Cohanzy. Some thousands were present. The whole congregation was moved, and two cried out.

At the separation in 1741, Rev. Elmer and his elder, Jonathan Fithian, though present at the opening of the sessions, seems to have gone home before the Protest was introduced. He adhered to the Old Side. The congregation divided: even his own son occasionally went to Greenwich to hear Andrew Hunter.

Finley spent much time in the vicinity; and New Brunswick Presbytery was constantly importuned for supplies, and their most promising candidates were sent to Cohanzy.

At Elmer’s request, Cowell, McHenry, and Kinkaid were sent
 by the Synod, in September, 1754, to endeavor to remove the difficulties he complained of in his congregation; but all proceedings were stayed by his death. He lies buried in the Old New England town-graveyard, with this inscription:

“In memory of the Rev. Daniel Elmer, late pastor of Christ’s Church in this place, who departed this life, January 14, 1755, aged sixty-five years.”

Dr. Alison wrote to President Stiles, July 20, 1755, informing him that the two parts of Elmer’s congregation had united on his death, and introducing Mr. Thomas Ogden, whom they had sent as their messenger to Connecticut to procure a minister.

Elmer married Margaret, daughter of Ebenezer Parsons, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, and sister of the Rev. Jonathan Parsons, of Newburyport; she was the mother of three sons and four daughters. His second wife was a Webster, the mother of two sons and three daughters.

His son Daniel was born in 1714, and was the father of Dr. Jonathan and General Ebenezer Elmer.

Words to Live By:
Honesty goes a long way. Courage too. As you have time it would be a worthwhile exercise to review what the Bible says about honesty. Rev. Elmer was forthright in declaring first, in 1729, his caution over subscribing to the Confession, and then a year later he was again honest in stepping forward to acknowledge his adoption of the Confession and Catechisms. Had he in good conscience been unable to adopt the Westminster Standards, we trust he would have done the right thing and withdrawn his affiliation to another, more like-minded denomination, for the basis of trust and fellowship rests upon a common affirmation or understanding of what the Scriptures teach, as exemplified in this case by the Westminster Standards. The historical reference here is to the Adopting Act of 1729, in which it was decided that all Presbyterian pastors would have to make a declaration, affirming their adoption of the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms as being in full accord with what the Scriptures teach.

The text of the Synod minutes from that meeting, with mention of Rev. Elmer, is as follows (see the above link for the full context):

§ 8. The Adopting Act.
[The foregoing paper was adopted in the morning. In the afternoon took place “The Adopting Act.”]
“All the Ministers of this Synod now present, except one,* that declared himself not prepared, viz., Masters Jedediah Andrews, Thomas Craighead, John Thomson, James Anderson, John Pierson, Samuel Gelston, Joseph Houston, Gilbert Tennent, Adam Boyd, Jonathan Dickinson, John Bradner, Alexander Hutchinson, Thomas Evans, Hugh Stevenson, William Tennent, Hugh Conn, George Gillespie, and John Willson, after proposing all the scruples that any of them had to make against any articles and expressions in the Confession of Faith and Larger and Shorter Catechisms of the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, have unanimously agreed in the solution of those scruples, and in declaring the said Confession and Catechisms to be the confession of their faith, excepting only some clauses in the twentieth and twenty-third chapters, concerning which clauses the Synod do unanimously declare, that they do not received those articles in any such sense as to suppose the civil magistrate hath a controlling power over Synods with respect to the exercise of their ministerial authority; or power to persecute any for their religion, or in any sense contrary to the Protestant succession to the throne of Great Britain.
“The Synod observing that unanimity, peace, and unity, which appeared in all their consultations and determinations relating to the affair of the Confession, did unanimously agree in giving thanks to God in solemn prayer and praises.”–Ibid.

[*Mr. Elmer. He gave in his assent at the next meeting of the Synod.]

Today we present Rev. William Smith’s brief treatment of the second question in the Westminster Shorter Catechism.

Q. 2. What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?

A.
 The word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.

EXPLICATION.

The Scriptures.—The writings, or books of the Old and New Testaments, so called, by way of eminence, on account of their great importance.
To direct.—To point out the proper method.

ANALYSIS.

In this answer there are four things pointed out:

1.
The necessity of a rule to direct us in glorifying God.—Acts ii. 37. They said unto Peter and the rest of the Apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

2.
That the Word of God is this rule.—2 Tim. iii. 16. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

3.
That the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God.—Eph. ii. 20. And are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone.

4.
That the Word of God is the only rule given to direct us how to glorify and enjoy him.—Isa. viii. 20. To the law and to the testimony : if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

The Cause Of The Doctrinal Trouble In The Northern Presbyterian Church

(“Exploring Avenues Of Acquaintance And Co-operation”)
By Chalmers W. Alexander
Jackson, Miss.
[THE SOUTHERN PRESBYTERIAN JOURNAL 8.13 (1 November 1949): 9-11.]

This is the eighth in the series of articles by Chalmers W. Alexander under the heading, “Exploring Avenues of Acquaintance And Co-operation.” This informative series of articles was written by one of the most able laymen in the Southern Presbyterian Church.

What has been the principal cause of the doctrinal disturbance in the Northern Presbyterian Church?

Origin Of The Doctrinal Disturbance

In order to understand fully the answer to that question it is necessary to look back briefly over some of the events which took place in the early history of Presbyterianism in America. By the close of the eighteenth century, the Presbyterian Church in this country found itself working side by side with the Congregational Church in trying to build churches and furnish ministers for the nation’s expanding population, which was spreading throughout the Middle West. And in 1801 a plan of union was adopted whereby the Presbyterian General Assembly and the General Association of the State of Connecticut (Congregational) should work together, rather than in competition.

Old School” Theology Versus “New School” Theology

This union of 1801 marks the earliest discernible beginning of the decline of what we now refer to as the Northern Presbyterian Church, for the Congregational churches adhered to the liberal “New School” theology. This liberal “New School” theology differed from the Presbyterian, or conservative “Old School,” theology in several important points of doctrine.

The conservative “Old School” theology of the Presbyterians rested solidly on the teachings of the Holy Bible as they are outlined in the Westminster Confession of Faith and in the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. The liberal “New School” theology differed from its teachings, for instance, with reference to the extent of the guilt of Adam as it is imputed to his descendents, and with reference to the Calvinist doctrine of the definite atonement of Christ.

The New England theologians, who were the trainers of the Congregational ministers, were not inclined to consider very seriously the principles which meant much to the Presbyterian ministers who, for the most part, came from Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Consequently friction developed between the two denominational groups, and in 1837 they severed their relationship.

The Presbyterian Groups Separate

But prior to 1837, the liberal “New School” theology of the Congregational Church had been embraced by some of the Presbyterian ministers. Accordingly, within a few months after the separation of the Congregational Church and the Presbyterian Church, there occurred a separation between the conservative “Old School” and the liberal “New School” groups which now existed in the Presbyterian Church.

The “New School” Presbyterian group, among other things, had founded Auburn Theological Seminary, at Auburn, New York. (It was from Auburn, New York that the heretical Auburn Affirmation was later to be published.) And this liberal “New School” group had also founded Union Theological Seminary in New York City, which is today one of the nation’s leading centers of extreme Modernism.

When the Civil War took place in this country, the synods of the South withdrew from the “Old School” group of Presbyterians in the North, and founded our own Southern Presbyterian Church. And from its founding until the present time our Southern Presbyterian Church has always adhered to the conservative “Old School” theology.

The Merger Of 1869

After the close of the Civil War, in the North the conservative “Old School” Presbyterian group reunited in 1869 with the liberal “New School” Presbyterian group, in spite of the fact that the great Princeton theologian, Dr. Charles Hodge, left a sick-bed to oppose the merger.

As a result of the merger of the conservative “Old School” and the liberal “New School” Presbyterian groups in 1869, that which Dr. Hodge and the other Conservative leaders in the Northern Presbyterian Church had feared now began to take place. From the date of that merger until the present time, the liberal “New School” theology has been a disturbing factor in the ranks of the Northern Presbyterian Church.

This disturbance and trouble arose, of course, from the fact that the merger of 1869 had taken place upon the basis of a common administration, and not upon the basis of a creed which meant the same thing to both Presbyterian groups. Thus, in 1869, the Northern Presbyterian Church had willingly surrendered the greater principle of Christian doctrine for the less important principle of church administration. “To it the system of government had become of more importance than the system of belief,” as Dr. William Crowe, one of the very clear thinkers of our denomination, has so well expressed it.

Two Divergent Groups In The Church

As a result of this merger of 1869, there now existed within the Northern Presbyterian Church two distinct and divergent groups. One, the “New School” group, adhered to the liberal theology which was being taught at such institutions as Union Theological Seminary of New York City. This Seminary, founded earlier by the liberal “New School” Presbyterian group, had been taken into the merged Northern Presbyterian Church in 1869 without any requirement being made that it first change its position in theology to conform to the teachings and doctrines summarized in the Westminster Confession of Faith and in the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. (Some twenty-three years later, in 1892, Union Theological Seminary of New York City was to terminate its relation to the Northern Presbyterian Church because of the action of the General Assembly of 1891 in refusing to confirm as Professor of Biblical Theology in that Seminary, Dr. Charles A. Briggs, who was found guilty of heresy and was later dismissed from the ministry of the Northern Presbyterian Church by the General Assembly of 1893, but who was to remain a professor in good standing at Union Theological Seminary of New York City until his death in 1913.)

The second group in the Northern Presbyterian Church, or the conservative “Old School” group, continued to adhere to the theology which had come from Paul the Apostle down through John Calvin of Geneva, John Knox of Scotland, and, in this country, through the great Princeton Seminary theologians.

As Princeton Theological Seminary (hereinafter referred to as Princeton Seminary) has played such an important part in the life of the Northern Presbyterian Church, it will be informative to consider what effect the liberal “New School” theology has had upon it since that Seminary was reorganized in 1929.

But first let us glance at some of the history and achievements of that institution prior to its reorganization in 1929.

The Early Character Of Princeton Seminary

Princeton Seminary was from its beginning the great center of conservative “Old School” theology in America. Founded in 1812 at Princeton, New Jersey, it was the oldest seminary in the Northern Presbyterian Church. Its foundation rested squarely on the fully inspired Word of God as it is summarized in the Westminster Confession of Faith and in the Larger and Shorter Catechisms. Because of its sound theology, and because of the profound scholarship of its faculty, Princeton Seminary acquired a world-wide reputation as a great center of Christian learning. It became known as the outstanding seminary of the Northern Presbyterian Church.

The faculty of Princeton Seminary had always been composed of great men, all of whom adhered strictly to the conservative “Old School” theology, and all of whom held to the doctrines of the Holy Bible as they are outlined in the Westminster Standards.

Among the Seminary’s earlier faculty members there had been such theological giants as its first professor, Dr. Archibald Alexander, and the other Alexanders, and Dr. Samuel Miller, and some of the members of the famed Hodge family. And in more recent times such master theologians as the following were on its faculty: Professors Benjamin B. Warfield, Robert Dick Wilson, William B. Greene, Geerhardus Vos, William Park Armstrong, J. Gresham Machen, Oswald T. Allis, Casper Wistar Hodge (the fourth member of that great family of theologians), and Cornelius Van Til.

Princeton Seminary Scholarship

Some conception of the very unusual ability of these men as Bible scholars can be gained by considering one of them, Dr. Benjamin B. Warfield, for a moment.

Dr. Warfield had received his A.B. and his M.A. from Princeton University and his Th.B. from Princeton Seminary. Then he had studied abroad at the University of Edinburgh, the University of Heidelberg, and the University of Leipzig. He was for many years the Professor of Systematic Theology at Princeton Seminary.

Dr. Warfield is considered by many very able Bible scholars to have been the greatest theologian that America has ever produced.

The late Dr. John DeWitt, himself a great scholar, once remarked that he had known intimately the three outstanding theologians in the Northern Presbyterian Church of the generation preceding Dr. Warfield, namely, Henry B. Smith, William G. T. Shedd, and Charles Hodge, and that he was certain that Dr. Warfield knew more than any one of them, and that he was disposed to think that Dr. Warfield knew more than all three of them combined.

Dr. Caspar Wistar Hodge succeeded Dr. Warfield as Professor of Systematic Theology in Princeton Seminary after the latter’s death in 1921. Dr. Hodge received his A.B. and his Ph.D. from Princeton University and, after a year’s study abroad at the University of Heidelberg and the University of Berlin, he had finally taken his B.D. from Princeton Seminary. In speaking of his predecessors in the Professorship of Systematic Theology (two of whom had been his grandfather, Dr. Charles Hodge, and his uncle, Dr. A. A. Hodge, both of whom had been world famous), Dr. Caspar Wistar Hodge spoke of Dr. Warfield as “excelling them all in erudition” and as being “one of the greatest men who has ever taught in this institution.”

At the time of Dr. Warfield’s death, Dr. Francis Landey Patton, who had formerly served as President of Princeton University and later as President of Princeton Seminary, stated that under Dr. Warfield’s leadership “the department of Systematic Theology has been built up and has attained a position in this Seminary which it never had before and, so far as my knowledge and information go, exists nowhere else.”

And Dr. Samuel G. Craig, the able Editor of Christianity Today, one of the sound church papers in the Northern Presbyterian Church, wrote in 1934: “For instance, I am sure that at the time of his death there was no man in the world-—I make no exceptions—who knew more about the New Testament and what has been said against its trustworthiness than Benjamin B. Warfield. Again I am sure that at the time of his death there was no man in the world—here too I make no exceptions—who knew more about the Old Testament and what has been said against its trustworthiness than Robert Dick Wilson. Yet I am sure that Dr. Warfield would have said about the New Testament what Dr. Wilson said about the Old Testament: that no man knows enough to say that it contains errors.”

In fact, in his monumental volume entitled, The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible, which the Inter-Varsity Magazine, of London, calls “the ablest defense of the conservative view of the inspiration and authority of Holy Scripture that has appeared in the English language,” Dr. Warfield expressed the same view of the Bible’s full trustworthiness which was held by Dr. Robert Dick Wilson.

Dr. Warfield’s view of the inspiration of the Bible and his position in theology were shared by all of his associates on the Princeton Seminary faculty. That able theologian, Dr. John Macleod, Principal of the Free Church College, of Edinburgh, Scotland, has stated that Dr. Warfield, in speaking to him of Dr. Warfield’s associates on the Princeton Seminary faculty, once remarked that, “We are all of one mind.” All of the members of the Seminary faculty were conservative “Old School” theologians who believed that the only consistent system of doctrine and belief taught in the Holy Bible was clearly summarized in the Westminster Confession of Faith and in the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.

Under the leadership of Dr. Warfield, Princeton Seminary stood like a Rock of Gibraltar which, since its founding, had withstood all of the Modernist attacks of unbelief. When perplexing problems of theology were under discussion, Bible-believing Presbyterians everywhere knew that the right answers to the problems could always be found at Princeton Seminary.

Of all of the theological seminaries in the Northern Presbyterian Church, Princeton Seminary alone now stood firmly and consistently for the orthodox position in theology. Its faculty was not in any way contaminated by the liberal “New School” theology. And Princeton Seminary was pouring into the ministry of the Northern Presbyterian Church each year from forty to fifty orthodox young ministers, constituting one-fourth of each year’s total supply of new ministers in that denomination.

A Movement To Reorganize Princeton University

Now for some time there had been a movement under way to try to reorganize the great Princeton Seminary.

The purpose of the proposed reorganization of Princeton Seminary was to make that institution inclusive not only of the conservative “Old School” theology which had always been taught there, but of the liberal “New School” theology as well.

Because of the movement to try to reorganize Princeton Seminary, a fierce struggle had taken place for several years behind the scenes in the Northern Presbyterian Church. By this time the Northern Presbyterian Church consisted of three different groups: a strong, outspoken orthodox group, an active Modernist group, and a so-called “middle-of-the-road” group. This so-called “middle-of-the-road” group was trying to hold on to the Holy Bible and to the Westminster Standards, and at the same time not oppose the Modernists. Many of this so-called “middle-of-the-road” group wanted “peace at any price,” even if it had to be purchased at the cost of serious compromise with error in Christian belief.

Finally, in 1929, in spite of a valient and courageous fight by many of the orthodox group in the Northern Presbyterian Church, those who wanted to reorganize Princeton Seminary won the struggle.

(Continued in the Next Issue.)

For today’s post, we have nothing more of the calendar to hang our hat on than that the content that follows was first posted on this day, January 11, in 2010. At that time, my friend Andrew Myers posted the following from Fredna W. Bennett, a woman most of us have perhaps never heard of. And that is to our loss. She is noted for her devotional writing based on Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible. And while the year is still young, we would invite you to consider beginning the discipline of reading through the whole of Matthew Henry’s great work. As Fredna said, your time will be well spent. One tip: you might consider tackling just one book of the Bible in Henry’s Commentary. Perhaps a Gospel, Romans, or the Psalms. Completing just one such portion will encourage you to continue, as you see the value of Henry’s great work.

Testimony of a Farmer’s Wife

Fredna W. Bennett, author/editor of Moments of Meditation from Matthew Henry: 366 Daily Devotions Gleaned from the Greatest Devotional Commentary of All Time (1963), wrote how reading through Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible over a period of three years changed her life. It lead to her compilation of extracts from Henry’s Commentary for devotional meditation throughout the year. Her testimony was so encouraging to me, both as a writer and a reader, that I wanted to share it with others.
Her Preface reads thus:

Books don’t just happen! There is always a compelling reason that makes an author put on paper the thoughts he has to share with others. And so, I’d like to tell you how Moments of Meditation came into being.

I was just a farmer’s wife — not a writer at all. In 1944 the startling thought came to me that if an ordinary church member such as I ever was to learn any Bible, it was time to get busy. I started daily Bible reading. After a year’s reading, I knew one thing — I needed help to understand what I read.

I went to my Pastor. He recommended Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible. And so in 1945 I bought the big six-volume Commentary and began reading. Beginning with the first chapter of Genesis, it took me three years to read the six volumes; but it was the most thrilling experience I had ever had in all my forty years.

Before I had finished reading it the second time, I was trying to influence my friends to read it too. But they said, The print is too fine, and the work is too long.

I began to wonder why some writer didn’t condense the Commentary and unlock the treasures of the Bible for the layman. Written over 250 years ago in England, it had no copyright to keep it from being used for the good of all men everywhere. Surely the spirit of that great work could be kept, and yet it could be shortened enough to challenge the layman to read it!

Suddenly one day the thought struck me: Maybe I ought to try to do it! Even the thought of such a thing scared me! That was work for a scholar — not a lay person. That was work for a writer — not a farmer’s wife! I simply could not do it! I couldn’t even type!

But finally, despite all the obstacles, I decided, by the grace of God, to start and not to stop until I could go no further. So I bought a portable typewriter, borrowed a textbook from the high school, and started on the hardest job I’ve tackled. Middle age is too late for such a thing I often thought; I’ll never be a good typist!

But in 1953 I started on the work I longed to do and condensed the book of Genesis. I didn’t know I had the cart before the horse; I didn’t know that first I needed to study the basic principles of writing! Nor was I aware that far away in England a dedicated scholar, the late Dr. Leslie F. Church, was already engaged in condensing the complete work into one large volume.

About that time other hindrances appeared. There was a severe drought, a devastating flood, and a sharp decline in cattle prices. To escape financial disaster we had to increase our laying flock to 1000 hens — a 12-hour job for every day. And then in 1956, due to a malignancy, I had to have major surgery.

In the midst of all these things, however, a bright spot appeared. The editors of The Claude News asked me to write an article for the weekly church page of their paper, and the opportunity dawned to use the treasures from Matthew Henry! And so Moments of Meditation came into being.

And now, if I can do anything more to share the rich blessings that have been mine during these years of study and work, I will be happy. If not, my time has been well spent — for I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.


Fredna W. Bennett

Andrew Myers originally posted the above statement by Fredna W. Bennett on his blog, Virginia is for Huguenots.

Located while browsing through an old 19th century newspaper (one of the perks of my job!)

PROSECUTION FOR PREACHING.

Patrick Henry vs. Intolerance.

Soon after Henry’s noted case of “Tobacco and the Preserves” as it was called, he heard of a case of oppression for conscience sake. The English church having been established by law in Virginia became as all such establishments are wont to do, exceedingly intolerant toward other sects. In prosecution of this system of conversion, three Baptist clergymen had been indicted at Fredericksburg for preaching the gospel of the Son of God contrary to the statute. Henry, hearing of this, rode some fifty miles to volunteer his services in defense of the oppressed. He entered the court, being unknown to all present save the bench and the bar, while the indictment was being read by the clerk. He sat within the bar, until the reading was finished, and the king’s attorney had concluded some remarks in defense of the prosecution, when he arose, reached out his hand for the paper, and without more ceremony, proceeded with the following speech:

“May it please your worship, I think I heard by the prosecutor, as I entered this house, the paper I now hold in my hand. If I have rightly understood, the king’s attorney of the colony has framed an indictment for the purpose of arraigning and punishing by imprisonment, three inoffensive persons before the bar of this court, for  a crime of great magnitude—as disturbers of the peace. May it please the court, what did I hear read? Did I hear it distinctly, or was it a mistake of my own?–Did I hear an expression, as if a crime, that these men, whom your worships are about to try for misdemeanor, are charged with—what?” and, continuing in a low, solemn, heavy tone, “preaching the gospel of the Son of God?” Pausing amidst the most profound silence and breathless astonishment, he slowly waved the paper three times around his head, when, lifting his hands and eyes to heaven, with peculiar and impressive energy, he exclaimed, “Great God!” The exclamation—the burst of feeling from the audience—were all over-powering. Mr. Henry resumed :

“May it please your worships: in a day like this—when truth is about to be aroused to claim its natural and inalienable rights—when the yoke of oppression, that has reached the wilderness of America, and the unnatural alliance of ecclesiastical and civil power, are about to be dissevered—at such a period, when liberty—liberty of conscience—is about to wake from her slumberings, and inquire into the reason of such charges as I find exhibited here to-day in this indictment!” Another fearful pause, while the speaker alternately cast his sharp, piercing eyes on the court and the prisoners, and resumed : “If I am not deceived, according to the contents of the paper I now hold in my hand, these men are accused of preaching the gospel of the Son of God! Great God!” Another long pause, while he again waved the indictment around his head—while a deeper impression was made on the auditory. Resuming his speech:

“May it please your worships:  There are periods in the history of man, when corruption and depravity have so long debased the human character, that man sinks under the weight of the oppressor’s hand—becomes his servile, his abject slave; he licks the hand that smites him; he bows in passive obedience to the mandates of the despot; and, in this state of servility, he receives his fetters of perpetual bondage.  But, may it please your worships, such a day has passed away! From that period, when our fathers left the land of their nativity for settlement in these American wilds—for liberty of conscience to worship their Creator according to their own conceptions of Heaven’s revealed will—from the moment they placed their feet upon the American continent, and, in the deeply imbedded forest, sought an asylum from persecution and tyranny,—from that moment, despotism was crushed—the fetters of darkness were broken, and Heaven decreed that men should be free—free to worship God according to the Bible. Were it not for this, in vain were all the sufferings and bloodshed to subjugate this New World, if we, their offspring, must still be oppressed and persecuted.

But, may it please your worships, permit me to inquire once more, for what are these men about to be tried? This paper says for preaching the gospel of the Saviour to Adam’s fallen race.” And in tones of thunder, he exclaimed, “What law have they violated?” While the third time, in a low, dignified manner, he lifted his eyes to heaven, and waved the indictment around his head. The court and audience were now wrought up to the most intense pitch of excitement. The face of the prosecuting attorney was palid and ghastly, and he appeared unconscious that his whole frame was agitated with alarm; while the judge, in a tremulous voice, put an end to the scene, now becoming excessively painful, by the authoritative declaration, “Sheriff, discharge those men.”

[excerpted from The Christian Observer, XXIX, No. 2 (12 January 1850): 1, columns 2-3.; emphasis added]

Dusting off one of the periodical collections at the PCA Historical Center, I noticed this brief article in the inaugural issue of the Canadian Presbyterian journal, PRESBYTERIAN COMMENT, edited by the Rev. Dr. William Stanford Reid. After a brief introductory comment in that first issue, the following was Dr. Reid’s first editorial in the new publication:

After Four Hundred Years
by William Stanford Reid

In the year 1536, from the press of Thomas Platter and Balthasar Lasium, Basle publishers, appeared a thin volume of some seven chapters bearing the title of Christianae Religionis Institutio (The Institutes of the Christian Religion) written by a young French Protestant refugee, John Calvin. Although presented to the world as a defence of French Protestants, it was in fact a short statement of the new religious thought which came to be known as “Reformed Theology.” For the next twenty-three years Calvin repeatedly revised his work until in 1559 it appeared in its final form, now very much larger, and one of the most important books ever to come from a European press.

The reason for our valuing the Institutes so highly is that this work became the foundation of much subsequent Protestant thought. It did so for one thing because the author’s concise thinking and expression made it easy to understand. When Calvin wrote, he desired above everything else, to convince his readers of the truth of his message, not to impress them with his great knowledge, nor to confuse them with his swelling words.

The chief cause of the book’s influence was, therefore, the fact that men were able to see Calvin’s teaching so clearly. Since its first appearance it has been a classic, if not the classic, statement of the biblical doctrine of the grace of God in Christ Jesus. By it many people have found salvation in Christ, while others have been strengthened and built up in their faith.

Thus Calvin’s Institutes has been a truly formative work. Indeed in the case of some whole nations such as Holland or Scotland it has become part of the national heritage, helping to mold the people’s character.

But what is of more importance, today the thinking of Calvin, particularly as it is expressed in his Institutes, is experiencing a present revival throughout the Christian world. New translations and new editions of old translations are appearing in many different tongues: English, French, Japanese, Indonesian, etc. Thus Calvin’s influence, which some fifty years ago seemed about to die, is once again making itself felt.

The reason for this is that our own day is very similar to that of Calvin. Sixteenth century Europe faced the threat of a Moslem invasion from the east. At the same time new worlds and new peoples were coming into Europe’s orbit with Spanish and Portuguese colonial expansion. But what was even more important, Europe was passing through a veritable economic, social and intellectual revolution as the old order disintegrated before men’s eyes. Thus Calvin, writing for the sixteenth century, speaks to us today in our own terms concerning our own problems and needs.

Because of this, we who are Presbyterians and who owe much to Calvin and his Institutes which form the foundation of our Confession and catechisms, should desire to attain a greater understanding and knowledge of this man’s great work. “He being dead yet speaketh,” and if we listen we shall find that his words are indeed a guide for us in both faith and action.

It might be well, therefore, if our ministers began instructing our people once again in Calvin’s doctrines, and if our people began reading his works in order that they might be built up in their faith in these trying days.

[excerpted from Presbyterian Comment [Montreal, Canada], vol. 1, no. 1 (January 1960), p. 2.]

In God’s kingdom, there are no little people. Nor are any forgotten by our Lord, though we ourselves may forget. Today we will touch on the life of a pastor that most of us have never heard of.

William Hooper Adams was born in Boston, MA on this day, January 8, 1838, the son of the Rev. Dr. Nehemiah and Martha Hooper Adams. A graduate of Harvard, he first began his studies for the ministry at Andover Seminary, but left there on instructions from his father to take a teaching position in Georgia. That in turn led to his enrolling at Columbia Theological Seminary in 1861, to complete his studies. When the war started, he found he could not return home and so continued his preparations at Columbia. Licensed to preach by Hopewell Presbytery in 1862 and ordained by that same Presbytery in 1863, he was installed as an pastor in Eufala, Alabama, where he labored until 1865. Then in the summer of 1865, he returned to Boston.

A visit by Rev. Adams to Charleston, South Carolina, in February of 1867 led to a call from the famous Circular Church of that city. The original structure of this church had been designed by the architect Robert Mills, who designed the Washington Monument, and the church was the first large domed structure built in the United States. But by 1867 when the call was extended to Rev. Adams, the church had suffered several setbacks. Its building had burned to the ground late in 1861, then followed the Civil War, and finally, the formerly multi-racial congregation lost its African American congregants as they left to form a separate congregation. In accepting the call to serve as their pastor, Rev. Adams agreed to take on the burdens of a dispirited congregation.

circular_church_ruinsPictured here is a stereoscope photograph of the ruins of the Circular Church

And there he labored faithfully in Charleston for the next ten years. The Memorial published in his honor gives us a picture of a pastor who was genial, exuberant in his love for the Lord, sacrificial of his own time and energy, a man of strong Presbyterian convictions, yet a man who could work right alongside any other Christian who truly loved the Lord Jesus as Savior. This was a man who was greatly loved not just by his own church, but by much of the Charleston community. In his final act of selfless devotion, he gave up his post as pastor of the Circular Church and returned to Boston to care for his dying father. Seeking to honor his father, he put many of his own goals aside with the intent of editing his father’s papers. In God’s providence, the Rev. William Hooper Adams survived his father by just about three years, and he died on May 15, 1880.

Words to Live By:
With Christ his Savior as his example, William Hooper Adams sought to live a life of humility and sacrifice. He honored his father. He gave himself in love and devotion to his people. The fact that we today may not know his story does not diminish the powerful ways in which the Lord used him in His kingdom. After all, he wasn’t after fame and fortune. He labored faithfully to glorify the Lord, not himself.

To view information about his grave site, click here.

For Further Study:
A Memorial of the Rev. William Hooper Adams: For Twelve Years Pastor of the Circular Church, Charleston, S.C.

Image Sources:
1. 
Frontispiece portrait, from A Memorial of the Rev. William Hooper Adams. Charleston, SC: Walker, Evans & Cogswell, 1880.
2. 
Public domain stereoscope photograph, from the Wikimedia Commons.

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