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To Spare a Mother’s Life is a Myth of Abortion

The statement of the medical doctor blew the lid off of one of the more famous grounds of abortion.  He said, “protection of the life of the mother as an exercise of abortion is a smoke screen. In my thirty-six years of pediatric surgery, I have never known of one instances where the child had to be aborted to save the mother’s life. If toward the end of the pregnancy complications would arise that threaten the mother’s life, the doctor will induce labor or perform a Caesarean section.  His intention is to save the life of both the mother and the baby. The baby’s life is never willfully destroyed because the mother’s life is in danger. To spare a mother’s life is a myth of abortion.”

Who said this?  None other than C. Everett Koop, who served for two terms  under President Ronald Reagan as Surgeon General of the United States in the nineteen eighties (1982 – 1989). C. Everett Koop was pro-life in his views of life in the womb.

Born in  Brooklyn, New York on October 14, 1916, “Chick” Koop, as he was known by his friends, certainly had the education to make him the top doctor in the country.  Educated at Dartmouth College in his undergraduate years, he went on to receive degree after degree at the top medical hospitals in the country.  In addition, he received forty-one honorary  doctorates.

While in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he joined Tenth Presbyterian Church, serving as a ruling elder of that P.C.A. congregation. He cooperated with Francis Schaeffer in producing the “How Then Shall We Live” series, which informed American Christians of their duty to be salt and light in the midst of a corrupting and darksome  culture.

As of this writing, he lives up in New Hampshire.

Words to live by:  If you check on the world-wide web, you can find some other statements by Dr. Koop dealing with the issues which define our world, such as euthanasia, which he decries that medicine cannot be considered our healer and our killer at the same time.  We can thank God that he was raised up for such a time and age as this, when sound biblical conclusions needed to be raised in a culture which devalues life.

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This is one of those days where few Presbyterian events seem to have happened. In a previous year we wrote of how John and Louisa Lowrie set sail for the mission field in India on this date. This year, we wanted to discuss something more of Rev. Lowrie’s wife, Louisa. The following brief account is drawn from the Centenary Memorial of the Planting and Growth of Presbyterianism in Western Pennsylvania and Parts Adjacent (1876), p. 194:—

Louisa A. Lowrie, wife of the Rev. John C. Lowrie, D.D. was a daughter of Thomas and Mary Wilson, of Morgantown, Virginia [later of West Virginia, which became a state in 1863], and sister of the late Hon. Edgar C. Wilson, of the same place. She belonged to the first band of missionaries sent by the Pittsburgh Society to India, and sailed from Philadelphia on May 30, 1833. She died in Calcutta, November 21, of the same year, in the twenty-fourth year of her age.

The annual report of 1834 says of her : “Her desires to devote herself to the spiritual good of the heathen were fervent, and her qualifications for the work were, to human view, uncommon; but He for whose glory she left her native land and bore her feeble exhausted frame half round the globe, was pleased, doubtless for wise reasons, to disappoint her earthly hopes, and require her associates, a few short weeks after their arrival, to consign her to the dust, there to proclaim, as she sleeps in Jesus on India’s distant shores, the compassion of American Christians for its millions of degraded idolators, and to invite others from her native land to come and prosecute the noble undertaking in which she fell.”

Her pastor at Morgantown, Rev. Ashbel G. Fairchild, D.D., prepared a memoir, soon after her death; and few who have seen in it the excellent likeness of that lovely face will ever forget it. Her memory was still affectionately cherished in Western Pennsylvania for many years after. The Women’s Missionary Society of the Presbyteries of Pittsburgh and Allegheny eventually built a house at Mynpurie, India, naming it her memory, “The Louisa Lowrie Home.” It’s purpose was to serve as a dwelling for unmarried women laboring as missionaries at that particular station.

A few years before her death, Louisa Lowrie wrote the following in her journal:—

Saturday, June 11th. (1831).—In reviewing my life for a year past, I find so much for which to praise the Lord, that I feel oppressed with a sense of my ingratitude. Mercies unnumbered have crowned this year, the most blessed of my life. In it, the Lord has changed my heart; and given me to feel that Jesus is my friend; and, as often as I have wandered from Him, He has drawn me back by mercies or chastisements. During the last autumn my way was so clear, the current of my life so smooth, and my path so strewed with flowers, that I almost feared I was not one of those who should “come out of great tribulation.”

In examining my views and feelings, I find that I am very much changed. I can scarcely recognize my former self. Added to a disposition naturally cheerful, I possessed an intense desire for happiness; and perhaps enjoyed as much as was ever felt by an unregenerate heart. But, in the midst of all, I found there was something wanting, without which I could not rest. The Lord gave me to see that this was religion. I sought religion–I tasted of his love; and found that all I had hitherto enjoyed was nothing;—mere negative happiness. I desired to love the Lord with my whole soul. I cared not what should befall me; I only asked holiness of heart. Oh, my God! thou knowest I was sincere; and if I have since murmured against thee, on account of the means thou hast employed to subdue me, forgive I beseech thee—pity my feeble frame! I do not ask theee to lessen my sufferings; I only ask suffering grace.

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This Day in Presbyterian History:

To Spare a Mother’s Life is a Myth of Abortion

The statement of the medical doctor blew the lid off of one of the more famous grounds of abortion.  He said, “protection of the life of the mother as an exercise of abortion is a smoke screen. In my thirty-six years of pediatric surgery, I have never known of one instances where the child had to be aborted to save the mother’s life. If toward the end of the pregnancy complications would arise that threaten the mother’s life, the doctor will induce labor or perform a Caesarean section.  His intention is to save the life of both the mother and the baby. The baby’s life is never willfully destroyed because the mother’s life is in danger. To spare a mother’s life is a myth of abortion.”

Who said this?  None other than C. Everett Koop, who served for two terms  under President Ronald Reagan as Surgeon General of the United States in the nineteen eighties (1982 – 1989). C. Everett Koop was pro-life in his views of life in the womb.

Born in  Brooklyn, New York on October 14, 1916, “Chick” Koop, as he was known by his friends, certainly had the education to make him the top doctor in the country.  Educated at Dartmouth College in his undergraduate years, he went on to receive degree after degree at the top medical hospitals in the country.  In addition, he received forty-one honorary  doctorates.

While in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he joined Tenth Presbyterian Church, serving as a ruling elder of that P.C.A. congregation. He cooperated with Francis Schaeffer in producing the “How Then Shall We Live” series, which informed American Christians of their duty to be salt and light in the midst of a corrupting and darksome  culture.

As of this writing, he lives up in New Hampshire.

Words to live by:  If you check on the world-wide web, you can find some other statements by Dr. Koop dealing with the issues which define our world, such as euthanasia, which he decries that medicine cannot be considered our healer and our killer at the same time.  We can thank God that he was raised up for such a time and age as this, when sound biblical conclusions needed to be raised in a culture which devalues life.

Through the Scriptures: Malachi 1 – 4

Through the Standards: The tests of church purity

WCF 25:4
“This catholic Church has been sometimes more, sometimes less visible. And particular Churches, what are members thereof, are more or less pure, according as the doctrine of the Gospel is taught and embraced, ordinances administered, and public worship performed more or less purely in them.”

For further study : The papers of Dr. C. Everett Koop are preserved at the National Library of Medicine. And additional, smaller collection pertaining mostly to several of Dr. Koop’s published works, can be found at Wheaton College.

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This Day in Presbyterian History

A Communion for American Covenanters

The entire service of Communion that Sabbath day on August 23, 1752 lasted nine hours.  But for some two hundred and fifty Covenanters gathered on that spot, it was the first communion outside the British Isles.

The teaching elder on that Lord’s Day was the Rev. John Cuthbertson, who was the first Reformed Presbyterian minister in the colonies.  As the only one, he had logged nearly 70,000 miles in the wilds of Colonial America, ministering to scattered Covenanters.  Often, there was no church building.  So they worshiped at various sites called “tents.”  It consisted of a large tree, with a wooden stand for the minister, and another for a Bible, with rough pews for the people, and nothing but the open sky for the roof.  On this occasion, they met at the Junkin Tent, just north of present day New Kingstown, Pennsylvania.

The communion at this first meeting in America lasted five days, with worship times on three of the five days.  The first day, which was Thursday, was a day of fasting, with a sermon by Rev. Cuthbertson.  Tokens of admission were given to those qualified spiritually to partake, after an exhortation for that purpose.  Prospective members were examined and received into the congregation.  On Friday and Saturday, no public worship was conducted.

In the services on the Sabbath, Rev. Cuthbertson paraphrased the 15th Psalm and preached from John 3:35: “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things in his hand.”  After the sermon, there was prayer and singing from the psalter.  Then the pastor spoke again about the sacrament, debarring some from the table while inviting others to the table of the Lord.  The communicants came, singing the Twenty-fourth Psalm, to sit at four tables as was the custom, to receive the elements of the sacred supper.  After the table services were concluded, he exhorted the communicants and led in prayer.  A part of the 103rd Psalm was sung.  Then after an interval of thirty minutes, another sermon was preached.  The entire service of that Communion day worship lasted nine hours.

Before the worshipers started home on Monday, another sermon was proclaimed as a departing reminder from the Word of God.

Words to live by:
   We might well wonder whether God’s people today would sit through such protracted services.  As one minister commented, there would not be many left but the preacher, and most probably he too would feel like departing!   But let it be said that these early American Christians did not have all the privileges of weekly services nor access to countless Christian books and media outlets.  What they had, they treasured, and exhibited a spiritual fervor which, with all our spiritual privileges, too many professing Christians and churches lack that same spiritual fervor.

Through the Scriptures:  1 Chronicles 4 – 6

Through the Standards: The single object of prayer  

WLC 179  — “Are we to pray unto God only?
A.  God only being able to search the hearts, hear the requests, pardon the sins, and fulfill the desires of all; and only to be believed in, and worshiped with religious worship; prayer, which is a special part thereof, is to be made by all to him alone, and to none other.”

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