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accomplished, and Messrs. McGarragh, King, and McKinney, the latter of whom arrived in the year 1793.

The Rev. Messrs. Martin, King, and McGarragh, regulated the affairs of the church as a committee of the Reformed Presbytery in Scotland. But this was a mere temporary expedient, and its object having been answered, Messrs. McKinney, King, and Gibson, who had recently emigrated from Ireland, proceeded to constitute a Presbyterial judicatory independent of all foreign control. Mr. King did not live to meet his brethren at the time appointed, and in 1798, the Rev. Messrs. McKinney and Gibson, with ruling elders, proceeded to constitute the "Reformed Presbytery of the United States of North America. Thus the church took her stand on American ground. Her relations to the Reformed Presbyterians of the Old World, as then defined and since existing, are those of an independent sister church. And in proceeding to arrange her terms of communion, she at once declared that she adopted the Reformed Presbyterian system, only in so far as it presents common truth, and "binds to duties not peculiar to the church in the British Isles, but common in all lands." It was thus her determination to rear, not an exotic of foreign growth and culture, but a plant which would be at home on American soil, and furnish abundant fruit unto eternal life.

Soon after the organization of the presbytery, Rev. Drs. Wylie, Black, the late Dr. Alexander McLeod, and Rev. Mr. Donnely, were licensed to preach the gospel. They became efficient missionaries through the United States; the cause prospered in their hands; and in the year 1808, a synod composed of three presbyteries, was constituted, under the name of the "Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in the United States of North America." In the year 1825, the supreme judicatory received the form of a representative assembly, composed of delegates from presbyteries, and styled the "General Synod:" under this organization the church now exists.

Of the principles of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, it may be sufficient to say generally, that as to doctrine they

are strictly Calvinistic; and as to church government and order of worship, Presbyterian. Her ecclesiastical standards subordinate to the word of God, are the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms, and her Declaration and Testimony, third edition, 1843. In declaring her approbation of the Westminster Confession of Faith, she makes the following disclaimer: "To prevent all misunderstanding of the matter of the second article of this formula, which embraces the Confession of Faith and Catechisms, it is declared in reference to the power of the civil magistrate in ecclesiastical things, that it is not now, and never was, any part of the faith of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, that the civil magistrate is authorized to interfere with the Church of God, in the assertion, settlement, or administration of her doctrine, worship, and order; or to assume any dominion over the rights of conscience. All that appertains to the magistratical power in reference to the church, is the protection of her members in the full possession, exercise and enjoyment of their rights. The magistratical office is civil and political, and consequently altogether exterior to the church."

Reformed Presbyterians have been regarded as entertaining certain peculiar opinions on the subjects of slavery, psalmody, communion, civil government, and covenanting. It is proper that these should be understood. With regard to slavery, the principle which they hold is, that the purchase, sale, or retention of unoffending men of any part of the human family as slaves, is a moral evil against which the Church of God should bear a pointed and active testimony. And in carrying this principle into practice, it was enacted by the highest judicatory of the church in the year 1800, and when a large proportion of her members resided in the South, that no slaveholder should be retained in the communion of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. Upon this principle she still continues to act.

On the subject of psalmody, the sentiments of the church are thus expressed in the eighth article of her Testimony, under the head of "Christian Worship:""Singing God's praise is a part of public

social worship, in which the whole con- On the subject of civil government, the gregation should join; the book of Psalms, Reformed Presbyterian Church expressly which are of divine inspiration, is well testifies against a sentiment that has adapted to the state of the church, and of sometimes been attributed to her, "that every member in all ages and circum- civil government is founded in grace." stances; and these Psalms, to the exclu- But she affirms, "that civil society, tosion of all imitations and uninspired com-gether with its order, has its foundation positions, are to be used in social wor- in the natural constitution of man, and ship." his external relationships in life; that it was instituted by the Creator and Ruler of the world immediately for the good of man, and ultimately for the divine glory; and that the principles of God's moral law are the supreme standard according to which human society is obliged to regulate and conduct its affairs."

And again, "that though civil society and its governmental institutions are not founded in grace, yet it is the duty of Christians to endeavor to bring over civil states the influence of the grace of the gospel, and to persuade such states to put themselves in subordination to Immanuel, for the protection and furtherance of the interests of religion and liberty."

And again, in applying these principles to the constitution and government of the United States, she further declares, "that in a land where peculiar religious characteristics have never been extensively introduced into civil deeds of constitution; where there is no apostacy from established and sworn to reformation; where the constitutional evils complained of are simply omissions, not fundamental to the existence and essential operations of civil society; where no immoral engagement is required, and no pledge either demanded or given to approve of or perpetuate de fects; where fundamental principles of the social state, moral in their nature, are adopted; where a testimony against defects is admitted, and the way left open, constitutionally, to employ all moral means to obtain a remedying of defects: the same obstacles stand not in the way of a Christian's entrance into civil communion, as do in a land where, such religious characteristics having been adopted, covenanted, and sworn to, but, having been departed from, upon the ruins of a reformed system, one of an opposite character has been introduced. And further, that under a testimony against defects, circumstanced as above stated, the Christian may con

The Reformed Presbyterian Church has never insisted on the use of any particular version of the book of Psalms, any further than that such version was preferable to all others. Her principle is, that the matter of the church's praise should be exclusively songs of inspiration, in the best attainable translation.

On the subject of sacramental communion the principles of the church are, that such communion is the most solemn, intimate and perfect fellowship that Christians can enjoy with God and one another; that when Christians are associated to gether in a church state under a definite creed, communion in the sacraments involves an approbation of the principles of that creed; and th as the church is invested with authority, which she is bound to exercise, to keep the ordinances of God pure and entire: sacramental communion is not to be extended to those who do not approve the principles of the particular church or submit themselves to her authority. In maintaining these principles the Reformed Presbyterian Church does not design to unchurch any other religious denomination, or deny the Christianity of its members. She recognizes the validity of the ordinances of all Christian communities who hold the divine Head, and the plenary inspiration of his word. She rejoices to know that these contain many of the saints of God, who have fellowship with him and with one another at the table of the Lord, and she is willing to co-operate with them to the extent of her ability, in promoting the common Christianity. But she does not feel at liberty to allow every man to be the judge of his own qualification for sealing ordinances, to dispense these ordinances to such as do not assent to her religious principles, or whom she could not submit to her discipline were they found violating their Christian obligations.


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sistently enter into the civil fellowship of acknowledgment that public social cove. the country where he resides, using his nanting, upon proper occasions, is an ordiliberty on a moral basis to seek the im- nance of God; and that such moral deeds provement of the social state."

as respect the future, whether ecclesiasti. And again, the church has declared, cal or civil, are of continued obligation, as “that the acts and legislation of this well upon those who are represented in church have at all times authorized all the taking of them, as upon those who acconnexion with the civil society and insti- tually covenant, until the ends of them be tutions of the United States, which does effected." not involve immorality."

In common with other Christians, Re. The position, then, which the Reformed formed Presbyterians believe that every Presbyterian Church in the united States individual believer is in covenant with God is understood to occupy towards the go- for himself personally, and that the Church vernment of the country, is simply this, of God is a covenant society, whose membelieving that a representative democracy bers are solemnly engaged to God, and is the ordinance of God, she approves of one another, to do their whole duty. But its republican form and character. She in addition to this, it is their sentiment perceives no moral evil in its constitution. that, on special occasions of commanding She finds it promoting the best interests importance—such as a time of great and of the citizen, and throwing the shield of threatened danger to the interests of church its protection over the Church of Jesus and state, or of attempted extensive reChrist; and therefore she leaves her mem. formation in the church-men may and bers at liberty to incorporate with it by ought, both as individuals and by combecoming its citizens and assuming its munities, to combine together, and mu. offices, if they can do so in consistency tually pledge themselves, under the solemwith their own conscientious convictions. nity of an oath to God and one another, But she insists that no immoral man should to sustain the right and oppose the wrong, be invested with office ; that the Bible is in both civil and religious things. When the rule of official administration as well such solemn pledge respects the future, it as private conduct; and that civil rulers, is binding on the individual or community in common with all other characters, are which gives it, until its whole object be responsible to Jesus Christ as the “ Prince accomplished. Passing by the many in. of the kings of the earth, and Governor stances of public social covenanting which among the nations."

occur in the history of the Hebrews under Some Reformed Presbyterians have, the Old Testament, an exemplification of from time to time, entertained the opinion the principle is presented in the famous that the constitution and government of League of Smalkalde, formed by the Lu. the United States is essentially infidel and therans in 1530, when they pledged themimmoral, and that therefore they should selves to one another and to God to mainbe dissenters from both. And, principally tain and defend the Reformed religion on the ground of maintaining this opinion, against all its enemies. And there is in the year 1833, a number of ministers another still more perfect and remarkable with adherents seceded from the General in the Solemn League and Covenant, in Synod or the church, and formed a sepa- which the friends of civil and religious rate organization. But the position of the liberty combined their energies to protect church is as above stated. (See “ Testi. and secure the dearest interests of human. mony," second and third editions, and ity against the civil despot and religious “Proceedings of Synod," Pittsburg, Au- persecutor. Society, at the time it was gust, 1835.)

formed, was in a revolutionary condition. On the subject of covenanting, from the In the state, absolute anarchy seemed about prominence given to which in their sys. to take the place of the civil despotism, tems, Reformed Presbyterians have often which had for some time prevailed; and been called “ Covenanters," the following the very existence of the Protestant relirequisition is made in the fourth article gion in the British empire was threatened. of their Terms of Communion :- “An In this emergency the friends of liberty

and truth had recourse to God's ordi- | tion of them, and utter the warning against nance of public social covenanting, for them. The ministry of the Reformed relief and encouragement. They com- Presbyterian Church has always had mitted themselves to God, and to one among its members men eminent for another by the will of God. Under the talent, learning, and public spirit, who in shield of the Solemn League and Cove. proportion to their number, have had a nant, the Assembly of Divines at West- large share of the literary labors, and minster sat, and prepared the Confession honors of the country. Among the peoof Faith and Catechisms for the world. It ple, meetings for prayer and Christian furnished the rallying point for the best conference, weekly and monthly, are friends of religion and liberty while Eng. statedly observed. Family worship, and land was in anarchy, and Scotland in the attention to the moral and religious ingrasp of the persecutor; and in its spirit struction of the youth, as well as a permany of the English Puritans and Scottish sonal deportment becoming the gospel, are and Irish Reformed Presbyterians emi. required of them as qualifications for sagrated to America, and gave their aid in cramental privileges. They have but few making our country what it is. American endowments for religious or benevolent Reformed Presbyterians approve of the purposes, but are liberal in the support of great principle of combination for good the gospel, both at home and abroad. It under the oath of God, which this transac. is left to others to speak of the religious tion illustrates, and hold themselves in character, of both ministers and people. readiness, when the exigencies of the time But it may be said in gratitude to the God may demand, to exemplify it themselves of all grace, that he has not left them as the age, country, and special circum- without a witness of his presence and ap. stances of their condition require. probation ; but that from year to year he

Reformed Presbyterians are scattered has given them the assurance, that he is over the middle and Western States, and employing their instrumentality as a dis. have a few congregations in the South. tinct religious community, for the main. Their ministers possess much of the mis- tenance of his truth, the conversion of sionary spirit, and spend a considerable sinners to Jesus Christ, and the prepara. portion of their time in preaching the gos. tion of many saints for the celestial glory. pel 10 the destitute of all descriptions, be- The Reformed Presbyterian Church in yond the bounds of their own immediate the United States is under the direction congregations. The practice of cxposi. of a General Synod, composed of six tory preaching prevails universally among presbyteries, one of which is established them; they will be found “ lecturing,” as among the heathen in Northern India. it is styled, over entire books of the Bible, And she numbers at present, thirty or. as a stated part of the service of the Sab- dained ministers, eight licentiates, ten stu: bath ; and as errors and delusions arise, dents of theology, fifty-one organized conand are propagated in society, they are gregations, and about five thousand com. among the first to enter into an examina. Imunicants.

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RESTORATIONISTS believe that all men deny; and that he had a moral as well as will ultimately become holy and happy. a natural government, will be conceded by They maintain that God created only to every believer in divine revelation. But bless; and that, in pursuance of this pur. man, the subject of this moral govern. pose, he sent his Son to “ be for salvation ment, rebelled against Heaven, and set the to the ends of the earth ;" that Christ's laws of his Maker at defiance. In this kingdom is moral in its nature, and ex- defection, which was moral in its charac. tends to moral beings in every state or ter, the whole world was involved. They mode of existence; that the probation of had all gone out of the way; there was man is not confined to the present life, but none good, no not one. Now, it was to extends through the mediatorial reign; heal this moral defection, to subdue this and that, as Christ died for all, so, before rebel universe, and to bring all to true he shall have delivered up the kingdom to allegiance, that the kingdom of Christ was the Father, all shall be brought to a parti- instituted. This lets us at once into the cipation of the knowledge and enjoyment nature and extent of the Redeemer's king. of that truth, which maketh free from the dom, and shows most clearly the object of bondage of sin and death. They believe his reign. in a general resurrection and judgment, The defection was universal. It reached when those who have improved their pro- back to the commencement of time, and bation in this life will be raised to more onward to the consummation of all things. perfect felicity, and those who have mis- It consisted in an alienation of heart and improved their opportunities on earth will; a perverseness of mind. It was, in a come forward to shame and condemnation, word, a moral epidemic, affecting every which will continue till they become truly individual of our race. Such was the napenitent ; that punishment itself is a me- ture and extent of the disease; and the diatorial work, a discipline, perfectly con- cure must be correspondent. Christ's sistent with mercy; that it is a means kingdom, then, is moral in its nature, and employed by Christ to humble and subdue universal in its extent. It is not an empire the stubborn will, and prepare the mind to over matter, but over mind. He was receive a manifestation of the goodness of placed at the head of this kingdom, not to God, which leadeth the sinner to true re-exercise mere physical power, and thus pentance.*

subdue sinners by brute force; not to That God was the rightful sovereign of operate upon men mechanically, and by the universe is a truth which no one will the application of natural laws to restrain

their outward actions. No; he was in. • Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. vested with regal authority, that he mght

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