« PoprzedniaDalej »
The Difference in Creedal Statement
land Presbyterian Church
An Earnest Plea for the Perpetuation
REV. W. T. DALE, D.D.,
To which are Added Extracts from Letters which Give the
Heart-beat of the Masses of Our Church.
The subject matter of the following pages was embodied in a series of articles intended for publication in The Cumberland Presbyterian, and forwarded to the editor in July, 1903, before the Committees on Organic Union had met, based upon the action of the assemblies which had created those committees, but had not been published when The Cumberland Presbyterian "shut down" on the farther discussion of the subject. I wholly failed to get a line published on this subject until the issues of March 24, 31, and June 30, 1904, when I succeeded in getting Articles No. 1 and 2 published substantially as they appear in the following pages.
After the first article appeared in March (in two issues) I received the following letter from Rev. J. L. Hudgins, Washington, Ind., and Rev. J. B. Hadlock, Petersburg, Ind.:
"Rev. W. T. Dale: As members of Morgan Presbytery, Indiana Synod, we wish to congratulate you upon the strong defense you are making of our doctrines in The Cumberland Presbyterian, and we ask that you put the matter in pamphlet form, or grant us the privilege of doing so.
“J. L. HUDGINS, "J. B. HADLOCK."
Being cut off from having the remainder of my articles published in The Cumberland Presbyterian, and being unable to find a good reason for disregarding the reques of these brethren, I have yielded my consent to the publication of these articles in book form. The articles have been partly rewritten and restated to suit the present phase of the union controversy. And had the Confession of Faith of the Presbyterian Church been rewritten and restated, or a new Creed adopted, or our own Confession retained as in every way coordinate with the Presbyterian Confession as published in 1903, there might not have been any occasion for these articles to have been published. But I shall show that the Presbyterian Church still has the same Confession of Faith it has always had, except as hereinafter set forth, which we are now asked to adopt in place of our own.
The advocates of union have had their “say" at the expense of the church and of the secular press. They have had almost unlimited space in the church paper ever since the question began to be agitated in 1902. The "Joint Report" as well as the "Supplemental Report,” have been published at the expense of the church. And the Supplemental Report is nothing more than a "speech” in favor of union. It was presented as a "vote catcher.” And yet the whole church must pay for its publication. While, on the other hand, the antiunionists, who are laboring to perpetuate the church and mean to do so, if they get anything published on their side of the question, must do so largely at their own expense. And yet we have strong faith in the liberality and largeheartedness of our people who are true blue Cumberland Presbyterians.
I ask a careful, prayerful and unbiased reading of the following pages, and may the Lord guide us all and save our beloved church from wreck and ruin.
Wu. THOS. DALE Franklin, Tenn., July 4, 1904.
I don't know whether I could be called a "wool-dyed” Cumberland Presbyterian or not, for I was born, baptized and reared up in the pale of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, a Church as blue as the bluest when it comes to Calvinism, for this church holds to the Westminster Confession of Faith, as originally written and handed down by the Westminster divines.
My father was born, baptized and reared up in this same church in Abbeville District, S. C., where he entered the communion of this church, connecting himself with the Cedar Springs and Long Cane congregations then under the pastoral care of the Rev. John T. Pressly, D.D., who spent the last years of his life as Professor of Theology in the Allegheny Seminary, Allegheny, Pa.
My maternal grandmother, who was a Gillham, was also a member of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and carried all of her children with her into that church. So my father and mother were both members of that church. And under these circumstances it was not strange that I should follow in their footsteps. Furthermore, I never heard a Cumberland Presbyterian preach until I was fully grown.
Among the first ministers of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church I ever heard was the Rev. R. D. Hardin. He used an illustration in his sermon that day that caught me. Illustrating divine sovereignty and man's moral agency he said that it took both God and man to make a crop of corn or wheat. God gives us the ground to till and the seed to plant and sow, and the rain and sunshine from heaven, etc. But unless man breaks the ground and plants or sows the seed and cultivates the soil, no crop would be made. Said he, "God is just as powerless under natural laws to make a crop of corn or wheat without man's help, as man is without God's help. It takes both to produce a crop of anything." Of course, the application is easily made. God has provided