Hutchinson News (Newspaper) - March 16, 1890, Hutchinson, Kansas
2 HUTCHINSON DAILY NEWS; 8NUDAY MOBNING, MABCH 16,1890. CONFESSION OF FAITH,! Continuid fromfirtl pagt. is, Ib a bond of union between many brunches of the Reformed church. I amnot willing to weaken that bond. The alteration of the Confession might even interpose new obstacles to the desired organic union of some branohes of the Presbyterian church, as, for example, the Presbyterian Church North nnd the Presbyterian Church South. Revision is not necessary to accommodate and relieve genuine Calvanists who are crying out for revision. We can make a short and simple creed, couched mainly in Scripture language, "not as a substitute for the Confession, but only to summarize and supplement it for the work of the church." Defects and omissions and lack of fullness on some points in the Confession can be remedied by fuller statements in the supplementary standard. Let the historic and venerable Confession of the church remain au it Is, I vote. Respectfully yours, K. J. Bhown. Conway Springs, Kan., Feb. 24,1890. Bev. John H. OlendeDiitrjK. 1 am heartily in favor of revising the Confession. I yield to no one, Indeed, in my admiration of a document which has commanded the respect of thoughtful minds for almost 250 years. But I have no sort of sympathy with that mawkish sentiment, that drivelling superstition, which looks upen it as something too hallowed ior juman oani'.d to touch. The following, therefore,are some of the cbangeB which I would like to see introduced: First-I want the third, fourth and seventh sections of chapter 8 so manipulated as to do away with the doctrine of an antenatal consignment to perdition, which these articles evidently teach to probably seven out of every ten men who read them in their natural grammatical sense. Second-In connection with the affirm ation of God's eternal decree, contained in this Bame chapter, I desire to have a statement of ilia spontaneous and abiding love introduced in such terms that al I men may know that there is a divine breadth in the divine declaration: "God so loved the world that he gave," etc. Third-In regard to the third section of chapter 10,1 am strongly in favor of the amendment proposed by Dr. Manfort but in case the adoption of that amendment be found inexpedient, 1 wish to see at least Buch a modification of the qualifying terms as that no roam shall be left for even an illogical inference touching the pOBBible loss of those who die in infancy. Fourth-It is my judgment also that the fourth section ol this same chapter should be amended or removed. For if it means what ltB grammatical construction indicates, it iB evidently opposed to a clear declaratlou of Bcripturesj and if, on the other hand, its real significance is found in the gloss that is ordinarily put upon it, it is certainly superfluous. Fifth-In addition to these changeB 1 advocate the removal of those excrescences which grew out of the prolemlc conditions under which our Confession was formulated, as, for example, the declaration in the seventh Bection of chapter 22, concerning monastic vows, and the accusation in the sixth section o. chapter 25 against the church of Rome. I believe that some such moderate revision as thiB commends itself to the consideration of every thoughtful mind. For the strongest utterances of those who have put themselves on record as opposed to any change, give one an iinprea-Bion kindred to that which iB produced upon the mind of the student by the harangues of one Qorglas of Leontiuni whoje thankless task it was to argue against his own and every other man's convictions. And surely it is no great arrogance on the part of christian scholars, in this aire of advanced critical and exegetical knowledge, to assume that they are as well qualified to deal with the question as was that "assembly of learned and godly divineB and others" convened in Henry the Vil. chapel two centuries and a half ago. At all events the tendency to revision is an abiding tendency. It may be checked, but it cannot be destroyed. For thoughtful men throughout the church will continue to utter their protesting witness against stag nation, even though our Presbyteries should listen only to those timid counselors who cry with Btartled and pathetic voioe: "Touch not the ark, for it is venerable and sacred-venerable in Its very weakness, sacred even in its decay." John 8. Glundknnino Prstt, Kan., Feb. 20,1890. not mediaeval; ancient In that its forms of expression and proportion of doctrine and emphasis of truth will be drawn directly from the holy scriptures; modern in that it will view truth not from a position supposed to be behind the throne of Uod, but before that throne. It will thus represent Presbyterian ism not Presbyterlan-was-m, the church as It is and tries to be, not as it was in the time of Oliver Cromwell. Second-It will be brief; not attempting to solve all possible questlonB and to instruct on all imaginable points; reticent and humble regarding matters of God's secret counsel; outlining only the essential things. Third-It will be persplcnous; not in language requiring a theological education to understand, but in those scriptural words which, while permitting grrat latitude of interpretation within their plain limits, permit also no misunderstanding regarding the fundamental things of Balvatlon. Fouth-It will b� an irenicon; Beeking less to honor Calvin and his lBm, and to separate those who love the Lord JeauB Christ, than to unite in worship, love and labor all wholovo the Lord Jesus UhriBt; the well known Westminster Confession holding ministers straight while no longer bothering and blinding humble souls. Fifth-It will have vitalizing power; in thiB truly exhibiting both the Bible and our church; and in this most unlike the Westminister Confession, which has no vitalizing power when applied to a Soul either dead or juBt coming to life in Christ Buch a creed; brief, modest, perspicu-ous.lrenic.vltalizing; presentingthe Fath er revealed in Christ rather than a cold sovereign; anxleus rather to declare the saving love and power of God than to make known His self centered eternal decrees; such a creed I hope to see, a worthy and adequate expression of the faith, hope and love of the Presbyterian church. Yours truly, E. C. Ray. Topeka, Kan., Feb. 24, IBM. Bar. W. N. HoHarg-. My view of the proposed revision of our Confession of Faith is that it is timely. 1 believe that said Confession containB the body of Christian belief revealed in the Bible. I cordially adopt all its distinctive doctrines so far as they differ from the doctrines held by all other religious denominations commonly known as evangelical or otherwise. I I believe that the revision should pre sent such aspects of our doctrines as are now held by our clergy and laity, which implies some important changes of phraseology and excision of language in our present Confession which, however, suitable to the controversies of the seventeenth century, are now an embarass-m�nt to sincere inquirers after divine truth. As an alternative to the foregoing, I would let the Confession Btand as it now is, an historical document of Presbyterian belief in its time; and let our church in some authorative way adopt and publish a Bhort and comprehensive Confession, conformed to the prevalent belief of its members, to serve as a standard of | doctrine, to be accepted by ministers and elders, on their induction into office. ThiB latter alternative might suit the views of such Presbyterians as still inter pret the bible in the forms of the Seven teenth century, while It would meet the scruples of such as Qnd difficulty of adhesion to those forms, yet cordially accept the distinctive doctrines of the Pres byterian church as above defined. W. N. McHabo, Minister of the Presbyterian church. Blue Rapids, Kan , Feb. 26,1890. the Paulina system, Ha doctrines being a revision, do not limit It to verl'lage, but clearly taught by Paul. The longer I would eliminate doctrines that have been study the scriptures the more satisfied 1 a priceless blessing to the world: doo am that these doctrines rest upon divine trines older than the Westminister dl authority, and hence are true. The vines, older than Oalvlo, older than Au- statement of some of the doctrines may be Infelicitous in our Judgment-the words being badly chosen-while the truth taught rests on a scriptural basis, The foot-notes in the Confession of Faith either prove the assertions to whloh they refer, or they do not, I believe they have been carefully chosen and truth-fully applied; hence, If the doctrinal statements to which tbey are referred are I enrely Yours to be amended, the scriptures on which | Pastor "West Hide' they rest must first be amended, It is with them men who would revise the Confession have to deal. A lawyer learns atlyinbis practice to defer to competent authorities, to the decisions of the courts, and, as a christian minister, I am disposed to heartly accept as decisive whatever I find plainly stated in the Bcripttires or fairly deducible from them. While a few sentences might be changed so as to better expreiB to the Christian of to-day the thoughts that were before the minds of the Westmin Bter divines, I fear that when a begin ning at revision is entered upon different minds will not be satisfied until the old statements are eviscarated or blotted out. Hence with the light I have at present, I shall feel constrained to vote In the nega live on the question, "Do you desire a revision of the Confession of Faith!" Warren Mayo. Mankato, Kan., Feb. 28,1890. gustine: doctrines emphasised by Christ and His ap tbe core" wing in their cry for revision. There is a better way, Tbe way to do it Is to doit rljrxt'-Iy, constitutionally by amendment, according to tbe law of tbe churoh, and not throw the whole Confession Into tbe hands of any committee however wise, judioious anil sound, to be mutilated, maimed o'eveu bettered, and made more Biblical in its emphasis and more modern n its scope. If tbe question were prop rly before the Churoh some of us would have something tossy in favor of a new creed, embracing all that is relevant to the Calvinistlc system-In a lucid style, clear out statement and onmpact form, for both popular use and formal, official siibsorlptou. But, confined at we are by the overture, to tbe question of tbe re- Hev. Waireu Hero. Tbe Oalviniatlo system of theology bat Its name from John Calvin, Its most distinguished exponent In comparatively modem timet. Before that it wet known at the Augmtlolan system, getting Its name from Augustine the most eminent exponent of It In bit age. Berlin it wm never ohange. We can better afford to 'use tome of fiese men from our communion than to tamper with our symbols. Wm. Bovus. Hoxle.Kan., Feb. 80,1890, First-Because the difficulties of and objections to the Confession are greatly exaggerated, and proceed upon tbe refusal to give due weight to tbe explanations of sections to wuioh exceptions are taken, and the conviction that the same things may be alleged against the Word of God itself. Second-Became having honestly accepted tbe Oonfeision ot Faith at Con- ner, t�, a thane. I am not in favor of a revision of the Oonfeision of Faith. We need a "confession" rather than a "short creed," or a "declarative state- taming "tbe system of doctrine" taught ment" Tbe moral twdytue Bible tbe In the Holy Scriptures, and holding to flrtaer are mv conviction* that the syt- the reformed or Calvanlttio tyttem of tern of doctrine taught therein It fairly tntology. I can tee so reason why I presented ib the Oonfeition of Faith, should not oontlnue to bold tbe t oofet These, Indeed, who are to clamorous for tion at it now stands, and yet coMltteaUy adopted it conscientiously, and there be Ing no ohange In the Word slnoe that time, I see no need for a ohange In the Confession of Faith; hence I am opposed to the whole revision movement. First-Because I regard It as purely speculative. Seoond-I see nothing to be gained by it. Third-I see much to be lost by it, at least, In the way of time and energy, which should be engaged fot the salvation of dying men. Fourth-The most visible result of the discussion thuB far Is that It has given seme of the Oriental Geneva Gowns a chance, which has been well Improved, to display the wonderful amount of Inconsistency that may be wrapped in them. Sincerely yours, W. J, hatfibi.d, Columbus, Kan., Feb. 25,1800. visien of the Confession, I, for one, vote o, and assign as mv reason forso fining the statements briefly made above. Very trul v yours. W. H Pompubbt. Qarnett, Kan., Feb 25,1680. iter. Theo. Bracken. Iam decidedly opposed to any revision ofthe Westminister Confession of Faltb by tbe Presbyterian church. I know of no doctrinal advance which makes suob revision necessary or desirable. Yours trulv. Tiiko. BBAOtan. Hhllllpsburg, Kan, Feb. 88, 1880, Bev W. 4. Battel* Having previously studied and carefully com oared the Wetimlnater Oonfet-Nonof Faitb wife lb* Word of (fed, I Bev. W. It. Archibald "PIub ultra" Ib the motto of a progressive people. Scientists do not hesitate moment to expose and reject false theories. Ought theologians to be less courageous in rejeoting falBe dogma? I: my opinion any creed Incorporating met aphysicial speculations as a part of belief necessary to ChriBtiaulty is bound to become obsotote. Take this senseless philosophizing of doctrine out of all denominational creeds and there would notbeaufllilent propa left for any theological hair splitting iim� to rest upon I am not only in favor of revision but of a new creed. The Confession fathered by the action ot the Long Parliament has Berved a noble purpose. Wby revise it? I ssy hands oil, gentlemen. The Con fession is dear In the memory of some of the older members In our church. Then wby lacerate their feelings by revising it? I am in fovor of a new creed. First-Because the leading minds of the church are not agreed as to what the Oonfessioo teaches. When suoh men as Drs. Briggs, Schaff and McCosh differ with Drs. Patton, Shedd and Green as to what the Confession teacheB, it is time we had a creed that men of less intelligence need not dispute about Second-Because the Confession con tains metaphysical speculations that are not preached from tbe Presbyterian pul pit to-day, and ought to Uud no place in our creed. Thitd-For the reason that our Con fession contains non-essentials (to salvation) which are au injury to the cause of Christ and a hindrance to the cause of Christian unity. Fourth, for the reason that the Confession makes more of the sovereignty than it does of the love of God. Fifth, for the reason that thiB minimizing of God's love and magnifying of God's sovereignty "destroys nil probation and responsibility of man in receiving and rejecting the gos pel." Sixth, for the reason that the time h�.s come when the non-essentials that divide Christians Into sects are being for gotten,and when all Evangelical churches are looting and longing for a closer fellowship with each other. These considerations in view, I am in favor of a new creed, every statement of which to be so clear and simple that no person of ordinary intelligence need misunderstand it; so comprehensive that no essential truth will be omitted; so short that nothing non-essential will be in eluded, and so Scriptural that none of the Evangelical churches can with reason reject it. W. E. Aucuiiiald. .North Topeka, Feb. 28,1890. Bev. D. O. miner. My personal preference is for a new statement of doctrine. If the majority of the church should decide to retain the Westminster Confession as its standard there are a number of points in which I would like to see it changed. First and foremost the statement as to reprobation which is unscrlptural and that as to "elect Infants" that alwayB has to be explained. Nobody believes or preaches that any persons are created on purpose to be damned, or that any infants are lest My fears as to the attempts at revision, are that it would be an endless job of "tinkering,' and then not be fully satisfactory to anybody. For more than two hundred years since the Westminster Assembly Christians have been studying the Bible and should be able to report progress in its interprets tlun. I would like to see the co-operation of all reformed churches especially the Presbyterian order, in the preparation of a brief, simple, scriptural statement of tbe great doctrines of our faith that might be of practical every day use in our churches. In this short creed the love of God for the whole world should be made emphatic, and also the duty and the privilege of tbe church to ctTer gospel ealvatiun honestly and freely to "eveiy creature." I would be willing, with all due respect to our fathers, to bang the old war worn battle flag up in the armory and fling to tbe breeze anew blue banner with its bright stars shining out, proclaiming "For God so loved the World, that Ho gave his only begotten Son, that whoso ever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." D. O. MlLNBR, Manhattan, Kan., Feb. 26,1890. Bev. H. If. WUeon. There are a verv few objectionable phrases In our confession of Faitb. I will be glad if tbey can be changed, at tbey are misleading to some. As a whole I want the integrity of our standards to remain unaltered. I believe it is the best formulated system of Christian doctrines, i. e.the tbe nearest In harmony with the teachings of the Word ot God of any of the systems of tbe various denominations of Evangelical Christians. H. P. Wilsou. Clifton, Kan., Feb. 20,1890. Bev. B. ?. Swank. My views upon revision are briefly at follows: There might be a few changes phraseology whloh perhaps might more fully express tbe teachings of tbe Divine Word as understoodjby Calvin, but am positively opposed to anything more. Very respectfully, BO. Swank. Bennington, Kan., Feb. 25,1890. Bev. B. U Stewart, Am willing to revise with a view to correcting tome seemingly erroneout expressions, especially In chapters Hand 10, provided the full integrity of tbe tyttem of doctrine* contained In tbe Oonfessioo of Faltb shall be kept inviolate. Yourt truly, D. H.8t*wa�t, 81 Dorado, Kan., Feb. 24, '90, b*v * Arthar. When 1 tell you that I wm tbe favorite child of davrttd Christian mother, dtv tctndad from �n old blue Presbyterian Wok lor � aumbai of generation a, that I grew op In a strictly Presbyterian family, attended Presbyterian ohuroh and Bab-bath School exclusively, took a three years' Course In a Presbyterian academy, a four years' course in an eastern Presbyterian college and a three years' course In a Presbyterian Theological seminary under the Jrounger Dr. Hodge, you will not wonder that I stand by our Confession of Faith and Catechisms next to the Bible. For the sake of harmony I would be willing for tome minor verbal changes not affecting the general system. But am unalterably opposed to any revision bloh will materially affect that system of theology which our Confession derives from the divine word, Very respectfully youre, B. Anraim. White City, Kan., Feb. 25,1890. Rev. B. Mills. Born in the Presbyterian chnroh, baptized in early Infanoy, and just now entering upon my forty seventh year of service In its ministry, I am content with the Confession. 1 have ever believed It tx animo. It has never been an enoum-brauce or hindrance to me in my work, either in the pulpit or out of it Take that passage regarding eleot infants. The Confession says "elect Infants are saved," etc. I could never see that it implied that there were Borne infants somewhere who were not elected. John tells us in Rev. iv-4 that ho saw "twenty-four PreBbyterians in heaven." 1 do see that John Implied that there were no Methodists or Baptists, or Episcopalians, or Congregationalists In heaven. I am willing to admit for the encouragement of any disheartened Presbyterian and for the rebuke of any self sufficient outsider, that there is an intimation that these other people were not in the "Inner clr-, cle," and there is no Btatement aa to the quality of their robee and crowns and there is an endorsement of costumes of the twenty-four Presbyterians. These appear to mo as parallel cases. But for all this, I am more than will-nig for revision, and Bhall vote for it and for tbe following reason: First-It Ib a human production, cot inspired, and therefore faulty. Second-Amid its errors, grand and hoary and venerable as it is, are the following: It is too voluminous. This age wants a creed that ia compaot, brief and clear. The Confession in many places is ambiguous, and frequently to a cloBe thinker Inaccurate. Tnlrd-I am an eolectic, and I ever want the best, and we can make a better Confession at this day, to whioh the old one is unsuited. Fourth-The Confession it tinged with the bitterness of the age, that produced it and Bmirched with the smoke of the great battle, amidst which it was born. B. Mills. Mkade, Kansas, Feb. 20, lfc&O. Bev. Frlaton HoKIneev. I have long been in favor of revision or some ohange, My preference would be for a new and shorter Btatement of doctrines held by the church. But I shall be satifled with a suitable revision of the present C onfestion. As to what changes I would like, the action of the Chicago pres bytery meets my approval. Chicago Presbytery proposes: First- "That the full integrity of the system of doctrine as contained in our Confession of Faith be kept inviolate. Second-"That those forms of statements, especially in the third and tenth chapters, which convey or seem to convey errononeous or unscrlptural implications, and which are occasions of tumbling, be modified or eliminated; and Third-"That God'a love for the world and his command to preach the gospel to every creature be given fuller and more definite expression." Pbbston MoKihnby. Ottawa, Kan., Feb. 25, 1890. Bev, V. P. Sploioc. I can aay in a very few words what I think of tbe whole matter of revision. I can get along very well with the Confession as it is. While not regarding it at perfect, I look for little that will suit me any better when it comes from the hands of the revisers. The omission of any chapter or section will be regarded by the foes of our system as a surrender of some of the elements of Calvinism, one lota of which "am not willing to yield. I would have no special objeotion to omitting the word "elect" with reference to infants-chapter 10, section 8-but beyond this I have little desire for a change, Respectfully yours, O. P. Srwwo. Highland, Kan., Feb. 25,1890. Bev. Thome* M. BuebjuiM. The statements of doctrine in the Westminster Confession correspond very closely with the statements of scripture and are mucn better than anything we could get from the divines of our day with their widely different vlewt. I am favorable to tome changet leading to dearer and simpler statements. As a result of the present agitation something may be necessary to preserve the unity and harmony of tbe cburcb, but I see nothing better yet than to allow the grand old Confession to stand. Thomas M. Buch a* an. Otkaloosa, Kan., Feb. 27,1890. Bev. w. at. rocook. Personally I have no desire for revision, am satisfied with the Oonfoitionaaltli. However, when it became apparent that there wat a desire on the part of many for some verbal changes, I wat willing to favor It that far. But now, since some are strongly advocating a radical change of doctrine as well as of form, 1 am disposed to be very conservative. Perhaps would be well for the church to adopt brief Btatement of principles, leaving the Confession intact W. M. Fooock. Waverly, Kan. Feb. 25,1890. Bev. Abraui bleed. I am not in favor of the revision of our doctrinal tyttem, but am favorably disposed to suoh verbal changet as will more clearly express the doctrines contained in our "Confession of Faltb," and remove any just ground of orlticism or misapprehension. I am a Presbyterian, and a Oalvlnist. Yourt fraternally, Aiiiiah Stekd, Pastor Presbyterian Church. Belleville, Kan., Feb. 28,1890, Her.�. St. ijunet. I desire first, a new iOonfeislon, short and to tbe point, not a body of divinity, Second, If thlt oinnot be, a revision. In either case an elimtoatiou of "tupral.p-sarltnitm," in chapter 8, and in other obepUrt where It oropt out. In chapter,4, 10, section 8, strike out "elect" in both place* where it occur*. One thing teems to have been ever. QtHtimtt en third gaft.