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We have been reading with some interest the series of articles appearing in the Torch and Trumpetunder the main heading “The Pillars of Our Church.” This series is presented by different authors evidently to remind especially the members of the Christian Reformed Church of their heritage. The occasion is the centennial year of the existence of these churches as a denomination.
The State is the temporal and creaturely institution which originates in creation itself. From the very fact that man was created to rule and given the mandate of God to “Be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the, fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth,” stems the State. Adam was both head of the family and head of the earthly State. His dominion extended over all the earth.
Article 8. As many as are called by the gospel, are unfeignedly called. For God hath most earnestly and truly declared in his Word, what will be acceptable to him; namely, that all who are called, should comply with the invitation. He, moreover, seriously promises eternal life, and rest to as many as shall come to him, and believe on him.
The principal sees of the East were directly founded by the apostles—with the exception .of Constantinople—and had even clearer title to apostolic succession and inheritance than Rome. The Greek church took the lead in theology down to the sixth or seventh century, and the Latin gratefully learned for her. All the ecumenical Councils were held on the soil of the Byzantine empire in or near Constantinople (the church councils of Nicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon—H.V.), and carried on in the Greek language.
“And they . . . went out one by one, beginning at the eldest even unto the last,” John 8:9. The setting of these words is well known to all of us. Jesus had been troubled by a group of self-righteous Pharisees who tried to make Him speak contrary to Moses and presented to Him a woman who had been caught in the sin of adultery. Jesus answered them in a way which they did not expect. He told them that the one among them who was himself without sin should cast the first stone.
In our first article we called attention to the salient points of doctrine and admonition, as given by Paul, in these chapters from the first epistle of Paul to the Corinthians. We need not repeat.
The Church does assume different forms from the point of view of liturgy, the members that compose it, and especially from the point of view of the fact that the Church grows in the knowledge of the Scriptures. Yet we must remember that that is not the Scriptural idea of multiformity. It speaks always of the Church in this connection as a unity which is gathered from the beginning to the end of time.
The Free Offer The last time we were discussing the fact that the authors of “The Free Offer” postulate a real desire in God to save all those to whom the “Free Offer” of salvation is brought or proclaimed we compared this theory with the Westminster Confession and discovered that Murray and Stonehouse certainly do not believe but corrupt their own confession to which, nevertheless they subscribe. However, we must say still more about the paragraph in their “Free Offer of the Gospel” we were discussing in the last number of our paper.