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Rev. Stewart is a Protestant Reformed minister, presently working in Northern Ireland. In connection with Saint Patrick’s Day, March 17, we thought that it would be worthwhile to contribute to the Standard Bearer several articles on the patron saint of Ireland. Patrick is undoubtedly the world’s most famous patron saint. Few know the patron saint of Spain or Poland outside of those nations, but Patrick has attained international fame. Patrick is also the patron saint of fishermen—and almost every other occupation—along the River Loire in France. There are churches named after Patrick all over the world, including in Rome itself....

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In answer to the question, “Should small children be allowed to participate in the Lord’s Supper?”, the Reformed position has always been that this is impossible. But then we understand by small children those who have not yet reached the years of discretion. The reason is evident. The sacrament of baptism was instituted for infants as well as for adults, but the Lord’s Supper was instituted for conscious believers. In baptism we are passive, We are baptized.

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To attempt to set forth the “social principle or principles” of a particular portion of God’s Word, certainly presupposes that such “principle or principles” are to be found. But the question immediately arises, are there such principles? Does the Word of God purpose to set forth “social principles?” Furthermore, is not this term “social” a dangerous one? These, of course, are only a few of the many questions that can and, no doubt, do arise when considering a subject such as the one assigned. 

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The principles of Christian giving, in the offerings in the churches, are set before the church of all ages for its instruction and admonition, in the offerings and sacrifices instituted in the church of the old Dispensation. These offerings and sacrifices that God gave to His church through the agency of the prophetic Scriptures and their authors, were visible and tangible representations of the invisible and abstract principles of the true religion of Jehovah God.

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It was common practice in the Reformed Churches for the participants in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper to drink of the wine from a common cup. In rather recent years the change has been made in many churches from the common or communal cup to the individual cup. By the former is meant a rather large cup from which many communicants drank. In larger congregations more than one of these cups would be used. By the latter is meant a small cup or glass which would hold enough wine for one person, so that, each person would have his...

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The purpose of this article is to discuss a problem which often confronts the diaconate of our churches. It happens repeatedly that when some of our people reach the age where they are unable to provide for their own livelihood, and do not have the necessary reserve to support themselves, they turn to the state to apply for state aid, or old age pension, rather than to appeal to the deacons of the church. The question has often been raised, Is this proper? Should the church and the deacons approve of this, tacitly consent to it?

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The subject of the proper relation of consistories to the existing societies, leagues or federations is often a matter of doubt or misunderstanding. In some instances this may even be stating the matter rather mildly. On the one hand, at the simple suggestion of some jurisdiction or supervision by the consistories, one happens upon the outcry of hierarchy. On the other hand, in discussing the relation of consistories to the above named organizations, we find the opinion that consistories should exercise not only supervision, but also jurisdiction over all the activities.

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As must be obvious to the reader, the above caption refers to the well-known and much discussed article 31 of our church order. Therefore the question whether this particular article should be revised naturally falls under the much broader question of the revision of the entire church order. This matter was before our synod in 1950, occasioned by a letter addressed to our synod by the synod of the Reformed Churches of the Netherlands, in which cooperation was sought in the study of a possible revision of the church order, and grounds were adduced for the necessity of such a...

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Prof. Hanko is professor emeritus of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Controversy in America   The two different camps found a home in the CRC. Because the followers of Kuyper were among the more educated among the people in the Netherlands, they soon occupied positions of leadership in the denomination in America and became influential in Calvin College. But the differences between the immigrants from the Secession Churches and the Kuyperian Churches were sharp and deep. The two groups not only did not get along in the Netherlands (even though both churches merged in 1892),...

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Prof. Hanko is professor emeritus of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. The Elders and Discipline   The primary calling of the elders is discipline. Their work is to keep the church, insofar as that is possible here on earth, pure. It would do the churches well, especially those of the Reformed tradition, to study Calvin’s teachings on this all-important matter. Schaff says that: Discipline is so important an element in Calvin’s Church polity, that it … was the cause of his expulsion from Geneva, the basis of his flourishing French congregation at Strassburg, the chief...

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