Prohibited Marriages: Consanguinity & Affinity

Charles HodgeSystematic TheologyVol. 3, pp. 407-421. Prohibited Marriages. That certain marriages are prohibited is almost the universal judgment of mankind. Among the ancient Persians and Egyptians, indeed, the nearest relations were allowed to intermarry and in the corrupt period of the Roman Empire, equal laxness more or less prevailed. These isolated facts do not invalidate… Read More Prohibited Marriages: Consanguinity & Affinity

The Necessity of Doctrinal Standards

Louis BerkhofIntroduction to Systematic Theologypp. 23-27 The necessity of dogmas may be argued in various ways. Even the followers of Schleiermacher and Ritschl defend it in spite of their subjectivism, and notwithstanding their mysticism and moralism. Several reasons at once suggest themselves, why Christianity cannot dispense with dogmas [i.e. formally stated doctrinal standards]. 1. Scripture… Read More The Necessity of Doctrinal Standards

Midnight Sabbath and the Light of Nature

It seems most consonant to the Law and Light of Nature, and Scripture reason, that (unless God otherwise determine it himself) the beginning of the Day should be in the morning, that is, after midnight, rather than the evening before. If we consider the evening before, or the evening after, there will be perpetual danger of encroachment either upon the religious time, or the worldly time, to the prejudice of one of them; but especially of religion in most men.… Read More Midnight Sabbath and the Light of Nature

When Does the Sabbath Begin?

Christ was laid in the grave on Friday night, being the preparation to the great Sabbath, which followed. The women who rested and came not to the grave till Sunday morning (to use our known names) are said to rest according to the commandment—as if coming sooner had not been resting according to it. His lying in the grave must be accounted to be some time before the Friday ended, otherwise he could not have been three days in the grave. And therefore a part of Friday’s night is reckoned to the first day, then the whole Sabbath or Saturday is the second, and lastly a part of the night, to wit, from twelve o’clock at night, belonging to the first day or Sunday, stands for the third. And so he arose that morning, while it was yet dark, at which time, or thereabouts, the women came to the grave, as soon as they could because of the Sabbath, and therefore their seventh day Sabbath ended then, and the first day Sabbath began.… Read More When Does the Sabbath Begin?

How to be in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day

This is the main thing wherein the Sabbath is to be sanctified, and wherein it represents Heaven, to be abstracted from the world, and to be living above in our spirits, eminently ravished in Spirit, as abstracted from things, we are to be taken up with on other days. The frame of a Sabbath should be a kind of ravishment, wherein not only we are not taken up with working our ordinary callings, but we do go about prayer and other spiritual duties in a more heavenly way than on other days, and that with a difference in our frame, being more elevated and spiritual, we should be other men in more divine contemplation. This is the main thing called for in sanctifying the Sabbath.… Read More How to be in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day

The Crucial Value of Experimental Religion

Robert Burns (1789–1869)The Works of the Rev. Thomas HalyburtonIntroductory Essay, pp. 9-21. There are two extremes into which professing Christians of the present day are very apt to fall. While one class adopts a system of doctrinal sentiments without any practical regard to their influence on the heart and on the life; others satisfy themselves… Read More The Crucial Value of Experimental Religion

Paedo-Baptism, Yes; Paedo-Communion, No.

A common objection against infant baptism by credo-baptists is that if children are to be baptized, then, for the sake of consistency, they ought to also be admitted to the Lord’s Supper. In other words, the logical conclusion of infant baptism necessarily leads to the absurdity of infant communion; paedocommunion is obviously unbiblical and absurd,… Read More Paedo-Baptism, Yes; Paedo-Communion, No.

Paedo-Communion is Unscriptural | Herman Witsius

All the words of our Lord’s command (with respect to this sacrament) are so expressed that they cannot belong to infants, who can neither receive the bread nor eat it, unless it be chewed for them or soaked. For “babes are fed with milk, and not with meat” (1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5:12). Infants cannot examine themselves nor discern the Lord’s body, nor show his death, all which we have just heard the apostle requires of communicants. “Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup; for he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.”… Read More Paedo-Communion is Unscriptural | Herman Witsius