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Dr. Paul Woolley’s series of articles on Presbyterians in America continues today with a segment on churches of Covenanter ancestry. Please keep in mind that these articles were written in the early 1950s and so much has changed since that time.

VI – The Churches of Covenanter Ancestry

[Reformed Presbyterian Advocate, 86.3 (March 1952): 25-26]

                    In English-speaking lands religious persecution has rarely been as vigorous as it was in Scotland in the seventh, eighth and ninth decades of the seventeenth century. Probably the only exception is the series of burnings in England under the Roman Catholic Queen Mary Tudor.
               The Scottish persecution was due to the loyalty of many Scots to the obligations which they had assumed a few years previous when they signed the Covenants which pledged them to maintain the reformed Christian faith in Scotland. The monarchs Charles II and James II would have no truck with Presbyterianism, and they were determined to force every one to worship under the authority of bishops, led by episcopally installed ministers, and following an episcopally imposed liturgy. There were thousands, however, who preferred to suffer rather than capitulate to an unrighteous demand.

               When William of Orange and his wife Mary, came to the throne of Great Britain in 1688, peace began to return to Scotland. They proceeded to reestablish the Church of Scotland as a presbyterian Church. However, the renewed Church did not formally reassume the obligation of the Covenants which their fathers had made before God. The acts which had made the Covenants and covenanting illegal were not repealed. Presbyterian government was not affirmed as of divine right.

               Consequently some of the faithful of the days of persecution continued to remain outside the established Church. They had no minister, but in 1706 a minister left the establishment to lead them. A licentiate soon joined him, but not until 1743 did the accession of a second minister make possible the constitution of a presbytery. Thus began the Reformed Presbytery, from which, in due course, grew Reformed Presbyterian Churches in Scotland, in Ireland, in Australia and in the United States. Reformed Presbyterians were popularly called Covenanters.

               The first Reformed Presbyterian minister came to this country from Scotland about 1751, and in 1774 the Reformed Presbytery was constituted. In 1782 many of the American Covenanters joined with the Associate Presbytery to form the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. Those who continued grew, however, and in 1809 constituted a synod.
               Today, however, there are two denominations in the United States which have descended from the Covenanters. This is the result of a difference of opinion which developed during the presidency of Andrew Jackson, a backwoods Democrat. It concerned the possibility of participating in the civil government of the country as a Christian. Would all such participation be sinful? Some held that it would not. Others insisted that the civil constitution must recognize God as the source of all power and Christ as the ruler of the nations before citizens might vote or participate in any fashion in directing the affairs of the civil state. As a consequence, from 1833 onward there have been two synods in the Reformed Presbyterian stream in this country.

               The Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America, General Synod allows its members to make their own conscientious decisions as to participation in civil affairs. One of its members, George H. Stuart, actively promoted the idea of the union of the various Presbyterian and Reformed Churches in the United States immediately after the Civil War. In 1950 the Church reported eleven congregations with 1,374 members. Regular readers of The Reformed Presbyterian Advocate know of its home and foreign missionary work and of the theological instruction at Cedarville, Ohio. Further description is, therefore, unnecessary.

               The Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America restrains its members from voting or other participation in the civil government under the present Constitution of the United States. It urges the amendment of the Constitution. Praise in worship is confined to inspired psalms and without instrumental accompaniment. Foreign missions are conducted in Syria and Cyprus and in Japan. Geneva College at Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, is controlled by the Synod. Their congregations frequently use the titled, “Church of the Covenanters.” In 1950, 5,339 members were reported in 75 congregations. The Theological Seminary is located in Wilkinsburg, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

LarnedSylvester02

On August 27th, 1820, the Rev. Sylvester Larned appeared for the last time before the congregation of the First Presbyterian Church of New Orleans. He had remained in the city during the summer’s “sickly season.” Death from fever was everywhere, and Rev. Larned has spent those weeks and months ministering to the city’s poor who could not afford to flee the city. It was in that context that “The whole of his discourse was solemn, and he himself was unusually affected by the considerations he presented to his hearers; and as he concluded, he wept.”

‘To me to live is Christ; and to die is gain.’ — Philippians 1:21.

“To a sentiment like this, my hearers, what can we conceive superior in dignity of thought, or loftiness of feeling? How majestic does he appear who can look with so triumphant an emotion upon the grave,—and that too, not in the sternness of philosophy, nor the torpor of fatalism, but simply in the meek and confiding hope of salvation in Jesus Christ! In the present case, also, there are some facts which render the spectacle still more illustrious. When St. Paul uttered the language of our text, he was a prisoner at Rome. The terrible Nero had hunted long and eagerly for the aged saint, till at last the apostle was seized and conducted to that imperial monster, who had so often feasted on the blood and tears of the Church. Here it was that the godly old man—chained to a soldier, to prevent his escape, uncertain what day might prove his last, and listening, at every sound, for the fearful tread of the executioner,—here it was, under circumstances which might have appalled the stoutest heart, that he exclaimed, more like a conquerer than a captive,

‘To me to live is Christ; and to die is gain.’

Now what, my hearers, is life? It comprises, you well know, two leading ideas—activity and enjoyment. Every man has some great object upon which his activities are more awake than upon any other. Wealth to one, Beauty to a second, Fame to a third, and so on; and, I trust, experimental religion to a few, calls forth that paramount solicitude and exertion which show most decisively in what direction the main current of the feelings is set. By this rule, if you look at the apostle Paul, you may find out, at a glance, the real spring of his movements. His whole efforts were bent to the single aim of promoting Christianity, not only abroad, but in his own bosom—not alone in the display of its external embellishments, but in the urgency of its work upon the affections and thoughts.

The same is true in regard to the idea of enjoyment. There is scarcely a man in a thousand who does not show to the eye of his acquaintances, and indeed to his own eye, if he be candid and impartial, the actual feelings by which he loves chiefly to be engrossed. The secret will come out. The votary of pleasure, of fashion, of gold, and, may I add, of the Saviour, are sure to betray the supremacy of their attachment to their separate objects of pursuit.

By this rule, too, St. Paul appears in a character the most unequivocal. His enjoyments were in Christ. All his views of happiness appear to have centered on the one absorbing principle of union with Him, ‘in whom,’ to use his own words, ‘tho’ now we see Him not, yet believing, we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.’ Well then did the great apostle of the Gentiles say, that ‘To him to live was Christ.’ But, my brethren, does not his language convey a sentiment of conviction and reproof to you? Could you adopt it, and assert that the Lord Jesus constitutes the primary object of your lives, either by making you supremely active in His service, or by making you supremely happy in His promises?

These are inquiries which lie, depend upon it, at the very basis of personal religion. Easy as it may be to carry about us the semblance of a hope for eternity, the Bible declares that God looketh at the life, not simply in its visible conformities and observances, but in the entireness of its dedication to Jesus Christ. But the venerable Paul goes on to say, that ‘to him to die was gain.‘ How is this? How should a poor frail mortal, who had known only one world, feel a confidence so strong in approaching the untried scenes of another? The reason, my hearers, plainly was, that he had an interest in the Saviour’s blood.

This inspired his triumph, and having this, Death, was to him, as it is to every believer, a subject of thanksgiving and praise. It released him from all his sorrows; and many a one have the children of God in walking through this vale of tears. The hand of God’s bereavement, or the reverses of His Providence, break in upon their happiness so often, that, ‘if , in this life only, they had hope in Christ, they were, of all men, most miserable.’

And besides, in entering the grave, the Christian leaves his sins behind him; and I know of no one consideration more glorious or more animating to a renovated heart. Certain it is, that by just how much we are assimilated to the Redeemer, by just so much will the bare danger of violating his commandments, or incurring his displeasure, be to us a source of the most lively uneasiness and anxiety.

And then, more than every thing else, the hour of death, however shrouded for the time in gloom, ushers the experimental believer into a better and a brighter world. To him it is that God has promised ‘an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away.’ The very moment life is gone, the certainty of Heaven comes home to him; and thus it happens that every one, rich or poor, bond or free, who can truly say, with the apostle, that ‘to him to live is Christ’, may say also with the same assurance, that ‘to die is gain.’

And here, my brethren, let me again inquire, if the sentiment of our text do not tacitly imply a reproach—or an expostulation to yourselves? In what sense is it that death, to you, would be ‘gain’?—Death, which will stop you short in your pursuits, and lay you motionless and cold, beneath the lids of the coffin—death, which will put forever beyond your reach the offers of mercy—which will cut short the busy activities of the world, and dismiss you at once to the tribunal bar of the Omnipotent God. Justly indeed might St. Paul contemplate these things with joy; for he was prepared to put off his clayey tabernacle. But, to us, the question comes most impressively up, whether we have any evangelical and well-grounded reason to believe that Christ has been formed in us the hope of glory?

“Now, my hearers, in looking at the subject which has been briefly examined, I cannot repress a remark, adapted, I think, to the serious reality of our present circumstances. It is this: At all times a becoming preparation for eternity presents itself to us as a most desirable attainment—but now more than ever, for the simple reason that now the distance between time and eternity seems to be most solemnly short. You can all attest how suddenly a few weeks past have hurried some of our fellow-beings from health to the tomb. Do not, however, mistake my meaning,—do not think I say this with a design to alarm. By no means. Your own good sense will teach you, that at a moment like the present, composure and tranquility, even without religion, ought carefully to be sought. But what I say is, have an interest in Jesus Christ. Then death will have no terrors, and the grave no victory.

Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for you is, that you may be saved. Why will you put off the business of your immortal souls? Why will you rush forward with the infatuation of madness and the rashness of despair, when the arms of a compassionate Saviour are thrown open to welcome you with all your sins and all your fears? I entreat, and God grant you may remember the appeal—I entreat you to be up and doing—to work while it is called today, because the night cometh,—and how soon or suddenly we know not,—wherein no man can work.”

———

By the exertions of this Sabbath he appeared to be much overcome, but complained of no indisposition until early the next morning, when he was seized with fever, which no medical skill or appliances could subdue; and on Thursday evening, the 31st of August, the very day on which he completed his twenty-fourth year, he resigned, in the full confidence of a blessed immortality, his soul to God.

To read more of the life of the Rev. Sylvester Larned, along with a small collection of his sermons, click here :
Life and Eloquence of the Rev. Sylvester Larned; first pastor of the First Presbyterian church in New Orleans, by Ralph Randolph Gurley (1844).

Dr. Woolley’s series of articles on Presbyterians in America continues today with a focus on the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and the Bible Presbyterian Church.  Our Monday and Tuesday posts will conclude this series. Do keep in mind that these articles were written in the early 1950s and so much has changed since that time.

V – The Orthodox Presbyterian Church
and the Bible Presbyterian Church

[Reformed Presbyterian Advocate, 86.2 (February 1952): 13-14.]

                    As was true last month, we are again pursuing the history of churches which have grown from the root which became the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.

               War often dims the doctrinal consciousness of church members and leaders. The loyalties and comradeship of the war overshadow other interests and then gradually replace them. The truth of the Word of God begins to be less important than the principles for which the state is, or is alleged to be, fighting. Soon everything is caught up in the enthusiasm for victory for the nation’s cause.

               This occurred at the close of the Civil War in the United States. The result was the reunion in 1869-70 of the Old School and New School Presbyterian Churches in the north. The separate existence of these churches was caused by important differences in their teaching about man’s condition. Was man a helpless sinner needing God’s regenerating power or could he decide his eternal destiny himself? The Old School said the former, the New School the latter. The two churches united without any reference to the solution of this and the other doctrinal divergences between them.

               In this way they gave notice to the world that doctrine was to be a minor matter from that time on it the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. and so it has proved to be. We have noted already the ease with which the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. absorbed the Cumberland Church with its divergent doctrine.

               In the 1920’s a number of Presbyterians showed serious concern about the undermining of the authority of the Bible. There was a country-wide expression of it in the World’s Christian Fundamentals Association which, of course, included many denominations. But individual Presbyterians such as Alexander, Allis, Buchanan, Macartney, Machen and Wilson were anxious to maintain the doctrinal loyalty of Presbyterianism to the Scriptures and the Westminster Standards. The effort came to center more and more about Princeton Seminary, until its doctrinal position was altered by the action of the General Assembly of 1929. Then Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia became the heart of the cause.

               Matters were brought to something of a crisis in the 30’s by the conduct of the Board of Foreign Missions. It was maintaining modernist missionaries in foreign countries, supporting educational institutions where little Christianity was taught, and had a signer of the modernist Auburn Affirmation as its Candidate Secretary. When the General Assembly refused to alter this situation, an Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions was founded to send out Presbyterians who could not conscientiously go under the existing board. The General Council threatened the members of the new board with disciplinary action and the next Assembly carried out the threat. It became clear that it was no longer practicable to try to be a true Presbyterian in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. One had either to hold modernist or indifferentist convictions or else refrain from putting one’s evangelical convictions into practice, just keeping them within very small local limits. This put all evangelical Presbyterians before a dilemma. Were they to preach the gospel as they believed it, or were they to accept the restrictions of the ecclesiastical leaders and allow modernists to represent them in Presbyterian courts, agencies, boards and other organizations? Some made one choice and some another.

               Those who chose to preach the gospel without restrictions became the Presbyterian Church of America. It was founded under that name in 1936, a few weeks after a number of them had been disciplined by the General Assembly for various evangelical offenses. One had run an evangelical summer camp for children, one had advocated refusing to give to the Board of Foreign Missions, and a number were supporting the preaching of the gospel abroad by conducting the Independent Board.

               The name of the church was soon changed to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church as the result of a suit instituted in the civil courts of Pennsylvania by the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.

               Today the Orthodox Presbyterian Church has about eight thousand members in nearly one hundred congregations scattered from Maine to California and from Wisconsin to Florida. Contributions for all purposes are about half a million dollars a year. There are fifteen foreign missionaries working in China (Formosa), Eritrea, Japan and Korea. A like number of home missionaries are supported in the United States. A Committee on Christian Education has an extensive publishing program, concerned largely with Vacation Bible School and Sunday Schools materials, but also including booklets on important matters of Christian principle in modern living. The congregations as not evenly distributed over the country and in many areas where one is wanted there are insufficient funds to make it possible.

               In 1937, less than a year after the organization of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, a number of its ministers demanded that it adopt a statement concerned with alcoholic beverages which would not only point out the sinfulness of drunkenness but would also state or imply that no Christian should use alcoholic beverages today. Since the Bible is the only binding rule of faith and practice for the Christian and since the Bible does not take this latter position, the Church could not, of course, do so either. It did adopt a statement calling attention to the danger of drunkenness as presented in the doctrinal standards of the Church at several places.

               Because the Church was unwilling to go further, a number of ministers separated from the organization and set up what has become the Bible Presbyterian Church. It was designed to emphasize, in addition to total abstinence, the premillennial return of Christ. A modification of the Westminster Confession which incorporated premillennial assertions was adopted as a part of the constitution of the new Church. The Bible Presbyterian Church has about eight thousand communicants. In 1950 there were sixty-seven congregations. Contributions for all purposes total about $650,000 per annum. The congregations are scattered throughout the nation except for New England. The Church does not conduct foreign missions directly as it channels its missionary service through the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions, whose control and policies are now similar to those of that Church. The board has seventy-seven missionaries in 12 different countries.

               The introduction into its standards by the Bible Presbyterian Church of the novelty mentioned above is an indication of the fact that the Church is primarily a Church with a modern fundamentalist emphasis. It has relatively little interest in the historic tradition of Presbyterianism, but is sensitive to the changing currents of American evangelicalism.

               On the other hand, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church was founded for a very specific purpose—to carry on the spiritual succession of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. It is anxious to retain all of the values of the study, thought, prayer, experience and energy which have gone into the building of the historic church since the time of the apostles, so long as that tradition is true to the Scriptures. A pertinent question is—Why is that Church then not larger?

               There are probably three reasons for this, of varying importance. One is simple that people are emotional, and many of those who are ruled by emotion prefer to cling to familiar ties rather than to join what is, in many cases, a strange and uncongenial set of people. Secondly, many people believe it is of more importance to be connected with a large organization than a small one. Size and influence outweigh other considerations in these cases.

               In the third instance, the fault lies with the members of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. They have not by life and word made clear enough their allegiance to the ever old and ever new gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ as presented by historic Presbyterianism. They have failed to make plain the gospel testimony of the Church and so it has been misunderstood or neglected.

We continue today with Dr. Woolley’s series of articles on Presbyterians in America. Do keep in mind that these articles were written in the early 1950s and so much has changed since that time. Tomorrow’s post will focus on the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and the Bible Presbyterian Church.

Presbyterians in America
by Rev. Paul Woolley

IV – Cumberland Presbyterians

[Reformed Presbyterian Advocate, 86.1 (January 1952): 1-2.]

               At the end of the America Revolution, this country entered upon a period of tremendous expansion.  Thousands crossed the Appalachian Mountains to settle in the Middle West.  There they found almost no churches.  What could they do?  The Methodists sent circuit riders throughout the area.  The Baptists had hundreds of backwoods preachers.  In neither instance were these men well-educated, or adequately prepared for a proper ministry.  The Presbyterian Church had not enough men for its settled congregations.  How meet the need?  Some Presbyterians who settled in Kentucky said, We can find enough exhorters.  They have not had any appreciable education and they are not entirely in accord with Presbyterian doctrine.  But they will fill the gap.

               So these Kentuckians asked the Presbyterian General Assembly for permission to ordain men who did not meet the educational standards of the Form of Government of the Church.  The debate was earnest, but the Assembly decided that that was not the honest way to meet the need.  After waiting some years, the patience of one Kentucky Presbytery wore out.  It felt it must provide more ministers, and proceeded to ordain men who did not meet the requirements.  After being dissolved for disregard of the standards of the Church, it reconstituted itself as an independent Presbytery, and thus brought into existence, in 1810, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

               The Church revised the Westminster Confession in order to remove statements about phases of God’s gracious election.  They objected particularly to the notion of reprobation.  Thus the Cumberland Church attracted to it persons who tended toward an Arminian theology but who liked Presbyterian principles of worship and government.  It became a large Church in the southern part of the United States and at the beginning of the twentieth century had about 195,000 members.  The great majority of them were in the south central states, though there were some as far north as Pennsylvania and Illinois.

               In the early years of the century the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. modified its doctrinal standards.  It made certain changes in the Westminster Confession.  It added two new chapters to the Confession.  It adopted an additional Declaratory Statement explaining portions of the Confession.  The major changes were designed to explain the Confession in such a way as to make it palatable to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church with its Arminian tendencies.  The objective was obtained.  The majority of the Cumberland Church agreed to union with the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.  This was effected in 1906.  Thus the so-called Northern Presbyterian Church came to have great numbers of congregations scattered throughout the south in competition with the congregations of the (Southern) Presbyterian Church in the U.S.

               A minority of the Cumberland Church refused to enter the union.  It was composed of those more consciously Arminian, on the whole, than the unionists.  Probably it numbered only about 15,000 people.  It constituted itself vigorously, however.  Now it has grown into a church of 81,000 members, having congregations as far east as Ohio, as far north as Michigan, and as far west as California.  Between 1916 and 1936 it lost ground.

               In the last fifteen years, it has more than made up what it lost.  Foreign missions are conducted in the Far East and in South America.  The foreign missionary budget is about $90,000 per annum.  Headquarters of the national activities, which include a large publishing plant, are in Nashville, Tennessee.  Affiliated with the Church is Bethel College of McKenzie, Tennessee, co-educational, with four hundred students.

               Soon after the Civil War the Negro members of the Cumberland Church organized congregations separate from the white members.  Ultimately they sought complete independence, and this was granted by the General Assembly of 1869.  Thus began the Colored Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  It was not affected as radically by the 1906 union as was the older Church, and continued its organization intact.  Its doctrinal principles are similar to those of the other Cumberland Church.  Membership figures are available only in round numbers, totaling about 30,000.

               Cumberland Presbyterianism is essentially for semi-Arminians.  Believing in final perseverance but not in unconditional election, they like Presbyterian government and worship.  The question is, however, What does the Bible teach?  “To the law and to the testimony! If they speak not according to this word, surely there is no morning for them.” (Isa. 8:20).

We continue today with Dr. Woolley’s series of articles on Presbyterians in America. Do keep in mind that these articles were written in the early 1950s and so much has changed since that time.

Presbyterians in America
by Rev. Paul Woolley

III – The Presbyterian Church in the United States

[Reformed Presbyterian Advocate, 85.12 (December 1951): 97-98]

               The United States was a lively place in which to live in the thirties, forties and fifties of last century. Unusual ideas were popping up here, there, and every where. There was just as much, perhaps more, pressure to conform to conventional opinion then as now. But the radicals were bolder and the opposition came usually from the mass public, not from the national government. An idea which awakened tremendous opposition, but which was unhesitatingly championed in the face of the mob fury, was the abolition of slavery.

               Early in the century there were strong opinions among Presbyterians favoring the gradual ending of slavery. But in the thirties views began to harden in both directions. After the division into the Old School and New School denominations, a difference between the atmosphere of the two in the matter of slavery was obvious. The New School church contained a number of ardent anti-slavery men. The Old School seemed generally to take the position that slavery as such could not be condemned on a biblical basis, but that there was much that was very un-Christian about existing American slavery. The New School had few southern adherents in any case. Its New England theology was never popular in the south. Long before the outbreak of war in 1861, the New School had sloughed off its small southern presbyteries because of the slaveholding principles.

               When the war came, however, the Old School Church was strong in both north and south. The General Assembly which met the month after the firing on Fort Sumter was faced with a vigorous northern demand that it declare that the Church supports the federal union. The opposition was vigorous, led by Charles Hodge, the famous Princeton theologian. However, it regrettably failed and the Assembly committed the Church to the maintenance of the union. Presbyteries of the south rallied behind the conviction that it was improper for the Church to give voice to a political utterance. In December, commissioners from all parts of the confederacy packed bags and journeyed to Augusta, Georgia. There, in the First Presbyterian Church, the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America was born, and James Henley Thornwell wrote a noble address to the Churches of Jesus Christ throughout the world affirming its principles.

               At the end of the war the Church of the south not only changed its name—to the Presbyterian Church in the United States—but it received large accessions of membership from the border states. The northern Church entered upon a wild riot of super-patriotism. It demanded that any minister or member who came from the south and wanted to join a presbytery or a local church must declare that he had always favored the union or admit that he had been a traitor. The application of this sort of nonsense drove many congregations into the Presbyterian Church in the United States (the name of the southern Church differs from that of the northern only by the omission of the words “of America” at the end.)

               The south was poor after the war and reconstruction was, of course, bungled by the federal government. But gradually a new south has come into being, a brave, vigorous, lively south. With it the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. has grown, too.

               Today it numbers approximately 702,000 communicant members and contributions from living donors totaled over forty million dollars in the year ending in 1951. It added on profession of faith in that year nearly 30,000 members. Its growth is now, proportionately, considerably more rapid than that of the northern Church. In five years its communicant membership has increased by more than 18 per cent.

               Foreign missionaries, about 380 in number, are working in eight countries. In 1950-51 over 10,000 professions of faith were made on the foreign field. The income of the Board of World Missions, under the stimulus of a Program of Progress, is about one and three-quarter million dollars in a year. The Board represents in general a genuinely evangelical program. For example, its Japan Mission held recently that its limited force of men and money could best be used in other ways than in supporting the proposed Japan Christian University for which money is now being raised. The University’s connection with Christianity is tenuous, and the Mission wanted to keep on with the main job.

               While the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. has preached the gospel to the negro throughout its history, it is only now abolishing segregated presbyteries and a segregated synod. It has moved more slowly than it might have in carrying out the gospel in this sphere of social relationships. Unfortunately loyalty to biblical doctrine often coincides with disloyalty to biblical practice in southern Presbyterianism.

               Today the burning question among Presbyterians in the south is the issue about uniting the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. and the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. into one Church. The climate of opinion of our day is favorable and modernist elements in the north particularly, but also in the south, are bending every effort to accomplish this union. The southern Church has maintained, as against the northern, certain principles such as the parity in church courts of ruling and teaching elders, and the abstention of the church from participation in political issues. The great difference, however, lies in the fact that the proportion of believers in modernism is much higher in the north than in the south, both among the laity and among the clergy. The evangelicals of the south do not relish the prospect of domination by the modernist hierarchy of the northern Church which is firmly in control and which, because of the larger size of the northern Church, would be able to perpetuate that control over the united Church. Bible-believers in the Presbyterian Church, U.S. have organized the Continuing Church Committee. Through its weekly organ, The Southern Presbyterian Journal, it is combating modernism and union. It also gives assurance that should union be voted, a Presbyterian Church opposed to modernism will continue to exist in the south.

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