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This Day in Presbyterian History:   

A Burden for the Care of the Churches

The assessment was made by a fellow minister that nothing would come from the beginning church, that it was not likely to increase in the city.  How that minister was wrong, for the Lord was behind this first church and He was also using the missions-pastor to grow the church.

Jedidiah Andrews was one of the seven Presbyterian ministers who began the first Presbytery in Philadelphia.  He was the only one who had been born in the future United States of America.  Born on July 7, 1674 in Higham, Massachusetts, Jedidiah went to Harvard College, and graduated in 1694.

Moving to Philadelphia three years later, and  already ordained in the gospel ministry, he began to preach in a building in cooperation with the Baptists in that city.  However, the arrangement did not last long, through an oversight of a meeting day by Mr. Andrews.  The Baptists were offended at that, with the result that the cooperation was hindered between the two churches.  That bought about the assessment by the Baptist minister which was found in the first sentence of this historical devotional.  But God was in the picture now, and the Presbyterians did grow after they built their own structure on Market Street between Second and Third Street in 1704. For years, in fact, it was the only Presbyterian church in Philadelphia.

In 1706, Jedidiah Andrews and six other ministers raised up the Presbytery of Philadelphia, the first such organization in the colonies.  From day one, Rev. Andrews was the recording clerk of the Presbytery, and later of the Synod, until his death in 1747.

Jedidiah Andrews had a missionary heart.  Frequently, he went on preaching tours in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  The nuclei of many a congregation was formed by him during those years.   He felt a burden for the care of the churches.

Words to Live By: 
Pray this day for your pastor.  Having been one for 38 years, this contributor knows something of the cares of the church which press upon your shepherd of the sheep.  Go to him and ask him to give you in general, the duties of his work week.  Then tell him that you will remember him regularly in those duties.  That will greatly encourage him to keep on keeping on in the work of the gospel, and the growth of the congregation, both in spiritual and temporal growth.

Through the Scriptures: Isaiah 1 – 3

Through the Standards: Proof texts for the third commandment

Deuteronomy 5:11
“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes  his name in vain.” (ESV)

Matthew 6:9
“Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name.” (ESV)

1 Peter 3:15a
“But in  your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy . . .” (ESV)

Malachi 3:16
“Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another.  The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before  him of those who feared the LORD and esteemed his name.” (ESV)

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