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1988 Issue 6

The Westminster Assembly was called by ordinance of both Houses of Parliament and met for the first time on July 1, 1643. Nearly all the sessions were held in the Jerusalem Chamber in Westminster Abbey.

The first work which the Assembly undertook was the revision of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England. On October 12, 1643, when the Assembly was engaged in the revision of the sixteenth Article, there came an order from both Houses of Parliament to treat of such discipline and government as would be most agreeable to God's Word, and most apt to procure and preserve the peace of the Church at home and nearer agreement with the Church of Scotland and other Reformed Churches abroad. and also to treat of a directory for worship. It was in pursuance of this order that the Assembly prepared what are known as 'The Form of Presbyterial Church Government' and 'The Directory for the Public Worship of God'.

Preaching on politics is as American as apple pie. The Father of the American Revolution, Samuel Adams, used to call the New England clergy his "black regiment" because he could count on them to proclaim the message of liberty and independence from the pulpits across the land. Early American clergymen commonly preached "electric sermons" near election day to remind their parishioners of their civic responsibilities and to present a Biblical view of political affairs. The French observer, Alexis de Tocqueville, wrote that while religion in America takes no direct part in government, it "must be regarded as the first of their political institutions."

This chapter reminds us that the basic cause of Judah's destruction by Jehovah was her blatant and inexcusable rejection of the sovereignty and covenant of the Lord; and her submission to another sovereignty in Baal. When this happens, it is inevitable that the curses of the covenant, (Lev. 26 and Deut. 28), become operative.

Let's examine further the nature of saving faith. Good works or obedience to God's Law cannot be separated from a faith that leads to salvation. Just as one is to perform deeds appropriate to repentance, one is to give evidence that true faith is present.

What is Calvinism? Or the Confession of Faith in Harmony with the Bible and Common Sense. In a series of dialogues between a Presbyterian minister and a young convert. Dialogue XVI, Perseverance II.