Five Lessons Learned Through Exile in Samuel Rutherford Monday, May 28 2012 

“Letter CXCII
To Carletown.

Much Honoured Sir,–I will not impute your not writing to me, to forgetfulness: however, I have One above who forgetteth me not; nay, He groweth in his kindness. It hath pleased his holy Majesty, to take me from the pulpit, and teach me many things in my exile and prison, that were mysteries to me before. As, 1. I see his bottomless and boundless love and kindness, and my jealousies and ravings, which, at my first entry into this furnace, were so foolish and bold, as to say to Christ, who is Truth itself, in his face, Thou liest. I had well nigh lost my grips. I wondered if it was Christ or not; for the mist and smoke of my perturbed heart, made me mistake my Master Jesus. My faith was dim, and hope frozen and cold, and my love, which caused jealousies, had some warmness and heat and smoke, but no flame at all: yet I was looking for some good of Christ’s old claim to me. I thought, I had forfeited all my rights, but the tempter was too much upon my counsels, and was still blowing the coal. Alasl I knew not well before, how good skill my Intercessor and Advocate, Christ, hath of pleading, and pardoning me such follies. Now He is returned to my soul with healing under his wings, and I am nothing behind with Christ now, for He hath overpaid me by his presence, the pain I was put to by on-waiting, and any little loss I sustained by my witnessing against the wrongs done to Him. I trow, it was a pain to my Lord, to hide Himself any longer. In a manner, He was challenging his own unkindness, and repented Him of his glooms ; and now what want I on earth, that Christ can give to a poor prisoner? O, how sweet and lovely is He now! Alas, that I can get none to help me, to lift up my Lord Jesus upon his throne, above all the earth ! 2. I am now brought to some ‘measure of submission, and I resolve to wait till I see what my Lord Jesus will do with me. I dare not now nick-name or speak one word against the all-seeing and overwatching providence of my Lord. I see, Providence runneth not on broken wheels; but I, like a fool, carved a providence for mine own ease to die in my nest, and to sleep still, till my gray hairs; and to lie on the sunny side of the mountain, in my ministry at Anwoth. But now, I have nothing to say against a borrowed fire-side, and another man’s house, nor Kedar’s tents, where I live, being removed far from my acquaintance, my lovers and my friends. I see, God hath the world on his wheels, and casteth it as a potter doth a vessel on the wheel. I dare not say, that there is any inordinate or irregular motion in providence; the Lord hath done it, I will not go to law with Christ, for I would gain nothing of that. 3. I have learned some greater mortification, and not to mourn after or seek to suck the world’s dry breasts. Nay, my Lord hath filled me with such dainties, that I am like to a full banqueter, who is not for common cheer. What have I to do to fall down upon my knees and worship mankind’s great idol, the world? I have a better God than any clay god; nay, at present, as I am now disposed I care not much, to give this world a discharge of my life-rent of it, for bread and water. I know, it is not my home, nor my Father’s house, it is but his footstool, the outer close of his house, his out-fields and moor-ground. Let bastards take it, I hope, never to think myself in its common, for honour or riches; nay, now, I say to laughter, thou art madness. 4. I find it most true, that the greatest temptation out of hell, is, to live without temptations ; if my waters should stand, they would rot. Faith is the better of the free air, and of the sharp winter storm in its face. Grace withereth without adversity. The devil is but God‘s master fencer, to teach us to handle our weapons. 5. I never knew how weak I was, till now, when he hideth himself, and when I have him to seek, seven times a day. I am a dry and withered branch, and a piece of a dead carcass, dry bones and not able to step over a straw. The thoughts of my old sins are as the summons of death to me. And of late, my brothers case hath stricken me to the heart. When my wounds are closing, a litte riftle causeth them to bleed afresh. So thin skinned is my soul that I think, it is like a tender man’s skin. that may touch nothing. Ye see how short I would shoot of the prize, if his grace were not suflicient for me. Woe is me for the day of Scotland, woe, woe, is me for my harlot mother ; for the decree is gone forth. Women of this land, shall call the childless and miscarrying wombs blessed. The anger of the Lord is gone forth, and shall not return, till He perform the purpose of his heart against Scotland. Yet he shall make Scotland a new sharp instrument having teeth, to thresh the mountains, and fan the hills as chaff. The prisoner’s blessing be upon you.

Yours in his sweet Lord Jesus, Aberdeen, March 14, 1637. S, R.”


Letters by Samuel Rutherford, pg. 312-313

Time to Edit Those Reformed Confessions Wednesday, May 23 2012 

I have recently finished a 122 page dialogue I had with a writer for the Still Waters Revival Books website on the issues of the Trinity and Divine Simplicity that used to be here.  I have recently found out that publishing someone’s email is a copyright infringement even if they do not claim a copyright on their email.  I’ll wait to see if he will allow his comments to be seen. He was the first to actually acknowledge some issues that Robert Letham did not want to touch and he gave me a full hearing so I commend him for  his devotion to truth. The SWRB guys have consistently struck me as honest truth seekers (very rare these days),  which is why I have referred my readers to their writings frequently.

Mr. Dodson and I overturned every stone that is a part of this subject and I believe, including my correspondence with Perry Robinson [],  I have touched upon everything that can be said on this issue.  On this blog I have a page that summarizes a defense of the Nicene Creed 325 [Drake’s Triadology Stuff ]. It includes over 200 pages of my writing and that does not include the comments. A Theological Introduction to the Mystagogy of Saint Photios by Joseph Farrell and Photius’ Mystagogy run about 80 pages of history, exegesis and polemical argument. David Waltz, holds the exact same position as I do on the doctrine of the Trinity and he has provided over 300 pages of writing and polemical discourse that deals with the history, the greek exegesis and polemical dialogue with his commenters here:

I  have provided or linked about 600 pages of work plus a couple hours of video specifically on the metaphysical explanation of the doctrine of the Trinity. I believe I have fully justified my separation from the Reformed Church and now call on the Reformed Church to correct their confessions to read as does the Nicene Creed 325 with its affirmation of the monarchy of the Father and the eternal generation of the son, and the 381 Constantinoplian Creed’s  affirmation of a single procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father alone. The wording in both of these creeds needs clarification but these essential doctrines have been abandoned by the Reformed Church.  George Gillespie says in Miscel. Quest. Chapt 10. Presbyt. Arm vol. ii. p. 53,

“it is no shame for an Augustine to write a book of Retractions. It is the duty not only of particular Christians, but of reforming, yea reformed, yea the best reformed Churches, whensoever any error in their doctrine, or any evil in their government or form of worship, shall be demonstrated to them from the Word of God (although it were by one single person, and one perhaps of no great reputation for parts or learning, like Paphnutius among the many learned bishops in the Council of Nice), to take in and not shut out further light, to embrace the will of Christ held forth to them, and to amend what is amiss, being discovered unto them.”

I have shown to you that the doctrines of Absolute Divine Simplicity, the Filioque and the idea that the one God is a Single subject nature which contains 3 other predicate=relation-persons is not scriptural. These doctrines are neither directly taught in scripture, nor are they capable of being deduced from Scripture. They are a remnant of the Neoplatonism that came into the Christian Church very early through Clement, Tertullian, Origen and the man that came to be known as Pseudo Dionysius.  These principles are designed to buttress the idea of hierarchical authority. How many pages of work do I need to provide before the Reformed Church turns away from Neoplatonism? 700? 1000? 2000? How many?

Belligerent Know-Nothing Bill Maher is Coming to Louisville My Home Town Friday, May 18 2012 

Bill Maher is coming to Louisville. I have listened to hundreds of hours of Bill Maher’s scathing criticisms of Christianity and his  never ending straw man (Which I have proven in my refutations of John Loftus) storage chest known as his movie Religulous. Maher is a professional liar and takes full advantage of the ignorance of a Christian people deceived by Thomas Jefferson and bereft of their heritage. He makes plenty of unfounded assertions and defames the Christian religion whenever possible but the question is, will he ever provide an alternative theory for a Civilization to believe? Here is the task before him in 4 points to see if his atheistic empiricism can in fact provide a theory for mankind as a whole or even a single individual:

1. Bill, how do you define sensation and show how sensation produces perception and abstract ideas?

2. What language should we use to talk about the material world? Mary Louise Gill refuted all attempts made to provide a theory of individuation in Aristotle (Making Logic [The Law of Contradiction] impossible; thus making language impossible.) in her article: “Individuals and Individuation in Aristotle” (Unity, Identity, and Explanation in Aristotle’s Metaphysics (Oxford: Clarendon Press,1994).

i. If we take matter to be the principle of individuation how do we
individuate one unit of matter from another? Some will say, “the
spatio-temporal location”. Yet this is circular. How do we individuate
spatio-temporal locations? By the matter contained in that space. So
the matter is individuated by the space and the space by the matter.

ii. Some have tried to use matter and quantity as the principle of
individuation. Gill replies, “this criterion will not work for
identical twins, two drafts of water from the same fountain, or Max
Black’s pair of spheres, which have qualitatively identical matter.”
(pg. 62)

iii. Another attempt has made material continuity the principle of
individuation. Gill speaks to this issue on page 66,
“If two statues of Socrates are made out of the same bronze at
different times, the statues are distinct because the time during
which the matter constitutes the two is interrupted. In the interval
the bronze survives the destruction of the first statue and the
generation of the second…If this is Aristotle’s answer to the puzzle
about material migration, then continuity of matter is not sufficient
even to account for weak individuation. Continuity of time is also

iv. Some have tried to use form as the principle of individuation. Gill replies,
“But it is not very good evidence…Some defenders of the thesis will
respond that the forms of Callias and Socrates differ because they are
realized in different parcels of matter. But then form is not after
all the principle of individuation, since the matter, rather than the
form, differentiates the particulars.” (pg. 68-69)

3. Science relies on a formal fallacy called asserting the consequent, a.k.a. Induction. How do you get around this problem Bill? Induction, as it functions in logic and helps develop scientific laws, refers to a process of observing an object or event and drawing a universal conclusion that has yet to be observed.  We believe that all induction is a formal fallacy.  This is not a novel position.  Others have espoused this operational model: John Dewey (The Quest for Certainty, and Knowing and the Known), William James (Pragmatism in Focus), and Bertrand Russell, though not technically a pragmatist (Limitations of Scientific Method). Clark also suggests Reliable Knowledge by Harold A. Larrabee.

Atomism was used by many scientists like Galileo to invent things but the theory was proven false in the 1930s with the splitting of the atom.  The same could be said of milk fever. This problem was at first cured in cows by an injection of antiseptic into the cow’s udder. Later an injection of distilled water and compressed air alone (which was included in the prior injection) cured the milk fever. These theories later proved false. BUT THEY WORKED. Today, milk fever is treated by a calcium injection and other things. What’s the point? Medical theories etc. based on empirical methods thankfully work many times. Unfortunately, they can never be proven true. The probability of these theories being true is answered by Karl Popper:

“It can even be shown that all theories, including the best have the same probability, namely zero” (Conjectures and Refutations, p. 192).

There are an infinite number of  possible reasons why these theories work from time to time. Your probability therefore is represented by the fraction one/infinity which equals zero. Bertrand Russell said,

“All inductive arguments in the last resort reduce themselves to the following form: ‘If this is true, that is true: now that is true, therefore this is true.” This argument is of course, formally fallacious. Suppose I were to say: “If bread is a stone and stones are nourishing, then this bread will nourish me; now this bread does nourish me; therefore it is a stone, and stones are nourishing.’ If I were to advance such an argument, I should certainly be thought foolish, yet it would not be fundamentally different from the argument upon which all scientific laws are based.” The Scientific Outlook By Bertrand Russell (Publisher: Routledge; New edition (July 18, 2001)

The logical fallacy of induction is displayed again in formal form: Clark said:

“The given hypothesis implies certain definite results; the experiment actually gives these results; therefore, the hypothesis is verified and can be called a law.  Obviously, this argument is the fallacy of asserting the consequent; and since all verification must commit this fallacy, it follows that no law or hypothesis can ever be logically demonstrated.”[ Gordon H. Clark, The Philosophy of Science and Belief in God (Jefferson, Maryland.: The Trinity Foundation, 1964, Second edition 1987), 71]

In common speech the problem goes something like this: When it is raining outside the streets will be wet; The streets are wet, therefore it is raining outside.  This is a fallacy.  The streets could be wet for an infinite number of reasons.

4. How do you justify Mathematics from sensation and the material world? Can you point a number out to me in the physical world? Where can I touch an infinite series? Where are the fixed points in the universe? Morris Kline’s Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty buried your science under a mountain of history in the 1980s and I don’t believe you and your atheism are ever going to get out. Mathematics is the essence of science, and the only school of  mathematics that has ever been able to justify the reality of abstract concepts is an Intuitionist theory which asserts the reality of innate forms and abstract ideas; which can never be appealed to by an empiricist.   The only way you have an audience Bill is because of deliberate lies that the American Christian populous is generally too ignorant to refute and state funded brainwashing.

Atheism and empiricism are not intelligent Bill. You have no theory. You don’t even have the beginnings of a theory. Your atheistic regime of propaganda and lies is a tick on the ass of civilization and if the State of Kentucky had any roots in Christian history at all it would arrest you as soon as you step foot in this realm. If I didn’t have to work tomorrow I would place the cup of God’s wrath to the mouth of your display tomorrow with old fashioned street preaching and a healthy dose of Ancient Pre-Socratic Philosophy which your theory’s neck remains forever under its boot. If you were a confused person seeking truth and merely venting some personal frustration with a few insults and curses I would have some compassion for you. But you are not Bill. You are a professional liar and a deliberate brain washed slave of the Post Reformation Jesuit Humanist State specifically designed to destroy the Protestant Reformation. Voltaire and Descartes both criticized Christianity while doing the work of their Jesuit masters and I wouldn’t be surprised if you were doing the same thing. Who is your pay master really Bill? Does he where a black robe or a bright scarlet red one?

Capital Punishment Friday, May 18 2012 

This punishment is specified in Gen 9:6 and Rom 13:4. Paul puts all doubts to rest that the New Testament has abrogated the authority of this penalty when he states in Acts 25:11 when he says, 11 If, then, I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if none of those things is true of which these men accuse me, no one can hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar.  God also shows in the direct execution of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-6 that to put to death men for their faults is not repugnant to the spirit of the gospel. Those in the Eastern Orthodox Church complain that Jesus did not come to judge and did not meddle in such legalistic temporal matters in his ministry. Anthony Burgess replies, “Christ in his first coming was not as a Judge, and therefore did not take upon him to meddle in temporal punishments only as a minister”. (Burgess, Anthony. Vindiciae Legis: or, A Vindication of the Moral Law and the Covenants, from the Errors of Papists, Arminians, Socinians, and more especially, Antinomians (1647), pg. 192) Yet in his second coming he is a judge.

The same principles that the Eastern Church rejects about penal substitution also play a role in their view of Capital Punishment. The idea of vindicating justice has been removed from their conception of God and so inevitably the vindicating justice behind Capital Punishment has been denied as well. Joining the company of the Eastern Church is the modern liberal movement that has rejected justice for rehabilitation and parole, such as John Dewey’s Instrumentalism.  A primary objection to this punishment is that it does not deter crime. Well it deters it for the one killed!  Second, the law itself cannot deter crime but enforcement of that law will. The problem is the law is rarely enforced and it has been this way for decades in this country.

However, God did make an exception for the murderer Cain (Gen 4). Therefore, it is not a necessity to execute every murderer. The question is, is capital punishment ever the course to follow or is it never to be considered? The biblical answer is yes it can be a course to follow and yes it can be considered.

Common Grace and Divine Dispositions in the Economy of Salvation Monday, May 14 2012 


God is 1.) Universally gracious to all his creatures. 2.) Generally gracious to mankind including the elect wicked.3.) Covenantaly gracious to his Church-those who profess the true religion, though a mixed group of saved and unsaved  4.) Especially and Effectually gracious only to his elect.

I.) God’s Will – What is God’s disposition towards men?

A.) God has a Preceptive (Moral) De Jure Will: What it should be. God has a Decretive (Quoad Eventum)Will; What they will be or what it is. Though God only has one will (The decretive will), the Preceptive will is an execution of part of the decretive will. See The Divine Will by Drake.

Here are a few examples:

i.) Moral Will – 7th Commandment- Forbidding adultery

Decreed Will- Psalm 139:16 David commits adultery

ii.) Moral will (De Jure) Jon 3:4 “And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. Should be destroyed, they deserve to be destroyed.

Decreed Will (Quoad Eventum) Jon 3:10  And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not. (Rutherford, Covenant of Life Opened [COL] pg. 8)

iii.) Review: In reference to God’s dealings with men he tells us what things ought to be, but for his own purposes he has decreed that things will be very different than the way they ought to be.

B.) Relation to the salvation of men

i.)Positive aspects

1.) God’s Dispositions are manifested in a love that desires the salvation of all men (Volition reflecting nature not decree) and shows goodness and kindness to all men that should lead them to repentance.

a.) Mark 10:21

Mar 10:21  Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

Mar 10:22  But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.

Mar 10:23  And Jesus, looking around, *said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!”

Do hardened sinners grieve over the Word? Yes. There is some grace mingled with reprobation:

Mat 27:3  Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,Mat 27:4  Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.Mat 27:5  And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

b.) Ezekiel 33:11

c.) Acts 17:30 Commands all to repent according to the De Jure Preceptive Will not Decreed Qouad Eventum.

d.)  Romans 2:4-5

I am not saying that God’s grace tries but that it should or ought lead to repentance. Goodness ought, de jure, bring sinners to repentance. But Qoud eventum does not always bring sinners to repentance because God does not provide the condition, though he still holds sinners responsible to repent.

e.) The goodness and kindness shown to the reprobate

1.) Luke 6:35 We should not think this refers only to the elect wicked. For one, we do not know who the elect wicked are. Secondly, we are commanded to love as God does. If the hyper Calvinist was correct it would follow that we only love the elect and only hate the wicked.

2.) Mat 5:45 

3.) Acts 14:16-17

Objection.) The Bible says that God hates the wicked.

Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

Psa 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

Psa 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.

Answer) God displays:

1. A Love of Complacency to converted elect

2. A Love of Benevolence to non elect Reprobate

3. Wrath and Curse Federally but not Penally to non converted Elect for the non converted elect receive afflictions that are Evangelical not Judicial. Rutherford, Covenant of Life Opened [COL] pg. 8

4. Wrath and Curse Federally and Penally to non elect Reprobate for the afflictions of these people are merely the beginning of their satisfaction of Law Vengeance.  

5. Paternal wrath towards converted elect

6. Hatred only for the Reprobate- Jer 31:3

Objection.) God is only good to the wicked that he may condemn them the more!

Psa 92:5  O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.

Psa 92:6  A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.

Psa 92:7  When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever:

Psalm 69:21-28, Psalm 73:18-19

Answer.) There are 4 major purposes for God’s kindness to the wicked:

1.) De Jure to bring to repentance,

2.) To treasure up judgment on them for the full manifestation of his justice in condemning them,

3.) Though God’s longsuffering is primarily to usward, consequently he is being longsuffering with the wicked to sustain the society of men while God effectually calls and perfects his elect in time.

4.) Through “common grace” God restrains the sinfulness of men (Tower of Babel) making them productive in society, producing and inventing things that continue the process of eliminating the suffering of the curse of sin. These are not good works, because they are not done for the glory of Yahweh.

C.) Concerning God’s hatred and love

If God only loves the elect and only hates the wicked, it would follow that the elect unconverted were never under God’s wrath and curse in any way. From this notion has sprung the doctrine of eternal justification. So if we reject eternal justification (Rom 8:30) what is God’s disposition toward the elect before effectual calling?

Rutherford: Romans 4

Before Conversion the elect sinner is federally under the curse and wrath of God’s law according to the covenant of works. However, the punishments that God afflicts the non converted elect with do not satisfy his law-vengeance against them but this affliction is evangelical to bring him to repentance.  After repentance, the elect are federally in Christ and are sons and therefore the afflictions God brings on us for sin are paternal to conform us to Christ.  The non-converted reprobate are federally under the curse and wrath of God and the punishments and afflictions he brings on them are according to his Law-Vengeance and Curse and should (de jure) bring them to repentance but actually and decretivly (qoud eventum) are only the beginning of God’s wrath being satisfied in them which will be completed in the lake of fire.


1. Does this grace flow from the atonement?

Only indirectly; directly, it flows from God’s nature. The atonement pertains to the decree, common grace pertains to divine nature. All things are related in some sense and so some benevolent consequences (not efficacious benefits of the COG) flow from the Atonement to all men.

2. How does common grace apply to loving your enemies?

A.) In Christian Sanctification we are admonished to imitate our father in heaven with reference to our enemies. Eph 5:1, Luk 6:36.

B.) If you believe that God is only merciful to the elect, this will greatly affect your views of Christian sanctification.

3. Did Christ obey the second law, love thy neighbor as thyself?

Yes. The Hyper Calvinists say that Christ only loved the elect. In HC-ism it follows that we only love the elect and only hate the wicked. This would contradict the verses that teach to love our enemies.

The Indifferency of Superstitious Religious Ceremonies Refuted by George Gillespie’s English Popish Ceremonies Saturday, May 12 2012 

When confronted by the Puritanical rejection of holy days, such as Christmas and Easter along with the superstitious ceremonies that accompany these man made holy days, an Anchoretic Priest or Crypto Catholic Pastor and the common modern day Baptist Minister will appeal to the indifferency of these ceremonies. They will say that the holy  day with its ceremonies is neither good nor bad. It is just a fun ceremony with no moral ties one way or another.  Well, is it?

Before I begin I wanted to provide some keys definitions of terms Gillespie uses from The Metaphysics of the School Vol. 2,  by Thomas Norton Harper pg. 755,

“IN ACTU SIGNATO, IN ACTU EXERCITO. These two terms are used by the Schoolmen to distinguish between two conjoined effects sometimes resulting from the same action. An effect is said to be in actu signato, which is directly intended (so to speak) by the action. Thus, the impression produced in the wax by a seal is the effect in actu signato. An effect is said to be in actu exercito, when it is a necessary concomitant result of the same action, though not directly intended. Thus, in the above instance the cooling of the wax resulting from contact with the seal is in actu excercito.”

The following is taken from George Gillespie’s English popish Ceremonies, pg. 214-217,



Sect. 1. That the ceremonies are not indifferent to us, or such things as we may freely practise, we prove yet by other reasons:

For, 1. They who plead for the indifferency of the ceremonies must tell us whether they call them indifferent in actu signato, or in actu excercito ; or in both these respects. Now, we have proven, that there is no action deliberated upon, and wherein we proceed with the advice of reason, which can be indifferent in actu exercito, and that because it cannot choose, but either have all the circumstances which it should have (and so be good), or else want some of them, one or more (and so be evil). And for the indifferency of the ceremonies in actu signato, though we should acknowledge it (which we do not), yet it could be no warrant for the practice of them, or else the believing Gentiles might have freely eaten of all meats, notwithstanding of the scandal of the Jews, for the eating of all meats freely was still a thing indifferent, in actu signato.

Sect. 2. The ceremonies are not indifferent eo ipso, that they are prescribed and commended unto us as indifferent; for, as Aquinas resolveth out of Isidore, every human or positive law must be both necessaria ad remotionem malorum and utilis ad consecutionem bonorumThe guides of God’s church have not power to prescribe any other thing than that which is good and profitable for edifying; for they are set not as lords over Christ’s inheritance, but as ministers for their good : ” It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, (say the apostles and elders to the churches,) to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things,” Acts xv. 28. They would not, you see, have enacted a canon about those things, howbeit indifferent in their own nature, had they not found them necessary for the eschewing of scandal. And as for the civil magistrate, he also hath not power to prescribe any thing which he pleaseth though it be in itself indifferent; ” for he is the minister of God unto thee for good,” saith the Apostle, Rom. xiii. 4. Mark that word, for good,—it lets us see that the magistrate hath not power given him to enjoin any other thing than that which may be for our good. Non enim sua causa dominantur, saith Calvin; sed publico bono ; neque effrceni potentia prcediti sunt, sed quce subditorum saluti sit obstricta. Now, the first and chief good which the magistrate is bound to see for unto the subjects, is (as Pareus showeth), bonum spirituale. Let us, then, either see the good of the ceremonies, or else we must account them to be such things as God never gave princes nor pastors power to enjoin ; for howsoever they have power to prescribe many things which are indifferent, that is to say, neither good nor evil in their general nature, yet they may not command us to practise any thing which in the particular use of it is not necessary or expedient for some good end.

3. The ceremonies are not indifferent, because, notwithstanding that they are prescribed and commended unto us as things in themselves indifferent, yet we are by the will and authority of men compelled and necessitated to use them. Si vero ad res suo natura medius accedat coactio, &c., then, say the Magdeburgians. Paul teacheth, Col. ii., that it is not lawful to use them freely : ” If ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances (touch not, taste not, handle not, which are all to perish with the using), after the commandments and doctrines of men.” Hence is Tertullian taxed for inducing a necessity in things indifferent. Now, with how great necessity and co-action the ceremonies are imposed upon us, we have made it evident elsewhere.

Sect. 4. 4. Whatever be the quality of the ceremonies in their own nature, they are not indifferent to us; neither may we freely practice them, because Papists make advantage of them, and take occasion from them to confirm sundry of their errors and superstitions, as we have likewise elsewhere made evident…

Sect. 5. 5. Things which are most indifferent in themselves become evil in the case of scandal, and so may not be used. So hold the Century writers ; so Pareus ; so Zanchius ; so Chemnitius ; so Augustine ; and so hath the Apostle taught.[1 Cor 8:8-9] But that out of the practice of the ceremonies there groweth active scandal unto the weak, we have most clearly proven. Wherefore, let them be in their own nature as indifferent as anything can be, yet they are not indifferent to be used and practised by us; and whosoever swalloweth this scandal of Christ’s little ones, and repenteth not, the heavy millstone of God’s dreadful wrath shall be hanged about his neck, to sink him down in the bottomless lake; and then shall he feel that which before he would not understand.

Sect. 6. 6. It is not enough for warrant of our practice that we do those things which are indifferent or lawful in themselves, except they be also expedient to be done by us according to the Apostle’s rule, 1 Cor. vi. 12. But I have proven that many and weighty inconveniences do follow upon the ceremonies [pg. 188], as namely, that they make way and are the ushers for greater evils; that they hinder edification, and in their fleshly show and outward splendour, obscure and prejudice the life and power of godliness; that they are the unhappy occasions of much injury and cruelty against the faithful servants of Christ, that they were bellows to blow up, and are still fuel to increase the church-consuming fire of woeful dissentions amongst us, &c. Where also we show,that some of our opposites themselves acknowledge the inconveniency of the ceremonies ; wherefore we cannot freely nor indifferently practise them.

Sect. 7. 7. These ceremonies are the accursed monuments of popish superstition, and have been both dedicated unto and employed in the public and solemn worship of idols, and therefore (having no necessary use for which we should still retain them) they ought to be utterly abolished, and are not left free nor indifferent to us, which argument I have also made good elsewhere…Yea, Joseph Hall himself, doth herein give testimony unto us, for upon Hezekian’s pulling down of the brazen serpent, because of the idolatrous abuse of it, thus he noteth:” God commanded the raising of it, God commanded the abolishing of it. Superstitious use can mar the very institutions of God, how much more the most wise and well-grounded devices of men ! And further, in the end of this treatise, entitled, The Honour of the Married Clergy, he adjoineth a passage taken out of the epistle of Erasmus Roterodamus to Christopher, Bishop of Basil, which passage beginneth thus: ” For those things which are altogether of human constitution must (like to remedies in diseases) be attempered to the present estate of matters and times. Those things which were once religiously instituted, afterwards, according to occasion, and the changed quality of manners and times, may be with more religion and piety abrogated.” Finally, If Hezekiah be praised for breaking down the brazen serpent (though instituted by God) when the Israelites began to abuse it against the honour of God, how much more (saith Zanchius5) are our reformers to be praised, for that they did thus with rites instituted by men, being found full of superstitious abuse, though in themselves they had not been evil!

Sect. 8. 8. The ceremonies are not indifferent, because they depart too far from the example of Christ and his apostles, and the purer times of the church ; for instead of that ancient Christian-like and soul-edifying simplicity, religion is now by their means busked with the vain trumpery of Babylonish trinkets, and her face covered with the whorish and eye-bewitching fairding of fleshly show and splendour; and I have also showed particularly how sundry of the ceremonies are flat contrary to the example of Christ and his apostles and the best times.

Sect. 9. 9. The ceremonies make us also to conform, and like the idolatrous Papists, whereas it is not lawful to symbolise with idolaters, or to be like them in a ceremony of man’s devising, or anything which hath no necessary use in religion ; such a distance and a dissimilitude there is required to be betwixt the church of Christ and the synagogue of Satan ; betwixt the temple of God and the kingdom of the beast; betwixt the company of sound believers and the conventicles of heretics who are without; betwixt the true worshippers of God and the worshippers of idols, that we cannot, without being accessory to their superstitious and false religion, and partaking with the same, appear conform unto them in their unnecessary rites and ceremonies. Durandus tells us, that they call Easter by the Greek and not by the Hebrew name, and that they keep not that least upon the same day with the Jews, and all for this cause, lest they should seem to Judaise. How much more reason have we to abstain from the ceremonies of the church of Rome lest we seem to Romanise ! But I say no more in this place, because I have heretofore confirmed this argument at length..

Sect. 10. 10. The ceremonies, as urged upon us, are also full of superstition; holiness and worship are placed in them, as we have proven by unanswerable grounds,  and by testimonies of our opposites themselves. Therefore were they never so indifferent in their own general nature, this placing of them in the state of worship maketh them cease to be indifferent.

Sect. 11. 11. The ceremonies against which we dispute are more than matters of mere order, forasmuch as sacred and mysterious significations are given unto them, and by their significations they are thought to teach men effectually sundry mysteries and duties of piety. Therefore they are not free nor indifferent, but more than men have power to institute ; for except circumstances and matters of mere order there is nothing which concerneth the worship of God left to the determination of men, and this argument also hath been in all the parts of it fully explained and strengthened by us, which strongly proveth that the ceremonies are not indifferent…

Sect. 12. 12. Whatsoever indifferency the ceremonies could be thought to have in their own nature, yet if it be considered how the church of Scotland hath once been purged from them, and hath spued them out with detestation, and hath enjoyed the comfortable light and sweet beams of the glorious and bright shining gospel of Christ, without shadows and figures, then shall it appear that there is no indifferency in turning back to weak and beggarly elements, Gal. v. 9. And thus saith Calvin of the ceremonies of the interim, that granting they were things in themselves indifferent, yet the restitution of them in those churches which were once purged from them, is no indifferent thing. Wherefore, OScotland! “strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die,” Rev. iii. 2. Remember also from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works ; or else thy candlestick will be quickly removed out of his place, except thou repent, Rev. ii. 5.”

No, the man made holy days and ceremonies of the Anchoretic Churches with their modern apostate would–be Protestant daughters are not indifferent. They are monuments of idolatry that should be forgotten forever.  Our opponents will object that Protestantism’s iconoclasm has been at the root of the secular dominance of art in the past few centuries.  What they fail to acknowledge is that our iconoclasm emphasized and gave rise to the most important art: Literature. After the Protestant Reformation, the world learned how to read, and the greatest writers in world history took the stage to dazzle the minds of mankind, not just the elite and the privileged.  Thank you iconoclasm!

A Protestant Political Bibliography Friday, May 11 2012 


Barnes, Peter. Open Your Mouth for the Dumb: Abortion and the Christian

Eastern Orthodox Church. An Orthodox View of Abortion: The Amicus Curiae Submitted to the Supreme Court 

Frame, John M.. Medical Ethics: Principles, Persons and Problems 

Ling, John R. Responding to the Culture of Death: A Primer of Bioethical Issues

Robbins, John W. Abortion, the Christian, and the State

Affirmative Action

A Biblical defense of discrimination against other religions and cultures

Gillespie, George. A Treatise of Miscellany Questions (Chapter 14) A.K.A. “Forbidden Alliances”. 

Rutherford, Samuel. Free Disputation

Women’s Suffrage

Thomas M’Crie, “On the Right of Females to Vote in the Election of Ministers and Elders”

Workers Rights

Lee, Francis Nigel, Communist Eschatology

Working On Sunday- The American Economy Refuses to Allow Puritan Christians to obey their religion. Affirmative action is a lie. 

Shields, Alexander. A Hind Let Loose-(HEAD VII, explains the Protestant view of Taxation)


Blake, William O. The History of Slavery and the Slave Trade

Mc.Leod, Alexander. Negro Slavery Unjustifiable

Dabney, Robert Lewis. A Defence of Virginia (A Defense of Southern Slavery)


Gentry, Kenneth. The Christian and Alcoholic Beverages


Augustine’s Letter CCXLV 

Church of Scotland (1575). On Apparelling of Ministers and their Wives

Durham, James. “On Apparelling” from The Law Unsealed 

Manton, Thomas. “On Sobriety in Dress” from Vol. 16 of Works Discourse on Titus 2:11-14 

Perkins, William. “On the Right, Lawful, and Holy Use of Apparel” from Cases of Conscience


Christianity and the History of Civilization

Lee, Francis Nigel. Daniel’s Eschatology (A Protestant Christian View of World History)

Lee, Francis Nigel. John’s Revelation Unveiled (Protestant Interpretation of the History of  the last 2000 years)

Schaaf, Philip. History of the Christian Church

Mcllhenny, Albert. This is the Sun?: Zeitgeist and Religion (The Differences Between Christianity and Paganism and a full refutation of the Idea that Christianity grew out of Paganism.)

Farrell, Joseph. God, History and Dialectic

D’Souza, Dinesh. What’s So Great About Christianity?

Mitchell, Alexander. The Westminster Assembly: Its History and Standards (History of the Rise of Puritanism)

Craighead, Alexander. Renewal of the Covenants, National and Solemn League; A Confession of Sins; An Engagement to Duties; and a Testimony; as they were Carried on at Middle Octorara in Pennsylvania, November 11, 1743 (1748) Edited by W. M. GLASGOW.

McCarter, J. Parnell. Let My People Go (Historical Narrative on Protestant Historicism)

The Reformed Presbytery. Act, Declaration and Testimony

Buxbaum, Melvin H. Benjamin Franklin and the Zealous Presbyterians

Lee, Francis Nigel. Common Law: Roots and Fruits 

Lee, Francis Nigel. King Alfred the Great and Our Common Law

West, Cornell. Black Theology and Marxist Thought (1979) (Liberal View)

West, Cornell. Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism (2004)  (Liberal View)

Wylie, James. History of Protestantism 

Robbins, John. Christ and Civilization

Robbins, John. The Educational Establishment Versus Civilization

Macdonald, Dr. Jeffrey. Orthodox Church History

White, Jr., Lynn. The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis

Lee, Francis Nigel. Islam in the Bible

Lee, Francis Nigel. The Olivet Discourse and the Destruction of Jerusalem in Prophecy

Kerr, James. A Third Reformation Necessary (1880) Or,  The Piety, Principles, And Patriotism Of Scotland’s Covenanted Martyrs; With Application To The Present Time

Influence of Roman Catholicism

Lee, Francis Nigel. John’s Revelation Unveiled

Martin, Malachi. The Jesuits: The Society of Jesus and the Betrayal of the Roman Catholic Church 

Martin, Malachi. The Keys of This Blood

Dowling, John. The History of Romanism (History of Inquisition Book VIII)

Phelps, Eric Jon. Vatican Assasins (History of the Jesuits)

Lehmann, Leo H. Behind the Dictators A Factual Analysis of the Relationship of Nazi-Fascism and Roman Catholicism 

Hitchens, Christopher. The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice 


Controversies Concerning the New England Colonies and Their Treatment of the Native Peoples

Mann, Charles C. “1491”

Mather, Increase & Cotton. The History of King Philip’s War

Zinn, Howard, A People’s History of the United States, Chapter 1. (A Criticism of The English Puritan Colonies)

Vaughan, Alden T. New England Frontier: Puritans and Indians (A Defense of the English Puritan Colonies)

Cogley, Richard W. John Eliot’s Mission to the Indians Before King Philip’s War (A Defense of the English Puritan Colonies)

Tinker, George. Missionary Conquest: The Gospel and Native American Theology (Criticism of the English Puritan Colonies)

Death Penalty

Calvin Speaks Part 1, Part 2

Drake. Capital Punishment

Rutherford, Samuel.  Free Disputation, pg.  57, 311, 313 (With respect to Capital punishment for adultery, homosexuality, heresy (By way of speech or the press with intention of social injury), sorcerery (witchcraft), idolatry, and cursing a parent, I do believe, following Samuel Rutherford that a Civil Magistrate has the authority to execute Capital Punishment for these crimes [yes they are not just sins].

Drugs (And the War ON) 

Hart, D.G. & Muether, John. Fighting the Good Fight (A History on how America and much of the West turned away from the Protestant Reformation to a Jesuit led Baptistic Fundamentalism which was the source of Prohibition in the early 20th century;  per Franscisco Ribera).


Paul, Ron. The Revolution: A Manifesto 

Schiff, Peter D. How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes  

Paul, Ron and Lehrman, Lewis. The Case for Gold

Cantoni, Davide. The Economic Effects of the Protestant Reformation: Testing the Weber Hypothesis in the German Lands  

Smith, Adam. Wealth of Nations 

Weber, Max. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism 

Robbins, John. Freedom and Capitalism

Robbins, John. Ecclesiastical Megalomania: The Economic and Political Thought of the Roman Catholic Church

Robbins, John.  Collection 1 and 2. (Lectures on economics)

Chalmers, Thomas. Christian and Economic Polity of a Nation: with Special Reference to Large Towns 

Grant, George. Thomas Chalmers

Dewe, Joseph Adalbert. History of Economics 

Robbins, John. The Promise of Christian Economics

Robbins, John. The Failure of Secular Economics

Luther, Martin. On Trading And Usury

Calvin, The Register of the Company of Pastors of Geneva in the Time of Calvin ed. Philip E. Hughes


Establishment vs. Pluralism (Church and State; Cencorship)

Gillespie, George. A Treatise of Miscellany Questions (Chapter 19; Separation of Church and State among the OT Jewish Theocracy)  

The New Constitution of Pennsylvania appearing in The Reformation Advocate,(vol. 1, no. 7), September, 1875, pp. 197-200. (It was a critique of the American Atheistic principles in the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1874 and appended to Samuel B. Wylie’s book The Two Sons of Oil.)

O’Malley, Deborah. The Dictates of Conscience: The Debate Over Religious Liberty In Revolutionary Virginia (Summary of Thomas Jefferson’s Debates on Establishment)

The Augsburg Confession (Preface)

Rutherford, Samuel. Free Disputation

M’Crie, Thomas Unity of the Church (Treatment of the So-Called Rights of Free Speech and What Degree of Toleration May Be Permitted)

Paine, Thomas. Common Sense

Locke, John. Letter Concerning Toleration 1689 Translated by William Popple

Rutherford, Samuel. The Covenant of Life Opened 

Wilson, James R. Prince Messiah’s Claims To Dominion Over All Governments:And The Disregard Of His Authority By The United States, In The Federal Constitution.

Oliver, Robert. History of the English Calvinistic Baptists

Fiske, John. The American Revolution: Volume 1, Volume 2

Paine, Thomas. The Age of Reason

Jefferson, Thomas. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Memoir, Correspondence and Miscellanies, ed. Randolph, Vol. IV 2nd Edition, (New York: Gray and Bowen, 1830), pg. 325-329. “Letter CLIII To William Short. 

The Barbary Treaties 1786-1816; Wherein the American Government clearly states in article 11: “As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion”

The Federalist Papers by Hamilton, Madison and John Jay (The reader is referred to the 10th Paper and in specific the last two pages where the purpose of the new pluralistic government is deliberately disgined to fragment religion and eliminate the flourishing of the Truth) 

Schwertley, Brian. Political Polytheism

Coffey, John. Politics, Religion and the British Revolutions: The Mind of Samuel Rutherford (Criticism of Protestant Theocracy in Favor of Secularism)

Foreign Policy

A Protestant Theory of War

Gillespie, George. Forbidden Alliances

Rutherford, Samuel. Lex Rex

The Land Promise; a sermon by Drake Shelton against Zionism and Dispensationalism (This wma file is attached on the linked page)

General Ethics

Clark, Gordon. Essays on Ethics and Politics (Includes a fantastic essay on the history of Greek Ethics)

Clark, Gordon. A Christian View of Men and Things (See Chapter 3 on Ethics)

Westminster Larger Catechism, 98-148 (An exposition of revealed ethics)

Taylor, Isaac. Ancient Christianity and the Doctrine of the Oxford Tracts 

Owen, John. “Dissertation on Divine Justice”, Works, Emphasis on 10:513 (Reformed Understanding Of Natural Law)

Hume, David. Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (Atheistic Attack on Natural Theology)

 Global Warming

Wanliss, James. Resisting the Green Dragon


Robbins, John. The Ethics and Economics of Health Care

Paul, Ron. Liberty Defined


Lee, Francis Nigel. Nationality, Race and Intermarriage

Huntington, Samuel. Who Are We: The Challenges to America’s National Identity 

McCarter, J. Parnell.  Against Kinism here and here



North, Gary. The Sanctuary Society and its Enemies 

The Nature of Civil Power

Price, Greg. Biblical Civil Government Versus the Beast; and, the Basis for Civil Resistance

Rutherford, Samuel. Lex Rex

Gillespie, George. Aaron’s Rod Blossoming

Lee, Francis Nigel. Calvin On The Law

Cotton, John. Limitation of Government

Wylie, Samuel B. The Two Sons of Oil

Laski, Harold, Political Thought in England from Locke to Bentham

Woodcock, George. Anarchism

Buchanan, George. De Jure Regni Apud Scotos; A Dialogue Concerning The Rights Of The Crown In Scotland (Harrisonburg, Virginia: Sprinkle Publications, [1579] 1982 

Burgess, Anthony. Vindiciae Legis: or, A Vindication of the Moral Law and the Covenants, from the Errors of Papists, Arminians, Socinians, and more especially, Antinomians (1647)

McCrie, Thomas. Statement of the Difference

Resistance to Government and the Right to Bear Arms

Shields, Alexander. A Hind Let Loose-(HEAD V, Protestant Origins of Man’s Right to Bear Arms Against Tyranical Government)

The Scottish and English Religious Roots of the American Right to Arms: Buchanan, Rutherford, Locke, Sidney, and the Duty to Overthrow Tyranny David B. Kopel

Brutus, Junius. Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos: A Defense of Liberty Against Tyrants With An Historical Introduction by Harold J. Laski

Clarkson, Andrew. Plain Reasons For Presbyterians Dissenting From The Revolution Church In Scotland 


Bayes, Jonathan. The Threefold Division of the Law

Isbell, Sherman. The Divine Law of Political Israel Expired: General Equity

Perkins, William. “A Discourse of Conscience” (1596), in Works (Cambridge: John Legate, 1608), 1:514. Reprint in William Perkins, ed. Thomas F. Merrill (Nieuwkoop, Netherlands: B. De Graaf, 1966), (pp. 12-13.)

 Barrow, Reg.  Pornography, The Anabaptists And Doug Wilson’s Civil Antinomianism


Chalmers, Thomas. Works, Volume 12, pg. 171-176

Gouge, William. A Commentary on the Whole Epistle to the Hebrews, Volume 2 on Hebrews 7:5-7


Gillespie, George. Forbidden Alliances

Mcleod, Alexander, D.D. A Scriptural View of the Character, Causes, and Ends of the Present War (My A Protestant Theory of War is based on this work.)

Godless Humility Thursday, May 10 2012 

In the biographical movie Gandhi (1982) an English Clergyman demonstrates a faithless humility that so characterizes the American Clergyman. American Clergyman often refuse to reform certain doctrines and practices by appealing to their great humility and submission to the Church. They refuse to believe that God will rise up to their defense in the face of adversity. Such is the case with this so called Christian clergyman who ends up being rebuked by a Pagan for his Godless humility. See 18:30-19:45.

The Eternal Generation of the Son Tuesday, May 8 2012 

First I want to thank David Waltz for the hard work he has put into the doctrine of the Trinity at his blog here.

In the Nestle-Aland-NA26, Greek New Testament, John 1:8 says, θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακεν πώποτε: μονογενὴς θεὸς ὁ ὢν εἰς τὸν κόλπον τοῦ πατρὸς ἐκεῖνος ἐξηγήσατο.

In our English Translation we read “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”

The section I wanted to emphasize is the phrase “the only begotten God”. Lee Irons says,

“In the second text [John 1:18-DS], I follow the textual variant found in the Bodmer papyrus, dated c. 200, and other ancient manuscripts: “No one has ever seen God, but the only begotten God, who is in the Father’s bosom, has made him known” (v. 18). The NIV completely misses the point (“God the One and Only … has made him known”), for it is not the fact that the Son is the only God (as opposed to another god) but the fact that he is begotten of God (and thus truly God) which enables him to make God known. On balance these passages provide strong support for the interpretation “only begotten.”

The issue at hand is whether or not the NT uses the root genos to refer to a genus/category or whether it refers to begetting/generation. Dr. Clark says,

“when Dr. Buswell says that the Greek fathers did not know as much Greek as we do, it must surprise the student to learn that Athanasius and a hundred Greek bishops, whose mother tongue was Greek, knew less Greek than we do, and in particular did not know that monogenes is derived from ginomai rather from gennao. Even so, the two verbs are themselves derived from an earlier common stem. At any rate, the genes in monogenes derives immediately from genos. This word as a matter of fact suggests begetting and generation, as much as if it had been derived from gennao. (The Trinity, p. 120.)

So clearly, John 1:18 is referring to begetting and begetting essentially refers to a personal relation, not necessarily to time. The fact that the NT uses the phrase “begotten God” must denote that this begetting is eternal within the Godhead. Therefore, the generation must be eternal. But how can there be a process or a temporal sequence in eternity? Begetting essentially refers to a personal relation, not necessarily to time, therefore the sequence is logical not chronological.

Hey Scripturalist: How Do You Know That You Know Something? Saturday, May 5 2012 

Scripturalism’s maxim comes from the Augustinian tradition of “credo intelligam” (I believe in order to understand). We affirm that all human attempts to come to demonstrable knowledge have failed; whether Empiricist or Rationalist. Coming to knowledge by the natural faculties is impossibility. Therefore, we affirm the primacy of faith. Critics of Scripturalism like to point to the fact that Scripturalists cannot know themselves, therefore they cannot know that they know something. They cannot know that their wife exists. They cannot know that they themselves exist. But they fail to even touch our position. Our position has already admitted the abject failure of human knowledge. We believe in order to understand. I do not see in order to understand; neither do I affirm self evident truths from which I deduce other truths. I believe a revelation in order to understand.  Dr. Clark says: “If it be said that the latter have only faith and not ‘knowledge,’ because their beliefs are not thoroughly integrated, the reply is that all knowledge is faith.” [Gordon H. Clark, A Christian View of Men And Things (Unicoi, Tennessee.: The Trinity Foundation, 1952, 1980, Fourth edition 2005), 226]

I don’t know that the Bible is true, as if I can proof it infallibly. I BELIEVE the Bible is true. I do not know that I know something, I BELIEVE that I know something. This is what it means to have a faith based philosophy. I wonder, when I watch foundations and religious institutions refer to themselves as faith-based, if they really understand what they are saying. We Scripturalists are saying that we get knowledge, not from empirical observations of the world, and meditations on those observations and study of other people’s such experiences passed down through the centuries. We are saying that we believe we have received a revelation from a God.

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