Download The Perfect Rule of the Christian Religion: A History of by John Howard Smith PDF

By John Howard Smith

A heritage of the Sandemanians, a little-known yet finally influential Christian sect in colonial America.

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The presbytery attempted to prevent a threatened mass defection to the Cameronians by appealing to the General Assembly for a renewal of the Covenants. 16 The movement toward secession was forestalled by the death in 1723 of John Hepburn, the ardent Covenanter who had come into conflict with both ecclesiastical and secular authorities, and whose Hebronite faction maintained a doctrinal position very similar to that of the Cameronians. However, in 1725, the presbytery required its members to sign the Formula of 1711, which bound subscribers to that document as a confession of their own faith, and was meant to reassert the authority of the presbyteries and synods of the Church of Scotland.

In his treatise on The Usefulness of Catechisms Considered (1736), Glas passed severe strictures on the definition of faith contained in the shorter catechism. ” One should obtain their definition of faith from the gospels, for there it “is more clearly and plainly described . . ”8 Glas went on to assert that the common use of the words “receiving and resting, or coming or embracing, and trusting,” imparts more into the idea of faith than the scriptures allow. ” He admitted that love and hope, also good works, are inseparably connected with faith, for in the scriptures they are clearly distinguished from it.

The latter began accusing Glas of adhering to independency, and Willison published a book, The Afflicted Man’s Companion (1728), which in its preface impugned Glas and his supporters (though not by name) as “breaking down the excellent forms of our reformation, viz. ” Glas and his clerical supporters often addressed the controversy in their sermons, 26 THE PERFECT RULE OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION further identifying themselves in contrast to their opponents, with an inevitable hardening of positions.

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