Presbyterians of the Past

The Golden Rule, Matthew 7:12

The Golden Rule reads, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them” (Mt 7:12), but the slimmed-down popular rendition is, “Treat others as you would be treated...

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Robert Mills, 1781-1855

Pictured in the header is the Washington Monument during the process of construction. It currently towers 555 feet and can be seen from just about anywhere in the national capital. Thanks to a building height limitation...

Without Guile, John 1:47

Membership in the church sometimes includes disheartening experiences. In the following is recounted my experience as the member of a church which had a time of conflict about its senior minister. Congregations since...

William M. Paxton, 1824-1904

When B. B. Warfield delivered his memorial message for W. M. Paxton in Miller Chapel at Princeton Seminary he said of his friend and colleague that “Dr. Paxton’s power always lay more in what he was than in what he did...

Notes & News

Reading the post, "Robert Mills, 1781-1855," posted December 6, 2019, prompted Jim in First Presbyterian Church, Augusta, to provide the link to digitized plans titled, "Plans for Augusta Church the State of Georgia." The link is at the end of the post. [Posted December 12, 2019]

Log College Press has released a new pamphlet in its series of publications providing wisdom from the past. The new title is The Mission of Parenting: Raising Children Who Love the Mission of God by Thomas Smyth (a brief biography of him is available on this site). The author was the minister of Second Presbyterian Church in Charleston, South Carolina, for nearly four decades. He begins his study with the importance of parental leadership teaching children about missions not only in word but also by example. Smyth's booklet could be used in a home schooling situation to help children understand the nature, purpose, and need for missions not only in terms of the work of adults but also the children themselves. Vacation Bible schools could use Smyth's thoughts to encourage missionary support since VBS usually takes a collection for missions. Check out Smyth's publication at [Posted November 18, 2019]

While reading Nehemiah 9, I was impressed by how much Covenant theology is rooted in history. In the Old Covenant, God often spoke through his prophets, priests, and kings to remind his people of what he had done for them in the past. We get focused on what is happening now and what we desire for the future, but then we fail to remember God's faithfulness in the past. This memory lapse is aggravated by a culture that has limited historical interest, if any at all. You have probably heard the comment "History is just that, history!," or maybe Henry Ford's comment that "History is Bunk!" For Covenant theology history is essential. One aspect of the Old Covenant was the use of memorials in the book of Joshua, stones of remembrance. When individuals traveled by the memorial it turned their thoughts to what God had done at that point in the history of redemption for his people. It would be good to keep a Blessings Book similar to a diary, or a file in your smart-phone to record all God's unusual providences and goodness from the past. When times get tough, turn to your list of Covenant memorials to be reminded of God's Covenant faithfulness. We need to count our blessings, name them one by one, and we will be encouraged to see what God has done. The price of the Covenant was Christ's atoning death accomplished in redemptive history and it reminds us that what has gone before is essential for our present and future growth in sanctification, service, and eternal glory. [posted October 25, 2019]

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