“We have had occasion several times, in self-defense, to declare our conscientious difference from the brethren of the Missouri as well as from those of the Buffalo Synod, on the doctrine of the Ministerial office; by some whom we think a little sensitive in the matter, we have been soundly berated, both privately and publicly, for having done so. We feel it, therefore, due to ourselves, and to the cause of truth, to present a calm expression of truth as we believe it to be found in the Holy Scriptures.
“There is a strait gait of knowledge through which [everyone] must pass on entering the kingdom, and many of the results of his reasonings must be abandoned at that entrance, while he confesses himself a mere disciple all the way in his progress.”
“The man of the mightiest genius or the most accomplished intellect, must become a docile child, as well as the most uncultivated sinner and the rudest savage — or never be spiritually renovated.
“In the primitive church there was a private and public catechization. The private was practiced by parents according to Eph. 6:4… The public was held in schools, churches, and other places, and the pupils were called catechumens, from κατγχουμενοι, learners, the word that is used in the New Testament passages before quoted.
“In the course of ages, as the church became more corrupt, the practice fell into disuse, or sadly degenerated.
“What are ‘fundamental doctrines,’ or ‘fundamental Articles of Faith’?… Every intelligent Christian feels competent to state the general basis of his belief, or the doctrinal foundation of his Christian character and life… When he, however, proceeds to specify in detail the doctrines which essentially constitute that ‘foundation,’ he will no longer be surprised by the embarrassment that even distinguished divines, on attempting to furnish an answer, have candidly confessed.” – Charles F.
“There are points in the Church’s history, years, months, days, in which all the evil that has ever assailed the Church, seems brought to a focus, and to overcome it, the Holy Ghost, who never deserts his charge, concentrates against it not only the sum of all the experience of the Church of the past, but also the endowments of new, fuller, richer unfoldings of the sense and power of God’s Word.
“They would have us believe that all hearts will finally be moved and melted by the love of God. The tender love of Jesus to poor, fallen man, did not move and melt the hearts of all with whom he came into contact here. The proud, hard heart of Scribe and Pharisee grew all the harder when the light and warmth of His presence fell upon them — no melting there.
“Miracles in the Christian system are like the massive subterranean arches and columns of a huge building. Miracles support the edifice, and upon a divine foundation. ‘They show us, that if the superstructure is fair and beautiful to dwell in, and if its towers and endless flight of steps appear to reach even up to heaven, it is all just what it seems to be; for it rests upon the broad foundation of the Rock of Ages.
“Never were pious resignation to God’s will — complete subjection to His sovereignty – perfect patience under disappointment and sorrow more beautifully and impressively uttered… We do not think it possible for human language to express a more thorough acquiescence in the decrees of Providence. This was the character of Gerhardt’s piety, and to be in all things of the same mind with God, is the perfection of piety.” – John Morris.
“The prophecies of the Old Testament concerning the Gentiles had been so numerous and diversified that nothing but the partial blindness of Israel could have prevented them from entertaining a general expectation of the speedy accession of all nations to the kingdom of God…
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“We want no broader line than the catechism draws; but then we do not want that line whitewashed out by a diluted and false liberalism, so as nearly to obliterate it. We desire to see it remain in its original breadth and depth, so that we may consistently and honestly reply to the query: ‘What are the distinctive doctrines of your church?’ ‘You will find an epitome of them in Luther’s Smaller Catechism.