"The Presbytery of Nassau hereby respectfully overtures the General Assembly that a committee be appointed to revise Chapter III., of the Confession of Faith (with special reference to Sections 3,4, 6 and 7), on the ground that in its present form it goes beyond the word of God, and is opposed to the convictions and repugnant to the feelings of very many of our most worthy and thoughtful members; and that said revision be sent down to the Presbyteries, and, if accepted by them, be substituted for Chapter III. in the Confession of Faith."
One who signs himself a "Long Time Presbyterian Minister" writes as follows on this subject, to the Christian Union. "It is a matter of the highest importance, that a Presbytery has at last moved in the direction of the Revision of the Confession of Faith. The Presbytery of Nassau ask the coming General Assembly to revise chap. III. of "God's eternal decree," especially the sections which refer to reprobation. This is an awful chapter, in which it is said (sec. 3): "By the decree of God, for the manifestation of his glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto eternal life, and others foreordained to everlasting death." Also, in sec. 4: "These angels and men, thus predestinated and foreordained, are particularly and unchangeably designed, and their number is so certain and definite that it cannot be increased or diminished." As Calvin said, "This is a horrible decree." It is the sheerest rationalism. It puts the inference and conclusions of fallible human logic on a par with the word of God. It is a libel on the character of God, which the enlightened Christian conscience of our time will not for a moment receive as an article of faith.
"We long and pray for the reunion of Christendom, but we should not try to hasten it by professing to believe the obsolete tenets of past ages, which are repugnant to the moral and historical sense of the present generation."
We are glad to note that light is breaking in upon, and revealing some of the hideous features of, the old creed-idols; to which alas! so many still bow down. But while we must ever pity the blind, and pray and labor that they may see, what must be our righteous indignation (and God's) against such hypocrisy as this "Long-time Presbyterian Minister" accuses himself of. Hiding behind this unrecognizable title, he confesses that he does not believe the very Confession of Faith which for years, and still, he publicly professes to believe. What moral cowardice! For fear of the loss of an easy and sure living, and for fear of the loss of dignity and honor among those whom he admits are perpetrating "a libel on the character of God," he prefers to stultify himself and stand with them; not only sharing in this "libel," but more,an admitted hypocrite, false to the solemn vows which he took when he accepted his "ministerial license" to libel God's character.
"Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee," says the Master to such; and we greatly fear that the number willing to thus libel God's character for the sake of peace, harmony, honor of men, and a good easy living, is not a few. Better far in the esteem of God and all his honest children is the condition of the Infidel, who honestly speaks his mind, than such deceivers who sell the truth and God's character for pieces of silver.
"The latter end of that man is worse than the first." "It had been better for them, not to have known the way of righteousness [truth], than after they have known it to turn from the holy commandment, delivered unto them. But it happens to them according to the true proverb: The dog returned to his own vomit."2 Pet. 2:21,22.
Awakening is good, and we are striving to awaken allministers and peopleto see the truth regarding God's plan and character; and to see the incongruities and unreasonableness of creeds formulated in the Dark Ages; and to get them to reject these befouled streams of human tradition, impregnated with Papal errors and corruption. But each one who is awakened and sees, is a thousand fold more guilty than the poor blinded deluded ones whom his influence and example helps to keep in bondage and ignorance of the truth. He that knew his Master's will and did it not, shall be beaten with many stripes.
We speak forcibly, because such hypocrites, both in pulpits and pews, are increasing, and often do not realize their hypocrisy because it is common and popular. We speak not in anger but in love. Following God's example we would wound to heal.