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By James H. Smylie

A short historical past of the Presbyterians bargains laity and clergy a succint and thorough advent to the historical past of Presbyterianism. James Smylie chronicles the origins of the Reformed culture and consists of the sage via each one next period as much as the eve of the twenty-first century, targeting Presbyterianism in North the USA.

All the key figures within the background of Presbyterianism, equivalent to John Calvin, Francis Makemie, and John Witherspoon are incorporated, in addition to a number of others.

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The writers used insights from the original Reformers such as Calvin, but laid matters out in a more logical, systematic, and complete way. The Westminster Confession begins with a Reformation affirmation about the sources of our knowledge of God. " It emphasizes that for the Christian the primary source of the knowledge of God's saving acts is the Scripture. The Bible teaches about God's intention for the creation and for human redemption through jesus Christ. The Scripture becomes God's Word as the Spirit, according to the Confession, witnesses "by and with" the Word in the believer's heart.

Because of this, he helped foster capitalism and savings for investment. Calvin and later Reformed leaders did not teach that the accumulation of wealth was a sign of God's election. To the contrary, Calvin warned against fraud, and also warned that a rich person might not get through the "needle's eye" (Matt. 19:24). Riches may blind the wealthy so that they cannot see conditions of others whose lives may depend on them. Calvin maintained that the magistrate had a responsibility to find employment for Genevans and to care for the indigent.

The parties sometimes cooperated in pushing for a Presbyterian form of government for the Church of England, as in an Admonition to Parliament (1572). Elizabeth resisted these moves against episcopacy. Many ministers refused to conform and were removed from their pulpits and from professorships, as was Thomas Cartwright (c. 1535-1603), a leader of the Presbyterian party. Some ministers went to prison. Shortly after this, Elizabeth executed Mary Stuart for conspiracy against her reign. Philip II (1527-1598) of Spain, who had seen Mary as one means of reestablishing Catholicism in England, mounted the Spanish Armada to accomplish this purpose.

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