Landmarks of the Reformed Fathers, or What Dr. Van Raalte's People Believed (Classic Reprint)

Landmarks of the Reformed Fathers, or What Dr. Van Raalte's People Believed (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Landmarks of the Reformed Fathers, or What Dr. Van Raalte's People Believed

I have consulted all the Seceder publications, and have made a joint abstract of their claims and evi dence, and I was surprised indeed to find that they all ignored what the Reformed authorities say directly under the head of Secession. These Seceders either take for granted that their readers fully understand the nature of the Church and the properapplication of Church Rules, or they purposely fail to explain in their books these two important matters. But upon a closer view of the subject, it is no wonder that western Se ceders always appeal to the few exceptions among the Seceders in the Netherlands and to the statement of the Seceders of 1857, instead of having recourse to Reformed authorities; for when I began to test the whole matter of the Secession of 1857 and its apolo gists, by writers like Calvin and Brakel, I found no where in all ecclesiastical history such a strong arraignment of the Secession of 1857 as that furnished by the seceding Church at Graafschap, Mich., itself, in 1857. Instead of making out a case against the Reformed Church, Graafschap wrote the death war rant of its own cause by returning to the wildness of the Dutch Secession instead of to Dort. It is~high time that the task of writing the ecclesiastical history of the western Hollanders be taken from the hands of clergymen, so long as they insist on applying the ex ceptional and one-sided statements of extremists, in stead of those of recognized Reformed authorities, to the Reformed Church of the East, and so long as they continue to darken counsel with technical and schol astic terms instead of going back to actual history and first principles.

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