BLTC Press Titles

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The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky

Esoteric Buddhism

A. P. Sinnett

Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu, James Legge (trans.)

My Man Jeeves

P. G. Wodehouse

History of the Presbyterian Church in South Carolina

by George Howe


"the parts of human learning," says Lord Bacon, "have reference to the three parts of man's understanding, which is the seat of learning: History to his memory, Poesy to his imagination, and Philosophy to his reason." Our own individual history is invested with the deepest interest to each of us; and to retrace the path by which God has led us, that we may remember His faithfulness, and profit by our own success and failures, is rewarded with the richest fruits of knowledge. If the Church could be regarded as a person, possessing one unbroken life and one uninterrupted consciousness, whose memory did not fail with growing years, how rich would the stores of her experience become; how wise would she be; how circumspect and strong with each revolving century! Instead of this, she is a community of persons, themselves dwelling here but for a little season, no small portion of their lives spent in becoming men, and no small portion waning away in the decay which at last is completed in the grave. Yet is it instructive to them, instructive to us, to survey and perpetuate


the Church in preparation, in remove, and in peace." And because there is one and the same God, whose plan spans all duration, and the laws of whose working are constant, like his own nature, in the past we may often behold, as in a mirror, that future which is hastening to meet us. For all our present purposes the Church of God is a person; she is incorporated, not by the acts of any human legislation, but by her holy and divine vocation, into the fellowship of Jesus, as the body of Christ, as his chosen bride. History is her memory. Let her explore its treasures, revive the scenes through which she has passed, and adore that Angel of the Covenant who has been her cloudy and fiery pillar, through the sea and the desert, to every land of rest she has ever occupied.

Our own has been pre-eminently a witnessing and a wrestling Church. She was so in the Apostolic period, and has been, from the time of her restoration among the Alpine Mountains by the Lake of Geneva, on the sunny plains of France, in Holland wrested from the sea, among the hills and glens of Scotland, and in the northern provinces of Ireland. She has wrestled with flesh and blood, with the principalities and powers of earth, and with spiritual wickedness in high places. She has borne aloft the banner of the Covenant, and raised her voice of testimony for God's truth and Christ's kingly crown, both as witness and martyr, and has watered the soil of many lands with the blood of her sons and daughters. In her struggles for the supreme headship of Christ over his own body, the Church, she has wrought out, to a large extent, in connection with those who held her truth, the problem of individual freedom and civil liberty. Her traducers are indebted to her, more than they know, for constitutional law, representative government, and freedom from oppression.

The Presbyterians of France, of Switzerland, of Germany, of Holland, of Scotland, England, and Ireland, disciplined in the fires of persecution and tossed by the waves of innumerable calamities, guided by Christ their King to these savage wilds, have built here their altars and planted their institutions of religion and learning, and we their descendants are bound to cherish their memories, and to strengthen ourselvea in our love of truth and hatred of wrong bv their example. Our ownjiistory cannot be tnily understood till we understand THREE POTEST EVENTS. . 17

independence. And we propose to consider now those streams of Presbyterian emigration which flowed into one of these States, that of South Carolina, within whose bounds the lot of most who will read these pages is or has been cast.

It is hardly necessary to premise that the Presbyterian Church maintains that system of truth advocated by Augustine against Pelagius and his disciples, and more purely set forth by Zuingle and Calvin in the sixteenth century, and that discipline and order which reappeared in the post-Apostolic period among the Waldenses of Piedmont and the Hussites of Bohemia, and was more fully proclaimed by Calvin at Geneva, who, however, was not able to carry it forth in its perfection in the Cantons of Switzerland. In his own native France, and, after a season, in Scotland, under the teachings of his disciple Knox, did it reach its highest existing perfection. It is the only form of polity, except the Papacy—that invasion of the prerogatives of Christ—in which the Church can exhibit an outward unity answering to its real oneness. In Independency it is separated into elemental particles without cohesion: in Prelacy, unity is only obtained in an earthly head, who professes to be the Vicegerent of Christ. In Presbyterianism the Church is a unit, its members are under a succession of courts rising one above another; and these, if the necessities of Christ's kingdom should ever so require, might be made amenable to a General Assembly of the National Synods of all countries, which should bind together, in a visible unity, the entire Church of Christ throughout the world.

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