Reformed Text Articles

Please note that in some of these articles, the text of the Bible will show when you place the mouse over any Scripture references with a double underline, for example: Rom 8:11

The Act of Settlement and its Relevance for Today
Rev Hugh M Cartwright
A consideration of the Act of Settlement, noting its historical setting, what it is and what it says, its legal position and its religious significance; current moves to remove it from the Statute Book; the Act’s relevance for today, for the Church and for the State; and the action which we should take to preserve our national commitment to the truth of the Bible.
Behold, I Stand at the Door and Knock
Lachlan MacKenzie
A brief account of a sermon preached by the late 18th century minister of Lochcarron (a remote parish in the Scottish Highlands), on a visit to Aberdeen.
Behold, My Servant » Isaiah 52:13-15
David Dickson
“Glorious things are spoken here of Christ, and hard to be believed. A fair banquet for feeding of hungry souls is set out in these words, bread enough here and to spare. . .”
The Cambuslang Revival
Rev Hugh Ferrier
The history of that most wonderful revival of religion which occured at Cambuslang in 1742.
The Charismatic Movement and the Deformation of the Church
Rev Dr Wayne Pearce
A consideration of five areas in which the Charismatic Movement is precipitating and promoting the deformation of the church: 1) Rejection of the Sufficiency of Scripture; 2) Promotion of Two-Tier Christianity; 3) Mysticism; 4) Unbiblical Ecumenism; and 5) Superstition and Worldliness.
Christ the Only Redeemer of God’s Elect
Thomas Boston
“This redemption of elect souls was agreed upon by the Father and the Son in the covenant of grace from eternity. It was first proclaimed to fallen man in the first promise; it was shadowed forth under the Old Testament; the price was actually paid on the cross; and the powerful delivery is made in the conversion of the elect.”
Christ’s Love and Loveliness
Samuel Rutherford
“What a sight is our Lord Jesus going out of the gates of Jerusalem, and His cross upon His back! He went like to fall under it, He was so weak in body and weary in soul, when He went to the top of Mount Calvary. And all the time He saw black death before Him, and a curse. He was even then bearing God’s curse upon His back, and that was heavier than the cross.”
A Comfortable Epistle Sent To the Afflicted Church of Christ
John Knox
“The remembrance of this, beloved in the Lord, is unto my heart such comfort and consolation, that neither can my tongue nor pen express the same. For this assuredly is my hope and expectation, that like as Christ Jesus appeared to his disciples, when there was nothing in their hearts but anguish and desperation; and like as he preserved and multiplied their number under the most extreme persecution, so shall he do to his afflicted flock within the realm of England, this day in spite of all his enemies.”
Cornelius - Acts 10
James Buchanan
“As to the nature of the change which was now wrought on the mind of Cornelius, and its practical results in his life and conversation, it properly consisted in his being enabled to believe that the Messiah whom God had promised to the fathers, and whom, as a believer in Old Testament prophecy, he had long expected, had actually come, and that Jesus of Nazareth was he.”
The Cross of Christ » Gal 6:14 
Rev Ian Hamilton
“Here we come to the unfathomableness of the sovereignty of God’s love. He loves sinners, not because we are lovely or deserving - we are not. But because He is rich in mercy. There is an unfathomableness that takes us out of our depth; that leaves us exclaiming with the apostle Paul, O, the depth, O the depths. . . ”
A Description of the Westminster Assembly
Robert Baillie
A fascinating insight into the procedure of the Westminster Assembly, as described by one of the Scottish Commissioners in his correspondence.
Development of the Scottish Psalter
Rev David Silversides
“Christians are to sing Psalms... Nevertheless, the question arises that if we are to sing the Biblical Psalms, is the ‘Scottish Psalter’ of 1650 a sufficiently careful and accurate translation for this purpose?”
In answering this question, Rev David Silversides considers: 1) The History of the Scottish Psalter; 2) Testimonies to its accuracy; 3) Examples of the care with which it was translated; and 4) The Scriptural aims of the translators.
Effectual Calling and the Free Offer of the Gospel
Dr John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan
“Although it be true that the elect only believe unto salvation, yet it is the convinced sinner, as such, and not the elect sinner, as such, that savingly believes. Yet the gospel being offered to all mankind sinners, God’s elect, in believing, do condemn the world of unbelievers, because they receive Christ on no special ground, but offered to them as, and in common with, others.”
The Emmaus Walk » Luke 24:29
Rev Murdoch Campbell
“What these two were particularly conscious of at that hour was a deepening of their love to the Lord. The love of Christ in the heart is like a fire which many waters cannot quench. . . How is this love born and sustained in the soul? Only by the knowledge of how He loved us.”
Father, I Will » John 17:24 
Robert Murray M‘Cheyne
“Christ did not get more glory by becoming man, but He manifested his glory in a new way. He did not gain one perfection more by becoming man; He had all the perfections of God before. But now these perfections were poured through a human heart. The almightiness of God now moved in a human arm. The infinite love of God now beat in a human heart. The compassion of God to sinners now glistened in a human eye. God was love before, but Christ was love covered over with flesh.”
The Fear of God
Professor John Murray
“The fear of God is the soul of godliness. . . The fear of God and the love of God are but different aspects of our response to him in the glory of His majesty and holiness.”
The Free Offer of the Gospel
Rev George Hutton
What was the Apostolic presentation of the Gospel? Is there biblical warrant for a Free Offer to be made? What is actualy being offered in the Gospel? Is the Free Offer a sincere offer of Christ to men?
God’s Gift to Scotland in John Knox and the Reformation
James Begg
A worthy reminder of how the Reformer’s death was remembered in 1872, and a fine statement of the contemporary relevance of Knox’s life and work.
The Happy Man
Lachlan MacKenzie
The happy man was born in the city of Regeneration in the parish of Repentance unto life. . .
The Holiness of God
Professor R A Finlayson
“All this falls naturally and harmoniously into place in the experience of the redeemed sinner, to whom his God manifests Himself in holy love. Election unto life, repentance, sanctification, and full redemption all find their true setting in the holiness of God. These are the forms in which holiness appears in the sphere of Christian experience, and every one of them is in Scripture associated specifically with the holiness of God.”
I Love the Lord’s Day
Robert Murray M‘Cheyne
“We love the Lord’s day, because it is His. Every hour of it is dear to us - sweeter than honey, more precious than gold. It is the day He rose for our justification. It reminds us of His love, and His finished work, and His rest.”
The Importance and Relevance of the Westminster Confession of Faith
Professor John Murray
“The amount of work and time expended on the Confession of Faith will stagger us in these days of haste and alleged activism. But the influence exerted all over the world by the Confession can only be understood in the light of the diligent care and prayerful devotion exercised in its composition.”
The Inward Experience of Believers » Romans 7:22-25 
Robert Murray M‘Cheyne
“This law (of sin) in the members has got an army of lusts under him, and he wages constant war against the law of God. Sometimes, indeed, an army is lying in ambush, and they lie quiet till a favourable moment comes. So in the heart the lusts often lie quiet till the hour of temptation, and then they war against the soul.”
John Knox and the Scottish Reformation
Scott Melhuish
A review of the history of the Scottish Reformation and the ministry of the leading reformer, John Knox, with concluding lessons for today.
John Livingstone
Rev John MacLeod
The historical setting, life and contribution to the Scottish Church of John Livingstone, who was so used of God in the revival at Kirk o’Shotts.
Jonah’s Prayer: The Conflict of Faith and Sense » Jonah 2:1-9 
Hugh Martin
“God may clothe all circumstances, and all His dispensation towards us, with appearances of opposition and hostility, in order that we may flee to the anchor of His pure and simple Word, and lean on it without any other help, or rather against all adverse power.”
The Kirk’s Holy Resolution » Jeremiah 50:4,5 
Samuel Rutherford
“Oh! if we knew what we have lost; and that we could leave our care of seeking things in the world, and set to seek God and His face, His image, and heaven, and the precepts and testimonies of the Lord! And, out of all doubt, that is the best seeking in the world. . .
In the means of the worship of God, God Himself is to be sought, and not the means themselves. . . whether it be in preaching, praying, hearing, reading, etc. Strive to be in at God Himself. . .”
The Legacies of Dr Lloyd-Jones
Rev Iain H Murray
A review of the life of Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and six legacies that he has left to us.
Lessons From John Knox
Rev David P Murray
What lessons can we learn from John Knox’s life? What would he say if he were to bring a message to us today?
Lessons From Thomas Boston
Rev William Hughes
The life and ministry of one who suffered many trials in lonely parishes, but was influencial in the foremost theological discussions of his day. Boston’s “Human Nature in its Fourfold State” became one of the most widely read Christian books in Scotland for many years after his own time.
The Life of M‘Cheyne
Rev Innes MacRae
An account of this remarkable and holy servant of Christ, who experienced revival in his short ministry and died on the eve of the Disruption.
Man’s Chief End and Happiness
Thomas Boston
“Glorifying of God is put before the enjoying of him because the way of duty is the way to the enjoyment of God. Holiness on earth must necessarily go before felicity in heaven. There is an inseparable connection betwixt the two, as between the end and the means; so that no person who does not glorify God here, shall ever enjoy him hereafter. . . No; the pure in heart, and they who glorify God now, shall alone see God, to their infinite joy in heaven.”
The Marrow Controversy
Rev Dr J McIntosh
What is “The Marrow of Modern Divinity”? Why did it arouse such controversy in the 18th century? And how is it relevant today?
A Most Wholesome Counsel » Touching God’s Holy Word
John Knox
“The word of God is. . . the foundation of faith, without the which, no man understandeth the good will of God - so is it also the only organ and instrument which God useth to strengthen the weak, to comfort the afflicted, to reduce to mercy by repentance such as have slidden; and finally, to preserve and keep the very life of the soul, in all assaults and temptations.”
My Beloved is Mine, and I am His » Song of Solomon 2:16,17 
James Durham
“At the day of his appearing, all these shadows will instantly be done away: there will not one tear left on any believer’s cheeks, there will be no affliction or desertion to hide him from them, but they shall be for ever with him: there will then be no ordinances nor temple but the Lord God, and the lamb himself, shall be the temple and the light of his people.”
An Outline of Scottish Covenanter History in the 17th Century
S M Houghton
“In the ultimate issue the question at stake, in all its stark nakedness, was whether a temporal monarch or the Lord Jesus Christ was to be ‘Head over all things to the Church’. To faithful Covenanters only one answer was possible, and whether their problems concerned individuals, families, conventicles, or general assemblies, they urged with fierce and unshakable tenacity that ‘Jesus Christ is Lord’. No suffering could be too great to endure in such a cause. The scaffold could not daunt them; instruments of torture could not make them quail; the sufferings and discomforts of cave or moor or prison-cell could not move them to act and speak against conscience.”
The Pilgrim’s Staff » Hebrews 13:5 
Robert Murray M‘Cheyne
“Ah, brethren, this is a sweet word to a poor soul who is mourning over the broken pots at his feet. This is a sweet word to those of you who are bereft – who have left houses and lands – ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ This may be a sweet word to those of you who are mourning. . .”
The Providence of God
Thomas Boston
“God’s providence is most holy - even though providence reach to and be conversant in sinful actions, yet it is pure; as the sun contracts no defilement, though it shine on a dunghill. Providence is most wise - the day will at last come, when the plan of providence will appear in every respect to have been most wise, harmonious, and consistent. Providence is most powerful - He can never fail of his end, but all things fall out according to his decree, which is efficacious and irresistible.”
Qualities of the Westminster Confession of Faith
Robert Shaw
“The first thing which must strike any thoughtful reader, after having carefully and studiously perused the Westminster Assembly’s Confession of Faith, is the remarkable comprehensiveness and accuracy of its character, viewed as a systematic exhibition of divine truth. . .”
The Redeemer of God’s Elect
Professor John Murray
“Any one who reads the New Testament with the humility of believing devotion and therefore with the reverence begotten of faith must be overcome again and again with the mystery that surrounds the person and work of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. As understanding expands and as reverent inquiry seeks to push further and deeper there grows upon the believer the marvel of the Saviour’s person and work.”
The Reformed Faith
Loraine Boettner
A lucid exposition of the key doctrines of the Reformed Faith pertaining to salvation. Dr Boettner clearly sets forth the contrast between the Reformed and Arminian positions.
The Reformers - Lessons From Their History
William Cunningham
“It should lead men. . . to estimate aright mental power and vigour as a valuable gift of God, intended by Him to be used. . . in the advancement of His cause.”
The Reformation in the North of Scotland
Dr Douglas Somerset
I should start by explaining the subject that I am addressing: ‘The Reformation in the North of Scotland’. I am taking a broad view of ‘the North of Scotland’ and I am going to include the whole Highland area from Caithness to Inverness to Argyllshire, the Gaelic-speaking area. The reason for doing this is partly that the surviving information for smaller areas is limited and technical; and partly because there is a general story to tell for the whole area.
Regeneration & the Regenerate Man » Therapeutica Sacra, Chp 3
David Dickson
“Regeneration (being one in effect with effectual calling) is the work of God’s invincible power and mere grace, wherein, by his Spirit accompanying his word, he quickened a redeemed person lying dead in his sins, and reneweth him in his mind, will, and all the powers of his soul; convincing him savingly of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and making him heartily to embrace Christ and salvation, and to consecrate himself to the service of God in Christ, all the days of his life.”
The Regulative Principle
Rev Hugh M Cartwright
Our starting point is the truth that Christ is the Head of the Church. In relation to the Church as the body of elect, redeemed, regenerate sinners, the Headship of Christ signifies that through His union with them He is the source of all their life and grace and unity. In relation to the Church as a society on earth, the Headship of Christ signifies that He originated it and that He continues to administer its affairs. It has taken its form from Him and continues to depend upon Him for existence and power.
The Resurrection
Thomas Boston
And may not the soul say, “O happy day in which I return to dwell in that blessed body, which was, and is, and will be for ever, a member of Christ, a temple of the Holy Spirit! Now I shall be eternally knit to thee: the silver cord shall never be loosed more: death shall never make another separation between us. Arise then, my body, and come away. And let these eyes, which were wont to weep over my sins, behold with joy the face of our glorious Redeemer; lo! this is our God, and we have waited for Him. . .”
A Review of the Scots Confession of 1560
Principal John Macleod
From a series of lectures dealing with “Scottish Theology since the Reformation in the light of Scottish Church History.” Principal John Macleod of the Free Church College, Edinburgh, delivered these lectures at Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, USA, in April 1939.
Scotland and the Westminster Confession of Faith
Professor Douglas MacMillan
A consideration of the Origins, Objectives, and Operation of the Westminster Confession of Faith in Scotland, from its formulation to the present day.
Shadow of Calvary - Chp 1: The Incidents » Matthew 26:36-46 
Hugh Martin
“Doubtless his sorrow arose from the source that his prayer was concerned with - the vivid view and near approach of that cup which the Father was just giving him to drink. That curse of God, from which he came to redeem his elect people - that sword of the Lord’s wrath and vengeance which he had just predicted - the penal desertion on the cross - the withdrawal of all comfortable views and influences - and the present consciousness of the anger of God against him. . . these were the elements mingled in the cup of trembling which was now to be put into his hands: and the prospect caused him deadly sorrow!”
Shadow of Calvary - Chp 2: The Agony of Sorrow » Matthew 26:38 
Hugh Martin
“From this we may see that the cup which the Father gave him consisted substantially in the imputation to him of a criminal’s guilt, and the assignment to him of a criminal’s position and destiny. No sooner is the mysterious transaction of Gethsemane over than the secret and spiritual nature of what was there determined immediately begins to be manifest. From this moment, onward to his resurrection, Jesus is seen among men no more in any other character than that of a criminal.”
Shadow of Calvary - Chp 3: The Agony of Prayer » Luke 22:44 
Hugh Martin
“He calls therefore on the Lord. In an agony he wrestles earnestly. He offers up supplication and prayers with strong crying and tears. He is filled with holy fear. “According to thy fear, O God, so is thy wrath” (Ps 90:11). According, therefore to his fear, Messiah knoweth the power of the Father’s wrath as no other knows it. He trembles, dismayed. He casts himself prostrate on the ground. . .”
Shadow of Calvary - Chp 4: Failing Fellow Watchers » Matthew 26:40 
Hugh Martin
“Jesus has condescended to pour a peculiar tenderness and life and strength and unflagging freshness and welcome over all the obligations of his people, by putting their whole obedience on the footing of a grand series of personal favours to himself. It is this that wakens up the finest feelings of the truly Christian or regenerated heart. It is this, as one element, which differences infinitely the generous and evangelical obedience of those that are freely forgiven, from the selfish self-righteous efforts of those that know not the gospel. It is this, as one element and ornament of gospel holiness, that makes the king’s daughter all glorious within. . .”
Shadow of Calvary - Chp 5: Gethsemane a Prayer-Chamber for Disciples » John 18:2 
Hugh Martin
“For the principle is that if we suffer with him we shall also reign with him. And if you fall into the concert of his humiliation prayer, you shall partake with him in the glorious fruit of his sovereign and authoritative intercession at the right hand of the majesty on high. For in this respect will God fulfil to you the promise that he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. He fulfilled this promise to Jesus. And not a single point in which he was abased, but correspondingly was he glorified. . .”
Shadow of Calvary - Chp 6: Secret Prayer Answered Openly » John 18:3-9 
Hugh Martin
“It appears then, on a review of this whole transaction, that in so far as this first and initial process admitted of it, the whole is conducted as in the precise answer to the prayer of Gethsemane; and the answer in regard is given openly. First; the surety prays for grace to do the will of God - to be obedient unto death. And he shows that in answer to his prayer the Lord has taught him, and that he has ‘learned obedience’. . . Secondly; the surety prays that by this will of God his sheep may be sanctified and set apart in safety and unto holiness by the offering of his body once for all. And it is done unto him, and done also openly.”
Shadow of Calvary - Chp 7: The Prisoner Judging All Parties » Matt 26: 47-55
Hugh Martin
“Jesus ultimately carries the matter to the highest court of all. ‘The cup that my Father hath given me to drink, shall I not drink it?’ He now makes his Father a party in the case. Hence this noble series of gradations by which Jesus brings this matter into relation with successive rights and agencies: the authorities on earth; the angels of heaven; the Scriptures of God, till he places it in immediate connection with the will of the Holy One of Israel - it is like that mystic ladder which the pilgrim father saw, which was ‘set upon the earth and the top of it reached to heaven, and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it; and, behold! Jehovah stood above it’.”
Spiritual Worship
Archibald Alexander
“God must be worshipped according to the Scriptures, by such rites and ceremonies only as He hath appointed, and not by forms and institutions of man’s devising. As to the mere external circumstances of worship. . . they should be regulated by the apostle’s comprehensive rule, ‘Let all things be done decently and in order’. . . But as it relates to the worship itself, nothing should be introduced, but what is authorized by the Scriptures, such as prayer, singing the praises of God, reading the Scriptures and administering the sacraments .”
A Treatise on Prayer
John Knox
“The hope to obtain our petitions, should depend upon the promises of God. . . For his gracious majesty esteemeth not the prayer, neither granteth the petition, for any dignity or worthiness of the person that prayeth, but for his promise’ sake only.”
The Trial of a Saving Personal Inbeing in the Covenant of Grace
Thomas Boston
“But the question is, Whether ye have a saving interest in it, being actually come into it, or not? The covenant is indeed brought unto you, in the ordinances of the gospel: but are you brought into the covenant, united with the head thereof, Christ Jesus? It hath been administered to you: but have you by faith taken hold of it?. . . And for trial hereof, I offer the following marks, signs, or characters of those who are savingly and personally within the covenant of grace.”
Two Early Scottish Reformers
Rev Innes MacRae
An excellent account of the lives of the two pre-eminent Scottish Reformation martyrs, Patrick Hamilton and George Wishart.
The Voice of My Beloved » Song of Solomon 2:8-17 
Robert Murray M‘Cheyne
“Thus it was that the fallen Peter, when he had so grievously denied his Lord, yet, when brought again within sight of the Saviour, standing upon the shore, was the only one of the disciples who girt his fisher’s coat unto him, and cast himself into the sea to swim to Jesus; and. . . when again he had hidden himself in the clefts of the Rock of Ages, found that the love of Jesus was more tender towards him than ever.”
Weeping Mary at the Sepulchre » John 20:9-13 
Samuel Rutherford
“The angels, they have not our common country clothes, but they are like heaven in their apparel; to teach all those who are looking to be heirs of heaven to be clad like their country. The angels, they are clad with glory and majesty. . . If ye would prove yourselves to be the heirs of heaven, strive to be like your Father, and like your country, and wear the livery of the house which is holiness.”
Preached upon the Monday after the fast, 22 Aug 1640.
What the Stranger Saw
Rev Murdoch Campbell
Eyewitness accounts of Communion Seasons in the 19th century Scottish Highlands.
A Word To The Anxious
Rev Kenneth A MacRae
An evangelistic tract written by the minister of the Stornoway congregation of the Free Church of Scotland in the mid 20th century.
The Work of the Spirit as the Comforter
James Buchanan
“It were a dangerous error to suppose that the Spirit comforts his people, by infusing peace and joy and hope into their hearts without the use of the ordinary means of grace, or separate and apart from his other fruits and operations as their teacher and sanctifier. . . And his work is not divided; its various parts may be distinctly considered, but they never exist separately from each other; they constitute one grand work by which our happiness is secured while our holiness is advanced.”
The Work of the Spirit as the Spirit of Holiness
James Buchanan
“A renewed heart will be followed by practical reformation, and a holy life can only spring from an inward change of heart. Regeneration is the spring, sanctification is the stream. . . The liveliest Christian would soon decay were the Spirit’s grace withdrawn: he has no stability and no strength of his own; and there would be neither growth nor fruitfulness, but for those constant supplies which he receives of all needful grace from the fulness that is in Christ.”
The Work of the Spirit as the Spirit of Prayer
James Buchanan
“The Holy Spirit helps us in prayer by strengthening and exciting into lively exercise those spiritual graces which are essentially implied in communion with God. Prayer properly consists in the exercise of these graces. It is not the mere utterance of words, nor is it even the mere expression of natural feeling; it is an exercise of repentance, of faith, of love, of trust and delight in God. . . insomuch, that where these graces are awanting, there is no prayer, whatever forms may be observed, and whatever words employed.”

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