Order of Contents
Introductions to Historic Articles
In chronological order according to the author of the article
Vermigli, Peter Martyr – The Common Places: Table of Contents 1583 19 pp., with an Editor’s Introduction
Vermigli (1499-1562) was an influential second generation reformer. His collected Common Places became a popular systematic theology through the early 1600’s. While the work still is not available in English on the internet or in a printed edition, here is the Table of Contents, which will wet your taste to read more of this sometimes neglected reformer.
Polanus, Amandus – The Table of Contents to Polanus’ Syntagma, in English 1609-10 16 pp. With a collection of resources on Polanus and his works in the Introduction.
Have you ever desired to peer into an old, standard, Latin, Reformed systematic theology? Amandus Polanus’ (1561-1610) Syntagma, or System of Christian Theology (1609-10) is just that. Polanus was an early Reformed theologian in Germany. He had studied at Tübingen, Basel and Geneva and became the professor of Old Testament at Basel in 1596. Here is the Table of Contents to his 10 books in 2 volumes translated into English and made publicly available for the first time.
We have translated many other tables of contents from old reformed works on our Reformed Systematic Theologies in Latin page.
Rogers, Richard – Two Sermons on Conversion from Isaiah 55:1-2 1612 29 pp. including a Publisher’s Introduction and a Preface by Rogers
Rogers’ (1551-1618) famed reply to the scoffer, ‘I serve a precise God’, gave the occasion for the puritans to be called ‘precisionists’. These two very experientially rich sermons on conversion lay the entrance to God’s kingdom sweetly low: to any that thirst for it. Rogers, with a discerning and soft hand, reproves worldly minded persons who do not desire the best things (even their own salvation), shows that the way to be saved is to thirst for it (for those that desire what God offers), and assures those that do thirst that God will surely make good his end of the deal. It is in thirsting that the Christian continues in this life to receive the best spiritual graces from God for everything that he or she needs.
Gillespie, George – All of Gillespie’s Writings on Christ’s Mediatorial Kingdom is the Church Only 110 pp ed. Travis Fentiman
These writings (specifically his 111 Propositions) are the classic delineation of the Establishment Principle.
Cheynell, Francis – The Grounds of Christ the Mediator Receiving Divine Worship 1650 20 pp. with an Introduction and Outline
We are to only worship God, and yet Jesus, a man, was worshipped in his earthly ministry. How is this so? The answer is that we worship Jesus, the God-man, not insofar as He is a creature, but insofar as his Person is God. Cheynell, a Westminster divine, argues this precious jewel of theology in a bit of detail in a way that will be clear to the simplest, and make the most knowledgeable cry out: ‘Oh! the depths and the riches! (Rom. 11:33)
Dickson, David – Sacred Therapeutics: Table of Contents 1656, with an Introduction by Travis Fentiman
Dickson’s Holy Therapeutics shows how to apply God’s covenants to our life in order to grow in assurance and resist temptation. It contains Dickson’s fullest contribution to covenant theology: his articulation of the Covenant of Redemption, of which he was one of the first systematic expositors for. Dickson’s work has long been neglected due to there being no easy way to peruse it. Here is an Introduction to this long work and a Table of Contents with links to make it accessible to all.
Roberts, Francis – ‘Of God’s Giving the Law on Mt. Sinai as a Covenant, and that of Faith’ 1657 90 pp., being Book 3, Chapter 4, Aphorism 2 of The Mystery and Marrow of the Bible: God’s Covenants with Man, with an Introduction and Extended Outline
This is the most detailed, full, and perhaps, most important, scriptural and theological treatment of the nature of the Mosaic Covenant that has been handed down to us from the Reformation and Puritan eras, given here for the first time in a contemporary and easily readable edition. Roberts argues at length that the Mosaic Covenant was not a covenant of works, but was a further unfolding of the Covenant of Grace, with a peculiar emphasis in its administration in order to drive sinners to Christ.
Roberts, Francis – ‘On the Moral Law and Judicial Law’ 1675 21 pp. being Book 3, Chapter 4, Aphorism 1, Question 2, Section 3 of his The Mystery and Marrow of the Bible: God’s Covenants with Man
Roberts (1609–1675) wrote the puritan magnum opus on Covenant Theology. This section from that work gives a window into the majority puritan view that the Moral Law in Moses (the Ten Commandments) continues to oblige in all ages, while the Judicial Law expired with the state of Israel (only the general equity therein continuing to oblige). Roberts enumerates five very helpful distinctions that demonstrate the Biblical priority of the Moral Law over the Judicial Law in this respect.
Wells, John – How We may make Melody in our Hearts to God in Singing of Psalms late-1600’s 32 pp. This is a sermon from Puritan Sermons, 1659-89, re-typeset, re-formatted and re-edited, with an Introduction and explanatory footnotes.
If the Lord loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7), how much more does He love a cheerful worshipper? Indeed, He tells us to sing psalms to Him with joy (Ps. 95:2)! Let us, with the psalmist, stir ourselves up to this pleasure; this sermon will help us. It is a treasure. You will not find anything like it in modern Christian literature.
Gib, Adam – Concerning the Gospel Call and the Warrant of Faith 1747 31 pp. from his The Present Truth: A Display of the Secession Testimony, vol. 2, Progression 5
This is the best piece that Christian history has bequeathed to us on God’s Call in the Gospel Offer in relation to the Atonement. Read it to find out why.
Brief Introductions to Webpages
‘What is the Covenant of Redemption, and Where to Start?’ 11 paragraphs On the webpage The Covenant of Redemption
Introduction to ‘The Reformed Freedom of the Will vs. Determinism’ 17 paragraphs
‘Introduction: Does God Desire People to do his Revealed Will?’ on the webpage, Historic Reformed Quotes on God’s Revealed Will and the Gospel Call as God’s Desire, Wish, and Pleasure 12 paragraphs
Introduction to The Extent of Christ’s Mediatorial Kingdom 15 paragraphs
Introduction to Natural vs. Moral Inability 8 paragraphs
Introduction to “He Descended into ‘Hell'” 11 paragraphs
Introduction to ‘Antinomianism’ 11 paragraphs
Introduction to ‘Eternal Justification’ 7 paragraphs
On the Fatherhood of God
Introduction to God is a Father to All People by Creation, a seven paragraph introduction with 85+ historic, reformed quotes
A substantial part of historic, reformed theology has maintained that though fallen man is spiritually of his father the Devil (John 8:44), yet God remains his natural Father by creation (Acts 17:28-29, Lk. 3:38; 15:14; Heb. 12:9; Mal. 2:10; Isa. 64:8; etc.). This article briefly introduces the subject, gives further reading, and documents this doctrine in the best of our historic reformed theologians.
Introduction to General Revelation’s Testimony to the Fatherhood of God over all People 12 paragraphs
Introduction to Bible Verses on Preparation for Communion with God 6 paragraphs
Introduction to ‘Saying Amen After Prayers in Worship’ 7 paragraphs
Introduction to The Grounds of Christ the Mediator Receiving Divine Worship 18 paragraphs
Introduction & the Crux of the Issue to the webpage, Images of Christ 14 paragraphs
Introduction to ‘Communion Tokens’ 8 paragraphs
What is Intinction & is it Biblical? on the webpage, Intinction 7 paragraphs
Where to Start? on the webpage, What Does Keeping the Lord’s Day Entail? 16 paragraphs
Introduction & Where to Start? to the webpage Musical Instruments in Worship 5 paragraphs
On Biblical Matters
Introduction to ‘Bible Chronology’ 7 paragraphs
On Church Matters
Introduction to ‘The Offices of Apostles, Prophets & Evangelists’ 16 paragraphs
‘Introduction: Tongues were Real Languages & Understood by the Speakers’ on the webpage ‘Speaking in Tongues’ 16 paragraphs
On Scottish Church History
Introduction to The Scottish Resolutioner-Protester Controversy, 1650’s
Introduction to The Marrow Controversy 13 paragraphs
Introduction to ‘Constitutionalism’ 13 paragraphs
‘What is Experiential & Experimental Religion’ 15 paragraphs On the webpage Experiential Religion
‘The Most Predominate Sin of Reformed Christians’ 2014 6 paragraphs
‘Why Read the Scottish Covenanters?’ 39 paragraphs On the page: All of the Writings of the Scottish Covenanters
‘How did the Fall of Satan Happen?’ on the webpage, How Did the First Human Sin Happen?
On the Gospel
What is the Gospel? 8 paragraphs
Here is a brief summary of the Gospel for all those that desire eternal life.
Jesus the Friend of Sinners 2014 10 paragraphs
Is Jesus friendly to the unconverted? The Bible and historic reformed Christianity says Yes.
John 3:16 – God’s Love for all Mankind in the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel, 2014 16 paragraphs
Bible Verses on Common Grace and the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel, 2014, 34 passages with commentary
The Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel in the Sum of Saving Knowledge, 2014, the Introduction is 31 paragraphs and is followed by the relevant highlighted sections of The Sum
Sometimes the Sum of Saving Knowledge, 1651, which is often printed with the Westminster Standards, is interpreted as if the sincere free offer of the gospel described in it is only made to the elect. This introduction to the document thoroughly disproves this interpretation by the statements of The Sum itself and by the other writings of it’s authors, James Durham and David Dickson, in five points. The Sum teaches that God, by His revealed will, desires the reprobate to be saved.
The Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel in the Westminster Standards and Divines, the Introduction is 11 paragraphs, followed by the relevant highlighted sections from the Standards, with editorial comments
Sometimes it is maintained that “offer” in the Confession and Catechisms does not imply that God intended to give what He offers, or that He does not desire the recipients to take the offer. This interpretation, however, is shown to be wrong on two accounts: (1) upon the statements of the Standards themselves, and (2) upon the writings of the Westminster Divines.
On Biblical Matters
Rev. Fentiman gives an introduction to the subject of the ‘baptism for the dead’ (1 Cor. 15:29) and argues that it refers to the purification washing for touching dead bodies in Num. 19, which the Jews (rightly) held to be a picture of the Resurrection. R.L. Dabney, amongst others took this view, though Fentiman argues it in more detail.
Introduction to The Synoptic Question 34 paragraphs
On Westminster, the Church of Scotland, Establishment, the Mediatorial Kingdom & Covenanting
The Interpretation and Defense of the Original Westminster Standards, 2014, 26 topical entries
This annotated bibliography gives further reading that exhaustively defends the original (1646) Westminster Standards on the particular points cut out by the later American revisions and where office-bearers commonly take exception to them today.
The Establishment Principle in the American Westminster Standards 31 paragraphs On the page ‘The Establishment Principle in the American Westminster Standards & the Early American Colonies & States’
A Defense of the Majority Opinion in the Free Church of Scotland on Covenanting, 36 points, 135 paragraphs, with a select annotated bibliography
This is an extensive articulation and defense of the majority historic view on the Solemn League and Covenant, argued from scripture, history, constitutional documents and primary sources.
Introduction to All the Scottish Confessions, National Covenants and Declarations from the Reformation, Puritan and Covenanting eras on Christ’s Mediatorial Kingdom is the Church Only 42 paragraphs
Prophecy & Eschatology
‘Introduction – Prophecy: Infallible & Ceased’ 84 paragraphs On the webpage ‘Prophecy: Infallible & Ceased’
A major share of the Reformation and puritan era held to post-millennialism, that only after the majority of the nations convert to Christianity (in the Millennium, Ps. 22:26-31; Isa. 2:2-5; Rev. 20:4; etc.) will Christ come again.
It is sometimes posed as an objection to this that Christ may come back at any time; therefore post-millennialism is not true. Yet most of Church history has recognized from Scripture that there are prophecies which must occur before Christ comes again; hence Christ cannot come at any time.
This article demonstrates from the Scriptures that the Lord’s standing at the door and coming quickly is consistent with a robust postmillennialism.
Introduction to Infralapsarianism & Supralapsarianism 34 paragraphs
This Intro argues the infralapsarian position.
‘An Analysis of Rutherford and M’Crie on whether Ladies have the Right to Vote for Church Officers’ 2015 21 pp. with Samuel Rutherford and Thomas M’Crie appended on the subject
Rev. Fentiman analyzes the arguments of Rutherford (who was for ladies voting) and M’Crie (who was against it) and comes to a third middle viewpoint in-between both: that it is indifferent.
Introduction to the Office of Teacher 2014 27 paragraphs, with four Appendices of 44 more paragraphs.
Here is a comprehensible introduction to the historic view of the Reformation and the Westminster Assembly, showing the Biblical warrant for the Office of Teacher. Further resources are suggested in the article for further study.
Introduction to Presumptive Regeneration 325 paragraphs
This article argues against presumptive regeneration, in line with the dominant share of historic presbyterianism.
‘Raising Children in the Covenant’ in ‘Introduction’ to Presumptive Regeneration 54 paragraphs
On Worship Matters
Do We Sing Jesus Christ’s Name in the Psalter? 2015 50 paragraphs
The answer is Yes, the proof of which is overwhelmingly documented from the Hebrew. This article as been published as an appendix in Jorge Ortiz, Biblical Praise Buy (My Soul Concern, 2017).
Creeds are Not an Element of Worship 2015 18 paragraphs
This is a Biblical defense that the confession of creeds should not be in worship.
Introduction to Offering is Not an Element of Worship 79 paragraphs
‘Visual Imagery, Drama & Dance in Worship’ 147 paragraphs
Introduction to the Biblical Teaching on the webpage, Responsive Readings in Worship
What About the ‘Sursum Corda’? 31 paragraphs
What does ‘General Equity’ Mean? 26 paragraphs On the webpage ‘The General Equity of the Old Testament Civil Laws
Intro: Should We Tithe? on the webpage, Tithes & Offerings 61 paragraphs
Does the Bible teach that a father may forbid the marriage of his daughter for any reason? Must the father’s will always be obeyed if he does not require one to sin, though he is acting in ignorance and sin himself? A rising tide in Christianity believes the Bible’s answer to these two questions is Yes. This paper demonstrates that the Bible’s answer, and the answer of the large part of historic, reformed Christianity, is No. Daughters and their suitors are justified before God in getting married against the father’s will in certain grievous situations where, there is not “just cause.”
‘On Eating & Drinking Blood’ on the page ‘On Eating & Drinking Blood & Marital Relations During Menstruation’ 70 paragraphs
‘On Marital Relations During Menstruation’ on the page ‘On Eating & Drinking Blood & Marital Relations During Menstruation’ 57 paragraphs
This is a systematic exposition and Biblical defense of Girardeau’s doctrine of Adoption. It argues that Adoption is both distinct from Regeneration and Justification, that Adam was by creation naturally a son of God (Luke 3:38), and that unbelievers are as well (Acts 17:28, Lk. 15:24), though not spiritually (Jn. 8:44), as God is the Father of all people by creation (Heb. 12:9, Eph. 3:15).
Puritan theology used to teach that there is a Covenant of Grace in time with men and also a Covenant of Redemption in eternity between the Father and the Son. Much of contemporary reformed theology collapses the two covenants into one, following Thomas Boston of the early 1700’s and most of the Southern Presbyterians in the 1800’s. This article demonstrates that the majority puritan view is the most rigorously Biblical.
The Biblical Sabbath is from Dawn to Dawn 2018 100 pp.
When does the Sabbath begin? In the most comprehensive article to-date on the subject, Fentiman demonstrates from Scripture that the Sabbath has always been from dawn-to-dawn since Creation throughout Scripture, without exception.
‘Morning’ in Gen. 1 is more accurately translated as ‘dawn’, the phrase signifying that each day of Creation ended with dawn, with the next day beginning therefrom. The Old Testament speaks of days starting from the morning or dawn in over 30 verses. The Israelites kept the Sabbath morning to morning in Ex. 16 and the rest of Old Testament history is consistent with this reckoning.
The New Testament throughout its pages likewise reckons days to start in the morning. The Temple in the New Testament counted the hours of the day from 6 A.M. The disciples’ buying of spices in the evening after the death of Jesus is shown to be inconsistent with an evening-to-evening reckoning of the Sabbath. The Resurrection accounts assume continuity with the Old Testament reckoning, when Christ rose from the dead. Christ celebrates the Lord’s Day in Jn. 20:19 with the disciples in the evening of the 1st day of the week, which the apostles continued to practice in Acts 20:7-11.
The corruption of the Sabbath by Jewish traditionalism, keeping it from evening to evening, likely started in the inter-Testamental era and was preserved in their Talmuds. A very full survey of the inter-Testamental and extra-Biblical literature is surveyed on the issue, as well as reformed history. Make your heart assured on this Scriptural subject and make the Sabbath a delight (Isa. 58:13-14)!
ed. Travis Fentiman – God, Creation, and Human Rebellion: Lecture Notes of Archibald Alexander on Systematic Theology from the Hand of Charles Hodge (Reformation Heritage Books, 2019) Forthcoming The substance of the book is set to become public domain on the internet in 2022.
Fentiman led a team which transcribed and edited the online manuscript version of this work from its difficult to read cursive. The scope of these 500 questions and answers cover the first third of a systematic theology. Alexander was the first professor at Old Princeton Seminary, and Hodge was one of the most influential professors in the 1800’s, teaching at the same seminary.
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