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THE CREED TESTED BY ITS
We propose now to submit the doctrinal The decisive system incorporated in, though far older than, the Westminster Standards, to a simple yet decisive test, a test endorsed by the common sense of mankind and the authority of Christ, the test of practical results. In his celebrated essay
essay on Calvinism Froude says: “The practical effect of a belief is the real test of its soundness." 1 In His Sermon on the Mount our Lord declares, “Ye shall know them by their fruits." As a fruit-bearer, as a character-builder, as a purifying and uplifting force in the life of men and nations, how does Calvinism
1“ Short Studies on Great Subjects”, p. II.
Calvinism and God.
• A pro
rank with other doctrinal systems? We reply, it stands foremost of them all.
1. The superior moral power of Calvinism we should infer, even without the aid of history, from the inherent character and tendency of its teaching.
It is a system distinguished supereminently by its exaltation of God. found sense of the exaltation of God”, says Dr. George P. Fisher of Yale, “is the keynote of Calvinism.” 2 The glory of the Lord God Almighty is its unifying all-pervading principle, the blazing sun and centre of the system. Not bare sovereignty, arbitrary will, naked power, but a personal God of grace, the God revealed in Christ, is the God of Calvinism. It adores Him as the Absolute and Ever-Blessed Sovereign, infinitely worthy of love, worship, and obedience, “Who doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least,
3" The Reformation", p. 201.
to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.” : The keynote of the whole system is struck in the first question of the Shorter Catechism: “What is the chief end of man? Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever." 4 " Hallowed be Thy name, The Kingdom come, Thy will be done”, is the threefold petition which expresses the heart of Calvinism. As one has said, “In all place, in all time, from eternity to eternity, Calvinism sees God.”
From its absorbed and adoring view of Calvinisn. God comes Calvinism's conscientiousness, and duty. its deep and dominant sense of duty and responsibility. The Ever-Blessed is the Ever
3« Confession of Faith", Chap. V, section 1.
* Said Thomas Carlyle in speaking against modern materialism: “The older I grow-and I now stand upon the brink of eternity-the more comes back to me the first sentince in the Catechism which I learned when a child, and the fuller and deeper its meaning becomes : What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.'"