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This is not another essay on "The Five Points." Such treatises have their place and value, but they present our system, and only the anti-Arminian part of it at that, in its bones. They furnish no adequate conception of that divinely vital and exuberant Calvinism, the creator of the modern world, the mother of heroes, saints and martyrs in number without number, which history, judging the tree by its fruits, crowns as the greatest creed of Christendom.
This historic faith of the Presbyterian Church has in recent years been assailed with the most searching criticism, the most merciless caricature, the most vivid and eloquent abuse. That in this and every other conflict it will come off more than conqueror, we have no shadow of doubt.
But these assaults have not been without effect. The popular style in which they have been urged, the air of supercilious and
triumphant certitude by which they have been characterized, the prominence and universal currency given them hy the secular press, have produced among the Presbyterian rank and file, who have neither time nor facilities for special investigation, a vague but widespread feeling of uneasiness and apprehension.
For them this book is written; to answer their questions, to fortify their faith, to arm them with facts. It will be of possible service to all who desire a general knowledge of the nature, history and sanctions of the Presbyterian creed. The author even ventures to hope that some of our ministers may find here material with which to build up and defend the walls of our beloved Zion.
The reader who illustrates the perseverance of the saints by perusing this book to its close, will be able, I trust, to answer that question which for nearly four centuries has contributed so greatly to the gayety of ecclesiastical debate, “Is Calvinism dead?”
THE AUTHOR. GREEN SBORO, N. C., April, 1901.