My anonymous institutional church antagonist decried the fact that I would dare promote the Biblical form of church government known as Presbyterianism rather than just preach Jesus, like the great ministers of old did.
May we let the record show that he is wrong in his condemnation: Samuel Miller was, like Johnathan Edwards and George Whitfield, a powerful preacher. He was used by God during the Second Great Awakening to stir many souls to faith and repentance. Yet his preaching was not limited to evangelistic messages. He diligently advocated for a proper church government too, as can be seen in his thorough work An Essay, on the Warrant, Nature and Duties of the Office of the Ruling Elder, in the Presbyterian Church.
It ought to be noted that this work was not just a continuation of his Scripture expositions, it was an extension of his work of "preaching Jesus." Miller understood that if Christ was going to be honored with godliness there must be proper modes of discipline exercised. To put it another way, "Effective discipline was a spiritual function of shepherding that must be carried out only through a plurality of elders who alone were authorized to perform it." (Samuel Miller: Discipline on the Frontier).
It may be also noted that the Great Trumpeter of God, John Knox, was one who wrote the Book of Discipline. This work was nothing other than the first Presbyterian church order. After having broken away from the Catholic Church and being wholly devoted to the teaching of Scripture, developed this book as a way to assist the church's reformation and maintenance.
Time does not permit me to speak of the Princeton Seminary men, Thornwell (whose preaching you can sample by clicking the icon on the right entitled, "Judgments, A Call to Repentance"), Dabney and others. Only let it be noted that all of these were not only dedicated to "preaching Jesus", but also dedicated to upholding the polity He instituted in His Word for the better maintenance of the godliness.
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