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Monday, June 15, 2009

Begg, James 1808-1883

James Begg (born 31 October 1808 in New Monklands, Lanarkshire, Scotland; died 29 September 1883) was a Free Church of Scotland minister. He was editor for The Bulwark or The Reformation Journal for 21 years from its beginning July, 1851. He also wrote frequently to The Witness, Hugh Miller's newspaper.

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Memoirs of James Begg, D.D., Volume 1 - 1885 (by Thomas Smith, D.D.)
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Memoirs of James Begg, D.D., Volumes 1; 2 - 1885; 1888 (by Thomas Smith, D.D.)
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BEGG, JAMES: Minister of the Free Church of Scotland; b. at New Monkland, near Airdrie (10 m. e. of Glasgow), Lanarkshire, Oct. 31, 1808; d. in Edinburgh Sept. 29, 1883. He studied at Glasgow and Edinburgh; was ordained minister at Maxwelltown, Dumfries, May, 1830; became colleague at Lady Glenorchy's Chapel, Edinburgh. Dec., 1830, minister in Paisley 1831, at Liberton, near Edinburgh, 1835, and, after the Disruption in 1843, at Newington, a suburb of Edinburgh. In 1865 he was moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church. He began his career as an ardent supporter of evangelical views and a decided opponent of the "moderate" party in the Church. He was strongly opposed to lay patronage and to voluntaryism. He strenuously resisted the aggressions of the civil courts on the jurisdiction of the Church and was disposed to continue the fight within the Establishment; but in May, 1843, he left with his brethren. In the Free Church he became the leader of a minority opposed to all change and when he was charged with standing in the way of progress he gloried in his steadfast adherence to the ideas of his youth; his followers were most numerous in the Highlands. He was an advocate and supporter of popular education and was interested in a movement to secure better homes for the working classes. He wrote much for periodicals and edited several journals at different times (The Bulwark, for the maintenance of Protestantism; The Watchword, against the union with the United Presbyterians; The Signal, against instrumental music in worship). Among his larger publications were A Handbook of Popery (Edinburgh, 1852); Happy Homes for Workingmen and How to Get Them (London, 1866); Free Church Principles (Edinburgh, 1869), and The Principles, Position, and Prospects of the Free Church of Scotland (1875).
BIBLIOGRAPHY: T. Smith, Memoirs of James Begg, 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1885-88; DNB, iv, 127-128.
Anarchy In Worship or Recent Innovation Contrasted with the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church and the Vows of Her Office-Bearers (1875)
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The principles upheld in this book are extremely important today, for as the title page notes "When nations are to perish in their sins, 'Tis in the Church the leprosy begins." Begg lays his foundations in the second commandment and deals with all man-made innovations in the worship of God. The four types of innovators exposed are especially interesting, being: 1.) the presumptuous and blasphemous innovator; 2.) the popularity-hunting innovator; 3.) the politic and scheming innovator; 4.) the asthetic innovator. Women preachers, drama, dance and numerous other modern inventions in public worship would all be rejected outright if these Biblical principles were faithfully followed. Herein we also see why those holding to the Scriptural law of worship and the Westminster Confession of Faith must reject musical instruments in public worship just an unbiblical innovation - a resurrecting of the abrogated ceremonial law - and thus a denial of the finished work of Christ.
Memorial with the opinions of eminent counsel in regard to the constitution of the Free Church of Scotland, and remarks on our present state and prospects (1874)
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Seat rents brought to the test of Scripture, law, reason, and experience ; or, the spiritual rights of the people of Scotland vindicated against modern usurpations, both within and without the establishment ; with a special explanation of the case of Edinburgh, and an appendix ... (1838)
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The proposed disestablishment of Protestantism in Ireland : in its bearings upon the religion and liberties of the empire (1868)
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Happy Homes for Working Men, and How to Get Them. (1866)
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James Begg's Introduction to "Ter-Centenary of the Scottish Reformation" by Rev. J. A. Wylie (1860)
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  1. As someone who likes traditional church music – most modern worship songs I find rather
    flat. Plus it is a big market and the band sometimes becomes more important than worship and scripture and the words and message are often not clear but did David not use music such as the Lyre Harp and Trumpet ?
    Plus Wesley and his brother used to go into pubs – write down the notes and change the words
    into lovely Hymns.
    At one time diatribes were directed towards the new instrument – the church organ – now regarded
    as traditional .

    But we must remember that Ezekiel tells us that Satan was in charge of heavenly music.

  2. Another problem I admit to - David's dance when the ark was brought into Jerusalem - his wife
    wrongly mistook his love of God as a type of
    anarchy -forgive me if I am using inappropiate
    Yet I see in some of the churches - no preaching
    of repentance and the Judgement - just sort of
    dancing to something that sounds like pop music but how do we know what is in these youngsters
    hearts .

    But I do find it difficult to judge these people since I am more like the sinner who could not raise his eyes to Heaven and am probably morose in worship.