Previously, we have highlighted several books which endeavor to explain and differentiate the 1837-1838 Old / New School divide within mainline American Presbyterianism:
- Samuel Baird, A History of the New School, and of the Questions Involved in the Disruption of the Presbyterian Church in 1838;
- Alexander Blaikie, The Schools;
- James Wood, Old and New Theology: Or an Exhibition of Those Differences with Regard to Scripture Doctrines, Which Have Recently Agitated and Now Divided the Presbyterian Church;
And now we have another resource to offer for study on this subject: Lewis Cheeseman (1803-1861), Differences Between Old and New School Presbyterians (1848).
Take time to look over these works and familiarize yourself with the issues and persons involved. The year 1837 was momentous in American Presbyterian church history (as was 1936, almost a century later). The authors above lived through this tumultuous time and, without claiming to be impartial, have left a record of the distinctions between these two schools which characterized the divide in American Presbyterianism. Add these volumes to your reading list, and learn what happened 180 years ago to split the old and new schools of American Presbyterianism.