THE WAR-HORSE “His goodly horse in the battle.” — Zechariah 10:3.
The Lord’s description of the wax-horse in the book of Job, dwells with unrivaled sublimity upon his fearlessness and eagerness for the fray. “Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible. He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength; he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword.” (Job 39:20-22.)
This martial characteristic it were Well for the Lord’s people to possess in their spiritual conflict with powers of darkness. Dauntless as Elijah, bold as Esaias, courageous as Nehemiah, faithful as Caleb, and valiant as David, should every ;servant of the Lord seek to be. Feeling that this is not the general character of God’s people in these days, we will labor to stir them up to greater daring and more confident courage. Is not timidity a common vice among Christian workers? Is not the sin so common as to have gained the countenance, or at least the sufferance of Christian society? Do not those ministers miss their mark, who in. their love of modesty busy themselves in exalting cowardice into a virtue? Is it not a sin to educate God’s people into habits which unfit, them. for Christian warfare? Are not these such times as to demand a more mayfly bearing from believers than the most of them as yet exhibit? From my watchbox I have noticed with much sorrow several tokens of a fearfulness which, so far from praising, I do most heartly condemn, The outward and visible signs of this inward and spiritual wickedness I see on every hand, thick as the buds upon the trees in this opening spring. Vain were the attempt to catalogue the whole of these tracks of mischief, but a few may serve our turn. There is a great alarm amongst many professors at the suggestion of anything new. A novel method of serving God and winning souls, even though it should commend itself to sound judgment, would yet be discarded by these trembling souls because it might possibly be unsuccessful, and, being new, might involve responsibility and risk, and perhaps graver mischief. They like the old broad-wheeled wagon, and do not know where the world is going to with its screaming steam engines and flashing expresses.
Originality, progress, and zeal are dreaded by these spiritual Tories as most radical, revolutionary principles, to be suppressed by all possible means.
The exercise of faith in God in the carrying out of a divine impulse is by them looked upon as recklessness coming to the aid of insanity. Their favorite form of marching for the soldiers of King Jesus is the goose step, in which every foot comes down again upon the same spot from which it was lifted. Admirable petrifaction of humanity, we would cheerfully prepare for you well-deserved niches in the Nobody Corner of Restminster Abbey, where your somnolent obstructiveness should receive its due recompense of reward!
There is abroad among us a very solemn and silly dread of anything done upon a large scale, or with the faintest show of risk. A niggardly policy stints our efforts, and pleads as its excuse a prudence which is equally inexcusable. Well might the man of God be angry with Joash for shooting so few of the arrows of the Lord’s deliverance, and we should do well to be angry with many Christians for the Same timorous mode of action. If King Joash had shot more arrows, Syria- would have been quite overcome and cut in pieces; but because he was slack in this, Syria waved her proud banner over captive maids, and sorrowing widows wept in the streets of Samaria. “If the devil can feel a sense of the ludicrous,” said a friend of ours the other day, ,’ he must laugh in his sleeve at the timorousness and niggardliness of modern Christians, when contrasted with their professions and avowed beliefs.” Slackhanded Christians must be the admiration and the scorn of the princes of the pit. The world laughs audibly at professors now-a-days, because of their satisfaction with small attempts and imperceptible successes. Oh for broader views of our work, larger labors, and a mightier faith! Let us spare no arrows. May we have grace to empty our quiver upon the foe, drawing our bow with our full force. May our trading for heaven be; conducted upon the noblest scale of enterprise· may our sowing of truth be carried on in the most ample style of liberality. Let us look for a hundredfold harvest, and we shall see it, for according to our faith it shall be done unto us.
Cowardice shows itself in a horror of every method of commanding public attention. The site selected by some persons for the throne of Jesus is the coalhole, because of its delightful quiet and retirement; for our part we would cry “Hosanna” in the streets, and in the temple, and praise Him aloud of whose marvelous death and resurrection it is written, “these things were not done in a corner.” Publicity for gospel truth we must not shun but court. Our venerated sires thought that all places of worship ought to be built in undiscoverable courts in the dirtiest parts of the most squalid of back streets; and that they should never be too wide for people to shake hands from the opposite fronts of the galleries. Certain of the sons of these happily glorified saints are, unable to grasp the idea of going out into the highways and hedges, or of preaching in the streets; and as to venturing into a theater to proclaim the gospel, or attempting to build a large meeting-house in a great thoroughfare where the many may come and hear, these excellent timidities feel a cold shiver at the daring dream. Sobriety held up its hands, and prudence prophesied a thousand-and-one mischiefs at. the least, when zeal first broached her rash theories and injudicious plans. Alas for us, O sobriety! when thou art deified, and faith is turned adrift! Worse still is it for the church when craven cowardice and dead formality sit upon it like the old man on Sinbad’s back in the nursery story, and burden even unto death the energies of the people of God, Yet these evils are, most hospitably entertained among us, and held in high repute. In all Christian churches there are venerable Conservatives who will not permit us to leave the time-honored rut. “As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, Amen,” might serve them as a motto. the same brethren will venture upon very dubious speculations in business, and will practice inconsistencies in common life, which holy caution would have disallowed; but when they come to deal with God’s work, their caution bump attains a marvelous development, and reversing Nehemiah’s question, they inquire with fear and trembling, “Should not such men as we are flee directly?” For my part I am inclined to answer, “Yes, flee as fast as you like, and get out of the way, that bolder men may fill your places.”
This hole-and-corner quality shows itself in certain circles in a constant excusing and apologizing for the gospel. At one period most sermons were apologies for the existence of Christianity! Ministers modestly essayed to prove that there was a God, and with profound respect for unbelief begged to be permitted to prove the authority of Scripture.
Revealed truth was proved so often that nobody believed it. A spice of this traitorous modesty flavors our ministry still, and some palates crave for more of it. We are expected to appear before our hearers with a sweet bashfulness which disclaims all dogmatism, and sues for a hearing as a beggar for an alms. God’s ambassadors, forsooth, are to lick the dust, and to deliver their Master’s message as though he borrowed leave, to be. God forbid that our Great Monarch’s honor should so suffer at our hands; we are nothing in ourselves, but our office we will magnify, and claim an audience for our Lord’s word, which, with no bated breath, we deliver in his name.
You remind me that modesty is a great virtue; I believe it, but I ,also believe that there are other virtues equally necessary to a soldier. The modesty which keeps a soldier in the rear in the day of battle will earn him few laurels; and that retiring disposition which makes him retreat when the order is given to advance is called by another name by men of courage.
Perhaps the modest guardsman felt himself scarcely competent to obey the command, “To the front;” and was humbly conscious of his unworthiness to be the selected object of the amiable intentions of the gunners on the other side, and therefore he retired with delightful bashfulness among the baggage wagons. Charming modesty! Refreshing humility! How uncharitable the court-martial which will not accept this admirable version of the affair! Inexcusable is the barbarity which exposes so modest a soldier to ignominious degradation.
Among private Christians there exists a more than sufficient dread of intruding religion into their conversation. Any other topic is well ,enough.
You may talk about anything else, from the cattle plague to the new island in the Greek Archipelago; and the system of common sewage, Puseyism, the smallpox, or any other disgusting subject may be discussed, but you must not talk about Jesus Christ, or you will be censured for intrusiveness, and I know not what. Colton, in his day, said that men would wrangle for religion; write for it; fight for it; die for it; anything but — live for it: and we may now add, anything but discourse upon it to their friends and acquaintances. May a revival of go(illness drive this unhallowed etiquette from all Christian company, and may mouths, so lately gagged, be opened to tell to others the most blessed and interesting of good news. There are some who never dare to speak to others at all in an earnest and impressive styl e, lest they should be thought to be canting and hypocritical. I once thought the birds very silly for being frightened by Scarecrows, but what shall we say of those exquisites who are alarmed at being called cants?
Men are perishing, and if it be unpolite to tell them so, it can only be so where the devil is the master of the ceremonies. Out upon your souldestroying politeness; the Lord give us a little honest love to souls, and this superficial gentility will soon vanish.
I could with considerable refreshment to myself pour sarcasm after sarcasm upon religious cowardice. I would cheerfully sharpen my knife and dash it into the heart of this mean vice. There is nothing to be said in its favor. It is not even humble; it is only pride of too beggarly a sort to own itself.
Instead, however, of going to war with this miserable, cringing, servile quality, I shall commend the opposite virtue, and offer a few words of encouragement to those who are ‘working for Jesus Christ, aiming to excite in them a spirit of holy boldness and. humble confidence.
HOLY BOLDNESS makes work for God a happy exercise. If I go about a work laboring under the fear of man I shall do it badly, and feel no joy in it; but when I know that I am sent of God, and that he is with me, my soul takes fire, and I work with satisfaction and pleasure. As a landsman, I should be wretched, if compelled to steer a steam-boat from Dover to Calais, because, never having handled the helm before, I should feel afraid of landing the passengers rather too suddenly at a point for which they never booked themselves; but I can suppose that the helm’s-man, who is always traversing the channel, sings as he stands at the wheel. He is well up to his work; he has his certificate as a pilot; and feels so much. in his proper place, that uneasiness and dissatisfaction do not becloud him. Pray make the application. It is well to work happily, for wheels wanting oil make a music which most ears had rather miss, and unhappy hearts do God’s work in an equally unpleasant manner. To be happy, however, you must be confident in your call, and this soon makes an end of timidity. Genuine courage leads people to believe in your sincerity. You maysometimes, if you are very confident, do a great many things which you would not be allowed to do if you Were not so bold. I have sometimes seen persons entering into places where they really had no right to be, by coolly marching up to the door as if they were upon business, and feared no interruptions. The man has been so cool, and such a believer in himself, that everybody has believed in him. With a good lump of salt this is also true in ‘God’s work, only our courage must not be assumed, or be based upon a mere official dignity. Courage wins respect, and fearfulness invites attack. Begin by excusing yourself, and the person whom you are addressing naturally supposes that there is something which needs to be excused. You apologize, and it is not usual for persons to apologize without some reason; the man, therefore, perceives that you have something to apologize for. When you talk to him about his soul, you speak with such bated breath that he says, “Oh, I see, he has no very great confidence in the theme himself.” But when you speak with that child-like simplicity and courage which marks one who really believes, then you command the respect of men so far as your sincerity can go, and that, mark you, is a long way. It is something to get the person upon whom you are working to believe that you are really sincere. Holy boldness and a holy life are two great arguments in reasoning with men concerning righteousness and judgment to come. When they go together they will seldom be defeated. Sanctified courage issues a caution to enemies to look at their foe before they set upon him, and thus preserves its owner from many attacks. He who fears men will soon have them like hornets buzzing and stinging all day long; but he who cares nothing for their snarls will soon be let alone. A dauntless bearing is as valuable as a battery of guns, and administers a very instructive hint to the foe to keep his proper distance. Pugnacity is folly, but fortitude is wisdom; wisdom which even a coward may admire, since it prevents many a conflict. The brave man deserves the portrait which a master hand has sketched : — “He bore him in the thickest troop, As doth a lion in a herd of neat:
Or as a bear, encompassed round with dogs; Who having pinch’d a few, and made them cry, The rest stand all aloof, and bark at him.” Why should the sacramental host of God’s elect be less brave than the legions of Caesar, or the battalions of Wellington? Pusillanimity is unworthy of the man who serves the King of kings. The rank and the of the Lord’s hosts should be Valiant-for-truths and Great-hearts, and the leaders should be Dauntless and Courageous.
Boldness possesses wonderful influence. One bold man is like a shield of brass to a host Of others who are trembling and afraid. “He stopp’d the fliers:
And, by his rare example, made the coward Turn terror into sport;; as waves before A vessel under sail, so men obey’d, And fell below his stem.” Do you not feel that well-established and confirmed believers stand like rocks in our midst? The weak and trembling enjoy a sense of safety in their society. It is no terror to meet with cavilers when these warriors are in the camp; we rather rejoice at the coming of the foe, because feats of arms will be witnessed. But why should this be true of a mere handful? Why should we not attain to their valor? Why should we not aim at a higher degree of sanctification, that by holy boldness and stability we also may command the same influence in the church as they do? The world also bows before the majesty of courage. He never moved the world who suffered the world to move him. You will never make a man believe if you even seem to doubt for yourself. The reason why Luther could shake the nations was because all the nations put together could not stir him. Archimedes wanted but a place whereon to set his machinery, and then he declared that he could lift the universe. Here is the labor and the difficulty, the finding of that solid standpoint; a doctrine of which we feel infallibly and unconquerably assured, which we have tasted and handled of the good word of life: here and here alone we get the fulcrum for our leverage, and without it we can only like Archimedes talk of what we could do if — , and what we hope to accomplish if — , and there it ends.
Going to work with holy confidence honors the gospel. In the olden times, when Oriental despots had things pretty much their own way, they expected all ambassadors from the West to lay their mouths in the dust if permitted to appear before his Celestial Brightness, the Brother of the Sun and the, Cousin of the Moon. Certain money-loving traders agreed to all this, and ate dust as readily as reptiles; but, by the bye, when England sent her ambassadors abroad, the daring islanders stood bolt-upright. They were told that they could not be indulged with a vision of the Brother of the Sun and Cousin of the Moon without going down on their hands and knees. “Very well,” said the Englishmen, “we will dispense with the luxury; but tell iris Celestial Splendor, that it is very likely that his Serenity will hear our cannon at his palace gates before long, and that their booming is not quite so harmless as the cooing of his Sublimity’s doves.” When it was seen that ambassadors of the British Crown were no cringing petitioners, ore: empire rose in the respect of Oriental tyrants. It must be just so with the cross of Christ. It strikes ,he that our cowardice has subjected the gospel to contempt. Jesus was humble, ‘and his servants must not be proud; but Jesus was never mean or cowardly, nor must his servants be.
You never find him trucking. There was no braver man than Christ upon earth, and he was brave because he was humble. He could stoop to save a soul, but he would stoop to nothing by which his character might be compromised, or truth and righteousness insulted. So must it be with us.
Poverty we would rejoice to endure for Jesus. Meanness and sin are the only things we abominate. To preach the gospel boldly is to deliver it as such a message ought to be delivered. Blush to preach of a dying Savior?
Apologize for talking of the Son of God condescending to be made man, that he might redeem us from all iniquity? Never! Oh! by the grace of God let us purpose, with Paul, “to be yet more bold, that the gospel may be yet more fully preached throughout all ranks of mankind.” “I’ll preach Try Word though kings should hear, Nor yield to sinful shame.” Another excellence of holy boldness is this, that it will be sure to lead us to further attempts for Christ. It would be almost amusing to observe some of you tract-distributors when first you go out with your tracts. How difficult it seems to you to give anybody that inoffensive piece of paper! It is not a very wonderful thing to distribute tracts — some people do it wholesale, and take a delight in it — but at first it appears to you a Herculean task, needing most extraordinary grace. You must get over this fearfulness. You cannot expect, if you give the tract timidly, that people will receive it joyfully. You who visit a district, think for whom you do it, and in whose name you do it, and who is with you, and you will have few fears. I can very well understand that there is a court in your district which you have never visited, because you are afraid to go into a place of such ill repute; or a house where you have never called, because the people are so respectable. Now look this in the face and see if your conduct is defensible, as in the light of conscience and duty! That young man who preached the other night was told before he went into the pulpit, that Dr. Classic was in the congregation, and he felt a great flutter of fear as to what the learned gentleman might think. It is to be feared that he thought a great deal more of the doctor than of the Lord Jesus Christ, and yet the doctor was not his master, nor did his opinion matter a straw, while the favor of the Lord Jesus was important in the very highest degree. We must get over all this sort of thing, or we shall be kept back where we might have served the glorious cause. We shall neither in the morning sow our seed, nor in the evening stretch out our hand, if we tarry the pleasure of the sons of men. “He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.” If we fall into the habit of regarding this person and that person; being afraid of this district, and of that house; and of looking suspiciously upon this talkative woman, or that fine gentleman, we shall soon find ourselves poor slaves, miserable cringers, pitiful cowards, and anything but bold soldiers of the cross.
Once more. Holy courage should be cultivated because it incites others to the fight. Your determined march forward may lead the whole host. I grant you that those who are hindmost may have a service to perform, as the tribe of Dan had in the wilderness; but the post of honor, and frequently the post of the greatest usefulness, is that Which Judah occupied, for Judah’s Lion led the way. May God make you lion-like in courage for the Savior!
May you be humble before him, but bold before your fellow-creatures!
May you lie in the dust when you approach God, saying with Abraham, “I have taken upon me to speak to thee, I who am but dust and ashes ;” but when you speak to men, may you hear the voice which saith, “Be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them. For, behold, I have made thee this day a defensed city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land.”
There is a curse resting upon him who trusts in man, and a present curse torments him who is afraid of man. “Who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass?”
Be bold, then, for the Master, for all these reasons, each one of you, and every one of you! Oh that the whole church had more courage! Oh that she were once again clear as the sun, and fair as the moon, and would uplift her standard, and become terrible as an army with banners! Victory and conquest will be ours, when we dare to claim them. Our want of courage alone withholds us from taking the prey from the mighty. Right is with us, and might too, if we have but faith. We are no interlopers in this land; this world is ours, and our Lord’s. This Canaan is given to us by lot, and we must drive out these Hivites and Amalekites, who usurp its dominion. We must win it for our Lord. It is not for Christ’s church to be pushed up into a corner, and to pay respect to the Babylonish harlot, and to all manner of idolatries. Be it ours to claim her true place for the Church of God. She is Christ’s bride. Imperial blood is in her veins. The crowns of all kingdoms must yet be upon her Husband’s head, and upon hers, and when he shall come she shall reign with him. Let her sons feel the coming glory, and let each one ask himself, “Shall such a man as I flee?”
IT was in our heart to imagine that “Spurgeonism” either in an offensive or inoffensive sense would no more be heard of; but the ghost it seems is not laid, it haunts unquiet minds and frets them sorely. A very few months ago we were somewhat sharply upbraided for want of union with the Baptists, and were charged with the sin of sect-making, or at least, of desiring to head a party. With considerable warmth, and we hope sufficient plainness, we rebutted the charge in words, and have done our best to disprove it by actions; and now we find ourselves in hot water in precisely the opposite direction, having in the eyes of some been guilty of exercising too preponderating an influence upon the Baptist body. The old fable of the Old Man, his Boy, and his Ass, might receive a very practical illustration from our career, if we were at all inclined to listen to the remarks of the many who interest themselves in our doings; but our desire to please our brethren is we trust subordinate to a far higher aim, and therefore we shall give their expressions as candid and patient a hearing as we can afford, and shall then seek direction from a less discordant authority. It was never our wish to appear to be alienated from our esteemed Baptist brethren, for whom in proportion to our personal knowledge of them our affectionate esteem increases; but far less have we it in our mind to compass any grasping of the whole system of the denomination; or to obtain or exercise any predominating influence in it. If we have advanced any forgotten truths which command the consent of our brethren we cannot ‘but be glad; but we are not aware that even in this we have any ground for rejoicing; we have tried to swim side by side with the brethren in the direction of progress, but have always, seen certain strong swimmers ahead of us; and have felt right happy to do our best not to be among the last. If our brethren feel that during the few months that we have been seen more manifestly among them we have been at all burdensome, we have been very much misled by their hearty manner towards us; and if we have usurped in any way an influence to which we have no right we very sincerely regret it, and declare that we had no intention to violate any man’s liberty, or to force our ideas upon the brotherhood in an intolerant or uncourteous fashion. So long as we can all of us live for Christ, and as a community maintain the purity of the gospel-of Jesus, and a hallowed practical zeal for the Master’s glory, it can little matter to any-man among us whose influence, may be most helpful to promote our prosperity, and when, the position of any one of our number shall be thought to be too prominent for the good of the whole, it becomes his, privilege to hold himself is the background and to let others lead the van. So long as we may but; do all we can for the promotion of the Master’s kingdom, we are content to work with others or, without them, and denominationally, we desire to be influential or retired exactly as shall be most’ for the benefit of the great cause. Our own conviction is, that never were our Baptist brethren more vigorous in spiritual life; and that our present unity and zeal is no more due to any one man than this delightful springtime is due to the birds Whose songs proclaim it; our only fear is lest the personal references which we are about to quote should excite an evil spirit of jealousy which may mar our present hearty oneness and stay the advance which we hope is being made.
It were better for us not to exist than to be a stumbling-block to servants of Jesus who are finding their way into a condition of closer fellowship than aforetime has been among them.
The Rev. Edward White, of Camden Town, once a Baptist minister, has expressed his desire to be united with the Congregational Union, and has registered his fervent prayer for “the downfall and abolition of the Baptist denomination, so far as its Baptist character is concerned” The prayer will probably return into the place from which it came, and if it be Of God, will doubtless be answered; but the desire to be united with the Congregational Union is a legitimate’ subject.’ for consideration, especially as the. reasons, are appended one. of which intimately concerns ourselves. Mr. White writes: — Besides, there is, I confess, something in the present condition of the Baptist denomination in England which makes it less attractive than ever to persons of a certain constitution of mind. The sect is very small, derives its chief glory from the repute of its foreign missions (which, however, do not derive their efficacy from their baptismal peculiarity), and above all, has latterly proved itself too weak at the center to resist the predominating influence of a single powerful element. It is no secret that Mr. Spurgeon is at present the presiding genius of the denomination. Now, while ready to admit that ‘Spurgeonism’ (I use the word in no offensive sense), with all its peculiarities of culture, taste, and doctrine, is entitled to a considerable place as a planet, I deny that its light is of a quality or magnitude which fits it to!be either a center or a sun. It is, nevertheless, notorious that this heavenly body has grasped, by the singular power of its attraction, the whole system of the Baptist denomination, and carried along with it, I do not exactly know whither, even the most considerable luminaries.”
This might not seem so very weighty a reason for leaving one denomination for another to persons who are ordinarily constituted, but persons of a certain constitution of mind,” (which we take to mean persons very uncertain in mind upon important doctrines) cannot be supposed to act like common mortals. Why not meet this monster of Spurgeonism, and rescue the victims of its terrible power? Why not support that center which is unable to resist the single powerful element? If Mr. White had risen in any meeting of our own Union to express his views he would have been heard with respect, and if he believes his own views to be so much better than our own, he might surely have allowed to the brethren whom he professes to esteem, as fair a share of ability to perceive their force as he possesses himself. It may be discreet, but it is only in that sense valorous to leave good company’ because one’s own influence is-not supreme in it, and because we have muddled and worried ourselves into the belief that somebody else is too big by half. We do not think so much of Mr. White’s courage as we did, though even. after this diminution we retain, a thorough admiration of his independence of mind, and wish he had shown it in ways other than those which he has selected.
There is, however, we suspect, a deeper cause’, for Mr. White’s secession than may appear at first sight. He compares us to a planet, and with a most complimentary generosity calls us a heavenly body; we shall be happy to retain the compliment, as it might be thought sarcastic on our part if we returned it; and the metaphor of a planet so aptly pictures what we desire to. be in relation to the heavenly sun, that we must reserve it for personal edification; but we beg to suggest that there are erratic bodies in the sky far less fitted to become centers than even the planets are, and when they rush off into the outer realms of space with or without their tails we wish them a kindly farewell, and having no desire to follow, hope they will enjoy their wild excursion. We are content to be the steady planet, revolving in the old-fashioned orbit of orthodoxy, and have no ambition to become a center or a sun; but we confess we are not anxious to enter into the cloud which composes the peculiar glory of the Camden Town luminary, and are not vexed to have a little wider space between our orbit and his own, yet as we never felt any alarm when in his neighborhood, our satisfaction at his departure is not excessive, We have not so much as a shade of sympathy with Broad Church views, and It. White knows this; he knows also that we do not bend the knee to the modern liberalism which is just now so popular, and viewing us as in some measure representatives of the so-called orthodoxy which it is fashionable to depreciate, he feels all his aversions so much aroused, that one of the freest of all denominations has not room enough in it to hold us both. How is it that he can live in the same city? Will he escape from the influence which he dreads by residing among the Independents? We can give him no promise that the terrible shadow may not reach him even there? There is an omnipresence in truth which is not to be avoided, and even influence is not bounded by walls. Will the Independents openly avow latitudinarian principles by opening their doors to receive the furtive from what is called by the ugly name of “Spurgeonism, but is really in the main the faith of their fathers! If so, it is their own concern, and we shall perhaps be believed if we say that we shall regret the additions which they obtain in such a way far more for their sakes than our own. The Adullamites in politics have their representatives in theology, and they are so uncertain in the use of their weapons that their friends have more reason than their foes to be afraid of them. Our Independent brethren have thought it possible, it seems, that the Baptist body will be merged in theirs, and the “Patriot” appears quite angry that we should think of continuing our separate existence; it will subserve the purposes of practical union if our friends will dismiss all notion of our amalgamation from their minds as a mere dream, and regard us as they have done in former days, as brethren who honestly believe that the points in dispute are assuredly not frivolous, though they may be thought to be vexatious: but if the Pseudo-Baptist Congregationalists will still anticipate the ultimate absorption of the Baptists into their ‘body and are really anxious for it, let them not treat truth as though it were indifferent in order to smooth their pathway, for so far as we know our Baptist brethren, this is the most effectual method of shutting the door. We have among us some who incline to the broad theology, who may possibly follow Mr. White’s example, but none of her stauncher brethren will be likely to leave our camp, and then the bridge will be broken down, and the two bodies will have doctrinal questions to divide them as well as the question of ordinances, for the body welcoming a certain party cannot but be viewed as affording a more congenial sphere for their peculiarities, and as so far sharing in them. In the interests Of Catholicity, such a line of demarcation is scarcely desirable, but it may be overruled to answer the divine purpose with regard to truth. When, without either side having dogmatically laid down any creed, it shall come to pass that in the main on the one side there is the old form of evangelism, and on the other side an abundant portion of the vagaries of modern thought, a new character will be given to the differences between the two bodies, and instead of being a friendly discussion concerning ordinances, it will become a life and death struggle for. vital godliness. We are suspected of bigotry, but we do not leave a denomination because all do not swear by our Shibboleth, nor are we so unkind as to wish another body of Christians to become a receptacle and refuge for men who leave a free community, which has never tried to fetter them, because, forsooth, another man’s influence offends them! The old faith is evidently safe without the safeguard of test ;. for the mere presence of. one of its preachers renders the place too hot for men of” a certain constitution of. mind.” We accept the hint given us by Mr. White as to our position, and shall feel less than ever inclined to be silent, while on all hands the vaunted Liberalism is so clamorous. It behoves those whose convictions are conservative of the received faith to stand firm and fast, and it becomes them more and more to rely upon the celestial arm. May God defend the right!
Whether we are officially in the Baptist body or out of it, is small care to us so long as we can advance the gospel of our Lord Jesus; but if those who leave the body on our account are only such as Mr. White, we shall feel wedded to it more and. more, not only for its own sake, but in the hope that in its ranks will be found the faithful and true witnesses who “hold fast the form of sound words.”