Separation.

In no acrimonious spirit, but from love to the truth of God, would we urge upon our friends the importance of separation from the profession of the day. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Can there be real union upon a basis of compromise, or upon an understanding that vital matters should be suppressed? How can the friends of a particular redemption walk with the friends of a universal one, or the lovers of free grace unite with the lovers of free will? Or how can those who cleave wholly and solely to Christ’s righteousness walk with those who hold with part of their own? Martin Luther says, “Doctrine is heaven,” thus expressing its primary importance.

The “things which are most surely believed among us” are the warp and woof of Scripture, and have been made precious to us by the teaching of the Holy Spirit. If we thus hold them, we cannot unite with those who deny them. Great mischief is done, especially to our young people, where those who preach sovereign and distinguishing grace join its enemies upon public platforms for religious, social, or political objects; the inference is drawn that after all the difference between one and another is not of real importance. Read the solemn warning of 2 John 9—and consider the stand which the apostle besought should be taken “for the truth’s sake.” Did not Jehoshaphat act with Ahab, and was not the question put to him, “Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord” (2 Chron 19:2). “May not strict adherence to the Bible for the time at least be abandoned? May not alliances with the foes of discriminating truth, temporarily be formed?” What specious reasonings are these! How many are trifling with the meanings of words, as if there were no truth, no faith, no line of separation, no changeless revelation!

Union.

We rejoice in every opportunity of Christian union with those who, while differing from us denominationally, love and proclaim the fundamental truths dear to us. “The unity of the Spirit” is not any mere external bond, but it is that oneness of faith, hope and love which pervades every member of the mystical body; that oneness of heart and soul and affection of which the Holy Ghost is the sole and immediate Author. We are ready on every suitable occasion to welcome these friends, and to join them in the defence of the faith, and in support of such Christian enterprises as commend themselves to our consciences.



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