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Zion's landmark. online resource (Wilson, N.C.) 1867-current, September 15, 1876, Image 1

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Jv. Zion’s Landmark »S¥ftTg» THS BSFfiSSS TSS PBlMWIfS fiiPTIWS. “TO THE LAW AND TO THE TESTIMONY.’’ Yol. ix-No. 31. Wilson, N. C., September 15, 1876. Whole No. 31§. Zion’s Landmark By the help of the Lord, this paper will contend for tlie ancient landmark, g;uided by its stakes of truth,and strengthened by its cords of love. Tt hopes to reject all tradition.^ and INSTITUTIONS OF MEN, and regard only the BIBLE AS THE STANDARD of TRUTH. It urges people to search the scriptures and oboy Jesus ii.s the only King in the holy hill of Zion, keeping themselves unspotted from the world. It aims to contend for the mystery of the faith in God and ihe Father, Jesus the Medi ator, and the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Com forter. All lovers of gospel truth are invited to write for it—if so impressed. May grace, mercy and peace, be multiplied to all lovers of Jesus. . x ©ararairaitattii Near Lexington, Ga., June 23tli, 1876. Dem' Brother Gold:— Having 8ora« leisure time, and feel ing somewhat impressed to write on the following subject, I proceed : “ Be not righteous over much, neither maheithyselfowoT wi.se : w'hy shouldest tliou destroy thyself? Be not over rjcked, neither b^hou foolisld: before tljiy ■hiccl. ‘•\Vhat was written aforetime was written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the ^oriptures raiglit have hope." Poor fallen men are creatures of extremes in almost every thing they engage in or profess, and even those W’ho are sub jects of saving grace are too often found going to great extremes, mani fested sometimes by complaining ’ of themselves, to their brethren, as beins: so unworthy and unfit for even a place amongst Christian people ; when it is known by their brethren that their walk and Christian conversation- are unexceptionable, when it may be, while complaining of themselves, their inward object is to excite pity, or get applause of their brethren ; for if their brethren were to agree with such complainers, and let tliem know tliat they thoug*ht of them precisely as they thought of themselves, it might not set so well. It might be like the two old sisters who were in conversation. One was telling the •other how bad she was, and what a poor., unfit, and unworthy creature she was, &c. The other, being more experienced, replied : That’s just what I have always thought of you, and now you have come out at last: when the comjilainer, in excitement, re plied: Well, I reckon, after all, I am as good as you are, any way you can fix it. This I do not doubt, said the other, but there is no use in com plaining so much to others ; for if we could get their pity or applause it would be entirely unprofitable. There was one extreme properly exposed.— Another extreme equally disgusting is that cf framing themselves as be ing so careful and successfuHn guard ing against evils, in which they see others indulge, and telling how par ticular they are now, and have been, in discharging every duty enjoined upon them, and how careful they are now, and have been, in guarding against evils that might interrupt the peace of the saints, and complaining greatly of others who have not been so careful and guarded as they them selves have been. Such are just where they can see plainly the mote in t|ieir brother’s eye, but see not the beam in their own eyes. If such are the children of God (which is not impossible), they will soon he brought low under the chast ening rod of their heavenly Father, and he made to abhor themselves in dust and ashes, so to speak, and com plain only of themselves, willing to bear with any brethren who can put up with them, because they had been looking too much outwardly and not enough inwardly, and had become overmuch righteous, and foolish, overwise in their own estimation.— If, howevi^r. such ^fault-finder.s are Kot the children God, they will continue more aiu^ more to praise themselves, and find fault with oth ers, till they fully expose themselves ; till their own destruction (religiously) is brought about, which would prove to the best interest of the church.— Let none say, “ I am not liable to such evils." The depravity of human nature is alike in all, and “ the heart (or carnal mind, which all have,) is deceitful above all things and desper ately wicked, who can know it ?’’— Jer. 17 : 9. And even ministers them selves are no better than their breth ren, but all are liable to err. They complain greatly of inferiority, weak ness, inability, and unworthiness in themselves, which no doubt they feel, indeed, hut to be always complaining of it they find to be unprofitable to themselves, and of no benefit to oth ers ; and to make it worse, they claim to see all sufficiency in their preach ing brethren. In this they may some times dis.simulate. To illustrate: af ter the church at Black Creek, Mad ison Co., Ga., called me to serve them, twenty or thirty years ago, there was an old brother David, a sound gospel preacher, living in the neighborhood (though his membership was at Mid dle Eiver, Franklin Co.), and he al ways attended our meetings, and would sit in the stand with me, but I never could get him to pneacli.— His reply when asked was, What! I preach, and you here : never! never ! ’’ Once I deterra inkl to try a new plan with him. So, when I got to the place, brother David met me gladly, and as usual went up in to the stand with me. After being seated, I said to him: “ Brother Da vid, I am tired ; if you please preach to-day.’’ His reply, as usual, was, “What! I preach, and you here; never ! never ! ’’ Then I said, “Now, brother David, I am going to talk plain to you, and do pray don’t take offense. I want you always to come and hear me, but I never intend any more to invite you to preach here.— If, however, you at any time feel it to be your duty to preach, let me know, and you shall have an opportunity to discharge your duty.’’ At this he began rubbing his hands and groan ing earnestly, and soon remarked : “ I reckon I must try a little to-day."— He went on and preached greatly to my relief and comfort; and, after that, never failed to preach there as long as he was able to get there, which was several years after. Others, I have noticed, who like him seem to try how much their brethren will beg and persuade them to preach, when, if their brethren were to object to their preaching, simply because they were so hard to get at it, they would become offended likely, and would visit them no more; or, if other present seemed to be pre- overwise; very particular indeed about others, and insensible of their own condition. Hence the great im portance of self-examination, care and watchfulness, lest any of us, before we are aware of it, become righteous tongmSpCTP^IWPTTrc; pearance would speak out to their breth ern. “ Some men’s sins are open be forehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after."— 1 Tim. 5 : 24, 25. He is wise in deed, and not overwise, who knows and feels his own errors, with his un- worthines, his ignorance, with his ut ter destitution in liiraself: and, with out complaining so ranch, if he is a preacher, his brethren will learn enough of it, by his preaching with the ability which God giveth. Such are not overmuch righteous, nor filled with a self-exaltation. But if minis ters become unmindful of their weak ness, and become exalted in them selves, the consequences are disas trous, and cannot be hid. The church at Laodicea, with its angel or minis ter, was in a luke-warm condition, and said, “ I am ridh, and increased with goods, and have need of noth ing," when intact she was wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked."—Rev. 3 : 17. Now, to have been either entirely cold, down, heavy under a sense of her mis erable and destitute condition, or hot, light, moveing and active, revived, and rejoicing, would have been preferable to this lukewarm state. Cold water is heavy, and is still, and is lowest down; hot water is lighter, active or moveing, ',but lukewarm is the most offensive to the stomach. As saints then were in that awful state, it is entirely reas onable to believe they may be so noiflMkome righteous overmuch, overmuch or overwise, or wise above what is written. I must notice the lastch&^^eto tlic same charactei', “Be not overmucli wicked, neither he thou foolish; why shouldest thou die before thy time?" Some may ask the question, Can the saints become overrauchwicked ? An swer: They are all thus subject, so long as they have the carnal or fleshly mind, waring against the Spirit or mind of Christ, which dwells in them. For proof, notice tl^e case of Peter, who, when overmuch righteous, said, “ Though all men shall be of fended because of thee, yet will I never be offhnded.”—Matt. 23 : 33. Again, when overmuch wicked, he began to curse and to swear, saying, “ I know not the man."—Matt, 26: 74. Again, immediately after Jesus had jironounced the great blessing upon Peter, and had given unto him the keys of the kingdom of heaven, Jesus began to tell the disciples about ust befall him at Jerasalem ; i^errauch righteous, l>e- t^liom thee, Lord, this shal I not be unto thee." But Jesus turned and said unto this same Peter, “ Get thco behind me Satan, thou art an of- fense unto me,*for thou savorest not the things that be of God, but those things that be of men,”—Matt. 16 : 22. No doubt but Peter was earnest and sincere in what he said, but nothing we do is made right be cause we are earnest and sincere. If prompted by theflesh,and we are made righteous overmuch or overwise, it is by no means pleasing to the Ijotd, but offensive. And can any claim to be more able to guard against and overcome the flesh and the devil than Peter was ? Surely not. Once a minister of ability and high standing was very zealous in contending for the faith and order of the primitive saints, standing firm with the Old' School Baptists for several years; but, eventually, about the year 1850, he became offended with an overwhel ming majority of his brethren,because they differed with him in his belief that God used his ministers and their preaching as means in his hand, by and through which he quickened and saved sinners from their sins.— His brethren were all willing to bear with him and live in peace; but he would not bear with them, but toofc up charges against two leading breth ren in the Church, where he was a member, and the pastor. Every ef fort possible was made to reconcile him, but lie could not be persuaded to let the brethren differ with him on that point, and live in peace. To use

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