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The Prosperity of Zion PDF Print E-mail
Written by John R. Daily   

ZION'S ADVOCATE - October 1899

In the history of the Old Baptist church in America, we think her prospects for growth were never brighter than they are now. It is true that coldness and declension prevail in places, but in a good sense the grand old church is being favored with reviving showers. While there are some sectional disturbances and petty controversies, yet the churches are generally a unit, and an effort is being put forth to "keep the unity of the spirit in the bonds of peace." The ministry seems to be united in laboring together for the upbuilding of the cause. From different parts of the country come the heart cheering tidings of the Lord’s little ones coming into the fold of Christ. The Lord is to be praised for all this, for all our blessings come from him. The object of this article is to address the ministry and the laity in an exhortational way.

We appeal to the ministry first. Do you not know, dear brethren, that the divisions that arise in Zion, and disturb the peace of her children, are generally caused by leading preachers? Instead of peacefully and faithfully preaching, Jesus to his people, and feeding the lambs on the sincere milk of the word, some are found striving about words to no profit, and thus they disturb and separate the inhabitants of Zion. Some seem not to be satisfied with what God has revealed in his word, and so they undertake to dive into matters unrevealed, and rant and snort as they hear some calling them smart, while the children that should be fed are left without a morsel of the word of truth. Jealousy rankles in the bosoms of some as they think others receive more attention than they do, and this soon manifests itself in outward signs to the wounding of many whose hearts are in thc cause. Brethren, we all know that such things ought not to be. Put away such propensities and let us study more earnestly and zealously the good word of the Lord, equipping ourselves for the labor that is before us. Let us make no compromise with error, but let us strive for peace on the simple truth of the gospel. Instead of tearing each other down, let us labor to build each other up. Behold, the fields are white, ready to harvest! How few the laborers are! While we should pray for more laborers, we ought not to idle our own time away. Around all our churches there are children to be gathered in. At our meetings are dear ones to be fed who are hungering for the pure word of truth. Upon beds of affliction, many are lying who need to be visited, who are longing for words of comfort. Not for the sake of filthy lucre or greedy gain, but for the Lord’s sake let us do with our might what our hands find to do. We should not exalt ourselves over the flock as tyrannical rulers for the Lord has called us to be servants of the flock. We should strive to cultivate a meek and patient disposition. We may suffer hardships and privations, but such has ever been the lot of the Lord’s faithful ministers, and surely we are no better than others who have suffered the same trials before us. In the labors of nearly a quarter of a century we have learned that there are tribulations along the way. Being poor financially, we know what it is to spend sleepless nights and toilsome days in planning and striving to support a large family, at the same time bowing under the weight of that duty which calls us from a dear home to serve in the Master’s vineyard. Tears come uncalled to our eyes as we fail to fully express what we are sure many of our dear readers can understand though it be not expressed. How we ought to love one another as ministers of a gospel that the world frowns upon!

Now to the brethren and sisters in the churches we beg leave to write. Are you in real earnest when you say you are anxious about the prosperity of the church? When your meeting day comes are you always there ? Or do you stay away because your business interferes? If your business is in the way of your religious duty, you had better seek some other business. Let us tell you how your pastor feels for we know. When he arrives at the church and sees you are not there, if you are a faithful member he thinks you must be sick, or in some other way unavoidably detained. But if you have been known to neglect your church meetings he feels so sad to think that you care no more for your church privileges, and no more for him and his preaching, than to allow frivolous things to keep you from the house of God. His heart is sad as he opens the dear old book to select a text or read a lesson. He thinks that he may be in the way and may be the real cause of your slothfulness. On Sunday perhaps you are there, but he thinks if you had something else to do you would not be there, and so your presence is but little real comfort to him after all, and it is a great miracle if you take any comfort from it yourself. Awake from your lethargy and don’t make the excuse that you cannot devote just one work day in a whole month to the Lord’s service. Such an excuse is a flat contradiction to the profession you have made and the faith you claim to possess.

If any in the church are gifted with exhortation, encourage and cultivate the gift. Speak often one to another, pray with and for each other, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord. Then don’t forget your faithful pastor. Pray for him, speak encouragingly to him, arid look after his temporal needs. As he sows to you spiritual things let him reap of your carnal things. This is your duty as taught. May the Lord bless you all.

J. R. D.

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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.