Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Christian! A Christian!

Here are a few snippets of a quote of Samuel Davies who was a Presbyterian preacher in the second Great Awakening.

Iaian Murray prefaces the quote by saying:
"Had Davies given more prominence to the distinctives of his own church it would have been to the numerical advantage of the Presbyterians, but his prime concern was to serve a much greater cause."

Samuel Davies:
"To be a Christian is not enough now-a-days, but a man must also be something more and better; that is, he must be a strenuous bigot to this or that particular church . . ."

" . . . the Christian is swallowed up in the partisan, and fundamentals lost in extra-essentials . . ."

"A Christian! a Christian! let that be your highest distinction, let that be the name which you labour to deserve. God forbid that my ministry should be the occasion of diverting your attention to anything else."

[Pp. 29 of Iaian Murray's Revival and Revivalism. Banner of Truth Trust.]

He did hold the value of local church or denominational distinctives/convictions . . . but he was right to recognize that that wasn't the first thing the church exists to proclaim.

Praise God for men like this!

Also, this quote of Murray's also stood out to me . . .
"News was spread by some in England that the infant College [Princeton] adhered to the 'Calvinistic Scheme' and was 'in the hands of bigots', and this closed both pulpits and purses to the visitors. The Independents (Congregationalists) and Baptists, who, Davies noted, 'are more generally Calvinists than the Presbyterians', gave the two preachers a better welcome. But these groups had little numerical strength ('the congregations are so small that it is enough to damp one's zeal in preaching to them'), a fact not unrelated to the 'dry orthodoxy' and 'Antinomianism' which Davies also observed among them. Dr John Gill was supportive but 'he modestly pleaded that his name would be of little service and that the Baptists in general were, unhappily, ignorant of the importance of learning'.

[Pp. 15 of Iaian Murray's Revival and Revivalism. Banner of Truth Trust.]

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