Brethren Archive

Four Letters to the Christians Called "Brethren"

by Arthur Augustus Rees

Tom said ...

I can't disagree with that! 

Does the Holy Ghost preside and prompt, in any meeting, in the sense for which you contend ? Is He the directauthor of speech, or silence, with, or without, hymn books and Bibles—of praise, prayer, reading, teaching, breaking of bread, or the absence of some, or all of these exercises in any assembly of “Friends” or “Brethren”? One of your leaders, Captain P. H., somewhere speaks with contempt of the idea, that what he calls these “ your little doings” should be fathered on the Holy Ghost; not that he repudiates your principle, but censures its abuse. If, however, the principle be untrue—that is, if the Holy Ghost is not more especially present in your meetings, than He is in other assemblies of Christians where human order and arrangement are not disowned, how dread ful the pretension that both your “little” and great' “doings” are His “doings,” in the peculiar sense to which you lay claim I have been a worshipper in some of your “gatherings,” but I could never discover anything either in the devotions, or the teaching, which distinguished them from those of other Christians who were equally spiritual. On the contrary, I have repeatedly questioned whether the Holy Ghost, there and then, led Brother A. to such a chapter, or Brother B. to such a hymn. I once listened to the reading of a chapter with upwards of seventy verses, without a comment; at another time a hymn was given out for which there was no tune, and I strongly suspect that the Holy Ghost had as.much to do—that is, as little to do—with these selections as he has with a more judicious choice; in other words, I suspect that judgment or inclination, wise or unwise, is the principal guide in all your exercises. But if so, how dreadful the pretence that the Holy Ghost is in your meetings, and is the author of your devotions, as He is nowhere else, and with no other people !

Thursday, Apr 30, 2020 : 02:58

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