Editor of Simple Testimony periodical.
The Witness 1917 refers to his passing;
Members of Christ, or—?
[In view of the Crisis Days in -which our lot is cast, and the Near Return of our one Lord, the following weighty words almost from the deathbed of a veteran saint call for heart consideration by all as to the communion of all saints, sound in the Faith and godly in life.—ED.]
THE extract which we print below is •*- from a recent letter by our beloved brother WILLIAM BARKER. It expresses his ripened judgment after a long experience in the service of our Lord Jesus Christ; and it was thought to be of such present value that others should be given the opportunity of reading it.
The letter was dated 13th September, 1915; just one month before he departed to be with Christ. The extract reads thus:
"I think the question may well be asked: On what ground do we break bread? for, I fear, all unconsciously to ourselves, we have slipped on to a sectarian ground, or, at least, some have. Do we break bread simply as Christians, members of -Christ ? or as members of Christ and something else? A Baptist Christian breaks bread in his Chapel as a Christian and member of Christ, but also as belonging to the Baptist community. So also a Wesleyan; he breaks bread as a Christian, but also as belonging to the Wesleyan Society. Do we break bread as members of Christ and as belonging to one—out of the seven groups of exclusive brethren? I fear this is de facto the position of many. But if we decline all additions, and avow that we break bread simply as Christians, members of Christ, then on what scriptural ground do "we refuse fellowship to a fellow-member, known and commended as sound in the faith, godly in walk, and not associated with anything of a heterodox nature? If there is Scripture to justify a refusal, I should like to know what it is."
Those who desire to follow our rejected Lord faithfully, and to walk in the truth, will do well to weigh this matter before God. Our brother's words flow from a matured knowledge of God's Word, and from a deepened communion with Him as to the pathway marked out for the members of Christ's body.