Vol.VII No.X Pg.6
December 1970

19Th. Century Sermon (1)

Robert F. Turner

From the sermons of J.M. Trible, pub- lished in 1892. we have made the following digest. The subject is Against Creeds, although this month we will have room for his introduction only — material we believe will be of historic interest to you.


The movement for the reformation of the church and the restoration of the faith of the apostolic church, has always been most outspoken and uncompromising in its opposition to human creeds as bonds of union and tests of fellowship among the followers of Christ. We have undoubtedly toned down in respect to some other things.

We do not make the same undiscrim- inating warfare on a regular and settled ministry as was the custom of our fathers. While we recognize that their attacks were not without great provocation and fair semblance of reason, we have learned, as most of them learned, that a regular ministry of the gospel, and paid pastoral care (1) of the churches, are indispensable to the life and growth of the church; and whatever may be their tendencies and perils, they can never work such harm to the churches as to leave them without such care.

So likewise the leaders of this movement were inclined at first to commit themselves against missionary societies, (2) as both inexpedient and unlawful for the churchs adoption. But we have gradually given over our opposition to them, and now use them as a necessary means of discharging the great commission which the Lord has left to his church. (3) Not one person in twenty among us today regards the society issue as anything else than both a false issue and a dead issue. I have been in a position to speak on this subject from knowledge. and I declare to you that one in twenty is a very liberal allowance for those who think the society principle opposed to the word of God. (4)


(1) This equating of regular support of a preacher, and paid pastoral care, was responsible for a Pastor system that ignored or downgraded scripturally appointed elders, and created opposition to the proper support of preachers who did only their God-appointed work.

(2) The writer acknowledges that early restoration leaders were opposed to missionary societies. But the expediency arguments, by which much early opposition was gradually overcome, he now replaces with necessary means of functioning.

(3) A basic fallacy in liberal thinking, then and now, is that the great commission was given to the church (as some sort of functional organization) and, hence, some means must be found whereby the universal church may poor means, and act as one in carrying Out the commission. The church (all saints) manifest Gods wisdom and goodness by what they are; (Eph. 3: 10-f) and instruct as individuals (2 Tim. 2:2) or through the organizational structure of the local church. (Phil. 4:15 2 Cor. 11:8)

(4) God and one can take twenty.