James Henley Thornwell was a staunch Old School Presbyterian preacher who fought against theological modernism in the 19th century. The sixth president of South Carolina College (today the University of South Carolina), Thornwell was weary with the “in betweenites” of his day who said they loved the truth but were soft in their stance and refused to boldly withstand error. “To employ soft words and honeyed phrases in discussing questions of everlasting importance; to deal with errors that strike at the foundations of all human hope as if they were harmless and venial mistakes; to bless where God disapproves, and to make apologies where He calls us to stand up like men and assert, though it may be the most apt method of securing popular applause in a sophistical age, is cruelty to man and treachery to Heaven. Those who on such subjects attach more importance to the rules of courtesy than they do to the measures of truth do not defend the citadel, but betray it into the hands of its enemies. LOVE FOR CHRIST, AND FOR THE SOULS FOR WHOM HE DIED WILL BE THE EXACT MEASURE OF OUR ZEAL IN EXPOSING THE DANGERS BY WHICH MEN’S SOULS ARE ENSNARED” (quoted in a sermon by George Sayles Bishop, author of The Doctrines of Grace and Kindred Themes, 1910).
(Friday Church News Notes, February 24, 2012, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
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