More Wisdom from Samuel Miller

The more I read Samuel Miller (see yesterday’s blog post to discover who he was), the more I like him. I came across an article that he had written for The Presbyterian Magazine which was published posthumously in 1854 (He had died in 1850) entitled Church Attachment and Sectarianism. This passage from the article tells the story of a pastor and one of his elders who were at odds over some issue, and the godly response of the elder that grew out of his love for Christ and the Gospel:

How much more wise was the conduct of another Presbyterian, a pious and exemplary elder of the church to which he belonged! He had an unhappy controversy with his pastor, which very much interested the feelings of their respective families. On a certain Saturday afternoon, when they had come together for the purpose of adjusting their difficulties, and reconciling all parties, they were so far from gaining their end, that their controversial feeling became more intensely excited than ever, and they parted in a state of mutual irritation which seemed to preclude all hope of being reconciled. The next day, the pastor appeared in the pulpit as usual, and the elder and his household appeared in his family pew. At the close of the service, as he walked down the aisle, the pastor accosted the elder, and said, “I did not expect to see you here to-day.” “Why not?” said the elder. “Why you have not forgotten,” replied the pastor, “what passed between us last evening.” “No,” rejoined the elder, “I have by no means forgotten it. My feelings were greatly wounded, and I thought you behaved extremely ill. I thought so then, and I think so still. But though I quarreled with you, I have not quarreled with my Saviour. This is his sanctuary, not yours; and that gospel with which you are entrusted, you have faithfully preached to-day. I did not think proper, on your account, to deprive myself of the privilege which I have enjoyed. I have heard God’s precious truth dispensed; and I bless him for the opportunity.” Here was practical consistent wisdom; and here was an instance of an enlightened elder taking more just views of duty than his spiritual guide.

I am grateful that we have such elders at RPC in Beaumont. May their tribe increase! For the full article go to the PCA Historical Center.

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