I’m still working my way through Baxter’s Life of Elder Walter Scott. Baxter is a good storyteller. The book has been enlightening on a number of points (e.g. I just finished the chapter that deals with the publication of Scott’s A Discourse on the Holy Spirit ); I’ll try to share more of what I’ve gleaned from the book soon.
In other news, I’ve been reading John T. Lewis’ The Christian and the Government (1945). The book is comprised of a series of articles published in the Bible Banner and (later) in Sound Doctrine during the period from 1942-1944, after Foy E. Wallace, Jr. changed his position on Christian participation in government and war and started to attack (along with his brother Cled and his friend W.E. Brightwell) those who disagreed with him as being “premillennialists.” Here’s a sample from Lewis’ pen:
“The consistent conscientious objector is the only one that can and does obey Paul’s teaching in Romans 13:1-7. Not being a partisan politician, he respects his government, and pays taxes to support it, regardless of the political party heading the government. Therefore, I boldly assert that the consistent conscientious objector — non-political Christians — constitute the greatest moral force behind our Government today. That is the reason the government respects their convictions. For instance, when Herbert Hoover, the outstanding citizen of the world, was President of the United States, every little peanut Democratic Christian in the South cursed and maligned him as though he was the devil incarnate, responsible for all the ills in the world. Not being a ‘political parson,’ I could, and did respect him as the head of our Government. I was in Portland, Maine, in 1907, when that rock-ribbed Republican state went Democratic from constable to Governor. Every Republican Christian, and that was about the only brand there, was absolutely certain that the devil had taken over their State Government, and was going to run it through or by the lowest strata of human society, the Democratic party. A few years ago when the Northern and Southern Methodists were trying to unite, they had a great convention in the city auditorium, here in Birmingham. I sat in the auditorium, one day during the convention, and heard an old time Democratic, Southern Methodist preacher from the ‘deep South,’ make one of the most touching and pathetic appeals that I ever listened to, he said: ‘Brethren, I had hoped to die, and go to heaven in the Democratic party, and in the Southern Methodist church; but now you are trying to turn the Southern Methodist church over to the Republicans.’ No doubt there were just as honest and as conscientious Republican Northern Methodist preachers, ‘down East’ who prayed just as fervently that the Northern Methodist church should not be turned over to the Democratic scum of the South….Brethren this is the brand of religion you have when you try to mix the elements of the temporal kingdom with the spiritual kingdom. These elements were united in the fleshly kingdom of Israel; but separated by Christ in spiritual Israel. What God has separated, let no man join together.” (pp. 51-52)