A Puritan’s Exhortation to War Together for Church Unity
In 2020, I’ve left Octavius Winslow behind–much good he has done me.
I’ve read some of this tome in the past. Time to finish the task.
It seems I previously missed this connection he makes between spiritual warfare and church unity:
Be sure you stand in close order amongst your selves; these times give us too many sad examples of such, who first fell from communion with their brethren, and then into the devourers hand; stragglers are soon snapped; you will find you are safest in a body. Take heed of a private spirit; let not only your particular safety, but of the whole army of saints be in your eye and care, especially that company (congregation I mean) in which you march. That soldier who can see an enemy in fight with his brethren, and not help them, he makes it but the more easy for the enemy to slay himself at last. Say not therefore, Am I my brothers keeper? God would not keep him that cared not to keep his brother. Watch over one another, not to play the critics on your brothers failings, and triumph when he halts, but to help him up if he falls, or if possible, to keep him from falling by a timely rescue. … Keep your rank and file.
There’s a word, Christian.
Your enemy hunts you and your army.
You are safest in a body.
Keep your rank and file.
We ARE our brother’s keeper.
Take heed of a private spirit!