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p390 [C McAdam] [To the same.] DEAREST BROTHER, - … I have a letter from poor -, who is naturally in deep sorrow. We have had a similar case in Germany. For my own part, the present infidelity seems to me superficial, but we know that only God by His grace can keep the heart straight. I find when examining their arguments they are superficial - I do not say untrue: truth rests on other grounds. On the antiquity of man question there is a capital book by a man named Southall, of Virginia, thoroughly versed in their favourite subjects, and has pulled them all to pieces. I had read the principal books - Geikie, Evans, Procter, etc. - and come to the same conclusion, noting them, but Southall is master of the subject. Smith's article, which merely copies the learned Germans, is a very poor one. Yet the state of things is very serious, but it is a break up of that which can be moved, that that which cannot be moved may remain, and the word of God abides for ever. The brethren have the place, if God gives them grace to use it, of maintaining the testimony to the truth, not by extraordinary learning, which is very rare (reading is not), but by holding the truth of God from Himself, faith, and knowing the scriptures, which are able to make wise unto salvation.

I do not like brethren from outside meddling in sorrows of gatherings to settle them. God's way is to rouse the conscience of the gathering itself. Advice, or stirring up the conscience, they may be used in, but all settlings I have seen have done mischief, because not God's way.

Halifax, April 2nd.