Strengthening the Church
The following article is taken from a biography of Moses Lard by Kenneth VanDeusen
The church had to come out of the great conflict intact instead of divided like the denominations of the time. …Lard made the following suggestions to the brethren for hindering Satan and strengthening the Churches of Christ.
“My first answer respects the kind of preaching demanded just at this time. Understand me reader. I do not mean that our preaching shall be either grand or simple, impassioned or calm. This is not what I mean. I speak not of manner, I speak of matter. Our preaching, then, should be pre-eminently and emphatically rudimental. The very seeds of truth and first lessons of the gospel are what we now need. Fill both mind and heart with these. If they salt not the soul and save it, nothing else will.
Nothing could be of more service to us now than a little tough piquant controversy with our old hereditary foes- the [denominations]. Some may doubt this. We are bold to think we know what we say when we thus hear an old enemy slandering him. A little pressure from this quarter just now would have a fine effect. Let no brother fear to provoke it. …A little of the blood these grand old warriors used to draw would be no mean bond of union now.
We especially need in the field at this time a class of deeply pious, earnest, elementary, working preachers. We want a class of noble men, magnanimous fellows, with genial kindly hearts- men that can ignore petty differences of opinion, and give you a hand so warm, a look so kind, a grip so strong, as to send a thrill of joy to your heart- these are the men we want. We want men that shall hang the mantle of their sweet fluent love on every church where they minister; that shall impress all with their high Christian-bearing, and leave the very atmosphere where they move burdened with mercy and sympathy- men that shall go forth to weep over the weaknesses of frail humanity, to be gentle to the erring, and a source of deep comfort to the whole family of God.
Above all, the work we now need is work to save our churches. These divided and in ruin, all is lost: these saved, all is safe. Every effort of the preacher’s soul and prayer of his heart should look to this. By the hopes of the future, and memories of the past; by the prayer of Jesus and the unity of truth, let our churches be besought to continue one. Let no work be held as subordinate to this. Let it be a chief, a constant work.”
Moses Lard That Prince of Preachers p147 Kenneth VanDeusen