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Beginning of the story


During the meeting and debate nearly all the Baptist, Methodist, Universalist, etc., had been received into the church. But before the boy had scarcely been seated after his debate with Rev. Taylor, a Universalist preacher comes up and says: "My young friend, you have pulled up all of the stakes but one, and captured all my people but myself. Now there is one stake you have not pulled up."

Then he proceeded to read, commencing with I Cor. iii 1-5, specially dwelling on verse 15: "If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved; yet as by fire."

This striking him at just the moment of victory, almost floored him. He thought he knew the New Testament, but here comes the heaviest fire from the Universalist cannon.

After some hesitancy, he says: "Well, if the Universalist craft sails in the the port of heaven I had as soon go that way as any. That is my destiny, and if that is the name of the ship I shall soon be on board. But let me have some time to think and read my Book."

A week was granted him. He discussed the matter with his mother, who is a very fine Bible Scholar. He studies day after day, till at last he sees the matter clearly, or thinks he does. The solution is satisfactory to his mother, and soon he presents the matter to Bro. George Alkire, at Barry. Bro. Alkire is delighted with the solution, and he returns to Columbus. I write the matter as briefly as is expedient, and as correct as my memory retains it.

He reads the chapter down to verse nine very carefully, and he finds it closes by saying: "Ye are God's building." The "building" here spoken of is the church - God's spiritual house or temple. This spiritual house is to be builded, and Bro. Paul says: "As a master-builder, I have laid the foundation and another buildeth thereon." "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." This is the foundation; upon this every "lively stone" must be placed. Hence Bro. Waller positively refuses to baptize any one who will not confess "that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God." The Master once said (Matt. xvi. 18): "Upon this rock I will build my church." This prompted Paul to say that "other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." How fitting, then, that Paul, as a "wise master-builder" should give instruction to the under workmen in regard to this foundation and the material to be builded into this temple.

There come moments when preachers will be imposed upon by some who are insincere, weak, and designing; many tossed about by every wind of doctrine. Many preachers, in order to secure a great name, may preach so as to invite many who are tampering to unite with the church, thus to run up a long list of converts. This will read agreeably to those afar off, but God counts the quality of those added, whether they be gold or stubble.

It is true our work in adding material to the spiritual house will be tried "of what sort it is"; and we too, as individual preachers, shall be tried in the same crucible. If we are gold, silver, precious stones, we "shall be saved."

The Universalist preacher was satisfied, and converted to the truth as it is in Christ Jesus.


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