Ohio History Journal

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Rejoicing in Divine Workmanship

Rejoicing in Divine Workmanship.         227




Abstract of a sermon preached by the Rev. George W.

Lasher, D. D., editor of the Journal and Messenger, Cincinnati,

Ohio, in the First Baptist Church. Text: Psalm CXLIX, 2.

"Let Israel rejoice in Him that made him; let the children of

Zion be joyful in their King."

There are two ways of writing history; the one to refer

every event to some over-ruling power superior to man and to

human agency; the other to find the spring of every event in

some other antecedent event. Israel was taught to understand

that, whatever the instrumentalities used, it is God who works

in and through and by means of the instrument, so that, in the

last analysis, it is Jehovah who casts down or raises up, creates

or destroys. This was the idea in the mind of the author of the

psalm and of the text. And the principle which underlies the

history of the ancient Israel also underlies the history of the

modern "Israel," the people of God, to-day.

In attempting to direct the thought of the Baptists of Galli-

polis, on this centenary occasion, this principle must not be for-

gotten nor overlooked. We must take into account the divine

guidance, the evidence of a divine purpose, the development

from small beginnings, the evolutions and the retrogressions, the

renewed impulses and the recurring relapses which have charac-

terized the history of the Baptists; we should mark well, and

with peculiar joy, the onward march, the increasing influence

and the present dominance of the great principles which give

occasion to cite the language of the psalmist.

Let us try to answer three questions:

1. Who are the Baptists?

2. Whence are the Baptists?

3. Whose workmanship are the Baptists?

1. Who are the Baptists? We answer, They are a peculiar

people. They stand before the world as exponents and advocates

of truths and principles which it is liable to forget; which, in-

deed, have been overlooked again and again, and which would

now be lost sight of but for those who are called by our name.