CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH.
2. Another element for which we must contend is a
converted church membership. Baptists have always con¬
tended that no one has a right to church membership unless
he has been born again, aud there is no probability that
we shall ever change our requirement in this particular.
But, while we will not knowingly receive any one except
on profession of faith in Jesus Christ, it is to be feared
that some methods we employ iu revival meetings result
in bringing into the churches many who know not Christ
in the forgiveness of sins. Perhaps there never was a
time when the churches were free from false disciples, and
perhaps they never will be free from them; but we ought
to be careful to keep the number as few as possible. Un¬
converted people get into our churches mainly in two ways.
In a revival, when the preaching is more sound than
sense; when reliance is placed, not so much upon the
simple doctrines of repentance and faith, but rather upon
singing and other physical demonstrations; when the
members, with doubtless good intentions, gather around
those who are seeking Christ, and sing and pray over them
until they ''get religion"; when, in brief, physical feel¬
ing is substituted for judgment and positive conviction ;
then it is very likely that a large number of those who
profess to be converted will be mistaken. They are bap¬
tized, but they do not remain in the churches very long.
They have nothing to remain for. They go in with the
rush of an excitement, and they come out when the ex¬
citement has ended. Too much care cannot be taken in
preaching to sinners. They should be made to understand
that praying cannot save them ; nor can singing. Belief
in Christ alone saves. Hence the doctrines of repentance
and faith, the atonement, and free salvation should be