Excerpt from Passages in the Life and Ministry of Elbert Osborn, an Itinerant Minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church: Illustrating the Providence and Grace of God
For a few years my father endeavored to serve God; but the state of experimental reli gion was very low, I fear, in that vicinity in those days. Contentions arose in the church, which were increased by political prejudices; and these things, in connection with worldly cares and the desire of riches, gradually drew his heart away from the Lord. In such a state of mind, the faults and failings of professors of religion, and especially of ministers, were mag nified in his views; the arguments of skeptics insinuated themselves into his mind; their so phisms shook his faith; and some of the opinions which he had been taught made the downfall more easy; and before I was Six years of age he was secretly infidel in his sentiments. 0 how much harm is done by quarrels among pro fessing Christians, and how carefully ought ministers, especially, to shun the appearance of evil, lest through their fault some soul should perish for whom Christ died!
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