Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Life Is Too Short For Prolonged Contention

A letter seeking reconciliation by Robert Haldane to Greville Ewing, a pastor friend who had separated himself from Haldane due to differences in doctrine and other matters. Their disagreements had an adverse consequence on the growing Baptist and Congregational movement then taking place in Scotland. Haldane didn’t want to enter heaven without their being reconciled. Haldane’s efforts for a public reconciliation were in vain but it appears that Mr. Ewing laid aside all personal animosity and bitterness. The letter was written in 1819 in Montauban, France, but was not delivered until Haldane returned to Scotland in 1821.

My Dear Sir:

Having had the other night a pleasing dream respecting an interview which I thought I enjoyed with you, and which recalled all that tenderness of affection I once had for you, I cannot let the feeling it excited pass without sending you these lines. Life is too short for such a prolonged contention. A great portion of yours and mine has passed since the unseemly strife began. Peace be with you!

I would not, however, desire to place so important a matter merely on the foundation of feeling, but it appears to me, considering the complication of circumstances which were, and perhaps still are, viewed by us in different lights, and the long period that has elapsed since we met, that while to each of us there are strong ground of searching of heart, all real or supposed offences may now be mutually set aside and give place to peace and cordial goodwill. May He who, I trust I may say, has loved us both, and washed us in his blood, subdue all our iniquities and cast our sins behind him into the depths of the sea! Being at such a distance, it is uncertain if we shall ever meet on earth. May we enjoy a blessed eternity in his presence!

I am, my dear Sir, yours,
Robert Haldane

The Lives of Robert and James Haldane, by Alexander Haldane, first published in 1852, reprinted by The Banner of Truth, 1990, p. 374.

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