The New School Preacher
“This year, 1837, J. T. Mitchell was appointed to the Jacksonville station, and we had a blessed revival of religion in the station, and a number were added to the Church. At one of our quarterly meetings there was a minister who was what was called a New-School minister, and he was willing to work any where. When the mourners presented themselves at the altar of prayer, he would talk to them, and exhort them to “change their purpose,” and assured them that all who changed their purpose were undoubted Christians. I plainly saw he was doing mischief, and I went immediately after him [Cartwright counseled the mourners after him], and told them [the mourners] not to depend on a change of purpose in order to become a Christian, but to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ with a heart unto righteousness, and they should be saved. Thus I had to counteract the false sentiments inculcated by this New-School minister. It is very strange to me to think these educated and home-manufactured preachers do not understand the plain, Bible doctrine of the new birth better. They say man is a free agent in so far as to change his purpose, and in changing his purpose he is constituted a new creature. Thus he makes himself a Christian by his own act without the Spirit of God.”
Excerpted from Peter Cartwright, Autobiography of Peter Cartwright: The Backwoods Preacher, W.P. Strickland, Editor (Cincinnati, OH: Cranston and Curts, or New York, NY: Hunt and Eaton, 1856) 369, emphasis added.
Quote submitted by Pastor Larry DeBruyn, author of Church On the Rise, Why I am not a ‘Purpose Driven’ Pastor (2007), available from (903) 567-6423.