In 1898, Willam K. Homan in the Texas Christian Courier noted how relationships between the Gospel Advocate and Firm Foundation were deteriorating. This elicited a strong comment from Austin McGary, the editor of the Firm Foundation. I find this particular comment quite revealing as it parallels the instrumental music and missionary society controversies with the rebaptism controversy. It is, it seems, worth a divison.
“We cheerfully admit that neither the society nor the organ has anything to do with this vile attack upon us by the Advocate combine. But the trouble between us is traceable to the very same presumptuous spirit that brings the society and organ into the work and worship of the church. Bros. Lipscomb and Harding and their wicked confederates in this attack upon us claim to speak where the Bible speaks and to be silent where the Bible is silent. But, like Homan and his confederates in advocating the society and organ, they speak where the Bible does not speak, and are silent where the Bible does speak, in their defense of Baptist baptism. And, besides pursuing the very same presumptuous course that the society and organ advocates do, these brethren are tenfold more palpably culpable in their effort to defend their practice of receiving Baptists on their baptism, because, in holding to this practice, they prove that they are wilfully going beyond the authority of the Lord, because they have taught–and have never retracted it–that “Baptist conversion drives God out of the work, and is wholly of men.” And they have made their four-cornered war of slander upon us because we have shown p the inconsistent and self-stultifying course of their big chief, and the cowardice and false statements of their little chief. But all of this evil on their part grows out of the very same presumptuous spirit that prompts W. K. Homan to advocate the society and organ.”
Austin McGary, “Editorial,” 14,37 (!3 Septmber 1898) 284.