Several days ago I posted a paragraph by Austin McGary (1846-1928) whose language astonished (and saddened) many of you. In fairness to brother McGary, I want to note his apology in the May 31, 1923 Gospel Advocate. Here he apologizes for what he wrote in the Gospel Outlook which he published from 1903-1905 after he was dismissed from the Firm Foundation. He wrote (“A Sincere Apology,” GA 65 [31 May 1923] 529):
Brother Boles and Brother McQuiddy have both written me concerning some very improper and unchristianlike things I said about Brother D. Lipscomb in the Gospel Outlook many years ago. I sincerely and deeply and penitently regret having said these things, and I unfeignedly and feelingly beg all of Brother Lipscomb’s friends and the brotherhood in general to forgive me. It will be a lifelong regret with me that I did not apologize to Brother Lipscomb before he died for saying these things about him.
J. C. McQuiddy (1858-1924), editor of the Advocate, responded:
I most heartily commend this Christian apology, and would be glad to see many others follow the good example set by Brother McGary. Many apologies are needed just now, and those who should make them would be better for the making.
While it is not best to grieve over spilt milk, I would have been very glad for David Lipscomb to have read such an apology during his life, for I am sure he would have rejoiced to have received it and would have freely forgiven Brother McGary. We must forgive if we expect to be forgiven. This is a lesson that not only needs to be learned, but also one which should be practiced.
Terry Gardner noted this quotation in “Lipscomb, McGary and Forgiveness,” GA 145 (1 April 2003) 26 as well as in his lecture on McGary at the 2009 Freed-Hardeman Lectureship (available on I-Tunes).