Hardeman’s closing statement

(What follows are N. B. Hardeman’s closing remarks as he brought his final speech to an end during his 1938 debate with the Baptist preacher, Ben M. Bogard, in Little Rock, Arkansas. If we have lost the regal style of his rhetoric, our language is the poorer. But, if we ever lose sight of the sentiment he expressed, our souls will be truly impoverished—Weylan).

 “Let me say this as a final word to you friends and brethren. If you have named the name of the Lord; if you have tasted the good word of God; if you stand today a child of high heaven with all sins forgiven—to God be all the praise and glory, and to us the encouragement. I want to suggest to you, many of whom I know that I will never again see. I take you to record this day that, as much as time and opportunity have afforded, I am pure from the blood of men who have been listening. Why? I have not shunned to declare the whole counsel of God. Brethren, I beg of you in heaven’s name, let us buckle on God’s armor afresh; let us raise aloft the banner, let us unsheathe the sword of the Spirit, and so long as God lets us live, let us fight under the leadership of him who has never yet lost a conflict. And then by and by, when life’s race has been run, its battles fought and its victories won, the Captain of our salvation shall bid us stack arms on the glad plains of a never-ending eternity. There he will have us to lay aside our battle-scarred armor, and hang our swords upon the jasper walls of that eternal city. Then with palms of victory and crowns of glory we will sweep through the gates into the grandeur of our Father’s home, across which no shadows have ever come, wherein we can see beautiful sentences of life, punctuated by the stars of eternal glory, enabling us to read our titles clear to mansions over there. May God bless you is my prayer.”

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