The way things are going, many Gospel ministers will soon be forced “out of business” together with various florists, bakers, and photographers, all for refusing to conform to the culture’s demand that we all uniformly celebrate so-called homosexual marriage.
Similar tyrannical abuses have happened in the past, but God has kept His church in the midst of a hostile culture. In his biography of Matthew Henry, J. B. Williams notes that the UK Parliament’s 1662 Act of Uniformity separated 2000 Gospel ministers from their flocks (including Henry’s father), banned them from preaching the Gospel, and “as far as human intent could go, consigned them to oblivion.” This Great Ejection occurred all because they would not conform to Government-defined and Government-mandated “uniformity.”
But 1662 was also the year that Matthew Henry was born, as were a number of other eminent future ministers of the Gospel. Williams comments:
“The constancy of God’s servants was thus rewarded: and provision was made in the ministry, for another generation, for whom, in providential mercy, fairer and more peaceful days were appointed.”
Yes, this modern Act of Uniformity will take its toll on many. Unless we see a miraculous reversal, Gospel ministers are going to experience a Supreme-Court-backed Great Ejection and be consigned to oblivion. We fear for the church and the Gospel; we fear most of all for the souls of our children and of future generations.
But let’s take courage in God’s providential mercy, and believe that even in our days, in labor wards all over the land, God is bringing future Matthew Henrys into the world to minister to the souls of His children, in what we hope will be fairer and more peaceful days.