The following is from Sweeney's Sermons, published by John S. Sweeney, published by the Gospel Advocate Company in 1892, pp 301-302.
‘I Sucker My Plants’
We cannot afford to do or say anything that in any sense or any measure disparages or minimizes the church of God, and thereby dishonors our Leader. We should not expressly or by implication concede that the church of God is in any sense or measure insufficient, or that her divinely appointed means and instrumentalities are in any measure inefficient, for the purposes of their appointment. We should stand for the supreme authority of Christ. We are complete in Him, who is over all principalities and powers, in heaven or on earth. We cannot be too careful here. We should stand for the church as God's appointment for the conversion and salvation of the world; as God's appointed and equipped army for the conquest of the world. With others than Christians we should fight only when they fight on our side — fight our battles. We should company with them only when they go our way.
I confess I look with some distrust and fearful apprehensions upon the growing number of associations and societies in the churches. Must we have an association — a Christian Association —for young men? What is the church of God? What is it for?
Is it not for Christian association? Is it not a sufficient association for Christians? That is, I mean, is it not a sufficient Christian Association? But we are told we must have a Christian Association especially and exclusively for young men. I don't know but young men might better be associated with older ones, and all of them associated with women, as in the church of God. And we must also have a Christian Association for young women exclusively, we are told. I am a doubter. Then we must have Endeavor Societies for young people. But, I ask, is not the church an Endeavor Society? Is not that one of the objects of its existence in the world?
If we are to organize and sustain a society for every special Christian work, and for every sex and every age, what will become of the church? Who will be left in the church? Only a few very old men and women, too old to work, or to associate, or even to endeavor, to die off in. Will it not become an old, useless, fallen down, outside fence? Or, to speak of it as a plant — and it is a plant planted by the Lord — will not the societies suck the life out of it? I sucker my plants — that is, I pull the suckers off.
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