My library includes the seventeen volume set of Alexander McLaren’s “Expositions of Holy Scriptures.” That set contains messages from Genesis to Revelation. Many of them have been a great blessing to me. Most of Brother McLaren’s ministry was spent at the Union Baptist Chapel in Manchester, England. He was born on this day in 1826 in Glasgow, Scotland.

I believe that history shouldn’t be edited to suit our wishes. The facts are the facts, and the fact is Alexander McLaren for some time wrote articles for the non-Baptist “Sunday School Times.” Some today would condemn the man for this apparent compromise. But the fact is, he didn’t really compromise anything.

n one of his articles he commented on John’s immersions in the Jordan River. Immediately, the editor of the paper was inundated with letters condemning him for printing McLaren’s article. The editor, himself a Presbyterian, replied that though he was not a Baptist, he concurred that Dr. McLaren was correct in his interpretation of what the Bible said.

Some time later, Dr. McLaren used the phrase, “immersion in the Jordan” a second time. This time the editor of another paper attacked the editor of the “Sunday School Times.” McLaren’s editor, replied with a lengthy article in which, once again, he declared that the only method of baptism in the Bible was by immersion, proving his comment with scriptures and the definition of the Greek words involved.

It isn’t known whether or not the editor became a Baptist. But Alexander McLaren was a Baptist, and he was born on this day about two hundred years ago.