UNDER the above head, the editor of the Repository has informed his readers that there exists an alliance between God and his people, and that God has laid aside that power which works without means, and has devolved upon his people a course of duty, &c. This doctrine of “Holy Alliance” has been preached before. But that God has laid aside his divine omnipotence, or “that power which works without means,” and has substituted in the room thereof the duty of his people or allies, is truly astonishing; but we are told that this change in the immutable God is intended for a glorious and magnificent purpose - nothing less than the conversion of the world. How astonishing! that the immutable God should at this late hour undertake the conversion of the whole world, when a portion of them are already suffering the. vengeance of eternal fire; and still more strange, that just as lie was about to commence this new enterprise he should dispense with his omnipotence, immutability and truth, laying aside the former, and violating the two latter, in order to give the mighty creature man an opportunity to help his God. This doctrine is as new as it is strange, and as strange as it is false and blasphemous. He farther tells us, that God has said to his people, “Occupy till I come; Go preach the gospel to every creature; I send you not alone, you are an ally, and lo, I am with you always; and while you are preaching and praying, my grace shall be sufficient to sustain you, and my Spirit shall give efficacy to the word of salvation.” In what part of the bible, or by what manner of revelation he has collected his authority for this doctrine, he has not informed us.
The words, “occupy till I come,” are a part of one of our Lord’s parables. But this scripture no more implies the doctrine of “Holy Alliance,” than the commission given to the. apostles by our Lord Jesus Christ,” Go preach the gospel, &c.,” applies to all the people of God indiscriminately. The words, “You are an ally,” and while you work, I will work, are not recorded in the volume of truth; but they have been added to the words of the prophecy of God’s holy book, in all probability by him of whom it is written, God will add unto him the plagues that are written in the book. - Rev. xxii 18.
To give the appearance of proof to his theory, Mr. C. refers to a passage in the song of Deborah and Barak: “Curse ye Meroz; curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof, because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.” From this passage our expositor concludes that God wanted the help of Meroz; yea, that he declared plainly that he wanted their help. Now we confess: it does not appear to us quite so plain; indeed we see nothing that looks like it. True, if we were to adopt the views of Mr. C., and could persuade ourselves that God had laid aside his power, &c., we might see some propriety in his calling on man for help. Nothing can be more palpable than the perversion of this text. God has said, “Vain is the help of man.” - Psa. lx. 2. And would God call for a vain thing? Again he has said, “Cursed is the man that trusteth in man, or maketh flesh his arm.” And will God make a cursed thing his arm?
Let us consider the circumstances which led to the adoption of these words in the song of Deborah. The children of Israel had got into trouble in consequence of substituting the help of the gods of the nations around them in the place of the help of the God who had brought them up out of Egypt. They had joined themselves to the nations around them in an unlawful affinity, and had bowed themselves to strange gods, &c., but now they were in trouble; God sold them into the hand of Jaban, king of Canaan, the captain of whose host was Sisera. This king had nine hundred chariots of iron, and twenty years he mightily oppressed them; and they cried to the Lord for help, not to assist him, as the learned Mr. C. translates it, and the Lord heard their cry, and informed them through Deborah, that he would help them, and deliver Sisera into their hands. A wide difference between this and a plain declaration that he wanted their help. If he were hungry he would not tell them, for the world is his and the fullness thereof. - Psa. 1. 12. No, reader, it was not God who was in want of help. Israel was in distress; Israel called upon the Lord, and the Lord helped them. God appointed to help them near Mount Tabor, and commanded that ten thousand men of the children of Kaplitali and Zebulun should draw near, not to help him, but to receive his help; for he said he would deliver their enemies into their hands. At length the time appointed arrives, the troops of Jabin appear, a formidable host in battle array: “And Deborah said unto Barak, Up, for this is the day in which the Lord hath delivered Sisera into thine hand. Is not the Lord gone out before thee? &c. And the Lord discomfitted Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his hosts. So God subdued on that day Jabin, the king of Canaan, before the children of Israel. Thus God helped Israel on that day. “The stars in their courses fought against Sisera.” While Naphtali and Zebulun went to the help of God, i. e., to receive the help of the Lord against the mighty, according to the command, there were some who dwelt in Meroz who despised the command of God; they went not up to participate in the help of the Lord; and from the bitter cursing which was heaped upon them they may well represent our New School neighbors. From a variety of considerations we might show the analogy.
That Moses personifies the law, is evident; compare John v. 45. with 2 Cor. iii. 15. Joshua, who succeeded Moses in the government of Israel, was a bright figure of our Lord. Jesus Christ, who has emancipated his children from the dominion of the law, and led them triumphantly through the Jordan of christian Baptism into the gospel church, to be governed by the law of grace, and not by the law of works. When God called Joshua home to glory, he raised up judges, not to legislate, but to administer the government of Israel according to the laws already provided. Even so when Jesus our Lord ascended, when “God went up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet, he seated judges upon twelve thrones, to judge the twelves tribes of spiritual Israel. After the (heath of Joshua, the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and hearkened not to the voice of the judges; yea, they forsook the God of their fathers, who brought them up out of Egypt. “Nevertheless the Lord raised them up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them; and yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the Lord, but they did not so; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.” - Judges ii. 16-19. And who will dare deny that a corresponding course of rebellion and idolatry has marked the history of the New School Baptists of the present age? Do. they not bow down to gods which their fathers never knew? And do they not ascribe the power of saving souls to men, to money, to Theological and to Sabbath Schools, Tract, Mission and other Societies, which their fathers, the Old School, never-knew? And are not these the gods of the nations around about them? Are they not new gods in Israel, which came newly up? And do not the New School teach their pupils to go down to Egypt for help, instead of coming to the help of the Lord, which is already provided? Do they not teach that vain is the help of God, and mighty and efficient is the help of man? We answer, Yes, God has laid help (the help of God,) on one that is mighty, - on his dear Son. God has devolved on Jesus the work of saving his people from their sins, of calling them by his Spirit, of uniting them as members of his body, of supplying them with pastors after his own heart, of qualifying his ministers to preach, his elect to hear, and of building up his church on that Rock against which the gates of hell cannot prevail. Yet the New School teach that all this is in vain, unless the mighty creature man gives it the finishing stroke; that the atoning blood of Jesus will not save the heathen without we send out our missionaries, tracts, agents, - that the help of God in supplying Zion’s walls with ministers, is worth nothing, - they are an inefficient, ignorant set, - we cannot have an efficient ministry without a golden calf to prepare them; but give us your gold, silver, brass, or even paper, and we will rear colleges and seminaries, in which we will prepare pious young men for the ministry, which will answer the purpose. The New School teach men to believe that they have power to make preachers, make converts, to save a shaking world, - to usher in the millennium, or to keep it back, at pleasure, and that God wants, yea, calls for and expects the aid of man. Had the inhabitants of Meroz understood this subject as Mr. C. does, they would have turned out to a man; there is nothing that pleases the proud heart of the unregenerate so much as the idea of helping God; he cannot bear the thought that God shall be supreme; an independent, self-sufficient, sovereign God they hate; but such a God as Mr C. describes, they love. There is perhaps not less than one hundred instances recorded in the bible, where God is set forth as the help of his people; but if there is one solitary instance recorded in the volume of truth, of God’s calling for or receiving the help of man, we have never discovered it. From the many, we will mention a few of these passages, for the consideration of those who love bible doctrine. Moses saith, “The God of my fathers was mine help.”
“And this is the blessing of Judah: Hear, Lord, the voice of Judah, and be thou an help unto him from his enemies.” - Deut. xxxiii. 7. “There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heavens in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky.” - Verse 26. “Happy art thou, O Israel, who is like unto thee O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency, and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee.” - Verse 29. “And Judah gathered themselves together, to ask help of the Lord.” - 2 Chron. xx. 4. “If God will not withdraw his anger, the proud helpers do stoop under him.” - Job ix. 13. (Pray take notice of that last clause.) “Many there be which say of my soul, there is no help for him in God.” - Psa. iii. 2. “The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee. Send the help from the sanctuary and strengthen thee out of Zion.” - Psa. xx. 1,2. “thou hast been my help, O god of my salvation.” - Psa. xxvii. 9. “Our soul waiteth for the Lord, he is our help and our shield.” - Psa. xxxiii. 20. “Plead my cause, O Lord, take hold of shield and buckler, stand up for my help.” - Psa. xxxv. 1,2. “Arise for our help, and redeem us.” - Psa. xliv. 26. “God is our refuge and strength, a very pleasant help in trouble.” - Psa. xlvi. 1. “Give us help from trouble, for vain is the help of man.” - Psa. lx. 11. “O my God, make haste for my help.” - Psa. lxxi. 12. Then thou spakest in vision to thy Holy One and saidest, I have laid help on one that is mighty, I have exalted one chosen out of the people.” - Psa. lxxxix. 19. “Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.” - Psa. xciv. 17. “O Israel, trust in the Lord, he is thy help and thy shield.” - Psa. cxv. 9,10. “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help; my help cometh from the Lord which made heaven and earth.” - Psa. cxxi. 1,2. “Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.” - Psa. cxxiv. 8. “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the sons of men, in whom there is no help.” - Psa. cslvi. 3. “They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor be an help, nor profit, but a shame and also a reproach.” Isa. xxx. 5. “Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help.” - Isa. xxxi. 1. “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thy help.” - Hosea xiii. 9. See also 2 Chron. xiv. 11, xxv. 8, Psa. xii. 1, xxii. 19, xxxviii. 22, xl. 13, lxx. 1, xxxviii. 40, xlvi. 5, lix. 4, lxxix. 9, cix. 26, Isa. xxx. 7. All these scriptures, with many others equally in point, encourage us to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help us in time of need.” - Heb. iv. 16.
How gross must be the darkness that pervades the mind of any man who can, in the face of the above scriptures, sa.y that God wants the help of man. If God had any confidence in the help of man, would he have cursed man for trusting in man? Would he have declared once and again, “Vain is the help of man,” and then call for a vain thing? We can conceive of nothing more absurd or ridiculous; unless it be contained in the concluding paragraph of Mr. C.’ statement; “God wants the hearts, prayers and labors of his allies, or friends.” It is very strange that God should be in want of the hearts of his people, to say nothing of his allies. If Mr. C. means the old heart of stone, with all its pollutions, it must be strange that he should be in need of such corrupt and detestable things; but if he means the new heart, or heart of flesh, he has yet to be informed that God has all such hearts in his possession already, and therefore cannot be in want of them. And as to God’s being in want of prayers, we have never learned from our experience, or from the bible, that our prayers added any thing to God. We had been in the habit of believing that prayer was instituted for the special benefit of the children of God; and that for this end God pours out upon his chosen ones (not allies,) the spirit of grace and supplication; and the Spirit helpeth their infirmities, and maketh intercession for them with groanings which cannot be uttered. Hence God cannot be in want of our prayers; we are in want of God’s protection, and his constant care; and it is our privilege, if we are his children, to pray unto him for it, None but a Pharisee would suppose that our prayers are supplying the wants of God.
New Vernon, N. Y.,
April 10, 1833.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 1
Pages 49 – 58