“So the carpenter encouraged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready for the soldering: and lie fastened it with nails, that it should not be moved.” - Isaiah xli. 7.
WE extract, as a practical illustration of the above text, the following from an article published in the Baptist Repository, signed “Observer.”
“It is desirable, (he says,) therefore, that christians should be excited to liberal and hitherto unexampled efforts to do good.” To which we heartily respond, Amen! only let the good book be the rule for doing good. But this does not seem to be his plan; for he continues: -
“And their efforts must be directed [by the word of God? Oh no.] with intelligence and prudence, to the attainment of the greatest amount of good in the least possible time. Now, how is this to be done?”
Poor man, he seems to be a discerner of the face of the sky, and not an observer of the signs of the times; for he finds no rule in the good old book; but he says, “Plainly some of the friends of God must study to arrange plans for its accomplishment; and others must bring these plans before the public; and by an exhibition of facts and arguments, (not word and testimony,) persuade good men to cooperate in their executions.”
Here we find some of the several sorts of mechanics set forth in the text at the head of this review, encouraging each other; first, the friends of God to contrive plans; these plans must pass over from the carpenters to the goldsmiths, and from him that smootheth with the hammer to him that smiteth the anvil, and good men must be persuaded to cooperate in their executions.
Had the writer of the article in question been an observer of the word of God, he would have discovered the extreme folly (not to say blasphemy,) of supposing that God was dependent on his friends for wisdom to study to arrange plans for him; as he has from everlasting established his plan of operations, to wit lie “ worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”
But as some may think us rather severe, and suppose that Observer means that the friends of God are to study to learn God’s plan, and then to walk accordingly, we will give him another hearing: he explains himself thus: -
“In other words, societies must be formed to combine the wisdom of the church, that of (with these newly contrived societies, of course,) in plans of operation, and agents (not the Holy Spirit,) must be employed to awaken interest and secure” - What? The approbation of God? On no. What then? Why, “Contributions.” Ah yes, contributions, that’s all.
New Vernon, N. Y.,
August 14, 1833.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 1
Pages 85 – 87