THE editor of the Cross and Journal has, in a late number of that paper, once more called the attention of his readers to the “Signs of the Times.” He appears somewhat alarmed to find that the Old School Baptists are much pleased with our paper, and in order, as we suppose, to convince them of their wrong, he has made a few extracts from us, embracing our declaration of war against the Mother Arminianism, and her entire brood of institutions; and a part of an article from the editorial department of the first number of our progressing volume, together with a part of brother Charles Polkinhorn’s letter, all of which he has interspersed with remarks of his own.
In regard to our declaration, we expected no less from Mr. S. and his brotherhood, than that they, as dutiful children, would stand forth and defend the old lady. Indeed we were enabled at an early period to predict that her whole family would take up arms in her defence. Mr. S., however, is not satisfied to come out against us in her name alone, but would call to his aid a reinforcement by giving a wrong version of our declaration, and so rendering our language as to make us mean not only the Mother Arminianism, and her brood of institutions, but also all such as are engaged in labors of benevolence, with all who adhere strictly to the confession of faith republished by the Philadelphia Baptist Association many years ago. TQ this version of our language we can by no means agree. Our warfare is not against any who adhere to the doctrine and order laid down in the Philadelphia Confession of Faith, although we claim nothing short of the scriptures of eternal truth as our standard; yet we believe that the Philadelphia Confession, with perhaps a very few exceptions, is in accordance with the scriptures. And let it not be forgotten that the document gives not the least countenance to the various moneyed institutions of the present day. That summary was drawn up by Old Fashioned Baptists, and was originally written centuries prior to the existence of any of the modern money-begging schemes which at this day overwhelm our denomination. It is very true, as Mr. S. insinuates, we claim no allegiance to John Calvin, nor does the mere profession of any person, whose doctrine and practice are Arminian, of being Calvinistic, or of attachment to the doctrine of the Philadelphia Confession, or of the bible itself, shield the hypocrite from our strictures.
Again, Mr. S. seems to flounce because we quoted Titus i. 13, to show our authority for rebuking them sharply. The force of this scripture he seems willing to evade. He thinks it not applicable to those whom we denominate the Family of Arminianism, because spoken of the heathen, who were said to be “incessant liars, evil beasts, slow bellies, &c., and to every good work reprobate.” We were perfectly well aware that such was the character given by the apostle, of the Cretians of whom he was then writing, and equally well satisfied that the same language with equal force applies to all who occupy the same ground on which the ancient Cretians stood. The Cretians, heathen though they were, did, like those against whom our war is waged, profess to know God; but in works they denied him. Could the pen of divine inspiration command more appropriate words to express the true character of those who at this day fill the ranks of Arminianism and her brood. If the editor of the Cross can point out one of the above characteristics, which is not visible, and indelibly marked in the forehead of her anti-christian highness, and which may not be found in the right hand of her entire brood, we shall rejoice to hear from him. Do not the class of whom we speak always prove themselves liars when they tell the people that the Lord has sent’ them to collect money to replenish his treasury, or that the Lord’s treasury, (which is Christ, for in him are hid all the treasures,) is exhausted? Do they not incessantly lie when they represent that they are Old Fashioned Baptist Predestinarians, and just what the Baptists have been in ages long gone by? Say, Mr. Stevens, do they tell the truth when, for the sake of extorting money, jewels, &c., from the females of our country, they affirm that “some, yea many, precious souls might have been saved from the quenchless fires of bell, where now they must perish eternally, had you (the American ladies) not been afraid of being thought unfashionable, and not like other folks”? And if they are guilty of constantly affirming these things, with many others as destitute of truth as were your words when you represented us at war with benevolence, or with those who are laboring in any work of benevolence, are they not incessant liars, evil beasts, like those with whom Paul, after the manner of men, fought at Ephesus? including no doubt the strong bulls of Bashan, which gaped upon David with their mouths, (Psa. xxii. 12,) “the boar out of the wood,” (Psa. lxxx. 13,) together with the he goats which Daniel saw, the sleepy, dumb and greedy dogs, of whom Isaiah says, “They can never have enough,” and which the Bevelator tells us are without the city, and of whom Paul says, “Beware; these are all evil beasts, slow bellies”? They have been feeding upon the fat of the flock aver since the days of Ezekiel, (Ezek. xxxiv. 3,) and are not yet satisfied, but remain as craving as ever. “They are also defiled in mind, corruption breaks forth therefrom continually, and in conscience. Paul tells us of some of this class whose consciences are seared with a hot iron; disobedient. “Being disobedient whereunto also they were appointed, and unto every good work reprobate. “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one.”
They profess that they know God. Very little injury would they be able to effect were they not professors of religion, but in works they deny him. It is a remarkable truth that no man can know the Lord in reality and remain ignorant of the fact that it is virtually denying him, when by their work they pay no respect to the supremacy of his laws, but like Israel, when they had no king, do every man that which seems good in his own eyes. And like carnal Israel again, who, while professing a knowledge of the true God, caused their children to pass through the fire to Molech; which service, ardently pious as it was, did not please the Lord, for God had never required it at their hands; hence it could be viewed in no other light than that of a denial of the God whose they professed to be, and whom they pretended to adore. See Jer. xxxii. 35. When the editor of the Cross will prove to us the existence of a race of heathen to whom the distingnishing characteristics of the Cretians will more appropriately apply than to Arminianism and her brood, then we will be prepared to admit that we were in error in applying the apostolic charge where we did.
NEW VERNON, N. Y.,
April 8, 1836.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 1
Pages 295 – 299