“OUR CAUSE PROSPEROUS: - The accounts of revivals, as our readers have seen, are many and pleasing. Our exchange papers also contain many such accounts. The truth is, this has been a year of the right hand of the Lord, with many of our churches. Great things have been done for us, whereof we ought to be glad. Our gratitude should bear some sort of proportion to the blessings we have received.
And what ought our anti-brethren to think of facts before their eyes? Can they not see that the Lord is with us, and that he approves our course? Or will they parry the influence of these things, by saying that it is all fanaticism, all mere sympathy? Surely they will not thus delude themselves; but come out and bless the Lord, fall into the ranks of their effort brethren, and help forward the glorious cause.
There is another thing, however, we must not forget - Our responsibilities increase constantly. The number of those who are depending upon us for the bread of life is constantly enlarging; and the difficulty of meeting, this demand, of course becomes greater and greater. To many minds, it is a matter of sincere doubt, whether upon our present plan of of operations we can possibly meet public expectation in relation to us. And in this view of the subject, the question is, What is to be done? How are we to get laborers, and how are we to dispose of those we have, to the best possible advantage? We hope this subject will elicit that earnest inquiry which its great importance demands. We shall probably bring it up again; and in the meantime it is desired that those of our brethren who may have any suggestions to make, touching this matter, will say on.” - Jun. Ed. Christian Index.
“AND it came to pass at noon that Elijah mocked them; and said, Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is on a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.” - 1 Kings xviii. 27.
At the hazzard of being thought presumptuous, and of being charged with making light of solemn things, we will venture so far to copy the example of the prophet, in the case of the worshipers of Baal, as to show some particulars wherein the irony expressed in the above passage may be justly applied to the New School worshipers at this day; and illustrate the proximity of the doctrines and practices of modern, to that of ancient Baalism, by the article copied from the Index.
The first paragraph of the article just copied, tells us the time of day, (not by the dial of Ahaz, but by the minute hand* of this Georgia pointer) to wit, that it is with the New School about noon. The light of the fire which they have kindled, and of the sparks with which they have compassed themselves about, (Isa. 1. 2) is now shedding upon them its meridian sun. It is therefore the proper time to mock them, agreeably to the pattern of the prophet.
In his second paragraph, he inquires what his anti-brethren ought to think of facts before their eyes. Neither our bible nor dictionaries will inform us what precise meaning to attach to the compound, “anti-brethren.” We suppose, however, that it is an Ashdod term, belonging to the vocabulary of the New School Baptists, coined expressly for the purpose of stigmatizing the Regular Old School Baptists, by claiming some kindred with them; and these are anti, we presume, because they will not consent to any terms which imply relationship with such a mass of corruption, either by affinity or consanguinity. We can inform this junior editor what we think of the facts before our eyes; we consider them a very evident fulfillment of what the scriptures have predicted concerning the developement of the man of sin, the son of perdition, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. Such indeed is the deceivableness of the workings of anti-christ, that the New School, together with all who perish, regard as the very things which demonstrate them to be anti-christian, as proving that they are well pleasing to God. The argument used in the article, and in general use among the craft, that the Lord is well pleased with their new-fangled systems, because their converts are many, is by no means peculiar to modern anti-christ; the same argument has been used thousands of years ago, by the prophets of Baal; by Pagans, Papists, Mahometans, and various orders of Protestants, to whom all that can be gained by the argument belongs, both on the ground of priority, and from the fact that the disparity between them and their sister sects of anti-christ is greater, in most cases, than that between them and the kingdom of Christ. Let the weight of this argument be tested by the balance of the sanctuary of God, the scriptures, and mark the result. The kingdom is given to the little flock, according to the Father’s good pleasure; but the broad road and wide gate are devoted to the many. Hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom? But who are those who flourish in the New School ranks; are they the poor, the afflicted; those who are considered the filth and offscouring of all things; the “excrescence” which Mr. Peck speaks of by no means. On their records are emblazoned the names of titled dignitaries of this world; and by such supported, they boast of rising into great respectability in the world. Bound, as they are, under chains of darkness, and reserved unto the day of Judgment to be punished, we cannot wonder that they should take darkness for light, and flatter themselves with the notion that the Lord is as well pleased with their new schemes and tricks, as they themselves are. Surely, he that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh, and hold them in derision.
“Can they not see that the Lord is with us, and that be approves our course?” For one, we can see no good reason why the Lord should abandon his own course, or what defect in his own course should induce him to lay it aside, and to adopt the anti-scriptural movements of these poor, deluded fanatics. Mr. Stokes very justly suspects that these most potent arguments in support of New Schoolism will be attributed to fanaticism; but why do you indulge such fear, Mr. Stokes? Is it because we are advised of your method of making converts to your faith, of your camp meeting, anxious-bench, and straw-pen-machinery, your seducing spirits, and your doctrines of devils, your damnable heresies, and your bitterness against the truth, that you are so apprehensive of the increduality of your anti-brethren, in the divinity of your system? Mr. S., however, predicts that his anti-brethren will fall into the New School ranks and help forward the cause! Any cause which will admit of being helped forward by men, must be the cause of men; not the cause of God; yet such as have no higher views of God, and of his purpose and work of grace, than to suppose that it may be advanced or retarded by men or devils, may wait a long, long time, ere they will realize any great accession to their ranks, from the genuine Old School, or Bible Baptists.
In conclusion, Mr. Stokes would not have his readers forget that their responsibilities increase constantly. But for what, or whom, are they responsible? What new responsibility can be accumulating on men, in regard to the work of God, would be quite difficult for any but arminian workmongers to conceive of; but, “The number of those who are depending on us for the bread of life, is constantly increasing!” This statement we are not prepared to deny; but we would inquire, Who are they, and how does their folly increase our responsibility; and to whom are we responsible on their account; to them, to ourselves, or to God? Moses was not able to give the bread of life to the children of Israel. He that eateth of earthly bread shall hunger again. Our Lord Jesus Christ says, “I am that bread of life;” - John vi. 48; and in verse 51, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread he shall live forever; and the bread which I will give, is my flesh.” Those, then, who are looking unto men for a supply of the bread of life, are poor, deluded creatures, under the curse of that law which says, “Cursed is man that trusteth in man, or that maketh flesh his arm.” If Mr. Stokes and his followers are responsible for their increase, it must be on the ground of having contributed to their delusions, by teaching them to “spend their money for that which is not bread, and their labor for that which satisfieth not;” Isa. lv. 2; and in this respect, we doubt not, Mr. Stokes, and all that may sustain his heretical paper, together with all such as contend for the new order of divinity, are truly responsible. It may well be a matter of doubt, whether those who are expecting the bread of life from the hands of any being in heaven or on earth, but from Christ alone, will realize their expectations; to us, however, it is not a. doubtful case; we do know, that unless we can eat his flesh and drink his blood we have no life in us. “In this view of the subject, the question is, What is to be done? How are we to get laborers, and how dispose of those we have, to the best advantage? Were we to “answer a fool according to his folly,” we might say, Your present “plan of operations” is a good one. Surely, it is a god; it can impart life to dead sinners, only you need to cry a little louder; for your idol may be talking, or in a journey, or asleep, or, we are under the impression, we have heard it rumored, that he had become bankrupt, and that his treasury must be replenished. As to the question, how you are to get laborers, why, that is as plain as any thing can be; get them where you got those you now have on hand; collect all such pious young men as are panting for the work, as you can find; mind and collect such as are too lazy to get their living honestly by labor; or to cut the work short, you collect the funds, and you will not have occasion to wait long for laborers - reverend laborers. Upon the rational principles of cause and effect, as the churning of milk bringeth forth butter; as the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood; as protracted and camp meetings will bring forth New School proselytes; and as arminian doctrine will bring forth excitement and effort; so also will the glitter of gold and silver bribe almost any number of those pious souls to quit jogging after the plough, and the toilsome labor of the work-shop, and enter upon the self-denying labor of love, of receiving a respectable education free of expense; which, having acquired, they will give away their precious labors at the rate of from five hundred to three thousand dollars per annum. Let the craftsmen come together, and cry aloud; let them agonize, cut themselves with lancets, and leap upon their altar; let them hunt for mission funds, as for bidden treasure; and so shall their colleges, and pulpits, and Sabbath Schools, be amply supplied with the choicest lot of young dandies that ever disgraced the name of Baptists. Do these New School editors ask us what they shall do with what laborers (alias missionary preachers and agents) they have? We would advise them to return them all to their moulds, and to their bats; and if they want gospel laborers, and have an interest at the throne of grace, let them ask the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his vineyard; not direct him as to what sort, how many, or in what way he must call and qualify them; leave all this to his wisdom and goodness; and for their own part, when the Lord sends forth his servants to contend for the truth, we would suggest that they should cease to. oppose and persecute them. This scriptural arrangement will be infinitely better for the people of God, than to assume the responsibility of a work which belongs exclusively to him who ascended on high, and who received gifts for men; and upon this ground we shall not find ourselves burdened with increasing responsibilities; we shall only hold ourselves responsible for the faithful discharge of such obligations as our divine Lord has imposed on all his disciples, in all time, since the introduction of his gospel on earth.
* Jun. Ed. Stokes
ALEXANDRIA, D. C.,
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 1
Pages 535 – 545