WE cannot suffer his letter to pass without a remark or two in reference to what brother Beal considers as a fault in’ some of our correspondents. We are not informed exactly to what extent ourself or correspondents are to temporize in order to make our answers to the enemies of the cross of Christ mellow enough to induce a good elder to read our paper, the doctrine of which he believes. Brother Beal says a more mild, yet faithful exposure of error, might win some to the truth. Will brother B., or the good man of whom he speaks, inform us how much more mild our answers can be and yet be faithful? We have been in the habit of regarding the examples of Christ and his apostles sufficiently mild and soft, and yet we suppose they were acquainted with Solomon’s words. There are cases when soft words are necessary to turn away wrath; but that enmity which God has put between the serpent and the woman, and between his seed and her seed, is not to be subdued by soft words. If we are to reclaim an offended brother, soft words are requisite: but we cannot think of storming Babylon with feathers. We meet them with the words of our God, which are like a fire and a hammer; we will cry aloud and spare not, and be in nothing terrified by the menacing of the enemy: we cannot nor do we wish to win them until God shall give them the love of the truth.
If we have succeeded in bringing to light the hidden things of anti-christ, why should brother Beal think that spirit harsh which led the King of Sion, his apostles and all his primitive saints, to call them such names as serpents, vipers, evil beasts, slow bellies, false prophets, heretics, hypocrites, dogs, sorcerers, whoremongers, murderers, liars and devils? Or do we make use of epithets more harsh than those employed in the scriptures? We do not know any good reasons why men and things should not be called by their right names. If they have names that they are ashamed of, the fault is not ours. We do not intend to allow ourselves to use spiteful epithets, or to make use of uncalled for severity - but if the good elder read none of the “Signs of the Times” until we shall learn to call serpents doves, and dogs lambs, he will, in all rational probability, understand the face of the sky much sooner than he will know the “Signs of the Times.”
In conclusion we would say, Don’t be alarmed, brother Deal, if the battle waxes hot. There are some bones scattered over the plains of your county, (Saratoga) that should remind you that every battle of the warrior is with confused noise and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. See Isaiah ix. 8. Our patriot sires on Saratoga’s gory plains did not return the thunder of the enemy with puff-balls. If it were commendable for them to defend our human rights with their heart’s richest blood, let not the sons of Zion, being armed and carrying bows, turn back in the day of battle. The commission of our glorious Leader is, Put yourselves in array against Babylon, round about, all ye that bend the bow; shoot at her; spare no arrows, for she has sinned against the Lord.
NEW VERNON, N. Y.,
September 15, 1841.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 1
pages 711 – 713