THE BEAST AND THE SADDLE.

DR. GOING, editor of the American Baptist, in noticing a meeting and proceedings of the New School Baptist Baltimore Association, claims for them that they are the real Old School Baptists, and professes to put the saddle on the right beast. His article is copied in full in Vol. V. page 38, accompanied with the following remarks:

As Dr. Going proposes putting the saddle on the right animal, we will for his edification say that the Old School brethren do not feel disposed to quarrel with him or with Messrs. Healy and Jones, about the saddle. As the Old School have renounced the beast to which the saddle, bridle, girt and stirrups belong, we readily relinquish the entire tackle to the Doctor for the benefit of the Lady of Kingdoms, whose name is written upon her forehead, and who sitteth upon a scarlet colored beast

When Balaam, the false prophet, set out as a missionary, under the patronage of a foreign board, and in full prospect, like modern missionaries, of great honor and plenty of gold, we are told that his first preparation for an outfit was that he arose and saddled his beast. We have somewhere heard this subject thus explained:

First. Balaam represented all false prophets, or hirelings, called by men to the work of cursing Israel and blessing Moab.

Second. That his beast represented all the priest-ridden congregations and people who are made use of to bear up and carry the false ministers when engaged in their wicked missions.

Third. That the saddle represented the tax or methods of collecting funds to make the seat of the false ministry comfortable, and that the prophet arising and putting the saddle on the ass, set forth in a figure how anti-christian teachers should rise, (as at the present time illustrated by fact,) and saddle the poor, stupid and beastly of our race with the entire burden of transporting their false prophets to the best market for their doctrines. This saddle is sometimes buckled on to the people by the strong girt of legislative power, and then the “galled jade may wince” in rain.

Whether the above illustration is the direct meaning of the fact recorded of Balaam or not, we will not pretend at this time to say, but at all events, there appears in the Dr.’s remarks to be a reaching after the saddle on the part of the New School, and we exhort our brethren of the Baltimore Association, if they have any part of this saddle in their camp, that they forthwith send it over to the Balaamiteish prophets who have, and do demand it. We have never seen the Minutes of Messrs. Healy and Jones’ Association, which they held at Washington City, but we learn by what we have copied from the American Baptist that they have attempted to prove from circumstances that the Baltimore Association has been in the habit in former times of riding out of the Old School track on this popular saddle, and we are not prepared to fully contradict the charge; that they have dabbled from time to time since their original constitution in some of the popular institutions is very probable; we are happy to say that at their last session they retained the saddle and all its appendages, and with it all those prophets who can ride gracefully on it.

The loss of members sustained by the Baltimore Association in consequence of returning the saddle to its right beast is very incorrectly stated in the article alluded to, as we are informed by brethren belonging to the Baltimore Association. Two of the above churches have, since the meeting at Washington, joined the Maryland Union Association, and the Mount Zion Church, of Baltimore, we are told, has vetoed the proceedings of Mr. Clark, their late pastor, to whom it is. said they never gave any authority to withdraw from the Baltimore Association; and besides these we learn that many members of the churches represented by J. H. Jones have no mind to have the saddle put on their backs, and some of the members of the Second Baltimore Church are not well suited with the idea of being saddled. how Elder Osbourne, who we believe still holds his membership in that church, will bear the saddle, is for him to say; it is thought, however, by some who have read his communications, that the New School would do well to just put a sheep skin between him and the saddle, lest he might balk.

But to speak without a parable; it seems that by the resolution of the Baltimore Association some of the leaders of the New School party among them took the liberty, as representatives of their several churches, to withdraw, and after they had withdrawn the Association dropped their names from their Minutes. These, with one or more churches which had before been dropped for heresy, (gross Arminianism,) held a meeting at Washington, and passed the resolutions above referred to, and proclaimed to the world that they were cut off from the Baltimore Association, and secondly, that they are the Baltimore Association. The churches reported in this strange organization have flounced, and will not stay organized, while their report has seemed to elate the New School party, and they are in hope of enjoying the entire use of the saddle. As to the appellation of Old School, poor things, we know not what use they can have for the term. should we give it to them; it would as illy fit them as the saddle, collar, &c., would the children of the free woman.

In reference to the Doctor’s remark on Warwick Association, it is altogether a mistake. That association was not drawn off from the popular institutions by a Black Rock party, in evidence of which we will give the following statements, viz; We have in our possession the original constitution of that body, and we know that there was no provision made in that document for any of the popular schemes of the day, for none of the institutions of which we complain had an existence in one of our American churches at that early date. It is true that some years subsequently to their organization they proposed to aid some of the ministering brethren of that body to devote a greater portion of their time to the work of preaching, and money was raised for that object to the amount say of $50 to $100. Soon after the purse was made up, one of the ministers of that body who, by the bye, was probably worth more money than any other in that connection, and was at the time receiving his salary of $300 per annum., took a tour into the interior of the State to visit some of his relations and friends, and to attend to his own business, and when he returned presented his bill for so many days missionary service; and in paying him for doing his own private business, we are informed that he received what funds there was on hand. The churches having thus sipped at the golden cup, instead of becoming intoxicated, were in that case permitted to drink deadly poison and not be seriously injured; for the small dose made them so sick that they were never afterwards guilty of a similar experiment. By reason of some popular preachers coming into some of the churches, the association was occasionally somewhat harrassed with new things. She was once nearly flooded with circulars from Dr. Stoughton and others, calling them to join in the Foreign Mission enterprise; this, however, we believe, they (lid not go into any farther perhaps than to notice the project favorably. But long before the first meeting was called at the Black Rock, the subject of the new measures was attempted to be palmed on that association, and she refused; and from year to year the struggle was renewed, until the association resolved, as a body, to have nothing to do with the new institutions, and requested the churches to write no more in their church letters on that subject; and when the New School party found there was no hope of drawing the Warwick Association from the old track, three churches of the Arminian cast withdrew, with their famous leaders, Teasdale and Jackson, and formed what they call the Sussex Association, to the great joy of those who remained, for from that time forth the Warwick Association has assumed her original dignity, and has held her annual meetings in peace and harmony.

We close by saying, that although there is too much justice in the charge which accuses the Old School Associations with having dabbled at sundry times with the new schemes of the day, yet we do heartily repent, and solemnly renounce them, and we ardently desire the New School to take back their saddle and put it on its proper animal, and never suffer it again to appear among the old fashioned Baptists. We are glad, heartily glad, truly glad, that the Doctor has discovered that we are not the beast to wear his new light saddle, the bridle or the collar.

ALEXANDRIA, D. C.,
February 24, 1837.

Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 1
Pages 358 – 362