Dear Brother Beebe: Through the well directed providence of God I am spared to see the time again roll around to renew my subscription, and it is with pleasure I take the opportunity to write to those whom I trust are the same family, and have, as I hope, the same spiritual Father. For, when I read the editorials of your paper, and the communications of the dear brethren and sisters, I feel strengthened in my convictions that we are all led by the same spirit, although we are many miles apart. I have none near me who preach the same doctrine, unmixed; their theory is means. I have seen the time when I thought I was like the old prophet Elijah, when he said, They have thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets, and I only am left alone. But when I get the “Signs,” I find that there are still a remnant of the Lord’s poor and afflicted people who trust in the name of the Lord and stay upon their God.
Now, dear brother, I will extend to you and other ministering brethren, as it were, a Macedonian cry, “Come over and help us;” for it is surely a time of need. The church where I formerly was a member has been led off by the Missionary Baptists. She was organized by the Old Regular Baptists, and I think there is still the root remaining; for I hope it was of the Lord’s own right hand’s planting, although perhaps sadly mangled by the wolves who came to her in sheep’s clothing. I think there are still a goodly number among them who are longing to feed on the sincere milk of the word, and who can thrive on no other. As such, I think I can represent my own family, which consists of six sons, all married and having families, and living near me.
And, now I would once more entreat you to hear my feeble request; for I think there is a great field open here in this part of the country. Please publish this, and oblige your unworthy sister,
December 27, 1868.
P.S. - Please give your views on Matthew 22: 12,13, also on Luke 24:25,26, and oblige an enquirer after truth,
Reply: We have neither time, space, nor ability to meet the desires of all our friends who call on us for our views on various portions of the Scriptures. We have now on hand many applications for our views, which it would afford us much pleasure, were we able to write and present satisfactory and edifying views. But if we were favored with a clear light on every obscure portion of the word, and could wield the pen of a far more expert and ready writer, it would require many volumes of the “Signs of the Times” to contain all that would require to be written. To make a careful and minute record of all that our Redeemer did, John supposed the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Still, we rejoice to witness an enquiring spirit after a clear understanding of the Scriptures. We are encouraged to search for the truth as for a hidden treasure; and if we lack wisdom, as we surely do, we should ask of God who giveth liberally. And it is proper also to avail ourselves of all the gifts, and all the light there is in the church. As a minister of the gospel, and as editor of the “Signs,” it devolves on us the duty and delightful privilege to devote all the ability God has or may bestow on us, in elucidating the Scriptures, to the comfort and edification of the saints.
The first portion proposed by our friend, is a part of the parable of the marriage of the king’s son, on which subject we have expressed our views to some extent in the leading editorial of this paper. The marriage we have understood to signify the new relation in which the redeemed of the Lord are brought by their death to Moses, and resurrection life with Christ, as exemplified in the setting up of the kingdom of Christ in its gospel organization. The last set of servants sent out to the highways, or to the Gentiles, gathered all that they found, both bad and good. This we sometimes witness in the present day, some are gathered into a religious profession, and are received into the church as guests, or members, whose utter destitution of the garments of praise, and robe of righteousness, cannot be detected until the guests are surveyed by the King himself. But “his fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor.” He shall sit as refiner’s fire, and as fuller’s soap. He will judge his people. The man that was found among the guests without the wedding garment may represent the whole class of those who think it quite unimportant, if they can get into the church, or into heaven, whether they come in by Christ as the door, or climb up some other way. They flatter themselves, and we have often heard them say, “If we are only sincere, it will make no difference how we get to heaven; it will not be asked us what way we came; but will be enough that we are there.” How surprised, and speechless will all such easy souls be to hear the startling interrogatory: “Friend, how camest thou in hither, not having the wedding garment?” “Then said the king to his servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him in outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Those who are so infatuated as to think the king will be pleased to see them in the filthy rags of self-righteousness, and that they will even outshine those who are clothed with the perfect righteousness of Christ, boast of their free will, free agency, and free volition, are exceedingly bitter at the commission given to the servants, to bind them, by a repudiation of their boasted ability. Say they, “We be Abraham’s seed and were never in bondage to any man; and how sayest thou, we shall be made free?” The faithful servants of the King who have the oversight of the flock shall give them place by subjection, no not for an hour. Binding them by a faithful exhibition of gospel truth, and rigid execution of the discipline of the church, shall effectually separate them from the communion of the church, and cast them outside her walls, where they shall find their own company of dogs, sorcerers, whoremongers, and whatsoever loveth and maketh a lie. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. The condition of those who by the authority of our great King are expelled from the fellowship of the church shall be that of outer darkness, which differs from the inner darkness of which the humble followers of the Lamb are sometimes subjected, for it is called the darkness of this world, controlled by the rulers of the darkness of this world, and by the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience. And they are thrown among a very different description of companions. When any of the children of God defile their garments, lay aside the garments of humility, and mask themselves in some other dress, and are cast out by the discipline of the house of God, they weep, as did the captives in Babylon when they remembered Zion; but those who have never known the love of God, when bound hand and foot and cast out from the fellowship of the saints, shall rave with gnashing of teeth.
The other passage on which our friend desires us to comment is Luke 24:25,26. “Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter his glory?” we must defer till our next.
February 15, 1869.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 7
Pages 363 – 366