“FOR three and thirty years,” says Mr. Gear, “he trod the realms of the rebellious, seeking in ways manifold to do them good.” That our Lord sojourned in the flesh thirty-three years, and that he went about doing good, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, casting out devils, raising the dead and reproving the scribes, Pharisees and hypocrites of that day, is true; but that lie sought in manifold ways to do them good is very far from the truth. Known unto God were all his works from the foundation of the world; hence the idea of his having to seek to do good is grossly incorrect. His reward was with him and his work before him. He came to do the will of him that sent him, and to finish the work; and has told us, “This is the will of him that sent me, that of all that he hath given me I should lose nothing.” And he has assured us that he will raise them all up at the last day. Mr. Gear would represent our Lord as having to try experiments in order to learn how to do good, &c. Away with such New School trash!
Mr. G. admits that Christ trod the wine-press of the wrath of God alone, but this is the only place where Mr. G. says he could be alone. This declaration speaks volumes. The New School believe that while Christ was alone in bearing the wrath of God, he is not alone in saving sinners. If treading the wine-press was the only place where Christ could be alone, and in every other department of the mediatorial work his modern missionaries are conjoined with him, then was he aided by his co-workers in rising from the dead, in leading captivity captive, in quickening and delivering from wrath his people, in raising the dead, in casting out devils, in making laws for the government of his kingdom, in sitting a priest upon his throne, in bearing the glory, in calling, qualifying and sending forth his ministers to preach, in governing his subjects, and finally in raising the dead and judging the world. The New School suppose he will be in need of their aid. Such is the loftiness of the vain imagination of modern missionists.
“In every other department of labor,” says Mr. G., “he would have his people with him; and especially does he call upon them in the work of instruction, in the spread and proclamation of the gospel, for the purpose of enlightening and winning souls to the love and practice of holiness.” In what part of the sacred volume has God given this special call for co-operation in winning souls to holiness, &c.? It cannot be found. Souls are brought to the Love and practice of holiness in a very different manner from this. “God has made bare his arm in sight of the nations, and all the earth shall see the salvation of the Lord.” His arm is not, as H. Gear seems to suppose, concealed by filthy rags of human righteousness, effort or co-operation, but wherever his salvation is known, his arm, made bare, is seen. How ridiculous the thought, that men are to aid the blazing Sun of Righteousness in enlightening souls, or to add charms to the glory of the everlasting gospel in order to win them; and equally absurd is the notion that the gospel is to be spread by the aid of men or angels. The gospel is the power of God through faith unto salvation; and is poor finite, depraved man to aid the Lord Jehovah in spreading his power? Fuller’s gospel, or any other human device for the darkening of counsel, may be facilitated by the labor of man; but all the men on earth, with all the angels in heaven, would be quite insufficient to send the gospel of God our Savior into the heart of one poor helpless soul. That spurious system bandied about by college-taught dandies in black coats, is quite a different thing from the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. “Here,” adds Mr. G., “in the language of Paul we are laborers together with God.” But the apostle Paul never used any such language. The words quoted, Mr. G. should know, if he be the scholar he pretends to be, were put into Paul’s month by king James’ translators, and the apostle has only claimed for himself and brethren that they were laborers together under God. But willing to rest his arrogant and presumptuous claim upon a misstatement of Paul’s words, the poor silly school-boy exclaims in the ecstacy to which he had lashed himself, “O what honored and favored partnership!” Be astonished, O heavens! stand in amazement, O earth! In this nineteenth century the New School Baptists of these United States claim to be in partnership with God Almighty in the work of salvation! What more than this did the pope of Rome ever lay claim to? If these filthy dreamers are partners in the firm with God, they have a right to remit sins, to contract obligations, collect funds and appropriate them in the name of the firm. And this too they assay to do, hence we see the convenience of this claim, in order to justify them in offering heaven and eternal life for money, works, &c. We would have hoped that few could be found, even among New School Baptists, sufficiently hardened in blasphemy to take the daring stand of H. Gear, were it not that this sermon was called for and published by the convention of New School Baptists, and thus adopted as their sentiments. Salvation is held by them to be a mere partnership business between that God who will not give his glory to another, nor his praise to graven images and missionists.
Do any begin to charge us with attaching to the words of H. Gear what he did not mean? We call on such to read his words which we have given verbatim. He says that while missionaries are endeavoring to draw souls to Christ, their work is identical with that of the Almighty Father, and “That while you are agonizing in spirit for the salvation of the lost, and seeking with all your heart to save them, you are sympathizing deeply with the blessed Redeemer, and laboring in happy union with him in the same glorious object.”
From this last quotation we see that the New School fraternity believe that the Almighty Father is endeavoring to draw souls to Christ, and the missionaries are engaged in identically the same work, so that God does no more, according to this doctrine, than the missionary does: both are endeavoring to draw souls to Christ. Can any person experimentally acquainted with the character of the God of Israel, believe that H. Gear, or the convention who have adopted his blasphemies, have any saving knowledge of the true God and eternal life? The Redeemer also is represented as agonizing and laboring with such co-partners as H. Gear for the accomplishment of the same object. The blessed Redeemer indeed agonized, once in the garden, sweat as it were drops of blood falling to the ground, and once upon the cross poured out his soul unto death; but he has risen and “Gone up with a shout and with the sound of a trumpet.” To represent that our Redeemer is now agonizing in conjunction with a set of arminian religion mongers, is as false as the place where the lie was coined, and base as the spirit by which it is asserted.
But we pass to notice the application made of this abominable theory to the missionary speculations of the present age.
“1. how great, &c., is the work of the ministry, especially that of the missionary.” The work of the gospel ministry made the apostle Paul feel himself to be less than the least of all the saints. The missionary enterprise makes those engaged in it feel themselves to be greater than the highest angel iii heaven, swells their hearts with pride to that degree, that they say in the language of their prototype, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north, I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.” – Isa. xiv. 13, 14.
“2. how careful should we be in the selection of persons to fill the ministerial and missionary offices.” By this inference by Mr. Gear, drawn from premises in his sermon, the whole prerogative of selecting persons for the ministerial and missionary offices is claimed. He gives us not one single hint that the God of heaven has anything whatever to do in the matter of choosing whomsoever he will for the work. By this assumption of the divine prerogative, we are probably to understand that those wonderful partners in the firm which dwell on the earth are to regulate all the affairs of the church on earth. How modest this claim! We should be careful in selecting! If H. Gear and his colleagues can prove to us that they are in reality as they profess, co-partners with the persons in the Godhead, then we have nothing to say in reply to their assumption of the power aid government of God; but as we are among those who dispute their equality with the eternal God, we deny their right to interfere in the business of selecting persons for the ministry of the gospel. As the modern missionary Baptists now publicly claim to be vested with authority to select the persons to fill the ministerial offices, what have we to expect from them should they attain to the secular power of our country? When they shall mature their plans, and bring the legislative councils of our states to sanction their claims to be in partnership with time Almighty God, and that they have the right to select or reject whom they please, may we not reasonably look for the re-establishment of inquisitions, dungeons, flames and faggots to enforce their decisions?
The third inference drawn by Mr. G. is that, “3. We see the wickedness of opposition to missions.” All who oppose the base pretensions of such men as H. Gear & Co., are denominated wicked opposers of missions, and they are charged with robbing the holiest and kindest beings of the universe of one of the richest sources of their enjoyment. 2d. Of standing in time way and hindering the progress of redemption. 3d. Of keeping mankind in sin. 4th. Of shutting them out from the means of attaining to the end of their creation; and of forming a character upon the model of Immanuel's. And lastly, of hostile array against the Holy Trinity. These charges relate to those who are called anti-missionary or Old School Baptists. Let us review them.
We are not aware that in opposing the blasphemy of H. Gear and his associates in abomination, that we are opposing and robbing the holiest and kindest beings of the universe. We pity the universe that contains men less holy and kind than the modern missionists. Their holiness is like that of the pope, only an assumed name to deceive; and their kindness is developed in robbing the poor, the widow and the fatherless of the last dollar, shilling or cent they can possibly wrench from them by deception and falsehood. Their feelings of kindness towards the Old Fashioned Baptists have been fully demonstrated for several years past, introducing confusion and discord, bringing in damnable heresy, dividing churches, robbing them of their meeting-houses, and finally in attempting to blast their characters and exterminate them from the land. Such are the characters who lay claim to the distinction of holiest and best of the universe.
2d. We are charged with hindering the progress of redemption! The scriptures inform us that Christ has obtained eternal redemption for his people; but Mr. G. says that the work of redemption is now in progress, and represents it as liable to hindrance if not to complete failure, in consequence of those charged with standing in the way. Who is to be believed? If the statement of the scriptures be true, it follows unavoidably that the statement of H. Gear is false. On the charge of keeping mankind in sin we have no disposition to remark. We are however inclined to the opinion that man was involved in sin before the modern mission system or its opponents existed. The fourth charge is twofold, viz.: shutting mankind out from the means of attaining the end of their creation, and of forming characters upon the model of Immanuel. God has declared the end from the beginning, and said his purpose shall stand and he will do all his pleasure. As to any means by which man is to attain to the design of his creation the scriptures saith not. If any of the human family could prevent themselves or others from attaining the ultimate end or design for which they were created, it would necessarily prevent the accomplishment of God’s pleasure and reflect upon his truth. According to New School theology Christ has only given a model of character to be imitated by modern missionists, and even that may be prevented by the opposers of missions. But what model or example did he leave in relation to mission operations? He accused the missionists of that age with compassing sea and land to make one proselyte, and of making such proselyte twofold more the child of hell than them selves. He taught his disciples to pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers, but he never gave them a model for forming missionary societies organized upon monied principles, or to think them called upon to select or qualify men for the gospel ministry. Last, but not least, he says that we stand in hostile array against the most delightful work of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Thus the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are represented as being less delighted with the works of creation, providence and grace than with the partnership works of the missionary establishment in conjunction with these persons of the Godhead. Comparing all the works of God, Mr. G. would set them all in the back ground, and represent that God is more delighted with the foolish mummery, base hypocrisy and heaven-daring blasphemy of the present times, than with all the glory of the heavens or the songs of the redeemed. To represent the choicest pleasure of the great eternal God subject to interruption by men we should have supposed sufficiently derogatory to the divine honor; but alas! for poor infatuated man.
The fourth inference drawn by Mr. G. from his sermon is, “4. We learn the great desire and anxiety of God that sinners should repent.” Christians, is this a true description of your God? Is he desirous or anxious for the repentance of a greater number of sinners than he is able to bring to repentance? How feeble, how weak, how inefficient must Jehovah be in the estimation of modern missionists! Truly we may say with Moses, “Their rock is not as our Rock; our enemies themselves being judges.” Our God hath mercy upon whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Theirs is desirous, yea anxious for the repentance of sinners; has provided ample means for their salvation; invited them in the most cordial manner to turn and live; has set forth bands of bright celestial beings to charm them to repentance by the music of their harps and the rapture of their songs.
If the God they worship has provided ample means for the salvation of mankind, why do the missionaries constantly harass the people to furnish means? Not a nook nor corner remains unexplored by their hungry mendicants in search of money to be employed as means for bringing sinners to repentance and evangelizing the world.
We leave Mr. Gear and his compeers to meet the retribution that awaits them for their blasphemy and falsehood, assured, as God is true, their judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
Had Mr. G. uttered and published his sermon upon his own responsibility we should have regarded him and his production unworthy the notice of our readers; but as this sermon comes to us under the sanction of the Western Convention of New School Baptists we have a right to regard it as expressing the sentiment of the whole fraternity of the same order throughout the United States.
NEW VERNON, N. Y.,
Nov. 1, 1842.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 2
Pages 81 – 88