WHILE with this Burman Missionary, we disapprove of and protest against the wicked extravagance and waste committed by a portion of the professed followers of the meek and lowly Lamb of God, we cannot with propriety withhold our hearty protest against his proposed plan of reform. He has, it is true, with sonic degree of talent, pointed out the existing evil of pride and vanity; although in this particular he has not gone far enough, for lie has left unnoticed much of the “spiritual wickedness of high places.” We would rather begin at the fountain head of pride and vanity, and unmask the hydra monster, and bring to light the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. We would point out not only the males and females in general, but also the clergy, as they are denominated, who in common with their members bow obsequiously to the sceptre of this monster, who (as Mr. J. says) grins defiance to the prohibitions of apostles, &c.
For the satisfaction of some of our readers we will here insert the following extracts, embracing in our view, the most exceptionable part of Mr. J’s letter.
“3. In the posture you have assumed, look up and behold the eye of your benignant Savior ever gazing upon you, with the tenderest love - upon you, his daughters, his spouse, wishing above all things, that you would yield your hearts entirely to him, and become holy, as he is holy, rejoicing when he sees one and another accepting his pressing invitation, and entering the more perfect way; for on that account he will be able to draw such precious souls into a nearer union with himself, and place them at last in the higher spheres, where they will receive and reflect more copious communication of light, from the great fountain of light, the uncreated Sun. * * * * * *
4. Surely you can hold out no longer. Thanks be to God, I see you taking off your necklaces and earrings, tearing away your ribbons and ruffles and superfluities of head-dress, and I hear you exclaim, What shall we do next? An important question, deserving serious consideration. The ornaments you are renouncing, though useless, and worse than useless in their present state, can be so disposed of as to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, relieve the sick, enlighten the dark-minded, disseminate the holy scriptures, spread the glorious gospel throughout the world. Little do the inhabitants of a free christian country know of the want and distress endured by the greater part of the inhabitants of the earth. Still less idea can they form of the awful darkness, which rests upon the great mass of mankind, in regard to spiritual things. During the years that you have, been wearing these useless ornaments, how many poor creatures have been pining in want; how many have languished and groaned on beds of abject wretchedness; how many children have been bred up in the blackest ignorance, hardened in all manner of iniquitiy; how many immortal souls have gone down to hell, with a lie in their right hand, having never heard of the true God and the only Savior. Some of these miseries might have been mitigated; some poor wretch have felt his pain relieved; some widow’s heart have been made to sing for joy; some helpless orphans have been rescued from hardened depravity, and trained up for a happy life here and hereafter; some, yea many precious souls might have been redeemed from the quenchless fires of hell, where now they must lie and suffer to all eternity, had you not been afraid of being thought unfashionable, and not like other folks! had you not preferred adorning your persons and cherishing the most seductive feelings of vanity and pride! O, christian sisters, believers in God, in Christ, in an eternal hell! and can you hesitate and ask what you shall do? Bedew these ornaments with the tears of contrition; consecrate them to the cause of charity; hang them on the cross of your dying Lord. Delay not an instant; hasten with all your might, if not to make reparations for the past, at least to prevent a continuance of the evil in the future. And be not content with individual exertion. Remember that union is strength. Take an example from the Temperance Societies, which are rising in their strength, and rescuing a nation from time brink of destruction. unite christian sisters of all denominations, and make an effort to rescue the church of God from the insidious attacks of an enemy, which is devouring her very vitals. As a counterpart to the societies just mentioned, may I respectfully suggest that plain-dress societies be. formed in every city and village throughout the land, recognizing two fundamental principles - the one based on 1 Tim. ii. 9: - All costly attire to be disused; the other on the law of general benevolence - the avails of such articles, and the saving resulted from time plain dress system, to be devoted to purposes of charity. Some general rules in regard to dress, and some general objects of charity may be easily ascertained and settled. Minor points must, of course, be left to the conscience of each individual, yet free discussion will throw light on many points at first obscure. Be not deterred by the suggestions, that in such discussions you are conversant about small things. Great things depend on small; and in that case, things which appear small to shortsighted man are great in the sight of God. Many there are who praise the principle of self-denial in general, and condemn it in all its particular applications, as too minute and scrupulous and severe. Satan is well aware that if he can secure the minute units, the sum total will be his own. Think not any thing small which may have a bearing upon the kingdom of Christ, and upon the destinies of eternity. How easy to conceive, from many known events, that the single fact of a lady’s divesting herself of a necklace for Christ’s sake, may involve consequences which shall be felt in the remotest parts of the earth, and in all future generations to the end of time; yea, stretch away into boundless eternity, and be a subject of praise millions of ages after this world and all its ornaments are burnt up.”
We consider the foregoing extracts fraught with the most glaring and blasphemous heresy perhaps ever published by any man professing to rely on the finished righteousness and atonement of Christ for salvation.
Can it be possible that Mr. Judson, with his bible before him, can think that the adorable Lamb, who is in the bible emphatically called “The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father,” &c., that he, in whose hands is vested all power in heaven and on earth, that he should give eternal life to as many as the Father hath given him, is so very deficient in power after all as to be dependent on the American females for ability to draw souls into union with himself:, or that on their works, good or bad, his rejoicing depends? Be astonished, O heavens! and awfully afraid, O earth! when by the impudence of such men as Mr. Judson the Lord Jesus Christ is set forth robbed of his crown and stripped of his eternal power and Godhead, pressing his invitations, and urging his earnest solicitations upon creatures whose breath is in their nostrils.
But in his fourth item Mr. Judson’s doctrine goes to supercede the work of Jesus Christ entirely, and he ascribes to his “golden calf” not only temporal blessings, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, &c., but also the spreading of the gospel and the salvation of souls.
Instead of saying, with an inspired apostle, “Other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid,” namely, Jesus Christ, “grinning defiance” to the apostles’ doctrine, he says that, “Some, yea many precious souls might have been redeemed from the quenchless fires of hell, had you not been afraid of being thought unfashionable,” &c.
But let us consider how Mr. J’s redemption is to be made. First, Aaron like, he as an high priest, demands that the daughters of Israel shall strip themselves of their ornaments. Secondly, consecrate them to the cause of charity by bedewing them with the tears of contrition, &c. Thirdly, hang them in the Savior’s stead upon the cross; i.e., offer them on the same altar on which the divine sacrifice was offered, and then join with him in the shout, “These be thy gods! O Israel,” &c., and as gods sound their praise millions of ages after this world and all its vanities are consumed.
One object of Mr. Judson cannot well be disguised, namely, that of blending the church and world together in opposition to the express command of God, “Unite christian sisters of all denominations.” Christ has established but one denomination of christians on earth; all other denominations are harlots, and he that is joined to an harlot is one flesh. Thus Mr. J. identified himself with all the daughters of the old mother of harlots, and having placed himself at the corner of the streets for the seduction of the simple, in the language 01 the harlot he says: “Cast in thy lot with us and we will have one purse.”
“May I respectfully suggest (says Mr. Judson) that plain dress societies be formed in every city and village throughout the land.” We answer yes, if you can bring a precept and example from the word of God. But this he does not attempt. He gives himself as authority, and says, Delay not an instant, and points to the temperance societies for an example. Such precepts and examples may do for those who teach for doctrines the commandments of men. But the followers of the Lamb will never join in such unhallowed connections with anti-christ. They will hear his voice and follow him, but a stranger they will not follow. Many professors of religion, including perhaps nearly all nominal and worldly minded professors, may unite. Pilate and Herod may make friends; t he mother of harlots and all her daughters may join in unison. But thus saith the Lord: “Associate yourselves together and ye shall be broken in pieces.” And to his children the Lord says: “Say not a confederacy to all to whom this people shall say a confederacy, neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.”
We cannot suppress our astonishment that even Mr. Judson should imagine that his golden calf will be a subject of praise in the world to come, although we must confess that this theory is consistent with his faith in a plurality of Saviors; for if the single fact of a lady’s divesting herself of a useless necklace has a bearing on the eternal destiny, and the united exertions of a plain dress society can save many souls from the quenchless fires of hell, where without these exertions they must lie and suffer to all eternity, it would be perfectly consistent to praise them for their God-like power to save. However beautiful this doctrine may sound in the ears of the gay and fashionable religionists of this day, there is no comeliness in it to those who believe that Jesus is God., and besides him there is no Savior. Such souls as know the Lord, confidently hope, through the blood of their incarnate Lord, to be permitted to join in the song of his redeemed, and. in eternal anthems of everlasting worship swell these heavenly notes: “Not unto us, not unto us, but to thy name be the glory. Forasmuch as we know that we are not redeemed with such corruptible things as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot; who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, for you, who by him do believe in God,” &c.
“Let others trust what names they please,
Their saints and angels boast;
We’ve no such advocates as these,
Nor trust t’ the heavenly host.”
We leave the subject. Our soul sickens within us, to think that such awful delusions should be sent from America to Burmah, and from thence reverberated back, through the correspondence of those professed “Teachers in Israel, who know not these things.” The apostle Paul says, “But though we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
“The Editor of a paper printed at New Vernon, Orange Co., N. Y., expects to find opposition from other Editors.
We think and hope he will be disappointed. At any rate, his statements must have more truth and common honesty in them before any one will take notice of them.” - Baptist Repository.
BE patient, Mr. Crosby, you shall have more truth. The Editor of a paper printed at New Vernon, Orange Co., N. Y., intends to furnish considerable more truth on various subjects; perhaps full as much as the Editor of the “Repository” would like to see in print, as he may probably have as much reason to dread its force as any other man. It is quite possible that the Repository may yet be compelled either to fight or ground the weapons of his rebellion at the feet of more truth. if the Repository is a fair specimen of “common honesty,” we would prefer a kind of honesty that is not so common. We prefer singularity in preference to that kind of common honesty which it has so forcibly illustrated in the following article:
JUDSON'S LETTER – JEWELRY, &C.
“Since this letter to females on useless ornaments was published, we have had our eye on the results, and though we have kept no account, yet we are within bounds in saying that hundreds of articles of jewelry and extravagance have been sent into the treasury of the Lord. By the minutes of the Charleston, S. C., Association, it appears that on reading Dr. Judson’s letter in a public meeting at Columbia, fifty-three articles of jewelry were sacrificed on the spot. This is the kind of nullification we like - pride and extravagance keep the treasury of benevolence poor.”
Lest we should mistake the Editor’s views of “common honesty,” we will just analyze this popular article. And first, we are not to consider it as a random shot, or the production of a momentary excitement of his mind. It is a subject which lie has had in contemplation ever since Judson’s letter was published. We may therefore venture to conclude that it is a fair sample of the editor’s honesty and truth. He says, “Although we have kept no account, yet we are within bounds in saying that hundreds of articles of jewelry and extravagance have been sent in to the treasury of the Lord,” i. e., as the result of the publication of Judson’s letter. Now allowing this to be the truth, the Lord’s treasury is of course the receptacle of jewelry, extravagance, &c., and by means of Judson’s letter the Lord is getting rich, and Lebanon is sufficient for an offering, and the cattle thereof for a burnt offering; and we may come before him with much less than the cattle of a thousand hills, or ten thousand rivers of oil. Nay, we may approach him with useless ornaments of pride and vanity, and contribute to the funds of the Lord, necklaces, beads, &c. But on the whole we are rather inclined to doubt the truth of the statement altogether. We cannot believe that these jewels and extravagances have any of them reached the Lord’s treasury! But there are many Achans in the camp at this day who covet the Babylonish garment and the golden wedge, and are willing to pretend that it is all consecrated to the use of the Lord which is put into their hands. This kind of honesty has become quite common among the money-bottomed professors of our age, and even the editor of the Repository would have us believe that fifty-three articles of jewelry put into the hands of these “greedy dogs which can never have enough,” are a sacrifice holy and acceptable unto that God who has said: “But go ye and learn what this meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice” and that “Obedience is better than sacrifice and to harken than the fat of rams.”
Common honesty, then, is that which would scour creation to obtain money in the Lord’s name, without his liberty; it is that which would make mankind believe that the popular priesthood is the Lord’s treasury, and what is given into their hands is given to the Lord; it would make them believe that the omnipotent God was unable to fulfill his purpose of salvation, and that thousands are sinking into the everlasting fire of hell for want of funds in the treasury of the Lord to save them. But how different was the honesty of the apostles. “Thy money perish with thee,” said the apostle Peter to Simon Magos, “for thou hast thought that the gifts of the Holy Ghost might be bought with Monoy.” Apostolic honesty is not common in our day; it is very rare, yet odd as it may appear we give it our decided preference. More anon.
New Vernon, N. Y.
January 16, 1833.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 1
Pages 20 – 28