THE following editorial remarks follow a lengthy extract copied into the “Signs of the Times,” Vol. VI. page 70, from the journal of the Baptist missionary (Mr. Vinton) among the Karens, in which among other extravagant statements, Mr. Vinton says:
“I then gave them (the Karens) a short account of the efforts of the apostles and primitive christians, and of their all but universal conquest over the powers of darkness; that then, when the victory was all but won, the church folded her hands and went to sleep, and slept on for centuries, while Satan secured to himself the fairest portion of the possession that had been given to the Savior; and that now. she is just beginning to awake from her slumbers, and harness on the armor to go forth to the conquest of the World.” - Missionary Magazine.
GENTLE reader, is the doctrine held forth in the above extract in accordance with the scriptures of truth, with divine revelation, with christian experience, with the divine honor, or with the doctrine maintained at the expense of all things by the Baptists of all former ages, from the days of John the Baptist until the corrupt period in which we live? Is it the doctrine taught by the great Head of the church? “All that the Father giveth me shall come unto me, and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out’ “And this is the Father’s will which bath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” “No man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” - John vi. 37, 39, 44. Or is it in accordance with the solemn declaration of our blessed Intercessor, in his appeal to the Father, “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him”? “Those that thou gayest me I have kept, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scriptures might be fulfilled” ? - John xvii. 2. 12.
Blessed Savior, is it true that the devil has secured to himself the fairest portion of the possession which thy Father gave thee, and with which he promised thou shouldst be satisfied, when thy soul was poured out unto death? The very people whom by one offering thou hast perfected forever; (Heb. x. 14.) for whom thou hast given thyself, to redeem them from all iniquity, and to purify unto thyself a peculiar people, zealous of good works, (Titus ii. 14;) whom our God “Saved and called with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” - 2 Tim. i. 9. The fairest portion of that people who were chosen in him before the foundation of the world; predestinated unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ, (not by Satan, as Mr. Vinton has it,) unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his. will, and whom the Eternal Spirit has quickened from their state of death in trespasses and sins, and saved by grace, through faith, and that not of themselves, but by the gift of God. For by grace are they saved, through faith, and that not of themselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast. Eph. i. 4; ii. 1, 8, 9.
Well might the heavens tremble, and the earth be horribly afraid, the saints who have hoped in the salvation of the Lord sink down in keen anguish and despair, while hell and death, devils and infernal ghosts, burst their eternal chains, their black domains would ring with endless yells of victory. But glory to God in the highest, the doctrines of the above extract are as false as the foul spirit from whence they eminated; Jesus has secured unto himself his entire possession of all that the Father has given him in the covenant of redemption, and hell shall rage in vain. They shall not be ashamed or confounded in a world without end; for Christ has given to them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of his hand. Their life is hid with Christ in God, so that when he who is their life shall appear, they appear with him in glory.
Their eternal destiny is immutably and eternally fixed, not to be slept away; their place of defence is the munition of rocks, the Eternal God is their refuge, and underneath are his everlasting arms.
Let all such Baptists as are wavering on the subject of missions read and duly examine the foregoing extract from Mr. Vinton’s journal, compare them with Judson’s letter to the American females, try them by the scriptures of truth, and then say how much money or influence they feel at liberty to give in support of the doctrines which they teach. Review the above extract; for Mr. V. declares that he has never before, in Karen, been able to present the truth with so much plainness and force! All prior attempts have failed so clearly and fully to express his sentiments. Witness his agony - for what? Why because that the natives are not reconciled to God. But is Mr. V. himself reconciled to God? By no means; for the Lord will not do what Mr. V. desires, and that for which he is in so much distress. But could Mr. V. know that God would do what he wants him to do, and that at Mr. V.’s time (speedily) his aching heart would cease to bleed; but until the Lord will lay aside his determinate counsel, and adopt that of Mr. V., he asks, he desires no rest. Could he know that God would speedily undertake the work of subjugating their (those Karens) souls to himself? - such are the terms on which Mr. V. would base a treaty of peace with the Lord. The Lord must at this late hour undertake something new, notwithstanding all God’s works were finished from the foundation of the world. The wire workers of the Foreign Mission machinery have ever been representing that God had long since began this work; but now, if we credit the statement of Mr. V., after so many thousands of gold had been spent in the experiment, so many missionaries sent over, and so many proselytes made to their faith, Mr. V. has no assurance that God will ever so much as begin or undertake, i. e., let Mr. V. and his associates have the upper hold, and the Lord take the under hold of the business. All this time they have been working without divine aid or warrant, and without knowing the mind of God on the subject.
Is this man who pretends to be so solicitous that the Karens should be reconciled to God, himself reconciled, when he proclaims himself one thousand times more benevolent than Christ? Jesus died but once to save sinners, and there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin; but Mr. V. would willingly die one thousand deaths for the same purpose, if he tells the truth; and seems much dissatisfied because the Lord will not (as he knows of) do any more. And yet he professed to commit this work to Christ.
One wife, who is not on the Lord’s side, has been waiting a number of months, (not for the church to break from the slumbers of centuries, or for the Holy Spirit to quicken her, but) for her husband to come out on the Lord’s side. This expression alone shows how much Mr. V. knows about a work of grace; he makes it all to rest upon free will and human power.
The circumstance of his interrupting Ko Panlah, whose views of God and truth appear, by far, more correct and in accordance with the bible than those of his teacher; and who had arrived at the just conclusion that the reason why they had been suffered to exist for so long a time without the knowledge of a crucified Savior, was because God had withheld from them that knowledge, shows the overflowing corruption and blasphemy of his heart. He even dares to contradict the express declarations of our Lord Jesus Christ, in relation to the perfect security of his church, embracing all that possession which his Father has given him, and to represent the Lord as sending the fairest portion of his possession down to hell, not for their guilt, but for the guilt of the less fair and guilty part, which have gone. to heaven in a profound sleep.
If this sentiment be true, the church in glory will look far less glorious than when seen by John in his vision on the Isle of Patmos. The fairest portion must include the Head, for nobody can be fair or beautiful without a head. The Lord’s portion is his people, he has made them fair, and adorned them as a bride for her husband. But alas! if Mr. V. speaks truth, she is in hell, and just awaking from a nap of nearly two thousand years, and providing herself with munitions of war for the conquest of the world. We do not know what disposition Mr. V. intends to make of the world after conquering it, but we conjecture that he intends to substitute it in the stead, and send it to heaven as a kind of apology for the non-appearance of the fairest portion of Christ’s possession, which Christ has pledged himself to raise - up again at the last day. Be that however as it may, we are assured that heaven will never ratify such a change. God has chosen his people in Christ before the world began, and has redeemed them out of the world, and has offered his divine intercession for them, and not for the world; and after all, would be marvelous indeed if the world, out of which he has chosen and redeemed them, are finally saved, and the people chosen and redeemed, are gone down to hell, being by Satan secured to himself, while the church, with folded arms, was sleeping.
ALEXANDRIA, D. C.,
May 1, 1838.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 1
Pages 432 – 437