“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.” - Vinton.
WE gave, in our last number, an extract from Mr. Vinton’s journal, containing the words at the head of this article, and on the extract as copied by us we offered some remarks. With the remarks then made we would willingly let the doctrines of Vinton rest with those of Judson, as a lasting demonstration of the corruption and rottenness of the Burman mission, but for the fact that the conductors of that mission, glorying in their shame, are trumpeting the same abroad through their New School papers, with nearly as much enthusiasm as they did the blasphemies of Judson. We have read the same extract in the Gospel Witness (so-called) of New York, in the Cross and Journal of Ohio, and the Record of Philadelphia, without a single stricture from the conductors of those journals, which of course goes fully to endorse the doctrine as that which is countenanced and held by all the missionary advocates.
On the doctrine of the above extract, what we published in our last must suffice for the present; but we wish to look the admission which they have made full in the face. The history of the church from the apostolic age will furnish no example of what our missionary zealots are now engaged in, until within the short space of the few years past, in which they say the church is beginning to awake, &c.
Anti-effortism, alias anti-missionism, by the New School charged so exclusively on the Old School Baptists, (and by Mr. Vinton’s version of the terms are perfectly appropriate, inasmuch as they are brought and used to describe those churches and individuals who stand opposed to modern missions,) is by themselves found to have been the prevailing ism in the church of Christ from the apostolic to the present age.
Some of the very periodicals which have virtually indorsed the declarations of Mr. V. have on former occasions denied the antiquity of the Old School Baptists, and have attempted to fix the period of their origin as late as thirty or forty years back; but now they see very clearly that this people have existed more than seventeen centuries, and that their existence has enabled old Satan to thwart the designs of heaven, make void the sure word of promise, the oath and counsel of the Lord, and wrest from the hands of the Savior the fairest portion of his possession.
By their own showing, we, the old flatfooted, iron-sided, hard-headed, slumbering Baptists, are thrown into the company of and identified with the true and only church of Christ for ages past.
We are certainly vain enough to think that our existence for the uninterrupted space of more than seventeen hundred years, demonstrated by our enemies themselves, gives us some claim to the distinctive appellation of Old School, or ground for some pretension to antiquity; may we not expect them by and by to leak out the fact that we have existed as the church of Christ, not only from the apostles’ day, but also from the days of John the Baptist?
But if our opponents will “hold still a minute,” as brother West would say, we will examine the bearing this admission must have on their claim to the character of christians, and of being engaged in the work of the Lord. They have yielded the fact, as we have shown, that the history of the church since the apostles fell asleep furnishes them with no example for that which they are now engaged in. Very well, their testimony thus far is correct;. but have they pointed us to any example in the apostolic age of the church for constituting Mission Societies, selling memberships, begging agents, mission boards, and of men, as missionaries, called by men, hired by men, directed by men, being sent out to wage war with the world, by imposing on heathen nations a system as far in the rear of Paganism, or Judaism, as Messrs. Vinton and Judson’s doctrines are behind the views entertained by Ko Panlah, the Karen? They have not, nor can they produce any such example from the New Testament. If they can, we challenge it; if they will, we will then yield the point.
But once more. While they establish the antiquity of the Old School Baptists, their own origin bears even date with what they call the waking up of the church, which is now, as Mr. V. says, “just beginning.”
When the New School advocates discuss the relative beauty of the effort and the anti-effort portions of the professed church of Christ, do they not uniformly give the decided preference to the former portion, and contend that they are the fairest? But Mr. Vinton says, (and who has a better opprtunity to know, being himself of that party,) while the anti-effort portion were asleep, Satan was wide awake, and has secured to himself the fairest (i. e., the effort) portion. If his conclusions are correct, he has fallen into the pit he prepared for the church, and the blow aimed at the steadfast adherents to the primitive faith, order and practice, has fallen on his own party, and he, like Balaam, the ancient hireling foreign missionary, (in the modern use or abuse of the term,) while assaying to curse Israel, for Balak’s honors and immoluments, was, contrary to his own inclination, compelled to bless them altogether.
ALEXANDRIA, D. C.,
May 18, 1838.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 1
Pages 437 – 440