The Religious Herald, of Virginia, the columns of which were burdened some years ago with many hard sayings against the Old School Baptists, either from inability to maintain the conflict to the satisfaction of its publishers and readers, or from some other policy, has been comparatively silent on that subject ever since the year 1837, about eighteen years, has opened a fire against us again in a late number. In its editorial department we find the following prediciton, viz:
“MARYLAND BAPTIST UNION ASSOCIATION. - This body comprises all the Regular Baptist churches in the State. There are besides two small Anti-Mission Associations, which are gradually dwindling away, and will, within a few years, probably be extinct.”
That the number of those who remain steadfast in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the bounds of the State of Maryland, and who protest against the modern mission craft of the present age, is comparatively small, none will dispute; but it by no means follows that the cause of truth and righteousness is declining, or that those Baptists in that State, who oppose the mission abominations of the age, will soon be extinct.
We have no doubt that Mr. Sands, and all other worshipers of the mission idol, desire their utter extinction; but thus far their desires and predictions have perished together. If the doctrine and order of those Baptists in Maryland, who by way of reproach are called Anti-Mission, is of God, as we believe it is, it cannot become extinct. God will defend his own cause. He has formed the smith that blows the coals and bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and he has created the waster to destroy. But for the lasting consolation of his people he has said, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper: and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment, thou shalt condemn.” This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. But if the cause in which the Old School Baptists of Maryland, or of any other State, is not of the Lord, the sooner it shall become extinct the better. It is only from a firm conviction that we stand on Bible ground, in opposing all innovations on the faith and practice of the church of God, that the Old School Baptists so cheerfully endure all the reproach and opposition of their enemies.
The same number of the Herald from which we clipped the foregoing prophecy, contains a communication from a Missionary hireling, from which we extract the following:
“Two things have contributed much to retard our progress in this country as well as elsewhere, viz: the opposition of the Anti-Mission Baptists and that of the Campbellites. But as the world judges of religion, not as it is preached, but as it is practiced, our membership, by their orderly, pious deportment, are winning for our cause a preponderance of public favor, that needs only to be nurtured, and prosperity must and will crown our efforts with more general and permanent success.”
That the standard bearers of truth, whom God has raised up in Virginia, are in the way of the modern mission speculation, does not surprise us any more than that the preaching of the early disciples of our divine Master was an annoyance to the ancient pharisees, or that Paul’s preaching troubled the craftsmen who had their wealth from making shrines for the fabulous goddess, Diana, of the Ephesians. It cannot be otherwise, so long as it is written that the preaching of the cross is unto them that perish foolishness. But the boastful air with which the writer appeals to the world for its approval of missionism, and condemnation of the Old School Baptists, forcibly reminds us of the inspired words of the beloved disciple, “They are of the world: therefore, speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us: he that is not of God, heareth not us: hereby know we the Spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. “ - John iv. 5, 6.
In the kingdom of Christ, all boasting is excluded; but in the order of modern missionism, boasting is retained. The orderly, pious deportment of their membership is winning for the cause of modern missions a preponderance of public favor, which needs only to be nurtured and prosperity will crown their efforts with more general success. God’s people have no such reliances. No preponderance of public favor from the world is courted, expected or desired. If any man will live godly he shall suffer persecution. “Therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.” Woe unto the professed disciples of Jesus, when all men shall speak well of them. What christians desire is, that they may be approved of God; that they may be enabled by grace to walk worthy of the vocation whereby they are called of God. With christians, to be orderly is to be conformed to the rule of order which Christ has given in the New Testament, and when enabled to conform strictly to Bible rules of order, there will be no fellowship between them and the world. Instead of exultingly boasting of preponderance of the world’s public favor, the order of the house of God and gospel of Christ demand of the saints to renounce the world with all its pomp, pride and lying vanities. For, “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away and the lusts thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” - 1 John ii. 15, 16.
But what do Missionists rely upon for preponderance in the public favor of the world lying in wickedness? In what does their “orderly and pious deportment” consist? Not in their preaching. Neither the world nor the church can see anything in their preaching either consistent with the order of the gospel of Christ, or by any means offensive to the ungodly world. But that which secured a preponderance of public favor of the world to the pharisees and hypocrites of a former age, was that wherein they made void the law of God by their own traditions, their long prayers in the corners of the street and in the market places, to be heard of men, - their sanctimonious looks, disfigured faces, and the zeal displayed in their anti-scriptural missionary enterprises, wherein they compassed sea and land to make proselytes, while all who contended for the truth as it is in Jesus, were, by an irrevocable decree of God, to be hated of all men, for Christ’s sake.
In conclusion, we submit, for the consideration of all who read, whether the modern Missionists of the present age, display any evidences of “order and piety” which differs in any essential respect from those marked to be avoided in the scribes, pharisees and hypocrites, who figured eighteen hundred years ago?
Middletown, N. Y.
Feb. 1, 1856.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 3
Pages 297 – 300