Elder Beebe: - Dear sir, as I have received much consolation in times past in reading the Signs and especially your expositions of portions of scripture, I would humbly request, although personally not acquainted with you, that you give your views through the Signs upon a portion of Scripture found in Romans 2 chapter, 1st verse, particularly what it is to judge another.
Reply: - The text proposed for consideration reads thus, “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest, for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself, for thou that judgest doest the same things.”
The apostle had been speaking of his calling as an apostle, and as such, of his indebtedness or obligation to preach to the Gentiles as well as to the Jews, to the barbarians as well as to the Greeks, and of the common level of guilt and condemnation to which mankind had fallen. Those who were of the circumcision had made manifest their depravity by sinning against law which had been given to them as such, while the barbarians unto whom the Sinai law had not been given were also convicted of the same depravity of their fallen nature in that the clear manifestation made of the eternal power and Godhead of Jehovah displayed in the visible things of the creation did not secure their veneration or worship of him as God. Had they not been depraved in their nature every manifestation of the power and Godhead would have filled them with reverence and love, but their aversion to the rational contemplation of the power and all pervading providence of God seen in every blade of grass, and in all the works of God, was indisputable evidence of their guilty state. They did not like to retain God in their thoughts, for when they know him, that is, as displayed in the things that are made, they worshipped him not as God, but grew vain in their imaginations and ran into gross idolatry, for which severe judgments were visited upon them. It is a thoroughly demonstrated truth that no amount of knowledge that a natural man has ever attained to, or ever can attain unto in their natural or unregenerated state, can ever lead them to love to retain God in their thoughts or tend or qualify them to worship him as God. And it will remain forever true that “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” While such was evidently the deplorable condition of the Gentiles, the Jews were making their boast in the law, in that law which had been given specially to them as the children of Israel, and trusted in the law. They inferred from the peculiar privileges which they enjoyed over the Gentiles that they were more holy in the sight of God, and that they, being of the circumcision and the descendants by immediate generation from Abraham, were fully justified before God; under this delusion they did not hesitate to judge the heathen, or the Gentiles. Hence their prejudice against the Gentiles was so great that they concluded that there was no salvation for them, and the prejudice so frequently manifested by the Jews, when our Lord condescended to associate with publicans or sinners, and against the apostles when they were charged with bringing Greeks into the temple, and thereby defiling the holy place. Now the apostle is showing the obligation resting on him to declare, even among the Gentiles, the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ, makes the declaration of our text, and confirms it by arguments and testimony throughout the chapter. “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man” - Who? What man? Whosoever thou art that judgest another. The Jew in judging the Gentiles as being sinners, heathen, idolators, barbarians, and under the wrath of heaven, were condemning themselves for notwithstanding all their boasted advantage of the law dispensed to them, the apostle says they were also guilty of the same things. Did they judge the Gentile guilty because they worshipped idols? They, the Jews, also committed sacrilege. Therefore while they judged and condemned the Gentiles for idolatry, stealing, adultery, etc., they condemned themselves in the judgment they gave against their neighbors because they themselves were guilty of the very things which they judged others to be guilty of. Indeed this is expressly given in the text, as the reason why they were inexcusable, “for thou that judgest doest the same thing.”
And it is also true if the Gentiles judge the Jews, in condemning them as sinners, if we are found guilty of the same things, we condemn ourselves. Hence the general application of the rule, “O man, whosoever thou art,” whether Jew or Gentile.
Rivers of blood are now flowing in defense of the various kinds of religion of the earth. The war between Russia and Turkey, involving France and England and nearly all of Europe, is a religious war. Each party has judged the other heterodox. The Mohammatan, the Papal, the Protestant and the Grecian religions are all involved and each party in defense of what they regard their holy religion. While both parties in the Celestial Empire are fighting for their religion, and in every instance, in judging each other, each party named condemns itself for all humanly invented religions are of a piece, and all are wrong. None but the religion of Jesus Christ, as revealed from heaven, is approved of God. To those who possess that religion which is from above, judgment is given. The saints shall judge the world; yea, he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
April 15, 1854
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 3
Pages 61 - 64