WELL did our divine Redeemer advise his disciples that the day would come when the enemies of his cause would think they did God service, by killing his saints; and through his inspired apostles, that all such as will live godly shall suffer persecution. The most bitter and malignant persecutions our world has ever witnessed, has been leveled against the followers of Christ, for their strict conformity to the doctrine and order of his gospel; and that, in most cases, by those who have stood high in religious profession, as the Scribes, Pharisees, lawyers, &c., in former, and the advocates of new religious inventions in modern times. O that every soldier of the cross could, in truth and righteousness, on all such occasions, adopt the language of Paul, “But none of these things move me; neither count I my life dear unto me,” &c. The people of God can be told by the scars they ‘bear, with about as much certainty as we may know which tree in the orchard bears the best fruit, by the abundance of clubs which have been thrown at it. And why is it so? Is it because the ecclesiastical opponents of their faith have ought against them personally? We conclude not. You may throw a club at a surly dog, and he will snap at the club when he dare not bite the hand that threw it. The dog is not angry with the club, but with the hand that threw it. Is it not evidently so in regard to spiritual things? Those who persecute the advocates of truth, would soon make with them a treaty of peace, if the latter would consent to withhold the doctrine of the gospel, and cease to expose the doctrines and inventions of men.
Look which way we will, where shall we find a virtuous, godly man, contending for the primitive purity of the faith and practice of the gospel of Christ, who is not slandered, vilified and persecuted? We could name multitudes of such men, of whom the world is not worthy. We could mention a host of such men that we are personally acquainted with, and esteem as the excellent ones of the earth; and although we know them to be God fearing men, and men who will sooner suffer their names to be cast out as evil, than to turn aside from the high authority of their gracious Commander. yet for their very integrity and love of the truth, there seems to be no epithets too abusive, or persecution too severe for them, in the estimation or conduct of of their religious opposers.
But it becomes us, dear brethren, as Old School Baptists, to bear with all patience, humility and meekness, all the reproach to which we may be subjected, as the followers of the meek and lowly Lamb of God. “Brethren, count it all joy;” consider into what society these very persecutions throw us - into the company of our Lord and Master, who was reviled, and of the prophets and apostles of the Lamb; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before us. And furthermore, it requires every weight and trial that we endure, to keep us humble, and at the footstool of our blessed Lord. Should we be suffered to wax fat, we would rebel; and we know whatever may be our trials and persecutions, all things do work together for our good, and that in connection with God’s declarative glory; and as the poet justly remarks,
“For death and hell can do no more
Than what our Father please.”
Let us then cease our murmurings, buckle on our armour, breast the storm, and press toward the mark of our high calling of God. We are safe - the place of our defence is the munitions of rocks; no weapon formed against us shall prosper. The eternal God is our refuge; underneath us are his everlasting arms; and be assured, Israel shall dwell safely alone, and all his enemies shall be found liars unto him; for there is none like the God of Jeshuran.
ALEXANDRIA, D. C.,
January 26, 1838.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 1
Pages 410 – 412