"If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spoke unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God, with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out pf the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in; so shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.
If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou nor thy fathers; namely, of the gods of the people which are round about thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth. Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shalt thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: but thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones that he die; because he has sought to thrust thee away from the Lord thy God," &c. - Deut xiii. 1-10. Read also to the end of the chapter.
"The following we presume is intended as an allegory. Its moral is appropriate.
Brother Chambers: - On Lord's day last I was closely engaged reading religious newspapers. The accounts of the progress of divine truth in the world operated upon me as cold water to the thirsty soul. But when I cast around me, and reflected on the condition of our own land, I felt pained on account of the moral desolations by which I was surrounded. Alas! said I, the people of Hickman, Kentucky, are as sheep scattered abroad having no shepherd. Then I cried, O thou great shepherd of the flock, have compassion on the people and teach them. Wherefore I laid me down and slept.
I dreamed of traveling into a distant and beautiful country, and approaching a delectable mountain. I saw thereon a building, the most beautiful and splendid my eyes ever beheld. I felt an irresistible inclination to visit and inspect the building and its inhabitants. But approaching the house on the outside, my attention was arrested by a beautiful limpid stream issuing from under the threshold of the house. I was perplexed in my mind, not knowing what to make of the building, the stream, and various other circumjacent scenes. I sat down to muse and reflect upon the strange and beautiful appearances with which I was surrounded. I recollected the account of the vision of Ezekiel, in the 47th chapter of his prophecy, and was struck with the identity of the things I saw with those he described. At this moment a man approached me, and with an air of benignity said, Arise sleeper! let us pursue the course of the stream, and make observations thereon. I rose and followed him. He had a measuring line in his hand. He measured 1,000 cubits and brought me through the waters. The waters were to the ankles. I observed just below where we crossed two clear beautiful streams, one on each side entering the stream we were measuring; and I could plainly see that these two streams added considerable volume and impetus to the main stream. Here my conductor paused and said, Son of man, knowest thou what these two streams mean? I said, Nay, I cannot understand. Then said he I will teach you. The God of heaven, in infinite wisdom, caused these waters, issuing from under the threshold of his temple, for many ages to run shallow. But when the set time to favor Zion was come, he abridged the power of the beast and false prophet by putting it into the hearts of his people to establish Bible and Missionary Societies. These two streams represent those two societies. The natural effects of their contributions are to produce peace on earth and good will towards men. Observing a number of persons on the banks of the streams, running to and fro, as if engaged in some great object on which life depended, I felt curiosity to inspect their doings. Drawing near, I was surprised to see the groups (who called themselves the servants of the living God) casting sticks, straws and dirt into the two streams, with the view, as they said, of preventing their waters from running into and polluting the river which issued from under the threshold of the temple of God. I inquired why they wished to stop these two streams, which were evidently gladdening the hearts of millions of human beings who sat in the region and shadow of death, but just before these healing waters visited them? The arguments advanced were various and discordant. Some said they would be the means of uniting church and state. But the greatest portion said; indeed all concurred in the sentiment, that Bible and Missionary societies were catch-penny or speculating schemes. They therefore wished to stop the waters flowing from such polluted fountains. I observed that occasionally the sticks, straws and dirt thrown into the streams made occasional lodgments against snags which stood upright therein, and produced a partial or temporary obstruction to the free course of the streams. But the waters thus obstructed would soon rise and bear away, by their impetuous currents, those filthy lodgments, together with the snags which had stood in the streams; whereupon the waters quickly assumed as clear, limpid and beautiful appearance as ever. My conductor asked me if I understood what I saw? I replied, Nay, sir. Then, said he, the snags in the midst of the streams represent the unfaithful agents who have been employed by the friends of Emmanuel, who betrayed their trust, and instead of serving their Lord, Judas-like, have served themselves. The sticks, straws and dirt which lodged against those snags represent the flimsy and filthy arguments made use of by the enemies of the bible and missionary cause, to obstruct the course of the streams which are running into the living waters, flowing from under the threshold of the temple of God. Then, said I, is it not strange that those who have enlisted under the banner of the King should make such unceasing efforts to put a stop to that which constitutes, in a good degree, the glory of his kingdom? My guide replied: To those whose mental powers are obstructed by a clog of flesh, the problem is of difficult solution. You, however, recollect that it is written, "For this cause God shall send them strong delusions, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
At this moment I looked towards the west, and lo! a he goat made his appearance upon the plains or prairies. He was rather mean and meagre in his person; he was dressed like a man, but his garments were much tattered and torn, by which his beastly form was occasionally seen. Though nothing but a mere goat, he was as bold as a lion, and spake great swelling words against the Most High - declaring that the devil was co-eternal with Jehovah; that he was self-existent and independent, and that he had indeed created all the non-elect, &c. His words greatly pleased those who were endeavoring to stop the course of the two streams; and they said, It is the voice of a god and not of a man. They rallied around and erected a platform of wood for the goat to stand upon; who, mounting thereon, cried aloud, My faithful brethren, our labors have been joint and unceasing for the space of thirty years, to stop these two streams, as well as many others, from flowing into the river which makes glad the city of God, but we have not prevailed; for the streams have increased in width and depth up to this time. Now my counsel and advice is, that we leave those places where the streams run wide and deep, and where the advocates are many and strong, and retire more westwardly, where the population is sparse, and the advocates few and weak. There we shall prevail to stop the small rivulets near their heads or fountains. Whereupon he offered a kind of something, called "fool's cap," for the defence of the heads of each and all of his faithful adherents. The warp of the caps was composed of a kind of rough hemp called "self-sufficiency," and the woof of a kind of coarse tow called "evil surmising." I was struck with the singular evenness of sentiment produced by the address of the goat; for those who received the caps as one man all cried out, (sticking their fingers in their ears,) running to the posts assigned them, "We will never read anything published by or in defence of bible, missionary, or any other society of the present day. We, however, will read opposition publications, and propogate all kinds of slanders and falsehoods against those institutions, for we believe with the Romanists, that 'the end will justify the means.'"
Then, said my conductor, it is time we should prosecute our work. Continuing down the course of the stream, he measured one thousand cubits, and again took me through the waters. The waters were to the knees. Observing two tributary streams putting in, one on each side, below where we where, I asked him, What do these mean? He replied, These two streams represent Sunday School and Temperance-Societies. I here saw many persons engaged in trying to stop the streams as above described, using the same or similar means. But the streams quickly pursued their course, greatly augmenting the width and depth of the river. My conductor then measured one thousand cubits, and took me through the waters; the waters were to the loins. Just below, as above described, two streams put in, adding much in width, depth and rapidity to the main stream.
One of these streams, said my conductor, represents Tract Societies; the other Agriculture, manufactures and commerce. I answered, I could perhaps form some adequate conception of the subserviency of Tract Societies to the propagation and extension of divine truth; but how can agriculture, manufactures and commerce be made to subserve those high spiritual objects? My conductor replied, Agriculture, manufactures and commerce are twin sisters; all addressing themselves to the pride, avarice and ambition of men, producing a series of quick and perpetual intercourse between the different nations of the earth. This intercourse becomes auxiliary to the cause of God and truth, affording facilities for sending men and means for enlightening the dark places of the earth. And again he measured one thousand cubits, and the stream had become a considerable river, which could not be crossed without swimming. I discovered that the water of the river produced new life in every being whithersoever it came. On the banks of the river were many trees of perpetual verdure., whose fruit possessed not only medical virtues, but also affording meat and sustenance for those who had been healed by the waters.
At this moment reflections of a painful nature crowded upon my mind, which caused me to weep. My conductor asked me why I wept in the midst of so much beauty and excellence. I replied, The folly, blindness, obstinacy, (and I may say wickedness,) of those whom we have seen by the way, endeavoring to stop those streams, which are tributary to this noble river, bring to my recollection an unpleasant occurrence in my own country. I had delivered a lecture at-, with the view of organizing a Temperance Society. But Dr. N. opposed the project with all his power, and did the cause much harm, the Lord rewarded him according to his works. The Doctor contended that uniting with non-professors in the establishment of a Temperance Society amounted to receiving the wicked to the fellowship of the saints, and broke down the wall of partition erected by God between the righteous and the wicked. In refutation I answered that I denied the propriety of the Doctor's conclusion - that no one friendly to Temperance Societies ever thought of calling it a religious institution. I endeavored to clear this point by stating several propositions and conclusions.
First. Capital is various in its nature, employment and objects, to wit: physical, pecuniary and moral.
Second. Physical capital or power is employed by the righteous and wicked in conjunction to expel an invading foe, no one suspecting that thereby the wall of partition is broken down, and sinners converted into saints, by thus making common cause in opposition to a common enemy.
Third. Moral power is capital employed by the righteous and wicked in conjunction to stop the ravages of a domestic foe, whose poison is more deadly than the pestilential Upas of Java, viz: Intemperance. Does the employment of common stock or capital of the moral kind necessarily break down the wall of partition between the righteous and the wicked? I presume it does not. In the expulsion of this domestic array is it not clear that "unity is strength" which insures success? Then why should the friends of benevolence be deterred from united and untiring exertions to rid our land of the sore plague of intemperance?
Fourth. Pecuniary capital is power employed jointly by the righteous and wicked, in firms or co-partnerships, to accelerate and insure success to agricultural, manufacturing or commercial projects. Does this make them one in a religious point of view? No one would risk such decision. But when this kind of capital is thus jointly employed to send the bible or a missionary to the destitute, then those folks with the caps are all alive to suspicion that godliness is in a tottering condition. Does the bible or the missionary lose their value to those who sit in the region and shadow of death, because the money employed to carry them to the heathen was partly contributed by those who have not experienced regeneration ? Surely none can answer in the affirmative except such as have the caps on their heads. Upon this I awoke, and be told it was a dream." - TITUS
THAT Titus, after spending the day in reading religious newspapers, should be carried so far into the regions of fancy, and that his imaginations in their delusive flight should circumambulate the dark mountains of error to so great an extent as to give birth to this singular dream, is not to us very surprising; for Solomon has said, "A dream cometh through the multitude of business." - Eccl. v. 3. "For in the multitude of dreams, and many words, there are also divers vanities." - Eccl. v. 7. But what does seem very remarkable is, that in a vision of thin air so complete a portrait of the New School's doctrinal and practical views could be so correctly and minutely sketched. Well might the editor of the Cross and Banner say, the "moral is appropriate." The reader will discover that the dreamer and his guide understand the water in their vision to represent salvation, and the waters from the temple, of course, are to show what proportion of the work of salvation belongs to God, independently of Bible, Missionary, Sunday School, Temperance and Tract Societies, Agriculture, Manufactures and Commerce; but a very shallow stream only at the best, up to the ancles of Titus, until it gains volume and impetus from the tributary streams of the above named human inventions. But as soon as the mighty energies of man were exerted in the use of Bible and Missionary Societies, the stream arose from the ancles to the knees. Astonishing! How effectual the purpose and promise of God become as soon as they are endorsed by man! Now suppose this figure to be a just representation of the plan of salvation, the proportion of the whole work of salvation depending on God would be one-fifth part, leaving the balance - four fifths - dependent on man, whose breath is in his nostrils, and to be effected by these two mammoth national institutions, viz: Bible and Missionary Societies; would this. state of things satisfy the ambition of these "filthy dreamers?" The balance of the dream will show that one-fifth part of the work is by far more than they are willing to leave in the hands of God to direct in his own sovereign way. Hence the inventive genius of man must go on the rack again, for if man can do any part of the work of salvation he can surely do it all. And so the dreamer saw two other streams of human origin pouring into this composition of grace and works already described. These were Sunday Schools and Temperance Societies, farther adulterating they original stream which issues from the Temple, by swelling man's proportion of the work to the loins, throwing nine tenths of the whole into the hands of men, and leaving but one-tenth part of the work with him who "came from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah," glorious in his apparal who hath said, "I looked and there was none to help. Therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me."
But alas for man! proud man! He is not yet satisfied that God should have even one-tenth part of the work to perform. The dreamer goes on and discovers yet another set of streams (Tract Societies the one, Agriculture, Manufactures and Commerce the other,) pouring in their mighty energies and swelling the stream into a mighty river. What arrogance! thus blasphemously to represent the efforts of mortals, who in their best estate are altogether vanity, as outstripping the counsels of eternity, overreaching the power of omnipotence, and the wisdom of an all-wise God, in the economy of salvation.
Our object in these remarks is to show from their own mouths their views of the plan of salvation; if indeed they admit that there is any plan in existence except their own, and to show that theirs is not the gospel of Christ.
From the moral of this dream, which Mr. Chambers says is appropriate, we should be led to believe that in the momentous work of salvation God has but very little to do, and while he held the management of it in his own sovereign grasp, the waters were very shallow. Only to the ankles! and even now, since man has taken the business in hand, that God's part of the work amounts to no more in quantity than before. That was, in their view, but an ankle deep concern which set up a Savior before the highest parts of the habitable world were made, and but a very shallow stream that brought the great decree to pass. Yes, even that which broke the silence of a slumbering world, with vocal notes from angel voices, loud proclaiming, "Glory to God in the highest." When the rock was smitten in Horab, when Christ expired on Calvary, when he arose triumphant from the tomb, when God went up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet - when he led captivity captive and received gifts for men, when the Holy Ghost was sent down on the day of Pentecost, and three thousand souls were added to the church, yea, when in dreadful combat with the enemy Michael, the Arch-angel, was victorious over the dragon and his angels, and even down to the time which gave birth to such powerful things as Bible Societies, Missionary, Sunday School, Temperance, Tract Societies, &c., these waters were suffered to run shallow.
But now, with all these facilities, men are widening and deepening the channel, and increasing the amount of good performed, by adding waters from other fountains than that from whence issued that pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, which John saw proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb. - Rev. xxii. 1; or that which Ezekiel saw coming out of the threshold of the holy temple of the living God, which stream, however the young disciple may view it, as to its depth in the morning of his discipleship, when the measuring line of long experience has been stretched out, in which the pathway shines brighter and brighter, he is led to discover greater and still greater depth in the sublime mysteries of the gospel of salvation by grace, until his enraptured soul is with the most ecstatic joy, wonder and delight, led with the apostle to exclaim, O the depth! But while the christian is taught these heavenly mysteries by the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, (John xiv. 17,) and while here he bathes his weary soul in the waters of the fountain opened for the house of David, and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, he would shudder at the blasphemous suggestions contained in this delusive dream. Christians are taught by the Holy Spirit that God is the only fountain of living water." - Jeremiah ii. 12, 13. "Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid; be ye very desolate, saith the Lord. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water." They are taught that Jesus Christ their Lord is the consecrated channel through which these waters of life are ordained to flow." - Isa. xxxiii. 21. "But there glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams, wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby." They are also fully satisfied that the pure river of life, flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb, can never be increased by waters from the reservoirs of human wit or prudence. Hence they must and do esteem every stream set forth in the vision of Titus, the dreamer, as well as every other stream which flows through any other channel than Christ, who is the way, as issuing from the dragon's mouth, and tributary to the great Euphrates, which waters Babylon, and identified with the "waters on which the whore sitteth."
We are informed in Rev. xvi, that the vials of the wrath of God shall be poured out upon those rivers and fountains of waters, and they should become blood. And also in the pouring out of the sixth vial upon the great river Euphrates, her waters should be dried up, and three unclean spirits, like frogs, which are the spirits of devils, should be seen coming out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
But passing by many things which might be noticed, we come to remark on those characters which Titus saw in his dream, employed in trying to arrest the course of these artificial streams. Although totally unacquainted with Titus' "he goat," we have some knowledge of those who are opposed to the present system of Bible, Mission, Tract, &c., Societies, and who are conscientiously protesting against an amalgamation of the waters from these stagnant pools with that pure river which makes glad the city of God; because they know that if it were possible to unite productions of these human fountains with that which flows down from the throne of God and the Lamb, the corrupt would adulterate the pure water, and so the whole would become impure together. We say, if it were possible. But we rejoice that they will no more unite together than iron will with clay. This fact has been demonstrated in all ages by those who have been under one pretence or other preaching up a system of grace and works; they have invariably found their materials were discordant and heterogeneous; and as in the present case, so it has always been necessary to lug in such quantities of error as to completely conceal all the truth which they profess to admit. We see the proportion set forth in the dream, say of grace to a man's ancles, of works to the crown of his head; or of truth very shallow; of error a vast river. Who could find so small a quantity of truth when mixed with so much error? Those who are engaged in throwing what Titus and his guide calls "sticks, straws and dirt" into these rivers of human effort, are too well accustomed to the ridicule of these mocking Ishmaels and self-important dreamers to feel injured by the imputation of wearing "fool's caps," for they know full well that the things of the Spirit of God are foolishness to the natural man. Hence, if they have for a helmet the hope of salvation, and that hope founded exclusively on Jesus Christ, they consider it no marvel that these fifty dreamers should pronounce such an hope a "fool's cap," and the divine author of it, an "He Goat." "The warp," Titus says, "Is self-sufficiency, and the woof is evil surmising." It is strange that this marvelous dreamer should have been alarmed at the thought of self-sufficiency, when he, in his dream, has been taught that man can do so much more in the salvation of sinners than God; that those who have undertaken to convert the heathen and evangelize the world, should discover any of this sort of rough hemp attached to those who dare not go with them beyond the word of the Lord, it is passing strange. But by self-sufficiency we presume he means that the old fashioned ministers of the cross are satisfied with old fashioned divinity, and are willing to preach with such ability as God giveth, and will not, at the sound of the harp, flute, sack-but, &c., prostrate themselves before the institutions which men have set up; and such individuals and churches as are satisfied with the sure mercies of David, had much rather look to God to revive his work than to undertake to revive it for him. By the woof, (evil surmising,) is meant a disposition manifested to distrust those systems of men, and to expose them.
When Titus has occasion to dream again, we would advise him, if possible, for his own credit, to reconcile this pointed contradiction in his dream, or he may find some difficulty in making even his own party believe that his dream was divinely inspired. In one part of his vision, his guide informed him that Temperance Societies and Sunday Schools increased the waters of the river of life from the knees to the loins; but in his controversy with Dr. N., he says, "No friend to Temperance Societies ever thought of calling it a religious institution."
We shall now let Titus the dreamer pass. As for his guide, he has been a conspicuous character in all ages of the world He made an early visit to our mother Eve, and waited on her in his official capacity until he had guided her into difficulty. He also acted officially in the person of one Judas, who was guide to those who took our Lord; and once, if we mistake not, he guided an herd of swine in a great hurry down a very steep place. But the latest account we have of him in his official character, (as guide,) was when he led Titus into the doctrine of the day. We do not, however, believe that he is self-existent, nor half as independent as many of his followers consider themselves to be.
Having followed Titus through some of the serpentine windings of his dream, we shall dismiss him for the present He says, "he awoke, and behold it was a dream." May God who is rich in mercy awaken him, and then he will be prepared to say, And I awoke, and behold it was a delusion. We shall here add a few declarations of scripture on the subject of dreams, and submit the whole to the candid consideration of our readers, and pray that God may save his children from the influence of these filthy dreamers.
"I have not sent these prophets, yet they run. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of the Prophets that prophesy lies? Yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own hearts, which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams, which they tell every man to his neighbor, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal. The prophet that hath a dream let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff of the wheat? saith the Lord. Behold I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that use their tongues and say, He saith, Behold I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and tell them to cause my people to err, by their lies," &c. - Jeremiah xxiii. "Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers," &c. - Jer. xxvii. 9. "For thus saith the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, Let not your prophets and your diviners that are in the midst of you deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed." - Jer. xxix. 8, 9. "For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams, they comfort in vain," &c. - Zach. x. 2. "We have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." - 2 Peter i. 19-21. "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book; if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book." - Rev. xxii. 18.
New Vernon, N. Y.,
July 31, 1933.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 1
Pages 69 - 83