IN our last number we promised to notice a short article from the Cross and Baptist Journal, headed as above. To this article the editor of the Cross directs the attention of his readers, and in doing so, has informed them of our opposition to these fruits of missionarty enterprise. We feel ourselves obliged to Mr. Stephens, for in this particular we think he has done us more justice than in any other reference he has ever made to us. By way of endorsing this one truth, published in the Cross, we will copy the editorial note, and thereto subjoin a copy of his Christian Village:
“We invite attention of readers to the short article on the last page, under the head ‘Christian Village.’ There will be seen some of the fruits of the missionary enterprise, which the “Signs of the Times” so bitterly opposes, as among the offspring of what he calls ‘Arminianism.’ And the editor seems to think himself bound to rebuke those engaged in such labors sharply, as if they were liars, disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” Cross and Journal.
“CHRISTIAN VILLAGE. - We recently published a letter from Mrs. Wade, which left her in the wilderness among the Karens. Another letter has been received from her by a friend in this country, and published in the N. Y. Baptist Register, from which we make the following extracts, describing her place of residence, employments, &c. The place is called the Christian Village, and is situated in the wilderness, about three days’ journey north of Tavoy ‘This village,’ says Mrs. Wade, ‘was founded by brother Mason, and though all are not members of the church. yet it is strictly a christian village. I have been here nearly six weeks, and truly I never lived in any place in America which so well deserved the names There is not a single house where prayer is not daily offered. All ask a blessing over their simple meal; and no man woman or child takes a dose of medicine without praying God to bless it to them. And when they recover from illness, they consider it a blessing directly from God. Forty children were taught to read and write the last rainy season, so that on Lord’s days the children all read” the few books they have to their parents, till about ten o’clock, when the sound of the gong calls to the zayat, where the service is similar to the evening, only much longer. In the afternoon I have an interesting Sabbath School for all the inquirers and children. At evening we meet again as usual. We have an assembly of about two hundred, fifty of whom think they have been born again; and I trust a great number of them will be thought worthy of the ordinance of baptism. Several have been inquirers for a long time, “and by a daily life give good evidence of their sincerity.’
“Mrs. Wade makes the following mention of Ko Chet-thing and Moung Shwa Moung: ‘Ko Chet-thing is very happy with his family again, and all engaged in preaching the blessed gospel ‘to the Karens north of Maulmein, with brother Vinton; and Moung Shwa Moung is with brother Judson, engaged in the same blessed work.’” - Watchman.
As we plead guilty to the charge of opposing these fruits of missionary enterprise, it may be proper to give our readers some reasons for such opposition. And
First. As that which is the fruits of one thing cannot consequently be the product of another, so this christian village, being the fruits of missionary enterprise, cannot be the fruit of grace, or product of the Holy Ghost; our enemies themselves being judges.
Second. The scriptures of truth inform us that no one can bring a clean thing out of an unclean. The missionary enterprise is a mongrel beast, composed of men, money, power and labor. Man is denounced in scripture as being by nature altogether unclean, unholy, leprous from the sole of the foot even to the head, bruises and wounds and putrifying sores, his heart a fountain of corruption, a cage of unclean birds, the thoughts of his heart evil, and that continually, cursed children who cannot cease to sin. Hence if we seek for goodness, human nature says, “It is not in me!” Money, which is the next indispensible ingredient, is, by the Holy Spirit, denominated filthy lucre; the love of it, the apostle tells us, is the root of all evil; hence money, to the language of depraved human nature, responds, “It is not in me.” Human power, like its parent, human nature, is corrupt, and is by the God of heaven utterly rejected from the works of building up the temple of the Lord. “Behold,” says God, “the maim whose name is The Branch, even he shall build the temple of the Lord, and he shall bear the glory,” &c. “Not by might, nor by strength, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord.”
But again. This power is in all points opposite to that Christ who is the power of God through faith unto salvation, as it is derived from a very different source; being that which the dragon gave unto the beast, together with his pagan seat, (Rome,) and great authority; a power to work miracles, with all signs and lying wonders, and all deceivableness in them that perish; a power to cause fire to come down from heaven in the sight of men; and last, but not least, a power to make war with the saints, and “to overcome them for a short season. Hence to look for goodness in human power is like seeking the living among the dead.
The last ingredient named is labor or works. Of these the bible mentions two kinds, viz: the works of righteousness, and the works of darkness, or the work of God, and that of men and devils. Now inasmuch as the missionary enterprise claims the honor of saving souls from the quenchiess fires of hell, it is impossible that the works of the mission enterprise should come under the first denomination, for the apostle for. bids the idea that we are saved by works of righteousness which we have done; it follows then, of course, that if any kind of works which men can perform possess any such influence, they must be the other kind, viz: works of unrighteousness, and this is grossly absurd. Thus we find, on examination of the principal component parts of the Missionary Beast, that it is unholy and unclean in all its parts, and can be productive of nothing that is in God’s esteem holy and good.
Third. Another reason why we oppose the fruits of the missionary enterprise is because such, fruits are not meet for repentance - they do not show a work of repentance wrought in their hearts by the Spirit of the Lord, who are engaged in these operations - for certain we are that every enlightened soul that has been made partaker of that repentance which comes down from him who is exalted a Prince and Savior, to give it unto Israel with the remission or sin, will know better than to suppose that sinners can be saved by any power short of that of divine omnipotence. Full well do they remember the worm-wood and the gall; and how utterly lost and helpless they were while in that condition. They were then effectually taught by the Holy Spirit to cease from man, whose breath is in his nostrils. They were driven out from every refuge, until they found themselves unexpectedly in the hands of the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls. He brought them to his banqueting house, and his banner over them was love; here they were permitted to set down under his shadow, and they found him a refuge in distress, and a very present help in trouble; yea, they entered into the Rock, experimentally, and hid themselves in the dust for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty. These are some of the fruits meet for repentence; but oh how different from those boasted of by the missionary beast! The children of God hide themselves in the dust; they do not venture forth and attempt to perform a work for others which they were altogether unable to do for themselves, while the others, like the old Lucifer, can say, “Is not this great Babylon which I have built by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?” or, like Mr. Stephens, point to his christian village in East India, and say, “There will be seen some of the fruits of the missionary enterprise?”
Fourth. The church of the First-born, whose names are written in heaven, are sometimes called a city, sought out, not forsaken, &c., a city set upon a hill; but she is nowhere called a village. “Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God;” she is called the perfection of beauty; but none of these things are spoken of the missionary production of human enterprise. Among the most glorious things spoken of the City of God are these words: “I, saith the Lord, will lay her stones with fair colors.” “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Fifth. Another reason for our opposition, and Mr. S. may call it bitter if he please, as we expect him and his fellows, in their present wretched state, to call sweet bitter, and bitter sweet, even as they call darkness light, and light darkness, is, that this village which Mrs. Waid has christened Christian Village, is, if their own account be true, redeemed with such corruptible things as silver and gold, and not with the precious blood of Christ; for if there be any truth in modern missionaryism, it will show that all the blood that was shed on Calvary would not have saved this small village had not the missionary enterprise taken hold of the work, and this last saves, just in proportion to the amount of gold and silver which she lavishes out of her bag.
Sixth. The general features of this christian village, as they call it, bear a much more striking resemblance to a bastard dwelling in Ashdod, than to christianity, as described in the New Testament. We will point out a few particulars of dissimularity between the village and the church of Christ.
1. The church was founded by God himself. “Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone,” &c. The other was founded, we are told, by “brother Mason.”
2. In the village they are not all members; but in the true church all are members - all are Christ’s body, and members in particular.
3. Mrs. Waid has lived in this village nearly six weeks, and testifies that they are. more deserving the name they bear than any place she ever lived in in America. In the true church not one can be found who pretends to deserve the name of christian.
4. In Mrs. Waid’s church no man, woman or child takes a dose of medicine without praying God to bless it to them.. The members of the true church are not hail so formal and hypocritical. Query. - Do these Ishmaels all enter into their closets, and shut the door, when they pray? and it so, how does Mrs. W. happen to know whereof she affirms?
5. Mrs. Waid’s christian community numbers about two hundred and fifty. souls, fifty of whom think they have been born again, leaving the balance of four fifths who do not even think they haye been born again. But not so in the true church. “For except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God: and except a man be born of water and of the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
But should we make no strictures, upon the subject of Mrs. Waid’s Christian ‘Village, and allow that her description of the fruits of the missionary enterprise is true, i. e., they have got them to be so pious as to outstrip the American christians so far as to be far more worthy of the name, what then? Do not be alarmed, Mr. Stephens, at our bitterness, we were only about to suggest the thought that they can now do without any further aid from America, and whether it would not be well for the Yankees to cool off their zeal a little, and make an effort to extract the beam. from their own eye, if haply they may at length catch up with their Burman converts. And may we not reasonably expect that these ardently pious villagers will soon begin to think of reciprocating the favors which they have received from our country, and send a posse of their natives to christianize us?
But to conclude. We have no doubt that Satan can make just such christians as Mrs. W. has described, as fast, if he should half try, as a tinker can make spoons; and we very much mistake his talents, too, if he could not make more than one fifth part think they were born again. We are acquainted with some individuals who can say their prayers, read. tracts, go to meeting, pray over their victuals and over their pills, as well, as piously and as devoutly as a Catholic can say mass, or count beads, and can, in almost the same breath, curse and swear, lie, and cheat, and commit almost any kind of wickedness. From all such converts may the Lord deliver his church, and enable his children to “rebuke them sharply,” as though they were liars, disobedient, evil beasts, slow bellies, and to every good work reprobate.
NEW VERNON, N. Y.,
April 22, 1836.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 1
Pages 299 – 305