(From the World.)
“The editor of the “Signs of the Times” has occupied much space in his last number in a reply to what appeared under our editorial head a few weeks ago, in reference to the meeting at Lambertsville. He has excited our astonishment by an irreverent use of the word of God. But for one paragraph, his article should have passed in silence. “Our theory,” says brother Beebe, “is the bible, and when the editor of the World will show us that we act in opposition to that theory, we will acknowledge our fault, and endeavor to retrace our steps.” He has done so in his quotations from the bible, for they are wholly inapplicable in some instances to the case which they were cited to sustain; and in others he has been guilty of a play upon words which we regard as exceedingly reprehensible. We refer him simply to his own course in the article from which we have quoted, and in another referring to the editor of the Repository; and if that does not convict him at the bar of his own conscience of having acted “in opposition to the theory of the bible,” it is vain to use argument with him. We sincerely hope he will redeem his pledge by acknowledging his fault, and retracing his steps. The emotions of mind that are produced by witnessing a brother depart from the path of rectitude are painful in the extreme. That they may be changed to joy by his return is the prayer of his calumniated brother, the editor of the World.”
AMONG all the charges hitherto brought against the “Signs of the Times,” that of irreverence for the word of God has not appeared until preferred by the editor of the World, in a short article in his seventh number, under the editorial head. In order that our readers may form an opinion how far he has sustained this charge against us, we have copied the entire article, which our readers are requested to compare with that in our fifth number, to which it is intended as a reply, and then decide whether we have in that article, as he represents, treated the sacred volume with contempt or irreverence.
He has not stooped so very low as to inform us what precept of that blessed volume we have violated. He has not pointed us to any chapter or verse, but he has arraigned us before a very different tribunal from that before which we proposed to have our trial; and having brought three specific charges against us, anon proceeds in a most summary form to enter judgment, and then demands of us the redemption of our pledge; as though he had complied with our terms, and had in reality proved us guilty of a departure from the theory of the bible. Although we intend to appeal from the decision of his We, to the high court of those who have been duly authorized by our king to sit upon twelve thrones, and to judge the twelve tribes of Israel, yet we will notice the charges, &c., briefly, as the complainant seemed dissatisfied with the length of our former article.
And first, we are charged with having excited the astonishment of the World, (we are glad it was not the church,) by our irreverent use of the word of God.” We can hardly hope to escape the charge of repeating the same offence if we should say that our good Master once caused a very similar excitement among those of the world, Pharisees, &c. For it is written, “They were astonished at his doctrine, for he taught as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” He was frequently accused of violating the scriptures, or not reverencing them; Sabbath breaking, eating with unwashed hands, associating with wine-bibbers, (as our Lord did not join the total abstinance party,) and with gluttons, &c.
But the second specific charge is that “he (brother Beebe) has done so, i. e., acted in opposition to the theory of the bible, in his quotations from the bible.” A serious charge is this! But is it not bible theory to quote scripture? Did not Christ and his apostles, John the Baptist, and the four evangelists, all quote scripture? It cannot be denied. But our complainant adds, “For they are wholly inapplicable in some instances to the case,” &c. But this remains to be shown. The application which our Lord and his apostles made of their scripture quotations have been uniformly disputed by the world.
We do not pretend, like them, (the apostles) to be infallible, but we wish to be followers of them as they were of Christ, and if through infirmity, ignorance or inability we have missed the track, let it be shown wherein.
The third charge is “that we are guilty of a play upon words, which we regard as exceedingly reprehensible.” This charge is so indefinite that until we receive a farther explanation we i~ill not attempt to plead either guilty or not guilty.
But finally we are referred to our course in the article from which the editor of the World has quoted, and to another referring to his yoke-fellow, the editor of the Repository. And an appeal is made to the bar of our conscience, &c.
Perhaps we may again excite the astonishment of the World by assuring the conductors of the World that we have long since learned better than to recognize conscience as a duly authorized tribunal, for we have a more sure word of prophecy, or decision, whereunto we do well if we take heed, as unto a light shining into a (lark place, until the day dawn,” &c.
If our course is wrong our conscience is also wrong; this may possibly be the case. But the word of God cannot be wrong. Hence from every consideration we are hearty in making our appeal from the tribunal we, (the World,) and from the bar of conscience, to the word, and to the testimony.
NEW VERNON, N. Y.,
March 5, 1834.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 1
Pages 125 – 128