South-hill, Bradford Co., Pa., Oct. 16, 1839.
MY DEAR BRO. BEEBE: – Please do accept from one of your money scriveners, a few scraps that I have gathered since I saw you. “The love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith,” &c.
From which may we both be preserved; neither believing it will save us, or others, by way of eking out the blood of Christ; or help in applying the virtue thereof to the souls of men, so that more will be saved, as more money is paid to the idolatrous priests.
As I have enjoyed the privilege of reading some, I had thoughts of communicating a few notions for your perusal, and for the brethren scattered abroad, if you think them worthy a place in the Signs.
I notice frequent accounts of trouble among the Baptists, as well as others, in various parts; – also their enemies, the idolatrous children of the bond-woman, which are after the flesh, though calling themselves Baptists, are mocking and deriding the children of promise. And since it is so contrary to the flesh, to bear derision (and we have so much of it) I fear we are too apt to forget the encouragement given in the last will and testimony of our God and Savior, to such as have therein a goodly inheritance bequeathed to them. And I will therefore introduce a few particulars thereof, and then pass on to notice some of their revilings, &c.
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad; for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” Thus Christ taught his disciples on the Mount. And they (the disciples) departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. Thus, believing what the Master taught, and feeling the power of his grace, manifested the disposition to obey, and enjoyed the blessing. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God; and if children, then heirs; – heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon, that the sufferings of the present time, are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Rom. viii. 17,18, “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh;” may we be armed “With the same mind.” That we no longer should live to the lusts of men, “But to the will of God.” Not walking in lasciviousness, lusts, excess, banquetings, and “abominable idolatries.” Wherein the missionists think it strange that we run not with them to the same excess – speaking evil of us. But brethren let us not think strange concerning the fiery trials; when those whom we not only once loved, but do now love, are rending themselves from us, causing divisions, by the introduction of idolatrous principles, and practices: speaking evil of us because we will not with them follow cunningly devised fables; for these are not strange things; such things have been before – even of old time. But “Let us rejoice” inasmuch as we may be “Partakers of the sufferings of Christ.” “That when his glory shall be revealed,” we “May be glad also with exceeding joy.” “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you.” On their part he is evil spoken of, as when they attribute the salvation of men to golden or silver saviors, or to their exertions. “But on your part he is glorified; when believing his word, and trusting his grace, ye bear with christian fortitude their revilings. But let not one of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evil-doer, or as a busy-body in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on this behalf.”
Now I have a scrap that I took from the “Bap. Register” of April 26, 1839, under the head, “Affairs in Missouri.” The piece was something lengthy, professing to point out the absurdities of the anti-missionists. I only extracted the last item in the piece, which states that there are “But very few Baptists on anti-mission ground. What we have to say is, the Baptists as a denomination never got themselves entangled with such absurdities. The evidence lies before us in the character of the denomination of four hundred Associations, and half a million of members of churches. If all the anti-mission party were dropped from the tables, they would scarcely be missed. Not an anti-mission Association in all the six New England States. In New York, with forty Associations, and seventy thousand communicants, there are two little Associations, and a handful of little withered anti-nomian churches, of which the Editor of the Signs of the Times may be regarded head and tail. Go through the middle and Southern States, and a mere sprinkling of them appears. There are a few more in some spots in the West; but every year lessens their numbers and influence. They are the mere shreds and patches of a castaway garment. Have patience for a few years, and their very existence will be forgotten.”
Query 1st. How much suppose ye, would Noah have been missed by the inhabitants of the old world, had he died before the flood? Or Lot, had he died before the fiery shower on the cities of the plain?
Que. 2nd. Was the preaching of Noah more troublesome to the inhabitants of the old world, or the piety of Lot to the cities of the plain, than the movements of the anti-mission Baptists are to the missionists? The influence of the light held up by the witnesses for God, always was, and ever will be an annoyance to them that love darkness.
The preaching of our LORD, and the miracles he performed, were a great trouble to the self-righteous Jews. And the nearer men live to Christ, and the more they bear his image – the purer the doctrine they preach, and the more confidence they express in God; to the exclusion of all dependence on creature doings; the more they are hated & reviled for his name’s sake.
Again, since boasting is excluded by the law of faith, but not by the law of works, their boasting of their great numbers; and the abundant success of their labors, shows them to be under the law, and not under grace. So we will not annoy them. Their opprobrious epithets, cast upon us, show their descent from the bond-woman; and since she, and her progeny were cast out for their mocking, &c. We will let them mock on, as long as the LORD sees fit to suffer them; seeing they are vessels of wrath, &c.; and the LORD has sent a lying spirit into the mouth of all their prophets. Among their lies, it seems that they have unintentionally told some truth. Baalam a missionary of ancient memory told some truth, in blessing Israel, when he really would have been glad to have cursed them. But so it is, sometimes the diversion given by God himself to men’s words, will make them say what they neither understand nor mean; see Caiaphas prophesying of the death of Christ, when he really wished him destroyed. And there is a great reason to praise the LORD, that even at this present time, there is a remnant according to the election of grace. When Esias cried concerning Israel, he said, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved. As Esaias said before, Except the LORD had left us a seed, we had been as Sodam, &c. So even at this present time, it is acknowledged, and that too by those that revile us, that we are a remnant, or to use their own words, the mere shreds and patches of a castaway garment. A “mere shred,” or patch, a very small remnant, so Israel said, except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodam, &c. Now I think, take the people called Baptists, as a body; all that are called by that name; they are as full of idolatry, as Israel were in Isaiah’s day; and had it not been the good pleasure of our God, to have manifested the riches of his grace, in preserve a seed, there would not now have been so much as a pious Lot in the denomination. We may therefore thank God, and take courage, we are highly honored, by the revilings of idolators. Being according to their own testimony ranked with the apostles and prophets, and all the holy men of old; yea, with the Master himself. But I could not rely on their testimony in the case, were it not confirmed in the book of God. That it is for our adherence to Christ, to his doctrine and practice, (feeble as we are therein) appears from the fact that, would we give up the word of God, disregard divine authority, go with them in their idolatrous and unclean practices, we should, instead of being reproached by the, be called a set of good fellows. But I must close. Now may our rejoicing be this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity – not with fleshly wisdom; but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, &c. And whether men flatter, or frown, may we stand at equal distance from both; trusting in God, glorying in tribulation, believing in Jesus, loving God with all our heart, and our neighbor as ourselves; manifesting the same in our daily walk and conversation.
Yours as ever,
Signs of the Times
Volume 7, No. 22.
November 15, 1839