Covington, GA., Dec.1, 1860.
This is, probably, the last article we shall write for the SOUTHERN BAPTIST MESSENGER. It is only two years since we became one of the Editors of the paper. We have had no financial interest in the publication of the Messenger, but as we feel a deep interest in its publication, and circulation among the Primitive, or Old School Baptists in the Southern States, as a medium of Correspondence, we were willing, agreeably to the desire of many brethren, to enlist our feeble services in communicating to its columns in behalf of the cause of God and truth. We have simply to remark that we have done the best we could under the circumstances in which we have been placed. We have written what we believe to be the truth of the Bible, and as such we have a conscience void of offence toward God and men that we have done our duty. We have no reflections to cast upon those who differ with us in sentiment, and as to those who have charged us of holding to sentiments we never believed, nor have at any time preached, we have only to remark that we hope, if it is God’s will, to open their eyes to see the folly of their ways, and cause them to repent of their sins, and to have mercy upon them for Jesus’ sake. And as a large number of our readers, have shown a commendable approval of our feeble services in the behalf of the cause of Christ, they have our esteem and affectionate regard. But owing to circumstances over which we have no control, the MESSENGER will be discontinued with this number of our paper. And our services also as an assistant editor with our brother Beebe, will stop from this date. And as we are now satisfied that our feeble services as a writer can be at present of no further use, we therefore are disposed to relinquish our post as an editor, as cheerfully as we first occupied it. But before we entirely close our remarks we will submit a few considerations.
A political earthquake is now shaking the Republic that once was, from the center of the circumference, and is rending it to pieces. Our domestic, religious, and political rights are seriously endangered. As we foresaw many years ago the overthrow of this Republic by priestcraft, and fanatical intolerance, the truth of it is now being realized. Priestcraft and fanaticism in the shape of abolitionism and mis-called republicanism, are doing the deed. As the result of the hellish and heartless course of the minions of anti-christian usurpation, and domination, when resisted manfully in the defense of the religious, political, and domestic rights of men, the country will, probably, be plunged into war. We sincerely hope otherwise if it is the Lord’s will. The murderous spirit of intolerance, which has always governed the devotees of priestcraft and fanaticism is not easily curbed. It will give vent to its fury whenever an opportunity presents itself. The past time with the present, in our own country, is a practical illustration of its growth and development. And the end is not yet. The relation of masters and servants, an institution which has existed from time almost im-memorial, and by the authority and appointment of Jehovah himself, is seized upon by the minions of anti-christ, as an entering wedge for the overthrow of the best government the world ever saw. In this way the domestic rights of a portion of what was once the Republic of the United States, is being impaired. On the same principle our religious rights are being impaired. For the same spirit of bigotry, and intolerance which will dictate relative to domestic rights of a people, will arrogantly assume the prerogative to judge how people shall worship God, and will exercise that prerogative when an opportunity presents itself. Therefore when the domestic rights of a people are taken away by legislative enactment in the hands of a cruel and dominant party who may have the control of a Government, the religious, and political rights of a people, are also seriously impaired. Such is the state of our country at the present time, as we understand it.
As to the mode and manner of redress in the order of God’s Providence, it is not our duty and privilege to decide. We are not a political man, though we have our political views. As a citizen we insist upon our rights, we demand them. We would defend our own homes and firesides in a legal way so far as we had ability. We would resist tyranny, and oppression as our inalienable right. But as a religionist, we profess to belong to a kingdom which is not of this world, and which is a kingdom of peace. No hostile armies there, no marshalled hosts for the battle in the sense we speak relative to the kingdoms and governments of the earth. The warfare of the saints is not conducted in a carnal way, for says Paul, “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God, to the pulling down of strongholds &c.” The saints wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
In the church, and among the people of God there are no geographical lines, nor boundaries. They are one people, North, South, East and West; in fact the points of the compass do not point out our location in any other section, latitude, or longitude to the exclusion of others. They are one in Christ Jesus, and they love one another as brethren, whatever earthly distinctions may exist among them. The doctrine of God’s eternal, electing love in the salvation of sinners remain as permanent as the everlasting throne of the eternal I AM. And though the nations and kingdoms of the earth may crumble to dust, and mighty empires fail, and the crashing, smashing, and rending to pieces of this Republic continue until it is entirely gone, yet Zion is safe, for God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved, he will help her, and that right early. Let the saints therefore rejoice, and not be alarmed, nor appalled, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.