BROTHER BEEBE: – I perceive by your last, that a No. of the “Signs” which I sent to the Hartford “Secretary,” has reached its destination, and performed its office. He has made a number of statements in answer which ought to be noticed, because their sophistry may not at first be discovered, and some who are weak may be confounded. – Observe particularly the following remarks of his, – “Could we see one of their churches act according to the principles avowed by the address to be scriptural, and as a church, send out and support a Missionary among the destitute &c.,” here he avowes that we hold the principle that the church has the authority to send out Missionaries, &c., and then retorts that we say and do not – this is not true, the Lord never enjoined on his churches, either collectively or individually, to send men into all the world or any part of it, to preach, neither has the church any such power. Christ said to some “go,” but to none, send; all the church can or ought to do, is “Pray the Lord of the Harvest”: to send. The Hartford plan is to pray the Lord to send, and send themselves if he dont, and in fact they prepare the men before they ask him, and the asking is plainly only a compliment to save appearances, their principles were happily stated in my hearing by one of their craft, in the following words, in a public speech, says he “We ought to pray as if every thing depended on God, and act as if every thing depended on ourselves, – they do greatly err not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” I know Mr. Canfield too well, and his coadjutors, to believe he, or they, will ever attempt to answer the Old School Address – argument is no weapon of theirs – slander is their strength, as you see, and what better could we expect from a people, whose Jordan is a large Tank in the broad Aisle of their splendid “Church,” as they call it in the Secretary, covered with a rich carpet, which contain in its spacious folds the price of the redemption of the souls of an hundred heathen, from eternal damnation, by their own computation, and who warm the water by a stove with pipes running thro the “Baptistery,” lest the delicate zeal of their converts should be too suddenly cooled by the prospect of going into cold water!! which is the practice of the Hartford Baptists, as we are well informed, and yet they talk of being ashamed of departure from scripture.
Had they laid down a single position which could be examined, or refuted, we would attend to it, but they have not done it; therefore all that is left for us to do, and all that christian candor requires of us, is to propose that they should lay down some form of doctrine, and order which they hold to be Gospel, and we will meet them on it, and if they can shew us any error which we hold as a point of doctrine, or for which we contend as a matter of fellowship, and we do not confess and forsake – then let them condemn us, all they say against us previous to doing this is slander. Yours,
Signs of the Times
Volume 1, No. 22
September 25, 1833