MR. EDITOR: – Much is said at the present day about converting the world to God, by means of new measures, whereas they are in fact nothing but old measures under a new guise, upon a more extended plan; of such we have abundant evidence recorded in the Scriptures.
God in his infinite wisdom devised a plan by which he will bring in all his “chosen people,” of which we are assured by his infallible word, and “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent. Hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” Num. xxiii, 19. Yet man in his wisdom, not having confidence in the promises, cannot wait God’s time to fulfil them – but Sarah like, goes to work to raise up children to assist in bringing about the end.
God promised Abraham an heir, Gen. xv, 4. This was made known to Sarah, she having no confidence in the promise, set about to accomplish a fulfilment, prematurely Gen. xvi, 3. But she procured an Ishmaelite, just so in the present day. God has made various promises, that must be fulfiled; but most of civilized mankind, like Sarah, not seeing how they are to be accomplished, have devised a multitude of schemes to raise up seed to Abraham; but all the children produced by these Anti-christian plans, after all will be nothing but Ishmaelites, they come not in the way of promise, or in obedience to God’s commands.
Again, the children of Israel could not wait the Lord’s appointed time for them to enter the promised land, they see no difficulty in taking immediate possession, consequently went up, in violation of God’s commands & the remonstrance of Moses; but they were discomfited Nu. xiv, 44. Saul received and express command to destroy the Amalekites and all they possessed, 1 Samuel xv, 3. But Saul knew (as many do in these days) a better way to please God than to obey his commands, therefore saved Agag and the best of the flocks, verse 9. Yet said, “I have performed the commandment of the Lord” vs. 13th. “I have obeyed the voice of the Lord” vs. 20th. But for evidence of God’s view of his conduct, see verse 22d. Again, Uzzah thinking that God could not, or would not take care of his own, attempted to assist by steadying the Ark, 2d Sam. vi, 6; but so far from pleasing God, it cost him his life upon the spot. These are but a few amongst many instances to shew that what are now called new measures, to promote God’s cause, have been practised from the earliest ages. All the schemes, such as Sunday Schools, education Societies, &c., &c., to raise up children for the service of God and conversion of the world, will produce nothing but Ishmaelites, because there is no command, or authority for them, to be found in the word of God, which contains a complete rule of faith and practice. Hence what cannot be found in it, is Anti-christian and offensive to God. Yet it is no way surprising that they should be permitted to go on in this course, for it is only a fulfilment of the promise to “send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie.” 2d Thess. ii, 11. Again, Satan finding that he cannot overcome the Saints of God (which he cannot do to their final destruction) by an open warfare, “is transformed into an angel of light,” 2d Cor. xi, 14, going “about seeking whom he may devour” 1 Pet. v, 8; and the nearer he can bring his followers to conform to the character of a christian, the better his success in deceiving, and no doubt that many of God’s dear children may be found in his ranks, for we are told that “there shall arise false Christ’s and false Prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; inasmuch that if it were possible, they shall deceive the very Elect,” Math. xxiv, 24; are not the present times filled with these “great signs and wonders?”
July 8, 1833
Signs of the Times
Volume 1, No. 19
August 14, 1833