Be Ye Separate
Can we consistently hold with the hart and run with the hound?
Is it consistent for the Old School Baptist to take their stand against the corrupting abominations of the present times, and at the expense of our names and reputation, subject ourselves to the jeers, ridicule and calumny of the popular zealots of our day, and then so far countenance them in their iniquitous career as to invite their ministers to preach among us?
Hark! the word of God replies:
“Mark them which cause divisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them, for they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good works and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”
Brethren, in obedience to the divine command, certain characters are to be marked and avoided.
Who are they?
Not such as separate themselves from those who walk disorderly, for all the saints are expressly commanded so to do. But our text is sufficiently explicit; mark such as cause divisions, contrary to the doctrine taught the saints previously to Paul’s writing his epistle to the church at Rome. It is a well known truth that the only divisions which now agitate the church of God are such as have been made by the introduction of what are falsely denominated benevolent institutions; such as had neither been learned or even heard of when our apostle wrote; and yet, how strange to tell! many there are who think it very hard and uncharitable to obey the divine command of God concerning those who are constantly making divisions among us by setting up these abominations in Israel.
Others there are who, not withstanding their conviction that these are the men alluded to by the apostle, and these the men and things to be avoided by the household of faith, tell us that they wish to act charitably towards these, their erring brethren; and if they will come among us as preachers, and agree to say nothing about their new divinity of the age elsewhere; and so by their course acknowledge them as the messengers of our Lord Jesus Christ, and aid them essentially to, by good words and fair speeches, deceive such of the simple as are looking to such inconsistent Old School Baptist for an example.
Brethren, we are either bound to reject these men, or we are not.
If we are not, why do we pretend to make any stand at all?
But if we are, let us lay aside all our own nice, fleshly, worldly and (falsely called) charitable feelings, which war against the Spirit on this point, and buckle on our armor, and dispute every inch of the ground with the common enemy.
By Elder Gilbert Beebe
March 4, 1835