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Home arrow 50 Yrs Among The Baptists arrow History of the Ketocton Association-Chapter 4
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Written by William Fristoe   

The doctrines inculcated by the ministers of this association, which have appeared most successful.

THO' a Sovereign God, may work above, beyond, and without means, according to His own good pleasure, yet as He hath been pleased to ordain means, and accompanied them by the displays of His power for the conversion and salvation of multitudes of poor sinners, it has been thought, by our ministers, a duty to obey the commands of, and copy after the precedents left on divine record; it hath been customary to lay open the purity of the moral law, and shew how it takes cognizance of all we do; how it reaches to the innermost thoughts and interests of the heart; that it will not, nor does not allow of the least sin or disobedience, and that all are under the curse who continue not in all things written in the book of the law to do them; for what is the divine law but a revelation of Jehovah's mind and will, manifesting thereby His right to the obedience of His creatures? The holy law holds forth and reveals nothing but wrath and indignation, tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doth evil; that it will not accept of a partial or imperfect obedience, and that justification by the law cannot be short of a complete, perpetual, and uniform subjection to its requisitions and commands. While the law has been holden up in its extent, and opened in its spirituality, poor sinners have taken a view of themselves, of the ruin that sin has brought upon them, and the wrath they are exposed to on account of it.

When under the ministry of the word, God has been pleased to apprehend poor souls, discovering to them the purity and perfection of His nature, His purpose to revenge all disobedience, and that He will by no means clear the guilty. The preachers have directed their speech to the hearers, and besought them to contrast their actions, words and thoughts, with the righteous law and prove whether they agree, or whether there is not an awful disparity and contrariety.

When the sinner has taken a view of himself, by means of the spiritual law shining into his heart, many have been made to tremble, being filled with apprehensions they were on the verge of ruin, and that one day the heavy judgments of God would be inflicted upon them, as the just reward of their transgressions. In the early time of the gospel being among us, some who went to hear the people called new-Lights, got so alarmed they could get no quiet in their minds, and as an expedient to soothe their sorrows and ease their troubled breasts, they have repaired to some one or other of the parish parsons, supposing the priest's lips was to keep knowledge, and the law was to be sought at his mouth; the cordial given in their council was that they were low spirited, and had given way to a religious melancholy -which if they indulged would eventually destroy them - besides they would impoverish their families, and render themselves useless citizens -that they ought to cheer up, go into merry company, and join in civil recreation -be an honest man, speak truth, be kind to your neighbors, use industry and take care of your family, and come to church, and no doubt all will be well and they taken to Heaven when they die, but whatever you do abstain from hearing the new-Lights, for they are an illiterate, ignorant set, preaching up hell and damnation, telling the people they must be converted, and who knows what - such stuff might do for uncivilized savages -but for us who were made Christians in our baptism, and brought up in the Christian faith, and basked in the sunshine of the established church, and after all to be told we have no religion, is preposterous.

It is sometimes the case in later days, when persons have been under considerable awakenings, that some of them have fallen in with another set of strange physicians of souls, whose custom it is in a clumsy manner to prevent truth, and lie in wait to ensnare the unguarded and ignorant; being filled with ambition to increase their number; this tribe begins (under a great appearance of sanctity) to build up, establish and confirm blind and depraved nature in her delusion, by telling those who apply to them, that salvation is conditional; that man is so far restored, that it is in the power of man to embrace, or reject the Lord Jesus, and that it rests with him to go to Heaven or Hell -therefore, pray diligently and fervently; go to meeting and join the good people, and they will exhort you and pray for you, and no danger you will get converted; all the while you are under our tuition and instruction, deafen your ears to the sound of God's love -reign, free, and discriminating love -harden your hearts against, and never admit the idea of irresistible, unfrustrable grace, in renewing, quickening, and making the soul alive to spiritual things, spurn at the notion that efficatious grace is absolutely necessary in drawing the soul to Christ -never open your ears to pay the least attention to that doctrine that pleads for justification by a righteousness imputed to the sinner; a righteousness wrought out by the obedient life, and rich atoning death of the son of God, for which God justifies the guilty, and renders the sinner complete, in which we had no hand, nor could afford the least aid: if this doctrine be once assented to, our whole fabric is demolished; human pride will be leveled with the ground, and boasting excluded from the whole of our fraternity- besides, should you give credit to the above cited principles, it will effectually prevent our being of any use to you, so that no medicine we can administer will have the least operation on you, and we shall forever deem you incurable; before you go too far and be totally ruined take counsel; we have a great love for you, and ours is a good religion; it was founded by the best man that has ever lived; some of our preachers affirm that he excelled the apostles; it originated so lately we are all but in sight of its birth -so that we need not ransack the history of antiquity, nor be much concerned about consulting the ancient doctrines of the Bible; for we have an unerring rule laid down by our progenitor, and adopted by our people, that makes it quite easy for every member of the community - in this state things go on well, our numbers greatly increase, and our cause is in a flourishing condition;1 dear creature, form in with us -we will hover around you -we will put forth all our strength -we will exercise ourselves, in many different ways and throw ourselves into different positions, that will affect your passions and agitate your bodies, and reduce you to a state of insensibility, then, upon reflection returning, we hope you will be one of us, and we will proclaim another converted. Being thus formed to our minds, and agreeable to our own plan, you will possess a hardened quality that will render you invincible, and lead you to deal in positive assertions, though opposed to reason and the declaration of divine oracles.

But not all the device or artifice exercised by men can disappoint the divine purpose, or destroy the child of promise, nor prevent his conversion a moment longer than divine power thinks proper to delay his interference, when the day of power is come, and divine illumination, from God, shines into the benighted mind; he becomes sensible of his poverty of soul, and that sin has reduced him to such a state, that he lacks both will and power to do anything in the great matter of salvation that he cannot make himself spiritually alive; that he cannot remove the burthen of guilt from his conscience, nor cleanse his heart from pollution; that he is utterly unable to keep the law, or act forth in the Lord Jesus. When he has this view of himself, them old ifs, conditions, do and live, he knows are out of the question, and that hay stubble will not answer in the spiritual temple built of God, in which are none but lively stones.

When taking up this scriptural idea of their state and condition, it has been seldom, if ever, that one of them have gone back for counsel to their old teachers, being impressed in mind that nothing but omnipotence can deliver them –none but Christ can answer their purpose. To such laboring and heavy laden sinners, the news of a free and full salvation is glad tidings indeed. In the gospel declaration such have been addressed, and it has appeared the duty of preachers to describe the beauty, fulness and excellence of Christ, and know nothing but Christ as fulfiller of the law both moral and ceremonial, and in whom the prophesies respecting a Messiah had their accomplishment; that He is the grand source of all spiritual life, and in whom all fulness dwells, and in whom all grace is deposited, the foundation on which His church is fabricated -by Him sin was atoned for - the works of the devil destroyed, and an everlasting righteousness brought in, that He possesses all power in heaven and earth, and of course able to save to the uttermost all that come to God by Him, seeing He ever lives to make intercession for them; that with the Lord there is fulness of redemption -that the Almighty can justify a sinner through Christ, without infringing on His law, or impeaching His justice -such hungry and thirsty souls have been invited to take wine and milk without money or price, to come and enjoy the feast of fat things -for it is the poor, the lame, the halt and the blind that are welcome to the supper; the person that knows his disease and feels the force of it, is to be intreated and encouraged to look to Jesus from whom all saving virtue flows -to view Him on the cross as the great atonement for sin -view Him rising triumphant over death, and ascending to heaven, to give repentance and remission of sin. The preachers have exhorted, intreated and invited them to believe in, and embrace the Lord Jesus; informing them that Christ came into the world to save sinners; although their debt is great, He is a complete ransom; although corruption be interwoven in all their powers, original and actual sin lie heavy on them, the blood of Christ cleanseth from sin; this balm in Gilead is calculated to effect a cure in the most desperate cases. While a Saviour has been held up on the pole of the gospel, many have been melted down beholding Him who was pierced for them; they have wept bitterly, and felt their souls drawn after Him, enraptured with the way of salvation so well suited to their needy condition; in this view the soul is led to cast its confidence, and repose his trust in Christ alone.

When these good effects are produced by, and accompany the gospel, the consequence has been among us, that persons so wrought upon, begin their enquiry, what shall I render to God for all His benefits? How shall best express my love to Christ and yield obedience to Him who loved me, and hath called me by His grace? I will search the scriptures, as they direct I will follow. Upon reading the scriptures, he finds that when John the Baptist was preaching in the wilderness and preparing the way of the Lord, that the people came from Jerusalem and round about in the land of Judea, and were baptized of John in Jordan, confessing their sins; and Jesus himself was baptized to fulfil all righteousness, that Jesus when on His public ministry made and baptized disciples, that all the people were baptized, that on the day of Pentecost three thousand were baptized, and numbers the days following were baptized, that when Philip preached to the Samaritans, they professed faith in Christ and were baptized, both men and women -that when Peter preached the Lord Jesus to Cornelius, and those assembled with him, and the Holy Ghost came upon them, they were baptized; when Lydia's heart was opened, and she received the word under Paul's preaching, she and her household were baptized; the jailor and his household were divinely wrought upon, and he and his household believed in God -he and his household rejoiced, and he and his household were baptized.

Here he makes a pause -and were all the primitive disciples baptized? is this the path in which the followers of the Lamb trode in ancient times? and shall be turned aside, and not walk in the footsteps of the flock? my desire is to imitate their example; my desire is to be baptized, and form in with that little flock –for I esteem them as the excellent of the earth, and I choose a place among them, rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; it will be greater satisfaction to me, than to live in a guilded palace, enjoy the most sumptuous living, or shine in the most illustrious manner in the annals of fame. Persons thus wrought upon and taught from above, have been deemed by this community the proper subjects for baptism, and in compliance with the commission given by the head and lawgiver of His church, ministers have proceeded to baptize them, as a prerequisite, and preparation for their reception into the gospel church. It remains that such, baptized persons are to be taught all things Christ hath commanded.

These babes in Christ need the sincere milk of the word that they may grow thereby, under a spiritual ministry- their knowledge improves, and their faith is strengthened and confirmed, and they grow as the corn and flourish as the vine.

The aim among us has been to lead these little ones to high and exalted ideas of the great Jehovah, whom the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain - who is exalted above all blessing and praise; when creation at large, with all the different orders of beings contained therein, is brought in competition with the great Creator, all is found less than nothing and vanity. How wonderful that the high and lofty one should pay any regard to fallen man; but such is His condescension, that He casts a look of mercy towards such that are poor, of a contrite spirit, and trembles at His word. Nothing so humiliating to man, as a raised, elevated and exalted idea of the great God; of course the more we know, the humbler we live. Next to inculcate the doctrine concerning Christ's mediation, as prophet, priest and king of His church; who is the executor of the Father's purposes, and the sum and substance of the gospel -the bright Sun of righteousness, by whom the hearts of His people are illuminated -the bright and morning star, that leads on an heavenly day -the tree whose fruit affords life to the dead -the fountain of living water whose refreshing and cleansing current ever flows; a great rock that affords shadow and protection from all harm -the precious vine from whence nourishment flows to all the spiritual branches -the bread of life, which if a man eat thereof he shall never die -the great shepherd, who has provided for, and takes care of His flock -the husbandman that prunes, trims, and manures the trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord -the loving bridegroom, who will not suffer His love, His dove, His fair one, to be torn from His breast -the prevailing intercessor at the right hand of God, who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, who administers grace to them here, and reserves glory for them thereafter, and no good thing will be withheld from them.

It has appeared a duty to open and illustrate the sacred scriptures, and preserve that order in which they were delivered; some parts being purely historical, or the relation of facts or events, the reading of which proves encouraging to those who are bound for a heavenly country; for that hand that protected the saints formerly, and wrought notable deliverances for them, will be mindful of His saints in later days; some parts are figurative, some are prophetic, and some are doctrinal. Although we do not suppose it is the province of anyone man, to fully comprehend and fathom these infinite depths contained in the Holy Scriptures, still it has appeared right as far as capacity allowed, to keep up a proper arrangement and distinction between the several parts. It has appeared needful that the law and gospel should be distinguished, and their use and intent described; that the law is made use of to shew the sinner his ruined state, the exceeding evil that is in sin, and the just condemnation he is exposed unto on the account of it; the gospel proclaims liberty to captives, and life to the dead; the gospel brings to view a Saviour in His fulness, His capacity and willingness to save, and all in a way of sovereign grace. For the comfort of those who dwell in Zion, it appears necessary that the marks and character of the Christian, in distinction from the world, should be described -whether they are divested of self-righteousness, and looking to Christ's righteousness, as the matter of acceptance before God; whether there is a longing and panting for the living God, and conformity to Him; whether communion with Him be diligently sought after; whether a striving for the mortification of the corrupt deeds of the body; whether the world in its highest glory, is looked upon with contempt in comparison of Christ; whether the success of the gospel, the conversion of souls, and the prosperity of the church of the living God; whether diligent in supplication at a Throne of Grace for these things; whether  sin in all its forms is hateful, and a desire to live entirely free from it, and to walk in all the commands and ordinances of the Lord blameless; whether a fervent glow of affection prevails in the heart, towards Christ's little ones; whether not under every tie and obligation to yield up body and soul, time and talents, and to live in compliance with every duty enjoined in God's word, and all from a childlike love, and with a view to manifest the glory of God.

Although our little imperfect services can render the Almighty no happier, nor add anything to Him who is self-existent, yet they may be good and profitable unto men; the naked may be clothed, the hungry fed, the widow and the fatherless visited in their affliction, public worship resorted to, where the word is dispensed, and souls are led as with marrow and fatness; a constant waiting at a throne of grace, and praying without ceasing; a circumspect walk, and conversation about heavenly things -while others behold your good works they may be much profited; the ungodly may be struck with conviction, and acknowledge God is in you of a truth; and those that fear God may be stirred up to love and good works -it is, therefore, by no means a vain thing to serve God.

In a word, the greater part among us have taken the Bible as our unerring guide; and the declaring the whole council of God (as far as we possess capacity) have been the work of the ministry.

In some few instances among us, in addition to preaching the gospel in its simplicity, something of human invention, or contrivance, have been brought forward to aid the good work, such as these -when done preaching, the preacher passing through the congregation singing an hymn on some tender and affecting subject, with a tune of mournful sound, or if thought proper, of lively cheerful sound; for when this method is adopted there is no certain rule to go by, and the people are to be taken as they are found. The above is accompanied with shaking of hands and exhortations with a great appearance of affection; by these means soft and tender passions have been wonderfully wrought upon, and some have expressed their desire to be prayed for, and sometimes enquiry is made whether some do not desire to be prayed for; the person or persons affected fall on their knees, at the preacher's feet, while prayer is made for them -all this is done with an air of solemnity, as much as possible, that it may affect all around; why such a mode of conduct has been adopted by any, is not so easy to say; to suppose, for a moment that it has been done to ingratiate themselves into the esteem of the people, and so make their way easier through the world seem too severe and harsh, or that they thought they could effect and bring about the conversion of souls by human exertion, cannot be admitted. We are ready to conclude that as antichrist has been so successful in making proselytes by this means, that the honest and sincere have been ensnared; and led away by a misguided zeal, and lost sight of the unerring word of truth, and the primitive example of the faithful.

We are well satisfied that where a work of God has been carrying on, and in a time the elect are gathering in, that enthusiasm, more or less, has accompanied; but at the same time it is no way related to, nor forms any part of religion, and therefore blameworthy, and cannot be justified, and ought to be discountenanced by the wife (the church).

It is a matter understood by us, that the great Creator endowed rational creatures with noble passions, and made them capable of sorrow, joy, love, hatred, desire, etc. and proper use of those passions ought to be exercised, when under the ministry of the gospel, or employed in divine contemplation, or otherwise; the understanding is enlightened and spiritual ideas possessed; it is no wonder the passions are raised while the heart glows with love to God and Christ, and everything sacred and divine; at such a time the conversation will be lively, and divine subjects will be conversed on intelligibly and with good sense; songs of praise will be offered up with true devotion, and an aspiring after perfection and the complete enjoyment of God; such a frame fits man to live or die. But for the passions to be overwhelmed by sound, and fabulous reports, by clash and noise, to the confounding of reason where the understanding remains uninformed and the person so exercised quite unable to give any rational account of himself, what discovery he had more than at other times, or why it was that he was wrought upon, is a great abuse of the passions, and although it may be a momentary satisfaction to seducers, to obtain such ascendency over their hearers, the consequence has often been very dreadful, and injurious to the souls of men; it is an invariable rule with many of us, to appeal to the scriptures for precedent or example, both in preaching and worship; for all is darkness, error, and confusion that stands opposed to the law and testimony.

The Lord Jesus in His public ministry taught the people what He had learned in the bosom of the Father, the intent of the Father in sending Him into the world, and His own design in laying down His life a ransom for many; that when He was lifted on the cross the kingdom of darkness should be destroyed, and numbers from all nations drawn to Him; that He had all life in Himself, and that it was His pleasure to give eternal life to as many as the Father had given Him; that in Him all the purposes of God were to be accomplished, all the prophesies fulfilled, the whole law strictly kept, and made honorable; that He was possessed with power to cast out devils, remove leprosies, restore cripples, open the eyes of the blind, heal the sick, and raise the dead; that He had power to quicken souls dead in trespasses and sin, pardon sin and transgression, and confer grace and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and many other interesting truths; what was the result? why the audience were so informed, they asserted, they never heard man speak like this man, and were astonished at the gracious words that proceeded out of His mouth -He taught salvation by rich, free, unfrustrable grace, in a warm, powerful, and striking manner; and not like the ignorant scribe, proud Pharisee, or conceited expounders of the Jewish law, having their minds clouded with superstition and invention of men. When the apostles and disciples went forth to preach, they declared the wretched state man was in by nature and practice, and urged the necessity of repentance; they were careful to inform their hearers that they could not be justified by the law of Moses, and that justification was by Christ alone without the deeds of the law; the effect of their preaching was, a number took conviction, became sensible what poor sinners they were, and made enquiry what they should do to be saved.

In the whole of the ministry of Christ and His apostles, the preaching of the gospel in its simplicity appears to have been the means of the conversion of sinners, and spreading the Redeemer's kingdom; it is wonderful had some other method have answered the purpose, and been more effectual, why it had not been adopted; but we have no account that Christ or the first set of preachers even quit preaching and took to singing and shaking hands with their hearers, in order to convert their souls. But as we have no example in God's word, for such behaviour, we shall have it among the antichristian lumber, for it has ever been the business of the leaders in the kingdom of Antichrist, to keep their pupils in gross ignorance, for that gives an opportunity of swelling their own importance, and of imposing their arbitrary measures, and superstitious customs upon them.

A very great difference appears between the primitive preachers and some modern ones; when persons were wrought upon and their hearts opened, and enquiry made, what they should do to be saved -the former instructed them to believe in the Lord Jesus, to repent and be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, for the remission of sin, and they should receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; but the latter say, Come be prayed for: after prayer they are sometimes asked if they feel no better -whether some alterations have not taken place -whether some comfort has not been afforded to the mind -and then a loud toned exhortation, until weak minds, and soft, tender passions have been reduced to a state unaccountable to themselves. -How easy for persons so confounded to be persuaded they are converted, and so be lulled into the embraces of a strong delusion.

We suppose it is acknowledged by all, that Jesus Christ, who is wisdom itself, knew what was in the womb of futurity -had He foreseen that length of time, that commotions and revolutions in the world would affect and alter human nature, so as to make it necessary that different means, and different modes of conduct, in order to bring souls home to Christ, should take place, it is surprising that some hint, some information in some way had not been given; besides we have lived to see that these men made converts, is but of short duration; their seeming grace or religion pass away as the morning cloud or as the early dew; it becomes the sons and daughters of light to guard against every imposition, and every device of imposters, and follow no man any farther than they follow Christ; take heed that none beguile you, with a perverted gospel, and not the gospel of Christ.

The method customary among us in providing for the ministers of the gospel.

THAT it is a duty incumbent on those that enjoy the gospel, to contribute for the support of the preachers thereof, appears to every attentive and unprejudiced reader of the holy scriptures. It is found there to be one of the divine councils -it is ordained that they that preach the gospel shall live of the gospel -it is likewise founded in justice -the laborer is worthy of his reward –the soldier is entitled to his pay, by the power that employs him, and careful husbandmen, who feed, pasture and defend their flock, eateth of the milk of the
flock: this truth is generally assented to by our people, and deemed obligatory on them.

But the compliance with this institution (in a very partial way) has been differently practiced in some of our churches -it has been frequent to have a written subscription, and each member of the meeting, by a voluntary act of his own, sets his name with the sum subscribed, which sum is expected to be paid up in the course of the year -in some churches it has been much confined to the members only as subscribers -others, where they have a written subscription, have proposed it to the congregation, as well as to their own particular members, which proposition has appeared gratifying to many of our friends, and their aid considerably felt in the support of the ministry. Some churches have objected to a subscription, and have submitted to the several members, to act at their own discretion -when to contribute to their preacher, and the amount, as it might be convenient, or never, if not disposed to do it; the latter of which has often been.

Other meetings have sometimes calculated the sum necessary to be raised, and the several members, by mutual agreement have submitted to the deacons, or some other two or three members of their body, who are acquainted with their circumstances, to judge what the proportion of each shall be, and have found no hindrance to the peace and tranquility of such churches -for, if such a mode should prove burthensome to an individual under some distressing circumstance, it is made known to his brethren and the person sympathized with, and his burthen removed. But with the curious, there may be a great anxiety to know what the preachers get -for the conclusion is often that they get a great sum, though the person so concluding never gave anything, neither does he know where it comes from -but it must be so, they get a great deal of money –for the satisfaction of such we will give them a candid relation of the matter. Most of our preachers do receive some aid from their brethren and friends, without which they would not be able to go as much as they do -but as far as we are acquainted, they have never received to that amount (exclusive of their own care and industry) what would support them, and enable them to travel and dispense the gospel -it has been found necessary for the preachers with us, to accustom themselves to farming, mechanical business, or some honest course of industry, and train their families to labor -without which they would have become a reproach to the cause, and their traveling abroad to preach the gospel much obstructed.

But there are several reasons why public characters lie neglected. Time was when preaching was a lucrative job, and men divined for hire. So soon as the gospel was preached in its simplicity, it was readily supposed the propagators acted fro m purer motives than the former, and lest any should be prejudiced, there was an objection raised to receiving what was necessary, and which would have been expedient under other circumstances: another reason; the Baptists, generally speaking, are of the common people, and low in circumstances in the world; and feel their difficulties in providing for themselves and families, and therefore much is not to be expected from them -besides, in early times of the gospel among us, the preachers could have no view of gain, or worldly honor; there was no such temptation offered, but quite the reverse -they were exposed to sneers, ridicule, reproach and contempt -bonds, afflictions, persecutions, and distress, marked their way as sheep appointed for the slaughter; so that had their inclination for gain been never so strong, the circumstance in which things were, at once forbid their succeeding in such lucrative views; it does not appear to be the mind of Christ, that His ministers were to accumulate and hoard up wealth by their preaching the gospel; a competency is what the great lawgiver has assigned H is servants, and they are entitled to no more. They that preach the gospel shall live of the gospel -it is, by far, greater satisfaction to the man of God, when he can make his way in traveling and preaching without receiving anything from the people -for the two following reasons: when a laborer in the vineyard examines himself respecting the motives which inclined him to preach, how satisfactory to the mind when he can readily decide it was not gain, honor, nor anything of a worldly nature that proved a stimulus -but a consciousness of duty, out of love to Christ, and bowels of compassion to the human family -and an earnest desire for the conversion of souls, and a general spread of the kingdom of God among men. A second reason -when a collection hath been spoken of, for the preacher, the motion has been treated with so much indifference, and often by those from whom a different conduct might be expected, together with severe reflections, they are all after money -and many (as we hope) of the truly pious seem never to have taken up the idea of the expense of constant traveling, wearage of clothes and horse, the giving up interesting business at home, leaving wife and children to shift for themselves, and the melancholy reflection of almost continual absence from family -but we suppose this last conclusion is from the retired situation that such Christians are placed in, the little acquaintance they have with traveling, and that they are at but little expense, being supplied by the productions of their own manufactures, by which means they become contracted, and lose that generosity of sentiment that ought to occupy the breast of each heir of glory.

Under these circumstances, the laborer, seeing and hearing how the subject is treated, cannot fail shattering and wounding his feelings; and naturally leads him to desire he could fulfil the work of the ministry without receiving anything as a compensation for his labors -but where the preacher is poor, so that he cannot go without help, better for him to reconcile himself to inward wounds, and outward aspersions, than flop in the progress of his ministry, or lay down the gospel of salvation. But there is a considerable difference between thirty or forty years past, and the present time, as to the conduct of the populace towards ministers- prejudices are much conquered, and their judgments better informed –so that preachers of late are not held up in contempt as formerly; whether it arises from want of zeal for God, honesty and faithfulness to man, and a want of circumspection in life and conversation, or whether it arises from an opposite behavior, we will not, with confidence, assert.

The conclusion among the honest and laborious is, that they are to go and preach as much as in their power lies -it being the principle they first set out on, and the principle that still prevails; if the people to whom they preach be so confined and hard hearted that they refuse to deal out to Christ's servants that which is just and equal, and which is enjoined on them that are taught in the word –a people thus negligent must abide the consequence to their own master- they stand or fall, but the laborer is not to measure his duty by their conduct, nor slacken his diligence and engagedness because of their negligence. So far from giving up the work-, that there appears a greater necessity for standing on Zion's walls and sounding the alarm, and holding up the signal of approaching danger - shudder not at poverty nor disgrace, when employed in declaring the divine counsel, and spreading the favor of the knowledge of Christ -it is a point acknowledged that he that labors with one hand for his daily bread, and with the other hand holds out the gospel of life, is entitled to double honor -but how trifling the honor conferred by man, in comparison with that honor which comes from God -the great shepherd will one day appear, and bestow a crown of life, and welcome all His faithful servants into the joy of their Lord.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 November 2006 )
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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.