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Written by W.M. Mitchell   


To the Baptists of the Primitive faith and order and to all the household of faith, everywhere who love and serve our Lord Jesus Christ, greetings. Dearly beloved in the Lord.

Having in the order of God’s providence become connected with the GOSPEL MESSENGER, a monthly magazine published at Butler, Taylor, County, Ga., I hereby send forth this my Salutatory and Introductory to the brotherhood. Humble as the position of Associate Editor may be, yet its duties and re responsibilities cause me very sensibly to feel my entire dependence upon that God who, as good old Jacob said, “has fed me all my life long,” and by whose kind hand and merciful providence I have been taken care of and mercifully preserved till this present hour.

The position which I now have agreed to take in connection with Elder J. R. Respess as principal, has never been sought nor asked for by me. For sometime past and by more than one party, the position, either of sole Editor or Associate, has been kindly tendered me, and some of my brethren have urgently gently insisted upon me to accept it. After much hesitation  and prayerful consideration for divine direction, I have agreed by the help of God, to do so, and endeaver to serve my brethren in the cause of God and truth in any capacity indicated by the kind providence and grace of God, that is consistent with the gospel of Christ.

In every condition, position and relation of life, we are accountable to God for our stewardship. Whatever he has graciously committed to our trust, whether in things temporal or spiritual, should be lawfully and properly used according to his word. Nothing should be abused or perverted to unholy, unlawful or sinful purposes. The faculties which he has given us, whether natural or spiritual, should not be used for any sensual gratification, nor to promote any sinful lusts or pleasures. The circumstances which our God has thrown around us for improvement of ourselves and others, the power and gift of speech, the ability and opportunity to speak, to think, to write and correspond with each other, the art of printing and the many easy and cheap methods of transportation and mail facilities, are all blessings if not disregarded, perverted, nor abused to sinful or unholy purposes. “Our life and breath, and all our ways are in the hand of God.” See Daniel 5:23, and Acts 17:25.

However much the ungodly world may pervert and abuse the things of this world for their own lusts and sinful pleasures, it should not be so with the household of faith In becoming connected with the GOSPEL MESSENGER in the capacity of editor, I have no design nor desire to injure any other paper which is published for the promotion of truth and gospel order among christians, but rather to co-operate in the spirit of unity, love, and fellowship with such. With many of the Baptists of Primitive faith and order throughout the United States, I am personally known, as I have traveled and preached in ten of the States and been in thirteen of them. Thousands of others know my religious principles from what they have heard, seen and read of my writings during the last thirty-eight years. The first letter ever written by me for publication appeared in the columns of the Primitive Baptist in 1843, which was then published in N. C. After writing all who may wish to furnish themselves in useful reading t find such a volume a valuable addition to their library not only for the present, but for years to come. If those beloved brethren who have the editorial charge of papers through the columns of which I have heretofore corresponded as a free and voluntary offering, without any hope, or desire of any pecuniary reward whatever, have benefited in their publications in any way by my correspondence or otherwise, I am glad of it and I trust, thankful to the Lord for it also. I ask, therefore, that they and all other papers friendly to our enterprise in publishing the MESSENGER, in true spirit of reciprocity and brotherly love, give this Salutatory and Introductory, or such parts of it as they may think necessary to set forth its object, a place in the columns of their papers.

I am, dear brethren and friends, very affectionately your brother in gospel bonds. W. M. MITCHELL. Opilika, Ala., March 25th, 1881.

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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.