Queries proposed by Rev. Dr. Alexander

In reference to Foreign Tract operations.

1. Ought not the love of Christ and his kingdom be the governing motive with every christian?

2. Will not this motive, in proportion as it is felt, induce every one to make exertions to advance his kingdom, and thus promote the glory of /God in the world?

3. Is there any way by which this object can so effectually be accomplished, as by extending the knowledge of truth throughout the whole earth?

4. Is there not a crisis in things of this kind when much may be done by seasonable and energic exertions; which, if it be suffered to pass without improvement, may not return for ages; just as if the seasons of seed-time and harvest be neglected, we labor in vain, during the remainder of the year?

5. Is there not good reason to think that the age in which we live is such a time? That Providence has now furnished the church with such facilities for operation, and opened such a door of usefulness, especially among the heathen nations, that we shall be greatly wanting in duty to our Master, if we do not endeavour to avail ourselves of these opportunities of doing good, which were never so abundantly afforded to any other age?

6. Is it not evident that the distribution of evangelical Tracts is one of the most effectual methods of disseminating the truth of God; & has not the blessing which has hitherto attended this enterprize, both in christian and heathen lands, warranted the conclusion that it is one of God’s chosen means for the accomplishment of his purposes and predictions relating to the conversion of the world?

7. The prosecution of this object obstructs no other benevolent operation, but is a necessary auxiliary to all others; while, then, other Societies as particularly Bible Societies and Missionary Societies, are engaged in making extraordinary exertions, ought not the Tract Society also to move forward with renewed zeal and enlarged plans of operation.

8. Can the genuine disciple of Christ who possess the means of promoting this cause, hold back, when so loud a call is addressed to them from almost every quarter of the globe for the bread of life?

9. Ought not mercantile enterprizes now to be entered on for the very purpose of making gain to be applied to the promotion of the Redeemer’s kingdom? And should not those whose efforts to increase their property God has signally blessed to make a free-will offering of a portion of their profits to his service?

10. Would not the consecration of first-fruits, redemption for the first-born, and tenths, laid upon the altar of God, probably bring down a blessing on all their possessions?

11. When a contest is going on in our minds between selfishness and benevolence, is it no the part of wisdom to lean to the side of benevolence?

12. When was it known that any man was impoverished by giving to the Lord? And if the time should come when men shall become poor by giving all their goods to promote the cause of Christ, will they not become infinitely rich by such a blessed poverty?

13. Is not the time for doing any thing in this cause short? Ought we not therefore to work while it is called to-day? Is it not certain that we shall never nave another life upon earth? Ought we not, therefore to do the best we can with the talents committed to us that when our Lord shall come to reckon with us, he may say, “Well done, good and faithful servants?

REPLY.

1. The love of Christ and his Kingdom is the governing motive with christians.

2. Under the influence of this motive christians will not attempt to advance his Kingdom, only as dictated by his supreme command.

3. God has glorified himself in the finished salvation of all the Election of Grace: – “Having predestinated them (one and all,) to the adoption of children, by Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of HIS will,” more effectually than that object could have been effected by the combined efforts of Angels, men and Devils. The truth is spiritual, and “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit, for they are foolishness to him, neither can he know them for they are spiritually discerned.” Hence the knowledge of “The truth,” cannot be extended but by the Spirit of God.

4. The salvation of sinners is not accomplished by any agricultural process, or salvation would be by works, “and if by works, it is no more grace, otherwise, work is no more work.”

5. God in his holy providence has always furnished his church with sufficient facilities to manifest their love to him and his cause, by an exhibition of their supreme attachment to his word as the rule of their conduct. But man has a s little to do in the salvation of sinners at this, as at any former period.

6. To us it is evident, that those religious fables, called Tracts, are among the most effectual methods of disseminating error in the guise of truth and the curse of the Lord has manifestly followed them with confusion and distraction wherever they have gained among the churches of his saints, the conclusion cannot be warranted that any measure (however plausible) can be a chosen means of God, but by his word.

7. The prosecution of this object is a necessary auxiliary to all others; while then, we discover the organized forces which men have brot’ to bear against the order of God’s house, the sons of Zion should move with renewed zeal, to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.

8. No genuine Disciple of Christ, ever pretended to be in possession of the means of promoting God’s cause, but rather with David would they pray thus, “O Lord plead my cause.” – Christ is the ‘Bread of Life,’ Moses could not give it to the children of Israel, and if almost every quarter of the globe are looking for it from Dr. A. and his confederates. They are seeking for the living among the dead! He is not there, He is risen!

9. If there had been any necessary connection between mercantile enterprize, and the upbuilding of the Redeemer’s cause, our good Master would never have used his scourge of small cords in driving forth those pious Merchants who then incumbered the Temple of Jerusalem, and as for offerings and sacrifices, God is full of them, and Christ [we are informed] by one offering has perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”

10 The consecration of first fruits, redemption for the first-born &c., would wihtout doubt draw abundance of cash into the hands of the pious money changers of the present age. But we would have Doct. A. “Go [as the Lord has directed] and learn what this meaneth,” “I will have mercy and not sacrifices,” “Obedience is better than sacrifice, and to harken than the fat of rams.”

11. When a contest is going on in our minds between selfishness and benevolence, it is wisdom to lean to the side of benevolence, – not priestcraft.

12. Man had never any thing to give to the Lord, so he never became poor by such deeds of charity. But as the Doct. seems duly to appreciate the blessedness of poverty, why is he so fierce for money as to attempt to dig up the body of Moses in order to put a yoke upon our necks which neither we nor our fathers were able to bear?

Why so greedy Doctor? The people have already paid over to your hands immense sums of money. Why not participate with them the enjoyments of this blessed poverty.

13. The time for doing any thing in your cause Doct. is short. The time is at hand when it shall be said “Babylon, the great, is fallen.” Work with all your might, you will not have more than filled up the cup of your iniquities o’re the curtain of time will drop, and the night of darkness and blackness will close eternally on all the sprightly inventions of men. – ED. SIGNS.

Elder Gilbert Beebe

Signs of the Times
Volume 2, No. 3
January 8, 1834