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THE DUTY OF THE CHURCH.

DOCTOR N. Kendrick, of Hamilton Literary and Theological College, says in a late number of the New York Recorder, that, “The last command of the Savior makes it the duty of his church to publish the gospel among all nations.” Will the Doctor inform us through the same organ, or any other which may suit him better, when this last command was issued, and the precise words in which it was expressed?

As Old School Baptists we have very little claim on the Doctor, and we would not trouble him on a matter of minor importance; but if the Savior has given such a command as the Doctor represents, it is highly important that the church should be put in possession of the fact at the Doctor’s earliest leisure.

We find no such command in the New Testament, nor were we aware that he had given any of the kind since his ascension to glory. Besides we think it must be new to the Doctor himself, for some ten years ago the Doctor called on us and stated that he was on a tour through the southern tier of counties of this State, soliciting aid for the New York Baptist Education Society, &c. We assured him that the people would show from the scriptures any direct authority for Education Societies for preparing young men for the ministry, we would become responsible for $500 to go to that purpose. At that time the Doctor could find no such command. The Doctor will please inform us of the date of this “last command,” and whether the new order or command is to supercede the old command in which Christ gave the commission to the apostle to “Go and teach all nations,” &c?

Without designing any offence, we are unable to rely upon his assertion, for we know that no such command could be given to the church, without a radical revolution of that order which was established more than eighteen hundred years ago. Then instead of commanding the church to publish his gospel, he called whomsoever he would, and commanded them to go and preach his gospel, and at the same time commanded the saints, and thereby made it the duty and privilege of the church to “pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into his harvest.” Moreover he has given gifts unto men; he has given “some prophets, some apostles, and some pastors and teachers,” &c. And the very last command which he gave before his ascension to glory was given to his eleven apostles in these words: “But tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high.” – Luke xxiv. 49. Can it be possible that the learned Doctor finds the duty of which he speaks in this command? Certainly not. It would require a Doctor of extaordinary ingenuity to make this command read, “But tarry ye at Hamilton College, until the professors of that institution shall grant your diploma; or until the church shall call you out.” The ministers of Christ, we are authorized by his last command to believe, are to be endued from on high, and none but such have any right to publish the gospel to the nations of the earth; all others are imposters, and Christ has made it, by his express command, the duty of his church to “Beware of them.”

The balance of the article is a deduction from a false position, in which the Doctor infers that the church is bound to contribute money to sustain the New York Education Society, but as the position is false the deduction cannot be true.

New Vernon, N.Y.,
February 1, 1847

Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 2
Pages 747 – 748