ON opening the October number of the American Tract Magazine, we were greeted with the following draft, viz:
“$30,000 FOR THE FOREIGN CHRISTIAN PRESS. - The American Tract Society, at its last anniversary,
’Resolved, That in the accumulating facilities and motives for diffusing, by the press, the glad tidings of salvation to all nations, God in his providence evidently requires that $30,000 be raised and remitted with the least possible delay.’”
To whom this draft is addressed by the Lord, or from whom, or by what means it is to be raised, the above proclamation saith not. The document is quite defective in regard to where this trifling sum is to be remitted; and as the published decrees of God are always explicit, and consistent, and. invariably in strict accordance with the tenor of the scriptures, we are disposed to doubt its having come directly from heaven. For this skepticism we may perhaps be rated with infidels, but, be it so; we must and will for the present protest the draft, at least until we have better reason to believe that God requires this amount, or any part of it, at our hands.
The popular motto of these religious swindlers, is that God works by means, or instrumentality, and so it would seem by their maneuvering for their imaginary deity. Imaginary, we say, for the existence of such a god as they describe, cannot be demonstrated by scripture, or by reason. In harmony with the spirit and letter of their motto, they assume to be the vicegerents of their god; and in this assumed dignity make it their business to pass decrees, establish counsels, make promises, execute designs, accumulate motives, and multiply facilities for the accomplishment of his purposes; draw on the community for funds, and have them remitted with the least possible delay to their lord, through them. And will it be churlish in us to believe that the god to whom they will appropriate these funds when raised, is their own bellies? See Phil. iii. 19. The name of their imaginary deity is Mammon, and his influence is felt by all the families of the earth. But we are happy to state that the God whom we serve is perfectly solvent, possessing an unwasting fulness; his arm is not shortened nor is his ear heavy. With him are treasures of wisdom, more precious than rubies, or the most fine gold; durable riches of righteousness are m his possession, and he redeems his people, not with such corruptible things as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ. No humanly organized board, council, or society have occasion to pass decrees for him, for his goings forth are from everlasting. He has declared the end from the beginning, saying. “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” Should this God require of us our money, our services, our friends, or even our lives, our response to his demand should be in the words of Job, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
ALEXANDRIA, D. C.,
November 30, 1838.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 1
Pages 466 – 468