SALARY PREACHING.

“THERE is one thing more I wish to tell you, as I was informed on my way. A certain pious young man, late from Orange County, who is now at Hamilton enjoying the blessings of that institution to qualify him for the work of the ministry, has reported that an Old School Baptist brother informed him that Elder Beebe had a contract with the people where he preached, for a specified sum to pay him for his preaching to them. If I recollect right the sum was $300 per year, and that Elder Beebe would not preach without such agreement. Also, that Elder Harding would not even preach a funeral sermon without having his pay for it. In reply to which, I stated that I did not believe any such thing. Now if I have done wrong in so doing, and am mistaken in relation to your sentiments and practice in the case, please be so kind as to correct me therein, for which you shall have my sincere thanks.

“Yours as ever,
“HEZEKIAH WEST.
“Patchin’s Mills, Steuben Co., N. Y., July 26, 1843.”

ALTHOUGH we are not very particular in responding to all the slanderous stories which are put in circulation by the pupils of the Hamilton College, yet as our beloved and venerable brother has inquired, and our printer in our absence has deferred a reply until, being again at our post, we might speak for ourself, we now most unequivocally deny the statement of the said pious sprout who is about to be inflicted upon the world as a preacher. We have never preached under contract with any church at any time in our life, nor have we ever refused to preach with such ability as the Lord might grant us for the want of pay. Being intimately acquainted with Elder Amos Harding, and for the greater part of the last eighteen years residing within about three miles of his house, we are prepared to say that the statement of the young parson in reference to him is also based in falsehood.

It is a mercy to the church of God that the New School religionists of our age offer such inducements as to allure and draw away from us such graceless persons – such as commend them selves to their patrons by abusing and slandering the Old School Baptists. If the New School had no use for them the church of Christ might be infested with them to a much greater extent than at present. But the earth helpeth the woman.

We do not mean to say, nor is it our privilege to believe, that the Old School Baptists are never imposed upon by such as are unworthy of our confidence and fellowship. Some, from sinister motives, being, perhaps, without character or standing anywhere, may make a great noise about their Old Schoolism, and endeavor to avert the just rebuke which they richly deserve for their unrighteous course, by making it appear, if possible, that they are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. Our churches and our brethren should beware of all such.

On the other hand, we are far from charging that all who stand connected with the new order of religionists are of the character of him who has uttered the slander and falsehood against us, alluded to by brother West. We believe there are honorable exceptions. Many, very many, who are duped and led astray, may be found in their ranks, whose motives are much better than their course. Of this class there are many at this time beginning to inquire for the “old paths.” But we do say that the New School have, in many instances, received into their communion those from whom the Old School churches have withdrawn fellowship for, in some cases, grossly immoral conduct.

In justice to the Old School Baptists, with whom we have had the happiness to labor, we take pleasure in acknowledging that their course has been uniformly kind towards us. We have found them ready to communicate, according to their ability, to our necessities, and that too without putting us to the inconvenience of contracting, dunning, teasing, storming, threatening and begging. But, we repeat that we have never made any contract to preach for any people for a stipulated sum of money since we have been in the ministry; amid the young pupil of modern Gamaliel, who gave currency to the calumny, is challenged to name the Old School Baptist member on whom he has attempted to fix the fabrication.

New Vernon, N.Y.,
September 1, 1843

Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 2
Pages 331 – 333