THE following proclamation is published in the twenty-ninth number of the Religious Herald, (a New School Baptist paper, published at Richmond, Virginia.) How true are the words of divine inspiration that “Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” The time has been within our recollection when even the advocates for Tract societies would have been shocked with such open profanity of the name and eternal things of God, as now they unblushingly spread before their infatuated partizans, with an effrontery beggaring all attempts at description. Who is there that can remember what the Baptist church in the United States was thirty years ago, could have expected to live long enough to read in a reputed Baptist paper, heaven offered on mortgage for a loan of three thousand dollars! But with the growing corruptions of the man of sin, that day has overtaken us. The greedy dogs of whom Isaiah prophesied, have exhausted all the schemes and tricks common among gamblers and swindlers, and now defy the bolts of heaven by offering to barter the promises of God, the interests of heaven and the veracity of God for money.
When Monroe Edwards was convicted of selling the promises of banks which he had forged, he was sentenced to suffer the demerit of his crimes in the state prison; but the agent of the Tract society offers to pledge for money promises of immortal glory, purporting to be eternal promises of God, but promises which God has never made. We demand of Mr. Crane, or the editor of the Herald, testimony that God has ever made promises that he would pledge immortal glory to those who would contribute towards raising three thousand dollars for the Virginia Tract society! If they will prove by the scriptures that God requires that amount of money, (we ask for no pledge) every dollar that we can command shall be cheerfully applied to make up the Sum. But if they fail to show such authority we hold them guilty of forgery, swindling and blasphemy.
We send two copies of this number to the Herald, and desire Mr. Sands to forward one of them to the presumptuous man who wrote the article below.
“THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS WANTED BY THE FIRST OF OCTOBER. THE VERY BEST SECURITY GIVEN.
“The Virginia Tract Society wants the above amount in order to carry on its operations. Twelve hundred dollars are indispensably necessary to pay off its debts incurred in for warding publications to all parts of the State – one thousand dollars to pay four colporteurs to visit those portions of the State not suppled with our books; one of them to be commissioned for the German population – eight hundred dollars (or eight thousand dollars, as chrìstians may say) to be applied to the publication of books or tracts in foreign lands. Let each brother or sister who reads this, ask him or herself how much he or she can lend the Lord, on the security of his eternal promises of immortal glory [!!] and for the interest bestowed on the constant dew of divine grace. Come, fellow-christian, do not put it off till next week or next fall. Open your pocket book, take out five, ten, twenty, or fifty dollars, if you please, and forward at once to George Steel, Treasurer, and say whether you want it deposited in the Home or Foreign bank. We are in solemn earnest. The money must come from some quarter to rid us of embarrassment, and certainly one hundred christians can be found, who will give twenty dollars immediately, and two hundred who will give ten dollars, and one thousand who can give five dollars. What a handsome sum that would make for the Virginia Tract Society? I can fancy it already before me. Instead of three thousand dollars there would be nine thousand dollars. Do not wait, brethren, for a visit from the agent. Send immediately. Remember, as a Presbyterian elder once said to me, that the only real savings you will value in the hour of death or at the judgment seat will be those deposited in the gospel bank.
W. CAREY CRANE,
General Agent Virginia Tract Society.
RICHMOND, Va., July 14, 1843.
New Vernon, N.Y.,
July 15, 1843
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 2
Pages 296 – 298