How graceful, how popular, and how becoming, are the words of the above exclamation, when frequently reiterated by the professed ministers of Christ; and how common have they become in modern times, among modern preachers. And as though we, by an exhibition of divine truth, were robbing them of their bread, they charge us of being opposed to every thing like benevolence. To shew with how much justice we are thus accused, we will once more assure our readers that we are fully convinced of the imperative duty of all such as receive the gospel to communicate, in a scriptural manner, of their earthly substance to support (not the gospel, for the gospel of Christ needs no support from us; it is not only able to bear its own weight, but also to support all the sheep and lambs of the fold of our Lord Jesus Christ) those who labor in the gospel ministry, who give good and sufficient evidence of their calling and qualification of God, for the work. We would by no means excuse any who profess to love the cause of the Redeemer, from withholding from the Lord’s ministers that aid and support which God has commanded them according to their ability to render. But we do, and have, and shall continue to oppose all those anti-christian devices and tricks of the modern clergy for their self-aggrandizement, at the expense of the poor of the flock of Christ. Those who have the greatest claim to a support from the saints, being men who trust in the living God, are those who say the least about temporal support. They may be, and sometimes truly are, grieved at the backwardness of their brethren to relieve their pressing wants; but as they have not much confidence in the flesh, they carry their case to the throne of God, and rely on the goodness of that God who fed his prophet by the ravens, and who has the hearts of all ,men in his power, to supply all their needs, in his own way, and according to his own pleasure.
But our modern disciples of Gamaliel seem to have but very little idea of trusting in God for a support; but according to the scriptural account of them, they look for gain, every man from his quarter; those who are called of God, as was Aaron, look to that quarter, and relying on the providence and promises of God, go forth without purse or scrip; but such as are called of men, qualified by men, and employed by men, look to that quarter for gain, as though perfectly conscious that they have no right to expect a support from the Lord, or from the people of God, in a scriptural way - lo! they turn to men, to the world, or to the Mission Society of church and world, for their hire.
Let it therefore be fully understood that we, the Old School Baptists, esteem it not only as a bounden duty, but a sweet privilege, according as the Lord has prospered us, to contribute of our carnal things to the necessities of those who labor in word and doctrine; not to enrich, or make them lords over God’s heritage, but to so far release them from the distressing cares of the world, as to enable them to devote their time, and the talents God has given them, in preaching the gospel wherever God in his providence may open a door; and we believe the heart of that christian is cold indeed, ‘who needs to be urged to a sense of duty in this matter
ALEXANDRIA, D. C.,
July 14, 1837.
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 1
Pages 391 – 392