By the exit of another year we are reminded of our obligation to love, serve and Praise the God of our salvation, on whose kind providence we have been cast from the earliest moments of our existence. Although we have much to lament of human frailty, ingratitude and sin, which are deep rooted in our nature, growing with our growth, strengthening with our strength, and staining with imperfection our best performances, we have not one word of complaint to make concerning the administration of the divine government of our gracious God; his mercy eudureth for ever, and his loving kindness unto all generations. His steady hand has rolled on the years of our appointed sojourn upon his footstool, and brought us to the beginning of a new year. We cannot indulge in a retrospect of the past without calling to mind many of our dear brethren and fellow-laborers in the vineyard of Christ with whom we were once conversant, and who are now numbered with the slumbering dead. Many who were with us in taking a firm stand a few years ago against innovations upon the faith and order of the gospel, have gone to that bourne whence they shall not return to us. No more shall sorrow dim their eyes, nor anguish pierce their hearts; no more shall they weep with the afflicted saints nor need the kind sympathies of the Sons of sorrow. Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord. The years which have in such rapid succession glided by have told us tales of wonder – each in its turn has invited us to contemplate the execution of the righteous purposes of our heavenly Father. Not one of them have passed without developing something of the fulfillment of prophecy and the perpetuity of the divine government. Even his judgments which are abroad in the earth and the desolations which he has made, proclaim his dreadful power and majesty. In view of all the way in which the Lord has led us, it is our reasonable service to acknowledge his goodness and mercy with unfeigned gratitude and humility.
The year which has just closed upon us, and a few of those preceding it, have witnessed some sore conflicts of the saints of the Lord. While anti-christ has been busily foaming out her shame, and the inventions of men and devils have been greatly multiplied to facilitate her schemes of self-aggrandizement, and to oppose the reign of the Messiah, and to afflict, reproach and persecute those who have the testimony of Jesus Christ, our gracious King has kindly held out his golden sceptre to welcome his afflicted spouse to approach his mercy seat and make her petition. His ear is not heavy that he cannot hear, nor his arm shortened that he cannot save. During the past year he has been riding upon the heavens in our help, and in his excellency on the sky. Not one of Zion’s cords are broken, none of her stakes are removed; her place of defence is still the munition of rocks. God is her Refuge in distress, and a very present help in time of trouble.
Our publication, which was commenced more than ten years ago, contrary to the predictions and desires of our enemies, has been sustained, and in the pursuit of our work the Lord has brought us through fiery trials, he has delivered us from the snare of the fowler and the devouring jaws of the lion. And we have reason to say, as was said by Israel in old times, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” This affords us not only grounds of gratitude, but of confidence also that he will still sustain us in our future labors in his cause.
In reviewing our ten years’ campaign, in which we have encountered the whole combined forces of the New School, received their malignant darts and borne their reproaches and jeers, we are unconscious of having yielded one inch of the ground we occupied when we first threw open our banner to the breeze. That we have been assaulted and reviled, denounced as anti-nomian, infidel, and by almost every spiteful name by which the cruel venom of our enemies could be vented, our readers are fully aware; and in addition to all this, we have had to contend with pecuniary difficulties of no small magnitude, sufficient to try the firmness of much stronger nerves than ours. Nor have these difficulties yet subsided, but we are confidently looking for the means to liquidate all claims against us from our patrons. The money due from delinquent subscribers would be sufficient not only to meet all demands against us, but would leave a balance in our hands sufficient to enlarge and greatly improve our sheet; but on our delinquent subscribers we cannot with much safety rely. Those who can feel no goadings of conscience in with holding from us our due year after year, until the amount is swelled to a large sum, may be expected at last to order their paper stopped without paying finally. But we have a very fair list of subscribers, of a very different character from those just now alluded to, that have always been ready to stay up our hands, and have generally been punctual in transmitting their money in advance. We have been subjected to some considerable expense from the deranged state of our paper circulating currency for discount; but we hope soon to be relieved by the forthcoming advance payments for the new volume. Brethren and friends, agents and subscribers, it is for you to say whether we shall be disappointed. If our paper cannot be sustained in publishing the truth, we are determined to let it go down. We have no disposition to compromise with error for the means of a subsistence. That moment this paper fails to be the undaunted advocate of truth and righteousness, it fails to secure the end for which it was brought into being, and that moment it shall sink.
We have no change to propose in regard to the stand we took ten years ago. The same declaration of faith which we then nailed to our masthead still floats as our banner, and while we are enabled to stand in defence of that form of sound doctrine we will continue to wage war with the old mother arminianism and her entire brood of institutions. We shall still labor, to the extent of our ability, to record the passing “signs of the times,” to warn the unruly, to speak comfortably to Jerusalem, to hold forth the uncorrupted doctrine of God our Savior, and to annoy the inhabitants of mystical Babylon. And we hereby invite our clear brethren throughout the states of America and elsewhere, to contribute to our columns such articles and communications as shall be in harmony with our original prospectus, and calculated to instruct, edify and comfort the people of God.
As a medium of correspondence among the Old School Baptists, the utility of our paper must be fully known to our brethren through its wide spread circulation. The scattered family of the Old School Baptists have received an introduction to and become acquainted with each other, and this extended acquaintance has resulted in increased fellow-ship and joy. When the apostle was called to sojourn in foreign parts, he expressed a deep solicitude to know of the affairs of the churches in his absence from them, and it is also desirable that all who pray for the prosperity of the kingdom of Christ should maintain a mutual correspondence. Through our columns a much more effectual and economical channel for such correspondence has been opened to the Old School Baptists: one letter written answers for several thousands of the saints the read, and that too without incurring the heavy expense of letter postage, which would prevent many from writing and others from reading. The ministers of Jesus are also made acquainted with the destitute parts of Zion, and through this medium often receive the “Macedonian cry.” Those portions of the church of God which are without the stated ministry of the word, not only have an opportunity to make their case known to the brethren, but they are enabled to receive and read the refreshing communications of their brethren who cannot visit them in person.
From all the above considerations, with many others that might be urged, the necessity of continuing our labors is apparent. Of all these considerations, however, our brethren and subscribers must judge for themselves; to sustain the publication their remittances and their correspondence will be required.
Those who have formerly written for our columns are requested to continue to write, and some of our brethren in distant states who have seldom or never written are requested to unite in this general correspondence. If there has or if there should hereafter appear to be any discrepance in the views of brethren on some particular points, we cannot see that that should arrest our work or make u weary in well doing. Let the strong bear with the infirmities of the weak, and labor to convince those who err, and strive to keep the unity of the spirit in the bonds of peace, and at the same time suffer not sin to rest unreproved on any.
New Vernon, N. Y.,
Jan. 2, 1843
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 2
Pages 122 – 126