DEAR BROTHER BEEBE: - In my late excursion into New Jersey, I was informed that a Mr. T.J., a Baptist Preacher, who had passed along a week or two before me, on his way to visit a certain Church in the Warwick Association, which is destitute of a Pastor, had represented the Welsh Tract Church with which I am connected, as being quite strict in disciplining its Members for departure from sound doctrine, but as paying no regard to their maintaining good works; that to his certain knowledge they had retained a Member in standing with them, who was a notorious drunkard, without ever calling him to account. Whether his intention was to give an unfavorable impression with regard to me as a Preacher, or to give this as an instance of the doctrines of grace tending to licentiousness, I feel bound to contradict the report as false. The only member of this Church since my acquaintance with it, who could by any fair construction of the terms be called a notorious drunkard, was several years since taken under dealings, but on professing repentance, and promising reformation, was restored to fellowship, and thus remained till shortly after I became the Pastor of the Church, reports having got to the ears of some of the Members, of his having given way to drunkenness again, a complaint was laid against him, and after waiting perhaps two months to give an opportunity to appear before the Church, and answer for himself, he was excluded. If Mr. J. knew of this man’s sin before this, he was himself culpable, that he did not bring his case forward, he being a Member of this Church till the time of their agreeing to call me, when he took a letter. And in every other case, I take it upon me to say there has not, since my being with the Church, been a single known instance of a member’s falling into that, or any other known sin, but that Gospel steps have been taken to reclaim him, and when these have failed, exclusion has taken place. And as to the general and known characters of this Church, previous to my coming into it, and that for considerably more than a century, I venture to say it will bear a comparison with any other Church existing in the United States, for anything like the same length of time, whether in reference to a constant succession of sound, able and esteemed Pastors, or in reference to a steadfast adherence to the faith, and covenanted order on which it was originally constituted. It is true that a conscientious adherence to that faith and order, which in years that are past, commanded the esteem of the Baptists of those days, exposes it to the reproach of modern Baptists; but this only shows that the Baptists are not what they once were.
Iron Hill, New Castle County, Delaware, Jan.7th, 1833.