And The Signs Of The Times, Set Forth In Seven Letters, Written By Elder Samuel Trott, Pastor: Baptist Church – Welsh Tract, New Castle County, Delaware. Published For The Benefit Of Mankind, By Gilbert Beebe, Pastor: Baptist Church – New Vernon, Orange County, New York. 1832.
To the Reader.
IF the dark gloom of Priestcraft and superstition, which prepared the way for Pagan Idolatry and Papal usurpation; if the horrors of an infatuation, which has repeatedly drenched the earth with human gore, racked and tortured the dear people of God, and prostrated every liberal institution in civil government on earth; were a sufficient reason why the Watchmen in Zion should “lift up their voice like a trumpet, cry aloud and spare not” even to sound an alarm in God’s holy mountain, there is no apology necessary for the appearance of this Pamphlet. If it were deception for Pagans to teach the worship of imaginary Deities, it is no less deceptive for professed Christians to teach the worship of a bankrupt God, whose resources are exhausted, or whose disposition or will transcends his power. If it were deception for the Pope of Rome to teach men that salvation could be bought and sold for money, it is equally absurd for any of the Clergy of the present day to teach that the salvation of mankind depends on moneyed institutions; as Bible, Tract, or Missionary Societies, Theological Seminaries, or Sabbath School Unions, or any other system of Works. If it was unlawful for the Pope to sell indulgencies, or passports through Purgatory, or pardons, or titles to Eternal life, for money; how is it less criminal for modern speculators in divinity to sell Birth rights into Religious Societies? What more is required at this day, to constitute a man orthodox than to pour forth his cash into the grand Reservoir of Priestcraft? Or what less than the name Deist, or Infidel, is stamped on the man who conscientiously withholds his support from worldly institutions, and comes forth boldly to avow the Eternal truths of the Bible? Are not the signs of the times alarming? Are not our religious rights disputed? Are not our Republican Institutions threatened, by what is called “a Christian party in politics?” Who that loves his country, or his God, can be an uninterested spectator!
It is due to the author of the following Letters, to state, that they were written by my request, and intended to comprise the substance of an address, by him delivered, before the Central New Jersey Baptist Association, and in presence of the New Jersey Baptist State Missionary Society, convened at Herberton, N. J., Oct. 1830; and although they were not written originally by him with a design of printing them, yet upon my special request, he has consented to their publication. I therefore cordially submit them to the citizens of the United States in general, and to my Baptist brethren in particular; praying that God may attend them with his divine blessing, and make them edifying to you, as they have been to me, for a dear Redeemer’s sake. Amen.
GILBERT BEEBE. 1832.