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Elder Gilbert Beebe

So far as we know, there has never been a book compiled, giving the essential facts of the Baptist separation in 1832. Such a work, if ever completed, would reveal that one certain man, more than any other, was instrumental in clarifying the issues, which resulted in the division; that man was Gilbert Beebe. With limited space in one quarterly, we can give only a few highlights of this minister’s life and the cause in which his life labors played such a great part.

Those who identify themselves today with the Old School Baptists ought to have some knowledge of the cause for their origin. History shows, even in this short sketch, that the real issues in any given moment are soon forgotten, and those who follow after are ignorant of the original issues. If the few who do have some historical knowledge, it is usually in the letter only. They can and do parrot certain phrases and words which were used in the early controversies, but the understanding of what was involved is limited indeed, if not even perverted.

It is not possible to acquire the same “faith” of our fathers by merely reading their biographies or their sermons and statements of be. If we – the living – ever possess the faith possessed by the dead, we must receive it from the same source they received it, namely, from God alone. We must also experience for ourselves what they experienced, and “through much tribulation."


The difference that developed in the churches over the modern innovations culminated in a formal break between the parties of the New School and Old School Baptists. This division was spelled out in a declaration called “The Black Rock Address.” A meeting of “Particular Baptists” convened at Black Rock, Maryland, September 27, 1832.

In this famous address the issues were named and the reasons given for the action taken. The issues outlined were mainly, Tract Societies, Sunday Schools and Bible Societies, Mission Boards and societies, salaried ministry, theological schools, colleges or seminaries. Gilbert Beebe is credited with drafting the essentials of this address, which resounded through the churches throughout the United States.

At ten minutes before four o’clock p. m. on Monday, May 2, 1881, Elder Gilbert Beebe received his discharge and was called home to receive the crown laid up for those who have fought the good fight.

Elder Gilbert Beebe, at the time of his death, was the only surviving minister who was present at the notable convention at Black Rock, Md., in 1832, when the separation took place between the Missionary or New School and the Old School or Primitive Baptist churches. He oppose the innovations of the Missionary element at the gathering, and has ever since been the leading defender of the Old School Baptist cause. It was to further this cause that in the fall of 1832 he established at New Vernon the Signs of the Times, which was for many years the only organ of that faith.


Mr. Slauson, – in fulfillment of my promise, I will state some of the most important incidents of my life. I was born in the town (now city) of Norwich, Conn., on the 25th day of November, 1800. At a very early period, and as far back as my memory extends, I was seriously impressed with a solemn conviction of my sinful and lost condition as a sinner, and of the necessity of being “born again,” to qualify me to see the kingdom of God. When, I think, from my best remembrance of the date, I was not more than seven or eight years old, I was made to hope and rejoice in God as my Savior, and to feel His love shed abroad in my heart. I think that at that tender age I was taught of God to know, what no other being could teach me, that “Salvation is of the Lord.” From that hour I have had no confidence in the power of men to effect or help in the least to effect the salvation of a sinner. In 1811 I was baptized by Elder John Sterry, and received as a member of the Baptist Church in Norwich. This was many years before the division of the Missionary or Fullerite Baptists from the primitive order, and before any organized religious societies or institutions were known or tolerated in the Baptist denomination in our country.

In 1816 I came to the city of New York, and afterward became identified, by letter, with the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where I was called to exercise my gift, and was finally licensed to preach the gospel; this was about the year 1818. I then traveled in several States as an itinerant preacher, and supplied the Third Baptist Church in Baltimore three or four months in about 1821-2, but it suited my mind better to be traveling. I never failed to find places where I was well received, and without any support from missionary arrangement I was fully sustained, so that I could say as did the disciples whom Jesus sent out without purse or scrip, when they returned, that I had lacked nothing.

...The division, or separation of the Missionary Baptists in these parts, from those of the old order, took place about forty years ago. I stand today rooted and grounded in the faith and order on which the whole Baptist denomination in our country stood when united with them sixty-five years ago. I have found no occasion to depart from either the faith or order of the church of God, as organized on the day of Pentecost. I cannot find by sixty years of careful and prayerful searching of the Scriptures, that those primitive saints who gladly received the word at Pentecost and continued steadfastly in the Apostle’s doctrine and fellowship, had any religious organizations or auxiliaries to the church of God, existing among them. No Mission Boards for converting the heathen or for evangelizing the world; no Sunday Schools as nurseries to the church; no schools of any kind for teaching theology or divinity, or for preparing young men for the ministry; no pious rehearsals of the “Melodies of Mother Goose” or “Jack Horner” or the “cow jumping over the moon,” among the institutions of Christ or His apostles. I am content to be considered all of eighteen hundred and forty three years behind the progressive religious doings of the more popular religionists of the present time. I have never been identified with, nor have I had any fellowship for, any religious rites, forms, fashions or customs which cannot be found in the laws of Christ, and practice of the Apostles and primitive saints. I do not denounce those who differ with me in regard to these things; to their own masters they stand or fall; nor do I dispute that there are among them some of God’s quickened children; that is not my province. “The Lord knoweth them that are His,” and He can bring them out of their idolatry in His own good time. But while I live I expect to protest solemnly, soberly, but not with unkind or malicious feelings, against their spiritual wickedness in high places.

The Signs of the Times, as you are aware, has been published by me nearly forty-four years. During all this time it has been devoted to the defense of what my eternal destiny rests upon as the truth as it is in Jesus. My warfare is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, and against the rulers of the darkness of this world.

My race is nearly run. I am now in the seventy-sixth year of my age. My voice will soon be silenced in death, my pen will pass into the hands of another, and I hope abler writer, but the eternal truth for which I have so long contended will be lasting as the days of eternity. And when all the deceptive and luring doctrines and institutions of men shall be exposed, and all who have trusted in a refuge of les shall bewail their folly and call for rocks and mountains to hide them from the face of Him that sitteth upon the throne, and from the presence of the Lamb, those who know and love the truth shall in the truth rejoice forevermore.

Gilbert Beebe
Middletown, N. Y., April, 1876

– From the brief autobiography of Gilbert Beebe, written at the request of Mr. Slauson, a newspaper editor, published after his death in the Signs of the Times, May 15, 1881. Also appears in Hassell’s History, p. 934.

Elder Gilbert Beebe, of Middletown, N. Y., has had few equals, since the days of the apostles, in natural and spiritual abilities, in bold and faithful defense, both by tongue and pen, of great fundamental truths of the Scriptures, and in the extensiveness of his ministerial labors. During his long ministry of sixty-three years he is believed to have preached about 10,000 sermons and traveled about 200,000 miles – sent forth, not in the manner of the nineteenth century, by “Missionary Funds,” but in the manner of the first century, by the God of grace and providence, who supplied all his necessities; thus exhibiting to this materialistic, unbelieving age, a life of divine faith and support.

– Statement by Sylvester Hassell in his Church history, p. 822.

Through its [Signs] columns Elder Beebe’s vigorous intellect and ready pen controlled the thought of the church, and held the wavering steadfast to the bulwarks of the faith. It is impossible to over-estimate the extent and power of the influence that he exerted, and it is safe to say that this great power could have been in no safer hands, for he knew no other motive than the right, and trusted implicitly in God for light and guidance.

His life was wholly consecrated to his Master’s service. He was interested in and cared for nothing but the cause of Christ. During all the years of his pastorate he preached without salary, and so thoroughly was he absorbed in his higher and more important duties that his business interest often suffered by neglect. The amount of work that he performed was prodigious. It is estimated that in his ministerial work he traveled at least ten thousand miles a year...For nearly fifty years he preached regularly twice, and often three time on every Sunday, and often during the week; and nearly fifty years of this time he was sole editor of the Signs, preparing for its columns an amount of original material greater than is published in any other religious paper. He complied a hymn book, the first edition of which was published in 1859, and which has commanded a sale of 30,000 copies.

– Excerpt from an editorial obituary in the Middletown Daily Press.

I have heard many eloquent men. But I regarded Elder Beebe when at his full liberty as the most eloquent speaker I ever heard. I have heard him when the power of his eloquence was so overwhelming that it seemed as though nothing could stand before it. It was not merely in manner and language. It was in depth and breadth and truthfulness of thought.

– Silas H. Durand

As we said of a statesman of the past generation, so I feel to say of him; He was such a man, take him all in all, as we ne’er shall look upon his like again. It has been my privilege to serve with him as a son with his father nearly thirty-four years. Truly a great man has fallen in Israel; and he fell at his post, still feeding the flock, and still valiant in battle for their defense.

– E. Rittenhouse

Following are a few excerpts which are typical of Gilbert Beebe’s ability to discover the evil and refute the errors of the whole of the Arminian trend.


From the earliest settlement of our country by the Puritans in New England, and the Church of England in the Southern colonies, whose religious supremacy was established by law in their several localities, the Baptists, and indeed all other dissenting orders, suffered great oppositions by proscription and oppression from the dominant parties. The Baptists, perhaps, more than any other, were violently treated, and suffered the most cruel persecution. Disfranchisement as citizens, fines, confiscation of property, incarceration in prisons, and banishment for nonconformity, to which was added corporal punishments, public whippings at the stock, cropping of ears, boring their tongues through with hot irons, tying their heads and feet together, and torturing them in the most barbarous manner for days and nights, and in many cases they were put to death for their persistent and inflexible adherence to the faith and order of the gospel by which they were distinguished from all other orders. In those days of trial there were no worldly inducements offered to attract the worldly-minded to connect themselves with our churches, and there was harmony of sentiment and uniformity of practice among the Baptist churches throughout the whole breadth of our country.

When the violence of persecution began to abate, and by the interposition of the British Crown, and subsequently by the prevalence of more liberal views which were entertained by the patriots of the Revolution, the powers of the Puritans in the East, and of the Episcopalians in the South were so far curtailed as to prevent further corporal severities; still for many years after the establishment of our federal and state governments, the Puritans of the New England States were patronized by their state legislatures, and allowed to collect parish taxes from all within their parish limits. Afterwards dissenters, by procuring certificates from religious denominations to which they belonged, certifying that they were paying to their own respective orders, were released from the burden of parish taxes, and finally the whole legal distinction in favor of the Puritans was abolished. Under all the trials and persecutions thus far experienced, the Baptists were a humble, meek, loving and harmoniously united people throughout our country. But as soon as this oppressive yoke was broken, Satan was ready with other elements of discord to bring trouble and divisions into our churches.

No sooner were the Baptists of America relieved from the galling yoke of Puritanic and Episcopalian priestcraft than the doctrines of Andrew Fuller were introduced with the professed design to raise up the Baptists from the dung-hill, to rank respectably with other religious denominations. All who were inclined to the doctrine of Arminianism, with many others who had been led but sparingly into an understanding of the cardinal doctrine of salvation alone by grace, were ready to embrace the plausible and deceptive views of Fuller, and became at once ambitious for the promised elevation. At this period, which is still fresh in the recollection of the editor of the Signs of the Times, there was not known among the Baptists of America a single organized institution in connection or under the patronage of the Baptists. Theological seminaries on a very small scale then began to be talked of, and a small school of this kind was started in Philadelphia, under the direction of Dr. Staughton, to give some grammar lessons to a few illiterate preachers, and soon a college was founded in Washington City, and another educational and theological institution at Hamilton, N. Y., and similar schools began to spring up in various directions. Simultaneously with these, missionary enterprises were set on foot, both domestic and foreign, and Sabbath schools and Sabbath school unions, in which various anti-Christian denominations were recognized as hand and glove with Baptists in building up these unscriptural nurseries for the church, as they were modestly called. Then followed the Bible Societies, to give a semblance of piety to the whole system of religious machinery, followed in turn by Tract Societies, Temperance Societies, Mite Societies, Magdalene Societies, and a host of other equally unscriptural institutions under the name of Benevolence and Religion, until, to bring up the rear, the Abolition Society which had for a time been struggling into life and power under the patronage of a few New England fanatics, was with due ceremony let in and adopted as a pet institution.

While these innovations were being made upon the faith and order of the Baptists, true enough, the Baptists began to rise, according to the prediction of Andrew Fuller, and soon came to be regarded as unsound and as a respectable as any other of the worldly churches of this degenerate age. The Baptists were now no longer obliged to pray the Lord of the harvest to furnish preachers; they could supply themselves with a more refined and educated class from their own schools. Converts could now be made to order, and the churches supplied with members from their nurseries and other institutions. Their machinery was no so complete that grace was no longer needed to make their members orderly; for they were supplied with societies to keep them sober and benevolent; and if perchance many of them should lose their piety, their machinery was so ingeniously geared that they could run through again, and re-converted and re-constructed as often as might be thought advisable.

It was during the prevalence of these abominations that the Signs of the Times was commenced. The new order of Baptists had many religious newspapers in the field, which without an exception advocated these institutions named in the foregoing, and the general impression was entertained that there were no churches or preachers left that had not enlisted in this new enterprise for worldly popularity and respectability. A few were found here and there, isolated and despised, who sighed and groaned on account of the prevailing abominations. Yet few as there were, and far between, we were denounced violently as illiberal, inert, slothful, behind the spirit of a progressive age, and enemies to the spread of the gospel, and opposed to all that is good.

Feeling deeply the need of a medium of correspondence, and excluded from the columns of the so-called Baptist papers, after much deliberation it was concluded to attempt to make ourselves a paper devoted to the case of truth, and through which we could enter our solemn protest against all the innovations, new theories and new institutions which, under the name of Baptists, had so greatly prevailed.

– From Introductory Preface to Gilbert Beebe’s Editorials, 1868


Since the Apostles of the Lamb have finished their course with us in the flesh, no history of the church of God should be allowed to lure us from the doctrine which they taught, the judgments they have recorded, the ordinances they have enjoined; nothing is to be added nor aught diminished from the perfect standard of faith and order they established, which is confirmed by all the valid authority of earth and heaven. What they have bound on earth is bound in heaved, and what they have loosed on earth is loosed in heaven. The question with us now is not or should not be, What was believed or practiced in the church one hundred or a thousand years ago? but, rather, What was the faith which was once delivered to the saints? We are not now to ask, Are our ministers by succession or ordination, through the dark ages of papal abominations, traceable to the apostles? but rather let it be asked, Are they such men as the Holy Ghost commanded the church to separate to the work whereunto He had called them?

...Not even in the history of the first century of the gospel church are we to look for a perfect rule for our faith and practice as disciples of our Saviour Jesus Christ; for while the apostles were still in the flesh, carnality was detected in the church at Corinth, heresy and witchcraft in the churches of Galatia, and dissensions at Antioch; and in the days of the Apostle John there were many antichrists which went out from the church because they were not of them. And Paul, Peter and Jude admonished the saints that many should depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. And even of the Elders who wept and feel on Paul’s neck, because he had told them they should see his face no more, should men arise and speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. The primitive saints could only abide in the Apostles’ fellowship as they continued steadfastly in their doctrine; they were allowed to follow no man only so far as they followed Christ. Can it then be safe for us to accept the usages or traditions of the church, or of any organization claiming to be the church, as a standard of faith or rule of practice, which have existed since the time the Apostles were in the flesh? If in the days of their sojourn on earth no church was perfectly free from defect, at what period from that to present time have any of the churches surpassed the primitive churches in purity? We have a more sure guide and directory. The doctrine, examples and precepts of God, alone are reliable. To them only are we exhorted to give heed, as unto a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns, and the day star arise in our hearts.

– Extracts from an Editorial on Ecclesiastical History and Church Creeds, Signs of the Times, August 15, 1881. This was also the last editorial written by Gilbert Beebe. It appears on page 937 in Hassell’s Church History.

We readily admit our opposition to the present system of Bible Societies as religious institutions for the conversion of the world; but we are so far from being opposed to the gratuitous circulation of the Bible, (without note or comment), that in the preceding number we have offered to supply a whole country at our own expense. We are opposed to Tract Societies, and we are ready to give reason of our opposition; but we are not opposed to the circulation of the Bible truth in pamphlet, tract, newspaper, or any other form, gratuitously or otherwise.

We oppose such mission societies as are independent of the church of God, which we hold to be the only divinely authorized religious society upon earth; but we have, through the columns of a former number of this paper, offered to support the Lord’s ministers or missionaries to the utmost of our ability, even to the dividing of our last loaf with such of them as go out without purse or scrip, relying upon the sure mercies of David, without waiting to get the Lord’s promise endorsed by a Mission Board. We feel disposed to let such as have hired themselves out to Missionary Boards stand or fall to their own master, knowing that his servants they are, to whom they yield themselves to obey. We consider all that a kind Providence has put into our possession belongs to the Lord, and as His steward we are ready to deal it out to His servants according to His word....

– Editorial Remarks, April 10, 1833

How astonishingly rapid is the advancement of priestcraft and clerical power among the Baptists of the present day. Never, until the present, has anti-Christ appeared so conspicuously to flourish under the Baptist name. Never, until the present, have the saints so fully and fearfully realized the apostolic prediction, “Even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways, by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they, with feigned words, make merchandise of you; whose judgment now a long time lingereth not.” (2 Peter 2:1, 3) Can it be doubted that these men who assume to be teachers, divinely authorized to teach young men the science of preaching, and the arts of modern machinery, are pointed out by the apostle as false teachers? Or who can doubt that these are teaching damnable heresies, who in the second of the above resolutions are teaching that “it is the duty of every disciple of Christ to make temporal sacrifice to promote the eternal salvation of men!” This sentiment, glaring as it is, is set down as a given point with them, and seems to be the very ground and pillar of their faith; remove this pillar and down their entire system must fall.

Now if it be the duty of the disciples of Christ to promote, or aid Jehovah in the eternal salvation of men, we ask, On what page in the Bible is the obligation recorded? Or in what respect, or respects is God deficient that we should need the aid of His saints in the promotion of eternal salvation of men? Will the diviners of the Ministerial Conference inform us what proportion of eternal salvation is of works, and what of grace? How much depends on the saints, and how much the Lord intends to do Himself? Should those learned sages condescend to answer our enquiries, they will please to recollect that we have been in the habit of believing that the eternal salvation of me, i.e., all that God ever designed to save, was beyond the reach of being promoted by our temporal sacrifices.

We read that God “hath saved us and called us with an holy calling; not according to works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus (before the world began).” Hence it appears to be quite too late for us to promote that which was accomplished before the world began. We would have them inform us to whom these temporal sacrifices are to be made? They cannot be of God, for He is full of burnt offerings; and “sacrifices and offerings He would not, ” says the Lamb of God, “because He has no pleasure in them.” He also said, “Go ye and learn what this meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice.” Hence it cannot be our duty to disobey God, and offer sacrifices to him in violation of His express command.

Is it then divine justice that calls for temporal sacrifices to promote eternal salvation? If so, how much must be added to the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, which through the eternal Spirit He offered up to God, in order to secure the eternal salvation of the elect? But should we be told that the sacrifice of our Lord secured the eternal salvation of the elect, and that He by one offering or sacrifice (not temporal) hath forever perfected them that are sanctified. Heb. 10:14. We would ask those knowing ones of Hamilton Theological Seminary how many of the non-elect can be eternally saved by the offering of temporal sacrifices? Again, since it is written, “There remaineth no more sacrifice for sin.”

For what are these temporal sacrifices to be made? And how are they to promote the eternal salvation of men? If the eternal salvation of man may be promoted by our temporal sacrifices, surely the cattle upon a thousand hills would be a glorious offering, and ten thousand rivers of oil would be an offering of great magnitude. But perhaps these ministers will say we have mistaken their design, and misinterpreted their sayings, and that their object is only to awaken the saints to a sense of their duty touching the temporal concerns of the church. If this be all, why tell them to make temporal sacrifices “for the promotion of the eternal salvation of men?”

Is salvation of the Lord? And if it is, can that eternal salvation which is of the Lord be promoted by men? And if it can, why did the apostle say, “By grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast,” etc. (Eph. 2)

– Editorial Remarks on the Ministerial Conference, Sept. 25, 1833


Under the above head, the editor of the Repository - has informed his readers that there exists an alliance between God and His people, and that God has laid aside that power which works without means, and has devolved upon His people a course of duty, etc. This doctrine of “Holy Alliance” has been preached before. But that God has laid aside His divine omnipotence, or that “power which works without means,” and has substituted in the room thereof the duty of His people or allies, is truly astonishing; but we are told that this change in the immutable God is intended for a glorious and magnificent purpose - nothing less than the conversion of the world. How astonishing! that the immutable God should at this late hour undertake the conversion of the whole world, when a portion of them are already suffering the vengeance of eternal fire; and still more strange, that just as He is about to commence this new enterprise He should dispense with His omnipotence, immutability and truth, laying aside the former, and violating the two latter, in order to give the mighty creature man an opportunity to help his God. This doctrine is as new as it is strange, and as strange as it is false and blasphemous. He further tells us that God has said to His people, “Occupy till I come; Go preach the gospel to every creature; I send you not alone, you are an ally, and lo, I am with you always; and while you are preaching and praying, My grace shall be sufficient to sustain you, and My Spirit shall give efficacy to the word of salvation. In what part of the Bible, or by what manner of revelation he has collected his authority for this doctrine, he has not informed us.

The words, “Occupy till I come,” are a part of one of our Lord’s parables. But this scripture no more implies the doctrine of the “Holy Alliance” than the commission given to the apostles by our Lord Jesus Christ, “Co preach the gospel,” etc. applies to all the people of God indiscriminately. The words, “You are an ally,” and “while you work, I will work,” are not recorded in the volume of truth; but they have been added to the words of prophecy of God’s holy book, in all probability by him of whom it is written, God will add unto him the plagues that are written in the book. (Rev. 22:18)

From an editorial on the subject of “Holy Alliance” by Gilbert Beebe, April 10, 1833.

“The wind bloweth where it listeth,” in spite of all the exertions of a means-using generation; it is sovereign in its course; none can change it, nor effectually resist it. Who will dare say that the natural wind is more powerful or more sovereign than the Holy Ghost? The Holy Ghost has listed in the work of quickening all the elect of God. “It is the Spirit that quickeneth,” etc. Not all the power that can be, can alter the course of the divine Spirit from the elect of God to the reprobate part of mankind. As it has listed, so it does, and so it will continue to quicken every one that is born of the Spirit, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Again, the Spirit in this work is sovereign, as it relates to the individual on whom it operates. He speaks the word, and it stands fast; He commands and it is done. Not as some would blasphemously represent the Spirit, in the attitude of a beggar, or a supplicant before the sinner’s heart, wooing, beseeching, and striving to get the sinner’s consent, and in many, or in any ease, getting discouraged and abandoning the undertaking. Would this be blowing where it listed? Surely not. They can possess no adequate idea of the Spirit, or of its work, who suppose that the number of the quickened shall be in proportion to the amount of means employed by mankind, or that protracted meetings, anxious benches, submission chairs, benevolent religious societies, (so-called), or any other human inventions can change the sovereign course of the eternal Spirit from any of those on whom it has listed, or engaged to apply the atoning blood of Jesus experimentally, or add one to the number of those originally “ordained to eternal life”; “predestinated to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ unto Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” If, then, we admit the sovereignty of the work of the Holy Ghost in the new birth, why talk about the use of means to produce it? If it depends upon the performance of conditions, or the use of means on our part, theme the Holy Ghost ceases to be a sovereign in the work, and all must turn at last upon the pivot of works, and our Bible must be forced to read, It is of him that willeth, and of him that runneth, and not of God that sheweth mercy. Could anything be more absurd?

Editorial on the New Birth, Sept. 11, 1833.


Forasmuch as the world is making rapid progress in arts and sciences, and the old-fashioned doctrine of the cross is left so far in the background, and as the style, and more particularly the principles, of the Old and New Testaments are so poor and vague, and so illy suited to the refined taste and feelings of this enlightened generation, and as there is noticing recorded in that book in support of the doctrine and practice peculiar to the present day, and as the ambitious and learned of our age are put to great inconvenience from time to time to prove that they are of God, or employed in His service, and as we cannot reasonably expect that the learned, wealthy and great men of this world will be willing to embrace the religion of Him who was meek and lowly in its present form. Therefore we have been led to suggest a few alterations and perversion of that holy book; which would, in our opinion, greatly subserve the cause of those who lie in wait to deceive.

Chapter 1

1.   Be ye conformed to the world, and be ye not transformed

2.   If the light that be in you came from Theological Seminaries, how great is that light!

3.   Go ye into all the world and beg money; he that believeth on you and giveth liberally shall have his charity sounded far abroad in the newspapers.

4.   Say ye to him that giveth current money, It shall be well with him; but woe to him that giveth not; call him an Antinomian, a covetous fellow, a publican and a sinner.

5.   Go ye into all the world and establish Sunday Schools; and in them mould the minds of the children to your views, and so prepare them for the polls of your country, that succeeding generations may be provided with rulers, from the President down to the past-master, whose religious characters have been formed in your Sunday Schools; and then verily you shall have your reward.

6.   Go ye into all the world and circulate tracts, and take up collections for the support of Tract Societies, and so enable the officers and agents of that institution to fare sumptuously every day.

7.   Go ye into all the world and plead for the Missionary cause But when ye go, take with you purse and scrip, and many coats, and splendid outfits, with men servants, and maid servants, and horses, and chariots and plenty of money.

8.   Say ye unto the people, The race is unto the swift, and the battle is unto the Strong.

9.   Tell them the Lord’s temple must be built by might, and by strength, and by the use of means, and not by the Spirit of the Lord.

10.   Tell them that the want of money is the root of all evil; and that the heathen may be evangelized and saved for three dollars each.

11.   Say unto them, Ye are redeemed with such corruptible things as silver and gold.

12.   It is of him that willeth and him that runneth. For the Missionary Societies have willed, and their hirelings have run; and it is not of Him that sheweth mercy.

13.   Receive ye honor of one another. Be ye called Rabbi, Doctor of Divinity, Master of Arts, Reverends, Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Secretaries, Treasurers, Agents and by all flattering titles; for the laborer is worthy of his hire.

14.   And when there cometh into your assemblies one who is rich, with costly apparel, say unto him, Come up hither; peradventure he will give you of his abundance. But if a poor man come in, tell him to sit down there on your footstool.

15.   Be ye active in forming all manner of societies, in the name of religion; and sell ye birthrights for money and for price.

16.   Tell the people (and make them believe it if you can), that you have charge of the Lord’s treasury, and that He has sent you to collect funds for Him; and that He is at present greatly straitened for want of cash to carry on His purposes.

17.   And when you get the people’s money, in the Lord’s name, be ye mindful and divide it among yourselves; for ye must have your reward.

18.   True religion, and undefiled before men like yourselves, is to visit the widow and fatherless, and to extort from them the last farthing they possesses, and then make your boast of it in public prints; so shall ye glory in your shame.

Editorial by Gilbert Beebe, Oct. 9, 1833.

The Primitive Baptist Library Quarterly,
Vol. 6, No. 3, October-December 1965.
Published by Elder W. J. Berry,
4023 N. NC Highway 87, Elon, NC 27244.