North Carolina Baptists Before 1830 27
Meeting should conceive such a design, and being patronized by the associations
and churches, should create such a fund, where would be the harm? What evils
would arise from such a decision? Shall we be told that the present aged servants of
the Lord will be outshone by these brilliant stars? Does this objection proceed from
the spirit that actuated Moses when he said, "Would to God that all of God's people
were prophets," or from the declaration of an apostle, who says, "The spirit within
us lusteth to envy"? If from the former, how does it appear? But if from the latter,
how inconsistent with the declaration and desire of the first Baptist! "He must
increase, but I must decrease." Would it not be much more honorable for those
objectors, could they possess the happy temper of mind of an aged minister in
Virginia, who has frequently been heard to say, "Would to God every Baptist
preacher in the world had more grace, better talents, and was more useful than
myself." But, alas, this degree of humility is not the portion of all while in this
imperfect state; but it is the duty of all to seek after it. However, for the consolation
of such as have the above objection, we have the satisfaction to say that such an
establishment will never injure them; for should such a thing ever be brought into
existence, ere it should produce the consequence which they at present dread, they
will be delivered from their present imperfections, and if they are permitted to
revisit the abode of mortals, will, with holy rapture, behold the flourishing state of
Zion, rejoicing that the Lord promotes his cause by abler instruments than they were
while engaged in it here below.9
The above statement indicates that while no provision for min-
isterial education was made by the General Meeting of Corre-
spondence yet it had staunch friends among the most influential
Baptists of the State. The most active of these, so far as our records
reveal, was Martin Ross. He seems to have been reconciled to the
discontinuation of the General Meeting of Correspondence in 1821,
probably for the reason that that being a creature of the Associations
any progressive measure might be vetoed by one of them; there was
no hope that it could ever be made to serve the Baptists of the State in
the promotion of missions and education. Hardly had the Meeting of
Correspondence held its last
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9 From "The Minutes of the General Meeting of Correspondence," published in
the Wake Forest Student for September, 1907. Only the minutes of the years 1812,
1813, 1814, 1816, are given. There were meetings also in 1815, and in the years
1817-21.
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