Samuel Wait and the Convention 43
missions. It is perfectly astonishing to find what monstrous tales have been
propagated among this class of persons and by them believed; and it is painful in the
extreme to see how far in some instances brethren of more information and
occasionally ministers of the Gospel have employed and are now employing their
influence
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know whether any or more of such things have been done or not by priests. And if a
missionary should be so zealous as to make appointments, form societies in meeting
houses where the whole church was opposed to missions, and prevent church
conferences without consulting the feelings of the church might we not say, bow
down that I may go over you, or stand aside, ye little folks, and let these stout
fellows come-money makes the mare go.
From page 24-25. Away then with your modern unscriptural, begging, title-
selling systems, the inventions of men to aggrandize priests and receive cash, from
doctor to printer. And I am sorry to say that it is my candid opinion that this
moneyed religion is the religion of covetous priests and the devil; that it will in the
end be a scourge to the church of God, and the nation to which we belong. For it
never yet once failed, where money was poured forth in profusion into the coffers of
priests, but distress to the church of God and nation followed; and all that now is
wanting is only law to aid, and then for cutting throats and fattening money hunting
tyrants with the hard earnings of laboring farmers and mechanics, in luxury, pride
and aggrandizement; while their purse-guts could never be satisfied with gain by
godliness. For a low, money-coveting priesthood are the worst of tyrants; the most
cruel monsters; the cursedest bands of robbers; the greatest destroyers of civil and
religious liberty, that have yet been experienced by any nation on earth. And oh!
Americans ! ye sons of liberty---liberty purchased at the price of blood---reflect,
reflect, on the danger of moneyed religion, and what other nations are groaning
under upon that one account only; and be jealous, yea, hold it a prudent jealousy, to
take an alarm at the first or least attempt on your liberty. For I can tell you that a
money-coveting priest could see you lie in a dark dungeon, loaded with irons,
separated from your wife and children, and lastly led to the stake and burnt, for
refusing to pay them one dollar; for this has been done.
Then I charge you, take care what you do, both with law and begging religion,
for both are equally false if not equally dangerous. And it is the interest of
speculators by good words, fair speeches, and pathetic publications to keep the
people duped as long as they can, because the more gain, from priest to printer. And
it is well if begging religion does not become as distressing to this nation, as ever
law religion did....
And I now say, with a confidence that arises from a knowledge of reading the
scriptures, and making them my companion for thirty-two years, that it cannot be
proved from the scriptures that one of the prophets, Christ, or his apostles, lived as
your missionaries, and of course was not supported in the same manner, by forming
societies, and selling membership, or begging to support the gospel ministry. Your
system then is unscriptural, and is the invention of men, as the Kehukee Association
has said; and is a disgrace to the gospel and the ministerial character, because
ashamed to beg in their own name, but can with good grace solicit donations in the
name of the societies of the day, and then divide the spoil among designing
men.
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