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Robert Lilly to Lewis Allen Alderson

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Fluvanna Nov 26th 1834

Dear brother in Christ, the copy of the minutes of your Association reached me a few days since, which I was thankful to receive, and as one good turn deserves another, I now send you a copy of ours, you will I am sure be delighted with the circular letter annexed to ours, which you will see was written and once published before, I could however and I think consistent with the word of god, enlarge a little on that part which describes the duty of Churches towards their preachers, not a word is said about ministerial support, some preachers I know in times past would almost start at this idea, now my good brother suppose we just make a few observations on this last subject, but before I enter into that subject, I will just say that the author of the above letter Elder Poindexter was as rich as a Jew, was Clercke of Louisa County, the greater part of his life, his income, more than 1000 dollars per year and his publick declaration when he first began to preach was that he would receive no ministerial compensation

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But every man is not in the same circumstance as our aged brother was, I can freely enter my protest against a practice that is getting a little foothold and even among the Baptist too, I mean that of saying if you will give me so much money I will preach for you, this looks too much like selling the gospel, but  you know there is medium between the extreme of making preachers rich and keeping them in a state of poverty, I could decend to particulars I forbear, I will only say I have the care of two respectable Churches, and that when I consented to take the Pastoral care of each, I had no assurance that I should ever receive one dollar, some of the members contribute somthing, some not a cent, I will venture one more assertion, no person who never has tried it can form any correct idea of the hindrance from our temporal concerns that ministers of the gospel have to encounter, what would you think of a congregation who had the stated monthly labors of a preacher 15 years and never gave him 5 dollars, let him that is taught communicate to him that teachers in all good things, but I have perhaps wearied your patience on this subject, as you are a reader of the Herald you know somthing of what has transpired

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among us, the Church at Mount Gilead enjoyed a precious revival last summer I baptized at one time 38, several more at other times making in all I believe near 70, some more colored persons are now candidates, you have heard of our campinecting at the old stand [XXXXX], since then I baptized I believe about 16 others are waiting, our congregation in regard to campinectings was as completely divided as in the days of Paul when part were Pharisees and part Sadducees, each party no doubt a little too strenuous to carry their point, though upon the whole we hope the meeting was blessed and I think it probable there will be another at the same place about next August, should this be the case come & help us. As it respects our temporal concerns crops of corn was for some few cases of severe affliction in the neighborhood though not many deaths, I am thankful my own family enjoys tolerable health, I am none in my sixty first year I must soon give an account of my stewardship. That I may be enabled to do it joy and not with grief, give my love to all your relations especially those who are of the household of faith, my family all sends their love to you, come and see us when you go to the general [XXX], may the Lord bless you, farewell, Robert Lilly

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PS Bro Eastin has purchased land and is about to move within 5 miles of me, his place is near the 3 chop’d road which leads from Richmond to Charlottesville R. L.

[mailing address] Elder Lewis A. Alderson Hockman Post Office Greenbrier County Va

give my love to the young Mr Ellison’s tell them to go on Jesus died for sinners, tell them to warn the unruly comfort the feeble minded, support the weak &c I have seen their names in your minutes & in the Herald

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