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Letter to the Editor of The Bible Expositor by Martin Peterson, 1871
Source:  The Bible Expositor (Santa Rosa, California), v. 1, n. 7, pp. 268-270, July 1871.  (Microfilm courtesy of Abilene Christian College, TX; photocopy courtesy of Dr. James V. Spickard, University of Redlands, CA; transcribed by Diana Gale Matthiesen)
268
MOUND SCHOOL HOUSE, Jackson Co., Oregon,
June 5th, 1871.
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DEAR BROTHER JOHNSON:--I take my pen a few moments while my scholars are at play, to write you a few lines in answer to your two very kind letters, which I received in due season.  I thank you kindly for your course in regard to my communication.  And as you requested me to write for your excellent Expositor, I will, by your permission, give a brief exposition of a paragraph I find in the June number, page 228.

"The following donation of labor were (sic) reported, subject to the direction of the Board before the next State Meeting: J.W. Craycroft, one Sunday; San Jose church, one Sunday of N.E. Cory; Thomas Thompson, two Sundays; E.B. Ware, two Sundays; J.W. Webb, one Sunday; N. Porter, two Sundays; James Anderson, two Sundays; in money: John Ware, payable by State Meeting, $5; J.W. Webb, payable at end of year, $5."

Sum total in four months for six preachers and one church, eleven Sundays and ten dollars in money; half the money to be paid by State Meeting.  What does all this
 

269
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mean ?  Is this missionary work ?  Is this a fair representation of what our noble brethren are doing in District No. 2, in California, with the venerable Father Thompson at the head of them ?  Again I ask, is this what men do when districted off by the "Louisville plan," to do missionary work ?  If so, then let me call the mind of my venerable brother back about a score of years before the "Louisville Plan" was born, and see the work, he then did without it, and compare notes.  I was slightly acquainted with Father Thompson a quarter of a century ago.  I should judge he spent about one-third of his week-days, and nearly every Lord's day, in missionary work, for which I do not think he received the ordinary wages for half the week days he spent : the remainder of his time was donated.  And it would not at all astonish me if there could be numbers of similar cases of missionaries exhibited now.  But if a true exposition of the work of building up the churches and spreading the gospel could be had, it would be found to rest largely on individuals and individual congregations, as such, and not on State Meetings, "Louisville Plans," or any other human organism.

But to the exposition.  One man, (Father Thompson) in four months, sixteen Lord's days, and at least twenty week days, donated to missionary work--Old Times !  Louisville Plan; six or seven men, one church, and one State Meeting--eleven Sundays and eleven dollars donated to missionary work !

If I knew the strength of San Jose church, and the power of the State Meeting, I could give a further exposition of the case, but it seems to me that, old times are far in advance, and I fear that if he quits the missionary field, that weeds will destroy what is sown to a great extent, and unsown field will not soon be sown.  Bretheren of District No.2, in Califonia, please inform us what you think about the work done and now doing, by Old Times, and what you are now doing.  Remember I find no fault with your misisonary work.  Perhaps it is all you can do, if so, we thank God for this little, and pray that you may receive strength to do much more for our Master's cause.  And should it be found that the cause of your doing so little is through the plan of doing it, we pray God that you may soon be delivered from it, and fall back on Old Times.

270

With the best of feelings toward you all, and particularly toward Father Thompson, whose name I have used so freely in this imperfect exposition, I subscribe myself,

Your Brother in Christ,
MARTIN PETERSON
Family Group Sheet of Thomas THOMPSON
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