The Support of Laborers; Christian's Obligation to Servants; Combining an Occupation With Service; Work in the West Indies

1 Corinthians 9:13-14
I am anxious about a rumor I heard of your becoming a doctor, and I am sure you will forgive my anxiety for the Lord's sake and yours.... I look to the principle. Christ has ordained that they that preach the gospel should live of the gospel, and it is the clear duty of the church of God to aid those who are given up to the work. If a man can give himself wholly up to the work, and as an extra support himself by a trade he has already-all well. I have known a brother, an evangelist much blessed, who so lived, when at a certain period of the year the people (from work) could not get on weekdays to meetings-and he being a good watchmaker, mended all the watches in the country-the rest of the year was helped by brethren. This is all well.... But when I set about to learn a profession or trade, it is not merely the time, but Christ, and Christ's work, is put in a second place, and faith is set aside as to that, and the church encouraged in want of devotedness. All this seems to me evil. If you were not working for the Lord, your setting to do something would be perfectly right; but you are at the work, and it is saying, I fear—not in your heart perhaps, but as testimony—"I have put my hand to the plow," etc. I have never known but one case where a brother actually wanted: it was not known to brethren: a devoted pioneer, who pushed into unbroken ground in France. He fed on nettle tops, which they use much as spinach, not to give up an open door. The same man has been three times in prison. That was a bright testimony. I doubt you are quite there yet, and have been pinched, but so was Paul, and the Lord has very soon come in to help them. It may seem easy for me who want for nothing to press this on others, but I honestly began by giving up everything, though in point of fact my faith was never tried in that way, as an uncle left me something before I was run out, or very soon after.
But I dread settling the principle, when a man is a laborer, that the church is not to take care that those who labor shall be honored by being temporally cared for: no salary. A man is a servant, but free under Christ in his ministry, and the privilege of the church, as those at Philippi, to be partakers in the grace by helping him who labors in it. It blocks up the path of simple, humble faith. A poor man has no difficulty: and it seems as if an educated person could take this blessed and honored place of service to Christ: working when we can, and are not occupied in the work—all well, as I said. But taking up a profession is really saying I have laid down that of working for the Lord, trusting to Him who knows that we have need of these things.
I have not seen the Lord leave those who have given themselves up to work, trusting Him: and I have seen distress of spirit and greatly hindered usefulness [in those] who, through their wives or own hearts, have turned to other things to help wife or family here. The most beloved and able witness was saved from great injury to his own spirit and usefulness, by its making him thoroughly miserable, and it did hinder him. There it was a wife's doing; but no matter what, the difficulties are what faith has to overcome. I am a very poor one for faith, but I am sure the Lord is sufficient, and that He will never fail us. He may try our faith, but He will meet it and rejoice our hearts.
Here, a small place, there has been really considerable blessing. No doubt many curious ones will drop off, but a goodly number of souls have come under the power of the Spirit and truth of God. We leave (D.V.) this week for Jamaica.... The gracious Lord guide and teach you.
Affectionately yours in Him.
March 9th, 1869.