Elder Ira Turner
From the Primitive Monitor
Is modern missionism of true Bible or apostolic origin? or is it of men? Let Mr. Graves answer; Tennessee Baptist, September number, 1860: “Let it be borne in mind, that our Missionary organism originated with our English brethren.” Now, reader, has not Elder Graves told you just what the Old School Baptists have ever been telling you? and I now tell you again. The first Missionary Society was formed in 1792; Cary was born 1751; Fuller in 1754.
Listen to the testimony of Mr. L. J. Crucher. He was a Missionary preacher of some note. He says, “I, with thousands of Missionary Baptists, believe that our present system of Missionary boards, Bible Union Tract societies, together with theological schools, Sunday-schools, and temperance societies, are all anti-christian, and that God intends to break them down and show Baptists a more Scriptural way; and if nothing short of an earthquake will suffice to accomplish the work, then I say, Lord, send the earthquake.”
Now, I ask, when have you ever heard an Old School Baptist say more against this institution than Mr. Crucher, and he is a Missionary Baptist? Now, I want to know where is the man that has the audacity to contradict the word of such a man as J. H. Graves? the best man the Missionary Baptists ever had. There are but few who are his equals in learning and piety, too honest and God-fearing to tell a falsehood about the origin of their human institution. A better historian they have not, besides he lived when the division took place among the Baptists. Where are the men that will dispute his statements, together with Mr. Orchard, another one of their best men, with all European historians, either ancient or modern. Ah! here they are, not yet fifty years old, in the persons of Ray, Duncan, Wallace, and Throgmorton. who now profess to know more than their seniors, who lived when these things were hatched. Strange assumption that a child at fifteen will profess to know more than his father does at forty. Their next plea is, that the regular and separate Baptists once formed a union, and that all believed in the general spread of the gospel by the most efficient means that could be attained to, and after a time we, as Old School Baptists, broke the union and declared ourselves anti-mission. That would be a good plea had the union been a general one on the part of the Old School Baptists. See what their own historian, Mr. Benedict, says about that on page 652. He tells us that on the part of the Regular Baptists there was but one association, the Ketocton, that was connected with six other associations of the separate Baptists. Now, if that one association afterwards withdrew from them and their institutions, it only proves that she represented and came back to her old brotherhood; and were it possible for the Missionaries to do that today, we would gladly receive them. But in what condition do we find them? A mothy class of refugees. There is only one way for them to ever get into our fellowship, and that is to repent and be baptized, every one of them, in the name of Jesus Christ.
Now all Missionary Baptist historians admit that these Missionary societies were introduced among the Baptists about the closing of the eighteenth century, and others that Judson and Rice, when by a hay-stack, prayed the mission spirit down, which statements are an admission that they never were in the world before that time, and if so, is not the mission system an invention? and consequently of men. Have they not a missionary board? Where do they find authority in God’s word for such boards? Have they not a president, vice-president, a secretary, a corresponding secretary, and a treasurer? Do they not sell a life membership in. that board for $100? Do they not sell a membership for $30? Do they not do all this regardless of the purchasers faith, or whether he has any faith at all concerning the gospel? Then have they not evil men in the directorship of their work? Now, if Paul be correct, that the spirit of the prophets are subject to the prophets, are they not subject to ungodly men, since those ungodly men that have bought this life directorship have just as much to say about where their preachers shall preach, and bow they shall preach, and what they shall preach, as the preachers themselves? Now, the Missionaries may come up with all human inventions, but they are all an unspeakable abomination before God. They have the D. D.’s, and the reverends, as higher degrees of the clergy than that known and acknowledged in their directory as Bishop or Elder. These are the highest offices in the church. In this they differ from the true church. Mr. Orchard, quoting from Mosheim, Jones, Robinson, and others, says of these Baptists, “They were called by the Catholic party acephali, (headless,) from having no distinct order of clergy or presiding person in their assembly, and were hooted in councils for calling the established church a worldly community, and for baptizing such as joined their churches.” This, we know, the Missionary Baptists do not do. They receive any that come to them if they have been immersed, no matter by whom. Besides this, what is their general association but a headship to lay plans, to pass resolutions, to invent schemes for collecting money, subject to the next higher order—the board of directors, composed of men who have purchased a life membership therein, regardless of faith; and they may be ungodly men, yet they, as directors, are over them. They hold the reins. They appoint metes and bounds. They appoint a missionary or withhold him, as suits them. They are now dispensing one-half million dollars of Baptist money annually. Are not they the heads and lords of the whole Missionary Baptist fraternity? They cannot carry on their missionary work without them.
But how with the Old School Baptists? They own no establishment. They acknowledge no head but Christ Jesus. They claim the church is the highest ecclesiastical authority on earth. They call upon no higher authority for a preacher, in this world, but they depend upon, “Pray ye therefore the Lord of time harvest to give laborers.” Each church attends to its own affairs, and also its own financial matters. We follow the old rule, Each one laboring with his own hands as much as he can for his own support, just like our own brethren. In the ninth and tenth centuries, Mr. Orchard informs us, page 147, that their preachers were mechanics, weavers, shoemakers, who maintained themselves by their own industry. Would not our reverends, and D. D.’s, feel little now to have to set down at the loom or shoemaker’s bench to labor for their own support? I tell you, take away their stipulated support and they won’t preach. How then can they claim connection with those Ancient Baptists, who preached that money was not the means of building, but rather of destroying the church? How is it with the Missionary Baptists? Where is the fellowship? Where is the purity of communion? Is not money the basis of all their work? Their preachers are hired, and, of course, they have to preach what the people want who hired them, or they will not pay them, and so the whole fraternity is corrupted. Naturally, men do not believe the truth, and they won’t pay a man to preach to them something they don’t believe; and that accounts for many of their preachers, who are conscientious, leaving them and coming to our communion.
But let us hear from those ancient Baptists again. In the twelfth century, Orchard, page 188—9; “They considered every Christian as in a certain measure qualified and authorized to instruct, exhort, and confirm the brethren in their Christian course. All orders of teachers were to resemble exactly the apostles of our Savior, and be like them, poor, and throw their possessions into a fund for the support of the sick; while the healthy were to pursue some trade to gain a daily subsistence. To effect the greater good, many of them led a wandering life throughout the various provinces of Europe, and such itinerants realized considerable success in gaining the affections of the multitude; while some, in their travels, were called to martyrdom.” Let us contrast this old custom with the New School custom of today. Those old primitive preachers had to help labor for the support of the sick, and to feed the poor, but now these modern preachers live in affluence on a salary of a thousand or two thousand dollars a year, and let the sick die in poverty; they are not worthy the notice of the affluent clergy, because they have not been able to pay readily into the treasury for their support. How can such claim kin to those ancient Baptists?
We need not stop now to argue what the practice of the early churches was in
regard to receiving members from other communities by baptizing them, but desire
to notice that as early as the year 455 we find that their views on
predestination became a distinguishing mark, and up to this, time that doctrine
had never been disputed by any professing Christianity; hence it is observed by
Mr. Orchard that these Baptists did not differ from the Catholics on doctrine.
Page 164 he says, “The soundness of the Novatian creed was allowed at Rome, and
the same was seen in the council at Aries, and at Lyons, where, from their views
on predestination, they appear to have been distinguished.” So, you see, that
the doctrine held by them, and they were nearly the same as those we now call
Calvinists, is a stench in the nostrils of the Arminian Missionaries, for they
now pompously glory in being Arminians, which appellation is in honor of James
Arminius, an opponent to John Calvin, who was the first to propagate a doctrine
in opposition to predestination; see Buck’s theological dictionary—Note,
We will now go back to the year 250, about which time Novatian withdrew from Cornelius’ jurisdiction, and from that time, through every century, show that they have practiced what we as Old School Baptists practice now, to-wit: The baptism of all that come to us, whether they are from other communions or not. Novatian began by baptizing all apostates, and while he maintained the severity of the gospel discipline, many observing that harmony and purity of religion prevailed among them, resorted hither to enjoy the sweets of Christianity, and them they baptized.
In the year 500 they held the Catholic community not to be the church of Christ; and, therefore, rebaptized such as had been baptized in that community before they admitted them to fellowship. In 524 it was decreed, that if such as had fallen into the errors of anabaptism, as the Novatianists, should return to the Catholic church, they would be received, provided they had been baptized in the name of the Trinity. But these Baptists made no such distinction; they baptized converts, and rebaptized others. Now, in regard to succession, it is recorded by Mosheim that the brethren beyond the Alps “received their teachers, or the confirmation of their officers to eldership, from the churches in Italy, in 660.” So you see that up to that date we have the same people in Bulgaria and Italy who practiced rebaptism, and imparted the same practice to their brethren beyond the Alps, by appointing them to the eldership of their churches. Besides this, we find the Donatists flourishing in Africa; and they were in communion ‘with the Novatianists and Montanists for about. 400 years; then it is supposed that the remnant of them fled under persecution to their brethren in the valleys. About the middle of the sixth century there was a new sect came into notice in the East. One day a stranger called upon Constantine, an obscure person, who lived in a little town called Mananalis, in Armenia. This stranger had been a prisoner among the Saracens, in Syria. He furnished Constantine with the four Gospels and the epistles of Paul. It is said of them, by Mr. Orchard, that they restored the New Testament order of Things in that country. These Paulicians, as they were called, were inclined to abolish all visible objects of worship but baptism and the communion of the faithful; Orch., page 129. They acknowledged no sacraments but baptism and the Lord’s Supper. They baptized and rebaptized adults by immersion.
We afterwards find them mixed, and numbered in their communion the successors of the Novatianists and Donatists, now under different names, but more particularly that of Waldenses. It is said that the body of Christians in Armenia came over to the Paulicians and embraced their views, and their opinions were silently propagated in Rome, Milan, and in the kingdoms beyond the Alps. And though they were charged with some Manichean errors, Mr. Orchard says they were honorably freed from this reproach by respectable writers.
Now, we have seen that these people held to the doctrines of the gospel, while many thousands of them were put to death, and were reproached with being guilty of rebaptizing all that came to their communion. From these churches were sent colonies, and they were said to have inundated Europe, and some relics of these ancient communities were to be traced till the fifteenth century. Iii the ninth century we find these same people speaking and practicing the same thing, for which cause one hundred thousand of them had their property confiscated, and the owners thereof put to death.
These are the ones that Gibbon, Robinson, Jones, and. others, say bore
evident marks of apostolic spirit. They went without any funds or public society
to countenance or support them in their arduous undertaking; but they went
single-handed and single-eyed to the conflict with every grade of society. So
you see they were not Missionaries of the modern type.
In 1160 Peter Waldo arose, and he, with his followers, renounced all worldly property and interest, making common stock with the poor of the church. From this circumstance their enemies termed them, “The poor of Lyons;” hence they were named Lionists. They mixed with the Waldenses, their sentiment being the same, and were known in general by that name. All historians know that these Waldenses, who, we have already seen, received their appointment to eldership from the Novatianists, always practiced baptizing all that came to their church before admitting them to fellowship, though they might have been baptized elsewhere; and these are the ones that French historians say were almost, in their opinions, the same as those we call Calvinists. In 1179 Alexander III called a council, in which these anti-PedoBaptists were anathematized for disregarding the baptism of infants, who afterwards came to them from the Catholic party. It is evident that it was from the fact that these Baptists ever disregarded the Catholic rights and ceremonies, rejecting their baptism by baptizing all that came to their communion, which the curses and persecutions from the Catholics were brought upon them. In the year 1207 there was an army raised consisting of 500,000 men, and in 1210 they were directed by Alice, Simon de Montford’s wife, and all the inhabitants found were hung on gibbets. A hundred of the inhabitants of Brom had their eyes plucked out and their noses cut off.
“All Bohemian writers,” says Orchard, “state that the Picards, or Waldenses,
settled early in this kingdom, and that these people baptized and rebaptized
such persons as joined their churches, and that they had ALWAYS done so. In the
fourteenth century they numbered 80,000 in this kingdom.” Now, if they settled
early in this kingdom, and did then and always had practiced rebaptism, then we
have 1300 years of a standing practice from the apostles; and the apostle Paul
himself disregarded the baptism of those whom Apollus had baptized before he
understood the nature and purpose of baptism.
We have now shown, through every century down to the sixteenth, that the church always practiced the baptism of adults by immersion upon a profession of their faith, and administered it to all that came to their churches, before admitting them to fellowship. And since, from 1120 on down to the Reformation, and even till now, we have the confession of faith as given us by Jones, Orchard, Coffee, Owen, and others, let it suffice now to give a little quotation from Mr. Orchard of foreign Baptists, page 226: “The purity of their lives, and inoffensiveness in character and conduct of these witnesses of the truth, with the soundness of their religious creed, through the domination of the man of sin, has occasioned almost every class of modem Christians to claim them as their predecessors, but proofs are required to support such claims, and these only will satisfy the impartial inquirer.” And so it is now, though the author quoted is claimed to be a Missionary Baptist, we call upon that Class of Baptists for proofs of their claims to this predecessorship. Can they give it?
But now a claim is made by Protestants that the ancient sect of Waldenses and their brethren quit rebaptizing, and. left off the practice of baptizing only adults upon a profession of their faith. We admit that at that time there were large numbers who had declared for liberty, and. had adopted the practices of the Waldenses, just before the reformation; and very many of these joined Luther in the Reformation, and submitted to his general jurisdiction, and adopted his practices, and left off baptizing adults upon a profession of their possession of faith; but Mr. Orchard says it can not be positively decided that they all did this. In this he is only speaking of the Waldenses, and not of the Picards and. others in different dominions. He then continues by saying that the Baptists were a scattered community, and were now named Anabaptists, (Rebaptizers,) and Picard—Calvinists; Picards, from their practice; and Calvinists from their doctrine.
Allow me to insert here a note concerning these Baptists in the valleys in the north of Spain and south of France: “The antiquity of the Valdenses,” says Mr. Orchard, “is asserted by their friends, and corroborated by their enemies. Dr. Maclaine, in Mosheim’s history, says, ‘We may affirm, with the learned Beza, that these people derived their name from the valleys they inhabited; and hence Peter, of Lyons, was called in Latin, Valdus, because he had adopted their doctrine.’ Reiner Sacco speaks of the Lionists as a sect that flourished for above five hundred years; (back to 750;) while he mentions authors of note among them, who make their antiquity remount to the apostolic age. Theodore Belvedre, a popish monk, says that the heresy, (meaning the Baptists,) had always been in the valleys. In the preface to the French Bible the translators say that they, (the Valdenses,) have always had the full enjoyment of the heavenly truth contained in the holy Scriptures ever since they were enriched with the same by the apostles, having, in fair MSS, preserved the entire Bible in their native tongue, from generation to generation.” “Eckbertus and Emericus, two avowedly open and bitter enemies of the Waldenses, do assert that the new Puritans, (Waldenses,) do conform to the doctrines and manners of the old Puritans, i. e., Novatianists. Beza affirms * * the Waldenses were the relics of the pure primitive Christian churches.” In the sixteenth century these people claimed, “A person is first rightly baptized when lie is received into our society” That is just what the Old School Baptists of today claim.
We now turn our attention to the account of the spread of the Baptists in
European provinces, as given, principally, by Mr. Orchard. They are spoken of,
however by Dr. Affix, and Collier, in 1050, to have come from France, Germany,
and Holland, and are spoken of in England as far back as 1003. In 1140 Mr.
Orchard gives us another account of their being in England. In 1150 they spread
themselves and their doctrines all over Europe. Among other provinces, England
is named as being visited in 1150. Being apprehended and interrogated, Gerard
answered, that they were Christians, and believed in the doctrine of the
apostles; so they were branded with a hot iron and driven into the field.
Moreland asserts, That Walter Lollard, a great preacher on the Rhine, was in
great reputation among his people, for having successfully planted their
doctrines in England in 1318. He was called a Waldensian heretic. It is said of
these people that they supported themselves by manual labor, while the sick were
supported by the contributions of the healthy. They were called Bible men,
because they confined themselves to the Scriptures in every thing they said or
did. Collier says, that in 1531 the sentiments of the Baptists in England were
the same, and in perfect agreement with those maintained by Waldo and the
Waldenses. In this same century they held that there be no distinction among
preachers, and they believed immersion, or Anabaptism, to be true baptism, and
they were so numerous their numbers could scarcely be reckoned. Mr. Fuller says
they were branded with the term Anabaptist, (Rebaptizers,) which in the main
were but the Donatists new-dipped. Again Mr. Orchard proves fatal to the whole
Missionary fraternity—he says, “Every pious and consistent man, from Novatian,
(A. D. 251) to the Bohemian brethren, (A. D. 1459) disowning this, (Catholic)
church and her rites, have renounced those who came from her fellowship to
theirs.” Do the Missionaries do that? If not, they can not claim akin to those
English Baptists. “In 1589,” Burnett says, “there were many Anabaptists in
different parts of England. They held that Romish baptism was no baptism at
all.” In this century Beacon Cramer cried out sadly against those men he calls
gospelers. He says, “Their tongues are tipped with the Scriptures; they can
dispute very copiously for justification by faith, talk with great assurance of
forgiveness by the blood of Christ, and boast of their being entered upon the
list of the predestinated to glory.” They were not Arminians, like the modern
Missionaries are. We read of these Anabaptists, in different parts during
persecution, having fled into Holland and Flanders in shoals; that they were
very numerous. Now, in the latter part of the sixteenth century we read of one
David George, who came from Delpt, in Holland, probably a Mennonite; but Mr.
Brandt thinks he was a member of foreign Baptists in London, as there were some
congregations of low country exiles there. George was quite an eminent man, and
was strictly an Anabaptist. About this time there began to be much controversy
in public preaching on free-will and predestination, and Mr. Orchard allows Mr.
Brandt to have been correct. Some of them were persons professing only a change
in name. We find again, in 1594, that there was an investigation on the
distinction of Calvinism and Arminian views. Neal, Burnett, Collier, Fuller,
Orchard, and others, give an account of their plurality in the sixteenth
century. Suffice it to say, that in 1649, the Baptists increased greatly, and
their opinions spread themselves into some of the regiments of the horse and
foot armies; and in 1670 many of them left their parochial charges, not
approving of the baptism of infants, and collected congregations of such as
agreed with them in this doctrine of baptism, which, by a succession of ordained
ministers in the places of them that are dead, remain till this day.
We desire to give a fair statement of Mr. Smith’s ease, as England was not dependent on him for the existence of Baptists there. Mr. Smith did go to Holland, and was at Amsterdam, but did not join the Baptists there: and, consequently, did not receive baptism and ordination at their hands, but went to Leye, where, it is said, he baptized himself. Why did he not join at Amsterdam, where there were Baptists, and be baptized? Mr. Orchard thinks it was because he was an Arminian. Then it is to be supposed that those Baptists at Amsterdam were Calvinistic.
I now propose to show that from these sound Baptists in Holland, England was again blessed with the right of administering the ordinances. Mr. Kiffin says, “Several sober and pious persons, belonging to the congregation of Dissenters, in London, were convinced that believers were the only proper subjects of baptism; and that it ought to be done by immersion, or dipping the whole body in water, in resemblance of a burial and resurrection, according to Rom. vi, 4; and Col. ii, 12. That they often met together to pray and confer about this matter, and consult what methods they should take to enjoy this ordinance”—baptism in its primitive purity. “Not being certain as to the validity of this administration, they agreed to send over to Holland one Mr. Blount, who understood the Dutch language. He went, carrying with him letters of recommendation, and was kindly received by the church at Amsterdam, and Mr. John Batte, their teacher, who baptized him. On his return he baptized Mr. Samuel Blacklock, a minister, and these two baptized the rest of the company, fifty-three in number.”—Irving’s Hist., vol. 1 p. 143. See Orchard’s Hist, p. 375.
Now there are two points in particular that I desire to notice. (1.) That England had a regular order of succession from the original Baptists that were not Arminians, and the same succession comes down to us. (2.) That these Amsterdam Baptists were not Missionaries of the modern type, but that those English brethren had to send to them, and recommend a man to be set apart to administer the ordinances; so you see that England does not owe her thanks to the Missionary labor of the modern type, for the blessings of the gospel she now enjoys. Now, remember these things occurred in the seventeenth century and the beginning of the eighteenth, while America was being rapidly settled with emigrants from the different nationalities, and especially from England.
And now for the remainder of their history we are indebted to American historians, and mostly to Missionary Baptists; though we have some authentic historians of our own, whose testimony is undeniable. The first Baptist church founded in America was at Newport, Rhode Island. This church was constituted by Dr. John Clark, in 1638, and is still in existence. The late Elder Coffee, with whom I was personally acquainted, in his history gives the following inscription, as engraved on his tomb:
“TO THE MEMORY OF DR JOHN CLARK,
One of the original purchasers of this, (Rhode Island,) and one of the founders of the first Baptist church in Newport; its first pastor, and munificent benefactor. He was a native of Bedfordshire, England, and a practitioner of physic in London. He, with his associates came to this island from Massachusetts in March 1638 O. S., and on the 24th of the same month obtained a deed thereof from the Indians. He shortly after gathered the church aforesaid and became its pastor. In 1651, he, with Roger Williams, was sent to England by the people of Rhode Island Colony to regulate the business of the colony with the British ministry. Mr. Clark was instrumental in obtaining the charter of 1663 from Charles II, which secured to the people of the States free and full enjoyment of judgment of conscience in matters of religion. He remained in England, to watch over the interests of the colony, until 1664, and then returned to Newport and resumed the pastoral care of his church. Mr. Clark and Mr. Williams, two fathers of the colony, strenuously and fearlessly maintained that none but Jesus Christ had authority over the affairs of conscience. He died April 20. 1676, in the 66th year of his age, and is here interred.”
I need not fear that the Missionary Baptists will charge that we are indebted to Roger Williams for American Baptists, as their own historian, Ray, of Kentucky, has successfully denied that. Suffice it to say, that Roger Williams not only renounced that church very soon, but also all church organization, and joined the Seekers. The date given in which Dr. Clark gathered his church, is one year in advance of the one gotten up by Roger Williams. But we are not dependent upon either of these, says Elder Coffee, for our line of succession. We had a number of ministers who came over from Europe and established churches in this country. The Welsh Tract church was organized in Wales in 1701, and emigrated there from in church capacity and settled in Pennsylvania, where it remained two years; it then finally settled at Welsh Tract, Delaware, in 1703. This church was organized with sixteen members, and with Thomas Griffith, its pastor, sailed from Wales to America on the ship James and Mary, in 1701, the same year it was constituted, and kept up her church meetings while on board the vessel. Said organization still exists, and still maintains the doctrines and practices of the Regular Baptists. Mr. Ray would insinuate that this church had taken sides with the Anti-mission Baptists, and thereby impaired its usefulness. Now, before going any farther, I want to give the direct line of this Welsh succession. In the reign of the Welsh king, Cassibellan, and fifty years before the birth of our Savior, the Romans invaded the British Isles, but having failed in consequence of more important wars, they made peace with them and dwelt among them many years. During this period many Welsh families visited Rome, and among them there was a woman named Claudia, and she was married to a man named Pudens. At the same time Paul was sent a prisoner to Rome, and preached there in his own hired house for the space of two years, about the year of our Lord 63, Pudens and Claudia, his wife, who belonged to Caesar’s household, through the blessing of God received Paul’s preaching and made a profession of the Christian religion. These, together with other Welshmen who had made like profession, exerted themselves on their countrymen in Wales, who were at that time vile idolaters. The gospel was extensively spread in Britain during this period. We learn from Tertulian and Origen, that in 130 there were two eminent ministers among them—Tagannus and Dannanus. During this year Lucius, the Welsh king, was baptized. In the year 469 the Saxons invaded Britain, and burnt the meeting-houses in Cambria— Wales. During this century these Christians suffered greatly at the hands of their Saxon foes, yet they had several eminent and able ministers among them, among whom was Gildas, a man of learning, and Dyfrig, Dynaut, Trelo, Padara, Pawlin, and Daniel. Now, up to the year 600, the rites of the Romish church were not known among the Welsh Baptists; but about this time Austin was sent by Gregory, Bishop of Rome, to convert the Saxons. In this he was measurably successful. He sought and obtained a conference with the Welsh Baptists near the border of Wales, at a place ever afterwards known as Austin’s Oak, and there tried to impose the rites of the Catholic church upon them; but they utterly refused. Then he brought the behest down to three things, and one of them was, that they preach unto the Saxons the word of God. This they refused to do. Wasn’t that curious? Wouldn’t preach to the poor, perishing Saxons! I reckon they did not believe in preaching to sinners, did they? Ah! They were too sound as Baptists to accept a missionary agency from Mr. Austin. No wonder that Mr. Ray thinks that the Welsh Tract church took sides with the Anti-mission Baptists. That is the way she was constituted in Wales, and that is the way all Old Baptists were, up to near the close of the eighteenth century.
For men to rise up with all the shackles of Roman traditions, such as missionism, and Sunday-schools, to catechize their children, with all the other institutions devised by human policy, and then claim that they are the original Baptist church, established by Christ and his apostles, is entirely too late. The Philadelphia Association seems to be a great rallying fort for the Missionaries. I have not the means at hand of knowing just what they are now, nor does it matter, as many churches and associations have apostatized from their original faith on which they were constituted, and have gone into missionism and other heresies. The church at Rome was once an orderly body, but apostatized into that rugged beast of ten horns. So may the Philadelphia Association now be a Missionary body, but our object is to show what she was when constituted, and then all can see that she was not a Missionary body at that time. Now, if you will turn to Benedict’s history, page 606, you will find that in 1775 an application was made for the association to ordain an itinerant minister to officiate among them, but so cautious were they of doing any thing which could be construed into an assumption of power, that they declined. So you see this is the first introduction of any thing from the missionary spirit into that association. If it was introduced at that time, 1775, where was it before? It was not among the Baptists of the Philadelphia Association. She was the same in practice and doctrine that the Regular Baptists ever have been, and are to this day. Now we have what is known as the London confession of faith, adopted by over one hundred congregations at London, England, in 1689; and, in 1742, the Philadelphia Association adopted them, and as there are twenty-four of them, we can’t here insert them all, but that our readers may know of her soundness, we insert the third article:
“ARTICLE 8. Those of mankind that were predestinated to life before the
foundation of the world was laid, according to God’s eternal and immutable
purpose, in the secret council of his will, he hath chosen in Christ unto
everlasting glory, out of his mere free grace and love, without any other thing
in the creature as a condition moving him thereunto. As God has appointed the
elect unto glory, so he hath by the eternal and most free purpose of his will
foreordained all the means thereunto. Wherefore, they who are elected, being
fallen in Adam, are redeemed in Christ; are effectually called unto faith in
Christ by his Spirit working in due season; are justified, adopted, sanctified,
and kept by his power through faith unto salvation.”
The ninth article reads, “Those whom God has predestinated unto life, he is pleased in his appointed and accepted time, effectually to call, by his word and Spirit out of the state of sin and death in which they are by nature to grace of salvation by Jesus Christ.” How would a conscientious preacher feel to adopt that article in his Confession of faith, and then find himself in a congregation of sinners, straining his lungs at the top of his voice, crying, “Oh, sinners, I am here to call you to Christ? Will you let conviction reach your hearts tonight, while the Lord, by his Spirit, is wooing and beseeching you? Oh, sinner, Jesus is ready and willing to save you. Come, just now, and fall in with the overtures of offered mercy and he saved before it is everlastingly and eternally too late.” Then just let his mind drop back to his confession, which says, “Those that are predestinated unto life, God will effectually call by his Spirit, in his appointed time.” Would he not feel that he had been acting very inconsistent? Now here you can see the non-identity of the one and the identity of the other, and it’s so to this day. We as Old School Baptists, hold just what the Philadelphia Association did in 1775, before the modem mission spirit was born in America.