THE REGULAR BAPTISTS, OFTEN CALLED MISSIONARY BAPTISTS, ARE THE “OLD” OR PRIMITIVE BAPTISTS.
Unable to meet the overwhelming testimony for Baptist Church Perpetuity, Baptist opponents attempt to “darken counsel” by asking: “But who are the 'old Baptists?'” Some of them, when meeting the Regular Baptists, affirm “the Anti-missionary Baptists are the oldest;” when meeting the Anti-missionary Baptists, they affirm the “Regular Baptists are the oldest!!”
Inasmuch as Baptist history demonstrates that in every age, in non-essential matters, Baptists have differed from Baptists of other ages, by such matters we are not to identify Baptist churches of the present with those of the past. Thus, speaking of 1691, Crosby says: “If I am not mistaken this was the first church of the Baptists that practiced the holy ordinance” of singing in public worship.1 In the early history of American Baptists whenever a preacher changed his field he was re-ordained. When a preacher “got out of his parish he was nobody.”2 In the latter half of the last century protracted meetings were unknown among Baptists.2 In 1840, Baptists protracted meetings often continued a year.2 † Church houses, singing books, associations, and many other things to which Baptists hold, are not…
† Why does not some opponent of Church Perpetuity attempt to prove, by these different customs, that Baptists of the nineteenth century are not the successors of Baptists of the eighteenth!
1 Crosby's Hist. Eng. Bap., vol. 1, p. 299.
2 Prof. Whitsitt's Lect. to his Classes.
…mentioned in the Bible and have been unknown to ages of Baptist history. While the constitution and the organization of the churches is, in the New Testament, in particulars, prescribed and described their methods of work and most of the forms of their worship are left to be decided by the spirit of the gospel and sanctified common sense. Missionary boards, like associations, hymn books, etc., are of comparatively modern origin. Like associations, etc., missionary boards, are mere Baptist expediencies, not being essential to the existence of Baptist churches. Anti-missionary Baptists had as well — because they have associations, hymn books, and many other customs which ancient Baptists did not have — deny that they themselves are the “Old Baptists” as to deny that the Regular Baptists are the “Old Baptists,” because they have missionary boards. Since the Anti-mission Baptists have neither missions, pastors' support, nor educational enterprises, the question, dividing the two, is REALLY NOT PLANS OF MISSIONS, OF EDUCATION, BUT IT IS MISSIONS OR NO MISSIONS, AND EDUCATION OR NO EDUCATION, AND MINISTERIAL OR NO MINISTERIAL SUPPORT. It is whether the churches shall do any missionary and educational work and support their ministers.
Regular Baptists do all this. Anti-missionary Baptists not only do not this, but they bitterly oppose it — so bitterly that they would exclude From, their fellowship any who should do these obligations. † That the churches, when able to do so, should so support their ministers as to leave them free from all worldly care, is, from the following Scriptures as clear as that Christ is the Son of God: “The laborer is worthy of his hire.” — Luke 10:7. “Let…
† They sometimes make little gifts to their preachers. But they would so starve them out that I have never known one of them whom the church, by supporting, freed from the entanglements of the world.
…the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in word and doctrine. For the Scripture saith: 'Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And the laborer is worthy of his reward.'” — I Tim. 5:17-18. “Who goeth a warfare at his own charges? * Who planteth a vineyard and eateth not of the fruit thereof? * Or who feedeth a flock and eateth not of the milk thereof?* Say I these things as a man, or saith not the law the same also? † For it is written in the law of Moses: 'Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn.' Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt this is written. …If we have sown to you in spiritual things is it a great thing if we should reap your carnal things? …Even so HATH THE LORD ORDAINED THAT THEY WHO PREACH THE GOSPEL SHOULD LIVE OF THE GOSPEL.” — I Cor. 9:7-11-14. Paul, in order that he should not prejudice the heathen, in planting the Corinthian church, charged nothing for his services, but says: “I robbed other churches, taking WAGES from them to do you service.” — II Cor. 11:8): Therefore, Paul says it is as unlawful for a preacher to make his living as for a soldier to do so — “no man that warreth, entangleth, himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who chose him to be a soldier. And if a man strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned except he strive lawfully. The…
* The Anti -missionary Baptist preachers do.
† Thus, we see that Paul teaches that gospel ministers are to be as well supported as were the Jewish.
† The word, here rendered “wages,” Thayer's Lex., defines: “A soldier's pay, allowance that part of a soldier's pay given to soldiers in place of pay, (i. e; rations) and the money in which he is paid.” Here is express authority for “salaried preachers.” But it is no authority for the wickedness of making money the object und motive of preaching.
…husbandman that laboreth must first be partaker of the fruits.” — II Tim. 2:4-6.
Turning to history, we find that during ages persecution prevented Baptists from building educational institutions and conducting missions on as extensive a scale as today, or supporting their pastors as well as today. But, such opportunities as they had for this work were often improved. The Waldenses, etc., were preeminently a missionary church, their missionaries so widely scattering the gospel seed as to revolutionize Europe, produce the Reformation, and, consequently, the liberty and the Christianity of our own times. Whittier has put into verse the story of a secret possessor of a precious Biblical manuscript, a traveling Waldensian merchant, who guardedly unfolds his treasure to a noble lady, to whom he had been exhibiting his costly silks:
“Oh lady fair, I have yet a gem, which purer lustre flings
Than the diamond flash of the jewelled crown on the lofty brow of kings;
A wonderful pearl of exceeding price, whose virtue shall not decay,
Whose light shall be as a spell to thee and a blessing on thy way?
The cloud went off from the Pilgrim's brow as a small meager book,
Unchased with gold or gem of cost, from his flowing robe he took.
Here, lady fair, is the pearl of price, may it prove as much to thee.
Nay, keep thy gold, I ask it not, for the Word of God is free.”
The reader here turn to and read pages 189-190 of this book — the statements of Professors Osgood and Everts as to the ancient Baptists being missionary Baptists.
But, the split between the Regular Baptists and the Anti-missionary Baptists having occurred in the early part of the nineteenth century I will come to a later and more historical period.
The London Confession, “put faith by the elders and brethren of many congregations of Christians (baptized upon a profession of their faith) in London and the country,” A. D. 1689, which both sides recognized and both used as their main confession before the split, reads: “The work of pastors being constantly to attend the service of Christ, in his churches, in the ministry of the word and prayer, with watching for their souls as those who must give an account to him; it is incumbent on the churches to whom they minister, not only to give them all due respect, but also to communicate to them in all good things, according to their ability, so that they may have a comfortable supply; without being themselves entangled in secular affairs; and may also be capable of exercising hospitality towards others; and this is required by the law of nature, and by the express order of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath ordained that they that preach the gospel should live of the gospel.”1
The General Association of “Particular” or “Calvinistic” Baptists of England and Wales — the one which adopted the Confession, just quoted, which was first2 published in 1677 — which met “to consult of proper means to advance the glory of God and the well being of their churches,” raised a fund of money: (1.) “To communicate thereof to those churches that are not able to maintain their own ministry; and that their ministers be encouraged wholly to devote themselves to the great work of preaching the gospel. (2.) To send ministers that are
1 London Confession of 1689, chap. 26. sec. 10; in Cutting's Hist. Vindication, p. l6; Crosby's Hist. Baptists, vol. 3, p. 102; Goadby's Bye Paths to Baptist History, p. 228.
2 Crosby's Hist. Baptists, vol. 3, p. 258.
…ordained, or at least, solemnly called to preach the gospel in both country and city where the gospel hath or hath not yet been preached, and to visit churches. (3.) To assist those members that shall be found in any of the aforesaid churches, that are disposed to study, have an inviting gift, and are found in fundamentals, in attaining to the knowledge and understanding of the languages, Latin, Greek and Hebrew.”1
The ministers and messengers of thirteen churches, “in and about London, in assembly, in 1704, recommended;” “That it would be highly useful, that a fund of money be settled and maintained, either by subscriptions or collections, as each church shall think most expedient, for the education of pious young men …for the better fitting of them for the work of the ministry; and also, for the furnishing of others, who have not time to attain the knowledge of tongues and some other parts of useful learning, with such English books as may be thought most proper, for their assistance and improvement. And that this be recommended to each particular church.”2
Of ministers supporting themselves: “In some places this was occasioned through the necessity, the people being poor, and few in number, and exposed to many hardships by persecution, for that they were obliged to it for the support of themselves and families; and when it is thus no one can justly blame either the minister or the people. * …Upon the glorious Revolution in 1688, whereby not only the nation in general was delivered from popery and slavery, but the Protestant Dissenters…
* The position of “Missionary Baptists.”
1 Crosby's Hist. Baptists, vol. 3, pp. 251-252, Ivimey's Hist. Eng. Baptists, vol. 1, pp. 491-493; Goadby's Bye Paths to Bap. Hist., p. 205.
2 Crosby's Hist. Eng. Bap., vol. 4, p. 7; Goadby's Bye Paths to Bap. Hist., p. 216.
…from their hardships which they had long suffered from the established church, they endeavored to effect a reformation in this matter; † and having now their liberty secured them by law, they hoped to maintain a more regular ministry, and provide better for their maintenance. And the first thing they proposed in order to this, was to publish a treatise in vindication of this rite, and therefore fixed on Mr. Keach as the most proper person to do it. Accordingly a small treatise was prepared, in which Mr. Keach effectually proves it to be the duty of every congregation, if capable of it, to maintain their minister. …And that this treatise might come forth with the more authority, and tend the better to answer the good design of its being published, it is recommended to all the congregations of baptized believers in England and Wales by several of the ministers, thus: “Beloved Brethren, we having read and considered this ensuing treatise, and do conclude it may be of great profit to the churches of Jesus Christ. We fearing some congregations have not so duly weighed and considered the matter of their indispensable duty to the ministry, in respect of providing such a maintenance for those who labor amongst them, and are over them in the Lord, as they ought to do, by which means it may be feared that many of them may be hindered or obstructed in attending to their work, in serving Christ and his people, as the nature of their sacred employment and office requires; and the present day especially calls for, and as the Lord himself hath ordained. Therefore our earnest desires are, that our brethren, both ministers and members, would be pleased to get this little book, and both read and well weigh what is said therein.”1 This was in July, 1688.
† A Reformation many of our churches are suffering for.
1 Crosby's Hist. Eng. Baptists, vol. 4, pp. 293-295.
An act of a General Assembly of these same Baptists, held in London, from May the 3d to May the 24th, 1692, reads: “That all churches make quarterly collections, in what method they think best for the encouragement of the ministry, by helping those ministers that are poor, and to educate brethren that may be approved, to learn the knowledge of those tongues, wherein the Scriptures are written.”1
Says Ivimey of the English Baptist church of this period: “Their example, too, is worthy of imitation, as they strove to promote General Association of the churches who were agreed in doctrine and discipline; in providing the advantages of literature for young ministers; and in catechising the children of the congregation. The weekly money subscription …was adopted and recommended by a general assembly of the ministers and messengers of more than one hundred churches in London in 1689.”2
In the beginning of the last century Thomas Hollis, a London merchant, and whom Crosby calls “a Baptist by profession” and who wrote of himself, “who profess myself a Baptist,”3 in the Harvard College founded two professorships, one for divinity, the other for mathematics and material and experimental philosophy. Out of the incomes as interest of his donations, he ordered four score pounds per annum in our money to each of the professors, and ten pounds apiece per annum to ten poor scholars of laudable character, designed for the work of the gospel ministry, as a help to defray the charge of their education.”4 *
*Crosby's last volume of History was published A. D.1740; Ivimey's in 1830. Crosby's was published long before the split; Ivimey's when it was occurring. About 1792 —long before the “split” was thought of or an Anti-mission Baptist existed — the “Particular Baptist Society for Propagating the Gospel Among the Heathen” was organized.
1 Crosby's Hist. Eng. Baptists, vol. 3, p. 265, Goadby's Bye Paths to Bap. Hist., p. 209.
2 Ivimey's Hist. Eng. Bap., vol. 2, p. 10; of its introduction.
3 Crosby's Hist. Eng. Bap., vol. 4. p.206; Backus' Hist. Bap., vol. 1, p. 510.
4 Crosby's Hist. Eng. Bap., vol. 4, p. 229; Backus' Hist. Bap., vol. 1, pp. 495-512.
The Somerset Association, in England, at its meeting in 1655, recommended that the churches “follow after largeness of heart …in the maintenance of those who dispense the word unto you, that such dispensers may give themselves wholly unto the work.”1
The Midland Association, in England, at its meeting in 1655, made a similar recommendation, and that, by money, the churches enter into “a joint carrying on of any part of the work of the Lord.''2
On Mr. Hardcastle, accepting the call of the Broadmead church, 1671, we read: “They subscribed every one according to their ability …to be delivered twenty pounds † each quarter to the said pastor. And that it might be paid, it was ordered that every person bring in their quarterage a month before every usual quarter of the year. And so they all that could give came one after another into the said room, and told what they were of themselves free to pay, and then straightway returned out of the room into the meeting again. …It pleased the Lord to stir up their hearts to raise the said sum of eighty pounds per annum; for some servants subscribed ten shillings * per year, others six shillings; other members mean in the world, but rich in grace, gave ten shillings, others twenty, some thirty shillings, some others forty shillings, some fifty shillings, some three pounds, some four pounds per annum, one five pounds, and another six pounds per annum. Of those who subscribed to the pastor's maintenance there is to be observed the grace of God in some. One aged brother, named Henry…
† This was $397.26 per year — a much better support than pastors now generally receive.
* About $2.40. Think of this as the life of the genuine “Old Baptist,” when we have men in our churches owning fine farms who do not give this much!
1 Goadby's Bye Paths to Bap. Hist., p. 184.
2 Idem, p. 187; Andrew Fuller's Works, vol. 1, p. 52.
Pierce, a very mean poor man to appearance, in person and habit, and by profession or trade but a journeyman or shoemaker, that lived up in a cock-loft, yet his heart was so enlarged for and by the Lord that he would subscribe, and did pay, not less than twenty shillings per annum. And one other member, a sister named Margaret Webb, that had two children to maintain, that lived very near, and took great care to carry the world about, to live therein honestly toward all and labored very hard so to do, yet she would subscribe towards the carrying on of the gospel, and did pay forty shillings per year. Which example did provoke, if not shame, * others.”1 Eight years after this, this good sister died, and the records of this church read: “Sister Webb, one of the deaconesses, was interred after the meeting was done at Walbarrows. She was about sixty-four years of age. …She left a good savour behind her; did much good with her little. She labored hard in her way of distilling waters, and gave constantly while she lived forty shillings a year for the pastor and left fifty pounds for the use of the congregation.”2
Goadby says of English Baptists of the early part of the seventeenth century: “It was a standing rule in most of their churches that all absent members should send their weekly contribution to the church's treasury, † …Therefore are not many indications in the middle of the seventeenth century that the Baptists had any great need to spur the flagging generosity of their members. It is…
* Let this have the same effect on the illiberal soul who reads this. This amount was about $10.60.
† This rule all our churches ought to adopt and enforce. By it “absent” members would not only continue to help, but would, in many cases, be prevented from carelessness and backsliding.
1 Broadmead Becords, pp. 162-163; Goadby's Bye Paths to Baptist History, p.229.
2 Idem, p. 404; Goadby's Bye Paths to Baptist History, p. 240.
…toward the close of that century that we first meet with symptoms of the decline of their fervor and benevolence. …By and by we begin to find minutes about 'the increase of covetousness.'”1
Turning more to the history of the Welsh Baptists of the seventeenth century, we read: “In the Association held at Abergavenny, this church proposed to revive the old plan of supporting ministers in weak and destitute churches. …William Thomas was appointed home missionary for six months and received from Swansea five pounds; Llantrisaint, two pounds and ten shillings; Carmarthen, two pounds and ten shillings. …Our Welsh brethren were great advocates for the ancient order of things. They adopted the old plan of supporting missionaries. The gospel through the channel of missions has made its way to many parts of the world.”2
August, 1711, the Biaenaugwent church resolved “Never to grieve their ministers, who should labor among them in word and doctrine, but cheerfully to assist them in temporal things.”3 The churches of the Welsh Association “doubled” their contributions to missions.4 “In the year 1654 there were several young men in this church — Llanwenarth church — who were exercising their gifts as public speakers …and as the church had increased considerably they contributed thirty pounds for the support of their minister that year.”5 “The Welsh ministers received money from the London fund.”5 In the Llanwenarth church “James Edwards commenced…
1 Goadby's Bye Paths to Baptist History, p, 308.
2 Davis' History Welsh Baptists, p. 31.
3 Idem, p. 69.
4 Idem, p. 85.
5 Idem, p. 98.
the work of the ministry in 1750. He also went to the same college. …Morgan Harris …went to Bristol College in 1776.”1 “John Phillips was baptized in 1720. Having exercised his gifts for some time he went to Bristol College. …He returned to Wales and preached at Usk for some time.”2 Speaking of the Welsh Baptists at the time when the “split” occurred, † Davis says: “The traveling preachers received a stated sum, so that a man of a strong constitution, who can preach twice every day, as Christimas Evans, John Elias and others do, would receive a considerable sum for his services. For this purpose the churches have a fund or treasury.”3 *
* The following from the London Freeman, of 1892, corrects a report which is almost received as history: “The assertion which has appeared in print several times recently that the Rev. John Ryland, Sr., M. A., father of Dr. Ryland, said to Dr. (then Mr.) Carey, when the latter suggested at a meeting of ministers at Northampton, in 1785 or 1786, the duty of sending the gospel to the heathen: 'Young man, sit down; when God wishes to convert the heathen he will do it without your help or mine,' is not true. Dr. Ryland in his Life of Andrew Fuller, says in afoot note on page 112, sec. ed., that his father had left Northampton before the minister's meeting of 1876, and that he (Dr. Ryland) well remembered both of the discussions which took place at the minister's meeting in 1785 in which 'no room was left for that ill natured anecdote.' Dr. Ryland also says: 'I never heard of it until I saw it in print and I cannot credit it. No man prayed and preached about the latter day glory more than my father, nor did I ever bear such sentiments proceed from his lips as are here attributed to him. It is true he admitted the idea of a personal reign of Christ upon the earth between the first and second resurrection, and supposed that this period is properly to be styled the millennium; but he also expected that long before this the gospel would be spread all over the world and I never remember his expressing an expectation of miraculous gifts being granted for that end.' Mr. Ryland, Sr., died July 24, 1792. Dr. Rippon preached his funeral sermon, in which he says among the last things Mr. Ryland read, 'and with which he was much pleased' was his son's circular letter to the Northampton Association of that year. The subject of the letter was 'Godly Zeal,' and in it Mr. Ryland, Jr., specially recommends to serious attention 'the sketch which Bro. Carey has lately given of the state of the heathen world, and proceeds in moving terms to invoke compassion, prayer and a tion. In the face of this testimony to the baselessness of the anecdote ought the memory of a devoted and energetic servant of God to be blackened by an imputation so utterly out of keeping with the writings he has left behind and with all family traditions of his sayings?”
A LINEAL DESCENDANT OF JOHN RYLAND.
† There has been no split outside of the United States. The “Missionary Baptists” being yet in line with their brethren of Europe is presumptive proof that they are the “Old Baptists.”
1 Davis' Hist. Welsh Bap., p. 100.
2 Idem, p. 111.
3 Idem, p. 202.
The missionary and the educational work of European Baptists was, by Baptist immigrants, and otherwise, carried into the United States of America. The Philadelphia Baptist Association, was organized in 1707, the Charleston, in 1751, and the Warren, in 1767. These three associations figure more in the early history of American Baptists than do any others. The Philadelphia association is the oldest of American Baptist associations. In the first century and a quarter of its history it did probably more in giving type to the Baptists of America than all other associations within that time did.
In 1764, the Philadelphia association “agreed to inform the churches to which we respectfully belong, that inasmuch as a charter is obtained in Rhode Island government, toward erecting a Baptist college, the churches should be liberal in contributing towards carrying the same into execution.”1 At its meeting in 1766, it “agreed to recommend warmly to our churches the interests of the college, for which subscription is opened all over the continent. This college hath been set on foot upwards of a year, and has now in it three promising youths under president Manning.”2 At its meeting in 1767 it “agreed that the churches should be requested to forward the subscription for Rhode Island college.”3 In the minutes of 1769, we read: “We receive pleasing accounts from Rhode Island college. …The colony has raised 1,200 pounds towards the building, which will begin early in the spring. About 1,000 pounds lawful currency of .New England, have been sent us from home towards making up a salary for the president; and all †…
† Not an Anti-missionary Baptist preacher in this mother of American Baptist associations.
1 Minutes Philadelphia Association, p. 91.
2 Idem, p. 99.
3 Idem, r. 101.
…the ministers of the association have explicitly engaged to exert themselves in endeavoring to raise money for the same purpose. …Voted that fourteen pounds Jersey currency be given Mr. Thomas Eustick, towards defraying * his expenses at college.”1
In its minutes of 1774, we read: “The minutes and letters from Charleston association, South Carolina, were read. The plan adopted by them respecting Rhode Island college recommended to us. Agreed to recommend the same to the churches we stand respectively related unto; and whoever shall see good to contribute to the money so gathered, agreeable to the plan to be remitted
…or brought unto next association.”2 At its meeting of 1774, it says: “The money raised for increasing the fund of Rhode Island college is as follows,” etc.3
Prof. Whitsitt says; “Why didn't they found the college at Philadelphia? I suppose the motive that sent them to Rhode Island was the desire to do a work for the Baptists in that part of the world. And I presume this was the best way of capturing Rhode Island.”4 Thus BROWN UNIVERSITY STANDS AS MOST CONCLUSIVE PROOF THAT THE REGULAR BAPTISTS — often called Missionary Baptists — ARE THE “OLD BAPTISTS.”
We have seen that the Philadelphia association at its meeting in 1769, raised money to educate Thomas Eustick for the ministry. At its meeting in 1790, it says; “As it appears expedient that Mr. Silas Walton should continue another year under the tuition of Dr. Jones, and as Mr. Carter, of Virginia, has generously…
* What so-called “Old Baptist” association ever raised a dollar to educate a young man for the ministry.
1 Minutes Philadelphia Association, p. 109-110.
2 Idem, p. 135.
3 Idem, p. 142.
4 Prot. Whitsitt's Lect. to his Classes.
…given five pounds towards his assistance, it is agreed that we will be accountable for twenty pounds in addition thereto.”1 In the minutes of 1791, we read: “Voted that the money raised last year, remaining in the treasury's hands, be allowed on the usual terms, to brother David Stout, who is a candidate for the ministry.”2 In its minutes of 1792: “Elders Patten, Chugan and Vaughn, agree to travel for three months in the ensuing year …to preach the gospel to the destitute; and this association recommend that a sufficient sum be subscribed by the churches, and paid immediately into the hands of Col. Samuel Miles, to bear their expenses.”3 In its minutes of 1722 we read: “It was proposed for the churches to make inquiry among themselves, if they have any young persons hopeful for the ministry, and inclinable for learning, and if they have to give notice of it to Mr. Able Morgan …that he might recommend such to the academy on Mr. Hollis' account.”4 In its minutes of 1800 we read: “It is recommended to our churches that a sermon be annually preached among them, and after it a collection be made, the amount to be forwarded to the association at their subsequent meeting, in order to augment the fund for the education of 'such pious young men as appear promising for usefulness in the ministry of the gospel.”5
At its meeting in 1794 it said: “In consequence of information communicated to this association by brother William Rogers, it is desired that all donations for the propagation of the gospel among the Hindoos, in the East Indies, be forwarded to him.”6 In the minutes of 1795 we read: “Agreed that the church be advised to make…
1 Minutes Philadelphia Association, p. 254.
2 Idem, p. 271.
3 Idem, p. 283.
4 Idem, p. 27.
5 Idem, p. 350.
6 Idem, p. 298.
…collections for the missionaries to the East Indies.”1 At its meeting in 180O it “Resolved, that it be particularly urged on our churches, that, as stewards of God, and influenced by a strong desire to spread the cause of our blessed Redeemer, they endeavor to raise, as early as possible, and to maintain a fund for the assistance of such ministers as may be called to supply destitute churches, or otherwise publish the gospel in their connection. …The church of Philadelphia having presented a query on the propriety of forming a plan for establishing a missionary society: This association, taking the matter into consideration, think it would be most advisable to invite the general committee of Virginia and different associations on the continent to unite with us in laying a plan for forming a missionary society, and establishing a fund for its support, and for employing missionaries among the natives of' our continent.”2 In its minutes of 1803 w e read: “The plan of a missionary society was read, and with some alteration approved and recommended. It also recommended that sermons be preached for the education and mission funds.”3
Silas Hart, 1795, died and left to the Philadelphia association, by will, “property sufficient to yield an
annuity of fifty pounds, to be kept in the hands of trustees and applied to the education of' young preachers.”4 Living at that time, Semple says: “This is certainly an important case to the Baptists of Virginia.”4
Roanoke association of Virginia, at its meeting in May, 1809, had before it “the erection of Baptist seminaries of learning” as among the subjects “of the…
1 Minutes Philadelphia Association, p. 307.
2 Idem, p. 350.
3 Idem, p. 381.
4 Semple's History Virginia Baptists, pp. 192-193.
…greatest importance to which it attended.”1 At its meeting in 1807, “considerable agitation of mind was excited …in consequence of a query introduced from the church at Charlotte: Whether it was a maxim established among the Baptists, that 'human learning is of no use.' This query arose out of an illiberal assertion, contained in a letter to Mr. Rice, a Presbyterian preacher, of Charlotte, to the chairman of the committee of missions, and which was published in the assembly's Missionary Magazine, † of May, 1807; in which Mr. Rice declares, that, among Baptists of this neighborhood, it is a maxim very firmly established, that human learning is of no use. The association took up the business and appointed a committee of certain brethren to answer and explain the subject. The answer which was strong and energetic, composed by Mr. Kerr, was printed. No reply * or attempt to establish the assertion has been made by Mr. Rice as yet.”2
At the “general meeting of correspondence,” in 1808, representing “Dover, Goshen, Albemarle, Appomattox, Roanoke and Meherrin associations,” of Virginia, we read: “It also appeared from several publications that the Baptists of Virginia had been misrepresented, as to their sentiments respecting human learning. It was determined at this meeting to rebut this † calumny, by publishing a few remarks on the subject in the form of a circular letter, which was accordingly done.”3 This body, at its next meeting — next year — favorably considered…
† The reader will here see that this association not only had a “Committee of Missions,” but that it published a magazine in their interests. *Had these been Anti-missionary Baptists, Mr. Rice could but have received their thanks instead of the “strong and energetic” silencing reply.
1 Semple's History Virginia Baptists, p. 234.
2 Idem, p. 246.
3 Idem, p. 88.
…“the establishment of some seminary or public school, to admit young preachers to acquire literary knowledge.”1
The Dover association of Virginia, at its meeting in 1790, “answered in the negative” the question: “Is a minister in duty bound to serve a church who do not † support him?”2
The New River association of Virginia, at its meeting in 1804, answering the question: “Are the poor
bound by the gospel to give to the rich for preaching the gospel?” Answered: “The Lord loveth the cheerful giver, according to what he hath, and not according to what he hath not.”3 Commenting on tins, Semple well says: “All things considered, a better answer could not probably have been given.”3
In its circular letter, the Middle District association, in 1791, said: “We fear covetousness and want of reasonable support of the ministry, is one great reason why we are so languish in religion. * When our ministers ought to be out and working in God's vineyard, behold they are forced to leave the flock, hungering for the bread of life, while they are struggling to provide necessaries for their families.”4 Commenting on this, Semple says: “When we consider the many publications upon this subject, as well as the clear and obvious manner in which it is laid down in the Scriptures, it is somewhat astonishing that this duty is still so little attended to. What is man at his best estate?”4
The Ketocton association of Virginia, at its meeting in 1791, had before it the question “as to the propriety…
† An Anti-Mission Baptist preacher taking this position would be disfellowshipped by all so-called “Old Baptists.”
* Here Is the explanation of the languishing condition of many of our present churches.
1 Semple's Hist. Virginia Bap., p. 89.
2 Idem, p. 94.
3 Idem, p. 271.
4 Idem, p. 196.
…of a church's requiring of each of her members to contribute to the expenses of the church according to their property,” in answer to which “the association determined that a regulation of that kind in a church was lawful, and that persons that would not submit to it deserved exclusion from the privileges of the church …the correctness of which cannot be doubted upon right principles.”1
“The Georgia association was organized in 1784. In 1801 a letter was addressed to this body on the 'propriety and expediency of forming a Missionary Society in this State for the purpose of sending the gospel amongst the Indians, bordering on our frontiers, which was unanimously and cordially approbated,' on which Jesse Mercer remarks: 'The ministers of those times had too much of the spirit of the Apostles in them to be afraid of missions:’”2
Of its meeting in 1814 its minutes say: “According to a suggestion in the letter from the Whateley's Mill church, Brother Mercer presented and read the circular letter and constitution of the 'Savannah Baptist Society for Foreign Missions and then moved for the approbation of the association, which was given most willingly and unanimously — whereupon it was thought proper to recommend the subject for its evident importance, to the consideration of the churches. …The glorious effort to evangelize the poor heathen in idolatrous lands.”3 In its minutes of 1815 we read: “Received from the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions for the United States, through its agent, Rev. Luther Rice, the report of the Board, accompanied by letters desiring the aid of this…
1 Semple's History of Virginia Baptists, p. 303.
2 Mercer's History of Georgia Baptists, p. 40.
3 Idem, p. 55.
…body in their laudable exertions, to spread the gospel of Christ among the heathen in idolatrous lands. The association † unanimously agreeing to cooperate in the grand design …resolved itself into a body for missionary purposes.” Jesse Mercer says, at that time, “No complaint was ever heard † of” these missionary resolutions and acts.1 At its meeting in 1808, answering the question, “Should a brother be continued in fellowship, who, though able, will not assist in supporting the gospel?” it answered: “We are of the opinion where the ability is obvious on the one hand, and the unwillingness positive on the other, and the brother cannot be brought to his duty by proper means, he ought to be excluded.”2
Writing, about 1838, Jesse Mercer says: “It will be seen by a reference to these reports, etc., that the missionary operations of those times greatly interested the feelings of those who have entered into their rest before us. It will be seen, too, with how much truth and justice the missionary enterprise is now assailed as something new under the sun. Then prejudices, now powerful, were unknown. Then strife and opposition, now rampant, showed not their deformed heads.”3
Turning now to the associations which the Anti-mission Baptists claim we find that they were originally Missionary Associations. The Kehukee association, of North Carolina, was organized in 1765. The churches composing it “adopted the Baptist confession of faith, published in London, in 1689 …upon which the Philadelphia and Charleston associations were founded.”4
† Baptists, at this time, wholly Missionary Baptists.
1 Mercer's Hist. of Georgia Bap., p. 56.
2 Idem, p. 132.
3 Introduction to Mercpr's Hist. Georgia Bapt., p. 7.
4 Burkitt's and Read's Hist. Kehukee Association, p. 33.
In this chapter we have seen that the English Baptists who first adopted this Confession were strictly Missionary Baptists and that “in educational and missionary work” the Philadelphia and Charleston associations were in closest fellowship. The churches of this association, before they were organized into it, by missionary work of Mr. Gano, as missionary of the Philadelphia association, were reclaimed from Arminianism, and from a languishing condition.1
The churches of the Kehukee association covenanted “to be ready to communicate to the defraying of the churches expenses, and for the support of the ministry.”2
At this association in 1787 the question was asked: “What measures shall a deacon take who sees the necessity of the ministers support and his conscience bids him do his duty, in consequence of which he frequently excites the brethren to their duty; yet, after all, to his daily grief, he finds they neglect their duty?” To this question the association answered: “It is our opinion that it is the members duty voluntarily to contribute to their minister's support, and if the deacon discovers any remiss in their duty, that he shall cite him to the church; and if the church find him negligent in his duty, we give it as our advice, that the church should deal † with him for covetousness.”3
At its meeting in 1788 this association (1.) “Do recommend to the consideration of the different churches for their approbation or disapprobation,” the “raising a fund in the first place by their own contribution. (2.) By…
† Think of a “Hard Side” Baptist church or Association giving this answer!
1 Benedict's Hist. of Baptists, p. 682; Burkitt's and Read's Hist. Kehukee Association, pp. 32-33.
2 Burkitt's and Read's Hist. Kehukee Association, p. 35.
3 Burkitt's and Head's Hist. Kehukee Association, p. 94.
…public contributions from the inhabitants, twice in the year at least. Which money so collected and deposited in the hands of some person, and subject to the orders of the church, to be appropriated to the aid of any traveling preacher, whom they shall judge to be sent of God to preach.”l
In the circular letter to this association, in 1791, we read: “We proceed, in our circular letter, at this time, to make a few observations on the necessary support of gospel ministers; although we are sorry that there should be the least occasion to write or speak on that subject. …Ministers have a divine right to maintenance from the people.”2
T. H. Pritchard, D.D., one of our most scholarly and critical writers, says:
“I shall now prove from unquestionable historical facts that the associations which are now anti-missionary were in favor of foreign missions up to the year 1826, '27 and '30, and hence have no claim to the title of the Old School Baptists.
“I will begin with the Baltimore association, perhaps the most famous body of this modern sect in the United States. Their minutes for 1814 contain the following record: 'Received a corresponding letter from Bro. Rice, one of our missionary brethren, on the subject of encouraging missionary societies.' This Bro. Rice was Luther Rice, who was then just from Burmah, where he had gone as a missionary with Adoniram Judson.
“In 1816 these minutes in their circular letter say: 'The many revivals of religion which are witnessed in various parts of the country — the multiplication of Bible…
1 Burkitt's and Read's Hist. Kehukee Association, pp. 95-96.
2 Idem, pp. 161-162.
…societies, missionary societies and Sunday schools, both in our own and foreign countries, are viewed by us as showing indications of the near approach of that day when the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth.' The minutes of the same year state that 'the standing clerk was instructed to supply the corresponding secretary of the Foreign Mission Board with a copy of our minutes annually.' In 1817 'Bro. Luther Rice presented himself as the messenger of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions and was cordially received.'
“Elder James Osborne was a member of this body, which cordially received a foreign missionary and at this very session was appointed a home missionary. This man Osborne, who was a leader in the anti-mission secession, both in Maryland and North Carolina, I remember to have seen in Charlotte when I was a small boy. He was a handsome, dressy man, full of conceit, and very fond of talking of himself and of selling his own books.
“From the same authentic source, the minutes of the Baltimore association, we learn that in 1828 they called themselves 'Regular Baptists,' just as we do now; the same year they express their joy at the intelligence of the conversion of the heathen, and as late as 1827 the association expressed, by formal resolutions, their sorrow at the death of Mrs. Ann H. Judson and their great interest in the mission with which she was connected, and it was not till 1836, when the association met with the Black Rock church, and then by a vote of sixteen to nine, that fellowship was withdrawn from churches favoring foreign missions, Sunday schools, etc.”
To come back now to North Carolina, I can prove that the Kehukee and Country Line Associations, two of the most influential of the anti-mission party, were once missionary bodies. In Burkitt and Read's History of the Kehukee Association it is stated on page 139, that in 1794, a special day was appointed to pray God for a revival of religion, and on page 145 that it was the custom of ministers of that date to invite penitents to come forward and kneel down to be prayed for, just as we do in our revival meetings now.
In Bigg's History of the Kehukee Association, page 162, it appears that this association appointed delegates to meet at Cashie Church, Bertie County, in June, 1805, with delegates from the Virginia, Portsmouth and Neuse associations, and at this meeting arrangements were made to collect money/or missionary purposes. That it appears that the Kehukee was not only in fellowship with the
Portsmouth and other missionary Baptist associations, but that the very first missionary society ever organized in the State, was in the bounds of this body.
In 1812 this association sent $3, in 1813 $5, and in 1814 $5, to the general meeting of correspondence of North Carolina, which was an organization of the Missionary Baptists.
The same history of the association shows that in 1817 it was in correspondence with the General Convention of the Baptists which met that year in Philadelphia and which was supporting Judson and other foreign missionaries, and it was not till 1827 that this association took a decided anti-missionary ground.
The evidence to show that the Country Line Association was a missionary body up to the year 1832 is perfectly overwhelming. Its minutes show that in 1816, '17 and '18 that body sent delegates to the general meeting of correspondence, and in 1816 Elder George Roberts, one of the ministers of this association, was the Moderator of the general meeting of correspondence of which Robert T. Daniel was the agent, and which developed into the North Carolina Baptist State Convention. In 1818 this association sent $32.45 to the North Carolina Missionary Society by the hands of Bro. John Campbell.
And what is still more remarkable, there was a very prosperous Woman's Mission Society in this Association, the minutes of which, kept by John Campbell, show that the “Hyco Female Cent Society” was formed at Tynch's Creek meeting house, in County Caswell, in October, 1816; in March, 1817, it met at Bush Arbor meeting house; in March, 1818, it met at the same place; in 1818 at Grave's meetinghouse, and the fifth annual meeting was held in September, 1820, at Arbor; all of these churches are now anti-mission, but were then missionary bodies, and the persons who preached the annual sermons, R. Dishong, J. Landus, Barzillar Graves, Abner W. Clopton and S. Chandler, were all Missionary Baptist ministers.
In 1832 the County Line Association was in regular correspondence with the Flat River and Sandy Creek associations, both of which were then and still are missionary bodies.
In 1832 James Osborne, of Baltimore, visited this association, and under his presence it was induced to withdraw fellowship from the Missionary Baptists.
Now, from this brief statement of unvarnished facts we see that the Missionary Baptists are just where the Apostles were and where all of the name were till 1827-8 when a new set arose, calling themselves, according to Elder Bennett's Review, page 8, at first, The Reformed Baptists in North Carolina, and then the Old Baptists, the Old Sort of Baptists, Baptists of the Old Stamp, and finally adopted the name of the Primitive Baptists.
There are many things about these brethren which I like, and I would not needlessly call them by an offensive name, but I cannot style them either Old School or Primitive Baptists, for in so doing I should falsify the facts of history, and acknowledge that I and my brethren have departed from the faith of the Apostles and Baptist fathers. In no invidious sense, therefore, but from necessity, I am obliged to call them New School or Anti-missionary Baptists.1
After years of pretty thorough and careful reading I have been unable to read the name of even one church, association or writer that ever opposed missions or education before about 1810.
As there is no difference in doctrine between what are called Missionary Baptists and what are called Anti-mission Baptists, I notice only that which really divides them — missions, education, support of pastors and other religious enterprises. To be sure, the Anti-mission Baptists have often run the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty and Election into fanaticism and other errors. But the Regular Baptists, by the Arminians among them, have equaled their errors. So neither can well throw up errors of doctrine to the other.
I conclude this part of the chapter in the language of David Benedict, “a leading Baptist historian”: “Old School and Primitive Baptists are appellations so entirely out of place that I cannot, as a matter of courtesy, use them without adding, so-called, or some such expression. I have seen so much of the missionary spirit among the old Anabaptists, Waldenses and other ancient sects — so vigorous and perpetual were the efforts of those Christians, whom we claim as Baptists, in the early, middle and late ages, to spread the gospel in all parts of the world, among all nations and languages where they could gain access,…
1 In Biblical Recorder.
…that it is plain that those who merely preach up predestination, and do nothing, have no claim to be called by their name.”l * †
Turning to the Freewill “Baptists,” in the foregoing chapters we have seen that Baptists of past ages have been what are denominated “Calvinistic” Baptists.‡
The “Communion Question” being one fundamental difference between the Freewill “Baptists” and the Regular Baptists, I will briefly notice it. The Baptist Confession, of 1643, “printed in London, Anno 1646” reads that, disciples “ought to be baptized, and after to partake of the Lord's Supper.”2
* To add to the foregoing testimony would be easy. Thus, in the eleventh century, “the Albigenses had congregations and schools of their own.” — Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia, vol. 1, p. 47. Long before the Reformation the Baptists of Bohemia kept a school for young ladies, and their mode of education and the purity of their manners were in such high repute that the daughters of a very great part of the nobility of Bohemia were sent thither to be educated.” — Robinson's Ecclesiastical Researches, p. 632. Dr. Ray quotes from Perrin's History Waldenses, p. 117: “In the year 1229 the Waldenses had already spread themselves in great numbers throughout all Italy. They had schools in Valcamonica alone, and they sent money from alt parts of their abode in Lombardy for the maintenance and support of said schools.” — Baptist Succession, p. 40. “ Bristol College, England, was founded in 1710 for the education of Baptist ministers. This was more than a century before the origin of the anti-missionary Baptists. Before their origin it had educated many preachers.” — Cramp's History of the Baptists, p. 491.
† Benedict says of the Anti-mission Baptists: “A large amount of their documents are before me which contain the resolutions and decrees of their churches and association …From these It appears that it any of their members shall unite with any society for the promotion of the cause of benevolence or moral reform, they shall, ipso facto, be expelled from their fellowship and communion; the missionary, Bible, tract and Sunday school and temperance societies are especially named; and generally a sweeping clause is added, embracing the •so-called benevolent institutions of the day! These prohibitions extend not only to actual membership in these bodies, but to any contributions of their own personal funds for their support! No collection for any of these objects can be made in any of the churches where they have the control, nor are their members allowed to cast in their mites when the box goes around in any neighboring congregation in which they may be present. This, I believe, is a picture of what are called the non-fellowshipping resolutions of the anti-mission party. This is a yoke we may well suppose could not set easy on the necks of independent Baptists; many for peace sake may submit to it for awhile, but it will not be long endured by any but those who have thoroughly Imbibed, esprit du corps, the spirit of the party.” — Benedict's History of the Baptists, p. 936.
‡ These views are the Bible teaching. Calvin held some extreme views on this line which Baptists have never believed or professed. But as “Calvinism” has come to be the term by which the views of Baptists on divine
sovereignty, atonement and election are commonly known, I use the term.
1 Benedict's History of the Baptists, pp. 935-936.
2 Article 39—in Cutting's Historical Vindication, p. 122.
The Confession of 1689 reads: “Baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances of positive and sovereign institution, appointed by the Lord Jesus, the only law giver, to be continued in his church to the end of the world …to be administered by those who are qualified and thereunto called according to the commission, of Christ.”1
Replying to an open communionist, an anonymous critical historian,2 in the Examiner, near twenty years ago, said: “They cannot bring a single Confession of Faith from all Baptist history before the rise of the Freewill Baptists, about one hundred years ago,” to prove that Baptists were formerly open communionists. “They can bring only one in all that history which appears to prove it, and that one excluded Arminians from communion, hence would exclude the authors or the main author of these assertions. All the Continental Baptist bodies from 1521 onwards …practiced strict communion. English General Baptists, from the beginning of their history in 1610, were strict. Their Confessions published in 1611, 1660, 1663 and 1678 plainly require baptism before communion. Their churches would not even allow attendance upon other worship. They said, 'The whole Scripture is against such Balaamitic and wavering actions.' They were never open communion until in the last century they became Socinians. The Confessions of Faith of the Particular Baptists in England are emphatic for strict communion. …The same is true of all the Confessions that can be found in Baptist history until 1688. Then the Century Confession of London which is always pleaded for open communion appeared. …This confession itself makes communion a church ordinance,…
1 Chapter 28 — In Cutting's Hist. Vindication, p. 171.
2 I think, Dr. Buckland.
…and puts it after immersion; but as these brethren avowed their aim to show how little Baptists differed from Presbyterians and Congregationalists they granted an appendix that while most of the churches adhered to strict communion some few did not; and they recognized this fact and would not impose conditions upon these.”
Rev. Dr. Underwood,1 of Chilwell College, Nottinghamshire, in a paper, read Wore the English Baptist Union, at Birmingham, Oct., 1864, said; “In the matter of communion our churches are far from being uniform. Until within a very few years nearly all our churches were dose and strict.”
In the language of Rev. Porter S. Burbank, one of the most representative Freewill Baptist defenders : “The Freewill Baptist connection in North America commenced A. D. 1780, in which year its first church was organized.”2 From history and its own confession the Freewill Baptist sect is certainly of modern origin.
The Six Principle “Baptists” are of the seventeenth century — Rev. A. D. Williams, their representative, being witness.3 They being Arminian in showing Baptists have ever been Calvinists, the foregoing chapters, have demonstrated them not in the line of Church Perpetuity.
The so-called “German Baptists” or Tunkers thus originated in Germany, in 1708: “The first constituents were Alexander Mack and wife, John Kipin and wife, George Grevy, Andreas Bhony, Lucas Fetter and Joanna Nethigum. They agreed to read the Bible together, and edify one another in the way they had been brought up, for as yet they did not know there were any Baptists in the world. However, believers' baptism and a Congregational…
1 Goadby's Bye Paths to Baptist History, p. 52.
2 Religious Denominations of the United States, p. 74.
3 Idem, p. 88.
…church soon gained on them, insomuch that they were determined to obey the gospel in these matters. They desired Alexander Mack to baptize them, but he deemed himself in reality unbaptized, refused, upon which they cast lots to find who should be the administrator; on whom the lot fell hath been carefully concealed. However, baptized they were in the river Eder, by Schwartzenau, and then formed themselves into a church, choosing Alexander Mack as their minister.”1 So, without looking into their other errors, we can safely set aside the so-called” German Baptists” as Tunkers from all claim to Church Perpetuity.
The German Seventh Day Baptists were originated in Germany, in 1728, by Conrad Beissel, one of the Tunkers. It is, therefore, a split off the Tunker sect.2
The origin of the Seventh Day English Baptists as a church is thus given by Rev. G. B. Utter, one of the most eminent representatives of that sect: “The Seventh Day Baptists in America date from about the same period that their brethren in England began to organize churches.” Then he dates its American rise in 1671.3 Prof. W. W. Everts, Jr., writes me that the ancient Baptists observed the first day of the week as the day of rest and worship. Save among Judaizers, who practiced circumcision and other such errors there were no scattered advocates of the seventh day, nor any permanent organization in its interest, until the rise of these so-called Seventh Day Baptists. Seventh Day “Baptists” certainly are a modern sect.
“Religious Denominations in the United States and Great Britain,” published by “Charles Desilver,” is…
1 Religious Denominations, p. 92.
2 Idem, p. 109.
3 Benedict's Hist. of Baptists, p. 921.
…probably the best book in its line. I have now examined all the different “Baptists” which it mentions — six beside the Regular Baptists — and have found that not one of them has any true claim to be the New Testament Baptists in the Church Perpetuity line.
LET IT BE EMPHASIZED, THAT: ALL THIS TALK ABOUT THERE BEING TWENTY-SEVEN DIFFERENT KINDS OF BAPTISTS, AND THAT WE CAN'T KNOW WHICH OF THEM IS THE OLD BAPTIST CHURCH, ORIGINATES IN IGNORANCE, OR IN PURE HATRED TO THE BAPTIST CHURCH AND DISREGARD FOR VERACITY AND IS “DARKENING OF COUNSEL.”
Like the fable of the dog on the hay, bitter and unscrupulous Baptist assailants, knowing their own churches are but modern sects, and that they cannot appropriate Church Perpetuity are determined to leave “unturned no stone” to make the people believe that “Baptists are in as bad a fix as we are.” † Owing to this attempt to mislead honest men and women I have given the question, Who are the Old Baptists? much more space than it deserves.
† In their avowing, in one breath, that, “it is not necessary that any church should have been perpetuated from apostolic times; that a modern origin is no discredit to any church;” then, in the next, trying to overthrow Baptist claims on the people, by denying their claim to Church Perpetuity, these controversalists clearly demonstrate themselves insincere !