Monthly Archives: March 2013

J.R. GRAVES Life, Times and Teachings 10


NASHVILLE AND THE SECOND CHURCH

Dr. R.B.C. Howell was then in the zenith of his power and usefulness. He had recently written and published his great work on Communion, which has already passed through several editions. He was a man of culture and eloquence and of great literary ability, a tremendous worker, and at that time the most influential man among the Baptists of the South. In addition to his pastoral labors in connection with the First Baptist Church, of Nashville, he also was editor of The Baptist. In that paper of November, 1845, he wrote this commendatory word concerning Graves: “He has lately come from Kentucky and, although quite young, is thoroughly educated, exemplary in piety, ardently devoted to his work, and not without ministerial experience.”

A year of indefatigable and successful labor followed, during which time young Graves was brought into conflict with the almost supreme of Methodism in that city. The influence of such a man as Dr. Howell on him must have been very great. Some one has said: “A man is the sum of his antecedents.” As we shall see, young Graves imbibed much of this great man’s spirit and adopted many of his ecclesiastical views. Here, in fact began to operate those influences and reactions which in later years led to his writing The Great Iron Wheel.

BECOMES EDITOR OF THE BAPTIST

And now opened before young Graves a new and untried field of labor, and his real life work began. It came about in this way: In 1835 R.B.C. Howell started a small quarto paper in Nashville called The Baptist. It continued for three years and was then merged in the Banner and Pioneer, which was published in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Howell retained the position of associate editor, or Tennessee editor. Five years later, in 1842, The Baptist, was resuscitated under the ownership of the General Association of Middle Tennessee and Northern Alabama, with Dr. Howell again as editor. The paper did not pay expenses and its circulation ran a little more than one thousand. Young Graves, while pastor of the Second Baptist Church, wrote stirring articles for The Baptist often controversial, which made a most favorable impression. At the General Association of 1846, Dr. Howell resigned the editorship and the executive committee of the Association elected J.R. Graves his successor. He at first declined because, in becoming editor, he would have to assume somewhat heavy responsibilities. It was characteristic of Dr. Graves that he sought to avoid heavy responsibilities, especially in the denominational life, but he at length accepted and his real life work was already begun.

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89 – March 30 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


Absolom Backus Earle gave a report of his labors as a missionary in New York in 1938 which contained the following information.  He had labored faithfully at Mohawk, Auriesville, Fultonville, Fonda and vicinity for two years and at the close, he said, “I do not know of but one person that has given evidence of a new birth since I began my missionary labors.”  It is hard to believe that he is the same A.E. Earle that James Beller writes of in his account.  Earle was born in 1812 in Charlton, N.Y.  He was converted at the age of 16 and began preaching at age 18.  He was ordained at Amsterdam, N.Y. at age 21 where he was pastor for five years, and then resigned to enter the field of evangelism.  For 58 years he held revivals, city-wide campaigns, and protracted meetings in every state of the Union and Canada.  It is estimated that he conducted 1,000 protracted meetings, and traveled over 350,000 miles.  He had nearly 160,000 conversions, and 400 called to the Gospel ministry.  Earle also was the author of several books.  He died at Newton, Mass., on Mar. 30, 1895, at the age of 83.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp. 184-86.

 

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The Medical Account of the Crucifixion by Daniel DeSailles


The Medical Account of the Crucifixion by Daniel DeSailles

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 06:31 PM PDT

The Medical Account of the Crucifixion

In this paper, I shall   discuss some of the physical aspects of the passion, or suffering, of   Jesus Christ.  We shall follow Him from Gethsemane, through His   trial, His scourging, His path along the Via Dolorosa, to His last   dying hours on the cross…This led me first to a   study of the practice of crucifixion itself; that is, the torture and   execution of a person by fixation to a cross.

Apparently, the first   known practice of crucifixion was by the Persians. Alexander and his generals   brought it back to the Mediterranean world – Egypt and Carthage.  The Romans apparently learned the practice   from the Carthaginians and (as with   almost everything the Romans did) rapidly developed a very high   degree of efficiency and skill in carry it out.  A number of Roman authors   (Livy, Cicero, Tacitys) comment on it.   

Several innovations and   modifications are described in the ancient literature; Ill mention only a few which   may have some bearing here.

The   upright portion of the cross (or stipes)   could have the cross-arm (or patibulum) attached two or three feet below   its top – this is what we commonly think of today as the classical form of   the cross (the one which we have later named the Latin cross); however, the   common form used in Our Lords day was the Tau cross (shaped like the   Greek letter Tau or like our T).  In   this cross the patibulum was placed in a   notch at the top of the stipes.  There   is fairly overwhelming archeological   evidence that it was on this type of cross that Jesus was crucufied.

The upright post, or   stipes, was generally permanently fixed in the ground at the site of execution   and the condemnded man was forced to carry the patibulum, apparently   weighing about 110 pounds, from the prison to the place of execution.  Without any historical or biblical proof,   medieval and Renaissance painters   have given us our picture of Christ carrying the entire cross.  Many of these painters and most of the   sculptors of crucifixes today show the   nails through the palms.  Roman   historical accounts and experimental   work have shown that the nails were driven between the small bones of   the wrists and not through the palms.    Nails driven through the palms   will strip out between the fingers when they support the weight of a   human body.  The misconception may have   come about through a misunderstanding   of Jesus words to Thomas, Observe my hands.

Anatomists, both modern   and ancient, have always considered the wrists as part of the hand.

A titulus, or small sign,   stating the victims crime was usually carried at the front of the   processions and later nailed to the cross above the head. This sign with its staff   nailed to the top of the cross would have given it somewhat the   characteristic form of the Latin cross.

The physical passion of   the Christ begins in Gethsemane.  Of   the many aspects of this initial   suffering, I shall only discuss the one of physiological interest;   the bloody sweat.  It is interesting   that the physician of the group,   St. Luke, is the only one to mention this.    He says, And being in agony,   He prayed the longer.  And his sweat   became as drops of blood, trickling   down upon the ground.

Every attempt imaginable   has been used by modern scholars to explain away this phrase, apparently   under the mistakes impression that this just doesnt happen. A great deal of effort   could be saved by consulting the medical literature.  Though very rare, the phenomenon of   Hematidrosis or bloody sweat, is well documented.   Under great emotional stress, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can   break, thus mixing blood with sweat.    This process alone could have produced   marked weakness and possible shock.

We shall move rapidly   through the betrayal and arrest; I must stress that important portions of the   passion story are missing from this account. This may be frustrating to   you, but in order to adhere to our purpose of discussing only the purely   physical aspects of the Passion, this is necessary.  After the arrest in the middle of the   night, Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin and   Caiphas, the High Priest; it is here that the first physical trauma is   inflicted.  A soldier struck Jesus   across the face for remaining silent   when questioned by Caiphas.  The palace   guards then blindfolded Him and   mockingly taunted Him to identify them as they each passed by, spat on   Him, and struck Him in the face.

In the morning, Jesus,   battered and bruised, dehydrated, and exhausted from a sleepless night, is   taken across Jerusalem to the Praetorium of the Fortress Antonia, the seat   of government of the Procurator of Judea, Pontius Pilate.  You are, of course, familiar with Pilates   action in attempting to pass   responsibility to Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch of Judea. Jesus apparently suffered   no physical mistreatment at the hands of Herod and was returned to   Pilate.

It was then, in response   to the cries of the mob, that Pilate ordered Bar-Abbas released and   condemned Jesus to scourging and crucifixion. There is much disagreement   among authorities about scourging as a prelude to crucifixion.  Most Roman writers from this period do not   associate the two.  Many scholars believe that Pilate   originally ordered Jesus scourged as his full punishment and   that the death sentence by crucifixion came only in response to the   taunt by the mob that the Procurator was not properly defending Caesar   against this pretender who claimed to be the King of the Jews.

Preparations for the   scourging are carried out.  The   prisoner is stripped of His clothing and His   hands are tied to a post above His head.    It is doubtful whether the   Romans made any attempt to follow the Jewish law in this matter of   scourging.  The Jews had an ancient law   prohibiting more than forty lashes.  The Pharisees, always making sure that the   law wa strictly kept, insisted   that only thirty-nine lashes be given.    (In case of a miscount, they were   sure of remaining within the law.)  The   Roman legionnaire steps forward   with the flagrum (or flagellum) in his hand. This is a short whip   consisting of several heavy, leather thongs with two small balls of lead   attached near the ends of each.

 

The heavy whip is brought   down with full force again and again across Jesus shoulders, back and   legs.  At first the heavy thongs cut   through the skin only.  Then, as the blows continue, they are cut   deeper into the subcutaneous tissues,   producing first an oozing of blood from the capillaries and veins of   the skin, and finally spurting arterial bleeding from vessels in the   underlying muscles.  The small balls of   lead first produce large, deep   bruises which are broken open by subsequent blows. Finally the skin of the   back is hanging in long ribbons and the entire area is an unrecognizable   mass of torn bleeding tissue.  When it   is determined by the   centurion in charge that the prisoner is near death, the beating is finally   stopped.

The half-fainting Jesus is   then untied and allowed to slump to the stone pavement, wet with His own   blood.  The Roman soldiers see a great   joke in this provincial Jew   claiming to be a king.  They throw a   robe across His shoulders and place a   stick in His hand for a scepter.  They   still need a crown to make their   travesty complete.  A small bundle of   flexible branches covered with long   thorns (commonly used for firewood) are plaited into the shape of a crown   and this is pressed into His scalp.    Again there is copious bleeding (the   scalp being one of the most vascular areas of the body.)  After mocking Him and striking Him across   the face, the soldiers take the stick from His   hand and strike Him across the head, driving the thorns deeper into His   scalp.  Finally, they tire of their   sadistic sport and the robe is torn from   His back.  This had already become   adherent to the clots of blood and   serum in the wounds, and its removal, just as in the careless removal of a   surgical bandage, causes exruciating pain…almost as though He   were again being whipped – and the wounds again begin to bleed.

In deference to Jewish   custom, the Romans return His garments.    The heavy patibulum of the cross is   tied across His shoulders and the procession of the condemned Christ, two   thieves and the execution detail of the Roman soldiers, headed by a   centurion, begins its slow journey along the Via Dolorosa.  In spite of His efforts to walk erect, the   weight of the heavy wooden cross together with   the shock produced by copious blood loss, is too much.  He stumbles and falls.  The rough wood of the beam gouges into the lacerated skin and   muscles of the shoulders.  he tries to   rise, but human muscles have been   pushed beyond their endurance.  The   centurion, anxious to get on with the   crucifixion, selects a stalwart North African onlooker, Simon of Cyrene,   to carry the cross.  Jesus follows,   still bleeding and sweating the   cold, clammy sweat of shock.  The 650   yard journey from the fortress   Antonia to Golgotha is finally completed.    The prisoner is again stripped   of His clothes – except for a loin cloth which is allowed the Jews.

The crucifixion begins,   Jesus is offered wine mixed with Myrrh, a mild analgesic mixture.  He refuses to drink.  Simon is ordered to place the cross on the ground and   Jesus is quickly thrown backward with His shoulders against the   wood.  The legionnaire feels for the   depression at the front of the   wrist.  He drives a heavy, square,   wrought-iron nail through the wrist and deep   into the wood.  Quickly, he moves to   the other side and repeats the   action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some   flexibility and movement.  The   patibulum is then lifted in place at   the top of the stipes and the titulus reading Jesus of Nazareth, King of   the Jews is nailed in place.

 

The left foot is pressed   backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down,   a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees   moderately flexed.  The victim is now   crucified.  As He slowly sags down with more   weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating, fiery pain   shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain – the   nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves.  As He pushes Himself upward to avoid this   wrenching torment, He places His   full weight on the nail through His feet.    Again there is the searing agony   of the the tearing through the nerves between the metatarsal bones of   the feet.

At this point, another   phenomenon occurs.  As the arms   fatigue, great waves of cramps sweep over   the muscles, knotting them in deep, relentless, throbbing pain.  With these cramps comes the inability to   push Himself upward.  Hanging by His arms, the pectoral muscles   are paralyzed and the intercostal muscles are   unable to act.  Air can be drawn into   the lungs, but cannot be   exhaled.  Jesus fights to raise Himself   in order to get even one short breath.  Finally carbon dioxide builds up in the   lungs and in the blood stream and the   cramps partially subside.    Spasmodically, He is able to push Himself   upward to exhale and bring in the life-giving oxygen. It was undoubtedly during   these periods that He uttered the seven short sentences which are   recorded:

The first, looking down at   the Roman soldiers throwing dice for His seamless garment, Father,   forgive them for they know not what they do.

The second, to the   penitent thief, Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise.

The third, looking down at   the terrified, grief stricken, adolescent John, (the beloved Apostle), He   said, Behold thy mother, and looking to Mary, His mother, Woman behold   thy son.

The fourth cry is from the   beginning of the 22nd Psalm, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Hours of this limitless   pain, cycles of twisting joint- rending cramps, intermittent partial   asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from His lacerated back as He moves   up and down against the rough timber.    Then another agony begins.  A deep crushing pain deep in the chest as   the pericardium slowly fills   with serum and begins to compress the heart.

Let us remember again the   22nd Psalm (the 14th verse), I am poured out like water, and all my   bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax, it is melted in the midst of my   bowels.  It is now almost over – the   loss of tissue fluids has reached   a critical level – the compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy,   thick, sluggish blood into the tissue – the tortured lungs are making   a frantic effort to draw in small gulps of air. The markedly dehydrated   tissues send their flood of stimuli to the brain.

Jesus gasps His fifth cry,   I thirst.

Let us remember another   verse from the prophetic 22nd Psalm: My strength is dried up like a   potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou has brought me into the   dust of death.

A sponge soaked in Posca,   the cheap, sour wine which is the staple drink of the Roman legionnaires,   is lifted to His lips.  He apparently   does not take any of the   liquid.  The body of Jesus is now in   extremis and He can feel the chill of death   creeping through His tissues.  This   realization

brings out His sixth words   – possibly little more than a tortured whisper.

It is finished.

His mission of atonement   has been completed.  Finally He can   allow his body to die. With one last surge of   strength, he once again presses His torn feet against the nail,   straightens His legs, takes a deeper breath, and utters His seventh and last cry,   Father into thy hands I commit my spirit.

The rest you know.  In order that the Sabbath not be profaned,   the Jews asked that the condemned   men be dispatched and removed from the crosses.

The common method of   ending a crucifixion was by cruxifracture, the breaking of the bones of   the legs.  This prevents the victim   from pushing himself upward; the   tension could not be relieved from the muscles of the chest, and rapid   suffocation occurred.  The legs of the   two thieves were broken, but when they came   to Jesus they saw that this was unnecessary,thus fulfilling the   scripture, not one bone shall be broken.

Apparently to make doubly   sure of death, the legionnaire drove his lance through the fifth   interspace between the ribs, upward through the pericardium and into the   heart.  The 34th verse of the 19th   chapter of the Gospel according to John:   And immediately there came out blood and water.

Thus there was an escape   of watery fluid from the sac surrounding the heart and blood from the   interior of the heart.  We, therefore,   have rather conclusive   post-mortem evidence that Our Lord died, not the usual crucifixion death by   suffocating, but of heart failure due to shock and constriction of the heart   by fluid in the pericardium.

Thus we have seen a   glimpse of the epitome of evil which man can exhibit toward man – and toward   God.  This is not a pretty sight and is   apt to leave us despondent and   depressed.  How grateful we can be that   we have a sequel:  A glimpse of the infinite mercy of God   toward man – the miracle of the atonement and the   expectation of Easter morning!

 

John   3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that   whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Contact:   Daniel de Sailles
Email: hbeng151@csun.edu

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88 – March 29 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


No Protection for Hypocrites

The events surrounding the ministry of Isaiah Wallace of New Brunswick, was published in the Christian Messenger on March 29, 1871.  Wallace was born in Hopewell, New Brunswick on Jan. 17, 1797, the first-born child of James and Catharine Wallace.  Early on he trusted the Lord Jesus as his savior, and was baptized by immersion.  As he reached maturity, God the Holy Spirit burdened him to preach, and he did so as the opportunity presented itself.  He served as a pastor, agent for the Baptist College at Acadia, and an evangelist.  Everywhere he ministered he experienced the hand of the Lord upon him, and the Baptist work greatly expanded throughout both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.  How we need to pray that God will once again awaken that beautiful but spiritually destitute portion of North America.  Often in his evangelistic crusades, Bro. Wallace would preach three times a day, baptize converts, serve communion and move on to another area to do the same thing, crossing bodies of water in cold weather and often walking for many miles.  Many times multitudes were saved in his evangelistic meetings.  At another time ministering in the northern portions of New Brunswick, he was able to establish the Campbellton Baptist Church.  A lady of high social standing requested baptism.  She had belonged to another communion and her friends discouraged her on the basis that she would surely endanger her health by going into the cold water.  Her husband asked Rev. Wallace if he knew of any that he had baptized, taking cold, and Wallace, said, “No.”  He then asked him if he had ever heard of anyone taking cold and Wallace said that T.S. Harding told him that out of a 1,000 converts that only one had caught a cold and that she was a hypocrite.  The man said, “My wife is no hypocrite.”  So he allowed her to be baptized without incident.  Let us pray that Nova Scotia and New Brunswick will once again know the power of God.

 

Dr. Greg J. Dixon, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp.182-184.

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Poll: Failing to Read Bible Related to Declining Morals in US Society


Poll: Failing to Read Bible Related to Declining Morals in US Society.

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J.R. GRAVES Life, Times and Teachings 9


AN INCIDENT OF HIS HOME-GOING

An incident occurred during this visit to his mother’s family which was so characteristic and so sets forth the young crusader, that it is deemed worth while to mention it here. To appreciate it all, it is important for the reader to remember that he was small of stature, some five feet eight inches tall, of slight build, and being a blonde, was quite youthful in appearance, looking for all the world like a schoolboy, in fact, In the town whither he went there were not many church buildings, but in one of these a brilliant and blatant young man had been portraying his infidelity in such a fluent and eloquent fashion that the people who believed in God were greatly disturbed and humiliated. When Sunday arrived, the brother-in-law, Prof. W.P. Marks, who, until that time, had never seen the young man, took him to hear this brilliant infidel, and introduced him as a young Baptist preacher. At the close of the discourse, the speaker asked this boy student for the ministry to lead in prayer. That was an interesting situation, indeed. If this blatant speaker could succeed in capturing this young man and steal him away from the Christian ministry, it would be quite a “feather in his cap”'; and, indeed, if he could have seen down the coming years he would have regarded it as a whole plume. Young Graves prayed, and such a prayer! Anyone who ever heard him pray after some other brother had preached a sermon can readily imagine what happened, for he was a most remarkable man in prayer. He would take up the truth in the message and clothe it with life and magnify it and hold it up before the throne of God in exaltation until the preacher himself would be asking whether or not he had preached such a sermon; or if there was error in that discourse, woe to the man that had spoken it. That, too, was matched with the truth and answered, for Dr. Graves clothed his prayers with the truth as with a garment, even with the habiliments of worship. That hapless young infidel preacher was driven to cover, seeking some refuge for his smitten soul.

The people of Ashtabula came to Professor Marks and asked if that young stripling would preach from the pulpit what he had prayed from the pew. Because that was the truth they wanted to hear. Professor Marks had never heard the young man preach and he did not know whether he had the courage or the ability, but he said he would ask him and let him answer. Young Graves was not a lad to shun an issue, and when asked if he would preach according to the things he had said in his prayer, he said he would. Enough said.

The appointment was made; the report ran through the town like wildfire. The thronging crowds could not get into the house on the next Sunday. For two hours there poured forth from that young man a steam of eloquence, wisdom, and truth and fiery denunciation such as they had never heard and such as had never been spoken there before. The whole town was aroused. Infidelity was overthrown, the champion unhorsed and put into retreat. The Baptists were cheered and strengthened, the Church confirmed and the field cleared for their progress.

This experience was doubtless largely a result of Dr. Graves’ connection with Dr. Dillard, in regard to Alexander Campbell and his “current reformation.” Campbell had risen into sudden fame and acquired controlling influence among Baptists first, in Kentucky. His debate with McKellar, during which Jeremiah Vardeman, the most popular Baptist minister in the state, was one of the moderators, made Campbell “a conquering hero.” He passed triumphantly through the central and northern portions of Kentucky preaching his “ancient gospel,” and led in his train many of the leading Baptist ministers, as Creath, Vardeman, Noel, Smith, Fall, of Nashville, and others. He became emboldened by success and preached “the gospel in water” – baptismal remission. A reaction followed. Nearly all of those leading Baptists who had followed him thus far revolted and antagonized his unscriptural views. None took a more decided stand in this than Dr. Dillard. The issue possessed his whole soul; and none more than he boldly stemmed the sweeping current of Campbellism. He impressed his thoughts and spirit on young Graves, and a fearless, persistent opposition to that system marked the ministry of J.R. Graves throughout his life.

There was no fitting field there for the young minister and thus partly through the agency of John L. Waller, Dr. Graves was invited to Nashville, Tennessee. Here he again engaged in teaching for some years, but was soon called to the pastorate of the Second Baptist Church, which afterwards became the Central Baptist Church, of Nashville.

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87 – March 28 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


He bore the Saviors Marks in his body

 

Wouters van Kuijck was finally burned at the stake on this day in 1572 after he was tortured and scourged in the prison at Dordrecht, Holland.  He had been moving his family from place to place in his effort to avoid arrest, for he was considered a heretic by the State Church for his belief that salvation was a personal matter of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone.  The bailiff learned where Jan was residing and he and his men came to arrest him.  Knowing that his arrest would end in the capture of his entire family, Jan said in a booming voice, “it is I” when the bailiff knocked and asked, “Does Jan van Kuijck live here?”  Of course it was designed to allow is family to escape, which they did.  During his imprisonment he wrote a dozen letters that have been preserved, eleven to family including his daughter and one to his captors presenting clearly his faith and a warning to them of judgment.  He concluded that letter with these words, “I confess one Lord, one faith, one God, one Father of all, who is above all, and in all believers.  I believe only what the Holy Scriptures say, and not what men say.”  Fearing his testimony Jan’s mouth was gagged before he was taken to the place of execution.  Somehow he managed to relieve himself of the gag.  A fellow believer was able to draw close to him and he opened his shirt and showed him his bloody body from the scourgings, and said, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”  As the fire was kindled he looked over those assembled and cried, “…farewell, my dear brethren and sisters, I herewith commend you to the Lord, to the Lord Who shed his blood for us.”

Dr. Greg J. Dixon, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp.180-181.

 

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86 – March 27 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


Twice a Baptist

 

Edward Baptist, Jr. was born in the State of Virginia on this date in 1828.  His mother’s name was Eliza and his father too was a noted Baptist preacher.  Young Edward trusted Christ at an early age and was immersed.  At about twenty-four years of age he was ordained into the gospel ministry.  He spent several years in Alabama ministering in strategic churches, where he served with distinction.  In 1856 he returned to Virginia accepting a call to a church in Spottsylvania County.  He spent the rest of his life pastoring a number of churches in the same county as a circuit-riding pastor.  By 1893 his unusual pastorate involved four churches.  Goshen, Mine Road, Mount Hermon, and Rhoadesville churches had a combined membership 473.  He would minister to each church on a Saturday and Sunday each month.  During 1893 he baptized fifty-eight converts into the fellowship of the four churches.  On Jan. 29, Pastor Baptist departed this world and entered into the presence of the Lord.  Dr. L.J. Haley wrote his obituary and said the following, “Elder Baptist was a man of stern and upright religious and moral character.  He was a true and unselfish friend, kind and gentle in his family, a friend and generous neighbor, a loyal and patriotic citizen, an able and eloquent preacher of the gospel, a faithful and loving pastor, and a man and Christian, who in all the relations and responsibilities of life earnestly and conscientiously strove to do his duty and to make himself useful and helpful to his fellow-man.  He was a man of extraordinary power and ability in the pulpit.  I can truthfully say that some of the finest specimens of pulpit oratory I ever listened to came from the lips of E.G. Baptist, Jr.”

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J.R. GRAVES Life, Times and Teachings 8


CHANGE IN HIS LIFE PURPOSE

Hitherto, his life was what may be termed undefined. His purpose was to make a living, improve his mind, and support his mother; but there comes a period in every man’s history which affects the course and color of its life-stream. The current rushes on headlong until some obstruction, some opening, some opposition meets it. It dashes over the rocks or flows around them and becomes a brilliant cascade or quiet rivulet, perchance a stagnant pool; or with gathered accession and impetus, a widely sweeping current. It is an epoch – a crisis – in the individual’s It may be ambition or love or business or bereavement or temptation, or the voiceless breath of God’s Spirit upon the inmost soul. Thought is awakened, the mind is directed in upon itself, and life in all its stern realities is disclosed as never before. Life is before him, a lone sea to be navigated for himself, a long voyage, and he must choose his course.

Carlyle has with facile pen described this soul crisis in his “Sartor Resartus,” but in this book is no voiceful expression from the living Word; no inspiring breath from the Holy Spirit; no smile of love from the Lord Jesus; no cloudless dawn upon the soul, wrapping the whole being in light and clothing every natural gift and power with a beauty and a radiance not of earth. God’s call to the ministry of his own blessed Word and Spirit is, indeed, a crisis whose record will endure when sun and stars have gone out. Blessed is he who has received and heard and obeyed and fulfilled that call, who has met God alone, and goes forth with a message given him.

Young Graves had met God and joyfully surrendered to him, and God gave him his life message to his own generation.

He resigned his school and returned to his mother’s home in Ohio. He gave his time to thought, to study and to prayer. For some months which he said were the happiest of his life and the most important, he studied for the ministry, “making the Bible the man of his counsel and Paul his instructor in theology and logic.”

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85 – March 26 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


Joshua Brown Hutson was born in Pittsylvania County, Virginia to Methodist parents.  Soon after his conversion to Christ he was immersed on Feb. 3, 1858, and it was said that he was the first Baptist in the Hutson family.  He was educated in country schools, but the Civil war made College impossible.  Following the war, the Byrne Street Baptist Church in Petersburg licensed him to preach in 1869.  They ordained him on Dec. 14, 1871.  Joshua married Miss Leonora J. Baugh on March 26, 1874 and became pastor of the Belvidere Baptist Church in Richmond which later relocated and changed its name to Pine Street Baptist.  At that time the church had 162 members.  By 1890 the church had grown to 1,110, and by the time of Pastor Hutson’s retirement it had grown to 1901 members.  During his lengthy ministry he had baptized 2,799 people, an average of one per Sunday.  He had made 50,605 pastoral calls, married 1,764 couples and conducted 2,202 funerals.  He had pastored Pine Street Baptist Church for forty-five years and six months.  He was asked by a gentlemen on the street how long his sermons were, he answered that on hot Sundays they were nineteen or twenty-minutes.  Although honors and titles came to him, he always remained to his flock, ‘Brother Hutson.’  It has been well said, “A home going preacher makes church going people.”

Dr. Greg J. Dixon, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp. 176-178.

 

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