Source: Elder James S. Coleman
Tag Archives: baptist
Posted: 04 Sep 2014 06:24 PM PDT
Jailed for encouraging a brother
John Spur and John Hazel, both elderly men, were hauled into court in Salem, Mass. on Sept. 05, 1651, for the horrible “crime” of offering sympathy to Obadiah Holmes, at the time of his brutal beating by the authorities, for preaching without a license from the Congregational Church. Neither men were convinced Baptists as yet, but Spur had been excommunicated from the Salem Congregational Church for declaring his opposition to infant baptism. Spur was given his choice of a forty shilling fine, or a whipping. Someone paid his fine, which he declined, but the court took it and released him anyway. Hazel, though very Ill, defended himself by saying, “…what law have I broken in taking my friend by the hand when he was free and had satisfied the law?” The sentence was still given: Hazel was to pay a fine or be whipped. Five days went by and when he refused to pay, the jailer released him, but he refused to leave without a discharge. The jailer gave it to him and he left totally free of all charges. Three days later, on Sept. 13, 1651 John Hazel was with the Lord Jesus, set free forever more. [Edwin S. Gaustad, Baptist Piety (Grand Rapids, Mich.: WmB. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1978), p. 30.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 486-487.
He evangelized a wild and barbarous people
Sept. 03, 1884 – W. Holman Bentley sailed from England to the Congo to begin his second tour of missionary service, married for the first time with four other men and their families. Holman was the son of Rev. William Bentley, Baptist minister at Sudsbury, Suffolk, England. Holman was born Oct. 30, 1855. At 17 young Holman was reading from the Hebrew Psalter and Greek New Testament, and at 19 was baptized into the Downs Chapel (Baptist) at Clapton. He became actively involved in witnessing. He was appointed as a missionary by the Baptist Mission Society on Jan. 15, 1879. The Congo missionaries had many trials including escapes from wild animals, disease and cannibals. Bentley served longer than any of the others who left with him in 1879. Even though he only lived to be fifty he translated the N.T. into Congolese and gave the people a complete dictionary and grammar. He saw over 1200 baptized and according to historians saw a whole district of wild, barbarous people almost completely evangelized and civilized, if not Christianized. [H.M. Bentley, W. Holman Bentley-The Life and labors of a Congo Pioneer (London: religious Tract Society, 1907), p8.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 481- 83.
In his Memorandum Book, Jefferson noted:
“I have subscribed to the building of an Episcopalian church, two hundred dollars; a Presbyterian church, sixty dollars, and a Baptist church, twenty-five.”
The Boston newspaper Christian Watchman, July 14, 1826, printed an unverified story of Jefferson dining at Monticello before the Revolution with Baptist Pastor Andrew Tribble.
According to the story, Jefferson remarked of Baptist church government that he “considered it the only form of pure democracy that exists in the world…It would be the best plan of government for the American colonies.”
Jefferson ‘organized’ a church, as Julian P. Boyd recorded in The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, drafting “Subscriptions to Support a Clergyman in Charlottesville,” February 1777, which stated:
“We the subscribers… desirous of encouraging and supporting the Calvinistical Reformed church, and of deriving to ourselves, through the ministry of its teachers, the benefits of Gospel knowledge and religious improvement…by regular education for explaining the holy scriptures…
Approving highly the political conduct of the Revd. Charles Clay, who, early rejecting the tyrant and tyranny of Britain, proved his religion genuine by its harmonies with the liberties of mankind…
and, conforming his public prayers to the spirit and the injured rights of his country, ever addressed the God of battles for victory to our arms…
We expect that the said Charles Clay shall perform divine service and preach a sermon in the town of Charlottesville on every 4th…Sunday or oftener if a regular rotation with the other churches…will admit a more frequent attendance.
And we further mutually agree with each other that we will meet at Charlottesville…every year…and there make a choice by ballot of three wardens to collect our said subscriptions…for the use of our church.”
Jefferson noted in his Memorandum Book, August 15, 1779:
“Pd. Revd. Charles Clay in consideration of parochial services.”
The Calvinistical Reformed Church met in the Albemarle Courthouse for seven years.
It ceased meeting after subscribers Philip Mazzei and John Harvie moved away, and Thomas Jefferson, depressed after the death of his wife and several children, sailed to France in 1783 as an ambassador.
Virginia’s religious revival continued as part of the Second Great Awakening.
Methodist evangelist Jesse Lee, who traveled a circle of cities, reported in 1787 the “circuits that had the greatest revival of religion” included Albermarle county.
Virtually all Baptist and Methodist churches were of mixed races.
In 1788, Rev. John Leland, a friend of Jefferson’s and pastor of Goldmine Baptist Church of Louisa, Virginia, personally baptized over 400.
In Charlottesville, attorney William Wirt wrote in 1795 of the preaching of Presbyterian Rev. James Waddell:
“Every heart in the assembly trembled in unision. His peculiar phrases that force of description that the original scene appeared to be, at that moment, acting before our eyes…
The effect was inconceivable. The whole house resounded with the mingled groans, and sobs, and shrieks of the congregation.”
James Madison, who was a member of St. Thomas Parish where Rev. James Waddell taught, exclaimed:
“He has spoiled me for all other preaching.”
Madison had Presbyterian preachers speak his Montpelier estate, such as Samuel Stanhope Smith and Nathaniel Irwin, of whom he wrote:
“Praise is in every man’s mouth here for an excellent discourse he this day preached to us.”
Methodist Rev. Lorenzo Dow, nicknamed “Crazy Dow,” traveled over ten thousand miles preaching to over a million people. His autobiography at one time was the 2nd best-selling book in America, exceeded only by the Bible.
Dow held a preaching camp meeting near Jefferson’s home, writing in his Journal that on April 17, 1804:
“I spoke in…Charlottesville near the President’s seat in Albermarle County…to about four thousand people, and one of the President’s daughters (Mary Jefferson Eppes) who was present.”
In the lawless Kentucky frontier, Rev. James McGready and his small church agreed in 1797:
“Therefore, we bind ourselves to observe the third Saturday of each month for one year as a day of fasting and prayer for the conversion of sinners in Logan County and throughout the world.
We also engage to spend one half hour every Saturday evening, beginning at the setting of the sun, and one half hour every Sabbath morning at the rising of the sun in pleading with God to revive His work.”
In June of 1800, 500 members of James McGready’s three congregations gathered at the Red River for a “camp meeting” lasting several days, similar to Scottish “Holy Fairs” where teams of open-air preachers rotated in a continuous stream of sermons.
On the final day:
“‘A mighty effusion of the Spirit’ came on everyone ‘and the floor was soon covered with the slain; their screams for mercy pierced the heavens.’”
In July of 1800, the congregation planned another camp meeting at the Gaspar River. Surpassing their expectations, 8,000 people arrived, some from over 100 miles away:
“The power of God seemed to shake the whole assembly. Towards the close of the sermon, the cries of the distressed arose almost as loud as his voice.
After the congregation was dismissed the solemnity increased, till the greater part of the multitude seemed engaged in the most solemn manner.
No person seemed to wish to go home-hunger and sleep seemed to affect nobody-eternal things were the vast concern.
Here awakening and converting work was to be found in every part of the multitude; and even some things strangely and wonderfully new to me.”
On AUGUST 7, 1801, though Kentucky’s largest city had less than 2,000 people, 25,000 showed up at revival meetings in Cane Ridge, Kentucky.
Arriving from as far away as Ohio, Tennessee, and the Indiana Territory, they heard the preaching of Barton W. Stone and other Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian ministers.
Rev. Moses Hodge described:
“Nothing that imagination can paint, can make a stronger impression upon the mind, than one of those scenes.
Sinners dropping down on every hand, shrieking, groaning, crying for mercy, convulsed; professors praying, agonizing, fainting, falling down in distress, for sinners or in raptures of joy!…
As to the work in general there can be no question but it is of God. The subjects of it, for the most part are deeply wounded for their sins, and can give a clear and rational account of their conversion.”
Prior to the Revolution, the FIRST Great Awakening was led by Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and other preachers who helped start the University of Pennsylvania (1740), Princeton (1746), Brown (1764), Rutgers (1766), and Dartmouth (1770).
The SECOND Great Awakening led to the conversion of a third of Yale’s student body through the efforts of its President Timothy Dwight.
Spreading to other colleges, hundreds of students entered the ministry and pioneered the foreign missions movement.
Young men, along with the first women missionaries, were sent to the American West, and as far away as Burma and Hawaii.
The Second Great Awakening contributed to the founding of the American Bible Society, the Society for the Promotion of Temperance, the Church of Christ, the Disciples of Christ and the Seventh-Day Adventists.
Christians helped reform prisons, cared for the handicapped and mentally ill, and worked to abolish slavery.
George Addison Baxter, a skeptical professor at Washington Academy in Virginia, published an account of his travels throughout Kentucky, which was printed in the Connecticut Evangelical Magazine, March of 1802:
“The power with which this revival has spread, and its influence in moralizing the people, are difficult for you to conceive, and more so for me to describe….
I found Kentucky, to appearance, the most moral place I had ever seen. A profane expression was hardly ever heard. A religious awe seemed to pervade the country.
Never in my life have I seen more genuine marks of that humility which…looks to the Lord Jesus Christ as the only way of acceptance with God…”
“I was indeed highly pleased to find that Christ was all and in all in their religion… and it was truly affecting to hear with what agonizing anxiety awakened sinners inquired for Christ, as the only physician who could give them any help.
Those who call these things ‘enthusiasm,’ ought to tell us what they understand by the Spirit of Christianity….
Upon the whole, sir, I think the revival in Kentucky among the most extraordinary that have ever visited the Church of Christ, and all things considered, peculiarly adapted to the circumstances of that country…
Something of an extraordinary nature seemed necessary to arrest the attention of a giddy people, who were ready to conclude that Christianity was a fable, and futurity a dream.
This revival has done it; it has confounded infidelity, awed vice to silence, and brought numbers beyond calculation under serious impressions.”
The Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.
Baptism has always been by Immersion
At Westminster in England on August 8, 1644, after another warm dispute, it was voted that “’pouring or sprinkling water on the face’ was sufficient and most expedient.” This event was reported by the historian, Dr. John Lightfoot, who was present. Out of this meeting came the Westminster Confession of Faith, “a creedal standard for all Presbyterian churches.” This conference was called on June 1, 1643. Some Episcopalians, Independents, and Puritans were present but no Baptists. Lightfoot’s entry for Aug. 7, 1644 tells of a “great heat” in the debate over the issue of baptism. Rabbi Coleman, a great Hebrew scholar and Marshall, a great pulpit orator insisted that the Hebrew word tauveleh – dipping, demanded immersion “overhead.” The vote was 24 for dipping, 25 against it. How did this Presbyterian body, without a Baptist in it, come to such a “great heat” on this subject of immersion if it were a novelty and among believers in England at that time? The answer is clear. Immersion was practiced from the days of the N.T. Dr. Philip Schaff, a member of the German Reformed Church, wrote: In England immersion was the normal mode down to the middle of the 17th century. The New Catholic Edition of the Holy Bible with the imprimatur of Francis Cardinal Spellman states: “St. Paul alludes to the manner in which Baptism was ordinarily conferred in the primitive church, by immersion. The descent into the water is suggestive of the descent of the body into the grave, and the ascent is suggestive of the resurrection to a new life.” The ordinance of believer’s baptism has historical perpetuity from the days of the apostles until now.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 325-26.
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A grandmother prays her grandson into the ministry
Dr. Stephen Gano was ordained into the gospel ministry on August 2, 1786, by his father, uncle, and several other pastors in the Gold Street Baptist church of N.Y. City. After two brief but successful pastorates in 1792, he received a unanimous invitation to the pastorate of the First Baptist Church in Providence, R.I., where he served until his death. When he became pastor, the church numbered 165 members; however, during the thirty-six years of his ministry there, five new churches were born, and the membership of the First Baptist Church grew to 647. First Baptist Church of Providence was one of the largest Baptist congregations in America and experienced frequent revival. In 1820 alone they saw 147 baptized. Dr. Gano was a stellar leader who served the Warren Association as its moderator for nineteen years. Stephen was born on Dec. 25, 1762, in New York City, where his father, John Gano, was pastor. His uncle James Manning was the President of Brown University where his parents planned to send Stephen until his father entered the army as a chaplain, and thirteen-year old Stephen had to go live with his uncle, Dr. Stites, to be educated as a doctor. While on the way, he and his father stopped at his grandmother’s house. She placed her hand on Stephen’s head prayed for his salvation, and also that God would call him to preach the everlasting gospel and “be faithful unto death that he may win the crown of life.” Stephen did become a doctor and entered the army as a surgeon before he was saved. He served aboard a ship, was taken prisoner and was in a prisoner exchange. He died on August 18, 1828.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 316–17.
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He pastored all the Baptists in NYC and Philadelphia
On June 19, 1762, the First Baptist Church of New York City was constituted by Benjamin Miller and John Gano. Gano immediately became the pastor and also accepted the pastoral care of the Baptist church in Philadelphia. The meetinghouse in N.Y. was enlarged in 1763. During the Revolutionary War, the church was dispersed and its members scattered and the building used as a stables for the British as they occupied the city for seven years. Gano served that time with honor as a chaplain. On his return he found emptiness, desolation, and ashes. He collected 37 out of nearly 200 of his former flock. Many had died and others were scattered throughout every part of the new nation. After the building was cleaned, at the first service he preached from Haggai 2:3-“Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? And how do you see it now?” The days of spiritual prosperity soon returned and lasted until he baptized his last convert on April 5, 1788. John was born July 22, 1727, the fifth son of Daniel Gano and Sarah Britton. He was a direct descendent of the French Huguenots of France. His great-grandfather Francis fled from the persecution that resulted from the bloody edict revoking the Edict of Nantes. Francis Gano settled in New Rochelle, N.Y. His son Stephen raised six sons one of whom was John’s father, Daniel. John’s father was a godly Presbyterian, his mother a Baptist, hence the children were raised in Baptist convictions. John began his ministry by preaching through-out the South, and accepted a call to take charge of an infant church at the “Jersey Settlement” in N.C. The church grew to be quite large but upon an outbreak of war with the Cherokees he moved to New Jersey. He ended his ministry as a missionary to Kentucky.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 300-01.
Henry Clay (1777-1852)
American Minute with Bill Federer
“I would rather be right than President,” answered Henry Clay, when told his abolitionist position would cost him the election.
Clay was 3 times a candidate for President, once only 5,000 votes short.
The son of a Baptist minister, Henry Clay studied law under George Wythe, served in Congress over 40 years and was Speaker of the House 6 times.
Henry Clay stated in 1841:
“Patriotism, which, catching its inspiration from the immortal God…prompts to deeds of self-sacrifice, of valor, of devotion, and of death itself – that is public virtue, that is the noblest, the sublimest of all public virtues.”
Clay was part of the “Great Triumvirate,” with Daniel Webster and John Calhoun which led Congress during the early 1800′s.
He helped negotiate the treaty ending the War of 1812 and was key to John Quincy Adams being the 6th President instead of Andrew Jackson.
In 1824, Clay supported Greeks who wanted freedom from the Muslim Ottoman Empire, and he supported South Americans wanting freedom from Spain.
Abraham Lincoln described Henry Clay in a eulogy, July 6, 1852:
“When Greece rose against the Turks and struck for liberty, his name was mingled with the battle-cry of freedom.
When South America threw off the thraldom of Spain, his speeches were read at the head of her armies by Bolivar.
His name…will continue to be hallowed in two hemisphere… Clay was without an equal…He exorcised the demon which possessed the body politic…
Clay’s efforts in behalf of the South Americans, and…in behalf of the Greeks, in the times of their respective struggles for civil liberty are among the finest on record.”
In 1832, when an Asiatic Cholera epidemic ravaged New York, Henry Clay recommended a Day of: “Public humiliation, prayer and fasting to be observed by the people of the United States with religious solemnity.”
Henry Clay was second cousin’s of abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay, and in 1816, helped establish the American Colonization Society to aid free American blacks in founding Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa.
Clay addressed the Kentucky Colonization Society in Frankfort, 1829:
“Eighteen hundred years have rolled away since the Son of God, our blessed Redeemer, offered Himself on Mount Calvary for the salvation of our species…
When we shall, as soon we must, be translated from this into another form of existence, is the hope presumptuous that we shall behold the common Father of the whites and blacks, the great Ruler of the Universe, cast his all-seeing eye upon civilized and regenerated Africa, its cultivated fields, its coasts studded with numerous cities, adorned with towering temples dedicated to the pure religion of His Redeeming Son?”
Known as “The Great Compromiser,” Clay opposed the Mexican-American War, and struggled to maintain the Union between the North and the South by proposing “The Compromise of 1850.”
Henry Clay told the Senate, February 5, 1850:
“I hope it will not be out of place to do here, what again and again I have done in my private chamber, to implore of Him who holds the destinies of nations and individuals in His hands, to bestow upon our country His blessing, to calm the violence and rage of party, to still passion…
May I not ask of Him too, sir, to bestow on his humble servant…the blessing of his smiles, and of strength and ability to perform the work which now lies before him?…
I implore…Heaven…that if…the dissolution of this Union is to happen, I shall not survive to behold the sad and heart-rending spectacle.”
Nine year before the Civil War began, Henry Clay died from tuberculosis, JUNE 29, 1852.
The first to lie in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, a statue of Henry Clay was placed in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall by the State of Kentucky.
Fifteen counties across America were named for him.
In 1957, a Senate Committee headed by John F. Kennedy named Clay one of the 5 best Senators ever.
Rep. John C. Breckinridge recalled Henry Clay as having said:
“The vanity of the world, and its insufficiency to satisfy the soul of man, has been long a settled conviction of my mind.
Man’s inability to secure by his own merits the approbation of God, I feel to be true…
I trust in the atonement of the Saviour of mercy, as the ground of my acceptance and of my hope of salvation.”
Henry Clay warned the Senate, July 22, 1850:
“If there be a war…I will not assert what party would prevail…for you know, sir, what all history teaches…that few wars…have ever terminated in the accomplishment of the objects for which they were commenced…
Think alone of our God, our country, our consciences, and our glorious Union…without which we shall be torn into hostile fragments, and sooner or later become the victims of military despotism, or foreign domination…”
“What will be the judgment of mankind…who are looking upon the progress of this scheme of self-government as being that which holds out the highest hopes…of ameliorating the condition of mankind…
Will not all the monarchs of the old world pronounce our glorious republic a disgraceful failure?…
It is possible that, for the chastisement of our sins and transgressions, the rod of Providence may be still applied to us, may be still suspended over us…
I pray to Almighty God that it may not lead to the most unhappy and disastrous consequences to our beloved country”
Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.
Martyrs: Triumphant in the Flames
Thomas Hawkes, who, with six others, was condemned to death on February 9, 1555. Hawkes was a young man of good stature who had been in the service of the Earl of Oxford. He was well versed in the Scriptures, and thus he had refused to have his child baptized in the Roman church. After being arrested, he was held prisoner in the gatehouse for many terrible months as he was being tried by the infamous Bishop Edmund Bonner of London. After Hawkes endured the agony of the long incarceration, Bishop Bonner finally decided upon the death penalty.
A short while before Hawkes’s death, a group of his friends promised to pray for him in the dread hour of trial and asked for a sign if he realized that Christ was with him in the torture. He agreed with their request and decided that he would lift up his hands in token that he was at peace.
The day of his execution—June 25, 1555—arrived, and Hawkes was led away to the stake by Lord Rich where Hawkes would become a fiery sacrifice on the altar of religious prejudice. When he came to the post where he would be burned, a heavy chain was thrown around his waist, and he was secured. After bearing witness to those close at hand, he poured out his heart to God in prayer, and the fire was kindled. The sun shone brightly on those assembled to see him die, but a group of friends stood praying and straining eager eyes for the gesture of victory.
The victim did not move and slowly the flames enveloped his body. When he had continued long in it, and his speech was taken away by violence of the flame, his skin drawn together, and his fingers consumed with the fire, so that it was thought that he was gone, suddenly and contrary to all expectation, this good man being mindful of his promise, reached up his hands burning in flames over his head to the loving God, and with great rejoicing as it seemed, struck or clapped them three times together. A great shout followed this wonderful circumstance, and then this blessed martyr of Christ, sinking down in the fire, gave up his spirit.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 260 – 261.
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Beaten with rods
1832 – On this day the mortal remains of the colonial Baptist preacher, John Koontz, was laid to rest in the little family grave yard, not far from the Shenandoah River, in what later became, Page County, Virginia. He was the first preacher to arouse perishing souls from their slumber in that area of the country. He also aroused the enemy of the gospel too as they used every method to discourage him from proclaiming the gospel. At Smith’s Creek he was threatened with beatings if he returned, but return he did, only to be beaten by a “son of Belial” with the butt end of a large cane, until he almost disabled the preacher. But the preacher refused to promise that he would not return. Later he was in a home with a companion named Martin Kaufman, waiting for the service to start, when Koontz heard a man inquiring about him, he stepped into another room, the man mistaking Kaufman for him, began beating him until they could convince him that he wasn’t the preacher. On another occasion Koontz was imprisoned, a man trying to rescue him was beaten. Koontz warned them to take heed what they did because if he was a man of God, they would be fighting against God. Immediately one of the men was alarmed and relented, soon the others followed and it wasn’t long until that man and two or three of the others became Baptists themselves. According to Dr. E. Wayne Thompson, who has been there, West of Luray, Virginia, on U.S. Route 211 is the “White House Bridge.” It is named for a white house which can be seen a few hundred yards downriver. John Koontz and the early Baptists met in this house and ultimately planted the Mill Creek Baptist Church in 1772. In a nearby gravesite beside the highway lies the body of John Koontz’s companion, Martin Kaufman.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, p. 167.
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