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130 — May 09 – This Day in Baptist History Past

“So He Slew Me with the Words of His Mouth”
Founder of Brown Universitry

Morgan Edwards was born in Wales, May 9, 1722. He was educated at Bristol College under Bernard Foskett, its first president. He was ordained June 1, 1757, in Cork, Ireland, where he labored for nine years. He returned to England and preached for a year in Rye, in Sussex, when, through the recommendation of Dr. Gill and others, on the application of the Baptist church of Philadelphia, he came to that city and church, and entered upon the pastorate May 23, 1761.
At age sixteen he broke with his Anglican heritage and embraced the principles of the Baptists. This cleavage could have been caused by the infectious enthusiasm of the young Baptist missionaries who were sent out in such large numbers that hardly a village in the eastern and western valleys of Monmouthshire was not visited.  When he was pastor of the Baptist Church of Philadelphia many years later, he reminisced in a sermon as follows:
I remember the time (and the place too) when I first gave myself up as a lost man; for then I was halting between two opinions about it.  Fearing it was so, made me uneasy, and hope it might not be so, kept me from yielding to it.  But this sentence stuck on my mind in a light that it was not wont to do, ‘I will by no means clear the Guilty!’ then said I, I am gone, for I am guilty: if I am not damned God must be a liar. So He slew me with the word of His mouth. Then this commandment came, and I died.  Then I knew what sort of thing despair was. And you cannot imagine what jolt I felt, when I learnt so much of the Gospel as to know it was possible for me to be saved, and that God might stand to His word, and not send me to hell.
He was the founder of Brown University, at first called Rhode Island College. It is well known that this enterprise was started in the Philadelphia Baptist Association in its meeting in 1762, and Morgan Edwards was “the principal mover in this matter,” as he was the most active agent in securing funds for the permanent support of the institution. To Morgan Edwards more than to any other man, are the Baptist churches of America indebted for their grand list of institutions of learning, with their noble endowments and wide-spread influence.

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 189 -190
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201 – July 20 – This Day in Baptist History Past


Ten years that equaled a century


It is for some to go, and for others to hold the rope for others that go to the heathen world. Such was the lot of the Rev. Samuel Pearce who was ordained in 1789 as pastor of the Cannon Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, England in which he served until his death on Oct. 10, 1799. Though it only lasted ten years, William Cathcart said, “Measured by usefulness instead of years this young pastor preached for at least a century.” Pearce was a dear friend of Wm. Carey before the beginning of the missionary enterprise, and was one of the strongest advocates of the worldwide mission’s cause that the world has ever known. He desired to go with Carey but because of his physical frailties, the Missionary Society convinced him that he was of greater value for the cause of missions in England. His eloquence in the pulpit stirred many throughout England and Ireland to volunteer for and support of the work in India. As a staunch prayer warrior, Pearce carried every matter to the Lord and expected and received answers to his prayers. In 1794 he wrote to the ministers in the U.S. urging the formation of the American Baptist foreign missionary society, land credit must be given to Pastor Pearce, for the seed fell on good soil and bore fruit a hundredfold. Pearce was born in Birmingham, England, ln July 20, 1766. As a boy he experienced seasons of great conviction as he considered his sin. When he was fifteen he saw a man die who cried out, “I am damned forever.” He was filled with terror for a year and hearing Rev. Birt of Plymouth, England, he was pointed to the Lamb of God, and found full assurance and peace with God. He was trained in the Bristol College. At 33 years of age he fell victoriously asleep in Jesus, with his dear wife comforting him.


Dr. Greg J. Dixon: adapted From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 297-98.




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