He opposed all infidelity
1836 – Dr. A. J. Gordon, named for Adoniram Judson,was born in New Hampshire on this day in 1836 to godly parents. At the age of 15 he came to a vital knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Upon completing his education including his theological training, he was ordained and became the pastor at Jamaica Plain, MA. From 1867 until 1869, he was sought as the pastor of the Clarendon Street Baptist Church of Boston, but did not accept it until they agreed to eliminate the paid choir and replace it with congregational singing. He was a composer of hymns and hymn tunes himself. His most influential work was related to world evangelism and missions in which he served for over twenty years as a member of the board, or as executive chairman of the American Baptist Missionary Union. He strongly emphasized the faith element in missions. He believed that the new birth by the Holy Spirit was essential for the believer. He participated in Dwight L. Moody’s evangelistic meetings and was a consistent soul winner and evangelistic preacher himself. He knew that all preaching and ministering of the Word was futile apart from the power of the Holy Spirit. He was an apologist for biblical Christianity against Darwinism, agnosticism, Unitarianism, transcendentalism, Christian Science, baptismal regeneration, and the influence of materialism in the evangelical churches of his day. Dr. Gordon was a fundamentalist before fundamentalism. He held that the Bible was inerrant and infallible. He died in 1895 and on his gravestone reflects that Blessed Hope – Pastor A.J. Gordon “Until He Come.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, p. 159.
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Tag Archives: Education
He opposed all infidelity
Christ the True Refuge
1847 – Rev. and Mrs. I.J. Stoddard, appointed by the American Baptist Missionary Union, sailed from Boston on the Cato to serve the Lord in Assam. Rev. Stoddard’s expertise was in the field of education, however, he preached extensively, until nine years later when ill health forced them back to the states in 1856. After returning to America, their hearts were so burdened for Assam, that they returned to that heathen darkness in 1866. The sacrifice that they made was nearly unbearable, as they made arrangements for their children to be left in the states. After arriving in Assam they were assigned to Gauhati, and then removed to Goalpara where they reaped a great harvest of souls. It is reported that no work excelled his, up to that time, on any mission field of the ABFMU. Then another great sacrifice was made as the Stoddards had to separate, that they might serve in two different areas. In 1871 when her health failed again, his wife had to sail alone for America, leaving I.J. to continue without her. Following is one of the examples of “So Great a Salvation.” An English evangelist had gone to a bazaar and gave a tract True Refuge to an old man who had been a village bard. He learned the tract by memory, and he and his wife traveled many miles, often through waste deep water and mud to Gauhati to find the teacher. All the way he would cry out, “Life, life, eternal life! Who will tell us about it? People would laugh and mock. At Gauhati he found the missionaries and they told him about Jesus, the Way of Life. He was discipled and baptized. From then on he would go throughout the land singing the praises of God. [Helen Barrett Montgomery, Following the Sunrise Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1881), 2:1112. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 600-02.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
Through him we have the First Amendment
1776 – Elder John Leland married Miss Sallie Devine, and God blessed them with eight children. As the Apostles, along with Patrick Henry, Carrington, and Washington, he would have been considered an “unlearned and ignorant” man, in that he had received no formal education. But his proficiency in the gospel, law and politics was as profound as any of his contemporaries. Born in Grafton, Mass. on May 14, 1754, he was saved after a lengthy period of conviction over his sins. In June of 1774 he moved to Virginia, was ordained, and assumed the pastorate of the Mount Poney Baptist Church in Culpepper County. For the next fifteen years he served in a very successful evangelistic ministry that covered 75,000 miles, and the preaching of over 3,000 sermons. Altogether he baptized 1,352 converts. One woman’s husband came to shoot him but he got her under while the members detained him. His shrewd and witty mind aided him in championing soul liberty and religious freedom. It was primarily through his able leadership that we have the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He also opposed slavery when it was unpopular to do so, and was successful in disenfranchising the Protestant Episcopal Church which was supported by taxation in Virginia. He ended his life still preaching the gospel in his native Massachusetts, and died at age 67 on Jan. 14, 1841. [Robert Boyle C. Howell, The Early Baptists of Virginia (Philadelphia: Bible and Publication Society. 1857), p. 242 This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 535-36] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
A Citadel of Christianity
1807 – Elder Ashbel Hosmer led the Baptists around the Hamilton, N.Y area to form the Hamilton Missionary Society. This was prior to the Congregationalists sending the Judson’s and Luther Rice to Burma. Elder Hosmer was pastor of the Baptist church in Hamilton and was succeeded by Rev. Daniel Hascall who, as a ministry of the church, founded the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution. From this effort 1200 ministers of the Gospel went out across America and in heathen lands. It became known as the “West Point” of Christian service. 19 years after its founding, a few non-ministerial students were allowed entrance and the Institution began to change and in 1846 its name changed and was charted as Hamilton University. However, to shield the Theological Department from the state, they kept it as a separate corporation. Finally the 2nd law of thermodynamics took over and secularization in the end carried the day and what began as a great Citadel of the Christian faith is now simply Colgate University, a monument to infidelity. [J.N.M. The Missionary Jubilee (New York: Sheldon and Company, 1871), p. 338. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 468-470.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
Milo P. Jewett
The Pastor Who Couldn’t Ignore Immersion
Milo P. Jewett was born in Johnsbury, Vermont, on April 27, 1808, into the family of Dr. and Mrs. Calvin Jewett. Being the son of a medical doctor, young Jewett was offered the opportunity of a fine education and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1828. Looking forward to a career in the legal profession, Jewett spent a year in a law office in New Hampshire, but in 1830 he abandoned law and entered Andover Seminary. His brilliant mind fully equipped him for the field of education, and “he decided that teaching and not preaching was the work for which God had fitted him…In 1834 (he) accepted a professorship in Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio.”
Professor Jewett was persuaded to accept the pastorate of a Presbyterian church along with his educational duties, and for two years he served as pastor-professor. A disturbing situation developed which changed Jewett’s life, and that we might hear it in his own words, we quote from a letter he wrote from Marietta College, dated June 28, 1838:
Perhaps you know I have preached for about two years past to a Presbyterian church in the country. Some eighteen months ago, an elder of that church became a Baptist. On the occasion of his baptism, a sermon was preached by Rev. Hiram Gear, the Baptist minister in Marietta. This sermon disturbed several members of my church, and the session requested me to preach on baptism. . . . .
Afterwards I took up infant baptism; and here I found myself in clouds and darkness…I would lay down the subject for weeks, then resume it, till, some three or four months ago, I was obliged, in the fear of God, to conclude that none but believers in Jesus have a right to the ordinance of Jesus.
In January 1839 Jewett was baptized and united with the Baptist church in Marietta.
In 1840 he authored Jewett on Baptism, and the volume was blessed by the Lord in helping many to see the spiritual truth of the ordinance. Jewett passed into the Lord’s presence in 1882 after a full life of spiritual obedience and service.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 261 – 262.
Prayer and a Biblical Educator
James Petigru Boyce was a fine scholar and very popular in his ways. He received his college education when it was not unusual for students and faculty to meet for prayer every evening. The spiritual welfare of Boyce became of great concern to some of his fellow students, and he became the object of special prayer that his gifts and graces might all be consecrated to Christ.
Shortly after one of these times of special prayer and fasting, Boyce took a ship from New York to Charleston, South Carolina. During this long journey, it was observed that he spent a great deal of time in his stateroom. A friend discovered that he was reading his Bible, and after much discourse together, Boyce came under deep conviction. Upon reaching the city, he found that his sister was also concerned with her spiritual welfare and that a close friend had just made his profession of faith. Dr. Richard Fuller was preaching in the city with great effect, and a spiritual awakening was under way. Boyce’s conviction of sin increased, and he felt himself a ruined sinner and looked to the merits of Jesus Christ alone for his salvation. On April 22, 1846, he was baptized on that profession of faith. Boyce graduated from Brown University in 1847 and studied theology at Princeton from 1848 to 1851.
Dr. Dale R. Hart from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, p. 1623
The Humility of a Great Man of God
An humble weaver who had seven schools named for him
William Carey believed that Indians could be authentically evangelized only by their own countrymen. He set out, therefore, to prepare converts for this task and broadened the scope of education in the mission schools. Serampore College was conceived not as a seminary but as a liberal arts college for Christians and non-Christians.
It comes as no surprise, then to read of Carey’s reaction when he had been informed that he was to be proposed as Professor of Bengali in the English Government’s Fort William College. Joshua Marshman, Carey’s close associate, recorded the following in his diary:
Wednesday, April 8, 1801. This morning Carey came to me in great haste, almost before I was awake. He had received a note from our good friend, Rev. David Brown concerning a matter of great moment, to which an immediate answer must be given. “He wishes to propose him as Professor of Bengali in the new College. Would he give consent?”
Carey has at least seven colleges named after him: William Carey International University in Pasadena, California, Carey Theological College in Vancouver, British Columbia, Carey Baptist College in Auckland, New Zealand, Carey BaptistGrammarSchool in Melbourne, Victoria, Carey College in Colombo, Sri Lanka and , Hattiesburg, Mississippi. William Carey Academy of Chittagong, Bangladesh teaches both Bangladeshi and expatriate children, from Kindergarten to grade 12.
Dr. Dale R. Hart from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 143-144. / Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
METHODISM IN TENNESSEE
Nashville was then and, indeed, is still the center and stronghold of Methodism in the South. They had there their great book concern in which every Methodist preacher was said to have a pecuniary as well as a denominational interest. Their one paper published in the Southwest was there. They had other important and thriving business establishments. They outnumbered the Baptists in Nashville at that time five to one and they really claimed this territory as peculiarly belonging to them, resenting the activities of the Baptists as invading a territory which should have been left alone. Above all, they had as the editor of their paper, The Christian Advocate, a man of varied attainments, one of surpassing ability and fierce prejudices. He was regarded as unscrupulous as he was talented; and he was a cordial hater of all the peculiarities that distinguish Baptists. That this practical polemic should at once turn his guns on the young editor was to be expected, and the manner in which he would do so might have been foreseen by his attacks on the dignified Dr. Howell:
“The inflated bird of Nashville, bigoted, presumptuous enough for anything; lacking only the power to be come a pope; in a state of putridity, i.e., that in morals we understand that Brother Howell is in a state of putridity.”
This reflection was passed upon Dr. Howell just after he had delivered a masterly address at the annual commencement of the Nashville University in which he greatly enhanced his already growing popularity.
“We (McFerrin) understood him (Dr. Howell) to say that he does not consider it a matter of importance always to state the plain truth.”
“To deny that Baptists have asserted that they believe that there are children in hell is more than madness, if lying is worse.”
We here give only one response from Dr. Howell, to show his estimate of the man and also his manner of making reply:
“What we have said is enough to prove beyond question all that we propose, and that is that Mr. McFerrin will and does adopt any expedient, however repugnant to moral principles, if he thinks he can by such means do any injury to the Baptist denomination.”
DR. GRAVES GETTING HIS STRIDE
In the course of his editorial work, Dr. Graves, having become editor of The Baptist, set forth the Baptist view of baptism, insisting upon its meaning in the original Greek. In order to enforce his argument, he quited from namy authors. Among these were John Wesley and Adam Clark.
The editor of The Christian Advocate upbraided him as ignorant and as publishing “lies” in order to mislead his readers concerning “well known and fully accepted teaching.” Then the doughty editor of the Methodist organ challenged the editor of The Baptist to show his authority, and added: “If he failed, he would denounce him as an ignoramus and a liar and prosecute him for libel.”
Many people have been led to believe that Dr. Graves deliberately and wantonly attacked other denominations, thus seeking to draw them into debate, either oral or written. This was far from the truth and the above and the above experience indicates the ordinary course. But a challenge like that, followed by such a threat, was not the sort of dare that Dr. Graves would decline to accept. He replied, giving from Mr. Wesley’s writings and from Dr. Clark’s Commentaries their own language, making the statements which he had credited to them. He gave the volume and page from the authentic works of these great Methodist leaders and copied the quotations accurately. It was thus that the conflict with Methodism began. Dr. Graves was not the aggressor, but responded to the most vicious attacks. The same is practically true concerning Dr. Graves’ decision with respect to all denominational leaders, Baptists and others, who complained so loudly at him.
DR. McFERRIN’S LIEUTENANTS
Then there was in the state the notorious Parson Brownlow, of whom little need to be said here, a desperado in politics as in religion. This turbulent man was a heart foe of Baptists and their principles. He attacked them constantly in his political organ, The Knoxville Whig. Then throughout Tennessee and Mississippi wnt two traveling lecturers and disputers whode manin work was to attack and misrepresent Baptists. One of them was named Chapman, an Irishman, who was the bitterest and most unscrupulous man who at that time wore the ministerial garb. These were the men whom Graves, the newly elected editor, had to meet in the defense of himself and the principles which he intensely loved, and he had to meet them almost alone, as his was the only Baptist paper being published in the Southwest, for John l. Waller, of Kentucky, had retired from the Baptist Banner and Pioneer and its publication was then suspended. The Christian Advocate had been transferred by Dr. Mercer to the Georgia State Convention and was merely a medium of denominational news. The Biblical Recorder, of North Carolina, had been suspended for want of patronage and was struggling to renew its existence. It will help to understand the situation if it is remembered that there was no Baptist paper being published at that time in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, or Texas. The whole Southwet was dependent upon The Baptist as a denominational exponent.