June 6, 2013 · 8:55 AM
Their Preaching Was a Matter of Right
A full day had passed since the apprehension of the four preachers and the exhorter in the meetinghouse yard. According to their bond they were now appearing in court June 6, 1768, and were being accused, as many other Baptists were subsequently accused, of being vagrants, strollers, and disturbers of the peace. The only real disturbers of the peace were the ruffians who would pelt them with apples and stones, drag them from their pulpits, beat them with fists, pound their heads on the ground, and on occasions duck them in water until they nearly drowned. Their only supposed crimes were quoting Scripture, preaching the gospel of the grace of God, and condemning the vices of the state-supported clergy.
John Waller, one of the accused, made his own and his brethren’s defense so ingeniously that the court was somewhat puzzled to know how to dispose of them. Waller was capable of this feat, being a brilliant, talented scholar and having received his education from private tutors. Though bred a churchman, he was distinguished from other John Wallers by the title “Swearing Jack” because of his profane speech. He was converted and embraced the principles of the Baptists as a result of sitting on the grand jury before whom Lewis Craig gave testimony. The court offered to release Waller and the others if they would promise to preach no more in the county for a year and a day. They dared not obey this mandate because it was in conflict with the supreme command of their God, their sovereign, but they could cheerfully submit to the penalty which unjust human law inflicted, thus demonstrating its oppressive injustice and paving the way for its repeal.
Having a petition for their release refused on July 4, 1768, Lewis Craig and Benjamin Waller, upon presenting a petition to the General Court in Williamsburg, received a letter from the attorney general to the deputy governor, advising that “their petition was a matter of right” and also suggesting to the “king’s attorney” that he was not to “molest these conscientious people, so long as they behaved themselves in a manner becoming pious Christians, and in obedience to the laws.”
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 233 -234.
Filed under Church History
Tagged as accused, apprehension, Baptist history, brilliant, current-events, defense, disturbers of the peace, drowned, exhorter, human-rights, meetinghouse yard, politics, preaching, pulpits, Religion, ruffians, strollers, talented scholar, vagrants
May 10, 2013 · 9:23 AM
Why Tarriest Thou?
At the close of the Triennial convention in May of 1814, Richard Furman on his way home to Charleston, S.C., stopped in the Nation’s Capitol. He happened to meet an acquaintance, Mr. James Monroe. Mr. Monroe said, “and you were the young preacher who fled for protection to the American camp, on account of the reward which Lord Cornwallis had offered for your head?” It seems that young Furman was not only a warm-hearted Baptist preacher, but an ardent advocate of the Revolutionary War. Everywhere, on stumps, and in barns, as well as in pulpits, he preached resistance to Britain. Colonel Monroe insisted that reverend Furman preach in the Hall of Congress. All the elite, including the President and Cabinet Ministers, would be present, for Colonel Monroe had circulated the early efforts and eloquence of the young preacher. Furman chose for his text, Acts 22:16, “And now, why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized.” He enjoyed great freedom as he spoke, and his voice rang out as in days of old. His earnestness caught the imagination of his audience and everything built as with a grand crescendo. Catching the spirit of the hour, he rose to the grand climax of his presentation. His clear stentorian voice rang out, “And now, why tarriest thou? Arise! And be baptized.” At the word “ARISE,” several of his august audience seemed electrified and rose from their seats, as if alarmed at their past sinful hesitation. This Mr. Monroe, Colonel Monroe, soon after became President James Monroe of the United States. Reverend Furman later contributed greatly to the constitutional change, which ended the established church (i.e. state/church) in South Carolina.
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III, (David L. Cummins) p.p. 270 – 272
Filed under Church History
Tagged as Baptist history, baptist preacher, Charleston S.C., current-events, Hall of Congress, human-rights, James Monroe, Lord Cornwallis, Nation's Capitol, politics, President Monroe, pulpits, Religion, Revolutionary War, richard furman, triennial convention, Why tarriest thou
September 5, 2012 · 8:06 AM
R. G. Lee
Torrey Talking Tremendously
“What we need more than anything else is a baptism with fire on the preachers, a baptism with fire on the deacons, a baptism with fire on the choir, a baptism with fire on the Sunday-school teachers, a baptism with fire upon young men and young women.”
“The doctrine of evolution is absolutely unproved. There is not a single proof of the hypothesis of evolution. Development of varieties there has been, but of evolution of a higher species from a lower not one single case. The hypothesis of the evolution of species, of the highest form of life from the lowest, is a guess pure and simple, without one scientifically observed fact to build upon.”
“If the Bible is not true, we have no proof that God is love.”
“There is an awful risk in delay.”
“Irrational and absurd are all the excuses that men make for not coming to Christ.”