Lewis Craig grave site
The Bold Preacher Who Fled Fast
Toliver Craig and his wife, of Orange County, Virginia, were the parents of three sons who became Baptist preachers. They had very effective ministries in the area surrounding their home. David Thomas, the Regular Baptist, and Samuel Harriss and James Read, the Separate Baptists, had introduced the gospel of the grace of God into their community. It was not long until the Craig family became flaming evangels, preaching the Word of God everywhere and anytime they had opportunity. As a result of this zeal, the sons Elijah and Lewis Craig found themselves in the county jail. Elijah was incarcerated four times, twice each in Culpeper and Orange County jails. Lewis was imprisoned only twice, once in Caroline County and once in Spotsylvania County, although he was arrested four times. These imprisonments were for preaching the gospel of the Son of God without state-church ordination or state licensure, although they were charged with being vagrants, strollers, or disturbers of the peace.
These brothers probably appeared eccentric in their day, but their younger brother, Joseph, was a very unusual man. He was a man of small stature, stooping shoulders, and hardy complexion. He was very active in business and persevered as a traveling preacher. There is a court record in Orange County Court House dated May 26, 1768, charging him and several others with absenting themselves from the parish church. This may have been due to his conversion experience prior to that date and his presence at Baptist meetings. In spite of several charges against him, to our knowledge he never saw the inside of a jail, doubtless due to the fact that he was a fast runner.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. Thompson/ Cummins pp. 215 -216.
On Jan. 10, 1887, the Baptists of Burma sent a reply to the Anglican Bishop of Rangoon, Burma, and the British and American Bible Societies request made in 1886 to reprint Judson’s Burmese translation but with one change – replacing “immerse” with the transliteration “baptize.” Judson’s reply to an earlier request had been, “I would rather lose my right hand than tamper with the Word of God.” The Baptists said that they understand that they want to use the transliteration “baptize” or a neutral word that all denominations might use, rather than the word “immerse”, “not on the ground that [it] is an incorrect or inadequate translation of the Greek word, but because it is not acceptable to other denominations of Christians. You seem to regard it as more important to please these other denominations than to make the Burman version mean the same thing to the Burman that the Greek Testament means to the Greek…We are compelled to decline.” After giving several supporting reasons to back up this opening statement the letter closes with this poignant thought: “What you really mean is, that you will not circulate such a version if it be made by Baptists…you will circulate it if made or used by a people who say, ‘I immerse thee,’ when they simply apply their wet fingers to the forehead of the candidate…” J.N. Murdock, Cor.[esponding] Secretary. As David L. Cummins says, “May we be as faithful as these Baptists in upholding the truth of God’s Word”!
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins /, pp. 20-22.
SOMETHING I HAVE NOTICED
Once upon a time – maybe that is not the proper way to begin this article, but it is the way I choose. What appears to me to be popular is to read books written by men and thereby gain our Biblical knowledge. The problem that I see is, this is not Biblical knowledge but what some one else states is Biblical.
Our fore-fathers displayed such a profound depth of knowledge in their day that it should shame us today in the shallowness of our “Jesus living.” These men, many with an education that left a lot to be desired learned how to study the Word of God. The availability of the men written books were limited and they had to pursue the Word of God and became knowledgable in the truths of the Word by direct study of God’s Word. Now our command is – “Study to whew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. II Tim. 2:15.
I see a great problem that is occurring at this time. People have forgotten the rudiments of studying. A simple reminder might be appropriate.
Isaiah 28:9 lays out the method of study clearly when it says – “Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10 – For precept must be upon precept, precept uon precept; line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 11 – For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12 – “To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 13 – But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. 14 – Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
Every time I read weaned, I remember what my father called those saved that were shallow – “BOTTLE BABIES. There are to many that are exactly what Romans 10:2 describes – “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” This is about the same as a car going down the street at top speed with no driver at the wheel and it careens at every bump it hits. That is a dangerous situation.
Will we learn to study the Word of God and not man’s opinion of the Word. May we use wise principles of precept on precept and line on line.