Monday, December 30, 2013

History of Baptist Mission Work I

Chapter 170

As has been shown in the previous series, the particular Baptists of England and America, in the 17th and 18th centuries, were supporters of ministerial training and education. It was also seen how the first particular Baptists churches in the 17th century formed organizational agencies of their formal associations to oversee the collection and discharging of monies collected from individuals and the member churches.

The church of Jesus Christ has always been a missionary organization, as Howell, Peck, and the early apologists against the Hardshells, were constant to affirm. The claim of the early 19th century Hardshells that such missionary organizations were then entirely new things, is as false as is their claim about religious training for ministers being a 19th century invention.

Hugh L. Tully, writing in "A Brief History Of The Baptists," wrote:

"Hardshells oppose education and missions. American Baptists were Missionary Baptists before the Hardshells left them."

This is a fact that Baptist leaders, who first rose to oppose the Hardshells, men such as Howell and Peck, tried to remind the first Hardshells. The Baptists had a long history of support for missionaries and missionary work prior to the rise of the Hardshell schismatics. There were only missionary Baptists in existence the 17th and 18th centuries. There were no anti missionaries, no Hardshells. We saw how this was essentially acknowledged by Elder Gilbert Beebe in his apologetic response to the historical evidence of Howell and Peck.  Also, in the early part of this book, in chapter four, titled "Hardshell History Primer," in introducing this subject, it was shown how Elder Griffin, early Hardshell apologist and historian, in his book "History of the Mississippi Baptists" (1853), also acknowledged that the first Baptists in the Mississippi territory were all supporters of cooperative mission work.  This acknowledgment, however, forced him to say reluctantly, on page 124, that "were we not bound by the truth of history to speak of these things we would gladly hide them in oblivion."

Tulley also wrote:

"Baptists were missionaries before they came to America. The English and Welsh Baptists were missionaries in 1669, nearly 200 years before the Hardshell separation, the English Baptists raised money for ministerial education and missions. The General Assembly of English Baptists met in Londen in 1689. At this convention it was "resolved to raise a fund for missionary purposes, and to assist feeble churches; also, for the purpose of ministerial education." Benedict Bapt. Hist; p. 336.

These are facts to which I have already called attention. They demolish the Hardshell claim that such things were newly formed in the 19th century, and had no precedence. No Hardshell with such facts before him has any right to continue to make such claims.

Recall how the London Association, in 1689, formed a committee of nine brethren which was entrusted with "the collection and the administration of the fund for the assistance of weak churches" and for "the sending forth of missionaries," and for the education of ministers.

Accepting the criteria given by the Hardshells for determining the cause of the 1832 division, we can say that the Hardshells are the guilty party. What was new in the Baptist fellowship? It was not missionary organizations or theological schools, but was the sudden outspoken opposition to mission agencies, ministerial education, Sunday schools, etc. What was new was a violent war, begun by the newly formed Hardshell faction of Baptists.

Howell called them "new test men" to reflect the fact that the Hardshell faction had brought in something new into the Baptist family. They made a "new test" of "fellowship." Further, it was this "new test" that was the culpable cause of the division. It is interesting to note how their first notorious act of putting forth a new test of fellowship later became a habit and characteristic practice of the denomination. One might say it is part of their group psyche. They have a long history of continuing to make further tests of fellowship, new tests for determining orthodoxy.

Also, accepting the criteria given by the Hardshells for determining who are the descendents of the Particular Baptists of the 17th and 18th centuries, we can say that the Hardshells are not the primitive, old, or regular Baptists. They did not exist before the 1827-1832 period. But, Hardshell Newman, as we have seen, said that whoever cannot find their beliefs and practices in those former centuries, before 1832, cannot be the church of Christ.

Tulley wrote:

The Dutch Baptists established a college for ministers at Amsterdam, nearly 250 years before the Hardshell separation. The ancient Waldenses, who were Baptists, had ten schools in Valcomoncia alone in 1229.  They were great missionaries. The church at Antioch was a missionary church. The Jerusalem Church was missionary. In fact, the true churches of Christ have always been missionary. The Hardshells are anti-missionary and cannot be the Churches of Christ. They are, therefore, not the "Primitive'' Baptists. "Primitive" means first, and the first Baptists were missionaries. Missionary Baptists are the true Primitive Baptists, and did not originate with Hardshell separation." (PART TWO, CHAPTER ONE Introduction (see here)

These are facts and difficult for the Hardshells to accept. Beebe could not deal with these facts. Many Hardshells attempt to do what Elder Griffin could not do, and that is to hide them in oblivion. They ignore these facts and yet continue to call themselves "Primitive" Baptists and say that missionary Baptists are not.

Dr. William Dudley Nowlin, author of "Kentucky Baptist History, 1770-1922," in discussing "The Anti-Missionary Controversy of Baptists in Kentucky from 1832 to 1842" (see here) wrote (emphasis mine):

"Those who think that the "Old Baptists" or "Primitive Baptists" because of their ancient sounding names are the original Baptists would do well to read history. Spencer (Vol. I, p. 570) says "Previous to 1816, there was not an Anti-mission Baptist in Kentucky, so far as known. In every association, where a missionary enterprise was proposed, it met with universal favor." A long account is given by Spencer showing that the early churches, and associations of Kentucky sent missionaries to Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana and to the Indians, paying them for their services, the amount paid, in one case, being named."

What is true of the first Baptists of Kentucky and Tennessee is also true, as we have seen, with the first Baptists of new England, with the Philadelphia Association, and with the first Baptists in the Mississippi territory. We could easily add to this the Kehukee Association, the Charleston, two of the oldest associations.  Later in this series we will look at the evidence of Spencer, Christian, and others that shows that the first Baptists in America were missionary.

Nowlin also wrote:

"It is an interesting fact, too, that history records that one of the men who afterwards became a leader of the anti-mission forces, went to Tennessee as missionary in 1791. Here are the facts as given by Spencer (Vol. I, p. 570). "In the early period of the first churches, planted on the soil of Kentucky, missionaries were sent to the surrounding country. The oldest church in what was then called West (now Middle) Tennessee, was constituted by Ambrose Dudley and John Taylor. These ministers in 1791 traveled through a wilderness, on horseback, nearly two hundred miles, where they were constantly exposed to destruction by the Indians, to establish the Redeemer's cause in this remote settlement. John Sutton and James Sutton were afterwards sent, in turn, by Elkhorn Association, to minister to this church, and the Moderator was directed to pay them 13, 12s, 8d, for this service." These missionaries were "sent" and "paid" for their services."

Ambrose Dudley died in 1823, before the Kehukee Declaration (1827) or the Black Rock Address (1832).  He was a co-laborer with John Taylor in Kentucky.  He was the father of Elder Thomas P. Dudley, one of the initial leaders of the "anti mission", or "old school" faction.  Though John Taylor came out publicly against the "modern mission system" (1820), he nevertheless believed, like Ambrose and his other fellow ministers in Kentucky, such as William Conrad, that all the elect would be regenerated and converted, and that the Gospel would be God's means in regeneration and conversion. 

As Spencer shows, both Ambrose Dudley and John Taylor were missionaries.  Notice also how the old Elkhorn Association sent out John and James Sutton as missionaries and gave them financial support. 

Nowlin also wrote:

"The early Kentucky Baptists not only sent missionaries to the Indians, but established schools for their children, as the following shows: "The Kentucky Missionary Society established a school for Indian children near Georgetown, Kentucky, to which they gave the name of Choctaw Academy. The school opened with eight red children, in the spring of 1819. The number of students increased from year to year, till it became a large and flourishing school. In 1828, seventeen of the Indians in this school were baptized into Great Crossing Church, in Scott County, and of the number, Sampson Birch and Robert Jones, became preachers of the gospel among their people in the far West" ("History of Kentucky Baptists," Vol. I, p. 579).

This shows that the early Baptists in Kentucky were favorable to both missions and education, and not only in sentiment, but in their efforts."

What is shown to be true with regard to the first Baptists of Kentucky, relative to beliefs and attitudes about mission work, is also true of all the other states and territories.  Griffin, as previously noted, said that the first settlers in the Mississippi territory were all supporters of mission efforts.  This is also true with Baptists in New England, in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Virginia, Maryland, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, etc.

Nowlin also wrote:

"The decade extending from 1810 to 1820 was one of great prosperity to the Baptists of Kentucky. There were ten associations formed during that period," says Spencer (Vol. I, p. 579). This shows that the anti-mission spirit had not yet become prevalent in Kentucky.

In the history of the Salem Association Spencer records the fact that "In 1818, the association earnestly recommended the churches to contribute to missionary purposes, and expressed the opinion that educational societies greatly conduce to the promotion of the Redeemer's Kingdom." (Vol. II, p. 54).

These are stubborn facts which will not leave the Hardshells alone but will act like gadflies to irritate them.  With such facts before us, we see how the Hardshells have little claim to being the genuine old or primitive Baptists.

If we could go back in time between 1810 and 1820, and take a snapshot of what those Baptists who endorsed the Philadelphia Confession believed about missions, preaching the Gospel, religious education, and the way of salvation through faith, we would not be seeing a Hardshell anti mission, anti education, church. Hardshells, when they go back to this time period, envision or imagine a Hardshell anti church. The problem is that it is all a "pipe dream" or wish. They have no historical facts to prove that their views were the general views of their Baptist forefathers on these things.

John T. Christian in "A History of the Baptists," CHAPTER VII - "The Anti-Effort Secession from the Baptists," wrote (see here):

"Contemporaneous with the formation of the Triennial Convention there began among some Baptists an aggressive campaign against missions, education, Sunday schools, and indeed almost everything that organization fostered. The history of the Baptists of that period would be incomplete which did not give an account of the anti-effort secession variously called anti-missions and hardshellism. One can hardly, in this day, understand the rancor of speech which prevailed for years in many of the churches, and most of the early associations."

Notice the important words "there began." Something just happened, almost suddenly and without warning. It was something new. The "innovators" were the Hardshell "old school" folks, which Elder Watson, in his "Old Baptist Test" also said of his extreme ultraist Hardshell brethren.

Christian also wrote:

"While there was great opposition to missions, which gradually augmented as time went on, there was, if possible, a more bitter opposition to education, and to the establishment of Baptist colleges. The expressed opposition to these benevolent enterprises, as they were designated, was a conviction that they were human institutions, inventions and schemes, and contrary to the simplicity of the instructions enunciated in the New Testament for the spread of the gospel. There were also, of course, lower considerations, such as that preachers would not receive their support if mission collections were pressed, and some dissatisfaction because some preachers failed to receive appointments which they desired. Others feared that educated men would take their places. The Holy Spirit instructed preachers what to say, and therefore human learning was unnecessary. So missions and mission societies, Sunday schools, colleges and education, paid ministers, and temperance societies were denounced as contrary to the Word of God and human liberty."

This is well stated by Christian and gives a fair appraisal of the reasoning behind the opposition of the Hardshell faction.  This opposition, frankly, was due to ignorance of scripture.  It was in a large measure due to the Hyper Calvinism and Antinomianism that had infected many Baptist churches in the 18th and early 19th centuries.  It is also based upon the false hermeneutic rule that says that all religious belief and practice is to be condemned unless specifically described in Scripture, what we have called "patternism."  Many of the things that Christian says we have already introduced in previous chapters.

But, why object and vehemently begin opposing religious schools when they had been in existence among Baptists since their formal beginning in 17th century England?  Why now?  Why not previously?  Doubtless there are reasons, psychological, sociological, and historical. 

Christian also wrote:

"The name by which they designated themselves was Primitive, or Old School, Baptists; and they claimed that all Baptists were originally of their contention, which certainly was not the fact. "They arrogate to themselves," says J. M. Peck who was a contemporary, "the name of Old School Baptists because they reprobate all these measures (missions, education and Sunday schools, etc.), and declare non-fellowship with all Baptists who have anything to do with missionary work or any of those forms of active benevolence, and with all who hold correspondence with or fellowship missionary Baptists. In this charitable act they cut themselves off from at least nineteen-twentieths of all our Baptists in the United States, unless we can admit that a mere fragment of a party can exclude a vast majority" (J. M. Peck, Baptist Banner and Western Pioneer, July 4, 1839)."

Peck points to the arrogance and pretentious claims of the Hardshells.  It is true that the Hardshells have historically "claimed that all Baptists were originally of their contention."  Peck showed by historical evidence how such a claim was "certainly not the fact."  Peck also makes use of sarcasm when he calls the act of declaring non-fellowship a "charitable act."  It was anything but charitable, as Peck implies.  How can a body of people lacking charity towards their brethren be the home of the Lord?  Peck also points out how the antis were a minority, a VOCAL minority.  Peck showed how the Old Baptists of former times were supporters of missions and religious education.

Christian also wrote:

"The following extracts are from the minutes of the Licking Association, the largest anti-missionary body in the State:

The Licking Association has noticed with deep regret the various efforts which have been made to involve the memory of several valued ministers of the gospel, who lived and died members of her body, in the modern missionary institutions of the day. Some are curious to know why the Elkhorn Association has not introduced Peter, James and John, the Master, or some other inspired witness, to sustain her missionary operations, instead of Ambrose Dudley, Joseph Redding, John Price, and others who make no pretensions to being inspired? A solution of the question is not difficult, when it is known that the Bible is as silent as death on that subject . . . Suppose some of our aged brethren had given countenance to missionary operations; we ask, is the church justified thereby (in absence of Bible authority), in giving her support to an institution which it is believed has done, and is doing more to corrupt her, than, perhaps, any other?"

From this citation, taken with other evidence, it seems clear that Ambrose Dudley cannot be claimed as a Hardshell.  Thomas Dudley, the son, would have the dishonor of departing from the faith of his father and of the real Old Baptist faith and practice.

These Hardshells could not deny that many of their oldest ministers would not agree with the views of the Hardshells. What do they say about this?  "Well, they were wrong.  We do not follow them."  That all sounds really pious and orthodox, but one must doubt the claim if it is not proven in practice.  Notice again how the first Hardshells argued based upon the silence of Scripture, or from the premises of "patternism."  But, as we have shown, they do not practice their own precepts or follow their own advice.

Christian also wrote:

"Many reasons may be given for these divisions. The Baptist denomination, at this time, was not consolidated or unified. The Baptists until recently had been few and scattered, the churches were often located far apart, they had preaching very seldom and no local pastor, the associations met only once a year and were frequently turned into debating societies, there were few Baptist newspapers and they only had a small circulation, and the Triennial Convention had just been organized, and was perhaps the occasion for the attack. There was as yet no common rallying point. The methods of work were new and untried. The anti-missionary newspapers, The Signs of the Times and The Primitive Baptist, were widely circulated and from every standpoint attacked the new institutions. Many of the charges preferred were unjust but they produced the desired results."

Notice that Christians says that the Baptists, at the time of the division, was not a unified denomination. But, according to the Hardshell historians, all the Baptist were unified before the division.

In the remaining chapters of this series, we will continue to look at the history of Baptist support for mission work.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

History of Baptist Seminaries III

Chapter 169

In the first chapter of this series, it was shown that the Baptists who produced the London Confession of faith met in 1677 and collectively supported organizations to collect monies for ministerial education and mission work. Interestingly, it was 150 years later, in 1827, when the Kehukee Asoociation of churches (NC) declared non fellowship with Baptists who continued to do, though on a larger scale, the fundamentally exact thing as did the Old Baptists of 1677. This was 145 years before the Black Rock Address.

It was also seen how in 1722, the Philadelphia Association, the oldest in America (and a close ally of the London Association of churches that produced the 1689 confession), proposed to the churches "to make inquiry among themselves, if they have any young persons hopeful for the ministry, and inclined to learning" that they might be recommended to the academy of Mr. Hollis. There was no outspoken protestations against the practice of the churches of the Philadelphia Association, not even by old Kehukee, who corresponded with the Philadelphia Association throughout the 1700s. Where were the Hardshell churches in the 1700s who declared the Philadelphia Association in disorder for this?

We saw how the first Particular Baptists who put forth the London Confession supported Bristol college, which trained Baptist ministers throughout the 18th century. We saw how the Philadelphia Association of churches not only supported academies for preachers, but the creation of Rhode Island college (now Brown University). We also saw how the first American Particular Baptists supported churches contributing money to a general fund for the support of missionaries.

It is important to understand that the Baptist ancestors of the Hardshells, the Particular Baptists of England and America of the 17th and 18th centuries, believed and practiced providing school for the special education of young ministers, and training disciples in Bible classes and by catechisms, and cooperative mission work by agents and standing committees of the association. The Hardshells, as I have stated, claim that the things declared against in the Black Rock Address were new things introduced into the faith and practice of Baptists who adhered to the London and Philadelphia confessions of faith, and that it was the introduction of these new things that was the cause of the division..

In the Potter-Throgmorton debate Elder Potter, arguing for the Hardshells and giving his apology for the Hardshell conduct in the division, said:

"I wish to notice some things in the speech we have just listened to. The first thing Mr. Throgmorton does is to say that he is not bound to show that the Baptists had Sunday Schools, missionary boards, etc., during all the ages. He is under no obligation to show that they always had them. He admits that. He is begging the question. I challenge him to tell what divided us except these very things. It was after the introduction of these things among us that we divided. If we never had them we would not have been divided yet." (Potter-Throgmorton Debate, page 86; published in 1888 in St. Louis by J. N. Hall and J. H. Milburn, representing Missionary Baptists, and by H. C. Roberts and S. F. Cayce, representing the Primitive Baptists).

It is interesting that Potter only mentions "Sunday Schools" and "missionary boards" as being newly practiced in the 19th century. He could not say that organizations to train Baptist ministers was new. He could not say that revival or protracted meetings were new. He could not say that special classes for new converts was new. He could not say that agencies set up by associations of churches for mission work were new. But, how does one define "board"? Further, the London Baptists, as we saw, had people who were appointed to oversee the collection of mission funds on behalf of churches, and see that the money was dispersed to the ministerial students. Was that not a kind of board?

Notice how Potter does not say that the division resulted over doctrinal questions, over disagreements over the means of the Gospel, over the nature of perseverance, or over the absolute predestination of all things. It was initially a division over the means and methods of evangelism. Potter wants people to believe that the Baptists who began the practice of Sunday Schools and of mission boards were guilty of causing the division, or separation of the Hardshells from the general Baptist family. Elder John R. Daily, one who later also debated Dr. Throgmorton, in an article titled "A Loving Appeal to Primitive Baptists," wrote:

"Those who bring about division always accuse others of being the cause of it. Unfounded accusations amount to nothing. The rule by which to determine this question is that the one who introduces the new thing that results in severing the fellowship of the saints of God is the one who causes the division. It is never difficult to determine who this is in any case where innovations make their appearance."  (see here)

Elder J. S. Newman in his history, says in Chapter 11 "The Division of 1832" (see here):

"I have before me a copy of a small book called "Christian Union," written by Ben M. Bogard. I wish to quote the following from page 56:

"Before the year 1832 the Baptists believed and practiced the same things. At that time (1832) they divided on the following questions: Missions, salary to preachers, boards, conventions, schools and colleges, etc. Previous to this all were one, and such a question, as who were the Primitive Baptists, was never asked, because they were all primitive. Whatever was practiced and believed before the year 1832 by the Baptists was the practice and belief of Primitive Baptists. Those Baptists who do not teach the doctrines which Baptists taught before the year 1832 are not Primitive Baptists."

"If we can find out what the Baptists believed before 1832, and then can find a group of Baptists believing the same things now, they are Primitive Baptist; and those who do not believe the same doctrine, are not Primitive Baptists."

This is sufficient evidence to demonstrate what has been the apologetic response of the Hardshells about their being the cause of division. They deny being the cause of the division of 1832, and affirm rather that the supporters of mission and educational organizations were the guilty party, causing the division by introducing new beliefs and practices among the Baptists. So, the question of whether such things were new, in the 1830s, is very important. Also, whether the protests of the Hardshells represented something new.

By the criterion given above by the Hardshell apologists, the "Primitive Baptist" denomination must show how its views and practices were the views and practices of pre 19th century times. But, this is the very thing that they cannot do. Beebe could not find his brand of Hardshell Baptists in the intervening period between the time of the apostles and the 1830s. But, such an admission is not easy to obtain from Hardshells. When they can show the existence of Baptists, in the 17th and 18th centuries, who denied the use of the Gospel in regeneration, or the necessity of evangelical conversion to be eternally saved, and who opposed and declared non fellowship for any who support religious education and cooperative mission work, then they will have some reason to call themselves "primitive" or "old school" Baptists.

In the same article as cited above, Elder Newman says:

"Elder Keach, being a Primitive Baptist."

But, if this is so, then to be a primitive Baptist one needs to believe in Gospel means, for this is the teaching of Keach. Also, Keach was a supporter of the London Association's work in providing educational training for ministers and agencies to oversee collections for mission work.

Primitive Baptists today do not want to debate the question as to who is the real primitive Baptist. The reason is obvious. They cannot show from history how their particular sect has existed unchanged since the days of the apostles, ironically the very thing they say they must be able to prove to be a genuine church of Christ.

Now, in closing out this series on the history of religious training for ministers among the ancestors of the Hardshells, let me return to analyzing the rebuttal apology of Elder Gilbert Beebe who sought to explain how the Hardshells were the real descendants of American Particular Baptists.

Beebe continues:

"But shall we ask this valiant historian, this learned novice, what was the state and condition of the church of Christ prior to the setting up of these abominations among the Baptists? Could he! would he! dare he tell us? The truth is they were then precisely what the Old School Baptists are now, “a poor and afflicted people which trust in the name of the Lord.” They did not trust in E. Ferrel’s large estate, nor this Bristol minister-making machine, before the first gave his bequest, or the other was erected. They had no confidence in the flesh."

We might ask Beebe and his brethren, after the same manner, "where were the "antis" in the days of Bristol college"? Where were the protesters? Does he not admit that these things existed for centuries without any Hardshell existing to protest? All Beebe can do is assert that he and his brethren are the ancient church, without any historical proof, just as his twin brother, the Campbellite! He says that the establishing of Bristol college by the 17th century London brethren, was the setting up of an idol of abomination! But, if so, where were the loud opposers of these things in the 17th century? In the 18th? There were none! Ergo, there were no Hardshells.

Beebe continued:

"Go back then, Mr. F. and W., with your researches into the ancient history of the church, as far as the third of Matthew, and from thence trace down the channel of time the history of the people of God. Read it not in ostentatious bequests, in the erection of Theological Seminaries, or the formation of unscriptural Mission Boards, but read in characters of blood, the rise and progress, the persecutions, afflictions and the deliverance of the people of God, placed by grace in the Old School of Christ. You may find them, with some few interruptions, steadfastly adhering to the doctrine of the apostles, and conforming to the laws of Christ."

Again, when Beebe can't meet the historical argument and proof, he simply claims that they are like the apostolic church. He shows that he cannot prove his "primitive" status by appeal to history. Yet, in spite of this admission, his followers continue to affirm that they are most like the Baptists of the old confessions! Notice the arrogance of Beebe and his brethren! This is their cult mentality. He asserts that those who oppose religious schools are students in "Old School of Christ," while those who support such are not students in the school of Christ. Again, this is a cult phenomenon. By Beebe's standard, the Old Baptists of England and Wales who wrote and endorsed the London Confession, were not students in the school of Christ. John Gill was not by the same standard.

Beebe continues:

"Should you be at any loss to recognize them, remember the infallible mark by which they shall be known. Such as will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. The Old School, of whom we write, and among whom we desire to be numbered, were persecuted by the Jews, Scribes, Pharisees and priests, then by the Pagans, afterwards by the Papists, subsequently by Protestants, and now by the New School Baptists, but thanks be to God who giveth them the victory, they are the same people, one in the Lord their Savior, who will bring them one and all up out of great tribulation, having their robes made white in the blood of the Lamb."

Because Howell, Peck, and other Baptist historians overthrew the pretensions and claims of those who boasted of being "primitive" Baptists, therefore they are "persecutors"? But, by the same standard, Beebe and his Hardshell brethren were gross persecutors of those they judged as "new school" Baptists. Notice again how Beebe makes his Hardshell brethren to be equated with the elect few who will persevere, and how he equates Baptists who supported missions and theological education with being opposed to them. More evidence of cult thinking.

Beebe continued:

"We once saw when a boy a bird called, where we were raised, a woodpecker, dash his bill against the trunk of a very large tree, and immediately flew round the tree, apparently to see if he had not forced a hole through its diameter. We were reminded of the circumstance when we read the conclusion of our hero’s silly attack, for in his conclusion he apprehends that some of the readers of the Watchman may conclude that be should not have exposed the Old School Baptists so far; but should they not be satisfied with this hint, he threatens to give them another or two in a future number. O, spare us, Mr. Mule, (for we suppose by your significant anonymous title you must be something of a mongrel,) spare us the trouble of sifting out your trifling trash, for the game will but too poorly pay for the amunition." (ALEXANDRIA, D. C., August 25, 1838. Elder Gilbert Beebe, Editorials Volume 1, Pages 441–446)


Notice how Beebe cannot rebut the evidence against him but can only hurl epithets against Howell and Peck. Does this not speak volumes?

Beebe continued:

"We could no sooner take them as our guides than we could any other set of men, any farther than they followed Christ, and in our use of the distinctive appellation, we have, as we have frequently published, not the remotest allusion to any school of men, we reject alike every system of scholastic divinity, and profess to be pupils in the school of Christ, who as a teacher, teaches as never man taught; we call this the Old School, because it is the original gospel school, and in it the same divine lessons are taught now which were taught eighteen hundred years ago. And although, to our mortification, we confess that we are but dull scholars in this blessed school, yet it is our mercy to be found among those despised ones, who renouncing every other kind of religious teaching, are taught of God, come to Christ, learn of him, for he is meek and lowly, and here alone we find rest to our souls. It is the privilege of all Regular Old School Baptists to set where Mary sat, at the feet of Jesus, where they may receive his gracious words and divine instruction. It is our peculiar glory to wait on him; not like the New School, to plan, contrive, chalk out and dictate, and then call on the Lord to lay aside his plan and wisdom and adopt ours, or to come on in our rear, and succeed our undertakings, and follow with his blessing our efforts, &c. "Tis his to command, and ours to obey.”

Beebe wants people to know that the name "Old School" or "Primitive" does not affirm that they are kin to the Baptists who endorsed the old confessions, the Baptists of the 17th and 18th century! Being Landmarkers, however, where is his historical chain or linkage to the apostles? Who can believe that they only meant to affirm apostolicity by giving themselves the name of "Primitive" or "Old School" Baptists?

Beebe continued:

"Go back then, Mr. F. and W., with your researches into the ancient history of the church, as far as the third of Matthew, and from thence trace down the channel of time the history of the people of God. Read it not in ostentatious bequests, in the erection of Theological Seminaries, or the formation of unscriptural Mission Boards, but read in characters of blood, the rise and progress, the persecutions, afflictions and the deliverance of the people of God, placed by grace in the Old School of Christ. You may find them, with some few interruptions, steadfastly adhering to the doctrine of the apostles, and conforming to the laws of Christ."

Again, when Beebe can't meet the historical argument and proof, he simply claims that they are like the apostolic church. He shows that he cannot prove his "primitive" status by appeal to history. Yet, in spite of this admission, his followers continue to affirm that they are most like the Baptists of the old confessions. The arrogance of Beebe and his brethren is clearly evident.

In the next short series, we will give more detailed evidence that the Old Baptists who were in support of the old London Confession were supporters of organizations, set up by associations of churches, that promoted mission work. Therefore, the charge of the first Hardshells that such organizations were new is false.