Tuesday, September 13, 2016

From Burkitt & Read's Kehukee Ass. History


"Shaking hands while singing, was a means (though simple in itself) to further the work. The ministers used frequently, at the close of worship, to sing a spiritual song suited to the occasion, and go through the congregation, and shake hands with the people while singing; and several, when relating their experience, at the time of their admission into church fellowship, declared that this was the first means of their conviction. The act seemed so friendly, the ministers appeared so loving, that the party with whom the minister shook hands, would often be melted in tears...many times had a powerful effect. Giving the people an invitation to come up to be prayed for, was also blessed.

The ministers usually, at the close of preaching, would tell the congregation, that if there were any persons who felt themselves lost and condemned, under the guilt and burden of their sins, that if they would come near the stage, and kneel down, they would pray for them. Shame at first kept many back, but as the work increased, numbers, apparently under strong conviction, would come and fall down before the Lord at the feet of the ministers, and crave an interest in their prayers. Sometimes twenty or thirty at a time. And at some Union Meetings, two or three hundred would come, and try to come as near as they could. This very much engaged the ministers; and many confessed that the Lord heard the prayers of his ministers, and they had reason to hope their souls were relieved from the burden of their sins, through the blood of Christ. It had a powerful effect on the spectators to see their wives, their husbands, children, neighbors, &c., so solicitous for the salvation of their souls; and was sometimes a means of their conviction. Many ladies of quality, at times were so powerfully wrought on, as to come and kneel down in the dust in their silks to be prayed for. The act of coming to be prayed for in this manner had a good effect on the persons who came, in that they knew the eyes of the congregation were on them, and if they did fall off afterwards it would be a disgrace to them, and cause others to deride them; this, therefore, was a spur to push them forward."  (pg. 76, 77)

"Let the politician with all his maxims of policy; the deist with all his deistical reasoning, endeavoring to invalidate the Divine authority of the Holy Scriptures; the soldier with all his arms and ammunition, see if any, or all of them together, can by all their art, sophistry, or power, or even by the force of gunpowder, effect such a reformation in the morals of men. Can they do what the simplicity of the Gospel of our dear Lord Jesus has done? Can they make those who hate God and religion, with all their hearts love him and his service? Can they make men at variance and enmity love one another? This the Gospel has done in this revival. In some neighborhoods, persons at enmity with each other, and when they met would not speak to one another, after receiving the benefits of the Gospel’s gracious influence, could take each other in their arms with the greatest pleasure, and cause an unbelieving world to say, Behold how these Christians love."  (pg. 81)


The Messengers of the several Baptist churches belonging to the United Baptist Association, formerly called the Kehukee Association, met at the, Flat, Swamp meeting-house, in Pitt county, North Carolina, October, 1791:

To the several churches in union with this Association, send greeting:

And since Almighty God, in carrying on this glorious work, is pleased by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe, it therefore becomes necessary that there should be a number of preachers or ministers of the Gospel. And according to the direction of our last Association, we proceed, in our circular letter, at this time, to make a few observations on the necessary support or maintenance of Gospel ministers; although we are very sorry that there should be the least occasion to write or speak upon that subject." (pg. 82)

"After the removal of Elder White, the church labored under great coldness and barenness (sic) until about 1801, when the church consisted of not more than twenty members in full fellowship. About this time, Elder Burkitt on a circuit of meetings attended this place. He preached, prayed, and sung, but no good effect seemed to attend his labors. At the close of the meeting, he at last told them, “that if there was any person in the congregation who desired to go to heaven or be converted, if he would come up to the pulpit, he would pray to the Lord for him.” No person came for some time. At length a young man came, with tears in his eyes, and requested his prayers. — Some months after, this young man was converted and related his experience at a Union Meeting, Warren, Ready Creek, and declared this was a mean in the hand of the Lord for his conviction and conversion; and said he was a thousand times obliged to the man for praying for him; and ten thousand to the Lord for putting it in the mind of his minister to do so. Soon after this a revival took place in this church, since which about one hundred have been baptized; and sometimes as many as twenty-four at one time. The church now contains one hundred and twenty members."  (pg. 124)

In view of all these citations concerning the beliefs and practices of the Kehukee Baptists from 1765 to 1801, how can any Harrdshell claim that those first Kehukee Baptists were Hardshell in belief and practice?

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