Mar 1, 2012

Dr. Graves on Hardshell Origins

The Tri-lemma:  OR, DEATH BY THREE HORNS BY J. R. GRAVES (see here)


"They Are Not Primitive but Derivative Baptists—Historical Proof by Dr. T. H. Pritchard, N. C.—If the Baptisms of Missionary Baptists Are Not Valid, Then the Anti-Missionaries Are All Unbaptized and No ChurchesA Tri-lemma for the Hard Shells.

That the Anti-missionary Baptists are not Regular or Primitive Baptists, but an unscriptural sect and apostate from the faith and practice of the Apostolic Baptists, has been repeatedly shown from accredited history and even from their own. The fact is, they were Derivatives and not Primitives. They “fell away” from the Regular Baptists in 1827-32, about the time the Campbellites did, and are no more Baptists than the Campbellites are. They went out from us, because not of us, and when they had the majority in the churches they drove out the Regular Baptists from the church houses they had built. In the following historical sketch from the pen of Dr. T. H. Pritchard, President of Wake Forest College, North Carolina, we find a brief and conclusive demonstration of the whole matter at issue:


“I propose to show that the term Old School and Primitive, when applied to that class of Baptists who oppose Foreign Missions, Sunday-schools, revivals of religion, Bible societies, etc., are misnomers, and that the real Primitive or Old School Baptists are the Missionary Baptists of this day. This is a question of fact, not of opinion, and I shall submit testimony drawn from their own records establishing the position. The evidence adduced is taken from the “History of the Sandy Creek Association,” written by Dr. Geo. W. Purefoy, and I shall sometimes use his language and sometimes my own, quoting the names of authors, with chapter and verse, that there may be no question as to the authenticity of the testimony presented. Taking it for granted that the Christians of the apostolic age were Baptists, which I assuredly believe, two things are clear: First, that God called and directed men to preach to the heathen (Acts xiii, 2; Gal. i.15); and, second, that funds were raised by the churches and paid as “wages” to the missionaries (2 Cor. Xi: 7, 8, 9). The original and Primitive Baptists were, therefore Missionary Baptists, like those of the present day, who sent men called of God to preach the Gospel to the heathen and collect funds which are paid as wages of the missionaries.

I shall now prove from unquestionable historical facts that the Associations which are now anti-missionary were in favor of foreign missions up to the years 1826-27-30, and hence have no claim to the title of Old School Baptists.

I will begin with the Baltimore Association, perhaps the most famous body of this modern sect in the United States. Their minutes for 1814 contain the following record: “Received a corresponding letter from Bro. Rice, one of our missionary brethren, on the subject of encouraging missionary societies.” This Bro. Rice was Luther Rice, who was then just from Burmah, whither he had gone as a missionary with Adoniran Judson.

In 1816, these minutes, in their circular letter, say: “The many revivals of religion which are witnessed in various parts of the country—the multiplication of Bible societies, Missionary societies, and Sunday-schools, both in our own and foreign countries—are viewed by us as showing indications of the near approach of that day when the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth.”

The minutes of the same year state that “the Standing Clerk was instructed to supply the Corresponding Secretary of the Foreign Mission Board with a copy of our minutes annually.”

In 1817, “Bro Luther Rice presented himself as the messenger of the Baptists Board for Foreign Missions, and was cordially received.”

Elder James Osborne was a member of this body which cordially received a Foreign Missionary, and at this very session was appointed a Home Missionary. This man Osborne, who was a leader in the Anti-mission secession, both in Maryland and North Carolina, I remember to have seen in Charlotte when I was a small boy. He was a handsome, dressy man, full of conceit, and very fond of talking of himself and of selling his own books.

From the same authentic source, the minutes of the Baltimore Association, we learn that in 1828 they called themselves “Regular Baptists,” just as we do now. The same year they express their joy at the intelligence of the conversion of the heathen, and as late as 1827 the association expressed by formal resolutions their sorrow at the death of Mrs. Ann H. Judson, and their great interest in the mission with which she was connected, and it was not till 1836, when the association met with the Black Rock Church, and then by a vote of sixteen to nine, that fellowship was withdrawn from churches favoring foreign missions, Sunday-schools, etc.

To come back now to North Carline, I can prove that the Kehukee and Country Line Associations, two of the most influential of the Anti-mission party, were once missionary bodies. In Burkett & Read’s History of the Kehukee Association it is stated on page 139 that in 1794, a special day was appointed to pray God for a revival of religion, and on page 145, that it was the custom of ministers of that date to invite penitents to come forward and keel down to be prayed for, just as we do in our revival meetings now.

In the Bigg’s History, Kehukee Association, page 162, it appears that this Association appointed delegates to meet at Cashie Church, Bertie county, in June, 1805, with delegates from Virginia, Portsmouth, and Neuse Association, and at this meeting arrangements were made to collect money for missionary purposes. Thus it appears that the Kehukee was not only in fellowship with the Portsmouth and other missionary Baptist Associations, but that the very first missionary society every organized in the State was in the bounds of this body.

In 1812, this association sent $3; in 1813, $5; and in 1814, $5, to the general meeting of correspondence of North Carolina, which was an organization of the Missionary Baptists.

The same history of the Association shows that in 1817 it was in correspondence with the General Convention of the Baptists, which met that year in Philadelphia, and which was supporting Judson and other foreign missionaries, and it was not till 1827 that this Association took a decided anti-missionary ground.

The evidence to show that the Country Line Association was a missionary body up to the year 1832 is perfectly overwhelming. Its minutes show that in 1816, ’17 and ’18, that body sent delegates to the general meeting of correspondence, and in 1816 Elder Geo. Roberts, one of the ministers of this Association, was the Moderator of the general meeting of correspondence of which Robert T. Daniel was the agent, and which developed into the North Carolina Baptist State Convention. In 1818 this association sent $32.45 to the North Carolina Missionary Society by the hands of Bro. John Campbell.

And what is still more remarkable, there was a very prosperous Woman’s Mission Society in this Association, the minutes of which, kept by John Campbell, show that the “Hyco Female Cent Society” was formed at Tynch’s Creek meeting-house, in Caswell county, in October, 1816; in March, 1817, it met at Bush Arbor meeting house; in March, 1818, it met at the same place; in 1819 at Grave’s meeting-house, and the fifth annual meeting was held in September, 1820, at Arbor. All of these churches are now anti-mission, but were then missionary bodies, and the persons who preached the annual sermons—R. Dishong, J. Landus, Barzillar Graves, Abner W. Clopton, and S. Chandler—were all Missionary Baptist Ministers.

In 1832, the Country Line Association was in regular correspondence with the Flat River and Sandy Creek Associations, both of which were then and still are missionary bodies.

In 1832 James Osborne, of Baltimore, visited this Association, and under his influence it was induced to withdraw fellowship from the Missionary Baptists of the State.

Now from this brief statement of unvarnished facts we see that the Missionary Baptists are just where the apostles were till 1827-28, when a new sect arose, calling themselves, according to Elder Bennett’s Review, page 8, at first the Reformed Baptists in North Carolina, and then the Old Baptists, the Old Sort of Baptists, Baptists of the old Stamp, and finally adopted the name of the Primitive Baptists.

There are many things about these brethren which I like, and I would not needlessly call them by an offensive name, but I can not style them either Old School or Primitive Baptists, for in so doing I should falsify the facts of history and acknowledge that I and my brethren have departed from the faith of the apostles and Baptist fathers. In no invidious sense, therefore, but from necessity, I am obliged to call them New School or Anti-missionary Baptists.

The short statement of the whole matter is this:

1. The Regular Baptists of Europe are Missionary Baptists.

2. The first Baptists of England were Missionary Baptists.

3. The first association ever formed in England was a Missionary Baptist Association.

4. The first Baptist Church in America, at Newport, R. I., was a Missionary Baptist Church.

5. The first Baptist Association ever organized in America, the Philadelphia, which included all known Baptist churches, was a Missionary Baptist Association, and annually raised money for ministerial education and missionary operations. That Association has ever been a missionary body.

6. The first Association that was organized in new England, the Warren Association, which embraced all the Baptist churches in New England, was a missionary body, and is to this day.

7. The first Baptist Association every formed in Virginia was a Missionary Baptist Association.

8. The first Association organized in North Carolina, in South Carolina, in Georgia, in Tennessee, and in every Southern State, were Missionary Baptist Associations.

9. All the fathers, founders, and originators of this new sect, who claim the name of primitive Baptists, once belonged to Missionary Baptist churches, and co-operated in the missionary work, and some of them, like James Osborne, the originator of anti-missionism in Maryland and North Carolina, were actually missionaries of the boards. Now this is the unenviable position in which the “Anti-missionaries” have placed themselves. So far as I can learn, they deny that Missionary Baptist churches are churches of Christ, or that they can, or ever could administer Gospel ordinances. Whence, then, did the Anti-missionaries get their baptisms and ordinations?


Missionary Baptist Churches are either true churches of Christ or they are not. If true churches, then those who apostatized from them are sectaries and no churches, and have no right to administer the ordinances. But if false churches, they were always so, and therefore they never could, or did, administer scriptural ordinances, and all those immersed or ordained by them are today unbaptized and unordained; in which case the Anti-missionaries are themselves unbaptized and no churches of Christ. The fact is, the Anti-missionaries are not Baptists, neither are they churches of Christ. Their faith is not the faith of the Gospel—the faith once delivered to the saints. Their preaching is another gospel than Paul preached, and we are commanded to condemn it and withdraw altogether from those who preach it, and hold another gospel than that he preached. They, by organic law, deny and refuse to execute the mission for which Christ organized His churches, and exclude and persecute those who do, and thereby they forfeit all claims to be regarded or treated as scriptural churches. If not churches of Christ, their ordinances are null and void, and ought not to be accredited by us. If they are indeed scriptural churches, then Missionary Baptist churches evidently are not. Missionary Baptists have no more bitter and malignant enemies than the Anti-missionaries. They deny our churches to be scriptural. They deny the faith we hold and teach. They deny our ordinances to be scriptural or valid. They openly and constantly proclaim all our efforts to build up and extend the kingdom of Christ, our Sunday-schools, our missionary efforts, our Bible Societies, our efforts to educate young ministers, our efforts to circulate pure versions of the Bible at home and in heathen lands, and our boards through which we send and support missionaries to preach the everlasting Gospel of the blessed God, even our Saviour, as the very work of the devil, and promptly exclude from their duty to assist in these efforts to evangelize the world."


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