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MR. POTTER’S THIRD SPEECH.

BRETHREN, MODERATORS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

It becomes necessary for me to notice some things in the speech that has just been delivered. The Bible says in one place that, the first shall be last and the last shall be first, and I was just thinking that if Brother Yates had a good speech written off by somebody else besides himself, he would be a splendid hand to deliver it. However, I do not want to incur a laugh on Brother Yates, for he does not relish that very much.

MR. YATES: I enjoy it if it does you good.

MR. POTTER: I never call on people to laugh. They will have to laugh of themselves, or refrain, as they see fit.

MR. YATES: That is right.

MR. POTTER: If Brother Yates, as a debater, causes people to laugh, I cannot help it; I am not responsible for it. I want to notice a few items in the speech we have just heard.

To begin with he refers again to Acts xxvi. 17, where the apostle was addressed by our Saviour and called to preach to the heathen; and, if you will remember, his own quotation represents the Lord as talking to Saul of Tarsus; it does not represent the Church as talking to him or any one else, but the God of Heaven. He points out a field where he intends him to preach: “ Into that country where I” [the Lord] “now send thee.” Remember that Brother Yates said yesterday, and I call on him to know why he said it—he has forgotten it, I presume—that the commission was given to the Church through the apostles. The only text he noticed in proof of that question was that the ministry was called and separated unto the Lord—“separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them they sent them away.” I admit that the commission is given to the ministry; the ministry was the men that laid hands on Saul and Barnabas. The Lord had called them to work. I do not object to any thing of that kind. I am not here to oppose the spread of the gospel. That is not the issue between Brother Yates and myself. I am not here to say that Peter, Saul, or Barnabas, or any other man, then or now, is doing wrong to go forth and preach the gospel in obedience to the commission. The work known today as the Foreign Mission is the work we are discussing. We have come here to discuss that.

He then says he will give a text, and gives the commission again, the very thing he gave yesterday: I referred to the commission yesterday and showed that it was given to the eleven. He has not referred to that; he has not disputed or questioned that. It stands today just as I left it the other morning in my first speech. I called on him to tell us, if the commission is delivered to the Church through the apostles, what the pronoun “ye” has for its antecedent in this commission, he has forgotten about that. Well, that is best for him. When one gets into a hard place it is best to get away from it as soon as possible. That is the safest. Then he goes to Romans i. 14. However, he quotes more, but here is the part he lays stress upon: “I am debtor both to the Greeks and the Barbarians, both to the wise and the unwise.” Brother Yates considers that to mean that Brother Paul owed something to the Greek and Barbarian, that bound him to take the gospel to them. The brother does not tell you how the contract was made, or how Paul became indebted to them. He does not explain that. But he infers from the language that Paul thought that he, was indebted to them, and that he must take the gospel to them because he owed it to them in the form of a debt. Brother Yates did not tell us why he said that; let us tell why. He goes on and finishes the 16th verse, which says: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” There is no one here to deny that; but he says that I say that it is not the power in even case. Of course he has allusion to the eternal salvation of the sinner; he has allusion to the regeneration of the ungodly; he has allusion to the conversion of an ungodly man to the Lord, and he makes the proclamation of the gospel, the publication of it, to the people necessary. He charges me with believing that the publication of that to a man is not necessary to the salvation of a man in every case. Does Brother Yates believe it is? What do you understand by that? Does he think or believe that the gospel must be preached to every person, or else that person not be regenerated? That is the thing he is talking about. Is not that your understanding of him? I want him to tell. I am going to charge it on him, that this is just precisely what he means, and he fights me for not believing the same thing, that in order to the regeneration and eternal salvation of a sinner, either here or among the heathen, the gospel must be preached. Brother Yates, when you preach, do you ever preach to little babies? Now if the gospel is essential in every case of regeneration and salvation, you had better go to preaching to little babies. Do you preach to idiots? If the preaching of the gospel to a person is necessary to regeneration and salvation, you had better go to preaching to idiots here at home. There is no man in this country, who has common sense enough to preach to a congregation like this, who ever preaches a word to little babies, or idiots, or lunatics. Now if the gospel is God’s only medium of communication to man, of communicating his Spirit, then they are left out of the scrape. Because I say that it is done sometimes without this, Brother Yates blames me. He says, and charges that I say, that the gospel is not in every case the power of God unto salvation, according to his version of it. Not only that, but I again charge on him what I did in the first instance yesterday morning, the universal damnation of all the heathen; and he said yesterday evening he believed if the heathen did the best they could according to the light they had, they were saved. Did they have the gospel? If they do they are not heathen; they are enlightened if they have the gospel light.

He then refers us to Psalm lxxii. 16, in connection with the parable of the sower recorded in Matthew xiii.; and of course, as he explains those two quotations together, if I notice one it will be an answer to both. Let us quote this Matthew xiii. which explains the test in Psalm lxxii. 16. The Saviour said, “Behold, a sower went forth to sow; and when he sowed some seeds fell by the wayside, and the fowls came and devoured them up: some fell upon stony places where they had not much earth; and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: and when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up and choked them; but other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundred-fold, some sixty-fold, some thirty-fold.” Here is the parable. According to the Saviour’s own explanation there are four different descriptions of ground, and he compares it to the human heart. That ground by the wayside is the human heart. That ground that is stony is the human heart. That ground that is thorny is the human heart. That ground that is good is the human heart. Now, Brother Yates would have us believe that the object of sowing the seed in the human heart was to convert it and change it, or make it good, or turn it to God. That is not the object, is it? I ask you farmers, is that what you sow seed for, to change the condition of the ground? Is that the object? No, that is not your object in sowing the seed. If it was the Lord’s object it did not do it. That seed that was sown by the wayside left the ground in the very same condition it was in before. I want Brother Yates to notice that. That is his own text. That seed that fell in stony places did not remove the stones, but left it in the very same condition in which it found it. That seed that fell among the thorns did not choke the thorns out, but the thorns choked the seed out; and in all three of these cases there was a failure to bring forth any fruit to perfection. Other fell into good ground.” What do we understand by that? The ground was necessarily good, or else the seed could not have fallen into good ground. It was good at first, the seed did not make it good; there may be ever so much of that good ground among all the nations of the earth for aught I know. We do not see any fruit, for perhaps the seed is necessary to be sown in order to receive the fruit; but it is not necessary to sow the seed in order to make the ground good. It is not necessary for the regenerate, because he is the man that has the good heart; and I will prove that by Luke vi. 43. I connect that with the heart. The Saviour says: “For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble-bush gather they grapes, A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good.” (It is not conversion there). “And an evil man—” that is, the man that needs converting—” out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil.” Those are the only classes of men written of in the Word, and one of them is regenerate, and has a good heart.
He has a good deal to say about what I said about the book of Nature. That was his own proof-text yesterday to prove that the heathen were without my excuse—that they did not have the law, but simply have the book of Nature, the invisible things which are seen from the creation of the world, and that ought to show them as being a revelation to the people of the character of God, and that he is the author of these things, and that ought to have convinced them that there was a God, and therefore they were without excuse. I said if that left them without excuse anciently, why not now? I did not say it did—but why not? I say there is a book of Nature for men to read; the apostle teaches that in that case.

Another thought: He says that I am at issue with Paul in connection with that case. Then he quotes another text that cuts his throat, whether it does mine or not; and maybe we will both be down here in a pile. He says they did know there was a God, and quotes a text to prove it. I had reference to that in this way—that if they did know him they would surely respect him in the sense in which it is used in Christianity, where, if they do know God, they are born of him, and in that sense they would love him. Then he refers us to the angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that are on the earth, as proof of the Foreign Mission work. I will not notice all his texts; they are all about the same; none of them have Foreign Mission in them. He did not tell us particularly what part of that text referred to Foreign Missions, and I believe I will wait until he tells us what word, or what part of that text, made him think of Foreign Missions. My judgment is that no part of that text made him think of Foreign Missions, but that it was the pressure of the work today that made him think of that text. He accused me yesterday of getting up and laughing here. I am not a great laugher, but I laugh when I feel like it. I never put on a laugh, but if any thing tickles me, look out; I will laugh then.

Now I want to show you what made that laugh. There is a difference between the attitudes in which he and I stand here on these expressions. I do not stand in the same attitude on the subject of Regular Baptists that he does on the subject of Foreign Missions. I am not standing in the same position on Associations that he is on Foreign Missions before this audience. I am not standing here in a position relative to church clerks that he is relative to Foreign Missions. Do you know the difference? While we have Associations, while we denominate ourselves the Regular Baptist Church while we have clerks in our churches, we do not publish a challenge in the Gibson County Leader, or in any other paper, challenging the world that opposes the Regular Baptist Church, clerks, or Associations, that we will meet any respectable man, who comes with the endorsement of his Church, and affirm that Regular Baptist is authorized, so far as the Word is concerned, in the Holy Scriptures. He has done that relative to Foreign Missions. Had he not done that, he would not have been in this trouble. He has obligated himself to prove it. He has got himself here. Whenever I challenge a man to meet, me on any question, and affirm the proposition myself, and select the wording and forming of the proposition, I am not going to say to my brother that if he will prove something else that I certainly believe it will be impossible for him to do, then I will prove my proposition. That is the very thing he did yesterday. He comes up the first day of this debate, and says if I will show Regular Baptist Church in the Scriptures, or Associations in the Scriptures, or church clerks in the Scriptures, in the very next chapter he will show Foreign Missions. That is an admission, at least, that Foreign Missions are further from the Scriptures than Regular Baptist, or Associations or church clerks, for it comes in the next chapter afterwards—not before. So it is further from the Bible than I thought he would admit, for he says that Regular Baptist, and all those things, are entirely out of the Bible, and Foreign Missions does not come until the next chapter. That is what we are here to discuss— Foreign Mission—whether the Bible authorizes it or not.

Another thought: he says, in talking about the salvation of the heathen, that I believe in a doctrine—that is, he is not sure—but that I believe the doctrine that God saved all the heathen before the world was. However, he should know what I believe before he undertakes to tell the people. I believe that God had a purpose, and entered into a covenant with his Son before the world was, to save a certain people; and I believe they will he saved, in “every nation, arid kindred, and tongue, and people,” of every age, down to the end of time. I believe just exactly what the Cumberland Presbyterian Church used to believe, and do yet, if they have not revised it. I will bring Brother Yates’ Confession of Faith over here after dinner, and show it to him; the old one of course. I will not trust to the new one, because it is revised; I will show that it is just exactly what we believe on that subject. I do not know but what they borrowed it from us. Calvin is said to be an inheritor of the doctrine of the Waldenses, and we claim the Waldenses to be our people, originally. So says some ancient writer in Jones’ history. That is Cumberland Presbyterianism, as published in their Confession of Faith. They use language that is strong enough for me and my brethren when they speak of a covenant God made with his Son, “unto whom he promised a seed, and to be by him in time redeemed, called by his Word and Spirit, justified by his grace sanctified and glorified.” That is old Baptist doctrine. That is what I believe. Brother Yates, will you fight that doctrine? It may be that he will. You see Presbyterianism undergoes revision. I believe I will not join the Cumberland Church; but I do not say any thing against them, because I believe they are Christians. I believe they are as good Christians as I. But I do not believe I will join the Church, because they may revise tomorrow if I were to join today, and it will not be what I joined. While I believe in progression in some things, I do not believe in progression in religion. A truth that was a truth yesterday will be a truth at the judgment day. In religion, a truth yesterday, or when the Cumberland Church was organized, will be a truth when Gabriel sounds his horn. So let us not revise religiously. Let us not be so progressive as all that.

On the denominational work I want to talk a moment. He accuses me of teaching something that I do not teach, by the use of the Roman Catholic quotation I made yesterday evening. He has told us all the time of the grand results of the Foreign Mission work. He brings them forth as evidence of the blessing and owning of God. That is the best he can do. Just bring it on, Brother Yates. Is success an evidence? That is the question. What do you think about it? Does Brother Yates think that the success of the Foreign Mission work is an evidence that they are owned and blessed of God? What do you think after hearing his speech this morning? What do you think after hearing his eloquent quotations and headings from these historians? Does it not sound as though he thought we were to judge the tree by its fruits? Has he not said so much here this morning? Now just for the sake of showing him an institution that has done as much as any other denomination, I referred to the Roman Catholic Church. I did not undertake to equalize him with the Roman Catholics—nothing of the kind. I believe our Presbyterian brethren believe as much in experimental religion as we do, and as much in regeneration, and that it is as essential to eternal salvation as we believe it is, so far as that is concerned; but while we believe that, if the result of mission work is to be taken as an evidence that God is with them, then the Roman Catholics have the best evidence of any denomination in the mission field today that God is with them. That is what I used that quotation for. Brother Yates must not miss my arguments that way. He misses the proposition, and misses my arguments, and sometimes misses his own. Again, on the denominational work, Brother Yates said I said the Baptists went over there among the Presbyterians. I said Lutherans; that it was the Lutheran and Reformed Churches of Europe that the Missionary Baptists say, as I read you from their own works yesterday, were as much a mission field for soul-saving work as any other lands in the world. Who said that? A Missionary Baptist. That they ought to send missionaries to Europe to work among Lutherans and Reformed Churches, because their pulpits are filled with men who are unsaved themselves, and therefore incapable of affording saving grace to others. I do not think it necessary to send missionaries to the Lutheran Churches in Europe. If it is, why not send one to the Lutheran Church over in Evansville? Brother Yates ought not to speak of the Missionary Baptists as my brethren. They seceded and went into tile Foreign Mission work.

He infers, again, that my witnesses are not reliable. They are “not reliable.” He quotes reliable missionaries. I wish I could have seen Brother Yates beforehand, and found out what one or ones of the missionaries among the religions of the Protestant world were reliable, and what ones were unreliable, so I could have known from whom to quote. Whether they are reliable or not, Brother Yates hugs them in his arms in the proposition, for he embraces all the Protestant denominations in the world, and the Missionary Baptists are among them. It may be that missionaries are not reliable; I do not know. They get things mixed up terribly. I know what they say; it is not my business to find out whether it is true or not. They are Brother Yates’ subjects, and it is his business to find out whether they are true. He is talking about them, and says they are all good, and their labors are owned and blessed of God, as well as his own. I do class Brother Yates with the Missionary Baptists in the Foreign Mission work. He said himself that this work was not denominational. I quoted from one man yesterday—and, by the way he was in the field once, or else he is not reliable, sure enough. The title of the book is “The Great Commission, and is Fulfillment by the Church.” It is written by Mr. Carpenter, who was a missionary, and perhaps is now, to the Karens of Burmah. He says he was a missionary, but I do not know whether he was or not; and I do not know whether Brother Yates can tell or not. In fact I do not know lust how to tell to a certainty who are missionaries. Brother Yates thinks they are not, all reliable. I am sorry that is so.
Then he refers to the Apostle Paul robbing other churches, and receiving wages from them “to do you service,” and so on. The apostle was serving the churches at that time. He was a preacher—a pastor of a church. Brother Yates does not claim to be a Foreign Missionary, I presume; yet he serves churches in this country. Paul served churches in that country.

Again, Brother Yates accuses me of saying something about Paul that I did not say exactly. About his going to Arabia, Brother Yates said that I said he preached there. I asked Brother Yates if he did not know that Paul took a missionary tour before the apostles laid their hands upon him, and then I quoted the text where Paul himself says, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.” Brother Yates says the Bible does not say he preached there. I do not say it does; but I do not know what he went for unless it was to preach. He quotes from a man who says he probably went there to be by himself for meditation. It was a long trip to go for meditation. The Saviour said go into your closet to pray secretly. He did not say go into Arabia, or some other foreign country to pray and meditate.

Romans X. 14: “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom. they have not .heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach except they be sent?” That is a Foreign Mission text. “How shall they preach except they be sent?” I do not believe they preach at all successfully unless they are sent. There is no difference between Brother Yates and me on that text, unless we differ about who it is that is to send them. That is the only difference that can arise. I do not believe they can preach successfully unless they are sent. If a man would come to me and say he was going to preach, and yet did not claim to be sent, I would not take much trouble to hear him. It is a necessary qualification for a minister that he must be sent. If he has no commission he has no authority, for that is what the commission is. Whoever has the right to command others is the one that sends.
I call attention to Matthew ix. 37, 38, as an explanation to that word send. “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.” That is the way they must be sent; the Lord must send them. You are not to get up a Missionary Board to send them. That is not the instruction of the Saviour; it was foreign to that. The disciples did not happen to think of that; nobody else ever thought of getting up a Foreign Mission Board, to send missionaries abroad, until the seventeenth century. The Church stood 1720 or 1730 years before anybody thought of getting up a Foreign Missionary Society. The gospel had been preached further and more successfully by the apostles before that time than since, with all the many institutions and expediencies of the foreign missionary operations; That is what we propose to show—that the Lord was in the work.

I want to correct a little mistake concerning Japan— not of my own, but of my brother’s. I do not admit that missionary operations have been the means of regenerating a solitary soul. I did not admit that. I asked him if it had. I will tell you what I believe. I do not believe the Foreign Mission work, as carried on by the Protestant world today, is now, ever has been, or ever will be, the means of adding a solitary, single one to the number that shall be finally saved. Now you have it. I want you to understand it. I have not admitted that they have been the means of converting a single soul that would not have been converted without them, for I do not believe they have. There is where I stand. It is not a hard matter to understand a Regular Baptist, if you will take their own word for it.

We are not here to be explained by others; we are here to speak for ourselves. Just as sure as Brother Yates takes the position that the Foreign Missionary Societies save a solitary soul that would not have been saved without them, just that sure he makes Jesus Christ a failure. He charges Jesus with leaving out a very important institution, that was never thought of for nearly seventeen hundred years, that was necessary to the salvation of souls that never would have been saved without it. Let him take that position if he wants to if that will be his manner of preaching Jesus.

Now I will prove what I have said. I want to show you this gospel revelation that I do believe in. I want first to refer to Japan a little while. I said, according to the statements of the missionaries themselves, that they did not have ten thousand Church communicants in Japan today. You know there has been a good deal of noise about Japan. I gave that from missionary figures themselves. I did not make them. I have them in their own publications. Whether they are reliable or not, I leave Brother Yates to show. I will read you the following from a missionary paper, the Baptist Missionary Magazine, August 1885: “There are now 120 Protestant churches in Japan, with 7,791 members. Who said that? A missionary. A man that my brothers is fighting for. How many? “7,791 members, a gain of 2,200 during the year.” I take that from page 374 of the paper I named. Now I presume these Baptist missionaries know about as much about Japan as Brother Yates does, and that is what they say it is. I want to read you a little more about Japan. I do not know whether those 7,000 are converted or not; they are in the Church. It is not an evidence that a man is converted whenever you get him into the Church. It is not so in this country, I know. We often get people into the Church in this country, that prove very demonstratively afterwards that they never knew any thing about grace, and it may be so where it is so easy to “capture souls for Jesus Christ” in heathen lands. It may be so there. Let us see what they say about Japan:

“Japan, the Sunrise Kingdom, is said to comprise 3,850 islands, large and small, and with an area of 155, 520 square miles. The population in 1876 was 34,338,404. It is the most progressive nation in Asia, and the people are called the Yankees of the East.” Education is general, and a larger proportion of the people of Japan can read than of any other country in the world. They are ready to receive Western ideas, and buy and read the Bible and Christian books with avidity, but as yet chiefly from curiosity. The religions of the country are Shintoism and Buddhism, and by recent decree all religions are placed on an equality as to privilege in the empire. Missionary work in Japan is very encouraging.” I quote that from “The Missionary Handbook,” published by the American Baptist Missionary Union.
Very encouraging they say missionary labor is in Japan. Nearly three-fourths as many people there as there are in our United States, and 7,791 members of Protestant Churches in Japan. They buy and read the Bible and Christian books with avidity. That is encouraging. But chiefly from curiosity. That is what missionaries say. O how encouraging! What grand things they are doing in Japan! Now if that is not reliable, it is one of Brother Yates’ men. It is a man that belongs to the Protestant world. He says it; I do not make it.

I want to speak again in regard to Paul’s trip to Arabia. I want to show you the difference between Paul and others. He did not stand and wait. He went immediately Now let us see. That is Bible missionism, and we will contrast it with modern missionism, and let you be the judges yourselves. I now take a quotation from the “Baptist Circular,” published at St. Louis, Missouri, as quoted by Coffey in his history: “The best of men stand waiting; only the money is wanted.” What is it? The best of men stand waiting. Paul did not wait. What are they waiting for? Waiting to be imbued with power from on high? No; that is not it. What are they waiting for? For the money. Brother Paul was not in that crowd. Brother Yates may have been, but Paul was not. What does this look like? “Pray for the Lord of the harvest to send forth missionaries.” Somebody must have been praying, and they must have been praying very successfully, for they have a large number of men, and the best men. Pray for what? To get them into the field? A large number of men are ready now. They will never go until the money is ready. They are waiting for the money. That is what they say themselves.

I will now take a look at one of our modern missions to the heathen, and learn the difference between them and Paul the apostle. I will give a report of a mission to Japan—just one denomination to one nation for one year—giving the expenses of the mission:

For the salary of the Rev. N. A. Brown, D.D   1,200.00
His mission work, rent, and Bible work           3,037.66
Salary of T. P. Poate      1,200.00
His mission work         1,069.58
Salary of the Rev. A. A. Bennett     1,200.00
                                                                                                                                          
Amount carried forward      $7,707.24

Amount brought forward     $7,707.24

His mission work and rent            957.13
Salary of Miss C. A. Sands            500.00
Her mission work          1,240.00
Salary of the Rev. F. 1-I. Jones, ten months          833.33
His personal teacher and mission work             280.37
His outfit              500.00
His passage              726.26
Salary of Miss A. H. Kidder            500.00
Her mission work and rent       1,198.60
Salary of the Rev. C. D. Fisher              1,000.00
His mission work             373.83
Salary of Miss M. A. Whitman            500.00
Her personal teacher             111.05
Salary of the Rev. H. H. Rhees           200.00
His mission work,including $132.22 collected in the field 5,200.00
Salary of the Rev. G. H. Appleton, is months          916.67
His personal teacher, rent, and mission work     600.00
Special grant              500.00

Total amount of Japan Baptist Mission, for one year    $20,844.48

That is modern missionism I have the book here from which the report is taken—their own report of their expenditures. That is one mission to Japan by one denomination among all the Protestants of the world—a mission to Japan amounting to over $20,000. This looks to me considerably like a matter of dollars arid cents. And let me state again, this mission society is over $5o,000 in debt. And yet my brother gets up and tells us that the eternal interests of the heathen are dependent upon this work. Let him dare to say that money is not necessary to run it. I dare him to say that it can be run without money. He will not do it. Now, money is essential to the salvation of the people, according to the modern mission work. Now, after all this, how far have they got in Japan? I do not know how many other denominations are working there, but today, according to the same authority, they have 7,791 members. That is all the Protestants together in Japan. What would that be in the United States? What would that be among the people of the United States from the Mississippi River east? and Japan has about as many people as that, if not more. That is what they are doing in Japan.

Now I want to show you what they did anciently. And I want to say first that the apostles and their successors did not have the advantages that people have today. They labored under great disadvantages. In the first place, there were no such things as mails and post offices in their day nor for about 1,400 years after the apostles began their work. Notice how inconvenient, how much difficulty there was in communicating from one man to another, in different localities. No mail, no post-office, nothing of the kind; and if I wanted to send a message or letter to Brother Yates from Cynthiana, I must employ my own messenger or carry it myself. No such thing as sending letters or messages by mail for two, or three, or even twenty-five cents, at that time, nor for a long period afterwards. Second, They had no telegraphs or telephones by which to send news from one city or locality to another. Third, Their means of transportation and travel was not like ours. Instead of going by rail or by steamship, whey they traveled by land they traveled on foot or with camels, and when they went by sea it was by sails and oars.

Fourth, They did not have the use of the printing press, by which to print tracts, books, and papers, or even the Bible. The Bible was only in manuscript, and a copy could only be afforded by few.

Fifth, The Scriptures they did have were not compiled in their present form for some time after the days of the apostles.

Sixth, They had no Christian country to start from. The Jews, their brethren, had crucified their Lord, and were ready to kill and crucify them for the testimony which they bore for Jesus. And, with all these disadvantages, I want to see what they did. God was with them. We want to sec how it compares with our present modern system of missions. With all these facts before us, does it not seem a Mission Board was as badly needed at that time as at any time since? Is it not strange that our Saviour did not tell them to tarry at Jerusalem until proper arrangements could be made by the organization of a Board, and a sufficient amount of funds could be raised, instead of telling them to tarry at Jerusalem until they were imbued with power from on high?

We will now see where Paul and those other missionaries went, before Missionary Boards were ever thought of: “The Christian religion was introduced into Sweden and Norway in the ninth century. The gospel was preached in Lapland, by ministers from Denmark and Norway, before the inauguration of Foreign Missions. Christianity was introduced into Russia in the tenth century. The gospel was preached in England by the apostles and their disciples. Christianity was first introduced into Scotland by some of the disciples of St. John the apostle. The Christian religion was introduced into France long before Foreign Missions were introduced.

The gospel was preached in Belgium long before modern missionism. Long before the Reformation the gospel was preached in Germany. In the Austrian dominions the Bible was known by the people before the Reformation. The Protestants worshipped in bohemia and Moravia prior to the Reformation. The Christian religion was taught in Prussia without the aid of Foreign Missions. In Italy the Waldenses suffered more bitter persecution from papal Rome during the dark ages than in any other part of the world. In the support of the gospel, under Christ’s plan, in all these countries, the servants of God, in humble obedience to the great commission, were self-sacrificing, God-fearing men; and instead of being supported by appropriations from the State, or wealthy Mission Boards, or Church endowments, they were only clothed with the authority of the commission from the Lord; and from their undertakings to fulfill it they exposed themselves to the most violent persecutions, and suffered the most cruel punishments that the merciless hand of paganism could invent for nearly three hundred years, and then were ground under the iron heel of papalism for about twelve hundred years. Driven from one country to another, their property often confiscated, many of them burned at the stake, many of them imprisoned, banished from their homes, often their Bibles taken from them and burned, they still persevered in the goodly work, and the gospel of our blessed Saviour spread in the midst of flames, and the streaming of innocent blood of men, women, and children, who were hunted and butchered like the wild beasts of the forests, women drowned, their daughters sewed up in sacks and cast out for beasts of prey to devour. In addition to all other aggravations, to put an end to this glorious work of publishing the name of the blessed Jesus as the only Saviour of the lost, and defending his Word as the only standard of Christian faith and practice among a bigoted priesthood and Church dignitaries, the Inquisition was invented, and became one of the devil’s instruments to put a stop to the devotedness of these godly people. They were determined that Christ’s banner should not continue to be unfurled and wave in the light of the gospel. Yet in the face of this opposition the gospel spread, and the God of heaven blessed their labors, until we and our children today are reaping the rich harvest that has come of the gospel seed sown by them.” There is where we have got it from, instead of from the Foreign Mission work. It came from them. This missionism was, and is, authorized by the Holy Scriptures, and it has always been owned and blessed of God. It is as foreign from the present Foreign Mission work of  today, as Aaron’s golden calf was from being the God of Israel. It is an insult to those holy martyrs of old to talk about there being an identity between their missions and the modern Missionary Societies. God was with them. They did not have to take an army of men to conquer the people, and let the apostles preach to them. They did not have to get a decree from the Governor, to allow the apostles to preach. But they went, and you and I owe what gospel we have today to the Lord, through them. The blessed privileges that we today have, reading the Bible, hearing the gospel, and from it understanding God’s will, we owe to them, and not to the Foreign Mission work. Hence, I want to show you they were not backed up by money; not only that, but that they were opposed to it. I refer you to Jones’ History of the Christian Church, page 356:

MR. YATES: Is he a Baptist?

MR. POTTER: No, sir, not that I know of.

MR. YATES: I guess he is.

MR. POTTER: All right.  Mr. Yates says Mr. Jones was a Baptist. He will be against him if he was a Baptist. However, I will quote him anyhow. Baptists have a right to show what they believe.

MR. YATES: he was dishonest. I will show he was dishonest, this afternoon.

MR. POTTER: This is not Jones, but a quotation Jones gives in his history from another man. We will see whether that man was honest or not.

“Hence these most ancient Reformed Churches of the Waldenses, if they rather continued not pure since the apostles’ days, denied that tithes were to be given, or that they were ever given in the primitive Church, as appears by an ancient tractate inserted in the Bohemian history. The pastors of the poor Waldenses, the ancient stock of our Reformation, without the help of tithes, brought up themselves in trades, and especially in physic and surgery, as well as in the study of the Scripture, which is the only true theology, that they might be no burden to the Church, and, after, the example of Christ, might cure both soul and body, through industries adding that to their ministry which he joined to his by the gift of the Holy spirit.” Again: “The Waldenses, our first reformers, both in the Scriptures and primitive example, maintained those among them who bore the office of ministers by alms alone. Take their words: Our food and clothing are sufficient, and administered and given to us by way of gratuity and alms by the good people whom we teach.”

That is the way it was spread. No man that is acquainted with the history of the Church will dare say the Waldenses did nothing and made no effort to support the gospel. They dare not say the Waldenses made no sacrifices for the propagation of the gospel, the dissemination of the divine truth—this divine ray of light—and were ready at all times to expose themselves to the most bitter treatment for the sake of the gospel at that time, and the bones of those holy martyrs bleach upon the mountains of Italy who had been burned at the stake for the sake of that gospel. They taught, and argued that the primitive Church taught, that some one must support those who worked. God blessed the work.

Again, on the subject of the fulfillment of the commission, Brother Yates would make you misunderstand me. I recognize the brethren and sisters of Brother Yates’ Church as just as good people as I dare be. I recognize the fact also that there are hundreds and thousands of men and women among those missionary laborers that are good Christians, and born of God. Good men may sometimes be mistaken. He called upon me this morning to prove that. He said I must necessarily say these men were self-deceived or hypocrites. I do not know why I must necessarily say any thing of that kind. I do not see the point. I do not think it is necessary for me to say that Brother Jenkins is self-deceived or a hypocrite because he is not a Regular Baptist. I have no right to say it. I believe he is a Christian. I differ from him, and believe he defends something as being right, or in the Bible, that is not taught there, but is differently interpreted by myself and others. That does not say he is dishonest or self deceived, or that he is insincere in his pretensions.

On motion of Mr. Potter, the debate was removed to the church of the Regular Baptists.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 September 2006 )
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Purpose

The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.