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Home arrow Griffin's History arrow Debate on Foreign Missions-Chapter 12
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Written by Potter/Yates   



We have again had our minds refreshed this morning with an elegant speech, and it becomes our duty to pay some respect to it. I want to notice the speech, or some of it at least, before I proceed to introduce any more arguments

In the first place, I was thinking, while Brother Yates was blowing, that discussions office in awhile are good things, and the reason they are is because men who know no more about the Regular Baptist doctrine than he does frequently undertake to tell the people what it is. Now, we are here to tell it ourselves. He has set tip a terrible monster here this morning, and tell& you it is my doctrine and the doctrine of my Church. I presume if he were to undertake to represent us in his congregation at home, he would do the same thing, and as a victor he runs away with the spoils. There is a great deal of ingenuity in such a doctrine as that.

I came here Monday morning to stay all the week, and I feel well, and am in almost as fine a humor as if I could have seen Lydia this morning.

Now, I want to notice the speech. In the first place, because I propounded a question to him that I have answered three or four different times, upon which the whole gist of this discussion hangs, he has propounded two or three questions to me. I stated yesterday morning that I did not believe the foreign missionaries, with all their efforts and all their labors, had ever been the means or instrumentality of the conversion, or regeneration, or salvation of a solitary soul that would not have been saved without them. When I did that, some of Brother Yates’ friends seemed to think I was terrible, and some of his brethren hastened to note it down. I expect they were surprised that I would say it, and thought I would not. I say it now. Will Brother Yates take his position on that? He wanted the Board of Moderators on Monday evening to settle the question as to the meaning of his own proposition, “blessed and owned of God.” And he asked me, myself, if I did not understand, when I read that proposition, that he meant that they were instrumental in the regeneration and salvation of the heathen. Yesterday he brought it out in a kind of a ridiculous manner, and presented my answer to it, as though he questioned my sincerity in my answer. I do not know that he did, but it sounded that way to me. I was not insincere. I wanted to find out if that was what he meant; that is the reason I put the question to him. When he took his pointer and pointed up there at the map, he accused me of saying there were no converts there. I corrected him, and he said I admitted the point; that is the reason I wanted him to answer the question. You have heard his answer. Do you know whether he believes it or not? How many in this vast audience know whether Brother Yates believes that foreign missionaries in heathen lands, by all their labor, energy, sacrifice, and every thing they have done for the benefit of-the heathen, have been instrumental in the salvation of a solitary soul or not, that would not have been saved without them? How many of you know what Brother Yates thinks about that from his answer? You cannot tell. I heard of an Irishman once who was out in the woods with his men, and saw what he thought was a deer, and fired away and missed it. His companions who were with him walked up and found it was a calf, and they rather chided him for being such a poor marksman for missing at that distance. “ Faith,” said he, “I shot so as I should hit it if it was a deer, and miss it if it was a calf.” Brother Yates shoots so as to miss it if it is a deer, and hit it if it is a calf. I would love to impress upon you the idea of how willing this congregation would be, provided the hat was passed for mission money, to contribute to it when you do not know whether they intend to save souls that would not be saved without it. I do not know that you would be ready to contribute then. Brother Yates says they have to have money. I do not deny that. I do not doubt but they have to have it if they go there; hence, that is one of the means necessary for the propagation and the existence of these Foreign Missions. That is what I meant by the proposition I submitted to him, as to the means and measures used in carrying it on, and he might as well go out to the depot and get into a car that had no wheels, and was off the track, and had no locomotive to it, and undertake to go to New York in it, as to keep up one of the Foreign Mission Boards without money.

Now, we will read the questions that he put to me. I am one of those out-spoken fellows. Some people accuse me of twisting my mouth around and talking out of the corner of it, but I intend, in what I have to say now, to talk straight out of my mouth.

“Who is to blame for the condition of the people in heathen lands today, who are in darkness religiously— man or God?” He wants me to answer that. I say, Mans.  You are welcome to my answer. I have no secrets religiously. I am here to defend my position. Man is to blame. It does not take me long to answer. The people can understand me.

Here is question two: “If the heathen are in an unfortunate condition, as you claim in your speech, how can this be consistent with that part of them who are God’s elect from eternity?” Now, as far as my speech yesterday was concerned, I quoted from missionary authors to show their plea for missions. I quoted from the Minutes of the Philadelphia Association and Circular Letter, in which they tell us the very grounds for the Christian Missions. In that letter they go on tell us of the deplorable condition of the heathen, and preach their universal damnation. I quoted from another tract, published by the Missionary Society, in which they call our attention to the fact that we are surrounded today by 800,000,000 of brothers and sisters who are perishing, and that they must perish if they do not receive the gospel, and this gospel, the author says, they have never yet heard. That is the doctrine of the missionaries. Whether Brother Yates is going to defend it as they do or not, that is the doctrine of the missionaries. I said from that stand-point, and according to their doctrine that salvation was conditional, that the heathen were sent to hell for what they are no more to be blamed than I am to he blamed for not having been born in England two hundred years ago. That is what I said, and he accuses me of charging the consequence on him in violation of the rules. Now, I suppose he wants to charge on me the doctrine that sin is a misfortune. I believe no such thing. Sin is a crime. It is wrong in any man to sin. I will notice that question a little further by and by.

Question Three: “If all that are to be saved are elected as individuals from eternity, and not upon principle as a class, why is the impenitent sinner banished to the land of the lost when he is a non-elect.” Let me say right now, that so far as charging my people with denying the responsibility of man, Brother Yates knows we preach the responsibility of man—the obligation of man. He has heard us enough to know that. We do not deny the responsibility of man at all. We say that man, by the law of God, is required to do every thing that is right, and forbidden to do any thing that is wrong, no matter what. The law of God requires that; and while the law of God requires that, it requires nothing unreasonable. God is the moral ruler of man. His law is perfect, just, and equitable. It punishes no person but the guilty—those who violate his law. He makes his law known to them. He did, intelligently, to the people of Israel, and they violated it, as spoken of in some quotations, which we have heard this morning; and for such violation of the law God punished them as a nation of people. God gave man the law at the start, and required every thing that was right; arid it still exists, so far as his moral nature and requirements are concerned; and we still believe the Bible, and the things taught in it, as we always have done, and that is that man violated that law; by that violation he contracted every evil that befalls him. Man did that. God did not predestinate that he should transgress. He did that himself. That is the Regular Baptist doctrine. Hence, what is all this noise about in regard to denying the responsibility of man, making him, in the hands of God, as passive as a stick or an ax, as has been represented to us this morning. I do not know of any person who believes such a doctrine as that, and if Brother Yates can point out the people who do, he can get me into a debate with those people. I would nearly as soon debate with those fellows as with Brother Yates. He says he took my advice yesterday. That is a good thing. If he had been under my advice a great deal sooner than he was, it might have been a great deal better for him, for then he might be sure to represent what I preach and believe correctly; for he would know what it is before he undertakes to advance it to a large audience like this, who have been under our preaching.

We do not deny man’s obligation. I will tell you what we believe. We believe that while God is perfect, pure, holy, just, and equitable in all his ways, that he is the moral ruler of the people; that he gave the people a law; they violated that law, and have through violation of that law brought upon themselves a penalty; and every individual must suffer for his sins, or another must suffer for him. The Lord is too just to let sin go unpunished—too just and equitable, and thinks too much of his law, to allow the sin to go unpunished. Hence, the sinner being guilty for his sin, he must be punished for his sin, or else another must suffer for it, to meet the demands of the law the sinner has violated. The sinner is unable to meet the obligation of the law. God is under no obligation to save him—not at all. God owes him no obligation. He could just as well, at one fell swoop, send every one of us to hell, and none of us have the right to complain; but it is by the exhibition of grace and mercy that he saves any. That is the Regular Baptist doctrine.

There are two covenants, and I will give them to you now. “The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” The law was given by Moses; that is the first covenant—conditional all the way through, requiring us to do right, and condemning and punishing us if we do not. Jesus Christ is the second covenant—the new covenant. He comes full of grace and truth; and when a man is saved by grace, he is saved by that which he cannot have by law. It is by the covenant of grace that men are saved; and’ yet God was under no obligation to save anybody; but being just, and the ruler of the universe, He had the right to save whomsoever he pleased. He was under no obligation to save anybody. He has that right. In this covenant of grace he determined, before the foundation of the world, the salvation of the people; and not only did he determine the salvation of that people, but he determined and arranged, in his eternal purpose, all things necessary to bring that thing about. To prove that I call your attention to the eighth chapter of Romans, beginning with the 28th verse, and reading a few verses: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.” If he did not foreknow any one then he did not predestinate any one to be conformed to the image of his Son. If he did foreknow some one, the very ones he foreknew he did predestinate to be like Jesus. What for? That he, Jesus, might be the first-born among many brethren. That is what for. That is the great end that God intended to reach from all eternity; and to make sure that he would reach it he knew just how, and made provisions and arrangements necessary to reach that end; and that is why the apostle says, and the reason he assigns for saying, that all things shall work together for good to them that love God, to them which are called according to his purpose. That is the predestination and election that I believe in, and that my brethren here believe in.

Then away with all those Scriptures that he has noticed this morning to prove that man is responsible. Who denies that? What man denies that? O well, but he says, God requires the sinner to do something, according to that doctrine, that he cannot do. If he requires him to do right all the time, and yet he cannot, why that presents a sweet God. Is that so? Let us see. How came man so disabled? It is a contract of his own. Let me give you one quotation from the 52nd chapter of the Prophecy of Isaiah, and third verse: “Ye have sold yourselves for naught.” That is what you have done. That is what man has done. You have sold yourselves for naught. That is what the man did. Is he able to buy himself back again after selling himself for naught. That was a cheap sale, was it not? If a man should sell every thing he has in the world, and himself besides, and sign it away as a contract of his own—a man capable of transacting business for himself—and get nothing for it, do you think he could turn right around and buy it back again? Who is to blame for his poverty, then? He is. Who is to blame for his condition? He is. Who is under obligation to bring him out of there? No one. Let him abide the consequences, whatever they are. He has no right to complain.

Is there a provision of grace to reach such a case as that? There is. What is it? “And ye shall be redeemed, without money.” You know that text means nothing meritorious on your part as a consideration of that redemption; for if any thing on your part was required in order to your redemption, you could not be redeemed, it, when you sold out, you got nothing. Now, these are the two covenants. I take the position that man can bring himself into a state from which he cannot extricate himself he is to blame for being there, and for every thing he does while there. It is not very far from here to Princeton, the county seat of Gibson County, and perhaps some of you citizens know whether there is anybody in jail there or not. If there are persons there in jail as prisoners, they are locked up. Perhaps some are in cells, closely confined. How did they get there? They got there by their own work. Are they to blame for being in jail? Yes, and they cannot get out; they are locked up. Perhaps every one of them would get out and run away if they could from the penalty of the law, but they are locked up. They are to blame. Why? Because they got there by their own wicked works, and as they have got in there they cannot get out. Are the authorities of this State under any obligations to give them a chance to get out before they can justly hold them there? Surely not. They are under no obligation to go and give them a chance to get out before they can justly hold them there. Now, that is the reason that we say, so far as the non-elect are concerned, God never reprobated any man, never made any man a sinner, never forced or caused him to be a sinner. Man has become a sinner by his own sin, and he is exposed to the Divine vengeance of God’s law for his sins; and it is man’s work that ruins him, while it is God’s grace that saves the ruined, it is grace that saves the ruined, not works. The apostle says, “By grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” Not of works—our works have ruined us.

Had there never been any thing done for any of us, only what we did for ourselves, we would have had no hope of heaven—we would be under the condemnatory sentence of the law. I hope that that will not hurt any such a speech as we have heard this morning about the responsibility of man, and his being passive in the hand of God, and all this.

Now, when it comes to election, the doctrine of personal election, unconditional election, and all that, why I believe it. I thought, perhaps, from Brother Yates’ answer to my query, that he did not understand it. He says if so and so, he says no; if I mean so and so, he says no. I mean just the question I asked him, without any thing else with it. Is Brother Yates willing to tell us whether he believes the missionary people are doing any good, so far as the salvation of the sinner is concerned? Will he tell us whether he believes they have been instrumental in saving a single, solitary sinner that would not have been saved without them? These people want to know. What have these people assembled here today for? They want instruction. Brother Yates proposed to tell them something, and they want to hear it. He is under obligation, he obligated himself in his challenge, to prove his proposition authorized by the Holy Scriptures, and blessed and owned of God. His own interpretation of that proposition on Monday evening was—and he wanted the Moderators to decide—whether by the words, “ blessed and owned of God,” he meant they were regenerated or not. We want to know whether he will accept it that way or not. That is the reason I put the query to him. He must not get away from the proposition.

I want to notice one or two things on the subject of election. i Peter i. 2—3: “Elect according, to the foreknowledge of God.” What was according to the foreknowledge of God? “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which” (according to what? Our obedience, our works, our acceptance of Christ? No; that is one of Brother Yates’ texts. Well, what is it? “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus. Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in, heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” That is the full quotation. Here it says we are begotten again to a lively hope according to something. According to what? According to God’s abundant mercy, the text says. Here are people who are elected according to something. According to what? According to God’s foreknowledge, the text says. O well, he says, it is through the sanctification of the Spirit. I say the predestination of the people of God and their election is necessary to bring the whole work about and consummate it, and God is at the head of that operation.

On the subject of the word “world.” John i. 29: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!” Here is a text I want you to notice on the term “world.” I know very well that the terms “world,” and “all men,” and “every man” are used to prove the Universalist doctrine. They say it means all the race when it says “all men.” They say it means all the race when it says “every man.” They say it means all the race when it says “all the world.” They say it means all the race when it says “every creature.”’ They say it means all the race when it says “the whole world.” Let us see whether it does or not. I do not want to dwell long on that, and do not want Brother Yates to notice any text on that subject until he explains this, and shows that they actually mean all the world and all the race, according to his own text this morning. Revelation v. ii: “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the beasts, and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”

Notice here, according to Brother Yates’ own argument this morning, is universal salvation. Why? From the very fact that “every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” Now, if every creature in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth, and in the sea, and all that are in them, do not embrace all the race of Adam, I challenge, not only Brother Yates, but any one else, to show a text in God’s Word that does, that has the term every man, or all men. Brother Yates says that is what it means, and be is a Universalist. I am ready to deliver him over to them if they will have him.

MR. YATES: I would rather they would have me than that you should have me.

MR. POTTER: I do not want you until you can do better than you did this morning in representing Baptist doctrine. Rev. vi. 14—17: “And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bond man, and every free man”—how many more men are there than every bond man and every free man? Brother Yates would tell us that means the race; his argument on the term world, this morning, says that means the race; it destroys the doctrine of election, it confutes the doctrine of discriminating grace, because it means all the race; this also means all the race—” And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bond man, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains: and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” Do both these texts mean all the race? There is as much universality in their expression, perhaps, as in any we can find. Do they mean all the race? I want Brother Yates to notice that, because these expressions are as universal as any that can be found in the Bible, that I know of. And when he comes to this great result of the mission work, about the people going up there and singing to the Lord, “Thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof” why, he says that is the result of the mission work. Here is a map of the world; I presume it is correct. All Christianity is indicated by these colors where we see them on the map, according to the reports of the missionaries. These dots, and letters, etc., represent where the Bible is according to that map. Brother Yates says the red spots represent the different mission stations where the workers are sent out by the different societies of Europe, and the green spots represent different mission stations where workers are sent by the United States. And all these are Protestant missions. His Catholic friends are not there. You can see from that map about what proportion of the world our Protestant missionaries occupy today. You can see that from the map, and it does not look to me as though they will come, if they depend on the missionaries, from every kindred, tongue, and people, for awhile yet, to say, “Blessed and holy art thou, and worthy to take the book, and loose the seals thereof, and look thereon, for thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” Where are the heathen lands? Where are they? They tell us themselves that today we are surrounded by eight hundred million of heathen. Let them go up there. Are there no tongues, and kindred, and people, and nations, among those eight hundred millions?

The different missionaries vary a little in giving the number of the Protestant Christians in the work. There are about 160,000,000 to 185,000,000 of Protestant Christians today in the world. They are the people that are to be saved. While that is true, here are the Roman Catholics, Mohammedans, Greeks, Mormons, the Jews, and the heathen; they are all to be evangelized by these foreign missionaries yet, or else this saying will never come true that John says he saw in the heaven.

Now I want to follow the subject of Foreign Missions a little. I have an objection to present, and remember I am two speeches ahead of Brother Yates now. He noticed no speech of mine yesterday, except to say there was a condition connected with all the proof-texts I gave. We are not here to take each other’s word. These people have not come here to take our word. I wish he would follow tip those texts, and tell us what conditions they are based upon, and if based upon the contingency of the gospel being taken there by the missionaries, let us have that. I am not going to join the missionaries until I find out what their work is for. Brother Yates said they wanted me. I am not going to join them until I find out something more favorable than that, and that I can be of some service some way or other. I want to say that I object to the proposition. The proposition, as explained by Brother Yates himself, in the caption of his article in the Gibson County Leader, “Is the Foreign Mission work of God or of man?” I say it is of man, and now I propose to prove it. Brother Yates cannot say that this is not a correct explanation of his challenge, for it is in his own language. He accuses brethren through this country of saying that it is of man, and that is the reason he made the challenge; his challenge so states. Now, I am not going to notice any kind of authority but the Bible and missionaries themselves. My objection to it is that it is of man, and not of God. A missionary writer says: “It is, however, a very remarkable circumstance that in modern missions Papal Rome has led the way.” I have a book here, and Brother Yates shall have it and inspect it if he wants to. It was taken from the Minutes of the Philadelphia Missionary Baptist Association; page 429. They belong to the gang he has in his proposition—the Protestant world. They are good witnesses. The people will judge of that. Brother Yates will have to get rid of some of his Protestant world in this talk. The people will be the judge of that. That is what they say in their Circular Letter in 1806, in giving the grounds of the modern mission work. Listen to the language. I want to begin it again. He says: “It is, however, a very remarkable circumstance that in modern missions, Papal Rome has led the way.” Now you begin to see how it is of God. Papal Rome led out in it, the missionaries themselves being the witnesses of that fact. If Papal Rome led the way, Jesus Christ did not. If Papal Rome led in the mission work, she must have had followers in the work. If the Protestant missionaries are followers of Rome in the mission work, then they are not followers of Jesus Christ in that work. They cannot be led by Papal Rome and by Jesus Christ both, unless Papal Rome is led by Jesus Christ. This the Protestants deny; so they are not led by Jesus Christ, but by Papal Rome, according to their own publications. How many people here to-day are willing to say that Papal Rome led in the mission work, and that it is of God? “That it was introduced by the Roman Catholic Church is a historical fact that does not admit of question or doubt.” Brother Yates has never denied that since the commencement of this discussion, and if he thought to do so, historians would contradict him, for we have already given one of the witnesses. on that subject, and it his own. He must accept missionary witnesses that are embraced in his proposition. Of course he had a little more in that proposition than he wanted. Now, are not all Missionary Baptists as much of God in the Foreign Mission work as are the Cumberland Presbyterians? I want him to give us his claim, and make the distinction, from the very fact that on Monday morning, in the introduction of this discussion, he said that this mission work was not denominational, that all could work in it alike for the same end. I want him to tell us how much better claim he has to it than the Missionary Baptists have. To say that he has or has not does not make any difference in this discussion, because the Missionary Baptists are in it, and he has got them there himself. They say, “There is not one syllable about it in the word of God, and it was not invented until after the Reformation.” Not invented until after the Reformation! Brother Yates himself admits that it is to be found in the next chapter after we find the term Regular Baptist in the Bible, and he says Regular Baptist is entirely out of the Bible. Then we know that it must be at least the second chapter from the Bible — out of it. The same missionary says: “One of the Roman Pontiffs, says Mosheim, saw their ambition checked by the progress of the Reformation, which deprived them of a great part of their spiritual dominion in Europe. They turned their lordly views to the other part of the globe. The society which in 1540 took the denomination of Jesuits, the company of Jesus, were by the Pope chiefly employed in India, Japan, and China, after which they spared no pains in propagating their erroneous sentiments in the West Indies and on the continent of America.” (Minutes of the Philadelphia Missionary Baptist Association, page 429.) Again, “This society”—which Brother Yates will agree with me, is not of God, but of man—” has been more successful in its operations than any other, as we have before observed.” Then, I repeat again, if success is an evidence of God’s blessing, the Roman Catholics have it, for they have done more than any other one denomination in propagating their views everywhere; and they are stronger today in their denomination than all the Protestants together. According to the account given by S. F. Dobbins, there are 152,000,000 Roman Catholics in the world. Of course this has been two, three, or four years ago.

MR. YATES: There are 205,000,000 now.

MR. POTTER: And about 100,000,000 other Christians besides Greeks and Catholics, who have 750,000,000. The missionaries vary in their reports as to numbers, but we get it from headquarters when Brother Yates tells us.

In the Foreign Mission work to convert the heathen, according to the account given by S. P. Dobbins, there are 152,000,000 Roman Catholics in the world, and about 100,000,000 other Christians besides Greeks and Catholics, who have 750,000,000. It is as needful that all these Catholics be converted by the Protestants as any others; but as the Roman Catholics led the way in the great work, and are still in the lead, there are no hopes that the Protestants will get them converted soon. Papal Rome has done more to educate and civilize than all others, through her missionaries; and I want Brother Yates to tell us why he says the Foreign Mission work of the Roman Catholics is not of God, but of man, while, he says the Foreign Mission work of the Protestants is of God, and not of man. I claim they are all of man, and not of God. I want to know if the mission work of the Catholics does not bear as much evidence of God’s power as that of any organization or institution? If one does not have as much right, from the Word of God, to get it up as another? As Catholics led in the great work, and their first organization was in 1540, all other Foreign Missionary Societies have had their origin since then, and it seems quite strange that the God of heaven had authorized Foreign Missionary Societies for the purpose of publishing the gospel among the heathen, and the people of God would not find it out for nearly 1,600 years, and then it was discovered through Papal Rome, which was denominated the whore of Babylon by all the Protestants. The people of God had preached, taught, and lived 1,600 years, before any of them thought about it, and Papal Rome discovered it, and now the Protestants follow in the procession, and say it is authorized in God’s Word, and owned and blessed of him. Here is where it is from—Papal Rome.

I deny that the Foreign Mission work is of God, because its language is not the language of God. Let us hear what its language is. It is always talking about bringing souls to Jesus. We have heard of missionaries “capturing souls for Jesus” during this debate. God never spoke that way. Do you know what Jesus said about bringing souls to him? He says in John vi. 44: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” God is the one that draws. In harmony with that idea, turn to Isaiah lvi. 6—8: “Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall he called a house of prayer for all people. The Lord God which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, besides those that are gathered unto him.” Notice, in the first of this quotation the Lord is talking about his people that are among the Jews—that are under the Jewish ceremonies—but in the last verse he speaks of others, not among the Jews. The text seems to connect with the language of Jesus, when he said, “Other sheep have I, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring.” That is what the Lord says about bringing his people in, and not one word about one man, or set of men, bringing souls to the Saviour. One missionary writer says: “We will mention but one more missionary principle—namely, that the means by which, instrumentally, the great work is to be effected is the ministration of the Divine Word. We would not be understood as supposing this is the only means, but whenever salvation comes forth like a lamp that burneth, it will be in answer to the prayers of Zion, and as it extends private Christians will, in their several circles, be instructors too.” “Every man shall teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, until all shall know the Lord.” (Minutes of the Philadelphia Association, page 428.) Notice, the language of modern missionism is, “Every man shall teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, until all shall know the Lord.” What does the Lord say about that? In the eighth chapter of Hebrews, in the new covenant, the Lord says: “And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord.” Now you can see how much they are like the Bible, or how harmonious with God’s Word. Missionaries say they shall teach; the Bible says they shall not teach, upon the very same subject, and no man can deny it. So there is a difference between them. Their language is not the same. Any book that I quote from is open to Brother Yates’ inspection, if he wants to see it. Hebrews viii. 11: “And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.” It seems to me an easy matter for a child to tell that the missionary was not of God, when he will so unscrupulously contradict God’s Word. This is not the mere phantom of some irresponsible fanatic, but it is the language of a large, respectable body of Missionary Baptists, called the Philadelphia Association, in her Circular Letter of 1806. This is not one individual, be it remembered. It is not as though I were to sit down and write a letter on my own responsibility; but this Circular Letter was brought in by this great intelligent body of Baptists, called the Philadelphia Association, and read, I expect, by thousands, and published and sent out by their own Publishing House today, for the promotion of the welfare of the people of God, and the work of the salvation of souls.

Another writer says: “All are to contribute to that great, unceasing volume of earnest prayer, which has only to become general and tenderly importunate to secure the salvation of a great multitude of God’s elect, who are now wandering unsaved on the mountains of sin in every land.” (“Great Commission,” page 3.) This sounds like the Lord will not reach out and save his elect, only through the missionaries, who must go and teach them. Let us see what the Prophet Isaiah says in the fifty-fourth chapter, 13th verse: “And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children.” This is what the Lord says through Isaiah; they shall be taught of God. According to the missionaries, it depends a great deal on whether the missionaries get to them or not, whether they are taught. Has God left the eternal destiny of nations and of his elect, whom he has chosen, upon the contingency of men about getting to them and taking salvation there? That is the reason I wanted Brother Yates to answer that question yesterday: does he believe all the missionary efforts have been the power of saving one that would not have been saved without it? Missionaries generally say they would not have been saved without it, but as he says a great many of them are unreliable, I want him to say. He seems to be so unreliable himself that he won’t say, and therefore we are left with God’s Word, and that is enough. But the proposition is, Are they authorized in the Scripture? are they of God or man? That is what we are here to discuss. Let us hear again John vi. 37. Jesus says: “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me, and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” Now this text teaches us that the Father has given a people to Jesus, and not only that, but that that people shall come. Show me a man anywhere, in any country, that the Father gave to Jesus, and I will show you a man that will come, or else Jesus did not tell the truth. I should suppose the Father gave to Jesus all the elect; and he says that all that the Father gave him shall come to him, and as a reason for saying so he quotes the same text from the Prophet Isaiah that I have quoted. John vi. 45: “It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught of God.” Jesus quotes that from that very prophet, and then adds, “Every man therefore that hath heard and hath learned of the Father, corn eth unto me.” Now if they are all to he taught of the Father, then they are all going to come, and Jesus’ own assertion, that “all that the Father giveth me shall come to me,” is based upon the fact that the Lord said they should all be taught of him, and he said, “It is written in the prophets that they are all to be taught of the Lord.

I thank you, ladies and gentlemen.


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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.