header image
Home arrow Griffin's History arrow Debate on Foregin Missions-Chapter 18
Debate on Foregin Missions-Chapter 18 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Potter/Yates   



The first thing I want to call your attention to is the Commentary. Brother Yates accused me yesterday morning of a perversion of the words I read. He rather apologized for it yesterday evening, after the close of the debate, and I was perfectly satisfied. He said when he went borne and looked at the Commentary, and found that I bad read just a little, and left out what was against me, then he thought I was guilty, and brought his book here. Do YOU know from his speech what part I left out that was against me? I am glad he has the hook here, but I am sorry to see -a man take so much trouble for nothing. I want him to show that part of the comment on the text I was reading that I left out. He said he would. Here is the comment I read. I was quoting the text, “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall he one fold and one shepherd.” I was arguing that the other sheep the Saviour spoke of were among the Gentiles— among the heathen. That was my argument. He says himself, I must bring them—not that they will be his when they are brought, but are already his, though not yet brought. In speaking on these sheep, Jesus says, “They shall never perish.” When he said, “My sheep hear my voice,” he included those other sheep among the Gentiles, as well as those present, as he said, “They shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.” Then he undertook to show that I was not orthodox-on that text. I read him the Commentary, and I will read it again, the very same I read yesterday evening, on the words, “Other sheep I have, not of this fold: them also I must bring.” They say:

“He means the perishing Gentiles of his sheep, in the love of his heart, to the purpose of his grace to bring them in due time.” On the words “They shall hear my voice,” they say: “This is not the language of mere foresight that they would believe, but the expression of a purpose to draw them to himself by an inward and efficacious call, which would infallibly issue in their spontaneous accession to him.” That is the comment I read. He said I left out what was against me on that text. This is all there is of it. There is nothing against me on that text. Now, he took so much pains to bring that book down here, I want him to do what he says he will do, or admit he cannot. That is the way I pervert. That is all I want to say on that.

While I have the Commentary on hand, I believe I will notice the eighth chapter of Romans, as he said he thought I gave such an able lecture on that text:

“Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate,” and then the Commentary here parenthesizes “(foreordain.)” The comment is as follows: “In what sense are we to take the word ‘foreknow’ here? ‘Those who he foreknew would repent and believe,’ say Pelagians of every age and hue.’” That is what some folks say. Then the Commentary says: “But this is to thrust into the text what is contrary to the whole spirit, and even letter of the apostle’s teaching (see ch. ix. ii; 2 Timothy, i. 9). In ch. xi. 2, and Psalm i. 6, God’s ‘knowledge’ of his people cannot be restricted to a mere foresight of future events, or acquaintance with what is passing here below. Does ‘whom he did foreknow,’ then, mean ‘whom he foreordained?’ Scarcely, because both ‘foreknowledge’ and ‘foreordination’ are here mentioned, and one as the cause of the other. It is difficult indeed for our limited minds to distinguish them as states of the Divine Mind toward men; especially since in Acts ii. 23, ‘the counsel’ is put before the ‘foreknowledge of God,’ while in i Peter i. 2, ‘election’ is said to be ‘according to the foreknowledge of God.’ But probably God’s foreknowledge of his own people means his peculiar, gracious complacency in them, while his ‘predestinated or foreordained’ them, signifies his fixed purpose, flowing from this, ‘to save them and call them with an holy calling’ (2 Timothy i. 9). ‘To be conformed to the image of his Son’—i. e., to be his sons after the pattern, model, and image of his Sonship in our nature. ‘That he might be the First-born among many brethren.’ ‘The First-born,’ the Son by nature; his ‘many brethren,’ sons by adoption. He, in the humanity of the only-begotten of the Father, bearing our sins on the accursed tree; they in that of mere men, ready to perish by reason of sin, but redeemed by his blood from condemnation and wrath, and transformed into his likeness: He the ‘first-born from the dead;’ they ‘that sleep in Jesus’ to be in due time ‘brought with him:’ ‘The First-born,’ now ‘crowned with glory and honor;’ his many brethren,’ ‘when he shall appear, to be like him, for they shall see him as he is.’ Moreover ‘And’ or ‘Now;’ explanatory of the foregoing verse—q. d., In predestinating us to be conformed to the image of his Son in final glory, he settled all the successive steps of it. Thus—‘whom he did predestinate, them he also called.’ The word called, (as Hodge and others truly observe) is never in the Epistles of the New Testament applied to those who have only the outward invitation of the gospel (as in Matthew xx. i6: xxii. ii). It always means ‘internally effectually, savingly called. It denotes the first great step in personal salvation, and answers to ‘conversion.’ Only the word conversion expresses the change of character which then take place, whereas this ‘calling’ expresses the Divine authorship of the change and the sovereign power by which we are summoned, Matthew-like, Zaccheus-like, out of our old wretched, perishing, condition, into a new, saved, blessed life?” Now, I just referred to that as a reply to what Brother Yates said. I suppose Jameson, Fausset and Brown are about as able as he is on that.

One more matter I wish to present. The people will remember that I put the question to Brother Yates day before yesterday evening; he has read in your hearing his answer to it—“if.” The question I put was, “Are those missionaries the means or instrumentalities of the regeneration and eternal salvation of souls that would not have been saved without them?” Brother Yates seems to think I have a catch in that. My humble judgment is, if I understand anything about the controversy, and from the reading of his own proposition, this debate hangs on that question. So far as civilization is concerned, and education all who have heard me will remember that I am in favor of it; and not only that, but the preaching of the gospel, so far as that part of it is concerned. One objection that myself and my brethren have always had to the work of Foreign Missions has been this: that we have understood them to claim that they have been instrumental in the hands of God in saving souls that would not have been saved without them. Hence I have urged Brother Yates to say yes, or no, to that question. He gave his word on evening before last that he would do so, so we could understand it, and Brother Darby goes his security now, and of course we will get it. The people want to hear it. They respect Brother Yates and me, and they want to hear something that will he instructive to them about our positions. The reason I asked that question was because he wished particularly to decide the meaning of the question, the first evening of the discussion, on the words, “blessed and owned of God.” I want to know what he means by that; be has not been telling us what he means by that. No Regular Baptist that I know of, in the world, opposes the spread of the gospel, or education, or civilization, or the ennobling of man. None of us do that.

But as we have failed to get an answer to that question, I want to put another question in connection with it, as I am going to show before I sit down, if I stand my hour. There were quite a number of centuries since the apostles in which there were no missionary workers. The gospel was confined to a very small portion of the world comparatively, especially from the argument of Brother Yates. The balance of mankind was in total darkness. My question is this: I want to know if our Foreign Mission advocates believe that all those heathen were universally sinking down to hell during that time for want of the gospel? I want Brother Yates to answer that question. I will tell you what the Bible says about the heathen, and that is worth more than any thing Brother Yates or I could say about it.

I call attention to the forty-seventh Psalm of David, verses 8,9: “God reigneth over the heathen: God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness. The princes of the People are gathered together, even the people of the God of Abraham: for the shields of the earth belong unto God: he is greatly exalted.”

I have not been taking many notes during Brother Yates’ speech, for I am three or four speeches ahead of him now. I have studied over his case yesterday and this morning, and I thought yesterday that he was excited and rather frantic over the debate, he talked so loud and so fast. That was not the strongest evidence of excitement, however, and some things he said I suspect he has forgotten. I propose after a few moments to remind him of them. However, I have one thing to speak of first. In his last speech, in his closing remarks, he referred to it., saying that we have lost twenty thousand members in a certain time. Not only that, but that those people that have given us civilization have been either modern missionaries or Roman Catholics. He says our numbers are on the decrease because we do nothing. He promised to bring a Baptist almanac here, evening before last, to prove that we had lost twenty thousand members in a certain length of time. How many we have lost in twenty or in ten years, or any thing of that kind, I do not know. I am going to discuss that part of it now. He did not bring the almanac. I have before me today the complete analysis of the Holy Bible, according to the interpretation of Nathaniel West. D.D. He is not a Regular Baptist, and not a friend to us, I presume. We have no D.D.’s. A missionary once said to a minister of our Church, “You have no Doctors of Divinity.” “No, he said, “our Divinity never gets sick.” We do not want a Doctor of Divinity unless we have some use for him. But D.D.—Doctor of Divinity—denotes ability.

Our opponents call us anti-mission. Brother Yates started out with that at the first of this discussion Monday morning. Well, I presume this man West must be an opponent of ours, as he terms us anti-mission, too—Anti-mission Baptist. I presume no persons in the United States claim that name but us. I do not love to claim it, but they gave it to us. “United States Churches: In 1869 there were one hundred and five thousand Anti-mission Baptists in the United States.” How does that sound? Does it sound like his Baptist almanac? What do you think of it? I will tell you that his Baptist almanac is like. It is like all these earnest predictions, ever since the Missionary Baptists have been started until now, which are, perhaps, owing to others wanting us to die. People usually prophesy that which they wish to come to pass. That is common. As a general thing people will predict that which they desire. That seems to be a human trait. People wish that we were dead, I sometimes think, from their predictions. And they come to the conclusion that we are going to die, from very weak causes. Benedict said we would die before his history became circulated over the country. He termed us Hard-Shells, and every other name that could be thought of; and the people have been endeavoring to put us up in an unfavorable light before the community, and I presume have.

How is your Church getting along, Brother Yates? Brother Yates’ Church must be strong. It is about as old as the Missionary Baptists, and he says they are strong; but he takes particular pains not to tell us how strong they are. Now let me quote again: “Cumberland Presbyterian Church—place, western and central United States—97 Presbyteries, 1,250 churches, 103,000 communicants.” Two thousand less than we have. If we are doing a poor business, what is Brother Yates’ Church doing? Let the people be their own judges as to figures and results. This charge against anti-mission is not new. It is the voice of modern missionism. The Regular Baptists of the present century are not the first ones that have been implicated in this charge. I am going to prove from one of these men, a missionary to the Karens of Burmah, in his book, called “The Great Commission, and its Fulfillment by the Church.’’ I am going to prove that he even accused the apostles themselves, and not only the apostles, but all the Churches as a body, for nearly fifteen hundred years. Brother Yates. I will pass that book over to you, and tell you the page so that you can see whether I pervert or not. I want to give you their views on the Commission, and its fulfillment by the Church—their own views. Let me state, however, that a missionary witness against them is worth something. Suppose I had a case in court, and brought in witnesses to prove my claim, and brother Yates should take the same witnesses. He as the defendant or plaintiff, whichever it might be; and he should take my witnesses and prove I had no claim at all. If he could prove it by me or my witnesses, it would be better than if he could prove it by himself or his own witnesses. Whatever I can prove by their own witnesses, the missionaries them selves, and not by my own brethren, as I propose now to do, just exactly what they understood missionism to be, and what it is doing must be correct. In the first place I call attention, then, to the fifth page of that book. Brother Yates. however, staggered on that in his speech the golden rule: “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, applies preeminently to church and gospel in heathen lands.” How do you think of that for an interpretation on the Scriptures? “Applies preeminently to the preaching of the gospel in heathen lands.” What! this the golden rule? Well, I declare! What language does not apply there, then? Who could not prove Foreign Missions by such a witness as that? The gospel is not meant in that. The gospel is not talked about. It is not, on that subject. And yet, a missionary himself says that it applies preeminently to the preaching of the gospel to the heathen. Let me give another quotation on pages seven and eight of the same book. The phrase, ‘beginning at Jerusalem,’ is often quoted from ‘Luke xxiv. 47 in the interest of the Christian work at home. The book shows that it is altogether in favor of Foreign Missions. That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in all nations, beginning at, or from, Jerusalem. (The preposition is ape, and involves the idea of departure). Verse 49:

‘Behold I send the promise of my Father upon you— i. e. the holy Spirit—‘and tarry you in the city of Jerusalem’—how long?—‘until ye be endued with power from on high.’ From Acts i. 4—8, we learn more definitely that they were to wait in Jerusalem, not so much for the purpose of preaching there, as for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which they would receive ‘not many days hence.’ Jerusalem was to be their base of operation upon the whole outer world; if the words were spoken on the day of the Ascension, they were hidden to tarry there just ten days, and no longer. At furthest, a few days after the Commission was given the Spirit was poured out. Many of the brethren received the gift of tongues and miracles, just the gift which they needed for the work of Foreign Missions.”

Now, then, he goes on to the example of the Apostolic Church and tells us how they did. We want to see what that example was from this missionary himself.

“The set time for a careful movement, which should only cease with the universal conquest so fully accomplished. The apostles must have understood that their field of labor was co-extensive with the world. Still the Church at Jerusalem dallied. A thousand days elapsed instead of ten. They might have lingered on until they had died ingloriously had not God sent the besom of persecution to sweep them forth into the wide world, which was perishing for lack of the knowledge which they alone could give. Thus it has ever been. Persecution drove the Pilgrim Fathers from merry England to find on savage shores the first fair home of religious liberty.”

I have taken this quotation from page 8 on Carpenter’s Great Commission. Now, what do you gather from that? That is a missionary who censures the apostles themselves, and says they might have remained there until they died ingloriously, while the people were perishing for want of knowledge that they alone could give, had it not been for the besom of persecution that God swept them away with. How do you like that? That is what missionaries say about the apostles. Is not that an insult? God himself gave the commission, and they personally heard Jesus speak. After they had seen the nail-holes in his bands and the spear-holes in his side, and knew he was risen from the dead, they had heard him tell with what authority he was clothed—“All power both in heaven and earth is given unto me.” “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;” and then they would not go until he forced them to go by sending persecution among them? Now, that is what they say of the Church—the same thing they say of us. How identical! Talk about that being identical with the present missionary operations!

Now, I want to give you another quotation. I am not through yet. Let us notice. We are to understand from this one of two things: either that the apostles did not understand the commission, or else they were willfully disobedient of it, and that they did not obey it until they were driven to do so by persecution. In this case we have the Lord represented as giving them a command to go into all the world, and then making them go by sending persecution upon them. It seems to me that one of these should have been enough. If they were willing to obey, the command should have been sufficient, but if the besom of persecution was necessary, it might have answered without the command; This man says, however, that Foreign Missionism was taught in the commission, and the apostles might have died ingloriously had not God sent the besom of persecution to sweep them forth into the wide world. Then the apostles deserve no credit for their labor of preaching the gospel to all the world. But our author continues:

“Thus it has ever been. Persecution drove the Pilgrim Fathers from merry England to find on savage shores the first fair home of religious liberty, but we are prone to forget the fact that a host of Christians whose names are unrecorded on earth participated in that grand missionary movement.”

Indications of this abound in the Acts, which, after all, is but a fragment of the history of that period. In chapter viii. 1—4 it is written that all except the apostles were scattered abroad by the persecution, and that they went everywhere preaching the Word. These people were scattered abroad by persecution. This missionary says so himself, and every Bible reader knows it to be true. They were not sent by the Foreign Missionary Society—they were driven by persecution. Not only that, but this missionary himself admits it and seems to censure the apostles for allowing it to be that way. He continues: “The eunuch was baptized and went on his way rejoicing, and published the glad tidings in Ethiopia.” (Page 10.) Where did the eunuch live? He was a resident of Ethiopia, was he not? Was he a foreign missionary when he preached the gospel among his own people? Remember, this is missionary evidence. I presume it is true, because it seems to be historical that he did preach the gospel among his people at home. On page 10 Mr. Carpenter continues: “Churches of zealous converts were soon founded in Samaria, Lydda, Saron, Joppa, Cesarea, and Damascus. Those who were scattered abroad traveled as far as Phenice, Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the Lord Jesus. In chapter xi. 27 we read of the prophets, among whom was Agabus, going from Jerusalem to Antioch. In the account of one of Paul’s journeys the names of seven faithful preachers who accompanied him are given. In the last chapter of Romans the names of thirty-five persons are specified, almost all of whom undoubtedly labored with Paul in the gospel.” We continue to read from the same page: “James alone of the apostles seems to have remained permanently at Jerusalem. Nearly all of the Epistles were addressed to Churches or Christian laborers in foreign lands, and most of them to Gentile Christians. Churches were plenty everywhere in the world, even then.” By what was this done according to these witnesses? By the commission? No, sir; not by the commission. The commission was given, but they refused to obey it. How, then, was it done? God sent them out, and sent them all over this country, by persecution. So says this missionary. What do you think of that for an identity of the present missionary operations? I quote again from page 10 of the same book: “To this glorious result, probably, tribulations consequent upon the siege and destruction of Jerusalem and other Jewish cities largely contributed. It is only when the disciples of Christ sink all selfish regard for home and country in a broader, diviner sympathy for the world, demeaning themselves practically as pilgrims and strangers upon the earth, giving up all for the Saviour’s use, going whithersoever and doing whatsoever the Lord would have them, that their blessed mission can be accomplished. Thus was the great mission first fulfilled and its true scope accepted by the Apostolic Church.” That is a sample of the Apostolic Church. Now, what about the modern Church? He gives us what we want you to see, the identity of the two. We have heard a great deal said during this discussion about the identity of the apostolic mission and our present Foreign Mission work. We want you to see how we are alike. On page 11 Mr. Carpenter says: “From the beginning, then, God’s plan has been that the gospel of salvation should be offered by his servants to all the people of the world alike. How could this idea, so grand and simple, so worthy of the divine character, have escaped detection? For fifteen centuries the spirit of missions was well nigh lost. Through forty or fifty generations the Church as a body slept or stood with arms folded in lazy lock.” How long? Forty or fifty generations!

“Christians died, generation after generation, and went to meet the heathen and their Judge in judgment. A hint of the Master’s will and plan ought to have been sufficient.” How God-honoring that is! What do you think about it, dear Christian friends, today, for a man to rise up here in the nineteenth century and thrust out such insults as those upon the Christian Church from the apostles down to the present time?

Having detected the Divine idea in a scale or bone of extinct species, with what patience and enthusiasm the naturalist goes on to reproduce the entire fish or bird! With what scrupulous care he endeavors to be true, exactly true, to the original which he never saw, and to the thought of the Creator, which he has seen! But the Church of Christ has never been shut up to hints. She has had the glorious prophecies sounding in her ears all down the centuries. Now, perhaps we will get some missionary evidence. “I will give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” That is more than a hint for Foreign Mission work. He was to be that gift. Jesus Christ was to be that gift; yet he says that it is more than a hint for Foreign Mission work. “Look unto me and be ye saved, all ye ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself that unto me every knee shall bow and every tongue confess.” That is more than a hint for Foreign Mission work. “He shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.” “His name shall endure for ever. Men shall be blessed in him; all nations shall call him blessed.” Ah, there are more than hints for the Foreign Mission work, but these men did not see it. This man says that a hint from their Master ought to have been sufficient, but he intimates that it was not; but instead of that, while the Church had more than mere hints, they disobeyed for forty or fifty generations.

Again, on the same page: “The Church has had the example of her blessed Lord. He left heaven to seek and save that which was lost. Who are more truly lost than the heathen? He gave to the disciples of John, as the highest proof of his Messiahship, the fact that he preached the gospel to the poor. The heathen are the poorest of the poor, in every sense of the word, and this work which marked Jesus as the Christ must ever be the distinguishing mark of any individual or organization which would be called Christian.” Preaching to the poor, this man says, should be an example. He says that the heathen are the poorest of the poor. And this is a missionary proof. I continue, on the same page:

“The Church had also the supplication and command of her Lord to go unto all the world and preach to every creature, and this command is enforced by the teaching and example of the apostles. As generations have rolled by since the apostolic age her numbers and wealth have increased continually, so that she has undoubtedly had the ability in every age to make known the gospel to all the people of the age. But how slow of heart has she been to believe! How slow of foot to obey! The era of modern missions has dawned at last. A few have caught the spirit, but alas, how few!” Is not that grand? It is done at last. The Church led in wicked rebellion against the commission until lately, forty or fifty generations passing away. Let me tell you that that is an insult to some men. It is a grand insult to ministers. Where is John Wycliffe, who lived nearly one hundred and fifty years before Luther, who went from England to Germany, and went farther in opposing the real errors of popery than Luther ever did? In contempt of the doctrine he preached, forty years after he was buried his bones were dug up and burned, and his ashes scattered over a running brook. What does that say for such a man as he? What does it say of Jerome of Prague, or John Huss, who yielded their lives in the flames for the gospel? What does it say for thousands, and tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands, in Holland, in the Low Countries, in France and England, and in other countries that suffered before the Reformation? Men, women, and children have been witnesses of the truth. What does it say for them? I want to read it to you. He says that we owe it to modern missionaries, or else to the Catholics, one or the other. I call your attention to Buck’s Theological Dictionary. It is an old one.

MR. YATES: It is a good one.

MR. POTTER: On page 439 it is said: “in Holland and in the other Low Countries, for many years the most amazing cruelties were exercised under the merciless and unrelenting hands of the Spaniards, to whom the inhabitants of that part of the world were then in subjection. Father Paul observes that these Belgic martyrs were fifty thousand, but Grotius and others observe that there were one hundred thousand who suffered by the hand of the executioners. Herein, however, Satan and his agents failed of their purpose; for in the issue a great part of the Netherlands shook off the Spanish yoke, erected themselves into a separate and independent State, which has ever since been considered as one-of the principal Protestant countries of the universe.” The article begins a little farther back, but I wanted to read about Holland. Remember that this persecution commenced before the Reformation was effected, and it was not only commenced, but it was prosecuted vigorously from that time. “No country, perhaps, has ever produced more martyrs than France. After many cruelties had been exercised against the Protestants, there was a most violent persecution of them in the year 1572 in the reign of Charles IX. Many of the principal Protestants were invited to Paris, and under a solemn oath of safety, upon the occasion of the marriage of the King of Navarre with the French king’s sister. The Queen Dowager of Navarre, a zealous Protestant, however, was poisoned by a pair of gloves before the marriage was solemnized. Coligny, Admiral of France, was basely murdered in his own house, and then thrown out of the window to gratify the malice of the Duke of Guise. His head was afterward cut off and sent to the king and queen-mother; and his body, after a thousand indignities offered it, hung by the feet on a gibbet. Afterward, these murderers ravaged the whole city of Paris, and butchered in three days above ten thousand lords, gentlemen, presidents, and people of all ranks—a horrible scene of things, says Thuanas, when the very streets and passages resounded with the noise of those who met together for murder and plunder. The groans of those who were dying, and the shrieks of such as were just going to be butchered, were everywhere heard; the bodies of the slain thrown out of the windows; the courts and chambers of the houses filled with them; the dead bodies of others dragged through the streets, their blood running through channels in such plenty that torrents seemed to empty themselves in the neighboring river. In a word, an innumerable multitude of men, women with child, maidens and children, were all involved in one common destruction; and the gates and entrances of the king’s palace were besmeared with their blood. From the city of Paris the massacre spread throughout the whole kingdom. In the city of Maux they threw over two hundred into jail; and after they had ravished and killed a great number of women, and plundered the houses of the Protestants, they executed their fury on those they had imprisoned, and killed them one by one. They were killed, as Thuanas expresses, like sheep in a market. In Orleans they murdered above five hundred men, women, and children, and enriched themselves with the spoil. The same cruelties were practiced at Angers, Troyes, Bruges, La Charite, and especially at Lyons, where they inhumanly destroyed above eight hundred Protestants—children hanging on their parents’ necks, parents embracing their children, putting ropes about the necks of some, dragging them through the streets and throwing them, mangled, torn, and half dead, into the river. According to Thuanas, above thirty thousand Protestants were destroyed in this massacre, or, as others affirm, above one hundred thousand.” Notice, here are two assertions, that over one hundred thousand were butchered, murdered by the cruelties of the pope at that time. Where did they come from? Under whose ministry were those people gathered together? This was before the Reformation. This was at the commencement of Luther’s labors, and prior to it. It was the Work of the Inquisition, that was invented to be the devil’s instrument in extinguishing the good from the earth. Were they the Roman Catholics, or results of Protestant missionism? No, sir. They were not Roman Catholics, for they would not treat their brethren that way. They were not the result of Protestant missionism, because it was prior to that time. Has not a missionary told us that the Church slept with arms folded in lazy lock for forty or fifty generations? told us that the Church refused to obey the command to preach the gospel? told us that they did nothing? Compare them with the Regular Baptists of today. We take the comparison. They are our people, that is true. Let it be remembered, they had all the opposition against them. The Christian was against them, the soldiers were against them, the army was against them, one proclamation after another was issued against them, and yet with all these persecutions, one hundred thousand of them were butchered, as one writer says, as sheep in the market. Now, what do you think of that? What do you think of it, compared to the glorious results and sufferings of our modem missions today? with the charges and epithets thrown in our faces that we have done nothing, coming here with figures saying that we are dwindling away and losing thousands. It is all good enough for me. I am willing to take it. Now, show the identity. He says that he has the identity. Why, we have it, according to Brother Yates’ own argument, and according to that missionary witness I have quoted. We are more like the apostles. The missionary charges us with not obeying the command, and they charge the apostles with not obeying the command. There is an identity for you. I want you all to think of it.

Now, among those people who suffered such martyrdom as has been described, there were perhaps different sects and denominations. They were denommated differently. There were quite a number of them, perhaps not as many of them as there is today that are called Protestants. But let them be who they may, let them be what they may; they are what the missionaries now term anti-mission. That is what they were, whether they were Regular Baptists or not. They were the kind that was liable to die, like the old pond that we heard so eloquently spoken of awhile ago. Just think of Smithfield in England. The blood of our brethren is there to day. Think of the burning of Latimer, Ridley, Philpot, and others. Think of Cooper and others, who were burned with a slow fire. Think of the many that were cast upon red-hot grates to be roasted alive. Think of the many who were laid upon their backs, and funnels placed in their mouths, and water poured into them to strangle them to death; thousands of them hanging by their feet, with a slow fire smoking and strangling them to death. I quote the following from Eusebius: “They were hung by their feet with heads downward, and strangled to death by the smoke of the slow fire.” Think of all this; and then here come the modern missionaries, in the latter part of the nineteenth century, and are charging men in the Church all that time—let the Church be whoever she may—with being disobedient to the command, after having the plain command of Jesus, and not simply a hint. Think now of the Christians who died and went to meet the heathen and their Judge for forty or fifty generations. There it is. Now, there is only one way to get out of this that I can see. There is an example that is the fulfillment of the commission of the Church, according to the missionary evidences. Brother Yates says these Missionary Baptists are good men. Now, this being true, what do you think of the modern missionaries? They get up here and tell us the very same things. They want to know of us where are our foreign missionaries. They want to know of us where are our schools, where are our institutions of learning, and every thing of that kind. They have them there doing wonders. They charge us with the very same things that Mr. Carpenter in his book charges the Church with for forty or fifty generations. This being true, let me ask the question, Where does Brother Yates’ statement go to that missionaries have existed all that time, and that our civilization is the result of their work? Where does it fall to? He and his brethren differ very materially, and we do not know which is right. We do not care. He must fix that himself. It is immaterial which one is right. They are both on the same side of the question’, both working for missions, both protecting the doctrine of Foreign Mission societies, both telling us the heathen will be lost. He embraces all of them in his proposition. It does not matter to me whether Brother Yates is right or whether that man is right. They may both be wrong. My judgment is that they are both wrong. They differ, and it is impossible for them both to be correct. Which one of those missionaries, let me ask you today, my friends, are you going to accept as correct? Which one? Will you wait until Brother Yates tells you? I know the people are not here to take my word for any thing, nor Brother Yates’ either. Any lady or gentlemen in this house, any one who has been here or will be here during this discussion, is welcome to read any book or paper I have that I have introduced in this discussion, and inspect it until they are satisfied that I have represented it correctly.

Now, I will, close my speech by introducing or noticing one or two things Brother Yates said yesterday.

Yesterday morning there were two or three questions put to me. I contended it was contrary to the rules of the debate, and I contend so yet, but the moderators allowed it, and I was obliged to answer them. They were not relative to the question. Let me tell the people today that no sentiment of the Regular Baptist doctrine is hung upon the rack of this debate. Not one particle of our sentiments is embraced in that proposition. We are here in the negative. Brother Yates is the one to prove. His doctrine is the one on the rack here for investigation. I am under obligation to prove nothing; he has proved nothing, and so we are about even on that. The burden of proof rests upon him. He is here to prove what? He is here to prove that the gospel work of the different denominations of the Protestant world in carrying the gospel to the heathen, and so forth, is authorized in the Scriptures and is blessed and owned of God. There are two things that he has obligated himself to prove: First, that in itself— the work itself—Foreign Missions, that that thing is authorized in the Scriptures. He is under obligation to prove that. Second, that very thing—not something else—is blessed and owned of God. We want to see the apple from that very tree, and not another tree. We want to see that apple more than any other apple. We want to see that fruit more than the fruit of any other tree, and until he shows that his proposition falls. You are to be the judges, and I am satisfied that this intelligent audience knows whether he has done it or not.

Where is the text that he has introduced that says that Foreign Missions are authorized in the Scriptures, either expressed or implied? For the Scriptures to authorize a thing they must say something about it; and they must say something about it that we can understand, and they must say something about it that we can know when we come to it. And I will say again, How is it that the Church for forty or fifty generations failed to know that it was there, if it was so plain and so tangible as missionaries claim it is? Now, in his tangent yesterday, in going for me on the subject of election and reprobation, I will tell you what he said. He said if God did not reprobate them the devil did, and he is to blame for letting the devil do it. That is what Brother Yates said yesterday about making reprobates—-that if God did not reprobate them the devil did, and he is to blame for letting the devil do it. He accused me of throwing the blame upon God Almighty. Turn to 2 Cor. xiii. 5: “Examine yourselves, whether ye he in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves; how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” Man reprobates himself— that is my position. That is not Brother Yates’s position. That is enough for me to say on that. I do not intend to say any more. I wanted to remind him of it. He has cooled down this morning, and I want him to think about it.

Another thing. 2 Tim. iii. 8: “Now as Jannes and Jamhres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.” Who made them reprobates? Brother Yates said that if the devil did God was to blame for letting him. That is what he said if they are reprobates. He said if they are reprobates God made them so. I say that they made themselves so. He has been trying to get me to say that God made them reprobates, but he could not do it. That is what troubles him. He is here to fight something that nobody believes; and he is here to make me do it, but he cannot. He said we believe God makes men sin and makes us to do wicked action. We believe no such thing. Brother Yates is barking up the wrong sapling; he is not fighting Regular Baptists when he talks that way.


< Previous   Next >


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.