header image
Home arrow Griffin's History arrow My Great-Grandfather's Knife
My Great-Grandfather's Knife PDF Print E-mail
Written by T.S. Dalton   


Sometime ago I was wending my way to one of my appointments and on the train I was occupying a seat to myself, trying to rest my weary limbs. I was thinking of the great mercy of God to even allow such a poor sinner as I, to live on His earth, and of how good the dear Lord had been to me through all these weary years to allow me to enjoy the sweet fellowship of His dear people, when a very finely dressed gentleman entered the train and walked down the aisle looking for a seat. As I was the only one occupying a seat by myself, I moved over and invited him to be seated. He very readily accepted, and in a moment he took his Bible out of his grip and began to read. This I thought to be very commendable. I remained silent so as not to disturb him, but he did not read long, he closed his book and turned to me with the remark, “Fine weather we are having.” I said, “Yes indeed it is fine weather for this season of the year.” I then said to him, “I judge from appearances that you are a minister of the gospel?” He said, “Yes, that is my occupation.” I said, “What denomination of Christian people do you preach for?” He said, “I am a Baptist.” Then I said, “You people date your origin back to the days of Christ and His apostles do you not?” He said, “Yes, we are the only people that can lay any claim to apostolic succession.” “Then you claim to have kept the church pure in all the ages past, and are today occupying the same grounds, doctrinally and practically, that Jesus and His apostles occupied ?“ He said, “Yes Sir, we claim that, and we stand ready to prove it if called in question.” I then said, ‘‘You must have very strenuous work to keep all the points clear before the people?” He said, “Yes, but we have the force with us to do it.” I said, “Do you have Sunday Schools?” “Oh yes, we couldn’t live without them.” “Can you tell me who was Superintendent of the Sunday School Jesus organized?” “Oh,” said he, “they had none then.” “Ah,” I said, “is that so? You have missionary boards have you not?” “Oh yes,” he said. “Can you tell me who was President of the mission board in the days of Jesus and His apostles?“ “Oh,” he said, “they had none then.” “Ah,” I said, “is that true?” “You have Epworth Leagues do you not?” “Oh, yes” he said. “Can you tell me who was President in the days of Jesus?” “Oh!” he said, “they had none.” “Well, well is that true?” “Well,” I said, “you have young men’s Christian associations to help you out do you not?” “Oh! yes,” he said, “they are great help to us.” “Can you tell me who was their President in the. days of Jesus ?” “Oh !“ he said, “they had nothing of the kind in that day.” “Now,” I said, “if you will allow me, I will tell you a little circumstance. A boy once drew a knife from his pocket with the remark, ‘This was my great-grandfather’s knife.’ ‘Then,’ said his friend, ‘it must be very old?’ He said, ‘it is, my great-grandfather handed it down to my grandfather, and he handed it down to my father, and he in turn handed it down to me.’ ‘Well’ said his friend, ‘it certainly lasted well.’ ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘it has had six new handles and eight new blades but it is the very identical knife my great-grandfather owned.’ You claim to be the old original church the Saviour set up while here, but you have many new handles to it, and many new blades in it. You claim that it is the same, original] church that Jesus 8et up.” He looked at me a moment and then said, “Aren’t you a Hardshell?” I said, “I don’t know. What do you mean by Hardshell?” “Oh! I mean a people that call themselves Old School or Primitive Baptist. They don’t have any Sunday Schools or Missionary Boards, or any of these things.” “You said Jesus and His apostles did not have them, and these people you call Hardshells do not have them; then you being the witness and judge, admit that the Hardshells are fashioned after the original church that Jesus set up, therefore your claim of originality falls to the ground as untrue.” “Well,” he said, “I must get off at the next station, I wish I had time to make that plain to you.” I said, “I wish you had, for I am in search of truth.” He said then, “What is your name?” I said, “Dalton with no alias, simply Dalton.” “Oh !“ he said, “Is this Elder T. S. Dalton?” “That’s my name, sir.” “Oh! Your name is a household word where I travel. I certainly am glad to have met you.” “What is your name ?” I said. But he ran for the door and never told me. I sat there and mused over our conversation and soon caught myself singing: “I love Thy church O, God, Her walls before Thee stand, Dear as the apple of Thine eye, And graven on Thy hand. For her my tears shall fall, For her my prayers ascend, To her my cares and toils be given, Till toils and cares shall end.”—

Remarks:—One or two such articles as this are worth the price of this paper to lovers of the truth to say nothing of the hundreds of good articles published within a year. Fathers, mothers, preachers,—are you encouraging your children, your church members and your friends to read Baptist literature? I wonder how many Primitive Baptist homes there are in which no religious periodical enters. God has blessed our people with many great teachers, and a few of them as,—Dalton, Hassell, Monsees and others, are still with us. Let us appreciate God’s gift to the church and encourage them on their way. They will not be with us long.—R.H. Pittman

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 September 2006 )
< 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.