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Written by T.S. Dalton   

 

JUNE 3, 1931

Little did I think years ago that I would ever reach this ripe old age. But for purposes known to God alone, I have been spared. Many have been the toils and trials through which I have been called to pass. Sixty-three years of my poor life I have spent in the ministry, and have made many efforts trying to preach the Gospel of my dear Lord and Master. My every effort has been to try to glorify God and to feed His flock with the sincere milk of the Word. I have striven to know nothing among His dear people “but Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” I have never sought to be considered some great man but have been content to be one of God’s little ones. I have sought to know and declare His sacred truth, and to be content with the Apostle’s doctrine and avoid all new things, so that sweet fellowship might abound among all of God’s dear children. Through all these years it has been mine to enjoy the fellowship of the people of God, and I hope to end my poor life with them.

I lived until I was thirty-four years old before I married, at which time God gave me a true and faithful help-meet, with whom I have been blessed to live nearly fifty years, and she has proven herself to be truly a help-meet. The happiest part of my mortal life has been spent with her. She has never put a barrier in my way during these many years, but has rather moved many out of my way, and it is a joy to my poor heart to say that God is still sparing her to comfort me in my declining years, and I desire to praise His dear name for thus dealing kindly with me. We have been blessed to have born to us six dear children, one of whom the Lord called unto Himself in infancy, and from the day of it’s death, my poor heart rejoiced in the thought that we had a child in heaven with Jesus. The other five have been spared to us to be grown-up men and women, and have so behaved themselves as to be looked upon as honorable people. It has been my happy privilege to bury each of them in baptism, and to see them living in the fellowship of the Primitive Baptist Church; and I hope they may still honor the name of the dear old church after my frail body is laid away in death, and fight on for the sacred truth until God shall say to them, “Well done thou faithful servants, enter into the joys of the Lord.”

During my ministerial life, it has been my privilege to travel much over twenty-seven states of this union, and six territories before they became states. Without any promise of men, of any remuneration whatever, I have gone trusting the promise of the dear Lord, “Lo, I am with you even to the end of the world.” It. is a comfort to me to say the Lord never forsook me, but has put in the hearts of His people to care for me; I feel now that I would be derelict in my duty not to say that God’s dear people have ever been good to me. I have tried to follow the rule given by the inspired servant of the Lord, “Having food and raiment, be therewith content.” Looking back over my past life, I can see the Lord has wonderfully blessed me. One year of my poor life I was blessed to baptize over three hundred people. This was the most prosperous year of my life, but God has been good to me all the journey through.

 I have been compelled to meet many new issues that men have striven to introduce among our people, and I feel that God has wonderfully blessed me in my efforts along that line, but lest I should develop a spirit of boasting, (which I truly detest,) I leave that for my brethren to judge. But I have met many champions of different orders in public discussions, (about thirty, in all) and I never felt that the precious truth that I represented, lost anything in these efforts to vindicate my Master’s cause. I am still trying to serve three churches,—one in Washington, D. C., to which I go two Sundays in each month, one at Manassas, Virginia where I serve once a month, and Bethel, near Washington, where I go once a month. God has given me strength to go to them regularly, and I am proud to say they are in peace among themselves. Now I feel that I am near my journey’s end, and shall soon lay the weapons of my warfare down at the feet of Jesus, where I picked them up, and yield the field to younger men. When that time shall have come, I hope to be able to say, “I am now ready to be offered, the time of my departure is at hand, I have fought a good fight, I have kept the faith, therefore is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge shall give to me in that day.”

May heaven’s richest blessings be given Zion, and may she preserve peace, is the prayer of a poor, old, worn-out, and battle-scarred servant.—T. S. D.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 September 2006 )
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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.