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Written by R. Anna Phillips   


Ah, how could I love the Lord and live with them? What agreement hath the temple of God With idols? What communion hath light with darkness? “Come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and I will receive you.” But could not I stay with them as not believing, nor partaking of these objectionable things, and be clear of them? I thought so awhile, but now I knew better: So while I had Christian fellowship for many of them --and still have--the Lord said “be ye separate” as the condition of reception by him as clearing me of all these things. I knew that in joining them I subscribed to them in whole and was virtually guilty of all their works. Did not I know that whatsoever was not of faith was sin?--that whatsoever had not received “the washing of water by the word” that is; sanctioned by the word-was unclean and forbidden to be touched, tasted or handled? Also I read, “whatsoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God; but he that abideth in the doctrine of Christ hath both the Father and the Son.” Also, “If there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine receive him not into your house: neither bid him Godspeed: for he that biddeth him Godspeed is partaker of his evil deeds.” 2 John, 10; Rom. 16: 17. So to remain with them, though not believing in them was to bid them Godspeed. To hold my letter did not relieve me; it was as though I had never called for it; I must be separate from them.

There are dissatisfied ones among them today who believe because they do not believe in and support one, none, or all of these obnoxious institutions they are clear of them’. But such is not the case; I could not claim this exemption for myself, nor will I for them. We claim the word of God as our standard. Ignorance of that word will not excuse us. An absolute unconditional separation and renunciation of all their works, whether as ordinances. Or otherwise, is the sole condition of acceptance with God as son or daughter into his militant house. But then here comes the natural man with all his train with banners emblazoned with the “lusts of the flesh”--the “lust of the eyes” and “the pride of life,” to battle against this. How hardly shall they who are rich enter into the kingdom. And how sore is that battle as slayings crucifying to the flesh and the world ? Some of the members among the Missionaries opposing me, and whom I must thus offend, were my good friends. But in that I thus condemned and renounced the principles dear to them; it was not that I loved them less, but Christ more; and had ‘rather be a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed in him hereafter, than reclaim my glory with them now and here; and hence, partake of his shame and reproach revealed in the world.
I knew, and still know, how dear to them, as individuals and as a church, is their preacher. Indeed preachers are held among them generally as very superior; and many look to them for advice and approval more than to God; and would much prefer you should speak against and condemn themselves than their preacher. So that I know what to expect in public condemnation of that class. But friends, I too, love preachers and give them double honor for their work’s sake, when that work accords with the words and spirit of Christ; and especially when they fulfill that command which says, “feed: the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly: not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind: neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock--over which the Holy Ghost [and not a moneyed contract], hath made you overseer. And this he must do as sustaining a personal character blameless: as not covetous or “greedy of filthy lucre,” nor as “lifted up with pride,” the end of whose conversation is Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever. Men proving by these fruits they are called of God to preach the gospel, and do preach it, are loved and reverenced by me more than any other mortal,--yes, with a peculiar, sacred tenderness born in my love to Jesus Christ :even though some of these are sadly wanting, yet as not supplied by a worldly substitute, and: as still retaining the meek and lowly spirit of Jesus, they are still precious. But those condemned are not of this class. And I affirm that the purer, holier, more sacred the calling the meaner the man to assume it without proper authority. And by my love to the true, I hate the false. Nor do I touch “the Lord’s Anointed” when I truthfully say of any man “he does not feed the flock of God--he does not pretend to preach. save for filthy lucre; he lords it over the church; he is; a brawler, greedy of money, and is lifted up with pride: is partial to the rich; perverts, the word of God and pleases men.” I have not touched the Lord’s anointed. Paul said, “Let him be accursed.” The infallible sign and proof that God has called one to preach the gospel, is that he preaches the gospel, nothing more, nothing less. Any set, of preachers that cannot bear an application of the rule of Christ should never have adopted it as an only rule of practice. If I condemn them by that rule, let them look to the rule, and not to me; for I say “peace be to all who walk according to this rule,” as Paul did.

I believe, and so have I spoken, I do not do so to offend or debate but to tell those who have asked it the reason I left the Missionaries: and to declare to all that I am not ashamed to be found with God’s poor and afflicted people, though condemned by the world and contemned by fashionable religionists. Others who prosper and flourish in exalted places receiving the reward, approval, and timely pleasures and benefits of the world are heartily welcome: I had rather suffer afflictions with God’s meek and lowly people--had rather be door-keeper in the house of my God--than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season as reigning in spiritual wickedness in high places; and then at last to be found with that same destitute unprofitable few who had no knowledge of ever having done any good thing for the Lord; instead o1 being found with that other set who boasted they bad cast out devils, or saved souls and done many wonderful works for the Lord, and yet who heard the sentence, “Depart, I never knew you.” Mat. 25:34,36.

There are but two leading spirits in the world--the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. And that we judge and know the tree by the fruit: and try these spirits is that God commands it; because many false prophets are gone out into the world transforming themselves into apostles of Christ--aye, into angels of light. So that we must not judge by appearances, but apply the unerring test--the word of God, whether judging men or measures. The spirit of truth is of God: that of error, of the world. The beloved John, embracing himself with those of the spirit of truth, says “‘Ye are of God, little children, [no great big ones here] and have overcome them, [those of error] because greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. They are of the world, therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us, Hereby we know the spirit of truth and .the spirit of error.” John 4:1,6. “And hereby we do know that we know him, God, if we keep his commandments. He that saith I know him and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him: but whosoever keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: and hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself to walk even as he, Jesus, walked.” Again, “Love not the world, neither the things of the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lusts thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever. Little children, it is the last time; and ye have heard that anti-Christ should come, even now, as there are many anti-Christs, whereby we know it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for had they been of us they would have continued with us;’ but they went out that they might be made manifest that they were not of us,” the Catholic element first, the Missionary last. “But,” he continues, “ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. Let that; therefore; abide in you which ye heard from the beginning. If that which ye heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye shall continue in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise he hath promised us, even eternal life. These things have I written you concerning them which seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received from him abideth in you, and ye need lot that any man teach you, but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” I John, 2. This long quotation is more particularly for dissatisfied Missionaries who now stand where I once did, when this was beneficial to me. Let them make the comparison discerning between the spirit of truth and the spirit of error, and see, and say, if the Missionary Baptists are not of the spirit of the world. “They are of the world, therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.” All so-called churches embracing this worldly element and commanding the heed of the world, are hereby condemned; but I speak particularly of the Missionary Baptists from having been identified with them, and as giving nay reasons for leaving them.

 Then here comes the voice of the true church. “But marvel not my brethren if the world hate you.” Jesus says to her “If the world hate you ye know that it hated me before it hated you: if ye were of the world, the world, would love you: but because ye are not of the world but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the words I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his Lord.” John 15: 18, 19.

But the personal anointing “let that therefore abide in you which ye heard from the beginning,” which teacheth all things of eternal life and salvation so that no man need try to teach them. The beginning is where one first received Christ in pardon and peace: the anointing is the giving abiding grace of the spirit enabling him to believe, and by faith to appropriate the blood of Jesus to the cleansing and saving of his soul; hence the new birth,-- the beginning of a new and spiritual life when I, and you, dear Christian Missionary Baptist, received the heart-anointing evidence of the truth of salvation by grace through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ alone. I had tried all works, all deeds of law every arm of flesh, and all failed me the world was empty of a healing balm--a fountain of cleansing nature was altogether void of help, and in the last extremity the alone and all-availing blood of Jesus saved me fully completely, eternally. That brought me in “fellowship with the Father and with the Son. And my anointing from the Holy One was with the grace of faith ever attesting the presence of Jesus; therefore, attesting my life, the spirit of life in Christ Jesus. And thus becomes the sign and seal of spiritual birch. And thus confirming our experimental heart-assurance of our spiritual birth; and as synonymous with the promises of eternal life, it is our unction of life. Blessed birth-day!

Then if that anointing abides in me, I continue in the Father and the Son, and no man need teach me that salvation is alone by grace through faith in Christ. I know it--I have experienced it--indeed I have an abiding unction that leaches me all things of salvation to a sinner Then, also, no man need try to teach me there is salvation in any other name or means, no matter how plausible to human reason--no matter how beautiful and adequate to the natural eye, my own soul in experience denies it--the same anointing I had in the beginning teaching me all things in connection with salvation, teaches me that all the saved must receive the very same; and that hence, all these Missionary modes and methods to save by money through aboard, &c., are false, and will fail. I look back to the beginning--I took beyond and know that I, or at least that Paul, had the advantage of all things else, save the blood of Christ, even that of a blameless life before the law, and was lost! lost!! and my unction tells me in the spirit power of words that lost! lost!! lost !!! are all aside from this blood, or salvation by grace. And this salvation is of the Lord alone--”not by might nor by power--not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth, but by my spirit saith the Lord.” Then surely these invented systems and appended auxiliaries, as helpers to salvation are worthless. The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, and not through money in a mission board. And that it is a gift to sinners is not that man ever did, or would do, good, but that Jesus “died for their offenses and rose again for their justification to eternal life,” that is, his people whom he came to save from their sins: and that while they were yet “deal in trespasses and in sins.”

Then can I fellowship after-means?--”institutions of the day,” to save the lost? Can I fellowship a church falsifying the principles of my salvation by claiming this and that auxiliary to make efficient the work of Jesus? No, not while my anointing abides; they must tell me of what I know--of the same experience and anointing.

And these people that said they knew God--that claimed his word as their only rule of faith and practice—one of whose articles of faith said they “believed in the doctrine of election and predestination,” had they truly received this anointing and promise of eternal life through Christ alone? If so, why not abide in it? If receiving experimental proof of its efficacy, why not present it to the world as whereby God could remain just and be the justifier of a sinner, instead of a human-devised system, Whereby he could not have remained just in the justification of any? There is one only way of Salvation--one way, truth and life. Then when I find a class who have invented other modes and means and ways--other systems, every feature of which is contrary to Christ or this one only way, and are crying “Lo here! thousands are perishing and going down to hell for want of money to send the gospel to save them!” and “Lo there [as Judson cried in substance] souls are “howling in the torments of hell that might have been saved by money:--thousands are threatened with the same doom that the jewelry of American women would save.” Why I fear conclude they themselves have never experienced salvation by grace without deeds of the law; or known that one only way life and truth.

And the reason I condemn preachers the great wise ones particularly, is, that they are most to blame for all those unscriptural institutions that were the issues dividing the Baptist church. As the church originally stood (and Primitive Baptist now stands) there were no great ones, save in the sense that the least’ of all and servant of all was the greatest; for here the laws of nature are reversed and the least (in his own estimation is greatest, and the greatest (in self-estimation), is least in the estimation of Church. These naturally great men sprung these issues and divided the church; and then established one favorable to their aspirations. You will notice the strongest advocate of a system is generally the foremost candidate for its salaried agency. And many a weak child of God, and many deceived ones, did they lead astray; and many such have been seduced into giving money in the firm belief it went to save souls. And many a poor widow has given her hard-earned dollar under the deluded impression produced by the “good words” and “fair speeches” of men making merchandise of them, that God would love her the better a~. giver to the means of salvation; and also, as it were, unto Christ beseeching her in the awful emergency of having died, and now needed money to make his death efficient in application, or as reaching perishing souls. Week after week their papers come to these honest, well-meaning lay-members with pathetic appeals and stories of fiction by these master scribes, telling some such story as “a poor widow in this world’s goods, yet rich in faith and love to God, gave ten cents of her scanty means to a missionary; who afterwards in a far heathen Country wanted to cross a river; the ferryman would not put him over for his money--he lacked ten cents; be searched his pockets more thoroughly and—how fortunate--found the dime the widow gave; it filled the bill and placed him across, when he gave his tracts that but for that dime never would have reached them; they read and many were converted and saved the otherwise lost but for that dime, saved! Those who cannot possibly give more, give a dime.” And just look at the begging expeditions flooding the land, every backwoods, nook and corner, as well as every high place in high life church fairs--raffles and such like, all begging for money! money!! money!!! Many give just to keep along with the world of fashion, never dreaming they are bidding God speed to error, nor that they are thus declaring a weakness and insufficiency to the salvation of Jesus Christ, or in plainer words, denying him. Some poor woman’ gives her mite in earnest devotion, when all she has of this world’s goods would not buy the costly dress of the Missionary asking it. He would not touch so much as the little finger of his soft, white hands to the burden he thus imposes. He sheds tears in begging and plaintively talks of leaving home and friends, and the hardships of travel and of a foreign land: when but few men would not go as a privilege if others paid all expenses and a heavy salary, and honors. Either thus, or “deceiving and being deceived.” In either case anti-Christ.

For all holy men “called of God as was Aaron,” and receiving a dispensation of the gospel, are set in the church, not out of it, for edification in faith and walk to that church. And above all things he knows salvation is of the Lord, God never called a man to preach the gospel he had not himself received. And it has taught him that never for a moment was a soul held in jeopardy--balanced on money; an that known in that covenant of redemption “ordered in all things and sure” were the Lord’s people.

But then they have so much more wisdom that I, may they not be right and I mistaken? I would pause and ask, and then answer, they have more worldly wisdom, but in these spiritual things I have the right to claim just so much as is revealed to me by the spirit: so with all. And God is as apt to re veal these things to the weak and base, as to the great and strong. The world by its wisdom knows not God or the things of his kingdom. “What man knoweth the things of man, save the spirit of mal which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man but by the spirit of God in him.” Nov we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God, that we might know the thing which are freely given us of God. So “he that is Spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.” 1Cor. 2.

By this rule and spirit I hope God enabled me to judge of these things. If my judgment and condemnation is not according to his word and spirit, then let me be judged and condemned. But if so, it is be cause God hath anointed me with that unction o: the spirit revealing truth; in which case I am allowed to judge and “yet am judge of no man.” For judging in and by the spirit of God, who would turn about and condemn me, must find and know this spirit; and “who hath known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct,” or reprove him? At a glance this would seem to take much to myself, when in truth it strips me of everything, as I want to be.

Then from these considerations I get bolder, nor would I flinch before the most learned D. D. of the age. Not that I am equal, but right.

Here was another fruit ripening whose parent-stem was nursed in the soil of a theological school, that is, the willing spirit of priest-craft subjection. How prolific this evil today ? “My preacher says I must do so and so, and I must, or be ostracized in a measure”--”my preacher says this Scripture means so and so, and so I say, as he should know “ A lady friend of mine became uneasy about my mind from searching the Scriptures so much:--”You are always reading that Bible--I always find you reading it when alone;--it will craze you--you will have to be sent to the lunatic asylum if you don’t stop it,” she said one day. But I said “It contains the only law I am under--my one rule of action, and I must know to obey it.” “Do as I do; I never read the Bible--that is my preacher’s business--[she was a Presbyterian, and wealthy]—I donated amply to build our theological schools; I pay to have our preachers educated, then I pay my pastor as such; and it is his place to read, understand, and then instruct me,” • she said. “But suppose he should pervert the Scriptures, or handle the word of God deceitfully and depart from the truth; how would you know this unless you had read the word ? .... In that case the matter would rest between him and his God, and the sin his and not mine.” Not one in twenty--perhaps I might truthfully say, an hundred--of the lay-members can give you a Scriptural base for their faith, or for any practice, however tenacious, for it. Not half ‘of them know the principles upon which they are established as a church. They just know it as ‘“our church.” And idolize their pastor as “our minister” from the pedestal of education, and not divine revelation;”’ into whose willing hands they confide all matters of faith and practice--all Biblical research necessary; and therefore, look to and lean upon him more than upon God; and whose approval or disapproval is more to them than that of Christ. And these dainty, languid, sanctimonious, self-complacent ministers, how they do “lord it over” them! how they do “make merchandise of them” by good words and “fair speeches” to “draw away disciples after them ?” 2 Pet., 2: 3. And an apostle says “by reason of whom the way of truth was spoken evil of.” But for this man’s theological training he could never have reached this position nor influence. This fruit was hog unto the Lord, who said we are to know a tree by its fruit. I saw that theological schools as cause and effect were contrary to Christ, and so condemn them, and pass on.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 October 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.