Sunday, August 31, 2008

Daniel and Abraham Marshall

Daniel and Abraham Marshall: Pioneer Baptist Evangelists to the South by Thomas Ray

I don't know the author, but do know about the subjects. Perhaps this will be an interesting book. Click on the above link and see what you think.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Regeneration and conversion

"Regeneration and conversion are not the same thing. Regeneration is God giving life. Conversion is the regenerated man turning to God and obeying Him. Baptism is part of conversion."
-- Michael J. Hanschen New Covenant Christian Forum, Mon, 27 Aug 2007

Agree or disagree?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Christ our sacrifice.

PSALM 40 v.5-10
L. M.

The wonders, Lord, thy love has wrought,
Exceed our praise, surmount our thought;
Should I attempt the long detail,
My speech would faint, my numbers fail,

No blood of beasts on altars spilt
Can cleanse the souls of men from guilt;
But thou hast set before our eyes
An all-sufficient sacrifice.

Lo! thine eternal Son appears,
To thy designs he bows his ears,
Assumes a body well prepared,
And well performs a work so hard.

"Behold, I come," the Savior cries,
With love and duty in his eyes,
"I come to bear the heavy load
Of sins, and do thy will, my God.

"'Tis written in thy great decree,
'Tis in thy book foretold of me,
I must fulfil the Savior's part;
And lo! thy law is in my heart!

"I'll magnify thy holy law,
And rebels to obedience draw,
When on my cross I'm lifted high,
Or to my crown above the sky.

"The Spirit shall descend and show
What thou hast done, and what I do
The wond'ring world shall learn thy grace,
Thy wisdom, and thy righteousness. "

Isaac Watts (1674-1748)
The Psalms of David, 1719.
As posted on Song To The Lamb Mon, 9 Jun 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Ancient Baptist Journal

Ben Stratton sent me the following on a new quarterly journal:

"The Ancient Baptist Journal is a quarterly publication established for the sole purpose of promoting Baptist principles and biblical preaching. You can learn more by going to their website at: This journal was recently established by number of Baptist pastors interested in seeing a revival of historic Baptist ecclesiology. For $30 you can subscribe to the Ancient Baptist Journal and receive four different issues. I highly recommend it to any concerned Baptist. The first issue is 139 pages in a very profession looking paperback format. The index to the premier Summer 2008, Volume 1, Issue 1 is below:

1. What Is An Ancient Baptist? by Dolton W. Robertson II.
2. Unequally Yoked: The Marriage of Baptist History to German Higher Criticism by James A. Alter
3. Exploring Baptist History by Jeff Faggart.
4. The Dr. John Clarke Memorial by the Baptist History Preservation Society.
5. Obligations of Baptists to Teach Their Principles by J.B. Gambrell
6. A Baptist Church Radically Different From Pedo-Baptist Churches by J.L.M. Curry.
7. Obligations of Baptists to Teach Their Principles by Jeremiah Jeter
8. Howard Sears and the Hand of Providence by A. Scott Miller
9. Baptist Book Review: Distinctive Principles of Baptists by J.M. Pendleton, by James A. Alter
10. Baptist Book Review: A History of the Baptists by John T. Christian, by Dolton W. Robertson II."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The cornerstone rejected

The Stone which the builders rejected, being an imaginary meeting of builders to discuss selecting a cornerstone.

When on one night the builders bright, met in consultation;
And then upon the cornerstone, turned the conversation.

Said one, "We need to find with speed a secure foundation,
On which we might provide the site for our fabrication."

Another strode from his abode, to the congregation.
Said he, "We must, upon this dust, build with conservation."

One man implored, "We can't afford, in our situation,
To use the best on which to rest our configuration."

And so they chose, as need arose, poorer conformation.
Their building built began to tilt -- a true abomination.

Upon this ground it will be found, upon examination,
How low it lies, it did not rise to its expectation.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Book available

Materials Toward a History of Feet Washing among the Baptists is now available. Click on the link (and then on the book cover) to view the first twenty pages of this book.

[The link was not working earlier today. If it still isn't, remember to check back.]

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Rise and Fall of a Church

In the August issue of The Baptist Monitor the editor writes of the Rise and Fall of a Church, telling how "the Highland Park Baptist Church, has voted to withdraw from the American Baptist Association" and that pastor Samuel Ramsey "lured her into departing the faith." Nothing is said of any particular doctrinal vagary -- just voting to withdraw from the American Baptist Association. The editor enters supporting argumentation with Vernon Barr's Free and Independent Baptists on page 11. Bro. Barr warns the associational Baptist and excoriates the "Independent Baptist" who needs to "quit stealing our churches."

Pu--leez. Let's get a grip. And a sound view of church autonomy. Pastor Samuel Ramsey may be the arch-heretic of all heretics, but nothing in the editor's article charges him with any departure from the faith other than leading his church to vote to withdraw from the American Baptist Association. If withdrawing from the ABA constitutes "departing from the faith" then we're all in a heap of trouble. Such a statement defies credibility. And what about "stealing our churches"? Our is a possessive pronoun used to denote oneself and others. I would like to know just how the American Baptist Association possesses the churches that affiliate with it? I remember once being in a bookstore which gave discounts to "their" churches (which is fine with me), and was asked as I was making a purchase if it was for one of our churches. I wanted to shout "No! it is for one of GOD'S churches!" Away with talk of our churches. A church is autonomous and belongs to God alone. Such talk of withdrawing from an association equaling departing from the faith, and "stealing our churches" indicates being at least a pound shy of a full load of understanding of church autonomy.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

To a Louse

by Robert Burns


1. Ha! whare ye gaun, ye crowlin ferlie ?
Your impudence protects you sairly,
I canna say but ye strunt rarely
Owre gauze and lace,
Tho’ faith! I fear ye dine but sparely
On sic a place.

2. Ye ugly, creepin, blastit wonner,
Detested. shunn’d by saunt an’ sinner,
How daur ye set your fit upon her—
Sae fine a lady!
Gae somewhere else and seek your dinner
On some poor body.

3. Swith! in some beggar’s hauffet squattle :
There ye may creep, and sprawl, and sprattle,
Wi’ ither kindred,jumping cattle,
In shoals and nations ;
Whare horn nor bane ne’er daur unsettle
Your thick plantations.

4. Now haud you there! ye’re out o’sight,
Below the fatt’rills, snug an’ tight ;
Na, faith ye yet! ye’ll no be right,
Till ye’ve got on it—
The vera tapmost, tow’ring height
O’ Miss’s bonnet.

5. My sooth! right bauld ye set your nose out,
As plump an’ grey as onie grozet :
O for some rank, mercurial rozet,
Or fell, red smeddum,
I’d gie ye sic a hearty dose o’t,
Wad dress your droddum!

6. I wad na been surpris’d to spy
You on an auld wife’s flainen toy ;
Or aiblins some bit duddie boy,
On’s wyliecoat ;
But Miss’s fine Lunardi! fye!
How daur ye do’t?

7. O Jenny, dinna toss your head,
An’ set your beauties a’ abread!
Ye little ken what cursèd speed
The blastie’s makin!
Thae winks an’ finger-ends, I dread,
Are notice takin!

8. O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion:
What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
An’ ev’n devotion!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

They have no wine.

John 2:11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

They have no wine.
1. Perhaps as a consequence of poor planning. "Shortage of provision when guests are invited is considered a sore humiliation the world over" (The Fourfold Gospel by J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton)
2. Perhaps as a consequence of poverty.
3. Perhaps as a consequence of intemperate guests (or a larger number of guests than were expected, see 1).

Not one concern of ours is small
If we belong to Him;
To teach us this, the Lord of all
Once made the iron swim. (John Newton)

[Or in this case we could change it to "Once made the water wine."] Whatever might be said about this miracle, there seems to be at some intersection in its meaning and the idea that all the hairs of our head are numbered, and that not one sparrow can fall without God's involvement. God is involved in all the details of our lives, even the "minor" ones like refreshments at a wedding.

"It is part of Christ's system to reserve the best until the last. Sin's first cup is always the sweetest, but with God that which follows is ever superior to that which has preceded it.

"The value of the miracle was in what it signified, not in what it wrought. It manifested the glory of Christ, part of which glory is his power to change the worse into the better..." (The Fourfold Gospel by J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton)

"...the glory of his deity and divine sonship, which was hid by his assumption of human nature, but broke forth and showed itself in his miraculous operations..." (John Gill)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dagon before the ark

OLNEY HYMNS, Book 1. Hymn 26
John Newton

DAGON before the ark.
Judges 5:4,5

1 When first to make my heart his own,
The Lord revealed his mighty grace;
Self reigned, like Dagon, on the throne,
But could not long maintain its place.

2 It fell, and owned the pow'r divine,
(Grace can with ease the vict'ry gain)
But soon this wretched heart of mine,
Contrived to set it up again.

3 Again the LORD his name proclaimed,
And brought the hateful idol low;
Then self, like Dagon, broken, maimed,
Seemed to receive a mortal blow.

4 Yet self is not of life bereft,
Nor ceases to oppose his will;
Though but a maimed stump be left,
'Tis Dagon, 'tis an idol still.

5 Lord! must I always guilty prove,
And idols in my heart have room? Hos 14:8
Oh! let the, fire of heavenly love,
The very stump of self consume.

Friday, August 15, 2008

John Smyth's baptism

The following information about John Smyth's baptism was discussed by Mark Osgatharp on the Baptist Board back in July of 2003. I found it interesting. Read part of the post below.

"I have the book written by Henry Dexter, a Congregationalist of the 1800s, which is supposed to prove that the manner of baptizing practiced by Smyth, as well as all Anabaptists up until 1641 was pouring. The title of the book is The True Story of John Smyth, the Se-Baptist.

"The title page of the book has a drawing which portrays John Smyth in nothing but a pair of drawers standing knee deep in water and bent over forwards with his hands on his head and water dripping from his head. On page 31 of the book the same drawing appears and Mr. Dexter claims it to be a 'tracing' from 'an ancient engraving.'

"Mr. Dexter asserts that the drawing represents Smyth pouring water on his head in his self baptism. Actually, it portrays a man dipping himself in water.

"This "ancient engraving' originally appeared on the title page of Daniel Featley's book The Dippers Dipt which was published in 1645. The page has an elaborate picture of a demon hovering over sketches of 'the severall sorts of ANABAPTISTS with there manner of Rebaptizing'."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

An old debate

The McPherson-Bogard Debate on "Miraculous Divine Healing" has been made available to a new generation by David Padfield, evangelist for the Church of Christ in Zion, Illinois. Bogard, a Baptist, and McPherson, of the Foursquare Gospel Church, debated in Little Rock, Arkansas on May 22, 1934.

Padfield writes, "Out of all the debate books I own the McPherson-Bogard Debate is one of my favorites. Ben Bogard was the greatest debater the Baptist church has ever produced. Bogard debated many of my brethren and always proved himself to be an honorable and worthy opponent. Baptist preachers of our day lack the conviction their brethren had in days gone by. Aimee Semple McPherson was the founder of the Foursquare Gospel Church."

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Following are definitions of Christian ideas of the Godhead, based on their respective articles at

Arianism is the belief that Jesus was not one with the father, and that he was not fully (although almost) divine in nature, as taught by Arius (c. AD 250-336). Arius lived in Alexandria, Egypt in the early 4th century.
Binitarianism is the belief of two in one God, as opposed to one (unitarianism) or three (trinitarianism).
Nontrinitarianism includes all Christian belief systems that reject the doctrine of the Trinity -- that the God of the Bible is three distinct persons in one being.
Sabellianism (also known as modalism, modalistic monarchianism, or modal monarchism) is the belief that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are different modes or aspects of one God, as perceived by the believer, rather than three distinct persons.
Trinitarianism is the belief that the one God exists in three Persons and one substance, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Unitarianism is the belief in the single person of God, in contrast to the doctrine of the Trinity.

"Isms-ism" -- there are all kinds of variations that spin off of these beliefs.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The beliefs of others: Friends

"The ruling principle of Quakerism is the universal inner light. It is also called the seed, the Word of God, the gift of God, the indwelling Christ. This is not to be confounded with reason or conscience, or any natural faculty of man. It is supernatural and divine in its origin; it is a direct illumination of the mind and heart by the Spirit of God for the purpose of salvation. It is the light of the Logos, which shines 'in darkness' and 'lighteth every man that cometh into the world,' It is Christ himself dwelling in man as the fountain of life, light, and salvation. It is the primary source of all religious truth and knowledge. It opens the sense of spiritual mysteries; it convinces and converts; it gives victory over sin, and brings joy and peace. It is communicated to men without distinction of race or religion or education, not indeed in the same measure, but in a degree sufficient to save them if they obey it, and to condemn them if they reject it." -- The Creeds of Christendom: With a History and Critical Notes - by Philip Schaff, 1919, p. 868

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Historic convention now history

The 153rd anniversary sessionof the East Texas Convention is now history. We hope it was a success. Only those of you who came know for sure.

Perhaps others can give a better description of the singing, but I'd like to pass along thanks. Thanks to EVERYONE who attended. We would not have a singing if someone didn't come! Thanks to all of you who took from your time you could have been doing something else to spend time with us. Thanks to those who keyed the music. Thanks to the committees. Thanks to those who gave donations. Thanks to those who helped us publicize it, both far and near. Thanks to Bobby Watkins for preserving our history by recording it and making it available. Thanks to anyone to whom I forgot to thank. Thanks to the Lord.

A visitor from Benton, AR told us about an unique isolated survival of singing from William Walker's Christian Harmony. Every 3rd Sunday in May Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Tull, AR hosts an "Old Folks' Singing". The singing dates back to 1885. Currently it consists of singing from the Christian Harmony in the morning session (with piano accompanying), and from the Cokesbury Hymnal in the afternoon session. I googled and got a few hits, including:
Old Folks' Singing is Sunday in Tull

Finally, a poem. It is/was attempt to capture a few thoughts this morning as I meditated upon our task as memorial committee. In honor of those we memorialized today, and all of our Sacred Harp family who have passed on to the other side:

For just awhile our blessed Lord
Put them on earth to sing:
They sang the notes, they sang the words.
They made the rafters ring.

Then Jesus said, "Come up higher,
So you can be with Me.
Now you can join the heavenly choir
And sing eternally."

Friday, August 08, 2008

Uncle John Sanders

In Memory of John Sanders
Who was once a member of the Oak Flat Singing Class, a strong supporter, and also a teacher of Sacred Harp. He has been gone from us for twenty years, having moved west in 1906. Though his works with us still remain. He surely did enjoy singing those sacred songs.

Soon after his death which was February 18, 1926, his dear daughter of 13 years wrote us that she could almost hear him sing:

Jesus lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly;
While the raging billows roll,
While the tempest still is high;
Hide me oh, my Savior hide,
'Til the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide
Oh receive my soul at last.

We feel sure that this dear friend and brother has realized an answer to this prayer in song and as he did so frequently sing:

How happy are the souls above
From sin and sorrow free;
With Jesus they are now at rest
And all his glories see.

He is gone but not forgotten. May we follow his example and still sing until we too can join that
heavenly host in singing Hosanna's to the Lamb of God which was and is to come.

So sweet are the memories of his past life in singing and teaching these sacred songs, and how sweet the thought that soon we will meet him in that home over there by the side of the river of life, where the saints all immortal and fair, are robed in their garments of white.

Read and approved September 26, 1926.
Charles Pruitt, Chairman,
M. L. Vaughn,
E. F. Scruggs,

The above obituary is in a scrapbook belonging to my Mother & Father. It appears to be a memorial that was adopted by the Oak Flat Singing Class (since it references singing but not church). I suppose it was printed in a local newspaper.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Jesus hasting to suffer.

The Savior! what a noble flame
Was kindled in his breast,
When hasting to Jerusalem
He marched before the rest!

Good-will to men, and zeal for God,
His every thought engross;
He longs to be baptized with blood,
Lk 11:50
He pants to reach the cross.

With all his suff'rings full in view,
And woes, to us, unknown,
Forth to the task his spirit flew,
'Twas love that urged him on.

LORD, we return thee what we can!
Our hearts shall sound abroad
Salvation, to the dying Man,
And to the rising God!

And while thy bleeding glories here
Engage our wond'ring eyes;
We learn our lighter cross to bear,
And hasten to the skies.

William Cowper (1731-1800)
Olney Hymns, 1779.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

You pay that much per gallon?

Although gas prices have dropped slightly here, a chronic complaint is the price per gallon -- right now averaging about $3.75 for regular.

But what about $8.26 per gallon? Yes, that's right! If you buy an average bottle of water in a mini-mart, you pay around $1.29 for 20 fluid ounces. At 20 fl. oz. it takes 6.4 of 'em to make a gallon. 6.4 X $1.29 equals $8.26. So the water you buy at the mini-mart is costing over twice as much as the gas you buy there.

At least the water's better for you.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Sacred Harp videos

A sample of some of the Sacred Harp videos available on YouTube:

Wood Street from the 1991 Revision of the Sacred Harp, sung at Bloomington Indiana Shape Note Sacred Harp Singing, October 27, 2007.

Mear (Will God Forever Cast Us Off), also sung at Bloomington

Liberty from the 2006 Cooper Revision of The Sacred Harp, sung at Mount Pisgah in Stroud, AL, May 24, 2008

Trusting Jesus also sung at Mt. Pisgah

Better Land rendered by a quartet

Monday, August 04, 2008

What's wrong with our evangelism?

Here's one thing:

"Nothing could be more anti-Scriptural than the exhortation of a very popular contemporary evangelist. As a couple of hundred people came down the aisle to the front after the sermon, the evangelist addressed the fifteen thousand in their seats: You have prayed for these who now stand before me, he said, and that is good; you will pray for them tomorrow, and that is good; but there is no use of your praying for them now, for not even God can help them -- they must decide for themselves." -- Gordon Clark, Predestination, p. 124

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Latin, Greek and Hebrew

"I don't object to the Latin, Greek and Hebrew; but let them be placed at the feet of Jesus, and not inscribed, as by Pilate, over his head." -- Harris Harding, Canadian Baptist (quoted in The Life and Times of the Late Rev. Harris Harding, Yarmouth, N.S. John Davis, Charlottetown, 1866. pp. 134-135)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Hapax legomenon

According to Wikipedia, a "hapax legomenon (pl. hapax legomena, though sometimes called hapaxes for short) is a word which occurs only once in the written record of a language, in the works of an author, or in a single text. If a word is used twice it is a dis legomenon, thrice, a tris legomenon." It is a "word or form that occurs only once in the recorded corpus of a given language." Hapax legomenon, in Biblical discussions, means the word appears only once in the New Testament (though this is Greek word, it's usage could apply to the Old Testament).