A WAY TO KILL THE BAPTISTS by Rufus C. Burleson (circa 1845)
Amid all the inventions of this age of inventions, I learn a method has been invented to kill Baptists. This has been a desideratum for years, but a want more keenly felt recently than ever.
I learn the experiment is being tried by many of our Pedo Baptists friends. The invention was first made public under the following circumstances:
The learned and venerable Dr. A., in an address to his class in a certain theological seminary, said: Young brethren, one question which you will have to meet is the controversy on baptism. The Baptists are very numerous all over the world. They are establishing schools and colleges everywhere, and you will have to meet them in argument at every point.
I forewarn you they can never be killed by persecution; this was fully tried all over Europe for 1,800 years, and also in the New England States. The fires of Smithfield and elsewhere were kindled in vain. The exile of Roger Williams and the whipping of Holmes were bright eras in Baptist history.
Their church has always risen from the ashes of persecution like a Phenix, more beautiful and powerful.
It will be equally useless to meet them in public debate, for controversy is the element in which they flourish. Their pastors, with nothing but old Bunyan’s Jerusalem blade, are more than a match for our Doctors of Divinity.
On matters of doctrine they think they have the authority of God’s word, and you had just as well try to chunk Pike’s Peak to pieces with pebbles as to convince them to the contrary.
The truth is, there is but one way to kill the Baptists, and that way is to hug them to death. I mean kill them with kindness, call them dear brethren, invite them to your communion table, urge them to come unite with you as brethren, and leave off the discussion of doctrinal questions. This is the most effective, indeed, the only way, to kill the Baptists.
The old Doctor was right, and many weak-kneed Baptists are suffering themselves to be hugged to death every day, while those who are loyal to their convictions are increasing very rapidly.
Copied from The Baptist Waymark, Vol. III, No. 6 November-December 1995