Friday, August 24, 2018

Diagram of the Churches and the Arminian’s God

A few years ago I heard about a book called Diagram of the Churches by S. M. Carlton, M.D. I was interested because Dr. Carlton was supposed to be a Baptist of the “Two-Seed” variety, and because he lived in my county – Rusk County, Texas. At the time I was unsuccessful garnering further information, but recently I discovered the book had been added to Diagram of the Churches: Illustrated by a Supposed Interview between the Arminian’s All-wise and Omnipotent God of the Universe and his Arminian Ministers (S. M. Carlton, M. D., Middleton, NY: Gilbert Beebe’s Sons, 1884).

The book itself is much an unusual dialog with the “Arminian” God and his ministers. Beginning at page 344 Carlton inserts an appendix that includes a “condensed biography” and his religious experience. Dr. S. M. Carlton was Snider Miles Carlton, who was born October 1, 1830, in Thomas County, Georgia, to Shadrack Carlton and Catharine Sloan (p. 346). His parents are buried at the old Randolph Cemetery in Houston County, Texas.

Snider Miles Carlton married Nancy Clark Satterwhite (p. 357). They came to Texas and first located in the Clayton area of Panola Conty in 1872 (p. 369). He also mentions being baptized at “Mt. Carmel Church, twenty miles east of Henderson” where his wife had been a member since that church was constituted (p. 377; Mt. Carmel was probably in Clayton, Panola County). They moved to Henderson in February 1879. Dr. Carlton, his wife and six others constituted a church called Siloam in Henderson, Texas on the 4th day of July 1883 (p. 378). The elder Carltons had several children, including, Harmon, Margaret, Susan, Elvie, John Sloan, Blake, Snider Miles, and Catharine. S. M. and Nancy later moved to Limestone County, Texas, where they are buried in the Thornton Cemetery.

Here are some excerpts from Diagram of the Churches:

pp. 95-96 Arminian’s God speaking:
I am very sorry that the old man did not discover his mistake before it was too late. The only chance that I see now to stop this old fogy influence, (for it is rapidly on the increase, although I have had it proclaimed through the medium of my missionaries that as soon as a few more of these old fogies, such as Beebe, Johnson, and others, died, this element would dwindle into insignificance ; but in this I now see that I was mistaken) is to put more missionaries in the field, increase our treasury, and re-translate the Bible every few years, until we can by degrees leave out these unauthorized paragraphs, in such a way that it will escape the detection of these illiterate old fogies; for you may be sure that I regret the mistakes that many of those old writers made, as well as the errors of the translators of King James.
p. 98, Arminian’s God on influence and present translation:
Again, in the book of Revelation, the writer, John, gets very humble, and accuses me. And these Old Baptists, as usual, are ready to swallow every word of it. He says: “Thou art worthy, Lord, to receive glory, and honor, and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” — Rev. iv. 11. Can you imagine, my friends, what pleasure I could possibly have in the devil? For that wicked spirit is surely one of the all things yet I am accused by John of making him for my pleasure. It seems that those old Prophets and Apostles, and these Old Baptists, are delighted in their accusations against me and my missionaries. And my advice to you, my friends, is to be patient, yet zealous, and I will be with you in your efforts, and before another century rolls around we will so mystify the present translation of King James, with our new editions, that we will annihilate this old fogyism from the face of the earth. For old Beebe and Johnson are now dead, and many others of the old veterans will soon die, and in the meanwhile we will try to kill out their influence before new ones grow up to take their places.
p. 159, Arminian’s God on present translation:
“The field is the world: the good seed are the children of the kingdom: but the tares are the children of the wicked one.” — Mat. xiii. 38. But you well know, my friends, that our motto is, Not to be beaten; and if we could ever succeed in convincing the youths of this, or even the next generation, that our system of baptizing infants is correct, and that infants are really subjects of gospel baptism, and induce all orthodox churches to adopt our system, we would then have all the infants of each generation baptized at eight days old, according to the pattern of circumcision, of which baptism is the anti-type. We would then wipe out this old fogy believer’s baptism, the result of which would be to annihilate their inconsistencies, and their present Bible, as translated by King James. We would then be able to establish by vote at the ballot box laws that would sustain our Christian institutions and support our ministry.

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