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Edwards and Whitsitt

      Directly opposite of Morgan Edwards [1722-1795], who lamented that the kind of reasoning used to deny anointing the sick with oil would lead Baptists to discontinue every positive rite, Whitsitt believed the abandoning of things like feet washing and anointing the sick with oil should lead Baptists to abandon immersion and strict communion as well.

      "The crowd this evening filled aisles and gallery, and the Baptists must receive a position in the respect of the citizens such as they have never held before. I am half disposed to look with better favor upon them, although I can perceive no good reason why they should retain either immersion or strict communion. Still they do retain them, and it would be destructive to say aught against either of them. The time is coming, far off perhaps, when both will be abolished.

      "Both of them are according to the Apostolic model--at any rate immersion is beyond any question the Apostolic mode--but so are foot washing, the holy kiss, the anointing of the sick with oil and numbers of other items that have fallen into disuse in deference to changes in time & season. Why hold to those when these are rejected?"


[From Whitsitt's diary (1886), Vol. 2, pages 10-11, as cited in W. H. Whitsitt: The Man and the Controversy by James H. Slatton, Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2009; via September 17, 2010. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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