The following bios, listed here in alphabetical order, are in this book: Barrow, Elder David - Buckley, Elder William - Burnes, Elder - Carmon, Elder - Doge, Elder - Ficklin, Elder John - Foudree, Mr. Vachel - Grigg, Elder Jacob - Hickman, Elder William, Sen'r. - Holmes, Elder Donald - Hutchings, Elder Moses - McDugle, Elder Alexander - Morris Elder Joseph - Owen, Elder John H. - Owens, Elder Owen - Pangburn, Elder Hampton - Smith, Elder George - Sutton, Elder John - Tarrant, Elder Carter - Thomson, Elder James - Whitman, Elder Thomas.
The spelling and grammar are unchanged. A PDF file is here. - Jim Duvall
History of the Baptised Ministers and Churches
in Kentucky, &c Friends to Humanity
by Carter Tarrant, 1808
From the Press of William Hunter
I SUPPOSE I should not have thought of an history of this kind, had it not have been for the aboundings of false representations. Although the Romans had a law which condemned no man until he was heard, yet the maxim does not hold good respecting us. I think I have had about twenty trials in this state, and never was at but one of them; at some of those trials I have been condemned, at others justified, at others referred to further trial, and sometimes the indictment is thrown out; some say he is a good man, others say Nay, but he deceives the people. As to the integrity of my heart, it is best known hy the searcher of hearts, to whom I appeal, with no expectation of any thing but justice.
If, in the prosecution of the subject before me, I should make any wrong statements, respecting myself or others, I hope it will not be imputed to the imperfection of the heart, but of the head. The public will discover from this and other publications of mine that I am no scholar, therefore I hope to escape the merciless tyranny of thc critic. While under the patronage of the Almighty, I submit the following sheets to the inspection of the candid.
Kentucky, (Woodford County)
Feb. 15, 1808.
A HISTORY &c.TO obtain clear and just ideas of the friend to humanity, we must have recourse to John the baptist, Christ and his apostles, the valleys of Piedmont, Europe, and the eastern states of America; a minute description of which would swell my pamiphlet into volumes; I shall therefore confine my researches to a more recent date, and less extent of country. We have for a number of years past, lived in Baptist churches, where slavery with all its concomitant evils was tolerated; our hearts have been made to bleed with the treatment of those poor unhappy Africans amongst us, even among those who boast of the light of revealed religion. We have known master and. slave, members of the church, and for small offences the master would suffer his ambition to supercede the discipline of the gospel, who with rage and lightning in his eyes and a whip in his hand, would glut his ambition on the naked back of his brother or sister in the same society, and no further notice is taken of it. We have also known husbands taken from their wives and children, wives from their husbands, children from their parents, and sent into an unknown land, where the wretched fugitive loses all hope of ever returning or seeing his friends any more. The like has been done by religious professors, and is still carrying on, and no religious notice is taken of it. Would not an infidel blush at such conduct?
We believe that the Africans have never forfeited their natural right to liberty, and that an attempt to take it from them is a violation of nature, reason, philosophy and the word of God. Finally, we think unmerited slavery a moral evil. Our opponents ask us for reasons for continuing with them so long. I know
of no better answer, than the words of Solomon, Ecclesiastes 3. 1. "To every thing there is a season and a time." I will ask you a similar question. Why is it that the Almighty brings some men to a knowledge of the truth at twenty, some at thirty, and forty years of age? Secondly, Why did you not preach five years before you did? Thirdly, Why was not Paul brought to a knowledge of the truth, before he consented to the death of Stephen? The Lord will do all his pleasure in his own time, and in his own way. But the final cause of separation in the Elkhorn association originated from an aristocratical decree, passed at Bryant's Station, August 10, 1805, vis. "This association judges it improper for ministers, churches or associations to meddle with emancipation from slavery, or any other political subject, and as such we advise ministers and churchs to have nothing to do therewith in their religious capacities."
The revolution in Bracken association happened the 7th of September, 1805, in which elders Holmes, Thomson, Morris, &c. with their adherents, were dropped out of the association. Licking-locust and Bracken churches are kind of mother churches to the baptized friends of humanity, in the western world. Elders Doge and Carmon, were the first who left the Baptist society in Kentucky on account of slavery. These were men of excellent characters, who never returned to their former connection with slave heolders. Mr. Doge died in the bloom of his days; whose death was lamented by all those who knew him, and were ___ to the truth. His church was left in a widowed state for some years, and at length joined the Green River association. At present they are served by a worthy minister from South Carolina, viz., elder Alexander McDugle. Elder Carmon moved to the state of Ohio, where he now resides, and labors in the word and doctrine; he is a worhty character and deserves better treatment than he met in Kentucky. I have not the history of those gentlemen's lives; if I had, no doubt I should extract many useful things therefrom.
The next minister who made much noise in Kentucky, on the subject of slavery, was elder John Sutton. This
worthy charactcr was born at Baskingridge, February 12, 1733; had his education at Hopewell; ordained at Scotch Plains in 1763; he took the oversight of Cape May church April the 1st, 1764, and continued therein to May the 6th, 1766, when he resigned his charge and went to Nova-Scotia; he returned thence in 1770, and settled at Welch Tract; thence he went to Virginia, and thence to Kentucky, where he now resides. He is a great doctrinal preacher, and has an uncommon way of expressing a great deal in a few words. He is much respected by the learned, pious and polite. The ignorant and rude say much against him. But the Lord is very visibly with him. Although far advanced in years, he retains a sound mind and healthy body.
Mr. Sutton often and unreservedly spoke against slavery in public and in private, for which he received little or no thanks, consequently met with returns of all sorts but profit and applause.
Mr, Sutton refused to commune with the church of which he was a member, (on account of slavery) for some years before he left them. On July 30, 1806, he joined New-Hope church, which was constituted upon principles of humanity. He was at that time a member of Clear-Creek church in Woodford county; before said church he was called to answer the following charges:"Church-meeting at Clear Creek, June 7, 1806.This confused record does not clearly say for what elder Sutton was excluded. It tells (but tells in obscurity)
"Brother John Sutton is accused of preaching contrary to the rule of Elkhorn association, and also holding up a number of ministers by name to public comtempt.
"In regard to the two charges against brother Sutton he came forward and made no acknowledgements that was satisfactory for either charge; that he is gone out from us and joined a church since the charges were brought against him, that we believe is disorderly; therefore he is no more of us." (A TRUE COPY.)
* See page 6.
what he was dealt with for, and winds up loging in another charge, which was not known in their dealings with him. The dealings only name two charges, but we find a third added, I suppose by way of supererogation. I can say but little of Mr. Sutton in a pamphlet, more than he deserves better treatment, and to have lived in better times, in a better part of the world.
The next in rotation* is elder Donold Holmes, who was born in Resollas parish, North Britain, November 7, 1755; baptized in June, 1782, by elder John Taylor, in Shenandoah river, Virginia; thence he moved to Kentucky, and was ordained by elder Joseph Redding, at Green Creek, May 24, 1794.
Mr. Holmes became religious in the eighteenth year of his age, and joined the established church, and by them was sent into the Highlands to teach and catechize, or instruct the Papists in the principle of the Christian religion. His lot was cast on an island, about 20 miles long, where he had a large school. The inhabitants of this island would not allow him to explain the scriptures, but he would ask questions and instruct them the best way he could. The minister of the island was a drunkard and swearer, who said much against Mr. Holmes and turned the public voice against him also; but out of this dilemma the Lord delivered him, and he again got the approbation of the people. He stayed in this island upwards of two years; he then became a soldier in the king's aarmy, and sailed for America; landed on Long-Island opposite to New York, September 17, 1778; thence to Virginia, March 4, 1784, and was taken in York-town the same year, October 17; thence escorted as a prisoner to Winchester, where a Mr. Thomas Buck is a worthy member of the Baptist society, and brother to the respectable colonel John Buck who now lives in Woodford, Kentucky. While Mr. Holmes was
* I cannot put all the ministers in rotation, owing to the times in which I received accounts from them.
in the employ of Mr. Buck, like other curious minded men, he employed much of his time in studying on critical points in divinity, and finally over-burdened his mind with the great doctrine of election, and ran into the extreme of universal redemption, and became a preacher in that order; but he only continued with them eleven months, in this time he got convinced that his system could not be supported by the bible, and he voluntarily withdrew from them. In a short time afterwards he moved to Kentucky, where he now resides. In 1789 he joined a Baptist church in Woodford county, who had elder John Taylor for their minister. Here he commenced preaching again, and has continued to be a man of firmness ever since. The most unfavorable trait in Mr. Holmes' character is his joining the Universalists, but were others as honest as he, in divulging what they secretly believe, they might appear worse.
Mr. Holmes is a man of almost uncommon honesty; he is a great letter writer, and an able divine. A number of his letters to myself and others now lie before me; I have not room to insert them here; it is a pity they should be lost, they would appear well in our public prints. To write an accurate history of this pious man's life, would swell my pamphlet to a volume.
Licking-Locust church, of which Mr. Holmes is a member; like himself was honest enough to profess their abhorrence to unmerited slavery, for which they were dropt out of the Bracken association, September 7, 1805. This church made an offer to those who left them (on account of being friendly to oppession) to occupy the same meeting-house, but they refused.
ELDER, JAMES THOMSON
Was born in Scotland, but he has not furnished me with the date; his parents were Presbyterians, of whom he was the only son; his father was sixty-three years of age when he was born, and his mother thirty-nine; at five years of age he could read the bible distinctly; at sixteen he was bound to a mill-wright, who became
insolvent; Mr. Thomson left him and went to Northumberland in England; on his return to see his mother and sister, he found a ship bound for Philadelphia and agreed to give ten guineas for his passage; he went on board in October, 1766, and arrived at Philadelphia, January the 8th, 1767; when he arrived he could not raise the money, and was bound three years for the same. Shortly after entering into servitude he married, and in one week after was sent sixty miles from home and never saw his wife for nine months. After obtaining his liberty he moved to Virginia, where he heard elder Henry Hagan preach, by whom he was baptized in July, 1776, and in 1777 was drafted in the American army. After the conclusion of peace he removed his residence to Kentucky, Bracken county, where he now resides, and has the oversight of Bracken church. This church and the party they separated from, have a meeting-house in company, and keep up their meetings alternately; the other party is attended by elder Holton, a very good man. Mr. Thomson is much respected by the friends of humanity, as a man of real piety and sound preacher.
ELDER, JOSEPH MORRIS
Was born in virginia, 1771, and in 1791 [94?] moved to Kentucky, and now resides in Fleming county; he was baptized by elder Moses Bledsoe, and was ordained by elders Lewis Craig and James Thomson. Mr. Morris was a member of a church in Bracken county, of which elder L. Craig has the oversight; but getting uneasy by living in a church where slavery is tolerated he voluntarily withdrew from the same. He was much esteemed as a preacher in the church aforesaid, until they became acquainted with his principles of humanity, for which he now has their frowns; he is still beloved by his own sort of people, and praise in the churches.
I was born in Virginia, Amherst county, November the 4th, 1765; raised in Henry; where, in the 18th
year of my age, I became acquainted with religion, and was baptized by elder Michael Dillingham, and joined Leatherwood church, with whom I was always happy. I lived a private member in said church three or four years. The church was under the watch-care of elder Robert Stockton, by whom and elder Joseph Anthony, I was ordained. I removed my residence to South-Carolina, Greenville county, where I staid one year; thence returned to Virginia, Henry county, and took also the oversight of the church I first joined, took also the care of Banister church; continued in the oversight of these two churches, two years; thence returned to South Carolina. From my former residence in Virginia, to my residence in the south was 300 miles, which I travelled seventeen times. While in Carolina, I took the oversight of Brush-Creek church. I joined Bethel association. While in the south I travelled much through Georgia, and to the city of Charleston - almost constantly for seven years, and tried to preach about three hundred times a year. In my last removal to the south, I continued there five years; thence removed to Kentucky, where I now reside. Since my residence here I have travelled through Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana and Louisiana. I joined a small association in Kentucky, consisting of five small churches, which have since increased to upwards of twenty. We formed an union with the Elkhorn association, which continues to this day. After the union aforesaid, I moved south of Green river, and took the oversight of Mount-Tabor church. We shortly formed an association, called Green river association. Although our beginning was small, the Lord added to the number, until two associations were constituted from the old one, called Russel's-Creek and Stockton's-Valley. After continuing two years and a half in the Green River country, I returned to Woodford, and took the oversight of Hillsborough church, and continued in the same about three years. And it came to pass, in February, 1806, that one of the members of said church brought forward a query to this amount: "Is it agreeable to the members of this church, for the doctrine of emancipation from slavery to be preached among
them." Answered in the negative. The solution to this query gave birth to New-Hope church, which was formed out of Hillsborough.* I have not authentic documents before me to name verbatim the reccord that Hillsborough made respecting us, but Mr. William Dale, a member of said church, who is a man of undoubted veracity, told me to the best of his recollection the record reads as followeth: (After naming the first constituents) They say, excluded for disorderly withdrawing, and constituting a church in the bowels of Hillsborough. This record is similiar to the records which the New-England Presbyterians made, respecting those Baptists who formed constitutions within their bounds. See Backus' History, volume 1, page 483.
The reforming synod met at Boston, September the 10th, 1679, to answer these two questions: 1st. "What are the evils that have provoked the Lord to bring his judgments on New-England." 2dly. "What is to be done that those evils may be removed." They had not gone far in their answer before they said: "Men have set up their theshholds by God's theshholds, and their pasts by his past. Quakers are false worshipers. And such anabaptists as have risen up among us in opposition to the church of the Lord Jesus; receiving into their society those who have been, for scandal, delivered unto Satan; Yea, and improving those as administrators of holy things, who have been, as doth appear, justly under censure, do no better than set up their altar by the Lord's altar: Wherefore it must needs by provoking to God, if these things be not duly and fully testified against by every one in their several capacities."
The Church of Rome recorded Luther and his followers, in disorder, and so does the Church of England
* We sent an humble petition to Hillsborough, praying for liberty to occupy their meeting-house when they had it not in use, and that we would be our proportionable part in repairing the house, &c. &c. This petition was treated with the utmost contempt. We then thought it time to build an house for the Lord, in which we might worship in our own way; we accordingly set to work, and have built one of brick, 36 feet by 18, two story high.
those who dessent from them. If we claimed union with Hillsborough or Elkhorn association, we should have been in disorder, but as we put up no such claim I defy the world to make our disorder appear.
ELDER, OWEN OWENS
Was born in North Wales, October, 1746, in the town of Bala; his father was a shop keeper, (viz. a merchant) in which way Mr. Owen was raised; at 17 years old he went to London; continued there about two years, and set sail for America; landed in Philadelphia; thence to Augusta county, Virginia, thence to Holston river, where he got convinced of sin and Believer's baptism, and was accordingly baptized by elder James Keel, and joined a church called Cherokee; shortly after he joined Sinking-Creek church, by whom he was licenced to preach; thence removed to Kentucky, Washington county, where he now resides; He was ordained in Madison county, Kentucky, by edlers Andrew Tribble, Peter Woods and Christopher Harris. When Mr. Owens withdrew from Cartwright church (on account of slavery) the church made the following record:This church deserves much credit; they have made a just record, and it is the only one I have seen.
"The Baptist Church of Christ on Cartwright's creek, Washington county, January11, 1807.
"The church met, and after prayers, what came before us was a proposition concerning emanciaption, and after considerable debate on the subject, brother Owen Owens and his wife withdrew from the church, on account of the church's holding perpetual slavery."
"Signed by order of the church: "DURHAM BRUNT, Clk."
One trait in Mr. Owens' character, is that of unwavering steadiness in the doctrine of election, together with that of good morals; he is an uncommonly small man, but he has a noble soul. Although he is far advanced in years he indefatigably labors on his farm.
ELDER, WILLIAM MORRIS
Was born in Virginia, Princess-Anne county, November the 15th, 1755; baptized by elder Henry Abbot, June, 1772; joined Pungo church in the county aforesaid, and ordained by elder John Lawrence. Mr. Morris took the oversight of London-bridge church, and continued in the same fifteen years, thence moved to Kentucky, 1802, settled in Clarke county where he now resides; he took the oversight of Strode's station church, and continued in the same until July the 20th, 1807, when he and some more left the church on account of slavery, and formed themselves into a distinct body, August the 7th, 1807. Present at their constitution, elders Barrow and Tarrant. They have no meeting-house at present, but talk of building one of brick.
When Mr. Morris began preaching, the land was not clear of opposition, hence at one time a bridge was taken up to prevent him from going to a meetng; at another time he was shot at, but received no damage. Mr. Morris continued some length of time with the friends of slavery after he was convinced of its being a moral evil. He has for excuse: 1st. that he preached and talked freely on the subject, for many years; 2dly, he made great allowance for the prejudice of education. But when associations and churches began to make decrees that ministers must not touch the subject of emancipation in the pulpit, it brought Mr. Morris to the feet of Jesus, cloathed in his right mind. When Mr. Morris left the church at Strode's, they gave hiim the following certificate:"This may certify that the bearer hereof, William Morris, who has been a member with us and a preacher for us nearly to the present time; but being unhappily divided respecting the doctrine of emancipation, and he requesting a letter of dismission, but for the above split, we could not do it in due form. We have no othe reason for objection. Given under my hand, July the 20, 1807.
"MAXIMILIAN BOWREN, Clk."
Mr. VACHEL FOUDREE
(A licensed Preacher.)
Was born in Virginia, Lunenburg county, December the 18th 1763; baptized by elder william Webber, and joined Dover church; thence he moved to Kentucky, Clarke county, whre he now resides; he began to exercise a gift in 1802; some time after this he saw the evil of slavery, and like other conscientious men, could not hold his peace, which appears to be the prime cause of his exclusion; since which he has joined the church under the watchcare of elder William Morris. Mr. Foudree, like the rest of us, has been illy treated, and has been much under the weather, but since he has rallied around the standard of liberty, he appears to be useful as a member and preacher.
ELDER, JOHN FICKLIN *
Was born in Virginia, Spotsylvania county, February the 17th, 1771; moved to Kentucky, Scott county, where he now resides; baptized by elder William Hickman, and joined McConnel's-run church; thence moved his membership to N. York church, by whom he was called to ordination, and accordingly ordained by elders Hickman and Buckle. Mr. Ficklin is an industrious mechanic, and like his Lord and Saviour works at his trade for his living.
ELDER, GEORGE SMITH
Was born in Virginia, Cumberland county, March the 15th, 1747; raised to the church of England, to which he was clerk and vestryman; he was baptized by elder John Williams, and joined Powhatan church. Mr. Smith preached the doctrine of repentance, two years before he was baptized; ordained by elders John and
* Elder Ficklin has made a declaration of his principles respecting slavery, but has not joined any church in our union as yet, hoping that the church of which he is a member, is nearly of the same mind.
James Dupey. Mr. Smith took the oversight of the church aforesaid, and continued in the same nearly twenty years, when he resigned his charge and moved to Kentucky in the fall of 1804, and settled in Franklin county, where he now resides. About the year 1797 Mr. Smith liberated 14 or 15 of his slaves, which practice he keeps up towards his young slaves as soon as they arrive to the years of 21; he is an exception to the proverb which says, A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country and in his own house. Mr. Smith is now a member of New-Hope, which he joined in May, 1807, to the great joy of all the members; he preaches with us occasinally, and other places also; he has established a meeting at his own house, the first Sunday in every month. One remarkable occurrence in his life is, he has been happily married three times, and has but two children living.
When the church of which Mr. Smith was formerly a member, (viz. Mount-Pleasant) heard he had joined New-Hope, they made (as I am informed) the followsing record: "George Smith gone out from us, and therefore is no more of us." This record I shall notice in a proper place.
ELDER, WILLIAM HICKMAN, Sen'r
Was born in Virginia, King & Queen county, February the 4th, 1747; raised to the church of England; baptized by elder Reuben Ford, 1773; ordained by elders George Smith and John Dupey; moved to Kentucky in 1784, settled in franklin county, and took the oversight of a church called the Forks of Elkhorn and continued in the same nineteen years. He withdrew from the said church in September, 1807, on account of hereditary slavery being tolerated among them; upon which the church made the following record:"Brother William Hickman came forwaard and informed the church he was distressed on account of the practice of slavery as being tolerated by the members of the Baptist society, and therefore declared himself no more in union with us, or the Elkhorn association; therefore
this church considers him no more a member in fellowship."With those who are acquainted with Mr. Hickman he needs no recommendation; as a christian, he is serious and steady; as a minister, grave, constant and pathetic; in a word, he is another Nathaniel, of whom it may be said, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile.
ELDER, WILLIAM BUCKLEY *
Was born in Virginia, Frederick county, July the 9th, 1772; baptized in Henry county, by elder James Ray; moved to Kentucky in October, 1794, and at present resides in Franklin county; he was ordained by elders George Smith and William Hickman, sr. After receiving holy orders he took the oversight of Glen's-creek church in Woodford county, and still continues to minister to them in word and doctrine. Mr. Buckley is an evangelical preacher, and has a number of lovely traits in his character. He, like a number of our preachers in Kentucky, has to labor hard on his farm for the support of hiimself and family
ELDER, MOSES HUTCHINGS
Was born in East Jersey, Morris county, November the 28th, 1770; he had the advantage of being reared by religious parents, (if any advantage it be) who gave him a common education, but he thinks he is not so wise but what he may be wiser, and has therefore applied part of his time, of late, to the study of the English grammar, under the direction of elder Jacob Grigg.
Mr. Hutchings embraced religion in the 17th year of his age, and was baptized by elder David Loofbourrow, and joined a baptist church at Kennewbrook, in the town-ship of New-Ark, Essex county; thence moved to the state of Ohio, and joined a church at Carpenter's-run and
* Mr. Buckley has made a declaration of his principles, and of his intention to leave his former society, but at presest he is with them.
was by them licensed to preach; he was called by a church at Mill-run and was accordingly ordained, March the 29th, 1802, by elders Peter Smith, James Lee and Morris Witham. Mr. Hutchings removed his residence to Denham's-Town, and took the oversight of Bethel church; this church was constituted by elder John Denham, September the 21st, 1800; their number, when constituted, was six; their present number is eighteen; they have no meeting-house, but intend to build on a lot in town, given them by Mr. Denham, by and after whom the town had its rise and name. Mr. Hutchings is a methodical young preacher, and will be useful to society, if the hypochondriac don't master him.
ELDER, HAMPTON PANGBURN *
Was born October the 27th, 1773; raised a presbyterian, part of this time an acting elder, but became convinced of Believer's Baptism by emersion; was baptized by Hiram M.Cary, and joined Soldier-run church, in the state of Ohio, and by them licensed to preach; thence he moved to Kentucky, Mason county, where he now resides, and has joined Lawrence-creek church, which was constituted in March, 1807.
Mr. Pangburn has been an advocate for the liberty of mankind from the 15th year of his age. He has in his possession a black girl which he has recorded free at eighteen. Mr. Pangburn is a thinking man, and acts very dispassionately, hence his passions become subservient to his reason.
I have no documents from elder Burns, consequently can say no more than what has come under my own knowledge. Mr. Burns formerly administered to West-creek church in word and doctrine, but of late has removed his residence to the state of Ohio.
* I have not the place of Mr. Pangburn's nativity, together with some other documents which might be interesting.
Mr. Burns is advanced in years; he is a man of few words; has a fine countenance, and is an experimental preacher.
Is situated near Licking river, in Bracken county; they have a meeting-house in company with their former friends, the slave holders, in which they worship alternately. This church has no minister at present, and is in a declining state, yet they have some worthy characters; the Jacksons, &c.
Is situated near Licking river, in Fleming county; they have also a meeting-house in co. with their former friends, the slave holders. This church has no settled minister, but is supplied monthly by elder Holmes. Mr. James Wright and Mr. Samuel Powel represent the church in association.
This church is situated in Mason county; they have no meeting-house, but meet at the house of Mr. Nathaniel Hickson for worship; they have no settled minister; elder Holmes attends them monthly. This church may boast of having a number of worthy characters among them, but to God be the glory.
This church was constituted in the summer of 1807, by elder Joseph Morris; situate in Kentucky, above the mouth of Licking river, (perhaps 15 miles) near the Ohio river; they have no ordained preacher, but a promising young minister, Mr. John Stephens, whom they licensed to preach, at home and abroad. They have among them a Mr. John Bever, a Prussian, who has much of a poetical turn.
Was born in Virginia, Brunswick county, October the 30th, 1753; baptized in the seventeenth year of his age, and in the eighteenth began preaching; in 1774 he settled in Southampton, and was odained the same year, by elders John Meglaume and Zacharias Thompson. Mr. Barrow took the oversight of Mill-swamp church, in Isle-of-Wight, June the l8th, 1774, and supplied Blackcreek and South-quay churches until he moved to Kentucky, which happened in the year l798. In the counties of Surry nnd Nancemond, Mr. Barrow suffered much persecution, from the established party.
See the following narrative:
He was loaded with slanders, and threatened with imprisonment. In the spring of the year 1774, at the request of a gentleman in the lower end of Surrey county, adjacent to Isle-of-Wight; he appointed a meeting at his house on the Lord's day; a large assemby met; Just before divine service, an officer who was present wished to speak with him privately, who informed him that he had a precept from a magistrate of that county against him, as a disturber of the peace, and that if he preached he must execute it, and take him before said magistrate, from whence he certainly would he sent to jail. To whom he observed, he should not be the first man who had been imprisoned for preaching the gospel, and in so good a cause he was not afraid to appear before any of his majesty's justices of the peace in Virginia, nor even Britain itself; and that if God would assist him, he would preach at the risk of all things. The officer proceeded to summon men to aid and assist. Meeting being closed, the officer not seeming in a hurry to execute his office, he let him know that duty called him elsewhere,and that if he did not take him in custody he should withdraw, which he did, the officer failing to execute the precept. He learned afterwards that the reason why he did not do it was the men whom he summoned to aid and assist utterly refused to serve. Thus through much opposition he had to pesecute his ministry; nor did the Revolution itself put an end to persecution in that part of Virginia.
He having received an invitation from a certain gentleman to his house, who lived in Nansemond county, on Nansemond river, near the mouth of James river, which he appointed to do, and accordingly attended, in company with another laboring brother; this was on the first of July, 1773. He was informed on their arrival, that they might expect tough usage. A large concourse of people assembled, it was an opulent neighborhood, and baptist preaching entirely a new thing in that part. A stage had been erected and seats prepared under some shady trees, on a beautiful green. At the introduction of divine service, having read out an hymne, there gathered up to the stage a company of 19[?] or 20 genteely dressed men and one or them said aloud, Let us sing to the praise and glory of God and they began, and sung one of the most obscene kind of songs; and being reproved for their audacity, their answer was, We are a parcel of damn'd bad fellows, and are come to get you to baptize us. He utterly refusing to baptize such characters as they were; they then swore they would baptize him; then forcibly took he and his companion, two strong men to each, surrounded by their gang, nearly half a mile to the mouth of creek that put tnto the river, tripping up their heels, draging them over the oyster-shells, and forcibly butting them one against the other. When they got to the water he tried to reason with them, but all in vain. They asked him if he would prepare himself to go into the water; he told them he should make no preparation on the occasion; then two able bodied fellows led him in, one hold of each arm, and asked him how he baptized people, whether bac's [sic] or face foremost? He answered, he should give them no direction. Some of them answered from the shore, Back foremost; then they plunged him and pressed him into the very mud, and held him there as long as they thought he could endure, and raised him up; they then observed, they had forgotten to enquire whether he believed; then they asked him, if he believed; he answered "I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God; and I am not ashamed of him yet;" then they plunged him as before, and let him go; then led in his companion, who was a weakly man, and
of a pale countenance, and some of them from the shore told them not to dip that white faced man so much; so they gave him only one plunging, without asking him any questions. The whole congregation were shocked at the treatment, and the women shrieking, Will they kill the men? But no one interferred. Then the good man of the house took them home to shift their clothes for they appeared as sows that had been wallowing in the mire. But before they had gotten half dressed, they came to the house and dragged his companion down stairs, and let him know that if he did not go down they would take him down in the same manner. Then they insulted them in the highest degree, and everyone who spoke a word in their behalf; they also abused the man of the house, and immediately drove the preachers off with their heavy threatenings, if they ever came there again. But what was very remarkable, three or four of them died in a few weeks in a very distracted manner, and it was said, that one of them, a while before his death, wished he had been in hell before he had joined to treat those preachers in the manner they were; so that what with this, and the general outcries of the people against their conduct, there was, in the course of a few months, an opening for the gospel in that quarter.
That same summer as he was baptizing at South-quay, near a meeting-house of that name, much shipping lying in the harbour, and some behaving rudely, he observed, "You look like gentlemen, and I should expect gentlemen's behaviour, and am sorry to see anything, appear to the contrary." Coming out of the water and passing over the bridge, through a multitude, the brethren singing on the shore behind, a certain man, a captain of a privateer, who was going in the American service, accosted him with a curse, and offered him a fight, which he refused, smote him on the face with his hand, and swore he would go to his vessel, and get his sword and pistols, and put an end to his existence. Mr. Barrow passed on to a house with many apartments, and entered into one to shift his clothes, the man returned, as he was afterwards informed, and searched several of the rooms, but providentially missed the one he was in. The man shortly
went out to sea, met with a British man of war, a battle ensued, and he fell in the engagement and so he escaped his rage.
Mr. Barrow moved to Montgomery [County] in Kentucky, June 24, 1798, generally known as an emancipator. In 1805, several Baptist ministers, churches and associations, persecuted him, for insisting on the iniquity of unmerited, involuntary, perpetual, absolute, hereditary slavery. In October 1806, the North District association publicly expelled him from his seat in that association, for preaching the doctrine of emancipation. At their next association, which was in October, 1807, they proceeded to ammend and revoke the act of last association, in expelling elder David Barrow, from his seat in association. However, in the mean time, viz. August 29, 1807, he joined the society known by the name of "Baptized Church of Christ, Friends of Humanity," and does not chose to go back and live with slave holders any longer.
Mr. Barrow's piety, virtue, ability and greatness of soul is excelleed by none, and equaled but by few. The church at Mount [S]terling, which Mr. Barrow has the oversight of, (or at least a majority of them) like himself, are opposed to oppression, of which some of them have made demonstrable proof. This church has a meeting-house, built slovenly of logs, where they meet for business and preaching.
ELDER, JOHN MURPHY
Was born in Virginia, Halifax county, June the 25th, 1752; baptized by elder Isaac Barten in 1790, in the state of Tennessee; removed his residence to Kentucky, Barren county. In 1801 he began to preach. In 1807 he made a declaration of his prinicples, for which he received but little thanks, but some threatenings. However Mr. Murphy is a man of undaunted firmness, and still supports his declaration by his uniform conduct. He was the first minister of Green river, who publicly opposed slavery, yet there are a number of respectable preachers in those parts, who groan under the idea of unmerited
slavery, and it is to be hoped will shew themselves friends to the cause of God and truth. Mr. Murphy is a man of pretty general information, and would be useful if he nould [would] be healthy, but he has a delicate constitution.
ELDER, THOMAS WHITMAN.
I have had no account from him, but have been personally acquainted with him eighteen years, therefore can venture to say a few thngs.
Mr. Whitman is about forty years of age. He formerly lived in South Carolina, where he commenced preaching; and about 14 years ago moved to Kentucky, and settled in Hardin county, and took the oversight of a church called Linn-camp, from which he with some more lately withdrew, and declared their abborence to abject slavery.
Mr. Whitman is a good man, and full of good works, and would [be] useful if he was not so timorous.
I have had no account from the following ministers, viz. MAMALAEEL SHACKEL, JAMES DUNLAP, LONGLY and ELROD.
Mr. Shakel has had his membership in Licking-Locust church; he is advanced in years, but is industriously engaged in the ministry.
Messrs. Dunlap, Longley and Elrod are young men, and young preachers, and bid fare to be useful.
In January 30, 1802 [? - blurred], elder Owen Owens and myself assisted in constituting a church in Barren county, at the house of Thomas Shirley, fourteen in number, and a flattering prospect of additional numbers. This church had not named their place of meeting, therefore I could not call them by name. They have no minister, but hope to be attended by elders Owens, Murphy and Whitman.
ELDER JACOB GRIGG.
I have had no biographical account from elder Jacob Grigg, which I am very sorry for. No doubt his history would be interesting.
Mr. Grigg was born and raised in England, where he became a baptist and a preacher. Shortly after he commenced preaching, he was sent by the mssionary society to Sierra Leone in Africa, in company with elder Rodway. Elder David George, a negro preacher in Africa, in a letter to Elder Rippon of London, dated Free-Town, April, 19, 1796, observes,"Brothers Rodway and Grigg, appear to be two most excellent young men, and well qualified for being missionaries. Mr. Rodman has been rather poorly since his arrival here, but Mr. Grigg has kept his health amazing well he has been for some time at Port Logo has made considerable progress in the language, and is much respected, and greatly beloved by all the people there at present he is coming down to Free-Town, and intends staying till the rains are over.Mr. Grigg stayed in Africa about two years; thence he came to Virginia, and married; thence to Kentucky, Mason county; thence to the state of Ohio, in the town of Lebanon, where he now resides, teaches school and preaches.
Mr. Grigg is an excellent writer and an able divine. His enemies charge him with Arminianism, and his friends some times doubt it too, but were all our preachers as lively in religion as Mr. Grigg, they might perhaps be charged more censoriously.
The church at Ebenezer, in Mason county, Kentucky, are desirous for Mr. Grigg to settle with them, which I hope he will do.
[Since writing the foregoing, I have been favored with the following detail.]
Elder, JACOB GRIGG was born in the town & parish of St. Stephen, near Launceston, which is the principal town in the county of Cornwall, England, on the 19th of June,
1769; had exercises of mind with regard to a future state, from the 6th year of his age, which were in a great measure occasioned and strengthened by reading and committing to memory Watt's Hymns for Ch[urch ?], together with some passages of holy scripture, ____ by the faithful and affectionate admonitions, were good reproofs of a tender mother. But although these had a foundation for constant uneasiness of mind, yet the heart remained with its natural relish for the poison of iniquity, until the 16th years of his age, when by reading Bunyan's Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners, he hoped he found a change; attended Presbyterian meetings but never joined the church. When about 19 joined an Independent church, which afterwards became a Baptized Church of Christ; between the age of 20 and 21, after attempting to preach on the subject, from Matthew xxviii,19; at the age of 24 lost his mother, felt reconciled to leave home & devote himself to the ministry; went to the Baptist academy in Bristol under the care of John Ryland, D. D. a learned & most pious minister of Christ; at about 26 engaged as a missionary in Africa, where he landed December 1, 1795; continued till May 25, 1797, when he left the coast as a passenger with capt. Knight, of Norfolk, Virginia; arrived at the island St. Thomas, (V.I) June 24; left there after a few days as a passenger with capt. Samuel Barron of Norfolk, where he arrived July 20; joined the Baptized church of Christ in Norfolk and Portsmouth; married January 31, 1798, removed into the country and became a member of the Baptized Church of Christ at North-West, Norfolk county; continued there until 1802, when he removed to Mason county, Kentucky; remained there until January, 1806, when he moved to the state of Ohio, whence we are informed he is about to return for the sake of health. He has unformly been, and continues to be, opposed to slavery both in church and state. But happily for me, I am furnished with documents repsecting elder Grigg from an English press, and from those who knew him before he became our fellows citizen.
"At a committee meeting of the Baptist Missionary Society, held at Arnsby in Leicestershire, April 7, 1795, the secretary informed the committee that having received letters from Mr. Jacob Grigg (a student at the Baptist Adademy, at Bristol) expressing his desire to be employed as a missionary under the patronage of this society, he had made enquires of of Mr. Grigg's tutors respecting his character and qualifications for such an undertaking, to which very satisfactory answers had been returned."
"At a general meeting of the society at Birmingham, September 16, 1795, held for the solemn seeting apart Grigg and [James] Rodway to the work of the Lord."
"They were requested to state their reasons for engaging, with which request they complied to the entire satisfaction, we believe, of a numerous and respectable audience." See 2d. No. of Periodical Accounts of the Baptist Missionary society.
'Birmingham, Sept. 16, 1795.
'A general meeting of the society was held for the solemn setting apart Grigg and Rodway, to the work of the Lord among the Africans.
"'Mr. Grigg is a member of the Baptist chuch at Launceston in Cornwall, and Mr. James Rodway of another at Hillsley, in Gloucestershire. both of them have been students in the academy at Bristol.
"With good wishes of thousands they sailed in the Eliza from London, for Sierra Leone, affectionately recommended to the Little Negro church at Free-Town in that colony.' - See Rippon's Register, vol. ii, p. 360.
"In the recommendatory letter to the church at Free-Town is the following passage:"The bearers of this, brethren Jacob Grigg and James Rodway are two young ministers, who love our Lord Jesus Christ and the souls of the Africans. They bear a good character amongst us, and we should be unwilling to part with them but for the love that we bear to the souls of those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death. Should they request occasional or stated communication with you, receive them as brethren in our common Lord."
After the public engagements of brethren Grigg and Rodway, 'Brother Fuller solemnly committed them to God by prayer, accompanied with the laying on of hands by the brethren in the ministry present.' See 2d No. of Periodical Accounts.
In a letter from brother David George, addressed to doctor Rippon, and dated Free-Town, April 19, 1796, he says, 'Brothers Rodway and Grigg appear to be two most excellent young men, and well qualified for being missionaries.'
In a note affixed to the foot of the letter, the editor says, 'The governor (that is governor Dawes) has safely arrived in England, and speaks respectfully of Messrs. Rodway and Grigg. Rippon's Register, pages 409 and 410.
The last account the Register gives us of brother Grigg is, that he became involved in such disputes with a principal person in the colony, has made it necessary to leave that part.
In No. 4, Periodical Accounts, we are told that these disputes were foreign to the design of the mission, but the society concluded that notwithstanding this imprudent step on brother Grigg, in interferring with things foreign to the object of his mission, yet that they shall still pray for him, that he may be a useful minister of Christ, and that this unhappy circumstance may ultimately be useful in him, in teaching him more caution and care in his future dealings with men and things.
But my readers will ask what were those disputes above alluded to? The Baptist Register does not mention them; the Periodical Accounts do not mention them; they have left brother Grigg to tell his own story, and therefore I will lay before you a letter from him on the subject:
To Elder, Carter Tarrant.DEAR BROTHER,
As you desire a knowledge of the disputes which rendered it necessary that I should leave the colony of Sierra Leone, on the coast of Guinea; although all things considered, it will by no means redound to my credit, yet as expecting soon to die and go to a judgment
where nothing but truth with honor can appear, I will, in simplicity and hope in godly sincerity, relate this painful part of the history of my poor unprofitable life.
In about four months after our arrival in Africa, we had a change of government. Governor Dawes, who in my esteem has ever been held as one of the best men in the world, and a great lover of liberty for both blacks and whites, resigned the government into the hands of Mr. Macaulay, a Scots gentleman, full of British politics, and a most bigotted seceder. With him he brought Mr. Clark, a seceding minister, and a country-man of his own, whose popularity and aggrandisement appeared to be his main object. During the continuance of Mr. Dawes in the colony, nothing was attempted, but immediately after his departure, printed advertisements were posted up rescinding old laws and customs and introducing new ones, destructive of the liberty of the people (as I then thought) both in their religious and civil concerns.
By the desire of the Baptist church, I wrote a letter of remonstrance against these proceedings, which, together with some thought I deliverd in desscribing the house of God, in public speaking, from Psalm xxvii. 4, formed a ground of charge against me. I made my appearance, when, after much conversation, the governor was so condescending as to advise me to prepare as speedily as possible for leaving the colony, to which I agreed. 'But whither will you go?' (said he) I replied, 'to America.' He rejoined, 'I think that government will suit you best,' and we parted.
Soon after this Mr. John Garvin, a methodist minister, who is now an elder in South Carolina, or Georgia, wrote a letter from the Methodist church, addressed to the governor, remonstrating against his proceedings. Mr. Garvin, being a servant of the Sierra Leone company, was tried for misdemeanor and sentenced to banishment. I took a passage with him in the Augusta of Charleston, belonging to Price & Co. and commanded by capt. Knight of Norfolk, in which we set sail from the river Rio Pung__ on the 25th of May, 1797, and thus ended the mission, for brother Rodway had been obliged long before to return to England for his health.
You perhaps will wonder why my fathers and brethren in England did not mention the particular subjects of dispute, but if you consider that despotism reigns with an uncontrolled sway, both in church and state, in civil & ecclesiastical affairs, you will find it a conclusive reason for their silence. But then you may ask, How can you consider disputes of the above nature to your disccredit, and as a painful part of your history? I answer, In these disputes I was led to interfere with civil and political concerns, to the neglect of the great object of my mission, and thereby the mission was brought to an end, a great deal of money wasted, the feelings of the Lord's people wounded, and the mouths of the wicked opened to balspheme. Politics, under whatever form they appear, are no part of a preacher's business, any more than speculating in land or negroes.
My dear brother, farewell, pray for me, that through my future life I may be satisfied to mind the Lord's business only.
Yours, &c. JACOB GRIGG ELDER, JOHN H. OWEN.
Was born in Virginia, Pittsylvania county. I have not the particulars of his birth, but I have had a personal acquaintance with him for twenty years. He became a baptist and a preacher in the state and county aforesaid; thence he removed to the upper part of North Carolina, and thence to Kentucky, Warren county, where he now resides; and took the oversight of a church on douglas's creek. About March, 1808, elder Owen, together with a majority of the church, declared their disapprobation to unmerited slavery.
Mr. Owen is a man of excellent moral character and a good preacher.
A FEW extra remarks respecting myself, may not be uninteresting.
From the eighteenth year of my age to the present day, I uniformly believed slavery a political evil, and that nature revolted at the idea; and for my believing its immorality, I acknowledge myself indebted to the judicious pen of elder Donald Holmes, (under the Almighty). Previous to my declaration, I tried (in my way) to weigh all the concommitant evils that would attend my making the thing public; but I found upon an impartial survey that the answer of a good conscience out-weighed all other objections. I knew that the popular cry would be against me, and that I should lose a number of friends; also that I would give a finishing blow to my worldly emoluments.
Some unthinking men have accused me with evil designs. In the name of common sense what can be my design? I challenge the world to come forward and say I ever made use of any unmanly efforts to proselyte. As to augmenting society, by which I would immortalize my memory, I never thought it probable, by reason of such formidable combatants before me, who dwelt, as it were, in chariots of iron, and would raise in opposition, tyranny, interest, covetousness, pride, laziness, ignorance and a want of love to God and man. I also knew that I would meet with considerable persecution, a practice which scarcely any body will acknowledge, hence they tell us we only want to convince you of your errors. But remember he that strives must strive lawfully, otherwise he will not be crowned.
We are told the time will come when he that kills you will think he is doing God service. I acknowledge that too many of us are fond of saying we are persecuted, when we are only buffetted for our faults. Persecution has its several branches: 1st. That which breaks out into overt acts, viz. punishment, taking of life, &c. 2dly. Seizure of property; 3dly. Bonds, fines, imprisonment &c. Another grade of persecution is that of the tongue, see Matthew, v. 11, "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and peresecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, &c." This
kind of persecution is most common, viz. 1st. slandering or maliciously defaming a person's character; 2dly. to threaten his or her person or property, &c., 3dly. speaking reproachfully of doctrines, &. &c. Of this second grade of persecution, myself with others of our fratrernity have had a tolerable share. I will give a few instances: One baptist man said he would lend a hand to whip me to death; another baptist man said he would rejoice to hear that my head was cut off; another said I ought to be put in the penitentiary; a baptist preacher said he had faced many enemies, but he knew of no one he would rather kill as freely as an emancipator. I submit it to an heathen judge whether the above expressions become a christian, much less a preacher.
Several persons accused me of lying, and many ways to ruin my character forever, which to me is dearer than property or life. Meeting house doors and private houses have been shut against me. When we began to build our meeting house, many attempts were made to prevent it. Three baptist men reproved captain John Jouitt for letting us have wood to burn our bricks, and for finding glass for our widnows. They told him his helping us would make against his election. (At that time the captain was a candidate for the legislature.) Although Mr. Jouitt had served a number of years in the legislature, both in Virginia and Kentucky, and his political abilities acknowledged to be good, yet he is made an offender for doing as it seemeth to him good with his own. A gentleman refused to vote for Mr. Blackburn because he subscribed for building our meeting house; notwithstanding, Mr. Blackburn was elected by a considerable majority. One baptist man said he would not let us have the wood which lay rotting on his land to burn our bricks; another said our house would do for Mr. Bank's a barn, on whose land the house is built. To numerate all the abuse that we have received from abusive and rancourous tongues, would be too elaborate for this pamphlet. Question. Is this the right way to reclaim us from error. [?]
'Behold, ye despisers and wonder, and persih, for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no
wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.' Acts, viii. 41.
The conduct of the present day brings to my recollection the first settling of America.
Mr. John Robinson, with his congregation fled from the wrath of the established church in England, to Holland, where he sojourned about 12 years; thence they set sail for America, and arrived at Plymouth in December, 1620; the total number of men, women and children was 101. Mr. Robinson could not go with them, but intended to follow in a short time, but he was removed by death. These people fled from persecution; but no sooner than they became the reigning sect, they began the horrid practice themselves, and condemned those who differed from them in opinion, as heretics; boasted of the legality of their society, and condemned as illegal all others. With what religious frenzy did they tell of, and try to support apostolic succession, which the Roman Catholics can do (in their way) with as little trouble as any of us.
The plea which the Baptized Friends of Humanity now make, is no more than what the other baptists formerly made. When men suffer for conscience sake, then they plead its liberty. Every society thinks they are orthodox, and as I believe that every nation has a right to crown her own king, so I believe that every church is independent in her own form of government. If it is wrong to set up private opinion in opposition to public, then all that dissent from the public opinion in religion, philosophy, policy, and in manners and conduct of life, contrary to then public standard, have been guilty of error. According to this hypothesis Luther and Calvin were both wrong in condemning the errors of Rome. Take notice my friends, the opinion of men in power or the majority of them, is not a test of truth.
As a number of the baptists are ignorant of their origin in both England and America, it may not be amiss to transcribe a few passages from Backus' History of the Baptist in New England.
The foundation of the first Baptist church in America was in Providence. There were no regular baptist in or near
Providence, consequently there was none to baptize those who were convinced of Believer's Baptism.
Mr. Hubbard says,'That Mr. Holliman baptized Mr. Williams then Mr. Williams re-baptized him & some ten more. With this governor Withrop agrees, and list the date of it in March, 1639.' - Backus' History, volume 1, p. 105.
'The baptist church at Providence, was the second distinct society of that denomination in all the British empire. There had been many of them intermixed with other societies from their first coming out of Popery. But their first distinct church in our nation, was formed out of the indpendent church in London; whereof Mr. Henry Jacob was pastor from 1616 to 1624, when he went to Virginia, and Mr. John Lothrop was chosen in his room. But nine years after several persons in the society, finding that the congregation kept not to their first principles of separation, and being also convinced that baptism was not to be administered to infants, but such only as profess faith in Christ, desired and obtained liberty and formed themselves into a distinct church, September 12, 1633, having Mr. John Spilsbury for their minister.' Crosby's History [of the English Baptists], volume 1, p. 148, 149.
Reader, don't lose sight of the origin of this first baptist church in England, and of their obtaining liberty from the Pedo-baptists (with whom they had long lived in church relation) to form a distinct society. Compare the conduct of those Pedo-baptists, who gave the aforesaid liberty, with the conduct of the baptists in Kentucky, as it respects the Emancipators, and then you may determine which is the greatest bigot.
I know of no society that can boast of a succession of bishops, but the Roman Catholics. Some refer us to Ezra, ii. 62, but the apostolic succession is in the line of faithful men, and no others are truly in it.
Mr. Spilsbury, pastor of the first baptist church in London, says, 'Let the reader consider who baptized John the baptist before he baptized others, he himself being unbaptized.'
One article in the Boston constitution, framed November, 1779 [? blurred], says, 'There never was any presecution in this land, but that which had been so called, were only just
punishments upon disorderly persons, and disturbers of the public peace.'
Those people, somewhat like the people of Kentucky, deny the practice of persecution. but behold what follows:"On October the 20th, 1659, Robinson, Stevenson and Mary Dyre (three Quakers) received the sentnence of death, which was executed upon the two men, the 27th. The woman was brought with them to the gallows, but at the interecession of her son, of Newport, and others, she was then reprieved and sent away. Tho' returning again the next spring, she was hanged, June the 1st, 1660.' Backus' History, volume 1, p. 329.I suppose those __ is of conscience and tyrants of men, thought they were doing God or themselves service. They whipt Mr. Holmes, a baptist preacher almost to death, banished Roger Williams, who, in his ____ settled Providence, became a baptist preacher and governor of the state. They imprisoned and fined numbers, and yet say there never was any presecution in this land.
The Pedo-baptist[s] loudly and frequently complained of the baptists for receiving their excommunicants. A note was entered in Roxbury church's records, and published in an almanac, to the following amount:'The anabaptists gathered themselves into a church, professed, one by one, and some one among them administered the Lord's supper, after he was regualarly excommunicated by the church at Charleston. They also set up a lecture at Drinker's house, once a fortnight.' Backus' History, volume 1, p. 356.Dr. Mather tells of 'this church being formed not only with a manifest violation of the laws in the commonwealth, relating to the orderly manner of gathering a church, but also with a manifold provocation unto the rest of our churches by admitting into their society such as our church had excommunicated for moral scandals, yea, and employing such persons to be administrators of the two sacraments among them.' Magnalia, book 7, page 27.
Backus tells us, in volume 1, chapter 6, of a Mr. Thomas Gould, who was a member of a Pedo-baptist church, in
Charleston, New-England, who was excluded from the same for making light of infant-sprinkling. A part of his sentence reads thus: 'Having left his own, he joined to another society without the church's leave, or one asking it.' They had severn charges against him, but this as black as any. They told him he was a liar and told lies, but no body said so but his enemies.
After the church had excluded Mr. Gould, the court excluded him; whose sentence is as followeth:'This court, taking the premises into their serious consideration, do judge meet to declare that the said Gould and company are no orderly church assembly, and that they stand justly convicted of high presumption against the Lord and his holy appointment, &c. &c.'A similar sentence has gone out from the churches Kentucky, against emancipators. Is liberty of conscience your due and not mine? Will you not give what you take? Blush with shame, lest an heathen blush for you. Who shall lord it over my faith? None but the Lord of faith.
The Pedo-baptist church at Boston, had a split among them, and the governor appeared against the new party, and in July, 1669, called a coucil together, fearing he said a sudden tumult. Some persons attempting to set up an ediface for public worship which was apprehended by authority, to be detrimental to the public peace, but the majority of the council were for not hindering their procedings.
The assembly appointed a committee to enquire into the cause of the declension of religion, and the found one cause to be irregular, illegal and disorderly constitutions. They placed in the front of their law book, the following motto: "Whosoever resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God, and they that resist receive to themselves damnation."
This same motto has been used and abused in one of our baptist churches in Kentucky.
I will close this head with Mr. Backus' remarks on the above motto:
'But whether the assuming and exerting of such power in religious affairs be not the way of damnation,
rather than the resistance of it, deserves serious consideration of all.'
Minutes and proceedings at a meeting of a considerable
number of friends to humanity, from different part of
Kentucky and Ohio, holden at New-Hope meeting-house,
in Woodford county, on the 29th of Augusy, 1807, and
continued until the 31st of the same month.
I. David Barrow and Jacob Grigg preached.
II. John Winn appointed clerk.
III. The following brethren came forward and had their names enrolled as members of the meeting, viz.
David Barrow, Donald Holmes, Carter Tarrant, Jacob Grigg, George Smith, Samuel Lyons, John Ficklin, William Buckley, William Hickman, William Morris, Owen Owins,* John Winn, Jacob Neal, Maximilian Bowren, Thomas Shirly, Joseph Hawkins, Jehu Sutton, Jacob Utterback, John Eaton, Henry Walker, Elijah Hanks, William Lissenberry, Nimrod Otterback, Jeremiah Wilson, Pluright Sisk, George Eaton, Moses Martin, John Thomas, Isaac Holeman, Samuel Wells.
IV. Brethren Owin Owins, David Barrow, Donald Holmes, William Hickman and Jacob Grigg appointed a committee to arrange the business of this meeting, and then adjourned until Monday morning 8 o'clock.
V. On the Lord's day, brethren Barrow, Grigg and Holmes preached to a numersous audience.
VI. Monday morning 8 o'clock, the committee appointed to state and arrange the business, came forward and made report. After which it was agreed that brethren David Barrow, Carter Tarrant, Donald Holmes, John Thomas and George Smith be a committee to retire for one hour and make report of their progress in furnishing answers to the queries brought before us by the committee
* Ministers' names are in italics.
of arrangements, which having been done, were adopted, as follow:
1st. Agreed that we be known by the name of 'The Baptized Church of Christ; Friends to Humanity.'
2d. Can any person be admitted a member of this meeting whose practice appears friendly to perpetual slavery?
Answer We think not.
3d. Is there any case in which persons holding slaves may be admitted to membership into a church of Christ?
Answer No: Except in the following, viz. (1.) In the case of a person holding young slaves, and recording a deed of their emancipation at such an age as the church to which they offer, may agree to. (2.) In the case of persons who have purchased in their ignorance and are willing that the church shall say when the slave or slaves shall be free. (3) In the case of women whose husbands are opposed to emancipation. (4) In the case of a widow who has it not in her power to liberate them. (5) In the case of idiots, old age or any debility of body that prevents such slave from procuring a sufficient support; and some other cases which we would wish the churches to be at liberty to judge of agreeably to the principles of humanity.
4th. What shall be required of those who shall withdraw from other churches on account of abject slavery, and apply for admission among us?
Answer If there is no just charge of immorality against them, their acknowledgment of the doctrine of the gospel is sufficient.
5th. Shall members in union with us be at liberty in any case to purchase slaves?
Answer No: except it be with a view to ransom them from perpetual slavery, in such a way as the church may approve.
6th. Shall we consider ourselves at liberty to hear preachers who are in union with the friends of hereditary slavery, or permit them to preach in our meeting-houses?
Answer, unanimously Yes.
7th. Have our ideas of the subject of abject slavery,
occasioned any alteration in our views of the doctrine of the gospel?
8th. What is our declaration of faith?
Answer The scriptures of the old and new testaments.
9th. Can persons in perpetual slavery be regular members of a church of Christ?
Answer Although their situation is such, that we cannot receive them as regular members of such church, yet believers among them ought to be baptized, and enjoy every blessing of the gospel that their circumstances will admit of.
10th. Shall we exhort presons in a state of unmerited slavery, to exercise patience, submission, industry and fidelity?
11th. What will be the most salutary way of keeping up intercourse or correspondence with each other?
Answer Such ways and means as the society may in future most agreeable to the holy scriptures.
12. Is it proper to encourage Abolition Societies?
VII. On motion, agreed, that brethren Carter Tarrant, George Smith and capt. John Thomas be a committee to form a constitution for an Abolition Society, and present the same to our next meeting.
VIII. Shall the proceedings of this meeting be printed?
Answer Yes; and that brethren Carter Tarrant and George Smith, superintended the business, and have three hundred copies printed.
IX. Resolved, unanimously, That capt. John Thomas write an address to the President of the United States, in the name of this meeting, and forward the same with a copy of our proceedings.
X. Agreed that our next meeting be on the last Saturday in May next, at brother George Smith's in Franklin county.
JOHN WINN, Clk.
1. Invited elders Barrow, Grigg and Morris to set with us; who accordingly took their seats.
2. The circular letter was read and referred to the committee of arrangements.
3. Brethren Shackle, Holmes, Barrow, Tarrant and Winn, appointed to arrange the business of the associaiton.
4. Brethren Barrow, Grigg and Tarrant, to preach tomorrow.
Adjourned 'till Monday morning, 9 o'clock.
The brethren aforesaid, preached to a numerous audience on Sunday.
Monday morning 9 o'clock we met according to adjournment.
1. Resolved, That as an association it is not our duty to interfere in the queries or difficulties of any of the churches.
2. Circular letter read and approved.
3. Elder Barrow's piece on slavery read, unanimously approved of, and recommended to be printed.
4. Query. What is the most scriptural manner of carrying on correspondence among the churches?
Answer Referred to the churches.
5. Is the office of moderator a scriptural office?
6. What is the best declaration of faith?
Answer The scriptures of the old and new Testaments.
7. The following brethren are to visit the chuches in the following months, viz. Pangburn, in November; Shackle, in May; Grigg and Stephens, in June; Thompson and Longly, in July; Holmes and Dunlap, in August; Tarrant and Elrod, in September.
Elder TARRANT to prepare and superintend the printing of these minutes. Then adjourned to the and place aforesaid.
CARTER TARRANT, Moderator. John Winn. Clk.
This year we published a circular letter which is too lengthy to have a place here. The substance of the letter shews the impropriety of unmerited slavery, and reproves ministers and churches for their tame submisison to so horrid an act.
A few general remarks on those minutes may not be amiss. You will find we designate ourselves a church of Christ — By this we do not mean that there are no other churches of Christ. You also find that we are at liberty to hear those peachers whose practices are friendly to slavery. Here we mean two things: 1st. We are republicans and will hear who we please, even the Pharisees; that we will go when, where and as often as we please, if God will. 2ndly. We believe that ministers and churches of Christ may be in error.
It is observable in the resolves of the council held at New-Hope, that we are at liberty to permit slave-holders to preach in our housees, &c. which at first view may appear a paradox; but let it be remembered that we consider them ministers of Christ in error, as aforesaid. Union and communion with slave-holders is out of the question; but a correspondence and friendly intercourse in the exchange of pulpits, &c. is among probable events. In both those minutes you see some hints respecting a future mode of correspondence, which we have referred to the consideration of the churches; meanwhile I will give an opinion.
I doubt the legality of an association. As for an annual association we have no divine authority at all. However the force of education has its weight with unscripural bigots.
There is a colouring of an occasional association in the xv chapter of Acts, but no delegated power. I refer my reader to the chapter and wish him to give it a careful reading, and he will find in the 22nd verse the whole business explained.
A church is the highest ecclesiastical court in the world, and no other body has a right to preponderate over them.
Associations have christened all their madness and folly, with the soft name of advice. But I notice if
churches don't take their advice, they have a way of slipping their cable, and letting them go. I also observe that churches are so duped as to turn to associational advice into positive decrees, and bind them one upon another. If associations must exist, do let them have power, or destroy their existence. To say they shall exist, and that without power is saying nothing. Republican government is complained of by aristocrats, for want of energy, and I suppose aristocratical associations would unite with them in similar complaint.
Correspondence among churches is desirable, yea, profitable. I will then take the liberty of recommending a mode. Meet spring and fall (or as often as necessary) with letters of amity from each church,
Preach and commune,
Break up and go home.
Then it is probable you will have good news to tell, which, is not always the case when we return from an association. If you must have an association, have one when circumstances make it necessary, and give them power, for the time being, to do the business for which they are called together.
You will find in the minutes, we deny the title and office of moderator. See Acts xv. 7 and 13, and some other places.
The epithets, Men and brethren, were used in those addresses. But some will say, How can order be kept without a moderator? I answer, when men's breeding and honor is to influence their conduct, in moderation, they will possess their souls.
It may also be observed in our minutes, that we are parting with the Philadelphia Confession of Faith, and as this is a book that has long served as a kind of second bible, it becomes more necessary to shew reasons why we part with it. We do not despise its doctrines in the main, but its imperfections, which are acknowledged by its warmest abettors. Hence the Elkhorn association appointed men to make it better; but when the new one came forth it was so much like Jeroboam's calf, that he set in Dan, the association would not have it, although it was the image of the old one. If the association had
furnished their committee with better materials, they might have made as nice a calf as Aaron did, and set them all dancing around it. Pardon the digression. The bible is a perfect system. Secondly, I do not believe that the seven congregations in London, who set forth a Confession of Faith, designated it as a model for succeeding churches. In the place and at the time they set forth their declaration, it was necessary; they were called by bad names, and represented as enemies to government. Thirdly, Numbers who say they have adopted the Philadelphia Confession of Faith, never saw the book. Sticklers for this book ought to read it to everyone they are about to receive, unless the candidate has read it. Fourthly, All confessions of faith must be proven by the bible. Why not as well begin with the bible at first as at last? Objection: You say you are constituted on the bible, which is too broad a bottom. All societies own the bible. What if an Arian or Universalian applies for admission into one of our churches, how can you refuse them, seeing they claim the same constitution.
I am sorry to hear any friend to the bible call it a broad bottom, when my Lord lets us know it is a way of self-denial, and a strait narrow way. Suppose the above characters call in question the authenticity of any part of your confession, where will you go to prove it but to the bible? All the advantage you have then of us is, you can find your scriptures selected ready to turn to; but if you should happen to get caught without your book, we can make as good a shift as you. As for the arguments deduced from the passages you turn unto, it is as likely to be disputed, with, as without a confession faith.
The reader has also noticed a variety of modes in the church records which certify our exclusion, which I suppose, depends very much upon the caprice of those churches. Some say, 'Gone out from us, and therefore no more of us.' For this precedent they laboriously, inconsistently and ignorantly lug in the first epistle of John second chapter and 19th verse. Any person who is not an idiot knows the passage does not apply to any but those who have denied the Lord, and so are anti-christ,
or opposed to Christ, which our opponents will not say of us, for numbers of them possesss Catholicism enough to say the contrary.
The church of which elder John Penny is pastor, sent an honest query to Long-Run association. In said query the church tells for what we have withdrawn. See the query and prudent answer:13th. Query From Salt-river church 'Is it consistent with good order for the Baptist churches of our union to invite those preachers to preach among us, that hath withdrew from among us, on account of slavery?'We are stigmatized with being few in number; but more are they that be with us, than those which are with them. A number of churches and ministers, in the eastern and northern parts of America, are warm abettors of our doctrine.
Answer It is considered imprudent (under the present state of things) to intermeddle therewith.
I recently received a letter from doctor Rogers of Philadelphia, part of which is as followeth:'It pains me that any of our Baptist or other christian brethren should be found in this enlightened age, advocating the slave trade, or what nearly amounts to the same thing, holding slaves; but so it is, notwithstanding polity, humanity, reason and religion plead against them. For several years I was a considerable arduous laborer on behalf of the oppressed Africans and their descendants, in this land of boasted liberty; but my other duties and my age have prompted me of late, to rest satisfied with the spirited exertions of others. You have my warmest prayers for your prosperity, in opposition to the practice you allude to, which must on serious reflection, be considered as immoral and sinful.' *
HEAR A VIRGINIAN SPEAK.
Part of a letter from elder Benjamin Watkins, of Virginia,
Powhatan county, November 4, 1807, to elder George
Smith, Franklin county, Kentucky.
'Slavery is a great evil amongst us, as well as in your
* "The pamphlet you sent me by Col. Trotter, I sent, last May or June, to Dr. Carey, one of our missionaries in the East Indies. He is warmly with us, with regard to the abominiation of slavery, and slave-holders. Brothers Holcombe and Botsford of South-Carolina are with us in opinion on the subject of slavery."
country. I have often felt very uneasy about it. I would to God it could be remedied or removed, but at present I see no likelihood; yet I hope the Lord will point out someway for their liberation and and interfere in their behalf. It becomes those who have them in possession to have great respect towards them, being the creatures of God, &c., if possible to bring about some way for their emcipation. I believe many of our Baptist in Virginia would be very glad to see the happy time commence, as it is often the topic of their conversation. You observed in your letter that a number of Baptists do make traffic of those poor creatures in sending them down the river to Orleans, and often part man and wife. These things appear in my view so great a sin, I never can fellowship it, or those that practice it.'
The reader has observed in the resolves of the council held at New-Hope, that captain John thomas was appointed to write to the president of the United Staates, and forward the same, with a copy of our proceedings, which he has done. The following is the president's answer:
'Washington, November 18, 1807,
'Sirs, I received on the 14th instant, your favor of August 31st. And I beg to assure my fellow-citizens of the Baptist church of New-Hope meeting-house, that I learn with great satisfaction their approbation of the principles which have guided the present administration of the government. To cherish and maintain the rights and liberties of our citizens, and to ward from them the burthens, the miseries and crimes of war, by a just and friendly conduct towards all nations, were among the most obvious and important duties of those to whom the management of their public interests has been confided. And happy shall we be, if a conduct guided by those views on our part, shall secure to us a reciprocation of peace and justice from other nations.
'Among the most inestimable of our blessings also, is that you so justly particularize, of liberty to worship our Creator in the way we tink most agreeable to his will a liberty deemed in other countries imcompatible with good government, and yet proved by our experience to be its best support.
'Your confidence in my dispositions to befriend every human right, is highly grateful to me, and is rendered the more so by a consciousness that these dispositions have been sincerely etertained and pursued.The Baptists in England are warmly opposed to slavery. See Mr. Booth's sermon before the Emancipation Society, in which he declares slavery a moral evil. This society kept a lawyer under pay for a number of years, to meet and oppose the slave trade, when it should appear in parliament. Finally the horrid traffic breathed its last in 1807.
'I am thankful for the kindness expressed towards me personally, and pray you to return to the society in whose name you have addressed me, my best wishes for their happiness and prosperity, and to accept for yourself assurances of my great esteem and respect.
'Capt. John Thomas.'
Methinks I now see the inhuman African merchants standing aloof and crying to each other, Our Babylon is fallen! fallen!! Oh! How shall we now get unrighteous again? At length a fellow murderer answers, Console yourselves brave kidnappers, we will aggravate a war between Britain and America, and then we can get our bread by pirating on the high seas, to which no doubt his majesty will agree; for his island is not able to be at the weight of its present luxurious inhabitants. But we must return to the history.
It is erroneously asserted by our enemies, that there are no instances of emancipation amongst us. But the retentive reader recollects that elders George Smith and Hampton Pangburn have liberated their slaves, and so did elder David Barrow, many years ago. To this list may be added Messrs. John Winn of Licking-Locust church, John Swon of North-Elkhorn church, Jeremiah Wilson of New-hope. Mr. Wilson's servant brought him much gain by making hats, but he sacrificed all his interest on the altar of a good conscience. Mr. William Smith of Mount sterling, liberated his black man who also brought him much gain. These are but a few instances among many.
Our opponents brand us with interfering with state policy.
We deny the charge. Our struggles against slavery is to free a religious society from the abomination, Meanwhile we think every inhabitant of a nation where slavery is tolerated, ought to oppose the horrid practice. But religious society should do right whether the nation does or not. I meet with some religious characters who are anxious to have a law made to make them do their duty. Be ashamed of such quibbles; the Almighty wants no such blind offerings. If I were to speak as a statesman, I would recommend a gradual emancipation; and that the minds of the blacks should be prepared for the event. It could be no disadvantage to the slave holder to say that all who are born from and after blank date should go out at blank age this plan would injure no body. Slave holders ask us to be our part in paying for the liberty. Agreed — but you must settle with your slaves first, and pay up for the time you have had them and all the abuses they have received from your hands.
Providence appears to be big with events. The parliament of Great Britain, congress of the United States of America, and the governor of Upper Florida, passed their respective decrees to stop the slave trade, near about the same time of our great revolution in religious society on the subject of slavery. Let him that runneth read as he runs, that we are weighed in the balance and found wanting. Let us all be engaged in prayer, that God's will may be done on earth as it is in heaven. If so, we must pray for emancipation, for I am sure there are no slaves in heaven, and when his will is done on earth as it is heaven, there will be none here. Then, Oh! then like Paul we could submit to have the hands of Niger laid upon us. — Acts. chapter xiii. 1, 2, 3.
Black, in English, is thus in Latin, ater niger. Simeon, that was called niger, viz. Simeon, the black man. He was one of those prophets to whom the Holy Ghost thus spake, 'Separate me Barnabas, and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.' The Lord hasten the glorious day when every petty tyrant shall be brought to the blush and made willing to proclaim the natural rights of mankind, as on house tops, acknowledging that God's kingdom is not of this world.
[This book was provided by Charles Tarrants, Delhi, New York in PDF format. It came from the Library of Congress. Transcribed and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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