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Lawrence Greatrake (1793-c.1840)
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Part 1   |   The New York Herald  (1836)   |   The Baptist  (1838)



Vol. I.                 New York City,  Thursday, January 7, 1836.                 No. 112.

Specimen of Clerical Literature. -- The following is from a "religious" newspaper, called the "Spirit of the Times," published at St. Louis, Missouri, and edited by Elder Lawrence Greatrake. Mr. Greatrake probably speaks from personal experience:

Sham[e] on those "Sabbath-trampling, whiskey-drinking, infidel baptists," who associate with the venerated names of our Nelson and Lovejoy the suggestion that "the cerevral softness of infancy is often found under the locks of mature age; that a big dog has been known to obtain the diploma of D. D., upon his having been taught to articulate proby Aliter; and that editors of religious periodicals are, with exceptions -- like angel's visits, few and far between -- little duckling minds sputtering along in the channels of stupidity, and wallowing and wanoining in the muspuddles of human traditions and human inventions, and flapping their wings in the imaginary salvation of the souls of multitudes through the instrumentality of their twaddle and quackery." Shame and confusion, I say, on those baptists, thus to associate the venerated names of our College and Editorial Western Stars.
Oh! I could freeze them all in tons of ice,
I could impale them on a flash of lightning;
Could pitch them all into Colonel Symmes hole,
And see them bob and dash from side to side,
As boys watch stones in falling down a well,
Oh! I could fill their eyes with aquafortis,
And squirt them full of oil of vitriol.
Oh! I could pound and maul them with a beetle,
As heavy as the Isle of St. Domingo.
Oh! I could stretch them o'er Etna's crater,
And roast them like a mess of Taunton herring.

Note: The editor of the Herald was evidently mistaken, in his referring to Elder Lawrence Greatrake's St. Louis newspaper, under the title, "Spirit of the Times." Greatrake has this to say in his 1836 pamphlet: "Should the Apostle want more similar confirmation, we refer him to our paper, titled, 'Signs of the Times,' published in Mo. up to May 20th, 1836." According to an article in the 1972 Bulletin of the Missouri Historical Society, in 1835 Lawrence Greatrake began publishing a Baptist newspaper in St. Louis, titled Signs of the Times. It appears likely that Greatrake's periodical was somehow affliliated with the paper of the same name, then being published in New York by Elder Gilbert Beebe. See the article "Absolute Predestination" in A Compilation of Editorial Articles Copied from the Signs of the Times, for a sample of that Primitive Baptist writer's theologizing.

The Baptist
Editorial Notices
and Comments
By Rev. Robert B. C. Howell
(Nashville, Tenn., 1838)

  • Vol. IV. No. 7
  •     pp. 217-247

  • Transcriber's Comments

  • Greatrake mentions in text below:  p. 222  p. 232  p. 236  p. 247


    Vol. IV.                             Nashville, July, 1838.                             No. 7.



    We beg leave to call the attention of our readers to the
    following document of the Church at Mill Creek, with the accompanying remarks of Father Whitsitt.

    "The Mill Creek Church in Conference, on the l6th day of June 1838.

    Whereas we have been charged, by Ammon Coughran, Frances Coughran, James Corbit, Nancy Corbit, and Shadrach Allen, with a departure from our original constitution, or doctrinal ground; and, whereas, we have taken our constitution and practice under reconsideration, and, on a careful review, are unanimously of the opinion that we have not departed; and, whereas, they have drawn up and published the above, together with a declaration of nonfellowship with this Church, at the same time uniting themselves with another Church, therefore

    1. Resolved, That their names be dropped from the list of the names of the members of this Church.

    2. Resolved That the Editor of the Baptist be requested to publish our constitution, together with the above.
    John Corbit, Ch. Cl.                 JAMES WHITS1TT, Mod."

    (Please see the Constitution on the cover, -- for want of room.)


    I now ask the reader the following grave questions.

    Does not this covenant or constitution, contain Baptist doctrine? Has this church ever deviated from it? How then is it, that she has left Baptist ground? Did she not covenant with herself fourty one year ago, that she would not bind conscience? Has she ever done it? Did she not covenant and agree to "do whatsoever is agreable to sound doctrine"? Does not the New Testament contain sound doctrine? Is she doing any thing contrary to it! Has she violated any article, of the constitution of the Concord Association? Look at the preamble, and constitution of that body. If she had violated any article whatever, why did not the anti churches, bring a charge against her? But, instead of that they withdrew, and made an ex post facto law, to shut her out of their communion. ---> Is there any other principle, on which this church may have a standing among those churches which call themselves "the orthodox" than to bind conscience? When this church does that, will she not have departed from original principles? <--- This paragraph, neither binds nor is bound, every man is
    as free to withold, as he is to give, and although this missionary provision was adopted at the first, yet it has not been more than twenty one years since it began to be practiced, and perhaps there is not a congregation in the state of the same ability, that has done more for the spread of the gospel. Instead of charging this church with departing from, it would have been true, if, the antics had charged her with going in.

    It seems that this Church, is reported to be in Babylon. Well, this must be borne, for it can answer no purpose to retort. The practice of the anties has been to blacken the efforts, and make them look like a den of thieves. Among other things Arminianism is throwed at them. According to them a man may as well be nothing, as an Arminian. Objection. "After all the missionary efforts, there will be no more saved than the elect." This we are free to grant, and "endure all things for the elect's sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory" 2 Tim. 2. 10.

    The Mill Creek members do not pretend to be without faults, I know I have mine, but this church has never broke covenant with any people, and that is more than the five withdrawn members can say, or the anti churches either. The old and new Testaments are the word of God, and the only rule of Faith and practice, and this rule will be carried out by the Baptist churches, when their pulpits are cleansed of mischievous men.

    Our association, occasionally, sent out circulars to stir up the churches to sustain their ministers, but it availed nothing. Notice was given in the public papers, that a meetingwould be held at Mill creek, to devies a plan, for more extensive preaching through the state, and ministers and brethren were invited' to it. I delivered the introductory, in view of a State Convention, in the very house where missionary operations began, sixteen years before. Members from the Nashville, and Mill creek churches went heartily in to it.

    Soon afterwards. Elder Gayle recieved an invitation from the "Home Mission Society of New York" to ride six months through the state, and exhort the churches, to more diligence in this good work. This he did, and his labour was not in vain. But when the convention found, that there [was] murmering against their action, they sent out notice,
    that if a better plan could be devised and pursued by the churches, they would fall in with it. After this the churches of the Concord, were called together and consultation held, on which the whole work of the Convention was assumed by the churches. But they failed and if my memory serves me, Dr. Watson who is the leader of the faction, acknowledged in the association, that the churches had failed to carry out their agreement. If it be the duty of Baplists"at all, to carry out and spread the gospel over the world, then it is by missionary operations or nothing, for the churches, the way they have gone on, will not more than keep the ground they have got, if that. What is the convention doing, that there should be such a fuss about it? Art. 5. "The convention shall devise and execute plans for disseminating the gospel in destitute sections of the state, and as far as practicable, supply such churches as solicit aid." Let any man bring a charge against this work, and support it by the scripture if he can. I now say to the opposing brethren once for all, bring your charge against this work, as stated in this Article, and support it by the new Testament. Then if the convention does not come down, go on as you; now do, in splitting up the churches, and I will help you. But until you do that, I shall, vote that all who cannot yield to your tyranny, in binding conscience, and whom you, throw out on that account, be put into churches where they can exercise the rights of Christ's free men.
    Solitude, May 29, 1838.                     JAMES WHITSITT,


    An adjourned meeting of the Nashville Baptist Church was held, at their place of worship, on Monday afternoon the 18th June 1838, a large number of the members, and visiting brethren present, when the following preamble and resolutions were unanimously passed.

    Whereas David Read, Harriet A. Read, Gilford Read, Elizabeth Read, George T. Stuhl, Benjamin R. B. Wallace, Samuel M. Allen, Thomas T. Harrison, and Susanna M. Paul, without having previously given us any intimation of their dissatisfaction with us, our faith, or proceedings- asking for letters of dismission, or taking any other Gospel steps, have, in a disorderly and unscriplural manner, withdrawn from this Church, and formed themselves, under the persuasions and guidance of a Mr. Washington Lowe, into another Church, and have drawn up and published a declaration
    of nonfellowship with the Baptist Chunch. in this city, individually, and collectively, therefore

    1. Resolved, That their names be erased from the list of members of this Church.

    2. Resolved, That this Church still adheres to, and has never departed, in faith or practice, from, the declaration of principles upon which she was constituted.

    3. Resolved, That these proceedings be published in The Baptist.
    A copy -- Test                      T. L. BUDD, Clerk.

    It is proper for us to add to the record of these acts of the Churches, at Mill Creek and Nashville, a few remarks by way of explanation.

    It will, doubtless, be asked why the Churches have adopted the unusual plan of publishing their proceedings in these particular cases. We answer, because these persons published their accusations, and it was believed by the Churches that it was necessary to disabuse the public ear. That it may be seen what has been charged against these Churches, we will transcribe a part of their manifesto, to which they set their "hand and seal."
    "Whereas the undersigned, heretofore and up to the present time members of the Baptist Church in Nashville, and at Mill Creek, in the vicinity of Nashville, respectively, against whom no charge for disorder or immorality exists (??) have ever held the doctrine and opinions generally entertained by the old order of Regular or Predestinarion Baptists; and have ever, heretofore, and still do, at the present time, claim to be of, and to belong to, no other than such; and whereas we believed the Churches aforesaid to be such when we joined them; and whereas we find the said Churches no longer maintain the doctrine of the Old Baptists aforesaid (!!) but have made great and manifest departurs therefrom, in that the said Churches (or the leaders and influential members thereof) are now merged in the Baptist State Convention, and engaged in the various other money missionary or human institutions of the day, for the purpose of having the Gospel preached to every creature, or individual, the ministry improved by Theological Schools, and the whole world regenerated by means of money, or human exertions based on money, and its corrupting influence; and whereas we cannot believe in the divine afficaey of such things, nor fellowship,
    those who are engaged therein, believing fuclt course and principles to be unwarranted from the Word of God; and whereas from the aforesaid causes and reasons, after long forbearance" --
    and so on, continues the preamble. Therefore Resolved, that we do hereby separate and withdraw, ourselves, our membership, and fellowship, from the aforesaid Churches &c. &c. -- and several other resolutions.

    There is nothing in this rigmarole against which these Churches wish to defend themselves, but the imputation that they "no longer maintain the doctrine of tho Old Baptists." That we believe "in the divine efficacy" of money to convert sinners, no one will credit for a moment, who has common sense. This, and a great deal more slang of a like kind is mere ill natured gabble.

    The reason of the publication of the Constitution of the Church at Mill Creek, and which is the same, word and letter, upon which the Church in Nashville was established, was that these nine members have declared in the above document, against one hundred seventy, in this city, and five, against upwards of three hundred at Mill Creek, that "the said Churches no longer maintain the doctrine of the Old Baptists" &c. If they mean by "Old Baptists," the obscene doctrine of Daniel Parker, who is the Father and Patriarch of anti-effortism in Tennessee, and which is not twenty years old, these Churches plead guilty to the charge; or even the doctrine of their beloved brethren Greatrake, Osborn &c., who have been so lately preaching here and writing books, which they have published for the edification of the faithful, we have nothing to say. But if they mean the doctrine which has been maintained by the Baptist denomination time immemorable, the statement is not true, and to make this appear is the object of the Churches. How stand the facts. The Constitution adopted by the Mill Creek Church forty years ago, yet remains untouched. She still strenuously maintains it, and we do the same thing.

    When the Church in Nashville was constituted this same Mill Creek declaration was adopted by her, Recently the Church purchased a lot upon which she is now building a meeting house. To he secure in the possession of the property our legal advisers thought it necessary to insert our declaration in the deed, and they believed it essential that we should he a little more specific. We accordingly drew up and adopted, for this purpose, an instrument containing
    the same doctrine, precisely, but a little more extended, and particular, which is embodied in the deed of conveyance. But let it be remembred that in doing this we did not cancel the old constitution. That remains exactly as on the day the Church was constituted by Elders Whitsitt, Vardeman &c., and is still in full force. Well, then, what is the testimony by which they prove that we "no longer maintain the doctrine of the Old Baptists? It is, forsooth, in their own language? -- "That the said Churches (or the leaders, and influential members thereof) are now merged in the Baptist State Convention, and engaged in the various other money missionary or human institutions of the day, for the purpose of having the Gospel preached to every creature, or individual &c." In other words these Churches have commited the crime of being active friends of missionary effort, and the spread of Bible knowledge generally; they have, as have Baptist Churches in all ages, thought it their duty to show their faith by their works. For this offence they say -- "We do hereby separate and withdraw ourselves, our membership, and fellowship, from the aforesaid Churches." To all which we say, Amen. The expulsion of the authors of this publication was, as every one will see, a matter of course. We wish it, however, to be distinctly understood that we did not expel these persons because they differed from us in opinion, in doctrine or practice, which, by the way, if they do, is a very lato thing with them, some of them but a few months since, almost outstipping any of us in missionary zeal, and others having been baptized but a short time, although they say in their published charges: -- After long forbearance, hoping a change for the better might take place, we find ourselves unwilling longer to endure and live under such a state of things as we have long laboured under." -- Neither did we exclude them for joining another Church, or any thing else of a similar nature. All this, in an orderly manner, they had a right to do, without inclining censure from us. If they had condescended to ask for letters of dismission to join any other Baptist Church, or to have formed themselves into one, they would have been granted to all, so far as Nashville was concerned, with one exception, most cheerfully. The specific reasons of their excommunication are stated in the proceedings published above -- the publication of false
    statements, the violence and disorder of their departure, declarations of nonfellowship &c. the Churches published the names of these offending members, we answer that they are all subscribed to their own published documents, and we suppose there can be nothing discourteous or repulsive to them in our following, in this matter, their own example. After all, we must say, in conclusion, oufcommisseration is very much excited in favour of these people, notwithstanding their billigerant attitude, and the unnatural assualt they have made upon us. That the Churches as well as ourself pitied much more than they blamed them, was a general declaration of the members, at the time, and is apparent from the fact that, in all their proceedings, theyused the softest language they could command.

    They did not write the denunciations against us that they subscribed, and permited to be published. A great majority of them cannot justly be charged with the crime of trying, to any extent, to form letters with a pen, and could not, therefore, be expected to comprehend the import of what they, by the incessant dunning of designing men, under the garb of Old School preachers, were finally induced to sanction with the signature of their names &c. Greatrake, Lowe, Osborn, Watson, and about a dozen others, of the same stripe, have, after protracted labours, led them into the dilemma in Which they now find themselves. These gulled and deluded men and women excite, therefore, in the minds of those who know the circumstances of their case, not indignation, but sincere compassion. Let us be perfectly understood. That they are obscure, and without cultivation, or worldly influence, is no objection to them as Christians. Many of the most devoted and worthy christians are ef this class, and whose attainments is spirituality we " can never hope to reach. Had they been persons possessed of a knowledge of men and things, they would, perhaps, have 'excited other feelings, for "where much is given, much is required," but unfortunately they as all here know are simple credulous people and consequently, so much the more liable to be deceived, and led astray; whatever of indignation, therefore, our bosoms may feel, should terminate not upon them, but the misguided demagogues who have made the instruments of their mischievous purposes.   Ed,...
    ... We bespeak for the communication of Elder Gayle, on the proposed General Association, an attentive perusal. This is an important matter; the subject should be fully understood, and the brethren in possession of the entire views of each other, before any definite movement is attempted. Let us not be premature, or disunited in any thing. Every enterprise will be but the more efficiently conducted for the maturity of the counsels which lead to its adoption. A report in another page, of the General Agent of the Convention, for Middle Tennessee, will be read with interest, and give the friends of the cause, information of his movements and success. The Minutes of the Ministers and Deacon's meeting at Big Black, with the accompanying
    letter of the Moderator, show a desirable state of things in that region. The reader will find in this number a second letter from Father Burns on "the manners and customs of the Indians." His letter on Indian traditions, published some time since, was full of interest, as is proved by the fact that it was copied into almost all the newspapers of the country. The present is not less so. See the letters of brethren Stovall, Towers, Janes, Williams, Creamall, and Halcombe. The communication of brother Reese, and a letter from Elder I. J. Roberts, Missionary in China, and several others, are necessarily postponed for want of room. The appeal forwarded by bro. Mays, with an appointment for a meeting at Richardson's Camp-Ground, was unexpectedly crowded out of our July number, and it is now too late to publish it. We regret this circumstance, but as we could not avoid the result, the brethren concerned, we are assured, will accept our apology, and cheerfully extend their forgiveness.


    The following communication is from the publisher of The Baptist. -- Respectable men, who know any thing of the personal character of this Mr. Washington Lowe, vastly prefer that he would speak evil than well of them. For ourselves, we would not, on any account, that he, or his twin bro. Greatrake, or any of his genus, should say, if we thought any one would believe it, that he has any connection with us, or friendship for us. There are, however, honest men who do not know this slanderer, and they may probably think that we have been guilty of some foul act, such as he has published. On their account we admit Mr. Dunn's letter to a place in our columns.

    NASHVILLE, 12th July, 1838.    
      Sir, I observed, in the second number of a filthy sewer, in the form of a little catchpenny monthly, called "Old Baptist Banner," pp.27, 28, edited and published by Washington Lowe, which appeared about the first of June, under the head of "a remarkable fact," an editoral article, charging you with feloniously taking from the Post Office, opening, examining, and detaining for twelve days, with
    culpable views, &c., a letter containing money, addressed to his paper, by a Mr. Furguson, of Springfield! This article was, without doubt, maliciously designed, to injure your reputation as an honorable and upright man. Mr Lowe, published this statement as "a fact" -- "a remarkable fact"! How will your readers be astonished when I assure them, upon my honor, that you never saw that letter in your life!

    The facts of the case were these. During your absence from the city, some time in May, I think it was, a bundle of letters was handed me when I called, as usual, at the Post Office; I took them to The Baptist office, and read them all, except one, which I observed was addressed "Old Baptist Banner." This I returned to the Post Office, and told the officers there, it did not belong to us; They, however, assured me that I was mistaken, that it did belong to us, and insisted that I should take it. I was comparatively a stranger here, having just moved to the' city, and thought, probably, there might be some mistake in the direction, took it back, opened it, and saw that it was for Mr. Lowe, and contained a small sum of money. Mr Lawson Barry was at work wi'th'me at the time; he immediately explained all the matter to me; I gave him the letter, money and all, and he carried it down to the office of the Republican Banner, where Mr. Lowe has his, printing done, and without any unnecessary delay, handed it to one of the Clerks. This is the whole matter, sir, about the letter. You, I know, never saw it, nor knew any thing about it, until after Lowe's paper apppeared, you asked me, and I gave you the required information. Immediately after the appearance of this libellous article, verbal information of the whole matter was sent to Lowe, and shortly after thata written communication, giving the same explanation, and commenting upon the atrocity of the evil he had attempted to inflict upon you. It was believed, that, if he had about him any vestige of gentlemanly principle, to say nothing of religion, he would be eager to repair the injury, and would certainly do so, in his ne$t paper. His next paper has now appeared, and ' what do we see? Under the scurrilous, and contemptible heed of "YOU CAN'T POKE IT ON TO US." -- p. 44. He says -- "Mr. Robert Boyte C. Howell, of The Baptist, is hereby informed that we shall hear no explanation from him in relation to what we said in our last, under the head of
    "a remarkable fact," about the taking away, unreasonable detention &c., of a letter of ours, unless it be made by himself in proper person, or through his paper," &c. &c. -- It seems Mr. Howell, that Mr. Lowe will have you come to his foot, eh! and that, too, when, as he knew, before this was written you had no more to do with the matter than you had with the government of Spain. If there was any error it was mine, and without your knowledge, and yet Mr. Lowe refuses to correct the slander, and falsehood, although he knew it to be such, against you, unless you bow down "in proper person," and humbly beseech him to do it. I will not ask whether a Christian would act thus. Would an honest man -- would any, but a contemptible slave of his passions be guilty of such vileness?

    The statement which Mr. Lowe made and published as "a fact," was either with, or withont, knowing whether it was true or false. If he knew any thing about it, he knew it to be false. If he knew nothing about it, he stated a falsehood, in asserting a thing to be "a fact," which he did not know to be true. It gives me no pleasure thus to expose this man, but it is necessary in defence of innocence which he has maliciously assailed, and to let the community know who and what he is, that they may avoid him.
    Respectfully, &c.          
    W. H. DUNN.    
    To this letter of Mr. Dunn, we will add two or three observations.

    Mr. Lowe seems to be very anxious to get a fight with the editor of The Baptist. But we do assure him that he cannot be gratified, for the same reason that the Lion would not fight with the Polecat. When the little neauseous animal challenged the noble beast, and bragged very much, because be would not fight him, that he had backed him out, the Lion said, -- "Suppose I were to fight, and kill you; it would be no honor to me, and besides I should get so much of your odour that every one I met for a month would know I had been fighting with a Polecat."

    This is only a specimen of the kind of attacks with which we are constantly annoyed by these New fangled Old schoolers. The whole kennel is perpetually at our heels,
    yelping, growling, and snapping. We will give our readers another case, or two, by way of illustration. We attended a meeting lately at Providence, near Murfresborough, and just before we commenced our sermon, brother Hiram Young put into our hand the following note which he had just penciled on a blank leaf of a pamphlet: "Dr Watson said (at Bethlehem in that neighborhood, some weeks, or days before) he was creditably informed, "by a member of the Baptist Church in Nashville, that Howell has passed a decree in his Church that they should not call one another brother and sister only in the Church -- that he was ashamed of his poor brethen when he met them in the street."

    At the close of the services, we read the note to the congration -- stated that we supposed Dr. Watson's object was to injure Mr. Howell's character and influence -- asserted that the statement was not true, and appealed, for confirmation of the assertion, to some members of the Baptist Church in Nashville, who were present in the congregation. We forgot, at the moment, to say anything about being ashamed of poor members &c. But we might have said that Mr. Howell is about the poorest member in the Church, and that he is not ashamed to recognize as his brother or sister, any man, or woman, white or black, bond or free, rich or poor, ignorant or wise, in the streets, or any where else, except those who tell slanderous falsehoods to injure their neighbors -- of such Mr. Howell feels profoundly ashamed.

    Every member of the Baptist Church in Nashville who knows any thing at all on the subject, knows -- and two hundreds certificates can be procured any day to prove it -- that such "a decree" was never intimated by any one, much less passed in the Church, indeed such a proposition never entered our head upon earth. Mr Howell has said that he thought the indiscriminate use of the term brother, in courts of justice, taverns, steamboats &c. attended, often, with injurious results, and he still thinks so; but beyond this he never thought or uttered a word.

    In a few days after we returned home, we learned that Watson was here, and that his "creditable authority" was ranging over town and country, trying to procure certificates to prove that the decree in question actually had passed in the Church, or at least been proposed, and a few days after, at a very
    large meeting, at Providence, ws were informed Dr Watson made an address, denied he had said "that Howell had passed a decree in his Church that the members should not call one another brother and sister only in the meeting house," but, that Howell had proposed such a prohibition to his Church, and he actually produced and read several certificates to prove it. This latter statement is just as false as the other, but he nevertheless proved it to be true!! Wonder Mr. Lowe does not improve upon this hint -- perhaps he will -- and prove by certificates that we took his letter out of the Post Office. He can no doubt procure the necessary certificates.

    But who was this "member of the Baptist Church," in Nashville, by whom Dr. Watson "was creditably informed" of a thing that never existed? We suppose it must have been Mr. Lowe's man Friday -- the same who told his brother Greatrake that Mr. Howell, without their consent, had put down his name and his brother's, in the subscription book to our new Church, for from three to five hundred dollars each. Now any body here knows that the name of Davy or Guilford Read, is not, and never was, on the subscription list to qur Church; and we hope never will be. But Greatrake so published it with sundry obscene and villanous comments, in his book, quoting the Reads as authority. These Reads, together with a Campbellite Doctor, that we did not choose to [bother], and perhaps one or two more such were the creditable authority of Dr. Watson. Thus may our brethren see how Mr. Howell is assailed, & the unchristian methods used to put him down. Did they assault our doctrines in open day, and with manly weapons, it would give us no concern; but they skulk in the dark, and strike with poisoned darts at our character. We can truly say, with Mr. Dunn, we take no pleasure in exposing them. Indeed, it gives us great pain. For some of the very near relatives both of Mr Lowe, and Dr. Watson, we entertain the highest regard personally, and the most sincere Christian affection. On their account we regret it exceedingly. But they have forced it upon us. We owe it to the cause to defend ourselves, and if they and their abetters fall in the conflict, it is not our fault; we have but done our duty....
    For the Baptist.    
                      GERAVAL COTTAGE, Tenn.
                                  June, 26th.
    BRO. R. B. C. HOWELLL. -- I have just returned from my regular Church meeting in Summerville. That Church is in a growing state. They are about erecting a good house of worship to be built of brick, the foundation of stone, which is now being laid. The other materials for building have been in a state of preparation for sometime, so that it is probable it will be finished before winter according to contract. This is quite an efficient. Church. Although its numerical strength is not great, they are ready to every good work according to ability. In this town, last year, the Methodists erected a good and substantial b.uilding. It is also said that the Presbyterian Church (of the old school) are progressing well with a subscription, and contemplate carrying up a house of worship immediately. This state of things speaks wel! for the professors of religion in Summerville....
    ["In the cheering hope and pleasing anticipation that the whole Baptist denomination will meet and unite on this as common ground, and that henceforth schisms and discords will be heard among our dear brethren no more." I would qualify this sentence with the words -- the whole Baptist denomination -- believeing and obeying the truth of God, will unite harmonise, &c. and then I subscribe to it, heartily. But so long as there are to be found in the Baptist denomination, persons who sustain such men and their publications as Joshua Lawrence -- Lawrence Greatrake, and Daniel Parker, to name no other publications, containing palpable falsehoods and heresies, fabricated stories, zealously influencing the weak and wayward for their own selfish purposes, and to gain for themselves an infamous notoriety which they mistake for fame, and such sentiments as that contained in the 10th item of the Obion Association, and extracted on page 167, of the June No. of The Baptist, which item is but a specimen of many others; I say, distinctly, until such persons, and Associations radically and thoroughly reform, in faith and practice, it would be any thing else to me, to say as little as possible on the subject, than a "cheering hope and pleasing anticipation" to be identified with them. Charity itself with all its kindness, its suffering and forbearance does not rejoice "in iniquity." If such proceedings as have been alluded to in reference to the decisions of the anti-Baptists, and their Associations of Tenn. together with such conduct as that described on page 84 of the March No. of The Baptist 1838. -- does not constitute iniquity, then what does? If a deliberate opposition to the means necessary to the free circulation of the Bible among all men -- to preaching the Gospel to every creature -- to the promotion of temperance among all men -- to the keeping of the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace -- to the enlightening of the immortal mind by means of Education, does not constitute an egregious heresy, I ask what does? Who then can seek the fellowship of such anti-Baptists? Not I. But for all prudent, God fearing, pious men and women among such anti-Baptists, I have all good feeling and Christian fellowship, their connection with the anties notwithstanding... [signed by Rev. P. S. Gayle]



    Reconstructed 1800s Tenneessee Baptist Chapel

    Relevent excerpt from: History of Nashville, Tenn., by John Wooldridge, Elijah Embree Hoss, & William B. Reese (1970 reprint edition):

    [Page 487]
    In the period between 1820 and 1840 quite an anti-missionary spirit was developed and prevailed throughout this section of the country, as well as in East Tennessee and Kentucky. This sentiment prevailed to such an extent as to cause trouble in the Baptist Church, and it became necessary to divide it into two parts. The division was effected at McCrory's Creek Meeting-house in August, 1836, after a painful struggle of with reference to the maintenance of modified missions upon the plan of a State Convention and general association of all the Churches. This was at a meeting of what was known as the Concord Association, and the Association voted by a vote of twenty-two to fifteen in favor of a dissolution. The Churches favoring a dissolution met at Hickory Ridge Meeting-house, in Wilson County, in October, 1836, and agreed upon a call to the Churches to organize an association with a State convention and other innovations then gradually finding their way into the Baptist Churches. In response to this call a meeting was held in the same place August 26, 1837, at which time Stone's River Association of Primitive Baptists was formed.

    The immediate result in Nashville was that nine members of the First Church and five from Mill Creek Church united in the formation of a Primitive Baptist Church May 23, 1838, which has since been in existence. The Presbytery consisted of Elders James King and Jesse Cox, of the Cumberland Association; James T. Tompkins and John M. Watson, of Stone's River of the Red River Association; and James Osborne, of Baltimore, Md.

    The Primitive Baptist Church of Jesus Christ in Nashville was organized May 23, 1838, under the Presbytery composed of Elder James Osborne, of Baltimore, Md.;
    and Elders John M. Watson, James King, Jesse Cox, William Feltz, James T. Tompkins, and W. Lowe, of Nashville, Tenn. The original membership was nineteen....

    Relevent excerpt from: Baptist Church Perpetuity: Or the Continuous Existence of Baptist Churches... by W. A. Jarrel, (internet reprint edition):

    [Page 428]
    I have before me a book written by Elder James Osborne in 1818, and published in 1819. On page 74 the writer said:
    "Thou (God) lovest me (Jesus) before the foundation of the world. If this be true, He loved the Church before the foundation of the world; and that she was chosen in the Son and loved by the Father from the same date is plain from what is written: 'According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world.'"

    On page 119, in speaking of the work of the Spirit in regeneration, he said:
    "For such is the natural depravity, and bias of the human heart, that they will not, nor cannot come to Jesus for salvation without the irresistible operations of the Holy Ghost."

    The above is what our people believed in 1818, as well as from the days of our Saviour to that date, and it's what we believe in 1912. On page 149 we have this language:
    "If Christ died for more than will be saved, God loved more than will be saved, anti-Christ intercedes for more than will be saved, for He died for no more than His Father loved, and He intercedes for no more than those for whom He died. The resurrection of Christ is another conclusive proof that all, everyone for whom He died, will be eternally saved."

    Relevent excerpt from: Memoirs of Alexander Campbell, Volume II. by Robert Richardson, (1869 first edition):

    [Page 99]
    As to Mr. Greatrake, he continued his itinerant labors for a considerable time, and published a scurrilous pamphlet against Mr. Campbell; but afterward, falling into disgrace, became an apostate, and finally, in passing through a piece of woods on his way to a place of shelter, was suddenly crushed to death by a falling tree.

    Relevent excerpt from: Home Life and Reminiscences of Alexander Campbell, by Selina Huntington Campbell, (1882):

    [Page 372]
    In one instance a Mr. Greatrake,a Baptist preacher, (now nearly sixty years ago) wrote a scurrilous pamphlet, that was replied to by Bro. Walter Scott, who, it is said, raked him well for it. He lived near or above Pittsburgh, and not long after a tree fell upon the poor old man and killed him.

    Rev. Laurence Greatrake
    By: Arva McCabe
    Message Date: 18 Mar 2001

    Rev. Laurence Greatrake died in Paris, Tennessee in 1830 [sic - 1839?]. He was a well known Regular Baptist itinerant minister who wrote many books against Alexander Campbell c 1812-30.... The story goes is that he was in a forest when lightning struck a tree and it fell on him and killed him...

    Central Tennessee in 1838.

    (under construction)

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