Saved, Baptized, Called to Preach
The power of Holy Spirit conviction
Otis Robinson was asked to open his home for the occasion of having Rev. Eliaphalet Smith to preach in Livermore, Maine. Otis did not stay but later asked his wife what was the Sermon topic: “Who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” Though convicted, it was several weeks of great conviction before Robinson obtained the peace of salvation.
On April 27, 1793 Robinson was baptized by Smith and united with others in forming a Baptist church in Livermore. His growth in grace was rapid, and soon he experienced the call of God upon his heart to preach. Being licensed by the church, he visited the town of Sanford and preached several Lord’s Days in a Baptist church there. He was called to become their pastor and was ordained on June 7, 1798 the day of his 34th birthday. His ministry was blessed of the Lord in revival, and the work grew as he baptized one hundred and sixty-five there and many others in his itinerant work throughout the area.
Having a heart burdened for missions, Robinson resigned in the fall of 1809 and moved to Salisbury, Hew Hampshire, to establish a church. In the spring of 1810, he had gathered enough converts to begin a church and was settled as pastor. His labors were continued for sixteen years, and he finally resigned the pastorate in 1826. The church had grown to one hundred and thirty members and many more were in attendance.
Dr. Dale R. Hart Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 171.
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James P. Boyce
Prayer and a Biblical Educator
James Petigru Boyce was a fine scholar and very popular in his ways. He received his college education when it was not unusual for students and faculty to meet for prayer every evening. The spiritual welfare of Boyce became of great concern to some of his fellow students, and he became the object of special prayer that his gifts and graces might all be consecrated to Christ.
Shortly after one of these times of special prayer and fasting, Boyce took a ship from New York to Charleston, South Carolina. During this long journey, it was observed that he spent a great deal of time in his stateroom. A friend discovered that he was reading his Bible, and after much discourse together, Boyce came under deep conviction. Upon reaching the city, he found that his sister was also concerned with her spiritual welfare and that a close friend had just made his profession of faith.
Dr. Richard Fuller was preaching in the city with great effect, and a spiritual awakening was under way. Boyce’s conviction of sin increased, and he felt himself a ruined sinner and looked to the merits of Jesus Christ alone for his salvation. On April 22, 1846, he was baptized on that profession of faith. Boyce graduated from Brown University in 1847 and studied theology at Princeton from 1848 to 1851.
Dr. Dale R. Hart from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, p. 1623
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C. H. Spurgeon’s Convictions of Baptist Beginnings
On April 2nd 1861 a public meeting was held for the Baptist brethren of London at the famed “Metropolitan Tabernacle,” known to many as “Spurgeon’s Tabernacle,” where dedicatory services were extended as church members and London residents united in praising God for His blessings!
Consider the words of greeting from Spurgeon, as he welcomed the area Baptist brethren to the new building.
“We believe that the Baptists are the original Christians. We did not commence our existence at the reformation, we were reformers before Luther and Calvin were born; we never came from the Church of Rome, for we were never in it, but we have an unbroken line up to the apostles themselves. We have always existed from the very days of Christ, and our principles, sometimes veiled and forgotten, like a river which may travel underground for a little season, have always had honest and holy adherents. Persecuted alike by Romanists and Protestants of almost every sect, yet there has never existed a Government holding Baptist principles which persecuted others; nor, I believe, any body of Baptists ever held it to be right to put the consciences of others under the control of man. We have ever been ready to suffer, as our martyrologies will prove, but we are not ready to accept any help from the State, to prostitute the purity of the Bride of Christ to any alliance with Government, and we will never make the church, although the Queen, the despot over the consciences of men.”
Dr. Dale R. Hart adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 134-135.
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Conviction waned before returning
1807 – John Chin was ordained to the gospel ministry. John was the youngest son of a farming family and was born near Blanton, England, in May of 1773. He always talked in glowing terms of his parents but especially of his godly mother who instructed him early in the scriptures. John was brought, as early as eight, to his need of Christ but the conviction subsided when he was apprenticed, while a lad to a craftsman in Bristol. However he was attracted to the preaching of an independent minister named Hey and began attending the chapel at Horsely Down. It was there that he came deeply under conviction of sin and received the Savior of Calvary, was baptized, and united with the church. The pastor encouraged John to exercise his gift of preaching and door to door evangelism. From there John moved to London and became involved with the Baptist church that met in Church Street, Blackfriars. He then began to serve with Pastor Joseph Swain and the saints in Walworth. Following the death of Mr. Swain, a second church was formed, property secured, and a chapel was erected. A sizeable congregation gathered, and Mr. Chin was asked to become their pastor. Mr. Chin was preaching regularly in various places, and he did not accept an immediate call, in fact it was nearly three years before he was finally persuaded to accept the challenge and was ordained. For the next thirty-two years he served this congregation faithfully, and it was necessary on several occasions to enlarge the chapel. At the conclusion of his ministry it would seat near a thousand. On August 28, 1839, at age 66, John Chin laid aside his robe of flesh. [This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: 2000 A.D. pp. 712-14. Alfred W. Light, Bunhill Fields (London: C.J. Farncombe and Sons, Ltd., 1915), p. 69.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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He refused a license to preach
1628 – Is the traditional birth date of John Bunyan; the “immortal tinker” and “glorious dreamer”, as historians call him, was born in the village of Elstow, near Bedford, England. In 1644 he was drafted into the army, and in June 1645 he returned to his home of Bedford. He said that he was vile in his youth, but about 1649 married a poor girl who brought with her two books, The plain man’s Pathway to Heaven, and The Practice of Piety. One day he overheard some women talking about spiritual matters and he entered in, but was no match for them. They were members of a little Baptist congregation in Bedford whose pastor was John Gifford to whom they introduced the tinker. Gifford immersed Bunyan after he had endured a lengthy and trying period of deep seated, emotional conviction, when the Lord spoke sweet peace to his heart. He explains it in his book, Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (1666). In 1660 while preaching in a farmhouse near Ampthill, Bunyan was arrested, tried, and imprisoned. He spent the next twelve years in the Bedford jail. He could have been released at anytime if he had only taken a license from the Church of England to preach. In 1672 he was released by the Declaration of Indulgence, and at that time he became a licensed preacher and Pastor by the Baptist church at Bedford. The next year the Edict was cancelled and he was rearrested and imprisoned again for six months. Some believe that it was at this time that the famed Pilgrim’s Progress was written. He served as pastor for 16 years until his death and is buried at Bunhill Fields, the dissenter’s Westminster Abbey. [This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 651-53. Alfred W. Light, Bunhill Fields London: C.J. Farncombe & Sons, Ltd., 1915)., pp. 17-18.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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Great outpouring of God’s Spirit
Rev. John E. Clough was born July 16, 1836, in New York. Soon afterwards they moved to Illinois and finally to Iowa. While training as a lawyer in Burlington in 1857 he was brought under conviction and was gloriously saved. Believing that he was called to proclaim the gospel to those who had never heard, he trained at Upper Iowa University and graduated in 1862. His appointment as a Baptist missionary to India took place in August of 1864, and he arrived in that country in March of 1865. Others had pioneered the work before him beginning in 1836. Lyman Jewett joined the mission in 1849. In 1852 he and his wife visited Ongole. They climbed a slope that overlooked the city and prayed that God would send a missionary to Ongole. Clough responded to that prayer and relocated to that city, and a modern miracle began. On Jan. 1, 1867 they organized a church with 8 members, and by the end of 1879, that church had grown to 13,106 members with 46 national preachers and thirty assistants. His methods were biblical, tent meetings of evangelism, nationals were trained, and a circuit of more than eighty villages forty miles around Ongole. As the work grew other missionaries came to join in the work. During a 3 year famine and pestilence they didn’t baptize but when it was over they baptized on July 3, 1878, 2,222 in one day. From June 16 to July 31, 1878, 8,691 had been immersed upon their profession of faith. This was one of the greatest outpourings of God’s spirit since Pentecost.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: adapted From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 272-73.
Ritualism to Reality in Christ
Dover Mills, Goochland County, VA – 1865
From the time of his youth, William Baskett purposed to know God. William was born in 1741 in Goochland County Virginia. As a youth, William envisioned the blessings of sincere Christianity, and he regularly attended public worship services, and because of his sincerity, he was allowed to participate in the communion service of the established state church (Anglican). In time William saw himself as a guilty, undone sinner. Great conviction gripped his heart and he continually examined God’s word. Finally one night God brought the Scripture to mind: “He that trusts in the Lord shall never be confounded.” (Douay-Rheims bible) At that moment he trusted Jesus Christ as his Saviour and threw himself on the Lord’s grace. He found immediate peace with God. In the mean time Elijah Craig and David Thompson, faithful Baptist preachers, had entered the area, and the Basketts were immersed upon their profession of faith. Soon a small congregation was gathered, and the work of God grew, when in 1788 a revival in the area brought significant growth to the local church. William Baskett was called to assume the pastorate of the Lyle’s Baptist Church. After twenty -one years of an exemplary ministry, the amazing event of the home going of the Basketts took place. On April 21, 1815, his life partner fell asleep in Jesus. One week later on April 29, 1815, he preached his last sermon from the words: “We have no continuing city, but seek one to come.” On the following day, William’s tranquil spirit took flight to Glory.
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins) p.p. 248 – 249
HIS HOME LIFE
Young Graves, as has been said, was left fatherless in his infancy, being the youngest of three children. A mother of energy, piety, and integrity, with an unswerving faith, gave character to the boy. At the age of fifteen the light dawned upon his inmost soul and disclosed to him his guilt and helplessness. His conviction was deep, his struggle was intense, and his surrender and trust in the atoning work of Christ was full and complete and joyful. He was baptized and joined the North Springfield Baptist Church, Vermont.
He had to make his own way and earn his own living from his early youth. Perceiving that it was impossible for him to take a college course, he began teaching. He was then but eighteen years of age, an age when boys are usually undecided as to their future and in need of paternal direction and support, but this fatherless youth struck out for himself and, with the aid of an older brother, Z.C. Graves, supported his mother and gained character as a promising school teacher.