“…And he That Loveth Son or Daughter More Than Me is Not Worthy of Me.”
Helen Maria Griggs was saved, baptized and joined a Baptist church in Brookline, Massachusetts on August 11, 1822. When a small girl Helen had been very sick, and her mother had prayed that if God spared her life that she would give her without reservation unto God’s will. When Helen told her mother that God had called her to go to Burma, her mother was fully willing for the Lord’s direction. However the Board had never sent a single lady out alone. But the Lord of the harvest was working behind the scenes, and Francis Mason, a student at Newton Theological Institution met Miss Griggs.
He too planned to go to Burma, and after a courtship of nearly five months, they were married on May 23, 1830 and their honeymoon was spent on board ship as they sailed the next day for Burma. Their trip took 122 days before they arrived at Calcutta. Mrs. Mason’s health provided problems for the missionary couple, but whenever possible, she labored beside her husband. She became proficient in the Burmese and Karen languages and was able to teach and write in both. But the matter of leaving her children came to pass after a furlough in the States. Many in the homeland criticized Mrs. Mason, and she was charged with having “no more affection than a Sandwich Island mother.” Editors of Christian periodicals had to go to her defense, and in a short time a drastic change for the better took place in public opinion.
Four years later when Mrs. Grover Comstock left for Burma and parted from her children, an announcement was made in the newspaper under the caption, “The Noble Mother.” The Lord took Helen to Himself at forty years of age on Oct. 8, 1846.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 330-31.
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Johann G. Oncken
Se-Baptism does not satisfy German believers
On April 22, 1834, at Altona, across from Hamburg, Germany, Dr. Barnas Sears baptized, in the Elbe, Johann Gerhard Oncken and six others. Oncken, through the influence of Calvin Tibbs, a sea captain, had been led to adopt Baptist principles. Dr. Sears was destined to become distinguished among Baptists in America as an educator and author, but he is best known for this single event that took place thousands of miles away. Sears was born in Sandisfield, Massachusetts on Nov. 19, 1802, and as a youth was trained in the best schools and entered Brown University where he graduated with the highest honors of his class in 1825. He finished his theological training at Newton Theological Institution and was called to pastor the First Baptist Church of Hartford, Connecticut. After two years he became a professor at Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution until 1833 when he resigned so he could travel to Germany to further his training. Providentially God had been moving on the heart of J.G. Oncken concerning the necessity of believer’s immersion but there was no one to perform the ordinance. He had written to Baptists in England and one had suggested “Se-Baptism” (i.e. self-baptism), but Oncken could not accept this as being the will of God. How wonderful that God sent Dr. Sears at this time to meet the need. Upon his return Dr. Sears became President of Newton Theological Seminary. In 1848 he was elected secretary and executive agent of the Massachusetts Board of Education. He later was chosen as the Trustee of the Peabody Trust for the cause of the education in the South after the Civil War. He later moved to Staunton, Virginia and served the Baptist people there until his death on July 6, 1880.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: adapted From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 276-77.
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