An Account by Brother John Hargrove,
Clerk of the Salem Association of Indiana

Princeton, Indiana

November 3rd, 1834.

DEAR BROTHER BEEBE:- I send you enclosed a copy of the Minutes of the Salem Association of Regular Baptists, for the year 1834; in which you will observe that you are requested to publish in the Signs of the Times, the 8th item of the second day's business inclusive, relative to a statement made by Elder David Hornaday, in a letter published in the Baptist Weekly Journal, Cincinnati, Ohio; implicating said Association. A compliance with the above request, will confer a favor on the members of the Salem Association, as it is their desire that truth should predominate over deliberate falsehood.

Inasmuch as I feel a more particular and personal interest in the libelous and slanderous statements made and published in the aforesaid letter, than most others of the Association, as Mr. Hornaday has seen proper in his letter, to strike at the character an standing of the Patoka Baptist Church, of which I am a member; therefore I shall, in addition to the article referred to in our minutes, proceed to give a further statement of facts, in contradiction of said slander and falsehood.

Mr. Hornaday states that the whole community of Baptists where he lives, has been overrun with what he has been pleased to call "Parkerism," and that the Church to which he belongs, could not get out from among them without being marked with exclusion; intending thereby to convey the idea to the public, that the Church to which he belongs was excluded for opposing what he denominates "Parkerism," which is as averse to truth as light is to darkness; but the facts in relation to that subject are these: - The Highbank Church of which Mr. Hornaday is a member, is truly excluded from the Salem Association, upon a charge legally exhibited by Harvey's Creek Church, for receiving a member into her body without baptism, a person who had been immersed by a Pedo-baptist administrator, after she had been sufficiently informed that her act in the reception of said member, would be a violation of the principles of fellowship upon which she had united with the Churches in the Association, and that it would be wounding to the feelings of many of their brethren. But in the face of all this she persisted in her act, and for which she was excluded; after the Association having first examined into the validity of such baptism, and saying that it was not valid for want of Gospel authority in the administrator. But Mr. Hornaday seems to have previously used some exertions to get out of the Association without the mark of exclusion, for during the dealings with Highbank Church, he took refuge in a little thing called a Church constituted in Petersburgh, with himself and a few others from Highbank Church; and since the exclusion of that Church from the Association, Mr. Hornaday has returned to the excluded Church, and all have went into the Union Association, who, as a body, warmly advocate Missionary principles, and even Campbellism has found a strong place there. The above is a true statement, in relation to the exclusion of the Highbank Church from the Salem Association, instead of the dark colored artifice Mr. Hornaday used on that occasion. The Baptists composing said Association are about 900 strong with 18 churches, and are generally of the old fashioned stamp, and have taken a very firm stand against the new fangled systems and man made machines of the day, such as Missionary, Bible, Sunday School, Tract, Temperance Societies, &c.; we believe in the good old way of making Christians and of serving the Lord; at present we stand very much united as Regular Baptists, upon the God honoring, soul saving, and soul comforting truth; of God's eternal purpose in the salvation of his church. I recollect that when our Saviour preached this doctrine to his disciples, that many of them, when they heard it, said it is a hard saying, who can hear it; and from that time many of them went back and walked no more with him. And we are also informed by holy writ that the time should come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall heap to themselves teachers having itching ears, &c.; such seems well to correspond with the present time. But to return to the subject in hand: Mr. Hornaday's statement mostly interests me as an individual where he remarks, that "When the two seed doctrine (as advanced by Elder Parker in his pamphlets entitled 'Views on the two seeds,') was first introduced into the Patoka Church, some of her members determined they would not fellowship it, and were excluded; from these arose the General Baptist Church." Being a member of Patoka Church, and well acquainted with her proceedings for many years, I feel fully authorized to say, that the above remarks and false coloring put thereon, are as perfidious and remote from truth as the Demon himself could invent. For there can be no such thing found on the records of Patoka Church, where the two seed doctrine was ever introduced or taken up in said Church, neither was there ever a member excluded from Patoka Church, in consequence of her fellowshiping the two seed doctrine so called; nor was there constituted in the General Baptist Church, (as he states) more than one member that stood excluded from Patoka Church for any cause whatever. The above is a brief statement of facts in that case.

The Patoka Church is situated in the settlement of Princeton, a very populous settlement composed of almost every religious sect or denomination extent in the United States at this our day, most of whom together with the world have united in vindication and support of all the new fangled institutions of the day, and more especially that of the Temperance cause so called, which was very popular in this neighborhoood, some two or three years since, but at the present is considerably on the decline. The Patoka Baptist Church took a very firm and decided stand against all of those popular heresies and religious devices that are attempted to be palmed on the people, in this age of wonders, under the imposing names of Benevolent Societies, and in particular, that under the head of Temperance, as it was most popular in this section of country at that time, especially as far as it respected her own members, in consequence of which she has been very much persecuted by this combination. When it first made its appearance in the Church, she, in answer to a query presented by one of her own members, recommended and advised her members to have nothing to do with said society, and to withdraw from it, which appeared to be unanimous at that time, and by her act some time afterwards, made a violation of the above advice on the part of any of her members, a subject of discipline; but in the face of the above rule, some four or five members becoming restless of their company and discontented with their boarding-house, wished to get out from among them, (the Church) and considering what society a popular asylum, and a convenient door by which they might extricate themselves, from what they conceived an unpopular society or Church, without disgracing themselves in the eyes of the world. They accordingly joined said society, at the same time endeavoring to cast all the stigma on the Church in their power -- upon which, according to their expectations, they were excluded from the Church; in consequence of which, some notice has been taken of the Patoka Church in the public prints, and it has also had a place in your useful paper, otherwise I probably should not have mentioned that subject. Mr. J. M. Peck, of Missouri, has taken to himself the liberty of publishing to the world, that the Patoka Church had excluded some of her own members, for not getting drunk, or because they had quit getting drunk. I feel authorized to say that such is not the truth, let Mr. Peck's informant be whom it may; for I am apprised that Mr. Peck is not personally acquainted with any of the proceedings of Patoka Church. They were excluded as before stated, for joining a society of the world, to set greater examples of morality than the Church of Christ could enable them to do, which she deemed a contempt to her as a religious Church. Please give the above an insertion in the Signs of the Times, and oblige your

Friend and obedient servant,

JOHN HARGROVE.

8th. Agreed to spread the following on our Minutes, to-wit:

Whereas, Elder David Hornaday, who was formerly a member of this association, has published a letter in the 23th No. of the third volume of what is called the Baptist Weekly Journal of the Mississippi Valley, in which publication said Hornaday has implicated this Association as being entirely overrun with what he is pleased to call Parkerism, and has stated, that he and the Church to which he belongs could not get out of this body without being marked with exclusion, &c. Therefore,

Resolved, That we as an Association feel it to be a duty which we owe, to ourselves, to the cause of truth, and to the public in general, to contradict the said slanderous and libelous publication by a brief statement of facts, which are as follows:

1st. We are not fully prepared to say what part of the Christian theology it is that Mr. Hornaday intends to brand with the odious epithet of "Parkerism." If he means thus to denominate the doctrine of God's eternal purpose of Grace in the salvation of his chosen people, and that to believe in that doctrine and stand opposed to all the popular heresies and religious devices that are attempted to be palmed on the people, in this age of wonders, under the imposing names of Benevolent Societies -- to advance the Redeemer's kingdom, and to stand decidedly opposed to every thing like prevarication, falsehood and slander, constitutes "Parkerism," we would not complain. But if he means by that name, or appelation, to insinuate (as he doubtless does) that we have received and adopted the peculiar doctrine of Elder Daniel Parker, as set forth in his pamphlets entitled "Views on the Two Seeds," Mr. Hornaday well knew, as all who have seen our minutes know, that we have done no such thing; and his insinuation to that effect cannot be accounted for upon any other principles than that of deliberate falsehood and malicious slander.

2d. The Highbank Church, of which Mr. Hornaday is a member, was indeed excluded from this union, on a charge legally exhibited against her by the Harvey's Creek Church, for receiving into her body, without baptism, a person who had been immersed by the Cumberland Presbyterians. Mr. Hornaday did repeatedly, in the investigation that took place on that subject, declare that he viewed Thomas Payne to be a suitable administrator of baptism, and that baptism administered by him would be as valid as if by the most orthodox minister in the United States. As for exertions to get out of the Association, without the mark of excommunication, Mr. Hornaday appears to have made some; as he took refuge in a little thing called a church in Petersburgh, which church was constituted by Elder John Graham (then a member of Highbank Church) with Mr. Hornaday and a few others, all of whom were members of Highbank Church during the dealings with said Church. But when that Church was excluded from this body, he returned to the excluded Church, and all went together into the Union Association. And as David Hornaday, together with the Church of which he is a member, stands legally excluded from this Association for gross disorder, and as he still retains his credentials, with the names of some of the ministry of this Association appended, we now feel it a duty incumbent on us to state to the public, that the said David Hornaday is no longer under our control, and we are no longer accountable for his conduct.

9th. Ordered, That the Clerk forward a copy of the above article to J. Stevens, Cincinnati, editor of the Cross and Baptist Journal, and to Gilbert Beebe, New Vernon, New York, editor of the Signs of the Times, to be published in each of those publications.

10th. Agreed to spread the following on the face of our Minutes, respecting our dearly beloved brother Samuel Jones, late a preacher of the Gospel and member of Bethel Church, Posey County, Indiana. The said brother was born in North Carolina, Rowan County, January the 26th, 1764; professed a hope in Christ and joined the Baptist Church in the summer of 1787; licensed to preach the Gospel May 28th, 1803; was ordained May 20th, 1804, and departed this life September 11th, 1834, aged 69 years, 7 months, and 15 days. He appeared to die strong in the faith and hope of eternal glory. We trust that our loss is his gain.

Adjourned in peace, to the time and place appointed.

JEREMIAH CASH, Moderator.

JOHN HARGROVE, Clerk.

Copyright c. 2006. All rights reserved. The Primitive Baptist Library.




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