State of Pennsylvania



ANTIQUITY OF NEW SCHOOLISM. -- This is truly a singular head for an article; but the subject to which we have to advert is perhaps no less singular. John M. Peck, now associated with J. L. Waller, R. B. C. Howell, and Co., in conducting the "Banner & Pioneer," of Ky., has poured forth nearly three columns of foaming wrath upon the Old School Baptists, in their 4th of July number. He charges us with forgery in appropriating to ourselves the name "Old School," and attempts a justification of the charge by alleging that the Philadelphia Association, the Old English Baptists, and some Welch Baptists, have, in some instances, so far turned aside from the divine rule as to practice some of those things which we, as Bible Baptists, denounce; and having from history found men in the Baptist connection, in England, Wales, and America, from 1654 extending to 1801, capable of projecting and practicing such innovations on Baptists doctrine and order, claims the appelation of "Old School," as belonging to the practices which he advocates. Having, as he appears to suppose, stripped off our covering and shown that we are not twenty years old (and so the appelation cannot belong to us) his benevolent soul (moved perhaps with compassion) has dealt out to us a volley of epithets; but as all of them, strung together, would make rather an inconvenient jingle, perhaps he only intends we shall wear them, one at a time. Henceforth all who take John M. Peck as their oracle, are to recognize us as the Hyper-Calvinistic, Antinomian, Excrescence of a Party, A most unpleasant and cumbrous Excrescence, Monstrosity, Snake Species, New Cohort, New Test Party, A mere fragment of a Party, A few scattered Fragments, A clan, not twenty years old, Misnamed Old School Baptists of the Lawrence, Beebe, Trott, and Dudley stripe, Lickingites, Base Metal, Deceptive, Counterfeit, &c., &c. How forcible are right words! And with what ample profusion has this learned and polite New School Editor lavished on us those flattering titles! Well, we care but little what they call us. Our Divine Master was called hard names; and for want of arguments the enemies of the cross have often resorted to a similar course. We only wish it recollected that the Old School Baptists (and particularly our paper) are charged with scurrility, and with using harsh expressions. Suppose we copy some of the above gentle, soft, and charitable terms from this organ of New Schoolism.

As to the instances adduced by Mr. Peck, in which professed Baptists of by-gone days have turned aside from the good old way, they only show (if true) that there was then, as there is now, corruption in the nominal kingdom of the Redeemer; but the imperfection ofthose of former times can no more justify us in departing from the laws of Christ than the present corruptions of New Schoolism can justify those of generations to come in following their pernicious ways. Who the legitimate successors of Philadelphia Association, of the English Baptists, or of the Welch Baptists are, is not the question with us; but the grand point is, Who are the followers of the Lamb? - who are walking in the footsteps of the primitive Church, and who are teaching for doctrines the commandments of men? These references to the history of Baptists of a few centuries past have been often met and refuted. We have often informed the New School that any thing short of the apostolic age is too late to have weight with us. The foibles of professed Baptists three hundred years ago are entitled to no more consideration with us than those of yesterday. But as Mr. Peck says all genuine Old School Baptists were Missionary Baptists, from their own mouths we will judge them. Let us sum up the testimony and strike the balance. The Philadelphia Association "just seventy years ago, approved the establishment of Rhode Island College (now Brown University), directed collections to be made to it in all the churches; and all the Ministers pledged themselves to promote the object." In 1767, this venerable Association sat in legislation over the Churches, and supplied them with laws concerning family prayer. In 1770, collections made for certain students of Rhode Island College. In 1754, and subsequently, sent out missionaries under pay, to wit: Gano, Miller, and Van Horn. In 1775, seventeen shillings were contributed for Rhode Island College. In 1778, more money was collected for preaching the gospel in destitute places. Farther testimony from this deponent Mr. Peck thinks unnecessary: he will, we presume, now suffer us to cross qustion his witness:

Question 1st. By what divine authority or New Testament rule did Philadelphia Association engage in these anti-christian practices?


Question 2nd. Did this Philadelphia Association ever organize Missionary, Tract, Education, Sabbath School, Temperance, or even Bible Societies, by selling membership, directorship and other high sounding titles to professors and non-professors, and by electing presidents, treasurers, agents, &c., until within the last twenty-five years?

Answer: They did not.

If the present race of New School Baptists are the regular successors of the Old English and Welch Baptists, and of those of the Philadelphia Association of 1707, why have they, within a few years past, discarded the Old Philadelphia Baptist Confession of Faith, which was originally adopted by the Old English Baptists? Will John M. Peck have the assurance to tell us that the present Philadelphia Association has not discarded the old and published a new and improved edition -- an altered edition, more congenial with the doctrines of the new order? We think he will not.

In looking over the April number of the Baptist Record, (so-called) we are greeted with a copy of the speechifying of some of the great men of New Schoolism, at their Spring anniversaries in Philadelphia, of which, as they will serve to help us out in showing the antiquity of New Schoolism, we will notice a few specimens. Baron Stowe of Boston offered a resolution in favor of the Tract Society, and during his remarks in support of his motion it is said, "adverted with peculiar feeling to the origin of the society: the honored names of Davis, Knowles, Staughton, and Reynolds, who were engaged in it. They were all there then. BUT FIFTEEN YEARS have passed away and all these are gone! Only the brother who first spoke and himself were now here of ALL ITS FOUNDERS!" "Having assisted in rocking the cradle of the society, [How appropriate the idea, to lull the little new comer!!] in its infancy, he felt a very strong desire to see and to aid it now in assuming the manly attitude of mature years." New School institutions, like mushrooms, are soon matured: hence J. M. Peck may plead for the antiquity of Tract Societies at fifteen years of age. The American and Foreign Bible Society held her second anniversary, also in Philadelphia, last April: so we may venture to put down her age at about two years and three months. A very reverend set of dignitaries are now engaged in rocking its cradle; but, poor thing, it must either be very weakly, greedy or ill natured, for with all their rocking it continues to cry like the horseleech's daughters. As for the old American Bible Society, which the New School Baptists have helped into being, and which they assisted to rock for several years, they have at length found out that it is an Ishmael: so they have weaned it and sent it forth into the wilderness.

The same paper from which we have collected the above items, being a kind of family Record of New Schoolism, has put down the age of the American Baptist Foreign Missionary Society at 25 years. Mr. J. M. Peck, as we have noticed very sneeringly asserts that the self styled Old School Baptists, (as he calls us) are not of lawful age, not 21 years of age: what will he say of this ancient institution at the very advanced age of 25 years, when he reads the following extract which we make from the report of its Board of cradle rockers? viz: "The time is not come to restrict our operations. The work is only begun; the laborers are few. From almost every Mission the CRY IS HELP, AND HELPERS ARE WAITING TO BE SENT. Let the advance be made. Let fervent, unceasing prayer ascend to God; and prayer lead to effort" (i. e., cradle rocking) "earnest, united effort, that the treasury of the Lord may be full."

The receipts of the Board, of this institution for the year ending April 15th, 1839, were $88,240.73, and the expenditure for the same period, $110,190.74; and yet, like Pharaoh's lean kine, this gormandizing pet, with all their nursing, rocking, &c., continues to cry for help.

We might go on and give, from documents by them furnished to our hand, the birth, age, and insatiable appetites of the Sunday School, Education (for the ministry) Societies, Temperance, and every other institution belonging to New Schoolism, and we should find that the most aged among them all, has not yet numbered forty years; and the fullest fed among them have never been satisfied; nor is there the least prospect they ever will be. Their revenue now, we believe, exceeds the expense of our national government. So much for the antiquity of New Schoolism among the Baptists. The most ancient hora by which they are distinguished from the church of Christ, is not yet thirty years old; yet they claim to be the Old School, and denounce the disciples of Christ as a "New Test party," to which epithet we would not object, if they would not abbreviate it; we claim to be a New Testament party," and the only test of fellowship we admit is that of the New Testament.


In 1823 Alexander Campbell held a debate on Baptism with Mr. Maccalla of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Maccalla attempted to bring into the debate the question of "Church Identity." Mr. Campbell had said that the Church at Jerusalem was a Baptist Church. Mr. Maccalla denied this, and demanded proof that the Baptist Church had a line of succession. Mr. Campbell challenged him to a discussion of that question, and offered to prove the succession of Baptist Churches from the days of the apostles. The following is a quotation from the debate on this point, by Alexander Campbell: "Waldenses, in their confession of faith, A. D. 1521, and hosts in the Sixteenth Century, have advocated the Baptist sentiments and practice." Again, in the same speech, "Clouds of witnesses attest the fact that before the Reformation from popery, and from the apostolic age to the present time, the sentiment of the Baptists, and the practice of Baptism have had a continued chain of advocates, and public monuments of their existence in every century can be produced." Again, "There were Baptists in all ages that never acknowledged the Mother of Harlots; and besides Catholic, Episcopalian and Presbyterian clergy had joined their community, and therefore, whatever efficacy of office there was on earth, was to be found in the Baptist community."

Official Actions of the Redstone Baptist Association
in Rejecting Campbellism and Alexander and Thomas Campbell

Actions of the Redstone Baptist Association of Pennsylvania, excluding Thomas and Alexander Campbell (founders of the Disciples of Christ, or Christian Church).


Statistical table of the Redstone Association for 1824 lists 28 churches with a total aggregate membership of 1,047. [Brush Run Church, of which Thomas and Alexander Campbell were members, is listed in the table, with 35 members.]

Saturday morning.
Item 7th. The representatives of the church at Brush Run, not being able to give satisfactory reason for the informality in their letter, were objected to.
Saturday afternoon, September 4th, the association convened and business was introduced by singing.
9th item. Resolved, that this Association have no fellowship with the Brush Run Church.


Minutes for 1830, Saturday, September 4th.
Item 10th. Whereas the items of business of the association contained in the Minutes for the year 1824 and numbered 7 and 9, concerning the exclusion of the Church at Brush-Run, (of which Thos. Campbell and his son Alexander were members,) are indefinite as to the cause of their exclusion: And this Association having received some communications from a distance, requesting more specific information as to the cause of their exclusion: Therefore, unanimously Resolved, that for the satisfaction of all concerned, we now further state, that their exclusion was on account of being erroneous in doctrine, maintaining, namely, the essential derivation and inferiority of the true and proper Deity of Christ and the Spirit; that faith in Christ is only a belief of historical facts, recorded in the Scriptures, rejecting and deriding what is commonly called christian experience; that there is no operation of the Spirit on the hearts of men, since the days of pentecost, &c.

The Beaver Anathema

The first association to take definite action against the Reformers was the Redstone of Pennsylvania. A rule had been passed by the Association requiring the churches to mention the Philadelphia Confession in their letters, as a condition of representation in its meetings. In 1825 several churches failed to mention the Confession and their messengers were denied a seat. In 1826, by a reduction of representation in the Association, the opponents of the Reformers organized it out of ten churches and cut off thirteen other churches. These churches cut off from the Association met in November the same year and organized a new association under the name, "The Washington Association." This action was followed by the Beaver Association of Pennsylvania in 1829, and in a series of resolutions it disfellowshipped the Mahoning Association of Ohio, for "disbelieving and denying many of the doctrines of the Holy Scriptures." This Association had come completely under the influence of Mr. Campbell and was going on under the leadership of Walter Scott, triumphantly "restoring the ancient order of things." The Beaver resolutions were as follows:

"1. They, the Reformers, maintain that there is no promise of salvation without baptism.

"2. That baptism should be administered to all who say they believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, without examination on any other point.

"3. That there is no direct operation of the Holy Spirit on the mind prior to baptism.

"4. That baptism procures the remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

"5. That the Scriptures are the only evidence of interest in Christ.

"6. That obedience places it in God's power to elect to salvation.

"7. That no creed is necessary for the church but the Scriptures as they stand. And

"8. That all baptized persons have the right to administer the ordinance of baptism."

These resolutions were scattered widely among other Baptist associations, and their boldness gave courage to many who had been waiting for the signal of attack. The Franklin Association of Kentucky passed them without change and warned all the churches against the errors of the Mahoning Association. In June, 1830, Tate's Creek Association excluded the Reformers, passed the Beaver resolutions, and added four more as follows:

"9. That there is no special call to the ministry.

"10. That the law given by God to Moses is abolished.

"11. That experimental religion is enthusiasm. And

"12. That there is no mystery in the Scriptures."




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