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Primitive Baptists & the Turbulent 1830’s Gilbert Beebe (1800-1881)

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Presentation on theme: "Primitive Baptists & the Turbulent 1830’s Gilbert Beebe (1800-1881)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Primitive Baptists & the Turbulent 1830’s Gilbert Beebe ( )

2 A Turbulent Era The vitality and distinctive characteristics of this era [from 1830 to the Civil War] are not to be found in the rise of the common man, nor in the westward movement, nor in the rise of a self-consciousness within the laboring class, nor in the extension of the franchise among the male population of the country (as important as all these may be), but in the fact that all of these developments were vehicles through which Transcendentalists were greatly interested in these various movements and made them their own; in so doing they gave them a quality which they would have hardly possessed otherwise.” – C. Gregg Singer, A Theological Interpretation of American History, p. 52

3 Decline in the North Francis Wayland Baptist leader in the Northeast “Since the year 1820, we have established ten theological seminaries … Formerly we were obliged to repress the earnestness with which men were pressing into the ministry. Now we are unable, with every inducement that can be presented, to urge men into it… We are under a system which was intended to increase the efficiency of the ministry. It would seem, then, that while we have been laboring to improve the ministry, we have decreased its number and diminished its power.”

4 Decline in the North “In barbarous times, when men were in the dark, it was believed that the success of the Gospel was according to the outpourings of the Holy Spirit, but in this age of light and improvement, it is estimated according to the pourings out of the purse.” A new order of things has taken place in the religious department, since I began to preach. Then, when I went to meeting, I expected to hear the preacher set forth the ruin and recovery of man, and labor with heavenly zeal to turn many to righteousness … But now, when I go to meeting, I hear high encomiums on Sunday-schools, tract societies, Bible societies, missionary societies, anti-mason societies, etc.” – Letter to a friend in Kentucky in 1830 John Leland Virginia pastor that concluded his ministry in New England

5 ‘New Measures’ Encounter Opposition Finney’s cunning arts of “revivalism” were largely unappreciated in the South prior to the Civil War: “Slavery seemed to shut it out from the South … the Spirit of God seemed to be grieved away from them. There seemed to be no place for Him in the hearts of the Southern people at that time.” – Charles G. Finney, Memoirs.

6 Kehukee Declaration  Kehukee Association convened in Halifax, NC  Consisted of 35 churches  Adopted in 1827: “A Resolution Against the Modern Missionary Movement and Other Institutions of Men”

7 The Black Rock Committee  A Meeting of Particular Baptist elders in Black Rock, Maryland  Convened in 1832  Issued an address that most clearly articulated the distinictives of Primitive Baptists  Met again in 1834 to resolve its separation from mainline Baptists.

8 The Black Rock Committee Committee of Elders present: John Healy William Gilmore Edward Choat Samuel Trott Thomas Poteet Thomas Barton Edward J. Rees Gilbert Beebe Gabriel Conklin Henry Moon

9 The Black Rock Committee Gilbert Beebe ( )  Powerful orator from New York  Fiery iconoclast  Influential Editor of the Signs of the Times  Most articulate early spokesman for the Primitive Baptists

10 “Anti-means”  Mission societies  Tract and Bible societies  Salaried ministers  Sunday schools  College & Theological Schools  “Protracted meetings” or “revival-ism”  “Anxious seats” or altar calls

11 Andrew Fuller Fuller’s The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation appeared in 1837, and thus caught the eye of the first generation of Primitive Baptist leaders. Hence even today, PB’s reserve a special contempt for Fuller and all evangelical Calvinists (called “Fuller- ites”) that offer Christ in the gospel.


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