W001 AN EXPLANATION OF THE DIFFICULTY BETWEEN ZION HILL CHURCH & AN ELDER

It is well known to all intelligent readers, that the Baptist denomination in the United States has been separated into two distinct sects, denominated Old and New School- or Primitive and Missionary Baptists. This separation was caused by the introduction of the modern Missionary System, conceived and brought forth by the English Baptists about sixty years ago. Previous to 1792, this proselyting system was practiced only by the Roman Catholics.

 

When the Missionary scheme was first imported from Great Britain about forty years ago, it was so unlike anything the Baptists had ever seen, and so inconsistent with the teachings of the Holy Scriptures that it found no favor among them. Dr. Judson, the great leader of American Missions, admits that when he and an associate missionary first took passage for India, no ministering brother, and but few Christian friends, dared risk their reputation so much as to accompany them to the ship-now how changed!  It must have been exceedingly disgusting and loathsome to Christians of that day, for no Protestant denomination was willing to countenance it, or bid it God-speed.  They viewed it as a miniature image of the Catholic beast, generated with a milder exterior.  Its final success is a striking illustration of the truth of the poet, viz:

 

“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,

That  to be hated, needs but to be seen

Yet seen to oft, familiar with her face

We first endure, then pity, then embrace.â€

 

 

However objectionable this Fuller heresy may have appeared to all Protestant denominations of that day, no honest and candid man of common intelligence will deny the truth of Dr. Judson’s admission, relative to the great change in the Baptist denomination.  Yes, this great change is a lamentable truth, which will some day be understood by the people with bitterness of soul.

 

Mr. Benedict, a missionary Baptist historian, in his late history, page 794, says “ Similar agitations and alterations were experienced in all parts of the country, when the orthodox portion of our denomination adopted Mr. Fuller’s exposition of the Atonement, in preference to the “old particular and limited planâ€â€.  Again, Mr. Benedict, on page 530, says: “Our old Ministers in this region, half a century since, would have denounced as unsound in the faith, the great mass of our community of the present day, both in Europe and America, Fuller and Hall among the rest.â€Again, on page 458, Mr. Benedict says: “This is the way  to do the thing in our growing cities and town; and if our people had been half awake to Enterprises of this kind half a century ago, what augmentations might have been made to our communityâ€.

 

It is needless to quote more from Missionary Baptist authority to prove a fact which all men of common intelligence know, and all honest and candid men will acknowledge, that the New School, or Missionary Baptists are not now, what the Baptists were previous to the introduction of the Fuller heresy.  Since that time, however, I have, with many others, been grieved to witness the gradual introduction of error, both in faith and practice.  Consequently I have been, and am now painfully  convinced that the Baptist church or churches of that denomination, as they are popularly known, are not now as a body what they formerly were; that they have widely  departed from the faith and simplicity of the gospel of Christ.

 

I shall now proceed to show that the  Mississippi Baptist Association now stands identified with the New School or Missionary Baptists.  This Association has been occasionally annoyed by the modern Missionary system ever since its introduction into the United States.  Previous to 1847, however, she had , in the main, kept aloof form this Fuller heresy.  In that year, she was solicited by the Mississippi Baptist State Convention to aid in a missionary effort.  This request from the Convention was simply laid before the churches for them to dispose of as they thought proper.  Since that time, however, the missionary spirit has been gaining ground rapidly in the Association.  And now raising funds for Missionary and Benevolent Enterprises is pressed upon the churches as a duty.

 

Extract from the last minutes of the Association, viz:

“In view of the great facilities now offered for

Missionary and other benevolent Enterprises in

which all may engage, we most affectionately urge

upon the Churches the propriety of their taking

collections annually, at least, and send up to

the Association, designating the object to which

they wish them applied.

 

“Therefore, be it resolved that we request every Pastor

in our bounds to use his best endeavor  for collecting

and sending up monies for Benevolent purposes with

Regularity and system.â€

 

The last session of the Association also “Appointed a Committee to take charge of the Missionary and Benevolent funds sent up by the churches.â€ン  In 1851, she opened a correspondence with the Mississippi Baptist State Convention, and appointed a treasurer of the Missionary funds.  Since that time she has been in regular correspondence with that body, which is the great head and centre of the Missionary Baptists of Mississippi.

 

I shall now proceed to show the position of the church in relation to Missionism from which I withdrew my membership.

 

In December, 1852 I introduced the following resolution before the conference and moved for its adoption,viz:

 

“And as there are so many institutions of men, called

Benevolent institutions, and this church believing it

to be her duty to provide for the peace and harmony of

her members, she therefore declares non-fellowship with

all the unscriptural institutions of the day, such as

theological schools, state conventions, Missionary

societies, Bible societies, Tract societies, and Temperance

societies (so called) and all their kindred relations,

holding them to be unscriptural.â€

 

This resolution was voted down by a large majority.

 

In March following, I presented to the conference my withdrawal in writing.  In April, they voted my exclusion, the particulars of which will be given in its proper place. Subsequently, I call on the church for a certified copy of the proceedings and received one, which commences, thus: “Whereas, at the regular conference of the Zion Hill Church, held on the 18th day of December, A.D.1852, Rowland Wilkinson, a member of the said church presented a certain preamble and resolution for the action of the church, declaring a non-fellowship for certain and sundry religious institutions with which said church felt it her duty to cooperate,â€etc. By reference to the preamble and resolution, which are given above, the reader will see the “certain and sundry religious institutions with which said church felt it her duty to cooperateâ€are the whole brood of bewitching inventions of men which constitute the modern missionary system.

 

I introduced the above mentioned preamble and resolution for the purpose of promoting the peace and harmony of the church, and guarding her against the Fuller heresy which had crept into the Association.  The preamble and resolution was lost, 4 voting in the affirmative and 20 in the negative.

 

The Moderator then called on me to know if I was willing to abide the decision of the church, to which I asked and obtained time for reflection- the time being indefinite.  Nevertheless, at the regular conference, setting the 19th day of February, 1853, a committee of three was appointed by the church to visit and request me and those who voted with me for the adoption of the preamble and resolution, to attend the regular conference in March and give an expression to the church, whether we would abide the decision above given or not.

 

March 19th,1853, conference met pursuant to adjournment-unfinished business called for-the committee appointed in February made their report, which was received and the committee discharged.  Being present, I presented my answer in writing, which read as follows, viz:

 

“Amite County, Mississippi, March 11th,1853.

To the Zion Hill Church, Amite County, Miss.

It is now more than twenty-seven years since

I became a member of the Baptist church; and

During the last twelve years, I have been a

Minister in that denomination.  At the time

of my connection with the church, I believed

the faith and practice of this professed body

of Christ to be in accordance with the teachings

of the Holy Word of God, being founded upon

the Prophets and Apostles, Jesus Christ Himself

being the chief corner stone.  Since that time,

however, I have, with many others, been grieved

to witness the gradual introduction of error, both

in faith and practice.  Consequently, I have been,

and am now, painfully convinced that the Baptist

Church or churches of that denomination, as they

are popularly known, are not now as a body what

they formerly were; that they have widely departed

from the faith and simplicity of the Gospel of

Christ, which together with the scenes of trial

and persecution through which I have lately been

called to pass, have at last compelled me to

believe that the prevailing ministry and the

churches of the Baptist denomination so called,

are not the servants of Christ or the bodies

which are governed by the laws of his kingdom.

 

In thus expressing myself, I would not be under-

stood as expressing the belief that there are not

those in the ministry and churches whom the great

Head of the church has set apart to the work, or

who are subjects of His spiritual kingdom-

purchased and redeemed by the precious blood of

Christ.  It is believed, however, that they have

become entangled with the yoke of bondage, and that

they do not truly rejoice in the liberty wherewith

Christ makes His people free.  And this they would

openly acknowledge if it were not that their

character and reputation would be in jeopardy.

 

My own personal observation and experience, however,

have convinced me as before observed, that the

churches and ministry have departed from the faith

and simplicity of the gospel.  And such being the

honest conviction of my mind, after much prayerful

and serious examination of the Word of God, I must,

however painful and self-denying, hereby formally

withdraw my membership from the Church and from the

ministry;  and inform you that I shall not hereafter

consider myself  in anywise connected with the Baptist

church, ministry or denomination as it is now known

or understood.

 

My reasons for this step, among others which might be

mentioned, are as follows:  Because this church has

recently refused to provide for the peace and harmony

of her members against unscriptural institutions of men,

of late origin; because ministers who have not enjoyed

superior worldly advantages or literary qualifications,

but who have nevertheless been greatly blessed of God

in the work of the ministry are now, generally but

lightly esteemed and crowded aside to make room for

those who have not been called of God, but have merely

received the literary honors of a college or the diplomas

of a theological seminary; because these professed

ministers, uncalled by the Spirit, have not dispensation

of the gospel committed to them, but are rather such as

teach for doctrines the commandments of men; because

churches under the influence of such a ministry must and

will depart from the gospel of Christ, both in faith and

practice; because many schemes and inventions of men

have been sought out and introduced into the churches,

which are nowhere authorized by the word of God, but are

contrary thereto in word and spirit; because conventions,

associations, councils, ministerial conferences, and

other professedly religious institutions, are of

human origin and invention, and as at present con-

ducte, they greatly interfere with and impair the

independence of churches,both in faith and practice.

These, in brief, are some of my reasons, among others

of a similar nature, which have convinced me,  as before

remarked, that the ministry and churches have departed

from the faith and simplicity of the gospel- and such

departures are allowed and tolerated in the churches,

although in the beginning it was not so.

 

For years, however, I have been vainly hoping there

would ere long, be a reformation in these respects; but

my own recent experience has convinced me that the evil

has so generally pervaded the entire mass as to preclude

all hope.  Therefore, I am compelled to withdraw as a

minister and member of the Baptist Church, as it is

now popularly called.  I shall not, however, thereby

yield my position as a professed believer in the Baptist

faith, as such, and would still humbly acknowledge my

belief in these sentiments and principles which so

eminently distinguished the Baptist denomination in this

country, during the early period of its history.

 

Since that time,however, a great and deplorable change

has taken place, so that the evil consequences which the

earlier fathers of the Baptist cause confidently predicted

and feared, are now more than realized.  Large and

powerful monied institutions have been established for

the purpose of converting souls and otherwise promoting

the Cause of Him, whose kingdom is not of this world.

Thousands upon thousands are annually lavished upon

professed ministers of the cross, the officers, subordinates,

and employers, whose well-paid agency is required in the

collection of funds for carrying out the avowed purpose

of their professed religious establishments, whose life,

spirit, and existence is money- and money continually.

 

With these views therefore, and the painful conviction of

my mind in respect to the present state of the ministry

and churches, I must, as a professed disciple of Christ,

however unworthy, declare non-fellowship with the new

schemes,inventions, doctrines and commandments of men,

which now so extensively prevail in the modern Baptist

churches,and which are the unfruitful works of

darkness and should be reproved by all who seek the

old paths,and who would earnestly contend for the faith

once delivered unto the saints.  For this I expect to

have my name cast out as evil, but in every persecution

and trial and reproach which I am called to suffer for

bearing my feeble testimony in behalf of Christ and His

Truth, I would count it all joy, choosing rather to

suffer affliction with the despised people of God than

to enjoy the applause and popularity of the enemies of

the gospel for a season, esteeming the reproaches of

Christ greater riches than the treasures of the kingdoms

of this world, or the glory of them.

 

In withdrawing from a denomination with which my earliest

religious associations and sympathies have been so long

and intimately connected and formally separating myself

from the communion and fellowship of those among that

people, with whom I have so often taken sweet counsel,

and whom I must esteem as honored servants of the cross,

and partaking of the common salvation, I feel it to be

one of the most painful and self-denying acts of my life,

thus to sever a relationship which was once so endearing.

It is not, however, because I love them less, but as I

would humbly trust, it is because of the attachment which

I entertain towards the institutions, ordinances, and

truth of Him who is alone King in Zion.  I can, indeed,

truly sympathize with these in their anxieties and fears,

and would fervently hope that they may yet be delivered

from all spiritual bondage, and once more rejoice in the

liberty of Christ.

 

But deliverance from the corruption of the gospel, and

from the unholy and oppressive influence which men and

seducers from the Truth are now exerting in the denomi-

nation, can never be experienced, while going in the way

of Cain, and running greedily after the error of Balaam

for reward.  The people of God are commanded to renounce

the hidden things of dishonesty and to have no fellowship

with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove

them, being assured by the Word of Him who cannot lie, that

evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving

and being deceived.

 

And such is the testimony of the word of God, which is as

a light that shinest in a dark place.  In obedience to the

teachings of that word, and my own convictions of duty,

I hereby communicate this letter of withdrawal and

declare myself, henceforth, nor longer in connection with

the new order of Baptists as they are popularly known and

understood.â€

 

                                                              ROWLAND WILKINSON

 

________________________________________________________________________

 

 

NOTE-Having obtained the Report of the Committee appointed by the Mississippi Association to settle the difficulty between Zion Hill and Mount Olive Churches, since the above was prepared for the press, I present the reader with a short extract from the Report. (See Report Page 8)

 

“After the reading of the above answer, on motion, it was, Resolved  That this church call a presbytery of  ministers to attend and sit in Council with this Church at its next conference, in relation to the above answer of Bro. Wilkinson and the charges therein made, and Rev. W. Clark, with a  member from Ramah Church; Rev. A. McKenzie, with a member from Galilee Church; and Rev. H. McKnight, with a member from Liberty Church, be invited to attend at said conference, and that two members each from New Providence, East Fork, and Mount Zion Churches be invited to seats with this Church at said conference.

 

On Saturday, April 16th, 1853, Members from the following Churches were present, and were, on motion, constituted a Committee to examine the action of the Church, to-wit: Galilee, New Providence, Liberty, East Fork, Mars Hill, Ramah, Mount Zion, and Mount

Olive.

 

On Motion, the Church requested the Committee to examine into the action and proceedings of this Church in relation to the difficulty between this Church and Bro. R. Wilkinson, and others and to make a decision thereon.

 

Motion before the Committee, That the action and conduct of  this Church in relation to the resolutions offered by R. Wilkinson are proper and scriptural-which, said motion, was decided, unanimously, in the affirmative.â€

 

As I was an ordained Minister,  it was unanimously, “ Resolved by the church to call a Presbytery of Elders, viz: Elds. Clark , McKenzie, and McKnight, with helps from six other churches to sit  in council with this church, to deliberate upon the difficulty now existing between this church and  R. Wilkinson – he being  requested  by the Moderator to attend the next conference.â€

 

April 16th, 1853, conference met pursuant to adjournment – organized for business.  Elds. Clark, McKnight and a number of helps from other churches being present, the proceedings of the church relating  to the difficulty above mentioned, was read from December 18th, 1852, up to March, 1853.  The Moderator then stated the beginning of the difficulty, which was substantially as follows, viz:  “In August last two members were sent, not by the church but by a caucus of six or seven members, to inform me that I could not preach any more at Zion Hill Church – that I had advanced doctrine which they could not  receive – that I and their Pastor were preaching crosswise – that I might go to other churches and preach for them, etc.  I proposed that if they  would show my error, I  would retract ;  but this they did not attempt.  I, then, requested them to prefer a charge against me in order that the matter might be fairly investigated; but, this, also, they declined doing.

 

The Moderator then called upon the helps “ to say whether the church had done right in voting down the resolution presented in  December by R. Wilkinsonâ€.  After a few brief remarks, it was unanimously resolved by the helps that the church had done right.  The clerk of the church then presented a preamble and resolutions for my exclusion, which the church unanimously adopted.  Those who voted with me in December presented the church with a short written preamble approving my course and formally withdrawing  from the church, after which they  were likewise excluded.  The church then unanimously resolved to call on me for my credentials, which was done by the Moderator.  To this demand, though I received them not of the church and, consequently, she had no right to make any such demand.  I answered that if they would prove that I had departed from the faith and simplicity of the gospel and the true principles upon which I had obtained them, then I would give them up – but not before.

 

This, they did not attempt – this, they have not  yet attempted, for the simple reason that they know it cannot be done.  Hence their course, as manifested, is to pursue me with the power of majorities, regardless of the rectitude of my position.  I  maintained my position to be the true principles upon which I was ordained – and after I and those who acted with me had  formally withdrawn from them, they not only denied us the right of a minority to withdraw from them, in consequence of a difference of principle without the brand of exclusion; but, contrary to all principles of propriety, they attempted to seize my credentials.  The only offence of which I had been guilty was, because from a conscientious discharge of duty, I had formally withdrawn from them and in Christian candor told them that they had departed from the faith, practice and simplicity of the gospel.

 

I was then Pastor of Mount Olive Church, and the latter part of that same month, she entered up the following preamble and resolution, viz:

 

                       Franklin County, State of Mississippi

                        Mount Olive Church, April 30th, 1853

                 We being well acquainted with the principle of doctrine and

                  faith held by Elder R. Wilkinson, which has caused a difficulty

                  between him and Zion Hill Church , in which duty compelled

                  him to publicly withdraw from the fellowship of that church,

                  we having fully examined his letter of withdrawal, and the

                   reasons therein contained, do heartily approve of this course

                   in opposing the unscriptural institutions of the day, and

                   traditions of men.  Done in conference and signed by order of

                   of the church.

                                                                    Madison Whittington, C. C.

 

At the next session of the Association , which convened at New Providence Church October 1st, 1853, the Zion Hill Church complained of the course of the Mount Olive Church, whereupon the Association “appointed a special committee to report respecting the difficulty between Zion Hill Church and Mount Olive Churchesâ€.

 

“The Committee, to whom the matter of grievance of the

Zion Hill Church against the Mount Olive Church was

referred, beg leave to report respectively as follows:

that from the facts which have been presented to your

Committee is of the opinion that a difficulty exists between

said churches likely to disturb, if it has not already done

so, their peace and  harmony.  That your Committee is,

also, of the opinion that while this Association claims no

authority to interfere in the internal affairs of the  churches

nor to meddle with their government, yet as one of its

objects is to promote the union of churches, and to settle

difficulties which may arise among the churches in her

union as an advisory body, that this Association, as far

as she has influence , ought to endeavor to remove  the

grievance existing , and to settle the said difficulty.  Your

Committee deeply deplores the  existence of said difficulty

and trusts the great Head of the Church may remove the

same, and bless any proper effort for said purpose.  Your

Committee begs leave to suggest that this Association

appoint a judicious Committee of brethren to wait on said

churches and endeavor by their advice and assistance to

settle the same.  Your Committee therefore offers the

following resolution for adoption, viz:  “Resolved, That

a Committee of fifteen members of this Association be

appointed to wait upon Zion Hill and Mount Olive Churches,

and by their advice and assistance endeavor to settle the

grievance or difficulty existing between them.â€ン 

.

“On Motion of Brother W.F.Cain,Resolved, That the

Committee appointed to meet with the Mount Olive and

Zion Hill Churches to settle the difficulty between

them, be instructed to meet at Mount Olive Church on

Saturday before the fifth Sunday in 1854, and that the

Zion Hill Church by a Committee meet at said time and

place.â€

 

In pursuance of the foregoing proceedings of the Association, three only of the fifteen met the Zion Hill Committee at Mount Olive Church on the 28th day of January, 1854.  The three organized for business by appointing Elder Wilson Clark, Chairman and G.P. Claughton, Clerk.

 

The Zion Hill Committee charged the Mount Olive Church with retaining as their Pastor, a member whom their church had excluded, and presented as their only testimony against me, the act of the church voting that R. Wilkinson be excluded.  The Zion Hill Committee, well knowing the previous action of Mount Olive Church relative to my course, as above stated, preferred no charge of disorder against me-neither did they attempt to prove that I had departed from the faith and practice and simplicity of the gospel.  But on the contrary, they relied upon the power of a majority to exclude, and acted, before the Mount Olive Church as if a minority had no right to be heard on principle, and as if a third party had no right to decide on principle the propriety or impropriety of my exclusion.  The “judicious committeeâ€sent by the Association “to wait on said churches and endeavor by their advice and assistance to settle the difficultyâ€instead of acting the part of disinterested and impartial advisors and judges, strenuously defended the course of the Zion Hill Church; and the Moderator, in his concluding remarks,used some very unbecoming language towards the Mount Olive church.  Nevertheless, the Mount Olive church denied my exclusion being according to gospel order.

 

I feel constrained to show the different course pursued by the Association under somewhat similar circumstances.  In 1839, the Hepzibah church complained to the Association that Jackson church had received and retained in their fellowship, Elder R. Courtney, whom she had previously excluded.

 

Whereupon, it was,

“Resolved, That this Association recommend the above churches

to settle the difficulty among themselves; and for the accom-

plishment of that object, to call such helps from sister

churches as they may think proper.â€

 

But, instead of a similar course towards Mount Olive church, letting her take part in selecting helps, the Association promptly appointed a Committee of fifteen in pursuance of the example set by the Association, we might have seen thirty men riding up to Mount Olive church for the purpose of overhauling her affairs.  The enormity of such a course and the gross inconsistency with the previous course of the Association, are the only probable reasons known to me, why twelve out of fifteen failed to attend.  If I am not mistaken in this conclusion, and if they have begun to reflect on the inconsistency of their course, I still hope they may soon see the great injustice that they are doing those who honestly and sincerely differ with them on gospel principles.

 

I now purpose to give a few brief extracts from the circular letter of this Association in 1845, showing her views of faith and practice at that time, which are precisely the same for which I still contend.  These were the views that the members of Zion Hill church “could not receiveâ€in August, 1852; and , hence, I was requested to preach them no more at Zion Hill Church.  These were the views they considered “crosswiseâ€to the preaching of their Pastor at that time:

 

“1. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some

shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doc-

trines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience

seared with a hot iron.â€

 

2. As we have received the charge and exhortation from Divine

authority, we must see to it very carefully, that it be really the Christian faith which we believer, profess, propagate, and contend for-not the creeds, and doctrines, and man-made abstracts, called faith-nothing of later date than the inspired writings of the holy evangelists and apostles.  Their sayings are faithful and worthy of all acceptation.  It is the faith once delivered to the saints, to which nothing should be added or taken from.  Here let us abide-here we are safe-if we stir a step further, we are in danger of being entangled or seduced.

 

3.â€From these texts, it is plain that all means and instrumentality

which was to be used to affect the salvation of His people, were

chosen at the same time.  It is the opinion of some of our modern

preachers, that this doctrine should not be preached, because it

perplexes the minds of men, and some have been wicked enough

to say, after they had come in the church, by acknowledging and

professing to believe the doctrine of Election and Predestination,

and for several years try to preach it, that they now prefer a

universal system.  Such men must  be unstable in all their ways,

and must have used hypocrisy when they came into the church-

but their objection is not the question to be decided.  Is it a Bible

doctrine?  Has God revealed it in His word?  If so, then it ought

to be proclaimed throughout the length and breadth of the land,

and earnestly contended for as part of that faith once delivered to

the saints.â€

 

4.â€When Christ preached this doctrine the people murmured, and

so they do yet.  He told them in Joh 6:44 “No man can come to

me except the Father which hath sent me draw himâ€but the creeds

of man-made faith, tell poor sinners that it rests upon their

voluntary acts.  This contradiction we leave for the Lord to decide.â€

 

5. “The law by which the church is to be governed is a part of

that faith which we contend for.  Everything that God requires us

to do is plainly taught in the Bible.â€

 

The reader will recollect that the circular from which the above extracts were taken was written in 1845; and now, not only those who rule the Association, but the writer of the circular, also, are holding the fellowshipping and bidding Godspeed to doctrines and practices which are “crosswiseâ€with the teachings of that circular.   It has been mainly through the yielding influence of the writer of the circular that modern Missionism has obtained a permanent foothold in the Association.  And, yet,he knows that the practice of modern Missionism is not “plainly taught in the Bible.â€ン  He knows that they rely mainly on money for the advancement of Christ’s kingdom.  He has good reason to believe that they would have accepted Simon Magus’ money-because he knows that they do accept money for life memberships in their “certain and sundry religious institutions.â€ン  What shall I say to these things? I will merely use his own language and say this inconsistency I “leave for the Lord to decide.â€

 

And now, friendly reader, in conclusion of the whole matter, I am willing to admit that the Missionary Baptists may be as sincere in their convictions of duty as I am.  But I do contend that as professed Christians, they should be as candid as their honored leaders, Fuller, Judson, Benedict and others- who are honest enough to acknowledge the great change that has taken place in the denomination, and who glory in that change.  Then honorable principles would require them to let me and those who believer and act with me continue on the “old particular planâ€and they follow their “new planâ€without trying to destroy us because we honestly differ with them.  We have done them no harm.  We are simply contending for the “old particular planâ€on which the churches of this Association were organized.

 

We acknowledge that we are few, and that they are many; but this fact is no scripture proof of the propriety of their position.  The Lord has promised His people that, where two or three are met together in His name, He would be one in their midst.  A smaller number could not meet.  This should teach majorities at least a  becoming deference for the views of the minorities, in the discharge of what they believe to a conscientious duty.

 

In 1830, a split having taken place in the Box Creek church, each party claimed to be the church, and each sent up a letter and delegates to the Union Association, and that Association “Resolved, That we receive and recognize the minority as the Box Creek Church.â€ン  I mention this circumstance to show that though a majority may exercise the power of exclusion, yet disinterested and impartial judges may decide that the majority are wrong and that the minority are standing upon the true platform of principles upon which the church was organized.

 

This same Zion Hill Church, in 1844, complained to the Association against the Liberty church for being too slack concerning the faith- and in 1853, this same Zion Hill church complained to the Association against Mount Olive church because she is contending for the faith- and sustaining those who believe and act  with her in maintaining what she believes to be gospel order.

 

Every individual of common intelligence upon the subject, throughout this broad land, whether a Jew or Gentile, Saint or Sinner, Catholic or Protestant knows that the New School or Missionary Baptist Denomination does not now preach and practice the same which the Regular Baptists did in former times.  And, as a concerted effort, originated in Zion Hill church, is still persisted in, for the purpose of destroying me by traducing my character, I feel that I have a right to appeal to Ceasar or the public mind.  The question which I wish arbitrated is no whether I am right and they are wrong, in our religious views, but it is this-“Whether I am preaching and practicing or they are preaching and practicing consistent with the platform of principles upon which the Zion Hill church was organized.â€With these remarks, I am willing to submit the question,and leave the results with Him who has all power in heaven and earth; whose kingdom is not of this world; and Who alone is King in Zion.

                                                ROWLAND WILKINSON