8/19 Will the Baptist Preacher Dance?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Justified, Aug 19, 2002.

  1. Justified

    Justified
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    This Day in Baptist History, E. Wayne Thompson and David L. Cummins

    8-19 Will the Baptist Preacher Dance?
    Scripture: I John 2:15 - 17

    We have previously considered the Reverend Hezekiah Smith (1-22), who pastured for forty years in Haverhill, MS, in a church that he had established. His ministry included not only his pastoral history and Chaplin in Washington’s army but also his extensive travels in evangelistic tours through out New Hampshire and Maine where he founded Baptist churches.

    On august 19, 1770, Smith climaxed several months of itinerant preaching in new Hampshire with the formation of a Baptist church in Stratham, NH.(1) He had a continually exciting and fruitful ministry.

    On one of his evangelistic-missionary trips into Maine, certain noteworthy events took place. Late one night he arrived at a hotel where he sought lodging for the night.
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    A gathering crowd soon made him acquainted with the fact that a ball was to take place…that evening. Intending soon to seek retirement of his room, he paid no attention to the…party near him, but was warming himself by the parlour fireside, in preparation for repose, when, to his surprise, he was waited upon by a deputation, with the request that he should join in the mirth of the evening. He politely declined; but they urged his acceptance. Again he begged to be excused, and again they insisted on having his company. At length, overcome by their entreaties, he accompanied them to the ball, where the assembly was waiting to commence the dance. His appearance being that of a gentleman, the company was desirous of showing him some marked respect; and united in inviting him to take the most prominent part in the performance. Finding himself, involuntarily, in this predicament, he resolved to make the best of it, and turn the whole affair, if possible, to some moral benefit. So, after having acknowledged, in his own easy and pleasant manner, the attention which had been shown him, he remarked that he had always made it a principle, through life, never to engage in any employment, without having first asked the blessings of God; and he presumed that the courtesy of the company would farther extended to him, while he engaged in this imperative act of duty. Upon this, he immediately commenced a prayer. The singular turn which was thus given to the anticipated amusement of the evening, produced a remarkable effect. The commanding tones of his voice; his impressive style of supplicatory address; the fervour of his prayer, and the solemn allusions made in it, riveted first upon himself every eye, and then upon his sentiments every heart, so that, before he closed, many were dissolved in tears.

    Finding, as he ended, the way quire prepared, he began… (an) address to the consciences of his audience, and continued it some length of time. The result was most happy. Suffice it to say, there was no…dance there, that evening. The company broke up with pensive thoughts. Many, who, to that hour, had been immersed in the…dissipating pleasures of this life, now, resolved to break off their sins by righteousness, and seek a more solid and substantial good. A work of grace, of uncommon interest, commenced in the neighborhood, and, on the return of Mr. Smith in the following year to that region, he had the pleasure of receiving many of this same party, who had been raised…to a new life…of…Christian character.(2)
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    (1) Albert Henry Newman, A History of Baptist Churches in the United States (Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1915), p.267

    (2) William B. Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit (New York: Robert Carter and Bros., 1865), 6:99 – 100.

    "It is always better to stand up for conservatism, then to fall into liberalism" Justified Version ;)

    [ August 19, 2002, 02:05 PM: Message edited by: Justified ]
     
  2. go2church

    go2church
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    OK, so when forced to attend an event you don't want to simply pray before the "meal" and everyone will fall into a pile of tears. :confused: Got it!
     
  3. Justified

    Justified
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    With the power of the Holy Spirit and a man that is Holy before God, YES! :eek:

    "It is always better to stand up for conservatism, then to fall into liberalism" Justified Version ;)
     

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