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Jesse Mercer On Alien Immersion

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Mark Osgatharp, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp New Member

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    In another thread I posted some excerpts from the circular letter on the subject of alien immersion written by Jesse Mercer and published by the Georgia State Association in the year 1811. This circular stands as a historic monument to the existence of the principles of Landmarkism before the rise of Landmarkism as distinct movement among Baptists.

    I have seen this circular quoted in several different books, but today for the first time (through the wonder of the internet) read it's complete text. It reflects landmark high church ecclesiology in rare form.

    On thing particularly interesting about it is that it ties the Baptist pratice of rejecting alien immersion to their commitment "to remain a chaste virgin to Christ". A Landmarker couldn't have said it any better.

    Remember, it was written for and published by the Georgia State Association in the year 1811, while Alexander Campbell was still a Presbyterian and before J.M. Pendleton, A.C. Dayton, or J.R. Graves were born.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  2. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member

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    One correction, if I am not mistaken. This is the old Georgia Baptist Association, the oldest Baptist association in Georgia. It is not the present Georgia Baptist Convention, but it might have risen to almost the equivalent of a state association in its early days. Today it exists as a local association.

    Some of my Parker & Vaughn ancestors were members of the Baptist Church at White Plains, GA, which was (and still is) a member of the Georgia Baptist Association. They were, as far as I can tell, all of the Landmark-type persuasion, though some of the Parkers went with the Convention side of the BGCT/BMAT split.
     
  3. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp New Member

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    Brother Vaughn,

    It is my understanding that the association under consideration is the association founded in 1822 and originally known as the "General Association of Georgia Baptists" and changed, in 1827, to the "Georgia Baptist Convention".

    Here is a link to an online Southern Baptist Historical Library And Archives article which gives this information.

    Mark Osgatharp
     
  4. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member

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    I believe you are correct about the General Association of Georgia Baptists and the Georgia Baptist Convention. But the Georgia Baptist Association predates them by a number of years - organized 1784, I think. It doesn't particularly matter as far as Mercer's views are concerned. And he was active in all these associations/conventions.
     
  5. Erasmus

    Erasmus New Member

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    Just wondering, who are the prominent Baptist historians/theologians today who are successionists? Since I am looking for some research on modern Landmarkism, what books written in the second half of the twentieth century still support successionism? Thanks for the help.
     
  6. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member

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    In connection with Mercer, here are a few query answers from the Georgia Baptist Association.

    No date, but some time after 1785
    "Were the twelve disciples, mentioned in the 19th chapter of Acts, re-baptized or not?"
    "Ans.--We believe they were baptized again, not because John's baptism was not Christian Baptism, but because, we conceive John did not baptise them, and that their former baptism was disorderly."

    1810
    "Should any person be received into our communion on a baptism from a Methodist or Paedo-baptist minister? And if not, what shall be done with those who may have been received on such baptism? Ans--In the negative; and recommend that such as have been received on such baptism be re-baptized."

    "Found in the Minutes of 1824:
    'Should a person on profession of his faith, receive baptism by immersion at the hands of a minister who is of the same faith, but of another and Arminian denomination, on a change of sentiments and a desire to come into union with a regular Baptist church, be required to submit to the ordinance again? Answer in the affirmative.'"

    From "History of the Georgia Baptist Association"
    compiled at the Request of that Body by Jesse Mercer, Washington, GA, 1838, pp. 127, 133, 136
     
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