BAPTIST MADNESS – Second Round, Part 1

The First Round of Baptist Madness is complete! Here are the winners of Match Ups #7 & #8…

With 75% of the votes, Adrian Rogers wins versus Oswald Chambers.

With 75% of the votes, William Carey wins versus Thomas Helwys.

The updated bracket looks like this:

In the Baptist Madness Quarter Finals, I am going to showcase the thinking of each person through their own writings, such as sermons or letters they have written. I hope we will all benefit from even a brief opportunity to hear from these beloved people. SOOOO, here we go!

MATCH UP #9

ADONIRAM JUDSON
From a letter to his fiance, Ann Hasseltine:

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Adoniram Judson

“January 1, 1811. Tuesday Morning

It is with the utmost sincerity, and with my whole heart, that I wish you, my love, a happy new year. May it be a year in which your walk will be close with God; your frame calm and serene; and the road that leads you to the Lamb marked with purer light. May it be a year in which you will have more largely the spirit of Christ, be raised above sublunary things, and be willing to be disposed of in this world just as God shall please. As every moment of the year will bring you nearer the end of your pilgrimage, may it bring you nearer to God, and find you more prepared to hail the messenger of death as a deliverer and a friend. And now, since I have begun to wish, I will go on. May this be the year in which you will change your name; in which you will take a final leave of your relatives and native land; in which you will cross the wide ocean, and dwell on the other side of the world, among a heathen people. What a great change will this year probably effect in our lives! How very different will be our situation and employment! If our lives are preserved and our attempt prospered, we shall next new year’s day be in India, and perhaps wish each other a happy new year in the uncouth dialect of Hindostan or Burmah. We shall no more see our kind friends around us, or enjoy the conveniences of civilized life, or go to the house of God with those that keep holy day; but swarthy countenances will everywhere meet our eye, the jargon of an unknown tongue will assail our ears, and we shall witness the assembling of the heathen to celebrate the worship of idol gods. We shall be weary of the world, and wish for wings like a dove, that we may fly away and be at rest. We shall probably experience seasons when we shall be ‘exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. We shall see many dreary, disconsolate hours, and feel a sinking of spirits, anguish of mind, of which now we can form little conception. O, we shall wish to lie down and die. And that time may soon come. One of us may be unable to sustain the heat of the climate and the change of habits; and the other may say, with literal truth, over the grave—

‘By foreign hands thy dying eyes were closed;
By foreign hands thy decent limbs composed;
By foreign hands thy humble grave adorned;’

but whether we shall be honored and mourned by strangers, God only knows. At least, either of us will be certain of one mourner. In view of such scenes shall we not pray with earnestness ‘O for an overcoming faith,’ etc.?”

[Copied for WholesomeWords.org from The Life of Adoniram Judson by his son Edward Judson. New York: Anson D. F. Randolph & Company, 1883, http://www.wholesomewords.org/missions/bjudson8.html%5D

spurgeon
Charles Spurgeon

CHARLES SPURGEON
From the devotional, Morning and Evening:

“Ye must be born again.” – John 3:7

Regeneration is a subject which lies at the very basis of salvation, and we should be very diligent to take heed that we really are “born again,” for there are many who fancy they are, who are not. Be assured that the name of a Christian is not the nature of a Christian; and that being born in a Christian land, and being recognized as professing the Christian religion is of no avail whatever, unless there be something more added to it–the being “born again,” is a matter so mysterious, that human words cannot describe it. “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” Nevertheless, it is a change which is known and felt: known by works of holiness, and felt by a gracious experience. This great work is supernatural. It is not an operation which a man performs for himself: a new principle is infused, which works in the heart, renews the soul, and affects the entire man. It is not a change of my name, but a renewal of my nature, so that I am not the man I used to be, but a new man in Christ Jesus. To wash and dress a corpse is a far different thing from making it alive: man can do the one, God alone can do the other. If you have then, been “born again,” your acknowledgment will be, “O Lord Jesus, the everlasting Father, thou art my spiritual Parent; unless thy Spirit had breathed into me the breath of a new, holy, and spiritual life, I had been to this day dead in trespasses and sins.’ My heavenly life is wholly derived from thee, to thee I ascribe it. My life is hid with Christ in God.’ It is no longer I who live, but Christ who liveth in me.” May the Lord enable us to be well assured on this vital point, for to be unregenerate is to be unsaved, unpardoned, without God, and without hope.

[Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, March 6 – Morning, https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/morning-and-evening/2016/03/06%5D

MATCH UP #10

John Bunyan
John Bunyan

JOHN BUNYAN
From The Pilgrim’s Progress:

{12-19} Now, I saw, upon a time, when he was walking in the fields, that he was, as he was wont, reading in his book, and greatly distressed in his mind; and, as he read, he burst out, as he had done before, crying, “What shall I do to be saved?”

I saw also that he looked this way and that way, as if he would run; yet he stood still, because, as I perceived, he could not tell which way to go. I looked then, and saw a man named Evangelist coming to him and asked, Wherefore dost thou cry? [Job 33:23]

He answered, Sir, I perceive by the book in my hand, that I am condemned to die, and after that to come to judgement [Heb. 9:27]; and I find that I am not willing to do the first [Job 16:21], nor able to do the second. [Ezek. 22:14]

CHRISTIAN no sooner leaves the World but meets EVANGELIST, who lovingly him greets With tidings of another: and doth show Him how to mount to that from this below.

Then said Evangelist, Why not willing to die, since this life is attended with so many evils? The man answered, Because I fear that this burden is upon my back will sink me lower than the grave, and I shall fall into Tophet. [Isa. 30:33] And, Sir, if I be not fit to go to prison, I am not fit, I am sure, to go to judgement, and from thence to execution; and the thoughts of these things make me cry.

Then said Evangelist, If this be thy condition, why standest thou still? He answered, Because I know not whither to go. Then he gave him a parchment roll, and there was written within, Flee from the wrath to come. [Matt. 3.7]

The man therefore read it, and looking upon Evangelist very carefully, said, Whither must I fly? Then said Evangelist, pointing with his finger over a very wide field, Do you see yonder wicket-gate? [Matt. 7:13,14] The man said, No. Then said the other, Do you see yonder shining light? [Ps. 119:105; 2 Pet. 1:19] He said, I think I do. Then said Evangelist, Keep that light in your eye, and go up directly thereto: so shalt thou see the gate; at which, when thou knockest, it shall be told thee what thou shalt do.

So I saw in my dream that the man began to run. Now, he had not run far from his own door, but his wife and children, perceiving it, began to cry after him to return; but the man put his fingers in his ears, and ran on, crying, Life! life! eternal life! [Luke 14:26] So he looked not behind him, but fled towards the middle of the plain. [Gen. 19:17]

The neighbours also came out to see him run [Jer. 20:10]; and, as he ran, some mocked, others threatened, and some cried after him to return; and, among those that did so, there were two that resolved to fetch him back by force. The name of the one was Obstinate and the name of the other Pliable. Now, by this time, the man was got a good distance from them; but, however, they were resolved to pursue him, which they did, and in a little time they overtook him. Then said the man, Neighbours, wherefore are ye come? They said, To persuade you to go back with us. But he said, That can by no means be; you dwell, said he, in the City of Destruction, the place also where I was born: I see it to be so; and, dying there, sooner or later, you will sink lower than the grave, into a place that burns with fire and brimstone: be content, good neighbours, and go along with me.

[John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress, Chapter 1, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/131/131-h/131-h.htm%5D

John Leland
John Leland

JOHN LELAND
From his “Letter of Valediction” upon leaving Virginia in 1791

Slavery, in its best appearance, is a violent deprivation of the rights of nature, inconsistent with republican government, destructive of every humane and benevolent passion of the soul, and subversive to that liberty absolutely necessary to ennoble the human mind, let me ask whether Heaven has nothing in store for poor negroes better than these galling chains? If so, ye ministers of Jesus, and saints of the Most High, ye wrestling Jacobs, who have power with God, and can prevail over the angel, let your prayers, your ardent prayers, ascend to the throne of God incessantly, that He may pour the blessing of freedom upon the poor blacks. If public prayers of this kind, would raise the anger of tyrants, or embolden the slaves in insolence, let the sable watches of the night, in lonely solitude, be witnesses to your sincere longings after the liberty of your fellow creatures.

How would every benevolent heart rejoice to see the halcyon day appear — the great jubilee usher in, when the poor slaves, with a Moses at their head, should hoist up the standard, and march out of bondage! Or, what would be still more elating, to see the power of the gospel so effectual that the lion and the lamb should lie together — all former insults and revenges forgotten — the names of master and slave be buried — every yoke broken, and the oppressed go free — free but not empty away.

[John Leland, “Letter of Valediciton,” http://elderjohnleland.com/this-horrid-evil-slavery/ ]

Voting for these two match ups will remain open until Mar. 14.

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