Friday, March 4, 2016

The Journal of Joseph Craig - Chapter 2

One of the great byproducts of the Internet and the digital age is its working in saving great books in history that are at risk of being lost. In my effort to research my ancestors who were ministers like myself, this work has become even more prescient to me. One of my ancestors (a Great uncle) was a man named Joseph Craig who was among the Travelling Church who came to Kentucky in 1781 fleeing Anglican persecution in Virginia. In the coming weeks, I want to offer his journal which gives a personal and unique insight in pioneer American Baptists life. Thanks to the Internet, is story is being preserved for future generations.

Chapter 2

It seemed to me from the first of my conviction, that God had something for me to do in the preaching work. Though I knew it not;---yet I preached in a private way to all which whom I had an opportunity of conversing, I went twice to the parson, and to my father's family; and I often expostulated with my neighbors which I chanced to meet them, as I was the first one who professed conversion among them. But after I had a great feeling sense of pardon and the Lord's love manifested to me, I got to moving and fell into great darkness for some months. At length, being at Brother Waller's meeting the magistrates were ordering to prison and brother Chiles was exhorting near them, I was praying the power of God came on me, and it seemed to me, drove from my heart all sin and darkness, and my love to God seemed plainer and stronger than ever. And this scripture was immediately applied to me: "Now you are clean through the word I have spoken to you." And might I say with the apostle, "Perfect love casteth out all fear." I prayed God aloud for sometime. It seemed as if I never got so low and full of unbelief again. Under my time of coldness and darkness, my preaching seemed to be but little blessed, but now being quickened again, I was enable to go on my way rejoicing.

I traveled with Brother Lewis and Brother Chiles. Chiles said "I was to him as Titus was to Paul." About this time, brother Waller was chosen to travel through churches for one year, and he chose me to travel with him. We traveled great part of the year over the great mountains, and down on the bay side; and the brethren by their language and private conversations owned me as his help-mate, which confirmed me in the faith and belief that God had sent me to help him. When I staid at home some weeks, I felt coldness, darkness, and deadness; but when I got out from home two or three days, it seemed plain to me that I had left all and followed the Lord.

For more:
"Esteem Reproach" by Harper & Jacumin: A Review

"Baptists and Persecution in Virginia": A Lecture by Steve Weaver
Elijah Craig: A Biography Written By James B. Taylor 
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