Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Primitive Baptist" Book Reviewed

Stephen Garrett on Dr. Watson's
"The Old Baptist Test" Book of 1867

In 1867 Elder John M. Watson of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, submitted for publication his book called "The Old Baptist Test or Bible Signs of the Lord's People."

Elder Watson, however, died before its publication and it was left to Elder R. W. Fain, a fellow medical doctor with Elder Watson, to edit and publish his book. Its republication, in our times, is due to Elder Harvey Fulmer, a "Primitive" or "Hardshell" Baptist minister, with whom I am personally acquainted.

This is a valuable book for any student of the history of the "anti mission movement" of the early 19th century, a movement that spawned the "Primitive Baptist" denomination.

Elder Watson was a leader in this movement and was a spokesman for the movement in middle Tennessee, although his influence extended far beyond his adopted home state (he was born in North Carolina). He was a close associate of many of the leaders in this movement, such as Gilbert Beebe, Wilson and Grigg Thompson, John Clark, and James Osborne. He wrote articles for the movement's leading periodicals from the 1830s to time of his death, such papers as "The Signs of the Times," "The Old Baptist Banner," "The Primitive Baptist," "The Christian Doctrinal Advocate and Spiritual Monitor," "The Herald of Truth," and many other smaller temporary periodicals, no doubt. When the leaders of the movement visited middle Tennessee, Elder Watson was there to greet them and recommend them to his Hardshell brethren.



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