The article copied into this number from the North Carolina Republican was forwarded to us by some friend in the South, for insertion in our columns. The circumstances of the case of Carrawan - his connection with the old order of Baptists, the murder by him committed—his detection and arrest, etc., we know nothing about, more than what we learn from the article which we have copied; but the baseness of the attempt of the writer, to whom the article copied by us from the N.C. Republican is intended as a rebuke, deserves the censure of all honorable men. From the days of Christ’s incarnation and age of the apostles and primitive saints, the church of God has been from time to time imposed upon by imposters; some of whom have developed their true characters like Carrawan, in violent outrages and bloody crimes, while a still greater number have proved themselves unworthy of the confidence which had been reposed in them, by their insidious insinuation of corrupt and unscriptural doctrines and practices among the churches, for the purpose of interrupting the peace, and subverting the order of the kingdom of our Redeemer. But the attempt of the cringing calumniator of the Old Baptists, who hides his dishonored and guilt-stained name behind the anonymous signature which he has presumptuously assumed and desecrated, to charge that the doctrine held, and order maintained by the Old Apostolic order of Baptists is in keeping with and calculated to produce deeds of blood and violence, is scarcely less atrocious than that charged on Carrawn the murderer; for he who is sufficiently base to attempt to stigmatize the doctrine of Christ as held by the Old School Baptists is sufficiently depraved to persecute them even unto the death. The very spirit manifested by this “accuser of the brethren,” and stigmatizer of the doctrine of Christ is the same that has always, when opportunity has been presented, deluged the earth with the blood of the saints of God. In regard to the tendency of Baptist doctrine to produce murder, etc., when have they ever been, as a body, detected in any concerted plans for enforcing their doctrine or practice by the sword? When have they ever attempted to enforce their views, or to deprive their opponents of the free exercise of their religious peculiarities, by coersive measures? Never. What then is there in faith or practice to justify the insinuation that their doctrine is in harmony with, or calculated to produce murder? Is the pretended tendency found in their utter denial that men have a right to enforce their religious opinions by civil, secular, ecclesiastic or military force? Is it in their rejection of all human means for advancing the interests of the Redeemer’s kingdom? Or is it to be found in their uniform reliance on God, and on him alone to maintain his cause, and to defend them from the violence of their persecutors?
The columns of our secular newspapers have been crowded with accounts of murders, rapes, seduction, drunkenness, and almost every description of desperate wickedness committed by members of the various workmongrel denominations of religious professors. Scarcely a week passes without some startling development of the kind; but if once in a century a Judas or a Carrawan is detected as standing nominally in connection with the Old Baptists, the alarm is raised with the same imblushing effrontery as though our accusers had never been involved in such mortification and disgrace. But in conclusion we ask, Were there any names of Old School Baptists attached to the petitions which flooded our Congress a few years ago, praying our government to send an army into Georgia to mow down the citizens of that state for imprisoning two missionaries for stirring up a spirit of insubordination among the Cherokee Indians against the laws of Georgia? Were any of the Old School Baptist’s names found attached to the petitions more recently praying Congress to protect the foreign missionaries by use of the sword in foreign countries? Have any Old School Baptists joined in the clamorous noise in praying our state Legislatures to enact the Maine Liquor Law, and by armed police to invade the peaceful dwellings of our citizens, destroy their property, and butcher them if they resist? Have any of the Old Baptists mingled with the abolitionists in trying to excite the Southern slaves to cut the throats of their masters? We are happy to say we have never known an instance of the kind. What then is in their doctrine, their practice, or in all their history to excite alarm?
Taught by the sacred precepts of their divine Lord, when they are reviled, they revile not again; when smitten on one cheek, they turn to their assailant the other cheek also; and this has been their uniform character in all ages of their existence, from the days of John the Baptist to the present day. Who can say as much for any other professed order of religionists on earth?
May 15, 1854
Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 3
Pages 74 - 76