Sometimes You Just Need to Copy Someone.

A long week with a tiring end. And so today we turn to Alfred Nevin’s account of the Rev. Robert Wilson James…:

…who “was born in Williamsburg District, South Carolina, June 3d, 1793. His father, Captain John, and grandfather, Major John James, were distinguished for their patriotism in the war of the Revolution, and were also consistent members of the Presbyterian Church. He graduated at the South Carolina College in 1813. His theological studies, which were commenced and prosecuted for a time under Rev. James W. Stephenson, and Rev. Dr. M. Wilson, were completed at Princeton Seminary, in 1817. On the 3d of June, of the same year he was licensed by Concord Presbytery (in North Carolina), to preach the gospel, after which he labored for several months, as a missionary within its bounds, in company with the venerable Dr. Hall.”

“In May, 1819, he was ordained and installed over the churches of Indian Town and Bethel, in Williamsburgh District, S.C., where, during a pastorate of nine years, the work of the Lord, to some extent, was made to prosper in his hand, and particularly among the blacks, many of whom became hopeful subjects of grace under his ministry. He subsequently became pastor of Salem Church, in which relation he continued, faithful in labor, for over thirteen years. He died on April 13th, 1841.”

“As a minister, Mr. James was both doctrinal and practical. In his public ministrations he gave special attention to the African American portion of his flock. As a theologian, he was much respected by his brethren. As a member of the judicatories of the Church, his opinions were highly valued, and often determined the most important questions. His mouth and his purse were ever open to advance the institutions of religion and learning. As a man, he was truly benevolent, gentle and urbane, and possessed that kind of magnanimity  which led him cordially to despise everything that was envious, little, or selfish. As a Christian, he was exemplary, and enjoyed the comforts of that religion which he preached to others. His death was one of triumph.”

It should also be mentioned that Rev. James was the uncle of John Leighton Wilson, and that he had a very formative influence on John’s decision to pursue the ministry and more, to pursue the work of missions in Africa. From the Memoir of the Rev. John Leighton Wilson, we read that Rev. James was one of the eminent pastors in South Carolina, and of his influence on young John Leighton, that

“what more natural than that his uncle, so well known for learning and piety, should be to him a pattern he might safely imitate? He visited frequently at his home, had access to his rare and ample library, sat under his ministry, listened to his counsels, and spent one winter under his roof. The nephew was the minister’s friend and young companion. Blessed relationship !”

The Rev. Thomas R. English gave the funeral sermon for Rev. James. A Sermon:
Preached in Salem Church February 6th, 1842 in Commemoration of Its Late Pastor Rev. Robert Wilson James. (A. E. Miller, 1842), 23 p.

To view pictures of his grave site, click here.

Words to Live By:
The relationship of mentor to student does not always have to be a formal one, in order to be effective. Discipleship not only can take place in informal settings, but is probably all the more effective in the more real situations and places of everyday life. Growth in your own Christian walk is but one benefit of discipling or mentoring a younger believer. Pray that the Lord would give you the opportunity to share your faith in Christ.

About a month ago we published a post about the organization Concerned Presbyterians and their newsletters. Today we would like to continue that theme with focus on a related group, Presbyterian Churchmen United, with a pointer to their newsletter, which was issued between 1970-1973.

To refresh your memory, there were four main organizations that were formative of the Presbyterian Church in America :
1. Concerned Presbyterians, a layman’s group led by ruling elders;
2. Presbyterian Churchmen United, an organization for pastors;
3. The Presbyterian Journal, a magazine begun in 1942; and
4. The Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship, a ministry focused on revival.

A fifth organization really should be added to that list, and that would be the Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi, which was founded in 1966.

Following the organization of Concerned Presbyterians (and here we have good evidence that it was the ruling elders who were leading the movement for renewal in the Church!), an organization specifically for pastors was formed a few years later under the title Presbyterian Churchmen United (PCU). Contact, the newsletter issued by this group, first appeared in May of 1970. Then, just prior to the formation of the Presbyterian Church in America (in December of 1973), the group very appropriately published their final, closing issue in September, 1973.

Click the cover image below to view the contents and to access the issues of Contact, the newsletter of Presbyterian Churchmen United :

Be Ready Always

The day of the debate had brought a crowd of Presbyterian elders to the sanctuary of the Fourth Presbyterian Church on that day of April 11, 1933. The topic was “Modernism on the Mission Field.” And the two individuals engaging in the debate were two “heavies” on opposite sides of the issue.

Dr. J. Gresham Machen was the recognized leader of the conservatives in the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. Founder and president of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he was still a member minister of the New Brunswick, New Jersey Presbytery, though he had tried unsuccessfully to transfer to the Philadelphia Presbytery. Against him was Dr. Robert Speer, who was serving as the director of the Board of Foreign Missions for the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.

Dr. Machen began his presentation with a proposed overture from the Presbytery of New Brunswick to the General Assembly of 1933. The first two of four parts are the key ones, which I will quote word for word from the April 1933 Christianity Today article, and sum up the other two.

Point 1 of his overture was: “To take care to elect to positions of the Board of Foreign Missions only persons who are fully aware of the danger in which the Church stands and who are determined to insist on such verities as the full truthfulness of Scripture, the virgin birth of our Lord, His substitutionary death as a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice, His bodily resurrection and His miracles, as being essential to the Word of God and our Standards, as being necessary to the message which every missionary under our church shall proclaim.”

In essence, this first proposition simply summed up the Declarations of the General Assembly’s five fundamentals which were considered as essential for the Church, its boards, and its ministers. It specifically repudiated the denials of the same by the Auburn Affirmation in 1924.

Proposition 2 of the proposed overture sought to “instruct the Board of Foreign Missions that no one who denies the absolute necessity of acceptance of such verities by every candidate for this ministry can possibly be regarded as a candidate to occupy the position of Candidate Secretary.”

This proposition addressed the important place which the Candidate Secretary has in ascertaining the theological convictions which each missionary candidate has to serve on the Foreign Field. In other words, in people such as Pearl Buck, who was openly denying the exclusiveness of the gospel of Christ, it is obvious that the Candidate Secretary had “missed the boat” in approving her as being a missionary to China.

The third proposition summed up that those who held that the tolerance of opposing views was more important than an unswerving faithfulness in the proclamation of the Gospel as it is contained in the Word of God, show themselves to be unworthy of being missionaries of the cross.

This proposition was aimed at those who had accepted the fundamental viewpoint of the book, “Rethinking Missions,” that denied the exclusivity of the gospel.

The last proposition sought to warn the Board of the great dangers lurking with union enterprises in view of wide-spread error.

Dr. Speer for his part of the “debate” simply dismissed each of the overture propositions. When the vote was taken on Dr. Machen’s proposed overture, it was voted down by the Presbytery of New Brunswick, with a majority voting in favor of confidence in the Board of Foreign Missions. Dr. Machen, Rev. Samuel Craig, and Dr. Casper Wistar Hodge asked that their names be recorded in  dissent of the motion.

For a fuller account of the debate, click here.

Words to Live By:  We are always called upon to stand faithfully for the gospel. The results on this earth may be not what we have hoped for, but the results in the General Assembly of heaven are what counts for time and eternity.

Mr. Polity.

Polity is a fancy word for government, and in the nineteenth-century, when it came to church government, the Rev. S. J. Baird was one of the most knowledgeable men around.

Samuel John Baird was born at Newark, Ohio, in September, 1817. His parents were the Rev. Thomas Dickson Baird and Esther Thompson Baird. Samuel began his education at Jefferson College, but poor health interrupted his studies. In 1839 he took charge of a school near Abbeville, South Carolina and subsequently opened a Female Seminary [essentially a college for women] at Jeffersonville, Louisiana. Returning to college, he graduated from Central College, Danville, Kentucky, in 1843. Somehow he managed to concurrently graduate from the New Albany Theological Seminary, in Indiana, that same year.

After being licensed to preach in August of 1843 by the Presbytery of Transylvania, he devoted three years to the missionary work in the Presbytery of Baltimore, in Kentucky, and in the southwest. Then in 1846, he was ordained by Potomac Presbytery, and installed as pastor, first at Bladensburg, Maryland, and later at Georgetown, Kentucky. He also served churches in Clarksville, Tennessee and Batesville, Arkansas. During his time in that latter charge, Rev. Baird was also instrumental in laying the foundation for Arkansas College. From there, he served as pastor in Muscatine, Iowa, 1854-57 and Woodbury, New Jersey, 1857-65.

After resigning this last charge, Baird began work under a joint commission from the American Bible Society and the Virginia Bible Society, laboring as their agent in Virginia. His name first appeared on the rolls of the Southern Presbyterian Church in 1869, and he answered a call to serve as pastor of the church in Waynesboro, Virginia in 1870. For four years he served the Third Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Virginia, 1874-78, and his final pastorates were in West Virginia. The Rev. Samuel J. Baird died in Clifton Forge, Virginia on April 10, 1893.

Baird is perhaps best remembered as the author of The Assembly’s Digest, or Baird’s Digest as it most commonly known. This work is a compilation of the acts and deliverances of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., covering the years 1789-1855. It is a particularly valuable work for anyone wanting a resource on the actions and history of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. The full title is A Collection of the Acts,Deliverances and Testimonies of the Supreme Judicatory of the Presbyterian Church from its origin in America to the present time : with notes and documents explanatory and historical: constituting a complete illustration of her polity, faith, and history (1856). Copies of this work are rare today in print form, but thankfully it is available on the Internet, here.

Words to Live By:
Another work by Dr. Baird was a catechism, titled The Church of Christ. A sampling of questions and answers from that book follow:

Q. 261. What are the rights of individuals with reference to personal religion?
A. It is the right and duty of every individual for himself, to read and study the Word of God, and ascertain the way of salvation therein set forth [1],—by faith, to lay hold of and appropriate to himself that salvation and all the promises [2],—and to come before the throne of God with boldness, in the name of Christ, and independent of all human instrumentalities and mediators, and there make his confessions and offer his prayers and praises, with assurance of acceptance and salvation. [3]
[1] John 5:39; Acts 17:11; 2 Peter 1:19-21;
[2] Rev. 22:17.
[3] Rom. 10:12-13; Eph. 3:12; Heb. 10:19-22; Ps. 50:23; John 14:6; 1 Tim. 2:5.

Q. 264. What are the duties of private Christians toward others?

A. It is the duty of private Christians to be ready always to give to every one that asketh them, a reason of the hope that is in them, with meekness and fear; to watch for and use all suitable occasions to press upon the impenitent the free grace of Christ; to employ their means in relieving the temporal wants of the destitute; and, as they have opportunity, to do good to all men.
1 Peter 3:15; Rev. 22:17; Heb. 13:16; Gal. 6:10.

Q. 270. What are the principal religious duties of parents toward their children?
A. It is the duty of parents to dedicate their children to God [1],—to bring them early to baptism, to teach them to know God, to pray to him, to read His Word, and to attend upon the public ordinances of the sanctuary [2], to exercise government and discipline upon them in love; and to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; maintaining the stated worship of God in the house [3].
[1] Gen. 17:18; Mark 10:13-14.
[2] Gen. 18:19; 2 Tim. 3:14-15.
[3] Prov. 13:24; 22:15; Eph. 6:4; Gen. 12:7; 13:4, 18; 21:33; 35:1-4, 7; Deut. 6:7; Job 1:5.

A Fine Missionary and a Keen Soul-winner
by Rev. David T. Myers

The title of this devotional constitutes the comments sent back in a communication to the Independent Board of Presbyterian Foreign Missions upon hearing the news that they had appointed Miss Louisa Lee as a missionary to India.  In fact, she was the first missionary sent out under the auspices of that Independent Board on April 9, 1934. 

To be sure, this was not her first experience of being a herald of the gospel in India.  She had gone out under the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. in 1913. Two years before that, she had graduated from the University of Washington at Seattle, with a bachelor of arts degree and a certificate in teaching. Other educational schools she had attended were Wooster College and Miami (of Ohio) University. Attendance at Union Mission Language School gave  her a working knowledge of both Urdu and Hindi languages.

Why did she leave her denomination’s board of foreign Missions? In one word, the infallibility of the Scriptures.  In 1934, an executive of the India Council, while acknowledging that her conviction of Scripture’s infallibility was what had originally been the belief of the board in years gone by, yet currently informed her that there was great doubt that the writers of the Scriptures were infallible in matters of history and science in the present age.

Louisa Lee, in complete disagreement with this missions executive,  not only held to the true faith of biblical Christianity, but expressed her resolution that it was a necessary qualification for every Gospel preacher, teacher and missionary.  Further, she would not be able to work alongside of anyone who denied the infallibility of Holy Scripture.

Leaving eventually after two decades under the Presbyterian U.S.A. board, she joined the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions. She expressed her desire to the new board that she be allowed to  remain in India, because as she put it, “my home is in India; my heart is there; and I love the people.”

God’s Spirit would grant her another fifty-nine years of faithful service to the masses in India before being taken home to be with her Lord and Savior in 1972. And part of that span of time was spent after a time of furlough in the United States, but finding no one to take her place in India. So she returned to take up the mantle of communicating the good news of eternal life to all who would give her a hearing. She was indeed a fine missionary and a keen soul-winner.

Words to Live By:
When was the last time you prayed for someone—a relative, a neighbor, a work associate, a school mate, a stranger you met this week—to be saved? Louisa Lee was a keen soul-winner. It all begins with prayer for lost sinners. Then, a soul winner prays that God will provide the opportunity to say a word of grace to the lost person. Last, you praise God for that opportunity, and pray that the Word of grace will bring forth fruit unto eternal life.

by Rev. Leonard T. Van Horn.

Q. 62.
What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment?

A. The reasons annexed to the fourth commandment are, God’s allowing us six days of the week for our own employments, his challenging a special propriety in the seventh, his own example, and his blessing the Sabbath day.

SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: Exodus 31:15-16; Leviticus 23:3; Exodus 31:17; Genesis 2:3.


1. How many reasons are there annexed to this commandment?

There are four reasons annexed to this commandment and this is more than for any of the other commandments. God knew men would be prone to break this commandment.

What is the first reason?

The first reason is, God’s allowing us six days for our own employment. God has been very liberal with us in this area and we should certainly grant Him one day out of the seven. In addition, in modern times very few people work on Saturday afternoon, which is another reason for giving Him one day.

What is the second reason?

The second reason is, God’s challenging a special propriety in the seventh day. This is God’s claiming the day as His own. He does not claim it as His own without granting us anything from it, for as we use it in the right way He will grant us the greatest joy in communion with Him.

What is the third reason?

The third reason is, God’s own example in resting Himself from His works of creation on the seventh day. Here there is a spiritual blessing from resting one day by His command. In addition, there is a physical motivation in that He knew it would be good for our bodies for us to rest one day. His example should be followed, all to His glory.

What is the fourth reason?

The fourth reason is, God’s blessing of the Sabbath. Our Lord consecrates the day to His holy use. The right use of the day will result in blessings for us, “showers of blessings” will fall upon us. The wrong use of the day will result in miseries and woes. (Nehemiah 13:18).


It is hard for us today, in the midst of the blatant desecration of the Sabbath, to hold to the authority of God and the commands we find in the Decalogue. On every hand we find that the opposition is strong. The day starts with the weighty Sunday newspaper. Sporting events are the order of the day. The armed services have decided that the Lord’s Day is a day of training. Wherever we turn we are faced with the pressures of the world to deny what many of us have been told from childhood, that the holy calm of a Sabbath morn should be kept throughout the day.

Certainly as believers in Christ, we know what we should do. The commands in the Scripture are plain. Six questions in our Shorter Catechism are given to this important question of Christian living. But when we attempt to meet our adversaries with these arguments it means nothing to them. They care not for Holy Writ and win not listen. But there are arguments that they might listen to, and these same arguments would be good for us to take into our hearts and ponder them, all to the glory of God. Mark 2:27 indeed teaches us: “The Sabbath was made for man.” Our Lord knew that we need this Day.

We need it because of our physical nature. He made us in such a way that we need to rest one day out of the seven. It is interesting to note that the Deists in France long ago, those who had left Roman Catholicism but had not become Protestants, admitted that they could not get along without the Sabbath. Their bodies craved it.

We need it as a day when the family can be together. God put a great emphasis on the family, and the Scripture is filled with admonitions that should be followed by the family. When are they going to be followed? Could not the Sabbath be used in this important area? Prayer, teaching of the Word, communication—these are all important in the family unit.

We need it for the teaching we can obtain from the House of God. The preaching of the Word is the primary means of Grace, and we should use every opportunity we have to fill our minds with those things that will keep us from sinning against Him. He knew that a day must be set aside for instruction in righteousness, and we must make use of it.

Let us be faithful to Him, and to ourselves in this matter. Let us once again return to the “old fashioned” Sabbath before it is too late. We are in danger of losing what we have in our freedom of worship unless we have some convictions about it.

Published By: The Shield and Sword, Inc.
Dedicated to instruction in the Westminster Standards for use as a bulletin insert or other methods of distribution in Presbyterian churches.
Vol. 4 No. 57, September, 1965.

A Place of Peace Becomes a Place of War
by Rev. David T. Myers

In your mind, imagine a white country church nestled by the side of a Virginia county road.  Ordinarily, what might be heard from that church would be the singing of the hymns of the faith, testimonies of salvation from the church goers, solid preaching of the Word by the faithful pastor, fellowship suppers on the church lawn, and families coming and going on the Lord’s Day, or in the middle of the week.

What you wouldn’t expect to see or hear would be armies digging trenches for offensive and defensive positions, orders to fix bayonets, the hurrahs of Union men mixed with the Rebel yell, and dreadful sounds of wounds and deaths of men from battle.  Yet the latter picture more than the former was the case around Cumberland Presbyterian Church, northeast of Farmville, Virginia on April 7, 1865 during the day and evening.  This country church was on the stretch of journey of the retreat of the Army of Northern Virginia, under the command of Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Escaping from Richmond and Petersburg, Lee’s scattered army was seeking to escape the pursuing Union armies of Gen. U.S. Grant.  Lee had hopes of joining another Confederate force in North Carolina.  But elements of the II corps under General A.A. Humphreys stopped their advance.  Entrenching around this Presbyterian church, the southern forces stopped two advances of this Union corps.  In what was interestingly a Confederate victory, the Army of Northern Virginia would reach Appomattox several days later and surrender their valiant forces to the North.

Words to Live By: In the midst of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Civil War, or War Between the States, we can acknowledge the sovereign will of God, as its military leaders, both North and South, did back then.  We can rejoice that the gospel went forth in power through various spiritual awakenings and revivals among the soldiers, preparing this united nation to reach beyond its borders with the blessed gospel of Jesus Christ.  We can remember  the courage of military officers and common soldiers for their respective nations.  We can look back to this era when a once divided nation became the United States of America . . . again.

Even in the case of old ministers he thought it a good thing to talk over our views occasionally.”

In the PCA’s Book of Church Order, in the first paragraph of the chapter treating of the ordination and installation of ministers, it states in part that

Ordinarily a candidate or licentiate may not be granted permission by the Presbytery to move on to the field to which he has been called, prior to his examination for licensure or ordination. Likewise an ordained minister from another Presbyterian Church in America Presbytery or another denomination, ordinarily shall not move on to the field to which he has been called until examined and received by Presbytery.

Where does that requirement come from? Why is it important? Well, history is what we do here, so a bit of background seemed important as I came across it today. And as the PCA’s Book of Church Order is based directly on the polity (i.e., the church government) of prior denominations, this history is all the more relevant.

The setting of this story is the meeting of the Presbyterian Church, U.S. (aka, Southern). It is the third day of their General Assembly, and the report comes that an entire Presbytery wants to join the denomination. There is testimony that these men are entirely orthodox. But they would rather not suffer the pain of a theological examination by the receiving body. At which point the Rev. E. Thompson Baird rose to address the issue:

Rev. Dr. Baird sketched the history of the origin of the rule requiring the examination of ministers passing from Presbytery to Presbytery. Dr. Lyman Beecher came to a Presbytery in New York from some Congregational Association, and was admitted without examination, and immediately took a letter of dismission to an Ohio Presbytery, and was received, and subsequently stated that he had never signified his adoption of the Confession of Faith. The late Dr. [Archibald] Alexander therefore advocated the adoption of the examination rule, for without it a single Presbytery might deluge the church with heretical ministers. The rule was not directed especially against the New School Church, for at the time of its adoption that church had no existence. Nor had it been suspended in the case of the United Synod.—They had examined the Old School and the Old School had examined them, and it was not until they were thoroughly satisfied as to one another’s soundness that they came together. Nor could it be reasonably objected to. He was not ashamed to proclaim anywhere what he believed as to the great doctrines of religion, and he was not willing to alter our whole system to open the door to a few who were not willing to come in the same way that others had been received. The importance of it is increased at this time—it is more necessary than ever in these days of fanaticism that we should have such a rule. Even in the case of old ministers he thought it a good thing to talk over our views occasionally. When a venerable father in the church comes to be examined, if we cannot find any heresy in him, we can at least learn a great deal from him about the great doctrines of grace. The speaker continued that if the rule is absolute, nobody’s feelings can be hurt by it. He therefore saw no necessity for its repeal.

And apparently he made his case well, for when the report was adopted, the Assembly refused to repeal the rule requiring the examination of all ministers entering a Presbytery. So it is that our Book to this day still expects and requires a Presbytery to examine and receive a minister before he can be allowed onto the field of ministry within that Presbytery.

A Hard Life on the Frontier

A remarkable man, eminently fitted for the times in which he lived, he was wonderfully versatile, and could do just about anything he put his hand to. Joseph Badger became the great missionary of the Western Reserve and a pioneer to regions further west.

Joseph was born in Wilbraham, Massachusetts on February 28th, 1757. At the age of eighteen, he entered the army and served for several years. After coming to faith in Christ, he was admitted to Yale College in 1781 and pursued his studies “under great pecuniary embarassment.” Among the many ways in which he scrapped by, some were even ingenious; he spent three months building a planetarium, for which the college paid him one hundred dollars.

Upon his graduation in 1783, he turned his studies to theology, working under the tutelage of the Rev. Mark Leavenworth. He was licensed by the Congregationalist New Haven Association, and eventually accepted a commision to serve as a missionary in the Western Reserve of Ohio.

Mr. Badger always retained a preference for Congregationalism, but united with the Presbytery of Ohio, under the 1801 “Plan of Union” — an arrangement whereby Congregationalists and Presbyteries jointly worked at planting churches in the westward expansion — and he remained in connection with the Presbyterian Church the rest of his life.

One single account of his life on the mission field will have to suffice to indicate something of the hardships endured by this pastor and his family:

“On his return, he went to his missionary station at Sandusky, and, after making some necessary arrangements, repaired to Pittsburgh, and made a report to the Missionary Board, and then returned to his family. Before he reached home, he was met with the melancholy tidings of the death of one of his daughters. After spending a few days with his afflicted family, he went back to his missionary field, and pursued his labors with the Indians until about the middle of November, when he received a letter from his wife, informing him that their house had been burnt, with nearly all their provisions and furniture. He immediately hastened to his distressed family, and by aid kindly furnished by their neighbors and friends, he quickly succeeded in building another cabin, and placing his family again in comfortable circumstances.”

The duties of the ministry were paramount to all else for Rev. Badger, and his chief aim in life was the furtherance of the Gospel. In religious conversation he was pleasant, instructive, discriminating, and quite practical. In prayer he was eminently gifted, and apparently highly devout. In his sermons he made up in vigorous and well digested thought, for any defects which, owing to his imperfect early education, might be apparent in his style. One said of him, that “His talents in the pulpit were above mediocrity.” (!)

Rev. Badger possessed a spirit of courage and perseverance unsurpassed. His personal trials and sufferings during much of the greater part of his long life exceeded those of most any other minister of his time. Few, if any, ministers could have been found in New England in those days who would have cheerfully, even heroically, given up the charge of a prosperous congregation in order to brave the perils and hazards of a missionary in what was then the wilderness of Ohio.

At the age of eighty, as his voice began to fail and his health declined, he was forced him from the field and surrendered his last pulpit. He lived another ten years, finding opportunity to preach on occasion. His last years were spent in the home of his only surviving daughter, and he died on April 5, 1846.

Words to Live By:
When we look back at the level of sacrifice exhibited by many courageous pastors in those early days of the American frontier, I sometimes wonder if we can even understand their lives and the depth of their service.

Diligence seems a good word to characterize Rev. Badger’s life, and perhaps that quality is something to meditate on, when we read an account of such a life.

2 Peter 1:5-11 (KJV):
5   And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6   And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7   And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8   For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9   But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

“I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people”

Augustus Brodhead was born into the family of the Hon. John H. and Eliza (Ross) Brodhead, on May 13, 1831, in Milford, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Union College in New York in 1855, and was then admitted to Princeton Theological Seminary, where he took the full course. Upon graduation from Princeton, he was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Hudson, whereupon he was appointed by the Board of Foreign Missions (PCUSA) to serve as a missionary to India. Brodhead was then ordained as an evangelist by the same Presbytery on May 4, 1858.

It was at that very time that the Sepoy Mutiny had so disrupted all Christian work in the Northwest Provinces of India. Four PCUSA missionaries, along with their families, had been massacred. Indian Christians in that region had been scattered, and chaos still reigned. “But,” as the historian remembers, “all the atrocities of the mutiny and all the uncertainties of the future could not daunt the courage or shake the resolution of those young Christians who consecrated themselves to the service of the India Mission and pressed forward to take the place of their martyred brethren.”

In the midst of summer that year, Mr. Brodhead was married to Miss Emily Cumming, of Princeton, New Jersey, on July 15, 1858, and they sailed for India on November 7th. After a protracted voyage which took them around the Cape of Good Hope, they arrived at last in Calcutta on April 4th, 1859.

Their first settlement in India was in Mainpuri, a moderate sized town of about 25,000 inhabitants, in Uttar Pradesh, located between the Ganges and Jumna Rivers. Working here, and also in the military garrison of Fatehgarh, about thirteen years were spent preaching, teaching and ministering to the native churches and assisting them with evangelistic efforts.

In 1872, the Mission Board transferred Rev. Brodhead to Allahabad, the seat of government for the Northwest Province. Here he took on a key role in the Theological Training School of the Synod of India, writing and publishing on the subjects of biblical and church history, along with some devotional literature. Only about three or four of his works appear to have survived to the present day. Rev. Brodhead also edited a magazine published by the Mission for use by the native Christians, and assisted in the preparation of hymnals, composing a large number of hymns and translating many others. Much of his time was taken up with managing the North India Bible and Tract Society and the Christian Vernacular Education Society. It was said of his that “his knowledge of affairs, his calm and impartial judgment, his warm and kindly heart, his extensive missionary experience, combined to give him great influence, not only in his own, but also in the missions of other denominations.

Finally, after a series of severe illnesses weakened his health, he was advised to quit the mission field. Reluctantly, he agreed and returned to the United States in 1878. For a brief time he was employed as Stated Supply in several churches, but then answered a call to serve as the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Bridgeton, New Jersey.

The Rev. Brodhead pastored this church from 1881 until his death on August 29, 1887, though it is recorded that he died in Toronto, Canada. His wife Emily survived him by nearly eighteen years, dying in 1905, and her remains were buried in the Princeton, New Jersey cemetery.

Words to Live By:
Has God called you to serve in missions? If not by your moving to other lands, then certainly by your daily, prayerful support of those who are on the field, often risking everything, to bring the Gospel hope of a risen Savior.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  (Matthew 28:19-20, KJV).

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