Blood Before Water
CHRIST BEFORE THE CHURCH
The circumstances out of which this little volume was born, are somewhat Peculiar.
Nearly two years ago Elder James A. Allen published an article in the Nashville Banner, for which he paid $29.70 advertising rates. In this article, among others, he attacked the Baptists by name. This author replied to said article through the Banner. This brought two personal letters from Brother Allen, each submitting propositions for a debate at Grant, Tennessee. Feeling my physical disability, I waived the first one aside. When the second one came, I replied, that if he would move it near my home, I would accept. To this I received no reply, I deemed the mater closed.
But, while administering the Lord's Supper at Grant last May, discussing the time it should be taken, I remarked that some good peoples honestly thought the Bible required them to take it the first day of each week. But, I said, that is a mistake and to impress my word, I will give one hundred dollars reward, to anyone who will show in the Bible where the Lord's Supper was ever taken on any first day of the week, or ever commanded to be, much less every first day.
Soon I received a communication over the signature of G. W. McKee, a blind man, accepting my proposition. Who did the work in his name I know not, but after a few exchanges they saw their deplorable situation, and to get out of trouble, sent me a challenge for debate, with eight propositions, signed by A. G. Freed of Nashville, but they were careful not to include the question we had been discussing. To this I replied that I did not feel able, physically, to undertake an oral discussion but I could push a quill. That we would have a written discussion, each writing a given number of articles, of given length, on the following propositions.
1. "The church with which, I, J. H. Grime, am identified, or of which I am a member, known by my brethern as a Baptist Church, is scriptural in origin, doctrine, and practice."
2. "The Church with which I am Identified, or of which I am a member, known to my brethren as the Church of Christ, is scriptural in origin, doctrine, and practice."
That we would have it published here in Lebanon, each bearing half the expense, and dividing the issue. To this they demurred, and complained that the book would not sell, and it would be a useless waste of time. I then proposed to have it published at my own expense, letting them read the proof, if they would only furnish a representative man. I mentioned brethren Allen, Freed, and Bowls, but told them I would take any representative man. They shut up like a clam, and would not answer.
I then wrote Brother James A. Allen twice offering him the same terms, but he too declined. I may have been rude, I dared them to put the claims of their church to the test, and put it in permanent form for future generations. I told them also that I wanted the Baptist cause put to the severest test, and if it would not stand the light let it go down, but no persuasion or goading would induce them to take hold.
I have lived long enough to see that people sail under four different names. I have chosen the same they started with "Reformation" to use in this discussion.
I have confined myself to the facts, and records. I have been careful to do justice to all authors. Those who will take the pains to examine the authors, will see that I base treated them fairly, and given their exact meaning.
If I should seem severe at any time, charge it to the facts. "Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth" (Gal. 4:16).
I have never sought a debate, but when my positions, or my people, have been attacked, I have never hesitated to come to the defense.
In this ease, I have been urged to oral debate, at intervals, for nearly two years. Bet, when I proposed a written discussion, and to put it in permanent form at my own expense, they took to cover. I told them they need not be out one penny for publication that I wanted my people to see the best they could do. What will become of all their brag?
J. H. GRIME.
Lebanon, Tennessee, November 11, 1926.
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