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(title page) A Historical Sketch of the First Colored Baptist Church Weldon, N. C., With the Life and Labor of Elder Joseph Baysmore, with Four Collected Sermons, First: The Harmony of the Law and Gospel. Second: Subject of the Pure in Heart. Third: How We Were Made Sinners and How We Were Redeemed from Sin and Made Heirs of God by His Love. Fourth: The Confirmation of Christian Faith.
Baysmore, Joseph, b. 1823
Harrell's Printing House
Call Number Cp286.09 W44 (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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As no man can live in this world without making history and all ministers of the Gospel ought to make their history by worshiping the true God with true holiness, regardless of what men may think, and this little book will contain the history of my life and labor in the gospel ministry, and my Pastoral charge of the first colored Baptist church in Weldon, N. C., and also four gospel sermons.
First, The Harmony of the Law and Gospel: second, subject, of the Pure in Heart; third, subject, How we were made sinners and how we were redeemed and made heirs of God by his love, and I have lived in this world to the age of 63 years and I am losing my ministry every day it becomes my duty to write this little book which I will leave this to my Wife, Sena Baysmore, and also in the year 1865, when the slaves were emancipated I then filled the office as one of the registers of the qualified voters for or against a convention to re-construct the State of North Carolina, and also I being called of God to the work of the gospel ministry, then began to preach the gospel in Weldon N. C.
I began the church with only five members and I preached as a Licensed minister, and temporary pastor until 1866, then I was ordained to the work of the ministry, November the 22d, 1866, and I received 26 members by letters of dismission from the white Baptist church, and we then sent to Petersburg for a council to organize us and the council come on the 24th of June, 1866, Rev. J. Jasper and two deacons organized us and baptized 39, and that made the membership of the church 69 in number. I then became the pastor in charge and served the church as pastor 18 years. This is from 1865 to 1883.
I also filled the office of Justice of the Peace of Halifax county for four years.
I was born in 1823 in Bertie County, N. C., and when I was but a youth my mother taught me to be a good boy, and she said a bad boy would come to a bad end, and she taught me the Lord's Prayer, and I was brought up in the fear of the Lord, and I began to seek the salvation of my soul at 12 years of age, but was off and on but could not depart from the presence of the Lord, so I professed hope in Christ and was baptized in the year 1851, in the county of Halifax where I then resided. I was a slave and was
brought by my owner into Halifax county in the year 1846. My owner was good to me and when I was baptized they give me the liberty of holding prayer meetings by which the whole people of the place were convicted from their evil way and returned to the Lord and it was by the providence of God that I possessed a little share of education and by studying and practicing it the same I growed more and more in the light of literature, by which I was able to read the Bible. And now this is a part of the ministerial labor of Rev. Joseph Baysmore while pastor in charge of the first colored Baptist church at Weldon, N. C. , from the date of 1865 to 1879.
I organized eight Baptist Churches, and baptized nine hundred converts. The churches are as follows.
And at Macedonia, Greenville County, Va., 25 and I also received a letter of commendation from the first colored Baptist Church at Weldon, N. C., in October, 1880, stating that I had served them as their pastor for 14 years and they had not found a falsehood in me. I thanked the Church for her confidence in me. I still served them as pastor until November, 1883, I then tendered my resignation to travel as an evangelist and I have preached the gospel in several sections in Halifax and also in some sections of Virginia.
Now this is a letter of commendation from a Methodist elder:
I am pleased to say to elder Rev. W. H. Mcboy and my brethren of the A. M. E. Zion Church that I can well recommend Elder Joseph Baysmore, of Weldon, N. C., as a Christian and gentleman among all classes of men. Having known him for many years.
C. E. STEWART,
Pastor of A. M. E. Zion Church,
ELDER JOSEPH BAYSMORE,
Elder JOSEPH BAYSMORE,
WELDON, N. C.
Introduction.--First, the covenant of works, do and live, or sin and die. This covenant was broken by our first parents sinning against God, in eating the forbidden fruit. This sin stains all of Adam's race, as it is written "in Adam all died," and God in His sovereign love made a covenant of redemption and salvation by grace, and this grace was concluded in Christ the promised seed, and God renewed the covenant to Abraham, and the law was added to guide men to walk in the covenant or bring man to Christ by faith. Hence it is written, "the law is our school master to bring us unto Christ."
Text.--Genesis 12th chapter, 2nd verse:
"And I will make of thee a great nation; I will bless thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing."
And now, my beloved brethren and dear readers, this is the covenant that God made with Abraham and his seed: "and Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness," and hence he is the father of the faithful, and God said to Abraham, "In Isaac shall thy seed be called," and God blessed Isaac and said, "because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes and laws, I will bless thee and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake." And now, my beloved, when a great promise is made there is an obligation of obedience to obtain the promise. Hence the covenant that God made with Abraham and his seed is the uniting link of faith in God without the force of the law.
That is Abrahams faith in God was imputed to him for righteousness without being forced by the penalty of the law and this is an evidence that our salvation is by grace and not by the law.
And the apostle Paul asked the Gallations, "Is the law against the promise of God?" and he said, "God forbid." And again the law was added because of transgression.
First, a law is a rule laid down by any recognized authority, and Dr. William Smith saith that a law refers either to human authority or the divine will of God; and the Scriptures make the will of God our rule of duty, hence the Abrahamic seed was made heirs of the promise, and the law was added to guide men to obtain the promise. Hence the law pointed out our duty to God and man: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself."
"For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be sure put to death."
"Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt have no God before me."
Hence the violation of God's law is a sin of the highest crime, and unbelief stains the soul with the hues of deepest dye, and the law called for the blood of man to satisfy the claims of justice. Hence the covenant points through the law to Christ, so then the proper understanding of the law is a witness to the covenant, and the relation of the law to the promise clearly points to Christ who was the promised seed, whose blood was to atone for the sins of the world, hence the blood of Jesus, did qualify the claims of the law, for the law demanded the blood of man for sin in the eyes of justice and it was the high duty of justice to see that the law was satisfied, and Jesus came in our stead and freely gave his own blood to pay our debt to the law in the eyes of justice ,and all the debt that man owed to God's holy law was paid in Jesus' blood, and by faith in the blood of Jesus we are washed from guilt. And the law and justice were satisfied through the death of Christ. Then all power was given to Christ in heaven and in earth, and the law and justice and the promise are united, and the blessed covenants pointed through the law to Christ, or rather the law ends in Christ, or the law cannot go beyond Christ. Hence it is written, that "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness," that is the blood of Christ takes the sting out of the law.
Then mercy and truth and grace unite in the gospels joyful call, for "the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."
Awake thou that sleepeth, arise from the dead and Christ shall give thee light," so when the sinner had lost his title to Heaven and happiness he can now have it back again by faith in Jesus' blood.
And now there are three great sins, first tasting the forbidden fruit one, and the violation of the covenants; two, and the violation of the law; three, and Christ died to save us from just penalty of the law, and now to receive Christ these three great duties that are required of us. Repent one and believe two, and be baptised three, hence the law and justice
is a witness to the gospel, "he that believeth and is baptised shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned."
"He that believeth not shall be damned." this should claim our highest notice for it sums up the penalty of the whole law with all of its tempestuous force against every one that believeth not the gospel of Christ; for as in Adam we all did drink our cup of death, and Christ our ransom died to give us life again, and we may now drink our cup of life by faith in his death. And we typify the sting of the law by the sting of an ambitious insect, for when the honey bee unbosoms his passion by stinging a man or brute, he then looses his sting and then he has no sting, hence, when Jesus died for our sins, according to the law, the law had no power beside, but through the great sin of unbelief the law again claims its damning power and hence the penalty of the law is against everyone that believeth not in Christ for salvation.
And now may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen
Elder JOSEPH BAYSMORE,
Weldon, N. C.
TEXT:--Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. Matthew 5th Chapter and 8th verse.
And now, my beloved hearers, we will notice how we are delighted to see our friends who have been gone a long journey and return home to their beloved ones; hence it will be an unspeakable joy to see God, especially those that love God, for we think ourselves happy to see our great men of this present day. The queen of Sheba admireth the wisdom of Solomon and said, "happy are thy servants which stand continually before thee and hear thy wisdom. 1. Kings 10th chapter 8th verse. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. And it is written in Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures forever more. But none can see God but the pure in heart,--a clean heart wholy free from spots or stains of sin, the inward purity produced by the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus' Blood. These are they which shall see God, those who rejoice to do His will here below and they shall be glorified in the world to come; and it is written he that has this hope in Him purifieth himself even as He is pure. And there is a common purity that is suited to the things of this world, such as pure gold, and pure heart timber, which is suitable to build ships to sail upon the ocean, and build dwelling houses, and no man will have carpenters and pay them wages to build a ship or a house out of rotten timber, hence men will refuse rotten hearted trees for the building of ships to carry goods and tidings to nations. Likewise God refuses unclean hearts to bear his message to the world. For as the insects live in rotten hearted and hollow trees, and hollow limbs so do devils and bad words dwell in an unclean heart. But by the influence of the Holy Spirit, the unclean hearts may be washed out, as it is written, "Oh, Jerusalem wash thy heart." I have seen a tree look beautiful outside, but when it was rocked by a storm and the outside was broken through and then the rottenness was seen. See Romans 3rd and 13th. Their
throats are open sepulchres, with their tongues they have used deceit, the poison of asps is under their lips, and that is a figure of a self righteous person, for when the storms of temptation cometh his lips will show the fruit of his heart, for as bugs and scorpions live in rotten trees and hollow limbs and when those are applied to the fire the heat will drive those poisonous insects out, so the heat of passion will tire the heart of man; for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh, and it is written, for by thy words thou shalt be justified and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." See Proverbs 12th chapter 22nd verse. Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord. But they that deal truly are His delight. Hence as bugs and scorpions cannot live in pure hearted trees and limbs an evil spirit cannot dwell in a pure heart. Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God, a pure heart consists of a pure conscience towards God and man; and a consistent member in the church. Hence a pure hearted christian will not seek to take advantage of the Lord's house by going into dissipated places and taking part in sinful habits of the world, for a pure hearted christian will not walk contrary to the rule of God's house and hide himself under a false policy and then uphold himself by saying if he asks pardon the church is bound to forgive him. But a pure hearted christian will keep himself from sin, by taking heed to the word of God. See 51st Psalm 10st verse, Create in me a clean heart, O, God, and renew a right spirit within me." And it is witten Thy word is very pure therefore Thy servants loveth it, and we may typify the cleaning of the impure heart by a block of wood that has a rotten heart for we can take a boring instrument and bore out the rotten core and fill it with gold without destroying the block, and then the gold will fill the place of the heart, and it may then be called a golden heart, and it will then be valued according to the weight of gold that was put into the block. So the Holy Spirit can clean the heart and he will not destroy the soul and neither the body. And it is written, "purge me with hysop and I shall be clean, wash me and I shall be whiter than snow." Hence the Holy Spirit can clean the impure heart by faith in Jesus and he will not destroy the soul neither the body, and now may the God of peace be with you all, Amen.
Elder JOSEPH BAYSMORE,
WELDON, N. C.
Subject: How we were made sinners, and how we were redeemed and made heirs of God by his love.
Remarks before preaching:
I am delighted with your Sunday School training, and your good singing, you sing delightful here, it seems to be a heavenly place in Christ, by your good teachers that visit you. I am glad that I am here to preach to you.
Though you are here in prison to work out your time according to law, and God intended that we should have a government, and I advise you to be obedient servants and you may work out the salvation of your souls. And now I call your attention to the 5th chapter of Paul's letter to the Romans and 8th verse. But God commended His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
And now my beloved hearers it is very important that we should know how we became sinners and enemies to God, and then we will know better how to praise God for the gift of His Son to die for us. And now to explain this great question we must go back to the creation of man, for it is written that God created man in his own image, and our first parents did bury the image of God into the surface of unbelief and in this surface of unbelief we all received our sinful nature, hence unbelief is not only a great sin of itself, but one great cause of all other sins, and it may truly be called the mother of all sins as the devil is called the father of lies, and all liars are the children of the Devil. Hence as all trees and plants springeth up from the earth's surface and of the earth earthy and it is certainly true that all men spring from Adam and Mother eve, hence we did
partake of their sinful nature, and the Devil he first accused God to Mother Eve, and prevailed with her to taste the forbidden fruit and she also prevailed with Father Adam to taste the forbidden fruit, and this was a sin of the highest crime.
And he was the head of the human race, this great sin of unbelief poisoned all of the human race, and hence man by nature groweth up from this surface of unbelief, or rather unbelief is the mother of all sinners, and hence the stains of unbelief dyes the soul.
Just as you may take a piece of white cloth and dye it black, and black dye will destroy the white feature, and the destruction of the white feature becomes a high crime, and the penalty for this crime is death, as it is written, the wages of sin is death, so death passed upon all men for all had sinned.
And we all know that a guilty man cannot plead his own a case at the bar of Justice, but he stands guilty, condemned to die, so when we could not take ourselves out of sin, God showed forth his love by sending forth His beloved Son to die for us, not for His sin, for he had no sin in Him; hence this is an unspeakable love.
Hark the poet break forth:
Oh for this love let rocks and hills their lasting silence break,
And all harmonious human tongues your Savior's praises speak;
Angels assist our mighty joys, strike all your harps of gold,
But when you raise your highest notes, his love can never be told.
But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. And now we may see the difference in our love and the love of God, for we are not willing to die for our best friends, and yet God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to die for our sin, hence this was God's scheme of redemption, that the blood of Christ should wash believers from the great sin of unbelief. And it is written: in that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness, Hence:
There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel's veins:
And sinners plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.
And now the application of the blood, by faith, broke up the surface of sin and unbelief, and hence we are planted in the blood of Christ by our faith toward God, and we groweth in favor toward God, and we groweth in favor of God, by faith in the blood of Christ, or rather we are made the children of God by the blood of Christ, for we are made heirs and joint heirs in Christ, and hence the believers are made the children of God by
the blood of His Son, and this makes the believers not only like God, but in God, that is, we are nearer to God than our first parents were.
For as unbelief was planted into our first parents by the persuasion of the Devil, for he told the lie to break the peace between God and man, and the blood has now made peace between God and man, and hence the image of God that was buried by our first parents is now restored in its holy splendor by the blood of his Son.
What think you of a man that was required by law to pay a debt, and he himself could not pay it, and then he was sentenced to imprisonment for non-payment, and he is now delivered into the hands of the sheriff, and he meets one friend that paid the sheriff all the debt, and the sheriff let him go free because the debt is paid, is this not a great friend, does he not deserve thanks for paying the debt.
And now Christ has paid our debt in his own blood, and all he asks of us is to acknowledge it, and give the Father the praise, will we not do this and be saved. And now may the God of peace be with you all, Amen.
Elder JOSEPH BAYSMORE,
Weldon, N. C.
TEXT St. John 17th Chapter and 17th verse: "Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth." And now my dear brethren, and congregation, this text treats upon the doctrine of sanctification which purifies the soul and places it into a state of holiness and perfect obedience to God. Sanctification is planted in the soul by the holy spirit and is carried on to perfection, sanctification begins its holy work in regeneration, for we must be regenerated to be restored to the fellowship of God, for we were born in sin, by the disobedience of our first parents and God in his great mercy has sent us the truth and God has promised to sanctify us and save from ruin by the belief of the truth. First, regeneration purge the conscience, from dead works to serve the living God, or take the carnal nature out of the soul and implant the divine nature in the soul.
Secondly, it is justified by faith in Jesus' blood, justification pardoneth the guilt or set the soul free from sin.
Thirdly, the soul is sanctified or wholly separated from all sin, see the Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews, 10th chapter, 14th verse, "for by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified," and again it is written in the 103rd Psalm and 12th verse, "as far as the East is from the West so far hath he removed our transgression from us," hence the sanctified soul cannot return again unto sin and if the believers can fall from the belief of the truth and the justification and the sanctification of the holy spirit, they cannot be renewed again unto repentance, see Hebrews, 6th chapter and 6th verse, but it is said by some professing Christian that the sanctified soul can fall away into sin by being his own free agent, but in a way of common speaking the unmarried man is his own free agent until he marries a wife and when the law fixes the great seal upon this promise of obedience he cannot be lawfully married to another woman without the same law grant him a divorce or the liberty, so the sanctified soul should not go into sin without he first obtain the liberty from God, but let us see what is written in the Bible, see first John, 3rd chapter, 8th and 9th verses, he that committeth sin is of the Devil, but whatsoever is born of God doth not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in him and he cannot sin because he is born of God, sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth and for their sakes I sanctify myself
that they also might be sanctified through the truth, hence if a man be chased by a wild beast and is forced to climb up a tree to save his life, and when he goes up high into the boughs and hides himself, it is his duty to hold on to the tree, for if he falleth from the tree after he had gone up it 40 or 50 or 60 feet he could not again climb the tree after he had fell from it, so, then the love for his life will compel him to hold on to the tree, so then hold fast to the belief of the Truth and can not fall from it, and again I will put my laws in their hearts and in their minds will I write them and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Now where the remission of these is there are no more offerings for sin, see the text, "Sanctify them through thy truth," and see 2nd Thessalonians, 2d chapter, and part of the 13th verse, "because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through the sanctification of the spirit, and the belief of the truth and the truth is true holiness," and hence fallen man is made perfect through the belief of the truth, for God did from the beginning create our first parents holy, for holiness is one of God's attributes and without holiness no flesh can be saved from sin and death, but when we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and clean us from all unrighteousness and then you have your fruit unto holiness and the end in everlasting life, but if we say that we have no sin and have not been pardoned for our sins, we make him a liar, that is we have called him a liar and his word is not in us, but if you have been regenerated by the spirit and justified by faith in Jesus' blood and sanctified through the belief of the truth you are then made holy and perfect in Christ, now ye are cleansed through the word which I have spoken unto you, abide in me and I in you, and see I John, 5th chapter and 18th verse, for we know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not, but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself from evil; sanctify them through thy truth, first regeneration create anew in Christ, and justification pardons the guilt and sanctification purifies or makes the soul perfect in Christ.
And now may the God of peace bless you all. Amen.