Pilgrim’s Keyboard

November 28, 2017

Obadiah Holmes

Filed under: Baptist Heritage ...,Bruce — pilgrimskeyboard @ 3:47 pm

Obadiah Holmes (1607?-1682) Baptist Pioneer Piety –
“In 1639 – the year after Dr. JOhn Clarke and others settles on Aquidneck Island in Narragnsett Bay – a sturdy Englishman in his early thirties arrived in Salem, Massachusetts with his wife and three year old son. This man was Obadiah Holmes, his wife Catherine, and their son Jonathan…. Upon arrival in Salem … Soon {1640} Holmes and his family united with the Puritan Church in Salem, and records indicate that he became identified with the prominent people of the community … In 1645 Holmes and his family moved to Rehobeth, a part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony outside the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Bay authorities…. Here he and Catherine united with the local church, also of Puritan persuasion…. however, he became almost immediately embroiled in controversy with the pastor, Samuel Newman…. So intense was the conflict … he soon was excommunicated from this congregation.

Baptist activity in Newport, Rhode Island, was gaining strength, with the arrival of Mark Lucar, a member of John Spilsbury’s Baptist Church in England in 1648.Newport’s religious leaders began to reach out to Massachusetts and to Plymouth Colony, and in particular to the nearby Rehobeth settlement. While the Puritans saw the Baptists as a source of much disruption and conflict, the efforts of Lucar, Clarke, and others brought a long-sought sense of peace to Obadiah Holmes.  He wrote of the experience, ‘It pleased the Father of Light, after a long continuance of mine in death and darkness to cause life and immortality to be brought to light in my soul.’

Sometime during this period, Dr. John Clarke visited Rehobeth, and there found people hold essentially Baptist views, among them Obadiah Holmes. Clarke baptized Holmes and eight other men, and they formed a congregation in Rehobeth … although they were technically members of the Newport Church. Soon the group was prevented from conducting public services y the Grand Jury of Plymouth Colony. To escape this kind of religious persecution, Holmes and his growing family moved once again – this time to Newport, in the fall of 1650…. early in the summer of 1651 he found himself in the midst of the situation for which he is most remembered. In the month of July, Holmes, Clarke, and John Crandall, journeyed to Lynn, Massachusetts, to visit William Witter, an elderly man who was a ‘brother in the Church (in Newport), but by reason of his age could not undertake so great a journey as to visit the church.’

The three arrived at Witter’s home, about two miles from the center of the village, on Saturday … to spend the Lord’s Day there with their brother…. for it was determined that they should have religious services at Witter’s home. While Dr. Clark was preaching, ‘Two constables came into the house, who with their clamours [sic] for the arrest of Holmes, Clarke, and Crandall, carried them away to the alehouse …’ Later that day they compelled to attend the meeting of the local Puritan Church, although they indicated that they should be compelled to go, they would declare their dissent by word and by deed.’ The words were spoken by Clarke, who disrupted the congregation at worship, and the three persisted at the wearing their hats, even during the time the congregation was praying…. the next day they were sent to Boston.

After two weeks in prison, the courts imposed sentence: Crandall-5 pounds; Clarke-20 pounds, and Holmes-30 pounds, if they did not pay their fines, they would be publicly whipped. All three refused to pay the fines…. Clarke’s was paid by someone unknown to him. Crandall was released on his promise to pay … Holmes not only refused to pay the pay the fine himself, but he vigorously protested the efforts of his friends to pay for him.

He was led to the whipping post behind the Old State House in Boston, where he spoke to the crowd assembled, ‘Though my flesh should fail, and my spirit, should fail, yet my God will not fail.’ With this, the whipping began. The man wield a three-part whip, and with each blow he spat upon his hands three times. When finally the torment was ended and Holmes was released, he addressed the magistrate, ‘You have struck me as with roses.’ His body was bruised and bleeding, and for months afterward he ‘could take no rest except as he lay on his knees and elbows, not being able to suffer any part of his body to touch the bed where he lay.’

Holmes returned to Newport soon after his ordeal, and resume his work in the Baptist Church there, under the pastor and his close friend, John Clarke. …

Following Clarke’s death in 1676, Holmes became the second pastor of one of the oldest Baptist Churches in the New World {According to … J. R.Graves … this is the first and oldest Baptist Church in the New World}. … He died October 15, 1682.


[Gleaned from “A Pioneer of Religious Liberty: Obadiah Holmes – by L. Edgar Stone (“The Landmark Baptist” publication, Vol. 16, Number 3, May/June 2015), 1-5; Cf. “Baptist Piety: The Last Will and Testimony of Obadiah Holmes,” edited by – Edwin S. Gaustad (Christian University Press, Grand Rapids, MI, 1978).]


John Gano

Filed under: Bruce — pilgrimskeyboard @ 3:46 pm

John Gano (1727-1804)

John Gano was a Baptist preacher and a chaplain during the Revolutionary War. He had the privilege of Baptizing George Washington. The date of Washingtons conversion and immersion are even engraved on Ganos tombstone. John was born on July 22, 1727 in Hopewell, New Jersey. His family originally came to America from France. Johns father was a Presbyterian and his mother was a Baptist. John was very influenced by his fathers faith and desired to be like him. With such a strong Christian influence his family represented in his life, at the age of twenty John accepted Christ as his Saviour. John was not very educated but after his conversion, he began to study the Bible extensively and became convicted about baptism. He had been baptized as an infant in the Presbyterian Church, but he felt that baptism was by immersion. He began to have many discussions with several Presbyterian ministers, but was still not satisfied with their answers. After having a dialogue with the well-known Gilbert Tennant, a Presbyterian pastor, it is recorded that Mr. Tennant said to him, Dear young man, if the devil cannot destroy your soul he will endeavor to destroy your comfort and usefulness, and, therefore, do not be always doubting in this matter. If you cannot think as I do, think for yourself. Although John Ganos [sic.] father did not agree with him on the matter, he allowed John to get baptized in the Baptist church. It was after his baptism that he became a member of the Baptist church in Hopewell. He was strongly convicted by the Lord to begin preaching. It is said that he was so consumed by these thoughts that he often couldnt [sic.] focus on other things. John would often share the Gospel with all those who were around him. He couldnt [sic.] contain himself and had such a passion and zeal for the things of the Lord. {…}

November 1, 2017

A Book to Read …

Filed under: Book Recommendations ... — pilgrimskeyboard @ 12:40 am

The Man Christ Jesus: Theological Reflections on the Humanity of Christ – Bruce A.Ware | Published Crossway Books, c. 2012 / printing 2013, ISBN 978-1-4335-1305-3.
Jesus Christ had two natures. He was fully divine and fully human. Christology is the study of Jesus Christ. This book focuses upon His aspect of being a human-man. In this book He looks at the function, the necessity, and the experiences of Jesus Christ as a man. It is excellent study of the man, Jesus Christ. I recommend that this book be put on your reading list and/or on your library shelf. | 10-31-17

October 5, 2017

A Cry for Deliverance …

Filed under: The Valley of Vision — pilgrimskeyboard @ 3:06 pm

Romans 7:24-25
O wretch man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God – through Jesus Christ, our Lord! … 

“Heaven Father,

Save me entirely from sin, I know I am righteous through the righteousness of another, but I pant and pine for likeness to thyself; I am thy child and should bear thy image, enable me to recognize my death unto sin; When it tempts me may I be deaf unto its voice.

Deliver me from the invasion as well as the dominion of sin.

Grant me to walk as Christ walked, to live in the newness of his life, the life of love, the life of faith, the life of holiness.

I abhor my body of death, its indolence, envy, meaness, pride.

Forgive, and kill these vices, have mercy on my unbelief, on my corrupt and wandering heart.

When thy blessings come I begin to idolize them, and set my affection on some beloved object – children, friends, wealth, honour; cleanse this spiritual adultery and give me chastity; close my heart to all but thee.

Sin is my greatest curse; let thy victory be apparent to my consciousness, and displayed in my life.

Help me to be always devoted, confident, obedient, resigned, childlike in my trust of thee, to love thee with my soul, body, mind, strength, to love my fellow-man as I love myself, to be saved from unregenerate temper, hard thoughts, slanderous words, meanness, unkind manners, to master my tongue and keep the door of my lips.

Fill me with race daily, that my life be a fountain of sweet water.”

{The Valley of Vision, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1975 (14th printing, 2015), 168-9}

March 7, 2017

The Life Look

Filed under: The Valley of Vision — pilgrimskeyboard @ 12:31 am

O God,

I bless thee for the happy moment when I first saw thy law fulfilled in Christ, wrath appeased, death destroyed, sin forgiven, my soul saved.

Ever since, thou hast been faithful to me:  daily have I proved the power of Jesus’ blood, daily have I known the strength of thy Spirit, my teacher, director, sanctifier.

I want no other rock to build upon than that I have, desire no other hope than that of gospel truth, need no other look than that which gazes on the cross.

Forgive me if I have tried to add anything to the one foundation, if I have unconsciously relied upon my knowledge, experience, deeds, and not seen them as filthy rages, if I have attempted to complete what is perfect in Christ; may my cry be always, Only Jesus! only Jesus!

In him is freedom from condemnation, fullness in his righteousness, eternal vitality in his given life, indissoluble union in in fellowship with him; in him I have all that I can hold; enlarge me to take in more.

If I backslide, let me like Peter weep bitterly and return to him; if I am tempted, and have no wit, give me strength enough to trust in him; if I am weak, may I faint upon his bosom of eternal love; if in extremity, let me feel that he can deliver me; if driven to the verge of hope and to the pit of despair, grant me grace to fall into his arms.

O God, hear me, do for me more than I ask, think, or dream.


(Valley of Vision, 96-97.)

March 6, 2017

Salvation is of God …

Filed under: Bruce,Theology Matters ... — pilgrimskeyboard @ 2:49 am

Jonah 2:9 | … Salvation is of the LORD.

John 1:12-13 | … as many as received him – [Jesus Christ], to them he gave power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Ephesians 2:8-9 | For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.

March 2, 2017

A Convert’s First Prayer

Filed under: The Valley of Vision — pilgrimskeyboard @ 5:45 pm

“A Convert’s First Prayer”

My Father,

I could never have sought my happiness in thy love, unless thou hads’t first loved me.

Thy Spirit has encouraged me by grace to seek thee, has made known to me thy reconcilitiation in Jesus, has taught me to believe it, has helped me to take thee for my God and portion.

May he grant me to grow in the knowledge and experience of thy love, and walk in it all the way to glory.

Blessed forever be thy fatherly affection, which chose me to be one of thy children by faith in Jesus:  I thank thee for giving me the desire to live as such.

In Jesus, my brother, I  have my new birth, every restraining power, every renewing grace.

It is in thy Spirit I call thee Father, believe in thee, love thee; strengthen me inwardly for every purpose of my Christian life; let the Spirit continually reveal to me my interest in Christ, and open to me the riches of thy love in him; may he abide in me that I may know my union with Jesus, and enter into constant fellowship with him; rejoice in thy love, find it the same to me as to thy Son, and become rooted and grounded in it as a house on rock; I know but little –

Increase my knowledge of thy love in Jesus, keep me pressing forward for clearer discoveries of it, so that I may find its eternal fullness; magnify thy love to me according to my deserts or prayers, and whatever increase thou givest, let it draw out greater love to thee.

The Valley of Vision. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust (2015, 14th printing, ISBN 978 0 85151 821 3), 94-95.

Books I read in 2016 …

Filed under: Annual Book Reading LIst — pilgrimskeyboard @ 4:58 pm


  1. Baptists in America: A History – Thomas S. Kidd & Barry Hankins | Published by: Oxford University Press, 2015, ISBN: 978-0-19-997753-6. Overall I enjoyed this book. As its title states it is a history of American Baptists. The inside jacket note reads, “[After] four hundred years … Baptists [have become] the second-largest religious group in America, and their influence matches their numbers.” I think this book could be more informative concerning who the Baptists were/are in this country. It does go into some detail for some Baptist groups and yet not so much on others. It is written by “respectable church historians in the academy today” (R. Albert Mohler, Jr.). I recommend it only on the sense that if you have a Christian/Church/Baptist history section in your personal library – for no book is completely useless in a library. However, if you do not have such a section you may just want to check the book out from a public-library and then glean some info from it for knowledge while saving your $$ for some other book. | (12/28/2015) 01/01/2016


Anytime you get the opportunity to read about the saints of old – I highly recommend that you do so – God’s people of the past are an inspiration to His people today.

  1. The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones – Steven J. Lawson | This is the story of the successful doctor who became a premier preacher. One of the twentieth century’s most influential sovereign grace preachers. He had one purpose when he walked into his pulpit and that was to show forth the Glory of God of which he did through one way and that was expository preaching of the Word of God. This bio is the latest edition of the “A Long Line of Godly Men Profile” series edited by Dr. Steven J. Lawson published by Reformation Trust (Ligonier Ministries). If you have enjoyed any of the books from the series this one will be just as much a delight to read. I highly recommend this book, as well as, the series. | 03-19-2016
  1. Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson – S. C. Gwynne | Civil War History is often captured from the bios of famous men/women who were prominent during their era. Stonewall Jackson was such a prominent actor during the Civil War. This book examines his personality and traits in an excellent manner that let the reader get to know this Southern Christian Gentleman who was a major factor in the War between the North and the South. One can only assume that the outcome of the Civil War may had been quite different if our Sovereign God had allowed Thomas J. Jackson to have lived longer and fought more battles. He was a master in combat and along with his Stonewall Brigade nearly unstoppable. | 08-21-2016

Tools – Booklets – Pamphlets

  1. Using New Testament Greek in Ministry: A Practical Guide for Students and Pastors – David Alan Black | Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group, 1993. ISBN: 978-0-8010-1043-9. | 03/22/2015

December 21, 2015

Books I Read in 2015 …

Filed under: Annual Book Reading LIst,Bruce — pilgrimskeyboard @ 4:20 pm


For several years now I have posted a list of the books that I have read over the past year. Ever since the Lord God saved me in Christ Jesus I have had a desire to read books. I have found that reading books allow me to journey to places i will never see and to have conversations (so-to-speak) with many wise men/women of the past who teach valuable knowledge. Plus there is also the healthy aspect of just keeping my mind active as I age.

I usually read about Theology, Christian History (mostly Baptist), Old Saints’ writings, and The Revolutionary War & The Civil War era history/bios. I am not crazy about political writers, or any of TV pundits’ books. I hope that this list might inspire you to pick up on of these books or some other book to enjoy to begin a new journey of adventure. Make a new friend today – read a book!

The List …

1. BIBLE: The Story of the King James Version, 1611-2011 – Gordon Campbell | Published by: Oxford University Press in 2010. I enjoyed this book. It is a history from an Englishman’s point of view concerning the King James Version Bible. He discusses the origin of reasoning for this English translation, looks at the various printers, mistakes they made (some accidental, some deliberate), examines its beauty as a historical literary work, the significance of inspiration (Hebrew and Greek manuscripts), and the King James Only debate (Trinitarian Bible Society in the United Kingdom and the Dean Burgon Society here in the United States, as well as, many of our various types of churches, etc.). The KJV is now over 400 years old. This book is a brief history of this particular translation that God has used in bringing multitudes of people to a saving relationship with Christ. For that reason alone – it is worth the time to read. | 01/30/2015

2. The End Times In Chronological Order: A Complete Overview to Understanding Bible Prophecy – Ron Rhodes | Published by Harvest House Publishers in 2012. The title basically defines the outlay of the book. One’s doctrinal stand on eschatology will probably determine what you think of this book. The Pre-mills will say, “It’s great” – the A-mills will say, “Aint no way” – the Post-Mills will say “Just wait” – and the Preterist will say, “Old news.” However despite all of our biases the best way to approach this book is with an open mind. If that can be done then I think you will enjoy its contents. We should not only read books that agree with our theology but we should also be willing to read what others contend for concerning the faith. I do not recommend reading heretical material but I do think we should be willing to challenge our doctrinal thoughts w/o fear. | 02/12/2015

3. The Churches of the New Testament – George W. McDaniel (1875-1927) | This book is just as its title implies: a look at the churches of the New Testament. The author begins by looking at the meaning of the word church in the Greek, which is translated “church” (“congregation” – Tyndale NT) in our English translations. From here McDaniel examines each NT book that mentions the word “church” in its context. He discusses the location and circumstances of each local church and the why of their existence. I think most would enjoy the book who like the study of ecclesiology. Especially Landmarkers (or “local-church” buffs) more so than the Reformers because it significantly leans toward the Greek usage of the “local church” in contrast to the teaching of today that “everybody-is-in-the-church” syndrome. I enjoyed the book. I hope you will too. I found it through Amazon, Yokai Publishing, ISBN: 9781907703096. | 03/09/2015

4. The Origin of The Baptists – Samuel Howard Ford (1819-1905) | I enjoy reading old books. I enjoy reading about Christian history. Especially those of old Baptists. In some of my Baptist history books I will find where the author will quote or make reference to S. H. Ford’s The Origin of the Baptists. So it was exciting when I came across a used copy of this book on Amazon.com [copyright 1950 – Baptist Sunday School Committee]. Ford wrote his book sometime around 1860 (J. R. Graves, “Introduction” date). The premise of the book is found in his question: “Where Did the Baptists Come From?” He begins his quest by looking at the Baptist in Virginia and then moves through the different centuries and ends up in the NT at Jesus Christ, the founder of Baptist churches.
I highly recommend old history books concerning the Lord’s NT churches and Christianity. I think you would enjoy reading this little book. | 04-09-2015

5. Why Is My Church Dying? – Russell C. Lambert | Whenever we consider anything that will help the church grow in its teaching, reaching out, or bringing in we often look to avenues that will help us to achieve our stated goal. We usually gather the information we need from sources that are purposely keyed in such directions. This little book is one of those sources. No pastor or teacher or church member wants to see their church dwindle down and eventually die. To prevent such a mishap one needs to understand the situations that lead to their decline. Lambert’s book is a good place to start. It is small yet the author covers a number of different aspects in regard to the Scripture as his basis of thought. (Worldwide Distribution, 2015, ISBN: 978-1-329-06192-7). | 05-27-2015

6. Prayer A Biblical Perspective – Eric J. Alexander | “For those who find it difficult to pray there is much encouragement here as the author … addresses the common problems believers face when coming to pray.” This is a small book (approx.. 90 pages), which means you can read it in a day or two. The author does not emphasize the “how to” of praying as much as he does the “why to” of prayer. This book was recommended to me by my preacher friend Dr. Allen Raynor. I now pass that recommendation on to you. I think you will enjoy this helpful book and I hope that it will be a good tool to guide you as you engage the Lord in prayer. (The Banner of Truth Trust, 2012 [reprinted 2013], ISBN: 978-1-84871-149-5). | 06-05-2015

7. Living By Revealed Truth: The Life and Pastoral Theology of Charles Haddon Spurgeon – Tom Nettles | It has been a long time coming in my reading to finally finish this book. I have been reading it – setting it down – reading it – etc. It definitely has been time consuming (at least for me). Now that I have finished it I am convinced that the time was well spent.. Tom Nettles, is a excellent historian and this book showcases his talent. It is one of the premier books on Charles Spurgeon. If you do not have this book it in your Christian Library I urge you to obtain a copy. You will not regret the time and effort in reading. (Christian Focus Publication, Mentor Imprint, 2013, 683 pages, ISBN: 978-1-78191-122-8). | 10-17-2015

8. The Daring Mission of William Tyndale – Steven J. Lawson | One of my favorite heroes of Christianity is William Tyndale. He is the Father of the English Bible. He is the first to translate the Greek New Testament into English. His goal was to put the English Bible into the hands of the average plow-boy because he felt that the common man needed to have God’s Word to read for themselves. The KJV NT is approximately 80% from the Tyndale NT and of the books he translated in the OT about 60% of their content is based on his work. All of our English translations were and still are based on Tyndale’s efforts and labors. Tyndale’s reward for putting the Scripture into English for common men such as me to read – he was charged with the high crime of putting the Bible into English, hunted down by the English Royalty and Church authorities, strangled to death by an iron chain, after which his corpse was burned and blown up by gunpowder that had been spread around his incinerated body. His final words, “Lord, open the king of England’s eyes.” That dying prayer was answered for two years later King Henry VIII ordered that the Coverdale Bible was to be used in every parish in the land (the Coverdale Bible was largely … Tyndale’s work). I highly recommend this book. | 05-21-2015

9. The Mighty Weakness of John Knox – Douglas Bond | This is another book from the series – “A Long Line of Godly Men Profile” by Stephen J. Lawson. This book like the others in the series is a biographical picture of a man used by God to demonstrate His sovereignty and providence in Christendom. John Knox was prominent in establishing the faith throughout Scotland. As in all of the books in this series I recommend that take the time to read of our Christian heroes from the past. | 11-02-2015

10. The Trinitarian Devotion of John Owen – Sinclair B. Ferguson | This book is also from the series – “A Long Line of Godly Men” by Stephen J. Lawson. This book is about the old Puritan preacher and theologian John Owen. It is a short look at Owen’s treatment of the Trinity in his writings. Sinclair wrote: “Pastor, Theologian, and military chaplain John Owen lived during troubled times, and his life remained marked by tremendous changes in his circumstances. But even as his position rose and fell, he remained steadfast in his faith in the triune God of the Bible.” I have found this to be an excellent read. One I recommend. The book can be obtained from Ligonier Ministries. | 12-02-2015

11. Using New Testament Greek in Ministry: A Practical Guide for Students and Pastors – David Alan Black | Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group, 1993. ISBN: 978-0-8010-1043-9. | 03/22/2015


December 2, 2015

The Trinitarian Devotion of John Owen

Filed under: Some Famous | Some Not So Famous — pilgrimskeyboard @ 6:48 pm

The Trinitarian Devotion of John Owen – Sinclair B. Ferguson | This book is also from the series – “A Long Line of Godly Men” by Stephen J. Lawson. This book is about the old Puritan preacher and theologian John Owen’sJohn Owen treatment of the Trinity in his writings. Sinclair wrote: “Pastor, Theologian, and military chaplain John Owen lived during troubled times, and his life remained marked by tremendous changes in his circumstances. But even as his position rose and fell, he remained steadfast in his faith in the triune God of the Bible.” I have found this to be an excellent read. One I recommend. The book can be obtained from Ligonier Ministries. | 12-02-2015

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