Thursday, September 2, 2010

odd and ends

I’m working on a chapter detailing the months from January 1876 to August 1876. Most of this has been on the blog in one form or another, and I don’t intend to post this chapter. There are some updates to previously published information. As usual, do not click on the footnote links; they take you off page. Bloger is strange.

On Paton’s baptism:

On March 7, 1858, John Paton was baptized by Elder William Dennison Potter, a Baptist Clergyman from Hadley, Michigan, and he “united with the Almont Baptist Church.” Potter was ordained a Baptist clergyman in May 1839. During the late 1830’s and 40’s he was Agent for the Western Reserve Branch of the American Education Society, and there is a record of him visiting the more significant churches to raise funds for the society. A brief biographical note says he was “known both far and near as a Baptist minister of great strength and eloquence. … He was a good and benevolent man and was esteemed by all who came under the influence of his teaching and example.” Unfortunately, there seem to be no printed examples of his sermons by which to measure his message.[1]

On Paton’s association with Winser:

Paton’s association with the Baptists in Almont was interrupted by religious controversy: “On August 17, 1861, I left that church because of their rejection of Eld. Wisner, their pastor, who preached anti-Calvinistic doctrine. Several of us thought of the casting out of that minister as virtually casting us out, who believed the same way.”[2]

William G. Wisner [1800-1887] is of interest because he planted seeds in Paton’s mind that would bear fruit later. Wisner settled in Michigan in 1839 and became pastor of the Jonesville Baptist Church. He believed that the Bible should be the sole guide to faith, a belief at the heart of Protestant faith, but seldom practiced by any. In 1888, shortly before his death, he wrote: “The Word of God has been my text-book. I have had no other business but to study my Bible, pray and preach as best I could. [I] Have baptized 778 persons. … The Lord has been my strength and helper.”[3] Wisner was a persuasive preacher, one notice of his ministry calling it “a most fruitful one.”[4]

Paton met Wisner in 1858. Wisner lead “an important revival”[5] in Almont and remained pastor until 1860 when he was expelled for opposing predestination doctrine, leading Paton and others to rejected predestination. This would become an important issue later.

On Elder Angell’s invitation to Paton to join the Methodist ministery: We no longer feel certain of our identification of Angell and have deleted it.

We’ve found a really good copy of Paton’s endorsement of a patent medicine

[1] Cemetery records give his birth and death dates as September 25, 1816 – December 9, 1887. He was born in New York and died in Hadley, Lapeer County, Michigan. Biographical note: Portrait & Biographical Album of Genesee, Lapeer & Tuscola Counties, Chapman Bros., 1892, pages 346-350. Ordination date: The Christian Review, September 1839, page 476.
[2] Paton: Autobiography.
[3] Marry Trowbridge: History of the Baptists in Michigan, Michigan State Baptist Convention, 1909, page 274.
[4] Manual of the Churches of Seneca County with Sketches of Their Pastor, Courier Printing Company, Seneca Falls, New York, 1896, page 39
[5] History of Lapeer County Michigan, With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers, H. R. Page & Co., Chicago 1884, page 39.

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