The Iron Pen #80
"...graven with an iron pen and lead..." Job
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
God & Country
The Biblical Baptism of WashingtonPastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
American History was not my favorite class in high school. The truth be
known, there weren’t many classes that I did enjoy! But, all that has changed.
It has been a great adventure for me studying American History as an adult. But,
not the edited version presented in the public school texts of today. Many of
those books seek to demean and even vilify our Founding Fathers. To be sure,
they were far from perfect. Yet, neither are they the perverse scoundrels they
are alleging to be today! I have gone way back, as best as I can, to the
original sources looking for demonstrations of Christian faith and character in
our Founding Fathers and I have found many evidences of such. George Washington
is one of my favorite Founding Fathers. Hanging on the wall in my office is a
beautiful lithograph of George Washington kneeling in prayer beside his horse.
It is based on the eyewitness account given by Isaac Potts, General Washington’s
temporary landlord. Then there is the Currier & Ives portrait of George
Washington with his hand placed on an open Bible, being sworn into office April
30, 1789. Washington had instructed that the Bible be opened to Deuteronomy 28
to swear his oath. But, my favorite painting is of George Washington being
baptized by immersion by Brigadier Chaplain John Gano. The Baptist chaplain was
nicknamed, "The Fighting Chaplain." He had become close friends with Washington.
One day General Washington approached the chaplain and said, "I have heard you
preach and have been investigating the Scriptures, and I believe immersion to be
the baptism taught in the Word of God, and I demand baptism at your hands. I do
not wish any parade made, or the army called out, but simply a quiet
administration of the ordinance." In the presence of 42 witnesses, Washington
was immersed in the Potomac.
While there are historians who doubt the account, because there is no written
record in Washington’s papers, it is obvious that Washington did not want to
make a public display of it. I should note, among the 42 witnesses was Gano’s
oldest son Daniel. Time magazine, September 5, 1932, on the bicentenary
of the birthday of George Washington, carried an article giving the account of
the General being baptized by immersion by Gano.
It is apparent Washington held Chaplain Gano in the highest esteem.
Washington giving the chaplain a special sword that had been given to him by the
Marquis de Lafayette evidences this. Finally, it was Chaplain John Gano, under
orders from General Washington, who announced on April 19, 1783, that the war
was over, and the United States of America was free and independent. Gano then
led the assembled officers and enlisted men in a prayer of thanksgiving for
victory and peace. It was eight years exactly from when the shots were fired on
Lexington Green and at Concord: April 19, 1775!
(Note: John Gano became the pastor of the First Baptist Church in New York in
1762. The church grew under his ministry from 26 to 200 members. He left to
serve as a revolutionary war chaplain and then returned to pastor them until
1788. The picture of the biblical baptism and the sword are on display at
William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri.)
Emblems of The Holy Spirit
D. L. Moody
Emblems are God’s chosen illustrations from natural things to help us
understand the work of the Holy Spirit, so that we may get a clear view of
spiritual truth. The promised third Person of the Trinity came at Pentecost
(Acts 1:4, 5, 8; 2:1-4). Below are emblems used of the Holy Spirit.
– It searches; it purifies; it illuminates.
Water – It cleanses; it fertilizes; it refreshes.
Rain & Dew – They refresh; they fructify (to make fruitful); they
Wind – It is independent; it is reviving; it is in motion; it is powerful
Seal – It impresses; it secures.
Dove – It is gentle; it is meek; it is innocent.
Oil – It consecrates; it comforts; it heals.
Point To Ponder
"Tis the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s beloved Son and the heir of all things and
He to whom the Father has committed all power in Heaven and earth and to whom He
hath commanded every knee to bow and every tongue confess. Then how sad must be
their estates who refuse to love, honor and obey Him…They are dreadfully doomed
that will not receive and own Christ." John Gano
Declaration of Divine Truth & A Repudiation of Human Error
J. Sidlow Baxter
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Genesis 1:1
This first "testimony" of Jehovah is not only a declaration of Divine truth,
but a repudiation of human error. Here’s why.
"In the beginning God…" denies Atheism with its doctrine of no
"In the beginning God…" denies Polytheism with its doctrine of many
"In the beginning God created…" denies Fatalism with its
doctrine of change.
"In the beginning God created…" denies Evolution with its
doctrine of infinite becoming.
"God created the heaven and the earth…" denies the Pantheism
which makes God and the universe identical.
"God created the heaven and the earth…" denies Materialism
which asserts the eternity of matter.