Texas Before Truett

Leviticus

Texas Before Truett

July 8th, 1956 @ 10:50 AM

Leviticus 1-6

And the LORD called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, If any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD, ye shall bring your offering of the cattle, even of the herd, and of the flock. If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD. And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he shall flay the burnt offering, and cut it into his pieces. And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay the wood in order upon the fire: And the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall lay the parts, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar: But his inwards and his legs shall he wash in water: and the priest shall burn all on the altar, to be a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD. And if his offering be of the flocks, namely, of the sheep, or of the goats, for a burnt sacrifice; he shall bring it a male without blemish. And he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall sprinkle his blood round about upon the altar. And he shall cut it into his pieces, with his head and his fat: and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar: But he shall wash the inwards and the legs with water: and the priest shall bring it all, and burn it upon the altar: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD. And if the burnt sacrifice for his offering to the LORD be of fowls, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves, or of young pigeons. And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring off his head, and burn it on the altar; and the blood thereof shall be wrung out at the side of the altar: And he shall pluck away his crop with his feathers, and cast it beside the altar on the east part, by the place of the ashes: And he shall cleave it with the wings thereof, but shall not divide it asunder: and the priest shall burn it upon the altar, upon the wood that is upon the fire: it is a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD. And when any will offer a meat offering unto the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense thereon: And he shall bring it to Aaron’s sons the priests: and he shall take thereout his handful of the flour thereof, and of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof; and the priest shall burn the memorial of it upon the altar, to be an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD: And the remnant of the meat offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons’: it is a thing most holy of the offerings of the LORD made by fire. And if thou bring an oblation of a meat offering baken in the oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil. And if thy oblation be a meat offering baken in a pan, it shall be of fine flour unleavened, mingled with oil. Thou shalt part it in pieces, and pour oil thereon: it is a meat offering. And if thy oblation be a meat offering baken in the fryingpan, it shall be made of fine flour with oil. And thou shalt bring the meat offering that is made of these things unto the LORD: and when it is presented unto the priest, he shall bring it unto the altar. And the priest shall take from the meat offering a memorial thereof, and shall burn it upon the altar: it is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD. And that which is left of the meat offering shall be Aaron’s and his sons’: it is a thing most holy of the offerings of the LORD made by fire. No meat offering, which ye shall bring unto the LORD, shall be made with leaven: for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of the LORD made by fire. As for the oblation of the firstfruits, ye shall offer them unto the LORD: but they shall not be burnt on the altar for a sweet savour. And every oblation of thy meat offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering: with all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt. And if thou offer a meat offering of thy firstfruits unto the LORD, thou shalt offer for the meat offering of thy firstfruits green ears of corn dried by the fire, even corn beaten out of full ears. And thou shalt put oil upon it, and lay frankincense thereon: it is a meat offering. And the priest shall burn the memorial of it, part of the beaten corn thereof, and part of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof: it is an offering made by fire unto the LORD. And if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offer it of the herd; whether it be a male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the LORD. And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron’s sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about. And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire unto the LORD; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, And the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away. And Aaron’s sons shall burn it on the altar upon the burnt sacrifice, which is upon the wood that is on the fire: it is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD. And if his offering for a sacrifice of peace offering unto the LORD be of the flock; male or female, he shall offer it without blemish. If he offer a lamb for his offering, then shall he offer it before the LORD. And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron’s sons shall sprinkle the blood thereof round about upon the altar. And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire unto the LORD; the fat thereof, and the whole rump, it shall he take off hard by the backbone; and the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, And the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away. And the priest shall burn it upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire unto the LORD. And if his offering be a goat, then he shall offer it before the LORD. And he shall lay his hand upon the head of it, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle the blood thereof upon the altar round about. And he shall offer thereof his offering, even an offering made by fire unto the LORD; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, And the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away. And the priest shall burn them upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire for a sweet savour: all the fat is the LORD’S. It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a soul shall sin through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and shall do against any of them: If the priest that is anointed do sin according to the sin of the people; then let him bring for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto the LORD for a sin offering. And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD; and shall lay his hand upon the bullock’s head, and kill the bullock before the LORD. And the priest that is anointed shall take of the bullock’s blood, and bring it to the tabernacle of the congregation: And the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the LORD, before the vail of the sanctuary. And the priest shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the LORD, which is in the tabernacle of the congregation; and shall pour all the blood of the bullock at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he shall take off from it all the fat of the bullock for the sin offering; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, And the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away, As it was taken off from the bullock of the sacrifice of peace offerings: and the priest shall burn them upon the altar of the burnt offering. And the skin of the bullock, and all his flesh, with his head, and with his legs, and his inwards, and his dung, Even the whole bullock shall he carry forth without the camp unto a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn him on the wood with fire: where the ashes are poured out shall he be burnt. And if the whole congregation of Israel sin through ignorance, and the thing be hid from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done somewhat against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which should not be done, and are guilty; When the sin, which they have sinned against it, is known, then the congregation shall offer a young bullock for the sin, and bring him before the tabernacle of the congregation. And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands upon the head of the bullock before the LORD: and the bullock shall be killed before the LORD. And the priest that is anointed shall bring of the bullock’s blood to the tabernacle of the congregation: And the priest shall dip his finger in some of the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before the LORD, even before the vail. And he shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar which is before the LORD, that is in the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall pour out all the blood at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he shall take all his fat from him, and burn it upon the altar. And he shall do with the bullock as he did with the bullock for a sin offering, so shall he do with this: and the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them. And he shall carry forth the bullock without the camp, and burn him as he burned the first bullock: it is a sin offering for the congregation. When a ruler hath sinned, and done somewhat through ignorance against any of the commandments of the LORD his God concerning things which should not be done, and is guilty; Or if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, come to his knowledge; he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish: And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the LORD: it is a sin offering. And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out his blood at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering. And he shall burn all his fat upon the altar, as the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings: and the priest shall make an atonement for him as concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him. And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance, while he doeth somewhat against any of the commandments of the LORD concerning things which ought not to be done, and be guilty; Or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned. And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering. And the priest shall take of the blood thereof with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar. And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat is taken away from off the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savour unto the LORD; and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and it shall be forgiven him. And if he bring a lamb for a sin offering, he shall bring it a female without blemish. And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they kill the burnt offering. And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out all the blood thereof at the bottom of the altar: And he shall take away all the fat thereof, as the fat of the lamb is taken away from the sacrifice of the peace offerings; and the priest shall burn them upon the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the LORD: and the priest shall make an atonement for his sin that he hath committed, and it shall be forgiven him. And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity. Or if a soul touch any unclean thing, whether it be a carcase of an unclean beast, or a carcase of unclean cattle, or the carcase of unclean creeping things, and if it be hidden from him; he also shall be unclean, and guilty. Or if he touch the uncleanness of man, whatsoever uncleanness it be that a man shall be defiled withal, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty. Or if a soul swear, pronouncing with his lips to do evil, or to do good, whatsoever it be that a man shall pronounce with an oath, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty in one of these. And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing: And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin. And if he be not able to bring a lamb, then he shall bring for his trespass, which he hath committed, two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, unto the LORD; one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering. And he shall bring them unto the priest, who shall offer that which is for the sin offering first, and wring off his head from his neck, but shall not divide it asunder: And he shall sprinkle of the blood of the sin offering upon the side of the altar; and the rest of the blood shall be wrung out at the bottom of the altar: it is a sin offering. And he shall offer the second for a burnt offering, according to the manner: and the priest shall make an atonement for him for his sin which he hath sinned, and it shall be forgiven him. But if he be not able to bring two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, then he that sinned shall bring for his offering the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering; he shall put no oil upon it, neither shall he put any frankincense thereon: for it is a sin offering. Then shall he bring it to the priest, and the priest shall take his handful of it, even a memorial thereof, and burn it on the altar, according to the offerings made by fire unto the LORD: it is a sin offering. And the priest shall make an atonement for him as touching his sin that he hath sinned in one of these, and it shall be forgiven him: and the remnant shall be the priest’s, as a meat offering. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, If a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance, in the holy things of the LORD; then he shall bring for his trespass unto the LORD a ram without blemish out of the flocks, with thy estimation by shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for a trespass offering: And he shall make amends for the harm that he hath done in the holy thing, and shall add the fifth part thereto, and give it unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering, and it shall be forgiven him. And if a soul sin, and commit any of these things which are forbidden to be done by the commandments of the LORD; though he wist it not, yet is he guilty, and shall bear his iniquity. And he shall bring a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his ignorance wherein he erred and wist it not, and it shall be forgiven him. It is a trespass offering: he hath certainly trespassed against the LORD. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour; Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein: Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found, Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering. And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD, a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest: And the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD: and it shall be forgiven him for any thing of all that he hath done in trespassing therein. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Command Aaron and his sons, saying, This is the law of the burnt offering: It is the burnt offering, because of the burning upon the altar all night unto the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be burning in it. And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar. And he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry forth the ashes without the camp unto a clean place. And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings. The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out. And this is the law of the meat offering: the sons of Aaron shall offer it before the LORD, before the altar. And he shall take of it his handful, of the flour of the meat offering, and of the oil thereof, and all the frankincense which is upon the meat offering, and shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savour, even the memorial of it, unto the LORD. And the remainder thereof shall Aaron and his sons eat: with unleavened bread shall it be eaten in the holy place; in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation they shall eat it. It shall not be baken with leaven. I have given it unto them for their portion of my offerings made by fire; it is most holy, as is the sin offering, and as the trespass offering. All the males among the children of Aaron shall eat of it. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations concerning the offerings of the LORD made by fire: every one that toucheth them shall be holy. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, This is the offering of Aaron and of his sons, which they shall offer unto the LORD in the day when he is anointed; the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a meat offering perpetual, half of it in the morning, and half thereof at night. In a pan it shall be made with oil; and when it is baken, thou shalt bring it in: and the baken pieces of the meat offering shalt thou offer for a sweet savour unto the LORD. And the priest of his sons that is anointed in his stead shall offer it: it is a statute for ever unto the LORD; it shall be wholly burnt. For every meat offering for the priest shall be wholly burnt: it shall not be eaten. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, saying, This is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed shall the sin offering be killed before the LORD: it is most holy. The priest that offereth it for sin shall eat it: in the holy place shall it be eaten, in the court of the tabernacle of the congregation. Whatsoever shall touch the flesh thereof shall be holy: and when there is sprinkled of the blood thereof upon any garment, thou shalt wash that whereon it was sprinkled in the holy place. But the earthen vessel wherein it is sodden shall be broken: and if it be sodden in a brasen pot, it shall be both scoured, and rinsed in water. All the males among the priests shall eat thereof: it is most holy. And no sin offering, whereof any of the blood is brought into the tabernacle of the congregation to reconcile withal in the holy place, shall be eaten: it shall be burnt in the fire.
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TEXAS BEFORE TRUETT

Dr. W. A. Criswell

7-8-56    10:50 a.m.

 

 

We are not to forget the heritage bequeathed to us from the hands of sacrifice of our forefathers.  So the address today, dedicated to Dr. Truett [George Washington Truett, 1867-1944, former pastor, First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas], is an address upon the beginnings in our Lone Star State of Texas.  Now in preparing the address, I had a great difficulty in trying to encompass it in just so short a little while at this preaching hour.  So much, so much of the material I had to discard.  But what I do have, I pray you will listen to it faithfully however long it takes.  It is difficult for me to judge the time.  I rarely do a thing like this, but however long it takes, I pray you to listen to it for I have done my utmost to prepare it faithfully and well.  

Our minds and our hearts this morning are to turn to the great prairies of the then province of Coahuila belonging to the sovereign state of Mexico back in the 1830s.  The American colonists, the white settlers, were just then beginning to come across the Sabine River into the state of Coahuila which was a state of Old Mexico. 

And in those 1820s, my great-grandfather also came, John Y. Criswell. And, as I say, this has been greatly interesting and intriguing to me as I have prepared the address because, from the records of our family, my fathers also fought in these same wars, Mexican and Indian.  It was a time and a day of constant murder and massacre and bloodshed and war not only with the Mexicans but, the most fearful and frightful of all, with the Indians.

I have picked out what I think are three reasons for the terrible massacre, and bloodshed, and murder, and war with the Indians into whose home and into whose land the white settler came when he crossed the Sabine River into Texas.  One of the reasons for this terrible wickedness and bloodshed between the white man and the red man was this thing of retaliation. 

The white man came into the red man’s land and took his home, and took his country, and took his hunting grounds for himself.

Naturally, you could have found no other response in the heart of the American Indian than one of resistance.  But as the Indian resisted, the white man also conquered; so the thing grew in bitterness and in hatred.  The small settlements in the 1830s were scattered, scattered, scattered.  There were not more than about twenty thousand colonists in all of this land put together.  So when the Indians came in bands of any number at all, they came to burn, and to scalp, and to kill, and to massacre.  All over every settlement, there was the constant gloom of the terrible rumors that chilled their blood with fear and then made them boil with feelings of furious revenge.

The Indian was a hard man to fight because after his raid, after his slaughter, they broke up singly or into small companies and scattered out with the consequence that it was almost impossible to pursue and to find them.  And these troubles grew steadily worse and worse and worse as the days and the years passed.  So that’s one reason for the terrible blood and murder that covered the soil of Texas in the days of the first colonists: that thing of retaliation – slaughter for slaughter, murder for murder, massacre for massacre – between the colonist and the Indian.

The second reason for the terrible war between the white man and the red man was because of the encouragement of the Mexican government.  It was a part of the policy of the Mexican government to stir up the fury and the hatred of the Texas Indian against the white settler; and especially was that true after the War of Independence [October 1835-April 1836], and Texas became a sovereign state in itself [March 2, 1836].

After 1836, the Mexican government by no means kept the terms of the treaty they made with General Houston [Sam Houston, 1793-1863] and his valiant band, but they sought to reconquer the country and take it back unto the sovereign state of Mexico.  And one of the ways that the Mexican government did it was they tried to stir up hatred and war between the red man and the white man.  Particularly was that true with regard to the wild tribes to the West.  The Mexican government sought to so arouse those Indian tribes until they would exterminate the white settlers in the land.

That policy finally reached even to the Cherokees who were a peaceful and agricultural Indian tribe who occupied almost all of the heart of East Texas.  The Mexican government finally broke up the amicable relations between the white settler in Texas and the Cherokees in the heart of the eastern part of our state, and war broke out between them.  And by [1839], General Rusk [Thomas J. Rusk, 1803-1857] had slain the chief of the Cherokees [Chief Bowles, c. 1756-1839] and had driven the whole tribe north and out of the state of Texas.

A third reason for the terrible bloodshed, and war, and murder, and massacre – all of those fearful things that you read of in history – a third reason for that trouble between the white man and the red man was the breaking of treaties and confidences.  I suppose there is a no more dark crimson blotch on the record of the people of America than their flagrant and constant violation of the treaties they have made with the red man.

For example, the Indian suffered even more than the white man.  So in 1840, from the wild tribe of the Comanches in the West, there was sent an emissary to San Antonio to see if treaties of peace could not be made with the sovereign state of Texas and the Comanche tribe to the West.  It was agreed upon at a certain and set time that the emissaries, the ambassadors, from the Comanche nation and the sovereign state of Texas should meet in San Antonio and there work out this treaty.  It was stipulated on the fact that the Comanches would return all of the captives they had taken away out of Texas.  The Comanches faithfully promised to do it and said at the next full moon the captives will be returned.

So, with that message, the emissary returned back to the Comanche tribe, and in keeping with the terms of the offer of peace, the Comanche chiefs, many of them, and other of their warriors made their way to San Antonio and there sat down at a peace table to work out, to draft out, a treaty between Texas and the Comanches.

They had difficulty working out the treaty.  They came to violent disagreements in what the treaty should contain and so the conference was broken off.   But when the Comanche chiefs arose to go back to their tribe, the white man imprisoned him, wouldn’t let him return.  And when the Comanche chiefs and their warriors saw that they were to be imprisoned, they fought furiously until the last red man was killed.  Every Comanche chief was slain there in San Antonio and all of the warriors. 

When the Comanche tribe heard that, it made them furious, and they went again on the war path destroying, burning, scalping, raiding, murdering entire settlements.  That’s a part of the reason for the bloodshed between the two.

Did it have to be that way?  Did it?  From a Baptist preacher by the name of Z. N. Morrell who came here in the early thirties [1830s]: with a group, went down to what is now Corpus Christi to survey the land and to make notes.  While they were there with their camp surveying the land of what is now the country of Corpus Christi, the preacher and his friend went out to find game, to find meat. 

While they were there, about forty miles away from camp, with some wild cattle – stalking them to shoot them to bring them back for meat – an Indian boy came seeking meat also, and he fell directly into the hands of the preacher and his friend.  And the friend raised his rifle to shoot the Indian boy.  The preacher stayed his friend saying it was against his religion to murder, to kill, except in self-defense and by no means should he kill the Indian.  For, you see, it was the established policy of the white man wherever he saw the Indian to shoot him – shoot him like you would a dog, shoot him like you would a rattlesnake.  And whenever they caught them singly or in small bands, it was the announced, avowed proven policy the Indian was to be slain.

Consequently, that man, when he saw that lone Indian boy with his bow and arrow out there hunting the wild cattle, he sought to kill him.  It was the preacher that stayed him.  After the man was stayed, the preacher and his friend drove their horse alongside of the horse of the Indian lad.  And the preacher took his gun, put his cap over the muzzle of it, and said to the boy in Spanish, "See, an American, your friend."  So they talked along together.  The boy asked the preacher and his friend to the camp where the chief was.  No. They refused. 

When they went back to Corpus Christi, the preacher and his white friend – the two men out for food – when they came back, it was as they thought.  That camp of Indians had found out the group down there and had surrounded them and possessed them.  In the hands of the Indian, the chief and his warriors, were all of the weapons and the blankets – everything that the white company had down there in the camp at Corpus Christi. And it was at that point that the preacher and his friend drove up and looked out there on the plain, and there the white man was surrounded by the chief and by his warriors, and everything the white man had was in the red man’s hands. 

The preacher went up into calling distance and hailed them, and the Indian chief answered back.  And the preacher talked to the Indian chief.  And the Indian chief asked, "Are you such and such man?" 

And the preacher said he was – and his horse there, and his friend and his horse, and the way they were dressed: they were the two.

And the Indian chief said, "Sir, you are my friend for you have saved the life of my boy.  You refused to kill him."  And the Indian chief, six feet four inches tall, a tremendous specimen of a man, walked over to the preacher, put his arms around him, and hugged him. 

They sat down together.  The chief and his warriors gave back to the white settler all that he took from him; and there, they wrote out a treaty.  And the preacher, who knew Sam Houston, sent the chief with a warrior and one of his own company to Sam Houston.  And there Houston, being in the city of Houston at that time, they wrote out a treaty between Texas and the Indian chief and his tribe.  And the book says that that treaty was never violated. 

It could have been that way, but it wasn’t: blood for blood, murder for murder, war for war.

You know, there’s another side to that Indian story that you and I never think about.  I was pastor in Muskogee [Muskogee, Oklahoma] before I came here to Dallas.  The only church-related Indian college we have on the American continent is in Muskogee.  It is owned and operated by the American Baptist Convention.  It is called Bacone College.  They have a beautiful, beautiful chapel on the campus of Bacone, and inscribed in the rock there in that chapel is this passage from Charles Journeycake, chief of the Delawares, April 1886. 

Listen to Charles Journeycake, the chief of the Delawares, as he said – and I say it’s an inscription incised in solid rock there in the chapel of Bacone College. I quote from that inscription by Charles Journeycake, chief of the Delawares:

 

We have been broken up and moved six times.  We have been despoiled of our property.  We thought, when we moved across the Missouri River and had paid for our homes in Kansas we were safe, but in a few years the white man wanted our country.  We had good farms, built comfortable houses and big barns.  We had schools for our children and churches where we listened to the same gospel the white man listens to.  The white man came into our country from Missouri and drove our cattle and horses away and if our people followed them they were killed.  We try to forget these things but we would not forget that the white man brought us the blessed gospel of Christ, the Christian’s hope.  This more than pays for all we have suffered.

[Charles Journeycake, 1886]   

 

Now, may I turn to a man that I admire beyond most any man in American history?  There’s a side to that man that I have never heard anybody refer to.  I’ve never heard it mentioned, and I don’t know why unless it is that the white man hated the red man so much and so bathed his hands in his blood until this side of this great man has never been mentioned or discussed.  I’m going to speak now of General Sam Houston and why it is that I think it was possible for General Houston to win the independence of the Lone Star empire of Texas. 

In the providence of God – Sam Houston, born in Virginia in 1793 – in the providence of God, his father died when he was a small child, and his mother took him to live in eastern Tennessee, and there he grew up with the Cherokee Indians.

In 1829, he left the governorship of Tennessee.  One of the strangest turns of fortune in American history, he left the governorship of Tennessee.  Without notice, without previous word, he just left – the governor of the state – and he went west and lived with the Cherokee nation in eastern Oklahoma. 

In the national cemetery at Fort Gibson [Fort Gibson, Oklahoma], which is just on the other side of the Arkansas River from Muskogee, you will find buried in that national cemetery Talahina who was the Cherokee wife of General Sam Houston.

In 1832, he came to Texas and was soon made commander and chief of the American colonists in their struggle against Old Mexico.  All right, the reason why General Sam Houston was able to win the war of independence against Old Mexico was this: because he knew and he loved the red man.  And General Houston, while he was warring against Old Mexico, General Houston was accepted by and loved by the Indian and made peace with the Indian.

Had that not been done and had the general of the colonist army not been able to pacify and to make treaties of peace with the red man while he was facing the foe from the south – among him and behind him and around him and to the east and to the west and to the north of him were fierce Indian tribes that outnumbered General Houston and his men a hundred to one.  Why didn’t the red man, while these colonists were at war against Old Mexico, why didn’t they slaughter all of the white settlers in Texas?  For one simple, humble reason and that was the friendship of General Sam Houston for the red man and his love for the Indian.

Now, that appears in lots of ways.  As president of the Republic of Texas, and later as governor of the state, and in between as the representative from Texas in the United States Senate, one, he opposed every policy of extermination by following the Indian into his own lands and slaughter him there.  Every governmental administrator that I know of – there are exceptions, I’m sure – but they all followed that policy of extermination – that is, all of them except General Sam Houston, President Sam Houston, Governor Sam Houston.

As long as he was the head of the government, he refused to follow the policy of extermination.  But on the other hand, what General Houston wanted to do was to build frontier posts, trading posts, where we can make friends with the red man and he make friends with us.  Under the pacification policies of General Sam Houston, he framed many treaties of peace with many of the large and hostile tribes of these Indians to the west. 

In November 1854, General Sam Houston came down the aisle of the Baptist Church at Independence on the Brazos – came down the aisle and gave the pastor his hand saying that he had accepted Jesus as his Savior and he wanted to be baptized into the little Baptist Church at Independence [Independence, Texas].  Rufus C. Burleson [1823-1901] was the pastor of the church, later President of Baylor University – a statue to the great noble man of God in the center of Baylor University Campus down in Waco [Waco, Texas].  General Houston came down the aisle and gave Dr. Burleson his hand and gave his heart to God; and on the nineteenth day of November in that year of 1854, he was baptized into the fellowship of that Baptist Church. 

From then on, General Sam Houston delighted to go to the general assemblies and convocations of the Baptist people in Texas.  And I read in one of the books a man’s description of the most masterly and fervid appeal that he ever heard from the lips of any man in his life.  It was General Sam Houston speaking to the Baptist Convention in Texas.  About what?  You already know.  He was pleading for the conversion and the winning to Christ of the red man.  That’s the father of our country, and, I say, there’s not a man on the pages of American history that deserves more of the honor and glory of his countrymen than General Sam Houston.

Now, to the churches.  It is almost impossible to describe the terrible, immeasurable, insuperable sacrifices on the part of those little churches.  For one thing, they had – most of them it seems to me as I read the story – they had, most of them, pastors and leaders that were anti-everything.  They were anti-missionary.  They were anti-Sunday school.  They were anti-Bible society.  They were anti-temperance.  They were anti-everything.  They were against everything of a human nature by which the kingdom of God could be extended.

Not only that, but they wrote in their articles – and I read one this last week – one of the most, one of the hardest, paragraphs I ever read in my life.  They were saying in that paragraph that anybody who deigned or designed or thought even to join a Sunday school, or a missionary society, or an educational group – any of that – that immediately, fellowship would be withdrawn from him in the church.  He was to be treated as a publican and as a sinner.  That was a terrible thing to overcome.  The very doctrine of most of the churches was against education, missions – everything that we think of today as building up the kingdom of the Lord.

Another thing was the indescribable poverty of the people.  They had nothing.  One of the missionaries, a typical missionary, his salary was 250 dollars a year, paid quarterly if it was paid.  And the way they had to go from place to place: by horseback or by foot – no bridges, no roads, just Indian trials.  And the rivers, it must have rained in that day and time because so many times I come across the reading where the rivers were swollen.  Man, I’d give my right arm to see a swollen river today.  Those were, I suppose, what you refer to when you call the "good ol’ days."  Well, it rained in those days, and they had to swim the rivers – no other way to get across. 

Then, of course, the terrible, terrible gloom that ever followed the little group when they met because of the constant, constant massacre and war with the Indians.  One of those preachers that I read of said and described his taking a family Bible and reading it for prayer in the family altar circle.  And he said the pages of that Bible were stained with the blood of the father and the mother – of the mother in that home – whose parents had been massacred by the Indians on a fearful, fearful night.

One of the preachers described preaching in a little settlement on the Brazos River.  And while he was preaching, an attack was made by the Indians.  Some of the congregation slain and the whole thing turned into a war and a battle right there in the midst of his sermon.  One of those preachers – and Bob, if you could remember it, I’d have you sing it – one of those preachers was preaching in a little settlement Baptist church, and they had on the outside sentinels stationed around on guard. 

And all of the men in church – now think of that.  Every man in the church, as he sat there, had his gun across his lap.  The alert was sounded: "Indians deployed."  So the preacher had the congregation arise and dismissed them and said, "Now, we must proceed with great caution to our homes."  So in the ox wagon owned by the preacher, in which he had his family and two other families, all of them went along together for a long ways: the ox wagons, one after another, and the people were taken to their homes.

And so while they were driving along, why, somebody said, "Let us sing one of the songs of Zion to drive the gloom away."  So all of those Baptist forefathers of ours, in those ox wagons with Indians on every side, they begin to sing one of the songs of Zion to drive the gloom away and for the Indians to hear.  And this is the song that they sang.  Now, I remember, I know the stanza, but the chorus I never heard before.  All right, this is that good old Baptist song they sang:

 

On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand,

And cast a wistful eye

To Canaan’s fair and happy land,

Where my possessions lie.

["On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand," by Samuel Stennett, c. 1787]

 

Now, I’ve sung that ever since I’s a little boy, but this is the first time I ever heard this chorus to it.  This is the chorus that they sang:

 

Oh, sacred hope; oh, blissful hope,

By inspiration given,

The hope, when days and years are passed,

We all shall meet in heaven.

 

I like that chorus.  Never had heard it before.  And, I say, if you could remember it, we’d sing it. 

 

Oh, sacred hope; oh, blissful hope,

By inspiration given,

The hope, when days and years are passed,

We all shall meet in heaven.

 

I just wonder if we could sing it anyway whether we know it or not.  We just get in an ox cart, an ox wagon, with those old pioneers and sing the song to drive the gloom away.  All right, let’s start out on the stanza that all of us know: 

 

On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand,

And cast a wistful eye

To Canaan’s fair and happy land,

Where my possessions lie. 

 

Oh, sacred hope; oh, blissful hope,

By inspiration given,

The hope, when days and years are passed,

We all shall meet in heaven.       

 

Now there’s only one difference in the way we sing it and the way they did.  When they sang it, they sang in a minor key.  And I have heard them sing it in a minor key.  And if I could do it, I would have sung it for you this morning, but I can’t.  Ah, bless their hearts, bless their hearts – singing along, singing along.

They were so little. They organized their first association in 1840 with three preachers and three churches, and the three churches had a total membership of forty-five.  The next year, in ’41 [1841], they had their second session.  They had nine churches and 384 members.  And in the third session, they had six ministers and 443 members.  Now, I’m going to read to you out of their minutes.  This is the church letter – it won’t take but a moment – from two of the churches.

 

The Plum Grove Baptist Church to the messengers composing the Union Baptist Association, when convened with Mount Gilead Church, Washington County.

Dear brethren, our little church has suffered much during the late invasion, the war, coming up from Old Mexico.  Some of our beloved brethren and many of the dear congregation have fallen upon the field of battle, while others, and among them the son of our pastor, are being carried as captive into the enemies’ land –

And little later on, that boy was killed by the Mexicans –

Truly dark and thick clouds envelope us. 

 

All right, from the church at Gonzales:

 

Dear brethren, the regular monthly meetings and weekly prayer meetings were kept up until the time of the Mexican invasion last spring at which time our pastor and all of us capable of bearing arms left to repel the invading foe.  Since then, until very recently, we have had no meetings for public worship.  We have to lament that no additions have been made to our numbers since the time of our organization. 

Prospects last spring were encouraging and some, we trust, were hopefully converted to God.  But the unsettled state of the country was such as to prevent our troubling the beautiful streams of our country with the baptism of converts. 

Dear brethren, we are truly an afflicted people, but we rejoice that it is written that though sorrow endureth for the night, joy cometh in the morning [Psalm 30:5]. That notwithstanding we may be slain by the savages or by our enemies, the Mexicans, we still have a hope "which is an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast, which entereth into that within the veil, whither Jesus, the forerunner, hath for us entered, an high priest forever" [Hebrews 6:19-20] which hope cheers and supports us under our trials.

 

Imagine that in a church letter to a Baptist Association. 

Well, it’s twelve o’clock about – time for me to quit.  I want to say one of the things that I read in my preparing this morning address. 

The missionary work here in Texas was so greatly furthered and encouraged by a great Baptist man in Macon, Georgia by the name of Jesse Mercer – that Mercer University over there called – Jesse Mercer.  At that time when this happened, way back there in the early 1830s, there wasn’t any Southern Baptist Convention.  It wasn’t organized till 1845.  Consequently, the only missionary board in America for the evangelization of America, the only one, was in New York City – The American Baptist Home Missionary Society.

So Jesse Mercer, this beloved man of God and friend of Christ, Jesse Mercer sent $2,500 – an unheard of gift, a large, large gift.  He gave $2,500 to the Home Mission Society for the evangelization of Texas.  When his friends heard it, they remonstrated with him saying, "Why such a waste of money – nobody in Texas but thieves, and murderers, and scoundrels, and refugees from justice!" 

I tell you, if my great-grandpap could have heard that, he’d a done somethin’ about it.  "Nobody out there but thieves, and scoundrels, and murderers, and refugees from justice": that’s what they told Jesse Mercer.

And the great Baptist replied, "Sir, if you keep on talking, I’ll have to double my gift and make it $5,000 instead.  "For," said Jesse Mercer, "if there are great sinners in Texas, we have a great Savior." 

So two missionaries were sent out: one named Tryon and one named Huckins.  How God does. Tryon was preaching right after he came here to Texas. He was up preaching, and down the aisle – down the aisle – came a young woman, gave her heart to Christ.  She was the first convert of the brilliant young preacher who helped found Baylor University with Baylor.  Tryon baptized his first convert.  She was a niece of Jesse Mercer in Macon, Georgia. 

All right, the other missionary was Huckins.  Huckins was preaching the gospel of Christ down there on the Brazos River.  There came a man fifty miles to hear him preach.  And while the missionary was preaching the gospel, the Lord touched the heart of the man who’d ridden fifty miles on horseback to hear the gospel, and the man was converted.  He came down the aisle and gave the other missionary his hand, and that man’s name was Eli Mercer, a kinsmen of the same Jesse Mercer in Macon, Georgia. "Cast your bread on the waters: in due season, it will come back" [Ecclesiastes 11:1].

What we give to God, we don’t lose.  We meet it again some time.  We do.  It comes back to us.  The investment we make in the patience and kingdom and work of Jesus is never lost.  We gather it: a rich harvest a hundredfold somewhere and all beside – the whole kingdom of God.

Look at Texas today: its empire strength, its great abilities dedicated to the evangelization of the world.  God bless to us their children, the memory of these mighty men, our forefathers, who founded here the great country and state whose blessings we now enjoy.

All right, let’s sing our song.  And while we sing it, in the balcony around, from side to side, somebody you, a family you, give your heart to the Lord, come into the fellowship of the church.  As God shall lead the way, shall say the word, anywhere, anywhere, you come and stand by me while we stand and while we sing.