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Not Killed by Water Baptism

This story is told by the Baptist preacher John Taylor of an incident that occurred in Kentucky during the 1780’s: "I was invited to baptize some people there [on Silver Creek in Madison County, Kentucky]. I think five were baptized at the time and among them an old man the name of Wilson, apparently far gone in a consumption. This became a great trial to my faith. I found [that] the old man could only speak a little above a whisper. And though he had been much of a singer and a prayerful man in his family, all had been laid aside perhaps for a twelvemonth for want of breath.

"I had lately been reading Mr. [David] Rice’s pamphlet on infant baptism, where he had aver[r]ed that it was instant death to wet a man allover in the last stages of a consumption. If all this is true, thought I, which I did not know to the contrary, in this thing I had great perplexity.

"This old man came foremost to the water. And I [was] almost ready to tremble with fear, but in we went. As quick as he recovered from the water, he raised his hands [and] with pretty strong voice cried, ‘Glory to God! Glory to God!’ The first thought I had was, ‘Old man, you are not yet killed.’

"A handsome, little revival of religion went on. This old gentleman’s voice was so far restored that he resumed worship in his family and became a pleasant singer in public worship. And [he] lived after this for several years, so that wetting him allover did him no harm."