The Preacher’s Coffee - and a Sequel
The following poem and its sequel came from the late Ben M. Bogard, Baptist Debater and W. Curtis Porter, gospel preacher. It comes close to being a classic. - webmaster
I have a pleasant story which I will tell in rhyme
About a circuit preacher who lived in recent times
He was a circuit rider of good John Wesley’s brand
And rode the finest circuit in all the blessed land.
At one of his good charges, some members, not a few,
Became quite sorely troubled about the word “INTO”
The good book says quite plainly in Acts chapter 8
They went down into water, as Baptist people state;
The preacher preached a sermon of extra zeal and might
And to his satisfaction he set the passage right.
“INTO” does not mean into, but only at, near by;
They went down to the water and got a small supply.
But near the place of worship there lived a Sister Brown,
And for her splendid cooking she’d gained a great renown;
Her yellow legged chickens, her luscious cakes and pies
Had often made that preacher roll up his weeking eyes.
And her delicious coffee, the circuit all around
The preacher oft admitted, it’s like could not be found.
So when he preached his sermon of extra power and length
He stayed at the Brown’s table to rectify his strength
But Sister Brown was a Baptist, the stoutest in the land
She oft reproved the Methodist for changing God’s command.
She heard the preacher’s sermon, and thought the sermon o’er
And asked him home to dinner as oft she’d done before
She ground the good brown coffee, her kettle steaming hot,
And put it at or nearby the famous coffee pot:
She poured Brother Jones a cupful, I think if was no sin
“Why you forgot, dear sister, to put the coffee in.”
“No, no, Brother Jones that’s coffee, I ground a good supply
And put it at the kettle...INTO is at...nearby
By logic of your sermon, I thought it rather thin,
If “AT”, “NEARBY” means “INTO” I put the coffee in.
So if you’ll promise no more such stuff to teach,
Nor dodge God’s plain commandment when you attempt to preach;
I’ll go and make some coffee, just to the Bible dot
And I will put the coffee INTO the coffee. - Ben M. Bogard, Baptist
A Sequel to the Preacher’s Coffee
Just then in stepped a gospel preacher who wears a Bible name
The simple name of Christian, of Apostolic fame
God put into the Bible no human name to wear
And hence he was contented the inspired mark to bear.
Then Mrs. Brown he questioned if really she’d admit
That “into” had the meaning that she had given it.
She said she would most surely, and who would dare say not
No coffee’s in the vessel till put into the pot.
Then guilty spoke the preacher, “Don’t censure parson Jones
You’ve spoken condemnation to self in strongest tones
No need to hold tradition, such never has sufficed
The Bible says baptism puts people “into” Christ.”
“No, no replied the Mrs. such teaching is a sin
Our preacher gives baptism to those already in.”
“Well, well”, then spoke the preacher, “it surely gives me fun,
To see this Baptist woman throw down her Baptist gun.”
If “into” has the meaning you’ve given it at last
Your shot at circuit rider has gone “into” a blast.
Then Philip and the Eunuch went not into the creek,
For they were in already and had been for a week.
When Christians are invited “into” that Heavenly clime,
They’ll really not go “into”...were in it all the time
And when the Lord will banish the wicked “into” hell
They’ll merely stay in pleasure on earth they loved so well.
You thought you put the coffee “into” the coffee pot,
But it was in already, already boiling hot.
Now Mrs. Brown, please promise that you’ll not have the gall.
To hit folks with the Bible, unless you’ll take it all.
The Bible says plainly, to which you referred,
“They went down into water”, I trust it’s every word.
It tells us that the righteous go “into” mansions fair
It tells us that the wicked go down “into” despair.
It tells us just as surely, not only once but twice,
That which is called Baptism puts people into Christ
Now take it all dear woman, false preachers you can rout,
Or else just raise your window and throw the Bible out.
- W. Curtis Porter, Gospel Preacher
Back to Bulletin Fodder