On Jan. 03, 1644, the British Parliament passed a law making sprinkling mandatory for all, making outlaws of all who were not. This meant that they would be deprived of the “inheritance of the state, the right of burial, and of all the rights granted to other “sprinkled” citizens. The purpose of passing this law was to choke the Baptists that were prospering in the land. The law said that the minister, in the name of the “Father, of the son, and of the Holy Ghost”, was to pour or sprinkle water on the face of the child, “without adding any other ceremony.” Prior to the time that the Presbyterians gained power in Great Britain, the same law read by “immersion” but the members of the Westminster Assembly who presented the famed Presbyterian Westminster Confession of Faith, came within one vote of demanding immersion as the form of Baptism. Therefore “so goes the church, so goes the state”. Prior to that time all denominations in Great Britain practiced immersion except for the Roman Catholics. It was a novelty for any sect until the Presbyterians introduced it. Dr. W.H. King of London made a complete search of the subject of Baptism in the British Museum. He said that he had examined more than 7,000 pamphlets on the subject of baptism, or the opinions and practices of the Baptists. And that he can report that: “There is not a sentence or a hint…that the Baptists generally, or any section of them, or even any individual Baptist, held any other opinion than that immersion is the only true and scriptural method of baptism, either before the year 1641 or after it.” We know that baptism does not save us, in eternity, but is “an answer of a good conscience toward God” ( 1 Pet. 3:21).
03 – Jan. 03 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST
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