Unified British and Colonial Baptists
As long as the established State Church (Anglican) existed, certain limitations would be experienced. The Edict of Toleration in 1689 did not grant total religious freedom. Baptist church buildings had to be designated as chapels, tabernacles, or with some other name. Dr. John Rippon, of London, in a letter written to President James Manning, of Rhode Island College, on May 1, 1784, stated thus: “I believe all of our Baptist ministers in town, except two, and most of our brethren in the country were on the side of the Americans in the late dispute . . . . We wept when the thirsty plains drank the blood of our departed heroes, and the shout of a king was among us when your well fought battles were crowned with victory; and to this hour we believe that the independence of America will, for a while, secure the liberty of this country, but if that continent had been reduced, Britain would not have long been free.” When Robert Hall was a small boy he heard John Ryland, Jr say to his father, Dr. John Ryland, Sr.: “if I were Washington I would summon all the American officers, they would form a circle around me, and I would address them, and we would offer a libation in our own blood, and I would order one of them bring a lancet and a punch bowl, and we would bare our arms and be bled, I would call on every man to consecrate himself to the work by dipping his sword into the bowl and entering into a solemn covenant engagement by oath, one to another, and we would swear by Him that sits upon the throne and liveth forever and ever, that we would never sheathe our swords while there was an English soldier in arms remaining in America.”
Dr. Dale R. Hart adapted from: “This Day in Baptist History III” David L. Cummins. pp. 252 – 253
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