Horrors! 13 or 14 men had been rebaptized
October 18, 1649 – The Court of Massachusetts Bay wrote to the colony of Plymouth: “Honored and beloved Brethren: We have heard diverse Anabaptists, arisen up in your jurisdiction, and connived at; but being few, wee well hoped that it might have pleased God, by the endeavors of yourselves and faithful elders with you, to have reduced such erring men againe into the right way.”
The letter went on to say that to their great grief, the patient bearing with such men had produced the multiplying of even other errors and that 13 or 14 men had been rebaptized in one town, which was swift progress, in their opinion. And yet they had not heard of any restrictions on their part.
They were also reminded that this was what was required of Christian magistrates, so that the infection of such diseases, being so near them would not spread to their jurisdiction. “We are united by confederacy, by faith, by neighborhood, by fellowship in our sufferings as exiles, and by other Christian bonds, and wee hope that neither Satan nor any of his instruments shall, by these or any other errors, disunite us of our so neere conjunction with you, but that wee shall both equally and zealously uphold all the truths of God revealed, that wee may render a comfortable account to Him that hath sett us in our places, and betrusted us with the keeping of both tables, of which will hoping, wee cease you further trouble, and rest.
Your very loving Friends and Brethren.” In the colonies there were united voices which proclaimed that the unjustified harshness against the Baptists and others was bad for the colonies. For a time this criticism caused the authorities to enforce the laws with even greater force against the Baptists.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 432-33.