Tag Archives: baptist forefathers

110 – April 20 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

The Crippling of Evangelism

 

For years Thomas Collier was a Particular Baptist serving as a successful Evangelist/church planter in the west of England.  Collier’s labors were so blessed of the Lord that he was referred to as the Baptist “Apostle of the West.”  One faithful historian wrote: “Mr. Thomas Collier, a man of great moderation and usefulness; one who lived in those times, when preaching the gospel was attended with very severe trials . . .  H was imprisoned at Portsmith . . . “  Only two letters remain of his writing, and the one is dated April 20, 1646.  It is apparent that at that early date, Mr. Collier became concerned about a growing emphasis he saw among Baptists that would cripple evangelism.  In 1691, prior to the life of John Gill (1696-1771), Collier witnessed the tendency toward the growth of Antinomianism in England.  Though Baptists are not a “creedal” people, one must observe that our forefathers were surely a confessional people.  H. Leon McBeth explains the difference.  A confession affirms what a group of Baptists believe,  whereas a creed prescribes what members of a group must believe.  Confessions include while creeds exclude.  Our Baptist forefathers were careful to emphasize that confessions were only statements of mankind.  Antinomianism may be defined: As “the belief that the moral law is not binding on Believers, we are ‘under grace.’  This belief lulls a person into a sense of sinful security.

 

What we believe determines how we behave.  England today is spiritually dead as a result of Calvinism that predominated in the course of time.  America is following suit.

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History  III (David L. Cummins) p.p.  229   –   230

 

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76 – March 17 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


76 – March 17    Baptists and the Land of the Free

What an important date March 17, 1644, is for American freedom.  It was on that date that Roger Williams obtained a free and absolute charter, entitled “The Incorporation of Providence Plantation, in the Narragansett Bay, in New-England.”  The influence of our godly Baptist forefathers created in Rhode Island the only one of the  thirteen original colonies that featured total religious freedom!  Nine of the thirteen colonies maintained a State church, and others such as Pennsylvania and Maryland offered partial religious freedom, but only Rhode Island granted complete religious liberty.  Though Baptists have been persecuted by many wherever they have existed, they have never persecuted others.  When laying the cornerstone of the great Metropolitan Tabernacle I London, Mr. Spurgeon stated: “Persecuted alike by Romanists and Protestants of almost every sect, yet there has never existed a Government holding Baptist principles which persecuted others; nor, I believe, any body of Baptists ever held it to be right to put the consciences of others under the control of man.  We have ever been ready to suffer, as our martyrologies will prove, but we are not ready to accept any help from the State, to prostitute the purity of the Bride of Christ to any alliance with Government, and we will never make the Church, although the Queen, the despot over the consciences of men.”  Historically Baptists have always held to the principle of voluntarism, and as a result, they would rather provide total religious freedom than to dictate the religious persuasion of another.  Baptists have ever championed a free church in a free state.  Unfortunately today the Baptists reach out their hands to readily join with the state and are no longer the free people our forefathers fought and died for, “Soul Liberty.”

Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: “This Day in Baptist History III”  David L. Cummins. pp. 157 –  158

 

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69 – March 10 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


Baptists – The Authors of Soul-Liberty

Isaac Backus-Baptist Historian

Back in 1898, Charles F. James wrote, “there has been manifested at various times…a disposition to rewrite the history…, and to rob our Baptist forefathers of the peculiar honor which has ever been claimed for them, that of being the foremost, most zealous, and most consistent and unwavering champions of soul liberty.”  If he were living today he would know that he was right more than ever.  In the early days of America’s existence there were two Baptist historians, one well known and the other quite obscure.  The one quite know was Isaac Backus who wrote the History of New England from 1620-1804.  The other was John Cromer who was born on Aug. 1, 1704 and died on May 23, 1734.  The brevity of his life kept him from his goal of writing a history but he kept a detailed diary.  In his entry of March 3, 1729, he wrote: “A number of Baptists, Churchmen, and Quakers, 30 persons, of Rehoboth Township, were committed to Bristol (Massachusetts) jail.”  It was because they would not pay the Congregational minister’s salary.  On March 10 he wrote, “I went to visit the prisoners at Bristol with Mr. Stephen Groton.  Upon the request of the prisoners I preached this day in the old prison at Bristol, from Psalm 86:11.  Sundry of the town attended the meeting.”  May we never forget the price that others paid for the liberty that we enjoy and may we be willing to pay the same price that they paid.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp. 143 – 144.

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304 – Oct. 31 – This Day in Baptist History Past Posted: 30 Oct 2012 05:59 PM PDT A Recipe to Make an Anabaptist October 31, 1771 – The Virginia Gazette, published A Recipe to Make an Anabaptist Preacher in Two Days Time. “Take the Herbs of Hypocrisy and Ambition, of each an Handful, of the Spirit of Pride two Drams, of the Seed of Dissention ad Discord one Ounce, of the Flower of Formality three Scruples, of the roots of Stubborness and Obstinancy four Pounds; and bruise them altogether in the Mortar of Vain-glory, with the Pestle of Contradiction, putting amongst them one Pint of the Spirit of Self-conceitedness. When it is luke-warm let the Dissenting Brother take two or three Spoonfuls of it, Morning and Evening before Exercise; and whilst his Mouth is full of the Electuary he will make a wry Face, wink with his Eyes, and squeeze out some Tears of Dissimulation. Then let him speak as the Spirit of Giddiness gives him Utterance. This will make the Schismatic endeavor to maintain his Doctrine, would the Church, delude the People, justify their Proceedings of Illusions, foment Rebellion, and call it by the Name of Liberty of Conscience.” Our Lord warned in Lk 6:26, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you!” Our Baptist forefathers knew the fury of the tongue and pen as well as of the knife and sword. Speaking of John Waller and the early Separate Baptist preachers of Virginia, Lewis Peyton Little has written that “preachers of that day endured the most inhuman treatment and bodily suffering in order that they might make disciples for their Lord.” But the bitter scorn and ridicule that was heaped on them in many ways was even harder on them than the physical punishment as the above was an example. Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 451-52.


A Recipe to Make an Anabaptist

October 31, 1771 – The Virginia Gazette, published A Recipe to Make an Anabaptist Preacher in Two Days Time. “Take the Herbs of Hypocrisy and Ambition, of each an Handful, of the Spirit of Pride two Drams, of the Seed of Dissention ad Discord one Ounce, of the Flower of Formality three Scruples, of the roots of Stubborness and Obstinancy four Pounds; and bruise them altogether in the Mortar of Vain-glory, with the Pestle of Contradiction, putting amongst them one Pint of the Spirit of Self-conceitedness. When it is luke-warm let the Dissenting Brother take two or three Spoonfuls of it, Morning and Evening before Exercise; and whilst his Mouth is full of the Electuary he will make a wry Face, wink with his Eyes, and squeeze out some Tears of Dissimulation. Then let him speak as the Spirit of Giddiness gives him Utterance. This will make the Schismatic endeavor to maintain his Doctrine, would the Church, delude the People, justify their Proceedings of Illusions, foment Rebellion, and call it by the Name of Liberty of Conscience.” Our Lord warned in Lk 6:26, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you!” Our Baptist forefathers knew the fury of the tongue and pen as well as of the knife and sword. Speaking of John Waller and the early Separate Baptist preachers of Virginia, Lewis Peyton Little has written that “preachers of that day endured the most inhuman treatment and bodily suffering in order that they might make disciples for their Lord.” But the bitter scorn and ridicule that was heaped on them in many ways was even harder on them than the physical punishment as the above was an example.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 451-52.

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