Tag Archives: Bedford jail

25 – January 25 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

 

Bunyan, John

A time for survival for Baptists

1661 – BAPTISTS SUFFERED GREAT PERSECUTION IN ENGLAND IN THE MID 17TH CENTURY – On January 25, 1661 a petition entitled “The humble petition and presentation of the 1sufferings of several peaceable subjects, called by the name of Anabaptists, inhabitants in the county of Kent, and now prisoners in the jail at Maidstone, for the testimony of a good conscience” was presented. 1660 to 1688 was a time for survival for Baptists rather than expansion. John Bunyan began his 12 year term in Bedford jail. On Oct. 19, 1661, John James, a Sabbatarian Baptist, was dragged from his pulpit in Bulsrake Alley, Whitechaple in London, and committed to the Newgate jail. On Nov. 26, he was taken to Tyburn to be hanged. King Charles II was unmoved. The Baptists had no recourse but to write publications. One was by John Sturgion, a member of the baptized people,” entitle, A Plea for Toleration of Opinions and persuasions in Matters of Religion, differing from the Church of England. Another was, Sion’s Groans for Her Distressed: or, Sober Endeavors to Prevent Innocent Blood. Seven Baptist ministers affixed their names to the document. Joseph Wright, Thomas Monck, George Hammon, William Jeffrey, Francis Stanley, William Reynolds, and Francis Smith. Joseph Wright spent no less than 20 years in prison for the sake of truth. They said that they were willing to be loyal subjects to the king in civil matters but that they must obey God in religion.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from:  Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson/   pg. 33.

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247 – Sept. 04 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

He Died as He was Born

 

1688 – “Wednesday…was kept in prayer and humiliation for this Heavy Stroak upon us, ye Death of deare Brother Bunyan. Apoynted also that Wednesday next be kept in praire and humiliation on the same Account.” John Bunyan, their most loved pastor had died on Friday, Aug. 31 while on a preaching trip to London, England. The news had not reached his congregation in Bedford until they had gathered to worship the following Sunday. Bunyan often preached to as many as 3,000 in London after spending nearly 13 years in Bedford jail for refusing a license to preach the gospel. There he had written Pilgrim’s Progress and other great works. In 1672 the Act of Pardon had set him free. He was born to a tinker (a repairer of pots and pans). He married in 1647 and was saved and baptized into the membership of Bedford church in 1655. His wife died the same year and he remarried in 1659. He had a precious blind daughter who visited him while in jail. He died as he was born, in poverty. His death came when he was exposed to a heavy rain which brought on a high fever, and in ten days the great preacher was with the Lord. [John Brown, John Bunyan His Life Times and Work (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1888), pp. 390-91.  This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 483-485.]  Prepared by Dr. Greg Dixon

 

 

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