Tag Archives: colonies

245 – Sept. 02 – This Day in Baptist History Past



Isaac Backus

She didn’t pay the tax because she was a Baptist

 The Ecclesiastical tax, which was approved by some colonies in early America which forced Baptists to pay assessments for the upkeep of churches of various denominations, usually Congregational or Anglican, was most obnoxious to early Baptists. For many years Baptists, both men and women, suffered because of these regulations. On September 2, 1774, Mrs. Martha Kimball sent a letter to the Rev. Isaac Backus relating her experience in this matter. She related the following: She said that the year was 1768 and the event took place on a cold winters’ night, about 9 or 10 o’clock. She was taken prisoner by the tax collector from her family, consisting of three small children. She was detained in a tavern on the way to jail to pay the sum of 4-8 LM (Legal Money) for the ministerial rate. She said that the reason she refused paying it before is because she was a Baptist and belonged to the Baptist society in Haverhill, and had carried in a certificate to the assessors. Thus they dealt with a poor widow woman in Bradford, Mass. She went on to say that after she paid what they demanded, upon threats of jail, that they released her from the tavern and she walked the two miles in the bitter weather back to her children. So in early colonial America, the Baptists were forced to support the “Standing Order” churches while financially caring for their own also. This was the climate that the First Amendment grew out of. It was the Baptists and other non-conformist churches that were responsible for the religious liberty amendment in the Bill of Rights, not the Protestants as we so often hear.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp.  362- 63.

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Baptist were never called Protestants until the last twenty years the SBC has called themselves Protestants. Protestants were those denominations that were in the Catholic church and protested the abuses and split off and became the daughters of Catholicism. The Baptists were never a part of the Catholic Church and therefore did not protest and come out from her. The book “The Trail of Blood” by Elder J.M. Carroll is very clear on this matter.


Madison, JamesJames Madison


Protestantism produced tyranny not liberty


1758 – The General Assembly, meeting at Savannah, Georgia, passed a law making the Church of England the church of the Province. In early Virginia, Massachusetts, and several other colonies, laws were enacted to support an established church by taxes, to compel church attendance, and to forbid the worshiping of dissenting sects. Some type of state church was to be found in all five southern colonies, as well as in three New England provinces: Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. In South Carolina as early as 1706, the Board of Trade approved a new law establishing the Church of England with support from the public funds. In North Carolina in 1732, a law was passed establishing the Church of England. The Puritans had established a theocracy in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. In time the Puritan churches were called Congregational churches. We need to give thanks to God for the First Amendment, knowing that it is the product of the Baptist input of James Madison, “Congress shall make no Law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Thomas Jefferson’s statement to the Danbury Baptists concerning the “Wall of Separation” pertained to keeping the government out of the affairs of the church, not to keep the church from influencing government. It was never meant to remove all religion and morals from society as many are interpreting it today. It is true that “When church and state marry, justice will miscarry”, but we should never forget that, “Blessed is that nation whose God is the Lord. (Ps. 33:12).
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 14-15.



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129 – May-09 – This Day in Baptist History Past

America’s Rare Baptist Tory

Morgan Edwards, had been born in Wales on this date in 1722 and grew to maturity in the British Isles.  He began preaching in 1738, and served several small congregations in England for seven years.  While pastoring those charges, he entered Bristol College in 1742 and remained until graduation in 1744.  It will be remembered that Bristol College was the first established Baptist college in Great Britain.  He was ordained to the Baptist ministry on June 1, 1757, and served for nine years as pastor in Cork, Ireland.       In May of 1761 Morgan Edwards emigrated to America and became pastor of the Baptist church in Philadelphia.  He served the church well, but resigned that charge in 1770, and never again served in a pastoral capacity.  It is apparent that during the Pre-Revolutionary War period, Baptists were strong advocates of freedom.  Baptists were weary of paying taxed to support established churches in the various colonies. The Baptists realized that as long as the colonies were subservient under the control of another nation, freedom would not be fully experienced.  Morgan Edwards, on the other hand, was a loyal son of Great Britain, and he proved to be the only Baptist minister in the country, with one other possible exception, who held to the Tory persuasion and sympathized with the mother country.  Morgan died on January 28, 1795.  His many articles proved that the pre-tribulation rapture is not a new interpretation of twentieth century saints, but is the doctrine that has endured among Bible-believers from the writing’s of the New Testament.

Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins) pp.  268   –   270

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