Earnest Study of Gods’ Word Will Make You Baptist
King charles the Second was proclaimed King of England on May 8, 1660. He was known as the “Merry Monarch,” and some religious toleration dotted the political horizon during his rule in which several interesting Baptists came to the fore. Mr. John Gosnold had been a minister of the established church, and during the civil unrest, he made the Scriptures the center of his thinking. Following earnest study he converted to Baptist convictions, and was chosen pastor of a Baptist congregation at the Barbican in London. His preaching was very popular, and he drew vistors from every denomination. His audience was usually composed of three thousand.
Carolus Maria DuVeil, a man who had been born into a Jewish home in Mentz, France. He was educated in Judaism, but as he began comparing the prophetical books of the Old Testament with the New, he was convinced in his heart that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah! When he embraced Christianity, his father was incensed, and attempted to kill Carolus with a sword. Carolus became quite well known and the bishop of London sought his friendship which procured the use of the bishop’s library. There he discovered writings of the english Baptists, and being an honest inquirer, he discovered that the Biblical hermeneutics of the Baptists caused him to realize that they were in agreement with the Word of God. At that time Carolus sought an interview with reverend Gosnold. In the course of time Carolus was immersed by the Baptist pastor, and became a member of the Baptist church.
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins) p.p. 266 – 268
Sunday Evening Services
In the Baptist petition to the House of Burgesses of Virginia, on May 5, 1774, the Baptists wanted the privilege of having evening meetings. The record reads, “A petition of sundry persons of the community of Christians called Baptists . . . was presented to the House and read, setting forth that the toleration proposed by the bill ordered at the last session of the General Assembly to be printed and published not admitting public worship, except in the daytime, is inconsistent with the laws of England, as well as the practice and usage of the primitive churches, and even of the English church itself; that the night season may sometimes be better spared by the petitioners from the necessary duties of their callings; and that they wish for no indulgences which may disturb the peace of government; and therefore praying the House to take their case into consideration, and to grant them suitable redress.” Many Baptist pastors are afraid to invite guest preachers today, because the saints of God have adopted the habit of being only Sunday morning believers and or attendees. The Sunday night attendance is only a sparse crowd compared to Sunday morning, and God help if you have only part of them on Wednesday night. Shouldn’t Sunday and Wednesday night be as important as Sunday morning!! Let me challenge you to shock your pastor and determine that you are going to become faithful to every service, day or night.
Dr. Dale R. Hart adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins) pp. 260 – 262
Young in the Ministry, Aged in Theology
Little could Rev. Cantlow realize the spiritual and historical significance of the baptismal service on May 3, 1850, when he immersed the teenager, Charles Haddon Spurgeon in Isleham, England. The teenaged lad had walked seven miles from Anew Market to Isleham because he had become firmly convinced that believer’s immersion was an ordinance of the Lord and not a sacrament. Desiring to serve, the young man made himself available to the Lord. Though he had received limited formal education, within a year he was called to the pastorate of the small Baptist church in Waterbeach, England. Quickly his fame spread to London, and on April 28, 1854, he accepted the call to pastor the New Park Street Chapel where famed Baptist predecessors had served. Charles Spurgeon was still a teen, but soon his name would be known throughout Great Britain, and he would be addressing thousands of people every Lord’s Day. Charles Haddon Spurgeon was soon targeted for criticism by the press in London. He was made the subject of political cartoonists, and the general Christian public examined his doctrine closely. As Spurgeon grew older, he shifted some of his emphasis in theology. His doctrinal emphasis moved more to the fundamentals of the faith concerning the person and work of Christ, the substitutionary atonement, and similar central doctrines. This speaks highly of the man. He matured as a Christian; he matured as a theologian.
Dr. Dale R. Hart adapted from: “This Day in Baptist History III” David L. Cummins. pp. 256 – 257
Simple in style – Solemn in manner
James Barnett Taylor was ordained for the gospel ministry on May 2, 1826, at Sandy Creek Church in Virginia. He had been born in the village of Barton-upon-Humber, England on March 19, 1804. His father brought his family to America the next year, and they settled in the city of New York. At the age of 13, young Taylor was baptized and united with the First Baptist Church of New York City. That same year the Family moved to Virginia. At the age of 16, he began to preach. In 1826 he became pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Richmond, Virginia, where he served for sixteen years. During that time he organized Sunday schools and Bible societies and promoted the cause of education. Six hundred and sixty members were added to the church, three new churches were organized, and upwards of a dozen of the men in his church entered the ministry. In 1839 he was elected chaplain of the University of Virginia. In 1840 he became pastor of the Third Baptist Church (later known as Grace Baptist Church) in Richmond. In 1844 he traveled south to encourage the churches to increase their support of missions. He collected large sums of money for the American Baptist Missionary Societies. He was also greatly interested in the welfare of the Negroes and was appointed to work with the secretary of the Freedmen’s Bureau. His last sermons were preached in Alexandria to Negro congregations. This servant ministered faithfully in a very difficult time and died on December 22, 1871. Taylor was a preacher, simple in style and solemn in manner.
Dr. Dale R. Hart adapted from: “This Day in Baptist History III” David L. Cummins. pp. 254 – 255
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
Ritualism to Reality in Christ
Dover Mills, Goochland County, VA – 1865
From the time of his youth, William Baskett purposed to know God. William was born in 1741 in Goochland County Virginia. As a youth, William envisioned the blessings of sincere Christianity, and he regularly attended public worship services, and because of his sincerity, he was allowed to participate in the communion service of the established state church (Anglican). In time William saw himself as a guilty, undone sinner. Great conviction gripped his heart and he continually examined God’s word. Finally one night God brought the Scripture to mind: “He that trusts in the Lord shall never be confounded.” (Douay-Rheims bible) At that moment he trusted Jesus Christ as his Saviour and threw himself on the Lord’s grace. He found immediate peace with God. In the mean time Elijah Craig and David Thompson, faithful Baptist preachers, had entered the area, and the Basketts were immersed upon their profession of faith. Soon a small congregation was gathered, and the work of God grew, when in 1788 a revival in the area brought significant growth to the local church. William Baskett was called to assume the pastorate of the Lyle’s Baptist Church. After twenty -one years of an exemplary ministry, the amazing event of the home going of the Basketts took place. On April 21, 1815, his life partner fell asleep in Jesus. One week later on April 29, 1815, he preached his last sermon from the words: “We have no continuing city, but seek one to come.” On the following day, William’s tranquil spirit took flight to Glory.
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins) p.p. 248 – 249
Evangelize or Fossilize
T. T. Martin was born on April 28, 1862, in smith county, Mississippi. In his youth the lad desired to become a lawyer. While preparing for his chosen career, T. T. Martin experienced a growing burden to preach. Following intense self-examination, he surrendered to the leading of the Holy Spirit and devoted himself to prepare for the ministry. To support himself, he served as professor of Natural Science from 1886 to 1888 at which time he enrolled in Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1900 a new door was opened to evangelism, and T. T. Martin began a full-time evangelistic ministry. Protracted Meetings ran from fifteen to twenty-one days, and the man of God preached twice daily and four times each Lord’s Day. His schedule often kept him on the road for six months at a time. As demands for his services continued to proliferate, T. T. Martin organized a corps of gospel singers and evangelists. He booked these men throughout the country. This group was named the Blue Mountain Evangelists, and he chose choice men whose singing and preaching was Christ-centered. Somehow, midst his strenuous schedule of evangelism, T. T. Martin authored a number of books. He continued in his active ministry until the last few months of his life, entering the presence of his Lord on May 23, 1939.
Dr. Dale R. Hart adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins) p.p. 246 – 247
A Vital Mission Field
Several historic dates of interest to Baptists in America are essential to understanding the ongoing of the Baptist witness. John Mason Peck and Dr. Jonathan Going championed the desire for participation of all Baptists in America in the cause of reaching into the West. These men envisioned the planting of Bible-believing Baptist churches from coast to coast. Thus, the American Baptist Home Mission Society was formed on April 27, 1832. “The object of the society was, ‘The preaching of the gospel to every creature in our country,’ which object was so well expressed in its grand motto: ‘North America for Christ.’” “During the first 50 years missionaries were employed for longer or shorter periods – 6 in New York, 12 in Ohio, 5 in Indiana, 3 in Michigan, 9 in Illinois, 7 in Missouri, 2 in New Jersey, and 1 each in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Lower Canada. In the Second year 80 missionaries were engaged and Upper Canada and Louisiana were added to the fields. The third year shows an increase of missionaries to 96.” “. . . By the end of the decade, the society’s efforts had reaped nearly 11,000 converts on the frontier and established 400 churches pastored by 142 ministers.
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins) p.p. 244 – 245
Did the Baptists Begin in 1641?
The premise of the authors of this devotional, historical volumes has been that history vindicates the succession of Baptist principles from the days of the New Testament. In other words, Baptists did not spring from the Reformation. They preceded it, and the New Testament principles that we call distinctive have long endured. “In the report of the Council of the Archbishop of Cologne about the ‘Anabaptist movement, ‘ to the Emperor Charles V, it is said that the Anabaptists call themselves ‘true Christians,‘ that they desire community of goods, ‘which has been the way of Anabaptists for more than a thousand years, as the old histories and imperial laws testify.‘ At the dissolution of the Parliament at Speyer it was stated [of] the ‘new sect of the Anabaptists‘ . . . ‘It is a fact that for more than twelve centuries baptism in the way taught and described in the New Testament had been made an offense against the law, punishable by death.’” The full report of the Council was presented to Emperor Charles V, and on April 23, 1529, the Decree of the Emperor against the Anabaptists was issued. In the decree one reads language such as the following: “. . . yet do we find daily that, contrary to the promulgated common law and also to our mandate issued, such ancient sect of the Anabaptists condemned and forbidden many hundred of years ago more and more advances and spreads.” The decree called for the following penalty: “ . . .that all and every Anabaptist and re-baptized man or woman of intelligent age shall be sentenced and executed by fire, sword, of the like . . .” When reading this decree, it is apparent that the so-called “anabaptists” did not spring from the Reformation. They long preceded it.
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins) p.p. 235 – 236
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