May 27, 2013 · 4:33 PM
147 — May 27 – This Day in Baptist History Past
The Birth of a Baby Planted a Church
There is abundant proof that, in many thoughtful minds, serious doubts had arisen among the Congregationalists of Massachusetts concerning the scriptural authority for infant baptism and the right of the secular power to interfere in the religious affairs. Henry Dunster, who had been compelled to resign his presidency of Harvard College and was publicly admonished and put under bonds, had done much to bring about this thoughtfulness. Dunster had great influence on the mind of Thomas Gould, a member of the Congregational Church of Charlestown. When a son was born into his home, Gould called his neighbors in to rejoice with him and to unite in thanks to God for this precious gift. He withheld the child from baptism and was summoned to appear before the church to answer why the child had not been sprinkled. He still refused to comply and was suspended from Communion. He was repeatedly brought before the Middlesex Court on charges relating to the “ordinance of Christ.”
Gould was to inform his Baptist brethren to appear, and the Baptist Church at Newport sent a delegation of three to assist their brethren in the debate. After two days of denunciation of the Baptists, who were not allowed to reply, the authorities claimed a victory. Gould was sentenced to exile from Massachusetts on May 27, 1668.
The First Baptist church in Boston was planted in the midst of great debate, turmoil, and persecution that began with the birth of a child.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I Thompson/ Cummins) pp. 216 -217
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Tagged as Baptist history, birth of a baby, Congregationalists, dr dale, Harvard College, Henry Dunster, infant baptism, Massachusetts, presidency, r hart, scriptural authority, secular power, thomas gould, thompson cummins, thoughtful minds
April 7, 2013 · 5:09 PM
A Patient Sowing and Enduring Bringeth Forth Fruit
“…not many noble, are called:” But thankfully He does call some.
On April 7 1657 – Henry Dunster, President of Cambridge College (now Harvard), was so stirred in his mind that he turned his attention to the subject of infant baptism and soon rejected it altogether. It was upon the persecution of Obadiah Holmes and others who had taken a strong stand for believers’ baptism that the faithfulness of Holmes, the publicity his enemies gave to his convictions, his willingness to suffer for convictions, and the beastliness of a church-state (Congregational), that denied its citizens religious freedom, all magnified the truth he propagated.
Dunster’s success in promoting Harvard by furthering its interests, collecting large sums of money in its behalf, and even giving one hundred acres to it, was marvelous and testified to his commitment to the institution. But he had a higher commitment to the truth of God and began to preach against infant baptism in the church at Cambridge in 1653, to the great alarm of the entire community. Armitage quotes Prince in pronouncing Dunster “‘one of the greatest masters of the Oriental languages that hath been known in these ends of the earth’, but he laid aside all his honors and positions in obedience to his convictions.”
Dunster was forced to resign his presidency of Harvard College, April 7, 1657, after which he was arraigned before the Middlesex court for refusing to have his child baptized.
Dr. Dale R. Hart from: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 141-142.
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Tagged as Baptist history, beastliness, believers baptism, Cambridge college, Congregational, convictions, enduring, fruit, Harvard College, Henry Dunster, infant baptism, noble, obadiah holmes, oriental languages, patient sowing, persecution, publicity, religious freedom, truth of god
February 15, 2013 · 2:36 PM
A House For A Church
From nearly the beginning of the Massachusetts Colony until 1769, the Baptists had been persecuted in various ways in the city of Boston and, indeed, throughout the entire colony. An infant church was first organized in Charlestown near Cambridge. Thomas Gould became its pastor. He and his members paid dearly. They lost the right to vote, were fined and imprisoned, and were threatened with banishment. Gould was brought before both the secular courts and the church courts and charged with Anabaptism. This Baptist church came into existence under the influence of Henry Dunster, the first president of Harvard College, who had adopted baptistic principles. The church moved from Charlestown to Noddle’s Island and then dared to enter Boston sometime after Gould’s death in 1675. John Russell became the new pastor. Philip Squire and Ellis Callender built a small meetinghouse. This building was so plain that it did not attract the attention of the Boston authorities until it was completed and the church began to use it for worship on February 15, 1679. On March 8, 1680, the marshal was ordered to nail the doors, which he did, posting the following notice on the door: “All persons are to take notice that, by order of the Court, the doors of this house are shut up, and that they are inhibited to hold any meetings therein, or to open the doors thereof, without license from authority, till the Court take further order, as they will answer the contrary to their peril.” In May, they came to the property to find the doors open! They went in boldly and held their services in their own building. For nearly 70 years this was the only Baptist church in Boston.
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins) pp. 93-94
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Tagged as a house for a church, anabaptism, Baptist history, Boston, Cambridge, Charlestown, church courts, david l cummins, Harvard College, Henry Dunster, human-rights, massachusets colony, massachusetts colony, persecuted, Religion, secular courts, thomas gould