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He bore the Saviors Marks in his body


Wouters van Kuijck was finally burned at the stake on this day in 1572 after he was tortured and scourged in the prison at Dordrecht, Holland.  He had been moving his family from place to place in his effort to avoid arrest, for he was considered a heretic by the State Church for his belief that salvation was a personal matter of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone.  The bailiff learned where Jan was residing and he and his men came to arrest him.  Knowing that his arrest would end in the capture of his entire family, Jan said in a booming voice, “it is I” when the bailiff knocked and asked, “Does Jan van Kuijck live here?”  Of course it was designed to allow is family to escape, which they did.  During his imprisonment he wrote a dozen letters that have been preserved, eleven to family including his daughter and one to his captors presenting clearly his faith and a warning to them of judgment.  He concluded that letter with these words, “I confess one Lord, one faith, one God, one Father of all, who is above all, and in all believers.  I believe only what the Holy Scriptures say, and not what men say.”  Fearing his testimony Jan’s mouth was gagged before he was taken to the place of execution.  Somehow he managed to relieve himself of the gag.  A fellow believer was able to draw close to him and he opened his shirt and showed him his bloody body from the scourgings, and said, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”  As the fire was kindled he looked over those assembled and cried, “…farewell, my dear brethren and sisters, I herewith commend you to the Lord, to the Lord Who shed his blood for us.”

Dr. Greg J. Dixon, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp.180-181.


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 They were beaten and imprisoned
December 14, 1662 – The State of Virginia, passed the following law: “Whereas many schismatical persons out of their averseness to the orthodox established religion, or out of new fangled conceits of their own heretical inventions, refused to have their children baptized. Be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all persons that, in contempt of the divine sacrament of baptism, shall refuse when they carry their child to lawful the minister in that country to have them baptized shall be amesed two thousand pounds of tobacco, half to the publique.” Such statutes were directed at the Baptists, whose principles and convictions dictated that they baptize only believers on their confession of faith and who believed pedobaptism to be a Romish invention carried over into Protestantism by the Reformers. The Church of England increased her membership by pedobaptism, but the Baptists by evangelism and proselytizing. This difference of belief caused a head-on collision between the established religion, the Church of England, which tenaciously held to pedobaptism, and the lowly Baptists, who repudiated it and baptized all who believed and gave their testimony to their faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross for their salvation. Hawkes, the historian of the Episcopal Church of Virginia, said, “No dissenters in Virginia experienced for a time, harsher treatment than did the Baptists. They were beaten and imprisoned; and cruelly taxed by the authorities who devised new modes of punishment and annoyance.” The Charter of 1606 provided that the Church of England should be the only legal and official state church of Virginia. The bloody military code of 1611 required all adults of the colony to give account of their faith to the parish minister.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 521-22.

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“He was persuaded of universal liberty.”

November 14, 1819 – David Barrow died. He had been an ardent member of a Baptist emancipation society called the “Friends of Humanity” in which he wrote a 64 page booklet on the evils of slavery. While contending for the liberty of the American colonies, he was persuaded of universal liberty. Through this principle he came to the conclusion that he should free his slaves even though he owned a considerable number. Baptist Historian Semple says, “It is questionable whether I was not, in the end, productive of more harm than good. While it lessened his resources at home, for maintaining a large family, it rendered him suspicious among his acquaintances, and probably in both ways limited his usefulness.” Semple’s remark gives insight into the response of many toward those who zealously took up the cause of emancipation. George Mason of Virginia refused to sign the Constitution because the lack of a provision to care for the slavery issue. After 20 years of labor in Virginia and N.C., Barrow moved on to Ky. When some began to embrace Unitarianism, he was sent in 1803 to help convince the heretics of their apostasy. He wrote a pamphlet on “The Trinity” which helped to check this growing heresy. However his popularity didn’t last long because when the Kentucks found out his views on emancipation it was all over. A committee went from the North District Association and demanded that the church expel him from the pulpit or they would be expelled from the Assoc. The church left Baptist doctrine and threw their pastor to the wolves and chose the denominational bosses and stayed with the association. We are reminded what Paul said to the Galatians, Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/ Thompson/, pp. 473-75.

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