Tag Archives: petition

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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269 – Sept. 26 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

A ship wreck was used of God

 

1811 – Thomas Francis served on a committee to petition the General Court in the District of Maine to establish a school of higher learning among the Baptists. When Maine became a State, the Maine Literary and Theological Institute became Colby College. Francis served the Baptist church at Leeds as pastor and the following report was sent to the Association upon his death. “Our meetings are fully attended, we have many refreshing seasons; have a neat and comfortable house of worship; we stand fast in doctrine, neither Antinomian [Hyper-Calvinism] nor Arminian.”  Francis had apprenticed as a youth to a physician but ran off to sea and came to America. The ship wrecked off the coast of Maine and Thomas along with some of the sailors found shelter in the home of a Mr. and Mrs. Stinchfield. Later at Leeds Maine, Francis was saved while reading the scriptures, and began to teach others. Some Methodist preachers came to minister, but Thomas along with a few in the group, were not satisfied with their doctrine of “falling from grace” and left. James Potter, a Baptist preacher, hearing of the group came and baptized Francis in 1795, and it wasn’t long until he became pastor of a Baptist church in Leeds. The Lord had turned the seventeen year old runaway around and made him a useful servant of Christ. [Henry S. Burrage, History of the Baptists in Maine (Portland, Maine: Marks Printing House, 1904), p 137. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 527-29]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

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343 – Dec. 09 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


They voted to change the course of the sun…
 December 09, 1774 – Isaac Backus was instrumental in getting a petition from the Baptists of Massachusetts read before the Provincial Congress which was presided over by John Hancock. Backus as the agent for the Baptists had made the presentation because the Baptists had approached the General Court and local authorities again and again with petitions asking for redress of their grievances relating to taxes for the support of religious teachers. There is no record that any of these petitions were given any attention by the courts. The Baptists of that state had been persecuted and imprisoned for conscience’ sake under these laws and the persistent Backus would not let the issue die. At one point in a four-hour heated discussion on the subject in the presence of Patrick Henry, at the Continental Congress in 1774, John Adams closed the matter by saying “Gentlemen, if you mean to try to effect change in Massachusetts laws respecting religion, you may as well attempt to change the course of the sun in the heavens.” John Hancock, presiding over the Continental Congress, ordered the petition read and considered.  With this encouragement, when the General Court of Massachusetts met at Watertown in July 1775, the members heard and pondered this matter and based on the scripture: “ with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” They voted to change the course of the sun in the state of Massachusetts in regards to taxation without representation.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 513-15.

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