Tag Archives: Thomas Armitage

337 – Dec. 03 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Baptists preceded the Reformation

 

1847 – Thomas Rees Davies, the Welsh Baptist pastor, known as “Old Black Cap”, because he wore a velvet cap in the pulpit, provided a great verbal description of himself in a letter he wrote to a deacon in London, who was to meet him at the train. He wrote, “At Euston Station…about nine in the evening, expect the arrival of a gray-haired old man; very tall, like the ancient Britons, and without an outward blemish, but a Jewish high-priest. Like Elijah, he will wear a mantle, not shaggy, but superfine, and like Jacob, he will have a staff in his hand, but will not be lame, it is hoped. But most especially, he will have a white string in his hat, fastened to his coat button. There will be many there with black strings, but his will be white. Let the friend ask, ‘Are you Davies?’ and his answer will be, ‘Yes.’” Baptists in Wales preceded the Reformation. The Venerable Bede (673-735) wrote, in his work, that Welshmen followed the Bible only and opposed the superstitions of Rome. It is clear that there were those who held Baptist convictions in Wales at the beginning of the seventeenth century. The first Baptist church in Wales after the Reformation was formed at Ilston, near Swansea, in Glamorganshire, in 1649. Wales has also had a great influence in America by sending entire congregations to our shores. Christmas Evans was one of the greatest of their preachers, so named, because he was born on Christmas day. When Davies started his last preaching tour and sensed that his days were few he said that he wanted to be buried in the same grave with Evans. He preached on July 22, 1859, died on Sunday the 24th, and was buried in Evans tomb.
[This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 661-62. Thomas Armitage, A History of the Baptists (New York: Bryan, Taylor, and Co., 1887), pp. 599-600.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

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316 – Nov. 12 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Simons was an Anabaptist

 

Menno Simons was not the founder of the Mennonite church but rather Conrad Grebel and his brethren, who founded a church in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1525. At this time Simons was struggling as a Catholic priest with infant baptism and trans- substantiation as well as attacking the Cult of Munster. The Munsterites were propagating insurrection, polygamy, fornication, and other heretical doctrines. Because this cult was falsely identified with the Anabaptists, the enemies of the Baptists used the Munsters to stereotype them many years into the future, even a century later in England. Simons wrote volumes attacking infant baptism and propagating believer’s baptism only. He used Rom. 6:3-4 to say, “Here the baptism of believers is again powerfully confirmed, and infant baptism denied as emphatically.” He went on to say that, “…spiritual death and resurrection are represented in holy baptism.”  Thomas Armitage quotes several writers as saying concerning Simons, “He was dipped himself, and he baptized others by dipping.”  In all of his writings he repudiated infant baptism and brought the wrath of the state church down upon himself and identified him as an Anabaptist. Concerning the Lord’s Supper, he made it clear that it was a memorial of the Lord’s death. Simons was a fugitive from the state and suffered greatly at the hands of the magistrates. He was pursued from place to place and saw his brethren who harbored him or were baptized by him tortured or put to death. He believed the church was the representative agent of Christ on earth, and that the Bible was the Word of God. Simons was an Anabaptist. [John Christian Wenger, ed., The Complete Works of Menno Simons, c. 1496-1561 (Scottsdale, Pa.: Hearld Press, 1956) pp. 157-58. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 618-20.]   Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

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