Don’t Take Freedom for Granted
Around the world in this twenty-first century, obedient followers of Christ are forced to meet secretly to worship. These saints are in constant danger, if discovered, of being fined, imprisoned, and perhaps martyred. Their clandestine meetings must be carefully guarded, for continually they are hunted and hounded by godless authorities. In Great Britain, prior to the Edict of Toleration in 1689, Baptist believers found themselves in the same condition. We are greatly indebted to notes of Edward Terrill, of the Bristol Baptist congregation in Bristol, England. He recorded a running log of that assembly during those fright-filled days. Mr. Terrill died in 1685 or ’86. During that period from 1640 to 1648, several pastors of that daring flock were arrested, imprisoned, and martyred. The record for 1682 is similar to the experience of other years.
*Jan. 29. The Church met at four different places. Many of them went in the afternoon on Durdham Down, and got into a cave of a rock toward Clifton, where Brother Thomas Whinnell preached to them.
*March 12. Met in the fields by Barton Hundred, and Mr. Samuel Buttall of Plymouth preached in the fore-part of the day, and Brother Whinnell in the evening. It was thought there were near a thousand persons in the morning. * March 19. Met in the lanes beyond Baptist Mills. *April 13. Met in the rain in a lane.
*April 20. A day of prayer, from nine to five in the evening, at Mr. Jackson’s over the Down, in peace.”