Monthly Archives: June 2013

170 — June 19 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

From a Proper Child to the Prince of Preachers

 

Charles Haddon Spurgeon was the first-born of seventeen children and was born on June 19, 1834. Almost as soon as he was old enough to leave home, he went to his grandfather’s house. Under his grandfather’s oversight and the devoted guidance of an aunt, Charles developed into a thoughtful boy, commonly fonder of his books than of his play.

 

A pious minister, Richard Knill, who was visiting his grandfather, took an interest in this young lad as he was waiting some days for a preaching engagement. Spurgeon wrote some years later, “Calling the family together, [Mr. Knill] took me on his knee, and I distinctly remember his saying: ‘I do not know how it is, but I feel a solemn presentiment that this child will preach the Gospel to thousands, and God will bless him to many souls.’”

 

Of course, there is often no greater influence on a man’s life than his mother. Mrs. Spurgeon trained her children with prayerful concern, and she was rewarded by seeing each one of them make a public profession of their faith in Christ. Two of her sons were preachers, and one of her daughters was the wife of a minister. Speaking one day to her son, Mrs. Spurgeon said, “Ah, Charley, I have often prayed that you might be saved, but never that you should become a Baptist.” To this remark, Charles replied, “God has answered your prayer, mother, with His usual bounty, and given you more than you asked.”

 

We cannot overemphasize the importance of those influences in the early life of a child. Many saw the boy Spurgeon through the eyes of faith the same as Moses’ parents saw Moses as a “proper child.” This “proper child,” Charles Haddon Spurgeon, became known as the “Prince of Preachers”!

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 251-252.

 

 

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166 — June 15 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

166 — June 15 – This Day in Baptist History Past        

 

 

 

He Pursued Law Then Preached Jesus Christ

 

Edward Miles Jerome was born on June 15, 1826 and graduated from Yale in 1850.  While at Yale, Edward Jerome was not a student in the Divinity School, rather he pursued, and graduated with a law degree. After a few years, Jerome became persuaded that Baptist principles and doctrine were biblical. Though not a divinity student, his legal mind was enlightened by the Holy Spirit. He became a Baptist, was baptized, and united with the First Baptist Church of Hartford, Connecticut. It was there that he began his theological studies and was licensed by that church to teach and preach the Scriptures. He was ordained in 1859 as an evangelist in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and began his ministry preaching and supplying pulpits. He soon settled into a pastorate and served in this office for several years until he suffered an infection in his throat that disabled him. He attempted preaching afterwards, but failing health would not permit him to continue. Fortunately, he had developed excellent writing skills and was able to use these when he lost his ability to preach. Edward Jerome’s preaching and writing were doctrinally clear and were presented in an evangelical, earnest, and effective manner. He entered into the presence of his Lord on June 8, 1891 at sixty-five years of age.

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 246-247.

 

 

 

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Baptist History


A Brief Ministry in Violent Times

Caroline County Ct. House Built 1803-09

Daniel Fristoe was one of a number of effective preachers who were called under the preaching of David Thomas. He was a product of the ministry of the Chappawamsick Church around which swirled controversy and violence from certain citizens in Stafford and Prince William Counties, Virginia.

On June 14, 1771 Fristoe was ordained to the regular work of the ministry, one day after John young was haled into court in Caroline County for preaching without a license.  According to Fristoe’s diary, the day following his ordination he met with the brethren in Fauquier County where they examined some candidates for baptism. 16 persons were adjudged proper subjects for baptism. The next day being Sunday about two thousand people came together. After the preaching, thirteen others were examined and deemed worthy of baptism. Fristoe baptized twenty-nine people before this great multitude.

While in Philadelphia as a messenger Fristoe was seized with the smallpox, from which he never recovered. He died far from home in the thirty-fifth year of his life.

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History. Vol. I (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 244-245.

 

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164 — June 13 –This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Beheaded for faith in sound doctrine

 

 

 

On June 13th 1560, Hans Mandemaker, Pastor: together with, Deacon: and Eustachius Kuter. Were condemned to death. At the passing of the sentence, a great number of people were present as they addressed the judges of the court and the jury, proving to them that the sentence, in the presence of God, passed upon innocent men, would rise up in judgment against them to their condemnation for having condemned innocent blood. When they replied that they were obliged to judge according to the emperor’s command and proclamation, Hans Mandemaker said, “O ye blind judges! You are to judge according to your own heart and conscience, as you will have to answer for it in the presence of God. If then you judge and pass sentence, according to the emperor’s proclamation, how will you answer before God?”

 

They all spake with boldness and exhorted the people to repent, to forsake their sins, and to tread the path of truth; it was the truth for which this day they would suffer. Their crime: they did not believe that the holy body of Jesus Christ was in the sacrament but they observed the Lord’s Supper in the same manner that Christ kept it with His disciples, and that they did not approve of infant baptism.

 

Kuter was first beheaded, after which Juriaen Raek stepped cheerfully forward to the executioner and said, “Here I leave wife and child, house and goods, body and life, for the sake and truth of God.”

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 243 -244.

 

 

 

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163 — June 12 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

 James Madison

 

Toleration v Liberty

 

On June 12, 1776, the Virginia Declaration of Rights was adopted but not until its author, George Mason, and the committee had consented, at the urging of young James Madison, to an amendment of the 16th article. The article originally stated:

 

That religion, or the duty we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only

 

by reason and convictions, and not by force or violence; and, therefore, that all men should enjoy the

 

fullest toleration in the exercise or religion, according to the dictates of conscience, unpunished and

 

unrestrained by the magistrate, unless, under the color of religion, any man disturb the peace, the

 

happiness, or the safety of society; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance,

 

love, and charity for each other.”

 

The difference between this article and the First Amendment,  is between the free exercise of religion and toleration.  Where did the young James Madison learn this principle? From the Baptists and their persecution in Orange and Culpeper Counties, Virginia.  Also this Declaration of Rights became the pattern of many other colonial declarations. Article 16 was the basis of the establishment and free exercise clauses of our federal Constitution.

 

May we never forget and may we pass on to our posterity that a vital part of our Baptist heritage involves religious liberty in America.

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson and Cummins) pp. 242 -243.

 

 

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162 — June 11 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

 Prayer  for Persecutors and Freedom

 

The Separate Baptists in Virginia had divided into two associations for the convenience of the messengers, and on May 14, 1774, the Southern District met in the Banister Baptist Church of Halifax County. There they transacted one of the most important aspects of an associational ministry, a phase that is all but dead among us in these days. For three or four years there had been severe persecutions against the Baptists in many parts of Virginia. Letters were received at their association from preachers confined in prison, particularly from David Tinsley, then in the Chesterfield jail.  The hearts of their brethren were affected at their sufferings, in consequence of which they: “Agreed to set apart the second and third Saturdays in June as public fast days, in behalf of our poor blind persecutors, and for the releasement of our brethren.”

 

Those two days of prayer were Saturday, June 11, and Saturday, June 18, 1774, and the saints prayed for the enlightenment of the spiritually blind persecutors and the freedom of their ministers.  We ought not to be surprised to observe that during that decade, the Separate Baptists “achieved their greatest growth . . . with 221 churches and unconstituted local bodies with 9,842 members.”  Some of the persecutors were converted and became Baptist preachers, and freedom of religion was gained for the whole state of Virginia.

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 240 -241.

 

                                                                               

 

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161 — June 10 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Targets of Persecution

 

Annekin Hendriks – Anabaptist

 

On the 10th of June, 1535, a furious edict was published at Brussels. Death by fire was the punishment on all Baptists who should be detected and should refuse to abjure. If they recanted they were still to die, but not by fire; the men were to be put to death by the sword, ‘the women in a sunken pit.’ Those who resisted the operation of the edict by failing to deliver up Baptists [Anabaptists] to the authorities, were to suffer the same punishment as accomplices.”What a troublesome time in which to live! Religious freedom was unknown to Anabaptists, and they were forced to worship covertly, everywhere because informers were promised one-third of the confiscated estates of the dreaded Anabaptists!

 

Perhaps the actual wording of a portion of the edict might prove enlightening as to the pressures that our forefathers experienced.

 

“In order to provide against and remedy the errors and seductions which many sectaries and authors of mischief, with their followers, have dared to sow and spread in our possessions, in opposition to our holy Christian faith, the sacraments and commands of the holy church our mother; we have at various times decreed…many mandates containing statutes, edicts, ordinances, together with punishments that transgressors should suffer; in order that by such means the common and simple people might guard themselves against the aforesaid errors and abuses, and that their chief promoters might be punished and corrected as an example to all.

 

And it, having come to our knowledge, that…many and various sectaries, even some who are denominated Anabaptist or rebaptizers, have promoted…their said abuses and errors, in order to mislead the same…to the great scandal and contempt of the sacrament of holy baptism, and of our edicts, statutes, and ordinances:

 

Therefore, being desirous to provide against and remedy the same, we summon and command, that, from this time…you make proclamation in all the parts of limits of your jurisdiction, that all who are, or shall be found to be, infected by the cursed sect of Anabaptists, or rebaptizers, of what state or condition they may be, abettors, followers, and accomplices, shall suffer the forfeiture of life and estate, and shall without delay, be brought to the severest punishment.”

 

There are several other paragraphs of the edict, but this example is typical of the many edicts issued by the Roman Catholic and even Protestant leaders who harmonized only at the point of persecuting the re-baptizers. Catholics and some reformers believed that “re-baptism” was a repudiation of the baptism by the state church, which they considered salvation. Anabaptists did not accept “sacramental grace” and “infant sprinkling.” They denied that they were re-baptizers at all! Thank God for grace in Christ and the privilege of obeying His ordinance as a testimony! Praise the Lord for our glorious freedom of religion and liberty of conscience to serve Him without man’s dictates!

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart:: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/ Cummins) pp. 239 -240.

 

 

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160 — June 09 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Imprisoned three times

 

The story of John Corbley is one of sacrifice and heroism. Born in Ireland in 1738, he came to America at the age of fourteen, settling first in eastern Pennsylvania, but later moving to Virginia, where he was soundly converted under the preaching of James Ireland. Shortly thereafter he became a Baptist preacher, and preached with such power that the Episcopal Establishment in Virginia considered him worthy of imprisonment, rewarding him shortly thereafter with a cell in the Culpeper jail. On the very site of that old jail there stands a thriving Baptist church today. When brought into court, John Corbley conducted his own defense, and was acquitted of all charges in 1768, although he suffered much abuse and physical violence later.

 

John Corbley was known as the ablest preacher of his day. For thirty years he directed the planting of Baptist churches in western Pennsylvania. Imprisoned three times and married three times, having buried two wives, these experiences of sunshine and shadow served only to deepen his spiritual life and magnify his usefulness. Active to the very end, he entered into rest June 9, 1803, his funeral sermon being preached by Elder David Phillips, pastor of the Peter’s Creek Baptist church. His mortal remains lie buried in the cemetery within the shadow of the old Goshen church, Whitley, Pennsylvania.

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 237–238.

 

 

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159 — June 08 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

A Christian Champion that backslid

 

Robert Robinson was born in Norfolk, England, on October 8, 1735. Robert was apprenticed to a craftsman when he was 14 after his father died.

 

One night, when he was 17, Robert went to one of George Whitefield’s meetings. So far, Robert had always lived a decent life, and thought himself a Christian. That night Whitefield spoke about Sadducees and Pharisees; about platters being clean on the outside, but dirty on the inside.  This message shook Robert up, and bothered him for weeks. On December 10, 1755, Robert received Salvation.

 

After he was saved, many friends thought Robert should preach, and told him so. He was drawn to the ministry, but didn’t think he would be very good at it.

 

While visiting his family in Norwich in 1758, he noticed that there were many Christians in the area that wanted leadership, but could only get a preacher once in a while. After hearing Robert speak at an evening service of singing and praying, the people asked Robert to become pastor of their church.

 

At this point in time, Robert was connected to the Established Church of England. His future looked very promising if he would stay with it, and become an Established Church minister.

 

At a christening ceremony, someone expressed doubt of the benefit of infant baptism. This caused Robert to investigate the Biblicism of infant baptism. He found that Scripture only supports the baptism of believers.  In 1759, he left the Norwich church, and joined a Baptist Church. Two years later, he was ordained, and became the pastor of the Baptist church in Cambridge. Besides pastoring the Cambridge church, he also  preached at churches in the surrounding countryside. Despite his very busy  schedule, he still found time to write, and there were very few years he did not  publish something.

 

One publication he is well known for is the hymn “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” A history of Baptists was something he worked on for many years. It was published after his death in two volumes: Ecclesiastical Researches and History of Baptism.

 

Later in life, he endured several private sorrows, and became friends with skeptical people, which led to his wandering into sin.  Feeling troubled in spirit, he decided to travel. On one of his journeys, he met a young woman who began telling him about a hymn she had been reading, and questioning him about it. Realizing it was a hymn he wrote, he tried to evade her, but was unsuccessful. Finally, he broke into tears and told her he had written the song, and he would give anything to feel the joy he had felt when he wrote it. Surprised, the woman reassured him that God’s streams of mercy still flowed. Robert was touched, and turned back to the Lord.

 

Robert Robinson died on June 8, 1790 at the age of 55

 

 

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 236 -237.                                         

 

 

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158 — June 07 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Racked, Scourged, and Burned for Christ

 

On June 7, 1561, the Margrave of Antwerp went out with a great number of people, well–armed with staves, and apprehended Joos Verbeek, a minister of God’s word and of his church. He was racked twice in four days. He was scourged till the blood flowed. His right hand having been “lamed by torture,” his last letter to his wife was written with his left hand, “with great difficulty.” He was burnt in a straw hut, as was the common practice towards the end of the persecution.

 

When Verbeek approached the straw hut and stood before the door in which he was to present himself as a burnt offering, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and prayed “O holy Father, support thy servant in this time of need.” The executioner’s man wished to put a cord with a knot in his mouth to prevent his speaking; nevertheless, he was not silent, for he was heard to exclaim, “O Lord, Thou Son of David, have mercy upon me. “

 

The executioner performed his work with fear and trembling. When the fire was kindled, Verbeek exclaimed, “O Heavenly Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit. O Lord of Hosts, who separated me from my mother’s womb, be with Thy servant in this last distress which I suffer for Thy name.”  He once more exclaimed, “O Heavenly Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit,” and presented a peaceful burnt sacrifice, an example to us all.

 

 

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 234 -235.

 

 

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