An aged man stands true
1644 – On this day William Witter of Lynn, Massachusetts was arraigned before the Salem Court for “entertaining that the baptism of infants was sinful.” Later, on Dec. 18, 1645, he was charged with saying that, “they who stayed whiles a child is baptized do worship the devil.” On June 24, 1651, he was accused of “absenting himself from the public ordinances nine months or more and for being re-baptized.” In time he united with the Baptist church in Newport, R.I. where Dr. John Clarke was pastor. However, because of his age and the fact that he was blind, it was impossible to travel that far for services, so on June 19, 1651 Pastor Clarke, Obadiah Holmes, and John Crandall, as representatives of the Baptist church in Newport, upon the request of Bro. Witter, arrived at his home after walking the eighty miles in two days. Spies informed the authorities of the Mass. Bay Colony that services were conducted on Sunday morning at the Witter home without the authority of the Congregational Church, which caused the three men to be arrested and hauled away to a tavern. Then to cleanse their souls they were taken to an afternoon worship service at an established church service, and then they were imprisoned, and a great miscarriage of justice followed which ended in the brutal beating of Holmes. Witter was not arrested, no doubt because of his advanced age.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 82.
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