They refuse to support a State Church by force
October 01, 1767 – The records from the First Baptist Church in New Hampshire located in Newtown, (now Newton) show that the church was under attack by the standing order (state Congregational Church). The church was founded in 1752 and is still in existence today.
The following was from those records. John Wadleigh, was chosen moderator, Joseph Welch, was chosen clerk, and the church voted to carry on Mr. Stewart’s and Mr. Carter’s lawsuits which are now in the law on account of rates imposed on them by the standing order.
The remainder of the minutes dealt with the salary to be given to the pastor, Mr. Hovey. Three men were appointed to the oversight of securing the pastor’s wages, and it was further decided that any men who refused to participate in providing the annual compensation of £50 would not have the protection of the local assembly against the demands of the standing order. Nearly 3 years later the church met again (June 25, 1770) and spent the entire business meeting in discussion of the lawsuit.
Another historian has written, “It is as refreshing as a breeze from their own mountains to find so much human ‘granite’ in this little band of New Hampshire Baptists. They refuse to support a State Church by force, and they resolve to support their own chosen pastor cheerfully…Such a Church deserved to live…The work of the Baptists in N.H. grew very slowly following the establishment of the church inNewton. In his centennial address, William Lamson concluded his remarks by saying, “…the constant persecutions and litigations had much to do in retarding their growth.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 407-08.
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248 – Sept. 05 – This Day in Baptist History Past
Posted: 04 Sep 2014 06:24 PM PDT
Jailed for encouraging a brother
John Spur and John Hazel, both elderly men, were hauled into court in Salem, Mass. on Sept. 05, 1651, for the horrible “crime” of offering sympathy to Obadiah Holmes, at the time of his brutal beating by the authorities, for preaching without a license from the Congregational Church. Neither men were convinced Baptists as yet, but Spur had been excommunicated from the Salem Congregational Church for declaring his opposition to infant baptism. Spur was given his choice of a forty shilling fine, or a whipping. Someone paid his fine, which he declined, but the court took it and released him anyway. Hazel, though very Ill, defended himself by saying, “…what law have I broken in taking my friend by the hand when he was free and had satisfied the law?” The sentence was still given: Hazel was to pay a fine or be whipped. Five days went by and when he refused to pay, the jailer released him, but he refused to leave without a discharge. The jailer gave it to him and he left totally free of all charges. Three days later, on Sept. 13, 1651 John Hazel was with the Lord Jesus, set free forever more. [Edwin S. Gaustad, Baptist Piety (Grand Rapids, Mich.: WmB. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1978), p. 30.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 486-487.
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The man who had two conversions
John Comer experienced two conversions, one involving salvation and one, sanctification. Comer was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on Aug. 1, 1704, during a time that it was not unusual for Congregationalists and Baptists to be a member of the same Congregational church. In this case Comer’s pastor was the famed Dr. Increase Mather. He occasionally had serious concerns for his soul. Then he caught what he called the “distemper” in which he said that he was unprepared for death with no sight of a reconciled God, or any application of the soul-cleansing blood of Christ “to my distressed soul.” Finally he heard the words, “Thou shalt not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord.” He had a glorious conversion to Christ and did indeed live. After his recovery he pursued his education at Cambridge and joined the Congregational church. He believed that it was wrong for a friend, Ephraim Crafts to join the Baptist church in Boston and debated with him on the issue of baptism. However he had a change of mind but kept silent. Another close call with death of a very dear friend, and a violent storm at sea, “brought eternity directly near him in the words of Christ, “whosoever shall be ashamed of me, and of my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the son of Man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of His father, with the holy angels.” After that he was baptized and went on to pastor and co-pastor several churches in New-England during a period of spiritual dearth. He succeeded in bringing order to some in the area of the ordinances and practices, including public singing. His heart stirring preaching increased attendance in the weaker churches. He was a “way preparer” before great things came later.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 315-16.
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Memorial – Brooklyn
A Noble lady persecuted
1644 – LADY MOODY FLEES RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION IN ENGLAND TO BE PERSECUTED BY PURITANS IN AMERICA – 1644. On February 22, 1644 John Endicott wrote a letter to John Winthrop, Governor of Plymouth Colony from Salem, Mass. that Lady Deborah Moody had been “excommunicated” from the Congregational Church at Salem and that a Mr. Norrice had informed him that she intended to return to Plymouth which he advises against, “unless shee will acknowledge her ewill (evil) in opposing the Churches & leave her opinions behinde her, for she is a dangerous woeman. My brother Ludlow writt to mee that, by means of a book she sent to Mrs. Eaton, shee questions her owne baptisme, it is verie doubtefull whether shee will be reclaimed, shee is so far ingaged.” Gov. Winthrop stated that she left “against the advice of all her friends. Many others affected with Anabaptism removed thither also. On her way from Mass. Lady Moody stopped for a time in New Haven and made converts to believer’s baptism and encountered once again religious opposition. Mrs. Eaton, wife of the first Governor of New Haven Colony, was one of the converts, and she too suffered persecution from the Congregational Church at New Haven. She firmly denied that baptism was to be administered to infants. Lady Moody was the widow of Sir Henry of Garsden in Wiltshire, England and came to America because of religious persecution and then received persecution from the hand of the Puritans, who themselves had fled persecution, after she got here. She settled in Lynn, Mass., where she purchased the estate of Mr. Humphrey, one of the magistrates. She had intended on being a permanent resident, but soon became a Baptist. In Dec. 1642 Lady Moody, Mrs. King of Swampscott, and the wife of John Tillton were all tried at the Quarterly Court “for houldinge that the baptizing of infants is noe ordinance of God.” Perhaps because of her position in society she was not banished from Mass. However she determined to seek shelter among strangers and in 1643 moved to New Amsterdam (New York), a settlement that was formed on Long Island, and she took a patent, which, among other things guaranteed, ‘the free liberte of conscience according to the costume of Holland, without molestation or disturbance from any madgistrate or madgistrates,
or any other ecclesiastical minister that may pretend jurisdiction over them.” It is believed that Lady Moody died on Long Island about 1659.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 73.
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Why America became a Republic
1745 – Isaac Backus and others were excommunicated from the Congregational church at Norwich, Connecticut. The name of Isaac Backus is one of the brightest lights in Baptist history. He was born on Jan. 9, 1724 in Norwich. He grew up during the time of the Great Awakening under George Whitefield and other lesser-known men. In Nov. of 1741 a revival broke out in his home town, and Backus received full assurance of salvation. Many in the Congregational state churches did not look with favor on evangelism and these converts were called “New Lights.” However, wanting to receive communion, after 11 months, Backus finally united with the church. Starving spiritually, these “New Lights” in the congregation began meeting together for fellowship and Bible study. This division is what led to the impasse that caused the church to excommunicate them. The converts of the Great Awakening started Separate churches. Backus, called to preach and ordained, was quite at home in this movement and carried on an itinerant ministry for fourteen months until he took a church at Titicut, Mass. It was there that he became convinced of believer’s immersion, and on Aug. 22, 1751, he and six fellow church members were immersed on profession of their faith. At that point Backus formed a Baptist church and served for almost sixty years as evangelist, pastor, author and fighter for religious liberty in early America. It is estimated that he traveled over 67,000 miles and preached nearly 10,000 sermons. Backus was one of the main reasons that America adopted a constitutional Republic over Calvin’s “Geneva Theocracy” model. [B.L. Shelly, Dictionary of Baptists in America (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1994), p. 36. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 614-15.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
“A Person can die and not be afraid”
John Taylor Jones was born at new Ipswich, New Hampshire. When he was about 15 years old, he received Christ as Savior and joined the Congregational Church in Ashby, Mass. During his biblical studies, he had a change of thinking concerning the mode and subjects of baptism and in 1828 he was baptized by Pastor Malcom and joined the Federal Street Baptist Church in Boston. On July 14, 1830 he married Eliza Grew, and within seven months, they were on their way to Burma as missionaries. After their arrival Jones threw himself into the work with great zeal and soon became proficient in the Burman and Taling languanges. He was especially drawn to the Talings, a tribal people, and he departed for Siam (Thailand), where there seemed to be a great opportunity to reach this group. The Lord had a great work of translation ready for him which he completed in Oct. of 1843. It has been extolled as one of the great Asiatic translations of the New Testament. During his last visit to New York, Jones is quoted as saying, “There is one thing that distinguishes Christianity from every false religion. It is the only religion that can take away the fear of death. I never knew a dying heathen in Siam, or anywhere else, that was not afraid, terribly afraid, of death.” He went on to say that there was nothing that struck the Siamese people with greater astonishment than when his dying wife said to her Siamese maid shortly before her death, “I am not afraid to die.” For weeks after her death the Siamese people came to him and asked, “Teacher, is it really true that a person had died and was not afraid to die? Can it be possible? And when he assured them that it was, they would say, “Wonderful, wonderful, that a person should die and not be afraid.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: adapted From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 288-89.
February 22, 1644 – Lady Deborah Moody was the subject of a letter that John Endicott wrote to John Winthrop, Governor of Plymouth Colony from Salem, Mass. that she had been “excommunicated” from the Congregational Church at Salem and that a Mr. Norrice had informed him that she intended to return to Plymouth which he advises against, “unless she will acknowledge her evil in opposing the Churches & leave her opinions behind her, for she is a dangerous woman. My brother Ludlow wrote to me that, by means of a book she sent to Mrs. Eaton, she questions her own baptism, it is very doubtful whether she will be reclaimed, she is so far engaged.” Gov. Winthrop stated that she left “against the advice of all her friends. Many others affected with Anabaptism removed thither also. On her way from Mass. Lady Moody stopped for a time in New Haven and made converts to believer’s baptism and encountered once again religious opposition. Mrs. Eaton, wife of the first Governor of New Haven Colony, was one of the converts, and she too suffered persecution from the Congregational Church at New Haven. She firmly denied that baptism was to be administered to infants. Lady Moody was the widow of Sir Henry of Garsden in Wiltshire, England and came to America because of religious persecution and then received persecution from the hand of the Puritans, who themselves had fled persecution. She settled in Lynn, Mass., where she purchased the estate of Mr. Humphrey, a “Baptist”. In Dec. 1642 Lady Moody, Mrs. King of Swampscott, and the wife of John Tillton were all tried at the Quarterly Court “for holding that the baptizing of infants is no ordinance of God.” Lady Moody, it is believed, died on Long Island about 1659.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 73-74