Tag Archives: pedobaptism

102– April 12, 1682 – This Day in Baptist History Past


William Screven

 

Wm. Screven
They Sought a Place of Refuge
Jailed for refusing to pay a bond

William Screven emigrated to Boston from Somerton, England, about the year 1668. He moved to Kittery in the Province of Maine.  After Massachusetts acquired the area of Main, the authorities began to watch Screven closely because of his Baptist views.
Ultimately, Screven was charged first with not attending meetings on the Lord’s Day. Later he was charged with making blasphemous speeches against the “holy order of pedobaptism,” after spending some time in jail for refusing to pay a bond of £100.
On April 12, 1682, he was brought before the Court at York, and the examination resulted as follows:
“This Court having considered the offensive speeches of William Screven, viz., his rash, inconsiderate words tending to blasphemy, do adjudge the delinquent for his offence to pay ten pounds into the treasury of the county or province. And further, the Court doth further discharge the said Screven under any pretence to keep any private exercise at his own house or elsewhere, upon the Lord’s days, either in Kittery or any other place within the limits of this province, and is for the future enjoined to observe the public worship of God in our public assemblies upon the Lord’s days according to the laws here established in this Province, upon such penalties as the law requires upon his neglect of the premises.”
Screven and his associates had now come to the conclusion that if at Kittery they could not have freedom to worship God according to the dictates of their consciences, they must seek that freedom elsewhere.

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted  from: Baptist History Homepage , ( Rev. William Screven and the Baptists at Kittery , By Henry S. Burrage,
1904 ) pp. 18-19

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132– May 12 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

132– May 12 – This Day in Baptist History Past

 

 

He Loved the Word of God above the word of man”

 

The Bible, being the pure unadulterated Word of God, is the final authority of Baptist Faith and Practice.  Therefore, Baptists have always been sincerely interested in disseminating the Scriptures far and wide. An application was made to the American Bible Society that the word baptizo was the equivalent to “immerse,” and though the contributions of the Baptist churches were sizable, the American Bible Society refused its indication. The Society patronized a version which translated baptizo with the word “sprinkle.”

 

In the session in which the American Bible Society exiled the Baptists from their ranks, a gentleman defending pedobatism rose to speak. He argued that warfare is perpetual for Christians, and we are all in one large army. The enemy is poised to strike, and a regiment that does not continue to show the solid front is guilty of desertion.

 

Only one course of action was left to the Baptists. “On May 12, 1836, a large convention met in the Oliver Street Church, New York, and after discussion, proceeded to organize the American and Foreign Bible Society. Rev. Spencer H. Cone . . . . was its first president.”

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History, Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 194 -195

 

 

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102 – April 12, 1682 – This Day in Baptist History Past


They Sought a Place of Refuge

Jailed for refusing to pay a bond

William Screven emigrated to Boston from Somerton, England, about the year 1668. He moved to Kittery in the Province of Maine. After Massachusetts acquired the area of Main, the authorities began to watch Screven closely because of his Baptist views.

Ultimately, Screven was charged first with not attending meetings on the Lord’s Day. Later he was charged with making blasphemous speeches against the “holy order of pedobaptism.” After spending some time in jail for refusing to pay a bond of £100.

On April 12, 1682, he was brought before the Court at York, and the examination resulted as follows:

This Court having considered the offensive speeches of William Screven, viz., his rash, inconsiderate words tending to blasphemy, do adjudge the delinquent for his offence to pay ten pounds into the treasury of the county or province. And further, the Court doth further discharge the said Screven under any pretence to keep any private exercise at his own house or elsewhere, upon the Lord’s days, either in Kittery or any other place within the limits of this province, and is for the future enjoined to observe the public worship of God in our public assemblies upon the Lord’s days according to the laws here established in this Province, upon such penalties as the law requires upon his neglect of the premises.”

Screven and his associates had now come to the conclusion that if at Kittery they could not have freedom to worship God according to the dictates of their consciences, they must seek that freedom elsewhere.

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: Baptist History Homepage , ( Rev. William Screven and the Baptists at Kittery , By Henry S. Burrage, 1904 ) pp. 18-19

 

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93 – April 03 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


Dutch Anabaptists Persecuted

Why our Founders in America Insisted on a Bill of Rights

On April 3rd 1575, a small congregation of Dutch Anabaptists convened in a private house outside the city of London. While they were at worship, a constable interrupted the service and took twenty-five people before a magistrate, who committed them to prison. They remained there for two days when, upon posting bond, they were released on giving promise to appear before the court when summoned.

Information was given to the Queen (Elizabeth I0, and a Royal Commission was issued to Sandys, Bishop of London, and some others to interrogate the parties and proceed accordingly.  The Anabaptists appeared before the commissioners, where their confession of faith was rejected, and they were required to subscribe to four articles that condemned their own principles.  Of course, these involved pedobaptism.
These staunch believers refused to subscribe to the articles presented to them.

Sandys said “that [their] misdeeds therein were so great that [they] could not enjoy the favour of God.  .  .  .  He then said to [them] all, that [they] should be imprisoned in the Marshalsea.”  The Prison was later called the “Queen’s Bench.”

Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 136-37.

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32 – February 01 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


State Church or Gods Word
The Anabaptists of Zurich agreed to debate Ulrich Zwingli on the subject of infant baptism in January of 1525, provided that the only authority to which the debaters could appeal was the Bible. Reneging on his promise, Zwingli defeated his Anabaptist opponents by shouting them down.  The Zurich City Council declared him the victor and decreed that the Anabaptists should have all their children baptized within a week or suffer banishment.
The Anabaptists refused to come, so on February 1, 1525, the Council ordered them arrested and that each of their children should be baptized as soon as they were born.  After they were fined 1,000 gulden plus costs, all were released except Felix Mantz and George Blaurock.  In the next few years, the Council imposed confiscation of property, imprisonment, torture, and death upon the Anabaptists of Zurich. The severity of punishments meted out to people who were no threat to public order shows the weakness of the arguments used against them.  The Reformation in Zurich had turned into a Protestant inquisition.
Zwingli chose the authority of the state church rather than the authority of God’s word. Our heritage of freedom does not come to us from the Reformers, but from the Word of God and men of biblical conviction like Mantz and Blaurock, who, at the cost of their lives, was obedient to God rather than man.
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins)

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348 – Dec. 14 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 They were beaten and imprisoned
December 14, 1662 – The State of Virginia, passed the following law: “Whereas many schismatical persons out of their averseness to the orthodox established religion, or out of new fangled conceits of their own heretical inventions, refused to have their children baptized. Be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all persons that, in contempt of the divine sacrament of baptism, shall refuse when they carry their child to lawful the minister in that country to have them baptized shall be amesed two thousand pounds of tobacco, half to the publique.” Such statutes were directed at the Baptists, whose principles and convictions dictated that they baptize only believers on their confession of faith and who believed pedobaptism to be a Romish invention carried over into Protestantism by the Reformers. The Church of England increased her membership by pedobaptism, but the Baptists by evangelism and proselytizing. This difference of belief caused a head-on collision between the established religion, the Church of England, which tenaciously held to pedobaptism, and the lowly Baptists, who repudiated it and baptized all who believed and gave their testimony to their faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross for their salvation. Hawkes, the historian of the Episcopal Church of Virginia, said, “No dissenters in Virginia experienced for a time, harsher treatment than did the Baptists. They were beaten and imprisoned; and cruelly taxed by the authorities who devised new modes of punishment and annoyance.” The Charter of 1606 provided that the Church of England should be the only legal and official state church of Virginia. The bloody military code of 1611 required all adults of the colony to give account of their faith to the parish minister.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 521-22.

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313 – Nov. 9 – This Day In Baptist History


November 09, 1798 – Asahel Morse was baptized, and then licensed to preach in 1799. In 1818 he became a member of the State Convention in Connecticut to frame a new state constitution. He wrote the article on religious liberty that secured the rights of conscience. He was a man of great power and influence among the Baptists, and in 1820 he went to Philadelphia as a delegate from the Conn. Baptist Missionary Board to the Baptist General Convention. All of this came about because of the spiritual awakening called the “New Light Stir”, under the preaching of George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards, and there was no greater “stir” than in the colony of Connecticut. The controversy continued for many years and centered on the Half-way covenant. pedobaptism, and religious liberty. The legislature passed laws against the separates, Congregationalists who were called, “New Lights” because they renounced infant immersion and embraced Baptist principles of believer’s baptism, etc. They were dismissed from public office and students from Yale College, and also excommunicated them from their churches. Many of the New Lights, having embraced and suffered with the Baptists for decades united with them, including in some instances entire churches. Here again is another example of how the Baptists were at the forefront of the battle for religious liberty in the beginning of our nation.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 466-67.

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