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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Providence Assures Baptist Succession in Sweden
The Baptists of Sweden numbered nearly 500, though subject to bitter persecution when Adreas Wiberg returned from America in 1855. He had been appointed the Director of the American Baptist Publication Society for Sweden. On Jan. 1, 1856, Wiberg began a Christian publication called The Evangelist. As the work grew a 1200 seat Chapel was built in Stockholm, but the persecution continued from the State Church (Lutheran). A Mr. Hejdenberg, was imprisoned in six different places. Another of the preachers was fined for preaching the gospel without a license from the State. Wiberg was born in 1816 but was “born again” as a student at the University of Upsala while studying for the Lutheran ministry. He had almost drowned at 14 years of age, and the thought of death and eternity became real in his life. At nineteen he had enrolled in the University with a desire to show God his gratitude for being delivered from a premature death. In 1843 he was ordained a minister in the State Church but became dissatisfied with admitting the unconverted to the Lord’s Supper, and he left his work as a minister. At that point, joining other believers in Northern Sweden he was persecuted for his views. In the spring of 1851, he visited Hamburg, Germany, and met with Baptist leader, J.G. Oncken and at first resisted Baptist doctrine. He was given a copy of Pengilly on Baptism, and on full examination, adopted Baptist views. There was no one in Sweden to administer the ordinance of Baptism, but in the providence of God, in 1852 his ship was detained in Copenhagen and he met Rev. F.O. Nilsson who had previously introduced Baptist principles into Sweden but had been imprisoned and finally banished by the High Court. On July 23, 1852 at 11 pm, near the Island of Amager, near Copenhagen, Wiberg was immersed. Growth continued.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 302.
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They paid the price for their faith in Norway
King Christian the sixth sat on the throne of Norway and Denmark when Soren Bolle immersed Johannes Halvorsen on July 1, 1742, in the river that flows through Drammen. On July 8 Halvorsen immersed Bolle, Nills Buttedahl, two others, and then Bolle immersed his wife. This was not done in secret but openly before the eyes of everybody, in order that they might show the world that they were “the true disciples of Christ.” There were no Baptists in Norway, and the state church was Lutheran, but Bolle, having prepared for the Lutheran ministry, was dissatisfied in his learning and could not subscribe to the doctrines of the state church. This has happened from time to time during the ages, when groups of people have come to the knowledge of believer’s immersion without any connection to Baptists elsewhere. The first person to administer the ordinance had never been immersed. He then immersed himself (this is called “sebaptism”). In almost every case, those whom he baptized lacked the assurance of the validity of their baptism due to a lack of succession. Nevertheless it wasn’t long until the wrath of the State Church backed by the government came upon them. Bolle said, “In regard to infant baptism, “my heart would rejoice if anybody could show me out of the Bible, one word that speaks about it, because what we say or do must be founded on the scriptures…because they shall judge me one day.” All of these men suffered in prison and the confiscation of their goods for their faith.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 269-70.
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Baptists are not Protestants
1528 – May this ever mark the day, that it is settled in blood, that Baptists are not Protestants. Balthazar Hubmaer was burned at the stake with his wife urging him to remain strong. Sulfur and gunpowder was rubbed into his long beard. All the time he was exhorting others, praying for forgiveness, exhorting others, and commending his spirit unto God. Three days later his dear wife joined him as they drowned her in the Danube River. Once again we see the State Church staining its garments with the blood of the saints. Hubmaer was born in Bavaria in 1480 and studied Theology under Dr. Eck, Luther’s antagonist, but had embraced Luther’s views by 1522. He became allied with Zwingli and assisted him in his debates with the Catholics in 1523 and became a close friend. Being a Biblical scholar, he soon discovered that the Reformation in Zurich had not gone back to the apostolic model, he deliberately embraced Anabaptist principles, which caused a severe rupture in his relationship with Zwingli. He formed an Anabaptist church and baptized more than three hundred of is former hearers. He would preach in the open air, and soon the population became largely Baptist. His popularity soon attracted the attention of the Protestants and Catholics alike and he was soon arrested and taken to the dungeon. There he appealed to his old friend Zwingli, the emperor, and to the Confederation and Council, to no avail. His health broke, his wife was in jail and his only hope was recantation on infant baptism. Finally they broke him, but at the church when he was to read his confession, God gave him strength, and he rose up and shouted, “Infant baptism is not of God, and men must be baptized by faith in Christ.” The authorities rushed him and dragged him back to the dungeon and death.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 98.
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First Baptist Meeting House Boston
46 – February 15 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST
Unregistered churches illegal
1679 – BAPTISTS MOVE INTO THEIR BUILDING IN BOSTON QUIETLY BECAUSE IT WAS ILLEGAL 17TH CENTURY – RELIGIOUS MISSION SOCIETIES INCORPORATED IN 1646 – LAW TO BANISH BAPTISTS REPRINTED IN 1672 – On February 15, 1679, the Baptists moved into their building in Boston that they began a year earlier. This activity was carried out very quietly and cautiously because they didn’t want to alert the authorities because this activity was deemed illegal by the state church which was Congregational. Great numbers were coming out of it and going over to the Baptists because of the compromise of the Half-way Covenant doctrine and other things. In the mid-17th century the Massachusetts Bay Colony was facing the problem of children born to Congregational parents, who had been baptized (christened) as infants but had not confirmed their faith since becoming adults. The compromise was that the church accepted their baptism but not the right to the Lord’s Supper or voting privileges. By 1677 many ministers were advocating the extension of full church privileges to the Half-Way members. This filled the church with unconverted people, deadened preaching, and lost church members. Baptist activity increased. John Eliot, a godly man from Roxbury, had begun evangelizing Indians around 1646 and incorporated a society to promote the work. He formed 12 praying societies among the Indians. These were scattered during the King Philip’s War with the Indians. In spite of this the Baptists fought valiantly against the Indians to protect their settlements. One company, mostly of Baptists was led by William Turner and distinguished itself in combat. But the increase in Baptists alarmed the ministers of the state church. They had their law to banish Baptists reprinted in 1672 and often fined and imprisoned Baptist violators. One of the Baptist ministers, William Hubbard, in a sermon said, “It is made, by learned and judicious writers that one of the undoubted rights of sovereignty is to determine what religion shall be publicly professed and exercised within their dominions.” He also said it was morally impossible to rivet the Christian religion into the body of a nation without infant baptism. By proportion, he proclaimed, it will necessarily follow that the neglect or disuse thereof will directly tend to root it out.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 63.
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Baptist were never called Protestants until the last twenty years the SBC has called themselves Protestants. Protestants were those denominations that were in the Catholic church and protested the abuses and split off and became the daughters of Catholicism. The Baptists were never a part of the Catholic Church and therefore did not protest and come out from her. The book “The Trail of Blood” by Elder J.M. Carroll is very clear on this matter.
Protestantism produced tyranny not liberty
1758 – The General Assembly, meeting at Savannah, Georgia, passed a law making the Church of England the church of the Province. In early Virginia, Massachusetts, and several other colonies, laws were enacted to support an established church by taxes, to compel church attendance, and to forbid the worshiping of dissenting sects. Some type of state church was to be found in all five southern colonies, as well as in three New England provinces: Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. In South Carolina as early as 1706, the Board of Trade approved a new law establishing the Church of England with support from the public funds. In North Carolina in 1732, a law was passed establishing the Church of England. The Puritans had established a theocracy in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut. In time the Puritan churches were called Congregational churches. We need to give thanks to God for the First Amendment, knowing that it is the product of the Baptist input of James Madison, “Congress shall make no Law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Thomas Jefferson’s statement to the Danbury Baptists concerning the “Wall of Separation” pertained to keeping the government out of the affairs of the church, not to keep the church from influencing government. It was never meant to remove all religion and morals from society as many are interpreting it today. It is true that “When church and state marry, justice will miscarry”, but we should never forget that, “Blessed is that nation whose God is the Lord. (Ps. 33:12).
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 14-15.
Baptists come to Denmark
1867 – A new Baptist church edifice was dedicated to the Glory of God in Copenhagen, Denmark, to meet the need of the four hundred members, of what had been a severely persecuted people. Their pastor Julius Kobner, a converted Jew, had come from Germany to give leadership to the Baptists of Denmark who had merged from the persecution after Denmark had made persecution unlawful in 1849. At the beginning of the 19th Century Satan had used the State church and a spirit of nationalism to hinder the gospel, but a spiritual stirring began, including a powerful preacher of the gospel. Kobner made a visit and found a group who had become disenchanted with the doctrine of infant baptism. Kobner maintained correspondence with them. Johann Gerhard Oncken of Germany and Kobner in Oct. of 1839, traveled to Copenhagen, baptized 11 and formed the First Danish Baptist Church. One of their own, a Brother Monster took the leadership and another ten were baptized. Bro. Monster was then imprisoned. Another church was established at Aalborg (Jutland), and then a storm of persecution broke out. Both the Monster brothers were imprisoned again after many more were baptized. In 1841 the British Baptists sent a delegation and presented a petition to the King on behalf of their persecuted Brethren to no avail. But God prevailed with nine Baptist churches by 1867. [J. H. Rushbrooke, The History of American Baptist Missions in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America (Boston: Gould, Kendall and Lincoln, 1850), pp. 233-34. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 561-62] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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Scourged – Not Ordained by State Church
1771 – James Greenwood preached the gospel in the Middlesex County Jail to a number of friends who had come to encourage the prisoners. In a letter, written by John Waller from the jail he said, “Bro. Thomas Wafford was severely scourged, however because he was not ordained, he was released and did not have to serve time in prison. The early Baptist preachers in the Common Wealth of Virginia were despised by the political and religious leaders that were under the control of the Anglican Church/State system of government. These men, as the early Apostles as recorded in Acts Chapter four and five, had not been trained in the recognized seminaries of the day, and also refused to take a license to preach the gospel, but rather preached under the authority of Christ alone. This principle is made clear at Act 4:13 – Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. Because of this, until American Independence was won, they were fined, whipped, and jailed but they would not bend, bow or burn. [Robert C. Newman, Baptists and the American Tradition (Des Plaines, Ill.: Regular Baptist Press, 1976), p. 32. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 460-462.] Prepared by Dr. Greg Dixon
Unified British and Colonial Baptists
As long as the established State Church (Anglican) existed, certain limitations would be experienced. The Edict of Toleration in 1689 did not grant total religious freedom. Baptist church buildings had to be designated as chapels, tabernacles, or with some other name. Dr. John Rippon, of London, in a letter written to President James Manning, of Rhode Island College, on May 1, 1784, stated thus: “I believe all of our Baptist ministers in town, except two, and most of our brethren in the country were on the side of the Americans in the late dispute . . . . We wept when the thirsty plains drank the blood of our departed heroes, and the shout of a king was among us when your well fought battles were crowned with victory; and to this hour we believe that the independence of America will, for a while, secure the liberty of this country, but if that continent had been reduced, Britain would not have long been free.” When Robert Hall was a small boy he heard John Ryland, Jr say to his father, Dr. John Ryland, Sr.: “if I were Washington I would summon all the American officers, they would form a circle around me, and I would address them, and we would offer a libation in our own blood, and I would order one of them bring a lancet and a punch bowl, and we would bare our arms and be bled, I would call on every man to consecrate himself to the work by dipping his sword into the bowl and entering into a solemn covenant engagement by oath, one to another, and we would swear by Him that sits upon the throne and liveth forever and ever, that we would never sheathe our swords while there was an English soldier in arms remaining in America.”
Dr. Dale R. Hart adapted from: “This Day in Baptist History III” David L. Cummins. pp. 252 – 253