The Particular Baptist Treasury, Particular Baptist Origins and Outreaches From 1633 to 1660 a study from the Original Documents showing the Origins of the First Lasting Particular Baptist Churches in London, with outreaches into: Early America, 1638



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The Particular Baptist Treasury,
Particular Baptist Origins and Outreaches

From 1633 to 1660
A Study from the Original Documents showing the

Origins of the First Lasting Particular Baptist Churches in London, with

outreaches into: Early America, 1638; Wales, 1655; Abington, 1655;

Ireland, 1648; Scotland, 1652; the Midlands, 1648; and Somerset, 1650.
With some interesting accounts of the ancient church at Olchon in Wales; the ancient Church of the Hop Garden, near Abington;

and the ancient Hill Cliff Church, near the Hexham Church; and

John Spilsbury, William Kiffen and Hansard Knollys, of the First Seven Particular Baptist Churches gathered in London from 1633-1644.
Clearing John Spilsbury of the many false conclusions written about him, and showing the constitutional oneness of John Spilsbury, William Kiffen and the other rigid Anabaptist Separatists of the 1500s and 1600s.
The Kiffen Manuscript Vindicated, showing that Dipping did not originate among the Baptists in 1641, being a refutation of Whitsittism and other Downgrader concepts of Baptist Origins and Succession, from the original writings of both Baptists (Anabaptists) and Pedobaptists of that period.

Investigating:
John Tombes, Henry Jessey, John Bunyan and the Origin of

Open Communion and Mixed Church Membership in England;
By
Some who have a reason to hope they are walking with Christ

in His old baptized way.
1998
Volume I.

Particular Baptist Origins
1633-1660
Way of Approach
In modern Baptist history, the old Particular Baptists have impacted us more than any other group. Almost all the American Baptist Churches, and many others as well in the English speaking world, can trace their origin, in some way or another, back to those old Baptists. Their faith and order has been one of continued debate since the early 1800s. It still is. However, in addition to their faith and order, the question of their origin continues to be contested hotly. Perhaps no origin in Baptist history has been as misunderstood or contested as hotly as these old Baptists. Of course, I am not including the Free Will or General Baptists
When we clear away the many different false conclusions and then go back into time and study them in their own words, concepts, and original documents, we can come to some safe conclusions. We must lay aside all our prejudices and escape the existentialist traps the modern Baptists have laid for the unsuspecting little children of God. The old brethren have an amazing story to tell. True, they didn't leave us with all the pieces necessary to put the entire puzzle into place, but they did leave us with enough to understand what they were all about, what they believed and where they came from. What they left us is enough to give us some very safe and solid conclusions. These I will now share with you.
The Traps
There are three such traps. I will share them with you now:


  1. The Gould trap, this I so name from the efforts of George Gould and his lawsuit in an attempt to steal the old Closed Communion Particular Baptist Church in Norwich, England from its rightful and historic position in the 1850s. Gould argued his case before a court of law and afterward published his trial brief in a large work called Open Communion and the Baptists of Norwich, Norwich 1860. Gould’s work went into America to Thomas Armitage, then to Norman Fox and then finally to William Whitsitt. Gould is the foundation for what is now called Whitsittism. Whitsittism rules the modern Baptist world. Briefly it is this, Baptists are not of divine origin and have not have an unbroken succession from the days of Christ to the present. They are only Protestants, and most of the Dark Age’s groups would not now be considered as Baptists if they were alive and present today. Gould maintained that John Spilsbury was an open communion and mixed membership Baptist. He even went so far as to affirm that William Kiffen was the only true closed communion Baptist in the 1600s. Gould theorized that since Spilsbury came from a mixed membership church, he would not have any true succession in his baptism nor church order. The Particular Baptists just simply evolved over a period of years, from about 1633 to 1644. Some even place this later, 1650-1654. This began when a Pedobaptist minister, Praisegod Barebones, misunderstood some of Spilsbury’s remarks and built a straw man argument in 1643-44. Then over two hundred years later, Gould carried it further. Gould used Barebones arguments and false conclusions. This was done in spite of Spilsbury’s correcting what Barebones stated. Gould didn’t consider Spilsbury’s reply or explanations.




  1. Next came William Whitsitt and his friends. They joined with Gould and then added their own theories. One is a remarkable argument from silence, it goes this way: in 1641 the Baptist published their first book defending baptism by dipping, before that date the English Baptists did not dip, but only sprinkled. To them, the argument of silence is their final authority. Of course, they are wrong on this, as I shall show later. About their argument from silence, I would ask them to produce a work before 1641, which taught that either the English Particular or General Baptists believed in sprinkling for baptism.




  1. The next trap comes from a time conditionalist Primitive Baptist and his efforts to try and prove their succession apart from the original Particular Baptists in London. He tries to disassociation the London brethren from the Welsh and Midlands Baptists. He even has tried to disunite Dr. John Clark and the First Baptist Church founded in Newport, R. I., from the London Particular Baptists. He is Michael Ivey and his work is entitled Welsh Succession of Primitive Baptist Faith and Practice, June 1994. He is of the conditional time salvation Primitive Baptists (falsely so called for they are not primitive at all). This mis-history is an effort to justify their tampering with the 1689 London Confession which Ivey’s apostate forefathers did in the Fulton Convention near the year 1900. They did all they could to destroy absolute predestination, remove the preaching of the gospel from the work of effectual calling and many other things. Today, some of them even teach that many of God’s elect will die and go to heaven without knowing Jesus Christ or believing in Him. Because they cannot find any of their forefathers among the real and true old Baptists in history, men like Ivey have produced such false, misleading, and deceptive works in an effort to justify their apostate existence. There seems to be a purging going on and this terrible apostate, Christ dishonoring concept is being put out. Many of the American Primitive Baptists are trying to follow in the true faith and order of the historic old Particular Baptists. They will delight in the following work and its documentations and conclusions.


Gould’s Admission about William Kiffen and Benjamin Coxe
Although Gould was very wrong, yet his admission does give us a starting place and a solid foundation upon which to build. According to Gould, William Kiffen stands as the most rigid and strict Particular Baptist during the 1600s. No one has ever accused Kiffen of starting baptism de facto, or for a church built on mixed membership or for practicing open communion. In fact, the father of Whittsitism, George Gould, affirms, incorrectly, that William Kiffen was the only closed communion Particular Baptist in England the 1600s. Of course, he is wrong as the later Baptist Union historians show. In addition, the many original works from that era also show the false grounds upon which Gould and later, Armitage, Fox and even William Whitsitt himself try to build their false position.
Some of Gould’s remarks are so untrustworthy that we wonder if we can trust any of them. Here are some examples:



  1. In 1644 Kiffen and his church were not closed communion, page cxxxi;

  2. Kiffen pastored an open communion church in 1644 and then reorganized it in 1653 after he became a closed communionist, page cxxxii;

  3. Kiffen’s reorganized church of 1653 was the first closed church in England, page cxxxiii.

  4. Later Gould then recognizes his weak position and adds that Benjamin Coxe was also a closed communion Baptist, page cxxxiii.

Coxe was a closed communionist even when he was in the Anglican Church. His bishop ejected him in the early 1640s.


Gould quotes from John Spilsbury’s God’s Ordinances, issued in 1646. What Gould failed to report was that this was a joint work. Benjamin Coxe, the admitted strict communionist, helped produce this work. At least two strict communion men, Coxe and Kiffen assisted John Spilsbury. To say the least, this is strange company for a supposed open communion and mixed membership Baptist. What becomes even more compelling is that Paul Hobson and Thomas Goare were also very strict communion Baptists. This will be covered later. They joined with Mr. Greene and helped constitute the third Particular Baptist Church in 1638. This church also came from Spilsbury’s Wapping Church as did Kiffen’s.
The Constitutional Oneness of Spilsbury, Kiffen, Hobson, Goare and Coxe
My main way of approach is to establish and show the oneness between William Kiffen, Benjamin Coxe, Paul Hobson, Thomas Goare and John Spilsbury. Then, I will show their oneness with the Particular Baptist Churches throughout the United Kingdom and New England.
In these studies I will deal with the following concepts:


  1. The time, conditionalist Primitive Baptist concept, that the Particular Baptists of London who issued the First London Confessions of Faith did not have much, if any, connection with the Welsh Baptists, the Midlands Baptists nor the early American Baptists. This I will disprove by showing how these different churches and their associations held the London brethren in such high esteem that they desired their blessings on their efforts. In addition, I will show that many of the preachers who came into Wales, the Midlands and early America came from the London churches and a close fellowship remained between Spilsbury’s and Kiffen’s one church and the new churches in these different areas. This will show that Michael N. Ivey’s claims about the ancient Welsh Baptists and the London Particular Baptists not being of one faith and order, are merely his own wishes. His wrote his work to support what is known in American Primitive Baptist history as the Fulton Convention. It is an effort at trying to give honor to the Kirklands and their associates who wanted to rework the old Baptist Confession issued in 1689. These are the conditional time salvation people who also teach a limited predestination and that many persons die and go to heaven who know not nor believe in Jesus Christ. Ivey’s work is wish history and is deceptive, subversive and misleading in addition to being untrue.




  1. The next item I will address is the concept that John Spilsbury and the other Particular Baptists in London began as mixed communion and open membership churches. That is, they started out partly of baptized and partly of unbaptized persons and seemed to evolve into being real Baptists. This transition period started about 1633 and was not concluded until about 1644. In addition, while slowly evolving, they are supposed to have discovered that dipping is the only true way of baptism and this discovery is supposed to have taken place about 1641. None of these are true. This will disprove Whitsittism.




  1. The last item I will address is that John Spilsbury gathered a group together, and they were all unbaptized and then he proceeded to baptize them, as a new beginning, in a de facto revival of true baptism. In other words, John Spilsbury is now being accused of doing what the Seekers did in general and Roger Williams did in particular. That would make Spilsbury one with the Seekers and Roger Williams on this question. He was not, nor did he or any of the Seven Particular Baptist Churches in London do this. Many did, but these old Baptists did not.

I will start in Wales and then work toward London. I will start later and work my may back into the 1630s. In doing this, I will use mostly the original works and historical notes and studies from the very persons and churches in question. I will rely upon the very accurate historical publications of B. R. White and the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland. None of these later writers were or are church successionists.


In addition, I will introduce and quote from the histories of the churches in question, examples, Spilsbury’s old church at Wapping, the church in the Hop Garden, the Hill Cliffe Church, and in Wales, the old Olchon church. I feel that these churches in question should be allowed to speak and tell their own history and testify to us about their origins and their history.
I am not a modern Landmark Baptist; therefore, I am not trying to justify a vote on baptisms nor church voting a church into existence practice. I am however an old school Particular Baptist who is trying to walk in the old landmarks of the historic Baptist faith and order. Our church here and our baptism comes through the old Welsh Particular Baptist Church in Olchon, Wales. Many of the early American Baptist Churches owe their origin to the Welsh Baptists who came into being from the ministry of John Myles and Thomas Proud in the mid 1650s. These men came into Wales from the old Glass House Church in London. That church was constituted in the early 1640s because of the revival of historic baptism in England known as the Blount mission.
Several believers left Jessey’s Pedobaptist church in 1640 and set out to secure a traceable succession in their baptism. These believers sent Richard Blount over to Holland where he secured baptism from the old Anabaptist-Waldenses. Upon his return, he baptized at least other preacher and they in turn baptized about 50 others. From this revival, several Particular Baptist Churches sprang up in London. They joined with the already formed churches around John Spilsbury, William Kiffen and Paul Hobson. These three older churches were gathered in 1633, 1638 and 1639.
Here is the difference between the two ways of gathering those old churches: the churches Spilsbury earlier gathered came into being without any formal church connection. The London Particular Baptists had been scattered by persecution, but John Spilsbury was still there. He was already known as an Anabaptist rebaptizer who baptized in Anabaptist fashion and ordained other ministers. This much Taylor, the Anglican historian, tells us. He began to gather a people in 1633 or before. The result was three Particular Baptist Churches in the London area by 1639 with a probability of other outreaches elsewhere. These three joined with the Blount mission churches and made up the Seven Churches in London that issued the First London Confession of Faith.
The last false concept I will correct is that John Spilsbury and William Kiffen divided over pulpit affiliation. This began to be circulated by Thomas Crosby. Even J. R. Graves adopted this view and promoted it. It is not so. You will see that when Kiffen and Spilsbury parted it was due to Spilsbury’s leaving London because of persecution and his moving into the country where he took over the charge of a new church with a large membership. Kiffen and Spilsbury remained one until their respective deaths. Centuries later, the Whitsittes would claim the same about J. M. Pendleton and J. R. Graves. Modern Southern Baptists and others claim that these old men of God parted ways in the early 1860s over the issue of Old Landmarkism, Pendleton abandoned Graves and Old Landmarkism. This is not true either. Pendleton was a Northern and a Federalist. He and Graves parted company over the American Civil War. In Pendleton’s own final work, Reminisces of a Long Life, written just three months before he died, he affirms to the end his stand in favor of Old Landmarkism. Here are some of John Spilsbury’s personal beliefs:


  1. He believed in the true and proper deity of Jesus Christ, and affirmed particular redemption in opposition to general redemption;

  2. He did not believe in the universal, invisible church; but held that all particular or gospel churches made up the one Mt. Sion or the general church. This was made up not of individuals but of churches;

  3. He believed that the Papal church and her daughters, all Pedobaptists churches, were from Babylonian;

  4. He believed that the general Baptist ministers were of Satan as well as all others who taught Arminianism;

  5. He believed that a gospel or particular church was made up of baptized believers, and that following baptism, then persons were to be admitted to the Lord’s Supper;

  6. He believed in the continued succession of the true gospel, the true ministry, the true baptism and the true church and all other gospel ordinances;

  7. He held to the ordinance of hearing, that is, the saints should only hear the true ministers of the gospel, those of their faith and order, and all others should not be heard;

  8. He held to the congregation order of a gospel church and affirmed that believers in a gospel church could rightly choose out from among themselves one to be their minister or pastor;

He strongly believed these as well as other Biblical points. Here is his personal confession of faith:


JOHN SPILSBURY'S

PERSONAL CONFESSION OF FAITH
1. I do believe that there is only one God, who is distinguished in 3 persons; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; yet but one in nature, or essence, without divisions, and incommunicable, who made the world, and all things therein, by the word of his power, & governs them by his wise providence.
2. I believe that God made man in his own Image, an upright and perfect creature, consisting of soul and body: which body God framed of the earth, and breathed into the same the breath of life, and man became a living soul. To whom God gave a law, upon his keeping of which depends all his happiness, and upon the contrary attended his misery, which took effect; for he breaking that law, he fell under the curse, and wrath of God lay upon him and all his posterity. By which fall man lost the knowledge of God, and utterly disabled himself of all ability ever to recover the same again.
3. I believe God out of the counsel of his will, did, before he made the world, elect and choose some certain number of his foreseen fallen creatures, and appointed them to eternal life in his Son, for the glory of his grace: which number so elected shall be saved, come to glory, & the rest left in sin to glorify his justice.
4. I believe that God in the fullness of his own time, did send his son, the 2d. person, who in the womb of the virgin Mary, assumed mans nature, and in the same he suffered death upon the cross, only as he was man, to satisfy his Fathers justice, for the sins of his elect, & that he lay 3 days and 3 nights in his grace, from whence he arose the third day by the power of his Godhead, for the justification of all for whole sins he dyed, and that in the same body Christ dyed, he arose from the death, and afterwards ascended into heaven, the place of glory, where he was before, and there to remain until he comes at the last day to judge the world in righteousness.
5. I believe that God of his grace, in his own time, effectually calls such as shall be saved to the knowledge of the truth, who is said, of his own will to beget us by the word of truth: in which work of grace, nature is as passive, as a child in the parents begetting of it; and so God by His Spirit works faith in the hearts of all such to believe in Christ, and his righteousness, only for justification. And thus they are made righteous before God in Christ, and so conformable to the will of God the Father through the Son; and also made holy through the work of regeneration, and the holy Spirit of grace dwelling in them; yet all such have still, as long as they live here in the flesh, remaining in them, an old man, that original corruption, the flesh that wars against the spirit, which hinders them in their obedience both to God and to man, and many times draws them to that which is evil, and contrary to their intentions; yet all of them shall through Christ overcome, and safely be brought to glory at last.
6. I believe the holy Scriptures to be the word of God, and have the only authority to bind the conscience to the obedience of all therein contained, and are the all sufficient rule, by the Spirit of God to guide a man in all his obedience both to God and man.
7. As for the absence of original sin, and power in the will to receive and refuse grace and salvation being generally offered by the Gospel, and Christ dying for all persons universally, to take away sin that stood between then and salvation, and so laid down his life for a ransom for all without exception, and for such as have been one in God's love, so as approved of by him in Christ for salvation, and in the Covenant of Grace, and for such to fall so as to be damned eternally, and all of the like nature, I do believe is a doctrine from beneath, and not from above, and the teachers of it from Satan, and not from God, and to be rejected as such that oppose Christ and his Gospel.
8. I do believe the resurrection of the dead, that all shall rise and come to judgment, and every one give account of himself to God, and receive according to the things done in their bodies, whether they be good or bad; therefore no conscience ought to be forced in the matters of Religion, because no man can bear out another in his account to God, if in case he should cause him to sin.
9. I do believe the powers that are, as the civil Magistrates, and so, are of God, to whom God hath committed the Sword of justice, for the punishing of evil doers, and for the good of such as do well, in which respect they ought to be honored, obeyed, and assisted by all men, and of Christians especially, and that out of conscience to God, whose ordinance and ministers they are, and bear not the sword in vain, Rom. 13, I Pet. 2, Tit. 3.
And lastly, I do believe that there is an holy and blessed communion of Saints, that God of his grace calls such as belong to life by election, unto the fellowship of his Son by the Gospel, of which matter, God by his word and Spirit joins them together in his Covenant of grace, and so constitutes his Church, as I have before showed: And as God hath thus built for himself an holy habitation of such pure matter, and also after so holy a manner, even so hath he provided a way of preservation and safety for the same; as Isa. 26:1. We have a strong City, salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks: which City is said to have a wall both great and high, and built upon twelve foundations; great, that none shall break through, and high, that none shall overtop or get over, and strong in the foundation, that nothing shall shake it, and God hath said, that he will be a wall of fire round about, and the glory in the midst of it, and that he will keep it, and watch over it by night and by day, that nothing shall hurt it; and as God hath built himself a house after his own mind, and is a guard to the same; even so he is also said to beautify the same with salvation, and to make the place of his feet glorious, and that he will lay all her stones with fair colors, and her foundations with Sapphires, and her windows of Agars, and her gates of Carbuncles, and all her boarders of pleasant stones, and all her children taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of her children. And as Christ does thus signify unto us the nature of his church both in respect of her matter, her form, her grace, and comely order in him her head; even so he holds forth his love to her, and delight in her, by these and the like expressions of comfort and solace. The Lord hath chosen Zion, &c. Pas. 132.13,14; pH. 2:21,23. Pas. 87.2,3; Gal. 4:26,31. Isa. 2.2; Isa. 62. 1,12, Ezek. 48:35. Rev. 21. 12,14, Zech. 2.5, Isa. 26.3, Isa. 4. 11,12,13. Rev. 21. 11,18,21, Cant. 4.7, Psal. 45.13.

FINISH
Taken from John Spilsbury's Treatise of Baptism; pps. 73, 74.
If he were alive today, where would we place him?

The Early Particular Baptist Groupings
In the 1630s and 1640s, the old brethren could be grouped into three classifications. What is interesting about this is that, there were essential differences between these churches, still, if the minister or some of the members were judged to have proper baptism, then these differences were not a bar to personal fellowship. In other words, Powell, in Wales was a mixed communion minister. The churches that walked with him and his friends were not allowed among the old order of Baptists, those in fellowship with the old Church at Olchon and those gathered under John Myles and Thomas Proud. Yet, the older brethren received Powell and his preaching, because he was a baptized believer preaching the old gospel. The same is true later in England involving men like Jessey and Tombes.
The Closed Membership Baptists
These Baptists maintained that a gospel church was made up of baptized saints only. They held to in church officers and in church ordinances. These Baptists form the main line of the older Particular Baptists during the 1600s.
The “Renegade” Baptists
These are so named by James Culross, in his Hansard Knollys, A Minister and Witness of Jesus Christ: London, 1895; page 66. For a time, some Baptist ministers received state pay for their preaching. In due time the churches disowned them and they were not allowed among the main line Particular Baptists. One example was Christopher Blackwood. The government, during the 1640s-1660s, paid some of these men to preach in areas where there were no established ministers or churches. The main body of Particular Baptists dealt with these as offenders and they were disowned or excluded. See for example, B. R. White’s Associational Records of the Particular Baptists to 1660, pages 40, 41, 42, 214 and 215. Note especially Benjamin Cox’s letter to Major General Richard Harrison. General Harrison was later executed for his political actives. We still have his personal confession made to the people just before his death. It is a remarkable testimony about his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and his convictions about the correctness of his life and work. The old Abington Association led the way in dealing with disorderly ministers.
The Open Membership Baptists
B. R. White so named these, see his Particular Baptist Records, pages 40-42. They were those few Baptists who denied that baptism was essential to the constitution of a gospel church. They also admitted the unbaptized to the Lord’s Supper. In the 1630s, Powell and his friends seem to have been of this sort. Later in the 1640-1680s, Henry Jessey, John Tombes and John Bunyan were of this sort. During their lifetime, they made up a small minority and their followers were very few. Jessey and Bunyan were dissenters while Tombes never left the established church. He tried to reform the established church as a Baptist minister from the inside. While his church was never recognized among the older brethren, yet they did not reject Tombes’ baptisms administered nor his ministry. Nor did they reject Jessey’s.
With these classifications understood, we can now move on.

Introduction to the 1630s:
After the armies of the Living God overthrew Laud and his reign of terror, great revivals of pure religion appeared in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. During the days following the disfranchisement of Episcopacy, 1641-1660 the Baptist cause grew and multiplied. Later these revivals found their way even into Scotland. This does not mean, however, there were no true Christians nor true churches in those areas before the Cromwell Protectorate beginning near 1641. With the disfranchisement of Episcopacy, tolerance gave the dissenters the opportunity they needed to exercise some of their true and proper liberty. The Particular Baptists were among these dissenters but not in a church way. These revivals were not like modern Arminian revivals. The Holy Spirit caused and used the aggressive out reaching of the gospel ministers and gospel churches. The Particular Baptist churches sent ministers everywhere.
They soon gained great numbers, formed churches in London, and afterwards went into other areas. Associations developed and gospel outreach and success alarmed both the Presbyterians and the disfranchised Episcopalians. Later, in about 1660, Episcopacy again became established and religious freedom ceased up until William of Orange brought it into the United Kingdom in 1689. By that time the Particular Baptists already had a stronghold that no persecution would destroy.
The question is where did these older Particular Baptists come from? How did they get such a strong start in England, especially in London? There are three basic answers to this question:


  1. The successionist view, that the Particular Baptists, in some way came into being through a type of succession from the older Anabaptists on the Continent.

  2. The Seeker view, that certain Particular Baptists formed themselves into unbaptized churches and then appointed one to baptism them, that is, they started dipping de facto.

  3. The Whitsitt view, that no Baptists before 1641 practiced dipping for baptism, but certain of these Particular Baptists revived dipping and re-instituted it in England. They had no connection with any dippers before this was done.

During the times in question, and up to about the early 1800s, the first view dominated Baptist thought. Then, up to about the middle and late 1800s, may held to the second view. Following the 1890s to this present time, most Baptists hold to the third view. This is known as Whitsittism. It dominates the established downgrader historians. Even among some conservative Baptist groups, this view is maintained.


The first view is correct. How do I know, by checking into the original sources and writings of those who were involved during those times. If we let them speak, and believe them, which I do, then the first view is demonstrated. Why are most trying to promote either the second or third view? Because they who do this are part of the Protestant concept, that is, they hold to the universal, invisible church view. Therefore, there is no need for a true succession of gospel churches, ordinances and administrators. In addition, most who hold to the second or third views also deny many other Biblical fundamentals. To summarize, because they also deny certain other Biblical fundamentals, they also deny the Divine origin and unbroken succession of Baptist Churches. Please take the time to read and study well my work on Some Critical Lectures on Baptist Succession. I examine the different concepts of succession and the different historians. This is a true conclusion: Those Baptist historians who hold to verbal inspiration of the Sacred Scriptures and the Substitutionary Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, also held to the Divine Origin and Unbroken Succession of Baptist Churches. Those who did not, did not hold to Baptist Succession either.

My Thesis
My THESIS is, those who revived adult baptism by dipping into England in the 1630-1640s era, first received it from the old Waldensian-Anabaptists. This I can demonstrate. I will show there was an unbroken succession connecting the Particular Baptists with the older Waldensian-Anabaptists. The links in this succession are two men. They did it differently, but either way, the succession is there. The first is John Spilsbury, who accomplished this in the 1630s, and then Richard Blount who did the same, though in a different way, in the early 1640s. These two men laid the baptismal foundation for the Particular Baptist Churches that soon followed. They spread into New England in the late 1630s. From the London area, they reached out into all parts of England in the 1640s, and also went into Wales, Ireland and Scotland in the late 1640s and early 1650s.
B. W. Carr stated on behalf of the deacons at the laying of the foundation stone for The Metropolitan Tabernacle:
By immersion, the converts to Jesus in Apostolic times made their public profession. In Godly and pious communities of the one church of Christ, the Primitive ordinance of discipleship has been practiced through an UNBROKEN SUCCESSION. The New Park Street Pulpit, 1859; p. 347.
Our thesis, there is an unbroken succession of baptism, properly administered, between the old Waldenses-Anabaptists and the English Particular Baptists. We are not talking about any church voting on baptisms, or churches voting other churches into existence, nor members being carried back to a mother church and then given authority to organize into a new mission or church. These, I feel, are all extra scriptural practices. Nor am I talking about a minister going back to receive a vote on new baptisms, nor new church constitutions. I am talking about the baptismal succession between the Particular Baptists and the old Waldensian-Anabaptists.
Testimony from Baptist Enemies as to Baptist Succession
Mosheim, the Lutheran historian of the 1700s, stated:
The origin of the sect, who from their repetition of baptism received in other communities, are called Anabaptists, but who are also denominated Mennonites, from the celebrated man to whom they owe a large share of their present prosperity, is hid in the remote depths of antiquity. For they suddenly started up, in various countries of Europe, under the influence of leaders of dissimilar character and views; and at a time when the first contests with the Catholics so engrossed the attention of all, that they scarcely noticed any other passing occurrences. The modern Mennonites affirm, that their predecessors were the descendants of those Waldenses, who were oppressed by the tyranny of the Papists; and that they were of a most pure offspring, and most averse from any inclinations towards sedition, as well as all fanatical views.
In the first place I believe the Mennonites are not altogether in the wrong, when they boast of a descent from these Waldenses, Petrobrusians, and others, who are usually styled witnesses for the truth before Luther. Prior to the age of Luther, there lay concealed in almost every country of Europe, but especially in Bohemia, Moravia, Switzerland and Germany, very many persons in those minds were deeply rooted that principle which the Waldenses, Wyclifites, and the Hussites maintained, some more covertly and others more openly; namely, that the kingdom which Christ set upon on the earth, or the visible church, is an assembly of holy persons; and ought therefore to be entirely free from not only ungodly persons and sinners, but from all institutions of human device against ungodliness. This principle lay at the foundation which was the source of all that was new and singular in the religion of the Mennonites; and the greatest part of their singular opinions, as is well attested, were approved some centuries before Luther's time, by those who had such views of the Church of Christ. Institutes of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. 3, page 200.
Sir Isaac Newton stated:
The Baptists were the only Christians who had not symbolized with Rome. William Whiston, Memorials of Sir Isaac Newton, page 201.
Alexander Campbell, the founder of the so-called Church of Christ and Christian Church, stated:
I would engage to show that baptism as viewed and practiced by the Baptists, had its advocates in every century up to the Christian era. . . and independent of whose existence (the German Anabaptists), clouds of witnesses attest the fact, that before the Reformation, from popery, and from the apostolic age, to the present time, the sentiments of Baptists, and the practice of baptism have had a continued chain of advocates, and public monuments of their existence in every century can be produced. The Campbell-MaCalla Debate on Baptism, Buffalo, 1824; pages 378, 379.
Robert Barclay, Quaker, stated:
We shall afterwards show the rise of the Anabaptists took place prior to the Reformation of the Church of England, and there are also reasons for believing that on the Continent of Europe small hidden Christian societies, who have held many of the opinions of the Anabaptists, have existed from the times of the Apostles. In the sense of the direct transmission of Divine Truth, and the true nature of spiritual religion, it seems probable that these churches have a lineage or succession more ancient than that of the Roman Church. The Inner Life of the Societies of the Commonwealth, London; 1876: pages 11, 12.
Cardinal Hosius, a member of the Council of Trent, stated in 1560:
If the truth of religion were to be judged by the readiness and boldness of which a man of any sect shows in suffering, then the opinion and persuasion of no sect can be truer and surer than that of the Anabaptists since there have been none for these twelve hundred years past, that have been more generally punished or that have more cheerfully and steadfastly undergone, and even offered themselves to the most cruel sorts of punishment than these people. Hosius, Letters Apud Opera, 112-113; Baptist Magazine, CVIII, May, 1826.
Hosius stated again:
The Anabaptists are a pernicious sect. Of which kind the Waldensian brethren seem to have been, although some of them lately, as they testify in their apology, declare that they will no longer re-baptize, as was their former custom; nevertheless, it is certain that many of them retain their custom, and have united with the Anabaptists. Works of the Heresies of our Times, 1584 Book I page 43l.
Luther said on one occasion:
The Anabaptists have been for a long time spreading in Germany. Michelet, Life of Luther; page 99.
Zwingli, the Swiss Reformer, said:
The institution of Anabaptism is no novelty, but for three hundred years has caused great disturbance in the church, and has acquired such strength that the attempt in this age to contend with it appears futile for a time. Christian, Op., cit.,., p. 86
Linborch, the historian of the Inquisition, stated:
To speak my mind freely, if their opinion and custom were to be examined without prejudice, it would appear that among all of the modern sects of Christians, they had the greatest resemblance to that of the Mennonites or Dutch Baptists. The History of the Inquisition, London; 1731: Vol. 1, page 57.
He was speaking of the identity of the Waldenses with the old Anabaptists.
Van Oosterzee stated:
They (Baptists) are peculiar to the Netherlands and are older than the Reformation, and must, therefore, by no means be confounded with the Protestantism of the sixteenth century, for it can be shown that the origin of the Baptists reaches further back and is more venerable. Herzog, Real Encyclopedia, IX. page 346.
I could go on and on, but must conclude these remarks with these statements from Dr. Ypeij, Professor of Theology in Gronigen and Rev. J. J. Dermount, Chaplain to the King of the Netherlands, when they stated to him:
The Mennonites are descended from the tolerable pure evangelical Waldenses, who were driven by persecution into various countries; and who during the latter part of the twelfth century fled into Flanders; and into the province of Holland and Zealand, where they lived simple and exemplary lives, in the villages as farmers, in the towns by trades, free from the charge of any gross immoralities, and professing the most pure and simple principles, which they exemplified in a holy conversation. They were, therefore, in existence long before the Reformed Church of the Netherlands.
We have now seen that the Baptists who were formerly called Anabaptists, in later times Mennonites, were the original Waldenses, and who have long in the history of the church received the honor of that origin. On this account the Baptists may be considered as the only Christian community which has stood since the days of the apostles, and as a Christian society which has preserved pure the doctrines of the Gospel through all ages. The perfectly correct external and internal economy of the Baptist denomination tends to confirm the truth, disputed by the Romish Church, that the Reformation brought about in the sixteenth century was in the highest degree necessary, and at the same time goes to refute the erroneous notion of the Catholics, that their denomination is the most ancient. Christian, Op., Cit., pages 95, 96.
John Spilsbury, (called by Baptist Union Historians) the First Particular Baptist rebaptizer stated:



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