The Trail Of Blood
Following the Christians Down Through the Centuries . . .or
The History of Baptist Churches From the Time of Christ,
Their Founder, to the Present Day
by J. M. Carroll
By CLARENCE WALKER
Dr. J. M. Carroll, the author of this book, was born in the state of Arkansas, January 8, 1858, and died in Texas, January 10, 1931. His father, a Baptist preacher, moved to Texas when Brother Carroll was six years old. There he was converted, baptized, and ordained to the Gospel ministry. Dr. Carroll not only became a leader among Texas Baptist, but an outstanding figure of Southern Baptists, and of the world.
Years ago he came to our church and brought the messages found in this book. It was then I became greatly interested in Brother Carroll's studies. I, too, had made a special research in Church History, as to which is the oldest Church and most like the churches of the New Testament.
Dr. J. W. Porter attended the lectures. He was so impressed he told Brother Carroll if he would write the messages he would publish them in a book. Dr. Carroll wrote the lectures and gave Dr. Porter the right to publish them along with the chart which illustrates the history so vividly.
However, Dr. Carroll died before the book came off the press, but Dr. Porter placed them before the public and the whole edition was soon sold. Now, by the grace of God, we are able to present this 66th edition of 20,000. I want to ask all who read and study these pages to join me in prayer and work that an ever-increasing number shall go forth.
"To make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Christ Jesus; to the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in Heavenly places might be known by the Church, the manifold wisdom of God ... unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end, Amen." (Eph. 3:9-10, 21)
It was wonderful to hear Dr. Carroll tell how he became interested in the history of the different denominations--ESPECIALLY THEIR ORIGIN. He wrote the book after he was 70 years old, but he said, "I was converted unto God when I was just a boy. I saw the many denominations and wondered which was the church the Lord Jesus founded."
Even in his youth he felt that in the study of the Scriptures and history, he could find the church which was the oldest and most like the churches described in the New Testament.
This research for the truth led him into many places and enabled him to gather one of the greatest libraries on church history. This library was given at his death to the Southwestern Baptist Seminary, Ft. Worth, Texas.
He found much church history--most of it seemed to be about the Catholics and Protestants. The history of Baptists, he discovered, was written in blood. They were the hated people of the Dark Ages. Their preachers and people were put into prison and untold numbers were put to death. The world has never seen anything to compare with the suffering, the persecutions, heaped upon Baptists by the Catholic Hierarchy during the Dark Ages. The Pope was the world's dictator. This is why the Ana-Baptists, before the Reformation, called the Pope The Anti-Christ.
Their history is written in the legal documents and papers of those ages. It is through these records that the "TRAIL OF BLOOD" winds its way as you find such statements--
"At Zurich, after many disputations between Zuinglius and the Ana-Baptists, the Senate made an Act, that if any presume to re-baptize those who were baptized before (i.e. as infants) they should be drowned. At Vienna many Ana-Baptists were tied together in chains that one drew the other after him into the river, wherein they were all suffocated (drowned)." (Vida Supra, p. 61)
"In the year of our Lord 1539 two Ana-Baptists were burned beyond Southwark, and a little before them 5 Dutch Ana-Baptists were burned in Smithfield," (Fuller, Church History.)
"In 1160 a company of Paulicians (Baptists) entered Oxford. Henry II ordered them to be branded on the forehead with hot irons, publicly whipped them through the streets of the city, to have their garments cut short at the girdles, and be turned into the open country. The villages were not to afford them any shelter or food and they perished a lingering death from cold and hunger." (Moore, Earlier and Later Nonconformity in Oxford, p. 12.)
The old Chronicler Stowe, A.D. 1533, relates:
"The 25th of May--in St. Paul's Church, London--examined 19 men and 6 women. Fourteen of them were condemned; a man and a woman were burned at Smithfield, the other twelve of them were sent to towns there to be burned."
Froude, the English historian, says of these Ana-Baptist martyrs--
"The details are all gone, their names are gone. Scarcely the facts seem worth mentioning. For them no Europe was agitated, no court was ordered in mourning, no papal hearts trembled with indignation. At their death the world looked on complacent, indifferent or exulting. Yet here, out of 25 poor men and women were found 14, who by no terror of stake or torture could be tempted to say they believed what they did not believe. History has for them no word of praise, yet they, too, were not giving their blood in vain. Their lives might have been as useless as the lives of most of us. In their death they assisted to pay the purchase of English freedom."
Likewise, in writings of their enemies as well as friends, Dr. Carroll found, their history and that their trail through the ages was indeed bloody:
Cardinal Hosius (Catholic, 1524), President of the Council of Trent:
"Were it not that the baptists have been grievously tormented and cut off with the knife during the past twelve hundred years, they would swarm in greater number than all the Reformers." (Hosius, Letters, Apud Opera, pp. 112, 113.)
The "twelve hundred years" were the years preceding the Reformation in which Rome persecuted Baptists with the most cruel persecution thinkable.
Sir Isaac Newton:
"The Baptists are the only body of known Christians that have never symbolized with Rome."
"Before the rise of Luther and Calvin, there lay secreted in almost all the countries of Europe persons who adhered tenaciously to the principles of modern Dutch Baptists."
Edinburg Cyclopedia (Presbyterian):
"It must have already occurred to our readers that the Baptists are the same sect of Christians that were formerly described as Ana-Baptists. Indeed this seems to have been their leading principle from the time of Tertullian to the present time."
Tertullian was born just fifty years after the death of the Apostle John.
Baptists do not believe in Apostolic Succession. The Apostolic office ceased with the death of the Apostles. It is to His churches that He promised a continual existence from the time He organized the first one during His earthly ministry until He comes again. He promised--
"I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matt. 16:18)
Then, when He gave the great Commission, which tells what His churches are to do, He promised--
"I will be with you alway, even unto the end of the age." (Matt. 28:20)
This Commission--this work--was not given to the Apostles as individuals, but to them and the others present in their church capacity. The Apostles and the others who heard Him give this Commission were soon dead--BUT, His Church has lived on through the ages, making disciples (getting folks saved), baptizing them, and teaching the truth--the doctrines--He committed to the Jerusalem Church. These faithful churches have been blessed with His presence as they have traveled the TRAIL OF BLOOD.
This history shows how the Lord's promise to His churches has been fulfilled. Dr. Carroll shows that churches have been found in every age which have taught the doctrines He committed unto them. Dr. Carroll calls these doctrines the "marks" of New Testament Churches.
"MARKS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH"
In any town there are many different churches--all claiming to be the true church. Dr. Carroll did as you can do now--take the marks, or teachings, of the different churches and find the ones which have these marks, or doctrines. The ones which have these marks, or doctrines, taught in God's Word, are the true churches.
This, Dr. Carroll has done, to the churches of all ages. He found many had departed from "these marks, or doctrines." Other churches, however, he found had been true to these marks" in every day and age since Jesus said,
"I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matt. 16:18)
"I will be with you alway, even unto the end of the age." (Matt. 28:21)
"THE TRAIL OF BLOOD"
Following the Christians Down Through the Centuries
The Days of Christ to the Present Time
Or to express it differently, but still expressively--"A history of the Doctrines as taught by Christ, and His Apostles and those who have been loyal to them."
"Remember the days of old. Consider the years of many generations; Ask thy father and he will show thee. Thy elders and they will tell thee." (Deut. 32:7)
What we know today as "Christianity" or the Christian Religion, began with Christ, A.D. 25-30 in the days and within the bounds of the Roman Empire. One of the greatest empires the world has ever known in all its history.
This Empire at that period embraced nearly all of the then known inhabited world. Tiberius Caesar was its Emperor.
In its religion, the Roman Empire, at that time, was pagan. A religion of many gods. Some material and some imaginary. There were many devout believers and worshipers. It was a religion not simply of the people, but of the empire. It was an established religion. Established by law and supported by the government. (Mosheim, Vol. 1, Chap. 1.)
The Jewish people, at that period, no longer a separate nation, were scattered throughout the Roman Empire. They yet had their temple in Jerusalem, and the Jews yet went there to worship, and they were yet jealous of their religion. But it, like the pagan, had long since drifted into formalism and had lost its power. (Mosheim, Vol. 1, Chap. 2.)
The religion of Christ being a religion not of this world, its founder gave it no earthly head and no temporal power. It sought no establishment, no state or governmental support. It sought no dethronement of Caesar. Said its author, "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's." (Matt, 22:19-22; Mark 12:17; Luke 20:20). Being a spiritual religion it was a rival of no earthly government. Its adherents, however, were taught to respect all civil law and government. (Rom. 13:1-7; Titus 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:13-16)
I want now to call your attention to some of the landmarks, or ear-marks of this religion--the Christian Religion. If you and I are to trace it down through 20 long centuries, and especially down through 1,200 years of midnight darkness, darkened by rivers and seas of martyr blood, then we will need to know well these marks. They will be many times terribly disfigured. But there will always be some indelible mark. But let us carefully and prayerfully beware. We will encounter many shams and make-believes. If possible, the very elect will be betrayed and deceived. We want, if possible, to trace it down through credible history, but more especially through the unerring, infallible, words and marks of Divine truth.
Some Unerring, Infallible Marks
If in going down through the centuries we run upon a group or groups of people bearing not these distinguishing marks and teaching other things for fundamental doctrines, let us beware.
And now, before proceeding with the history itself, let me call your attention to--
I believe, if you will study carefully this chart, you will better understand the history, and it will greatly aid your memory in retaining what you hear and see.
Remember this chart is supposed to cover a period of two thousand years of religious history.
Notice at both top and bottom of the chart some figures, the same figures at both top and bottom - 100, 200, 300, and so on to 2,000.
They represent the twenty centuries of time--the vertical lines separating the different centuries.
Now notice on the chart, near the bottom; other straight lines, this line running left to right, the long way of the chart.
The lines are about the same distance apart as the vertical lines. But you can't see them all the way. They are covered by a very dark spot, representing in history what is known as the "dark ages." It will be explained later. Between the two lowest lines are the names of countries . . . Italy, Wales, England, Spain, France, and so forth, ending with America. These are names of countries in which much history is made during the period covered by the names themselves. Of course not all the history, some history is made in some of the countries in every period. But some special history is made in these special countries, at these special periods.
Now notice again, near the bottom of the chart, other lines a little higher. They, too, covered in part by the "dark ages," they also are full of names, but not names of countries. They are all "nick-names." Names given to those people by their enemies. "Christians"--that is the first: "The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch" (Acts 11:26). This occurred about A.D. 43. Either the pagans or Jews gave them that name in derision. All the other names in that column were given in the same manner--Montanists, Novationists, Donatists, Paulicians, Albigenses, Waldenses, etc., and Ana-Baptists. All of these will again and again be referred to as the lectures progress.
But look again at the chart. See the red circles. They are scattered nearly all over the chart. They represent churches. Single individual churches in Asia, in Africa, in Europe, in mountains and valleys, and so forth. Their being blood red indicates martyr blood. Christ their founder died on the Cross. All the Apostles save two, John and Judas, suffered martyr deaths. Judas betrayed his Lord and died in a suicide. The Apostle John, according to history, was boiled in a great cauldron of oil.
You will note some circles that are solidly black. They represent churches also. But erring churches. Churches that had gone wrong in life or doctrine. There were numbers of these even before the death of Peter, Paul and John.
Having now about concluded with a general introduction and some very necessary and even vital preliminaries, I come to the regular history--
FIRST PERIOD A.D. 30-500
|Here was the beginning of an error which has grown and multiplied into many other seriously hurtful errors. Here was the beginning of different orders in the ministry running up finally to what is practiced now by others as well as Catholics. Here began what resulted in an entire change from the original democratic policy and government of the early churches. This irregularity began in a small way, even before the close of the second century. This was possibly the first serious departure from the New Testament church order.|
|During the first three centuries, congregations all over the East subsisted in separate independent bodies, unsupported by government and consequently without any secular power over one another. All this time they were baptized churches, and though all the fathers of the first four ages, down to Jerome (A.D. 370), were of Greece, Syria and Africa, and though they give great numbers of histories of the baptism of adults, yet there is not one of the baptism of a child till the year 370." (Compendium of Baptist History, Shackelford, p. 43; Vedder, p. 50; Christian, p, 31; Orchard, p. 50, etc.)|
|(1) The change from the New Testament idea of bishop and church government. This change grew rapidly, more pronounced, and complete and hurtful.|
|(2) The change from the New Testament teachings as to Regeneration to "baptismal regeneration."|
|(3) The change from "believers' baptism" to "infant baptism." (This last, however, did not become general nor even very frequent for more than another century.)|
|(1) The separateness and independence of the Churches.|
|(2) The subordinate character of bishops or pastors.|
|(3) The baptism of believers only.
|(1) The gradual change from a democracy to a preacher-church government.|
|(2) The change from salvation by grace to Baptismal Salvation.|
|(3) The change from "believers' baptism" to "infant baptism."|
|(4) The Hierarchy organized. Marriage of church and state.|
|(5) Seat of empire changed to Constantinople.|
|(6) Infant baptism established by law and made compulsory.|
|(7) Christians begin to persecute Christians.|
|(8) The "Dark Ages" begin 426.|
|(9) The sword and torch rather than the gospel become the power of God (?) unto salvation.|
|(10) All semblance of "Religious liberty" dies and is buried and remains buried for many centuries.|
|(11) Loyal New Testament churches, by whatever name called, are hunted and hounded to the utmost limit of the new Catholic temporal power. Remnants scattered over the world are finding uncertain hiding places in forests and mountains, valleys, dens and caves of the earth.|
|The second met at Constantinople, A.D. 381, and was called by Theodosius the Great. There were present 150 bishops. (In the early centuries, bishops simply meant pastors of the individual churches.)|
|The third was called by Theodosius II, and by Valentian III. This had 250 bishops present. It met at Ephesus, A.D. 431.|
|The fourth met at Calcedon, A.D. 451, and was called by Emperor Marian; 500 or 600 bishops or Metropolitans (Metropolitans were City pastors or First Church pastors) were present. During this Council the doctrine of what is now known as Mariolatry was promulgated. This means the worship of Mary, the mother of Christ. This new doctrine at first created quite a stir, many seriously objecting. But it finally won out as a permanent doctrine of the Catholic Church.|
|The fifth of these eight councils was held at Constantinople (which was the second to be held there). This was called by Justinian, A.D. 553, and was attended by 165 bishops. This, seemingly, was called mainly to condemn certain writings.|
|In the year A.D. 680 the Sixth Council was called. This was also held at Constantinople and was called by Constantine Pegonator, to condemn heresy. During this meeting Pope Honorius by name was deposed and excommunicated. However, at this time infallibility had not yet been declared.|
|The Seventh Council was called to meet at Nicea A.D. 787. This was the second held at this place. The Empress Irene called this one. Here in this meeting seems to have been the definite starting place, of both "Image Worship" and "Saints Worship." You can thus see that these people were getting more markedly paganized than Christianized.|
|The last of what were called the "Eastern Councils," those, called by the Emperors, was held in Constantinople, in A.D. 869. This was called by Basilius Maredo. The Catholic Church had gotten into serious trouble. There had arisen a controversy of a very serious nature between the heads of the two branches of Catholicism--the Eastern and Western, Greek and Roman--Pontius the Greek at Constantinople and Nicholas the 1st at Rome. So serious was their trouble, that they had gone so far as to excommunicate each other. So for a short time Catholicism was entirely without a head. The council was called mainly to settle, if possible, this difficulty. This break in the ranks of Catholicism has never, even to this day, been satisfactorily settled. Since that far away day, all attempts at healing that breach have failed. The Lateran-power since then has been in the ascendancy. Not the Emperors, but the Roman Pontiffs calling all Councils. The later Councils will be referred to later in these lectures.|
|"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image," (Ex. 20:3, 4, 5). Another addition from Paganism. Then followed the "worship of Saints." This doctrine has no encouragement in the Bible. Only one instance of Saint worship is given in the Bible and that is given to show its utter folly--the dead rich man praying to Abraham, (Luke 16:24-3l). These are some, not all of the many revolutionary changes from New Testament teachings, that came about during this period of Church history.|
|(1) In the Nationalities: The Greeks mainly are Slavs, embracing Greece, Russia, Bulgaria, Serbia, etc., speaking Greek. The Romans are mainly Latins, embracing Italy, France, Spain, South and Central America, Mexico etc.|
|(2) The Greek Catholics reject sprinkling or pouring for baptism. The Romans use sprinkling entirely, claiming the right to change from the original Bible plan of immersion.|
|(3) The Greek Catholics continue the practice of Infant Communion. The Romans have abandoned it though once taught it as another means of Salvation.|
|(4) The Greeks in administering the Lord's Supper give the wine as well as the bread to the laity. The Romans give the bread only to the laity--the priests drink the wine.|
|(5) The Greeks have their priests to marry. The Roman priests are forbidden to marry.|
|(6) The Greeks reject the doctrine of Papal "Infallibility," the Romans accept and insist upon that doctrine. The above are at least the main points on which they differ--otherwise the Greek and Roman Catholic churches, it seems, would stand together.|
|"For I certify unto every man that heareth
the words of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall
add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall
take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away
his part out of the book of life, and out of the Holy City, and from the
things which are written in the book." Rev. 22:18, 19.
|At that time was promulgated the new doctrine of "Transubstantiation," the intended turning of the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper into the actual and real body and blood of Christ, after a prayer by the priest. This doctrine among others, had much to do with stirring up the leaders of the Reformation a few centuries later. This doctrine of course taught that all those who participated in the supper actually ate of the body and drank of the blood of Christ. Auricular confession--confessing one's sins into the ear of a priest--was another new doctrine seemingly having its beginning at this meeting. But probably the most cruel and bloody thing ever brought upon any people in all the world's history was what is known as the "Inquisition," and other similar courts, designed for trying what was called "heresy." The whole world is seemingly filled with books written in condemnation of that extreme cruelty, and yet it was originated and perpetuated by a people claiming to be led and directed by the Lord. For real barbarity there seems to be nothing, absolutely nothing in all history that will surpass it. I would not even attempt to describe it. I will simply refer my readers to some of the many books written on the "Inquisition" and let them read and study for themselves. And yet another thing was done at this same meeting, as if enough had not been done. It was expressly decreed to extirpate all "heresy." What a black page--yea--many black pages were written into the world's history by these terrible decrees.|
|Sad and awful was the fate of these long-suffering Ana-Baptists. The world now offered no sure place for hiding. Four hard persecutors were now hot on their trail. Surely theirs was a "Trail of Blood."|
|England's king, Henry VIII, had married Catherine of Spain, but unfortunately, after some time his somewhat troublesome heart had fallen in love with Anne Boleyn. So he wanted to divorce Catherine and marry Annie. Getting a divorce back then was no easy matter. Only the Pope could grant it, and he in this case, for special reasons, declined to grant it. Henry was in great distress. Being king, he felt he ought to be entitled to follow his own will in the matter. His Prime Minister (at that time Thomas Cromwell) rather made sport of the King. Why do you submit to papal authority on such matters? Henry followed his suggestion, threw off papal authority and made himself head of the Church of England. Thus began the new Church of England. This was consummated in 1534 or 1535. At that time there was no change in doctrine, simply a renunciation of the authority of the Pope. Henry at heart really never became a Protestant. He died in the Catholic faith.|
|(1) Preacher-church government (differing in form).|
|(2) Church Establishment (Church and State combination).|
|(3) Infant BAPTISM|
|(4) Sprinkling or Pouring for Baptism.|
|(5) Baptismal Regeneration (some at least, and others, if many of their historians are to be accredited).|
|(6) Persecuting others (at least for centuries).|
|Hence, there could never be a satisfactory debate between Catholic and Protestant or between Catholic and Baptist, as there could never possibly be a basis of final agreement. The Bible alone can never settle anything so far as the Catholics are concerned.|
FOURTH LECTURE--17th, 18th, 19th Centuries
|(1) That Jesus Christ is the only head of the church and that the Word of God is its only statue book.|
|(2) That visible churches are distinct assemblies of Godly men gathered out of the world for purely religious purposes, and not to be confounded with the world.|
|(3) That these separate churches have full power to choose their own officers and to maintain discipline.|
|(4) That in respect to their internal management they are each independent of all other churches and equally independent of state control.|
|(Note--that all this is prior to the
founding of the Protestant churches--Lutheran, Episcopal, or Presbyterian.)
|Where did these Baptists come from? They did not come out of the Catholics during the Reformation. They had large churches prior to the Reformation.|
|The Gospel was carried to England by the Apostles and it remained Apostolic in its religion until after the organization of the Hierarchy in the beginning of the fourth century, and really for more than another century after that. It then came under the power of the Hierarchy which was rapidly developing into the Catholic Church. It then remained Catholic--that was the state religion, until the split in 1534-1535, during the reign of Henry VIII. It was then called the Church of England. Eighteen years later, 1553-1558, during the reign of Queen Mary ("Bloody Mary") England was carried back to the Catholics, and a bloody five-years period was this. Then Elizabeth, a half-sister of Mary, the daughter of Anna Boleyn, came to the throne, 1558. The Catholics were again overthrown, and again the Church of England came into power. And thus things remained for almost another century, when the Presbyterian Church came for a short while into the ascendancy, and seemed for a while as if it might become the State Church of England as well as that of Scotland. However, following the time of Oliver Cromwell, the Church of England came back to her own and has remained the established church of England ever since.|
|(1) The first toleration act came in 1688, one hundred and fifty-four years after the beginning of this church. This act permitted the worship of all denominations in England except two--the Catholics and the Unitarians.|
|(2) The second toleration act came in 1778, eighty-nine years still later. This act included in the toleration the Catholics, but still excluded the Unitarians.|
|(3) The third toleration act came in 1813, thirty-five years later. This included the Unitarians.|
|(4) In 1828-1829 came what is known as the "Test Act" which gave the "dissenters" (the religionists not in accord with the "Church of England") access to public office and even to Parliament.|
|(5) In 1836-37 and 1844 came the "Registration" and "Marriage" acts. These two acts made legal baptisms and marriages performed by "dissenters."|
|(6) The "Reform Bill" came in 1854. This bill opened the doors of Oxford and Cambridge Universities to dissenting students. Up to this time no child of a "dissenter" could enter one of these great institutions.|
|John and Charles Wesley were born at Epworth (and here comes a suggestion for the name Epworth League), the former June 28, 1703, and the latter March 29, 1708. George Whitfield was born in Gloucester, December 27, 1714. The story of the lives of these boys cannot be told here, but they are well worth being told, and then retold. These three boys became the fathers and founders of Methodism. They were all three members of the Church of England, and all studying for the ministry; and yet at that time, not one of them converted (which at that time was not unusual among the English clergy. Remember, however, that in those days, the parent frequently, if not usually, decided on the profession or line of the life to be followed by the boy). But these boys were afterwards converted, and genuinely and wonderfully converted.|
|And the story of Mary Bunyan, John Bunyan's blind daughter, ought to be in every Sunday School library. For many years it was out of print. I think it is now in print again. I almost defy any man or woman, boy or girl, to read it and keep dry eyes.|
LECTURE FIVE--RELIGION IN THE UNITED STATES
|"It is ordered and agreed, that if any person or persons, within this jurisdiction, shall either openly condemn or oppose the baptizing of infants, or go about secretly to seduce others from the approbation or use thereof, or shall purposely depart the congregation at the ministration of the ordinance . . . after due time and means of conviction--every such person or persons shall be sentenced to banishment." This law was enacted especially against the Baptists.|
|The battle for absolute religious liberty even in America alone is a great history within itself. For a long time the Baptists seem to have fought that battle entirely alone, but they did not fight it for themselves alone, but for all peoples of every religious faith. Rhode Island, the first Baptist colony, established by a small group of Baptists after 12 years of earnest pleading for permission was the first spot on earth where religious liberty was made the law of the land. The settlement was made in 1638; the colony legally established in 1663.|
|In this colony was a settlement of Baptists. In the whole settlement were only five other families. The Baptists recognized the laws they were under and were, according to the records, obedient to them. This incident occurred:|
|It was decided by authorities of the colony to build a Presbyterian meeting house in that Baptist settlement. The only way to do it seemed by taxation. The Baptists recognized the authority of the Presbyterians to levy this new and extra tax, but they made this plea against the tax at this time--"We have just started our settlement. Our little cabins have just been built, and little gardens and patches just been opened. Our fields not cleared. We have just been taxed to the limit to build a fort for protection against the Indians. We cannot possibly pay another tax now." This is only the substance of their plea. The tax was levied. It could not possibly be paid at that time. An auction was called. Sales were made. Their cabins and gardens and patches, and even their graveyards, were sold--not their unopened fields. Property valued at 363 pounds and 5 shillings sold for 35 pounds and 10 shillings. Some of it, at least, was said to have been bought by the preacher who was to preach there. The settlement was said to have been left ruined.|
|A large book could be filled with oppressive laws. Terrifically burdensome acts of taxation, hard dealing of many sorts, directed mainly against the Baptists. But these lectures cannot enter into these details.|
|Thus the Baptists came near being an established denomination over their own most solemn protest. This is not the only opportunity the Baptists ever had of becoming established by law, but is probably the nearest they ever came to it.|
|Is it not recorded in history, that on one occasion, the King of the Netherlands (the Netherlands at that time embracing Norway and Sweden, Belgium, Holland, and Denmark) had under serious consideration the question of having an established religion? Their kingdom at that period was surrounded on almost all sides by nations or governments with established religions--religions supported by the Civil Government.|
|It is stated that the King of Holland appointed a committee to examine into the claims of all existing churches or denominations to see which had the best claim to be the New Testament Church. The committee reported back that the Baptists were the best representatives of New Testament teachings. Then the King offered to make the Baptist "the established" church or denomination of his kingdom. The Baptists kindly thanked him but declined, stating that it was contrary to their fundamental convictions and principles.|
|But this was not the only opportunity they ever had of having their denomination the established religion of a people. They certainly had that opportunity when Rhode Island Colony was founded. And to have persecuted others--that would have been an impossibility if they were to continue being Baptists. They were the original advocates of "Religious Liberty." That really is one of the fundamental articles of their religious faith. They believed in the absolute separation of church and state.|
|The case in Mexico occurred in this wise: W. D. Powell was our missionary to Mexico. By his missionary work he had made a great impression for the Baptists upon Governor Madero of the State of Coahuila. Madero offered a great gift to the Baptists from the State, if the Baptists would establish a good school in the State of Coahuila, Mexico. The matter was submitted by Powell to the Foreign Board. The gift was declined because it was to be from the State. Afterwards Madero gave a good large sum personally. That was accepted and Madero Institute was built and established.|
SOME AFTER WORDS
During every period of the "Dark Ages" there were in existence many Christians and many separate and independent Churches, some of them dating back to the times of the Apostles, which were never in any way connected with the Catholic Church. They always wholly rejected and repudiated the Catholics and their doctrines. This is a fact clearly demonstrated by credible history.
These Christians were the perpetual objects of bitter and relentless persecution. History shows that during the period of the "Dark Ages," about twelve centuries, beginning with A.D. 426, there were about fifty millions of these Christians who died martyr deaths. Very many thousands of others, both preceding and succeeding the "Dark Ages," died under the same hard hand of persecution.
These Christians, during these dark days of many centuries, were called by many different names, all given to them by their enemies. These names were sometimes given because of some specially prominent and heroic leader and sometimes from other causes; and sometimes, yea, many times, the same people, holding the same views, were called by different names in different localities. But amid all the many changes of names, there was one special name or rather designation, which clung to at least some of these Christians, throughout all the "Dark Ages," that designation being "Ana-Baptist." This compound word applied as a designation of some certain Christians was first found in history during the third century; and a suggestive fact soon after the origin of Infant Baptism, and a more suggestive fact even prior to the use of the name Catholic. Thus the name "Ana-Baptists" is the oldest denominational name in history.
A striking peculiarity of these Christians was and continued to be in succeeding centuries: They rejected the man-made doctrine of "Infant Baptism" and demanded rebaptism, even though done by immersion for all those who came to them, having been baptized in infancy. For this peculiarity they were called "Ana-Baptists."
This, special designation was applied to many of these Christians who bore other nicknames; especially is this true of the Donatists, Paulicians, Albigenses and Ancient Waldenses and others. In later centuries this designation came to be a regular name, applied to a distinct group. These were simply called "Ana- Baptists" and gradually all other names were dropped. Very early in the sixteenth century, even prior to the origin of the Lutheran Church, the first of all the Protestant Churches, the word "ana" was beginning to be left off, and they were simply called "Baptists."
Into the "dark ages" went a group of many churches which were never in any way identified with the Catholics. Out of the "dark ages" came a group of many churches, which had never been in any way identified with the Catholics.
The following are some of the fundamental doctrines to which they held when they went in: And the same are, the fundamental doctrines to which they held when they came out: And the same are the fundamental doctrines to which they now hold.
|1. A spiritual Church, Christ its founder, its only head and law giver.|
|2. Its ordinances, only two, Baptism and the Lord's Supper. They are typical and memorial, not saving.|
|3. Its officers, only two, bishops or pastors and deacons; they are servants of the church.|
|4. Its Government, a pure Democracy, and that executive only, never legislative.|
|5. Its laws and doctrines: The New Testament and that only.|
|6. Its members. Believers only, they saved by grace, not works, through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit.|
|7. Its requirements. Believers on entering the church to be baptized, that by immersion, then obedience and loyalty to all New Testament laws.|
|8. The various churches--separate and independent in their execution of laws and discipline and in their responsibilities to God--but cooperative in work.|
|9. Complete separation of Church and State.|
|10. Absolute Religious liberty for all.|