And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. NKJV
May 20, 1854
Church met in the Court house for Cov. meeting, A Gross in chair-Prayer by Father Gill.
On motion Jacob WAGNER was recd by experience having (been) baptised. GERTRUDE his wife was also received and baptised at the close of the services.
A letter of dismission as per request was granted Dea. L MINER directed to Second Baptist, Mystic, Conn.
Resolved that A Gross, E Gill, D James, S W Eastman, L M Foster, Benj Packer, L Geer Jr and Rob. Robb be our delegates to the Ill R. Asso.
On motion the Association was invited to meet with us next year.
So the record states. And if they did make it to that meeting, then I know what they heard. They heard a message by G.S. Bailey of Pekin Illinois entitled "Baptist Churches Primitive and Apostolic." We have a few copies of this if you would like one.
It is not our intention to preach that message today but there are some points I want to make in regards to it. Baptists baptize by immersion because that is how it was in the New Testament and that is how Baptists have always did it. But let me quote part of the beginning.
"I. THE BAPTIST CHURCHES ARE AFTER THE MODEL OF TILE PRIMITIVE AND APOSTOLIC CHURCHES. In making this declaration, let me also express the joy I feel that the churches of other evangelical denominations have embraced so many of the truths of the Gospel as they have ; grand, glorious, precious truths, for some of which, Baptists were compelled to contend alone for a thousand years before any of the modern denominations of Christians had an existence. We rejoice that we do not now stand alone in advocating a number of these doctrines, and we hope the day will speedily come when our Christian brethren of other denominations will advocate and adopt not only a part, but the whole of the grand truths of the Gospel, "and under one Shepherd the world be one fold."
When Luther began to preach in 1517, he began to advocate some of the doctrines which had been held and advocated by the Baptists from the days of John the Baptist until that period. .These Baptists lived and preached, and many of them bled and died for the Gospel in Piedmont, amid the Pyrenees mountains, in obscure places throughout Germany, France, Italy, Britain, and many other countries."
Baptists did not originate in the reformation of Europe but proceeded the reformation. In generations past, when they were persecuted from land to land and their buildings and writings were burned, their history cannot be traced so much by a chain of baptisms as by a river of blood, martyrs blood.
Christians today are persecuted around the world. As a matter of fact, today is The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Today Christians are persecuted mostly by other faith systems. Today communism still does its best to wipe the Christian witness from the lands where they have control. In Islamic lands there is a relentless persecution of Christians, even in so called moderate Muslim states like Saudi Arabia. But Baptists have been persecuted by even their Christian brothers. Even in America
"As to the persecutions in some of the American colonies, we give a few samples. It is recorded that on one occasion one of John Clarke's members was sick. The family lived just across the Massachusetts Bay Colony line and just inside that colony. John Clarke, himself, and a visiting preacher by the name of Crandall and a layman by the name of Obediah Holmes - all three went to visit that sick family. While they were holding some kind of a prayer service with that sick family, some officer or officers of the colony came upon them and arrested them and later carried them before the court for trial. It is also stated, that in order to get a more definite charge against them, they were carried into a religious meeting of their church (Congregationalist), their hands being tied (so the record states). The charge against them was "for not taking off their hats in a religious service." They were all tried and convicted. Gov. Endicott was present. In a rage he said to Clarke, while the trial was going on, "You have denied infants baptism" (this was not the charge against them). "You deserve death. I will not have such trash brought into my jurisdiction." The penalty for all was a fine, or be well-whipped. Crandall's fine (a visitor) was five pounds ($25.00), Clarke's fine (the pastor) was twenty pounds ($100.00). Holmes' fine (the records say he had been a Congregationalist and had joined the Baptists) so his fine was thirty pounds ($150.00). Clark's and Crandall's fines were paid by friends. Holmes refused to allow his fine paid, saying he had done no wrong, so was well whipped. The record states that he was "stripped to the waist" and then whipped (with some kind of a special whip) until the blood ran down his body and then his legs until his shoes overflowed. The record goes on to state that his body was so badly gashed and cut that for two weeks he could not lie down, so his body could touch the bed. His sleeping had to be done on his hands or elbows and knees. Of this whipping and other things connected with it I read all records, even Holmes' statement. A thing could hardly have been more brutal. And here in America!"
Trail of Blood J.M. Carroll http://www.baptistpage.org/Distinctives/Trail_of_Blood.html
What book is the all time best seller? The Bible. And what book comes in second? Pilgrim's Progress. It was written by John Bunyan while twelve years in Bedford England jail.
"In 1655, Bunyan became a deacon and began preaching, with marked success from the start. In 1658 he was indicted for preaching without a license. The authorities were fairly tolerant of him for a while, and he did not suffer imprisonment until November of 1660, when he was taken to the county jail in Silver Street, Bedford, and there confined (with the exception of a few weeks in 1666) for 12 years until January 1672. Bunyan afterward became pastor of the Bedford church. In March of 1675 he was again imprisoned for preaching publicly without a license, this time being held in the Bedford town jail. In just six months this time he was freed, (no doubt the authorities were growing weary of providing Bunyan with free shelter and food) and he was not bothered again by the authorities." http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/john-bunyan.html
The last Baptist martyr in England was Edward Wightman, of Burton upon Trent, condemned by the Bishop of Coventry, and burnt at Litchfield, April 11, 1612.* *Eng. Bap. Jubilee Memor., Benedict's Hist. Bap.
How did all this start you say? The answer is found in the first major error to finally take hold in the mainstream churches of the 2nd and 3rd centuries.
"So that it was in this period that the idea of "Baptismal Regeneration" began to get a fixed hold in some of the churches. (Shackelford, page 57; Camp p. 47; Benedict, p. 286; Mosheim, vol. 1, p. 134; Christian, p. 28.)" Trail of Blood
The second great error to get hold in the churches was infant baptism. It is for these two causes that untold millions were put to death, not by pagan Rome but by so called Christian churches.
"Baptismal regeneration" and "infant baptism." These two errors have, according to the testimony of well-established history, caused the shedding of more Christian blood, as the centuries have gone by, than all other errors combined, or than possibly have all wars, not connected with persecution, if you will leave out the recent "World War." Over 50,000,000 Christians died martyr deaths, mainly because of their rejection of these two errors during the period of the "dark ages" alone -- about twelve or thirteen centuries. Trail of Blood
CARDINAL Hossius, chairman of the Council at Trent says:
"If the truth of religion were to be judged of by the readiness and cheerfulness which a man of any sect shows in suffering, then the opinions and persuasions of no sect can be truer or surer than those of the Anabaptists; since there have been none, for these twelve hundred years past, that have been more grievously punished." -Orchard's Hist. Bap., sec. 12, part XXX., p. 364.
How does all this relate to our text? Let's see.
God help us. We have gotten so tied up in ourselves that we don't value the things of God.
Most anything can take the place of God in our lives. We see it by what we allow to come between God and our fellowship with Him.
Jude 3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. NKJV
This message was preached at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com/