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Home arrow Writers arrow J.S. Newman arrow Baptists In All Ages: Chapter XVI
Baptists In All Ages: Chapter XVI PDF Print E-mail
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Zwingli and Luther.

Mr. Orchard says: "During the first three centuries Christian congregations, all over the east, subsisted in separate independent bodies, unsupported by government, and consequently without secular power over one another. All this time they were Baptist Churches. ---Orchard's History, Vol. 1, p. 36.

Again Mr. Orchard said "The churches, during this early period, were strictly Baptist in their practice and constitution. These early interests stood perfectly free of Rome, and after periods refused her communion."--p. 51. "When these severe measures emanated from the Emperor Honorius against rebaptizers, the Baptists left the seat of opulence and power and sought retreat in the country and the valleys of Piedmont."--Orchard, Vol. 1, p. 256.

"And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three-score days."--Rev, xii. 6. Twelve hundred and sixty years was the time the Church should remain in Piedmont.

"We have already noticed the writers who declared innovation (infant baptism). In 14,12, the Baptists were banished as heretics. In 1413, Innocent sent letters of advice to various ministers. In the same year the Baptists, for rebaptizing, were sentenced to death."--Baptist Magazine, Vol. I, p. 256. "Osiander says, 'Our modern Anabaptists were the same with the Donatists of old.' Fuller, the English church historian, asserts, that 'the Baptists in England in his clays were the Donatists new dipped;' and Robinson declares 'they were Trinitarian Anabaptists.' "--Orchard, Vol. 1, p. 87.

"They are also freed from the baneful charge of Manichaeism, and are not taxed with any immortality, but were condemned for various rules of action, which all in power accounted heresy. At different periods, and from various causes, these Baptists considerably increased.'--Orchard, Vol. 1, p. 143. This was in the eighth century.

"These dissenting Baptists were the only class in, this kingdom not given up to the corruption of the times. Luxury, covetousness and adultery universally prevailed among the Catholic clergy.'--Orchard, Vol. 1, p. 148. "Many of the Bulgarian Baptists lived single, and adopted an itinerant life, purposely to serve the cause of their Redeemer"--Orchard, Vol. 1, p. 171. This was in the ninth century.

"The persecution experienced by the non-conformists in Greece occasioned many of the Baptists to migrate, and Gibbon says, 'They effected an entrance into Europe by the German caravans."--Orchard, Vol. 1, p. 231. This was in: 845. Again on the same page he says,

"There were two great and powerful families who patronized the Baptists in this quarter, and manifested much attachment to them." Mr. Orchard, page 233, says, "Other testimonies prove existence to a later date. So that after the twelfth century documents are extant, proving the existence of the Baptists in Bohemia and Poland." This was in 1176. "We have now detailed the history of the Puritans through several nations, and under various names, and shall by these records have proved at the Reformation, that the Baptists have been 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."--Idem, p. 340. Mosheim says, "That the German Baptists passed in shoals into Holland and the Netherlands, and in the course of time, amalgamated with the Dutch Baptists."--Ecc. History, Chapt. 16, Sec. 11, p. 336. This was in 1510. "Consequently, several persons of the views of the Baptists made their appearance at the same time, in different countries. This appears from a variety of circumstances, especially from this striking one, that all the Baptist ministers of any eminence were, before the Reformation, almost all heads and leaders of particular and separate sects, or congregations."--Orchard, Vol. 1, p. 341.

"The Reformers gave very considerable support to the Baptists in these measures. Luther had no great objection to the Baptists in his early efforts. He encouraged the Munzer of notoriety, who was a Baptist minister, and so highly esteemed by Luther as to be named his Absalom. Their united efforts greatly increased persons of the Baptist persuasion."--Ibed, pp. 344, 345. This was in 1521. "When some of Luther's assistants went into Bohemia and Moravia, they complained that between Baptists and Papists they were very much straightened, though they grew among them like lilies among thorns. The success and number of the Baptists exasperated him to the last degree."--Robinson's Researches, p. 519. This was in 1522. "The true origin of the Baptist denomination, who espoused the Mennonite views, and who acquired the stigma of Anabaptist, by administering anew the rite of baptism to those who come over to their community, is hid in the remote depths of antiquity."--Mosheim's Ecc. History, Vol. 3, p. 420. "Of all the teachers of religion in Germany at this period, the Baptists best understood the doctrine of civil and religious liberty."--Orchard, Vol. 1, p. 349. "He (Luther) and his colleagues had now to dispute their way with hosts of Baptists all over Germany, Saxony; Thuringia, Switzerland and other kingdoms for several years." "The support which the Baptists had from Luther's writings made the Reformers' effort of little effect. *** These efforts to check the increase of Baptists being ineffectual, carnal measures were selected. *** In defiance of this law (re-baptism), the Baptists persevered in their regular discipline. *** Many Baptists were drowned and burned."--Ivimy’s History, Vol. 1, p. 17. This was from 1516 to 1527.

Wherever the Baptists settled, Luther played the part of a universal bishop, and wrote to the princes and senates to engage them to expel such dangerous men; but it was their refusing to own his authority, and admit his exposition of the scriptures, which led him to preach and publish books against them, taxing them with disturbing the peace. We have recorded that the Baptists were the common objects of aversion to Catholics, Lutherans, and Calvinists, whose united zeal was directed against their destruction."--Robinson's Researches, p. 543.

"The Reformers' influence and reflection on the Baptists, with the Catholic hatred, made the situation of our brethren very critical, independent of the iron bondage many endured under their lords."--Orchard, Vol. 1, p. 358. This was in 1526.

Mosheim, the Lutheran historian, Vol. 3, p. 79, says: "In almost all countries of Europe an unspeakable number of Baptists preferred death in its worst forms to a retraction of their sentiments. It is true, indeed, that many Baptists suffered death; not on account of their being rebellious subjects, but merely because they were judged incurable heretics."

"It is now evident that many persons of the Baptist persuasion and views existed on the continent long before the affair of Munzer blackened their escutcheon."--Orchard, p. 355.

Cardinal Hosius, a Catholic, says of the Baptists: "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 of no sect can be truer or surer than those of the Anabaptists, since there have been none for these past twelve hundred years who have been more grievously punished."--Orchard, Vol. 1, p. 364. The "twelve hundred years past" carries the Baptists back to 370.

"Mosheim, in speaking of the Baptist Church, says, 'Their churches are founded on this principle, that practical piety is the essential of religion, and that the surest and most infallible mark of a true church is the sanctity of its members. It is at least certain that this principle was always and universally adopted by the Baptists.' "--Orchard, Vol. 1, p. 363.

"The Mennonite Baptists consider themselves as real successors to the Waldenses, and to be the genuine Churches of Christ."--Orchard, Vol. 1, p. 368.

"When the Mennonites assert that they are descended from the Waldenses, Petrobrusians, and other ancient(sects, who are usually considered as witnesses of the truth, in the time of universal darkness and superstition, they are not entirely mistaken," says Mosheim, "for before Luther and Calvin, these lay concealed in almost all the countries of Europe, many people who adhered tenaciously to the doctrines of the Dutch Baptists."--Vol. 3, p. 320.

"Nevertheless, the Baptists began publicly to teach their sentiments, and Zwingli as publicly withstood them."--Baptist Martyrology Vol. 1, p. 7. This was in 1516. "Of course, the Baptists were confuted, at least so say their adversaries, who exhorted them to abandon their sentiments; or, at all events, to hold them in secret."--Idem, P' 7. This was in 1525. "For their rejection of human preachers and magisterial interference with conscience, were many of the Baptists imprisoned and banished."--Ibed, p. 8. "The magistrates exhorted the Baptists to give glory to God, and confess their heterodox opinions" but as they remained steadfast, they were thrown into prison. Idem, p. 9.

Felix Mantz, who was a native of Zurich, and educated in the learning of his age, began to study the Holy Scriptures, and at once began to doubt the scripturalness of infant baptism and to lay aside the rites of Rome. "This brought about a separation, and to the final adoption, on the part of Mantz, of the sentiments of the Baptists."-- Ibed, p. 13. Leonhard Keyser, who was a learned mass-priest, went to Wittenberg where he examined the writings of Zwingli and Luther. Returning into Bavaria, and observing the fruits and doctrines of Baptists, and of Luther and Zwingli, he took up the cross, repairing and uniting himself in the year 1525 to the Baptists, the separated Church of the Cross."---Ibed, p. 35.

"The Baptists were called Garden brethren, from their custom of meeting by night in the gardens and solitary places of the town to escape the notice of their foes."--Ibed, p. 57.

In speaking of Balthasar Hubmaier, the writer said. "His appearance in that city was with very different feeling and result to his former visit. Now he was a Baptist, a proclaimed adversary of Zwingli--a hunted bird treat quick y fell prey to the arts of the fowler." –Ibed p. 71. Hubmaier was born at Fieldburg Bavaria in 1480, and was baptized by Reubline, a Baptist preacher, at Walshut in 1525, and was martyred in 1528. Sebastian Frank relates that the Baptists at first increased to many thousands, so that the world was apprehensive of an uproar from them, but of this (as I hear, writes he) they were found innocent.--Idem, p. 80. This was in 1528.

"Notwithstanding the edict of the council of Zurich to put to death every stubborn Baptist, the magistrates of Groningnen displayed a desire to deal leniently with the prisoners."--Ibed, p. 81. This was also in 1528. Augustine Wurzelburger, who was probably a native of Landshut, was baptized on a confession of his faith in Christ in the Pruklerwald, not far from Regensburg. He also became a leader and teacher among the Baptist churches in Bavaria, visiting its various towns to make known divine truth."--The edicts of the Emperor Charles V. against the Baptists, published A. D. 1535, Idem, p. 138. As the force of conscience and power of truth did not cease, but were increased and inflamed by the opposition of the papacy against the pious Christians who had, according to Christ's command, been baptized upon a profession of their faith, it came to pass that a certain pious brother named Quirinus Pieterson, born at Groningnen, separating himself from the papacy, repaired to the Cross-bearing Church of Jesus Christ, called Baptists, or as they were contemptuously named Anabaptists, and was incorporated into the Church, being baptized upon a confession of his faith by Menno Simons, who at that time was one of the principal teachers in Friesland."--Idem, pp. 261, 272. About six years after Pieterson joined the Baptists, he removed to Holland and settled in Amsterdam, in order to live there in quiet enjoyment of his faith and conscience. He was soon discovered by the Romish magistrates; was apprehended, and being unwilling to swerve from what he believed to be the truth, he was finally condemned on the sixteenth of April in the year 1545, to be committed to the flames, and thereby to suffer death.

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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.