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Baptists In All Ages: Chapter XII PDF Print E-mail
Written by J.S. Newman   

Campbellism. 

Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth, not the true origin of my people, the Primitive Baptists, but to cast reflections and aspersion upon them, I have taken in hand to set forth in miniature, and regular order a declaration of their origin and faith which are most assuredly believed by us, His witnesses, even as the Lord delivered them unto us, "Which from the beginning were witnesses, and ministers of the word."--Luke i. 2. It seemed good to me also, having had some knowledge, and understanding of the things believed, "from the very first," to write unto thee in order, most versatile enemies of truth, what we believe about our origin. We feel to be of age, and amply able through divine grace to know of our origin and from whence we came. We are absolutely sure that the God of heaven set up or established His church. "And in the days of these kings (described above) shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever."--Dan, ii. 44. The Son of God said, "And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church: and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."--Matt, xvi. 18. Paul well said, "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear."--Heb. xii. 28. "Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."--Eph. iii. 21. These Scriptures prove that the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed which shall not be left to other people, which shall consume all these kingdoms; which shall stand forever; which was built upon a rock; which the gates of hell shall not prevail against: which was received by the saints; which cannot be moved; in which glory was to be found by "Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."

I will now proceed to prove by the Campbellites themselves that the Church which God set up was a Baptist Church. "First Century, Anno Domini, 33: We read in a well attested history of a large Baptist Church which was formed and exhibited as a GRAND MODEL, by the immediate agency of the Holy Spirit. It is incontrovertibly evident that the first Christian Church planted on earth was, in respect of baptism, as now distinguished, a Baptist Church, or a church composed of baptized believers. It is true it is not called by Luke a Baptist Church, for all churches were imitators of the First Church; and to have called it a Baptist Church would have implied that there was a Pedobaptist church, too, which was a thing unknown in the apostolic age, as ancient historians declare. The second church planted on earth was also composed of men and women who professed faith before baptism; consequently, a Baptist Church. The third church of note, and in order of time, was the church of Caesarea, a church interesting to us, inasmuch as it was a Gentile church, or a Gentile people composed it. This church was evidently a Baptist Church."--Campbell-Walker Debate, pp. 262, 263.

Thus we prove by Campbell that the first three churches organized were Baptist Churches, and were. therefore, models for all aftertime. Campbell claimed that as the kingdom was with national Israel until they rejected Christ. just so the Church was with the Baptists until they rejected him and his teachings in 1827. Hear him: "That as it was with the Jews in the times of the Messiah, so it is now with the Baptists." "The nation, as such. continued to be the kingdom of God until they rejected the offered salvation." Millennial Harbinger. Vol. 1, pp. 57, 58.

In speaking of the Church. T. R. Burnett said, "In the days of Alexander Campbell it was wearing the name Baptist Church."---Ray-Burnett Debate, p. 5. On page 7 of the same book he says, "With Alexander Campbell, we say the kingdom was with the Baptists before he and his coadjutors started the reformation, and (they) are vet a part of that kingdom, though entangled in some errors."

The Church, according to Campbellitic testimony, started with the Baptists, and it continued with them until the reformation started by A. Campbell and his coadjutors. If, as Campbell and Burnett teach, the Church started with the Baptists. and Daniel was correct when he said, "And the kingdom shall not be left to other people" (Dan. ii. 44), then it follows to an absolute demonstration that the Church is still with the Baptists. The Campbellites are entirely another people; and the Bible being true, the Church is not with them.

Hear Campbell again: "The Papists can trace their origin to the apostolic times, and produce unequivocal testimonies of their existence in every century down to the present time."--Campbell-Walker Debate, p. 262. On page 264 Mr. Campbell says. "The testimonies of God are the foundation on which our faith and practice rest; therefore, when we quote other authorities, it is not as foundations, on which the faith of any should rest, either in whole or in part, but to put to silence the ignorance of foolish men, who ignorantly assert that the Baptist sentiments are novel, or that the sect is of modern date."

In speaking of the second century, Mr. Campbell says, "Justin Martyr's public defense of the Christians of the second century is a sufficient document to show that the Baptist sentiments at that time universally prevailed."--Ibed, p. 265. In speaking of the fifth century, Mr. Campbell says, "As the object of this brief sketch is merely to produce a competent number of witnesses to the truth, that believers baptism, or that Baptist principles were professed, and taught, and practiced in every century since the Christian era to the present day, I shall not be too prolix in my quotations."--Ibed, p. 268. Ill speaking of the thirteenth century. Campbell says. "In this century Jacob Merningus says 'That he had in his hand, in the German tongue, a confession of the faith of the Baptists.' "--Ibed. p. 270. On the same page he further says, "The Confession of the Thaborites. in the year 1431. confirms that in this century there were many Baptists, especially in Bohemia." Speaking of the fifteenth century, the same writer says, "In this century the Baptists spread amazingly."--Ibed, p. 270. On page 273 Mr. Campbell says.. "While on the subject of the antiquity of the Baptists, and of the evidence of their existence since the birthday of Christianity, I will, for the entertainment of the common reader, give in a few sentences the history, in miniature, of Christianity in England, or rather in Britain, whose history is so interesting to so many.

On page 278 Mr. Campbell, in speaking of the concession of Mosheim, said. "This concession from a noted enemy, in a great measure, proves (had I no other proof) the correctness of the proposition I assumed, and documented with so many extracts, viz. That the Baptists commenced on the day of Pentecost and continued from that time until now."

The debate from which I have been quoting was held in 1822. For that length of time the Church of Jesus Christ was with the Baptists, so says the founder and head of the Campbellitic church. I have before me a copy of the Campbell-Maccalla Debate. This debate was held in 1823. On page 378, Mr. C. says, "And we might more reasonably tell of the bloody deeds of the Catholics, Calvinists, Lutherans, and impute them to their followers than Mr. Maccalla to tell us of the German Anabaptists, whom we disclaim; and independent of whose existence, clouds of witnesses attest the fact, that before the reformation from popery, and from the apostolic age to the present time, the sentiments of the Baptists and their practice of baptism have had a continued chain of advocates and public monuments of their existence in every century can be produced." On page 386 Mr. Campbell said, "But that upon the Presbyterian hypothesis, the Baptists were still in a better condition as to this peculiar power of office than the Presbyterians; for there were Baptists in all ages that never acknowledged the mother of harlots."

I have before me Mr. Campbell's work on baptism, edition of 1851, which was published by him twenty-four years after he was excluded from the Baptists. On page 409 he says, "Hence, it is that the Baptist denomination, in all ages and in all countries, has been, as a body, the constant asserters of the rights of man and liberty of conscience. They have often been persecuted by Pedobaptists, but they never politically persecuted, though they have had it in their power to do it." Mr. Burnett, who is a Campbellite preacher, editor and debater, said, "The Baptists have connection with the apostles through their line of succession, which extends back three hundred and fifty years, where it connects with the Waldensian line, and that reaches to the apostolic day. This is not a Baptist line, but the Baptists have connection with this line, and through it have connection with the apostles. We were talking about successional connection. Baptists also have connection with the apostles in what they teach and practice."--Church Perpetuity, p. 314. Mr. Burnett made the above statement in 1886, which carries the Baptists back to 1536, which was seventy-one years before John Smyth.

In 1905 Mr. B. said "There were no Baptist churches on earth during the first fifteen hundred years after Christ. I have not been able to find a Baptist Church in history prior to John Smyth (1607)."--Baptist Blunders, p. 32.

And yet he said they extended back to 1536, and still he is unable to find them in history prior to 1607.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 12 September 2006 )
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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.