header image
Home arrow Writers arrow J.S. Newman arrow Baptists In All Ages: Chapter III
Baptists In All Ages: Chapter III PDF Print E-mail
Written by J.S. Newman   

The Paulicians, Paterines, and Waldenses.

The Paulicians arose about the middle of the seventh century and continued till the eleventh century, when they amalgamated with the Waldenses and other kindred sects (Benedict p. 51). The Paterines arose about the tenth century in Italy. They spread extensively in that kingdom, also in Poland, Bohemia and France, and were finally absorbed, in the thirteenth century, in the great body of the Waldenses. Mr. T. R. Burnett, a Campbellite 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."--Christian Messenger, Dec. 8, 1886. Three hundred and fifty years carries the Baptists back to 1536, and there the Primitive Baptists, Brunett says, connect with the Waldensian line, and that line connects them with the "apostolic day." The Catholics accused the Waldenses of being two-seeders, of believing that God was the author of sin. that man is like a log or a stone, and that, according to their views of predestination, "It is of little consequence whether we do good or evil," and "that we reject repentance and confession of sins," and "that the church was once actually lost." Now read their answer to the above charges: "We do therefore reject all the above articles falsely imputed to us, as heretical; we condemn and detest them; and from the very heart denounce an anathema against those who teach them."--Peyran's History of the Waldenses, pp. 467, 468. Lindanus, who was a Catholic. said that Calvin inherited the doctrine of the Waldenses. Mezeray said of the Waldenses, "They held nearly the same opinions as those who are now called Calvinists." Gualtier, a Catholic monk. said that the principles of the Waldenses and those of the Calvinists coincided with each other. Pope Plus II declared the doctrine taught by Calvin to be the same as that of the Waldenses. (Jones, p. 297.)

I wish to copy their third article of faith, published in 1544:

"1. We believe that there is but one God, who is a Spirit--the Creator of all things--the Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all; who is to be worshipped in spirit and in truth--upon whom we are continually dependent, and to whom we ascribe praise for our life, food, raiment, health, sickness, prosperity, and adversity. We love Him as the source of all goodness; and reverence Him as the sublime being, who searches the reins and trieth the hearts of the children of men.

"2. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son and image of the Father--that in Him all the fullness of the Godhead dwells, and that by Him alone we know the Father. He is our Mediator and advocate; nor is there any other name given under heaven by which we can be saved. In His name alone we call upon the Father, using no other prayers than those contained in the Holy Scriptures, or such as are in substance agreeable thereunto.

"3. We believe in the Holy Spirit as the Comforter, proceeding from the Father, and from the Son; by whose inspiration we are taught to pray; being by Him renewed in the spirit of our minds; who creates us anew unto good works, and from whom we receive the knowledge of the truth.

"4. We believe that there is one holy church, comprising the whole assembly of the elect and faithful, that have existed from the beginning of the world, or that shall; be to the end thereof. Of this church the Lord Jesus Christ is the head--it is governed by His word and guided by the Holy Spirit. In the church it behooves all Christians to have fellowship. For her He (Christ) prays incessantly, and His prayer for it is most acceptable to God, without which indeed there could be no salvation.

"5. We hold that the ministers of the church ought to be unblamable both in life and doctrine; and if found otherwise, that they ought to be deposed from their office, and others substituted in their stead; and that no person ought to presume to take that honor unto himself but he who is called of God as was Aaron, that the duties of such are to feed the flock of God, not for filthy lucre's sake, or as having dominion over God's heritage, but as being examples to the flock, in word. in conversation, in charity, in faith, and in chastity."--Jones, p. 278.

These ancient Waldenses were Primitive Baptists or Regular Predestinarian Baptists. Jones says, "They had no reverend gentleman--no privileged order of clergymen, paid or pensioned, for discharging the duties of the pastoral office among them." Osiander said, "Our Anabaptists were the same with the Donatists of old." Danvers on Baptism, p. 223, "The Donatists of old were with Montanus and Tertullian and these men were directly connected with Polycarp and Polycarp was the disciple of John." In the year 1633 a number of Independents, who were Pedobaptists, became convinced of the correctness of Baptist doctrine and practice, and sent Richard Blunt into Holland to a Baptist church known to be in the regular succession from the ancient Waldenses. The church that was organized September 12, 1633, was called a Regular Baptist church. This church and six other churches in England and one in Gaul or France first published ;he London Confession of Faith in 1643, and from these Baptists the Primitive Baptists of the United States principally descended.

< Previous   Next >


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.