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Written by G.M. Thompson   


Primitive Monitor--October 1887

HASSELL’S HISTORY OF THE CHURCH

THE history of the church of God, the trials and persecutions through which she has passed, and the wonderful display of God’s power in preserving her through all the dark ages of pagan and papal persecu­tion should write in our hearts the truth of Christ’s words, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against her.” I can think of nothing that is better calculated to en­courage and comfort the people of God, in the sore trials through which they are called to pass in this world, than to be acquainted with their own history, and to witness the fatherly care, and protecting power of God that has been over and around them in all ages. Christ saith to his disciples, “So I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” And this precious promise has been faithfully verified to his faithful servants, in the prison, at the stake, or when their bodies were being consumed by the devouring flames. Although millions of our brethren have been cruelly put to death as martyrs for the truth, so that there is not a continent or country whose soil has not been stained with their blood, yet truth could never be destroyed, and God has never been left without a faithful witness who counted not his life dear unto himself, and could not be terrified by the threats, persecutions, tortures, and cruelties of the enemies of God avid of truth to hold his peace. The history of these faithful ones is an interesting study, and to find that in all ages they have been a little band, but few in comparison with their enemies, and that their doctrine and practice has been hated by the world and the religions of the world, should impress on our hearts the belief that they are the true servants of God, for our blessed Lord hath said “Strait is the gait, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” And again, “My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom from hence.” And again the blessed Lord says, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world; but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” This people is not of the world, God has chosen them out of the world, and by the regenerating power of his Spirit and grace, has separated them from the world, translated them from the power of darkness into the kingdom of his dear Son; and the same world and false religionists that hated the Son and persecuted him and put him to death, will hate them, and persecute them, and put them to death. If we find ourselves identified in doctrine and practice with the martyrs and faithful of past ages, we may with boldness claim to be the church of God, the pillar and ground of the truth. This point has been kept very plainly before the eye of the reader through the whole of Brother Hassell’s History, and I can not see how any one can read it and not feel a conviction in his heart that the poor and despised people of all ages, who have been hated and persecuted by the heathen and the falsely Christian world are the true servants of Christ. One trait of character has followed them through all ages of the world, and has brought upon them the hatred of the world and all worldly churches, and that peculiarity may be expressed in the following words: Loyalty to Christ, and an unyielding accepting of him as their only Head, King, Lawgiver, and Savior; and taking the New Testament as their rule of faith and practice in all things, and persistent and unyielding, by declar­ing nonfellowship with all doctrines, practices, institu­tions, and societies not commanded or authorized by Christ or his apostles.

By reading Brother Hassell’s history you will find the foot-prints of this people through all the dark and bloody ages; and you will find them now in the nineteenth century, still comparatively a little band hated by the world, and persecuted by all the so-called religious sects with which they are sur­rounded. To this little band the Savior says, “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” And I feel confident that no one whose mind is not blinded with prejudice, can read the History and connect it with the account given in the Acts of the apostles, of the first churches, and the teachings of the apostles, but will say that the Primitive Baptists of this day are the little flock Christ speaks so encouragingly to, for there are none other but what have conformed to the world, and are teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. I would advise all Primitive Baptists to get Brother Hassell’s History, and read it carefully, and encourage your children to read it, for I am sure that a more faithful and honest history of the church of God has never been given by an uninspired man. If you as parents feel it your duty to provide for your children books beside the Bible for them to read, you should select such as will not lead them away from the truth; and such a book I think Brother Hassell’s History is. The Bible is the first book to be studied by Christians; it is our infallible rule of faith and practice, and we should study it well, and by it try all the spirits that come among us, and if they teach any thing not found there, and introduce among us societies and practices not commanded by Christ or taught by the apostles we are to reject them as belonging to the world and antichrist.

To the brethren and sisters I would say, “Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free, and be not entangled in the yoke of bondage, or lead away from Christ by the cunning craftiness of them that lie in wait to deceive.” The Lord keep us all by his grace in the strait and narrow way, where but few travel.

Your brother in hope,

G. M. THOMPSON

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Purpose

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.