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Three witnesses for the Baptists
Autor: CURTIS PUGH  |  Album: fara album  |  Tematica: Diverse
Resursa adaugata de Anabaptistul in 11/02/2009
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Foreword



It is with a great deal of pleasure I write the Foreword to this second edition of Three Witnesses for the Baptists by Elder Curtis Pugh. Bro. Pugh is presently a missionary out of our church doing mission work in Romania. He has been a close friend of mine for a number of years. While some missionaries seek to avoid all controversy to keep their support high, Bro. Pugh takes a strong stand for church truth.

We live in a time when many Baptist churches are in a state of apostasy. Never has there been a time when Baptists are so ignorant

of their own heritage. It is difficult to find a Baptist Successionist. Most brethren hold to Anabaptist Kinship theory of Baptists Beginning, and some have even embraced the English Separatist Descent theory. Many brethren are convinced there is no such thing as a succession of true churches from the days of Christ to the present time.

There is no doubt in my mind that from the days of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ one church has started another church, according to the apostolic pattern. It poses no problem for the Almighty Savior of the body (Eph. 5:23) to perpetuate a link chain of true churches, valid baptisms, and properly ordained ministers through the ages. The eternal security of the church as an institution is as believable as the eternal security of the believer, for both have the same Savior.

Truth is invincible, indestructible, incorruptible, and immortal. Wicked spirits and evil men may oppose it, but they can never dispose of it. When all its enemies lie dead upon the battlefield, truth remains and sets up trophies of victory. The heavens shall dissolve (II Pet. 3:12), but not the truth which came from Heaven. The truth has never been left without a witness in the darkest times of satanic oppression and man’s bloody persecution. The truth has been preserved from the first century until now because Christ has had on earth New Testament churches who are the pillar and ground of the truth (I Tim. 3:15).

Those who love their Baptist heritage will enjoy this book.

Milburn Cockrell













Acknowledgements



Second Edition

Writing this book has been undertaken with a view to the glory of God, for the Bible says, “Unto him [God] be glory in the church

by Christ Jesus throughout all ages...” (Eph. 3:21). Thus all things are rightfully dedicated to the glory of God. Many Brothers and Sisters have helped by their interested encouragement concerning this project. Special appreciation goes to those whose criticism and counsel emboldened me to undertake such an endeavor. Many thanks to my pastor Milburn Cockrell, and Baptist elders Richard Eckstein, Jarrell Huffman, Forrest Keener, Delbert Shults, and Michael McCoskey.

The membership of the Berea Baptist Church, Bloomfield, NM, under the leadership of their pastor, Brother Richard Eckstein, first published this book. This second edition is published under the authority of the Berea Baptist Church, Mantachie, Mississippi where my wife and I have the privilege of being members. Those many churches and individuals who faithfully support our mission efforts by prayer and financial help have my deepest gratitude and appreciation. Apart from traveling among these churches, this preacher would never have been able to visit the libraries he has visited or to learn the things he has learned. It is by means of these faithful ones that this book has come into being. Thank you!

I wish to express special appreciation to my wife, companion and best friend, Janet. She has helped me much in this project and has borne with me through many hours. Our younger daughter, Anna, has also helped much in this project. Their work in proofreading has been immeasurable.

This book is the result of time spent in the wee hours of the morning after other duties were done and in odd hours here and there over a period of several years. Any fault is mine.

Curtis Pugh

Berzovia, Romania























Preface

Second Edition

We rejoice that sufficient interest in this book exists to warrant it’s republication in a second edition. Only a few minor changes have been made for clarification so that materially this edition is the same as the first.

This publication is not intended to be just another book on the church for preachers! Our purpose is to present the issues as they presently are and to provide concrete evidence as to the apostolic origin of true New Testament Baptist churches. This we have tried to do in a concise, readable and usable format. It is our desire that this little book be useful to every genuine lover of the truth.

This work is presented in four chapters in an attempt to meet the Bible standard for establishing truth. Thus, as was commanded

by the Old Testament Law of God (Deut. 17:6; 19:15), approved by the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 18:16), and set forth as sound procedure by our brother, Paul, “in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established,” (2 Cor. 13:1).

After some necessary introductory considerations in chapter one, the three groups of “witnesses” shall be presented as follows. THE FIRST WITNESS: in chapter two our Baptist forefathers shall testify as to their understanding of our origin. THE SECOND WITNESS: in chapter three our historic enemies shall attest the continual existence of churches founded on Baptist principles. THE THIRD WITNESS: in chapter four the Scriptures shall be examined as to the teachings and promises of the Son of God affecting His church and her ordinances. We believe such testimony as is presented herein would convince any candid jury in favor of the Baptists! The Glossary is meant to be read as it has much information for the reader. While the documentation introduced is not intended to be exhaustive, its cumulative effect should convince any sincere inquirer. Bible believers will be assured of the truth in that we will have more than met the Scriptural requirement of “two or three witnesses.” May God give the reader grace to believe and understand the truth and then give him or her the grace needed to practice it! May God be pleased to bring His chosen people into the Lord’s churches that they may serve Him “acceptably with reverence and godly fear,” (Heb. 12:28).



















Chapter One



INTRODUCTORY

CONSIDERATIONS



As was aptly stated in a booklet published many years ago by

the Southern Baptist Convention, Baptists believe that:

“No man can be more liberal than the Bible and be true to

Christ.” 1

This is the historic Baptist position! This is also the view of

modern, Bible-believing Baptists who want to be true to Christ in

spite of the present situation.

The Present Situation

Some liberal “Baptists” are striding toward unification with

Roman Catholicism. Many others remain firm in their conviction

that continued separation from both the “Mother of Harlots” and

her Protestant daughters is the only right course of action. The

following quotation is furnished merely as an illustration of the

unionizing tendencies now prevalent among some Baptist groups.

Clearly, certain liberal elements within the once conservative

Southern Baptist Convention of the United States are thus actively

engaged.

“Southern Baptist and Roman Catholic scholars have declared

that they basically agreed on doctrinal issues. Sponsored by the

Catholic Bishop’s Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious

Affairs and the Southern Baptist Department of Interfaith Witness,

the dialogue group recently released a report in the “Theological

Educator.” Quoting Eph. 4:5, the group concluded “We not only

confessed but experienced ‘One Lord, one faith, and one baptism”2

As a further example of the present move among some Baptists

toward union with Roman Catholicism, and a more current one,

consider the following news item.

“COLUMBIA, S.C. - The agreement between evangelicals and

Roman Catholics to end their ‘loveless conflict’ is being welcomed

in some parts of the Bible Belt.

“The agreement signed a week ago by evangelical leaders,

including Pat Robertson, and by Catholic bishops continues progress

that began seven years ago when Pope John II visited South Carolina

and suggested closer ties, religious leaders said.

“‘Indeed, is it not the duty of every follower of Christ to work

8 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

for the unity of all Christians?’ the pope told 26 American leaders

of several denominations at the time.

“Parishioners at West Columbia’s First Baptist Church said they

were glad to hear of the recent agreement, especially the part calling

for an end to trying to convert each other...” 3

Anyone who understands the Bible message of salvation by

grace alone and who is aware of the teachings of the Roman Catholic

Church will agree that the two are poles apart. Although Catholicism

mouths the words of the Bible, she teaches salvation by works. Of

course, most Protestants teach works for salvation and liberal

“Baptists” do the same. Some “Baptists” are just as guilty of desiring

a union of all “Christian denominations” as is the Catholic hierarchy.

This is evidenced by the following statements made by

“parishioners” of the First Baptist Church of Columbia, South

Carolina.

“Baptists and Catholics each believe theirs is the only religion

to follow, parishioner Dale Finley said.

“‘I think for peace, they should work together and quit trying

to shove (beliefs) down their throats,’ she said.

“Helen Ford, another member of the large brick church with a

wooden cross of flowers on its lawn the day after Easter, said she

welcomed the cooperative effort.

“‘I’m not so narrow that I cannot accept the fact that there are

other very good Christian people in other denominations,’ she said.

‘I think we’re all working toward the same goal; we’re just taking

different routes to get there.’” 4

These last statements quoted are indicative of the sad doctrinal

decline among some who call themselves Baptists. They do not

know the truth, or have heard and rejected it.

Jesus said “the truth shall make you free.” There is no salvation

apart from the truth. Genuinely converted individuals are

characterized by a knowledge of the truth. Regenerate persons do

not have a perfect knowledge of truth, but a genuine knowledge,

nevertheless. Truth, similarly, sets the churches of God apart from

those that are false. The Lord’s churches are the “pillar and ground

of the truth.” Doubtless, therefore, the devil is attempting to do

away with true New Testament churches. If true Baptists are New

Testament churches, the way to do away with them is to destroy

their distinctive principles. This is the “modus operandi” presently

used by the enemy of truth, the one whom Jesus said was “a liar

and the father of it” ( John 8:44).

Satan is often subtle in bringing about misrepresentations of

9 Introductory Considerations

the truth. He instigates mockery of the Bible and Bible-believers.

He promotes man-glorifying freewill-ism, the Holy-Spirit-glorifying

charismatic movement, doctrine-denying interdenominationalism,

and the “universal invisible church” theory that denigrates the

Church Jesus built. He attempts to accomplish his goal under the

guise of brotherly love, unity and scholarship. After all, he argues,

if all Christians are in one great “universal invisible church” and

thus all part of one “mystical body” why should they not get together

down here? Thus, he persuades the unthinking, and he

coincidentally makes Bible-believing Baptists look like unloving,

bigoted fanatics because they will not join with “evangelical

Christians.”

Satan has actively promoted these hurtful doctrines in leading

colleges, seminaries and publishing houses in our own day. Because

of this activity, he is enjoying some success as most Protestant

organizations are now conducting “ecumenical dialogue” with the

Harlot. Cooperation, pulpit affiliation, reception of immersions,

union meetings, etc. between even some so-called “Baptists” and

the Protestant daughters of the Harlot are now common.

Charismatic Protestants are now one in spirit with Charismatic

Catholics. Doctrinal purity has thus been sacrificed on the altar of

Christian union.

If Baptist churches could be obliterated, the process of

ecumenical union (not unity) would be made easier. Few oppose

the merger of all churches into the Romish system other than healthy

Baptists. “Evangelicals” in North America are having their

distinctiveness eroded away by New Evangelicalism, liberalism and

the Charismatic movement. Most “evangelical Christians” do not

even realize what is happening! The end-time one-world church is

just around the corner!

Many “Baptists” are fed Protestant fodder that is prepared in

apostate seminaries and effectively disseminated through

unscriptural denominational machinery, literature and programs.

In spite of this, God still has a remnant who will not surrender

Bible principles. These very principles are what make them Baptists.

These historic principles keep this remnant of New Testament Baptist

churches from organizing under some earthly headquarters,

fellowship, convention or association.

After all, in spite of what you may have been led to believe, it is

no sin to be a Baptist in a Baptist church practicing Biblical Baptist

principles!

10 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

The Issues Stated

Although often accused of believing that they alone will be in

Heaven, Baptists do not believe that only Baptists are saved!

Salvation is an individual matter. Salvation is the result of the work

of the sovereign grace of God in the individual heart. We are happy

to recognize that God’s people may be found in many

denominations. One Baptist writer of another generation has well

said:

“Calling on God to witness his sincerity, the author of this book

gladly expresses his Christian affections for every blood-washed

soul - whatever may be his or her creed.” 5

Baptist elder Claude Duval Cole, formerly an instructor at the

Toronto Baptist Seminary, had this to say:

“While claiming to be the true church, Baptists do not deny the

salvation of others. We put salvation in the person of Jesus Christ,

and believe any and every sinner who pins his faith and hope to

Jesus Christ will be saved. We never tell the sinner to unite with a

Baptist Church in order to be saved. Like John the Baptist we point

the sinner to the Lamb of God, even the Lord Jesus Christ, Whose

blood cleanseth from all sin.” 6

However, there is another matter to be considered here: the

matter of acceptable service to God. Is everything that goes by the

name of service to Christ acceptable to God? If Christ did establish

His kind of church and such churches still exist upon the earth, are

not those churches important to Him? Will He not surely be angry

with all who have thought His work inconsequential? Will he be

pleased with those who have refused to serve Him in His church?

Shall those who continue to rebel against His order and authority

be rewarded along with those faithful servants who have borne the

brunt of opposition and persecution down through the centuries?

If we would please Christ, must we not do things His way? After

all, did He not say, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command

you” ( John 15:14). Did He not command His church to teach

converts to “observe ALL THINGS” He had commanded?

David learned to his anguish that not just any procedure is

permissible with God. He tried to serve God in a way that was

popularly acceptable but foreign to the Word of God. David’s

inappropriate (sinful) method in attempting to return the Ark of

the Covenant to its rightful place resulted in terrible judgement.

God’s anger was vented on Uzzah! What sorrow, frustration, fear

and mistrust must have swept through the nation Israel following

this evident judgement of God. Following this tragedy David was

11 Introductory Considerations

both “displeased” and “afraid of God” (1 Chr. 13:11, 12). Visualize

the terrible consequences in the nation Israel when the monarch

was in such a wretched spiritual condition! Can you see the

consequences of disregarding God’s revealed will regarding the

Divinely ordained way of service today? Do you doubt that

Christendom has run amuck with all its man-made organizations,

methods, activities and plans?

David was made to see that the reason for the catastrophe

incurred in moving the Ark was “...that we sought him [God] not

after the due order” (1 Chr. 15:13). How important that principle is!

In service to God we must do things the way He instructed!

God had said that His priests were to walk and carry the Ark

on poles provided for the work. The nations around them might

use oxen to pull their idols about on flower-laden, newly painted

carts - and even got by with putting God’s Ark on such a cart. But

God’s chosen people, while not specifically forbidden to do the same,

were specifically commanded to do otherwise. There is a basic Bible

principle displayed here! It is important to remember that a specific

positive command implies and includes specific negative

prohibitions. The command to do one thing automatically forbids doing

anything else! A clear understanding of that principle causes sound

Baptists to insist that things must be done the Bible way! We have

no right to innovate in either worship or service to God!

Sincerity was not enough! Being acceptable to the people round

about was not enough! Doing things like their pagan neighbors

was not acceptable! There was a right way then, and there is a “due

order” for acceptable service to God and Christ today! Acceptable

service to God today is in a New Testament church in submission

to the Great Head of the church. There is no other institution that

was founded by Christ and authorized by Christ to do His work in

the earth!

When God’s children have the truth taught to them they are

gladly obedient to it. Spiritual “goats” “butt” at the truth; God’s

sheep are led by Christ, the Shepherd, through His Word. Because

of the work of the Holy Ghost, multitudes have been led to be

Baptists by the truth of the Scriptures. This writer is one! We urge

you to search the Scriptures that you may perceive the truth and

“...let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with

reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire” (Heb.

12:28, 29).

12 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

Baptist History Versus Religious History

Either by design or by unconscious bias, popularly accepted

history is most often the recounting of events in a manner favorable

to the dominant party. Throughout history the parties in power

have been either a Protestant sect or a branch of Catholicism. First

one group then the other was in control. Power changed hands

from time to time and from country to country as religious politics

fluctuated. Since Baptist churches are not and have never been in

that ruling position, though at times they could have been, history

is most often slanted against us. It is not our objective here to recount

either the history of religion or the history of the Lord’s churches.

(These two histories are not the same!) However, the reader should

be alert to the fact that what is usually represented as “church”

history may not be the history of the Lord’s true churches at all

when viewed in the light of all the facts. Hear the statement of

Professor C. D. Cole:

“What is known and taught as Church History is in reality the

history of Christianity rather than a history of the church Christ

founded and promised perpetuity to. History reveals that the true

Church as an institution was represented by local congregations as

opposed by a developing and growing hierarchy until the bishop

of Rome is made Pope or Supreme Bishop.” 7

The dominant party soon became what today is known as the

Roman Catholic Church. That she is a mixture of paganism and

Old Testament Jewish practices under Christian names is clear. Hear

the words of an old English Baptist brother regarding “church

history” being the history of a corrupt “Judaism”. [We have

modernized his spelling.]

“What is all church history but an account of people, who under

the name of Christians lived as the Jews lived? Had the Jews a

priesthood? So had they. Had the Jews a priest of priests, an high

priest? They had one in prospect, and each aimed to be the man.

Did the Jews keep the Passover, and worship God by rituals? So

did they. Had the Jews Ecclesiastical courts? So had they. Were the

Jews governed by traditions of elders? So were they. Had the Jews

a temple and an altar, and a sacrifice? So had they. Did the Jews

place religion in the performance of ceremonies and not in the

practice of virtue? So did they. Have the Jews monopolized God,

and hated all mankind except themselves? So have they. 8

To understand the history of the Lord’s churches, the reader

should be aware that until relatively recently, Baptists had neither

historians among themselves nor histories of their own writing.

13 Introductory Considerations

Baptists were ravaged initially by civil governments goaded by

whatever religious establishment was in power at the time. First the

Jews instigated persecution against the Lord’s churches. Later, pagan

idolaters violently opposed the churches. Afterwards, both Catholic-controlled

and Protestant-controlled “courts” condemned Baptists

and turned them over to the “secular arm” for punishment and

most often execution.9

Our Baptist forefathers were hounded from place to place as

outlaws in most kingdoms of the world. Forced to live in constant

peril because of their doctrines and practices (neither of which was

ever a hazard to any individual or civil power), these Baptists had

neither time, opportunity nor inclination to employ themselves with

recording their past. Other more immediate concerns pressed upon

them because of their circumstances. To write accounts of their

actions and their members would have resulted in arrests,

imprisonments and worse. Matters of doctrine required their efforts

as heresies were rampant in the churches round about them.

Doubtless their history would have been entirely lost had not their

persecutors written against them and so unintentionally chronicled

their existence. J.H. Grime stated it well:

“From the first rupture in the church, 250 A.D., that finally

resulted in Catholicism, to the Reformation 1520, A.D., the true

churches of Jesus Christ were known as Ana-Baptists and such other

local names as their enemies gave them. They were not permitted

to keep records or write their own history. But their enemies have

said enough for us to gather a fairly good history.” 10

Consequently, if we would find Baptists early on in history, we

must scrutinize the writings of their enemies who were then the

ruling party. In those writings, Baptists will not be represented as

Christ’s churches, but as the enemies of Christ. Mention will be

made of them in court records. Accounts of persecutions against

“heretics” will often present Baptists to view. Records of religious

disputations will introduce them to you. Histories of Roman

Catholicism, Protestant sects and those dissenters who opposed them

will often tell of our Baptist forefathers. The proceedings of church

councils who sought to exterminate them give testimony to their

patient continuance. Descriptions of the flogging and executions of

Baptists who stood against the dead ritualism and worldliness of

Popery often shine as beacons in Baptist history. As the “front page

church” continued in her departure from New Testament truth and

piety, the martyrs of Jesus shone forth as gold. We will find them -if

we look carefully - although we must often view them through

14 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

the smoke screen of dishonesty and fabrication. They will often be

slanderously charged with the most abhorrent sins and scathingly

condemned as heretics of the worst sort. But the undeniable fact

remains: people holding Baptist principles, observing Christ’s

ordinances and meeting in church capacity have continued to

surface in every generation since the days of Jesus Christ’s earthly

ministry! This fact cannot be denied by any honest and informed

person!

Baptists Differentiated

Surely to any honest and unprejudiced mind these three groups

of witnesses shall resolve the matter of whom the Baptists are and

conversely who are actually the Baptists! However, it is imperative

to point out one more thing. Baptists have waxed “respectable” in

the last two hundred years or so of their existence. Being no longer

viewed as “the off scouring of all things,” churches abound that

profess the name Baptist, but who bear little likeness to the churches

of the New Testament. This has come about because the name

Baptist, given first to John and later to those who baptize with his

baptism, has become socially acceptable although the old Baptist

doctrines and practices have not. Once this name was used as an

epithet of disdain and only those compelled by Bible principles to

own it were willing to do so. Now that the name is socially acceptable

and sometimes financially advantageous, many flock to its shadow.

The devil has failed in his many attempts to “murder” the

Baptists. He has put that weapon away in most parts of the world.

Now he usually resorts to his more formidable weapon, “mixture.”

Compromise has replaced killing in his armory. Whereas the devil

failed to destroy Christ’s churches by persecution, he now seeks to

persuade them away from the truth. We would warn our fellow

Baptists, if we may borrow the words of Paul, “This persuasion

cometh not of him that calleth you” (Gal. 5:8).

No doubt there are many members of these quasi-Baptist (see

glossary) churches who are sincere in their profession. They have

been immersed somewhere by someone into something called a church.

Perhaps it was called a Baptist church. We persist in the view that

such an act does not necessarily constitute them members of the

Lord’s church! Our spiritual forefathers would not have received

them based on their immersions. Neither can we!

Today, any immersion is sanctioned as valid baptism in most

religious circles. “Baptisms” are routinely accepted by many

“Baptist” churches today even though administered by ministers of

15 Introductory Considerations

congregations bearing little resemblance to the churches of the New

Testament. The fact that such congregations possess no valid claim

to being a Scriptural body of Christ seems to matter little to many

at this period in Baptist history. Any immersion is acceptable, in

the eyes of the religious enthusiasts of our day, if the candidate was

“sincere.” Our spiritual forefathers talked of “alien immersion” and

refused to accept it as valid. The point we wish to make is that not

all who claim the name are, in fact, Baptists in any historical and

Scriptural sense of the word! By that we also mean to say that not

all churches bearing the name Baptist are true churches of Christ!

The Baptist Name

The fact that some are sailing under false colors is insufficient

reason for us to lower our banner or exchange it for another. We

are aware that a few brethren are ready to throw away the name

Baptist since it has been accepted by so many who are in no way

true churches of Christ. To us, to do so would surely be to flee

before the enemies of Christ! We do not glory in a mere name, but

gladly accept the name “Baptist” for several reasons. S. E. Anderson

has well written:

“First, the name Baptist is a Scriptural name. It is found fifteen

times in the New Testament. It stands for the man whom Christ

approved with high praise. It signifies all that John believed and

taught his many converts to believe. They shared his views; they

had his viewpoint as to the Lord Jesus: they were as firm believers

in his Gospel and in baptism as converts could be. While it is not

said they were called Baptists (no need then), they could have been

so called with perfect propriety. They were Baptistic without being

partisan.

“Second, the name Baptist is a descriptive name. It describes one

who believes in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection on his behalf,

one who has voluntarily buried his past life of sin and has risen to

walk in newness of life with Christ, one who believes all that John

preached about Christ, one who believes all that Christ said about

His forerunner, and one who is obligated by his baptism to exhibit

the indwelling Christ in his life.

“Third, the name Baptist is doctrinally sound. Besides conveying

the salient points of the Gospel as mentioned above... it is solidly

based upon Scripture. For the Lord Jesus approved the name Baptist.

He used it repeatedly. The Holy Spirit directed its use. And God

the Father approved the baptism of John by His voice at the baptism

of His Son.

16 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

“Fourth, the name Baptist is unifying. Here is one act that any

convert, no matter how weak, can do in exactly the way Christ

Himself observed it. It is the same for all races, for bond or free, for

men or women, for all ages, for rich or poor, for the learned or

illiterate, for old or young, for entire families, for every country, for

every age, and it is accepted by every denomination. No other

“mode of baptism” has all these assets. d:”One Lord, one faith, one

baptism” (Eph. 4:5).

“Fifth, the name Baptist is Christ-centered. It points to Christ Who

died and rose again for us; it points to Christ as the Lamb of God

Who takes away the sin of the world; it points to Christ alone as

our Saviour. It therefore denies salvation by works, or by ordinances,

or by birth, or by character, or by ancestral covenant. In symbol it

puts to death and buries every claim anyone has on salvation by

works. It indicates, by complete submission to the baptizer as God’s

agent, entire dependence upon God. This name also reminds us of

John’s oft-quoted promise that Christ would baptize His followers

in the Holy Spirit.”11

Having frequently been blackened by vicious and imprecise

nicknames from ancient times, we consider the appellation “Baptist”

a forthright and honest one. To us the name Baptist speaks of New

Testament faith and practice that has successively existed since the

days of Christ and His apostles. In our minds it brings to view the

kind of church established by Jesus Christ during His earthly

ministry. It speaks to us of that Heaven-authorized gospel (Luke

16:16) and gospel-baptism instituted by John and continued by

Spirit-led men in every generation since then.

Baptist elder C. D. Cole had this to say about the Baptist name:

“The name Baptist is a denominational name to distinguish it

from other denominations. There were no denominational names

until there came to be distinct denominations. Before the time of

the so-called Reformation under Martin Luther there were scattered

churches under different names, and the Roman Catholic Hierarchy.

The Reformation started in the Roman Catholic Church, and was

only partial. The reformers took with them some of the heresies of

Rome such as baptismal regeneration, a graded ministry, and a

form of government much like that of Rome. And some of the

Protestant denominations hated and persecuted Baptists.

“Baptists are sometimes accused of being narrow bigots because

we believe Baptist churches are after the N.T. pattern. The line

must be drawn somewhere, for all the hundreds of diverse and

conflicting denominations cannot be the church Christ founded

17 Introductory Considerations

and to which He promised perpetuity...

“The writer is a Baptist but not a Baptist braggart. We lay no

claim to superiority in character or conduct or education. When

you find a Baptist with a superiority complex, you may be sure that

he is an off-brand. The churches of the first century were not made

up of perfect people in character and conduct. In an experience of

salvation the sinner becomes nothing in his own eyes and Christ

becomes all in all. Before his conversion Saul of Tarsus was proud

and self-righteous, but after he trusted Jesus as the Christ he thought

of himself as less than the least of all saints. See Eph. 3:8; Rom.

7:14-25; Phil 3:1-7; 1 Cor. 15:9.

“The first N.T. preacher was called John the Baptist: Matt. 3:1;

11:13; Luke 16:16. Proof that John’s baptism was valid is in the fact

that the followers of Christ and members of the first church had

only John’s baptism. The only difference between John’s baptism

and that of Christ is that John’s looked forward to the coming of

Christ, and since then valid baptism looks backward to the Christ

who has already come. John baptized those who confessed their

sins and who trusted the Christ who was to come: we baptize those

who profess faith in Jesus Christ who has already come.” 12

True Baptist churches follow both the instructions and the

models contained in the New Testament and stand in succession to

the first church. This qualifies true Baptist churches to administer

valid baptism just as John and Christ’s apostles did. Both Jesus and

His apostles, incidentally, submitted to John’s baptism (Matt. 3:13-

17; John 1:35-37; Acts 1:21-22).

We can recognize no other baptism as valid, although our

Protestant friends assure us that John’s baptism is not Christian

baptism. If it is not, we beg, tell us just when did this new “Christian

baptism” begin? And, we ask, just who was Divinely authorized to

initiate this modern baptism? We also would want to know just

when the apostles and all those obedient to John’s preaching were

rebaptized with this new “Christian baptism?” We would also

appreciate knowing just what this new “Christian baptism” depicts?

We believe honesty demands that those believers who are sailing

under false colors (claiming to be Baptists when they are not)

acknowledge their error and become sound Baptists. This would

require submitting to the “baptism of John” at the hands of an

ordained man administering baptism with the authority of a New

Testament church. Such a “re-baptism” is repugnant to many

“Baptists” who are Baptists in name only. They do not consider

that Paul “re-baptized” twelve men in Ephesus because they lacked

18 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

Scriptural baptism (Acts 19:1-5). If these “modern Baptists” remain

adamant in their unwillingness to submit to Scriptural baptism, we

would be gratified if they would change their colors. We believe

that they would more precisely and honestly portray themselves

before God and the world by removing “Baptist” from their names.

The Baptist Distinctive is the Protestant Dilemma

The following quote from one of our own generation represents

a clear and thorough statement of the historic Baptist position. To

point out that Baptist claims are based upon their concept of

salvation and of baptism, it is stated:

“1. Any religious assembly that preaches a false gospel and/or

practices a false baptism cannot be recognized as a true New

Testament Church of gospel order. All such assemblies who

fundamentally, characteristically and permanently preach a false

gospel come under the indictment of Gal. 1:6-9.

“2. Salvation and a profession of faith are undeniably

prerequisite to baptism. Salvation is not by means of baptism. True

believing disciples are the only proper subjects for baptism.

Immersion is the only proper mode of baptism.

“3. Scriptural baptism is absolutely necessary to church

constitution, organization and existence, so much so, that where

there is no Scriptural baptism there is no Scriptural church. No

baptism, no church.

“4. There is an intimate and inevitable connection between the

true doctrine of salvation and the proper administration of baptism.

Scriptural baptism is the representation of and the identification

with the Scriptural plan of salvation.

“5. According to the commands of Christ, the practice of the

early churches of the New Testament, the Epistles of Paul, and the

Confessions of Faith of all evangelical religious denominations...

baptism as an ordinance, was delivered to the New Testament church

to be administered by it according to Christ’s commands until He

returns.

“6. All the aspects of baptism, (the mode, subject, purpose and

administrator) are irrevocably fixed and prescribed by Christ’s

example and commands. These are to remain permanent and

unchanged. A consistent recognition of Christ’s Kingship over the

soul demands that these things be so, (Mal. 1:6; Luke 6:46), for

Christ only has the authority to make, give or alter the doctrines

and practices of the New Testament Church.

“7. Only churches of New Testament origin and New Testament

19 Introductory Considerations

order can give Scriptural baptism. Therefore, any religious society

that preaches a false gospel cannot give Scriptural baptism.”

What are the ramifications of the concepts? Consider the

further statements of the author we quote here:

“1. Strict Baptists have always believed that Catholicism is a

false religion that preaches a false gospel, described no doubt in

Rev. 17:1-18:24. Catholic assemblies cannot, therefore, give

Scriptural baptism. Many others have taken the same position as to

the invalidity of Catholic baptism. The Presbyterians, for example,

took the same position at the Presbyterian General Assembly (Old

School), May, 1845. This is recorded in ‘The Collected Writings

of J.H. Thornwell’ Vol. 3, pp. 277-413, Banner of Truth Edition,

1974. We state again, Catholic baptism is unscriptural, invalid, null

and void.

“2. Any person with Catholic baptism has no baptism. Any

denomination founded upon Catholic baptism has no baptism and

therefore no church validity. [All Protestant groups and those who

came out from them were formed by persons with Catholic baptism.]

The reason?... Number 3 above: ‘No baptism, no church.’ (See R.L.

Dabney’s Lectures in Systematic Theology, lecture 64, pp. 774-

775, for the same conclusion, i.e., ‘No baptism means no church’).

[Had Presbyterian minister, author, and theologian R.L. Dabney

been consistent in his practice with the definition of baptism, he

would have been compelled to be a Baptist!]

These concepts are the reasons for the “historic” Baptist practice

of baptizing all those who came over to them from any religious

society that is not of ‘like faith and order.’ This is why Baptists will

not accept Protestant rantism. All Protestant denominations are

founded upon Catholic and infant rantism.” 13 [“Rantism” from

Greek “rhantizo” - to sprinkle]. [All brackets mine: C.A.P.].

At issue, then, is this: if Baptists admit that Protestant “baptisms”

are Scriptural and valid, they must also admit that Romish baptisms

are Scriptural and valid because Rome is the originating source of

Protestant baptisms. Consider these words:

“...no Christian Pedobaptist [see glossary] has any other baptism

than he received from the priests of Rome. Luther, Calvin, Zwingle,

Knox, and all the first ministers, and all those who composed the

first societies of the Reformers, were baptized by Roman Catholic

priests, and in the Church of Rome, and consequently their baptisms

are unscriptural and invalid. But if their baptisms are invalid, then

their societies can not be considered churches in any sense, as there

can be no church without baptism; and if not churches, Protestant

20 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

ministers have no Scriptural right to preach the Gospel, or baptize

others into their societies. Moreover, by so doing they deceive and

mislead the people, causing them to believe they are baptized, when,

in fact, they are not; causing the people to believe that they are in

visible churches of Christ, when, in fact, and according to the

admissions of these leaders, they are not, but in human societies

that can never administer the ordinances of Christ’s Church.!” 14

[Brackets mine: C.A.P.].

This fact was recognized and agreed upon by representatives

of a large Presbyterian body during a previous century as follows:

“I was in the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in

1829, (a body of about two hundred members,) when a question

was sent us for decision: ‘Are the baptisms of Popish priests to be

accepted by our (Presbyterian) Churches as valid Baptisms?’ It was

discussed, and we should have voted ‘No,’ nearly unanimously;

but an influential and more shrewd one -secretly reflecting that

ALL our baptisms originally came from Popery - moved and

obtained an indefinite postponement of the subject.” 15

That Roman Catholicism became so corrupt as to provoke some

within her walls to attempt a reformation is a well-known fact. She

had corrupted the free grace of God into a works-religion of

baptismal regeneration, penances, ritual prayers, prayers for the

dead, prepaid indulgences to sin, grace coming through “the

sacraments,” etc., etc. Corruption of the gospel and gospel

ordinances caused her to cease being a church of Christ. All agree

that there can be no true church without the true gospel. This

corruption also made invalid her ordinances that by this time she

had perverted into soul-saving sacraments. Not being a church of

Christ, she had no Divine authority to administer baptism.

Her “reformers,” upon finding themselves ejected from the

Romish church, founded churches suitable to their own thinking.

They had been trained as Popish priests and brought much Romish

“baggage” with them over into their new “Protestant” churches.

They possessed Roman Catholic baptism that was no true baptism

since she was apostate. They “baptized” others with that same

Romish “baptism” for that was all they had. Thus the Protestant

“churches” are not churches at all in the Scriptural sense. Protestant

baptisms are invalid, coming from apostate Rome which was no

true church of Christ.

To be consistent, Protestants MUST receive Roman Catholic

baptisms as equal to their own for Protestant baptisms are nothing

more than a continuation of Romish baptisms. To reject persons

21 Introductory Considerations

having Catholic baptism would require that they “unbaptize and

unchurch” themselves. Upon the insistence of the individual, many

Catholic priests will immerse as the mode of baptism. Protestants,

if consistent, will accept these immersions as valid baptisms in spite

of the damnable heresies taught by Rome. The only people on

earth who can be consistent and reject such immersions are sound

Baptist churches.

The pastor of one “Baptist church” in the city of Whitehorse,

Yukon Territory, Canada related to me that Anglican immersions

would be received by his “Baptist church” since they recognized

Anglican assemblies as “Christian churches.” This illustrates the

point. IF Catholic and Protestant churches are indeed churches of

Christ, their immersions of believers must be valid. If such baptisms

are valid, then the reception by Baptists of all such immersions is

the logical conclusion that consistency demands.

Christ delegated authority to baptize to His New Testament kind

of churches. Churches founded by some man are not Christ’s

churches. Neither are churches that have gone off into apostasy the

Lord’s churches, for if that were the case, Christ would have the

Harlot for His bride! Only such regenerate persons as are immersed

by Christ’s churches have Scriptural baptism. This is the Baptist

distinctive and the Protestant’s dilemma.

In axiom form this can be presented in four statements.

“AXIOM I

A true Church of Christ is the only organization on earth

divinely authorized to preach the Gospel or to administer Church

ordinances.

“AXIOM II

A body, though once a true Church of Christ visible, apostatizing

from its original and scriptural faith and order, and teaching

doctrines in manifest contravention of them, can not be considered

a Church of Christ and its ordinances as valid.

“AXIOM III

If the majority of a true church should fall away from the

fundamental doctrines of the Gospel, perverting the ordinances to

the subversion of men’s souls, and should exclude the minority

that abides by the truth, such a majority, though it should retain the

name, would not be entitled to the claims of being a Church of

Christ, and all its acts and ordinances would be manifestly null and

void.

“AXIOM IV

The constitutional minority of any church, however small,

22 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

holding fast the doctrine and order of the Gospel, though excluded

and cast out by an apostate majority, must, in accordance with law

and reason, be considered a true Church and its ordinances valid

and scriptural.” 16

There can be no doubt among Bible-believing Christians as to

the apostasy of the Romish churches. Therefore it follows that her

administrations are invalid. Protestant administrations, having issued

from Rome, are similarly null and void of any Heavenly recognition.

Only faithful Baptist churches established in succession from the

first church have any claim to Divine authority to act in the matter

of baptism.

Two Canadian Illustrations of Biblical Practice

As illustrative of the ongoing practice of Baptists, let us look at

the following instances.

Caleb Blood in Canada

In 1802 Baptist elder Caleb Blood of the Fourth Baptist Church

in Shaftsbury, Vermont volunteered to travel into what is now

Ontario, Canada to do missionary work. His expenses were to be

met by the Shaftsbury Association. Ontario was then a wild and

largely unsettled place. The inhabitants of this new country were

British Empire Loyalists. They had not long before fled the United

States and were carving out of the wilderness homes, farms and

businesses for themselves. Elder Blood’s allotted time for travel ran

out when he reached the head of Lake Ontario - about the location

of the present city of Burlington. He mentions in his journal that he

could not go farther with these words:

“I must here mention a trying circumstance. Word came to me,

with a request to go about fifty miles farther, to a place called Long

Point Settlement, on Lake Erie, informing that there was a work of

divine grace in that place; that there were thirty or forty persons

stood ready for baptism, and no administrator whom they could

obtain within two hundred miles of them; but I had my

appointments back through the Province, and could not go to their

relief...” 17

If Protestant clergy can administer valid baptism, the believers

at Long Point Settlement were wrong to send for an ordained man

- a man with authority from a Baptist church - to administer baptism.

Elder Blood was wrong about the matter and needlessly upset that

he could not help these people. If the administrator of baptism is

unimportant, Elder Blood would no doubt have taken comfort that

23 Introductory Considerations

there were ministers of other denominations who could baptize

these people. The accompanying record shows that there were

Protestant ministers not far away and available to these folk at Long

Point. Had he believed that Protestant ministers could administer

valid baptism no doubt he would have recommended that these

“thirty or forty persons” obtain the services of such a minister. The

fact is that the immersions of Protestant ministers would not satisfy

those people whom the Scriptures had made Baptists. These new

converts knew better than to seek Scriptural baptism at the hands

of Protestant ministers, and so did Elder Blood!

Neither did they believe that just any believer acting without

church authority could administer valid baptism. Otherwise they

might have got either Brother Fairchild or Brother Finch (both of

whom were unordained but who preached in the Long Point area)

to immerse them. Obviously these people, including Elder Blood,

believed in those Baptist principles of both church authority and

succession - the very things for which we contend in this volume.

Lemuel Covell and Obed Warren in Canada

The next year (1803) another Baptist elder named Lemuel

Covell of Pittstown, N.Y. traveled into Ontario (then called “Upper

Canada”) doing missionary work. His companion in the work was

Elder Obed Warren of Salem, N.Y. These two were able to visit the

Long Point area previously referred to by Elder Blood. They

reported in part as follows:

“At this place we found a number of Christian brethren, who

had lived a number of years without the privileges connected with

Gospel ordinances for want of an administrator. They had frequently

sent the most pressing requests to one and another, but had always

been unsuccessful... There are two brethren who improve in public

[an old Baptist way of saying there were two unordained men who

preached publicly] in that country, by the names of Finch and

Fairchild. Brother Fairchild resides at some distance from the body

of brethren, but visits them at times. Brother Finch lives among

them and labors with them steadily; but neither of them are

ordained, and when we arrived there, brother Finch had never been

baptized.” 18 [Brackets mine: C.A.P.]

Historic Baptist doctrine and practice, based as it is on the Bible

alone, allows an unordained brother to evangelize. That same

historic doctrine and practice also maintain that without church

authority (baptism, church membership and ordination) none can

properly administer the ordinances. This is the pattern of the New

24 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

Testament! The pattern in the Book of Acts is clear: men who

baptized had been previously baptized and ordained as either elders

or deacons.

While there was a gathering of brethren who maintained Baptist

principles in the Long Point area of Upper Canada, these very

principles forbad them organizing themselves together as a church

of Christ. Some there were baptized. But they lacked an ordained,

“sent” man to form them into a church according to gospel order.

Without someone coming to them with church authority to baptize

them and set them in gospel order, they knew they could not be a

church after the New Testament pattern. The two accounts cited

above prove that Baptists both in Canada and the United States

believed this, or they prove nothing at all. Today we have Neo-landmarkers

(perhaps better “pseudo-landmarkers”) who try to

maintain that they are historic Baptists. They are bent on proving

that a group of baptized believers can organize themselves into a

true church. Then such a self-made church, according to them, can

begin to maintain valid ordinances. They can originate a church

and then originate baptism and the supper! Bible-believing Baptists

in Vermont, New York, and Ontario, Canada would not accept

such looseness in the early 1800’s - nor do sound Baptists today! If

our Baptist forefathers in the accounts above involving Ontario,

Canada had believed baptized men and women could organized

themselves into a church, the whole story would have been different!

There would have been no need of an “administrator” coming to

them, etc.

Nowhere in the Scriptures do we find any endorsement of “free

lance” organizing of churches or baptizing of converts! Indeed,

Christ Himself did not enter His ministry of preaching and baptizing

(through His disciples) until He (and they) had been baptized by

John the Baptist.

:John the Baptist is the only man in the world who had authority

to baptize who was himself unbaptized. Remember, John the Baptist

had direct commission from Heaven to preach and to baptize ( John

1:6, 33). Christ commissioned His church to carry on the work of

preaching, baptizing and teaching, if we may sum up the “great

commission” in that fashion (Matthew 28:19-20). The specific

command being given to a specific entity (His church) automatically

excludes any and all other entities having authority to carry on that

specific work.

Bear in mind that these early missionaries to Canada held to

sound Baptist practice in this matter. Notice also that these events

25 Introductory Considerations

took place PRIOR to the coinage of the term “Landmarkism.” It is

also important to note that these men represented churches in the

northeastern part of the young United States at a time shortly after

the American Revolution. These were churches who had recent

ties with Britain and other European countries. The two foregoing

incidents illustrate that such practices were usual and approved

procedures among mainline Baptists of that era.

If the reader will bear in mind the distinctions set forth in this

present chapter, Baptist claims will be clearly understood as stated

in Chapter Two: The Testimony of the Baptists.

FOOTNOTE REFERENCES

1. J.G. Bow, WHAT BAPTISTS BELIEVE AND WHY THEY BELIEVE

IT, (Nashville, The Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention,

n.d.), pp. 4, 5.

Information furnished by The Historical Commission of the Southern Baptist

Convention, Nashville, Tennessee indicates that agencies of the S.B.C. published

this book by J. G. Bow from about the turn of the century until 1925.

2. News Item from “CVN” quoted in the PLAINS BAPTIST

CHALLENGER, E. L. Bynum, ed., (Lubbock, TX, Tabernacle Baptist Church,

April, 1990), p. 4.

3. “Evangelicals, Catholics Edging Closer”, Rene DeCair, Associated Press

Writer, (Tulsa World, April 9, 1994), p. 16.

4. DeCair, ibid.

5. W.A. Jarrell, BAPTIST CHURCH PERPETUITY, (Dallas, 1894), p. 6

6. C.D. Cole, DEFINITIONS OF DOCTRINE: THE NEW TESTAMENT

CHURCH, Vol. III, (Lexington, KY, Bryan Station Baptist Church, n.d.), p. 12.

7. Cole, ibid., p. 16.

8. Robert Robinson, ECCLESIASTICAL RESEARCHES, (Cambridge,

Francis Hodson, 1790), [reprinted by Church History Research & Archives], pp.

134, 135.

9. That various Protestant powers actively persecuted Baptists and others

who dissented from whatever group was the “established church” is a fact of history

though often denied. Michael Servetus (1511-1553) “died in Calvin’s Geneva,

condemned as a heretic.” (William P. Barker, WHO’S WHO IN CHURCH

HISTORY, Grand Rapids, Baker, 1977, p. 251.) He was “burned in 1553 with the

apparent tacit approval of Calvin” (ibid. p. 252).

The oft praised Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560), ranks with Luther and Calvin

as one of the ‘greatest of the Reformers.’ Baptists should be aware that, “He

applauded... the execution of Servetus” and “recommended that the rejection of

infant baptism, or of original sin, or of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist,

should be punished as capital crimes,” (Schaff, quoted by Will Durant, THE

STORY OF CIVILIZATION, Vol. VI, NY, Simon & Schuster, 1957, pp. 423-424).

He was appointed over the secular inquisition that persecuted the Anabaptists

26 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

of Germany and asked, “Why should we pity such men more than God does?” as

he was sure that God had destined all Anabaptists to Hell (Smith, quoted by Will

Durant, ibid. p. 423).

10. J.H. Grime, WHY AM I A BAPTIST, (Lebanon, TN, self publ., n.d.), p.

11.

11. W. E. Anderson, THE FIRST BAPTIST, (Little Rock, AR., The Challenge

Press, 1972), pp. 120, 121.

12. C.D. Cole, op. cit., p. 12.

13. Bill Lee, Publisher’s Foreword to A COMPLETE BODY OF

DOCTRINAL AND PRACTICAL DIVINITY, ( John Gill, London, Matthew

and Leigh, 1809), [reprinted by The Baptist Standard Bearer, Inc., Paris, AR.,

1987], pp. vii, viii.

14. J.R. Graves, TRILEMMA, (Texarkana, Bogard Press, 1969), pp. 13, 14.

15. J.F. Bliss, POPERY AND PROTESTANTISM COMPARED, quoted

by Graves, ibid., p. 16.

16. Graves, ibid., pp. 119-121.

17. Stuart Ivison and Fred Rosser, THE BAPTISTS IN UPPER AND

LOWER CANADA BEFORE 1820, (Toronto, Toronto University Press, 1956),

p. 36.

18. Ivison and Rosser, ibid., pp. 42, 43.

27 The First Witness

Chapter Two

THE FIRST WITNESS

THE TESTIMONY OF THE BAPTISTS



It is altogether necessary that the claims of Baptists be voiced

because many, even of our own people, have not been grounded

in Baptist history. Being unfamiliar with their own past, they are

often adrift among the flotsam and jetsam of popular notions

regarding “church history.”

You may be amazed to read in this second chapter what Baptists

have historically asserted as pertaining to themselves and their

beginning. You may be disturbed as the truth concerning other

“churches” becomes apparent. This may especially be so if you are

not a Baptist. It will be demonstrated that mainline Baptists have

consistently believed in the high antiquity of the Baptist churches.

It will further be demonstrated that these Baptists affirmed that the

Lord’s true New Testament churches were to be found exclusively

among those people known as Baptists. We are not saying that every

“Baptist church” is a New Testament church, but we are saying that

every authentic Baptist church is a New Testament church.

Many well-known Baptist preachers, living and asleep in Christ,

could be subpoenaed to testify here. Prominent ministers of years

gone by such as J.B. Moody, pastor and a former president of the

Southern Baptist Convention; B.H. Carroll, pastor of the First

Baptist Church of Waco, Texas and founder of Southwestern Baptist

Seminary; Jesse Mercer, leader among Georgia Baptists for whom

Mercer University was named: J.R. Graves, pastor and publisher;

J. Newton Brown, pastor, author and professor in New Hampshire,

Massachusetts, New York and Virginia; John A. Broadus, pastor,

and leader in the Southern Baptist Convention; William Williams,

pastor in New York; R.B.C. Howell, pastor in Nashville and for

many years president of the Southern Baptist Convention; George

C. Lorrimer who served Churches in Kentucky, New York, Boston

and Chicago; A.C. Dayton of New Jersey, editor, author and

corresponding secretary for an agency of the Southern Baptist

Convention; T.T. Eaton, author and pastor of churches in Tennessee

and Virginia; and a host of others could be cited. Many Baptist

28 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

authorities as well known and respected as these few mentioned

could also be heard to testify to the apostolic origin of the Baptists.

While not all who held to the apostolic origin of the Baptists

maintained strict Baptist practices, we insist that consistency

demands that we follow Biblical, historic Baptist practices. Those

whom we shall call upon to testify were prominent in their day and

highly esteemed among their peers. Their honesty was without

question and their knowledge cannot be discounted.

While we are not given to the use of titles honoring men, we

include some of the educational achievements of the following

witnesses lest any claim that these were uneducated men. Letters

following a man’s name do not necessarily make him right, but do

indicate he has completed a certain level in his studies.

The Testimony of John T. Christian, A.M., D.D., L.L.D.

Pastor and historian John T. Christian served as professor of

history and librarian from 1919 to 1925 at the Southern Baptist

Convention’s Baptist Bible Institute of New Orleans (now New

Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary). He speaks as our first Baptist

witness, representing Baptists of the early part of the twentieth

century. He wrote the following endorsement:

“I have no question in my own mind that there has been a

historical succession of Baptists from the days of Christ to the

present.” 1

This apt and concise statement is the historic Baptist position

regarding Baptist churches. Many so-called Baptists of our own day

are either untaught concerning these things or have apostatized

from this ancient position. Their departure in no way proves the

old to be error, but rather speaks volumes concerning the sad

spiritual state of our times.

The Southern Baptist Convention published Dr. Christian’s two-volume

history from its first edition in 1922 until they permitted it

to go out of print after the non-Landmark or Protestant view took

over their seminaries. The founders and many early leaders of the

S.B.C. were sound Baptists - by that we mean “Landmarkers” - and

men of good intention whose writings are a great help to Bible-loving

Christians. Current leaders within the S.B.C. have almost

unanimously repudiated its historic doctrinal position and historic

“Landmark” Baptist practices. By dropping the publication of Dr.

Christian’s two-volume history, powers within the S.B.C. testify to

their own departure from the Biblical faith and practice of their

“Landmark” fathers.

29 The First Witness

The Testimony of T. G. Jones, D.D.

Let us step back several years into the nineteenth century and

hear the testimony of another eminent member of the Southern

Baptist Convention. Tiberius Gracchus Jones, as a teenager, was

brought to repentance and faith in Christ and subsequently baptized

by James B. Taylor, pastor of the Second Baptist Church of

Richmond, Virginia. When about eighteen years old, Jones entered

the Virginia Baptist Seminary and was soon licensed to preach by

the same church that authorized his baptism. After graduating as

valedictorian at the University of Virginia and later graduating with

the same honor from William and Mary College, he became pastor

of the Freemason Street Baptist Church of Norfolk. Later he served

as pastor of the Franklin Square Baptist Church in Baltimore,

Maryland. After the American civil war, Jones was recalled to pastor

the Norfolk church where he remained until elected president of

Richmond College (the new name for the Virginia Baptist

Seminary). After several years, he was called a third time to the

Freemason Street Baptist Church in Norfolk. Later he was elected

pastor of the First Baptist Church of Nashville, Tennessee where he

remained for many years..

Consider some of T.G. Jones’ achievements. While pastor of

the church at Norfolk he was elected president of Wake Forest

College, North Carolina, and a few years later, he was chosen to

become president of Mercer University, Georgia. Both these

appointments, however, he refused as he felt he must remain faithful

to his pastoral responsibilities. Besides published addresses and

articles in various periodicals, T.G. Jones wrote three small books.

2

Consider the following words of commendation by a man of

his own time.

“Dr. Jones is regarded as one of the finest pulpit orators of the

nation, and highly esteemed by his charge in Nashville.

“He has been for several sessions one of the vice-presidents of

the Southern Baptist Convention, and is now first vice-president of

the board of trustees of the Southern Baptist Seminary. He is

possessed of a rare dignity of manners, fine scholarship, and a

blessed record.” 3

Hear what this eminent Southern Baptist pastor and scholar

had to say about the origin of the Baptist Churches.

“...They [the Baptists] have always maintained that their

churches are as ancient as Christianity itself. That their foundations

were laid by no less honorable hands than those of Christ and his

30 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

apostles. In all ages since the first, the Baptists have believed their

denomination more ancient than themselves. The American Baptists

deny that they owe their origin to Roger Williams. The English

Baptists will not grant that John Smyth or Thomas Helwysse was

their founder. The Welsh Baptists strenuously contend that they

received their creed in the first century, from those who had

obtained it, direct, from the apostles themselves. The Dutch Baptists

trace their spiritual pedigree up to the same source. The German

Baptists maintained that they were older than the Reformation,

older than the corrupt hierarchy which it sought to reform. The

Waldensian Baptists boasted an ancestry far older than Waldo, older

than the most ancient of their predecessors in the vales of Piedmont.

So, too, may we say of the Lollards, Henricians, Paterines, Paulicians,

Donatists, and other ancient Baptists, that they claim an origin more

ancient than that of the men or the circumstances from which they

derived their peculiar appellations. If in any instance the stream of

descent is lost to human eye, in ‘the remote depths of antiquity,’

they maintain that it ultimately reappears, and reveals its source in

Christ and his apostles.

“Now we think that this singular unanimity of opinion among

the Baptists of all countries and of all ages, respecting their common

origin in apostolic and primitive times - a unanimity the existence

of which might easily be established by numerous quotations from

historians and other writers among them, is of itself a fact of no

little value, as furnishing a presumptive argument of much force in

support of the Baptist claim. In England and in the United States

especially, the Baptists are now numerous, intelligent, and in every

way as respectable as any denomination of Christian people. Among

them are men, not only of unimpeachable moral and Christian

character, but of profound learning and extensive historical research.

And all these, as well as the humblest and most unlearned among

them, believe that Baptists, (whether with or without the name, is a

matter of indifference,) have existed ‘from the days of John the

Baptist until now.’” 4 [Brackets mine: C.A.P.]

Such plain words by so eminent a Southern Baptist cannot be

lightly discounted. This writer could only wish that the successors

of T.G. Jones might be as solid in their stand for the truth of the

Lord’s Churches. It is an incontestable fact of history that at one

time the ministers as well as the rank and file in the churches of the

Southern Baptist Convention were, almost to a man, sound in their

church views. By that we mean that they held to the view that the

true churches of Christ were to be found among those people known

31 The First Witness

as Baptists and that Baptist churches of their day originated during

the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ.

It is noteworthy that this particular volume was published by

the American Baptist Publication Society of Philadelphia as this

indicates that these views were those held by Baptists in the North

as well as in the southern United States. Indeed, such strong church

views were once universally held among mainline Baptists, but lately

have been cast aside by many.

The Testimony of Joseph Belcher, D.D.

Going back farther in time and across the Atlantic we consider

Joseph Belcher who was born in Birmingham, England in 1794 and

converted in 1814. In 1819 he was ordained as pastor in Somersham

and later served other churches. He became pastor of a Baptist

church in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1844 and after serving there for

three years relocated to Philadelphia and the Mount Tabor Church.

Initially, we shall hear from Belcher’s enormous work of more

than a thousand pages which was praised by the secular and religious

press of its day and by representatives of the Baptist, Methodist,

Episcopal, Lutheran and Presbyterian denominations for its honesty,

fairness and comprehensiveness. Several of these testimonials are

to be found toward the forepart of the volume, placed there as a

matter of advertisement. Joseph Belcher wrote:

“In proceeding to sketch the History of the Baptist body at large,

their writers rejoice that early historical documents are in existence

which very materially aid them. They cannot, they say, but be

thankful to Mosheim [see glossary] when he tells them that their

origin is hidden in the depths of antiquity, because such a testimony,

like that of Cardinal Hosius [see glossary], when he says that the

Baptists have furnished martyrs for twelve hundred years, goes to

show that they are not so modern in their origin as some recent

writers would pretend.” 5 [Brackets mine: C.A.P.].

Again Dr. Belcher speaks of Baptist claims to exclusive

perpetuity when he wrote:

“But as the Baptists lay claim to the highest antiquity, even to

be the lineal descendants of the primitive church...” 6

We quote Belcher in a later work of a similar nature, where he

testifies in the clearest of language.

“It will be seen that the Baptists claim the high antiquity of the

commencement of the Christian church. They can trace a succession

of those who have believed the same doctrine, and administered

the same ordinances, directly up to the apostolic age.” 7

32 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

Surely no clarification of this testimony is required!

The Testimony of William Cathcart, D.D.

Long time pastor of the Second Baptist Church of Philadelphia,

Pennsylvania, Dr. Cathcart was born of Scotch-Irish stock in the

north of Ireland in 1826. Brought up a Presbyterian, he was

converted early in life and received Baptist baptism in 1846. His

higher education was in the University of Glasgow, Scotland and

in Rawdon College, Yorkshire, England. He arrived in North

America in November of 1853 and in December that year became

pastor of the Third Baptist Church of Groton in Mystic River,

Connecticut. He was called to take the oversight of the Philadelphia

church in 1857.

Cathcart wrote several books and was active in Baptist affairs.

He edited an encyclopedia (a sizeable volume of more than 1300

pages). In this large work he obtained assistance from nearly seventy

principal Baptist ministers in both Canada and the United States.

Consequently his testimony can also be said to be the testimony of

many other Baptist ministers as well. His article entitled, “Baptists,

General Sketch of the” commences thus:

“The Baptist denomination was founded by Jesus during his

earthly ministry. Next to the Teacher of Nazareth, our great leaders

were the apostles, and the elders, bishops, and evangelists, who

preached Christ in their times. The instructions of our Founder are

contained in the four Gospels, the heaven-given teachings of our

earliest ministers are in the inspired Epistles. The first Baptist

missionary journal was the Acts of the Apostles…” 8

Surely no person can read the foregoing and doubt that Cathcart

believed that Baptist churches were the true churches of Christ!

Those nearly seventy ministers in both Canada and the United

States evidently held similar views to have contributed to such a

work and to have their names connected with it.

The Testimony of Charles Spurgeon

Charles Haddon Spurgeon is said to be the most extensively

read preacher since the apostles. His books and sermons have been

reprinted numerous times both as collections and as individual

pieces. Spurgeon (1834-1892) was converted during his teenage

years and shortly thereafter began to preach. He was privileged to

preach to multitudes both in rented auditoriums and in the

meetinghouses of his own church in London, England. Under

Spurgeon’s leadership this congregation built a meetinghouse

33 The First Witness

known as the Metropolitan Tabernacle that would seat six thousand

people. Whereas Mr. Spurgeon was not nearly as conscientious in

church polity as we think consistent with Bible principles, he

evidences a clear understanding of the origin of Baptist churches.

Before the congregation moved into the Metropolitan

Tabernacle, while still meeting at the New Park Street location in

1860, Spurgeon preached these words:

“I am not ashamed of the denomination to which I belong,

sprung as we are, direct from the loins of Christ, having never passed

through the turbid stream of Romanism, and having an origin apart

from all dissent or Protestantism, because we have existed before

all other sects...” 9

During the next year, 1861, after moving to the new Tabernacle,

Spurgeon proclaimed:

“We believe that the Baptists are the original Christians. We

did not commence our existence at the reformation, we were

reformers before Luther or Calvin were born; we never came from

the church of Rome, for we were never in it, but we have an

unbroken line up to the apostles themselves. We have always existed

from the very days of Christ, and our principles, sometimes veiled

and forgotten, like a river which may travel underground for a little

season, have always had honest and holy adherents.” 10

Later, that same year Spurgeon boldly proclaimed for all the

world to hear:

“And now it seems to me, at this day, when any say to us, ‘You,

as a denomination, what great names can you mention? What fathers

can you speak of?’ We may reply, ‘More than any other under

heaven, for we are the old apostolic Church that have never bowed

to the yoke of princes yet; we, known among men, in all ages, by

various names, such as Donatists, Novatians, [sic] Paulicians,

Petrobrussians, Cathari, Arnoldists, Hussites, Waldenses, Lollards,

and Anabaptists, have always contended for the purity of the

Church, and her distinctness and separation from human

government. Our fathers were men inured to hardships, and unused

to ease. They present to us, their children, an unbroken line which

comes legitimately from the apostles, not through the filth of Rome,

not by the manipulations of prelates, but by the Divine life, the

Spirit’s anointing, the fellowship of the Son in suffering and of the

Father in truth.” 11

Such evidence shows that Mr. Spurgeon was not backward about

openly and frequently speaking out concerning the history of the

people now called Baptists! This writer wishes all Baptist ministers

34 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

were so forward in this matter!

In 1881, some TWENTY YEARS LATER, Spurgeon was still

preaching the same things regarding the origin of Baptists. It is

most significant that after twenty years of further study, ministry,

and association with both Baptists and others, Mr. Spurgeon still

believed in the apostolic origin and perpetuity of Baptist churches.

He declared:

“History has hitherto been written by our enemies, who never

would have kept a single fact about us upon the record if they could

have helped it, and yet it leaks out every now and then that certain

poor people called Anabaptists were brought up for condemnation.

From the days of Henry II [A.D. 1154-1189] to those of Elizabeth

[1558-1603] we hear of certain unhappy heretics who were hated

of all men for the truth’s sake which was in them. We read of poor

men and women, with their garments cut short, turned out into the

fields to perish in the cold, and anon of others who were burnt at

Newington for the crime of Anabaptism. Long before your

Protestants were known of, these horrible Anabaptists, as they were

unjustly called, were protesting for the ‘one Lord, one faith, and

one baptism.’” – 12 [Brackets mine: C.A.P.].

Strangely, there are a good many so-called “reformed Baptists”

(a creature we think to be an impossibility and a contradiction in

terms) who glory in Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons and writings regarding

soteriology (the doctrine of salvation), but who utterly disregard

these statements regarding ecclesiology (the doctrine of the church).

It is certainly worthy of note that Mr. Spurgeon did not date the

Baptist origin as having occurred during, or subsequent to, the

Protestant Reformation. In the last quote he specifically mentions

Henry II whose reign was some four hundred years prior to the

Protestant Reformation and that was, of course, the date of the origin

of Protestant churches.

The Testimony of John Ashworth

John W. Ashworth was pastor to the Baptist Church that met in

George Street Chapel, Plymouth, England in A.D. 1879. In that

year he preached both before his own church and before the Western

Association of Baptist Churches two sermons on “Baptist Principles

and History.” These sermons with notes and appendix were

“published by request” running at least to a third edition and twenty-five

thousand printed copies. Elder Ashworth said,

“No such thing as Infant Baptism was known in England for

the first six centuries.”

35 The First Witness

“Going back to the time of William the Conqueror, [A.D. 1066-1087]

we find that the Baptists had spread so rapidly that the

Archbishop of Canterbury, [Lanfranc] seeing that many of the

nobles as well as of the poor had adopted their sentiments wrote a

book against them, in which he complained, as Archbishop Egbert

did of the Cathari (Puritans) about the same time, that they were

‘very pernicious to the Catholic faith; FOR THEY MAINTAINED

THEIR OPINIONS BY AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE:’ a great

crime in those days, and still a great inconvenience, oft-times, to

those who prefer the traditions and customs of men to the

commandments of God! But the Baptists flourished, spite of the

Archbishop’s book; and therefore the King was induced to issue an

edict, that ‘those who denied the Pope should not trade with his

subjects.’” 13 [Brackets mine: C.A.P.]

Ashworth identifies the Paulicians as Baptists when he cites

Evan’s Early English Baptists, vol. i, in his footnote and says in the

text,

“In the twelfth century thirty Baptists, probably Paulicians, were

put to death at Oxford.” 14

By identifying the Paulicians as Baptists Ashworth is saying that

the Baptists had a continual existence although known at times by

other nicknames. Incidentally, he mentions that during the reign

of Charles II, Baptists suffered more than other groups because of

their open stand for religious and civil liberty. He goes on to say,

“It was during that shameful reign that Bunyan [ John Bunyan,

author of Pilgrim’s Progress] was imprisoned, and Keach was

pilloried; and Abraham Cheare, the beloved Pastor of this Church,

was ‘done to death’ on Drake’s Island.” [Brackets mine: C.A.P.]

With regard to religious groups other than Baptists Ashworth

sums up with,

“And most of the ‘other churches’ are ‘but of yesterday’

compared with us. Neither the English Episcopal Church nor the

Presbyterians can go back more than about three hundred years;

the Independents trace their origin to the Brownists of the latter

part of the sixteenth century; the Wesleyans began with John Wesley,

about one hundred and forty years ago; and the Plymouthists, of

every shade of opinion, are only of this generation.” 15

What more can be demanded? Here is clear testimony from

associational Baptists in England as to the origin and continued

existence of Baptists from the days of the apostles!

36 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

The Testimony of J.M. Cramp, D.D.

John M. Cramp, was born in England, July 25, 1796. He served

as pastor in London, the Isle of Thanet and Hastings, Sussex. He

“took charge in 1844 of the Baptist college, Montreal, Canada;

became president of Acadia College, Nova Scotia, in 1851, and

retired in 1869 from that position.” 16

Published in Canada, the following statements by J.M. Cramp

are to the point. While we may not agree with all Dr. Cramp’s

other conclusions, he declared,

“Christian history, in the first century, was strictly and properly

Baptist history, although the word “Baptist,” as a distinctive

appellation, was not then known. How could it be? How was it

possible to call any Christians Baptist Christians, when all were

Baptists?”

And with regard to that group of Baptists referred to as Donatists,

Dr. Cramp wrote the following clear testimony,

“In the fourth century the DONATISTS raised the reform

standard. They constituted about one-half of the Christian

population of Northern Africa. Purity was their main object; they

also, as well as the Novatians, called themselves CATHARI - the

PURE - PURITANS. Other men called them DONATISTS, after

Donatus, whose leadership they followed. Robert Robinson, a

learned writer of ecclesiastical history, in the last century, says they

were ‘Trinitarian Baptists.’ The Rev. Thomas Long, Prebendary of

Exeter, [a Church of England clergyman] whose ‘History of the

Donatists’ was published in 1677, asserts that they ‘were generally

anabaptistical; for they did not only rebaptize the adults that came

over to them, but refused to baptize children, contrary to the practice

of the Church, as appears by several discourses of St. Augustine,

(Page 103).’” [Brackets mine: C.A.P.]

Dr. Cramp points out that Augustine opposed Anabaptists in

his day. Augustine lived from A.D. 354 to 430. Here we find

Augustine serving as another witness, albeit an unwitting one, to

the antiquity of the Baptists!

Speaking of his own times, Cramp likens Baptists of his day to

those in the Baptist succession known by other names. He wrote,

“Every age brought to view champions for the true and right:

and we Baptists are the Novatians, the Donatists, the Paulicians,

the Petrobrussians of the nineteenth century.”

In answer to those who allege that the aforementioned groups

were all heretics of the worst sort, Dr. Cramp responds with,

“Some one starts up in dismay; - ‘Sir! all those people were

37 The First Witness

heretics and schismatics!’ Hard words, these! But we have been

used to them. They called our Lord himself a ‘Samaritan,’ and said

that ‘he had a devil.’ The fact is, that the dominant part always

assumed to be the orthodox, and bade the people believe that those

who differed from them were heretics. Trinitarians were orthodox

in the days of Constantine, and the Arians were banished. The

Arians were the orthodox in the next reign, that of Constantius,

and then the Trinitarians were banished. These alternations were

continually taking place. And so it comes to this, that if you want to

trace the true church of God, you must follow her down the line of

those who have been stigmatized, and their names cast out as evil.

Patriotism has been oftener found at the headsman’s block than in

kings’ palaces.’” 17

Clear words, indeed, from this Canadian Baptist who knew the

origin of sound Baptist churches! Oh, that today’s Canadian Baptists

knew these truths and stood with Brother Cramp.

The Testimony of Thomas Crosby

Going farther back in time we call upon another outstanding

Baptist to give his testimony in this affair. While those previously

quoted lived during or after the middle 1800’s when “church truth”

became a much disputed issue in some places, Crosby predates

that period of debate by more than a hundred years! Let the words

of another speak of the work of this man Thomas Crosby, who:

“...was a London Baptist of great influence in our denomination.

He was married to a daughter of the celebrated Benjamin Keach

and taught an advanced school for young gentlemen. Being a Baptist

deacon for many years, he was selected to make the usual statement

on behalf of the church when Dr. Gill was ordained the pastor of

the church of which Mr. Crosby was a member.

“Mr. Stinton, the brother-in-law of Thomas Crosby, and the

predecessor of Dr. Gill, had collected materials for a work on Baptist

history, which was never published. These materials were given to

Crosby...” 18

It is worthy of note, as quoted above, that Crosby was a respected

leader in his own church: a church of considerable distinction and

whose leaders exercised much influence on Baptist life. Notice

should also be taken that much material was gathered by Mr. Stinton

and passed on to Mr. Crosby who published his FIRST volume of

the History Of The English Baptists in 1738. Being criticized for using

“secondary sources,” Crosby then made original investigations and

published other volumes. He wrote the following in his second

38 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

volume after personal research and study.

“This great prophet John, had immediate commission from

heaven, Luke iii 2, before he entered upon the actual administration

of his office. And as the English Baptists adhere closely to this

principle, that John the Baptist was by divine command, the first

commissioned to preach the gospel, and baptize by immersion,

those that receive it; and that this practice has ever since been

maintained and continued in the world to this present day; so it

may not be improper to consider the state of religion in this

kingdom; it being agreed on all hands that the plantation of the

gospel here was very early, even in the Apostles days.” 19

Crosby candidly points out the beginning of Scriptural baptism

and the perpetual existence of this ordinance since its beginning.

Understanding that Baptists have historically held the ordinances

to be church-ordinances, that is, that they are to be observed in

and by a (local) church only, it follows that the perpetuation of the

ordinances necessitates the perpetual existence of Baptist churches.

Further, Brother Crosby testifies to the gospel being brought to

Britain during the days of the apostles! This is an important

consideration in the history of the Lord’s churches.

The Testimony of Joseph Hooke

The next testimony from the Baptists themselves will be from

the Englishman Joseph Hooke. Again it should be noted that these

words were penned long before the dispute over church succession

came along. Hooke’s work, published in A.D. 1701, states:

“Thus having shewed negatively, when this sect called

Anabaptists did not begin; we shall shew in the next place

affirmatively, when it did begin; for a beginning it had, and it

concerns us to enquire for the fountain head of this sect; for if it was

sure that it were no older than the Munster fight... I would resolve

to forsake it, and would persuade others to do so too. That religion

that is not as old as Christ and his Apostles, is too new for me.

“But secondly, Affirmatively, we are fully persuaded, and

therefore do boldly though humbly, assert, that this sect is the very

same sort of people that were first called Christians in Antioch,

Acts 11:26. But sometimes called Nazarenes, Acts 24:5. And as they

are everywhere spoke against now, even as they were in the

Primitive Times.

“And sometimes anciently they were called Anabaptists, as they

have been of late times, and for the same cause, for when others

innovated in the worship of God and changed the subject in baptism,

39 The First Witness

they kept on their way, and men grew angry, and for mending an

error, they called them Anabaptists, and so they came by the name,

which is very ancient...” 20

The undeniable fact is that Joseph Hooke and other English

Baptists held to the view now known as historic “Landmarkism.”

The fact that Hooke lived more than 150 years before that nickname

was coined proves that while the nickname “Landmarker”

originated then, the historic “Landmark” view was not invented in

the mid-1800’s as some liberals contend. Historic “Landmarkism”

holds the old view held by Baptists down through the centuries.

The Testimony of John Gill, D.D.

Augustus Toplady, author of the well-known hymn “Rock Of

Ages,” among others, gave this testimony to our present witness:

“If any one man can be supposed to have trod the whole circle of

human learning it was Gill.” 21 This comment on the scholarship of

John Gill takes on a whole new light when it is remembered that

Toplady was a well-known and pious Church of England priest

who thought so much of Gill’s learning to attend “frequently at a

week-night lecture of Dr. Gill’s!” 22 When a Church of England

clergyman goes often to hear a Baptist preach, that’s news!

John Gill produced a voluminous commentary on the whole

Bible and A Body Of Doctrinal And Practical Divinity, as theological

works were then known, as well as other writings. He served as

pastor to the London church that was earlier served by Benjamin

Keach and later by C.H. Spurgeon. He wrote the following

concerning his understanding of the churches of Christ hidden away

in some European mountains.

“...I should think the valleys of Piedmont, which lie between

France and Italy, are intended, where God has preserved, and

continued a set of witnesses to the truth, in a succession, from the

beginning of the apostasy [sic] to the present time, living in obscurity,

and in safety, so far as not to be utterly destroyed...” 23

No one who is even slightly aware of the history of that branch

of our Baptist forefathers kept hidden away in the valleys of the

Piedmont, can doubt that Gill here speaks of Baptist succession as

being continual from the days of the apostles. No other inference

can be drawn from his statement! Had “church truth” been a

problem and an issue among Baptists in Gill’s day, he would have

doubtless had more to say.

The testimony of these Canadian, American and English

Baptists prove that historic “Landmarkism” was not a view restricted

40 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

to some minor segment of Baptists. These views did not originate

with - nor were they limited to - an insignificant number of Baptists

located primarily “down south” in the United States as has

sometimes been charged in an effort to discredit them.

The “Landmark” view - by that we mean the historic Baptist

view - asserts that Christ founded His church during His earthly

ministry from persons prepared by John the Baptist (Luke 1:16,

17). The historic view is that churches issuing out from that first

church and of the same sort as that church have existed in succession

ever since the first one. Sadly, some of these men whom we have

called upon to testify were not always consistent in all their practice

with this historic view, but the fact remains that they held to such a

view! (This fact should spur modern Baptists toward being

consistent!)

Of course the reason quasi-Baptists and Protestants reject this

view is that to admit its veracity would “unbaptize” and “unchurch”

them. It would require them to submit to “the baptism of John,” the

only baptism authorized by God and therefore recognized in the

Scriptures as valid. Many are too proud to admit error and abandon

man-made churches because of the social stigma attached to strict

Baptist practice. Thus many are unwilling to submit to the “baptism

of John.” There were some religionists in Jesus’ day, like those of

our own, who would not submit to John’s baptism at the hands of

Christ’s apostles. It was said of these that they “rejected the counsel

of God against themselves, being not baptized of him” (Luke 7:30).



CONCLUSIONS DRAWN FROM BAPTIST CLAIMS



The conclusions, at which all must arrive, if our witnesses are

correct, are these:

(1) among the people now called Baptists are to be found the

true churches of Christ:

(2) all other religious groups have too recent a beginning, were

founded by some man and consequently are not churches of Christ

at all:

(3) all other religious groups lack Divine authority to administer

and perpetuate the ordinances or to carry out the commission.

Therefore the baptisms of all other religious groups are null and

void of any Heavenly recognition though they may carry much

weight with religiously inclined people of this present time.

A narrow and bigoted view, you say? Indeed, in our day of

looseness, liberalism and religious inclusiveness, it may seem so.

This historic Baptist view is the very view so hated by the religionists

41 The First Witness

of days gone by. It is just as detested by many in today’s man-made

churches. It is certainly hated by the ecumenical minded aiming at

forming a one-world “church”. The unwillingness of Baptists to

concede that man-made churches are just as good as the church

that Christ built brings down the wrath of those who think their

organization as good as Christ’s. Surely every true Christian will

admit that a church that follows the Bible is better than one which

does not. (By that we do not mean that the people are “better,” but

that it is better to obey God’s Word than to discard it.) This “narrow

and bigoted” view is the view held by our “Anabaptist” fathers of

bygone days and is the view held consistently by significant numbers

of Baptists of all generations. It is the view held by Baptists in the

early days of American when their growth and influence was the

greatest. We cannot help but think that this view which set Baptists

apart from others is one reason for their great growth and influence

on society.

Example 1: Abraham Booth

Long before healthy Baptists were nicknamed “Landmarkers”

we find Baptists writing and speaking in defense of the old historic

view which is now so hated. In A.D. 1778 Abraham Booth, an

English Baptist, wrote a volume entitled, A Defense for the Baptists in

Which They Are Vindicated from the Imputation of Laying an

Unwarrantable Stress on the Ordinance of Baptism and Against the Charge

of Bigotry in Refusing Communion at the Lord’s Table to Pedobaptists.

While such lengthy titles are no longer in vogue, this one speaks

volumes to our point. Baptists in 1778 thought Scriptural baptism

to be essential to church fellowship. They would not admit that

baby baptizers were baptized. Therefore they would not admit them

to membership in Baptist churches based on their infant “baptisms”

and consequently would not allow them to partake of the Lord’s

Table in Baptist churches.

Example 2: John Spittlehouse and John More

In A.D. 1652, more than 125 years previous to Abraham Booth’s

writing, two English Baptists, John Spittlehouse and John More

published a volume entitled A Vindication of the Continued Succession

of the Primitive Church of Jesus Christ (Now Scandalously Termed

Anabaptists) from the Apostles Unto this Present Time.24 Here we have

another lengthy title according to the style of the day, but which

witnesses clearly concerning historic Baptist belief about themselves

and their churches.

42 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

While modern Baptists would not agree, perhaps, with some

interpretations of prophecy held by Spittlehouse and More, ten

important points were clearly maintained by them in this little

volume. They vigorously held:

1. That the true or Primitive Church of Jesus Christ was extant

in their day (A.D. 1652) in England and was then slanderously

nicknamed “anabaptist.”

2. That Christ’s Churches have never been a part of nor in

communion with the false churches.

3. That Christ’s Church has had a continual succession and

therefore a continual existence since He founded it.

4. That true Churches are visible societies of saints following

the practices, patterns and teachings of the apostles.

5. That these true Churches have preserved the ordinances

(baptism and the supper) of Jesus Christ since He gave them.

6. That Catholicism and Protestantism originated from the same

source.

7. That Roman Catholicism is the Harlot and Protestant

Churches are the Daughters of the Harlot, neither being Churches

of Christ.

8. That Catholic priests and Protestant ministers have no valid

ordinations and are not ministers of Christ.

9. That the “Protestant Reformation” was not of God, but

resulted in false churches being formed and that these false churches

were compromised in doctrine and practice with Rome.

10. That there was no need for a “Reformation” inasmuch as

Christ’s Churches never all went into apostasy.

Surely no one can be aware of such writings as this and honestly

maintain that mainline Baptists have thought themselves to be a

Protestant sect originating during the so-called Reformation. Sound

Baptists have continually maintained that it is among themselves

that the true churches established by Christ are to be found! Baptists

in every generation since the apostles have consistently maintained

that their origin was older than themselves!

The evidence is clear: Baptists of earlier times recognized that

individuals in other churches might be saved, safe and going to

Heaven, but they refused to recognize these other religious groups

as churches of Christ. They would not accept their immersions as

Scriptural. It is important that the reader realize that Baptists of

days past took issue with other groups not over the mode of baptism

but over the matter of which church had authority from God to

baptize.

The First Witness

The historic leaders of all major religious groups agreed that

immersion was the original mode of baptism.25 Even John Wesley

(1703-1791) refused to sprinkle babies unless they were “weak or

sickly,” but rather insisted on immersing them according to the

Church of England rule of his day! Obviously, then, the contention

with Baptists was not over mode, but authority! This cannot be

stated too strongly. The facts are these. All mainline Protestant and

Catholic groups historically immersed except in instances of

sickness, etc., hence they called sprinkling “clinic baptism” (on those

few occasions when allowed). The old Baptists took issue with

Catholics and Protestants alike, not because they sprinkled - for

they seldom did - but rather because, they viewed the Catholics as

apostates and the Protestants as man-made organizations. Old

Baptists held that neither could be a true church of Christ and

therefore refused to recognize their “administrations,” i.e.

ordinances, as valid, regardless of mode.

The Baptists of days gone by counted the members of both

Protestant and Catholic groups as unbaptized! This is the view and

practice of a multitude of Baptist churches of our own day and, we

believe, the Scriptural view.

Baptists maintain that a view, be it ever so narrow, is not bigotry

IF that view is true according to Scripture. Thus sound Baptists have

always held to the Scripture as the ONLY rule of faith and practice.

May it ever be so!

Let no one say that this “narrow” view was a minority view

held only by a few Baptists. Baptists maintain, and have ever

maintained, that they have Christ as their Founder. They maintain

they have perpetually existed since He built the first church. They

insist that they have remained separate and pure from all man-made

“churches.” This uniqueness can be the only foundation for

their continued existence.

To teach that Baptists are merely a sect within Protestantism is

to sow the seeds of Baptist annihilation. Indeed, if Baptist churches

are merely man-made organizations, let them cease their separate

existence and join with the Protestant “evangelical” churches. If

Baptist churches are merely a sect within Protestantism there is no

valid reason for Baptist separateness. If, however, their existence is

apostolical and their faith and practice Biblical, let them continue

to “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints” ( Jude 3).

44 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

NOTES

1. John T. Christian, A HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS (Texarkana, Bogard

Press, 1922), Vol. 1, p. 5, 6.

2. T. G. Jones wrote the following books: THE DUTIES OF PASTORS TO

CHURCHES, (Charleston, Southern Baptist Publication Society): THE

BAPTISTS: THEIR ORIGIN, CONTINUITY, PRINCIPLES, SPIRIT,

POLITY, POSITION, AND INFLUENCE. A VINDICATION, (Philadelphia,

American Baptist Publication Society); THE GREAT MISNOMER, OR THE

LORD’S SUPPER RESCUED FROM THE PERVERSION OF ITS

ORIGINAL DESIGN, (Philadelphia, Griffith & Rowland Press).

3. William Cathcart, THE BAPTIST ENCYCLOPEDIA, (Philadelphia, Louis

H. Everts, 1881), [reprinted by The Baptist Standard Bearer, Paris, AR., 1988] pp.

620, 621.

4. T. G. Jones, THE BAPTISTS: THEIR ORIGIN, CONTINUITY,

PRINCI PLES, SPIRIT, POLITY, POSITION, AND INFLUENCE. A

VINDICATION. (Philadelphia, American Baptist Publication Society, n.d.), pp.

23, 24, 25.

5. Joseph Belcher, THE RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS IN THE

UNITED STATES, New and Revised Ed., (Philadelphia, John E. Potter, 1861), p.

120.

6. Belcher, ibid., p. 124.

7. Joseph Belcher, RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS IN EUROPE AND

AMERICA, p. 53, [quoted by J.R. Graves, OLD LANDMARKISM, Second

Edition, Texarkana, Bogard Press, 1881], p. 86.

8. William Cathcart, op cit, p. 74.

9. C.H. Spurgeon, NEW PARK STREET PULPIT, Vol. 16, 1860, (Pasadena,

Texas, Pilgrim Publications, 1973 reprint), p. 66.

10. C.H. Spurgeon, METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE PULPIT, Vol. 7,

1861 (Pasadena, Texas, Pilgrim Publications, 1973 reprint), p. 225

11. Spurgeon, ibid., Vol. 7, p. 613.

12. Spurgeon, ibid., Vol. 27, p. 249.

13. John W. Ashworth, BAPTIST PRINCIPLES AND HISTORY (London,

Yates & Alexander, 1880), pp. 6, 7, 8.

14. Ashworth, ibid.

15. Ashworth, ibid.

16. Cathcart, op cit, p. 286.

17. J.M. Cramp, D.D. THE CASE OF THE BAPTISTS, STATED AND

EXPLAINED, ADDRESSED TO ALL WHOM IT MAY CONCERN, (Halifax,

N.S., “Christian Messenger” Office, 1873), pp. 3-5, 10.

18. Cathcart, op. cit., pp. 296, 297.

19. Thomas Crosby, A HISTORY OF THE BAPTISTS, Vol. II, p. ii.

20. Joseph Hooke, A NECESSARY APOLOGY FOR THE BAPTIZED

BELIEVERS, (London, 1701), p. 66.

21. THE BIBLICAL AND HISTORICAL FAITH OF BAPTISTS ON

GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY, (Ashland, KY., Calvary Baptist Church, n.d.), p. 24.

45 The First Witness

22. Cathcart, op. cit., p. 454.

23. John Gill, GILL’S EXPOSITOR, (London, Matthews & Leigh, 1809),

Vol. VIII, p. 691: [quoted in the Berea Baptist Banner, Mantachie, Mississippi,

November & December issues, 1987.]

24. Spittlehouse and More, A VINDICATION OF THE CONTINUED

SUCCESSION OF THE PRIMITIVE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST (NOW

SCANDALOUSLY TERMED ANABAPTISTS) FROM THE APOSTLES

UNTO THIS PRESENT TIME, (London, Gartrude Dawson, 1652).

The only original copy of this volume known to exist is located in the Samuel

Colgate Memorial Library, American Baptist Historical Society, Rochester, New

York.

A VINDICATION OF THE CONTINUED SUCCESSION..., in

modernized spelling and format, is included in the back of this present volume as

APPENDIX II.

25. Bow, op cit, p. 27, furnishes the following information.

“John Calvin, the founder of the Presbyterian church, in its present form,

said: ‘The very word baptize, itself, signifies to immerse; and it is certain that

immersion was observed by the ancient church.’

“Commenting on the baptism of the eunuch, he [Calvin] says:

‘Here we perceive how baptism was administered among the ancients, for

they immersed the whole body in water.’

“John Wesley, founder of Methodism, on Romans 6:4, says,

‘We are buried with him, alluding to the ancient manner of baptizing by

immersion.’

“Martin Luther says:

‘For to baptize in Greek is to dip, and baptizing is dipping. Being moved by

this reason, I would have those who are to be baptized to be altogether dipped

into the water, as the word doth express, and as the mystery doth signify.’ (Works.

Wittemb. Ed., vol. 2, p. 79.) [For political reasons, no doubt, Luther changed his

mind and went along with Rome.]

“Cardinal Gibbons, Roman Catholic, says:

‘For several centuries after the establishment of Christianity, baptism was

usually conferred by immersion, but since the twelfth century the practice of

baptizing by effusion has prevailed in the Catholic church, as this manner is

attended with less inconvenience than baptism by immersion.’ - Faith of Our

Fathers, p. 275.

“The Encyclopedia Britannica, in the article ‘Baptism,’ vol.3, p. 351, says:

‘The usual mode of performing the ceremony was by immersion... The council

of Ravenna, in 1311, was the first council of the [Roman Catholic] church to legalize

sprinkling by leaving it to the choice of the officiating minister.’”

[Brackets mine: C.A.P.].

46 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

Chapter Three

THE SECOND WITNESS

THE TESTIMONY OF

NON-BAPTISTS

In opposing the old Baptists and their Biblical doctrines and

practices, both Catholics and Protestants have unwittingly given

witness to the perpetual existence of the very people they wished

to extinguish. They have mentioned in their writings that there

existed churches that would not conform to the wishes of the party

in power. Churches outside the “established church” are mentioned:

churches whose members refused to submit to non-Biblical teaching

and polity.

The Catholics and Protestants (depending on which group was

in power at the time) called themselves “orthodox” and all others

“heretics,” especially the Baptists. They falsely accused our Baptist

forefathers of the grossest sins: things too disgusting and mean to

be believed. These powerful religious interests categorized our

Baptist forefathers with the worst of heretics because they refused

to compromise the truth of God.

We do not intend that the reader should think that all whom

the Catholics or Protestants termed heretics were necessarily sound

Baptists. However, we do understand that from among those groups

thus stigmatized are to be found our Baptist forefathers and that

they are a scarlet cord of witness for Christ. Our second witness,

then, shall be the unsolicited and sometimes antagonistic testimony

of those outside Baptist ranks.

The Testimony of Heinrich Bullinger

Heinrich (sometimes Henry) Bullinger (1504-1575), Protestant

Swiss reformer, first aided then succeeded Zwingli in the work of

the Protestant Reformation. Bullinger hated the Anabaptists. He

opposed them in every way possible, even unto persecution. He

wrote:

“...anabaptism is... as contrary as can be to the doctrine of Christ

and His Apostles: truly it is no marvel that the obstinate Anabaptists

47 The Second Witness

are kept under and punished by common laws. For otherwise these

things are damnable, and not to be dissembled or suffered of a

christian magistrate.” 1

Here he calls upon every “christian magistrate” to punish the

anabaptists of his day! In other comments about these anabaptists

he unwittingly gave testimony as to their ancient origin by citing

the opposition to “re-baptizers” on the part of the Caesars as follows:

“Now, I think it not labour lost to speak somewhat of

anabaptism. In the time that Decius and Gallus Caesar were

Emperors, there arose a question in the parts of Africa of rebaptising

heretics; and St. Cyprian, and the rest of the Bishops, being

assembled together in the council of Carthage, liked well of

anabaptism... Against the Donatists St. Augustine, with other learned

men, disputed. There is also an Imperial Law made by Honorius

and Theodosius, that holy Baptism should not be iterated [repeated].

Justinian Caesar hath published the same, in Cod. lib. I. Tit. 6, in

these words. ‘If any Minister of the Catholic Church be detected to

have rebaptised any, let both him which committed the

unappeasable offence, (if at least by age he be punishable) and he,

also, that is won and persuaded thereunto, suffer punishment of

death.’” 2 [Brackets mine: C.A.P.]

Decius lived from about A.D. 201-251 and was “The first

[Roman Emperor] to launch organized persecution against the

Christians.” 3 Bullinger testifies that as early as the third century

A.D. the apostate church opposed the anabaptists! What a testimony

to the ancient age of persons holding Baptist views!

Gallus Caesar (Gallerius) lived from about A.D. 201-311 and

“was probably responsible for initiating the persecution against

Christians in 303.” 4 Persecution by the preceding emperor, Decius,

failed to destroy anabaptism! It was still present according to

Bullinger’s testimony, in Africa at least, into the fourth century.

Justinian Caesar (A.D. 483-565) was “Roman emperor from

527... He established many churches and monasteries...” 5 Implicit

in Bullinger’s testimony is this: by the 6th century after Christ,

apostate churches had joined with imperial Rome in outlawing

anabaptism as a capital offense. Bullinger furnishes unwitting

testimony to the pre-Reformation existence of persons holding

Baptist views outside of the state church!

Bullinger is quoted as having stated early on in the Reformation:

“The Anabaptists think themselves to be the only true church

of Christ and acceptable unto God and teach that they who by

baptism are received into their churches ought not to have any

48 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

communion [fellowship] with [those called] evangelical or any other,

whatsoever, for that our [i.e. evangelical Protestant, or reformed]

churches are not true churches any more than the Papists.” 6

We believe this to be an accurate statement of Baptist views.

Baptists are not about to admit that a church that does not follow

the Bible is as good as a church which does! Similarly, Baptists

maintain that a church started by Christ and faithful to Him must

of necessity be approved of God rather than any man-made society

even though it may call itself ‘Christ’s Church.’

The Testimony of Peter Allix, D.D.

Between A.D. 800 and 1000, some European Anabaptists were

ridiculed with the name “Waldenses” from their geographic location

in the valleys of the Alps. Some were also nicknamed “Cathari”

which means “pure ones” - this because they insisted on a regenerate

church membership evidenced by holy living. Peter Allix (A.D.

1641-1717) was a learned scholar and historian of the Church of

England. He furnishes us a list of thirty-three errors charged against

this people by the Jacobite priest Raynerius. While some of the

charges are doubtless false and others are “twisted truth,” the

following excerpts indicate the doctrine and practice of these

Baptists:

“...THEY AFFI RM THAT THEY ALONE ARE THE

CHURCH OF CHRI ST and his disciples. They declare

themselves... to have apostolic authority and the keys of binding

and loosing. They hold the Church of Rome to be the Great Whore

of Babylon [mentioned in Revelation chapters 17, 18] and all that

obey her are damned... They hold that none of the ordinances of

the [Roman Catholic] Church, that have been introduced since

Christ’s ascension ought to be observed, as being of no worth: the

feasts, fasts, orders, blessings, offices of the [Roman Catholic]

Church, and the like, they utterly reject... THEY SAY, THAT

THEN FI RST A MAN IS BAPTIZED, WHEN HE IS

RECEIVED INTO THEIR SECT... They do not believe the body

and blood of Christ to be the true sacrament, but only blessed bread,

which by a figure only is called the body of Christ, in like manner

as it is said, “and the rock was Christ,” and such like... According to

them there is no purgatory; and all that die do immediately pass

either into heaven or hell. That therefore the prayers of the [Roman

Catholic] Church for the dead are of no use... They hold, that the

saints in heaven do not hear the prayers of the faithful, or regard

the honors which are done to them... They add, that the saints do

49 The Second Witness

not pray for us... Wherefore also they deride all the festivals which

we celebrate in honor of the saints, and all other instances of our

veneration for them... They do not observe Lent or other fasts of

the [Roman Catholic] Church... They do not receive the Old

Testament; but the Gospel only, that they may not be overthrown

by it, but rather be able to defend themselves therewith; pretending,

that upon the coming of the Gospel, all old things are to be laid

aside.” 7 [Brackets & emphasis mine: C.A.P.]

These Baptists lived hundreds of years 8 before the Protestant

Reformation. They remained separate from the Romish church and

maintained the same church doctrine and practice for which sound

Baptists stand even to this very day. We, like them, do not regard a

person as baptized or a member of Christ’s church until and unless

he or she is baptized on the authority of Christ as delegated to one

of His New Testament Baptist churches.

The Testimony of Ulrich Zwingli

Ulrich (or Huldrych) Zwingli, Swiss Reformer, (1484-1531) was

contemporary with Luther and Calvin. The Council of the city of

Zurich, Switzerland (doubtless acting under Zwingli’s leadership

for there was then a union of church and civil government) “...took

the drastic step of decreeing death by drowning as the penalty for

all those who persisted in the heresy” of anabaptism. 9

He gives testimony to the Anabaptists who caused both the

Protestants and the Catholics great consternation because of their

refusal to compromise with either “established” church. Hear this:

“The institution of Anabaptism is no novelty, but for thirteen

hundred years has caused great disturbance in the church, and has

acquired such a strength that the attempt in this age to contend

with it appears futile for a time.” 10

This statement takes Baptists back to the third century! The third

century is NOT the time of the beginning of the Baptists. The third

century is near about the time when some apostate congregations

began mixing Old Testament priesthood ideas with paganism under

Christian names to form what is now known as the Catholic church.

Zwingli testifies to the faithfulness of our Baptist forefathers in

opposing the wicked innovations of apostate Rome from her

beginning. Baptist doctrine and practice, founded as it is on the

Scriptures alone, could not be destroyed. Neither unscriptural

teachings of man’s manufacture nor the sword of civil power could

destroy the truth. The frustrated fury of those who had no support

from the Bible for their pernicious doctrines and traditions resulted

50 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

in the persecution of those who held the truth.

The Testimony of Cardinal Hosius

Roman Catholic Cardinal Stanislaus Hosius (see glossary) (1504-

1579) was one of the most significant figures of the Roman Catholic

“Counter Reformation.” He was official representative of the pope

and presiding officer of the Council of Trent (see glossary). Of the

Anabaptists he said:

“If the truth of religion were to be judged by the readiness and

cheerfulness which a man of any sect shows in suffering, the opinions

and persuasions of no sect can be truer or surer than those of the

Anabaptists, whence there have been none for these twelve hundred

years past that have been more grievously punished, or that have

more cheerfully and steadfastly undergone and even offered

themselves to the most cruel sorts of punishment than these people.”

11

Again the Cardinal gives his unsolicited and clear testimony to

the perpetuity of the Lord’s churches when he says of our Baptist

forefathers:

“Were it not that the Baptists have been grievously tormented

and cut off with the knife during the past twelve hundred years

they would swarm in greater numbers than all the reformers.” 12

The Cardinal takes Baptists back to at least A.D. 350 - just after

Constantine united the secular government with apostate churches.

Hosius is really saying that as long as the Romish church has existed

there have been Baptist churches that opposed her heresies. And

this in spite of vigorous and violent attempts to exterminate them.

We heartily agree with the Cardinal. Baptists were already in

existence when Romanism came into being!

The Testimony of An Educated Host

J. Cardinal Gibbons, Primate of the Roman Catholic Church

in America; Patrick J. Healy, D.D., Catholic University of America;

Theodore Roosevelt, LL.D., Associate Editor, “The Outlook” and

former President of the United States of America; and some eleven

other eminent scholars served as contributors to the volume entitled

Crossing the Centuries.

This popular history was edited by William C. King and

copyrighted in 1912. Mr. King advertised to bring forward, among

other things, “The Development of Literature, Religions,

Philosophies...” and stated that he was “Assisted by the Editorial

Counsel and Special Contributions of College Presidents, Leading

51 The Second Witness

Educators, Distinguished Divines, Eminent Authors, Literary

Specialists, Historians, Archaeologists, Sociologists, Scientists, State

and National Officials, State Librarians and Bibliographers.”

This educated host of men and women gave the histories of

various religious denominations then known in North America.

Regarding the Baptists this volume states:

“Of the Baptists it may be said that they are not reformers.

These people, comprising bodies of Christian believers known

under various names in different countries, are entirely distinct and

independent of the Roman and Greek churches, have had an

unbroken continuity of existence from Apostolic days down through

the centuries. Throughout this long period they were bitterly

persecuted for heresy, driven from country to country, disfranchised,

deprived of their property, imprisoned, tortured and slain by the

thousands, yet they swerved not from their New Testament Faith,

Doctrine and Adherence.

“The extreme conditions of the Reformation served to develop

an organized denominational unity among the Baptists in

Switzerland in 1523, which extended into Germany, then spread to

Holland and other countries of Europe, also to England and Wales.

The Baptist church of modern times may properly claim its

“organized” denominational activities as beginning with the

Switzerland movement.” 13

What a testimony! We make no claim other than this: true New

Testament churches holding and following basic, Biblical, Baptist

principles have existed from the days of Christ’s earthly ministry

down to the present time. Those principles caused them to require

baptism at the hands of a baptized man with connection to a New

Testament kind of church.

The Testimony of Robert Barclay

Robert Barclay, a Scottish apologist for the Society of Friends

(Quakers), lived from 1648-1690. Barclay, along with eleven others,

was granted a patent for the province of East New Jersey by the

Duke of York. This notable man was then appointed governor.

Barclay’s collected works were published posthumously in 1692

under the title Truth Triumphant Through the Spiritual Warfare. The

preface to this work was written by William Penn, for whom

Pennsylvania was named. Barclay reports the following concerning

the Baptists:

“We shall afterwards show that the rise of the Anabaptists took

place prior to the reformation of the Church of England, and there

52 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

are also reasons for believing that on the continent of Europe small

hidden Christian societies, who have held many of the opinions of the

Anabaptists, have existed from the times of the apostles. In the sense

of the direct transmission of divine truth, and the true nature of spiritual

religion, it seems probable that these churches have a lineage or

succession more ancient than that of the Roman Church.” 14

Barclay’s testimony certainly supports the old Baptist claim to

their direct connection with the first church! The testimony of this

respected individual carries much weight not only because of his

position, but also because, as a Quaker, he was not connected with

the Baptists. Thus he had no interest in promoting them or their

cause.

The Testimony of John Lawrence von Mosheim, D.D.

More properly spelled Johann Laurenz von Mosheim (see

glossary), this candid and noteworthy Lutheran wrote:

“The true origin of that sect which acquired the denomination

of the Anabaptists, by their administering anew the rite of baptism

to those who came over to their communion, and derived that of

Mennonites from that famous man, to whom they owe the greatest

part of their present felicity, is hid in the remote depths of antiquity,

and is consequently extremely difficult to be ascertained.” 15

Modern Baptists and Mennonites share a kindred ancestry in

some instances, although the Mennonites have swerved, in many

instances, from the truth. Thus von Mosheim’s testimony bears

directly on the origin of those people called in our day “Baptists.”

The Testimony of David Masson

Masson was professor at the University of Edinburgh and lived

from 1822-1907. This Scottish literary critic and biographer wrote

the six-volume Life of John Milton as well as other biographies.

Concerning the Baptists he wrote:

“The Baptists were by far the most numerous of the sectaries.

Their enemies... were fond of tracing them to the anarchical German

Anabaptists of the Reformation; but they themselves claimed a

higher origin. They maintained, as Baptists still do, that in the

primitive or apostolic church the only baptism practiced or heard

of was an immersion in water; and they maintained further that the

baptism of infants was one of the corruptions of Christianity against

which there had been a continued protest by pure and forward

spirits in different countries, in ages prior to Luther’s Reformation,

including some of the English Wyclifites, although the protest may

53 The Second Witness

have been repeated in a louder manner, and with wild admixtures,

by the German Anabaptists who gave Luther so much trouble.” 16

True Baptists continue to maintain that the ONLY baptism

according to Scripture is immersion in water - just as Paul wrote of

the “one baptism” in Ephesians 4:5. Scriptural baptism is properly

administered only to repentant believers in Christ. Neither a

different mode, subject, motive nor administrator than those

exemplified in the Scripture will satisfy those who follow the Bible.

And since Baptists refuse to accept as true the innovation of Luther

- an invisible church - we have no need of an invisible “baptism”

into it.

We understand 1 Cor. 12:13 consistently with other Scriptures

to refer to the one baptism inaugurated by John the Baptist. Those

who believe 1 Cor. 12:13 to refer to some kind of “Spirit baptism”

do so at the peril of forcing themselves into a corner in which they

must believe in more than one baptism. Usually they try to link 1

Cor. 12:13 with the prophecy of John ( John 1:33), but John records

that Christ would baptize IN THE SPIRIT on Pentecost, which

He did. 1 Cor. 12:13 does not state that Christ would baptize, BUT

RATHER THAT THE HOLY GHOST WOULD BE THE

ACTING AGENT - quite a different thing altogether. Thus those

who try to hold this view have TWO “invisible” baptisms. One

with Christ as administrator and the other with the Holy Spirit acting

as administrator. We insist that 1 Cor. 12:13 teaches that the Holy

Ghost leads believers to be baptized just as Simeon “came by the

Spirit” into the temple in Luke 2:27. Compare “baptized by one

Spirit” in 1 Corinthians with “came by the Spirit” in Luke. No

student of the Bible understands that Simeon was somehow

supernaturally carried through the air into the temple, nor is it sound

exegesis to say that the Spirit supernaturally immerses anyone. We

do understand that the Holy Spirit leads men to seek the truth and

submit to Scriptural baptism just as the Spirit led Simeon to go into

the temple at the right moment to see the infant Christ.

Protestants are forced to believe in two or three baptisms for

this age. They believe in (1) water baptism as there are just too

many clear Scriptures to deny it. They believe in (2) the baptism in

the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost - Charismatics and

Pentecostals insist this event has often been repeated though they

can furnish no data for such claimed recurrences. Protestants also

usually believe in (3) believers being somehow baptized into the

invisible church by the Holy Spirit. Shame on anyone who

knowingly tries to defend such a forced interpretation as Protestants

54 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

do with 1 Cor. 12:13! And to think they base their whole “spirit

baptism” doctrine on only ONE VERSE in the whole Bible - and

that of disputed meaning! Baptists believe in “ONE LORD, ONE

FAITH, ONE BAPTISM” as Eph. 4:5 says, and they believe it

BECAUSE the Bible says it! Which will you believe, reader, the

teachings of men or the simple Word of God?

The Testimony of Alexander Campbell

Alexander Campbell, founder of the various Campbellite groups

now known as “The Churches of Christ,” “The Disciples,” “The

Christian Churches,” etc., in his debate with MacCalla, a

Presbyterian, had this word of testimony for the Baptists:

“...from the apostolic age to the present time, the sentiments of

Baptists, and the practice of baptism has had a continued chain of

advocates, and public monuments of their existence in every century

can be produced.” 17

What need we add to Mr. Campbell’s statement?

The Testimony of John Clark Ridpath

John C. Ridpath was a well-respected American educator and

historian. Born in 1840, he lived until 1900. He was, for 16 years,

associated with what is now De Pauw University in Indiana. There

he held the professorship of belles-letters, of history, and of political

philosophy. He also served as vice-president of De Pauw, his alma

mater. He resigned this office in 1885 to devote the remainder of

his life to writing. He is known for his monumental work, History of

the World, as well as numerous other works of various sorts. He was

a Methodist in his denominational affiliation. He wrote:

“I should not readily admit that there was a Baptist Church as

far back as A.D. 100, although without doubt there were Baptists

then, as all Christians were then Baptists.” 18

It seems logical that if all Christians were Baptists in A.D. 100,

then their churches would have been Baptist churches. It is

unthinkable that such a principled people as the Baptists would

organize churches contrary to their principles! No doubt Mr.

Ridpath, in saying there was not “a Baptist Church” in A.D. 100,

referred to an organized group of Baptist churches as some have

formed in recent times. Usually these organizations are understood

by the public at large to be “The Baptist Church” although such a

thing does not exist and never has existed. As Southern Baptist

Convention preacher and author J.G. Bow wrote:

“Baptists, following the New Testament pattern, have no

55 The Second Witness

aggregate known as ‘The Baptist Church.’ Like the apostles and

early Christians we have churches...

“Errors in the formation and government of churches lead to

errors in doctrine and practice. Baptists believe the New Testament

plan to be good enough, and hence we cling to the scriptural form

and government. Jesus commanded (Matt. 18:17) to tell a certain

kind of grievance to the church, after other divinely given measures

had failed.

“Imagine an Episcopalian, a Methodist, Presbyterian, or

Catholic attempting to obey the injunction, and telling his grievance

to his church.” 19

We are in hearty agreement that there was no such man-made

organization of churches in A.D. 100 nor is there any Scriptural

warrant for their existence now. We further agree with Mr. Ridpath

concerning first-century Christians, that “all Christians were then

Baptists.”

The Testimony of Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton, English scientist, mathematician, philosopher,

student of the Scriptures and of history said:

“The modern Baptists formerly called Anabaptists are the only

people that never symbolized with the Papacy.” 20

“Symbolize” in its older usage meant to resemble, represent or

make to agree. In this Newton is saying that the Baptists are unique

in that they were never connected with the Roman Catholic Church.

Baptists maintain that they existed BEFORE the Catholic apostasy

took place; that they existed ALONGSIDE Catholicism after her

formation; and that they existed APART from Catholicism. Sound

Baptists who understand their history and their principles would

never maintain that they originated during or after the Protestant

“Reformation.”

The Testimony of Drs. Ypeij and Dermout

Dr. A. Ypeij was Professor of Theology at Graningen. Along

with Dr. J.J. Dermout, Chaplain to the king of Holland, he received

a royal commission to prepare a history of the Dutch Reformed

Church in 1819. This history, prepared under royal sanction, and

officially published, contains the following testimony to the antiquity

and orthodoxy of the Baptists:

“We have now seen that the Baptists, who were formerly called

Anabaptists, and in later times, Mennonites, were the original

Waldenses... On this account, the Baptists may be considered as

56 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

the only religious 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. The perfectly correct

external and internal economy of the Baptist denomination tends

to confirm the truth, disputed by the Romish Church, that the

Reformation brought about in the sixteenth century was in the

highest degree necessary, and at the same time goes to refute the

erroneous notion of the Catholics, that their denomination is the

most ancient.” 21

The words of these two Dutch scholars is certainly clear. No

elucidation is required!

SUMMARY OF THE TESTIMONY OF NON-BAPTISTS

Thus we conclude our brief look at a sampling of non-Baptist

witnesses. We have heard the testimony of Presbyterian, Methodist,

Lutheran, Quaker, Church of England, and Dutch Reformed

Protestants, as well as the testimony of Roman Catholics. They all

give witness to the continual existence of persons holding Baptist

principles and observing Baptist practices in Baptist churches from

ancient times until the present.

Their testimonies combine to provide what would be considered

incontrovertible evidence in a court of law! They testify to the

apostolic origin of those churches practicing New Testament

principles found among the people called Baptists today.

Doubtless, ignorance of the Bible is the reason some of these

non-Baptists stood against John’s baptism and Christ’s church. (See

Matt. 22:29.) However, history records that many non-Baptists of

by-gone days remained in the churches of their own or some other

man’s manufacture because of vested interests! It would have cost

them too much to follow Christ completely! They followed the

Bible until they saw their prospects were painful and then left off

following it in order to follow the path of expediency. What an

awful thing to have knowingly rejected the truth of God concerning

His church - that church which Christ loved and gave Himself for -regardless

of the reason!

While these “great Reformers” are held in the highest regard

by some, it is feared that when they give account of themselves to

God, it will be quite a different matter. You and I, reader, will also

give account to God for our actions and religious loyalties. Do we

think to commend ourselves to God and His will by rejecting His

church, His baptism and His truth? May God give grace to all,

57 The Second Witness

both writer and reader, to learn of Him and follow His Word in

pattern and principle as well as precept.

NOTES

1. Henry Bullinger, SERMONS ON THE SACRAMENTS, (Cambridge,

University Press for T. Stevenson, London, 1811), p. 189.

2. Bullinger, ibid., pp. 186, 187.

3. J. D. Douglas, Walter A. Elwell, & Peter Toon, THE CONCISE

DICTIONARY OF THE CHRI STIAN TRADITION, (Grand Rapids,

Zondervan, 1989), p. 119.

4. Douglas, Elwell, & Toon, ibid., p. 162.

5. Douglas, Elwell, & Toon, ibid., p. 213.

6. Heinrich Bullinger, (Graves, OLD LANDMARKISM, Texarkana, Bogard

Press, 1881 ed.), p. 115.

7. Pierre Allix, D.D., THE ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY OF THE

ANCIENT CHURCHES OF PIEDMONT originally published in 1690,

(reprinted at Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1821), [reprinted by Church History

Research & Archives, Gallatin, TN, 1989], pp. 209-212.

8. James Murdock, translator of Mosheim, though opposing the view of

Rainerius Saccho, a 13th century enemy of the Cathari, nevertheless quotes him

as follows regarding the Waldensian Baptists:

“Their sect has been the most injurious of all to the church of God on account

of their antiquity; for they, according to some, originated in the times of the Roman

bishop Silvester in the fourth century; and according to others, existed as early as

the days of the apostles.” [Rainerius Saccho, LIEBER ADV. WALDENSES, c. iv

[in the Biblioth. Patrum, tom. xxv., p. 262, &c.] quoted by James Murdock, footnote

in his translation of John Lawrence von Mosheim, INSTITUTES OF

ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY, (Boston, Scriptural Tract Repository, 1892), Vol.

II, p. 27.}

Murdock opposed the apostolic origin of the Baptists, but was forced to admit

the Waldensians were of ancient origin as follows:

“...it has long been admitted that for centuries there had existed in the valleys

of Piedmont various sorts of people, who were not in communion with the Romish

church.” ibid. p. 27.

Surely no honest and informed person can doubt the apostolic origin of the

Baptists and their continued existence under differing local names.

9. G.W. Bromiley, THE LIBRARY OF CHRI STIAN CLASSICS,

(Philadelphia, The Westminster Press), Vol. XXIV, p. 120.

10. Christian, op cit, p. 86.

11. Cardinal Stanislaus Hosius, Letters, APUD OPERA, pp. 112, 113. [Baptist

Magazine, CVII, p. 278 (May 1826)], quoted by Christian, op. cit. pp. 85, 86.

Quoted also by C. B. and Sylvester Hassell, HISTORY OF THE CHURCH

OF GOD, (Middletown, NY, Gilbert Beebe’s Sons, 1886), [reprinted by Old School

Hymnal Co, Inc., Conley, GA., 1973], p. 504.

12. Hosius, ibid.

58 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

13. William C. King, Ed., CROSSING THE CENTURIES, (London,

Stationer Hall, 1912), p. 174.

14. Robert Barclay, THE INNER LIFE OF THE SOCIETIES OF THE

COMMONWEALTH, (London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1876), pp. 11, 12.

15. Johann Laurenz von Mosheim, AN ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY,

(New York, Harper & Brothers, 1860), [Reprinted by Old Paths Book Club, Box

V, Rosemead, CA., Second ed.], Vol. II. pp.119, 120.

16. David Masson, LIFE OF J OHN MI LTON, NARRATED I N

CONNECTION WITH THE POLITICAL, ECCLESIASTICAL, AND

LITERARY HISTORY OF HIS TIME, (London, 1876), Vol. I, p. 146.

17. Alexander Campbell, A DEBATE ON CHRISTIAN BAPTISM,

BETWEEN THE REV. W. L. MACCALLA, A PRESBYTERIAN TEACHER,

AND ALEXANDER CAMPBELL, (“Buffaloe,” NY., Campbell and Sala, 1824),

pp. 378, 379.

Campbell goes on in the same place to say, “Even the greatest enemy, among

ecclesiastic historians, Dr. Mosheim, [see Glossary] is constrained to say, vol iv, p.

424, ‘The TRUE ORIGIN of that sect which ACQUIRED the denomination of

Anabaptists, by their administering anew the rite of baptism, to those that came

over to their communion, and derived the name of Mennonists from the famous

man to whom they owe the greatest part of their present felicity, is HID in the

REMOTE DEPTHS of antiquity, and is of consequence difficult to be

ascertained.’” [Capitals & Italic type belong to Campbell: brackets mine, C.A.P.]

18. John Clark Ridpath, personal letter to W.A. Jarrell, quoted in W.A. Jarrell’s

BAPTIST CHURCH PERPETUITY, (Dallas, 1894), [reprinted by the Calvary

Baptist Church Book Store, Ashland, KY.], p. 59.

19. Bow, op cit., pp. 21, 22.

20. William Whiston, MEMOIRS OF WHISTON ( Jarrell, op cit), p. 313.

Whiston was at first deputy to Isaac Newton in the mathematics professorship

at Cambridge, then successor to him. He lived from 1667 to 1752 and was a well-known

preacher in the Church of England until he left it because of his “Arian”

views to become a General Baptist.

21. Ypeij en Dermout, GESCHIEDENIS DER NEDERLANDSCHE

HERVORMDE KERK, (Breda, 1819), Christian, op. cit. pp. 95, 96.

A slightly different, but materially identical translation by Thomas W. Tobey,

D.D., college professor, editor, and pastor, is quoted by J.R. Graves, op cit, p. 87

59 The Third Witness

Chapter Four

THE THIRD WITNESS

THE TESTIMONY OF THE SCRIPTURES

Christ’s Church Revealed In The Scriptures

Writing concerning the Lord’s Churches, Jarrell Huffman, pastor

to the Sovereign Grace Baptist Church of Duncan, OK, wrote:

“This subject [church truth] must be reckoned with; it cannot

be dismissed by subtle attacks on ‘Landmarkism,’ examining the

works of the Puritans, or checking all of the lexicographers to see

what they say or think. History is fine, but it gives only a secondary

source of proof on any doctrine. First and foremost is the Word of

God, the standard of faith and practice for the churches of the living

God (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:19-21).” 1 [Brackets mine: C.A.P.]

“To the law and to the testimony,” then. If what Baptists and their

enemies have said about them is not warranted by Holy Writ, cast

aside the words of men and cling to the truth of the Bible. If,

however, the Bible does indeed teach the perpetuity of the Lord’s

churches, let us look around for churches that are (1) like unto the

ones described in the New Testament and which have (2) a valid

claim to a continual existence from that time. When we find

churches meeting these two qualifications, then we shall have found

the true churches of Christ!

Since all the Protestants, cults, interdenominationalist groups,

etc., etc., are but of yesterday as to their origin, the only possible

contenders for meeting the two aforementioned criteria are (1) the

Catholics and (2) the Baptists. While the Catholics are seen to be

almost as old as the Baptists, they have deviated from the principles

of Bible Christianity so far as to be unrecognizable as New Testament

churches. Catholicism fails in longevity and in kind: they are, in

fact, apostate Baptists whose beginning was hundreds of years this

side the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ.

There are, however, among the people called Baptists, churches

whose ordinances, officers, doctrines and practices are patterned

after the teaching and example of the New Testament. Thus one of

the criteria for qualifying as Christ’s church is met. The basic doctrine

of these churches requires that they were organized as churches by

60 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

men having previous church connection, i.e. Scriptural baptism, as

well as ordination and good standing with a previously existing

church of like faith and practice.

Baptist churches that have consistently held strictly to these

principles can be assured that they are successors to the first church

by virtue of the very nature of the polity they espouse. The proof is

this: no sound Baptists would approve of unbaptized persons

forming themselves into a church and “baptizing” each other.

Neither would they think to organize a new church without previous

church connection. This church connection between previously

existing churches and newly constituted ones is seen clearly

throughout the book of Acts and is often referred to as “church

authority” among sound Baptists. This is historic Baptist polity

derived from the New Testament and has characterized sound

churches down through the centuries whatever they may have been

nicknamed. It is this historic polity that produces churches with a

valid succession back to the Jerusalem church that Jesus founded.

Upon the solid rock of Scripture do we rest our argument. While

we have called as witnesses the voices of several outstanding Baptists

and have presented the testimony of non-Baptists, neither our faith

nor our practice rest upon the testimony of men. Regardless of the

testimony of history, we would not dare ground our doctrine and

polity upon it. If, however, the Scriptures teach a thing to be true

and right we propose to believe it, advocate it and practice it though

it cost us our very lives. We have no choice but to obey the Word of

God and thus “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered...” ( Jude

verse 3).

Some questions for your reflection as you read this chapter are

these: Did Christ organize His church or did someone else effect

what He could not? Did Christ assign authority to conduct His

work to anyone in particular? Was He specific in giving this

authority? Did He give specific commands? Did He give such

commands to specific persons? If so, in what capacity were these

persons commissioned? Did Christ make any promises that require

the perpetual succession of His churches? Do the teachings of Christ

indicate or require that there be a succession of New Testament

churches? Was church succession taught and/or assumed by the

apostles? Was the practice of the apostles consistent with or contrary

to the historic Baptist view? If the New Testament kind of churches

did cease to exist, could they be “restarted” by some kind of

“reformation?” Can baptism, if lost, be instituted again? If so, by

whom can it be reinstituted? What qualifications, according to the

61 The Third Witness

pattern of Scripture, would be required of the one re-establishing

the Lord’s church and valid baptism? While it is not our plan to

specifically answer every one of these questions, after reading this

book you should be well on the way to resolving these questions

for yourself from the Scriptures.

That the Scriptures are meant to be the rule and guide of our

faith (doctrine) and practice (conduct) is evident. While some may

be satisfied to give lip service to this idea, it is our firm conviction

that we must actually and really follow the Bible! Isaiah 8:20 says,

“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this

word, it is because there is no light in them.”

As in all matters of both faith (what we believe) AND practice

(what we do), faithful Baptists require a “Thus saith the Lord!” This

is one principle that sets genuine Baptists apart from others.

Protestants may claim to base their doctrine on the New Testament,

but obviously their practice has been derived from other sources -either

Romish traditions, paganism or the teachings of some man.

Consider this concrete example of Protestant profession

contradicted by Protestant practice. Most Protestant groups claim

to believe in salvation by grace alone through faith, but by their

practice they deny what they say they believe. They put water on

an unbelieving baby and teach that such a “baptism” makes the

babe a child of God. And they do this without Biblical instruction

to do so and without Biblical example of the practice.

Baptists believe the New Testament contains both the

instructions and the patterns necessary to know the truth and to

practice it in a manner well pleasing to God. Sound Baptists demand

that their church practice be consistent with Bible truth.

The church of Christ in Thessalonica was commended for their

faithfulness in following both the apostolic party AND the churches

in Judea. The word “followers” is a translation of the Greek

“mimetes” from whence comes our word “mimic.” Notice the words

as follows:

“And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord...” (1 Thess.

1:6).

“For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which

in Judea are in Christ Jesus...” (1 Thess. 2:14).

New Testament Baptist churches “mimic” the first church and

others like it. They insist on not only believing the same doctrines

but also following the godly pattern set before us by those churches.

This belief that the New Testament is not only the guide for our

faith, but also the pattern for our practice is a second principle that

62 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

sets genuine Baptists apart from others.

We have no right to interject our own ideas, beliefs, practices

or traditions into the worship and service of God. To do so nullifies

God’s Word, for after all, He has revealed in the Bible everything

He wants us to know about spiritual things. The following verses

clearly instruct us as to our obligation to be subject to the Bible in

all things. Consider these warnings:

(Mark 7:13) “Making the word of God of none effect through

your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things

do ye.”

(Deut 4:2) “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command

you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the

commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”

(Deut 12:32) “What thing soever I command you, observe to do

it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.”

(Rev 22:18) “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words

of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things,

God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.”

It is devastatingly serious to tamper with the Word of God either

in theological matters or in the matter of observance, practice and

celebration.

That many in the days of the apostles (and ours) have perverted

God’s truth is the cause of the divisions within “Christendom.”

Because of their strict views, Baptists are often charged with causing

divisions among Christians. Mature consideration shows that in

reality others are the guilty parties. Those who have separated from

Baptist churches and founded new ones are in reality guilty of schism

and sowing discord among brethren. It is those churches that left

off being Baptist churches and merged into the Catholic system

that are in actuality the schismatics. Protestants, unable to stomach

Romish corruption, either left or were ejected from Catholicism.

Their “reformation” was only partial as is always the case with

human renovations. They failed to return to the Lord’s churches

and went about to establish their own. Thus they, and not Baptists,

are guilty of divisiveness and schism.

Multitudes have not followed the plain teachings of the Bible

and have left the Lord’s churches to follow some human leader.

Others either lacking knowledge or unconcerned with truth, have

started their own “churches” without considering or understanding

the New Testament doctrine and pattern of church truth. This was

the case even in the days of Christ’s apostles. Consider these verses:

(2 Cor. 2:17) “For we are not as many, which corrupt the word

63 The Third Witness

of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak

we in Christ.”

(2 Cor. 4:2) “But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty,

not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully;

but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s

conscience in the sight of God.”

(1 John 2:19) “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for

if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us:

but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were

not all of us.”

Many churches of our own time have been started by persons

unwilling to follow historic Biblical doctrine and practice. Some

openly “corrupt the word of God” and are guilty of “handling the word

of God deceitfully.” Others “were not all of us” and therefore “they went

out from us.” This has been done for so long and by so many that

few in today’s religious world even consider that they have no right

to found their own churches.

The Catholic churches, both Eastern and Latin, and all their

Protestant “offspring” are the results of people apostatizing from

Bible truth and leaving the Lord’s churches. Without a doubt many

in these societies are sincere, but sincerity is no measure of the

truth! Some “churches” were formed or “deformed” by persons

leaving off New Testament practices. Others were formed by those

who came only partially out from the errors of Rome. Whichever

is the case, all the various non-Baptist societies now known as

“churches” have their origin apart from the founding work of Christ.

Many of these churches have their own “popes” - either dead

or living - who rule as lords over them. If you doubt that Protestants

set up their own infallible “popes,” consider the following

information concerning one of the larger and more socially

acceptable Protestant bodies, the Methodists.

“In the application of human wisdom to the organization of a

religious society, John Wesley was, as commonly remarked, more

like Ignatius Loyola [the founder of the Jesuits] than any other man;

he conformed the organization of Methodism more to that of

Romanism than that of any other Protestant body... By his famous

‘Deed of Declaration to the Legal Hundred,’ “the Magna Charta of

Methodism” (made in 1784, when he was eighty-one years of age),

bequeathing the property and government of all his chapels in the

United Kingdom to a hundred of his traveling preachers and their

successors, on condition that they should accept as their basis of

doctrine his Notes on the New Testament and the four volumes of

64 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

his sermons published in or before A.D. 1771, he surpassed even

the worldly wisdom of Catholicism, and made himself not only the

infallible, but the eternal pope of his society. So his Twenty-five

Articles of Religion are declared, in the Methodist Book of

Discipline, to be unalterable. This makes Wesley the last and greatest

authoritative teacher of the human race, and places him above Christ

and His Apostles, as we are required to look through the medium

of Wesley at all the Divine teaching, and to accept forever his

interpretation of the doctrine and precepts of the Bible. How can

any of the dear children of God be willing thus to substitute the

headship of a sinful and fallible mortal for the headship of Christ?”

2 [Brackets mine: C.A.P.]

Wesley was neither the first nor the last Protestant to be set up

as the final authority on spiritual truth. This writer, before becoming

a Baptist, was once a follower of “Dr.” C.I. Scofield, a long dead

“pope” to many. Scofield’s Bible notes and writings are often good

and helpful but are sometimes dangerous in their error as well!

Often great and helpful Bible teachers have been nearly idolized

by those who follow their teachings.

Hurtful error as well as soul-damning heresies arise in the

depraved hearts and minds of men and women who do not know

the Scriptures. Therefore our only safe guide is the Word of God.

This is clearly seen in the following words of Christ.

(Matt 22:29) “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not

knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.”

It is the Word of God, the Bible, that tells of God’s provision of

salvation and that same Word is to teach us correct doctrine and

guide our lives.

(2 Tim 3:15, 16) “And that from a child thou hast known the

holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation

through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by

inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for

correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

Let the Roman Catholic Church claim infallibility for her popes!

Let the Protestants set themselves up infallible guides! Such a

practice has no foundation in the teachings of the Bible!

Roman Catholic scholars do not view the Scriptures in the same

light as Baptists. They believe the Bible, not because they see and

understand it to be the revealed truth of God, but because the

Roman Catholic Church tells them to believe it. If you doubt this,

hear the words of the venerated “Saint” Augustine.

“I would not believe the New Testament if the [Roman Catholic]

65 The Third Witness

Church doctrine did not command me to.” 3 [Brackets mine: C.A.P.].

This is the reason “Saint” Augustine could pick and choose

among the teachings of the Bible. He could select what he wanted

to believe and practice from the Old Testament as well as from the

New. He claimed to believe that all men were sinners,

“...except the Holy Virgin Mary, whom I desire, for the sake of

the honor of the Lord, to leave entirely out of the question when

the talk is of sin.” 4

And yet some speak of Mary-worshipping Augustine as if he

were next to Paul in preaching the truth of God. In my opinion,

Spurgeon fell into this error. Augustine’s authority was not the Bible,

but was rather the Romish church that told him to believe the Bible

along with her traditions and papal pronouncements. What a sober

warning this ought to be to those who profess to believe the Bible!

Let us believe it all! Let us be in submission to its authority, for it is

the Word of God. How dare we select from among its teachings

that which we like and then deny that which may go contrary to

our preconceived ideas. How sad that many in our own day will

not believe the truth about the Lord’s churches because it runs

contrary to their own ideas!

Let the Protestants glorify some great theologian or teacher and

follow after him or her if they insist. When the blind lead the blind

“both fall into the ditch” (Matt. 15:14). But let those folk who profess

to believe the Bible prove their belief in it by their obedience to it!

Among those churches called Baptist are to be found people

who have been brought by God Himself to stand upon the New

Testament as their only rule of faith and practice. They see in it

both precept and pattern for acceptable worship and service. We

believe this is the only course well pleasing to God, the Divine

Author of the Bible. If we have no Biblical authority for either our

doctrine or our practice, abandon such things as innovations of

depraved mankind. On the other hand, if the Bible teaches it, we

who “tremble at His word” can do nothing more or less than believe

and obey it!

Three questions, in the main, should be set forth at this juncture.

They are as follows:

(1) Do the Scriptures teach that Christ built His church during

His earthly ministry, or do they teach that the Holy Ghost built it

on the Jewish festival of Pentecost?

(2) Do the Scriptures assume that this kind of church would

persevere until the Lord returns for her, or are there Scriptures that

say she would totally apostatize and therefore require a reformation?

66 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

(3) Do the Scriptures teach adequately about this kind of church

so as to enable us to identify these churches today?

Keep these questions in mind as you consider the following

pertinent points.

Christ Founded His Church

That Christ’s church was built (established) by Him during His

earthly ministry is evident from the Scriptures. He asserted that He

would build it:

“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. 16:18).

Without going into great length, it should be observed here

that Christ did not say He would build His church on Peter. The

word for “Peter” is, according to Strong, “Petros (pet’-ros); apparently

a primary word; a (piece of) rock as a name, Petrus, an apostle,” 5

but the word for “rock” upon which the church is built is “petra

(pet’-ra); feminine a (mass of) rock (literally or figuratively).” 6 This

second word, “petra” signifies a massive bedrock as illustrated in

the following verses:

Matt 7:24-25: “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of

mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which

built his house upon a rock” (petra). “And the rain descended, and

the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and

it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock” (petra).

Matt 27:60: “And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had

hewn out in the rock: (petra) and he rolled a great stone to the door

of the sepulcher, and departed.”

Mark 15:46: “And he bought fine linen, and took him down,

and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulcher which

was hewn out of a rock, (petra) and rolled a stone unto the door of

the sepulchre.”

Luke 6:48: “He is like a man which built an house, and digged

deep, and laid the foundation on a rock (petra): and when the flood

arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not

shake it: for it was founded upon a rock” (petra).

Romans 9:33: “As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a

stumblingstone and rock (petra) of offence: and whosoever believeth

on him shall not be ashamed.”

1 Cor 10:4: “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they

drank of that spiritual Rock (petra) that followed them: and that

Rock was Christ.”

67 The Third Witness

1 Pet 2:8: “And a stone of stumbling, and a rock (petra) of offence,

even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto

also they were appointed.”

These verses demonstrate that Christ contrasted Peter (petros),

a small stone, with a massive rock (petra). Doubtless our Lord

pointed to Himself as the Rock on which He established His church.

(Compare with Jesus’ use of “temple” in John 2:19.) He is “a foundation

stone,” “the foundation,” and the apostles’ and prophets’ “foundation”

as indicated in the following verses:

Isaiah 28:16: “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay

in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner

stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.”

1 Cor 3:10-12: “According to the grace of God which is given

unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and

another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth

thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid,

which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation

gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble...”

Eph 2:20: “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles

and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.”

Jesus Christ did NOT build His church on Peter, in spite of the

Romish claims that Peter was her first pope. In this connection

there is absolutely no Scriptural confirmation that Peter was ever

in Rome, let alone was the first pope as the Roman Catholic Church

claims! In fact, from the Scriptures we garner much that would

cause us to be assured he never was in Rome. Consider:

(1) Paul wrote the great doctrinal Book of Romans to the church

in Rome. It seems strange that he would need to do so if another

apostle was already there with the church in Rome as the Papists

affirm. What would be the necessity of such a letter?

(2) Even more conclusive is the fact that Paul, while greeting

the church there in the beginning of his Roman letter, says nothing

by way of greeting to Peter. Surely, if Peter were then present in

Rome, Paul would have greeted him. If Peter were the Pope in

Rome, Paul most certainly would have greeted him in his letter!

(3) Later Paul was confined in Rome, perhaps as many as three

different times. From Rome during his imprisonments Paul wrote

the Bible books of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and 2 Timothy.

In 2 Timothy alone Paul mentions 23 friends and foes, but never

once in any of these books does he mention Peter! Surely if Peter

had been in Rome, Paul would have mentioned him. Some

individuals sent greetings to other brethren by the hand of Paul in

68 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

these letters. Others are mentioned by name, but no mention is

made of Peter. He obviously was not in Rome!

There just is no Bible confirmation that Peter was ever at Rome.

Biblical evidence being to the contrary, Rome’s claim to Peter being

the first pope is seen to be another of her bogus assertions! It is just

an empty, man-made tradition of no consequence or worth

whatsoever.

What is significant for us to observe here is that while Christ

did not say He would build His church on Peter, He DID say He

would build His church! There is no hint in the words, “I will build

my church” that anyone other than Christ was to be the agent in

building it. Jesus did not say that the Father would build His church.

Neither did He say that the Holy Spirit would build His church!

Neither is there a single Scripture verse that says or even hints

that the Holy Ghost would build, begin or birth Christ’s church on

the Jewish feast of Pentecost. The idea that the church was founded

on Pentecost has been taught so routinely that many presume it to

be the “birthday of the church.” Such an assumption has no basis

in the Word of God! We believe Christ did what He said He would

do: He built His church during His earthly ministry. Until someone

can give Bible evidence for the birth of the church taking place on

Pentecost, there is no reason to make this assumption.

Christ Founded A Real Church

By the word “church” the Bible does not mean a regional,

national or worldwide organization as some might think. Such a

meaning for the word “church” is as foreign to the Bible as is the

idea of a “universal, invisible church.” These and other definitions

have been given to the word “church,” but a careful study of the

word shows its local, visible nature. We quote James Strong again:

“ecclesia (ek-klay-see’-ah); a calling out, i.e. (concretely) a

popular meeting, especially a religious congregation...” 7

Although Strong goes on to try to make “ecclesia” some-thing

more than a “local church,” he and others fail under both biblical

evidence and the evidence of original language. He offers no Biblical

or linguistic reason for his attempt to make “ecclesia” refer to a

“universal church.” Indeed, he could not, for there is neither Biblical

nor linguistic basis for such an attempted definition! New Testament

usage, secular usage and the Septuagint usage of the word “ecclesia”

indicate it was only and always used of an organized, congregating

body of people in a given locality.

One of the biggest hindrances to a proper understanding of

69 The Third Witness

New Testament church truth is the notion that the word church

means more than one thing. For years this author followed the

wisdom of the Protestants, notably “Dr.” C.I. Scofield and his Dallas

Seminary disciples who, without Scriptural warrant, teach several

“kinds” of churches. To bolster their interdenominational views,

they blithely assure us that there is an “invisible church.” This

“leaven” has infiltrated the theological world to the point that many

Baptists now assure us there does indeed exist such a “universal

church.”

B.H. Carroll (1843-1914) was the founder and first president of

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and for thirty years

served as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Waco, Texas. He

produced the following works, The Holy Spirit; Christ and His

Church; Evangelistic Sermons: Baptists and Their Doctrine;

Inspiration of the Bible: Jesus the Christ; Revival Messages; and

the seventeen volume An Interpretation of the English Bible; as

well as other works. Elder Carroll wrote the following:

“Our Lord and the New Testament writers neither coined this

word [Greek “ecclesia”] nor employed it in any unusual sense.

Before their time it was in common use, of well-understood

signification, and subject like any other word to varied employment,

according to the established laws of language. That is, it might be

used abstractly, or generically, or particularly, or prospectively,

without losing its essential meaning...

“What, then, etymologically, is the meaning of this word? Its

primary meaning is: An organized assembly, whose members have

been properly called out from private homes or business to attend

to public affairs. This definition necessarily implies prescribed

conditions of membership...

“When, in this lesson, our Lord says: “On this rock I will build

my “ecclesia” while the “my” distinguished His “ecclesia” from the

Greek state “ecclesia” and the Old Testament “ecclesia,” the word

itself naturally retains its ordinary meaning...

“Commonly, that is, in nearly all the uses, it means: The

particular assembly of Christ’s baptized disciples on earth, as ‘The

church of God which is at Corinth.’

“To this class necessarily belong all abstract or generic uses of

the word, for whenever the abstract or generic finds concrete

expression, or takes operative shape, it is always a particular

assembly.” 8 [Brackets mine: C.A.P.].

Carroll goes on to point out that generic uses do not prove the

existence of some “universal, invisible church” as imagined by

70 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

Luther. Just as the Scriptures say, “The husband is the head of the

wife” (Eph. 5:23), and yet no one is foolish enough to believe in

one gigantic “husband” or one “universal, invisible wife.” So when

the Scriptures speak of the “church” in an abstract sense, we only

find the church existent in assemblies of Scripturally baptized

believers organized according to the New Testament. Carroll makes

this point, writing as follows:

“For example, if an English statesman, referring to the right of

each individual citizen to be tried by his peers, should say: ‘On this

rock England will build her jury and all power of tyrants shall not

prevail against it,’ he uses the term jury in an abstract sense, i.e., in

the sense of an institution. But when this institution finds concrete

expression, or becomes operative, it is always a particular jury of

twelve men and never an aggregation of all juries into one big jury.

–”Or if a law writer should say: ‘In trials of fact, by oral

testimony, the court shall be the judge of the law, and the jury shall

be the judge of the facts,’ and if he should add: ‘In giving evidence,

the witness shall tell what he knows to the jury, and not to the

court,’ he evidently uses the term ‘court,’ ‘jury,’ and ‘witness’ in a

generic sense. But in the application the generic always becomes

particular - i.e., a particular judge, a particular jury, or a particular

witness, and never an aggregate of all judges into one big judge,

nor of all juries into one big jury, nor of all witnesses into one big

witness. Hence we say that the laws of language require that all

abstract and generic uses of the word “ecclesia” should be classified

with the particular assembly and not with the general assembly.” 9

Further testimony to the New Testament usage of the word

“ecclesia” is found in the standard work of W.E. Vine, not a Baptist,

but a noted Greek scholar. He states:

“Ekklesia... was used among the Greeks of a body of citizens

gathered to discuss the affairs of State... In the Sept. [Septuagint -Greek

translation of the Old Testament] it is used to designate the

gathering of Israel summoned for any definite purpose, or a

gathering regarded as representative of the whole nation...” 10

[Brackets mine: C.A.P.]

Honesty demanded that Vine place his definition in his

dictionary, not under the letter “C” for church, but rather under

“A” for assembly and that is where you will find his comments.

Sadly, due no doubt to preconceived notions, Vine asserts with

absolutely no etymological or Scriptural basis that the word can

also refer to all the saved. Such inconsistency cannot rightly be

called scholarship. Shame on Mr. Vine. We trust he knows better

71 The Third Witness

now!

Similarly, honesty forces Vincent, Robertson and others to admit

that the etymology of the word demands a (local) assembly founded

by Christ in contrast to the (local) Jewish assembly which was called

a synagogue. There is no instance of Christ ever using the word in

any but a local sense. Neither is it sensible to suppose that the

apostles changed the meaning of the word to mean something

universal and invisible. For the apostles to do so without making

such a distinction clear would have been misleading, to say the

least!

If common sense and the normal usage of language prevail,

there is absolutely no reason to think that “church” means anything

other than an assembly of Scripturally-baptized believers in Christ

who are organized according to the New Testament. Only those

who oppose the church or have an axe to grind in support of

Protestantism find it necessary to make such a simple matter into a

very complex one by insisting that there is an additional kind of

church other than a “local” one. We are reminded of Paul’s words

to the church at Corinth whom he had “espoused” as a “chaste

virgin” or bride to Jesus Christ. He wrote, “But I fear, lest by any

means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds

should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” (2 Cor.

11:3). Simplicity lies in believing in the regular, usual, logical and

linguistically authentic definition of the word church as a local

congregation. Complexity and confusion arise when men

manufacture additional definitions for the word “church” and then

try to distinguish between them. That these lexicographers who

insist on blatantly inserting their own ideas into their definition of

“church” are neither infallible nor free from preconceived notions,

the Reformed scholar Berkhof tells us quite frankly:

“It is necessary to bear in mind that the Lexicons are not

absolutely reliable, and that they are least so, when they descend to

particulars. They merely embody those results of the exegetical

labors of various interpreters that commended themselves to the

discriminating judgement of the lexicographer, and often reveal a

difference of opinion. It is quite possible, and in some cases perfectly

evident, that the choice of a meaning was determined by dogmatical

bias... If the interpreter has any reason to doubt the meaning of a

word, as given by the Lexicon, he will have to investigate for

himself.” 11

Some have tried to argue that the word “ecclesia” - since it

comes from two Greek words which basically mean “to call” and

72 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

“out” must mean “the called out ones.” Scofield and others pursue

this unscientific and unreal route. By doing so they try to say that

the “ecclesia” or “church” is therefore all the “called out” or elect of

any one or even all ages. We readily admit that the word “ecclesia”

springs from the two words as mentioned, but would also point out

that words often come to mean something other than a combination

of their roots. Baptist elder Edward Overby points out:

“A few words should be said about the etymology of ekklesia

before going on... A distinction should be maintained between the

etymology of a word and its meaning at some particular time in

history. Sometimes the two are the same: many times they are quire

different. ‘Hussy’ came from ‘huswife’ which means housewife;

today it means worthless women, or girl, or a pert girl. ‘Con-stable’

came from ‘comes stabuli’ which means attendant of the stables;

today it means a peace officer. Ekklesia came from ekkletos which

means called out but in the times prior to the New Testament it

meant assembly or called out assembly. To say it means the called

out is not correct. Broadus writes, ‘The Greek word ecclesia signified

primarily the assembly of citizens in a self governed state, being

derived from ekklaleo to call out; i.e., out of their homes or places

of business, to summon, as we speak of calling out the militia. The

popular notion that it meant to call out in the sense of separation

from others, is a mistake...’ Hort also confirms this when he writes,

‘There is no foundation for the widely spread notion that ekklesia

means a people or a number of individual men called out of the

world or mankind.” 12

The word ecclesia always referred to an assembly gathered and

organized to conduct business. This was the common usage before

and during the days of the Lord Jesus on earth. S.E. Anderson points

out:

“Some of the greatest Greek scholars say that no case has been

found in classic Greek where ecclesia is used of unassembled or

unassembling persons.” 13

Further to the point, Roy Mason writes:

“Prof. Royal, of Wake Forest College, North Carolina, who

taught Prof. A.T. Robertson, of the Louisville Seminary, and Prof.

C.B. Williams, Greek, when asked if he knew of an instance in

classic Greek where ecclesia was ever used of a class of ‘unassembled

or unassembling persons’ said: ‘I do not know of any such passage

in classic Greek.’ With this statement agree Professors Burton of

Chicago University, Stifler of Crozer, Strong of Rochester and many

other scholars.” 14

73 The Third Witness

Since neither Jesus nor His apostles ever indicated that they

were using the word ecclesia in any but the well-known and

commonly accepted usage of the day, it is a grievous violation of

all the common sense rules of interpretation to substitute a different

definition for the one they meant and the one their hearers

understood. By such loose interpretative procedures as these, the

Bible can be made to teach almost anything. Pointing out that the

church is always “local” and that we need not use that adjective

before the word, J.B. Moody, in addressing the meeting of the

Southern Baptist Convention hosted by his church said:

“I never read of a local assembly, building, body, bride, city,

congregation, candlestick, flock, fold, family, field, house, household,

temple, vine, vineyard, woman, or wife. They may be local, but it

is tautological tomfoolery to say so, except to distinguish them from

some other kind. But there is no other. The kingdom is not local,

but the church is necessarily so. When a church dies IN a place, it

dies only TO the place, and scatters itself to others. Christ says, “I

will REMOVE the candlestick OUT OF ITS PLACE...” 15

Again we quote the well-known and respected Elder Moody,

this time from an address delivered at the Baptist Young Peoples

Union Encampment at Estill Springs, Tennessee, on June 25, 1907:

“A universal church, visible or invisible, must have organization

and officers and doctrine and government, or it can do nothing.

Such a church could not be a steward of anything. It never meets to

consult about anything and has no officers to execute anything.

This senseless error about a universal church has deceived more

people and wasted more energy and begot more bigotry than

perhaps any other deceitful device of the devil... ‘The Church of

God’ is a congregation. The expression ‘Church of God’ occurs

twelve times, and any man, though blind in one eye and purblind

in the other, can see it so in every case. The lion is a ferocious

beast; every lion is a ferocious beast; but all lions are not a ferocious

beast. That is an inconceivable conception; an “unsupposable”

supposition and an unspeakable superstition. The executive ability

is in the real beast and not in the unreal, buster. So of the horse,

man, jury, church, etc... The universal church has been assumed,

asserted and insisted on to the irrevocable damage of the faith for

which we should contend. I don’t believe in it. If there could be

such a thing it could not do anything. It never has met, it has no

doctrines, no officers, no government, no commission. You can’t

tell who is in it or how they got there. It is an invisible, impracticable,

impeachable, impossible, impecunious imp, spread out into

74 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

shallowness, enlarged into littleness and increased into nothingness.

It makes a man feel too large for a contemptible little congregation

that Christ organized for work. They think they are in the big church

by reason of saving faith, and they don’t see the need of being

added to another church -a little, local, limited church, too small

for their little finger. Let me magnify this “minified” and crucified

church, which is the church of the living God.” 16

To say that Christ did not build His church is to make Him out

to be a liar at worst, or to be a failure at best. Neither is acceptable

to the true Christian for we know our Lord to be both truthful and

well able to accomplish all He wills to do.

While some attempt to hold to the position that while the church

is limited to only Scripturally baptized believers in organized

assemblies here on earth, it will include all the saved in Heaven,

this position is to be rejected for at least four good reasons. The late

Roy Mason, author and for many years pastor of the Buffalo Avenue

Baptist Church (now Central Avenue Baptist Church) of Tampa,

Florida, states our position clearly:

“To hold that the church is local and visible, and is a continuation

of the institution that Christ started and promised to perpetuate,

then to shift from this, the true church, and to teach that the church

that finally assembles over yonder will be composed of all of these

redeemed regardless of whether they ever belonged to any church

or not, is an inexcusable contradiction. If that were true, then several

other things would have to be true:

“1 - As already argued, the Bride would turn out to be different

from the one betrothed to Christ.

“2 - Christ’s promise that nothing would prevail against His

church, would be proven false, for the institution started by Him

would completely flop, for the church in Glory would prove to be

a different thing entirely.

“3 - In such case, there would be no reward for the church that

endured endless persecution for Christ, and that furnished fifty

million martyrs for the defense of His truth.

“4 - Why should so much be made of the church that Jesus

started? Why should its truth be defended so arduously? Why should

members of this church have been willing to die for their beliefs, if

in the final windup, the ultimate triumph is to be given to those

who - some of them - persecuted those of the true church, or else

ignored or disdained the true church? If all believers are to constitute

the church in Glory - the Bride - then in the climax the church

turns out to be something different than Christ’s church here on

75 The Third Witness

this earth.” 17

The teaching that two (or more) meanings of the word “church”

are correct is of great harm to the cause of Christ. To have two

“churches” with differing requirements for membership and

different methods of entrance is to foment confusion in the minds

of believers. We quote B.H. Carroll again regarding those who hold

to a “universal, invisible church.”

“...I honestly and strongly hold that even on this point his theory

is erroneous and tends practically to great harm. Yes, I do most

emphatically hold that this [universal, invisible church] theory is

responsible for incalculable dishonor put upon the church of God

on earth. I repeat that the theory of the co-existence, side by side,

on earth of two churches of Christ, one formal and visible, the other

real, invisible and spiritual, with different terms of membership, is

exceedingly mischievous and is so confusing that every believer of

it becomes muddled in running the lines of separation. Do let it

sink deep in your minds that the tabernacle of Moses had the

exclusive right of way in its allotted time and the temple of Solomon

had the exclusive right of way in its allotted time - so the church of

Christ on earth, the particular assembly, now has the exclusive right

of way, and is without a rival on earth or in heaven...” 18 [Brackets

mine:C.A.P.].

Christ Commissioned His Church

When anything is commissioned it receives delegated authority

to act in behalf of another. That person or entity commissioned,

when acting in official capacity, no longer acts on its own authority,

but functions in the name of and on behalf of and by the express

command of the superior granting the commission. The second

mention of “church” in the New Testament is in Matt 18:15-18 and

clearly demonstrates the authority of Christ as entrusted to His

church:

“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell

him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee,

thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take

with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three

witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to

hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the

church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be

bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be

loosed in heaven.”

Notice that neither the pastor nor some imagined board has

76 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

authority to act in this matter. The matter must be brought before

the church (the membership) and they are to seek the mind of the

Lord in the matter. The decision (vote) of the church in obedience

to Christ is binding in Heaven as well as within the confines of the

church.

Here the church is explicitly authorized and instructed to

exclude from her fellowship those whose behavior brings reproach

upon the Head of each true church. Are we to believe that Christ

did not mean for His disciples to obey these words? Why did He

not tell them they would be obligated to obey these instructions at

some future undisclosed time? There is nothing here to indicate

these instructions were not for them then and there. The idea that

these are instructions for the “future church” find a basis only in

the writings of “Dr.” C.I. Scofield and his anti-Baptist followers.

Additionally, just prior to His ascension, Christ gave definite

authority to act and specific directives for His church to heed on

the following occasion:

“Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a

mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw

him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came

and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven

and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them

in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded

you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.

Amen.” (Matt. 28:16-20).

This authorization by Christ of His church to act is often called

“The Great Commission.” It is actually the FINAL commission,

for there was an earlier one, just as specific and explicit, but of a

somewhat different nature. It is found in Matt. 10:1-15. To

understand the nature of a commission, the reader is urged to note

that in that passage Christ’s church was sent forth to a specific people,

Israel, and Israel only. They were given definite directives as to

what they were to do and not do. No one other than the Lord’s

church was given this commission; thus, no one other than His

church was acting under His authority.

If the church did not originate until the festival of Pentecost as

our Protestant neighbors affirm, then Christ is found to be in the

rather preposterous position of giving guidance, authority and a

commission to something that did not exist! Not only was the first

commission given before Pentecost, but so also was the “Great”

one. A candid reading of Matthew evidences that these words (i.e.

77 The Third Witness

the Commission) were spoken to actual men then in existence who

were expected to obey. While they were instructed to wait for the

power of the Holy Ghost which indeed came on the following

Pentecost, no new or additional authority was given on that Jewish

feast day.

Some would attempt to maintain that Christ, in Matt. 28:18-20,

gave His authority and instructions to the eleven as ordinary men.

Others inform us that He addressed them as apostles. Neither of

these can conceivably be an accurate perception of the Commission,

for if either of these be correct, His words, “and lo, I am with you

always, even unto the end of the world.” are insignificant rhetoric.

According to this interpretation Christ was either mistaken or

perhaps He was an outright fraud. It is obvious that neither as

individuals nor as apostles have these men continued even to our

day, and the “end of the world” has not come yet. Jesus has not

continued with them either as individuals or apostles in the sense

of which He spoke.

However, if we understand that Christ gave authority and

instructions (the “Great Commission”) to the eleven as His church,

then we begin to understand His promise to be with them. This

view is consistent with Revelation chapters 1-3 where He is revealed

to be in the midst of the “seven candlesticks” which are the seven

churches. Only if we understand that Christ gave authority to act

in evangelism, baptism and teaching to His church, and promised

perpetual existence to her, do we begin to realize that He really

meant what He said in promising to be with them “always”.

Allow me to illustrate the matter of authority in this way. A

man may possess the financial and physical ability to mine vast

deposits of gold from the earth. He may busy himself about this

work and enjoy great success in his labor. He CAN mine the gold.

However, because society has enacted laws to attempt to ensure

equity among her citizens, this man may lose not only all he has

gained by mining, but also all he has previously owned. You see, IF

a man does not have the authority to mine gold - if he has no legal

claim to the ground he works - all his labor may be in vain. While

he CAN mine the gold, he MAY not do so without proper

authorization. He may even be subject to a fine levied against him

because he violated the laws respecting mining.

So it is with Christ. He has delegated His authority to His church.

She is not only the “pillar and ground of the truth,” but also to her

was committed the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper

as well as the authority to send forth teaching servants in the work

78 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

of the Lord as the Holy Ghost calls and leads. While a man CAN

(is able to) preach, immerse, and administer bread and wine, he

MAY NOT (does not have permission to do so) unless the Holy

Ghost sends him forth out of and by a New Testament church. This

is the teaching and pattern of the New Testament!

This “church authority” delegated by Christ to His churches is

seen in action in the New Testament. Consider the sending out of

Paul (Saul) and Barnabas in Acts 13:1-4.

“Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain

prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called

Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought

up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the

Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and

Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they

had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent

them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed

unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.”

Note these several things:

(1) The men to be sent out were active teaching members “in

the church that was at Antioch” which was a real, functioning “local”

church.

(2) “The Holy Ghost said,” speaks of the Divine call to service.

Without the working of the Holy Ghost in both the individual called

AND in his church there can be no Scriptural sending-out of men

to do the work of “church planting”.

(3) After more fasting and prayer the spiritual leaders in the

church of which they were members “laid their hands on them”

(that is, ordained them to the work).

(4) In this way they were “sent forth by the Holy Ghost.” Both

the sovereign working of the Spirit AND the obedience of the

members of a New Testament church are required for an individual

to be “sent forth by the Holy Ghost.”

It is quite clear that the church at Antioch was involved in

sending these Brethren out as evangelists. Baptists maintain that a

church must be involved in separating (by ordination - which is

appointment to service) and sending out evangelists (often called

missionaries today) just as in the New Testament. It was to this church

at Antioch that these Brethren were accountable. It was this church

at Antioch to which they later returned. It was this church at Antioch

to which they gave reports of their work. This “church connection”

is consistently found in the New Testament. The New Testament

knows nothing of “free lance” individuals being somehow “called

79 The Third Witness

of God” apart from a New Testament church. None were approved

of God who went about preaching, baptizing and teaching apart

from church authority having been given to them. Anyone who

acts in such a “free lance” fashion does so without New Testament

instruction or example and therefore without Divine authority.

Surely honest and sensible Christians who will lay aside

preconceived notions and vested interests can see the truth here.

The simple, clear meaning of these passages is that Christ built His

church and invested her with the work of evangelism, baptism, and

the teaching and observing of “all things whatsoever I have

commanded you”. Quite simply stated, Christ’s church, through

successive organizations, must necessarily continue to exist in

perpetuity if these things are to be rightly carried out. If these are

responsibilities given to the Lord’s church, then she must continue

to exist for these responsibilities to be continued.

Christ Guaranteed Perpetuity To His Church

Nothing can be more assuring to the true Christian than the

words of Jesus Christ. If He gave a guarantee that His church would

never cease to exist, then that church still exists! You may not have

found it yet, but IF Christ promised its perpetuity, IT EXISTS! He

said, in Matt. 16:18:

“I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail

against it.”

“Hell,” according to Strong is: “haides (hah’-dace); properly,

unseen, i.e. “Hades” or the place (state) of departed souls.” 19

The idea conveyed by the term “gates” seems related to the

fact that the rulers of Israel sat in the gate. The gate was the location

of government for a city; thus, the “gate” was spoken of as the

government. This is evidenced by the following verses:

Deut 25:7: “And if the man like not to take his brother’s wife,

then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say,

My husband’s brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name

in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother.”

Ruth 4:10, 11: “Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon,

have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead

upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from

among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses

this day. “And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders,

said, We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come

into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the

house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in

80 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

Bethlehem.”

Daniel 2:49: “Then Daniel requested of the king, and he set

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province

of Babylon: but Daniel sat in the gate of the king.”

In using the term “gates,” the Lord Jesus was saying that the

government of hell (the unseen evil spirit world) shall not prevail

against His church! The word translated “prevail” is “katischuo (kat-is-

khoo’-o); to overpower.” 20 Can any Christian ask for a better

guarantee than the word of Christ? Surely not! For this reason we

believe that Christ’s church has existed in succession and that there

are churches of the same sort on the earth today.

The only alternative is to say that the church went off into

apostasy sometime prior to or during the “Dark Ages.” This popular

Protestant view of history (that the church apostatized and required

a “reformation”) is to say that the church Christ founded ceased to

exist. It is to say that Christ’s church perished off the face of the

earth, for apostate churches are spiritual harlots and not Christ’s

pure bride at all. Such churches cannot be Christ’s! If Christ’s

churches ceased to exist, then it must follow that baptism was lost.

Corrupt churches can only administer a false and corrupt baptism.

Once lost, then only by direct Divine intervention and authority

could baptism ever be reinstated. This because no unbaptized man

ever baptized anyone in the New Testament except John the Baptist,

and he had direct Divine authority.

The historic Baptist position is that the Lord’s churches did not

cease to exist during the apostasy of the Dark Ages. Rather she

continued and still continues to make disciples, mark them with

John’s baptism (which is Scriptural, Christian baptism) and mature

them so as to fit them for the work of the ministry.

Christ Instituted A Perpetual Supper In His Church

Writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote

these words to the Scripturally-baptized church of Christ in Corinth:

“For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew

the Lord’s death till he come” (1 Cor. 11:26).

This statement means nothing unless it means that the Lord’s

churches are to perpetually exist until He comes for them.

Remember, the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper, like baptism, was

given to the Lord’s churches to be observed by them as a church of

Christ “TILL HE COME!” Paul, in instructing the Corinthian

Church regarding abuses at the Lord’s Table, said, “...when ye come

together in the church...” (1 Cor. 11:18). The problem was obviously

81 The Third Witness

“in the church.” Paul did not refer to being in a building, but rather

the members meeting in “church capacity.” It is therefore seen that

the apostolic churches kept the ordinances “in the church,” and so

do the Lord’s churches unto this day.

As quoted above, the promise to the Lord’s church was that

they were to continue observing the Supper “till he come.” If the

Protestants are right and the churches went off into apostasy, error

and corruption in the Dark Ages, then the Lord’s intent that the

Supper be observed “TILL HE COME” has failed. If ALL the

churches went off into apostasy, they ceased to exist as true churches

of Christ. Scriptural baptism and the Lord’s Supper ceased with

them.

There is, however, no indication whatsoever that ALL churches

apostatized. During the “Dark Ages” and at all other times since

the earthly ministry of Christ, there have been churches, hidden

away perhaps, but nonetheless faithfully standing for the truth of

God regarding salvation and proper service. These are the churches

of Christ!

Churches which are damnably corrupted, either in practice or

doctrine, cease to be the Lord’s churches. This is doubtless the

meaning of the warnings to the seven churches of Revelation. Hear

the message Christ sent to the “angels” (pastors) of these churches.

Rev 2:4-5: “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because

thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou

art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come

unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place,

except thou repent.”

Rev 2:13-16 “I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even

where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not

denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful

martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. But I have

a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the

doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before

the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit

fornication. So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the

Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Repent; or else I will come unto

thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my

mouth.”

Rev 2:20-23 “Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee,

because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a

prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication,

and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent

82 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into

a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation,

except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with

death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth

the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according

to your works.”˜

Rev 3:1-3 “And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write;

These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the

seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest,

and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain,

that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before

God. Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and

hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come

on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come

upon thee.”

Rev. 3:15-16 “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor

hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm,

and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”

The fact that individual churches have their “candlestick”

removed does not imply that all churches have perished from off

the earth, but only that a congregation has ceased being Christ’s

church in that place. That many churches have thus lost their

“saltness” (Mark 9:50) is apparent. That a remnant of churches have

remained faithful by the sovereign grace of God is also true.

It was to His church that Christ entrusted His ordinances to be

kept as He instituted them. (Clearly the New Testament pattern,

historic Baptist polity and sensible practice is that the Lord’s supper

be observed by the members of a church meeting together in church

capacity. 21 See 1 Cor. 11:18 & 20.) Christ’s words indicate that the

Lord’s supper was to be a perpetual memorial. It was to be observed

until He comes. Therefore, in order for it to enjoy continual

existence, His church must enjoy continual existence through

successive congregations. So we say that the Lord’s supper proves

church succession or perpetuity.

Christ Designed His Church To Continue

SHE IS A BRIDE

That each church is a “chaste virgin” “espoused” to Christ (2

Cor. 11:2), in other words a “bride” of Christ, is evident to all who

will study the Scriptures honestly ( John 3:29; Rev. 21:2,9; 22:17). It

is worthy of note that John the Baptist said he was neither Christ

nor a part of the bride, but rather was the “friend of the bridegroom.”

83 The Third Witness

In contrast to this pure “bride,” the false religious system is likened

to a “great whore” in Revelation chapters 17 and 18. This “Harlot”

is clearly the Roman Catholic organization. She is also the mother

of certain offspring, for she is called the “Mother of harlots.” These

harlot “daughters” are no doubt the Protestant “churches.” We know

of no others who could be said to be the offspring of Rome other

than the Protestant churches, for they came out of her. Like natural

children often do, these Protestant churches bear striking

resemblance to their mother. So, then, we have two completely

different kinds of churches: one pictured as a virtuous woman and

the other a corrupt woman.

If the corrupt Roman church was ever the bride of Christ, then

He is married to an harlot! (Espousal is marriage, not just

engagement!) If Protestant churches are the bride of Christ, then

Christ is married to a partially reformed harlot! If all churches are

mere branches of corrupt Romanism, and we are all “unconscious

Catholics” as she falsely claims, Christ has no pure bride, but is

married to a trollop.

Neither can we believe that Christ is a widower! If Christ’s

church ceased to exist, that is the bride corrupted herself and needed

a reformation, then He had then no bride and could be considered

a widower. We raise the question then, can you really believe that

Christ is presently without a bride on the earth - a bride who is

anticipating His return for her? Surely not! Christ will return and

find His bride hidden away out of sight, a godly remnant looking

for His return! If that bride is not the Harlot or her daughters, then

she must be sound New Testament Baptist churches. Nothing on

the earth, other than a sound Baptist church, acts and looks like a

New Testament church AND can offer proof of her continued

existence since her founding by her Bridegroom in the days of His

earthly sojourn.

SHE IS AN HOUSE

Each church is said to be “the house of God, which is the church

of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15).

In architectural language, then, a church is responsible to support

the truth as both footings and pillars support the upper structure of

a building. It is in churches that the truth is taught, and it is the

churches that are responsible to evangelize. If the church

(institutionally speaking) ceased to exist because of apostasy, then

the truth would crash to the ground and be lost. Can you really

believe that Christ’s church ceased to exist and required a re-formation

under such men as Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, etc., etc?

84 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

Church members are exhorted to “earnestly contend for the faith

which was once delivered unto the saints” ( Jude 3). To some who

might object, claiming that a specific church is not mentioned in

Jude we would enquire just what it was into which “certain men

crept” in verse 4. Who but a church held agape-feasts as mentioned

in verse 12? Obviously these people to whom Jude wrote existed in

church capacity and they were responsible to God for the truth

“once delivered to the saints.”

God preserves His truth, and He does so by perpetually

sustaining His churches that are made up of those who have received

a love of the truth. Christ knew what He was doing when He

designed and built His church. A church that has an hierarchy,

once corrupt at the top, corrupts itself entirely. It matters not whether

it is a Roman or Eastern Catholic hierarchy, Protestant

denomination, Cult, “Baptist convention,” “Baptist association,”

“Baptist mission board,” or “Baptist fellowship.” Anything beyond

the “local” church, once corrupt at the top, corrupts itself entirely.

This is the testimony of history! Each sound Baptist church has

Christ “at the top” as her Head. Being autonomous entities, if one

church should fall away into apostasy, the remaining churches are

unaffected. If one ceases, others in other places continue. The pillar

and ground of the truth will stand until Christ returns for her!

SHE IS KEPT BY HER SOVEREIGN FOUNDER

The plain fact of the matter is that Christ did build His church,

and genuine believers in New Testament days were members of

His churches. In fact, the book of Acts knows nothing of saved

individuals who were not baptized into a church. Are we to believe

that Christ’s work in establishing His church has come to naught?

Has Satan thus overcome the Lion of the tribe of Judah? Has the

usurper god of this world dethroned the rightful Sovereign? Such

things are unthinkable to all who are familiar with the teachings of

the Bible!

To any unprejudiced student of the Bible it surely must be

evident that Christ established His church. He gave her the

responsibility of evangelizing, baptizing and teaching. As well He

left her the observance of the two ordinances, both of which relate

to the redeeming death of Christ for His elect. He promised to be

with her until the end of the age and that the powers of the unseen

spirit world would not be able to “prevail” over her.

That New Testament kind of church is yet with us today. It

behooves every saint of God to locate such a church and join himself

85 The Third Witness

to it so that his service might be pleasing, orderly, acceptable to

Christ and eternally rewarded.

NOTES

1. Jarrel E. Huffman, “The Elect Within the Elect,” (The Berea Baptist Banner,

South Point, Ohio/Mantachie, Miss., Milburn Cockrell, Ed., Vol. IX, Number 5,

May, 1988), p. 7.

2. Hassell and Hassell, op. cit., pp. 334, 335.

3. Augustine, quoted by W.W. Everts, Introduction, W. A. Jarrell, BAPTIST

CHURCH PERPETUITY, 1894), p. xi.

Everts wrote his introduction from Haverhill, Mass. in May of 1894. Formerly

his was the Chair of Ecclesiastical History, Chicago Baptist Theological Seminary.

4. Augustine, De nat. Et grat. 36,42, Wilhelm, CHRIST AMONG US, A

MODERN PRESENTATION OF THE CATHOLIC FAITH, 2nd Ed., (NY/

Paramus, Paulist Press), p. 91.

5. James Strong, THE GREEK-HEBREW DICTIONARY AND

ENGLISHMAN’S CONCORDANCE, (Seattle, Biblesoft, 1988), a software

version of STRONG’S EXHAUSTIVE CONCORDANCE OF THE BIBLE,

James Strong, (Nashville, Abingdon).

6. Strong, ibid.

7. Strong, ibid.

8. B.H. Carroll, ECCLESIA - THE CHURCH, (Little Rock, AR, Challenge

Press, n.d.), pp. 8, 9.

9. Carroll, ibid., p. 9.

10. W.E. Vine, AN EXPOSITORY DICTIONARY OF NEW TESTAMENT

WORDS WITH THEIR PRECISE MEANINGS FOR ENGLISH READERS,

(Westwood, NJ, Fleming H. Revell Company, 1966), pp. 83, 84.

11. Louis Berkhof, PRINCIPLES OF BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION,

(Grand Rapids, Baker Book House, 1950), pp. 68, 69.

12. Edward Hugh Overby, THE MEANING OF ECCLESIA IN THE NEW

TESTAMENT, (Little Rock, Challenge Press, 1974), p. 10.

13. S.E. Anderson THE FIRST CHURCH, (Little Rock, Challenge Press,

1964), p. 88.

14. Roy Mason, THE CHURCH THAT JESUS BUILT, (Clarksville, TN,

Bible Baptist Church Publications, 1977), p. 28.

15. J.B. Moody, MY CHURCH, (Greenwood, SC, The Attic Press, Inc. 1974

reprint), p. 13.

16. Moody, ibid., pp. 30, 31, 36, 37.

17. Roy Mason, Th.D., THE MYTH OF THE UNIVERSAL INVISIBLE

CHURCH THEORY EXPLODED, (Ashland, KY, Economy Printers, 1978), pp.

62, 63.

18. Carroll, op cit., p. 24

19. Strong, ibid.

20. Strong, ibid.

21. Only the “closed communion” position can harmonize with the instructions

86 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

of the Bible regarding church discipline. A church which practices either “open

communion” or “close communion” (sometimes called “denominational

communion”) is disorderly because she cannot exclude a member from the Table

as required by the New Testament.

For instance: a member of such a church may be excluded for a disorderly

walk, heresy, etc. The Bible command is “with such an one no, not to eat” (1 Cor.

5:11). Yet such an excluded member might very well have joined another church

of similar order, as has often happened, whose practice in receiving members is

not so careful. That excluded member, under the terms of either “open” or “close

communion” could with perfect liberty return to a meeting of the church that

excluded him and partake of the Lord’s Table. The command “not to eat” would

be disobeyed. Thus, Biblical church discipline is mocked and rendered useless by

any other position than “local church members only” or “closed communion”.



CONCLUSION



Surely to any candid mind the facts are clear. Baptists of the

historic sort have been shown to be the original Christians. The

New Testament “kind” of Baptist churches have authority from

Christ to carry out the work of the Great Commission. Sound

Baptists and their churches have perpetual existence both promised

and as a matter of historical fact. There is no hint or assumption

anywhere in the New Testament that Christ’s church would cease

to exist before He comes. Neither is there any hint or suggestion

that any other entity would succeed the church in doing Christ’s

work. Hence there is no room, nor need for denominational

organizations, associational machinery, mission boards or such like.

This Baptist perpetuity demands church succession. Churches

do not mystically spring up of themselves. Baptist churches are

gathered by men who have previous Baptist baptism and church

connection (authority). This is the consistent New Testament pattern

as well as historic Baptist practice. No real Baptist believes that any

unbaptized person, unless directly sent by God as John was, has a

right to baptize others. No such practice can be found in the

Scriptures or in the accepted practice of the Baptists. Such a practice

must be viewed as an innovation of man.

In the mouth of three groups of witnesses we have sought to

establish the facts. We believe that these “three witnesses” - (1)

historic Baptist testimony, (2) the testimony of non-Baptists, and

(3) the testimony of the Scriptures - positively settle these matters.

If these three witnesses are true, then all churches other than

the New Testament Baptist churches are man-made and without

Divine authority. Their members are unbaptized. This seems to

have been the view of Tertullian who was born about 50 years after

the beloved apostle John died. Tertullian wrote, “Baptismum quum

rite non habeant, fine dubio non habent,” which translates, “Those

who are not rightly baptized, are, doubtless, not baptized at all”. 1

We doubt not that many members in man-made churches are

sincere and well-meaning people trying to serve God the best way

they know how. We do not disagree with much of what some groups

teach. However, if the Baptists are in reality the “original Christians,”

then all other groups obtained whatever truth they may have from

Baptists, for the New Testament was penned by Baptist hands.

Settle it then: salvation is in Christ and all who have savingly

88 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

come to Him, having repented of their sins, are saved and safe!

Not being a member of a Baptist church does not mean that a person

is lost and, conversely, being immersed by a Baptist church does

not mean that one is saved. The new birth, regeneration, is the

absolute requirement for salvation.

There is, however, the matter of acceptable service to Christ -the

matter of pleasing Him! There is the matter of properly carrying

out His commission. Will you serve Him faithfully in the way He

established? Do you dare, for whatever reason, think to serve Him

according to your own desires and preferences?

There were those in Jesus’ day who refused to submit to

Scriptural baptism - the baptism of John - the only baptism the

Bible endorses. We believe the baptism initiated by John is the

only baptism God recognizes. Of the people who refused John’s

baptism, Luke spoke when he said they “rejected the counsel of

God against themselves, being not baptized of him” (Luke 7:30).

Surely no child of God would willingly and knowingly reject the

counsel of God. Did not Jesus say that His sheep hear His voice

and follow Him? ( John 10:27). Follow Christ!

FINIS

NOTES

1. Tertullian, de BAPTISMO, cap. XV, p. 230, quoted by Abraham Booth,

A DEFENSE FOR THE BAPTISTS, (London, E. & C. Dilly, 1778), [reprinted

by The Baptift Standard Bearer, Paris, AR., 1985,] p. 25.

89 Glossary

GLOSSARY

Since both the faith and practice of the New Testament churches have been

laid aside by so many, the “old paths” of Biblical practice often seem unusual

and new despite their apostolic origin. The old apostolic doctrines of grace

are slandered as “Calvinism” and the old practices of Baptists are smeared

as “Landmarkism.” We believe both “tulip-ism” and strict Baptist polity

are Scriptural although both have been largely abandoned. Because of this

present situation, you may be unacquainted with Baptist terms. This glossary

is provided to enable all to read with ease and understanding the terms

used..

Anabaptist:

literally a “re-baptizer” - a collective name given often in

ancient times to many groups who insisted on immersing

all who joined them despite previous “baptisms” at the hands

of other societies. Among these groups the Lord’s truth-loving

churches existed in former days. Baptists do not

believe it is possible to “re-baptize” anyone though we are

charged with doing so because we baptize aright those

previously “baptized” by other groups lacking New

Testament authority. Our old writers vigorously denied

being “Anabaptists” because they knew it impossible to re-baptize

anyone. A believer, previously immersed

unscripturally, can be re-immersed and in actuality baptized

for the first time upon this repeat immersion

Apostate:

one who has willfully left the doctrines and practices of the

Bible.

Church:

a church of Christ is a congregation of Scripturally-baptized

believers organized in harmony with New Testament precept

and procedure. This definition is consistent with the New

Testament Greek word “ecclesia” and its usage both in sacred

and secular writings.

Council of Trent:

(1545-63) convened to damn those who opposed “free will”

and those who resisted the Roman Catholic Church. It set

forth dogmatically the doctrines of Romanism. It “...among

other things dogmatized the medieval theology of the

90 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

Scholastics. It made the Latin Vulgate, including 11 O.T.

apocryphal books, the authorized Bible, and declared

Scripture AND tradition as ultimate authority.” 1 Further,

this council proclaimed “If any one affirms that the baptism

of John had the same force as the baptism of Christ, let him

be anathema” - a blow directed at the Anabaptists of the

day as well as certain Protestants.

Donatists, Novatians, Petrobrussians, Cathari, Arnoldists,

Hussites, Waldenses, Lollards:

etc. are historic nicknames applied in various localities to

those people known collectively as Anabaptists. That there

was a connection between these groups is clear. 2 It is among

these groups that New Testament churches are to be found

although obviously not all within these groups were saved

nor were all the congregations so labeled necessarily sound.

Among these are the spiritual forefathers of modern New

Testament Baptists.

Hosius, Cardinal Stanislaus:

Born May 5, 1504 in Krakow, Poland, Hosius died August

5, 1579, at Capranica, the Papal Estates, Italy. Appointed

Cardinal in 1561, Hosius was later appointed presiding Papal

legate to the Council of Trent. He is described as “the most

brilliant writer, the most eminent theologian, and the best

bishop of his time.” 3 Because he carried on such a relentless

campaign against all dissenters from the Roman church, he

was dubbed “hammer of the heretics.” 4

“Landmarkers” or “Landmark Baptists:

“ Baptists who maintain the historic Baptist (and we believe,

Biblical) position regarding the nature, origin and succession

of true churches of Christ are often called and sometimes

call themselves “Landmarkers.” The nickname originated

from an essay published in 1854 entitled “An Old Landmark

Reset” written by J.M. Pendleton, a Baptist minister in the

United States. The principles and practices of historic

Landmarkism can be proved to be as old as the New

Testament. This is not to say that everything believed

by some who call themselves “Landmarkers” is

Scriptural. Some “Landmarkers” have gone off to extreme

views, such as “new-lightism.” Historic Landmarkism is

church practice consistent with Bible principles.

Mosheim, Johann Laurenz von:

(1694? - 1755). Known as the father of modern church

91 Glossary

history, this Lutheran was no friend of Baptists, but gets

high marks for his attempt at honest reporting of the facts.

He has been praised as follows: “...von Mosheim, a German

preacher, university professor at Goetingen, and noted

scholar, was the first to attempt to write Church history

objectively. Instead of publishing history to produce

propaganda, von Mosheim tried to examine the

development of the Church without bias or party line.” 5

Munster:

City in Westphalia, (region of western Germany bordering

on the Netherlands), was the scene of tumultuous riots during

the Peasant Wars. The Anabaptists were falsely blamed for

the riots which were led by Thomas Munzer, radical

reformer and former comrade of Martin Luther. Some have

tried to trace the Baptists back to these fanatical “madmen

of Munster.” One of the ablest of historians wrote:

“The most searching investigation has failed to prove that

Munzer, the leader of the riots in the Peasant Wars, was a

Baptist, or that the Baptists were in anyway responsible for

the uprisings.” 6

Ordinances:

Baptists hold only two ordinances as Scriptural, namely

water baptism of believers and the Lord’s supper, both of

which they view as being church ordinances as opposed to

mere “Christian ordinances.” By that it is meant that Baptists

view the ordinances as properly observed only by a (local)

New Testament kind of (Baptist) church. Ordinances differ

from sacraments in that an ordinance is merely a memorial,

while it is claimed by ritualists that a sacrament is a work

that actually conveys grace to the recipient. Those who hold

the sacramental view believe that grace is obtained by

religious works and ceremonies - a thing contrary to the

very definition of grace which is “unearned favor” or

“unmerited love.”

Pedobaptist:

one who “baptizes” infants whether by sprinkling, pouring

or immersion. There is no mention of this practice in the

New Testament; thus, Baptists view it as an unscriptural and

evil innovation. Its promoters practice it because they

believe the rite washes away the guilt of sin and makes the

unconscious babe a child of God.

92 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

Perpetuity:

the concept that churches of the New Testament sort have

had continual existence since the first one was established

by Christ and that they shall continually exist until He comes

again. Closely related to “succession.” (see “Succession”

below).

Protestant:

used of those individuals and religious societies which

separated from or arose in protest against the Roman

Catholic Church during the period of history known as the

“Reformation.” The term is also used of groups later splitting

off those earlier splits. Baptists, originating with Christ, are

not Protestants in this sense though they have consistently

opposed the errors of Romanism.

Quasi-baptists:

churches or individuals who are designated Baptist, but who

only slightly resemble historic Baptists in doctrine and

practice. Used of liberal, loose, irregular and apostate

Baptists.

Succession:

the concept of churches being founded by the authority of

previously existing churches. J.R. Graves, erroneously called

the father of Landmarkism, wrote:

“The sense in which any existing Baptist Church is the

successor of the First Church of Judea -the model and pattern

of all -is the same as that existing between any regular

organization and the first such organization that was ever

instituted. Ten thousand local organizations of like nature

may have existed and passed away, but this fact in no wise

affects the continuity of the organization. From the day that

organization was started, it has stood; and though it may

have decayed in some places, it has flourished in others,

and never had but one beginning...” 7

Transubstantiation:

the Catholic teaching that in the Mass the bread and wine

actually become the body and blood of Christ in a non-bloody

sacrifice. Hear from one of Rome’s own authorized

statements:

“This is the word the [Roman Catholic] Church has adopted

as most accurately expressing what happens at the

Consecration at Mass. At this moment, by divine power,

what was bread and wine now becomes the Body and Blood

93 Glossary

of Christ. The Catholic, therefore, subscribes to the

traditional doctrine of the [Roman Catholic] Church which,

in the words of the Council of Trent, speaks of ‘the change

of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, of the

whole substance of the wine into the Blood (of Christ), only

the appearances of bread and wine remaining; which change

the Catholic Church most fitly calls transubstantiation.” 8

[Brackets mine:C.A.P.]

NOTES

1. Merrill F. Unger, Th.D., Ph.D., UNGER’S BIBLE HANDBOOK,

(Chicago, Moody Press, 1966), p. 913.

2. Of the Cathari (one group of Anabaptists) it is said, “They derived their

teachings from Paulicians: their chief ramifications were the Albigenses and the

Bogomils.” Clarke F. Ansley, Ed., THE COLUMBIA ENCYCLOPEDIA IN

ONE VOLUME, NY, Columbia University Press, 1945), p. 313.

The various groups evidently had not only a connection of principles and doctrines,

but as the waters of one stream flow into another, so these succeeded and sometimes

paralleled one another.

3. Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th Edition, Vol. 6, article “Hosius”, p. 77

4. Douglas, Elwell, and Toon, op cit., p. 189.

5. William P. Barker, WHO’S WHO IN CHURCH HISTORY, (Grand

Rapids, Baker, 1977), p. 198.

6. Christian, op cit., p. 153.

7. J.R. Graves, OLD LANDMARKISM (Texarkana, Bogard Press reprint of

the second edition, 1881), p. 84.

8. Mabel Quin, Ed., THE CATHOLIC PEOPLES ENCYCLOPEDIA, Vol.

3 (Chicago, The Catholic Press, Inc., 1966), p. 1019.

This three volume set bears the Imprimatur of Cletus F. O’Donnell, J.C.D. and

this statement: “The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are official declarations that a book or

pamphlet is free from doctrinal or moral error...”

94 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

Appendix I

THE FIRST LONDON BAPTIST

CONFESSION OF FAITH

A.D. 1644

Note to the Reader

By Curtis Pugh

Composed and published some two years PRIOR to the now famous

Protestant Westminster Confession, this Baptist Confession of 1644 sets

forth the historic Baptist view regarding both the doctrines relating to

salvation and those now called “church truth.” There is little evidence here

of Protestant influence. This old confession is highly valuable not only because

of its doctrinal soundness, but because of its adherence to Biblical phrases

and terminology. It is Christ- centered and Christ-honoring.

The text presented here has been changed only in the matter of updating

the spelling, except for the title page where the old spellings have been retained.

While some punctuation changes have been made, older usage of words is

kept so as to avoid editorializing the text. Capitalization has been left as

found.

95 Appendix I

[Facsimile Title Page]

The

CONFESSION

OF FAITH,

Of those CHURCHES which are

commonly (though falsly)

called ANABAPTISTS;

Presented to the view of all that feare God, to

examine by the touchstone of the Word of Truth: As

likewise for the taking off those aspersions which

are frequently both in Pulpit and Print, (although

unjustly) cast upon them.

Acts 4.20

We can not but speake the things which wee have

seene and heard.

Isai. 8.20

To the Law and to the testimony, if they speake not

according to this Rule, it is because there is no light

in them.

2 Cor. 1.9, 10

But wee had the sentence of death in our selves, that

wee should not trust in our selves, but in the living

God which raiseth the dead; who delivered us from

so great a death, and doth deliver, in whom wee

trust that he will yet deliver.

LONDON

Printed by Matthew Simmons in Aldersgate-street.

1644

96 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

To

ALL THAT DESIRE

The lifting up of the Name of the LORD Jesus in sincerity, the

poor despised Churches of God in London send greeting, with

prayers for their farther increase in the knowledge of CHRIST

JESUS.

We question not but that it will seem strange to many men, that such as

we are frequently termed to be, lying under that calumny and black brand

of Heretics, and sowers of division as we do, should presume to appear so

publicly as now we have done: But yet notwithstanding we may well say, to

give answer to such, what David said to his brother, when the Lord’s

battle was a fighting, 1 Sam. 29:30. Is there not a cause?

Surely, if ever people had cause to speak for the vindication of the truth

of Christ in their hands, we have, that being indeed the main wheel at this

time that sets us awork; for had anything by men been transacted against

our persons only, we could quietly have sitten still, and committed our

Cause to him who is a righteous Judge, who will in the great day judge the

secrets of all men’s hearts by Jesus Christ: But being it is not only us, but the

truth professed by us, we cannot, we dare not but speak; it is no strange

thing to any observing man, what sad charges are laid, not only by the

world, that know not God, but also by those that think themselves much

wronged, if they be not looked upon as the chief Worthies of the Church of

God, and Watchmen of the City: But it hath fared with us from them, as

from the poor Spouse seeking her Beloved, Cant. 5:6, 7. They finding us out

of that common roadway themselves walk, have smote us and taken away

our vail, that so we may by them be recommended odious in the eyes of all

that behold us, and in the hearts of all that think upon us, which they have

done both in Pulpit and Print, charging us with holding Free-will, Falling

away from grace, denying Original sin, disclaiming of Magistracy, denying

to assist them either in persons or purse in any of their lawful Commands,

doing acts unseemly in the dispensing the Ordinance of Baptism, not to be

named amongst Christians: All which Charges we disclaim as notoriously

untrue, though by reason of these calumnies cast upon us, many that fear

God are discouraged and forestalled in harboring a good thought, either of

us or what we profess; and many that know not God encouraged, if they

can find the place of our meeting, to get together in Clusters to stone us, as

looking upon us as a people holding such things, as that we are not worthy

to live: We have therefore for the clearing of the truth we profess, that it may

be at liberty, though we be in bonds, briefly published a Confession of our

Faith, as desiring all that fear God, seriously to consider whether (if they

compare what we here say and confess in the presence of the Lord Jesus and

his Saints) men have not with their tongues in Pulpit, and pens in Print,

97 Appendix I

both spoken and written things that are contrary to truth; but we know our

God in his own time will clear our Cause, and lift up his Son to make him

the chief cornerstone, though he has been (or now should be) rejected of

Master Builders. And because it may be conceived, that what is here

published, may be but the Judgement of some one particular Congregation,

more refined than the rest; We do therefore here subscribe it, some of each

body in the name, and by the appointment of seven Congregations, who

though we be distinct in respect of our particular bodies, for convenience

sake, being as many as can well meet together in one place, yet are all one in

Communion, holding Jesus Christ to be our head and Lord; under whose

government we desire alone to walk, in following the Lamb wheresoever he

goeth; and we believe the Lord will daily cause truth more to appear in the

hearts of his Saints, and make them ashamed of their folly in the Land of

their Nativity, that so they may with one shoulder, more study to lift up the

Name of the Lord Jesus, and stand for his appointments and Laws; which

is the desires and prayers of the condemned Churches of Christ in London

for all saints.

Subscribed in the Names of seven Churches in London.

William Kiffin.

Thomas Patience.

————————————

John Spilsbery.

George Tipping.

Samuel Richardson.

————————————

Thomas Skippard.

Thomas Munday.

————————————

Thomas Gunne.

John Mabbatt.

————————————

John Webb

Thomas Killcop.

————————————

Paul Hobson.

Thomas Goare.

John Mabbatt.

————————————

Joseph Phelpes.

Edward Heath.

98 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

The

CONFESSION

Of Faith, of those Churches

which are commonly (though falsely)

called ANABAPTISTS.

I.

That God as he is in himself, cannot be comprehended of any but

himself, 1 dwelling in that inaccessible light, that no eye can attain

unto, whom never man saw, nor can see; that there is but 2 one

God, one Christ, one Spirit, one Faith, one Baptism; 3 one Rule of

holiness and obedience for all Saints, at all times, in all places to be

observed.

II.

That God is 4 of himself, that is, neither from another, nor of another,

nor by another, nor for another: 5 But is a Spirit, who as his being is

of himself, so he gives 6 being, moving, and preservation to all other

things, being in himself eternal, most holy, every way infinite in

7 greatness, wisdom, power, justice, goodness, truth, etc. In this God-head,

there is the Father, the Son, and the Spirit; being every one

of them one and the same God; and therefore not divided, but

distinguished one from another by their several properties; the

8 Father being from himself, the 9 Son of the Father from everlasting,

the holy 10 Spirit proceeding from the Father and the Son.

III.

That God hath 11 decreed in himself from everlasting touching all

things, effectually to work and dispose them 12 according to the

counsel of his own will, to the glory of his Name; in which decree

appeareth his wisdom, constancy, truth, and faithfulness; 13 Wisdom

is that whereby he contrives all things; 14 Constancy is that whereby

the decree of God remains always immutable; 15 Truth is that

whereby he declares that alone which he hath decreed, and though

his sayings may seem to sound sometimes another thing, yet the

sense of them doth always agree with the decree; 16 Faithfulness is

that whereby he effects that he hath decreed, as he hath decreed.

And touching his creature man, 17 God had in Christ before the

foundation of the world, according to the good pleasure of his will,

foreordained some men to eternal life through Jesus Christ, to the

praise and glory of his grace, 18 leaving the rest in their sin to their

just condemnation, to the praise of his Justice.

IV.

19 In the beginning God made all things very good, created man

after his own 20 Image and likeness, filling him with all perfection of

99 Appendix I

all natural excellency and uprightness, free from all sin. 21 But long

he abode not in this honor, but by the 22 subtlety of the Serpent,

which Satan used as his instrument, himself with his Angels having

sinned before, and not 23 kept their first estate, but left their own

habitation; first 24 Eve, then Adam being seduced did wittingly and

willingly fall into disobedience and transgression of the

Commandment of their great Creator, for the which death came

upon all, and reigned over all, so that all since the Fall are conceived

in sin, and brought forth in iniquity, and so by nature children of

wrath, and servants of sin, subjects of 25 death, and all other calamities

due to sin in this world and forever, being considered in the state of

nature, without relation to Christ.

V.

All mankind being thus fallen, and become altogether dead in sins

and trespasses, and subject to the eternal wrath of the great God by

transgression; yet the elect, which God hath 26 loved with an

everlasting love, are 27 redeemed, quickened, and saved, not by

themselves, neither by their own works, lest any man should boast

himself, but wholly and only by God of 28 his free grace and mercy

through Jesus Christ, who of God is made unto us wisdom,

righteousness, sanctification and redemption, that as it is written,

He that rejoiceth, let him rejoice in the Lord.

VI.

29 This therefore is life eternal, to know the only true God, and whom

he hath sent Jesus Christ. 30 And on the contrary, the Lord will render

vengeance in flaming fire to them that know not God, and obey

not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

31 VII.

The Rule of this Knowledge, Faith, and Obedience, concerning

the worship and service of God, and all other Christian duties, is

not man’s inventions, opinions, devices, laws, constitutions, or

traditions unwritten whatsoever, but only the word of God contained

in the Canonical Scriptures.

32 VIII.

In this written Word God hath plainly revealed whatsoever he hath

thought needful for us to know, believe, and acknowledge, touching

the Nature and Office of Christ, in whom all the promises are Yea

and Amen to the praise of God.

IX.

Touching the Lord Jesus, of whom 33 Moses and the Prophets wrote,

and whom the Apostles preached, is the 34 Son of God the Father,

the brightness of his glory, the engraven form of his being, God

100 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

with him and with his holy Spirit, by whom he made the world, by

whom he upholds and governs all the works he hath made, who

also 35 when the fullness of time was come, was made man of a

36 woman, of the Tribe of Judah, of the seed of Abraham and David, to

wit, of Mary that blessed Virgin, by the holy Spirit coming upon

her, and the power of the most High overshadowing her, and was

also in 37 all things like unto us, sin only excepted.

X.

Touching his Office, 38 Jesus Christ only is made the Mediator of the

new Covenant, even the everlasting Covenant of grace between

God and Man, to 39 be perfectly and fully the Prophet, Priest and

King of the Church of God for evermore.

XI.

Unto this Office he was foreordained from everlasting, by the

40 authority of the Father and in respect of his Manhood, from the

womb called and separated, and 41 anointed also most fully and

abundantly with all gifts necessary, God having without measure

poured the Spirit upon him.

XII.

In this Call the Scripture holds forth two special things considerable;

first, the call to the Office; secondly, the Office itself. First, that

42 none takes this honor but he that is called of God, as was Aaron, so

also Christ, it being an action especially of God the Father, whereby

a special covenant being made, he ordains his Son to this office:

which Covenant is, that 43 Christ should be made a Sacrifice for sin,

that he shall see his seed, and prolong his days, and the pleasure of

the Lord shall prosper in his hand; which calling therefore contains

in itself 44 choosing, 45 foreordaining, 46 sending. Choosing respects

the end, foreordaining the means, sending the execution itself, 47 all

of mere grace, without any condition foreseen either in men, or in

Christ himself.

48 XIII.

So that this Office to be Mediator, that is, to be Prophet, Priest, and

King of the Church of God, is so proper to Christ, as neither in the

whole, nor in any part thereof, it can be transferred from him to

any other.

XIV.

This Office itself to which Christ was called, is threefold, of 49 a

Prophet, of 50 Priest, and of 51 a King: this number and order of Offices

is showed; first, by men’s necessities grievously laboring 52 under

ignorance, by reason whereof they stand in infinite necessity of the

Prophetical office of Christ to relieve them. Secondly, 53 alienation

101 Appendix I

from God, wherein they stand in need of the Priestly Office to

reconcile them: Thirdly, our 54 utter disability to return to him, by

which they stand in need of the power of Christ in his Kingly Office

to assist and govern them.

XV.

Touching the Prophesy of Christ, it is that whereby he hath

55 perfectly revealed the whole will of God out of the bosom of the

Father, that is needful for his servants to know, believe, and obey;

and therefore is called not only a Prophet and 56 a Doctor, and the

57 Apostle of our profession, and the 58 Angel of the Covenant; but

also the very 59 wisdom of God, and 60 the treasures of wisdom and

understanding.

XVI.

That he might be such a Prophet as thereby to be every way

complete, it was necessary that he should be 61 God, and withal also

that he should be man; for unless he had been God, he could never

have perfectly understood the will of God, 62 neither had he been

able to reveal it throughout all ages; and unless he had been man,

he could not fitly have unfolded it in his 63 own person to man.

XVII.

Touching his Priesthood, Christ 64 being consecrated, hath appeared

once to put away sin by the offering and sacrifice of himself, and to

this end hath fully performed and suffered all those things by which

God, through the blood of that his Cross in an acceptable sacrifice,

might reconcile his elect only; 65 and having broken down the

partition wall, and therewith finished and removed all those Rites,

Shadows, and Ceremonies, is now entered within the Vail, into the

Holy of Holiest, that is, to the very Heavens, and presence of God,

where he forever liveth and sitteth at the right hand of Majesty,

appearing before the face of his Father to make intercession for

such as come to the Throne of Grace by that new and living way;

and not that only, but 66 makes his people a spiritual House, an holy

Priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifice acceptable to God through

him; neither doth the Father accept, or Christ offer to the Father

any other worship or worshippers.

XVIII.

This Priesthood was not legal, or temporary, but according to the

order 67 of Melchizedek; 68 not by a carnal commandment, but by the

power of an endless life; 69 not by an order that is weak and lame,

but stable and perfect, not for a 70 time, but forever, admitting no

successor, but perpetual and proper to Christ, and of him that ever

liveth. Christ himself was the Priest, Sacrifice and Altar: he was

102 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

71 Priest, according to both natures, he was a sacrifice most properly

according to his human nature: 72 whence in the Scripture it is wont

to be attributed to his body, to his blood; yet the chief force whereby

this sacrifice was made effectual, did depend upon his ˜ 73 divine

nature, namely, that the Son of God did offer himself for us: he was

the 74 Altar properly according to his divine nature, it belonging to

the Altar to sanctify that which is offered upon it, and so it ought to

be of greater dignity than the Sacrifice itself.

XIX.

Touching his Kingdom, 75 Christ being risen from the dead, ascended

into heaven, sat on the right hand of God the Father, having all

power in heaven and earth, given unto him, he doth spiritually

govern his Church, exercising his power 76 over all Angels and Men,

good and bad, to the preservation and salvation of the elect, to the

overruling and destruction of his enemies, which are Reprobates,

77 communicating and applying the benefits, virtue, and fruit of his

Prophesy and Priesthood to his elect, namely, to the subduing and

taking away of their sins, to their justification and adoption of Sons,

regeneration, sanctification, preservation and strengthening in all

their conflicts against Satan, the World, the Flesh, and the

temptations of them, continually dwelling in, governing and keeping

their hearts in faith and filial fear by his Spirit, which having 78 given

it, he never takes away from them, but by it still begets and

nourisheth in them faith, repentance, love, joy, hope, and all

heavenly light in the soul unto immortality, notwithstanding through

our own unbelief, and the temptations of Satan, the sensible sight

of this light and love be clouded and overwhelmed for the time.

79 And on the contrary, ruling in the world over his enemies, Satan,

and all the vessels of wrath, limiting, using, restraining them by his

mighty power, as seems good in his divine wisdom and justice to

the execution of his determinate counsel, delivering them up to a

reprobate mind, to be kept through their own deserts, in darkness

and sensuality unto judgment.

80 XX.

This Kingdom shall be then fully perfected when he shall the second

time come in glory to reign amongst his Saints, and to be admired

of all them which do believe, when he shall put down all rule and

authority under his feet, that the glory of the Father may be full

and perfectly manifested in his Son, and the glory of the Father

and the Son in all his members.

XXI.

That Christ Jesus by his death did bring forth salvation and

103 Appendix I

reconciliation only for the 81 elect, which were those which 82 God

the Father gave him; and that the Gospel which is to be preached

to all men as the ground of faith, is, that 83 Jesus is the Christ, the

Son of the ever blessed God, filled with the perfection of all heavenly

and spiritual excellencies, and that salvation is only and alone to

be had through the believing in his Name.

XXII.

That Faith is the 84 gift of God wrought in the hearts of the elect by

the Spirit of God, whereby they come to see, know, and believe the

truth of 85 the Scriptures, and not only so, but the excellency of them

above all other writings and things in the world, as they hold forth

the glory of God in his attributes, the excellency of Christ in his

nature and offices, and the power of the fullness of the Spirit in its

workings and operations; and thereupon are enabled to cast the

weight of their souls upon this truth thus believed.

86 XXIII.

Those that have this precious faith wrought in them by the Spirit,

can never finally nor totally fall away; and though many storms

and floods do arise and beat against them, yet they shall never be

able to take them off that foundation and rock which by faith they

are fastened upon, but shall be kept by the power of God to salvation,

where they shall enjoy their purchased possession, they being

formerly engraven upon the palms of God’s hands.

XXIV.

That faith is ordinarily 87 begot by the preaching of the Gospel, or

word of Christ, without respect to 88 any power or capacity in the

creature, but it is wholly 89 passive, being dead in sins and trespasses,

doth believe, and is converted by no less power, 90 than that which

raised Christ from the dead.

XXV.

That the tenders of the Gospel to the conversion of sinners, 91 is

absolutely free, no way requiring, as absolutely necessary, any

qualifications, preparations, terrors of the Law, or preceding Ministry

of the Law, but only and alone the naked soul, as a 92 sinner and

ungodly to receive Christ, as crucified, dead, and buried, and risen

again, being made 93 a Prince and a Saviour for such sinners.

XXVI.

That the same power that converts to faith in Christ, the same power

carries on the 94 soul still through all duties, temptations, conflicts,

sufferings, and continually whatever a Christian is, he is by 95 grace,

and by a constant renewed 96 operation from God, without which

he cannot perform any duty to God, or undergo any temptations

104 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

from Satan, the world, or men.

XXVII.

That God the Father, and Son, and Spirit, is one with 97 all believers

in their 98 fullness, in 99 relations, 100 as head and members, 101 as house

and inhabitants, as 102 husband and wife, one with him, as 103 light

and love, and one with him in his inheritance, and in all his 104 glory;

and that all believers by virtue of this union and oneness with God,

are the adopted sons of God, and heirs with Christ, co-heirs and

joint heirs with him of the inheritance of all the promises of this

life, and that which is to come.

XXVIII.

That those which have union with Christ, are justified from all their

sins, past, 105 present, and to come, by the blood of Christ; which

justification we conceive to be a gracious and free 106 acquittance of

a guilty, sinful creature, from all sin by God, through the satisfaction

that Christ hath made by his death; and this applied in the

manifestation of it through faith.

XXIX.

That all believers are a holy and 107 sanctified people, and that

sanctification is a spiritual grace of the 108 new Covenant, and effect

of the 109 love of God, manifested to the soul, whereby the believer

is in 110 truth and reality separated, both in soul and body, from all

sin and dead works, through the 111 blood of the everlasting

Covenant, whereby he also presseth after a heavenly and

Evangelical perfection, in obedience to all the Commands, 112 which

Christ as head and King in hits new Covenant has prescribed to

him.

XXX.

All believers through the knowledge of 113 that Justification of life

given by the Father, and brought forth by the blood of Christ, have

this as their great privilege of that the new 114 Covenant, peace with

God, and reconciliation, whereby they that were afar off, were

brought nigh by 115 that blood, and have (as the Scripture speaks)

peace 116 passing all understanding, yea, joy in God, through our

Lord Jesus Christ, by 117 whom we have received the Atonement.

118 XXXI.

That all believers in the time of this life, are in a continual warfare,

combat, and opposition against sin, self, the world, and the Devil,

and liable to all manner of afflictions, tribulations, and persecutions,

and so shall continue until Christ comes in his Kingdom, being

predestinated and appointed thereunto; and whatsoever the Saints,

any of them do posses or enjoy of God in this life, is only by faith.

105 Appendix I

119 XXXII.

That the only strength by which the Saints are enabled to encounter

with all opposition, and to overcome all afflictions, temptations,

persecutions, and trials, is only by Jesus Christ, who is the Captain

of their salvation, being made perfect through sufferings, who hath

engaged his strength to assist them in all their afflictions, and to

uphold them under all their temptations, and to preserve them by

his power to his everlasting Kingdom.

XXXIII.

That Christ hath here on earth a spiritual Kingdom, which is the

Church, which he hath purchased and redeemed to himself, as a

peculiar inheritance: which Church, as it is visible to us, is a company

of visible 120 Saints, 121 called and separated from the world, by the

word and 122 Spirit of God, to the visible profession of the faith of

the Gospel, being baptized into that faith, and joined to the Lord,

and each other, by mutual agreement, in the practical enjoyment

of the 123 Ordinances, commanded by Christ their head and King.

XXXIV.

To this Church he hath 124 made his promises, and given the signs of

his Covenant, presence, love, blessing, and protection: here are

the fountains and springs of his heavenly grace continually flowing

forth; 125 thither ought all men to come, of all estates, that

acknowledge him to be their Prophet, Priest, and King, to be

enrolled amongst his household servants, to be under his heavenly

conduct and government, to lead their lives in his walled sheepfold,

and watered garden, to have communion here with the Saints, that

they may be made to be partakers of their inheritance in the

Kingdom of God.

126 XXXV.

And all his servants are called thither, to present their bodies and

souls, and to bring their gifts God hath given them; so being come,

they are here by himself bestowed in their several order, peculiar

place, due use, being fitly compact and knit together, according to

the effectual working of every part, to the edification of itself in

love.

XXVI.

That being thus joined, every Church has 127 power given them from

Christ for their better well-being, to choose to themselves meet

persons into the office of 128 Pastors, Teachers, Elders, Deacons, being

qualified according to the Word, as those which Christ has appointed

in his Testament, for the feeding, governing, serving, and building

up of his Church, and that none other have power to impose them,

106 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

either these or any other.

129 XXXVII.

That the Ministers aforesaid, lawfully called by the Church, where

they are to administer, ought to continue in their calling, according

to God’s Ordinance, and carefully to feed the flock of Christ

committed to them, not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.

130 XXXVIII.

That the due maintenance of the Officers aforesaid, should be the

free and voluntary communication of the Church, that according

to Christ’s Ordinance, they that preach the Gospel, should live on

the Gospel and not by constraint to be compelled from the people

by a forced Law.

131 XXXIX.

That Baptism is an Ordinance of the new Testament, given by Christ,

to be dispensed only upon persons professing faith, or that are

Disciples, or taught, who upon a profession of faith, ought to be

baptized. [Later editions added, “and after to partake of the Lord’s

Supper.” C.A.P.]

XL.

The way and manner of the 132 dispensing of this Ordinance the

Scripture holds out to be dipping or plunging the whole body under

water: it being a sign, must answer the thing signified, which are

these: first, the 133 washing the whole soul in the blood of Christ:

Secondly, that interest the Saints have in the 134 death, burial, and

resurrection; thirdly, together with a 135 confirmation of our faith,

that as certainly as the body is buried under water, and riseth again,

so certainly shall the bodies of the Saints be raised by the power of

Christ in the day of the resurrection, to reign with Christ. [The

word Baptizo, signifying to dip under water, yet so as with convenient

garments both upon the administrator and subject, with all modesty.]

XLI.

The persons designed by Christ, to dispense this Ordinance, the

136 Scriptures hold forth to be a preaching Disciple, it being no where

tied to a particular Church, Officer, or person extraordinarily sent,

the Commission enjoining the administration, being given to them

under no other consideration, but as considered Disciples.

137 XLII.

Christ has likewise given power to his whole Church to receive in

and cast out, by way of Excommunication, any member; and this

power is given to every particular Congregation, and not one

particular person, either member or Officer, but the whole.

138 XLIII

107 Appendix I

And every particular member of each Church, how excellent, great,

or learned soever, ought to be subject to this censure and judgement

of Christ; and the Church ought with great care and tenderness,

with due advice to proceed against her members.

XLIV.

And as Christ for the 139 keeping of this Church in holy and orderly

Communion, placeth some special men over the Church, who by

their office are to govern, oversee, visit, watch; so likewise for the

better keeping thereof in all places, by the members, he hath given

140 authority, and laid duty upon all, to watch over one another.

141 XLV.

That also such to whom God hath given gifts, being tried in the

Church, may and ought by the appointment of the Congregation,

to prophesy, according to the proportion of faith, and so teach

publicly the Word of God, for the edification, exhortation, and

comfort of the Church.

142 XLVI.

Thus being rightly gathered, established, and still proceeding in

Christian communion, and obedience of the Gospel of Christ, none

ought to separate for faults and corruptions, which may, and as

long as the Church consists of men subject to failings, will fall out

and arise amongst them, even in true constituted Churches, until

they have in due order sought redress thereof.

143 XLVII.

And although the particular Congregations be distinct and several

Bodies, every one a compact and knit City in itself: yet are they all

to walk by one and the same Rule, and by all means convenient to

have the counsel and help one of another in all needful affairs of

the Church, as members of one body in the common faith under

Christ their only head.

144 XLVIII.

That a civil Magistracy is an ordinance of God set up by God for

the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do

well; and that in all lawful things commanded by them, subjection

ought to be given by us in the Lord: and that we are to make

supplication and prayer for Kings, and all that are in authority, that

under them we may live a peaceable and quiet life in all godliness

and honesty.

XLIX.

The supreme Magistracy of this Kingdom we believe to be the King

and Parliament freely chosen by the Kingdom, and that in all those

civil Laws which have been acted by them, or for the present is or

108 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

shall be ordained, we are bound to yield subjection and obedience

unto in the Lord, as conceiving ourselves bound to defend both the

persons of those thus chosen, and all civil Laws made by them,

with our persons, liberties, and estates, with all that is called ours,

although we should suffer never so much from them in not actively

submitting to some Ecclesiastical Laws, which might be conceived

by them to be their duties to establish which we for the present

could not see, nor our consciences could submit unto; yet are we

bound to yield our persons to their pleasures.

145 L.

And if God should provide such a mercy for us, as to incline the

Magistrates’ hearts so far to tender our consciences, as that we might

be protected by them from wrong, injury, oppression and

molestation, which long we formerly have groaned under by the

tyranny and oppression of the Prelatical Hierarchy, which God

through mercy hath made this present King and Parliament

wonderful honorable, as an instrument in his hand, to throw down;

and we thereby have had some breathing time, we shall, we hope,

look at it as a mercy beyond our expectation, and conceive ourselves

further engaged forever to bless God for it.

LI.

But if God withhold the Magistrates’ allowance and furtherance

herein; 146 yet we must notwithstanding proceed together in Christian

communion, not daring to give place to suspend our practice, but

to walk in obedience to Christ in the profession and holding forth

this faith before mentioned, even in the midst of all trials and

afflictions, not accounting our goods, lands, wives, children, fathers,

mothers, brethren, sisters, yea, and our own lives dear unto us, so

we may finish our course with joy: remembering always we ought

to 147 obey God rather than men, and grounding upon the

commandment, commission and promise of our Lord and master

Jesus Christ, who as he hath all power in heaven and earth, so also

hath promised, if we keep his commandments which he hath given

us, to be with us to the end of the world: and when we have finished

our course, and kept the faith, to give us the crown of righteousness,

which is laid up for all that love his appearing, and to whom we

must give an account of all our actions, no man being able to

discharge us of the same.

148 LII.

And likewise unto all men is to be given whatsoever is their due;

tributes, customs, and all such lawful duties, ought willingly to be

by us paid and performed, our lands, goods, and bodies, to submit

109 Appendix I

to the Magistrate in the Lord and the Magistrate every way to be

acknowledged, reverenced, and obeyed, according to godliness;

not because of wrath only but for conscience sake. And finally, all

men so to be esteemed and regarded, as is due and meet for their

place, age, estate and condition.

149 LII. [sic]

And thus we desire to give unto God that which is God’s, and to

Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and to all men that which belongeth

unto them, endeavoring ourselves to have always a clear conscience

void of offence towards God, and towards man. And if any take

this that we have said, to be heresy, then do we with the Apostle

freely confess, that after the way which they call heresy, worship

we the God of our Fathers, believing all things which are written in

the Law and in the Prophets and Apostles, desiring from our souls

to disclaim all heresies and opinions which are not after Christ,

and to be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of

the Lord, as knowing our labor shall not be in vain in the Lord.

1 Cor. 1:24.

Not that we have dominion over your faith, but

are helpers of your joy: for by faith we stand.

FINIS

NOTES

1. 1 Tim. 6:16

2. 1 Tim. 2:5; Eph. 4:4-6; 1 Cor. 12:4-6, 13; John chap. 14.

3. 1 Tim. 6:3, 13, 14; Gal. 1:8, 9; 2 Tim. 3:15.

4. Isa. 44:67; 43:11; 46:9.

5. John 4:24.

6. Ex. 3:14.

7. Rom. 11:36; Acts 17:28.

8. 1 Cor. 8:6.

9. Prov. 8:22, 23; Heb. 1:3; John 1:18.

10. John 15:16; Gal. 4:6.

11. Isa. 46:10; Rom. 11:34-36; Matt. 10:29, 30.

12. Eph. 1:11.

13. Co. 2:3.

14. Num. 23:19, 20.

15. Jer. 10:10; Rom. 3:4.

16. Esa. [sic] 44:10.

17. Eph. 1:3-7; 2 Tim. 1:9; Acts 13:48; Rom. 8:29, 30.

18. Jude vs. 4, 6; Rom. 9:11-13; Prov. 16:4.

19. Gen. chap. 1; Col. 1:16; Heb. 11:3; Isa. 45:12

110 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

20. Gen. 1:26; 1 Cor. 15:45, 46; Ecc. 7:31.

21. Psa. 49:20.

22. Gen. 3:1, 4, 5; 2 Cor. 11:3.

23. 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude v. 6; John 8:44.

24. Gen. 3:1, 2, 6; 1 Tim. 2:14; Ecc. 7:31; Gal. 3:22.

25. Rom. 5:12, 18, 19; 6:25; Eph 2:3; Rom. 5:12 [sic].

26. Jer. 31:2.

27. Gen. 3:15; Eph. 1:3, 7; 2:4, 9; 1 Thess. 5:9; Acts 13:38.

28. 1 Cor. 1:30, 31; 2 Cor. 5:21; Jer. 9: 23, 24.

29. John 17:3; Heb. 5:9; Jer. 23:5, 6.

30. 2 Thess 1:8; John 3:36.

31. John 5:39; 2 Tim. 3:15, 16, 17; Col. 21: 18, 23 [sic]; Matt. 15:9.

32. Acts 3:22, 23; Heb. 1:1, 2; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; 2 Cor. 1:20.

33. Gen. 3:15; 22:18; 49:10; Dan. 7;13; 9:24-26.

34. Prov. 8:23; John 1:1-3; Col. 1:1, 15-17.

35. Gal. 4:4.

36. Heb. 7:14; Rev. 5:5 with Gen. 49:9, 10; Rom. 1:3; 9:5; Matt. 1:16 with Luke

3:23, 26; Heb. 2:16.

37. Isa. 53;3-5; Phil. 2:8.

38. 2 Tim. 2:25; Heb. 9:15; John 14:6.

39. Heb. 1:2; 3:1, 2; 7:24; Isa. 9:6, 7; Acts 5:31.

40. Prov. 8:23; Isa. 42:6; 49:1, 5.

41. Isa. 11:2-5; 61:1-3 with Luke 4:17, 22; John 1:14, 16; 3:34.

42. Heb. 5:4-6.

43. Isa. 53:10.

44. Isa. 42:13.

45. 1 Pet. 1:20.

46. John 3:17; 9:27; 10:36; Isa. 61:1.

47. John 3:16; Rom. 8:32.

48. 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 7:24; Dan. 5:14; Acts 4:12; Luke 1:33; John 14:6.

49. Deut. 18:15 with Acts 3:22, 23.

50. Psa. 110:3; Heb. 3:1; 4:14, 15; 5:6.

51. Psa. 2:6.

51. Acts 26:18; Col. 1:3.

52. Col. 1:21; Eph. 2:12.

53. Cant. 1:3; John 6:44.

54. John 1:18; 12:49, 50, 15[sic]; 17:8; Deut. 18:15.

55. Matt. 23:10 [So reads the Geneva Bible].

56. Heb. 3:1.

57. Mal. 3:1.

58. 1 Cor. 1:24.

59. Col. 2:3

61. John 1:18; 3:13.

62. 1 Cor. 2:11, 16.

63. Acts 3:22 with Deut. 18:15; Heb. 1:1.

64. John 17:19; Heb. 5:7-9; 9:26; Rom. 5:19; Eph. 5:12; Col. 1:20.

65. Eph. 2:14-16; Rom. 8:34.

111 Appendix I

66. 1 Pet. 2:5; John 4:23, 24.

67. Heb. 7:17.

68. Heb. 7:16.

69. Heb. 7:18-21.

70. Heb. 7:24, 25.

71. Heb. 5:6.

72. Heb. 10:10; 1 Pet. 1:18, 19; Col. 1:20, 22; Isa. 53:10; Matt. 20:28.

73. Acts. 20:28; Rom. 8:3.

74. Heb. 9:14; 13:10, 12, 15; Matt. 23:17; John 17:29.

75. 1 Cor. 15:4; 1 Pet. 3:21, 22; Matt. 28:18-20; Luke 24:51; Acts 1:11; 5:30, 31;

John 19:36; Rom. 14:17.

76. Mark 1:27; Heb. 1:14; John 16:7, 15.

77. John 5:26, 27; Rom. 5:6-8; 14:17; Gal. 5:22, 23; John 1:4, 13.

78. John 13:1; 10:28, 29; 14:16, 17; Rom. 11:29; Psa. 51:10, 11; Job 33:29, 30; 2

Cor. 12:7, 9.

79. Job chaps 1 and 2; Rom 1:21; 2:4-6; 9:17, 18; Eph. 4:17, 18; 2 Pet. chap. 2.

80. 1 Cor. 15:24, 28; Heb. 9:28; 2 Thess. 1:9, 10; 1 Thess. 4:15-17; John 17:21,

26.

81. John 15:13; Rom. 8:32-34; 5:11; 3:25.

82. Job 17:2 with 6, 37.

83. Matt. 16:16; Luke 2:26; John 6:9; 7:3; 20:31; 1 John 5:11.

84. Eph. 2:8; John 6:29; 4:10; Phil. 1:29; Gal. 5:22.

85. John 17:17; Heb. 4:11, 12; John 6:63.

86. Matt. 7:24, 25; John 13:1; 1 Pet. 1:4-6; Isa. 49:13-16.

87. Rom. 10:17; 1 Cor. 1:21.

88. Rom. 9:16.

89. Rom. 2:1, 2; Ezek. 16:6; Rom. 3:12.

90. Rom. 1:16; Eph. 1:19; Col. 2:12.

91. John 3:14, 15; 1:12; Isa. 55:1; John 7:37.

92. 1 Tim. 1:15; Rom. 4:5; 5:8.

93. Acts 5:30, 31; 2:36; 1 Cor. 1:22-24.

94. 1 Pet. 1:5; 2 Cor. 12:9.

95. 1 Cor. 15:10.

96. Phil. 2:12, 13; John 15:5; Gal. 19, 20 [sic].

97. 1 Thess. 1:1; John 14:10, 20; 17:21.

98. Col. 2:9, 10; 1:19; John 1:17.

99. John 20:17; Heb. 2:11.

100. Col. 1:18; Eph. 5:30.

101. Eph. 2:22; 1 Cor. 3:16, 17.

102. Isa. 16:5; 2 Cor. 11:3.

103. Gal. 3:26.

104. John 17:24.

105. John 1:7; Heb. 10:14; 9:26; 2 Cor. 5:19; Rom. 3:23.

106. Acts 13:38, 39; Rom. 5:1; 3:25, 30.

107. 1 Cor. 1:1; 1 Pet. 2:9.

108. Eph. 1:4.

109. 1 John 4:16.

112 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

110. Eph. 4:24.

111. Phil. 3:15.

112. Matt. 28:20.

113. 2 Cor. 5:19; Rom. 5:9, 10.

114. Isa. 54:10; 26:12.

115. Eph. 2:13, 14.

116. Phil. 4:7.

117. Rom. 5:10, 11.

118. Eph. 6:10-13; 2 Cor. 10:3; Rev. 2:9, 10.

119. John 6:33; Heb. 2:9, 10; John 15:5.

120. 1 Cor. 1:1; Eph. 1:1.

121. Rom. 1:7; Acts 26:18; 1 Thess. 1:9; 2 Cor. 6:17; Rev. 18:18.

122. Acts 2:37 with 10:37.

123. Rom. 10:10; Acts 20:21; Matt. 18:19, 20; Acts 2:42; 1 Pet. 2:5.

124. Matt. 28:18-20; 2 Cor. 6:18.

125. Isa. 8:16; 1 Tim. 3:15; 4:16; 6:3, 5; Acts 2;41, 47, Song 4:12; Gal. 6:10;

Eph. 2:19.

126. 1 Cor. 12:6, 7, 12, 18; Rom. 12:4-6; 1 Pet. 4:10; Eph. 4:16; Col. 2:5, 6, 19; 1

Cor. 12:12 to the end.

127. Acts 1:2; 6:3 with 15:22, 25; 1 Cor. 16:3.

128. Rom. 12:7, 8; 16:1; 1 Cor. 12:8, 28; 1 Tim. chap. 3; Heb. 13:7; 1 Pet. 5:1-3.

129. Heb. 5:4; Acts 4:23; 1 Tim. 4:14; John 10:3, 4; Acts 20:28; Rom. 12:7, 8;

Heb. 13:7, 17.

130. 1 Cor. 9:7, 14; Gal. 6:6; 1 Thess. 5:13; 1 Tim. 5:17, 18; Phil. 4:15, 16.

131. Matt. 28:18, 19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:37, 38; 8:36-38; 18:8.

132. Matt. 3:16; John 3:23; Acts 8:38.

133. Rev. 1:5; 7:14 with Heb. 10:22.

134. Rom. 6:3-5.

135. 1 Cor. 15:28, 29.

136. Isa. 8:16; Matt. 28:16-19; John 4:1, 2; Acts 20:7; Matt. 26:26.

137. Acts 2:47; Rom. 16:2; Matt. 18:17; 1 Cor. 5:4; 2 Cor. 2:6-8.

138. Matt. 18:16-18; Acts 11:2, 3; 1 Tim. 5:19-21.

139. Acts 20:27, 28; Heb. 13:17, 24; Matt. 24:25; 1 Thess. 5:14.

140. Mark 13:34, 37; Gal. 6:1; 1 Thess. 5:11; Jude v. 3, 20; Heb. 10:34, 35;

12:15.

141. 1 Cor. chap. 14; Rom. 12:6; 1 Pet. 4:10, 11; 1 Cor. 12:7; 1 Thess. 5:17-19.

˜ 142. Rev. chaps. 2 and 3; Acts 15:12; 1 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 2:16; 3:15, 16; Heb.

10:25; Jude v. 15; Matt. 18:17; 1 Cor. 5:4, 5.

143. 1 Cor. 4:17; 14:33, 36; 16:1; Matt. 28:20; 1 Tim. 3:15; 6:13, 14; Rev. 22:18,

19; Col. 2:6, 19; 4:16.

144. Rom. 13:1-4; 1 Pet. 2:13, 14; 1 Tim. 2:2.

145. 1 Tim. 1:2-4; Psa. 126:1; Acts 9:31.

146. Acts 2:40, 41; 4:19; 5:28, 29, 41; 20:23; 1 Thess 3:3; Phil 1:27-29; Dan.

3:16, 17; 6:7, 10, 22, 23.

147. Matt. 28:18-20; 1 Tim. 6:13-15; Rom. 12: 1, 8; 1 Cor. 14:37; 2 Tim. 4:7, 8;

Rev. 2;10; Gal. 2:4, 5.

113 Appendix II

148. Rom. 13:5-7; Matt. 22:21; Titus 3. [sic]; 1 Pet. 2:13; Eph. 5:21, 22; 6:1, 9; 1

Pet. 5:5.

149. Matt. 22:21; Acts 24:14-16; John 5:28; 2 Cor. 4:17; 1 Tim. 6:3-5; 1 Cor.

15:58-59.

114 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

A VINDICATION OF THE CONTINUED

SUCCESSION of the PRIMITIVE CHURCH

of JESUS CHRIST (now scandalously termed

Anabaptists) from the Apostles unto this

present time.

INTRODUCTORY INFORMATION

By Curtis Pugh

The “Baptist problem” will not go away! Baptist Churches

maintain that they have continually existed since the earthly ministry

of Jesus Christ (not “Baptist” in name, perhaps, but in principle and

connection). Although it infuriates Catholics, Protestants and quasi-Baptists

alike, sound Baptists maintain that both the Bible and the

true facts of history prove that it is among them alone that the true

Churches of Christ are to be found. These New Testament Baptists

maintain that they have ever been and continue to be separate

from Catholicism and Protestantism. They point out that while

religious historians have ample proof as to the origins of Catholicism

and the Protestant schisms, all honest scholars must agree that no

founding date for Baptist churches can be found this side the earthly

ministry of Jesus Christ.

This old volume with modernized spelling is evidence that

Baptists have consistently maintained their separation from other

religious bodies for good and valid reasons. Sound Baptist Churches

are the only churches having a valid claim to a continual succession

from the first Church. As such, New Testament Baptist Churches

are the only churches that have preserved the ordinances (baptism

and the Lord’s supper). John Spittlehouse and John More

maintained, and sound Baptists continue to teach the following:

1. That the true or Primitive Church of Jesus Christ was extant

in their day (A.D. 1652) in England and was then slanderously

nicknamed “anabaptist.” Spittlehouse and More are careful to point

out that the Lord’s churches were then “scandalously termed

Anabaptists.” Anabaptist means “re-baptizer.” From our spiritual

forefathers until this day, we have maintained and do maintain

that there is but “one baptism” (Eph. 4:5) and therefore baptism

Appendix II

115 Appendix II

cannot be re-administered. Because our forefathers refused to

recognize man-made churches, their ordinances, and ordinations,

they baptized aright those who came over to them from the Catholic

and Protestant sects regardless of previous so-called baptisms. Thus

they were slandered as “re-baptizing” their converts while they

insisted that they only baptized them (e.g. their previous “baptisms”

were not valid).

2. That Christ’s Churches have never been a part of nor in

communion with the false churches.

3. That Christ’s Church has had a continual succession and

therefore a continual existence since He founded it.

4. That true Churches are visible societies of saints following

the practices, patterns and teachings of the apostles.

5. That these true Churches have preserved the ordinances of

Jesus Christ since He gave them.

6. That Catholicism and Protestantism are the same in origin.

7. That Roman Catholicism is the Harlot and Protestant

Churches are the Daughters of the Harlot - neither being Churches

of Christ.

8. That Catholic priests and Protestant ministers have no valid

ordinations and are not ministers of Christ.

9. That the “Protestant Reformation” was not of God, but

resulted in false churches compromised in doctrine and practice

with Rome.

10. That there was no need for a “Reformation” inasmuch as

Christ’s Churches never went into apostasy.

The reader will note that Spittlehouse and More used such terms

as “true church,” “Primitive Church,” and even the presently

unpopular word “succession” when referring to true churches.

Baptists hold that there is nothing in the name “Baptist” which

confers authority. (The Lord’s true Churches have been slandered

by many nicknames in the past.) There are many so-called “Baptist

churches” whose connection (origin), doctrine and practices are evidently

NOT of the New Testament. Baptists maintain these are as much

Daughters of the Harlot as any other man-made Protestant sect.

Today sound Baptists follow the New Testament pattern (Acts.

19:1-5) and reject the ordinances and ordinations of the Harlot

(Catholicism), her Daughters (Protestantism), and the “abominations

of the earth” (the sects and cults arising out of the Daughters) (Rev.

17:5). Thus we insist that for a person to have Scriptural baptism

there must be a Scriptural mode (immersion), a Scriptural motive

(baptism a profession of faith), a Scriptural candidate (a repentant

116 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

sinner), and a Scriptural administrator (authority of a Church

having a valid claim to the commission).

Sadly, four of the middle pages of Spittlehouse’s and More’s

book (17, 18, 19, and 20) are missing. We have corresponded with

more than 100 libraries and rare book dealers in the United States,

Canada, and the United Kingdom, with no success in locating a

whole volume. While the value of the work may be somewhat

lessened by their absence, this volume will be found to be of

inestimable worth to lovers of Biblical (Baptist) truth and practice.

Herein will be found ample evidence that our Baptist forefathers

believed as we do regarding both Baptist Church perpetuity and

succession. While our present enemies often accuse us of being

mere followers of a movement that arose among American Baptists

in the mid-1800’s, this work, published in A.D. 1652, proves that

the historic Baptist view predates any such movement in America

by some 200 years. (Indeed we believe that this historic “Baptist”

view of the church and the ordinances to be the view of the New

Testament and go to that Book to prove the validity of our practice.)

Few readers, in all probability, will agree with Spittlehouse and

More regarding their identification of the Woman who fled into

the wilderness. It is doubtful that they will identify the Red Dragon,

the Beast, etc. as these men did. In no way should their interpretation

of prophecy diminish the value of this volume as proof of the early

and consistent testimony to Christ’s true Churches. At some time

in their lives, perhaps after the publication of their book, these men

became Seventh Day Baptists. Some have sought to discredit them

because of this connection, but until all the facts are known in Glory,

none are qualified to discredit either them or their position on the

origin of the Baptists. Shame on anyone who tries to discredit truth

by attacking the faults of those who hold to truth!

Regeneration (the new birth) comes to the sinner by the free

and sovereign grace of God apart from any works of man

whatsoever. However, it will be admitted by all who know the

Scriptures, God has always had an acceptable place and manner of

service where He was glorified. The New Testament proves this

proper place and manner of service to be in a church whose doctrine,

origin and practice are like that first Church. “Unto Him (God) be

glory in the church by Christ Jesus...” (Eph. 3:21).

To those who have been truly born again the matter of proper

obedience to Christ will surely be of paramount importance! Let it

never be said of any who read these pages that they “rejected the

counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him” (Luke

117 Appendix II

7:30). May God give grace to enlighten the minds of His elect as to

the proper place and manner of worship and service to Him!

It has not been my intention to edit this work in any way

whatsoever. The spelling has been brought up to modern usage

and marginal notes have been combined with footnotes under one

numerical system. Except for the omission of quotation marks

preceding each line of a direct quotation (an old practice which

was followed in the original in some places) and the addition of a

few apostrophes, the punctuation has been left as originally marked.

Their free use of Capital Letters and Italic typeface has been

maintained as well as the oft used “viz.” and “aforesaid.” Such were

the customs of the times. Material in [brackets] is mine and has

been added for clarity.

It is my hope that by making this volume available in updated

spelling its usefulness and testimony will be increased among

Baptists and among those not yet members of true Churches but

who are sincerely seeking the Scriptural place of worship and service

to God.

A Vindication of the Continued Succession of the

Primitive

Church of Jesus Christ (now scandalously

termed Anabaptists) from the Apostles

unto this present time.

In Answer to three following Assertions, Extracted out of

the Writings of Mr. John Brain and chiefly out of his Book

entitled -The

Churches going in, and Coming out of the Wilderness, Viz,

1. That the Gospel-frame of the Primitive Church hath been devolved

into the Antichristian Estate and condition since from about the year 406

unto this present time.

2. That during the aforesaid time, there hath not been a true

Church-frame of Gospel-government.

3. That the Gospel-frame of the Gospel-government is to be restored

again by some one Man, who shall have Authority given him from above,

to restore Baptism, and all other lost Ordinances of the Church.

118 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

And may also serve as a further Caveat, to the present

deluded People of this Nation, that are yet seduced by the crazy

rm:Demetriousses [sic] of the Times, who for love of Gain, still

endeavour to cry up their Diana of Rome whom England, and all

they call Christendom yet Worship.

——————————————————

Matt. 28:19,20. Go ye therefore and teach all Nations baptizing

them, etc. Teaching them to observe all things, etc. And lo I am with you

always, even unto the end of the World, Amen.

John 10:1, 7, 8, 9, 10, 16.

——————————————————

Published by John Spittlehouse, and John More.

—————————

London, Printed by Gartrude Dawson, 1652

A Vindication of the continued Succession of the Primitive Church

of Jesus Christ, (Now scandalously termed Anabaptists) from the

Apostles unto this present time.

Sir

Having several times conferred with you about your judgement

in the aforesaid Particulars, and perceiving your resolution to

persevere in them [those] your opinions. I have now undertaken

by the power of Jesus Christ, to vindicate a continued Succession

of his Church and Ordinances (as aforesaid) against your Assertions.

In the first place, I shall declare your meaning by the Gospel-frame

of Gospel-government, (Viz. The true public Worship of God,

consisting in external Ordinances, as of Baptism, etc.) which you say

hath ceased in the Nations this 1200 years, doth yet cease, and shall

so cease, until the Sanctuary be cleansed.

Having thus explained your Meaning, as in relation to the

aforesaid frame of Gospel-Government, I shall in the next place answer

to your first Assertion, (Viz.)

That the Gospel-frame of the Primitive Church hath been devolved into

the Antichristian estate, since from about the year 406 to this present time.

In answer to which, I shall oppose your own expressions, in

your aforementioned Book, hoping such a confutation will be most

prevalent with you.

119 Appendix II

1. I shall begin with that in page 14. where you say,

That Christ and Antichrist cannot agree.

But if the aforesaid Gospel-frame, etc. had been devolved or

mixed with the Antichristian frame of worship since the year

aforesaid, then they must of necessity have had such a communion

and fellowship together, as to become one and the same with each

other, (during the aforesaid time) which the aforesaid words do

plainly contradict.

Therefore it may be concluded from the aforesaid words, That

the aforesaid Gospel-frame, etc. was never so devolved or mixed

together, as in that your Assertion.

2. Again page 2. you acknowledge the aforesaid Gospel-frame

etc. was to be hid, and so hid from the face of the Dragon, as that the

Dragon could not find it, or make discovery of it.

Now all rational Men know, that that which was hid from the

Dragon, was neither hid by the Dragon, nor in the Dragon, nor can

it be imagined that anyone will fly into the bosom of him that seeketh

his destruction for sanctuary, which the aforesaid Gospel-frame must

have done according to your Assertion.

3. Again page 2. You also say that the twelve hundred and sixty

days, prophetically years, do clearly show the time of the Churches hiding,

in its obscure condition, in which time it should not be known unto Antichrist,

what her estate was.

But Antichrist could not be ignorant of the aforesaid Gospel-frame,

etc. if it had (during the aforesaid time) been devolved, or

made one and the same with the aforesaid Antichristian frame, etc.

For certainly, if so, either must Antichrist be ignorant of his own

frame, etc. Or he must of necessity know the Churches: But you

have there positively affirmed, That Antichrist was not to be

acquainted with the Primitive Church condition during the aforesaid

time.

Therefore the Gospel frame of the Primitive Church during the

aforesaid time, had a secret and obscure condition which Antichrist,

or the men of the world became ignorant of.

4. Again in page 2. you likewise acknowledge the aforesaid

Gospel-frame to be carried away from the World and Antichrist, as

it were into another World, during the aforesaid time, alluding it he:(in its

then condition) to the absence of the Sun from us, when it is departed our

of our Horizon.

But as it is most certain that the Sun doth neither cease to shine,

or be a Sun, while it remains so obscure, as aforesaid, or by any

other interposition, whatsoever which for a time may cause a

120 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

THE SHADES OF NIGHT

by Milburn Cockrell

seeming appearance to the contrary.

So likewise albeit the aforesaid Gospel-frame, etc. hath for so

long a time been interposed by Papacy, [Catholicism] Prelacy, [Ch.

of England; Anglican Ch.; Episcopal Ch.] Presbytery,

[Presbyterianism] etc. by reason whereof it hath been totally Eclipsed

to the World, etc.

Yet certainly as the Israelites could have told the Egyptians that

the gross darkness in Egypt, was no prejudice to them in Goshen, so

likewise hath not the overshadowings of truth by the aforesaid

Errors, been any prejudice to the true Israel of God while they

were in that wilderness, or hidden condition as aforesaid, which in

effect you yourself have confessed, page 9. where you acknowledge

(by way of Simile to what I have said) That the Israelites in time of

their Persecution, had light in their dwellings when their Persecutors were

under darkness: As also that God would ever keep, and teach us to keep a

difference betwixt the godly and ungodly in this, (Viz. of Christ from

Antichrist, truth from error, light from darkness) as in other divisions

made of God. As Israel had the bright side, and the Egyptians the dark

side of the cloud towards them; All which doth clearly contradict

your aforesaid Assertion, for by it you would have all the aforesaid

Gospel-frame, etc. so confounded together with that of Antichrist’s,

as to become one with each other, making an absolute concord

and harmony betwixt truth and error, light and darkness, Christ

and Antichrist.

Again, It is as plain from Scripture, where it is said, That the

Manchild, who was to rule all Nations with a rod of Iron, was caught up

unto God, and to his Throne; as also that the Woman fled into the

Wilderness, where she had a place prepared of God, wherein she should be

fed a thousand two hundred and threescore days, Rev. 12:5,6.

But Antichrist, or the Papacy of Rome, etc. was neither the place

where the aforesaid Woman, and her Manchild (viz. the Primitive

Church and her frame of Government) was either to be caught up

or fed, unless you will make the seat of the Papacy the Throne of

God, and Antichrist, and his Consort (the Mother of Harlots) their

foster-Father and Mother, during the aforesaid time, which cannot

be.

First, In that the aforesaid Manchild is said to be caught up unto

God, and to his Throne, as in point of safety and preservation, from

the fury and rage of the Dragon, etc.

But Antichrist did not any ways preserve the Primitive Church,

or its frame of Government, but contrariwise hath endeavored to

subvert it.

121 Appendix II

Therefore the aforesaid Antichrist, and his Consort, did not

any ways preserve the aforesaid Manchild from their own fury

against it, neither is it rational to imagine they would, in that its

ruin was to become the other’s rise.

Secondly, Because the Woman, etc. is said to flee into the

Wilderness, etc. where she would be fed, etc.

But that Antichrist, and his aforesaid Consort, would preserve

the Primitive Church in its purity (for otherwise how is it preserved)

is contrary to common sense, for the reasons aforesaid. Or that

they should feed it with primitive truths in relation to its essentials,

substantials, and circumstantials, (for otherwise how could it be truly

fed) which is every whit as contrary to common sense that they

would. And that for the aforesaid reason. Therefore it is also as

impossible that the aforesaid Antichrist, etc. did either preserve, or

feed the aforesaid Primitive Church, etc. in its aforesaid Wilderness-condition.

Yea, you yourself have acknowledged, That Jerusalem and Babel,

have their Ordinances and worship so distinct one from the other, that

what is of and in the one, is not of, nor cannot be in the other. And if so,

then how is it that you should so confound them together? etc.

Object[ion]. I know you will produce Dr. Taylor in his tract, etc.

against this, where he says, That the Churches’ flight was not in respect

of Motion, but of State and Condition, not a change of Place but Condition,

etc. For which expressions you seem very highly to applaud him.

But before you too highly exalt him for that saying, I desire to

know by what logic either that Doctor, or yourself, can prove the

flight of anything without Motion or change of place: As for his

instance in point of condition I assent so far unto, as that the

Primitive Church, etc. was brought unto an exceeding great outward

hardship, through the tyranny of that Man of sin and his Adherents.

Again, if the Antichristian frame aforesaid, was intended by

God to be the Wilderness, in which the aforesaid Primitive Church,

etc. was to be hid, etc. then it must also of necessity come out of the

said Antichristian Wilderness again, as the Title of your aforesaid

Book attests.

And if so, then Prelacy, Presbytery, etc. have been Christian

conversions, which elsewhere you utterly deny, where you say, the

way of worship which proceeds from Rome must cease, and that it

is not the way of propagating the Gospel, as also, that God will not

be found in it, and if so, how shall the true Church-frame, etc. be

found in it? and if it be not in it, it cannot be extracted out of it, for

if so, than a clean thing may be brought out of an unclean [thing]

122 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

contrary to that of Job 14:4 and James 3:11,12. you likewise term the

reformings aforesaid, to be the reformings of Rome, or Babel, etc.

(and not of Christ) as indeed they are.

By all which it doth clearly appear, that the primitive Church,

etc. was not devolved, or mixed with the aforesaid Antichristian

frame during the time aforesaid, and that from your own

Expressions.

I shall now proceed to your second Argument, viz.

That during the aforesaid time, there has not been a true Church-frame,

etc.

Object[ion]. In confirmation of which, you cite Hillary of Poyctoyes

in France, who lived in the year 380 and says, That in his days the

Primitive Church was not to be found in Houses, in Temples, or Cities, but

in Prisons, Mountains, Dens, Deserts, and Caves of the Earth.

Answ[er]. Now I appeal to any rational man, whether that

Historian has in so saying proved the aforesaid Primitive Church

to have been without a being in that time, but rather to have had a

being, albeit in the aforesaid Prisons, Mountains, Dens, Deserts, and

Caves of the Earth, where he concludes it had then its residence.

Object[ion]. Again, albeit the same Author says, That in the 26[th].

year after, there was a more exceeding increase of darkness, then

[than] in the time before.

Answ[er]. Yet that proves no more a darkness in reference to

the aforesaid Primitive, or true Church, then [than] the absence of the

Sun from us in England, does prove the like to all the habitable Earth at the

same time, so that albeit the splendor of that Gospel-Mercy (as you

term it) was then withdrawn from the view of Antichrist, etc. for the

time aforesaid, yet certainly it did retain its lustre in itself, for it is

every whit as possible to separate the light from the body of the Sun, as it

was possible for Antichrist to separate the Gospel-frame, etc. from the

body of the true Church of Jesus Christ.

Object[ion]. You will say, Where was there any one visible Society of

Saints, which did practise according to the Apostles’ Rules and Precepts.

Answ[er]. The not-appearance [nonappearance] of a visible body

or Society of Saints to the public view of Antichrist, etc. does no

more prove, that the true Church had no visible estate in itself, then

[than] the Sun ceases to be a Sun, during the absence of the light thereof;

neither is it more to be imagined, that the true Church, during its

hidden, or Wilderness condition, did desist from practicing according

to the Apostles’ Rules, and Precepts, (so far as the well being of such small

societies did require) then [than] it is to imagine, that there was not

two or three Saints left living upon the face of the earth, which I suppose

123 Appendix II

you will not affirm.

Object[ion]. You will say, Antichrist was to take his rise, by taking

down the Gospel-frame of Gospel-government, making that to be hid, that

he might only appear.

Answ[er]. His rise was not by taking down the Gospel-frame,

etc. but by setting up another frame of his own, apart from it, and contrary

unto it, as is also confessed by you (as in page 10.) where you say, he

took his rise by setting up a counterfeit way of his own, carrying a false

light with it by which he bewitched the Nations with the Cup of

abominations, deceiving poor silly souls with the outward show of Religion

and Piety, etc. by which expressions you have proved for me, that

Antichrist was not to take his rise by taking down the Gospel-frame,

etc. according to your aforesaid Assertions.

Object[ion]. But I know you will further object, That the Holy City

was to be trodden under foot, (which, say you, is meant of the Gospel-frame,

etc) and truth by him was to be cast down to the ground, and Antichrist

was only to prosper. Dan. 8:12, 13; Rev. 11:2 and 13:1.

Answ[er]. As it is possible for a man to be cast down to the

ground, and also trodden under foot of his enemy, and yet retain

life and motion, yea and in time so recover his strength as to vanquish

the Vanquisher, as many times it has happened, and may happen.

So likewise was it as possible for the Church of Christ, after her

hidden and wilderness-condition, to gather such strength and vigor,

as to return a double portion of affliction and misery upon the head

of her Persecutor, to what she had formerly received of him, and

his adherents. As in Rev. 18, verses 6, 7.

Again, as it is impossible that Truth in itself should be destroyed

by Error, so likewise was it also as impossible, that the Faith and

Practice of the then Saints, should be destroyed in them, by the

Antichristian power then predominant over their bodies. Or, that

they should become Proselytes to his aforesaid delusions. For if the

sons of Jonadad, etc. would not transgress the command of their

Father in the Flesh, (Jer. chap. 35) how much more is it to be thought

that the other would obey the Father of their Spirits, in observing

of all his precepts which was given them in charge to keep.

Yea the contrary cannot be imagined, unless you will maintain

a falling away from Grace by the Elect, which I know you abominate.

Yea the Scriptures do clearly manifest the contrary, by distinguishing

of such as were so to be over-powered and deluded by Antichrist,

by these phrases. (viz.) Such as were to perish. As in 2 Thess. 2:9, 10.

Of such as were not written in the Lamb’s book of life. Rev. 13:8. Yea you

acknowledge as much yourself, in your aforesaid expressions, where

124 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

you term them Silly souls, etc. page 10, etc.

So that I may safely conclude, both from the aforenamed

Scriptures, and yourself, that Antichrist was to prevail over none

but such as aforementioned, and if so, then he was not to conquer

or subvert the Faith and Practice of the then Saints, and so

consequently of none of their successors, who are concluded by

the Apostle, To be wise unto salvation. 2 Tim.3:15. Yea Christ himself

gives this Character of them, That they will not follow strangers. John

10:5, etc. as also, That they know not the voice of strangers, but

contrariwise, that they know his voice, and follow him only, Verse 27.

Yea he is said to take such care and cognizance of them, as that he

knoweth them by name, Verse 3. Yea, God the Father is said so to

protect them, as that they shall never perish. Yea, to have so fast hold

of them, as that neither Man nor Devil can pluck them out of his

hands, For that he is more great and powerful than all their adversaries.

Verse 29.

It is therefore without all controversy, that Antichrist was not

to beguile the aforesaid Saints of their Faith, or to gain them as

Proselytes to his kingdom of darkness, and so consequently not

from the fruits thereof, (viz.) in point of worship, or any precept or

command of Jesus Christ whatsoever. The uttermost extent of the

power of Antichrist consisting only in persecuting or killing their bodies,

but not to touch their Faith, the life of their Souls. And if not their

Faith, then not their Obedience, which is ever individually annexed

unto it as an inseparable consequence thereof.

So that the aforementioned texts in Daniel and the Revelations,

[Revelation] must of necessity be understood of the despicable and

contemptible estate and condition of the aforesaid Saints in the

esteem of Antichrist, etc. during the time they were to Lord it over

them, but so far were they from extinguishing or rooting up their Faith

and Obedience to the commands of Christ and his Apostles, as that

they increased the more in strength by such cruelties, their blood

being the seed of the Church, as Historians do declare of them.

Object[ion]. You cite also Mr. Bernard on Rev. 12:6 who understands

by the Churches flight into the Wilderness, that she lost her visibility before

her Enemies.

Answ[er]. I do freely acknowledge as much, but that doth not

prove the Primitive Church was to be unchurched by her enemies

in her distressed or Wilderness-condition, or that she was invisible

to such of whom she then consisted, but rather that she was

preserved by that her flight from the fury and rage of Antichrist.

Object[ion]. You cite also Mr. Cooser, Bishop of Galloway, who

125 Appendix II

compares the then hiding of the Primitive church and frame of Gospel-government

unto the hiding of the Popish Church or Synagogue in England,

who are, (saith he) without public State or Regiment, or open free exercise

of Holy Function, etc. Then which expression you think nothing can

more fitly and fully clear your aforesaid Assertion.

I do likewise freely acknowledge that his Expression to be very

pertinent to the setting forth of the state of the Primitive Church

under the Persecution of Antichrist, etc. but little to that purpose you

drive at, Viz. as to a cessation of the aforesaid Primitive Church, etc. in

that her condition. Yea so far was it from tending to such a construction,

as that it does rather argue the quite contrary, Viz. To prove a

succession or continuance of the aforesaid Primitive Church, etc.

in that her condition. In prosecution of which we may compare the

present estate and condition of the aforesaid Romish Church or

Regiment in this Nation with the other, which if without public

State or Regiment etc. in that Bishop’s days, certainly much more at

this present time, as all rational men must needs acknowledge.

And yet notwithstanding the present restriction by virtue of the

Acts now in force against Popish Priests and Jesuits etc. I presume all

rational men will acknowledge, that they cannot but conceive and

believe that the Popish Religion is yet put in practise in this Nation,

albeit not to the public view of such as will call them in question for

so doing.

And if so, then I appeal to any rational man, whether or no the

like practice might not have been used by the Primitive Christians

and their Successors, during their Persecution by Antichrist. Yea, that

it was more probable may thus appear. For by how much the

aforesaid Papists, etc. dare now be so bold as to support an Error;

by so much or more may we justly conceive the other would be as

valiant to maintain a Truth, by practicing what was their duties as

Members of the true Primitive Church, yea, I would gladly know

any one Ordinance of Jesus Christ, that was impossible to be

practised by them (that was requisite to their then present condition)

during their enemies’ hottest rage, against them. Having thus clearly

proved a continuation of the Primitive Church and frame of Gospel-government

(so far as was requisite for their then present condition) I

shall in the next place by the same assistance prove the first approach

of its visibility into the world, after its aforesaid persecution under

the Dragon and the Beast mentioned, Rev. chap. 12 and 13.

And first of its persecution under the aforesaid red Dragon,

whose Original I take to be the Emperor Nero, and that for these

ensuing Reasons, Viz.

126 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

In that it is reported of him by Eusebius (lib.2, ch. 24, 25, fol. 34)

That when he had reigned for the space of 8 years, etc. and being

settled in his Throne, he fell into abominable facts, and took armor

against the service due unto the universal and almighty God, etc.

How detestable he was become, is not for this present time to

declare, for there be many that have painted out his willful malice,

which may easily appear if we consider the furious madness of that

man, through the which after that beyond reason he had destroyed

an innumerable company, he fell into such a sucking way of

slaughter, that he abstained not from his most dear and familiar

friends; Yea, he tormented with divers kinds of deaths his own

mother, his brethren, his wife, and many of his dear kinfolks, as if

they had been Enemies, and deadly foes unto him.

Again, It behoved us to take notice of this one thing of him

above the rest, Viz. “That he was counted the First 1 Enemy of all the

Emperors unto the service of God, by which we may conclude,

that Nero was the first that began the persecution in the Gentile

Church of Christ.”

Again, Tertullian, the Roman writes thus of the said Nero, Viz.

“Read your Authors there you shall find Nero chiefly to have

persecuted this Doctrine at Rome,” etc. “he became cruel unto all,”

etc.

Again he says, This enemy of God set up himself to the destruction of

the Apostles, wherein he was first discovered. 2 For they write that: Paul

was beheaded of him at Rome, etc. all which being compared with Phil

4:22 does clearly demonstrate that they were Paul’s followers that

were so persecuted by Nero in Rome. Yea, it is very probable, that

Nero himself for the first eight years of his reign, did favour Paul’s

Doctrine, or otherwise he would not have suffered so many of his

family to have been his followers, as it plainly appears in the

aforesaid chapter: as also by their aforesaid sufferings by Nero, as

the aforesaid Histories do relate.

Having thus found out the Original of the aforesaid Red Dragon,

and also the very year wherein he began his persecution, as also in

all probability, the first Martyr of the Gentile Church of Christ, which I

take to be the Apostle Paul, and that for these Reasons, Viz.

1. In that he was designed to be the Apostle of the Gentiles, (Gal.

2:8, 9) it was therefore most requisite, that he should be the first

Martyr that should suffer under that heathen Dragon, to the end he

might as well be their Captain in sufferings, as in the practice of the truth

which he had taught them, and that according to the example of his Master

Jesus Christ.

127 Appendix II

2. In that the aforesaid Tyrant is said to be first discovered by his

causing Paul to be beheaded.

3. In relation to so gentle a death as the aforesaid Apostle is said

to die by, which doth argue a kind of leniency, or mildness in that

Tyrant, as being but his first entrance into that Tragedy, being compared

with the cruelties which he is said to use afterward, yea, and that

even to his own Mother, whose very Womb he is said to have caused

to be ripped open, to the end he might see the place of his conception,

with many other cruelties which are reported of him, all which

doth argue the Apostle’s death (as aforesaid) to have been the first

entrance of that Tyrant into his butchery of the Saints.

I shall in the next place discover the original of the Beast which

was to act the second part of that Christian Tragedy, begun by the

aforesaid Nero, and continued during the ten persecutions (viz.)

from the aforesaid Claudius Nero, unto Constantius Magnus, in whose

days the aforesaid ten Persecutions had their period.

Who seeing the aforesaid Emperors his Predecessors frustrated

of their expectation (viz.) of a total Extirpation of the Primitive

Church and frame of Gospel-government from off the earth, and

that notwithstanding all their [“?] bloody Massacres, and killing

courses, whereby many “thousands were oft time slain in a day,

resolved to take “a more subtle course,[“?] and that by practicing

another design to the same effect, which was by giving a seat and

power, and great authority unto such silly souls as he could by that

means delude and ensnare; “To the end “he might do that by craft

and subtlety, which his “Predecessors could not do by force and

violence.[“?] To which purpose I say it does plainly appear that the

said Constantius etc. called the great Council of Nice, in which Diet

the aforesaid Constantius, and they decreed that like as the King of

the Romans was then called Emperor above other Kings, so the Bishop

of the same City, should be called Pope, above other Bishops. And to

the more specious carrying on of the aforesaid design, he likewise

erected many sumptuous Temples or Churches, decking them with

Jewels, and costly Ornaments; And to the end he might further

procure his ends therein, he gave likewise to the Priests of them

[those] times (whom he had so ensnared under pretence of

advancing and promoting Religion) worldly power and great riches,

that they might more freely manage his design. And to carry it on

yet further, he likewise pretended to have seen the Sign of the Cross

in the air, and thereby took occasion to set up Imagery and Idolatry

of Crosses; 3 and Saints relics, yea, and what not, which might tend

to an Aaronical glory, into which dress he was then determined to

128 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

transform or reduce the then afflicted Church of Jesus Christ;

supposing it the only time and means to bring that his purpose to

pass. All which and much more, Eusebius and other Historians report

of him in a plentiful manner; by all which means the Cross of Christ

began to be made of none effect, and the power of Christ’s death either no

more remembered, or no more understood by the deluded Professors of such

false Worship, Insomuch, as a Voice was then heard from Heaven

saying, This day is poison poured forth into the Church, All which does

clearly demonstrate the aforesaid Constantius to be the very Man, or

Dragon, who gave his power unto the Beast, as Rev. 13.

Having thus discovered the place where, the time when, and

the manner how the Dragon, and the Beast took their first rise, I

shall in the next place compute the time of the aforesaid 1260 years,

(which was assigned to be the time of the hiding of the Primitive Church,

etc. in its Wilderness condition) from the rise of the Beast or Papacy, To

which purpose, It is very remarkable, that betwixt the Birth of

Constantius, and the death of Luther, is fully expired the aforesaid

number of years, Constantius being born in the year 283 and Luther’s

death happening in the year, 1546 from which latter number if you

deduct, the former, the remainder will be 1263 years as by

comparing of Eusebius with Mr. Fox in his Book of Martyrs, upon

the life and death of the aforesaid Constantius and Luther will appear:

So that it is probable the aforesaid Primitive Church etc. came out

of its wilderness condition, about three years before the death of

Luther.

Now that it came forth as aforesaid, not by the means of Luther,

but rather contrary to his desire, will clearly appear by this ensuing

Story of Sphanhemus, Professor of Leiden in his Historical Narrative

of the Church of Christ in Germany, which that Enemy of the Truth

there stills, by the scandalous name of Anabaptists, in which story

contrary to his intended desire he testifies the visibility of the aforesaid

true Church in Luther’s time, as the aforesaid story will clearly

manifest, 4 where speaking out of ignorance, by way of contempt

against three famous Champions of the Primitive Church of Jesus

Christ (which was at that very instant making its first approach out

of its Wilderness-condition, in its morning dress) uses these following

expressions, by way of narration, viz.

That when God raised up Luther, Melancton [Melanchthon],

Zwinglius and divers [various] other Worthies, to be Reformers of

his Church, at the same time the enemy of mankind raised up the

Anabaptists to be the disturbers of his Church: That Thomas Munzer

their great Antisignanus, [sic] etc. when he could not get Luther to

129 Appendix II

join with him, etc. began to thunder against Luther himself, crying

out, that Luther was as much in fault as the Pope of Rome, yea, and

more, yea, that Luther, and those of his party, favoured nothing but

of the flesh, vaunting indeed, that they had cut off some of the

leaves of Antichrist, but the tree and the root remained still untouched,

which (said Munzer, Storch, and Becold) must be cut down, and which

cut down they would.

So that the Papacy, Prelacy, and Presbytery, may fitly be

compared to three families under one roof, striving to supplant

each other, witnesses the continual conflicts betwixt the old Strumpet

and her aforesaid daughters, and that as it were in a battle Royal,

both by Word and Sword, to subvert each others’ Hierarchies, which

they have already done in a great measure in this Nation, the full

accomplishment whereof I hope in a short time to see effected both

in this Nation and elsewhere, which the Lord in much mercy hasten,

that the truth of his Promises may be fulfilled in these our days,

which was written by his servant John, Rev. 13:10, viz. That such as

have and would lead the Primitive Church of Christ captive may be led

themselves into captivity, and that such as have killed them with the Sword,

etc. may be killed by the Sword, etc. Rev. 18:6, 7, 8; Psa. 149: 6, 7, 8, 9,

and that the true Primitive Church may be restored to such a latitude,

as to spread itself over the face of the whole earth, as in Dan. 7:18,

27.

But to return where I left (viz.) to the first approach of the

aforesaid Primitive Church in its mornings dress, as you yourself

have very elegantly described it, page 1, etc. where from Canticles

6:10 you compare the degrees of the approach thereof out of its

wilderness-condition. 1. To be like the looking forth of the morning.

2. To the fairness of the Moon. 3.To the clearness of the Sun. And

lastly, To the terribleness of an Army with Banners. All which are

indeed most excellent and lively Emblems of the degrees which

have been, and are yet, to be taken by the aforesaid Primitive

Church, since her wilderness-condition.

Which aforesaid Gradations, was doubtless the only reason why

the aforesaid Spanhemus, Luther, etc. could not at that time discern

the aforesaid Church to be the Primitive Church, which was then

looking, or peeping out of its wilderness-condition; and that in as

much also, because of the long hiding thereof (viz.) for the aforesaid

space of 1260 years, during which time of its absence, it was departed

from them, as it had been into another world (as yourself do also

acknowledge) so that they were in the interim set down in darkness,

and so knew not the aforesaid true Church at that time of the

130 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

approach thereof, but continued rather wondering at it, and hating

it, etc. (which is now your own present condition, which I humbly

desire you would lay to heart, by a serious consideration of your

present estate, and to redeem the time you have hitherto spent in

deluding, and being deluded, which phrase I am constrained to use,

hoping it may be unto you, as such a reproof as the Prophet David desired

to be reproved by, Psa. 14:5, which he there esteems, as a precious Balm

upon his head.)

(PAGES ORIGINALLY NUMBERED 17, 18, 19, & 20 ARE

MISSING. )

cover their Ordination (unto you) by the Constitution of their

Church.

Now they cannot avoid, but that the Constitution of their

Church, is now the same with that party, or Church which did

separate from the Papacy of that time, from which they derive their

succession. So that if the Constitution (and so consequently the

Ordination) of the now Presbyterian Churches and Ministers be

Constituted and Ordained contrary to the command of Jesus Christ,

and the Practice of his Apostles: then it must unavoidedly follow,

that the aforesaid party which Mr. Cranford says, did so separate

themselves from the Papacy, was also Constituted and ordained

contrary to the commands of Jesus Christ, and the practice of his

Apostles.

But that the present Church whereof Mr. Cranford is now termed

the Minister, etc. is a Church constituted (and so consequently

ordained) contrary to the command of Jesus Christ, and the practise

of his Apostles I thus argue.

That Church which is constituted of such persons as have neither

been taught, nor have Faith, Repentance, Baptism, is a Church

constituted contrary to the commands of Jesus Christ, and the

practice of his Apostles. Matt. 28:19, 20; Mark 16:15, 16; Acts 2:38,

41, and 8:12, 35, 36, etc. and 16:14, 15, 31, 32, 33.

But the aforesaid Church, whereof Mr. Cranford is Minister, etc.

has been so constituted as aforesaid, viz. of Infants sprinkled, etc.

Ergo, the aforesaid Church whereof Mr. Cranford is Minister, is

constituted contrary to the command of Jesus Christ, and the practise

of his Apostles.

2. That Church which is constituted contrary to the Commands

of Jesus Christ, and the practise of his Apostles, is no constituted

Church of Jesus Christ.

But the aforesaid Church of Mr. Cranford’s has been so

constituted. Ergo it is no constituted Church of Jesus Christ.

131 Appendix II

3. That Church which is not a constituted Church of Jesus Christ,

is a constituted Church of Antichrist.

But the aforesaid Church of Mr. Cranford is not a constituted

Church of Jesus Christ, etc.

Ergo it is a constituted Church of Antichrist.

4. That Church which is a constituted Church of Antichrist, is a

Church constituted by the power and authority of Antichrist.

But Mr. Cranford’s Church is a constituted Church of Antichrist:

Ergo Constituted by the authority and power of Antichrist.

5. That Church which is constituted by the power and authority

of Antichrist is one and the same with Antichrist in its constitution,

etc.

But Mr. Cranford’s Church as aforesaid, is constituted by the

authority and power of Antichrist:

Ergo it is one and the same with Antichrist in its constitution,

etc.

6. That Church, whose constitution is one and the same with

the Church of Antichrist in its constitution, is not separated from

the constitution of the Antichristian Church.

But the constitution of Mr. Cranford’s Church, etc. is one and

the same with the constitution of the Church of Antichrist.

Ergo the Constitution of Mr. Cranford’s Church was never

separated from the constitution of the Church of Antichrist, and so

consequently, neither that Party, or Church, formerly instanced by

Mr. Cranford, from whom he, and the whole Presbyterian party, do

plead succession from, as to their constitution and ordination, and

so consequently, all such as plead the like succession and ordination

as they do.

For that Church, whose constitution is Antichristian, cannot

ordain Ministers of Jesus Christ.

But the Constitution of the aforesaid Church is Antichristian,

Ergo, They cannot ordain Ministers of Jesus Christ.

So that all the Churches that have been constituted by baptizing

or sprinkling of Infants, as aforesaid, have been constituted by the

authority and power of Antichrist.

t:But all the aforesaid Churches who pretend to have been

separated from Antichrist, did never separate from the constitution

of the Church of Antichrist.

Ergo, The constitution of all the aforesaid Churches have

continued Antichristian, from their Separation to this present, and

so consequently have neither had a true constitution or Ordination,

as the Churches or Ministers of Jesus Christ, since their aforesaid

132 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

separation.

But to leave them without any further plea in this particular, I

shall urge the writings of them, whom they so highly esteem as the

great Reformers of their times, presuming the testimony that they

shall afford to my present purpose will be of force to leave an impress

upon their consciences, I shall begin with Melancton, [Melanchthon]

who in his Answer to the Anabaptists is forced to confess, 5 That

about the year of our Lord 248, and after the departure of John the

oldest Apostle, 158 years, there lived a certain Priest one Finus,

who would that men should according to the manner of

Circumcision baptize young children upon the eight [eighth] day,

with whom says he, Cyprian 6 with 66 Bishops and elders more

gathered together joined themselves and ordained, That every one

without delay should receive Baptism, and that young children

should be timely brought thereunto; after which (says Bullinger) the

Carthaginian Council concluded thus to Innocentius, Viz.

7 Forasmuch as we believe that Christ the Son of God was holily

born of the pure Virgin Mary to fulfil and ratify the promises of

God, which excludes not children from salvation, we will therefore

that they be baptized.

In which two Instances we have the grand foundation laid to

the Mystery of iniquity (foretold by the Apostle Paul, 2 Thess. 2:1, 2,

3, 4, etc. as also by John I Epistle 18, 19 [1 John 2:18-19]) whereupon

Antichrist was to erect his Fabric apart from the true Church, from which

they had revolted, as in the aforesaid Scriptures) and that chiefly instead

of Circumcision, upon which Basis it is yet supported by the daughters

of the aforesaid Harlot, the Original of the rise thereof, being like 8

unto that of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who when he had through

his subtlety procured a revolt of the ten Tribes from their obedience

to the house of David, 1 King. 12. And after considering what would

be the event thereof, if he should not use some means to bottom

their worship apart from each other (as in v. 26, 27, 28, etc.) did

thereupon take counsel, etc. By means whereof he erected another

foundation to settle the aforesaid Revolters upon, by way of allusion

to what they had formerly practised; By which his subtlety, he is

said to continue a firm and sure separation of the aforesaid Revolters

from those of their brethren, that kept themselves to their first

principle of obedience and loyalty to the aforesaid house of David,

etc. So in like manner when the aforesaid 9 Revolters from the truth

were grown so numerous as aforesaid, they thought it high time to

use the like craft and subtlety, as the aforesaid Jeroboam did, to the

end their like rebellious consorts or Renigadoes [Renegades] should

133 Appendix II

not return to their former faith, or worship; and hence it was that

they also took counsel together as aforesaid, where they likewise

concluded, that instead of their former constitution founded upon

baptizing of such as had been taught, believed, and repented, as hath been

clearly proved, they should now constitute their Churches, by baptizing

of Infants, without any reference to the aforesaid motives, (viz.) of being

taught, or having faith or repentance, by which means their Church

became every whit as distinct, or separate from the Church of Jesus

Christ, as the aforesaid revolting Israelites became to the House of

David. But lest Mr. Cranford, etc. should say these are my own words,

without any further testimony, to strengthen and confirm the same,

in point of History, or human testimony, I shall therefore present

you with the opinions and judgements of such, who albeit 10 enemies

to the true Baptism of the true Church, as their practise did declare,

yet being urged to speak their consciences in relation thereunto,

have declared and published as follows. And first of the confession

of 11 Luther himself, Who in his Book Entitled, The ground-work and

cause, Tom. I. where speaking of the Sacraments, uses these

expressions upon the words of Jesus Christ, Mark 16:16. (Viz.) That

these words are spoken in reference to faith before Baptism, concluding, that

where faith is not, there Baptism 12 avails not, as the following words of

the same place do show, saying, He that believeth not shall be damned,

etc. For it is not Baptism, but by Faith in Baptism [note Luther’s words!]

that saves, as we read Acts 8:36. That Philip would not baptize the

Eunuch until he had first demanded of him, whether he believed, etc. But

without Faith the Sacraments profit nothing; yea, they are not only in vain,

but bring damnation also to the Receivers.

Again, writing upon the 48th Chapter of Genesis, he says, That

before we receive the Sacrament of Baptism, and the Lords Supper, we

must have Faith.

Again, in his book of the Civil Magistrate he also says, That the

Sacrament neither can, nor may be received without Faith 13 but with great

hurt, etc. So that either before, or else even then present, when Baptism is

administered, there must needs be Faith, or else there is a contempt of the

divine Majesty, who offers his present Grace when there is none to receive it.

Again, in his Epistle of Anabaptism, he confesses, That it cannot

be proved by any place of Scripture, that Children do believe, neither do the

Scriptures clearly or plainly with these or the like words say, Baptize your

Children, 14 for they believe: wherefore we must yield to those that drive us

to the letter, because we find it nowhere written.

Melanct[on] 15 on 1 Cor. 11. faith, 16 In times past, those that had

repented them were baptized, and was instead of an absolution, wherefore

134 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

Repentance must not be separate from Baptism, for Baptism is a sacramental

sign of Repentance.

Again, in his Treatise concerning the doctrine of Anabaptists, he is

forced to confess, that there is 17 no plain Commandment in the holy

Scriptures, that Children should be baptized.

Zuinglius 18 in his book says, That 19 in old time Children were

openly instructed, who when they came to understanding were called

Chatecumeni, [Catechumen] that is, such as are instructed in the Word

of Salvation; and when they had imprinted the faith in their hearts, and

made confession thereof with their mouths, they were admitted to baptism.

Again, in his book of the Movers of Sedition he likewise uses this

expression, viz. When we speak of Children’s Baptism, so it is that there is

no plain word in the Scriptures, whereby the same is commanded.

Calvin 20 likewise is put to confess, That it is no where expressly

mentioned by the Evangelists, that any one Child was by the 21 Apostles’

hands baptized.

Having thus given you the testimonies of the late great pretended

Reformers, etc. (though contrary to their practise) I shall in the next

place give you the like testimonies of other Writers relating to

Baptism, as it was practised in the Apostles’ days, and the first two

hundred years after.

Hier[onymus] 22 [ Jerome] says, The Lord commanded his Apostles,

that they should first instruct and teach all Nations, and 23 afterwards

should baptize those that were instructed in the mysteries of Faith, etc.

Athan[atius] 24 [sic] says, That our Saviour did not slightly command

to baptize, but first of all he said, teach, and then baptize, that true Faith

might come by teaching, and Baptism be perfected by faith.

Haimo 25 says, That there is set down a rule 26 rightly how to baptize,

that is, that teaching should go before baptism, for he says, teach all Nations,

and then he says, baptize them, for he that is to be baptized must be before

instructed, that he first learn to believe that which in baptism he shall

receive; for as faith without works is dead, so works when they are not of

faith are nothing worth.

Rossensis 27 says, The now Rulers of Churches use such Baptism as

Christ never used in his Church.

28 Eck, writing against the new Church Orders, etc. says, That the

Ordinances concerning the baptism of Children is without Scripture, and

concludes thus against the Lutherans; What are you such fools, to take on

you the Ordinances of men, which is found only to be a custom of the Church.

29 Orig[en] calls Baptism of Children, 30 a Ceremony and Tradition of

the Church, in Levet. Hom. 8 in Epist. ad Rom. lib. 5. Augustine also

calls it a Custom of the Church, De Baptismo contra donat. lib. 4. cap.

135 Appendix II

23. Pope Gregory calls it, a Tradition of the Fathers, in Decretis destinet

de consecrat. Cassander, in his book de Infantum Baptismo, says,

That it came to be used by the Fathers which lived three hundred years after

Christ. 31

From all which it is clearly proved (and that from the mouths

of such as did then practise Infant-Baptism or sprinkling) that all

such persons as have been incorporated into Church-fellowship by

being baptized or sprinkled, while Infants were incorporated by a

way or means that Jesus Christ never commanded to be used to

such a purpose, as also by such a way as was never practised by his

Apostles, and so consequently not incorporated visible Members

of the Church of Jesus Christ, but contrariwise, visible Members of

the visible Church of Antichrist, whose invention it was, and whose

practise it yet is, instance Mr. Cranford’s Church as aforesaid, and

therefore as Antichristian as the rest; and so consequently the

ordination, which Mr. Cranford and the rest of the Ministers of London

(Presbyterian Ministers) have received, from such as have been so

baptized or sprinkled as aforesaid, is every whit as Antichristian as

their Baptism, which has been clearly made out to be a mere

tradition of men, and therefore abominable in the Church of Jesus

Christ, Matt. 15:8.

Having thus clearly proved, that all the aforesaid societies of

people, are neither Churches or Ministers of Jesus Christ (albeit

their separations as aforesaid) it must of necessity follow, that the

Church, or society of People (now scandalously termed Anabaptists)

was ever kept distinct and separate from Antichrist, and that to all

ends and purposes whatsoever, whether in essentials, substantials,

and circumstantials, so that the aforesaid Primitive Church and

frame of Gospel-government, was never totally destroyed in her

externals by the aforesaid red Dragon, or Beast, or Antichrist (maugre

[in spite of] all their malice and endeavours to do the same) much

less in her internals, but contrariwise preserved and continued unto

this present time; and therefore it will be needless to answer to

your third assertion, viz.

That the Gospel-frame of Gospel-government is to be restored by some

one man, etc.

For what need is there of restoring that by any one man, when

the aforesaid Church has power to do it (when need requires) of,

and by itself, the Church of Christ being as a tree (Psa. 1:3) whose

seed is in itself: now experience teaches us, that a tree so planted as

aforesaid, albeit in the autumnal or winter season, it become

seemingly dead, by being deprived of its outward ornaments of

136 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

leaves and fruit (which is procured by the coldness of the season,

which causes the sap to shrink down into the root) yet the like

experience does also teach us, that at the springtime, the aforesaid

sap or moisture, being exhaled again by virtue of the heat of the

Sun, does furnish the same tree again with its like natural ornaments

of leaves and fruit, and that of, and from itself.

So put the case, that during the autumnal or winter season of

the Antichristian persecution of the Church of Christ, it might be

deprived of its aforesaid ornaments of order, and form of worship,

yet the root and the tree being preserved (viz. the Word of God as

the root, and Saints as the tree, wherein the aforesaid order and

form of worship have been retained, during the aforesaid time) has

by the virtue and power of the Sun of righteousness shining upon it

(at the time of its approach out of its aforesaid condition) even as

much power to furnish itself with its spiritual ornaments, of order,

and form of worship, and that without any other artificial help

whatsoever, as the aforesaid tree has to produce its own leaves and

fruit.

But lest what has been said shall not satisfy you, I shall answer

the particulars, wherein you conceive it defective, as first in point

of its present Constitution, and Ordination.

In answer to which, I shall refer you to the Commands, and

Practises of Jesus Christ, and his Apostles, relating to the Constitution

and Ordination of the Church which they first gathered, as in Matt.

28:18, 19, 20; Mark 16:15, 16, 17. As also the book of the Acts, viz. by

teaching, and baptizing, the gatherers, as also by Faith, Repentance,

and being baptized, in such as were gathered thereunto, which hath

been, and is yet, the present practise of those that have and do yet

succeed the Apostles in that Gospel-Church so gathered by them.

Viz. The Church now scandalously termed Anabaptists: And

therefore one and the same with the aforesaid Gospel-Church so

gathered as aforesaid.

Object[ion]. But you will reply, that the standing Officers in the

Primitive Church, ceased, while it was in its Wilderness-condition.

Answ[er]. What need of Deacons was there in the Church at

Jerusalem before the number of the Disciples were multiplied, Acts

6:1 etc. or when the aforesaid Church was scattered abroad by the

then persecution (viz.) the whole Church, [(] except the Apostles, Acts

8:1) and yet I presume you will not deny there was a Church of

Jesus Christ then at Jerusalem, as in Acts 8:14.

So likewise when the aforesaid Primitive Church, was penned

up into Mountains, Dens, Deserts, and Caves of the earth, and when,

137 Appendix II

as it is likely, not above eight or ten persons might meet in one

place together, what need had they of Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers,

Elders, Deacons, etc. when one or two of them might supply the place

of them all (so far as there was need of them) and so likewise in

relation to the rest of the Ordinances, what need was there of any

other then [than] of private teachings, prophesying, prayer, baptism,

breaking of bread, which I have fully cleared to all rational men,

might be then performed by the aforesaid Church in its then

condition, where I compared it with the present Condition of the

Popish Synagogue in this nation: And without which it had been

impossible it should have subsisted for so long a time as 1260 years,

(which that it did, I have also cleared by the aforesaid Instances of

Munzer, Storch, and Becold, in their addresses to Luther, when the

aforesaid time was expired, albeit the said Luther was ignorant

thereof, supposing (as yet you do) that the aforesaid Primitive

Church had been devolved into the then Antichristian estate, of which

he then conceived himself a Reformer, (the contrary to which I think

I have clearly proved) however I am confident, that the then poor

distressed Saints, had as much respect to observe all the commands

of Jesus Christ, as possibly were then in their power to prosecute,

during their aforesaid wilderness-condition, in the aforesaid Mountains,

Dens, Deserts, and Caves of the earth, whereunto they were confined, and

in which they were preserved.

Object[ion]. Peradventure you will bid me prove that the

aforesaid Primitive Church was so preserved, and where.

Answ[er]. It is enough for me to prove that it was only to be hid,

and so hid from the face of the Dragon, etc. As that the said Dragon, etc.

could not find it, or make discovery of it, which is your own confession,

page 2. in your aforesaid Book: By which your Expressions it is evident,

1. That it was only to be hid. Ergo, It had a being where it was so hid. 2.

You say it was hid from the Dragon, etc. Ergo, Not devolved into the

Dragon, etc. 3. You say the Dragon could not find it, or make discovery of

it. Ergo, It was apart from him, or otherwise such words were

ridiculous.

But that you declared the very truth in so saying (though not 32

wittingly) I shall prove further from Scripture, where Jesus Christ

promises to be with it to the end of the world, Matt. 28:20. Ergo, It

was to have a continuance unto the end of the world. And if so,

then during the aforesaid time of 1260 years. Again, If continued a

Church, then in all the Essentials, Substantials, and Circumstantials

that appertained unto it, (so far as there was need of, in its then

condition) as aforesaid. Again, I would gladly know any one Church

138 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

(in that which we now call Christendom) that can produce the like

hidden condition, 33 as the Church now scandalously termed Anabaptists.

And much more in that it is so clearly discovered to be so near, yea

even one and the same with the Pattern of the first Church that was erected

by the commands of Jesus Christ, and the practice of the Apostles. And as

to the place where it was so preserved, It may be probably

conjectured to be in 34 Germany, in as much as the aforesaid Munzer,

etc. did there discover themselves at the time aforesaid.

Redeem the time therefore which you have hitherto spent in

opposing so plain a truth (as has been declared) by disclaiming that

Error, as you have done many more (Viz. your sprinkling and

ordination, etc.) in doing of which, you will have the benefit, I my

desire, and God the Glory.

FINIS

You may have this Book, as also another lately published by John

More (Entitled, A General Exhortation to the World, etc.) at the

Shop of Giles Calvert at the Black spread-Eagle at the West End of

Pauls.

NOTES

1. Nero began the first persecution in the Gentile Church.

2. Nero first discovered by acting against Paul.

3. From whence sprung the Cross in Baptism [among Catholics and

Protestants].

4. Reader, take notice that this story of the Anabaptists (scandalously so called) was

written by an utter adversary to the Truth, as I shall hereafter make appear. Or otherwise

through his ignorance of the Truth. Take notice also that the aforesaid Champions of the

Truth, (viz) Munzer, etc. appeared at the same time that Luther, etc. began to oppose the

Pope so that when there was but the least way made for the Church of Christ to appear, it

had its Champions to publish it to the world, as by their expressions to Luther did appear,

wherein they spake nothing but the very truth, for without all controversy, Luther, etc. was

no other then [sic] Romish Sectaries, yea such as made only a division in Rome, but not

from Rome, and so consequently, such as was [sic] never of the true Church of Jesus Christ,

and therefore the Papists may boldly,k and justly, question the Prelates, where their Religion

was before Luther, as also the Presbyterians before Calvin, in as much as they are no other

than the Daughters of that grand harlot, Rev. 17:5. Witness their National Churches, their

Popish institution of Priests, and baptizing of Infants, which are infallible Characters, to

prove them Harlots like their Mother.

5. [There is no note in existence - it appears that the margin has been mended

or in some way covered over in this place. C.A.P.]

6. Note the power of Antichrist in the year, 248.

7. Bullingerus ex Augustino contra Julianum, lib. 1. cap. 2.

8. Simile The revolt of Antichrist compared with the revolt of the ten Tribes

from the house of David.

139 Appendix II

9. Viz. Falers [sic] from the [unintelligible] faith, [unintelligible] Pray

[unintelligible].

10. The enemies of the truth forced to speak contrary to their own practice.

11. The testimony of Luther.

12. What then avails Infants sprinkling.

13. [This marginal note obliterated.]

14. But if unbelievers, then why are they baptized?

15. The Testimony of Melancton.

16. [Marg. says only “Note”, C.A.P.]

17. How then dare they do it, contrary to the practice of the Apostles?

18. The Testimony of Zuinglius. Art. 18.

19. Note old time, and why not so now?

20. The Testimony of Calvin in his Institutions, lib. 4. cap. 16

21. If not by the Apostles, by whom then I say.

22. The Testimony of Hieronymus upon Matt. 28:19, 20.

23. Then not [unintelligible].

24. [unintelligible] Testimony of Athanatius, in his third Sermon against the

Arians. Idem.

25. Item Haimo in Postilla, fol. 278. Idem.

26. If such be right Baptism, then the other is wrong.

27. Rossensis contracep. Balilon.

28. Doctor Eckius a popish Priest in Cinchiridion.

29. Origen

30. Then a Pharisaical manner of worship. Augustine. Pope Gregory.

31. Cassander. He guessed within 52 years.

32. Many speak truth though not wittingly or willingly.

33. Neither the Popish, Prelatical, Presbyterian, etc. Churches can claim the

like hidden state and condition, as etc.

34. Germany the most probable place of the Churches hiding, etc.

140 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

Appendix III

CAN YOU IDENTIFY THIS

WOMAN AND HER DAUGHTERS?

By Curtis Pugh

This woman and her younger, more attractive daughters pose

a deadly spiritual threat. Because we care about people we call

your attention to this danger by furnishing you with this little study.

You can find out for yourself just what the Bible says by looking up

the references given. For this “Bible detective work” you will need

the Book of Revelation, the last book in your Bible, and perhaps a

dictionary or encyclopedia. You will also need an honest and

prayerful heart. Here are some clues to help you in your search.

1. Clue number one: A thoughtful reading of Revelation chapters

17 and 18 shows that this woman is more than just an individual.

She symbolizes a “city” that controls the governments of the world

(Rev. 17:18).

2. The second clue is her influence and popularity. She sits on

many waters explained to be the peoples of the world, Rev. 17: 1,

15 (See how the Bible explains itself!) Revelation 17:2 speaks, no

doubt, of her deception of the peoples of the world. (See also Rev.

14:8; 18:3; 19:2). Evidently her popularity and social acceptability

allow her to do her evil work freely.

3. Clue number three is her connection with civil governments.

Revelation 17:2, and 18 mention her ties with “the kings of the

earth.” She is a world political power and is recognized as such by

various governments.

4. The fourth clue is her bright colorful attire. Rich colors of

purple, scarlet (Rev. 17:4) and “linen” (Rev. 18:16 - white in color)

are hers. Could the leaders of this “Harlot” actually wear these

colors? Her adornment is also gold, precious stones, and pearls.

Think about this. What comes to mind?

5. Clue number five has to do with her immense wealth. She

possesses riches in abundance (Rev. 17:4; 18:7, & 11-19). Vast

financial holdings make this “city” a great power in world commerce.

And her pagan observances cause her followers to spend vast sums

141 Appendix III

of money annually during the “holiday season” so that the cessation

of such observances will spell ruin for merchants world wide.

6. Clue number six concerns a multitude of martyrs. Read Rev.

17:6 and Rev. 18:24. What city of worldwide influence has been

responsible for multitudes martyred because of their faith in Christ

and the Bible?

7. The seventh clue is her name. Revelation 17:5 tells us her

name is MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER

OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. She

is not literal Babylon, for that is in ruins. She is “Mystery Babylon.”

Archaeology has shown that Babylon was the origin of mystery

religions such as the worship of Simiramis and Tammuz, the ancient

eastern Madonna and child. Locate where and by whom these are

venerated today under other names and you may be well on your

way to solving this puzzle.

8. Clue number eight is her location. She is a “city” that sits on

seven mountains (Rev. 17:9, 18). There is a famous city that sits on

seven hills (mountains in the local tongue) which has named them

(1) Palatine; (2) Capitoline; (3) Quirinal; (4) Aventine; (5) Caelian;

(6) Esquiline; and (7) Viminal. Check this out with a dictionary,

gazetteer, or encyclopedia!

9. The ninth and final clue also has to do with her names as

does clue number seven above. In Revelation 17:5, she is also named

THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF

THE EARTH. This Harlot has given birth to many of the same

sort as the mother. They too enjoy great prestige, popularity and

power. They are socially acceptable and listened to by the civil

leaders of this world. Identify the Mother and give a little thought

to her offspring. You may be surprised at your conclusions!

Revelation 18:4 gives a great command and a serious warning:

“come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins,

and that ye receive not of her plagues.” This harlot (and her harlot-daughters)

are guilty of terrible sins and those who remain in her

are “partakers of her sins.” They will be judged by God because

they are a part of her.

Read these Scriptures and do a little research. When you do

learn just who the Harlot and her Daughters are, please do not get

mad at me for calling this to your attention. I did not write the

Bible. I am only to tell you what it says. How you respond to the

Bible has eternal consequences.

The vital question is this: are you a part of this “Mother of

Harlots,” or her wicked Brood? If so, will you heed the warning

142 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

and obey the call to “Come out of her?” Be done with her! Repent

of your sins and trust in Christ alone and separate yourself from

the Harlot and her Daughters!

“...COME OUT OF HER, MY PEOPLE, THAT YE BE NOT

PARTAKERS OF HER SINS, AND THAT YE RECEIVE NOT

OF HER PLAGUES.” (Rev. 18:4).

End

143 Appendix IV

Appendix IV

THE NEED FOR A MOTHER

CHURCH

By Ronnie Wolfe 1 , Pastor

First Baptist Church

Harrison, Ohio

“We will consider this topic in four sections with the following

titles: A Church Enclosed, A Church Fragmented, A Church

Estranged, A Church Extended.

A CHURCH ENCLOSED

“A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse” (S. of S. 4:12)

The Lord’s church is a distinct and separate organization from

any other on the earth. The local church is not simply a fraction or

a part of a larger and similar organization. She is loved by God,

Christ, and the Holy Spirit. God purchased the church (local

concept) with his own blood (Acts 20:28). Jesus Christ delegated

authority to his church (Matt. 28:18-20). The Holy Spirit approved

the church (local concept) on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 1:5; 2:1-3).

As we think of the church’s being a distinct organization unlike

any other in the world, let us consider briefly her authority by

example.

Example #1: In Acts chapter 6 we read of a problem arising in

the church regarding the “daily ministration.” The problem was

solved by a general agreement [today we think of that as a church

vote] wherein they chose seven men to take care of the “daily

ministration.” The church exercised her distinct authority in doing

this. Being members of this church, they voted in agreement to

select these seven men.

Proposition #1: What if ten of the members of this church

met somewhere away from the regular meeting place and voted to

do something about the problem of the “daily ministration”? Would

their agreement together or their vote determine what was or what

was not to be done in regard to this “daily ministration”? The answer

is no.

Example #2: In Acts chapter 15 we read of the disagreement

that came to the churches over circumcision and the Mosaic Law.

144 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

When the meeting took place, an agreement was made that is

recorded in verse 20. In verse 22 we find that it pleased the apostles,

the elders, with the whole church.

Proposition #2: If there were some in the church who met on

their own and came to some conclusions concerning circumcision,

would it have any validity in the “inclosed” church? The answer is

no. In fact, the sect of the Pharisees (verse 5) did just that; but when

it was considered in the context of the church, their decision was

refused. Notice also that the persuasion of the “sect” was not even

considered by the local church until their influence had caused

confusion within the local church.

So, in saying that the church is “inclosed” this writer is

advocating that each church of the Lord Jesus is completely

independent of all other organizations and that no decisions

pertaining to the work of God through the churches can be made

outside this local establishment.

Keep this in mind as we consider the next point, which naturally

follows.

A CHURCH FRAGMENTED

“That there should be no schism” (I Cor. 12:25)

This very sect mentioned under our first point (the sect of the

Pharisees, Acts 15:5) shows their true form in this chapter. First, we

must notice that they were believers. These were not lost sinners

who were trying to penetrate the church, but this “sect” formed

right within the church itself.

They had formed their own clique and had formed their own

sub-theology. They were not teaching works for salvation; they were

simply putting the burden of the Law on Christian believers.

The most important aspect of this example, though, is that this

sub-set of believers had separated themselves from the church and

had taken authority upon themselves to carry on the business of

the Lord’s church. Acts 15:24 tells us that they “went out from us.”

This is the perfect example of a small group of believers in a

particular church who decide arbitrarily to meet in a different

location and appoint themselves to be a body and take upon

themselves the authority to select a pastor and deacons and to serve

the ordinances; namely, baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

This is done on a regular and ongoing basis in Baptist churches

around the country. What is wrong with this? Let us consider it by

example.

Example: Bro. and Mrs. Swakley are saved through the ministry

of the Shawnee Baptist Church. They both submit themselves to

145 Appendix IV

baptism under the authority of this church. After baptism, they are

members in good standing with the privilege of participating in

various aspects of that church’s ministries and activities. They may

now vote on issues brought up by that church. They may be served

the Lord’s Supper by that church and may partake of the same on

a regular basis as long as they are members in good standing. They

may NOT, however, make personal and private decisions for the

church. Whatever decisions are made come before the church for

discussion and consideration and are voted upon by the entire

membership before any actions are taken.

Now, let us say, that Bro. Swakley moves to a different city and

cannot find a Bible-teaching church to attend; so he decides (on his

own) that he will get a few believers together and start meeting for

prayer and fellowship. After some time and consideration, Bro.

and Mrs. Swakley decide that they may as well have a church in

that community; so they take the following action: A preacher called

to come to preach to them on a regular basis. The preacher preaches

for awhile and someone is saved. They determine that the new

believer must be baptized, so they decide that the preacher is to do

the baptizing. The new convert is immersed in water just the way

they used to do at the previous church. Now he is a member of this

“church”.

At this stage of the drama most people would automatically

and without question call this group of people a church. But if we

follow through with this example logically, we find that some

problems arise. Following are some statements and questions that

will, I hope, show the problems.

1. To what church did this couple belong when they were first

saved and baptized? Shawnee Baptist Church.

2. By what authority did they perform their privileges in that

local church? Local church authority.

3. When they moved away from the community of the Shawnee

Baptist Church, where was their membership? It remained at the

Shawnee Baptist Church.

4. Was there anything wrong with meeting with other believers

for prayer and fellowship? Absolutely not!

5. Was it wrong for them to call for a preacher to come and

preach to them? Not per se! But a mental attitude is being formed

at this time, an attitude of worshipping and functioning as a church.

6. What is now the status of the Swakley’s membership at

Shawnee Baptist Church? By continuing to be members they remain

obligated to the church and are under its authority. Distance does

146 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

not change that. Names are not removed simply because people

move to a different place except for nonattendance, which is done

because of lack of faithfulness to the church. That is no way to have

your name removed from a church roll.

7. Were they wrong for having the new convert baptized? Yes.

Having their membership back at Shawnee Baptist, they usurped

the authority of Shawnee Baptist Church by asking for the baptism

of a new convert on their own.

If they had lived around the corner from the meeting place of

Shawnee Baptist Church, would they have taken the same authority

upon themselves? Then what makes it all right to do at a distance?

Distance does not change authority.

Do you see what is happening? The same thing that happened

in Acts chapter 15. A new “sect” is being organized and is going out

“from us.”

8. Upon baptizing the new convert the authority for baptism

was changed from the church to an individual or a fragment. Making

this decision to baptize, whether it be made by one person or a

few, is usurping the authority of the church; because it becomes an

arbitrary decision. Now, does the authority for baptism, then, lie in

the preacher? Some would say that it does; but if you will notice

the above example, the authority is actually wielded by Mr. and

Mrs. Swakley.

Mr. & Mrs. Swakley have now decided to vote without consent

of the church to which they belong. Remember, distance makes no

difference in authority. Mr. and Mrs. Swakley have now fragmented

the Shawnee Baptist Church by separating to themselves and

claiming authority which they do not have. This is no different

from ten of the men of a church meeting outside of the building in

the parking lot and making decisions for the church. These ten

men have no business deciding who will or will not be baptized,

because if their discussion determines that Mr. Back be baptized,

they must first bring it up before the church before Mr. Back can be

baptized. This is church authority.

If these same ten men decided to carry on church business by

themselves and simply stay away from the Shawnee Baptist Church,

they are still wrong in these ways.

1. They are wrong for not attending their church (Heb. 10:25).

2. They are wrong for not giving to their church (I Cor. 16:1).

3. They are wrong for not visiting for their church (2 Cor. 5:20).

You may ask why they cannot simply ask for their names to be

removed from the church roll of Shawnee Baptist Church. That

147 Appendix IV

can be done, but that is a negative aspect. That is like saying that

you no longer agree with the theology or the program of the church

and do not want to be like them or a part of them.

Not only that, but if your name is removed from a roll by request,

you are still submitting to the authority of the church and are

considered a disciplined member.

Too, if your name were removed from Shawnee Baptist Church

by request, to what church would you belong? If you say none,

then how do you become a member of another church?

In our example, the person simply places himself in the new

church, and others are added according to his agreement; therefore,

the first person to begin the work becomes the authority for all the

actions of the church. The authority rests completely upon that one

person.

You do no become a member of any local church simply by

declaring that you are such. We have many people in the Harrison

area who claim to be members of First Baptist Church but are not.

So we see how innocently that a church can be fragmented.

Christ is against a church schism, and this is what develops under

the example given.

A “CHURCH” ESTRANGED

“Certain which went out from us” (Acts 15:24)

When the foregoing example has been developed completely,

we find a fine-looking building sitting on the corner of some city

somewhere having people attend regularly and being baptized

regularly and functioning in the same manner as the Shawnee

Baptist Church before mentioned.

But remember that the authority for all this church business

comes from one person, the person who got the ball rolling. They

will tell you perhaps that the preacher has the authority to baptize,

but you tell me who asked the preacher to come and do the baptizing

and I will tell you that it was Mr. and/or Mrs. Swakley. So the

authority for baptism, church business, the Lord’s Supper, church

discipline, etc. came from the Swakleys.

This church, instead of being just another Baptist church on

another corner in another city is an estranged church, not a true

church at all. At what time did the Shawnee Baptist Church vote to

give the Swakleys (members of Shawnee) permission to meet

together and carry on business as a church? At no time. They

assumed it. They claimed it. Yea, they usurped the authority of

their own church, betrayed that church, and estranged themselves

from that church just as the “sect” in Acts chapter 15 did.

148 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

A CHURCH EXTENDED

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations” (Matt. 28:19)

The Bible offers a proper way for extending the church of the

Lord Jesus Christ to spread throughout the world with her influence

and her Gospel. This in modern times is called the “mother church”

method. You will not find this phrase in the Scriptures, but the

principle is definitely presented by example especially in the book

of Acts.

Institutional Authority - A Biblical Principle

Please refer to Deuteronomy chapter 12. This chapter shows

an ancient principle that was practiced by Israel from the

commandment of God. Notice especially these verses:

Verse 5: But unto the place which the Lord your God shall

choose out of all your tribes to put his name there, even unto his

habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come.

Verse 8: Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this

day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.

Verse 13: Take heed to thyself that thou offer not thy burnt

offerings in every place that thou seest.

This same authority is found in the New Testament beginning

with the preaching of John the Baptist and continuing throughout

what is commonly called the church age. John was a man “sent

from God” ( John 1:33). John did not just begin a ministry of his

own, but he had God’s direct authority.

This authority continues to our present age. The authority of

John was given to the church by Christ in Matt. 28:18-20:

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power

[authority] is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the

name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have

commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end

of the world. Amen.

Jesus And The Apostles Had John’s Baptism

Neither Jesus nor any of the apostles did anything regarding

the church until they were baptized by John, so John’s baptism

carried a very powerful authority. Even the Pharisees demanded to

know by what authority Christ did the things that he did (See Matt.

21:23). Jesus answered the Pharisees with a question: The baptism

of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned

with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say

unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? (Matt. 21:25). The

149 Appendix IV

Pharisees could not tell Jesus from where the authority of John came.

That is because they refused to recognize Heaven’s authority (See

Luke 7:29-30).

From One Church To Another: The Biblical Pattern

The church at Jerusalem was the first church in existence. When

it was found that there were believers in Samaria through Philip’s

preaching, the church at Jerusalem sent Peter and John; and they

laid their hands on the Samaritans, and they received the

demonstration of the Holy Spirit [authority] just as the believers in

Jerusalem had received. This receiving of the Holy Spirit was God’s

institutional sanction. This was necessary because the Samaritans

thought that God’s authority was already upon them (See John 4:20).

When Saul of Tarsus was saved he was taken to Damascus. [See

Acts 9:1-19] A man by the name of Ananias, who evidently was

affiliated with the church at Jerusalem (see verse 13),2 was sent (verse

17) to Saul that he might pray for him and that he might receive his

sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. So, even Paul’s ministry

was sanctioned by the church at Jerusalem. He was not an authority

of himself.

When Paul and Silas were to begin their first missionary journey,

they were sent out by the church at Antioch; and when they returned

from their missionary journey, they reported to the church at

Antioch. That is because they were not a ministry unto themselves,

but their ministry was through the local church. Paul teaches us in

Eph. 3:21 that God receives glory only through the church.

So down through the ages a continual line of authoritative

baptisms has existed even unto our day.

If a person, then, begins a ministry without the express authority

of an existing church of the Lord Jesus Christ, then he is a ministry

to himself and has divided the church of the Lord and caused a

schism, which the Lord hates. He has become a “denomination” of

his own, and his ministry is not approved of God. He has taken

authority unto himself despite the pattern that God has laid down

in Scripture over and over.

May God bless us as we spread the Gospel by way of the

churches of the Lord Jesus Christ. He promised that no matter how

long the world stands the gates of Hell will not prevail against the

church of the Lord. So the authority of God continues throughout

history form the time of Christ. Every spiritual worker should be

very careful to be sure that this authority is taken with responsibility

in order not to usurp the authority of Christ’s churches. (Eph. 3:21)”

150 Three Witnesses for the Baptists

NOTES

1. Baptist elder Ronnie Wolfe graciously gave permission to include this

excellent article as an appendix to this volume.

2. Whether Ananias was a member of the Jerusalem church or the Damascus

church is beside the point. The point is he was a member of a New Testament

church and acted with church-authority. It seems likely that Ananias had previously

been a member of the Jerusalem church and consequently heard of the outrages

perpetrated by Saul against the Lord’s church. It seems probable that at the time

of Saul’s conversion Ananias was a member of the Damascus church. That he was

at this time resident in Damascus is clear. It would seem that he took Saul to meet

“with the disciples which were at Damascus,” for we find Saul assembling with

them (Acts 9:19). Obviously Ananias had authority since he not only put his hands

on Saul with the result that Saul received the Holy Ghost, but Ananias also baptized

him. Some think he was one of the seventy disciples. Extra-biblical writers say he

was pastor of the Damascus church. This seems highly probable, but is not

absolutely known [C.A.P.].

Remarks on the Use of the Term “Mother Church”

by Curtis Pugh

Some Brethren object to the use of the term “Mother Church.”

While they are correct in their point that the term is not used in

Scripture, neither are such words as “the rapture,” “gambling,”

“rape,” etc., but the concepts are dealt with nevertheless. Many

scholars, including non-Baptist R.C.H. Lenski, have maintained that

John addressed the letter we call 2 John to a church under the simile

of an “elect lady” with “children” (v. 1). (“Lady” is nowhere used of

a woman in the Bible, unless here). This “elect lady” had an “elect

sister” who also had “children” (v. 13). If this view is correct, there

can be no argument as to the propriety of the term “mother church.”

Furthermore, the false church-system is given the name “Mother

of Harlots.” While we would disassociate ourselves completely from

her, nevertheless, the concept of motherhood in relation to churches,

although false ones, is set forth clearly in this instance. It seems

clear that the concept of each church being or having the capability

of being a “mother” is Biblical even if the term itself is not used.

The reader will note that churches are likened to a “bride.” Certainly

the Biblical pattern is that no church was ever established without

previous “church connection” or authority from an already existing

church - a “mother church.”

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