The Pastor\’s Pen

An Independent Baptist Preacher\’s Musings and Observations

The Testimony of Others

Posted by Pastor Szekely on September 25, 2007

Our Baptist History begins with the first church that the Lord Jesus Christ started, and our heritage continues down through the centuries. Bold statement??? Bold, yes…but not an empty one.

Historians of various denominations admit Baptists have existed down through the ages since Christ. The following men bear witness to the antiquity of our non-Protestant, non-Catholic belief:

1. Sir Isaac Newton said it was “his conviction that the Baptists were the only group that had not symbolized with Rome” (Memoirs, 201).

2. Mosheim, the learned Lutheran historian, places people with Baptist sentiments before the Reformation. He wrote: “Before the rise of Luther and Calvin there lay concealed in almost all the countries of Europe persons who adhered tenaciously to the principles of the Dutch Baptists” (Mosheim, Institutes of Ecclesiastical History, III, 200).

3. Alexander Campbell in his debate with Macalla, a Presbyterian, declared: “From the apostolic age, to the present time, the sentiments of Baptists, and the practice of baptism have had a continued chain of advocates, and public monuments of their existence in every century can be produced” (Macalla and Campbell Debate on Baptism, 378, 379, Buffalo, 1824).

4. Father Gretcher, Catholic, after recounting the teachings of the Waldenses, said: “This is a true picture of the heretics of our age, particularly of the Anabaptists” (D’Anrvers, Baptism, 253).

5. Caesar Baronius, Catholic, known as the “Father of Ecclesiastical History,” said: “The Waldenses were Ana-baptists” (D’Anvers, Baptism, 253).

6. John Clark Ridpath was a professor of history in DePaul University and a Methodist. He declared, “I should not readily admit that there was a Baptist church as far back as A. D. 100, though without doubt there were Baptists then, as all Christians were then Baptists” (Jarrel. Baptist Church Perpetuity, 59).

7. Cardinal Hosius, a member of the Council of Trent, A. D. 1560, testified that the Anabaptists had suffered persecution for 1200 years. In a statement familiar to church historians he says: “If the truth of religion were judged by the readiness and boldness of which a man of any sect shows in suffering, then the opinion and persuasion of no sect can be truer and surer than that of the Anabaptists since there have been none for these twelve hundred years past, that have been more generally punished or that have more cheerfully and steadfastly undergone, and even offered themselves to the most cruel punishment than these people” (Hosius, Letters Apud Opera, 112-113. Baptist Magazine CVIII, 278. May, 1826).

8. In the year 1819 Dr. Ypeii, Professor of Theology in Gronigen, and the Rev. J. J. Dermout, Chaplain to the King of the Netherlands, both scholarly members of the Reformed Church, investigated the claims of Dutch Baptists to apostolic origin. Their unsolicited testimony is clear and convincing: “We have seen that the Baptists who were formerly called Anabaptists, and in later times Mennonites. were the original Waldenses, and who have lone in the history of the church received the honor of that origin. On this account the Baptists may be considered as the only Christian community which has stood since the days of the apostles, and as a Christian society which has preserved pure the doctrines of the Gospel through the ages” (Ypeij en Dermout, Geschiedenis der Nederlandsrhe Hervormde Kerk. Breda, 1819).



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