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Brief Memoirs of the English Baptists
By Isaac Taylor of Calne, England
The Baptist Magazine, 1810
[There are five sections to this essay; individually listed here.]
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SECTION I.
From the First Plantation of the Gospel in Britain, to the Introduction of Popery.

     ABOUT sixty years after Christ ascended to glory, his kingdom came into our Land. Which of the Messengers of his grace were sent to prepare the way of the Lord in our wilderness is quite uncertain. Some say Paul and his companions, others Simon Zelotes, or Simon the Canaanite, others James the son of Zebedee, or Aristobulus. Certain Roman Catholics will have it that Peter first preached the gospel to the Britons, but other Papists seem sure Joseph of Arimathea was the man. That he built the first church at Glastonbury, and by direction from Gabriel, the Archangel, dedicated it to the Virgin Mary; but we believe not their sayings. Whosoever Immanuel first despatched to shew our countrymen the way of Salvation, they doubtless taught. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned. Nor did they preach in vain, for in Britain, as in other places, Many of those which heard the word believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, and were baptized both men and women. Thus, it appears to us, that

The first British Christians were Baptists.

     Some of them, particularly Arviragus, Brennus, Linus, Lucius Claudia, and Pomponia, were of royal blood, but many of


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inferior birth were called to be saints. Christianity soon made considerable progress in the land, and Christians cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light. Zealously affected in a good thing, they either destroyed their idol's temples, or devoted them to the worship of Jehovah. Filled with the Spirit, they behaved well in the church of God, and walked in wisdom towards them that were without. The candle of the Lord shone upon their heads, and his secret was upon their tabernacles; they washed their steps with butter, sat under their vines and fig trees, without fear, and waxed stronger and stronger in grace and number.

     But after a season, their adversary, the devil, moved wicked men to weaken them by the way. Ten times did those wolvea in sheep's clothing, called Emperors of Rome, persecute "the flock of Christ. The last of these ten persecutions, under Dioclesian, in 303, was the most furious of them all, and its rage was felt in Britain. Beside Alban, of Verulum, now called St. Albans, Aaron and Julius of Carlisle, and other men of great note, an immense multitude of our brethren were slain for Religion. We therefore apprehend that

The first British Martyrs were Baptists.

     Their places of worship were thrown down, the holy scriptures burnt in the streets, and Christianity almost rooted out of the land; This dreadful calamity did not last long, in little more than a year the indignation was overpsst. As soon as it was gone by, the remnant of the faithful, who had fled into woods and rocks for refuge from the storm, and had their lives for a prey, left their solitary abodes, rebuilt their Meeting-houses, revived as the corn, grew as the vine, and cast forth their roots as Lebanon.

     About this time the Emperor Constarituis resided in Britain, was favourable to Christianity, saved the followers of the Lamb from them that hated them, and would suffer no man to do them wrong. It is said he died at York, in 306. His son, Constantine the Great, born in Britain, succeeded his father in the empire, professed to believe in Christ, and was bapized about the year 310. As soon, as the Emperor had declared himself a Christian, his great men did the same, for it has ever been a rule with courtiers to follow the court. Therefore the Nobles and chief Officers of the empire, rose up as one man, and by the voice of their conduct, said to their master, Whither thou goest, we will go, and where thou lodgest we will lodge, thy people shall be our people, and thy God our God. With what degree of sincerity we leave. This is certain, great numbers of the common people in various countries


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followed their example, and nations of professors were bom at once. The church had a great accession of power, wealth, honor, and people, but we fear did not altogether hold fast the form of sound words. How our British brethren acted in this time of temptation we cannot fully determine. It is possible that a few of them inclined to Ariainism, but considered as a Body, we have reason to believe they continued sound in the faith and zealous of good works For a season the church had rest, but the time was short. More than 300 years Britain had been a province of Rome, but now the empire began to fall; and upon the irruption of the Goths into Italy, in 410, the Emperor Honorius was obliged to withdrew his forces, both Roman and British, from our Island to defend himself upon the Continent; and liberty and monarchy returned again to the Britons. But the kingdom being left without a sufficient military defence, it was soon invaded and sadly harassed by the Scots and Picts, therefore king Vortigem, by the advice of his subjects, in the year 447, itivited the Saxons to come and assist him in the defence of his dominions. They came, at first, as friends, but soon turned foes, quarrelled with the Britons, and after many severe battles, made a complete conquest of the country; and in 593 divided it amongst themselves. As soon as these savage Pagans were possessed of the kingdom, they threw down Christianity, and set up their own idolatry; plundered the country from sea to sea, awd destroyed every vestige of true religion they found in their way. Cities, towns, and villages, were set on fire; the flames spread over the whole land; and places of worship, and public and private buildings, fell in one common ruin. Pastors and their people, citizens and peasants, perished by fire and sword, without distinction, no one daring to give their scattered bodies an honourable funeral!

     But notwithstanding these dreadful events, the cause of Christ did not become extinct in the nation. Many of our brethren fled into Cornwall and Wales for safety, and the people that were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness. The Lord remembered them in their low estate, and therefore, though troubled, they were not distressed, though perplexed, they did not despair, though persecuted they were not forsaken, though cast down they were not destroyed.

     While the church of God, in Britain, languished under oppression, the man of sin, at Rome, gathered strength to impose his abominations upon mankind. About the year 596, Pope Gregory, the Great, (and a great deceiver he was,) sent Austin, the Monk, and a company of his brethren, into England, to convert the Saxons from Paganism to Popery; the enterprize succeeded, and conversion (or rather perversion) work was performed on a large scale.


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King Ethelbert had lately married a Catholic princess, daughter of the French king. The queen favoured the Papal mission; Austin was graciously received at court; the king soon became a Romish new creature, and advised his subjects to follow his example. Though quite ignorant, both of Christianity and Popery, the people well understood the importance of obeying the king's counsel, and firmly believed it would be dangerous for them to do otherwise. Believers, of this description, abounded, openly declared what their Lord had done for them, and offered to be baptized into their faith. Austin performed the mummery of consecrating the river Swale, near York, for the purpose, and so grossly abused the ordinance of baptism to promote the cause of superstition, that he obliged multitudes of the Saxons to enter the water, and immerse themselves; or otherwise commanded by the voice of cryers, that the people should go into the river, confidently, two by two, and in the name of the Trinity immerse one another by turns. It is said that upon a Christmas day, in some such manner, as we have recited, ten thousand people were translated from the service of the sun, moon, and stars, their ancient idols, to the worship of Antichrist, a seven-headed and ten-horned monster, covered with vermin like frogs and locusts, and kept for the amusement of a most impure harlot, drunk with the blood of the Saints!

     Austin, having met with so much success in England, resolved to try what he could do in Wales. The British Christians who had fled there from the persecutions of the Saxons, were now become very numerous, and the priest determined, if possible, to bring them within the pale of his church. Therefore he held a synod in their neighbourhood, and sent to their pastors to request they would receive the Pope's commandments, and walk in the same all the days of their lives; but they would not. He then offered to capitulate with them on more moderate terms. These were his words, "Sins ye wol not assent to my hests generally, assent ye to me specially in three things. The first is, that ye keep Ester day in the fourme and time as it is ordained. The second, that ye geve Christendome to children, and the thyrde is, that ye preach unto the Anglis the word of God, as I have exhorted you!" But they would none of his counsel. It therefore seems evident, that

The first British Protestants were Baptists.

     Austin finding he could not prevail with them to change the glory of the incorruptible God into the image of a beast, threatened them, saying, "Sins ye wol not receive peace of your brethren, ye shall of other have warre and wtetche." Accordingly he brought


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the Saxons upon them; to shed their innocent blood, and many of them lost their lives for the name of Jesus. Those that escaped this horrid massacre, not at all discouraged by the slaughter of their brethren, with purpose of heart cleaved to the Lord. And as their history from the earliest times expressly mentions the baptizing of adult persons, and is totally silent respecting baptizing of infants, it appears to us that there was no such practice as infant baptism in England before Austin came hither. And therefore, we conclude that from the first.plantation of the Gospel in our land, down to about the year 596, all our Christian country men were Baptists. The church was now divided into two parts, the old, and the new. The Members of the old, or Baptist Church, continued to maintain the right of private judgement, and held fast their usual simplicity and integrity.

"Their ministers were low and liefe
And loved theyr flocks to feede.
They never chosen to be chiefe
And simple was theyr weede."

     Their people, fought the good fight of faith, whereunto they were called, and were ready to give an answer to every one that asked them a reason of the hope that was in thein with meekness and fear. The new church adopted infant baptism, but for the most part continued in the practice of their full grown vices. Their priests were haughty, covetuous, vain, indolent, and foppish. To encourage the people to support them in their pride and folly, they allowed them to add new hypocrisy to old superstition, and enjoy their Pagan routs under Popish names. This is manifest from the following order given by Pope Gregory to Austin: "Whereas there is a custom among the Saxons to slay abundance of oxen, and sacrifice them to the Devil; you must not abolish that custom, but appoint a new festival to be kept either on the day of the consecration of churches, or on the birthday of the saints, whose relics are deposited there; and on those days, the Saxons may be allowed to make arbours round their temples, changed into churches, to kill their oxen, and to feast as they did while they were yet Pagans!" Nor do we consider it at all impossible, that Austin, in order to secure his popularity, might now and then sit down with his disciples, and eat at the devil's table.

     It is matter of fact, that the wretched devotion we have mentioned was sanctioned by church and state, and that Popery became the established religion of the land. If any one should observe, that at this time Popery was not arrived at the full measure of the stature of Antichrist; we reply, that in its earliest infancy, Popery was a Mystery of Iniquity. As a reward, we suppose, for his meritorious services, the Pope made Austin a Saint, and the king


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created him Archbishop of Canterbury. But some Papal saints have been found sad sinners, and Roman Catholic Archbishops, have begn sometimes no other than wolves in sheep's clothing. This saint, who brought Infant Baptism to England, died in the year 604. But it affords us unspeakable pleasure to remark, that we have in our time Paedobaptists who are far more excellent Christians than ever Austin or his disciples were. Men of sound piety, great abilities, and eminent usefulness in the church of God. And however our sentiments on Baptism may differ from theirs, we affectionately esteem them as our brethren in Christ, and rejoice in hope, that when that which is in part is done away, and that which is perfect is come, we shall harmonize in opinion of divine things, and with one heart and voice ascribe Blessing and honor, glory and power unto him that sitteth upon the throne and to the Lamb for ever.
I. Taylor, Calne.
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Brief Memoirs of the English Baptists
The Baptist Magazine, March, 1810.

SECTION II.
From the Introduction of Popery to the Commencement of the Reformation.

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     As soon as the church of Rome had propagated her errors, and established her authority in our Land, truth was put to shame, and its friends persecuted: consequently it was but a short time that our baptist brethren could remain in a congregated state, even in the recesses of Wales and Cornwall. Despotism and death silenced, their ministers, dissolved their churches, and the offspring of the mother of harlots, prevented their children from raising up their waste places and repairing the breaches of Zion. The light of the gospel was obscured, clouds of error spread over the country, but God ordained a lamp for bis anointed, and raised up men to plead their cause, and contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.

     We have no mention of the christening, or baptizing children in England, before the coming of Austin, A. D. 597, and to us, it is very evident, he brought it not from heaven, but from Rome. But though the subject of baptism began now to be altered, the mode of it continued in the national chuich, a thousand years longer, and baptism was performed by dipping those that were baptized in water. * Baptizing in churches began with the baptism of Edwin the great, king of Northumberland, who came to the throne A.D.
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* Crosby's History of English Baptists, vol, 2, Preface 31, 33.


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617 after being 3 years a candidate for Christianity, in the year 620 he called a Wittenagemot or Parliament, to debate whether the christian religion should be received or not by him and his people! The motion passed without opposition, and it is said, the same day Edwin, his niece Hilda, afterwards abbess of Whitby, many of his nobles, and a multitude of his subjects, were baptized by Paulinus in a small wooden church built for the purpose in the city of York. About this time baptism was generally performed at Easter and Whitsuntide, and at least in many instances trine immersion was used. The baptistries first erected in [E]nglish churches, were as large as our modern baptistries, big enough for the immersion of the parties to be baptized, and they descended into them by steps in the same manner as we do into ours. In after times the baptistries were made in little buildings adjoining to churches, and in some of these buildings were several baptistries, for baptizing both sexes, or several people at one and the same time. At first, baptistries were only allowed in great cities, next to parishes, and afterwards to monastries. When infant baptism became general in the country, the large baptistries were but little used, smaller ones were erected, but these were large enough for the total immersion of an infant. Some of them remain to this day. After the commencement of baptizing adults in baptistries, the administration of the ordinance was by no means confined to them. From the time of Edwin's baptism to his death, a space of 6 years, Paulinus very frequently baptized in the livers Gwenie aud Swale. The northumbrians following the example of their king, Paulinus found himself fully employed by the prodigious crowds that daily came to be taught and baptized. Coming at one time with the king and qneen to a place called Adegrin it is said he spent there thirty six days from morning till night, instructing and baptizing in the river Gleni the people that flocked to him from all quarters.* After him, probably about the year 633 James, one of his disciples, said to be a good and holy man, continued preaching and baptizing in the same parts of the country. In the year 636, Berinus preached to the people in the southwest part of England, and converted and baptized many of them. Among the rest, Kingills king of the west saxons, and Quinthelin his brother, Oswald, king of Northumberland, was present at their baptism, and the same day was married to a daughter of Kingills. About the year 656, Chad, otherwise called Saint Chad, bishop of Litchfield, a mild and modest man, preached to the saxons, converted Wulfdae, Refine, and many more, and baptized them by immersion. A. D. 680, Wilfred converted and baptized Adelwach, king of the west saxons, and many of his subjects. In the reign of Alfred, who came to the throne in 872, Guthrumnu a dane, and thirty of his companions
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* Crosby's preface, ii vol. page 17.
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were baptized in a fountain. Ethelred, second son of king Edgar, crowned in 979, was baptized when an infant by total immersion. Dunstan who baptised him, was sadly offended with him, for leaving more water in the font than he found there; from which the archbishop prognosticated fresh inundations of the Danes, and sware by the virgin Mary that he would be a prince untowardly and cowardly.

     The Danes began to invade and plunder the coasts of England in the year 832, and continued their incursions and exactions till 1012, when Swain king of Denmark made an intire conquest of the country, and the year following was acknowledged king of England. It appears he was a servant of mammon, for his first act of sovereignty was an insupportable tax which he did not live to see collected. Death dethroned him Feb. 3, 1014, and he was succeeded by his son Canute, called the great, being king of England, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Before the irruptions of the Danes, the state of religion in the country was bad, and as piety seldom prospers while war rages, their incursions and subjection of the land did not mend the matter. It is not the sword of war; but the sword of the spirit, that converts men from sin to holiness.

     Of what religion Canute was before he became king of England we cannot say, but after he ascended the british throne, he called himself a christian; and finding his nominal christian subjects grossly ignorant of Christianity, professed to promote religious knowledge among them by passing the following ecclesiastical law. "That every christian man understands the points of his faith, and that at least he learn perfectly the Lord's prayer, and the creed, and that whosoever cannot, the same shall be excluded the eucharist, and shall not be received to undertake for others in baptism!" So then there were at this time christian men that were ignorant of the Lord's prayer, the creed, and the articles of their faith! and these ignorant wretches partook of the Lord's supper, and did promise and vow for others that they should renounce the devil and all his works, the pomps and vanities of this wicked world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh, that they should also believe all the articles of the christian faith! and keep God's holy will and commandments and walk in the same all the days of their lives!! Oh the abominable deceitfulness and desperate wickedness of the human heart! It was indeed high time to reform. What effect the king's law had upon his subjects we know not, but we rather suppose that if such a law was now in force and strictly executed in England, it might keep a few people from the Lord's table, prevent many from becoming Godfathers and Godmothers, and if every man called a christian must understand the articles of the christian faith, or renounce the christian name, thousands must seek to be better informed than they are at present, or declare themselves infidels! Lighten our darkness tee beseech thee O Lord.


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     Canute died in 1036, and about thirty years after, upon the death of Edward the confessor, Harold, son of the Earl of Kent, stepped into the throne, on pretence that the confessor had appointed him his successor, but William Duke of Normandy, a descendant of Canute, making the like claim, invaded the kingdom, and coming to a battle with Harold near Hastings in Sussex, October 14, 1066, defeated and killed him. Whereupon William assumed the name of conqueror, was proclaimed king of England* and crowned on 25th of December following. And now the time commenced, when God ivhovisiteth the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unjtoithe third and fourth generation of tbenvtbat hate him, resolved to AVENGE. THE BLOOD OF THE BRITISH BAPTISTS SHED BY THE SAXONS UPON THEIR THEIR UNGOLDY OFFSPRING! The depredations of the danes were an earnest of their punishment, and the cruelty of the conqueror filled up the cup of their chastisement and they were made to drink the dregs of it mingled with wormwood and gall. William treated the english with some humanity at his accession, but afterward, finding them disaffected to his government, he used them with horrid barbarity: cut off the hands and feet of many thousands! destroyed all the north of england with fire and sword, and gave away all the land to his Normans! so that before he died, there was not an english gentleman possessed of an estate in his own right! All the lands in england were in the hands of the Normans, and the english only tenants at will, or vassals to them! And so jealons was the tyrant of insurrections after this usage of the natives, that he obliged them to put out their fires and candles every evening, at eight o'clock, at the ringing of the corfeu bell! True and righteous are thy judgments, Lord God Almighty! But hear O heavens, and give ear, O earth!

God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform,
He plants his footsteps in the sea, And rides upon the storm!"

As soon as he had avenged the blood of his slaughtered servants, upon the heads of the wicked children of their murderers, some seeds of the Reformation began to be sown! and although the prince of darkness tried to destroy them by the pestiferous damps of superstition, his labour was in vain! William himself refused to swear fealty to the Pope for the crown of England; and during his reign, the Waldenses aud their disciples from France, Germany and Holland, had their frequent recourse, and residence, and did abound in England.* They were Baptists in sentiment, denied infant baptism, and were the purest churches in the darkest times.+ _______________________
* Crosby, Preface 3 vol. p. 4a. also No. l of this Mag. p. 8.
+ Ewer's answer to Hitchen, 167.


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villages but the nobility and gentry in the chiefest towns and cities, embraced their doctrines, and became baptists in opinion; and therefore, Lanfrank, archbishop of Canterbury, wrote a book against them. Here we find the first seeds of the Reformation in England were sown by Baptists in sentiment, and that by their means a new, numerous, and very respectable people, were raised up to espouses and honor the baptist cause. From the year 1100 to 1216 in the successive reigns of Henry I, Stephen, Henry II, Richard I, and John, they considerably, increased in number, and were unmolested. In the time of Henry III, about 1218, the order of the friar Minorites were sent over from the continent, to suppress them by their sham sanctity, but the painted hypocrites were known through the disguise they wore, and their masquerade devotions were ineffectual. In the reign of Edward II, A. D. 1315, Walter Lollard, a German preacher of great renown among the Waldenses, and a friend to believer's baptism, came into England, and spread his doctrines very much among our countrymen. His disciples afterwards went by the name of Lollards, and rejected infant baptism as a needless ceremony.* In the year 1371, in the reign of Edward III, the famous John Wickliffe began openly and successfully to oppose the corruptions of the church of Rome, and witnessed against infant baptism. It is therefore worthy of observation that The First ENGLISH REFORMER WAS A BAPTIST IN SENTIMENT.+ Among the followers of this great man in Bohemia and England were many baptists.

     Richard II, in the year 1382, made a law for suppressing the Wickliffites, or Lollards as they were called, and they were persecuted with great severity; but their sufferings did not deter others from embracing their principles; therefore Henry IV, in the year 1400, enacted the cruel statute for the burning of hereticks. The first that suffered by this infernal law was William Sawtre, some time minister of St. Margaret's parish, in the town of Lynn in Norfolk. He was a Lollard, was burnt in London A. D. 1400, and has been called the protomartyr of the english nation. Therefore we find, that the first englishman that was burnt to death for religion was a Baptist. Sir John Oldcastle, Lord Cobban, and Rev. W. Taylor, three Lollards or baptists, were also burnt to death for their religion. The former in the reign of Henry V, 1417, and the latter in the reign of Henry VI, 1422. In 1426, Wickliff's bones were dug up, burnt to ashes and plunged in the river Swift! In about three years from 1428 to 1431, one hundred and twenty people were committed to prison for Lollardy, or baptist sentiments. Some of these recanted, others did penance, and several of them were burnt alive. These cruel proceedings made the Wickliffites,
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* Crosby vol, 1, p. 25.
+ Baptist Mag, No. 1, p. 11.


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Lollards, or baptists, very cautious of divulging their principles, but however careful they were of themselves, their enemies found means to discover many of them, and they were treated without mercy. Yet notwithstanding the hardships they suffered, like the Israelites in Egypt, the more they were afflicted, the more they grew! and increased from this time down to the reign of Henry VIII, a period of 78 years. Sir James Bainham, and Mr. John Frith, both opposers of infant baptism, were burnt in Smithfield, the former in 1633, the latter in 1533, In 1535 ten baptists were put to death in different parts of the realm, and fourteen Hollanders, supposed to be baptists, were burnt by pairs in several places. In 1536 the opinions of the baptists increased so much in the land, that in order to prevent the further spread of their notions, the national Clergy, when met in convocation, declared their sentiments to be detestable heresies, utterly to be condemned! In October 1538, a commission was given to Cranmer and others to enquire after, and proceed against baptists, and burn their books! On the l6th of November following, the king put forth a proclamation in which he condemns all baptist books, appoints those to be punished who vended them, and about a month afterward, sent a letter to all the Justices in England directing them to see that all the laws against the baptists were duly executed. In the same year, two baptists were burnt in Smithfield, and four others did penance by carrying faggots at Paul's cross,and so escaped the flames. In 1539 thirty one baptists, sixteen men and fifteen women, were banished the country, who going to Delf in Holland were there put to death; the men beheaded, and the women drowned! The king's speech to his parliament in 1545 intimates that many of his subjects went under the name of Baptists.* Henry died January 8, 1547, and was succeeded by his Son Edward VI, only nine years of age. Edward proved to be a sensible pious youth, a true protestant, and a friend to liberty of conscience; and during his short reign of only six years, the reformation, very imperfectly begun in his father's time, was brought to a greater degree of maturity. Popery was put down, and the protestant religion established by law. The Lord has a time, a set time to favor zion; nor does he ever lose a moment of it, or is slack in improving it, whatsoever his hand findeth to do, he doeth it with his might, and fulfils his great decrees. In his appointed time, he brought Joseph out of prison, Israel out of Egypt and Babylon; sent his Son to preach good tidings to the Jews, and gave his gospel to the Gentiles. And his power, wisdom, justice, mercy and goodness, endure for ever. They shalt be ashamed and confounded, that are makers of Idols, but Israel shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end. Remember this, tried and trembling followers of the Lamb, let faith, patience, and perseverance
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* Crosby vol. 1. p, 43,
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have their perfect work, and it shall be well with you. Consider this, you who have not been accustomed to have God in your thoughts. Would you be happy? you must be holy. That which, by faith, we have seen, heard and felt, declare we unto you, that if ye believe in God, forsake your sins, and work righteousness, you may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. Come with us and we will do you good. The Lord create in you a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within you. Grace be with all them, of every name and nation, that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.
I. Taylor, Calne.
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Brief Memoirs of the English Baptists
The Baptist Magazine, 1810

SECTION III.
From the Reformation to the Death of James I.

[p. 233]
We contemplate with pleasure, the liberty afforded to all true protestants from popish persecutions by the accession of Edward VI. to the throne of England; but our joy is presently turned into mourning by a view of the hardships which many of them suffered from the absurd oppressions of their professed brethren. Indeed a reformation forwarded by a wicked man, and matured by a sickly child, cannot be supposed to be a perfect one. Henry VIII. was a flagitious tyrant, whose conduct abounded with abominable inconsistencies. He divorced two of his wives, whose actions were better than his own: beheaded two of them, who were more worthy to live than himself: ordered another to be murdered in child birth, rather than lose her infant; and after enacting a law to make it high treason, for any woman to marry him unless she was a pure virgin, married a widow! He renounced all subjection to the see of Rome, but enforced popery upon his people, put protestants to death for religion, and paid devout adoration to a precious relic kept at Hales in Gloucestershire, said to be some of the blood of Christ brought from Jerusalem, but in, reality nothing more than the blood of a Duck!* He wrote against Luther and the protestant religion, but put down 1148 popish religious houses, and seized
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* Vide Latimer's Sermons, London Ed., 1783 Vol, I. Serm. II. Note Page 225.


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their lands, amounting to 183,707: 13: 0 per annum. Gave his subjects an english translation of the Bible, but ordered all such books to be destroyed as might help to explain it to them! These are a few of the mighty works of this supreme head of the Church, and potent defender of her Faith!

     His son and successor, Edward, VI, was a pious youth, but his head was too tender to enable him fully to reform his ecclesiastical body, the church, and his ministers who managed, for him. were but half reformed themselves. Nor should it be forgotten, that at best a reformation is not a renovation. The grace of God will change a lion into a lamb; but.a reformed lion, if ever so tame, is not a Lamb, but only a lion tamed. The church of ehgland as established by law at this time, was not a new church, but only an old one fitted up in a new fashion. Our reformers stript the whore of Babylon of her gorgeous attire, washed her filthy hands, pared her nails, purified her bloated face, cleansed her skin, and arrayed her in fine linen, clean and white. Thus metamorphosed, short sighted people took her for a new creature, a heavenly stranger, the bride, the Lamb's wife: were as fond of her as the ancient Ephesians were of their Diana, and, readily, agreed with their rulers, that whosoever would not follow their mistress, should be turned over to dungeons and flames, death and the devil! But clear sighted people recognized the old strumpet in her new dress, refused to keep company with an harlot; and were therefore afflicted and tormented!

     The baptists, at this time, were so much increased that it is supposed there were five hundred of them in one town, they were also very numerous in several other parts of England, and their sufferings for conscience sake were severe.

     It is an astonishing fact, that during this reign, popish traitors to the state, were treated with more lenity than protestant dissenters from the church! After many political cavils, an act passed for the King's general pardon, wherein the Baptists were excepted! On the 12th of April 1547, a commission was given the Archbishop of Canterbury, and other clerical hunters, to search after all baptists, reclaim them, enjoin them penance, give them absolution, or in case they were obstinate, excommunicate and imprison them and deliver them to the secular power to be further proceeded against. The courteous Ridley, very uncourteously, enquired if there were any of them in his Diocese. Latimer preached against them before the King, and Cranmer labored hard, and at length prevailed with his majesty, against his will, to burn two of them to death in Smithfield! Accordingly Joan Bocher was committed to the flames May 2, 1549, and George Van Pare April 12, 1551. They both suffered with great fortitude, and peace ofmiud, and Van Pare kissed the stake and faggots that were to consume his body to ashes!


[p. 235]
     The king himself died of a consumption July 6, 1553, in the 16th year of his age, and was succeeded by his sulky, malicious, implacable, popish sister Mary. This furiously superstitious Queen, as soon as she had possessed herself of regal authority, set aside the reformed religion, and restored the unreformed romish trumpery. Cruel papists were promoted to honor and in a short time hundreds of pious protestants burnt to death or ottherwise destroyed, for their loyalty to Jesus Christ.

     Many of the martyrs, we have no doubt were baptists, though no particular mention is made of their sentiments respecting believer's baptism, and those zealous reformers who in the preceding reign burnt our people to death for religion, were now burnt themselves! After a bloody and infamous reign of only five years, this infernal Queen gave up the ghost Nov. 17, 1558; upon whose decease her sister Elizabeth succeeded to tne throne.

     Elizabeth favored the reformation, and therefore soon repealed the laws made in favor of popery by her sister; restored the protestant religion, and assumed the supreme direction of it in her dominions. Those that were imprisoned for conscience sake were set free, the english bible and service book were replaced, and the thirty nine artieles of the Church established. But as her majesty had very high notions of her ecclesiastical and civil authority, she thought the most compulsive measures lawful to bring her subjects to yield implicit obedience to her will. An act to enforce religious uniformity was passed, and all the engines of persecution made use of to oblige the nation to submit to it. Those who refused to be confined within the pale of the national church were contemptuously called Puritans, and while the Queen suffered french protestants to take refuge in England from the persecutions of France, she prosecuted her own protestant dissenting subjects for their religion! But the cruelties practised against them only served to increase their number, and add to their fortitude, so that in the year 1573 they left their parish Churches, and began to form themselves into distinct societies. The baptists wonderfully prospered, their prosperity provoked the indignation of their adversaries, and their wrath lay heavy upon them. On Easter day 1575 a congregation of Baptists was discovered without Aldgate, London. Twenty seven of them were imprisoned. Some of them recanted, others were banished, and two of them were burnt to death in Smithfield, July 22, next following.

     In 1589, Dr. Some, a man of great note, wrote against the Puritans in general, and the baptists in particular. But while he inveighs against the baptists, he acknowledges there were several congregations of them in London; that some of their Ministers were bred at our Universities, and the principles he charges them with holding, when stript of his dress, do honor to their piety and judgment.


[p. 236]
Beside believers' baptism, they are said to have held,
"That the ministers of the gospel ought to be maintained by the voluntary contributions of the people:

That the civil power has no right to make and impose ecclesiastical laws:

That people ought to have the right of chusing their own ministers: That the high commission court was an antichristian usurpation.That those who are qualified to preach the gospel ought not to be hind ered by the civil power:

That though the Lord's prayer be a rule and foundation of prayer, yet not to be used as a form; and that no forms of prayer ought to be imposed on the church:

That the baptism administered in the church of Rome is invalid:

That a true constitution and discipline is essential to a true church; and that the worship of God in the church of England is in many things defective."

     Some time after this, the Queen by her proclamation, commanded all Baptists* and others called heretics, to depart the land, under the penalties of imprisonment or loss of goods; so that all that were of this opinion were obliged either to conceal their principles, or fly into some other country, where they might enjoy the liberty of their religion! Upon which many Dissenters went over into Holland, among whom there were not a few baptists, so that there was now no great number of dissenters of any denomination that dared openly to appear.

     Elizabeth died March 24, 1603, in the 70th year of her age, upon whose demise, James, king of Scotland, became king of England under the title of James the first.

     James was born of Roman Catholic parents, brought up a pres. byterian, but as soon as he became king of England he commenced a violent episcopalian. Being made supreme head of the Church, he resolved to have his mystical body as large and as compact as possible, and therefore published a proclamation to enforce the act of religious uniformity, and endeavoured to make it effectual by the following energetic canons. "If any one shall hereafter affirm, that the established church of England is not an orthodox and apostolical church that the liturgy of the church of England is corrupt that any one of the thirty-nine articles of faith is in any part superstitious or erroneous, or that they may not be subscribed with a good conscience that the ceremonies of the church are superstitious that the government of the Church by archbishops, deans, &c. is contrary to scripture that the form of ordaining bishops is contrary to scripture, Let him be excommunicated!"+ The penalties of these mandates, excluded people from the privileges of religious and civil society, and subjected them to many
_______________________
* Crosby, Eng. Bap., vol. i, p, 77.
+ Eccles. Constitut., Lond. 1603, can. 3-8.


[p. 237]
grievous hardships; wherefore in the year 1604, the puritans whether baptists or others, presented a petition to the King for toleration. The Bishops strenuously opposed it and it was refused, and the petitioners were commanded to conform to the established church or otherwise ordered to be punished for their nonconformity.

     In 1606 an act for levying one shilling a Sunday upon everyone that did not come to church, was executed with rigour, the puritans were otherwise sorely persecuted, and called an obstinate people of a turbulent spirit, who deserved to have no favour shewn them. They suffered various oppressions with great patience, but persecution growing still more violent against them, great numbers resolved to go and settle in Virginia. Some departed for that country, and others were ready to take the same voyage, but a proclamation was published enjoining them not to go without the king's express license.

     About this time baptismal immersion began to be laid aside in the church of England, and sprinkling or pouring water used in its stead. This instead of weakening, strengthened the baptist cause, our brethren became more and more numerous, and resolved to revive the ancient practice of immersion. At first there was some small diversity of sentiment among them, respecting the mode of doing it, but this difficulty was soon got over. Some were of opinion that the first administrator should baptize himself, and then proceed to baptize others. Accordingly it is said that Mr. John Smith, a man of great piety and learning, and accounted one of the grandees of the separation, first baptized himself, and afterwards baptized others, but the account of his baptizing himself, is given by his enemies, and does not appear to be true. Others were for sending to foreign baptists, that they might receive it from them and it is said, that several pious people about London, being convinced of believer's baptism, sent Mr. Richard Blount over into the Netherlands, where he was baptized by Mr. John Batte, pastor of a baptist Church there; and that upon his return he baptized Mr. Samuel Blacklock a Minister, and that these baptized the rest of their company to the number of 53. But the greater number and more judicious of the English Baptists, looked upon it as needless trouble to send abroad for baptism, and held and practised accordingly, that after a general corruption of baptism, an unbaptized person might warrantable baptize and so begin a reformation.**

     In 1611, some of the baptists published a confession of their faith. The same year the most dread sovereign, king James exercised his seal against heresy upon two of his subjects, who were burnt alive in Smithfield, for their religious opinions: one of whom was Edward
_______________________
* Crosby, Vol. 1. p. 100. 103.


[p. 238]
Wightman, a baptist of Bourton upon Trent, who was burnt April 11.*

     It is worthy of observation, that William Sawtre, the first that was burnt in England for religion, was a baptist; and Edward Wightman, the last that was burnt, was a baptist; so that the baptists had the honour of leading the way, and bringing up the rear of all the martyrs who were burnt in England for conscience sake.

     Many of those who suffered death for the same cause in the two hunded years between these, were also of the same denomination.

     This burning heretics startled the common people. The barbarity of their punishment moved compassion towards the sufferers,

* The following is a copy of the warrant for his execution, "The king to the sheriff of our city of Litchfield, greeting. "Whereas the reverend father in Christ, Richard, by divine providence, of Coventry and Litchfield, bishop, hath signified unto us, that he judicially proceeding, according to the exigence of the ecclesiastical canons, and of the laws and customs of this our kingdom of England, against one Edward Wightman, of the parish of Burton upon Trent in the diocese of Coventry and Litchfield, of, and upon the wicked heresies of Ebion, Corinthaus, Valentinian, Arius, Macedonius, Simon Magus, Manes, Manichees. Photinus, and of the Anabaptists and other arch heretics; and moreover, of other cursed opinions, by the instinct of Satan excogitated, and heretofore unheard of; the aforesaid Edward Wightman appearing before the aforesaid reverend father, and other divines learned in the law, assisting him in judgment, the aforesaid wicked crimes, heresies, and other detestable blasphemies and errors, stubbornly and pertinaciously, knowingly, maliciously, and with an hardened heart published, defended and dispersed; by difinitive sentence of the said reverend father, with the consent of divines learned in the law aforesaid, justly, lawfully, and canonically, against the said Edward Wightman, in that part brought, stands adjudged and pronounced an heretic; and therefore, as a diseased sheep out of the flock of the Lord, lest our subjects he do infect by his contagion, he hath decreed to be cast out and cut off. Whereas therefore the holy mother church, hath not further in this part what it ought more to do and prosecute, the same reverend father, the same Edward Wightman, as a blasphemous and condemned heretic, hath left to our secular power, to be punished with condign punishment; as by the letters patent of the aforesaid reverend father, the bishop of Coventry and Litchfield,in this behalf thereupon made, is certified unto us in our Chancery. We, therefore, as a Zealot of Justice, and a defender of the catholic faith, and willing that the holy church, and the rights and liberties of the same, and the catholic faith to maintain and defend, and such like heresies and errors every where, so much as in us lies, to root out and extirpate, and heretics so convicted to punish with condign punishment, holding that such an heretic in the aforesaid forms convict and condemned, according to the laws and customs of this our kingdom of England, in this part accustomed, ought to be burned with fire. We command thee, that thou cause the said Edward Wightman, being in thy custody, to be committed to the fire in some public and open place, below the city aforesaid, for the cause aforesaid, before the people; and the same Edward Wightman, in the same fire, cause really to be burned, in the detestation of the said crime, and for manifest example of other christians, that they may not fall into the same crime. And this no ways omit, under the peril that shall follow thereon. Witness, &c.

_______________________
* Crosby, vol. I, appendix, page 5.
[p. 239]
and their firness in sealing their opinions with their blood, served rather to promote their doctrines than put a stop to them. Therefore, for the future, king James chose only to seize their estates and waste away their lives privately in nasty prisons, rather than honor them with such a public martyrdom. In 1614 several dissenting families, baptists and others, withdrew from the oppressions of their own country and emigrated to America.

     In I615, The Baptists published a treatise wherein they justified their separation from the church of England.

     In 1617, a book of Sports was published by order of the king, allowing dancing, wrestling, backsword playing, bull baiting, foot ball, and other vulgar and profane amusements, on Sabbath-day afternoons, and the clergy were ordered to read it in their churches, for neglect whereof some of them were punished.

     In 1620, The baptists presented a humble and loyal supplication to the king, for relief from persecution, wherein they set forth that their miseries were not only the taking away their goods, but also long and lingering imprisonments, for many years, in divers counties in England in which many, died leaving their widows and several children behind them, and all because they could not join in such worship as they not did believe to be according to scripture. Their petition was rejected, and their sufferings continued, but notwithstanding the severities used against them, they kept up their separate meetings, increased in number, and one of their enemies confessed they were in appearance, more holy than the members of the established church.*

     In 1618 a book was published, vindicating the principles of the baptists. This was translated from the dutch, and is the first book that was published in english against baptizing infants. In a short time after this, our english brethren wrote many books in defence ol their sentiments and gained many disciples.

     On March 27, 1625, James departed this life, and left ample testimony behind him, that during his reign the supreme head of the Church of England, was not Him in whom dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, but one whose head and body were dust and ashes! We have need to pray for kings and all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. When the vilest men are exalted, the wicked walk on every side, but when princes reign in righteousness, they are a praise to them that do well. When Pharoah ruled in Egypt the magicians were promoted, and the Israelites opprest, but when David reigned in Palestine, his eyes were upon the faithful of the land, that they might dwell with him; but the wicked were not suffered to abide in his house, nor tarry in his sight. Let us rejoice
_______________________
* Crosby, vol. 1. page 113,


[p. 240]
that Christ the shepherd and bishop of souls, is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, over all, gracious and merciful and blessed for ever. Come and let us join ourselves to him in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten. He will then be our arm every morning, and our salvation for ever. Let us give all diligence to make our calling and election sure. Now if ever, for now is the accepted time. Now for ever, for as the tree falls so it lies. Now or never, for our life is a vapour that soon vanisheth away.
I. Taylor, Calne.
_________

Brief Memoirs of the English Baptists
The Baptist Magazine, 1810

SECTION IV.
From the Death of James I. to the Restoration of Charles II.

[p. 277]
     MARCH 27th, 1625, Charles the first, only surviving son of James the first, succeeded to the crown of England, on the demise of his father, and was crowned at Westminster the second of February following.

     William Land, a proud and furious bigot, was in particular favour with his Majesty, who advanced him to the see of London, and at last to the archbishopric of Canterbury. This imperious zealot persuaded his sovereign to pursue measures which contributed to his ruin. Encouragement was given to vulgar sports on sabbath day afternoons, Dissenters were prevented from emigrating to America, the Scots ordered to use the liturgy of the church of England, and the Irish Papists suffered to murder two hundred thousand protestants in cold blood! The penal statutes ag'iinsc the puritans in England were severely executed, and oppressive taxes imposed upon the people at large.

     In the worst times, believer's baptism had its proselytes, and now its advocates became more numerous than ever. Until the year 1633 the baptists for the most part continued intermixed among other protestant dissenters, and shared with them in their persecutions; but now they began more particularly to separate themselves, and form distinct societies of those of their own denomination.


[p. 278]
On the 12th of September this year, a baptist church was formed in London, who chose Mr. John Spilsbury for their pastor, and the same year another church was formed at Olchor in Wales, whose pastor was Mr. Howell Vaughan, and the year following another church was formed in Crutched Friars, London, of which Captain Spencer was a chief promoter.

     In 1639, the war between the king and his parliament commenced, which for a short time put a stop to the hot persecutions of the dissenters, but many of them soon found their sorrows return. January 18th, 1641, about 80 people, baptists and others, who went for divine service in Southwark, and accused of holding unlawful sentiments, were discovered and taken by Sir John Lenthal, Marshal of the King's Bench, and committed to prison. The next morning six or seven of them were by an order of government carried up to the house of Lords, examined strictly concerning their principles, and treated with considerable respect. Some of the Lords enquired where they met, and the next sabbath four of the Peers went to their meeting and staid during the whole of the service. Two sermons were preached, the Lord's supper administered, and a collection made for the poor, to which the noblemen Contributed liberally, and at their departure signified their satisfaction in all they had heard and seen.

     Some of the greatest writers for reformation at this time, particularly Lord Brook, Bishop Taylor, and Dr. Hammond, spoke favorably of the opinions of the haptists, and thereby promoted their cause; but their adversaries Dr. Featly, Mr. Baxter, Dr. Wall, and others, sadly bewailed their increase and prosperity, In 1642 a public dispute took place between Dr. Featly and four baptist ministers in Southwark, upon the subject of believer's baptism, during which dispute, the doctor appeared much more capable of pouring slander upon his opponents, than defending his infantile operations. About this time, another baptist Church was gathered in London by Mr. Hanserd Knollys, and several books were written by our brethren in defence of their principles. It may be proper to observe here, that there have been two parties of the English Baptists ever since the beginning of the reformation. Those who have held the doctrine of particular redemption and! therefore called Particular Baptists, and those that have held universal redemption and are stiled General Baptists. In 1643 some of our particular brethren published a confession of their faith in 52 articles.*

     In 1645 the parliament seized the reigns of government, put down episcopacy, set up presbyterianism, and would have had the whole nation become presbyterians! The Westminster assembly of divines, and presbyterian ministers in town and country, as far as
_______________________
* Crosby, vol. I. page 170.


[p. 279]
in them lay, opposed liberty of conscience and a general toleration of different opinions in matters of religion. The ministers in Lancashire published a paper signed by eighty four of them, in which are these, expressions. "A toleration would be putting a sword in a madman's hand; a cup of poison into the hand of a child, a letting loose of madmen with firebrands in their hands, and appointing a city of refuge in men's consciences for the Devil to fly to, a laying of a stumbling block before the blind, a proclaiming liberty to the wolves to come into Chtist's fold to prey upon the lambs; neither would it be to provide for tender consciences, but to take away all conscience!!* The baptists especially were inveighed against, particularly by a Mr. Edwards, Lecturer of Christ Church, who wished the parliament would forbid all dipping, and take some severe course against all dippers, as the senate of Zurich did. The precedent he refers to is an edict, published at Zurich in the year 1534, making it death for any to baptize by immersion, upon which law, some baptists were tied back to back, and thrown into the sea, others were burnt alive, many starved to death in prison.+ These proceedings against religious liberty, so far prevailed with the managers of affairs as to occasion several laws to be made for suppressing all that would not come into the presbyterian establishment. Many people of different denominations were persecuted, and several baptist ministers sent to prison for preaching and baptizing.

     April 26, 1645, an ordinance of parliament was made for silencing all preachers that were not ordained ministers either in the english or in some of the foreign protestant churches. But as this ordinance did not fix the crime upon those that took upon them to preach without ordination, but such as should admit them so to do; nor impower magistrates to take the offenders into custody, they could do but little with it. Therefore on the 26th of May, 1646 the lord mayor, court of aldermen and common council of London presented a petition to parliament in which they desired some strict and speedy course might betaken for suppressing all baptists, and other sectaries, and that no person disaffected to presbyterian government might be employed in any place of public trust. This petition bucked by the instigations of other illiberal people, had its effect. On the 26th of December following, another oppressive ordinance of parliament was made to explain and amend the former. In this the commons declared, they would proceed against all preachers that were not ordained as they had before appointed and all minister's or others that should publish or maintain, by preaching or otherwise, any thing against their church government, and ordered all magistrates and officers in the army, to prevent offences against this law, apprehend offenders, and give notice thereof to parliament that thereupon course might be speedily, taken for a due punishment to be inflicted upon them!
_______________________
* Crosby, 190.
+ Idem., 183.


[p. 280]
     The Baptists were as much aimed at, and as many of them prosecuted by this law, as any others called sectaries, yet by some means or other, they obtained a great indulgence from parliament about a year after. On March the 4th, 1647, a declaration of the Lords and Commons was published, very much in their favor,* but to the shame of this very parliament, about a year afterwards, a more severe law phased against heresy and error, than any that has been made in England since the Reformation. It was entitled, "An ordinance of the lords and commons assembled in parliament for the punishment of blasphemers and heresies." In this there is first a catalogue of heresies, any of which, whosoever did maintain and publish with obstinacy therein, he was to suffer the pains of Death, as in case of felony, without benefit of clergy. Among the errors specified are these, "That the baptizing of infants is unlawful, or that such baptism is void, and that such persons ought to be baptized again, and in pursuance thereof shall baptize any person formerly baptized." "That the church government by presbytery is antichristian, or unlawful," &c,+ By this ordinance, all the baptists, and all in England except rigid presbyterians are expressly condemned, and probably a violent persecution would have followed, if the confusions of the times, and the great numbers of dissenters had not prevented.

     January 30, 1649, king Charles was beheaded. In 1650, the baptist churches at Ilston, Llanafan, and Hay, including Olchor, in Wales, formed themselves into an association to assist each other and promote the cause of religion. We are not certain that there was at this time any such union of baptist churches in England. It does not appear that the churches which had agreed in publishing a confession of their faith, did otherwise form themselves into an association. In 1653, the English,Scotch, Irish and Welsh baptist churches, began an epistolatory correspondence with each other with a view to their mutual religious prosperity and usefulness. On the 12th of December, in the same year, Oliver Cromwell was made protector for life of the three kingdoms, England, Scotland, and Ireland. Oliver was an Independent, and by his elevation to supreme power, an end was put to the presbyterian establishment. His first parliament advised him to encourage a godly ministry in these nations, to provide a confession of faith for his people, and not suffer any by words or writing to revile or reproach the said confession! Thus as in former days, the church was to be formed of a rib of the state, and they twain were to be one flesh and one spirit, and dwell together in court wedlock until death might them part. And what presumption might thus join together, no man, by reason, or scripture, or justice, or righteousness, was to attempt to put asunder! However, the protector was a man of more moderation
_______________________
* Crosby, vol. I, p. 196.
+ Idem., 197.


[p. 281]
than his counsellor, and therefore did not altogether follow their advice. The presbyterians were deprived of power, but were allowed more religious liberty than they had afforded the independants; the private meetings of the Episcopalians were connived at, and though the baptists were frowned upon, reviled and persecuted, yet they were not destroyed, banished, or shut up in dungeons, as they before had been. Oliver died September the 3rd, l658, in the 60th year of his age, and fifth of his protectorate. His morals were regular, he promoted men of character and ability to places of public trust, sought the good of the nation, added to its renown, and with all his faults was one of the greatest men of his age. His son Richard succeeded him in his office, but finding his station very perplexing and unpleasant, he resigned it by writing under his hand April 22, 1659, spent the remainder of his life in peaceful retirement at Cheshunt in Hertfordshire, and died July 12, 1712, aged 82.

     The Nation tired of change, considered the restoration of monarchy, the most likely means of securing public tranquility. The matter was agitated in parliament, a day of solemn fasting and prayer appointed, but while they fasted and prayed, they neglected watchfulness! The very next day, May 1, 1660, they voted home the king without conditions! And to their unwatchfulness in so doing may be imputed many of the errors of his reign.

     If we enquire, what part our brethren took in public affairs in these times of confusion, the following extracts will inform us. Captain Richard Dean, in his Letter to Dr. Barlow, bishop of Lincoln, having spoken of the increase of the baptists in the year 1649, says "In that time did this opinion spread itself into some of the regiments of horse and foot, in the army; and in 1650 and afterwards, some professing this opinion were called from their private employments and promoted to commands at sea. Among others Captain Mildmay, to command the admiral flagship, under the late Duke of Albermarle, when he was one of the generals at sea. Captain Pack, to command the flagship under Sir George Ascue, Rear Admiral; Sir John Barman, to command the admiral flagship under his Royal Highness the Duke of York. But notwithstanding this sect had that countenance given them, as I have mentioned by such as had the principal management of affairs; yet this sect in general, as they have published in their apologies, were the least of any sort of people concerned in any vicissitudes of government that happened among us. And although in and after the year 1649, their numbers did increase, insomuch that the principal officers in diverse regiments of horse and foot, became baptists; particularly in Oliver Cromwell's own Regiment, when he was general of all the parliament's forces; and in the Duke of Albermarle's


[p. 282]
own regiment of foot when he was general of all the english forces in Scotland: yet by the best information I could have, there were not at any time, before the year 1649, twenty baptists in any sort of command in the whole army; and. until after the year 1648 there were no more than two; viz Mr. Laurence, and Mr. John Fienners, one of the Lord Say's sons, who made profession of this, opinion, chosen into the house of Commons; and both these did in that year, and in the life time of king Charles the first, as I have been credibly informed, voluntarily depart from that parliament, as not approving of their proceedings against the person of the king."*

     An address, with propositions annexed to it, sent by the baptists to Charles the II, then at Bruges, a short time before his restoration, closes with these words, "We have presumed in all humility to offer to your majesty these few propositions, hereunto annexed, to which, if your majesty shall be pleased to condescend, we do solemnly protest in the presence of Almighty God, that we will hazard our lives, and all that is dear unto us, for the restoring and re-establishing your majesty in the throne of your father."

     The annexed propositions are, 1. To call a lawful parliament. 2. Secure the just and natural rights of the people. 3. Allow liberty of conscience. 4. Abolish tythes, and find some other way for the maintenance of the national ministry. 5. Grant a general amnesty.+ These propositions contain sound speech, that cannot be condemned. May we and all our baptist brethren, be followers of them, who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

"Jesus hear our humble prayer!
Tender Shepherd of thy sheep!
Let thy mercy and thy care
All our souls in safety keep."

_______________________
* Crosby vol. 2, p. 2.
+ Crosby vol. 1, appendix No. 5. p. 83, &c.
I. Taylor, Calne.
_________

Brief Memoirs of the English Baptists
The Baptist Magazine, 1810

SECTION V.
From the Restoration of Charles II. to the Revolution under William III, Part I. .

[From The Baptist Magazine, January, 1810, Section I, pp. 1-6; March, 1810, Section II, 89-95; April, 1810, Section III, pp. 233-240; May 1810, Section IV, pp. 277-282. Document from Google Books. Formatted by Jim Duvall.]



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