J. M. (John Mockett) Cramp.

Baptist history, from the foundation of the Christian church to the present time online

. (page 1 of 36)
Online LibraryJ. M. (John Mockett) CrampBaptist history, from the foundation of the Christian church to the present time → online text (page 1 of 36)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook





• ^v

*, ^^



.^lE^ .



jMrs.T.S.CU'.ld. , BosiSh

Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

Boston Library Consortium IVIember Libraries




Foundation of the Christian Church
to the Present Time.

By J. M. CRAMP, D.D.,



Illustrated ey ]^ifty-eight First-class Engi^yings.



1 87 1.

O K^'


(^ o«^ ^ *



T is desirable that the members of our churches gene-
rally should be acquainted with the early history of
the Denomination. Hitherto, however, that object could
not be attained without the purchase of large and expen-
sive works.

The author has endeavoured to supply this want, and
to furnish, in one small volume, an abstract of Baptist
records, that all our brethren may know the struggles
and sufferings through which their forefathers passed
while "witnessing a good confession."

The work was originally written in the form of Letters^
which were addressed " to a Young Christian," and
inserted in the Nova Scotia Christian Messenger during
the years 1856 — 8. They have been revised and re-
arranged, and the authorities carefully consulted afresh.

Acadia College, Nova Scotia,
yime, 1868.

*.;,.* The present edition has been again carefully revised, with some
brief additions, bringing it down to the date of publication.


^ I ^HOUGH I have undertaken to say a few words on
-*- behalf of this volume of Dr. Cramp's, it really
needs no introduction. He himself is well known in
both hemispheres, and has laboured in both. He has
been a student of ecclesiastical history from his youth.
Nor has he studied in vain. His work on the Council
of Trent is still a standard book on all questions
connected with the doctrines and policy of the Church
of Rome. His candour and intelligence, his love of
good men, and appreciation of great principles, have
won the esteem and affection of all who know him.
These qualities will be found to distinguish the volume
which is now introduced for the first time to English

Though there are Histories of " English Baptists," of
'• Foreign Baptists," and of " American Baptists," there
is no volume in which the history of all is given in a
condensed and interesting form. The history of Baptism

viii Introductory Notice,

in the Early Church and in the Middle Ages is still
probably to be written, but the reader will find a fuller
and more satisfactory account in these pages than any-
where besides.

The volume deserves and will repay careful study, and I
very heartily commend it.


College, Regent's Park.




I, Introductory Remarks — Pasdo-baptist Concessions 3

II. The Apostolic Fathers — Justin Martyr — Irenjeus 8

III, Tertullian-^Baptisni of Children in Africa — Origen — First Ap-
pearance of Infant-Baptism — The Clinics — Christianity in
Ens:land i5



I. The Catechumens — Progress of Infant-Baptism — Delay of
Baptism — Gregory Nazienzen — Chrysostcm. — Basil — Ephrem
of Edessa — The Emperor Constantine — Immersion still the
r^Iode 28

II. Christian Intolerance — Justinian's Law, enjoining Infant-Bap-
tism — The Novatians — The Donatists — Pelagianism ... 37

X Contents,



I. The Manichasans — Cautions to the Student — All Opponents of
Infant-Baptism not Baptists — -Account of the Paulicians —
Their Views of Baptism 50

II. Religious Reform in Europe — The Canons of Orleans — Arras

— Berengarius — Miscellaneous Anecdotes 63



I. State of Affairs in Europe during this Period— The Crusades
— Other Important Events — The Scholastic Divines and
Philosophers — Universities — Printing 70

II. Paulicians in France and Italy — General View of the Reform
Movement — Various Names given to the Reformers — Senti-
ments held by them — False Charge of Manichseism — Their
Activity — Reinerus Saccho's Account 76

III. Success of the Reforming Parties — Consternation at Rome —

Anathemas — The Dominican and Franciscan Orders — San-
guinary Persecution — Crusade against the Albigenses — The
Inquisition — Movement in England — John de Wychffe — The
Lollards — Bohemia 87

IV. Various Opinions respecting Baptism — Berengar — Peter of

Bruys — Henry of Lausanne — Arnold of Brescia — Cologne —
England — Lombers — Pope Lucius III 100

V. Heretics of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries — Wychffe's
Sentiments on Baptism — The Bohemians — Baptism among
the Waldenses — Church Government — Immersion . . . . 116

Contents. xi



L/I. Rise of the Reformation — Opinions held by the Baptists — Mis-
represented by the Reformers — Their Wonderful Increase —
Support under Sufferings 124

^11. German Baptists — Thomas Munzer — The Peasant War —
Michael Satler — Hans SchafPier — Salzburg — Wolfgang
Brand-Hueber — The Burggraf of Alzey — Imperial Edicts. . 133

HI. Persecuting Tenets of the Reformers — German Diets— The
Congregation at Steinborn — Leonard Bernkop — The Crown
of Straw — Johannes Bair — Hans Pichner — Hans Breal —
Baptists in Italy 142

IV. Baptists in Switzerland — Zuingli — Concessions of Bullinger
and Meshovius — Disputations — Drownings— Felix Mantz —
Balthazar Hubmeyer — Louis Hetzer — Emigration to Mora-
via — Jacob Hutter 151

V. The Netherlands — Sicke Snyder — Furious Edict — The Inquisi-
tion — Severities of Philip 11. — Torture — Lysken — Gerrit
Hase-poot — J oris Wippe — Private Executions — Horrid Rack-
ings i55

VI. Biography of Menno Simon — Account of his Publications —

Church Government among the Baptists — Missionary Ex-
cursions 1S6

VII. Baptists in England — Proclamation of Henry VIII. — Lati-

mer's Sermon before Edward VI. — Baptists excepted from
" Acts of Pardon " — Royal Commissions against them —
Ridley — Cranmer — Joan Boucher — Rogers — Philpot — Bishop
Hooper's Scruples — George Van Pare — Protestant Persecu-
• tions Inexcusable — Congregations in Essex and Kent —

xii Contents,


Bonner — Gardiner — Disputations in Gaol — Queen Eliza-
beth's Proclamation against Baptists — Bishop Jewel —
Archbishop Parker — Dutch Baptists 204

VIII. The Enormities Perpetrated at Munster and other Places —

Injustice of Ascribing them to Baptist Sentiments .... 223


I. Baptists Persecuted by all other Sects — Liberal Policy of
Vv^illiam, Prince of Orange — The "Union of Utrecht" —
Differences of Opinion — Persecution in Moravia, and in
Switzerland 232

II. Dutch Baptists Persecuted in England — Account of Hen-
drick Terwoort and Jan Pieters — Their Martyrdom — Their
Religious Sentiments — Whitgift's Invectives against the
Baptists 240

^III. Severity of Elizabeth's Government— Bigotry of James/1. —
The Hampton Court Conference — Emigration — John
Smyth's Church — Their Confessions — Bartholomew Legate
— Extracts from Baptist Publications on Liberty of Con-
science — The King's Distress at their Increase 250

IV. Character of Charles I. — Sufferings during his Reign — First
Particular Baptist Church — Samuel Howe — Dr. Featley's
Book — Baptist Confessions of Faith — Toleration hated by
the Presbyterians — Their Attempts to put down the Baptists
— Milton's Lines — The Assembly of Divines — Outcry against
Immersion — Parliamentary Declaration in favour of the
Baptists — Fearful " Ordinance " against them — Their Ac-
tivity during the Commonwealth and the Protectorate —
Cromwell's Baptist Officers — The " Triers " — Baptists in
Ireland ' .' 26^

Contents. xiii


V. Character of Charles II. and James II. — Commencement of
Persecution — ^Venner's Rebellion — Disclaimer by Baptists —
Severe Sufferings — John James — Act of Uniformity — The
Aylesbury Baptists — Benjamin Keach Pilloried — Conventicle
Act — Five Mile Act — Their Effects 2S1

VI. History of the Broadmead Church, Bristol 304

iyil. Declaration of Indulgence — Confession of Faith — Fierce Per-
secution — Thomas Delaune — The Duke of Monmouth's Re-
bellion — Account of the Hewlings — Mrs. Gaunt — The Dark
time — Another Declaration of Indulgence — William Kiffin —
The Glorious Revolution 313

VIII. Principles and Practices of the Denomination — Human Tra-

dition Renounced — Freedom of Conscience Demanded —
Personal Piety requisite to Church Fellowship — Purity of
Discipline — Cases Cited — Mode of Public Worship —
Plurality of Elders — Communion — Singing — Laying on of
Hands — The Sabbath 334

IX. Biographical Notices — ^John Smyth, Thomas Helwys, and •

John Spilsbury — Henry Denne — Francis Cornwell, A.M. —
Christopher Blackwood — Major-General Harrison — Colonel
Hutchinson 344

X. Biographical Notices Continued — Henry Jessey, A.M. — John

Canne — ^Vavasor Powell — Abraham Cheare 356

XI. Biographical Notices Continued — ^John Tombes, B.D. — Francis

Bampfield, A.M. — Henry D'Anvers — Edward Terril — Dr. Du
Veil — John Bunyan 369

XII. Biographical Notices Concluded — Thomas Grantham — Han-

serd Knollys — Benjamin Keach — William Kiffin .... 382

xiv Contents.


V XIII. Baptists in North America — Church at Providence — Baptists
in Massachusetts — Persecuting Enactment against them —
The Whipping of Obadiah Holmes — First Church at Boston
— Newport — Swansea — Other Churches — Roger Williains . 403


L General Character of the Period — Baptist General Assembly
in London — Questions — Particular Baptist Fund — Baptist
Board — The Dissenting Deputies — The Book Society —
Bristol College — Dr. John Ward — Toleration Act — Schism
Bill — Dissenters excluded from Ofiice — Restrictions — Relief
— Decline of the General Baptists — Communion Controversy
— Effects of High Calvinism on the Particular Baptists —
Commencement of Revival — Fuller and Sutcliffe — State of
the Denomination in England — Foreign and Home Missions 420

II. Biographical Notices — Dr. John Gale — Dr. Gill — John Mac-
gowan — Robert Robinson — Robert Hall, Sen. — John Ryland
— The Stennetts — Benjamin Beddome — Samuel Pearce — Dr.
Andrew Gifford 441

III. Progress of the Denomination in North America — Sufferings
in New England — Mrs. Elizabeth Backus — Mrs. Kimball —
Virginia — Whitfield's Preaching — The " New Lights " —
Philadelphia Association — Other Associations — Correspon-
dence with London Ministers — Great Revivals — Brown
University — Nova Scotia — New Brunswick — Canada . . . 452

Contents. xv



Effects of the Mission Enterprise — Revivals — Extension of the
Denomination — Statistical Table — Societies — Diversity and
Adaptation of Talent — Baptist Agency now Employed — Rev.
C. H. Spurgeon — Baptist Union — Peculiarities of the Pre-
sent Period — Duties of Baptists 470


FROM A.D. 31 TO A.D. 254.

Sectioj^ I.

Introductory Remarfi-o^-Psedobaptist Concessions.

APTISTS are often asked for information respecting
the history of their distinctive opinions and practices.
Inquirers say that statements various and even contra-
dictory are made in their hearing, and they are very desirous
of being put on the right track, so that they may be able to
correct the erroneous and expose the false. It is the object
of this work to endeavour to meet their wishes.

Let us begin with the New Testament. Who can read
that blessed book with serious attention without coming to
the conclusion that the religion of which it treats is personal
and voluntary, and that none are worthy to be called Chris-
tians but those who "worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in
Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh"?
(Phil. iii. 3). When Moses addressed the Israelites, and
exhorted them to obedience, he included their children in
his exhortations, because the children were in the covenant.
Judaism, with all its privileges and responsibilities, was
hereditary. The rights and duties of the parents became

B 2

4 Baptist History,

the rights and duties of their offspring, as such. It is not
so under the New Dispensation. Men are not born Chris-
tians, but they become Christians, when they repent and
beheve. "As many as received Him, to them gave He
power to become the sons of God, even to them that beheve
on His name ; which were born, not of blood, nor of the
will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God "
(John i. 12, 13). Judaism was a national institute : Chris-
tianity is an individual blessing. The Jews were a nation,
dealt with as such, and separated from other nations :
Christians are believers, taken out of all nations, and in
Christianity '' there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision
nor uncircumcision. Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free, but
Christ is all and in all" (Col. iii. 11). Hence, when the
Apostles wrote to Christian churches their mode of address
was altogether different from that adopted by Moses. They
did not say, "you and your children," or represent the
children as in covenant with God, and therefore entitled
to certain rights and bound to the performance of cer-
tain duties. The churches to which they sent their
epistles were spiritual societies, that is, associations of
individuals professing " repentance toward God and faith
toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts xx. 21), to whom
they had surrendered themselves, as their Prophet, Priest,
and King. If those individuals were parents, they were
taught to bring up their children " in the nurture and
admonition of the Lord" (Eph. vi. 4); but their children
were not classed with them, as the children of the Jews
were, nor could they be, till they themselves also repented
and believed. It is an obvious inference, that no mo-
dern society deserves to be called a Christian Church,
which is not founded on such principles as have now been

If you were to place a New Testament in the hands of
an intelligent, impartial persoJi, who had never heard of

Baptist History,

our divisions and denominations, what idea would he be
likely to form of the spirit and design of Christianity, or of
a Christian Church ? Would he not see, in every part of
the book, appeals to men's understandings and emotions,
and such requisitions as could be addressed to those only
who were capable of thinking and acting for themselves ?
Would he not conclude that Christianity has to do with
mind, that a Christian must be a man of repentance and
faith, and that a church is a voluntary society, formed of
such men ?

We come to the question of baptism. What is baptism ?
It is " the answer of a good conscience toward God "
(i Pet. iii. 2i). It is " putting on Christ " (Gal. iii. 27).
It is the voluntary act of a believer, an act of obedience and
self-dedication. Such is the uniform tenor of the history.
So the multitudes went out to John, " even all the land of
Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him
in the river of Jordan " (Mark i. 5). So the Samaritans,
*' when they believed Philip preaching the things concern-
ing the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ,
were baptized, both men and women " (Acts viii. 12).
Mark it well — " men and women," — no children ! So, in
later times, the baptized were reminded of their obligations:
'' We are buried with Him by baptism into death, that like
as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the
Father, even so we should walk in newness of life "
(Rom. vi. 4).

The New Testament tells of the baptism of believers,
and of churches composed of believers. We read of no
other baptism, no other churches. It will not do to say in
reply that all who were baptized were not believers, and
that all the members of Apostolic churches were not
sincere. There were, doubtless, hypocrites then, as there
are hypocrites now. Even the Apostles were sometimes
deceived. But this does not affect the case. All who

Baptist History,

were baptized professed to be believers, and were bap-
tized as such. The profession of faith was held to be
essential to baptism and to church fellowship. None could
profess faith who were incapable of understanding the
faith. The act of profession implied approbation, con-
viction, choice.

This, then, is the starting point. Here is the beginning
of the history of baptism. With the New Testament only
before us, we find baptism connected with the profession
of faith. It is a personal, voluntary act ; and such an act
only is befitting Christianity.

But in the Christianity of the nineteenth century, or
what is called such, there is a service of another kind.
It is sprinkling — not immersion ; and the subjects are
infants — not believers. How is this ? In what manner
was it introduced ? How and when did it originate ?

These questions will be answered hereafter. This sec-
tion will be closed by placing before the reader a few
extracts from Pccdobaptist writers of the nineteenth cen-
tury, showing how the learned men^of these times regard
the subject, from an historical point of view.

North British Review, Presbyterian (article ascribed
to the Rev. Dr. Hanna). '' Scripture knows nothing of
the baptism of infants. There is absolutely not a single
trace of it to be found in the New Testament."*

Professor Jacobi, University of Berlin, Reformed
Church. " Infant baptism was established neither by
Christ nor by the Apostles. In all places where we find
the necessity of baptism notified, either in a dogmatic
or historical point of view, it is evident that it was only
meant for those who were capable of comprehending the
word preached, and of being converted to Christ by an
act of their own will."!

* August, 1852.

f Kitto's Cyclopcedia of Biblical Literature. Art. "Baptism."

Baptist History.

Dr. Hagenbach, Basle, Reformed Church. " The pas-
sages from Scripture which are thought to intimate that
infant baptism had come into use in the Primitive Church,
are doubtful, and prove nothing."*

Neander, the Church Historian. " Baptism v^as ad-
ministered at first only to adults, as men wqtq accustomed
to conceive baptism and faith as strictly connected. We
have all reason for not deriving infant baptism from
Apostolic institution ; and the recognition of it which fol-
lowed somewhat later, as an Apostolical tradition, serves
to confirm this hypothesis." ..." In respect to the form
of baptism, it was, in conformity with the original insti-
tution and the original import of the symbol, performed
by immersion, as a sign of entire baptism into the Holy
Spirit, of being entirely penetrated by the same."t

Professor Stuart, late of Andover, Congregationalist.
" There are no commands, or plain and certain examples,
in the New Testament relative to infant baptism." |

Dr. Hodge, of Princeton, New Jersey, Presbyterian.
" In no part of the New Testament is any other condi-
tion of membership in the Church prescribed than that
contained in the answer of Philip to the eunuch who de-
sired baptism. The Church, therefore, is in its essential
nature a company of believers." §

Dr. Woods, Congregationalist. "We have no express
precept or example for infant baptism in all our holy
writings." ||

Dr. Chalmers, Presbyterian. " The original meaning
of the word baptism is immersion ; and though we regard
it as a point of indifference whether the ordinance so
named be performed this way or b}^ sprinkling, yet we
doubt not that the prevalent style of the administrations

* History of Doctrities, i. 193.

f History of the Church, i. 310,311.

X H.a.yne''s Baptist Denominatiojt, p. 2-' § Ibid. \\ Ibid.

8 Baptist History.

in the Apostles' days was of an actual submersion of the
whole body under water."*

Dr. Bloomfield, Episcopalian. " There is here (Rom.
vi. 4) plainly a reference to the ancient mode of baptism by
immersion ; and I agree with Koppe and Rosenmliller
(two German commentators), that there is reason to regret
it should have been abandoned in most Christian churches,
especially as it has so evidently a reference to the mystic
sense of baptism." f

Rev. W. J. CoNYBEARE, M.A., Episcopalian. " This
passage (Rom. vi. 4) cannot be understood unless it be
borne in mind that the primitive baptism was by im-
mersion." J

Many more quotations might be given, but these will be
sufficient. It will be observed that none of these writers
are Baptists. But they do not venture to afBrm that
infant sprinkling is derived from the New Testament.
Learned Psedobaptists generally admit that believers only
were baptized in Apostolic times.

Section II.

The Apostolic Fathers— Justin Martyr— Irenaeus.

THIS, then, is our starting point. The baptism of the
New Testament is the baptism of believers. Our
next inquiry will be. How the post-Apostolic Church
thought and acted on this subject ?

Christian baptism, as instituted by the Saviour, and
practised by the Apostles, was the immersion of believers

* Lectures on Romans, ch. vi. 4.

f Critical Digest, in loc.

% Life and Writings of St. Paul, ii. 172. Quarto Edition.

Baptist History.

in water, ''in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and
of the Holy Ghost." It was the declaration of their
adhesion to Christ, and the symbol of their renunciation
of sin. It was in every case the act of a free agent, and
thus it harmonized with the spiritual nature of Christianity.
All this is now generally admitted.

The next inquiry is, Did the usages of the period im-
mediately succeeding the Apostolic, accord with these
views ? Or did they indicate any change or any depar-
ture from them ?

Here it is necessary to interpose a caution. Apostolic
example has the force of authority. It is the inspired
exposition of the law. Not so the example of the primitive
churches as they are called, that is, as they existed after
the Apostolic age. The plainness of the Christian cere-
monial offended those who were fond of pomp and show,
and the equality of the Christian brotherhood offended
those who loved power. Hence corruptions crept in.
They were anticipated and foretold by the Apostles. And
hence the necessity of distinguishing between Divine law
and human tradition. We have no pov/er to change the
law, or to make any addition to it. The assumption of
such power in primitive times v/as a fatal error, the evil
consequences of which are felt to this day. Instead of
adhering strictly to the Scripture rule, men dealt with
Christianity as they dealt with systems of philosophy.
They treated it as if it were susceptible of improvement,
and might be accommodated to circumstances. They took
the liberty to engraft on it certain peculiarities of Judaism,
and even of Paganism. They multiplied forms to the sore
detriment of the spirit and the life.

It has been customary to appeal to the opinions and
practices of the churches of the first three centuries after
the Apostles. In the controversy with the Church of Rome
it is an available argument to this extent, that it takes from


Baptist History.

that Church the plea of antiquity, since it proves that
Romanism, as such, did not exist in the above-mentioned
period. Yet it cannot be denied that the first steps towards
Romanism were then taken. Professing Christians soon
abandoned the high ground of Scripture, and took pleasure
in " vain deceit " and " will-worship." In this they are not
examples for our imitation. We must go further back — to
the Book itself — to the recorded enactments of the Divine


(As it appeared in the First Century of the Christian Era.)

Lawgiver; and our object will be to ascertain how far, and
by whom, the Saviour's will has been regarded.

This can only be accomplished by consulting the writers

Online LibraryJ. M. (John Mockett) CrampBaptist history, from the foundation of the Christian church to the present time → online text (page 1 of 36)