Infant baptism coming of course under consideration, after long search and many debates, it was found to have no footing in the Scriptures the only rule and standard to try doctrines by ; but on the contrary a mere innovation, yea, the profanation of an ordinance of God. And though it was proposed to be laid aside, yet what fears, tremblings, and temptations did attend them, lest they should be mistaken, considering how many learned and godly men were of an opposite persuasion.
How gladly would they have had the rest of their brethren gone along with them. But when there was no hope, they concluded that a Christian's faith must not stand in the wisdom of men; and that every one must give an account of himself to God; and so resolved to practice according to their light. The great objection was, the want of an administrator; which, as I have heard was removed by sending certain messengers to Holland, whence they were supplied Hutchinson, A Treatise Concerning the Covenant and Baptism Dialoguewise.
Epistle to the Reader. Hutchinson knows nothing of Blout, Blacklock or Batte. The people he mentions were all Pedobaptists, who had just been converted to Baptist views. This is hearsay testimony years after without any details. The first man mentioned, who was sent to Holland to get immersion, was John Spilsbury, but Crosby says this was not true. The date of the going of Blount to Holland is as mythical as the person of Blount A Baptist writer who published a history of the Baptists, supplementary to Neal's History of the Puritans, says that Blount went to Holland in Barclay says he went in Other writers have been impressed with the date of One writer mentions three dates, , and The Kiffin Manuscript mentions both and One date is just as good as another, for there is no authority to substantiate any of them.
Not one prominent Baptist received his baptism from this source. We are confronted with the Amazing proposition that there were two Kiffin Manuscripts, differing from one another in most important respects.
The one by Crosby has already been referred to; the other is known as the Gould edition. In the year , Rev. George Gould had a lawsuit in regard to certain chapel property. After the suit was over Mr. Gould presented his side of the question to the public in a volume entitled: Open Communion and the Baptists of Norwich.
He also left a volume of manuscripts. Through the kindness of Rev. Gould, ex-President of Regents Park College, an opportunity was granted the author to examine these papers. There were some thirty documents, with other miscellaneous papers, copied into a large book, under the general title: Notices of the Early Baptists. These papers were copied into this book about the year It has recently been announced that these papers have been found; but what became of the originals is a mystery.
Information was sought in vain. The Kiffin Manuscript as copied in this book differs in a radical manner from the quotations made by Crosby from the so-called Kiffin Manuscript. The Gould Kiffin Manuscript has been shown in almost every detail to be contrary to well authenticated records, such for example, as sworn depositions in the courts of the land. Some who were described as men were women, some who were pronounced alive were dead, soom who were declared to be in prison were free, etc, etc.
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Records in the book profess to be the minutes of the church of which Henry Jacob was pastor, and yet not one date or fact connected with his life is correctly given. Take a single incident from the minutes:. About eight years H. In the time of his Service much trouble attended that State and People within and without. This is the so-called minute of the church, and yet every statement is contrary to the facts in the case. Jacob did not serve the church eight years, but only six years; he did not go to Virginia in , but in ; and he did not die in Virginia, but he returned to England in , and died there in April or May of that year, and was buried from St.
Andrew Hubbard's Parish, Borough of Canterbury. All of this is found in the last will and testament of Henry Jacob, which may he consulted at Somerset House, London. The will was probated by his wife, Sarah Jacob. From the Gould Kiffin Manuscript, of , the following is taken:. Mo: The Church became two by mutuall consent half being with Mr. Richard Blunt with him being convinced of Baptism yt ought to be by dipping in ye body into ye water, resembling Burial and rising again. They proceed therein, viz. Those persons that were persuaded Baptism should be by dipping ye body had met in two Companies, and did intend so to meet after this, all those agreed to proceed alike togeather And then manifesting not any formal words A Covenant Wch word was scrupled by some of them, but by mutual desires each Testified:.
Those two Companies did set apart one to Baptize the rest; so it was solemnly performed by them.
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Blunt baptized Mr. Blacklock yt was a teacher amongst them and Mr. Blunt being baptized, he and Mr. Blacklock baptized ye rest of their friends that were so minded, and many being added to them, they increased much. Upon these eleven words "none havin g then so practiced it in England to professed Believers" treatises have been written to prove that the English Baptists did not practice immersion before If his document were genuine it would prove no such fact. All that could be claimed for it is, that so far as the writer knows, there had been no practice of believers' immersion previous to that date.
The document does not say they received baptism in Holland from Batte, but that they received letters and Blunt baptized Blacklock and Blacklock baptized Blunt and they baptized the rest. All this took place in England and not in Holland.
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In Charles H. Spurgeon did not know that any one in England practiced immersion. It was a surprise and joy to him to find that there were in England, those whose existence he had not anticipated, who observed the New Testament teaching in regard to baptism. He proceeded to become one of than, and soon filled the world with his fame Spurgeon, Sermon on God's Pupil.
Because a certain man, who was not a Baptist, did not know of the practice of believers' immersion in , no more proves that such a baptism was not practiced than the want of knowledge in , on Spurgeon's part proved that no believers then immersed in England. Besides they had facilities of information in far beyond what they had in But Crosby leaves out these words altogether.
If these words were in the Kiffin Manuscript then he deliberately falsified the record to suit his purpose and left out the most important words in the manuscript. He did this with the full knowledge of the fact that he had loaned this manuscript to Mr.
Neal, who in several instances quoted from it, and could easily have exposed Crosby. Crosby stands above reproach in candor and honesty. Whoever compiled the Gould manuscripts, repeatedly, in the thirty documents, recorded these eleven words in connection with documents which do not naturally mention baptism in any form. It was a pet phrase of the compiler of the Gould Kiffin Manuscript. Effort has been made to prove that the Gould collection was made by Edward Bampfield, but this is a failure since this number was written after Bampfleld was dead, and his autobiography is mentioned.
He died in This collector believed that the Baptists obtained immersion from somewhere, so he puts it in all of the documents. Therefore we read in No. An account of ye methods taken by ye Baptists to obtain a proper administrator of Baptism by Imersion, when that practice had long been disused, yt then was no one who had been so baptized to be found. The same statement is found in document No.
How did these statements get into the Gould Kiffin Manuscript? They are not in Crosby's edition. They are in a number of the documents in the Gould collection. There is not a single instance known in this period, where a Baptist church practiced sprinkling, or where any Baptist church changed its practice.
Fortunately it is not necessary to turn to a confused and misleading manuscript for an account of the organization of the Particular Baptist Churches. Hanserd Knollys was one of the principal actors of those times, and he gives an account of their organization. He tells in simple language A Moderate Answer unto Dr. Baswick's Book.
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London, , the story of the planting of these churches in the days of persecution before He relates:. I shall now take the liberty to declare, what I know by mine own experience to be the practice of some Churches of God in this City. That so far both the Dr. I say that I know by mine own experience having walked with them , that they were thus gathered; viz. Some godly and learned men of approved gifts and abilities for the Ministry, being driven out of the Coutries where they lived by the persecution of the Prelates, came to sojourn in this great City, and preached the word of God both publicly and from house to house, and daily in the Temple, and in every house they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ; and some of them having dwelt in their own hired houses, and received all that came unto them, preached the Kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ.
And when many sinners were converted by the preaching of the Gospel, some of them believers consorted with them, and of professors a great many, and of the chief women not a few. And the condition which those Preachers, both publicly and privately propounded to the people, unto whom they preached, upon which they were to be admitted into the Church was by Faith, Repentance, and Baptism, and none other.
And whosoever poor as well as rich, bond as well as free, servants as well as Masters , did make a profession of their Faith in Jesus Christ, and would be baptized with water, in the Name of the Father, Sonne. This hath been the practice of some Churches of God in this City, without urging or making any particular covenant with Members upon admittance, which I desire may be examined by the Scripture cited in the Margent, and when compared with the Doctor's three conclusions from the same Scriptures, whereby it may appear to the judicious Reader, how near the Churches some of them come to the practice of the Apostles rules, and practice of the primitive churches, both in gathering and admitting members.