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Spurgeon on Baptists

March 9, 2010

It was a blessing to read the minutes of a meeting held on April 2nd of 1861 entitled, “Public Meeting of Our London Baptist Brethren” in the 7th Volume of New Park Street Pulpit, p. 225.  There Spurgeon was exhorting and encouraging his brethren on various issues.  Then he began to emphasise the distinction between the historic believer’s baptists, and the Reformers who came out of the Reformation: pointing out that the Baptists have always been distinct from Rome.  Here are some extracts,

We believe that the Baptists are the original Christians. We did not commence our existence at the Reformation, we were Reformers before Luther or Calvin were born; we never came from the Church of Rome, for we were never in it, but we have an unbroken line up to the apostles themselves. We have always existed from the very days of Christ, and our principles, sometimes veiled and forgotten, like a river which may travel underground for a little season, have always had honest and holy adherents. Persecuted alike by Romanists and Protestants of almost every sect, yet there has never existed a Government holding Baptist principles which persecuted others; nor I believe any body of Baptists ever held it to be right to put the consciences of others under the control of man. We have ever been ready to suffer, as our martyrologies will prove, but we are not ready to accept any help from the State, to prostitute the purity of the Bride of Christ to any alliance with the government, and we will never make the Church, although the Queen, the despot over the consciences of men.

It must be pointed out that there was also a wonderful ingathering of Baptists coming from the Puritan stock, who gave us the revision of the Westminster Confession in the form of the 2nd London Baptist Confession, and the many volumes of commentaries and books which concur with much of the teachings of the Reformed brethren.  We shall never forget men such as John Tombe, and Benjamine Keach, Hansard Knolly, John Bunnyan, John Gill, et al.

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