CATECHISM OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY John Harvey Grime
John Harvey Grime
AUTHOR OF “Hereditary Depravity,” “Close
Communion and Baptists,” “History Of
Middle Tennessee Baptists.”
“The Church Of The Living God, The Pillar and Ground of
Truth,” 1 Timothy 3:15.
ELD. J. H. GRIME
This Catechism of Ecclesiastical History was written by my father, Elder John Harvey Grime, who was for 66 years an active Baptist minister. It was first published in 1905 when my lather was living in Corsicana, Texas, and has been re-published three limes since. Due to a continued demand far the information contained in this booklet, I am offering this, the fifth publication, to the public.
J. HALL GRIME, Lebanon, Tenn.
July 29, 1964
ELDER JOHN HARVEY GRIME
July 29, 1851 — August 8, 1941
Facts concerning the establishment of the church by Christ and the apostles—Name—Perpetuity—Persecution of Baptists in Europe and America—Early Baptists in America—Baptists in England and Wales
Roman and Greek Catholics—Development of Catholicism Contrasts between Baptists and Catholics
Episcopal Church—Establishment as a State Church
Methodist Episcopal Church—Came out of the Episcopal Church
Formation of Cumberland Presbyterians
Reformers or Campbellites—
Development and results of the movement
Appendix I.—Baptist doctrine and practice—Baptist principles contrasted with Roman Catholics
Appendix 2.—Origin and founders of religious denominations common to our country
Baptists—Primitive Baptists—Two Seed Baptists—Free Will Baptists—Seventh Day Baptists—Dunkers or German Baptists—Separate Baptists—Christian Baptists—General Baptists—Catholics—Roman Catholics—Greek Catholics—Episcopal—Protestant Episcopa—Reformed Episcopal—Methodists—M. E. Church—M. E. Church. South—Protestant Methodists—Wesleyan Methodists—Calvinistjc Methodists—Presbyterians—Old and New School Presbyterians—Associate Presbyterian Church—Reformed Presbyterians or Covenanters—Cumberland and Presbyterians—Lutheran—Evangelical Lutheran Church—Congregationalists—Disciples or Campbellites—Church of God—Dutch Reformed Church—Christians or Christian Connection—Evangelical Association—Friends or Quakers—German Reformed Church—Shakers—Universalists—United Brethren—United Brethren in Christ—Other Religions—Mormons—Swedenborgians—Mohammedans
Question. What is ecclesiastical history?
Answer. It is the history of the church.
Q. Why is it so called?
A. Because the Greek word used by Christ and the apostles to designate the church is ecclesia.
Q. What does this word mean?
A. It means the called out, or separated, a congregation.
Q. What is a church, then?
A. It is a congregation of people called out by the gospel, and separated from the world to do business for Christ.
Q. Does it include all the saved?
A. No. There are many saved people who do not belong to the church.
Q. To what, then, do they belong?
A. The family of God.
Q. What is a kingdom?
A. It is a government.
Q. Of what does it consist?
A. Of a king, subjects and laws.
Q. Of what does Christ’s kingdom consist?
A. Christ as King, his law-abiding children as subjects, and his written word as the law.
Q. What are the executive powers in the kingdom?
A. The local churches of Jesus Christ, of which the kingdom is composed.
Q. Are the church and kingdom visible or invisible?
A. They are both visible. The kingdom is made up of local, visible churches, and these local churches are made up of men and women of mature years.
Q. Is the kingdom ever mentioned except in this sense?
A. Yes. Sometimes we have the term kingdom, when its glory is referred to, and it is also used with reference to Christ’s reign in the coming age.
Q. Does the church ever mean anything but a congregation?
A. No. It always means a local assembly whether on earth or in heaven.
Q. Does the Bible teach that there is a universal, invisible church?
A. No. It nowhere so teaches.
Q. Who have a right to become members of the church?
A. Those who have repented of their sins, exercised faith in Christ, and have been baptized upon a profession of this faith, by one properly authorized to administer this rite.
Q. Does the Bible give infants the right to become members of the churches?
A. No. It nowhere, either by precept or example, gives us the right to receive infants into the church.
Q. Who has a right to administer baptism?
A. The commission to baptize was given to the true church of Jesus Christ, and only those who are authorized by this church have a scriptural right to baptize.
Q. Are baptisms administered by others valid?
A. No. And no such baptisms should ever be received by a Baptist church.
Q. When did the church begin on earth?
A. During the personal ministry of Christ.
Q. Who was its founder?
A. Jesus Christ.
Q. Who were its first members?
A. The twelve apostles.
Q. Had they been baptized?
A. They had.
Q. By whom had they been baptized?
A. By a Baptist preacher.
Q. Did this make them Baptists?
A. It did.
Q. Would a church composed of these be a Baptist church?
A. Yes. I can not see how a church composed of individual Baptists, could be any- thing but a Baptist church.
Q. Does this church exist today?
A. Yes. To say that it does not is to dispute the Bible and history.
Q. Is it a Baptist church?
A. Yes. If it was a Baptist church at the beginning, and that same church exists today, it, of course, is a Baptist church now.
Q. How may we know that the church constituted by Christ, has been perpetuated through the centuries to the present time?
A. Because, the Bible said it would be, and history tells us it has been.
Q. Where do we find the representatives the true church now?
A. In all true Baptist churches.
A. Because all true Baptist churches are legitimate successors of the first church constituted by Christ Himself; just as every man now living is the legitimate successor of Adam, the first man.
Q. What do we find in the Bible about this church being perpetuated?
A. Christ said: “The gates of hell shall not of prevail against it.” Matt. 16:18.
Q. Is this all?
A. No. Christ said again, in giving the commission to his church, “that he would be with them alway, even unto the end of the world.” See Matt. 28:20.
Q. Is there anything more said about the church continuing through the ages?
A. Yes. Paul says, “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.” Eph. 3:21.
Q. Do the prophets say anything about it?
A. Yes. Daniel, in speaking of the kingdom to be composed of the local churches, says: “It shall never be destroyed, and shall not be left to other people, and shall stand forever.” Dan. 2:44.
Q. Is this all?
A. No. There are many other places, in both the Old and the New Scriptures, which either directly or indirectly imply the perpetuity of Baptist churches.
Q. Were these churches always called Baptist churches?
A. No. At first they were just called churches. Sometimes they were spoken of as
churches of Christ, church of God, etc., simply indicating the possessive case.
Q. How came them to be called Baptist churches?
A. It is by churches as it is by families. There was a time when families were so few that there were no family names to distinguish them. But when they multiplied they took the name of their occupation, complexion, etc., to distinguish them. Just so when there were none but the churches now known as Baptist churches, there was no need for distinguishing names. But when men began to start institutions and call them churches, they also began to give to them distinguishing names. The Baptists still contented themselves with the simple title of churches. Their enemies, however, began to give to them names; most usually calling them after some of their prominent ministers, like some of our brethren now are sometimes dubbed as Gravesites from the lamented J. R. Graves. In this way their enemies called them from time to time by such names as Novatians, Donatists, Vaudois, Waldenses, Mennonites, Paulicians, Petrobrusians, etc., after some distinguished ministers in their ranks, or in the country in which they lived. The whole were dubbed as Ana-baptists, which means new baptizers. The Baptists, however, protested, and said they were not Ana-baptists, but simply Baptists. That they did not re-baptize people, but simply baptized all who came to them from other societies whose former baptism was not legal, and consequently no baptism. This is what Baptists do today. In one sense they re-baptize those coming to them from other denominations; but in the strict sense, their former effort at baptism was not baptism, therefore, strictly speaking, it is not re-baptism, but baptizing those whose baptism is not valid.
Q. Were all the people called by these various names really Baptists?
A. No. It was then like it is now. There are now a great many people called Baptists who are not really Baptists and do not belong to the regular Baptists. We mention as examples the Dunkards, Seventh Day Baptists, Free Will Baptists, etc.
Q. How came the Baptists to adopt the name Baptist?
A. When the Reformation came about, numerous Pedo-baptist denominations were being born, which sprinkled and poured for baptism. To distinguish their churches from these sprinkling churches, the Baptists called their churches “Baptized Churches.” They put forth a confession of faith of “Baptized Churches” known today as the London or Philadelphia Confession of Faith. The expression “Baptized Churches” was contracted into Baptist churches, thus the present name.
Q. Are these the same people that came down from Christ and the apostles by these other names?
A. Yes. There is not a time since the days of the apostles that the people known now as Baptists did not exist. At all times during this period people have lived who, if living today, would be called Baptists.
Q. Is it not strange, if they were the same people, that they would have so many different names?
A. I will let Alexander Campbell, an enemy of the Baptists, answer this question. He says: “The disciples of Christ are the same race, call them Christians, Nazarenes, Galileans, Novatians, Donatists, Paulicians, Waldenses, Albigenses, Protestants, or what you please. A variety of designation affects not the fact which we allege; we can find an unbroken series of Protestants—a regular succession of those who protested against the corruptions of the Roman church, and endeavored to hold fast the faith once delivered to the saints, from the first schism in the year 250 A. D. to the present day; and you may apply to them what description or designation you please.” (Campbell-Purcell Debate, p. 77).
Q. Who were these people to whom Mr. Campbell refers, who protested against the corruptions of Rome through the ages?
A. We will let Mr. Campbell himself answer it: “There is nothing more congenial to civil liberty than to enjoy an unrestrained, un-embargoed liberty of exercising the conscience freely upon all subjects respecting religion. Hence it is that the Baptist denomination, in all ages and in all centuries, has been, as a body. the constant asserters of the rights of man and of liberty of conscience.” (Campbell on Baptism, p. 409.)
Q. Are there any other historians who have borne testimony to the apostolic origin of the Baptists?
A. Yes. Mosheim. the great ecclesiastical historian, Chancellor of the University of Gottingen, and a Lutheran minister, says: “The true origin of that sect which acquired the denomination of Ana-baptists by their administering anew the rite of baptism to those who came over to their communion, and derived that of Mennonites from that famous man to whom they owe the greatest part of their present felicity, is hidden in the depths of antiquity and is, of consequence, extremely difficult to be ascertained.” (Church History Vol. 2, page 127).
Zwingli, the great Swiss reformer, who wrote about 1530 A. D., says: “The institution of Ana-baptism is no novelty, but for 1300 years has caused great disturbance in the church, and has acquired such a strength that the attempt in this age to contend with it appeared futile for a time.” This, as you see, would carry their history back to 230 A. D., about the time when the apostacy, which afterward developed into the Roman papacy, had reached the point where the true church was forced to withdraw from them and protest against their corruptions and re-baptize those baptized by this Romish party. Hence this Romish party began about this time to brand the true church, which is now called Baptists, as Ana-baptists. Cardinal Hosius, a Roman Catholic, and President of the Council of Trent, in 1650, said:
“The Ana-Baptists (Baptists, * * * for the past twelve hundred years, had * * undergone the most cruel sorts of punishment.”
In 1819 the King of Holland appointed Dr. Ypeij, professor of theology in the University of Gronigen, and Rev. J. J. Dermont, chaplain to the king, neither of whom were Baptists, but were members of the Dutch Reformed Church, to write up a history of their church. In preparing said work they found so much about the Baptists that they finally put forth this striking statement:
“We have now seen that the Baptists, who were formerly called Ana-baptists, and in later times Mennonites, were the original Waldenses and who long in the history of the church received the honor of that origin.
“On this account the Baptists may be considered as the only Christian community which has stood since the days of the apostles, and as a Christian society has preserved pure the doctrine of the gospel through all ages.”
Q. Were any of the above authors Baptists?
A. No. But truth and candor forced them to bear this testimony to the perpetuity of Baptists.
Q. Were the real Ana-baptists, which were the ancestors of the Baptists of today, identical with the “mad men (Ana-baptists) of Munster?”
A. No. There is no connection whatever between the real Ana-baptists which extend back through the ages, and the “mad men of Munster,” and any effort to connect the two is a slander on an upright and honorable people.
Q. Why is this often done?
A. There are two reasons. First, some are honestly misled. The “mad men of Munster” re-baptized, and on this account were called Ana-baptists. Receiving the same appellation with the real Ana-baptists, some have honestly thought them to be the same people. And, secondly, the enemies of the Baptists have willfully and maliciously so represented them, hoping to cast odium upon the Baptists.
Q. Why did not the Baptists write their own history through the centuries prior to the Reformation?
A. Because of persecution. They were hunted down as criminals by Catholics, on account of their faith. It was conceded that they were the most pious and honorable citizens to be found anywhere. Yet, for no other cause except that they believed and taught Baptist doctrine, and refused to have their children sprinkled, and submit to the authority of the Catholic church, they were thrown into prison, their property confiscated and thousands of them killed. The enemies of Baptists taxed their ingenuity to devise the most cruel tortures for the punishment and death of Baptists. They were drowned, burned at the stake, tore their flesh with red hot pinchers, pulled out their tongues, gouged out their eyes, put them in stretchers and pulled off their arms and legs, ripped open women, taking unborn children from their bowels, took babes from their mother’s arms and murdered them before their eyes, and every other conceivable mode of cruelty and death did the poor Baptists suffer simply because they dared to be Baptists. To avoid these cruelties the Baptists wrote but little, and what they did write, when found out by their enemies, was destroyed. So this answers the question, why they did not write their own history.
Q. How, then, do we get their history through these times?
A. It is gathered from what their enemies wrote against them, and the court records, and the records of the abominable inquisition. These give accounts of how they were carried through mock trials, similar to that through which Christ passed, and of how they were sentenced by Catholic officials to those cruel deaths, and then of their soul-harrowing executions.
Q. How did they act in these severe trials?
A. Men, women and maidens often marched to the stake, and other places of execution, singing the sweet songs of Zion. And sometimes at the stake they would shout the praises of God amid the flames, until the flames would still their voices in death, and their spirits would fly away to be with God.
Q. Did Protestants ever persecute Baptists?
A. They did.
Q. Can you give some instances of Baptists being persecuted by Protestants?
A. Yes. When the Reformation was inaugurated by Martin Luther, the persecuted Baptists came from their hiding places, where they had been driven by papal persecution, thinking to find friends of the Protestants. But to their surprise, the same cruelty which Rome had inflicted upon them, began to be repeated by the Protestants. The Protestant inquisition was but little better than that of Rome, and Baptist blood was made to flow freely. It was in proud Old England in 1546. that sweet Anne Askew, a beautiful young Baptist woman of twenty-four summers, was tried (?) and condemned, with three others, to be burned at the stake. They first put her on the rack and tortured her to make her give up the Baptist faith. She was stretched on the rack until her limbs were almost torn from her body. Her God sustained her, notwithstanding her tortures were so severe she was not able to walk to the place of execution, but had to be carried on a chair. When they stood before the flames, which had already been kindled to intimidate her, they again presented a written pardon to her from the king, if she would only recant and give up her Baptist faith. But she “turned away from it and fell into the flame, a martyr to the Baptist faith, while her spirit bounded away to be with Christ, her Elder Brother, who nearly two thousand years ago walked upon this earth and established the Baptist faith for which she died.”
Four years later Joan Boucher of Kent, doubtless a member of the Baptist church at Eythorne, was arrested and kept in prison a year and a half and then burned at the stake May 2,1550. And to add insult to injury, one of these hell-born demons, calling himself a Protestant minister, would preach to them while they were dying in the flames.
Hendrick Terwoort was burned in Smithfield by Protestants, June 22, 1575. Scores of others too numerous to mention by name, suffered the same fate at the hands of English Protestants.
John Bunyan, the “immortal dreamer,” lay in Bedford jail, twelve long years at the hands of Protestants. And while I pen these lines, in this boasted twentieth century, our Baptist brethren in England are being imprisoned because they will not pay that iniquitous church educational tax.
Q. Have Baptists ever been persecuted by Protestants in America?
A. They have.
Q. Of what did this persecution consist?
A. Baptist ministers and others were arrested, put in prison, fined and their property taken from them, and in some instances they were most brutally whipped on the bare back.
Q. Can you name some parties who suffered thus at the hands of Protestants here in America?
A. Yes. Elders John Clarke and Obadiah Holmes, with James Crandall, all members, and John Clarke, pastor, of the Baptist church at Newport, Rhode Island. To this church also belonged Win. Witter, a plain old farmer, who was blind. He lived at Lynn, Massachusetts, seventy-five miles from his church. He not being able to attend his church this distance, on account of his infirmities, the three above-named brethren set out on horseback to comfort this old blind saint and to hold services in his house. They started so as to spend Sunday with him. On Sunday, a few of the neighbors gathered in and John Clarke, the pastor, was preaching to them, using as a text, Revelation 3:10. While he was preaching the Word, in power and demonstration of the Spirit, they were arrested as though the preaching of the Word to this aged saint and his family was a grave and heinous crime. They were carried to the State Church where the officers tried to force them to worship. Being unable to do this, they were carried to Boston on Monday and thrust into prison, as though they were felons. They were tried and fined sums amounting in our coin as follows: Clark one hundred dollars, Holmes one hundred and fifty dollars, Crandall twenty-five dollars. In consequence of failure to pay said amounts they were to be publicly whipped, on their bare
bodies. While Clarke stood stripped, at the whipping post, some unknown person was moved to pay his fine, and also that of Crandall. But Holmes received thirty lashes on the bare back and it is said that the blood from his lashed back ran down to the ground. This occurred in Boston, Massachusetts, on September 6th, 1651 A. D. Can you imagine a Baptist preacher, for no other crime than holding meeting with a poor old blind brother, being stripped of his clothing, tied to a stake arid the lash upon his bare back! See the skin as it is laid open, the flesh quiver, and the blood flow, all for no other crime than that he dared to preach Baptist doctrine! And all this, here in what is now free America, and at the hands of Protestants. Yet amid it all, Holmes rejoiced that he was counted worthy to suffer for Christ’s sake. But it was left for Dr. Dexter, in 1876 A. D., to sneer at this bleeding child of God. This same Dexter is the one to whom Whitsitt went for most of his “new discovery” and the one upon whom he is so lavish in his praise. And this sneer at Holmes is found in the same work from which Whitsitt so largely quotes.
This is only one case in many, and it would require more space than could be allotted to this work to record the sufferings of these New England and Virginia Baptists. The scenes of Culpepper and Fredericksburg jails are enough to make the blood boil in the veins of every true Baptist. It was here the Baptists were imprisoned, and were forced to preach through prison bars, or not preach at all. They chose the former, and through prison bars could be heard the glad notes of salvation from these persecuted and imprisoned Baptists. This was very much like Paul and Silas in the jail at Philippi.
Q. Did Baptists ever persecute any one else for conscience sake?
A. No. But I will let Alexander Campbell speak for the Baptists. He says: “They (Baptists) have often been persecuted by Pedo-baptists; but they never politically persecuted, though they have had it in their power.” (Campbell on Baptism, p. 409.)
Baptists have always stood for religious liberty that would guarantee to one and all the right to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience. It was through the influence of the Baptists that provision granting this right was inserted in the Constitution of the United States. Bancroft could well say: “Religious liberty is from the very first a trophy of the Baptists.” And it is no exaggeration to say, that the broad sweep of religious liberty enjoyed at the present age of the world, is due to the influence of the Baptists.
Q. What about the claim that Roger Williams is the founder of the Baptists in America?
A. This is like many other schemes which have been invented to rob the Baptists of the heritage they have won through the blood of their martyrs.
Roger Williams was a great and good man, and I had rather place two laurels on his brow, as to take one away to which he is justly entitled. That he was among the early men of distinction to advocate Baptist principles in America can not be called in question, and has never been denied. But to claim that he was the founder of American Baptists is another thing, and a distinction that no doubt he would spurn, were he here to answer for himself.
The facts, as history presents them, seem to be as follows: Roger Williams, though a Baptist in principle, and justly spoken of as a Baptist, was never regularly connected with a Baptist church, nor fully in accord with them on all points of doctrine. Four months after his irregular baptism, he abandoned the congregation and was never connected with it again. The church established by him, after some four years, disbanded, and the present first church of Providence, Rhode Island, is not the one constituted by Roger Williams and his comrades. While the history of this period is not clear on all points, for want of records, yet it is clear that no Baptist church in America has descended from Roger Williams, or his irregular church, and to assert such as a fact is a slander on the Baptists. The first Baptist of distinction to reach the shores of America, so far as history shows, was Hansard Knollys, who arrived in Massachusetts early in the spring of 1638. Being persecuted in Massachusetts, he fled to Piscataqua, afterward called Dover, where he formed a church and became its pastor and was no doubt preaching
to it when Roger Williams was baptized. (See Winthrop and also Cramp.)
In the same year, 1 638, one year before Roger Williams was baptized, the preponderance of testimony goes to show that the Newport Baptist church, at Newport, Rhode Island, was formed by John Clarke and others. Clarke, who was an eminent minister from England, became pastor. Hence it is seen that at the time of the Roger Williams performance, there were two regularly organized Baptist churches in America with pastors of eminence. In fact, Hansard Knollys’ name stands at the head of the list of signers of the London Confession of Faith.
Q. Are there any other sources for American Baptists?
A. Yes. There are a number of churches, some coming as a body across the water.
Q. Can you name some of them?
A. Yes. The First church of Boston was formed of Baptists who had emigrated from
England. (See Armitage, P. 319.)
Again, John Miles, in 1649, formed a church at Ilston, near Swanzea, Wales. In 1662 he, with most of his church, set sail for America, bringing their church records with them, which are still preserved. They settled at Wannamoiset, afterwards called Swansea, Massachusetts.
Again. In June, 1701, in the counties of Pembroke and Carmarthon, Wales, sixteen Baptists were constituted into a regular Baptist church, with Thomas Griffith as pastor. They at once set sail from Milford in church capacity and landed at Philadelphia in the September following, where the “church emigrant” went ashore on American soil. In 1703 they purchased 30,000 acres of land from William Penn, in New Castle County. Delaware, and gave this new purchase the title of “Welsh Tract,” and soon they were settled, giving their church a permanent home, from which it took the name of “Welsh Tract Church.”
From the three last-mentioned churches have sprung almost all American Baptists.
Q. What about the English Baptists? Did not W. H. Whitsitt, President of the Theological Seminary at Louisville, Kentucky, say the Baptists had their origin in 1641?
A. I hardly think he said just that, but he said a great many foolish and unjustifiable things on account of which it became necessary for him to resign his position and his actions are deplored today by all true Baptists.
Q. Does history cite any Baptists in England prior to the date mentioned by Whitsitt?
A. It does. There are a number of Baptist churches in England today which are older by far than the date mentioned by Whitsitt. I mention some, with the approximate date of their organization:
1. Hill Cliff, probably 1357, and without doubt more than one hundred years prior to 1641. 2. Eythorne was in existence October 28, 1552. Just how long before this time it was constituted is not stated. 3. Braintree is said to date back to the days of Edward the Sixth. This ruler died in 1553, which puts the date of this church prior to that time. Other churches antedating 1641 might be mentioned.
Q. With all these facts, why did Whitsitt make such rash statements?
A. This is hard to answer. J. T. Christian has thoroughly exposed him. He has shown him in some instances to have manifested ignorance of the facts, at other times of being misled by unreliable historians, and in still other instances of gross perversion, misquotations, and the very worst species of garbling. The challenge stands unaccepted, to show by authentic history, where the Baptists originated this side of Christ and the apostles. And I now renew the challenge to any one who may feel inclined to take it up, to show where the Baptists originated this side of Christ and the apostles. Give the time, the place and the men who put it on foot. There is no trouble to locate the origin of other denominations in history. The time, place, men and circumstances are all matters of open history. If the Baptists have a like origin, history will certainly reveal it. And I now challenge any one to the task of pointing it out, and until it is done, all fair-minded people will believe the claims in this little book are well founded.
ROMAN AND GREEK CATHOLICS
Question. What does Catholic mean?
Answer. It means general or universal.
Q. What does Catholic Church mean?
A. It means general or universal church.
Q. Do Catholics claim to be the universal or only church?
A. They do.
Q. Do they claim to extend back to the days of the apostles?
A. They do.
Q. Do they claim a succession of Popes back to the days of the apostles?
A. They do.
Q. Are these claims true, and can they be proven by history?
A. They are not true, and cannot be proven by history.
Q. Does it not seem strange they would make such claims, if they were not true?
A. Well, yes. And yet when we think of the wild claims they make, and how they dupe their devotees, we need not be surprised. It would be safe to say that they have sold tons of wood, represented as pieces of the real cross on which Christ hung. It has not been long since the secular papers paraded the announcement. that they had on exhibition the real head of John the Baptist, which was brought in the charger. What the Catholics can’t claim is not worth claiming. They even claim that the Apostle Peter was a Pope in Rome, when there is not the slightest evidence that he was ever in Rome, and he certainly was not a Pope, or anything which favored a Pope.
Q. What does the term bishop mean?
A. Bishop in the Scriptures is a translation of the Greek word episcopos, and means an overseer or director. It is sometimes translated, overseer, and sometimes, bishop. It has the same signification as the term, pastor. A New Testament bishop was a pastor of a local church. In other words, a pastor of a Baptist church is bishop of the church. There was no such thing known in the early history of the church, as a Catholic or Protestant bishop, or cardinal, or anything beyond a pastor of a local church; just like the Baptists have today.
Q. How many denominations claim a history back to the days of the apostles?
A. Two. The Baptists and Catholics. All others concede an origin this side, hence the
fight lies between the Catholics and the Baptists.
Q. Can you give us some impartial history of the church in the first centuries that we may decide whether they were Baptist churches or a Catholic hierarchy?
A. Yes. Guizot, the great French historian, tells us that in the first (and largely so, in the fifth century), that there was no such thing as a separation of the people and clergy. That the members of the church elected their officers and ruled in all matters, and that by degrees the clergy separated themselves from the people. Here are his words: “There gradually became molded a form of doctrine, rules of discipline, a body of magistrates; of magistrates called Presbuteroi, or elders, who afterward became priests; of Episcopoi. inspectors, or overseers, who became bishops.”—Hist. of Civilization, p. 37.
Mosheim, the great German historian, in speaking of the church in the first century, says: “Let none, however, confound the bishop of this primitive and golden period of the church with those of whom we read in the following ages; for, though they were both distinguished by the same name, yet they differed in many respects. A bishop during the first and second century, was a person who had the care of one Christian assembly, which, at that time was, generally speaking, small enough to be contained in a private house. In this assembly he acted, not so much with the authority of a master as with the zeal and diligence of a faithful servant.”—Mosheim’s Eccl. Hist. p. 39, Vol. 1.
Again: “The churches, in those early times, were entirely independent, none of them being subject to any foreign jurisdiction, but each governed by its own self and its own laws.”
Again: “The sacrament of baptism was administered in this century (first) without the public assemblies, and places appointed and prepared for the purpose, and was performed by an immersion of the whole body in the baptismal font.”—Mos. Eccl. Hist. p. 46, Vol. 1.
Q. Do all authentic histories agree with the above statements?
A. They do without exception.
Q. Is that what Baptists teach and practice?
A. It is. No Baptist could have stated it better.
Q. Do you mean to say these historians were not Baptists?
A. Yes. That is what I mean to say. They were not Baptists. and had no connection in any way with the Baptists, but as impartial historians they wrote these facts.
Q. In the face of these facts, how can the Catholics claim to extend back through these centuries to the apostles?
A. I will let the Apostle Paul answer it. He says: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry” (as in case of priests), etc—i Tim. 4:1,2.
Q. Can you tell us something about how and when the Catholic Church had its origin?
A. Yes. In the language of historians quoted above: “It was developed by degrees.” The first account we have of it is given by the Apostle Paul, as follows: “For I know this, that after my departing, shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”—Acts 20:29, 30.
Again: “For that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped: so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”—2 Thes. 2:3,4. This is the perfect picture of Rome, drawn by the pen of inspiration.
Q. When did this prophecy of Paul take effect?
A. Paul says: “This mystery of iniquity” had already begun to work in his day, but it took visible shape in the third century; sufficient to produce a rupture. It was in this century that pastors began to claim the authority of ruling bishops. The pastor at Rome put himself forth as chief, or archbishop. This effort at centralized power was approved by part of the church at Rome, and acknowledged in part by other churches. However, a large per cent of the church at Rome protested against any such claims to power on the part of the clergy, or any such tendency to centralization on the part of the churches. The matter grew warm, one party pressing toward centralized power, the other pleading for the simplicity of the worship of the fathers, with the absolute independence of the churches. In, or about 250 A. D., there was a vacancy in the pastorate at Rome. The centralizing party advocated the election of one Cornelius. a base, designing character, who aspired to leadership, and rulership, over his brethren and the churches of our Lord. The faithful, and sound in the faith of the church, remonstrated against the election of such a marl as pastor or bishop of the church at Rome. But the more they protested for Christ’s sake, the more solid and determined Cornelius and his party became. Seeing nothing else left for them to do that would maintain the purity of the faith, they put forth as their pastor, Novatian, a man of unquestioned piety and soundness in the eyes of all except Cornelius and his party. They tried to besmirch his character, but have utterly failed with all fair-minded people. Novatian, himself, did not seek the place, and did not want to take it when tendered to him. But in order to maintain the cause, he finally yielded. This brought about an open rupture in the church at Rome; and a like rupture followed in many other churches in that section. Novatian and his followers called themselves Calhari (the pure), but Cornelius and his followers called them Novatians. The dominant party from this time on denominated themselves as the Catholic Church. Being rid of the restraints of the other party, they plunged headlong into centralization; and their progress was much more rapid. In the beginning of the next century Constantine, at the head of the Civil Government, formed an alliance with this Catholic party for political ends. This is the beginning of the union of church and state. It was not long until a new trouble arose that hindered the climax of their purpose. A rivalry arose between Rome and Byzantium (now Constantinople). Each of these cities wanted to be the seat of government—the home of the would-be Pope. This rivalry kept matters in check for some time, each party restraining the other. In this way neither could reach the point of universal ruler. But when Phocas became Emperor of the East in 606 or 607 A. D., he acknowledged Boniface III, Bishop of Rome, as Universal Bishop. Thus he became Pope, the first Pope the world ever knew.
Q. What does pope mean?
A. It means father. It comes from the Greek word, papas—father. He is pope—the papa—of the concern, therefore it is called papacy.
Q. Was the Pope’s rule supreme?
A. No. In a measure, one hundred and fifty years later be became universal, temporal ruler. But the subjection of the East was with reluctance on their part. In 862 A. D., Photius, a patriarch, stirred up quite a deal of mutiny in the Eastern church. But after the death of their leader, communion was again restored. They continued in the pales of the Western church until 1054 A. D., while in a state of revolt led by patriarch Michael Cerularius they were formally ex-communicated by Pope Leo IX. From this time the world has had two Catholic churches—the Western or Roman Catholic, and the Eastern or Greek Catholic. It might be well to mention the fact that the Eastern church is now divided into three branches; one in Turkey with Constantinople as headquarters, one in Greece and one in Russia. These have separate governments, and different rulers. Many changes have taken place in both the Western and Eastern churches since their separation in 1054 A. D. The Western church has abandoned immersion for baptism, and adopted sprinkling in its stead. The Greek church still immerses. The above is a brief but essentially accurate statement of the Catholic hierarchy which poses before the world with such boasting claims of apostolic succession.
Question. What does Episcopal mean?
Answer. It comes from the Greek Word episcopos, which is translated bishop; therefore, it appertains to the bishopric.
Q. What does Episcopal church mean.
A. It means a church governed by bishops.
Q. Is it a state church?
A. It is.
Q. What is a state church?
A. It is a church supported by civil government, and which has exclusive rights in the government.
Q. With what state or government is the Episcopal church connected?
A. With England. It is the state church of England; and while the colonies of America were under the control of England, it was the state church here. But when this became a free country. her power as a state church ceased, and religious liberty was enthroned.
Q. Can there be religious liberty in a country where there is a state church?
A. No. There may be religious toleration, but not religious liberty. The privileges of other churches are by permission and not by legal right. A state church always has it in its power to persecute other churches, and I am sorry to say that in too many instances this power has been exercised.
Q. Who is the head of the Episcopal Church?
A. The King of England.
Q. What denomination did it come out of?
A. It is an offspring of the Roman Catholics—a daughter of this prolific trunk.
Q. Where did it have its beginning?
A. In England.
Q. When was it born?
A. The causes which resulted in the formation of this body of people began to operate about 1527.
Q. Who was the founder of it?
A. Henry the Eighth, King of England.
Q. Was he a good man?
A. No. I should say he was a very wicked man.
Q. Will you give some reasons why you think so?
A. Yes. It was he who burned William Tyndale, one of the most godly and learned Christians of his day. He also was married six times. One of his wives died in wedlock, and one survived him at death, two he abandoned by divorce, and two he ruthlessly murdered.
Q. Was he an ardent Catholic?
A. He was. It was he, as a Catholic, who burned Dissenters, and wrote a reply to Martin Luther defending the seven sacraments of the Romish church, for which the Pope of Rome conferred upon him the title of “Defender of the Faith.”
Q. Can you give some reasons why, and the circumstances connected with his leaving the Catholics and forming the Episcopal Church?
A. Yes. He became heir to the throne of England by the death of his brother, Arthur, in 1502. At the age of 12, one year later, he was betrothed to Catharine of Aragon, his brother’s widow. She was his senior by several years, and when her beauty, by reason of age, began to fade, he became dissatisfied with her. She had no son to heir the throne, and her age precluding all hope, the people must turn in mind to an objectionable daughter as their prospective ruler. This created an unrest among the people. King Henry took advantage of this, feeling that he would have the support of the people in divorcing his wife and marrying a younger woman, by whom a son might come to the throne. In the meantime he had become infatuated with a beautiful young woman by the name of Anne Boleyn, with whom he also became criminally intimate. He sought divorce at the hands of the Pope, but the Pope was not in such a hurry as was the King, and waived the matter so as to create delay—the very thing Henry did not want. At length his unlawful cohabitation with Anne Boleyn was about to result in an open disgrace in the birth of a child. The delayed proceedings of the Pope would not answer the purposes of his adulterous life, and he could wait no longer. So the only thing left was to sever connection with the Pope and appeal to the legal powers. This he did, and was divorced from Catherine and married Anne Boleyn in 1533. Bishop Cranmer came to his relief and put his endorsement on the divorce, or rather (declared the marriage of Henry and Catherine to have been null from the beginning. The Pope, however, declared Cranmer’ s action illegal, and cited Henry to trial. Henry refused to appear before the Pope, and the English parliament met “under Thomas Cromwell’s guidance,” and “passed an act entirely abolishing the papal authority within the realm, giving the King, as on former occasion,
power to call the act into operation when he pleased.” “It then settled the succession (to the throne) on the issue of Anne Boleyn, to the exclusion of that of Catherine.” Simultaneous with this act of parliament, the Pope declared the marriage of Henry and Catherine legal, refusing Henry a divorce. “On the next day Henry called into operation the act abolishing the Pope’s authority.” Being free from the Pope’s authority they formed certain articles of faith, first the “Bloody Six Articles,” and later the “Thirty-nine Articles,” established a body of ruling bishops, and, “Henry declaring himself supreme head of the church,” launched forth as a state church.
This is a brief statement of the rise of the Protestant Episcopal Church.
Q. Was Catherine, the wife whom Henry divorced, a bad woman?
A. No. Some of the best authorities say her personal character was un-impeached, and her disposition sweet.
Q. What became of Anne Boleyn, his second wife?
A. It was not long after her first heir was born until his affection for her ceased, as in the case of Catherine. Henry had her “executed” (murdered). The next day after her execution he married Jane Seymore. She died in giving birth to Edward the Sixth. He next married Anne of Cleves. He soon became tired of her, because she was not as attractive as he desired, and divorced her. He then married Catherine Howard. In a few months he became tired of her and had her executed (murdered). He then married Catherine Parr, who survived him. Henry’s record was a record of blood. He even had Thomas Cromwell, who pulled him through his difficulties with the Pope, executed.
Q. Do you mean to say that this bloody adulterer was the founder of the Episcopal Church, and was acknowledged as its supreme head, all through this dark career?
A. Yes. That is a fact. It is with reluctance that T pen these facts. But it is a plain statement of unvarnished historical facts.
Methodist Episcopal Church
Question. What does the above name signify?
Answer. It means a church with special methods, having the Episcopal form of government—that is, ruled by bishops.
Q. Of what church is it a branch?
A. The Protestant Episcopal.
Q. When was it established?
A. This is a little difficult to answer. It had its first movement “in November, 1729, in Oxford, when four students met together.” The second epoch was in April, 1736, when “twenty or thirty persons began to meet in Wesley’s house in Savannah” (Georgia). “The third was May 1, 1739, when Wesley and others began to meet at Fatherlane.” The fourth stage was in the latter part of 1739, when the “United Society” was consummated. “The fifth was July 20, 1740, when they became “A Wesleyan Methodist Society.” This latter has been styled the “real rise and commencement of the Methodist Societics.”—See McTyeire’s Hist. of Methodism, p. 177.
The first annual conference was held June 25, 1744—Ibid, p. 211.
But it would seem that the real launching of Methodism proper dates to 1784, when the first bishops or “superintendents” were ordained and authorized to administer the ordinances as a separate institution.—Hist. Methodism, p. 343.
Q. Who was the founder of Methodism?
A. John Wesley.
Q. Who, and what was John Wesley?
A. He was the son of Samuel Wesley, a rector in the Episcopal Church at Epworth in Lincolnshire, England, and was born at that place June 17, 1703. Religiously, he was an Episcopalian and became an eminent minister
in that denomination.
Q. Did he ever leave the Episcopal Church?
A. No. He lived and died a member of the Episcopal Church. and went to St. Paul’s Church, England, to commune.
Q. Did he start Methodism as a church?
A. lie did not, but simply as a society in the Episcopal Church to foster good morals, and a holier state of living, and a greater zeal in Christian work.
Q. Was John Wesley a great and good man?
A. He was a great man intellectually, and a good man from a moral point of view, though he was not a converted “New-life” man when he started Methodism.
Q. You do not mean to say that John Wesley began to preach, and started the great Methodist movement when he was yet an unconverted sinner, do you?
A. Yes, I mean to say that very thing.
Q. How long after he started Methodism until he was genuinely converted?
A. Eight and one-half years. He began Methodism in November, 1729, and he dates his own conversion May 24, 1738, “about a quarter before nine o’clock.” He says: “Till then (May 24, 1738) sin had dominion over me. I, who went to America to convert others, was never myself converted to God. I had the faith of a servant, though not of a son.” “I am ‘a child of wrath,’ an heir of hell.” These things John Wesley said of himself, eight and one-half years after he started Methodism. (See McTyeire’s Hist. Methodism, p. 126).
Q. If Wesley did not intend the Methodist Society to become a church, how did it happen?
A. By force of circumstances, the isolation of the societies of America, and a desire on the part of certain ones to become leaders. With these two influences brought to bear upon Wesley, he consented to the ordination of the first bishops in 1784.
Q. Where did the Methodists get their autority to administer the ordinances?
A. From the Episcopal Church.
Q. And where did the Episcopal Church get her authority?
A. From the Roman Catholics — the “mother of harlots.”
Q. Did John Wesley consider this Roman authority essential?
A. He did. He would neither accept as valid the baptism, nor admit to the communion table any one unless they had been baptized by this authority, coming down through Rome. I will let Bishop McTyeire, one of the leading bishops of the M. E. Church, South. state this matter as he takes it from Wesley’s own writings: “No baptism was recognized as valid (by John Wesley) unless performed by a minister Episcopally ordained; and those who had allowed their children to be baptized in any other manner were earnestly exhorted to have them re-baptized. His rigor extended even so far as to refuse the Lord’s Supper to one of the most devout men of the settlement, who had not been baptized by an Episcopally-ordained minister; and the burial service itself was denied to such as died with what he deemed unorthodox baptism.”—Hist. Methodism, p. 90.
Q. Where did Wesley do these things?
A. Both in England and America; notably in Savannah, Ga.
Q. Did Wesley ever actually re-baptize any others to get this Episcopal authority?
A. He did. We will let Bishop MeTyeire speak again: “Incredible as it may seem, John Wesley, in that very church (Islington), a few days afterward, solemnly and rather demonstratively re-baptized five Presbyterians, who had received lay baptism in their infancy—that is, in the jargon of apostolic succession, they had been baptized by Dissenting ministers—possibly by his own grandfather, Dr. Annesley.” —Hist. Meth. pp. 147, 148.
Again: “He (John Wesley) maintained the doctrine of apostolic succession (through Rome) and believed no one had authority to administer the sacraments (baptism and Lord’s Supper) who was not Episcopally ordained. He religiously observed saints days and holidays, and excluded Dissenters from the holy communion on the ground that they had not been properly baptized.”—Hist. Meth. p. 62.
Q. How did Wesley perform the rite of baptism?
A. He baptized adults as they desired, but infants he would not baptize in any way but immersion, unless the parents would certify the child was unable to be immersed. We will let Bishop McTyeire speak again on this question:
“Following a primitive but obsolete rubric, he would baptize children only by immersion nor could he be induced to depart from this mode unless the parents would certify that the child was weakly. Persons were not allowed to act as sponsors who were not communicants.”—Hist. Meth. p. 90.
Charles Wesley “baptized children by trifle immersion—plunging them three times into the water.”—Hist. Meth., p. 90.
Q. How came the church to be divided into two bodies, or rather the formation of the M. E. Church, South?
A. In 1844, the Methodists in the slave states separated from the main church on account of a difference growing out of the question of slavery, and formed themselves into the M. E. Church, South. They are still essentially the same in doctrine, and discipline, but distinct as a people, and often have churches coyen ng the same territory.
There are several other minor branches of Methodism which have sprung from the main body. These differ slightly in doctrine.
Question. What does Presbyterian mean?
Answer. It comes from the Greek word presbuteros. and signifies elder.
Q. What then is a Presbyterian Church?
A. It is a body of people governed by elders.
Q. How many classes of elders do they have?
A. They have two classes, teaching elders and ruling elders.
Q. Who was the founder of Presbyterianism?
A. John Knox.
Q. Who was John Knox?
A. He was Scotch in descent, born in Haddington in 1505, and was educated in the University of Glasgow, in which he distinguished himself. Soon after this he entered the priesthood in the Catholic Church.
Q. When and where did Presbyterianism have its origin?
A. In Scotland, and about 1543 A. D. It was partly the result of the general reformation inaugurated by Martin Luther. It was at the above-named date that Knox was converted from Romanism to Protestantism, under the ministry of Wishart. This was the beginning, but it required time to formulate and get the Presbyterian Church as it flow is fully in headway. Much persecution was endured by Knox, but he lived to see Presbyterianism well established, and went to his reward in 1572. In the molding of Presbyterian doctrine John Calvin has had much to do; so much so that the five doctrinal pillars of the church are frequently mentioned as the five points of Calvinism.
Many divisions have since taken place in Presbytenianism, such as Seceders, Covenanters, Burghers, Reformed Presbyterians. Associate Reformed Presbyterians, Old and New School Presbyterians, Cumberland Presbyterians, etc. Most all of these claim to be the real John Knox Presbyterians.
Q. When and where did the Cumberland Presbyterians have their origin?
A. Cumberland Presbyterianism is the outgrowth of the great revival which swept over the states of Tennessee and Kentucky in 1800. Some Presbyterian laymen became fired up in this great awakening and began to hold private meetings, in which they would meet in private houses, pray and exhort. Many were converted in these meetings, and thus encouraged they continued, and began to preach contrary to the rules of the church, which prohibited uneducated men from preaching. Thus a controversy arose, and the revival spirit being so strong, it was natural that many would line up with those uneducated exhorters. The controversy continued, assuming different phases until in 1810, when, in the month of February, three ministers, viz: Finis Ewing, Samuel McAdow and Samuel King, with some laymen, met in a private house, on Cumberland River, in Middle Tennessee, and constituted the church, calling it after Cumberland River.
Q. In what do they differ from the Old School?
A. The two essential features are: 1st. They do not require that their ministers shall be educated—that is, they do not bar the uneducated from the ministry, while the Old Schools do; and 2nd, they have modified Calvinism until it very nearly approaches Arminianism.
Reformers or Campbellites
Question. Why do you so denominate this people?
Answer. These are names by which I am sure all readers will understand to whom I refer, and I do not know of any other but what might be mistaken.
Q. By what name do they prefer to be called?
A. I do not know. Alexander Campbell first adopted the names, “Christian Association,” “Current Reformation.” Then in a compromise with Barton W. Stone he later, though under protest, adopted the name “Christian Church.” Some congregations still hold to this name, while many have long since enthusiastically repudiated it. Those repudiating this name, adopted the name, “Church of God. ‘ Many have abandoned this name and adopted, “Church of Christ.” And, while these lines are being penned, in this city, in five or six blocks of each other, there are two churches of this people, one holding to the name “Christian Church” and the other to the “Church of Christ.” So I have no means of knowing what name would be acceptable to them as a whole.
Q. Why do you call them “Campbellites?”
A. This is a name by which they have been called ever since they had an existence. It is given after their distinguished founder, Alexander Campbell.
Q. Was Alexander Campbell its founder?
A. He was. It is true he had many allies. Among them we mention his father, Thomas Campbell, Barton W. Stone and others. But in point of intellect, aggressiveness and influence, he so far outstripped all others in the movement as to justly entitle him to the appellation of founder of the movement.
Q. Who was Alexander Campbell?
A. He was a native of Scotland, brought up and educated in that country, and became a member of the Associate Reformed Presbyterians (Seceders), of which he and his father were both ministers.
Q. When was this new movement set on foot?
A. This is a little difficult to answer as to just when it should be dated, as, like all other movements of like character, it developed by degrees, taking a step at a time. It would seem that the spirit of reformation had taken possession of both father and son before they left Scotland. However, it was not until after reaching this country that it took shape. Thomas Campbell came to America in the spring of 1807, and soon thereafter, probably as early as the next fall, trouble grew out of his teaching. As a result of this, he withdrew from the Presbyterians, and, after a time formed “The Christian Association.” This is the first organic form of the “Current Reformation.” He did not claim for it the functions of a church. In 1809, Alexander and the remainder of the Campbell family came to America, and on arrival Alexander threw all his mighty powers into the cause of the Reformation. But even then the progress was slow, and hoping thereby to forward their cause, they tried to unite with the Old School Presbyterians, but were rejected. Then they thought of “organizing the ‘Christian Association’ into a separate and independent church.” This state of affairs continued until May 4,1811, when the “Christian Association” met and appointed Thomas Campbell as elder, licensed Alexander Campbell to preach, and appointed John Dawson, George Sharp, William Gilcrist and James Foster as deacons; thus assuming all the functions of a church. To this congregation was given the name “Brush Run.” Soon after we find them administering the communion and baptism (by immersion). But soon the question arose about the propriety of Thomas Campbell immersing people when he himself had never been immersed. This impression soon bore fruit, and, on June 12, 1812, Thomas and Alexander Campbell, with others of this new movement, applied to Matthias Luce, a Baptist preacher, and were all immersed by him, though it seems without church authority. In a way, they now held relations with the Baptists. Brush Run Church, under strong protest, was finally received into Red Stone Association of Baptists. But Alexander, who was much more daring than his father, now took the lead and continued, even with greater boldness, to preach his heresy. And discontent grew apace in Red Stone Association until about 1827, when Alexander saw that he could no longer maintain himself in this Association. lie, with about thirty others, took letters from Brush Run Church, and constituted a church in the town of Wellsburg. They then attached themselves to Mahoning Association, nearly all of which Campbell had succeeded in proselyting to his views. Thus by a ruse, Alexander Campbell saved himself from excommunication at the hands of the Baptists. Now, being freed from the restraints of Baptist discipline, he, with his followers, plunged headlong into the vagaries of his new-fangled doctrines.
Q. Did Alexander Campbell intend to build a separate church?
A. No. Up to this time he had no thought of a separate body of people.
Q. What was his purpose then?
A. He called it a “movement,” and his avowed purpose was to reform the ‘‘sects,” and do away with the various denominations and bring them all into one body by getting them to adopt his doctrine, and conform to his methods of worship.
Q. How did he succeed?
A. It was a miserable failure. Before he died he said he had lived to see, “Every sort of doctrine has been proclaimed, by almost all sorts of preachers, under the broad banners and with the supposed sanction of the begun Reformation.”
Q. Did he do away with the “sects,” and bring about “Christian Union?”
A. No. He only succeeded in adding one more sect to the then long list; and instead of the union of the sects, they are divided among themselves until they now virtually constitute three sects of their own. And, with great boasting words, they claim to be the true church of Christ, notwithstanding there are men still living who saw the thing born.
Question. What does appendix mean?
Answer. It means something added.
Q. What is to be added in this instance?
A. Many things which did not naturally come in the foregoing narratives.
Q. How old is the church of Christ?
A. Nearly nineteen hundred years old.
Q. Can any church, without a connection this old, be the church of Christ?
Q. Who is its head, and founder?
A. Jesus Christ, while on earth, founded His church, and became its head, and sole lawgiver.
Q. Where was it established?
A. In the land of Palestine.
Q. Can a church, not historically connected with the one Christ constituted, and which has not been kept free from Rome through the ages, be the church of Christ?
A. No. Any church which does not connect with the apostolic churches, and have Christ as its head, has no right to claim to be a church of Christ. To make a church legitimate, and its ordinances valid, there must be authority coming in regular line from God without any contamination from Rome, either directly or indirectly. As no one can give that he does not have himself, it follows that no one can confer legal baptism if he has not been legally baptized himself and legally set apart to do the work. As Rome has no authority from God, but is the “man of sin,” and is the great arch enemy to God and His church, it follows that Rome nor none who derived their authority from Rome, has a right to administer the ordinances for God, or His church. What would be said if one country or government were, through their officers, to swear in and install the officers of another country or government, and should propose to transact the business of another country? Suppose a commissioned officer of Spain should come to this country, and he should be taken in without naturalization or being re-commissioned, and placed at the head of affairs here. Suppose a man who has been initiated into Odd Fellowship, should be credited for same and recognized as a Mason therefore.
Q. If John the Baptist baptized the apostles, the first commissioned officers of the church, and Christ, its divine head, and he himself was never baptized, how can we claim regular commissioned authority from God?
A. Everything must have a beginning. Just as there had to be a first man , and after that all other men in succession from him, just so there had to be a first church and a first baptism. If these are divine, they must have a divine origin.
Q. Did the baptism of the Baptists come direct from God.?
A. It did. Will you hear what the Bible says about the first commissioned Baptist preacher the world ever knew? “There was a man sent from God whose name was John.” John 1.6. “But he that sent me (John the Baptist) to baptize with water,” John 1:33. So we see John’s commission to baptize was direct from heaven.
Q. How many denominations hold John’s baptism as valid “Christian baptism?”
A. Just one. The Baptists hold it as Christian baptism, in every way the equal and a part of the line of baptisms of the church today. While all other denominations think it had a place of its own, filled its mission, and is not a part of, or equal in every respect to the baptisms of today.
Q. Did anyone reject John’s baptism in the days of Christ?
A. Yes. “But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.” Luke 7:30.
Q. Arc Baptists Protestants?
A. They are not in the common acceptation of that term. That they have always protested against Rome from the very incipiency of Rome to the present, is a fact. And it is also a fact that they have with equal loyalty protested against the heresies of what is known as Protestantism. But that they are Protestants in the sense that they once were connected with Rome, and came out of that body as a Protestant denomination, is a mistake. Rome at the start was made up of apostate brethren from the Baptists. “They went out from us because they were not of us.” Instead of the Baptists being a Protestant denomination from Rome, Rome is an apostacy from the Baptists, the true church.
Q. How many distinct systems of religious doctrines are there?
A. Two, and only two, so far as my knowledge extends—the Baptists and Catholics.
Q. Do you mean to say that the denominations of Protestantism among us have no distinct doctrines of their own?
A. That is what I mean to say. Their doctrine and practice are patched up from the Baptists and Catholics. Every doctrine they hold is expressly stated by either the Baptists or Catholics, or, it is evolved from the principles one or the other holds.
Q. Do Baptists and Catholics hold any thing in common with each other?
A. No. They are the antipodes of each other, and have nothing in common. The only thing which would seem so is, they both believe in a trinity, but their views of the trinity are the poles apart. Just to the extent a Protestant denomination agrees with the Baptists, it disagrees with Rome; and to the extent it agrees with Rome, it disagrees with the Baptists. They are all, a certain percent Roman Catholics. They are the would-be link which would compromise the “chaste bride” of our Lord with the adulterous “man of sin.”
Q. Can you state some of the points of agreement and disagreement?
A. I can. Take it from a general point of view. If they hold to salvation by grace. that is the doctrine of Baptists. If they believe in salvation by works, that is Romanism. If they hold to congregational church government, that is Baptist. But just to the extent they leave this and approach centralization, they become that much Romanized. Suppose we itemize. If they believe in election, that is Baptist. If they believe in baptismal salvation, that is Romanism. If they hold the Lord’s Supper simply as a communion of the body and blood of our Lord, composed of emblems, that is Baptist. But if they make a sacrament of it, or consecrate the elements, that is Romanism. If they hold immersion for baptism. that is Baptist. If they believe in sprinkling for baptism, that is Romanism. If they hold to believer’s baptism, that is Baptist. If they believe in infant baptism, that is Romanism. If they elect their own pastor, that is Baptist. If the pastor is appointed for the church, that is Romanism. If all the ministers are of the same rank, that is Baptist. If they are of different rank, that is Romanism.
Q. What things do Baptists hold and teach which are peculiar to them and are held and taught by no other denomination?
A. 1. They originated during Christ’s personal ministry. 2. They have had a perpetuity from then to the present time. 3. They receive into their memebrship only those who give evidences of the new life. 4. They hold John’s baptism to be “Christian baptism.” 5. They have never affiliated with Rome. 6. In church government. 7. They hold nothing in common with Rome. 8. They have never received state aid, even when tendered to them. In the above counts, they are a peculiar people.
Q. Do Baptists have authoritative creeds and disciplines, put forth by councils or legislative bodies?
A. No. They have no authoritative creed, or discipline, except the New Testament. They sometimes write out what they call a “Confession of Faith.” This is nothing more than a simple statement of what they understand the Scriptures to teach, put in concise form, without any binding force upon any one. The Bible and the Bible alone, is the only rule of faith and practice among Baptists.
A brief statement of the origin and founders of all religious denominations, common to our country.
Baptists—Founded by Jesus Christ during His personal ministry upon earth. They have always been Missionary Baptists.
Primitive Baptists—This people had their origin in the United States. This body is the result of a division of the Baptist ranks covering a period of some ten years, from 1830 to 1840. It occurred in different states, and at different places in the same state, at different times, led by different persons.
Two Seed Baptists—This is the result of a division in the Primitive Baptists ranks, and began early in the nineteenth century, led by Elder Daniel Parker, then pastor of Bledsoe’s Creek Baptist church (now Hopewell) in Sumner County, Tennessee. The open rupture took place about the middle of this century and is sometimes called Parkerism, after its distinguished founder.
Free Will Baptists—This sect had its origin in New Hampshire, in 1780. and was led by a Baptist preacher named Benjamin Randall.
Seventh Day Baptists—These people spring from two sources—England and Germany. In England they arose in 1650, and in Germany in 1694. Edward Stennet was a prominent leader in England, and in Germany a theologian by the name of Spencer.
Dunkers or German Baptists — Were founded by Conrad Peysel, in Germany, in 1724.
Separate Baptists—There have, at different times and places, been quite a number of people wearing the above name. The people who wear this name in this section of country at present, were originated by Elder William Keele, in Rutherford County, Tenn., in 1826.
Christian Baptists—This movement had its origin in Middle Tennessee, about 1850, and was led by Elders Chorder and Thomas Stone, two Baptist preachers.
General Baptists—There are two branches of this church. One originated in England in 1608 by John Smyth, who baptized himself. The other originated at Liberty, Indiana, by Benoni Stinson, in 1823. The two branches have no connection with each other.
Roman Catholics—This branch of the Catholic church grew out of the great apostacy which began in the early centuries and took shape about 250 A. D., with Cornelius, bishop of Rome, as leader. But it never reached the proportions of the papacy until 606-7 A. D., when Bonif ace the Third was declared universal bishop, with headquarters at Rome, and thus became the first pope.
Greek Catholic—This body is sometimes called the Eastern Church and resulted from a division in the Roman Catholic church. The final action in this matter occurred in 1054, when Pope Leo IX. issued a formal sentence of ex-communication against the patriarch, Michael Cerularius. From this date they established headquarters at Constantinople. It is today divided into three branches, viz: Turkish, Russian and Greek.
Protestant Episcopal—This body was born in England in the sixteenth century. It was brought about by Henry the VIII, king of England. He framed his first articles of belief, in 1537, which, properly speaking, might be denominated the beginning of this body. Reformed Episcopal—This is a branch of the Protestant Episcopal, and was led by the Rt. Rev. George David Cummins, of Kentucky, in opposing thc High-church tendency of that body. It bears date of November 10, 1873.
M. E. Church—This body was formed by John Wesley, an Episcopalian preacher. The development was gradual, but the beginning might be properly placed in England, in 1729 A.D.
M. E. Church, South—This is a result of a division in the M. E. Church, over the slavery question in the United States, in 1844.
Protestant Methodists—This body is the result of a division in the M. E. Church, in 1828. They hold to a parity in the ministry, and lay representation in their general bodies, which make up the main differences between them and the M. E. Church.
Wesleyan Methodists—This body arose in this country in 1824, and is a branch of the M. F. Church. They split off because of the introduction of bishops into that body. They claim to stand with John Wesley, and quote his letter to Mr. Asbury as opposing bishops as follows:
“One instance of this, your greatness, has given mc great concern. How can you, how dare you, suffer yourself to be called a Bishop? I shudder at the very thought. Men may call me a man, or a fool, or a rascal, or a scoundrel, and I am content; but they shall never, with my consent, call me a Bishop. For my sake, for God’s sake, for Christ’s sake, put a full end to this.”
Calvinistic Methodists—It is known by all church historians that all Methodists who follow the teachings of Wesley, are Arminian in doctrine. Those following George Whitefield were Calvinists and are known as Calvinistic Methodists. The division occurred in England as far back as 1741 A. D.
The distinction of being founder of Presbyterianism has long been given to John Knox, of Edinburgh, Scotland. The rise of Presbyterianism was gradual, but it took shape about
1550 A. D.
Old and New School Presbyterians—Both of these schools claim to be the real descendants of John Knox. About the only difference is that the Old School are more rigid, and might be styled “high church,” while the New School might be styled “low church,” and are more liberal.
Associate Presbyterian Church — This branch of Presbyterianism had its origin in Scotland, in 1733 A. D. They also took the name of Seceders from the fact that it was a secession from the regular Presbyterian body, led by Rev. Ebenezer Erskine. A difference on the settlement of ministers seems to have been the cause of this movement. In 1746 A. D., a controversy arose in the new body in regard to the “Burgher’s Oath.” This brought about a division into “Burghers” and “Anti-Burghers.” In 1796 the Burghers split over the power of civil magistrates. One was known as “Old Light Burghers” and the other as “New Lights.” In 1806 a similar division took place in the ranks of the Anti-Burghers, forming the Old and New Lights Anti-Burghers. In 1751 the Anti-Burgher Synod arranged to send ministers to the United States. Gellatly and Arnot arrived here the next year and began work. The war of American Revolution left their numbers very much depleted. They rallied all their forces in 1782 and took the name of “Associate Reformed Presbyterian.” They still have a number of congregations in this
country. They sing Psalms altogether.
Reformed Presbyterians or Covenanters—This body of people take their name from a church and state covenant to which they rigidly adhered. This document was first drawn up by an assembly of divines in 1643 and was put forth in the name of England, Ireland and Scotland, and was afterward ratified by the Parliaments of these countries.
Cumberland Presbyterians — This body dates back to 1810. This movement grew out of the great revival of 1800. This body was constituted in a private house near the Cumberland River, in Middle Tennessee, by Revs. Finis Ewing, Samuel MeAdow and Samuel King. The organization took place in February, 1810, A. D.
This body of people is really an offspring of the Church of England or Dissenters from that body, and are sometimes called “Independents.” They arose in England in the latter part of the sixteenth century. They are Pedo-baptists, and hold to congregational church government. They are largely represented in this country.
Disciples or Campbellites
This movement was begun by Thomas Campbell, a Seceder Presbyterian preacher, in 1808 A. D., and was consummated by his son, Alexander Campbell, in 1827 A. D.
Church of God
This sect arose under the preaching of Rev. John Winebrenner, in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, in the year-. 1829. They hold protracted meetings, camp meetings, experience meetings, anxious meetings, etc. They declare foot washing in church until the end of time and the Lord’s Supper to be taken sitting, and that after nightfall. They have Synods. Their slogan is: “There is but one true Christian church; that Christians ought not be to designated by any sectarian or human name; that they should have no creed or discipline but the Bible.”
Dutch Reformed Church
This body of people was formed in Holland by William of Nassau, Prince of Orange. It became the state church of North Holland. They are Presbyterian in church government, and ultra-Calvinists in doctrine.
Christians or Christian Connection
This body had its beginning in North Carolina, in 1793, in a secession from the M. E. Church. They claim no other code of doctrine, or rule of discipline except the New Testament. They are congregational in church government, but Unitarian in their views of the Deity.
This body was constituted by Jacob Albright, in 1800 A. D. They are very much like the M. E. Church. They elect their bishops every four years.
Friends or Quakers
This society was constituted in England by George Fox, about the middle of the seventeenth century. This people was early introduced into this country by William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania. They do not baptize, or take the Lord’s Supper, and hold that God, apart from His revealed word, communicates through the Spirit, a sufficient amount of knowledge for the salvation of all, as far as sin has made its inroads. They live largely in colonies and are very rigid in their morals. They oppose taking of oaths.
German Reformed Church
This church claims as its founder, Ulrich Zwingli, the great Swiss reformer and contemporary of Luther. They were introduced into this country about 1720 A. D. They are Presbyterian in church government, and mild Calvinists in doctrine, and rather unstable in their tenets.
This sect had its origin in Europe about the middle of the eighteenth century, and made its appearance in this country in 1774. Anne Lee is their great patron saint, whom they style as the “Elect Lady.” They claim the “first resurrection already past, and that they have power to heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out devils.” In many things they are much like the Quakers, and have often been dubbed as “Shaking Quakers.”
There have been various advocates from time to time of the early advent of Christ. But properly speaking, this sect had its origin in the state of New York, in 1843, and is indebted to William Miller as its founder. At present they are known as “Seventh Day Adventists.” The three principal points of doctrine to which they hold are, the early coming of Christ, the second probation and annihilation of the wicked, and the seventh day Sabbath.
This body of people is of recent date, having originated about one century ago. While this is true, it is also true that individuals have held to this doctrine from time to time for some centuries past. They deny the existence of a real literal devil or hell, and teach that all men will be saved. That Christ’s sufferings satisfied all demands, for the sinner.
This sect originated in Moravia and is perhaps the oldest of modern Protestants. They trace their origin to John Huss, the Bohemian reformer. In a large measure they are orthodox.
United Brethren in Christ
This sect arose among the Germans in Pennsylvania about 1760. They are Pedo-baptists, and Methodistic in their church government.
Mormons—Like most institutions of this character, its rise was gradual. April, 1830, in the town of Manehester, New York, is most generally accepted as the time and place of its origin. They have a bible of their own, which is nothing but a fraud. It is a romance written by Solomon Spaulding, and secured by Joseph Smith, the founder of Mlormonism, and palmed off on his followers as a revelation from God. It purports to give a history of the lost tribes of Israel, identifying them with the North American Indians.
This people was originated by Emanuel Swedberg (Swedenborg), in 1744. In doctrine, it is a conglomerate mess. The leading tenet is direct revelation, and no one can tell what will be claimed next as a direct revelation. This is doubtless the forerunner of the present day Spiritualism.
This church or religion was originated by Mohammed, who was born in Arabia, in the sixth century. Their bible is called the Koran. It contains a very good code of morals. This people is very extensive in many countries in the East, especially in the Holy Land.