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Puritans and Brownists on the one hand, and from the Arians and Socinians on the other; and makes all these zealous opposers of each other. The Anabaptists, according to his account, held that repentance and faith must PRECEDE Baptism; that the Baptism of the Church of England, and of the Puritans, was invalid; and that the true Baptism was amongst them (the Baptists.) He further says, that they complained of the term Anabaptist, as a name of REPROACH cast upon them.

The piece of Enoch Clapham is in the form of dialogue.

When the Anabaptist is asked, What religion he is of? he is made to answer,

OF THE TRUE RELIGION COMMONLY TERMED ANABAPTISM, FROM

OUR BAPTIZING.

When he is asked concerning the church or congregation he was joined to in Holland, he answers,—

THERE BE CERTAIN ENGLISH PEOPLE OF US THAT CAME OUT FROM THE BROWNISTS.

When the Arian says,—I am of the mind that there is no true Baptism on earth; the Anabaptist replies,

I PRAY THEE, SON, SAY NOT SO. THE CONGREGATION I AM OF CAN AND DOTH ADMINISTER TRUE BAPTISM.

When an inquirer after truth offers, upon the Anabaptist proving what he says, to leave his old religion,

YOU MAY SAY, IF GOD WILL GIVE THEE GRACE TO LEAVE SODOM AND EGYPT, SPIRITUALLY SO CALLED.

When the same person offers to join with them, and firmly betake himself to their faith, the Anabaptist replies:

:

THE DEW OF HEAVEN COME UPON YOU; TO-MORROW, I WILL BRING YOU INTO OUR SACRED CONGREGATION, THAT YOU MAY COME TO BR INFORMED IN THE FAITH; AND AFTER THAT TO BE PURELY BAPTIZED

The preceding views were NOT written by a Baptist; he, however, assures his readers that the characters which he gives of each sect 66 were not without sundry years' experience of them all."

In 1611, a confession of faith appeared, written, it has been stated, by Mr. Smyth, (it has also been attributed to Mr. Helwis,)* entitled,

*There appears to be some doubt whether Mr. Smyth or Mr. Helwis wrote the Confession of Faith of 1611, Mr. Underhill observes, "Mr. Helwis, the successor of Mr. Smyth, was probably the author of the Confession of Faith of 1611, to silence, if possible, the calumnies widely circulated against the opinions and practices of his people. He refers to it in a work dated the same year, entitled, "A proof that God's decree is not the cause of man's condemnation, and that all men are redeemed by Christ, and that no infants are condemned." This work agreeing in sentiment with the Confession.

"A Declaration of Faith of English people remaining at Amsterdam, in Holland, printed 1611." The part of the confession referring to Baptism runs thus :—

"That every church is to receive in all their members by Baptism, on the confession of their faith and sins, wrought by the preaching of the gospel according to the primitive institution and practice; and therefore, a church, constituted after any other manner, or of any other persons, is not according to Christ's testament."*

"That Baptism, or washing with water, is the outward manifestation of dying unto sin, and walking in newness of life, and, therefore, is no wise appertaining to infants."

There can be no misconception either as to the subjects for, or the mode of Baptism.

Mr. Smyth died in 1611. He appeared to have been a man of eminence amongst the ministers of the separation : "A person of great consequence, and his disciples were very numerous.' Ephraim Paget said, that "He was accounted one of the grandees of the separation, and that he and his followers did at once swallow up all the sect of the separation."

The flames of persecution were again enkindled in this reign. In the year 1611, the king, to shew his zeal against heresy, had an opportunity of exercising it upon two of his subjects; one was charged with Arianism; and the other, Edward Wightman, a Baptist, in the town of Burton-upon-Trent. Amongst the charges brought against the latter were these:— Mantaining

That the baptizing of infants is an abominable custom.

That the Lord's Supper and Baptism, are not to be celebrated as they are now practised in the Church of England; and, that Christianity is not wholly professed and preached in the Church of England, but only a part.

Such were the counts of the indictment. Who would have thought that such a person would have been BURNT BY PROTESTANTS, and for such opinions? It is justly observed by Ivimey,—“Happily for our native country, this day of bigotry is past, and the flames of martyrdom were extinguished with the death of Edward Wightman, who was the last that suffered in this way, and it is mentioned as a singular historical fact.—Assuming that William Sawtree, the Lollard, opposed infant Baptism, the Baptists have had the honour of leading the van, and bringing up the rear of that part of the noble army of martyrs who have laid down their lives at the stake in England.

Neal, vol. 2, p. 6, appendix.

Persecution was still rife.

In the year 1611, it increased to such a degree, that some Baptists left the country, and fled to America,* of whom honourable mention is made in Cotton Mather's history of America. The Baptists at home were not silent, notwithstanding the ecclesiastical hostility to their principles. They employed the pen and the press in their maintenance. In the year 1615, Mr. Helwis and his church in London, published a treatise, entitled PERSECUTION FOR RELIGION, JUDGED AND CONDEMNED." It is true there is no author's name to it, but at the end of "The Epistle," instead of names subscribed, there are the following words:

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"BY CHRIST'S UNWORTHY WITNESSES, HIS MAJESTY'S MOST FAITHFUL SUBJECTS, COMMONLY (BUT MOST FALSELY) CALLED, ANABAPTISTS.”

That this treatise appears to be their's is obvious, for towards the end of the book, to clear themselves from those gross errors held by some Anabaptists, and to prove their orthodoxy on the points of Christ's incarnation and the lawfulness of magistracy, they refer the reader to the Confession of Faith of 1611, before adverted to, and call it THEIR Confession.

This interesting and timely enunciation of the principles of religious freedom went on to prove. "BY THE LAW OF GOD, AND BY KING JAMES'S MANY DECLARATIONS, THAT NO MAN OUGHT TO BE PERSECUTED FOR HIS RELIGION, SO HE TESTIFYS HIS ALLEGIANCE BY THE OATH APPOINTED BY LAW." "The style of the treatise," observes Neal,* "is easy, correct, and, considering the age when it was composed, very perspicuous, the reasoning strong and conclusive, and the dialogue well maintained. It is in the form of a dialogue, supposed to be by "A Christian," "An Anti-Christian," and "An Indifferent Person." The principles of Dissenters and of the Baptists are clearly stated.

But the principal glory of this piece, is the manly and explicit avowal which the authors make of the true principles of Christian liberty; at a time WHEN THEY WERE EITHER UNKNOWN, or opposed by almost every other party. A somewhat lengthened reference to this highly important topic must be permitted. In this Treatise is preserved a just distinction between civil and religious concerns, and while they fully allow the magistrate his proper authority in the former, they boldly maintain every man's right to judge and act for himself in the latter.

In a dedication to all that truly wish Jerusalem prosperity, and Babylon destruction, it is declared :-"We do unfeignedly adhere to the authority of earthly magistrates, God's blessed ordinance, and

*Backin's History of Baptists, 3 vols. 8vo.

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that all earthly rule and command appertain unto them; let them command what they will, we must obey, either to do, or to suffer; but all men must let God alone, with his right, who is to be the Lord and lawgiver of the soul, and not command obedience for God, when he commanded man. "If I take," says Christian, (in the Treatise,) "any authority from the king's majesty, let me be judged worthy of my dessert; but if I defend the authority of Jesus Christ over men's souls, which appertaineth to no mortal man whatsoever, then know you, that whoever would rob him of that honour, which is not of this world, he will tread them under foot. Earthly authority belongs to kings; but spiritual authority belongeth to that spiritual king, who is king of kings."*

"When we consider the state of the times," observes Neal,-"This intrepid and dignified language must excite our just admiration." Ivimey is desirous that Baptists should occupy their right position, as the asserters of great principles, and maintains, that "they were the first to propagate the principles of UNRESTRICTED religious liberty;" and also asserts, “that they never violated them, by abridging others of that liberty which they claimed for themselves." †

That the Baptists were the pioneers of religious freedom is further stated by a well-known CATHOLIC writer. "It is observable,” says Mr. Charles Butler, "that this DENOMINATION (THE BAPTISTS) FIRST PROPAGATED THE PRINCIPLES OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY."‡

It may be affirmed, that the Baptists desire not unduly to occupy vantage ground over those who differ from them upon some points: adult or believer's Baptism, is with them a distinguishing peculiarity authorised by the sacred scriptures. Their views of religious freedom are derived only from the same infallible standard, which inculcates this divine principle, "whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them, for this is the law and the prophets."

* "Persecution, judged and condemned," republished in a volume of the Hansards Knolly's Society's tracts on liberty of conscience, &c.-Hadden, London, 1846.

+ Within the last three or four years, no ordinary means have been employed to endeavour to prove that "The Independents" were the first to assert liberty of conscience. It is not within the scope of the design of these pages to discuss at length that question. Mr. E. B. Underhill has, in a masterly manner, entered into the subject to prove that "The Independents" were "NOT THE FIRST asserters of the principle of full liberty of conscience." The result of Mr. Underhill's investigation, with his historical authorities, will be read with interest,-they are entitled to an extensive circulation amongst both Baptists and Independents, whilst the general reader may derive information upon the subject. A cheap edition of the Pamphlet is published by J. Heaton, Briggate, Leeds.

+ Butler's Historical Memoirs, p. 325.

If professing Christians acted under the influence of this heavenly precept, all persecution would cease. Dost thou desire religious freedom for thyself? Let others enjoy the same liberty. This sentiment carried out to its legitimate limits, would annihilate all sectarian preeminence; and, with regard to each other, would place all persons upon an equality in matters of belief, and in the enjoyment of their religious rights, COMBINED WITH A DUE REGARD FOR, AND OBEDIENCE TO THEIR CIVIL OBLIGATIONS.

There should be no misunderstanding, as to either the NATURE OR EXTENT of the religious freedom which may appear to be advocated.

It is a freedom or liberty, in relation to man and his Maker, the rendering of that homage and worship by the creature to the Creator, which conscience alone dictates, "without let or hindrance."

The liberty referred to HAS NO RESPECT to, and in fact is incompatible with the dangerous claims of a "Society," which wears THE GARB, and assumes THE NAME, of religion; but whose "secret instructions"* are at variance with it; a confederation in which neither religion, nor piety, nor worship, nor conscience, is concerned; a combination in which there is one SETTLED PURPOSE AND OBJECT- UNIVERSAL DOMINATION.

ANY SYSTEM under the name or pretence of religion, whose principles and tendencies it can be shewn and proved, strike at the peace, the morality, the security, and the well-being of society, must be closely watched-against such a system the community may demand AMPLE SAFEGUARDS; and it has A RIGHT TO EXPECT THEY WILL BE PROVIDED.

This is but common protection and prevention. Who will for a moment imagine that there is persecution in this! The foregoing views are not incompatible with the sentiments which have been previously declared upon true religious freedom.

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But to return to the order of date. In 1620, the Baptists presented a humble supplication to the king." It is divided into 10 parts: the seventh section, runs thus:

:

"Persecution for conscience is against the profession and practice of famous princes," and they reminded the king of his own sentiments on this subject.†

Without remarking upon the profession and practice of James I., with regard to religious freedom, the uncommon intrepidity of the Baptists is evinced, by their making a solemn appeal to the king and his parliament, at a time when they were exposed to all their resent

* See Gavin's Master Key to Popery.

+ 1 vol. Ivimey, see p. 129.

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