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neighbouring villages. This enumeration but exemplary; to lead others who have of the excellent qualities and acts of like powers of usefulness, to “glorify the subject of this memoir, is not de God in him;" and while they admire, to signed by the writer to be eulogistic, imitate his goodness.
THE SWISS BAPTISTS OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY. The question of pædobaptism began | Another was held on the 20th of March. to be agitated in Switzerland in 1523 Of course the baptists were confuted, or 1524. Among its earliest opponents at least so say their adversaries, who were Balthasar Hubmayer, Conrad exhorted them to abandon their sentiGrebel, Felix Mantz, and Louis Hetzer, ments, or, at all events, to hold them in all men of learning and ability. It was, secret. They, however, declared themhowever, another principle of equal selves ready to maintain the truths importance which first brought them they believed with their blood, and into collision with Zuingle. They held proceeded, “in corners,” says Bullinger, that, as in the primitive church the to baptize. Refused admission to the apostles had separated the believers churches, some, it is said, in the streets from the common mass, and assembled of Zurich called upon its inhabitants to them together as a distinct community, repent, and announced the speedy deso now all true Christians should sepa- struction of the city. They treated rate from the world, and gather toge- each other as brethren, and denounced ther into a pure church of genuine the vices of the people. “They had," followers of the Lamb. This Zuingle says Bullinger, “an appearance of a denied. He would unite the church spiritual life, they were excellent in to the state, and seek its reformation at character, they sighed much, they the hand of the secular power. Their uttered no falsehoods, they were austeaching procured them the name of tere, they spake nobly and with excelDippers and Anabaptists, also of En- lence; so that they thereby acquired thusiasts, the Spiritual, and Spirit admiration and authority, or respect, Dreamers. Zuingle foresaw that their with simple, pious people. For the principles would lead to a separation of people said, 'Let others say what they the church from all worldly alliances; will of the dippers, we see in them he urged that such purity of communion nothing but what is excellent, and hear was impracticable, and its possible from them nothing else but that we attainment a dream. Nevertheless, the should not swear or do any one wrong, baptists began publicly to teach their that every one ought to do what is sentiments, and Zuingle as publicly right, that every one must live godly withstood them.
and holy lives; we see no wickedness The magistrates proposed a public in them.' Thus have they deceived conference. On the 17th of January, many people in this land.” It is diffi1525, the first disputation took place in cult to trace in such characters as these the Council House, before the citizens that fanaticism and rebellious disposiand many learned men; two days after tion with which they are charged which an edict was published, com- except it be the fanaticism of goodness, manding that all infants should be and rebellion against man when his baptized within eight days after birth. ordinances countermand or supersede
the laws of God. These traits of cha- time past certain men, who appear to racter are to our minds commendable. be learned, have vehemently arisen, and For their rejection of human preachers without any support from the holy and of magisterial interference with scriptures, have pretended and preached conscience, were many of the baptists among simple and pious men (who are imprisoned and banished. They justly otherwise well instructed in the love of complained that the truth was oppress- God and of their neighbour, and live in ed, and that innocent and godly men peace with one another); and without were not fairly heard. They boldly ac- the permission and consent of the cused Zuingle with maintaining and church have proclaimed, that infant defending his sentiments, not with baptism is not of God, but has sprung God's word, but with outcries and with from the devil, and therefore ought not the power of the magistrate.
to be practised. They have also inventAnother public disputation was re- ed a re-baptism, and many men, unsolved upon. It took place on the oth learned in the holy scripture, taken of November, 1525, in the town of with their vain talk and so far persuaded Zurich. The subjects were, the right have received this re-baptism, esteeming of children to baptism because they themselves better than other people. were the children of the faithful; the Whence have arisen and grown up dissubstitution of baptism for circumci-cord, disobedience, contention, devoursion; and that anabaptism had no proof ings, strifes against love, in places and or example in the word of God. It among men who formerly lived in unawas a large gathering, and continued nimity. Therefore have we imprisoned for three days. The Zuinglians took and punished for their good some of the the place of honour, and what they authors of anabaptism and their discifailed in effecting by argument they ples, and have twice, at their desire, endeavoured to establish by authority. ordained conferences or disputations on The magistrates exhorted the baptists infant and re-baptism. And notwithto give glory to God, and confess their standing that they were always overheterodox opinions; but as they re- come, and were by us on the one hand mained stedfast they were thrown into let go unpunished, because they promisprison. Some yielded, and were released to abstain from re-baptism; and ed with many threatenings of severe also on the other hand have been punishment should they again be dis- banished from our jurisdiction and covered acting seditiously, that is, hold- bounds; yet have they, disregarding ing baptist sentiments and observing their promise, again come among you, baptist practices. The noble magistrates and have sown their false doctrine of the town of Zurich then issued the against infant baptism among the simmandate, of which our author has ple people, whence has arisen a new quoted the closing paragraph. We give sect of anabaptists. Therefore we have the rest of this curious document, in imprisoned them, and punished their which our readers will observe the followers for their good. application of the terms rebellious, “ And since some anabaptists among visionaries, &c., as it is important to us again desired that we should deal understand their meaning in the gene- justly by them and ordain another disral histories of those times.
putation ; in order to perfect the former
one, we thereto agreed, and summoned “ Ye doubtless know, and have heard all who would defend anabaptism, and from many persons, how that for a long appointed them to assemble on the
Monday after All Saints' day (Nov. 6th, of a mark of silver; and if any shall be 1525). But when the anabaptists with altogether disobedient and rebellious, their leaders had disputed for three they shall be dealt with severely; for whole days from morning to night, with we will protect the obedient and punish Ulrich Zuingle, Leo Jude, Caspar Groot- the disobedient according to his deserts man, and others who defended infant without further forgiveness. Let each baptism, in our council house and in one act accordingly. the great church, where we ourselves, "And all this we confirm by letters with many men and women, were pre- patent, sealed with our city seal, and sent, every anabaptist almost having given on St. Andrew's day (Nov. 30), expressed his sentiments without hin- anno 1525." drance or rebuke, it became clear and manifest by true and certain testimonies The Zuinglian church at Zurich, of holy scripture, both of the Old and where this proclamation was made, was New Testaments, that Zuingle with his at this time only about five years old, and coadjutors overcame the anabaptists, was itself suffering from the greediness overthrew anabaptism, and proved in and oppression of the papists; truly a fant baptism to be right.
lamentable thing that such a people, “Besides, in the discussion itself, it who so short a time before had in many clearly appeared that the authors of re- things purged themselves from the baptism, by whom these gatherings and leaven of popery, and who were opposed sects were first raised, and for which to the tyranny of the pope, should, they strive, were actuated in this affair nevertheless, in this particular continue by a bold and shameless mind and not one with papists, oppressing others who by a good spirit; that they instituted were not of the same faith with themre-baptism in order to gather around selves. them an assembly and a sect against But still, what would this affliction God's command, in contempt of us also have been if they had confined themwho fill the office of civic magistrates, selves to this proclamation, since the to the planting of every kind of dis- first offence of not baptizing a child, obedience, and to the destruction of might be atoned for by a silver mark Christian love to neighbours. For they | &c. ? But it was not confined to this; always regard themselves, as we have inasmuch as some years after, and in already said, as much better than other particular in 1530, when they became Christians,-yea, as without sin; the bolder, they made a statute that the which their words, actions, appearance, anabaptists (so called) should be punand life, clearly testify. Therefore we ished with death. ordain, and it is our will, that henceforward all men, women, young men, The preceding account is extracted and maidens, abstain from re-baptism, from the Dutch Martyrology, which is and from this time practise it no more; in course of preparation for the English and that they bring the young children public, and may be expected to appear to be baptized. For whoever shall act shortly as the sixth volume issued contrary to this public order, shall, as under the auspices of the Hanserd often as it occurs, be punished by a fine Knollys Society.
SERMON ON BEHALF OF THE BAPTIST COLLEGE, BRISTOL,
BY THE LATE REV. JOHN POSTER.
From his own unpublished Notes.
“Thy kingdom come."-MATTHEW vi. 10, It was the complaint of a pious man , kingdom yet ?" Yes, lamentable as it of old, “We cannot order our speech by is, that is the truth of the case. It is reason of darkness,” but accompanied evidently a much more strict and pecuby a most pertinent prayer: “Teach us liar idea we are to form of his kingdom, what we shall say,” (Job xxxvii. 19.) when we think of it as to come. It And the ample revelations since his must, as the first and lowest thing imtime may be considered very much in plied, be a kingdom in which the Great the light of instructions what to say to Sovereign is known and acknowledged. the Almighty. In how many things, Now, then, imagine a great number of in consequence of these revelations, we inquirers to go into many distant parts know what to say!
of the world, and to ask, “Who is your The apostles made the same request spiritual King, your God ?" Think what to our Lord, “ Teach us to pray;" and answers such an inquirer would have. if, in this matter, any one thing were Barbarous names of things deemed more certain than all others, it would God-fit names for devils, idols of be, that we are specially and pre-emi- wood, stone, metal-men (the Lama of nently certain to be right in making Thibet), rivers ; seldom any thing so the petitions which He taught. That noble as the sun or stars. “What! in the words of our text stands nearly have you never heard of Jehovah ?" the first. And this looks like an admo- "No," they would answer, " who or nition against confined and selfish feel- what is he?" There, then, the kingdom ings even in religion. We are plainly is not come. And this is speaking of taught that, together with our own an awfully large portion of the human welfare, we should take a concern for race. the cause of God (which is for the wel. But, not to go so far abroad, into fare of man) over the whole world. This those utterly dark and dismal regions. is what our Lord came for, and they Look at the Christian world around us. who profess to be his disciples should in Is the kingdom of God come! The some measure enter into his spirit and kingdoms of men are come, long enough grand purpose.
since! Is it not strange if the kingdom What is our notion of the kingdom of God come the slowest and last, even of God? This petition will have been in England? Is it come? What would pronounced by many hundreds of thous- be the signs that it is? One would be, ands this day. I wonder how many of that generally among our people there them will have had a distinct idea of should be a frequent, habitual, serious the meaning? Suppose we could have thought of him in that character; that stopped them, to say, “God's kingdom young and old, rich and come? why come? Is not his kingdom they are thinking of else, it might be here? Is not all the world—all the sure and evident that they
are very creation-his kingdom? Is there a often thinking of the Almighty King. sense in which this world is not his Now, is it so ? And accompanying this
thinking of God, there should be an It is a thing among us, and in earnest, profound concern for his favour. a measure, committed to human hands. Is it so ?
We can take a thoughtful concern; we It would be a sign, again, that his can pray for the progress; we can dekingdom is come, that in all things clare for it on all occasions. there were a reference to his will, and But how much more than all this the utmost care and diligence to know men can do for any thing they like, and what it is. Is it so? And consistently have a passion for. What astonishing with this, a practical conformity to his exertions and sacrifices men will make! will. Is it so? We might name as Suppose it be some distinction and adsigns, a looking on the sins and crimes vancement in society. In competitions among men, considered as in reference to with one another; what enormous saHim; a general conspiring zeal and en- crifices in the present season of elecdeavour to promote his cause; a spirit tions! of uprightness and charity among men Now there are practical means and toward one another; a prevalence of expedients for promoting the cause contrition for sin; a grateful reception “the kingdom” of God; schools, bibleof the great revealed expedient of re- societies, missions, erecting places of conciliation; on the whole, some evident worship. But our present attention is resemblance of earth to heaven. called to the one great and most im
How imperfectly, how little, is the portant mean for promoting the good kingdom of God come! But yet it is cause--the employment of preachers. coming, and it is to come. The whole This has been evidently appointed of strain of prophecy declares it shall God as the grand mean ; (the Bible of come; though we cannot know with course to accompany it). It began what speed, or how soon in full preva- with the apostles, and has been in action lence. But how? and by what means? to this day. May we not hope that The one only power is the Almighty great good has been done, even this Spirit. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts day. It has wonderfully extended and shall perform this.” But the means ? multiplied, but is wanted to a still For one thing we trust that the great greater extent. There are many parts movements and changes in the world of England still where there is a scarcity will be made to conduce to this end. of faithful, useful ministers. Aged ones (France.) How many are contributing are laid aside and dying; some are in such events, to a cause they are little taken away comparatively in youth, caring for, or thinking of ! " He thought and in the midst of their usefulness.
New congregations are forming. And But, looking to great events may tend can there be too many voices employed, to put it out of our minds to think and if they speak well ? Moses wished that ask, “And what can we do?" How all the Lord's people were prophets. We humble sometimes pride itself can be! may well wish that wherever there are “We are feeble, insignificant; we can people willing to hear, there should be do nothing." But are we then nothing, men to speak to them. But then the when it is for God? Do we say, “Let best and greatest thing there is in the his kingdom come by his own power, world, one would wish it might be but we dare not do any thing." Let us spoken for well. And how should that remember, this is not a case like that of be done but by men whose minds are the ark and Uzzah, where it was wrong well instructed, well stored, well exerto touch. We can do something in this cised ?
VOL. XII.- FOURTH SERIES.