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203 – July 22 – This Day in Baptist History Past

John Calvin

Picture is of John Calvin

the Persecutor of Baptists

Spurgeon – Honouring Those who were Faithful Unto Death

As Mr. Spurgeon said when laying the cornerstone of the great Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, in 1861, “We [Baptists] . . .did not commence our existence at

the Reformation; we never came out of the Church of Rome, for we were never in it, but we have an unbroken line up to the apostles themselves.  [We have been] persecuted alike by Romanists and Protestants of almost every sect . . .”   It is interesting to note that in the middle of the sixteenth century, “the influence of John Calvin bad begun to be felt in English affairs. He was responsible in large measure for the devil of hate and fierce hostility which the Baptists of England had to encounter. He advised that ‘Anabaptists and reactionists should alike be put to death’ (Froude, History of England, V. 99)  He wrote a letter to Lord Protector Somerset: ‘These altogether deserve to be well punished by the sword, seeing they do conspire against God, who had set him in his royal seat.’” Again in writing to Henry VIII, Calvin recommended that the Anabaptists be burned as an example to other Englishmen, “It is far better that two or three be burned that thousands perish in hell.” This martyrdom persisted until the time of the Edict of Toleration in 1689. One such instance was that of “Two noble men were carried to Newgate and burnt at Smithfield, July 22nd, 1575. One was a man of years with a wife and nine children; the other was a young man who had been married only a few years.” (John T. Christian, A History of the Baptists) 1:198-199.

Dr. Dale R. Hart From: “This Day in Baptist History III” David L. Cummins. pp. 423 – 424

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