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328 – Nov. 24 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST

Backus, Isaac

“And then went on and declar’d the Marriage Covenant”

November 24, 1800 – Susanna Backus quietly departed this life, five days before her 51st wedding anniversary. Through a painful, debilitating illness, Susanna said, “I am not so much concerned with living or dying, as to have my will swallowed up in the will of God.” Susanna Mason was born in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, in or around 1724. Her great-grandfather had been a soldier in Oliver Cromwell’s Roundhead Army. The families were Baptists in background, and she was converted in 1745 and joined the Separate church and maintained her Baptist convictions when she married Isaac Backus. Backus, not fully persuaded of Baptist principles relating to pedobaptism at that time, became “fully persuaded” and became one of the leaders among the Baptists and exercised great influence in relation to freedom of conscience in the formation of our nation. At their wedding on Nov. 29, 1749, Isaac refused to permit any of the frivolous merrymaking which normally took place at New England marriages, because he considered it a solemn ordinance of God. The wedding took place in her father’s house and was performed by a justice of the peace as was the custom. But Isaac got permission to transform it into a religious ceremony. “Br. Shepherd read a Psalm and we Sung; then we went to prayer and the Lord did hear and Come near to us. And then I took my dear Sister Susanna by the hand and spoke Something of the Sense I had of our Standing in the presence of God, and also how that He had clearly pointed out to me this Person to be my Companion and an helper meet for me. And then went on and declar’d the Marriage Covenant: and She did the same to me…Then I read, and we sung the 101 Psalm after that I preached a Short Sermon from Acts 13:36.”

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins /Thompson/ , pp. 489-91.

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