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Puritans

“In doctrine shewing incorruptness, gravity, sincerity.”—Titus 2:7

The seventeenth century is the era of the Puritans, who have left behind them a vast mass of theology which is the common property of the Church of Christ; the neglect into which their writings have fallen is an unmistakeable token of spiritual degeneracy, for the absence of their works from a minister’s shelves can be compensated neither by Fathers, nor Reformers, nor by the ephemeral and often unscriptural religious literature of the day. It may be at once admitted that many of their works are over-cumbered by references to works little known and altogether unread; but in the best there are experience, unction, warmth; not only truth grasped and wrought out by great minds, but realized by loving hearts. The writers have tasted that the Lord is gracious, and Spirit-taught men and women, as we shall see in succeeding chapters, have ever found instruction and refreshment in their pages. With the political aspects of Puritanism we have here nothing to do; our object is simply…

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A.D. 29. After the day of Pentecost the disciples went everywhere gladly preaching the word, while great success attended their ministry. In a very short time a second church was planted at Samaria, and soon another at Antioch. Persecutions were now inflicted upon the Christians everywhere, and Saul was on his way to Damascus, with authority to arrest men and women, and breathing out threatenings and slaughter against all Christians, when he was suddenly stricken down and made to cry out for mercy. Being converted to the Christian faith, he attached himself to the church at Antioch.

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ALBIGENSES.—In the year 1019, we find the Catholics inflicting their accustomed persecutions upon the Albigenses in France. The Catholic idea of salvation by works, was so completely rooted and grounded in the people of that faith that no effort was made to propagate their doctrines except by compulsion. The idea had become universal, among them, that out of their church was no salvation, and that the end justified the use of any means, howsoever wicked, which might be used to compel submission to their faith. “With the Catholic, out of the church was death; within it was life, and in its maddening thirst for power, the Catholic party sought to crush everything beneath its feet, which it could not gather within its folds.

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Baptists have never held to the doctrine of apostolic succession, but have generally believed in church succession, and have always claimed that all authority is vested in the churches as the executives of Christ. While this is true they have ever had a high regard for a stated ministry. They have not been willing to force upon their members the responsibilities of ministerial obligations and duties until they have been duly set apart for this work, according to the apostolical injunction, by ordination.


It sometimes occurred, during the severe persecutions to which the Waldensean churches . . .

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The term Anabaptist was applied to all that class of persons who were known by the more general name of Waldenses. While the name Anabaptist was not so generally used until after the reformation of the sixteenth century, it was occasionally used as early as the beginning of the third century. Literally the word means to baptize again, and was applied to all those Christians who rebaptized those who came over to their communion from the Catholics.

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