(for historical purposes, enjoy)
Christ suffered, to “purify unto himself a peculiar people” (Titus 2:14). If one could get all that he can get in a Baptist Church elsewhere, there would be little excuse for him seeking membership in a Baptist Church. But here are some of the things that can not be had elsewhere.
1. Baptists have a divine origin. They were constituted into a church on a mountain in Galilee, by the Son of God himself. The only substitute that anyone has dared to offer is John Smith of England in 1609, A. D. But when we lay before them the Schleitheim confession of Faith, published in 1527, that is Baptist to the core, they are dumb.
2. That church has been perpetuated from that day to the present, strong like bodies springing from this head.
3. In history. There is no place that their history will stop this side of Christ and the apostles. There is but one real claim—the Catholics. But every one who knows anything about church history knows that the first Pope was Boniface III in the seventh century. I have filed away, a private written discussion that I had with a Catholic, in which he started out with the affirmation that, “The Roman Catholic church as it exists today, was established by Jesus Christ himself, and the apostle Peter, was the first Pope.” When I pulled the reins on him, and demanded the proof he was absolutely blank with nothing to offer but Catholic tradition.
4. No church bigger, and no authority higher than a local congregation. It is absolutely sovereign in its government.
5. A Democracy. So far as my knowledge goes a Baptist Church is the only absolute pure democracy in the world today.
6. Spiritual Membership. Baptists so far as I know, are the only people, who receive only those into their fellowship, and extend the ordinances to only such as profess to have been born of the Spirit.
7. Baptists have the only denominational name ever uttered by the mouth of the Lord. Isaiah says: And thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name.” (Isa. 62:2)
8. Baptists not Protestants in the sense that they came out of Rome or ever had any connection with Rome. They were here before Rome was.
9. Baptists have never received State aid, or allied themselves in any form with the State. And yet strange as it may appear, this government of the United States was formed after a Baptist Church.
Thomas Jefferson, while a free-thinker himself, was accustomed to attend a little Baptist Church with Elder Tribble as pastor, to help the women and children. He became much interested in their democratic form of government, and later on incorporated it into the Constitution of the United States.
10. Baptists recognize John’s baptism as Christian baptism. So far as my knowledge goes this is denied by all others, If the baptism of Jesus, the baptism of the apostles, and the baptism of the constituency of the first church was not Christian, Baptists would like to know what it would take to make Christian baptism?
11. Baptism performed by Baptists pass at par with all denominations. In this Baptists are peculiar.
Besides being peculiar in the above eleven counts. They have led in the following:
1. It was a Baptist—Betsy Ross, who made the first United States flag—”Old Glory.”
2. Marginal references in our English Bible were first prepared by a Baptist, named John Canne in 1637.
3. “Pilgrims Progress,” the most widely circulated book in the world apart from the Bible, was written by a Baptist—John Bunyan, while incarcerated in Bedford jail for being a Baptist, by the Protestant Church of England.
4 Baptists were the precursors of modern missions, it was William Cary that started the ball to rolling for the salvation of the heathen.
5. Baptists are a free people and have nothing but the free principle of love to hold them together in denominational fellowship. But can sing with the spirit, “Blest be the tie that binds our hearts In Christian love.”
These are some of the things that make me a Baptist.