Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by rsr, Mar 10, 2004.
on another thread, preachingjesus said:
Thanks rsr, I should have had the courtesy to start a new topic myself.
to reply to frogman:
on the matter of the sending of Williams
I believe it was Sir Edmund Cooke (or Cocke depending on the document) who "sent" Williams, or at least sponsored his trip to the New World. Williams was a bit of a protege for Cooke, who discovered Williams taking down sermons verbatim in his own form of short-hand at age 8 or so. Anyhoo, Williams was sent to be a Puritan minister in the Mass.Bay Colonly but had some rather, shall we say, radical beliefs and was thrown out. He was actually offered a pastorate in Boston, which he turned down.
Read his The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution for the Cause of Conscience Discussed and you'll see some brillant discussions of Religious Liberty and early baptist doctrines.
On Williams' baptist doctrine
Williams only stayed a baptist for 4 months then he became a seeker and went to minister to the native americans in NE who the Puritans had all but abandoned. A pioneer in Baptist circles and missionological beginings in the Americas. I can't say if he stayed a baptist all his life, he was pretty radical in his approach to Christianity.
If anything Williams was a Baptist at heart simply because he affirmed traditional Baptist beliefs. His starting of the first Baptist church in America is a significant thing for we Baptists. He hung out with some pretty radical people in his day (Anne Hutchinson was one.)
On the person of John Clark
I think Dr. Clark is indeed a better barometer by which to measure early Baptist heritage in America. After founding the RI colony of Newport, Clark started a church where he remained pastor for 40 years. Indeed an example worthy of noting.
great discussion. I think the early American baptists such as Williams, Clark, Stearns, Backus, and Leeland gave us a substantive base for why Baptists have flourished in America. We can surely look at their lives and see many good Christian qualities exampled.
Thanks for the information. Just wanted you to know I wasn't ignoring the post.
I agree that Clark is the best study for Baptist principles. Not to say Williams wasn't saved, but he obviously, imho, wasn't a Baptist.
But he is the one who gets the emphasis. I have just sometimes wondered why.
Good question. Being first often brings lasting fame that endures longer than that of those who follow behind, even slightly. Williams published the first plea for religious liberty to originate in the New World, gets the credit for the founding of Providence Plantation and founded the first Baptist church in America. (As Dallas has pointed out, there is some dispute about whether he really deserves the credit for that).
Clarke founded the second Baptist church in America (or first, depending on your take on the Providence church) secured the second charter and published the second major defense of religious liberty (which, BTW contains what may be the first American Baptist confession to be published.)
Williams, as titular founder and pioneering troublemaker, IMO, has attracted more secular attention than Clarke, though it certainly can be argued that Clarke's labors were more lasting in considering the development of Baptists in the New World.
Should anyone be interested, here's a link to their most important works: