From Whence the Baptists?

We believe that the Baptists are the original Christians. We did not commence our existence at the Reformation, we were Reformers before Luther and Calvin were born; we never came out of the Church of Rome, for we were never in it, but we have an unbroken line of succession up to the apostles themselves. We have always existed from the very days of Christ; and our principles, though sometimes veiled and forgotten, like a river which may travel underground for a little season, have always had honest and holy adherents. Persecuted alike by Romanists and Protestants of almost every sect, yet there has never existed a Government holding Baptist principles which has persecuted others; nor, I believe, has any body of Baptists ever held it to be right to put the consciences of others under the control of man. We have ever been ready to suffer, as our martyrologies will prove; but we are not willing, to accept any help from the State, or to prostitute the purity of the Bride of Christ by any alliance with earthly Governments.

C. H. Spurgeon, in a greeting to all the Baptist churches who gathered for the opening of the Metropolitan Tabernacle in 1861 (sermon #376)

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