KIFFIN, AN OLD LANDMARKER.
But there was a consistent
Landmarker and a landmark church in London nearly two hundred years before
Mercer wrote that letter; and I have shown that every Baptist Association in
America was Landmark in faith and practice one hundred years before. I copy the
following historical fact from Cramp?s "History of Baptists:
"The young man [Wm.. Kiffin]
became an independent inquirer, prepared to follow the leadings of truth
regardless of consequences. [This is the true Landmark spirit?the spirit of
God?s true men]. Observing that some excellent ministers had gone into
voluntary banishment, rather than conform to the Church of England, he was
induced to examine the points in dispute between that church and her opponents.
He had been five years a member of the Independent church, then under the care
of Mr. Lathrop, when, with many others, he withdrew, and joined the Baptist
Church, the first in England of the particular Baptist order, of which Mr.
Spilsbury was pastor. Two years after that, in 1640, a difference of opinion
respecting the propriety of allowing ministers who had not been immersed to
preach to them?in which Mr. Kiffin took the negative side?occasioned a
separation. Mr. Kiffin and those who agreed with him seceded, and formed another
church, which met in Devonshire Square. He was chosen pastor, and held that
office until his death, in 1701 [61 years], the longest pastorate on
If the Baptist ministers of
America were only such men as Wm. Kiffin, how long would Pedobaptist societies
be regarded as churches of Christ? How sad to think that Baptists, by their
inconsistent teaching and practice, are doing more than Pedobaptists themselves
to build up pedobaptism!
Bro. J. M. Pendleton says:
"My opinion is, that the number of Baptists in the United States would he
larger by a million today if it had ever been the understanding that there could
be no ministerial affiliation between them and Pedobaptists. How strange is such
affiliation! The exchange of pulpits makes the impression that these are small
matters; and this impression has led many to become Pedobaptists, who would
otherwise have copied the example of Christ, who said, concerning His personal
immersion, ?Thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.?"
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