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The Baptist View of the State

  • Conrad Henry Moehlman (a1)


Anabaptism, the bête noire of confessional Protestantism, cursed at least once in most sixteenth century confessions of faith from Augsburg and Trent on, classified under the Deformation of the Reformation by Kurtz, and reconsidered by Troeltsch, is now interpreted by Schuster and Franke as the third primary type of Reformation Protestantism. Quiescent Protestantism, otherwise known as Lutheranism, and militant Protestantism, otherwise know as Calvinism, are at present represented as walking down the Reformation board-walk with radical Anabaptism.



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1 Seventeen times in the Formula of Concord.

2 About 1609.

3 About 1642.

4 McGlothlin, W. J., Baptist Confessions of Faith, 1911, pp. 684.

5 Ibid., pp. 91 ff.

6 Ibid., p. 187.

7 Lauer, P. E., Church ana State in New England, Baltimore, 1892, p. 18.

8 Hearnshaw, F. J. C., The Social ana Political Ideas of Some Great Thinkers of the Sixteenth and the Seventeenth Century, 1926, pp. 32ff.

9 McGlothlin, , op. cit. p. 109. 30 Congregations, A. D. 1651.

10 Ibid., p. 119 ff.

11 Arnold, S. G., History of the State of R. I., 1859, I, p. 293.

12 McGlothlin, , op. cit., pp. 188 ff.

13 Ibid., p. 263.

14 It will be recalled that the Synod of Philadelphia in 1729 qualified its adoption of chapters 20 and 23 of the Westminster Confession by adding “the Synod do unanimously declare, that they do not receive those articles in any such sense as to suppose the civil magistrate hath a controlling power over synods with respect to the exercise of their ministerial authority; or power to persecute any for their religion, or in any sense contrary to the Protestant succession to the throne of Great Britain” (Mode, , Sourcebook and Bibliographical Guide, p. 268). After the formation of the United States, article XXIII, section III, was altered to conform to the new political situation.

When the synod of Congregational churches in Massachusetts, convened by the General Court, constructed the Cambridge Platform in 1648, it stated in point 15:

“Church government and civil government may very well stand together, it being the duty of the magistrates to take care of matters of religion, and to improve his civil authority for observing the duties commanded in the first, as well as in the second table, seeing the end of their office in matters of righteousness and honesty, but also in matters of Godliness. I Timothy 2:12.”

This confirmed the principles of the Westminster Confession regarding the relation between church and state and demonstrated again what was at issue in the struggle for religions liberty.

15 Ibid., p. 306.

16 Ibid., pp. 310 ff.

17 Ibid., p. 352.

18 Ibid., p. 360.

19 Ibid., p. 367.

20 The Eighth Annual Session of the Baptist Congress (Toronto, 1889) devoted a meeting to the relation between state and church. It is interesting to observe that only Canadian Baptists contended for the taxing of church property. Walter Kauschenbusch argued for an interpenetration of the life of church and state, holding that there is a “positive connection which the church must necessarily have with the state. Brethren, I feel sometimes that in our strong statements of the separation between Church and State we have come to gather up our skirts and to act as if the State had no claim on us; that somehow our life as Christians and as citizens can be cut asunder; that on one side we can be Christians and on the other side, we can be citizens. It is not true. We must be the two things at the same time.” Since the World War the various Protestant denominations in the United States have adopted declarations against war. They have been conveniently gathered in Wilcox, F. M., Seventh-Day Adventists in Time of War, Washington, 1936, pp. 399407.

21 Backus, I., History of the Baptists in New England, 1871, I., II., see numerous citations in the Index.

22 Arnold, , op. cit., I, p. 490.

23 Ibid., II, p. 85.

24 Ibid., II, p. 86.

25 Asplund, , The Annual Register, 1790; Walker, , Statistical Atlas of U. S., 1870, II, p. 7.

26 Arnold, , op. cit., I, pp. 109ff.

27 Ibid., I, p. 140.

28 Ibid., I, pp. 148f.

29 Ibid., I, pp. 200ff.

30 Lauer, , op. cit., pp. 47f.

31 Arnold, , op. cit., II, pp. 490496.

32 Rhode Island Colony Records, I, p. 413 (05 17, 1659).

33 Arnold, , op. cit., see index under slavery.

34 Ibid., I, p. 420.

35 Backus, I., op. cit., I, p. 482, II, p. 513.

36 Arnold, , op. cit., II, p. 337.

37 Ibid., II, p. 249; Mode, P. G., Sourcebook of American Church History, p. 289.

38 Roger Williams died 1684.

39 Arnold, , op. cit., II, pp. 494f.

40 Asplund, , Register for 1790; Walker, , op. cit.

41 Backus, , op. cit., I, p. 126.

42 Ibid., I, p. 384.

43 Augustina, Mary, Sister (Ray), American Opinion of Roman Catholicism in the Eighteenth Century, 1936, p. 56.

44 Backus, I., op. cit., I, pp. 483ff.

45 Lauer, , op. cit., p. 93.

46 Burrage, H. S., “The Contest for Religious Liberty in Mass.,” Papers of the American Society of Church History, 1893, p. 155.

47 Ibid., p. 156.

48 Backus, op. cit., see index.

49 Burrage, H. S., article cited, p. 167.

50 McIlivaine, H. R., The Struggle of Protestant Dissenters for Religious Toleration in Virginia, Baltimore, 1894, p. 7.

51 Thom, W. T.., The Struggle for Religious Freedom in Virginia, Baltimore, 1900, p. 10.

52 Colgate-Rochester Divinity School Bulletin, vol. IV, pp. 87ff.

53 Thom, , op. cit., pp. 19, 21.

54 Beale, , Semple's History of the Baptists in Va., 1894, p. 492.

55 Ibid., p. 51.

56 Ibid., p. 496 (Oct. 1776).

57 Ibid., pp. 53, 496.

58 Ibid., pp. 500–509.

59 Thom, , op. cit., pp. 78f; text on p. 79.

60 Beale, , op. cit., p. 509.

61 Thom, , op. cit., p. 90.

62 Beale, , op. cit., p. 510.

63 Backus, , op. cit., II, p. 336.

64 Arnold, , op. cit., II, p. 561.

65 Ibid., II, p. 562.

66 Backus, , op. cit., II, p. 337.

67 Schaff, P., Church and State in the United States, New York, 1888, p. 25.

68 Weeks, S. B., Church ana State in North Carolina, Baltimore, 1893, p. 59.

69 Ibid., p. 488.

70 Schaff, , op. cit., p. 121.

71 Beale, , op. cit., p. 485.

72 Ibid., p. 488.

73 Augustina, Mary, Sister, op. cit., p. 360.

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Church History
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  • EISSN: 1755-2613
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