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COLONIAL LANDMARKISM By Curtis Pugh of Bocsa, Romania

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COLONIAL LANDMARKISM By Curtis Pugh of Bocsa, Romania
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  COLONIAL LANDMARKISM By Curtis Pughof Bocsa, Romania Our neighbors tell us to our faces that we Landmarkers are a “cult” or a “sect”and some probably cry out behind our backs that we are worse than that. Theysay we are some new aberration having an srcin only in the 18!s with .#.$raves% etc. &rom time to time% some of our own depart to another camp% sayingthat ours cannot be true 'aptist (hurches because our (hurches have beenorgani)ed by “mother (hurches%” and that it is wrong to re*uire letters of dismission and permission from previously e+isting (hurches of which we weremembers in order to constitute a new (hurch. ,ome may read the title of thispresent article and immediately say that no such thing as Landmarkism e+isted inthe colonial days of -orth merica. 'ut / submit that this present article willdemonstrate beyond a doubt to the candid reader that The 0arliest 'aptist(hurches in merica were /ndependent ,overeign $race Landmark issionary'aptist (hurches.the 2rst 'aptist (hurches in (olonial merica were indeed practicingLandmarkers% although of course they had no knowledge of that term as it had notbeen coined at that early date.  This present article will also indicate to thethoughtful reader that the Welsh Churches – from whence these ColonialBaptist Churches immediately succeeded – had practiced Landmarkism intheir Churches in that island nation prior to the coming of the WelshBaptists to North America. And those who know Welsh Baptist history willbe aware of the fact that these Welsh Baptist Churches must hae learnedthese practices from the apostle to Wales! for they hae a alid claim tohaing been planted by no less personage than aul himself when he made his isit to Britain in connection with Claudia and udens#mentioned in $ Tim. %&$'(. Thus Landmarkism may with historicaleidence logically be seen to be the )criptural practice of early WelshChurches planted by aul and we dare suggest that these Churches musthae imbibed Landmark principles from that apostle who *rst taught themthe Word of +od. Before going further let these things be noted& #'( ,uotations will befrom the book titled! -N/T0) 12 T30 3LA40L 3A BA T)T A))1CAT1N 251- A.4.'676 T1 A.4. '876 B0N+ T30 25)T 1N0 3/N4504 90A5) 12 T)0:)T0NC0 '  hae with diligence copied these seeral ;uotations andpublished book of minutes without any changes made to them e<cept that hae highlighted some things for emphasis. #$( This writer does notapproe of the formation of any kind of supra=church or para=churchorgani>ation whether it is called an association or something else. #?( t iswith the early days of the Colonial Baptists of North America that weconcern ourseles in this article and not with what this association mayhae become at a later date – in fact there is eidence that during the  second *fty years of the association@s e<istence compromise and areection of their earlier principles took place. #%( The Churches making upthis earliest Baptist association in North America were!  beliee!inconsistent in some of their practices& They practiced denominationalcommunion and they belieed in the laying on of hands after baptism as are;uisite for Church membership. There may hae been otheridiosyncrasies practiced by them as well. But  beliee that it will bedemonstrated that these earliest of Baptists in North America were notonly practicing Landmarkers! but that they were independent! soereigngrace! missionary Baptists as well and worthy ancestors of independent!soereign grace! Landmark! missionary Baptist Churches that e<ist todayboth in North America and around the world and that hae descendedfrom them.NT514/CT159 C1N)405AT1N)& 2irst of all! let us considersome interesting and reealing information gien about these earliestBaptist Churches in North America as found in e<cerpts from the 502AC0 to the -N/T0)... by 3. +. Dones. “ The hiladelphia Association srcinated with churches planted by members from Wales. Attracted by the freedom of religious opinion established by enn! theypurchased and settled large tracts of land as early as 'E8?. ...t #i.e. theassociation – CA ( “ has been faored with the serices of manydistinguished ministers – men of eminent piety! solid udgment and*nished education. Among these are found the names of -organ 0dwards! Abel -organ! Dohn +ano! )amuel Dones! 4aid Dones! Feach! +riGith!5ogers! /stic! 3olcombe! )taughton! Brantly and others! who haegloriously fought the good *ght #pp. ?! %(. Notice that those who wereorgani>ed into these Churches had been members of Baptist Churches inWales prior to their coming to North America. Attracted by the freedom of religion in William enn@s colony! able and educated ordained ministers ourneyed with non=ordained members to this wilderness region andsettled themseles and were organi>ed into Baptist Churches. n at leastone instance a Baptist Church was organi>ed in Wales for the e<presspurpose of immigrating to North America together as a Church. rior to coming to the actual minutes of the association meetings!some histories of the Churches are gien& some in detail! others are not sospeci*c! but the information about the Welsh Tract Church is mostinteresting. “ T30 C3/5C3 AT T30 W0L)3 T5ACT! in the County of Newcastle /pon 4elaware. This church was constituted in embrokeshire!in )outh Wales! in the year '67'! at which time the *rst members of thischurch were about to come oer into ennsylaniaH they then! by theadice and counsel of the churches they came from! in embrokeshire andCamathenshire! entered into a church coenant! and state their numberwas si<teen personsH and among them was the 5e. -r. Thomas +riGith! tobe their minister. ” #p.'I(. )o here we hae a congregation of Baptists along  with their pastor moing together in Church capacity to enn@s colony.1ther Churches were organi>ed among these Welsh emigrants after theirarrial in the colony.'. T30)0 C3/5C30) W050 N40 0N40NT BA T)T C3/5C30)&We doubt that any association can long e<ist without eentually growinginto a monster that uses political machinations to e<ercise unscripturalinJuence or outright control oer the Churches that make up theassociation! but at least in the *rst seeral years of this association it wasclear that these Baptist Churches were independent and proclaimed this inboth word and deed. n an 0ssay written for the Churches we read& “ That an Association is not a superior udicature! haing such superiorpower oer the churches concernedH but that each particular church hatha complete power and authority from Desus Christ! to administer all gospelordinances! proided they hae a suGiciency of oGicers duly ;uali*ed! orthat they be supplied by the oGicers of another sister church or churches!as baptism ! and the Lord@s supper ! Kc.H and to receie in and cast out!and also to try and ordain their own oGicers! and to e<ercise eery part of gospel discipline and church goernment! independent of any other churchor assembly whateer... #pp. E7! E'(. Again they state in the minutes of  “ '6E8 the following& )ome ealousy arising on account of an appeal tothe Association! mentioned pages '77 and '7'! it was agreed that theword appeal was not ;uite proper! as the Association claims no urisdiction! nor a power to repeal any thing settled by any churchH but if!before settlement! parties agree to refer matters to the Association! thento gie their adice ” #p. '7I(.This independence is further seen in the entry for “ '66' where weread& “ ?. The church of Newtown desired the Association to appoint timeand ministers to ordain -r. Nicholas Co<H the Association reply! that theappointment of both properly belongs to his church. #p. ''(. Both theselection of ordained men to help the Church in the work of ordination –i.e. to sere as a presbytery – and the other details of the proposedordination were within the authority of the Church meeting in that place.The association had no authority or right to do this for the ChurchM AwfulLandmarkismM )urely it shall be suGicient to ;uote one more e<ample toshow that in “ '66I they still maintained indiidual Church independenceand autonomy. We read as follows& “ n conse;uence of two letters receiedfrom the church at Coram& the *rst lamenting their loss of a worthy pastor!5e. Noah 3ammond! re;uested our assistance and prayers& the secondwas e<pressie of their great satisfaction in Brother 0bene>er Ward@s isits! and edi*cation under his ministry! which concludes by desiring this Association to ordain him as an itinerant. Agreed! That this Association claim no such right! and therefore! resoled to encourage-r. Ward to assist said church in all that he consistently can! until eitherthe church! whereof he is a member! chooses to hae him ordained! or he  *rst becoming a member at Coram! and they should continue in the samemind! which! if they do! and write for assistance! we make no doubt ourbrethren will duly attend to it. 1rdination was the right of the Churchesand not the association. The polity of these Churches consistently showsthem to be independent Baptist ChurchesM$. T30)0 C3/5C30) W050 )1050+N +5AC0 BA T)TC3/5C30)& t should also be noted that these Baptists stood strongly forthe doctrines of soereign grace and in that connection regardedthemseles to be doctrinally in agreement with Baptists of earlier timesand dierse locations. 3.+. Dones testi*es to this fact as follows& “ To let theworld know how we understand the teachings of the 3oly +host in theseinspired books! the Association published! in '6%$! its Confession of faithand discipline. This is in substance the same as that of the ancient Baptistsin oland and BohemiaH and of the -ennonites in 3olland! and the early0nglish and Welsh churches. ” #p.%(. Again he writes& “ n eery period of itse<istence the Association has *rmly maintained the soundest form of )cripture doctrineH nor could any church hae been admitted! at anyperiod! which denied or concealed any of the doctrines of grace ” #p. %(. note that either denying or “ concealing the doctrines of grace woulde;ually dis;ualify a Church from this association – would to +od that someof our Brethren who beliee the doctrines but who do not openly preachand teach them were so inclined as these old Brothers wereM  include ne<ta ;uestion sent to the association for their opinion regarding whether ornot an Arminian could be admitted to the fellowship of a Baptist Churchalong with the pertinent parts of the answer gien. These are not thewords of some biographer! but minutes of their own meeting and thus thestrongest of testimony. “ '6I$= ,uery from the church at Fingwood&Whether a person denying unconditional election! the doctrine of srcinalsin! and the *nal perseerance of the saints! and striing to aGect as manyas he can! may hae full communion with the churchO Answer& That the ery conse;uence of it opposeth the absolute soereignty of +od... .../ponwhich fundamental doctrines of Christianity! ne<t to the belief of an eternal+od! our faith must restH and we adopt! and would that all the churchesbelonging to the Baptist Association be well grounded in accordance to ourConfession of faith and catechism! and cannot allow that any are truemembers of our churches who deny the said principles! be theirconersation outward what it will. #pp. E8! E(.?. T30)0 C3/5C30) W050 LAN4-A5F BA T)T C3/5C30)&The polity of these Churches was the same as that of today@s Landmarkersas follows& 2irst of all! in order to form themseles into a Church theyre;uired letters of dismission from the Churches where their membershiplay. #They did not beliee that a member could dismiss himself from aChurch in order to form a new ChurchM( n the section titled! “ mportant0<cerpts from PA B502 NA55AT0 12 T30 C3/5C30) 31L4N+
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