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Baptist History Lesson 8 Associations, Confessions & Controversy demonstrated in the life and ministry of William Kiffen.

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Presentation on theme: "Baptist History Lesson 8 Associations, Confessions & Controversy demonstrated in the life and ministry of William Kiffen."— Presentation transcript:

1 Baptist History Lesson 8 Associations, Confessions & Controversy demonstrated in the life and ministry of William Kiffen

2 Elizabeth James I Charles I English Commonwealth Cromwell Charles II James II William & Mary

3 I. Period of Revolution ( ) Religious High Baptist Visibility Establishment mentality II. Period of the Protectorate ( ) A. Commonwealth-governed by House of Commons ( ) B. Protectorate ( ) “You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!” Oliver Cromwell ( ) Instrument of Government Lord Protector

4 C. Baptists in Prominent Places D. Rise of Sectarian Religion 1. Levellers 2. Diggers 3. Seekers 4. Quakers 5. Fifth Monarchy The messianic kingdom, the fifth monarchy prophesied by Daniel, would be realized by the return of Christ following the English civil war

5 E. Baptist Highlights During this Period 1. Increase in churches Effective lay ministry Mobility provided by army 2. Development of the theory of religious liberty This is important as a theological truth 3. Identification with mainstream Protestantism 4. Churches were strengthened for the upcoming persecution Associations

6 RENEWED PERSECUTION I. Political A. Restoration of the Stuart monarchy Edward Hyde Lord Clarendon Charles II ( ) Clarendon Codes

7 II. Religious Condition A. Clarendon Code 1. Corporation Act (1661) 2. Act of Uniformity (1662) 3. Conventicle Act (1664) 4. Five Mile Act (1665) B. Declaration of Indulgence 1672 C. Second Declaration of Indulgence, 1687 D. Act of Toleration 1689

8 III. Baptist Suffering and Confessing A. Suffering 1. John Bunyan 3. William Kiffen 2. Benjamin Keach ( ) Wm. Kiffen ( ) The Father of the Particular Baptist Joseph Ivimey

9 b. ca. 1616; lost parents at age 9 Apprenticed to ‘a mean calling’ Converted around age 15 (1631) “I thought I felt my heart greatly to close with the riches and freeness of grace, which God held forth to sinners in Jesus Christ. I found my fears vanish, and my heart was filled with love to Jesus Christ.” Joined with Spilsbury’s church ca Led a group to found a church at Devonshire Square Independently wealthy “it pleased God to bless our endeavors to increase it from scores to hundreds and thousands of pounds, giving me more of this world than ever I expected to enjoy” Led in organization and administration of the young churches 1644 First London Confession of Faith XLVII. And although the particular congregation be distinct and several bodies, every one a compact and knit city in itself; yet are they all to walk by one and the same Rule, and by all means convenient to have the counsel and help one of another in all needful affairs of the church, as members of one body in the common faith under Christ their only Head

10 Associations Dr. Barrie White “a nationwide strategy” between 1644 and 1660 aimed at gathering congregations and organizing them “into associations linked with the London leadership.” “model” of associations1) county associations for protection 2) organization of Cromwell’s army Why did Particular Baptist Churches do it? Supply pulpits Spread gospel Maintain church order Wales 1649 John Miles & Thomas Proud ‘in those places where the Lord had work to be done’. Abingdon Meetings attended by messengers All recommendations were returned to the local church for ratification and implementation Desired leadership from London association

11 ‘Diverse brethren had such sweet, and lively, and soul-ravishing manifestations of Gods gracious presence, as they could not sufficiently express; and such as some of them and not enjoyed in all their lives, till this day’ The Churches of Christ in Ireland ‘to solemnly seek the face of our God; and by fasting and prayer to humbly mourn before him…’ Conclusions: 1. Importance of London theology and leadership 2. The association or general meeting was characteristic method of organization 3. Local associations kept in close touch by personal visitation and sharing reports of their meetings 4. A Comparatively small group of men made it their business to supply the ‘cement’ to this nation-wide program

12 Restoration of Charles II led to increased persecution of Kiffen and other Baptists February 1660 December 1660 March 1662 “this great deliverance was a cause of wonder to all that heard of it” Occasion for the issuing of the 2 nd London Confession Michael A. G. Haykin has given four reasons: 1) The common experience of persecution had brought Particular Baptists closer to both Independents and even Presbyterians – Particular Baptists desired to adopt a confession of faith that would make clear their Calvinistic orthodoxy.

13 2) Some Reformed churches were beginning to embrace views that later became called hyper-Calvinism or High Calvinism – Particular Baptists desired to distance themselves from that heterodox movement. 3) The Quaker movement was growing rapidly, attracting many Baptists (especially Generals, but also some Particulars) – Particular Baptists desired to more firmly assert biblical authority than was necessary when the First London Confession was published. 4) Thomas Collier, a former Army chaplain and itinerant church-planter nicknamed “the apostle to the west,” had published A Body of Divinity (1674) wherein he rejected original sin, particular atonement, and made heterodox Christological claims – Particular Baptists desired to distance their movement from the more Arminian and eccentric views of Collier

14 Differences between 1644 and 1677 (W.R. Lumpkin Baptist Confessions of Faith) New topics: the Scriptures, the Sabbath, and marriage The treatment of the doctrine of the church was more extensive The Calvinism “was more pronounced” The confession followed the sequence of topics in the WCF More complete treatment of many subjects, notably the Lord’s Supper 1. The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible (a) rule of all saving Knowledge, Faith and Obedience; Is there any basis for the charges of certain current Particular Baptists that there is a marked difference between the 1644 and the 1677 (89) on the issue of law and grace; more particularly, that the 1677abandoned the New Covenant language of the 1644?

15 1688 Glorious Restoration 1689 Kiffen & Knollys called for a General Assembly of Particular Baptist Churches ‘…as that Confession is not now commonly to be had; and also that many others have since embraced the same truth which is owned therein; it was judged necessary by us to joyn together in giving a testimony to the world; of our firm adhering to those wholesome Principles, by the publication of this which is now in your hand.’ ‘In those things wherein we differ from others, we have exprest our selves with all candor and plainness… yet we hope we have also observed those rules of modesty, and humility, as will render our freedom in this respect inoffensive, even to those whose sentiments are different from ours.’ ‘We have also taken care to affix texts of Scripture, in the margin for the confirmation of each article in our confession;’ ‘We shall conclude with our earnest prayer, that the God of all grace, will pour out those measures of his holy Spirit upon us, that the profession of truth may be accompanyed with the sound belief, and diligent practise of it by us; that his name may in all things be glorified, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.’

16 “I consider Mr. Kiffin to have been one of the most extraordinary persons that the denomination has produced, both as the consistency and correctness of his principles and the eminence of his worldly and religious character.”


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