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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
Zwingli, great Protestant Reformer: In the sixteenth century he wrote: "The institution of Ana-Baptism is no novelty, but for thirteen hundred years has caused great disturbance in the 'church.' "
Mosheim, a great Lutheran Historian: "The first century was a history of the Baptists. Before the rise of Luther and Calvin there lay concealed in almost all countries of Europe persons who adhered tenaciously to the principles of the Dutch Baptists,"
"The true origin of that sect which acquired the name ‘Ana-Baptist’ is hid in the remote depths of antiquity, and is consequently difficult to be ascertained."
(Century Sixteen, part 2, chapter 30).
James Murdock, translator of Mosheim, though opposing the view of Rainerius Saccho, a 13th century enemy of the Cathari, nevertheless quotes him as follows regarding the Waldensian Baptists:
"Their sect has been the most injurious of all to the church of God on account of their antiquity; for they, according to some, originated in the times of the Roman bishop Silvester in the fourth century; and according to others, existed as early as the days of the apostles.
Alexander Campbell: "The Baptist denomination in all ages and all countries has been, as a body, the constant asserters of the rights of man and the liberty of conscience. They have often been persecuted by Pedobaptists; but they never politically persecuted, though they have had it in their power."
(Alexander Campbell on Baptism, p. 409, editions 1851, 1853).
"Clouds of witnesses attest the fact, that before the reformation from popery, and from the apostolic age, to the present time, the sentiments of Baptists, and the practice of Baptism have had a continuous chain of advocates, and public monuments of their existence in every century can be produced ."
(Campbell - McCalla Debate, p. 378).
"The Baptists can trace their origin to apostolic times, and can produce unequivocal testimony of their existence in every century can be produced."
(Campbell's Debate with Walker).
Benjamin Franklin, a minister, "If popery were born too late, or it is too young, to be the true 'church' [assembly], what shall we say of those communions born in the past three centuries? They are all too young, by largely more than a thousand years. No 'church' [assembly] that has come into existence since the death of the apostles can be the 'church' [assembly] of the living God."
John O. Ridpath, Methodist, Historian: "I should not readily admit that there was a Baptist 'church' [assembly] as far back as A.D. 100, though without doubt there were Baptists then, as all Christians were then Baptists."
(Jarrell's "Church Perpetuity," p. 69).
Cardinal Hosius, a Catholic dignitary, spoke these words at the Council of Trent, A.D. 1554: "If the truth of a religion were to be judged by the readiness and cheerfulness which a man of any sect shows in suffering, then the opinions and persuasions of no sect can be truer or surer than those of the Ana-Baptists; since there have been none for these twelve hundred years past that have been more grievously punished."
(G. H. Orchard, A Concise History of Baptists, 1838, p. 364.)