SEVENTEEN HUNDRED TO EIGHTEEN HUNDRED A.D.
Immigration from Europe to America
We shall now consider the church in Pennsylvania especially. After William Penn had received his grant of land, including all of Pennsylvania, he visited Germany and other places in search of colonists. Because of persecutions in Europe many sought refuge in "the New World."
Thirteen families were the first to immigrate, arriving at Germantown, in October, 1683. Another company arrived from Friesland in 1684. June 24th, 1694, another large company arrived, under the leadership of Kelpius. In 1719, twenty families arrived, settling in Germantown, near Philadelphia, but now a part of the latter city.
Numerous others came, and the most of these people were Sabbath-keepers. The last to come were the Moravians, in 1740, permanently settling where Bethlehem now stands, thus the town was settled and named by zealous Sabbath-keeping people, known as Moravians, nationally, but believing in and accepting the true name, "The Church of God."
The Church from the Wilderness
The prophecies have been frequently given in this work how the Lord Jesus said the church was to go into the wilderness, remaining there 1260 years, when the earth would then help the woman, or the church. Now we come to a band of forty men coming to this country under the leadership of Brother Kelpius, mentioned previously, and forming a society called the "Society of the Woman in the Wilderness."
These men left Germany during the summer of 1693, coming to Holland, London, and to Plymouth, where they spent the winter, then leaving on the actual voyage to America on April 25th, and reaching Philadelphia on June 23rd. After holding a solemn religious service they walked two by two, observing the city which embraced scarcely 500 houses, and there being no town hall, courthouse, or prison. They went to Germantown and found Brother Jacob Isaac Van Bebber, one of their countrymen, who had formerly lived on the borders of Holland.
Randolph says, in his history, they "believed that the millennium was at hand and the woman in the wilderness, mentioned in Rev.12:14-17, prefigured the great deliverance of the church, and they came to be called `The Woman in the Wilderness.'" -- page 950.
He says further on page 951, "It is a fact conclusively attested, that as early as 1699 Kelpius was in communication with the churches of Rhode Island and Connecticut."
Randolph says further of the people in Pennsylvania, "When Count Zinzendorf, the founder of the Moravian church in Germany, visited America in 1741, he was astonished to find the hold the Sabbatarian doctrine has upon the entire German population of Pennsylvania." -- page 1036.
Mr. Saches gives assurance of the close affiliation between the Sabbath-keeping body known as "The Order from the Wilderness," with the Sabbatarian brethren of New England, and also with the Sabbatarians at Ephreta. Pa. "At Ephreta, they established and maintained a classical school for boys which was patronized by the leading families of Philadelphia and Baltimore. There Latin was taught as the medium of polite correspondence." -- Corless F. Randolph's History.
It was the privilege of one of the authors of this work to visit the church at Ephreta, Pennsylvania, in 1928, where much was learned about the founders of this pioneer church of Sabbatarians in this country. Conrad Beissel, the founder, was an associate of Brother Kelpius, leader of the forty men landing at Philadelphia in 1694. When we visited the Ephreta church in 1928, we learned from leaders there that their doctrine was practically the same as that of the Church of God today, although this church has been isolated from other churches of the same belief for over two hundred years, there being a number of their German Sabbatarian churches of the same belief in the east affiliating together. They were glad to learn of the great activity of the Church of God in spreading the truth throughout the world, and of so many other companies in the east, as well as the west and north and south, spreading the message of the last days. Since that we have been more or less connected with them by their reading our literature and our ministers visiting their churches.
It is a fact familiar with the history of these Sabbatarians, as well as the history of our nation, that when the constitutional congress sought a man competent and skilled in languages, they chose Peter Miller, pastor of this Ephreta Church, to translate the Declaration of Independence into seven languages. He was an honored man from the University of Heidelberg, a member of the American Philosophical Society, a personal friend of the Penns, and of Benjamin Franklin.
He was also personally acquainted with George Washington, and invited him to Ephreta, and to bring his soldiers, suffering from the frigid weather of that memorable winter at Valley Forge, when the fate of the colonists seemed hanging in the balance. We saw a graveyard at Ephreta where hundreds of the loyal soldiers lay at rest, the tombstone inscriptions identifying them with the victims of the revolution, who did not survive, after coming there wounded.
Peter Miller is the central figure of one of the most touching narratives of Revolutionary times, and his name is mentioned in many old schoolbooks of the nation. One of his bitterest enemies was caught sleeping on sentinel duty, the penalty of which was death. He was to be executed at a certain set time. Peter Miller traveled all night to reach the president, George Washington, in hope of saving his enemy.
Washington, knowing Miller, expressed the thought of the condemned man being his good friend. Then Miller informed him that the condemned man was his bitterest enemy and incessant reviler, but that his Master taught him to pray for his enemies. So impressed was Washington that he took him by the hand, and with tears flowing down his cheeks, thanked him for his example of Christian forbearance and generosity, and granted him the request.
In the fall of 1744 Israel Eckerlin, Samuel Eckerlin, Alexander Mack and Peter Miller set out upon a pilgrimage to New England for the purpose of visiting the Sabbath-keeping communities there and those lying between in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
The simple preparations being made, as the journey was on foot, a solemn love feast was made on Friday, Sept. 21, 1744. These services lasted far into the night, and even the hours between midnight and dawn were spent in prayer and supplication. On the morning Sabbath the Pilgrims were present at the service . . . . After the close of the Sabbath they started on their journey, accompanied a short distance by many of the brethren. When fairly upon their way they walked single file, silently and bareheaded, as was their custom. Meetings were first held at Nantmeal, in Chester County, the next at Coventry, thence across the Schuylkill to the German settlements along the way until they reached Germantown. Stops were made with Conrad Matthae, Brother Seelig, and the Brother Mystics. After the brethren had visited the company at Pennek they started on their long pilgrimage toward Rhode Island, but stopped over at Amwell, where converts to the truth had been baptized some six years before. After leaving there they went toward the ocean where the country was sparsely settled, and some nights the pilgrims spent the hours around their campfire in the timber to frighten away the wild beasts, and also to provide warmth as the nights were cold and frosty.
Their intention was to call at a place commonly called Barnegat. A company of Sabbatarians had emigrated here from Stonington, Conn., and Westerly, Rhode Island, a few years before, and a few others had joined them from Pennsylvania.
Sachse says, in his work, relative to this company, "At the advent of our pilgrims this company numbered but fifteen adults, notwithstanding . . . their number met and signed a covenant shortly after their settlement, binding themselves to live and walk together as Christian people, though they had no church organization or pastor. Peter Miller preached and admonished them to be steadfast and continue in the faith. This resulted in a church being organized, and William Davis, the elder, although eighty-one years of age, was elected pastor." -- Corliss F. Randolph's, History, pp. 1043-1045.
Among these early settlers of the region now known as Pennsylvania, were Christians known as Quakers. These people were of the Puritans from England, and among them we also find Sabbath-keepers, preserving the true faith.
In a book by Dr. Samuel Kohn, chief Rabbi of Budapest, Hungary, from which we have previously quoted, he says, "In 1545 we find a Sabbatarian sect among the Quakers in England." Also that leaders and preachers of the Puritans had retransferred the rest day from Sunday to Saturday. -- Sabbatarians in Transylvania pp. 8, 9.
This information corresponds with that recently published in a newspaper of California, that Benjamin Franklin, the famous Pennsylvania Quaker, was an observer of the seventh-day Sabbath. The quotation, as it appeared in the paper, reads as follows:
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN'S CURE FOR HARD TIMES
"'Make a full statement of all you owe, and of all owing to you. As fast as you can collect, pay those you owe. Go to business diligently. Be industrious. Discard all pride. Lose no time. Waste no idle moments. Attend church. Attend prayer meeting. Always help the worthy poor. Pursue this course seven years, and if you are not in comfortable circumstances. I will pay your debts.'
"We wonder how many of our readers are aware of the fact that Franklin kept the seventh day of the week, according to the commandment written by Jehovah God, on the tables of stone, with His own finger?
"God's people are going to see that table of stone some day." -- Shoshoni Independent (Calif.)
From his epitaph which he composed himself, we may understand that, like Job of old, Franklin believed in the resurrection. Job said, "If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee." . . . "And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." -- Job 14:14; 19:26.
Franklin said in his epitaph, "The body of Benjamin Franklin, printer (like the cover of an old book), lies here, food for worms. But the work shall not be lost for it will (as he believed) appear once more in a new and more elegant edition, revised and corrected by the Author." -- New Standard Encyclopedia.
It will be noted from the historical proofs given that the church which had been established at Jerusalem, carried across Asia Minor, preserved in the wilderness of the Waldensian mountains, and then scattered throughout Europe prior to the Reformation, at last found its way to its final resting place in the wilderness of the American continent, and here revived the ancient truths preserved from generation to generation throughout its long pilgrimage from the Holy Land.
The Church in America
All familiar with the early history of the United States remember that the Puritans, coming here in the Mayflower, landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620. They had fled from persecutions in England, coming to what was known as "the new world," where they could worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience. When they had gathered in their bountiful harvest, a day was set apart in which to render thanks to Almighty God, for having thus blessed them in provision for the coming winter. This day has ever since been celebrated in the United States as Thanksgiving.
The Pilgrims were the same as the Puritans, Nonconformists, and Separatists, as the boys and girls of our country understand who remember these early chapters of American history. The Puritans were zealously endeavoring to purify the church of England, as well as the Catholic church. They were called Separatists because of their separation from these churches, and those who risked their lives on the pilgrimage to the "new world," have since been called Pilgrims.
Chief Rabbi Kohn of Budapest, Hungary, in a work entitled, Sabbatarians tn Transylvania, says of the Puritans, "Certain leaders and preachers of the Puritans have  retransferred the rest day from Sunday to Saturday." -- p. 38.
That the Pilgrims were Sabbath-keepers, and evidently from the same line of Sabbatarian-Puritan preachers mentioned in this work, the following evidence will confirm.
While one of the authors was living in the city of St. Joseph, Missouri, during the winter of 1934, the following editorial appeared in the St. Joseph, Mo., Daily Gazette, during the Christmas season, written by the editor, Mr. Hugh Sprague.
"Strange as it may seem, in the early history of America there was an attempt at suppression of Christmas spirit. The stern Puritans at Plymouth, imbued with the rigorous fervor of the Old Testament, abhorred the celebration of the orthodox holidays. Their worship was on the Sabbath (Saturday), rather than Sunday, and Christmas in particular they considered a pagan celebration. Later immigrants attempted to observe Christmas as a time of joy, but were suppressed. Governor Bradford, Elder Brewster, Miles Standish and other leaders were firm against the yuletide spirit as we know it today."
The author's wife, having first noticed the above editorial, called his attention to it. He immediately drove over to the Gazette office where, upon finding Mr. Sprague, he asked him where he obtained the evidence of the Pilgrim Fathers keeping the Sabbath or Saturday. He said, "Why do you desire this information? Do you doubt the truth of the statement!" He answered, that from information already at hand he had frequently made the statement that they were observers of the seventh day of the week, but thought he might have something additional. He said he did not know of any book mentioning this, but that he had additional evidence. He said, "The Pilgrims are my direct ancestors, and we know very well their religious practice, and belief." He assured him that all his grandparents and great-grandparents knew that the Pilgrims of the Mayflower days were strict Sabbath-keepers on the seventh day of the week instead of Sunday.
Should anyone wish to obtain direct information from this editor, which we are sure he will cheerfully give, you can reach him by posting a letter, with stamp for reply, to St. Joseph, Mo., in care of the Gazette.
The noted historian Robinson, quoting from the words of the tyrant persecutor Reinerius shows that the Waldenses, Puritans, and Cathari, are the one and the same religious sect. -- From the work entitled, From a Weasel to an Elephant, and footnote, page 288, Jones' Church History.
In speaking of those called Paterine, Gazari, Jones in his church history says, "Gazari is a corruption of the word Cathari, Puritans, and it is remarkable in the examination of these people, they are not charged with any immorality, but for heresy." He states further that they are opposed to the ceremonies of the church of Rome. -- p. 217.
Many historical statements have been printed on previous pages of this work, proving beyond doubt that the Cathari, Puritans, and Waldenses were the same people, and that they observed the seventh day of the week, held the Lord's Supper on the 14th of Abib, immersed for baptism, accepted the Bible name for the church, and, in general, held the truth as now taught by the Church of God. We may, therefore, without disappointment, expect to find the same doctrine taught and practiced by the Puritans in tracing their history in America.
We find in the public library of London, England, a book entitled A Necessity of Separation, referring to the separation from the church of England of those receiving divine light and truth.
The author is John Canne. He frequently mentions the Church of God, or God and His Church.
In chapter 4, page 183, when speaking of the meaning of the word "church," he says, "The Church of God."
On page 184, he says, "The church, the house and the temple of the eternal God."
On page 185, he says "The means whereby men are made fit for the Church of God, is by His word."
On page 187, he uses the term "Church of God," also page 163, he uses the term again, and also says "The Church of the Living God."
It will be remembered, however, from previous notes that there were several Sabbath-keeping congregations in London prior to this time, who observed the Passover yearly, and who were known by the term "Church of God." It has also been shown that the Separatists, Puritans, and Pilgrims were zealous for the commandments of God, observing the seventh-day Sabbath, and from the foregoing it is also evident they held to the sacred Bible name.
From Lewis' History of Sabbath and Sunday, we get the following information:
"The same Divine Hand which guarded the Sabbath through the dark centuries between the first great apostasy and the reformation, transferred it from England to America, the last battleground whereon the great reforms of modern times have been and are being carried forward. True Sabbath reform could not find a place among the masses until 'Sunday' had borne its fruit, decayed in weakness, and crumbled from the hands of the church. This trial could best be made in America. Hence, guided by that `divinity which shapes our ends,' in 1664 Stephen Mumford emigrated from England to Newport, Rhode Island. He brought with him the opinion the Ten Commandments as they were delivered from Mount Sinai, were moral and immutable and that it was antichristian power which changed the Sabbath from the Seventh to the first day of the week. He united with the Baptist church in Newport, and soon gained several of its members to the observance of the Sabbath." -- p. 218.
On the same page of the above history it is stated that a Sabbath-keeping church was organized by these Sabbath-keepers in December 1671, and that William Hiscox was chosen and ordained their elder which office he filled until his death, 1704. Also that he was succeeded by William Gibson, a minister from London, who labored among them until his death, 1717. Joseph Crandall then presided over the church until 1737. Joseph Maxson was then pastor, who was succeeded by William Bliss, the latter passing away in 1808 at the age of 81. He was succeeded by William Burdick. Richard Ward was a prominent member of this church, being governor of the state of Rhode Island, and well known in history.
Lewis gives us some more interesting history of the early Sabbath-keepers in this country on page 398 of the same history, as follows:
"Able Noble arrived in this country about the year 1684, and located near Philadelphia . . . . About this time a difference arose among the Quakers in reference to the sufficiency of what every man was naturally within himself for the purpose of his own salvation. This difference resulted in a separation under the leadership of George Keith. These seceders were soon after known as Keithian Baptists. Through the labors of Able Noble, many of them embraced the Bible Sabbath and were organized into churches near the year 1700. These churches were Newton, Pennepeck, Nottingham and French Creek, and probably, Conogocheage." . . . "The churches of Pennsylvania fraternized with the churches in Rhode Island and New Jersey, and counseled them in matters of discipline. Some of their members also united with their churches. Some of them, with some members of the church of Piscataway, and others of Cohansey, near Princeton, emigrated to the Parish of St. Mark, S.C., and formed a church on Broad River and formed a settlement and a church at Tuckaseeking, in Georgia. These churches have long since become extinct. (Traces of these Sabbath-keepers are still found in the South.)" pp. 397, 398.
The Church of God from London to America
The first organization of Sabbath-keeping Christians in America, now known to history, was that of the church at Newport, R.I., in 1671.
"Stephen Mumford came over from London in 1664, and brought the opinion with him that the whole of the ten commandments as they were delivered from Mount Sinai, were moral and immutable; and that it was the antichristian power which thought to change times and laws, that changed the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week. Several members of the first church in Newport, Rhode Island, embraced this sentiment." -- Church History of New England, 1783 to 1796, chap. 11, Sec. 10.-- This is the oldest known organized Sabbath-keeping church in America. In the chapter devoted to the history of the Church of God in the British Isles, mention is made of a certain letter written by the church at Mill Yard, London, on December 21 1680, to the church in Newport, R.I. This letter was copied from the old files of the Mill Yard church, the oldest Sabbath-keeping church in America being connected with the oldest in London. Consequently, we must naturally conclude that these two churches will be found to agree in principle and doctrine, and this further evidence will confirm.
The first record we have of the organization of a local church in this country reads as follows: "We enter into a church covenant this 23rd day of December, 1671 (Old Stile), William Hiscox, Stephen Mumford, Samuel Hubbard, Rodger Baster, Sister Tacy Hubbard, Sister Mumford, and Sister Rachel Langworthy. " Wm. Hiscox was chosen pastor. The church had no articles of faith except the Bible. As churches in other places sprung up, and a desire was felt in many hearts to follow the instruction of the Lord in I Corinthians 1:10 that they all speak the same thing, a mutual understanding was sought among them, that those in one locality who having advanced in knowledge and truth deeper, might benefit the others by these truths. Thus certain doctrines were outlined with Scriptures showing their soundness, and unity and harmony was sought and maintained.
On October 31, 1683, Brother Hubbard wrote to Elder Wm. Gibson, who lived at New London, and said in part, "O, that we could have a general meeting, but winter is coming upon us." The next May another letter was written, as follows, "This church has appointed a general meeting to be held here the 14th of May, 1684, and hope to see all my daughters and friends together, if God permit, from Westerly, Narragansett, Providence, Plymouth, of Martha's Vineyard, and at home, that we may humble our souls at that royal throne of grace of Jehovah, and to rejoice together in his holy way and order." This was the first general meeting held by these early churches that we have any record of in America. At the beginning of the year 1708 there were 113 members of the Newport, Rhode Island, church, when it was thought best for the brethren living in the western part of the city to be organized into what was called the "Westerly Church." -- From Seventh-day Baptist Memorial.
In 1705 a church was organized at Piscataway, N.J. And, according to a letter from Samuel Hubbard, one of the charter members of the Newport church, another was organized at an early date at Noodles Island, now East Boston, Mass. We quote from his letter, which began with these words:
"Unto the church of Jesus Christ meeting on Noodles Island, in New England . . . ." -- Idem, p. 152, Vol.1, No. 3.
In the year 1668 there were at least nine Sabbatarian churches in England, according to a letter written from London by Dr. Edward Stennett, of the Bell Lane Church, to the Sabbath-keeping brethren in Rhode Island. We quote:
"Here are, in England, about nine or ten churches that keep the Sabbath, besides many scattered disciples, who have been eminently preserved in this tottering day, when many once eminent churches have been shattered to pieces." -- Dated Feb. 2, 1668, at Abingdon, Birkshire. -- Idem, Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 27.
In a narrative respecting the Newport church, it is said that in July 3, 1669, they sent a letter to a church in Bell Lane, London, England, about some certain difficulties they had encountered. It also states that prior to this, in October 6, 1665, they had sent a first letter to "several churches in the observation of the seventh day, for advice." -- Idem, p. 29, Vol. 1.
Thomas Ward, a prominent lawyer of Newport, was a member of the Newport church in 1689.
Richard Ward, governor of Rhode Island from 1741 to 1742, was also a member of this church.
Col. Jobe Bennet in 1763 was one of a committee of two to draft the constitution of the Brown University, and served as its Treasurer from 1765 to 1775. He was a member of this church.
Deacon John Tanner of this church was also a trustee of Brown University.
The Name of The Church
The connection between this church at Newport and the Churches of God in London has already been shown in this work, as well as their harmony in doctrine. The Mill Yard church in London being the oldest Sabbath-keeping church of which we have a definite record, and at this date, 1935, their doctrine agrees with that of the churches of God throughout America, this fact is significant of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit whose office work is declared to be to lead its possessor into all truth.
It is evident that the church at Newport, Rhode Island, was at first called "Church of God," because of its relationship with the Sabbath-keeping churches of London known by this name.
The early records of the Newport church have been destroyed by fire, but we do have copies of some of these ancient records, and in these we have intimation of the church clinging to the true name. In a reply concerning an investigation respecting Sabbatarians in Newport, the following is stated by members of the Newport church:
"Under the former dispensation there was a church and a world as there is now; and as it is the duty of the world now to repent and believe the Gospel, so it was the duty of the world to be proselyted and joined to the then Church of God." -- Idem, p. 36, vol. 1.
Questions asked of the early Sabbatarian churches to a candidate minister, among others, was this one:
"Have you entire freedom to administer the ordinances of God among them as a Church of God, to pray with them and for them, and endeavor to build them up in the faith? " -- Idem, p. 160, Vol. 2, No. 4.
The following charge was given Elder Davis, an early Sabbatarian minister by the church in Shrewsbury, N.J.:
"Brother Davis, I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, that thou take the charge of the Church of God dwelling at Shrewsbury. Preach the word in and among them; be instant in season: and out of season; administer the holy ordinances amongst them; exhort and rebuke with all long suffering and patience, with meekness and humility of mind, as thou shalt answer the same, when thou shalt give up thy account to God, at his appearing and kingdom. Amen." -- Idem, p. 160, Vol. 2, No. 4.
In the year 1705, a church of Sabbath-keepers was organized at Piscataway, N.J. The first record in the old church record book, after the articles of faith, was the following statement, proving beyond all question that these early churches retained the Scriptural name of the Church of God. The record reads:
"The Church of God keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ, living in Piscataway and Hopewell, in the province of New Jersey, being assembled with one accord, at the house of Benjamin Martin, in Piscataway, the 19th day of August, 1705 -- we did then, and with one mind, choose our dearly beloved Edward Dunham, who is faithful in the Lord, to be our elder and assistant, according to the will of God; whom we did send to New England to be ordained; who was ordained in the church-meeting in Westerly, Rhode Island, by prayer and laying on of hands, by their elder, William Gibson, the eighth of September, 1705." -- Idem, p. 121, Vol. 2, No. 3.
The faith of the Piscataway church reads as follows:
"I. We believe that unto us there is but one God, the Father, and one Lord Jesus Christ, who is the mediator between God and mankind, and that the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of God. I Corinthians 3:6, I Timothy 2:5, II Timothy 3:6, II Peter 1:21.
"II. We believe that all the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, given by inspiration, are the Word of God -- II Peter 1:19, 20, 21, II Timothy 3:16, Mark 7:13, I Thessalonians 2:13, Acts 4:29, 31 -- and are the rule of faith and practice.
"III. We believe that the ten commandments, which were written on two tables of stone by the finger of Cod, continue to be the rule of righteousness unto all men. Matthew 5:17, 18, 19, Malachi 4:4, James 1:21, Romans 7:25, Romans 3:21, Romans 13:8, 9, 10, Ephesians 6:2.
"IV. We believe the six principles recorded in Heb. 6:1, 2, to be the rule of faith and practice.
"V. We believe that the Lord's Supper ought to be administered and received in all Christian churches. Luke 2:19, I Corinthians. 11:23, 26.
"VI. We believe that all Christian churches ought to have church officers in them, as elders, and deacons. Titus 1:5, Acts 6:3.
"VII. We believe that all persons thus believing ought to be baptized in water by dipping or plunging, after confession is made by them of their faith in the above said things. Mark 1:4, 5, Acts 2:38, Acts 8:37, Romans 6:3, 4, Colossians 2:12.
"VIII. We believe that a company of sincere persons, being formed in the faith and practices of the above said things, may truly be said to be the Church of Christ. Acts 2:41, 42.
"IX. We give up ourselves unto the Lord and one another, to be guided and governed by one another, according to the Word of God. I Corinthians 8:5, Colossians 2:19, Psalsm 84:1, 2, 4-10, Psalm 133:1." -- Idem, pages 120,121, Vol. 2, No. 3.
That there were members of the Church of God among the Sabbatarians which organized as the Seventh Day Baptist Churches in America, we know, and from the records of the Baptist people themselves, which are very accurate, we learn the truth of this fact. A recorded letter of one William Davis, a Sabbatarian Baptist, states the following:
"Now all this enmity among seventh-day men arose against me originally from a noted seventh-day man and soul sleeper in this country, who above twenty years ago opposed me about my principles of immortality of human souls, and afterward proceeded to differ with me about my faith in Christ and the Trinity, who, having poisoned several other seventh-day men with the mortal and atheistical notion, and set them against me, he secretly conveyed this drench over to Westerly to the persons beforenamed, who, complying with him in their judgments in the Socinian and Anti-Trinitarian error, drank it greedily down before I came among them . . . ." -- Idem, p. 108, Vol. 2, No. 3.
One of the main points of doctrine of the Church of God, which distinguishes it from other bodies of believers, is the belief in the separateness of Almighty God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit of God, as pertains to entities, but one as to unity of purpose and spirit. This Scriptural truth held dear by Dr. Arius and his followers in the early centuries, is still dear to the Church of God in our day, and was to the saints during the colonization of America.
Another tenet of faith which distinguished the Church of God is its teaching of immortality only through Jesus Christ, that is, a conditional immortality, which is given to the saints only, and not to all mankind.
The third article of faith which should be noted, is Sabbath-keeping, that is, the observance of the seventh day of the week.
From the quotation taken from the letter of the Sabbatarian Baptist, Elder William Davis, it is noted that this noted Sabbatarian of whom he speaks was not only a Sabbath-keeper, but also one who held to the truth of the individuality of Jesus Christ and his heavenly Father, and the Holy Spirit of God, and to the truth of immortality only through Christ. There is no body of Christians in the world, with the exception of the Church of God, which teaches all three of these beautiful truths, hence, we know this man was of the Church of God, and contended for the "faith which was once delivered unto the saints."
It has been previously shown how the early churches in the east were composed of, and raised up through the labors of members of the Churches of God from London, and other parts of Europe, and, furthermore, evidence has been given that they were actually known among themselves by the name "The Church of God." It is claimed, however, in the History of the Seventh Day Baptists, volume 2 page 613, that these churches had no official name. The reason for this claim is evidently due to the fact they did not believe in incorporating with the state, or of filing a charter, for the Bible, they said, was sufficient. We quote from this work as follows, "In the first records of the first minute book extant the church is referred to as the church of Rhode Island, and Westerly, Rhode Island, referring to the Island and not to the whole colony, and to Hopkinton, Westerly, Charleston, and Richmond. Sometimes it is spoken of as the `Church,' at other times the official name." -- `Congregation,' but it had no official name." -- Randolph's History, p. 613.
In apology for the New England churches, on page 66, we find the name, "The Church of God."
Continue with Chapter 22.
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