It was the goal of the often revered Puritans to establish a society which governed its citizens from the cradle to the grave based upon what its leaders considered to be pure religious truth. They came to this country seeking freedom from the interference of others, but they granted no freedom to anyone else. Sadly, they were misinformed as to the true nature of Bible Christianity. Beginning with infant baptism, their religion devolved into superstition and ceremonial salvation. Only with God’s intervention, through the Great Awakening and the witness of a few Baptists, was new England spared from enslavement as deep and dangerous as during the Dark Ages.
As the ancient faith grew within her borders, the government began tightening its anti-Baptist legislation. For example on this day (May 13) in 1646 a petition from Roxbury, Massachusetts was presented to the governing council.
It read: “As the prevaylinge of errors and heresies is noted by our Saviour in the gospel, and elsewhere in Scripture, as a forerunner of God’s judgments, and in as much as the errors of the Anabaptists, where they do prevayle, are not a little dangerous to church and commonwealth, as the lamatable tumults in Germany, when the said errors were grown into a height, did too manifestlie witnesse, and such good laws or order are enacted amongst us, against such persons having alreadie bene, as we are informed, a special meanes of discouraging multitudes of erroneous persons from comminge over into this countrie, which wee account no small mercie of God unto us, and one sweet and wholesome fruite of the sayd lawes, it is therefore our humble petition to this honorable court, that such lawes or orders as are in force amongst us against Anabaptists or other erroneous persons, whereby to restraine the spreadinge and divulginge of their errors amongst people here, may not be abrogated and taken away, nor any waise weakened, but may still be continued.”
Thankfully, in New England, Virginia and elsewhere, Baptists from both side of the pulpit, resolutely stood firm for the truth of God, and eventually the United States became a nation with some degree of liberty.