This Sunday in Baptist History
Would you say that a person could be both a Christian and a Democrat? Should a Christian have fellowship with a believer who is a member of another political party? If you were an American patriot in 1776, could you have Christian fellowship with a Tory – a British loyalist?
Morgan Edwards, who was born on this day in 1772, was one of the most important Baptist leaders of his day. He was a highly educated graduate of Bristol College, the first Baptist school in England. In 1761 he emigrated to America and became the pastor of the Baptist Church in Philadelphia. He was a leader in the Philadelphia Baptist Association. He was a principle in the establishment of Rhode Island College. One of the first men to record the history of Baptists in the United States was Morgan Edwards, publishing “Materials Toward a History of the Baptists.”
It is often stated, in these days when history is being redefined, that the doctrine of the pre-tribulational rapture did not exist until the days of John Darby, who died in 1882. That lie is destroyed by Morgan Edwards. While a student at Bristol in about 1740, he published a 56 page essay stating it was his belief that the Lord Jesus Christ would return to receive His own people prior to the Tribulation which would be prior to the Lord’s Millennial reign.
But Morgan Edwards was one of perhaps two Baptist leaders who did not support the Revolutionary War. He was never arrested, but during the war his travel was restricted to the Philadelphia area. About that time, he resigned as Pastor and began his ministry as a Baptist historian.
Maybe it’s because I am a Canadian, but I wouldn’t have had trouble to fellowship with Tory Morgan Edwards, because when it came to the doctrines of the Word of God, we would have been true brethren in every essential point. Isn’t that where we should find the basis of our fellowship?