Sunday Morning Message
This Sunday in Baptist History
In September 1772, William Elliot married Dorothy Merrill, the daughter of the pastor of the local Congregational church. Into this family six children were born, and as you might guess, they were all christened as babies. But as William continued to read and study God’s Word, he became more and more convinced that infant baptism was wrong. So at the age of forty, he was immersed in water and shortly after that he began preaching in Baptist churches. He was ordained in 1788 and established a Baptist church at Mason, New Hampshire, followed by other churches in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Mrs. Dorothy Elliot passed away in 1785 and William married Rebecca Hildreth. Twelve more children were born into family. Again, as you might imagine, none of the children in this second marriage were christened. Together William and Rebecca served the Lord for more than forty years. They had the joy of seeing several of their children go into the ministry. But life was often not easy. The family was not wealthy. Several of their children died, and then Rebecca passed away. During her final illness, an acquaintance came to visit. He said to Pastor Elliot, “You enjoy yourself very well, don’t you?” To that the old preacher replied, “Oh, no, I don’t enjoy myself at all, but I never enjoyed the Lord so well in (all) my life.” Two years after Rebecca’s death, William was privileged to hear one of his sons preach from I John 3:1: “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” Afterwards, Elder Elliot said to him, “My son, I charge you, rather than relinquish the doctrine which you have now preached, to die at the stake.” William Elliot died, on this day in 1830.