Caring for the Anglicans: the past and the present

Why should Baptists care about the vile mess of US Episcopalianism? Because our forebears came out of that denomination and our arguments for Baptist polity were shaped in fighting Episcopalians (like the Quakers and Methodists and Congregationalists). And as Baptists we have a tradition: a tradition that involves in part arguments within and without. And some of the arguments in the 17th c were with the Anglicans outside of our forebears’ communities.


Nor can we stand back and gloat about the Episcopalian loss of gospel witness: it should make us WEEP! Think of the worthies in that Body: Cranmer, Hooper, Ridley, Latimer, Richard Greenham (that fount of Puritan pastoral theology), Perkins, holy Sibbes, Gurnall, the Wesleys, Romaine, the Venns, Newton (the mentor of one of my favourite Baptists, John Ryland Jr.), Whitefield, the holy John Fletcher, Grimshaw (my hero who was such a help to my Baptist forebear John Fawcett), Samuel Walker, George Thomson, William Cowper, Octavius Winslow (he became an Anglican after years as a Baptist! This is an historical mystery that needs unravelling), Simeon, Ryle. What we owe the Anglicans!


God have mercy on the denomination now! And God keep us from travelling the same path: much of their episcopal leadership has degraded the Lord Jesus and he has degraded them!